England

Timpf: College Employs ‘Safe Space Marshals’ to Patrol Speeches for Offensive Content

King’s College in London is paying people £12 per hour to police speaking events on campus and take “immediate action” if they hear anything that might offend the audience. The marshals also put up posters and hand out leaflets reminding all attendees that “this is a Safe Space.” Examples of speech that might violate the policy “could include derogatory comments about someone’s age, disability, marital or maternity or paternity status, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, trans status, socio-economic status, or ideology or culture,” according to an article in the Telegraph. In addition to their pay, the marshals also receive benefits such as free spin classes and free fruit. The Telegraph reports that not one, not two, but three of these marshals were present when Jacob Rees-Mogg, a conservative member of Parliament, spoke there earlier this month. He was no fan of the policy. “It’s absolutely weird to send marshals to check the content of the speech by an elected member of Parliament,” he said. The school’s Libertarian Society has also launched a campaign against the marshals — and the group’s president, Georgia Leigha, claims that it has been “surprisingly” popular. But Momin Saqib, president of the university’s students’ union, still insists that the safe-space policy was simply “protecting” students and speakers. Listen: I’m all for being sensitive, but this has got to be one of the most insane things that I’ve ever heard. For one thing, the list of things that apparently can qualify as “offensive” or “discriminatory” in our politically correct culture seems to be growing by the day — hoop-earring-wearing white girls, trying to make people like the Beatles, and the size of classroom chairs have all been added to the list within the last eight months alone. It seems like it could potentially be quite difficult to get through a speech at King’s College without saying or doing something that the marshals might deem offensive. After all, just think about what kind of person would actually sign up to be “safe space marshal” in the first place. Most likely, these are people who have an obsession with safe spaces and microaggressions, and at least enough sanctimonious arrogance to actually feel that they have the authority to police other people’s speech — in other words, the kind of people who are generally the most ridiculous when it comes to declaring the innocuous unacceptable. Sure, Saquib may brag about how the marshals are “protecting” students from offensiveness, but honestly, if I were a student there, the thing I’d be most offended by would probably be the idea that I was unable to handle sitting through a speech without protection from insensitivity. The vast majority of these students are adults. What adult is not capable of existing in society without protection from hearing words they don’t like? I’m not sure I even want to know the answer to that.

Agreed!!  Thanks to millennial reporter Katherine “Kat” Timpf for sharing this eye-rolling story from across the pond.  Let’s hope this kind of insanity doesn’t take hold here at American colleges and universities…

Historian discovers secret notes hidden in 500-year-old Bible

A historian in the U.K. has discovered secret notes hidden in the text of England’s first printed Bible. Recent analysis of the Latin Bible, which was published in 1535 by Henry VIII’s printer, has revealed fascinating English annotations made during the 16th-century Reformation. The Reformation was a period of immense upheaval in England, which saw the Church of England break away from the authority of the Catholic Church in Rome. Housed in the library of Lambeth Palace, which is the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bible is one of just seven surviving copies. “We know virtually nothing about this unique Bible – whose preface was written by Henry himself – outside of the surviving copies,” said Eyal Poleg, a historian at Queen Mary University of London, in a press release. Close inspection revealed that heavy paper had been pasted over blank parts of the Bible. “The challenge was how to uncover the annotations without damaging the book,” explained Poleg. The historian brought in Graham Davis, a specialist in 3D x-ray imaging at the university’s School of Dentistry. The experts took two images in long exposure. For one image, a light sheet slid beneath the pages was turned on, for another, it was turned off. The first image revealed all the annotations, scrambled with the printed text, while the second picture showed only the printed text. Davis wrote a piece of software to “subtract” the second image from the first, revealing a clear picture of the annotations, which are written in English. “The annotations are copied from the famous ‘Great Bible’ of Thomas Cromwell, seen as the epitome of the English Reformation,” explained the university, in its press release. “Written between 1539 and 1549, they were covered and disguised with thick paper in 1600.” Poleg said that the annotations support the idea that the Reformation was a gradual process. “Until recently, it was widely assumed that the Reformation caused a complete break, a Rubicon moment when people stopped being Catholics and accepted Protestantism, rejected saints, and replaced Latin with English,” he explained. “This Bible is a unique witness to a time when the conservative Latin and the reformist English were used together, showing that the Reformation was a slow, complex, and gradual process.” Poleg’s research also uncovered a handwritten transaction between two men on the back page of the book. The transaction states that James Elys Cutpurse of London promised to pay William Cheffyn of Calais 20 shillings, or would go to the notorious Marshalsea prison. Subsequent research conducted by Poleg revealed that Cutpurse was hanged in July 1152. In medieval English, Cutpurse means ‘pickpocket’. “Beyond Mr Cutpurse’s illustrious occupation, the fact that we know when he died is significant,” said Poleg. “It allows us to date and trace the journey of the book with remarkable accuracy – the transaction obviously couldn’t have taken place after his death.”

Fascinating!!   🙂

 

Shakespeare grave scan shows playwright’s skull was ‘probably’ stolen, archaeologists say

A team of archaeologists has claimed that William Shakespeare’s skull was “probably” stolen from its final resting place in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, England. The conclusion brings new credence to a long-discredited claim that the skull was stolen from the playwright’s grave by trophy hunters in 1794. “We came across this very odd, strange thing at the head end,” lead archaeologist Kevin Colls, of Staffordshire University, told The Guardian. “It was very obvious, within all the data we were getting, that there was something different going on at that particular spot. We have concluded it is signs of disturbance, of material being dug out and put back again.” Shakespeare’s grave famously bears the poetic admonition, “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear, / To dig the dust enclosed here. / Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones.” Holy Trinity Church vicar Patrick Taylor told Sky News he is not so sure about the grave robbery theory. “We now know much more about how Shakespeare was buried,” Taylor said. “We are not convinced, however, that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that his skull has been taken. “We shall have to live with the mystery of not knowing fully what lies beneath the stone.” Colls’ team was permitted to examine the grave at Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church because ground-penetrating radar technology permitted them to do so without disturbing the remains of the famous playwright. The archaeologists have also determined that Shakespeare was not buried standing up, contrary to tradition, and that he was laid to rest wrapped in a shroud rather than in a coffin. The claim that the skull was stolen was first published in a magazine in 1879. Colls said the team investigated a skull held at a church 15 miles from Stratford and found it could not be Shakespeare’s. Their findings will be part of a television program broadcast in the U.K. Saturday to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Fascinating!!    🙂

‘We F*ck Goats’: Anti Islamic State Stickers Appear In East London

A provocative online anti Islamisation campaigner has distributed and put up stickers mocking the Islamic State terror group in East London, an area with one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe. The stickers are designed to look like the infamous Islamic State (IS) black flag, but in the place of the usual Arabic inscription are the partially concealed works “we fuck goats” in English. Below that is an image of two jihadists engaging in bestiality with a goat. At first glance, however, the image also appears to be an Arabic inscription. “The first batch of The Beer & Bacon Councils Anti ISIS stickers are due in anytime soon! [Direct Message] for details”, posted a Twitter account called the Anti Jihadi Frog on the 16th of January. The account is linked to a website called Beer and Bacon. “The Beer & Bacon Council will send prizes for the best pictures of the ‘Mock ISIS’ sticker postings”, the account Tweeted later that day along with pictures of the stickers packed in envelopes, ready to be distributed. Since that date the account has tweeted a number of photos of the stickers in various location around London, primarily on public transport. The locations mentioned include “on the bin on the train from Waterloo to Guildford”, “on the 341 [bus]” and “a bus in Tower Hamlets”.

HAHA!!!  To see photos of these stickers, click on the text above.  Outstanding!!   🙂

50 graves uncovered at medieval pilgrimage site in England

The skeletal remains of about 50 medieval individuals have been discovered in shallow graves near the pilgrimage site of a famous seventh-century saint in England. The human remains, which have been exhumed, may help archaeologists learn more about the medieval era, according to Archaeology Warwickshire, an archaeology and excavation firm. The company plans to study each skeleton to determine its sex and approximate age, and to identify evidence of injuries or diseases preserved in the bones, said Stuart Palmer, the business manager of Archaeology Warwickshire. “The teeth will give us a lot of information about diet, as well,” Palmer told Live Science. “There’s a potential for more in-depth study, but we first have to assess the quality of material to see if it’s worth trying to do.” Archaeologists with the firm discovered the burials in early August. They received a commission to survey the land around an almshouse, located outside the gates of the medieval city of Lichfield, located in the West Midlands. During medieval times, pilgrims traveled to Lichfield to visit its famed three-spired cathedral from the 12th century, which held the tomb of St. Chad. Lichfield closed its city gates every night about 9 p.m., and pilgrims who arrived after that time would have stayed in the almshouse, called the Hospital of St. John Baptist without the Barrs (the barrs referred to the city gates). Archaeology Warwickshire surveyed the grounds around the almshouse this summer, just before a planned expansion of the compound. The archaeologists expected to find some graves but “we weren’t really expecting the volume and quantity that we got,” Palmer said.

Fascinating!!    🙂

Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest-reigning monarch in Britain’s history

Queen Elizabeth II has reached a major milestone by becoming the longest-reigning monarch in Britain’s history. She passes Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother, who was on the throne for 63 years and 7 months. Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday that millions of Britons would celebrate the queen’s “historic moment.” “Over the last 63 years, Her Majesty has been a rock of stability in a world of constant change and her selfless sense of service and duty has earned admiration not only in Britain, but right across the globe,” Cameron said. “It is only right that today we should celebrate her extraordinary record, as well as the grace and dignity with which she serves our country.” Buckingham Palace marked the event by releasing an official photograph of the queen taken by Mary McCartney, a photographer who is the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney. Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952 upon the death of her father King George VI. She was touring a remote part of Kenya when news of her father’s death arrived. Her official coronation came the following year and was one of the first major public events to be televised in Britain. The 89-year-old monarch has cut back on her international travel and has lightened her work load somewhat, but she still carries out many royal duties.

What a milestone!  Queen Elizabeth is virtually universally loved by her British “subjects.”  We wish Her Majesty the very best and congratulate her on this great achievement.