November 12, 2010

Warwick Week – Inflation and Earnings, Heroism, and Snooker Stars

Inflation and earnings: what is the cost of a pint of beer?

“It were all so much cheaper when I were a lad...” or was it? Professor Ian Stewart looks at how the money in your pocket has really changed over the years. Every day we are bombarded with historical comparisons, intended to demonstrate how badly off we all are, but as Prof Stewart argues, such calculations rarely allow for inflation.

Read Prof Stewart’s article in The Telegraph >>

No Need for Heroism?

Dr Angie Hobbs presented a public lecture this week on BBC Radio 3, exploring today's idea of heroism in war, social justice, the arts and sport. Courage, ambition, vainglory, sacrifice ... what does it mean to be a hero now? Dr Hobbs asks: does this ancient idea still have a role in our age of instant celebrity and can it rise above its financial and political exploitation?

Listen again to Dr Angie Hobbs speaking on heroism >>

Prof Tom Marsh talking Snooker Stars on BBC Radio 5

This week, Professor Tom Marsh spoke on BBC Radio 5, explaining the discovery of a star system that looks like a game of snooker. Warwick's astronomers looked at a binary star system which is 1670 light years away from Earth, consisting of two stars, a red dwarf and a white dwarf. As Prof Marsh commented, “it’s hard to escape the image of this system as being like a giant snooker frame with a red ball, two coloured balls, and dwarf white cue ball.”

Listen again to Prof Tom Marsh at 2:55.43 >>

VC's Blog: Idealism in Hard Times

Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift's latest blog entry on the Chronicle of Higher Education's Worldwise international blog section is available to view online. The Vice-Chancellor comments on higher education conferences in both Britain and the US:

In the face of all the difficulties, participants understood that universities were a vital building block of a global civil society and a global citizenry. They understood the need for more cooperation, so as to form a community of communities which could sometimes act outside the traditional bounds of sovereignty… So in very challenging times, what I got out of these two meeting was not just hope but real propositions for how to change how we think about what universities can be which can inspire us to make renewed efforts to light the way ahead.

Read the Vice-Chancellor’s blog in full >>


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