# Thursday, 25 February 2010

article-1252032-0859D3D2000005DC-478_468x366 These rockets have been made by inventor John Coker. He had the idea after a friend remarked that his rockets looked a bit like crayons. The over sized pack of rocket crayons was soon born. They took several years to build  and do pretty much what you would expect rockets to do whilst looking like crayons.

posted on Thursday, 25 February 2010 12:02:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article almost half of all primates face extinction. There are 634 primate species but 48% of these are on the red list of animals under threat. The main problems facing primates is the destruction of tropical forests and the illegal hunting trade. A recent report has highlighted the 25 most endangered primate species some of which are thought to be down to just a few dozen individuals. Among these are golden headed langur of which there are between 60 and 70 individuals left and the eastern black crested gibbons of which there are around 110. It is hoped that the report will go some way to highlighting the problems facing these creatures before it is becomes too late to save them.

posted on Thursday, 25 February 2010 11:59:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 24 February 2010


A bald eagle with a broken beak has had it fixed in a rather unconventional way. The eagle had lost most of his beak after catching it in a fishing line. The resulting hole in his beak then stopped him from hunting. A dentist who was called in to help and filled the hole with putty which is usually used to fill holes in human teeth. He made it the right shape and size to fit the hole in the beak and although it is not thought the bird will return to the wild, he should now be able to survive in captivity.

posted on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 09:50:05 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A farm in Sussex has started offering unpasteurised milk in an effort to save their farm. Longley’s Farm near Hailsham has been selling organic pasteurised milk for some time but recently has started losing money on the product. The farmer says that pasteurised milk now costs around 34p a litre to produce but they are only paid 26p for it so make a loss on each litre. Unpasteurised on the other hand is cheaper to produce although it must carry a warning that it might contain bacteria and can only be sold directly by the farmer. It is thought that the unpasteurised milk, however, has the advantage of containing more nutrients because it has not gone through the heat treating process. The farmer is currently planning to deliver the milk once a week but it will be interesting to see how much demand there is for the product.

posted on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 09:35:27 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article some French vineyards are starting to make their fruit into health tonics, pills and dietary supplements in order to move into the teetotal market. Is seems that these products can often be made from the part of the grape that would be discarded. Although some wineries have traditionally turned this wine residue into state subsidised industrial alcohol, these subsidies are due to be ended and so producers are looking towards new markets and instead looking to develop medicines and supplements. One producer that the article mentions produces Dionysox a drink made from the grape skins which he sells as a dietary supplement whilst another sells dietary supplements made from the vines. Although 80% of wine studies show it has a positive affect on health there are as yet no guarantee that the wine extracts do, so it would be interesting to see if any of these products undergo any clinical trials.

posted on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 09:31:48 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A pub in Sheffield has won the Campaign for Real Ale’s national pub of the year for a second year running. The Kelham Island Tavern has been praised for the quality of its beer and attention to detail. The pub was brought in a derelict state by the current landlord in 2001 and since then has suffered flood damage which forced it to close. It appears the pub has bounced back and since it won the award for the first time in 2008 it has been attracting visitors from all over the country, so if you are in Sheffield it might be worth a visit.

posted on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 10:35:34 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A 90 year old man is waiting for confirmation from Guinness Wolrd Records to see whether he is the world’s oldest paperboy. Ted Ingram has been a paperboy for 68 years and claims he has delivered more than 500,000 papers on his round in Winterborne Monkton near Dorchester. Ted has only ever missed his round twice due to snow, despite the fact that he now has a hip replacement. He continues to do the round despite the fact that he no longer makes any money from it because he now has to take the car.

posted on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 10:32:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Scientists, politicians and wildlife groups are pushing for moves to restrict the sale of bluefin tuna. Campaigners will call for trade restrictions at the next meeting of Cities, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Bluefin tuna is very popular particularly in Japan where it is used for sushi and can often sell for thousands of pounds. Stocks of the fish, however, have dropped by 82% since 1978 in the western Atlantic and those in the eastern Atlantic have dropped by 80% in the same period. The fish is currently being fished faster than the total population can replenish its numbers so if nothing is done it appears the collapse of the species is inevitable. As the world’s main purchaser of the fish Japan are likely to oppose any restrictions.

posted on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 10:28:45 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 22 February 2010

A beer called Sink the Bismarck has claimed the title of world’s strongest beer. Previously the title was held by a German beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin made by Brewdog of Fraserburgh with a 32% alcohol content. Sink the Bismarck, however is an impressive 41%. It costs £40 for a 330ml bottle and is being sold exclusively online. The beer is designed to be drunk in spirit sized measures rather than in a pint glass.

posted on Monday, 22 February 2010 08:44:11 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback


A conservation project in Devon and Cornwall to help the cirl bunting is proving successful with numbers of the bird up 25% on 2003 levels. Under the project conservationists have been working with local farmers to manage land in such a way that provides food and a natural habitat for the birds. In 1989 there were just 118 pairs of breeding birds to be found in the UK but this has now risen to 862 in 2009.

posted on Monday, 22 February 2010 08:43:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to a recent poll on obesity and weight loss, people in the East Midlands are the fattest in the UK. The poll looked at the average body mass index (BMI) across the country. It found that people in the East Midlands had an average BMI of 28.4 compared to London which was 26.1. Putting this into perspective a BMI of anything between 25 and 29.9 is considered to be overweight. Based on this it seems that even the lower of the two figures is taken into account then the average person in the UK is overweight.

posted on Monday, 22 February 2010 08:40:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 21 February 2010

If you fancy getting married somewhere unusual then you might be interested to know that the houses of Parliament will now be available as a wedding venue. Westminster City Council has granted a license which approves two rooms in the Palace of Westminster to be used for marriages and civil partnerships. Until now only MPs, peers and parliamentary officials could get married there. The Jubilee Room has space for 80 people and overlooks Cromwell Green and the MPs’ dining room caters for 150 people and has views of the Thames. The rooms have been approved for use until 2013.

posted on Sunday, 21 February 2010 13:27:43 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback


This rather unusual wine press has recently been discovered in southern Israel. The press measures 21ft by 54ft and is unusual because it has an octagonal shape. The press which is 1,400 years old would have been quite advanced for its time and the size of it indicates that wine was produced here for export rather than local consumption. Wine would have been produced by crushing the grapes on the treading floor. It would then have flowed into a distributing vat and have been collected on two vats on either side.

posted on Sunday, 21 February 2010 13:26:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article a lack of fog could threaten the giant redwoods in the state of California. A recent study has found that fog has decreased in the last 100 years in the area. Whilst the importance of fog might not be apparent at first it helps to prevent water loss from the redwoods in the summer and so is really important for the trees. Most of the redwoods in the area are concentrated along the coast because they are not that good at dealing with California’s hot summers.  With the decline in fog many of the trees are now showing signs of drought stress and it is this which could threaten the trees. As yet the negative impact of the trees does remain unproven but it is interesting to see how a slight imbalance could start to have consequences for the environment, It seems this is an area which needs further study to see if the trees will be further impacted in the future.

posted on Sunday, 21 February 2010 13:24:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 20 February 2010

According to this article it could soon be compulsory for drinks manufacturers to include health warnings on alcohol. Some drinks already carry health warnings under a voluntary code between the drinks industry and the government. However, only 15% of alcoholic drinks currently carry these warnings. The code was agreed in 2007 and it was thought that by the end of 2008 most drinks would display the warnings. Under the code drinks should include the number of units the drink contains, drinking guidelines of no more than three or four units a day for men and two or three for women, and the website address for the Drinkaware Trust. The government has launched a consultation of how to move forward with the issue but one idea is to introduce mandatory labelling.

posted on Saturday, 20 February 2010 11:57:09 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article immigrants will be taught the fine art of queuing in an effort to help them integrate into society. If the article is correct foreigners wanting to settle here would need to learn how to queue in a test of aspects of British life. Ministers believe that queue jumping is damaging social cohesion and that immigrants don’t understand that they need to wait in line for services rather than simply going to the front as may the custom is some other cultures. According to the article 91% of Britons object to queue jumping but personally I’m not entirely sure that the problem is caused by immigrants.

posted on Saturday, 20 February 2010 11:55:38 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This article is interesting, it suggests that vegetarian meat substitutes do more harm to the environment than eating meat. There has been widespread news about the impact of meat production on the environment but it seems that meat substitutes such and Quorn and tofu are not as green as they may seem. The Cranfield University found that switching from British bred beef and lamb to tofu and Quorn actually increases the the amount of land cultivated therefore raising the risk of forests being destroyed. This is because the production methods for these products are energy intensive and the final products are highly processed. A vegetarian looking to reduce their environmental impact, then, might be better off avoiding them.

posted on Saturday, 20 February 2010 11:52:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 19 February 2010

A newly discovered species of big cat, the Sundaland clouded leopard has recently been caught on camera for the first time. The leopard which was only discovered to a be a distinct species three years ago is one of the more elusive cat species. The footage was caught by a team who were evaluating how changes to the forest in Borneo impacts on the carnivores. As part of the project they were placing camera traps in the forest and were lucky enough to get footage not only of the leopard but also a flat headed cat, bay cat and marbled cat. You can see the video and pictures on the original article here.

posted on Friday, 19 February 2010 10:28:07 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A horse sanctuary in Essex has seen a rise in the number of starving animals during the recession. Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Buttsbury has been inundated with thin and starving animals because people can no longer afford to keep them. They have also seen an increase in the number of horses being dumped in fields and left to die. The problem appears to UK wide and unfortunately is expected to get worse before it gets better. The sanctuary has urged people to look out for tethered animals as they may be unable to reach food and water and to report any animals which they have concerns about.

posted on Friday, 19 February 2010 10:19:10 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Whilst I don’t think Reebok will be using this slogan to advertise their trainers anytime soon it seems that most burglars choose Reebok. That’s according to a university study which examined footprints found at crime scenes. Reebok Classics were found to be worn by 52 out of a 100 burglars in the Northamptonshire region after studying footprints in 155 burglaries. The study found that jobless criminals were more likely to wear expensive trainers spending up to £19 more on shoes than burglars who have jobs. It also found that for every extra £1 spent on trainers the level of social and economic deprivation of the criminal increased by 0.75%. Student Matthew Tonkin who did the research hopes that police will be able to use the information to narrow down their list of prolific offenders.

posted on Friday, 19 February 2010 10:17:01 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article karaoke bars in the Philippines have been experiencing a surprising amount of what has now been termed "My Way killings. It seems the Frank Sinatra classic brings out the worst in karaoke lovers as a number of people have been killed after singing the song. The crimes have become so common that they now have their sub-category of crime and many karaoke fans are steering well clear of the song for fear of reprisals. What is still not clear is why this particular song seems to attract such an extreme reaction.

posted on Friday, 19 February 2010 10:14:02 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 18 February 2010

This is interesting it’s a concept called speed hating. Similar to speed dating participants are encouraged to confess their hatred of things that particularly annoy them and generally to row or insult people. If you are not comfortable hurling abuse at total strangers then cheat cards are provided which list things which may inspire hatred. I’m not entirely convinced it’s a particularly good way of meeting people but then I’m not convinced by speed dating either.

posted on Thursday, 18 February 2010 09:41:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This article is interesting it points out the impact that globalisation has had on crime statistics within the UK. It seems that it has been responsible for bringing down the prices of household goods as cheaper electronic goods are made in the Far East and so making them less desirable to criminals. As they are likely to get less return for selling stolen goods such as TVs or DVD players, criminals are turning instead to more lucrative crimes such as mugging and car crime which promise better rewards. Trends show that during the 1980s and 1990s staple crimes were usually burglary and car crime as it was easy to break into a house and sell an item for profit. However, trends now show that criminals are increasingly targeting high value portable items such as iPods and phones which are carried on the person and so muggings are becoming more common. The good news for home owners is that you are less likely be burgled.

posted on Thursday, 18 February 2010 09:35:12 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article a study has found there could be potentially damaging effects from “third hand” cigarette smoke. Scientists have found that significant quantities of cancer causing chemicals are produced on surfaces even when a smoker has been away from the room for several days. It is these chemicals that linger in the room after smoking that they refer to as third hand. The chemicals are found to be present in significant amounts on chairs, tables, carpets and even skin. Nicotine can stick to indoor surfaces for several days where it interacts with nitrous acid released by car exhausts and gas appliances. When combined these chemicals form something called tobacco-specific nitrosamines which can cause cancer. It is thought that the amounts found are enough to pose a danger to non-smokers and young children so it seems there may be yet another way that smoking can kill you, albeit indirectly.

posted on Thursday, 18 February 2010 09:30:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback