Today's news

May 12, 2004


Graduates face high cost of starting work
University graduates are collectively spending £378 million to equip themselves for their first day at work, according to a survey of more than 5,000 students from the insurance company Norwich Union. The average university leaver gets through nearly £2,000 on items ranging from clothes and accessories to transport to get to their new job. But while graduates are happy to invest in themselves, the research also found that the average graduate starting salary of £16,000 is around 30 per cent less than most university leavers expected.
( Press Association, Guardian )

Cambridge knifeman cyclist targets women
Police and university welfare officers in Cambridge are warning women students that they should always go out in groups and carry a personal alarm after a knifeman on a bicycle - who is believed to have a grudge against women - attacked four people in 11 days. Detectives say that it is only a matter of time before the man, described as white and in his late teens, kills someone.
( Times )

US universities failed by visa process
Strict visa rules intended to prevent terrorists from entering the US are being blamed for causing many promising students and scholars to give up on US universities and impeding competitiveness.
( Financial Times )

Enigma veterans face toughest challenge
A group of former codebreakers from Bletchley Park are attempting to crack the conundrum contained in an 18th-century monument in the grounds of Lord Lichfield's estate in Staffordshire that has eluded interpretation. The puzzle is a stone monument built around 1748, containing a carved relief of Nicholas Poussin's Les Bergers d'Arcadie II in reverse, and an inscription which reads: Et in Arcadia Ego !, beneath which the letters O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V. are carved, and underneath them a D and an M.
( Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Daily Mail )

Death of a star caught on camera
Using the Hubble space telescope, astronomers from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, have peered across 2,300 light years of space to examine a strange-looking star. HD44179, sometimes called the Red Rectangle, is similar to the sun, but far older, and now in its death throes. They report their findings in the Astronomical Journal .
( Guardian )

Bathers warned of kick-boxing shrimp
A pair of mantis shrimps, usually found in tropical waters, reputed to be able to deliver punches with the force of a small calibre bullet, have been discovered off Dorset. Marine biologists believe that there may be a colony of them due to global warming. The SeaLife Centre at Weymouth warned bathers to approach the orange shrimps with caution.
( Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail )

Weight loss affected by brain cells
Dieters' attempts to lose weight may be being undermined by defects in "pacemaker" nerve cells that control the desire to eat, researchers at the University of Warwick claimed yesterday.
( Independent )

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