Today's news

February 6, 2003

Scientists turn future blacker than ever
British scientists have developed the darkest colour ever produced, up to 25 times blacker than conventional black paint. The super-black coating, invented at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, West London, absorbs almost 99.7 per cent of the light that strikes it, making it the darkest and least reflective surface on earth.
(The Times)

Cambridge students not just bright but beautiful
Forty students were last night tested for beauty as well as brains on a catwalk in the Cambridge Union in a search to find the university’s most beautiful student of 2003. The show was organised to raise funds for underprivileged adolescents in Tower Hamlets, London.
( Daily Telegraph )

Close shaves beat death by a whisker
How often a man shaves is an index of how likely he is to have a heart attack or stroke, according to a study of Welsh men. The research, by a team led by Professor Shah Ebrahim of the University of Bristol, is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology .
( The Times, Independent, Guardian)

How a smart woman can help a man get ahead
Men who marry intelligent women do better at work than those with no interest in female intellect, research by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University shows.
( The Times )

Twigg faces student fees protest
Stephen Twigg, one of the young stars in the Blair government, has been given top billing on his return to Balliol College, Oxford, where he was JCR president. His presence has triggered a “day of action” on fees.
( The Times )

£95,000 for sacked exams watchdog
Sir William Stubbs, the examinations watchdog who was dismissed at the height of the A-level grading debacle, is to receive a £95,000 pay-off from the government.
( The Times, Independent, Guardian, Financial Times )

Fish makes epic voyage across bottom of sea
It was an epic journey. A fish that normally swims in the sub-Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean has been caught off the coast of Greenland after an 8,000-mile migration at the bottom of the Atlantic. The 6ft catch has been identified as a Patagonian toothfish, Dissotichtus eleginoides .
( The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent )

Hiccups come from our life as tadpoles
Scientists claim the hiccup is a throwback to the time when our ancient ancestors had gills.
( Independent )

Scientists witness migration of GM cell material
A technique for producing “environmentally friendly” GM crops has been called into question by a study showing how easily alien genes can be transferred around a plant. The research, led by Jeremy Timmis of Adelaide University, is published in Nature . ( Independent )                                                    

Modest Oxford girls
The News of the World has been trying to capitalise on the sales of last year’s Cambridge Students Calendar, in which various young lasses were pictured in various degrees of undress, by trying to put together an equivalent Oxford photo-shoot. The idea has, however, met with resistance.
( Daily Telegraph )

Farewell Blighty, howdy USA
Money is one reason for the brain drain from the UK, but superior working conditions across the Atlantic are another.
( Independent )

To pay or not to pay
Why three students at Oxford University refused to pay their tuition fees.
( Independent)

Dawkins and genetics
Letters in response to Richard Dawkins’ article attempting to redress the hysteria that surrounds genetic engineering and put the debate on a scientific footing.
( The Times )

Islamic scholar dies
Professor Annemarie Schimmel, one of the world’s foremost experts on Islamic studies, Persian poetry and Sufism, has died aged 80.
( The Times )

Art historian dies
The art historian Raymond Watkinson has died aged 89.
( Guardian )

Spain’s golden age historian dies
Don Antonio Dominquez Ortiz, who held a unique position in the world of 20th-century Spanish historical scholarship, has died aged 93.
( The Times )


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