# Saturday, 22 November 2008

Council tenants at a block of flats in Gosport have been banned from having welcome mats outside their doors because they are health and safety hazard. The tenants have been ordered to remove the mats and have been threatened with court action and even eviction if they fail to comply with the demand. It appears the problem is that people could trip on the mats if they need to leave in an emergency. Council officers will be returning to the block of flats within a month to check all traces of the offending items have been removed. It strikes me that there might be more important issues for councils to worry about than a few door mats but maybe I am missing the point?

posted on Saturday, 22 November 2008 12:30:47 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This article suggests that it is the size of your waist not your weight which is more likely to increase the likelihood of premature death. Researchers found that people were more likely to die an early death even if they were not considered to be overweight or obese. They found that people with a large waist, that's more than 120cm for man and 100cm for women had double the risk of dying prematurely compared with people who had a slim waist, less than 80cm for men and 65cm for women. According to the research excess weight is more harmful around the stomach than extra weight around the legs and hips. It appears from this I should stop worrying about my large bottom and put more effort into keeping my tummy trim.

posted on Saturday, 22 November 2008 12:28:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 21 November 2008

This is a story about a cat who hitched a ride underneath freight train and travelled 100 miles before she was discovered. The cat was found underneath a freight train by a depot fitter in Carlisle when he was examining an empty train carriage which had returned from Billingham. It is believed she had climbed aboard at Teesside and travelled the rest of the journey underneath the train. The white and tortoise shell cat was shaken and dirty but unharmed and was taken to an animal refuge in Carlisle where is it hoped the high speed pussy can be reunited with her owner.

posted on Friday, 21 November 2008 09:21:44 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I am the first one to plead guilty to playing too many games and have frequently played right through the night crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning. I have never quite managed to play for 24 hours straight and to be honest I think it would be beyond my endurance levels to stay awake for that amount of time. This story comes from Sweden where a 15 year old boy suffered what appeared to be an epileptic seizure after playing World of Warcraft for 24 hours. The boy and his friends had played all day and all night eating meals at their computers before the fifteen year suffered a seizure. Doctors told the father than his son's bodily systems had been disrupted by a combination of sleep deprivation, lack of food and playing the computer game for a long period. The boy is expected to make a full recovery and the father has said he will limit the amount of time his son is allowed to play computer games. He also warned other parents about the dangers of extended game playing.

posted on Friday, 21 November 2008 09:19:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 20 November 2008

Recently the news has been full of details about the case of Baby P who died after sustaining shocking injuries inflicted upon him by his parents over a long period of time. In the case of this child, he was seen by social workers more than 60 times and also examined by a doctor just days before he died and no one picked up the extent of his injuries or felt that the child should be taken into care. A postmortem examination showed he had a broken back, eight fractured ribs, missing fingernails and toenails, multiple bruises and an injury to the inside of his mouth. He had also swallowed one of his own teeth. This is clearly a shocking case and one where social services have failed to protect a vulnerable child. I do think, however, that shocking as the case is that cases of extreme child abuse such as this are in the minority and that this should be taken into account.

The majority of parents would not consider causing harm to their child and are perfectly capable of raising happy well adjusted children. Whilst I can understand the strength of public feeling regarding this case, I do feel that the backlash from this case will mean that the majority of good parents will now be under more intense and often unnecessary scrutiny. These cases often lead to unnecessary measures such as the call to ban smacking which apparently "infringes children's rights to dignity". There have already been cases of parents being taken to court for simply smacking their children. Smacking, however, is not child abuse and should not be compared in the same light, after all children are children not adults, they do need discipline but within reason and only when necessary.

I can't help thinking that the many inquiries that follow this case will not help to protect the minority of children that are really at risk but will simply lead to more cases where parents have their children taken into care simply because the authorities have unsubstantiated suspicions. In my opinion the inquiries into the case of Baby P should concentrate upon the failings directly related to this case, such as why his injuries went unnoticed for so long and why social workers did not notice the physical signs of abuse. Perhaps the focus should be on better training for those who have to determine whether a child is at risk and not introducing new rules and regulations that could penalise the majority of good parents.

posted on Thursday, 20 November 2008 08:15:21 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Like many other people I have often thought about satisfying it would be to spend time tracking down spammers and killing them but have also wondered how much effect it would actually have. This article gave me new hope. According to the article after one company was closed down email spam dropped by 75%. The company McColo.com is believed to host some of the largest spam operations and has been turning a blind eye to a number of criminal organisation. Two major internet providers cut off internet access to the company last week in what has been called an unprecedented move. It is estimated that spam rates fell by up to 75% shortly after the company's servers were disconnected. Unfortunately the levels of spam have since picked up again as other spammers fill the void. This goes to show that my plan to track down spammers and kill them, could in theory be effective, now where can I buy a ninja outfit?

posted on Wednesday, 19 November 2008 22:43:16 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

PDSA-Veterinary-Nu_1115322c This is Tinks and he could be Britain's fattest cat. Along with seven dogs he will be competing to win the title of the UK's biggest animal slimmer. Tinks weighs over 11kg and as a result suffers from heart problems and spends most of his time sleeping. This is one seriously fat pet that really needs to go on a diet and exercise program to lose some of that extra fat. Lets hope the 100 day fitness program will help him to do this. He makes my cats look thin in comparison.

posted on Wednesday, 19 November 2008 13:49:57 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 18 November 2008

This is interesting, it suggests that Microsoft dismissed an employee over a photo he took of Apple Macs being delivered to the Microsoft loading dock. The photo which was taken at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond a shipment of G5's arriving at the Microsoft loading bay. It was accompanied by the headline "Even Microsoft wants G5s". Microsoft maintains that the employee was sacked because he had committed a security violation but some people think its simply because they were shown to be receiving Apple computers although I'm not sure why that would a be an issue, Microsoft do produce a lot of software for use on Macs, they must have to test it on something.

posted on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 09:19:26 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 17 November 2008

The Royal Society of Chemistry has issued a recipe for the perfect Yorkshire pudding. Apparently the puddings should be at least 10cm high and based on the following formula carbohydrate + H2O + protein + NaCl + lipids. The full recipe is below

The Royal Society of Chemistry Yorkshire Pudding


Tablespoon and a half of plain flour.
1 egg.
Half milk, half water to make a thin batter.
Half a teaspoon of salt.


Put flour in a bowl, make a well in the middle, add the egg, stir until the two are combined then start gradually adding the milk and water combining as you go.

Add the liquid until the batter is a smooth and thin consistency.

Stir in half teaspoon of salt and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Put beef dripping into Yorkshire pudding tins or into one large tin but don't use too much fat.

Put into hot oven until the fat starts to smoke.

Give the batter a final stir and pour into the tin or tins.

Place in hot oven until well risen - should take 10 to 15 minutes.

posted on Monday, 17 November 2008 10:25:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 16 November 2008

This article suggests that sleeping for less than seven and a half hours a night can raise the risk of heart disease by up to fours time. On average people in Britain get about seven hours of hours by a third of people in Britain only have five hours of sleep or less. Scientists have blamed the trend towards shorter nights' sleep for increasing the risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. The research was based upon studying 1,255 patients with high blood pressure over a period of 23 months. 1,007 people slept for more than 7.5 hours a night and 248 slept for less time. Getting less sleep was associated with a 27% increase in the risk of heart attacks or strokes. Based on this, I think I need more sleep.

posted on Sunday, 16 November 2008 10:30:02 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 15 November 2008

This is an interesting idea from Lancashire police. They are distributing cat bells for elderly people to attach to valuable items. The idea is that when someone tries to steal a handbag or purse that has bells attached, it will ring as an alarm alerting the owner. The use of cat bells in this way has already proved to be a success in other areas.

posted on Saturday, 15 November 2008 11:51:20 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback