Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn, the lead singer of Blur and Gorillaz was born 23rd March 1968. Blur were formed in London in 1988 as Seymour, the group consists of singer/keyboardist Damon Albarn, guitarist/singer Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur’s debut album Leisure (1991) incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing. Following a stylistic change influenced by English guitar pop groups such as The Kinks, The Beatles and XTC, Blur released Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993),Parklife (1994) and The Great Escape (1995). As a result, the band helped to popularise the Britpop genre and achieved mass popularity in the UK, aided by a chart battle with rival band Oasis in 1995 dubbed “The Battle of Britpop”.

In recording their follow-up, Blur (1997), the band underwent another reinvention, showing influence from the lo-fi style of American indie rock groups. “Song 2″, one of the album’s singles, brought Blur mainstream success in the United States. Their next album, 13 (1999) saw the band members experimenting with electronic and gospel music, and featured more personal lyrics from Albarn. In May 2002, Coxon left Blur during the recording of their seventh album Think Tank (2003). This album contained electronic sounds and more minimal guitar work, and marked Albarn’s growing interest in hip hop and African music. After a 2003 tour without Coxon, Blur did no studio work or touring as a band, as members engaged in other projects.

After Blur temporarily split Damon Albarn went on to form Gorillaz with Jamie Hewlett in 1998, fronted by four animated members: 2D (lead vocals, keyboard, and melodica), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion). THe music is a collaboration between various musicians, with Albarn being the only permanent musical contributor. Their style is an amalgamation of genres, with influences including rock, alternative, Britpop, trip hop, hip hop, electronica, indie, dub, reggae and pop.

The band’s 2001 debut album Gorillaz sold over seven million copies and earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Successful Virtual Band. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2001, but the nomination was later withdrawn at the band’s request. Their second studio album, Demon Days, released in 2005, was equally successful Going five times platinum in the UK, double platinum in the United States, and earning five Grammy Award nominations for 2006, winning the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals category.The band’s third studio album, Plastic Beach, was released in March 2010 and ths album, The Fall, was released in December 2010 as a free download for fan club members. The future of the Gorrillaz was once under speculation due to the status of Albarn and Hewlett’s friendship; however, Gorillaz planned to release new material in 2016. Blur reunited in 2008, with Coxon, for a series of concerts and have released a number of singles and retrospective releases since. In 2012, Blur received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music (And Adele Adkins got cut off in her prime) They also released the album Magic Whip,In 2015.

Arrival

The Science Fiction film Arrival is out on DVD. It is based on the short Science Fiction story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang which was first published in Starlight 2 in 1998 and won the 2000 Nebula Award for Best Novella, as well as the 1999 Theodore Sturgeon Award. It was adapted for film by Eric Heisserer, and Directed by Denis Villeneuve. The film stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture; it won the award for Best Sound Editing.

It concerns A race of aliens, known as heptapods (due to their 7-pointed radially symmetrical appearance), who make contact with humanity. so the military hires Doctor Louise Banks to learn all about them, discover their language and communicate with them. The story revolves around Banks and Dr. Gary Donnelly, a physicist also working for the military to gain knowledge of physics from the aliens.

The heptapods have two distinct forms of language. Their spoken language is Heptapod A, which is described as having free word order and many levels of center-embedded clauses. They also use a very complex written language called Heptapod B which Unlike its spoken counterpart has such complex structure that a single semantic symbol cannot be excluded without changing the entire meaning of a sentence.

The phenomenon of Heptapod B is explained by the aliens’ understanding of mathematics and Fermat’s principle of least time and that When writing in Heptapod B, the writer knows how the sentence will end. Banks’ understanding of the heptapods’ writing system affects the way she perceives time and suggests a deterministic universe where free will can be achieved by not affecting the outcome of events.

Donald Campbell CBE

British World Land and Water speed record holder Donald Malcolm Campbell, CBE was born 23 March 1921. He broke eight absolute world speed records in the 1950s and 1960s. He remains the only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year (1964). Campbell began his speed record attempts using his father’s old boat Bluebird K4, but after a structural failure at 170 mph (270 km/h) on Coniston Water, Lancashire in 1951, and the death of John Cobb, who was killed in 1952 trying to break the water speed record, he decided that he would develop a new boat. Designed by Ken and Lew Norris, the Bluebird K7 was an all-metal jet-propelled 3-point hydroplane with a Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl jet engine producing 3,500 lbf (16 kN) of thrust. It was unveiled in late 1954, and taken, in January 1955, to Ullswater Westmorland in the English Lake District for its initial trials. After many, problems and a number of modifications to K7, Campbell finally succeeded on Ullswater on 23 July 1955, where he set a record of 202.15 mph (325.33 km/h), beating the previous record by some 24 mph (39 km/h) held by Stanley Sayres.The name “K7″ was derived from its Lloyd’s unlimited rating registration. It was carried in a prominent circular badge on its sponsons, underneath an infinity symbol. Campbell set a total of seven world water speed records in K7 between 1955 and 1964. The series of speed increases—216 mph (348 km/h) later in 1955, 225 mph (362 km/h) in 1956, 239 mph (385 km/h) in 1957, 248 mph (399 km/h) in 1958, 260 mph (420 km/h) in 1959—peaked on 31 December 1964 at Dumbleyung Lake, Western Australia when he reached 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h); he remains the world’s most prolific breaker of water speed records. Campbell was awarded the CBE in January 1957 for his water speed record breaking, and in particular his record at Lake Mead in the USA which earned him and Britain very positive acclaim.

In 1956, Campbell began planning a car to break the land speed record, which then stood at 394 mph (634 km/h). The Norris brothers designed Bluebird-Proteus CN7 with 500 mph (800 km/h) in mind. The CN7 was completed by the spring of 1960, and was powered by a Bristol-Siddeley Proteus free-turbine engine of 4,450 shp (3,320 kW). Following low-speed tests conducted at the Goodwood circuit in Sussex, England, the CN7 was taken to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, scene of his father’s last LSR triumph in 1935. The attempt was unsuccessful and CN7 was written off following a high-speed crash in September at Bonneville. Campbell was seriously hurt, suffering a fracture to his lower skull, and was by 1961 on the road to recovery and planning the rebuild of CN7. The rebuilt car was completed, with minor modifications, in 1962 and, by the end of the year, was shipped to Australia for a new attempt at Lake Eyre in 1963. The Lake Eyre location was chosen as it offered 450 square miles (1,170 km2) of dried salt lake, where rain had not fallen in the previous 20 years, and the surface of the 20-mile (32 km) track was as hard as concrete. As Campbell arrived in late March, with a view to a May attempt, the first light rain fell. Campbell and Bluebird were running by early May but once again more rain fell, and low-speed test runs could not progress into the higher speed ranges. By late May, the rain became torrential, and the lake was flooded. Campbell had to move the CN7 off the lake to save the car from being submerged by the rising flood waters.

Campbell and his team returned to Lake Eyre in 1964, but the surface never returned to the promise it had held in 1962 and Campbell had to battle with CN7 to reach record speeds (over 400 mph (640 km/h)). After more light rain in June, the lake finally began to dry enough for an attempt to be made. On 17 July 1964, Campbell set a record of 403.10 mph (648.73 km/h) for a four-wheeled vehicle (Class A). Campbell was disappointed with the record as the vehicle had been designed for much higher speeds. CN7 covered the final third of the measured mile at an average of 429 mph (690 km/h), peaking as it left the measured distance at over 440 mph (710 km/h). In 1969, after Campbell’s fatal accident, his widow, Tonia Bern-Campbell negotiated a deal with Lynn Garrison, President of Craig Breedlove and Associates, that would see Craig Breedlove run Bluebird on Bonneville’s Salt Flats. This concept was cancelled when the parallel Spirit of America supersonic car project failed to find support.Campbell now reverted to Bluebird K7 for a further attempt on the water speed record. After more delays, he finally achieved his seventh WSR at Lake Dumbleyung near Perth, Western Australia, on the last day of 1964, at a speed of 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h). He had become the first, and so far only, person to set both land and water speed records in the same year. Campbell’s land record was short-lived, because rule changes meant that Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America, a pure jet car, would begin setting records later in 1964 and 1965. Campbell’s 429 mph (690 km/h) speed on his final Lake Eyre run remained the highest speed achieved by a wheel-driven car until 2001; Bluebird CN7 is now on display at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire, England, her potential only partly realised.

Donald Campbell decided a massive jump in speed was called for following his successful 1964 LSR attempt in Bluebird CN7. His vision was of a supersonic rocket car with a potential maximum speed of 840 mph (1,350 km/h). Norris Brothers were requested to undertake a design study Bluebird Mach 1.1 (CMN-8) was a design for a rocket-powered supersonic land speed record car. Bluebird Mach 1.1 was to be rocket-powered. Ken Norris had calculated using rocket motors would result in a vehicle with very low frontal area, greater density, and lighter weight than if he went down the jet engine route. Bluebird Mach 1.1 would also be a relatively compact and simple design. Norris specified two off-the-shelf Bristol Siddeley BS.605 rocket engines. The 605 had been developed as a take-off assist rocket engine for military aircraft and was fuelled with kerosene, using hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizer. Each engine was rated at 8,000 lbf (36 kN) thrust. In Bluebird Mach 1.1 application. In order to increase publicity for his rocket car venture, in the spring of 1966, Campbell decided to try once more for a water speed record. This time the target was 300 mph (480 km/h). Bluebird K7 was fitted with a lighter and more powerful Bristol Orpheus engine, taken from a Folland Gnat jet aircraft, which developed 4,500 pounds-force (20,000 N) of thrust. The modified boat was taken back to Coniston in the first week of November 1966. The trials did not go well. The weather was appalling, and K7 suffered an engine failure when her air intakes collapsed and debris was drawn into the engine. By the middle of December, some high-speed runs were made, in excess of 250 mph (400 km/h) but still well below Campbell’s existing record.

On 4 January 1967, weather conditions were finally suitable for an attempt. Campbell commenced the first run of his last record attempt at just after 8.45 am. Bluebird moved slowly out towards the middle of the lake, where she paused for a brief second as Donald lined her up. With a deafening blast of power, Campbell now applied full throttle and Bluebird began to surge forward. Clouds of spray issued from the jet-pipe, water poured over the rear spar and after a few hundred yards, at 70 mph, Bluebird unstuck from the surface and rocketed off towards the southern end of the lake, producing her characteristic comet’s tail of spray. She entered the measured kilometre at 8.46. Leo Villa witnessed her passing the first marker buoy at about 285 mph (459 km/h) in perfect steady planing trim, her nose slightly down, still accelerating. 7.525 seconds later, Keith Harrison saw her leave the measured kilometre at a speed of over 310 mph (500 km/h). The average speed for the first run was 297.6 mph (478.9 km/h). Campbell lifted his foot from the throttle about 3/10 of a second before passing the southern kilometre marker. As Bluebird left the measured kilometre, Keith Harrison and Eric Shaw in a course boat at the southern end of the measured kilo both noticed that she was very light around the bows, riding on her front stabilising fins. Her planing trim was no worse than she had exhibited when equipped with the Beryl engine, but it was markedly different to that observed by Leo Villa at the northern end of the kilometre, when she was under full acceleration.

Instead of refuelling and waiting for the wash of this run to subside, Campbell decided to make the return run immediately. This was not an unprecedented diversion from normal practice, as Campbell had used the advantage presented i.e. no encroachment of water disturbances on the measured kilometre by the quick turn-a-round, in many previous runs. The second run was even faster once severe tramping subsided on the run-up from Peel Island (caused by the water-brake disturbance). Once smooth water was reached some 700 metres or so from the start of the kilometre, K7 demonstrated cycles of ‘ground’ effect hovering before accelerating hard at 0.63g to a peak speed of 328 mph (530 km/h) some 200 metres or so from the southern marker buoy. Bluebird was now experiencing bouncing episodes of the starboard sponson with increasing ferocity. At the peak speed, the most intense and long-lasting bounce caused severe deceleration (328 mph – 296 mph, -1.86g) as K7 dropped back onto the water. Engine flame-out then occurred and, without thrust nose-down momentum, K7 experienced a gliding episode in strong ground effect with increasing angle-of-attack (AoA), before completely leaving the water at her static stability pitch-up limit of 5.2°. Bluebird then executed an almost complete somersault (~ 320° and slightly off-axis) before plunging into the water (port sponson marginally in advance of the starboard), approximately 230 metres from the end of the measured kilometre. The boat then cartwheeled across the water before coming to rest. The impact broke K7 forward of the air intakes (where Donald was sitting) and the main hull sank shortly afterwards. Campbell had been killed instantly. Mr Whoppit, Campbell’s teddy bear mascot, was found among the floating debris and the pilot’s helmet was recovered. Royal Navy divers made efforts to find and recover the body but, although the wreck of K7 was found, they called off the search, after two weeks, without locating his body.

Craig Breedlove

Spirit of America

Five-time world land speed record holder Craig Breedlove was born March 23, 1937. He was the first to reach 400 mph (640 km/h), 500 mph (800 km/h), and 600 mph (970 km/h), using several turbojet-powered vehicles, all named Spirit of America. In 1962, he made his first attempt, in a freewheeling tricycle (ignoring FIA rules requiring four wheels, at least two driven; in the event, FIM happily accepted it powered by a General Electric J47 engine. On 5 August 1963, this first Spirit made her first record attempt, using just 90% of available thrust to reach 388.47 mph (625.18 km/h) over the measured mile. The return pass, on 95% power, turned up a two-way average of 407.45 mph (655.73 km/h). Spirit of America was so light on the ground, she did not even need to change tyres afterward. For 1964, Breedlove faced competition from the Wingfoot Express (piloted by Tom Green) as well as from Art Arfons in his four-wheel FIA-legal Green Monster. With more engine power, Breedlove upped the record to 468.72 mph (754.33 km/h) then to 526.28 mph (846.97 km/h). making him the first man to exceed 500 mph (800 km/h). This pass was not without incident, however, for one of his drogue parachute’s shroud lines parted, and Spirit of America ran on for 5 mi (8.0 km) before near-missing a telegraph pole and coming to rest in a lake. This record stood all of twelve days before Green Monster broke it, recording a two-run average of 536.71 mph (863.75 km/h).

In response, Breedlove built an FIA-legal four-wheeler, Sonic 1, powered by a 15,000 lbf (67 kN) J79. 2 November 1965, Breedlove entered the FIA record book with a two-run average of 555.483 mph (893.963 km/h). This lasted even less time than before, for Green Monster came back five days later at 576.553 mph (927.872 km/h). On 15 November, Breedlove responded with a 600.601 mph (966.574 km/h) record (after turning in an amazing 608.201 mph (978.805 km/h) return pass), which held until 1970. (It would be broken by Gary Gabelich’s Blue Flame, which reached 630.388 mph (1,014.511 km/h).) To take the record back, Breedlove planned a supersonic rocket car, “complete with ejector seat!” (After winding up in a lake, this is understandable.) Also in 1965, Breedlove’s wife, Lee, took the seat in Sonic 1, making four passes and achieving 308.506 mph (496.492 km/h), making her the fastest woman alive, and making them the fastest couple, which they remain.During 1968, Lynn Garrison, President of Craig Breedlove & Associates started to package a deal that saw Utah’s Governor, Calvin Rampton provide a hangar facility for the construction of a supersonic car. Bill Lear, of Learjet fame, was to provide support, along with his friend Art Linkletter. Playboy magazine hoped to have the car painted black, with a white bunny on the rudder. TRW was supplying a lunar lander rocket motor. A change in public interest saw the concept shelved. They also negotiated for the use of the late Donald Campbell’s wheel-driven Bluebird CN7 record-breaker.

After a lengthy break from world records and making his name as a real estate agent, Breedlove began work on a new Spirit in 1992, eventually named Spirit of America Formula Shell LSRV. The vehicle is 44 ft 10 in long, 8 ft 4 in wide, and 5 ft 10 in high (13.67 m by 2.54 m by 1.78 m) and weighs 9,000 lb (4,100 kg), construction is on a steel tube or space frame with an aluminium skin body. The engine is the same as in the second Spirit, a J79, but it is modified to burn unleaded gasoline and generates a maximum thrust of 22,650 lbf (100.75 kN).The first run of the vehicle on October 28, 1996 in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada ended in a crash at around 675 mph (1,086 km/h). Returning in 1997 the vehicle badly damaged the engine on an early run and when the British ThrustSSC managed over 700 mph (1,100 km/h), the re-engined Spirit could do no better than 676 mph (1,088 km/h). Breedlove believes the vehicle is capable of exceeding 800 mph (1,300 km/h), but has yet to demonstrate this.In late 2006 it was announced that Breedlove sold the car to Steve Fossett who was to make an attempt on the land speed record in 2007, marking the end of an era of land speed record breaking. Fossett died in a plane crash in 2007. Breedlove’s vehicle, renamed the “Sonic Arrow”, was rolled out on the Black Rock Desert for a photo opportunity on October 15, 2007. The effort to run the car continues with the team presently recruiting drivers

Human League

Susan Ann Sulley, British singer with electronic new wave band The Human League was born 23 March 1963. The Human League were formed in Sheffield in 1977. Before adopting the name the Human League, the band briefly had two previous incarnations.In early 1977, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, who had met at youth arts project Meatwhistle, were both working as computer operators. Their musical collaboration combined pop music (such as glam rock and Tamla Motown) with avant-garde electronic music. Ware and Marsh were Joined by their friend Adi Newton and another synthesizer (a Roland System-100), they formed The Future and a collection of demos from this period was released retrospectively on CD in 2002 titled The Golden Hour of the Future, mixed by Richard X.

Newton left The Future and went on to form Clock DVA. Ware and Marsh invite an old school friend, Philip Oakey, to join the band as vocalist. They changed their name to The Human League and released the album Dare in 1981Which included the singles “Don’t You Want Me”and “Being Boiled”. They received the Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough act in 1982. They were followed by other international hits including “I don’t depend on You” “Love Action”, “Open Your Heart”, “Mirror Man”, “Fascination”, “The Lebanon”, “Human” (a US No. 1) and “Tell Me When”.

The only constant band member since 1977 is vocalist and songwriter Philip Oakey. Originally an avant-garde all-male synthesizer-based group, The Human League evolved into a commercially successful synthpop band under Oakey’s leadership. Since 1987, the band has essentially been a trio of Oakey and long-serving female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley (both of whom joined the ensemble in 1980), with various sidemen. Since 1978, The Human League have released nine studio albums, four EPs including The Dignity of Labour and Holiday 80, 30 singles and several compilation albums. They have had five albums and eight singles in the UK Top 10 and have sold more than 20 million records.

James Patterson

Prolific American thriller Author James B. Patterson was born March 22, 1947 in Newburgh, New York. He is largely known for his novels about fictional psychologist Alex Cross, the protagonist of the Alex Cross series. Patterson also wrote the Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Maximum Ride, Daniel X, and Witch and Wizard series, as well as many stand-alone thrillers, non-fiction and romance novels. Novels written by Patterson include First to die, Thomas Berryman number, Private, Private New York, Private London, Private Paris, Private Sydney, Truth or Die, Sail, Toys, Burn, 14th Deadly Sin, Cross Country, I Alex Cross, kill Alex Cross, Run For Your Life, Kiss the Girls, NYPD RED, NYPD RED 2, NYPD RED 3, Hope to Die and many others. His books have sold more than 300 million copies. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Manhattan College, along with a Master of Arts in English from Vanderbilt University.
James Patterson’s first job was in advertising, then After Patterson retired from advertising in 1996,he devoted his time to writing.James Patterson published his first novel in 1976 called The Thomas Berryman Number. The novels featuring his character Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist formerly of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation who now works as a private psychologist and government consultant, are his most popular and the top-selling U.S. detective series in the past ten years. Patterson has written 95 novels since 1976. He has had 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds The New York Times record for most bestselling hardcover fiction titles by a single author, a total of 76, which is also a Guinness World Record.His novels account for one in 17 of all hardcover novels sold in the United States; in recent years his novels have sold more copies than those of Stephen King, John Grisham and Dan Brown combined.

His books have sold approximately 300 million copies worldwide. Patterson’s awards include the Edgar Award, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award,and the Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year. He is the first author to have No. 1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children’s bestsellers lists, and to have two books on NovelTracker’s top-ten list at the same time. He appeared on the Fox TV show The Simpsons (in the episode “Yokel Chords”) and in various episodes of Castle as himself. Patterson works with a variety of co-authors, such as Maxine Paetro, Andrew Gross, Mark Sullivan, Ashwin Sanghi, Michael Ledwidge, and Peter De Jonge and has often said that collaborating with others brings new and interesting ideas to his stories. In September 2009, Patterson signed a deal to write or co-write 11 books for adults and 6 for young adults by the end of 2012.

In 2005 Patterson also founded the James Patterson PageTurner Awards to donate over US $100,000 that year to people, companies, schools, and other institutions that find original and effective ways to spread the excitement of books and reading. The PageTurner Awards were put on hold in 2008 to focus on Patterson’s new initiative, ReadKiddoRead.com, which helps parents, teachers, and librarians find the best books for their children. The social networking site for ReadKiddoRead is hosted by Ning. Patterson has also set up the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship in the schools of education at Appalachian State University, lMichigan State University, and Florida Atlantic University. Patterson also runs the College Book Bucks scholarship program. Patterson’s latest novels include Malicious, 16th Seduction, Hide and Seek, Hidden and Never Never.

World Water Day

World Water Day takes place annually on 22 March to inspire people around the world to learn more about water-related issues, tell others about these issues and take action to make a difference, particularly in developing countries. One such issue is the global water crisis which includes challenges such as water scarcity, water pollution, inadequate water supply and the lack of sanitation for billions of people in developing countries. The day brings to light the inequality of access to WASH services and the need to assure the human right to water and sanitation.

UN-Water coordinates plans and programmes for the day in consultation with UN member organisations who share interest in that year’s theme. For example, in 2016 when the theme was “Water and Jobs,” UN-Water collaborated with the International Labour Organization. Organizations active in the WASH sector, including non-governmental organizations such as UNICEF and WaterAid, use the day to raise public awareness, inspire action and get media attention for water issues. Activities have included the production and dissemination of publications or films, and the organization of round tables, seminars, expositions and other events. End Water Poverty, a global civil society coalition with 250 partner organizations worldwide, also coordinates a calendar of global events to commemorate World Water Day, on the 22nd and during the whole of March.

World Water Day has seen an increase in the quantity and quality of education initiatives within schools and universities, to raise awareness of the importance of conserving and managing water resources. Michigan State University held a contest for “best World Water Day poster” in 2017. Primary school children in the Phillipines participated in a “My School Toilet” contest in 2010. In addition to school-based educational events, a variety of public events, such as seminars, rallies and parades are held to bring people together for World Water Day. These include educational displays on water-saving devices such as greywater reuse systems or dry toilets, as well as information about the lack of access to drinking water and water for agriculture in developing countries. It was first formally proposed at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The United Nations (UN) designated 22 March as International World Water Day in 1992 at the same conference and In 1993, the first World Water Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly and each year since then has focused on a different issue.

Past Annual themes have included Why Waste Water? This concerns the reduction and reuse of wastewater, which is a valuable resource to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and also to increase the recycling and safe reuse of water across the globe. After appropriate treatment, wastewater can be used for a variety of purposes. Industry, for example, can reuse water for cooling manufacturing equipment and agriculture can reuse water for irrigation.

In 2016 the theme was Better Water, Better Jobs. This highlighted the correlation between water and job creation, both directly and indirectly by water sources around the globe. If water scarcity becomes a reality, industries heavily dependent on water like textiles and agriculture are at risk of increased costs, which threatens salaries and jobs. Increased costs may then be passed on to consumers. It also illustrated how an abundance of quality water can change people’s jobs and lives for the better and stressed the importance of working to improve water quality and availability and how Water shortages and lack of access can limit economic growth. In 2015 the theme was Water and Sustainable Development. This consolidated and built upon the previous World Water Days to highlight water’s role in the sustainable development agenda. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were to have been achieved by 2015. With the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), world Water Day gave specific emphasis to SDG 6, which calls for water and sanitation for all. In 2014 the theme was Water and Energy. This emphasized the interdependence of water and energy. Generating and transmitting energy requires the use of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources , with 8% of the energy generated globally is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.

In 2014, the UN, addressed issues affecting those who live in urban slums and impoverished rural areas, who must find ways to survive without access to safe drinking water, safe sanitation, sufficient food and without energy services. The UN
helped Develop policies and frameworks that would bridge ministries and sectors, to ensure energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy. journalists from eleven countries in Asia also met in Tokyo to discuss the importance of water And also discussed privatisation of services, integration between water and energy and modernisation of water services. The year 2013: was International Year of Water Cooperation and in 2012 the theme was Water and Food Security: The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungry. the International Committe of the Red Cross (ICRC) called attention to the water-related challenges faced by civilians caught up in fighting and intense civil unrest. In 2011 the theme was Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge. This encouraged governments, organizations, communities, and individuals to actively engage in addressing the challenges of urban water management. In 2010 the theme was Clean Water for a Healthy World. This showed the importance of water management. In 2009 the theme was Trans Waters. This placed Special focus on trans-boundary waters. In 2008 the theme was Sanitation. 2008 was also the International Year of Sanitation. In 2007 the theme was Coping With Water Scarcity. This Highlighted water scarcity worldwide and the need for increased integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources, both at international and local levels.In 2006 the theme was Water and Culture. The theme drew the attention to the fact that there are as many ways of viewing, using, and celebrating water as there are cultural traditions across the world.

Southern Sunset

Following the Severn Valley Railway’s recent Spring Steam Gala, No. 41312 and Southern Region Battle of Britain class Locomotive no. 34081 “92 Squadron” will both be operating alongside No. “34027 Taw Valley”  for the Severn Valley Railway’s Southern Sunset weekend which takes place on March 25th & 26th. The other Southern Region Battle of Britain class Pacific Locomotive normally at the Severn Valley Railway “No.34053 Sir Keith Park” is currently travelling to Swanage Railway for their “Strictly Bulleid” event.

Battle of Britain Pacific no. 34053 Sir Keith Park

The Southern Region Battle of Britain class locomotive 34053 “Sir Keith Park” is named after Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Rodney Park, GCB, KBE, MC & Bar, DFC who was a New Zealand soldier, First World War flying ace and Second World War Royal Air Force commander and was in operational command during two of the most significant air battles in the European theatre in the Second World War, helping to win the Battle of Britain and the Battle of Malta. It arrived at Woodham’s scrap yard in Barry in 1966 it wasn’t until 1979 Charles Timms bought the loco, but it was June or July 1984 before it left Barry arriving at Hull Dairycoates depot in November It was the 153rd loco out of a total of 213 rescued from Barry. Also purchased was the tender of 35006. It was restored at Hull under the supervision of Tom Tighe. The bogie and pony truck were removed and sent to Swindon in February 1988 to the former Swindon Works wheel lathe, and the boiler lifted from the frames for restoration. Many parts such as running boards, smoke deflectors etc were ordered. in 1992 Mr Timms died and the loco was sold, together with available parts, to Dr John F Kennedy and moved to the Railway Age at Crewe.

West Country Pacific no.34027 Taw Valley

In 1995 the loco moved to Thingley junction and was sold to Jeremy Hosking for use as spare parts for Braunton and moved to Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway in January 1997 and was moved by rail from Bishops Lydeard to Williton on 22nd February 1997. During the summer of 1997, the boiler tubes were removed. Southern Locomotives purchased the Locomotive when it was deemed surplus to requirements. 34053 left Williton on 22nd December 2000 to arrive at Sellindge on 28th December 2000. Finally after an eventful restoration In 2010 Sir Keith Park had the coupling rods reinstalled, The running boards, new cylinder and valve liners were fitted, the slide bars are in place and main springs were mounted Withdrawn in 1965, and over 30 years since it was first bought for preservation, 34053 Sir Keith Park finally returned to service in 2012, after a break of 48 years and the loco travelled by low-loader to the Severn Valley Railway. After some weeks of testing and adjustments it entered passenger service in August 2012.

Reverend W. Awdry OBE

Best known as the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine, the English cleric, railway enthusiast and children’s author Wilbert Vere Awdry, OBE sadly passed away 21 March 1997. Born 15th June 1911 in Ampfield vicarage near Romsey, Hampshire in 1911. In 1917 he and his family moved to Box, in Wiltshire, moving again in 1919, and 1920, still in Box, the third house being Journey’s End which remained the family home until August 1928. Journey’s End was only 200 yards (180 m) from the western end of Box Tunnel. There the Great Western Railway main line climbs at a gradient of 1 in 100 for two miles, and a banking engine was kept there to assist freight trains up the hill. These trains usually ran at night and the young Wilbert could hear them from his bed, listening to the coded whistle signals between the train engine and the banker, and the sharp bark from the locomotive exhausts as they fought their way up the incline. Awdry related: “There was no doubt in my mind that steam engines all had definite personalities. I would hear them snorting up the grade and little imagination was needed to hear in the puffings and pantings of the two engines the conversation they were having with one another: ‘I can’t do it! I can’t do it! I can’t do it!’ ‘Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!’” Here was the inspiration for the story of Edward helping Gordon’s train up the hill, a story that Wilbert first told his son Christopher some 25 years later, and which appeared in the first of the Railway Series books

The characters that would make Awdry famous and the first stories featuring them were invented in 1943 to amuse his son Christopher during a bout of measles. After Awdry wrote The Three Railway Engines, he built Christopher a model of Edward, and some wagons and coaches, out of a broomstick and scraps of wood. Christopher also wanted a model of Gordon; however, as that was too difficult Awdry made a model of a little 0-6-0 tank engine. Awdry said: “The natural name was Thomas – Thomas the Tank Engine”. Then Christopher requested stories about Thomas and these duly followed and were published in the famous book Thomas the Tank Engine, released in 1946. The first book (The Three Railway Engines) was published in 1945, and by the time Awdry stopped writing in 1972,

The Thomas the Tank Engine railway Series numbered 26 books. Christopher subsequently added further books to the series. In 1952, Awdry volunteered as a guard on the Talyllyn Railway in Wales, then in its second year of preservation. The railway inspired Awdry to create the Skarloey Railway, based on the Talyllyn, with some of his exploits being written into the stories.Awdry’s enthusiasm for railways did not stop at his publications. He was involved in railway preservation, and built model railways, which he took to exhibitions around the country. Awdry wrote other books besides those of The Railway Series, both fiction and non-fiction. The story Belinda the Beetle was about a red car (it became a Volkswagen Beetle only in the illustrations to the paperback editions). Awdry was awarded an OBE in the 1996 New Year’s Honours List, but by that time his health had deteriorated and he was unable to travel to London. He died peacefully in Stroud, Gloucestershire, on 21 March 1997, at the age of 85. His ashes are interred at Gloucester Crematorium

Roger Hodgson (Supertramp)

Roger Hodgson the former lead singer of Supertramp was born 21st March 1950. Supertramp formed in 1969 under the name ”Daddy” before renaming themselves in early 1970. Though their music was initially categorised as progressive rock, they have since incorporated a combination of traditional Rock, pop and art rock into their music. The band’s work is marked by the inventive songwriting of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, the distinctive voice of Hodgson, and the prominent use of Wurlitzer electric piano and saxophone in their songs.

IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES http://youtu.be/SpAT6ruDvbA

While the band’s early work was mainstream progressive rock they enjoyed great critical and commercial success when they incorporated more conventional and radio-friendly elements into their work in the mid-1970s, going on to sell more than 60 million albums. They reached their peak of commercial success with 1979′s Breakfast in America, which has sold more than 20 million copies. Though their albums were generally far more successful than their singles, Supertramp did enjoy a number of major hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including “Bloody Well Right”, “Give a Little Bit”, “The Logical Song”, “Goodbye Stranger”, “Take the Long Way Home”, “Dreamer”, “Breakfast in America”, “It’s Raining Again”, and “Cannonball”. The band attained significant popularity in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa and Australia With classic albums like Breakfast in America and It Was the Best of Times. Since Hodgson’s departure in 1983, founder Rick Davies has led the band by himself.

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