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The dangers of ‘character education’ in universities

As the authors depressingly note, “the UK is one of the most economically unequal of the rich countries, and closing many of the gaps we describe will require systemic change beyond the scope of this report”. Well, quite. And herein lies the problem with teaching young people that through sheer vim and vigour they can achieve anything they want: for an individual, as the Sutton Trust report shows, it’s a…

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For News Outlets Squeezed From the Middle, It’s Bend or Bust

Hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook followed BuzzFeed’s live video of two people putting rubber bands around a watermelon until it burst. We should all reflect on how journalism can make the news that is truly important interesting enough to compete with exploding fruit. Traditional media companies face the increasingly daunting task of hooking already-inundated audiences, but they also have more tools than ever to lure them. Videos, podcasts,…

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Lawyers who won Happy Birthday copyright case sue over “We Shall Overcome” 

“We Shall Overcome,” a song that was the “unofficial anthem to the civil rights movement,” was wrongly placed under copyright and should be put in the public domain, according to a lawsuit filed today in federal court. The complaint (PDF) was filed by the same group of lawyers who succeeded at putting the world’s most famous song, Happy Birthday, into the public domain after years of litigation. It’s a proposed class action that seeks the…

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Internet hyperlinks do not infringe on copyright, EU court advised

While European Union rules say every act of communication of a copyrighted work has to be cleared by the copyright owner, it would be to the detriment of the Internet to make hyperlinks fall under these rules, the advocate general said. The case arose in the Netherlands where the GeenStijl website had provided a link to an Australian site showing pictures of a Dutch celebrity taken by Playboy magazine. The…

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University disavows chocolate milk, concussions study

The University of Maryland on Friday disavowed its study saying a company’s chocolate milk could help athletes recover from concussions, citing a range of problems uncovered by an internal investigation. The university said it is reviewing its internal research procedures as a result, and deleting press releases about Fifth Quarter’s milk from its website. It is also returning $228,910 provided by the company and a co-op of milk producers. —CBS…

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WTAE-TV’s Wendy Bell fired over racially inflammatory Facebook posts 

I have no particular opinion on her performance as a news anchor, but I was shocked by the patronizing tone adopted in the post in question, as well as her defensive response to criticism. See also: Thoughts On WTAE-TV Anchor Wendy Bell (The “White Privilege Turducken”) Getting Fired Today WTAE-TV news anchor Wendy Bell has been fired after a recent public apology from the station regarding a post on her Facebook…