# Monday, February 15, 2010

A herd of wild horses has been released into the Kent countryside in a project to help improve biodiversity in the area. The horses have been released into the South Foreland Valley nature reserve at St Margaret’s Bay near Dover. The project is a collaboration between conservation groups and St Margaret’s parish council. The horses are a relative of the Tarpan, a wild forest horse that would have roamed Britain in prehistoric times. It is hoped that grazing the land will encourage the return of many species of wildlife which are under threat including butterflies such as the chalkhill blue and silver spotted skipper.

posted on Monday, February 15, 2010 10:41:07 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
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An Australian man has set the world record for sword swallowing by swallowing 18 blades. Chayne Hultgren who calls himself The Space Cowboy beat the record he set in 2008. He has been practising with swords since he was 16 and has a variety of methods he uses including stretching his throat with hoses.  

posted on Monday, February 15, 2010 10:38:37 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, February 14, 2010

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Eel passes such as the one shown in the picture have given a boost to the number of European eels in British rivers. The passes allow the eels to wriggle their way up and over the barrier on a bed of bristles so they can get to the other side. Two passes installed in Somerset have seen 10,000 eels queuing up to use them. The Environment Agency now plans to fit a further 100 gates across the country.

posted on Sunday, February 14, 2010 12:56:41 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

The answer according to one academic is 151 when it comes to Facebook friends. It appears that is the stage at which your Facebook friend list becomes unmanageable. The reason is that our brains are simply not big enough for us to handle meaningful relationships with more than a handful of people. Apparently there is a general relationship between brain size and social group size in monkeys and apes. That relationship predicts a natural group size and for humans this size is 150. This number is among other things the average number of people we send Christmas cards to, the average size of parishes among community-focused sects such as the Amish and the Hutterites, and the typical size of companies in most armies. Within these friends your social world then contains circles of friendships from a core of more intimate friends declining in intimacy down to those on the outskirts. I currently have 94 Facebook friends so it appears I have extra capacity for a few extra.

posted on Sunday, February 14, 2010 12:52:49 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, February 13, 2010

According to this article less people appear to be eating marmalade. It seems younger generations have lost their taste for marmalade with around 80% of sales being to shoppers over the age of 45. Overall sales were down 3% last year. The rise of eating on the move has been blamed for the decline as it appears less people take the time to sit down to toast for breakfast. Production has also been hit by price rises in ingredients such as fresh fruit and sugar. Personally I do buy marmalade but find I use it more in recipes rather than eating it on toast.

posted on Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:36:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

When you think of Scotland wine isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind. A chef from Perthshire, however, is hoping to change that. Pete Gottgens has planted vines in the grounds of the Ardeonaig hotel in Perthshire and hopes to produce Scotland’s first commercially available wine. Inspired by dessert wines produced in Canada and Sweden he has planted 48 vines of four different varieties. He hopes they will produce something this year even if it does turn out to be vinegar. It will certainly be interesting to see the results.

posted on Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:34:15 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, February 12, 2010

According to this article St Austell in Cornwall will get £9 million of government money to help its eco-town project. St Austell was named as one of four areas that has been chosen by the government to have eco-towns with the others being in Rackheath in Norfolk, Bicester in Oxfordshire and Whitehill Bordon in East Hants. In all, the four areas will support up to 2,000 local jobs and introduce thousands of people to green living. The project in St Austell will regenerate the china clay area being used to create a number of carbon neutral homes. The homes will initially be used as show homes to help give residents in the local area an example of green living. Other houses will be given a green makeover and will feature water saving systems and smart meters to monitor energy use. They will also have renewable power and electric car charging points.

posted on Friday, February 12, 2010 10:42:56 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article cat owners are more educated than dog owners. That’s according to a study carried out by Bristol University. A poll of 2,524 households found that 47.2% of those with a cat had at least one person educated to degree level, compared with 38.4% of homes with dogs. It is put down to the fact that those who work longer hours are generally in better qualified jobs but that these people find their lifestyle makes owing a dog impractical so opt for a cat instead.

posted on Friday, February 12, 2010 10:37:40 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, February 11, 2010

According to this article our DNA could affect our ability to burn off fat through exercise. Dubbed the “unfitness gene” it seems one in five of us will be unable to lose weight no matter how much we exercise. Researchers asked 600 people to take up cycling and then tracked their improvements in fitness.  They did this by measuring the amount the amount of oxygen they took in. By looking into the volunteers DNA they found 30 genes that affected oxygen intake and noticed that one in five had a combination of genes which meant their oxygen intake did not change despite the recent exercise. 10 per cent of the volunteers did see a massive improvement in their aerobic fitness, however, this could explain why some people find it hard to lose weight. Or it could just be that extra piece of cake you couldn’t resist.

posted on Thursday, February 11, 2010 9:35:05 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Web In an effort to cut the amount of glass attacks in England and Wales the government has been looking into designs for safer pint glasses. Two new prototypes have recently been unveiled which it is hoped will help to reduce injuries. The first of the glasses called the Glass Plus has a clear plastic coating which is put inside the glass. The coating prevents the glass from breaking into shards when it is smashed and existing pint glasses can be treated with it. The second design called the Twin Wall is made from two thin walled glasses inside each other which are bonded together. Once again this stops the glass from shattering into small pieces. Both glasses are currently only prototypes and so are still being tested for safety. In a demonstration Glass Plus broke on the first attempt, but didn't shatter whilst it took four attempts to get a Twin Wall glass to break and when it did there were no shards of glass either. It is likely to be some time before either glass appears in a pub near you but it is estimated you might start seeing them in around a years time.

posted on Thursday, February 11, 2010 9:30:04 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Austrian millionaire is giving away his fortune after realising it doesn’t make him happy. Karl Rabeder who is worth around £3 million is gradually disposing of his fortune. He has put his £1.4 million villa up for sale and is also in the process of selling his farmhouse, six gliders and an luxury Audi. The proceeds of the sale will all be going to charities which he has set up in Central and Latin America. Once everything is sold he will move into a small wooden hut in the mountains or a bedsit.

posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 8:57:56 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article drinking beer could help prevent weak bones. A study claims that certain types of beer are a rich source of dietary silicon and can actually help prevent osteoporosis. Not all beers, however, have the effect. Those that contain malted barley and hops have a higher silicon content that beers made from wheat so these are the ones to choose if the article is correct. However, the study suggests consuming them in moderation. Beer. Is there anything it can’t do?

posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 8:49:14 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, February 09, 2010

According to this article scientists have created a tomato that can stay fresh for up to six weeks. The tomato which is the result of genetic engineering will stay fresh for around 45 days, three times longer than a normal tomato. Researchers believe the process could also be applied to other fruits including bananas and mangos. It has been created by researcher in India who have managed to stop the production of ripening enzymes in the fruit. The increased firmness stops the fruit going soft for longer. The one problem may be that no one has yet tested the tomato for taste. It would also need to undergo extensive safety testing before it would be allowed to go on sale. I’m not convinced myself, I find fruit and vegetables at their best when they are fresh and am a little dubious at something that can be kept so long.

posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 9:56:49 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-1248144-081FA91A000005DC-62_634x372 If you have ever wanted to know which would win in a fight between a leopard and a porcupine then you might find this article interesting. It shows several images of a young leopard trying to hunt a porcupine. Despite the leopard trying out several different hunting techniques he is no match for his prickly opponent and after receiving painful spines in his paw decides this potential meal might not be worth the effort.

posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2010 9:30:05 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 08, 2010

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This is interesting, its a machine that supposedly turns waste paper from the office into toilet roll. Called the “White Goat” the machine could not be described as portable, it is 6ft tall and weighs in at 94st. It can create a new toilet roll from 40 sheets of A4 paper in around 30 minutes. Waste paper is fed into a shredder, untangled and then dissolved in a pulper. The wet paper is then thinned out and dried before being wound into toilet paper.

posted on Monday, February 08, 2010 10:58:14 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback