8-year-old off to university

He set a record by completing elementary, junior-high and high school curricula in just nine months and now is being admitted as a freshman to the Physics Department of Inha University in Incheon, west of Seoul.

With no school record to rely on for screening Yoo-geun’s qualifications, the university interviewed him in October and he surprised professors by explaining the Schroedinger equation.

Song Yoo-geun, 8, wants to build flying cars and as Korea’s youngest university student he may very well realise that dream.

Father Song Soo-jin, 46, who is against prodigy schools said: “I believe, above all, the first priority in education is to make every child happy.”

“The single most important thing in education is to find a favourable, encouraging environment for a kid – in other words, let him be,” he concluded.

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2005: Newspapers worst year

A Goldman Sachs report says this year has been the worst year in newspapers’ revenues since 2000-2001, and meaningful growth in 2006 is “very unlikely.”

National advertising was almost flat at 1.0 percent while the only bright spots are classifieds, both print and online, which was up 4-5 percent, and online newspaper revenues, which are projected to grow an impressive 25 percent in 2006.

Despite this, online still represents only 5.0 percent of total newspaper revenues.

The good news is newsprint prices are likely to fall slightly in 2006, as demand falls more quickly than production capacity. Even so, this good news is scant relief for an industry besieged by “flat ad revenues, falling stocks, and fleeing subscribers.”

Last week, Rishad Tobaccowala, chief innovation officer for Publicis Groupe, told a newspaper–the Chicago Tribune–”newspapers are at a tipping point,” in which online media will start to take more readership and more ad dollars.

He added that newspapers are in the worst situation of all news media for growth as “the least visually engaging and least youth oriented” medium.

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