Britain's biggest water company is lining up a top executive from the energy sector to be its new boss ahead of a general election that could trigger the company's nationalisation.Sky News has learnt that Thames Water Utilities has identified Basil Scarsella, the chief executive of electricity distributor UK Power Networks (UKPN), as the leading candidate to be its next CEO.Mr Scarsella, an Australian whose previous roles include serving on the executive committee of FIFA, football's world governing body, is said to be among a small number of people still in contention to run Thames Water.The water and waste group, which has a total of 15m customers, has been searching for a new chief since May, when it ousted Steve Robertson after less than three years in the job.Thames Water, which is owned by a consortium of powerful pension funds and state-backed investors, may decide to delay the appointment of Mr Robertson's successor until after the election. Advertisement An … [Read more...] about Thames Water powers ahead in search for new chief
Dumping waste in rivers
This is an Inside Science story. (Inside Science) -- Big, black wasplike things living in your toilet may sound more like a horror scene than a sanitation solution. That's certainly what people in rural Louisiana thought in the summer of 1930, when black soldier flies infested a set of newly installed privies. "[C]onsiderable consternation often resulted when a person lifted a privy lid and was greeted by a swarm of insects resembling wasps, or when upon leaving the privy he experienced a strange creeping and buzzing sensation due to flies being confined within his garments,” wrote researchers in an account published in 1930 in the Journal of Economic Entomology. To make matters worse, hungry local chickens tore down the privies' foundations in search of larvae pupating in the surrounding dirt. Now, nearly a century later, black soldier flies are being hailed as potential allies in the effort to clean up human feces. They are part of a move toward dry or composting … [Read more...] about Could this be the future of toilets?
Are you getting enough protein? The question provides its own answer: if you are worrying about the amount of protein in your diet, then you are almost certainly eating more than enough. This is the paradox of our new protein obsession. For many people, protein has become a kind of secular unction: it instantly anoints any food with an aura of health and goodness. On the menu at the gym where I go, a salad niçoise is now repackaged as “high-protein tuna”. It comes without the usual capers or olives – those are items that merely add flavour, and who needs that? On Pinterest, the lifestyle-sharing site, you can now choose “protein” as one of your interests in life, along with “cute animals” and “inspirational quotes”. In 2017, there were 64m Google searches for “protein”. Anxiety about protein is one of the things that drives a person to drink a flask of vitamin-padded beige slurry and call it lunch. You merely need … [Read more...] about Protein mania: the rich world’s new diet obsession