Tess Reidy, writing for The Guardian, recently warned "Easter 2015 may be remembered as the end of the cheap chocolate era," due to social and political instability in west Africa, a shift to in crops and problems getting labor, and an international increase of demand. But this dire warning of prices in 2020 are not new, and there are solutions, as told in From Crops to Shops - The Story of Chocolate, a lecture by David Guest, professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Sydney. For a nostalgic look at Hershey's long-form self-promotion, enjoy The Great American Chocolate Factory and a more industrial focus on Hershey's milk chocolates: how it's made.
Barry Spurr, an expert on T. S. Eliot and the Virgin Mary, is Australia's first Professor of Poetry and Poetics. Appointed as one of two English subject specialists to the new Australian Review of the National Curriculum PDF, his concerns that "the Western literary canon" has been neglected and "the impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on literature in English in Australia" overemphasized in the existing curriculum are quoted liberally in the final report, which recommends that: "There ... needs to be a greater emphasis on dealing with and introducing literature from the Western literary canon, especially poetry," in Australian schools. The report has met with approval in the right-wing Australian press. Now, emails leaked to the New Matilda show that Spurr has spent the past several years sending messages from his University of Sydney email account referring to Native Australians as "Abos" and human "rubbish" and Asians as "chinky poos," calling Nelson Mandela a "darkie," Desmond Tutu a "witch doctor," and his own Vice Chancellor "an appalling minx," comparing Methodists to "serpents," and referring to women generally as "whores." Now, in the wake of the New Matilda exposé, the University of Sydney is investigating the emails and the Australian Education Minister is denying that the Abbott administration had anything to do with Spurr's appointment. Spurr, meanwhile, maintains that the emails were nothing more than "a whimsical linguistic game" and "repartee" shared with friends, which went right over the heads of the New Matilda journalists. There is also a petition to dismiss Spurr from the Review Commission.
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition challenges higher degree students (PhD and MPhil) from Australia and New Zealand to communicate their research in three minutes to a non-specialist audience. Contestants are judged according to communication style, comprehension and engagement criteria. Here's the 2011 Winner, Matthew Thompson (University of Queensland): Suspects, science and CSI. [more inside]