A rattling good read

March 31, 2011

In common with a number of other leading scientists, our Deputy Head of Behavioural Science, Dr T. Mays, has spoken of the important role played by the humanities in the development of a fulfilled life.

Dr Mays, whose experimental work on rodent recognition of abstract nouns has made him a household name in rat circles, explained that he'd had little personal knowledge of the humanities until he accidentally came across a copy of Middlemarch that his wife had left behind in the house after their recent trial separation.

He told The Poppletonian: "Although in my experience an even moderately intelligent rat would have been quicker than Dorothea to recognise the unsuitability of Casaubon as an end goal, it was all in all a rattling good read. I'd happily recommend it to anyone who had a bit of time on their hands."

Shock tactics shock

Our Head of Internal Security, Mike Kettle, has denied that "strong-arm tactics" were used against academics who joined last week's UCU picket line.

Mr Kettle admitted that Professor Gordon Lapping of our Media and Cultural Studies Department had been forcibly removed from the line by members of his team and restrained against his will for six hours in the Department of Psychology's experimental isolation chamber.

However, he blamed this "turn of events" upon the professor's decision to wear formal academic dress, which had a "provocative similarity to a full-on balaclava".

Home charity

In a surprise move, Leopold Gladhander, the Head of our University Development Fund, has announced "a fundamental reappraisal of the university's Strategic Development Fund".

In future, the focus of the appeal will be entirely upon the payment of Mr Gladhander's own salary.

Alumni donors are asked to send their contributions directly to Mr Gladhander, marking the envelope "Not for the Library Extension".


Dr W. Finnegan of our Department of English and Related Studies has asked us to point out that the description in last week's Poppletonian of his current status as "at risk" was incorrect. In fact, Dr Finnegan is not on the current "at risk" register, but rather the "at risk of being placed on the phased severance register" register.

We apologise for this error and any distress it may have caused to Dr Finnegan and students on his Re-evaluating Beowulf course.

Fly me to the moon

"Utterly unjustified." That was how Dr Rose Leigh, the Head of Poppleton's College of Advanced Astrology, responded to the criticism that followed the revelation that more than 400 of her current BA Zodiac Studies students had received loans from the Student Loans Company during the 2010-11 academic year.

Dr Leigh maintained that students on the course were a special case in that their thoroughgoing commitment to the pursuit of irrationality made them unsuited to many other undergraduate courses.

Although she was "saddened" by the criticism, she predicted that a more reasonable attitude might prevail at the beginning of next month when Aries would enjoy a more favourable aspect with the cusp of Leo.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

"Next week's seminar will be on The Genetic Contribution to Academic Inadequacy. Specially recommended for born failures."


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