# Thursday, May 20, 2010

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This poor little guy had to be rescued after he was found stuck inside the rim of a lorry wheel. A lorry driver found the fox cub at a depot after he was alerted by a yelping noise. The cub had managed to get his head firmly stuck inside the rim of the tyre and the SPCA were called in to rescue him. He seemed no worse for his adventure and is now being looked after at a rescue centre until he is old enough to be released back into the wild.

posted on Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:09:31 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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This was the outcome after an incident in Berkshire when a bus driver went under a low bridge. Luckily the driver had just dropped off the bus load of school children he was carrying and was in the bus on his own at the time. It seems the driver who usually drives a smaller bus simply forgot he was driving a double decker. Instead he now has an open top bus.

posted on Thursday, May 20, 2010 9:59:56 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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In what seems to be rather unusual behaviour a swan has been pictured eating an eel. The picture was taken by a wildlife photographer who has been watching a pair of nesting swans. Mike Davies was lucky enough to get a shot of the male swan pulling the eel out of the water and eating it. It is not clear why this swan has developed a taste for eel as their more usual food is insects, molluscs, plants and small fish.

posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:25:34 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article foods that were traditionally used during the war are starting to make a comeback. A survey carried out by mysupermarket.co.uk has found that foods such as powered custard, sandwich spread and powdered milk are starting to become more popular. Sales of powdered custard have doubled in the last two years, sandwich spreads have seen an increase of 77%, powdered milk has increased by 36% and corned beef sales are up by 16%. The change in shopping behaviour has been put down to the fact that people on reduced budgets are relying more on cheaper food alternatives. Personally I find I am buying more powdered milk because I use it for making bread in the bread maker. I have also started buying custard powder rather than custard in packets simply because it lasts longer and there is less waste.

posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:20:19 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 18, 2010

According to this article many people are causing damage to the wildlife in their garden ponds because they don’t know how to properly maintain them. A survey of garden ponds found that many had high levels of nitrates usually caused by topping the pond up with tap water. Creatures such as water boatmen, beetles, snails, alderflies and damselfly larvae are adversely affected by high nitrate levels because they cause excessive nutrients in the water. This encourages plants such as duck weed and blanket weed which tend to suffocate the pond. Tempting as it might be to top your pond up with tap water when the water level is low it seems that most freshwater creatures are adapted to changing water levels. Most can apparently survive in just 2cm of water. The message here is to refill your pond with rainwater where possible although I can see that if you also have fish in the pond sometimes tap water might be the only option.

posted on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:17:11 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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According to this article cleavage is in fashion this season as the size zero look becomes less popular. For those that want to keep up with the latest trends but are feeling a little challenged in the cleavage department Marks and Spencer have launched a new bra. The bra uses a light foam insert and straps that cross at the back and claims to boost your cleavage by two cup sizes. It will on sale in stores from July and costs £20.

posted on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:06:42 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, May 17, 2010

According to this article a rise in potholes left by the cold winter have led to a windscreen shortage. It seems that the amount of loose gravel around has meant a huge rise in the amount of motorists needing replacement windows. The extra demand has led to repair companies struggling to cope with the need for replacement windows. Autoglass have recently taken on an extra 200 staff to help cope with the situation and there have been reports of delays of up to a month from manufacturers who cannot produce windscreens fast enough. The article highlights one company Auto Windscreens of Chesterfield which has increased production by 40% to supply 600 windscreens a day. It has seen an increase from 8,500 repairs a month to 12,000 in January. It seems there are some winners from the cold winter then.

posted on Monday, May 17, 2010 10:39:35 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If this article is to be believed then there could be a shortage of Jersey Royal potatoes this year. The problem is down to the dry conditions the area has been experiencing following the worst drought on the Channel Islands in 34 years. It is expected the first yield of potatoes will be down as much as 50% as well as being two weeks late due to a recent sharp frost. With no rain predicted over the next few weeks it looks like we might paying a little more for our potatoes in the coming months. Although I have recently planted a bumper crop in garden so fingers crossed I see some results.

posted on Monday, May 17, 2010 10:36:46 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

There have been quite a few stories recently about supermarkets moving to plastic wine bottles in order to reduce emissions and cut waste. Whilst that is a good thing they could be compromising the taste of the wine if this article is to be believed. The article cites new research which suggests white wine stored in plastic bottles loses its freshness within six months. Apparently the flavour and chemical composition of wine changes within six months of being packaged in plastic bottles or bags which are often used in wine boxes. This is because the wine starts to oxidise after this time. The wine has been shown to remain stable in glass bottles, however, and red wine remains more stable than white. I tend to not buy plastic bottles of wine but I do buy wine boxes fairly often. Whilst the boxes never last as long as six months in our house I do wonder how many months they have been sitting in a warehouse before they reach me, perhaps I should switch to bottles.

posted on Monday, May 17, 2010 10:18:11 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, May 16, 2010

otter_1634120cA pair of white otters have been born at the Blue Planet Aquarium. They are thought to be the first to be born in captivity in Britain. They are part of a litter of three baby Asian short clawed otters which were born in March. It is thought that the white otters have leucism, a condition where the animals fur develops without its natural pigment.

posted on Sunday, May 16, 2010 12:12:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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A new species of frog has been discovered which rears its young in fallen leaves. The frog which has been called Blommersia angolafa is the first amphibian known to produce in this way. They breed in the rainfall which collects in the upturned leaves of palm trees which have fallen onto the forest floor. The tadpoles are hatched inside the leaves and it is thought that the males may even guard the offspring. The frog has been discovered living in four locations in northeast Madagascar, within the protected areas of Ambatovaky, Betampona, Masoala and Zahamena. 

posted on Sunday, May 16, 2010 11:59:02 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, May 15, 2010

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A rare fish has been rediscovered in Brazil. The fish was originally found 50 years ago when the only known specimen was collected by experts. Since then it has not been seen. The fish lives deep under the ground and it is thought it has managed to survive whilst it’s relatives above ground went extinct. A group of researchers on a recent expedition to rediscover it managed to catch 34 fish. Named Stygichthys typhlops it is from the same group of fish as piranhas and tetras but is unusual because it lives below ground and is blind. It was only found after local people reported seeing it swimming around in open wells, however because the region it lives in is so dry it took some time to find a well where they could easily be trapped. Unfortunately it appears it may now only live in one 25kn long aquifer which with local pressures on the water system could soon be in danger of drying up.

posted on Saturday, May 15, 2010 10:12:53 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, May 14, 2010

I am always looking for more reasons to eat chocolate so was pleased when I found this article. It suggests that eating dark chocolate could reduce the risk of suffering from a stroke. Researchers have found that a compound called epicatechin which is found in dark chocolate can protect the brain against stroke by shielding nerve cells. The study is based upon tests which were carried out on mice but it is hoped that it might be possible to replicate it in humans. Whilst I doubt I am hugely at risk of having a stroke I will be making sure I get plenty of chocolate, just in case.

posted on Friday, May 14, 2010 10:27:24 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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I love shoes and amongst my vast collection I own many pairs of high heels most of which are completely impractical but look really good. I’m still not sure I would wear these shoes, however. They have been created by Romanian shoe architect Mihai Albu  and measure a staggering 12 inches high. I would certainly be staggering in them if I were to purchase a pair. The hand crafted shoes sell for anything up to £1,200 and they look very pretty but the question is, can anyone actually walk in the things?

posted on Friday, May 14, 2010 10:23:49 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, May 13, 2010

I still remember the trauma of childhood injections and have never really lost my fear of needles, tending to pass out when faced with an injection. I was interested to read this article which suggests some injections may soon become obsolete and be replaced with a vaccine that can be inhaled. Rather than being faced with the dreaded needle patients would simply breathe in fumes from a bag. Human trials on the vaccine will begin within the next few weeks and if successful could potentially lead to inexpensive vaccines for illnesses such as tuberculosis and cervical cancer. The bad news is, however, that it could take around five years to become available in Britain and whilst it may work with vaccines there are still blood tests to look forward to. :(

posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:10:03 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article cats, dogs, parrots and even fish show a preference for using either their left or right hand (paw or fin). The discovery was made by a team of psychologists who had the great job of playing with 42 pet cats for a couple of weeks. It seems female cats favour their right paw whilst male cats prefer the left. It is suggested that hormones may play a part in the preference as the difference disappears when pets are neutered. It has also been found that parrots like to pick up objects with a dominant foot and fish have a preference to left or right when they dodge a predator. Having several cats I think I will be conducting some tests on their various paw preferences with the results to follow.

posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:05:38 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback