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3 March 2015 Last updated at 09:13

The art of before-and-after pictures

Before and after shots

Before-and-after adverts, showing pictures of people who have lost weight or become fitter, feature in thousands of magazines. But how reliable are they, asks Justin Parkinson.

Wow, what a transformation. Two volunteers go from looking pale and unfit to tanned, toned and dynamic. Before and after photos show the benefits of a change in lifestyle - eating better, exercising more and, in many cases, taking dietary supplements to help the process along.

So how long did it take for the man and woman on the left to turn into those on the right?

Just under two hours.

They volunteered for photos taken as part of BBC Wales's Week In Week Out's investigation into sports supplements. The "regime" consisted of spray-tanning, 15 minutes of light exercise, improved posture and the introduction of more subtle lighting.

How to create the "Before and After" effect

"I was amazed when I first saw the difference," says Joe, the male volunteer, who also had his chest shaved for the shoot. "We hardly did anything in between. There was hardly any editing of the photos, either. It just goes to show what complete rubbish some of these adverts must be."

Physical self-improvement is a long-established business. During the 1940s, weightlifter Charles Atlas advertised his bodybuilding courses by describing himself as a the "97lb weakling who became 'the world's most perfectly developed man'". The pieces often featured stories of how skinny young men on beaches had followed his diktats for a short period, returned and successfully confronted bullies who had kicked sand in their faces.

These days, thousands of nutritional supplements are sold with the stated aim of helping people develop their bodies. The industry is worth more than £300m a year in the UK and, with concerns over obesity far higher than during the post-World War Two period, the global weight-loss industry is expected to be worth £220bn by 2017.

The basic formula remains the same. "If you're in charge of advertising diet products, body-building supplements or vitamins for a client you'd pretty much get fired if you didn't come up with at least one campaign featuring a before-and-after shot," says Peter Davies, director of the RMS public relations agency.

Under EU rules, claims about rapid weight loss or before-and-after photographs which state or imply a rate or amount of weight loss are prohibited, according to a Health Supplements Information Service spokesman.

He adds that there is no specific prohibition against "before-and-after" pictures in relation to muscle gain, but using them to make a claim in relation to a product could be viewed as misleading. A protein product can only ever be marketed as providing the materials for muscle gain that is actually achieved through working out.

"One old trick clients used to try was to simply avoid the use of the words 'before' and 'after'," says Davies. "They'd simply print the pictures alongside each other with no text to lead the reader to assume they were 'before-and-after' images." However, the rules have tightened up, he adds, and "anything that misleads the punter will be pulled" by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Could there even be an upside to before-and-after adverts?

"You could instantly see the volunteers' confidence growing after they were shown the 'after' pictures," says the photographer Antti Karppinen, who carried out the shoot for Week In Week Out. "They were surprised how much better they looked. It was a boost to them."

Week In Week Out will be shown on BBC One Wales at 22:40 GMT on Tuesday 3 March.

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What would Wittgenstein say about that dress?

A dress

"What colour is that dress?" The question has been fascinating people all around the world, including Prof Barry C Smith of the University of London's Institute of Philosophy.

We all assume that we see what's before our eyes, and if we have normal colour vision we should be able to tell what colour the dress is. And yet we've just discovered that the world of observers divides into two groups - those who see the dress as white and gold, and those who see it as blue and black, or blue and olive green. They know they are looking at the same image and that it isn't changing, so why is there such marked disagreement about how the dress looks?

Could it be that we all see the world very differently? Have we just discovered that there is no such thing as the true colour of things? Is colour just in the eye of the beholder? That may be a tempting conclusion, but the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein would have resisted it. He was famous for pointing out errors in our everyday thinking. So when told by his pupil, Elizabeth Anscombe, that it was easy to understand why people thought the sun went round the earth, Wittgenstein asked, "Why would they think that?" "Well," said Anscombe, "it looks that way." To which Wittgenstein replied, "And how would it look if the earth went round the sun?" The answer, of course, would be: "Just the same."

So how might Wittgenstein have reacted to our query about the true colour of the dress - or to the fact that people who up until now have agreed about the colours of all sorts of things suddenly see the dress so differently? After all, the same wavelengths of light are entering the retinas of each observer. How can it look white and gold to some and blue and black or olive green to others?

Wittgenstein might have pointed us to Joseph Jastrow's duck-rabbit figure.

Jastrow's duck rabbit

When you look at the drawing, without it changing, it is possible to see it either as a duck or a rabbit. You can't see both animals at once but you switch from one to the other. Wittgenstein called this "aspect-switching" since you see one aspect when you notice the long shapes as rabbit's ears, and another when you see them as a duck's bill. The same object can look completely different when we attend to parts of the drawing and think of them as a duck's bill or as a rabbit's ears.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

"Hegel seems to me to be always wanting to say that things which look different are really the same. Whereas my interest is in showing that things which look the same are really different. I was thinking of using as a motto for my book a quotation from King Lear: 'I'll teach you differences'... 'You'd be surprised' wouldn't be a bad motto either."

Ludwig Wittgenstein

So is it the same with the dress? There are good reasons to doubt it. Not many people report being able to switch between the blue-black/olive and the white-gold colours. Instead, it is looking at the image on different monitors, or in different lighting conditions that induces a change.

And there's the clue. Just as in the case of the duck-rabbit figure, it's not just what we see but how we think about what we see that influences how something looks; and most people who see the dress as white and gold say the white colour of the dress is being tinted by a blue-ish light. In fact, what they claim to see is how a white dress looks in slightly blue lighting.

For the rest of us - whose visual systems don't wash out the blue when it is illuminated by blue lighting - we don't think of it as parts of a white dress reflecting blue light but as a parts of a blue dress in white light. Between what we all see and how we judge what we see comes the thought, and thoughts make us look at the same things differently.

In the case of the dress, both ways of viewing the colour in the image are illusory but unlike Wittgenstein's cases of aspect-switching, it's not a shift of attention or a difference in background ideology that separates the two ways of viewing the dress. It's a categorical difference in the ways our visual systems interpret colours in the world - a difference we have only just discovered.

Wittgenstein had thought of using a sentence from Shakespeare's King Lear, "I'll teach you differences" as a motto for his Philosophical Investigations. This would be a perfect example.

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Weekend edition: The best of the week's reads

Shipwreck in the Aral Sea region

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

The Aral Sea has disappeared. Trouble began when Soviet planners wanted to turn Central Asia into the world's largest producer of cotton. But they produced so many cotton fields that at some point in the past five years the river stopped getting as far as the Aral Sea at all. We don't know when exactly this happened, because the Uzbek authorities chose not to publicise it. But we do know it's one of the world's most startling ecological calamities - the story of how cotton soaked up an entire sea.

Waiting for the sea

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Built-in fireworks
Blurry lights Blindness for Damon is "a kind of visual tinnitus"

Much of the internet's bandwidth has been taken up this week with discussions of whether a dress is gold or blue. But Damon Rose, of the BBC News Ouch disability team, who has been blind since he was a teenager, has been discussing different visual perceptions. Far from experiencing total darkness, he says, he now sees "light... lots of it... [b]right, colourful, ever-changing, often terribly distracting, light". He's not the only one, it turns out. Many other blind people, and many sighted people too, report a similar phenomenon. One, Samantha Burnell, says on Facebook: "Other than wearing glasses to correct long sightedness my sight is fine but as yet I have not experienced darkness." In fact, she adds, "I like to leave a light on to distract from the lights and colours I see".

Do blind people really experience complete darkness?

464 gray line
The tanning addict
Three pictures of Laura's tanned face through the years

When Laura went on holiday her colleagues would always joke: "what colour are you aiming for this time?" Her reply was always mahogany. Laura was a self-confessed tanning addict. Something she regrets, since, after a hot day in the sun in Fuerteventura, she received a text message asking her to call the dermatologist who'd done a biopsy on a little red spot on the back of her leg. It was a melanoma. She now wears factor 50 sun cream under her clothes. There is no way she will ever sit out in the sun again.

Why I regret my years as a tanning addict

The teenage people smuggler

Rudi told us he ran out of money in Libya. He was on his way from Guinea to Europe. He pleaded with the people smugglers to take him across the sea to Italy for free but they wouldn't. The only way he could get across, they told him, was if he captained the boat himself. The smugglers taught him how to steer the wooden boat. He practised steering the boat up and down the Libyan coast and after a week the people smugglers said he was ready. Nearly 200 migrants were loaded on to his boat, having paid up to $2,000 (£1,300) each for the crossing. Their lives were in the hands of a 15-year-old boy.

The lone seven-year-olds leaving home and country behind

The dead body inspector
Dr Simi George

Every day Dr Simi George opens up several corpses to try and find out why they died. She is completely unflappable. Well almost. She doesn't mind maggots, decomposed bodies, urine, or poo. It's the stomach contents that get to her. But she hasn't thrown up once, not even when had morning sickness. But her profession is at threat. She says a scandal where unauthorised organs were kept has hurt the profession. There's been a dramatic fall in the number people are giving consent for their relatives' autopsies.

Seeing inside dead bodies

Here are some things we've enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:

How I Became A Minor Celebrity In China (After My Stolen Phone Ended Up There) - Buzzfeed

What I learned from watching a week of Russian TV - New York Times

When your father is a serial killer, forgiveness is not tidy - The Witchita Eagle

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10 things we didn't know last week


1. About half of all novels accord to Kurt Vonnegut's "Man in Hole" narrative theory - man gets into trouble, man gets out of it.

Find out more (the Times)

2. Artificial intelligence can teach a machine how to win Atari video games.

Find out more

3. Squid can fly - but they tend to do it under cover of darkness.

Find out more

4. Lollipop men who "high five" pedestrians may be breaching official protocol.

Find out more

5. Kit Kat and Twix account for almost a third of all chocolate bars sold in the UK's Houses of Parliament.

Find out more (Daily Mail)

6. Google for a time thought that Beatles biographer Hunter Davies, who is still writing books, died in 1980.

Find out more (New Statesman)

7. A dress can look blue and black or white and gold to different people.

Find out more (Wired)

8. Europe's largest collection of pinball machines is in a basement in Budapest.

Find out more

9. Wheat turned up on British shores 2,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Find out more

10. UK-based fast food chain Chicken Cottage uploaded a film of their awards dinner to YouTube - it's over an hour long.

Find out more (BuzzFeed)

Seen a thing? Tell the Magazine on Twitter using the hashtag #thingIdidntknowlastweek

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Go Figure: The week in numbers

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

Birdman graphic

Monday: Oscars 2015: Eddie Redmayne wins best actor

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Gerbil gofigure

Tuesday: 'Gerbils replace rats' as main cause of Black Death

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Luxury goods gofigure

Wednesday: Luxury: Worth every penny?

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Buzz Aldrin gofigure

Thursday: In pictures: Vintage Nasa photographs for sale

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Pearl dress gofigure

Friday: Lupita Nyong'o $150,000 Oscar dress stolen

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Find #BBCGoFigure on Twitter and on Facebook

Quiz of the week's news

7 days 7 questions

It's the Magazine's weekly news quiz - an opportunity to prove to yourself and others that you are a news oracle. Failing that, you can always claim you had better things to do than swot up on current affairs.

What do this week's stories look like as told through graphical icons? Try Newsbeat's emoji quiz.

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The art of falling over with dignity

Madonna - pictured at the 2015 Brit Awards - is not the first star to fall over in the public eye

Madonna has won praise for carrying on after falling on stage during the 2015 Brit Awards. What's the secret to elegantly recovering from an accidental plunge, asks Jon Kelly.

You've done it too, of course. Everyone has. The stumble. The shock and then the embarrassment. The mantra as you pick yourself up: "No, it's OK, honestly, really, I'm fine."

Admittedly, when most people inadvertently land on their backsides, they aren't being watched by millions at a nationally-televised awards ceremony. But Madonna has earned widespread plaudits for the way she recovered, gamely carrying on her performance and joking afterwards that her "cape was tied too tight". She's hardly the first celebrity to lose her balance so publicly - there was also Helen Mirren, Naomi Campbell, 1996 US presidential candidate Bob Dole, Fidel Castro, UK Chief Whip Michael Gove and former Labour party leader Neil Kinnock (whose fall into the sea in Brighton graced the opening credits of Spitting Image for years thereafter).

Naomi Campbell, 1993, Vivienne Westwood
Neil Kinnock with his wife before falling on Brighton Beach 1983

When falling over, of course, the most important thing is to not hurt oneself. It's better to land on the soft parts of the body, says Jon Davison, who teaches clowning at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Keep your head up and don't let your body go tense: "If you are relaxed you'll be safer." Then there's the arguably trickier task of keeping your pride intact.

Try not to look embarrassed. Then turn it into a joke, says deportment teacher William Hanson. "I think you need to own it," he says. Take your cue from actress Jennifer Lawrence, who fell over at both the 2013 and 2014 Oscars and deepened her place in the public's affections by laughing it off ("What do you mean, what happened?", she told reporters after the first incident. "I tried to walk upstairs in this dress, that's what happened"). Heed the example of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whose minders reportedly ordered photographers to delete images of him falling over in Ethiopia, thus guaranteeing the pictures were circulated even more widely.

Jennifer Lawrence, Oscars, 2013
Robert Mugabe addressing supporters upon his return from an African Union meeting in Ethiopia in February 2015

Never forget the example of William the Conqueror, who, according to legend, fell on his face as he waded ashore to invade England. He is meant to have then grabbed a pile of sand and uttered the rallying cry: "I have taken seisin (possession) of this land with both my hands!" In Madonna, his spirit lives on.

Madonna falls at the Brit awards

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Caption Challenge: Hairy figure

Honey monster

Winning entries in the Caption Challenge.

The Caption Challenge is now closed.

There is still no prize, except the traditional small quantity of kudos.

This week a person dressed in a Honey Monster costume does some exercise. Other breakfast cereals are available.

Thanks to all who entered. The prize of a small amount of kudos to the following:

6. Mapmaker Scarborough:

A young hopeful warms up at the auditions for Tchaikovsky's The Crunchy Nut-Cracker.

5. Anthony Sawyer:

New rehabilitation programme introduced for cereal offenders.

4. Billy Buchan:

Russian hurdler strongly denies allegations of doping.

3. Jake Perks:

Colin Jackson admits his fondness for sugary cereal means he's "let himself go" a bit.

2. Matthew:

Madonna dons new protective suit while cautiously practicing her latest dance routine.

1. Helena Minton:

Personalised sweatshirt foils the Queen's attempt to arrive incognito.

PDF download Full rules can be seen here[16KB]

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Five ways a winter World Cup would be different

BBQ in the snow

In a break with tradition, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar seems likely be held in November and December, rather than the summer. What would the knock-on effects of a winter event be for British fans of the armchair variety, asks Gareth Rubin.

1. No barbecues

If you enjoy a sausage burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, a barbecue is the perfect opportunity to indulge. Sales of burgers always rocket when a major sporting event coincides with the two months a year when it is possible to hold a party outside in the UK. They aren't so popular in the freezing winds of December. Of course, that might also mean fewer cases of food poisoning. Instead, you might be tucking into a hearty roast dinner while the final whistle blows. But according to Roger Kelsy, chief executive of the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, some won't be put off. "Even if people are up to their neck in snow they will still have a barbecue. They will just wrap up, and instead of a cold beer in their hands they will have a mug of soup. And since it's December, you can have turkey burgers to fit in with the season," he says.

2. A lot of sickies

The "summer cold" is a pretty suspicious excuse for staying home during a crucial match. Or the day after. "Winter norovirus" is also a bit on the convenient side, but your boss might just believe you in December - and it sounds a lot more medical. And when England inevitably crash out of the quarter-finals on penalties, the gloomy evening will suit the mood perfectly. Except in Scotland where there will be cheering. "I was at school during the 2002 World Cup and we didn't see our PE teachers for a week," says Daniel Tyler, deputy editor of Shoot. "They all called in sick. People just don't want to miss a game, especially if it's a big one."

3. Last-minute Christmas gifts

There will be a host of exclamations of "Oh no, it's Christmas Eve and I've spent the month watching the footie, what on Earth can I buy my loving other?" Expect football memorabilia from the nearest supermarket. But Louise Court, editor of Cosmopolitan, says distracted fans won't get away with it. "Men who pipe up with the excuse that they forgot to buy a Christmas present because of the World Cup were always going to buy their partners a rubbish present anyway. There is no excuse," she warns.

4. A boozy party season will get even boozier

Office Christmas parties, friends' New Year's Eve parties and now World Cup parties - your local publican will be rubbing his or her hands in glee. But there will be consequences. "There will be a double whammy with the World Cup and office Christmas parties and the like meaning a danger of excessive alcohol consumption," says Don Shanker, director of the Alcohol Health Network. "People should try alternating alcoholic with non-alcoholic drinks and choosing lower strength beers or wines, that way you can drink for a longer time period without getting as drunk." Watch out for arguments about what to watch on TV, too. If the big match clashes with the Strictly Come Dancing final, a lot of couples may be going to bed without speaking. Graham Kibble-White, features editor of Total TV Guide, says: "X Factor and Strictly will be winding up then, and they are the big sporting events for people who don't watch sports, if you know what I mean - live events where you can get behind a team and cheer for them. So if they are on at the same time as a match, there are bound to be arguments in the home."

Goals in winter
5. Sales of hoodies, not shorts

The England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland team shirt might look great, but it won't be something you can wear out and about when the weather is two degrees below zero. So expect to see people in team-branded hoodies and full track suits instead. Besides, a post-match evening kick-about in the local park won't be so attractive in mid-December when you can't see your hand in front of your face, let alone the goalposts. "Maybe we'll have people walking around in team onesies and woolly hats. The teams could bring out their own range of skiwear," says Tyler.

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What extra charges do restaurants make?

Cake being served at a restaurant

Restaurants have been criticised for making customers pay to bring in birthday cakes. What other unusual charges are diners faced with, asks Justin Parkinson.

The average price of a meal out for two in the UK is more than £50. For top restaurants that figure could be tripled. Bills include an array of extras, which can confuse customers.

The latest, nicknamed "cakeage", involves cafes and restaurants charging for serving a birthday cake brought in by customers. Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden's restaurant guides, says his wife was told by a London cafe owner to pay the full cost of a menu dessert for each slice served at a children's meal. "It looks bad and will deter repeat custom, which is worth much more than a single visit."

But restaurateurs who charge cakeage argue they're justified in doing so because they have to present the cake and do the clearing up and washing up afterwards.

A more established "bring-your-own" charge is corkage, levied per bottle of wine - as much as £30 for high-end restaurants. But Harden says that, rather than being a con, corkage can represent a bargain, as the total amount spent is still smaller than the cost of buying from the wine list.

An "optional" service charge of 10% or more commonly 12.5% has become typical in UK restaurants, as an alternative to the tipping system, where about 10% was traditionally expected for good service. Having been told of a service charge, customers can become annoyed at the idea of adding an optional "gratuity" for good service.

Set menus are a popular way to eat out, as the full price is laid out in advance. But restaurants can add supplement costs for the more expensive-to-produce components, such as red meat or truffles.

It is rarer these days for UK restaurants to levy a cover charge, paid by each customer in addition to the cost of food. This does not specify what the money goes towards but, in many cases, covers the cost of bread, olives and other accompaniments.

However, some restaurants charge for bread, as well as olives and other accompaniments once rolled into the overall bill. Licensed premises are legally obliged to provide tap water for free in England, Scotland and Wales, but not in Northern Ireland.

One "extra" charge comes in the way vegetables or chips/fries are often not included with meals. "The price of main courses hasn't gone up much," says Harden, "but having a satisfying meal, with vegetables, has. It does cause resentment charging £4 for a bowl of Brussels sprouts, even if it's got grated nutmeg on top."

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Why homeless Britons are turning to the Sikh community for food

Two women prepare food

Homeless people in the UK are getting free meals thanks to a centuries-old Sikh tradition. Why, asks Rajeev Gupta.

"We come here because we get food... A hot meal. It's a luxury for me." John Davidson is 55 and homeless. He is one of 250 people who have just received a hand-out of hot soup, drinks, chocolate bars and other supplies from the Sikh Welfare and Awareness Team van parked up on the Strand in central London on a cold Sunday evening. The Swat team, as they're known, park at the same spot every week so a group of volunteers from the Sikh community can hand out vital supplies. Homeless people, who overwhelmingly are not Sikh, patiently wait in line to be served.

People queue up for food

For the volunteers handing out food here, this is more than just good charitable work. For them this is a religious duty enshrined by the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, over 500 years ago. At a time of deep division by caste and religious infighting between Hindus and Muslims in India, Guru Nanak called for equality for all and set forward the concept of Langar - a kitchen where donated produce, prepared into wholesome vegetarian curry by volunteers, is freely served to the community on a daily basis.

Today, thousands of free Langar meals are served every day in Sikh temples throughout the UK. The Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Southall, thought to be the biggest Sikh temple outside of India, says it alone serves 5,000 meals on weekdays and 10,000 meals on weekends. Every Sikh has the duty to carry out Seva, or selfless service, says Surinder Singh Purewal, a senior member of the temple management team. "It means we're never short of donations or volunteers to help prepare the Langar."

People serving the food

In recent times the Langar meal has acted as a barometer for the state of the economy. After the 2008 recession many Sikh temples reported a surge in the numbers of non-Sikhs coming in for the free Langar meals. It's now common to see non-Sikhs inside the temple, Purewal says: "We don't mind it. As long as people show respect, are not intoxicated and cover their heads in line with our traditions, then everyone is welcome."

The Swat team say they decided to take the concept of Langar outside its traditional setting in temples and out onto the streets when they saw a growing homelessness problem in London. Randeep Singh who founded SWAT says: "When you go to the temple, what's the message? The message is to help others, help your neighbours. That's what we are doing."

You can hear the full faith and food programme on the BBC Radio World Service's Heart and Soul at 09:30 GMT on Sunday 22 February or listen back via the BBC iPlayer.

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The film that ran for 20 years in one Mumbai cinema

Screen shot

After a run of more than 20 years, the Bollywood film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge - known to fans as DDLJ - has had its final screening at a cinema in Mumbai. It's one of the most successful Indian films of all time, grossing millions not just in India but around the world. Rajini Vaidyanathan asks what makes it such a classic.

The ultimate Bollywood rom-com

To the uninitiated, this film was significant to Bollywood, as When Harry Met Sally was to Hollywood - a rom-com which defined a generation. The romance forged by two expat Indians who meet on an inter-railing trip around Europe, still warms hearts today, however outdated it now feels. It also fulfilled every cliche in the Bollywood rule book, while showing a new self-confidence about the portrayal of love. A boy named Raj falls for a young woman named Simran, her father disapproves and tries to marry her off to someone else. Raj tries to win her family over, but it all ends up in a bloody fight scene (where grown men are seen hitting each other with sticks). But a few black eyes later true love prevails. The idea of a "love" marriage was still seen as rebellious in 1990s India, but the finale where Simran's father finally gives in provided the perfect family-friendly ending. "It says that it is cool to be Raj and Simran while maintaining our Indianness and culture," actor Shah Rukh Khan said of the film last year.

The cult of Shah Rukh Khan

The film catapulted actor Shah Rukh Khan to stratsospheric levels of fame, and made him Bollywood's biggest heart-throb. His role as Raj Malhotra, the doe-eyed, lovesick bad boy with a good heart, served as a mould for several of his later characters (some of them also called Raj). His pairing with the actress Kajol, was also seen as a turning point for both their careers. They'd acted together before, but their chemistry in DDLJ made them the one of the hottest on-screen couples Bollywood had ever seen.

Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan
Reflection of the times

Start Quote

Watching DDLJ I feel the same desperate desire for the lovers to be united that I feel watching Casablanca, When Harry Met Sally or Brief Encounter”

End Quote Scott Jordan Harris Film critic

The film was released in 1995, a few years after India had opened up its economy to the world. The country was changing both culturally and economically, and young people were displaying a new self-confidence. The film was seen as one of the first to truly reflect this. It was also cool and trendy - the characters dressed in denim jackets and blue jeans! They blended Indian fashion with Western designs, lived overseas and represented a new brand of global Indian.

Overseas appeal

Two young Indians who meet inter-railing ranks as a pretty strange premise for a blockbuster movie, but it provided the perfect opportunity to shoot in a number of European capitals. A dance number on the top deck of a double decker bus, a scene on the escalators of the London underground and plenty of dancing in the foothills of snow-capped Swiss mountains, were all part of the film's mission to appeal to millions of Indians living overseas (non-resident Indians, or NRIs). The film grossed more than $2m outside India, and sparked a Bollywood trend for European destinations. It's been reported that one early idea to reach the international Indian audience, was to cast Tom Cruise in the role of Raj.

The songs

You'd be hard pressed to attend an Indian wedding, without hearing one of the songs from DDLJ. The music was an integral part of the film as the character of Raj travelled from train to train, carrying a small mandolin, his secret weapon for wooing Simran. Almost all of the songs from the film were hits, mixing traditional Indian folk song motifs, with the classic schmaltzy love songs modern Bollywood is famous for.

People watching Dilwale One of the last screenings at the Maratha Mandir cinema in Mumbai
Woman holding tickets for Dilwale dating back to 1995 One fan has kept tickets dating back to 1995

Weekendish: The best of the week's reads


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

Frozen food used to be disgusting. Even prisoners refused to eat it. That was until Clarence Birdseye had a lightbulb moment. He was on a fishing trip in Labrador. That place is cold, really cold. So cold that when he caught a fish and pulled it out of the water, it froze. When he thawed out the trout it was delicious - far better than usual. He worked out that it was to do with the speed of the freezing. A slow freeze allowed the hydrogen bonds of ice to form larger crystalline shapes. But a freeze that happened in seconds generated much smaller crystals that did less damage to the food itself. Clarence went on to be known as Captain Birdseye, made millions and changed the way we eat immensely.

Creating Cold

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Robbing for love
John Wojtowicz poses with gun and money

John Wojtowicz was a romantic - that's why he tried to rob a bank to finance his lover's gender reassignment surgery. "This sounds like the kind of mad, crazy guy you wish you had met, but not in the bank," tweets Martyn Cox. As one of his terms for the release of his hostages, Wojtowicz demanded they deliver his wife from King's County hospital: "His name is Ernest Aron. It's a guy. I'm gay." This was a pretty big deal in 1972. After a 14-hour siege Wojtowicz was eventually arrested and sentenced to 20 years in jail. Many tweeters said this should be made into a film. Well, it was. When the film Dog Day Afternoon was made about the event, John was still in prison. But he gave the money he got for his story to Aron, who finally had surgery and became Liz Eden. A Storyville documentary also followed him for 10 years.

The man who robbed a bank for love

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Tax non-avoiders
A hand holding coins

Earlier in the week we heard from people who pay the top rate of tax who are happy to pay it. The founder of the soap shop, Lush, says it was just too complicated to dodge tax. He spent three days trying to work out one avoidance scheme. That's three days he could have spent on his business. And the founder of Phones 4u says paying tax is a moral issue. They both agree that their attitude puts them in the minority of wealthy people. "If there weren't so many shocking people these wouldn't be considered modern heroes, but they ARE" tweets media audience researcher Jeremy Nye. In a similar vein, Chief Executive of a bike part distributor Dominic Langan tweets: "It's like tax is optional?" Politics professor Christopher May tweets that it's "good that some higher rate tax payers distancing themselves from sociopaths who want benefits but not cost of state".

The rich people who say they are happy to pay their taxes

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My beautiful prison
Manus Island

Omid says he is in the most beautiful prison in the world. He's an asylum seeker in a holding camp in Papua New Guinea. Until mid-2013, Omid was a journalist in Iran. He fled the country under the threat of arrest, paying traffickers a small fortune to take him to Australia. He set off from Indonesia, heading for Christmas Island, a tiny Australian territory. When he got there he was relocated to an overcrowded detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, where he has been stuck for the last 18 months. Omid is not alone - about 1,000 asylum seekers are detained on Manus. The policy is controversial and that was reflected in reactions on Facebook. Sandip Koley points out that "every Australian is a migrant except aboriginal people" while Bev Regan replies "I'm 5th generation Aussie from pom heritage and I take offence to be labelled a migrant".

Australia's 'beautiful prison' in Papua New Guinea

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Carnival queen
Antonia Eklund dancing with another woman

This week people in some countries ate pancakes in preparation for the beginning of Lent. In Brazil, meanwhile, people prepared by putting on the biggest party in the world. One person from the UK auditioned to dance in the Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, and got in. She learnt a lot of Portuguese in her training, including "adhesive bras", "blister tape" and even "camel toe". But then "ice-packs", "anti-inflammatories", "physiotherapy" and, worst of all, "total inactivity". Yep, she fell in Samba. Which amused her Brazilian friends, because "fall in Samba" can also mean to fully let go and dance wildly to the music. Once they stopped marvelling at the poetry of it they took her to an Ubanda healer who communicated with the spirits on her behalf. Credit to the spirits or to her physiotherapist, that week she was dancing again - with just two weeks to regain fitness for the parade.

Confessions of a British Carnival dancer

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Reverse Tescofication
Empty Tesco

How times change. There used to be protests against Tesco stores opening. Now there are protests against Tesco stores closing. Following a decline in market share (still a hefty 29%) and an accounting scandal, Tesco said it will close 43 shops and scrap plans to open another 49. Jon Kelly went to one of these 49 ghost shops in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire. A day after the article was published there was a protest in Kirkcaldy over the closure of their Tesco. Vice's Chris McCall went along. One customer told Chris she'd seen people crying over the store closure. A previous Kirkcaldy event was addressed by no less a figure than the local MP, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. And then, a few days later the Guardian reported that, back in Chatteris, Tesco are paying £20,000 for a "community fund" which they insist isn't compensation. The Guardian predict Tesco will pay more around the country as some of the other 49 towns with ghost stores start negotiating. None of this answers the more prosaic question people were asking - where are we going to shop now?

The ghost Tesco stores

Here are some things we've enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:

What ISIS Really Wants - The Atlantic

The sheer range of opinion on this planet means you can't be inoffensive - The Independent

These five women are the only people still alive from the 1800s - Huffington Post

How cops responded to the Charlie Hebdo massacre - Mac McClelland

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10 things we didn't know last week

Penguin eats fish

1. Before 1939, the home secretary was the only UK minister to get an official motor.

Find out more

2. Only one stained glass window in the UK is thought to depict Jesus with ginger hair.

Find out more (Daily Mirror)

3. Penguins can't taste fish, only bitter and umami (meaty) flavours.

Find out more

4. Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams trampolines naked with his dog.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

5. Limpets' teeth are made of the strongest biological material ever tested.

Find out more

6. Roughly 56% of average monthly earnings in Malawi are spent on mobile phone charges, compared to about 0.11% in Macau, China.

Find out more

7. Tea should be brewed for six minutes, according to the organisation responsible for safety kitemarks in the UK.

Find out more (The Times)

8. Spotify's shuffle is not truly random but sprinkles different genres evenly across a playlist and alternates songs by the same artist.

Find out more

9. John Frenchman is likely to have been the most common name given to medieval migrants coming to England.

Find out more

10. Only one person has applied to move to the Pacific island of Pitcairn despite a government offer that new settlers will be provided with a plot to build their own house.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

Seen a thing? Tell the Magazine on Twitter using the hashtag #thingIdidntknowlastweek

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Go Figure: The week in numbers

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

Big data graphic

Monday: Doctors store 1,600 digital hearts for big data study

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Hubble graphic

Tuesday: Hubble's star refuses to fade

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Lamp graphic

Wednesday: Is the sun rising on an African solar revolution?

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Manus Island graphic

Thursday: Australia's 'beautiful prison' in Papua New Guinea

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Large ocean-dwellers graphic

Friday: Evolution 'favours bigger sea creatures'

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Find #BBCGoFigure on Twitter and on Facebook

How to spot a Russian bomber

Plane spotter's guide

Two Russian bombers have been escorted from near UK territory - the latest in a series of similar incidents. How easy is it to spot a Russian plane, asks Jon Kelly.

The Ministry of Defence insists that the Russian aircraft did not enter British airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from the nation's coast. But it says they were inside the UK's "area of interest", and the RAF scrambled Typhoon jets to intercept them. If the MoD's account is accurate, they may have been flying too far away for ordinary plane spotters to detect them - although a woman in Cornwall claims she saw them flying inland.

Each was a Tu-95 MS, also known by its Nato reporting name "Bear-H", a four-engine long-range bomber, equipped with turboprop-driven propellers and set-back wings that give it an unmistakable silhouette.

The Bear Bomber Tu-95 bomber

The most noticeable thing about the Bear, the earliest iteration of which entered service in 1956, is the almighty racket it makes. Its contra-rotating propellers spin faster than the speed of sound, creating their own sonic boom, making it one of "the loudest combat aircraft ever built", says Justin Bronk of the Royal United Services Institute. The Bear, which typically carries six or seven crew members, is not the fastest aircraft in the Russian fleet, reaching speeds of only about 575 mph (920 km/h). But it is regarded as one of the most reliable, says Bronk, which helps account for its longevity.

A supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber A Tu-160 strategic bomber

Another bomber you might expect to see just outside British airspace is the Tu-160, known as the Blackjack, two of which were intercepted by RAF Tornado F3 fighters off the Scottish coast in 2010. Unlike the Bear, the Blackjack is capable of supersonic speeds of up to 2,200km/h. "It's essentially a heavier and faster equivalent of the American B1B Lancer," says Bronk. It also has a longer range and can carry more nuclear-capable missiles. An upgraded version of the TU-160 made its maiden flight in November 2014.

A Russian long-range bomber TU-22

Then there's the Tu-22M3 strategic bomber, which is also supersonic and nuclear-capable. "It's not as big as the Bear and the Blackjack," says Bronk. "Its closest Western equivalent is the F-111." Its variable-sweep wing allows it to take off quickly and fly at very low altitudes. There are thought to be over 100 TU-22Ms in service in the Russian fleet.

The MiG 31 interceptor The MiG 31 interceptor

Sometimes Bears are escorted by supersonic MiG-31 interceptors, says Bronk. Among the world's fastest combat aircraft, they are equipped with onboard radar that can track 24 airborne targets and attack six at a time. But Bronk says: "Although they are extremely fast and carry powerful radar, they are a essentially an evolution of a very old design, the MiG-25, and are no match for the RAF's Typhoons in air-to-air combat."

Plane spotter's guide

The incident in Cornwall is unlikely to be the last time radar operators detect Bears. There was a similar incident in January when two Bear bombers were escorted by RAF jet after causing what the Foreign Office called a "disruption to civil aviation". The RAF intercepted Russian aircraft on eight occasions in 2014, and the same number of times in 2013, according to MoD figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

"Bear raids" just outside British airspace were a common occurrence during the Cold War, sometimes taking place every week, says defence analyst Paul Beaver. Back then, he says, the intention was to test the RAF's reaction time. Their frequency lessened in the final years of the Soviet Union and stopped altogether when the Berlin Wall fell. Under Vladimir Putin's leadership, however, they have resumed. Yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron said he suspected the Russians were "trying to make some sort of a point", and Bronk agrees. "Essentially, it's rattling the sabre."

Thanks to Nick de Larrinaga of IHS Jane's Defence Weekly for assistance with this article

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Caption Challenge: Trombone banana

Man dressed as banana with a trombone

Winning entries in the Caption Challenge.

The competition is now closed.

This week a man dressed as a banana plays a trombone.

Thanks to all who entered. The prize of a small amount of kudos to the following:

6. Hang the DJ:

Early photos suggest Blur will be taking a somewhat different direction on their new album.

5. Tricia Kelly:

Government trials a new street-based sax education scheme.

4. Paul Murphy:

"We may have written one episode while on acid", admit Treme writers.

3. Bradley Merren:

Peel sessions.

2. Andy Carnie:

I said wear a bandana!

1. Matt Marklew:

Grimsby Mardi Gras "every bit the equal of New Orleans" claims local councillor.

PDF download Full rules can be seen here[16KB]

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Nutella recipes for hardcore fans

Nutella on toast

The death of Michele Ferrero on Saturday at the age of 89 came days after World Nutella Day, an annual event for fans of the chocolate hazelnut spread - some of whom have developed imaginative ways of eating it.

Last year, on Nutella's 50th anniversary, the head of the Ferrero Rocher empire, Giovanni Ferrero, told reporter Dany Mitzman that he had eaten it for breakfast since childhood, and that his two sons had inherited the habit.

Hardcore fans will eat it for lunch and dinner too, judging by these comments and recipes posted on the World Nutella Day website.

  • Chicken enchiladas with Nutella mole: an enchilada with shredded chicken and cheese and cooked in a flour tortilla. Then covered in a Nutella-based mole sauce, including onions, peppers and garlic. Wandering Chopstick
  • "Nutella & mashed potatoes saved my life," says Michael S. "They're a delicious mix I was forced to try on the mountains after snowboarding. Mixed with jam it was a perfect holiday meal!"
Oak Caramel, Birch Ice Cream, Pine Jelly, Chestnut Cake and "Nutella" prepared by Mads Refslund, Chef of MR Restaurant, in Copenhagen Oak caramel, birch ice cream, pine jelly, chestnut cake and Nutella prepared by Mads Refslund, chef of MR restaurant in Copenhagen
  • Sweet and spicy Nutella-coated bacon: thick strips of bacon sprinkled with a spice mixture and then slathered in Nutella. Posted by Paula at Bell'alimento
  • Nutella and mascarpone grilled cheese on brioche: a brioche sandwich with a Nutella and mascarpone filling (and optional cinnamon) is fried in butter on both sides, then sprinkled with powdered sugar and sliced strawberries. Aimee at Sweet and Saucy
  • "On a long backpacking trip we mixed Nutella and peanut butter and ate it on pilot bread," says Betty S. "That was supremely good, but I later discovered that it is even better eaten right out of the jar, at home."
  • Nutella cocktail: a blended mixture of vanilla vodka, Bailey's, Frangelico, milk, ice and Nutella. Cook Almost Anything
  • Orange Nutella ravioli: grate orange zest over Nutella, wrap it in sweet dough and bake. No sauce necessary. Theresa from The Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine
  • "Nutella and butter together are the best!" - Susan I.
  • Nutella risotto: this usually savoury dish is made sweet by mixing Nutella, butter, milk and sugar in with the rice. The result is similar to rice pudding. Shannon at Adventures in Food
  • Banana Nutella tempura: banana slices coated with Nutella and deep fried in a flour and egg batter. Beatriz from Suitcase Contents
  • "Nutella and pizza base with strawberry sauce," - Maddy H.
  • "Nutella & a spoon. Why mess with perfection?" - Rebecca D.
Nutella-filled crème brulee doughnuts Nutella-filled creme brulee doughnuts from Ivonne Mellozzi at the blog, Cream Puffs in Venice

Reporting by Elle Metz

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What would happen if prices started going down?

Balloon deflated

The UK is heading for its first period of falling prices since 1989, but is not at risk of a dangerous deflationary spiral, according to the Bank of England. What happens when prices start to go down, asks Colm O'Regan.

Talking about deflation seems sure to result in a "QI klaxon" moment. In the "General Ignorance" round on the popular BBC TV show, presenter Stephen Fry asks a question and then Alan Davies replies with the most obvious wrong answer. The lights start flashing and a klaxon sounds. Davies crumples into a trademark shrug and a lopsided smile. The audience laugh and cheer as the expected happens but at the same time, they're with Alan on this one. "I thought the same thing myself, did you?" they say. A few poindexters, sitting at home, smile to themselves because they knew that Magellan wasn't the first man to circumnavigate the world.

So it seems with deflation.

The Stephen Fry-type figure asks the question: "Is deflation a good thing or a bad thing?"

Everyone/Alan Davies: "Deflation means falling prices, right? Bzzzz! Er ... a good thing?"

"HONK-HONK!" say the economists as they turn the lights on and off.

Apparently it's a bad thing. If you think prices are going to fall you'll wait before purchasing. This means money isn't being spent in the economy, leading to unemployment, reduced spending power and then further price cuts to attract customers spending. This, in turn, means lower revenues and more unemployment.

Euler spiral Euler spiral

This results in a downward inflationary spiral. It's a shame that the spiral - such a beautiful mathematical object - should be always associated with something negative and always precede the phrase "out of control". Not all spirals spiral out of control. The Euler spiral is used to work out smooth train-track transitions. Maybe I should save that one for QI.

The presence of deflation feels weird to us. Part of the human condition is to expect that the price of everything has gone up. It's like old age and the weather. Nothing can be done about it but it's a topic for small-talk. We have no natural expectation of prices dropping.

The notion that prices fall feels like time itself is being reversed. There'll be old people talking wistfully about a time when things were more expensive and young people being nostalgic for the future.

Maybe one solution to deflation is for everyone to stop talking about it. That way, consumers would just go on living their lives rather than waiting for some sort of never-ending January Sales Of Life. Or, in keeping with the sales metaphor, get the message out there that, while yes prices are going to drop, if you keep waiting to buy they won't have it in your size. This is known in economics as the "Out of Mediums, just XXXL left Conundrum".

About the author

Colm O'Regan is an Irish stand-up comedian and writer. He is a regular contributor to the BBC World Service's In The Balance. He also works on the Kilkenomics festival.

A large component of prices falls has been the drop in the price of oil. AND?! What's so wrong with that? Do people delay buying petrol in the hope the price will drop? If that's the only thing, then is the deflation meaningful at all?

Elsewhere in the economy it doesn't feel like prices are falling. I live in Ireland, and the cost of renting the astro-pitch for the five-aside football game I play went up on 1 February. I rang the venue asking why were prices going up, given "the deflationary spiral" here. The man who answered the phone said that the problem was the astro-football pitches had hedged against oil at $90 a barrel, and now they were locked into that. He also said that the astro-pitch had been asked by Mario Draghi to help inject some liquidity into the economy at an artificial grass-roots level.

Actually he didn't. He just said it was "Um ... like, decided by management". It's probably something to do with insurance premiums. Insurance premiums always go up because customers, distracted by news about deflationary spirals, don't look where they are going, fall over and make a claim.

So if you own a wood burning stove, cycle and have a keen interest in five-aside, you may be experiencing decade-high inflation right now.

Central banks are not, however, going to look at one piece of anecdotal evidence from a whimsical column. They rely on "facts" and "hard data". Therefore, it has been decided that deflation is here and something needs to be done about it.

But what to do? The ECB is bringing in quantitative easing. They'll print money to buy assets issued by governments and banks who hopefully will pass the money onto the real economy. The banks haven't really done that before when they got free money. Instead they used it to cover the holes on their balance sheet. It's a bit like if you had a fire in your house. Instead of the fire brigade bringing you water, they'd bring ice to your wealthier neighbour and ask them to put out the fire.

Why don't they just print the money and give it directly to us? Yes we'd spend it irresponsibly but isn't that the best way to stimulate an economy - people being irresponsible. Right?

I can hear the QI klaxon warming up.

Colm O'Regan is an Irish stand-up comedian and writer. He is a regular contributor to the BBC World Service's In The Balance. He also works on the Kilkenomics festival.

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Are 51% of people really 'single'?

Lonely an with cake

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released data that shows 51% of people in England and Wales are single. Does that really mean there are so many people on their own, asks Anthony Reuben.

It was the first time that the figures had shown more than half the population was single. The ONS also tells us that the proportion of single and married people varies little across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The figures came from an analysis of responses to the 2011 census, which was first released last year.

And it was accompanied by this excellent interactive map, which allows you to search for the areas with the highest proportions of single people.

What a fantastic tool for those seeking their soulmate. It shows you that if you're planning to minimise the risk of accidentally trying to pick up someone married then you should go to Islington in north London, where only a quarter of adults are married.

In fact, seven of the top 10 most single areas are in London, with Manchester, Nottingham and Brighton and Hove being the only areas outside the capital.

But can it really be true that more than half of people over 16 in England and Wales are single?

It does seem very high, but that is because the definition of "single" is people who are not married, including many people whose Facebook statuses would say they were "in a relationship".

A cohabiting couple in Islington could be legitimately cross at being chatted up because the statisticians said they were single.

A more recent release from the ONS looks in more detail at the make-up of households. It tells us that in the whole of the UK in 2014 there were 26.7 million households, of which 28% contained only one person.

Now, three million of those households with more than one person consist of a lone parent with at least one child. The lone parent would still count as a single adult.

But then there are another three million cohabiting couples, who would be counted in last year's figures as single.

In statistical terms, a household, just like a single person, is not necessarily what you would think it is. A household may be one person living alone or any group of people living together, who may not be related to each other, but do share cooking facilities and some communal living space.

While those figures from the 2011 census did include people in civil partnerships as not being single, they were too early to include any same-sex marriages, which were not allowed in the UK until last year.

So what proportion of the population is single if you don't count cohabiting as being single? According to this report, there were estimated to be 5.9 million people cohabiting in the UK in 2012, which was 11.7% of the population over 16.

That had risen from 6.5% in 1996, making it the fastest growing type of family in the UK.

So, if you're counting all people who have never been married, or who are divorced or widowed, as being single, then that has indeed risen above 50% for the first time. If you consider cohabiting couples not to be single then it's well below 40%.

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10 things we didn't know last week


1. Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond once played a ghost in a Bollywood soap opera.

Find out more (Buzzfeed)

2. Traditionally, police horses in England's Thames Valley force can be called Odin, Thor or Hercules, but not Brian.

Find out more

3. People on dating sites who divide opinion between those who rate them as both very beautiful and very ugly do far better than those who everyone agrees is quite attractive.

Find out more

4. Australia's oldest man knits woollen sweaters for injured penguins.

Find out more (ABC)

5. "Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialised!" is an official slogan of North Korea.

Find out more

6. Each semen ejaculation by Yuvraj, a bull in Kurukshetra, northern India, is worth $3,000 (£1,948).

Find out more

7. YouTube star Grumpy Cat earned more than Gwyneth Paltrow in 2014.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

8. The popping sound popcorn makes as it is heated is due to rapidly escaping pressurised water vapour, not the kernels cracking open or ricocheting inside the pan.

Find out more (The Guardian)

9. The oldest piece of statute law yet to be repealed in the UK, dating back to 1267, was passed in Marlborough, Wiltshire.

Find out more (Financial Times)

10. Dogs can apparently tell the difference between happy and angry human faces.

Find out more

Seen a thing? Tell the Magazine on Twitter using the hashtag #thingIdidntknowlastweek

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Weekendish: The best of the week's reads

George Mel with his light aircraft

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

Many tweeters and Facebook commenters thought our story of George Mel, the man who built a plane in his back yard was an inspiring example of determination. Not least, the famous Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who tweeted George's comment: "I stuck to my dreams and I started doing them practically." Moving slightly closer to Earth, pilot Tim Byatt promised that next time he's heading to or from East Africa and flying over South Sudan he'll spare a thought for George. George won't be airborne as he hasn't got permission to test-fly his plane, which is made from aluminium picked up in South Sudan's metal workshops, with a garden chair as the pilot's seat. Drew Gardner was among many who were crying out: "Will someone please give him a job?" George does have a job already - when he took his work to the South Sudan Air Force, officers were so impressed they gave him a position in their IT department. Sally Prescott went one further and urged military plane maker BAE to employ him. They replied, saying he's got until the end of the month to apply for an apprenticeship. Yukon Mutetwa says on Facebook that George is not the first to build his own aircraft. Zimbabwean Daniel Chingoma put together a homemade helicopter using the engine of a Datsun Pulsar car. Not everyone was awe-struck though. Thulani Ncube says on Facebook that there is nothing impressive about reconstructing something that was invented more than 100 years ago - to which Mrah Bostancı responds: "You have a computer and best thing you are capable of is just leave a comment. If you give your computer to that man he may design a space ship."

The plane-builder of South Sudan

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First born
Rikardo Racz

"How can anyone see an innocent newborn and feel any hate?" asked reader Chris Phillips. It was a reaction to Rikardo's story. Rikardo was the first baby born in 2015 in Hungary. His picture was taken for local and national press. The deputy leader of the far-right Jobbik party posted that picture on Facebook and mentioned that Rikardo was the third child of a 23-year-old Gypsy mother, adding: "The number of Hungarians is not just falling disastrously, but soon we will become a minority in our own homes. When will the day come when they decide to change Hungary's name? And when will we finally tackle our country's biggest problem?" An avalanche of both condemnation and approval followed, and Rikardo became Hungary's most famous Roma at only a few days old. Our correspondent Nick Thorpe says the problem is many people don't seem to realise that Roma, some of whom prefer to be known as Gypsies, are Hungarians too.

The baby that divided a nation

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Splitting up
The slogan 'We Won't Move' appears on a wall in Sophiatown, a suburb of Johannesburg, 1955

"We must remember what happened in Sophiatown. Not to reopen old wounds, but to stop new ones being opened," tweets Clark Nida. Sophiatown was home to black, white, mixed-race, Chinese and Indian people, but 60 years ago the neighbourhood was destroyed and the residents sent to live elsewhere, segregated according to their race. Victor was 10 years old when he was forcibly removed. He remembers being woken up early one morning by the sound of horses' hooves. When he eventually went outside he realised that 2,000 police had descended on the area. Quouar says on Reddit this is also the story of where the ANC chose to fight its battles and where is chose to back away. Nelson Mandela had given a speech saying the time for passive resistance was over but when he realised how heavily armed the police were likely to be, he advised residents not to resist. What amazes Reddit user The Falconator is how South Africa was much more brutal during apartheid than Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was, yet was able to integrate better afterwards.

The town destroyed to stop black and white people mixing

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The Bantams
Small soldier between two larger

Mary Souques emailed us to to tell us when she was searching her family tree, she found out that her great uncle was in the Bantams in the Cheshire Regiment. That would mean that he was under 5ft 3in (160cm). Shorter soldiers felt left out so the War Office gave its blessing to battalions exclusively made up of men between 5ft and 5ft 3in. More than 30,000 were enlisted. Sadly, she explains, her uncle was killed in action on the Somme. His body was never found. But his name is on the Thieval memorial, which Mary has visited. Her grandmother never forgot her brother and named her son (Mary's father) after him.

Bantams: The army units for those under 5ft 3in

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No ticket to ride
Conductor on train

Jack Chrichton is angry. He tweets: "I deprived Merseyrail of £1.65 and the police now have my DNA and fingerprints. Not once was I given the chance to pay the cost. I got a caution from the police, just for going one stop." Rail companies in the UK have right to prosecute people who don't have a ticket. But this assumption that people are dishonest might be counterproductive. There's one theory that when people feel they have been wronged in some way they're more likely to rebel against the system. So some thinking is going into changing the system. One reader came up with a change that could actually happen - Simon Monger suggests rail companies should put the seat reservation information on the ticket. At the moment it's a separate ticket and you can be fined if you lose one.

Are train travellers without the right ticket treated fairly?

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Know your onions
Chicken wings with chives

"Imagine being allergic to onions," says @TheBFK. Adam Spencer Young doesn't need to imagine. "Today is a very important day," he tweets, "today I realised I'm not alone in the world... other people are allergic to onions." It comes after reading Father Gary Donegan's account of his own allergy. He has more or less given up on eating out. Anna Hill, who is also excited to find out she is not the only one with an onion allergy, tweets that she wishes more restaurants took this seriously. They are pretty much everywhere, as we mentioned previously. Even so, a restaurant directory for people with allergies, @CanIEatThere tweeted that onions are not one of the 14 allergens which caterers in the UK are legally obliged to highlight. Catering consultants @WhatsInMyDish ask whether they should be added. The problem is, Trisha Snowling said on our Facebook post: "We are a rare breed and so understandably we are, unlike those with peanut allergy for example, not catered for." Trisha has a useful tip for anyone who has found it difficult to eat out - she suggests finding a restaurant that caters specifically for the Jain community. "It is heaven as their religion prohibits the use of any root veg."

Why onions can cause more than tears

Here are some things we've enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:

The white dress that changed wedding history forever - Time

We know why you're always late - Wall Street Journal

How one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco's life - New York Times

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Go Figure: The week in numbers

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

Supergroup GoFigure

Monday: Grammy Awards: Sam Smith wins four prizes

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Earth core GoFigure

Tuesday: Heart of Earth's inner core revealed

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Bull sperm GoFigure

Wednesday: The bull whose semen is worth $3,000

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Second-hand clothes GoFigure

Thursday: Where do your old clothes go?

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Kobane GoFigure

Friday: Kobane: Assessing the devastation

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Find #BBCGoFigure on Twitter and on Facebook

Decoding North Korea's fish and mushroom slogans

Boletus mushroom

North Korea has published 310 new patriotic slogans (see full list below) - so what do they say, what do they mean and what do they tell us about the leadership in Pyongyang, asks Alison Gee?

"Let this socialist country resound with Song of Big Fish Haul and be permeated with the fragrant smell of fish and other seafoods!

"Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialised!

"Make fruits cascade down and their sweet aroma fill the air on the sea of apple trees at the foot of Chol Pass!"

Is there a theme emerging here?

"A lot of this has to do with very practical things to do with the economy, especially food," says James Grayson, emeritus professor of modern Korean studies at Sheffield University.

"It's an indication of the absolutely dire state of the North Korean economy. You have this huge disparity between the select few living in the best parts of Pyongyang, who live very well - there are now examples of international businesses there, coffee shops and designer labels... - whereas other parts of the country are allowed to go to hell in a cart."

North Korea has suffered famine and malnutrition in the recent past and Grayson thinks these food-related slogans are a way of both recognising those problems and offering a solution.

Kim Jong Un (C) visiting a catfish farm, December 2014. Kim Jong-un looking at catfish

Propaganda in the form of slogans, posters, stamps and books has played an important role in the country since the state was founded in 1948 so the appearance of a new batch of exhortations is not surprising.

Start Quote

Let us cover the whole country with fruit and other trees and flowers!”

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"It's typical of most totalitarian states," says Grayson. "Some of this sort of thing you could have seen certainly in China during the Cultural Revolution and after the establishment of the Communist regime - and if you think of the Nazis and Italian fascism it's not an unusual thing... It's the strength and the quantity of the North Korean ones that is unusual."

Rousing slogans are also common when countries reach a defining point in their development - in the 1960s and 1970s when South Korea was beginning to modernise it too came up with catchy phrases.

Grayson remembers one that encouraged people there to "Destroy communism!" He was amused to find a calendar produced in the North with a very similar logo: "Destroy capitalism!"

Apart from increasing food production, the slogans urge North Koreans to defend their way of life and not bow to the influence of foreign enemies, such as Washington and Seoul.

"Should the enemy dare to invade our country, annihilate them to the last man so that none of them will survive to sign the instrument of surrender!

"Let us build our country into the most powerful one in the world, into a people's fairyland, as wished by the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il!

"Let us raise a strong wind of studying the great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!"

So who comes up with these slogans? Probably a committee, says Grayson, "But you can assume that anything that is stressed like this has to have ultimate final approval from the man at the centre. It's quite possible that he said in some passing remark, 'We've got to do something about the food situation,' so somebody dreamed these up."

For the full list of slogans, read on:

Let us all turn out in the general offensive to hasten final victory in the revolutionary spirit of Paektu!

Let us greet the 70th anniversaries of national liberation and Party founding with high political enthusiasm and brilliant labour feats!

Let us glorify the 70th anniversaries of national liberation and Party founding as revolutionary, auspicious events noteworthy in the history of Kim Il Sung's nation and Kim Jong Il's Korea!

The great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are the eternal leaders of our revolution, the sun of Juche and the incarnation of the dignified powerful Paektusan nation.

Let us uphold the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as the eternal leaders of our Party and people and as the sun of Juche!

The great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il will always be with us!

Let us glorify the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun eternally as the supreme sanctuary of Juche, as a grand monument to the immortality of the leaders!

Let us arm ourselves firmly with the revolutionary ideas of the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il!

Long live the great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!

Let us model the whole Party and all society on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!

Let us advance vigorously united firmly with one mind and one will as befit the descendants of Comrade Kim Il Sung and the soldiers and followers of Comrade Kim Jong Il!

Let us cherish the ties of kinship with Comrade Kim Jong Il as our lifeline!

Let us glorify the noble revolutionary careers and undying exploits of the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il for all generations to come!

Let us glorify the achievement of national liberation by Generalissimo Kim Il Sung, hero of national resurrection and legendary hero of the anti-Japanese war, for all eternity!

Long live the great victory in the war against Japan!

Let us glorify the great Generalissimo Kim Jong Il's ideas of and achievements in the Songun revolution down through the generations!

Let us brilliantly inherit and develop the glorious revolutionary traditions of our Party!

Let us accomplish the Korean revolution in the revolutionary spirit of Paektu, the spirit of the blizzards of Paektu!

The lines and policies advanced by the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and their instructions are textbooks for the revolution.

Let us carry out the lifetime instructions of the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il whatever the conditions without an inch of deflection and without a step of compromise!

Let us advance straight along the road of independence, Songun and socialism opened by the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il!

Let us build our country into the most powerful one in the world, into a people's fairyland, as wished by the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il!

Do everything the way the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il did!

Let us step up the building of a prosperous country by applying Kim Jong Il's patriotism!

Let us exalt the brilliance of the great Kim Il Sung's country, General Kim Jong Il's country, following the leadership of Comrade Kim Jong Un!

Let us stoutly continue, following the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, the march that started on Paektu!

The single-hearted unity is the greatest foundation and the most powerful weapon of our revolution.

Let us defend with our very lives the Party Central Committee headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Un!

Let us defend the single-hearted unity of the Party and revolutionary ranks around the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un in a thoroughgoing way and consolidate it rock-solid!

Let all the service personnel and people form rings and rings of fortress around the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un!

Long live the glorious Workers' Party of Korea, which organizes and guides all victories of our people!

Let us strengthen and develop the Workers' Party of Korea for all ages to come into a glorious party of Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il!

Let us set up a new milestone in improving the Party's leadership ability and fighting efficiency in this year, which marks its 70th founding anniversary!

Let us establish the Party's monolithic leadership system more thoroughly across the Party and society!

Let the whole Party share the ideas, breathe the same air and keep pace with the Party Central Committee!

Let us establish across the Party rigorous discipline by which it moves as one under the unified leadership of the Party Central Committee!

Let us defend the prestige of the Party Central Committee in every way possible through the struggle to implement the Party's ideas and champion its policies!

Turn your units and areas into places that adjoin the yard of the office of the Party Central Committee, places where the Party's call, breath and pulse run high!

Keep up with the implementation of the Party's lines and policies as the major line of Party work!

We serve the people!

Let us make the principle of holding the masses dearest run through Party work as a whole!

Let us make the climate of respecting, loving and relying on the people prevail across the Party!

Focus the major effort in Party work on improving the people's standard of living!

Let Party organizations and officials work devotedly for the people to live up to their highest expectations!

Let the whole Party direct its main effort to the work with the people!

Raise all people into ones strong in idea and faith with the affection and the feeling of kinship as befits a motherly party!

Even though one may have 99 per cent of demerits and only one per cent of merit or conscience, boldly trust him and lead him to start with a clean slate!

Regard giving play to the spiritual strength of the masses as the main thing, compulsory path, of Party work!

Let Party officials learn the Party's methods of work with the people and become skilful in remoulding them and giving play to their spiritual strength!

Thoroughly get rid of abuse of authority and bureaucratism!

Regard supply service work as an important link in the whole chain of Party work!

Let Party cells become death-defying corps and pioneers in implementing the Party's policies!

Let us hasten final victory through a revolutionary ideological offensive!

Hold fast to ideological work as the top priority!

Let us raise a strong wind of studying the great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!

Concentrate on education in the greatness of the leaders, Kim Jong Il's patriotism, faith, anti-imperialist and class consciousness, and morality!

Keep the revolutionary faith to the death!

Fight death-defyingly for our country and nation!

Let us bear deep in mind the lessons from the class struggle and its truth!

Let the Party's information officials work as the buglers of the anti-Japanese guerrilla army did!

Make all well-informed of the Party's policies as they are of their own family affairs!

Fire an opening salvo of an ideological campaign and make our fire concentrated, regular and accurate!

Step up the three-revolution red flag movement!

Frustrate the imperialist moves for ideological and cultural infiltration by dint of our revolutionary ideology and culture!

Let the whole Party become information and motivation workers!

Demonstrate the revolutionary mettle as befit members of the Workers' Party of Korea in the today's general offensive true to the pledge taken in front of its flag!

Our Party's new line of simultaneously promoting the two fronts is a permanent strategic line that we must pursue as long as there exists the threat of aggression by the imperialists.

All out for a campaign to implement the Party's line of simultaneously promoting the two fronts!

The People's Army is the pillar and main force of the Songun revolution and a revolutionary armed force of the Workers' Party of Korea.

Let us model the entire army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!

Adorn the 70th anniversaries of national liberation and Party founding with proud successes in consolidating the country's military strength!

Let the People's Army remain the reliable vanguard and solid cornerstone of the Songun revolution holding aloft the red flag of the Workers' Party of Korea as the foremost colours of the revolution!

Become the props and iron shields that support and defend the lineage of Mt. Paektu alone to the death!

Establish the respected Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un's monolithic command system more firmly throughout the army!

Implement to the letter the four-point strategic line and three major tasks for increasing military strength!

Make the entire army the leading force of guards who advance straight ahead with their guns levelled only in the direction indicated by the Party!

Let the People's Army become an army strong in idea and faith, a pioneer in achieving unity and the first guardian of the unity, which is unfailingly loyal to the Party and the leader!

Let the entire army become a unit of genuine comrades-in-arms!

Consolidate in every way the political and military might of Kim Jong Un's powerful revolutionary army by vigorously conducting the movement of winning the titles of O Jung Hup-led 7th Regiment and Guards Unit!

Add brilliance to our revolutionary armed forces' proud tradition of winning all battles!

This year is a year of great significance, in which we will mark the 40th anniversary of the publication of the five-point policy for military training by the great Generalissimo Kim Il Sung and the 25th anniversary of the formulation of the four major principles for military training by the great Generalissimo Kim Jong Il.

Training is also a battle!

Let the entire army bubble with enthusiasm for intensifying training as anti-Japanese guerrillas did on Mt. Paektu!

Glorify this significant year as a milestone in improving the quality of combat and political training!

Let the entire army be prepared as crack shots by raising more fiercely the flames of the movement of becoming accurate riflemen and gunners!

Should the enemy dare to invade our country, annihilate them to the last man so that none of them will survive to sign the instrument of surrender!

Be constantly on the alert without a moment's relaxation!

Establish iron discipline to develop the People's Army into an elite revolutionary force to the hilt!

All officers, become field commanders who are capable of dealing with modern warfare!

Let us develop battalions and companies into ever-victorious, elite combat units and make them soldiers' dear villages and homes that adjoin the yard of the office of the Party Central Committee!

Enrich the life of service personnel by making sustained efforts to develop soy bean farming, fishing and animal husbandry as the main thrusts!

The supply service officers of the People's Army, work with devotion for their soldiers like those of the anti-Japanese guerrilla army!

Give full play to the match-for-a-hundred spirit and fighting efficiency of the People's Army on the major fronts of building a thriving nation!

Serve the country and people!

Aid the people!

Let the wives of officers become dependable assistants to their husbands!

Officers and men of the Korean People's Internal Security Forces, sharpen the sword for defending their leader, system and people!

Let us become iron shields and red warriors who defend our Party, system and people to the death!

Let us establish the climate of attaching importance to military affairs more firmly across society!

The Worker-Peasant Red Guards is a revolutionary armed force of our Party and a reliable wing of the People's Army.

The Worker-Peasant Red Guards and the Young Red Guards, be fully prepared for an all-people resistance by intensifying training in a real-war atmosphere!

Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by the joint operation of the army and people!

Let us achieve final victory on the strength of the great army-people unity and all-people resistance based on the revolutionary soldier spirit!

Always live the way you did as a soldier!

Let us look after the families of those who fell in action, honoured disabled soldiers, war veterans and soldiers' families with sincerity!

Defence industry is the reliable arsenal of the Songun revolution.

Effect a fresh turn in developing defence industry by giving full play to the spirit of Kunja-ri!

Proactively develop and perfect powerful cutting-edge military hardware of our own style!

Step up the efforts to make defence industry Juche-oriented and independent, modern and scientific!

Let the defence industry sector make a positive contribution to building an economic giant and improving the people's standard of living!

Our Party is steadfast in its determination to make our people, who are the best in the world, enjoy all socialist benefits as soon as possible.

Let us tend the precious seeds sown by the great Comrade Kim Jong Ilfor the building of an economic giant and the improvement of the people's living standards, in order to make them bear fruit in reality!

Science and technology is the engine of socialist construction.

Let the science front stand at the forefront to fire a salvo for the triumph of socialism!

Let us build a fairyland for the people by dint of science!

Scientific research is an area of acute confrontation with imperialism!

Go beyond the cutting edge!

Accelerate the industrial revolution in the new century by introducing CNC technology into the production lines and achieving their full automation!

Launch more cutting-edge sci-tech satellites and applications satellites of our style!

Raise the level of modernization and scientification in weather survey and forecast!

There is no border in science, but our scientists and technicians have the socialist motherland of Juche and the great Party.

Scientists and technicians, stand in the vanguard of the struggle to build a thriving country that is developing, civilizing and advancing at a fast pace!

Prove the validity and vitality of the Party's policies in reality by proactively developing cutting-edge science and technology!

Build "gold mountains" and "treasure mountains" with brilliant scientific and technological achievements!

To resolve the food problem of the people and improve their dietary life on a higher level with crop cultivation, animal husbandry and fishing as the main thrusts is the most important task facing our Party at present.

Agriculture is the trench on the first line of the forward echelon of the campaign to defend socialism and the main thrust area for the building of an economic giant!

Let us glorify through generations the new history of "gold plains" created by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il!

Let us make our country overflow with rice by boosting cereals production!

Actively introduce water-saving farming and other scientific farming methods!

Let us work hard to secure water resources as an all-people campaign!

Let us encourage organic farming on an extensive scale!

Establish the food production cycle of crop cultivation and livestock farming, and fruit growing and livestock farming!

Let us beat the world in fruit farming by making it scientific, modern and intensive!

Make fruits cascade down and their sweet aroma fill the air on the sea of apple trees at the foot of Chol Pass!

Grow vegetables extensively in greenhouses!

Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialized!

This year we will mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the sub-workteam management system by the great Comrade Kim Il Sung, which is the advantageous form and method of our style to organize and manage for production.

Demonstrate the advantages of the sub-workteam management system to the full!

Properly apply the field responsibility principle within the sub-workteam management system in order to make it pay off in agricultural production!

Press on with the South Hwanghae Province waterway project in the revolutionary spirit of death-defying implementation and self-reliance!

Let us carry through the great Generalissimos' instructions on "grass for meat"!

Let us expedite the construction of the large-scale livestock farming base in the Sepho area!

Produce larger quantities of meat, eggs and milk holding high the banner of science-based livestock farming!

Create a new history of "gold sea" by emulating the fishing sector of the People's Army!

Let this socialist country resound with Song of Big Fish Haul and be permeated with the fragrant smell of fish and other seafoods!

Modernize fishing vessels and implements and actively introduce advanced fishing methods!

Let the strong wind of fish farming blow across the country!

Conduct on a large scale fish and other seafood farming in rivers, lakes and seas!

Resolutely thwart the sanctions schemes of the imperialists by effecting a great upswing in light industry!

Produce larger quantities of high-quality consumer goods which are favoured by the people and have competitive edge on the world market!

Speed up the work to make foodstuff factories fully automated, germ- and dust-free!

Keep the laughter of the children ring by increasing the production of their foodstuffs!

More stylish school uniforms and quality school things for our dear children!

Give fullest play to the vitality of the movement of producing August 3 consumer goods!

Let the Tanchon area make an active contribution to improving the people's standard of living by boosting up production!

Let us turn all counties into the people's fairyland by applying the spirit of the historic Changsong Joint Conference!

Electricity is the lifeline of the national economy.

Let the whole Party, the entire army and all the people be enlisted to increase the electric-power generation radically!

Complete with credit the construction of the multi-tier power stations on the Chongchon River until the 70th anniversary of Party founding!

Speed up the construction of the Paektusan Songun Youth Power Station, Orangchon Power Station, Ryesonggang Power Station and Wonsan Army-People Power Station!

Raise the efficiency of the generating equipment to the maximum and prevent the loss of power in transmission!

Let us definitely convert the electricity control system of the country into an electricity-saving one!

Develop and make effective use of wind, tidal, geothermal and solar energy!


The height of coal heaps means the increase in electricity generation and the tempo of the building of an economic giant.

Let us support the Party with increased coal production!

Concentrate efforts on the production of coal for electricity generation and supply high-quality coal in larger amounts to the thermal power stations!

Give top priority to the supply of equipment and materials required for coal production!

The metal and chemical industries are twin buttresses of an economic giant.

Kindle fierce flames of production upsurge in Songjin and Chollima steel complexes!

Bring the Juche iron production system to perfection and normalize its production on a high level!

Send larger quantities of high-grade iron ore to metallurgical factories!

Fertilizer means rice and socialism.

Let Hungnam and Namhung produce Juche fertilizer in a larger amount!

Let the large-scale chemical factories make an active contribution to ensuring domestic production of raw materials for light industry and building materials!

Railways are the arteries of the country.

Let the rail transport sector establish rigid discipline as the army does and fully satisfy the demands by the national economy for transport!

Accelerate the work to make the railways heavy-duty, high-speed and IT-based!

Bring to completion the rehabilitation of the northern railways as early as possible!

Let us improve the appearance of the railway stations and the areas adjacent to railways by the concerted efforts of the service personnel and people!

Develop air transport onto a new high!

Build the Wonsan Port into a world-class one!

Develop and manufacture the machines and equipment required for modernization!

Produce and supply major ordered equipment in time and in a qualitative way!

Explore and make rational use of valuable underground resources of the country!

Make foreign trade multilateral and diversified!

Accelerate the development projects of the Wonsan-Mt. Kumgang international tourist zone and economic development parks!


Let us usher in a great golden age of construction by thoroughly applying the Party's Juche-oriented idea on architecture!

Set up in larger numbers monumental structures in which the Juche character, national identity, originality, convenience and formative and artistic beauty form perfect harmony!

Hold fast to the principle of prioritizing convenience, aesthetic beauty and the outlook on the future in designing and building work!

Develop zero-energy, zero-carbon and green architectural technologies and introduce geothermal cooling-and-heating system!

Ensure on the highest level the combination of designing, building work and building materials, the three elements of construction!

Sustain in construction the features unique to one's province and region!

Complete with credit the construction of Mirae Scientists Street and other major projects and thus splendidly adorn the venue of the grand October celebration!

Land administration is a patriotic undertaking of lasting significance for achieving the prosperity of the country and creating the well-being of the people.

Let the whole Party, the entire army and all the people turn out in the war to ameliorate nature, in the campaign to restore the forests of the country!

Vigorously conduct the movement of winning the titles of forest of socialist patriotism and model county in afforestation!

Let us cover the whole country with fruit and other trees and flowers!

Introduce scientific, industrial and intensive methods into the production of tree saplings!

Bring tideland under reclamation on a grand scale so as to widen the land of the country!

Turn all the rivers into those that give benefits to the country, are full of treasures and bring happiness to the people!

Work out scrupulous measures to prevent damages from flooding, severe drought, storm and heavy snowfall!

Hasten the work to build up roads for modern, heavy-duty and high-speed purposes!

Devote pure conscience to road maintenance like the members of the family workteam on Kubong Pass!

Let the cosmos flowers bloom all along the roads and railways!

Let us launch a vigorous society-wide campaign to conserve the environment and nature!

Let us protect and make use of underground, forest and marine resources in order to add glory to our legendary country full of treasures!

Let us develop Pyongyang more splendidly into a majestic and picturesque world-class city, as the centre of Songun culture!

Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by modelling it on Pyongyang, capital of the revolution!

Keep streets, villages, mountains and rivers as neat and tidy as one's own courtyard!

Plant a large number of flowering and cover plants so that no land is left bare!

Improving economic management is an urgent requirement for building an economic giant.

Let us establish an economic management method of our style as demanded by the developing reality!

Ensure that producers fully discharge their responsibility and role as masters of production in economic management!

Ensure maximum profit in economic activities while firmly adhering to socialist principles!

Conduct production and management in conformity to the objective economic laws and as required by modern science and technology!

Let us strengthen the Cabinet responsibility system, Cabinet-centred system in the economic work!

Work out a rational and effective strategy for business operation and enterprise management based on the national strategy for economic development!

Hold fast to the principles of scientific accuracy, viability and enlisting in planning work!

Radically improve the quality of products and enhance their competitive edge!

Self-reliance is the only way to survive!

Put production on a normal footing and speed up the advance of socialism, holding aloft the banner of self-reliance!

Let us realize modernization, relying on our own strength and technology!

Get rid of the proclivity to imports and ensure domestic production of raw and other materials and equipment!

Establish exacting order of regular operation, regular repair and regular maintenance at all units!

Be in charge of your workplaces and villages, split into square metres, and take good care of them with the attitude as befitting masters!

Economy means increased production and patriotism.

Economize on every watt of electricity, every drop of fuel oil and water, and every gramme of coal and cement to the maximum!

It is a firm will of our Party to create at the fastest speed the highest level of civilization, which would be envied by the world.

Let us bring about a revolution in education in the new century to develop ours into a country of education, a talented nation!

Decisively improve the quality of the universal 12-year compulsory education!

Develop the contents of education into practicable, comprehensive and modern ones!

Closely combine theoretical education with practical education for students to learn useful knowledge!

Let us vigorously push forward educational work, viewing it as one of the important national affairs involving the entire Party, the whole country and all the people!

Let us closely combine family education with social and school education and bring up the coming generations to be honest and sound!

Let teachers become roots and foundations for the future of the motherland!

Let us make all the people well versed in science and technology, and develop our country into a scientific and technological power, a talented nation!

Speed up making the working class well versed in science and technology with the rooms for disseminating sci-tech knowledge as bases!

Physical culture and sports are important in demonstrating the national strength and preparing all the people for labour and national defence.

Let us raise the status of our country to that of a sports power at an earliest date possible!

Let us fiercely raise the sports wind across the country!

The height of a medal-awarding podium represents the prestige of the motherland!

Glorify the honour of Songun Korea before the eyes of the world by winning more gold medals!

Play sports games in an offensive way, the way the anti-Japanese guerrillas did!

Let us make sports mass-based and part of our everyday life!

Encourage folk games and sports events participated by the masses and develop physical training for national defence!

Journalists and other media persons, and creators and artistes!

Bring about a fresh revolution in mass media!

Let mass media become a travelling companion dear to the masses and a pathfinder of the times!

Make larger numbers of ideological "missiles" capable of severely damaging the enemy and instilling firm confidence in victory among our service personnel and people!

Let us support the Songun-based leadership of the Party by creating large numbers of masterpieces!

Learn from the revolutionary and militant manner of creating works developed by the Moranbong Band to bring about innovations in creative activities!

Create excellent works of art and literature that portray the revolutionary careers and immortal exploits of the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu!

Kindle the flames of a fresh revolution in cinema, starting from the production of animations!

Make the advancing ranks brim over with enthusiasm and optimism by producing large numbers of songs that champion the Party's policies and enlivening folk songs!

Let us turn the whole country into a land of the arts and make the arts mass-based!

Make every workplace overflow with revolutionary and fighting morale by actively conducting mass-based cultural and artistic activities!

Devotion is the attribute and lifeblood of the socialist public health service.

Show people utmost devotion the way the medical workers in the Chollima era did!

Improve the hygiene and anti-epidemic work and preventive and curative medical care so as to give fullest play to the advantages of the socialist public health system!

Bring to perfection telemedicine and the medical information network!

Boost the production of highly-efficacious medicines conducive to promoting the people's health!

Let us make the whole society pulsate with national sentiments and noble and beautiful lifestyle!

Let us establish cultured ways in production and life on a high level!

Let us conserve the excellent cultural heritage of our nation and inherit and develop them!

The people's government is a powerful political weapon in building a thriving nation and is responsible for the people's livelihoods.

Let us further develop the most advantageous people-centred socialist system of our own style!

Let us consolidate our people's power to make it rock-solid!

Let us give full play to the advantages and might of socialism so as to make socialism as different in all respects from capitalism as heaven is from earth!

Let the people-oriented policies and favours of the Party and the state reach the people as they are!

Steadily improve the people's living standards so as to make the cheering for the Workers' Party and socialism resound!

Let us make the laudable traits of taking care of orphaned children, the elderly with no one to support them and people with disabilities a tradition of the country that has become one large family!

Let us create a thoroughgoing revolutionary atmosphere of law observance throughout society by strengthening obedience to the socialist law!

Let us all observe the country's law and order voluntarily with a noble sense of civic duty!

Let judicial and prosecutorial organs fulfil their sacred mission and duty of defending the leader, the policies, the system and the people!

Intensify education in law observance and law-based struggle to reliably guarantee the building of a thriving nation by law!

Let the officials in the law-enforcement organs become fierce tigers for the unsound and hostile elements and faithful and true servants for the people!

Build up the single-hearted unity of the revolutionary ranks by enforcing law properly as required by the Party's policies!

Wage the class struggle dynamically by relying on the masses!

Establish revolutionary discipline and order and keep the Party, state and military secrets strictly!

When young people are astir, the whole country becomes astir and a revolutionary upsurge is brought about on all fronts of building a thriving socialist country.

Let us become young heroes in the worthwhile struggle to glorify the great Kim Jong Un's era!

Young people, be vanguard fighters who are unfailingly faithful to the Party's revolutionary cause of Songun!

Always advance straight ahead, following the Party!

Give fullest scope to the heroic spirit and mettle as befit reliable point-men and wing of the Party in the struggle to carry out the revolutionary cause of Songun!

Towards the trench on the first line of the Songun revolution singing loudly the song Train Bound for the Front!

Become today's Ri Su Boks and Jo Kun Sils, who are ready to lay down their youth and lives for the sake of their only motherland!

Go through fire and water in response to the Party's call!

Add brilliance to your youth like your fathers and mothers did!

Build up the youth league into steely combat ranks strong in the sense of organization, unity and fighting efficiency!

Enhance the fighting efficiency of the working people's organizations and give fullest play to the patriotic zeal of their members!

Launch brisk mass-based movements and make the flames of socialist emulation drive sweep the whole country!

The general onward march of the new century of the Juche era demands revolutionary and militant fighting spirit and working style with which to make a leap forward while looking out over the world.

Let us create a new spirit of the times, the speed of Korea, by means of our Party's revolutionary mode, fighting style and creative way!

Korea does what it is determined to do!

All at once!

Carry out the tasks given by the Party within the time it has set and on the level it requires!

Let us learn from the fighting spirit, the spirit of carrying out the Party's lines and policies to the death, and the meticulous working style of the Korean People's Army Unit 267!

Let the units visited by the great leaders be exemplary and standard ones in implementing the Party's policies!

Let Pyongyang lead the country in all aspects by creating today's Pyongyang spirit, Pyongyang speed!

Let us create prototype units in all sectors and effect joint innovations!

Get rid of stereotypes and formulae and create new things constantly!

Cover hundreds of kilometres at a stretch when others are taking tenth or one hundredth step!

Keep your feet firmly planted on this land and look out over the world!

Let us hold dear and add brilliance to our own things!

Carry out the Party's policies as exactly in all aspects as the Chonji Lubricating Oil Factory did!

The more books we read, the earlier the country prospers; the less books we read, the later the country prospers.

Let us establish the guerrilla's way of studying throughout society!

Overcome thoroughly the manner of working like extinguishing fire after it has broken out, like a flash in the pan and like conducting a shock campaign!

As long as we are with the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, sorrow and hardship as well as joy are an honour for us!

Let us live not merely for today but for tomorrow!

Acquire a noble outlook on the revolution and the future that one year of our hard work means ten years of advance for our motherland!

Let us make the whole country resound louder with the song We Are the Happiest in the World.

Forward towards a bright future, filled with confidence in sure victory and optimism!

The destiny of the Party's policies rests on the officials' shoulders.

Be standard-bearers and vanguard fighters in today's general offensive!

Be ardent supporters of the Party's policies and thoroughgoing fighters who implement them in a do-or-die spirit!

Let us live and work like the officials in the 1970s, the period of laying the Party's foundation for carrying forward the cause of Juche!

Organize and guide undertakings dynamically like the commanding officers of the revolutionary army on the frontline!

Intensify on-site guidance and political work!

Planning, command and review, all in a three-dimensional way and at lightning speed!

Make tireless efforts with an extraordinary determination to resolve the problems of the people's living at any cost!

Do everything in an innovative and scientific way!

Read the minds of producers first before measuring the quantity of their products!

Supply service work is immediately the struggle to defend socialism!

Sweep away defeatism, self-preservation, expediency and self-centeredness!

It is a long-cherished desire of all the fellow countrymen and urgent task of the nation to put an end to the tragedy of national division that has lasted 70 years.

Let us build a dignified and prosperous reunified country on this land without fail true to the lifetime wishes of the great Comrades Kim Il Sungand Kim Jong Il.

Let us hold high the three charters for national reunification and the north-south declarations as charters and great programmes for national reunification common to the nation!

Let the whole nation join efforts to open up a broad avenue to independent reunification in this year which marks the 70th anniversary of national liberation!

Let us put an end to interference by outside forces and achieve national reunification independently under the unfurled banner of By Our Nation Itself!

Let us bring about a great turn in the inter-Korean relations in this year that marks the 15th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration!

Let the whole nation turn out and write a new chapter in the history of inter-Korean relations in hearty response to the peerlessly great man's patriotic call!

Let us determinedly thwart the military provocations and schemes of war games by the US and south Korean warmongers!

Let us rise up in the nationwide struggle to drive the US imperialist aggressive forces, the root cause of national misfortune and war, out of south Korea!

Let us resolutely frustrate the anti-DPRK "human rights" schemes by the US and its vassal forces!

Let us hold fast to the principles of our foreign policy-independence, peace and friendship!

Let us maintain the revolutionary principles and independent stand with all consistency in foreign relations!

Let us develop foreign relations in a multilateral and proactive way, giving top priority to the dignity and interests of the country!

Let us develop friendly and cooperative relations with all countries that respect the sovereignty of our nation and are friendly to us!

All Party members, officers and men of the People's Army and people!

An opening salvo of the general offensive for the 70th anniversaries of national liberation and Party founding has been fired.

The revolutionary spirit of Paektu, the spirit of the blizzards of Paektu and the anti-Japanese revolutionary forerunners' call to keep the revolutionary faith even if one may die, stir up further the confidence in sure victory and fighting spirit of our service personnel and people, who are charging forward along the road of Juche against all odds, and inspire loyalty and passion in the advancing ranks.

No force can check this sweeping advance of the service personnel and people, who are marching in fine array arm-in-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder, following the leadership of the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, a great man of Paektu.

The flags bearing the beaming images of the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il will fly forever in the van of our revolutionary ranks that achieve only victory and glory, and always inspire us to fresh victories.

All forward towards the venue of victory celebration!

Long live the great victory in the anti-Japanese war and the 70th anniversary of national liberation!

Long live the 70th anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea!

Click here to read them again in Korean.

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Caption Challenge: Pretending to be snow leopard

Man in snow leopard outfit

Winning entries in the Caption Challenge.

The competition is now closed.

This week a zoo employee dresses up as a snow leopard during an escape drill.

Thanks to all who entered. The prize of a small amount of kudos to the following:

6. Mark Coates:

The ref wasn't interested in Snowy the Snow Leopard's attempt to get Geoff the Giraffe sent off.

5. Chris O'Brien:

"I just need to lie here until it snows, become totally invisible, and sneak away."

4. Diamond Lil:

Beast of Bodmin Moor fails to live up to the hype.

3. SkarloeyLine:

The Great Escape: The Director's Cut featured a number of controversial deleted scenes.

2. Adrian Bayling:

Jez had lost touch with the rest of the stag party, but hoped to slip back into South Korea without attracting attention.

1. Anu Ralhan:

Julian Assange's exit from the Ecuadorean embassy was not the success he had hoped for.

PDF download Full rules can be seen here[16KB]

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Who, what, why: How do airbags protect against avalanches?

An airbag in action

A party of about a dozen skiers in the Italian Alps deployed airbags after being caught in an avalanche. Some of them may have survived as a result - but how do they work, asks Tom de Castella.

The group of friends were off piste near the resort of Argentera when the avalanche struck. They were all wearing backpacks with an avalanche airbag. Two local guides were among the group.

One of them, Graeme Porteous, from Wimbledon, was hurled into a tree and died soon after alpine rescue workers arrived. But the others survived.

The answer

  • The airbags are inflated by pulling cord in a backpack
  • They help skiers rise to the top of the snow brought down in an avalanche
  • But some are sceptical, suggesting they encourage risktaking

All the skiers managed to deploy their airbags, says Arnaldo Giavelli, the mayor of Argentera and also a ski instructor, who was quickly at the scene. None of them were buried by the avalanche, which might have been as a result of the airbags.

However, it was not a big avalanche, Giavelli says - Porteous was unlucky to be thrown into a tree. So it is hard to say for sure whether the airbags saved the survivors.

Research by avalanche expert Pascal Haegeli suggests they do save lives. The risk of burial under the snow was 47% with no or non-inflated airbag and 20% with an inflated airbag. A deployed airbag cut the risk of mortality from 22% to 11% in such cases.

The risk of avalanches is far greater off piste than on groomed slopes. Nigel Shepherd, chief mountain adviser for the Ski Club of Great Britain, says it's a "no-brainer" for off-piste skiers to use an airbag. The biggest problem is having time to deploy it. "Very often it's the last thing you think of when it hits you. And then it's too late - you can't get your hand up to pull the handle."

The airbag does not make the user float. It works according to particle physics, says Michael Vollmer, a product manager at Mammut, one of the manufacturers. It's like the Cornflakes packet where the big pieces rise up to the top. "It increases the wearer's volume. You become a bigger particle in this moving mass of particles."

It might stop you being buried under the snow - asphyxiation is the biggest cause of death in avalanches, according to Haegeli. But an airbag does not help with collisions against trees or if someone is thrown into a crevasse.

There are a number of different types and makes of the airbags. ABS systems have two bags - one packed into either side of the backpack. BCA Float systems have one large bag in the top of the backpack. Unlike car airbags which are triggered automatically, avalanche bags are typically triggered manually with a cord pull.

Former British alpine ski racer Konrad Bartelski is sceptical. "All these new bits of equipment that appear to make things safer reduce the fear factor. And being scared and respecting the mountain is the best way to be safe." If going off piste he recommends taking a guide and using a transceiver - a beacon which allows rescuers to find the wearer if they are buried. He fears airbags may lead to complacency and more risk taking.

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How do US cities get rid of snow?


The snowploughs are out in force in Boston, where 1.5m (61ins) has fallen in a month, but Mayor Martin Walsh says the city is running out of space in which to dump it. How do other snowy cities get rid of it?

The most common solution is dumping it where it can melt away. Last week, Chicago endured 48cm (19ins) of snow. As it piled up along roads, some of it was hauled away to 500 sites around the city - car parks and other empty spaces.

In Minneapolis, they haul snow into one large empty publicly owned space, according to Mike Kennedy of Minneapolis Public Works. But taking snow away with trucks is expensive and slow, he says. In nearby St Paul in 2011, city workers hauled and stacked so much snow into one empty spot it became known as "Mount Midway", which didn't melt until May.

Boston has similar sites they call "snow farms", but those are filling up and the city is considering an extraordinary measure - using the ocean. After two back-to-back massive storms in 2010, Baltimore ploughed snow right into the city's Inner Harbor. While this may seem like a no-brainer for cities near water, the practice is frowned upon for environmental reasons.

It means dumping salt, vehicle fluids and debris into the sea, so a city has to first notify its state government. But Boston Mayor Martin Walsh says it would be justified. "We're not at a public safety concern yet, but we will be if we keep getting snow like this," he told the Boston Globe.

An alternative is to use snow melters, large generator-powered machines that use hot water to melt 30-150 tonnes an hour. The melted water is often poured into nearby storm drains - preventing it from refreezing. But one machine costs more than $200,000 (£131,000) and uses about 60 gallons of diesel fuel an hour - so they are best used as a last resort if dumping space is hard to find.

Reporting by Taylor Brown

A tractor at work in Boston
Snow ploughs work during a blizzard to clear the streets in the Back Bay neighbourhood in the early morning on Boston, Massachusetts 27 January 2015

Go Figure: The week in numbers

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

Patriots players celebrate winning the Super Bowl

Monday: Super Bowl: Patriots beat the Seahawks in dramatic finale

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Tuesday: MPs say yes to three-person babies

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Giant guinea pig

Wednesday: Biggest rodent 'fought with teeth' like tusks

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US female soccer player Alex Morgan

Thursday: How long would it take you to earn a top footballer’s salary?

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Night sky full of stars

Friday: Planck telescope puts new datestamp on first stars

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Find #BBCGoFigure on Twitter and on Facebook

10 things we didn't know last week

Cat in a cardboard box

1. Saying "ow" makes immersion in very cold water less painful.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

2. A 51-year-old software engineer named Bryan Henderson has edited Wikipedia 47,000 times to remove the ungrammatical term "comprised of".

Find out more (Backchannel)

3. The Archbishop of Canterbury is allergic to garlic.

Find out more (The Times)

4. Cats are significantly less stressed when they have a cardboard box to hide in.

Find out more (Wired)

5. Some 15,152 types of life forms have been identified on the New York subway.

Find out more (Time)

6. A baby is born on its predicted due date just 4% of the time.

Find out more

7. It costs £3.20 ($5) to commission a spear from a Ugandan blacksmith.

Find out more

8. The world's largest crane ship is named after a Nazi war criminal.

Find out more (Financial Times)

9. Chinese internet users are banned from posting messages using the names of famous people.

Find out more

10. Dutch and Scottish chimps have different grunts to signify the word "apple", and the former can pick up the latter's accent.

Find out more

Seen a thing? Tell the Magazine on Twitter using the hashtag #thingIdidntknowlastweek

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Weekendish: The best of the week's reads

Villagers crowding round the dead crocodile

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

The story of a man who killed a crocodile who ate his wife should be made into a feature film, according to readers @Kirioth and Jason Winter. But getting the story proved tricky, as our writer Jason Caffrey explains: "Writing Mubarak Batambuze's story proved to be more challenging than I had imagined. Through a translator, he told us how he had hunted down the crocodile that snatched his pregnant wife. But there were questions he could not answer - what had happened to the crocodile, and had any remains been found inside it? To find out, I made dozens of calls to Uganda, being passed from person to person before I managed to speak to the key players - the ranger who had taken the dead crocodile to Makarere University for a post-mortem, and the vet who had found what he believed to be a human bone inside the animal's stomach. With that information, I was ready to publish the story - but first I had a duty to tell Mubarak what I had discovered. It was an emotional moment, but he was very grateful for the call because nobody else had updated him. It was an extraordinary story that attracted enormous attention from our audience."

Facing the crocodile that 'ate my wife'

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Artichoke on legs
Pangolin carrying baby pangolin

The world's most trafficked mammal isn't the elephant or the rhinoceros. It's a scaly creature called the pangolin. Readers weren't convinced by this - Jay Todd, David Victor Furman, Kinley Zimba Tshering all asked on Facebook if, in fact, humans were the most trafficked mammals. But pangolins, unlike humans, may be wiped out because their meat is a delicacy and their scales are seen as medicinal. Food columnist Bruce Palling sums up the story, saying that "poor pangolins face extinction because deluded fools in the East think it puts lead in their pencil and cures cancer". Many readers hadn't heard of the pangolin - like Stuart Vernon, who is particularly taken by the fact that it has no teeth so it stores stones in its belly to grind food. But it was already familiar to people like Lando Sanchez who isn't alone in comparing it to the Pokemon character Sandshrew.

The world's most-trafficked mammal - and the scaliest

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Good company?
Jamsetji Tata

If you want a lesson in how a business could and should be run, look to India, urges one tweeter Neil Goodrich. He's impressed by Tata's policy of looking after their workers and planning for the long term. The firm introduced pensions in 1877, the eight-hour day in 1912 and maternity benefits in 1921. Now it's one of the world's biggest companies. Fund manager Sandeep Jaitly is sceptical that the company has kept up this outlook. He thinks founder Jamsetji Tata wouldn't recognise it today, he tweets. The article tells the story of Tata, who was once refused entry to a hotel because of the colour of his skin. Legend has it that he was so incensed he decided to build his own hotel.

The men of steel with a softer side

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Awful toll
A child on a swing

Two stories that shook readers this week concerned the scale of child abuse within families and the people working to stop paedophiles before they offend. The NSPCC estimates one in 20 children are victims of sexual abuse. That, as Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes tweets, makes shocking reading. Psychologist Katharine Barnard says these are deeply disturbing figures and asks when are we going to do better. But Geoengineering researcher Andrew Lockley isn't convinced by the stat, saying "that would require an extraordinarily broad definition of abuse". Work to prevent paedophiles offending in the first place presents a dilemma, tweets Andrew Field, who asks: What do we collectively do? One of the groups that try to stop abusers reoffending does it by offering support to people coming out of prison. Circles is one of a few organisations that tries to protect children by working directly with paedophiles. There's also a helpline called Stop It Now! In the Netherlands they even have a TV ad. That's something Psychotherapist Linda Dubrow Marshall welcomes. She thinks you can't stop what you don't discuss.

The scale of abuse

Can you stop a paedophile before they even start?

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Sweden's Schindler
Raoul Wallenberg Wallenberg confronted the Nazis in person rescuing hundreds of Jews at a time

Olympic bobsledder Nicholas Frankl has good reason to tweet the story of Raoul Wallenberg - the Swedish diplomat saved his family members. Frankl's dad was six years old when Wallenberg disappeared. In January 1945 Soviet troops arrested him and he was never seen in public again. It's not clear why the Soviets arrested Wallenberg. Some say he could have been seen as a spy for the Americans, while others report seeing him after the Russians claimed he had died in a Moscow prison. But in the years before his arrest he saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews. One of the ways he managed to do this was by giving Jews Swedish passports. This caught Pilar Abella's interest. She says in a reply to Frankl's tweet that her grandfather was the Spanish ambassador in Brussels and he saved many about to be deported by giving them fake passports too.

The Swedish Schindler who disappeared

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Gonne's tragedy
Maud Gonne

Maud Gonne was so desperate to reincarnate her son, who died at the age of two, that she had sex in his tomb. This is "properly weird by any standard", tweets legal researcher Conor James McKinney. Gonne was a vocal figure in Irish politics and civil rights. But what interests energy commentator Robert Connors is the "bizarre" events linking WB Yeats, Ezra Pound, Sean MacBride and Django Reinhardt. The poet WB Yeats wrote about her in some of his most famous poems. He also wrote a poem clearly inspired by her dead son, which was published for the first time in our Magazine article.

Ireland's heroine who had sex in her baby's tomb

Here are some things we've enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:

What happened when I confronted my cruellest troll - The Guardian

A germaphobe's guide to buying a metrocard - Next City

The mysterious, murky story behind soy-sauce packets - Atlantic

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Caption Challenge: Attending to Yoda


Winning entries in the Caption Challenge.

The Caption Challenge is now closed.

There is still no prize, except the traditional small quantity of kudos.

This week somebody attends to Yoda with some kind of brush.

Thanks to all who entered. The prize of a small amount of kudos to the following:

6. Andrew Cumpsty:

Ewok hair is so hard to remove.

5. Vanessa Cleland:

"What category do I file Yoda under? It's coming up no barcode."

4. Mark Shotter:


3. Dave Gleeson:

"The Empire Strikes Back... and Shoulders."

2. Martin Wallace:

He tried not to let it bother him, but he preferred it when the Wookie brushed him.

1. Jeff O'Boyle:

Orville the Duck was ready to silence the critics who said that he was too old to make a comeback.

PDF download Full rules can be seen here[16KB]

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What is a defensive weapon?

Hedgehog curled up

President Obama is being urged to supply Ukraine with "defensive lethal assistance", which sounds almost like a contradiction in terms. James Morgan asks what people mean by "defensive" weapons - and finds out it's what a hedgehog has.

It's widely believed in the US, and in other Nato countries, that Russia is not only arming the rebels but sending soldiers to fight alongside them, so the pressure is increasing on the White House to ramp up military supplies to the Ukrainian government to help it resist a new offensive.

Currently the US only provides non-lethal equipment, such as gas masks, night-vision goggles and radar. How much further can it go without escalating the conflict or being seen as an aggressor?

A report by three US think-tanks this week calls for more non-lethal aid - such as drones, secure communications equipment and armoured Humvees - but also "defensive" lethal assistance, specifically anti-tank missiles.

"Ukrainian light anti-armour capabilities are severely lacking at a time when the Russians have moved large numbers of tanks and armoured personnel carriers into the Donbass," the report says.

But can a missile really be "defensive"?

Start Quote

If you're looking for a metaphor, think about a hedgehog - its spikes are prickly but ultimately they are only useful in defence”

End Quote Paul Scharre Center for New American Security

"Any weapon is defensive if you're using it to defend yourself or your country," says Colin Clark, editor of Breaking Defense magazine. "And since Putin is the aggressor here, if we supply weapons to those fighting against him they are, by definition, defensive."

But equally, if President Putin supplies the rebels with arms "he might simply say he is 'defending' the rights of Russians," Clark adds.

Looking at it this way, it would seem almost any weapon could qualify as "defensive" - rendering the term meaningless.

In practice, however, "there are distinctions" says Clark. In Ukraine, for instance, the US is unlikely to supply any arms which might "turn the tide of war" and allow Ukrainian troops to advance or invade opposition territory.

Fighter jets, heavy artillery and ground troops would all fall into this category. But anti-tank missiles - such as the Javelin missile requested by Ukrainian military - "would not be much use if you wanted to attack someone" says Clark. "They can blow holes in armour but they're not going to cause huge explosions and kill lots of people."

Paul Scharre, a former Pentagon official, now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, points to the defensive use of precision anti-tank missiles against Israeli artillery in 2006. "They couldn't stop Israel, but they slowed them down - at a cost to their military. It helped Hezbollah defend their territory," he says.

Humvees in Saudi Arabia 1990 US marine Humvees in Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield in 1990

Light armoured vehicles, are also defensive, he suggests, even if they carry guns.

"They might allow IS to take empty swathes of desert, but they couldn't be used to attack any sophisticated military," he says.

"If you're looking for a metaphor - think about a hedgehog. Its spikes are prickly but ultimately they are only useful in defence. So how can the US make Ukraine more hedgehog-like? More spiky and harder to attack?"

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How does Google's Autocomplete censor predictions?

Google search Google's predictions for 'how can I join' before and after being contacted by the BBC

People in the UK and US were being offered "isis" as one of the top suggestions when typing in the words "how can I join". Google does censor some search suggestions, so why was this one allowed through, asks Justin Parkinson.

As of 0900 GMT on Thursday if you entered "how can I join" into Google in the UK, the search engine, using its Autocomplete predictor, offered several suggestions. First was "the police", second "the illuminati" and third "a union".

The fourth suggestion was "isis".

Also known as Islamic State, IS or Isil, the jihadist organisation, which controls large areas of Iraq and Syria, has reportedly recruited more than 1,000 people from the UK to fight for it.

But Google, alerted to the Autocomplete options by the BBC, had by 1030 GMT removed "isis" as one of the suggestions.

Danny Sullivan, founding editor of the specialist news website Search Engine Land, says Isis was also offered as a choice by Autocomplete when "how can I join" is typed into Google in California. When he tried it, it came second, after "the illuminati" and ahead of Disney's "Club 33" and "kkk" (Ku Klux Klan).

Isis is known as a highly effective user of social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, with which it spreads its messages and disseminates pictures and videos, encouraging its followers to do the same. The group and its supporters have also reportedly used video games, leaflets and videos to recruit.

The answer

  • Algorithms for Autocomplete predictions are based on a number of factors including popularity of search terms
  • Google does remove queries relating to "pornography, violence, hate speech, and copyright infringement" when alerted

Google says Autocomplete's algorithm-based suggestions are based on "a number of factors, including the popularity of search terms". It looks for "200 unique signals or 'clues' that make it possible to guess what you might really be looking for", including one's geographical region. Relevant search terms individuals have used in the past can influence the choices offered.

Google has previously removed certain words from Autocomplete suggestions, including swearing and some sexual language, on grounds of taste or legality.

"We periodically update our systems to improve Search, so the terms that appear in Autocomplete may change over time," a spokesman says. "We exclude only a narrow set of search queries such as those related to pornography, violence, hate speech, and copyright infringement."

Last month, the UK and US pledged to work jointly to prevent the spread of extremist ideologies.

"It may be that people are simply typing it into Google for research purposes, to find out about Isis, rather than simply wanting to join it themselves," says Sullivan. "But the reason we're seeing Isis on Autocomplete is the number of people typing in 'How can I join Isis'."

Any would-be jihadists won't learn much that is useful. The search brings back mostly mainstream media articles about IS and its recruitment methods.

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What do you do when you've forgotten someone's name?

Man with Post-it note on his forehead, with question mark on it.

The shadow chancellor Ed Balls has attracted much comment for forgetting what someone was called. But what's the best way to remember names - and how do you get out of a tight spot when you've forgotten them again, asks Ben Milne.

"Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language." So wrote Dale Carnegie, author of How To Win Friends And Influence People. All the more galling then, when people forget our names - or we forget theirs.

There's even evidence that there's something uniquely forgettable about other people's names. A 1986 psychology study suggested that when we meet someone, it's one of the least memorable facts about them (lagging behind what we recall about their job, their hobbies and even their home town).

And there remains the brutal fact that many people are actually not that interested in finding out the other person's name. Psychologist Richard Harris from Kansas State University has written that our ability to remember names is closely related to our levels of interest in others: "Some people, perhaps those who are more socially aware, are just more interested in people, more interested in relationships."

So how can you remember a name? "What helps me is to repeat people's names back to them, and then say it again later," says etiquette consultant William Hanson. Other tactics include using mnemonics, word association or rhymes (Clare lives on a square; Giles has travelled miles).

So having forgotten that name again, what do we do? Hanson has this suggestion: "The trick at a party is, if we've been talking for a few minutes, is if someone comes over - let's call him Lucas - I would say to the first person, 'I'm so sorry, I've forgotten your name.' They'd then say 'It's John' to which you answer 'Oh, I know it's John, I meant your last name.' It's quite a nice trick. [John] might slightly clock what's going on, but hopefully he'd be too polite to say anything."

But what if you bump into "John" a few weeks later, and you've forgotten his name again? Hanson suggests that after you've said hello, you should try to prompt your memory by asking: "When was the last time we saw each other? What were we doing?" If that doesn't work, there's always the reverse tactic of saying, "Of course you won't remember my name..."

Of course, if you're working in showbusiness, there's always a convenient way around all this, as the late film director Lord Attenborough knew. Renowned for calling everyone he met "luvvie" and "darling", he confessed it wasn't flamboyance but that he was useless at remembering names.

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A slight hijacking of a logo

Kim Sears

Andy Murray's fiancee Kim Sears wore a Parental Advisory: Explicit Content sweatshirt during the Australian Open final. For 30 years this logo and its predecessors have been more than a little hijacked, writes Gareth Rubin.

The logo is now famous from thousands of albums from hip hop, heavy metal and other more iconoclastic musical genres.

The seeds were sown for it in 1985 by the Parents Music Resource Center, co-founded by Tipper Gore, wife of later Vice President Al Gore. Then it was "Explicit Lyrics: Parental Advisory". It has been slightly rejigged a couple of times and the current version - with its stark black and white lettering - is from 1993. It made its way to Britain in the 1990s. But Sears's tongue-in-cheek clothing is indicative of the way the label has become a mark of rebellion.

"It's become a real badge of honour to have that sticker on your CD now," says Dan Stubbs, news editor of music weekly NME. "It came out of this puritanical drive in America against rock and gangsta rap but completely backfired because bands would add in extra swearing just to get the sticker. Kids would want to buy that album because it had the label on and it made your CD seem cool. After all, isn't music partly about annoying your parents?"

In the UK, the scheme is co-ordinated by the music industry body, the BPI, which says that explicit content includes "strong language", "references to violence or sexualised behaviour", "racist, homophobic, misogynistic or other language" or "dangerous or criminal behaviour which could glamorise it".

But Gennaro Castaldo from the BPI admits that the label can undermine its own purpose. "Yes, there is that badge of honour aspect to it," he says. "The impulse behind it is to make parents and consumers aware of the content but it does have a dual effect - after all we've all been teenagers driven by a need to be anti-establishment and anti-parents. That's not going to change."

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The great Kuwaiti cat-meat scandal

A coffee shop in Kuwait, 1918

In 1930s Kuwait, an accusation that a restaurant was serving cat meat might easily have ended badly for the owner. But in one case British diplomats decided it was a matter for the Crown - and rode to the rescue of the unlucky man, writes Matthew Teller.

Perhaps the stew was a bit chewy. Or maybe someone heard mewing at night. Or was it in fact a plot to defame an immigrant restaurant owner and drive him out of business?

Kuwait in 1937 was abuzz with rumour and counter-rumour, as the mayor put it about that Abdul Muttalib bin Mahin had been serving cat meat disguised as mutton. Uproar ensued.

The Town Lieutenant placed Abdul Muttalib under arrest, closing his restaurant and locking him up.

And there he may have languished for some time, but for the fact that Abdul Muttalib wasn't Kuwaiti. He was Pashtun, from the borderlands between what is now Pakistan and Afghanistan - and, as such, he was a British subject. Under a 1925 colonial order, that meant he was not bound by local laws.

At the time of the arrest, Gerald de Gaury, the British agent in Kuwait, was "on a tour of the hinterland" as he put it in a dispatch.

Gerald de Gaury Gerald de Gaury photographed in Saudi Arabia in 1934

But within half an hour of his return the indignant diplomat had sprung Abdul Muttalib from prison and brought him to Britain's diplomatic residence for trial.

Judge and jury in the case would be none other than De Gaury himself.

The evidence presented against Abdul Muttalib was not of the strongest - amounting to the discovery in his house of a "herd of eight fat cats". Nonetheless, the Sheikh himself wrote to De Gaury urging deportation.

Was De Gaury's superior, Trenchard Fowle, perhaps amused by this case?

Round the Bend

A series of tales from the days when Britain ruled India and the Gulf, told with documents newly digitised by the British Library

"Under what section of the Indian penal code the man could be tried is a nice point," Fowle wrote in a memo contained in India Office files recently digitised by the British Library.

"Possibly section 415 (cheating) might apply. Section 273 (noxious food) would hardly be applicable, since cats-meat, though not to everyone's taste, cannot be held to be unfit for food."

But at the appointed time for trial, no witnesses came forward. They could only be produced with the Sheikh's order, the town lieutenant explained - and the Sheikh had departed to go hunting in the desert.

De Gaury dismissed the case and Abdul Muttalib returned to his restaurant.

Such a stark illustration of colonial power split local opinion. De Gaury made a show of visiting Abdul Muttalib's restaurant, publicly snubbing the mayor who had made the initial accusations.

The mood turned in Abdul Muttalib's favour - but the poor man wisely concluded it was time to move on. Within weeks, he had closed down and left the country.

Street scene in Kuwait, shows two men in a doorway, 1918 A street scene in Kuwait dated 1918

So had cat really been passed off as mutton? Fowle felt sure it had not. The mayor, he wrote in his summary of the affair, was himself planning to open a restaurant and had hoped to remove a rival "by spreading the base calumnies already referred to".

The mayor's "confederate in this sinister affair" - the town lieutenant - was "certainly open to suspicion", Fowle added.

"He admitted, for instance, the possession of no less than fourteen cats… With these as 'capital' the mayor and himself could doubtless have started a flourishing business in the restaurant line."

Segment of the document about the 14 cats

Round the Bend is a series of tales from the days when Britain ruled India and the Gulf, told with documents newly digitised by the British Library. You can explore the archive yourself.

British Library curator Louis Allday contributed original research for this article and has written an essay on the Kuwaiti cat meat crisis.

Selected documents:

De Gaury's memo explaining the crisis

Fowle's summation of the case

A selection of Gerald de Gaury's photoscan be seen at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

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