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4th January 2013 at 00:00

THIS WEEK

29 DEC 2012 - 4 JAN 2013

SATURDAY

Brought to books

Long live the printed word. Boosted by the run-up to Christmas, booksellers revealed their best weekly sales figures in three years, The Guardian reported. Has the fightback against the Kindle begun?

SUNDAY

Adoption rules ignored

Social workers are ignoring rules not to block adoptions on ethnic grounds, according to The Sunday Times. It reported that councils were still matching parents and children by ethnicity, despite guidelines to the contrary.

MONDAY

Year out, year in

10... 9... 8... and so on. The countdown arrived, champagne corks flew and fireworks lit up the night sky. It was goodbye to 2012 and hello to, erm, 2013. Happy New Year!

TUESDAY

Stepping back from the brink

The US Congress reached a deal that prevented Americans from toppling over the fiscal cliff. Apparently this means that a return to recession in the US has been averted. Economics teachers, it's over to you.

WEDNESDAY

Scientists assemble

A roomful of scientists, but not a lab coat in sight. The Association for Science Education's annual conference kicked off at the University of Reading. This is the 50th year of the ASE - happy golden anniversary.

THURSDAY

One author to rule them all

Raise your glasses, fans of Middle-earth, for it is the birthday of J.R.R.Tolkien, who was born today in 1892 in South Africa. As well as writing The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he was a university professor.

FRIDAY

Bravo for braille

Today is World Braille Day, held on the birthday of Louis Braille, the inventor of the reading system that revolutionised the lives of people with impaired vision. It is also the start of National Braille Week in the UK.

Next week

5-11 JANUARY 2013

SATURDAY

Tidy up your tinsel

Quick, it's time to get the decorations down. Today marks Twelfth Night and an official end to the Christmas period, at least as far as the Church of England is concerned. Others argue it falls tomorrow.

SUNDAY

Bring on the summer

This is probably a wheeze dreamed up by the travel industry, but apparently 5-7 January is the most popular time for booking summer holidays, with half a million of us sticking a pin in the map. Where do you fancy?

MONDAY

All good things must end

Lessons plans done, marking completed and rest and recuperation over with. All you need to do now is remember to set the alarm clock because the holidays are over. Good luck, one and all.

TUESDAY

Countdown to Christmas

All I want for Christmas is... The last lot of toys may be barely out of their boxes, but what will be hot come the next festive season is due to be unveiled at the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair.

WEDNESDAY

Happy birthday, your highness

The nation's favourite pregnant woman celebrates her birthday today, as Catherine Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, nee Middleton, aka the future queen and mother of a future monarch, turns 31.

THURSDAY

Academies findings due

Former Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert is to present the findings of a report on academies by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and the Pearson Think Tank.

FRIDAY

Festival breaks the ice

Scarves, gloves, chainsaws and chisels at the ready. The fifth London Ice Sculpting Festival begins today. International teams of chilly artists will compete in a series of timed contests.

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