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Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Daily: February 20

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Helena Gumley - Mason
Bowie wins best man award at the Brits
Last night, musical legend David Bowie was named Best British Male at the Brit Awards in London. However he was not there in person to collect the award and asked Kate Moss to receive the accolade for him. Moss read a speech on behalf of the rock star which, as well as saying 'it's a great way to end the day,' urged Scottish voters to reject independence – saying 'Scotland stay with us.' The ceremony took place at the O2 Arena and featured some vibrant performances from Katy Perry and Beyonce. One direction took home two prizes and Bastille were named best British Breakthrough Act. For the third and last time, James Corden hosted the ceremony.

Lewis and Harris, top island destinations
Tripadvisor, the international travel site, has named Lewis and Harris as one of the top five island destinations in the world. This was based on the opinions of people who had visited the island who enjoyed its quietness and natural beauty. Lewis forms the top, northern part of the island, while Harris is the names of the southern component, but they are often referred to as separate places. These Outer Hebrides islands beat off other locations such as Thailand and Madagascar. Mike Cantlay, the chairman of VisitScotland said 'with hundreds of islands, each with their own unique character, diverse landscapes and rich wildlife, it's no surprise that these islands have been recognised in the TripAdvisor Traveller's choice awards.'

Bumblebees infected with honeybee diseases
As if they haven't been through enough already, scientists are now saying that bumblebees are facing a new threat. Insects with deformed wings and fungal parasites have been found recently throughout the UK. According to Professor Mark Brown from Royal Holloway, University of London, 'These pathogens are capable of infecting adult bumblebees and they seem to have quite significant impacts.' Over the past decades, species of bumblebee have suffered deep decline and some have even gone extinct (such as the Bombus cullumanus.) It is believed that the destruction of the bee's habitats such as wildflower meadows have something to do with this steep decline, but now this latest bit of research suggests that disease could have a marked effect as well.

Cities now take selfies
A recent project, conducted by The City University of New York, has been examining the science of the selfie and has yielded some fascinating results. Researchers analysed 656,000 Instagram pictures from Moscow, Berlin, New York and Sao Paolo. The site of the project claimed that on the whole, women take selfies and each city has its own 'selfie style.' It was concluded that people are happier in Bangkok and Sao Paolo and are unhappier in Moscow. In New York, the female selfie snappers tended to employ the slight head turn with just a hint of a profile while Sao Paulo's female selfie takers chose to strike more dramatic poses.

Last reunion for Britain's golden trains
The last remaining six of the A4 class locomotives which were built in the thirties have been reunited one last time. The famous Mallard is among these six prized locomotives and still holds the record for the fastest steam locomotive in the world after reaching 126mph at Stoke Bank near Grantham. It is a record that in all likelihood will never be beaten. The 75th anniversary of this hallmark event occurred last July and triggered the bringing together of the six trains. 35 such machines were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley for the London and North Eastern Railway. One of the A4's which would have been fuelled by seven tons of coal, could race between London and Edinburgh. They were able to pick up water while on the move because of the long troughs laid out between the rails.


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