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Pi Day

Today is Pi Day. You might have come across π at school—π is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, or 3.14159265359… and so on until infinity. Maths hurt my brain—I couldn’t understand numbers at the best of times. And I stopped being able to cope when I encountered equations that had only letters [...]

By | 2017-05-19T08:20:27+00:00 March 15th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

What Harper Lee teaches us about talent

Nelle Harper Lee died last month at 89. Among the countless obituaries printed for her in the last few days is a tweet by Congressman John Lewis: One of the greatest writers of all time, Harper Lee laid bare the soul of America and her work will continue to educate for generations.  She has won [...]

By | 2017-05-19T08:20:28+00:00 March 7th, 2016|Personal, Uncategorised|0 Comments

Word of the Day: Sabbatical

Definition: A period of paid leave granted to a university teacher for study or travel, traditionally 1 year for every 7 years worked. Of or pertaining to the Sabbath (archaic). So we’ve been pretty quiet lately. It’s because we were on sabbatical. Yep, I’ve used more sick leave this month than I have used in 7 years. (Sabbaticals [...]

By | 2016-12-27T16:59:06+00:00 August 26th, 2015|Uncategorised, WOTD|0 Comments

Word of the Day: Procrastinate

Definition: Delay or postpone action. Put off doing something. This word came from the Latin words ‘pro’, meaning ‘forward’ and ‘crastinus’ meaning ‘tomorrow’. Those words fused into the ‘procrastinat-’ prefix—putting off until tomorrow, or until the next day, or sometime. Not now. Celebrated by uni students the world over. And the whole reason I didn’t post [...]

By | 2015-07-15T21:24:28+00:00 July 15th, 2015|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Word of the Day: Bathos

Definition: In a literary work—an abrupt descent from the sublime or high-minded to the ridiculous. Not to be confused with 'pathos'. Pathos is a rhetorical technique that appeals to an audience's emotions—such as sympathy or sorrow. Bathos is most often used as comic relief. Monty Python and the Holy Grail has some good examples, including:

By | 2017-05-19T08:20:33+00:00 May 10th, 2015|Uncategorised, WOTD|0 Comments

Word of the Day: Tintinnabulate

Definition: Make a light, clear ringing sound; tinkle It was Christmas Eve and Santa was grumpy. People carried on about him going down chimneys as though they didn't know he was claustrophobic. When he'd told Mrs Claus, she told him to stop complaining and get into the Christmas spirit. So he did. Lots of different Christmas spirits. Very [...]

By | 2015-04-21T05:49:41+00:00 April 21st, 2015|Uncategorised, WOTD|0 Comments

Word of the Day: Fritinancy

Definition: The sound—particularly chirping—that insects make. Hot summer days are filled with the fritinancy of cicadas in chorus. This word is a rare beast. An edition of the Oxford English Dictionary in 1898 spelled it 'fritiniency'—but when spotted in the wild these days, it is more often spelled as 'fritinancy'.

By | 2015-04-15T08:04:08+00:00 April 15th, 2015|Uncategorised, WOTD|0 Comments

Homeopathy: A recent case

You’d think it’d be pretty easy to spot what it is that a website is trying to tell you and separate the fact from the opinion. But sometimes, the point might be harder to spot than you realise. Rory’s post about exponential numbers included an aside in square brackets that used to say: Some quick [...]

By | 2017-05-19T08:20:35+00:00 April 11th, 2015|Legal writing, Uncategorised|0 Comments