Ellen Degeneres – Comedians in politics

Ellen Degeneres has been, arguably, one of the most influential people, and indeed one of the best comedians, of recent times. Her passion for equality, fairness, positivity, optimism and humility set an example for the 15 million people who tune into her show every week, and also the 18 million youtube subscribers she brings in.


Ellen has been an image of courage and bravery for a long time now. This shone through when she revealed in 1997 in her sit-com ‘Ellen’ that she is homosexual by very bluntly saying “Yep, I’m gay”. This made history, as she was the first to ever do such a thing, and encouraged plenty more to come out as homesexual. At the time though, this received severe backlash, even leading to her sit-com being cancelled, and her going into a depression for a few years. She came out of this though, and ever since, has become an even more passionate and influential voice for the LGBTQ community. She even married her girlfriend of four years in 2008, after the overturn of the same-sex marriage ban.

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RIP Vine

24/1/13 – 30/10/16 

Popular 7 second video sharing site gets discontinued by twitter.

On the 30th of October 2016, our lives were changed forever. Vine, a popular video sharing site where users upload seven second videos, was discontinued by Twitter. 2016 had been bad enough, what with the passing of Harambe and MattyB getting grounded, but this was the cherry on the cake.

Twitter purchased the app in 2012 and helped it to become home to more than 40 million users who have created 1.5 billion videos since 2013.

“Today, we are sharing the news that in the coming months we’ll be discontinuing the mobile app,” the tech company said in the announcement. “We value you, your Vines, and we are going to do this the right way.”

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Woman of the Week – Hope Jahren

time-100-2016-hope-jahrenHope Jahren is a geochemist, geobiologist, and recent author, with an extensive list of
Universities that she has studied or taught at (University of Minnesota, University of California, Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Copenhagen, John Hopkins University, University of Hawaii, and University of Oslo), and a simply mind blowing collection of awards (Three Fulbright Awards, Donath Medal from the Geological Society of America, Macelwane Medal, and she has been named by Popular Science as one of its “Brilliant 10” scientists in 2013, and named in 2016 by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People.)

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History Society

This term in History Society, members of the History department are taking the lunchtime session to give us a talk on an area of interest or expertise. So far we have heard about indigenous Canadian tribes from Mr Connor and how their societies functioned, interacted with foreign invaders and how they continue to live in modern-day Canada. Mrs Stanley discussed the American Civil War and how the legacy of it has sometimes distorted the conflict’s root causes. This week Dr Tustin spoke of ‘The Northern Ireland Troubles – The Perspective of a Biased Veteran’. He gave us an insight into what it was like for him to serve as a soldier during the Troubles and how the conflict was fought out militarily and politically.

If you are interested, please come along on Tuesday lunchtimes at 12.15 in the Old Library – feel free to bring your lunch.