# Wednesday, December 03, 2008

This is interesting its a sat nav collar for dogs. The sat nav device in integrated into a waterproof collar. It uses satellite, telecom and radio frequencies to pin point the location of the dog and then alerts the owner once the animal is on the move. The collar can also send a text message if the dog goes beyond a pre programmed range. Whilst at home the collar can be switched off to save the battery life but it can still send an alert if the dog wanders out of range. The collars which  are made by a company called Retrieva will be available in January and start at £250. I wonder whether they will make a version for cats.

posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2008 3:20:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The government has come up with a new scheme that it hopes will stop people taking advantage of the sick note system. Sick notes have been in place for around 60 years, however, what started as a scheme designed to protect vulnerable people has effectively turned into a means for some people to be consigned to long term unemployment. Under the new scheme instead of receiving a sick note saying that they cannot work a patient will instead receive a note detailing what work they can do and well as what they are unable to do. The idea is that the it will make it easier for people who have been sick to return to the workplace and encourage people to stay in work. The scheme will be introduced in 2010 and it is hoped that it will encourage doctors and employers to work together to help people with a disability to stay in employment. Its an interesting idea and I can see that is is aimed at benefiting those with genuine disabilities. I wonder whether it will go any way towards cutting down on those people who use the sick note culture as an excuse not to work.

posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2008 9:08:34 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, December 01, 2008

Those who are feeling a little wobbly on their feet after a night out in Devon are being offered flip flops so that they can get home safely. The police in Torquay say that giving out the flip flops makes it easier for women to get home instead of struggling with high heels. The flip flops are part of a wider initiative which includes advice on safer sex and measures to reduce crime. The flip flops will be given out in December and will have information about safe alcohol limits printed on them. The scheme is costing £30,000 and is being funded by the Home Office by Safer Communities Torbay which is an alliance of the local authority, police and health services. At a time when many local authorities are finding they are rather short of funds, I can't help wondering whether this money could have been put to better use elsewhere. 

posted on Monday, December 01, 2008 3:38:48 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This is interesting, it suggest that lizards attract attention by doing push ups when the forest is noisy. Researchers found that Puerto Rican lizards put on elaborate displays of push ups and send signals by bobbing their heads up and down and unfurling flaps of skin under their chins. The push ups are only used when the lizards are trying to communicate with another lizard that is far away or when the light is bad.

posted on Monday, December 01, 2008 3:36:06 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 30, 2008

twofacekittenREX_450x350 I came across this story about a two headed kitten that has been born in Australia. The kitten can meow from both mouths at once although it can only eat through one of its mouths. Unfortunately the kitten is not likely to live very long.

posted on Sunday, November 30, 2008 4:22:15 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, November 29, 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, November 29, 2008 1:18:03 PM (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, November 29, 2008 11:09:51 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, November 28, 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, November 28, 2008 2:38:22 PM (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, November 28, 2008 9:41:55 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, November 27, 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, November 27, 2008 8:44:47 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 26, 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, November 26, 2008 8:21:00 AM (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, November 26, 2008 8:17:04 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback