20 years ago

July 31, 2008

"As Einstein once said," asserts an Essex University philosopher examinee, "Everything is relevant". Well he might have done. Like all the best howlers this year, that one (from A. D. Smith of the Essex philosophy department) charmed by its proximity to the real thing. Rather like the underlying truth in this statement by a development studies student ... from Nene College: "As for the peasants, they were either subject to a kind of 'slavery-plantation' farming, or ruled over by landrovers" ... The classic Freudian slip was left to Warwick University, which as well as providing the delightful theory that "Language must have begun as a call of nature", also informed us that "Locke's theory of property aimed to show how men came to have a right to private parts."

Send your exam howlers for 2008 to rebecca.attwood@tsleducation.com

Mouse rustlers, beware. A research group at A&M University (in College Station, Texas) has patented a genetic "branding iron" for indelible marking of ... laboratory animals. In future, animals illegally bred from genetically-altered ancestors will be easily identifiable ... They will glow in the dark ... An investigator will only need to treat some of its tissue with an organic chemical called aldehyde. If the patented gene is present, the sample will glow.

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