# Friday, 22 January 2010

According to this article women’s handbags are getting lighter. The average weight of a woman’s handbag is now 1.5kg, that’s down 57% from last year when the average weight was 3.5kg. The research carried out by Debenhams  in order to help them to design suitable bags. It seems the change is not down to the fact that we are carrying less in our handbags but more the fact  that popular gadgets such as mobile phones and PDAs are simply getting smaller and lighter.

posted on Friday, 22 January 2010 09:10:41 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article the BBC is considering not renewing the Met Office contract when it comes up for renewal in April. The  news comes after a series of inaccurate weather forecasts which included the “BBQ summer” that failed to materialise and the “mild winter” which has been one of the coldest in recent years. Personally I usually rely on the BBC’s weather forecasts and this winter have found them to be fairly inaccurate. On days when heavy snow has been forecast there has been none and vice versa. The BBC is currently in talks with a company called Metra, the national forecaster for New Zealand so it will be interesting to see whether the Met Office is replaced and if it is whether the forecasts are any more reliable. 

posted on Friday, 22 January 2010 09:03:28 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 21 January 2010

I am a great fan of the morning run and usually try to fit one in around three or four times a week. It certainly make me feel not only fitter but also more alert and when I can’t run I have the opposite side effect of feeling rather slow and sluggish. I was interested then to read this article which suggests that running is not only good for your body but that it is also good for your mind. It seems that a regular jog actually leads to the growth of new cells in the area of the brain which boosts your memory. Although it it is not know exactly what causes this it is thought it may be linked to increased blood flow or higher levels of hormones that are released whilst exercising.

posted on Thursday, 21 January 2010 09:53:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you watch a lot of TV then this article might encourage you to get out a bit more. It suggests that every hour spent TV increases the risk of dying from heart disease by almost a fifth. Researchers monitored 8,800 adults over a six year period to see what impact TV had on their long term health. The results found that each hour spent in front of the TV increased the risk of heart disease related death by 18%. During the follow up period there were 284 deaths, 87 due to cardiovascular, or heart and artery disease, and 125 from cancer. The scientists warned that any prolonged sedentary behaviour such as sitting at an office desk can have the same effect and that even those who are not overweight are still at risk.

posted on Thursday, 21 January 2010 09:16:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 20 January 2010

If you need another excuse to go shopping then you might find this article interesting. It claims that the average woman burns off around 48,000 calories a year just by shopping. According to the article most women burn off around 385 calories walking around the shops every week. In fact this amounts to around 154 a miles a year, the same as walking from London to Nottingham. The figures are based on the assumption that the average woman covers 2.96 miles on a shopping trip and spends about 2.5 hours browsing in stores every week. So next time you don’t feel like heading down the gym you might be justified in hitting the shops instead.

posted on Wednesday, 20 January 2010 15:43:58 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article overweight people could be paid to slim down as part of a new scheme. Under the scheme people could earn up to £1,750 as an incentive to lose their extra weight. The scheme is privately run and the payments made by a private firm but it is hoped that it could soon be available on the NHS. In a trial run within the NHS in Kent patients earned up to £425 as an incentive from private form Weight Wins. In order to earn the reward patients had to meet weight loss targets. It appears that the pilot scheme was successful and one person who took part earned the maximum available payout after reaching the target of losing three stone in seven months and managing to keep the weight off over a six month period. The scheme has now been extended for private individuals whilst the success rate is evaluated further to see if it can be offered on the NHS.

posted on Wednesday, 20 January 2010 10:05:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A buffer zone has been put in place around a red squirrel reserve in Northumberland in a bid to protect the species. The reserve in Kielder Forest includes the Cumbrian woods of Kershope and Spaedadam. The buffer zone effectively cuts off the gap between the forest and the Solway Firth to try and slow the migration of grey squirrels to the Scottish border. Within the buffer zone Forestry Commission grants are available to support land managers in controlling grey squirrels by using humane traps. It is hoped that the zone will stop the spread of the pox virus which the grey squirrels carry and which is fatal to the endangered red squirrels.

posted on Tuesday, 19 January 2010 10:31:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Having suffered from irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) for a number of years I read this article with some surprise. The article suggests that insoluble fibre can make the condition worse in many cases. Personally this was not what surprised me, it was more the fact that it has taken this long for this research to be reported. I first went to a doctor more than ten years ago for help with managing the condition. At this time I was prescribed a fibre supplement which made all of my symptoms much worse. Having felt disillusioned with the advice given by the doctor I have since relied on natural remedies and diet to manage the condition and still find that excessive insoluble fibre intake such as bran leaves me with severe symptoms. The article suggests what I have already discovered that for someone with an already irritable bowel insoluble fibre is likely to worsen symptoms and in fact it is best to stick to white breads and other products made from refined white flour. Sufferers are advised to stick to soluble fibre such as fruit and vegetables and steer clear of bran, wholemeal bread, brown pasta and cereal bars which are likely to irritate a sensitive bowel.

posted on Tuesday, 19 January 2010 09:11:43 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 18 January 2010

According to this article many different types of animals exhibit heroic behaviour and it is not just limited to humans. The article suggests that dolphins, monkeys, fruit bats and ants will all rescue their fellow creatures when they are in danger. Dolphins have been know to rescue trapped and injured dolphin, often lifting them to surface to help them breathe. Monkeys will drive away attackers from vulnerable individuals such as females and infants and fruit bats will help other fruit bats that are in labour. Ants will offer help to other ants from the same colony if they are caught in traps although it appears this help does not extend to individual from outside their own colony. A group of scientists is now hoping to study and document this type of behaviour in more detail to try and determine whether the animal rescuers behaviour is indeed heroic.

posted on Monday, 18 January 2010 08:29:11 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback


If you have put on a few extra pounds over Christmas then you might be interested in this new dress from Asda. It is designed to hide all of those lumps and bumps that you would rather you didn’t have. It works in a similar way to hold it in pants, having built in control panels in all the right places. At £28 for the dress and £16 for a skirt it claims it can take as much as inch and half off the waist. It certainly looks interesting but I feel the article would be better illustrated by using a model who has some lumps and bumps herself, that way it would be easier to see the effects of the garment.

posted on Monday, 18 January 2010 08:18:27 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 16 January 2010

article-0-07CF8A67000005DC-442_634x303 If you have a bit of spare cash and fancy a home with a difference then you might be interested in this house boat. On sale for £1million it has a 577 square foot deck and includes a roof top pool. Inside it has three en-suite bedrooms, a dressing room, a modern open plan kitchen and dining area, reception room, study and utility room. The boat is moored at Cadogan Pier on the Thames near to London’s Albert Bridge so is well placed for central London.

posted on Saturday, 16 January 2010 12:29:45 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article you could soon be paying a bit more for your pint. Many of the country’s biggest brewers are likely to increase their prices in a move that will mean an increase of around 10p on popular beers. Guinness are putting up the recommend retail price to £3.03 per pint from February 1st. InBev who make Stella Artois, Becks and Budweiser are increasing the wholesale price of all its drinks by 4p a pint from the same date. Heineken UK have also announced a price rise and Carlsberg and Moulson Coors are yet to make an announcement.

posted on Saturday, 16 January 2010 12:24:17 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 15 January 2010

If you feel you have a little too much blood and would like a little more beer then this scheme could be for you. Cascade Regional Blood Services in Tacoma, Washington is offering donors a free pint of beer every time they give blood. They are hoping the scheme might encourage more people to donate. Donors have to be over 21 and are given a coupon entitling them a free pint when they donate blood through the scheme. It appears to be having the desired effect with the blood centre saying the scheme has worked so well that it is being expanded.

posted on Friday, 15 January 2010 08:52:55 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you have tried in vain to lose excess weight from around your bum, hips and thighs then this article might offer some comfort. It suggests that carrying a little extra weight in these areas could actually be good for you. It is claimed that extra weight in these areas can help protect against heart and metabolic problems. Apparently hip fat helps to mop up harmful fatty acids and contains an anti-inflammatory agent that stops arteries clogging whereas extra fat around the waistline offers no such protection. In fact too little fat around the hips can lead to some metabolic problems such as Cushing’s syndrome. Taking this into account perhaps I should start appreciating my large bottom.

posted on Friday, 15 January 2010 08:49:49 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 14 January 2010

Most people are aware that wearing black can have a slimming effect on the figure but it seems it could also make you look older. According to this article black clothing highlights dark lines under the chin, shadows around the eyes and wrinkles on the face. The effect is more pronounced when wearing black near to the face and is worse in older women. Apparently just one in five people have the skin tone needed to wear black well. Those with warm skin tones fare badly as black takes away the golden glow of the basic skin tone. It seems it is possible to lessen the aging effect by wearing a splash of colour such as a scarf or chunky jewellery around the neck. 

posted on Thursday, 14 January 2010 09:43:04 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback