Oxford students have complained of excessive promotion by members of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, as part of ‘Mission Week’.A student at Exeter College described a “constant stream” of religious literature posted to students, and told Cherwell that he suspected his atheism and involvement with the LGBT may have had a role to play in his targeting. “I had a seventh copy of the gospels of St. John forced upon me today,” he explained, and added, “The misdirected resources of Mission Week have had no impact on me.”Robbie Strachan, President of the OICCU, stressed the inclusivity of the society, encouraging students of any denomination or faith to attend lunch-time talks and events running throughout fourth week at the town hall. He told Cherwell “’This is Jesus’ is a week of events for every single student in the university to engage with the real Jesus. That means that meetings are open for all students to attend, irrespective of their personal convictions.”He added, “We’d encourage people to come and see what all the fuss is about.”In response to OICCU’s campaign tactics some students have produced rival posters and fliers with varying degrees of gravity. One particularly contentious poster listed several different gods with the “This is…” tag and featured quotes from prominent atheists claiming that organised religion is synonymous with “misogyny, genocide and homophobia.” The more light-hearted responses to the CU campaign include a list of cheeses entitled “This is cheesus” which was distributed in all University College toilets, and a series of labels found around St Hugh’s with declarations such as “this is kitchen” and “this is lamp.”Regent’s Park College, a PPH affiliated with the Christian Baptist Ministry, reportedly had a ‘This is Jesus’ poster graffitied to read, ‘This is SPARTA’ in their JCR. Other parodies featured on Facebook show that students have gone so far as to create ‘This is Penis’ parodies of the poster complete with a silhouetted phallus. Second year PPEist Ben Deaner, creator of the ‘This is Penis’ meme told Cherwell of his motives, claiming, ‘As an atheist I have not yet ‘found God’ and as such you can imagine my excitement upon finding a poster labeled ‘This is Jesus’. After some enthusiastic shouting about how I had at last encountered my Lord and Savior I was politely informed that the object was in fact a poster and that the message was some kind of metaphor. In my disappointment and anger I created the ‘This is Penis’ poster.’Not all are offended by the efforts of OICCU however with one anonymous student claiming, ‘I like that they’re making the effort to reach out to us, even if it can be a little over-enthusiastic at times. They mean well and I find the appeal of free lunches and toasties on demand pretty convincing in return for a half hour of pleasant talk.’A first year student at New College commented, “Although I understand that the Christian Union is well meaning, the indiscriminate dissemination of ‘This is Jesus’ books seems to be nothing other than an explicit attempt to convert non-believers. I – and almost all others to whom I have spoken – have reacted against this, as it seems inappropriate in a diverse society in which we should all be entitled to our own views and beliefs.“As someone who is Jewish and is open about this, I find really quite offensive the insinuation in the quotation attached to the book that “the truth will set you free,” implying that as a non-Christian I am somehow in chains, not emancipated, and destined for hell. Once again, I realise that there is no malicious intent behind the actions of the CU, and in general most people appreciate the philanthropic works of the Union, but I felt this was somewhat misguided.”Second year Alexander Lynchehaun remarked, “Christians are annoying at the best of times, but this week has been something else.”
Trey Anastasio‘s new Ghosts of the Forest project is set to hit the road for their inaugural show on Thursday, which will be followed by the release of the group’s debut LP, Ghosts of the Forest, on Friday, April 12th. Trey recently caught up with Rolling Stone‘s Patrick Doyle to give his insights on the new project, Phish‘s illustrious year in 2017, coping with losing loved ones, and much more.Trey begins by discussing his lifelong friendship with the late Chris Cottrell, the inspiration behind Ghosts of the Forest’s inception. He explains,My friend Chris, who a lot of those songs kind of allude to, passed away at the end of February. He was a nature lover. He loved the mountains. He always would take me hiking. One of the things that was sort of extra sad about the loss was that he was my friend outside of all this — a long-before, boyhood friend. When we were a young band and we would drive out to Colorado from somewhere overnight, he would always grab me and make me hike up the Flatirons, or go skiing, or go fly-fishing, which I sucked at. He would always take me out of the tour. It just dawned on me recently that he was sort of my tether to childhood and to a life before Phish happened — somebody that kind of understood who you could talk to that didn’t work with me.Trey moves forward with some insight on Ghosts of the Forest’s live show configuration, noting,Are you’re familiar with the New York City theater scene? You know ‘Hadestown’? ‘Hadestown’ was written by some Vermont composers and interestingly enough it debuted at Higher Ground. It was like a nine-song folk record. The album sort of developed into a show. Now, that went on to be a Broadway show. This is a concert, this is not a Broadway show or anything like that, but it has definitely grown into something that feels really unique from anything else I’ve done at least in quite some time. It’s going to be completely based on the album, expanded greatly — a little scary, but it feels good to be letting this thing grow organically, and it’s only eight shows.Trey also expressed his thoughts on Phish’s illustrious year at Madison Square Garden in 2017 and how grateful he is for the fans that helped make it a success. He emphasizes,The Baker’s Dozen, people honored us with their presence. It’s hard work to go to all those shows. We really cared, and it was so much fun. But then it’s like, ‘Oh, four more nights for New Year’s,’ so we did 17 nights at the Garden that calendar year. I said, ‘We have to end the year with a new song,’ which was “Soul Planet,” with the pirate ship and all that. The reason was because they just came for 13 nights, and we owe everyone in a way. I mean, it’s our friends. It’s our family. It’s become, really, a family feeling, as you know. You’ve probably been there. That particular New Year’s Eve was designed as a specific message of, ‘Thank you. We’re on the boat, but we’re not driving it. The wind is blowing and the wind is the music and you are the ones who are keeping us afloat.’ That was the message.Head here to read the entirety of Trey Anastasio’s recent Rolling Stone interview.On Monday, Trey officially revealed the title track from Ghosts of the Forest’s eponymous debut album. He also revealed the full album tracklist. Ghosts of the Forest is set to be released on Friday, April 12th. You can listen to the first track from the album here.Trey’s new Ghosts of the Forest band features his Phish bandmate Jon Fishman, Trey Anastasio Band members Jennifer Hartswick, Tony Markellis, and Ray Paczkowski, and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Celisse Henderson, who was featured alongside Hartswick as a backup singer at Phish’s 2016 Halloween performance of Ziggy Stardust. Tickets are still available for both Greek Theatre shows via Ticketmaster. For a full list of Ghosts of the Forest’s upcoming shows, see below.Trey Anastasio’s Ghosts of the Forest Tour Dates:APRIL4 – Portland, ME – State Theatre5 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Opera6 – Washington, DC – Anthem9 – Albany, NY – Palace Theatre10 – Boston, MA – Orpheum12 – New York, NY – United Palace Theatre13 – New York, NY – United Palace Theatre19 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre20 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre at UC BerkeleyView Tour Dates[H/T Rolling Stone]
The Marine Offshore Renewable Energy (MORE) team from the University of Algarve has redeployed the Evopod E1 tidal energy device off Portugal.The redeployment operation was completed in the last week of September at Ria Formosa, a coastal lagoon in the south of Portugal.One week after the deployment, the MORE team informed they conducted a data capturing campaign with load cells that measured drag from E1 while extracting energy.The 1:10 scale Evopod E1 unit, leased from the UK-based tidal energy developer Oceanflow Energy, underwent maintenance following the initial deployment in June 2017.The device has been fitted with two new load cells on its mooring lines, and two batteries to be charged with two new solar panels fitted on the device.The team said this ensured that the batteries are charged under neap tides, to ready them for use when the logger is needed.The deployment is part of SCORE project whose aim is to examine the behavior of small-scale tidal current turbine in a shallow-water estuarine environment.