Thursday, 28 July 2016

Beatrix Potter

Beatrix was born 
150 years ago today.
Helen Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist best known for her children's books featuring animals, such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Born into a privileged household, Potter was educated by governesses and grew up isolated from other children. She had numerous pets and spent holidays in Scotland and the Lake District, developing a love of landscape, flora and fauna, all of which she closely observed and painted.

Though Potter was typical of women of her generation in having limited opportunities for higher education, her study and watercolors of fungi led to her being widely respected in the field of mycology. In her thirties, Potter published the highly successful children's book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Potter began writing and illustrating children's books full-time. 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a British children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter that follows mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit as he is chased about the garden of Mr. McGregor. He escapes and returns home to his mother who puts him to bed after dosing him with camomile tea. The tale was written for five-year-old Noel Moore, son of Potter's former governess Annie Carter Moore, in 1893. It was revised and privately printed by Potter in 1901 after several publishers' rejections but was printed in a trade edition by Frederick Warne & Co. in 1902. The book was a success, and multiple reprints were issued in the years immediately following its debut. It has been translated into 36 languages and with 45 million copies sold it is one of the best-selling books of all time.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Rita Marley

Rita (in the middle) is 70 today.

Alpharita Constantia "Rita" Marley OD (née Anderson; born 25 July 1946), is a Cuban-Jamaican singer and the widow of Bob Marley. She was a member of the vocal group the I Threes, along with Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, who gained recognition as the backing vocalists for Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Rita was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, to Leroy Anderson and Cynthia "Beda" Jarrett. She grew up in the upper level of Beachwood Avenue, located in Kingston, Jamaica. In her book No Woman, No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley Rita describes how she was raised by her Aunt Viola on Greenwich Park Road. Bob was from the lower level of Trenchtown.

In the mid 1960s, Rita met Bob after meeting Peter Tosh. After it was learned that she was a singer, she was asked to audition for the Soulettes, later known as the I Threes. The group included Rita, her cousin Constantine "Dream" Walker, and Marlene "Precious" Giffordwas. Bob became the group's mentor and manager and through working together, he and Rita fell in love.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Amy Winehouse

Amy died 5 years ago today.
Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011) was an English singer and songwriter known for her deep expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul (sometimes labelled as blue-eyed soul and neo soul), rhythm and blues, and jazz. Winehouse's debut album, Frank (2003), was a critical success in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her follow-up album, Back to Black (2006), led to five 2008 Grammy Awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made her the first British female to win five Grammys, including three of the general field "Big Four" awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Bronze statue of Winehouse 
in Camden Town, London 
unveiled in September 2014.
Winehouse won three Ivor Novello Awards: in 2004, Best Contemporary Song for "Stronger Than Me"; in 2007, Best Contemporary Song again, this time for "Rehab"; and in 2008, Best Song Musically and Lyrically for "Love Is a Losing Game." She also won the 2007 Brit Award for Best British Female Artist, having been nominated for Best British Album, with Back to Black.

Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on 23 July 2011, aged 27. Her album Back to Black posthumously became, for a time, the UK's best-selling album of the 21st century. In 2012, Winehouse was ranked 26th on VH1's 100 Greatest Women In Music. The BBC has called her "the pre-eminent vocal talent of her generation."

Friday, 22 July 2016


The constitution of the 
World Health Organization 
was signed by 61 
countries 70 years ago.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its predecessor, the Health Organization, was an agency of the League of Nations.

The constitution of the World Health Organization had been signed by 61 countries on 22 July 1946, with the first meeting of the World Health Assembly finishing on 24 July 1948. It incorporated the Office International d'Hygiène Publique and the League of Nations
WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Health Organization. Since its creation, it has played a leading role in the eradication of smallpox. Its current priorities include communicable diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS, Ebola, malaria and tuberculosis; the mitigation of the effects of non-communicable diseases; sexual and reproductive health, development, and aging; nutrition, food security and healthy eating; occupational health; substance abuse; and driving the development of reporting, publications, and networking.

The WHO is responsible for the World Health Report, a leading international publication on health, the worldwide World Health Survey, and World Health Day (7 April of every year). The head of WHO is Margaret Chan.

Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, (born August 21 1947) is a Hong Kong Chinese and Canadian physician, who serves as the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) for 2006–17. Chan was elected by the Executive Board of WHO on 8 November 2006, and was endorsed in a special meeting of the World Health Assembly on the following day. Chan has previously served as Director of Health in the Hong Kong Government (1994–2003), representative of the WHO Director-General for Pandemic Influenza and WHO Assistant Director-General for Communicable Diseases (2003–2006). As of 2014, she is ranked as the 30th most powerful woman in the world according to Forbes.