This week, next week

31 May - 6 June 2014


Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Wearing a Superman T-shirt could improve exam performance, scientists said, because mental processes "can be primed by clothing". It is not known whether putting pants over your trousers has the same effect.


Selective attention

Nigel Farage, the notorious leader of the right-wing UK Independence Party, said he would like to see a grammar school in every town. Cue cheering from supporters and groans from opponents on the Left.


Haiyan's legacy

Almost seven months after typhoon Haiyan hit, thousands of students in the Philippines were forced to start the new school year in tents and other makeshift classrooms, as rebuilding is taking longer than planned.


Money for old rope

It promised to be almost as silly as Prime Minister's Questions: the annual House of Lords v House of Commons tug of war took place in Westminster in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The event is in its 27th year.


Fantastic female fiction

Nobody mention "chick lit". The winner of the annual Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction was announced. Helen Fraser, chief executive of private school body the Girls' Day School Trust, chaired the judging panel.


Women on the agenda

Politicians and businesswomen were set to gather for the Global Summit of Women in Paris. More than 1,000 female leaders were due to attend talks on the theme "Women: redesigning economies, societies".



Why do Americans get everything good? The US celebrates National Donut Day, when shops hand out free samples. It was started as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army during the Great Depression.

7-13 June 2014


Jam, Jerusalem and jeering

Fourteen years ago, a speech by then UK prime minister Tony Blair to the Women's Institute was met with slow handclapping and heckling. Some members of the club - better known for baking - even walked out.


Be prepared for do-gooders

It's the final day of Scout Community Week, where Scouts volunteer to help out in their local area. The event was introduced in 2012 to replace Bob-a-Job Week, which last took place 22 years ago.


Quack a smile

Happy 80th birthday to Donald Duck. The Disney character made his screen debut in the animated short The Wise Little Hen in 1934 and his famously unintelligible voice has been much imitated ever since.


Day for remembrance

History teachers take note, it is the 70th anniversary of the massacre at Oradour-surGlane near Limoges in France, where 642 men, women and children were rounded up and killed by German SS troops.


Gems of the sporting world

Plimsolls on, it's time for the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, part of the IAAF Diamond League race. Legendary sprinter Carl Lewis will appear as the guest of honour at the event, which attracts a host of top athletes.



It's the day the world's football fans have been waiting for, the start of the 2014 World Cup. In the opening game, host nation Brazil will take on Croatia. England will no doubt confidently beat Italy on Saturday.


Way hey and up she rises

Beards out and drums at the ready - the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival begins in Cornwall. Now, can anyone remember the words to What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?

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