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Folly Radio

Global lava lamp, Iranian election, stiff upper lip

The centre of the Earth might be one giant lava lamp, with plumes of liquid metal thrusting up into the rocky mantle and then falling back on to the core’s surface as they cool. So suggests new research that maps the structure of these so-called superplumes. Paula Koelemeijer explains how she used signals gathered from the way the planet rings like a bell after very large earthquakes to make the discovery.
Another week, another election – this time in Iran, where voters will decide on their next president on Friday. Over three live TV debates, the candidates have discussed the nuclear agreement, civil rights and plenty more. But the Iranian economy is at the heart of this election, argues Rouzbeh Parsi – and on that subject, the politicians are woefully out of touch.
Prince William spoke recently about how a “stiff upper lip” can actually be damaging to mental health. While his and Prince Harry’s campaigning for better mental health is highly commendable, Martin Francis argues that the British stiff upper lip has often been the subject of lazy stereotyping, and a bit of emotional restraint can go a long way.
Stephen Harris
Commissioning Editor

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A giant lava lamp inside the Earth might be flipping the planet's magnetic field

Paula Koelemeijer, University of Oxford
Signals from violent earthquakes are helping reveal the landscape of the planet's insides.

Politics + Society

Arts + Culture

Business + Economy

Science + Technology

  • Why urban legends are more powerful than ever

    Neil Dagnall, Manchester Metropolitan University; Ken Drinkwater, Manchester Metropolitan University
    The internet is changing how urban legends are spread – and helping to create new ones.

Health + Medicine

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