13 November 2013

Students get stuck on roof, Grads turn to teaching, Stop premium rate numbers…

Drunk Students get stuck on Cathedral roof

Durham CathedralFour students at Durham University needed rescuing from the roof of the town’s Cathedral after a dare went wrong.

The operation required two fire engines and a police helicopter, with the Dean of Durham issuing a strong statement about the idiocy of the students.

Our take: It’ll certainly be an interesting game of “I have never…” when someone follows the statement with “got stuck on the roof of a world heritage site and was condemned by the church in the aftermath”. We’ve all done stupid things when drunk, but come on, if you’re going to climb a building, at least make sure you know your way down.

SLC (and other Gov’t helplines) cost callers millions

saynoto0870logoPremium call lines for government departments are costing callers a combined £56 million/year.

The Student Loans Company is one such organisation which has an extortionate premium number, and often long waiting times on hold,  despite the fact that it is a vital part of the UK’s higher education system.

Our take: It’s just not fair that vulnerable people are being ripped off by the government, the Bereavement Service and Victim Support also have expensive phone lines, but if you’re lucky you’ll probably avoid them as a student. What is inevitable though, is having to call Student Finance, presumably to ask for a bigger loan to pay your phone bill.

Psssst… if you check out our advice here you can call them for free 😉

Awks Vid: Students mistake vid camera for stills camera

awkward student videoNottingham Trent University Students Union posted a video to Youtube recently featuring a montage of students who have fallen for the oldest camera trick in the book.

The students thought that they were posing for a photo but instead were being filmed on video. You can see the awkward, yet funny, results here.

Our take: Still not as awkward as last week’s video from LSU… We love a good prank (as long as it’s good natured) and this is one of our favourites. It seems like the SUs of the UK are on a campaign to see who can produce the latest viral hit and we love it. At least the Harlem Shake/Gangnam style crazes are well and truly dead.

More top Grads choose Teaching

teacher memeA new study has revealed that more graduates with 1st or 2:1 degrees have gone into post grad teaching courses.

The record numbers also show that over 90% of newly qualified Teachers found employment just six months after completing their course.

Our take:  It’s great news that more top graduates are choosing to go into teaching, hopefully this will lead to more top graduates in future generations. The 90% employment figures aren’t to be sniffed at either.

It’s all so much fun that we’re not even going to mention the possibility of having too many teachers in the future or that people might be picking teaching because the rest of the job market is so empty. Not even going to bring it up…

Exeter Uni flip-flops on paying living wage to staff

living wageThe University of Exeter has come under criticism this week as it changed its policy of staff pay just weeks after promising to pay them all the Living Wage.

The institution has since ruled that apprentices and casual staff, about 3000 people in total, will not be included in the campus-wide £7.45 per hour minimum.

Our take: It’s hard to see what the game plan is here from Exeter. Any possible good will they gained from saying they will pay all staff a living wage, they instantly lose by changing their position. If they purposely mislead people it’s just cruel and vindictive and if the misinformation was announced accidentally it makes them look weak and disorganised.

State of the Machin: On tinydeathstar

tinydeathstarGuess what? I’m addicted to a new smartphone game.

Regular readers (which should be all of you by now) may remember that I few weeks ago I dedicated this entire column to singing the praises of The Simpson’s Tapped Out. And while I still agree with most of things I said about the game, I seem to have lost interest in it.

The combination of the end of of the Halloween themed missions, the huge experience meters to fill up and long wait times on buildings/activities have completely killed most of the enjoyment I was having in the game.

Luckily though, another major studio, perhaps more accurately the ghostly shell of an incredible game studio now owned by one of the largest entertainment corporations on the planet (more on this in paragraph four), has brought out a new management simulation mobile game, complete with microtransactions for imaginary in game currency, long wait times and arbitrary missions.

Which would be deplorable, if it wasn’t about building and running the Death Star from Star Wars and it has retro 32bit style graphics. The game also isn’t shy from throwing the premium currency your way, making it feel like a natural part of the game, rather than a financial lock out of progress.

You get rewarded for adding new levels (the core gameplay) as well as granting access to fellow baddies like Boba Fett or catching invading rebel scum like Princess Leia or Lando Calrissian.

The icing on the cake is that the game is made by LucasArts, which was all but killed earlier this year. Left only to churn out cookie cutter Star Wars games for the gullible fools who are way to emotionally invested in a film franchise (me).

However, from the old school graphics, and the often amusing take on social media that is the Death Star’s Holonet (example post: Bria Kenobi “New roomate Tyria is scared of the letter Q”) gives you a hope that there’s still some life and wit in the studio which brought Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion and Grim Fandango into the world.

That got you in the mood? Get it on iPhone here or Android (both for free).

And that’s the State of the Machin.

Share this page :)




Leave a comment



Leave a comment without Facebook