21st September 2018
Photo: Business West
John Lewis has been knocked off its pedestal. The seemingly untouchable department store has revealed that it too has fallen victim to the retail slump after profits plummeted 99%. Chairman of John Lewis Partnership, Sir Charlie Mayfield, cited exceptional items, including redundancy, restructuring and a charge relating to one store, as the reason for the nosedive in profits. The Independent
Students and staff could be the real university and college hackers. A government-funded agency has studied the timing patterns of 850 cyber attacks and discovered that the overwhelming majority happen during term time and working hours. This discovery suggests that rather than criminals trying to steal sensitive information, the majority of cases seem to be disgruntled students or staff trying to cause chaos. BBC News
Should we put a ban on finding out the sex of a baby early on? A Non-Invasive Prenatal Test allows doctors to check for genetic conditions of an unborn child, but some people want to pay for it privately to also find out the sex of the baby. It means they could decide to abort the child if they are not happy with the outcome. Labour is calling for a ban on parents being told the sex of their baby during this early testing stage. BBC News
Why is someone hiding lego figures around Bristol? Miniature doctors, builders, scientists, chefs and mechanics have been hidden in busy areas throughout the city centre as part of a new campaign from Skills West. It aims to raise awareness of the skills gap affecting the city. Those who find the figures are encouraged to share a selfie of them and their ‘new recruit’ in the workplace. They will automatically be entered into a prize draw to learn a new skill like flying, photography or cooking. Bristol 247
Do you know why peppers are different colours? If, like most people, you thought they were different varieties of bell pepper, prepare to be mind-blown. A Twitter user caused a stir this week when she revealed that they are, in fact, just at various stages of ripeness. All bell peppers start green before turning yellow, orange and, finally, red. Indy100
We’ve been brewing beer for over 13,000 years. Three stone mortars discovered in a cave in Israel show evidence that wheat and barley were brewed there between 11,700 and 13,700 years ago, making it the oldest brewery known to man. As the cave is part of a prehistoric graveyard, it’s thought the beer was brewed as a ritual to honour the dead. Fox News
Will treasure hunters find £300bn worth of British gold? After discovering 700 war wrecks lost during both world wars, a salvage team is setting sail to recover lost gold. The ships were carrying gold bullion to the US and other locations for safekeeping and to pay for weaponry. According to the chief executive of Britannia Gold, which is attempting to salvage the money, the original owners have been paid and the government is now the rightful owner under the War Risk Insurance programme. The Telegraph
Mumm has created a bottle that enables people to drink champagne in space. If you’re lucky enough to take a trip to space, you could be sipping champagne through a bottle that’s designed to dispense the bubbly nectar at zero gravity. You’ll (hypothetically-speaking) be able to control a valve that uses the champagne’s own carbon dioxide to release small amounts as foam. BBC News
A car that can camouflage itself… Posted on Reddit, the car is almost invisible as it perfectly reflects its surroundings to blend in thanks to a good paint job and clever photo angle. It’s well worth taking a look. Apparently the trick is to find the front tyre, which should give you a clue as to the outline of the side of the car. Metro
Stat of the week
Only 14% of plastic bottles in Hong Kong are recycled and 2,000 tonnes of plastic are dumped every day.
This stat comes as shocking photos revealed the huge amounts of plastic and polystyrene that washed up after typhoon Mangkhut. These photos highlight the serious and extensive consequences of global plastic waste.