There are more than 800 species of dung beetles in South Africa (email, 19 March 2015).

In many US states the highway patrol carries at least two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid (received via email on 8 March 2015).

Legal use of marijuana? Uruguay and North Korea are the only countries in the world where possession, use and production of marijuana are legal. In Bangladesh, use of marijuana forms part of their culture, and people are not punished for smoking it, although this is technically illegal, according to the International Opium Treaty of 1925. The Netherlands are famous for its “coffee shops” where marijuana can be smoked, and in Prague in in the Czech Republic, one can purchase marijuana chocolates. Many countries don’t punish personal use of small quantities of marijuana. In Jamaica and some Australian federal states and cantons in Switzerland it is legal to grow small quantities of marijuana for personal use. Some federal states in America allow use of marijuana for medical purposes, while Washington and Colorado now also allow use of marijuana for recreation purposes (Sake-Rapport, 15 March 2015).

Dr André Hugo (orthodontist) on health matters: Carbohydrates are addictive – they attach to the same receptors in the brain as cocaine and heroin. Like all addictions often the best way of recovering from them is to go “cold turkey’ – so no carbs at all while losing weight (except minor amounts in green, leafy vegetables, i.e. those growing above ground (received via email on 19 March 2015).

Recyclable thermoset plastic: There are two types of plastic: thermo plastic (such as water bottles, children’s toys or toilet seats) can be reheated and remoulded and is recyclable, while thermoset plastic (found in cell phones, electric circuits and aircraft), can only be reheated and remoulded once. Most thermoset polymers therefore end up in landfills and cannot be recycled. In 2014, important progress was made to produce recyclable thermoset plastic. This can replace non-recyclable thermoset plastic completely and can even be used generally in newly manufactured products this year still (Sake-Rapport, 8 March 2015).

Children in Tokyo to be seen as well as heard soon: After years of being silent, small children in Tokyo (according to a report in The Independent of 7 March 2015), will maybe be allowed to speak a little louder than usual. Noise pollution was so bad in this super strict Japan capital that authorities had to restrict its citizens to 45 decibels 15 years ago (about as loud as the chirping of a small bird). A proposal has now been tabled to exclude children’s voices from this noise restriction, especially in parks and on playgrounds. Not everybody approves of the efforts of the authorities to create a more “child-friendly” environment. It is felt that children should be taught to speak and sing at suitable noise levels, and that four-year olds are old enough to understand this (Rapport, 8 March 2015).