Walking past the guy stuck in traffic on his Vespa PX scooter, I could not but admire the solid steel, metallic brown, scooter. A vespa is not the coolest two wheeler out there but compared to others like a bicycle, the ridiculous segway or this hideous thing on kickstarter, it was worthy of admiration. As a commuter cyclist, the longest I have ever cycled is 30 km on my hybrid bicycle, across a number of towns, starting from a park then into the city, uphill, downhill, on rail tracks and eventually on the highway. As a result, I am all for the safety of those on two wheels and take great interest most especially in the cycling infrastructure of cities, hence my excitement at the recent publishing of the
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
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
I narrowly missed donglegate which must have been a trending topic on twitter at some point, but thanks to the vergecast, I still managed to pick it up in time. Interestingly, Sheryl Sandberg’s story was just dying down; both relate to women, tech and the workplace and ended with a rough outcome for one and sweet for the other as the former lost her job while the latter’s book got a lot of publicity to become a bestseller. Tech companies are overwhelmingly male and once regarded as “no woman’s land” where those who venture in can rise to the top but no more than the glass ceiling allows them, there’s even a joke that you can practically smell the testosterone when you walk into one.
Cyprus was trending on twitter for a while last week and the back and forth on how to save it has now been finalized. Although far away and unaffected from my vantage point, I can see this wee nation tethering on the edge with the possibility of pulling others down along with it. The country is not alone in this as we have seen in the past, other similarly troubled nations lent a helping hand by good friends from afar. In this case also, help has been offered by concerned stakeholders albeit a difficult one, a bitter pill people living in Cyprus will have to swallow. Talk about being between
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.