Week five news column: BNOCsoc, moonflowers and an ancient phallus

Did someone say the BNOCs are bringing the Hunger Games to Cambridge..?

We finally finished week five so you can say au revoir to those week five blues! Although this week is infamous for both its dreariness and stress, there’s actually been some pretty happy news! Both Pembroke and Trinity Colleges announced plans to fully divest from fossil fuels and Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the roadmap to the end of lockdown!

From ancient phalluses, amazonian flowers, pangolin fundraisers to BNOCsoc, there has been so much local news this week! Can you guess what college cancelled their May Ball? This week’s news column has all the answers you need…

Peterhouse cancels May Ball

This week Peterhouse joined the likes of Queens‘, Trinity and Trinity Hall in cancelling their 2021 May Ball.

In an email sent to students, the President of the Peterhouse May Ball Committee said that she was “deeply saddened” to announce the cancellation but that “the current regulations mean that it is highly unlikely that [they] will be in a position to hold such an event this year.”

As an alternative, the President says that she hopes to hold a more down-scaled event at the end of Easter Term if regulations permit.

Peterhouse hold biannual May Balls, but due to this year’s cancellation, the committee plan to host an event next year instead of in two years time.

Last week I asked for college bucket hats, but instead, my May Ball was cancelled :((

Fitzwilliam College supports Cambridge Sustainable Food

Fitzwilliam College has this week been supporting Cambridge Sustainable Food, an initiative that aims to ensure that all children have access to sustainable food.

The Fitzwilliam catering team delivered 200 meals this week to support children and families in and around Cambridge during the half-term period.

The college has been actively taking part in the scheme since October of last year where they delivered 230 school meals, then again in December by providing 200 meals to local elderly residents.

Head of Catering and Events at the college said: “It has been wonderful to see everyone working together in this way […] It feels good to be able to give back and I hope our contribution has helped.”

Introducing… BNOCsoc

With the announcement of the 100 nominees for this year’s Tab BNOC Competition, things got a little bit wild…

In a somewhat elitist move, the BNOCs created an invite-only BNOCsoc, aka the coolest group chat in town. Camfess of course blew up, some of the BNOCs themselves were confused, many non-BNOCs were envious, whilst others were left feeling glad to not be nominated (we all know they are just jealous).

Jealousy does not look good on you bro. (Image Credit: Screenshot from Camfess via Facebook)

BNOCs > Any marvel superhero ever (Image Credit: Screenshot from Camfess via Facebook)

One BNOC was left feeling rather un-enthused by the whole creation, but who knows why?

Aside from world domination, the BNOCs also planned to address the Cambridge Union, you know since they are now famous.

The BNOCs even started to plan their own hunger games, proposing one tribute from each college… is this their way to finally eradicate us normies who have never experienced *fame*?

Peterhouse to redesign college gardens

Peterhouse has hired award-winning garden and landscape designer Thomas Hoblyn “to redesign Cosin Court, to open up the gardens and create a series of courtyard gardens with a sustainable scheme.”

Hoblyn hopes to make use of Cambridge’s unique micro-climate in order to increase ecological diversity in the college’s gardens.

The plans also include installing a water feature that uses rainwater. He describes some of his plans as “quite wild and naturalistic” and he aims to use as many sustainable materials where possible.

Plans outlined to make all buses in city centre zero-carbon by 2025

A multi-council partnership has outlined plans to make all buses in Cambridge city centre zero-carbon by 2025.

The proposals are a part of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s (GCP) plan to reduce emissions whilst boosting the use of public transport in the city.

A spokesperson for the GCP highlighted the proposals as “giving sustainable transport greater priority on our roads […] and the combined authority to improve air quality through introducing a fleet of zero emission buses across greater Cambridge.”

With divestment at Pembroke, Trinity and new eco busses we should forget the week five blues, instead, we should start calling it the week five greens…

UK’s first moonflower blooms in Cambridge Botanical Gardens

An incredibly rare Amazonian cactus that has garnered worldwide attention over the past few weeks bloomed in the Cambridge University Botanical Gardens this week.

The moonflower, which is believed to be the first of its kind to bloom in the UK, has been watched by just under 195,000 people across the globe on a livestream.

The blooming period for the moonflower only lasts 12 hours but researchers at the Botanical Gardens now hope that the flower will bloom annually.

Funnily enough, the flower is supposed to smell rather pungent after a few hours of being in bloom, so why is everyone so obsessed with it?

Pangolin fundraiser smashes sponsorship target

On Saturday of this week, PhD student at St. Edmund’s College, Charles Emogor, successfully ran for eight hours straight around Cambridge in a bid to raise money and awareness for the world’s most trafficked animal, the pangolin.

He had at first set a fund-raising target of $5,000 but has since smashed this target and currently has raised over $8,500. Congratulations Charles!

This is just another reason to rename the week five blues the week five greens!

Societies come together to celebrate Lunar New Year

The Cambridge Chinese Christian Fellowship and the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union joined forces to host an online event for students celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year.

Students who attended the event welcomed the Year of the Ox by writing Chinese blessings and holding a quiz on all things Lunar New Year.

The joint initiative told the Cambridge Tab: “It can be hard to feel connected to the community so we wanted to do something that allowed us to celebrate our culture and faith.”

St Edmund’s launches “Hope in Hard Times” series

This week St Edmund’s College has launched its “Hope in Hard Times” series on YouTube.

The series will be posted every weekday over the coming weeks by the College Dean with each two minute episode focusing on the theme of hope.

In the first upload in the series, the Dean said: “We are all struggling at the moment to keep cheerful and hopeful but there is so much out there that is inspiring.”

The series will include readings of poems and other literary works, but will also be used as a reflection on current world events. How cute! And the fact that the St. Edmund’s Dean is called Ed adds bonus cute points.

Ancient phallus engraving discovered in Cambridgeshire

Speaking of hard times and to finish up this week’s news column we have an ancient, 2,000-year-old Roman relic of an engraved phallus!

The ancient phallus was discovered by archaeologists this week in Cambridgeshire as work is conducted on the A14.

During the building works which began in 2016, archaeologists have also discovered mammoth tusks, rhino skulls, and the earliest form of evidence of beer brewing in Britain. Of course Cambridge created British beer, I would expect nothing less.

As we say goodbye to a surprisingly okay week five and to another college May Ball, I wonder what the archaeologists will dig up next week? Perhaps an Ancient Greek anus? Or maybe that chocolate bar I hid underneath my sink in Michaelmas as a surprise for when I ‘returned’ in Lent?


Feature Image Credit: Diliff via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons License