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27 April 2013

9:00 AM

27 April 2013

9:00 AM

Dyeing and dying

A teacher in Harrow complained to his MP that he had been banned from marking pupils’ work in red ink in case it upset them. Some origins of ink:

Black Made from burned bones, tar and pitch in India by the 4th century BC. Made from soot in China by the 3rd century BC.

Red Blood was used in medieval England (red ink from blood is said to have been used by poor monasteries; hence its association with debt). Made with brazilwood from the 16th century in Europe.

Blue Made from various vitreous pigments added to black ink in 11th-century Europe.

Purple Made in ancient Tyre, in the 7th century BC, from a secretion of shellfish.

Epidemic of fear

Eight hundred people in the Swansea area contracted measles in a now rare epidemic of a once universal disease. A measles vaccination was first introduced in the UK in 1968 and the MMR vaccine in 1988. Andrew Wakefield’s paper linking measles with autism — wrongly as it turned out — was published in 1998. The scare, in terms of media reports, reached its peak in 2002, when 1,530 newspaper articles were published on the subject. How have measles cases and deaths reacted to those events?

Average annual cases
1949-68     415,00
1969-88     116,00
1989-98     10,600
1999-08     2,970
2002    3,230
Average annual deaths
1949-68    124
1969-88     20
1989-98     2
1999-08     1
2002   1

Deaths include those who died from effects of the disease years after contracting it.

Top floors

A house in Carlton House Terrace, Mayfair, went on the market for £250 million. What are the most expensive properties openly for sale in other British cities?

— Newcastle: £5.95 million (seven-bed house in Darras Hall)
— Manchester: £3.75 million (six-bed penthouse on Deansgate)
— Leeds: £3.75 million (seven-bed house in Scarcroft)
— Edinburgh: £2.9 million (six-bed faux castle, Castle Cogar)
— Birmingham: £2.75 million (eight-bed house in Edgbaston)
— Liverpool: £2.75 million (six-bed house on Woolton Hall Road)
— Cardiff: £2.25 million (six-bed house in Lisvane)
— Glasgow: £1.5 million (five-bed house in Thorntonhall)

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