Today's news

July 29, 2003

Clarke downgrades university degree targets
Tens of thousands of young people qualified to go to university, and encouraged by the government to believe that they should go, will have to settle for two-year, vocationally-oriented foundation degrees, Charles Clarke, the education secretary, said in parliament yesterday. Referring to the government's target that half of people under 30 should have some experience of higher education by 2010, Mr Clarke said: "We do not think this necessarily means they will all need traditional, three-year honours degrees."
(Daily Telegraph, Independent, Financial Times, Daily Mail)

Architects shocked as Cambridge axes course
British architects are dismayed at last week's surprise announcement by the University of Cambridge vice-chancellor's department that the part II diploma in architecture is to be axed. As a result, this once-great architecture school no longer has the capacity to turn out qualified architects, but will instead see them through only to the end of their three-year undergraduate course before sending them elsewhere to become the finished article.

Academics and executives face a deep divide
Investigation of the barriers that prevent educational institutions and businesses from collaborating more effectively, as highlighted recently in the first report of the Treasury's Lambert review.
(Financial Times)

Africa suffering worst effects of global warming
A study by scientists at Britain's Hadley Centre has found that the tell-tale signature of global warming is significantly stronger in Africa than in other continents such as Europe and America. The researchers believe that industrial pollution, which emits the carbon dioxide that exacerbates the greenhouse effect, also offers some localised protection against climate warming. But because Africa is not as industrialised as most other continents it does not produce the pollutants, such as aerosol particles, that can help to shield against the sun.

Men's ties may be bad for their eyes
Men could be increasing their risk of serious eye disease by wearing their ties too tight. Doctors in New York found that ties tied tightly around the jugular vein increased blood pressure within the eyeball, which can lead to development of glaucoma. Their study is published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
(Times, Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph)

The equation where BBQ = perfect
Mathematicians at the University of Greenwich have devised a formula for barbecuing the perfect hamburger. All you need to know is the mass of the burger, its thermal conductivity, heat capacity, convective heat transfer coefficient, and the temperature of the grill. What you really need to know, in plain English, is that double the thickness requires four times the cooking.

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