My finding of the week: The planet Uranus is covered in clouds of hydrogen sulfide which makes it smell like rotten eggs. If a human were to walk on the planet, they would suffocate in the -200 degrees Celsius atmosphere before they could complain about the smell. Source: Oxford University.
47% of Brits think there are more homeless people in their local area than there were 10 years ago. In 2013, only 26% of Brits felt this way. Source: YouGov. 140,000 UK households go without power because they can’t afford to top up their prepayment meters. Most of these households include children or someone with a long-term health condition. Source: Citizens Advice. Many of the poorest parents skip meals to save money. Source: Living Wage Foundation. 13% of Scots think that St Andrew’s Day should be a bank holiday for the whole UK. Source: YouGov. The UK has an overall literacy rate of over 99% among residents aged 15 and older. Source: United Nations. 60% of Brits think that the rise of robots is a ‘threat to humanity.’ Source: Now TV. Although someone dies every 53 seconds in the UK, someone else is born every 39 seconds. Source: United Nations. We would all benefit from widening the circles we move in. By mixing with a diverse group of people who aren’t ‘just like us’ our creativity is stimulated, proving beneficial to both us and society. Source: Oxford University. Around 200,000 children in England and Wales live with alcohol-dependent parents. Source: UK Government. There has been an increase of 30% in calls to the NSPCC in the past year from children who have a parent or parents who misuse alcohol. Source: NSPCC. 10m people in the UK have a level of hearing loss. Of these, over 800,000 are severely or profoundly deaf. Source: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. The thing that Scots most like about autumn is the leaves and cosy fires. Source: Scotpulse.
Over half of women in the UK have never owned any investments, with a lack of knowledge and confidence holding them back. Source: YouGov. Hotels in Scotland outperformed those in the rest of the UK in 2017. Average room revenue rose by 5% to £56.70, with Edinburgh the top-performing city outside of London. Source: BDO. The most trusted method of payment for Scots when shopping online is PayPal. Source: Scotpulse. UK musicians shared a record £605m in royalties last year – £77.5m more than in 2016. Source: Performing Rights Society.
The highest school in the world is in Phumachangtang, Tibet. It sits at a height of 5,373m above sea level. Source: Telegraph.
Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, is pocked with craters, mountains and chasmas (steep-sided depressions). Twelve of these features have names from literature and/or popular culture including Caleuche Chasma, Kubrick Mons, Clarke Montes, Argo Chasma, Nemo and Dorothy. Source: International Astronomical Union. Engineers have produced a test copy of the rover which will be placed on Mars as part of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2020 mission. Source: European Space Agency. The biggest dangers facing the first people to live on Mars are muscle damage and hypoxia – a lack of oxygen. Source: NASA. It will take 280 years for computer science to have an equal number of men and women working in the field. Source: Melbourne University. More than 99.75% of takeaway coffee cups in the UK are not recycled. The problem lies in the mixture of paper and plastics in their lining which is used to make them both heat and leak-proof. Only a few specialist plants have the means to recycle them in this state. Source: BBC.
Even in regular runners, marathons fatigue the body to ‘the verge of being at risk of damage’ and take weeks to recover from. Source: Liverpool John Moores University. 20% of hayfever sufferers have taken time off work due to their allergy. 40% find it difficult to do their job due to headaches, blocked sinuses and itchy, watering eyes. Source: Well Pharmacy. GPs who prescribe homeopathic treatments are more likely to be rated poorly by their patients. Source: NHS Digital. Scientists have found out how motor neurone disease and a rare form of dementia are caused. A protein called FUS remains in a jelly-like state and kills off brain cells. The breakthrough could lead to better treatment of the conditions. Source: Cambridge University/ Toronto University. Motor neurone disease affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. Source: BBC. The Bajau people of south-east Asia have developed bigger spleens for diving – making more oxygen available in their blood. They are a traditionally nomadic and seafaring people, and their evolution is a prime example of natural selection. Source: Copenhagen University. High levels of antioxidants in our diets may help to protect against some of the damage to brain cells associated with Alzheimer’s. Source: Alzheimer’s Society.
30% of Scots are more likely to plan a holiday or short break in Scotland than last year. Source: Scotpulse. 72% of cyclists in the UK say they do so for leisure and health reasons, while 22% cycle for commuting and work. 6% don’t have a reason. Source: Cycling UK.
In Edinburgh, the favourite roll filling is bacon. In Glasgow, it’s sausage. Source: Scotpulse.