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31 July

In the headlines

Rishi Sunak has announced at least 100 new oil and gas licences for North Sea drilling. The PM has also ordered a review of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in England, says The Times, as he seeks to “draw a political dividing line with Labour over Net Zero”. A quarter of NHS GPs have private medical insurance, a new survey has revealed. Another 15% said they were considering taking out a plan, citing concerns that waiting lists are so long that diseases like cancer aren’t treated in a “timely manner”. Rainfall across much of the UK has been double its July average, says the Daily Star, and five more “Atlantic deluges” are set to hit the country over the next fortnight. Prepare for the “summer brollydays”.


Over the past decades, men’s fashion houses have been engaged in a type of “sneakers arms race”, says Robb Report. But now, stylish guys are ditching trainers and embracing loafers as a sensible and smarter option. Gucci offer a wealth of Cuban-heeled, mixed-media styles, including an Adidas collaboration with a colourful remix of the athletic brand’s iconic three stripes. Luxury shoemakers Casablanca sell a candy-coloured pair; and Manolo Blahnik have devised loafers with a “collapsible leather heel” to provide a few extra inches when needed. It’s a versatile option for adding personality to your outfits “without removing polish”.


When Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013, he decided that the newspaper didn’t need to hire any more senior editorial staff. Marty Baron, the editor, disagreed, and in his forthcoming memoir reveals that he used a simple workaround. “To avoid setting off alarms up the line, my deputies and I would strip the word ‘editor’ from proposed new positions whenever possible,” he writes. Instead, he would give them more Bezos-friendly titles: “analyst”, say, or “strategist”.

Tomorrow’s world

Living in a dome could save your life, says The New York Times. In regions prone to hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions, hemispheric homes are becoming increasingly popular. Max Bégué, who built his on the site of a house that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, says that even when buffeted by mega high winds, “it doesn’t blink”. The triangles which form the structure make it particularly robust, and the smooth shape channels wind around the house. These spherical sanctuaries are also more efficient to cool and heat than other structures, and can cost 20% less to construct. “I like quirky,” says one dome-owner, “but I love sustainable.”

Gone viral

This resurfaced clip of one car finding itself perfectly stacked on top of another after a crash in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Navarra, Spain has racked up 1.2 million views on X (formerly Twitter). “Mario Kart antics,” adds one user.


Ozzy Osbourne’s legendary ability to drink everyone else under the table was in part thanks to genetics, says Far Out magazine: the Black Sabbath frontman has a rare DNA mutation near the gene responsible for breaking down booze in the body, enabling him to consume much more alcohol than most mere mortals. But the Brummie rocker had a tried and tested hangover cure back in his drinking days: four tablespoons of brandy, four tablespoons of port, a dash of milk, a few egg yolks, and – if he was “feeling festive” – some nutmeg. “The way it works is very clever,” he once told The Times. “It gets you instantly blasted again, so you don’t feel a thing.”


It’s London’s latest property bargain, says The Guardian: a disused four-storey stairwell in Twickenham, “yours for £20,000 or thereabouts”. The prime piece of real estate has plenty of selling points. It is “flooded with natural light”, positioned only a minute’s walk from the Thames, and, according to the agents, has “development potential” – though for what, exactly, they do not say. The auction is tomorrow; if you fancy putting in a bid, click here.


Quoted 31-07-2023

“Given sufficient notice, one can always be spontaneous.”

Robert Eddison, winner of the Oscar Wilde Society’s fourth original aphorism competition