News Round Up 362

CAN you believe it? Around 40 million unused gadgets are lying around in UK homes.

The BBC reports on a survey by the Royal Society of Chemistry which shows that phones, laptops and digital cameras are among the items piled up.

The online survey was completed by more than 2,000 people and revealed that half of UK households had at least one unused electronic device and 45 per cent of homes had up to five. Most people admitted they had no plans to recycle their collection.

The Society’s Dr Elisabeth Ratcliffe said: “There are about 30 different elements just in a smartphone and many of them are very rare.”

These include the metal indium which is used in a unique compound called indium tin oxide, which is vital for touch screens, because it conducts electricity and is transparent.

“It’s also used in solar panels, so we’re going to need a lot of it in the future. There’s not a lot of it in the Earth and you need a kilo of ore to extract just a few milligrams of indium.”

The BBC said that scientists estimate that indium and tantalum mines, among others, could run out within a century.


Cinema lovers could be in for a treat as a collection of movie posters given to a London Underground electrician are to be auctioned off.

The Guardian newspaper reports that the Surrey auction house Ewbanks is to sell off around 2,000 posters accumulated by the late Anthony Duggan who started going to the cinema up to 200 times a year from the age of 16.

He became such a familiar and well-liked figure among cinema staff that they would put aside posters of outgoing films for him.

Many of the posters are rarities including one promoting Revenge of the Jedi before it was retitled Return of the Jedi.

Duggan’s wife Helen said: “He was a very outgoing and engaging personality and became very well known among cinema managers all around London … so many people adored him and his passion shone through.”


The Independent features an interview with scientist Professor Neil Gemmell who reckons that one theory about the Loch Ness monster is “plausible.”

He led a team of scientists using environmental DNA (eDNA) looked for the tiny remnants left behind by any possible life inside the Scottish loch. That helped them create a full list of everything that lives in the water.

He said: “There have been over a thousand reported sightings of something in Loch Ness which have driven this notion of a monster being in the water. From those sightings there are around four main explanations about what has been seen. Our research essentially discounts most of those theories – however, one theory remains plausible.”

Professor Gemmell, of the University of Otago in New Zealand, will reveal the full findings of the study in September.

VisitScotland said the Nessie phenomenon is worth millions to the Scottish economy, with hundreds of thousands of visitors travelling to LochNess and Drumnadrochit every year to catch a glimpse of the mythical monster.


Reference list

  • The Independent
  • The BBC
  • The Guardian
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