International Tiger Day

Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is held annually on July 29 to educate the public and raise awareness concerning tiger conservation,It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit. The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, most recognizable for their pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside. The species is classified in the genus Panthera with the lion, leopard, jaguar, and snow leopard. Tigers are apex predators, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and bovids. They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.

Tigers once ranged widely across eastern Eurasia, from the Black Sea in the west, to the Indian Ocean in the south, and from Kolyma to Sumatra in the east. Over the past 100 years, they have lost 93% of their historic range, and have been extirpated from Western and Central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, and from large areas of Southeast, Southern, and Eastern Asia. Today, they range from the Siberian taiga to open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps. The remaining six tiger subspecies have been classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The global population in the wild is estimated to number between 3,062 and 3,948 individuals, down from around 100,000 at the start of the 20th century, with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets isolated from each other, of which about 2,000 exist on the Indian subcontinent. A 2016 global census estimated the population of wild tigers at approximately 3,890 individuals . Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and poaching. The extent of area occupied by tigers is estimated at less than 1,184,911 km2 (457,497 sq mi), a 41% decline from the area estimated in the mid-1990s. In 2016, wildlife conservation group at WWF declared that world’s count of wild tigers has risen for the first time in a century.

The tiger’s closest living relatives were previously thought to be the lion, leopard and jaguar, all of which are classified under the genus Panthera. Genetic analysis indicates that the tiger and the snow leopard diverged from the other Panthera species about 2.88 million years ago, and that both species may be more closely related to each other than to the lion, leopard and jaguar. The oldest remains of an extinct tiger relative, called Panthera zdanskyi or the Longdan tiger, have been found in the Gansu province of northwestern China. This species is considered to be a sister taxon to the extant tiger and lived about 2 million years ago, at the beginning of the Pleistocene. It was smaller than the modern tiger, being the size of a jaguar, and probably did not have the same coat pattern. Despite being considered more “primitive”, the Longdan tiger was functionally and possibly ecologically similar to its modern cousin. As Panthera zdanskyi lived in northwestern China, that may have been where the tiger lineage originated. Tigers grew in size, possibly in response to adaptive radiations of prey species like deer and bovids which may have occurred in Southeast Asia during the early Pleistocene.

The earliest fossils of true tigers are from Java, and are between 1.6 and 1.8 million years old. Distinct fossils are known from the early and middle Pleistocene deposits in China and Sumatra. A subspecies called the Trinil tiger (Panthera tigris trinilensis) lived about 1.2 million years ago and is known from fossils found at Trinil in Java. Tigers first reached India and northern Asia in the late Pleistocene, reaching eastern Beringia (but not the American Continent), Japan, and Sakhalin. As evidenced by Sandra Herrington, some fossil skulls that are morphologically distinct from lion skulls could indicate however that tigers might have been present in Alaska within the last 100,000 years during the last glaciation. Fossils found in Japan indicate the local tigers were, like the surviving island subspecies, smaller than the mainland forms, an example of insular dwarfism. Until the Holocene, tigers also lived in Borneo, as well as on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. As of the Middle Ages, Caspian tigers were noted to range in the Pontic-Caspian steppes of Ukraine and southern Russia.

The tiger’s full genome sequence was published in 2013. It and other cat genomes were found to have similar repeat compositions. There are 11 recognised tiger subspecies. Two, the Trinil and Japanese tigers, became extinct in prehistoric times. The remaining subspecies all survived at least into the mid-20th century; three of these are also considered extinct. Their core historical range in South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan), Eastern Asia (China, Mongolia, North Korea, Siberia, South Korea) and South East Asia, including three Indonesian islands, is severely constricted today, and the populations in the Black Sea (Iran, Georgia, Southern Russia, Turkey) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) are now extinct.

Tigers are among the most recognisable and popular of the world’s charismatic megafauna. They have featured prominently in ancient mythology and folklore, and continue to be depicted in modern films and literature. They appear on many flags, coats of arms, and as mascots for sporting teams. The tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and South Korea.

Vincent van Goch

Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent Willem van Gogh sadly passed away 29 July 1890 at the age of 37 years old in Auvers-sur-Oise, France. He was born 30th March 1853, his work is notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he died aged 37 from a gunshot wound, generally accepted to be self-inflicted (although no gun was ever found).His work was then known to only a handful of people and appreciated by fewer still.Van Gogh began to draw as a child, and he continued to draw throughout the years that led up to his decision to become an artist. He did not begin painting until his late twenties, completing many of his best-known works during the last two years of his life. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes, portraits and paintings of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.

Van Gogh spent his early adulthood working for a firm of art dealers, traveling between The Hague, London and Paris, after which he taught for a time in England. One of his early aspirations was to become a pastor and from 1879 he worked as a missionary in a mining region in Belgium where he began to sketch people from the local community. In 1885, he painted his first major work The Potato Eaters. His palette at the time consisted mainly of somber earth tones and showed no sign of the vivid coloration that distinguished his later work. In March 1886, he moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. Later, he moved to the south of France and was influenced by the strong sunlight he found there.

His work grew brighter in color, and he developed the unique and highly recognizable style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in 1888. The extent to which his mental health affected his painting has been a subject of speculation since his death. Despite a widespread tendency to romanticize his ill health, modern critics see an artist deeply frustrated by the inactivity and incoherence brought about by his bouts of illness. According to art critic Robert Hughes, Van Gogh’s late works show an artist at the height of his ability, completely in control and “longing for concision and grace”.

Geddy Lee (Rush)

Geddy Lee lead singer with rock band Rush) was born 29 July 1953. Rush were formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, an lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist and backing vocalist Alex Lifeson, and drummer, percussionist and lyricist Neil Peart. The band’s membership continually changed between 1968 and 1974, Neil Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group’s first United States tour, during which they played Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, which also became Rush’s very first radio broadcast and the concert is featured on the Album “ABC 1974″. In 1975 Rush played songs from the groups second album Fly by Night at the Agora and would go onto play many more shows at Agora Ballroom.

The original line-up formed in the neighbourhood of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario, by guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist and front man Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey. Within a couple of weeks of forming, and before their second performance, bassist and lead vocalist Jones left the band and was replaced by Geddy Lee, a schoolmate of Lifeson’s. After several line-up reformations, Rush’s official incarnation formed in May 1971 consisting of Lee, Lifeson, and Rutsey. The name “Rush” was suggested by John Rutsey’s brother, Bill. The band was managed by local Toronto resident Ray Danniels, a frequent attendee of Rush’s early shows.Rush played at the local bar and high school dance circuit, the band members released their first single “Not Fade Away”, a cover of the Buddy Holly song, in 1973. Side B contained an original composition, “You Can’t Fight It”, credited to Lee and Rutsey. The band formed their own independent record label, Moon Records. With the aid of Danniels and the newly enlisted engineer Terry Brown, the band released its self-titled debut album in 1974, featuring he song “Working Man”. Immediately after the release of the debut album, Rutsey left the band due to health difficulties stemming from diabetes, and his distaste for touring. His last performance with the band was on July 25, 1974, at Centennial Hall in London, Ontario.

Rush selected Neil Peart as Rutsey’s replacement. Peart officially joined the band on July 29, 1974, two weeks before the group’s first US tour. They performed their first concert together, opening for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann with an attendance of over 11,000 people at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 14. In addition to becoming the band’s drummer, Peart assumed the role of principal lyricist from Lee, who had very little interest in writing, despite having penned the lyrics of the band’s first album. Lee and Lifeson focused primarily on the instrumental aspects of Rush. Fly by Night (1975), Rush’s first album after recruiting Peart, saw the inclusion of the band’s first epic mini-tale “By-Tor and the Snow Dog”, replete with complex arrangements and a multi-section format. Lyrical themes also underwent dramatic changes because of Peart’s love for fantasy and science-fiction literature. Despite these many differences, some of the music and songs still closely mirrored the blues style found on Rush’s debut.

The band followed Fly by Night with Caress of Steel (1975), a five-track album featuring two extended multi-chapter songs, “The Necromancer” and “The Fountain of Lamneth”. Rush’s next album 2112 contained a 20-minute title track divided into seven sections. This was followed by a supporting tour including three-nights at Massey Hall in Toronto, which was recorded for Rush’s first live album, All the World’s a Stage. Following 2112, Rush ecorded A Farewell to Kings (1977) and Hemispheres (1978) at Rockfield Studios in Wales. Rush Began began to record lengthy songs, with a more progressive sound which included increased synthesiser usage and highly dynamic playing featuring complex time signature changes which became a staple of Rush’s compositions. Lifeson began to experiment with classical and twelve-string guitars, and Lee added bass-pedal synthesizers and Minimoog. Likewise, Peart’s percussion became diversified in the form of triangles, glockenspiel, wood blocks, cowbells, timpani, gong, and chimes. Rush Continued to compose long, conceptual songs with science fiction and fantasy overtones.

Rush gradually began playing shorter and sometimes softer arrangements. up to this point The lyrics had been heavily influenced by classical poetry, fantasy literature, science fiction, and the writings of novelist Ayn Rand. The next album Permanent Waves (1980) incroporated reggae, more synthesizers and new wave elements alongside hard rock. Permanent Waves included shorter, more radio-friendly songs such as “The Spirit of Radio” and “Freewill”. Peart’s lyrics dwelled less on fantastical or allegorical story-telling and more heavily on humanistic, social, and emotional elements. In 1980 Rush recorded “Battle Scar”with fellow Toronto-based rock band Max Webster for the album Universal Juveniles. Max Webster lyricist Pye Dubois offered the band lyrics to a song he had written which was reworked by Peart, to become “Tom Sawyer” which was released on the album Moving Pictures in 1981 alongside “Limelight”and the eleven-minute “The Camera Eye”. Following the success of Moving Pictures and having completed another four studio albums, Rush released a second live recording, Exit…Stage Left, in 1981. In 1982 Rush released the albumSignals Featuring the songs “Countdown”, New World Man”, “Subdivisions”,”Digital Man”, “The Weapon”, “Chemistry” and “Losing It” this incorporated ska, reggae, and funk.

Sadly long-time producer Terry Brown left in 1983 following creative differences with the band. In 1984 Rush released Grace Under Pressure the title was inspired by Ernest Hemingway. Rush hired Peter Henderson to co-produce and engineer the album instead. Neil Peart began incorporating more Simmons Electronic Drums, sequencers and synthesizers combined with Lifeson’s guitar playing using open reggae chords and funk and new-wave rhythms.With new producer Peter Collins, the band released Power Windows (1985) and Hold Your Fire (1987) which featured Lee’s multi-layered synthesizer work rather than Guitars. Lifeson, like many guitarists in the mid-to-late 1980s, experimented with processors that reduced his instrument to echoey chord bursts and razor-thin leads. A third live album and video, A Show of Hands (1989), was also released. In 1990 Mercury released a double platinum two-volume compilation of their Rush catalogue, Chronicles. Rush then released the albums Presto and Roll the Bones. Produced by record engineer and musician Rupert Hine, These were more guitar-centric than the previous two studio albums. Although synthesizers were still used in many songs. Roll the Bones (1991) extended the use of the standard three-instrument approach with even less focus on synthesizers than its predecessor. It also featured funk and hip hop elements, and the instrumental track “Where’s My Thing?” Plus several jazz components and a more streamlined rock formula.

In 1993 Rush released the albums Counterparts and Test for Echo in 1996. These are two of Rush’s most guitar-driven albums. The latter album also includes elements of jazz and swing drumming by Peart, and embarked on the North American tour, “An Evening with Rush”. Following the Test for Echo tour in 1997, Rush had a five-year break, due to personal tragedies in Peart’s life. Peart’s daughter Selena died in a car accident in August 1997, followed by the death of his wife Jacqueline from cancer in June 1999. Peart travelled extensively throughout North America on his BMW motorcycle, to mourn and reflect, covering 88,000 km (55,000 mi). Peart wrote the book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road is a chronicle of his journey and In 1998, a three-disc live album entitled Different Stages was released, dedicated to the memory of Selena and Jacqueline, Featuring performances from the band’s Counterparts, Test For Echo, and Farewell to Kings tours, marking the band’s fourth live album.

While visiting long-time Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan in Los Angeles, Peart was introduced to his future wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall. Peart married Nuttall on September 9, 2000. In 2002 Rush released the album Vapor Trails, featuring the song “One Little Victory”. This album was guitar driven with rapid guitar and drum tempos but no Synthesizers. In 2003 It was accompanied by A live album and DVD, Rush in Rio, featuring an entire concert performance recorded on November 23, 2002, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary. June 2004 saw the release of the EP Feedback featuring eight covers of songs by Cream, The Who and The Yardbirds, bands which the members of Rush cite as inspiration. Rush also embarked on a 30th Anniversary Tour in the summer of 2004 playing dates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. The concert at The Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany was also filmed for a DVD titled R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour, released in 2005.

In 2007 Rush released their next album Snakes & Arrows featuring the songs “Far Cry”, Spindrift” and “The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum)”. A tour in support of Snakes & Arrows began in Atlanta, Georgia, finishing at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. The 2008 portion began in San Juan, Puerto Rico at José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, and ended in Noblesville, Indiana at the Verizon Wireless Music Center. Rush also released Snakes & Arrows Live, a double live album recorded at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands. A DVD and Blu-ray was also released including four songs recorded at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2008 Rush appeared on The Colbert Report and performed “Tom Sawyer”, they also made a cameo appearance in the 2009 comedy film I Love You, Man, starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel.

In 2009, Lee, Lifeson and Peart were awarded the International Achievement Award at the annual SOCAN Awards in Toronto. In 2010 Rush were inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame at the Toronto Centre for the Arts’ George Weston Recital Hall. The band was recognized for the songs “Limelight”, “Closer to the Heart”, “The Spirit of Radio”, “Tom Sawyer” and “Subdivisions”. In 2010 Rush embarked on the Rush Time Machine Tour, starting in in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and finishing in Santiago, Chile, at the National Stadium, Playing the album Moving Pictures together with “Caravan” and “BU2B”. They extended the Time Machine Tour. Starting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and finishing in George, Washington. Rush also released Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, a concert DVD, Blu-ray and double CD concert filmed at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rush’s next album Clockwork Angels was released in 2012 featuring the songs “Caravan” “Headlong Flight” and “BU2B” and Followed by a supporting Clockwork Angels Tour. Rush were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Rush also played at the Sweden Rock Festival and The band’s performances in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas were also recorded to make a live CD/DVD/Blu-ray. In 2014, the R40 box set was released to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the release of the band’s self-titled debut album. Which included five previously released live video albums, as well as various previously unreleased footage from across the band’s career. In 2015, the band officially announced the Rush R40 Tour, celebrating the fortieth anniversary of drummer Neil Peart’s membership in the band. The tour started at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and finished at The Forum in Los Angeles. In 2015, Alex Lifeson stated that R40 might be the final large-scale Rush tour due to his psoriatic arthritis and Peart’s chronic tendinitis, but said he would like to work on soundtracks with Geddy Lee. Rush also released a documentary, entitled Time Stand Still.