Three Cheers for John Lennon!

“All you need is love.” – John Lennon

Perhaps Mark David Chapman, the deranged fan who shot him, had just about too much love for his idol. Either that or when John Lennon said that, he hadn’t thought it would affect the world so much that it cost him his life.

Singer-songwriter John Lennon was the brains behind The Beatles. In 1957, Lennon met Paul McCartney and invited him to join his music group. Back then, The Beatles had not yet made an appearance in the music scene. When they both formed a musical partnership, it was under a different name but it was the most successful songwriting partnership in the history of music.

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Founder of The Beatles: John Lennon. Photo by Librarising.

John Lennon: The Legend

  • Date and Place of Birth: October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom
  • Date and Place of Passing: December 8, 1980, in New York, United States

Born and Bred in Britain

John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool during a German air raid in World War II. When he was 4 years old, his parents separated and he went to live with his Aunt Mimi. His father was a merchant seaman, and despite being mostly away at sea, this had not fueled the fatherly urge to see his son more often. He was not even present at his son’s birth and did not see much of his son during his years of growing up. His mother, Julia, remarried and made a point to see her son and Mimi more regularly. She taught him how to play the banjo and the piano, and purchased his first guitar! His mother played an important role during his childhood years, and he was understood to be devastated when she was hit by a car driven by an off-duty police officer in 1958.

The Beginning of ‘The Beatles’

The Quarry Men was Lennon’s first band, an inspirational result of Elvis Presley’s explosion in the rock music scene. A year after Lennon invited McCartney to join the band, the latter introduced George Harrison to Lennon, and soon, Harrison and art college buddy Stuart Sutcliffe became members. In 1960, Pete Best became the drummer for their band. Buddy Holly’s ‘That’ll Be The Day‘ was the first recording they made. Apparently, it was Holly’s group, The Crickets who inspired Lennon’s band to change its name to The Beatles!

In 1961, Brian Epstein became the manager of The Beatles and secured a record contract for the band with EMI, with Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) as the new drummer, and George Martin as the producer. The band released their first single ‘Love Me Do‘ that hit the British charts at No. 17. Inspired by Roy Orbison, Lennon wrote the band’s follow-up single ‘Please Please Me‘, which topped the charts in Britain. The Beatles became the most popular band in Britain with mega-hit releases like ‘She Loves You‘ and ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand‘.

In 1962, Lennon married Cynthia Powell, and had a son called Julian (named after Lennon’s mother). However, his hopes for a good marriage crumbled due to the huge success of his band, famously known as the Beatlemania. Four years later, they divorced. In 1967, he remarried to Japanese avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, whom he met at the Indica Gallery in 1966.

Beatlemania Takes Flight!

The Beatles became the first British band to break into the big scene in US. Beatlemania had launched a “British Invasion” of rock bands which included the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. The Beatles returned to Britain for their first film titled ‘A Hard Day’s Night‘ (1964) and prepared for their first world tour. Their second film ‘Help!‘ (1965) paved the way for the honour bestowed upon by Queen Elizabeth II of England that they would be named a Member of the Order of the British Empire. In 1965, the band performed to 55,600 fans at New York’s Shea Stadium, a new record for largest concert audience in the history of music. That year, the band returned to England and recorded their breakthrough album ‘Rubber Soul’, notably remembered for extending beyond love songs and pop formulas which the band was previously well-known for.

The Beatles took a break and returned to the studio to expand their experimental sound with a drug-influenced exotic instrumentation with lyrics and tape abstractions. The first sample was the single ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever‘ followed by the album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘ in 1967. The album was considered by many to be the greatest rock project in musical history.

Lennon’s Solo Career

In 1969, John Lennon left The Beatles after the band had completed the recording for ‘Abbey Road‘. A year later, Lennon released his debut solo album ‘John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band’ which featured a raw and minimalist sound followed by “primal-scream” therapy. In 1971, Lennon released the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed track called ‘Imagine‘. The track took No. 3 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s “All-Time Best Songs” list.

In 1973, he and Ono separated. Lennon went to Los Angeles and released hit albums, including ‘Mind Games‘ (1973), ‘Walls and Bridges‘ (1974), and ‘Rock and Roll‘ (1975). It was during this time that Lennon had collaborated with David Bowie and Elton John. A reconciliation took place in 1974 between Lennon and Ono, and were gifted with the birth of their only child, a son named Sean. It was then that Lennon decided to leave the music industry to focus on being a family man.

In 1980, he returned to the music industry with the album ‘Double Fantasy’, featuring the hit single ‘(Just Like) Starting Over‘. Sadly, a few weeks after the release of the album, he was shot several times by a deranged fan, identified as Mark David Chapman. Lennon died at New York’s Roosevelt Hospital on December 8, 1980. He was 40 years old. His death left a profound impact on pop culture. Millions of fans worldwide mourned as record sales tipped the scales. His untimely death evoked deep sadness around the globe today, as he continued to be admired by new legions of fans. In 1987, he was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

No Shooting Please. Just Posters 🙂

Show a burst of love and support for the British superstar and The Beatles by getting their posters below (we have three of John Lennon himself, and two of The Beatles) at our physical store at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus or place your order with us on our official Posterific Facebook page!

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Gandhi: A Spiritual and Political Leader

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

An advocate for peace, independence, and for the human rights of Indians, Mahatma Gandhi was always prepared to fight for these three things. Even if it meant using the method of resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi was not a fan of violence, nor was he a violent man. He was the primary leader of India’s independence movement as well as the architect and pioneer of Satyagraha, a form of civil disobedience that would influence the world.

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Mahatma Gandhi: A Man of India. Photo by Biography.com.

The Birth of a Leader

  • Date and Place of Birth: October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Kathiawar, India
  • Date and Place of Passing: January 30, 1948, in New Delhi, India

Mahatma Gandhi, born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, had studied law in England before travelling to South Africa in 1893 to fight for the rights of Indians there. Around 1914-1915, Gandhi returned to India and was given the titles ‘Father of the Nation’ and leader of Indian nationalism in the country, then ruled by the British. With this in mind, he became the leader of India’s independence movement and organized boycotts against British institutions in peaceful forms of civil disobedience.

The Fight for Liberation

This form of resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience is known as Satyagraha, which he was a pioneer of, and with this, he became one of the major political and spiritual leaders of his time. Today, Satyagraha remains one of the most potent and worldwide known philosophies in freedom struggles.

In 1914, when Gandhi returned to India, he became the leader of the Indian National Congress, advocating a policy of non-violence to achieve independence for his country. His goal was to provide assistance to poor farmers and labourers to protest oppressive taxation and discrimination. He also struggled to alleviate poverty, liberate women, and put an end to caste discrimination with the objective of self-ruling for India. As a result of his strong contention following his civil disobedience campaign, Gandhi was jailed for conspiracy from 1922 to 1924. In 1930, Gandhi led a march to the sea and collect salt as a symbolic defiance of government monopoly. After his release from prison in 1931, he attended the London Round Table Conference on the constitutional reformation for India. In 1946, he negotiated with the Cabinet Mission and recommended the new constitutional structure for India.

The Assassination

Once India received its independence in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi tried to put a stop to the Hindu-Muslim conflict in Bengal. This resulted in his assassination in New Delhi at the hands of a Hindu fanatic by the name of Nathuram Godse. Even after the death of Mahatma Gandhi, his commitment to non-violence and his belief in a life of simplicity and devotion (making his own clothes, following a vegetarian diet, and fasting for self-purification as well as a means of protest) have become a beacon of hope for the oppressed and marginalized people throughout the world.

The Commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday which falls today on October 2 is now a national holiday in India. It is a widely celebrated event as well as one that is commemorated by the United Nations as the International Day of Non-Violence. Happy Birthday, Gandhi, and Happy International Day of Non-Violence to everyone! Let us enjoy the peace for just one day, love our neighbours the way we would love ourselves, and make love and peace, not war.

Support Gandhi and pray with him in our hearts by getting your posters at our physical store at Taylor’s University Lakeside campus or purchase one via our Facebook page!

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17th Asian Games Incheon 2014

This Friday, the world will tune in to live telecasts of the opening ceremony for the 17th Asian Games 2014 that will be held in Incheon, South Korea from September 19, 2014 to October 4, 2014. The opening ceremony will start at 5:00pm (Malaysia time) on September 19 with the showpiece event of various performances exemplifying the elements of Korean traditional culture and their latest technologies. Athletes from all participating nations will be a part of the event, marching past their respective contingents on this very day. Even important officials from Asian countries will attend the opening ceremony.

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Official poster and three seals mascot for the 17th Incheon Asian Games 2014. Photo by India.com.

Similar to the Olympic Games, the Asian Games is held every four years and is the most prestigious event organized by the Olympic Council of Asia. The Asian Games follow a similar arrangement of the sports programme to that of the Olympics, with swimming and athletics at the core, while featuring disciplines in the diverse sporting culture of the continent, such as sepak takraw (Southeast Asia), kabaddi (South Asia), and wushu (East Asia). The first and foremost Asian Games was held in New Delhi, India, in 1951 with 11 countries competing in six sports categories. The 16th Asian Games took place in Guangzhou, China, in 2010 and featured 45 countries and regions competing in 42 sports categories. As a result, the growth of the Olympic Movement in Asia was highlighted. Now the 17th edition of the Asian Games will be held in Incheon, South Korea with 439 events in 36 sports categories and disciplines.

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The official poster of the Incheon Asian Games 2014. Photo by IAG14 (Blog).

Diversity Shines Here

The Asian Games 2014 is officially known as the XVII Asiad. ‘Diversity Shines Here‘ is the official slogan of the Asian Games which was unveiled on September 16, 2010. The official slogan represents and highlights the significance of Asia’s rich and wonderful diversity in history, cultures, and religions. Incheon was awarded the right to host the Games on April 7, 2007, after defeating New Delhi, India. It is understood that Incheon made an offer to raise USD$20 million of funds to support the countries who have yet to win a medal in the Games, as well as offering free flight and accommodation to all the participants, while India offered nothing, which led to the South Korean city to win the right to host the Games. Incheon is the third city in South Korea after Seoul (1986) and Busan (2002) to host the Asian Games.

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Other official posters depicting five games (racquet – top left corner / aquatics – bottom left corner / ball – middle / athletics – top right corner / combat – bottom right corner). Photo by IAG14 (Blog).

Malaysia is one of the 45 nations participating in the Incheon Asian Games 2014, with core focus on top local sportsmen and sportswomen like Lee Chong Wei (badminton) and Nicol David (squash). National hockey coach A. Arulselvaraj hopes his unorthodox ways of blaring Pink Floyd music on the loudspeakers will motivate, encourage, and inspire his team to a gold medal. Low Wee Wern from the national squash team hopes to have an all-Malaysian final in the Incheon Asian Games 2014 with World No.1 Nicol David. But she will have to wait and see what happens when Nicol David takes the squash courts by storm. The Malaysian Tiger footballers defeated Laos 4-0 in their second Group A match to stay afloat for their stint in the Incheon Asian Games 2014. And Datuk Lee Chong Wei will be looking to add more gold medals to his current tally as he prepares to wow his legion of Malaysian fans in the Asian Games. Chong Wei’s badminton counterpart Chong Wei Feng is relishing a left-handed battle with his childhood idol and China’s Lin Dan. No doubt everyone will be hoping for a bigger haul of medals for the nation this time. Malaysia Boleh!

Jimi Hendrix: An Eclectic Mix of Innovation and Sound

“When I die, I want people to just play my music, go wild and freak out, do anything they want to do.” – Jimi Hendrix, American singer, guitarist, and songwriter (1942-1970)

And Jimi Hendrix got what he wished for. At only 27 years old, Hendrix was young when he died on September 18, 1970 from drug-related complications. A talented recording artist, an accomplished songwriter, and a musical experimenter, Hendrix left his mark in the world of rock and roll, and remained popular until today. His passing led to a realization that he was the ultimate guitar player, and that he made use of the electric guitar more than anyone.

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A 3-in-1 Rock Star. Just add a guitar: Jimi Hendrix, short for James Marshall Hendrix, was born as Johnny Allen Hendrix. Photo by Cinema Arts Centre.

The Bumpy Road to Rock-Stardom

  • Date and Place of Birth: November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Date and Place of Passing: September 18, 1970, in Notting Hill, London, United Kingdom

Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix (later changed to James Marshall Hendrix), and learned how to play the guitar during his teenage years. He was destined to become a legendary rock star when he grew up, and his dreams came true in the 1960s, rocking the world with his innovative electric guitar-playing skills. A rock version of “The Star Spangled Banner” was one of Hendrix’s most memorable performances at in Woodstock (1969), dazzling the crowds with his musical talents. He survived a difficult childhood which sometimes involved living with relatives and acquaintances. His parents had a stormy relationship despite having three boys (Hendrix and his two brothers, Leon and Joseph). His mother was only 17 when Hendrix was born. His father was present during his childhood years but did not care much for his sons. Hendrix’s mother eventually left the family, whom Hendrix only met sporadically before she died in 1958.

A Rock Star’s Dream

Due to his shattered childhood, Hendrix turned to music as an outlet for his emotions and taught himself to play the guitar. At 14, Hendrix attended his first concert performance by Elvis Presley. A year later, he got his first electric guitar and played with two bands – the Rocking Kings, and the Tomcats. In 1959, Hendrix dropped out of high school and worked odd jobs while keeping his musical dream alive. In 1961, Hendrix enlisted in the U.S. Army and trained at Fort Ord, California, to become a paratrooper. Even though he was in the army, he still made time for music, and created a band called The King Casuals. In 1962, he was discharged due to an injury and pursued his musical aspirations by working as a session musician. His role as a backup guitarist for performers such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, and the Isley Brothers paved the way for him to form his own group called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. They played gigs around the neighbourhood of New York City’s Greenwich Village.

In mid-1966, Jimi Hendrix met Chas Chandler, a former member of the successful rock group, the Animals, who became his manager. Chandler convinced Hendrix to go to London where he joined forces with two other musicians Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell to create the Jimi Hendrix Experience. His presence in London resulted in an explosion of followers among the UK’s rock royalty. Members of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Eric Clapton greatly admired Hendrix’s work. A critic for the British music magazine Melody Maker quipped:

“He had great stage presence, and looked at times as if he was playing with no hands at all!”

The band’s first single, Hey Joe, released in 1967, became an instant hit in Britain, followed by Purple Haze and The Wind Cried Mary. That same year, Hendrix delighted audiences with his outrageous guitar-playing skills and his innovative, experimental sound while on tour to support his first album, Are You Experienced?. His stunning performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 (which ended with Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire) won the hearts of many American music fans. Other 1968 hits by Jimi Hendrix included: Axis: Bold as Love from his second album, Electric Ladyland from his final album as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and All Along the Watchtower from the same album, written by Bob Dylan.

In 1969, the group disbanded and Hendrix tried his luck with another group, Band of Gypsys with his army buddy Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. They didn’t get very far, and Hendrix decided to work on a new album called First Rays of the New Rising Sun with Cox and Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Sadly, Hendrix didn’t live to complete his project and was found dead in Notting Hill, London from a combination of alcohol and substance abuse.

Show of Support for Jimi Hendrix

It is indeed devastating when you learn of the passings of your idols, be it superstars on the big screen or singer-songwriters of their time. You can show your love and support for Jimi Hendrix and get your version of the Hendrix experience by getting your posters from our us. Click here for our Jimi Hendrix poster album.

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US Open 2014: Game, Set, Match!

The 2014 US Open Grand Slam is back with all your hottest sizzling tennis stars (literally too, under the scorching hot sun on the American soil), each of them ready to ‘ace’ the finals match and take the Grand Slam trophy home. Both the male and female tennis players slogged hard to win each round of the competition, running across the courts, trying to return each and every shot played. Each time they overcame their nerves, they aced their serves so they wouldn’t have to play so hard for the rest of the matches.

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BFF Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki having a good time in Miami. Photo by Mirror UK.

US Open Women’s Finals

American strongwoman Serena Williams outmuscled her opponent Russian Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 to put herself in the 2014 US Open finals. Danish player Caroline Wozniacki was on a roll herself, although she had an easier match against China’s Peng Shuai who retired nearing the end of the match 7-6, 4-3. Williams and Wozniacki have been known to be confidantes to one another throughout their hardships off the court (Wozniacki’s break-up from golfer Rory McIlroy, and when Williams was seriously ill in 2011), but they will have to put their friendship on hold as they battle to see who rules the hardcourts at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. We’re all hoping for a cracklin’ match!

US Open Men’s Finals

No prizes for guessing who are the two famous names in the men’s semi-finals berth though. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are prepared to renew their “hard court friendship” as they strive to prove to their supporters that they certainly are the best. However, there are two unlikely foes who stand in their way, blocking the gates to the finals match:

Croatian Marin Cilic and Japanese player Kei Nishikori.

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(L) to (R): US Open semifinalists Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Marin Cilic, and Kei Nishikori. Photos by Zimbio, Flickr, Zimbio, and Tennis Earth.

Road to the Quarter-Finals

As it’s always the case, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer breezed through their rounds with ease, both winning their matches in straight sets over their opponents. World No.1 Djokovic swiftly disposed off Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 to set up his quarter-finals meeting with Andy Murray, while World No.3 Roger Federer made light work of Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to meet Gael Monfils. Not a problem there for the two experienced and veteran players. Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori, on the other hand, were made to work hard for their victories; with Cilic defeating Gilles Simon in a five-setter 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to meet Tomas Berdych, and Nishikori was also involved in a five-set match against Milos Raonic 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-4 to meet Stanislas Wawrinka. A lot of groundwork and running around but eventually, both Cilic and Nishikori got what they wanted: advancement to the quarter-finals.

Road to the Semi-Finals

In the semi-finals, however, the tables were turned. Marin Cilic had an easier game in the quarter-finals, only having to play a straight three-set match against Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). Djokovic, Federer, and Nishikori were made to slog in order to go through to the semi-finals. The Serbian defeated Murray in a four-setter 7-6 (7-1), 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-4. The Swiss master saw off Monfils in a give-setter 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2. And the young Japanese survived a five-setter over Federer’s fellow countryman Wawrinka 3-6, 7-5, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. The road to the semi-finals was a really bumpy one.

Road to the Finals

The semi-finals pitched Novak Djokovic against Kei Nishikori, and Roger Federer against Marin Cilic. I don’t have a preference but I’d like to see the underdog winning the 2014 US Open Grand Slam for once. Djokovic and Federer have won many tennis titles already between the two of them. Perhaps a difference name and face would be a refreshing change for once, don’t you think As it turned out, I was right about the results for the men’s US Open 2014 semi-finals. Kei Nishikori worked hard to defeat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to book a spot for himself in the finals, while Marin Cilic sent the former World No.1 Roger Federer home after beating him in three straight easy sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Looks like the young guns are slowly coming up as the big shots now, and threaten to overtake the senior players.

The US Open finals will be on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 5:00pm in the US (early Tuesday morning, September 9, 2014 at 5:00am – Malaysian time). Who do you think will take home the 2014 US Open trophy? Who’s with me on supporting Kei Nishikori? Shall we pray for an Asian to win a competition often dominated by Westerners and Europeans?

Happy Birthday, Michael Jackson!

Fame and fortune definitely can’t buy happiness, and it rings quite true for celebrities. Despite all the wealth amassed from making movies, and all the fame from sponsorship deals and big-time endorsements, they will still fall like ordinary folk.

Today marks the 56th birthday of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop; one of the world’s most successful performers! It’s a shame that he died in such an unglorified manner. That he left before he could make his comeback tour. And lost the chance to redeem himself for all the headlines he made in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Did you know…

… that Michael Jackson’s obsession with his skin condition was influenced by a serious injury sustained while filming for a Pepsi-Cola commercial in 1984? He suffered burns to his face and scalp, and had surgeries to fix his injuries. As a result, his interest in experimenting with plastic surgery led to his dramatic alterations to his face, especially his nose, in the coming years.

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Michael Jackson in his prime as a successful solo artiste. Photo by Billboard.

  • Date and Place of Birth: August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana.
  • Date and Place of Passing: June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, California.

Michael Jackson (MJ) was born in an African-American working-class family, with a guitarist father who put aside his musical aspirations to provide for his family as a crane operator. His father knew his sons had talent, and molded them into a musical group in the early 1960s. The group initially consisted of the older Jackson brothers: Tito, Jermaine, and Jackie. MJ only joined the group when he turned five, eventually emerging as the group’s lead vocalist. Another older brother, Marlon, became a member of the group and they were known as the Jackson 5.

An Early Successful Career

At age 13, MJ launched his own solo career and became one of the most internationally famous award-winning solo pop sensations to date! His song “Got to Be There” from the album of the same name topped the charts in 1971, and with his album “Ben” (which featured an eponymous ballad about a rat) in 1972. That song became Jackson’s first solo No. 1 single. MJ continued to wow the music world with his next solo album, “Off the Wall” (1979), an infectious blend of pop and funk, with tracks like the Grammy-award winning “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough“, “Rock With You“, and “She’s Out of My Life“. In 1982, he collaborated with Paul McCartney in “The Girl Is Mine“, which appeared on his next solo album, “Thriller” that same year. The album generated seven TOP 10 hits, became the best-selling album in history, and received 12 Grammy Award nominations, out of which he won 8. MJ’s performance “Billie Jean” also became a No.1 hit, and his famous dance move, “The Moonwalk” debuted in it. By then, he was already a veteran performer, and he choreographed the dance move for the video of another No.1 hit, “Beat It“. Other hits included “Man in the Mirror” (1987), “Black or White” (1991 – with child star Macaulay Culkin), “You Are Not Alone” (1995), and “Scream” (1995 – a duet with his sister Janet).

MJ was on a roll to become the best of the best. He broke numerous records as an artiste. He earned several Guinness World Records titles, including the achievement for the longest span of U.S. Top 40 singles, 13 Grammy Awards (8 in a night in 1984), a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the first artiste to have 5 No.1 singles from the same album (1987’s “Bad“).

A Downhill Slide

He had more fame and fortune than he knew what to do with it, and made decisions with his wealth that if he was alive today, he’d regret his actions. MJ built a fantasy ranch retreat Neverland in California and kept exotic pets like a chimpanzee called Bubbles. He invited children for sleepovers at his ranch, leading to child molestation allegations pressed by parents of the children whom he had invited. Rumours surfaced, including one where he was believed to be lightening his skin colour to appear more white and slept in a special chamber to increase his life span! In 1994, he wed Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley in what critics believed to be a publicity ploy in response to the child molest allegations. The couple divorced in 1996, and he married nurse Debbie Rowe, with whom he had two children through artificial insemination: Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr. (1997) and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson (1998). MJ may be a successful chart-topping singer but where marriages were concerned, his was not a happy ending. He divorced Rowe in 1999, with MJ receiving full custody of their children, and later on, having a third child with an unknown surrogate: another son, Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II.

Things became worse for MJ, more recognized then as a quirky eccentric. His odd behaviour overshadowed his success, and often appeared in public with a surgical mask and his children’s faces hidden under veils. He made headlines when he looked confused and disoriented at an MTV Awards Show in 2002. He was criticized for dangling his son, Prince Michael II, over a balcony while greeting fans in Berlin, which led to demands that Child Protective Services take his children from him. MJ faced more legal issues in 2004 when he was arrested on child molestation charges with a 13-year-old boy in 2003 for lewd conduct with a minor, attempted lewd conduct, administering alcohol to facilitate molestation, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment, and extortion.

A Superstar’s Tragic Death

In 2009, MJ suffered cardiac arrest in his L.A. home. He was rushed to hospital after his heart stopped but CPR attempts failed, and he died, at 50 years old, later that morning. He never got to experience the anticipated success of his comeback tour (all tickets for the show sold out in just 4 days). He may have lived out his final days as a nutcase to many, but he was still the most successful performer of all time, and his death resulted in worldwide grief and sympathy, and memorials for him were erected around the world.

Can’t get enough of the King of Pop even after his tragic death? Then celebrate his posthumous awesomeness and get your Michael Jackson posters from our official Posterific Facebook page, while stocks last!

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Gentlemen, Rev Your Engines!

The 2014 Formula 1 season is back from a mandatory summer break. This time, the race will be held in Belgium on the 24th of August (this Sunday at 8:00pm Malaysian time). The drivers in this weekend’s race will be revving their engines and making their way to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit Belgium (image below).

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Above: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Photo taken from the official Formula 1 website.

A Brief History of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most storied venues in the world of motorsports. It is also known as the home of the Belgian Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Spa, and the Spa 1000K. Fondly known as Spa, it has long been recognized as a supreme test of courage and skill. Spa’s list of winning drivers reads like a history of Grand Prix and sports car racing, such as Michael Schumacher, Pedro Rodriguez, Jim Clark, Jo Siffert, Jacky Ickx, Henri Pescarolo, Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna, Dan Gurney, and Alberto Ascari.

The circuit was designed by Jules de Their and Henri Langlois van Ophem in 1920. The triangle-shaped circuit originally ran over public roads between the Belgian towns of Spa, Malmedy, and Stavelot in the Ardennes region. The elimination of a hairpin turn in the Eau Rouge Valley creek shortened the circuit by about a kilometer and added to its already fearsome speeds. Even if Spa lacked the long lanes of Le Mans, Monza or Reims, with the exception of the famed La Source hairpin, it comprised exclusively of fast, sweeping curves where speeds rarely fell below 100 mph.

Spa has seen many changes over the years. The revamped circuit retains much of the original course and many of its signature turns including La Source, Blanchimont and the daunting Eau Rouge. The renewed Spa features a demanding, purpose-built section that sweeps down a valley through the fast Pouhon curve and the Campus esse bend before rejoining the “old” circuit near Blanchimont. As a result, it is the most challenging tracks on the current Formula One and sports car racing schedule. According to seven-time world champion driver, Michael Schumacher:

“It is the best circuit in the world. The kind of atmosphere you get at Spa is similar to the old Nurburgring. The only place which still has quality and atmosphere. Eau Rouge is really the most tremendous corner. Imagine flying downhill and seeing a big mountain in front of you. You feel as though you are driving into the road before going up and it is probably the best sensation and the most satisfaction you can experience as a racing driver.”

The timetable below shows the action for this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix:

DATE SESSIONS TIME
Friday, 22 August 2014 Practice 1 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Practice 2 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Saturday, 23 August 2014 Practice 3 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Qualifying Round 8:00pm
Sunday, 24 August 2014 Actual Race Day 8:00pm

The timing above follows the local Malaysian GMT+8.

Did you know…

… that Lewis Hamilton is the only current driver to take pole position more than once at Spa, yet despite his luck, he still trails Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in the victory count?

Did you also know…

… that all four of Jim Clark’s Belgian triumphs and five of Michael Schumacher’s six victories came without the benefit of starting from pole position?

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing has won the Belgian GP race for three years in a row, from 2010 to 2013. And now he will fight to maintain his place on the podium as the drivers of Mercedes, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, will do their best to snatch the victory from Vettel. Rosberg and Hamilton have both won a number of races already this year. Rosberg have been on the podium four times this year, having won races in Australia, Monaco, Austria, and Germany. His partner, Hamilton, outshone the German and took home trophies from races in Malaysia, Bahrain, China, Spain, and Great Britain, one more race than Rosberg.

Show your support for this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix with a purchase of a Fernando Alonso or Ferrari poster. Get yours today at the Formula One Grand Prix poster album from Posterific Facebook, while stocks last!

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