Monday, 11 March 2013

Douglas Adams' 61st birthday



Douglas Adams, noted author and humorist, is the inspiration behind Monday's Google doodle. Adams is of course best known for his cult classic book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Douglas Adams was on born on 11 March 1952 in Cambridge England. He showed a flair for writing from an early age and went to graduate in English literature in 1974. After graduation, he moved to London with an aim of becoming a TV and radio writer. It was here that we met Monty Python's Graham Chapman, and the two went on to form a writing partnership, albeit for a brief time.
Adams was credited with writing one of the sketches in a Monty Python episode, becoming one of only two people outside the original Monty Python members to be given a writing credit. Adams and Chapman also attempted non-Python projects, but got nowhere and Adams was forced to series of non-writing-related jobs.
While Adams continued to do some writing, his career took off after he got an opportunity to work with the BBC as a radio producer. It was here that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was born as a science-fiction comedy series for the radio. The first series - consisting of six episodes - was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March and April 1978, and received an excellent response. A seventh episode was broadcast on 24 December 1978.
The first four episodes of the series were adapted into the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was first published in 1979, initially in paperback, and reached number one on the book charts in only its second week. The book sold over 250,000 copies within three months of its release.
A second series of five episodes was broadcast one per night, during the week of 21-25 January 1980. Four more books followed, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980), Life, the Universe and Everything (1982), So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984) and Mostly Harmless (1992). Adams also wrote 3 episodes of popular TV series Doctor Who.
Douglas Adams was an avid technologist, and a Macintosh user from the time the original Mac came out in 1984 until his death in 2001. His very last post to his own forum was in praise of Mac OS X and the possibilities of its Cocoa programming framework.
Adams died of a heart attack on 11 May 2001, aged 49.






Douglas Adams
Writer
Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer, humorist, and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing.
BornMarch 11, 1952, Cambridge
DiedMay 11, 2001, Santa Barbara
Height1.96 m
SpouseJane Belson (m. 1991–2001)

Friday, 8 March 2013

today is the 100th anniversary of international women day.

International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women's Day, is marked on March 8 every year.In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern EuropeRussia, and the former Soviet bloc. In some regions, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. In other regions, however, the political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.


History


The first national Women's Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.In August 1910, an International Women's Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen. Inspired in part by the American socialists, German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual 'International Woman's Day' (singular) and was seconded by fellow socialist and later communist leader Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified at that conference.Delegates (100 women from 17 countries) agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women. The following year, on 18 March 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in AustriaDenmarkGermany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations.In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honouring the martyrs of the Paris Commune. Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination. Americans continued to celebrate National Women's Day on the last Sunday in February.
Female members of the AustralianBuilders Labourers Federation march on International Women's Day 1975 in Sydney
In 1913 Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February (by Julian calendar then used in Russia). In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution.
Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Vladimir Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women's Day was declared a non-working day in the USSR "in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women's day must be celebrated as are other holidays."[citation needed]
From its official adoption in Russia following the Soviet Revolution in 1917 the holiday was predominantly celebrated in communist and socialist countries. It was celebrated by the communists in China from 1922, and by Spanish communists from 1936.After the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949 the state council proclaimed on December 23 that March 8 would be made an official holiday with women in China given a half-day off, though today's young women in college or before motherhood are increasingly reluctant to celebrate it for the suggestion of the term 'women' of youth ended, prettiness lost, and relational liberty restricted.
In the West, International Women's Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace.

2010 International Women's Day

On the occasion of 2010 International Women's Day the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) drew attention to the hardship displaced women endure. The displacement of populations is one of the gravest consequences of today's armed conflicts. It affects women in a host of ways.

2011 International Women's Day

U.S. Army officer Lt Col Pam Moody with a group of Afghan women on International Women's Day 2011
Events took place in more than 100 countrieson March 8, 2011 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. In the United States, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be "Women's History Month", calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting on "the extraordinary accomplishments of women" in shaping the country's history.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the "100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges", on the eve of IWD. In the run-up to 2011 International Women's Day, the ICRC called on States and other entities not to relent in their efforts to prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence that harm the lives and dignity of countless women in conflict zones around the world every year. In Pakistan, Punjab Govt. Project Gender Reform Action Plan, District Gujranwala celebrated this day in large scale in the Gift University Gujranwala. Mrs. Shazia Ashfaq Mattu, MPA and GRAP officer Mr. Dr. Yasir Nawaz Manj organized the events in very effective manners.[citation needed]
Australia issued a 100th anniversary commemorative coin.

2012 International Women's Day

The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 was Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.[14] In that year, Oxfam America invited people to celebrate inspiring women in their lives by sending a free International Women’s Day e-Card or honoring a woman whose efforts had made a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty with Oxfam’s International Women’s Day award.
On the occasion of International Women's Day 2012, the ICRC called for more action to help the mothers and wives of people who have gone missing during armed conflict. The vast majority of people who go missing in connection with conflict are men. As well as the anguish of not knowing what has happened to the missing person, many of these women face economic and practical difficulties. The ICRC underlined the duty of parties to a conflict to search for the missing and provide information for the families.
The Google Doodle for March 8, 2012 had an International Women's Day theme.

2013 International Women's Day

The UN theme for International Women's Day 2013 is "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women," while International Women's Day 2013 has declared the year's theme as The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.

2017 International Women's Day

Ukrainian group Femen calling for a sex strike to protest against sexual exploitation of women.
2017 will be the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, which was sparked on March 8, 1917 by women protesting against bread shortages in St. Petersburg. These events culminated in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II on March 15. Worldwide celebrations and re-enactments are scheduled to begin on March 8, 2017. Among the organisers is the Ukrainian women's direct action group FEMEN, which aims "to shake women in Ukraine, making them socially active; to organize in 2017 a women's revolution."
On this day a global women's strike including a sex strike is planned, called by, among others, the International Union of Sex Workers.[citation needed]


International Women's Day Official UN Themes

YearUN Theme [20]
1996Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
1997Women and the Peace Table
1998Women and Human Rights
1999World Free of Violence Against Women
2000Women Uniting for Peace
2001Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
2002Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
2003Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
2004Women and HIV/AIDS
2005Gender Equality Beyond 2005; Building a More Secure Future
2006Women in Decision-making
2007Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women and Girls
2008Investing in Women and Girls
2009Women and Men United to End Violence Against Women and Girls
2010Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All
2011Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women
2012Empower Rural Women, End Poverty and Hunger
2013A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women

In modern culture

The mimosa (technically, the Silver Wattle) is the symbol of the celebrations of Women's day in Italy and Russia
In some countries, such as CameroonCroatia,RomaniaBosnia and Herzegovina,Serbia,[citation needed] Bulgaria[citation needed] andChile, the day is not a public holiday, but is widely observed nonetheless. On this day it is customary for men to give the women in their lives – mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, colleagues, etc. – flowers and small gifts. In some countries (such as Bulgaria and Romania) it is also observed as an equivalent of Mother's Day, where children also give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
International Women's Day poster
The 1932 Soviet poster dedicated to the 8th of March holiday. The text reads: "8th of March is the day of rebellion of the working women against kitchen slavery" and "Down with the oppression and narrow-mindedness of household work!". Originally in the USSR the holiday had a clear political character, emphasizing the role of the Soviet state in the liberation of womenfrom their second-class-citizen status.
International Women's Day poster
However, with time the meaning of the holiday evolved to an apolitical celebration of women. Most late Soviet 8th of March postcards carried no political meaning.
In Armenia, after the collapse of the Soviet Union celebrations of IWD were abandoned. Instead, April 7 was introduced as state holiday of ‘Beauty and Motherhood’. The new holiday immediately became popular among Armenians, as it commemorates one of the main holidays of the Armenian Church, the Annunciation. However, people still kept celebrating IWD on March 8 as well. Public discussion held on the topic of two ‘Women’s Days’ in Armenia resulted in the recognition of the so-called ‘Women’s Month’ which is the period between March 8 and April 7.
In Italy, to celebrate the day, men give yellow mimosas to women. Yellow mimosas and chocolate are also one of the most common March 8 presents in Russia and Albania.
In many countries, such as in ArmeniaBelarusBosnia and HerzegovinaBrazilBulgariaCroatiaEstoniaHungary,KazakhstanLatviaLithuaniaPolandMacedoniaMoldovaMontenegroRomaniaRussiaSerbiaSlovakiaSlovenia andUkraine the custom of giving women flowers still prevails. Women also sometimes get gifts from their employers. Schoolchildren often bring gifts for their teachers, too.
In countries like Portugal groups of women usually celebrate on the night of 8 March in "women-only" dinners and parties.[citation needed]
In Pakistan working women in formal and informal sectors celebrate International Women's Day every year to commemorate their ongoing struggle for due rights, despite facing many cultural and religious restrictions. Some women working for change in society use IWM to help the movement for women's rights. In Poland, for instance, every IWD includes large feminist demonstrations in major cities.
In 1975, which was designated as International Women’s Year, the United Nations gave official sanction to, and began sponsoring, International Women's Day.
The 2005 Congress (conference) of the British Trades Union Congress overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for IWD to be designated a public holiday in the United Kingdom.
Since 2005, IWD has been celebrated in Montevideo, either on the principal street, 18 de Julio, or alternatively through one of its neighbourhoods. The event has attracted much publicity due to a group of female drummers, La Melaza, who have performed each year.
Today, many events are held by women's groups around the world. The UK-based marketing company Aurora hosts a free worldwide register of IWD local events  so that women and the media can learn about local activity. Many governments and organizations around the world support IWD.
70% of those living in poverty are women and Oxfam GB encourages women to Get Together  on International Women's Day and fundraise to support Oxfam projects, which change the lives of women around the world. Thousands of people hold events for Oxfam on International Women's Day, join the celebration by visiting the website and registering their events.

Controversies

In some cases International Women's Day has led to questionable practices that discriminated against men. For example Tower Hamlets Council closed off one of its libraries to all males to "celebrate" the occasion, forcing them to travel elsewhere, going as far as even banning male staff from the premises.
In Communist Czechoslovakia, huge Soviet-style celebrations were held annually. After the fall of Communism, the holiday, generally considered to be one of the major symbols of the old regime, fell into obscurity. International Women's Day was re-established as an official "important day" by the Parliament of the Czech Republic only recently[when?], on the proposal of the Social Democrats and Communists. This has provoked some controversy as a large part of the public as well as the political right see the holiday as a relic of the nation's Communist past. In 2008, the Christian conservative Czechoslovak People's Party's deputies unsuccessfully proposed the abolition of the holiday. However, some non-government organizations consider the official recognition of International Women's Day as an important reminder of women's role in the society.
International Women's Day sparked violence in TehranIran on March 4, 2007, when police beat hundreds of men and women who were planning a rally. Police arrested dozens of women and some were released after several days of solitary confinement and interrogation. Shadi SadrMahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh and several more community activists were released on March 19, 2007, ending a fifteen day hunger strike.

Apocrypha

A popular apocryphal story which surfaced in French Communist circles claimed that women from clothing and textile factories had staged a protest on 8 March 1857 in New York City.The story alleged that garment workers were protesting against very poor working conditions and low wages and were attacked and dispersed by police. It was claimed that this event led to a rally in commemoration of its 50th anniversary in 1907. Temma Kaplanexplains that "neither event seems to have taken place, but many Europeans think March 8, 1907 inaugurated International Women's Day." Speculating about the origins of this 1857 legend, Liliane Kandel and Fran├žoise Picq suggested it was likely that (in recent times) some felt it opportune to detach International Women's Day from its basis in Soviet history and ascribe to it a more "international" origin which could be painted as more ancient than Bolshevism and more spontaneous than a decision of Congress or the initiative of those women affiliated to the Party.