Showing posts with label ART & LITERATURE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ART & LITERATURE. Show all posts

24 July 2021

NASA Perseverance Mars Rover to Acquire First Sample.

NASA is making final preparations for its Perseverance Mars rover to collect its first-ever sample of Martian rock, which future planned missions will transport to Earth. The six-wheeled geologist is searching for a scientifically interesting target in a part of Jezero Crater called the “Cratered Floor Fractured Rough.”

This important mission milestone is expected to begin within the next two weeks. Perseverance landed in Jezero Crater Feb. 18, and NASA kicked off the rover mission’s science phase June 1, exploring a 1.5-square-mile (4-square-kilometer) patch of crater floor that may contain Jezero’s deepest and most ancient layers of exposed bedrock.

When Neil Armstrong took the first sample from the Sea of Tranquility 52 years ago, he began a process that would rewrite what humanity knew about the Moon.

It took Armstrong 3 minutes and 35 seconds to collect that first Moon sample. Perseverance will require about 11 days to complete its first sampling, as it must receive its instructions from hundreds of millions of miles away while relying on the most complex and capable, as well as the cleanest, mechanism ever to be sent into space – the Sampling and Caching System.

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23 July 2021

UN and IOC launch stamps.

The United Nations and International Olympic Committee have initiated a new move to acknowledge the role of sports for peace. They have launched a series of stamps for the same.

The United Nations Postal Administration or UNPA worked in partnership with the International Olympic Committee. They both worked together to make a series of stamps to notably marking the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in valuing the role of sports to peace. These also commemorate the shared values of both organizations.

A Japanese artist Satoshi Hashimoto illustrated the designs of the stamps and the souvenir sheets. Three souvenir sheets feature a slogan ‘sports for peace’ in three languages namely English, French, and German. They also feature Olympic rings and a dove of peace.

The UNPA will release the stamps on July 23 to commemorate the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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02 July 2021

Sri Lanka’s first online book library for children.

Anyone who missed visiting libraries and bookstores, and have found it a challenge to keep your little one engaged and occupied at home, Wooks.lk offers a simple yet effective solution. 

Wooks.lk was born out of the desire and need to offer interactive children’s books in a safe space online. This platform offers interactive books in both Sinhala as well as English, read aloud by Elocution teachers of both languages. It also comprises traditional Sri Lankan folklore titles, as well as English storybooks, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

Wooks.lk will fullfil the necessity in creating a platform for digitally available books for children across the island. Currently, each book uploaded to the website has been verified by qualified kindergarten teachers, language masters, categorised by age groups and available in both Sinhala and English languages.

The digital library covers storybooks that are available for free, along with a larger extensive selection that can be purchased. The free version also allows for sample stories and children’s colouring books that can be viewed online. 

Wooks.lk was officially launched at Temple Trees recently under the patronage of Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, Cabinet Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, State Minister of Digital Technology and Entrepreneur Development. 

For more information visit www.wooks.lk 

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01 July 2021

Kanya D’Almeida becomes first Sri Lankan to win Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Kanya D’Almeida has been declared the overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, for a "captivating" tale set in a Sri Lankan "sanctuary for the forsaken".

D’Almeida, from Colombo, Sri Lanka, was named the winner by actress Dona Croll in an online ceremony on 30th June. D’Almeida, who won for her story "I Cleaned The—", is the first Sri Lankan to win the overall prize and the second to win for the Asia region.

The prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction. Regional winners receive £2,500 with £5,000 for the overall winner.  

"I Cleaned The—", is a story about "dirty work"—domestic labour, abandonment, romantic encounters behind bathroom doors and human waste. The Asia judge, Bangladeshi writer, translator and editor Khademul Islam, described it as "a life-affirming story of love among the rambutan and clove trees of Sri Lanka—love for a baby not one’s own, love for a high-spirited elderly woman. Love found not among the stars but in human excrement. Literally. And all the more glorious for it."

The 2021 prize was judged by an international panel of writers, each representing one of the five regions of the Commonwealth, and chaired by South African writer Zoë Wicomb. Alongside Islam, the other panelists were Nigerian writer A Igoni Barrett, British poet and fiction writer Keith Jarrett, Jamaican environmental activist, writer and 2012 Caribbean regional winner Diana McCaulay, and author and 2016 Pacific regional winner Tina Makereti from New Zealand.

Source: www.thebookseller.com

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Greece recovers Picasso, Mondrian paintings stolen in 2012.

Greece has recovered works of art by Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian, stolen from its National Gallery in 2012.

Thieves broke into the gallery and snatched Picasso’s 1939 painting “Woman’s Head”, donated by the Spanish artist in 1949, and Dutch painter Mondrian’s “Mill” dated 1905.

To mislead the guard, the thieves had activated the gallery’s alarm system several times before breaking into the building early in the morning. The guard turned off the alarm only to spot one of the thieves through the motion detector.

Authorities arrested a 49-year-old Greek man who confessed that he had stolen the paintings and led police to a forest outside Athens where he had hidden them, the Citizens’ Protection Ministry said.

Footage handed out by police from the site showed one of the paintings sealed in a package sitting under the bushes.

The arrested man said a sketch by Italian painter Guglielmo Caccia, donated to the gallery in 1907 and also stolen in 2012, had been destroyed, the ministry said.

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28 June 2021

French non-fiction author Emmanuel Carrere wins top Spanish award.

French author Emmanuel Carrere, popular for his non-fiction books in a high literary vein, has been granted this year’s Spanish Princess of Asturias Literature Award. The award is one of the eight prestigious prizes by the foundation named after the heir to the Spanish throne, Princess Leonor.

Its jury said Wednesday that Carrere, 63, was chosen among 33 candidates from 20 countries because of the ability of his works to straddle reality and fiction.

Starting with his The Adversary in 2000, about the murderer Jean-Claude Romand, Carrere abandoned a previous career in fiction and began to write stories narrating his own experience or the lives of others.

His books contribute to the unmasking of the human condition and relentlessly dissect reality, the award’s jury said in a statement. It added that, in doing so, Carrere draws an incisive portrait of today’s society.

The author has also worked as a screenwriter and maker of films and documentaries, including a collaboration with German filmmaker Werner Herzog. Carrere has also been a jury member at the Cannes and Venice film festivals.

The 50,000-euro (USD 61,000) award is handed out annually during a lavish ceremony, normally in October, by the Princess of Asturias Foundation, which is presided over by Princess Leonor’s father, King Felipe VI.

The eight prizes cover different disciplines, from arts to social sciences or sports.

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16 June 2021

Pritzker Prize Laureate Gottfried Bohm passed away.

German architect Gottfried Böhm, designer of the brutalist Church of the Pilgrimage, has passed away aged 101.

Böhm, who was the eighth winner of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, was widely known for his concrete churches that were largely built in Germany.

The colossal concrete Church of the Pilgrimage in the German town of Neviges, also known as Neviges Mariendom, is widely considered to be his greatest work.

Other key projects by the architect include the brutalist Bensberger City Hall, Museum of the Diocese in Paderborn and St Kolumba church in Cologne.

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12 June 2021

Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga wins PEN Pinter prize 2021.

Tsitsi Dangarembga, the Booker-shortlisted Zimbabwean writer who was arrested last year in Harare while protesting against corruption, has been awarded the PEN Pinter prize, praised for her “ability to capture and communicate vital truths even amidst times of upheaval”. Dangarembga was also shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize for her work, This Mournable Body. 

Established in 2009, PEN Pinter prize is given in memory of Nobel-laureate playwright Harold Pinter. The annual award is given to an author who, the website specifies, must have “a significant body of plays, poetry, essays, or fiction of outstanding literary merit, written in English.”

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11 June 2021

Meghan Markle releases first children's book 'The Bench'.

The first children's book by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is a multicultural tribute to fatherhood.

"The Bench," a picture story published Tuesday 08 June 2021 by Random House Children's Books, celebrates the bond between Meghan's husband Prince Harry and son Archie and fathers and sons in general. 

Markle's rhyming narrative is complemented by illustrator Christian Robinson's watercolour images, showing families of different skin colours and backgrounds, from a light-skinned soldier returning home (Harry served in Afghanistan) to a dark-skinned man in dreadlocks, from a boy carrying a soccer trophy to a boy and his father wearing pink tutus.

The book's jacket describes Meghan, the actor formerly known as Meghan Markle, as "a mother, wife, feminist, and activist," committed to "activating compassion in communities across the world.

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BAFTA TV Awards 2021 winners announced.

The winners of the BAFTA TV Awards 2021 were announced.  The ceremony itself, filmed at London’s Television Centre and hosted by Richard Ayoade, was a hybrid event that kept in line with COVID-19 protocols by allowing a number of nominees from the main performance categories to attend, with others taking part digitally.

Winners of BAFTA TV Awards 2021 are:                                 

  • Category - Leading Actress                                 
  • Winner - Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You

  • Category - Leading Actor                                 
  • Winner - Paul Mescal, Normal People

  • Category - Drama Series                                 
  • Winner - Save Me Too

  • Category - Best Comedy Performance         
  • Winner - Charlie Cooper and Aimee Lou Wood

  • Category - Best Comedy Series                       
  • Winner - Inside No. 9

  • Category - Original Music                                 
  • Winner - Harry Escott, Roadkill

  • Category - Sports                                              
  • Winner - England v West Indies Test Cricket - Sky Sports Cricket

British Academy Television Awards are presented annually to recognize the outstanding work in British Television. It is being given annually since 1955. It is mainly given to British programs.

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05 June 2021

Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind win International Business Book of the Year Award 2021

Nitin Rakesh and Jerry Wind won the International Business Book of the Year Award 2021. The authors made history this week by winning the prestigious International Business Book of the Year Award for 2021 for their recently launched book “Transformation in Times of Crisis”, published by Notion Press. Their book Transformation in Times of Crisis brings entrepreneurs and business owners the knowledge that can help their business thrive even in a crisis.

Author Nitin Rakesh is a distinguished leader in the Technology and Financial services industries and is the CEO and Executive Director of IT major Mphasis, since 2017. His Co-author Jerry Wind, is an internationally renowned academician and is currently Lauder Professor Emeritus and Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

The Business Book Awards is one of the biggest and most prestigious events in the calendar for business book writers all over the world. It highlights leadership, change, and sustainability in business through the promotion of business books and their authors. The organizers receive over 150 submissions from top authors and their publishers every year, making this achievement all the more special.

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David Diop becomes the first French Winner for International Booker Prize.

French novelist and academic David Diop has become the first French writer to win the International Booker Prize for Fiction.

His second novel, "At Night All Blood is Black", was inspired by his Senegalese great-grandfather's silence about his experiences in World War One.

The £50,000 prize will be split between Diop and the book's translator - US author and poet Anna Moschovakis.

It fended off competition from five other shortlisted titles, including Éric Vuillard's "The War of the Poor".

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02 June 2021

Dr. Abeykoon wins the South-East Asia Region WHO World No Tobacco Day 2021 award.

In recognition of his extraordinary contribution to combatting harmful tobacco use, Dr Palitha Abeykoon, Former Chairman of National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol in Sri Lanka, International Pubilc Health Expert, and WHO Director-General Special Envoy for COVID-19 Preparedness and Response for SEAR, was named one of the South-East Asia Region WHO World No Tobacco Day 2021 awardees.

Sri Lanka was one of the first countries in the world to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Contro (FCTC). Sri Lanka was also one of the first countries in the region to adopt a tobacco control law in line with the Articles of the FCTC, the National Tobacco and Alcohol Act of 2006, which led to the establishment of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA). This law also banned all forms of tobacco advertising and sponsorships, prohibited sales to those under 21 and sales through vending machines, and declared most public places smoke-free.

When Dr Abeykoon was appointed the Chairperson of NATA in 2014, he formed crucial partnerships with the government public health network and enforcement agencies such as the Sri Lanka Police, Customs, and the Department of Excise to strengthen enforcement of tobacco control laws. He also formed a close relationship with Civil Society and Non-Government Organizations to boost advocacy and conduct community-level programmes and interventions related to tobacco reduction.

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25 May 2021

Valeria Luiselli wins €100,000 Dublin Literary Award.

Mexican author Valeria Luiselli has won the 2021 International Dublin Literary Award for the novel "Lost Children Archive".

The novel, the first the author has written in English, follows an artist couple on a road trip from New York to Arizona with their two children in the heat of summer. As their parents’ relationship frays, the children try to make sense of both their family’s crisis and the larger one engulfing the news: the stories of thousands of children trying to cross the border into the US but getting detained or lost in the desert along the way.

The International Dublin Literary Award (Irish: Duais Liteartha Idirnáisiúnta Bhaile Átha Chliath) is presented each year for a novel written or translated into English. It promotes excellence in world literature and is solely sponsored by Dublin City Council, Ireland. At €100,000, the award is one of the richest literary prizes in the world. 

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16 May 2021

Pablo Picasso's work sells for $. 103.4 mn.

A painting by Pablo Picasso has sold for more than $100m - marking the fifth work by the Spanish artist to sell for a nine-figure sum. Woman Sitting Near a Window (Marie-Therese) sold for $103.4m (£73.5m) at Christie's auction house in New York.

That figure comprises $90m for the painting itself, with fees and commissions on top. The auction house had estimated the painting would sell for $55m.

The work, titled Femme Assise Pres d'Une Fenetre (Marie-Therese) in Spanish, was sold after 19 minutes of bidding. This auction marked the fifth work by Picasso to have sold for more than $100m.

The record for a Picasso is $179.4m (£127.6m), which was paid for his painting The Women of Algiers in 2015. The last painting to fetch more than $100m was Claude Monet's 1890 work Meules, which reached $110.7m in New York in 2019.

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15 May 2021

Richard Osman wins author of the year after hit debut novel.

Richard Osman has been crowned author of the year at the British Book Awards after the runaway success of his debut novel The Thursday Murder Club.

Pointless star Osman said his win for his story of elderly amateur sleuths was an "absolute dream come true".

Also triumphant was Douglas Stuart's hard-hitting debut Shuggie Bain, which won the overall book of year, following 2020's Booker Prize-winning success.

Judges called Stuart's book, which also won best debut fiction, "exceptional".

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11 May 2021

Mumbai-born Dr Tahera Qutbuddin First Indian To Win Arab World Nobel Prize.

Dr Tahera Qutbuddin, a professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Chicago, recently became the first person of Indian-origin to win the 15th Sheikh Zyed Book Award. The award is considered to be the Nobel Prize of the Arab world.

Dr Qutbuddin, who was born in Mumbai and was educated until class 12 in India, also serves on the editorial board of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Library of Arabic Literature. She won the award for her latest book, Arabic Oration – Art and Function, published by Brill Academic Publishers of Leiden in 2019. 

Having completed her higher secondary from Sophia College in Mumbai, Dr Qutbuddin pursued her BA from Ain Shams University, Cairo and got her PhD and MA from Harvard University, USA.

In the book, she puts forth a comprehensive theory of Arabic literature in its foundational oral period dating the seventh and eighth centuries AD. She discusses it’s influence on modern-day sermons and lectures as well.

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30 April 2021

The World Book Capital for 2021: Tbilisi, Georgia.

In the Republic of Georgia, a small but spirited weekend opens the 2021 UNESCO World Book Capital program.

As is its custom, UNESCO’s World Book Capital program used World Book Day (Friday, April 23) to make its transfer from the 2020 city to the new 2021 designee.

Less than three years after its 2018 Guest of Honor Georgia program at Frankfurter Buchmesse—World Book Capital Tbilisi (2021) has accepted its new designation in a handover ceremony with Kuala Lumpur (2020). Guadalajara has been named the 2022 World Book Capital by UNESCO.

It typically takes a coalition of cultural organizations and governmental agencies to produce a successful World Book Capital program, and in Georgia, that collective includes:

  • The Writers’ House of Georgia
  • The Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association
  • The Museum of Literature
  • The National Library of the Parliament of Georgia
  • The Tbilisi  Museums Union
  • The Georgian National Film Center
  • The United Nations Population Fund
  • The State  Language Department of Georgia

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28 April 2021

J.K. Rowling children's story 'The Christmas Pig' to be released on October 12.

One of the world's most successful authors is coming back with a new book just in time for the holiday season.

Author J.K. Rowling announced Tuesday on her website that her latest children's book is titled "The Christmas Pig."

Rowling said the story is about a boy named Jack and his toy Dur Pig, who goes missing on Christmas Eve.

The book is set to be released worldwide on Oct. 12. "The Christmas Pig" is Rowling’s first children’s novel since Harry Potter.

Rowling returned to writing with the release of "The Ickabog" last year during the pandemic. Jim Field will illustrate her new book, The Associated Press reported.

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23 April 2021

405th death anniversary of William Shakespeare.

April 23 is the 405th death anniversary of the world’s pre-eminent dramatist, William Shakespeare. 

William Shakespeare, who was born in 1564 at Stratford, England, was an English poet, playwright and actor, commonly regarded as the finest master of the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist.

Shakespeare’s gift to English literature cannot be underestimated. He contributed thousands of words to the English language, many of which have found their way into modern common usage. He changed verbs to adjectives, nouns into verbs, added prefixes and suffixes and much more.

Much of his works are studied in schools as part of the curriculum. The most popular Shakespeare plays include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Henry V.

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