World Environment Day

imageWorld Environment Day (WED) is celebrated annually on 5 June to raise global awareness of the Environment And promote ways to protect the planet Earth. It is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. Many events take place worldwide during World Environment Day, in order to increase people’s awareness of how they can protect nature and the environment.

In Nepal Community Radio Stations (CRS) and the National TV & Radio were replaced by Environment Slogans and various programs on World Environment Day in collaboration with UNESCO. The Gurkha Army was also sent to clean the environment. Zee News launched ‘My Earth, My Duty’ campaign, which entered the Limca Book of Records for a novel effort: for planting more than 7,300,000 trees in one single day across 34 cities and 250,000 villages on 25 August 2010. NDTV launched “Greenathon” Campaign, which was India’s first ever-nationwide campaign to save the environment. Student also attended reforestation programmes with the supervision of SOS Villages and Nepal Government. Many Arts and drawing competitions are held on environmental day and Nepal Government declares the Scholorship for 15 Students from every cities who have made a major contribution to the environment. In 2012, Project Earth, an Online Eco Platform teamed up with Rio+20 and Launched ‘ World Environment Day Global School Contest 2012 ‘ to promote awareness among today’s youth. Every country had a winner. Project GreenOman,The winner from Oman, was an Eco organization founded by Hridith Sudev and is a full-fledged kid’s Eco Organization now.Eco Action Day is also celebrated in Singapore to inspire individuals to reduce energy use at the workplace. poet/diplomat Abhay K also composed the World Environment Day “Earth Anthem” in 2013 to celebrate World Environment Day.

Each year World Environment Day has a different theme and the theme for 2015 is Sustainable Consumption and Production. The theme for 2014 was Small Islands and Climate Change while the theme for 2013 was Think.Eat.Save. This addressed the huge annual wastage and loss of food, which, if conserved, would release a large quantity of food as well as reduce the overall carbon footprint. The event also helped people make informed choices about the food they eat to reduce their ecological impact. The theme for the 2012 World Environment Day was Green Economy: Does it include you. This looked at whether peoples activities and lifestyles  were compatible with  a “Green Economy”. The theme for 2011 was Forests-Nature At Your Service. This event included beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events and much more. The theme for 2010 was ‘Many Species. One Planet. One Future’, this celebrated the diversity of life on Earth as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity and was hosted in Rwanda. World Environment Day 2009 was hosted in Mexico and The theme  was ‘Your Planet Needs You – Unite to Combat Climate Change’, and Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’ was declared ‘World Environment Day Song’.

World Environment Day 2008 was hosted in New Zealand And the theme was CO2-Kick the Habit /towards a Low Carbon Economy. New Zealand, was also one of the first countries to pledge to achieve carbon neutrality, the event focussed on forest management as a tool for reducing greenhouse gases.Volunteers also handed out eco-friendly light-bulbs and eco-friendly shopping bags and stickers with the slogan I’m reducing my carbon footprint! The Chicago Botanic Garden served as the North American host for World Environment Day on 5 June 2008. Environmental causes have also featured in online games, and a free online game called Carbon Chomper was created for WED 2008. Similar environmental issue related and conservation themed games can be found at cleanuptheworld.org and gamesforchange.org

World Environment Day 2007 was held in the city of Tromsø, Norway, “The Gateway to the Arctic” and the topic was “Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?” This focussed on the effects that climate change is having on polar ecosystems and communities, on other ice- and snow-covered areas of the world, and the resulting global impacts. It suggested methods of sustainable and equitable development and siggested that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues and advocated ways to ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future. The topic for World Environment Day 2006 was held in Algeria and the theme was Deserts and Desertification. This emphasised the importance of protecting drylands, which cover more than 40% of the planet’s surface. This ecosystem is home to one-third of the world’s people who are more vulnerable members of society. The theme for 2005 World Environment Day was Green Cities, and advocated ways to achieve a sustainable Urban Future which does not damage the environment.

Freddie Stone,(Sly and the Family Stone)

imageAmerican musician, songwriter, guitarist and Pastor Freddie Stone was born 5 June 1946. He was a member of the band Sly & the Family Stone along with his brother Sly, and they played a critical role in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia in the 1960s and 1970s, with songs like “Stand“, “I Want To Take You Higher”, “Sing A Simple Song”, “If You Want Me To Stay“, and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” In 1993, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with his Brother.

Along with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly & the Family Stone were pioneers of late 1960s and early ’70s funk. Their fusion of R&B rhythms, infectious melodies, and psychedelia created a new pop/soul/rock hybrid called Funkadelic which has proven lasting and widespread. The pioneering precedent of Stone’s racial, sexual, and stylistic mix has, had a major influence on artists such as Prince and Rick James. Legions of artists from the 1990s forward — including Public Enemy, Fatboy Slim, Beck and many others — mined Stone’s seminal back catalog for hook-laden samples. After a mildly received debut album, A Whole New Thing (1967), Sly & The Family Stone had their first hit single with “Dance to the Music“, which was later included on an album of the same name (1968). Although their third album, Life (also 1968), also suffered from low sales, their fourth album, Stand! (1969), became a runaway success, selling over three million copies and spawning a number one hit single, “Everyday People“. By the summer of 1969, Sly & The Family Stone were one of the biggest names in music, releasing three more top five singles, “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” / “Everybody Is a Star”, before the end of the year, and appearing at Woodstock.

Sadly the band’s new found fame and success caused numerous problems. Relationships within the band deteriorated there was friction between the Stone brothers & Bass player Larry Graham. After moving to the Los Angeles area in fall 1969, Stone and his bandmates became heavy users of illegal drugs, As the members became increasingly focused on drug use and partying (Stone carried a violin case filled with illegal drugs wherever he went), recording slowed significantly. Between summer 1969 and 1971, the band released only one single, which was one of the first recordings to employ the heavy, funky beats that would be featured in the funk music of the following decade. It showcased Graham’s innovative percussive playing technique of bass “slapping”.

Sly Stone’s behavior became increasingly erratic. new material was anticipated in 1970, but with none forthcoming, a Greatest Hits album was released and Freddie Stone left Sly and the Family Stone. One year later, the band’s fifth album, There’s a Riot Goin’ On, was released which featured a much darker sound as most tracks were recorded with overdubbing as opposed to The Family Stone all playing at the same time as they had done previously. Stone played most of the parts himself and performed more of the lead vocals than usual. It was also the first major label album to feature a drum machine. The band’s cohesion slowly began to erode, and its sales and popularity began to decline as well. Live bookings for Sly & the Family Stone had also steadily dropped since 1970. The final straw came In January 1975, after the band booked itself at Radio City Music Hall. The famed music hall was only one-eighth occupied, and Stone and company had to scrape together money to return home, Following the Radio City engagement, the band was dissolved.

In, 2007 Sly Stone made a short guest appearance at a show of The New Family Stone band he supports at the House of Blues. On April 1, 2007, Stone appeared with the Family Stone at the Flamingo Las Vegas Showroom, after George Wallace’s standup act. On July 7, 2007 Stone also made a short appearance with the Family Stone at the San Jose, CA Summerfest. On Labor Day, September 7, 2009, Stone emerged at the 20th annual African Festival of the Arts in Chicago, Ill. He performed a 15 minute set during George Clinton’s Performance. He performed his popular hits along with George Clinton’s band. He left immediately after his short performance. On December 6, 2009, Sly signed a new recording contract with the LA based Cleopatra Records and on August 16, 2011, I’m Back! Family & Friends was released, the first Sly Stone album since 1982′s Ain’t But the One Way. The album features re-recorded versions of Sly & the Family Stone’s greatest hits with guest appearances from Jeff Beck, Ray Manzarek, Bootsy Collins, Ann Wilson, Carmine Appice and Johnny Winter, as well as three previously unreleased songs. Freddie Stone meanwhile is currently a Pastor in Vallejo.

Ken Follett

Prolific Welsh author Ken Follett was born 5 June 1949. He has written some great thrillers and historical novels and has sold more than 100 million copies of his works. Four of his books have reached the number 1 ranking on the New York Times best-seller list: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions,Triple, and World Without End.

After graduation in the autumn of 1970, Follett took a three-month post-graduate course in journalism and went to work as a trainee reporter in Cardiff on the South Wales Echo. After three years in Cardiff, he returned to London as a general-assignment reporter for the Evening News. Finding the work unchallenging, he eventually left journalism for publishing and became, by the late 1970s, deputy managing director of the small London publisher Everest Books.He also began writing fiction during evenings and weekends as a hobby. Later, he said he began writing books when he needed extra money to fix his car, and the publisher’s advance a fellow journalist had been paid for a thriller was the sum required for the repairs. Success came gradually at first, but the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978 made him both wealthy and internationally famous. Each of Follett’s subsequent novels has also become a best-seller, ranking high on the New York Times Best Seller list; a number have been adapted for the screen. He is also featured in Making Music Magazine.

During the 1970’s Follett became involved, in the activities of Britain’s Labour Party. In the course of his political activities, he met the former Barbara Broer, a Labour official, who became his second wife in 1984. She was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997, representing Stevenage. She was re-elected in both 2001 and in 2005, but did not run in the 2010 general election after becoming embroiled in the United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal, where she was among the MPs found to have overclaimed the highest amount of expenses Follett himself remains a prominent Labour supporter.

During his prolific career Follett Has written many great novels including the Apples Carstairs series (as Simon Myles), The Big Needle (1974) (aka The Big Apple – U.S.), the Big Black (1974), The Big Hit (1975), Piers Roper series, The Shakeout (1975)The Bear Raid (1976), The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End (2007), Fall of Giants (2010), Winter of the World (2012) and Edge of Eternity (2014)

Standalone Novels which Follett has written include Amok: King of Legend (1976) (as Bernard L. Ross)The Modigliani Scandal (1976) (as Zachary Stone)The Mystery Hideout (1976) (as Martin Martinsen) (apa The Secret of Kellerman’s Studio)The Power Twins (1976) (as Martin Martinsen)Paper Money (1977) (as Zachary Stone)Capricorn One (1978) (as Bernard L. Ross) (based on screenplay by Peter Hyams)Eye of the Needle (1978) (apa Storm Island) (Edgar Award, 1979, Best Novel)Triple (1979)The Key to Rebecca (1980)The Man from St. Petersburg (1982)Lie Down with Lions (1986)Night Over Water (1991)A Dangerous Fortune (1993)A Place Called Freedom, The Third Twin, The Hammer of Eden (1998), Code to Zero. Jackdaws (2001)Hornet Flight and Whiteout.

Non-fiction novels which Follett has written include The Heist of the Century (1978) (with René Louis Maurice, others) (apa The Gentleman of 16 July – U.S.) (apa Under the Stars of Nice) (apa Robery Under the Streets of Nice) (apa Cinq Milliards au bout de l’égout and On Wings of Eagles. Some of Follett’s novels have also been adapted for screen and Television including Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.

Ray Bradbury

The American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction writer Ray Bradbury Sadly passed away on June 5th, 2012. Born August 22, 1920, he is best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers. Many of Bradbury’s works have been adapted into television shows or films, he is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories, and More than eight million copies of his works, published in over 36 languages, have been sold around the world. Throughout his youth Bradbury was an avid reader and writer and was interested in drawing, acting and writing. One of Bradbury’s earliest influences was Edgar Allan Poe.

At the age of twelve, Bradbury began writing traditional horror stories and tried to imitate Poe until he was about eighteen. At the time, his favorites were also Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter as well as comic books. He listened to the radio show Chandu the Magician, and when the show went off the air every night he would sit and write the entire script from memory. In his youth, he spent much time reading H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, He loved Burroughs’ The Warlord of Mars so much that at the age of 12 he wrote his own sequel. The young Bradbury also was a cartoonist and loved to illustrate. He wrote about Tarzan and drew his own Sunday panels. Bradbury claimed a wide variety of influences from Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, to Thomas Wolfe. He attended Los Angeles High School and was active in both the Poetry Club and the Drama club, continuing plans to become an actor but becoming serious about his writing as his high school years progressed. Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles High School, where he took poetry classes and short story writing courses where the teachers recognized his talent and furthered his interest in writing.

When he was seventeen, Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, and said he read everything by Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A.E. Van Vogt, but cited H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as his big science fiction influences. In 1936, Ray Bradbury discovered a handbill promoting meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. Thrilled to find there were others with his interests, at the age of sixteen Bradbury joined a weekly Thursday-night conclave. Soon Bradbury began submitting his short stories for publication. After a rejection notice from the pulp magazine Weird Tales, Bradbury submitted to other magazines.

During World War Two Ray Bradbury started a career in writing after being rejected by the military during World War II. Having been inspired by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Bradbury began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines, he was also invited to attend meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, which met in downtown Los Angeles. His first published story was “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma”, which appeared in the fanzine Imagination! in January, 1938. Bradbury’s first paid piece, “Pendulum,” written with Henry Hasse, was published in the pulp magazine Super Science Stories in November 1941,and he also published “The Lake”, and became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first collection of short stories, Dark Carnival, was published in 1947, Bradbury’s short stories, “Homecoming’” was also spotted and subsequently published in Madamoiselle magazine where it won a place in The O. Henry Prize Stories of 1947, Bradbury also wrote his classic story of a dystopian book-burning future, The Fireman, which was later published under the name, Fahrenheit 451.

Besides his fiction work, Bradbury wrote many short essays on the arts and culture, and In the 1980s, Bradbury concentrated on detective fiction. Several comic book writers have also adapted Bradbury’s stories. Particularly noted among these were EC Comics’ line of horror and science-fiction comics, which often featured Bradbury’s name on the cover announcing that one story in that issue would be an adaptation of his work. The comics featuring Bradbury’s stories included Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Crime Suspenstories, Haunt of Fear and others. Bradbury remained an enthusiastic playwright throughout his life and left a rich theatrical and literary legacy, indeed his obituary stated that Bradbury was “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.” And many of his works, including Something Wicked this way Comes, have also been adapted for film, audiobook and television