42 articles from SATURDAY 14.8.2021

High heat: Spain clocks prelim record of 47.2 C (116.96 F)

Spain set a new provisional heat record of 47.2 degrees Celsius (116.96 Fahrenheit) on Saturday as Southern Europe sweltered under a relentless summer sun. Italy put 16 cities on red alert for health risks and Portugal warned 75% of its regions that they faced a "significantly increased risk" of wildfires.

7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Haiti; at least 227 killed

At least 227 people were killed and hundreds were injured and missing after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday, and Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he was rushing aid to areas where towns were destroyed and hospitals overwhelmed with incoming patients.

‘No concept of how awful it was’: the forgotten world of pre-vaccine childhood in Australia

Until relatively recently, lethal infectious diseases stalked the lives of Australian children – including my father, Tom Keneally. Vaccines have saved millions It’s 1940, and a five-year-old boy lies in an oxygen tent. He struggles for breath and hallucinates that his leaden toy soldiers are alive and marching around the room, monstering him with their bayonets.He has diphtheria, a disease...

Will we reach herd immunity for the new coronavirus? | David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters

It appears unlikely, but we should try to get as close as possibleThe Office for National Statistics Covid infection survey estimates that, either through vaccination or infection, an extraordinary 94% of adults now have antibodies to Sars-CoV-2.So why are cases increasing and why does vaccine star Prof Sir Andrew Pollard say herd immunity for Covid-19 is “mythical”? Continue...

How to take the lead in dog walking – and earn unconditional love in return

Enhance your pooch’s wellbeing and your own by making daily walks an interactive, quality experiencePepper meets Mr Binks for the first time and bottom-sniffs the diminutive pooch by way of greeting. As ever, I look away. But Mr Binks’s owner, dog behaviourist Anna Webb, says: “Ah, that’s nice, they’re introducing themselves.”Pepper, my miniature schnauzer, trots off ahead down the...

‘The soundtrack to my life was burping and farting’: how disgusting is your partner?

Living and working in the same space has given many couples an unwanted insight into each other’s dirtiest habits. But should we really find them so gross?“Over lockdown, the soundtrack to my life was email notifications pinging – and people burping and farting,” says Emma, describing the unwavering “bodily expulsions” from her husband and their three children as a constant “21-gun...

Metasurfaces control polarized light at will

For years, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have engineered metasurfaces to manipulate light based on its polarization state. That research has contributed to advances in polarization technology—but metasurface technology has proven more powerful than even the researchers themselves realized.

Is it cheaper to be bigger? Lessons from the extreme weapons of giraffe weevil warriors

Nepalese craftsman, Chandra Bahadur Dangi, holds the record as the world's shortest adult, at 54.6 cm (1 ft 9 ½ inches). The tallest human is Sultan Kösen, a Turkish farmer, almost five times taller at 2.52 meters (8 feet 3 ¼ inches). In nature, size differences among males of a single species are not uncommon, but in a new paper, a team from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI),...