# Sunday, December 13, 2009

According to this article stamp collecting is enjoying something of a surge in popularity. The Royal Philatelic Society has reported a rise in membership and dealers have also reported a sharp increase in sales. Ebay have also reported a 30% rise in stamp sales. It appears the rise in popularity could be down to the recession with people choosing the relatively inexpensive pastime of stamp collecting rather than more expensive pursuits. Whatever the reason it appears that more people are choosing the hobby and it is starting to appeal the younger market and even to some celebrities. With all this interest could stamp collecting finally become cool?

posted on Sunday, December 13, 2009 12:36:28 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I dread having to go Christmas shopping, because the shops seem to be so hot at this time of year. I also have a tendency to pass out when I am standing for a long time in hot conditions, so as you can imagine I have embarrassed myself ending up in a heap on a number of shop floors. I have wondered whether the tropical conditions are all in my mind but this article now makes me think otherwise. It claims that some shops are as hot as tropical holiday destinations. A survey of the major chains on Oxford Street found that Topshop had a temperature of 80.9F (27.2C). Other shops such as the Bodyshop, Debenhams, Esprit, HMV, Clinton Cards, Boots and Monsoon all had temperatures above 77F (25C) with the average temperature being 74.5F (23.6C). It’s no wonder then when I am dressed in my winter coat for the cold conditions outside that when I enter these sorts of conditions I overheat and pass out on the floor. It would certainly be more comfortable to have the temperature a little lower in department stores and would also waste a lot less energy.

posted on Sunday, December 13, 2009 1:00:12 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, December 12, 2009

This article suggests that climate change could make some marine life such as lobsters bigger. A study has shown that more acidic oceans caused by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide can produce oversized shelled marine species including lobsters, crabs and shrimps. Whilst this may be good news for seafood lovers there is some bad news. Other species such as oysters, scallops and clams suffer in more acidic waters because they are unable to build their shells. Lobsters on the other hand thrive under higher CO2 levels because they can convert inorganic carbon in seawater into a form they can use to produce shells. However, they rely on the smaller creatures for food so in a situation where the predator is getting stronger and the prey weaker it seems only a matter of time before the predators are also severely impacted and the population becomes unsustainable.

posted on Saturday, December 12, 2009 7:58:45 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, December 11, 2009

According to this article red wine could actually be good for your teeth. Scientists have claimed that it contains chemicals which could help combat tooth decay by stopping bacteria from sticking to the teeth. The findings which are due to be published in the journal Food Chemistry suggest that a glass of red wine a day can help teeth healthy and reduce the need for fillings. Studies have also shown that red wine can improve brain power, boost your immune system and fight diabetes and obesity. Wine. Is there anything it can’t do?

posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 11:03:45 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-0-0786A4B4000005DC-580_634x448 A calf has been born in Sterling, Rhode Island that has a large white cross on its forehead. The calf’s owner believes that the animal is a message from above. Although Holstein cows do often have white markings on their heads it is thought that this is the first time one has appeared in the shape of the cross. It seems this really is a holy cow.

posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 11:00:11 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, December 10, 2009

article-0-0777ED7E000005DC-376_634x389

This rather oversized robin was spotted at Plymouth’s Burrator Reservoir. Surprisingly despite his size he was able to fly. The good news is with his extra bulk he should be well placed to survive even the harshest winter as long as he is fast enough to evade any predators.

posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009 8:25:03 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, December 09, 2009

article-1232276-07688C73000005DC-917_634x590 This snake got into a spot of trouble when he tried to eat his own tail. Reggie the King snake mistook his tail for food and bit down on it. Unfortunately he couldn’t release his jaws and was stuck like it. His owner noticed what has happened before the snake started to digest his own body and rushed the snake to the vet where its jaws were pried open to release the tail. The operation took about an hour and the snake appears to be no worse off after his adventure.

posted on Wednesday, December 09, 2009 12:50:59 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-1232106-07690B81000005DC-453_306x599

This orchid has recently been discovered in Eucador and is thought to be the world’s smallest. It measures only 2.1mm wide and its transparent petals are only one cell thick. The tiny flower was found among the roots of much larger plants and after it was studied in more detail it was found to be an entirely new species.

posted on Wednesday, December 09, 2009 12:12:27 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 08, 2009

_46823229_phonebox_queue This is one of the country’s smallest libraries. The phone box was brought from BT for £1 under a National scheme that allows communities to adopt a phone box. Villages in the local area of Westbury-sub-Mendip can use the library, selecting books, DVDs and CDs. They simply have to leave a book they have read and take one that they would like to read. The idea was thought up by a resident when the village lost both its phone box and its mobile library in quick succession.

posted on Tuesday, December 08, 2009 1:14:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, December 07, 2009

According to this article cutting one sausage out of your diet a day is necessary to save the planet. A report which has been backed by the Environment Secretary partly blames meat eaters for climate change. Scientists called for a 30% reduction in the number of farm animals bred for meat in order to prevent rising temperatures and rising sea levels. This 30% reduction is equivalent to seven sausages, two chicken breasts, four lamb chops or 12 rashers of bacon and according to the report would not only help the environment but also bring significant health benefits such as reducing premature deaths from heart disease.

posted on Monday, December 07, 2009 1:13:18 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, December 06, 2009

If this article is to be believed then scientists have managed to grow a form of meat in a laboratory for the first time. The researchers who are based in the Netherlands have created what they have described as soggy pork. They are now working on improving the muscle tissue by training it and stretching it to make it feel more like meat. Vegetarian groups have welcomed the news and have no ethical objection as its not a piece of a dead animal. Although no one has tasted the artificial meat yet it is thought that it could be on sale within five years.

posted on Sunday, December 06, 2009 11:33:43 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback