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2nd November 2018



Other Stories – 2nd November 2018

Another busy week has passed – in case you missed them here are some of the stories that caught our eye, including a building permit 136-years too late, a microwave for a school bag and a giant pumpkin boat.

Picture: Bookmundi.com

We’ll soon have ambulances dedicated to mental health. They’re part of Philip Hammond’s £2bn cash injection for mental health services and will help treat people with conditions like depression, anxiety and PTSD. A&E departments will also offer 24/7 specialist mental health support. These additional services are designed to make sure mental and physical illnesses are treated as seriously as each other. Sky News

Most of us are breathing unsafe air. According to a new study, the average person in the UK breathes in too many tiny particles of unsafe matter from traffic, industry and road dust. The WHO set the safety level of these PM2.5 particles at 10 micrograms per cubic metre, and the average Brit is exposed to air containing 10.5 micrograms. However, it is comparatively lower than the 65.2 micrograms in India and 49.2 micrograms in China. iNews

The internet is the number one technology we can’t live without. A survey from YouGov found that 73% of respondents said they couldn’t live without the internet. It ranked higher than other technologies including cars (51%), glasses and contact lenses (66%), computers (58%) and smartphones (50%). The study highlighted some significant generational differences, with younger people being more attached to the internet and smartphones, and older people relying more heavily on glasses and contact lenses, TVs and watches. YouGov

Eating organic food reduces cancer risk by 25%, apparently. A French study of 70,000 people has found that eating organic food reduces the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer. It’s thought that the pesticide traces in non-organic food have a toxic effect on the human endocrine system. But there is a question mark over whether the lower risk is linked to the generally healthy lifestyle organic food eaters tend to follow. Big Think

NASA has got closer to the sun than ever before. The Parker Solar Probe was launched in August in an attempt to get as close to the sun as possible, and it has just passed the current record of 42.73 million km from the sun’s surface. It’s aiming to get to get 6.12 million km from the sun to be within its corona – the outer atmosphere – which is hotter than the sun’s actual surface. BBC News

The Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona has finally got a permit. Building work started on Antoni Gaudi’s famous cathedral 136 years ago, but it’s only just got building permission from the authorities. It has agreed to pay €36m for its licence, which will be used to pay for improvements to public transport and access to the monument. According to current plans, Sagrada Familia should be completed in 2026 – 100 years after the architect’s death. Sky News

Feeling blue? You might need a good cry. A ‘tear teacher’ in Japan runs lectures and workshops across the country to show people why crying can be beneficial to your wellbeing. He explains that crying from watching a sad film or reading a book slows the heart rate and can have a soothing effect on the mind. “If you cry once a week, you can live a stress-free life”, he says. The Independent

A man has made a boat from a carved pumpkin. Tom Percy paddled the first-ever giant pumpkin boat down the river. He is now applying to Guinness World Records to recognise the achievement, claiming it is the largest pumpkin boat, weighing in at 619kg. The pumpkin boat is now on display at York Maze, where Tom works, until November 4th. BBC News

Boots that look like feet – what do you think? They’re being sold by Canadian design house Matieres Fecales as a nod to Halloween and come complete with individual toes, devil horns and bone-shaped heels. The flesh-toned boots are priced at $10,000. Disturbing or a work of art? You decide. The Week

 

Stat of the week

55% of Brits can’t get through dinner without looking at their phone. Apparently, we’re no better when we’re dining out either, with 53% still having a quick check. And we also like to have a look while we’re working, with only 24% saying they never check their mobile at work. YouGov

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