Barometer

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…

Who is most likely to be killed by police in the US?

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The Colston chronicles Who, exactly, was Sir Edward Colston? Colston was born into a family of merchants and spent the…

Has Covid-19 evolved to become less deadly?

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Covid deaths Has Covid-19 evolved to become less deadly? — Global infections reached a new peak on 29 May, with…

What is there to see in Barnard Castle?

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Site test What’s on offer in the town of Barnard Castle? — Ruined 12th-century castle perched high above the Tees,…

Which football teams have welcomed the strangest fake crowds?

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Unusual crowd FC Seoul apologised after using sex dolls to try to create some atmosphere as games went ahead behind…

What would a perfectly socially-distanced UK look like?

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Safety first The government was criticised for its new coronavirus slogan, ‘Stay alert’. What are the most common safety slogans…

How many books are in the average home?

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Admitting defeat 8 May is celebrated as VE Day, but it is also a date which marks a significant English…

How many 100th birthday cards does the Queen send?

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Multiplying by hundreds The Queen penned a personal 100th birthday message to Captain Tom Moore, who has raised money for…

Who else has made history at Captain Tom Moore’s age?

25 April 2020 9:00 am

Oldies and goodies Captain Tom Moore, 99, raised more than £26 million by walking 100 laps of the garden of…

How many racing drivers lived as long as Stirling Moss?

18 April 2020 9:00 am

TV quizzes An ITV drama told the story of Major Charles Ingram, who was convicted of cheating in the gameshow…

Is Bernie Ecclestone the world’s oldest father?

11 April 2020 9:00 am

Game on A few things which are still going on, in spite of coronavirus: — Football in Belarus, where the…