Central African Republic: Why such a boring name?
As the Kony video on the atrocities of Joseph Konythe leader of a Ugandan rebel group hiding out and killing people in the Central African Republicgoes viral,Brian Palmer has a side question: How did the Central African Republic get stuck with such a boring name? Blame the French. The country was once a French colony known as Ubangi-Shari…The leader of the colonys independence movement in the mid-20th century,Barthélemy Boganda,had a grand vision for post-imperialist Central Africa. He wanted to combine Ubangi-Shari with nine other countries in the region that spoke Romance languages,to form something called the United States of Latin Africa. However,when leaders of the neighbouring regions declined to join,Boganda had to abandon the grandiose name. At one point,the outgoing French colonial administrator Pierre Kalck recommended that Boganda adopt the name République Centrafricaine,writes Palmer. And the name stuck.
Why Simpson hated Marilyn Monroe
John Steinbeck,JB Priestley,Roald Dahl,John Le Carré and Catherine Cookson were just a tiny handful of the authors Charles Pickpublisher and literary agentnurtured over the years. Pick had many a tale to tell but when he died in 2000,aged 82,his memoir was unpublished. Now the manuscript detailing his entertaining encounters with the rich and famous,donated to the University of East Anglia,is a treasure trove of anecdotes,from Wallis Simpsons jealousy of Marilyn Monroe to the Queen discussing her childrens reading habits,writes Anita Singh. One of the extracts,that recalls an incident when Charles Pick called on Wallis Simpson,the Duchess of Windsor,reads: Her opening remark was,Can you please tell me who Marilyn Monroes publicity agent is? I had to confess I had no idea but enquired as to why she wanted to know. Look, she said,I have all the newspapers each day and I was generally on the front page. But now I see that Marilyn Monroe is on the front page. Well,somebody has pushed me off!
That touch of Grace
For a country its size,Monaco has always hogged more than its share of the spotlight. Charlotte Casiraghi is the latest entrant in Monacos line of attention-grabbers. In an article in Vanity Fair,Ingrid Sischy quotes Casiraghi,Monacos most reluctant object of desire and grand-daughter of Princess Grace Kelly,to explain the Monaco phenomenon: Its not a question of size,of whether its a small or a big thing,but of what it has the power to incarnate. And she should know. If your great-grandpa,an Olympic gold-medal-winning rower,was once heralded as the American male with the ideal bod,if your granny was Grace Kelly,and if your mom is Princess Caroline,you might have a long lens on you too, writes Sischy. Casiraghi,a dedicated equestrian and amateur show jumper,is now about to take a different kind of leap,appearing in her first-ever advertisements as the face of Guccis history-minded Forever Now campaign. Shes hoping to emulate her Great-Grandpa at the Olympics someday, writes Sischy.