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Golden Start to London Paralympics

The London 2012 Paralympics kicked-off on Wednesday night with a spectacular opening ceremony, before the Team GB athletes held up their side of the bargain with two gold medals on the first day.

Ceremony with a Message

The opening ceremony, whilst maybe not quite as spectacular as Danny Boyle's Olympic equivalent, was brilliant. A theme of scientific discovery and enlightenment ran throughout, and Professor Stephen Hawking was in the Olympic Stadium narrating the events going on around him. As a world-famous scientist who himself is severely disabled, he was the perfect candidate for such a role and brought with him the message: "Look at the stars and not down at your feet ... Be curious".

With the scientific theme running throughout, the ceremony started with a glowing, fiery orb that represented the Big Bang, before a pulsing mound of people came to represent the recent Higgs Boson particle discovery. There were hundreds of volunteers dancing with umbrellas, flying wheelchairs, spinning acrobats, giant human rights books and Ian McKellen reading Shakespeare. This was a ceremony that had a clear message but certainly didn't take itself too seriously.

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Shine! International Student Awards Winner Announced

Last Wednesday, the UK’s brightest and best international students gathered in London for the Shine! 2011 International Student Awards ceremony. Every year the Shine! Awards celebrate international students and what they bring to the UK.

Rather than focus on the academic side of things, they instead act as a way for students to tell the inspirational stories from their time studying in the UK.

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