This England: The Newsreel! January 25.


On This Day: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”.

English author Virginia Woolf, born in London in 1882


Waters reach new highs

Humankind’s effect on the environment is widely studied and reported. But a phenomenon emerged this week that perhaps not even David Attenborough could have predicted. Apparently eels in the Thames are becoming hyperactive because of high levels of cocaine in the city’s waste water.

Even more intriguing was that a monitoring station, set up near the Houses of Parliament no less, found that there was a constant low level of cocaine entering the river (as reported in The Sunday Times). Perhaps working on Brexit isn’t the only thing MPs are doing all hours of the day… and it isn’t the only thing keeping them up at night!


An end to Brexit lunacy?

Columnist Lottie Jeffs had all our hopes up with her summary of astrology experts’ take on this week’s Super Blood Wolf Moon. Writing in the Evening Standard, she highlighted their view that ‘lunar eclipses are relationship orientated and the fact that this one is in Aquarius is especially auspicious’. Indeed according to cafeastrology.com, such eclipses ‘can also bring two people together with a sudden awareness of a great need for each other’.

‘Theresa, Jeremy, this one’s for you’, she quipped.


The lengths we (don’t) go to

Anyone who saw writer James Graham’s television film, Brexit: The Uncivil War will remember Benedict Cumberbatch starring as lead leave campaigner Dominic Cummings - and more specifically his hair. ‘It was a bit crushing at the time’, Cumberbatch conceded to the Evening Standard. ‘I had what’s called a “no-hawk” - no hair around the middle, and then I had my normal hair [cut short] at the sides. It wasn’t pretty but it worked’.

Director Toby Haynes revealed that producers told him to limit how much hair Cumberbatch should have shaved off. ‘People funding the 

film would’ve been horrified if we said we’re gonna cut all of Benedict Cumberbatch’s hair off’, he said. ‘[But] that’s the thing about Benedict: if he does something, he really does it full pelt’.

Or not as the case may be.


A whole different kind of culture

Food. It affects us all. Which is why the V&A running an exhibition on the future of fodder is long overdue. Still, better late than never and a new exhibition, Food: Bigger than the Plate is set to tackle the issue, opening from Saturday 18 May. Mushrooms fertilized with discarded coffee grounds, edible water bottles, insect pate - it’ll all be there to taste and debate. But most surprising will be the cheese grown from human bacteria.

Yes, you heard that correctly. Three cheeses made using bacteria from an as-yet-unnamed trio of celebrities will be exhibited. The artists Christina Agapakis and Sissel Tolaas use swabs to gather bacteria from hands, feet, armpits and noses and then use the bacteria to inoculate milk.

Gross or gourmet? Hmmm… we won’t need long to think about that one.


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