Why do people love plane, train and bird spotting?
Novice aviation geek Alys Harte enters the worlds of twitchers, birders, watchers and spotters.
She meets Noel Marsh-Giddings, who has flown on the shortest and longest flights on the planet - just for the sake of flying; she goes ‘birding’ on the east coast of England with Ashley Saunders where they have a close encounter with a sparrow hawk (and a photobombing mallard!) and speaks to Prof. Kiyohito Utsunomiya, transport economist and railway fan about the subcultures within subcultures that make up Japanese ‘tetsu’ train spotters.
Photo: Man in a field with binoculars. Credit: Getty Creative Images. ISO3000
Fake News - sometimes it’s obvious to spot, other times it requires more thoughtful investigation. That’s a fact checker’s job; dedicated researchers trying to flesh out what is true and what is not in the deluge of information we see every day. In 2015 the International Fact Checking Network was established to give strength to this small but dedicated group. It now has 62 verified signatories. In this episode of the Why Factor on the BBC World Service, Sandra Kanthal speaks with fact checkers from Turkey, the Philippines and Brazil; to find out what motivates them to combat Fake News, especially in countries where speaking truth to power comes with considerable risk. How do they do this difficult job, and why are they so determined to improve the skills all of us can use to call out false claims?
Photo: A fact checking journalist at work
Credit: AFP / Getty Images
Why Scarcity Can Damage Decision Making
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith discovers how when we suffer a scarcity of mental resources, we fail to plan for our futures. That means, according to Princeton psychology professor Eldar Shafir, that millions of people on low incomes where money is scarce are finding it much harder than others to improve their lives. Not because they are untalented or do not want to, but because their brain circuitry is overloaded. And the professor believes even people who are not short of money but are trying to lose weight, could also be impacted by this scarcity mindset. Ayeisha hears about experiments in the US and India which seem to show that as our mental “band-width” diminishes and we become overloaded by problems, our chances of thinking our way out of our situation reduces as well.
(Photo: An Asylum Seeker. Credit: Getty Images)
Why Have Women Taken To Wellness?
Women are increasingly seeking out ways to look after their minds, bodies and emotions. Nutrition and lifestyle changes - from meditating to drinking green smoothies full of so-called super foods - all come under the term wellness.
There are wellness celebrities and online communities, observers even refer to a wellness industry.
Nastaran Tavakoli-Far asks what is driving women away from the medical establishment in an effort to improve their health.
Photo: Yoga Exercise At Wetland In Huangshan
Credit: VCG/VCG via Getty Images
Why Do We Keep Open Secrets?
Open Secrets - when everybody knows something is going on but it is never officially acknowledged. Things are left unsaid, remaining in this strange unacknowledged state for decades.
So why do some open secrets not come out sooner?
Nastaran Tavakoli-Far looks at the Catholic church, the trading floor and to the wrestling ring to find out why very different open secrets have continued for so long and why they eventually came out.
Presenter: Nastaran Tavakoli-Far
Producer: Clare Spencer
Photo: Cassius, wrestler in ring
Credit: Alistair Veryard Photogaphy