Educational

Atul Gawande: The Smiling Angel of a Happy Death

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It is said that victorious Roman generals, on city parades following battlefield triumphs, would be followed by a servant. “Memento Mori,” the servant would say over and over. “Remember that you have to die.” Later, still-life paintings were punctuated by symbols of the finite – rotting fruit, wilting flowers, bubbles – as reminders of life’s transience. Early self-help books, with ... Read More »

Erdoğan vows to teach Turkish children Muslim discovery of Americas

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has instructed Turkey’s educational institutions to adopt a policy of highlighting the contribution of Islam to global science and arts, including the discovery of the American continent by Muslim sailors some 300 years before Columbus. “I have to be clear that there is an important responsibility falling on the shoulders of our Education Ministry and YÖK ... Read More »

Grimm brothers’ fairytales have blood and horror restored in new translation

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‘It is time for parents and publishers to stop dumbing down the tales for children,’ says editor of uncut edition Rapunzel is impregnated by her prince, the evil queen in Snow White is the princess’s biological mother, plotting to murder her own child, and a hungry mother in another story is so “unhinged and desperate” that she tells her daughters: ... Read More »

Was van Gogh Killed? New Research Says He Was Shot

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The troubled life and demise of Vincent van Gogh follows a well-known trajectory: the precocious genius, the art world’s indifference, the onset of angst and madness, and then, tragically, his suicide at age 37. Or so we thought. But according to the groundbreaking research of Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, the painter didn’t shoot himself: he was ... Read More »

New Scans of the Voynich Manuscript, a Medieval Book No One Can Read

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The Voynich Manuscript is one of the most obsessed-over historical enigmas. A medieval book dating from the late 15th or 16th century, its strange, flowing script has never been deciphered, its origins never determined. The 113 plant illustrations it contains seem to depict no flora found on Earth, and throughout its vellum pages are visuals of the cosmos, a small army of naked women cavorting ... Read More »

China Weighing More Emphasis on Traditional Culture in Textbooks

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Education officials in China are considering changes to elementary and middle school textbooks that would  expand the study of Chinese philosophy and literature, a shift that some education experts say is connected to recent efforts by the government to emphasize China’s cultural heritage. At an annual education conference this past weekend in the southwestern city of Chengdu, Wang Xuming, president ... Read More »

University fee deregulation opposed by most Australians, says Fairfax Ipsos poll

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UNIVERSITY FEES Almost two-thirds of Australians oppose the Abbott government’s move to allow universities to set their own fees amid concern over “$100,000 courses” that would put tertiary education out of the reach of some students. The first Fairfax Ipsos poll found support for university deregulation, championed by Education Minister Christopher Pyne, is at just 28 per cent. The finding ... Read More »

Canada’s new human rights museum shares oral histories from genocide survivors

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WINNIPEG (AFP).- A new museum in Canada’s western prairies has amassed a unique collection of personal stories from genocide survivors, human rights defenders and others, and wants to share them. Dedicated to the 60-year-old notion of human rights, a singular but intricate ideal, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba will open its doors on November 11. It ... Read More »

How to Kill a Culture in 3 Easy Steps

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Over the past few years I’ve been filming interviews with random people I’ve met from the streets of New York, to Prague and from the farms of Eastern Europe to the Midwest and Western United States. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people from farmers, artist, workers, professors and even celebrities and pop stars, and in nearly all cases most people especially ... Read More »

Arts Education Transforms Societies

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Do you enjoy the sleek look of your new iPhone? You can thank Steve Jobs for taking a calligraphy class at Reed College. Have you or your kids scribbled on a pair of Vans sneakers? Vans’ President Kevin Bailey credits the brand’s creativity with the arts education many of his employees have taken. At her promotion and swearing-in ceremony a ... Read More »