As you can see, I’ve not blogged here in a really really really long time. It’ll probably continue.

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Rachel on February 19th 2013 in Meta

Whistleblower warning on degrees

Degrees are being awarded to overseas students who speak almost no English, claims a whistleblowing academic.strong>

The academic, at a world-famous UK university, says postgraduate degrees are awarded to students lacking in the most basic language skills.

There are concerns that financial pressures to recruit overseas students for cash rather than quality could threaten the credibility of degrees.

I can’t say that I’m surprised. I ended up working with a nice guy from China in one of my group projects who didn’t really understand English that well or, for that matter, programming. I suspect the two things were related – the rest of the group would assign him a relatively easy part of the software to work on, but he would never quite understand that he had to write that module in the context of the rest of the software.

On the other hand, while his programming wasn’t good and his spoken English wasn’t great, he could write essays and stuff fairly well. No idea if he got help there – but the benefit of being able to sit down with a dictionary and then get another person to proof-read afterwards probably helped loads there.

Obama claims Democratic victory

Barack Obama has declared himself “the Democratic nominee for president of the United States”.

He was speaking to a cheering crowd on the last day of the primary season, after receiving the support of enough delegates to clinch the nomination.

I…don’t entirely understand the US system of voting – all I know for sure is that it seems to take a heck of a long time for them to just pick a candidate to run in the election. I don’t think I could get excited about something that too so long to get done with – even if I was a US citizen!

As someone who lives in a totally different country (although it could be argued that at times, the UK is the 51st state), I…care even less now, even if whoever is eventually (like, in a billion years time) elected as the next president will have a fairly large impact on world affairs. Perhaps it’s election fatigue.

And how much does the nominated candidate actually represent the views of the population? It feels like individuals vote for some guy who votes for someone else who votes for someone else who votes for someone else who will pick who THEY want to be presidential candidate for them. Is that really how it works? Can anyone shed any light on how it works?

And then there’s the question of who’s going to be the vice-presidential candidate?

I guess it’s just a case of wait and see.

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Rachel on June 4th 2008 in General Apathy, In the News, Politics

Feist vs. NIN

Totom – 1 2 3 4 my violent heart

This…is the most awesome thing I’ve heard all week.

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Rachel on April 17th 2008 in Music

Peace One Day

One Day One Goal

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Rachel on March 25th 2008 in Charity

Insurer names Nottingham as worst for burglary

Nottingham is the worst burglary hotspot in Britain, while Guildford is the safest, an insurance company said in a report.

I lay the blame entirely on Robin Hood. Totally.

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Rachel on March 25th 2008 in In the News

Filipinos warned on crucifixions

Health officials in the Philippines have issued a warning to people taking part in Easter crucifixion rituals

Crucifixion bad for your health? I WOULD NEVER HAVE GUESSED.

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Rachel on March 20th 2008 in Health & Medicine, Stating the Obvious

Celebrity BB viewers drop by half

The launch of the new Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack attracted less than half the audience of last year’s regular star name format.
Overnight estimates showed 3.5m viewers watched the reality programme, compared with 7.3m who tuned into the first in the series of 2007’s celebrity version.

Nearly two million people switched off when the show ended on Channel 4 and continued on digital station E4.

Celebrity Hijack sees stars act as Big Brother to a house of “unknowns”.

…and somehow people are surprised that there are fewer viewers?

Having to change channel to watch the rest of a programme is probably enough to do it. Then there’s the relatively little publicity it’s gained – the prospect of celebrities just “dropping in” rather than staying and slowly going crazy isn’t quite as attractive.

Add to that, that it’s all getting a bit old and tired?

It’s inevitable.

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Rachel on January 4th 2008 in TV

Skynet military launch is delayed

The launch of the UK’s Skynet 5B military communications satellite from French Guiana has been delayed.

I should think so too. Did no one watch any of the Terminator films?

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Rachel on November 12th 2007 in End of the World, Technology, War

December shoot for X Files sequel

Filming on the second X Files movie is to begin on 10 December, 20th Century Fox has announced.
The film will see David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their famous roles as alien-hunting FBI agents Mulder and Scully.


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Rachel on November 1st 2007 in Film, X-Files