I remember the day shyness took over my life. I was 14 years old and in the middle of a French conversation lesson at school. I loved French, probably because I fancied myself as some kind of chic Parisian, sipping espresso in a corner cafe. We were in the brand new language laboratory, with its cassette players that were very flash for the time. The teacher told us to record ourselves speaking about a film we had seen recently. Perfect. I recorded myself, in the most English of French accents, with utter confidence. Then, I pressed “play” to listen back. All I heard was a little kid talking. Where was the highly insightful monologue I had just recorded? My immediate reaction was to assume I was listening to someone else’s tape, or that I had hit the wrong button. But then, it dawned on me. That was my voice. And there it was. At 2pm on an ordinary Tuesday afternoon, I realised there was something weird about me. I vowed that from that moment on that I would hide … [Read more...] about I was living in the background of my life – until I realised shyness isn’t shameful
Southport health and wellbeing centre
Organic food has more of the antioxidant compounds linked to better health than regular food, and lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides, according to the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date. The international team behind the work suggests that switching to organic fruit and vegetables could give the same benefits as adding one or two portions of the recommended "five a day". The team, led by Prof Carlo Leifert at Newcastle University, concludes that there are "statistically significant, meaningful" differences, with a range of antioxidants being "substantially higher" – between 19% and 69% – in organic food. It is the first study to demonstrate clear and wide-ranging differences between organic and conventional fruits, vegetables and cereals. The researchers say the increased levels of antioxidants are equivalent to "one to two of the five portions of fruits and vegetables recommended to be consumed daily and would therefore be significant and meaningful in … [Read more...] about Clear differences between organic and non-organic food, study finds
In the front seat of his car, John Wilson passes me a dossier of scientific research reports and diagrams. At his feet are carefully curated ring binders of correspondence with city council officials, and albums with six years’ worth of photographs documenting brown patches of earth and scorched grass around trees, beside kerbs and along playground fences. In the back of Wilson’s Toyota Yaris is colleague Lydia Koelmans and dog Kim, and we’re parked on a side street of Spital Tongues, a residential area north-west of Newcastle city centre popular with students and families. We’ve met to view examples of the damage done by glyphosate, the world’s most widely produced herbicide. Glyphosate is used liberally in the streets and parks of many towns and cities to control grass and weeds, but was classified last month by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organisation (WHO), as “probably carcinogenic to … [Read more...] about Glyphosate is a ‘probably carcinogenic’ herbicide. Why do cities still use it?
The obsession with a cure for cancer as the “holy grail” of research on the disease means the public is unaware of how much progress has been made in allowing sufferers to live longer, a charity has found. The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) said the effect risked creating an overly binary “cure or nothing” approach to cancer that could be unhelpful, not only in masking progress, but to understanding how best to tackle the disease in future. A survey for the organisation found that less than one-third of people think cancer can be controlled long term, despite survival times for those diagnosed doubling in a decade and their quality of life improving. The average patient now lives more than 10 years after diagnosis, turning it into a manageable disease long term. But only 28% of people believe cancers can be controlled long term, and 26% think major progress is being made against the disease, the poll – conducted by YouGov – found. In comparison, … [Read more...] about ‘Holy grail’ of cancer cure hides progress made, says charity
Until now the spread of the composting toilet has been one of environmentalism’s quieter and more unassuming movements - as it were. That’s despite the fact that the water-flush toilet devours 30% of the UK’s water supply. But now the composting toilet is on the up, and we’re teetering on the cusp of a small-scale restroom revolution. This year, Glastonbury festival set a precedent by replacing the much-feared blue plastic chemical loos with swanky, stench-free waterless dunnies. “A world record … in all the history of shitting,” according to toilet supplier Hamish Skermer. It’s a move that has left the industry “wide open to everyone”, according to Dave Wood of the Thunderbox Collective, supplier of portable compost toilets. “The rest of the festivals will follow suit.” Away from the muddy fields of Worthy Farm, Richard Saillet from Ecotoilets reckons there are about 2,500 domestic composting loos installed in … [Read more...] about Composting toilets: a growing movement in green disposal