7th September 2018
Could you give up social media for a month? That’s what thousands of people are attempting this month as part of ‘Scroll Free September’. Set up by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), the initiative challenges people to give up the big five social media apps and sites (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Twitter) for one month. The RSPH hopes Scroll Free September will show social media users how much it is affecting their mental wellbeing. RSPH
Lewis Pugh has finally completed his really long swim. The endurance swimmer pledged to swim the length of English Channel, from Land’s End to Dover, within 50 days as a means to highlight the need for better marine protection. It took him 49 days, half a million strokes and 98,000 calories to complete the 330-mile journey. He is the first person to swim the Channel without wearing a wetsuit or flippers. During the swim, he encountered dolphins, jellyfish and lots of plastic waste. Sky News
Wales has scrapped hospital parking charges. Family and friends visiting loved ones in NHS hospitals across Wales will no longer have to pay to park. The government announced plans to scrap the charges almost a decade ago, and the last two hospitals finally ended their parking contracts at the end of last month. It’s also free for most hospital visitors to park in Scotland, but fees are still in place in England and Northern Ireland. The Independent
Commuters doing work on the train should be paid for these extra hours. That’s what researchers at the University of West England have said. They conducted a study of more than 5,000 rail passengers commuting to London and found that 54% were using the train’s WiFi to send work emails while others were simply using their smartphone’s own connection. BBC News
You might have to pay 10p for each plastic bag you use, soon. Theresa May has announced plans to double the plastic bag charge to 10p – and it could be extended to all shops (not just those with over 250 employees). The government will review the proposals later this year. It’s thought that plastic bags could take 1,000 years to break down and, in the meantime, they hugely harm wildlife. Web Financial Group
Need an extra pair of hands? This backpack can help… Researchers in Japan have created a human-like device that has two arms, designed to allow two people in different locations to work together on a task. One person will wear the ‘backpack’ while working on the task, and a second person can control the arms remotely to help them work more quickly. Yamen Saraiji, one of the researchers who helped develop the backpack, described it as “two people in one body”. The Daily Mail
A 95-year-old has set a scuba diving record. Ray Woolley is officially the oldest man to scuba dive, having broken his own record this weekend. He dived for 44 minutes to a depth of 40.6m to explore a shipwreck off the coast of Cyprus. Ray was once a radio operator in the Second World War and has been diving for 58 years. He now lives permanently in Cyprus. As long as he remains fit enough to do so, Ray has plans to continue his underwater adventures. The Telegraph
People should crack a smile to attract goats. That’s what new animal behaviour research has indicated. Scientists showed goats pictures of people pulling happy faces alongside those pulling angry expressions, and the goats all made a bee-line for the grins. It shows that they can recognise human facial expressions, even though they haven’t been domesticated in the same way as dogs and horses, suggesting a level of innate emotional perception in animals bred for food production. Mental Floss
Britain’s oldest person has died – and what a life she lived. Reaching 113 before passing away this week, Olive Evelyn Boar lived through the reign of five British monarchs, 22 Prime Ministers and two world wars. She was born on 29th September 1904, before the first radio broadcast, and lived a quiet life as a seamstress in Suffolk with her late husband, Claude. The Telegraph
Stat of the week
A recent YouGov survey found that when it comes to teaching, kindness is key.
27% of pupils aged 6-15 said that ‘being kind’ is what makes a good teacher. It far outweighed other traits such as a teacher who listens (15%), is fun (13%) or funny (10%). Just 4% thought a good teacher is strict.