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Heroes and villains

Francis Drake | Greedy seal | Rory Cellan-Jones



Ships, which are disrupting the sex lives of crabs. The constant thrum of engines really spoils the mood for the amorous invertebrates, according to an innovative new study from the University of Derby, in which researchers presented male crabs with yellow sponges doused in sex pheromones to simulate randy lady crustaceans. Previous research had focused only on larger oceanic species, such as whales, author Kara Rising tells Hakai Magazine. “But the poor little crabs need to have sex, too.”


Eric Finkelstein, a 34-year-old American who broke the record for visiting the most Michelin-starred restaurants in 24 hours. The speedy gourmand managed 18 locations when he embarked on the culinary odyssey in New York last October, with dishes ranging from oysters to chawanmushi, a savoury Japanese egg custard. The bill wasn’t too bad: $494 before taxes and tips.


A greedy seal in Essex’s Rochford Reservoir, which has been happily munching fish reserved for anglers. Since it was spotted almost a month ago – having likely swum in via an inlet – the pinniped has evaded multiple attempts at capture, including slipping under the net of the local wildlife team last week. As one marine expert tells The Guardian, it’s as if “it’s found itself in a branch of Waitrose”.

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Francis Drake, who the BBC described as a “16th-century slave trader” in an article about a primary school’s decision to cast off his name. It’s true, says Michael Deacon in The Daily Telegraph: in his youth, Drake took part in three slave-trading expeditions in West Africa. But it’s hardly what he was best known for. The sailor also circumnavigated the globe, and then there’s the small matter of him defeating the Spanish Armada, thus saving England “from being crushed by a bloodthirsty foreign power”.


Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s former technology correspondent, for not letting Parkinson’s disease spoil his sense of humour. The 64-year-old has formed a dining club for fellow sufferers, including former colleagues Mark Mardell and Jeremy Paxman, and they’re thinking of launching a podcast called Movers and Shakers.