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Saturday, 31 October 2015

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on June 20, 1967 while her Australian parents were temporarily in the United States on educational visas. As a result Kidman can claim citizenship in Australia and the United States.

  Nicole Kidman 2015 photo by Siebbi Wikipedia Commons
Nicole's father, Antony David Kidman (1938-2014) was a biochemist, clinical psychologist, and author. Her mother, Janelle Ann (née Glenny), is a nursing instructor who edits her husband's books and was a member of the Women's Electoral Lobby.

At school her nickname was 'Stalk' - at 13 she was already 5.9 inches. At 5'11" Kidman is taller than most actresses.

Kidman's first movie was in 1983. It was called BMX Bandits.

Her first major movie was Days of Thunder, (1990) which also starred Tom Cruise. They fell in love during the filming of that movie. The pair were married on December 24, 1990 in Telluride, Colorado.

Nicole Kidman's necklace in the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge contained 1,308 diamonds. It was the most expensive piece of jewelry ever made for a film.

It was rumored that their marriage was just a cover for Cruise being a homosexual. A porn star named Chad Slater kick-started the rumors, but was later sued by the actor and ordered to pay $10 million.

On February 5, 2001, Kidman and Cruise's spokesperson announced their separation. The marriage was dissolved in August of that year, with Cruise citing irreconcilable differences.

While playing Virginia Woolf in 2002's The Hours, Kidman was fitted with a prosthetic nose – and quickly found that if she wore it off-set she could dodge the paparazzi trailing her over her divorce from Tom Cruise.

Kidman won the Best Actress Academy Award for The Hours. She was the first Australian to win the Best Actress Oscar.

In late 2004, Buz Luhrmann directed the world's most expensive advertisement for Chanel No 5 co-starring Kidman. The commercial, about a fairy-tale romance in which Chanel is part of the story but is not what the story is about, cost £18 million and made Kidman a Guinness World Record holder for highest paid actress in a commercial (she netted $3.71 million)

Kidman is terrified of butterflies and allergic to strawberries.

Kidman at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. By Georges Biard, wikipedia Commons

On the set of 2008's Australia, Kidman noticed a scorpion crawling up her co-star Hugh Jackman leg. Kidtman calmly scooped the offending beast into a hat and threw it into the woods.

Kidman has professed love for the works of the poet Philip Larkin, whose famous poems include This Be The Verse, a deeply cynical view of modern marriages and parenting.

Nicole Kidman's party trick is a pitch-perfect impression of Tweetie Pie from the Loony Tunes cartoons.

Friday, 30 October 2015


Khaki is a Hindustani word meaning "dust" that is used for a color, a light shade of yellow-brown.

Khaki has been used by many armies around the world for uniforms, including camouflage. They
were first used during the 1857-8 Indian Mutiny when an irregular corps of Guides raised at Meerut adopted the color to protect themselves against native snipers. The soldiers dyed their white drill with curry powder or the mud and dust (khak) and became appropriately known as "the Khaki (dust) Squadron."

The British Army subsequently adopted khaki for colonial campaign dress as it was good for camouflage and it was used in the Mahdist War (1884-1889) and Second Boer War (1899–1902).

After victory in Second Boer War the British government called an election, which became known as the khaki election. The term has subsequently been used for elections called to exploit public approval of governments immediately after victories.

The United States Army adopted khaki during the 1898 Spanish American War.

In Western fashion, khaki is a standard color for smart casual dress trousers for civilians, which are also often called khakis.

Source Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Alicia Keys

Alicia Augello Cook was born on January 25, 1981, in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, New York City, New York. She is known professionally as Alicia Keys.

Keys at the 2013 ARIA Music Awards.

She is the only child of Teresa Augello, a paralegal and part-time actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. Her mother is of half Italian and half English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry, and her father is of African American ancestry.

Keys made her television debut at the age of four, guesting on the Cosby Show in a cameo role as a sleepover friend of daughter Rudy Huxtable.

She started songwriting at the age of 7 after friends of her mom gave away to them their 1930s upright piano.

She has been good friends with R&B singer Usher since the age of 14.

Keys graduated as valedictorian from the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City when she was 16.

She signed with Columbia Records right out of high school and was accepted into Columbia University at the same time. A month after signing with the label, Keys left college to focus on her musical career.

Keys was with Columbia Records for four years before she released an album. Her first single "Fallin'" went to #1 in the US.

Keys learnt to shoot a gun in the 2006 movie Smokin' Aces and is now a dab hand with a firearm. She played a lesbian assassin.

She played June Boatwright in the 2008 movie The Secret Life of Bees. Keys had to learn to play the cello in just four weeks for her role, which earned her a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards.

Sources News of the WorldArtistfacts

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Keyboard (computer)

The 'Backspace' button is the third most used on your average keyboard. Just behind 'e' and the spacebar.

In 2013, Bill Gates admitted that the Ctrl+Alt+Delete command was a mistake, and should have been a single button.

At any given second, the space bar on a computer or phone keyboard is being pressed six million times.

Though most people are right-handed, but when using a computer keyboard, on average, our left hands are responsible for 56 per cent of the keystrokes.

                                              Featured image: Keyboard. CC0 via Pixabay.

The longest "left handed" words on a keyboard are "aftercataracts" and "tesseradecades."

The "@" sign was very close to being eliminated from the standard keyboard until 1971, when Ray Tomlinson wrote it into the code used to send the first email.

The "#" symbol on the keyboard is called an octothorpe.

The average keyboard contains 3,295 microbes per square inch.

Every 10,000 words typed by a user on a QWERTY keyboard is equivalent to their fingers having traveled 1 mile.

Every second, spacebars on keyboards around the world are hit about six million times.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Non-electric kettles date back thousands of years but would leave you waiting ages for your brew. In Ancient China, kettles were typically made of iron and were placed directly over an open flame.

The 1784 'Kettle War' between the Netherlands and Holy Roman Empire involved a single shot. It hit a kettle.

The Carpenter Electric Company developed the first electric kettle in Chicago in 1891. Two years later the English Crompton and Co. firm started featuring electric kettles in their catalog. These early kettles took twelve minutes to heat the water because the element was in a separate chamber under the water, maintaining the 'fire under the water' layout of traditional boiling vessels.

The first electric kettles were a strictly functional object and were seldom seen outside the kitchen, being regarded as a supplementary appliance to the electric cooker. The separation of water from the element made the kettle inefficient and expensive to run.

                                                  Featured image: Kettle . CC0 via Pixabay.

The automatic kettle – one that switches itself off when the water reaches boiling point – was the brainchild of Peter Hobbs, one of the two founders of appliance company Russell Hobbs. Launched in 1955, it used a controlled jet of steam from the boiling water to cut the power supply via a fast-acting bimetallic strip.

Monday, 26 October 2015


Ketchup, or catsup, originated in China in 1690 as a pickled fish sauce called "ke-tsiap". British sailors took Asian catsup or ketchup from Singapore to England but the British were unable to duplicate the recipe so they started substituting other ingredients, including ground mushrooms, walnuts and cucumbers. Later the first recipe for "tomato catsup" appeared.

By the mid 1830s, Tomato Ketchup was being sold in the United States as a patent medicine. It was called Dr. Miles's Compound Extract of Tomato.

Charles Dickens was partial to "lamb chops breaded with plenty of ketchup".

In the 1870's New England colonists mixed tomatoes into the sauce creating the present day ketchup. It was F. & J. Heinz who launched in 1876 the first mass-produced and bottled tomato ketchup.

Heinz's ketchup was advertised as: "Blessed relief for Mother and the other women in the household!", a slogan which alluded to the lengthy and onerous process required to produce tomato ketchup in the home.

Ketchup and catsup are the same thing—Heinz called his product ketchup to help it stand out from his competitors who were peddling catsup.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, coal tar was used in ketchup to make the sauce red.

The 57 on a Heinz ketchup bottle represents the varieties of pickle the company once had.

Over 650 million bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup are sold around the world each year, with annual sales of more than £1 billion.

Heinz sells two sachets of ketchup each year for every person on Earth.

97% of all U.S. homes have ketchup.

Banana ketchup is popular in the Philippines.

French schools are banned from serving ketchup with French foods.

Ed Sheeran has a ketchup bottle tattooed on his arm.

Ketchup barely goes bad. It is good two years past its expiration date. And then it can go a year in the fridge or a few months room temperature.

You only need to consume eight packets of ketchup per day to stave off scurvy.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Johannes Kepler

German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler was born on December 27, 1571, at the Free Imperial City of Weil der Stadt (50 miles west of Stuttgart). Johannes' father, Heinrich Kepler, earned a precarious living as a mercenary, and he left the family when Johannes was five years old. His mother Katharina Guldenmann, an inn-keeper's daughter, was a healer and herbalist.

Johannes was introduced to astronomy at an early age, and observed at the age of six the Great Comet of 1577.

Kepler attended Tübinger Stift at the University of Tübingen. There, he studied philosophy and theology. He proved himself to be a superb mathematician and earned a reputation as a skillful astrologer, casting horoscopes for fellow students.

Brought up in the Protestant faith, Kepler had desired to become a minister. However, near the end of his studies he was recommended for a position as teacher of mathematics and astronomy at the Protestant school in Graz. Kepler accepted the position in April 1594, at the age of 23.

Kepler first met the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe on February 4, 1600, at Benátky nad Jizerou (55 miles from Prague), the site where Brahe's new observatory was being constructed. Over the next two months he stayed as a guest, analyzing some of Tycho's observations of Mars.

Through most of 1601, Kepler was supported directly by Tycho, who assigned him to analyzing planetary observations.

Monument of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler in Prague

After Tycho's unexpected death on October 24, 1601, Kepler was appointed his successor as imperial mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II, with the responsibility to complete his unfinished work. His analysis of Tycho's observations of the planets led him to discover Kepler's laws.

Kepler's three laws of planetary motion provided evidence that the planets, including the Earth, orbit the Sun in an oval shape. The German astronomer showed that the orbits of the planets are elliptical rather than circular, and that a planet's speed varies at different stages of its orbit. Moreover, planetary motion follows music's template. For example, the ratio between Jupiter's maximum and Mars' minimum speed corresponds to a minor third; that between Earth and Venus to a minor sixth.

Kepler's first two laws were published in Astronomia nova (New Astronomy) in 1609. His third law, which he discovered on March 8, 1618, was outlined in Harmonice Mundi (Harmony of the Worlds) ten years later.

Geometrical harmonies in the perfect solids from Harmonices Mundi 

On October 17, 1604, Johannes Kepler observed an exceptionally bright star, now known as Kepler's Supernova, which had suddenly appeared in the constellation Ophiuchus. while working at the imperial court in Prague for Emperor Rudolf II. Kepler tracked the object for an entire year and in 1606 wrote a book on the subject, entitled De Stella nova in pede Serpentarii ("On the new star in Ophiuchus's foot".  Kepler's Supernova is the most recent supernova to have been unquestionably observed by the naked eye in the Milky Way.

In the first months of 1610, Kepler's contemporary, Galileo Galilei, using his powerful new telescope, discovered four satellites orbiting Jupiter. After hearing of Galileo's telescopic discoveries, Kepler started his own theoretical and experimental investigation of telescopic optics using a telescope borrowed from Duke Ernest of Cologne. The resulting manuscript, which helped to legitimize the telescopic discoveries of Galileo, was published as Dioptrice in 1611.

Kepler's Protestant faith was not affected  by his astronomical findings as he believed that the source of all power and light, the Sun is the very image of God. Kepler asserted that his discoveries "may well wait a century for a reader, as God has waited 6,000 years for an observer."

When Kepler was at the very height of his scientific career, his mother, Katharina, was accused of witchcraft. Kepler abandoned everything to defend her against the claims of witchcraft--over a period of six years--saving her from sure execution at the stake.

In 1628, following the military successes of the Emperor Ferdinand's armies under General Wallenstein during the Thirty Years War, Kepler was appointed as an official adviser to Wallenstein. He provided astronomical calculations for Wallenstein's astrologers and occasionally wrote horoscopes himself.

Kepler died in the South East German city of Regensburg on November 15, 1630. His burial site there was lost after the Swedish army destroyed the churchyard. Only Kepler's self-authored poetic epitaph survived the times:

I measured the skies, now the shadows I measure
Skybound was the mind, earthbound the body rests.

Source The Observer Book of Space

Saturday, 24 October 2015



Cushitic-speaking people from northern Africa first moved into the area that is now Kenya around 2000 BC.

During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprises three-quarters of Kenya's population.

Arab traders began frequenting the Kenya coast around the first century AD. By the Eighth Century, Arab and Persian settlements had sprouted along the coast.

Vasco Da Gama and his crew were the first known Europeans to visit the Kenya port of Mombasa.They landed there on April 7, 1498, but were met with hostility and soon departed.

Vasco Da Gama

Vasco da Gama later stopped off in Malindi, a town at the mouth of the Galana River 120 kilometres northeast of Mombasa. He met Malindi authoritiesto sign a trade agreement and hired a guide for the voyage to India, when he erected a coral pillar. Da Gama was given a warm reception from Shiek of Malindi, which contrasted with hostile reception he encountered in Mombasa. The pillar stands to this day.

European settlers began establishing themselves as large-scale farmers in the Kenyan highlands in the early 1900s, taking lands from local tribes like the Kikuyu and Masai. In 1920, the British designated the interior of the region Kenya Colony and a coastal strip the Protectorate of Kenya.

The Kikuyu staged an armed revolt in the 1950s. Britain eventually put down the rebellion, but Kenya gained its independence on December 12, 1963.

Jomo Kenyatta was elected the first President of Kenya on December 12, 1964. Kenyatta was the leader of Kenya from independence in 1963 to his death in 1978, serving first as Prime Minister (1963–64) and then as President (1964–78). He is considered the founding father of the Kenyan nation.


The Republic of Kenya is named after Mount Kenya, the country's highest mountain and the second-highest in Africa, after Mount Kilimanjaro.

The town of Kericho in Kenya has more frequent hail than anywhere else on Earth, falling on an average of 132 days a year.

67 different languages are spoken in Kenya. English and Kiswahili are the official languages with the latter being the national language.

In Kenya, there is a Camel Mobile Library. Camels transport books from the Kenyan capital Nairobi to surrounding villages that are up to 248 miles away.

Kate Middleton and Prince William got engaged in a remote hut in Kenya, during a ten day trip to the country's Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Kenya is famous for its dominance in middle-distance and long-distance track and field, having consistently produced Olympic and Commonwealth Games champions. The country's best-known athletes include 800m world record holder David Rudisha, former Marathon world record-holder Paul Tergat.

The average American consumes the same amount of resources as 32 Kenyans in a year.

Kenya is a coastal country, with a national shipping company, but not a single ship.


Friday, 23 October 2015

Kentucky Fried Chicken


Harland Sanders (September 9, 1890 – December 16, 1980), also known as Colonel Sanders, learned how to cook when his father died and he became responsible for his younger siblings.

Sanders at the age of seven, pictured with his mother

The 40-year-old Harland Sauders took over a Shell filling station on US Route 25 just outside North Corbin, Kentucky, a small town on the edge of the Appalachian Mountain in 1930. He started to serve to travelers the recipes that he had learned as a youngster including fried chicken, Seven years later, he expanded his restaurant to 142 seats, and added a motel he purchased across the street, naming it Sanders Court & Café.

Saunders finalized in July 1940 his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe with a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices. Although he never publicly revealed the recipe, Saunders admitted to the use of salt and pepper,

The Harland Sanders Café and Museum, as it's known today, is now a shrine to Kentucky’s most famous chef.

After being recommissioned as a Kentucky colonel in 1950 by Governor Lawrence Wetherby, Sanders began to dress the part, wearing a white suit, growing a goatee and referring to himself as "Colonel."

Colonel Saunders struck a deal his friend Pete Harman of South Salt Lake, Utah, the operator of one of the city's largest restaurants. to open the first KFC franchise. It opened for business in Salt Lake City in August 1952.

It was Don Anderson, a sign painter hired by Harman, who coined the name "Kentucky Fried Chicken."

Harman trademarked the phrase "It's finger lickin' good", which eventually became the company-wide slogan. He also introduced the "bucket meal" in 1957 ( larger portions of fried chicken served in a cardboard "bucket".)


"Finger-lickin' good" was mistranslated into Chinese as "eat your fingers off."

Kentucky Fried Chicken is known as KFC the world over apart from in the French speaking Canadian province of Quebec. The strict language laws there mean it operates as PFK – Poulet Frit Kentucky.

Colonel Sauders is often considered one of Kentucky's most notable people. However, it should be noted that he was born and raised in Indiana, not Kentucky.

Colonel Harland David Sanders Wikipedia Commons

Colonel Sanders once tried to claim the cost of his white suits as a tax deduction. The IRS disallowed this claim.

KFC was one of the first fast food franchises to move into Asian markets. However, the chain was forced to change its ‘finger-licking good,’ slogan in 2011 after it moved into China. The slogan was erroneously translated into Chinese as "eat your fingers off."

There are two Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in Japan that offer all-you-can-eat buffets—the Expo City location is home to a suit worn by the Colonel himself.

KFC, whose secret chicken recipe includes 11 herbs and spices, follows exactly 11 users on Twitter - six men named Herb and the five Spice Girls.

If we cooked every living chicken in the world, the chicken would fill enough Kentucky Fried Chicken 16-piece buckets to stack to the moon and back three times.

Kentucky Fried Chicken is the world's second largest restaurant chain (as measured by sales) after McDonald's, with 18,875 outlets in 118 countries and territories as of December 2013.

In Japan, it is a Christmas tradition to order KFC. This particular unusual festive practice dates back to the 1970s when a customer at the chain’s Aoyama store observed that, in a land where it was difficult to get hold of the customary turkey for a celebratory dinner, fried chicken was the next best thing. The KFC corporate offices got wind of the  idea and the company started a huge advertising campaign in Japan called “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) in 1974, which was ludicrously popular.



Originally Virginia's westernmost county, Kentucky became the fifteenth state to join the Union in 1792.

While on a trip to New Orleans in 1852, Stephen Foster stopped in Kentucky to visit a cousin's house, called Federal Hill, near Bardstown. There, it is said, he wrote "My Old Kentucky Home." It became Kentucky's state song on March 19, 1928. The state maintains Federal Hill as a memorial to Foster.

Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State" because of a kind of grass that grows in many of its pastures whose flower heads are blue.

The Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs near the city of Louisville.

The small Kentucky town of Hodgenville, famous for being the birthplace of President Abraham Lincoln. hosts an annual Lincoln Days Celebration.

Bowling Green, Kentucky's third-largest city, is home to the only assembly plant in the world that manufactures the Chevrolet Corvette.The one-million-square-foot compound was built in 1981, after General Motors decided to move the facility from St. Louis.

In Kentucky, there exists more barrels of Bourbon whiskey (4.8 million) than people (4.2 million).

Kentucky is home to the highest per capita number of deer and turkey in the United States.

With 405 miles of surveyed passageways Mammoth Cave in Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park is the world's longest known cave system.

Kentucky has more navigable miles of water than any other state in the continental U.S. Its 1,100 miles of rivers and lakes are second only to Alaska.

Lake Cumberland is the largest artificial American lake east of the Mississippi River by volume.

Lake Cumberland

Fort Knox is a United States Army post in Kentucky south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown. Named after Henry Knox, the Continental Army's chief of artillery during the Revolutionary War, it is the site of the U.S. Bullion Reservatory (where the country's federal gold is kept).

In 2014, Kentucky was found to be the most affordable US state in which to live.

By law, each citizen of Kentucky is required to bathe once each year.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

John F. Kennedy


John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born May 29, 1917, at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts to businessman/politician Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy, Sr. (1888–1969) and philanthropist/socialite Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald-Kennedy (1890–1995).

According to the Miller Center, John F. Kennedy enjoyed a "privileged childhood of elite private schools, sailboats, servants and summer homes" during the Great Depression. He later claimed that he only learned about the Great Depression in the books he read at college.

He started his college career at Princeton but left after one semester and returned to his home state and attended Harvard.

Kennedy’s first book, written when he was 22, was called Why England Slept.  It had been his thesis written while in his senior year at Harvard College. Published in 1940, the book examines the failures of the British government to take steps to prevent World War II.


On August 2, 1943 Lt. John F. Kennedy,was serving as commander of a torpedo boat in the Solomon Islands when his ship was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. The PT 109 was split in half in the crash and sunk. Kennedy and his crew swam three miles through shark-infested waters to an island where they survived on coconuts for a week before they were eventually rescued by Solomon Islanders Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana.

Kennedy on his navy patrol boat, the PT-109, 1943.

Kennedy took ten days to recover from "symptoms of fatigue and many deep abrasions and lacerations of the entire body, especially the feet."

Kennedy was credited with saving the crew and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism, and the Purple Heart for his injuries.

Kennedy's heroics as a commander in the South Pacific during World War II was immortalized in the film, PT109. He suggested Cliff Robertson to the director to portray him in the movie.

The use of a coconut shell with the message carved in it alerting the U.S. Navy that Kennedy and his crew were alive as depicted in PT 109 was accurately portrayed. The coconut was allegedly later recovered and became a paper weight in the Oval Office.


In 1946, U.S. Representative James Michael Curley vacated his seat to become mayor of Boston. Kennedy ran for the seat, beating his Republican opponent by a large margin in November 1946. He served as a congressman for six years.

In the 1952 U.S. Senate election, Kennedy defeated incumbent Republican Henry Cabot Lodge II for the U.S. Senate seat.

Before becoming President, Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1957 book Profiles in Courage. He did not keep his $100,000 salary; instead he donated it to charity.

On September 26, 1960, the first televised U.S. presidential debate took place, between Republican Vice-President Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. It was watched by over 60 million people.

John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon participate in the second 1960 presidential debate


On November 8, 1960, John F Kennedy was elected President, beating Richard Nixon by the narrowest of margins - 113,000 votes out of the 69 million cast.

In 1960 Kennedy was just 43, the youngest President ever to be elected and the first to be born in the 20th century.

Kennedy was the first, and still the only, Roman Catholic to become US President.

Kennedy was inaugurated as president of the United States on a particularly cold day in Washington DC on January 20, 1961. Despite the frozen weather, he was the first American president to dispense with a hat reflecting the current trend for more casual dress and going about one's business hatless.

The two Solomon Islanders who helped rescue JFK during World War II were invited to his inauguration, but were prevented from going by British officials who felt they weren't dressed well enough to travel.

During his presidency, Kennedy changed his shirt three times a day and refused to wear a hat "to hide his thick chestnut hair" - a decision that helped kill off the hat-making industry as other American males followed suit.

One of Kennedy's first Presidential acts was the formation of the Peace Corps. Kennedy appointed his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver to head the volunteer program. Since 1961 over 200,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps in 139 countries.

President Kennedy made a historic speech in the city of West Berlin. He proudly proclaimed in German "Ich bin ein Berliner!" which means literally "I am a jelly doughnut!" He
should have said, "Ich bin Berliner!" or "I am of Berlin!"

Kennedy donated his residential salary to charities including the United Negro College Fund, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.

JFK had a younger sister, Rosemary, who received a lobotomy which made her unable to walk or speak. This was his main motivation for all he did for individuals with special needs.


John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier on September 12, 1953, at St Mary's Church, in Newport, Rhode Island. 800 attended the social event of the year and Pope Pius XII sent his blessing.

They  had four children; a stillborn daughter (b. 1956), Caroline (b. 1957), John (1960–1999) and Patrick, who was born prematurely in August 1963 and lived only for two days.

Kennedy reportedly had affairs with a number of women, including Marilyn Monroe and his wife's press secretary, Pamela Turnure. The extent of a relationship with Monroe will never be known, although it has been reported they spent a weekend together in March 1962 while Kennedy was staying at Bing Crosby's house.


Kennedy loved animals and variously owned owned a number of pets including cats, dogs, hamsters, a horse, a rabbit, a parakeet and a canary.

The Soviet Union gave John F. Kennedy a dog named Pushinka, who was the daughter of Strekla, one of the first dogs in space. One of Kennedy's dogs, Charlie, took a liking to Pushinka, resulting in the birth of four pups referred jokingly by Kennedy as "pupniks".

Kennedy usually swam twice a day in the White House pool heated to 90 degrees and with a specially commissioned mural of the Massachusetts waterfront to remind him of home.

He was a life member of the National Rifle Association.

Though extremely wealthy Kennedy never carried cash, borrowing from friends and often failing to pay them back.

Although the Kennedys were known for elevating the White House dinner parties with elegant French fare, JFK enjoyed simple lunches, usually involving soup. True to his roots, the president's favorite was New England-style fish chow-dah.

Kennedy was obsessed about his weight and always traveled with a bathroom scale.

John F Kennedy was the fastest recorded public speaker in history at 327 words per minute.


John F Kennedy was hospitalized more than three dozen times in his life and given the last rites three times. He had signs of adrenal failure as early as 1940.

In September 1947, while Kennedy was 30 and in his first term in Congress, he was diagnosed with a hormonal deficiency called Addison's disease.

At times of great stress, Kennedy's  body was unable to fight back and he was liable to suffer a sudden physical collapse. The only way he was able to cope with his weakness was by taking daily doses of the steroid hydrocortisone, which boosted his energy and masked his symptoms. Unfortunately, among the side effects of this drug were depression, mania, confusion and an increased libido.

John F. Kennedy's thick head of hair and perpetual tan weren't due to being fit and healthy. Just the opposite, they were side effects of one of the many drugs he took.

Kennedy also suffered from back problems, necessitating the wearing of a brace or corset.. He did much of his daily work either in bed or in a hot bath.

Kennedy's left leg was considerably shorter than his right, obliging him to wear corrective shoes.


John F. Kennedy was a Roman Catholic who attended Trinity Church in Washington, while he was President.

Kennedy was concerned about the dangers of mixing religious and political institutions, and advocated strongly the separation of church and state.

Billy Graham had been spending some time with John F. Kennedy. The evangelist had a heavy cold so held back on speaking to the president about his salvation and personal walk with God. A few weeks after Billy Graham unusually missed his opportunity to speak to the president about spiritual matters, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.


Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. He was being driven through the city in an open-top convertible with his wife sat beside him. As the car drove into Dealey Plaza, shots were fired. Kennedy was hit twice. The first bullet struck him in the upper back and exited through his throat. The second bullet struck him in his head. He was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital and at 1:00 p.m, was pronounced dead.

Kennedy had a state funeral on November 25th, three days after his murder, near to the White House, where his body was laid to rest in Arlington, Virginia.

JFK's brain was removed and stored in the National Archive after his autopsy. The brain was subsequently lost and remains missing to this day.

Kennedy is the only US President to have been outlived by his grandmother.

Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine, was the prime suspect in the murder and was arrested, but denied shooting anyone. Two days later, while being moved from police headquarters to the county jail on November 24, 1963, Oswald was fatally shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

Oswald's shooting was in full view of television cameras broadcasting live to millions of viewers. It was the first live televised murder.

In 1964 a jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby (see below) guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald. but the conviction was overturned.. The retrial did not happen because Ruby died on January 3, 1967 from a blood clot that lodged in his lungs. He was suffering from lung cancer.

John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby all have the same place of death: Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Mount Kennedy in Canada was named after John F Kennedy in 1964. The following year, his brother Robert Kennedy became the first person to climb it.


There are a number of similarities between President Abraham Lincoln and President John F. Kennedy:

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were shot in the back of the head in the presence of their wives.

Both wives lost a child while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.

Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808. Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theatre. Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln, made by Ford.

Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse. Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.

Booth and Oswald were both assassinated before their trials.

Sources Daily Mail,, Trivia Times, Daily Express 

Jacqueline Kennedy


Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929 in Southampton, New York to Wall Street stockbroker John Vernou "Black Jack" Bouvier III (1891–1957) and Janet Norton Lee (1907–1989).

Her early years were spent in New York City and East Hampton, Long Island, at the Bouvier family estate called "Lasata".

Starting at a young age, Jackie was a talented equestrienne. At just 3-years-old, she was already able to control her pony.

Six-year-old Bouvier in 1935

Jackie's parents divorced in 1940, and her mother married Standard Oil heir Hugh D. Auchincloss in 1942. Jackie and her younger sister, Lee, moved in with their mother's new family, and divided their time between their stepfather's two vast estates: Merrywood in McLean, Virginia, and Hammersmith Farm in Newport, Rhode Island.

In 1941, a 12-year-old Jackie toured the White House with her mother and sister, but she found it extremely frustrating that there was so little information offered to visitors. So when Jackie eventually moved into the White House herself, she made it her mission to fix this.

Jackie once wrote in her school yearbook that her ambition in life was "not to be a housewife."

In 1951, the 22-year-old Jackie submitted an essay to a Vogue writing contest, where the winner would earn a junior editor position for six months in New York and six months in Paris. And out of 1,279 entries, Jackie's essay won the contest. However, she quit on her first day as a junior editor.

Before she started a relationship with John F. Kennedy, Jackie was engaged at the age of 22 to a Wall Street banker named John Husted. She broke it off after three months in 1952, because she reportedly thought he was dull and also was hesitant about becoming a housewife.


Jacqueline Bouvier and then congressman John F. Kennedy were introduced by a mutual friend at a dinner party in May 1952. Kennedy was then busy running for the US Senate, but after his election in November, the relationship grew more serious and led to a proposal.

The wedding of Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy took place on September 12, 1953, at St Mary's Church, in Newport, Rhode Island. It was considered the social event of the season with an estimated 800 guests at the ceremony and 1000 at the lavish reception that followed at Hammersmith Farm.

Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy on their wedding day, September 12, 1953

Jacqueline Kennedy suffered a miscarriage in 1955, and gave birth to a stillborn baby girl in 1956.
The couple eventually became parents to a daughter Caroline (b. 1957) and a son John (1960-1999). A second son, Patrick, was born prematurely in August 1963 and died two days later.

When John Kennedy became the president of the United States on January 20, 1961, Jacqueline Kennedy became, at age 31, one of the youngest First Ladies in American history.

First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy, André Malraux, Marie-Madeleine Lioux Malraux, Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson having just descended White House Grand Staircase on their way to a dinner with the French cultural minister, April 1962

After moving into the White House, Jacqueline Kennedy was dismayed at the state the official residence was in. She established a Fine Arts Committee to help her restore the house to its original splendor with American furniture and paintings of historical significance. She hosted a televised tour of the White House, on February 14, 1962, to show the progress of the work. Jackie's televised White House tour exposed millions to the ins and outs of her restoration project, eventually earning her an Emmy.

Charles Collingwood with Jacqueline Kennedy on TV tour of the White House, 14 Feb 1962.

She was seated next to President Kennedy in an open limousine driving, when on November 22, 1963, he was shot in the head by a sniper in Dallas. The courage and dignity Jackie displayed in the aftermath of that tragedy won her international admiration.


Already stylish and graceful even as a teenager, in 1948 Jackie was dubbed "Debutante of the Year" by Hearst columnist Igor Cassini.

In the early 1960s Jacqueline Kennedy was largely responsible for popularizing the bouffant coiffure.

Her clean suits with a skirt hem down to middle of the knee, three-quarter sleeves on notch-collar jackets, sleeveless A-line dresses, above-the-elbow gloves and famous pillbox hats became known as the "Jackie" look.

Jacqueline Kennedy at a State dinner on May 22, 1962

After her husband's assassination, Jackie refused to change out of her bloodstained bright pink suit
at Lyndon B. Johnson's swearing in, Jackie declined Lady Bird Johnson's offer of a change of clothes with a heartbreaking statement: "Oh no, I want them to see what they've done to Jack." The outfit would go on to be one of the most famous artifacts from the day her husband was assassinated.

Jackie's iconic pink suit was actually a copy of a Chanel outfit. Chez Ninon, a New York fashion salon, created a line-for-line reproduction of Chanel's design so Jackie could skirt around the ban on wearing foreign designers — a habit that she had been publicly criticized for in the past.

Not only did Jackie speak Spanish and French, she was also proficient in Italian and Polish.

Jackie Kennedy liked lunch to have less than 500 calories. It often consisted of a baked potato with a spoonful of fresh a glass or two of champagne.


President John F Kennedy ordered one of his top Secret Service agents to make sure that Jackie did not meet her friend Aristotle Onassis on a trip she took to Greece in 1961.

After leaving the White House, Jacqueline Kennedy lived for a time in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., but moved to New York City with her children in late 1964.

On October 20, 1968, Jackie married her long-time friend Aristotle Onassis, a wealthy Greek shipping magnate. The wedding took place on Skorpios, Onassis's private Greek island in the Ionian Sea.

After Onassis' death in 1975, Jackie once more settled in New York City. From 1978 to 1994, the former First Lady worked as a book editor for Doubleday, an American publishing company. While there, she worked on several JFK biographies.

in 1988 Jackie Onassis edited Michael Jackson's 1988 autobiography Moon Walk. 

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died of cancer (lymphoma) on May 19, 1994 at her home in New York City, at the age of 64. She was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, next to President Kennedy, their stillborn daughter and infant son.

Source Good Housekeeping

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Grace Kelly


Grace Kelly was born on November 12, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was bought up in the family home, which was built in 1929 in the East Falls district of Philadelphia.

Her father, Irish-American John B. Kelly, Sr. (1889–1960)  won 126 consecutive single scull rowing races between 1919 and 1920 and three Olympic gold medals for sculling. He owned a successful brickwork contracting company that was well-known on the East Coast.

John B. Kelly, Sr. was appointed by President Roosevelt, during the Second World War as National Director of Physical Fitness.

The Kelly family home,. By Shuvaev - Wikipedia Commons


Grace Kelly's early acting roles were on stage and television. She made her film debut in a small role in the 1951 film Fourteen Hours. Kelly's performance was not noticed by critics and did not lead to her receiving other movie acting roles until she was chosen to co-star in High Noon.

In 1952, Kelly was offered a seven-year film contract with a salary of $850 a week. Two months after signing her contract, Kelly and the cast arrived in Nairobi to begin production of the MGM film Mogambo. Her role as Linda Nordley in Mogambo garnered Kelly a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

The Cast of Mogambo
Grace Kelly was suspended by MGM for turning down the part of a call-girl in Jeremy Rodock, in which she was to star with Spencer Tracy. In her New York apartment, Miss Kelly said: "I am terribly upset. I just don’t feel I am right for the part."

Kelly's deglamorized performance in The Country Girl earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Grace Kelly gave up her acting career aged 26 when she married Prince Rainier III and became Princess of Monaco. After they wed he banned showings of all her films in the Principality.

Her movies included three by Alfred Hitchock: Dial M for Murder, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief.

Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief

On January 5. 1956, Prince Rainier of Monaco announced his engagement to Grace Kelly — the same day she topped the U.S. Best-Dressed list.

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier married on April 18, 1956 in a brief civil ceremony at the royal palace. The next day, they married again in a large formal ceremony at Monaco's Cathedral of St. Nicholas. The three-hour public event was televised and was watched by thirty million people, a huge amount of viewers for the time.

Grace Kelly wore an elaborate ivory dress created by Hollywood designer Helen Rose. Four hundred fifty yards of silk and lace were used to make the bride's wedding gown.

The diamond sparkler worn by Grace Kelly's bride-to-be in High Society was Kelly's actual Cartier engagement ring, given to her by Prince Ranier. The film was released in the US just three months after their wedding.

The Prince and Princess of Monaco arrive at the White House for a luncheon, 1961

Grace Kelly had three children:
Hereditary Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite, born January 23, 1957, and now heiress presumptive to the throne of Monaco.
Albert II, Prince of Monaco, born March 14, 1958
Princess Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth, born February 1, 1965.

In 1993 Grace Kelly became the first actress to appear on an U.S. postage stamp. It was released in conjunction with a Monaco postage stamp featuring her on the same day.


Grace Kelly was driving back to Monaco from her country home in Roc Agel when she had a stroke. As a result, she lost control of her 1971 Rover P6 3500 and drove off the steep, winding road and down the 120 ft mountainside. Her daughter, Stéphanie, who was in the passenger seat, tried to regain control of the car, but failed. Grace Kelly died the following night on September 14, 1982, at the age of 52 after Prince Rainier decided to take her off life support.

The classic head-cover of a silk scarf crossed under the chin and knotted at the side or nape of the neck is universally known as the "Grace Kelly." This chic look is still copied by many female Hollywood stars when they wish to retain a degree of anonymity in the public eye.

Monday, 19 October 2015


John Harvey Kellogg, a Seventh-day Adventist surgeon, was the superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanatorium. Kellogg was interested in nutrition, and he earnestly strived to develop bran-rich foods that weren't too bland. A vegetarian, he wished to replace meat on the breakfast table.

In 1896, John Harvey Kellogg along with his younger brother and general office assistant at the Sanatorium, William Keith Kellogg, developed, after much experimentation, a breakfast food that was easy to chew. A cereal flake made of wheat, they called it Granose.

A new cereal, an improvement on the Granose idea, was developed by William Keith Kellogg. This new product came about by chance, after some boiled corn was left alone, one of his cooks found it had broken into crispy flakes. The profit-minded younger Kellogg broke away from his brother to found the Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake Company on February 19, 1906 to market the cereal.

First Kellogg's package

The Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake Company prospered through innovative advertising techniques and improvements in the quality of the cereal. In 1922 they adopted the shortened name of  Kellogg's as by this stage, they were manufacturing cereals other than cornflakes.

In 1924 John L. Kellogg developed a new cereal, All Bran. It was a convenient way of using up bran left over from other products.

John Harvey Kellogg was a skilled surgeon, who had many notable patients at his clinic. They included former president William Howard Taft, arctic explorer Roald Amundsen, aviator Amelia Earhart, Nobel prize winning playwright George Bernard Shaw, actor and sportsman Johnny Weissmuller, businessman Henry Ford, inventor Thomas Edison, and actress Sarah Bernhardt.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

Sunday, 18 October 2015

John Keats


John Keats was born at the Swan and Hoop inn at Moorgate, London on October 31, 1795.  His father, Thomas Keats, worked as a hostler at the stables attached to the Swan and Hoop Inn, an establishment he later managed, and where the growing family lived for some years. The Globe pub now occupies the site, a few yards from the modern-day Moorgate station.

John had two brothers, Tom and George and a sister, Fanny. John was the oldest of the four and remained close to all of them.

As a boy Keats was not promising material. He was lazy, hot tempered and seemingly only interested in pranks.

The first seven years of John's life were happy. The beginnings of his troubles occurred in 1803, when his father died from a fractured skull after falling from his horse.

His mother, Frances Jennings, remarried soon afterwards, but she quickly left the new husband and moved herself and her children to live with Keats' grandmother.

John attended the liberal John Clarke’s School, Enfield, Middlesex,  whilst living with his grandmother. The school first instilled in him a love of literature.

When he was 14 his mother died of tuberculosis, leaving John and his siblings in the custody of their grandmother.

The grandmother appointed two guardians to take care of her new charges, and these guardians removed Keats from his old school to become a surgeon's apprentice.


The teenage John Keats started an apprenticeship with Thomas Hammond, a doctor and family friend in Edmonton, Middlesex in 1810.

Keats cancelled his fifth year as apprentice doctor and became a student at Guys Hospital. He qualified as a doctor with credit  the following year.

Keats devotedly nursed his younger brother Tom who was suffering from tuberculosis until he died on December 1, 1818.

Keats gives up medicine and became a full time poet to his guardian's dismay. in 1818. As a trainee doctor it was his job to hold down terrified patients whilst they had their limbs cut off. The sensitive apprentice recoiled from this and also refused to dissect bodies supplied by grave robbers.


Keats was introduced to the literature of Edmund Spenser by the headmaster's son at Clarkes. Spenser's works, particularly The Faerie Queene, was to prove a turning point in Keats' development as a poet; it was to inspire Keats to write his first poem, Imitation of Spenser in 1814, when he was 19.

Portrait of John Keats by William Hilton. National Portrait Gallery, London

By 1818, Keats felt called to poetry rather than medicine; a legacy from his grandmother influenced his decision.

Famed for his atmosphere of longing, Keats' poetry was a combination of Greek Spirit and English romanticism. He stated in letters to his friends that he wished to be a "chameleon poet" and to resist the "egotistical sublime" of Wordsworth's writing.

Keats habitually scribbled verses on bits of paper then hid them. After his death, a friend searched his house from top to bottom to retrieve them.

When down in the dumps and not really in the mood for writing, Keats found getting changed into something smart often changed his mood.

Keats grew the nail of his little finger into the shape of a pen nib.

The radical Leigh Hunt’s liberal journal The Examiner was a kind of Bible for Keats. On May 5, 1816, Hunt agreed to publish Keats' sonnet "O Solitude" in his magazine. It was the first appearance in print of Keats's poetry.

First published in 1818, Endymion is a poem by John Keats based on the Greek myth of Endymion, the shepherd beloved by the moon goddess Selene. Endymion was harshly reviewed by some critics due to Keats' friendship with the radical Leigh Hunt.

Hyperionis is an abandoned epic poem by Keats, which is considered by some to be his greatest work. It is based on the Titanomachia, and tells of the despair of the Titans after their fall to the Olympians. Keats wrote the poem from late 1818 until the spring of 1819,  when he gave it up as having "too many Miltonic inversions."

Ode to A Nightingale was written by Keats in May 1819. It was inspired by the song of a nightingale that had built its nest near his home. The poem was found by Keats' friend, Charles Armitage Brown, hidden away in his house scribbled on a bit of paper.

The final volume Keats lived to see, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, was published in July 1820. The collection contains To Autumn, which was composed by Keats after a walk near Winchester one autumnal evening. In a 1995 BBC poll, listeners voted To Autumn as the sixth most popular poem of all time

Lamia marked the end of Keats poetic career, as he needed to earn money and could no longer devote himself to the lifestyle of a poet.. It received greater acclaim than had his previous collections and would come to be recognized as one of the most important poetic works ever published.

Bright Star was Keats' last poem. He scribbled the love sonnet on the blank pages of his copy of Shakespeare.

His poems were not generally well received by critics during Keats' lifetime and he was attacked by many as a "cockney poet." Byron rudely said of him, "There is no bearing the drivelling idiotism of the mankin."

Keats' reputation grew after his death, and by the end of the nineteenth century, he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets.


Keats was only 5 ft tall, which he was self conscious about. He had an unusually small head but was handsome with reddish hair.

Keats was a kind, easygoing, generous, humorous person. He was nicknamed “Junkets” because of his clipped cockney accent with which he pronounced his name.

In 1819 Keats fell hopelessly in love with his widowed neighbor's oldest daughter, Fanny Browne,(1800-65).  The feelings were not totally  reciprocated but she mourned Keats for several years after his death and wore an engagement ring from 1819 to many years afterwards. She married in 1833.
The later (posthumous) publication of their correspondence was to scandalise Victorian society.


Keats home when he was living with his grandmother was on  Lived Lamb Street, Edmonton.

John Keats moved in 1818 to the newly built Wentworth Place, owned by his friend Charles Armitage Brown.  A quiet white regency building when he moved in, Keats took the front parlour of Brown’s half of Wentworth Place, where he lived for the next seventeen months. The other half was taken by Mrs Browne and her children, including her oldest child Fanny.

Wentworth Place, now the Keats House museum (left), Ten Keats Grove (right)

Keats wrote Ode to a Nightingale in the garden at Wentworth Place besides a plum tree on a May evening.

His final home where he died was 26 Piazza de Spagna, Rome, a pale yellow building ran as a boarding house by a rather fearsome landlady, Anna Angeletti.


 In his early teenage years Keats acquired a passion for reading. He seldom traveled without his "Great Works of Shakespeare."

Keats loved music, In 1816 he wrote to a friend "but many days have past since last my heart was warm'd luxuriously by divine Mozart. By Arne delighted. Or by the song of Erin pierced and Sadden'd."

Keats loved cats and was very empathetic with animals. He once boasted about his capacity to enter the thought processes of a sparrow hopping on a window sill. "If a sparrow comes before my window, I take part in its existence & pick about the gravel."

In 1818, while on a walking tour of Scotland, Keats managed 600 miles in a month, always rising before dawn in order to complete 26 miles before noon.

This walking tour included climbing Ben Nevis, the ascent of which he compared to "mounting ten St Paul's without the convenience of a staircase." Keats originally planned on walking all the way to John O' Groats but caught a throat infection on the Isle of Mull which forced him to turn back.


Keats' medical training meant he recognized straight away his tuberculosis condition. He knew it couldn't be cured so it would have to be endured. He said "I know the color of that blood! It is arterial blood. I cannot be deceived by that color. That drop of blood is my death warrant. I must die."

Keats' walking tour of Scotland in 1818 increased his tubercular tendency as did his tormented love for Fanny Browne  and the hurtfully bad reviews Endymion had obtained.

He also suffered from syphilis for which he took mercury.

John Keats, arrived in Rome in November 1820 with his devoted friend, the portrait artist Joseph Severn, hoping the warmer climate would help his ailing health. Death was on his mind; he wrote in one letter, "Is there another life? Shall I awake and find all this a dream? There must be, we cannot be created for this sort of suffering?"

Keats suffered a violent relapse a month later and the poet tried to commit suicide. Severn devoted all his time to him reading aloud and playing soothing music.


On the poet's deathbed, Joseph Severn played Haydn's sonatas on a hired pianoforte to the ailing poet. As the frail poet lay dying you could hear the phlegm boil in his throat.

John Keats died on February 23, 1821 clasping Joseph Severn’s hand saying "I shall die easy. Don't be frightened. Thank God it has come."

Shortly after his death, surgeons carried out an autopsy on Keats and found his lungs were completely destroyed. They were amazed he had lived for so long.

Keats was buried at the Protestant Cemetery outside Rome, at Porta San Paulo, with Fanny's love letters clasped inside his coffin. His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, "Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water."

Keats's grave in Rome. By Piero Montesacro  CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia Commons