This weekNext week
4-10 JANUARY 2014
The England cricket team was finally put out of its misery after collapsing overnight in Sydney to end the latest Ashes series against Australia in a 5-0 whitewash. Well, at least the sun was shining over there.
On a brighter note for the Brits, this and the next two days have historically been the busiest of the year for summer holiday bookings, with half a million people taking to their laptops to plan their escapes.
Back to reality
You've boiled up the turkey carcass and put away the decorations. Now it's time to feed the Christmas tree into the garden shredder in a bitter and jaded mood, and then prepare for the return to school.
Academics from Stanford University in the US said that an extra 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks could avert 11.2 million cases of obesity and 400,000 cases of type 2 diabetes in India over the next 10 years.
There were bags of boffins and tons of talks at the Association for Science Education's annual conference at the University of Birmingham in England. About 3,000 science educators were expected to attend.
In technology, seven years is like seven centuries. On this day in 2007, Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's first iPhone. Costing an almost literal arm and a leg, it triggered a hand-held revolution. Bring on Google Glass.
Tintin first appeared in a Belgian newspaper on this date in 1929. The character later featured in a series of iconic comic books popular with teachers of French. "How do you say 'blistering barnacles' again, Miss?"
11-17 JANUARY 2014
When in Rome (or Wales)...
Roast stuffed testicles, anyone? This and more will be on the menu when Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales celebrates the ancient Roman drinking festival of Saturnalia. There's also a chariot race and toga party.
The annual No Pants Subway Ride will take place in New York City, alongside a No Trousers on the Tube Day in London. The phenomenon brings new meaning to the phrase "Mind the gap".
The saga continues
Actor Orlando Bloom celebrates his 37th birthday today. Better known as Lord of the Rings' elf-hero Legolas, he was named after a 17th-century composer, Orlando Gibbons. Music teachers will surely be impressed.
Happy old new year
Many Orthodox Christians will celebrate their New Year with church ceremonies. Macedonians mark it by hiding a coin in a Maznik pastry. Whoever finds it gets a year of good luck - or possibly a broken tooth.
Primaries under pressure
Primary school places are a big deal in England because in many areas there simply aren't enough to go around. Panicky parents must file applications for their preferred schools by today.
Say it with flowers
Thailand's official Teachers' Day takes place and public schools are closed. International schools stay open but hold special ceremonies to show appreciation for their teaching staff.
Party at Patras
Just when you thought all the fun was over, the Greeks come in dressed as dragons. The Patras Carnival begins today, kicking off six weeks of parades and cultural events. Not a patch on the school assembly.