CAMBRIDGE PREGNANCY CITIZENSHIP DEMAND: NHS compels UK woman with Polish surname to prove her residence

Cambridge – VIJAY SHAH via NICOLE MORLEY and Metro

A British-born pregnant woman who changed her surname to her husband’s Polish-origin one was forced by a hospital to prove her citizenship or be refused ante-natal care under the National Health Service (NHS), online news site Metro.co.uk (Metro) reported yesterday.

Emma Szewczak-Harris from Chesterton, a suburb of Cambridge, who is eight months pregnant, was asked to prove she was a British citizen by a letter sent from the city’s Addenbrooke Hospital, despite her still retaining her maiden name in her double-barrelled surname and having a typically English first name. The mother-to-be told Metro that the letter and actions of Addenbrooke Hospital made her feel a ‘second-class citizen’, and that it was a ‘disgrace’, especially given the fact that Szewczak-Harris was not asked for residency proof in previous appointments.

 

Szewczak-Harris said: “I’ve absolutely no idea why I received it other than my surname,

‘As I’m pregnant, I’m going to the hospital a lot at the moment, but no one has at any point asked for my credentials which – as a born and bred Brit – are completely sound.

So I’m stumped and angry that women in my condition, who are anxious enough as it is, should be made to worry about their access to care.’

After 26 years of living in the country and using the NHS, I’ve never had my identity policed until now,’ 

‘Am I going to go into labour and then be denied treatment?”

The letter, which was seen and shared by Metro, told Szewczak-Harris that she had failed to provide documents at her last appointment proving that she was entitled to free NHS treatment as an expectant mother, before giving a list of suitable proofs of identity and residence. It was dated October 12 and was issued by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Furthermore, the letter demanded Szewczak-Harris supply the necessary documentation by a deadline of October 30, 2017.

A hospital spokesperson said the letter had been sent out as part of a ‘pilot scheme’ aimed at preventing patients from abroad taking advantage of NHS treatment for free and that the hospital had a policy of asking non-emergency maternal care patients to bring proof of residence with them to appointments.

A Cambridge University Hospitals spokesman said: “The Department of Health has asked the trust to pilot a scheme to allow us to better monitor and collect payment from overseas patients who are not eligible for free NHS treatment.

‘This brings us into line with national NHS guidelines and how many other trusts operate.

‘From August 1, 2017 all non-emergency patients in maternity and urology have been asked in their appointment letters to provide two forms of identification when they attend – one to prove identity and one as proof of residence. Once you have provided this information you will not be asked again.

‘If a patient is not eligible for free NHS care, they will be charged for any treatment we give to them and, from October 23, there is a statutory requirement to withhold treatment where clinical staff assess if this routine aspect of their care can wait until they return to their home country.”

Szewczak-Harris said she was not going to reply to the letter.

“What are they going to do? I’m entitled to that,” she said. “My husband is very angry about it. He has faced this kind of thing before but as someone who works in medicine on the Addenbrooke’s site, he’s horrified about it. This makes us feel like second-class citizens.”

Hospitals in England may be required to check the residency and immigration status of all patients who use their services from October 23 (tomorrow) according to campaign group Docs Not Cops. The controversial ruling on English NHS trusts could mean people unable to prove their nationality would have to pay for treatment upfront. The rule is a sign of the UK Conservative government’s hardening stance on immigration and in particular, government fears of ‘health tourists’ from outside the UK coming to the country to help themselves to free treatment.

SOURCES:

Renata Soares Barros.

We Are #StopBrexit – We Are The 48%, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1586336064998120/

“Pregnant Brit forced to prove nationality by NHS after taking Polish husband’s name” – Nicole Morley, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (21 October 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/21/pregnant-woman-denied-nhs-treatment-after-taking-polish-husbands-name-7016266/amp/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“February 5, 2010 – Paperwork” – Caitlin Childs, Flickr (5 February 2010) https://www.flickr.com/photos/nerdcoregirl/4335907588

 

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UNITED AIRLINES: Airline cremates world record size rabbit without owner’s permission

Chicago – VIJAY SHAH via ASHITHA NAGESH, GEORGIA DIEBELIUS and Metro

The American air carrier United Airlines, which has suffered a massive PR blow recently after a doctor was assaulted and dragged off one of its planes, faces yet more controversy after it emerged the airline cremated a deceased giant rabbit without informing the pet’s owner, according to UK tabloid paper Metro today.

Ten-month old Flemish Giant rabbit Simon, the son of current world record holder for biggest rabbit, 4ft 4in (1.32m) Darius and measuring at 3ft (91cm) himself, was found frozen to death in the cargo hold at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. He was travelling from Heathrow Airport, near London, UK to a new home in Chicago.

 

Picture posed by another giant rabbit.

 

It was reported that airport ground staff at O’Hare has placed Simon in a freezer instead of a suitable pet carrier, resulting in his death. Simon had remained entirely trapped in the freezer, which was set at a temperature of around 0-2 degrees Celsius for the entire 16-hour duration of the flight. His former owner, rabbit breeder Annette Edwards, demanded that a post-mortem be held on her pet, but came to discover that Simon’s body was sent for cremation without her being told. The cremation took place this past Friday.

Edwards told The Sun newspaper: “I had been asking United over and over again for his body so that I can have him examined here in Britain but they never got back to me,

‘All I want to know is how he died. He was fit as a fiddle when he left my house, and then 24 hours later he’s dead”

Simon was said to have been travelling to the home of an unnamed celebrity, based in Kanton in Ohio state who had taken on the responsibility of being his owner, and the celebrity was reported to be upset at Simon’s passing.

At the time, United Airlines claimed that the rabbit was still alive upon arrival at Chicago, and that he was mistakenly placed in a freezer at holding on the airport premises. A United staff member told The Sun: “The rabbit arrived fine but there was some sort of mistake and he was locked inside a freezer overnight.

Everyone thought he was just having a nap or something. Nobody realised it needed to be taken out.’

‘We know from the inventory that that the rabbit was alive when it reached the airport. So it happened in the warehouse. It has all been kept very hush hush but none of us know who froze the rabbit.”

A United spokesman countered the allegations, saying at the time of the incident: “That assertion (that Simon froze to death on the flight) is completely false. Simon was cared for at the PetSafe kennel facility which is kept at room temperature (on average 70°F (21°C)).

‘He arrived at Chicago O’Hare airport in apparent good condition at 10:25 am (local time).

‘He was seen by a representative of the kennel facility moving about within his crate about 11:00am. Shortly thereafter, a kennel representative noticed Simon was motionless and determined that he passed away “

SOURCES:

Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED

“United Airlines ‘cremated Simon the giant rabbit without the owner’s consent’” – Ashitha Nagesh, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (1 May 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/05/01/united-airlines-cremated-simon-the-giant-rabbit-without-the-owners-consent-6607998/

“Giant rabbit died in care of United Airlines ‘after being put in the freezer’” – Georgia Diebelius, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (29 April 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/04/29/giant-rabbit-died-in-care-of-united-airlines-after-being-put-in-the-freezer-6604933/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Colby the Flemish Giant” – Rhiannon Boyle, Flickr (4 October 2008) https://www.flickr.com/photos/anomieus/2912690917

NO LICENCE FOR YOU: Man fails driving test five seconds in

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King’s Lynn, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via TANVEER MANN and Metro.co.uk

A British man has probably set the world record for quickest time in flunking a driving test after failing it five seconds in, reported the Metro newspaper yesterday.

Craig Barraza, aged 33, originally from Portlethen in Aberdeenshire but now living in Norfolk, crashed out of his driving test after pulling out of the centre of the wrong side of the road, according to Metro. The hapless learner told the paper he had a ‘complete mind blank’ once he got behind the wheel and largely forgot everything the driving instructor had taught him over his lengthy and expensive preparation lessons.

 

 

Barraza, who appeared for his exam at the King’s Lynn test centre, immediately pulled out and began driving down the wrong side of the road. Vehicles in the UK drive on the left. His error was so obvious that even the examiner who was in the front passenger seat with him at the time exclaimed “You do realise you’re on the wrong side of the road?”.

Despite immediately failing his test, Barraza still had to continue driving for another forty minutes, where it is alleged he actually drove so well that he would have passed had it not been for the ghastly error he made at first. The examiner, and Barraza’s driving instructor, Steve Fletcher, said that it was the worst blunder they had seen in 50 years of instruction.

Barraza, who is employed as an operative on a wind energy farm, is said to have spent £1,000 in total on forty lessons with Fletcher, as well as the multiple-choice question ‘theory test’ that all new British drivers are required to sit in addition to the practical.

He said: “I was only just leaving the centre to get out. We were literally just five seconds into it. I was approaching the junction to exit it and I had an absolute mind blank, questioning in my head: ‘What side of the road do we drive on?”

‘I had a 50/50 chance, and I chose to exit it in the right lane. Instant fail. Had I not been so stupid I’d have breezed through.’

‘My examiner with 20 years experience, and my instructor with 30 years both said they have never witnessed anything like it in their careers. I hadn’t even left the test centre car park.”

He added: “I’ve avoided driving because when I was 17 I stalled at a roundabout which just completely put me off. But I was more confident now.

‘I think it’s when you get older you get a bit wiser but that’s rich coming from me after failing like that. I’ve lived in the UK my whole life so there’s no excuse for not driving on the left.

‘Honestly, who fails a test quicker than that? I didn’t even get to the junction.”

Despite his huge messup, Barraza has received supportive messages from his friends after posting about the calamity on social media, however it is not mentioned if he will retake his test.

SOURCES:
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
“Guy fails driving test in just five seconds after pulling out of centre on wrong side of road” – Tanveer Mann, Metro – News – UK/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 February 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/04/guy-fails-driving-test-in-just-five-seconds-after-pulling-out-of-centre-on-wrong-side-of-road-6426532/?ito=facebook
Rabia Ali.
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Jan 9 : The Driving Lesson” – Dawn Sajn, Flickr (9 January 2012) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dawnps/6664634135/

 

LONDON HOUSING CRISIS: Bedding down in a van

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London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via JIMMY NSUBUGA & Metro

As London’s housing crisis spirals out of control, and both house prices and rents became more and more painful for the city’s 8 million inhabitants, one enterprising worker has taken a peculiar, if somewhat desperate, solution to keeping a roof over his head, the newspaper Metro reported yesterday.

Alex Hill, aged 24, is an IT worker who emigrated to the UK’s capital from the small town of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire county, England. Upon arriving in the big city, he found the price of renting beyond a joke, with single bedrooms in flatshares and houseshares now costing an average £550-750 per month. Buying a house would have also been just a dream, with the average London house now selling for around £500,000. There was no way, even in his relatively well-paid career, that Alex would have been able to purchase outright.

English: Boscombe, blue van A nice touch of se...
English: Boscombe, blue van A nice touch of self-parody, I’m sure! Looking up Westby Road towards Sea Road. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Instead he set up home….in a large blue commercial van. Hill uses the van as a place to sleep, parking it in side streets. While this seems makeshift, the IT employee, who works in the City, is able to save £1,000 per month on rent and utilities. Unfortunately the van has no running water or WC facilities, so Hill is forced to avoid drinking fluids after 7:00 pm to avoid having to use the toilet in a city where public urination is illegal.

He installed a bed in the vehicle, which also comes equipped with a solar powered generator for electricity and a small heater to keep Hill warm during this month’s cold winter nights.

“I was planning to cycle around Europe for a few months last summer and had already handed in the notice for my flat,” he told student newspaper The Tab.

“The plan was to stay with friends until I got another flat, but I decided to try out living in my car for a few weeks and showering at work.”

He often parks his unusual mobile home in hip places like Clapham, Brixton or anywhere in Islington where he can visit friends and camp outside after, and surprisingly with such a large van in a city notorious for its scarcity and expense of parking places, Alex Hill says he has no trouble with parking.

He added: “I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.

‘The most important thing for me was that I could still shower every day at the office, but it depends what you feel you need.”

It is not illegal in the UK to sleep or even live in your vehicle. Many homeless people often live in their cars in preference to being on the streets, and thousands of British holidaymakers often go on camping holidays in caravans, but Alex’s situation is also a sad example of the difficulties in finding safe and affordable accommodation in the capital, even for those in well-paid jobs.

Hill has been sleeping in his van since September 2015. The Metro article does not say whether he has any plans to move into a des res less mobile and four-wheeled.

SOURCES:
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/?fref=nf
“IT worker saves £1k each month by living in a van in London” – Jimmy Nsubuga, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 March 2016) http://metro.co.uk/2016/03/04/it-worker-saves-1k-each-month-by-living-in-a-van-in-london-5734100/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Boscombe, blue van – geograph.org.uk – 1277393.jpg” –  Mike Faherty, geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons (29 April 2009) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boscombe,_blue_van_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1277393.jpg

 

WELWYN GARDEN CITY: Cannabis plant seen growing in council flowerbed

British free tabloid newspaper Metro reports on a very unusual and illegal discovery spotted sprouting from a council-owned flowerbed in the Hertfordshire locality of Welwyn Garden City.

A member of a group called the Welwyn Garden City Cannabis Club took a photo of what appears to be a fully grown cannabis plant nestled among pink flowers in the flowerbed, located across Marsden Road from the Nisa Local Handside Lane convenience store, Metro reported yesterday.

(c) Welwyn Garden City Cannabis Club/Facebook via Metro.

According to Metro, the Cannabis Club were responsible for planting the marijuana, famed the world over for its relaxing and behaviour-altering properties which causes users to mellow out. Although several American states and the South American nation of Uruguay have legalised cannabis for medicinal and minor personal use, the United Kingdom classifies the herb as an illegal ‘Class B’ drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, alongside amphetamines and ketamine.

A spokesperson from the secretive group told local newspaper the Welwyn Hatfield Times that the impromptu appearance of ganja in the council flowerbed was a stunt aimed at promoting the benefits of the plant.

“We can confirm that the cannabis plants found in WGC town centre are not a one off their existence is no accident”, the group revealed to a journalist at the Times.

The club, which agitates for the legalisation of cannabis also said: “These plants are the work of local activists as part of a movement which believes cannabis should be available for medical and recreational use, that we utilise and legalise hemp and replace our polyplastics industry and fossil fuel dependency”

The group also claimed that hemp ‘has over 50,000 uses and benefits that most people are unaware of’.

“We are here to raise awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis and the dangers of legal and pharmaceutical drugs”, group member Luna Tokes said.

Unfortunately for local ‘potheads‘ looking for material to fill their next joint, the city’s govering body and owner of the doped-up flowerbeds, Welwyn Hatfield Council, had the plants uprooted to prevent any ‘further confusion’, Metro states.

It is not the first time illegal vegetation has been added to city flowerbeds. In May 2015, Astana city council in the capital of Kazakhstan mistakenly planted cannabis fields on Astana’s main roads, with drivers treated to several feet wide roadside fields of the drug. Locals were said to have joked that the exotic plants, placed at the junction between Auezova and Dzhangeldina streets, were an attempt to lure in local junkies for processing by the Astana police.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK?fref=nf
“Someone’s going around planting cannabis in Britain’s flowerbeds” – Nicholas Reilly, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (18 July 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/18/someones-is-going-around-planting-cannabis-in-britains-flowerbeds-5302374/?ito=facebook
“Council ‘accidentally’ plants marijuana in city centre flowerbeds” – Harry Readhead, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (27 May 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/05/27/council-accidentally-plants-marijuana-in-city-centre-flowerbeds-5217650/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Someone’s going around planting cannabis in Britain’s flowerbeds” – Nicholas Reilly, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (18 July 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/18/someones-is-going-around-planting-cannabis-in-britains-flowerbeds-5302374/?ito=facebook

TOMMIE WOODWARD: Man dies after jumping into alligator-infested river

A man allegedly screamed “f*** the alligators”  before jumping into a pool inhabited by the reptiles, who then savaged him to death, reports UK newspaper Metro.

Tommie Woodward, aged 28 and of Orange County, Texas, USA was visiting a private marina on the Sabine River in the same state, when he began mocking the creatures before jumping into the marina, where they immediately closed in on him.

Local county official Rodney Price said that Woodward disregarded signs posted at the marina warning visitors against swimming there. He said “He removed his shirt, removed his billfold…someone shouted a warning and he saidblank (expletive) the alligators and jumped into the water and almost immediately yelled for help”

Two American Alligators (Alligator mississippi...
Two American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), Florida, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marina employee Michelle Wright, in an interview with news station KFDM, told how she approached Woodward and warned him against entering the marina’s waters, but to no avail as he decided to take the fatal plunge. She later found his dismembered body floating in the water. “I saw his body floating face down,” she recollected.

“And then he’s out there for a couple of seconds and then he’s dragged back down. And then he come back up still face down and then he gets pulled down again. And then he just disappears.”

Alligators kill their prey by often clamping their jaws around the victim’s neck and dragging them below the waterline in an attempt to asphyxiate them.

Marina owner Allen Burkhart added: “He went under one time, then he hollered (shouted) at her to get out of the water.

‘Then he pulled him down the second time and that was it.

‘I’ve been here all my life and this is the first time something like this has happened. … I’m still in shock.”

Tommie Woodward had relocated to Orange County from St. Louis along with his twin brother and had found a job at a local shipyard. The reason for the plunge which killed him was not reported by Metro.

There are believed to be millions of alligators residing in the southern United States, with Louisiana and Florida states alone having 3.3 million. Most alligators avoid human contact and rarely feed on people, but can attack with often lethal consequences if they feel threatened or alarmed. They normally hunt turtles, fish, mammals and amphibians. In Florida, there are a dozen alligator attacks per year, but fatalities are rare. Only twenty people have been killed by the reptiles in that state in the past 40 years, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK?fref=nf
“Man screams ‘f*** the alligators’, jumps in water and is killed by alligators” – Nicholas Reilly, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 July 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/04/man-killed-after-ignoring-warning-signs-and-jumping-into-crocodile-infested-water-5280177/?ito=facebook
“Q&A: How many alligators and alligator attacks are there in the United States?” – Tampa Bay Times (14 August 2011) http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/qampa-how-many-alligators-and-alligator-attacks-are-there-in-the-united/1185694
IMAGE CREDITS:
“File:Two american alligators.jpg” – Matthew Field, Wikimedia Commons (26 October 2005) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_american_alligators.jpg

ANIMAL TAXIS?: Crow photographed hitching ride on an eagle’s back

British tabloid Metro has reported yet another strange moment where a photographer has caught one animal hitching a ride on another, as a wave of apparent laziness sweeps the vertebrate kingdom. This time, it is a crow perching precariously on the back of a bald eagle while the eagle is in mid-flight, and pretty much owning the situation.

The unnamed photographer was out and about when they spotted the strange aerial goings-on happening several feet above their head. The three photographs were then forwarded to the newspaper by photo agency Media Drum World, as the strange factor sank in across the Pond. The location of the photos is also undisclosed, but the species of eagle depicted suggests they were taken in the United States.

 

 

The first shows the black crow flying in tandem with the eagle as it appears to be closing in on a warm sunny day. The second then shows the brave (or foolhardy, depending on your viewpoint) corvine rodeo participant perching on the eagle’s back – on one leg, leading Metro journalist Nicholas Reilly to comment that the crow rode the raptor like an ‘absolute boss’ – clearly indicating his new-found respect and awe for the plucky little passenger, who normally would be more at home cawing from the tops of chimney stacks than grabbing hold of the king (or queen) of the American skies like it was a errant Uber cab. Reilly also presumably got his breath back and also complimented the crow’s ‘serious landing skills’.

The third in the instalment depicts the respected symbol of American freedom fluttering its massive wings, perhaps in an attempt to dislodge and possibly devour its unwanted passenger. The crow, adopting a similar posture with its own much smaller wings, remains resolutely anchored to the eagle. “Get thee to the Crow’s Nest…where’s that, guv’nor?…..er….as far as the crow flies…”

The fate of the two birds or what happened next is not known, but Metro officially billed 2015 as  the “year of animals effortlessly riding on the back of another animals”.

In March, wildlife photographer Martin LeMay saw a weasel attempt to attack a woodpecker that was perched on the ground. Its quest for an easy meal came hilariously unstuck when Woody decided that the weasel was taking the pee and promptly flew off, with the mammal clinging on for dear life on the woodpecker’s back. Then earlier in June, Richard Jones snapped a North American raccoon hitching a ride across a swamp on the back of an alligator.

While the famous abilities that American backpackers have for thumbing rides from motorists on quiet interstates are well-known to the point of being plot pieces for Hollywood horror films, it seems the animals of the USA have cottoned on too and taking equally risky rides. I wonder how much that eagle will charge for a ride to the local cinema?

ADDITIONAL SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK?fref=nf
“Just a crow landing on the back of an eagle like an absolute boss” – Nicholas Reilly, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (30 June 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/30/just-a-crow-landing-on-the-back-of-an-eagle-like-an-absolute-boss-5272998/?ito=facebook
IMAGE CREDIT:
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK?fref=nf

GIF MOMENT: Easter bunny praises spinach diet

Well, as it is the Easter weekend, I’d thought to share with you this GIF spotted on my regular current affairs haunt, the UK tabloid newspaper Metro.

It’s a cuddly rabbit.

That really loves her spinach.

She’s definitely bought into the benefits of a diet of fresh organic greens.

Strangely mesmerising too.

Om nom nom.

HAPPY EASTER!!!

(c) Metro
Dedicated to the memory of Ruby and her children Rab and Bit. RIP.
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Two helpings of spinach a day can knock 11 years off you” – Alison Lynch, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (1 April 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/04/01/two-helpings-of-spinach-a-day-can-knock-11-years-off-you-5130024/

LUNCHTIME PUNISHMENT: Oregon schoolchild forced to eat behind screen for lateness

The parents of a six-year old American schoolchild are up in arms against the child’s school after teachers punished the boy for being late to lessons, by making him eat his lunch behind a cardboard screen while forced to sit on a separate table from other children.

Hunter Cmelo’s parents, from Grant’s Pass in Oregon, were running late when they managed to take the first-grader to Lincoln Elementary School, the local primary school in the town. Teachers there punished Hunter by seating him on an unoccupied bench with a folded piece of cardboard shielding him from the eyes of his schoolmates. A set of polystyrene cups with the letter ‘D’ – standing for detention – scrawled on one of them was also placed near Hunter as he sat down to eat.

(c) Facebook via Metro

Pictures of the incident were put up on Facebook by Hunter’s grandmother Laura Hoover, who commented in the British newspaper site of Metro “This is my grandson, Hunter. He’s a little first grader“.

His momma’s car sometimes doesn’t like to start right up. Sometimes he’s a couple of minutes late to school.

‘Yesterday, he was 1 minute late and this is what his momma discovered they do to punish him! They have done this to him 6 times for something that is out of his control! They make a mockery of him in front of the other students.”

The harsh punishment of being segregated from friends at lunchtime has caused considerable distress to Hunter, who was on one occasion taken home in tears by his mother, Nicole Garloff. Hunter’s father, Mark Cmelo, said to local television station KOIN6: “They are shaming him for something that’s not in his control.” Hunter’s parents are reported to be devastated at the treatment of their son by the school.

His mother said the punishment has left her son anxious about attending school, and that a few days ago, he began ‘flipping out’ because they were running late for the school journey. She said that she has experienced car troubles and suffers from the brittle bone condition osteoporosis, which can set her back in the mornings. “It causes a lot of pain and in the mornings it’s especially hard for me to get going,” she said, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.

Lincoln Elementary School have agreed to stop using the cardboard partition in light of the Cmelos’ complaint, but have not said if they will end the policy of separating late students at lunchtime and forcing them to eat alone. According to the Daily Mail, the school received hundreds of complaints and threats after the incident went viral on social media.

A spokesman for the school district said: “The parents’ concerns were politely discussed and, ultimately, the issues were resolved to the satisfaction of both parents and the school. All parties involved believe that an appropriate resolution has been reached.

Meanwhile, the school’s superintendent John Higgins, who received a barrage of threatening phone calls, told Newswatch 12 that the “protocol was communicated to parents via newsletter and is intended to provide the students with an above average level of tardiness, supervised additional learning time in a non-distracting setting,

‘It was never intended to isolate or stigmatize students.

Principal Missy Fitzsimmons reached out to Hunter’s parents and arranged a meeting this past Thursday to hear the parents’ concerns, including ceasing use of the cardboard partition. Fitzsimmons said: “We are pleased to report the meeting was productive,

‘The parents’ concerns were politely discussed and, ultimately, the issues were resolved to the satisfaction of both parents and the school. All parties involved believe that an appropriate resolution has been reached.”

The school has a roll call of 444 pupils and forms part of the Grant’s Pass School District 7 administration in the Oregon town.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
“Boy, 6, forced to eat behind a screen because his parents dropped him off late” – Richard Hartley-Parkinson, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (1 March 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/03/01/boy-6-forced-to-eat-behind-a-screen-because-his-parents-dropped-him-off-late-5084049/?ito=facebook
“Outrage as six-year-old boy is forced to eat lunch alone behind a screen after his parents dropped him off late to school” –  Lydia Warren, Mail Online – News/Associated Newspapers Ltd (27 February 2015) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2972459/Outrage-six-year-old-boy-forced-eat-lunch-screen-parents-dropped-late-school.html
“About Lincoln Elementary – Mission Statement” – Lincoln Elementary School, Grant’s Pass School District No. 7 http://www.grantspass.k12.or.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=22344&
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Boy, 6, forced to eat behind a screen because his parents dropped him off late” – Richard Hartley-Parkinson, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (1 March 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/03/01/boy-6-forced-to-eat-behind-a-screen-because-his-parents-dropped-him-off-late-5084049/?ito=facebook

BBC GENOME PROJECT: What was on the telly when you was born

The British public service broadcaster the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has launched the beta version of a new online project that will enable people to find out what programmes were broadcast on UK television and radio on the date they were born. The BBC Genome Project is a fascinating new online archive of the BBC’s flagship publication, Radio Times, a radio and television listings magazine that has been published continuously since the 1920s.

The Genome Project, which despite its name has no connection to the Human Genome Project or to any organisation in the field of scientific research, was set up by the BBC  to encourage its viewers and listeners to search their homes and garages for any old recordings or VCR tapes of BBC and other shows which they are then invited to submit. It is hoped that donations of TV shows from times long gone past will help the BBC preserve older programmes for future generations. The Project’s archives extend from the years 1923 to 2009.

(c) BBC via J. Stone

The website enables you to choose individual editions of the Radio Times, as well as search through the magazine archive via year, people’s names, particular programmes and key dates. A virtual gallery of actual Radio Times covers means the Genome Project’s users can witness the changing face of one of the United Kingdom’s most recognisable entertainment magazines – which has been a fixture of the country’s living rooms for over ninety years and is still running. The actual schedule information is presented as plain, easy-to-read text.

According to the Metro newspaper, the BBC claims that the project currently has a total of 4,423,654 programmes incorporated into the archive from 4,469 issues of its magazine.

The hope is that the project will lead to programmes being recovered if the public realises they have audio or video recordings of their own.

Hilary Bishop, editor of archive development at the BBC, said: “Genome is the closest we currently have to a comprehensive broadcast history of the BBC.

`It is highly likely that somewhere out there, in lofts, sheds and basements across the world, many of these “missing” programmes will have been recorded and kept by generations of TV and radio fans.

‘So, we’re hoping to use Genome as a way of bringing copies of those lost programmes back in to the BBC archives too.

The Genome Project will not only be of benefit to media studies and journalism students and historians of public life in the 20th century, but will also be valuable to people who are curious as to what programmes and services were shown on the day they were born.

As part of the celebration of the unveiling of this unique archive, the Half-Eaten Mind’s blogger-in-chief Vijay Shah tried out the BBC’s Genome Project for himself. His aim was to see if he could discover what was broadcast on the day of his birth thirty years ago, Thursday the 4th of October, 1984.

******

My first impression of the BBC’s new Genome Project website was how much it was like many of the other online arms of the BBC in the internet world. Its slick and minimalist design, a hallmark of the public broadcaster, was reassuringly familiar, yet seemed to understate the vast quantity of publicly-accessible data stored inside. I quickly read through the site’s blurb, while distracted by the strapping image taken from a BBC studio filming from the Sixties or Seventies. A camera operative holding an angular relic with the BBC logo from that time splashed on the side sits precariously on the far right, while a slightly dour-faced audience await the show to begin and the cameras to start rolling.

(c) E.F. Baumgardner/National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons

I scrolled down the page to reach a chapter entitled “Browse the issue archive” which gives you all of the years shown in the archive arranged as a table with the columns set aside for different decades. If you scroll further down, there is a selection of thumbnails of front covers from the Radio Times, arranged by decade. Underneath that is a list of up-to-date schedules from the post-digital BBC stable of channels.

I clicked on the year ‘1984’ and that took me to a list of all the Radio Times editions, or issues, for that year, starting from Issue 3139, which came out across England only on the 5th January of that year. The 1984 archive solemnly ends with Issue 3189, published solely for the London TV region on the 20th of December. My birthday issue was numbered 3178, and was published exactly on the 4th October, much to my relief.

Another click of the mouse brought me to some listings of several BBC stations but these only began from the 6th October, which was a Saturday. I then rewound back and tried the previous issue, No. 3177, released on the 27th September 1984. I found TV and radio listings for the following stations: BBC One London, BBC Two England, BBC Radio 1 England, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4 FM. There is no mention of any schedules for ITV and Channel 4, which probably was not mentioned as these channels are independent of the Beeb and the Radio Times is a publication funded by the BBC’s print media division. C4 had been founded just two years before my birth and satellite, cable, digital and internet TV and radio was not to appear for a couple of decades yet. BBC One, or BBC1 as it was then called, tends towards popular and light entertainment programming, while BBC Two (BBC2) at that time was more geared to educational and political programming, as well as documentaries. I was fascinated by how many shows from my later childhood, such as Blue Peter, Henry’s Cat, Grange Hill (a soap set in an urban secondary school) and the Six O’Clock News with Moira Stewart were already well established on TV, considering that my memories of these shows are from the late 1980s at the earliest. It was a great trip down memory lane.

While the simple layout of the TV schedules was a bit of a mood killer, I liked the way that information from the pages of the Radio Times was presented in a clear and accessible format, while keeping faithful to the original text, as far as I could see. Even the mention of Ceefax subtitles was retained, showing just how far technology in television had gone since all those years ago.

(c) BBC via Wikimedia Commons

Here are the TV schedules for BBC1 and BBC2 as they were presented in the Radio Times on 4/10/1984:

BBC1

6.00: Ceefax AM

6.30Breakfast Time

with Frank Bough , Selina Scott Including today: medical advice from the Breakfast Time doctor in his weekly phone-in between 8.30 and 9.0

9.00: Under Sail

2: Pascual Flores
Pascual Flores was built 60 years ago in southern Spain as a fast schooner, but she very nearly ended her days as a scruffy little motor coaster. Now she’s restored.
Narrator Tom Salmon Director JENNI BURROWS Producer ROBIN DRAKE
BBC Bristol. (Part 3 tomorrow at 9.0 am)

9.15: Labour Party Conference 1984

Live coverage of the fourth day’s debates in Blackpool

10.30: * Play School

10.50: * Labour Party Conference 1984

Further live coverage

12.30: * News After Noon

with Moira Stuart and Frances Coverdale including a special report on the Labour Party Conference Weather BILL GILES
12.57 Regional News (London and SE: Financial Report, and News Headlines with subtitles)

13.00: Pebble Mill at One

13.45: Fingerbobs

A See -Saw programme

14.00: Labour Party Conference 1984

Coverage of today’s debates
3.48 Regional News

15.50: Play School: It’s Thursday

Presenter lain Lauchlan Guest Sarah Long
Story: The Luckiest One of All by BILL PEET

16.10: Bananaman

Mystery at the Old Mine
Eric Twinge is just another schoolboy-but when danger calls, a few mouthfuls of his special bananas and Eric is Bananaman. With the voices Of TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR , BILL ODDIE, GRAEME GARDEN, JILL SHILLING Written by BERNIE KAY Music by DAVID COOKE Produced by TREVOR BOND Directed by TERRY WARD

16.15: Beat the Teacher

with Howard Stableford Round 3 of this week’s quiz featuring the most amazing brain-teasers in the world.
THE KING DAVID HIGH SCHOOL, LIVERPOOL V ST BERNADETTE ‘S RC
SCHOOL, BRISTOL
Devised by CLIVE DOIG Designers VIC MEREDITH , LES MCCALLUM Producer IAN OLIVER
(Part 4 tomorrow at 4.15)

16.30: Godzilla

Godzilla, the 600-ton monster who has been asleep for a thousand years, rises from the depths of the Pacific to come to the aid of mankind. In this new series he continues his role as guardian to the crew of the research ship Calico. The Golden Guardians The Golden Guardian attacks Godzilla and turns him into a golden statue.

16.55: John Craven’s Newsround

17.00: Blue Peter

with Simon Groom Janet Ellis and Michael Sundin Flood Alert!
After the summer drought, the villagers of Topsham in Devon were faced with floods when the River Exe produced its highest tide since 1966.
Michael helped to build the barricades to protect the centuries-old houses and joined the men of the Devon Fire Brigade keeping anxious watch on the rising waters. Assistant editor LEWIS BRONZE Editor BIDDY BAXTER *CEEFAX SUBTITLES

17.25: Henry’s Cat

by BOB GODFREY and STAN HAYWARD The Explorer
Narration BOB GODFREY Music PETER SHADE Production BOB GODFREY FILMS

17.30: Grange Hill

A series of 18 programmes
Episode 5 by MARGARET SIMPSON Jimmy McClaren , the ‘Godfather’ of Grange Hill, begins to take a ‘friendly interest’ in Pogo’s chain-letter enterprise.
Devised by PHIL REDMOND Producer KENNY MCBAIN Director CAROL WILKS * CEEFAX SUBTITLES

17.58: Weatherman

18.00: The Six O’Clock News

with Sue Lawley and Jeremy Paxman, including a report by David Coss from the Labour Party Conference.

18.30Regional news magazines

London Plus, Spotlight South Today, Points West Look East, North West Tonight Look North, Midlands Today

18.55: Tomorrow’s World

Presented by Kieran Prendiville Peter McCann , Maggie Philbin and Judith Hann Producers DANA PURVIS , MICHAEL COYLE HENRY CAMPION , CYNTHIA PAGE Studio director STUART MCDONALD Editor MARTIN MORTIMORE

19.20Top of The Pops

Introduced by Simon Bates and Richard Skinner
Sound GRAHAM WILKINSON Lighting KEN MACGREGOR Designer ROD MCLEAN Executive producer MICHAEL HURLL Production BRIAN WHITEHOUSE

20.00The Magnificent Evans

by ROY CLARKE starring Ronnie Barker with Sharon Morgan and Myfanwy Talog William Thomas , Dickie Arnold
Film cameraman REX MAIDMENT Film editor DON CANDLIN Studio lighting RON BRISTOW Designer TIM GLEESON Produced and directed by SYDNEY LOTTERBY *CEEFAX SUBTITLES

20.30Checkpoint

Written and presented by Roger Cook
Radio 4’s award-winning programme comes to television for a short series to investigate cases raised by viewers which can include unfair dealing, bureaucratic bungling, injustice or even fraud.
Video cameraman LAURIE RUSH Researcher DINA GOLD Television producers DAVID BOWEN-JONES and DAVID HANINGTON Editor JOHN EDWARDS
Roger Cook’s Checkpoint. A BBC Aerial Book £2.95 from booksellers

21.00The Nine O’Clock News

with Julia Somerville and the BBC’s reporters and correspondents around the world including a special report on the Labour Party Conference at Blackpool Weatherman

21.25The Horse of the Year Show

from Wembley Arena featuring The Norwich Union Championship
Puissance mght at Wembley when all eyes are focussed on the big red wall in the centre of the arena. Plus horses racing against each other in the Knock-Out Stakes, and a look at some of the other entertainment.

Introduced by DAVID VINE Commentators RAYMOND BROOKS-WARD, STEPHEN HADLEY Producer JOHNNIE WATHERSTON

22.45: * Heart of the Matter

with David Jessel
At the heart of the actions that make the news lie decisions and dilemmas, prejudices and passions, that are defined by our sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. Each week David Jessel takes issue with a major story of concern or conscience, and looks for what can be found at the Heart of the Matter.

Film editor MICHAEL ALOOF
Series producer COLIN CAMERON

23.20* Out of the Undertow

Fay Weldon and Richard Hoggart look at working lives and tides of change in Britain: 3: Sweet Dreams with Miriam Margolyes
Managing a small business is a dream to which many people aspire but it’s a dream that doesn’t often come true. A women’s fashion company, a hairdressing salon and an engineering works are three dreams that have come true – but with a struggle.

Film editor HELEN COOK
Producer JULIAN STENHOUSE

23.50: * News Headlines; Weatherman

(c) Wikipedia

BBC2

6.55: Open University

6.55 The Search for Minerals
7.20 History of Mathematics

9.00: Pages from Ceefax

9.20: Daytime on Two

9.20 Tout compris
Everyday life and language of French teenagers. Au college; Au café bar; Chez Claire ; A une boom
9.38 La maree et ses secrets
A five-part adventure serial in French by CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL and JANE COTTAVE 3: Une ombre du passé
9.55 Thinkabout
See How they Grow
It’s hard to believe that Frank was once a baby.
10.12 Science Workshop Paper ‘A’
10.34 Scene
Troubled Minds – What a Lousy Title!
11.5 Near and Far Concrete
The look of many towns and cities owes much to the use of concrete. However the extraction of its raw materials – limestone, clay, sand and gravel has had a dramatic effect on rural areas Producer ROBIN GWYN
11.30 Home Ground
Towns of Wales 2: Just Down the Road
A town is largely composed of buildings – private houses and public edifices. What can these patterns of brick and stone. tile and slate, glass and paint, tell of a town’s history?
Presenter STEPHEN BOTCHER Producer J. PHILIP DAVIES BBC Wales
11.55 Swim

ANDREW HARVEY introduces a series for swimmers and non-swimmers of all ages. 3: Breaststroke

12.20 pm Illusions of Reality An examination of newsreels of the 1930s
3: Once a Hun….
Discussion notes from [address removed] 8QT. (Please enclose 12″ x 9″ sae and 33p postage)
12.45 Letting Go 3: Sex Education
How parents prepare teenagers for this important part of adult life.
1.10 Mind How You Go
Ten programmes about road accident prevention presented by JIMMY SAVILE OBE
3: Think Child
1.20 Encounter: Germany 3: Communications
By train from Hamelin to Braunschweig – and the work of the railways. A police car chase; a waterways patrol; an island waterway harbour; and life on a canal barge.
1.38 Around Scotland The Great Glen 1: The Ancient Corridor JOHN CARMICHAEL explains how the Great Glen was formed and shows how man has made use of the landscape for forestry and the production of hydro-electricity.
Producer ROBERT CLARK Director PETER LEGGE

15.00Dallas

My Brother’s Keeper
As J.R. drives the final wedge between Pam and Bobby, his masterplan to oust his brother from Ewing Oil gathers momentum. Donna meets an old admirer and Sue Ellen finds she has a new one …
Written by ARTHUR BERNARD LEWIS Directed by LEONARD KATZMAN (For cast see Monday. Continued tomorrow at 3.0 pm. Repeat) * CEEFAX SUBTITLES

15.45Labour Party Conference 1984

Further coverage.

17.05Handicapped in the Community

The Centre for Independent Living in Berkeley, California, was founded to help disabled people achieve independence and self-respect.
Producer ANN POINTON
A BBC/Open University production

17.25News Summary

with subtitles, followed by Weather

17.30Fred

3: Uncalled-for Distractions Fred Dibnah’s holiday at Blackpool
Narrator Deryck Guyler

Delightfully comic filming (Sunday Times)
Photography MARTIN LIGHTENING Written and produced by DON HAWORTH. BBC Manchester

18.00Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles

The last of a three part series starring
The Martians
November 2006: Earth is an amber cinder, all life annihilated by total nuclear war. A handful of settlers left on Mars are the sole survivors of the human race. They face a desolate future, cut off and isolated even from each other. Sam Parkhill holds a land grant to half of Mars, handed to him by the original inhabitants of the planet.
Teleplay by RICHARD MATHESON Produced by ANDREW DONALLY and MILTON SUBOTSKY Directed by MICHAEL ANDERSON A CHARLES FRIES production

19.30: Open Space

Breaking the Mould?
For the bulk of production line workers throughout British industry tomorrow’s work will be just like today’s. Mindless…. repetitive…. demoralising. But deep in the ‘pot bank’ they’re trying to reshape working lives. Staffordshire Potteries, Britain’s major mug producers, have adopted a new Japanese style of management. They are aiming to increase the motivation and job satisfaction of their employees by giving them more say in the company’s decisions. But will this really improve work and conditions on the shopfloor, or is it just subtle psychology designed to boost productivity? Open Space goes to the Potteries to find out how shopfloor and management approach the new tomorrow. Producer JEREMY GIBSON COMMUNITY PROGRAMME UNIT

20.00Commercial Breaks

A series that follows the fortunes of entrepreneurs around the world as their stories unfold. Who Dares, Wins Readers? The inside story of this summer’s bizarre circulation war between Fleet Street’s tabloids. Last week’s Commercial Breaks showed how multi-millionnaire Robert Maxwell bought the Daily Mirror. He immediately vowed to topple the Sun as Britain’s top-selling tabloid. This programme goes behind the scenes as Maxwell controls every detail of his campaign, from directing his own commercials to cross-examining his circulation managers.
Narrator Hugh Sykes
Film editor PETER DELFGOU Research ROBERT THIRKELL Executive producer JONATHAN CRANE
Producer DAVID DUGAN

20.30Do They Mean Us?

Our sense of humour baffles them, our politics bother them, our preoccupation with tradition bemuses them. Apparently we don’t wash, and we are morose and miserable even on holiday. On the other hand we are polite and kind to animals, and we would be great in a crisis – if we knew one when we saw one. Each week Derek Jameson looks at the way foreign television reports this country. Tonight he looks at foreign interest in the Royal Family and discovers that, in some ways, they are even more obsessed with them than are the natives.
Research MARK ROGERS Producer LAURENCE REES

21.00A Kick Up the 80s

with Ron Bain, Robbie Coltrane. Miriam Margolyes, Roger Sloman, Tracey Ullman. Also featuring Kevin Turvey
Special weight-watchers edition: non-fattening sketches, low-calorie situations, semi-skimmed jokes and a protein-packed song.

Music DAVID MCNIVEN DirectorBRIAN JOBSON Producer COLIN GILBERT BBC Scotland

21.25: Life of an Orchestra

3: On Tour
The third documentary in the informal four-part series on the London Symphony Orchestra follows the 107 musicians and their £350,000’s worth of instruments on tour to Paris, Vienna and Frankfurt. The film goes behind the scenes with the orchestra and their conductor Claudio Abbado as they rehearse, relax, worry about the Vienna concert and celebrate their successes. There’s music from WEBERN. MAHLER and SCHUBERT, an appearance by Zubin Mehta and more unexpected glimpses into the habits and attitudes of orchestral musicians.
Film cameraman JOHN GOODYER Sound STAN NIGHTINGALE Film editor PETER HARRIS Produced and directed by JENNY BARRACLOUGH

22.15: A Hot Summer Night with Donna

The second part of the spectacular concert featuring the queen of disco, Donna Summer.

22.50: Newsnight

John Tusa and Vincent Hanna with a full report on the day’s events at the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool, with Donald MacCormick and Jenni Murray in London to assess the news at home and abroad. Producer DAVE STANFORD Editor DAVID DICKINSON

23.45Open University

Discussion: Alan Plater ‘s ‘Reunion’ The play concerns two men who meet again many years after their schooldays together. It explores the risks involved in personal relationships, and is followed by a discussion with the author and actors.

*****

For our readers and bloggers from the HEM Community, especially those from the UK, you can see what the BBC played on your birthday and reminisce while you’re doing so. Visit the BBC’s Genome project at this link

SOURCES:
“The BBC Genome Project lets you see what was on TV on the day you were born” – Sarah Deen, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (16 October 2014) http://metro.co.uk/2014/10/16/the-bbc-genome-project-lets-you-see-what-was-on-tv-on-the-day-you-were-born-4908844/?ito=facebook
“Welcome to the BBC Genome Project” – BBC Genome Beta – Radio Times 1923 – 2009, BBC http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/
“1984” – BBC Genome Beta – Radio Times 1923 – 2009, BBC http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/years/1984
“Listings” – BBC Genome Beta – Radio Times 1923 – 2009, BBC http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/schedules/bbcone/london/1984-10-04
IMAGE CREDITS:
Creative Commons CC Search http://search.creativecommons.org/
“Radio Times, Doctor Who, Nov 2003, McCoy” – Jem Stone, Flickr (17 June 2005) https://www.flickr.com/photos/jemstone/19864460/
“File:Family watching television 1958.jpg” – Evert F. Baumgardner, National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons (original 1958, uploaded 22 January 2007) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Family_watching_television_1958.jpg
“File:Bbc logo before 1986.png” – BBC, Briantist & John Bot II, Wikimedia Commons (5 May 2009) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bbc_logo_before_1986.png
“BBC Television Centre” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Television_Centre