Tall Tales

University to launch course about Harry Styles

And other stories from the stranger side of life

A university in the US is offering a course on Harry Styles. Texas State University Honors College will run a course entitled “Harry Styles and the cult of celebrity: identity, the internet, and European pop culture”. It will focus on the former One Direction heartthrob and popular European culture “to understand the cultural and political development of the modern celebrity as related to questions of gender and sexuality, race, class, nation and globalism, media, fashion, fan culture, internet culture and consumerism”. The Telegraph noted that US universities have previously offered courses on Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Beyoncé.

Rare Shakespeare folio to sell for £2m

A rare copy of a first folio of Shakespeare’s plays is expected to sell for as much as £2m when it goes to auction today, The Times reported. The book, which has doodles and scribblings in its margins dating back to the 1600s, was described by auctioneers Sotheby’s as one of the most important in the English language. “The compelling marginalia include fragments of prayers and some doggerel verse, but the only response to Shakespeare’s text is in the marking of three speeches in Julius Caesar,” said a spokesperson. Another printing of the First Folio sold in 2003 for £3.5m.

Reading can give you younger thinking skills

Reading a newspaper, magazine or book can give you the thinking skills of someone 13 years younger. A new study published in the journal Neurology found that participants who during the past 13 months had read magazines, newspapers and books, or had gone to classes and played cards, games or bingo, had a thinking speed of someone 13 years younger. “To know that people could potentially improve their cognitive reserve by taking simple steps… is very exciting,” said Dr Judy Pa, author of the study.

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