As Leon Trotsky gave a speech in 1917 as commissar of foreign affairs for the new Bolshevik government, a Columbia journalist sat among the spectators. When American troops stormed Omaha Beach in 1944, a Columbia journalism graduate landed with them. The school has published a collection, 50 Great Stories,written by alumni and spanning coverage of World War I through last year’s revolution in Egypt.

My mum definitely has plenty of harsh words about the ways I’ve mistreated my once long locks over the years, but to me they represent different times, different mistakes, and different triumphs in life.That first bleaching experience was with my best friend in our old flat. It was hilarious, and I got to go as Ginger Spice that Halloween.When my hair was singed off at an unnamed hairdressers, everyone at work lovingly called me yung mull (in honour of my mullet) for months afterwards.This is a self inflicted problem, but it definitely weeds out superficial or judgmental people from your life.Going on a first date with a mullet that Billy Ray Cyrus would be proud of emboldens you in ways you’d never imagine.You also quickly realise that your hair falling out which initially drops your self esteem down to zero is not a big deal. Life is too short to worry about these kinds of things, and I’m happy to look like a rainbow Sid Vicious if it means I can express myself.The only time I’ve ever not gotten a job thanks to my hair (a common concern) has been when I walked into a newsroom for an interview filled with suited middle aged men.

As many as 60 journalists have been killed in Mexico in the last 10 years. Who is committing these crimes, and what has this done to the state of the press there? If you look at the press today in Mexico, compared to 20 years ago, there’s a world of difference. It has become stronger and more important in the last decades.

And one of the painters who is best represented in that excellent collection is the local artist William Dyce, whose work also adorns walls in the Houses of Parliament and All Saints, Margaret Street in London. Dyce was not what you might think of as a typical Aberdonian anglo catholic, respected art historian, devotee of the painters of the Italian Renaissance but it worth remembering that this apparently far flung northern city also has Britain fifth oldest university and longstanding trade links across northern Europe and beyond. But for all his cosmopolitanism, Dyce remained thoroughly rooted in the land and history of Scotland North East corner.

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