In the year of our Lord 1432, there arose a griveous quarrel among the brethren over the number of teeth in the mouth of a horse. For 13 days the disputation raged without ceasing. All the ancient books and chronicles were fetched out, and wonderful and ponderous erudition, such as was never before heard in this region, was made manifest. At the beginning of the 14th day, a youthful friar of goodly bearing asked his learned superiors for permission to add a word, and straithway, to wonderment of the disputants, whose deep wisdom he sore vexed, he beseeched them to unbend in a manner coarse and unheard-of, and to look in the open mouth of a horse and find an answer to their questionings. At this, their dignity being greveously hurt, they waxed exceedingly wroth; and, joining in a mighty uproar, they flew upon him and smote him hip and thigh, and cast him out forthwith. For, said they, surely Satan hath tempted this bold neophyte to declare unholy and unheard-of ways of finding truth contrary to all the teachings of the fathers.
After many days more of griveous strife the dove of peace sat on the assembly, and they as one man, declaring the problem to be of everlasting mystery because of a griveous strife of historical and theological evidence thereof, so ordered the same writ down. [Probably apocryphal, attributed to Bacon.]
I received as a gift this wonderful cup with black surface on which you can write by chalk. I wish blackboards in my university had surface of the same quality.
Unbelievable report in the Telegraph about bizarre degree courses on offer in British univesities (duly linked to from the United Kingdom & Ireland Waste Management & Recycling News):
Northampton University initially had 250 places available through the clearing system, including such courses as Third World Development with Pop Music, Dance with Equine Studies and joint honours in Waste Management and Dance.
The clearing web-site also invites school-leavers to consider a Tournament Golf foundation degree at Duchy College in Camborne, Cornwall.
Glyndwr University, in Wrexham, still had 15 places available on its BSc (Hons) in Equestrian Psychology, which “investigates the unique partnership between horse and rider”.
Subjects which were on offer through clearing at the start of last week, but which filled up during the week, included a degree course in Australian Studies, a joint honours degree in Criminology and Pop Music Production, and another combining Geology and Popular Culture.