News in brief – Week 4

Isis body named

Police have identified the man found dead in the Isis last week as Andrew Swadling, a 35-year-old local resident.

Swadling’s body was found near Folly Bridge on 12 May. Investigators have not yet determined a cause of death.

Local police would like to speak to anyone who was in the area the morning of 12 May. Anyone with information can contact Thames Valley Police via the 24-hour Enquiry Line on 08458 505 505 or call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

–Winston Featherly-Bean

Siphoning out error

It has taken 99 years for an error in the Oxford English Dictionary to finally come to someone’s attention.

Recently an Australian physicist noticed the mistake whilst researching a large national siphon.

He found that there is much contention over the definition of a siphon, with many dictionaries falling into the same trap of attributing the force behind them to atmospheric pressure rather than gravity.

The dictionary’s revision team, who heard from the scientist Dr Hughes just as they were revising the entries beginning with R, acknowledged that this error first appeared in the 1911 edition.

–Lindsay Oldham

Ivy isn’t evil

Ivy is good for old buildings, Oxford researchers have learned.

It plays a protective role and acts as thermal shield to buildings, combating the extremes of temperature which often cause walls to crack.

Professor Heather Viles said the result of the study vindicates the plant.

“Ivy has been accused of destroying everything in its path and threatening some of our best loved heritage sites. Yet these findings suggest that it not only provides colourful foliage and protection from the effects of pollution,” Viles said.

–Brogan Kear

Grad explosion

For the first time Oxford has received more applications for its graduate programs than for its undergraduate degrees, according to new University figures.

There are over seventeen thousand postgraduate applications this year – and just over fifteen thousand for undergraduate places.

Oxford director of graduate admissions, Jane Sherwood, told The Times that the recession “seems to be an obvious factor”.

–Winston Featherly-Bean