It's about time the movie-famous Thai beach closed - I've been there and it's chaos

“Have you been to where they filmed The Beach yet?” It’s one of the first questions you’re met with upon arrival at the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi. Famous for its starring role in Danny Boyle’s 2000 film featuring Leonardo Di Caprio, Maya Bay went from practically deserted in 1999 to a tourist magnet attracting in excess of 200 boats and 5,000 visitors a day - this on a shoreline only 800-ft long and 50-ft deep.

Why we should all love the vulture

Have a bone to pick with the scraggy vulture? Just remember they’re vital as nature’s waste disposers – which is why their decline is very bad news… Vultures, with their big, ungainly wings, beaky faces and fondness for scavenging on dead meat, have a terrible reputation. They are seen as harbingers of death, circling dying animals, ready to pick at decaying flesh. But they don’t deserve a bad press. They offer a vital service by feasting on carrion, protecting us from diseases spread by rotten

Parenting as a Digital Nomad – Parenting Stories –

We weren’t the usual tourists to Mo’orea, which is favored by honeymooners rather than shoestring-budget backpackers like my husband and I, kid in tow. Traveling with kids is challenging at the best of times, and our around-the-world trip was not as Instagram-friendly as the millennial digital nomads would have you believe. I’m a writer, so I had the luxury of being able to work from anywhere in the world. But I still had to find a way to juggle deadlines, time zones, and caring for a three-year

Should We Pay Mothers to Donate Placentas? – Member Feature Stories –

Just a few drops of cord blood contain billions of stem cells. Cord blood stem cells are already used to treat 82 diseases, including leukemia, sickle cell disease, and severe combined immunodeficiencies. A successful cord blood stem cell transplant can allow patients to rebuild their immune systems and start producing healthy blood cells. Bone marrow or alternative sources of stem cells might be the preferred treatment option for many diseases, but cord blood is particularly useful for situati

Should US mothers be paid to donate placentas?

Birth is messy. It’s often not until you’re pregnant that you learn about the third stage of labor – the bit after the baby appears, when the mother pushes out the placenta that has provided life support for the previous nine months. In developed nations, birth is assumed to be safe. Yet in the United States, the maternal mortality rate doubled between 1990 and 2013, and infant mortality rates are rising in England and Wales, due largely to social inequality and cuts to maternity services. As

The world's most electric animals

From electric eels to the execution chair, the story of electricity involves more than a shock or two. So, just how did scientists use nature to harness this mysterious force? We think of electricity as something man-made and modern. But, in fact, it exists in all of us biologically and it took the discovery of a fish capable of zapping us with 600 volts for us to learn how to generate it artificially. That creature was the so-called electric eel (Electrophorus electricus), native to the Amaz

Kids love this game but is it safe?

The choice is simple: do you want to be a pizza baker, a pizza boxer, a cashier or the delivery person? Once you’ve decided, your job is to ensure the pepperonis get to their customers successfully and on time. Easy. This might not sound like the most exciting of roleplay games for teenagers or adults. But for children under 12, the basic premise of Roblox and its multitude of games – such as “Working in a Pizza Shop” – have proved hugely popular.

Meet the women training violent prisoners how to stitch

Embroidery: the word conjures images of fine society ladies, their delicate fingers working at a sampler. But it’s a little-known fact that the largest workforce of hand-stitchers in Europe is made up of big burly men in some of Britain’s toughest prisons. For the last 20 years, volunteers for the charity Fine Cell Work have been going into 32 British jails to teach inmates how to stitch. The 500 prisoners involved, 96 per cent of them male, spend on average 24 hours per week on their embroider

Tāne Mahuta, the New Zealand sacred kauri tree that’ll make you weep

Just a short walk down a wooded gangway into the rainforest of Waipoua, near Dargaville on New Zealand’s north island, is a living giant. Its name is Tāne Mahuta and it’s a kauri tree – one of the largest types (by girth rather than height) in the world. Tāne is named after the Maori forest god and, in the myth, is the fruit of the primordial parents: his growth having broken apart the embrace of Ranginui, the “sky father” and Papatūānuku, the “Earth mother,” allowing the space and light for lif

The video project helping teachers fight radicalisation

In the aftermath of recent attacks by home-grown terrorists in the UK, there is mounting pressure on schools to identify and engage with students who may be at risk of radicalisation. But this is something that teachers can feel reluctant to take on. They may not always see it as relevant to their schools, and can it find awkward and difficult to tackle, encompassing as it does issues of race, privilege and sometimes religion. Under the Government’s Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015, all

Jacqueline Wilson on getting children to read, escapism and books that inspired her

“It’s very easy to put children off reading without meaning to,” says children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, whose sales figures speak to the contrary. The 71-year-old has written more than 100 novels, is best known for The Story of Tracy Beaker series, and has sold more than 40 million books in the UK alone. Her latest book, Wave Me Goodbye, is about ten-year-old Shirley, an evacuee who is thrown into uncertainty, when she is sent away on a train with her schoolmates, during the Second Worl
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