Supercharging the humble 999 call with streaming video
I recently went along to the West Midlands Fire Service HQ in Birmingham to hear them discuss some new ideas they've been looking at to "supercharge" the traditional 999 emergency call.
A year ago, the service was still dealing with one of the largest fires we've ever seen in the West Midlands.
A blaze at a plastics recycling plant in Smethwick thought to have been caused by a stray Chinese lantern.
There's been much praise for the way all the emergency services handled the Smethwick fire. But it's not a surprise to learn that the initial response was much smaller than would eventually be needed.
Ninety second window
I was played the first 999 call received that day and found it hard to work out exactly where the caller was calling from let alone the scale of the fire itself. The dispatcher in the control room had just 90 seconds to answer, assess and send out the right resources. In this case, once fire fighters arrived at the scene and saw the size of the blaze they quickly radioed in for more equipment and people.
Badger cull 'won't control bovine TB'
Bovine TB is a slow moving, unpleasant disease that is having a huge impact on the health of our cattle and on our wildlife.
But we know surprisingly little about how it spreads and what is the most effective way to control it.
Quinoa: From Bolivia to the fields of Shropshire
So the UK's first commercial crop of quinoa is currently ripening in fields just south of Ellesmere in Shropshire.
Quinoa is a trendy grain that is booming in popularity.
University of Warwick helps safeguard our vegetables
Who knows what difficulties the future farmers of the UK might face?
A lack of water, new diseases or insect pests could all cause problems for the crops they grow. But researchers at the University of Warwick are charged with protecting our lettuces, carrots and other vegetables with their seed bank.
Hunting the pine marten, the Midlands' rarest mammal
Pine Martens are some of our rarest Midlands mammals.
Possibly rare to the point of no longer being here.
Adders and barn owls struggle after bad winter
Last year was a pretty poor one for Midlands' wildlife. Filming this year's Springwatch we came across plenty of stories of low numbers and even talk of population crashes for some species.
We've focused in particular on the problems faced by adders and barn owls. Both are species that really suffered because of the snow and delayed spring in 2013.
Rediscovering the Tame for wildlife and for people
Over the past century the rivers of the Midlands have really been bashed about. They've been diverted, blocked and sometimes covered over completely.
In the more urban parts of the Midlands there's been a tradition of "canalisation". Rivers are straightened and their banks turned from gentle slopes into sharp, straight-sided drops.
From Cern to Midlands engineers
This picture feels more powerful than anything I've ever reported on before.
What you can see here is a 150-year-old pen nib and part of the Cern Large Hadron Collider.
Why not visit CERN for free?
If our reports for Midlands Today have whetted your appetite, and you'd like to visit CERN, then you can.
From school parties, to families on holiday, to celebrities (Tom Hanks, John Barrowman and will.i.am have all popped in) all are welcome. And even better it's free!
Two years after Higgs boson find, what now for CERN?
This will be my second visit to CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and my first since the discovery of the Higgs boson. So why are we going back?
Well, approaching two years since the discovery of the Higgs we want to find out what next for the Large Hadron Collider? We spent £8bn building a machine to find the Higgs boson and there it was, exactly as predicted. So what new physics will the scientists look for next? Or is there still more work to be done around the Higgs itself?