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  • The Know Daily - Tuesday 6 February 2024

The Know Daily - Tuesday 6 February 2024

🌬️ Stronger hurricanes, doggie DNA tests + introducing the ‘Saltbomb’.

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🌬️ Winds of change: A study has found that hurricanes are becoming so strong that we may need a new scale to rate them.

🐶 Doggie DNA tests: An Italian province has launched a controversial new scheme aimed at ridding the streets of dog mess.

🗞️ Charles’ cancer diagnosis: Various world leaders have wished the King a speedy recovery following the announcement that he has cancer.

After nine years of construction, a state-of-the-art telescope in Chile is set to offer the “best view yet” of the universe, said The Guardian. The $1.9bn Vera C Rubin Observatory, located in the Chilean desert, aims to capture an “unprecedented amount of astronomical data” over the next decade - and the futuristic building is also pretty spectacular.👇

Our founder, Lynn, is recording a podcast with PensionBee tomorrow and they’re going to be talking about the gender pay gap. We’d love to know: have you ever found that you were being paid less than a male peer?

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🌬️ Winds of change 

Hurricanes are becoming so strong that we may need a new scale to rate them, a new study has found.

What’s the story?
At present, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in the US uses the Saffir-Simpson scale to categorise the severity of storms on a scale from 1 to 5, according to their wind speeds.

The scale was devised in the 1970s - but two leading researchers have now said that, given the increasing severity of storms, a new “category 6” is needed. 

Why are hurricanes getting worse?
The short answer is climate change.

The longer answer is that although the total number of hurricanes is not increasing due to the climate crisis, their intensity is. “A super-heated ocean is providing extra energy to rapidly intensify hurricanes, aided by a warmer, moisture-laden atmosphere,” explained The Guardian.

Got it. So what would this “category 6” look like?
It would include all hurricanes with sustained winds of 192mph or more, said researchers. Five storms would have fallen into this category over the past decade - with four of these typhoons affecting Asia, noted The Conversation

Just how useful would this new scale be?
In a somewhat surprising twist, the scientists behind the idea don’t actually think it would be that useful.

Instead, they would rather the NHC introduce an entirely new system that better conveys the overall risk posed by hurricanes, said the New Scientist. This wouldn’t just take into account wind speeds, but also things like the risk of flooding and damage.

However, they hope that the introduction of a category 6 would raise awareness of how climate change is impacting the most intense storms.


Which social media platform turned 20 on Sunday?

A) Tumblr
B) Facebook
C) Myspace

Scroll to the very bottom for the answer.

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🐶 Doggie DNA tests

An Italian province has ordered dog owners to provide a sample of their pets’ DNA, in a controversial new scheme aimed at ridding the streets of dog mess.

Go on…
In what BBC Newsround has described as an “unusual solution” to the scourge of dog muck, pet owners in the province of Bolzano, northern Italy, have been ordered to submit their pets for a €65 DNA test.

The idea is that any poo left behind in public areas would be tested against a “database of doggie DNA” to tell police “poo-dunnit” - with the offending owner fined anything between €50 and €500. 

How has it gone down?
While one of the officials behind the scheme told Reuters that other Italian cities were interested in replicating the law, others have poo-pooed the idea.

“The measure has been contentious,” said The Guardian, noting that dog owners who already clean up after their pets are especially irritated at having to fork out €65 for the compulsory test.

There have also been questions over how the “complex and costly” initiative will be managed, added the paper, given that tourists won’t be required to add their dog’s DNA to the database.

What’s the bigger picture?
Bolzano isn’t the first place to trial such a scheme. A similar initiative was introduced in east London in 2016, reported the Evening Standard, while Euronews pointed out that Valencia, Tel Aviv and the southern French town of Béziers have all piloted doggie DNA databases in recent years.

🗞️ Charles’ cancer diagnosis: Various world leaders, including Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden, have wished the King a speedy recovery following Buckingham Palace’s announcement that the monarch has been diagnosed with cancer.

👷 Captain Tom’s family’s spa: The demolition of an unauthorised £200,000 spa built on the grounds of Hannah Ingram-Moore’s home in Bedfordshire has begun - and the building must be completely destroyed by tomorrow

🤝 “Not a betting person”: The PM has “rowed back” on a £1,000 bet he made with Piers Morgan on whether deportation flights to Rwanda would take off before the general election, following criticism. 

💰 Cost of living payment: Eight million people on means-tested benefits will receive a final instalment of £299 at some point between today and 22 February.

🛀 Introducing the “Saltbomb”: Cosmetics company Lush has released a limited edition, “salty, milky” bath bomb inspired by that scene in Saltburn - would you add it to your bath?!

Come for: A captivating BBC drama podcast exploring the psychological impact of murder on perpetrators and their families.

Stay for: Swapping screen time for an addictive listen. 

Recommended by Esther, who suggests starting with the first season (as it’s probably the best). 

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Trivia answer: B) Facebook celebrated its 20th birthday on Sunday, but the milestone hit “at an awkward time”, said NBC News.

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