Monthly Archives: August 2013

‘Allo, allo’ Brits left tongue-tied by their language problems

The British have long been notorious for their lack of ability in foreign languages but there are signs that, far from becoming more cosmopolitan as paid-up members of the European Union, they are getting worse. According to recent research by the British Council, 82% of British people consider themselves unable to communicate well in a […] … learn more→

Dissertations with titles that warrant a double-take

Unusual dissertation titles from the University Microforms International dissertation database: Electrical Measurements on Cuticles of the American Cockroach Determinants of Flossing Behavior in the College Age Population Classification of Drinking Styles Using the Topographical Components of Beer Drinking More Fun Than Anything (about cyclopropenium salts) Creep of Portland Cement Paste Garage Sales as Practice: Ideologies […] … learn more→

Endnote vs …. well, everything else

Just before I handed in my thesis two things happened, which, up to then I had thought were PhD student urban myths: A whole journal came out full of articles that ‘scooped’ my thesis topic (gah!!) Endnote bugged out and turned all my 400 odd references into gibberish (instant coronary!!!) My supervisor solved crisis number […] … learn more→

The search for the perfect College

It’s summer. The college road trip experience has begun in earnest for many high school students. The approach to this search by students and their families varies widely. It often depends upon a number of factors including a family’s connection to an institution, the recommendation of guidance counselors, peer pressure, and social and print media […] … learn more→

Political change and the Olympic Games

The upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi has been in the news a lot recently. The controversy, as you will already know, is a result the introduction of another law discriminating against the LGBT community in Russia—Article 6.21 of the Code of the Russian Federation, the so-called “gay propaganda” law. [1] This law will allow the […] … learn more→

The whistle-stop education

Most American college students haven’t completed a cross-country road trip, let alone a transcontinental train trek. Such journeys give us not only a greater appreciation for the vast nation we tend to fly over, but also the time to reflect on what we see and experience away from the frenzy of daily life. This month, […] … learn more→

Europe’s electronic waste has become Africa’s burden

The disposal of computers and other electronic and electrical goods, e-waste, is a growing global problem. In 2011, the world threw away 41.5m tonnes of electrical equipment, and this is expected to rise to 93.5m tonnes by 2016. This is a concern because dumped electronic consumer goods are, essentially, toxic waste. Old-style televisions and CRT […] … learn more→

Even McDonald’s employees may be getting a better deal

Much media attention has been paid to the strikes by fast-food workers, and most specifically McDonald’s employees, for higher wages. Those who are profiting from exploitative wages and who are enjoying the benefits of the ever-widening income gap have tried to minimize the public impact of these workers’ efforts to get a livable and fair […] … learn more→

The comforts of the Apocalypse

Nineteen days after the world failed to end, blood stopped flowing to the brain of Harold Camping, prophet of doom. Had he felt his stroke coming as he confidently forecast apocalypse? Maybe not; maybe he had no more foresight into his own demise than the demise of the world. Or maybe he had simply confused […] … learn more→

Far-right rhetorical self-contradictions, Item 1

On the heels of passing some of the most restrictive abortion legislation in the nation, the North Carolina legislature has just passed a revision of the state’s voting laws that, unarguably, makes it more difficult for many voters to exercise their right to vote. The new law requires photo-ID’s of all voters, regardless of whether […] … learn more→