Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Paying for online news

This is not good news for bloggers and students doing journalism, who need access to online newspapers for information.
Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is losing money, and he is planning to carry out his threat to start charging us to look at his online papers (Times, Sun and News of the World). If this proves successful, then I expect the other papers will do the same.

Papers are losing money from advertizing, due to the recession.
Readers will be offered a week’s subscription for £2 , or a day’s access for £1 to two sites.

What do you all think of this?
Is it only fair that we should pay to view or is Murdoch wrong?

Thought for the day

‘Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent’


Friday, 26 March 2010

An opportunity for creative writers

Here is some information on a short story competition. If you win, the prize is £1,000 and the 20 shortlisted books from the Costa Book Awards.

The theme of the story has to be ‘The Photograph’, and the word count is 2,500 (max).
The competition details are in May’s edition of Woman & Home. The deadline is May 21st.
You will need a competition coupon from the magazine to enter.

Woman & Home tends to go in for Aga-saga type stuff, so they don’t tend to pick sci-fi, gothic-horror, porno, fantasy, seafaring narratives or anything involving comic wolves, bottles of gin, or Mr. Christmas (last term’s humour writers will know what I mean).

Get writing!!

Thought for the day

'One’s freedom stops where someone else’s begins’ - Rousseau

Thursday, 25 March 2010

It’s Official!

It is what we all secretly thought - men are the weaker sex.

Well, at least when it comes to their immune systems – and yes, they really do suffer from much worse colds and ‘flu than women. So next time a man sniffles in your direction, have a bit of sympathy for him.

According to research done at Cambridge University, the male propensity to ‘live fast, die young’ means in evolutionary terms that their immune systems are not as good as women’s. This trend is also seen in the animal kingdom. The boffin who came up with this startling research said “maintaining the ability to mate was more important to men than getting better, yet for women it was the other way around”.
So now you know!

Thought for the day

‘It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help’


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Student accommodation

The NUS reported today that the average price of student accommodation has gone up 22% in the last three years. The average weekly cost of accommodation is £98. The NUS blames the private sector for the increases. The private sector says it has invested a lot of money, developing accommodation to cope with the increases in student numbers. Given that tuition fees will be going up, the cost of accommodation is another burden for students and their families.

Many students at my university live at home and commute. If the costs of higher education and subsistance expenses continue to rise, then a lot of students may have to apply to their nearest university too.

This is probably bad news for people hoping to escape from home, or those who want to do a specific degree at a university many miles away.

Are you affected by this?
Would you like to escape from the clutches of your parents but can’t afford to do so?
Do you like going to your local university?
Have you had to go to the nearest university because you could not afford to go to the one you really wanted to go to?


Thought for the day

‘When you choose the lesser of two evils, remember that it is still an evil’ - Max Lerner

Monday, 8 March 2010

International Women’s Day

Did you know that today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day?

Here are some facts about it

1. International Women's Day is now largely aimed at inspiring women across the world and celebrating their achievements, but its roots were in movements campaigning for better pay and voting rights.
2. The first National Women’s Day was marked on 28 February 1909 in the United States after a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.
3. During an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen the following year, Clara Zetkin, leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, suggested the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day. The idea was met with unanimous approval.
4. 1911 - IWD honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19. Over a million people attended rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.
5. On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1965, it was declared as a non working day in the USSR.
6. International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March that same year and has remained the global date for the event ever since.
7. In 1975, the United Nations gave official sanction to International Women's Day and began sponsoring it.
8. The United States now designates the whole month of March as 'Women's History Month'.
9. IWD is also an official holiday in 15 countries including China, Ukraine and Vietnam.
10. Over the past few years Google have marked the occasion with a “Google Doodle”, changing their logo on the search engine’s homepage to reflect the occasion.

Thought for the day – the more you share, the more you have.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Friday frivolity

I bet you wonder what students at other universities get up to? – Well, perhaps you don’t. At Cambridge the students have launched CU:TV to prove they are not all serious and boring. Here is a clip from their brand new news programme.

At our University we don’t get time to be silly or frivolous – we have too much to do. Poor us…..

Thought for the day

‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’


Wednesday, 3 March 2010


According to the Mirror Peter Sutcliffe has appealed to be released from prison. I’m sure women everywhere would be very uneasy if he was back in open society. The families of his victims would be outraged at the thought of him roaming the streets again.

He is in currently in Broadmoor and his psychiatrist is reported to have said that his mental state has improved. All I can say is that psychopaths are notorious for conning their psychiatrists. Sutcliffe is said to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, in which case women would be at risk if he decided not to take his medication - (but I reckon he is totally psychopathic irrespective of any other diagnosis)
There is a sick element in society which glorifies rippers, hence the massive media circus in Ripperology. If Sutcliffe is released it will send out the message that killing women is OK – well it isn’t, and the Yorkshire Ripper should stay where he is!

Thought for the day

If you are going through hell – keep going (Winston Churchill)

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Do you like marmalade?

A lot of people don’t – especially children. Marmalade eating seems to be the preserve of the over 45s - and an acquired taste.
The makers of Robertson’s Golden Shred have enlisted the help of Paddington Bear in the hope to attract young people as the sales of marmalade have slumped.

Is Paddington Bear’s endorsement of the product likely to tempt you to try it?
Paddington was recently seen on TV promoting Marmite – another product that people have divided opinions about.

Although I think Paddington is cute, his face on the product would not make me rush out and buy marmalade. As for attracting children, I can’t imagine many toddlers having temper tantrums in supermarkets because they want their parents to buy that jar of orange stuff with Paddington on the label.

My mum makes the best marmalade in the world. If she gave her secret recipe to Robertson’s that might do more for their sales. Robertson’s mass-produced slop is nothing like real home-made marmalade – even if Paddington says it is nice!


Thought for the day

‘The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time’ - Abraham Lincoln