William Shatner

Canadian actor, author, producer, and director William Shatner OC ( was born March 22, 1932 in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood of Montréal, Québec, Canada. Shatner attended two schools in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Willingdon Elementary School and West Hill High School and is an alumnus of the Montreal Children’s Theatre. He studied Economics at the McGill University Faculty of Management in Montreal, Canada, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. In June 2011, McGill University awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Letters.

After graduating from McGill University in 1952, Shatner became the business manager for the Mountain Playhouse in Montreal before joining the Canadian National Repertory Theatre in Ottawa, where he trained as a classical Shakespearean actor. Shatner began performing at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, beginning in 1954. He played a range of roles at the Stratford Festival in productions that included a minor role in the opening scene of a renowned and nationally televised production of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex directed by Tyrone Guthrie, Shakespeare’s Henry V, and Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great, in which Shatner made his Broadway debut in 1956. In 1954, he was cast as Ranger Bob on The Canadian Howdy Doody Show. Shatner was an understudy to Christopher Plummer;

His film debut was in the Canadian film Butler’s Night Off (1951). His first feature role came in the MGM film The Brothers Karamazov (1958) with Yul Brynner, in which he starred as the youngest of the Karamazov brothers, Alexei. In 1958, he appeared opposite Ralph Bellamy, playing Roman tax collectors in Bethlehem on the day of Jesus’ birth in a vignette of a Hallmark Hall of Fame live television production entitled The Christmas Tree, which featured in other vignettes such performers as Jessica Tandy, Margaret Hamilton, Bernadette Peters, Richard Thomas, Cyril Ritchard, and Carol Channing. Shatner had a leading role in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “The Glass Eye. He also received good reviews when he played the role of Lomax in the 1959 Broadway production of The World of Suzie Wong. Shatner also portrayed detective Archie Goodwin in the cancelled Nero Wolfe series, and appeared twice as Wayne Gorham in NBC’s Outlaws (1960) Western series with Barton MacLane, he also appeared in another episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents “Mother, May I Go Out to Swim?”

In 1961, he starred in the Broadway play A Shot in the Dark with Julie Harris and directed by Harold Clurman. Walter Matthau (who won a Tony Award for his performance) and Gene Saks were also featured in this play. Shatner featured in two episodes of the NBC television series Thriller (“The Grim Reaper” and “The Hungry Glass”) and the film The Explosive Generation. Shatner was considered the Stratford Festival’s most promising actor, alongside Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford. In 1962 Shatner had the lead role in Roger Corman’s movie The Intruder and appeared in the Stanley Kramer film Judgment at Nuremberg plus two episodes, of the science fiction anthology series The Twilight Zone “Nick of Time” and “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” In 1963, he starred in the Family Theater production called “The Soldier” and received credits in other programs of The Psalms series.

He also guest-starred in Route 66, in the episode “Build Your Houses with Their Backs to the Sea.” In 1964, Shatner guest-starred in The Outer Limits episode “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” as an astronaut returning from a mission and discussing a planned mission to Mars called “Project Vulcan”. He also appeared in an the drama The Reporter (“He Stuck in His Thumb”) and co-starred with Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Newman, and Edward G. Robinson in the Western feature film The Outrage. In 1965, Shatner guest-starred in 12 O’Clock High as Major Curt Brown in the segment “I Am the Enemy” and in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in an episode that also featured Leonard Nimoy (who would soon portray the above-referenced Mr. Spock). He also starred in the critically acclaimed drama For the People in 1965, as an assistant district attorney alongside Jessica Walter. In 1966 Shatner starred in the gothic horror film Incubus And also starred in an episode of Gunsmoke as Fred Bateman. He appeared as attorney-turned-counterfeiter Brett Skyler in a 1966 episode of The Big Valley, “Time To Kill.” In 1967, he starred in White Comanche as Johnny Moon and his twin brother Notah.

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Shatner was cast as Captain James T. Kirk for the second pilot of Star Trek, titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and remained in the role for three seasons until 1969. In his role as Kirk, Shatner famously kissed actress Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) in the episode, “Plato’s Stepchildren”. In 1973 He also voiced Captain Kirk, in the animated Star Trek series. Shatner Appeared as the lead prosecutor in a 1971 PBS adaptation of Saul Levitt’s play The Andersonville Trial and also appeared in “schlock” films, such as Roger Corman’s Big Bad Mam, the horror film The Devil’s Rain and the TV movie The Horror at 37,000 Feet. Other television appearances included a starring role in the western-themed secret agent series Barbary Coast during plus guest roles on The Six Million Dollar Man, Columbo, The Rookies, Kung Fu, Ironside and Mission: Impossible. Shatner appeared on The $10,000 Pyramid and The $20,000 Pyramid once opposite opposite Leonard Nimoy billed as “Kirk vs. Spock”. Other appearances included The Hollywood Squares, Celebrity Bowling, Beat the Clock, Tattletales, Mike Stokey’s Stump the Stars and Match Game. Shatner was original choice to host the Family Feud pilot in 1976, but gave the job to Richard Dawson instead

A revised Star Trek television series was planned in the 1970’s, tentatively titled Star Trek: Phase II. However, the phenomenal success of Star Wars (1977) led the studio to instead consider developing a Star Trek motion picture. Shatner and the other original Star Trek cast members returned to their roles when Paramount produced Star Trek: The Motion Picture, released in 1979. He played Kirk in the next six Star Trek films, ending with the character’s death in Star Trek Generations. He made Some later appearances in the role are in the movie sequences of the video game Starfleet Academy and the 2013 Academy Awards, as CaptIan Kirk during a comedic interlude with host Seth MacFarlane. Trekkies resurrected Star Trek after cancellation, in a 1986 Saturday Night Live sketch about a Star Trek convention. In 1998 Shatner also appeared in the film Free Enterprise and also parodied the cavalier, almost superhuman, persona of Captain Kirk in films such as Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) and National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon. In 1994, he starred in the Columbo episode “Butterfly in Shades of Grey”.Shatner landed a starring role on television as the titular police officer T. J. Hooker, which ran from 1982 to 1986. He then hosted the popular dramatic re-enactment series Rescue 911 from 1989 to 1996 which won a People’s Choice Award for the Favorite New TV Dramatic Series. Shatner also directed numerous episodes of T. J. Hooker and the feature film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Shatner also appeared in 3rd Rock from the Sun as the “Big Giant Head” for which he earned an Emmy award and also starred as attorney Denny Crane in The Practice and Boston Legal, which earned him two more Emmy Awards. Shatner is currently filming the second season of the comical NBC real-life travelogue “Better Late Than Never.”

William Shatner has also written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and being a part of Star Trek, and has co-written several science fiction novels set in the Star Trek universe. He has also written a series of science fiction novels called TekWar published in 1989 Which became popular and were adapted into four TekWar television movies, in which Shatner played the role of Walter Bascom, the lead character’s boss. In 1995, a first-person shooter game named William Shatner’s TekWar was released. He also played as a narrator in the 1995 American documentary film Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie directed by Peter Kuran. He narrated a television miniseries shot in New Zealand A Twist in the Tale (1998)

William Shatner has also appeared in a number of television commercials and adverts for many companies and products including Ontario-based Loblaws and British Columbia-based SuperValu supermarket General Motors, Oldsmobile and Promise margarine. He has also endorsed the Commodore VIC-20 home computer and done a series of commercials for the travel web site priceline.com. Shatner was also the CEO of the Toronto, Ontario-based C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, a special effects studio that operated from 1994 to 2010. In May 1999, Simon & Schuster published Shatner’s book, Get a Life!, which details his experiences with Star Trek fandom, anecdotes from Trek conventions, and his interviews with dedicated fans, in particular those who found deeper meaning in the franchise.

In 2000 Shatner co-starred in the movie Miss Congeniality as Stan Fields alongside future Boston Legal co-star Candice Bergen. He reprised the role in the sequel Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2004), in which Stan Fields was kidnapped in Las Vegas along with the winner of the pageant of the previous year. (Shatner hosted the Miss USA Pageant in 2001 as a real presenter in Gary, Indiana.) In the live-action/animated film Osmosis Jones (2001), he voiced Mayor Phlegmming, the self-centered head of the “City of Frank”. In 2003, Shatner appeared in Brad Paisley’s “Celebrity” and “Online” music videos along with Little Jimmy Dickens, Jason Alexander, and Trista Rehn. Shatner also had a supporting role in the comedy DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.

Shatner also appeared in the final season of the legal drama The Practice portraying the eccentric but highly capable attorney Denny Crane, for which he won an Emmy. He then portrayed Crane in Boston Legal, and won a Golden Globe, an Emmy in 2005, and was nominated again in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 for his work. With the 2005 Emmy win. Shatner became one of the few actors (along with co-star James Spader as Alan Shore) to win an Emmy Award while playing the same character in two different series. Shatner and Spader each won a second consecutive Emmy while playing the same character in two different series. Shatner made several guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, including cameos reciting Sarah Palin’s resignation speech, He also appears in the opening graphics of the occasional feature “In the Year 3000”. He also played the voice of Ozzie the opossum in DreamWorks’ 2006 feature Over the Hedge. In 2007, Shatner launched a series of daily vlogs on his life called ShatnerVision on http://www.LiveVideo.com which was renamed “The Shatner Project. Shatner also starred as the voice of Don Salmonella Gavone on the 2009 YouTube animated series The Gavones. Shatner did not appear the 2009 film Star Trek as Director J. J. Abrams could not think of a plausible reason for him to appear

Shatner had invented his own idea about the beginning of Star Trek with his 2007 novel, Star Trek: Academy — Collision Course. His autobiography Up Till Now: The Autobiography was released in 2008. He was assisted in writing it by David Fisher. Shatner has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (for television work) at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard. He also has a star on the Canada’s Walk of Fame. Shatner was the first Canadian actor to star in three successful television series on three different major networks (NBC, CBS, and ABC). He also starred in the CBS sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, and is also the host of the interview show Shatner’s Raw Nerve on The Biography Channel, and the Discovery Channel television series Weird or What. Shatner also appeared in Psych in The he episode, “In For a Penny” on the USA Network as the estranged father of Junior Detective Juliet O’Hara (Maggie Lawson).

In 2011, Shatner starred in The Captains, a feature-length documentary which he also wrote and directed. The film follows Shatner as he interviews the other actors who have portrayed starship captains within the Star Trek franchise. Shatner’s interviewees included Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and Chris Pine. In the film, Shatner also interviews Christopher Plummer, who is an old friend and colleague from Shatner’s days with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Shatner has also worked as a musician and began his musical career with the spoken-word 1968 album The Transformed Man, delivering exaggerated, interpretive recitations of “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” He performed a reading of the Elton John song “Rocket Man” during the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards that has been widely parodied. Ben Folds, who has worked with him several times, produced and co-wrote Shatner’s well-received second studio album, Has Been, in 2004. His third studio album, Seeking Major Tom, was released on October 11, 2011. The fourth, Ponder the Mystery, was released in October 2013. Shatner also has done a concert tour with CIRCA:, which includes an ex and current member of Yes, Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood.

Shatner also recorded a wake-up call that was played for the crew of STS-133 in the Space Shuttle Discovery on March 7, 2011, its final day docked to the International Space Station. Backed by the musical theme from Star Trek, it featured a voice-over based on his spoken introduction from the series’ opening credits: “Space, the final frontier. These have been the voyages of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her 30-year mission: To seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together on the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before.” William Shatner is also an author; screenwriter and director; celebrity pitchman; and a passionate owner, trader, breeder, rider, and aficionado of horses.

Susan Sulley (Human League)

Susan Ann Sulley, British singer with electronic new wave band The Human League was born 22 March 1963. The Human League were formed in Sheffield in 1977. Before adopting the name the Human League, the band briefly had two previous incarnations.In early 1977, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, who had met at youth arts project Meatwhistle, were both working as computer operators. Their musical collaboration combined pop music (such as glam rock and Tamla Motown) with avant-garde electronic music. Ware and Marsh were Joined by their friend Adi Newton and another synthesizer (a Roland System-100), they formed The Future and a collection of demos from this period was released retrospectively on CD in 2002 titled The Golden Hour of the Future, mixed by Richard X.

Newton left The Future and went on to form Clock DVA. Ware and Marsh invite an old school friend, Philip Oakey, to join the band as vocalist. They changed their name to The Human League and released the album Dare in 1981Which included the singles “Don’t You Want Me”and “Being Boiled”. They received the Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough act in 1982. They were followed by other international hits including “I don’t depend on You” “Love Action”, “Open Your Heart”, “Mirror Man”, “Fascination”, “The Lebanon”, “Human” (a US No. 1) and “Tell Me When”.

The only constant band member since 1977 is vocalist and songwriter Philip Oakey. Originally an avant-garde all-male synthesizer-based group, The Human League evolved into a commercially successful synthpop band under Oakey’s leadership. Since 1987, the band has essentially been a trio of Oakey and long-serving female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley (both of whom joined the ensemble in 1980), with various sidemen. Since 1978, The Human League have released nine studio albums, four EPs including The Dignity of Labour and Holiday 80, 30 singles and several compilation albums. They have had five albums and eight singles in the UK Top 10 and have sold more than 20 million records.

Chaka Khan

American musician, singer and songwriter Chaka Khan was born Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953 into an artistic, bohemian household in Chicago, Illinois. The eldest of five children born to Charles Stevens and Sandra Coleman, ] Her sister Yvonne later became a successful musician in her own right under the name Taka Boom. Her only brother, Mark, who formed the funk group Aurra, also became a successful musician. She has two other sisters, Zaheva Stevens and Tammy McCrary. Khan was raised as a Catholic. She attributed her love of music to her grandmother, who introduced her to jazz as a child. Khan became a fan of rhythm and blues music and formed a girl group, the Crystalettes, which included her sister Taka. In the late 1960s, Khan attended several civil rights rallies with her father’s second wife, Connie, a strong supporter of the movement, and joined the Black Panther Party after befriending fellow member, activist, and Chicago native Fred Hampton in 1967. In 1969, she left the Panthers and dropped out of high school, having attended Calumet High School and Kenwood High School (now Kenwood Academy).

She began to perform in small groups around the Chicago area, first performing with Cash McCall’s group Lyfe, which included her then-boyfriend Hassan Khan. She was asked to replace Baby Huey of Baby Huey & the Babysitters after Huey’s death in 1970. The group disbanded a year later. While performing in local bands in 1972, Khan was spotted by two members of a new group called Rufus and eventually replaced their singer Paulette McWilliams. They later signed with ABC Records in 1973. Prior to signing with the label, she married Khan, changing her stage name to Chaka Khan.

In 1973, Rufus released their eponymous debut album which contained a fiery rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Maybe Your Baby” and the ballad “Whoever’s Thrilling You (Is Killing Me)”. Then in In 1974 Stevie Wonder collaborated with the group on the song, “Tell Me Something Good”, which won the group their first Grammy Award. It was followed by, “You Got the Love” which helped their second album Rags to Rufus, go platinum. Between 1974 and 1979, Rufus released six platinum-selling albums including Rufusized, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, Ask Rufus, Street Player and Masterjam. Hits the group scored during this time included “Once You Get Started,” “Sweet Thing,” “Hollywood,” “At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up),” and “Do You Love What You Feel.” The band gained a reputation as a live performing act, with Khan becoming the star attraction, thanks to her powerful vocals and stage attire.

Sadly Relations between Khan and the group, became stormy. So she signed a solo contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1978 and Khan released her solo debut album, which featured the disco hit, “I’m Every Woman”. Khan also featured on Quincy Jones’s hit, “Stuff Like That”. In 1979, Khan reunited with Rufus to collaborate on Masterjam, featuring the song “Do You Love What You Feel”. In 1979 she dueted with Ry Cooder on his album Bop Till You Drop. In 1980, while Rufus released Party ‘Til You’re Broke, again without Khan, she released her second solo album, Naughty, featuring the disco hit “Clouds” and the R&B ballad “Papillon”. Khan had a cameo appearance as a church choir soloist in The Blues Brothers starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Khan also released two albums Camouflage and What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me and appeared on three tracks on Rick Wakeman’s concept album 1984. In 1982, Khan released the jazz-oriented album Echoes of an Era and a more funk/pop-oriented self-titled album Chaka Khan. The jazz-inflected sing “Be Bop Medley”, also won Khan a Grammy. In 1983, Rufus released their final studio album, Seal in Red, after which Khan returned won a live album, Stompin’ at the Savoy – Live, featuring the song, “Ain’t Nobody”,

In 1984, Khan released her sixth studio album, I Feel for You. The title track, the first single released, was originally written and recorded by Prince in 1979 and had also been recorded by The Pointer Sisters and Rebbie Jackson. Khan’s version featured a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder and an introductory rap by Grandmaster Melle Mel. This became a huge hit and netted Prince the 1985 Grammy Award for Best R&B Song. Other singles on I Feel For You included “This is My Night” and the ballad “Through the Fire”. Khan was featured in Steve Winwood’s 1986 number-one hit, “Higher Love” and was intended to duet with with Robert Palmer for the song “Addicted To Love”. In 1986 Chaka Khan released the album Destiny followed in 1988 by the album CK. In the late 1980s Khan released a remix album, Life Is a Dance: The Remix Project. In 1990, she collaborated with Ray Charles and Quincy Jones on a new jack swing cover of The Brothers Johnson’s “I’ll Be Good to You” which won her and Ray Charles a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance By a Duo or Group. In 1992 Khan released the album The Woman I Am, featuring the R&B songs “Love You All My Lifetime” and “You Can Make the Story Right”. In 1995, she and rapper Guru had a hit with the duet “Watch What You Say” and she provided a contemporary R&B cover of the classic standard, “My Funny Valentine”, for the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. In 1996, Khan released her greatest-hits album, Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Vol. 1. In 1998, Khan signed with Prince’s NPG Records label and issued Come 2 My House, followed by the single “Don’t Talk 2 Strangers”, a cover of a 1996 Prince song and went on a tour with Prince.

In 2004 she released the jazz covers album ClassiKhan and also covered “Little Wing” with Kenny Olson on the album Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix. In 2007 Khan released the album Funk This, featuring, “Angel”, and the Mary J. Blige duet, “Disrespectful” which won the singers a Grammy Award, while Funk This also won a Grammy for Best R&B Album. The album also contains covers of Dee Dee Warwick’s “Foolish Fool” and Prince’s “Sign o’ the Times”. In 2008, Khan participated in the Broadway adaptation of The Color Purple playing Ms. Sofia to Fantasia Barrino’s Celie. In 2004, Chaka Khan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. In 2009, Khan toured with singers Anastacia and Lulu for Here Come the Girls and was guest singer with the song “Alive” on jazz drummer Billy Cobham’s album Drum ‘ n voice 3. In 2010, she contributed to vocals for Beverley Knight’s “Soul Survivor”, collaborated with Clay Aiken on a song for Phineas and Ferb, and performed two songs with Japanese singer Ai on Ai’s latest album The Last Ai. In 2011, Khan was given the 2,440th Hollywood Walk of Fame star plaque on a section of Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles as was Stevie Wonder, who had written her breakout hit “Tell Me Something Good”. Khan and her former band Rufus were also jointly nominated for induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Recently, Khan rerecorded her song, “Super Life”, under the title “Super Life: Fear Kills, Love Heals” with Eric Benet, Kelly Price, and Luke James in tribute to Trayvon Martin, a teenager who was killed on February 26. A number of celebrities also joined in the recording including Loretta Devine, Terry Crews, Eva Pigford, and reporter Kevin Frazier. In 2012, Chaka Khan performed at a benefit for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The IDF originally invited Stevie Wonder, however after a successful lobbying campaign by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Wonder withdrew and was replaced by Khan who was able to raise $14 million for the IDF. In 2013, Khan was honored 40 years after signing her first recording contract with a ceremonial renaming of Blackstone Avenue between 50th and 51st street (where her former high school, Kenwood Academy, sits) as Chaka Khan Way. the city also declared 28 July as Chaka Khan Day. In 2014, Khan served as grand marshal at the 85th annual Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in her hometown of Chicago. In 2015, Khan was paired with professional dancer Keo Motsepe for the TV sereis Dancing with the Stars. In 2018 she released a new single called “Like Sugar”, a collaboration with Major Lazer member Switch and a new album Hello Happiness in 2019. Khan served as Grand Marshal in the 2019 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2019 in Pasadena, California.

World Meteorological Day

World Meteorological Day takes place annually on 23rd March and is organised by The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 191 Member States and Territories which was established in 1950. TheWMO is the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a member of the United Nations Development Group. It is the UN system’s authoritative voice on the state and behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources. WMO has a membership of 191 member states and territories (since 4 December 2009). The Convention of the World Meteorological Organization was signed 11 October 1947 and established in 1950. WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations in 1951 for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.

As weather, climate and the water cycle know no national boundaries, international cooperation at a global scale is essential for the development of meteorology and operational hydrology as well as to reap the benefits from their application. WMO provides the framework for such international cooperation.Since its establishment, WMO has played a unique and powerful role in contributing to the safety and welfare of humanity. Under WMO leadership and within the framework of WMO programs, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services contribute substantially to the protection of life and property against natural disasters, to safeguarding the environment and to enhancing the economic and social well-being of all sectors of society in areas such as food security, water resources and transport.

The WMO and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) jointly created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is also directly responsible for the creation of the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW). The IPCC has received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” The WMO also promote cooperation in the establishment of networks for making meteorological, climatological, hydrological and geophysical observations, as well as the exchange, processing and standardization of related data, and assists technology transfer, training and research. It also fosters collaboration between the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of its Members and furthers the application of meteorology to public weather services, agriculture, aviation, shipping, the environment, water issues and the mitigation of the impacts of natural disasters.

WMO also facilitates the free and unrestricted exchange of data and information, products and services in real- or near-real time on matters relating to safety and security of society, economic welfare and the protection of the environment. It contributes to policy formulation in these areas at national and international levels. In the specific case of weather-, climate and water-related hazards, which account for nearly 90% of all natural disasters, WMO’s programs provide vital information for the advance warnings that save lives and reduce damage to property and the environment. WMO also contributes to reducing the impacts of human-induced disasters, such as those associated with chemical and nuclear accidents, forest fire and volcanic ash. Studies have shown that, apart from the incalculable benefit to human well-being, every dollar invested in meteorological and hydrological services produces an economic return many times greater, often ten times or more.

The WMO play a leading role in international efforts to monitor and protect the environment through its programs. In collaboration with other UN agencies and the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, WMO supports the implementation of a number of environmental conventions and is instrumental in providing advice and assessments to governments on related matters. These activities contribute towards ensuring the sustainable development and well-being of nations. They also published the International Cloud Atlas, which has been the international standard cloud atlas since 1896.

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn, the lead singer of Blur and Gorillaz was born 23rd March 1968. Blur were formed in London in 1988 as Seymour, the group consists of singer/keyboardist Damon Albarn, guitarist/singer Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur’s debut album Leisure (1991) incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing. Following a stylistic change influenced by English guitar pop groups such as The Kinks, The Beatles and XTC, Blur released Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993),Parklife (1994) and The Great Escape (1995). As a result, the band helped to popularise the Britpop genre and achieved mass popularity in the UK, aided by a chart battle with rival band Oasis in 1995 dubbed “The Battle of Britpop”.

In recording their follow-up, Blur (1997), the band underwent another reinvention, showing influence from the lo-fi style of American indie rock groups. “Song 2″, one of the album’s singles, brought Blur mainstream success in the United States. Their next album, 13 (1999) saw the band members experimenting with electronic and gospel music, and featured more personal lyrics from Albarn. In May 2002, Coxon left Blur during the recording of their seventh album Think Tank (2003). This album contained electronic sounds and more minimal guitar work, and marked Albarn’s growing interest in hip hop and African music. After a 2003 tour without Coxon, Blur did no studio work or touring as a band, as members engaged in other projects.

After Blur temporarily split Damon Albarn went on to form Gorillaz with Jamie Hewlett in 1998, fronted by four animated members: 2D (lead vocals, keyboard, and melodica), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion). THe music is a collaboration between various musicians, with Albarn being the only permanent musical contributor. Their style is an amalgamation of genres, with influences including rock, alternative, Britpop, trip hop, hip hop, electronica, indie, dub, reggae and pop.

The band’s 2001 debut album Gorillaz sold over seven million copies and earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Successful Virtual Band. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2001, but the nomination was later withdrawn at the band’s request. Their second studio album, Demon Days, released in 2005, was equally successful Going five times platinum in the UK, double platinum in the United States, and earning five Grammy Award nominations for 2006, winning the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals category.The band’s third studio album, Plastic Beach, was released in March 2010 and ths album, The Fall, was released in December 2010 as a free download for fan club members. The future of the Gorrillaz was once under speculation due to the status of Albarn and Hewlett’s friendship; however, Gorillaz planned to release new material in 2016. Blur reunited in 2008, with Coxon, for a series of concerts and have released a number of singles and retrospective releases since. In 2012, Blur received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music (And Adele Adkins got cut off in her prime). Blur also released the album Magic Whip and The Gorillaz released the album Humanz featuring the songs Marz Barz, Ascension and We’ve got the power.

Craig Breedlove

Five-time world land speed record holder Craig Breedlove was born March 23, 1937. He was the first to reach 400 mph (640 km/h), 500 mph (800 km/h), and 600 mph (970 km/h), using several turbojet-powered vehicles, all named Spirit of America. In 1962, he made his first attempt, in a freewheeling tricycle (ignoring FIA rules requiring four wheels, at least two driven; in the event, FIM happily accepted it powered by a General Electric J47 engine. On 5 August 1963, this first Spirit made her first record attempt, using just 90% of available thrust to reach 388.47 mph (625.18 km/h) over the measured mile. The return pass, on 95% power, turned up a two-way average of 407.45 mph (655.73 km/h). Spirit of America was so light on the ground, she did not even need to change tires afterward.For 1964, Breedlove faced competition from Art Arfons’ Wingfoot Express (piloted by Tom Green) as well as from brother Art Arfons in his four-wheel FIA-legal Green Monster. With more engine power, Breedlove upped the record to 468.72 mph (754.33 km/h) then to 526.28 mph (846.97 km/h). making him the first man to exceed 500 mph (800 km/h). This pass was not without incident, however, for one of his drogue parachute’s shroud lines parted, and Spirit of America ran on for 5 mi (8.0 km) before near-missing a telegraph pole and coming to rest in a lake. This record stood all of twelve days before Green Monster broke it, recording a two-run average of 536.71 mph (863.75 km/h).

In response, Breedlove built an FIA-legal four-wheeler, Sonic 1, powered by a 15,000 lbf (67 kN) J79. 2 November 1965, Breedlove entered the FIA record book with a two-run average of 555.483 mph (893.963 km/h). This lasted even less time than before, for Green Monster came back five days later at 576.553 mph (927.872 km/h). On 15 November, Breedlove responded with a 600.601 mph (966.574 km/h) record (after turning in an amazing 608.201 mph (978.805 km/h) return pass), which held until 1970. (It would be broken by Gary Gabelich’s Blue Flame, which reached 630.388 mph (1,014.511 km/h).) To take the record back, Breedlove planned a supersonic rocket car, “complete with ejector seat!” (After winding up in a lake, this is understandable.) Also in 1965, Breedlove’s wife, Lee, took the seat in Sonic 1, making four passes and achieving 308.506 mph (496.492 km/h), making her the fastest woman alive, and making them the fastest couple, which they remain.During 1968, Lynn Garrison, President of Craig Breedlove & Associates started to package a deal that saw Utah’s Governor, Calvin Rampton provide a hangar facility for the construction of a supersonic car. Bill Lear, of Learjet fame, was to provide support, along with his friend Art Linkletter. Playboy magazine hoped to have the car painted black, with a white bunny on the rudder. TRW was supplying a lunar lander rocket motor. A change in public interest saw the concept shelved for a period of time.They also negotiated for the use of the late Donald Campbell’s wheel-driven Bluebird CN7 record-breaker. (See below)

After a lengthy break from world records and making his name as a real estate agent, Breedlove began work on a new Spirit in 1992, eventually named Spirit of America Formula Shell LSRV. The vehicle is 44 ft 10 in long, 8 ft 4 in wide, and 5 ft 10 in high (13.67 m by 2.54 m by 1.78 m) and weighs 9,000 lb (4,100 kg), construction is on a steel tube or space frame with an aluminium skin body. The engine is the same as in the second Spirit, a J79, but it is modified to burn unleaded gasoline and generates a maximum thrust of 22,650 lbf (100.75 kN).The first run of the vehicle on October 28, 1996 in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada ended in a crash at around 675 mph (1,086 km/h). Returning in 1997 the vehicle badly damaged the engine on an early run and when the British ThrustSSC managed over 700 mph (1,100 km/h), the re-engined Spirit could do no better than 676 mph (1,088 km/h). Breedlove believes the vehicle is capable of exceeding 800 mph (1,300 km/h), but has yet to demonstrate this.In late 2006 it was announced that Breedlove sold the car to Steve Fossett who was to make an attempt on the land speed record in 2007, marking the end of an era of land speed record breaking. Fossett died in a plane crash in 2007. Breedlove’s vehicle, renamed the “Sonic Arrow”, was rolled out on the Black Rock Desert for a photo opportunity on October 15, 2007. The effort to run the car continues with the team presently recruiting drivers

Donald Campbell CBE

British World Land and Water speed record holder Donald Malcolm Campbell, CBE was born 23 March 1921. He broke eight absolute world speed records in the 1950s and 1960s. He remains the only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year (1964). Campbell began his speed record attempts using his father’s old boat Bluebird K4, but after a structural failure at 170 mph (270 km/h) on Coniston Water, Lancashire in 1951, and the death of John Cobb, who was killed in 1952 trying to break the water speed record, he decided that he would develop a new boat. Designed by Ken and Lew Norris, the Bluebird K7 was an all-metal jet-propelled 3-point hydroplane with a Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl jet engine producing 3,500 lbf (16 kN) of thrust. It was unveiled in late 1954, and taken, in January 1955, to Ullswater Westmorland in the English Lake District for its initial trials. After many, problems and a number of modifications to K7, Campbell finally succeeded on Ullswater on 23 July 1955, where he set a record of 202.15 mph (325.33 km/h), beating the previous record by some 24 mph (39 km/h) held by Stanley Sayres.The name “K7″ was derived from its Lloyd’s unlimited rating registration. It was carried in a prominent circular badge on its sponsons, underneath an infinity symbol. Campbell set a total of seven world water speed records in K7 between 1955 and 1964. The series of speed increases—216 mph (348 km/h) later in 1955, 225 mph (362 km/h) in 1956, 239 mph (385 km/h) in 1957, 248 mph (399 km/h) in 1958, 260 mph (420 km/h) in 1959—peaked on 31 December 1964 at Dumbleyung Lake, Western Australia when he reached 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h); he remains the world’s most prolific breaker of water speed records. Campbell was awarded the CBE in January 1957 for his water speed record breaking, and in particular his record at Lake Mead in the USA which earned him and Britain very positive acclaim.

In 1956, Campbell began planning a car to break the land speed record, which then stood at 394 mph (634 km/h). The Norris brothers designed Bluebird-Proteus CN7 with 500 mph (800 km/h) in mind. The CN7 was completed by the spring of 1960, and was powered by a Bristol-Siddeley Proteus free-turbine engine of 4,450 shp (3,320 kW). Following low-speed tests conducted at the Goodwood circuit in Sussex, England, the CN7 was taken to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, scene of his father’s last LSR triumph in 1935. The attempt was unsuccessful and CN7 was written off following a high-speed crash in September at Bonneville. Campbell was seriously hurt, suffering a fracture to his lower skull, and was by 1961 on the road to recovery and planning the rebuild of CN7. The rebuilt car was completed, with minor modifications, in 1962 and, by the end of the year, was shipped to Australia for a new attempt at Lake Eyre in 1963. The Lake Eyre location was chosen as it offered 450 square miles (1,170 km2) of dried salt lake, where rain had not fallen in the previous 20 years, and the surface of the 20-mile (32 km) track was as hard as concrete. As Campbell arrived in late March, with a view to a May attempt, the first light rain fell. Campbell and Bluebird were running by early May but once again more rain fell, and low-speed test runs could not progress into the higher speed ranges. By late May, the rain became torrential, and the lake was flooded. Campbell had to move the CN7 off the lake to save the car from being submerged by the rising flood waters.

Campbell and his team returned to Lake Eyre in 1964, but the surface never returned to the promise it had held in 1962 and Campbell had to battle with CN7 to reach record speeds (over 400 mph (640 km/h)). After more light rain in June, the lake finally began to dry enough for an attempt to be made. On 17 July 1964, Campbell set a record of 403.10 mph (648.73 km/h) for a four-wheeled vehicle (Class A). Campbell was disappointed with the record as the vehicle had been designed for much higher speeds. CN7 covered the final third of the measured mile at an average of 429 mph (690 km/h), peaking as it left the measured distance at over 440 mph (710 km/h). In 1969, after Campbell’s fatal accident, his widow, Tonia Bern-Campbell negotiated a deal with Lynn Garrison, President of Craig Breedlove and Associates, that would see Craig Breedlove run Bluebird on Bonneville’s Salt Flats. This concept was cancelled when the parallel Spirit of America supersonic car project failed to find support.Campbell now reverted to Bluebird K7 for a further attempt on the water speed record. After more delays, he finally achieved his seventh WSR at Lake Dumbleyung near Perth, Western Australia, on the last day of 1964, at a speed of 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h). He had become the first, and so far only, person to set both land and water speed records in the same year. Campbell’s land record was short-lived, because rule changes meant that Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America, a pure jet car, would begin setting records later in 1964 and 1965. Campbell’s 429 mph (690 km/h) speed on his final Lake Eyre run remained the highest speed achieved by a wheel-driven car until 2001; Bluebird CN7 is now on display at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire, England, her potential only partly realised.

Donald Campbell decided a massive jump in speed was called for following his successful 1964 LSR attempt in Bluebird CN7. His vision was of a supersonic rocket car with a potential maximum speed of 840 mph (1,350 km/h). Norris Brothers were requested to undertake a design study Bluebird Mach 1.1 (CMN-8) was a design for a rocket-powered supersonic land speed record car. Bluebird Mach 1.1 was to be rocket-powered. Ken Norris had calculated using rocket motors would result in a vehicle with very low frontal area, greater density, and lighter weight than if he went down the jet engine route. Bluebird Mach 1.1 would also be a relatively compact and simple design. Norris specified two off-the-shelf Bristol Siddeley BS.605 rocket engines. The 605 had been developed as a take-off assist rocket engine for military aircraft and was fuelled with kerosene, using hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizer. Each engine was rated at 8,000 lbf (36 kN) thrust. In Bluebird Mach 1.1 application. In order to increase publicity for his rocket car venture, in the spring of 1966, Campbell decided to try once more for a water speed record. This time the target was 300 mph (480 km/h). Bluebird K7 was fitted with a lighter and more powerful Bristol Orpheus engine, taken from a Folland Gnat jet aircraft, which developed 4,500 pounds-force (20,000 N) of thrust. The modified boat was taken back to Coniston in the first week of November 1966. The trials did not go well. The weather was appalling, and K7 suffered an engine failure when her air intakes collapsed and debris was drawn into the engine. By the middle of December, some high-speed runs were made, in excess of 250 mph (400 km/h) but still well below Campbell’s existing record.

On 4 January 1967, weather conditions were finally suitable for an attempt. Campbell commenced the first run of his last record attempt at just after 8.45 am. Bluebird moved slowly out towards the middle of the lake, where she paused for a brief second as Donald lined her up. With a deafening blast of power, Campbell now applied full throttle and Bluebird began to surge forward. Clouds of spray issued from the jet-pipe, water poured over the rear spar and after a few hundred yards, at 70 mph, Bluebird unstuck from the surface and rocketed off towards the southern end of the lake, producing her characteristic comet’s tail of spray. She entered the measured kilometre at 8.46. Leo Villa witnessed her passing the first marker buoy at about 285 mph (459 km/h) in perfect steady planing trim, her nose slightly down, still accelerating. 7.525 seconds later, Keith Harrison saw her leave the measured kilometre at a speed of over 310 mph (500 km/h). The average speed for the first run was 297.6 mph (478.9 km/h). Campbell lifted his foot from the throttle about 3/10 of a second before passing the southern kilometre marker. As Bluebird left the measured kilometre, Keith Harrison and Eric Shaw in a course boat at the southern end of the measured kilo both noticed that she was very light around the bows, riding on her front stabilising fins. Her planing trim was no worse than she had exhibited when equipped with the Beryl engine, but it was markedly different to that observed by Leo Villa at the northern end of the kilometre, when she was under full acceleration.

Howver Instead of refuelling and waiting for the wash of this run to subside after his previous run, Campbell decided to make the return run immediately. This was not an unprecedented diversion from normal practice, as Campbell had used the advantage presented i.e. no encroachment of water disturbances on the measured kilometre by the quick turn-a-round, in many previous runs. The second run was even faster once severe tramping subsided on the run-up from Peel Island (caused by the water-brake disturbance). Once smooth water was reached some 700 metres or so from the start of the kilometre, K7 demonstrated cycles of ‘ground’ effect hovering before accelerating hard at 0.63g to a peak speed of 328 mph (530 km/h) some 200 metres or so from the southern marker buoy. Bluebird was now experiencing bouncing episodes of the starboard sponson with increasing ferocity.

At the peak speed, the most intense and long-lasting bounce caused severe deceleration (328 mph – 296 mph, -1.86g) as K7 dropped back onto the water. Engine flame-out then occurred and, without thrust nose-down momentum, K7 experienced a gliding episode in strong ground effect with increasing angle-of-attack (AoA), before completely leaving the water at her static stability pitch-up limit of 5.2°. Bluebird then executed an almost complete somersault (~ 320° and slightly off-axis) before plunging into the water (port sponson marginally in advance of the starboard), approximately 230 metres from the end of the measured kilometre. The boat then cartwheeled across the water before coming to rest. The impact broke K7 forward of the air intakes (where Donald was sitting) and the main hull sank shortly afterwards. Campbell had been killed instantly. Mr Whoppit, Campbell’s teddy bear mascot, was found among the floating debris and the pilot’s helmet was recovered. Royal Navy divers made efforts to find and recover the body but, although the wreck of K7 was found, they called off the search, after two weeks, without locating his body.