“Acts of courage in the age of Covid-19.”
English universities appear to have done the impossible: attracting increasing numbers of students and graduating them with high scores. Unfortunately, lower academic standards and grade inflation are responsible for England’s so-called education miracle. Instead of selling academic rigor, universities sell degrees, and that’s what students come to buy.
A Reddit money pool — where anyone can sign up for a chance to win a few thousand dollars (and maybe even some bitcoin) — is testing the limits of online honor codes.
“It can be hard to fill the hours, so I try to make a mark every day.” Ralph Steadman, the Welsh artist best known for his political cartoons and collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson, continues to make art that makes a statement.
What does “remembering” mean in an age where human memory is outsourced to gadgets and social networks?
In 1987, Terence Trent D’Arby’s debut album sold a million copies in just three days, and the music press went crazy for him. There was nowhere to go but down.
What does the rise of food banks tell us about Britain today?
There is a constant stream of data, images and videos coming in from conflict regions across the globe—in our ever-connected world anyone with an internet connection can be a war reporter. And there is power in numbers.
Humor in Ancient Rome could be a matter of life and death, at least when an emperor was involved.
Laughter and joking were just as high-stakes for ancient Roman emperors as they are for modern royalty and politicians. It has always been bad for your public image to laugh in the wrong way or to crack jokes about the wrong targets. The Duke of Edinburgh got into trouble with his (to say the least) ill-judged “slitty-eyed” quip, just as Tony Abbott recently lost votes after being caught smirking about the grandmother who said she made ends meet by working on a telephone sex line. For the Romans, blindness – not to mention threats of murder – was a definite no-go area for joking, though they treated baldness as fair game for a laugh (Julius Caesar was often ribbed by his rivals for trying to conceal his bald patch by brushing his hair forward, or wearing a strategically placed laurel wreath). Politicians must always manage their chuckles, chortles, grins and banter with care.
Henry Marsh is one of Britain’s top neurosurgeons and a pioneer of neurosurgical advances in Ukraine. Erica Wagner witnesses life on a knife-edge:
I first encountered Henry Marsh late one night on my sofa. I was too tired to go to bed, and so kept the television on as one programme ended and another started. This was The English Surgeon, a 2007 documentary by Geoffrey Smith about the work that Henry has been doing for over 20 years now at the Lipska Street Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine. Following a meeting with Igor Kurilets, a Ukrainian neurosurgeon struggling against the post-Soviet culture of poor resources and entrenched, old-fashioned thinking about medical care, Henry began volunteering his time in Kyiv. He brought not only his skills but equipment that had been discarded – generally for no good reason – by the NHS, packed up in wooden crates he made himself.