Today's news

February 20, 2004


Dons in flap at pole-dancing students

Female students at Cambridge have alarmed dons by taking practical lessons in pole dancing. Some of them have already started giving performances in a local nightclub. Members of the so-called "Fellowship of the Pole", a 13-strong group led by a second-year theology student, used college funds to pay for professional training from a stripper. Nadia Messaoud, from Queens' College, hopes that her group of pole dancers will be recognised as an official university organisation, alongside the tiddlywinks and bell-ringing societies. A university spokesman said that he "would rather students concentrated on their studies", adding: "If they are suffering financial hardship, there are bursary funds they can claim."
( Times )

Feminists at war over 'sex pest' professor
The feminist Naomi Wolf has accused Harold Bloom, America's foremost English literature scholar, of sexually harassing her when she was a student at Yale University. Wolf, a former Rhodes Scholar and the author of bestselling books such as The Beauty Myth , is reported to make her allegations in a piece to be published in next week's issue of New York magazine. Yale has confirmed that she contacted the university with her claims but was told that the two-year statute of limitations for such offences had already passed. She studied there in the early 1980s. Her piece is understood to catalogue the experiences of ten women at Yale.
( Times, Daily Telegraph )

Student lecturer may be sued
The Oxford engineering student who posed as an expert in global finance to deliver lectures to business leaders in China was told yesterday that he could be sued.
(Daily Telegraph)

Empathy not just a figment of the imagination
Experiments at the Institute of Neurology in London have shown that you really can feel another person's pain. Exactly the same regions of the brain are activated by knowing a close friend is experiencing pain as are activated by pain itself. This is the basis of empathy. When we feel another person's pain, we activate those areas of the brain that are involved with the emotional dimension of pain, not its physical effects.
( Times )

Plan to 'recreate' Colosseum dismays scholars
A leading Italian architect drawing up plans to restore the Roman Forum has horrified classical scholars by proposing that the missing gap in the external wall of the Colosseum should be filled in with brick. The dispute has revived the debate in Italy over whether restoration of great monuments and works of art should involve the recreation of lost or missing elements in a masterpiece.
( Times )

Liebeskind completes North London university extension
Architect Daniel Liebeskind's latest £3 million creation will open in North London next month. The structure, already praised as one of the capital's boldest and most exciting new buildings, will house London Metropolitan University's graduate school.
( Independent, Evening Standard )

Letter : Bill Wakeham, Southampton vice-chancellor, says that the university's review of its undergraduate sports courses and the possible move of the courses to another institution is not being conducted to save money. Rather, the university is implementing its strategy to deliver teaching in areas where it has a research strength and intensity. ( Times )

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