UEA Offers to Sell Faked Graduation Photographs to Students

University of Hull graduates still get to throw their hats in the air.
University of Hull graduates still get to throw their hats in the air. By RichTea [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The University of East Anglia, home of the infamous Climatic Research Unit, has offered to photoshop images of graduate students throwing their mortar board hats into the air, and sell the faked photographs to students, in lieu of allowing students to actually throw their hats into the air.

Graduating students told to mime throwing mortar board caps in the air and then pay £8 to have them PHOTOSHOPPED in later in case anyone is ‘injured by the falling hats’

Health and safety bosses have banned a class of law students from throwing their mortar board-caps in the air at graduation in case anyone gets injured.

But all is not lost for the University of East Anglia class.

They have been told they can mime the action for a picture and a computer whiz will Photoshop the flying cap in – all for the pricey sum of £8.

In an email sent to all third and fourth year law students set to graduate on July 21, those behind the photos have requested that no caps are thrown skywards to prevent the pointed sides from hurting anyone as they fall back down to earth.

An attachment in the original email – from the company Penguin Photograph – gave instructions for how the ‘fun’ picture should go.

It requested that students: ‘…mime the throwing of their hats in the air and we will then Photoshop them in above the group before printing’.

The paragraph continued: ‘As well as being safer, this will have the added advantage that even more of the students’ faces will be seen in this photograph.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3595136/Graduating-students-told-mime-throwing-mortar-board-caps-air-pay-8-PHOTOSHOPPED-later.html

If UEA thinks it is OK to fake student graduation photographs, what else do they think its OK to fake?

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Thai Rogue
May 18, 2016 12:20 am

Is there an option for adding hockey sticks instead of mortar board hats?

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Thai Rogue
May 18, 2016 12:26 am

Maybe they were using real mortar boards. Photoshopped diplomas, anyone?

Reply to  Mike McMillan
May 18, 2016 12:47 am

The photoshopped diplomas cost £800 !

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Thai Rogue
May 18, 2016 1:31 am

Now there’s an idea for a Josh cartoon!

May 18, 2016 12:24 am

Inciting newly graduated law students to embark on an act of deception as their first act after being qualified.
Way to go UEA !

Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2016 12:34 am

This seems to be born of the same logic as Margret Thatcher bribing staff at the UK’s GCHQ intelligence gather hub to forego their rights to union membership. Apparently, being a member of white collar union was a security risk but accepting money as coercion if fine.

Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2016 6:45 am

You seem to be upset that these people choose the option of more money rather than joining a union.
Isn’t the purpose of the union to get more money for the workers? If they can get the money without the hassle of the union, why shouldn’t they do it?

Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2016 6:46 am

PS: I see absolutely no correlation between photoshopping a fake mortarboard and paying people more money?

Jay Hope
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2016 1:03 am

Yeah, something to be really proud of.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2016 4:39 am

They are going to be lawyers, what else would you expect.

May 18, 2016 12:33 am

They are trying to avoid liability in case anyone is injured by a falling hat. Has that ever happened anywhere?
There is nobody more craven and cowardly (and lazy) than a university administrator.

Reply to  commieBob
May 18, 2016 12:45 am

How on earth could the university be held liable for the acts of the newly graduated students. Maybe by renting them the hats for the day they are “facilitating”.
In any case the new EU safety regulations specify all mortar boards must have little rubber balls on each corner to make them safer 😉

Another Ian
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2016 12:48 am

Attached with strings?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2016 6:13 am

Yes, attached with strings so that if the rubber ball slip off the points they won’t fall to the ground and create a slipping hazard. Actually, maybe it should be 1/16″ stainless steel aircraft cable. Can’t be too safe, ya know?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2016 7:33 am

Remember, they are going to be lawyers, they are brainwashed into suing everyone about anything without regard to real liability or logic.

Reply to  commieBob
May 18, 2016 1:05 am

97% of falling hat scientists agree that there is increasing evidence to support the view that increasing numbers of people may be injured by falling hats unless immediate and decisive action is taken. A UAE falling hat professor said that just because no-one had been injured by a falling hat at UAE that didn’t mean that falling hats weren’t injuring people elsewhere in the world. In fact latest models indicated that people not being injured by falling hats may actually itself be evidence for falling hat injuries globally.

Reply to  PT57
May 18, 2016 1:06 pm

Those falling “hat scientists” aren’t falling far or fast enough to suit me.

Reply to  commieBob
May 18, 2016 6:48 am

Sounds more like another money making opportunity. (I was going to use the s word, but that always seems to send my posts to moderation.)

Reg Nelson
Reply to  commieBob
May 18, 2016 8:45 am

The models show that falling hat injuries will rise dramatically because of Climate Change. 97% of the immigrants from Syria are Falling Hat refuges, fleeing a country where this barbaric act is still practiced.

Joe Public
May 18, 2016 12:58 am

Lest we forget, UEA also has its School of Creative Writing.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Joe Public
May 18, 2016 7:18 pm

Is Peter Gleick a visiting professor?

Ian H
May 18, 2016 1:11 am

Why would the students even listen to them. What are they going to do – take the degrees back?

Reply to  Ian H
May 18, 2016 4:07 am

Well yes they can withhold degrees. It was threatened at least twice while I was in university studying engineering. You may go to a graduation ceremony but the whole class has to be registered and sometimes actual final exams are after the “graduation” ceremony as a lot of us dispersed after finals. Now I am going back to the 60’s and 70’s and we weren’t always PC with our end of year stunts like hanging a VW off the Lions Gate Brudge or “borrowing” Vancouver’s 9 o’clock gun to raise money for charity
One of the stunts that threatened expelling engineering students and withholding degrees, if I remember it correctly, was the cutting down with chain saws during rush hour into campus all the 6×6 sign posts around pretty much the whole campus. The administration and the other students wanted everyone expelled.
It took some convincing to demonstrate that we had removed the real signs the night before and replaced them with fake wood 6×6 signs the night before so all we had really done was cut up a bunch of old 6×6’s painted to look like the real thing.
That was not the only incident that could have ruined graduation for some of us but cooler heads always prevailed once it was realized that no real damage had been done. It could never happen today as PC and sensitivities are much more finely tuned.
Heck, I even taught a human rights course for several years to graduating classes
The point however, is that most Universites have the power to rescind graduation of contraveners of their codes of conduct. Personal experience.

Reply to  canabianblog
May 18, 2016 6:44 am

Man, I hear those 60’s and 70’s era Human Rights classes got into some really crazy ideas, like that you shouldn’t kill people just because they looked different then you or had different beliefs. Thank (insert secular authority here) that our modern views of human rights are based on proper social and climate justice models. So now we have the ‘right’ to pay vastly more for energy, the ‘right’ to never be confronted by an opposing belief or point of view, and (apparently most important of all) the ‘right’ to use whichever bathroom we want.
You can almost smell the liberty. >¿<

Reply to  canabianblog
May 18, 2016 7:24 am

If one is free to choose your own gender, why not race and age?
How is it any different if one feels like a woman trapped in man’s body, to feel like a white person trapped in a black person’s body?
What happens to affirmative action, or school integration? Who is to say that the all white school isn’t full of people that feel black on the inside and were mistakenly born white on the outside?
What happens when 20 year old’s start showing up to collect their old age pension, claiming they are an old person trapped in a young person’s body?

Reply to  canabianblog
May 18, 2016 9:01 am

Found this on Drudge this morning.
I remember when the liberals declared that we were crazy when we said the old Equal Rights Amendment would lead to mandatory same sex bathrooms. The liberals proclaimed quite loudly that NOBODY would ever be that crazy.

May 18, 2016 1:11 am

If UEA thinks it is OK to fake student graduation photographs, what else do they think its OK to fake?

That seems back to front. They think they’ve gotten away with some major fakery, as endorsed by subsequent inquiries, so why shouldn’t they now go that route without a second thought?.
One can hope the student body gives them a resounding alternative opinion …

Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2016 1:16 am

Oh sweet heath and safety! Protecting humans from their own stupidity making them even more stupid since 1990.

May 18, 2016 1:58 am

Health and Safety may soon be issuing fake birth certificates, replete with a photo of that special baby. Birth will not be permitted. It is associated with a 100% risk of death.
The UNFCCC use Health and Safety as THE ultimate tool to expunge the anthropogenic influence upon land usage and atmospheric composition.

Reply to  Manfred
May 18, 2016 4:52 am

Ah… it finally is a “Brave New World”

May 18, 2016 1:58 am

they have announced an inquiry into this scheduled for next week and the results show the university has done nothing wrong.

Reply to  EternalOptimist
May 18, 2016 2:29 am

Nice, E.O.!

Reply to  EternalOptimist
May 18, 2016 4:49 am


Reply to  EternalOptimist
May 18, 2016 6:51 am

Did they create a model for that?

Steve Borodin
May 18, 2016 2:07 am

How appropriate. The research is photoshopped as well.

michael hart
May 18, 2016 2:09 am

Well maybe the University ought to just change the type of hat to, say, a good Northern cloth cap. Or even a French beret. No need for electronic pseudo-hats.

May 18, 2016 2:57 am

“Owww, my eyeball! I’m not supposed to get any mortar board hats in it!”
No risk is too small to fret and worry about to those whose job it is to fret and worry.

Dodgy Geezer
May 18, 2016 3:10 am

Actually, there is probably even more deception going on.
Mortar Boards and Gowns cost a huge amount of money – several hundred pounds. A few students will have bought theirs – most will have leased them for the graduation photo.
I suspect that neither the leasing organisation nor the individual students want to have expensive Mortar Boards damaged by being flung in the air and dropped edge-on onto a hard pavement. But I wonder why they don’t say this…?

May 18, 2016 3:12 am

I attended a UK grammar school, where wearing a mortar board to and from school was compulsory for senior level students. Not easy if you rode a bicycle. (This was before compulsory helmets.) On the other hand, “dabbers” were useful as weaponry; it’s not so much the corners, it’s the edges. Crack someone with the edge and they will certainly feel it. I recall that the only way to use one effectively as a missile was to spin it sideways, eg board parallel to the ground.

Reply to  Martin Clark
May 18, 2016 4:56 am

Martin, you can do this with other types of hats, too, at least according to a documentary I once watched:

May 18, 2016 3:12 am

“In the past, the human herd was thinned of its weaker, less-intelligent and more-inept members via falling mortar board hats; now, thanks to the unprecedented abundance of caution by academic administration here at UEA, even the imbeciles survive and go on to bumble incompetently through life being a liability to the other 97%!”

Peter Miller
May 18, 2016 3:32 am

This sort of thing receives a great deal of attention and support from the Liberal Democrats and Labour, the UK’s two major left wing parties, who are obsessed with imposing pointless and petty regulations whenever they have the opportunity. I believe a lot of this type of thing happens in the west coast states of the USA.
The problem is there are a lot of sad, pointless people looking for a purpose in life.
“Health and safety bosses have banned a class of law students from throwing their mortar board-caps in the air at graduation in case anyone gets injured.”

charles nelson
May 18, 2016 4:00 am

But of course there is absolutely no possibility that NSIDC might have ‘faked’ or ‘distorted’ any of their output.
None at all. No Siree…no way. Nope.
Unlike Skeptical Science of course, who are ‘unreliable’.

Bruce Cobb
May 18, 2016 4:27 am

The miming of throwing hats is a mockery of mime artists and their work, and thus should be banned.
After all, a mime is a precious thing to waste.

bob alou
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 18, 2016 6:38 am


Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 18, 2016 6:52 am

On the other hand, more than once I’ve wanted to waste a mime.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 18, 2016 7:02 am


Tom Halla
May 18, 2016 4:33 am

This is beyond parody.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 18, 2016 4:41 am

Sun Spot
May 18, 2016 4:33 am

Statistical they must adjust the number and altitude of the hats to get the desired effect, being sure there is the correct slope no appearance of a pause at the apogee.

Doug Huffman
May 18, 2016 5:10 am

Imagine, a culture so coddled as to be concerned with that level of risk!

Nigel S
May 18, 2016 5:16 am

Mortar board throwing is a recent affectation at the newer universities. No wonder the world is going to the dogs.

Nigel S
Reply to  Nigel S
May 18, 2016 5:53 am

Started by US Naval Academy in 1912 apparently so apologies and Respect to them.
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;

Reply to  Nigel S
May 18, 2016 8:18 pm

IIRC, on graduation their rank increased, so a different hat was the proper uniform, thus dumping the “out of uniform” hat was in theory required by regulations (the manner of the dumping being the joyous part) while the new hats were available at a table to the rear. Actually makes a kind of sense…

South River Independent
Reply to  Nigel S
May 19, 2016 9:19 pm

The local kids collect the midshipmen’s hats after the ceremony. In 1965, many of his classmates wrote Roger Staubach’s name in their hats so the kids thought they had found his hat. (As a new ensign, Staubach was one of the coaches for the plebe football team that I played on.) I wonder if Keenan Reynold’s classmates will do the same thing this year.

Philip Peake
Reply to  Nigel S
May 18, 2016 9:51 am

Yes. What I was thinking. There was none of that sort of behavior when I graduated (UK – Keele University). Its a very American “tradition”. Unfortunately, a lot of these are being adopted in the UK, for no good reason that I can see. Of course, one good reason not to behave like this was (in my day, maybe these days too?) that most people rented their cap and gown (they were horribly expensive to buy), and not returning them, or returning them damaged in any way resulted in you having to buy the horribly expensive (and now damaged or non-existant) item.

Mark from the Midwest
May 18, 2016 5:19 am

Those special memories of something that never really happened, good times, good times…

Nigel S
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
May 18, 2016 10:55 am

Hearts full of youth,
Hearts full of truth,
Six parts gin to one part vermouth.

Mike T
May 18, 2016 5:34 am

Eight quid sounds cheap, faked or not. My graduation photos were a great deal more than that. I suspect graduation photographs are another income stream for universities.

Reply to  Mike T
May 18, 2016 7:19 am

Eight quid per person, and that’s in addition to the regular cost of the photo.
Now I’m no photoshoping expert, but I’m pretty sure that once you’ve done it to a photo you can print up as many copies as you want. So charging each customer separately seems odd. And what of the students who choose not to pay for the photoshoping? Are they stuck having to buy photos of everybody with their arm raised for no reason? It would be unfortunate if, without the added hats, they ended up with a graduation photo with everyone giving a Nazi salute.
…now I want to photoshop Cook in his uniform into the front row. <¿<

David Chappell
Reply to  Mike T
May 18, 2016 7:33 am

I suspect it’s 8 quid extra on top of the usual cost of the photograph.

May 18, 2016 5:39 am

“Health and safety bosses have banned a class of law students from …”
The Health and Safety at Work Act applies only to employers and employees.

Reply to  Sleepalot
May 18, 2016 6:53 am

This is in England.

Reply to  MarkW
May 19, 2016 1:06 pm

Yes, as am I and the H&SaW Act.

May 18, 2016 5:41 am

If UEA thinks it is OK to fake student graduation photographs, what else do they think its OK to fake?

Suggesting that the respected CRU might be faking something because the university they are attached to is openly offering to photoshop a hat in the air into a graduation photo?
I’ve seen some weak inferences before, but I don’t recall one as weak as this.
Perhaps you are suggesting that the HadGEM3 doesn’t actually exist, and the money was diverted to cups of tea while the research was faked using … some other climate model?
A hint about constructing a sound argument: Try to show that your conclusions logically follow from your premise.

Reply to  Seth
May 18, 2016 6:03 am

this just made lunch time BBC news where it was reported the tradition was scrapped as a hat fell on someone last year causing them a head injury. The severity of the injury and the circumstances were not reported.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Seth
May 18, 2016 6:19 am

I think it’s called hyperbole, Seth. Commonly used by humorists, but it may offend some serious-minded types. If you’re one of these, I’d advise you never to read Mark Twain.
: > )

Reply to  Seth
May 18, 2016 6:54 am

It doesn’t take much to get the trolls dander up.
The fact that CRU has been faking data for years is well documented.

Reply to  Seth
May 18, 2016 8:08 am

Follows logically? That’s not how induction is supposed to work. If they did X perhaps they would do similar thing Y isn’t a proof and isn’t meant to be, but ISa rational way to come up with a hypothesis.

John Robertson
Reply to  Seth
May 18, 2016 9:00 am

Nice try Seth, are you new to the climate communication game?
Or born yesterday?
CRU has form.
Course your naivety might be understandable..If your surname is Borenstein.
Before the machinations of these fools, who knew data could be “Faked but real”.
A truly post normal scientific concept.
Does the name Phil Jones, ring any bells?

May 18, 2016 6:22 am

I’d just post a few signs at the entryways with the message
Beware of Falling Mortar Boards”
and be done with it.
On the bright side, where better to get injured than at a graduation ceremony of a bunch of lawyers? One of them will be signing their 1st client while the ink is still drying on their diploma.

May 18, 2016 6:29 am

The only way that a falling hat can harm someone is if they are wearing it at the time – which may explain some of the brain-dead climate assertions coming from the CRU.

Pamela Gray
May 18, 2016 6:39 am

Poor babies. These days even mortar boards have to come with corner bumpers. No wonder they all go screaming into the night when it’s warm.

Tom Judd
May 18, 2016 6:52 am

They’re not at all afraid of injuries. What they’re afraid of is public perception. If all those law students whip those heavy mortar board hats in the air, and the pointy ends on the hats come down and pierces the students’ skulls, the university already knows there’s not going to be any injuries.
They’re worried that, in the absence of injuries, the public may realize that years of law school at UEA has actually wiped out anything within the skull that might have been injured otherwise.

May 18, 2016 6:53 am

For UEA.inmates fear is a constant companion.
When I was young institutions were where mentally ill and irrational patients were kept, places of safety.
Nowadays universities are called institutions and also have places of safety.

Mickey Reno
May 18, 2016 6:56 am

Wow. It’s a good thing they stopped this deadly practice. And also, I hope they have the good sense to prohibit the changing of the Ph.D students’ soiled diapers right on the stage during the ceremony, too. That could be traumatic for the little youngsters, and might scar them for life.
But wait! On the up side, the aerosol effects of having these large particles in the atmosphere could offset some large fraction of warming caused by the extra CO2 emitted by the crowd.
What we need is a long chain of practical suggestions that allows the children to continue to throw something into the air to celebrate their new advanced degrees. I’ll start with a few:
– Every mortar board will come with a parachute, which deploys automatically by way of motion and altitude sensor.
– Every graduate will be required to wear a helmet with full face mask under their mortar board. Injuries to arms and shoulders might still occur, of course.
– NERF [tm] mortar boards
…. add your helpful suggestions here

May 18, 2016 6:56 am

Isn’t it the act of throwing the caps in the air that is so special and not the documenting of the act?
Is this the representative thought process of UAE: it is not what happens that is important, the important thing is what one documents is happening.
Geez, I hope they don’t extend that thought process to their climate reporting.
Oh, wait …
never mind.

May 18, 2016 7:30 am

Wait a minute. Why do mortar boards not come with a warning label?
Danger: Hazardous when thrown.
Clearly the manufacturer is liable for failure to include adequate warning.

Tom in Florida
May 18, 2016 7:37 am

Perhaps there weren’t enough students and visitors to make a good picture so they photo shopped them in also. How do we know?

Bill Powers
May 18, 2016 7:48 am

It is a bit of a dichotomy that, considering one of the 3 principle fears of these leftist handwringers, overpopulation, would be well served if we would only thin the herd with death by mortar board

May 18, 2016 8:35 am

See “Fake” and UAE in the title did not even raise an eyebrow. It’s not like the pairing is uncommon.

Reply to  dp
May 18, 2016 8:36 am

Damn – s/b UEA, obviously.

May 18, 2016 8:53 am

How many people have been injured by falling hats?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Mark Whitney
May 18, 2016 1:09 pm

It doesn’t matter whether anyone was hurt or not. The important thing is to be concerned.

Reg Nelson
May 18, 2016 9:03 am

It’s clear that these falling hats are a micro-aggression. How can any student remain in their safe place when the fear of decapitation is in the air all around them?

May 18, 2016 9:10 am

For an extra expense they will add a hockey stick pattern to your credentials too.

May 18, 2016 10:03 am

What?! No bubble-wrap suits? What if someone fell on their way to getting their diploma?

John G.
May 18, 2016 10:27 am

£8 for a fake picture of a fake memory, sounds kind of expensive. What’s that in dollars, close to $12? Send them a picture of the money. I wonder how much climate scientists would pay for a photoshopped picture of a civilization destroyed by global warming?

Reply to  John G.
May 18, 2016 11:47 am

John G — Been done. Mad Max. Water World. Many others. But in all those movies they were running around in high powered fossil fueled trucks, motorcycles, Boats, flame throwers, etc. etc. So civilization was destroyed but not the oil refineries? Odd that. Just the usual Hollywood disconnect.

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
May 18, 2016 12:04 pm

The refinery in the second Mad Max movie looked to be home brew. It was certainly several orders of magnitude smaller than any modern day refinery.
Secondly, the whole conflict was due to the bad guys desire to take over that refinery.

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
May 19, 2016 8:12 pm

“Mad Max. Water World. Many others. But in all those movies they were running around in high powered fossil fueled trucks, motorcycles, Boats, flame throwers, etc.”
Not just the oil… in these movies, they are constantly being reckless with their trucks, motorcycles, boats, flame throwers… as if fixing these was easy (or even possible). And these movies always seem to happen in a far away future – nobody seems to remember the days of civilization. So I assume these movies happen in a steady-state future. (The notion of “what the future is like” seems to imply a pretty stable future.)
Do they have a magical supply of spare parts?
Or are they just really good at recycling?

May 18, 2016 1:10 pm

But wait a minute! Just how do you expect the graduating imported muzzie from throwing the diaper on his head? I won’t ask the burlap bag covered ones throwing anything,as they aren’t allowed an edumaksion anyway.

May 18, 2016 2:21 pm

Ok the corners and sharp edges are the risk factor. Time for an inventive genius to develop a round mortar board- rounds- with a doughnut shaped brim.

Kurt in Switzerland
May 18, 2016 2:24 pm

Meaningless: it’s all symbolic.
Oh, wait!

James Francisco
May 18, 2016 3:28 pm

I don’t think that a hazard exists now but fifty years from now when those thin skinned pin heads children send their thinner skinned pin headed and mush headed children to that university it could be a hazard. Better start now trying to make a hat that will do no harm. 🙂

Robin Pittwood
May 19, 2016 12:55 am

John Cleese knew something was up with UEA, Check out the village idiot skit 2.45 to 3.00 min. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhDJxEPRDek

May 19, 2016 1:10 am

I didn’t graduate for UEA*, can I still have myself photoshopped into a picture?
* Thank goodness my parents sent me to a real university.

May 19, 2016 1:16 pm

Virtually the entirety of British academia is now a cesspit infested with armies of liberal leftist totalitarian cockroaches. I expect the same is true of the US, Canada and Australia too. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to go anywhere near a British University unless they are desirous of being brainwashed and taught how to not think.

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