Unmissable stories for the Curious-Minded

  • A very un-British winter: A Yellow weather warning across parts of Britain is causing familiar disruptions. From school closures to blocked roads, to flight delays, up to five centimetres of snow and sub-zero temperatures are bringing things to a standstill. Past spells of especially cold weather, including the ‘beast from the East’ and storm Emma, were said to cost the UK economy approximately £1bn a day. Despite this, the Government and local councils insist that investing in colder winters is not cost-effective.
  • Real or Fake? An earlier version of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci has been called a ‘deliberate fake.’ The Isleworth Mona Lisa is currently being exhibited in Turin, Italy. Should the painting prove to be an ‘original’ version of the famous sitter at a younger age, its value could overtake another rediscovered Da Vinci masterpiece, the Salvator Mundi, which sold for $450.3 million in 2017.
  • A Question of Marbles: Kier Starmer accused Rishi Sunak of ‘small politics’ on this week’s PMQs after the Prime Minister cancelled a meeting with the Greek PM. The question of who owns the Parthenon Sculptures, aka the Elgin Marbles, continues to divide opinion and is a sensitive topic. Greek PM, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, commented that ‘the fair request of Greece for the reunification’ of the sculptures at least gained global attention.
  • Climate change threatens wolverines: The North American wolverine, also called ‘mountain devil’ for its ability to thrive in harsh alpine environments, is due to receive important federal protections following evidence that its habitat is being threatened by changing global temperatures. Currently, there are just 300 wolverines left in the U.S. that rely on high elevation and mountain snowpacks (layers of low-lying snow) for making dens to birth and raise their young.
  • Are you susceptible to the ‘truth effect’? The truth effect is our tendency to believe things on the basis of repetition rather than facts. A recent study finds that biased thinking can occur after hearing the same information repeatedly. This also helps to explain how online misinformation takes hold. Hearing the same statement numerous times increases our likelihood of believing it. However, being aware of this natural tendency can help prevent future biases from forming.

 That’s all from us this week. See you next Friday!

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