Herbal history: Five garden plants with a hidden past

Image copyright RHS Lindley Collections Image caption A book by Leonhart Fuchs on herbal plants published in Basel in 1542 Many garden plants we’re familiar with today have a hidden history. Grown centuries ago for their reputed healing powers, they became garden staples, valued for their beauty, form or scent. Pulmonaria, with its spotted leaves, was thought to symbolise diseased lungs, and used for chest infections. And the mint now found in a pot by the door was recommended to “stayeth bleeding” by early herbalists and apothecaries. There’s more to…

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Technology 

Child abuse images hidden in crypto-currency block chain

Image copyright Getty Images Images of child sexual abuse have been found embedded in the system powering a high-profile crypto-currency. Somebody added the illegal images to the core ledger of Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) by using a payment processor. This ledger, known as the block chain, is a running record of crypto-currency transactions, shared among users of the platform. Experts have warned that abuse of block chain technology is a growing problem. How did this happen? The block chain is central to the way many crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin work…

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Technology 

Facebook’s hidden battle against ad-blockers

Image copyright AFP The methods Facebook uses to thwart ad-blocking technology have been criticised by web developers. The social network injects dozens of lines of code in every page to make it harder for ad blockers to detect and hide sponsored posts. But that makes the website less efficient and stops software such as screen readers used by visually impaired users from working properly. The BBC has contacted Facebook for comment. In order to block advertising, developers look for patterns in a website’s code that can be consistently identified and…

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Science 

Mission to make millions of hidden fossils available online

The Smithsonian in Washington DC holds some 40 millions fossils in its vast collection – but only a tiny fraction are ever on display. Now it is among the museums that have set out to digitally record the specimens, so the information is available online. Scientists say this could finally bring to light treasures that have been hidden in drawers for centuries. The BBC’s Victoria Gill reports. Source link

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Domestic abuse: ‘Children are the hidden victims’

Image caption Daisy’s mother now runs a refuge for abused women “Whenever I go back to the area I grew up, I still feel nervous,” says Daisy. “When I see someone that looks like him, it makes me anxious. And seeing someone driving the red car that he used to drive makes my heart race.” Daisy, now 19, grew up in an environment of domestic violence, with her father abusing her mother. She says her experiences as a child has left her suffering from anxiety attacks and nightmares. But Daisy’s…

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Blenheim Palace dredging project reveals hidden rooms

Image copyright Blenheim Palace Image caption Sunken boats from the 1950s have been discovered under the Grand Bridge A series of mysterious rooms have been revealed after lakes at Blenheim Palace were drained in a bid to save a bridge. The stately home needs to remove 400,000 tonnes of silt to protect the Grade I-listed Grand Bridge. The bridge contains more than 30 rooms that were flooded when Lancelot “Capability” Brown created lakes on the estate in the 1760s. Head of estates Roy Cox called it “one of the most…

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‘Hidden homeless’ sleeping on London buses

They are the capital’s “hidden homeless” – the hundreds of people estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses. City Hall is now spending almost £250,000 sending charity workers out on the bus routes where the problem is most acute to offer help and try to tackle the problem. But will it help? You can watch the entire film on Inside Out London, Monday at 19:30 on BBC One Source link

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Science 

Plastic pollution: How one woman found a new source of warming gases hidden in waste

Image copyright IPRC Image caption Sarah-Jeanne Royer with some of the plastic she’s studied It’s your classic movie eureka moment. Young researcher Sarah-Jeanne Royer set out to measure methane gas coming from biological activity in sea water. Instead, in a “happy accident” she found that the plastic bottles holding the samples were a bigger source of this powerful warming molecule than the bugs in the water. Now she’s published further details in a study into the potential warming impact of gases seeping from plastic waste. “It was a totally unexpected…

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Blue badge parking permits to cover ‘hidden disabilities’ in England

Image copyright Getty Images Blue badge parking permits are to be made available for people in England with “hidden disabilities” such as autism or mental health problems. The Department for Transport said people with non-physical disabilities would have an equal right to free parking from next year. Currently the rules do not explicitly exclude hidden disabilities, but councils’ interpretations can vary. Similar changes have come into effect in Scotland and Wales. When the changes to the blue badge scheme in England are introduced, they will extend eligibility to: people who…

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