Wednesday 23 September 2009

Spot the Difference.

In Sept 2009, a mother has been given a minimum sentence of 33 years for the murder of her two daughters: 'Rekha Kumari-Baker, 41, stabbed 16-year-old Davina 37 times and 13-year-old Jasmine 29 times at their home in Stretham, Cambridgeshire'.

In January 2009, a father was given a minimum sentence of 21 years for the murder of his two sons: 'Ashok Kalyanjee, 46, who stabbed his two young sons- 6 years old Paul Ross and 2 years old Jay Ross to death, was sentenced to at least 21 years in jail.'

In Oct 2008, a father was given a minimum of 17 years for the murder of his two children: 'Robert Thomson, 50, stabbed his 25-year old daughter Michelle, and seven-year old Ryan, 26 times at their former family home in May.'

In Oct 2008, a father, James Howson, was given 22 years for murdering his 16 month old daughter by snapping her spine.

In 2001, a father, Darren Jenkinson, was given a minimum of 15 years for murdering his two infant sons, by smothering them.

Monday 21 September 2009

Humanities are Big Business.

The CBI are arguing that students pay more to go to University, because we all know that they have deep pockets and are just holding out on us. And, we all know how making university an impossible option during a recession won’t at all push students out of universities and onto unemployment lists (where they will be entitled to benefits that they don’t receive as students). But more than this, they also want ‘universities [to] focus more on economically valuable subjects such as science, technology, engineering, maths and languages’. Because we all know how humanities are a waste of time, right?

Now, I think humanities are important as they bring social benefits, creating a broader, well-rounded society with an able to think latterly, all of which has an impact of the economy. But in fact, humanities also provide graduates to some of our biggest industries. The book, journal and electronic publishing industry contributes over £5 billion a year to the domestic economy and this is increasing. The value of UK book exports is higher than any other creative industry and we export more books that any other publishing industry in the world. The export value of books to the UK economy in 2008 was £1.1 billion. And, where do you think the people- the writers, editors, reviewers and publishers- who work in this industry come from? Do they just spring, un-nurtured from the ground; is creative writing now a central aspect of the biology degree? No, they come from the humanities.

Our biggest manufacturers include Ben Sherman, Burberry, French Connection, Reebok and Umbro, all clothing companies. And who do you think sits around designing your latest togs, deciding what’s hip and what’s not? Physicists? What about when you need a website designed, a logo made, a brand created, an advertising campaign made- do you think these companies are run exclusively by scientists? What about tourism? Tourism brings £86 billion to the UK economy and a considerable part of that industry is driven by our heritage industry- that is people coming to see our history, our art and performing art, our family history records, our museums, and galleries. And who do you think makes this possible? Biologists and chemists? No, the numerous graduates who come from history, arts and other humanities and who paint pictures, put on shows, and go into museum planning, archives and preservation.

Plus 70% of graduate jobs are open to people from ANY discipline, so why are we pushing the sciences?