Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Great Regulars: It was a blistering attack on Michael Gove

for eroding educational standards and "dumbing down" teaching. But now the 100 academics who wrote an open letter in March criticising the education secretary's revised national curriculum have had their own accuracy questioned. Their letter has been dubbed "simply illiterate" by the judges of the inaugural Bad Grammar awards.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Academics chastised for bad grammar in letter attacking Michael Gove


A manuscript of "Binsey Poplars", Gerard Manley Hopkins's celebrated lament for the trees that ran along the Thames in the village of Binsey, has been bought at auction by the Bodleian Libraries for almost £50,000.

The importance of the yellowing manuscript "cannot be overstated", said the Bodleian, which acquired financial support from individuals and funding bodies to pull together the £49,250 needed to acquire the poem in a Bonhams auction in April.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Bodleian buys 'significant' Gerard Manley Hopkins manuscript


The Digital Public Library of America has just launched, gathering together more than 2m items--books, photographs, manuscripts, art--from the country's libraries, archives and museums, and making them available to the public online for free. It's as if, a member of its steering committee said as the library opened its virtual doors late in April, "the ancient library of Alexandria had met the modern world wide web and digitised America for the benefit of all".

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) opens to public


But I think I'm going to have to brush up by poetry skills after learning that Nasa is looking for haikus in the form of a "message to Mars", and will take the three best, on a DVD, on board its Maven spaceship, due to begin a mission in November to study the upper Martian atmosphere.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Message for Mars: Nasa seeks haikus


Over a hundred writers and artists from around the world--also including Ian McEwan, Tracey Emin, Edward Albee, Salman Rushdie, EL Doctorow and Don DeLillo--have put their names to a letter highlighting the plight of the imprisoned 2010 Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, who lives under house arrest, along with "more than 40 other writers and journalists currently jailed for their work".

"We cannot ... listen to China's great and emerging creative voices without hearing the silence of those whose voices are forcibly restrained," they write.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Writers around the world call on China to respect freedom of expression


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