Barometer

What are the best pandemic board games?

5 December 2020 9:00 am

Dangerous games Sage scientists advised against playing board games at Christmas. Some games to consider if you are feeling subversive:Pandemic…

Which countries are most sceptical about vaccines?

28 November 2020 9:00 am

Gloss over Should we be worried that the head of research into respiratory drugs at AstraZeneca is called Dr Pangalos,…

What does it mean to be ‘fit as a butcher’s dog’?

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Boris and the butcher’s dog Who first coined the phrase ‘as fit as a butcher’s dog’? It has been traced…

Open and shut case: how did lockdown affect shops?

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Shot in the arm Global stock markets reached a new high after pharmaceutical firm Pfizer announced a vaccine it is…

Who came up with ‘lockdown’?

7 November 2020 9:00 am

The start of lockdown The earliest known use of ‘lockdown’ in its current sense was in a 1973 story in…

Where is there water in the solar system?

31 October 2020 9:00 am

The Moon under water Nasa scientists using spectrometers claim to have found good evidence of water on the surface of…

How many school teachers are male?

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Special Offa A regulation passed by the Welsh government to prevent people travelling from Covid hotspots in England has brought…

Mind the gap: how wide is the North-South divide?

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Red light, green light The three tiers of Covid restrictions have been described as a ‘traffic light’ system. — The…

What happens when a US president dies?

10 October 2020 9:00 am

Vice squad Donald Trump catching Covid-19 has concentrated minds on what happens if a US president dies in office. Normally,…

Who started America’s presidential debates?

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Word for word US presidential debates are often traced back to the first televised debate, between Richard Nixon and John…

Whose bright idea was the circuit-breaker?

26 September 2020 9:00 am

It’s electrifying! Who invented the circuit-breaker? Thomas Edison patented it in 1879, realising what damage could be caused to electrical…

Who will have more informants: the Stasi or Covid marshals?

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Information overload The government’s plan to put ‘Covid wardens’ on the streets to enforce the new rule against more than…

How important is coffee to Britain?

12 September 2020 9:00 am

Lyrical errors ‘Rule, Britannia!’ begins with the lines: ‘When Britain first, at heaven’s command/Arose from out the azure main.’ —…

Who first committed ‘cultural appropriation’?

5 September 2020 9:00 am

Culture clashes The pop star Adele was accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ for adopting a Jamaican hairstyle for the online Notting…

The BBC tradition of trying to remove patriotic songs from Last Night

29 August 2020 9:00 am

About Last Night It was suggested that the BBC might ‘decolonise’ the Last Night of the Proms by removing ‘Rule,…

Why Turkey Twizzlers are back on the menu

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Pink and twisted Bernard Matthews, which stopped making Turkey Twizzlers in 2005 after criticism about unhealthy school dinners from Jamie…

How hot does a ‘heatwave’ have to be?

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Some like it hot Are heatwaves becoming a devalued currency? Last year the Met Office defined a heatwave as three…

How busy have restaurants been this summer?

8 August 2020 9:00 am

The other Argos The Argos catalogue, known as the ‘Book of Dreams’, is no longer to appear in printed form.…

If curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, what does?

1 August 2020 9:00 am

The first nanny state The Prime Minister’s strategy on obesity has been labelled a work of the ‘nanny state’ —…

How many people would refuse a Covid vaccine?

25 July 2020 9:00 am

Worth a shot? How worried should we be about people refusing to have a Covid-19 vaccine if one is developed?…

The bill for a Banksy: how much does graffiti cost railways?

18 July 2020 9:00 am

Take cover The government has said it will make wearing masks compulsory in shops. Mandatory masks rather run against the…

What are online shoppers most likely to snap up?

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Price of protest Greenpeace was fined £80,000 for defying a court order and occupying an oil rig in the North…

Leicester has a history of lockdowns

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Leicester lockdowns Leicester was forced to impose the first local lockdown, in response to a reported surge in cases of…

Which former prime minister earns the most for corporate speeches?

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Voyage into history How did the Labour government respond to the arrival of the Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948?…

Made to measure: where did the metre come from?

20 June 2020 9:00 am

Made to measure The government started reviewing whether we should stay two metres apart while social distancing or whether one…