Barometer

What kills penguins?

24 November 2018

9:00 AM

24 November 2018

9:00 AM

Black Friday

When and where did the term ‘Black Friday’ originate?
— It was used to describe a collapse in financial markets on 24 September 1869, prompted by the revelation of a Wall Street conspiracy to drive up the gold price. But in modern usage it was coined by police in 1950s Philadelphia, who had all leave cancelled following Thanksgiving after an influx of shoppers and American football fans into the city centre.
— In 1961 retailers in the city saw the potential to boost business by adopting the term. Another explanation is that they saw it as the day by which they would have taken sufficient revenue to ensure making a profit for the year — the day when their accounts moved from red to black.

Weighing up Brexit

The CBI welcomed the deal on Brexit. But what do leaders of small businesses think?
— In the 2016 referendum, 45% voted leave and 49% remain.
— If the referendum was repeated, 44% would vote leave and 51% remain.
17% think the Brexit negotiations are currently going well and 56% think they are going badly.
31% think Brexit will be good for their business and 31% think it will be bad, with the rest undecided.
Source: AXA Brexit pulse check

Boris’s bad purchase


The Mayor of London sold three water cannons to a scrap dealer for £11,025 — vehicles bought by Boris Johnson for £320,000 when he was mayor but never approved by the Home Office for use.
— The Police Service of Northern Ireland has six water cannons at its disposal. Such vehicles were first used in 1969 when they were described as ‘mechanised creators of distance between police and protestors’.
— They have been activated in Northern Ireland 74 times in the past ten years.
— A YouGov poll in 2012 claimed 90% of the population would be in favour of water cannons being used elsewhere in the UK.

Penguin survival

A BBC camera crew filming emperor penguins in Antarctica was praised by some and criticised by others for digging a ramp to help the birds escape from a ravine.
— It is estimated that 50% of king penguin chicks die of starvation in their first year, and 90% of emperor penguin chicks.
— As for African penguins, better climatic conditions are a two-edged sword: 40% are believed to be eaten by gulls and ibises before they have even hatched.

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