Society The number of voice calls made on mobile phones in the UK fell for the first time in 2017. Over three-quarters of adults currently own a smartphone compared with just 17% 10 years ago. Source: Ofcom.
More than half of 18-34 year olds believe that reality TV and social media platforms have negative effects on their body image, making them the most likely age group to consider having cosmetic surgery. Source: ComRes.
Three-quarters of adults admit that they lie around 48 times each year. When doing so, 55% avoid eye contact, 40% are purposely vague with their responses, and 33% say that they tend to fidget. Other physical signs of lying include dilated pupils, a lack of expression and the mirroring of movement. Source: MTV.
Scottish Water's compliance with standards for drinking water remains high at 99.91%. Last year they were contacted by 9,239 customers who were concerned about the quality of their drinking water – half the number that contacted them in 2012. Source: Scottish Government.
One in 2,000 babies in the UK are born with natal teeth, which are those present above the gum line at birth. Source: British Dental Association.
Dog and cat owners aged 55+ do twice as much exercise as non-owners, feel less lonely, and are more likely to be married and in better paid employment. However, non-owners in the same age group are more likely to have paid off their mortgage. Source: McCarthy & Stone.
A survey led by Chanel found that women of all ages were rated 'sexier' when they wore make-up. While those aged 40 and 50 looked younger made up, 20-years-olds were perceived to look older. Source: British Journal of Psychology.
Economy Apple has become the world’s first public company to be worth $1trillion. Last week its shares reached a record high of $207.39. Source: BBC.
40% of Brits support locally testing a system of basic income instead of Universal Credit. A basic income would be 'a regular, unconditional payment made to every adult and child...not dependent on other earned or unearned income.’ Only 15% of those surveyed opposed the idea. Source: RSA/Populus.
Wizz Air has the poorest punctuality record of the 44 busiest airlines flying to and from the UK. Departures were on average 23 minutes late in 2017. The most punctual airline is Scandinavian Airlines, who operate roughly seven minutes behind schedule. Source: Civil Aviation Authority.
Education The number of instrumental music teachers in Scotland fell by 33% between 2007 and 2016. Source: Educational Institute of Scotland.
700,000 children in the UK are young carers and around half spend at least four hours each day during the school holidays looking after a disabled or ill family member. Source: Carers Trust/ Action for Children.
9% of trans youth have received death threats at school, while 84% have self-harmed and 45% have tried to commit suicide. Source: Stonewall.
Science 2017 was the fifth warmest year in the UK since 1910. Nine of the 10 warmest years ever recorded have occurred since 2002. Source: Met Office.
Air pollution removed by woodlands, plants and grasslands in the UK saved £1bn in health costs in 2015 – an average of £15 per person. Source: Office for National Statistics.
The pleasant scent we smell after a rain shower is called 'petrichor’ and is caused by bacteria forming a molecule called geosmin in soil. Rain and thunderstorms improve air quality by removing and washing away dust, aerosols and other particles that hang in the air. Source: Mississippi University.
Warming in the Arctic is having an effect on the jet stream – giving it a wavy configuration – and could drive future Atlantic hurricanes further west. Instead of moving harmlessly out to sea, the storms would therefore make it to American land. Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Health Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are the most common causes of death for women in Scotland, and were responsible for 11.3% of deaths in 2017. Heart disease remains the most common cause of death for Scottish men. Source: National Records of Scotland.
Sepsis deaths in England’s hospitals have risen by more than a third in two years. Sepsis is a rare complication of an infection which can lead to multiple organ failure if not treated promptly. In the year ending April 2017, 15,722 deaths were recorded in which sepsis was the leading cause. Source: NHS England.
Alcohol handwash, which is commonly used in hospitals to avoid spread of infection, may be ineffective against some strains of bacteria which have built up a tolerance to it. Source: Melbourne University.
People who get their tongue split could suffer haemorrhages, infections and nerve damage. Source: Royal College of Surgeons.
Recreation While in 2008, 83% of Brits owned a DVD player and 69% a desktop PC, in 2018 these figures dropped to 64% and 28% respectively. Source: Ofcom.
Oddities A key to a castle’s banqueting hall has been returned 40 years after it was stolen by an inebriated visitor. It was returned to Lumley Castle in County Durham with a letter of apology from ‘John’ who explained that it had been sitting on a bookcase in his house since the theft. Source: BBC.