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  • The Know Daily - Wednesday 21 February

The Know Daily - Wednesday 21 February

📝 The rollout of "Martha’s rule", gender-neutral haircut pricing + the Beatles get biopics.

Read in 5m 45s Listening to Miley Cyrus 

📝 The rollout of "Martha’s rule" in hospitals

💇 Should haircut pricing be gender-neutral?

📽️ The Beatles are getting biopics

Japanese researchers have discovered a new species: the skeleton panda sea squirt 👇. Officially named Clavelina ossipandae, the sea creatures have a panda-like appearance with a skeletal body structure and black spots. Whether you find them “cute or creepy” is another matter…

📝 Martha’s rule rollout

Hospital patients will be granted the right to obtain an urgent second opinion about their care in certain scenarios, as the NHS plans to roll out “Martha’s rule” across England.

What’s the story?
From April, 100 hospitals with critical care units will be invited to sign up for the initiative, which will see seriously ill patients and their families able to rapidly obtain a second opinion if they are worried about their condition getting worse. 

Participating hospitals will also be expected to “record daily information” on a patient’s health after speaking directly with their patients and families, reported The Independent.

Patients already have the option to seek a second opinion, noted the BBC, but the exact system in place varies between hospitals. Martha’s rule is designed to standardise the process. 

Why is it called Martha’s rule? 
The initiative is the “direct result of pressure” put on politicians and NHS bosses by the parents of Martha Mills, who died of sepsis in hospital in 2021 because her symptoms were missed, reported The Guardian. Doctors at the hospital did not listen to her parents’ concerns over her condition - and a coroner ruled last year that Martha would have likely survived if she had been transferred to intensive care earlier. 

In a joint statement, Martha’s parents said they hoped that the initiative would “alter medical culture” to “give patients a little more power” and “encourage listening on the part of medical professionals”, reported inews.

What happens next?
The initial rollout in 100 hospitals will be evaluated over the next year, and may be followed by further funding to include all acute hospitals. 

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said that while the need for escalation “will hopefully only be needed in a small number of cases”, “I have no doubt that the introduction of Martha's rule has the potential to save many lives in the future”.


Which city was recently named the world’s most visited in 2023?

A) Bangkok
B) Paris
C) Istanbul

Scroll to the very bottom for the answer.

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💇 Time for a change?

Fed up with women paying significantly more than men for a haircut, Belgium’s hairdressing federation has proposed a gender-neutral pricing structure. But not everyone’s a fan… 

First things first: how much more do women pay?
A “significant premium”, according to The Guardian. A 2020 YouGov poll found that UK women paid £31 on average for a trim, compared with £12.17 for men - so around two and a half times more. And, as The Guardian pointed out, today’s figures are likely to be considerably higher given inflation. 

Wow. So what’s being proposed in Belgium?
The country’s hairdressing federation - Febelhair - has moved to challenge the “prevailing practice” whereby women’s haircuts cost more than men’s “regardless of the complexity or duration of the service”, reported the Brussels Times.

A spokesperson recently told Belgian radio that hairdressers should be charging €1.30 (£1.10) a minute, regardless of the client’s gender - though it’s worth noting that the federation can’t mandate salons to bring in new pricing structures.

What’s the response been?
Mixed. While many salons already have gender-neutral pricing structures in place, the proposal has left others in the profession feeling a bit…snippy.

According to The Times, Febelhair’s recommendation has provoked “growing unease”, with one barber telling the paper that the idea is “completely ridiculous” given that there are “so many more styles and requirements for women’s hair”.

What’s the bigger picture?
Hairdressing is by no means the only sector in which women are charged a premium. The so-called pink tax - whereby products marketed at women are more expensive than those marketed at men - is at play across the wellbeing industry. The US state of California outlawed the practice last year, in a move estimated to save women billions of dollars annually.

📽️ Beatles biopics: Sam Mendes has announced plans to make four movies about the Beatles, one from each band member’s perspective. Noting that John, Paul, George and Ringo were “icons for a reason”, Variety takes a look at which actors might portray them on screen

🧠 Neuralink news: The first patient to receive a brain chip from the Elon Musk-founded startup is reportedly now able to control a computer mouse “just by thinking”, but details remain sparse.

🐶 Pets on a plane: IAG Cargo - the company that handles pet transfers for some big UK airlines - is raising its prices on “select routes” from next month.

🔬 ADHD ancestors: Traits linked to ADHD - such as “distractibility or impulsivity” - may have been an evolutionary advantage when it came to foraging for food, researchers have found.

🎙️ Making history: Beyoncé has become the first Black woman artist ever to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, after her (ridiculously catchy) Texas Hold ‘Em debuted at no.1.

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Trivia answer: C) Istanbul was the world's most-visited city in 2023, new data has revealed - welcoming an incredible 20.2 million visitors last year. London came second, with 18.8 million.

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