# Saturday, 29 November 2008

Fred the parrot was so traumatised when his owner died that he was prescribed an animal friendly version of the drug Prozac. When his owner died Fred bit off all of his tail feathers before being prescribed the drug which he takes twice a day. After his owner George died, Fred was unable to understand the sudden disappearance and sat on his perch all day bobbing his head up and down. Animal experts believe that the parrot went into a deep depression after the unexplained loss of his owner and was unable to cope with the loss. Poor parrot.

posted on Saturday, 29 November 2008 13:18:03 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Its getting to that time of year when Christmas music is playing everywhere we go. What better time than to take a look at the top 10 most played Christmas tracks. Surprisingly Wham's Last Christmas tops the list as the most played, that according to The Performing Right Society which collects royalties for composers and musicians. Next comes Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas. The Pogues come third with Fairytale of New York. Mariah Carey is Fourth with All I Want for Christmas Is You. This is followed by Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by Bruce Springsteen in fifth place, Stop the Cavalry by Jona Lewie in sixth, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard in seventh, Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade at eight, Mud's Lonely This Christmas in ninth and at number ten White Christmas by Bing Crosby.

posted on Saturday, 29 November 2008 11:09:51 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 28 November 2008

article-1089899-0282EA1C000005DC-486_468x671According to this article this is the first ever digital camera with a built in printer. The camera is the new Xiao digital camera made by Polaroid. Users can take pictures and then print them using the thermal printing technology. The device has a five megapixel camera and can print a two by three inch picture in around 45 seconds. It can also receive and print images from other digital cameras and mobile phones. It costs £239 for the device and £6 for 20 sheets of paper but is not yet available outside of Japan.

posted on Friday, 28 November 2008 14:38:22 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This is interesting, it suggests that bras for men are becoming very popular in Japan. A Japanese retailer has launched a range of underwear for cross dressing men and in just two weeks have already sold 300 men's bras. The bras retail at 2,800 yen that's around £20 each. They are available in black, pink and white and appear to to be the must have for Japans cross dressing man, I wonder whether this might become popular elsewhere?

posted on Friday, 28 November 2008 09:41:55 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 27 November 2008

This article suggests that the number of sparrows in Britain has fallen by as much as 68% in the past three decades. The decline has been put down to the fact that many people pave over their gardens and remove trees causing a decline in the the insects that the birds eat. The article suggests that sparrows have disappeared from cities such as London, Bristol and Edinburgh. The problem is that many chicks are starving to death in the nest because they are not getting enough food to become strong enough to fly. Chick survival was found to be higher in areas where there were more insects such as aphids. There are things you can do to encourage sparrows such as growing honeysuckle, wild roses, hawthorn and fruit trees and leaving some untidy areas in your garden to encourage more insects. I have noticed that we don't have a lot of sparrows in our area, but they do seem to like the berries in our hedge and this time of year we tend to have a small community that take advantage of the seasonal food. After reading this article I don't think I will trim the hedge until the birds have had chance to take full advantage of all the berries, it might look a little untidy but I'm sure the sparrows will appreciate the extra food this winter.

posted on Thursday, 27 November 2008 08:44:47 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# 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