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Bates, Sir Alan Arthur (1934–2003), actor, was born at Queen Mary Nursing Home, Derby, on 17 February 1934, the eldest of the three sons of Harold Arthur Bates, an insurance superintendent, and his wife, Florence Mary, nee Wheatcroft. At the time of his birth his parents lived at Farley, Derwent Avenue, Allestree, near Belper in Derbyshire. Both parents played musical instruments, his father the cello and his mother the piano, and a home environment where the arts flourished led Bates to an interest in theatre. While attending Herbert Strutt Grammar School, Belper, he acted in school plays and enjoyed watching productions at the Derby Little Theatre Club, whose leading repertory actors included John Osborne and John Dexter. He also enjoyed films at the local cinema, admiring actors such as James Mason, Marcello Mastroianni, and Spencer Tracy. After winning a scholarship to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where his contemporaries included Albert Finney, Peter O'Toole, and Richard Harris, and doing national service in the RAF, Bates joined the Midland Theatre Company, in Coventry, making his professional stage debut in You and Your Wife (1955). After moving to London in 1956, Bates became a founder member of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre, which was set up by actor–director George Devine and director Tony Richardson to perform plays neglected by West End managements and as a forum for new writers. His first roles were as Simon Fellowes in Angus Wilson's The Mulberry Bush (1956) and Hopkins in Arthur Miller's The Crucible (1956), but he and the theatre's first major impact came with their third production, John Osborne's Look Back in Anger (1956), starring Kenneth Haigh as the rebellious anti-hero Jimmy Porter, with Bates as his quiet, sympathetic friend, Cliff Lewis, and Tony Richardson directing. The play was seen to represent a new generation's disillusionment with post-war Britain. Osborne and others of the new school were dubbed ‘angry young men’, and the ‘kitchen sink’ drama was born. It was also a launching pad for Bates, who reprised his role in Moscow as part of the World Youth Festival (1957), at the Edinburgh Festival (1958), and for his Broadway debut (Lyceum Theatre, 1957–8, and John Golden Theatre, 1958). He then had success on the West End stage as Edmund Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night (Globe Theatre, 1958), and the extrovert, sadistic brother Mick in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker (Duchess Theatre, 1960, then on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, 1961–2). He returned to Broadway to play the title role in Jean Kerr's Greenwich Village comedy, Poor Richard (Helen Hayes Theatre, 1964–5). Although he had made his film debut with a small role in the comedy It's Never Too Late (1956), starring Phyllis Calvert, Bates did not go back to the big screen until after this run of stage successes. He appeared as song-and-dance man's son Frank Rice, alongside Laurence Olivier, in the film version (1960) of John Osborne's stage play The Entertainer before starring as a fugitive murderer discovered in a barn and mistaken for Jesus Christ by three children in Whistle Down the Wind (1961), a north-country draughtsman forced into marriage when his girlfriend becomes pregnant in A Kind of Loving (his first picture with the director John Schlesinger, 1962), a quiet adulterer in The Running Man (1963), Mick in the screen adaptation of The Caretaker (1963, retitled The Guest in the USA), a social-climbing clerk in Nothing but the Best (1964), a young English writer in Zorba the Greek (1964), a man swapping his pregnant girlfriend for her flatmate in the ‘swinging sixties’ comedy Georgy Girl (1966), and the faithful farm labourer Gabriel Oak in Far from the Madding Crowd (with Schlesinger again, 1967). Bates made his Hollywood debut as Yakov Bok, the Jewish handyman unjustly imprisoned in tsarist Russia, in The Fixer (1968), for which he was nominated for an Oscar, but he never desired the trappings of stardom and continued to pick his roles carefully. He returned to Britain for Women in Love (1969), director Ken Russell's adaptation of the D. H. Lawrence novel, notable for a nude wrestling scene with his fellow star Oliver Reed, and The Go-Between (1971), reuniting him with his Far from the Madding Crowd co-star Julie Christie as the tenant farmer and the fiancee of a wounded South African War veteran conducting an affair in director Joseph Losey's film based on the Edwardian novel by L. P. Hartley, adapted by Harold Pinter. On 9 May 1970 Bates married the thirty-year-old Valerie June Ward, an actress and model under the name Victoria Ward, daughter of Robert Alfred William Wood, printer. Their twin sons, Benedick and Tristan, were born in 1971. Professionally, the 1970s saw Bates continue to switch between stage and screen. He reprised his role as the angry, embittered brother, Andrew Shaw, from playwright David Storey's In Celebration (Royal Court Theatre,RBR 0682
Here's a pic of the Light Sabers I made. I was wanting a 24" light rod that would have a smooth flow of light in a longer tool. I made three - Red, Green, Blue. One of them has a sanded acrylic rod, the other two are polished clear. Still got some fine tunning to do on them, but for all practical purposes, they're operational. They were easy to make. I'm sure a different electronics package can be put in them to get the color changing mode. I spent a total of about $25 or so on materials: 5/8ths O.D. acrylic rod (6 ft.), 4ft of 3/4" aluminum tubing, and the lights that went in them. From the picture you see above, you can get the idea of how it came together. 1. Started off with a cheap "safety light" that I've seen at Target and Academy Sports. I used this as the light source by taking the nylon extention off and inserting the light into the aluminum tube. It's got a white light on one end, and a colored light on the other. The colored light has two modes: flash and steady. It runs on 3 watch batteries, so there's not a lot of power. But it works well with the nylon tube extention (not used on the light saber). $3 - $5 2. I taped up two inches on the acrylic rod to mark how far in the tube it would go. I used electrical tape to form a bushing between the rod and the tube. I started with 6 ft of rod and cut it down to three 24" pieces. 6ft acrylic rod = $16 3. I drilled a hole in the handle to access the switch on the light source. I used two self drilling sheetmetal screws - one to keep the light source from falling out, and the other to hold the acrylic rod in the tube. Be careful when securing the rod. It's made of plastic and will break or shatter if you don't drill a pilot hole for the screw. And the pilot hole needs to be big enough for the whole screw (including threads) or it will shatter. 4. The finished product. 5. What works better: a polished clear acrylic surface, or a sanded transparent surface? I sanded one (red) and left the other two (blue and green) polished to compare the differences to see which one transfered more light. The Answer: they both do a good job of tranfering light for the purpose of Light Painting, but they produce different textures and features of the light. The textured rod (sanded) has a "fade out" effect, whereas the clear rods have a more even appearance; they also have quite a bit of light coming out the end of the rod. Each have their own style and will lend themselves to Light Painting, depending on what it is you're trying to do. Lessons Learned: The quality of light depends on the light source you use. Sometimes you need a cheap plastic light that uses watch batteries. Other times you might need to use a mag light with the power of a couple of larger batteries. It all depends on your needs. A clear Acrylic rod you can get at the hardware store (Elliotts Hardware) is not the same as the rod on a Lenser V24. According to the manufacturer, The Lenser has tiny holes laser bored into the rod to produce more surface area for the light to escape from. Hence the quality will be different. Another option (depending on your needs) would be to use a transparent nylon tube instead of an acrylic rod. The transparent nylon tube would give off more light similar to the small 6 inch tube on the original "safety light" I bought at Target. I spent a lot of time polishing one end of the rod, thinking that's what it would take to get light into the rod. In fact, the opposite became apparent in this case. The polished end transfered less light than a sanded or frosted surface. Lensers have a lot of technology behind them that just won't be duplicated in a DIY home project (at least not in my garage). But for the money and elbow grease, what I've come up with will be useful for now.
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