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7 September

In the headlines

Liz Truss conducted a “near-total purge” of Rishi Sunak’s supporters in yesterday’s Cabinet reshuffle, says the BBC’s Chris Mason. It is the most diverse line-up in history, with none of the top jobs held by a white man: Kwasi Kwarteng is chancellor, Suella Braverman home secretary and James Cleverly foreign secretary. There is just one survivor from David Cameron’s final Cabinet six years ago: Truss herself. The new PM is expected to unveil a £150bn energy support package tomorrow, which will include freezing household bills at around £2,500 a year. Chimpanzees in Uganda have their own individual drumming beats, researchers have found. The apes use their bespoke rhythms to send messages to pals a kilometre away, says the Daily Mail. It’s “Facebook for chimps”.


There’s a new “intere-sting” trend making waves in the beauty world, says Dazed: jellyfish hair. The top layers are cut into a sharp bob while the under layer is left long and straggly at the nape, creating a fishy silhouette. “It gives off an ‘I don’t care what you think’ vibe,” says one celebrity hairstylist, like an “artistic version of a mullet”.

Inside politics

Liz Truss’s two daughters are the first teenagers to move into Downing Street since the Blair years, says Helen Rumbelow in The Times. The new PM says Frances, 16, has been helping out on her digital team, while Liberty, 13, has been giving her “general political advice” – a feeling with which any parent of teenagers will be familiar. Unlike previous PMs, Truss has “shielded her children ruthlessly from the public eye; there is not a single photo of them in the public domain”. But the pair are apparently looking forward to being in No 10 – Truss says Liberty “keeps asking” if she’ll be allowed to have sleepovers.


This stunning “rainbow cave” was captured by photographer Mathew Nichols near Mount Rainier in Washington state. According to geologists, the phenomenon occurs when coloured algae on the ice is seen through frozen crystals that absorb only part of the sunlight’s spectrum. Nichols describes it as “by far one of the most magical things I have ever witnessed”.

Tomorrow’s world

Japanese scientists have developed cyborg cockroaches to monitor radioactive sites. The insects were fitted with tiny backpacks with electrodes that allow their legs to be controlled remotely. Mini robots are nothing new, says The Daily Telegraph, but the Tokyo team believes that using live animals is easier than building a pure automaton. The devices are solar powered so that the insects don’t have to keep returning to base to recharge their batteries. “Nobody wants a suddenly out-of-control team of cyborg cockroaches roaming around,” says researcher Masataka Sasabe.

On the way back

Shepherds are in hot demand because their flocks are perfect for clearing grass around solar panels. The industry tested several lawn-trimming methods, says The Wall Street Journal. Sit-on mowers couldn’t easily manoeuvre under panels without causing damage, and goats chewed through the wiring. “Sheep – docile, ravenous, and just the right height – easily smoked the field.” Herdsmen charge up to $500 per acre, with one savvy shepherd claiming he’s set to make “several hundred thousand dollars” a year from his flock.


They’re not real. uses artificial intelligence to randomly generate pictures of modern-style homes, based on thousands of architectural images from the @ArchDaily twitter account. Try for yourself here.


quoted 07-09-2022

“Don’t vote, it just encourages the bastards.”

American humourist PJ O’Rourke