Highlights of the Week – Friday 24 March

The Friday Countdown

A look at the announcements, our favourite events, things we have learned and general stuff we like in the past week. Let us know what we missed!

5. Emma Springs into Action

Emma, our Conference Sales Executive, has taken a leaf from the change of seasons and joined Get Out Get Active, who provide running sessions twice a week throughout the summer. On Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes they go out for a run in groups to socialise, have fun and get some fresh air. It is completely free, so if you are looking to up your fitness game and meet some new friends get your trainers on and join the fun!

Emma is pounding the pavement twice a week in preparation for her entry to the Great North Run, about which she had this to say:

“I may have got a little carried away during the ‘new year – new challenge’ season and seem to have found myself with a place in the world’s largest half marathon!

This is going to be a huge challenge for me. It doesn’t seem that long ago since running 60 seconds seemed impossible, never mind 13.1 miles! Let’s hope that with some dedication, and lots of training (with my so called friends who have persuaded me that this is a good idea) I will get over that finish line in one piece!

I have decided to join Team Alzheimer’s Society. My colleagues within the Facilities Directorate at the University of Leeds have voted to support Alzheimer’s Society throughout 2017.

I would be so grateful for any donation you can give; it will all help towards reaching our ambitious target and the money donated will help improve the lives of people with dementia.

Thank you for your support!”

So get involved and see if you can beat Emma’s time in the big event!

4. Be Curious 2017

Have you ever wondered what happens in a University? Ever been curious about the research done at the University of Leeds and what relevance it has to you and to the Leeds and Yorkshire area? Be Curious 2017 will be held at the University of Leeds, Parkinson building on Saturday 25 March 2017, 10am – 4pm so come along and find out.

This exciting, interactive event is free and suitable for everyone, of all age groups and families with an interest in Leeds and Yorkshire.

You can visit our microscopes which are some of the best in the world, view contemporary art, discover how the climate of Yorkshire has changed over the last 20,000 years, discover how Yorkshire finds itself in a crisis of an obesity epidemic and what can be done to combat this.

Come and hear the diversity of voices from Leeds Kirkgate market and others across the country. Come and look at and create biographies of public servants in Leeds, have a wise up to cancer check, and learn more about sustainable cities.

Be Curious 2017- Fish Jumping out bowl

There will be plenty of fun activities for younger children including a ‘Let’s go viral’ treasure hunt and learning how important it is to wash our hands. There will be opportunities to find out what links ice skating, Formula 1 racing, the textile industry and Disneyland! There will also be an inflatable dome, where we will be showing films throughout the day.

There is no need to book, just come along to our free event and become immersed in the vast array of work that goes on at the University.

3. Five Second Rule

Geoff Tooley, our Health & Safety Training Manager, is back again after being off last week (he will explain) to give you an insight into the wonderful world of food safety. This time he tackles the age old debate surrounding the five second rule…

“After being lucky enough to have last week off to watch the Cheltenham Festival, I noticed that Tuesday must have been a slow news day, as hours of discussions on the radio (yes, I still listen to the wireless) revolved around the five second rule.

As you probably know, the five second rule is if you drop food on the floor you are okay to pick it up and pop it into your mouth as long as you do so within five seconds.

Two so called “Food Experts” spent hours attacking each other in a debate which rivalled anything I have heard over Brexit.

So here is my take on the big discussion.

Firstly, why would you want to eat anything dropped on the floor? Just give a thought to what has been on the floor previously: shoes, socks, feet, other old bits of food, animals, dead skin, the business end of the hoover, and that is just the stuff you can see. If you want these ingredients to add seasoning to your dinner you are welcome to pick up that chip and give it a dust down on your jumper, but I will decline thank you very much.

Rachael and Chandler eating cheesecake off floor

Secondly, on my Food Safety Training Courses (which you are welcome to contact me about and come along to if you work at the University) I drop the marshmallow innards of a Tunnock’s Teacake – after licking the delicious chocolate off first – into hundreds and thousands. As soon as it touches them it picks up hundreds, if not thousands, of the sweet little things. Now imagine that these are on a microbe level and you will realise my point – time is not an issue. If there is something nasty like Bacillus Cereus, Listeria or Campylobacter has made camp there it will have instantly found a new home. In your stomach.

So let’s all count to five together and resolve to put food that has been dropped on the floor in the bin, or at the very least give it to the dog.”

Do you abide by the five second rule? Do you follow Geoff’s advice? Do you eat food that has been on the floor even longer than five seconds? Let us know!

2. Perpetual Motives

Back in 2015 Ryan, our Sales & Marketing Executive, was on sabbatical in Cape Town, South Africa (you can check out his tips for visiting the city here) and met a taxi driver with a secret: he had worked out how to create a perpetual motion machine.

After being quizzed, the taxi driver (who’s car ran on petrol, funnily enough) said he had the idea from the logo of the band Linkin Park, which is two triangles inside a circle, but did not want to give the fine details away as he was understandably wary of someone trying to appropriate the idea.

As you may be aware, we do not use our Capetonian dreamer’s machine for running vehicles or creating sustainable energy (we are still waiting patiently for teleportation too), but it piqued Ryan’s interest in the subject, which is why we are recommending this event…

Perpetual Motion Machine; Or, Dynamic Minds, Immobile Machines

What: Public Lecture, part of a series on History & Philosophy of Science in 20 Objects

When: Tuesday 28th March 6:30 – 7:30pm (tea/coffee available from 6:15pm)

Where: Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds

Perpetual Motion

Intriguing artefacts don’t come much more mysterious than our large late-nineteenth-century painting of a perpetual motion machine. Who designed it? Who painted it? How did we end up with it? These are just three of the questions that Dr Michael Kay and Professor Graeme Gooday will investigate in this lecture, which will address the history of the concept of ‘perpetual motion’, and the theory of thermodynamics which led to the decline of the idea.

And of course, the most obvious question about our puzzling picture will be answered: did it work? To demonstrate why it didn’t, and to indicate why the inventor may have believed that it could have done, Graeme and Michael will be joined by Andy Sloss, of the Leeds Hackspace group. Andy has constructed a working 3D model of the machine, which he will display and describe, in order to bring the painting to life.

We can’t wait to see the machine in action, so book your place and we’ll see you there!

1. Leeds Top Five for Student Experience

The University of Leeds is in the awards again, as we have been voted in the top five universities in the UK in the new Times Higher Education’s Student Experience Survey.

The University’s facilities, activities and societies, and student welfare and support all feature particularly strongly.

In a new measure for 2017 asking how likely students they were to recommend their university to friends, Leeds was in the top ten, in ninth position.

Professor Tom Ward, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education at the University of Leeds said:

“The exceptional student experience at Leeds is the result of the University’s close partnership with Leeds University Union, which ensures that students are involved at every level of university life.

Times Higher student experience survey

Being voted into the top five feels very encouraging, and I hope reflects the success of Leeds’ unique offer to students, which combines dynamic, research-based education with a strong emphasis on extra-curricular activities.

It is a true testament to our fantastic community of staff and students, who come to Leeds from all over the world.”

Let’s try and hit the top spot next year!

Just so you know, we do not have any association with any of the news outlets, film and podcast recommendations. The views expressed in these do not represent the views of the University of Leeds.