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Tuesday 14 November 2017

Smartphones and teenage depression

BLOG: Reports linking teenage depression and smartphones overlook the positive benefits these devices also bring, says Dr Chris Fullwood, Reader in Cyberpsychology.

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Tuesday 07 November 2017

Carles Puigdemont gambled and failed. The consequences will live on

BLOG by Professor George Kassimeris: By heading to Belgium, the president of Catalonia missed his chance to stand up to Madrid – and to show himself as a leader sticking to his principles.

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Friday 03 November 2017

100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution

BLOG: Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Mike Haynes, considers the centenary of the Russian revolution.

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money notes

Thursday 02 November 2017

Comment on the interest rate rise

BLOG: Dr Stuart Farquhar comments on the Bank of England announcing a rise in interest rates

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Tuesday 31 October 2017

The psychology of humour and the link to well-being

Funny things – Wolverhampton’s new comedy festival - will be joined on Friday by Dr Tracey Platt, who will be explaining the links between the Psychology of Humour and Well-being.

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Friday 27 October 2017

What happens in Wolverhampton goes to Vegas...

Find out how the University of Wolverhampton is part of the global conversation about musical theatre.

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

Steph's Story: Things Get Better

So here I am writing for Student Stigma and I am excited but I am going to include a trigger warning, just to be considerate.

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Monday 09 October 2017

Consumer label confusion?

Consumer label confusion? Professor Claire Hannibal, who is researching supply chain sustainability, looks at what lies behind the brands.

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Tuesday 03 October 2017

What does the future hold? Four future megatrends and some possibly surprising responses

Why bother with the future? Well hopefully we will all have one. It is the future where we will be spending the rest of our lives.

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Tuesday 03 October 2017

Boris Johnson has demonstrated a capacity for scheming that Machiavelli would have applauded

The UK’s foreign minister, Boris Johnson, is set to address the Conservative Party conference today amidst suggestions that he is deliberately undermining Theresa May’s leadership of the party.

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Tuesday 03 October 2017

Reaction to Catalan referendum

I was born in Barcelona in Catalonia where I spent almost 30 years of my life before moving to the UK. My feelings are hard to describe but I would say they are a combination of sadness and anger.

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Monday 11 September 2017

The trend of food shaming

With what we eat coming under the spotlight more and more, our food choices are frequently being judged as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Dr Tracey Devonport looks at the increasing trend for food shaming

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Wednesday 06 September 2017

Author Kit de Waal Words of Wisdom for New Students

I was an extremely late starter, not going to University until I was 52 and then only for a year to do a Creative Writing Master’s.

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Friday 01 September 2017

Midlands Movie Interview - Award Winning Director Andrew Rutter

Filmmaker Andrew Rutter recently won Leicester’s 2017 The Short Cinema Main Competition Award for Best Film which is the culmination of many years hard work for the local director.

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Tuesday 29 August 2017

Wayne Rooney retires young?

At the age of 31, record-breaking England goalscorer Wayne Rooney announced his retirement from international football.

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Thursday 24 August 2017

It's all go for judo!

As the World Judo Championships kick off in Budapest (28 August to 3 September 2017), we thought we’d give you the low-down on some of our own sporting successes in judo and beyond.

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Wednesday 23 August 2017

A Lorra Talent

Renowned sculptor Emma Rodgers has exhibited her striking work worldwide, from the Victoria & Albert Museum to the Royal Academy of Art.

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Wednesday 23 August 2017

Fake That! The rise of fake news, and what to do about it

The role of the news media has always had an almost sacred role in democratic societies. But a right to free speech does not entail a duty to tell the truth...

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Wednesday 23 August 2017

Geotourism Potential & Strategies of Geoconservation in Brazil

Caiçara researcher presents her PhD thesis at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, on geotourism potential and strategies of geoconservation on the tourist trails in the region

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Monday 21 August 2017

Day in the life of … Tanweer Ikram

Tanweer Ikram was appointed by the Queen as Deputy Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate), one of the top roles in the judiciary, earlier this year.

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Monday 14 August 2017

Advice for A-Level Results Day

A-Level results day can be a time of mixed emotions ...

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Monday 07 August 2017

Game of Thrones: Historical facts behind the hype

With a new season of 'Game of Thrones' just beginning, the frenzied fan talk starts once more. Dr Spencer Jones, a Senior Lecturer in Armed Forces and War Studies in the University’s Department of History, Politics and War Studies, takes a look at where the writers have found inspiration in real life historical events for some of the major storylines in the popular fantasy drama.

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Monday 31 July 2017

The secret of the Lionesses' success

These are heady times for England Lionesses as they beat France for the first time in 43 years to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2017. As a nation that identifies football as its national sport, the question many are asking is what is behind this recent success?

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Monday 31 July 2017

Clearing Case Study

My name is Andrew Rigby and I currently study Multimedia Journalism and this is my experience of UCAS clearing.

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Tuesday 18 July 2017

‘The Girls of the Period Playing Ball’: The Hidden History of Women’s Football 1869 – 2015

Professor of Sport Jean Williams takes a look at the history of women's football, which once saw women banned from competing

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Wednesday 12 July 2017

Wolves Photofest 2017 - Yasmin Qureshi

Yasmin Qureshi, Photography degree student, blogs about the Wolves PhotoFest.

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Wednesday 28 June 2017

Cyber Security - How Secure is Your Business?

Katie Wood, senior lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, discusses the topic of cyber security and how IT skills gaps in your business could put it at risk.

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Wednesday 14 June 2017

Modern Politics Returns to the 1970s

With a strong Labour campaign and an unexpected outcome, it looks like a return to the 1970s for modern politics. And that’s no bad thing, says Professor of Labour and Social History Keith Gildart.

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Tuesday 06 June 2017

Theresa May must resist playing politics with terrorism

Theresa May has a serious terrorist problem in her hands – there’s no question about it. In the space of less than three months, the UK has suffered 3 terrorist attacks, resulting in 32 deaths and there is most probably more to come, if we are being brutally honest with ourselves.

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Tuesday 23 May 2017

As the Manchester Arena attack shows, terrorism has changed for good

The threat of indiscriminate terror, even if our intelligence and police work improves a great deal, will be with us for some time. That's why we must understand its root causes rather than just try to defend against it.

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Monday 15 May 2017

After the NHS hacking - who is really to blame?

So the NHS got hacked last Friday. Already evidence of “the blame game” is beginning to appear. Why were the NHS using outdated / unpatched systems? Why did the NSA “loose” a cyber weapon? Why did Microsoft stop patching XP?

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Monday 08 May 2017

Who will Protect Us from Westminster?

The Precarious Position of Human Rights Protection in the UK after Brexit

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Thursday 23 March 2017

Professor of Security comments on the Westminster Attacks

Professor George Kassimeris, Professor of Security Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, has been researching and writing on terrorism and political violence for more than 20 years.

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Tuesday 21 March 2017

Martin McGuinness: A tale of two halves?

The death of Martin McGuinness will inevitably lead to a period of reflection on both his personal activities and his legacy.

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Thursday 16 March 2017

International Women’s Day

For International Women’s Day, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Professor of Science Education Nazira Karodia presented the University of Wolverhampton’s first Athena Swan Gilkison lecture. The event celebrated the University’s female professors. Here, Professor Karodia summarises some challenges in STEM education and the future.

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Friday 10 March 2017

Out of Sight: Regulation, Social Control and the Criminalisation of Homelessness

A Coventry man has just been sentenced to four weeks in jail for being homeless and begging in a car park.[i] Professor Kate Moss asks: ‘Is this a good use of prison and does this approach demonstrate good governance or public policy?’

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Monday 06 March 2017

Apprenticeships - what goes around comes around?

When the Statute of Artificiers was passed in 1563, there were many more apprentices in the City of London than there were university students or graduates.

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Monday 27 February 2017

Life lessons: What England men’s Six Nations rugby team teaches us about resilience

In a modern society where tolerance of failure can be low and fear of failure paralysing, it is important to learn how to manage adversity. England Rugby has shown that it is possible to create a climate where growth follows failure. This is something everybody can learn from.

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Monday 27 February 2017

Trump's vendetta against the US media is about political survival

The on-going toxic vendetta between President Trump and the American media establishment (New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and NBC etc.) regarding fake news, alternative facts, lies and hypocrisy has to do with only one thing: political survival.

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Monday 20 February 2017

Left behind or out in front?

An article published in the Guardian last week asked what would happen if a university went bust.

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Wednesday 08 February 2017

Avoiding Hackers – When is the best time to patch?

Tony Proctor gives his expert opinion on why not upgrading to the latest software can leave websites vulnerable to hacking.

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Friday 27 January 2017

“350 years and a Civil War too late to Broaden the Exercise of the Prerogative:” Brexit and the Judgement of the UK Supreme Court.

Recently we blogged about the High Court ruling regarding the challenge to Theresa May’s ability to trigger Article 50

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Monday 09 January 2017

Comment on tube strikes

The immediate cause of the current 24-hour tube strike on the London Underground is about staffing levels and associated society issues.

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Wednesday 04 January 2017

How will HE tackle the big issues in 2017?

Brexit means Brexit and we will have to help Theresa May make the best of it, says Andy Westwood

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Wednesday 04 January 2017

Why Hygge Is The Word That Sums Up 2016

In the list of new words to enter the dictionary in 2016 - Trumpism, Brexit, post-truth - hygge seems somewhat out of place. Or does it?

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Tuesday 15 November 2016

Brexit, Article 50 and some ‘Old Chestnuts’: Constitutional Law comes to Life.

Professor Kate Moss and Lynn Ellison, from the University of Wolverhampton’s Law School, take an in-depth look at Article 50.

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Tuesday 08 November 2016

M&S store closures: "Cost cutting exercises are often about keeping shareholders happy."

Expert comment on the news that retail giant Marks and Spencer is to close 60 stores in the UK

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Tuesday 18 October 2016

Multilingual Europe - the role of sign languages

Dr Christopher Stone, Senior Lecturer (Interpreting and Deaf Studies), recently spoke in the European Parliament

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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Cyber Security – Can we predict the future from the past?

Where do the future cyber threats lie?

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Thursday 01 September 2016

The Burkini Ban and the Dangerous Consequences of Coercive Undressing

Images of armed police supervising the undressing of a Muslim woman on a Nice beach have gone viral in the last few days. The officers were apparently upholding the ban on the ‘burkini’, a swimsuit that covers the legs, arms and hair, and is contentious because of its religious connotations, read as provocative to the secular values of the French state.

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Tuesday 16 August 2016

How to Make the Most of Open Days

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Tuesday 16 August 2016

Advice for ‘A’ Level Results Day

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Thursday 04 August 2016

A Couple of Days' Work in Gaza

Professor of Digital Learning John Traxler, is working with The United Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) to support education efforts where schools are running within areas of conflict. Here, he recounts one of many experiences working in these conditions.

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Tuesday 26 July 2016

Out of Sight: Regulation, Social Control and the Criminalisation of Homelessness

Despite charitable support and awareness-raising, homelessness is still being criminalised in many areas.

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Tuesday 05 July 2016

Why the Wonder of Wales?

Wales in the semi-finals of the Euros. One game away from the final and playing against a team that is yet to win in normal play. Why have Wales been successful?

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Friday 01 July 2016

Where Next? Where Now? Possible Futures After Brexit

In a time of ‘bregrets’, Dr Stuart Connor, Reader in Social Welfare at the University of Wolverhampton, reveals how research at the University of Wolverhampton is identifying and developing potential scenarios for medium to long term futures.

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Monday 27 June 2016

Is there an Alternative to BREXIT?

The European Union referendum campaign exposed both the complexity of the issue(s) and how poorly informed the electorate are about the EU

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Monday 27 June 2016

Should there be a second referendum?

It is the worst UK constitutional crisis in living memory and it is not going away. Don't believe those politicians who tell you that the vote has to be respected.

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Friday 24 June 2016

The Economic Implications of BREXIT

The vote to leave the EU has major implications economically and politically. Economically, the £ had fallen by over 10% against the US$ and over 7% against the € before 9am today (Friday 24th June)

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Monday 20 June 2016

Why did Maria Sharapova cheat and what should sports’ authorities be doing about it?

“Seeking a competitive advantage” mind-set is embedded in modern sport with athletes following lifestyles, training methods and diets aimed at giving an extra edge

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Thursday 16 June 2016

Euro 2016

As Euro 2016 excitement reaches fever pitch, Dr Chris Sellars at the University of Wolverhampton and examines how inspiration and inspirational leadership in sport has a dramatic impact.

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Thursday 28 April 2016

Bridging the BME gap

Dr Debra Cureton, Research Development Manager, discusses how the University of Wolverhampton is working to reduce the differing degree outcomes between ethnicity groups.

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Tuesday 19 April 2016

UK needs more investment in brain tumour research

Brain tumours are a leading cause of death in young children and an increasing cause of neurological morbidity and mortality in adults.

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Thursday 14 April 2016

China has lessons to learn from the UK when it comes to entrepreneurship education

At the invitation of the China-Britain Business Council, I recently presented to a high-level Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education forum in Tianjin, one of China’s four provincial-level municipalities. My topic was ‘Entrepreneurship Education in Higher Education in the UK’.

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Wednesday 06 April 2016

Sport – so what?

Sport – so what?

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Tuesday 05 April 2016

Leicester City, The Premier League and the Steel Crisis

Leicester City, The Premier League and the Steel Crisis

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Friday 01 April 2016

The National Living Wage

What has changed?

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Thursday 24 March 2016

The Rise of Cyberbullying

The advent of social networking has undoubtedly changed the way the world communicates.

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Friday 04 March 2016

Blog based on research conducted with women academics in Greece

Feminist scholarship has exposed how men use respectability to ‘other’ women and exclude them from the public realm (Skeggs, 1997; Haram, 2004). There is however, limited literature on the respectability and inclusion projects of academic women, particularly in non-British contexts.

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Friday 12 February 2016

Love is in the air? Or is it just the chemicals in the chocolate…?

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us again. It is no coincidence that we are at the beginning of the new Spring; the sap flows, the leaf buds are ready to burst forth and the first flowers of new season are with us.

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Wednesday 10 February 2016

Food banks

One of the prevalent aspects of post-recession Britain has been the rise in significance of food banks both in signalling a growing role for the voluntary sector in providing welfare, but also as a stark measure of the persistence of poverty in many neighbourhoods across the country

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Thursday 04 February 2016

University patents affordable alternative drug in the fight against cancer

The need for drugs for cancer treatment is urgent but development of a new drug takes an average of 15 years and costs billions.

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Wednesday 03 February 2016

“What the *@^*?” - a short history of swearing

A new book entitled Public Indecency in England 1857-1960, co-authored by David J. Cox, Reader in Criminal Justice History, University of Wolverhampton, has been published by Routledge

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Thursday 28 January 2016

Serving up a psychological edge – Why sports psychology can make a difference?

Three British players in a Grand Slam tennis semi-final. The Murray brothers and Johanna Konta

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Tuesday 19 January 2016

The Great War, demobilisation and ‘civvy clothes’

An old army song had First World War soldiers looking forward to the end of the conflict:

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Friday 11 December 2015

Health Futures - new learning for a life in health services

The NHS fails to recruit sufficient staff to fill all its vacancies, in nursing, some medical specialties and other clinical professions

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Wednesday 25 November 2015

Black Friday – is it a clever marketing ploy or a retail disaster?

In the local high streets and shopping centres store after store have sales on. But it is still several weeks to Christmas when buying at full price is supposed to be at its peak.

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Tuesday 17 November 2015

Terrorism and Political Violence

The very first thing I tell my students who choose to take my ‘Terrorism and Political Violence’ class is that terrorism never ends,

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Monday 28 September 2015

Res gestae – the prosecutor’s backdoor

One of the principal dangers of admitting hearsay evidence in court is that a witness’s veracity cannot be tested by cross-examination...

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Wednesday 23 September 2015

The Corbyn Factor

I attended the TUC conference in Brighton last week. The highlight was a speech by Jeremy Corbyn...

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Friday 18 September 2015

Northern Ireland’s troubles

The old gag about something being ‘déjà vu, all over again’, seems particularly apt in relation to the current problems in Northern Ireland...

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Tuesday 15 September 2015

The Battle of Britain 75 Years On

15th September 2015 marks 75 years since what is now known as the Battle of Britain day took place over the summer skies of Britain...

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Friday 04 September 2015

The Great Fall of China and the West Midlands

The crash of the Chinese stock market is sending shock waves around the world. In the murky world of global finance nobody really knows who is owed what until it is too late.

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Friday 04 September 2015

The principle of solidarity can prevent the death of migrants

The death toll of migrants at sea has increased over the summer. The dramatic situation is mainly caused by the conflicts in Syria, and the unstable situations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea.

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Thursday 04 June 2015

Reforming FIFA: We Have a Long Way to Go

Professor Graham Brooks, Professor in Criminology and Course Leader for MSc Cybercrime, School of Criminology

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Wednesday 06 May 2015

Manifestospeak: What can linguistic analysis tell us about politicians and their attitudes?

No doubt every politically conscious person in Britain has a pretty good idea by now of the main issues selected by the various political parties fighting each other for votes in the upcoming General Election. An obvious way of finding out what those issues are is to read the manifestos of each of the parties.

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Thursday 30 April 2015

Obesity and the election

Did you know there’s an election looming? Yes, I’m sure you did and I guess you all have your own pressing concerns that you are hoping will appear in the manifesto of your favourite party.

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Tuesday 21 April 2015

The Election and the NHS: promises, promises

The NHS would seem, temporarily at least, to be like the Queen and Alan Bennett- beyond reproach, almost untouchable.

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Tuesday 21 April 2015

Poverty and Wolverhampton: Why the general election should herald a new approach

Despite all the media coverage about a potential EU referendum, leaders’ debates, and even a recent newspaper exclusive about Nigel Farage’s coat, the main issue of the forthcoming election and the one that genuinely affects us most should be what can be done about poverty...

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Thursday 09 April 2015

Famous for 15 minutes. Almost.

"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes". I almost was. But the balloon burst. I blame the BBC economics correspondent Robert Peston, and Radio Four's the Today Programme. They offered hope and then took it away.

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Tuesday 27 January 2015

Page 3 'banter culture'

We live in an instantaneous world, a culture of now. The story of the moment last week was that of the demise and speedy resurrection of the Page 3 Girl.

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Monday 22 December 2014

Christmas Television and Festive Fare

Christmas is a major time for all television channels. From the beginning of the autumn season the television schedules build up to the crescendo of Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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Monday 01 December 2014

Soap Operas and Public Service Television

Soap Opera and Popular Drama are not the first genres which come to mind when thinking of Public Service Broadcasting.

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Friday 21 November 2014

That Sainsbury’s Christmas ad - Fact, Fiction and Football

“My personal view is that I don’t think it is appropriate and that I am uneasy at using the First World War to sell groceries, no matter how sensitively it is done or that it involves giving some monies to the Royal British Legion. I simply don’t like it.

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Friday 07 November 2014

“I never saw him play but we were the best of friends for years” - The pseudo-social relationships of Football Manager

As the latest version of the ultimate football management simulation, Football Manager 2015, hits the streets two University of Wolverhampton academics share their love of the series which even led them to research the relationships gamers struck up with the virtual football world and its players.

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Friday 31 October 2014

Halloween Uncovered

The 31st October is a date that today tends to be associated with ‘Trick or Treat’, carved pumpkins and a night that ghosts roam the earth, but rarely is there a consideration of where it started and how it evolved.

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Thursday 30 October 2014

Is the new JLR plant the ‘crowning glory’ for the West Midlands?

With huge fanfare the new JLR plant is opening today (Oct 30, 2014) at the i54. Britain's newest car plant is strategically situated at the junction between Wolverhampton's Stafford Road and the M54, just a couple of miles away from the M6. It is, says the local Express and Star, 'the crowning glory for the West Midlands'.

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Friday 05 September 2014

Lord Richard Attenborough: Actor, Producer, Director and Phenomenal Creative Executive

Lord Richard Attenborough died on 24th August and we lost an actor, producer, director, whose many achievements are well known and audiences can see his performances in many films, including In Which We Serve, Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, Jurassic Park, Miracle on 34th Street, or we can see his skills as a Director in Oh What a Lovely War and his Oscar winning production of Ghandi followed by Cry Freedom.

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Wednesday 20 August 2014

How the stress of playing chess can be fatal

The death of a chess player in the middle of a match at the world’s most prestigious competition may have shocked those who view the game as a relaxing pastime. Kurt Meier, 67, collapsed during his final match in the tournament and died in hospital later that day. But chess, like any other game or sport, can lead to an immense amount of stress, which can be bad for a competitor’s physical health too.

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Thursday 14 August 2014

Behind the Laughter

There is much research linking creativity and madness - we all know about Van Gogh and Sylvia Plath – but mental illness blights the lives of comedians too; indeed, the image of the sad clown is one of the oldest clichés in the book. It is epitomised by the tale Groucho Marx tells of a patient who goes to see his psychiatrist with depression: the psychiatrist advises him to go to the circus and cheer himself up by watching the world famous clown, Grock. The patient replies, ‘I AM Grock.’

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Monday 11 August 2014

‘A’ Level Results Day 2014

This Thursday (August 14th) many students will receive their ‘A’ level results and the University of Wolverhampton wishes them all the very best.

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Sunday 03 August 2014

A picture of ourselves as a nation

This notion reflects my interest in the event, the moment, the participation that holds the key - with photography reflecting these dearly held moments for reflection ‘after the event’. The role of the spectator can also be reflective of the moment when human presence through endeavour confounds even those without an interest in sport, providing the figure and ground for the photographer.

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Friday 25 July 2014

100 Years Ago: Britain Enters the First World War

Looking back on the start of the First World War, we are conscious of a world and a Britain very different from our own. The countdown of events that led to Britain declaring war rings like a death-march in the heads of everyone who knows them.

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Thursday 17 July 2014

English football- Less profit more trophy asset

The recent publication of the 2014 Deloitte annual review of football finance highlighted the ever-increasing financial power of the Premier League. For the 2013/2014 season it is forecast that total revenue will break the £3bn barrier.

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Thursday 10 July 2014

Parents and Education

A recent article in The Learner (http://thelearner.com/the-latest-news/parental-involvement-is-overrated ) and The New York Times claims that parental involvement in education rarely benefits children’s test and grade scores and in some cases has a negative effect.

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Monday 07 July 2014

Tour de France; its not over

After the fabulous start of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire on Saturday, British hopes are somewhat dashed by the withdrawal of our two leading riders, the 2013 winner Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish, the Manx missile, and GB rider of the most stage wins. Interestingly the focus in the press has been on the tactics employed by team Sky and the decision not take former Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins as back up the lead rider.

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Monday 30 June 2014

3 bites and you're out.. Suarez, Shame and the World Cup

“He’s bitten again," said a flight attendant as I queued to check in a flight returning from Spain. Uruguay vs Italy in the World Cup and Liverpool footballer Suarez goes to bite his opponent

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Monday 23 June 2014

Focus back on Murray for Wimbledon

Britain’s number one tennis player must have been looking forward to an opening week of Wimbledon with the pressure slightly off… but thanks to England’s stuttering World Cup, ‘a nation turns its lonely eyes to you’ Mr Murray...

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Tuesday 17 June 2014

Is the new GCSE syllabus a form of literary jingoism?

Michael Gove has apparently ‘banned’ American classics such as John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men from the GCSE English syllabus in favour of a British-oriented curriculum.

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Thursday 12 June 2014

Land of Hope and Glory?

Or is Hope a dangerous thing? England head for the World Cup with hope in their hearts!

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Thursday 12 June 2014

Why Brazil cannot rely on home advantage to win the 2014 football World Cup.

In the past, countries hosting the world cup finals have had a high probability of winning or at least being runners up in their ‘home’ competition. England’s one and only success in the World Cup came on home soil in 1966, and more recently France in 1998 and Argentina in 1978 were both victorious as hosts.

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Tuesday 27 May 2014

Spare a thought for the forgotten campaigns

2014 is a momentous year for military history. In November we commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War. The BBC alone have already started over four years of programming which will ultimately result in over 3,500 hours broadcasting spanning radio, television and the internet.

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Monday 14 April 2014

12 April 2014: International Day for Street Children

Raising awareness about children who sleep rough on the streets of Europe.

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Wednesday 26 March 2014

A chance for facts and truths

Professional historians have had a long time to think and plan about the 100th anniversary commemorations of the First World War: almost a decade has passed since our first discussions.

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Tuesday 11 March 2014

Death of Bob Crow, RMT

Bob Crow, the general secretary of the RMT trade union, died at the age of 52 on Tuesday 11 March. All of us who knew him send sincere sympathies to his family and close friends.

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Tuesday 04 March 2014

A response to Mike Cladingbowl’s ‘The future of Ofsted: where next for school inspection?’

n a recent blog entry in The Guardian (6/2/2014), Mike Cladingbowl, Ofsted’s national director for schools, raised a number of interesting questions relating to the future of Ofsted.

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Thursday 20 February 2014

Sexuality and soccer: exploring the ins and outs

Recent months have seen a small number of high profile footballers openly disclose their homosexuality and once again the question of why this disclosure remains so fearful to these athletes has been raised across the media.

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Thursday 23 January 2014

EDL: Not racist, not violent, just no longer silent?

The English Defence League (EDL) emerged in 2009 as a mass street protest movement able to attract supporters in the thousands to demonstrate against ‘Islamic extremism’ in towns and cities across the UK.

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Friday 17 January 2014

Dorothy Hobson, senior lecturer and course leader in Contemporary Media

The Channel 4 documentary series Benefits Street has caused a legitimate outcry from the residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green, Birmingham. The five part series was filmed over a year and shows the residents of the area as people on benefits and living, what the production portrays as, a rather feckless life.

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Tuesday 14 January 2014

Dealing with the Blackadder view of the war

Michael Gove’s comments about the First World War have ensured that what some of us feared would happen has come to pass.

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Friday 10 January 2014

Fractured: how sporting injury affects psychological states

For Theo Walcott, the first sound he heard would have been the savage twist of gristle and the next his own screams of pain. The very moment the 24-year-old striker hit the turf in Arsenal’s recent FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur, he must surely have known how serious his injury was. The hope of performing on the big stage, the excitement in what that brings, the months of training in in the build-up were, he must have acknowledged, all lost in that brief moment in time.

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Monday 23 December 2013

Court on Camera

The principle of open justice, in one form or another, has rarely been out of the news recently. Although the first few televised Court of Appeal cases have been aired, the introduction of legislation to permit the filming and broadcasting of court proceedings has been the subject of much debate.

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Thursday 19 December 2013

Can we fix it? Corruption in football.

The recent case of match fixing in football is nothing new. There have been a number of cases throughout the years in British football but few to mention. The problem is really spot fixing. This is a problem for all sport not only football. We blame wayward individuals and/or ‘foreign’ organised criminal elements or the gambling industry.

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Tuesday 17 December 2013

Access to education: helping disabled students learn

Earlier this month saw the publication of University Challenge 2013, a report into access to higher education for disabled students, commissioned by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

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Wednesday 11 December 2013

Human Rights and the empowerment of women who sleep rough in the EU

Human rights and the empowerment of women who sleep rough in the EU. The cure for poverty has a name in fact, it is called the empowerment of women– Christopher Hitchens.

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Friday 06 December 2013

Farewell Madiba: On the death of Nelson Mandela

It may seem strange, but I, like most South Africans who grew up under the Apartheid regime, only became aware of Nelson Mandela’s signifcance once I’d left the country. I was too young to follow the Rivonia Treason trial and by the time I was reading newspapers, all mention of him and the ANC was banned from the South African press. In those pre-internet, pre-budget travel days, South Africans had little exposure to international pressure groups such as the Free Nelson Mandela movement.

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Monday 25 November 2013

Black Country Dialects

This blog post is in relation to Colley Lane School, Halesowen, banning their pupils from writing or talking in a Black Country dialect

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Wednesday 20 November 2013

Anti-bullying - the same old story?

This blog post is in relation to National Anti-Bullying Week, held this year between Monday 18 November - Friday 22 November.

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Monday 18 November 2013

Closure of Walk-in Centres

Recent government suggestions that walk-in centres be closed as a consequence of them not achieving the necessary reductions in Emergency Department (ED) attendance anticipated are ill-conceived.

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Wednesday 30 October 2013

Should we let students evaluate teachers’ lessons?

How about this, then? Richard Cairns, Head of Brighton College, wants it made compulsory for school pupils to assess the performance of teachers (http://yhoo.it/16rwEiz) Mr Cairns is certainly sincere - he claims to use this system in his own school already.

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Wednesday 23 October 2013

The benefits of music

A recent study has shown that listening to music can help to alleviate physical pain. Four out of ten people who suffered persistent pain said listening to music helped relieve their symptoms, a figure which rose to 66% for young people aged between 16-24.

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Friday 18 October 2013

The heartbreaking case of families with disabled children

A recent Contact a Family survey of more than 400 families with disabled children provided disturbing results which highlights the lack of support inside schools.

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Thursday 10 October 2013

Rough Sleeping Children

The number of rough sleeping children across Europe is on the rise. These are young people who have mostly run away either from home or from sheltered accommodation. They may also include minors who have made border crossings in search of a better life and improved opportunities or for any number of other reasons.

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Monday 30 September 2013

Open Justice: Michael Le Vell and Anonymity of Defendants

As has been noted by Lord Neuberger, the President of the Supreme Court, we live in a country committed to the rule of law and central to that commitment is the principle that justice should not only be done, but also seen to be done. That is, court proceedings and a court’s decision should be open to public scrutiny wherever possible.

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Monday 23 September 2013

Firefighters Strike

In 1977 the first national fire fighters’ strike took place over pay and conditions. After a bitter few weeks the settlement included a system whereby pay was index linked to the pay movement among other similar groups. This meant that there was no need for national pay strikes until 2002, when the system broke down.

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Wednesday 18 September 2013

X-Factor Returns - Can Strictly be far behind?

Saturday 31st August 8.00pm, and 10 million viewers saw the return of ITV1’s ratings topping talent programme The X Factor, back for its 10th series.

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Friday 13 September 2013

Friday the 13th: Hope you have a lucky day!

Does Friday 13th worry you? Well, Paraskevidekatriaphobics have a morbid fear of Friday the 13th, which falls at least once a year, and sometimes three times a year.

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Wednesday 11 September 2013

Lessons from the Euston train

On a Euston-bound train to the BERA (British Educational Research Association) conference that took place in the first week of September, I fell into conversation with three other passengers. Two were retired, one was close to retirement. The conversation began with stories about them looking after and reading to grandchildren and helping with homework.

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Thursday 05 September 2013

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney, who died last week, is perhaps the only poet for whom a minute's silence will ever be held at a major sporting event: 80,000 Gaelic football fans paid their tribute to him before the Kerry-Dublin semi-final in Croke Park. Their response marks Heaney as a special cultural figure, in Ireland but also elsewhere. Before him, poets were often English and upper class: after him, most of them seemed to be from Northern Ireland.

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Monday 02 September 2013

Transfer Deadline Day

Deadline day on the transfer window sees a number of high money deals taking place.

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Wednesday 28 August 2013

Anonymity and the web

Cyber bullying is a recent phenomenon, with health impacts. Recent postings on Twitter have contained threats of rape and murder, Facebook messages have been linked to suicides. Both can be anonymous. What is the link between anonymity and bullying?

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Saturday 24 August 2013

A Level Results Day

This Thursday (August 15th) lots of students will receive their ‘A’ level results and the images of the day will mainly show happy smiley faces.

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Thursday 22 August 2013

The Intelligence Dilemma

The appalling murder of Daniel Pelka by his mother, Magdelena Luczak, and her partner, Mariusz Krezolek, has yet again been followed by soul-searching and a storm of criticism directed at ‘the authorities’ for their failure to protect Daniel from the child abuse that eventually led to his death.

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Monday 19 August 2013

Zero hours contracts

In the Victorian era there were sweatshops, child labour, few worker rights, and casual employment with no guaranteed income.

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Monday 05 August 2013

School Direct

The recent and significant change in how we train teachers in England, introduced by the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove, is not well thought through and could have a significant impact on teacher supply.

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Thursday 01 August 2013

The importance of bike riding

This blog post is in reference to 'RideLondon', an annual two-day festival of cycling taking place over the weekend of Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August 2013.

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Tuesday 23 July 2013

Formal testing of children at nursery

The ‘best’ nurseries use a variety of different approaches to support the children in their care, not just testing or assessing.

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Friday 19 July 2013

The enduring legacy of Bruce Lee

I was way too young to watch Enter the Dragon (1973) when it was first available on video. but that didn’t matter because I watched it at my Uncle’s house (on his old ‘piano keys’ video recorder) and it was deemed infinitely more suitable than the ‘video nasties’ prevalent around that time.

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Friday 12 July 2013

“Stop Right Now, Thank You Very Much”

The cast were joined on stage by two former Spice Girls who were “devastated” and “gutted” that the show announced its closure after a brief six month run in the West End. Producer Judy Craymer (famous for hit musical Mamma Mia) and writer Jennifer Saunders admitted that despite standing ovations from wonderful audiences, they just “couldn’t make it work”. They stand resolute in their assertion that the “legacy of the Spice Girls will never fade.”

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Monday 08 July 2013

Sir Liam Donaldson & public health

Students and academic staff enjoyed hearing Sir Liam Donaldson, the former Chief Medical Adviser in the UK, share his thoughts on how public health issues can be addressed during his talk in Wolverhampton on Friday 28 June.

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Monday 01 July 2013

Wimbledon

Wimbledon time, and up go the hopes that the 77-year wait for a British male champion will end this Sunday.

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Tuesday 25 June 2013

Bollywood

This year is the 100th anniversary of the first Bollywood movie. I was never a fan of Bollywood as a kid. In fact, I hated it. We had one TV and video recorder in the house (not like today) and the last thing I wanted was such dull competition for its use.

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Tuesday 18 June 2013

Way to Blue: Happy Birthday Nick

Nick Drake was one of several wonderful musicians to emerge from the fertile folk and folk-rock scenes of the 1960s and early 1970s. While always a solo artist he worked with some of the great musicians of the time; Richard Thompson played on his first album, and John Martyn’s Solid Air was written for and about Drake. Nick Drake’s work is intimate, intricate and highly personal; the themes are universal and the performances captivating.

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Wednesday 12 June 2013

Faith-based school selection

Before I attempt to answer this controversial question, I’d like to re-phrase it into this instead: “Why do parents want to send their children to a ‘faith-based’ school?”

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Tuesday 04 June 2013

The Queen's Coronation

I was born in 1959, and, like most people of my age group, can remember watching the big Royal media events of the 1960s and 70s: the “Royal Family” documentary of 1969, followed by the Investiture of Prince Charles (clustered round the school TV set at St Michael’s Primary in Tettenhall). Then came the wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips in 1973, and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. But I was always conscious of having missed The Big One: the Queen’s Coronation of 1953.

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Monday 03 June 2013

What makes a winning team?

Around this time of the sporting calendar, talk invariably comes round to the issue of what makes a winning team. Pundits start picking their dream teams. Various combinations of players are suggested but being individually brilliant is only part of what matters. “We all dream of a team of Carraghers” is a song lovingly sang by the Liverpool fans; a song that pays testament to the fighting spirit of Jamie Carragher. Would this team be successful?

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Friday 31 May 2013

Summer badger cull

In the next few weeks trials will be taking place with trained contractors attempting to cull badgers (largely by shooting) to wipe out TB in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire. TB is endemic in some local populations of badgers and is also present in some cattle and it is thought (though the link is as yet wholly unproven) that TB is transmitted from wild badgers to individual cattle resulting in the need to destroy entire herds...

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Wednesday 29 May 2013

By Accident or design?

There has been much press coverage recently concerning the apparent crisis in emergency services, and in particular the provision of care within hospital emergency departments.

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Tuesday 28 May 2013

Better This Time? Afghanistan as the 'Graveyard of Empires' 1979-2014

Better This Time? Afghanistan as the 'Graveyard of Empires' 1979-2014 The 25th anniversary of the Afghanistan withdrawal announcement by the Soviet Union In February 2013, President Barack Obama announced the withdrawal of major United States combat units from Afghanistan by the end of next year. It is impossible not to hear the historical echoes.

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Thursday 23 May 2013

FHM's Top 100 Sexiest Women 2013

FHM’s top 100 sexiest women – decided by popular vote and featuring the likes of Mila Kunis and Kelly Brook – is undoubtedly commercially successful, but how might we think critically about this publication and its success?

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Wednesday 22 May 2013

Now let's talk about mental health

In an era of economic uncertainty with rising unemployment, never has there been a more important time to consider the topic of mental health.

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Monday 20 May 2013

IDAHO Celebrations

A day to celebrate the seventh least densely populated state of the USA? Sadly, no. In fact, IDAHO is that odd acronym which stands for the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, and it took place this past Friday, May 17.

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Friday 17 May 2013

The Allure of Eurovision

The arrival of May offers us many national treasures such as the FA Cup Final and the Chelsea Flower Show, but few can argue with the longevity and passion aroused by Eurovision, the music competition to outlast all other music TV events.

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Wednesday 15 May 2013

70th Anniversary of the Dams Raid

The 16th/17th May 2013 marks the 70th anniversary of RAF Bomber Command’s iconic raid on dams in the German Ruhr valley. New books, magazines, memorabilia are being marketed and the BBC has commissioned various radio and television programmes to commemorate this event.

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Tuesday 14 May 2013

BAFTA Television Awards 2013

Olivia Colman was the undoubted star of the 2013 BAFTA Television awards. Colman triumphed for her work in the serious drama ‘Accused (Mo’s Story)’ and the sitcom ‘Twenty Twelve’, and both gongs were well deserved. While it is easy to be blasé and pretend that award ceremonies don’t matter, Colman accepted her two awards with enthusiasm and excitement, and it’s clear that recognition from peers is still a big thing for actors and actresses.

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Thursday 09 May 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson

"So Sir Alex Ferguson has retired. We’ve had “Fergie time", “hairdryers", the “Beckham’s boot”, and rows with other managers – Kevin Keegan and Rafa Benitez being the most memorable spats. When it’s all said and done however he leaves Manchester United as champions for a record 20th time. So what comes next?

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Wednesday 08 May 2013

The UKIP question

The major talking point of the 2013 local elections was the rise of UKIP which gained 25% of the vote and has given rise to much speculation about the reasons for their success and their likely future impact.

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Thursday 25 April 2013

The measles outbreak and the MMR health scare

Memories of the MMR scare of about a decade ago had all but faded until news came of an outbreak of measles in Swansea. To prevent measles epidemics in other parts of the country, Public Health England has launched a vaccination catch-up campaign. They estimate that up to a million children aged 10 to 14 are at risk of catching measles because many of them were not vaccinated as babies owing to widespread fears that the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) could cause autism.

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Wednesday 24 April 2013

The story of DNA and what it’s done for us

Today we live in an era where knowledge about DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) and our genetic code has a profound effect upon our society.

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Monday 22 April 2013

Fancy a bite? No

Luis Suarez is an outstanding footballer. He can make a chance out of almost nothing, score goals with either foot, or shows tremendous determination to win which can inspire his team mates.

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Tuesday 16 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher: the Political Communicator

Among the many assessments of the Thatcher legacy, relatively little has been said about her role as a political communicator. In the understandable focus on her role in the Falklands War, the Miners’ Strike, the Poll Tax, the economy, Europe, and a host of other policy areas, there hasn’t been a huge amount on how she went about securing the three election victories without which none of it would have been possible.

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Sunday 02 December 2012

50 Years of Doctor Who

It would have been hard not to know that Doctor Who BBC1’s sci-fi drama series was 50 years old last weekend.

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Tuesday 11 September 2012

Did the media rise to the Olympic challenge?

So who were the biggest winners in this remarkable summer of Olympic and Paralympic sport? The likes of Mo, Usain, Ellie and Sarah, obviously. This was the year when not only Olympian but Paralympian heroes became recognisable by their first names alone. The Games Makers, unquestionably, along with Seb Coe and his team; the crowds; and all of the millions who have watched both festivals of sport with such keenness.

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Thursday 06 September 2012

Re-defining 'disability'?

The Paralympics have captured the imagination of the country, they have accepted the metaphorical baton from the Olympic Games in spectacular fashion.

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Tuesday 04 September 2012

Media spotlight turns to Paralympics

The success of the London Paralympics so far has rested on a number of factors: the obvious public appetite for tickets; the extensive media coverage; and, of course, the extraordinary achievements of a number of GB paralympians.

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Tuesday 14 August 2012

The impact of London 2012

How do you measure if something is having an impact? How many times do we use the word ‘impact’, without actually fully appreciating what it means to us and to the situation which we are attempting to discuss?

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Sunday 12 August 2012

Media evolution

It was announced the other day that the BBC will show the two Olympic football warm-up games on July 20: one for women’s football, and the Brazil tie in the men’s.

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Friday 10 August 2012

Beyond the sporting legacy

The essence of the legacy of the Olympics is sport; the success of the Games themselves, the motivation and inspiration caused by successful medal winners and the encouragement to participate in sport by the people of the host country.

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Thursday 09 August 2012

Olympic overload?

Tricky times, these, for the rolling news channels: especially for BBC News’ 24-hour channel.

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Wednesday 08 August 2012

Controlling your emotions

The ability to control emotions under pressure is a key skill. Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy won a sixth gold medal with the weight of history on his shoulders, and we all watched heptathlete Jessica Ennis control her emotions under the extreme pressure of being the ‘face of the Games’, on top of the usual pressure of competing at the Olympics.

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Monday 06 August 2012

Gold, Gold or Gold!!!!

We are experiencing some remarkable performances at the London Olympics.

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Thursday 02 August 2012

What makes a winner?

Team GB won its first gold medals of London 2012 yesterday, with an impressive first Olympic title for the women’s pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the rowing and cyclist Bradley Wiggins winning the time trial in some style to add to his Tour de France victory.

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Wednesday 01 August 2012

Landmark achievement for women’s football

Last night Great Britain women’s football team beat Brazil 1-0 in front of 70,584 spectators at Wembley.

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Tuesday 31 July 2012

The Twitter Olympics?

It is one of the accepted wisdoms of Olympic media coverage that the great sporting festival affords an almost unique opportunity for experimentation with the latest technological developments.

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Friday 27 July 2012

Managing expectations

During the world swimming championships in 2009, Rebecca Adlington took third and fourth respectively in the 400m and 800m freestyle events having won both at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

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Thursday 26 July 2012

Tourism legacy

Mega sporting events such as The Olympics, The Commonwealth Games and the Football World Cup are important for reasons that extend beyond the events themselves.

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Monday 23 July 2012

Yellow to gold?

Winning the Tour de France is a truly impressive achievement; truly impressive.

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Friday 13 July 2012

From Amateurism to Olympism. How should one uphold a philosophy?

The Olympics were once the preserve of the amateur, who competed for the love of the sport without receiving payment.

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Thursday 12 July 2012

Celebrating 50 Athletes and 50 Years

It’s not long at all now before the Jamaican Track and Field teams arrive in this region for their pre-Olympic training.

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Monday 09 July 2012

Constructing a legacy

Whilst a number of the venues for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 are around the country, most of the events will be held in or around the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London.

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Thursday 05 July 2012

The cultural Olympiad and its impact on mental health and wellbeing

The Olympics are not just about the sporting events. The Cultural Olympiad which spans the four years before the Olympic Festival includes activities inspired by the event – 16 million people are said to have engaged in thousands of performances, workshops and events across the UK for the London 2012 games.

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Monday 02 July 2012

I will return

"I will return"... Muhammad Ali's famous quote after a shock defeat to Joe Frazier. Friday night saw the hotly tipped favourite for the 100m, Usian Bolt, beaten in the 100, final of the Jamaican trials.

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Wednesday 23 May 2012

Wolverhampton in the Olympic spotlight

Excitement is building around this summer’s Olympics, and it’s great that Wolverhampton is having its turn in the spotlight this weekend. The city is, as ever, pulling out all the stops for the torch relay which makes its way through our streets on Saturday.

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