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New Year Resolutions

Have you made any resolutions? If so, how do you intend to stick to them? Or have you given up making them because of past failures?

Made a resolution? Here's how to stick to it
New year, new you. But all too often, the old you resurfaces before January is out. Steve Martin, an expert in persuasion, outlines the techniques that can help.
There's no time like the beginning of the new year to think about what we'd like to achieve in the months ahead.
Whether it's a resolution to lose weight, get fit, learn a new skill or start a new business, whether we succeed depends on our ability to persuade ourselves to change and then remain committed to these new behaviours. The same is true of organisations and governments who try to persuade us to buy their products, recycle our rubbish or vote for their party.
Scientists have been studying the influence process for over half a century and have found six principles that not only help organisations to get us to say "yes&qu…

Vive la baguette!

Macron: French baguettes should be Unesco-listed treasures
The French baguette should be listed as a Unesco cultural treasure, says France's President Emmanuel Macron.

"The baguette is the envy of the whole world," he said, in support of a national bakers' association that is promoting the application.

The bakers have been inspired by the success of Italy's Naples pizza, which was protected by the UN's cultural body last year.

Unesco's list aims to save traditions from globalisation.

The Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage meets annually to evaluate nominations from around the world.

Why do the French think this is necessary?

The bakers say it is not just the name and shape, but the recipe and ingredients that need to be enshrined.

"Excellence and expertise must be preserved, and that is why it should be heritage-listed," President Macron told French radio after receiving a group of master bakers at the Elysée preside…

Can you drive confidently in wintry conditions?

How to drive safely in snow and ice 
Driving in snow and ice is tricky to master – but here are some tips that should help 
With more ice and snow forecast, it's time for many of us to revisit the skills and precautions required for safe winter driving.

Driving in such extreme wintry conditions is fraught with inherent risk, so it should always be avoided. But if you really have to venture out, there are a few things you can do and techniques you can use to make sure you stay as safe as you possibly can.

 So if you’re daunted by the idea of driving when the snow lays thick and even, have a read through our advice guide – it might make you feel a little more at ease.

Drive only if it’s necessary Yes, you’ve heard it on the weather forecast all the time, but people say it for a reason. Put simply, if you don’t go out, you can’t come to any harm on the road. Is your journey really that urgent or important? It probably feels like it is, but ask yourself what harm would come if you di…

Children have no right to privacy

Spanish court ruling gives parents permission to read their children’s WhatsApp messages 
The mother argued that her ex-husband had breached Spain's privacy laws by checking his nine-year-old's messages 
A father who was sued by his ex-wife for reading his two children’s WhatsApp conversations has been cleared by a court in northern Spain.

The mother claimed at a court in Pontevedra on 26 December that her daughter’s privacy had been breached by her ex-husband, after he ordered his children to hand over their mobile phones so he could read their WhatsApp messages.

The unnamed woman told Spanish daily newspaper El Español: “Both children told me that their father put them in a room and went through his daughter's conversations on her mobile phone.

When he asked his son to give him his mobile, he said no.” The father allegedly threatened his son with the police if he did not give up his password.

An earlier lower court in Pontevedra sided with the mother after she argued t…

New Year, new language

Learning a language is resolution for one in five Brits, survey says 
 Learning a language will be a new year's resolution for about one in five Britons in 2018, a survey suggests.

About one in three said they intend to learn at least some key phrases.

Spanish was the most popular language among 2,109 UK adults questioned by Populus for the British Council.

"If we are to remain globally competitive post-Brexit, we need more people who can speak languages," said British Council schools advisor, Vicky Gough.

Of the representative sample of adults polled:
64% said they had always wanted to speak another language fluently 56% said they regretted never havingmade the effort to do so58% agreed it was more important than ever for people in the UK to learn another language but only a third said they could currentlyhold a basic conversation in one 45% were embarrassed by their poor language skills
In November, a British Council report identified Spanish, followed by Mandarin, Fre…

Starving polar bear or PR?

Polar bear video: Is it really the 'face of climate change'?
It is harrowing footage. An emaciated polar bear searches for food on Baffin Island, north-eastern Canada. 
Exhausted, it drags one leg slowly behind it, eventually trying to eat some discarded seating foam among rubbish humans have left.

Polar bears hunt from the sea ice, which is diminishing every year, and the photography team are certain the unfortunate animal died within days.

Watch the video hereSource : National Geographic

"This is what starvation looks like," wrote one of the photographers, Paul Nicklen. "The muscles atrophy. No energy. It's a slow, painful death."

Mr Nicklen's colleague, Cristina Mittermeier, said: "We cried as we filmed this dying bear. This is the face of climate change."

The clip has gone viral, widely shared as a warning about the dangers of climate change. But is there more to it?

'Public relations exercise' Mr Nicklen and Ms Mittermeier …

Gloomy news from the Arctic

Warmer Arctic is the 'new normal' A warming, rapidly changing Arctic is the "new normal" and shows no signs of returning to the reliably frozen region of the past.

This is according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Arctic Report Card.

Director of the administration's Arctic Researcher Program, Dr Jeremy Mathis, said the region did a great service to the planet - acting as a refrigerator.

"We've now left that refrigerator door open," he added. Dr Mathis was speaking at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans, where Noaa presented its annual summation of Arctic science.

This is the 12th report the administration has produced. And although it pointed to "a few anomalies" in a recent pattern of warming in the Arctic region, Dr Mathis said: "We can confirm, it will not stay in its reliably frozen state."

"The thing I took that had the most resonance for me was we're able …


Garden shed becomes best rated restaurant on TripAdvisor - but it serves up Iceland ready meals 
Oobah Butler created the fake "appointment only" restaurant in his garden using photographs of food and decoration made up ofshaving foam and bleach
A garden shed became the top-rated restaurant on TripAdvisor after a writer tricked the popular review site by submitting fake reviews.

Oobah Butler, who writes for Vice, created the fake restaurant in his garden by setting up a website with photographs of food, which were in fact made from shaving foam, bleach and extra texture provided by using his bare foot as a backdrop.

He based his meals onmoods in a bid to set it apart from other restaurants - but many of the dishes served on opening night were in fact, Iceland ready meals.

He bought a mobile phone and registered the number as the restaurant's while refusing to give an address as it was "appointment-only", enlisting the help of friends to meet people nearby and…