Travel company tells Danes to have sex on holiday: A Danish travel company claims that sending more couples to romantic cities like Paris could help them have more children. A new advertising campaign says that while a recent UN survey said Denmark was the happiest nation on Earth, it’s not the sexiest.
28 March 2014
In a video commercial, the company asks whether sex can ‘save’ Denmark. The country has a problem, it says. The birth rate is at its lowest for 27 years.
Amid images of empty playgrounds and old people, the company says it’s concerned that the country won’t be able to support its ageing population.
Using a sexologist to support its thesis, the company claims that holidays in romantic destinations like Paris are good for the cause, as couples have 46% more sex while on vacation.
It’s offering what it calls an ovulation discount to women who supply details of their menstrual cycle so they can travel at their most fertile time. And it’s staging a competition for those who can prove that they made a baby while on vacation. The prize? A supply of infant products and a child-friendly holiday.
Protecting shipwrecks: A group of historians are worried Britain’s underwater heritage is being threatened by treasure hunters. They are asking the British government to sign up to a UN convention to help protect shipwrecks.
24 March 2014
A group of leading archaeologists and scholars fear historically significant wrecks lying beyond Britain’s territorial waters are being plundered and destroyed by commercial treasure hunters.
The UN convention covers ships that have been on the seabed for over a century. Quite apart from their historical significance, they are also the final resting place for those lost at sea. Sir Barry Cunliffe, retired Professor of European Archaeology at Oxford University, says the UN convention provides a legal and practical framework for protecting such sites.
Sir Barry Cunliffe, retired Professor of European Archaeology:
What it does mean is that if a British ship lies in deep waters outside [our] territorial waters, any signatory can prevent anyone who is doing treasure-seeking on that wreck from using their own ports. So it begins to strengthen our hold on our underwater cultural heritage.
In the past, some wrecks were protected from plunder because they lay deep beneath the sea, but advancing excavation techniques have stripped away this safeguard. Sir Barry says treasure hunters can be very destructive as they try to find valuable artefacts.
Britain abstained from voting for the convention back in 2001 because it doubted it would be effective given it doesn’t have universal support. However, the British government says it has adopted the detailed practical guidelines provided by UNESCO when dealing with marine archaeology, and it will continue to keep its position under review. Sir Barry and his fellow scholars hope that their report will prompt ministers to take a fresh look at the matter.
Paris smog: Motorists in Paris face an unusual day of restrictions as the government tries to reduce high levels of pollution in the city. Today only cars with odd-numbered registration plates are allowed to drive. Tomorrow, if the restrictions remain in place, it’ll be even-numbered cars that can be driven.
17 March 2014
Seven hundred police will be monitoring traffic from early in the morning. If you’re caught in an even-numbered car, you’re liable to a small fine, and you’ll be told to turn back home. There are exceptions for electric and hybrid vehicles, and for cars carrying three or more passengers.
The measure’s been tried once before, in 1997, when it’s claimed it did have a noticeable impact on improving air quality. However for many people in Paris and the suburbs it’s going to mean a day of inconvenience, and delivery companies are already complaining of lost income.
Politically, the stakes are high, because it comes just a week before Parisians start electing their new mayor.
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