All entries for Wednesday 12 October 2005

October 12, 2005

Ethics for universities

In the Times Higher on October 7th is the intriuging headline:-

Guide steers campuses through moral mazes

On closer inspection, it seems that for a mere £25, universities can buy a guide to ethical dilemmas in HE, authored by vice-chancellors, industry chiefs, UUK and HEFCE folk. Stephen Schwarz (who's VC at Brunel) is one of the authors of the report and says "The whole purpose of a univeristy is ethical. We are looked up to, and we must make sure we act in a responsible way". My favourite bit in the report:-

Tony Blair has sent a message of support to the authors of the guide. In it he stresses the importance of universities and colleges in helping students to prepare for life's ethical dilemmas.

I have to confess that as I type this I feel a bit like Tom in Tom & Jerry when he puts out a particularly attractive piece of cheese as bait for Jerry and we see the aroma gently waft into Jerry's mousehole and tweak him on the nose. The Jerry to my Tom, of course, is Adam; are you there, Adam?

Good things come to those who wait… a very long time

There's a fantastic new Guinness advert out, taking the concept of "Good things come to those who wait" just about as far as it will go. We see three guys enjoying their pints in the pub, then we rewind time not just to see what happened to them on the way to the pub, but to trace their evolution all the way back to the beginnings of life on earth. Along the way we see London undo itself back to a Saxon settlement, glaciers, ice ages, canyon formations, dinosaurs, asteroid strikes and much more. It's a fantastic piece, even if it's slightly out biologically (we didn't evolve from birds!) and the look on the mudskipper's face at the very end of the advert as it sips, well, mud, is just priceless.

The music's cool too; Sammy Davis Jr singing Rhythm of Life from Sweet Charity. Great match for the animation.

Watch the advert here and read about its making here. Whimsical facts: although almost all the advert is CG, the mudskippers at the end - the creature furthest away from man on the evolutionary scale - were real. And although you have to watch very hard to spot it, near the beginning of the ad the streetlamps change from electric to gas. Oh, and the name of the ad? noitulovE. Cute.

McSweeney's lists

Writing about web page

If you're looking for something to make you laugh, but you've only got about ten seconds to spare, then (a) You are Christopher Hinds, and I claim my five pounds, and (b) you should have a look at McSweeney's lists. The style and quality of the lists is a bit variable since anyone can submit one, but they're generally good for a chuckle, and some of them are outright brilliant. Some favourites:-

Never fails to cheer me up, no list takes more than ten seconds to read.

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