More National, international events and Holidays

National Floral Design Day is observed annually on February 28th to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Carl Rittner, on 28 February 1914. Rittner is a pioneer in floral art education and founded the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston . It came about after The people at Rittners felt that a holiday was needed which celebrated floral design as an art form so In 1995, Governor William F. Weld of Massachusetts, officially proclaimed this day as Floral Design Day.

  • National Public Sleeping Day
  • Floral Design Day
  • National Chocolate Souffle Day
  • National Tooth Fairy Day
  • Rare Disease Day

Sir John Tenniel

English illustrator, graphic humourist, and political cartoonist Sir John Tenniel was born 28 February 1820 in Bayswater, West London, Tenniel had five siblings; two brothers and three sisters. One sister, Mary, was later to marry Thomas Goodwin Green, owner of the pottery that produced Cornishware. Tenniel was a quiet and introverted person, both as a boy and as an adult. In 1840, while practising fencing with his father, Tenniel received a serious eye wound from his father’s foil, which had accidentally lost its protective tip. Over the years Tenniel gradually lost sight in his right eye.

Tenniel became a student of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1842 and was admitted after making several copies of classical sculptures to provide the necessary admission portfolio. While Tenniel’s more formal training at the Royal Academy and at other institutions was beneficial in nurturing his artistic ambitions, it failed in Tenniel’s mind because he disagreed with the school’s teaching methods, resulting in Tenniel educating himself for his career. Tenniel studied classical sculptures through painting; but was frustrated that he was never taught how to draw. Tenniel would draw the classical statues at the London’s Townley Gallery, copied illustrations from books of costumes and armor in the British museum, and drew the animals from the zoo in Regent’s Park as well as the actors from the London theatres, which were drawn from the pits.

It was during these studies that Tenniel learned to appreciate detail; however, he became impatient with his work and was the happiest when he could draw from memory. Tenniel was blessed with a photographic memory, undermining his early training and seriously restricting his artistic ambitions. Tenniel also participated in an artists group, free from the rules of the academy which had previously stifled Tenniel.

In the mid-1840s Tenniel joined the Artist’s Society or Clipstone Street Life Academy. Tenniel’s first book illustration was for Samuel Carter Hall’s The Book of British Ballads. During 1842 various Government backed contests were also taking place in London, To combat the growing Germanic Nazarenes style and promote a truly national English school of art. Tenniel planned to enter the 1845 House of Lords competition for the chance to design the mural decoration of the new Palace of Westminster and submitted the cartoon, An Allegory of Justice, for which he received a £200 premium and a commission to paint a fresco in the Upper Waiting Hall (or Hall of Poets) in the House of Lords.

Tenniel began incorporating more detail in backgrounds and figures and started producing more precisely-designed illustrations which depicted specific moments of time, locale, and individual character instead of just generalized scenes. Tenniel also developed a new interest in human types, expressions, and individualized representation. This style probably stemmed from his earlier interest in caricature. In Tenniel’s first years on Punch he developed this caricaturist’s interest in the uniqueness of persons and things, giving anthropomorphic qualities to inanimate objects and buildings. He also began using vigorously hand-drawn hatching greatly intensifying darker areas

In 1850 he was invited by Mark Lemon to fill the position of joint cartoonist (with John Leech) on Punch. He had been selected on the strength of his recent illustrations to Aesop’s Fables. He contributed his first drawing in the initial letter appearing on p. 224, vol. xix. His first cartoon was Lord Jack the Giant Killer, which showed Lord John Russell assailing Cardinal WisemaIn 1861, Tenniel was offered a position at Punch, as political cartoonist; however, Tenniel still maintained some sense of decorum and restraint into the heated social and political issues of the day. John Tenniel’s satirical, often radical and at times vitriolic images of the world, remained a steadfast social commentary of the sweeping national, political and social reforms taking place. Tenniel’s work, was often scathing in it’s depiction of the issues of working class radicalism, labour, war, economy, and other national themes.

Many of Tenniel’s political cartoons expressed strong hostility to Irish Nationalism, with Fenians depicted as monstrous, brutes, while “Hibernia”—the personification of Ireland—was depicted as a beautiful, helpless young girl threatened by these “monsters” and turning for protection to “her elder sister”, the powerful armoured Britannia. His drawing “An Unequal Match”, depicted a police officer fighting a criminal with only a ‘baton’ for protection, Tenniel’s work at Punch was often controversial and socially sensitive, amd expressed the voices of the British public. Tenniel contributed around 2,300 cartoons, innumerable minor drawings, many double-page cartoons for Punch’s Almanac and other special numbers, and 250 designs for Punch’s Pocket-books expressing the Victorian public’s mood for liberal social changes

Tenniel is also remembered for Illustrating Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Lewis Carroll originally illustrated Wonderland himself, but his artistic abilities were limited. Engraver Orlando Jewitt, who had worked for Carroll in 1859 and had reviewed Carroll’s drawings for Wonderland, suggested that he employ a professional illustrator. Carroll was a regular reader of Punch and was therefore familiar with Tenniel. So In 1865 Tenniel, illustrated the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. His style was rather disturbing and grotesque featuring dark atmospheric compositions of exaggerated fantasy creatures, often featuring animal heads on humans and the merging of beings with objects and this “grotesqueness” was one of the main reasons why Lewis Carroll wanted him to illustrate the Alice books.

In 1893 Tenniel was knighted for his public service by Queen Victoria. When he retired in January 1901, Tenniel was honoured with a farewell banquet at which AJ Balfour, then Leader of the House of Commons, presided. Sir John Tenniel Sadly died 25 February 1914 at the age of 93. However many of his wonderfully imaginative drawings and political cartoons were published.

Rare Disease Day

Rare Disease Day takes place on the last day of February. The purpose of Rare Disease Day is to raise the public awareness of rare diseases and improve access to treatment and medical representation for individuals with rare diseases and their families. It was established in 2008 because, according to European Organisation for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS), treatment for many rare diseases is insufficient, as are the social networks to support individuals with rare diseases and their families. In 2009 Rare Disease Day went global as National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) mobilized 200 rare disease patient advocacy organizations in the United States while organizations in China, Australia, Taiwan, and Latin America also lead efforts in their respective countries to coordinate activities and promote the day. leading rare disease patient advocacy organizations including the Global Genes Project have joined forces to promote Rare Disease Day.

The first Rare Disease Day was held on 29 February 2008 in numerous European nations and in Canada through the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, organized by EURORDIS. The date was chosen because February 29 is a “rare day,” and 2008 was the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Orphan Drug Act in the United States.bIndividuals observing Rare Disease Day took part in walks and press conferences to raise public awareness of rare diseases, organized fundraisers, and wrote en masse to government representatives; health-related non-profit organizations across numerous countries also held events, gatherings, and campaigns. The day also included an open session of the European Parliament specifically dedicated to discussing policy issues relating to rare diseases. The days leading up to Rare Disease Day included other policy-related events in numerous locations, such as a reception in the British Parliament where policymakers met with individuals with rare diseases to discuss issues such as “equal access and availability of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.”

In 2009 Rare Disease Day was observed for the first time in Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, the People’s Republic of China, and the United States.In the United States, NORD signed on to coordinate Rare Disease Day on February 28 and collaborated with media partner The Discovery Channel and program partner Mystery Diagnosis,bas well about 180 other partners, to organize activities across the country for the observance of Rare Disease Day.vSeveral United States state governments issued proclamations regarding Rare Disease Day. In Europe, over 600 patient advocacy and support organizations, again coordinated by EURORDIS, also planned events. The theme for Rare Disease Day 2010 was “Patients and Researchers: Partners for Life”. The event saw the participation of a total of 46 countries participated in 2010. Newcomers from Eastern Europe were Latvia, Lithuania Slovenia and Georgia. 3 African countries joined the event as well. The Theme for Rare Disease Day 2011 was “Rare Diseases and Health Inequalities”, to focus on differences for rare disease patients between and within countries, and compared to other segments of society, in order to ensure equal access for patients to health care, social services and rights, and to orphan drugs and treatments.

Rare Disease Day 2012 was the fifth to be observed and since 2012 was a leap year, this was the second time the day falls on the originally intended date (February 29, a Wednesday). Each year, the global planning committee, under the leadership of EURORDIS and with NORD as the US representative, selects a theme to be used around the world. For 2012, the theme was “Solidarity” and the slogan was “Rare But Strong Together”. Other members of the global planning committee include representatives from the national rare disease alliances in several European countries. Thousands of patient advocacy organizations also got involved, including more than 600 partners working with NORD in the US to promote Rare Disease Day.

The theme for 2017 and 2018 is research with many events taking place around the globe, the tagline of the campaign is “with research, possibilities are limitless” – This years theme aims to draw attention to the fact that more research is urgently needed to help patients.

Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones)

The late, great Brian Jones, former member of the rock group The Rolling Stones was born 28 February 1942 and joined The Rolling Stones after fellow members Keith Richards, Mick Taylor and Mick Jagger discovered him playing slide guitar with Alaxis Corner’s r&B band “Blue Incorperated along with Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts. The Rolling Stone were formed in London in 1962 When Keith Richards and Mick Jagger who were childhood friends and classmates, discovered that they shared a common interest in the music of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. leading to the formation of a band with Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things).On 12 July 1962 the band played their first gig at the Marquee Club billed as “The Rollin’ Stones” with Jagger, Richards and Jones, along with Stewart on piano, and Mick Taylor on bass.

Bassist Bill Wyman joined in December 1962 and drummer Charlie Watts in January 1963 .Their first single, was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On” and their second single, was “I Wanna Be Your Man”, Their third single, Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”. The band’s second UK LP – The Rolling Stones No. 2, yielded the singles “The Last Time”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Get Off of My Cloud”. The third album “Aftermath” was released in 1966, contained the singles “Paint It Black”, the ballad “Lady Jane” “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” “Goin’ Home” and “Under My Thumb”. In 1967 the Rolling Stones released the album “Between the Buttons”, which included the double A-side single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday”, and the release of the Satanic Majesties Request LP. the next album, Beggars Banquet was an eclectic mix of country and blues-inspired tunes,featuring the singles “Street Fighting Man” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Sympathy for the Devil. The Stones next album Let It Bleed featured the song “Gimmie Shelter”, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” “Midnight Rambler” and “Love in Vain”. The next album Sticky Finger was released in 1971 and featured an elaborate cover design by Andy Warhol, and contains the hits, “Brown Sugar”, and “Wild Horses”. sadly Brian Jones tragically died 3 July 1969.

The Stones classic double album, Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972. their follow-up album Goats Head Soup, featured the hit “Angie”. Their next album was 1974′s It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll. Some Girls, which included the hit single “Miss You”, the country ballad “Far Away Eyes”, “Beast of Burden”, and “Shattered”. The band released their next albums Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You in 1980 which featured the single “Start Me Up”. in 1982 the Rolling Stones toured Europe to commemorate their 20th anniversary and released their next album Undercover in late 1983. In 1986′s the album Dirty Work was released,which contained the song “Harlem Shuffle”. The next album “Steel Wheels” included the singles “Mixed Emotions”, “Rock and a Hard Place”, “Almost Hear You Sigh” and “Continental Drift”. their next studio album 1994′s Voodoo Lounge went double platinum in the US. and won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. The Rolling Stones ended the 1990s with the album Bridges to Babylon which was released in 1997. In 2002, the band released Forty Licks, a greatest hits double album, to mark their forty years as a band.

In 2012 The Rolling Stones released the album Grrrr to celebrate their 50th anniversary and have also made a documentary called Crossfire Hurricane. They also played Glastonbury Festival in 2013. The Rolling Stones also released the rhythm and blues tinged Album Blue and Lonesome in 2017. The Rolling Stones are one of the of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music and In early 1989, the Rolling Stones, including Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart (posthumously), were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Q magazine also named them one of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”, and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Rolling Stone magazine ranked them 4th on their “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list.

Cindy Wilson (B-52’s)

Cindy Wilson, American singer-songwriter with the B52s was born 28 February 1957. B-52s were formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976. The original line-up consisted of Fred Schneider(vocals, percussion, keyboards), Kate Pierson (organ, bass, vocals), Cindy Wilson(vocals, bongos, tambourine, guitar), Ricky Wilson (guitars), and Keith Strickland(drums, guitars, synthesizers, various instruments) and cowbell player, poet and vocalist Fred Schneider played an impromptu musical jam session after sharing a tropical Flaming Volcano drink at a local Athens Chinese restaurant. Other ideas they had to name their band were the “Tina-Trons” and “Felini’s Children”. When they first jammed, Strickland played guitar and Wilson played congas. They later played their first concert (with Wilson playing guitar) in 1977 at a Valentine’s Day party for their friends.

The band’s name comes from a particular beehive hairdo resembling the nose cone of the aircraft of the same name. Keith Strickland suggested the name after a dream he had had one night, of a band performing in a hotel lounge. In the dream he heard someone whisper in his ear that the name of the band was “the B-52s.” The band’s quirky take on the new wave sound of their era was a combination of dance and surf music set apart from their contemporaries by the unusual guitar tunings used by Ricky Wilson and thrift-store chic. Their first single, “Rock Lobster”, recorded in 1978, was an underground success, which led to the B-52’s performing at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City in New York City. A rerecorded version of Rock Lobster was released as a single. In the UK and Germany it was backed with Running Around (Instrumental), which appeared on their second album Wild Planet. The buzz created by the record in the UK meant their first show in London at the Electric Ballroom, London, was packed in anticipation, with many UK pop stars such as Sandie Shaw, Green Gartside from Scritti Politti, Joe Jackson, and others in attendance. In Canada, released on the Warner Bros. label, the single went from cult hit to bona fide smash, eventually going on to reach the No. 1 position in the RPM-compiled national chart on May 24, 1980.

In 1979 The B-52’s signed contracts with Warner Bros. Records for North America, South America, Australia, and New Zealand; and with Island Records for the UK, Europe, and Asia. Chris Blackwell, founder of Island, produced their debut studio album. Recorded at Blackwell’s Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas, and released on July 6, 1979, The B-52’s contained re-recorded versions of “Rock Lobster” and “52 Girls”, six originals recorded solely for the album, and a remake of the Petula Clark single “Downtown”. According to the band interview on the DVD With the Wild Crowd! Live in Athens, GA, the band was surprised by Blackwell’s recording methods; he wanted to keep the sound as close as possible to their actual live sound so used almost no overdubs or additional effects. The album was a major success for the band, especially in Australia where it reached number three on the charts alongside its three singles “Planet Claire”, “Rock Lobster”, and “Dance This Mess Around”. In the United States, the single “Rock Lobster” reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while the album itself was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The follow-up, Wild Planet, reached number eighteen on the Billboard 200 chart in 1980 and was certified gold. “Private Idaho” became their second Hot 100 entry. On January 26, 1980, The B-52’s performed on Saturday Night Live. They also performed at the Heatwave festival (billed as the “New Wave Woodstock”) in Toronto, Canada in August 1980; and appeared in the Paul Simon film One Trick Pony. Their third release was a remix of tracks from their first two studio albums. Party Mix! took six tracks from the first two LPs and presented them in extended forms. John Lennon cited “Rock Lobster” as an inspiration for his comeback. In 1981 the band collaborated with musician David Byrne to produce a third full-length studio album. Due to alleged conflicts with Byrne over the album’s musical direction recording sessions for the album were aborted, prompting the band to release Mesopotamia (1982) as an extended play (EP), in 1991, Party Mix! and Mesopotamia, the latter of which had been remixed, were combined and released together on a single compact disc. In 1983 the band released their fourth album Whammy!; this album brought the band into synthesizer and drum machine experimentation. The album entered the Billboard 200 chart in 1983, reaching number twenty-nine during the year. “Legal Tender” reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Singles chart alongside “Whammy Kiss” and “Song for a Future Generation”. After initial pressings of Whammy! were released, copyright issues with Yoko Ono led to the song “Don’t Worry” being removed and replaced on future pressings by “Moon 83″, a remixed version of the track “There’s a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)” from their debut album.

The B-52’s regrouped in 1985 to record Bouncing off the Satellites, their fifth studio record, and in January of that year they performed in Brazil, at Rock in Rio; their largest crowd ever. During the recording, guitarist Wilson announced he had been suffering from AIDS/HIV-related health complications. None of the other band members were aware of his illness. In an interview, fellow band member Kate Pierson stated that Wilson had kept his illness secret from his fellow band members because he “did not want anyone to worry about him or fuss about him.” On October 12, 1985 Wilson died from the illness, at the age of 32. With Cindy Wilson devastated by her brother’s death, and her bandmates too being depressed about Ricky’s passing, the band went into seclusion and did not tour to promote their album nor the group, prompting a hiatus from their musical careers. In 1987 they released a public service announcement in the style of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover on behalf of AMFAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research).

Following Ricky Wilson’s death in 1985 Strickland switched full-time to guitar. The band subsequently added various musicians for their live shows. This included Sara Lee or Tracy Wormworth on (bass), Zachary Alford or Sterling Campbell on (drums, percussion) and Pat Irwin or Paul Gordon (keyboards & guitars). The B-52’s sound is Rooted in new wave and 1960s rock and roll, Although they have covered many other genres ranging from post-punk to pop rock. The “guy vs. gals” vocals of Schneider, Pierson, and Wilson, sometimes used in call and response style (“Strobe Light,” “Private Idaho”, and “Good Stuff”), are a trademark. Presenting themselves as a positive, fun, enthusiastic, slightly oddball and goofy party band, the B-52’s tell tall tales, glorify wild youth and celebrate sexy romance.

Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves

I would like to read Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves. It is the eighth murder mystery in the Shetland series of novels and features dysfunctional families and fractured relationships. It features Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez and concerns knitwear designer Helena and architect Daniel Fleming and their children, autistic Christopher, and Ellie, who move into a remote community of Deltaness in the north of Shetland, looking for a fresh start away from their busy London lives.

However, they learn that the previous owner of their home, tragically hanged himself in the barn and the Flemings are greeted by hate, resentment and jealousy by the locals, including malicious and vindictive Margaret Riddell who is jealous of and resents the Flemings and the Moncrieffs, and makes matters worse with her malicious gossip and rumours.

Then Helen becomes even more unsettled, when she starts recieving anonymous notes with a hangman, and find Deltaness claustrophobic and gossipy, while Christopher, who is mesmerised by fire, is shunned by fellow pupils and lives a largely solitary existence. Then Christopher makes a rather macabre discovery in the barn concerning Their nanny seventeen year old Emma Moncrief.

Chief Inspector Willow Reeves returns to Shetland with personal news for Perez which he handles rather badly, and despite the tensions that arise between them, they need to find a way of working together if they are to solve the latest case. They discover that Emma Moncrief was a troubled teenage had a traumatic history of family domestic violence who was recommended to Dr Robert Moncrieff as a nanny, and has helped in their home and looked after their four children ever since. With her retro 1950s elegant hand made dresses, she has caught the eyes of a number of men. The Moncrieffs and the Flemings are the main suspects in the wide ranging inquiry.

International Events and Holidays happening 27 February

  • International Polar Bear Day
  • International Tongue Twister Contest Day
  • National Kahlua Day
  • National Strawberry Day
  • Open That Bottle Night

National Kahlua day takes place annually on 27 February. Kahlúa is a coffee-flavored liqueur from Mexico. The drink contains rum, sugar, vanilla bean, and arabica coffee. Kahlúa is used to make cocktails or drink neat or on ice. Some people use it when baking desserts, and/or as a topping for ice cream, cakes, and cheesecakes. It can be mixed in several ways, often with different combinations of milk, cream, coffee and cocoa.

According to the company, it contains “approximately 10 mg per 100 mL (of caffeine 4.85 mg in each 1.5 oz) drink” or about 25% the amount found in the same volume of coffee Kahlúa is a key ingredient in a number of notable cocktails including Espresso Martini, White Russian, Black Russian, Mind Eraser, B-52, Baby Guinness, Brave Bull, Colorado Bulldog, Dirty Mother, Kahlúa Sour, Moose Milk, Mudslide, Spanish coffee.

Kahlúa’s origins go back to 1936 when Pedro Domecq began producing Kahlúa. It was named Kahlúa, meaning “House of the Acolhua people” in the Veracruz Nahuatl language spoken before the Spanish Conquest. Kahlúa was Hispanicized as Ulúa, forming the name of the modern San Juan de Ulúa fortress. The company merged in 1994 with Allied Lyons to become Allied Domecq. In turn, that company was partially acquired in 2005 by Pernod Ricard, the largest spirits distributor in the world since its merger with the Swedish Vin & Sprit in March 2008.

Since 2004, the alcohol content of Kahlúa is 20.0%; earlier versions had 26.5%. In 2002, a more expensive, high-end product called “Kahlúa Especial” became available in the United States, Canada and Australia after previously being offered only in duty-free markets. Made with arabica coffee beans grown in Veracruz, Mexico, Kahlúa Especial has an alcohol content of 36%, has a lower viscosity, and is less sweet than the regular version.