More on language ( re: grab it)

An online petition calling on Italians to stop using English words for which there are equivalents in their own language gathered nearly 70,000 signatures before it was closed. The petition was called Dillo in Italiano or “Say it in Italian”, and was backed by the Accademia della Crusca, a language institute founded in Florence in …

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Should Epicureans approve of cannabis?

Brendan O’Neill is perhaps one of my least favourite British columnists. I disagree with him on almost everything, from Brexit to student politics and the populist right. But his article this week is really interesting. O’Neill laments the effect of legalised cannabis on the culture of Los Angeles. He decries how it has become all …

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Sexual harrassment- the other point of view

There’s no harm in a bit of flirting. Don’t get me wrong, says Melissa Kite: I’ve no truck with genuine sexual harassment. I do object, though, to the way sleaze stories are portraying even minor acts of flirtation as uniformly sinister, and casting all women as helpless, “passive victims”. In my days as an ambitious …

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City vs Country- an Epicurean perspective

Here in the English speaking world, we’re all familiar of the tale of the city mouse and the country mouse: the city mouse invites the country mouse to his house. While containing riches beyond the country’s mouse’s dreams, it also contains terrifying dangers, like the cat. In the end, the country mouse decides his own …

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Are we all getting more stupid? (Don’t all,shout “yes” at once!)

For the period of about a century, average IQ scores in wealthy nations kept rising by about three points a decade. This “Flynn effect” is thought to be the result of improvements in social conditions like public health, nutrition and education, and has been seen in many countries, from the Netherlands to Japan. But by …

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The price of privatising airports in the UK

If you are flying off on holiday the airport is now, in all probability, the worst part of the experience (except the flight!).  Profit is the motivation of the airport management, rather than security. Misery is the result. 1. More than half UK international airports lack free drinking water. Water fountains have been removed, forcing travellers …

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The pitfalls of social media.

As I mentioned on last week’s Best of the Week, life in the modern world is a constant bombardment of information. Part of this is intellectual information like news stories, books, or if you’re still in education, lessons- things which are good for you but can be nonetheless hard to remember. But another aspect of …

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Higher education no longer considered good value

The Student Academic Experience Survey, from the Higher Education Policy Unit and the Higher Education Academy, tracks the views of students about their time in higher education, based on a sample of about 14,000 current students. Levels of satisfaction with university “value for money” have now fallen for the fifth year in a row. Five …

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Re- introducing National Service

47% of British people support reintroducing National Service for 17 to 21-year-old men; 43% oppose it. 42% are in favour of National Service for women, while 48% are against it. And 49% think crime rates would fall if National Service were reintroduced. (YouGov/The Independent) Regular readers of this blog may remember that I did two …

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The mood of young people in Britain

In many ways, young people in Britain today are the luckiest people to have ever lived. They enjoy a standard of living and access to scientific and technological advancements our ancestors could only have imagined. They are generally a healthy bunch, who exercise regularly, eat healthily, and consequently will enjoy a long life expectancy. Almost …

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