Malala Day

Today is the 16th birthday of the brilliant young hero, Malala Yousafzai. When she was 11, Malala began a public campaign for girls’ education in Pakistan. She became well-known in Pakistan for her efforts, and received international attention when she wrote a BBC diary about her life in the Swat Valley.

Malala became a symbol for girls’ education. Unfortunately, her newfound fame made her a target for Taliban retaliation. On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Malala on her way home from school. Malala survived the attack, and is thriving today. She refused to let the attack defeat her or scare her. Furthermore, other Pakistani girls and their mothers refuse to let the attack scare them away from an education either. Today, in at least one girls’ primary school, enrollment is up because of Malala’s courage.


Malala is celebrating her 16th birthday by speaking to the United Nations. She is delivering a speech and presenting a petition for aid to get all children, especially girls, into school by 2015.

Sarah Brown, founder of A World At School, and Malala’s mentor said:

What is so moving about Malala’s story is that, in spite of all the odds, she has kept on fighting not just for her own education but for the education of all children in Pakistan, and beyond … I’m so proud that she will lead 500 of these young voices in taking her campaign to the highest level at the UN this Friday. Her speech will be an incredibly moving moment in her already inspiring story.

Have a great, inspired Malala Day!

Further reading:

Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” Debuts in LA, 1962


Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans

The inspiration for Andy Warhol’s iconic piece came from a friend who told Warhol that he should paint something that everyone recognized, like Campbell’s soups. Warhol, who consumed Campbell’s soups for lunch for over 20 years, did just that. He used a silkscreen to print the identical cans and then hand-painted each of the 32 flavors that Campbell’s offered at the time.

His graphic prints were shown at Ferus Gallery in LA on July 9, 1962. The prints were displayed on shelves running the length of the gallery. The piece caused quite a stir in the art community. In fact, a nearby art dealer displayed a stack of soup cans, announcing that you could get them cheaper at his gallery.

This iconic pop art installation was originally sold for $3,000 to the art dealer Irving Blum. Today, his 32 soup cans are on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Warhol in front of another Campbell’s soup print.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be celebrating this historical day with soup. Campbell’s soup.

Further Reading:

Happy Fourth of July!

Here in the States, July 4th is our Independence Day as it commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Here she is. Ain’t she a beauty?

Interestingly, 50 years after that patriotic day, two former presidents–Thomas Jefferson (82) and John Adams (90)–died on July 4, 1826. They had previously been the last surviving members of the original American revolutionary group. Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence too.

John Adams: 2nd President of the United States (1797-1801)


Thomas Jefferson: 3rd President of the United States (1801-1809)


After the American Revolution was over, the two men disagreed on how to run the newly independent nation. Adams believed in a strong central government, while Jefferson supported giving more power to the state government. A heated political rivalry ensued.

Luckily, in 1812, the two made amends and resumed their friendship. In fact, Adams last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” This was not true, however, as Jefferson died five hours earlier. Jefferson, who was in ill-health, vowed to live until the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. His last words were, “Is it the Fourth? I resign my spirit to God, my daughter, and my country.”

Although it’s hard to top that kind of patriotism, have a great Independence Day!

Further reading: