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The Course Awakens: Philosophy in Star Wars

For fans of Star Wars, the attraction is not only the technology and special effects but the epic drama of the characters, the forces acting upon them and the choices they must make. The themes of good and evil, light and dark, the idea of characters choosing their own paths and the far-reaching consequences of those decisions, are appealing and engaging because they are rooted firmly in classic drama and tragedy. The conflict the characters have with their own destinies is central to the franchise, and it is appropriately riddled with philosophical and spiritual questions.

Ace in the hole: understanding 7-card stud poker

Having an ‘ace in the hole’ is a popular expression which means to hold a hidden advantage or secret weapon. It comes from the game of stud poker, a version in which a mix of face-up and face-down cards is dealt at the beginning of a series of betting rounds. The face-down cards are called ‘hole’ cards, and any valuable card that lurks there is called an ‘ace in the hole’.

Learning with your Latté: PopUp College

Many bookshop chains in the United States have a coffee bar where shoppers can read in comfort with a pastry and a skinny latté or caramel macchiato. It’s a pretty good business idea, because even as people are evaluating books and making buying decisions, the store is selling them coffee. For the customer, it beats leafing through books whilst standing in aisles.

Rent-a-Spook: private detective school

What do private detectives actually do? Well, they don’t spend all their time solving murders. The police tend to deal with that. In reality what private detectives do is work that the police won’t or can’t do, don’t have time and resources for, have failed at, or are not required to do. PIs are also often employed by people who for various reasons do not want the police to be involved. And they are not all men.

Grape expectations: Christmas in Spain

Christmas does not come with a global user manual. There aren’t really any written protocols for what must happen in every country on Christmas Day. There is plenty of variety in how religious or secular the last week of December is, when and how gifts are given, what is eaten, and what traditions are observed. Over the years each country has made up the celebration of Christmas in its own way, created its own iconography and found its own blend of the Pagan and the Christian, the culinary and the playful.

Learn Bushcraft with Ray Mears

You are lost and alone in the wilderness. For the first day or two, it isn’t too bad apart from the mosquitos. You’re going to be rescued, right? On day three you’re concerned but still aiming to catch the next episode of The Walking Dead. But around day four, when nobody has shown up yet, the reality sinks in and you must start to plan your survival for however long it takes until civilisation comes looking for you, or until you find it again.