Lucy Cooke: The Intrepid Explorer – Daily Mail

Lucy Cooke, 47, is a documentary producer, presenter, author, National Geographic explorer and founder of the Sloth Appreciation Society. She lives in London.

My most precious possession is a Tasmanian wombat poo, shaped like an Oxo cube, that I keep in a display case. Wombats mark their territory on logs so, were it round, it would roll straight off. After decades travelling the globe, evolution still blows my mind. I love the freaks and ‘otherness’ of nature – how weird and wonderful it is.

Read the full article here.


Lucy Cooke reveals the secret lives of animals in her latest book – as featured in The Daily Mail

Why do so many birds disappear in the winter? These days, it’s a question the average eight-year-old could probably answer.

For centuries, though, it was one of the great unsolved scientific mysteries. In the mid-1600s, an Oxford-educated academic did suggest that birds migrated — but, less impressively, he thought their destination was the Moon.

Otherwise, the consensus was that the birds hibernated, and that the reason we didn’t see them doing it was because they slept at the bottom of rivers and lakes. As late as 1801, an American scientist sought to prove this once and for all by the simple process of throwing some weighted-down swallows into a nearby river.

Sadly, after he’d pulled them back up, he was forced to report that they were ‘reduced, not to a state of suspended animation, but of absolute death’.

Read the full article here.



You’ve been drinking wine wrong: Joe Fattorini reveals the 20:20 rule – Daily Mail

White wine is served chilled, while red is best at room temperature – or so the mantra goes.

However, an expert has now blown this rule out of the water, with a new theory which states quite the opposite.

Joe Fattorini, presenter of ITV’s The Wine Show, has revealed the correct way to serve your red wine is in fact briefly chilled, while white should be left to warm up before drinking.

Read more here.

“Before Glitter and Glue Sticks, ‘Craeft'” – Alexander Langlands in the New York Times

As daily life becomes increasingly virtual, it might seem like a paradox that making things by hand is suddenly big business. Stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby feature aisle after crowded aisle of sequins, tassels, imported papers, chenille stems and pompoms. Etsy, the e-commerce platform for selling homemade goods, features nearly two million active sellers serving 30 million eager buyers. Busy creators produce one-offs using 3-D printers in “maker spaces” at major research universities as well as your neighborhood’s progressive elementary school. All this activity was worth $44 billion last year, according to the Association for Creative Industries, a group that was once, in cozier times, known as the Craft and Hobby Association. Part therapy, part self-expression, our homely obsession with crafts is poised to take over the world.

Read the full article here.




Dick Strawbridge attempts to build 74-mile model train – The Biggest Little Railway In The World, C4

The Victorians might have known a thing or two about railway construction, but even they knew when they were beaten.

Britain was the envy of the world when our finest engineers built perhaps the best railway system ever seen, 150 years ago.

They only went so far though. When they reached certain parts of the Scottish Highlands they had to stop, defeated by the terrain.

How wonderful to hear, then, of an epic project to finish what the Victorians started, with the finest engineering brains in modern Britain designing and building a railway from Fort William to Inverness along the Great Glen Way – a distance of 74 miles – that even Brunel would be proud of.

Read the full article here.



Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s 4 Pillar Plan: Eat yourself slim, healthy and happy – The Telegraph

Forget fads or quick fixes – in the second stage of my 4 Pillar Plan , I share the simple tips that will transform your diet for good (with fats and carbs included)

Many of us, especially those over the age of 30, have grown up being told that we should eat a low-fat diet. It’s only recently become clear that such advice was at least partly misguided and it’s led to some unfortunate and unintended consequences.

Read the full article here.


Sophie Faldo remembers the two teachers who helped her to become independent and self-confident – TES

“I begged my mother to let me become a boarder at Barnardiston Hall Prep School. Most of my friends boarded and it seemed like so much fun in the dorms. The headmaster was ex-army and there were quite a few military children there, so it was important that the school was a home from home for them. It was quite strict, though. We had uniform inspections before breakfast and room inspections daily. It was perfect training for the army.”

Read the full article here. tes151217_mbt_hero_0