The Anthill

Anthill 5: Reboot – part 2

We got a bit carried away when putting together our latest podcast and ended up with too many fun stories to air in one episode of The Anthill. So here’s part two on the theme of rebooting where we bring you more tales of restarts and rebrands.

We start with a thought experiment: what if the world as we know it was to end? It could be a nuclear apocalypse, a superbug that wipes out most of humanity, or even a catastrophic asteroid. For anyone hoping to survive one of these doomsday scenarios, Lewis Dartnell has researched and written a guide for you. Listen to find out how long you can last off the food that will be left lying around and the crucial knowledge you need to rebuild civilisation.

What would the world look like after a nuclear apocalypse? The Official CTBTO Photostream, CC BY

What if humans didn’t survive? Our science editor Miriam Frankel spoke to Matthew Wills, an expert in evolutionary processes, to find out what sort of life might develop in our place. The clues, it turns out, are in the last big wipeout – the asteroid that did for the dinosaurs.

From the prospect of an apocalypse, we switch to politics. As France gears up to its presidential election next year, one of the country’s most colourful figures is hoping to make a comeback. Remember Nicolas Sarkozy? He was booted out of office in 2012 and vowed to retire from public life.

Our politics editor Laura Hood spoke to John Gaffney about Sarkozy’s prospects for returning to power and how a fallen president returning to office is not without precedent in French politics.

The business world has also had its fair share of reboots and rebrands. To conclude this bumper episode, we decided to hone in on a niche industry that has gone through a transformation in recent years – street food in the US. The “food truck” revolution, as it’s been dubbed, coincided with various social and economic trends. Daphne Demetry, who studies the food industry, has researched the phenomenon and explained how “roach coaches” became a staple of the gourmet food trail.

And if you missed the first part of our podcast on rebooting, listen here to stories of an old drug that has the potential to fight brain tumours and how one of the groups fighting the Syrian government is repositioning itself away from al-Qaeda.


The Anthill theme music is by Alex Grey for Melody Loops. La Marseillaise from Wikipedia, played by the United States Navy Band.

A big thank you to City University London’s Department of Journalism for letting us use their studios.

This is the fifth episode of The Anthill podcast. Click here to listen to our previous episodes, About time, Underdogs and Fuel.

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