Working for cash in hand can be a vital career step and a way out of poverty
The Conversation
by Danny Buckley, Senior Lecturer in Enterprise, De Montfort University
4h ago
Shutterstock/Barabas Csaba Being paid for work in cash is often frowned upon in the UK. It can be seen as a way of avoiding tax, or cheating the system, and detrimental to economic growth. Others say it is unfair to those who rely on cash-in-hand work, who may receive a low wage and have little in the way of employment rights (like holiday or sick pay) and job security. Yet cash-in-hand work still makes up a significant proportion of economic activity in the UK. Some estimate that it is worth around 10% of GDP, or around £223 billion. And my research suggests that being paid in cash can have a ..read more
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How to tell when cats are fighting or just playing: six important clues to watch out for
The Conversation
by Ineke van Herwijnen, Assistant Professor, Animals in Science and Society, Utrecht University
4h ago
Notice how the claws are sheathed Anastasiia Skorobogatova/Shutterstock Cats and dogs famously don’t get on with each other. We seem quite able to recognise a fight between these two species. However, even experienced cat owners can struggle to tell the difference between rough-and-tumble play and scraps between cats. Some people may tell themselves it doesn’t matter and cats just do what they want. But knowing when to intervene is important for a cat’s welfare. A recent paper published in Scientific Reports studied how to differentiate between cat-to-cat interactions, including when play esca ..read more
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Nipple ban on Instagram and Facebook reveals how bizarre our attitude is towards different genders
The Conversation
by Lorraine Green, Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences, Edge Hill University
4h ago
Some women consign themselves to breastfeeding in public toilets to prevent their apparently sexually explosive nipples causing offence. On hot days, meanwhile, males of all ages, shapes and sizes, peel off their tops without a second thought. For over a decade many social media platforms banned the exposure of female, but not male nipples. Tech CEOs say they fear unleashing torrents of pornographic imagery. These platforms do allow images of female nipples in some contexts such as breastfeeding and medical issues. However, the oversight board of Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instag ..read more
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The consequences of childhood trauma on children's mental health
The Conversation
by Andreas Bauer, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Human Development and Violence Research Centre, Federal University of Pelotas, Graeme Fairchild, Reader in Developmental Psychopathology, University of Bath, Sarah Halligan, Professor of Child and Family Mental Health, University of Bath
4h ago
Mariana Serdynska/Shutterstock Childhood trauma may play a key role in many later psychiatric disorders. However, most of what we know about the impact of trauma exposure comes from research with adults. Less is known about the impact of childhood trauma on teenagers. It is still unclear whether they show the same range of mental health problems as adults or have difficulties mainly in some specific areas – such as having mood problems like depression. Younger children have been investigated even less. We carried out research looking at data from 4,231 children born in 2004 in the city of Pelo ..read more
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UK to perform worst of major economies in 2023, says IMF – here’s how to achieve long-term growth
The Conversation
by Michael Kitson, Associate Professor in International Macroeconomics, Cambridge Judge Business School
15h ago
Golden Dayz/Shutterstock The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has produced another dismal forecast for the UK economy. The IMF expects it to contract by 0.6% in 2023, whereas all other major economies are expected to grow – including sanctions-hit Russia. Meanwhile the Bank of England expects the UK economy will be no larger in 2026 than it was in 2019. The growth of the economy is a key sign of prosperity, but the most important indicator is the growth of productivity, or output per worker. “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run, it’s almost everything,” the Nobel prize-winning ..read more
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Welsh place names are being erased – and so are the stories they tell
The Conversation
by Rhys Jones, Professor of Human Geography, Aberystwyth University
16h ago
The Welsh name Yr Wyddfa is now used for the mountain instead of Snowdon by the national park authority. Malgosia Janicka/Shutterstock. The decision to use Eryri rather than Snowdonia, and Yr Wyddfa instead of Snowdon by the national park authority last autumn reignited a longstanding debate over the protection of place names in Wales. The switch to Eryri and Yr Wyddfa was made following a petition calling for the park authority to use the Welsh names. But campaigners have been pushing for better protections and use of Welsh place names for decades. One of the most significant examples of this ..read more
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Teachers go on strike: the challenges facing the schools sector
The Conversation
by Helena Gillespie, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Inclusion and Professor of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of East Anglia
18h ago
On February 1 2023, teachers in England and Wales joined their Scottish counterparts by going on strike, resulting in widespread school closures. Teachers made up part of an estimated half a million workers on strike across the UK. They are striking for improved pay and working conditions. Recent polling by YouGov suggests that about half of the British public support striking teachers and a significant number (44%) blame the government for the strike, rather than the teachers or unions themselves. Only nurses, ambulance staff and firefighters enjoy more public support for their action. Teache ..read more
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Ukraine war: Kyiv summit with EU will bring the two sides closer, but fast-track membership is unlikely
The Conversation
by Stefan Wolff, Professor of International Security, University of Birmingham
18h ago
There are conflicting expectations ahead of a forthcoming summit between EU leaders and the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. Kyiv has made it clear that it wants to join the fast track for EU membership in two years – prime minister Denys Shmyhal said as much in an interview on January 30. But getting Brussels to commit to any definitive timeline – let alone 24 months – is highly unlikely. Instead, the summit on February 3, which will follow a day of meetings between a high-level delegation of EU commissioners with senior Ukrainian government officials, is more likely to focus on the ..read more
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Ukraine war: how US-built F-16 'Fighting Falcon' could help Kyiv move on to the offensive
The Conversation
by James R Pritchett, Lecturer in War Studies, University of Hull
18h ago
The war in Ukraine approaches its first anniversary – and, much like the conflict on the ground, the air war has become a protracted contest for control. For Ukraine, fighting on the defensive, it has been wise to play for time and wait for any opportunities that may arise from increased western support that it can turn into a decisive advantage on the battlefield. In this way, the transfers of western military equipment have been key to Ukraine’s resistance so far. The latest round of pledges by Ukraine’s allies has involved advanced main battle tanks such as the Leopard 2 from Germany and th ..read more
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The world’s first environmental clean-up happened 400 million years ago
The Conversation
by John Parnell, Professor of Geology and Petroleum Geology, University of Aberdeen
18h ago
One of the biggest environmental challenges today is to treat land that is contaminated by toxic elements from industrial activity, elements like arsenic, antimony and tungsten. But these same elements can be brought to the Earth’s surface by natural processes such as the bubbling up of hot springs. So it is valuable to understand how they were dealt with by the environment before humans came along. A site in Aberdeenshire in Scotland which is famous for early fossil life preserved by hot springs, shows us how it could have happened. A cross-section of a stem preserved as a silica petrifaction ..read more
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