The 'perfect flood' is on its way
This is being billed as a "test of the systems", and it is good to know that the systems are being tested, but it is hard not to also see it as a prediction:
A perfect storm is about to gather off the east coast of Britain, whipping up the sea and menacing the coastline with gales and torrential downpours. Before long, it will head south and make landfall, sending a wave of water up the Thames estuary, battering the hotchpotch of flood defences erected since Victorian times.
The surge will trigger an alert to raise the Thames barrier, but downstream widespread breaches and floods are expected. Where the most vulnerable areas will be is anyone's guess....
The virtual storm lies at the heart of an unprecedented £5.5m experiment involving the Environment Agency, the Met Office and eight universities to test cutting-edge artificial intelligence systems designed to foresee dangerous storm surges.
Of course Britain might be able to manage such a thing, but you can't but wonder about Bangladesh, or most African states, or indeed when you look at say Thailand and the tsunami, even apparently relatively developed Asian states.
The law has been changed to give the state responsibility for children who are in care until the age of 21. (Previously they were on their own at the age of 16.) But it seems the reality is different.
Now men should be warned: you may find this next item distressing - a South African woman has invented a female condom that would attach itself to a rapist that could only be surgically removed. Well it is pretty distressing to women, too, that rape should be considered such a danger that someone might even consider this. (And how the rapist would react when he discovered he's been "caught" doesn't bear thinking about.)
But finally, a touch of schadenfreude - an "Egyptian 1,300BC statue" has been reidentified as having been made in Bolton in 2003. As I've been told before, such identifications are often an art not a science.