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Vital statistics

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Sponsorship of new buildings by the corporate world rocketed in the last financial year, rising from £19 million to £35 million.

Meanwhile, business sponsorship of the arts rose by 23 per cent to nearly £142 million, says the Financial Times. The South Bank Centre, excluding the National Film Theatre and National Theatre, attracts 3.5 million visitors a year. Twenty-four candidates for NASA's three-year manned mission to Mars are expected to lie in bed for 90 days without even sitting up.

The test is to simulate the effects of long-distance space travel on the human body.

Only 2 per cent of trips in the UK are made by cycle compared with 10 per cent in Sweden, 15 per cent in Switzerland and 18 per cent in Denmark. In Denmark 60 per cent of children travel to school on two wheels, compared to the UK's 2 per cent.

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