Today's news

February 10, 2006

Apple moves into university podcasts
Apple Computer has introduced a free service that enables colleges and universities to put course lectures online using Apple’s iTunes software and allows students to skip class. The maker of iPod portable players and Macintosh computers has worked with six US universities on the pilot project for more than a year and has recently invited other universities to participate. “So far the response has been really good,” said an Apple spokesman. ITunes U allows students to download podcasts and ‘vodcasts’ (audio and visual files) onto their computers and iPods so they can listen to and watch the recorded lectures anywhere, any time.
The Financial Times

University launches UK's first sign language degree
A three-year degree course in British Sign Language (BSL), which academics claim is the first of its kind in the UK, will take its first students this September. The University of Central Lancashire says the course is unique because it offers undergraduates the opportunity to study sign language in the same way as any other modern language. The degree, which will award graduates a BA (Hons) in British Sign Language, was described as a breakthrough by the British Deaf Association because of the status it brings to BSL as a language in its own right.
The Guardian

Student on mission to adopt African orphans
Many students, it is fair to say, have an image problem. The popular view is that the social whirl of university life only just gives them enough time to watch morning television before getting ready for another party. But if one person can break the stereotype it is Catherine Franks. The 20-year-old law student has a greater reason than most to make success of her studies because when she graduates she will be able to bring home the two African children she has promised to adopt. Miss Franks was so moved by the plight of the youngsters whom she encountered at an orphanage in Ghana during her gap year that she vowed to help any way she could.
The Daily Telegraph

Graduates borrow £2bn from parents
An estimated half a million graduates have borrowed £2 billion from their parents in order to get on to the property ladder, new research has claimed. A third of former students who have bought their first home during the past five years had to rely on money from their parents to fund their initial deposit, according to Scottish Widows Bank. At the same time, a quarter of graduates who had left university during the past two years and do not yet own their own place are still living with their parents.
The Scotsman

New tomb found in Valley of the Kings
American archaeologists have made the first discovery of a tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings since that of King Tutankhamun was uncovered in 1922, Egypt's antiquities chief announced. The 18th-dynasty tomb included five mummies in intact sarcophagi with coloured funeral masks along with more than 20 large storage jars, sealed with pharaonic seals, said Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. It is not known to whom the tomb belonged. Kent Weeks, an American archeologist who was not involved in the discovery but has seen photographs of the tomb's interior, said its appearance suggested that it did not belong to a king. "It could be the tomb of a king's wife or son, or of a priest or court official," he said.
The Daily Telegraph

Carbon find fuels hope of there being life on Mars
The best evidence yet of life on Mars has been discovered in a meteorite that landed on Earth nearly 100 years ago. Scientists at Nasa in the United States and the UK's Open University found traces of carbon in tiny tubes inside the rock that resemble material found in fractures etched by microbes in volcanic glass from the Earth's ocean floor. Even if the carbon was not the product of Martian microbes, its discovery, if confirmed, means that the two basic building blocks for life - carbon and water - are, or were, present on the planet. Carbon has been found in meteorites originating from Mars before, but sceptics have dismissed these, as it could not be proven that the Martian material was not contaminated with carbon from Earth.
The Scotsman

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