Why has the UK's wet summer been bad for bees?

Bumblebees are better at flying in wet conditions than other bees Simona Chira/Shutterstock This year will be remembered in the UK for its extremely heavy downpours. Intense summer storms resulted in some places exceeding twice their average rainfall. These wet summers make life even harder for bees, who are alreadyContinue Reading

Spyware: why the booming surveillance tech industry is vulnerable to corruption and abuse

Zoomik/Shutterstock The world’s most sophisticated commercially available spyware may be being abused, according to an investigation by 17 media organisations in ten countries. Intelligence leaks and forensic phone analysis suggests the surveillance software, called Pegasus, has been used to target and spy on the phones of human rights activists, investigativeContinue Reading

A Virgin Atlantic plane viewed from below

Harvard Business School strategy guru Professor Michael Porter famously described the airline industry as “one of the least profitable industries known to man”. He said most airlines are predominantly losing money, “punctuated by brief periods of mediocre profits”. Virgin Atlantic’s profits have not always been mediocre, but it has certainlyContinue Reading

During the pandemic, the pejorative term “snake-oil salesman” has been bandied about a lot. It’s been used, perhaps with a tinge of 1980s nostalgia, to describe convicted fraudster and serial opportunist Jim Bakker, whose colloidal Silver Solution required only some deft rebranding to become a specific curative for COVID-19. ForContinue Reading

Militaries plunder science fiction for technology ideas, but turn a blind eye to the genre's social commentary

Pavel Chagochkin/Shutterstock Military planning is a complicated endeavour, calling upon experts in logistics and infrastructure to predict resource availability and technological advancements. Long-range military planning, deciding what to invest in now to prepare armed forces for the world in thirty years’ time, is even more difficult. One of the mostContinue Reading

Why animals recognise numbers but only humans can do maths

Everything I Do/Shutterstock Counting feels utterly effortless to adults, who are unlikely to even remember when or how they picked up this useful, apparently automatic skill. Yet when you think about it, counting is a remarkable invention. It helped early humans to trade, apportion food and organise fledgling civilisations, layingContinue Reading

Dear Editor, I was disappointed to read the letter from ‘Dick Jameson’ concerning the radio station where I volunteer, with its inaccurate depiction of East Devon Radio.   To pick up the points raised…   The recent name change was quite deliberate in that we wanted listeners in the wider community whoContinue Reading

Four ways microbial fuel cells might revolutionise electricity production in the future

Every year, on the first Sunday in August, the replica of an 11th-century Viking longboat sails up the river Ulla to the town of Catoira in northern Spain. The boat, manned by townsfolk disguised as Viking warriors, stages a ferocious onslaught on the town which is successfully fended off byContinue Reading