All entries for February 2006

February 11, 2006

Spoon fed students?

Writing about web page http://www.thes.co.uk/current_edition/story.aspx?story_id=2027753

From latest Times Higher:

Undergraduates are entering university less numerate, literate and knowledgeable than ever before, according to the most comprehensive study undertaken of how university admissions staff view the latest intakes of students. Admissions tutors bemoaned new students' lack of independent thought, "fear of numbers" and expectations to be "told the answers" in a survey of staff from 16 Oxbridge, Russell Group and post-1992 institutions.

It's a leaked report and it's possible that THES has taken this out of context (not that they ever do that) but I wonder how widespread this perception is.


February 10, 2006

Churches and parts therein: aporximation of a playlist #6

Churches and their bits

Church of the poisoned mind – Culture Club
She sells sanctuary – The Cult
Chapel of love – The Dixiecups
Cemetary gates – The Smiths
In the Navy (think about it) – Village People
99% of Gargoyles look like Bob Todd – Half-man Half-biscuit


February 09, 2006

iTunes U ??

Writing about web page http://www.apple.com/education/solutions/itunes_u/

Naturally I know diddly squat about what might be required behind all this to make it work or indeed whether it's worth it, what it would cost and whether we'd end up down an alley from which there is no return. But it doesn't stop me being pretty excited by it.

Or is it just naive over-enthusiasm on my part?

If nowt else wouldn't it be fun to be the first in the UK? Or has someone else got there before us?


February 07, 2006

Songs about dead fans: approximation of a playlist #5

Really tricky one this

I could only think of two:

Stan – Eminem

Dagenham Dave – The Stranglers

But then I discovered:

Hulkster in Heaven – Hulk Hogan!!

(touching stuff from his debut album)


February 05, 2006

Smash Hits – it was rubbish really though

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/critic/feature/0,,1701291,00.html

Ridiculous amounts of nostalgia weeping going on among otherwise sensible journo/muso types about Smash Hits and how great and really, really clever and witty and satirical it was.

But it was crap really, wasn't it? Go on, admit it, it was rubbish!smash hits cover: plastic bertrand


Best opening line ever?

Title:
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
It was the morning of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me

But rest of it is absolutely first rate too. Undoubtedly in my all time top 10 list.


Degrees by Kwik Save?

Writing about web page http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/hefce/2006/grant/letter.pdf

The Secretary of State's grant letter is remarkable for several reasons:

First, she appears to have manually amended the date – how can such an error make it all the way to her desk?!

Second, there is the specific proposal, almost completely out of the blue, for growth in 'employer-led provision'. This is articulated here as courses which are:

wholly designed, funded or provided by employers

So, what ideas might progressive employers such as, say, Kwik Save have for innovative degree programmes that are not currently offered?

Whilst there has been far too much easy sniping at overtly vocational or narrow degree courses, there seems to me to be a world of difference between universities responding to the demands of the market by offering Not only would they not know where to start, why would they want to bother when HE produces plenty of graduates for them for free as it is?

For too long successive governments have had a touching faith in the unproven link between graduate level skills and economic advancement – it just isn't that simple and handing over degree course design to Ikea really isn't going to make things any better.


Songs about Snooker?: Approximation of a playlist #4

Snooker related fun

Snooker Loopy – Chas n' Dave
Pot Black – Theme Tune
Len Ganley Stance – Half Man Half Biscuit
Brass in pocket – The Pretenders
Spiders And Flies – Mercury Rev
White Punks on dope – Tubes
White riot- The Clash
Red eyes and tears – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Red shoes – Elvis Costello

Higgins

Mellow yellow- Donovan
Yellow – Coldplay
Green eyed loco-man – The Fall
Brown Sugar – Rolling Stones
Golden brown -The Stranglers
Blue Monday – New Order
Pink glove- Pulp
Pink orange red – Cocteau Twins
Pretty in pink- The Psychedelic Furs
Black Monk Theme – The Fall
Black coffee in bed – Squeeze
Res-cue – Echo & The Bunnymen


February 04, 2006

Dangerous

I fear for a world where there is one of these on every street corner and there is an obligation to follow the instructions or face public flogging:

effort 2


Would rather not read about Kevin

Title:
Rating:
Not rated
Nice premise – narrator's son undertakes Columbine-style massacre and she reviews her life and his early years through the medium of letters to her ex-husband. Whilst some of the details are moderately diverting, after about a quarter of the book's 400 plus pages I began to start losing the will to live – I stopped caring about Eva, her wonderful life before Kevin, her husband Franklin, the succession of nannies, her family and friends, the whole bloody lot of them. I didn't get as far as her description of the killings but it does seem that Kevin, horrible as he might be, should have started closer to home.

February 2006

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