Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Canada’s Higher Learning in the News!

A couple of barely-related stories to bring you today:

  • Simon Fraser University in BC has developed a grade below “F.” It’s called “F-D” for “Failing due to Dishonesty.” It’s designed to curb egregious plagarism, which is much on the rise largely due to a) the Internet and b) the failure of students to learn how to see a “bright line” against lifting passages in a world dominated by cut-and-paste. We’re not certain shaming will work on students brought up in the era of Enron and the Bush administration ... in our day, plagarisers were simply expelled.

  • Researchers -- including a friend of ours! -- at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University have collaborated on a scholarly academic paper that plots out the mathematical probabilities of success on various methods of combating a zombie attack. Yes, really. The data on what works and what doesn’t, now scientifically proven, shows that the best line of attack is to hit them quickly and aggressively or else you rapidly lose control of the situation.

Barney Frank has recently put this to the test at a couple of town hall meetings, and confirms the results. :)

We were delighted to see our old pal Prof. Robert Smith? as one of the co-authors (the ? is actually part of his surname, not a typo), and amazed at how widespread this story has become. He was even quoted in the BBC’s story about it, a lifelong dream fulfilled we are sure.

We have only begun to realise just how many of our friends are “into” zombies on one level or another ... it must be because many of us really value intellectual stimulation, aka braaaaains.