# Tuesday, 23 September 2008

I watched a documentary last week that looked at what goes into some of the leading brands of wine. The results were rather disturbing. Many leading brands of wine and champagne were found to contain flavourings and additives that are added to disguise the poor flavour of inferior grapes. Wines are also bulked up with water, sugar and hydrochloric acid and often oak chips are adding to give an the impression that the wine has been fermented in oak barrels. The main problem is that because the wine industry does not have any regulations forcing manufacturers to list the ingredients of a particular wine, you can never be entirely sure what is in it. Some examples included traces of fungicides in champagne made by Moet, Veuve Clicquot and Lanson. The well know brand Hardy's adds yeast to its merlot and egg, milk and gelatine to the wine to make it less cloudy. Jacob's Creek uses tartaric and ascorbic acid in its Chardonnay and Blossom Hill also uses tartaric acid, enzymes and tannins to the grape juice. It does make me wonder how the consumer can be sure what is in a bottle of wine when these ingredients are not listed on the label.

posted on Tuesday, 23 September 2008 12:04:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 22 September 2008

I came across this article which suggests horizontal stripes can make you appear thinner. It had previously been thought that vertical stripes gave a slimmer effect but an experiment has now disproved this theory. The University of York Psychology Department asked a group of people to decide which women looked slimmer in 200 pairs of pictures, some of which had horizontal stripes and some vertical. The result was that even though the women were the same size the horizontal stripes made the model appear thinner and further research found that the ones wearing the horizontal stripes were 6% wider. I'm off to buy some stripy clothes.

posted on Monday, 22 September 2008 12:25:22 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 21 September 2008

turtleThis two headed turtle has been found at the Water World aquatic farm in eastern China. It arrived in a shipment of babies from a local farm and is now growing faster than all of the other turtles because it can more food with its two heads. The aquatic farm plan to keep the unusual turtle and study him as he grows bigger.

posted on Sunday, 21 September 2008 14:08:48 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 20 September 2008

I was reading this article about a cat called Dixie that was reunited with its owners after a surprising nine years. Dixie went missing nine years ago and her owners assumed that she was dead. She was later found by the RSPCA less than half a mile from home on the 24th of August. Because Dixie had been fitted with a microchip she was returned to her owners within half an hour of being found. No one except Dixie knows where she has been for the last nine years but she appears happy to be home. I have microchipped all of my furry friends and will continue to do so with any further additions to our family. At a one off cost of only £20 it gives the peace of mind that if they ever get lost there is a good chance they will be found and returned to us.

posted on Saturday, 20 September 2008 11:59:21 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 19 September 2008

I was surprised to find these mushrooms had invaded my garden today. It seems they have grown pretty much overnight. I have spent some time trying to identfy them on various mushroom websites, but all the mushrooms seem to look the same to me. Does anyone know what they are?

posted on Friday, 19 September 2008 16:31:15 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

For those who have always wanted to become a Jedi (lets face it, we all want to) you might want to check out this new course offered by Queen's University Belfast. The course starts in November and the organisers are hoping to attract Star Wars fans and introduce them to open learning. The course in entitled Feel the Force: How to Train in the Jedi Way and teaches the "real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks". No prior qualifications are needed for the course but unfortunately it does not appear to include light sabre training. The course lasts one day and costs £23. It all sounded great until I read the part about no light sabres.

posted on Friday, 19 September 2008 13:06:52 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I read this article today about a firefighter who revived a cat by giving it mouth to mouth resuscitation. He has rescued the moggy from a burning apartment in Massachusetts but finding that it needed air he performed mouth to mouth on it as he carried it outside. The cat soon revived and recovered soon after. Asked what it tasted like to give mouth-to-mouth to a cat, the firefighter laughed, grimaced and said: "Like fur." I'm not sure I would fancy doing this, my cats always smell of fish.

posted on Friday, 19 September 2008 13:04:53 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 18 September 2008

article-0-02961AD100000578-211_468x348_popupA fisherman in Birmingham got a surprise when he caught a snapping turtle. He was fishing for carp in Earlswood Lake and thought he had just caught a big one. It turned out to be a rather vicious snapping turtle. The turtle ripped through two nets whilst the fishermen were trying to remove the hook from its mouth. They managed to get this picture of it before releasing in back into the lake. Experts later identified the creature as an alligator snapping turtle which is native to the US. It is thought this particular turtle was imported as a hatching and either escaped or was dumped in the lake.

posted on Thursday, 18 September 2008 12:40:52 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

IN6018085jean-Paul-G_52885a This article highlights what it claims are the ten best umbrellas. If not entirely convinced by the recommendations. The first umbrella mentioned (pictured left) costs a rather expensive £115 and has a crafted marble handle, now you wouldn't want to leave that on the train. Some of the others are just simply basic umbrellas. The article does however feature the Senz gale proof umbrella. As an owner of a pocket sized version of this umbrella I do find it quite good as its designed to move with the wind rather than blowing inside out, so its quite practical. Small enough to be portable but quite able to stand up to gale force winds, not bad at a quarter of the price.


posted on Thursday, 18 September 2008 12:37:56 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, 17 September 2008

A delivery of beer meant for the Windsor Castle pub in Maidenhead ended up instead at Windsor Castle. The Royal staff had no record on the delivery which contained 12 barrels of larger. The mistake was resolved after a police officer made a call to the pub to see if they were expecting a delivery and the beer finally arrived at it correct destination 3 hours late. A Windsor Castle spokesman said: "It was very funny. But there's no way the Queen sits down in the evening with a pint."

posted on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 12:27:09 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A cream has recently gone on sale at Selfridges that mimics the venom of an Asian snake. The anti wrinkle cream stuns the skin in a similar way to a snake bite and in doing so helps to keep the face smooth. It is supposed to give results similar to what you would expect if you had Botox. At £60 a pot its not cheap but it appears to be selling well at a rate of 50 pots a day. I wonder if it works.

posted on Wednesday, 17 September 2008 12:25:16 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A man from Fond du Lac claims to have eaten 23,000 Big Macs since 1972. He usually eats two Big Macs a day and has saved all of his burger receipts. Despite his unusual diet Don Gorske says he is in good shape and claims to weigh 185 pounds. He also used to order fries with his burgers but cut back during the 90's and now just sticks to the Big Macs. During the last 36 years there have only be eight days in which he has not eaten his daily Big Macs, one of which was when his mother died. The other times were down to emergencies at work and not being able to fins a McDonald's whilst he was travelling. As a precaution he keeps a stock of frozen Big Macs in case of emergencies.

posted on Tuesday, 16 September 2008 09:46:18 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

icebergREX_450x300This giant ice penis was photographed by a man called Andy Rouse in Antarctica. The article that accompanies the picture gives assurances that it is a genuine picture rather than a photoshopped job. What do you think, giant ice penis or clever Photoshop work?

posted on Tuesday, 16 September 2008 09:43:05 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback