Boredom during a lecture proved to be the key to finishing a formula relating to the stability of structures that has baffled the best mathematical brains since the 19th century...
...Professor Darren Crowdy's mind was wandering as he listened to a talk on vortex dynamics when he hit upon the solution to the Schwarz-Christoffel formula. The formula was created in the 1860s as a tool to help designers to work out if the structures they wanted to create would stand up to stress or fall apart – The Times
Gazprom yesterday promised western European countries they would not be affected by the latest escaltaion in the Russian energy giants bitter row with Ukraine, as it but supplies to the country by 25 per cent. The reduction in exports, which took effect yesterday morning, was not as serious as the last outbreak of hostilities in 2006, when Gazprom suspended deliveries to Ukraine for three days - The Independent
Billions of pounds of private finance initiative projects approved by Gordon Brown, including the refurbished Treasury headquarters in Whitehall and the new Home Office, have been moved offshore by their city owners to avoid paying tax on their profits. More than 50 PFI schemes have now been included in portfolios held in Channel Islands tax havens by three major PFI investment companies, HSBC Infrastructure, 3i Infrastructure and Babcock and Brown Public Partnerships - The Guardian
Norilsk Nickel, the Russian nickle producer at the centre of a takeover battle, is the first target of a new activist investor group which aims to put pressure on polluting companies and industries. Environmental Investor Services, which is funded by monthly fees from investors, said it will work as a middleman for investors who are concerned about green issues but "do not want wish to put their head above the parapet" - The Independent
Alistair Darling is preparing a voucher scheme to help the poorest people pay their gas and electricity bills. However, the scheme, which could be announced in the Chancellor's first budget next week, has already been criticised by gas companies and the gas watchdog as "policy on the hoof" that will not help poor people cope with escalating fuel bills - which now average more than £1,000 per household per year - The Daily Telegraph
Transport secretary Ruth Kelly will today announce she is dumping proposals to use satellite technology to track cars and force their owners to pay for driving by the mile in an attempt to ease congestion. Kelly will today say she wants a new study to look at converting most motorways into four-lane roads by using the hard shoulder - The Daily Mirror
Traffic lights will stay green longer for cars but be cut back for pedestrians under the transport manifesto of Boris Johnson, Conservative candidate for Mayor of London – The Times