This weekNext week
13-19 JULY 2013
Swinging into action
Teachers in the UK never seem happy - but then again, they're always under fire. The two largest unions announced further strikes over changes to their pay, pensions and working conditions. Get the brazier going.
One minute they're working on car production lines, the next they're beating Usain Bolt in the 100m. The International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots kicked off in Sydney, Australia.
Compare and contrast
England's education bosses said they will publish like-for-like school league tables so those on estates are not unfairly compared with those in leafy suburbs. Expect moans, though, as someone has to come bottom.
La Belle Musique
Masterclasses in the "beauty of the French musical repertoire" were laid on at Les Francofolies de La Rochelle festival in France. Headliner Rufus Wainwright put on his best French accent for the occasion.
Stick with it
With the memory of Wimbledon fading, sports fans took to the lawns once more for the British Open croquet championships in London's upmarket Fulham. Not an activity you see on the timetable very often.
The United Nations Human Rights Council was due to send a "Special Rapporteur", Najat Maalla M'jid, to Madagascar to look into the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography on the island.
say cheese, everyone
Nasa's Cassini probe is due to take pictures of Earth from deep space. The craft is now exploring Saturn, so our planet will appear as a tiny, pale blue dot between the planet's rings. Ever feel small? You should now.
20-26 JULY 2013
Excellent mixed-ability schools ahoy! The majestic sight of the Tall Ships Race coming in to port in Helsinki, Finland will be satisfying for boating fans. Next stop for the 100-ship race is Riga in Latvia.
Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud
The annual Boryeong Mud Festival in South Korea famously attracts English teachers in the country looking to let off steam. Just make sure pics of you wearing nothing but a gigantic face pack don't get on to Facebook.
Feeling old? Can't go on? Dreaming of your teachers' pension? The International Longevity Centre-UK is worried about how the government is responding to the ageing population and is due to launch a report.
Santa clauses coming to town
Believe it or not, more than 100 professional elves, pixies and St Nicks will be heading to the 56th annual World Santa Claus Congress in Denmark to discuss, among other things, present size and the best reindeer food.
Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is hosting World Youth Day celebrations, initiated by Pope John Paul II and first held in 1986. Young Catholics from around the world gather to celebrate their faith and swap mementos.
Singing Wagner's praises
With titles such as Der Ring des Nibelungen and Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg you can't go wrong with a Wagner opera. A sell-out five-week festival to celebrate the composer's works starts in Bayreuth, Germany.
Officially, only about 1,000 "native" speakers exist but that still puts it one up on Latin. Esperanto Day aims to promote the language, invented by L.L. Zamenhof to improve international understanding.