After the terrible loss of life on the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, including six AIDS researchers and activists who were on their way to an International AIDS conference in Australia it seems that work in this medical field is particularly bleak right now. However, even though there has been much loss, there is some interesting news emerging from HIV and AIDS research. Namely condoms that have an antiviral compound to protect against HIV, Herpes and other STDs and the news that the Lancet has called for global action to protect sex workers from HIV and AIDS by decriminalising sex work.
SKIRMISH! Image: Wired Canvas
It’s inspired books, films, claimed teeth and bruised butts, it’s about time the dangerous sport roller derby got included in the Olympics and 2020 might just be the year. Alongside baseball, softball, wakeboarding, squash, sport climbing, rollersports, karate, and the martial art wushu it’s under consideration for inclusion as an Olympic sport.
The fast paced contact sport on wheels has been on the rise since it was revived in the early 2000s. The activity differs from other current Olympic sports with its punk ethic and DIY attitude. Just the kind of thing that would have interested the teenage me in sports and the kind of thing cross country running does not provide.
Until the branch of Waterstone’s near me drops the apostrophe from its shop front I shall continue to use it. When googling for more information on this story it asked me if I "meant Waterstone’s". Oh Google. Yes I did.
However, let us not mourn the apostrophe in Waterstone’s. Instead, after the disappointment of the Baftas Rising Star shortlist, and the disastrous BBC Sports Personality of the year, we can celebrate one shortlist that women are dominating, the Waterstone’s 11.
The Waterstone’s 11 list celebrates the debut authors expected to dominate the literary world with their debut novels. The select few will have their books promoted in all branches of Waterstone’s.
John. The Pilgrim. Oil painting. Undated
Works by the artist formerly known as Augustus John’s sister have been discovered at Princeton University.
The paintings, by Welsh artist Gwen John have been reliably identified by a British based art expert. The 23 paintings were unearthed by Reading University Professor Anna Gruetzner Robins, amongst papers bequeathed to Princeton by symbolist poet Arthur Symons.
John had given the work to Symons in 1920 after a meeting in Paris. Gwen John rarely exhibited her art, for her to present these paintings to the Symons indicates that she regarded these paintings amongst her strongest work.
The paintings, amongst Symons’ papers, had been gathering dust in an accordion file since Princeton received the bequeathed papers in 1951. Professor Anna Gruetzner Robins happened upon them by chance whilst working as a senior research fellow.
The family planning charity BPAS is preparing for the Christmas party season. The charity says women may find it harder to obtain the Morning After Pill over the season, instead BPAS are offering to post the pill.
Women will have to fill in an online form, speak to a nurse and the content of their uterus is in the hands of the Royal Mail or courier.
As with all projects that allow women to take control of their reproductive rights this scheme has its critics. The campaign has been described as a ‘cynical marketing exercise’. Business Studies was not available at my school but I am at a loss here. How is giving away an expensive medication free to those a nurse has deemed suitable could be cynical or a marketing exercise.
Get out the party hats and the paper streamers, free museum and gallery entry is 10 years old today!
The history of museum entrance fees is long and tangled. Many of the large national museums were built by Victorians, and were usually free to enter. Smaller local museums were supported by local taxes, and had a flat entrance fee of one penny – they were supposed to be accessible.
Photo: Emagine Art
So I am assuming we’ve all read Liz Jones’ article today in the Daily Mail, 'The craving for a baby that drives women to the ultimate deception', time has passed and you’re now able to close your mouths. Having toyed with the idea of a spoof article by Jiz Loans I realised that A) some things are too ridiculous to parody. And B) far better to try and use it for good, not as a warning to men that all women post 35 are baby crazy but that they will soon be able to take more responsibility regarding contraception.
Last month’s Future Contraception Initiative conference has revealed we are on the brink of the male contraceptive and it is no longer just a hypothetical pill dismissed by women who insist men would forget to take it.
Amendments to the Protections of Freedoms Bill tabled by the government will erase old convictions for consensual homosexual sex and loitering with intent.
Once the bill is passed, men with previous convictions will be able to apply to have them erased from their criminal record. At the moment these convictions have to be declared when applying for a job or voluntary role that requires a CRB check.
Gay sex was only legalised in England and Wales in 1967, with the age of consent set at 21. This was reduced to 18 in 1994 and only changed to 16, the same as the age of consent between different-sex partners, in 2000. The changes didn’t affect existing convictions, meaning thousands of men were left with convictions for crimes that don’t exist, and should never have been illegal anyway.
Stonewall have long campaigned for the change to the law, and gave evidence to the Public Bill Committee considering the Protection of Freedoms Bill on 24 March 2011.
Chief Executive Ben Summerskill commented
“For some gay men, these convictions have continued to overshadow their lives long after the offences were removed from the statute book. Britain has moved on. It’s only right that these men should be free to apply for jobs and voluntary roles without fearing that these historic and unjust convictions will be revealed through criminal record checks.”
The bill is still to be passed – you can encourage your MP to support it by visiting this site.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has overturned the sentence of 10 lashes for a woman arrested for driving. The news was revealed via a tweet by Princess Ameera, "Thank God, the lashing of Shema is cancelled. Thanks to our beloved king."
The severe sentence followed shortly after Saudi women receiving the vote, raising suspicions the lashes were in retaliation from the ruling class. Another woman arrested for driving was released when she agreed to leave the Saudi Women’s group Women2Drive. The group was formed to protest the 35 year ban on women driving; you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton only recently broke her silence on the subject; keep pushing for our politicians to do more. Don’t do your victory lap just yet.
I am in love with a new website: nerdaydaytrips.com.
I’m one of those people who follow the brown signs off motorways because they sound vaguely interesting. I will happily go to any museum, the more obscure and special interest the better. I’m interested in other people’s passions and interests, and I love nosing around out of the way places and learning odd facts I can recite at a later date. So this is pretty much my perfect site.
The site was conceived by Ben Goldacre (of Bad Science), and Jo Brodie, and anyone can submit ideas for day trips, anywhere in the world.
The site has only been live for 4 days, and it already has hundreds (possibly thousands) of ideas mapped out. I spent a good hour or so earlier happily investigating new places to visit, and adding a few of my own. If you want to do something different, take a look – I'll be checking it every time I go away.