Press release found from the future


Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a truly accurate figure for the numbers of people demonstrating outside your facility or threatening law and order – or even automated gathering of their identities?

Now you can, with CrowdCount™ and other products from the Freedom2Control™ range which have taken the US by storm and have just been launched in Great Britain.*

CrowdCount™ uses a patented combination of thermal imaging technology and specially developed software to provide the licensee with completely precise information about the number of people in a group. The technology has already been licensed to the British Police and is now available to businesses.

Rory Ferguson, CEO of Freedom2Control™ (UK) explained the advantages: “Studies have shown that protest groups overestimate the volume of their support by an average of 14%, but their figures nonetheless get promoted in the media. With CrowdCount™ your business can restore the balance of truth. Imagine misguided activists are targeting your chemical plant and attracting unwanted media interest – now you can disempower these people and prevent the spread of their misinformation.”

The technology has already benefited many businesses and private law enforcement organisations in the United States. Suzette Wilkins, COO of Biotic Reassignment Services in Wichita, KA offered this glowing testimonial: “We had a few disturbances from extremists who don’t understand the good our company is doing for both humans and animals, but with CrowdControl™ and the beta of CrowdRoll™, we were able to neutralize the threat to our operability.”

CrowdRoll™ – to be launched as CrowdLister® in the UK – is a partner package which uses the latest DNA fingerprinting technology to provide details of the individual participants in unwanted civil action. CrowdLister® is undergoing trials in Scotland and is expected to be available by this fall.

1. Rory Ferguson, CEO of Freedom2Control™ (UK), is available for interview by arrangement with Toni or Jak at Plangent Media on 020 30 4918 2320 or SkypeBayMS™ plangent01.
2. Freedom2Control™ ( provides security and asset positioning services to business and government agencies in the United States and is based in Bennington, MI. Freedom2Control™ (UK) is a wholly owned subsidiary operating from Milton Keynes II.

* Not available in the United Republic of Ireland due to legal restrictions.

In the Glymelight

Commuting has given me time to read James Attlee’s Isolarion: A Different Oxford Journey. I can’t praise this book highly enough – it’s a psychogeographical meander down Cowley Road, in much the same vein as Iain Sinclair’s explorations in London Orbital and Edge of the Orison, though undertaken in a different way. Attlee adopts the same elegiac tone as the crushing monotony of theme park Britain tries to bulldoze anywhere with real character and vibrancy. He lacks Sinclair’s poetic (or obscurantist) touch, but it’s a very enjoyable read. Attlee approaches his various excursions and incursions along Cowley Road in the spirit of a pilgrimage, and his text is informed and inspired by interesting background reading from, among others, Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy. The history of the car plants, refugees, the Bartlemas leper hospital, drunks in the graveyard, the famous porn shop, takeaways and council meetings – it’s all in here.

I don’t miss living in London, but sometimes I miss London walks, and exploring its palimpsest of history. This is the first time a book about Oxford has given me the same thrill, and I know there’s much more to explore. It’s interesting that he avoids the sometimes stagnant and certainly overexplored history of central Oxford, and heads eastward. If you’re not sympathetic to this sort of project, Attlee could perhaps come across as a smug art-world type at times, but that would be unjust. This is a fantastic and inspiring book.

On Easter Monday, we set out on a pilgrimage on our own, taking the bus out to Chipping Norton to walk the route of the river Glyme as closely as possible from there down to where it joins the Evenlode at Woodstock. It makes for an idyllic walk – though around 14/15 miles, mind. The Glyme begins as a gentle stream alongside the mediaeval Saltway (got this one in your salt facts, ?) and meanders through some truly peaceful and surprisingly hidden countryside, despite the A44 not being far away. The Saltway, lost mediaeval villages, mills and waterfalls and absurdly pretty hamlets all feature along its course. In its middle life, the Glyme gets pretentions – as well as being dammed into a small lake at Old Chalford, it then runs through no less than three grand estates – Kiddington, Glympton and Blenheim (where, as at Kiddington, it forms an ornamental lake). At Radfordbridge, we passed the beautiful spot where my Mini got stranded the other week, and met some puppies. We were too footsore to see it through Blenheim to Bladon, where it joins the Evenlode, but we did follow it pretty closely all along. Spring is making me joyously happy. (Anyone wanting to see pictures and the route can download a 290K PDF here.)

A-Z of Saints: Ursula

The history of St Ursula, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “rests on ten lines, and these are open to question” – but the subsequent legend “would fill more than a hundred pages”.

The ten lines in question form a Latin inscription in stone, attributed to Clematius and still existing today in the choir of the Church of St Ursula at Cologne in Germany.

Experts have declared that the stone dates back to the fourth or fifth century. The interpretation of the inscription has been much debated, but tells at least of the nobleman Clematius’ rebuilding of a ruined basilica on his own land in the city of Cologne, and he did so because he was prompted by visions to honour a number of virgins who has been martyred there.


The inscription entirely fails to name, date or number these poor souls, however, and Ursula herself only appears in documents dating from five centuries later.

Those later documents mention varying numbers of ‘virgins of Cologne’, from five to eight to eleven. Another document names them in the thousands, and days they were persecuted by the Roman emperors Diocletian and Maximian.

One tradition states that they came from the east, encouraged by a veiled reference to the Orient in Clematius’ inscription; another says they came from Great Britain.

By the tenth century, the group was universally referred to as “the eleven thousand virgins”, and always accompanying the name of Ursula.

The figure is widely agreed to have resulted from someone mistranscribing some Latin many centuries ago (reading “11 thousand” instead of “11 martyrs”), but the following story has stuck.

The legend tells that Ursula was the daughter of the king of Cornwall and was betrothed to the governor of Brittany, perhaps in the fourth century (her death is said to have been in 383).


She set sail to join him accompanied by 11,000 virgin handmaidens (clearly a huge fleet was needed – even the Titanic only held 2,220 people).

They became caught up in a storm which miraculously brought them to Gaul in only a single day, and Ursula was moved my this to set out on a pilgrimage to Rome and beyond before going to marry her fiancé.

At Rome, an otherwise unrecorded Pope by the name of Cyriacus was persuaded to join her. When they arrived at Cologne, they encountered the Huns who were laying siege to the city, and were massacred.

They were buried there, supposedly in the basilica that Clematius later repaired. A tradition dating back to the 16th century also says that St Mary Axe, a lost church in the city of London where the ‘Gherkin’ skyscraper now stands, was also named after Ursula and the virgins, and contained the axe that the Huns used to kill them.

Although so little, if anything, is known of Ursula, her name has inspired people down the ages since. In the 15th century, Columbus names the Virgin Islands after her. In 1520, Magellan also named a cape after the virgins.

Hildegard of Bingen wrote songs honouring Ursula and her handmaidens. In 1535, St Angela Merici founded the Order of Ursulines, dedicated to the education of young women, the first of its kind and still going today. Many similar congregations have been formed since.

Ursula’s memorial is 21 October, though she was removed from the universal calendar of saints by the Pope in 1969. As well as patron of young women, and students in general, she is still celebrated in Cologne and at the University of Paris.

Other ‘U’ Saints

  • St Ulrich (890-973) was a Swiss nobleman and later bishop who built many churches. He was the first saint to be canonised by a Pope, and is patron against fever, dizziness, mice and moles (feast 4 July).