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Culture

DC Comics cancel latest comic after backlash from conservative Christians

By | Culture, News, Political | No Comments
DC Comics have had to withdraw from a new comic series after negative backlash from confused American conservative Christians.

Second Coming was meant to be released with DC’s Vertigo on March the 6th 2019, but the comic has since been cancelled thanks to a petition from conservative Christians. The petition stated the series was “outrageous and blasphemous”, with negativity whipped up by hyperbolic and hysterical US news outlets Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network. Eventually the petition gained 230,000 signatures- it begs the question how many of those signatures were reacting to their biased news source or researched the comic themselves before making a judgement about it?

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‘Storybook Dads’ keeps prisoners and children connected

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‘Storybook Dads’ is an initiative started in Devon, UK to help connect prisoners with their children. In 2002, Sharon Berry worked as a volunteer at HMP Channings Wood where she noticed how difficult it was for the prisoners to stay in touch with their children. After working with the Writer in Residence, Sharon moved to HMP Dartmoor where she started the scheme ‘Storybook Dads’ with a handful of children’s books and a microphone. News soon spread about the scheme and many more prisons wanted to join, prompting Sharon to start a Storybook Dads charity to gain funding.

Today the programme helps prisoners from all over the UK, including women’s prisons and youth offenders’ institutes. As well as audio CDs, they create DVDs, help train prisoners in editing and audio, and offer workshops for prisoners to create educational gifts for their children.

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This fantasy writer has no time for literary snobbery!

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A fantasy writer has tweeted a scathing response to US talk show host Bill Maher’s condescending rant about comic book fans.

The New York Times Bestseller, Catherynne Valente, took to Twitter to tell Maher (and anyone who agrees with him) how utterly ridiculous it is to look down on people who read comic books or graphic novels.

Bill Maher had delivered a tirade on one of his shows after the death of Marvel Comics legend, Stan Lee. He claimed comic books and the like are for children, not adults, and even attempted to blame the state of American politics on the fact ‘millennials’ read literature with pictures in…

Valente took him to task on Twitter, first shaming him for his hypocrisy, and then explaining how very wrong he was to be so narrow minded and ignorant.

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Life of an extraordinary nun revealed in ancient text

By | Culture, News | One Comment
An astonishing find by historians working in the archives at the University of York reveals a glimpse into the life of a brave and cunning nun.

A note scrawled in Latin, almost hidden in the margin of one of 16 huge registers was spotted by archivists: “To warn Joan of Leeds, lately nun of the house of St Clement by York, that she should return to her house,” was written by archbishop William Melton, and dated 1318. Pointing towards a runaway nun, the note intrigued historians who read on to find out more.

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5 Books to Read in Preparation for the Apocalypse

By | Culture, Literature | No Comments
Preparation is key when it comes to the world ending. You wouldn’t want to be the only survivors without decent shelter or dry firewood, right? Your neighbour may have fashioned weapons out of old bones while you are still wondering if the water nearby is safe to drink.

This list of extremely useful books are guaranteed to keep you alive for long enough to finish your TBR pile before the sun explodes/the zombies arrive/memes take over the world and nothing makes sense anymore. Let us guide you towards some of the best survival books, foraging guides, and ultimate distraction texts while the world around you burns.

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Alternative Word Definitions from British Comedy Legends

By | Culture, Language | No Comments
Definitions can naturally change over time through usage and societal influences- such is the joy of the English language! With the help of BBC Radio Four’s legendary comedy team we are lucky enough to have some hilarious alternative definitions to consider for the future.

I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue has been on our radios since 1972 with regulars Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Willie Rushton. Throughout the years, the “antidote to panel shows” has featured comedy greats such as Sandi Toksvig, Pam Ayres, Victoria Wood, Bill Oddie, Richard Osman, Stephen Fry, and Jo Brand.

As well as the genius of Mornington Crescent, the team regularly come up with entries into the Uxbridge English Dictionary, an imaginary dictionary full of daffynitions (similar to transpositional puns).

Check out our selection of daffynitions below!

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‘So You Want To Talk About Race’? Then buy this book…

By | Culture, Literature | No Comments
So, you want to talk about race?

If you are one of those folk who tell others not to talk about politics, or that racism no longer exists, then you probably won’t want to read this article… Despite the fact you are the very type of person who should. 

In both the USA and the UK, and much of the world if we are absolutely honest, there is still an on-going issue with race. People of colour are disproportionately affected by the power imbalance created by centuries of systemic oppression. We have yet to evolve, learn, and grow, especially when many white folk bury their heads in the sand and do their best to ignore the obvious racial prejudice that permeates their own culture.

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Charles Dickens’ Contribution to Science to Feature in Exhibition

By | Authors, Culture, Literary Events, Literary Places, News | No Comments
Charles Dickens: Man of Science is a current exhibition running at the Charles Dickens Museum until November 11th and the exhibition is looking at the author’s contribution to science, and notably medicine.

Dickens astute observations on human behaviours means he spotted many illnesses and their symptoms before they were recognised by the medical community and his descriptions so accurate that they can be used to build correlation between symptoms and disease.
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£2m Revamp Complete for National Centre for Writing

By | Culture, Literary Places, News, On Writing | No Comments
The National Centre for writing relaunches in Norwich this week following a £2 million revamp for the historic Dragon Hall. It was previously known as the Writers’ Centre, Norwich but now the facility is to be a “Physical and digital space to explore the artistic and social power of creative writing, and support the creation and enjoyment of world literature” according to a spokesman interviewed by The Bookseller this week.

Parts of the historic Dragon Hall date back to 1430, meaning any renovations had to be sympathetic. The project was given the go ahead back in 2016 and was backed by a number of high profile patrons including Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, Elif Shafak, J. M Coetzee, and Sarah Perry.
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