The Spectator

Barometer | 12 November 2011

Another world

Six cosmonauts have completed an experiment in which they were isolated inside a container for 520 days to simulate a voyage to Mars. A similar experiment, the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project between 1995-97 isolated crews for 91 days at a time. These were some of the findings:

— Without natural daylight, the astronauts found themselves gravitating towards days of 28 to 30 hours, of which they would work nearly 20.
— After emerging from the chamber it took hours for astronauts’ eyes to recover vision at distances greater than six metres.
— Many reported having trouble adjusting to the variable noise levels outside the chamber, the noise inside being constant.
— Several reported feelings of mild depression after leaving the chamber.
— Several hung around it for a few days, not wanting to leave.

Beating retreats

A Texan girl with cerebral palsy has released a video of her being beaten with a belt by her father, a judge. It was not clear whether he had broken the law. How do the rules on corporal punishment vary worldwide — in theory at least?

Banned outright 31 countries including Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Venezuela, Kenya, Moldova
Banned in schools and prisons UK, Russia, Switzerland, France, Turkey
Allowed in some schools and prisons USA, Malaysia, Qatar
Allowed in prisons, not schools Iran
Allowed in schools, not prisons Iraq

A word from our sponsors

St Paul’s is inviting wealthy benefactors to sponsor a choirboy for £6,000 a year. The boy will wear a medal bearing your company logo. What else can you sponsor?

£20pa  – longhorn cow in Leicestershire
£36pa  – acre of rainforest in Brazil
£144pa – room for homeless man in UK
£180pa – grandparent in Ethiopia
£410pa – rescued bear in Vietnam

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