Listen now 30 mins
First of a new series.
It's been claimed that we are experiencing the greatest wave of extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs. "Every hour," says the Convention on Biological Diversity, "three species disappear. Every day up to 150 species are lost." We explain why it's impossible to know whether those numbers are even remotely accurate.
A listener asks whether it's true that more British tourists die in Thailand than in any other tourist destination. We get the answer (which - for those who're short of time - is "no").
North Korea is in the news thanks to its recent failure to launch a long-range rocket - an embarrassment for its new leader, Kim Jong-un. What was supposed to be a symbol of power has become a symbol of impotence. But a claim has been doing the rounds which is as resonant as any misfiring missile: that North Koreans are much shorter than their South Korean neighbours. It turns out it's true - and for tragic reasons.
Is it really the case that, as one newspaper headline put it, "Blobby Bobbies of Scotland Lard - Three Quarters of male Met Staff are overweight"?
Presenter: Tim Harford
Producer: Richard Knight.
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