# Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I have come across a couple of articles over the past few days relating to treating irritable syndrome or IBS. The first from the BBC discusses how older treatments for the condition are often overlooked in favour of more modern and often expensive drugs. The article suggests that fibre, anti-spasmodic drugs and peppermint oil are all effective in treating the condition and that guidelines that deal with the treatment of IBS should be updated to reflect these findings. Personally I agree with this I have never resorted to prescription drugs preferring to eat less of my trigger foods (red meat, cheese and dairy products) and use natural remedies when I do have a problem.

The second article looks at the effectiveness of peppermint oil when treating the condition and suggests that it is the most effective treatment. According to the article 40% of sufferers experienced an improvement in their symptoms after using peppermint oil as opposed to only 20% taking drugs. Reading the comments on the bottom of the article is it apparent that a lot of people are interested in trying peppermint oil as a treatment but are unsure how to take it. I make either home made peppermint tea with mint from the garden or for bad attacks I take peppermint oil capsules available from Woods Health. They are designed to dissolve slowly once you have swallowed them and are best taken overnight. Even with the worst bloated tummy (beach ball size) I find three of these capsules taken before bedtime and a hot bath with a few drops of lavender oil added to it will leave me able to fit into my normal trousers the next morning.

posted on Wednesday, 26 November 2008 08:21:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

It came to my attention quite a while ago that supermarkets have started putting electronic tags on joints of meat. I discovered it when I set the store alarm off when leaving Tesco only to find that a joint of meat I had purchased from the reduced section had an electronic tag still attached to it. It appears from this article that as prices go up more supermarkets are putting tags on meat because they are starting to have an increased problem with theft. In some cases it appears that people are stealing joint of meat and large packs of bacon to order but there is also evidence that there is an increase in people stealing food to eat themselves.

posted on Wednesday, 26 November 2008 08:17:04 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 25 November 2008

We have all had those conversations in the pub where we ponder over which animal would come off better if the two had a fight. In a case of a crocodile versus a toad it should be something of an easy question. Not, however, if the toad is a poisonous cane toad. It appears that these toxic toads are responsible for halving the population of freshwater crocodiles in the Northern Territory of Australia. The toads are fatal when eaten and a recent survey shows that in just one year 77% of crocodiles have died as a result of eating them. So if you thought the crocodile would win in a fight between a crocodile and toad you might want to rethink your answer, it appears the ultimate winner could be the toad, despite the fact he gets eaten first.

posted on Tuesday, 25 November 2008 10:12:38 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Smallest_Horse_1116092c This Shetland pony could be Britain's smallest horse. Lucy is just 19.5 inches tall and weighs only 100 pounds. Surprisingly Lucy is now fully grown so will always be tiny, but it is not known why she is so much smaller than other Shetland ponies which usually reach an average height of 40 inches according to the Encyclopædia Britannica.

posted on Tuesday, 25 November 2008 10:08:13 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 24 November 2008

This article suggests that scientists have created a drug that can restore white hair to its original colour. The drug known as K(D)PT was found to trigger the production of pigmentation in hair samples when it tested in a lab. It is thought that is might be possible to convert it into a shampoo as an alternative to hair dye.

posted on Monday, 24 November 2008 09:17:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

dressinggown_1118025f If you have a bit of spare cash this Christmas then you might want to buy your man this £15,000 dressing gown. It is from the wool of a Vicuna, a Llama like creature which lives in the Peruvian highlands and is expensive because the animals can only be shown every two years. The wool is compared to a mix of cashmere and silk and is said to be very warm. If you want one of these of dressing gowns Selfridges will add a monogram for you at no extra cost. Bargain.

posted on Monday, 24 November 2008 09:14:16 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 23 November 2008

According to this article green tea blended with grape seed and olive leaf could help you lose weight. Research has shown that drinking three cups of Spearole Tea (a blend of green tea, spearmint, grape seed and olive leaf) a day can help keep obesity at bay and also cut blood pressure. The tea makes it easier for the body to process sugar. It is thought it works by stopping fat cells from releasing inflammatory chemicals which attract more fat causing them to grow in size. The claims are that three cups of the tea can help you stay trim even whilst continuing to eat junk food. I'm not entirely convinced but then I don't like green tea so it would take a lot to convince me to drink it.

posted on Sunday, 23 November 2008 12:17:18 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A leading scientist has said that a skin cancer vaccine could be available with five years. Professor Ian Frazer who have already developed the first vaccine for cervical cancer are now on the verge of creating the world's first vaccine for skin cancer. Testing on animals has already shown that the vaccine works and trials are due to start on people in the new year. If successful the vaccine could save thousands of lives every year.

posted on Sunday, 23 November 2008 12:15:27 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# 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