Skip to main content
The Knowledge logo

1 November

In the headlines

“Flop26” has got off to a terrible start, says Alex Wickham in Politico. “Despite the huge stakes on climate change, the UK and the EU remain mired in political infighting on Brexit.” To make matters worse, the train line from London was down, and with bin collectors in Glasgow on strike, the city is infested with enormous rats. Donald Trump is now the favourite to win the 2024 US presidential election. In August, Paddy Power gave Trump the third best odds to win. Now it has him in pole position. Ryanair plans to cut fares this winter to bolster demand. The budget airline is expecting to make a loss of up to £170m this year. 

Comment of the day



Gone viral

Celebrities took advantage of Halloween to hit the town in disguise. Harry Styles dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz at a gig in New York. Ariana Grande’s make-up team styled her as “Miss Creature from the Black Lagoon”. Singer Lizzo dressed as Baby Yoda to attend a Spotify party in West Hollywood. Katy Perry and her husband, Orlando Bloom, went for a contemporary theme: she was a vaccine and he was a doctor. “I vaxxed a girl and I liked it,” Bloom joked on Instagram.

Quirks of history

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches in American history, says Julia Langdon in The Times. It helped end the Civil War and bring about the abolition of slavery – not bad for something only 272 words long. But the president kept it short for good reason: he had a case of incipient smallpox. “As soon as he had spoken, he got straight back on the train to Washington and took to his bed.” Lincoln recovered, but his valet wasn’t so lucky. “He caught the pox and died.” 


Our offices are a stone’s throw from Rada, which makes for good eavesdropping, says The Oldie’s art editor. Recently I heard two young thespians reflecting on their arduous morning. “How’s it been for you?” one asked. “Well,” said the other, “I’ve been lying on the floor for four hours pretending to be a fried egg.” “You’re lucky,” replied the friend. “Last year we were naked, trying to be sugar lumps.” 


Quoted 01-11-2021

“The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvellously.”

Henry Kissinger

Snapshot answer

It’s Bill Gates, who spent his 66th birthday on a superyacht in Bodrum, Turkey. The Microsoft founder is thought to have spent €1.8m hiring the 350ft vessel for a week, and he invited 50 people to celebrate with him – including Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos. Festivities reportedly started on board before the guests travelled to a restaurant by helicopter for sushi and champagne. Twitter users weren’t impressed by the carbon impact of all this yachting and helicoptering – Gates’s latest book is called How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.

Tomorrow’s world

A driverless flying taxi has been unveiled at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport. By 2024, passengers should be able to zip through the air from the terminals to the city centre, without “traffic lights or cats running across the road”, said the airport’s CEO, Marco Troncone. The two-passenger flying taxi has a top speed of 60mph and the 15-minute journey will cost about €150.