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OpenLearn Live: 4th February 2016

Updated Thursday, 4th February 2016

The other Anne Hathaway; a new name for McGraw Hill and increasing levels of bottled water. Then more free learning through the day.

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OpenLearn Live makes sense of free learning by linking it to your world. This page will be updated during the day.

Yesterday, we discovered Welsh, calculated with Ada Lovelace and thought about consumerism

See the complete collection of OpenLearn Live

Today's posts

BBC Radio 4, 8.30pm tonight: The Bottom Line

Tonight's edition of our co-production which looks at business from the top down turns its attention to renewable energy.

Listen to the programme online (obviously not before 8.30)

See more about this episode of the Bottom Line

Take our Could you power your postcode challenge

McGraw Hill changes names

McGraw Hill started out printing railway magazines, and since has expanded into a global financial conglomerate. Realising that one of its brands - Standard and Poor - is probably better known than the names of its venerable founders, McGraw Hill has announced plans to rebrand as S&P Global. The Financial Times notes that they've avoided the trap of many corporations when they rebrand:

It’s a name change that at least sounds like it didn’t require an army of highly paid consultants to come up with.

Getting a brand right isn't easy - as our short marketing course extract, Brand Vision, shows:

If a brand is to thrive, the team behind it must have a stretching vision about what the future environment in which the brand will exist should be like, at least 10 years ahead. We firmly believe that it is important to say ‘at least 10 years ahead’, as we want to encourage managers to stop incremental projections and to develop a more challenging, lateral view about the future. To be appreciated, a brand needs to bring about welcomed change and, by thinking a long way into the future, managers should not consider themselves to be shackled by the current constraints under which they operate. They also need to remember that environments change and a brand has to be able to adapt accordingly.

Read the full article: Brand Vision

Water, water, everywhere... in bottles

The Economist has published a chart today showing the places where bottled water is being guzzled:


Yes, yes, it's from Google+, settle down at the back. Get to know some of the issues around bottling a product that many of us have piped to our homes and workplaces:

Take our Your Brand, Your Choice: Water challenge

Read the OU's Dick Morris on bottled water

Watch Professor Declan Conway on water and energy in China

Try our free course Potable water treatment

The people in the poems: Anne Hathaway

This week, we're getting started each morning with the story of a person behind a poem. Yesterday, we met the couple in An Arundel Tomb; today, we're catching up with Anne Hathaway.

A possible, though much disputed, image of Anne Hathaway, drawn on the verso of the original title page in the Third Folio (1663) of Shakespeare's works Creative commons image Icon JschneiderWiki under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

Anne Hathaway is a poem by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Anne, the person, is both well-known, and little-known; she was Shakespeare's wife, but beyond that we know little of her. It's not even clear that the picture above this piece is of Anne - people guess that it is, but it was captioned "Shakespeare's consort" without a name. This is Anne: a name without a story, a picture without a name.

She might not even have been called Anne - although that's the name that appears on most of the records about her, there's a possibility she could have started out Agnes. Her early life saw her growing up on her father's farm in Shottery, near Stratford; she was older than William Shakespeare and the couple married in haste when their courtship had turned to an unexpected pregnancy. Much has been written about the pair's relationship; nearly all of it is speculative. It is known that when William was tempted from the side of the Avon to the side of the Thames, Anne remained in Stratford with the children. In 1597, having started to make a fortune as a writer (this was a long time ago) William bought New Place in Stratford, at last giving Anne a household of her own (hitherto, she had been living with her father-in-law).

Anne's best-known appearance in history comes from Shakespeare's will:

I gyve unto my wief my second best bed

This gives Anne Hathaway (the poem) an epigraph, and a focus - a sonnet written from Anne's perspective, about her passion and lost husband:

My living laughing love –
I hold him in the casket of my widow’s head
as he held me upon that next best bed

To be known mainly for not being quite good enough for the best bed might have been ignominy enough; now, Anne has the pain of being the second-best Anne Hathaway, too - Wikipedia will take you first to the actress, with the senior Anne tucked away behind a link to a disambiguation page. As you read biographies of her, stuffed with "it seems obvious that" and "she probably would have" and "it is more than likely that a woman of her background would", you might wonder if there's ever really any possible disambiguation of Agnes Hathaway.

Read a description of Shakespeare's family life

Try our free course What Is Poetry?





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