20 years ago

November 27, 2008

Dundee University's traditional "hecklings" for first-year medical students are to be axed following lurid reports in the tabloid press of nude frolicking and bizarre initiation rites. Peter Griffiths, dean of medicine and dentistry, has strongly reprimanded Ian Rampage, president of Dundee University Medical Society, after an investigation of the events, and the society has agreed to discontinue the hecklings and "revise its arrangements for welcoming new student members". Photographs of naked students appeared in the press, with allegations of initiation rites involving treacle, baked beans and cold porridge.

The latest bestseller on America's academic shortcomings - The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know - is scathing on the subject of geography. "Many Americans, it says, are unable to name the capitals of all 50 states." Unfortunately, the book refers to Jacksonville as the capital of Florida. Not once, but twice. The main author, E.D. Hirsch, has blamed co-writer Joseph Kett. In turn, Mr Kett blames a researcher, although he admits that he should have spotted the error. And the true capital of Florida? Tallahassee, of course. Everyone knows that.

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