A few years ago, I was teaching here at The Institute, part-time for 2/18th of a salary. As I already had a job that scraped me into the top income tax bracket, most of the money I earned was clawed back by the government in tax. Given that I had a round-trip of 80km to work, after the petrol had been top-sliced, there wasn't much to show for my efforts to spread the word about bioinformatics and molecular evolution. At the end of the year, I asked the students how it had been for them, so that I might improve the content and delivery for those who came after. After some hum&haw, a couple of them piped up and said
"Could you not use such long words?"
"Well, my good students", I replied, "some technical terms are unavoidable in any advanced scientific course, can you give me an example of a word that you found alienating?"
I was at a loss, part of my mind was racing on to say bluffly that of course they knew that salient, as an adjective, means prominent or important; why, did they not remember the Ypres Salient from their studies of WWI? But the better part of my brain was shouting "Stop! you've said enough already", and I shut my gob in time. It was a salutary reminder that not everyone has had the doubtful benefits of a very expensive education.
Khartoum. Gordon died defying the odds in January 1885 and the British abandoned Sudan to an Islamic State for 15 years until the Battle of Omdurman in late 1898. Winston Churchill, future PM of the country next door, 'earned his spurs' with the charge of the 21st Lancers which was almost toooo Kipling altogether. That event, and the subsequent 'mopping-up' of the local people, put the British i/c the Sudan which they administered jointly as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. The following year, the administrative border between Egypt and its Southern dependency was set at 22oN just North of Wadi-Halfa, a way station on the Nile between Khartoum and Cairo: heck-and-all, it had to go somewhere and as it was all effectively part of the same country it didn't make much difference.
claimed it as the sovereign Kingdom of North Sudan. It seems that this was all to fulfill a promise made to his 5 year old daughter that Daddy will make you a Princess. A country needs more than a flag, a monarch and an heir apparent, so Heaton launched a national crowd-funding site yesterday and has already raised $1,000 of the estimated $250m required to fill the pirate chests in the inflatable castle. Princess Emily definitely needs a couple of tiaras and some sparkly shoes. All good fun and mostly harmless.