National Bird Day

House_SparrowNational Bird Day is an annual holiday which takes place on 5 January. The purpose of National Bird day is to check the health of the global bird population as this is a reflection of and early warning system for our wider ecological health. Current research indicates that up to 12% of all species of birds may be at risk of becoming extinct in the next century and National Bird Day aims to raise awareness of the plights faced by common and rare birds, from disease and environmental factors to illegal trade and welfare in captivity..

People can get involved in National Bird Day through birdwatching, studying birds, and other bird related activities. Many bird enthusiasts celebrate by adopting birds and educating future bird owners about the special issues involved with taking care of birds, including their “screaming, biting, constant cleanups, the need for daily interaction and a varied diet”. There are also bird drinking games including ‘bird date’ and other bird-related activities. Bird adoption is also a particularly important National Bird Day activity

Since 1979, bird lovers in the United Kingdom have also taken part in the annual Big Garden Birdwatch which is coordinated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. This involves spending an hour counting the birds in your garden And gives scientists an insight into how well various species of birds are doing.

Hayao Miyazaki

Japanese film director, animator, manga artist, illustrator, producer and screenwriter Hayao Miyazaki was born January 5, 1941 . Through a career that has spanned six decades, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a maker of anime feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio. The success of Miyazaki’s films has invited comparisons with American animator Walt Disney, British animator Nick Park, and American director Steven Spielberg.

image.jpeg

Born in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Miyazaki began his animation career in 1963, when he joined Toei Animation. From there, Miyazaki worked as an in-between artist for Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon where he pitched his own ideas that eventually became the movie’s ending. He continued to work in various roles in the animation industry over the decade until he was able to direct his first feature film Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro which was released in 1979.

After the success of his next film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, he co-founded Studio Ghibli where he continued to produce many feature films besides during a ‘temporary retirement’ in 1997 following Princess Mononoke. While Miyazaki’s films have long enjoyed both commercial and critical success in Japan, he remained largely unknown to the West until Miramax Films released Princess Mononoke. Princess Mononoke was the highest-grossing film in Japan—until it was eclipsed by another 1997 film, Titanic—and the first animated film to win Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards. Miyazaki returned to animation with Spirited Away. The film topped Titanic’s sales at the Japanese box office, also won Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards and was the first anime film to win an American Academy Award.

Miyazaki’s films often contain recurrent themes like humanity’s relationship with nature and technology,(Such as Princess Mononoke) and the difficulty of maintaining a pacifist ethic. The protagonists of his films are often strong, independent girls or young women. While two of his films, The Castle of Cagliostro and Castle in the Sky, involve traditional villains, his other films like Nausicaä and Princess Mononoke present morally ambiguous antagonists with redeeming qualities. He co-wrote films The Secret World of Arrietty, released in July 2010 in Japan and February 2012 in the United States; and From Up on Poppy Hill release in July 2011 in Japan and March 2013 in the United States. Miyazaki’s newest film The Wind Rises was released in 2013. In addition to his acclaimed film work, Miyazaki has created manga that have reached world wide audiences.