DCHDIGITAL http://dchdigital.com "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then" Sat, 07 Apr 2018 22:08:01 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 http://dchdigital.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/DCH-DIGITAL-LOGO-100-px-png.png DCHDIGITAL http://dchdigital.com 32 32 The best of times http://dchdigital.com/the-best-of-times/ Sat, 22 Oct 2016 23:47:25 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=655 DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigitalSo there is another website that I do with a cat on the logo. The cat was taken from a photo of my own cat, creatively named Tom. Sadly Tom passed away a couple of years a go, having moved himself into my house 13 years prior. I never knew where he came from, he […]]]> DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital

So there is another website that I do with a cat on the logo. The cat was taken from a photo of my own cat, creatively named Tom. Sadly Tom passed away a couple of years a go, having moved himself into my house 13 years prior. I never knew where he came from, he was rather a gentleman by nature but would occasional regress back into a mischievous kitten. Back in 2012 I went through a phase on Facebook of creating an assumed life for me and Tom Cat. It was a bit of fun and something to make the neighbours think I was mad and thus keep them away. Now that I am slowly extracting myself from social media I felt I ought to port those posts over to my blog. So here they are.

‘Cover Broken’

We are sad to report that ||||| (the cat artist formerly known as Tom) and DCHerath, the founders of the ‘text art’ movement have split. The pair cite artistic differences as the cause of the sudden separation. Commentators have speculated the collaboration was in trouble since the movement was founded (about lunchtime today). Unidentified sources have stated that |||||’s hardcore drug addiction to catnip as the real reason the two have decided to go their own ways. Since |||||’s ‘cat paws on white linen’ – described by one critic as ‘lovely’, the pair have not produced any new pieces.


Tom collapsed in his Chiltern's mansion last night

Tom collapsed in his Chiltern’s mansion last night

There are emerging reports tonight that ||||| (the cat artist formerly known asTom) has checked into springvale veterinary clinic. The exclusive rehab clinic that has served celebrity cliental such as Roland Rat and Danger Mouse. Whilst |||||’s communication manager declined to comment, several sources have sighted the Maserati, ||||| uses to travel in, parked in a near by street to the clinic. Prior to his separation from his artist collaborator DCHerath, friends and acquaintances have commented that ||||| has been spiralling into a drug fuelled abyss, this reporter has obtained an exclusive picture from a party at |||||’s Chilterns mansion last month, that clearly shows him ‘catatonic’ following a drugs binge. Tonight both the clinic and his ex-collaborator declined to comment on the rumours

‘Ready to Rumble’

Just like Ant and Dec, the dynamic duo of IIIII (the cat artist formerly known as Tom) and DC Herath are getting ready to rumble, if the rumours circulating the media world tonight are to be believed. IIIII, who recently checked out of the exclusive Spring Vale rehab clinic and his ex collaborator on the ‘text art’ movement have been spotted in intense negotiations. It is believed that tonight DC Herath, on returning from a ‘fact finding’ trip to Turkey is staying at IIIII’s Chilterns mansion. Speculation became intense when IIIII’s media manger failed to refute the rumours and added fuel to the flames by stating ‘an announcement will be made soon’. Key individuals in the art world have speculated that the duo were left seriously in debt after the collapse of their art movement, with IIIII rumoured to have spent £50,000 on a catnip based advertising campaign. Others have commented that the duo are cynically trying to cash in on the success of the film ‘the life of Pi’ – a fictional story about the collaboration between a man and his feline companion to overcome adversity. Whoever is right, based on their past ventures, if a new one is on the horizon it is already hotly anticipated by the media press.

‘The Jump’

All the speculation about a new collaboration between IIIII ( the cat artist formerly known as Tom) and DC Herath was confirmed today. The announcement came at a hastily put together press conference today, attended by several media journalists and 4 hedgehogs that live in the grounds of IIIII’s Chilterns mansion. The new venture is so far removed from their previous disastrous foray into the art world, this time they are planning to replicate Felix Baumgartner’s sky dive last year, with IIIII doing the jump, potentially setting a multitude of records for feline kind. In what appeared to be plans written on the back of an envelope, DC Herath took the audience through their audacious plan, stating in a somber tone that the idea was not without mortal risk to IIIII, this seem to come as a surprise to IIIII, though DC Herath seemed to placate him and was heard to whisper ‘it’s all part of the show don’t worry, I’ll explain later’ to IIIII.

A Plan for the highest sky jump by a cat, seemingly written on an envelope.

A Plan for the highest sky jump by a cat, seemingly written on an envelope.

This bold plan came as a surprise to the ensemble and no date has been set for the jump. Leo Bush a Dachshund and a neighbour of IIIII, who also witnessed the press conference commented ‘ya the pair are idiots, I fear very much that they’ll end up declaring war on North Korea or something, it has never helped the house prices here since the pair moved in’. The duo’s media manager said more details will be revealed soon. Some of the gloss of their announcement was lost as the end of the media meeting was disrupted by several field mice, demonstrating about the need for an independent inquiry into missing mice, something they claim has only occurred since IIIII moved into the area, some were carrying placards stating ‘where’s my father?’, ‘what happened to the church family?’ With others being more blunt and carrying banners simply saying ‘murderer!’. The mice were hastily removed by bodyguards of the duo ( two retired racing ferrets) with their manager stating simply ‘times have been hard and they like all little people need someone to blame, our sympathies go out to families that have lost loved ones’. The duo are definitely back in the centre of controversy and intrigue.


Silence had prevailed since IIIII (the cat artist formerly known as Tom) and DC Herath had announced their audacious plan to break the world record for the highest altitude sky jump for a cat, however events tonight broke that silence with the duo making their first attempt at the jump. However the attempt ended in disaster with fire engines from three counties being called to a fire on IIIII’s Chilterns estate. onlookers who had privileged tickets to view the attempt recalled a sudden flash as the rockets strapped to IIIII’s back ignited and catapulted into the air, leaving IIIII behind, wonderment at the sight of the two rockets lifting into the blue of the twilight sky were soon turned into panic as they realised they had turned on a trajectory back to earth! Arnold Bluntright (a father of three) described the final moments of terror ‘I was like there laughing with the family, then all of a sudden it was like coming back at us, the young’uns screamed, we ran, we just heard a big bang like, it was like nothing I heard before, it just blew us off our feet’. other hedgehog witnesses retold a similar story. Leo Bush, a Dachshund and neighbour of IIIII, who witnessed the whole event from his vantage point overlooking the rear of IIIII’s estate (through stifled laughter) commented ‘Ya it waz funny, I toldz you they werez idiots, they blew the whole garden apart, there was animals running everywhere, ya they should be shot, look at the fire’. The Fire Mr Bush referred to was IIIII’s shed that ignited after having been struck by the rockets. Tonight no one representing the duo were available for comment. It is likely a press release will be available tomorrow.

‘A New Collar’

This is the moment that IIIII (the cat artist formerly known as Tom) and DCHerath were told that they were to be arrested both by the government’s counter terrorism unit – for import of banned firearms and Thames Valley Police – for disturbing the peace. A hastily created press conference moments ago had representatives for the pair stating that ‘a misunderstanding had occurred which would quickly be resolved’. The pair themselves were unavailable for comment and left with postponing a key announcement. This is just the most recent controversy for the duo, who have been plagued over recent months with setbacks, though expert commentators have stated that their most recent collaboration was always doomed to end in failure. PR representatives (normally called their mothers) for One Direction (a popular pop band) stated they were disappointed that IIIII’s soiree (they were due to attend tonight) was cancelled but hoped their furry friend would be back on form soon but this allowed them a chance to clean their rooms, something their PR representatives had been asking them to do for some time.

‘Elemental Cooking’

Breaking News – There are rumours tonight that DC Herath and ||||| (the cat formerly known as Tom) have been admitted to hospital having ingested home made Semtex. The duo apparently were planning their come back having disappeared from the celebrity limelight faster than Cheryl Cole. They had been planning an expansion into the lucrative celebrity cooking arena, with their ‘elemental cooking’ movement, literally creating recipes with elements of the periodic table. Despite early setbacks, such as going purple having ingested too much Silver, the duo had pressed on over the last few months with their audacious comeback plans. Tonight it emerges that a complex recipe involving carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen (amongst other elements) had unknown to the duo, had created Semtex, which they duly ingested in ignorance. They are currently having their stomachs pumped (carefully) in a London teaching hospital. It has also emerged that the government task force in terrorist prevention has taken an interest in the hapless duo.

‘Bald to be Safe’

The Bald to be Safe Campaign Poster

The Bald to be Safe Campaign Poster

Breaking News – There are growing concerns this afternoon to the mental stability of DC Herath and ||||| (the cat formerly known as Tom). Having been discharged from hospital late last night after their home made Semtex ingestion incident, the duo had tried to relax after their misadventure watching a DVD box set of the cult films of the OMEN, in doing so they have appeared to scare themselves witless and fallen over a mental precipice. In a hastily gathered press conference this afternoon they launched their ‘Bald to be Safe’ campaign to create legislation that any UK public or media official must have a bald head, to ensure they do not have the number of the beast 666 scarred on their skin. To a stunned and horrified audience, they began to explain their vision. At times their speech was incoherent and the duo regularly had to stop to have drool wiped away from their lips. They believe that the beast is among us now and the only way to stop an apocalyptic scenario (in their eyes) is to shave the heads of as many people as possible. They even went on to suggest that they suspected Simon Cowell, Jeremy Hunt, Paul Dacre or possibly Rupert Murdoch of being the beast. They were dragged off the stage by their press officer Miss Fanny Mounds on launching into a narrative that contained terms such as ‘the final solution’. A poisons expert from Guy’s Hospital stated that it was hard to determine the impact eating Semtex would have on the human body, but was reassured that the duo would not suffer any cognitive deficit saying’ you have to be extremely dumb to eat Semtex in the first place’. Number 10 had no comment on the duo’s campaign, however the initiative has found support from David Icke, who said he was ‘gob smacked that now one [sic] had thought of this sooner’. The duo’s press officer closed the media briefing stating that ‘this idea has been put forward to grow the hairdressing industry which has suffered badly due to the economic recession and the duo should be applauded for their efforts to try and get the country back on its feet’. It is believed the duo have been sectioned this evening under the mental health act and admitted to the Maudsley hospital.


Breaking News – IIII (The cat formerly know as Tom) missing having fallen overboard off his luxury yacht!

Happy days at the Chiltern Mansion watching TV

Happy days at the Chiltern Mansion watching TV

Tonight there was growing concern for the safety of IIII (the cat artist formerly known as Tom) as reports emerged that he was missing off his luxury yacht, presumed having fallen overboard. IIII was taking in some new year sun in the Caribbean, having hired out the whole of Ian Fleming’s Goldeneye estate in Oracabessa, Jamaica with his business partner DCHerath since Christmas. The duo were due to return to their Chilterns Mansion at the end of January to start filming a new version of the American sitcom ‘Charles in Charge’, with the famous dog actor Samuel L Doghound taking the lead role of Charles. However commentators have speculated the disappearance may not be that strange based on business world gossip that the duo were heavily in debt, with the failure of projects last year such as their ‘elemental cooking’ book and the ‘Bald to be Safe’ campaign. Some commentators have even suggested that the duo always planned to fake their deaths to relieve themselves of their debts. Secret photos and intelligence obtained by this journalist show that the duo prior to their holiday were berated by their investors in a tense video conference, culminating in demands for the repayment of all invested funds in their media empire. It transpires that the duo were in financial difficulties as early as 2012 as a leaked photo shows them delving into their ‘pukka pad’ for ideas (pukka – pronounced puca being their Singhalese word for bottom). DC Herath had also vanished overboard with IIII fuelling the conspiracy theories, he was picked up earlier today having been ‘saved’ by a Japanese whaling ship after a case of mistaken identity. He refused to comment tonight but did say ‘playing twister on the deck of a yacht is ill advised’. Shortly after making this statement DC Herath had to be fished out of the sea for a second time having ‘accidentally’ fallen overboard again, on this occasion a pod of humpback whales tried to push him to shore, marine zoologists believe it may be another case of mistaken identity. Whilst the rescue services continue to comb the Caribbean sea tonight there were unconfirmed reports of a cat fitting the description of IIII doing the tango in a bar in Cancún. The media world wait in anticipation of further news and mourn that potentially a new series of Charles in Charge may never be made.

‘The Memoirs’

Sensational Breaking News

Possibly more revelations tp come

Possibly more revelations to come

It’s already being called the sensation of 2015 Exactly a year since the presumed death of ||||| (The cat artist formerly known as Tom), major publishing houses are bidding for the rights to publish his memoirs, discovered in December during the filming of the new Star Wars film at Pinewood Studios. The controversial documents are set to release revelations on a global scale. It is thought only |||||’s lawyers have access currently to the red hot papers, written over decades. Minor leaks yesterday from an unknown source are sensational, with extracts suggesting that ||||| was a MI6 agent and that his long term companion and business partner DC Herath is a fake – a personality created by the duo to escape major tax bills in 1989. The real identity of DC Herath is unknown but it he may have actual been a part time actor by the name of Lawrence Sidebottom, someone that |||| was associated with when DC Herath appeared. It is hoped that the memoirs will solve other mysteries thrown up when |||||’s will was executed, such as the missing DeLorean sports car from the probate inventory. It is rumoured that the UK government is seeking an injunction to prevent the memoirs being published, there was no comment from number 10 this morning. Speaking with a long time neighbour of |||||, a daschund by the name of Leo Bush he said he would not be surprised by any of the content of the memoirs, adding ‘Ya he was an odd one that cat, strutting around his mansion, you know I did not think I vould say this but I actually miss him, it is quite around heir (sic) now that he is vamooshed’. There is no doubt today that a lot of people remain worried if the secrets in the memoirs find the light of day.

‘More Revelations’


Panama papers reveal new revelations.

Making plans in the old kitchen

Making plans in the old kitchen

The launch of the searchable database yesterday has unearthed startling revelations reaching back 20years. The consortium of journalists has now provided free access to the papers through an online database. This paper discovered that Mossack Fonseca aided two high profile clients hide the creation of Nigerian Spam emails in the 90s. IIIII – the cat artist formally known as Tom who allegedly died in 2014 and his long term business partner DC Herath (revealed a year ago by this paper as the bankrupt actor/fraudster Laurence Sidebottom – not to be confused with Laurence Fishburne a real actor and not a fraudster) setup a company called News Corp and utilised a confused man with ‘frontal lobe dementi’;a medical condition that leads to irrational deranged behaviour to front it. The papers reveal that this is the same individual we know now as Rupert Murdoch. The company was used as a front to populate the world with scam emails to embezzle funds from unsuspecting young men trawling the Internet for porn. The duo hid this scam through fronting as a media organisation, commentators have said this now explains the mediocre output of the organisation’s various subsidiaries such as Fox News, the Sun and Sky, and also how they have survived this long – the papers suggest the profits of the scam subsidised News Corp companies. The duo setup several other companies to launder their ill gotten gains, duping the failed investment bank Lehman Brothers to move funds to several offshore accounts, triggering the global financial meltdown of the last decade. Further revelations are expected in the coming days but already a vocal critic of the duo in the past a Mr Leo Bush has been revealed as a partner in crime to the audacious duo. Mr Leo Bush was unavailable for comment.

Memo to David and the Cabinet http://dchdigital.com/memo-to-david-and-the-cabinet/ Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:41:43 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=625 DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigitalDear elected politicians of any sort, please can we address the issues now facing us? Can you put your own self-promotion aside? For those of you who are career politicians and have no idea what the real world is like please ask a colleague who had a real job prior to them becoming a politician. […]]]> DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital

Dear elected politicians of any sort, please can we address the issues now facing us? Can you put your own self-promotion aside? For those of you who are career politicians and have no idea what the real world is like please ask a colleague who had a real job prior to them becoming a politician. I have made a list with suggestions to as who should be accountable (in the current government)to help you, please free to allocate the tasks among yourselves though.


  1. Invoke Clause 50 (David you need to complete this before you go)
  2. Trade Agreement: The EU in 2015 accounted for 53% of imports and 44% of Exports (47% and 41% if you take the Rotterdam effect into account). So there was a deficit last year. The current exchange rate will put pressure on us. We are important to the EU but they have the option to look elsewhere, either way our import bill will go up. A trade agreement needs to be made ASAP, especially considering that overall exports to imports are in deficit by £37 billion, of which the EU is driving £68 billion (Thankfully with the rest of the world we are not in deficit with a net gain of £31 billion) (George, Justine and Sajid ?)
  3. New Budget. The probable change in our income and expenditure warrants a budget for the future. This is also needed to protect the £496 billion of inward stock Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the EU, which is 47% of the total FDI. In fact, we attract more FDI than other EU country in 2014. We need to maintain this. Demonstrating we have our numbers in order is vital in continuing to attract this level of investment. (George can you prioritize this?)
  4. Reallocation of payments to the EU: So this was a large topic in the debate. We can agree the net figure is much less than certain quarters put out in the media, being £8 billion pounds and hence £153 million per week. To gain the public confidence going forward the allocation of the EU payments for investment in the UK must be transparent. (George also)
  5. £6 Billion Grants Deficit: We estimated that the EU gave almost £6 billion in grants to us last year. About £1.4 billion to private organisations and £4.4 billion to UK public bodies. When we put the new budget together we need to account for this loss in revenue / support for our public services. (George you again)
  6. Safeguard of Jobs associated with EU projects: Again to seek public confidence the 28,250 jobs associated with the 658 EU projects (of which only 6,686 are safeguarded) need to be looked at and reassurance given to the individuals concerned. However, there are an estimated 3.3 million jobs linked with EU trade so it is vital a plan is created to prevent major job losses. (Michael G, but get George and Theresa to help)
  7. Financial Passport: This is simple; we need to maintain our freedom to interact with the financial institutions of the EU. An agreement need to reached ASAP. A failure to achieve this will endanger our position as a Financial Capital of the World. (George and Justine)
  8. Immigration: Without doubt clarity is required on how we now control our borders. A cohesive plan is needed before public trust is eroded even further. Ease of mobility is crucial to protecting our financial wellbeing, both for trade and academia. (Theresa this is your gig)
  9. Research investment in the UK: In 2014 we were only second to the Netherlands in securing grants for research from the EU, receiving £687 million. I think the total pot is about £7 billion. We can, like some other non-member states, continue to apply for these grants but we need to negotiate it with the EU. It should be noted in 2014 that 70% of our applications were successful. The income generated by EU students studying here, which is £3.7 billion also needs to be protected. (Nicky, Sajid and George Freeman)
  10. Support for the MHRA – We are a slow adopter of new drugs and if we do not help the MHRA negotiate with the EMA to remain part of that group, we may become even slower, having to instigate a new drug approval process – similar to Switzerland. Access to innovation may decrease if we cannot resolve this ASAP. (George Freeman)
  11. New Human Rights Laws: With the UK falling outside of EU jurisdiction in the future we need to debate in parliament the legal framework we have for the protection of the rights of individuals, especially the vulnerable. The exit from the EU does not dramatically change our legislature but it is imperative we check that it is fit for purpose. (sadly Michael this is yours – get some assistance on this, it’s a lot for you to take on by yourself, plus this isn’t your area of expertise)
  12. Someone needs to check we can still take part in Eurovision. (Jeremy you can handle this one)
End of the big dream? http://dchdigital.com/end-of-the-big-dream/ Tue, 26 Apr 2016 21:00:23 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=561 DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital]]> DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital

Diagrams of Boeing 747

Diagram of Boeing 747 variants.
At the top: 747-100 (dorsal, cross-section, and front views). Side views, in descending order: 747SP, 747-100, 747-400, 747-8I, and 747LCF. (Source: Julien.scavini)

It was conceived on a fishing trip between the CEOs of PAN AM and Boeing. When finally created in 1969 it was the biggest airliner in the world, first wide bodied and ‘two tier’ passenger aircraft and it ushered in a new age of travel. Nick named the ‘Jumbo Jet’ and the ‘Queen of the Skies’, it has flown the equivalent of half the world’s population and racked up over 42 billion nautical miles (the equivalent of 101,500 trips from earth to the moon and back). The latest 747, given the nomenclature dash eight hundred, recently flew 8 mph short of going supersonic. The original design has latest the test of time, though improvements in range, speed, acoustic efficiency, aerodynamics and capacity have been made over the years. Despite its global success it now appears that the days maybe drawing in for this queen.

Boeing earlier this year announced that from September 2016 they will be reducing production of the 747 to just six per annum. The Seattle-based manufacturer currently has just 20 orders for 747s, two of which are replacement for the US president’s official flight. Competition from more efficient twin engined planes has reduced the attraction of the 747. Unlike the Jumbo, the new era of long distance, twin engined, smaller planes means they can land usually at more destination airports without being restricted to hub airports (such as Heathrow), unlike the 747.  The current desire of the same hub airports to become cleaner and quieter is also placing pressure on 747s to be phased out by their operators. As well as targeting noise the airports are targeting NOx pollutants, from 2017 it will cost around £3,650 in environmental tariffs compared with just over £1,000 for a 787 to land at Heathrow.

British Airways at one time was the the biggest operator of 747-400s but now but has started retiring its fleet in favour of more fuel-efficient planes: A380s now, the upcoming A350, and Boeing’s own smaller 787 Dreamliner. However BA have stated that they won’t phase all their 747s out in the near future. They have been the back bone of the BA  long haul fleet and they still have 42 operating.

The 747’s main rival the Airbus A380 is also not fairing so well against the newer twin engined planes. Since launch about 317 A380s have been ordered but now interest is dwindling. Boeing claims the wide-body, or twin-aisle, sector of the aircraft market will be of dwindling importance, with the A380 unlikely to succeed in the same manner as the 747, despite their bias Boeing are probably correct.

Five famous 747s in history

We look back at 5 iconic 747’s in history below:

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) were two extensively modified Boeing 747 airliners that NASA used to transport Space Shuttle orbiters. One is a 747-100 model, while the other is a short range 747-100SR. The SCAs were used to ferry space shuttle orbiters from landing sites back to the launch complex at the Kennedy Space Center. The orbiters were placed atop the SCAs by Mate-Demate Devices, large gantry-like structures that hoisted the orbiters off the ground for post-flight servicing and then mated them with the SCAs for ferry flights.

The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the third generation of the 747, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings, and improved efficiency. The 747-8 is the largest 747 version, the largest commercial aircraft built in the United States, and the longest passenger aircraft in the world. The 747-8 is offered in two main variants: the 747-8 Intercontinental (747-8I) for passengers and the 747-8 Freighter (747-8F) for cargo.

Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign of a United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. In common parlance the term refers to those Air Force aircraft specifically designed, built, and used for the purpose of transporting the president. Since 1990, the presidential fleet has consisted of two Boeing VC-25As, which are specifically configured, highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft. The Air Force plans to procure the Boeing 747-8 to be the next version of Air Force One

British Airways Flight 9, sometimes referred to by its callsign Speedbird 9 or as the Jakarta incident, was a scheduled British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Auckland. On 24 June 1982 the aircraft flew into a cloud of volcanic ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung, resulting in the failure of all four engines. The reason for the failure was not immediately apparent to the crew or air traffic control. The aircraft was able to glide far enough to exit the ash cloud, and all engines were restarted  allowing the aircraft to land safely

This is the first 747-121 built, registration N74701 and named ‘City of Everett’. RA001 (Boeing’s variable number for her) was first presented to the world on September 30, 1968, and she has lived outdoors ever since. She made over 12,000 test flights as Boeing’s sacrificial lamb during her glory days as the demonstration plane for the 747 program, and later as a testbed for other technological upgrades including the Boeing 777 engine. She was never destined to fly for a glamorous airline like Pan Am.

50 Facts about Shakespeare http://dchdigital.com/50-facts-about-shakespeare/ Sun, 24 Apr 2016 23:47:31 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=536 DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigitalTo commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare we wanted to put together some interesting facts about him, however whilst researching him we came across a website that had already done it and to a standard we could never hope to match. The No Sweat Shakespeare website is a labor of love from London-based father and son Shakespeare enthusiasts John and […]]]> DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare we wanted to put together some interesting facts about him, however whilst researching him we came across a website that had already done it and to a standard we could never hope to match. The No Sweat Shakespeare website is a labor of love from London-based father and son Shakespeare enthusiasts John and Warren King. It contains almost everything related to Shakespeare. The 50 facts below are reproduced with kind permission from the website.

William Shakespeare Facts: 1

There is documentary proof that Shakespeare was baptised on 26th April 1564, and scholars believe that, in keeping with the traditions of the time, he would have been baptised when he was three days old, meaning Shakespeare was probably born on April 23rd. However, as Shakespeare was born under the old Julian calendar, what was April 23rd during Shakespeare’s life would actually be May 3rd according to today’s Gregorian calendar.

William Shakespeare Facts: 2

Shakespeare’s parents were John and Mary Shakespeare (nee Arden). John came to Stratford from Snitterfield before 1532 as an apprentice glover and tanner of leathers. He prospered and began to deal in farm products and wool before being elected to a multitude of civic positions.

William Shakespeare Facts: 3

Shakespeare had seven siblings: Joan (b 1558, only lived 2 months); Margaret (b 1562); Gilbert (b 1566); another Joan (b 1569); Anne (b 1571); Richard (b 1574) and Edmund (b 1580). Read more about Shakespeare’s family.

William Shakespeare Facts: 4

One of Shakespeare’s relatives on his mother’s side, William Arden, was arrested for plotting against Queen Elizabeth I, imprisoned in the Tower of London and executed.

William Shakespeare Facts: 5

Shakespeare married his wife Anne Hathaway when he was 18. She was 26 and three months pregnant with Shakespeare’s child when they married. Their first child Susanna was born six months after the wedding.

William Shakespeare Facts: 6

Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway had three children together – a son, Hamnet, who died in 1596, and two daughters, Susanna and Judith. His only granddaughter Elizabeth – daughter of Susanna – died childless in 1670. Shakespeare therefore has no descendants. Read more about Shakespeare’s family.

William Shakespeare Facts: 7

There are more than 80 variations recorded for the spelling of Shakespeare’s name. In the few original signatures that have survived, Shakespeare spelt his name “Willm Shaksp,” “William Shakespe,” “Wm Shakspe,” “William Shakspere,” ”Willm Shakspere,” and “William Shakspeare”. There are no records of him ever having spelt it “William Shakespeare”, as we know him today.

William Shakespeare Facts: 8

Few people realise that apart from writing his numerous plays and sonnets, Shakespeare was also an actor who performed many of his own plays as well as those of other playwrights. There is evidence that he played the ghost in Hamlet and Adam in As You Like It.

William Shakespeare Facts: 9

During his life Shakespeare performed before Queen Elizabeth I and, later, before James I who was an enthusiastic patron of his work.

William Shakespeare Facts: 10

Shakespeare lived a double life. By the seventeenth century he had become a famous playwright in London but in hishometown of Stratford, where his wife and children were, and which he visited frequently, he was a well known and highly respected businessman and property owner.

William Shakespeare Facts: 11

It’s likely that Shakespeare wore a gold hoop earring in his left ear – a creative, bohemian look in the Elizabethan & Jacobean eras. This style is evidenced in the Chandos portrait, one of the most famous depictions of Shakespeare.

William Shakespeare Facts: 12

During his lifetime Shakespeare became a very wealthy man with a large property portfolio. He was a brilliant businessman – forming a joint-stock company with his actors meaning he took a share in the company’s profits, as well as earning a fee for each play he wrote.

William Shakespeare Facts: 13

Shakespeare’s family home in Stratford was called New Place. The house stood on the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane, and was apparently the second largest house in the town

William Shakespeare Facts: 14

Sometime after his unsuccessful application to become a gentleman, Shakespeare took his father to the College of Arms to secure their own Shakespeare family crest. The crest was a yellow spear on a yellow shield, with the Latin inscription “Non Sans Droict”, or “Not without Right”.

William Shakespeare Facts: 15

On his death Shakespeare made several gifts to various people but left his property to his daughter, Susanna. The only mention of his wife in Shakespeare’s own will is: “I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture”. The “furniture” was the bedclothes for the bed.

William Shakespeare Facts: 16

Shakespeare’s burial at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford Upon Avon is documented as happening on 25th April 1616. In keeping with traditions of the time it’s likley he would have been buried two days after his death, meaning Shakespeare likely died 23rd April 1616 – his 52nd birthday.

Castle of Kronborg, home of Shakespeare's Hamlet

Castle of Kronborg, home of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Source: Adobe Stock)

William Shakespeare Facts: 17

Shakespeare penned a curse for his grave, daring anyone to move his body from that final resting place. His epitaph was:

Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here:
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.

Though it was customary to dig up the bones from previous graves to make room for others, the remains inShakespeare’s grave are still undisturbed.

William Shakespeare Facts: 18

Shakespeare’s original grave marker showed him holding a bag of grain. Citizens of Stratford replaced the bag with a quill in 1747.

William Shakespeare Facts: 19

Although Catholicism was effectively illegal in Shakespeare’s lifetime, the Anglican Archdeacon, Richard Davies of Lichfield, who had known him wrote some time after Shakespeare’s death that he had been a Catholic.

William Shakespeare Facts: 20

During his life, Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays, 154 sonnets and a number of poems! that we know of. In addition there are a number of “lost plays” and plays that Shakespeare collaborated on. This means Shakespeare wrote an average 1.5 plays a year since he first started writing in 1589.

William Shakespeare Facts: 21

Shakespeare is most often referred to as an Elizabethan playwright, but as most of his most popular plays were written after Elizabeth’s death he was actually more of a Jacobean writer. His later plays also show the distinct characteristics of Jacobean drama.

William Shakespeare Facts: 22

Shakespeare has been credited by the Oxford English Dictionary with introducing almost 3,000 words to the English language. Estimations of his vocabulary range from 17,000 to a dizzying 29,000 words – at least double the number of words used by the average conversationalist.

William Shakespeare Facts: 23

According to Shakespeare professor Louis Marder, “Shakespeare was so facile in employing words that he was able to use over 7,000 of them – more than occur in the whole King James Version of the Bible – only once and never again.”

William Shakespeare Facts: 24

In Elizabethan theatre circles it was common for writers to collaborate on writing plays. Towards the end of his career Shakespeare worked with other writers on plays that have been credited to those writers. Other writers also worked on plays that are credited to Shakespeare. We know for certain that Timon of Athens was a collaboration withThomas Middleton; Pericles with George Wilkins; and The Two Noble Kinsmen with John Fletcher.

JERSEY - 2014: shows set of six stamps plays of Shakespeare

JERSEY – CIRCA 2014: A stamp printed in Jersey shows set of six stamps most famous plays of William Shakespeare, The 450th Anniversary of the Birth of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), circa 2014 (Source: Adobe Stock)

William Shakespeare Facts: 25

Shakespeare’s last play – The Two Noble Kinsmen – is reckoned to have been written in 1613 when he was 49 years old.

William Shakespeare Facts: 26

The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s shortest play at just 1,770 lines long.

William Shakespeare Facts: 27

Some scholars have maintained that Shakespeare did not write the plays attributed to him, with at least fifty writers having been suggested as the “real” author. However, the evidence for Shakespeare’s having written the plays is very strong.

William Shakespeare Facts: 28

Although Shakespeare is almost universally considered as one of the finest writers in the English language, his contemporaries were not always as impressed. The first recorded reference to Shakespeare, written by theatre critic Robert Greene in 1592, was as an “upstart crow, beautified with our feathers”.

William Shakespeare Facts: 29

Suicide occurs an unlucky thirteen times in Shakespeare’s plays. It occurs in Romeo and Juliet where both Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, in Julius Caesar where both Cassius and Brutus die by consensual stabbing, as well as Brutus’ wife Portia.

William Shakespeare Facts: 30

There are only two Shakespeare plays written entirely in verse: they are Richard II and King John. Many of the plays have half of the text in prose.

William Shakespeare Facts: 31

It’s certain that Shakespeare wrote at least two plays that have been lost – titled Cardenio, and Love’s Labour’s Won. It’s likely that Shakespeare wrote many more plays that have been lost.

William Shakespeare Facts: 32

Shakespeare’s shortest play, The Comedy of Errors is only a third of the length of his longest, Hamlet, which takes four hours to perform.

William Shakespeare Facts: 33

Two of Shakespeare’s plays, Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing, have been translated into Klingon. The Klingon Language Institute plans to translate more! (If you’re into quirky Shakespeare facts check our our  list of 23 things you never knew about Shakespeare)

William Shakespeare Facts: 34

The National Portrait Gallery in London’s first acquisition in 1856 was the ‘Chandos’ portrait of Shakespeare, attributed to the artist John Taylor. It’s now considered the only representation of the writer that has any real claim to having been painted from life. (See a gallery of Shakespeare portraits.)

William Shakespeare Facts: 35

In the King James Bible the 46th word of Psalm 46 is ‘shake’ and the 46th word from the end of the same Psalm is ‘spear’. Some think this was a hidden birthday message to the Bard, as the King James Bible was published in 1611 – the year of Shakespeare’s 46th birthday.

William Shakespeare Facts: 36

The moons of Uranus were originally named in 1852 after magical spirits from English literature. The International Astronomy Union subsequently developed the convention to name all further moons of Uranus (of which there are 27) after characters in Shakespeare’s plays or Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock.

The wall full of messages from lovers in Juliet house, Verona, Italy.

The wall full of messages from lovers in Juliet house, Verona, Italy. (Source: Adobe Stock)

William Shakespeare Facts: 37

Shakespeare had close connections with King James I. The King made the actors of Shakespeare’s company ‘Grooms of Chamber’, in response to which Shakespeare changed the company’s name from the ‘Lord Chamberlain’s Men’ to the ‘King’s Men’. The new title made Shakespeare a favourite with the King and in much demand for Court performances.

William Shakespeare Facts: 38

The Royal Shakespeare Company sells more than half a million tickets a year for Shakespeare productions at their theatres in Stratford-on-Avon, London and Newcastle – introducing an estimated 50,000 people to a live Shakespeare performance for the first time each year.

William Shakespeare Facts: 39

Shakespeare never actually published any of his plays. They are known today only because two of his fellow actors – John Hemminges and Henry Condell – recorded and published 36 of them posthumously under the name ‘The First Folio’, which is the source of all Shakespeare books published.

William Shakespeare Facts: 40

The United States has Shakespeare to thank for its estimated 200 million starlings. In 1890 an American bardolator, Eugene Schiffelin, embarked on a project to import each species of bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s works that was absent from the US. Part of this project involved releasing two flocks of 60 starlings in New York’s Central Park.

William Shakespeare Facts: 41

The American President Abraham Lincoln was a great lover of Shakespeare’s plays and frequently recited from them to his friends. His assassin, John Wilkes Booth was a famous Shakespearean actor.

William Shakespeare Facts: 42

Candles were very expensive in Shakespeare’s time so they were used only for emergencies, for a short time. Most writers wrote in the daytime and socialised in the evenings. There is no reason to think that Shakespeare was any different from his contemporaries.

William Shakespeare Facts: 44

Rumour has it that poet John Keats was so influenced by Shakespeare that he kept a bust of the Bard beside him while he wrote, hoping that Shakespeare would spark his creativity.

William Shakespeare Facts: 45

It was illegal for women and girls to perform in the theatre in Shakespeare’s lifetime so all the female parts were written for boys. The text of some plays like Hamlet and Antony and Cleopatra refer to that. It was only much later, during the Restoration, that the first woman appeared on the English stage.

William Shakespeare Facts: 46

Shakespeare is the second most quoted writer in the English language – after the various writers of the Bible.

William Shakespeare Facts: 47

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre came to a premature end on 29th June 1613 after a cannon shot set fire to the thatched roof during a performance of Henry VIII. Within two hours the theatre was burnt to the ground, to be rebuilt the following year. (See our article on interesting facts on The Globe Theatre.)

William Shakespeare Facts: 48

An outbreak of the plague in Europe resulted in all London theatres being closed between 1592 and 1594. As there was no demand for plays during this time, Shakespeare began to write poetry, completing his first batch of sonnets in 1593, aged 29.
Shakespeare in words

William Shakespeare Facts: 49

‘William Shakespeare’ is an anagram of ‘I am a weakish speller’.

William Shakespeare Facts: 50

According to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Shakespeare wrote close to a tenth of the most quoted lines ever written or spoken in English. What’s more, according to the Literature Encyclopaedia, Shakespeare is the second most quoted English writer after the writers of the Bible.

Grim overtime http://dchdigital.com/grim-overtime/ Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:38:53 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=515 DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital]]> DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital
It seems that in 2016 the Grim Reaper is working overtime, especially when it comes to taking celebrities. The year began with the shock death of David Bowie and continued yesterday with the latest loss, that of Prince. Social media is alive with individuals querying whether the death rate among celebrities is greater than in previous years. The simple answer is yes. The question though still remains as to why.

Nick Serpell, the BBC’s obituaries editor has seen a 5 fold increase compared to last year for the period from January the 1st to March the 31st. This increase is based on measuring the number of obituaries used by BBC outlets from the main store (where obituaries are pre-written). The increase isn’t due to the store having more pre-prepared obituaries and hence greater usage. Also when you look at other media organisations, they observe the same sharp rise. The Telegraph’s culture obituary gallery has seen a rise by 45 deaths when compared to the same time last year.

There maybe several explanations as to why the rise has occurred. Most notably the celebrities passing away currently, are in the main from the baby boomer generation; individuals born between 1946 and 1964. This was the period when the population in the Western Hemisphere grew suddenly as post war constraints began to ease and economies boomed. Conceivably this growth in the population might have meant the proportion of artists of all varieties grew as well coupled with the beginnings of what we would call a modern celebrity, due to the increase in global modes of communication.

The ‘Bay Boomers’ also experienced huge shifts in social attitudes, making vocations such as singing, performing comedy and dancing more acceptable as a career aspiration. Also the outlets for performers increased, it was no longer limited to the big screen and music halls. In the 1950s in the USA television ownership sky rocketed by 77% among households. The 50s also saw the emergence of ‘sensational media’ and the sensationalized celebrity with Hugh Hefner launching Playboy in 1953. All of these changes led to the number of individuals we recognized as a celebrity increasing.

Ironically the proportional population increase in those above 65 (this group make up 18% of the UK population, a rise of 47% compared to 1976) due to improved medical treatment, economic wealth and advances in agriculture means we will see more deaths. Death rate goes up steeply in those above 65. In England and Wales 14.2 per 1,000 men in the age bracket of 65 to 69 died in 2014, compared with 9.4 per 1,000 in the 60 to 64 age bracket.

The current bewilderment with death of so many talented individuals maybe explained by the above, however it doesn’t change the grief we feel or what now feels like a constant reminder of our own mortality. I have lost many of my heroes and heroines now and I’m only 44, hopefully a new generation will step in to fill the vast cultural void created by these deaths. Guess it is time to turn and face the change.


Extraloveable http://dchdigital.com/extraloveable/ Thu, 21 Apr 2016 18:56:27 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=476 DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital]]> DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

2016 has delivered several blows already and this one is also mighty. Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music combined rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop. His catalogue of songs contains many anthems of their era, with a whole back catalogue that he never released. His skills as a song writer meant that there are many tracks he gave to other artists. Despite being commercially successful, Prince guarded his rights fastidiously, even suing fans for uploading his work on to Facebook. He never sold out to the corporate part of the mucisc industry. His influence on modern music will continue for many decades to come.

Purple Rain Live

“Creep” – Prince at Coachella 2008 Live

A new kind of Justice? http://dchdigital.com/a-new-kind-of-justice/ Thu, 21 Apr 2016 17:04:45 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=354 DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigitalThis isn’t a review of the new movie; Batman vs Superman, it is more of a comment on observations during the film. I walked out satisfied that my geek desire to have seen the film made had been executed well and the inclusion of Wonder Woman an added bonus. Individuals versed in Detective Comics will […]]]> DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital

This isn’t a review of the new movie; Batman vs Superman, it is more of a comment on observations during the film. I walked out satisfied that my geek desire to have seen the film made had been executed well and the inclusion of Wonder Woman an added bonus. Individuals versed in Detective Comics will have spotted the deviations from the original comic book story lines, but some of these deviations appear to be a new wave of thoughtless propaganda from main stream Hollywood. On the face of it they seem minor, even petty to mention in the greater context of the whole film, but they may underline why thoughtlessness in Hollywood could reinforce popular held xenophobic and bigoted views.

The film opens with yet another version of how Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed on the fateful night when he was a mere boy. In the comic books they are killed by a petty criminal called Joe Chill. In the plethora of subsequent renditions of the scene in various Batman films it has always been some petty criminal with the notable exception being the first Batman movie (1989) in which Jack Napier – the man who would become the Joker doing the killing. In this current film again it is a petty criminal who is not given a name but it is the ethnicity of the mugger that struck me. He was of Middle Eastern appearance. In total he was probably on screen less than a minute but it was an image that jarred with me.

Now for a second I am not suggesting that Zack Snyder, his production team or the studio set out to do this on purpose, but thought should be given how impressionable images such as this may register with young viewers of the film. Most adults probably won’t give a second thought to the scene but it can be impressionable on children and teenagers. Each generation has it’s bogeyman, should this generation’s be Muslims/ Arabs?

There is another scene of  imprisoned foreign sex workers who are made to look dumb and gullible, thinking that Batman is some sort of devil, surely even in fictional Gotham and its universe most people there would have heard of Batman? The scene is needed to add context to how Batman has changed since we last saw him and again I don’t think there was any malevolence behind the scene. However no matter how insignificant; the lack of reflection on the scene accidentally leads to reinforcing bigoted beliefs – ‘foreigners are stupid’. There have been other negative comments about the film and its treatment of women, despite having the powerful character of Wonder Woman in it.

It is also possible that I have missed the subscript that was intended in this film, with Afleck’s Batman representing the xenophobia gripping the US at the moment and Superman personifying the alien outsider trying to be accepted, with the final scenes of the film delivering a message of hope and harmony. Either way when creating blockbusters like this film, which are eagerly anticipated by many, including myself and will leave iconic memories for some viewers, greater thought should be given to the message being conveyed by the film as a whole. Maybe the rise in popularity of Marvel and DC films mean that we have become more critical, now that the wonder of CGI scenes is old hat and the inherent themes in comic book stories no longer can live in isolation from modern social and political issues.


Going supernova http://dchdigital.com/going-supernova/ Fri, 08 Apr 2016 10:16:35 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=360 DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital]]> DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital

The teaser trailer for the new Star Wars film has been released. This is not a film that belongs to the main saga, but like the cartoon TV series tells the story of a rebel alliance individual in the Star Wars Universe. Rogue One occurs in the period between Episode III and IV, it tells the story of a group of rebel fighters on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. It stars the British actress Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), who plays a ‘reckless, aggressive and undisciplined’ rebel fighter called Jyn Erso. If you are Disney and need to make your money back on buying the franchise, this will be how it goes until 2020. 

The story appears straightforward, with classic iconic Star Wars machines making appearances, including AT-ATs, the X-Wings, classic Star Destroyers and the Death Star itself (from episode IV). Some of the old characters are there, like General Mon Mothma, who appeared in Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith. There is a mysterious Imperial commander and possibly a young Wilhuff Tarkin, the Governor of the Outer Rim who blew up Alderaan with the Death Star. This film introduces another version of storm troopers with darker outfits, one of whom is played by Forest Whitaker.

The film is directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla and Monsters). The cast also includes Mads Mikkelsen and Riz Ahmed. The film opens on December the 16th, expect as with the most recent Star Wars film for a couple of twists. No doubt there will be more teasers as the release date draws closer.

Return of the comet http://dchdigital.com/return-of-the-comet/ Thu, 07 Apr 2016 21:00:08 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=334 VWIt took McLaren 15 years to replace the F1 with the P1, Bugatti though will be delivering the successor to the Veyron, just 15 months after the last one will be delivered. When the Veyron was unleashed, the worldwide interest was immense, arguable it was the first in a new generation of hyper-car. Everything about […]]]> VW

It took McLaren 15 years to replace the F1 with the P1, Bugatti though will be delivering the successor to the Veyron, just 15 months after the last one will be delivered. When the Veyron was unleashed, the worldwide interest was immense, arguable it was the first in a new generation of hyper-car. Everything about the Veyron was big, the engine, the speed, the records it broke and the price tag. To make a successor seemed impossible. The Chiron however is just that, but it’s not an evolution of the Veyron, it’s a whole new species.

Bugatti Chiron front 3/4 view

Bugatti Chiron front 3/4 view (© 2016 BUGATTI AUTOMOBILES S.A.S.)

Bugatti began work on the Chiron long before production of the Veyron stopped. On initial appearance the car has a better stance and greater athleticism than the outgoing hyper-car. It has exquisite and nostalgic design cues, like the arc from the A pillar, which extends over the B pillar and then retuen along the sill for the whole length of the car. A similar arc exists inside the cabin (which is a whole new level compared to the Veyron), splitting the driver and passenger. The arc harks back to the classic Bugatti design of the Type 57SC Atlantic. The Chiron has a new monocoque carbon chassis. In fact there is more carbon all across the car, including the rear and underbody, making this car 8kg lighter than the Veyron. Bugatti claim the tub is on par with a LMP1 car when it comes to stiffness.

1936 Type 57sc Atlantic

1936 Type 57sc Atlantic (source: http://wallpapers.brothersoft.com/)

One of the criticisms of the Veyron was whilst it was fast the dynamism in handling was missing. Bugatti promise this is not the case with the Chiron, with it having their first active chassis. This is meant to improve handling, agility and steering precision, whilst providing greater feedback to the driver. If this proves to be the case then the Chiron should be a more complete driver’s car than its predecessor. The engineering of better handling does not mean that the big numbers the Veyron passed into legend for are missing. The Chiron has the same 8 ltr W16 quad turbo engine the Veyron had but it has been totally re-engineered, with more titanium and carbon fibre components. The powerhouse of the car delivers a peak power of 1479 bhp and a torque of 1011 lb/ft at 6000rpm, this results in a top speed of 261 mph (limited to six seconds to prevent tyre failure) and a 0 – 62 mph time of less than 2.5 seconds. To bring the beast to a stop, the car is fitted with carbide ceramic brake discs. The bespoke Michelin tyres it is shod with were developed in conjunction with the aerospace industry.

Bugatti Chiron interior

Bugatti Chiron interior (© 2016 BUGATTI AUTOMOBILES S.A.S.)

It is difficult to know if the world needs another hyper-car like this, especially considering Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche are going with hybrid hyper-cars (though VW boss Martin Winterkorn has been quoted as saying there will be a hybrid version alongside the petrol car). Cars of this type are not about carbon dioxide emissions it is all about the engineering and a halo for the company. The estimated £1.9 million price tag will mean only a very lucky few will ever own this car, with most that own it failing to grasp the enormity of development and research that has gone into delivering it. I personally think its existence wondrous and can keep dreaming of just sitting inside its imperious cabin one day.

The Face of a Killer http://dchdigital.com/the-face-of-a-killer/ Wed, 06 Apr 2016 20:55:13 +0000 http://dchdigital.com/?p=310 DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigitalThe award winning Russian based group ‘Visual Science‘ has used their expertise to create a 3D model of what the infamous Zika virus may look like. Ivan Konstantinov and his team created the 3D model based on their previous expertise working with related viruses like Dengue fever, Yellow fever and Western Nile fever. There is […]]]> DCHDIGITAL | DCHdigital

The award winning Russian based group ‘Visual Science‘ has used their expertise to create a 3D model of what the infamous Zika virus may look like. Ivan Konstantinov and his team created the 3D model based on their previous expertise working with related viruses like Dengue fever, Yellow fever and Western Nile fever. There is limited published data on the virus structure, hence the reason for drawing on structural data on the related viruses to Zika. Computational biologists from the scientific modeling department of Visual Science used methods of structural bioinformatics to predict the possible structures of Zika proteins. These methods are widely used not only in fundamental research but also in drug development and molecular interaction studies.

Zika virus lipid bi-layer (© 2007—2016 Visual Science Company)

Zika virus lipid bi-layer (© 2007—2016 Visual Science Company)

Whilst the virus resembles the Dengue virus in structure it behaves very differently in infected individuals, causing Zika Fever with potentially complications of  microcephaly in developing foetuses and potentially Guillain—Barré syndrome in adults. In February of this year the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Zika Fever an international health emergency after the emergence of the data linking the virus to microcephaly. The virus is currently sweeping through the Americas, with an estimated one and a half million being infected to date. Currently there is no treatment for it or a vaccine, though experts suggest a vaccine maybe developed by late 2016.

Zika virus belongs to the same systematic group, Flaviviridae, as the hepatitis C, Dengue, yellow fever, West Nile and Chikungunya viruses. The virion of flaviviruses has a diameter of 50 nm, which is approximately two and a half times less than the diameters of HIV or influenza viruses. The viral particle includes three types of proteins: E, M and C. Surface proteins E and M form a regular spherical shell and allow the virus to enter the cell during infection. Several domains of the surface proteins are integrated into the lipid membrane which is taken by the virus from the endoplasmic reticulum of the host cell. The major surface protein E is glycosylated (in the model — dark grey spots on the surface of the virion). Apart from the structural proteins C, E and M, flaviviruses genome encodes seven proteins not present in the viral particle. These non-structural proteins coordinate viral replication and inhibit immune response. In the Zika model all the virus-encoded proteins are shown in the shades of blue and green, and the components taken from the cell are shown in grey.

The model of Zika virus is a part of the non-commercial educational project Viral Park, which was launched by the Visual Science in 2009.

Zika virus RNA genome (© 2007—2016 Visual Science Company)

Zika virus RNA genome (© 2007—2016 Visual Science Company)