The 'first scientific autopsy' of a fatbergby Fiona Rae
The word was added to the online Oxford dictionary in 2015, and in 2017, the Museum of London hacked two pieces from a 130-tonne monster discovered under Whitechapel for display to the public – and even invited viewers to follow the fortunes of the disgusting chunks as they evolved. A public vote to name the monster was organised and the people of Britain, inevitably, christened it “Fatty McFatberg”. In a somewhat happy twist, much of Fatty’s fat was later converted into biofuel.
Then last year, a new fatberg under London’s South Bank was deemed even larger than Whitechapel’s. The fatberg is, effectively, a kind of 21st-century celebrity.
Fatberg Autopsy: Secrets of the Sewers (Prime, Tuesday, 8.30pm) follows the “first scientific autopsy” on five tonnes of the Whitechapel fatberg. It’s not mere spectacle: Thames Water enthusiastically supported the documentary in the hope that it might prompt behaviour change and persuade people to stop using its ancient sewage network as a waste-disposal system.
This article was first published in the January 12, 2019 issue of the New Zealand Listener.
Women with complications caused by deeply embedded vaginal mesh are being helped by a pioneering surgical technique.Read more
North Auckland farmer Fergus Riley has uncovered many important lessons in caring for his father Peter, who has Alzheimer’s.Read more
Instagram is running a social media experiment to see what happens when it hides the number of likes on photos and other posts.Read more
Duncan Smith and Annabel Tapley-Smith weren’t satisfied with producing meat of uncommon quality. So they bought a butchery.Read more
A study on biodegradable plastic bags found they were still intact after three years spent either at sea or buried underground.Read more
Amid the agony of defeat, we must remember that the UK is in such terrible shape politically that it deserves to cherish this flickering flame of...Read more
Caretaker and unionist Ernie Abbott was killed almost instantly when he picked up the suitcase containing the bomb.Read more