The Times Higher Education’s April fools’ day prank was an article with the headline “Social media data to be included in new World University Rankings indicator”. While it’s hard to tell what the outcome of such rankings will be, there is one resounding opinion in higher education: Asian universities are gaining in reputation. I have witnessed this myself from the numerous research publications from that region, I have also heard of the immense pressure Asian academics are under to deliver high research outputs. When it comes to ranking universities, the Times Higher Education (THE) is my ranking of choice as it judges them using 13 indicators across teaching, international outlook, knowledge transfer and
The Louvre in France is once again the most visited museum in the world for the fifth consecutive year, 9.7 million visits last year; that’s a lot. Pickpockets managed to close it down anyway which is very funny. Also in the news is the Anne Frank museum, not many people have visited the Anne Frank House and some, especially youngsters may not even know who she was but thanks to Justin Bieber, some Beliebers probably do now. The museum isn’t one of the most visited in the world but with over a million visits yearly it ranks second to Van Gogh Museum in The Netherlands which is quite impressive considering the fact that it is a non-art, local history museum. More impressive is the story of
I’ve been pondering over the slippery slope argument and how it relates to marriage equality for a while now, never knew it was one of the many logical fallacies in philosophy/ethics neither did I know well reasoned arguments have been made for and against it by those who feel strongly about the matter which made me a little disappointed but that’s okay after all, I’m no philosopher or lawyer. In this context, it simply means; if you open the gate for one, all will flood in. Now that’s a scary thought but never mind, if you’re feeling worried, all you need to do is find reasoned arguments made in favour of marriage equality in the context of the slippery slope fallacy and you’ll be fine. If you go on to seek reasoned opposing arguments, then you might end up getting confused but better
The reaction of Britons to Margaret Thatcher’s death was one of the most fascinating days on twitter and the blogosphere in general; total disregard for respect for the dead was on display. The foreign minister of Australia suggested she was racist, a female MP was extremely careful not to refer to her as a woman, street parties were held, Ding Dong the witch is Dead made it to the top 10 but narrowly missed top spot in the UK singles top 100, the instagram memes were really creative, even the Respect MP encouraged people to show a lack of respect. It left me wondering why it is still considered a taboo to speak ill of the dead afterall, the dead could care less what the living say and besides
I had a lively debate on Scotland’s independence referendum holding on the 18th of September 2014 with a Yes Scotland campaigner last week, for some reason it was relieving to discuss the issue without touching on the north sea oil reserves. I had been spoiling for this debate for a while and upon sighting them at the usual spot, I approached them. They seemed to know I was coming for one of them briskly approached me, my first question to him was “are you guys really really sure this is what you want?”. The calmness with which he answered was borderline arrogant and creepy like it was the umpteenth time he’d
It’s not as bad as it sounds but it doesn’t get worse than this for a country, Zimbabwe’s finance minister pronounced the country broke not long ago with the announcement that the government had just $217 left in its public account. He got himself into trouble for that announcement and had to provide an acceptable explanation to calm anxious minds. The country has declined steadily over the years in a purposeful manner resulting in a surprisingly safe country howbeit an economic and political basket case. It ranked 8th out of 141 countries in the Brooking Index of State Weakness of developing countries, having its highest score in security. The ranking is based on the relative performance on social welfare, security, political and economic assessments.