Eating chocolate can help improve your maths

If this isn’t a good news story then I don’t know what is?!

From the Telegraph (UK)

Mental arithmetic became easier after volunteers had been given large amounts of compounds found in chocolate, called flavanols, in a hot cocoa drink.

They were also less likely to feel tired or mentally drained, the findings, presented at the British Psychological Society annual conference in Brighton show.

Prof David Kennedy, director of the brain, performance and nutrition research centre at Northumbria University, and a co-author of the study, said that chocolate could be beneficial for mentally challenging tasks.

The findings suggest students who binge on chocolate when revising for exams may gain a real benefit from doing so.

Conficker worm fails to strike on April fools day

From BBC News

The chaos predicted by some as the Conficker worm updates itself have so far failed to materialise.

There had been concerns that the worm could trigger poisoned machines to access personal files, send spam, clog networks or crash sites.

Many of the infected machines are based in Asia where there have been no reports of unusual PC behaviour.

Social mobility being driven by new Universities

From BBC News…

New universities in England and Scotland are drivers of social mobility, according to research from the Million+ organisation.

The research tracked the social backgrounds of students and their occupations after leaving university.

It found that 8% of entrants in these universities were from professional families – but that three years after graduating 17% had professional jobs.

Million+ chair, Les Ebdon, says it proves the “pessimists wrong”.

Professor Ebdon argued that there was widespread political support for promoting social mobility – but this needed to be matched by funding.

New national park for UK

From BBC News

The South Downs area has been given national park status almost 60 years to the day since it was recommended.

The South Downs, which covers parts of Sussex and Hampshire, was among 12 areas identified for national parks in the 1940s.

Environment Minister Hilary Benn has said the area will become England’s ninth national park.