Thursday, February 5, 2009

Graduate weird news

The president of Taiwan's College of Marine Sciences, Huang Wenshu, donned a wetsuit in July 2007 to hand out waterproof diplomas. The graduates were assembled in the aquarium of the National Museum of Marine Biology, which runs the college in partnership with the National Donghwa University.

Montana governor Brian Schweitzer (pictured) delivered the commencement address at the state's Opheim High School in May 2008. The graduating class: one student! Jeff Greenwood was student body president and, of course, senior class president. While the principal believes this was the first time Opheim High has graduated a single student, another Montana school had only one graduate last year. The speaker at the ceremony: Gov. Schweitzer!

News broke today that a graduate student at the University of Leeds is suing the school after turning down a settlement of £500. Doctoral candidate Daniel Bennett spent 2 years in the field, studying the rare Butaan lizard, a close relative of the Komodo dragon. He and his team collected samples of excrement from the jungle floor in the Philippines to investigate the lizard's diet, population size, and behavior. Back at the University, he discovered that his collection had been "accidentally" thrown away by technicians clearing space in a laboratory. Bennett explains, "Returning to Leeds from fieldwork, I was surprised to find my desk space occupied by another student and to see that photographs of my daughter, my girlfriend, and my favourite lizards had been removed from the wall. My personal effects had been carefully stowed in boxes, but there was no sign of my 35kg bag of lizard [poop]." Luckily, Bennett was able to complete his thesis--without reanalyzing his data...

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