Tag Archives: The Daily Telegraph

Walking the Cinque Terre in winter

cinque terre winter

I spent a lovely fortnight in Italy last month putting the very final touches on Thicker Than Water while staying at my friend Anna Blundy’s beautiful Tuscan home.

While there, my boyfriend Rich and I made the trip to Cinque Terre, near La Spezia, where we saw the area to its best advantage – almost empty of tourists! The weather can be changeable in February, but I highly recommend an off season trip if, like me, you dislike feeling like one of a faceless crowd.

As you can see in my photo above, we lucked out with the weather, and found the lemons  on the trees, bringing a splash of colour to the spring landscape. I wrote it up for an article for the Telegraph’s travel section, which you can find here, or after the fold.

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Infographic: what can I study with A-levels like these?

A screenshot of the working interactive infographic

I worked with Telegraph designer Mark Oliver and developer Jack Kempster to create this interactive tool which displays the academic backgrounds of students accepted onto the most popular degree courses.

Each subject has been plotted along two axes – from science to art, and from linguistic to numerical. So, for example, physics rates highly for science and is more numerical than linguistic so is plotted in the far bottom-left corner. The size of the circle indicates the proportion of accepted students with an A-level in that subject.

The graphic is best viewed on the Telegraph website here.

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Who is teaching our children to code?

I’ve just finished a 1200 word feature on the sorry state of ICT education in the UK for the Telegraph’s education section. Many thanks to Mark Surman, executive director of Mozilla, and Iain Livingstone, president of Eidos, for their help.

Young Rewired State, Code Club and Apps for Good do fantastic work, and since the article went live a lot of others have contacted me about their own outreach projects, including the London Borough of Havering which is encouraging its year 2s to download the visual programming language Scratch at home.

Full text of the article is on the Telegraph’s website here, or after the fold.

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Child poverty in the UK

Child poverty in this country is on the rise. Save the Children has just announced its first ever fundraising campaign to help British youngsters in its 93-year history.

I’ve written two articles for the Telegraph on this subject – firstly reporting the findings of a new report from the Child Poverty Action Group, and secondly an article on the worst affected constituencies illustrated with an interactive map made using Google Fusion Tables.

The map is best viewed on the Telegraph website, here. The full text of the former can be found on the Telegraph website here, or after the fold.

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‘It smells of science’: hands-on at the Royal Institution

I’ve just spent a fun day in the labs at the Royal Institution for the Telegraph’s education section, taking part in a full day’s biochemistry workshop for GCSE-aged school pupils. Its part of their outreach project aimed at getting more young people into science – who will hopefully go on to study it at university.

The skills gap in science, technology and engineering is growing at an alarming rate, with an estimated shortfall of 10,000 graduates a year.

My feature can be found on the Telegraph website here, or after the fold.

Many thanks to David at the Royal Institution for letting me take part (and lending me a lab coat).

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Pro-tobacco MPs accepted hospitality from cigarette company

Six Conservative MPs who voted against a proposal for selling cigarettes in plain packages have accepted thousands of pounds worth of hospitality from  the multinational Japan Tobacco International.

A short version of my article was printed in the Telegraph, the longer version can be found online here, or after the fold.

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Clone wars controversy hits equestrianism

This feature for the science section of the Daily Telegraph brings together two of my favourite subjects… horses and technology.

I interviewed the lovely Julia Harrison Lee, a heiress who has become the first Briton to clone a horse. The lucky animal, Romulus 16, was formerly a star of the GB national squad with the rider Damian Charles, but in recent years he has been in retirement at Harrison Lee’s US farm.

If you have £150,000 burning a hole in your pocket and fancy cloning your horse, you might want to have a look at the Cryozootech website, where they provide details of all their previous successes.

They can also freeze genetic samples and keep them in a library of DNA, as a just in case.

Full text is on the Telegraph website here, or after the fold. Continue reading

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French regional wine map shows best vintages

A screenshot of the interactive graphic, which is best viewed on the Telegraph website

I helped develop this interactive map, which lets you find good years for wine in each of the major French regions at a swoosh of the mouse.

Many thanks to Joss Fowler with his help with the accompanying article which what makes a good year for vinyards.

Graphic is best viewed on the Telegraph website here, but full text can also be found below.

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What my phone records say about me

A screenshot from the interactive graphic, hosted on the Telegraph website

As part of my coverage of the draft Communications Data Bill – which proposes to expand the level of information which must be held by telecommunications companies about their customers, and to expand the level of access to that data afforded to police and intelligence agencies – I requested a copy of all the data already held by my phone company to demonstrate what a detailed portrait this information can paint.

Using the data, Telegraph developer Dan Palmer and designer Mark Oliver developed an interactive graphic which tracks my movements around the UK over the course of a year.

The graphic is best viewed on the Telegraph website here, but the full text of my accompanying article can be found below.

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More questions for Cameron in ‘cash for access’ controversy

I wrote this page lead article for the Daily Telegraph about a number of major donations to the Conservative Party made by a company owned by a Palestinian billionaire.

These donations are particularly relevant following the ‘cash for access’ scandal, when Sunday Times undercover reporters filmed the former Tory party treasurer Peter Cruddas boasting that he could provide access to the prime minister and influence over policy for “premier league” donors.

British political parties can only be funded by people registered to vote in this country, or by British companies.

Jack Straw has since called for an investigation into foreign donations, telling the Today programme: “The law is in principle very clear, which is that only donations that come from individuals who are on the UK electoral roll or from companies that are registered in the UK are allowed.

“In addition to this, new laws I introduced in 2009 ensured that you can’t use front organisations to disguise the original source of the donation.”

As usual, full text can be found on the Telegraph website here, or after the fold

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