All posts tagged: trend

The Guardian view on private equity and public services: this trend needs reversing | Editorial

The Guardian view on private equity and public services: this trend needs reversing | Editorial

Sector by sector, private equity is making deep inroads into UK public services. More than a decade ago, the collapse of Southern Cross, the private-equity-owned care home operator, revealed the havoc that can be wreaked when essential public services are run by heavily indebted businesses with complex financial structures. Typically, such owners maximise profits by using low-tax jurisdictions, loans, and sale-and-leaseback arrangements that split holding companies from property assets. Present trends show that this cautionary tale is being ignored. A forthcoming report from the Common Wealth thinktank uses the example of the companies that lease trains to railway operators, to demonstrate that private equity companies are pressing their advantage from financial engineering. Britain’s transport network has joined health and social care, children’s homes and some areas of education in offering rich pickings to private-equity investors. The advantages to businesses are obvious. Because these are essential services, whose continued operation is guaranteed in law and by the public’s need for them, the risks are low. On the railways, contracts guaranteeing revenue have turned rolling stock companies …

8 best gingham dresses for summer – the trend to check off your must-have list

8 best gingham dresses for summer – the trend to check off your must-have list

Spring is here, and while it’s tempting to pull out our crop tops and shorts at the first sight of sunshine, the most appropriate choice right now is a transitional dress. Lightweight and airy while still giving some coverage for the inevitable breeze, a gingham dress is ticking all of the boxes for the new season, not to mention that the feminine print totally levels up an otherwise simple look.  Gingham dresses typically come with a vintage-style fit-and-flare silhouette and puffed sleeves, but there are plenty more takes on the classic style across the high street right now. Whether you’re styling yours with a pair of white trainers or dressing it up with sandals and a raffia bag, the girly style will be a great new addition for creating effortless daytime looks in the warm weather.  From fitted midi dresses to relaxed colourful styles, scroll on to shop the gingham dresses worth wearing on repeat this summer… Celebrities wearing gingham dresses Princess Kate, Holly Willoughby, Sofia Richie and Vanessa Hudgens have all been spotted in …

Prince Harry’s meaningful bracelets are actually a major 2024 jewellery trend – see photos

Prince Harry’s meaningful bracelets are actually a major 2024 jewellery trend – see photos

The Duke of Sussex has arrived in the UK without Duchess Meghan, to meet with officials from the Invictus Games ahead of its tenth anniversary.  Yesterday, Harry met with patrons of the games, including Louise Minchin and Sir Keith Mills at the Honourable Artillery Company for the Invictus Games Foundation Conversation event titled “Realising a Global Community”. For the most part, Harry’s outfit was nothing out of the ordinary for a business meeting – a light grey suit, crisp white shirt and black shoes. But during a handshake with Louise Minchin, we caught a glimpse of his bracelet collection, and his styling hack (which we assume was completely unintentional) is actually on trend for 2024. © GettyPrince Harry wore his mismatched bracelet stack yesterday in London The Prince wears a varied selection of bracelets on his right wrist, and rarely ever takes them off. One of which, is a silver bracelet that he is thought to have obtained during a trip to Africa in 1997 following the death of his mother, Princess Diana.  Another is a …

Scientists pour scorn on mushroom coffee, the latest ‘healthy’ food trend | Food & drink industry

Scientists pour scorn on mushroom coffee, the latest ‘healthy’ food trend | Food & drink industry

Sipping mushroom coffee sounds like a weird camping trip anecdote but more Britons are embracing this alternative morning pick-me-up as “mushroom mania” sweeps the high street. With the food industry eager to cash in on demand for “functional foods” that promise extra health benefits, medicinal mushrooms – not the button kind you put in a stew – are turning up in hot drinks, supplements and even beer. While Britons seem receptive – health food store Holland & Barrett says that searches on its website for “functional mushrooms” are up 50% on a year ago – a recent investigation by Which? put the products in the category of “health products you don’t need”. “There isn’t enough evidence yet to suggest they work and the vast majority don’t have authorised health claims in the UK,” the consumer champion concluded of products made from mushrooms including reishi, lion’s mane and chaga. Close reading of the packaging showed the benefits were often derived from other ingredients with authorised health claims, such as omega-3, and vitamins B12 and D. While …

What is the Barbara Rhubarb dance and how did it turn into a TikTok trend? | Science & Tech News

What is the Barbara Rhubarb dance and how did it turn into a TikTok trend? | Science & Tech News

You may have noticed an unusual German rap song in the background of an increasing number of videos on your TikTok feed. But what is it – and how did it spread so fast? What is Barbara Rhubarb Bar? What sounds like a rap is in fact a German tongue twister written by musical comedian Bodo Wartke and his content creator friend Marti Fischer. The pair posted a two-part video of them reciting the rhyme, entitled ‘Barbaras Rhabarberbar’, in December last year. It begins: “In a small village there once lived a girl with the name Barbara. Barbara was known in the area for her excellent rhubarb pie. “Because everyone liked eating Barbara’s rhubarb pie so much, they called her Rhubarb Barbara.” The rhyme goes on to explain that Barbara realised she could monetise her famous rhubarb pie and set up the “Barbara Rhubarb Bar” to sell it to customers. As the tongue twister gets more complex, it mentions “three barbarians” who had “beards” so they “went to the barber”. TikTok This content is provided …

Tory mayor Ben Houchen bucks the trend on dire night for Rishi Sunak – POLITICO

Tory mayor Ben Houchen bucks the trend on dire night for Rishi Sunak – POLITICO

The Tees Valley mayor is a strong ally of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who recorded a video endorsement. His victory back in 2017 and re-election in 2021 was seen as emblematic of the Tories’ ability to win seats in former Labour strongholds dubbed the “Red Wall.” Speaking Friday, Houchen said he was “absolutely humbled” by the result. The re-elected mayor ran a personal campaign that pushed the Conservative brand to the background. But Houchen denied distancing himself from Sunak, telling Sky News: “We absolutely don’t shy away from that at all, and Rishi’s been up during the campaign and we have always said Rishi’s been a great friend to the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.” Sunak will ‘go on’ The results come amid poor local election results for Sunak’s party across England. By early afternoon Friday, the Tories had shed more than 100 councilors and lost key former strongholds including Rushmoor and Redditch. Labour gained dozens of councilors and retook councils including Thurrock and Hartlepool, the latter of which is located in the …

There’s a new trend making electric bike batteries safer

There’s a new trend making electric bike batteries safer

A new type of electric bicycle battery is gaining traction in the industry, potentially ushering in unprecedented levels of safety and security for riders. Get ready, because we’re quickly approaching the age of the potted e-bike battery. There’s no doubt that fire safety is an important subject when it comes to e-bike batteries. Despite the actual number of battery fires being incredibly low compared to tens of millions of e-bikes on the road, the lethal effects of just a single fire drive home the importance of the issue. Now, a new type of manufacturing process is growing in popularity, claiming to significantly increase the safety of e-bike batteries by reducing the risk of fires, even when the battery is abused or damaged. Potting, which uses a hardening resin poured between cells to isolate them from each other and the environment, can mitigate the two biggest factors resulting in fires: corrosion and physical damage. As we learned from battery expert Luke Workman on the Wheel-E Podcast, salt water spray and vapor penetrating the seals in an …

Sienna Miller perfects the ‘no trousers’ trend in dreamy sheer dress – see photos

Sienna Miller perfects the ‘no trousers’ trend in dreamy sheer dress – see photos

Sienna Miller has once again proven that she will be the ultimate style icon for as long as she shall live. The Anatomy of a Scandal star, who gave birth to a baby girl at the end of last year, stepped out to celebrate socialite Lady Bute’s 25th birthday, and her dress perfected fashion’s most controversial trend of the season. In images shared by Annie’s Ibiza founder and creative director Annie Doble, Sienna stunned in the ‘Cobweb Pearl Gown’ from the brand. © Instagram / @anniedobleSienna dazzled in a cobweb-inspired dress by Annie’s Ibiza Created from silk mesh, the sheer, floor-length gown features hand-beaded crystals designed in the shape of a cobweb which the brand explains “takes inspiration from nature’s great seamstress, the spider.” MORE: Sienna Miller just broke this age-old fashion rule on date night – and pulled it off “ Sienna wore a nude bodysuit underneath, designed to be seen, under her mesmerising dress, and demonstrated how to pull off the ‘no trousers’ trend in the chicest way possible. © Instagram / @anniedobleHer daring …

Nerds, Rejoice – The Latest ‘Love Hacking’ Dating Trend Caters To Us

Nerds, Rejoice – The Latest ‘Love Hacking’ Dating Trend Caters To Us

If you’ve been in the dating scene for a while, you will have likely tried a range of techniques to improve your matches on dating apps, have more exciting dates and even just define exactly what you’re looking for in a partner. Well, now, according to dating site Seeking.com, there is a new trend rising just in time for Hot Girl Summer. It’s called “love hacking” and unlike previous dating trends, this one is far more data-heavy and requires constant tweaking and reviewing to get exactly right. It sounds like a lot of work but maximum input = maximum return, right? What love hacking actually is According to Seeking.com: “In dating terms, “love hacking” refers to hacking or optimisation techniques to enhance the online dating experience. “This can include a variety of methods and tools, such as artificial intelligence, to maximise the effectiveness of interactions on dating platforms, increase the chances of matching with potential partners, or optimise one’s bio to attract a specific type of partner.” Sounds… like a lot of work, actually. Here’s …

Elite force bucks trend of Ukrainian losses on eastern front | Ukraine

Elite force bucks trend of Ukrainian losses on eastern front | Ukraine

Fifteen miles east of the garrison town of Lyman, a desperate fight has been taking place on Ukraine’s eastern front for months. The once verdant Serebryansky pine forest has been reduced to burnt-out stumps, reminiscent of images from the Somme, destroyed amid Russian attacks aimed at eliminating Ukrainian foxholes. Fearful that the frontline could crack last summer, Ukraine’s commanders deployed the Azov infantry brigade to the sector. Their task was and is to repel what “Maslo”, a 29-year-old staff sergeant with the unit’s first battalion, described as “constant assaults, every day, sometimes for 24 hours”. Occasionally the brigade makes dangerous counterattacks on foot. Maslo, the master sergeant of Azov’s first battalion, says that Ukraine is severely outgunned by Russia on the frontline. Photograph: Julia Kochetova/The Guardian Poor visibility, perhaps 30 metres where the wood is thicker, and a mismatch of equipment makes the fight harder. Maslo, whose call sign translates as butter, described a “more or less stable” artillery mismatch of five to one in favour of the Russians, though he believes it is closer …