News Round Up 336

THE Independent newspaper put the Valentine’s Day spotlight on 95 year olds James and Cecilia Marsh who have been married for 75 years!

The couple, who live at the Abbotsleigh Mews care home in Sidcup, South East London, got married in December 1943 after Cecilia’s youngest brother had introduced them.

Cecilia said the secret to the success of their marriage was communication and the fact they have always “worked together” to tackle the tough times.

“I never thought James and I would still be together after all this time – especially after he was called up to the mines during the war. He had no option, he was going whether we liked it or not.”

They have planted a rose bush in the grounds of the care home to symbolise their diamond anniversary.

 

 

A BBC report outlines research which reveals that the brain function of very late risers and “morning larks” during the hours of the working day is different.

The brains of night owls with a bedtime of 02:30 and a wake time of 10:15, along with early risers were scanned and the tests – performed between 08:00 and 20:00 – found night owls had less connectivity in brain regions linked to maintaining consciousness.

They also had poorer attention, slower reactions and increased sleepiness.

Researchers said it suggested that night owls were disadvantaged by the “constraints” of the typical working day.

Morning larks were least sleepy and had their fastest reaction time in the early morning tests. They were also found to perform significantly better at this time than night owls.

Dr Elise Facer-Childs, of the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Human Brain Health, said the findings “could be partly driven by the fact that night owls tend to be compromised throughout their lives. Night owls during school have to get up earlier, then they go into work and they have to get up earlier, so they’re constantly having to fight against their preferences and their innate rhythms.”

 

 

Going on display at the Museum of London Docklands is a rare 12th-century toilet seat built to accommodate three users at once., says The Guardian.

The seat, made out of a roughly carved plank of oak, still shows the axe marks where its three rough holes were cut.

It once sat behind a mixed commercial and residential tenement building on what is now Ludgate Hill, near St Paul’s Cathedral, on land that in the mid-1100s would have been a small island in the river Fleet.

Archaeologists have even been able to identify the owners of the building, which was known at the time as Helle: a capmaker called John de Flete and his wife, Cassandra.

“So what I love about this is that we know the names of the people whose bottoms probably sat on it,” said Kate Sumnall, the curator of archaeology for the exhibition.

“They would probably have shared the facilities with shopkeepers and potentially other families who lived and worked in the modest tenement block. This is a really rare survival. We don’t have many of these in existence at all.”

 

 

According to The Independent, a rare albino squirrel has been captured by an amateur wildlife photographer on the banks of the Louth Navigation waterway in Lincolnshire.

Stephen Plant, was hoping to snap kingfishers when he saw the rare rodent.

“But when I saw this little fella sat in a tree, I couldn’t believe it. He was going pretty slowly and I thought it was a rat at first but then I saw his bushy tail. I was astonished.”

It is thought that only about 50 albino squirrels live in the UK.

Their unusual colour is caused by an absence of melanin, which gives skin, hair and eyes its pigmentation.

Stephen added: “I was stood about 30 metres away and he wasn’t bothered by me at all. He moved along quite slowly and then at one point froze altogether for a few seconds which allowed me to rattle off some shots.”

Reference list

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)

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I am a director of the Learn English Network. A non-profit organisation registered in the UK dedicated to helping people learning English and people who teach English online.

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