10 things we didn't know last week

  • 27 March 2015
woman eating rice

1. There is only one concert grand piano in Gaza.

Find out more

2. Rice is less calorific if you boil it with coconut oil and refrigerate it for half a day before eating.

Find out more

3. Texas Senator Ted Cruz was a classic rock fan until 9/11, when he got into country and western.

Read full article 10 things we didn't know last week

Weekend edition: The best of the week's reads

  • 27 March 2015
Generic pilots

A collection of some of the best reads from the BBC News website this week, with an injection of your comments.

Crash investigators say that Germanwings flight 4U9525 was probably crashed deliberately by its co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. The inexplicable nature of Lubitz's actions raised the question of how pilots are mentally assessed. Rookie pilots are not psychologically tested at flight schools in the UK. Once at an airline they are subject to a medical every year (for older pilots every six months). Tristan Loraine, a former BA captain, says he was never psychological profiled during his career. "The medical was having an ECG, peeing in a bottle, having a blood test and all that." But Prof Robert Bor, author of Aviation Mental Health, argued that testing can only get you so far. Observing people's behaviour is more telling, and pilots are under close scrutiny from colleagues. And extreme cases like this - while rare - can never be totally prevented. The Magazine also looked at the initial lines of inquiry after the crash. And how stringent cockpit security procedures allowed Lubitz to lock out the pilot.

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Go Figure: The week in numbers

  • 27 March 2015

Look back at the week in numbers with our Go Figure images, which are posted daily on social media.

Tony McCoy racing

Monday: Small Data: How much would you have won backing McCoy?

line break

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Caption Challenge: Dinosaur hang-out

  • 26 March 2015
A man pulls the lower jaw of a life-size dinosaur model

Winning entries in the Caption Challenge.

The competition is now closed.

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Who, What, Why: How are cockpit doors locked?

  • 26 March 2015
File photo showing opened door into Airbus plane cockpit

A prosecutor in Marseille has said the Germanwings plane may have been deliberately crashed by the co-pilot, with the pilot locked out of the cockpit. How could this situation arise?

After 9/11, changes were made to the security of cockpits in an effort to make hijackings more difficult. According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, doors should typically be tough enough to withstand a grenade blast. They are usually left locked throughout the flight.

Read full article Who, What, Why: How are cockpit doors locked?

The Vocabularist: Where did the word 'king' come from?

  • 26 March 2015
Richard III procession
Leicester: Royal interments are not common, even in England

The excitement over Richard III's body has emphasised the history and mystique of kingship - and the word king has an allure which echoes its ancient meaning "son of the kin".

Even a monarch whom tradition calls a villain and who was certainly short-lived and unsuccessful should get an interment "fit for a king," writers have said - and priests have talked of the nation "taking Richard III to its heart".

Read full article The Vocabularist: Where did the word 'king' come from?

The incredibly strict diet of a Jain monk

  • 24 March 2015
Samani Pratibha Pragya (right)
Samani Pratibha Pragya (right) relies on the Jain community

Monks and nuns who strictly adhere to Jainism have to abide by a complex set of dietary rules, writes Rajeev Gupta.

"People may think our life is difficult but for me our way of life is much easier to live," says Samani Pratibha Pragya. She is a practising Jain "monk". In the age of the smartphones, Samani moves through life with only two possessions - a pair of simple white robes and three handmade wooden bowls which she collects food in.

Read full article The incredibly strict diet of a Jain monk

The enduring power of three Shredded Wheat

  • 24 March 2015
Three Shredded Wheat

David Cameron has declared he won't seek a third term as prime minister, citing an advertising slogan for Shredded Wheat used in the UK more than 30 years ago. What's its enduring power, asks Justin Parkinson.

The hotel kitchen staff are in disbelief. Someone in room 147 has ordered three Shredded Wheat. The maid transports them upstairs to find England cricketer Ian Botham waiting at a table, dressed in full whites.

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Small Data: How much would you have won backing McCoy?

  • 23 March 2015
Tony McCoy on a horse

Tony McCoy has been the dominant jockey of a generation and is expected to be crowned champion jockey for an extraordinary 20th time before he retires next month, writes Anthony Reuben.

Do you remember the film Back to the Future 2? In it, a character called Biff takes a copy of Grays Sports Almanac 1950 to 2000 and gives it to his younger self in 1955, who makes a fortune gambling with it.

Read full article Small Data: How much would you have won backing McCoy?

WW1: A baby called Somme

  • 21 March 2015
Herbert Gray

On 20 March 1917, a baby girl was born in Northfleet, Kent, and given a name heavy with history - Somme, writes Mark Sanders.

She's carried that name throughout her long life, in memory of the father she never knew.

Read full article WW1: A baby called Somme