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8:06am Saturday 14th July 2012 in Way we were
100 years ago
The results in many of the contests at the Olympic Games had led to a great deal of discussion, apparently because the British competitors had not succeeded in carrying everything before them. They were not expected to do so.
Most people in a position to venture an opinion on the subject predicted that the representatives of England would return with comparatively few prizes from Stockholm, but because that prophecy had in some measures been fulfilled there was scarcely sufficient justification to say, as some were saying, that an “impression was being conveyed to the foreigner that we were a people of decadence.”
It was, of course, regrettable that our men had not won a commanding lead over all others, and there was something humiliating to find Great Britain behind the American athletes, but was it quite true to say that, in the matter of athletics we were decadent?
Here and there we had fallen away, but that had not been for the want of perseverance on the part of those who took an active interest in athletics.
50 years ago
Four giant high-altitude balloons, each with a capsule containing two rhesus monkeys and four hamsters, would soon be launched to test the effects of cosmic rays on the animals.
A spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said the balloons were expected to rise to at least 24 miles.
The balloons, 300 feet in diameter, would be launched near Goose Bay, Labrador, and were expected to fly about 2000 miles westwards. They would be recovered in the Edmonton (Alberta) area about 55 hours later.
The animals would be exposed to about 50 per cent of the primary cosmic radiation effects of deep space.
25 years ago
York University had adopted a new “open” information policy on students’ examination marks in line with the latest government legislation.
The university had launched a policy of revealing full details of a student's exam marks as well as the grades in a move that had delighted many students. The new Data Protection Act obliged universities to disclose marks because they were stored on a computer.
But the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, representing the heads of universities throughout the country, feared the law was too complex for universities who wished to keep the results quiet and had issued their own guidelines for how to avoid the restrictions.
Vice-Chancellors issued their own code of practice which pointed out that a loophole existed which allowed response for information to be delayed for up to 40 days by which time the information could have been cleared in a routine way.