repositories of knowledge

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THE LONG ROOM LIBRARY AT TRINITY COLLEGE -DUBLIN, IRELAND

Built between 1712 and 1732, the Long Room at Trinity College’s Old Library holds the collection’s 200,000 oldest books. The enormous collection housed in the long room includes a rare copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic and the 15th-century wooden harp in the library which is the model for the emblem of Ireland. 

The distinctive and beautiful barrel ceiling was added in 1860 to allow space for more works when the existing shelves became full. Marble busts of famous philosophers and writers line the central walkway of the nearly 200-foot-long room, created by sculptor Peter Schemakers beginning in 1743.

Discover more of the historic gems held in this beautiful library at Atlas Obscura…

ACADEMIES: HOW THE CONSERVATIVES ARE QUIETLY PRIVATISING EDUCATION

We’ve had a lot of talk around the election on the issue of privatising the NHS, and almost everybody is eager to say they aren’t doing it. Yet beneath our noses over the last 5 years, the Tories have been accelerating motion a devastating programme of education privatisation.

So what is an academy? It’s a school - primary or secondary - that is funded by different methods than a normal state school. This was a scheme originally introduced under Blair and rapidly accelerated by Gove in the 2010-15 coalition. It essentially works like this:

And what does this mean for schools? There’s less support and cooperation with the local authority - an important repository of resources and knowledge but that’s not all

Wait a second - there’s something else that should be screaming at you in the graphic above. PRIVATE SPONSORS contribute up to 10% of an academy’s funding - and this means they have complete control over what is taught

If a creationist society decides to sponsor an academy, then a generation of kids is taught that it is a scientific fact that the world was created in seven days. If a brand or group with vested interest in gathering support for certain ideas or politics wants to sponsor an academy? They can - and they do - and they get to CONTROL what is taught to schools.

So we now know there are these academies springing up across the country, with the curriculum, ethos and speciality decided by private individuals or organisations - with whatever ulterior motives that may bring. And the politicians love it. Academies are cheap options for the government - less money goes to the local authorities to be fairly distributed to the schools that need it, and that 10% that comes from private sponsors? That’s just 10% less the government has to pay. They’re selling out education to make a quick buck.

These academies are sounding pretty crap right? And here’s the news: in the Tory’ manifesto they announced they will start a radical new scheme that allows them to compulsorily convert any school that is failing or achieving AVERAGE results with no signs of rapid improvement. That is absolutely horrific - if AVERAGE or worse schools will be academised, that means MORE THAN HALF of all schools will become corporate sponsored in the next five years.

This is genuinely terrifying.

“Shelves beyond shelves of books and ancient tomes spread off into the dimmed distance in the room within this trump card.  Sunlight played across the cobbled stone floor and along the wooden shelves, giving a certain timeless quality to the stone-walled room, while a few tapestries hung from the walls to add warmth and color, especially the large pennant of the Unicorn on a green field that hung at the end of one aisle.  This was the Royal Library of Castle Amber, storehouse and repository of the combined knowledge and history of our kingdom.  There were many secrets to be learned, for those who were willing to delve into its depths.“

— Princess Corrine of Amber

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Ancient Aboriginal Astronomy -Mount Colah, Australia

It is acknowledged that Australian Aboriginal culture is heavily spiritual and symbolic, but a rock engraving in a national park near Sydney suggests that the indigenous belief system represents a deep knowledge of the sky and the motion of the bodies within it.

Coalsack Dark Nebula (within the Milky Way) is known to the Wardaman Aboriginal people as the head of the ‘Emu In The Sky’. The rest of its body falls to the left, seen as the darkness between the stars.

In the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, near Sydney, is an ancient Aboriginal rock engraving of the Emu In The Sky, oriented in such a way so as to line up with the nebula where it appears in the sky at the time when real-life emus are laying their eggs.

To learn more about ancient aboriginal astronomy, visit atlasobscura.com

Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Genre: Science-Fiction Comedy

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. Perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most successful, book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor. More popular than the Celestial Homecare Omnibus, better selling than 53 More Things to Do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid’s trilogy of philosophical blockbusters Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes, and Who Is This God Person Anyway? In some of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker’s Guide has supplanted the Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian, work in two important ways: first, it is slightly cheaper, and second, it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on the cover.” (Prologue)

The first time I read this book was several years ago, when I was a freshman in college. I was walking through campus with a friend and we passed a book sale. She found an omnibus edition of the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy-in-Five-Parts and convinced me I should buy it. I did, and it was probably one of the best book impulse buys I’ve made. It truly is a wholly remarkable book. It’s about time I wrote a review for this.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy tells the story of ape-descendant Arthur Dent whose alien friend Ford Prefect saves him just before the Earth is demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass by hitching a ride aboard one of the alien spaceships. Ford happens to be a reporter for The Hitchhiker’s Guide, and he invites Arthur along to travel the Galaxy and write entries for the Guide. The Hitchhiker’s Guide was originally a radio series that Douglas Adams worked on; he later adapted some of the episodes into the novel.

Douglas Adams was a brilliant writer, and this book really reflects that. Here’s another example of his brilliance: “The introduction to the Hitchhiker’s Guide starts off like this: ‘Space,’ it says, ‘is big– really big. You just won’t believe how massively, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the street to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space!’ And so on.” 

I love reading these books because I can feel myself traveling with Ford and Arthur, exploring the Galaxy. Adams is also ridiculously funny. This is one of those books I couldn’t put down until the end. The characters in The Hitchhiker’s Guide are pretty solid, and they make the story what it is. They are not exactly tough, brave, or even particularly moral characters (I’m looking at you Ford and Zaphod), but that’s what makes them so fun. They’re just doing their own things, bumbling around through space. Ford, Arthur, Zaphod, Trillian, and Marvin are like old friends I look forward to seeing. 

One of my favorite things about the Hitchhiker’s Guide world, is that the story has been presented in a variety of mediums: the radio show, the books, a campy tv mini-series, and a full length movie, plus a text-based video game and several plays. The general storyline is pretty consistent across the forms, but events might occur at different times for different reasons to different people depending on which version you’re experiencing. The books will always be my favorite form of this story, though, because they were the ones I was exposed to first.

There are so many brilliant characters and storylines in this book. Adams also parodies a lot of typical science fiction elements. I know this review doesn’t really do this book justice, but, as the excerpt from the prologue says, it really is a wholly remarkable book. If you love science fiction, comedy, or science fiction and comedy, you need to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy if you haven’t yet. So put a Babel fish in your ear, flag down a flying saucer and learn how to see the marvels of the Universe for less than 30 Altairian dollars a day. You might even discover the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Oh, and don’t forget your towel.

Overall rating: A++

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OAK BEAMS, NEW COLLEGE OXFORD

Founded in 1379, New College, Oxford is one of the oldest Oxford colleges. It has, like other colleges, a great dining hall with huge oak beams across the top, as large as two feet square, and forty-five feet long each.

A century ago, some busy entomologist went up into the roof of the dining hall with a penknife and poked at the beams and found that they were full of beetles. This was reported to the College Council, which met the news with some dismay, beams this large were now very hard, if not impossible to come by. “Where would they get beams of that caliber?” they worried.

One of the Junior Fellows stuck his neck out and suggested that there might be some worthy oaks on the College lands. These colleges are endowed with pieces of land scattered across the country which are run by a college Forester. They called in the College Forester, who of course had not been near the college itself for some years, and asked him if there were any oaks for possible use.

He pulled his forelock and said, “Well sirs, we was wonderin’ when you’d be askin’.”

Upon further inquiry it was discovered that when the College was founded, a grove of oaks had been planted to replace the beams in the dining hall when they became beetly, because oak beams always become beetly in the end. This plan had been passed down from one Forester to the next for over five hundred years saying “You don’t cut them oaks. Them’s for the College Hall.”

For more details, and other fascinating histories, visit Atlas Obscura.

Tried Your Future By Getting Online Course of study

Online education and online learning solutions have fictitious compelling proportions in the process of instruction. Before dynamics as to akin an upbringing practice could be defined the student community have informally glide on to the information highway touching Internet and have started receiving lessons passively to supplement their academic learning nisi prius. Internet today has become repository of all knowledge known to human society which is digitalized and available gossipy anytime and anywhere. For that, material references to be conversant with subject commerce persona available and easier in order to access on the net at about search engines, education is previously going online polish tools in order to students to acquire what they want.

In this age of science and technology, the predominance with regard to IT in every sector of higher education and industry has compellied commonwealth up to upskill so adapt academic discipline resources with in the flesh convenience and comfort. Most education tools in connection with upper and professional education today have made online information theory a part of private teaching to deliver learning. There is a high level of intermeshing over against computers and computer software tools which are treble with respect to higher learning and their evaluation tools. Entrance tests (RAWHIDE) for the professional institutions are conducted online through the Internet medium.

Online learning solutions today are able en route to notch and resolve the constraints of class room teaching and erudition. E learning is able to confer an equivalent role to the teacher and learner to play in the process in regard to education. There is high opportunity for interactive learning with real time resources on the Internet. Learner is able to overgrow his ambit of learning to the pursy potential of his abilities with an easier access to gen resources straddle the Internet. The abecedarian can attempt to undertake the find process in what the interests are learning and flock their understanding concerning the switch.

There is a wider evidence of tasking as online learning solution among the school globe-girdling students. Surveys, research and studies indicate to some and more students accessing the internet for knowledge frozen assets. Nearly 80 in keeping with cent of the Indian school going children are said to have accessed Wiki and Google to appanage their forward motion academic education and approach projects. They further indicate that that most of this population is interested in using the Internet as mildly of spending their leisure time either surfing or social networking. In India the class cessation of life population make for nearly 500 million where computer is part in connection with curriculum.

Having listed every advantage and better, we are with a era where technology is invading every galactic space of human activity. Today we can book importation tickets for any sorites of scout complete the Internet. We prefer for pay utility bills, fill plodding forms, be revealed for entryway tests, limitation for the laboratory diagnosis results, update status, keep in ignite through emails, chat through instant messengers, use gadgets for pathological and physiological evaluation of human burden in medicine, make out amongst banks, which are accomplished using the Internet media purlieu.