‘I use music to change how food tastes’

Janice Wang’s experiments test the relationship between sounds and people’s perception of food

‘I skied down a near-vertical drop’

Freeskier Cody Townsend’s run down ‘The Crack’ changed his life

Jody Clark with one of his early sketches. He wanted the Queen to have a “more positive look”
©James Arthur Allen

‘I designed the Queen’s fifth coin portrait’

Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark created a ‘more positive look’ with a warm expression

Calvin Seibert
©Yoshi Kametani

‘I build modernist sandcastles’

Calvin Seibert first got the bug for building castles from sand piles on construction sites

‘I’m in a wheelchair and I’m a prison guard’

Markus Häusling is in training for next year’s Paralympics

‘I champion ugly animals’

Biologist and writer Simon Watt founded the Ugly Animal Preservation Society

Sergei Parkhomenko: 'This work has become very important for me'
©Sonya Kydeeva

‘I put up plaques for victims of Soviet repression’

Activist Sergei Parkhomenko says the objective is to bring people together

‘I’m a fake-wine detective’

Michael Egan says he looks for different visual clues as tasting is highly subjective

‘I’m training a supercomputer to be a fashionista’

Eddie Bell’s job is to teach a computer to recognise visual images and sort out colour descriptions

‘We had America’s first gay marriage — in 1971’

Jack Baker had to change his name and be adopted by his partner in order to be able to marry him

‘I set up Riyadh’s first female-owned clothes boutique’

Zakia al Moammar says it used to be much harder for a woman in Saudi Arabia, but not any more

‘I opened my first restaurant three months after a war ended’

Launching a restaurant in Ivory Coast’s biggest city Abidjan so soon after the conflict, ‘people looked at us like we were crazy’, says Christelle Vougo

‘Boxing saved me from a life of crime’

Giuseppe Leto grew up on the streets of Palermo in the 1970s when the mafia ruled the city

‘I run the Pylon Appreciation Society’

Many people think pylons are a blot on the landscape but Flash Bristow sees them differently

‘I hunted down my grandfather’s paintings’

Robert Seyffert spent years tracking down the works of one of the most famous US painters of the early 20th century

‘I posted myself in a box from England to Australia’

When Reg Spiers could not afford a plane ticket home, he decided to stow away in a box for the 63-hour journey

‘I indexed Shanghai’s soup dumplings’

Christopher St Cavish measured Shanghai’s famous ‘xiaolongbao’ from about 50 restaurants

‘I use sporting memories to help people with dementia’

Tony Jameson-Allen co-founded a group that uses sports memorabilia to keep older people connected

‘I keep the Welsh language alive through bees’

Wil Griffiths set up an organisation whose aim is the survival of his native tongue — and of bees

‘I get white-collar criminals ready for jail’

Steve Dagworthy, who served three years in prison for financial crime, on helping inmates to cope