Today's news

December 12, 2005

Survey shows Oxbridge graduates filling Commons
You don't have to go to Oxford or Cambridge to become an MP, but, according to research published today, it certainly helps. More than one in four - per cent - of the Commons and 42 per cent of the Lords were educated at one of the country's oldest and most prestigious universities, according to the research by the educational charity the Sutton Trust.
The Guardian , The Times  

Search for gay history to create 'virtual museum'
Curators, librarians and archivists across Britain are being asked to scour their collections in search of documents and items relating to the lives of gay people, with a view to establishing a "virtual museum" of lesbian and gay history. Backed by the museums documentation watchdog, MDA, the group Proud Heritage this week began sending out a two-page survey requesting that institutions throughout the country list the gay and lesbian documents and artefacts in their collections.
The Guardian

EasyGroup owner's £1m gift to Cass
Entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, owner of EasyGroup and an alumnus of Cass Business School, City of London, has given the school £1m. The money will be used to fund 10 scholarships a year for the next decade.
Financial Times

Duke does U-turn over spin-off sale
Duke University has abandoned plans to sell off a stake in Duke Corporate Education, the executive education spin-off from the University. Duke CE, which provides customised education for companies, ceased to be a for-profit company on July 1 in the US.
Financial Times

Arctic seas laid waste by poison cocktail
Killer whales are the most toxic mammals in the Arctic, laden with household chemicals, the environmental pressure group WWF has found. Scientists found that the blubber of killer whales taken from a fjord in Arctic Norway was full of polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides and even a flame retardant used on carpets. It gives the whales the dubious distinction of being the most polluted Arctic mammal, ousting polar bears.
The Scotsman

Meteor shower set to light up night sky
Bright shooting stars could be seen streaking across the night sky this week as a cloud of meteors hits the Earth. The Geminids are one of the most spectacular meteor showers to make a regular showing - appearing each year in mid-December. Often bright yellow or green, they can be seen in almost any part of the sky, but appear to radiate from Gemini, near Orion. Under ideal conditions, up to 100 meteors an hour may be visible. This year only the brightest shooting stars will be seen because of the interfering light of an almost full moon. The shower is expected to peak between late evening tomorrow and the early hours of Wednesday.
The Scotsman

Today's the day for Sod's law to strike
The ancient curse of Sod's law, which causes dropped toast to fall butter-side down and cash dispensers to be empty just when you need money, is statistically prone to strike today, according to a survey of its victims. Mondays emerge as overwhelmingly the favourite day of the week for doors to need pushing when you pull and similar contrary-minded mishaps, particularly ones involving home care and decoration.
The Guardian  

From the weekend's papers


  • Imperial has voted to withdraw from the University of London thus setting in motion the break up of the institution. The Guardian , Financial Times
  • Boris Johnson is the new shadow higher education minister. The Times , Daily Telegraph
  • Joseph Stiglitz is joining the University of Manchester. The Times


  • University drop out rates are increasing as students become attracted by the lure of a regualr income during holidays. Mail on Sunday

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