# Sunday, March 14, 2010

According to this article a report has recommended that more famers should house their cows indoors so that they can collect the methane they produce. The report produced by the Land Use Climate Change Group suggests that greenhouse gases could be reduced dramatically if farmers altered the way they farmed. it claims that cows produce around 500 litres of methane every day and that emissions would fall if this were stored. In the longer term this could mean developing a radical approach such as housing cattle indoors so that the emissions can be captured. However, it would seem any plans to do this would be some way off as the technology to capture the gas has not yet been developed.

posted on Sunday, March 14, 2010 1:19:14 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, March 13, 2010

_47439479_ghosts_rightstbc In what is one of the more bizarre auction lots I have come across, two bottled ghosts have recently been sold. The auction was for two glass vials which are said to contain the ghosts of an old man and a young girl in holy water. The ghosts were apparently captured by an exorcist and then stored in the water. They sold for NZ$2,000, approx £935 to an electronic cigarette company.

posted on Saturday, March 13, 2010 9:45:32 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article Yorkshire pudding makers are planning a bid which could give them EU protected food status. They are hoping that if they win European rights Yorkshire puddings will gain the EU protection that brands such as Parma ham and champagne already enjoy. This would mean that to be called Yorkshire puddings they would need to be made within Yorkshire. The Yorkshire firms Roberts, Aunt Bessie’s and the Real Yorkshire Pudding Company are behind the bid and are being backed by the Regional Food Group for Yorkshire and Humber. Some British foods that already have protected status include Cornish clotted cream, Whitstable oysters and Stilton cheese.

posted on Saturday, March 13, 2010 9:43:58 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, March 12, 2010

Personally I can’t remember the last time I had a £5 note. It seems I might not be the only one who has noticed a shortage of fivers. According to this article they have become something of a rarity. It seems the Bank of England is looking at ways to try and get more £5 notes into circulation. They have been talking to financial institutions to try and get them to return more £5 notes from their sorting offices so that they can be replaced with new ones and encouraging banks to add them to their ATMs. It seems part of the problem is that bank machines without £5 notes can be smaller and also be refilled less often meaning most operators prefer to offer larger notes. The bank is also trying to encourage retailers to use more £5 notes when giving change. It will be interesting to see if the measures work and whether I start seeing a few more fivers in my change.

posted on Friday, March 12, 2010 9:09:47 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Wine lovers who thought they were investing in new age wine have been duped by a bogus scheme. They were offered what they thought was a chance to buy new age wine for £100 a bottle. The wine would then be kept for them for seven years whilst it matured and they would be sent regular updates on their purchase. In fact the scheme was completely fake and police have recently arrested six suspects who were running it from their homes in east London. Some would be investors are thought to have spent as much £100,000 on the scheme which targeted those on wine club marketing lists.

posted on Friday, March 12, 2010 9:07:10 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Tesco are backing a new online estate agency. The agency called Spicerhaart is launching the website iSold.com. It will launch initially in the Bristol area and will be advertised to users of the Tesco website. The service offers a basic online selling service for a flat fee of £999 rather than charging a percentage of the selling price as is the norm. All dealings with buyers and sellers will be conducted over the phone and online and the business will be kept separate for the Spicerhaart high street outlets.

posted on Friday, March 12, 2010 8:53:28 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, March 11, 2010

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This green Ferrari has recently been unveiled. It is more than just green in colour, however, the vehicle is an electric hybrid. The Ferrari 599 has a top speed of 200mph and aims to cut pollution and fuel consumption. It runs on a zero emission electric motor which backs up a 6.0 litre petrol engine.

posted on Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:43:22 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article five species of rare butterflies could soon be extinct. The annual survey of butterfly numbers in the UK has found that overall butterfly numbers are much lower than average. The problem is the wet summers we have experienced in the past few years which make it difficult for the insects to breed. Another wet summer could mean that species such as the Duke of Burgundy, High Brown Fritillary, Wood White, Lulworth Skipper and the Pearl-bordered Fritillary will become extinct. It seems there is not much we can do to save them other than hope for a long dry summer.

posted on Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:42:18 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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This interesting looking device could help treat people who suffer from migraines. The hand held device emits a single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation which disrupts the electrical events in the brain which cause the symptoms of migraine. In a trial 40% of patients who used the device were pain free for hours afterwards. Trials have shown it to be more effective than placebo treatment with more patients being pain free up to 48 hours afterwards. More research is needed before the device is likely to be available to patients.

posted on Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:40:41 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weightwatchers have recently signed a deal which will see them promoting McDonalds meals. Under the deal a range of healthy meals will include the Weightwatchers logo. Meals that are included in the range are Chicken McNuggets, the Filet-O-Fish and the Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken wrap. The deal is part of an attempt to cultivate a healthier image for McDonald’s and show that they do have a number of healthy meals available.

posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 9:18:19 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article the major food retailers have all agreed to cut the carbon footprint of their grocery packaging by 10% over the next two years. Some of the measures they will put into place include selling milk in plastic bags, meat in vacuum packed plastic bags and spirits in plastic bottles. Under the agreement retailers will also provide facilities to recycle wrappings and plastic bags. Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer have all signed up for the agreement which could save consumers £800 million over three years because of the reduction in the amount of food thrown away. It should also save the industry £200 million and cut gas emissions by three million tonnes over the next three years.

posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 9:16:37 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

The European Commission has cleared the way for a genetically modified potato to be grown in the EU for the first time. The potato will be only the second GM product to be allowed. The Amflora potato can be used for industrial uses such as making paper and for animal feed but not for human consumption and has been specially developed for the special qualities of its starch. The starch can make yarn stronger, paper glossier and keep glue liquid for longer. Although environmental groups are strongly opposed to the introduction of GM crops the Commission has insisted the decision is based upon sound science. Although it has been approved individual countries still have the right to decide whether it should be grown on their territory. It is expected to be planted in the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands but it needs to be grown under strict conditions to stop it cross pollinating with non GM crops. For example being cultivated and harvested before it produces seeds.

posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 9:09:35 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Three cases of Legionnaire’s disease in Scotland have been directly linked to compost. The cases of the disease which occurred between 2008 and 2009 have been linked to water droplets in packs of potting compost. They are the first cases to be linked to gardening within the UK but have led health experts to call for health warnings on packs of potting compost. The disease has previously been linked to gardening and potting mixes in Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. Legionnaires disease is normally linked with contaminated water and air conditioning systems.

posted on Tuesday, March 09, 2010 10:31:22 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This is interesting its a scheme from the Co-op to try and rebuild honeybee numbers. Under the scheme people would be encouraged to keep bees in an urban environment. It would take advantage of areas such as allotments and roofs of buildings which can support bee populations. The Co-op aims to encourage 300 new people to urban beekeeping in Manchester, London and Inverness and will provide free training and equipment to those who are interested. In a trial of the scheme last year 60 people out of an initial 100 went on to become beekeepers. Honeybee numbers have more than halved in Britain in the period between 1985 and 2005 due to a number of reasons such as pesticide use, warmer winters and infections such as varroa mites. With their pollination of fruit trees and other crops being worth £165 million every year lets hops the scheme is successful. I would certainly be interested but am not sure my garden is quite big enough for a bee hive.

posted on Tuesday, March 09, 2010 10:29:57 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article the AA is to launch a new service to help people within the home. The AA will answer calls from householders who have problems with issues such as leaking pipes and broken down boilers or even those who need help putting up a fence or hanging a picture. Householders will use the same call centres which are currently used to dispatch the AA’s breakdown service. People will be given a time of arrival and a reference number and repair men will use an AA van but without the flashing lights. AA members will get a discount on the new service which will also be offered to new customers. The service is split into two parts. The AA Home Emergency Response which is an insurance policy against domestic problems and will tackle burst pipes and leaks. The AA Home Assist will tackle smaller jobs such as putting up curtain rails, mending fences and picture hanging. The service will have a stand alone network of patrolman and vans, separate from the existing fleet of roadside patrol vans. Typical prices for the Home Emergency Response are expected to be £9.95 per month for AA members and £11.95 for non-members.

posted on Tuesday, March 09, 2010 10:25:41 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, March 08, 2010

A recent Which? report has found that vegetable plugs produce poor value for money. The report found that a carrot plug plant that costs £1.09 each and produces one carrot is poor value when compared to a pack of seeds which would work out to just 10p. One company Gardening Direct has since withdrawn it’s carrot and beetroot plug plants facing the criticism. Keen gardeners have been advised to choose seeds instead and only to buy plug plants if they are priced fairly.

posted on Monday, March 08, 2010 10:20:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Police investigating the vandalism of a 200 year old statue were surprised to find it was carried out by squirrels. Staff at Darlington Hall in Devon had noticed serrated marks on the statue as though someone had tried to hack it was a saw. Shortly afterwards a bald squirrel was found suffering from lead poisoning. It was later found that squirrels were looking for food and had decided to nibble on the lead covering the statue causing the damage with their teeth. It is not known why the squirrels chose to eat the statue but it is thought is could be down to a shortage of nuts.

posted on Monday, March 08, 2010 10:18:18 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

From January 2011 drivers will be able to claim up to £5,000 to buy an ultra low carbon car. The grant will be available to both private and business fleet buyers and provides 25% towards the cost of a new car capped at  £5,000. To be eligible for the scheme cars will have to pass performance criteria to ensure safety, range and ultra low tailpipe emissions.

posted on Monday, March 08, 2010 10:12:59 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, March 07, 2010

BabySong_1587893c A 14 month old boy has baffled doctors by developing fish scales. it is thought the boy suffers from a rare genetic condition which means his body is unable to cool itself. He began developing the scales within a couple of days of his birth. As he is unable to sweat or lose heat through his skin, instead it peals away in scales. Unfortunately there is no known cure for the condition.

posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 9:49:56 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A planned cow farm has met with a great deal of opposition from campaigners. The farm would see 8,100 cows being kept in what animal rights groups say are battery conditions. The farm would be Britain’s largest dairy and would bring together a consortium of dairy farmers from Lancashire, Devon and Lincolnshire. They say the farm would be a flagship for the industry and that it would set new standards in animal welfare. Cows would be bedded on sand which would be continuously cleaned and recycled. They would be kept indoors when producing milk and put out to pasture when dry. The project would generate 80 jobs and produce close to half a million pints every 24 hours. Animal rights groups have condemned it as a "an environmental disaster, condemning animals to dark sheds for most of their lives". It has also been criticised because it would produce as much carbon emissions as 3,000 homes.

posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 9:48:49 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Ecologists have identified brown bears, wolves, lynx and elk as species that could potentially be reintroduced into the British countryside. A report compiled for Britain’s largest national park has indentified 23 species in total that once lived in Britain and could survive here again. Campaigners have been pushing for lynx and wolves to be reintroduced to Britain for some time. They believe that they could help to control deer numbers and protect woodland that can often be destroyed by large herds. Ecologists also believe that introducing large carnivores can be beneficial for tourism. The proposals have not been popular with landowners and farmers, however who believe the animals could pose a threat to people. It’s easy to see both sides here, on one hand it make sense to have larger predators to manage deer populations but on the other if not carefully managed then there is likely to be a significant impact on farmers and their livestock.

posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 9:45:45 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback