Society Around 12% of Scots – some 200,000 households – are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage. The number has jumped by a third in two years. Source: YouGov.
789 nuclear safety incidents were recorded at HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane and the Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport between 2006 and 2018. Source: Ministry of Defence.
A new fund of £5m has been made available by the Scottish Government – through a European regional development fund programme – to help promote the wildlife, scenery and culture of the Highlands and Islands. Source: Scottish Natural Heritage.
Only 2% of Brits have never gambled. Of those who have gambled at least once, 70% did so by playing the National Lottery. Source: Catena Media.
It takes the average person 66 days to form a new habit. Source: University College London.
Economy One of Ayr’s oldest shops, Hourstons, has confirmed that it will close on 7 February with a loss of 81 jobs. It first opened over 100 years ago in 1896. Source: BBC.
Debenhams suffered a fall in sales of 5.7% in the 18 weeks covering Christmas and ending on 5 January 2019. Source: Debenhams.
Marks and Spencer have also reported a fall in sales over the Christmas period of 2.2%. Food sales fell by 2.1% and clothing and home sales fell by 2.4%. Source: Marks and Spencer.
Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it will be cutting 5,000 jobs from its 40,000 UK workforce. The main areas which will be hit are management, marketing and administration, as part of a £2.5bn cost-cutting plan. Source: JLR.
Nearly two-thirds of jobseekers make spelling mistakes on their job applications, with the most commonly misspelt words being 'responsibilities’ and 'liaising’. Another error made is the misplacing of apostrophes. Source: Adzuna.
Education 19% of children under the age of 15 in the UK live with adults who struggle to buy food. Source: Unicef.
The number of children in the UK who are living in workless households is at a record low. Since 2010, one million people have been lifted out of absolute poverty, including 300,000 children. Source: UK Government.
Science Rare paint particles – lapis lazuli – found in the teeth of medieval German nun suggest that she was an unknown illustrator of sacred texts (due to the habit of licking the end of a paintbrush). Researchers believe that women were more involved in the construction of sacred texts than previously thought. Source: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
A new sustainable technology called Ioncell could reduce the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry. The process creates textile fibres from materials like wood, reycled newspaper and cardboard, which can then be made into clothing. Source: Aalto University.
Air pollution is thought to reduce our lives by around six months. Source: BBC.
Health After waiting for five years, a woman in Renfrewshire has undergone a double hand transplant. The procedure was successfully carried out over 12 hours at Leeds General Infirmary. Source: Finding Your Feet.
Women who take tablets containing equine oestrogen as part of hormone replacement therapy could be more at risk from serious blood clots, although the overall risk is low. Source: British Medical Journal.
The increased risk associated with taking hormone replacement therapy tablets is the equivalent of nine extra cases of blood clots per 10,000 women each year. Source: University of Nottingham.
Cheap and widely available drugs which are used for diabetes and heart health may be suitable in treating severe mental illness. Researchers found that when patients took the drugs the number of times they required hospital treatment fell by up to 20%. Source: University College London.
It is easier to lose weight in sunnier months. Fat cells which lie just under skin shrink when they are exposed to blue light, such as the light emitted by the Sun. Source: University of Alberta.
Recreation The all-time most popular film director in Britain is Steven Spielberg, followed by Richard Attenborough, Walt Disney, Alfred Hitchcock and Quentin Tarantino. Source: YouGov.
Several sculptures have mysteriously appeared around Stonehaven bay, including those of a lighthouse, Viking boat, and two fishing boats. The identity of the artist responsible for the work remains a mystery. Source: BBC.
Oddities A pet food manufacturer has changed the recipe of its dog food so that 40% of it is made up of black soldier flies. They claim that the new recipe is better for the environment because the traditional beef used in the dog food comes from cows which are fed on soya. Soya plantations are responsible for the emission of a significant quantity of greenhouse gases. Source: BBC.
A poll has found that 12% of women – double that of men – say they get turned on when watching scary films like 'Halloween’, 'The Shining’, and 'Jaws’. Apparently there is a well-documented scientific link between fear and sexual passion which horror films take advantage of. Source: eHarmony.