Today we’d first like to wish a Happy 101st Birthday to Alan Turing, if he was still alive. During the Second World War Turing played a key role in Bletchley Park breaking German codes. Due to his homosexuality he received a criminal prosecution in 1952 with homosexual acts still being illegal in the UK. Turing was then given the option of either going to jail where he’d be subject to widespread abuse and possible assault or to take female hormone pills which was effective chemical castration. He chose the latter. Two years later Turing was found dead after taking cyanide. Thankfully, society has moved on a lot since Turing’s days of persecution. In 2009 then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, made an official public apology on behalf of the British Government for the way Turing was treated. As of May 2012 a private member’s bill was put before the House of Lords which would grant him a statuary pardon if enacted.
We’d also like to wish a Happy Victory Day in Estonia on the 94th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Vonnu in 1919 during the Estonian War of Independence. The battle was fought between the Estonian military forces and their allies against the German forces in the region who sought to regain control over the Baltic states. Victory Day itself has been celebrated every year since 1934. The war was an interesting three way between the Soviet Union on one side, the remnants of the German army on a second side and the Estonians, British and Finnish on a third side.
Links to the Multiverse
Watch: Russel Brand reduces US news anchors to nervoue wrecks on live TV – Entertainment.ie
Will the real Ed Miliband please stand up? – Rafael Behr, New Statesman
What happened when I started a feminist society at school – Jinan Younis, Guardian.
The dullest blog in the world – by Dave Walker
Russian Tampon Commercial – Liveleak.com
… and finally, as a special treat, the leaving speech of a former Things Can Only Get Better radio guest. Ollie Cosentino is approaching the end of his term of office as a student union sabbatical officer. As is tradition he gave this cracking leaving speech. He was surprisingly human as the mask of a bureaucratic management mouthpiece slipped away. Here was the real Ollie; overflowing with charm, wit and generosity. He exudes a geeky charisma and is always at his best when talking about the things and people he loves most. We love him, and not just for the much appreciated personal ‘shout out’.