# Sunday, May 30, 2010

According to this article drinking beetroot juice can boost stamina by making the muscles more fuel efficient. A study was carried out on men aged 19 to 38 and involved them cycling on exercise bikes. It was found that drinking half a litre of beetroot juice every day for a week enabled them to cycle for 16% longer before they became tired. It is thought that the beetroot juice doubles the amount of nitrate in the blood and so reduces the rate at which the muscles use their source of energy.

posted on Sunday, May 30, 2010 11:37:29 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Forestry Commission is concerned that a new disease could seriously threaten the native oak trees across Britain. The disease called acute oak decline (AOD) causes black bleeding on the stem of the trees leading to rapid dieback and death within three to five years. It is thought it could potentially be as damaging to oak trees as Dutch elm disease was to elm trees. The Forestry Commission is urging woodland managers to be vigilant regarding their oak trees and to inform visitors and walkers how to stop the spread of the disease from infected trees. Measures include advising the public not to touch infected trees or remove wood from them and to clean walking shoes and bike tyres that have been used in infected areas.

posted on Saturday, May 29, 2010 9:55:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, May 28, 2010

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If this article is to be believed then shoals of robotic fish could be used to detect water pollution. The fish which have been nicknamed robofish would be used in ports and harbours in Wales to detect pollution in slow moving water. The fish are just one of the ideas that have been put forward at the first marine sustainability conference in Bangor. A shoal of the fish will be tested off the coast of Spain in 2011 as part of a three year project which if successful could see them coming to a harbour near you.

posted on Friday, May 28, 2010 10:14:09 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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What is thought to be the smallest water lily in the world has been saved from extinction by Kew Gardens. The water lily which was thought to be found at only one hot spring location in Africa has vanished from the wild. Named the thermal water lily because it likes to grow on the edges of thermal springs it measures just 1cm across. It was discovered in 1985 in Mashyuza, Rwanda and is thought to have disappeared about two years ago. A few specimens had been sent to Bonn Botanic Gardens and some seedlings were sent Kew but the plant has proved difficult to propagate. After many failed experiments eight plants were eventually grown in November last year and have since produced seeds. There are now dozens of new seedlings growing at Kew. It seems the plant has been saved just in time as one of the only two left at Bonn was recently eaten by a rat. The water lily will now be on display at Kew along with other endangered plants.

posted on Friday, May 28, 2010 10:11:36 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, May 27, 2010

_47871695_monkey A pair of rare monkeys have recently been born at an East Sussex animal park. The Sulawesi black crested macaques were born at Drusillas Park to two different mothers within weeks of each other. The monkeys are on the critically endangered list because their natural habitat in Indonesia is under threat. It is thought the numbers in the wild have fallen 80% in the last 40 years. The programme at Drusillas is part of a European breeding programme to conserve the species.

posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010 9:13:38 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

a-purple-heron-006 According to this article a pair of purple herons are nesting in the UK for the first time. The birds are more commonly seen in Europe, although they visit Britain in small numbers each year. The pair that have nested near Dungerness are currently being protected and it is hoped that they might be the first to successfully breed here. For now they are receiving round the clock protection with Kent police helping the RSPB to protect the nest. It will be interesting to see if they manage to hatch any eggs.

posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010 9:07:16 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, May 26, 2010

article-1278385-09926A0D000005DC-34_634x442 This is interesting its a cross between a chicken and guinea fowl. The rare hybrid was hatched in Defford, Worcestershire. Called a guin it is the result of an accidental union between a female hen and a male guinea fowl. The bird retains some of the characteristics of each of each parents but is unusual because it also has four wings. It seems the bird who has been named Tulip does not realise she is different from the other hens, however it is thought the cross breed is infertile so she may be sold at auction.

posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:40:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I have been aware of phakix IOL treatment for some time as it was offered as an alternative when I was considering laser eye surgery. Up until now, however, it appears that it has only been offered to those patients who have very short sight. The treatment which involves a lens being inserted into the eye is thought to be safer than laser eye surgery. Although the results are the same it appears many patients prefer the procedure because it is less invasive.

Recent studies carried out found that in many cases patients patients had better vision a year later than with laser eye surgery. The findings may mean that it will be offered more commonly as a treatment rather than simply as a last resort if you are unable to have laser eye surgery as would have been the case in my situation. I am lucky enough to have undergone laser eye surgery and be happy with the results but a treatment with less complications and similar results can only be a good thing.

posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:38:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It seems English wines have done rather well at this years International Wine Challenge with two vineyards winning top awards. The Carmel Valley winery in Cornwall won a gold for its 2008 Pinot Noir Rose Brut and Nyetimber based in West Sussex also won gold with its 2001 Blanc de Blancs. The wines were tasted by a panel of 400 judges who awarded scores for faithfulness to variety, country, region and vintage. Although the top three gold medal winning nations were France with 75 medals, Australia with 65 and Portugal with 35, it seems English wines are starting to gain more recognition.

posted on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:27:50 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, May 24, 2010

According to this article the average Briton spends up to 14 hours a day sitting down. It seems many people spend all day sitting down at work, then sit down on their commute home before going home to sit down on the sofa. For many people the only exercise they get is walking to their car. I guess I am a fairly typical example. I work on my laptop all day and tend to spend most of the evening watching the TV. I tend to only stand up when I cook in the evening and to water the garden. I do however, ensure I get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day whether it is going for a run or on the exercise bike, does that also count as sitting down?

posted on Monday, May 24, 2010 9:52:30 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, May 23, 2010

For those that need their chocolate fix but don’t want to put on weight there may now be an answer. Le Whif is a new spray which claims it can give you a chocolate fix but without the adverse effect of weight gain. The spray which looks like a lipstick contains small particles of chocolate which when inhaled coat the back of the throat. They dissolve immediately but not before they coat the tongue and tastebuds. The spray costs £1.99 and comes in three flavours plain, raspberry and mint. Each spray contains around eight to ten puffs of chocolate. I’m not convinced myself, wouldn’t it be like smelling a chocolate bar without being able to eat it?

posted on Sunday, May 23, 2010 5:28:37 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback