World Contact Day

March 15 th has been designated World Contact Day after an organization called the International Flying Saucer Bureau declared the first World Contact Day On march 1953 . Exactly 60 years later, UFO contact groups once again unite under the same flag on March 15 to internationally and collectevely try and make peaceful contact with extraterrestrial beings. The year 2013 marks 60 years since the first World Contact Day and the World UFO Day organization decided to make World Contact Day a whole week long instead of the usual day to celebrate the fact that it was 60 years ago and Ending with the biggest contact attempt on March 22, ET Contact Day.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

World Contact Day is also a kind of “unofficial” anniversary of the mysterious “Men in Black,” who appeared to Alfred K. Bender shortly after the first Contact Day in 1953. These strange characters threatened him and told him to stop talking about UFOs, and thus was born the legend of the Men in Black…

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TODAY’S OTHER BIRTHDAYS

  • born 15th March 1941 – Mike Love, American musician (The Beach Boys)
  • Born 1943 – David Cronenberg, Canadian film actor, director and screenwriter
  • Born 15th March 1947 – Ry Cooder, American guitarist and singer
  • Born 15th March 1943 – Sly Stone, American musician (Sly & the Family Stone)
  • Born 15th March 1952 – Howard Devoto, British musician (Buzzcocks, Magazine, and Luxuria)
  • born 15th March 1955 – Dee Snider, American singer (Twisted Sister and Desperado)
  • Born 15th March 1963 – Brett Michaels, American musician (Poison)
  • born 15th March 1975 – will.i.am (William James Adams Jr.), American rapper, producer, and actor (The Black Eyed Peas)

Happy Birthday Mike Love (Beach Boys)

Mike Love, American singer/songwriter and musician with The Beach Boys was born thisday March 15th in 1941. He was a founding member of the beach Boys along with his cousins Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, and their friend Al Jardine, and continues to perform with the band to the present day. Love, along with the other founding Beach Boy members, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

From an early age The Wilson family home was a musical one, and Mike often sang with the Wilson family at get-togethers at the Wilson home during his childhood. Brian and his brothers Carl and Dennis Wilson along with Mike Love and Al Jardine first gelled as a music group in the summer of 1961, initially named the Pendletones. Brian Wilson also began to experiment with recording songs after receiving a Wollensak tape recorder on his 16th birthday, which lead to the Formation of The Beach Boys, and After being encourageded by Dennis to write a song about the local water sports craze, Brian and Mike Love together created what would become the first single for the band, “Surfin’”.

Although he played the saxophone in the first years of the band, he was mainly the co -lead singer, along with Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys. Love sang the lead vocal on many of the Beach Boys’ biggest hits, mainly fast-paced rock’n’rollers (while Brian Wilson handled the early ballads), including “Surfin’ Safari”, “Surfin’ USA“, “Shut Down”, “Little Deuce Coupe“, “Be True to Your School”, “Little Saint Nick”, “Fun, Fun, Fun“, “I Get Around”, “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)”, “Little Honda”, “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “California Girls“. Love also wrote or co-wrote lyrics to many of the Beach Boys songs, mostly with the themes of surfing, cars or love, but also memorable ballads such as “The Warmth of the Sun”.

Rolls Royce

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RollsRoyce_BYL231Renowned Luxury British Car Manufacturer Rolls-Royce Limited was incorporated on 15th March 1906. The Company started in In 1884, by Henry Royce . who started an electrical and mechanical business and made his first car, a two-cylinder Royce 10, in his Manchester factory in 1904, and was introduced to Charles Rolls at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on 4 May of that year. Rolls was proprietor of an early motor car dealership, C.S.Rolls & Co. in Fulham.In spite of his preference for three or four cylinder cars, Rolls was impressed with the Royce 10, and in a subsequent agreement of 23 December 1904 agreed to take all the cars Royce could make. All would be badged as Rolls-Royces, and be sold exclusively by Rolls. The first Rolls-Royce car, the Rolls-Royce 10 hp, was unveiled at the Paris Salon in December 1904. Rolls-Royce Limited was formed on 15 March 1906, by which time it was apparent that new premises were required for production of cars. After considering sites in Manchester, Coventry, Bradford and Leicester, they moved to Derby. The new factory was largely designed by Royce, and production began in early 1908, with a formal opening on 9 July 1908 by Sir John Montagu. During 1906 Royce had been developing an improved six-cylinder model with more power than the 30hp. Initially designated the 40/50 hp, this was the company’s first all-new model. In March 1908 Claude Johnson, Commercial Managing Director and sometimes described as the hyphen in Rolls-Royce,succeeded in persuading Royce and the other directors that Rolls-Royce should concentrate exclusively on the new model, and all the earlier models were duly discontinued. After the First World War, Rolls-Royce successfully avoided attempts to encourage the British car manufacturers to merge. Faced with falling sales of the 40/50 (later known as Silver Ghost) the company introduced the smaller, cheaper Twenty in 1922, effectively ending the one-model policy followed since 1908.

RollsRoyceAfter the introduction of the Phantom model in 1925 this 40/50 model was referred to as the Silver Ghost. The new 40/50 was responsible for the company’s early reputation with over 6,000 built. In 1921, the company opened a second factory in Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States (to help meet demand), where a further 1,701 “Springfield Ghosts” were built. This factory operated for 10 years, closing in 1931. Its chassis was used as a basis for the first British armoured car used in both world wars.In 1931 Rolls-Royce acquired the much smaller rival car maker Bentley after the latter’s finances failed to weather the onset of the Great Depression. From soon after World War II until 2002 standard Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars were often identical apart from the radiator grille and minor details.In 1933, the colour of the Rolls-Royce radiator monogram was changed from red to black because the red sometimes clashed with the coachwork colour selected by clients, and not as a mark of respect for the passing of Royce as is commonly stated.Rolls-Royce and Bentley car production moved to Crewe in 1946 where they began to assemble complete cars with bodies from the Pressed Steel Company (the new standard steel models) for the first time. Previously they had built only the chassis, leaving the bodies to specialist coach-builders.

Rolls-Royce also started to produce diesel engines in 1951. Initially, these were intended for heavy tractors and earth-movers but, later, they were installed in lorries (e.g. Scammell), railcars, diesel multiple units and Sentinel shunting locomotives. Rolls-Royce took over Sentinel’s Shrewsbury factory for diesel engine production in 1956. The Rolls-Royce diesel business was acquired by Perkins in the 1980s. In 1971, Rolls-Royce was crippled by the costs of developing the advanced RB211 jet engine, resulting in the nationalization of the company as Rolls-Royce (1971) Limited. In 1973, the car division was separated from the parent company as Rolls-Royce Motors. Rolls Royce also made Torque converters and railcar engines were often used with Twin Disc torque converters which were built by Rolls-Royce under licence from Twin Disc of the USA. “Twin Disc” is the name of the company (which originally manufactured friction clutches) and does not describe the construction of the torque converter.Sadly in 1971 Financial problems caused largely by development of the new RB211 turbofan engine led – after several cash subsidies – to the company being nationalised by the government. (Delay in production of the RB211 engine has been blamed for the failure of the technically advanced Lockheed TriStar, which was beaten to launch by its chief competitor, the Douglas DC-10.)In 1973 the motor car business was spun off as a separate entity, Rolls-Royce Motors. The main business of aircraft and marine engines remained in public ownership until 1987, when it was privatised as Rolls-Royce plc, one of many privatisations of the Thatcher government.

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British Touring Car driver and Hairdressing Legend Tom Chilton was born 15th March 1985

Tom was educated at Reigate St. Mary’s School and Shiplake College. A keen racer from an early age, he competed in the BRSCC T-Cars Championship in 1999 and 2000, going on to take the BRSCC Saloon Car winter championship in 2001.Turning his attention to the BTCC, he was team mate to ex-Superbike racer Aaron Slight in 2002 driving a Vauxhall Astra Coupé for Barwell Motorsport. He proved to be very quick, and although his lack of experience counted against him he nevertheless finished the season in 15th place overall and 5th in the Independents’ Cup.

In 2003 he finished in 9th place overall driving a works Honda Civic Type-R run by Arena Motorsport alongside Matt Neal and Alan Morrison. With Honda withdrawing manufacturer support for 2004, Arena only had the budget to run a single car for Chilton. However, the car was still well-prepared and he came through to take his first victory during the 9th race of the season, at Silverstone, in the process becoming the youngest winner of a BTCC race. He won again in the 29th race at Donington. His plans for 2005 centered around the DTM with a new programme backed by MG Rover, but this fell through with the demise of the British marque. He and Arena rejoined the BTCC at the second meeting of the season and combined his touring car duties with racing for Zytek in the ALMS and LMS endurance series. Chilton won in both ALMS and LMS racing. He was classified 5th in the 2005 British Touring Car Championship season despite only starting 24 of the 30 races. Chilton’s involvement with Zytek continued, subject to funding and availability; Tom and his brother Max drove the car at the Silverstone 1000 km in September 2007.

VX Racing signed him for 2006 to drive the #5 Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch. In a disappointing season for Vauxhall, Chilton never won a race and slipped to 7th overall. However, Vauxhall retained Chilton and Fabrizio Giovanardi for 2007, but Chilton did not want to stay at VX Racing in 2008.For 2009 Chilton returned to Arena Motorsport to drive a Ford Focus ST in the BTCC under the Team Aon banner, but spent much of the year developing the car and he ended the season 13th in the drivers’ standings. He remained with the team for 2010. The LPG-powered car was more competitive, taking four of the first five poles, but bad luck meant team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole took better results than Chilton initially. Both were on the podium in race two at Snetterton. At Silverstone the team was dominant, and Chilton was allowed to take both wins ahead of team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole, who finished ahead in the overall drivers’ championship but Chilton secured the Independents’ Trophy by a two point margin over Steven Kane.For 2011 the team developed a new car based on the new third generation Ford Focus which ran to Super 2000 regulations powered by an NGTC turbocharged engine. Results were poor initially as the car was developed but Chilton took the car to pole position at Knockhill, going on to win race one. He also won the final race of the season at Silverstone. He finished the year 7th in the drivers’ championship on 197 points.

Chilton made his debut in the World Touring Car Championship in 2012, driving for the Arena Motorsport team with their Ford Focus S2000 TC alongside fellow WTCC debutant James Nash. Although he was new to the championship, Chilton was ruled out of the Yokohama Trophy due to his experience in the BTCC as both a privateer and a works driver. In race one in Morocco, he scored the first points for Ford in their WTCC return after coming home in seventh place.[6] He scored another point in race two in Slovakia. Chilton was given a five place grid penalty for a collision during qualifying for the Race of Austria, he locked up down the inside of Franz Engstler and made contact, putting Engstler out of Q1.An engine change for both Fords at the Race of Japan sent Chilton to the back of the grid for the first race. In the final race at Macau, Chilton lost control in the oil left on the track from Alex MacDowall’s collision with the barrier on lap 4, the subsequent crash forced him to retire. Chilton finishes 22nd in the drivers’ standings, two places behind team mate Nash. Chilton moved to RML for the 2013 season, driving a Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T alongside former world champion Yvan Muller.

He was also one of many racing drivers rumoured to be The Stig on BBC2 show Top Gear, after the previous Stig revealed his identity and has appeared in five series of Top Gear. He was one of the drivers in the People Carrier Race. He then again appeared as one of the drivers in the Toyota Aygo football match and also raced a Chevrolet motorhome with other touring car drivers as well as Richard Hammond and has also raced (and then rolled over) a double decker bus, and had earlier on in the episode raced against Jeremy Clarkson whilst driving a BMW M3 he has also appeared in Top Gear, racing against other touring car drivers in airport vehicles.

International Consumer Rights Day

March 15th is World Consumer Rights Day which is an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. Participants observe the day by promoting the basic rights of all consumers, demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and protesting about the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them. The organisation was first established in 1960 as the International Organisation of Consumers Unions (IOCU) by national consumer organisations. The original members recognised that they could build upon their individual strengths by working across national borders. The organisation then rapidly grew and soon became established as the voice of the international consumer movement on issues such as: product and food standards, health and patients’ rights, the environment and sustainable consumption, and the regulation of international trade and public utilities.

The founding of IOCU was initially planned by Elizabeth Schadee, who would later chair the board of Holland’s Consumentenbond, and Caspar Brook, who was the first director of the England’s Consumers’ Association. The two proposed an international conference to make plans that consumer product testing organizations worldwide should work more closely together. The United States organization Consumers Union provided US$10,000 at the direction of Colston Warne to help fund the event. In January 1960, these three organizations sponsored the First International Conference on Consumer Testing in The Hague. Thirty-four people representing seventeen consumer organizations in fourteen countries attended to discuss product testing and founding the International Organization of Consumers Unions as an international organization. Belgium’s Association des Consommateurs and the Australian Consumers’ Association joined the three conference sponsors as the five founding organizations who would provide representatives for the international organization’s initial council.

On March 15 1962 US President John F. Kennedy gave a speech on consumer rights which led to the creation of the Consumer Bill of Rights. Consumer rights activist Anwar Fazal later proposed the observance of a “World Consumer Rights Day” marking that date, and on 15 March 1983 consumer organizations began observing that date as an occasion to promote basic rights of consumers. Today Consumers International is the world federation of consumer groups that serves as an independent and authoritative global voice for consumers. It is based in London, England and currently has over 220 member organisations in 115 countries around the world, the organisation continues to build a powerful international movement to empower and protect consumers everywhere. In campaigning for the rights of consumers across the world, CI seeks to hold corporations to account and acts as a global watchdog against any behaviour that threatens, ignores or abuses the principles of consumer protection.

There are eight basic consumer rights which include the rights to:

  • satisfaction of basic needs – to have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation
  • safety – to be protected against products, production processes and services which are hazardous to health or life
  • information – to be given the facts needed to make an informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labelling.
  • choice – to be able to select from a range of products and services, offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality
  • be heard – to have consumer interests represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services.
  • To receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
  • consumer education – to acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.
  • healthy environment -to live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well being of present and future generations.

CI campaigns also seek to achieve real changes in government policy and corporate behaviour, whilst raising awareness of consumer rights and responsibilities. In 2012, CI launched Your rights, our mission, its strategic plan for 2013 to 2015. The plan includes four key programme areas combining CI’s work on international advocacy and organisational empowerment around a small number of issues.The programme areas are:

Financial services

  • Consumers access to safe, fair and competitive financial services
  • Structure and functions of national bodies
  • Fair contracts, charges and practices
  • Information design and disclosure
  • Redress and dispute resolution
  • Stability and safety
  • Competition
  • G20 work on financial consumer protection
  • Mobile payments
  • Support development of financial advice centres and advocacy capacity in developing countries

Food safety, security and nutrition

  • Consumers access to safe and nutritious food
  • Choosing a healthy diet
  • Food labelling on packaging and in restaurants
  • A ban on trans fatty acids
  • A ban on junk food marketing to kids
  • Reformulation of processed food to reduce fat, sugar and salt.
  • Food safety
  • Facilitate member engagement in international standard setting
  • Projects in developing countries to improve food safety syste
  • Monitor international processes

Protecting Consumers in the digital age

  • Consumers should Be able to hold online service providers to account
  • broadband service providers should provideClear and accurate information 
  • Address consumer concerns about tracking online activity and using this data in marketing
  • Consumer representation in global governance relating to the information society.
  • Ensuring the consumer voice is heard in international institutions that relate to the information society.
  • Access to knowledge
  • Consumers’ rights for the fair use of copyright materials to be expanded and better recognised through ranking IP laws and practices and negotiation with IP bodies.
  • Consumer justice and protection
  • A concerted international effort to support the realisation of consumer rights

Revise UN guidelines

  • To bring an increased international focus on the legal empowerment of the consumer
  • To Work with international organisations to develop new initiatives and make resources available for consumer protection
  • To Work with CI members to support their work at the national level
  • Systematic assessment of members capacity
  • Map ‘sustainable business models’ for consumer organisations.
  • CI has also campaigned on issues like junk food markting and unethical drug promotion, corporate social responsibility and unethical or unsustainable behaviour by corporations and governments.

International Day Against Police Brutality

The International Day Against Police Brutality occurs on March 15th . It first began in 1997 as an initiative of the Montreal based Collective Opposed to Police Brutality and the Black Flag group in Switzerland. Acceptance of March 15 as a focal day of solidarity against police brutality varies from one place to another. In the United States, the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation, a group mounted by the RCP, has succeeded in building support for October 22 (also known as O22) as National Anti Police Brutality Day since 1995.