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Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet: hoe een van de mooiste samenzweringen in onze samenleving wordt verraden

Van de 9.527 stemmers stemde 93% voor de aloude Zwarte Piet. Ik maak me geen illusie over de kleur van Zwarte Piet in de nieuwe afleveringen van "Dag Sinterklaas" (volgend jaar op VRT te zien).

'Bacha bazi' outrage after pandemic takes play to the small screen

When it comes to theatre and filmmaking in the West, portrayals of Afghanistan often don't go beyond women in blue burqas and men carrying AK-47s. But in 2017, two Americans attempted something unconventional.

The war game that could have ended the world

On 7 November 1983, around 100 senior military officers gathered at Nato headquarters in Brussels to ‘fight’ World War Three.

The forgotten mine that built the atomic bomb

Few people know what, or even where, Shinkolobwe is. But this small mine in the southern province of Katanga, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), played a part in one of the most violent and devastating events in history.

The nuclear mistakes that could have ended civilisation

It was the middle of the night on 25 October 1962 and a truck was racing down a runway in Wisconsin. It had just moments to stop a flight. Mere minutes earlier, a guard at Duluth Sector Direction Center had glimpsed a shadowy form attempting to climb the facility’s perimeter fence.

Coronavirus: Putin says vaccine has been approved for use

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a locally developed vaccine for Covid-19 has been given regulatory approval after less than two months of testing on humans. Mr Putin said the vaccine had passed all the required checks, adding that his daughter had already been given it.

Berlin murder: Slovakia to expel three Russian diplomats

Slovakia is to expel three staff from the Russian embassy in the capital, Bratislava, with local media reporting it is related to the murder of a Georgian man in Berlin last year. Authorities cited the abuse of Slovak visas for the expulsions.

When productivity becomes an addiction

Reza Jafery has been something of a workaholic since he was in first grade. Whenever he was assigned homework, he’d head straight for the library at the end of the day and would finish it before going home.

The deal that saved Seychelles’ troubled waters

Located around 1,600 kilometres (994 miles) off the coast of East Africa, the Seychelles is an ecological paradise. The archipelago of 115 lush and rocky islands sits amongst vast swathes of ocean, covering some 1.35 million square kilometres (521,000 square miles).

Lockdown home worker: 'Artificial office noise helps me concentrate'

Being forced to work from home during lockdown has been isolating for many. Some, like statistician Paul Hewson, have turned to websites providing artificial office noise to help.

Toshiba shuts the lid on laptops after 35 years

The Japanese giant Toshiba has sold its final stake in the personal computer maker Dynabook. It means the firm no longer has a connection with making PCs or laptops.

Coronavirus: What would working from home in Barbados really be like?

Bored of working from home, wishing you were on a beach instead? That could be a real prospect under a new scheme launched by the government of Barbados.

Obesity not defined by weight, says new Canada guideline

Obesity should be defined by a person's health - not just their weight, says a new Canadian clinical guideline. It also advises doctors to go beyond simply recommending diet and exercise.

Katie Mack: 'Knowing how the universe will end is freeing'

Terms like "heat death", "big rip" and "vacuum decay" don't sound all that inviting. And they aren't. They describe a few of the theories scientists have about how our universe will one day die.

Nakhchivan: The world’s most sustainable ‘nation’?

Chances are you’ve never heard of Nakhchivan. Jammed between Armenia, Iran and Turkey on the Transcaucasian plateau, this autonomous republic of Azerbaijan is one of the most isolated outposts of the former Soviet Union and a place few travellers ever visit.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: 75th anniversary of atomic bombings

It is 75 years since the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August, leading to the end of World War Two.

MV Wakashio: Locals in Mauritius try to stop oil spill

Volunteers in Mauritius are scrambling to create cordons to keep leaking oil from a tanker away from the island. MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on 25 July. The tanker has since begun leaking tonnes of oil into surrounding waters.

Detectorist 'shaking with happiness' after Bronze Age find

Experts said the discovery was of "national significance". The soil had preserved the leather and wood, allowing experts to trace the straps that connected the rings and buckles.

Jimmy Lai: Hong Kong media tycoon arrested under security law

Hong Kong business tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested and his newspaper offices raided by police over allegations of collusion with foreign forces. His case is the most high-profile arrest so far under the controversial security law imposed by China in June.

Venezuela: Former American soldiers jailed over failed coup

Luke Denman and Airan Berry were found guilty of conspiracy, illicit trafficking of weapons and terrorism. The pair were among 13 people arrested in May as they attempted to enter Venezuela by sea from Colombia.

Eleven die in fire in Czech Republic tower block

Police in the Czech Republic are investigating a fire that killed 11 people, including three children. Saturday's blaze, in a block of flats in the north-eastern town of Bohumin, has been described as the worst fire in the country's history.

Is the US about to split the internet?

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he wants a "clean" internet. What he means by that is he wants to remove Chinese influence, and Chinese companies, from the internet in the US.

Jerry Falwell Jr to take leave of absence after racy photo

The president of one of the world's largest evangelical Christian colleges has agreed to step aside after posting a photo of himself, trousers unzipped.

SpaceX: Musk's 'Mars ship' prototype aces 150m test flight

The uncrewed test vehicle rose up on a plume of exhaust before deploying its landing legs and touching down softly. The flight was carried out at SpaceX's test site near the village of Boca Chica in south Texas on Tuesday evening.

Mont Blanc: Glacier collapse risk forces Italy Alps evacuation

Italian authorities have evacuated about 75 people, mostly tourists, from an Alpine valley as huge blocks of ice threaten to crash down from a glacier. Planpincieux glacier, in the Mont Blanc massif, has weakened because of intense summer heat alternating with night-time cold.

New York attorney general sues to dissolve NRA

New York's attorney general has announced a lawsuit aimed at dissolving the powerful National Rifle Association over alleged financial mismanagement. Letitia James said the NRA had diverted millions of dollars to leaders including its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, for their personal use.

Teens arrested with AK47 at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida

Three teenage boys have been arrested after inadvertently entering President Donald Trump's Florida resort with a loaded AK47 assault rifle. The boys, aged 15, jumped a wall while fleeing and were later found hiding on the property.

City growth favours animals 'more likely to carry disease'

Turning wild spaces into farmland and cities has created more opportunities for animal diseases to cross into humans, scientists have warned. Our transformation of the natural landscape drives out many wild animals, but favours species more likely to carry diseases, a study suggests.

Don't demolish old buildings, urge architects

Footage of buildings being flattened in a noisy demolition may be a popular feature of local TV news reports, but architects say such structures should be protected - to fight climate change. They say property owners should be incentivised to upgrade draughty buildings, not just knock them down.

Nuclear blast sends star hurtling across galaxy

Instead, it sent the star hurtling through space at 900,000 km/hr. Astronomers think the object, known as a white dwarf, was originally circling another star, which would have been sent flying in the opposite direction.

Google-Fitbit takeover: EU launches full-scale probe

The European Commission will carry out a full-scale probe into Google's takeover of Fitbit. The announcement follows a preliminary review, and threatens to derail the purchase of the fitness-tracking firm.

Beirut blast: Dozens dead and thousands injured, health minister says

Videos show smoke billowing from a fire, then a mushroom cloud following the blast at the city's port. Officials are blaming highly explosive materials stored in a warehouse for six years.

NY attorney expands inquiry into Trump 'criminal conduct'

Monday's court filing suggests the inquiry is broader than alleged hush money payments made to two women who say they had affairs with Mr Trump. The Supreme Court ruled last month that lawyers could examine the tax returns.

IS prisoner issue a ticking timebomb for the West

The latent danger posed by thousands of defeated and captured fighters who joined the Islamic State (IS) group is festering and growing in the squalid, overcrowded prison camps of north-east Syria, where riots and attempted breakouts are becoming commonplace.

Five key moments from the big tech grilling

The heads of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google owner Alphabet appeared before US lawmakers on Wednesday night to defend their companies against claims they abuse their power to squash competitors. Here are five key moments from the hearing.

Nasa SpaceX crew return: Astronauts set for ocean splashdown

US astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have undocked their Dragon Endeavour capsule from the space station to begin their return to Earth. The pair are expected to splash down off the coast of Florida just after 14:40 local time (19:40 BST) on Sunday.

Beach SOS saves men stranded on tiny Micronesian island

Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a tiny, remote island in the western Pacific have been saved after rescuers spotted their SOS message on a beach. The men were found on Pikelot Island in Micronesia by Australian and US military aircraft on Sunday, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) said.

Donald Trump: US Treasury should get cut of TikTok deal

Donald Trump says the government should get a cut from the sale of TikTok's US unit if an American firm buys it. The US president said he made a demand for a "substantial portion" of the purchase price in a phone call at the weekend with Microsoft's boss.

Airbus to build 'first interplanetary cargo ship'

Airbus-France will build the huge satellite that brings the first Martian rock samples back to Earth. This material will be drilled on the Red Planet by the US space agency's next rover, Perseverance, before being blasted into orbit by a rocket.

Conservation dilemma over saving the giant panda

Saving the giant panda is one of the big success stories of conservation. Decades of efforts to create protected habitat for the iconic bear has pulled it back from the brink of extinction.

Bill English: Computer mouse co-creator dies at 91

The co-creator of the computer mouse, William English, has died aged 91. The engineer and inventor was born in 1929 in Kentucky and studied electrical engineering at university before joining the US Navy.

Wisbech man police feared had been killed found after five years

Ricardas Puisys, then 35, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, was last seen at his workplace in September 2015. No trace of him was found, but in November last year a Facebook account was set up in his name.

Boy swept out to sea at Scarborough 'followed TV advice'

The boy had been reported missing in the sea at Scarborough, North Yorkshire, on Friday. The town's lifeboat crew later found him floating on his back, with his arms and legs spread, shouting for help.

Spain's embattled ex-King Juan Carlos leaves country

Spain's former King Juan Carlos has left the country for an unknown destination, weeks after he was linked to an inquiry into alleged corruption. Juan Carlos, 82, announced the move on Monday in a letter to his son, Felipe, to whom he handed power six years ago.

Leon Fleisher: Pianist who battled hand condition dies at 92

Renowned American pianist Leon Fleisher has died from cancer, aged 92. Fleisher rose to prominence as a child prodigy in the 1940s but his playing career was disrupted by an injury to his right hand.

Whale sharks: Atomic tests solve age puzzle of world's largest fish

Data from atomic bomb tests conducted during the Cold War have helped scientists accurately age the world's biggest fish. Whale sharks are large, slow moving and docile creatures that mainly inhabit tropical waters.

Coronavirus: Iran cover-up of deaths revealed by data leak

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Iran is nearly triple what Iran's government claims, a BBC Persian service investigation has found. The government's own records appear to show almost 42,000 people died with Covid-19 symptoms up to 20 July, versus 14,405 reported by its health ministry.

Coronavirus lockdown: Ditching conventional living for a van

When Jennifer McKechnie, a personal trainer from Belfast, was furloughed on 21 March, she decided to use her time in lockdown to fulfil a lifelong goal. Jennifer, an avid skier, had dreamed of one day converting a van or minibus and travelling to the French Alps with her two huskies, Zack and Jake.

The Private Lives of the Pyramid-builders

Who built the pyramids? And where did those builders live? Egyptologists used to suspect that Egypt's construction sites were supported by purpose-built villages, but there was no archaeological evidence for this until the end of the Victorian age.

Egypt tells Elon Musk its pyramids were not built by aliens

Egypt has invited billionaire Elon Musk to visit the country and see for himself that its famous pyramids were not built by aliens. The SpaceX boss had tweeted what appeared to be support for conspiracy theorists who say aliens were involved in the colossal construction effort.

Bringing Mars back to Earth

The US and European space agencies are about to begin an audacious effort to bring samples of Martian rock and soil back to Earth. It will involve two robotic rovers to collect the best specimens, and an elaborate delivery system to get this material home.

Barakah: UAE starts up Arab world's first nuclear plant

The United Arab Emirates has launched operations at the Arab world's first nuclear power plant, on the Gulf coast just east of Qatar. Nuclear fission has begun in one of four reactors at the Barakah plant, which uses South Korean technology.

How lockdown may have changed your personality

There wasn’t just one lockdown – we all had our own experience. Some people were forced into months of unbroken solitude, others trapped for weeks on end with an estranged spouse.

The tragedy of art’s greatest supermodel

In the winter of 1849-1850, the artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt were painting together, when their friend Walter Howell Deverell burst into the studio.

Japan’s most polarising superfood?

Every day without fail, my 65-year-old mother prepares a dish that many people would say looks, smells and tastes revolting. Nattō is very stinky. You definitely notice the smell.

Why indigenous folklore can save animals’ lives

In a jeepney travelling through Iloilo city in the Philippines, the driver hoots the vehicle’s horn on an empty street in broad daylight. These brightly decorated buses are known for their speed in the south of Iloilo, but this driver slows the jeepney right down.

Coronavirus: Russia plans mass vaccination campaign in October

Russian health authorities are preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus in October, the health minister has said. Russian media quoted Mikhail Murashko as saying that doctors and teachers would be the first to receive the vaccine.

How many Mars missions have been successful?

It's often said that about half of all missions to Mars have failed. But getting a more precise figure for successful and unsuccessful Mars shots is more complicated than it sounds.

Twitter hack: Florida teenager arrested

On 15 July, Twitter accounts of multiple high-profile US figures were hijacked in an apparent Bitcoin scam. Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren has filed 30 felony charges against the teenager for "scamming people across America".

Twitter hack: Staff tricked by phone spear-phishing scam

The unprecedented hacking of celebrity Twitter accounts this month was caused by human error and a spear-phishing attack on Twitter employees, the company has confirmed. Spear-phishing is a targeted attack designed to trick people into handing out information such as passwords.

Fox found with impressive shoe collection in Berlin

For weeks residents of Zehlendorf were baffled that a thief was stealing their flip flops and sports shoes from their gardens at night. Finally a man spotted the culprit on a patch of wasteland, "in flagrante, carrying two blue flip flops in its mouth", the daily Tagesspiegel reports.

The wells bringing hope in the desert

Water has long been at the centre of conflict in the northern regions of Mali, in West Africa. This vast water-scarce area spans 827,000 square kilometres (320,000 square miles) between the Sahara in the north and the Sahel in the south – in total, about two-thirds of the national territory.

The Fosse Dionne: France’s mysterious underground spring

In the heart of France’s idyllic Burgundy region, surrounded by manicured vineyards, fortified Renaissance chateaux and medieval hill towns, sits one of the bucolic area’s most mysterious attractions: a seemingly bottomless spring-fed pit in the small town of Tonnarre known as the Fosse Dionne.

'Bay of Piglets': A 'bizarre' plot to capture a president

On Sunday 3 May, the government of Nicolas Maduro announced Venezuela's armed forces had repelled an armed incursion. Operation Gideon was a deeply flawed coup attempt.

US election: Do postal ballots lead to voting fraud?

Many US states are looking to make voting by post easier in the presidential election this November due to public health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Killer of Rafiki, Uganda's rare silverback mountain gorilla, jailed

The killer of one of Uganda's best known mountain gorillas, Rafiki, has been jailed for 11 years. Felix Byamukama pleaded guilty to illegally entering a protected area and killing a gorilla.

India and China race to build along a disputed frontier

India and China are trying to out-build each other along their disputed Himalayan border.

Iter: World's largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly

The world's biggest nuclear fusion project has entered its five-year assembly phase. After this is finished, the facility will be able to start generating the super-hot "plasma" required for fusion power.

Van Gogh: Postcard helps experts 'find location of final masterpiece'

The likely location for Tree Roots was found by Wouter van der Veen, the scientific director of the Institut Van Gogh. He recognised similarities between the painting and a postcard dating from 1900 to 1910.

Missing part of Stonehenge returned 60 years on

No-one knew where it was until Robert Phillips, 89, who was involved in those works, decided to return part of it. English Heritage, which looks after Stonehenge, hopes the sample might now help establish where the stones originally came from.

Stonehenge: Sarsen stones origin mystery solved

The origin of the giant sarsen stones at Stonehenge has finally been discovered with the help of a missing piece of the site which was returned after 60 years. Archaeologists pinpointed the source of the stones to an area 15 miles (25km) north of the site near Marlborough.

Endangered tigers making a 'remarkable' comeback

Millions watched them in captivity on the lockdown TV hit Tiger King. But in the wild, tiger populations have been in rapid decline for decades now.

Maine shark attack: US woman killed by great white

The woman was swimming near Bailey Island - close to the city of Portland - on Monday when she was attacked. The victim was named as Julie Holowach, 63, from New York.

Iran blasts dummy US aircraft carrier with missiles

Iran has launched missiles at a mock-up of a US aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The drill included fire so heavy that the US military temporarily put two regional bases on alert.

Coronavirus: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective says Fauci

US President Donald Trump has again defended the use of hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus, contradicting his own public health officials. He said the malaria medication was only rejected as a Covid-19 treatment because he had recommended its use.

Black Lives Matter: Arkansas senator describes slavery as 'necessary evil'

In a local newspaper interview, Republican Tom Cotton said he rejected the idea that the US was a systemically racist country to its core. He is introducing legislation to ban federal funds for a project by the New York Times newspaper, aimed at revising the historical view of slavery.

What the heroin industry can teach us about solar power

If you have ever doubted whether solar power can be a transformative technology, read on. This is a story about how it has proved its worth in the toughest environment possible.

France to ban heated terraces in cafes and bars

France's government has announced new environmental measures, including a ban on heated terraces for cafes and bars. Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili said outside heating or air conditioning was an "ecological aberration".

Nasa Mars rover: Meteorite to head home to Red Planet

Nasa's Perseverance robot will carry with it a meteorite that originated on the Red Planet and which, until now, has been lodged in the collection of London's Natural History Museum (NHM). The rock's known properties will act as a calibration target to benchmark the workings of a rover instrument.

The dying teenager who wanted world peace (and love)

When Californian teenager Jeff Henigson was diagnosed with brain cancer and given two years to live, a children's charity granted him the wish of a lifetime. But Jeff didn't choose to go to Disneyland or meet his favourite footballer - Jeff just wanted world peace.

Viewer spots Florida reporter Victoria Price's cancer growth

"Hers was cancer. Turns out, mine is too," she said, announcing she would be taking time off from work to fight it. Price said she would undergo surgery on Monday to remove the tumour.

German crash: Three die as aircraft hits home in Wesel

Three people have died after a microlight aircraft crashed into a home in Wesel, in north-western Germany, officials say. The identities of the dead are not yet known. A child was also treated for injuries and shock. The aircraft could have carried two people.

Cancel culture: What unites young people against Obama and Trump

In the midst of America's racial reckoning, the question of how to deal with memorials to controversial leaders has risen again to the national stage - and has brought back criticisms of "cancel culture" with it. To some, it's a new way to flag past wrongs.

Istanbul Convention: Poland to leave European treaty on violence against women

Poland is to withdraw from a European treaty aimed at preventing violence against women, the country's justice minister announced on Saturday. Zbigniew Ziobro said the document, known as the Istanbul Convention, was "harmful" because it required schools to teach children about gender.

Hungary's Index journalists walk out over sacking

More than 70 journalists and staff at Hungary's top news site Index have resigned, accusing the government of launching a bid to destroy or tame their website. Index is the last of Hungary's key independent media and editor in chief Szabolcs Dull was fired on Tuesday.

Last Qantas 747 jet says goodbye with 'flying kangaroo' in sky

Australian airline Qantas has bid farewell to its last Boeing 747 aeroplane with one final flourish - drawing its logo, the flying kangaroo, in the sky. Dozens gathered at Sydney Airport on Wednesday to wave goodbye to QF7474, writing messages on the plane's body and reading tributes.

Nasa Mars rover: How Perseverance will hunt for signs of past life

Nasa's Perseverance rover, due to launch to Mars this summer, will search an ancient crater lake for signs of past life. But if biology ever emerged on the Red Planet, how will scientists recognise it? Here, mission scientist Ken Williford explains what they're looking for.

Genetic impact of African slave trade revealed in DNA study

More than 50,000 people took part in the study, which was able to identify more details of the "genetic impact" the trade has had on present-day populations in the Americas. It lays bare the consequences of rape, maltreatment, disease and racism.

Climate change: Polar bears could be lost by 2100

Polar bears will be wiped out by the end of the century unless more is done to tackle climate change, a study predicts. Scientists say some populations have already reached their survival limits as the Arctic sea ice shrinks.

Blackbaud hack: More UK universities confirm breach

More than 20 universities and charities in the UK, US and Canada have confirmed they are victims of a cyber-attack that compromised a software supplier. Blackbaud was held to ransom by hackers in May and paid an undisclosed ransom to cyber-criminals.

BBC News reaching highest ever global audience

BBC News is now reaching its largest ever audience outside the UK, according to new figures. This is an increase of 49 million - or 13% - compared to the previous year.

Germany's Ritter Sport wins square chocolate battle against Milka

For decades, Ritter Sport has marketed its chocolate bars on their unique, square shape. So when Swiss brand Milka challenged its German monopoly on square chocolate, the battle lines were drawn.

Roman jars found in Spanish seafood shop

Authorities conducting a routine inspection of a frozen seafood shop in Spain were surprised to find ancient artefacts decorating the premises. The owner's son found the objects while fishing, according to local media.

UK and US accuses Russia of satellite test firing in space

The UK and US has accused Russia of launching a weapon-like projectile from a satellite in space. The statement said actions like this "threaten the peaceful use of space".

Russian historian jailed in controversial sex abuse case

Yury Dmitirev was sentenced to three and a half years for abusing his adopted daughter. He denies the accusations and his colleagues say he was framed in a plot to discredit his work.

Searching for my slave roots

It started with a photograph from the 19th Century of a man who could have been my double. This was 2002, and there weren’t many programmes about black people, so it was worth staying up for.

By bike, boat and horseback: Epic coronavirus journeys home

With flights grounded and borders closed, some people have embarked on epic voyages to get home during the coronavirus pandemic. Here, we take a look at four such journeys - and the distances travelled just get longer and longer.

Scientists shed light on how the blackest fish in the sea 'disappear'

An ocean mystery - how the blackest fish in the deep sea are so extremely black - has been solved in a study that began with a very bad photograph. Her detailed study of the animal's "ultra-black" skin revealed that it traps light.

Secret Morse code tune sees game removed in China

According to China's Global Times newspaper, the Cytus II musical rhythm game, produced by Taiwan's Rayark Games, has been removed from China's mainland app stores.

Greta Thunberg to donate one-million-euro humanitarian prize

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environment campaigner, has been awarded a new humanitarian prize worth one million euros. The 17-year-old founder of School Strike for Climate, won the inaugural Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: Elon Musk offered actress '24/7' security

Elon Musk offered Amber Heard "24/7 security" after she told him she wanted a restraining order against Johnny Depp, the High Court has heard. She denied Mr Musk visited her while her then-husband Mr Depp was away.

Bloedige plekken: in de eenzame velden van Neerwinden vond de afgrijselijkste slachting van de 17e eeuw plaats

Plekken in Vlaanderen waar voorbijgangers niet beseffen dat ze geschiedenis onder hun voeten hebben: in de reeks “Bloedige plekken” ontdekken VRT-journalist Jos Vandervelden en fotograaf Alexander Dumarey de plaatsen waar ooit bloed vloeide, waar mensen een gewelddadige dood stierven.

Coronavirus: Did 'herd immunity' change the course of the outbreak?

On Thursday 12 March, everyday life remained relatively normal across the UK. The back pages of the newspapers were dominated by the victory of Atletico Madrid over Liverpool - 50,000 fans had crammed into Anfield stadium.

Hope probe: UAE launches historic first mission to Mars

The United Arab Emirates' historic first mission to Mars is under way, after a successful lift-off in Japan. The Hope probe launched on an H2-A rocket from Tanegashima spaceport, and is now on a 500-million-km journey to study the planet's weather and climate.

Is click-and-collect the future of shopping?

When customers walk up to the front door of The Beguiling, a comic-book shop in Toronto, they’re greeted by a yellow booth that blocks the entrance. It reads, “Bibliographic Help 5¢”. Here, an employee dispenses pick-up orders, answers questions and recommends titles.

The remote work experiment that upped productivity 13%

This story is from Curing Our Positivity Problem, an episode of BBC Sounds. It was presented by Sangita Myska and produced by Sarah Shebbeare. To listen to more episodes of BBC Sounds, click here. Adapted by Bryan Lufkin.

Basel: The birthplace of hallucinogenic science

Talk of famous bike rides and you may think of Lycra-clad athletes racing in the Tour de France.

Ancient Rome’s sinful city at the bottom of the sea

Rome’s ultra-wealthy took weekend trips here to party. Powerful statesmen built luxurious villas on its beach, with heated spas and mosaic-tiled pools where they could indulge their wildest desires.

Baiae: A Roman settlement at the bottom of the sea

“You’re sure I can cross?” I had to almost shout to be heard. Wooden slats dotted the ground before me. About 30m to my right, steam rose into the sky in thick grey-white clouds. And somewhere between where I stood now, and there, the earth turned from solid and cool to boiling and viscous.

An abandoned British island reclaimed by nature

View image of A far-flung British territory (Credit: Credit: Bella Falk) View image of Ice and penguins (Credit: Credit: Bella Falk) View image of A once-in-a-lifetime destination (Credit: Credit: Bella Falk) View image of Abundant wildlife (Credit: Credit: Bella Falk) View image of The South Georgi

HMS Challenger: The voyage that birthed oceanography

In the foyer of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, England, stands a ship’s painted figurehead. It towers well above head height and depicts an armoured knight with a silver chest plate, a raised visor and a thick handlebar moustache.

Q Magazine to close after 34 years

The magazine's circulation had fallen to 28,000 per month from a peak of 200,000 in 2001. Founded in 1986 by Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, Q arrived at the same time as the CD revolution took off - and its glossy, aspirational format chimed perfectly with the times.

Who are the Uighurs?

China's western Xinjiang region has a long history of discord between China's authorities and the indigenous Uighur ethnic minority. The Uighurs are Muslims. They regard themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations.

#JusticeForAkram: Belgium investigates death of man hours after arrest

Belgian authorities are investigating the death of a man after footage shared on social media appears to show a police officer kneeling on his back. Police say the 29-year-old man of Algerian origin was arrested outside a café in Antwerp on Sunday after he allegedly tried to attack people.

Coronavirus: Oxford vaccine triggers immune response

Trials involving 1,077 people showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus. The findings are hugely promising, but it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection and larger trials are under way.

Spain's monarchy shaken by Juan Carlos's hidden Swiss fortune

The emergence of shocking allegations of corruption and money laundering against former Spanish King Juan Carlos have cast doubt over the very future of the monarchy, under his son King Felipe.

Amazon soya and beef exports 'linked to deforestation'

Up to one-fifth of Brazil's soya exports to the European Union may be "contaminated" by illegal deforestation, a study has found. Researchers used freely available maps and data to identify the specific farms and ranches clearing forests to produce soya and beef destined for Europe.

Coronavirus: Are mutations making it more infectious?

The coronavirus that is now threatening the world is subtly different from the one that first emerged in China. Sars-Cov-2, the official name of the virus that causes the disease Covid-19, and continues to blaze a path of destruction across the globe, is mutating.

Nantes cathedral volunteer detained after fire

The Rwandan refugee was in charge of locking up the day before the blaze destroyed stained glass windows and the grand organ inside. Prosecutors said they wanted to clear up inconsistencies in the man's schedule.

Loot boxes: I blew my parents' savings gaming on Fifa

Like many young teenagers, Jonathan Peniket enjoyed buying random player "packs" to build up his team on the Fifa football video game. But when his mum was diagnosed with cancer, his spending on these packs, or "loot boxes", became - as he sees it - an addiction he couldn't control.

Capt Sir Tom Moore knighted in 'unique' ceremony

Captain Sir Tom Moore has been knighted in the Queen's first official engagement in person since lockdown. The investiture to honour the 100-year-old, who raised more than £32m for NHS charities, was staged in a "unique ceremony" at Windsor Castle.

Solar Orbiter: Closest ever pictures taken of the Sun

New pictures of the Sun taken just 77 million km (48 million miles) from its surface are the closest ever acquired by cameras. They come from the European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter (SolO) probe, which was launched earlier this year.

'Rambo' suspect held in Germany after five-day hunt

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts.

Twitter says hackers downloaded private account data

Twitter has confirmed hackers made use of tools that were supposed to have only been available to its own staff to carry off Wednesday's hack attack. The breach saw the accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West and Bill Gates among other celebrities used to tweet a Bitcoin scam.

Doctor Room: The counsellor helping digital sex crime victims

That is how one suspected ringleader of a clandestine online sextortion ring in South Korea described his relief at being caught.

Twitter hack: 130 accounts targeted in attack

Twitter says 130 accounts were targeted in a major cyber-attack of celebrity accounts two days ago. However, Twitter says only a "small subset" of those 130 accounts had control seized by the attacker.

Protests after Detroit teen detained over missed homework

The African-American teenager has reportedly been detained since mid-May. Hundreds of students gathered outside her school and the court to show their support for the girl known as "Grace".

US firms 'collaborating' with China - Barr

US Justice Secretary William Barr has accused Hollywood and US tech firms of "collaborating" with the Chinese government to do business there. Companies like Disney routinely agreed to censor films while Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple were "all too willing" to work with Beijing, he said.

Coronavirus: Piracy incidents double across Asia during pandemic

Piracy incidents have doubled across Asia causing "deep concern", according to a new report. There were 50 incidents in the region in the first half of the year, compared to 25 in the same period of 2019.

US farmers beef with Burger King over cow fart ad

Fast food chain Burger King has released an advertisement encouraging US farmers to change cow diets in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The controversial video ad features children with exaggerated accents singing about the impact methane from cows has on global warming.

Welcome to Jáchymov: the Czech town that invented the dollar

The US dollar is the most widely used currency in the world. It is both the primary de facto global tender and the world’s unofficial gold standard.

US-China: Pompeo dog photo has netizens asking if US is toying with China

Mike Pompeo posted a picture on his personal account of his dog Mercer, surrounded by "all of her favourite toys". The toy that sits centre stage is a stuffed Winnie the Pooh.

Elon Musk and Bill Gates 'hacked' in apparent Bitcoin scam

Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are among several high-profile individuals targeted by hackers on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin scam. Posts that appeared on official accounts on Wednesday requested donations in the cryptocurrency.

Google launches hieroglyphics translator powered by AI

Google has launched a hieroglyphics translator that uses machine learning to decode ancient Egyptian language. The feature has been added to its Arts & Culture app. It also allows users to translate their own words and emojis into shareable hieroglyphs.

Banksy Tube graffiti: Cleaners 'unaware it was by artist'

Cleaners did not know graffiti on a London Underground train was by world-renowned artist Banksy when they removed it, the BBC has been told. The piece, If You Don't Mask, You Don't Get, was painted inside a Circle Line service carriage.

Desert telescope takes aim at ageing our Universe

Another telescope has entered the debate about the age and expansion rate of the Universe. This topic has recently become the subject of an energetic to and fro among scientists using different astronomical facilities and techniques.

Working from home: 'I'm a bit brainier than he thought I was'

What is it you do again? Before the coronavirus lockdown a lot of us didn't really know what our partner did at work. Our eyes have been opened. "I was just mum," says Samar Small, looking back to life before lockdown. Her family didn't give a second thought to what she did day to day.

Wounds of Dutch history expose deep racial divide

Bronze statues of colonial icons have been spray-painted. Black Lives Matter protests have broken out. And now the Dutch parliament has backed a petition by three teenage women requesting the addition of racism to the school curriculum.

Fertility rate: 'Jaw-dropping' global crash in children being born

The world is ill-prepared for the global crash in children being born which is set to have a "jaw-dropping" impact on societies, say researchers. Falling fertility rates mean nearly every country could have shrinking populations by the end of the century.

Coronavirus: The last-round fight for NYC's bastions of boxing?

Some of New York City's most iconic boxing gyms have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, and with no official guidance on how they can reopen, many gym owners fear the city will forever lose this sporting legacy, writes Ben Wyatt.

Banksy: New coronavirus-inspired artwork appears on Tube

Banksy has returned to the London Underground with a piece encouraging people to wear a face mask. He can been seen ordering passengers away as he gets to work, stencilling rats around the inside of a carriage.

Cat owner baffled by pet's swimming goggles antics

Sally Bell says Avery has always brought her small animals but in recent weeks has switched to stealing underwater eyewear. The feline felon has so far deposited eight pairs at her Bristol home.

Read more from Knowable Magazine

It was the muddy water that caught Stefan Talke’s eye. In the mid-2000s Talke was a postdoctoral scholar at Utrecht University, studying the river Ems that empties into the North Sea between Germany and the Netherlands.

Stromboli: Volcano erupts on small Italian island

Fires were seen on Stromboli but no injuries have been reported. "We saw the explosion from the hotel. There was a loud roar," Michela Favorito, who works in a hotel on the island, told Reuters news agency.

Coronavirus: Why attitudes to masks have changed around the world

In the past few days, both US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have been seen wearing masks in public for the first time.

Indian papers resurfacing in French Alps could be from 1966 plane crash

Indian newspapers from 1966 have surfaced in the French Alps, under the ice of a melting Mont Blanc glacier. They are believed to be from an Air India plane that crashed on 24 January, 1966, killing all 117 people on board.

South China Sea dispute: China's pursuit of resources 'unlawful', says US

China's pursuit of offshore resources in parts of the South China Sea is "completely unlawful", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. He condemned Beijing's "campaign of bullying to control" disputed waters that are potentially energy-rich.

Robotic scientists will 'speed up discovery'

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have unveiled a robotic colleague that has been working non-stop in their lab throughout lockdown. The £100,000 programmable researcher learns from its results to refine its experiments.

Could eating ants help us live longer?

The most important day of the year in Barichara, a colonial town in the Colombian Andes, is not Christmas, New Year or Easter, but what locals excitedly call La Salida, or “The Exit”.

Coronavirus: Why surviving the virus may be just the beginning

The first thing Simon Farrell can remember, after being woken from a medically induced coma, is trying to tear off his oxygen mask. He had been in intensive care for 10 days, reliant on a ventilator just to breathe.

Coronavirus: Your pictures on the theme of 'reflections'

We asked our readers to send in their pictures on the theme of "reflections" amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of the pictures sent to us from around the world. The next theme is "home-grown" and the deadline for entries is 14 July 2020.

Hagia Sophia: Pope 'pained' as Istanbul museum reverts to mosque

Pope Francis has said he's "pained" by Turkey's decision to convert Istanbul's Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. Speaking at a service in the Vatican, the Roman Catholic leader added that his "thoughts go to Istanbul".

Roger Stone: Robert Mueller defends indictment over Russia probe

Former US special counsel Robert Mueller has made a rare public intervention to defend his indictment of former Trump adviser Roger Stone. Stone was found guilty on charges linked to an investigation led by Mr Mueller that found Russia tried to boost the Trump 2016 election campaign.

The record-breaking jet which still haunts a country

In the early years of the Cold War, Canada decided to design and build the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world. Canada is well known for its rugged bush planes, capable of rough landings and hair-raising take-offs in the wilderness.

Scrabble community mulls banning racial and homophobic slurs

Leaders of the Scrabble tournament community in North America are voting on whether to ban the use of racial and homophobic slurs. The vote will decide whether the words will be removed from the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) list of accepted words.

Iron Age 'mystery' murder victim found in Wendover HS2 dig

An Iron Age skeleton with his hands bound has been discovered by HS2 project archaeologists, who believe he may be a murder victim. The remains of the 2,000-year-old adult male was found face down at Wellwick Farm near Wendover in Buckinghamshire.

Shark kills teenage surfer in Australia's New South Wales

The 15-year-old was surfing when he suffered severe leg injuries at Wooli Beach, 630km (390 miles) north of Sydney, according to witnesses. Nearby surfers came to help, including one who is reported to have tried to pull the shark away.

South African church attack: Five dead after 'hostage situation'

Five people have been killed after attackers stormed a South African church, reportedly amid an argument over its leadership. South African police said they had rescued men, women and children from a "hostage situation" on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Saturday morning.

Why email loses out to popular apps in China

In May 2008 I was teaching at a private English school in Yangshuo, a small town in southern China. It is an idyllic place to study, with limestone hills, known as karst, decorating the riverine landscape.

Nasa Mars rover Perseverance is attached to rocket

Nasa's Perseverance Mars rover has been attached to the top of the rocket that will send it toward the Red Planet. The nosecone containing the rover and other spacecraft elements have been fixed to an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Roger Stone: Trump spares ex-adviser from prison, sparking critics' anger

US President Donald Trump has commuted the prison sentence of his longtime ally and former adviser Roger Stone. The move - sparing Stone from jail but not a pardon - came just after a court denied Stone's request to delay the start date of his 40-month prison term.

European hamster added to 'critically endangered' list

You might want to hold Mr Snuffles extra tight tonight, because European hamsters have been added to a list of critically endangered animals. They are among the new additions to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) "red list".

Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum into mosque

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signed a decree converting Hagia Sophia in Istanbul - founded as a cathedral - into a mosque. Earlier Turkey's top administrative court annulled the museum status of the world-famous cultural site.

US Supreme Court rules half of Oklahoma is Native American land

The US Supreme Court has ruled about half of Oklahoma belongs to Native Americans, in a landmark case that also quashed a child rape conviction. The justices decided 5-4 that an eastern chunk of the state, including its second-biggest city, Tulsa, should be recognised as part of a reservation.

Notre Dame: Cathedral's spire will be restored to 19th Century design

The spire of Notre Dame cathedral, which was destroyed in a fire last April, will be restored according to the original Gothic design. French President Emmanuel Macron announced the decision, putting an end to speculation that the spire would be rebuilt in a modern style.

'I can recover at home': Cosmetic surgeons see rise in patients amid pandemic

Despite the virus shutting businesses across the globe, a number of plastic surgery clinics have remained open, adopting stricter measures such as Covid-19 tests and more frequent cleaning.

Coronavirus: Fujitsu announces permanent work-from-home plan

Technology firm Fujitsu has said it will halve its office space in Japan as it adapts to the "new normal" of the coronavirus pandemic. It says the "Work Life Shift" programme will offer unprecedented flexibility to its 80,000 workers in the country.

World's rarest great ape pictured with babies

Photos have been released for the first time in years showing a group of rare gorillas in the mountains of southern Nigeria, conservationists say. Only 300 Cross River gorillas are known to live in the wild, making them the most endangered sub-species.

Qasem Soleimani: US strike on Iran general was unlawful, UN expert says

The US attack that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani violated international law, a UN expert says. Soleimani died along with nine other people in a drone strike near Baghdad airport in Iraq in January.

What’s so different about DDEV-Local?

In 2020, users from designers to developers to testers and open source contributors have a wide variety of local development environments to chose from.

Is rum about to become the new gin?

Rum distiller Mark Watkins is reflecting on his disastrous first attempt at making his own spirits when he was a teenager. The then 16-year-old had set up a rudimentary distillery at the back of his parents' banana farm in the small town of Walkamin, in north-eastern Queensland, Australia.

Evidence found of epic prehistoric Pacific voyages

New evidence has been found for epic prehistoric voyages between the Americas and eastern Polynesia. DNA analysis suggests there was mixing between Native Americans and Polynesians around AD 1200.

How Many Holes Does a Human Have?

Now you're thinking: Special thanks to @Chubbyemu and Evelyn Lamb ( for answering my questions about the body and holes, respectively. wardrobe by: https://twitter.c

How Covid-19 can damage the brain

For Julie Helms, it started with a handful of patients admitted to her intensive care unit at Strasbourg University Hospital in northeast France in early March 2020. Within days, every single patient in the ICU had Covid-19 – and it was not just their breathing difficulties that alarmed her.

China bubonic plague: Inner Mongolia takes precautions after case

Authorities in China have stepped up precautions after a city in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region confirmed one case of bubonic plague. According to state reports, the Bayannur patient - a herdsman - is in quarantine and in a stable condition.

The berry that keeps Asia looking young

High in the upper reaches of North-West China lies a land filled with riches. For it’s here, on the banks of the Yellow River and in the shade of the mist-covered Liupan Mountains that the people of the Ningxia region have been growing one of Asia’s most sought-after foods for centuries.

Taiwan’s 2,000-year-old knife massage

Lying face down on the massage table, I waited fearfully for the chopping to start. My knife massage therapist, Elsa, was cheerfully wielding two meat cleavers. That’s because, while chopping motions are expected in lots of body massage, in this one, knives do the chopping.

The birthplace of traditional Thai massage

Among the towering spires and ceramic inlaid stupas of Bangkok’s Wat Pho temple are a group of inscriptions from the 19th Century.

Shooting celebrities: Thirty years behind the lens

Andy Gotts' photographic career began 30 years ago when, as a student, he persuaded Stephen Fry to pose for him. Since then he has photographed the biggest names in the entertainment business. Here, he remembers a few of those who have been captured by his camera.

Coronavirus: WHO rethinking how Covid-19 spreads in air

The World Health Organization has acknowledged there is emerging evidence that the coronavirus can be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air. The airborne transmission could not be ruled out in crowded, closed or poorly ventilated settings, an official said.

JK Rowling joins 150 public figures warning over free speech

Some 150 writers, academics and activists - including authors JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood - have signed an open letter denouncing the "restriction of debate". They say they applaud a recent "needed reckoning" on racial justice, but argue it has fuelled stifling of open debate.

The law that could make climate change illegal

Imagine this: it’s 2030 and a country has just missed its target for cutting carbon emissions, that was set back in 2020. People are frustrated, but several governments have come and gone since the goal was set. “Don’t blame us,” the current government says.

Jantelagen: Why Swedes won’t talk about wealth

A high income is a badge of success in many countries, but in Sweden a deep-rooted cultural code called Jantelagen stops many from talking about it.In Stockholm’s richest inner-city neighbourhood, Östermalm, private yachts and floating cocktail bars hug the marina.

China bubonic plague: WHO 'monitoring' case but says it is 'not high risk'

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is "carefully monitoring" a case of bubonic plague in China's northern Inner Mongolia region, but says that it is "not high risk". The bubonic plague was once the world's most feared disease, but can now be easily treated.

Why human touch is so hard to replace

“I can't do any sort of work without touching someone. It is part of my profession,” says Jo Adenuga, a London-based makeup artist.

'Email from dad after his death made my birthday’

Natasha Salman's dad died in April and she was preparing for her first birthday without him when a glance at an old email inbox led to a thousand people sharing their stories of loss and compassion.

Dinosaur ancestors 'may have been tiny'

Dinosaurs are often thought of as giant creatures, but new research adds to evidence they started out small. The evidence comes from a newly described fossil relative found on Madagascar that lived some 237 million years ago and stood just 10cm tall.

Mount Kinabalu naked photo accused jailed

Four tourists who posed naked on a mountain in Malaysia have been given jail terms and fined. Briton Eleanor Hawkins, Canadians Lindsey and Danielle Peterson, and Dutchman Dylan Snel admitted causing a public disturbance.

Dakota Access Pipeline: Judge suspends use of key oil link

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has been ordered to suspend production by a US judge, amid concerns over its environmental impact. The order is a major win for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has led the fight against the pipeline.

Ringo Starr to celebrate 80th milestone with music friends

Ringo Starr is grateful for the past and upbeat about the future, saying he's looking forward to celebrating his 80th birthday on 7 July, even though it will now be online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oxford English Dictionary and its chief word detective

Oxford English Dictionary Chief Editor John Simpson is to retire after 37 years at the famous reference work. Here he writes of a life hunting for the evidence behind the birth of words. Historical dictionaries are not just about definitions.

How to tell if you’re being ‘breadcrumbed’ at work

As we head into 2020, we're running the best, most insightful and most essential Worklife stories from 2019. Read all of the year's biggest hits here. Stop breadcrumbing me!

Tomorrow’s Gods: What is the future of religion?

* This story is featured in BBC Future’s “Best of 2019” collection. Discover more of our picks. Before Mohammed, before Jesus, before Buddha, there was Zoroaster. Some 3,500 years ago, in Bronze Age Iran, he had a vision of the one supreme God.

The most striking images of 2019

According to a centuries-old Spanish tradition, when a horse or other animal leaps across a burning bonfire, the smoke penetrated by the creature will protect it from harm for a year.

Why gluten free might not be so good for you after all

Gluten free? It might not be the healthier option after all. Scientists at Harvard University say those who cut gluten out of their diet increase the risk of developing diabetes.

The dying officer treated for cancer with baking soda

The father of the alkaline diet, Robert O Young, is hailed as an inspiration by one of the UK's most popular food writers, Natasha Corrett, but he faces a jail sentence for practising medicine without a licence.

Top five celeb diets to avoid in 2018, according to dieticians

The British Dietetic Association has released a list of diets they say we should steer clear of in the new year. They include the Raw Vegan, Alkaline, Pioppi and Ketogenic diets, as well as Katie Price's Nutritional Supplements.

The truth about the US’ most iconic food

(This year, we published many inspiring and amazing stories that made us fall in love with the world – and this is one our favourites. Click here for the full list). If there’s any food that represents Americana, it’s the humble hot dog.

Skiplagging: The travel trick that airlines hate

Why airlines are cracking down on "skiplagging" — the hack that savvy travellers use to fly for less.As we head into 2020, we're running the best, most insightful and most essential Worklife stories from 2019. Read all of the year's biggest hits here.

The story of Tunnel 29

In 1961, Joachim Rudolph escaped from one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships. A few months later, he began tunnelling his way back in. Why? It all began with a knock at the door. Joachim, a 22-year-old engineering student, was in his room at university in West Berlin.

Val d'Isere: The doctor who hid a Jewish girl - and the resort that wants to forget

A Jewish teenager avoided death in occupied France thanks to the kindness and bravery of a doctor in a small Alpine resort. But it's a story local people seem reluctant to remember, Rosie Whitehouse discovers.

US presidents and the fuzzy legality of war

President Donald Trump's action and words directed at Iran have led his critics to accuse him of breaking international law. But he's not the first US president to endure this criticism in the theatre of war.

My Money: 'I made it through the day without spending a dollar'

My Money is a new series looking at how people spend their money - and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here, Chelsea Thomas from California records her spending over a week and shares tips for saving. We're looking for more people to share what they spend their money on.

Plastic packaging ban 'could harm environment'

Consumer pressure to end plastic packaging in shops could actually be harming the environment, a report says. Firms are swapping to other packaging materials which are potentially even worse for the environment, the cross-party Parliamentary group warns.

Does the US have a problem with topless women?

Women fed up with being forced to cover up their breasts and nipples are challenging American laws about nudity and sparking a debate about the country's attitude to the naked female form.

What it’s like to survive a shipwreck

The Robertson family spent 38 days adrift with little fresh water or food supplies after their yacht was sunk by killer whales. Their tale of survival reveals the extremes the human body can endure.

Tips for longevity from the oldest people on Earth

Okinawa is known as a ‘blue zone’ - a home to some of the oldest people on the planet. The secret isn’t medication or specific foods, but a connection with their loved ones.

Is this the most powerful word in the English language?

‘The’. It’s omnipresent; we can’t imagine English without it. But it’s not much to look at. It isn’t descriptive, evocative or inspiring. Technically, it’s meaningless. And yet this bland and innocuous-seeming word could be one of the most potent in the English language.

Secrets of '1,000-year-old trees' unlocked

Scientists have discovered the secret of how the ginkgo tree can live for more than 1,000 years. And, unlike many other plants, its genes are not programmed to trigger inexorable decline when its youth is over.

Australia fires: Aboriginal planners say the bush 'needs to burn'

For thousands of years, the Indigenous people of Australia set fire to the land. Long before Australia was invaded and colonised by Europeans, fire management techniques - known as "cultural burns" - were being practised.

Why vegan junk food may be even worse for your health

No British train station or high street would be complete without a Greggs bakery. The merchants of mass-produced pastries are as quintessential as they come. And last year they won plaudits for turning vegan. On the back of their success, other fast food brands shortly followed suit.

Is it okay to tell a dirty joke at work?

On her first day in a new job in the City, Kate (not her real name) didn't know what to expect. Now a successful executive, she remembers being ready to roll with the punches, anything in order to get ahead. What she didn't expect was unrelenting sexual innuendo.

'My silent retreat obsession changed my life'

Then a friend recommended a book on meditation. The 26-year-old started meditating at home in Nottinghamshire, before deciding she wanted to take things up a level.

What can you use instead of Google and Facebook?

He has abandoned using the services of internet giants like Google and Facebook and is using smaller rivals, which promise greater privacy. "I'm uncomfortable with the power of the major service providers such as Google and Facebook.

Why food memories are so powerful

I was only three years old when my parents, sister and I emigrated from Leningrad in the USSR to the United States in 1980 as “traitors”, losing our Soviet citizenship and turning our backs on Communism for the “evil capitalist West”.

How to escape the tyranny of the clock

In our modern lives, every minute of our day is a valuable and precious commodity. But is it possible to abandon the clock altogether?Time rules and regiments our lives from the moment we wake up until the end of the day – there’s no escaping our need to keep a close eye on the clock.

How much of your body is your own?

This story is part of BBC Earth's "Best of 2016" list, our greatest hits of the year. Browse the full list. Welcome to The Making of Me and You, a unique, new digital interactive from BBC Earth that details extraordinary personalised facts.

Wasp-76b: The exotic inferno planet where it 'rains iron'

Astronomers have observed a distant planet where it probably rains iron. It sounds like a science fiction movie, but this is the nature of some of the extreme worlds we're now discovering.

Searching for the missing girl

There was something about that perfect little body, fully clothed, lying like a piece of flotsam on the sand. Lots of people were shocked, but Rob couldn’t shake the image off.  The image of a child alone resonated deeply for Rob.

How your personality changes as you age

Our personalities were long thought to be fixed by the time we reach our 30s, but the latest research suggests they change throughout our lives – and bring some surprising benefits.

How to cut phone time at work

People hate being ignored in favour of a phone, or ‘phubbed’. New research shows phone-obsessed bosses may cause long-term damage to employee morale.A mobile phone is a great way to keep in touch with someone far away.

How to argue with a racist: Five myths debunked

Stereotypes and myths about race abound, but this does not make them true. Often, these are not even expressed by overt racists. For many well-intentioned people, experience and cultural history has steered them towards views that aren't supported by human genetics.

The man who returned his grandfather’s looted art

At the end of the 19th Century British troops looted thousands of works of art from the Benin Empire - in modern-day Nigeria - and brought them home. One soldier's grandson inherited two bronzes but recently returned them to their original home. "It's an image that's deeply ingrained in my memory.

A tiny 'country' between France and Switzerland

It was 15:00, and Madame Georgette Bertin-Pourchet, president of the Republic of Le Saugeais, was serving tea in her sitting room in the Haut-Doubs region in eastern France.

Spain’s mysterious underwater ‘Stonehenge’

Europe suffered an unusually hot summer in 2019. Seven weather stations in Spain recorded their highest temperatures ever in June, and higher-than-average temperatures and drought were registered across the country in July and August.

Coronavirus: What can we learn from the Spanish flu?

In the aftermath of World War One, a flu pandemic swept the world, killing at least 50 million people.

How do you work out what something is worth?

In the year 211BC, Rome and Carthage were engaged in a long war that was to shape the ancient Mediterranean. The North African general Hannibal had vanquished Roman legions at will. As the Romans regrouped and began to fight back, Hannibal decided on a bold plan: he would march on Rome itself.

Coronavirus: How can we stay in virtual touch with older relatives?

As the government encourages "social distancing" in the fight against coronavirus, older people are facing the prospect of being told to stay at home for weeks. But what if a parent or older person in your life, doesn't already have access to video calling tech?

The evolution of the modern workday

The '9 to 5' workday we know today draws from thousands of years of history. Discover the most impactful people, technologies and ideas that have shaped our modern world of work.

Tips for how to stay happy in troubling times

By dwelling less on stress and reflecting on the positives, BBC Future’s guide to happiness will help you to feel less overwhelmed by world events.

The New Zealand river that became a legal person

Flowing through the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, the Whanganui River is one of the country’s most important natural resources.

Could a ‘workcation’ change how you think?

Instead of struggling to create a hard barrier between work and life, maybe it’s time to combine them. Especially if the goal is to think big.Out in the mountains of Harper’s Ferry, in the US state of West Virginia, Alexis Grant has spent the past few months getting ready.

No, drinking water doesn't kill coronavirus

First there was the bizarre suggestion that it can be cured with cocaine. After the erroneous idea circulated widely on social media, the French government had to quickly issue a statement saying that it’s definitely pas vrai.

Uganda's Kanungu cult massacre that killed 700 followers

Judith Ariho does not shed any tears as she recalls the church massacre in which her mother, two siblings and four other relatives were among at least 700 people who died.

Covid-19: The ways viruses can spread in offices

If even a single surface is compromised, a virus can infect the majority of a workplace in a matter of hours.

How firms move to secret offices amid Covid-19

From 9/11 to coronavirus, big emergencies call for big responses – like how some firms move to secret empty offices in undisclosed locations to stay safe.Some people call them “ghost offices”.

The travel 'ache' you can’t translate

Every time I feel like I’ve reached the most remote place I’ve ever travelled, I hear “Guten tag”, and see a German rounding the corner, nonchalantly strolling by like he or she went for a walk around in their Munich or Hamburg neighbourhood, got pleasantly lost, and somehow ended up here in

Coronavirus: How Covid-19 is denying dignity to the dead in Italy

Italy has banned funerals because of the coronavirus crisis. For many, the virus is now robbing families of the chance to say a final goodbye. In Italy, many victims of Covid-19 are dying in hospital isolation without any family or friends.

Japan by the sea

The small towns of Shirahama and Kushimoto, 50km apart on the coast of Wakayama Prefecture, are a slice of Japan well and truly off the beaten path.

Coronavirus: Why some countries wear face masks and others don't

Step outside your door without a face mask in Hong Kong, Seoul or Tokyo, and you may well get a disapproving look.

Why orange juice prices are soaring on global markets

The future price of orange juice has spiked by more than 20% this month as consumers look for healthy products during the coronavirus pandemic. While demand has risen, supply has been hit as producers struggle to transport goods due to transport restrictions.

Why social distancing might last for some time

Near the end of World War One, a nasty flu started spreading around the world. The virus responsible for the disease, which became known as Spanish flu, infected over a quarter of the world’s population.

A cultural history of the beloved corner shop

When so much suddenly changes about everyday life, we’re still innately drawn to whatever seems most familiar.

Covid-19: The history of pandemics

Throughout history, nothing has killed more human beings than infectious disease. Covid-19 shows how vulnerable we remain – and how we can avoid similar pandemics in the future.The novel coronavirus pandemic, known as Covid-19, could not have been more predictable.

Coronavirus and sex: What you need to know

If I have sex can I catch coronavirus? You might have thought about it but been too embarrassed to ask. To separate the facts from myths, we've put your questions to health experts.

A place that makes you ask the questions that really matter

Visitors to Antarctica are often awed and humbled by its size, and its extreme climate. But it also caused the BBC's Justin Rowlatt to reflect on the human ability to solve problems together - and to feel hope for the future.

What happens when the internet vanishes?

From his high-rise desk overlooking the sprawling city of Addis Ababa, Markos Lemma has a pretty good view. As the founder of technology innovation hub IceAddis, his co-working space is usually abuzz with wide-eyed entrepreneurs fuelled on strong coffee and big dreams.

Coronavirus: India's pandemic lockdown turns into a human tragedy

When I spoke to him on the phone, he had just returned home to his village in the northern state of Rajasthan from neighbouring Gujarat, where he worked as a mason. In the rising heat, Goutam Lal Meena had walked on macadam in his sandals. He said he had survived on water and biscuits.

Lagos lockdown over coronavirus: 'How will my children survive?'

As more than 25 million people are placed on a two-week lockdown in parts of Nigeria in a bid to curtail the spread of coronavirus, poor people in congested neighbourhoods are worried about how they will cope, writes the BBC's Nduka Orjinmo from the commercial capital Lagos.

Peacock spiders show more of their colours

OK, a lot of people don't like arachnids. But c'mon, these little guys are simply stunning. Seven new peacock spiders have been described in the journal Zootaxa.

Coronavirus: The good that can come out of an upside-down world

Our world has changed immensely in the last few weeks but amid the upheaval and distress, there are reasons to believe we can emerge from the crisis with some human qualities enhanced, writes Matthew Syed.

Thomas Becket: Alpine ice sheds light on medieval murder

Ancient air pollution, trapped in ice, reveals new details about life and death in 12th Century Britain. In a study, scientists have found traces of lead, transported on the winds from British mines that operated in the late 1100s.

Blood test 'can check for more than 50 types of cancer'

It could help diagnose tumours sooner, when they are easier to treat and, ideally, cure, experts hope. More than 99% of positive results are accurate, the team says, but it will be crucial to check it does not miss cases and provide false assurance.

Uncovering amazake: Japan’s ancient fermented 'superdrink'

By the time I made the hike down the long pathway from the top of Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari to the houses below, I was thirsty. Which was convenient, since many local residents take advantage of foot traffic from the mountainside Shinto shrine by hosting small cafes in their homes.

Coronavirus: Does my grandfather’s 1940 infectious disease advice still hold true?

These words were published 80 years ago and written by my grandfather, Dr John Davy Rolleston, in his book Acute Infectious Diseases - A Handbook for Practitioners and Students.

Why do we think cats are unfriendly?

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current crisis, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So, now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

What outdoor space tells us about inequality

Moikgantsi Kgama has seen far too much of her apartment recently. She’s spent the pandemic inside her home in New York’s Harlem neighbourhood, an affordable housing flat which has no balcony, rooftop or private garden.

Will the world be quieter after the pandemic?

Or, at least, it wasn’t. With the advent of the Covid-19 lockdown – and the concomitant reduction in crowds, road and air traffic – many places are now bathed in an unusual quiet.

The learning opportunities hiding in our failures

Successes enjoy more attention than failures. We celebrate stories of triumph, and pore over them to extract the reasons why things went so well.

The surprising origins of the postal service

With mail processing delays around the world and the United States Postal Service (USPS) teetering on the brink of collapse as a result of the financial losses caused by the pandemic, as reported by Politico, many people are coming to realise just how crucial a role the mail plays in their daily liv

Facial recognition to 'predict criminals' sparks row over AI bias

Harrisburg University researchers said their software "can predict if someone is a criminal, based solely on a picture of their face". The software "is intended to help law enforcement prevent crime", it said.

US country band Dixie Chicks drop the Dixie from their name

Country band Dixie Chicks have changed their name to The Chicks, to help highlight racial inequality in the US. The Texas trio revealed they'd dropped it on Thursday, while unveiling a protest song called March March.

Robot tanks: On patrol but not allowed to shoot

In 1985 the US pulled the plug on a computer-controlled anti-aircraft tank after a series of debacles in which its electronic brain locked guns onto a stand packed with top generals reviewing the device.

How 'reading the air' keeps Japan running

This story is part of Gen J, a new BBC Worklife series that spotlights Japan as the country heads into 2020. This is the third story in that series, looking at a societal expectation that even the youngest generation must be prepared to manage.

Making beautiful colours without toxic chemicals

If there's one thing you can count on finding in anybody's wardrobe, it's a pair of jeans - and the chances are those jeans will be blue. The original work trousers, invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873, were dyed with indigo derived from plants.

Why 2020 is the year to visit Cairo

Founded in 969AD, modern Cairo may seem young in comparison to the 4,500-year-old pyramids just across the Nile. But the city has seen its own share of history in its lifetime, including occupations by the Ottomans and British and revolutions that changed the course of the country.

The shipwreck that forever changed South Africa

After meeting up with Dr Bruno Werz in the parking lot of Cape Town’s Dolphin Beach Hotel, we picked our way through tussocked dunes down to the Table Bay shoreline.

Why Tunis could be the new Rome

The wait for admission to the Colosseum was approximately three and a half hours. The queue was so long that I initially mistook it for the line leading into the Palatine Hill, as I couldn’t even see the Colosseum when I joined the end of it.

The glitzy European city going green

It’s an unlikely spot for an organic fruit and vegetable garden, tucked away between soulless high-rise buildings that dot the most densely populated country in the world. But this 450 sq m sliver of land is where market gardener Jessica Sbaraglia toils away.

How did the last Neanderthals live?

Forty thousand years ago in Europe, we were not the only human species alive – there were at least three others. Many of us are familiar with one of these, the Neanderthals.

Coronavirus: Why are we catching more diseases from animals?

The world is grappling with the new coronavirus, which has spread from China to at least 16 other countries, including the UK. Outbreaks of new infectious diseases are typically seen as a "one off".

'I didn't know it was abuse until I nearly died'

It was only when Abi Blake was nearly killed by her abusive husband that she decided to break up with him and press charges. A new policing pilot in Cheshire encourages women not to leave it so late, reports the BBC's Sue Mitchell. They were introduced by friends just after Valentine's Day in 2014.

To Scale: The Solar System

On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.A film by Wylie Overstreet and Alex Goroshalexgorosh.comwylieoverstreet.comFeel like supporting more films like this? Consid

Tattoos: 'The more I have, the more confident I feel'

You probably know Post Malone for two things: massive hit singles and having loads of tattoos - some on his face. He's been chatting about his body art in a new interview, saying his tattoos come from "a place of insecurity".

Delhi's inventive answer to the electric car

The rise of the electric three-wheeler could help to reduce India’s emissions and improve air quality, but how can this niche vehicle compete on Delhi’s busy streets?The sleek Dwarka metro station towers against the industrial landscape of Delhi, a busy stop on the city’s modern train network,

Why sisters have the greatest love of all

Arguably the most brutal, gasp-inducing moment in Greta Gerwig’s recent adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women is when a jealous Amy burns her sister Jo’s manuscript. As framed by Gerwig, it’s a bigger betrayal even than her later marrying Laurie.

How burnout affects mental health workers

Their day to day jobs involve solving other people’s emotional issues. So how do therapists avoid taking those issues home with them?Jessica Smith became a therapist for the same reason many mental health professionals go into the field – to help people.

Lord Howe: Australia’s most exclusive island?

Rainbow-coloured fish swirled around my legs in crystal-clear South Pacific waters. On a semi-tropical rainforest walk, I clapped my hands and chirping flightless birds ran towards me, tame from lack of predators.

Can you feed cats and dogs a vegan diet?

Some vegan pet owners don’t just want to give up animal products – they want their pets to as well. But can cats and dogs really go meat free? In June 2016, a Tumblr blog user named sfveganyogi posted a picture of the dinner she was about to serve her Labrador, Maggie.

Why your internet habits are not as clean as you think

The internet allows us to send messages, share pictures, download music and stream videos at a touch of a button, but our online habits have a surprising impact on the environment.

The monks who bought their own Scottish island

Twenty years ago, an order of Catholic monks bought a small Orkney island where they could practice the Latin Mass. They are continuing a religious tradition which gave Papa Stronsay its name. Brother Nicodemus Mary loves to pray in private in the ruins of St Nicholas' Chapel.

Japan’s ancient way to save the planet

Reaching across the counter to pass us a beautifully wrapped pack of homemade senbei (rice crackers), the elderly shopkeeper joined in our admiration of the colourful designs.

Read more from Mosaic

If you have sleep apnoea, chances are you don’t realise it. But it’s linked to diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, and it can put your life at riskI thought I was dying. During the day, I was so tired my knees would buckle.

Can beauty pageants ever be empowering?

Beauty pageants have long been a contested part of our culture: some see them as a hangover from a far more patriarchal era, while others defend them for helping women of all ages to feel more confident and to know their self-worth. It’s a debate raised in new film, Misbehaviour.

Canada’s mysterious lake monster

Not long after I moved to Kelowna, a city in southern British Columbia known for its wineries, water sports and hiking trails, I saw a news story about a monster sighting.

How a 'growth mindset' can lead to success

The phenomenally successful are fond of telling us about their passion for their professions. Consider Steve Jobs: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.

The countries building miniature nuclear reactors

Small-scale nuclear reactors are starting to be developed around the world. Proponents say they are a safer and cheaper form of nuclear power.

The spectacular failures and successes of massive dams

Not far from Cairo stood a remarkable dam, the Sadd el-Kafara, more than 100m long, and 14m high, and able to store about half a million cubic metres of water. These statistics are modest, by modern standards - but the Sadd el-Kafara is not a modern dam. It was built nearly 5,000 years ago.

The curious origins of the dollar symbol

Despite its ubiquity, the origins of the dollar sign remain far from clear, with competing theories touching on Bohemian coins, the Pillars of Hercules and harried merchants.The dollar sign is among the world’s most potent symbols, emblematic of far more than US currency.

What eating a big meal does to your body

* This story is featured in BBC Future’s “Best of 2019” collection. Discover more of our picks. I am pretty confident that I can predict how I am going to feel after Christmas dinner: snoozy, sluggish and definitely full.

'The closest thing on Earth to interplanetary travel'

Finding out how fast Antarctic ice is melting is critical to understanding the scale of the climate crisis. The BBC's chief environmental correspondent, Justin Rowlatt, is therefore joining scientists as they check the health of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

How hacking the human heart could replace pill popping

A new generation of “smart” implantable devices could replace traditional medication to treat a range of chronic conditions, including cardiac disease.The modern pacemaker is a medical marvel.

What is bubonic plague?

It is not known how the patient became infected, but the country is on alert for more cases. Plague is one of the deadliest diseases in human history - but it can now be easily treated with antibiotics.

Coronavirus: Fear over rise in animal-to-human diseases

Zoonotic diseases - which jump from animals to humans - are increasing and will continue to do so without action to protect wildlife and preserve the environment, UN experts have warned.

Obituary: Ennio Morricone, the composer who changed the sound of cinema

Ennio Morricone's innovative and influential scores revolutionised the music of the film industry. He became famous for scoring the Spaghetti Westerns directed by his friend Sergio Leone, such as A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Ennio Morricone: Oscar-winning Italian film composer dies aged 91

Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer whose credits include the "spaghetti" Westerns that made Clint Eastwood a star, has died in Rome aged 91. According to Italian news agency Ansa, he died in hospital having fractured his femur in a fall some days ago.

Coronavirus: Why Singapore turned to wearable contact-tracing tech

Singapore's TraceTogether Tokens are the latest effort to tackle Covid-19 with tech. But they have also reignited a privacy debate.

Tiger kills Zurich zookeeper in front of visitors and staff

Staff rushed to her aid and eventually managed to draw the tiger out of the cage, but the 55-year-old keeper died at the scene, Zurich zoo said. Visitors raised the alarm at about 13:20 (11:20 GMT) on Saturday.

Katsina: The motorcycle bandits terrorising northern Nigeria

Motorcycle-riding armed bandits operating out of abandoned forest reserves are ransacking communities in Nigeria's north-west. The groups are the latest to join Nigeria's lucrative kidnap for ransom industry, and are quite brazen in their operations.

Hong Kong security law: Pro-democracy books pulled from libraries

Books by pro-democracy figures have been removed from public libraries in Hong Kong in the wake of a controversial new security law. The works will be reviewed to see if they violate the new law, the authority which runs the libraries said.

Jonty Bravery: Tate Modern balcony teen 'smiled' after attack

Jonty Bravery, 18, searched for the most vulnerable child at the London art gallery before "scooping up" the boy, the Old Bailey was told. Prosecutors said the defendant, who admits attempted murder, had planned an attack well in advance.

Why we have a love-hate relationship with electric scooters

You might have started seeing more of them on streets and in parks, gliding past you with a faint electric hum. As lockdowns lift and people avoid public transport, e-scooters – stand-up, electrically powered scooters – are becoming more popular.

Greta Thunberg, the climate campaigner who doesn't like campaigning

It sounds like a year off made in heaven. How about you take Arnold Schwarzenegger's electric car on a road trip around America?

The violent attack that turned a man into a maths genius

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

Voyager: Inside the world's greatest space mission

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

India coronavirus: Questions over death of man 'turned away by 18 hospitals'

Indian officials are investigating nine hospitals in the southern city of Bangalore, amid allegations that a man died after being refused treatment at all of them, writes BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi.

Nagaland dog meat: Animal rights groups hail ban as 'major turning point'

The Indian state of Nagaland has banned the import, trading and sale of dog meat, in a move celebrated by animal rights activists. The north-east state's government announced the ban following a sustained campaign by animal welfare groups.

Donald Trump orders creation of 'national heroes' garden

US President Donald Trump has ordered the creation of a "National Garden of American Heroes" to defend what he calls "our great national story" against those who vandalise statues. His executive order gives a new task force 60 days to present plans, including a location, for the garden.

UK government takes £400m stake in satellite firm OneWeb

The UK is spending $500m (£400m) on a stake in failed satellite firm OneWeb as part of a plan to replace use of the EU's Galileo sat-nav system. OneWeb went bankrupt in March while trying to build a spacecraft network to deliver broadband.

David Starkey resigns from university role over slavery comments

Fitzwilliam College, at Cambridge University, has announced it has "accepted the resignation of historian David Starkey from his honorary fellowship with immediate effect". The college said: "Our student and academic bodies are diverse and welcoming to all. We do not tolerate racism."

Washington Redskins agree review of controversial team name

The Washington Redskins American football team will review its name after demands from major sponsors. Its headline sponsor, Fedex, joined a fresh wave of calls to scrap a team moniker long-criticised as racist.

The last Night Watchmen of Europe

Apart from the empty streets below and the clearer-than-ever mountain ridges beyond, the view from Renato Haeusler’s “office” balcony is the same now as it was before the coronavirus quarantine lockdown gripped the world.

Phillip Hughes: Australian batsman dies, aged 25

Australia Test batsman Phillip Hughes has died aged 25, two days after being struck on the top of the neck by a ball during a domestic match in Sydney. Australia team doctor Peter Brukner said he passed away in hospital, never regaining consciousness.

How to keep your delicate brain safe

Our brains are delicate and precious assets. Encased within the thick, bony shell of our craniums, they are largely protected from the damage that our everyday lives might inflict.

Supermarkets snub coconut goods picked by monkeys

The monkeys are snatched from the wild and trained to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said. The animal rights group said pigtailed macaques in Thailand were treated like "coconut-picking machines".

Read more from The Conversation

This article originally appeared on The Conversation, and is republished under a Creative Commons licence. In June 1348, people in England began reporting mysterious symptoms. They started off as mild and vague: headaches, aches, and nausea.

The young people fighting the worst smog in Europe

“We always knew there was a problem with pollution because we can see it,” says Kosta Barsov, who lives in Skopje, North Macedonia. “In winter it stinks – if I open my bedroom window while I’m studying it feels like I’m suffocating.

Should we eat more like the Japanese?

Japan has the most centenarians ­– those 100 years old or more – of any country in the world. Forty-eight in every 100,000 people in the country make it to their century. Nowhere else on Earth really comes close.

Hundreds arrested as crime chat network cracked

The NCA worked with forces across Europe on the UK's "biggest and most significant" law enforcement operation. Major crime figures were among over 800 Europe-wide arrests after messages on EncroChat were intercepted and decoded.

Is the hydrogen tech 'revolution' hope or hype?

In his speech on the planned economic recovery, the prime minister said hydrogen technology is an area where the UK leads the world. He hopes it’ll create clean jobs in the future. But is the hydrogen revolution hope or hype?

Haile Selassie: Statue of former Ethiopian leader destroyed in London park

Police are investigating the incident, which took place in Cannizaro Park on Tuesday evening. The damage was carried out by a group of around 100 people, according to an eyewitness.

US targets Monet and Warhol artworks in 1MDB case

US prosecutors will try to seize another $96m (£77m) in assets from the fugitive financier known as Jho Low. The assets sought by the the Department of Justice (DOJ) include an apartment in Paris and artworks by Claude Monet, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Hundreds of elephants found dead in Botswana

Mystery surrounds the "completely unprecedented" deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana over the last two months. Dr Niall McCann said colleagues in the southern African country had spotted more than 350 elephant carcasses in the Okavango Delta since the start of May.

Captagon: Italy seizes €1bn of amphetamines 'made to fund IS'

Italian police have seized what they believe is a world-record haul of 14 tonnes of amphetamines they suspect were made in Syria to finance the jihadist group Islamic State (IS). About 84 million counterfeit Captagon pills worth an estimated €1bn ($1.1bn; £0.

The Cameroonian waging war against a French war hero’s statue

Cameroonian activist Andre Blaise Essama has been on a decades-long mission to purge his country of its colonial-era symbols. He has a reputation for being a statue chopper in the main city Douala, with his main target being French World War II hero Gen Philippe Leclerc.

Coronavirus: US buys nearly all of Gilead's Covid-19 drug remdesivir

The US is buying nearly all the next three months' projected production of Covid-19 treatment remdesivir from US manufacturer Gilead. The US health department announced on Tuesday it had agreed to buy 500,000 doses for use in American hospitals.

Copernicus Sentinels: UK industry loses out in European satellite bids

UK industry is the big loser as Europe seeks to expand its Copernicus Earth observation programme. Contracts have been approved to lead the development of six new satellite systems, including one to track carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

Core of a gas planet seen for the first time

Astronomers have found a previously unseen type of object circling a distant star. It could be the core of a gas world like Jupiter, offering an unprecedented glimpse inside one of these giant planets.

Finland's air force quietly drops swastika symbol

It was long a rather surprising choice of imagery for Finland's Air Force Command - a swastika and pair of wings. The symbol will always be intrinsically linked with Nazi Germany and its crimes, even though its roots go back many thousands of years.

Oklahoma woman shot while trying to remove Nazi flag

Garfield County Sheriff's office said the woman had been at a party nearby when she took one of two flags being flown outside Alexander Feaster's home. Mr Feaster, 44, then reportedly shot her in the back with a semi-automatic rifle as she ran away.

Germany far right: Elite KSK commando force 'to be partially disbanded'

Germany's defence minister says she has ordered the partial dissolution of the elite KSK commando force, which has come under growing criticism over right-wing extremism in its ranks. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told a newspaper it had become partly independent of the chain of command.

Mystery over monster star's vanishing act

Astronomers have been baffled by the disappearance of a massive star they had been observing. They now wonder whether the distant object collapsed to form a black hole without exploding in a supernova.

Betelgeuse: Nearby 'supernova' star's dimming explained

Astronomers say big cool patches on a "supergiant" star close to Earth were behind its surprise dimming last year. Red giant stars like Betelgeuse frequently undergo changes in brightness, but the drop to 40% of its normal value between October 2019 and April 2020 surprised astronomers.

How the pandemic will change our lives in the long-term

Like the Black Death spreading along the trade-routes strung along the spine of 14th-Century Eurasia, Covid-19 emerged in China and spread extremely quickly along the modern-day Silk Roads: intercontinental flight paths.

World 'losing battle against deforestation'

An assessment of the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) says it has failed to deliver on key pledges. Launched at the 2014 UN climate summit, it aimed to half deforestation by 2020, and halt it by 2030.

Belgian king expresses 'deepest regrets' for DR Congo colonial abuses

Belgium's King Philippe has expressed his "deepest regrets" to the Democratic Republic of Congo for his country's colonial abuses. The reigning monarch made the comments in a letter to President Felix Tshisekedi on the 60th anniversary of DR Congo's independence.

Mastectomy: I got rid of my boobs aged 27 to save my life

When Hayley Minn was 23, she found out she was 85% more likely to get breast cancer than the average person in the UK. That's because she has a gene mutation called BRCA1, which affects around one in every 300-400 people. This is her story in her own words.

Flu virus with 'pandemic potential' found in China

It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say. The researchers are concerned that it could mutate further so that it can spread easily from person to person, and trigger a global outbreak.

Could a boycott kill Facebook?

Boycotts can be extremely effective - as Facebook is finding out. In the late 18th century, the abolitionist movement encouraged British people to stay away from goods produced by slaves. It worked. Around 300,000 stopped buying sugar - increasing the pressure to abolish slavery.

A letter to our newborn American daughter

You were born on the third night of curfew and in the third month of the Covid lockdown, entering the world as around us an epic history swirled. When your mother went into labour, police helicopters circled above our apartment building.

Russia denies its nuclear plants are source of radiation leak

Russia has said a leak of nuclear material detected over Scandinavia did not come from one of its power plants. Nuclear safety watchdogs in Finland, Norway and Sweden said last week they had found higher-than-usual amounts of radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere.

Seeing red: The propaganda art of China’s Cultural Revolution

In 1966 Mao Zedong, the Communist leader of China, started a political campaign that became known as the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

Cultural Revolution: No desire to dwell on the past

Chinese people aged over 50 experienced the Cultural Revolution first hand. If you were born in 1966, you were 10 when it finished.

Li Zhensheng: Photographer of China's cultural revolution

Li Zhensheng risked his life in his determination to capture China's Cultural Revolution on film. As a staff photographer working for a state-run newspaper, Li Zhensheng had rare access to people and places during one of the most turbulent periods of the 20th Century.

Will Coronavirus end India’s tapri chai culture?

On a normal afternoon in Delhi, before the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the country, office workers would be seen emerging from their buildings and head to one of the many tapris (tea stalls) lining the streets outside offices.

Galwan Valley: China to use martial art trainers after India border clash

China has said it is moving 20 martial art trainers to the Tibetan plateau to train its forces. No official reason for the decision has been given, but it comes after at least 20 Indian troops were killed in clashes with Chinese border forces.

First Viking ship excavation in a century begins in Norway

Archaeologists in Norway have begun the first excavation of a Viking ship in more than a century. The vessel was discovered in a burial site in Gjellestad in the south-east of the country two years ago.

Princeton to remove Woodrow Wilson's name from policy school

Princeton University says it is to remove the name of former US President Woodrow Wilson from a building on its campus because of his racist beliefs and policies. The move follows a wave of protests across the US sparked by the death of African American man George Floyd.

The astonishing vision and focus of Namibia’s nomads

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

How one teaspoon of Amazon soil teems with fungal life

Largely invisible and hidden underground, the "dark matter" of life on Earth has "amazing properties", which we're just starting to explore, say scientists. The vast majority of the estimated 3.8 million fungi in the world have yet to be formally classified.

Italy bear faces cull after attack on father and son

The 28-year-old son was walking on a path on Mount Peller north of Trento when he encountered the bear and fell over. His father threw himself at the animal and broke his leg. The incident has highlighted the growing bear population in the area.

Simpsons ends use of white actors to voice people of colour

US animated comedy series The Simpsons will no longer use white actors for the voices of characters from other ethnic backgrounds, the show's producers say. The show, broadcast on Fox Network, has faced years of criticism over white actor Hank Azaria's voiceover of Indian-American character Apu.

Coronavirus: Man, 73, finishes 1,000-mile lockdown run

Dic Evans from Ceredigion took part in a ceremonial final run on Friday evening to cap his achievement. He was joined by other runners for a four-mile run, cheered on by supporters at the finish on Aberystwyth promenade.

Fair and Lovely: A skin-lightening cream rebrands, but prejudice remains

Consumer giant Unilever says it will rebrand its bestselling skin lightening cream Fair and Lovely and drop the word "fair" from its name. While the news has been welcomed, campaigners say the move doesn't go far enough - and in India demand for such products shows no sign of waning.

Imran Khan criticised after calling Osama Bin Laden a 'martyr'

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has come under fire from opposition MPs after telling parliament that the US "martyred" Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was killed in 2011 when US special forces raided his hideout in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

From the archives: How do you decide when a statue must fall?

We name buildings after people, or put up statues to them, because we respect them. But what if we then discover they did wrong? In what cases should the building be renamed, or the statue be removed, asks the BBC's in-house philosopher, David Edmonds.

Can you remove a statue without erasing the past?

When a country has statues of people that no longer reflect its values, what is the best solution? Is there a way of addressing the past without erasing it? And is doing nothing an option? The BBC's Kavita Puri speaks to four people about possible lessons to be drawn from Iraq, Germany, India and th

Native Americans to protest against Trump visit to Mount Rushmore

Native American groups are planning to protest against President Donald Trump's visit to Mount Rushmore at the start of the Independence Day weekend. Activists have long taken issue with the South Dakota monument to former US presidents, which was built on land sacred to the Sioux tribe.

Read more from Mosaic

One in 20 patients remain aware but paralysed during major medical procedures - though the vast majority will not remember it afterwards. Why?It can be the smallest event that triggers Donna Penner’s traumatic memories of an operation she had more than ten years ago.

Waking up under the surgeon's knife

Canadian Donna Penner was relaxed at the prospect of abdominal surgery - until she woke up just before the surgeon made his first incision. She describes how she survived the excruciating pain of being operated on while awake.

How agonising surgery paved the way for anaesthetics

From first cut to severed limb dropping into a box of bloodied sawdust, surgeon Robert Liston could remove a leg in 25 seconds. His operations at University College Hospital in central London in the early 1840s were notorious for their speed, intensity and success.

Canada’s forgotten universal basic income experiment

Evelyn Forget was a psychology student in Toronto in 1974 when she first heard about a ground-breaking social experiment that had just begun in the rural Canadian community of Dauphin, Manitoba.

The real reason lockdown is exhausting

Whether schooling children at home or facing many months living alone, lockdown has proven to be challenging for large numbers of people.

The SS Yongala: How a mysterious wreck became a destination

On 15 March 1911, Michel Santoro met Euphemia Gordon outside a motion-picture theatre in Sydney, a seemingly random encounter that gave me a chance at life.

A 13th-Century Persian poet’s lessons for today

In the 13th Century AD, during one of the most turbulent periods in Iranian history, the poet Sa’di left his native Shiraz to study in Baghdad.


When you’re ill, do you drag yourself into the office? Or still report to work on Slack or email from bed at home – when you should really be sleeping and getting rest? That’s “presenteeism”: working even when it’s really not the best thing for you to be doing.

What the Dutch can teach the world about remote work

If you’ve been balancing your laptop on a precarious stack of cookbooks, or lamented VPN speed from your kitchen table, you’re not alone. Ever since restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19, companies have been scrambling to enable colleagues to work from home.

Paul Whelan: The strange case of the ex-marine jailed for spying in Russia

In Room 3324 of Moscow's Metropol hotel, Paul Whelan was getting dressed for a friend's wedding when Russian intelligence officers burst in.

Jessi Combs: US racing driver given female speed record in 2019 fatal crash

An American racing driver has been posthumously awarded the fastest land-speed record by a female, a feat she died trying to achieve. Jessi Combs died in a crash after attempting to break the land-speed record in the Alvord Desert, Oregon, on 27 August 2019.

Israel annexation plans for West Bank leave Palestinians in despair

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could annex parts of the occupied West Bank this summer. He says the move, stemming from US President Donald Trump's peace plan, will write another "glorious chapter in the history of Zionism". The Palestinians are defiant.

Coronavirus: Warning thousands could be left with lung damage

Tens of thousands of people will need to be recalled to hospital after a serious Covid-19 infection to check if they have been left with permanent lung damage, doctors have told the BBC. Experts are concerned a significant proportion could be left with lung scarring, known as pulmonary fibrosis.

Order of Nine Angles: What is this obscure Nazi Satanist group?

A US soldier has been accused of plotting an attack on his own unit by sending information to an obscure Nazi Satanist organisation called the Order of Nine Angles (ONA). But who are they?

India’s original “turmeric latte”

The first time I came across the beverage at a chic London coffeeshop a few years ago, I goggled in disbelief.

China: City to let people getting married see their partner's abuse history

Yiwu, in Zhejiang province, is launching an inquiry service that will be available to residents from 1 July.

Why athletes need a ‘quiet eye’

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

Olympus quits camera business after 84 years

Olympus, once one of the world's biggest camera brands, is selling off that part of its business after 84 years. The firm said that despite its best efforts, the "extremely severe digital camera market" was no longer profitable.

Crook woman stunned by unexpected baby arrival

Daisy Young had no idea she was pregnant. But four hours after going to hospital with unexplained stomach cramps, the 21-year-old had a baby boy. She and her mother Maggy Young told the BBC their story.

Segway: End of the road for the much-hyped two-wheeler

Segway is ending production of its original two-wheeler, which was popular with city tour guides and some police forces - but not the public. Launched in 2001, the much-hyped self-balancing vehicle promised to revolutionise personal transport.

Why the world needs viruses to function

Viruses seem to exist solely to wreak havoc on society and bring suffering to humanity.

Will the 'War on Terror' ever end?

Last weekend's deadly knife attack in Reading, west of London, has been an uncomfortable reminder that the threat of terrorism has not gone away.

Glastonbury fence-jumpers: 'It was girls underneath, boys over the top!'

For much of the Glastonbury festival's 50-year-long history, paying for a ticket wasn't the only way to get in - if you were prepared to take a few risks, get a bit dirty and run fast in the dark. Adam Bloodworth talks to four gatecrashers about their dramatic experiences with the perimeter fence.

'Black neutron star' discovery changes astronomy

Scientists have discovered an astronomical object that has never been observed before. It is more massive than collapsed stars, known as "neutron stars", but has less mass than black holes.

Ron Jeremy: Adult star charged with rape and sexual assault

Adult film star Ron Jeremy has been charged with raping three women and sexually assaulting a fourth, prosecutors say. He is accused of attacking the women between 2014 and 2019. The alleged victims were aged between 25 and 46.

Spanish Baroque painting botched by amateur restoration

The Valencia-based collector paid €1,200 ($1,355; £1,087) for it to be cleaned by a furniture restorer, according to Spain's Europa Press. But despite two attempts to fix it, the picture of the Immaculate Conception has been left unrecognisable.

Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia bars international pilgrims for Hajj

Saudi Arabia has banned international visitors from making the Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj, this year in a bid to control coronavirus. Only a very limited number of people currently living in the kingdom may take part, an announcement on state media says.

China launches final satellite in challenge to GPS

China has successfully put into orbit the final satellite in its BeiDou-3 navigation system, further advancing the country as a major space power. Tuesday's launch will allow China to no longer rely on the US government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS).

Coronavirus: Wildlife scientists examine the great 'human pause'

Researchers have launched an initiative to track wildlife before, during and after the coronavirus lockdown.

Taal: The 'very small but dangerous volcano'

Taal is one of the Philippines' most active volcanoes. Over the past few days, it's begun spewing lava, triggering earthquakes and emitting huge plumes of ash that have spread across the island of Luzon and beyond.

How not to shake someone’s hand

We can know when a handshake feels wrong, but it can be hard to put a finger on exactly why. If it lingers too long, is too firm or pulls us too close it can define the rest of an encounter.Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron walked side by side, their hands clasped together.

Apple Mac computers make jump to its own chips

Apple has confirmed it will transition its Mac laptop and desktop computers to its own ARM-based processors. The move means that Macs will run on the same type of chips as the firm's iPhones and iPads, rather than Intel's.

Climate change: Planting new forests 'can do more harm than good'

Rather than benefiting the environment, large-scale tree planting may do the opposite, two new studies have found. One paper says that financial incentives to plant trees can backfire and reduce biodiversity with little impact on carbon emissions.

Aboriginal Stonehenge: Stargazing in ancient Australia

An egg-shaped ring of standing stones in Australia could prove to be older than Britain's Stonehenge - and it may show that ancient Aboriginal cultures had a deep understanding of the movements of the stars.

Archaeologists make new Stonehenge 'sun worship' find

Two previously undiscovered pits have been found at Stonehenge which point to it once being used as a place of sun worship before the stones were erected.

Archaeologists unearth Neolithic henge at Stonehenge

Archaeologists have discovered a second henge at Stonehenge, described as the most exciting find there in 50 years. The circular ditch surrounding a smaller circle of deep pits about a metre (3ft) wide has been unearthed at the world-famous site in Wiltshire.

How significant is the 'new henge'?

This is a three-year project, so by 2013 there could be quite a list of new discoveries. Is this real? Do we know as little about the famous world heritage site as this seems to imply? Or is it another hyped science story that will vanish with the dawn?

Just what is Manhattanhenge?

New Yorkers have witnessed an urban solar phenomenon, with the Sun setting in alignment with the city's skyscrapers and giving an effect fans say is reminiscent of Wiltshire's Stonehenge. Welcome to Manhattanhenge.

Stonehenge boy 'was from the Med'

Chemical tests on teeth from an ancient burial near Stonehenge indicate that the person in the grave grew up around the Mediterranean Sea. The bones belong to a teenager who died 3,550 years ago and was buried with a distinctive amber necklace.

Stonehenge builders' houses found

Excavations at Durrington Walls, near the legendary Salisbury Plain monument, uncovered remains of ancient houses. People seem to have occupied the sites seasonally, using them for ritual feasting and funeral ceremonies.

Stonehenge design was 'inspired by sounds'

Music could have been an inspiration for the design of Stonehenge, according to an American researcher. Steven Waller's intriguing idea is that ancient Britons could have based the layout of the great monument, in part, on the way they perceived sound.

Stonehenge: Neolithic monument found near sacred site

Tests carried out on the pits suggest they were excavated by Neolithic people more than 4,500 years ago. Experts believe the 20 or more shafts may have served as a boundary to a sacred area connected to the henge.

Stonehenge secrets revealed by underground map

Archaeologists have unveiled the most detailed map ever produced of the earth beneath Stonehenge and its surrounds. They combined different instruments to scan the area to a depth of three metres, with unprecedented resolution.

Tomb found at Stonehenge quarry site

The tomb for the original builders of Stonehenge could have been unearthed by an excavation at a site in Wales. The Carn Menyn site in the Preseli Hills is where the bluestones used to construct the first stone phase of the henge were quarried in 2300BC.


Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 km) west of Amesbury. It consists of a ring of standing stones, each around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide, and weighing around 25 tons.

Theodore Roosevelt statue to be removed by New York museum

The statue outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York shows Roosevelt on horseback flanked by a Native American man and an African man.

100+1 zahraniční zajímavost

Přejít k hlavnímu obsahu Další články Otázky a odpovědi Tuhle květinku domů raději nenoste: Jaká rostlina má největší květy na světě?

Mandelbrot set

The Mandelbrot set is the set of complex numbers c {\displaystyle c} for which the function f c ( z ) = z 2 + c {\displaystyle f_{c}(z)=z^{2}+c} does not diverge when iterated from z = 0 {\displaystyle z=0} , i.e.


GFA BASIC is a dialect of the BASIC programming language, by Frank Ostrowski. The name is derived from the company ("GFA Systemtechnik GmbH"), which distributed the software.

Is Belgium the world's deadliest COVID-19 country or just the most honest?

London: If honesty really is the best policy, Belgium should probably be lauded as an international leader in the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the kingdom's unorthodox approach has earned it an unwelcome and unfair title: world's deadliest country. For weeks now the nation of 11.

Neo-Nazi militant group grooms teenagers

Secret efforts to groom and recruit teenagers by a neo-Nazi militant group have been exposed by covert recordings. They capture senior members of The Base interviewing young applicants and discussing how to radicalise them.

Why bears are coming out of hibernation early

From Russia and Finland to Canada and the US, there's been multiple sightings of bears around the world. That might not sound too weird - but bears aren't normally spotted this early in the year, which makes this pretty unusual.

Climate change: Will planting millions of trees really save the planet?

From Greta Thunberg to Donald Trump and airlines to oil companies, everyone is suddenly going crazy for trees. The UK government has pledged to plant millions a year while other countries have schemes running into billions.

The 'climate doomers' preparing for society to fall apart

An article by a British professor that predicts the imminent collapse of society, as a result of climate change, has been downloaded over half a million times. Many mainstream climate scientists totally reject his claims, but his followers are already preparing for the worst.

The actor who was really stabbed on stage

When he was cast as Hamlet at age 24, Conor Madden thought his stage career was about to take off - but then an accident during a sword-fighting scene left him with serious injuries. No-one knew whether he would ever act again.

China sinkhole: Six killed as ground swallows bus

At least six people have been killed and 16 injured after an enormous sinkhole swallowed a bus and a number of pedestrians in central China. The incident occurred on Monday evening outside a hospital in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province.

Dissatisfaction with democracy 'at record high'

Dissatisfaction with democracy within developed countries is at its highest level in almost 25 years, according to University of Cambridge researchers. Academics have analysed what they say is the biggest global dataset on attitudes towards democracy, based on four million people in 3,500 surveys.

Rapper convicted of having his mother murdered

An aspiring rapper has been sentenced to 99 years in prison after paying to have his mother killed. He was convicted on Friday in Chicago alongside the hitman Eugene Spencer, who received a 100 year sentence.

The silent epidemic of America’s problem with guns

Mass shootings dominate the national conversation on gun control, but two thirds of gun deaths are suicides. How do you solve a problem hardly anyone talks about? The night Brayden died was a cold, clear night in Helena, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Montana.

What the world can learn from Japan’s robots

Japan is rolling out robots in nursing homes, offices and schools as its population ages and workforce shrinks. What can it teach other countries facing the same problems?Japan is changing: a rapidly ageing society, a record-breaking influx of visitors from overseas, and more robots than ever.

Climate change: Clean tech 'won't solve warming in time'

Breakthrough technologies such as carbon capture and hydrogen cannot be relied on to help the UK meet its climate change targets, a report says. The government had hoped that both technologies would contribute to emissions reductions required by 2050.

Apple fined for slowing down old iPhones

Apple has been fined 25 million euros (£21m, $27m) for deliberately slowing down older iPhone models without making it clear to consumers. The fine was imposed by France's competition and fraud watchdog DGCCRF, which said consumers were not warned.

Can you learn to navigate uncertainty?

Our newspapers, TV screens and social media feeds are full of pundits who claim to be able to see the future. Often they’re right; many times, they’re wrong.

Coronavirus: Surf photographer on 'stark' lifestyle change

Si Crowther's work capturing windsurfing and surfing images for magazines and events has taken him to Hawaii, South America and beyond. But with no events on the horizon and global travel uncertain, the 46-year-old has been staying in Ipswich, where he lives alone in a ground-floor flat.

Panama exhumes remains of 19 victims from 1989 US invasion

The remains of 19 victims of the 1989 US invasion of Panama have been exhumed from a cemetery as part of an official investigation into the operation. About 500 Panamanians are believed to have died in the invasion, but rights groups say the true number is higher.


An integrated information package for biodiversity conservation. EcoLynx was developed by the Union of International Associations (UIA) and co-funded by the partners and through a grant from DG Information Society of the Commission of the European Union between 1997-2000. This movie was a part of th

Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential

The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is published by the Union of International Associations (UIA). It is available online since 2000,[1] and was previously available as a CD-ROM and as a three-volume book.[2] The online Encyclopedia is currently in a redevelopment phase.[3]

Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential Online: Re-design Project

The initial focus of the re-design project is on the World Problems database. The other databases such as Global Strategies, as well as the complementary databases Human Values, Human Development, Patterns and Metaphors, Bibliography, Integrative Concepts, etc, may be added at a later date.

Feedback Loop Analysis in the Encyclopedia Project

Extract from the final report on Information Context for Biodiversity Conservation (2000). See also Vicious cycles and loops (1995) and Strategic ecosystem: Feedback loops and dependent co-arising (1995)

Union of International Associations

The Union of International Associations (UIA) is a research institute and documentation centre, based in Brussels. It was founded over one hundred years ago, in 1907, by (Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 1913), and Paul Otlet, a founding father of what is now called information science.

Advanced Revelation

Database Management System Advanced Revelation is an award winning DOS development environment that is distinguished by unrivaled flexibility in application development and robust, multi-user data access.

Yearbook of International Organizations

The Yearbook of International Organizations is a reference work on non-profit international organizations, published by the Union of International Associations. It was first published in 1908 under the title Annuaire de la vie internationale, and has been known under its current title since 1950.

EWPHP: Editing Platform

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a wide ranging group of diseases and can have severe... Asthma is a disease involving airway inflammation. It is characterised by airway...

'Cashpoint aid' and Africa: Who benefits?

Across Africa the news that a former colonial power, the UK, is to take a more strategic, political, hard-nosed approach to the way it spends its overseas aid budget, has been greeted with a mixture of frustration and cynicism.

One-fifth of Earth's ocean floor is now mapped

We've just become a little less ignorant about Planet Earth. The initiative that seeks to galvanise the creation of a full map of the ocean floor says one-fifth of this task has now been completed.

Gelsenkirchen: Controversial Lenin statue erected in German city

The tiny Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) installed the statue in front of its headquarters in the western city of Gelsenkirchen. City authorities had attempted to stop the statue being installed and launched an online hashtag saying there was "no place for Lenin".

Terorista v Kábule: Ten, čo sa potí a mrmle si Korán

Rozhodnutie o zvýšení múru padlo potom, ako sme zistili, že aj dieťa by s trochou šťastia mohlo z ulice dohodiť granátom až ku stolu vedúcej afganskej misie slovenskej organizácie Človek v ohrození Kataríny Macejákovej.

Ukrajina 2000

UKRAJINA (25.8. - 3.9. 2000) 3:39 Poprad - Michalovce vláčik. Hodinový beh cez celé mesto na autobusovú stanicu. Lístok do Užhorodu stojí 80 Sk. Cestuje s nami ešte zopár Ukrajincov.


Vyrážame na cestu a nenechávame sa odradiť ani prvými neúspechmi na samotnom počiatku. Potom, čo nám zlyhal autobus do Burgasu, sa bezváhania, ale ležérne balíme, nakupujeme životne dôležité suroviny ( rum..

Night rider: 21 years sleeping on a London bus

For more than two decades after his asylum application was rejected, Sunny found a safe haven aboard the buses that zigzag across London at night. What's it like to spend every night on the lower decks?


It is the small hours of the morning in the depths of winter, and Emma Watson is sitting in a dimly lit room in Ward 10 of the transplant unit in the Manchester Royal Infirmary. She looks drawn and tired. It has been a long night.

Why Japan is so successful at returning lost property

For most, losing a wallet or purse is more than an inconvenience. While smartphones now let us make contactless payments, hold our travel cards and help us to find our way home, there’s still something reassuringly secure about carrying physical ID and bank cards.

Prohibition: US activists fight for temperance 100 years on

It is 100 years to the day since Prohibition came into effect. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution banned anyone in the US from selling, making, importing or even transporting alcohol. Criminal gangs immediately took over the industry.

Harry and Meghan: How people split time between two countries

The Queen has agreed to a trial period for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to split their time between the UK and Canada. For senior royals like Harry and Meghan, it's an unprecedented move. But for some people, dividing their life between two homes thousands of miles apart is normal.

What if the Universe has no end?

The usual story of the Universe has a beginning, middle, and an end. It began with the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago when the Universe was tiny, hot, and dense.

How a single locust becomes a plague

The worst swarms of desert locusts in decades are now decimating crops and pasture across the Horn of Africa - an area covering Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia - and beyond, threatening the food security of the entire sub-region.

Tom and Jerry: 80 years of cat v mouse

A cartoon cat, sick of the annoying mouse living in his home, devises a plot to take him out with a trap loaded with cheese. The mouse, wise to his plan, safely removes the snack and saunters away with a full belly. You can probably guess what happens next.

Cyberloafing: The line between rejuvenating and wasting time

We all cyberloaf – and the science says that it can make us more productive at work.

Dresden: The World War Two bombing 75 years on

"The firestorm is incredible... Insane fear grips me and from then on I repeat one simple sentence to myself continuously: 'I don't want to burn to death'. I do not know how many people I fell over. I know only one thing: that I must not burn."

Why 'outskilling' isn’t yet a workplace revolution

Programmes preparing workers facing layoffs for their next career are on the rise. But experts are cautious to call ‘outskilling’ the perfect solution to the automation takeover.Michelline Smith’s childhood dream was to someday work as a train conductor.

Why so many of the world’s oldest companies are in Japan

Japan is changing: a rapidly ageing society, a record-breaking influx of visitors from overseas, and more robots than ever. That's where the country's young people come in.

Why the vegan diet is not always green

The vegan diet is widely regarded to be better for the planet than those that include animal products, but not all plant-based foodstuffs have a small environmental footprint.

Who is Greta Thunberg, the #FridaysForFuture activist?

One day in late August 2018, Greta Thunberg took up position outside Sweden's Parliament for the first time. She held a simple sign, black letters on a white board, that said "School Strike for Climate."

We will 'fight to the death' to save the Amazon rainforest

Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is advancing at worrying levels. In January, the area lost was double that in the same month in 2019, according to official figures.

The strange science inside your sourdough

In a room of refrigerators in Belgium live more than 110 jars of flour, water, and magic.

Why hasn’t AI changed the world yet?

When Kursat Ceylan, who is blind, was trying to find his way to a hotel, he used an app on his phone for directions, but also had to hold his cane and pull his luggage. He ended up walking into a pole, cutting his forehead.

The war in the desert

It is just before 15:00 on Saturday in Timbuktu and the intense desert heat has reached its peak. Five years ago, Islamist occupiers were driven out of the historical town - but violent extremists have never been far away.

Why slowing your breathing helps you relax

Within a mere 10 seconds of being born, the shock of the brave new world startled your lungs into action as you gasped your first breath. And they haven’t stopped working since, averaging around 16 breaths a minute for a resting adult – or 23,000 a day.

How the humble potato changed the world

In his 1957 essay collection Mythologies, the French philosopher and literary critic Roland Barthes called chips (la frite), a food that comes from a crop native to the Americas, “patriotic” and “the alimentary sign of Frenchness”.

Vatican opens archives of Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII

The Vatican has opened its archives on the wartime papacy of Pius XII, kept secret for decades amid accusations that he turned a blind eye to the Holocaust. Critics say Pius XII, sometimes labelled "Hitler's Pope", knew Nazi Germany was murdering Jews but failed to act.

How Richard Feynman went from stirring jelly to a Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize-winning and eccentric physicist Richard Feynman has been called a buffoon and a magician, but is lauded as a man who could make science accessible and interesting for all. When I was a child I desperately wanted to be a scientist, but then it all went wrong.

Has another interstellar visitor been found?

An amateur astronomer has discovered a comet that could come from outside our Solar System. If so, it would be the second interstellar object after the elongated body known as 'Oumuamua was identified in 2017.

First measurements of 'interstellar comet'

Astronomers are gathering measurements on a presumed interstellar comet, providing clues about its chemical composition. The object, C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), is only the second interstellar object ever identified, after 'Oumuamua, which was spotted in 2017.

Bizarre shape of interstellar asteroid

An asteroid that visited us from interstellar space is one of the most elongated cosmic objects known to science, a study has shown. Discovered on 19 October, the object's speed and trajectory strongly suggested it originated in a planetary system around another star.

Bill Clinton claims Monica Lewinsky affair was to 'help anxieities'

Former President Bill Clinton says his affair with Monica Lewinsky was a way of managing his anxieties. He made the remarks as part of a documentary series titled "Hillary" which looks at the public life of 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Does music help us work better? It depends

The weapon was initiated at precisely 10:30 in the morning. It was 23 June 1940 and World War Two was in full swing. The Germans had already invaded vast swathes of continental Europe; in the preceding weeks, 10,000 British troops had been captured in Normandy.

The people who moved to Chernobyl

On a warm summer's evening, Maryna Kovalenko is playing football with her two teenage daughters in their backyard. Iryna and Olena laugh as the family dog attempts to wrestle away the ball, scattering the startled chickens.

The healthiest countries to live in

The fight at the frontlines of Covid-19 is being waged in clinics and hospitals around the world. But the success of that fight has, in large part, depended on the effectiveness of the healthcare systems in each country.

An ingenious way to hide a map

Treasuring my father-in-law’s old cloth hankies sounds unpleasant. But they hold a secret. They are war-time maps that look like handkerchiefs, depicting old boundaries and conflicts in Europe.

A city with too much history to handle

Naples has a history problem: there’s just too much of it. Greek cemeteries, Roman ruins, medieval castles, Renaissance churches… it’s more than one city can maintain, and some sites will inevitably crumble – unless passionate locals take matters into their own hands.

High microplastic concentration found on ocean floor

Scientists have identified the highest levels of microplastics ever recorded on the seafloor. The contamination was found in sediments pulled from the bottom of the Mediterranean, near Italy.

Man, dog and five camels rescued from fall in Australian bush

The 38-year-old man and his party were on a track near the town of Jamieson in Victoria when one of the camels lost its footing. Because they were tied together, the whole pack and the man were pulled down, authorities told the BBC.

The indigenous communities that predicted Covid-19

We’ve been nominated! BBC Travel is up for a Webby Award in the Travel & Adventure video category. Vote for us. Levi Sucre Romero remembers hearing the news back in January about a novel coronavirus infecting people in China. “I honestly didn’t believe it would make it this far,” he said.

Coronavirus: Will we ever shake hands again?

Around the world, humans are struggling to ignore thousands of years of bio-social convention and avoid touching another. Shaking hands might be one of the hardest customs to lose in the post-pandemic world but there are alternatives, writes James Jeffrey.

The day the pirates came

For Sudeep Choudhury, work on merchant ships promised adventure and a better life. But a voyage on an oil tanker in West Africa, in dangerous seas far from home, would turn the young graduate's life upside down.

The tiny ‘country’ between England and Scotland

Nowhere does a brooding winter sky quite like the west coast of Scotland. As I looked across the open estuary of the River Esk, pale yellow sunlight filtered through streaks of low-lying cloud, reflected in the mirror-like ribbons of water and ripples of sand exposed by the retreating tide.

Climate change: Could the coronavirus crisis spur a green recovery?

The Covid-19 lockdown has cut climate change emissions - for now. But some governments want to go further by harnessing their economic recovery plans to boost low-carbon industries. Their slogan is "Build Back Better", but can they succeed? I've just had a light bulb moment.

Longer overlap for modern humans and Neanderthals

Modern humans began to edge out the Neanderthals in Europe earlier than previously thought, a new study shows. Tests on remains from a cave in northern Bulgaria suggest Homo sapiens was there as early as 46,000 years ago.

The plague writers who predicted today

In uncertain – indeed, weird – times like these, as we increase our social isolation to ‘flatten the curve’, literature provides escape, relief, comfort and companionship. Less comfortingly, though, the appeal of pandemic fiction has also increased.

Mariana Trench: Don Walsh's son repeats historic ocean dive

It used to be said that more people had walked on the surface of the Moon than had dived to the deepest part of Earth's oceans. Not anymore. Kelly Walsh, the son of the great ocean explorer Don Walsh, has just descended to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, almost 11km down in the Pacific.

Europe pushes ahead with 'dune buggy' Mars rover

The European Space Agency is moving rapidly to develop its next Mars rover. It already has one vehicle set to go to the Red Planet in 2022, but is now pushing ahead with a second robot, which will depart in 2026.

The sinking islands of the Southern US

In honour of Juneteenth commemorating of the ending of slavery in the United States, we’re republishing one of our favourite BBC Travel stories, which details the rich culture of the Gullah Geechee in St Helena Island, South Carolina.

The Boeing 747: The plane that shrank the world

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

Breathtaking new map of the X-ray Universe

Behold the hot, energetic Universe. The image records a lot of the violent action in the cosmos - instances where matter is being accelerated, heated and shredded.

'Into The Wild' bus removed from Alaska wilderness

An abandoned bus in Alaska featured in the film Into The Wild has been removed after increasing numbers of tourists got into difficulties visiting it. A US army helicopter lifted it from a trail outside Denali National Park. The local mayor said it was "a big relief".

Diego, the Galápagos tortoise with a species-saving sex drive, retires

Diego and 14 other male tortoises have returned to their native Española, one of Ecuador's Galápagos islands. The tortoises were put out to pasture on Monday after decades of breeding in captivity on Santa Cruz Island.

A Bee C: Scientists translate honeybee queen duets

Scientists using highly sensitive vibration detectors have decoded honeybee queens' "tooting and quacking" duets in the hive. Worker bees make new queens by sealing eggs inside special cells with wax and feeding them royal jelly.

Twitter labels Trump tweet 'misleading media' for first time

Twitter has labelled a video tweeted by US President Donald Trump as having "manipulated media" for the first time. The video shows a black child running away from a white child while playing, with a fake CNN caption.

Sneh / Snow (2013) by Ivana Sebestova (excerpt)

Animated short about dream and snow.

Australia cyber attacks: PM Morrison warns of 'sophisticated' state hack

Australia's government and institutions are being targeted by ongoing sophisticated state-based cyber hacks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says. Mr Morrison said the cyber attacks were widespread, covering "all levels of government" as well as essential services and businesses.

New evidence of virus risks from wildlife trade

Rats sold in the markets and restaurants of Southeast Asia harbour multiple coronaviruses, a study shows. The proportion of positives increased as live animals were moved from "field to fork", suggesting they were picking up viruses in the process.

How a climate crisis helped shape Norse mythology

Sweden is one of the world’s most climate-conscious cultures. In elementary school, children learn about topics like ecology and conservation.

How microaggressions cause lasting pain

This story was originally published on 9 April 2018. To a non-white colleague – in a mostly white office: “So, where are you from? …No, I mean, where are you really from?”

Mystery egg likely belonged to giant sea reptile, scientists say

Scientists in the US have uncovered the mystery of a giant egg discovered in Antarctica almost a decade ago. For years researchers could not identify the fossil, which resembled a deflated football, leading it to gain the sci-fi nickname "The Thing".

DNA study reveals Ireland's age of 'god-kings'

DNA has been used to confirm the existence of an elite social class in the Stone Age inhabitants of Ireland. It's one of the earliest examples of such a hierarchy among human societies.

John Bolton: Ten biggest claims in his Donald Trump book

The presidency of Donald Trump has already generated a long reading list, but the latest offering from former National Security Adviser John Bolton has attracted more attention than most, given the author's high-ranking status and the nature of his claims.

Walkers found after 19 days in the New Zealand wilderness

Two missing walkers have been found in the New Zealand wilderness, 19 days after they set off. Dion Reynolds and Jessica O'Connor, both 23, began walking in the Kahurangi National Park on 9 May, and expected to be gone for six or seven days.

Stolen Van Gogh: Art detective receives photos of 'stolen work Spring Garden'

An art detective in the Netherlands says he has received two "proof of life" photos in the hunt for a stolen Van Gogh painting. The 1884 artwork Spring Garden went missing after a break-in at a museum near Amsterdam in late March.

Why is there still no system to save passengers from a falling airplane? Why is there no discussion about it?

Why is there still no system to save passengers from a falling airplane? Why is there no discussion about it?

US-China row moves underwater in cable tangle

An underwater data cable, linking the US to Hong Kong, looks set to be rejected by the US government because of fears of Chinese data theft. The Pacific Light Cable Network, backed by Google and Facebook, is designed to boost internet speed and capacity.

An ancient ‘lost city’ teeming with life

Located in the eastern-most corner of Honduras and the northern tip of Nicaragua, the dense tropical forest of La Mosquitia is one of the largest rainforests in Central America and – until recently – one of the last scientifically explored places on Earth.

Giant space chamber installed in Oxfordshire

The largest vessel in the UK to test spacecraft has just been installed at the National Satellite Test Facility (NSTF) in Oxfordshire. The 98-tonne, 16m by 8m chamber is so big, it was brought to the Harwell complex in segments and then assembled in place.

Coronavirus: What is the true death toll of the pandemic?

At least another 130,000 people worldwide have died during the coronavirus pandemic on top of 440,000 officially recorded deaths from the virus, according to BBC research.

Mary Trump: Why has president's niece penned damning memoir?

US President Donald Trump's niece is set to publish an unflattering tell-all memoir about him. So who is she and why has she come forward now?

Pub chain and insurer apologise for slavery links

Pub chain Greene King and insurance market Lloyd's of London have apologised for their historic links to the slave trade. One of Greene King's founders owned a number of plantations in the Caribbean.

John Bolton: Trump sought Xi's help to win re-election

US President Donald Trump sought help from Chinese President Xi Jinping to win re-election, ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton's new book says. Mr Bolton says Mr Trump wanted China to buy agricultural produce from US farmers, according to details of the forthcoming book previewed by US media.

A frozen graveyard: The sad tales of Antarctica’s deaths

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

Why Trump's plan to withdraw US troops has dismayed Germany

For the people of Grafenwoehr, Elvis will always be the king. In 1958, stationed as a young American soldier in Germany, the singer gave a concert here which remains the stuff of legend.

Dark matter hunt yields unexplained signal

An experiment searching for signs of elusive dark matter has detected an unexplained signal. Scientists working on the Xenon1T experiment have detected more activity within their detector than they would otherwise expect.

Having more sleep before holiday 'stops arguments'

If you want to avoid arguments on a family holiday, make sure you get some extra sleep in the days before you travel, a psychologist advises.

Why overcoming racism is essential for humanity’s survival

Is bigotry in our DNA, a remnant of our fear of “the other” way back when that was necessary? If so, why do some battle with their instincts while others embrace them? Peter, 71, Darlington

'We all have resilience... You've got to make it grow'

The BBC's weekly The Boss series profiles different business leaders from around the world. This week we speak to professional explorer and motivational speaker Mike Horn.

Read more from The Conversation

Where will we be in six months, a year, 10 years from now? I lie awake at night wondering what the future holds for my loved ones. My vulnerable friends and relatives. I wonder what will happen to my job, even though I’m one of the lucky ones: I get good sick pay and can work remotely.

Coronavirus: Stranded pair 'don't know' when they will return

Two Londoners who have been "stranded" in Argentina for three weeks say they still have "no idea" when they will be able to get home. Alisha Malhotra and Niraly Jadeja have been trapped in Córdoba since the country went into lockdown, and are relying on others for food and money.

Five countries with the most resilient economies

The Covid-19 pandemic has injected an unprecedented amount of uncertainty into the global economy, as countries across the world battle growing infections, implement wide-ranging social-distancing strategies and attempt early fiscal interventions to stabilise markets. 1. Norway 2. Denmark 3.

Could we live in a world without rules?

"I'm in my late 20s and I'm feeling more and more constrained by rules.

The people redefining faithfulness

“What does exclusivity mean to you?” Asks Amy Hart, a contestant on UK reality TV show Love Island in 2019. Her partner, Curtis Pritchard, is cornered and she knows it. He had been kissing other girls behind her back.

Coronavirus: Why healthcare workers are at risk of moral injury

It is widely known that veterans can return from war with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Far less appreciated is moral injury - a trauma wrapped up in guilt that we are now learning more about thanks to US-based research, writes James Jeffrey.

What leader are you? It depends on your parents

You’ve probably noticed how some of your colleagues take to leadership roles like a duck to water. They’re confident telling others what to do, and happy taking on an ever-growing number of responsibilities.

Life with a Russian billionaire: money and death threats

They would stay in his chateau in the south of France and had homes across the world. It was an idyllic life, beyond anyone's imagination.

The quest to make a crystal harder than diamonds

Labs across the world have been competing to build “superhard” materials – and they are finally succeeding.

The Death and Life of Jacob Cockle

About eight miles from Penzance, down one of those narrow, winding country lanes Cornwall is notorious for, lies Gwynver beach. Many will drive past without realising it is there, bound instead for the fishing village of Sennen or the tourist attraction of Land's End.

Afghanistan: The detention centre for teenage Taliban members

In a dusty courtyard, behind a tall mesh fence, a group of teenagers are playing a frenetic game of football, while others stand around watching from the sidelines. These are some of Afghanistan's most vulnerable and most troubled children. Inmates of Kabul's Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre.

To the Moon and beyond

This is the Moon in 2050. As the rover rounds the imposing sides of a large crater, the astronauts catch the glint of mirrors mounted on its rim. The mirrors beam sunlight into the crater, powering a mining operation to extract water-ice within.

Why it will be so hard to return to ‘normal’

I’m writing this in my home office, wearing my bathrobe. I am currently placed under a stay-at-home order, which requires me to stay in my house unless I need to travel for very specific reasons, like shopping or health needs. It also means I no longer have to keep to office dress codes.

How the fake Beatles conned South America

Early in 1964, as Beatlemania swept the world, newspaper headlines announced that The Beatles would be travelling to South America later that year.

Mt Etna: The most active volcano on Earth

In the largest city in Sicily, Catania, an alarm went off inside the scientific research centre, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

How gaming became a form of meditation

Outside my window the streets are quiet, the world is weird, the future uncertain. Conspiracy theorists are bombarding my social media feed, and everyone is an armchair expert on the pandemic. But for now I am okay, because I am a moose. The game called Everything has been out for a while now.

Amabie: The Japanese monster going viral

In Japan, as parts of the country declare a state of emergency, people here have been reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic in a unique way: by sharing images online of a mystical, mermaid-like being believed to ward off plagues.

The Valentine's Day snake puzzle

The search for a culprit who abandoned 29 valuable snakes in February is continuing, but it's a case that has everyone mystified, reports Chris Stokel-Walker. The wriggling inside the pillowcase signalled that something wasn't right.

Frozen, fresh or canned food: What’s more nutritious?

In recent weeks, as shoppers have looked to stock up on food that lasts, sales of canned and frozen food have surged. Even freezer sales are up. But many of us are taught to believe that when it comes to fruit and vegetables, nothing is as nutritious as fresh produce.

Nicoya: The Costa Rican peninsula where centenarians thrive

José Bonafacio Villegas has ridden a horse nearly every day for the last 100 years. Villegas learned how to ride in 1921, and spent the next 99 years riding to school, doing farm work or visiting friends on horseback.

America’s ‘fried chicken war’

Located in the heart of the US’ Great Plains, the area around Pittsburg, Kansas, spreads out like one vast prairie.

How personal contact will change post-Covid-19

In a normal week, it’s hard to count how many times we come into physical contact with other human beings. For many who are isolating alone, this may be the longest period in their lives that they’ve gone without skin-to-skin human touch.

How cities are clamping down on cars

As global lockdowns keep most people at home, congestion-riddled, pollution-choked streets around the world have transformed into empty, eerily silent spaces. The most conspicuous absentee is the car, as personal vehicles remain parked in driveways and side streets.

Mission Jurassic: Searching for dinosaur bones

The stench was unbearable. The hulking mass of dead dinosaur had lain on the sandbar now for over a week in stifling heat, half-buried among the decaying vegetation and sediment.

Antarctic meteorites yield global bombardment rate

It's in excess of 16,000kg. This is for meteorite material above 50g in mass. It doesn't take account of the dust that's continuously settling on the planet, and of course just occasionally we'll be hit by a real whopper of an asteroid that will skew the numbers.

How The Assistant exposes Hollywood's abuse silence

A young woman is a junior assistant at an entertainment mogul's American office. She starts early and works late, she fetches lunches, looks after his children, and cleans the office in a way that's not expected of her equally junior male colleagues.

The Swiss city where even fun is serious

Until 18:00, Basel is all business. It’s not somewhere you can waltz into a meeting five minutes late – not in this Swiss city whose major industries, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, are all about precision and control.

The khipu code: the knotty mystery of the Inkas’ 3D records

The Inka empire (1400-1532 CE) is one of few ancient civilisations that speaks to us in multiple dimensions. Instead of words or pictograms, the Inkas used khipus – knotted string devices – to communicate extraordinarily complex mathematical and narrative information.

Somalia's coronavirus khat bans leaves chewers in a stew

Flights carrying the mild stimulant khat have been banned from entering Somalia, leaving chewers of the leaves in a stew, write the BBC's Mary Harper and Bella Hassan.

Read more from The Conversation

Nestled among Kansas cornfields in a landscape devoid of any noticeable natural topography, a verdant mound can be seen from a dirt road. Surrounded by a military-grade chain fence and in the shadow of a large wind turbine, a security guard in camouflage paces the fence line with an assault rifle.

Ten Tors: Hundreds complete cancelled hikes at home

Hundreds of students who were due to complete one of the country's biggest outdoor challenges have hiked the distances from home instead. About 2,800 teenagers were due to take part in the 60th annual Ten Tors Challenge but it has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Appalachian Trail: US hiker 'lost for 26 days before dying'

Geraldine Largay, 66, went missing in 2013. Text messages to her husband were not sent because there was no signal. She left a final note asking whoever found her body to call her husband and daughter to let them know she had died.

Skegness woman jailed for boiling water attacks on husband

Susan Coulson, 62, poured the contents of a boiled kettle over Andrew Coulson at their Skegness home in December, as they argued about his use of a phone. She also threw boiling water over him during a row in October, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

The performance-enhancing trick to being a better athlete

The Pico Simón Bolívar is one of the highest mountains in Colombia. Near the top, there is only half as much oxygen as at sea level, a dizzying 5,500m (18,000 feet) below.

Is Afrikaans in danger of dying out?

Yet 25 years on from the negotiated settlement that saw Nelson Mandela elected the country’s first democratic president and equal rights and citizenships extended to all South Africans, controversy surrounding Afrikaans’s use as a tool of exclusion and racist discrimination continues.

Welcome to Svalbard: a place anyone can call home

Snow-capped mountaintops are the first thing visitors may spot from the airplane windows when they arrive in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard – that is, if they arrive during the bright half of the year, when the midnight sun can be seen nearly 24/7.

Will coronavirus change Germans’ love of cash?

Germany might be known for its proud culture of technological innovation, but it's not uncommon for newcomers and tourists to be caught out at cafes and small businesses that only take cash.

Why you might be missing your commute

Like many New Yorkers, Meg Loughney faced a stressful daily commute. Typically, it would take her more than an hour to travel from her home in Astoria, Queens to her office at a management consultancy on Wall Street.

How flashing lights could treat Alzheimer’s disease

Every morning Li-Huei Tsai meditates in front of a flashing screen. In sync with the flickering light, there is a harsh clicking – a little like the tapping of an over-enthusiastic flamenco dancer with her castanets. But the rhythm isn’t there to entertain, but to entrain.

Japan’s forgotten indigenous people

“This is our bear hut,” the short, vivacious woman shouted through a hand-held loudspeaker, her smile creasing her forehead with deep wrinkles. A blue hat was perched on her head and her short tunic, embroidered with pink geometric designs, was tied sharply at the waist.

'I left my campervan in Argentina'

Imagine breaking free. You sell your possessions, buy a van, pack it with what you need, and go. For months or years you live a frugal life, going wherever you want.

In pictures: Peru's most catastrophic natural disaster

On 31 May 1970, a huge earthquake struck off the coast of Peru. The quake and the massive landslides it triggered killed approximately 70,000 people.

Brothers' Home: South Korea's 1980s 'concentration camp'

Han Jong-sun still clearly remembers the moment he was abducted with his sister. It was a beautiful autumn day in 1984, and Han, then eight years old, was enjoying a long-hoped-for trip to the city with his busy father.

Pandemics result from destruction of nature, say UN and WHO

Pandemics such as coronavirus are the result of humanity’s destruction of nature, according to leaders at the UN, WHO and WWF International, and the world has been ignoring this stark reality for decades.

Blowing bubbles: Soapy spheres pop pollen on fruit trees

Japanese researchers have succeeded in fertilising pear trees using pollen carried on the thin film of a soap bubble. They've been searching for alternative approaches to pollination, because of the decline in the number of bees worldwide.

Endangered cheetahs snapped in award-winning photos

Charity picture book series Remembering Wildlife has announced the 10 winners of its cheetah photography competition. The winners were picked from more than 2,400 entrants, with the winning images showing cheetahs in Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and South Africa.

How Elon Musk aims to revolutionise battery technology

Elon Musk has perhaps the most exciting portfolio of businesses on the planet. There's SpaceX with its mission to Mars, and Tesla with its super-fast hi-tech electric cars.

Aunt Jemima to change branding based on 'racial stereotype'

US company Quaker Oats has announced it will rename its Aunt Jemima line of syrups and foods, acknowledging the brand was based on a racial stereotype.

Van Gogh and Gauguin letter about brothel visit sells for 210,000 euros

The letter was bought by the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation at the Drouot auction house in Paris on Tuesday. The artists wrote the letter to their friend, French painter Emile Bernard, in late 1888.

John Bolton: Trump administration sues to block book

The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to prevent former National Security Adviser John Bolton from publishing a new book about his time at the White House. According to the complaint, the book contains "classified information".

Navajo Nation: The people battling America's worst coronavirus outbreak

When Valentina Blackhorse tested positive for coronavirus, she texted her sister and told her not to worry. A former pageant queen, Valentina was known for her love of her Native American Navajo heritage, her passion for helping others and her playful sense of humour.

Mars: Green glow detected on the Red Planet

Scientists have identified a green light in the atmosphere of Mars. The glow comes from oxygen atoms when they're excited by sunlight.

How your smart home devices can be turned against you

For billions of people around the world, life at home has taken on a new significance this year. Flats and houses have become workplaces, gyms, schools and living spaces all rolled into one by national lockdowns.

Why you might be drinking too much during lockdown

The world has been plunged into a vortex of uncertainty with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Why flats dominate Spain’s housing market

Over the weeks of Spain’s tough lockdown, images of people on their balconies applauding healthcare workers have spread across the globe.

Why we've been saying 'sorry' all wrong

Academics are sorry that apology research is floundering. New discoveries on apologies rarely appear because the studies are challenging to design, not unlike determining whether woodpeckers get headaches, or boiling the ocean.

The ingredients for a longer life

One is a town surrounded by tropical forest and beaches popular with surfers, two are craggy islands in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, the fourth is at the tail of the Japanese archipelago, while the last is a small city in California whose name means “beautiful hill”.

How to take a digital detox during the Covid-19 pandemic

With social distancing protocols in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and hours of isolation taking a toll on our sanity, screens have been a saving grace for many.

Why time seems to be going faster while we are in lockdown

As parts of the world begin to ease their lockdowns, some people are looking back and finding the time in isolation seems to have gone surprisingly fast.

Israel's West Bank annexation plan condemned by UN experts

Almost 50 UN human rights experts have condemned Israel's plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, calling it a "vision of a 21st Century apartheid". Such a move would violate international law and leave what would amount to "a Palestinian Bantustan", they warned.

Coronavirus: Dexamethasone proves first life-saving drug

The low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone is a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus, UK experts say. The drug is part of the world's biggest trial testing existing treatments to see if they also work for coronavirus.

Instagram 'will overtake Twitter as a news source'

Photo-sharing app Instagram is set to overtake Twitter as a news source, research suggests. The 2020 Reuters Institute Digital News report found the use of Instagram for news had doubled since 2018.

Coronavirus: Alarm over 'invasive' Kuwait and Bahrain contact-tracing apps

Kuwait and Bahrain have rolled out some of the most invasive Covid-19 contact-tracing apps in the world, putting the privacy and security of their users at risk, Amnesty International says.

Luce Douady: French 16-year-old climber dies from fall

Luce Douady was heading to an unexplored sector of a cliff near Grenoble when she slipped and fell from the approach path, French media report. Her body has been recovered and an investigation opened, according to Le Dauphiné. The exact circumstances of her death are unclear.

The people solving mysteries during lockdown

For almost half a century, Benedictine monks in Herefordshire dutifully logged the readings of a rain gauge on the grounds of Belmont Abbey, recording the quantity of rain that had fallen each month without fail.

Spike Lee sorry for supporting accused director Woody Allen

Film-maker Spike Lee has apologised after voicing support for "friend" Woody Allen, whose daughter has accused him of abusing her when she was seven. Allen has denied the claim and has not faced charges, but many in Hollywood have distanced themselves from him.

Dalai Lama: Seven billion people 'need a sense of oneness'

The leader of Tibetan Buddhism sees reasons for optimism even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. People are helping one another, he tells the BBC's Justin Rowlatt, and if seven billion people on Earth develop "a sense of oneness" they may yet unite to solve the problem of climate change.

The island with a key to our future

From the sea, volcanic Ascension Island looks as if it’s smouldering. Big mid-Atlantic swell rolling up from the Southern Ocean explodes onto the rugged cinder and sand shoreline, leaving sea spray hanging in the air like steam.

Solar Orbiter: Europe's Sun mission makes first close pass

Europe's Solar Orbiter (SolO) probe makes its first close pass of the Sun on Monday, tracking by at a distance of just over 77 million km. SolO was launched in February and is on a mission to understand what drives our star's dynamic behaviour.

Kathy Sullivan: The woman who's made history in sea and space

Making headlines is never something that has motivated Kathy Sullivan.

Swiss search for owner of gold haul left on train

While many of us have left something on a train - a phone, a wallet, headphones - it's highly unlikely you've wandered onto the platform leaving a bagful of gold behind. Well, one person in Switzerland has. And the authorities would quite like to find them.

Woman hatches ducks from Waitrose eggs

Charli Lello, 29, from Hertfordshire, put the Clarence Court eggs in an incubator as an experiment to pass the time after being furloughed. She said the ducklings would live "a very happy life" with her pet chickens.

Polish election: Andrzej Duda says LGBT 'ideology' worse than communism

Polish President Andrzej Duda has called the promotion of LGBT rights an "ideology" more destructive than communism, in a campaign speech. He is an ally of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), and is seeking re-election on 28 June.

Holy water

Holy water is water that has been blessed by a member of the clergy or a religious figure. The use for cleansing prior to a baptism and spiritual cleansing is common in several religions, from Christianity to Sikhism.

Poland 'invades' Czech Republic in 'misunderstanding'

Poland has admitted to briefly invading the Czech Republic last month in what the Polish Defence Ministry described as a "misunderstanding". Polish troops guarding the frontier as part of coronavirus measures took up positions by a chapel on the Czech side of the border.

Leopold II: Belgium 'wakes up' to its bloody colonial past

Inside the palatial walls of Belgium's Africa Museum stand statues of Leopold II - each one a monument to the king whose rule killed as many as 10 million Africans. Standing close by, one visitor said, "I didn't know anything about Leopold II until I heard about the statues defaced down town".

Boltzmann brain

The Boltzmann brain argument suggests that it is more likely for a single brain to spontaneously and briefly form in a void (complete with a false memory of having existed in our universe) than it is for our universe to have come about in the way modern science thinks it actually did.

Fawlty Towers: John Cleese attacks 'cowardly' BBC over episode's removal

John Cleese has laid into the "cowardly and gutless" BBC after an episode of Fawlty Towers was temporarily removed from a BBC-owned streaming platform. In it, the Major uses highly offensive language, and Cleese's Basil Fawlty declares "don't mention the war".

How can limbo just be abolished?

WHO, WHAT, WHY? The Magazine answers... The Pope may be about to abolish the notion of limbo, the halfway house between heaven and hell, inhabited by unbaptised infants.

Fawlty Towers 'Don't mention the war' episode removed from UKTV

An episode of Fawlty Towers famous for coining the phrase “Don’t mention the war!” has become the latest classic British TV programme to be taken down from a BBC-owned streaming service, as broadcasters continue to conduct a reappraisal of old content.

Children can 'recall early memories', Canadian study suggests

Children can remember memories from their earliest years, but forget most of them later, according to research. Events from well before the age of two can be recalled, suggests a Canadian study of around 100 young children aged 4 to 13.

'Conservation successes' bring hope for mountain gorilla

Conservation efforts appear to be paying off for some of the world's most charismatic animals, according to new assessments for the extinction Red List. Prospects look better for the mountain gorilla, after years of conservation measures, including anti-poaching and veterinary patrols.

Rafiki, Uganda's rare silverback mountain gorilla, killed by hunters

One of Uganda's best known mountain gorillas, Rafiki, has been killed. Four men have been arrested, who face a life sentence or a fine of $5.4m (£4.3m) if found guilty of killing an endangered species.

Coronavirus: Twitter removes more than 170,000 pro-China accounts

Twitter has removed more than 170,000 accounts it says were tied to an operation to spread pro-China messages. Some of those posts were about the coronavirus outbreak, the social media platform has announced.

Afghan conflict: US sanctions 'kangaroo court' over war crimes probe

President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on court officials who are investigating whether US forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan. The executive order allows the US to block the assets of International Criminal Court (ICC) employees and stop them from entering the country.

Man charged with poisoning homeless people in California

William Robert Cable, 38, is accused of giving at least eight people food laced with oleoresin capsicum and filming them as they became ill. Several of the alleged victims were hospitalised and authorities believe the suspect could have targeted others.

Sri Lanka’s musical 'choon paan' bread trucks

I was young when I first heard the music. It came from the earthen road outside where a man was selling bread from a tuk tuk. Unlike other colourful three-wheeled vehicles, the back of this one held a glass display cabinet piled high with neatly stacked baked goods.

George Floyd: Amazon bans police use of facial recognition tech

Technology giant Amazon has banned the police from using its controversial facial recognition software for a year. It comes after civil rights advocates raised concerns about potential racial bias in surveillance technology.

Harlow giant tortoise walks cause amazement, says owner

Peter, 68, takes his seven stone (44kg) reptile, who he calls "the big boy" out for "a little stroll" near his home in Harlow, Essex "every so often". The pair were spotted walking along a cycle path near Harlow earlier this week by Mark Ingall, leader of the town's council.

Planet's satellites aim for still sharper view of Earth

When SpaceX puts up another batch of its Starlink satellites in the coming days, there'll be three spacecraft from the Planet company catching the same Falcon rocket ride to orbit. These companies - SpaceX and Planet - now operate the largest commercial constellations above our heads.

Slovakia: Deadly knife attack at primary school in Vrutky

The attacker, a 22-year-old man, was a former pupil who had broken into the school in the town of Vrutky. Police said they had later shot dead the attacker and the situation was under control.

Confederate and Columbus statues toppled by US protesters

Statues of Confederate leaders and the explorer Christopher Columbus have been torn down in the US, as pressure grows on authorities to remove monuments connected to slavery and colonialism.

Kenyan police arrested after dragging suspect by motorbike

Three police officers in Kenya have been arrested after one of them was filmed apparently dragging a 21-year-old woman tied to a motorcycle. Accusing her of involvement in a robbery, another man is seen whipping her as she pleads for them to stop.

How face masks affect our communication

It was a windy Sunday afternoon in early May 2020, and Samar Al Zayer was riding on the train in Amsterdam with her husband. They were travelling to visit her mother-in-law when a commotion broke out in their carriage.

Robert Baden-Powell statue to be removed in Poole

The 12-year-old statue of Robert Baden-Powell is being removed on police advice to protect it, says Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council. The authority said it recognised some aspects of his life were considered "less worthy of commemoration".

Fergus Walsh: Was Covid here earlier than we thought?

My experience of testing positive for coronavirus antibodies clearly struck a nerve. Two weeks ago I wrote that I'd had no recent symptoms but dismissed a bout of pneumonia in January because it was weeks before the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK.

Coronavirus: Satellite traffic images may suggest virus hit Wuhan earlier

An apparent surge in traffic outside Wuhan hospitals from August 2019 may suggest the coronavirus hit the area earlier than reported, a study says. Harvard researchers say satellite images show an increase in traffic outside five hospitals in the Chinese city from late August to December.

The photographers changing the way we see animals

Savage and snarling, the giant gorilla of the King Kong films is a fearsome monster that needs to be appeased with a human sacrifice. Size aside, it’s a strange depiction of an animal that, as anyone who’s stood near a gorilla knows, exudes a sense of peace and gentleness.

Don't hide history, says Oxford head in statue row

In the row over the statue of Cecil Rhodes, Oxford University's head has warned against "hiding our history". Protesters want to pull down Oriel College's statue of the 19th century imperialist, saying it is a symbol of racism and imperialism.

Coronavirus: Belgian Prince Joachim fined for breaking Spain's lockdown

Prince Joachim was issued with the penalty for failing to observe a 14-day quarantine period after arriving in the country. The prince, 28, arrived in Spain for an internship on 24 May, but attended a gathering in the southern city of Córdoba two days later.

Do we need more than two genders?

Germany, Australia, Nepal and Pakistan now offer a third gender option on official forms with other countries set to follow suit. And scientists are finding more evidence to suggest that even biological sex is a spectrum.

Should Washington and Jefferson monuments come down?

This article contains language that some readers may find offensive. President Donald Trump's argument that the removal of Confederate statues is a slippery slope to changing history has recharged the perennial debate about America's tormented racial legacy.

How to avoid the ‘competency trap’

If it weren’t for a monumental management failure, your computer, tablet or smartphone may well have carried Xerox’s logo. In the early 1970s, the company’s photocopiers were ubiquitous throughout the world’s offices.

George Floyd protests: What do 'white privilege' and 'ally' mean?

Ally. All lives matter. White privilege. These are just a few of the words and phrases you may have seen or heard in discussions about racial inequality after the death of George Floyd.

Banksy tribute to Bataclan terror victims stolen in Paris

An artwork by the British artist Banksy painted as a tribute to the victims of the 2015 terror attack at the Bataclan music hall in Paris has been stolen. The work, which depicted a young female figure with a mournful expression, was cut out and removed from one of the emergency doors at the venue.

India and China: How Nepal's new map is stirring old rivalries

Nepal's parliament is expected this week to formally approve a revised map of the country, including three areas it disputes with its giant neighbour India.

Donald Trump's police scanner tweet fact-checked

President Donald Trump has suggested a man pushed over by police during protests in the US city of Buffalo last week was trying to "scan police communications in order to black out the equipment". But is this even possible?

Gone with the Wind removed from HBO Max

Gone with the Wind has been taken off HBO Max following calls for it to be removed from the US streaming service. HBO Max said the 1939 film was "a product of its time" and depicted "ethnic and racial prejudices" that "were wrong then and are wrong today".

Message in bottle saves family stranded on waterfall

Curtis Whitson, his girlfriend, and his 13-year-old son were on a backtracking trip in central California in June. Their plan was to follow the Arroyo Seco River through a canyon until they reached the waterfall.

Olof Palme murder: Sweden believes it knows who killed PM in 1986

Swedish prosecutors have named the man who they say killed former Swedish prime minister Olof Palme in 1986, ending years of mystery. They said it was Stig Engstrom, a graphic designer known as "Skandia Man" who killed himself in 2000.

Red Lion: Archaeologists 'find London's earliest theatre'

London's earliest playhouse may have been discovered at a housing redevelopment in Whitechapel, archaeologists have said. The Red Lion was thought to be the first purpose-built theatre of the Elizabethan era but its location has long been disputed.

Russian Arctic oil spill pollutes big lake near Norilsk

Diesel oil from a huge spill in Russia's Arctic north has polluted a large freshwater lake and there is a risk it could spread into the Arctic Ocean, a senior Russian official says.

Why is it so hard to forgive an ex?

Tears streamed down her face, as Yannes told George their relationship was no longer working out. Along the promenade, the 28-year-old from Hong Kong heaved a sigh of relief and slowly walked back home, with her heart broken.

IBM abandons 'biased' facial recognition tech

Tech giant IBM is to stop offering facial recognition software for "mass surveillance or racial profiling". The announcement comes as the US faces calls for police reform following the killing of a black man, George Floyd.

The treasure trove hidden in discarded computers

What do you do with an old hard disk drive, the kind that still spins up inside most PCs, once it reaches the end of its life? If Allan Walton has his way, parts of it could soon be propelling your next car along the road, assuming you go electric.

The Family: 'Raised in a doomsday cult, I entered the real world at 15'

For the first 15 years of his life, Ben Shenton lived in a doomsday cult that thought the world would soon end. Instead the police arrived one day and plunged him into a new and unfamiliar world… the real one.

If it ain't broke: You share your oldest working gadgets

These days, your shiny new gadget is likely to be rendered obsolete by software updates (or a lack of them) before it physically grinds to a halt. Meanwhile, Sonos has released new software for its internet-connected speakers that does not work on its own-branded older devices.

The Māori tribe protecting New Zealand’s sacred rainforest

A forlorn scrap of white mist hovered in the bush flanking the only road into Te Urewera, one of the most isolated rainforests in New Zealand.

UAE Mars mission: Hope project a 'real step forward for exploration'

The first Arab space mission to Mars is preparing to lift off within weeks. Fuelling is due to begin next week. It will take seven months to travel the 493 million km (308 million miles) to reach Mars and begin its orbit, sending back ground-breaking new data about its climate and atmosphere.

What we can learn from 'untranslatable' illnesses

“DO NOT FEAR KORO,” screamed the headline in the Straits Times newspaper on November 7, 1967. In the preceding days, a peculiar phenomenon had swept across Singapore.

Rocky Mountain treasure worth $1m found after decade-long hunt

Antiquities collector Forrest Fenn hid the bronze chest in the wilderness more than a decade ago, and created a treasure hunt for people to find it. Hundreds of thousands of people searched for it, and many people quit their jobs and used up their life savings. At least four people died.

Tesla battery supplier Catl says new design has one million-mile lifespan

By contrast, most automakers only offer warranties ranging from 60,000 to 150,000 miles over a three to eight-year period on their cars' batteries. Contemporary Amperex Technology has not revealed who it intends to supply.

Understanding the Gatsby lifecycle

At Narative, we’ve been fans of Gatsby from day one, using it to build performant and flexible products for both clients and ourselves. With the growing community interest in Gatsby, we hope to create more resources that make it easier for anyone to grasp the power of this incredible tool.


PROGRAMME Human versus machine | 14:00 - 15:10 Life Stories Without Limits | 16:10 - 17:30 Into New Worlds | 18:30 - 19:40 #TEDxBrussels Tweets

Bristol slave trader Edward Colston statue 'was an affront'

Marvin Rees said he felt no "sense of loss" after the bronze statue of Edward Colston was pulled down using ropes and thrown into the harbour. The statue of the prominent 17th Century slave trader has been a source of controversy in the city for years.

How the coronavirus led to the highest-ever spike in US gun sales

Americans grappling with the rapidly-spreading coronavirus purchased more guns last month than at any other point since the FBI began collecting data over 20 years ago. Why? With US coronavirus death toll climbing every day, many Americans seem to be turning to guns to help them cope.

'The selfie that revealed I was a stolen baby'

In April 1997 a woman dressed in a nurse's uniform walked out of a Cape Town hospital carrying a three-day-old baby taken from the maternity ward as the baby's mother lay sleeping. It was only by chance, 17 years later, that the stolen child discovered her true identity.

Red Sea Diving Resort: The holiday village run by spies

Arous was an idyllic holiday resort in the Sudanese desert, on the shores of the Red Sea. But this glamorous destination was also a base for Israeli agents with a secret mission.

Saudi tribe challenges crown prince's plans for tech city

Alya Abutayah Alhwaiti told the BBC the threats were made in a phone call and on Twitter after she raised international awareness about a Saudi government plan to evict members of her tribe to make way for a 21st Century high-tech city on the shores of the Red Sea.

The floral fabric that was banned

In a letter to her sister penned in 1851, the novelist George Eliot gave her opinion on some muslin fabrics. “The quality of the spotted one is best,” she said, “but the effect is chintzy”.

TWA85: 'The world's longest and most spectacular hijacking'

At the high point of the 1960s spate of hijackings, a plane was held up on average once every six days in the United States. Fifty years ago this week, Raffaele Minichiello was responsible for the "longest and most spectacular" of them, as one report described it at the time.

Mostly Harmless - an Elite: Dangerous novel (working title)

N.B. SEE BOTTOM OF PAGE FOR FURTHER DETAILS ON TERMS OF STRETCH GOALS... I am a huge fan of Elite and I want to see it funded. Check out my author's interview with The Cult of Me for more about how this bid came about.

'Fukushima radiation' found in UK

Low levels of radioactive iodine believed to be from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan have been detected in Glasgow and Oxfordshire. Health protection officials said the concentration of iodine 131 detected in air samples was "minuscule" and there was "no public health risk in the UK".

British man rescued after six days trapped in Bali well

Jacob Roberts, 29, broke his leg after falling into the 4m-deep well in Pecatu village while being chased by a dog, said AFP quoting local authorities. The well was dry but his leg meant he was unable to get out.

Is this the secret of smart leadership?

It’s more than two millennia since the philosopher Socrates argued that humility is the greatest of all virtues. His timeless observation was that the wisest people are the first to admit how little they really know.

Why astronauts get nervous on the launchpad

It is 26 June 1984. Mission Specialist Mike Mullane lies in his couch in the cockpit of Space Shuttle Discovery. This will be the 12th flight in the Space Shuttle programme but Discovery’s and Mullane’s first.

The surprising perks of isolated work

For millions of people worldwide, widespread lockdown has cast isolation as a negative – a loss of group engagement and communal hubbub.

Olof Palme: Who killed Sweden's prime minister?

On a Friday night more than thirty years ago, Sweden's prime minister went to the movies. Controversial and outspoken at home and abroad, Olof Palme was by then in his second term as leader of his country.

The reason why some people don't wash their hands

At the time, Hegseth was best known as a Fox News presenter who had a sprinkling of controversial views. Then he said: “I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years.” Cue a collective wrinkling of noses, and a frenzy of articles about what might be on your hands after a decade.

Coronavirus: This is not the last pandemic

We have created "a perfect storm" for diseases from wildlife to spill over into humans and spread quickly around the world, scientists warn. Human encroachment on the natural world speeds up that process.

The hunt for the fish pirates who exploit the sea

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

Coronavirus: Caution urged over Madagascar's 'herbal cure'

The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no proof of a cure for Covid-19 after Madagascar's president launched a herbal coronavirus "cure". The country's national medical academy (Anamem) has also cast doubt on the efficacy of Andry Rajoelina's touted prevention and remedy.

What do our dreams mean?

Dreams have fascinated philosophers and artists for centuries. They have been seen as divine messages, a way of unleashing creativity and, since the advent of psychoanalysis in the 19th Century, the key to understanding our unconscious.

The revival of a second Greek language

On a warm June evening, I was making my way to Alsos Papagou park in the northern Athens suburb of Cholargos. The humid air hung heavy with the scent of pine trees, and families and groups of laughing teenagers were wandering across the grass or fetching coffee from the lakeside cafe.

German finger wresting pulls a crowd in Bavaria

Men in traditional Bavarian costume squared off across tables for one of the world's more unusual competitions - German finger wrestling (Fingerhakeln). Competitors, who are matched in weight and age, sit opposite each other and pull on a small leather loop using just one finger.

The birthplace of modern nature healing

The azure, 144-hectare Lake Bled darted in and out of sight as I followed a narrow track leading up to the top of Mala Osojnica, a steep hill in the Julian Alps in north-west Slovenia.

Will we ever control the world with our minds?

Science-fiction can sometimes be a good guide to the future. In the film Upgrade (2018) Grey Trace, the main character, is shot in the neck. His wife is shot dead. Trace wakes up to discover that not only has he lost his wife, but he now faces a future as a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic.

The women who tasted Hitler’s food

Imagine knowing every plate of food you eat could be your last. That breakfast, lunch and dinner are potentially deadly. And you have to eat them anyway.

Oman’s ancient biblical scent

Wisps of frankincense smoke wafted through the bazaar as I plunged through the crowded, labyrinthine passageways of Muscat’s Mutrah Souq. This alluringly musky scent permeates Omani cities and culture, and I was never far from the distinct, earthen aroma floating through the air.

What's wrong with buying a dinosaur?

Fossils are in fashion, with private buyers snapping up prehistoric remains online and at auction, but the trend is raising concerns within the scientific community.

Ancient parrot in New Zealand was 1m tall, study says

The remains of the parrot were found near St Bathans in New Zealand's southern Otago region. Given its size, the parrot is believed to have been flightless and carnivorous, unlike most birds today.

Italy’s city that revolutionised pasta

As a sea breeze blew in from the Gulf of Naples, small, gold-coloured dust-devils slowly sprouted along the factory rooftop, spiralling their way east toward Mount Vesuvius with the precision of ballerinas pirouetting across a stage floor.

Whale 'swallows' sea lion: 'It was a once-in-a-lifetime event'

Chase Dekker believes the photo he took of a humpback whale "swallowing" a sea lion is the first time that happening has ever been caught on camera.

'I've spent 22 years searching for silver in a ghost town'

Robert Louis Desmarais is the only inhabitant of a Californian ghost town, Cerro Gordo, where he has been searching for a lost vein of silver for 22 years. A 70-year-old former high school teacher, Desmarais used to visit the remote spot in the school holidays to search for ore.

'Ground-breaking' galaxy collision detected

Scientists have detected a cosmic "pileup" of galaxies in the early Universe. Imaged almost at the boundary of the observable Universe, the 14 unusually bright objects are on a collision course, set to form one massive galaxy.

Cambridge student who died in Madagascar 'opened plane door'

Alana Cutland, 19, from Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, died last week, the Foreign Office confirmed. Police on the African island said it was not yet clear why she opened the door of the light aircraft.

Milky Way galaxy is warped and twisted, not flat

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is "warped and twisted" and not flat as previously thought, new research shows. Analysis of the brightest stars in the galaxy shows that they do not lie on a flat plane as shown in academic texts and popular science books.

The invention of ‘heterosexuality’

Whenever I tell this to people, they respond with dramatic incredulity. That can’t be right! Well, it certainly doesn’t feel right. It feels as if heterosexuality has always “just been there.”

Chang'e-4: Can anyone 'own' the Moon?

Companies are looking at mining the surface of the Moon for precious materials. So what rules are there on humans exploiting and claiming ownership? It's almost 50 years since Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon.

The unique way the Dutch treat mentally ill prisoners

In the Netherlands, criminals with mental illness are treated completely differently from many other countries. Melissa Hogenboom visits a Dutch prison to find out how.

Read more from Mosaic

Some people suffering psychoactive disorders such as schizophrenia have no idea they are ill – and refuse to seek treatment. But if they are not harming others, is it right to force them to seek treatment?On 3 July 2014, Misty Mayo boarded a Greyhound bus bound for Los Angeles.

The transformational power of how you talk about your life

Imagine that, when you were 12 years old, your family moved to the other side of the country. In your new school, you were bullied for the first time.

Why can’t some people remember their dreams?

Many of us struggle to remember the details of our dreams. The reasons lie in the complicated cycles of our sleep.I am standing outside my childhood primary school, near the front gates and the teachers’ car park. It is a bright sunny day and I am surrounded by my classmates.

Compassionate conservation is 'seriously flawed'

The idea that you cannot kill any animal is "fatally flawed" as a conservation concept, scientists argue. Conservation measures should concentrate on species or habitats rather than individual animals, they observe.

Wood wide web: Trees' social networks are mapped

Research has shown that beneath every forest and wood there is a complex underground web of roots, fungi and bacteria helping to connect trees and plants to one another. This subterranean social network, nearly 500 million years old, has become known as the "wood wide web".

The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050

The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths.

The ‘light triad’ that can make you a good person

Do you tend to see the best in people, or assume that others are out to get you? And are you always honest in conversation, or do you prefer to turn on the charm?

The perils of short-termism: Civilisation’s greatest threat

Not long after my daughter was born in early 2013, I had a sobering thought about the life that lay ahead for her. With health and luck, she will live long enough to see the dawn of the 22nd Century. She may be frail or tired.

Why we need to reinvent democracy for the long-term

 “The origin of civil government,” wrote David Hume in 1739, is that “men are not able radically to cure, either in themselves or others, that narrowness of soul, which makes them prefer the present to the remote.

How to build something that lasts 10,000 years

When I visited Japan recently, I witnessed the 66th cycle of a ritual that began more than 13 centuries ago. I watched as Crown Princess Masako led a procession of Shinto priests carrying treasures from the old temple to the new.

Coronavirus: US-China virus row flares with senator's comments

The row between the US and China over the coronavirus outbreak has flared again with a US senator accusing Beijing of trying to block the development of a vaccine in the West. Rick Scott said evidence had come via "our intelligence community" but provided no details to back it up.

Your coronavirus lockdown confessions

A few weeks ago, we asked for your lockdown confessions. It turns out some of you have a lot to get off your chest. We've all had to sacrifice a lot while being stuck indoors. Some of you have new guilty secrets you wanted to share.

Coronavirus: 'I wore a disguise to see my twins in lockdown'

An oil worker has told how he wore a disguise so he could watch his young children without them recognising him while he was in quarantine. Eddie Flett, from Edinburgh, spent 14 days living in a flat in his street when he returned to Scotland after being stuck in Kazakhstan for 10 weeks.

How Bill Gates became the voodoo doll of Covid conspiracies

In 2015, an unassuming-looking Bill Gates came on stage at the TED conference in Vancouver to issue a dire warning. His prescient words picked up some coverage at the time, including from the BBC - but largely went unheeded.

What makes Germans so orderly?

On the high-speed train gliding smoothly from Berlin to Düsseldorf, a young man started chatting to me. He eventually asked, “What are some of the cultural differences you’ve noticed between Germans and Americans?”

Coronavirus: WHO advises to wear masks in public areas

The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its advice on face masks, saying they should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Combat drone to compete against piloted plane

The US Air Force will pit an advanced autonomous aircraft against a piloted plane in a challenge set for July 2021. The project could eventually lead to unpiloted fighter aircraft that use artificial intelligence (AI).

FGM: Egyptian father 'used coronavirus lie to trick daughters' into procedure

The doctor went to the girls' house after their father told them they would receive a coronavirus "vaccination", Egypt's prosecutor-general said. The girls, aged under 18, were drugged and the doctor cut their genitals.

The secret to a long and healthy life? Eat less

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

Prague Catholic statue torn down by mob rises again

The 17th Century column was toppled in 1918, days after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the birth of an independent Czechoslovak state. The statue is a perfect replica of the original Baroque Marian column.

Robert E Lee statue: Virginia governor announces removal of monument

Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam has announced that a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee will be removed from the state capital. The controversial statue will be put into storage " as soon as possible", the governor said.

The last wild bears of Italy’s Apennine Mountains

At daybreak, Ellie Parker regularly skins up the mountain with her father to get some ski runs in. In early May, they ran into some unexpected visitors. Cresting a ridge on Colorado’s Aspen Highlands resort, Parker spotted six mountain goats dotted across the ski slope, calmly gazing at her.

Gaming 'hero' retires at 23 due to ill-health

China's most famous e-sports player, Jian Zihao, has officially retired from gaming aged 23, citing ill-health. He had been a professional gamer since 2012, playing League of Legends under the name of "Uzi".

The 100-year wound that Hungary cannot forget

Exactly 100 years ago, in the Trianon palace at Versailles, two medium-ranking Hungarian officials signed away two thirds of their country, and 3.3 million of their compatriots. For Hungary the 1920 treaty was a national wound that still festers to this day.

Twitter accuses President Trump of making 'false claims'

Twitter has accused the US president of making false claims, in one of the app's own articles covering the news. The move - which effectively accuses the leader of lying - refers to a tweet by Donald Trump about his first defence secretary.

Porn star Nacho Vidal held in Spain after man dies in toad-venom ritual

Nacho Vidal, 46, and two others were briefly detained last Friday over the death. Spanish police said the photographer died after inhaling the poison of an endangered North American toad.

Cognitive Bias Survival Guide

You know the feeling: Every day you get flooded with new ideas and information. You barely have enough time to process it all. Sure, you’re a smart and rational person that puts a lot of thought into the decisions you make. But the brain still takes decision-making shortcuts all the time.

Witch-doctors reveal extent of child sacrifice in Uganda

Watch Tim Whewell's film investigating the rise in child sacrifice in Uganda A BBC investigation into human sacrifice in Uganda has heard first-hand accounts which suggest ritual killings of children may be more common than authorities have acknowledged.

Witch doctor

A witch doctor was originally a type of healer who treated ailments believed to be caused by witchcraft.[1] The term witch doctor is sometimes used to refer to healers, particularly in third world regions, who use traditional healing rather than contemporary medicine.

Why are placebos getting more effective?

When new drugs are put on the market, clinical trials determine whether they perform better than inactive pills known as "placebos". Research shows that over the last 25 years the difference in effectiveness between real drugs and these fake ones has narrowed - but more in the US than elsewhere.

Tim Minchin's Storm the Animated Movie

NOW AVAILABLE AS AN ILLUSTRATED BOOK WITH ALL NEW ART! the confines of a London dinner party, comedian Tim Minchin argues with a hippy named Storm. While Storm herself may not be converted, audiences from London to LA have been won over by Tim's wordplay and the tim

The magic cure

You’re not likely to hear about this from your doctor, but fake medical treatment can work amazingly well.

Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.

* Photo: Nick Veasey * Merck was in trouble. In 2002, the pharmaceutical giant was falling behind its rivals in sales. Even worse, patents on five blockbuster drugs were about to expire, which would allow cheaper generics to flood the market.


Any measurable placebo effect is termed either objective (e.g. lowered blood pressure) or subjective (e.g. a lowered perception of pain).[1]

Petition · WHO: End the suffering of the Ebola crisis. Test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks. ·

Over 3,000 idiots and counting. This is the intersection of Hanlon’s Razor with Clarke’s third law: any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

Let the credulous kiss their relics. It's no weirder than idolising Beckham

The bizarre Home Office decision to send the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux to Wormwood Scrubs marks a new departure in penal policy.

If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out (Take My Wife) by Tim Minchin

Taken from the forthcoming series of ITV's 'Comedy Cuts'.Animator: Martin White ( )Director: Fergus MarchDirector of Photography: Tim JordanProducer: Rohan Acharya

Homoeopathy's benefit questioned

The Lancet says the time for more studies is over and doctors should be bold and honest with patients about homoeopathy's "lack of benefit". Advocates of homoeopathy maintained the therapy, which works on the principle of treating like with like, does work.

Homeopathy 'no cancer care harm'

Some homeopathic medicines may ease the side-effects of cancer treatments without interfering in how they work, a scientific review has concluded.


Homeopathy or homœopathy is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like (similia similibus curentur), a claim that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people.

Gambians 'taken by witch doctors'

Up to 1,000 Gambian villagers have been abducted by "witch doctors" to secret detention centres and forced to drink potions, a human rights group says. Amnesty International said some forced to drink the concoctions developed kidney problems, and two had died.

Keith Hudson’s Funeral

On Thursday 25th May 2017 it was Keith Hudson’s funeral at Haycombe Cemetery & Crematorium. It was a humanist service, as you would have expected and it was a beautiful, day with the sun shining, just for him. The day started with the humanist celebrant Clare Hanson-Kahn opening the service.

Don’t laugh too loudly at Homeopathy

The EU Commissioners are ‘mandating’ farmers to use herbal homeopathic methods for treating sick animals. We can reliably say that, because homeopathy requires diluting ‘remedies’ a million or a billion times, it simply does not work.

Buying organic 'gives you boost'

New research suggests that buying organic food can make people feel better, even before they eat any of it. Supermarket chain Sainsbury's says simply making the choice to buy organic can induce a sense of well-being.

Burundi albino boy 'dismembered'

The dismembered body of a young albino boy has been found in a river on the Burundi-Tanzania border, reports say. The boy, aged nine, was taken from Makamba province in Burundi by a gang that crossed the border, the head of Burundi's albino association said.

WHO: End the suffering of the Ebola crisis. Test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks.

Homeopathy has a proven track record of treating and preventing serious epidemic diseases. It’s used by governments for dengue fever, leptospirosis, epidemic fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis epidemics, and, historically, for other serious contagious diseases.

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Crystal healing

Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine technique that employs stones and crystals. Adherents of the technique claim that these have healing powers, although there is no scientific basis for this claim.[1][2][3]

List of cognitive biases

Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm and/or rationality in judgment. They are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics.[1] Explanations include information-processing rules (i.e.

Cognitive bias

A cognitive bias is a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment.[1] Individuals create their own "subjective reality" from their perception of the input. An individual's construction of reality, not the objective input, may dictate their behavior in the world.

Confirmation bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information that confirms or supports one's prior beliefs or values.


Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), is a medication used to reduce pain, fever, or inflammation.[5] Specific inflammatory conditions which aspirin is used to treat include Kawasaki disease, pericarditis, and rheumatic fever.

Go Figure: Watching out for Wimbledon-washing machine links

What's the link between tennis on TV and washing machines? If you suspect a weird connection, ask a statistician, says Michael Blastland in his regular column. "Indeed we do. Wimbledon is it?

Spurious correlations: Margarine linked to divorce?

A website set up by a student at Harvard teaches us to look carefully at statistics. And it's fun at the same time. What if you read a little further and found a compelling graph showing the rates of divorce and margarine consumption tracking each other closely over almost 10 years.

Six ads that changed the way you think

Advertisers have always sought to influence and persuade - no more so than at this time of year. But since the advent of mass communications, there has been only a handful of ads that monumentally changed the way people think about a product.

Water memory

Water memory is the purported ability of water to retain a memory of substances previously dissolved in it even after an arbitrary number of serial dilutions.

'My brothers on Europe's last death row'

Any day now, it's possible that two men will be executed in the only European country where the death penalty still exists - but their family will never find out when they were shot, or where they were buried.

Russia's Putin declares state of emergency after Arctic Circle oil spill

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency after 20,000 tonnes of oil leaked into a river within the Arctic Circle. The spill happened when a fuel tank at a power plant near the Siberian city of Norilsk collapsed last Friday.

Demands grow for 'green industrial revolution'

Greenpeace has joined a growing list of organisations demanding that the UK government puts protecting the environment at the heart of any post-Covid-19 economic stimulus package. The campaign group has produced a detailed "manifesto" with measures to boost clean transport and smart power.

Coronavirus: Sweden's Tegnell admits too many died

Sweden's controversial decision not to impose a strict lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic led to too many deaths, the man behind the policy, Anders Tegnell, has acknowledged.

In praise of aphorisms

A typical university course in the history of philosophy surveys the great thinkers of Western civilisation as a stately procession from Plato to Aristotle to Descartes to Kant to Hegel to Nietzsche.

Belgian man has been receiving pizzas he never ordered for years

A 65-year-old man in Flanders says he is “losing sleep” because he has been receiving pizzas he never ordered for nearly a decade, sometimes several times a day.

Coronavirus: Sex workers fear for their future

With social distancing rules in place and strip clubs and brothels closed, sex workers around the world have seen their incomes disappear almost overnight as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Google in $5bn lawsuit for tracking in 'private' mode

Google has been sued in the US over claims it illegally invades the privacy of users by tracking people even when they are browsing in "private mode". The class action wants at least $5bn (£4bn) from Google and owner Alphabet.

The personalities that benefit most from remote work

Many workers around the globe have been forced to embrace the promise and challenges of virtual teamwork – almost overnight. Of course, many companies, especially in IT, have been distributed for years.

Sarah Sanders says 'God wanted Trump to be president'

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has told a religious television network that God "wanted Donald Trump to become president". Ms Sanders made the claim in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), saying it was the reason Mr Trump was in office.

Spike Lee: 'If you leave the pot on the stove, the water boils'

Film-maker Spike Lee has said people in the US are angry because they "live every day in this world where the system is not set up for you to win".

rozhovor s Pavlom Hudákom

Pavol Hudák sa narodil 7. októbra 1959 vo Vranove nad Topľou.

The surfaces that kill bacteria and viruses

Ten million deaths per year. It’s an unfathomable figure, but one that Gerald Larrouy-Maumus mentions often. It is the potential toll facing the world as disease-causing microbes develop resistance to our best defence against them – antibiotics.

Spain’s mysterious mummies

The Canary Islands’ subtropical climate, aquamarine waters and otherworldly volcanic and desert landscapes led more than 15 million people to visit the archipelago last year.

Mining firm Rio Tinto sorry for destroying Aboriginal caves

Mining giant Rio Tinto has apologised for blowing up 46,000-year-old Aboriginal caves in Western Australia dating back to the last Ice Age. The Juukan Gorge caves, in the Pilbara region, were destroyed last Sunday as Rio Tinto expanded an iron ore project agreed with the authorities.

Climate change: How a green new deal really could go global

Good news is in short supply at the moment, so brace yourself for a rare burst of optimism about climate change. World leaders know their countries face one of the most severe recessions in history thanks to the coronavirus restrictions.

Climate change: 'Stunning' seafloor ridges record Antarctic retreat

Scientists are learning just how fast the ice margin of Antarctica can retreat in a warming world. They've identified features on the seafloor that indicate the ice edge was reversing at rates of up to 50m a day at the end of the last ice age.

Red Hugh: Spanish dig for the bones of 16th Century Irish rebel

Are the bones of a historic Irish leader entombed below the foundations of a bank in northern Spain? Archaeologists have dug up a street in the city of Valladolid in a bid to find the remains of a 16th Century Irish chieftain known as Red Hugh.

SpaceX Nasa Mission: Astronauts on historic mission enter space station

US astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have docked with, and entered, the International Space Station (ISS). Their Dragon capsule - supplied and operated by the private SpaceX company - attached to the bow section of the orbiting lab 422km above China.

Durdle Door: Coastguard warns over tombstoning after three hurt jumping 70ft

People have been warned against the dangers of tombstoning after three were seriously hurt jumping 70ft (21m) from a cliff on Dorset's Jurassic Coast. The casualties were taken to hospital following the incident at Durdle Door at about 16:00 BST on Saturday.

Coronavirus: Belgium Prince Joachim tests positive after lockdown party

Prince Joachim, 28, travelled from Belgium to Spain for an internship on 26 May, the palace said. Two days later, he went to a party in the southern city of Córdoba, before testing positive for Covid-19.

In mid-Pacific with nowhere to land

A group of performers were halfway across the Pacific Ocean in a 75ft sailing boat when the coronavirus pandemic erupted. Suddenly countries began closing their sea borders - leaving the vessel with no guarantee of a safe haven before the start of the typhoon season.

home Anthropology

Anthropology@Leuven gives you access to anthropology-related research and teaching at KULeuven:three MA programmes ‒ Social and Cultural Anthropology in Dutch or English and Master of Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies (CADES) ‒ and two research units ‒ IARA and IMMRC.

SpaceX launch: Nasa astronauts begin historic mission on private spaceship

The private rocket company SpaceX has sent two Nasa astronauts into orbit. It's the first time since the retirement of the shuttles nine years ago that an American crew has made the journey from US territory.

China-India border: Why tensions are rising between the neighbours

The armies of the world's two most populous nations are locked in a tense face-off high in the Himalayas, which has the potential to escalate as they seek to further their strategic goals.

The world’s most exquisite chocolate?

Travelling to the Marañón Canyon in northern Peru is like stepping back in time. Mud-brick houses dot the hilly landscape. Electricity, which arrived in this area just three years ago, is only available in a few homes, and supply can be inconsistent.

Microsoft 'to replace journalists with robots'

Microsoft is to replace dozens of contract journalists on its MSN website and use automated systems to select news stories, US and UK media report. The curating of stories from news organisations and selection of headlines and pictures for the MSN site is currently done by journalists.

'Cannabis burned during worship' by ancient Israelites - study

Ancient Israelites burned cannabis as part of their religious rituals, an archaeological study has found. Researchers concluded that cannabis may have been burned in order to induce a high among worshippers.

Sokal affair

The Sokal affair, also called the Sokal hoax,[1] was a demonstrative scholarly hoax performed by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University and University College London. In 1996, Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies.

List of scholarly publishing stings

This is a list of scholarly publishing "sting operations" such as the Sokal affair. These are nonsense papers that were accepted by an academic journal or academic conference; the list does not include cases of scientific misconduct.

How boredom can spark creativity

“I don’t know where I am going, but I promise it won’t be boring,” David Bowie announced from the stage of Madison Square Gardens at a concert to celebrate his 50th birthday in 1997. He didn’t have to worry. Bowie was about as far from ordinary as you can get.

The tree that changed the world map

Unfurling in a carpet of green where the Andes and Amazon basin meet in south-western Peru, Manú National Park is one of the most biodiverse corners of the planet: a lush, 1.

You want efficient application scaling? Go serverless!

Today we’re seeing another shift from virtual machines to containers. Containers are virtual runtime environments running on top of the operating system kernel that emulates the operating system itself. That’s where the serverless model comes in.

Twitter hides Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence'

Twitter has hidden a tweet by President Donald Trump from his profile, saying it violates rules about glorifying violence. It did the same hours later when the official White House account tweeted a copy of the president's words.

Spain’s mysterious mummies

The Canary Islands’ subtropical climate, aquamarine waters and otherworldly volcanic and desert landscapes led more than 15 million people to visit the archipelago last year.

Lion attack in Australia leaves zookeeper badly injured

The woman suffered face and neck injuries on Tuesday at Shoalhaven Zoo, about 150km (90 miles) south of Sydney. The zoo declined to immediately comment on the incident, local media said.

Men hired for sexual fantasy break into wrong house

In a sex fantasy gone wrong, two men with machetes entered the wrong house in New South Wales, Australia, before quickly realising their error. One of them has now been acquitted of entering a home armed with a weapon in July 2019, Australian media report.

Nintendo PlayStation: Ultra-rare prototype sells for £230,000

The only "Nintendo PlayStation" ever publicly auctioned has sold for $300,000 (£230,700). The ultra-rare prototype was the offspring of a short-lived collaboration between Nintendo and Sony, and was supposed to add CD-ROM support to the Super Nintendo.

'Nearest black hole to Earth discovered'

Astronomers have a new candidate in their search for the nearest black hole to Earth. It's about 1,000 light-years away, or roughly 9.5 thousand, million, million km, in the Constellation Telescopium.

Ancient Tap O' Noth hillfort in Aberdeenshire one of 'largest ever'

University of Aberdeen archaeologists say 4,000 people may have lived in more than 800 huts perched high on the Tap O' Noth near Rhynie. Many had thought it dated from the Bronze or Iron Age.

Space debris: Smart solutions sought to make orbital traffic safer

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) wants to hear from anyone with novel ideas for how to track all the pieces of debris now moving in orbit. UKSA has £1m to dispense in grants for smart new solutions.

World's deepest octopus captured on camera

The deepest ever sighting of an octopus has been made by cameras on the Indian Ocean floor. The animal was spotted 7,000m down in the Java Trench - almost 2km deeper than the previous reliable recording.

European contract signed for Moon mission hardware

The European Space Agency has asked the aerospace company Airbus to build another service module for the Americans' Orion crew capsule. This contract, worth around €250m (£225m), is particularly noteworthy, however.

Biggest UK solar plant approved

The go-ahead has been given to the UK’s biggest solar farm, stretching 900 acres on the north Kent coast. The government has approved the controversial scheme, which will supply power to 91,000 homes.

The little lights now packing a deadly punch

Mr Zollner has been working on light emitting diodes (LEDs), the long-lasting technology in modern lightbulbs. They are probably in the lightbulbs in your house, or the headlamps of your car. Because they are tough and energy efficient, researchers are always trying to find new ways of using them.

Trump signs executive order targeting Twitter after fact-checking row

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at removing some of the legal protections given to social media platforms. He said the firms had "unchecked power" to censure and edit the views of users.

How getting rid of dustbins helped Taiwan clean up its cities

Waste researcher Nate Maynard remembers exactly when he realised that bins were nearly impossible to find in Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei. He first came to Taiwan in 2013 for a research trip as part of his environment masters programme.

Trump to redefine social-media legal protections

US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order redefining the legal protections given to social-media platforms. It means platforms such as Facebook and Twitter could be sued if they are judged to "deceptively" block posts.

Austrian police publish honey-trap photos in Strache inquiry

Investigators want to speak to the mystery woman who chatted to then-FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache in a villa on the Spanish island of Ibiza. In the video, she poses as a Russian oligarch's niece called Alyona Makarov.

Uber destroys thousands of bikes and scooters

Uber is destroying thousands of electric bikes and scooters, after selling its Jump business to Lime. Videos of its red bikes being crushed at a US recycling centre were shared on social media, angering cycling advocates.

Alien life 'may exist among us'

Could "shadow life" be lurking in the deep ocean? Never mind Mars, alien life may be thriving right here on Earth, a major science conference has heard.

Ancient life thrives in the deep

Our planet's murky deep sea sediments are a buzzing hotbed of life, according to a report in Nature magazine. Scientists suggest between 60 to 70% of all bacteria live deep beneath the surface of the Earth, far from the Sun's life-giving rays.

Fossils may be 'earliest animals'

Tiny, irregularly shaped fossils from South Australia could be the oldest remains of simple animal life found to date. The collection of circles, anvils, wishbones and rings discovered in the Flinders Ranges are most probably sponges, a Princeton team claims.

Is this the meaning of life?

It is often assumed that the science-based worldview implies that life on this planet is a meaningless accident in a universe that is indifferent to our existence.

Life may have survived 'Snowball Earth' in ocean pockets

Life may have survived a cataclysmic global freeze some 700 million years ago in pockets of open ocean. Researchers claim to have found evidence in Australia that turbulent seas still raged during the period, where micro-organisms may have clung on for life.

Scottish rocks record ancient oxygen clues

Oxygen levels on Earth reached a critical threshold to enable the evolution of complex life much earlier than thought, say scientists. The evidence is found in 1.2-billion-year-old rocks from Scotland.

Team finds Earth's 'oldest rocks'

Earth's most ancient rocks, with an age of 4.28 billion years, have been found on the shore of Hudson Bay, Canada. Writing in Science journal, a team reports finding that a sample of Nuvvuagittuq greenstone is 250 million years older than any rocks known.

Tiny tubes point to ancient life

Tiny tubes thought to have been etched into South African rocks by microbes are at least 3.34 billion years old, scientists can confirm. The tubules could therefore represent the earliest "trace" evidence of activity by life on Earth.

Tiny fossils reveal inner secrets

The exact moment when a 550-million-year-old cell began to divide has been captured in an exquisite 3D image. The picture is one of a series taken by researchers examining ancient fossil embryos from Guizhou Province, China.

Mexican archaeologists locate wreck of 200-year-old ship

Underwater archaeologists in Mexico have revealed details of the remains of a sailing ship they have located off the coast of Quintana Roo state. They believe the ship sank more than 200 years ago after hitting a reef.

Coronavirus: From 'We've shut it down' to 100,000 US dead

It's an uncanny and almost tragically perfect piece of symmetry.

Hong Kong 'no longer autonomous from China' - Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Congress that Hong Kong no longer merits special treatment under US law. The declaration could have major implications for Hong Kong's trade hub status and is likely to anger Beijing.

Trump threatens to shut down social media companies

President Trump has taken the extraordinary step of threatening to close down social media platforms. The threat came after Twitter added fact-check links to his tweets for the first time.

Wikileaks releases CIA 'exporter of terrorism' report

Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has published a CIA memo examining the implications of the US being perceived as an "exporter of terrorism". The three-page report from February 2010 says the participation of US-based individuals in terrorism is "not a recent phenomenon".

Warning over war on terror

The "war on terror" has made the world a more dangerous place and created divisions which make conflict more likely, says Amnesty International. The campaign group used its annual report on Wednesday to accuse governments of trampling over human rights in the name of fighting terrorism.

War: who is it good for?

President Bush will soon make a decision on whether to declare war on Iraq and attempt to topple Saddam Hussein. The markets are left asking whether the stuttering US economy is playing any part in the decision.

War on terror 'hurts poor'

The world stands accused of double standards in its thirst to end the scourge of international terrorism. Aid donors and relief agencies, a report says, are concentrating increasingly on politically strategic countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.

War of billions: How has Afghanistan changed?

Afghanistan has undergone momentous change in the decade which followed the US-led operation to remove the Taliban from power in October 2001. Billions of dollars in foreign assistance have poured into the country, most of it spent on military operations.

US 9/11 air defence was 'chaotic'

Could better co-ordination have prevented the Pentagon crash? US air defence was disastrously unprepared for the 11 September 2001 attacks, a special commission has said.

Bush rejects Saddam 9/11 link

US President George Bush has said there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 11 September attacks.

Bin Laden death: Images could pose 'US security risk'

President Barack Obama has said publishing photos of the dead Osama Bin Laden threatens US national security. The al-Qaeda leader was killed by US special forces in northern Pakistan on Monday. His body was buried at sea.

Bin Laden among latest Wikileaks Afghan revelations

New details, including reports on Osama Bin Laden dating from 2006, have emerged from 90,000 US military files leaked to the Wikileaks website. Several files track Bin Laden, although the US has said it had received no reliable information on him "in years".

Afghanistan and Iraq wars cost $1.6trillion

The assessment, by the joint economic committee, factors in knock-on effects including long-term healthcare for the wounded, interest on money borrowed for the war chest and oil market disruptions.

'War on terror' loses clear direction

In the five years since 9/11, a clear-cut and well-supported "war on terror" declared by President Bush has become confused and divisive.

'This is just a scene from hell'

The BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson was accompanying a convoy of US special forces and Kurdish fighters when it came under attack from an American warplane. At least 10 people were killed, including a Kurdish translator working with the BBC team, Kamaran Abdurazaq Muhamed.

Saddam 'had no link to al-Qaeda'

There is no evidence of formal links between Iraqi ex-leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda leaders prior to the 2003 war, a US Senate report says. The finding is contained in a 2005 CIA report released by the Senate's Intelligence Committee on Friday.

'Islamist terrorism' in 9/11 focus

The report of the US commission investigating the 11 September 2001 attacks calls for a new global strategy to defeat the extremist ideology of al-Qaeda and promote a culture of openness and opportunity in the Muslim world.

Sweden’s single-diner restaurant

The romantic picture of sitting in a lush meadow surrounded by blooming wildflowers and dining from a picnic basket might conjure up thoughts of Instagram lifestyle influencers, who tend to be mostly female. But for Linda Karlsson, her novel dining idea’s main demographic has surprised her.

Epic 7,500-mile cuckoo migration wows scientists

One of the longest migrations recorded by any land bird is about to be completed. Using a satellite tag, scientists have monitored a cuckoo that has just flown more than 7,500 miles (12,000km) from southern Africa to its breeding ground in Mongolia.

White woman called police on black man in dog row

The man, described as an "avid birder", was concerned the dog could endanger wildlife in Central Park. The woman, identified as Amy Cooper, later apologised, saying she had "overreacted".

Twitter tags Trump tweet with fact-checking warning

Twitter put a warning label in the post and linked to a page that described the claims as "unsubstantiated". President Trump responded by tweeting again, saying the social media giant "is completely stifling free speech".

Coronavirus contact tracing: My new skill

It could be the most important job of our times. And now, after receiving a 95% pass rate in my final exam, I can proudly say, I am a qualified contact tracer. What is not clear is just how well trained most of the people undertaking this vital task in the UK will be.

JK Rowling unveils The Ickabog, her first non-Harry Potter children's book

JK Rowling has surprised fans with the announcement of a brand new children's book, which she is publishing in daily instalments on her website for free. The Ickabog is her first children's story not to be linked to Harry Potter.

1968: Caught in an international emergency

1968: Caught in an international emergency Soviet tanks rolled into the Czech capital on 21 August 1968. The government of the USSR was responding to a democratic movement led by Prime Minister Alexander Dubcek, which it felt threatened Communism's grip on Eastern Europe.

Slovenský raj - Turistika, mapy, fotografie, ubytovanie, ... - Slovenský raj

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Pavol Hudák

Pavol Hudák (7 October 1959 in Vranov nad Toplou, Czechoslovakia – 18 January 2011 in Poprad, Slovakia) was a Slovak poet, journalist and publicist. He grew up and studied grammar school in Vyšný Žipov.


Copyright 2005-2018 © Jaromír Nohavica. Určeno jen pro osobní využití. Publikování nebo jakékoliv jiné formy dalšího šíření obsahu serveru (vyjma informací v rubrikách „Novinky“ a „Koncerty“) jsou bez písemného souhlasu Jaromíra Nohavici zakázány.

Medzinárodný festival horských filmov

Aj tohto roku môžete podporiť svojimi dvomi percentami Horský film Poprad, n.f., ktorý tohto roku pripravuje už XXII. Medzinárodný festival horských filmov v Poprade. Bude sa konať v dňoch 8. – 12. 10. 2014. Ďakujeme.

One dead at Slovak music festival

One person has died after a giant tent collapsed on a crowd of concert goers at Slovakia's biggest music festival, reports say. Another 40 were injured - 15 seriously - when a gust of wind lifted and then brought down the tent during a rain storm in the western town of Trencin.

Slovakia angered by horror film

Slovakian officials have expressed concerns that hit film Hostel tarnishes the reputation of their country. The horror movie, which topped the US box office charts, shows backpackers falling prey to a brutal torture ring at the hands of Slovakian women. "I am offended by this film.

Vaclav Havel, Czech leader and playwright, dies at 75

Vaclav Havel, the Czech Republic's first president after the Velvet Revolution against communist rule, has died at the age of 75. The former dissident playwright, who suffered from prolonged ill-health, died on Sunday morning, his secretary Sabina Tancecova said.

US plans 'robot troops' for Iraq

The US military is planning to deploy robots armed with machine-guns to wage war against insurgents in Iraq. Eighteen of the 1m-high robots, equipped with cameras and operated by remote control, are going to Iraq this spring, the Associated Press reports.

Viewpoint: AI will change our relationship with tech

In 1984, Canadian movie director James Cameron imagined a world in which computers achieved self-awareness and set about systematically destroying humankind. Skynet, the Terminator series computer network, was to go live in 2011 and bring the world to an end.

Boston Dynamics Big Dog (new video March 2008)

Boston Dynamics just released a new video of the Big Dog on ice and snow, and also demoing its walking gait.

Brain works more like internet than 'top down' company

The brain appears to be a vastly interconnected network much like the Internet, according to new research. That runs counter to the 19th-Century "top-down" view of brain structure.

Can computers have true artificial intelligence?

Is it possible to create true artificial intelligence and, if so, how close are we to doing so, asks mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy. It was while I was making my last BBC TV series, The Code, that I bumped into a neuroscientist I knew.

Car or computer? How transport is becoming more connected

While few would blink any more at the sight of a Mini Cooper alongside their own vehicle, some may have noticed a few of their models out and about at the moment that are strangely quiet. And their silence masks some heavy-duty engineering under the bonnet.

Conway's Game of Life

The game is a zero-player game, meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. One interacts with the Game of Life by creating an initial configuration and observing how it evolves.

Hitachi unveils 'fastest robot'

Japanese electronics firm Hitachi has unveiled its first humanoid robot, called Emiew, to challenge Honda's Asimo and Sony's Qrio robots. Hitachi said the 1.3m (4.2ft) Emiew was the world's quickest-moving robot yet at 6km/h (3.7 miles per hour).

Swiss citizenship system 'racist'

An official report into the process of naturalisation in Switzerland says the current system is discriminatory and in many respects racist. The report, from Switzerland's Federal Commission on Racial Discrimination, recommends far-reaching changes.

Geert Wilders cleared of hate charges by Dutch court

Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders, who described Islam as "fascist", has been acquitted of inciting hatred against Muslims. Amsterdam judge Marcel van Oosten accepted the Freedom Party leader's statements were directed at Islam and not at Muslim believers.

German fans single out 'racist'

A football spectator who fellow fans alleged shouted racist insults at a black player during a German first division match faces a life ban. Fans of home team Energie Cottbus told police a man was insulting their Cameroon striker Francis Kioyo in Saturday's match against Bochum.

Racial slur banned in New York

The city council of New York has voted to ban the use of the word "nigger". The resolution to ban the so-called "N-word" is largely symbolic as it carries no weight in law and those who use the word would face no punishment.

Europe: Nationalist resurgence

The eurosceptic and anti-immigration True Finns have taken nearly a fifth of votes in Finland's general election, reflecting a trend across Nordic and Western European countries.

Amnesty says Czech schools still fail Roma Gypsies

Czech schools are still riddled with "systematic discrimination" that ensures Roma children get an inferior education, Amnesty International says. The human rights group has called on the Czech Republic to end what it calls racial segregation in schools.

Pavol Hudák - básnik

Medailón o básnikovi Pavlovi Hudákovi. SPIŠSKOSOBOTSKÝ CINTORÍN V Sobote je rušno, Jakubisko natáča Tisícročnú včelu, dlhovlasí štatisti v c.k. uniformách si šúchajú ruky, začína byť zima, večer je diskotéka vo Veľkej a ráno futbal, len túto scénu nie a nie skončiť, p

Afghan poets tackle scars of war

The violence in Afghanistan and the Pashtun-inhabited parts of Pakistan is making itself felt on the cultural and social life of the Pashtuns.

How to change a plug... in verse

THE BORING TEXT Important: Wires in the mains lead are coloured in accordance with the following code: Green/Yellow - Earth Blue - Neutral Brown- Live If you change the plug, the colour of wires in the mains lead may not correspond with the colour of the markings identifying terminals in the plug TH

Memory and method: In praise of learning by rote

Pupils across much of the UK are in the last week of revision for GCSEs, but is learning off by heart still a practised and valued skill, asks Neil Hallows. The Dickens character Thomas Gradgrind ensured his pupils had "imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim".

Why Are Spy Researchers Building a 'Metaphor Program'?

That's right, metaphors, like Shakespeare's famous line, "All the world's a stage," or more subtly, "The darkness pressed in on all sides.

Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyam (/kaɪˈjɑːm/; Persian: عمر خیّام‎ [oˈmæɾ xæjˈjɒːm]; 18 May 1048 – 4 December 1131) was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet.

Classical Chinese poetry

Classical Chinese poetry is traditional Chinese poetry written in Classical Chinese and typified by certain traditional forms, or modes; traditional genres; and connections with particular historical periods, such as the poetry of the Tang Dynasty.

Map tracks Antarctica on the move

A team of scientists has created the most complete map of ice motion over the entire continent of Antarctica. Built from images acquired by radar satellites, the visualisation details all the great glaciers and the smaller ice streams that feed them.

Volcanic eruptions score melodies

The low-frequency, seismic rumblings of volcanoes are being transformed into delicate musical scores in an effort to predict when they will erupt. Researchers in Italy have already created a concerto from the underground movements of Mount Etna on Sicily.

2010 gears up for explosion of 3D

If 2009 was dominated by touch technology then 2010 looks set to be the year of 3D. TV manufacturer LG wants to sell nearly half a million 3D-ready TV sets next year as the World Cup kicks off in the format.

Data visualization

Data visualization is the graphic representation of data. It involves producing images that communicate relationships among the represented data to viewers of the images.

Futures studies

Futures studies, also called futurology, is the study of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them.[1][failed verification] In general, it can be considered as a branch of the social sciences and parallel to the field of history.


WFSF is a UNESCO and UN consultative partner and global NGO with members in over 60 countries. We bring together academics, researchers, practitioners, students and futures-focused institutions.

'Doomsday' vault design unveiled

The final design for a "doomsday" vault that will house seeds from all known varieties of food crops has been unveiled by the Norwegian government. The Svalbard International Seed Vault will be built into a mountainside on a remote island near the North Pole.

'Psychic' octopus predicts Spain to win World Cup

An octopus credited with psychic powers has predicted that Spain will defeat the Netherlands in the World Cup final. The German zoo animal also predicted a win for Germany against Uruguay in the third place match. He has so far correctly forecast every World Cup game involving the national team.

Blade Runner: Which predictions have come true?

It's been 30 years since the release of Blade Runner and 10 years since Minority Report. Both are rich sources of predictions about the future. But what has actually come to pass?

Scan shows how brains plot future

Brain scans have given US scientists a clue about how we create a mental image of our own future. The Washington University team say that specific areas of the brain are active when thinking about upcoming events.

US first lady 'slave roots' found

Research into the family of US First Lady Michelle Obama has revealed that her great-great-great-grandmother was a slave given away at the age of six. According to genealogist Megan Smolenyak, the girl was described in papers only as "negro girl Melvinia".

Osama Bin Laden's family tree

As Osama Bin Laden spent years on the run, it appears he kept his family close to him. Although separated and divorced from two wives, three others were living with him in the Abbotabad compound where he died.

DNA study deals blow to theory of European origins

The findings challenge previous research showing that the genetic signature of the farmers displaced that of Europe's indigenous hunters. The latest research leans towards the idea that most of Europe's males trace a line of descent to stone-age hunters.

DNA 'could predict your surname'

Forensic scientists could use DNA retrieved from a crime scene to predict the surname of the suspect, according to a new British study. It is not perfect, but could be an important investigative tool when combined with other intelligence.

20 Million Members have connected To a Deeper Family Story

Ancestry® helps you understand your genealogy. A family tree takes you back generations—the world’s largest collection of online records makes it possible. Learn more Over500Regions AncestryDNA® gives you much more than just the places you're from.

Adoptees use DNA to find surname

Male adoptees are using consumer DNA tests to predict the surnames carried by their biological fathers, the BBC has learned. They are using the fact that men who share a surname sometimes have genetic likenesses too.

Confucian family tree 'triples'

Two million people are now recognised as being descendants of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, more than tripling the number in the last count. The announcement was made as the fifth update to Confucius' family tree was unveiled on the 2,560th anniversary of his birth, say Chinese state media.

Coronavirus: Girl, 17, works at hospital after A-levels cancelled

Madeleine Crow, from Exeter, Devon, was due to begin working as a healthcare assistant later in the year but said it was a "no-brainer" to start earlier. UK schools and colleges were shut last month as a response to the pandemic.

Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit rocket fails on debut flight

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit company has tried unsuccessfully to launch a rocket over the Pacific Ocean. The booster was released from under the wing of one of the UK entrepreneur's old jumbos which had been specially converted for the task.

Coronavirus: Drivers plan to walk more to keep cleaner air of lockdown - survey

British drivers are ready to change their behaviour to maintain the cleaner air of the lockdown and protect the environment, a survey suggests. Of the 20,000 motorists polled for the AA, half said they would walk more and 40% intended to drive less.

Grenfell fears prevent timber building boom

Fears of another Grenfell-type fire are stunting the spread of wood-based buildings in the UK. The government is planning to reduce the maximum height of wood-framed buildings from six storeys to four.

In pictures: Indigenous nurse on frontline in virus fight

As the coronavirus pandemic has spread across Brazil, indigenous people have been among the worst affected. On the outskirts of the city of Manaus, Parque das Tribos is a settlement of descendants from 35 different tribes.

Wikipedia founder calls for social media strike

People are being urged to stop using social media for up to 48 hours later this week in an effort to pressure the networks into restoring control of personal data to users. The call to strike has been issued by Dr Larry Sanger - a co-founder of the Wikipedia online encyclopaedia.

Wikipedia blocked in China in all languages

All language editions of Wikipedia have been blocked in mainland China since April, the Wikimedia foundation has confirmed. Internet censorship researchers found that Wikipedia had joined thousands of other websites which cannot be accessed in China.

'Fidelity gene' found in voles

By altering the small animal's brain hormone chemistry, scientists have made a promiscuous meadow vole faithful - just like its prairie vole cousin. The researchers think this will lead to a greater understanding of how social behaviour is controlled in humans.

Genetic study sheds light on Jewish diaspora

Scientists have shed light on Jewish history with an in-depth genetic study. The researchers analysed genetic samples from 14 Jewish communities across the world and compared them with those from 69 non-Jewish populations.

Asteroid makes near-miss fly-by

An asteroid hurtled past the Earth on Friday in something of a cosmic near-miss, making its closest approach at about 1600 GMT. The asteroid, estimated to be about 11m (36ft) in diameter, was first detected on Wednesday.

Asteroid Themis has 'frosted surface'

Scientists have detected water-ice on the surface of an asteroid. The first-time observation was made on 24 Themis, a huge rock that orbits almost 480 million km out from the Sun.

Asteroid Lutetia has thick blanket of debris

Lutetia, the giant asteroid visited by Europe's Rosetta probe in July, is covered in a thick blanket of dusty debris at least 600m (2,000ft) deep. Aeons of impacts have pulverised the space rock to produce a shattered surface that in terms of texture is much like Earth's Moon, scientists say.

A perfect view of the asteroid capsule's Earth return

Nothing can prevent it now. Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft is heading home after its seven-year round-trip to the asteroid Itokawa. I wrote earlier in the week about some of the woes Hayabusa experienced as it tried to grab dusty fragments from Itokawa's surface, and now it faces one last challenge.

'Life chemicals' may have formed around far-flung star

There is now even more evidence that life on Earth may have been seeded by material from asteroids or comets. Prior research has shown how amino acids - the building blocks of life - could form elsewhere in the cosmos.

'Crater' spied under California

Oil exploration work in California's Central Valley region has uncovered a possible space impact crater. The 5.5km-wide bowl is buried under shale sediments west of Stockton, in San Joaquin County, and is thought to be between 37 and 49 million years old.

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | 'A meteorite smashed through my roof'

The chances of being hit by a chunk of space rock are measured in the billions-to-one. Roy Fausset, 59, had the closest of escapes last month when what scientists now say was a meteorite crashed through his New Orleans home.

Hayabusa capsule particles may be from asteroid

Japan's space agency (Jaxa) began to open the Hayabusa craft's sample container on 24 June. It has now revealed images of tiny dust particles inside the container.

Anatomical clues to human evolution from fish

It may seem strange that humans have evolved from fish, but the evidence can be found not just in fossils but also within our own bodies. Your face is your most expressive feature; it tells the world what you are feeling, who you are and where you come from.

Teeth and jaw are from 'earliest Europeans'

Two baby teeth and a jaw fragment unearthed in Italy and the UK have something revealing to say about how modern humans conquered the globe. The finds in the Grotta del Cavallo, Apulia, and Kents Cavern, Devon, have been confirmed as the earliest known remains of Homo sapiens in Europe.

Why is there only one human species?

Not so very long ago, we shared this planet with several other species of human, all of them clever, resourceful and excellent hunters, so why did only Homo sapiens survive?

'Astonishing' skull unearthed in Africa

This is a picture of the recently unearthed human-like skull which is being described as the most important find of its type in living memory. It was found in the desert in Chad by an international team and is thought to be approximately seven million years old. "I knew I would one day find it...

'Hobbit' human 'is a new species'

The tiny skeletal remains of human "Hobbits" found on an Indonesian island belong to a completely new branch of our family tree, a study has found. The finds caused a sensation when they were announced to the world in 2004.

'Hobbit' island's deeper history

Long before a 'hobbit' species of human lived on Indonesia's Flores island, other human-like creatures colonised the area. That much was clear. The group says the finds bring a new dimension to our understanding of the history of Flores.

'Lucy's baby' found in Ethiopia

The 3.3-million-year-old fossilised remains of a human-like child have been unearthed in Ethiopia's Dikika region. The female Australopithecus afarensis bones are from the same species as an adult skeleton found in 1974 which was nicknamed "Lucy".

Age of ancient humans reassessed

Two skulls originally found in 1967 have been shown to be about 195,000 years old, making them the oldest modern human remains known to science. The age estimate comes from a re-dating of Ethiopian rock layers close to those that yielded the remarkable fossils.

African fossils put new spin on human origins story

The ancient remains of two human-like creatures found in South Africa could change the way we view our origins. The 1.9-million-year-old fossils were first described in 2010, and given the species name Australopithecus sediba.

Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit rocket fails on debut flight

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit company has tried unsuccessfully to launch a rocket over the Pacific Ocean. The booster was released from under the wing of one of the UK entrepreneur's old jumbos which had been specially converted for the task.

Be more punctual, Ecuadorians are urged

Fire sirens will sound and church bells ring out at midday around Ecuador to mark the launch of the government's campaign to eradicate sloppy timekeeping - a vice which it says is hampering the country's economy.

Cells' internal clocks revealed

Scientists have found that each cell of the body has an internal "clock", which can be affected by various genes. Research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that skin cells can be used to measure the speed of a person's body clock.

Cell discovery clues to body clock and beating jet lag

New discoveries into how the body clock works could provide clues to help combat jet lag, research suggests. The cells had been thought to be inactive during the day - but their research found the opposite was true.

Changes to the world's time scale debated

Time, as we know it, could soon be in for a radical change. This week, scientists at the Royal Society are discussing whether we need to come up with a new definition of the world's time scale: Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Circadian rhythm

A circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours.[1] It can refer to any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours.

Fish living in dark caves still feel the rhythm of life

Most animals have an internal body clock, or circadian rhythm, that lasts around 24 hours and is modified by the light-dark cycle of a day.

George Carlin- Does the time bother you? 1978 On location George Carlin Again.

Under the Fair use act of 1976 under section 107 this video is being used for educational purposes. TO make people THINK and question things in life. I make no money off this posting what so ever.

Lunar clock to be built for 2012

Scientists and artists plan to build a 40m-wide lunar clock by the River Thames by 2012. The aim is to create a new London landmark close to the proposed Olympic stadium as a monument to a more natural way of marking time.

Why having fun makes time speed

Scientists have come up with a theory for why time flies when you are having fun - and drags when you are bored. Scans have shown that patterns of activity in the brain change depending on how we focus on a task.

as days pass by

Well, everyone’s doing Webmentions these days. So, there’s a bandwagon here to jump on. All this is really my fault. It is a good idea that, when I write a post which links elsewhere, that the elsewhere gets told that I linked to it.

'Better' DNA out of fossil bones

Improved technologies for extracting genetic material from fossils may help us find out more about our ancient ancestors. Scientists in Israel have just developed a new technique to retrieve better quality, less contaminated DNA from very old remains, including human bones.

'Ethical' stem cell crop boosted

US researchers have found a way to dramatically increase the harvest of stem cells from adult tissue. It is a practical step forward in techniques to produce large numbers of stem cells without using embryos.

Ancestor's DNA code reconstructed

Scientists have re-constructed part of the genetic code that would have existed in a common ancestor of placental mammals, including humans. The creature, thought to be a nocturnal shrew-like animal, lived alongside dinosaurs about 75 million years ago.

Clone 'would feel individuality'

Scientists drew their conclusions after interviewing identical twins about their experiences of sharing exactly the same genes with somebody else. The team said the twins believed their genes played a limited role in shaping their identity.

Cloned cattle food safe to eat, say scientists

Meat and milk from cloned cattle and their offspring are safe to consume, independent scientists have said. The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes said it believed the food was unlikely to present any risk.

Dolly expert is to clone embryos

The creator of Dolly the sheep has been granted a licence to clone human embryos for medical research. Professor Ian Wilmut and Kings College London scientists will clone early stage embryos to study motor neurone disease (MND).

Concern over human cloning claims

A US fertility specialist is planning to implant a cloned human embryo in a woman's womb but experts say it is "unethical and irresponsible". Doctor Panos Zavos is to hold a press conference in London on Saturday to announce the latest details of his cloning research.

Extinct cave bear DNA sequenced

Scientists have extracted and decoded the DNA of a cave bear that died 40,000 years ago. They plan to unravel the DNA of other extinct species, including our closest ancient relatives, the Neanderthals.

Extinct mammoth DNA decoded

Scientists have pieced together part of the genetic recipe of the extinct woolly mammoth. The 5,000 DNA letters spell out a large chunk of the genetic code of its mitochondria, the structures in the cell that generate energy.

5 Mind-Melting Ways Your Memory Plays Tricks On You

Everybody will tell you that memory can't be trusted. When they say that, of course, what they mean is that other people's memories can't be trusted.

Bad memories written with lasers

Laser-controlled flies may be the latest addition to the neuroscientist's tool kit, thanks to a new technique. Researchers have devised a way to write memories onto the brains of flies, revealing which brain cells are involved in making bad memories.

Beatles' tunes aid memory recall

The world's largest catalogue of Beatles-related recollections will be unveiled in Liverpool this week. The 3,000 memories, from 69 nations, could help scientists better understand how music can help humans tap into the long forgotten events of their lives.

Brain function can start declining 'as early as age 45'

The brain's ability to function can start to deteriorate as early as 45, suggests a study in the British Medical Journal. University College London researchers found a 3.6% decline in mental reasoning in women and men aged 45-49.

Brain scans 'can distinguish memories', say scientists

Scientists say they have been able to tell which past event a person is recalling using a brain scan. The University College London researchers showed people film clips and were able to predict which ones they were subsequently thinking about.

Brain's 'atlas' of words revealed

Scientists in the US have mapped out how the brain organises language. Their "semantic atlas" shows how, for example, one region of the brain activates in response to words about clothing and appearance.

Can you see time?

Imagine if you could see time laid out in front of you, or surrounding your body. And you could physically point to specific dates in space. Important dates might stand out - birthdays, anniversaries. And you could scan a visible timeline - to check if you were available - whenever you made plans.

Does your brain have a mind of its own?

How many times has this happened to you? You leave work, decide that you need to get groceries on the way home, take a cellphone call and forget all about your plan. Next thing you know, you've driven home and forgotten all about the groceries. Or this. You decide, perhaps circa Jan.

Dreaming 'eases painful memories’

Scientists have used scans to shed more light on how the brain deals with the memory of unpleasant or traumatic events during sleep. The University of California, Berkeley team showed emotional images to volunteers, then scanned them several hours later as they saw them again.

Gene therapy 'memory boost hope'

US scientists used it to increase levels of a chemical which helps brain cells signal to each other. This signalling is hindered in Alzheimer's Disease, the journal Nature reported.

Heart pill to banish bad memories

Scientists believe a common heart medicine may be able to banish fearful memories from the mind. The Dutch investigators believe beta-blocker drugs could help people suffering from the emotional after-effects of traumatic experiences.

How can musicians keep playing despite amnesia?

Scientists are trying to understand how amnesiacs can lose all memory of their past life - and yet remember music. The answer may be that musical memories are stored in a special part of the brain.

Earth is too crowded for Utopia

The global population is higher than the Earth can sustain, argues the Director of the British Antarctic Survey in the first of a series of environmental opinion pieces on the BBC News website entitled The Green Room.

Earth population 'exceeds limits'

There are already too many people living on Planet Earth, according to one of most influential science advisors in the US government. Nina Fedoroff told the BBC One Planet programme that humans had exceeded the Earth's "limits of sustainability".

The world at seven billion

Over the next week the BBC News website will be looking at the issues raised by the growth in the world's population. But how are these changes affecting people's daily lives? BBC News speaks to seven people from around the world to hear their stories.

What we can learn from conspiracy theories

In 331 BC, something was wrong with Rome. Across the city, swathes of eminent men were succumbing to sickness, and practically all of them were dying. The losses were as baffling as they were alarming.

When two baboon troops go to war

Two troops of baboons have been filmed going to war, with hundreds of monkeys entering into a pitched battle. The fight, filmed by the BBC Natural History Unit, appears to be triggered by male baboons attempting to steal females from the harems of rivals.

Unlocking meerkats' alarm calls

Researchers from Switzerland and South Africa suggest "non-linearities" make the cries "unpredictable", distinguishing them from other calls. However, it is uncertain how the meerkats produce the "non-linear" vocal sounds, the team adds.

Gorillas 'ape humans' over games

Gorillas play competitive games just like humans, according to scientists at the University of St Andrews. The gorillas at San Francisco Zoo were observed over a period of five years playing with a variety of equipment.

Monkey invents new way to break into coconuts

The monkey, known as 'Pinocchio' by the scientists studying him due to his big nose, first rolls a nut down to the docks on the island of Cayo Santiago, which lies to the east of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea. He then throws the nut up into the air and watches it smash onto concrete.

Chimps use cleavers and anvils as tools to chop food

For the first time, chimpanzees have been seen using tools to chop up and reduce food into smaller bite-sized portions. Chimps in the Nimba Mountains of Guinea, Africa, use both stone and wooden cleavers, as well as stone anvils, to process Treculia fruits.

Ants work with acacia trees to prevent elephant damage

Researchers from the Universities of Wyoming and Florida, in the US, carried out a series of studies in Laikipia District in Central Kenya, and Tsavo National Park, also in Kenya. Tree cover was decreasing while elephant numbers were increasing.

Animals 'are moral beings'

Some animals can feel and think in ways not too dissimilar from us, welfare campaigners say. They say there is evidence of altruism, with some animals acting disinterestedly for the good of others.

Huge seas 'once existed on Mars'

US scientists have found further evidence that huge seas existed long ago on Mars. The 2,000 km-wide, 8km-deep Hellas basin is a giant impact crater - the largest such structure on Mars.

Puzzles of our cosmic neighbourhood

For decades, scientists have been sending robotic probes deep into the Solar System, revealing a diverse and dynamic array of worlds orbiting the Sun. Unmanned spacecraft have transformed understanding of our cosmic neighbourhood. But this avalanche of data has also thrown up many new questions.

Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Alien thinking

Not many scientists are prepared to take tales of alien abduction seriously, but John Mack, a Harvard professor who was killed in a road accident in north London last year, did. Ten years on from a row which nearly lost him his job, hundreds of people who claim they were abducted still revere him.

Alien oceans could be detected by telescopes

The next generation of telescopes could reveal the presence of oceans on planets outside our Solar System. Detecting water on Earth-like planets offers the tantalising prospect they could sustain life.

Alien hunters 'should look for artificial intelligence'

Seti, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, has until now sought radio signals from worlds like Earth. But Seti astronomer Seth Shostak argues that the time between aliens developing radio technology and artificial intelligence (AI) would be short.

47 year old television signals bouncing back to Earth

While searching deep space for extra-terrestrial signals, scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have stumbled across signals broadcast from Earth nearly half a century ago. Radio astronomer Dr.

'No signal' from targeted ET hunt

The hunt for other intelligent civilisations has a new technique in its arsenal, but its first use has turned up no signs of alien broadcasts. Australian astronomers used "very long baseline interferometry" to examine Gliese 581, a star known to host planets in its "habitable zone".

'No evidence' for extraterrestrials, says White House

The US government has formally denied that it has any knowledge of contact with extraterrestrial life. The announcement came as a response to submissions to the We The People website, which promises to address any petition that gains 5,000 signatories.

Welcome to the world of sci-fi science

Teleportation, time travel, antimatter and wireless electricity. It all sounds far-fetched, more fiction than fact, but it's all true. Everybody is used to science fiction featuring science that seems, well, not very scientific.

Tricking the perfect code machine

They don't often pose for goofy photographs - the members of the Quantum Hacking group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. But everyone wants their picture taken with Eve.

Teleportation breakthrough made

Scientists have performed successful teleportation on atoms for the first time, the journal Nature reports. The feat was achieved by two teams of researchers working independently on the problem in the US and Austria.

Team's quantum object is biggest by factor of billions

Researchers have created a "quantum state" in the largest object yet. Such states, in which an object is effectively in two places at once, have until now only been accomplished with single particles, atoms and molecules.

Quantum trick for pressure-sensitive mobile devices

Hand-held devices could soon have pressure-sensitive touch-screens and keys, thanks to a UK firm's material that exploits a quantum physics trick. The technology allows, for example, scrolling down a long list or webpage faster as more pressure is applied.

Quantum physics explanation for smell gains traction

The theory that our sense of smell has its basis in quantum physics events is gaining traction, say researchers. The idea remains controversial, but scientists reporting at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, are slowly unpicking how it could work.

Quantum mechanics rule 'bent' in classic experiment

Researchers have bent one of the most basic rules of quantum mechanics, a counterintuitive branch of physics that deals with atomic-scale interactions. Its "complementarity" rule asserts that it is impossible to observe light behaving as both a wave and a particle, though it is strictly both.

Quantum computing: Is it possible, and should you care?

What is a quantum computer and when can I have one? It makes use of all that "spooky" quantum stuff and vastly increases computing power, right? And they'll be under every desk when scientists finally tame the spooky stuff, right? And computing will undergo a revolution no less profound than the one

Quantum computing device hints at powerful future

One of the most complex efforts toward a quantum computer has been shown off at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas in the US. It uses the strange "quantum states" of matter to perform calculations in a way that, if scaled up, could vastly outperform conventional computers.

Quantum computing could head to 'the cloud', study says

Quantum computing will use the inherent uncertainties in quantum physics to carry out fast, complex computations. This "blind quantum computing" can be carried out without a cloud computer ever knowing what the data is.

Quantum computer slips onto chips

Researchers have devised a penny-sized silicon chip that uses photons to run Shor's algorithm - a well-known quantum approach - to solve a maths problem.

Majorana particle glimpsed in lab

Scientists think they may finally have seen evidence for a famously elusive quarry in particle physics. The Majorana fermion was first predicted 75 years ago - a particle that could be its own anti-particle.

Imaginary time

Imaginary time is a mathematical representation of time which appears in some approaches to special relativity and quantum mechanics. It finds uses in connecting quantum mechanics with statistical mechanics and in certain cosmological theories.

How long is a piece of string?

Alan Davies leaves behind his role in the TV quiz show QI to explore the world of quantum mechanics for the BBC science programme Horizon. The stand-up comic admits to deliberately failing at physics so he wouldn't have to take the O-level.

Higgs boson 'hints' also seen by US lab

The Higgs boson sub-atomic particle is a missing cornerstone in the accepted theory of particle physics. Researchers have been analysing data from the Tevatron machine near Chicago.

Free Will and Quantum Clones: How Your Choices Today Affect the Universe at its Origin

The late philosopher Robert Nozick, talking about the deep question of why there is something rather than nothing, quipped: "Someone who proposes a non-strange answer shows he didn't understand the question.

Antimatter Tevatron mystery gains ground

US particle physicists are inching closer to determining why the Universe exists in its current form, made overwhelmingly of matter. Physics suggests equal amounts of matter and antimatter should have been made in the Big Bang.

Quantum Leap: Information Teleported between Ions at a Distance

Quantum entanglement, whereby two or more objects are linked by an unseen connection, has some famously spooky effects. As quantum researcher Anton Zeilinger has said, entanglement can be thought of as a pair of dice that always land on the same number.

Physics of life: The dawn of quantum biology

The key to practical quantum computing and high-efficiency solar cells may lie in the messy green world outside the physics lab. On the face of it, quantum effects and living organisms seem to occupy utterly different realms.

Bridging the gap to quantum world

Scientists have "entangled" the motions of pairs of atoms for the first time. Entanglement is an effect in quantum mechanics, a relatively new branch of physics that is based more in probability than in classical laws.

'Multiverse' theory suggested by microwave background

The idea that other universes - as well as our own - lie within "bubbles" of space and time has received a boost. Studies of the low-temperature glow left from the Big Bang suggest that several of these "bubble universes" may have left marks on our own.

'Space blob' baffles astronomers

It might not look like much, but this image represents one of the most distant objects astronomers have ever seen, 12.9 billion light years away. It is a "Lyman-alpha blob" and is 55,000 light years across - as large as present-day galaxies.

Alma telescope begins study of cosmic dawn

One of the 21st Century's grand scientific undertakings has begun its quest to view the "Cosmic Dawn". The Atacama large milllimetre/submillimetre array (Alma) in Chile is the largest, most complex telescope ever built.

Antihydrogen undergoes its first-ever measurement

The antimatter version of the hydrogen atom - antihydrogen - could soon finally give up its secrets. Scientists expect that antihydrogen will have exactly the same properties as hydrogen; but after 80 years, the test is only just becoming possible.

Cosmic distance record 'broken'

Scientists believe the blast, which was detected by Nasa's Swift space observatory, occurred a mere 520 million years after the Big Bang. This means its light has taken a staggering 13.14 billion years to reach Earth.

Cosmos may show echoes of events before Big Bang

Evidence of events that happened before the Big Bang can be seen in the glow of microwave radiation that fills the Universe, scientists have asserted. Renowned cosmologist Roger Penrose said that analysis of this cosmic microwave background showed echoes of previous Big Bang-like events.

Dark discussion ahead for Europe and US

It couldn't have been planned better.

Dark energy and flat Universe exposed by simple method

Researchers have developed a simple technique that adds evidence to the theory that the Universe is flat. Moreover, the method - developed by revisiting a 30-year-old idea - confirms that "dark energy" makes up nearly three-quarters of the Universe.

Dark matter hunt eyes deeper home

Scientists are looking to relocate an underground experiment searching for dark matter to an even deeper site. Cosmic rays striking the Earth could completely mask the rare dark matter events sought by the experiment.

Dark matter may solve 'radio filaments' mystery

Unexplained "filaments" of radio-wave emission close to our galaxy's centre may hold proof of the existence of dark matter, researchers have said. Dark matter is believed to make up most of the mass of our Universe, but it has yet to be definitively spotted.

Dark matter theory challenged by gassy galaxies result

Instead of invoking dark matter, the Modified Newtonian Dynamics theory says that the effects of gravity change in places where its pull is very low. The new paper suggests that Mond better predicts the relationship between gassy galaxies' rotation speeds and masses.

Dark matter tracks could give earliest view of Universe

Researchers have come up with a way to glimpse the infant Universe by decoding the earliest ripples in its light. They say this can be achieved by capturing the specific radio wavelength of 21cm from the heavens.

Dwarf galaxies suggest dark matter theory may be wrong

Scientists' predictions about the mysterious dark matter purported to make up most of the mass of the Universe may have to be revised. Research on dwarf galaxies suggests they cannot form in the way they do if dark matter exists in the form that the most common model requires it to.

Fermi gamma-ray image updates 'extreme Universe' view

The Fermi space telescope has yielded the most detailed gamma ray map of the sky - representing the Universe's most violent and extreme processes. The telescope's newest results, as well as the map, were described at the Third Fermi Symposium in Rome this week.

TEDx Brussels 2010 - Frank Tipler - The Ultimate Future

Tulane physicist Frank Tipler committed professional heresy by publishing The Physics of Immortality, a book in which he used the scientific method and the principles of modern physics to lay out what he called a proof for not only the existence of God, but for the resurrection of the dead as descri

Ghana text hoax predicting earthquake prompts panic

False rumours of an impending earthquake caused fear and panic in Ghana overnight, prompting many people to sleep outside. The rumour began on Sunday night with a text message quoting US space agency Nasa and the BBC as saying that "cosmic rays" were to hit the Earth.

Hints of 'time before Big Bang'

A team of physicists has claimed that our view of the early Universe may contain the signature of a time before the Big Bang. The discovery comes from studying the cosmic microwave background (CMB), light emitted when the Universe was just 400,000 years old.

Hubble's role in search for aliens

The powerful vision of the Hubble Telescope - which turns 20 this week - has expanded our cosmic horizons and brought into sharper focus a new set of mysteries about the universe that is our home. To those whose science is gleaned from the media, astronomy may seem to be on a roll. And it is.

LHC researchers 'set to create a mini-Big Bang'

Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are getting set to create the Big Bang on a miniature scale. Since 2009, the world's highest-energy particle accelerator has been smashing together protons, in a bid to shed light on the fundamental nature of matter.

Meteorites 'could have carried nitrogen to Earth'

Chemical analysis of the meteorite shows it to be rich in the gas ammonia. It contains the element nitrogen, found in the proteins and DNA that form the basis of life as we know it.

Neutrino 'ghost particle' sized up by astronomers

Scientists have made their most accurate measurement yet of the mass of a mysterious neutrino particle. Neutrinos are sometimes known as "ghost particles" because they interact so weakly with other forms of matter.

Neutrino particle 'flips to all flavours'

An important breakthrough may be imminent in the study of neutrinos. The multinational T2K project in Japan says it has seen indications in its data that these elementary particles can flip to any of their three types.

Neutrons could test Newton's gravity and string theory

The idea rests on probing any minuscule variations in gravity as it acts on slow-moving neutrons in a tiny cavity. These quantum jumps can test Newton's theory of gravity - and any variations from it - with unprecedented precision.

New clue to anti-matter mystery

Anti-matter is rare today; it can be produced in "atom smashers", in nuclear reactions or by cosmic rays. But physicists think the Big Bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and its opposite.

New twist in antimatter mystery

Physicists have taken a step forward in their efforts to understand why the Universe is dominated by matter, and not its shadowy opposite antimatter. The results show that certain matter particles decay differently from their antimatter counterparts.

Nobel physics prize honours accelerating Universe find

Three researchers behind the discovery that our Universe's expansion is accelerating have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics. Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the US and Brian Schmidt of Australia will divide the prize.

Planck telescope reveals ancient cosmic light

This is the extraordinary place where we all live - the Universe. The picture is the first full-sky image from Europe's Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the "oldest light" in the cosmos.

Planck telescope's first glimpse

The European telescope sent far from Earth to study the oldest light in the Universe has returned its first images. The Planck observatory, launched in May, is surveying radiation that first swept out across space just 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

Stars reveal carbon 'spaceballs'

Scientists have detected the largest molecules ever seen in space, in a cloud of cosmic dust surrounding a distant star. The football-shaped carbon molecules are known as buckyballs, and were only discovered on Earth 25 years ago when they were made in a laboratory.

Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story'

The belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a "fairy story" for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking has said.

Stephen Hawking: God did not create Universe

There is no place for God in theories on the creation of the Universe, Professor Stephen Hawking has said. He had previously argued belief in a creator was not incompatible with science but in a new book, he concludes the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics.

Study hints at dark matter action

Researchers in the US say they have detected two signals which could possibly indicate the presence of particles of dark matter. But the study in Science journal reports the statistical likelihood of a detection of dark matter as 23%.

The first glimpse of dark matter?

US scientists have reported the detection of signals that could indicate the presence of dark matter. The main announcement came from the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago.

Why is there something rather than nothing?

People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. Pretty much every ancient culture came up with its own creation story - most of them leaving the matter in the hands of the gods - and philosophers have written reams on the subject.

Ultimate fate of the universe

The ultimate fate of the universe is a topic in physical cosmology, whose theoretical restrictions allow possible scenarios for the evolution and ultimate fate of the universe to be described and evaluated.

Universe 'proven flat'

The measurements were made using a very sensitive telescope suspended from a balloon 40,000 metres (131,000 feet) above Antarctica. The instrument flew around the frozen continent between 29 December 1998 and 8 January 1999. It has taken since then to process the one billion measurements.

US experiment hints at 'multiple God particles'

There may be multiple versions of the elusive "God particle" - or Higgs boson - according to a new study. Finding the Higgs is the primary aim of the £6bn ($10bn) Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment near Geneva.

World's most daunting parking job

It must feel a little like the attendant outside a hotel who is given the keys to a supercar and is asked to go and park it. The excitement is almost overwhelming but so too is the fear of scratching the gleaming mega-motor.

Viewpoint: The roots of the battle for free speech

Historian Tom Holland was one of those who tweeted Charlie Hebdo's cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in the wake of the deadly attack on the magazine's office. Here he explains the ramifications of defending free speech. Religions are not alone in having their martyrs.

What was on Osama Bin Laden's bookshelf?

Osama Bin Laden was a fan of 9/11 conspiracy theories, according to a newly released list of English language books found in his Pakistan hideout. The list was among documents belonging to the former al-Qaeda chief published by the US government this week.

Will the Real Chamber of Commerce Please Stand Up?

Eric Wohlschlegel confronts Hingo Sembra. Which one legitimately represents the right way for American business? Oct. 19, 11:15am, Washington, D.C. Press Club.

Whiteboard girl hoax fools thousands on net

The images showed a girl called Jenny holding up a whiteboard message to her former boss Spencer saying his "breath smells" and had demotivated staff. The pictures quickly went viral with more than 360,000 "likes" on Facebook.

Viewers fooled by 'Belgium split'

Belgians reacted with widespread alarm to news that their country had been split in two - before finding out they had been spoofed. The Belgian public television station RTBF ran a bogus report saying the Dutch-speaking half of the nation had declared independence.

3 July 2018 Shirts featuring 'the F word' are commonplace at political rallies, but the origins of a photograph showing two little girls wearing "Fuck Trump" shirts is unclear.

The Yes Men

On 30 September, 2019, a horde of zombies attended a "#natsneverdie rally" at the Cape Town Civic Centre in order to support the City's policies, which are increasingly similar to those of the National Party under Apartheid.

The Yes Men

The Yes Men are a culture jamming activist duo and network of supporters created by Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos.[1] Through actions of tactical media,[citation needed] the Yes Men primarily aim to raise awareness about problematic social and political issues.

The strange virtual world of 4chan

Coventry cat tormentor Mary Bale has become the latest victim of 4chan - a website credited with creating some of the web's biggest phenomena, whose users wreak havoc across cyberspace. Just what is it all about?

The greatest literary hoax ever?

La Rive Gauche rigole. Bernard-Henri Levy, France's loudest voice of the 1970s school of nouveaux philosophes, who rarely appears on TV with his shirt buttoned beyond the waist, has been had.

Search on for Moon landing film

The footage of the Apollo 11 crew's landing on the Moon is one of 20th Century's most important artefacts. The tapes are believed to be stored somewhere in the archive at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland.

SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator

SCIgen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations. It uses a hand-written context-free grammar to form all elements of the papers. Our aim here is to maximize amusement, rather than coherence.

'Sick prank' leaves cat dyed pink in Swindon

The RSPCA have criticised a "sick prank" in which a cat had its fur dyed pink and was then thrown over a garden fence in Swindon. Officers are looking for the owner of the cat, which was found by a man in his garden in Wesley Street on 18 September.

Probe into Boston ad stunt chaos

Police in the US city of Boston are investigating a major American media corporation for causing a security alert that closed bridges and roads. Turner Broadcasting System placed electronic devices with blinking lights around the city as part of a campaign to market a late-night TV cartoon.

Prankster infiltrates NY museums

A British graffiti artist has managed to evade security and hang his work in four of New York's most prestigious and well-guarded museums. "Banksy", who has never disclosed his real identity, claims to have carried out the unusual smuggling operation on one day, during opening hours.

Prank fools US science conference

A collection of computer-generated gibberish in the form of an academic paper has been accepted at a scientific conference, to the delight of hoaxers. Three US boffins built a programme designed to create research papers with random text, charts and diagrams.

Piltdown Man: A hoaxer still pursued

It was a shocker, no doubt about it. The Piltdown Man scandal is arguably the greatest scientific fraud ever perpetrated in the UK. When the fake remains of our earliest ancestor were unmasked for what they really were, shame was heaped on the research establishment.

'Medical myths' exposed as untrue

Some claim drinking eight glasses of water a day leads to good health, while reading in dim light damages eyesight. Others believe we only use 10% of our brains or that shaving legs causes hair to grow back thicker.

Peer reveals 'cello scrotum' hoax

A top doctor has admitted her part in hoodwinking a leading medical journal after inventing a medical condition called "cello scrotum". Elaine Murphy - now Baroness Murphy - dreamt up the painful complaint in the 1970s, sending a report to the British Medical Journal.

Museum of Hoaxes

In 1973, the Dutch egg industry noted a drop in sales. After studying the situation, its analysts decided that the problem was that grocery-store shoppers were put off by the antiseptic appearance of the factory-cleaned eggs on the shelves.

Man admits posting airport bomb hoax on Twitter

A man has been warned he could face jail after admitting posting a message on Twitter threatening to blow an airport "sky high".Paul Chambers posted the message online after snow forced Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, to close.

Lost Moon-landing tape found

The impetus to locate the tape came from Kipp Teague, who runs an online resource of data on the Apollo Moon landings. 'Bad tape' It was found in the audio library at Nasa's space centre in Houston. The recording had been labelled "bad tape" because it was in a very poor condition.

Latest Email and Social Media Hoaxes - Current Internet Scams - Hoax-Slayer

Note: You are currently visiting the legacy Hoax-Slayer website. Hoax-Slayer is slowly migrating to a new and more modern content managment system located at You can read more about the site migration here.

Internet Explorer story was bogus

It later emerged that the company's website was only recently set up and staff images were copied from a legitimate business in Paris. It is unclear who was behind the stunt.

Great Moon Hoax

The "Great Moon Hoax" refers to a series of six articles that were published in The Sun, a New York newspaper, beginning on August 25, 1835, about the supposed discovery of life and even civilization on the Moon.

Google April Fools' Day 2009

Like last year, many Google services and local sites created their own hoaxes for the April Fools' Day. The most significant announcement is that Google has a new boss: CADIE (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity), the first artificial intelligence tasked-array system.

Golden eagle snatching Canadian boy video is hoax - clipmakers

The video shows the bird briefly lifting the child in a Montreal park before dropping him unharmed. Nearly 17 million people have watched the video on YouTube in three days.

Fairy fool sparks huge response

Photographs of a mummified fairy supposedly found in Derbyshire have been revealed as an April Fool's prank. Former Derbyshire resident Dan Baines, 31, who designs illusions for magicians, made the fairy as a prank.

Eva and Franco Mattes > 0100101110101101.ORG

Nice article about Riccardo Uncut on Artsy: “This Artist Duo Paid a Man $1,000 for His Smartphone Photos—and Turned Them into an Artwork“, thanks Scott Indrisek! Our new piece “Riccardo Uncut”, commissioned by the Whitney Museum, is public!!!

Doubts over Latvia 'meteor crash'

Scientists investigating a large crater in a field in northern Latvia, believed to have been caused by a meteorite, now suspect it was a hoax. Fire crews were called to the scene on Sunday outside the town of Mazsalaca by locals who said something had fallen from the sky and set the land on fire.

Internet Security and Data Mining

Netcraft provide internet security services including anti-fraud and anti-phishing services, application testing and PCI scanning. We also analyse many aspects of the internet, including the market share of web servers, operating systems, hosting providers and SSL certificate authorities.

Death penalty over China ant scam

Wang Zhendong promised investors returns of up to 60% if they put money into the fictitious ant-breeding project, the court heard. Wang, from Liaoning province, raised 3bn yuan ($390m; £200m) in three years, prosecutors said.

Death by Twitter: Top three online celebrity hoaxes

Speeding down the slopes, a high-speed collision with a tree ends the life of comedian Eddie Murphy. Kung-fu acting legend Jackie Chan collapses and dies of a heart attack. Oh, and rapper Drake also "died" last weekend.

Copenhagen spoof shames Canada on the truth about its emissions

The Yes Men - or somebody suspiciously like them have struck again and this time the victim was Canada. And who better? The Canadians have emerged as the villain of the climate change negotiations for pumping out greenhouse gas emissions with the full-on exploitation of the Alberta tar sands.

Henchminion Sends In the Tale of "The Magna Carta Essay!"

Back in 2005 I did an evil, evil thing. Discovering the proliferation of websites where student plagiarists could copy essays, I wrote a Trojan horse paper about the Magna Carta and seeded it on a few plagiarism sites. The essay is basically wrong from beginning to end.

China paper carries Onion Kim Jong-un 'heart-throb' spoof

The online version of the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper appears to have fallen for a spoof by the US satirical website, The Onion. The People's Daily ran a 55-page photo spread of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after he was declared The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.

Cave art hoax hits British Museum

Fake prehistoric rock art of a caveman with a shopping trolley has been hung on the walls of the British Museum. The rock was put there by art prankster Banksy, who has previously put works in galleries in London and New York.

Bin Laden and The IT Crowd: Anatomy of a Twitter hoax

Rumours circulating on Twitter that Osama Bin Laden was a fan of The IT Crowd sitcom were an elaborate new media hoax. Here comedian Graham Linehan explains how he organised the ruse.

Artist Banksy targets Disneyland

The hooded figure was placed inside the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at the California theme park last weekend. It is understood to have remained in place for 90 minutes before the ride was closed down and the figure removed.

Art prankster sprays Israeli wall

Secretive "guerrilla" artist Banksy has decorated Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side. The nine paintings were created on the Palestinian side of the barrier.

Moon landing conspiracy theories

Moon landing conspiracy theories claim that some or all elements of the Apollo program and the associated Moon landings were hoaxes staged by NASA, possibly with the aid of other organizations.

Alternative 3

Alternative 3 is a television programme, broadcast once only in the United Kingdom in 1977, and later broadcast in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as a fictional hoax, an heir to Orson Welles' radio production of The War of the Worlds.

All the junk that’s fit to debunk. My letter in today’s Wall Street Journal responding to the recent misguided WSJ editorial calling for the Trump administration to ignore the Obama EPA’s finding that CO2 endangers the public welfare.

'Naked man' mural allowed to stay

A piece of graffiti by Bristol artist Banksy has been allowed to stay after what the city council described as "overwhelming support" from the public. The stencilled image shows a woman in her underwear standing behind a suited man leaning out of a window, and a naked man hanging onto the ledge.

BA apologises for Bin Laden 'boarding pass' gaffe

British Airways has apologised after a photograph in a staff magazine showed a frequent flyer boarding pass in the name of Osama Bin Laden. The image appeared on the front page of LHR News and was meant to promote the benefits of online check-in.

10 Amazing Practical Jokes

Visit http://www.quirkology.comBuy the book UK: the book US:

Belgian girl's tattoo 'nightmare'

Police in Belgium are investigating a complaint from a teenager who says a tattooist peppered her face with stars after she asked for only three. Kimberley Vlaeminck, 18, said she fell asleep during the procedure.

The last public message recorded by Sir Arthur C Clarke

This was the final public message recorded by the late Sir Arthur C Clarke, which closed the global launch of the International Year of Planet Earth, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 13 February 2008. In his unique style, Sir Arthur connects the local with global, and traces the influence of space

Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90

British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died in his adopted home of Sri Lanka at the age of 90. The Somerset-born author achieved his greatest fame in 1968 when his short story The Sentinel was turned into the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Quantum computing

Quantum computing is the use of quantum-mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computation. Computers that perform quantum computation are known as a quantum computers.

D-Wave Systems

D-Wave Systems, Inc. [2] is a quantum computing company, based in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. D-Wave is the world's first company to sell computers which exploit quantum effects in their operation.

Spin-based electronics gets boost

The next generation of computers may make use of the "spin" of electrons instead of their charge. Spintronics relies on manipulating these spins to make them capable of carrying data.

Ancient supernova mystery solved

In 1572, a "new star" appeared in the sky which stunned astronomers and exploded ancient theories of the universe. Now the supernova recorded by Tycho Brahe has been glimpsed again, by Max Planck Institute scientists.

Andy's Anachronisms -- Time Travel Reviews

On the net since 1999, Andy's Anachronisms is devoted to exploring the themes of time travel and alternate history in books, movies, television, and pop culture in general.


Cryonics is regarded with skepticism within the mainstream scientific community and is not part of normal medical practice. It is not known if it will ever be possible to revive a cryopreserved human cadaver.

Dear Photograph

Dear Photograph, This photo was taken at my Great, Great Grandfather’s memorial site. That’s my Mother, my Brother and I. ‘Stand The Gaff’ reads on the tombstone. William Davis was his name, and he was considered a Canadian martyr.

Write a letter to the future

Just got a letter from myself in 2012 from @futureme. Made me tear up a wee bit! Time to write myself another one for 5 years time... Check out You. Will. Not. Regret it. In a year, 5 years or some other span of time, you will be amazed at what you think is important today.

How Time Travel Works

From millennium-skipping Victorians to phone booth-hopping teenagers, the term time travel often summons our most fantastic visions of what it means to move through the fourth dimension. But of course you don't need a time machine or a fancy wormhole to jaunt through the years.

Phoebe is 'cosmic time capsule'

Saturn's moon Phoebe is almost certainly a primordial object similar to those that served as the building blocks of planets in our Solar System. That is one of the findings of the Cassini space probe's recent flyby of the tiny impact-battered satellite.

Russians to dive below North Pole

Russia is sending a mini-submarine to explore the ocean floor below the North Pole and find evidence to support its claims to Arctic territory. Two parliamentarians, including veteran explorer Artur Chilingarov, are part of a team planning to dive 4,200m (14,000ft) below the Arctic Ocean on Sunday.

Scientists pore over Cassini data

The Cassini spacecraft has sent back images of Saturn's moon Titan giving scientists the closest views yet of the mysterious satellite. The shots were beamed back to a Nasa antenna based in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday, at 0225 BST.

Study creates 'time travel' illusion

Virtual reality can be used to give the illusion of going "back in time", according to an exploratory study. In this virtual world, subjects were able to reduce how many people a gunman killed, an event they had unknowingly been part of.

Taking a journey back in time

Forget Dr Who; Chris Wild is a real Time Lord. The 40-year-old ex-museum curator and entrepreneur describes himself as a retronaut - someone who goes back in time "using just his perception".

Time travel

Time travel is the concept of movement between certain points in time, analogous to movement between different points in space by an object or a person, typically with the use of a hypothetical device known as a time machine. Time travel is a widely recognized concept in philosophy and fiction.

Time travel: Light speed results cast fresh doubts

Physicists have confirmed the ultimate speed limit for the packets of light called photons - making time travel even less likely than thought. The speed of light in vacuum is the Universe's ultimate speed limit, but experiments in recent years suggested that single photons might beat it.

World's biggest radio telescope, Square Kilometre Array

Scientists from 20 countries are working on plans to create a vast network of radio telescopes, the size of a continent that could reveal the birth of planets and galaxies, the mysteries of dark energy as well as joining the search for signals from alien civilisations.

Wormhole 'no use' for time travel

For budding time travellers, the future (or should that be the past?) is starting to look bleak. Hypothetical tunnels called wormholes once looked like the best bet for constructing a real time machine.

Augmented reality goes beyond gimmicks for business

The people at Lynx cannot help but be pleased with the success of their latest deodorant. Their new fragrance has emerged as their second-best-selling variant after just a few months on the market, thanks in large part to an innovative advertising campaign.

Aurasma: Augmented reality future or forgettable fun?

JK Rowling saw all this coming, said the man who had just shown me a newspaper where the photos moved and talked, straight out of Harry Potter. And yes, the application which Autonomy's Mike Lynch had demonstrated to make that happen was magical.

Can technology help us improve upon reality?

Imagine walking on Mars and being able to examine rock formations from all angles, or collaborating on the same 3D hologram design with someone thousands of miles away.

Dual-focus contact lens prototypes ordered by Pentagon

The Pentagon has put in an order for prototype contact lenses that give users a much wider field of vision. The lenses are designed to be paired with compact head-up display (HUD) units - glasses that allow images to be projected onto their lenses.

Gaming takes on augmented reality

Augmented reality - the ability to overlay digital information on the real world - is increasingly finding its way into different aspects of our lives. Mobile phone applications are already in use to find the nearest restaurants, shops and underground stations.

Google Goggles, Mobile Visual Search

Google is working on Google Visual Search, a mobile application that lets users take a picture of a location from their Android-powered smartphone and trigger a Google search that pulls up information associated with the image.

Google patents augmented reality Project Glass design

Search giant Google has patented the design of its augmented-reality glasses, known as Project Glass. Three patents for a "wearable display device" with characteristics of the much-talked about futuristic glasses were submitted last autumn.

Google unveils Project Glass augmented reality eyewear

Google has revealed details of its research into augmented reality glasses. It posted abrief introduction to Project Glass, photos and a concept videoat its Google+ social network.

Handsets enhance the real world

Imagine seeing interesting information pop up as you stroll around. It is almost like a sixth sense, and it used to be mainly the stuff of science fiction.

Individuality drive and 3D tech make firms go bespoke

We all want to be unique. Hairstyle like no-one else's in your office, a handmade tie bought in a tiny Parisian boutique, a diamond wedding ring from that exclusive collection.

Living life in augmented reality

Augmented reality smartphone apps allow users to view the world through their phone's camera with an overlay of useful local information. But with the advent of augmented reality games, could fantasy finally become reality? A shadowy organisation is stalking a lone individual across London.

MirageTable: Microsoft presents augmented reality device

Microsoft has shown off an augmented reality system that allows users at different locations to work together on tabletop activities, sharing objects which they can both handle. Researchers said it could "fool" the eye to suggest both parties were using a "seamless 3D shared task space".

Mobile phones get cyborg vision

Zoe Kleinman tries out Acrossair's software that uses a phone's camera to tell you where the nearest London Underground station is. It's a gift that was once the preserve of fictional cyborgs.

Mobiles offer new view of reality

The organisation behind Firefox - Mozilla - has designed the Aurora project to predict how we may use the web in future. Virtual Reality has been a mainstay of sci-fi for decades but 2010 could see a pared-down version become mainstream.

Online photos can reveal our private data say experts

Face recognition technology can be used to gain access to a person's private data, according to a new study. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University combined image scanning, cloud computing and public profiles from social network sites to identify individuals in the offline world.

Project Glass: Developers' verdicts on Google's headset

Google's augmented reality headsets still remain prototypes, but it appears the firm is determined to bring them to market. It showed off the devices during one of the flashiest tech presentations to date at its I/O developers conference on Wednesday.

Real-world beaming: The risk of avatar and robot crime

First it was the telephone, then web cameras and Skype, now remote "presence" is about to take another big step forward - raising some urgent legal and ethical questions. Beaming, of a kind, is no longer pure science fiction.

Smart specs unite world and data

The headset, created by Olympus and phone-maker NTT Docomo, uses augmented reality software on an attached phone. While AR glasses are nothing new, these are among the first to add a miniature projecting display without too causing much encumbrance to the wearer.

TEDGlobal: Burns portrait comes alive at TED

An augmented reality app has brought a Robert Burns portrait to life on the TEDGlobal stage. The demonstration was part of a session at the TEDGlobal (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference dedicated to makers and DIY-ers.

Website recreates London's West End

There's no litter on the streets, no queues for the shops and hardly any traffic. For anyone who has battled the real life Oxford Street in London on a Saturday afternoon, the virtual version seems to have a lot going for it.

Wikitude Augmented Reality: the World's Leading Cross-Platform AR SDK

Develop AR apps that can recognize, track and augment images, objects, scenes, geographical locations and much more.

Free will similar in animals, humans - but not so free

The free will that humans enjoy is similar to that exercised by animals as simple as flies, a scientist has said. The idea may simply require "free will" to be redefined, but tests show that animal behaviour is neither completely constrained nor completely free.

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science

“A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.

YouTube drive to 'crowd-read' Spain classic Don Quixote

The Royal Spanish Academy has invited people around the world to record short chunks of the classic novel Don Quixote and upload them to YouTube. Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote is often described as Spain's most famous novel - and yet few have ever read it.

Life In A Day

Life In A Day is a historic film capturing for future generations what it was like to be alive on the 24th of July, 2010.Executive produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.Soundtrack available here @ more information on Life In A Day, visit

Wikipedia hosts India conference amid expansion push

Twenty-one-year-old Abishek Suryawanshi is a Wikimedian. For those who haven't read the relevant explanatory page online, that means he's an avid reader, writer and editor of the online encyclopaedia site Wikipedia.

What is Wikileaks?

Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has dominated the news, both because of its steady drip feed of secret documents, but also because of the dealings of its enigmatic front man Julian Assange.


WDYS? A resurrected experiment by drzax (code | explanation).

Website encourages crowds to keep an Eye on Earth

Green EU citizens are being encouraged to contribute their own environmental observations to a website. The Eye on Earth platform is a joint venture between the European Environment Agency (EEA) and Microsoft.

Twitter used to predict box office hits

Micro-blogging service Twitter can be used to predict the future box-office takings of blockbuster films, according to researchers at Hewlett Packard (HP). The computer scientists studied 3 million messages - known as tweets - about 25 movies, including Avatar.


Hate time tracking? Try from the makers of twistori.

Should we trust the wisdom of crowds?

A problem shared is a problem halved, goes the old saying. But what happens if you share a problem with millions of people? Are you left with a millionth of a problem? Or just lots of rubbish suggestions?

Seti Live website to crowdsource alien life

Announced at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Los Angeles,the sitewill stream radio frequencies that are transmitted from the Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Allen Telescope Array. Participants will be asked to search for signs of unusual activity.

Scientists seek galaxy hunt help

A new project known as Galaxy Zoo is calling on members of the public to log on to its website and help classify one million galaxies. The hope is that about 30,000 people might take part in a project that could help reveal whether our existing models of the Universe are correct.

PC 'rebuilds Rome in a day' using pictures from Flickr

The images were analysed by a modified home PC and detailed models created in less than a day. The team behind the system think it may help preserve heritage sites, ensuring they don't end up swamped by tourists.

Oxford University wants help decoding Egyptian papyri

Oxford University is asking for help deciphering ancient Greek texts written on fragments of papyrus found in Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of images have gone on display on a website which encourages armchair archaeologists to help catalogue and translate them.

Old Weather

Help scientists transcribe Arctic and worldwide weather observations recorded in ship's logs since the mid-19th century. In this video scientists explain why your contributions are vital, and what they're doing with your results behind the scenes.

Open science: a future shaped by shared experience

Mapping the human genome showed how the internet can play a vital part in collective scientific research.

OMG. Did you just feel a quake?

Tweets are being used by the US Geological Survey (USGS) to get instant public reaction to earthquakes. The agency is trawling the messages to find out what people felt during a tremor - whether there was a lot of shaking in their area or not.

Mobile app sees science go global

A mobile phone application will help professional and "citizen" scientists collect and analyse data from "in the field", anywhere in the world.The EpiCollect software collates data from certain mobiles - on topics such as disease spread or the occurrence of rare species - in a web-based database.

Meet the Wikipedia of the mapping world

If you want to find an up-to-date map of Haiti, then there is only one place to go. It is not Google Maps or any of its competitors. It is the admirable (OSM), which is being updated even as I write by volunteers all over the world.

Malaysian web users team up for crowd-sourced film

Crowd-sourcing - the practice of enabling many people to help on a single task - is seen as one of the great triumphs of the world wide web. But one project in Malaysia is set to put the wisdom of crowds to the ultimate test, as it attempts to create a full-length feature film.

Your photo journal

Never forget the little moments. Keep a simple record of your life, with just one photo a day. Start your free photo journal today. This morning found MaggieD and I at the Kelpies for a brisk walk. However it was such a nice morning that we took a lot of photos of Rona, trying...

LHC@home allows public to help hunt for Higgs particle

The Large Hadron Collider team will be tapping into the collective computing power of the public to help it simulate particle physics experiments. Among other pursuits, the effort could help uncover the Higgs boson.

Kevin Macdonald's YouTube movie nearing completion

Many of us would be hard-pressed to remember what we were doing on 24 July this year. But for many YouTube fanatics, amateur film and documentary makers, or even just those curious of a unique movie-making experiment, that day was the chance to produce a small part of cinematic history.

Idle home PCs could raise cash for Charity Engine

Idle computers are being sought to raise cash for charities and contribute to a series of science projects. Charity Engine is a "citizen science" non-profit organisation that taps into the latent computational power of idle computers.

How to save the Earth via the World Wide Web

There are not many websites which literally give you the chance to protect the world. Yet, if you are keen on spending a few moments of your day defending the Earth from an imminent solar attack, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London would like to hear from you.

How to explore Mars and have fun

The US space agency needs your help to explore Mars. The number of pictures returned by spacecraft since the 1960s is now so big that scientists cannot hope to study them all by themselves.

How to crowd-fund your stardom

Kim Boekbinder was not having the best of gigs. Her audience, all 18 of them, probably weren't having a great night either.

Gamification time: What if everything were just a game?

One more step, and a tiny creature will cross the bridge and get to safety. Just one more step - but letters do not match, the fragile structure blows up and the brown mole falls into a digital abyss.


The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research.

Galaxy hunt draws massive traffic

An online initiative which asks members of the public to classify galaxies recorded unprecedented traffic in its first 48 hours. The venture is a follow-up to the Galaxy Zoo project launched in 2007.

Fake forum comments are 'eroding' trust in the web

Trust in information on the web is being damaged by the huge numbers of people paid by companies to post comments online, say researchers. Fake posters can "poison" debate and make people unsure about who they can trust, the study suggests.

EU could turn to 'crowd sourcing' in cyber crime fight

Millions of internet users across the EU could be encouraged to join the fight against cyber crime if a ground breaking experiment in "crowd sourcing" goes ahead. The director of Europol told peers he wants to get net users directly involved in catching cyber crime gangs.

Crowdsourcing: Turning customers into creative directors

Ning Li is's 28-year-old CEO, and we are at the company's London office, on the 11th floor of an unremarkable Notting Hill office block. is an online-only furniture retailer, so there's no danger that customers will drop by.

Cowbird · Home

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Click listeners test 'filter bubble'

How personalised is the web? That's the question that Click listeners all over the world have been helping us answer.

What is the Citizen Science Alliance?

The CSA is a collaboration of scientists, software developers and educators who collectively develop, manage and utilise internet-based citizen science projects in order to further science itself, and the public understanding of both science and of the scientific process.

CCTV site Internet Eyes hopes to help catch criminals

Internet Eyes will pay up to £1,000 to subscribers who regularly report suspicious activity such as shoplifting. Managing director Tony Morgan said the scheme would reduce crime and help prevent other anti-social behaviour.

Aid agencies 'must use new tools'

The "crowd-sourced" data that comes from victims of natural disasters and conflicts is now a crucial part in disaster management, says a new report. The UN Foundation/Vodafone Foundation Partnership report outlines examples of new technologies that mitigate conflicts and save lives worldwide.

Surf Champ: The surfing simulator 35 years ahead of its time that sank without a trace

Some sports seemed well suited to being simulated during life under lockdown, but surfing was not one of them.

Berlin WW2 bombing survivor Saturn the alligator dies in Moscow Zoo

An alligator who survived World War Two in Berlin and was rumoured - wrongly - to have belonged to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has died in Moscow Zoo. "Yesterday morning, our Mississippi alligator Saturn died of old age. He was about 84 years old - an extremely respectable age," the zoo said.

Wikipedia sets new rule to combat “toxic behaviour”

Wikipedia is to institute a new code of conduct to battle what the firm called "toxic behaviour" by some volunteers. The Wikimedia Foundation, the organisation that runs the site, voted on new measures that will be finalised by the end of the year.

Canada v US: Loon stabs eagle through heart

As with global affairs, nature has its pecking order. And in a contest between the bald eagle, America's national bird, and a common loon, which is featured on Canada's dollar coin, few would bet on the latter to come out the victor.

How staying indoors affects your immune system

For the past two months, a sizable chunk of the world’s population has been shuttered inside their homes, only stepping out for essential supplies.

Ukraine: Dogs auctioned to pay owners' debts

Thoroughbred dogs that were confiscated under a court order in Ukraine to pay for their owners' debts have been put up for auction online. The auction, highlighted by an opposition MP, has drawn criticism.

How to Move the Sun: Stellar Engines

Sources and further reading: Get your Stellar Engine Infographic Poster here: Nothing in the Universe is static. In the milky way, billions of stars orbit the galactic center. Some, like our sun, are pretty consisten

Mapping the Multiverse

Sign Up on Patreon to get access to the Space Time Discord! Up on Patreon to get access to the Space Time Discord! Check out the Space Time Merch Store Sign up for the mailing list to get episode

Why Are You Alive – Life, Energy & ATP

The first 1000 people to use this link will get a 2 month free trial of Skillshare: Sources & further reading: At this very second, you are on a narrow ledge between life and death. You probably don’t feel it, but

How We Know The Universe is Ancient

Sign Up on Patreon to get access to the Space Time Discord! Check out the Space Time Merch Store Sign up for the mailing list to get episode notifications and hear special announcements! The

A mysterious US desert civilisation

In the heart of the San Juan Basin, in the arid north-western corner of New Mexico, stands one of the greatest ancient treasures in the US: the remarkably preserved remains of a vast building complex believed to have been constructed between 850 and 1250AD that may have housed as many as 5,000 peopl

Pakistan passenger plane crashes in Karachi

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts.

Get ready for the 'holy grail' of computer graphics

Ray tracing has always been the "holy grail" of computer graphics, says Jason Ronald, head of program management for the gaming console Xbox.

China security law 'could be end of Hong Kong'

Pro-democracy activists say they fear "the end of Hong Kong", after China announced plans for a new security law. The US said the move could be "highly destabilising" and undermine China's obligations on Hong Kong's autonomy.

Tiger seized in Mexico after man tried to lasso it

Mexico's Office for Environmental Protection has seized two Bengal tigers from a house in Jalisco state. The animals were discovered after a video was shared on social media of one of the tigers roaming the streets of the city of Tlaquepaque, with a man attempting to lasso it.

Nature: Bumblebees' 'clever trick' fools plants into flowering

Scientists have discovered a new behaviour among bumblebees that tricks plants into flowering early. Researchers found that when deprived of pollen, bumblebees will nibble on the leaves of flowerless plants.

Germany: Ex-SS guard tells Stutthof murder trial 'I want to forget'

He is charged with assisting in the murder of 5,230 people at the camp near Gdansk (Danzig) in occupied Poland. He allegedly assisted the "deceitful, cruel murder" of Jews in the Holocaust.

Grandmother ordered to delete Facebook photos under GDPR

It ended up in court after a falling-out between the woman and her daughter. The judge ruled the matter was within the scope of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Astronauts arrive at Kennedy for historic launch

Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to prepare for their historic mission next week. The pair's flight to the International Space Station (ISS) will be made in a rocket and capsule system provided by a commercial company, SpaceX.

Covid recovery could 'tip the balance' for nature

Environmental scientists have called for the conservation of nature to be at the centre of the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit hopes for rocket flight this weekend

British businessman Sir Richard Branson is looking to this weekend to debut one of his new space systems. Virgin Orbit, based in California, will put satellites above the Earth, using a rocket that's launched from under the wing of a jumbo jet.

Open Skies Treaty: US to withdraw from arms control deal

The US has announced it will withdraw from a major accord that permits unarmed aerial surveillance flights over dozens of participating countries. The Open Skies Treaty came into force in 2002 and is designed to boost confidence and assure against attacks.

Coronavirus: Tinder boss says 'dramatic' changes to dating

Coronavirus has had a "dramatic" effect on the way people use the dating app Tinder, its boss has told BBC News, though the changes may suit plans he already had in store for the platform.

Deno 1.0

Dynamic languages are useful tools. Scripting allows users to rapidly and succinctly tie together complex systems and express ideas without worrying about details like memory management or build systems.

Gilgamesh tablet: Bid to confiscate artefact from Museum of the Bible

US prosecutors are seeking to confiscate a rare ancient tablet from a Christian museum co-founded by the president of retailer Hobby Lobby. The 3,500-year-old artefact, from what is now Iraq, bears text from the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world's oldest works of literature.