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… with the aid of a membranous bag called the allantois. And guess what? You once had one too

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A Canadian man is charged with mischief after using more than 100 party balloons to fly above Calgary sitting on a garden chair

Life imitating Up: 120 balloons, one man and a garden chair take to the skies

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Heads of six large city fire services worried by sharp rise in annual deaths amid political row over role of police commissioners

Luton lollipop man suspended after blocking fire engine

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Should heavy drinking in pregnancy be a crime? A recent test case in the UK was thrown out, but in the US hundreds of women have been imprisoned. We meet women and children affected by foetal alcohol syndrome

My mother, the alcoholic: living with foetal alcohol syndrome

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Nicole Pisani used to work in a celebrated London restaurant; now she cooks couscous and preserved lemons for 500 children at primary school in Hackney. They love it – but questions remain over whether the model can be replicated

The new dinner lady: 10 years on, can an Ottolenghi chef prove Jamie Oliver's revolution wasn't a flash in the pan?

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Did the codpiece – highlight of male fashion in the Renaissance – gradually succumb to the ‘peascod’ belly? As a Cambridge conference investigates the subject, follow the pouch’s rise and fall through European portraiture•

The rise and fall of the codpiece - in pictures

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Shortening of spring each year is due to the way Earth’s axis wobbles as it moves – but most of us won’t notice the difference in our lifetime

Spring is 30 seconds shorter every year

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Geologist suggests extracting precious metals from human waste would keep harmful substances out of the ground – and recover valuable objects

Gold in faeces 'is worth millions and could save the environment'

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Saucy postcards Saucy cartoon postcards, epitomized by the work of ex-naval draughtsman Donald McGill, became widespread in the 1930s and, at their peak, sold 16 million a year. The Conservative government of 1951-5, concerned at the supposed deterioration of morals in Britain, decided on a crackdown. Their main target was 79 year-old McGill. He was found guilty in Lincoln on 15th July 1954 under the Obscene Publications Act 1857 and fined £50 with £25 costs. McGill never received…

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