Today's news

September 30, 2002

AS grades may also have been cut as part of exam fiasco
Thousands of teenagers who took AS examinations this year may also have had their results cut as part of the A-level "grade-fixing" scandal. Examination boards have been asked to provide details of changes they made to AS grades awarded to about 200,000 17-year-old pupils as well as to those given to older students for the full A level.
( Times, Daily Mail )

Anti-Israel row recurs at college

Another professor at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology is under investigation for alleged anti-Israel views after sending an email to a US academic critical of Zionism. Umist has said it is angry over reports that Michael Sinnot, a professor of paper science, described Israel as "the mirror image of Nazism" in an email to a Harvard scholar. Umist said it would launch an investigation. Prof Sinnot said the email was written in the heat of the moment. He regretted any offence it had caused.
( Guardian )

Did brain power win the New York lottery?
When three numbers drawn in the New York lottery on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks came up as 9-1-1, most put it down to pure coincidence. But scientists at one of America's leading universities believe brain power may have been at play on the day.
( Daily Mail )

Scholarship 'tax' rejected by QC


A plan to impose a levy on barristers' earnings to fund scholarships for student lawyers has run into opposition at the Bar Council annual conference.
( Times )

1920s herb chest could benefit modern medicine


A chest of medicinal herbs from the 1920s, once used to teach doctors and pharmacists how to mix their own remedies, has been discovered in a Birmingham garage. It casts new light on medical practice before the advent of mass-produced drugs and could even lead to the development of new ones.
( Times )

Face behind Tutankhamun mask revealed

More than 80 years after King Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered, people will be able to see what the teenage Eygyptian pharaoh may have looked like. A model of his face, recreated from X-rays taken in the 1960s, will go on display at the Science Museum in London today.
( Daily Telegraph )

Rubens paintings stolen in fourth raid on collection
A set of priceless paintings, including two by the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens, was yesterday stolen from Russborough House near Dublin - just days after works stolen last year were returned to its collection. It is the fourth time that paintings from the Alfred Beit collection have been stolen in 30 years.
( Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Times )

Housework makes you depressed


Scientists have proved what many housewives have known for years - that washing dishes, dusting, ironing and cleaning can make you depressed. Researchers from the University of Glasgow discovered that housework lowers people's mood.
( Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail )

192 ways to explain someone's choice of drink


Allied Domecq, distiller and wine maker, claims to have perfected a formula to second-guess the barman. After surveying 40,000 people in markets as diverse as the US, the UK, Brazil and Korea, it reckons the choices of countless millions of drinkers can be reduced to just 192 combinations of circumstance.
( Financial Times )

2 in 3 voters lose faith in Blair reform
Public dissatisfaction over the state of hospitals, transport and crime is reaching crisis level, with many voters losing patience with Tony Blair's ability to make promised improvements, a poll for The Daily Telegraph reveals.
( Daily Telegraph )

How English conquered the bloomin' world
More than 380 million people speak English as their mother tongue and when the ever-increasing millions with English as a second language are included, it may be said to have won the language 'war'. This has not taken very long. Planet English , a documentary on Digital BBC4 tonight, will attempt to explain.
( Daily Mail )

It's in its rightful place


The readers' editor on… the plague of the apostrofly: Few things seem to provide readers of the Guardian with more amusement and irritation than the misplaced apostrophe - a word, the Oxford English Dictionary noted, purely as a matter of interest, that should really have three syllables rather than four. But let's not complicate matters.
( Guardian )

Psychologist dies

Michael Argyle, interpreter of 'body language' and nonverbal communication and one of the handful of British psychologists to have gained an international reputation, died on 6 September 2002, aged 77.
( Independent )

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