On International Women’s Day

From the Huffington Post, “Men Write History, But Women Live It“:

It’s mostly men who write history, and mostly men who, according to those history books, make history. But it’s women who live through the most of it. And in daily life, it’s women who do the work of remembering important names and dates and events. It’s women who write the shopping lists and birthday cards and absence notes, documents that rarely make it into our history books, while men are busy writing magazine articles and legislation ― and the history books themselves.

And really, it’s remembering the names and dates and sending the cards that creates the bonds that hold society together so maybe if everyone did it, the world could be a little better?

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.

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.