It all started in August 2007, on a family holiday in New England. Paul had been watching Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix with his wife and two sons, and he had started to itch. His legs, his arms, his torso – it was everywhere. It must be fleas in the seat, he decided. But the 55-year-old IT executive from Birmingham has been itching ever since, and the mystery of what is wrong with him has only deepened. When Paul rubbed his fingertips over the pimples that dotted his skin, he felt spines. Weird, alien things, like splinters. Then, in 2008, his wife was soothing his back with surgical spirit when the cotton swab she was using gathered a curious blue-black haze from his skin. Paul went out, bought a £40 microscope and examined the cotton. What were those curling, coloured fibres? He Googled the words: "Fibres. Itch. Sting. Skin." And there was his answer. It must be: all the symptoms fitted. He had a new disease called morgellons. The fibres were the product of … [Read more...] about Morgellons: A hidden epidemic or mass hysteria?
Fibre rich fruits and vegetables list
What can one person do to prevent climate change, stop the felling of rainforests or protect the threatened rhino? Very often, the big issues facing the planet seem beyond us as individuals and any response to them seems trivial and ineffective. It’s all too easy to feel helpless and despondent. But there is a little corner of the Earth that you can control and where you can make things right. And that’s in your garden. Even a tiny garden can contain many hundreds of species of wild insects and plants. By treating your garden as a nature reserve, you can help to reverse a potential catastrophe [File photo] I’m a professor of biology at the University of Sussex and the author of several bestselling books on insect life – and I take huge inspiration from my own garden in the Weald of Sussex. This is the scale on which I work best, where I can see and feel the effects of my actions. For me, saving the planet starts with looking after my own patch. And it truly is … [Read more...] about How to save the planet from the comfort of your own garden: Install a pond, plant trees and DON’T mow the grass to help provide a home for hundreds of species
If you want to get this briefing by email, sign up hereLabour promises full-fibre broadband for allLabour would part-nationalise BT in a bid to bring free high-speed broadband to all homes and businesses in the UK by 2030, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has promised. As well as taking Openreach - the bit of BT which runs the broadband network - into public ownership, Mr McDonnell said the £20bn scheme, called British Broadband, would eliminate bills for millions of people. The cost of maintaining the infrastructure would be paid for by a tax on tech firms.The Conservatives - who have pledged £5bn to bring fibre broadband to every home by 2025 - dismissed Labour's plans as "fantasy", while the Liberal Democrats said nationalising Openreach was a "waste" of taxpayers' money. While BT itself has said it's happy to work with whoever wins the election to deliver "a digital Britain", the umbrella organisation for the UK's technology industry said the plan would be a "disaster" … [Read more...] about News Daily: Labour broadband pledge, and child allergies rise
It's easy to forget that when Apple's first iPad was unveiled in January 2010, there were plenty of cynics questioning the need for a slate-shaped device sitting somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop computer. Microsoft had pitched tablets a decade before, to little interest. So what were iPads for? Scroll on 21 months and a second-generation model later, and we have a better idea: iPads are for lounging on the sofa, browsing, emailing, tweeting and Facebooking, for sure. But they're also for playing games, reading books, discovering music, watching films and TV shows, following recipes, video-chatting with friends and much more. And if iPad has found its multiple roles, the burgeoning number of apps available for the device is a key reason. There are currently more than 100,000 native iPad apps available, although, as with the iPhone, a big chunk of those are filler. But the good apps are really good: creative, innovative, imaginative, useful and fun (or at least several of the … [Read more...] about The top 50 iPad apps
“Nice day at mablethorpe today only thing is we’re gonna bike there hope I get to have an ice cream and some candyfloss,” Christian Brown tweeted at 8.02am on 12 February last year. The tweet is still online, but two hours after writing it Brown hit a pothole outside the entrance to a farm in North Willingham, Lincolnshire. The front wheel of his bike, already loose, came off, and he was catapulted head-first on to the road surface. His injuries were so severe that, despite the fact he was wearing his helmet, he later died at Hull Royal Infirmary. He was 40 years old. The pothole was 40mm deep. To the pointless death of Christian Brown you could add those of Captain Jon Allen, 29, (hit a lorry while swerving to avoid a pothole, Tidworth, 2010); Martyn Uzzell, 51, (thrown in front of a car after hitting a pothole in Giggleswick during a charity bike ride in 2011); Margaret Nicholl, 67 (thrown from her bike after hitting a pothole near Shepton Montague in 2011); Michael … [Read more...] about Bring on Mr Pothole: the classic urban problem finally meets its match