Barometer

Three people to ask about free speech in Britain

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Not Charlie Some cases which make Britain a pretty poor champion of free speech: — In 2005 Bristol pub landlord…

Revealed: five British royals who definitely slept with underage girls

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Teen queens The Duke of York denied allegations in court papers that he had had sexual relations with a girl…

Reasons for Ed Miliband to be cheerful (we had to stretch a bit)

3 January 2015 9:00 am

Election omens Reasons for Ed Miliband to feel confident in 2015: — Only three parliaments since 1945 have run to…

100 years of Pyrex, processed cheese and nudes in movies

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Marking a century Some things which celebrate their 100th birthday in 2015: 3-D films The first was shown at the…

When a cricket ball cost Britain an heir to the throne

6 December 2014 9:00 am

A fatal shot The sad death of Australian batsman Philip Hughes was a reminder that a cricket ball can kill.…

The price of seeing Santa (and what it gets you)

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Dear Santas A £22.50 a head Christmas theme park in Warwickshire designed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen closed temporarily for improvements after…

Actually, Bob, they do know it’s Christmas (we checked)

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Yeah, Bob, they know The answer to the rhetorical question posed by the Band Aid single, ‘Do they know it’s…

Fort Lauderdale’s law against feeding the homeless still isn’t America’s dumbest

15 November 2014 9:00 am

States of criminality A 90-year-old Florida man feeding the homeless was arrested under a Fort Lauderdale law which makes it…

You can still book your flight to Mars

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Space to dream Richard Branson’s dream of commercial space flights has suffered a setback after a prototype craft crashed. But…

Rochester’s special qualities, and the price of Ebola.com

1 November 2014 9:00 am

What’s special about Rochester What is special about Rochester and Strood? — Rochester has the second oldest cathedral and school…

David Cameron’s not the only one in trouble over morris dancing

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Dirty dancing David Cameron was accused of causing racial offence by posing with blacked-up Morris dancers, though it was pointed…

Dealing with trolls the Swedish way

11 October 2014 9:00 am

How to deal with a troll In Scandinavian mythology, trolls were shady creatures who lived below ground and varied in…

Don’t worry Brooks Newmark: paisley was sexy once...

4 October 2014 9:00 am

Paisley power Paisley pyjamas were in the news. While associated with the town in Renfrewshire, whose mills produced the patterns from 1805,…

How does your cannabis grow?

27 September 2014 8:00 am

Pot plants A 65-year-old Devon woman rang a BBC gardening show to enquire about a mystery plant only to be told…

Oscar Pistorius has received a Draconian sentence (yes, really)

20 September 2014 9:00 am

Draconian sentence Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius was cleared of murder but convicted of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter in English law.…

Tories weren't quite sure about the Union 300 years ago, either

13 September 2014 9:00 am

Birth of a nation A reminder of how England and Scotland came to be one country: — Proposals had been…

An undiplomatic history of British diplomatic dinners

6 September 2014 9:00 am

In poor taste US Ambassador Matthew Barzun attracted the ire of chefs for complaining that he had been served lamb…

Six rivals for the name Isis

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Not in their name The BBC decided to start calling the Islamic terror group Isis by the acronym IS instead.…

Who cleans skyscrapers?

23 August 2014 9:00 am

Tough at the top The clocks on Big Ben were cleaned by abseiling window-cleaners. Some other big cleaning/painting jobs: —…

Lord Gowrie, Mark Simmonds: who had more right to complain?

16 August 2014 9:00 am

Ministerial needs Home Office minister Mark Simmonds resigned, complaining he couldn’t afford to live in London on his junior minister’s…

Hold on to your umbrella, Mr Putin: what the Russians lose without British trade

2 August 2014 9:00 am

Off the shelf How do we boycott Putin? Some things we traded with Russia, by value, between March and May…

Which party has the most MPs’ children in Parliament?

26 July 2014 9:00 am

Commons inheritance Emily Benn, granddaughter of Tony and niece of Hilary, has won the right to stand for Labour in…

What Germans are worst at

19 July 2014 9:00 am

What Germans do worst Some things Germans aren’t very good at: — Making reliable car engines. According to a survey by Warranty Direct…

So are public-sector workers really underpaid?

12 July 2014 9:00 am

Public benefit Public sector unions held a strike over pay. How well are public-sector workers paid compared with their counterparts…

The public sector's daftest prizes

5 July 2014 9:00 am

All must have prizes Paul Pugh, the £104,000-a-year chief executive of the Passport Office, was nominated for ‘leader of the…