Despite wearing ear defenders, a motor racing fan finds the noise at the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix rather overwhelming (Photo: Diego Azubel)

The Rugby World Cup came alive last night as England and Wales battled it out in a bid to secure safe passage through to the knock-out stages.  Despite trailing for most of the match, an injury-hit Wales snatched victory in a classic encounter.  Yet, for all but the most ardent rugby fans, following the laws and understanding each refereeing decision can be a challenge.  Here is a game that has evolved complex laws and protocols from very humble beginnings. When the game of rugby originated nearly two centuries there were no formal positions and anyone could join in.  For example, in 1839 Rugby School House (75 players) played the rest of the school (225 players) in what, by today's standards, could only be described as a mass brawl.  And, if you shudder at the violence of the high-impact modern game, it is worth remembering that players used to wear sharpened boots with nails in them for "extra hacking" - the legitimate process of pushing and kicking at the ball, as well as your opponents shins!  This might seem scant consolation for yesterday's defeat, but at least the English team can consider themselves lucky they are only nursing wounded pride!

Speculative development in a sector is a key indicator of confidence in an occupier market and the underlying prospects for the economy.  In the industrial sector, speculative warehouse development has returned.  However, research by JLL shows that developers are no longer building "mega-sheds" such as the 750,000 sq ft warehouse at Nimbus Park (Doncaster) which was built back in 2006 and remains the UK's largest speculative scheme.  By contrast, the average speculative shed size today is around 192,000 sq ft.  The reasons for this shift appear to be numerous; planning constraints, changing occupier demand, the abolition of empty rates relief, and continued difficulties in securing finance outside of prime locations.  So will occupiers with large logistics requirements have to go down the design and build route in future?  It may depend on how quickly memories of the 2008 financial crash begin to fade.

An unusual request from supermodel, Bar Refaeli, to temporarily close the airspace over her wedding venue sparked a political row in Israel this week.  It appears that the bride and groom had planned to have 5 drones circling above their reception venue - ostensibly to take photographs - and asked to close the airspace on safety grounds.  The couple's request was eventually turned down, but this rather public spat highlights a wider and fast-moving revolution in the use of civilian drones.  Indeed some analysts believe that the number of drones made and sold around the world this year could exceed 1 million.  The practical applications for remote-controlled aircraft are almost limitless.  Already commercial drones are used in areas such as land-surveying, film-making, security, and parcel delivery - along with some more questionable roles such as spraying graffiti on prominent New York billboards and smuggling drugs into UK prisons!  How drone use will be regulated and policed is a question that needs to be addressed, but the exponential sales growth suggests that it won't be long before these futuristic, buzzing machines become a feature of our skies. 

Enjoy your Sunday.

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