30th November 2018

Other Stories - 30th November 2018

A dead whale had 115 plastic cups in its stomach. The 31ft sperm whale washed up in a national park in Indonesia had almost 6kg of plastic waste inside it, including 25 plastic bags, two flip flops and more than 1,000 pieces of plastic and string. Indonesia is the second largest plastic polluter after China. An estimated 60% of plastic waste in our oceans comes from the two countries along with the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. Sky News

Would you surrender your smartphone for a free meal? Restaurant chain Frankie & Benny’s is launching ‘No Phone Zones’ in 250 of its restaurants, where diners who hand over their phones for safekeeping will be given free meals for the kids. The idea came after a survey of 1,500 parents and children revealed that one in ten children had hidden their parents’ devices in a bid to have their full attention. MSN.com

Former employee calls out Facebook for its ‘black people problem’. Mark Luckie, who worked for Facebook for over a year, published a 2,500-word internal memo claiming that he and other black employees felt uncomfortable at work and afraid to speak out. He also shared a slew of stats that indicate African Americans Facebook’s most engaged user base, but the population of Facebook employees doesn’t come close to reflecting this (4% of the workforce is black). He even commented that some buildings have more ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters than black people. BBC News

We throw away one in every six pints of milk. Many of these are discarded before they even reach shop shelves, according to research conducted at Edinburgh University for The Guardian. Each year, we throw away 16% of dairy products, and it would appear retailers, distributors and consumers are responsible for half of the waste. Wrap, the government’s waste reduction body, also says that dairy accounts for a fifth of all food waste. The Guardian

The police have a super camera for catching motoring offenses. Named The Long Ranger, it’s able to take videos and photographs of people using their phones and speeding, and it works nearly a mile away. It is being trialled in Gloucester where the police are hoping to catch people using their mobile phones. If it is successful, the cameras could be used on any road in the country. Police say the main aim is to teach people about safe driving. Mail Online

Paris shows the rest of the world how to put empty properties to good use. Rather than let unused buildings lie dormant, the French capital is giving them a new lease of life as temporary space for start-ups and community projects. The former Saint-Vincent-de-Paul hospital is a great example. Now called Les Grands Voisins (The Great Neighbours), its ambulance bays and car parks are home to allotments, a boules court and a football pitch. It also hosts markets, cafes and live performances, and there is a hostel with 600 beds for the homeless. The Guardian

Are you a serial returner? There may be a psychological reason why. Online shopping is part of what we do nowadays, and lots of us buy twice as much knowing we’ll return most of it. Sound familiar? According to a psychologist, our heart rate goes up when we buy something and we’re still on a high when we receive the item and take it home. Then we regret the money we’ve spent and want to return it. The reason it’s on the rise is because with online shopping there is no need to face the embarrassment of explaining why we want to return an item. BBC News

Everyone with blue eyes shares an ancestor. Everyone with blue eyes is a descendent of the first blue-eyed person born around 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. A genetic mutation of the OCA2 gene meant they couldn’t produce brown eyes, and they passed this on to thousands of people now living across the globe. Mental Floss

Will a number of Asian countries join forces and become a superpower? That’s what a self-proclaimed time-traveller has projected. Noah often makes videos to recount his time-travelling experiences and in his latest video he claims the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will become the ASEAN: the Association of South East Asian Nations. Apparently, the cooperative will be a utopia where no crime or corruption exists. We wait with bated breath. Indy100


Quote of the week

“I am from Barnsley and can tell you that my childhood – like so many others from that era – was not like an episode from Downton Abbey… No one in our community was safe from poor health, sickness and disease. We must never let the NHS free from our grasp, because if we do, your future will be my past.”

Leslie Smith on the NHS. Smith was a WWII veteran and a socialist campaigner who was best known for a speech praising the NHS. He dedicated the last few years of his life to visiting refugee hotspots. He died on Wednesday. The Guardian & Sky News

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