Scottish university to introduce comic studies degree

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In the Central Lowlands of Scotland, the University of Dundee is to become the first university in the United Kingdom to provide degrees in comic studies. The university has said that courses for its comic studies subject within the English section will commence in September 2011.

The city of Dundee is known to be the headquarters for D. C. Thomson & Co., a publishing company whose works include various comic books, such as The Beano, The Broons, The Dandy and Oor Wullie. Dr. Chris Murray, a leading British authority on comic books, will be leading the comic studies programme. “This is a very exciting time for comics scholarship, and I am delighted to be able to offer this postgraduate course on comics,” he explained. “This is a unique opportunity to give this important medium the attention it deserves, and to allow those with an interest in comics to study it in detail.”

Those organising courses for the degree believe that comic books now appeal to adults as well as children due to their impact in the areas of politics, art and literature, as well as aspects of popular culture. Amongst the program will be the examinations of comics of an autobiographical nature and similarities with the culture of comic books on an international scale. Students who complete the Master of Letters learning program — running either full-time for a year and two-years if done part-time — will be eligible for a Doctor of Philosophy in comic studies.

Dr. Murray has also noted: “Employability is an important consideration for any postgraduate programme, and it lies at the heart of what we aim to do with this course. There will be practical advice on publishing and developing a career as a comics scholar, writer or artist, and we hope to arrange work placements for students. Comics and graphic novels are becoming an increasingly important form of literature, art and field of study, and it is our intention that our graduates are at the forefront either as researchers, writers, artists or filling other roles within the industry.”

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Wikinews interviews William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation

Regardless of who wins the prize, people all around the world will be able to experience the mission through high-def video-streams.
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Andreas Hornig, Wikinews contributor and team member of Synergy Moon, competitor in the Google Lunar X Prize, managed to interview Senior Director of Space Prizes William Pomerantz of the X PRIZE Foundation about the competitions, goals, and impacts via e-mail for and Wikinews.

By Wikinews,the free news source

Other stories: Science and technology
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Previous coverage
  • “Japanese probe snatches first asteroid sample” — Wikinews, November 26, 2005
  • “$20 million prize offered in lunar rover contest” — Wikinews, September 13, 2007

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

This article is part of a page redesign trial on Wikinews. Please leave comments or bug reports on this redesign.This interview originally appeared on, released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Credit for this interview goes to and Andreas -horn- Hornig.

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Failure for constitutional ban on flag-burning in U.S. Senate

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

An amendment of the United States constitution banning the burning of the American flag failed by one vote in the Senate on Tuesday. The final tally was 66-34; two-thirds (67 of 100 senators) was required for the amendment to pass.

U.S. President, George W. Bush, gave a statement commending the bipartisan group of Senators for trying to pass the amendment.[1] It was sponsored by Orrin Hatch, a Republican Senator from Utah, and backed by the Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist, of Tennessee.

Even though some members of each party voted for the amendment, some on both sides strongly dissented. Daniel Inouye, a Democrat from the state of Hawaii and a World War II veteran, said — like many other Senators including Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell — the proposed amendment was against the constitutional right to free speech.

Wikipedia has more about this subject:

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US Senate unanimously passes genetic nondiscrimination bill

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In a unanimous 95-0 vote Thursday, the United States Senate passed a bill that would forbid employers and health insurance companies from discriminating against someone based on information learned through genetic testing.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, described by Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy as “the first major new civil rights bill of the new century,” will now be sent back to the House of Representatives, where it could be approved as early as next week. President George W. Bush, who would have to sign the bill for it to become law, has voiced his support for the legislation.

The bill forbids employers from firing, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating against employees based on genetic information, such as a family history of a hereditary disease. It also makes it illegal for employers to request genetic information of an employee or the employee’s family.

Health insurance companies are also addressed in the bill, which forbids them from requesting genetic information or using such information to set premium rates or determine enrollment eligibility. However, insurance companies would still have the right to base one’s health coverage on the actual presence of a genetic disease.

Americans can now be confident that their genetic information cannot be used by health insurers or employers in harmful or hurtful ways.

“For the first time we act to prevent discrimination before it has taken firm hold and that’s why this legislation is unique and groundbreaking,” said Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, who sponsored the bill along with Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Mike Enzi. Snowe fears the threat of discrimination may discourage people from undergoing genetic testing, which can help to diagnose a wide range of diseases and lead to lifesaving therapy.

Kathy Hudson, director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center, reports that 92 percent are worried that information gained in genetic testing may be used against them. “After a very long wait,” she says, “Americans can now be confident that their genetic information cannot be used by health insurers or employers in harmful or hurtful ways.”

One part of the bill addresses this concern. “Federal legislation establishing a national and uniform basic standard is necessary to fully protect the public from discrimination and allay their concerns about the potential for discrimination,” the bill reads, “thereby allowing individuals to take advantage of genetic testing, technologies, research, and new therapies.”

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn initially blocked Senate action on the bill, warning that it could potentially lead to excessive lawsuits against employers and insurers. But after changes were made to the bill to ease his concerns earlier this week, he supported the legislation and allowed the Senate to vote on it. “We certainly improved the bill from a liability standpoint,” said Coburn, an obstetrician.

Similar bills were unanimously passed by the Senate in 2003 and 2005, but in both years the bill stalled in the House. The current bill was passed in the House of Representatives a year ago by a 420-3 vote. A genetic nondiscrimination bill was first introduced 13 years ago by New York Representatives Louise Slaughter, who says the House will “get it out to the White House as quickly as we can.”

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TECA celebrates 60-year anniversary with Taipei Audio Video Fair

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The 28th Taipei Audio Video Fair (TAVF), organized by the Taipei Electrical Commercial Association (TECA), featured not only some innovative domestic market exhibition ideas, but also offered a pavilion entitled the “Global Audio and Video History Corridor”, to showcase the audio and video industry’s world-wide history. Wikinews reporter Rico Shen attended the fair, which, this year, highlighted TECA’s 60th anniversary.

At the Taipei Grand Hotel (Yuanshan Hall), some participants (exhibitors) rented soundproof guest rooms, which offered the best quality and performance for audio experiences. With high-definition television becoming a popular topic, some pre-market or marketed wide-screen HDTVs featuring 1080p were exhibited at the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC Hall).

The TAVF show runs from November 8 to 12, closing at 8:00 p.m. (Taipei Time) each night except November 12, which has a closing time of 6 p.m. To assist visitors from The Grand Hotel, TWTC and TECA hired the Metropolitan Transport Corporation for an inter-hall shuttle service. The peak number of visitors are expected to be on the weekend after permitting minors under 120 cm to enter the showground.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Bill Bernhardt, Kitchener Centre

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bill Bernhardt is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kitchener Centre riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Please note that Bill provided his answers in “ALL CAPS”; due to the time constraints of this election coverage, it remains in this typographic style.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Wikinews Shorts: May 20, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, May 20, 2007.

Full report: David Hicks transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Australian prison

After five years in U.S. military custody, David Hicks has returned to Australia. Hicks was taken to the maximum security Yatala Labour Prison, where he will serve the rest of his 9 month sentence.

His lawyer David McLeod told reporters: “David is well and he enjoyed the trip. … He was very glad to be back on Australian soil.”

The flight in a government-charted airplane took 24 hours and is estimated to have cost 500,000 Australian dollars. According to his lawyer, Hicks was grateful to the taxpayers for paying his repatriation.

Hicks pleaded guilty before a special military court to providing material support to the Taliban. He was sentenced on March 30 to seven years in prison, but only needed to complete nine months of his penalty, which expires in December.

Related news

  • “First Guantánamo Bay prisoner sentenced” — Wikinews, April 1, 2007


  • “Hicks spends first night on Aussie soil” — Herald Sun, May 21, 2007
  • “David Hicks back in Australia” — Herald Sun, May 20, 2007
  • Dan Silkstone. “‘Overjoyed’ Hicks touches down” — The Age, May 20, 2007

The New York Times reports that the United States are making monthly payments to Pakistan, totalling about $1 billion annually, for their efforts against Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. The so-called coalition support funds continued unchanged after President Pervez Musharraf decided to cut back on patrols along the border with Afghanistan.

“They send us a bill, and we just pay it. … Nobody can really explain what we are getting for this money or even where it’s going,” the New York Times article quotes a senior military official involved.


  • David E. Sanger and David Rohde. “U.S. Pays Pakistan to Fight Terror, but Patrols Ebb” — New York Times, May 20, 2007
  • “`US aid to Pak should be tied to performance on war on terror`” — Zee News, May 20, 2007

Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert declared that: “If the measured steps we are taking, in the political and military sphere, do not bring about the desired calm, we will be forced to intensify our response.”

Olmert held Hamas and the Islamic Jihad militants responsible for the escalation in rocket attacks on Israel over the past week. Israel answered with daily bombardments on Palestine for the past six days. Meanwhile, the ceasefire between Hamas and Fatah seems to be holding, after a week of increased factional violence in Palestine.

Related news

  • “Israel responds to Hamas rockets with air strike on Gaza, killing four” — Wikinews, May 17, 2007


  • Reuters. “Israel threatens stronger military steps in Gaza” —, May 21, 2007
  • Jeffrey Heller (Reuters). “Israel to “intensify” Gaza strikes” — Swissinfo, May 20, 2007
  • AP. “Israel Strikes Hamas Militants Anew” — CBS, May 20, 2007
  • Sarah El Deeb (AP). “Israel strikes Hamas militants anew” — The Kansas City Star, May 20, 2007
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Stock Market 101: A Guide To How Things Work

By Jack Benson

In a nutshell, the stock market is a market place for business people. Goods are sold to the public in a public market. However, in the stock market, the public is sold share. Shares are the form in which company stock is sold. When a person purchases more shares in a company, they have a higher ownership in that company.

In the stock market, there is the primary market and the secondary market. In the primary market, companies sell shares to investors to raise financing for their operating expenses. In the secondary market, investors buy and sell shares in companies to other investors. Constantly changing market conditions are the basis of those buy and sell decisions.

A stock market operates much like an auction house, with a systematic way of buying and selling. The system in the stock market involves a great deal of bustling activity. Often there are people running around frantically, shouting and gesturing at one another.

The purchase and sale of stock starts at various places. A broker is contacted if a person wants to buy stocks in a certain company. The broker will take the investor’s money to the stock exchange to coordinate with a floor broker.

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In most cases, the floor broker works for the company selling stock. Right on the stock exchange floor, brokers buy the desired stock for the investor. Once the deal is made, it is communicated to a broker and the investor then becomes a stockholder of that particular company.

Investors may decide to sell their stock. Usually investors want to sell their stock when the price per share increases so they can realize a profit on their investment. For example, a person may purchase 100 shares at the price of $25 per share. When the price increases to $35 per share, the person can sell the 100 shares and make a profit of $1,000.

The driving force behind the stock market is the basic economic principal of supply and demand. The number of stocks open to the public is the supply. The number of shares that investors what to purchase affects the demand of the stock in a certain company.

The constant change in the cost of stock is a result of conditions in other markets. For example, if people feel that the economy is growing they are apt to purchase more stocks. However, when the economy is in a decline, the majority of investors tend to sell off their stocks. On the flip side, some investors use this time to buy because the stock prices are usually at a discount.

There are quite a few business people who make long term investments in the stock market. In some situations, stocks go down in value and a stockholder loses money. There is no guaranteed profit when investing in the stock market. Thus, when a person is flexible and able to handle the constant changes of the stock exchange they are more likely to experience a profit.

So this is how the stock market works. In the end, patience, education and experience usually equals greater long term success.

About the Author: For more information on “how does the stock market work?” — including a growing collection of tips, strategy and advice — visit:


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Wikinews interviews U.S. Libertarian presidential candidate James Burns

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wikinews held an exclusive interview with James Burns, one of the candidates for the Libertarian Party nomination for the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

Burns, the former chairman of the Nevada Libertarian Party, was asked if he thinks he has a good shot at winning the Libertarian nomination and ultimately the presidency. He replied, “My chances of winning are not all in my hands. I shall do my best, but it comes down to what others will do. What will you do?”

When asked about America’s shrinking middle class he said, “The economic policies of the US government are the cause our troubles. When I am President, the only economic policy I shall pursue is to be frugal with the funds of the United States.”

Burns believes that the President “is not ‘the leader of the free world,’ rather….a person who attempts to protect our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

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