I often wonder if the answer to all the questions we are faced with is just under the surface, waiting to be scooped up by a cosmic vacuum cleaner. We look out at a landscape and see the steam on the windows. Is it a cloud? Or maybe the bin lorry? The problem seems to be getting worse, as companies now offer us stories and images that are unreliable. Is the potential stigma of being labelled fake news killing flights of fancy? Last year a newspaper carried a photo of a tanker sailing in the sky. (Did I “only” imagine it?) Even when we use scientific instruments things can go badly wrong. So I tried looking at the micro level. I found that it hides some interesting characters.