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Issue 478, 4 March 2002

In the news

Cyril Pearce's book Comrades in conscience: the story of an English community's opposition to the Great War was reviewed by the Guardian's Martin Wainwright. "Just occasionally a historian chisels open a jammed cobwebby window and reveals an astonishing view," he wrote. Pearce's book, featured in Reporter 472, focuses on Huddersfield where, contrary to accepted wisdom, there was 'an extraordinarily strong and coherent opposition to the "great" war'. The book is also on the New Statesman's list of recommended reading.

Public health nutrition unit director Joan Ransley joined BBC Radio 4's You and Yours to discuss her work using supermarket till receipts to estimate fat intake for households (see Reporter 475). She suggests that "advances in scanning technology could lead to a 'fat tally' of the foods in your trolley, compared on the receipt against UK recommended levels of fat."

Flying academics Dr Alastair Lewis and Dr Jim McQuaid (see also page 4) caught the imagination of local media as they borrowed a plane to monitor the effect of weather conditions on pollution around Leeds, (Reporter 477). Talking to the Yorkshire Post, Dr Lewis said: "We must be the only people at the moment who want this wild weather to continue. Under these conditions pollutants can go from the surface to four of five kilometres high in less than an hour." In the Yorkshire Evening Post he said: "It's quite a coup for us to get this plane. It costs around 5,000 for every hour it is up in the air, but the information we get will be well worth it."

Dr Stella Bradbury couldn't resist the Guardian's offer of 15 kilobytes of fame and submitted an image of a gamma ray to the paper's Andy Warhol competition. Her entry Fred the gamma ray can be viewed at Guardian Online.

Head of schools liaison office David Baker discussed Leeds' position as the UK's second most popular university according to UCAS applicant figures for September 2002 entry, with BBC Radio Leeds. Asked why the University was so popular, he said: "The University's excellent reputation, the huge spread of subjects we offer, that are in great demand, and the city, all play a part." The Yorkshire Evening Post stressed that Leeds remains the most popular university for applicants living in the UK and EU.

Leeds medical school welcomed a TV crew from Look North on the BBC's NHS day. Asked her view on the country's health system, third year student Elizabeth Harvey was upbeat: "From my perspective, my colleagues are very committed, dedicated and talented. The future of NHS looks bright."

Communications expert Dr Richard Howells joined BBC Radio 4's You and Yours debate on terms of endearment. Dr Howells suggested that although 'informality is de rigueur' the use of terms, such as 'dear' or 'sweetheart' to signify genuine friendship becomes more difficult.

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