Saturday, October 08, 2005

Of note this week

(1) Ian Jack, in today's Guardian, pays homage to the semi-colon, which according to an earlier piece in the Financial Times by Trevor Butterworth, is one of the key stylistic differences between British and American non-fiction writing!!,,1586366,00.html

(2) A national pay restructuring combined with local pay agreements negotiated between unions and management has led to some dramatic salary increases for academic staff in (some) UK universities, as reported in the latest edition of the Times Higher Education Supplement.

(3) The Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded last Thursday. Amongst this year's triumphant winners are Claire Rind & Peter Simmons (Newcastle University) for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie "Star Wars." (published as Orthopteran DCMD Neuron: A Reevaluation of Responses to Moving Objects. I. Selective Responses to Approaching Objects," F.C. Rind and P.J. Simmons, Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 68, no. 5, November 1992, pp. 1654-66.). For more details of other prize winners visit

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