Complex numbers are all fun and games until someone loses an i. That's when things get real. The counter-intuitive way to prevail when playing Let's Make a Deal. Nothing up my sleeve number. One, four, seventeen, twenty-four Minkowski's question mark function. A function with an unusual notation and possessing unusual fractal properties. Never tell a Numberphile that a number is uninteresting. Sometimes found in conjunction with triskaidekaphobia see below in East Asian cultures.
More prevalent in Japan, where 49 is associated with "suffering until death". No, it's not related to the Code of Hammurabi. No, it's not always considered unlucky. Yes, space exploration has been touched by it. In Java , the thirteenth month of the year. Will Rogers phenomenon. Also known as the Will Rogers paradox. An ordinal number popular in computing and related cultures.
She followed her parents in the business of selling people Greenwich Mean Time. A fictional Christmas-Hanukkah hybrid, popularized by the television show The O. December Holiday celebrated by the Costanza family on the television show Seinfeld , since appropriated by many. International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Shiver my timbers a-harrr! Thought the day before New Year's Day would be in the previous year? Think again The Avogadro constant is celebrated on October 23rd starting at exactly am.
Phantom time hypothesis. Therefore, it is now rather than Any date when the day and month are both the square root of the last two digits of the year the next being 5th May Don't forget to bring a towel , terrible or otherwise. A word created as an alternative name for all the holidays at the end of a calendar year. It came to prominence after Birmingham City Council the English city used it in A possible computing problem in the 's that may occur when the 21st century and 3rd millennium has arisen. The computing problem that will arise due to the Unix time representation used in many computers.
The collective name for all potential software bugs that will emerge as the need to express years with five digits arises. Was there a year between 1 BC and AD 1? Five-minute hypothesis. American Nudist Research Library. America's first nudist library. Located in Florida of course.
Antiqua—Fraktur dispute. A dispute over which typeface was more "German". At first, the Nazis were for Fraktur Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. A meaningful, grammatical construction that has inspired linguists to talk about bullying amongst Upstate New York's bison population. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. A sentence contrived by Noam Chomsky to demonstrate that a sentence can be grammatical yet nonsensical.
Controversies about the word "niggardly". The secret language of identical twins, also called idioglossia. Disambiguation disambiguation. For when you're really not sure what you mean. A nonexistent English word, supposedly meaning " density ", which was listed in the second edition of Webster's New International Dictionary from to A usually good-natured African American ritual in which two competitors, usually male, exchange trash-talk until one has no comeback.
Cryptic echoes from the days of hot metal typesetting. Faggin-Nazzi alphabet. That's its real name. What did you think it was about? Deliberately misleading, irrelevant or false information meant to suggest conspiracy. A popular word among Discordians. As good an argument as any for English spelling reform. A dash between communism and independence. Inherently funny word. Some influential comedians have long regarded certain words in the English language as humorous because of their sound or resemblance to other words. Poodle , wankel , ni Intentionally blank page.
James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher. Repetition gone wrong. Latin profanity. List of English words containing Q not followed by U. Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den. A character poem written in Classical Chinese, in which every syllable has the sound "shi" in different tones when read in modern Mandarin Chinese. List of common false etymologies of English words. Believe it or not, " crap " did not originate from Thomas Crapper. List of ethnic slurs. List of English words without rhymes. Longest word in English.
Floccinaucinihilipilification , supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and other contenders. The Guinness World Record holder for the "most succinct word". Ancient spirals of undeciphered hieroglyphs. All Steve Miller 's fault. Robert Shields. A type of slang used to identify an individual with a very specific region, usually with accompanied value judgments. Also, a funny word. Thinking about the immortality of the crab. A colorful Spanish idiom for daydreaming ; try using this one if your teacher notices you becoming inattentive in class. Tiles found embedded in asphalt , usually sporting cryptic messages.
Unknown unknown. An undeciphered illustrated book written six hundred or so years ago by an anonymous author using an unidentified alphabet. Adolf Lu Hitler Marak. This Indian politician does not dispraise his parents' questionable name choice. Amandagamani Abhaya of Anuradhapura. Cesar Chavez. Mansfield Smith-Cumming. The first head of MI6 , whose name became appropriate as he promoted the use of semen as invisible ink. Cox—Zucker machine. An officials' association in pre-war Vienna , Austria , of a shipping company for transporting passengers and cargo on the Danube. A Brazilian footballer with a socially problematic last name.
An unforgettable newspaper headline once declared "Fucks Off to Benfica ". A Slovenian -born Italian basketball player with a similar problem. American society leader, philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts, and one of the most respected women in Texas during the 20th century. Leone Sextus Tollemache. List of examples of Stigler's law. List of people with reduplicated names. Pro-Life politician. A committee in Iceland that determines whether a name is suitable for integration into the Icelandic language. Apparently voted yes about themselves. A warning to us all about taking double-barrelled surnames too far Roger Fuckebythenavele.
A Confederate general during the American Civil War. Thursday October Christian I. The son of Fletcher Christian , leader of the mutiny on the Bounty. Despite not being Japanese or a sperm whale , he has control over the global diamond industry. Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, Sr. Can ancient pottery be used to play back recorded voices from the distant past? Buttered toast phenomenon. Buttered cat paradox. Russian girl who claims to have X-ray vision. Drake's Plate of Brass. A forgery -related practical joke that went horribly awry.
A taxon species, genus, family, etc. Further research is needed. Some researchers are researching its effects, but FRIN Gilbert U Atomic Energy Laboratory. You may have had a chemistry set when you were a child. I bet it didn't come with radioactive substances in the box. Leaping Lazarus! Somewhat like Monty Python 's Dead Parrot , it's not really dead, it's just resting. List of Ig Nobel Prize winners. Nobel Prize meets Weird Science. A parody of science that purports to study what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics. Pathological science. A pejorative term for scientific ideas that will simply not "go away", long after they are given up on as wrong by the majority of scientists in the field.
Physicist Alan Sokal demonstrates that at least some postmodernists can't see an emperor with no clothes. A phenomenon found in psychological and sociological research which suggests that people associate more positive attributes with the general social category of women compared to men. Including white , pink , purple, blue A year-old, known as the Radioactive Boy Scout , who irradiated his back yard attempting to build a nuclear breeder reactor from spare parts.
A two-time radioactive killer. Fictional elements, isotopes and atomic particles.
A phenomenon involving a persistent and invasive low-frequency noise of a humming character and unknown origin, not audible to all people, reported in various geographical locations. A serious piece of scientific apparatus whose name has induced sniggering among English-speaking schoolchildren for over years. List of unusual units of measurement. An alternative theory of integrated circuits : once the smoke is released they no longer work.
Something in the lab not working? Technical difficulties? Blame this guy. Quantum suicide and immortality. What happens when you blow in a hole in a tube? Hot air comes out one end and cold air comes out the other. No consensus reached on why it happens yet. A strange unit of distance used to measure the Harvard Bridge.
Sound of fingernails scraping chalkboard. Does a mystery sound from the bottom of the sea indicate that Cthulhu may awake? Flat Earth Society. Snow in Florida. List of unexplained sounds. Mumbai "sweet" seawater incident. Red rain in Kerala. South-up map orientation. The crew of Apollo 17 snapped Earth with Antarctica on top. NASA followed Ptolemy and rotated it "back". An unlucky park ranger who was hit by lightning on seven separate occasions. He survived them all, but came to his own tragic end. A recently discovered mineral that forms from bird feces. Dihydrogen monoxide.
A commonly used chemical that can be deadly to all forms of plant and animal life, contributing to global warming , erosion , acid rain , torture and countless other maladies. List of chemical compounds with unusual names. Some a consequence of their constituents or origins, others simply the work of whimsical chemists. A day in celebration of Avogadro's number , 6. Thomas Midgley, Jr. A term used to describe any material with properties that are unlikely or impossible for any real material to possess. Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster.
Embryo space colonization. Extraterrestrial real estate. A small statuette which is the only sculpture on the moon. Hot, dust-obscured galaxies. List of hypothetical Solar System objects. The planets that could have been. You think Pluto had it rough? At least it got its fifteen minutes of astronomical fame. The Moon is made of green cheese.
Moon landing conspiracy theories. Fake photos, slow-motion cameras and secret studios. All directed by Stanley Kubrick. Did the Luftwaffe, in fact, explore the final frontier and make contact with alien races? Whether the secret Nazi base is on the Moon or in Antarctica, the truth is apparently out there. And when you've exhausted the list , here's something new to try! Solway Firth Spaceman. Sylacauga meteorite. The first fallen meteorite in recorded history to have verifiably injured a human. Accessory breast. An unusual neurological disorder, also known as " Dr. Strangelove syndrome", whereby one of the sufferer's hands seems to take on a life of its own.
Taking a close look at a toilet bowl for the sake of science. The scale was inspired by eye charts. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators. The notion that food dropped on the floor is safe to eat only as long as it's picked up within five seconds. Hair-grooming syncope. Human—animal breastfeeding. Also known as "Human Werewolf Syndrome ". Hypoalgesic effect of swearing. As Redd Foxx once observed, "if you've never said 'shit', come back with me after the show and I'll slam my car door on your hand'".
And you will feel better. Licorice poisoning. Maple syrup urine disease. Medical students' disease. A condition frequently reported in medical students who perceive themselves to be experiencing the symptoms of the diseases they are studying. Mellified Man. A disease, most envied by poker players, that makes facial expressions impossible. Photic sneeze reflex. Retained surgical instruments. Schmidt sting pain index. An entomologist is stung by just about everything known to sting and, en route, describes the pain involved in terms of a four-point comparative scale.
Supernumerary nipple. A condition in which one has an additional nipple. Apparently 1 in 18 people have this condition. A form of surgery where a hole is drilled or scraped into the skull. It was thought that such a procedure could cure problems like epilepsy or allow a person to enter into a higher state of consciousness. Uncombable hair syndrome. Ever wanted to defecate and have sex at the same time? Well now you can! Allegedly a sex move involving punching one's partner in the back of the head during intercourse.
Hamster zona-free ovum test. National Masturbation Day. There is a day dedicated to protect the right to masturbate! A medical condition where one of two conjoined twins lacks essential organs and must rely on the other for survival, often leeching its blood. An especially rare variant of this, fetus in fetu , involves one partially formed fetus developing within the body of the other.
A colloquial term referring to a type of mass hysteria or panic where males grow fearful of removal or shrinking of the penis. Persistent genital arousal disorder. Puppy pregnancy syndrome. A condition found in remote regions of India in which people believe they have conceived a puppy shortly after being bitten by a dog. Self-inflicted caesarean section. A form of parasomnia similar to sleepwalking that causes people to engage in sexual acts while they are asleep. A Frenchwoman with the longest verified human lifespan in recorded history.
She was at the time of her death. Abigail and Brittany Hensel. Conjoined twins with separate heads but joined bodies. An American trainee doctor who went to unusual lengths in his quest to prove that yellow fever is not contagious. A 19th-century construction worker who survived a three-foot-long 0. His resultant behavioral changes have made him an important figure in the development of neuroscience. A 19th-century Scottish surgeon who, among other things, performed what has been described as "The only operation in history with a percent mortality".
A Peruvian girl who gave birth to a son when she was five years old, becoming the youngest human mother on record. A 19th-century French-Canadian fur trader who survived a gunshot wound and was left with a hole in his stomach, which allowed revolutionary experiments on digestion to be conducted. Tarrare c. Mary Toft. Anton-Babinski syndrome. Charles Bonnet syndrome. Unknown forces cause large groups of people to dance hysterically until dropping from exhaustion in multiple incidents in Europe from the 13th to 17th centuries.
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Voluntary or involuntary defecation in persons who are toilet trained older than 4 years of age. Exploding head syndrome. Foreign accent syndrome. Homicidal sleepwalking. A real parasomnia that has been successfully used as a defence in court. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine. A behavioral disorder with some very odd symptoms, including "hypersexuality" and a desire to examine objects with the mouth.
Named after two doctors who gave psychotropic drugs to lobotomized monkeys. Mariko Aoki phenomenon. A Japanese expression referring to an urge to defecate that is suddenly felt after entering bookstores. When a late-night radio host claims to have been brainwashed by the CIA, you may want to think twice. Paris Syndrome. Particularly common among Japanese tourists. Not to be confused with Jerusalem Syndrome or Stockholm Syndrome. A psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art or natural beauty.
Tanganyika laughter epidemic. The Truman Show delusion. Those afflicted feel they are being watched all the time by a television audience, like Jim Carrey in the movie The Truman Show. Animal attacks. Not kidding: death by beavers, bunnies, squirrels, cats and other things you should not have as pets. Conservation-induced extinction. Christmas tree worm. Depopulation of cockroaches in the ex-USSR countries. A deceptive beetle larva that entices its own predators by feigning prey-like movements in order to eat its predator.
Exploding toads. An as-yet unexplained phenomenon observed in April in Germany and Denmark. Suggested as a possible weapons delivery system. No, the fish are not trippin'; they will cause hallucinations if ingested. It is not known if hallucinations will occur if one fish consumes another.
List of animals displaying homosexual behavior. London Underground mosquito. A species of mosquito that lives in underground railways. Love dart.
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Droppings of a nightingale variety used in facials. Some claim that it helps with acne. MEDical Reliable Source. Orbiting Frog Otolith. Paracerceis sculpta. A species of isopod that has some males that mimic females and others that mimic juveniles, allowing them to mate without the alpha males realising what is going on behind their backs. Pasilalinic-sympathetic compass. Telepathic communication is not possible in snails no matter how far apart they may be. Nothing else has been ruled out. A literal figurative variety of cockfighting between some species of flatworm.
Prostitution among animals. Did you know that prostitution exists among animals? Stephens Island wren. Supernumerary body part. Having an extra body part, be it as simple as an eleventh finger or as extreme as a second head! Suriname toad. A feature of Stegosaurus anatomy named after a Far Side comic strip. Tongue-eating louse. A parasitic crustacean that, when female they are hermaphroditic , attaches to and then destroys a fish's tongue, hooks itself to the remaining stub and becomes the fish's new tongue.
Traumatic insemination. A form of mating in invertebrates in which the male stabs the female in the abdomen with his penis, and injects his sperm through the wound. The practice of growing small jar-shaped kittens caused controversy years after it was revealed to be a hoax. A cat famed for traveling on a bus around Plymouth , England. Dusty the Klepto Kitty. One of the national treasures of Turkey. A hospice cat who was featured in the New England Journal of Medicine for his purported ability to predict the impending death of terminally ill patients. Cow tipping. A Jersey cow that produced record amounts of butter and got a sizable neighborhood named for her.
Cannibalism in poultry. See: tastes like chicken. Chicken Dance , Chicken dance. Valuable for the mitigation of damage from bird strikes. The chicken carcass must be thawed first, though. Mike the Headless Chicken. Squirrel induced power outages in Pennsylvania. Squirrel attacks. Did you know that insurance companies have a medical code for this? Co-pays vary by insurance plan. Berserk llama syndrome. A pig bred to look like the flag of Denmark , to circumvent prohibition of the flag. It is said to enhance sexual potency in men and was banned by the Chinese government from the Olympics.
Domesticated silver fox. The next time a whale washes on shore in one Oregon county, the authorities will leave the dynamite at home. Blobs of organic matter found washed up on beaches, which are frequently as mysterious as they are disgusting.
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Implanted electrodes let researchers "steer the animal over an obstacle course, making it twist, turn and even jump on demand". Pornographic movies created to achieve sexual arousal for Giant pandas , which have been proven to be unaffected by the popular drug Viagra. Street dogs in Moscow. The dog ate my homework. Dubbed the "world's loneliest whale", it vocalizes at a frequency used by no known whale species.
Possibly the oldest creature of modern times, this year-old tortoise was the former pet of Robert Clive of the British East India Company. A chimpanzee who used human toilet facilities, moonwalked , and allegedly attempted suicide. Enumclaw horse sex case. A Humboldt penguin who gained worldwide fame after apparently falling in love with a cutout of an anime character.
A somewhat poor judgement placing the country's unelected Prime Minister on the front page a of a University magazine. I am hard pressed to find any current or past members of the University who have any confidence at all in the development and execution of the current Government's policy since the referendum. Rather it seems to me that the University might prefer to downplay not just Mrs May but also her predecessor, sadly another product of Oxford, who unnecessarily caused the crisis we now find ourselves in. Firstly, the logical incoherence.
Secondly, the metaphysical incoherence. The point of the Darwinian evolution hypothesis was to eliminate teleology or final causality fro biology. Indeed, Dawkins is quite correct in ascribing teleology to unconscious genes. Timothy Garton Ash is clearly in favour of free speech as a principle, and few would disagree with that. The paradox is that no country on earth, democratic or otherwise, actually permits it.
Perhaps we should have another article, to explain why this is so. The enthusiasm for statues tells us as much about their supporters as those celebrated; blue plaques, however, are cheaper, easier to clean, and both more discreet and informative. I am a confirmed misanthropic sociopath. I blame my tutors. I scored a duck sadly. In response to Peter Bolwell, there is a better way, in fact a more excellent way as described by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, the thirteenth chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians.
Rasputin was not the Mad Monk. He was never a monk, and far from being mad was cunning. The book was published in New York in Danziger quotes an autopsy report saying Rasputin drowned. You can see the bullet hole in the photograph of Rasputin post mortem. Kosorotov adds that the three bullets that struck Rasputin came from three different guns. Felix Yusupov and Vladimir Purishkevich, the conspirator who was a member of the Duma, described in their memoirs firing the first two shots, but not the coup de grace. Personally, I suspect it was Yusupov. Rasputin was a plausible and manipulative rogue.
Oxford graduate and murderer Yusupov appears to have been, to say the least, seriously weird. This seems to disregard the many Prime Ministers of many other countries educated here. In these times of rather dark little-islander mentality, it would be wise of Oxford to be mindful and proud of its international role. May I put in a few words in support of the unfairly maligned Dr.
Richard Beeching? His brief was to stem the massive and increasing losses at a time when the government was pouring vast sums into road transport. He did a detailed analysis of all aspects of BR. This demonstrated the inefficiency of long-established operating practices, the under-use of much passenger and freight rolling-stock and that, without government subsidy, most branch lines could never make a profit. Most cross-country trains were running almost empty.
His report led to Conservative and Labour Ministers of Transport closing several thousand miles of track. It is often forgotten that some closures started and others were scheduled, before the Beeching Report. He went on to say that he hoped the same would apply regarding David Cameron. It made me wonder a who makes the decision? When Mrs Thatcher came to power I was working as a buyer in the building industry. A strong leader was needed, and The Iron Lady did not disappoint.
Yes, she made some mistakes, but for me, she was the greatest prime minister of my lifetime I am in my 70s. Clearly, Mr Holdsworth would not agree with me, but that is my point. I assume from his letter that Tony Blair was honoured by Oxford with an honorary degree. Again I ask, who decides and on what basis?
In a coarse gesture that will live in the annals of pettiness and political prejudice, Mrs Thatcher was denied the honorary degree to which she was entitled. I was therefore fascinated to see the letter in Vol 29 No. The letter caricatures the Brexit saga, entirely ignoring the compelling democratic necessity for granting a referendum, not that any such issues should affect the bestowal of an honorary degree on an Oxford Prime Minister.
The partisan attitude and the ignorant misuse of custom reflect not on these two eminent servants of their country but on their petty detractors. September As life is full of wonderful and serendipitous event — not to be taken too seriously, I had occasion quite recently to open my mail and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a copy of your delightful magazine, Oxford Today. A client, who works for the World health Organization, had been kind enough to forward the Trinity Term, , Volume 28, 2 to my attention. She my client is a doctor with the WHO and has a little of the pixie in her.
When it actually happened I was inundated with calls and emails from various friends and acquaintances asking if I had shuffled off this mortal coil. My single retort was, unfortunately, a bastardization of Twain. I assured them that reports of my untimely death were greatly exaggerated. I enjoyed the article and have, in fact, been moved to make a donation in my honour through your website. As Mr. However, I received in , 42 years later! I suspect that interest in, and a contribution to; the Rhodes Statue exercise at Oriel College may have produced these arrivals? Anyhow I have been reading them all with interest, and have now come to the OT magazine, which was interesting 1 because the new V-C of Oxford, Louise Richardson, Prof , 2 there is a 3-page article on energy from nuclear fusion, which has been an interest of mine since the s, when I asked my elder brother Colin Hunt, who was working for AWE in Tadley, how long he expected the time delay for commercial fusion energy to be.
Unfortunately it is still 25 years! There are 2 comments I want to make: 1 The OT article does not discuss the different fusion reactions which can release power, the TOKAMAK, I think or presume, does hydrogen, deuterium and tritium which is good but does deliver one spare neutron per helium atom produced. There are other ways of getting atoms to fuse. And also, ominously, electricity, from nuclear fusion, was omitted from expected scientific breakthroughs in the 21 st century by the BBC, at the turn of the century.
It seems to be the engineering problems that are most challenging. It is interesting to fond that OT has an interest in this quest. If the hope expressed in the OT article , that the 2 nd half of this century witnesses the commercialisation of fusion energy, then this would indeed be a breakthrough for science and a beneficial one at that! July From these they imbibed a greater sense of superiority and self-importance than was justified, which in turn encouraged the general public to take more notice of them than was perhaps deserved.
Cameron, however brilliant his former tutor might have thought him, will still go down in history and into a future Finals question? Such was the ruse used by Johnson to give the illusion of intellectual superiority in order to cover deception and to evade giving direct answers to serious questions. And finally the renowned Oxford Union, though it apes the style of the House of Commons and may thus provide superficial training for a Parliamentary career, certainly does not enhance any unique aptitude or personal trait necessary for the running of the country.
Perhaps the University would enhance its reputation by using its PR budget to promote more strongly the genuinely valuable contributions made to society by its graduates in science, medicine and the humanities rather than in national politics. I read 'Oxford in the Great War' with interest, but there is something wrong with the photo 'Conferment of degrees'. All those in academic dress seem to be wearing D. Mus gowns. But Watson was only 11 years old in and Armstrong Vaughan Williams was 42, but in the photo looks much too old to be about to volunteer for active service in the army.
He received an honorary D. Mus in , so perhaps you've got the wrong war. I enjoyed your recent article about the psychiatric inspiration for Lewis Carroll but you didn't comment on the provenance of the term "Mad Hatter". It relates to the neuropsychiatric complications of mercury poisoning, in the 19th century hat industry most prominently Luton mercuric nitrate was extensively used in felt making. Over time this affected the central nervous system of workers causing shaking, confusion and emotional instability amongst other ghastly manifestations.
Hence the phrase Mad as a Hatter and no doubt sufferers may well have ended up in institutional care. The moral complexity of history is a fascinating topic. If Rhodes was alive today, would he not be given equal air time on our world wide web? I was so very proud of my University when it declined not to award the customary honorary degree to Margaret Thatcher, after her damaging tenure of 10 Downing Street.
She will always have the distinction of being the first Oxford-educated prime minister no to be so honoured. I trust that David Cameron will be the second, on the grounds that he gambled the long-term prospects of the UK and Europe in exchange for his continued occupancy of no It would have been a bad enough policy if he had won, whereas his defeat makes his decision seem even more foolhardy.
It cannot be described as Javan. I scanned Alexi Baker's article on nuclear fusion and sent it to Dr. Interesting, but nothing new. Nobody mentions that ITER is continuing its tradition of terrible directors and is one of the worst set up and run projects in history. I suspect that this sort of article is all about being seen in line for the next director of ITER. More interesting in the news is that LHC is off line because a beech martin chewed through a cable on the main transformer and fried itself into the bargain.
We have pine martins in our garden here. Oddly, in my opinion, you print on the lead page of the Trinity Term issue three questions and answers from the new Vice-Chancellor and on the very next page refer to her inaugural address without a word about its substance. If I were you, I would have printed it instead, or at least covered it unless I had decided it not worth printing or covering. Tom Gash is clearly doing important work. Now one searches in vain for any mention of this. There was certainly a time in the University, roughly from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, when only books were considered intellectual products worthy of attention.
This comparison is symptomatic of a lack of understanding towards the struggles that Black and Minority Ethnic BME students face at Oxford University and in universities around the world. Many of these students are the direct descendants of those enslaved, exploited and mistreated in the building of the British Empire. The overwhelming majority will have experience of overt and covert forms of discrimination prevalent in our society. They are confronted with reminders all over the University of a painful colonial legacy which continues to affect their lives and the lives of their families on a daily basis.
To compare them to a long-dead civilisation which has distant relevance to our modern society is spurious at best. On the letters page in your current issue, Daphne Hampson bemoans slow public transport taking 3hr 20 mins by bus between Oxford and Cambridge. She may not know that for over years till there was a direct railway line over the 77 miles between the two university cities via Bletchley and Bedford, the fastest trains taking 2 hours.
Indeed, the wartime Bletchley Park establishment was located there for convenience of access from the two centres of learning! This railway has been much missed ever since, and its reinstatement is a live issue — see www. Full support from both universities would doubtless help to expedite completion of the project. So, no need for minibuses and new booking systems! Who decides? Seems to me that the nameless compiler of this particular bio was exercising a bit of legerdemain both uncharacteristic and unworthy of Oxford Today.
An intelligent nation like America is voting for a blond Republican as a reaction to a Black president. In France, you are French if you adopt French language and culture but not by nationality nowadays. A Black Frenchman existed in France long before the term Black Englishman was adopted or fashionable.
Of la nouvelle vague was alive and flourishing whilst English cinema was non — existent at that time. Cultural ideas stops at the border and defines a nation. Intellectual ideas go beyond borders just like Existentialism, Feminism. French language and culture is alive and well and protected by the august French Academy.
Sarkozy and Hollande are dealing with so-called mundane everyday issues they are not presidential material. Yet other minorities are not asked to dissociate themselves. From the fringe fanatics. French intellectuals mentioned in the article like Eric Zemmour , Alain Finkelkraut , Bernard Henri-Levy ,Olivier Todd are still solid inn their observation and assessment of French society. Still no excuse. France has to encourage and foster closer links with its former French speaking. I for one am very proud to have been not only brought up in French culture and French language which made me at the same time a citizen of the world yet it allows me to criticise France too.
French and English rivalry is alive and well and French intellectualism and Gallic culture are neither tossed nor sunk. Daphne Hampson does not realise now fortunate she is with a limited stop bus every half hour to Cambridge. From my home in Bedford I was fortunate enough to attend each university in turn There were four buses a day and the journey was 2 hours 55 minutes: rather oddly the route started at Aylesbury.
Cambridge was one hour 40 minutes by the faster route and continued to Northampton, which did offer a direct service to Birmingham after Beeching closed the railway. I met my future wife on Mayday Slower than hitchhiking when I was in the RAF, they were reliable and not excessively slow.
The Oxford bus passed my home road and my lodgings in Canterbury Road which shortened the journey. The railway to Bletchley was inconvenient then: the line survived Beeching but the Cambridge line did not. We still cross England from Devon by car and find better roads are countered by speed limits and more traffic. I no longer travel for meetings but when I did, I wrote several times to point out that punctuality is more important than speed. Oxford is still the centre of England if not of the universe!. We were married and held our Golden Wedding there; but London remains the hub of transport.
I read with interest the feature article in the Oxford Today Vol 28 No2 on Cecil the lion and wish to congratulate Prof Macdonald for the excellent work he and his colleagues are doing for the betterment of wildlife and in particularly for the lions of Zimbabwe. I am however concerned with some statements in the article. There should also be severe fines if proved. As man encroaches the habitat of the wild animals in order to acquire more land for farming or industry it will be inevitable that some will be killed by the farmers — either through revenge for killing one of the family members by the lions or just to protect their farm or property.
As it happens, I am not much given to hero-worship. Worshippers of Ghandi, for example, always seem to me childish. Nor do I care whether many or few agree with me. The few are so often right. I sympathise with his aims if not always his attitudes. Conversely, I deplore the well-meaning creatures who in effect handed over Southern Rhodesia to Robert Mugabe and, through weakness or ignorance, congratulated themselves on a job well done.
However I remember that in the Boer War most liberals were on the side of the Boers, and I allow myself to smile. Daphne Hampson, in your Trinity edition, bewails the lack of direct line public transport between Oxford and Cambridge. She suggests a minibus service which would be more ecological than the use of cars. However, s restored rail ink would be even more ecological and would offer a more comfortable and possible faster journey. And help is at hand! However, great strides are being made to reopen the line as a through route. Oxford to Bicester has been re-opened and upgraded, and the section from there to Bletchley is being reinstated.
Bletchley to Bedford never closed, but the link from Bedford to Cambridge will be more problematic. Even here, though, a decision is to be made shortly as to exactly which route the line will take. So, Daphne, take courage. You should soon be able to speed over to Cambridge over a railway line. From personal experience I can tell you that the world of business contains easily as many interesting and inspiring stories as those you chose to feature. And business provides employment and fulfilling careers, and the taxes that make the rest of the world go round.
If so, may I ask your help with a somewhat bizarre request? In my dotage, I have lost touch with my Oxford friends and know nobody now who might be a member.
Would it be forgivable of me to ask if anybody who is a current club member would be willing, out of charity, to nominate me? True, I would be a stranger to you but you can discover a little about me from my books at Amazon. My full CV is also available on request. In Oxford introduced the idea of class degrees, which was developed into four classes of degree and a pass degree. Were the Grandes Ecoles in France to award class degrees rather than the undifferentiated diplomes, the effect might revolutionise the style of study and reinvigorate French academic thinking.
Let us give John Gray his due. He speaks as he finds, that is all. John Gray is clearly a prophet, in the Old Testament sense — pinning down with a fierce and analytical eye the shortcomings of his hearers and warning them in no uncertain terms exactly where they are falling down on the job of being human.
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The question this raises is: what response can we make to this challenge? Can we find a better way? Second-class minds go gaga. Cecil Rhodes will be a hero to few of the citizens of this country. My fear is that the College authorities at Oriel are too concerned to appease the shock troops of political correctness in this matter. In Lincoln, where I live, there are many Roman remains, and a post-Norman-invasion cathedral and castle. While Keynes famously asserted that in the long run we are all dead, Gray basically thinks that a good many of us may as well be dead in the short run. Accordingly, I have come to the conclusion that he is, in fact, a cheer leader for the modern counter-Enlightenment; which matters deeply at the present juncture.
As someone from an Islamic background, I have long argued that Islam is in urgent need of not just a reformation, but of a fully blown Enlightenment; the benefits of which will accrue not only to the 1. Those arguing the same in the Islamic world are like gold dust but if they stick their necks out they might have them literally chopped off. So in the battle that is presently raging in the world between reason and unreason, between freedoms writ large and religious fanaticism, between the forces of enlightenment and the forces of endarkenment, Professor Gray — emphatically unlike Dawkins — is most decidedly on the wrong side.
To call the other We have hair at one end and toe-nails at the other, and an unimaginably complex array of tissues and organs in between, all arranged in their proper places so as to function as a whole. So, somewhere in that That is, the proteins have to be given a very precise three-dimensional order, not just an existence. The shocking thing is that that can be done with so few genes, and that the forming body usually comes out in full working order, in spite of the myriad ways it could go wrong.
Ferry's article is full of interest, and is not the only one in which structure is ignored while composition is accounted for. I have read many others with the same apparent blind spot. Outside France perhaps? Italy or Spain?
But unlike the French and Russian revolutions he gained power in a democracy. The strategy is then implemented making simplistic use of issues affecting such people. A government in power could counter the opportunities for such a power grab by ensuring that those at the bottom of society are properly educated and not disaffected.
I live in South Africa and my government and the previous one has done rather poorly in this regard: hence we have Malema applying the strategy in his own democratic power grab. Any reader living in a democracy might question how well his own government is doing. Most of the new material uncovered — shopping lists and other items relevant to everyday life — has been of interest primarily to social historians, but previously unknown discoveries include apocryphal texts and several poems by Saplo?
Uncovering a lost tragedy by Aeschylus or Sophocles remains a tantalizing possibility, but the hoard is potentially of enormous value to classicists, historians, theologians and archaeologists alike. Pieceing together the vast number of fragments has been fortunately slow, but the technology now exists to speed-up the listing of related fragments prior to translating. Perhaps Google could help, although first we would need to know more about the agreement the American behemoth has signed with the University a propos the copying of the Bodleian archives.
Or is Google secretly involved? I went up to Univ a year after Stephen and we were contemporary residents in college for a year— my first and his second. My feeling is that he is unnecessarily hard on himself regarding his career as a cox: for his sins he was chosen to grace the Univ third eight in Eights Week and the crew of Univ III he was given was the Rugger Eight. It is my recollection that none of our octet of enthusiastic and variably powerful Rugby players had previously rowed and all had to be coached in the basic rudiments of handling a blade.
I am proud to say that one of my rowing-coaches was Stephen. Come Eights Week, we were passingly co-ordinated but far from expert and no level of exhortation from our benighted cox was going to prevent us from being bumped three days out of four — despite the impression that on each day we were slowly catching the eight in front — How would we know? We were facing our pursuers! On the fourth day we had to row the whole course because the following boat was itself bumped and the one ahead bumped the crew next in front. To paraphrase Waugh, the lore which I acquired that term will be with me in one shape or another to my last hour.
Helen Gardner was a pioneer in the critical appreciation of T. Eliot, and a critic he knew and trusted; she had a very successful and influential career. However, I would like to pay tribute to her as an undergraduate teacher, which she managed to combine with a formidable body of research and lecturing.
She always emphasised the importance of undergraduate teaching, in order to, as she expressed it, plant the seed corn for future generations. Is there a danger in pursuing the quest, as Andrew Hamilton put it, quoted in Oxford Today , for Oxford University, to become a twentieth century dynamic research powerhouse; of forgetting the essential need for top class undergraduate teaching? Can it be possible that only 1 in 13 of the letters Oxford Today receives come from female Oxonians? That is the conclusion to be drawn from the female to male proportion on the Letters pages of the Michaelmas issue.
If that is not the case, perhaps the Editor might make some attempt to better represent female correspondents. If it is the case, can I urge your female readers to get writing! It was extremely pleasant to find your account of college heraldry in Oxford Today! Thank you for drawing attention to one of those traditional aspects of being an Oxonian which this magazine tends to overlook.
Some years ago I wrote to Oxford Today to complain of flagrant and pretty elementary grammatical solecisms scattered through five separate items in a single issue. Not at all to my surprise the letter was neither acknowledged nor published, but I have not noticed anything quite so bad in recent numbers, so perhaps my criticism — and for all I know that of other readers — has had some effect.
By which I meant that it seemed to me slick, unscholarly and too concerned with outward success at the expense of eternal values, humanity and the humanities. Your article went some way towards correcting that kind of imbalance. I became a heraldry nerd at the age of around ten or eleven and the interest has remained, though fluctuating in intensity, until now, when at long last I am in the process of acquiring bearings of my own from the College of Arms.
Which brings me to one of my reasons for contacting you! I must protest at your statement that heralds — Richmond and Windsor — granted arms to colleges. Only Kings of Arms are able actually to make grants and they do so not on their own authority but on that delegated from the Crown through the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk. Relatively few colleges have arms obtained by a normal process. Three colleges use shields that are obvious amateurish if longstanding concoctions. Interpretation has a very unimportant part to play in both the theory and the practice of the subject.
Please do not take my remarks amiss. I would myself be gratified by feedback of any kind concerning something I had published. I wish much power to your elbow and good luck in spreading armorial enlightenment if you should wish to do so elsewhere. We have more than heraldic interests in common. Using a more old—fashioned means of reference I learnt also that you surely you, though with another middle name were an exact contemporary of mine at Trinity while I was at Balliol. I have always felt a sort of love-hate towards the elegant college east of my own so familiar one.
I hope you do not despise me too intensely for my irrevocable Balliolism. Adam Fox was Dean of Divinity at Magdalen In the Professor of Poetry position at Oxford opened to election. In those days those with an Oxford MA who were in Oxford on the day of the election could vote. The position had been held by Magdalen men George Gordon, and before him, by Sir Herbert Warren and things were put in motion to ensure the Magdalen monopoly was not disturbed.
There followed a campaign of skullduggery, blandishments both financial and epicurean, and vote fixing which, as one reviewer has said, was more appropriate to a Barchester chronicle than to academia! Fox, who had a wonderful sense of humour, no doubt found the whole exercise amusing. Fox Gone to Ground. Such shenanigans, of course, could not happen today??? I have been puzzling over the last sentence of the paragraph on St Cross College in the article about coats of arms of the newer colleges in the latest edition of Oxford Today Vol.
I think the period must be the first half of the 19 th centruy, bearing in mind that Poe was born in and dies in So striving to improve the lot of man is futile, we are but base beasts, and dreams of an improved future are just that and waking from them would make us happier? I sit reading this over my breakfast generous, hot, with nice coffee in a warm house, before I drive to London some 60 miles away to see my father who has lived to the positively patriarchal age of 95 thanks to angioplasty and pills.
It is raining outside, yet I will stay dry. The chances that I am burgled, attacked, shot, enslaved, that my wife or daughters are raped or my house is casually burned to the ground are minimal. The number of highwaymen on the M11 is small. None of these things would have been true years ago. Of course removing Saddam Hussein did not turn Iraq into middle class England. Of course societies can go backwards as well as forwards by the measures of progress that other societies deem just.
But the grinding pessimism that implies that all you can do is live moment-to-moment is as unjustified as the idea that toppling Hussein would turn Bagdad into Bermondsey overnight. Perhaps what would make us happier is forgetting the grandiose pontification of politicians and philosophers, and remembering that if I have made my life better without making yours worse, then I have done OK, and if I can make both our lives better then we, members of the base human race, have made progress indeed. Then he used his fortune to found the Royal College of Physicians. The plain assumption here is that the evolution hypothesis, possibly with Lamarck in a supporting role, is an unassailable datum, quite simply a fact.
There is ample evidence for micro-evolution: variation within the gene pool. But where is the evidence for macro-evolution: the evolution of one kind of living thing into some other kind? There is no evidence whatsoever of any living thing ever evolving into some different kind of living thing capable of breeding but infertile with its parent stick. The Second Law of Thermodynamics has been tested to destruction. Not so the evolution hypothesis. I wonder if Oxford is allergic to any challenge to the ideological supremacy of evolution.
How many colleges does the university expect to have by the end of the present century? I shudder to think. A small flat celadon vase made for a Yuan tomb, it was put together crudely from two moulded halves. It fitted into the palm of my hand and I was astonished to find that where my thumb sat it matched precisely the thumbprint of the potter who must have held it the same way to seal the seams with one thumb. The personal contact I felt with this potter, who had hands exactly the same size as myself, was breathtaking.
I have never forgotten the personal intimacy, transmitted over nearly a thousand years, mediated through a single pot. My own three years as an undergraduate at Trinity overlapped with those of Peter Stothard, although I do not think that our paths physically crossed. August There were two road rallies, an afternoon rally. Both rallies were reliability trials. Alternate weeks there were film shows and table top rallies.
They are the Targa Plate which was an annual award with a replica trophy for the winner to keep, to the winner of The Targa Rusticana Rally. This may have been given into the care of an event winner in the s. The Goddard Cup. It ws given, again an annual trophy with a small replica in memory of David Goddard Univ who was killed when his Syandard 10 overturned. That was in the dyas before seat belts were compulsory and he was travelling home from the school he was at teaching practice at.
David, who lived at Chichester was, like one, a geographer. The band on the cup reads:. Both trophies were subscribed to by the membership and veteran membership of the time. Back in the '60s, I was a club member, with meetings held at St Cat's and Keble. The waterbus service is a nice idea; but have Christopher and Wendy Ball done any traffic modelling to estimate the almost certainly tiny effect of such a service on traffic congestion? As Lord Drayson says, the battery is one major problem with electric cars.
Another is that as things stand, they pay very little towards the cost of road maintenance, since by definition they pay no fuel duty.
A proven approach which would address both pollution and congestion, and employ existing technology, is road pricing, as used in London, Stockholm and Singapore. Oxford would be an ideal place to implement it; and contrary to popular opinion, such a solution is acceptable to citizens, provided it is explained and justified. I was disappointed to read that the student body has once again decided to vote on whether to retain subfusc for examinations. Are such votes now going to recur until subfusc is eventually abolished? Oxford's traditions are part of the nation's heritage not just the university's and their removal should not be placed in the hands of a small, transient cohort of a few thousand people.
What right does one small group have to remove a tradition which could be enjoyed my many hundreds of thousands of students for centuries to come? Would those who voted to abolish subfusc be equally delighted to see the Cheyenne or Sioux abolish their distinctive headress and traditional regalia simply because it is 'anachronistic' and 'uncomfortable'? If people have a strong dilslike of tradition, they can choose from some 15, universities in the world where subfusc is not worn.
I have been asked by Nuffield College to write a biography of Sir David Butler, the eminent psephologist and historian, who many of you will have seen on television, especially on the late-night general election results programmes between and I am having a fascinating time interviewing David, who is now 90 and still lives in Oxford.
I would like to speak to anybody who has interesting recollections of meeting, being taught by, or working with David. For many years I was custodian of a death mask of Napoleon which formed part of the Heber Mardon collection of Napoleana housed in the Westcountry Studies Library in Exeter.
This mask was originally the property of the Scottish army doctor Archibald Arnott who replaced Napoleon's surgeon Francesco Antommarchi at the Emperor's bedside in April and was present at his death. He presented it to John Gawler Bridge from whose estate it was purchased by Maggs in Could I make an appointment to see? The Senate then passed the bill, without the provision to cut spending on Obamacare, on a party line vote. In addition, eight democratic senators from states that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won easily in are either retiring or are vulnerable.
If there was a gas attack on civilians, then it is the rebels who are highly likely to have perpetrated it.
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This has already been discussed at great length, and agreed upon by sensible people. I knew the next day I was going to be performing live in front of billions of people. You never hear of wealthy people giving up their money for that great poverty gig. The rest of us just try like hell to avoid it.
Donald Trump nor Mitt Romney have offered sell their possessions, give their money to charity and apply for welfare and food stamps. It was not immediately clear why no one inspected the apartment during this process, nor was it clear why the body did not decompose. Those same coaches and executives believe that will be the case. But they were also near unanimous in that they feel Metta the basketball player is near his expiration date. Lost credit card ocp debt fund Walt Disney Co was among the top decliners on theblue chip Dow Jones industrial average index.
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She would eat breakfast with them every day. The state collected 3. Her unit has commissioned research to establish whether this is true. They know that these Islamists are not good for their nation. Decisive action is being taken without wavering and with full support of the majority of Egyptians. Good for them. They show more resolve and principle than the current confused American administration.
This football bounced off a helmet and floated into the waiting hands of Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who returned it to the One play later, Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles, subbing for an injured Michael Vick, rolled left, then threw back to the right to tight end Brent Celek, giving Philly a advantage. One could argue that energy prices were, until recently, controlled by Ofgem, the energy regulator, but in setting these controls the regulator was obliged to allow a reasonable rate of return. Officials plan to release the identities of seven more victims on Saturday night and one more on Monday.
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Glimpses of double-yellow lines, a television aerial and a modern conservatory have all caused apoplexy in the past, and most recently it was suggested their table settings are all wrong. But doubtless this well-funded new series will redouble its efforts to deliver a view of s Britain unsullied by pesky anachronisms. The auditors were not convinced that BlackBerry can sell itor sell it at prices that the company was hoping for. We see noreason to be more optimistic than them. Neither piece of legislation is expected to succeed in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
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Have you seen any good films recently? Is this a temporary or permanent position? The girl needs help. The greatest deception here is this is not one nation under God.
It never was. Weare against all kinds of unilateral military operations. Somewhat ambitiously, Sevier also attempts to blame the sex trafficking of American girls travelling abroad on the availability of internet pornography, and even argues that reducing the supply of pornography would help adult content providers to raise their prices and improve profits. I did a lot in Florida.
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He is the most athletic among his group, but has battled through nagging injuries each of his first two seasons. They continued in spring practice with groin and hamstring injuries, though he is healthy now. He had 20 receptions last year. The backup jobs are up for grabs. Barnidge showed promise in minicamp and can catch the ball with his hands instead of his body. Gronkowski, in his third NFL season, and Davis will be in the mix for the job of a blocking tight end that can catch. Davis caught 19 passes and scored two touchdowns for the Bears last season.
Gronkowski did not play last season. He played in two games for the Browns in without making a catch. Things which should be technologically defunct or stylistically obsolete, such as vinyl, black-and-white photography, Polaroids and vintage clothing, have remained popular or enjoyed a revival in recent years.
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