Polio is a disease that should be long dead by now. Some readers will be old enough to remember rooms full of ‘iron lungs’ – grotesque life-support machines that did the breathing for children left paralysed by this deadly infection. With their small heads poking out through a tight rubber seal, steam engine-like contraptions sucked … Continue reading
Happy Birthday Mario! The large-nosed plumber, famous as Nintendo video game character who jumps down pipes and collects mushrooms, has just turned just turned thirty*. And he now the iconic video game star has a real reason to jump for joy. Research is increasingly showing us that video games could be good for us, which … Continue reading
Tonight’s meal will be steak with all the trimmings and I can’t wait. Nothing – bar a heard of wildebeest running through the dining room – will stop me from finishing it. For I know it will be delicious and that the meat was expensive. My mother has taught me well: ‘waste not, want not.’ … Continue reading
Parents, there are times when I feel for you. I pity you especially when you are queuing at the supermarket. You have coaxed a seven year old up and down a dozen aisles; successfully negotiated a wonky trolley past other similarly wonky trollies, and then are forced to anxiously wait to part plastic for a … Continue reading
It is 7 a.m. and I am investigating the world’s most popular mind-altering drug. Having scrutinised the latest data, it’s time for a hands-on experiment. The substance in question is a potent white powder called 1.3 7- trimethylxanthine. Its use has reached endemic levels in children – and health care professionals are concerned. You will … Continue reading
Go on and admit it, you have a terrible attention span. But it’s not all your fault. This is the internet after all and everyone knows that the ‘information superhighway’ is a candy store of virtual distractions – endless images, buttons and flashing graphics all competing for your attention. Right now, there’s probably four or … Continue reading
What did you used to spend your pocket money on? I clearly remember the excitement of going to the corner shop and getting as many handfulls of strawberry shoelaces and cola ice-pops that my 50p could buy. Kids these days are far less likely to buy sweet treats: confectionary sales have stangated as a new ‘vogue’ has hit … Continue reading
Will computers become the new form of life on Earth? Yesterday, I read a news article about alien intelligence on the BBC news website ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11041449 ). Astronomer Dr Seth Shostak announced that it was likely that if alien intelligence existed then it was likely it would be ‘artificial’.