The newly refurbished ground floor of the library has been open for a couple of weeks, but the 'stylish' 1970s brown metal finish is already looking scuffed. Before the building had even re-opened, signs appeared on the metal work, warning that "in direct sunlight the metal surface may be hot". These were mysteriously moved onto the neighbouring glass, leaving gooey squares to reveal the original location: the heat had melted the glue on the sellotape.
Live! wonders how long these signs will remain - perhaps until the gulf stream shifts and we never have any sunshine at all?
The seemingly unending drift of Imperial academics into Government service is apparently having an effect, with the current degree classification system being labelled a 'farce' by the chair of a committee of MPs investigating degree standards. They highlighted the absurd situation where institutions can give out as many firsts as they like, as long as they meet their internal criteria for marking. The committee is calling for a better regulated system, so employers know what a 'first' means. Those at Imperial know only too well how unfair the current system can be, when someone can leave with a 2.2 and still be better educated that students from some other universities who leave with firsts - yet employers insist on a 2.1, in some cases regardless of where it came from.
A Marquee by Any Other Name
College appear to have rather missed the point about limits on having a marquee on the Queen's Lawn. The previous Rector, Sir Richard Sykes, agreed with most of the college population that the lawn was an ideal place to relax on a summers day, so the length of time a marquee could be up was limited. However, relaxing on the lawn is still not an option, as it has been fenced off since the last one came down in order to let the grass recover.
After the 2007 marquee came down the lawn needed returfing completely, so College are presumably keen to keep their investment. Live! suspects the miserly reputation of the division tasked with looking after the grass has something to do with its longevity...
Down the Toilet
The multi-million pound refurbishment of toilets in the Huxley building had people screeching with delight when it was completed, as they saw the new Dyson Airblade hand dryers being installed. Positioned in all their glory next to the paper towel dispenser, they are unfortunately little more than decorative items. A notice above the Airblades proudly proclaims that they do not work, but to use the paper towels instead, a month after their installation. It seems Facilities Management can't even blow hot air, something most departments in College excel at.