7th August 2009 at 01:00

Mad professor

As if things weren't going badly enough for the Learning and Skills Council, now it's got Stephen Hawking angry.

The physicist, who himself defies the limits of space and time by fitting a planet-sized brain in an ordinary-sized head, has weighed in on the college capital funding crisis.

He called on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to provide funding for the National Star College - which caters for disabled students rather than cosmologists - to complete its new buildings.

Kate Green, the college's capital appeals director, lamented that they have built a new driveway and entrance for students that now leads only to a "wasteland", which could stand as a metaphor for the whole debacle.

FErret appreciates Professor Hawking's concern and his efforts for a worthy cause, but really: where was he when we needed someone who could count to 2.3 billion?

Stand and deliver

Antony Gormley's One amp; Other exhibit on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square has been giving exhibitionists and publicity-seekers everywhere the chance to make a spectacle of themselves.

But one woman from Scarborough has used her time to promote the work of musicians at her local college.

Ann Foster spent part of her hour on the plinth painting, so at least somebody bothered to produce some artwork (Antony, we're looking at you and your lazy conceptual installation).

She also relaxed by playing a CD created by Yorkshire Coast College music students, while singing and dancing along, a gesture that might have been more useful exposure had it not taken place between midnight and one in the morning.

Andy Warhol said everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame. In fact, it turned out to be a full hour - the only catch is that your turn might be when all right-thinking people are asleep or drunk.

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