This is a tale of two epidemics. Only one of them is real. The real one is Ebola. Ebola is a virus that kills people. This is a fact. But we fear facts as much as we fear disease. We prefer reassuring falsehoods to facts. And it’s so easy, you can deny practically anything. All you have to do is add the little word “not”. We’ve had Holocaust denial and climate change denial. Now we have Ebola denial. The virus, named after the Ebola river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo near where it first appeared in 1976, has an approximately 80 per cent mortality rate. ie not good odds: you have a one-in-five chance of surviving if you get it. The disease is not just hard to eradicate, it has a habit of triggering a second parallel virus, of the virtual kind, but just as insidious and potentially lethal, a rumour cloud around Ebola, made up of myth, moonshine, conspiracy theories, and paranoia. So the Red Cross finds itself fighting on two fronts, … [Read more...] about Deadly epidemic of Ebola and the deadlier spread of fake news
How are ideas spread
It’s true today only about 35% of the world drives on the left. But, says Robert Hume, once practically everyone kept to that side of the road A friend visiting from Italy over the New Year asked me why we drive on the left-hand side of the road. Most other countries drive on the right. Why on Earth don’t you? ANCIENT ROUTES Archaeologists have discovered evidence suggesting that the Romans drove carts and wagons on the left. In 1998 they found a well-preserved track leading to a Roman quarry at Blunsdon Ridge near Swindon, Wiltshire. The ruts in the road on the right are much deeper than those on the left, as would be the case with carts going in empty and coming out packed with stones. At least here, the Romans seem to have driven on the left. When they weren’t marching down the middle of the road, Roman soldiers are also believed to have kept to the left. KNIGHTS OF THE ROAD During the Middle Ages travellers never knew whom they might meet on the road. 90% of us … [Read more...] about Out of left field: How most of the world came to drive on the right
England By Jennifer Harby BBC News 7 April 2019 Share this with Facebook Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share this with Email Share this with Facebook Share this with WhatsApp Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share Share this with These are external links and will open in a new window Email Share this with Email Facebook Share this with Facebook Messenger Share this with Messenger Messenger Share this with Messenger Twitter Share this with Twitter Pinterest Share this with Pinterest WhatsApp Share this with WhatsApp LinkedIn Share this with LinkedIn Copy this link https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-47088784 Read more about sharing. These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel The sweet smell of home can mean many things to many people - but if, to you, it conjures the intoxicating … [Read more...] about Where are England’s pongiest places?
From attacks on the streets of Paris and London to murders in the marketplaces of Kabul and Baghdad, the suicide bomb takes more lives than any other type of explosive weapon. Crossing continents, suicide bombs have injured over a quarter of a million people since they were first used in the assassination of a Russian tsar in 1881. The tally of victims is greater than the number of those harmed by the two atomic bombs in Japan. The trigger to write this book came in November 2015, when I found myself talking to a room of United Nations diplomats about suicide attacks. In my concluding words, I said: “It is not if, but when, there will be a suicide strike at the very heart of a European city.” Less than a week later, 130 people were killed in Paris as seven terrorists armed with guns and suicide vests wreaked havoc on stadiums, concerts, cafes and restaurants. I realised that I did not fully understand what paths had led these men to kill in such a terrible and random way. … [Read more...] about Suicide bombers are real weapons of mass destruction
Who doesn’t love a TEDx talk? Whether it’s the about power poses or the search for the giant squid (a personal favourite), everyone has a go-to TEDx talk they love to watch. Now is your chance to watch the next generation of TEDx talks in London at the 2019 TEDxLondon event, which is taking over the Southbank Centre for one day in May. This year’s event brings the Beyond Borders theme to London for the first time. The stories on stage will cover topics including the environment, science, technology, mental health, data security and privacy. Director and curator of TEDxLondon, Maryam Pasha, said in a statement: “Our mission is to uncover, support and promote ideas worth spreading, inspired by TED and the city we love. We want to encourage dialogue, create inclusive spaces that celebrate diversity, and spark debate and discussion that continues long after the event. “This year, we continue to seek out the most inspiring voices and ideas that … [Read more...] about TEDxLondon 2019: how to buy tickets for the May event