Friday 22 December 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful 21

We no longer frighten children with bogeymen, or tell them that the devil will take them away in a sack if they’re bad and they won’t get any presents. And f
ewer women are getting blow-dries, say hairdressers. They’ve stopped “fighting their hair”.

1362–1370 Pope Urban V excommunicated those who persecuted the Jews, or attempted to forcibly convert people.

1574 Elizabeth I frees the last English serf.

1893 Bertha Lamme Feicht is the first woman to receive a degree in engineering from Ohio State University.

1893 Elizabeth Yates becomes first woman mayor in the British Empire, of Onehunga, Auckland.

1906 Marie Curie devient la première femme enseignante à la Sorbonne.

1912 Uruguay outlaws bullfighting.

1955 Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a white person, leading to the end of segregation on transport in the US.

1960s Ecuador outlaws head-shrinking.

1965 More than 100,000 left the priesthood to marry after Vatican II.

In the 60s, Decca told Delia Derbyshire it did not employ women in its studios. She got a job as a studio manager at the BBC and the rest is history.

1997 The Blair government made it compulsory for banks to offer basic bank accounts to everyone.

1999 Helen Clark becomes New Zealand’s first woman elected as Prime Minister by voters (and second to hold the office).

Organ donation in the UK may become opt-out rather than opt-in.

The next Bishop of London is Sarah Mullally.

Coptic Christians in London get their first bishop.

British Columbia is ending grizzly bear hunting.

The Boy Scouts of America will let girls enrol in Cub Scouts starting next year, and allow them to eventually earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

Lewes bonfire society members who were urged to stop painting their faces black as part of a "Zulu" costume complied on bonfire night, throwing a tin of black "Zulux" paint into the flames. (They were persuaded by a genuine Zulu troupe.)

October: Germany is bringing in a law to impose fines on social media firms if they don’t remove illegal or hateful content.

October: Scotland announces it will give away sanitary products in schools from next year.

The Government is considering a deposit return scheme for single-use plastic bottles in the UK.

A passenger plane lands on St Helena.

Parents are smacking children less in the Western world, says
Smacking children is to be criminalised in Scotland.

Bodyform is the first sanitary towel to use red ink in ads, rather than blue-tinted water.

green wall of trees is being planted along the southern border of the Sahara. (

From early 2018, money held in joint account with new partner can be seized for maintenance payments. (Guardian Oct 2017)

Italy votes to ban all animal circus acts.
Upskirting will be made illegal.

A shop in Stornoway stays open on Sundays despite harassment by Christian fundamentalists.

November: Virginia elected a governor who's for a $15 min wage, decriminalizing pot, banning assault weapons, and free community college.

Cruise ships are banned from central Venice.

NHS England calls for homeopathy to be blacklisted; Enfield CCG ends homeopathy funding.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) calls for a ban on veterinarians offering homeopathic and alternative medicines.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has today issued a new position statement on the veterinary use of complementary and alternative medicines, homeopathy in particular. With regard to all types of complementary and alternative medicine, the statement says that the College expects MsRCVS to offer treatments that "are underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles." The new position statement states very clearly that homeopathy falls below this benchmark: "Homeopathy exists without a recognised body of evidence for its use. Furthermore, it is not based on sound scientific principles."

Saudi Arabia will allow cinemas to reopen from early 2018.

In ancient Rome, a father was legally allowed to kill anyone in his family. (@Museum_Facts)

1880-1948 Indigenous culture was banned in Canada. Masks, regalia and blankets were confiscated, and anyone caught participating in traditional ceremonies and dances faced jail. History of Native Americans' acquisition of voting rights and full citizenship here.

Anne Robinson recalls having an abortion soon after the Act in 1967. Women were accused of “wanting a flat belly for the beach”. The BMA tried to stop women performing their own pregnancy tests. For most of the 60s the Pill wasn’t legal for single women. “When I got pregnant there was no maternity leave, there was no equal pay… you couldn’t go to work in trousers. The BBC, up until the 90s, you couldn’t play two female singers on Radio2 back to back.” And she couldn’t rent a TV without a man’s signature. “I remember getting a loan and my bank manager said ‘Because you’re a woman, I have to read this out to you.’”

2012 Daylight Savings Bill defeated.

For a long time the Royal Free, founded 1874, was the only medical school to accept women.

LESS THAN CHEERFULNovember 24 2017 The Javan rhino went extinct.

More here, and links to the rest.

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