Skip to main content
The Knowledge logo

3 April

In the headlines

Queues at the Port of Dover finally appear to be clearing, after 20,000 holidaymakers were stuck in tailbacks of up to 18 hours over the weekend. Home Secretary Suella Braverman said yesterday it was “unfair” to blame Brexit, but port officials insist the additional processing time for passports is a factor. A prominent Russian military blogger – and high-profile supporter of the war in Ukraine – has been blown up in St Petersburg. Vladlen Tatarsky was killed at a pro-war event by an explosive thought to have been hidden in a gift: a golden bust of his own head. Paris has become the first European city to ban e-scooter rentals. Locals voted for the rule change because they were fed up with dangerous driving, injuries from crashes and the space the machines take up when parked. Mon dieu, says one Twitter user. “Wait until they find out about… CARS!”


Food-inspired cocktails have “reached a kind of apotheosis”, says Scott Hocker in Punch Drink. One New York bar offers drinks called “Mango Sticky Rice”, “Beet Salad” and “Red Eye Gravy”; London’s Viajante 87 serves a “Pico de Gallo”, named after the Mexican salsa; an Italian restaurant in Maine offers a “drinkable caprese salad”. Then there’s the array of tipples with edible garnishes, from Oreos to sugared passion fruit. It’s a chance to “have your drink and eat it, too”.

The great escape

This autumn, more than a thousand passengers will embark on a three-year round-the-world cruise, says The Times. The 137,700-mile trip – starting at £73,260 a ticket – will cover all seven continents, visit 135 countries and dock at 375 destinations, including all but one of the 14 wonders of the world. Bosses at the company, Life at Sea Cruises, say demand has been “unprecedented” – although instead of the early retirees they expected, most voyagers are 40-something “digital nomads” who fancy dialling into Zoom calls from the high seas.


Of the top 100 TV shows voted for by users of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), 26 were first shown on British screens. The main streaming sites – Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Disney – accounted for just 12 in total, says The Sunday Times, while the rest premiered on American and international broadcasters. Top shows include Peaky Blinders (pictured), Chernobyl and David Attenborough’s nature documentaries – three of which are in the top 10.


Winners of Smithsonian Magazine’s annual photography contest include snaps of two wild mountain hares fighting in the Norwegian peaks; a lone US voter waiting for a polling booth to open; a Japanese woman wearing a fuchsia ski-mask for Halloween; and two rhinoceroses hurtling through an Indian national park. See the rest of the judges’ selections here.

Quirk of history

The village of Wentworth, South Yorkshire is home to the Needle’s Eye, says James Fenton in The New York Review of Books: a 45-foot-tall pyramid of stone “pierced by an arched passage”. It was erected in the early 18th century by the Second Marquess of Rockingham, who wanted to win a bet that he could drive a coach and horses through the eye of a needle. “If he could do that, the implication was, it shouldn’t be hard for him, a rich man, to enter the kingdom of heaven – whatever Jesus says in Matthew.”


It’s a Chilean abalone, a species of sea snail that has been voted the international “Mollusc of the Year”. More widely known as the “loco”, the edible underdog pulled in 42% of the global vote, beating more exotic contenders like the colourful wavy bubble snail and the eye-catching leopard slug. Not only are the creatures tasty when served with a dab of mayonnaise, their blood is thought to have unusual oxygen-transporting qualities that could help scientists develop treatments for certain kinds of cancer.


quote 3.4.23

“Always fly first class. Or your children will.”

Jeremy Clarkson