In the papers today: 22.01.08
Housebuilding, property and retail – the shares already hit the hardest according to The Times – were the least affected in the biggest slide in share prices for six years, with Taylor Wimpey up 2.6p.
But you can rest easy in the knowledge that your New Year's gym membership is keeping your local gym afloat, all without you stepping foot inside the door. According to Michael Skapinker in the Financial Times: 'Irregular exercisers make health clubs possible for everyone else'. So if you are one of those smug people who manages to go more than once every six months, try to be patient with the latest invasion in your private swimming pool – they'll be gone soon.
One of the world's first 'flat-pack' homes, designed by Jean Prouve in the 1950s (see this week's AJ for more, out Thursday 24 January), is being constructed in the grounds of the Tate Modern. From 5 February, visitors (more than two million are expected according to The Evening Standard) will be able to walk around the 46-tonne aluminium and steel house-on-stilts, which was intended to solve the shortage of housing in France's African Congo. Expense meant the project failed, but the bullet holes in this example, found in the Congo in 2000, probably didn't help.
The green credentials of higher-education institutions come under scrutiny in the Green Spires report, featured in the Guardian. The student-led green league tables have no doubt given vice-chancellors something to think about, but universities are still 'huge and wasteful beasts'. While focusing on estate management and waste-saving schemes goes a long way, Paul Allen of The Centre for Alternative Technology asks the question: 'Do they realise that we need to have a huge reskilling of Britain, that in the years ahead we are going to have to learn how to do things very differently? Are they planning courses that are going to re-educate our young people? No.'
With the Financial Times reporting that renewable energy could cost up to £6 billion a year, black may also be the new green.