The Saturday briefing
IS THERE anything you are desperately yearning to know? Are there any pressing factual disputes you would like us to help resolve? This is the page where we shall do our best to answer any questions you throw at us, whatever the subject.
IN a book my mother had about the Royal Family there was a photo of a child, referred to as “the Queen”, meeting a competitor at the Richmond Horse Show on Children’s Day. Can you tell me who the child was and what became of her?
Grace Rimmer, Windsor, Berkshire I KNOW that photo and you can still buy it as a poster. It shows a little girl, in a coat, floppy hat, socks and sturdy shoes, shaking hands with a competitor who is leaning over on a horse.
Who was the little girl and what became of her? Well the photo was taken in 1936, the little girl was Princess Elizabeth and she became our present Queen. I WAS born in March 1926, a few weeks before our Queen Elizabeth II in April 1926. How many prime ministers, and who were they, have been in office since we were both born? Ronald H Beacham, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CONGRATULATIONS! There have been 17 different prime ministers during your (and the Queen’s) lifetime: in 1926, when you were both born, the PM was Stanley Baldwin, there followed Ramsay MacDonald (1931-35), Stanley Baldwin (again) (1935-7), Neville Chamberlain (1937-40), Winston Churchill (1940-45 and 51-55), Clement Attlee (1945-51), Anthony Eden (1955-57), Harold Macmillan (1957-63), Sir Alec Douglas-Home (1963-64), Harold Wilson (1964-70 and 74-76), Edward Heath (1970-74), James Callaghan (1976-79), Margaret Thatcher (1979-90), John Major (1990-97), Tony Blair (1997-2007), Gordon Brown (2007-10), David Cameron (2010-16) and Theresa May (since 2016). USING the difference between the yearly birth/death rates is it possible to calculate how long it will take before there is no more room for more people on Earth?
Brian Fannon, York THE basic question is how many people the Earth can support and estimates vary between 2.5 billion (which would mean we’re already three times over maximum size) and 100 billion. The current population is 7.5 billion and it is increasing by just more than one per cent a year. The UN predicts it could reach 9.7 billion by 2050, and more than 11 billion by 2100.
Others suggest the rate of population growth is shrinking and will stabilise at below 10 billion in the second half of this century. But if food production and delivery methods improve dramatically there’s room for a much larger figure.
IF the planet Jupiter is made of gas, why don’t asteroids and
comets colliding with it not pass straight through it and come out the other side?
John Goodall, Plymouth, Devon JUPITER is indeed what they call a “gas giant” but the massive gravitational forces acting on it lead to pressure producing a liquid interior and a hard core comprising about five per cent of its mass.
It’s doubtful that any asteroid or comet gets through that far as the collision releases so much energy that the smaller body is heated to the point it explodes. We saw this happen in 1994 when comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter.
“CACOETHES” is a lovely word. I heard it used by a famous Pakistani writer to describe the terrible urge members of Pakistan’s cricket team had to do something awful. Can you tell us the word’s origins?
J Cough, South Molton, North Devon Yvonne Ellen whale plates, set of two, £28. 0345 6049049/ johnlewis.com These fun, cleverly designed plates – 28cm diameter for the dinner plate– could hang on a wall or sit on top of a table. Made of quality bone china, with “sunbeam” flashes and gilt, gold edge detailing. by PRONOUNCED ka-ko-eethees, it means an irresistible urge to do something harmful. First used in English in the 16th century it was borrowed from Latin. The first-century Roman poet Juvenal referred to “cacoethes scribendi”, an uncontrollable urge to write. One of the original uses in English was to describe a malignant disease.
The start, “caco”, came from the Greek “kakos”, meaning something bad. That’s why a bad noise is “cacophony”. The second half is also from Greek: “ethos” meaning disposition or nature.
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Cowhide rug, £211.99. 0800 1690423/ wayfair.co.uk You’ll love snuggling up on this fabulously cosy cowhide rug, which is from Colombia and of course 100 per cent natural leather. Naturally each pattern is unique. inaccurate please go to www.express.co.uk/contactus where you will find an easy to use form. Alternatively you can write to Readers Editor, Daily Express, 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6EN. We will do our best to correct it as soon as possible.
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A ROYAL GIFT: Princess Elizabeth at the Richmond Horse Show in 1936
This inexpensive cushion with the face of Audrey Hepburn printed on polyester velvet would make a great gift for any fan of the Breakfast At Tiffany’s star.
Audrey Hepburn cushion, £9.66. 0800 1690423/ wayfair.co.uk
This lovely stoneware bowl is designed to celebrate 100 years of Finnish art and tells a story about the wild nature of Finland with a pattern of flowers, an owl and strawberries.