Review of the Week – 16 to 22 January 2012
That Was The Week That Was
Week Three has come to an end, but the most recurring news story of the last seven days is still the Costa Concordia disaster of last week. Thirteen people are now known to have died, 64 have been injured, and twenty are still missing. We’ve heard many interesting – and several strangely laughable – quotes from the coastguard, Gregorio De Falco, to the captain: “Vada a Bordo, Cazzo” (get back on board, for ****’s sake”); and also from the captain himself, who allegedly claims he “tripped and fell into the lifeboat“. Whatever happened, though, the investigation into the accident is only just beginning.
In other news, Dutch teenager Laura Dekker today became the youngest person to sail around the world single-handed, almost a year since she set off. However, she’s being refused the world record because both the sailing authorities and Guinness want to discourage young solo attempts. As YouTuber eKriZZLe put it: “Wow…that’s messed up. ‘We know you set a world record, but we’re not going to give it to you because you’re too young.'” Personally, I think it’s a shame that such brute determination – going against rulings of her school, and against greater odds whilst on the water – has been met with a refusal to reward remarkable success.
The shutter closed on American photographic company Kodak, as they filed for bankruptcy. They’re now in complex arrangements, reshuffling the business to try and turn around the terrible state that they’re in. In other film news, Project Pinewood has been given the red light. The £200m scheme was meant to create living, breathing film sets, where homes were hidden behind a London street market facade, or a downtown New York street.
And, of course, Elly Nowell, who wrote a letter to Magdalen College at Oxford. “Much to my surprise,” the 19-year-old would-be student explains, “it has become a bit of an internet hit, and has provoked reactions of both horror and amusement.” That it has. Its content? A parody of the rejection letters that they themselves send thousands of soon-to-be disappointed students every year. Telegraph columnist Mark Norman wrote: “Were I the admissions officer of Magdalen […] I would drive to Elly’s home in Hampshire and beg her to reconsider.” All in all, she’s a brave, clever, and witty person, to whom I wish every success for the future. I just hope she doesn’t come to regret that extremely brave decision she made.
“I have now considered your establishment as a place to read Law (Jurisprudence). I very much regret to inform you that I will be withdrawing my application. I realise you may be disappointed by this decision, but you were in competition with many fantastic universities and following your interview I am afraid you do not quite meet the standard of the universities I will be considering.”
— Extract from Elly Nowell’s ‘rejection letter’ to Magdalen College
Photo of the Week
This week’s Photo of the Week is of the planet Jupiter, as seen through a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope last night, during an activity that was part of Stargazing Live (a BBC-led week of programming and outdoor events). It’s not the best snap I’ve ever taken: it’s blurry, noisy, and requires cropping to make out the two lines. But it’s a rare shot that not many will get, and reminds me of the great fun I had last night at Braywick Park.
Quote of the Week
“Street of Shame which is, as its title suggests, two pages devoted to the malpractice of journalists in the old Fleet Street and beyond; nearly all those stories are given to us by other journalists. It being a loyal profession.”
This Week’s Number One
‘And Finally’ Story of the Week
“The Artist is being tipped to collect a raft of Baftas – but some cinemagoers are demanding their money back because it is a silent film. The tribute to 1920s Hollywood, the black and white movie has already won three Golden Globe awards for its dazzling portrayal of the pre-talkie era. But audiences at some Odeon Cinemas are unimpressed by the homage to the “Golden Age” of silent films and a smaller-than-usual screen.”