# Saturday, December 04, 2010

Some of the largest drug and cosmetics firms have backed plans to cut animal testing. AstraZeneca, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and L'Oreal have endorsed an initiative to end the use of animals in research and safety testing. Instead they believe the future of safety testing for new drugs and chemical products lies in new technologies that use cell culture and computer models. It has long been argues that animals are poor models for testing drugs and products to be used by humans because their biology is different, however, scientists maintain that animal testing is an important safety step.

posted on Saturday, December 04, 2010 1:30:58 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This is a slightly odd story. It’s an incident where a man left £80,000 in a carrier bag on top his car and drove off losing the money. The cash appears to have vanished and the man reported a case of lost property. The situation is now being treated as theft by police. If you find a bag full of cash in Westcliff on Sea, Essex then you might want to contact Essex police.

posted on Saturday, December 04, 2010 1:28:11 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, December 03, 2010

That's’ according to this article which highlights how reliant the birds are upon human intervention. The birds have been brought back from the brink of extinction by a programme to install nest boxes. However, without a continued conservation effort the birds could be at risk. Between the 1930s and 1980s numbers of barn owls fell by as much as 70% with only 4,000 breeding pairs of birds. It is thought that the installation of nest boxes has now halted the decline and in some cases it has been reversed. Barn owls are largely reliant on areas of ungrazed and unmown grassland where their favourite food field voles like to live. With less of this type of habitat available barn owls tend to hunt alongside roadside verges which is unfortunately a risky pursuit with large numbers being killed by cars every year. Whilst the nestbox scheme is encouraging it appears it needs to be an ongoing project in order to save the species.

posted on Friday, December 03, 2010 2:35:02 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, December 02, 2010

Log Cabin

I thought we had a lot of snow yesterday but today we must have at least 18 inches in the garden today. You can get an idea of the conditions from the picture of our log cabin. It is now more than knee deep and in places where it has drifted much deeper. Currently no trains are going out of Sevenoaks station and the car is stuck in the drive. Even if we could get it out the roads are simply too dangerous. A walk into town yesterday found that most of the shops were shut and our local Co-op whilst open is limiting bread to one loaf per person. Personally judging by the state of the roads I’m surprised they have had a bread delivery at all. This is certainly the most snow I have in Sevenoaks in my lifetime and the bad news is its still snowing. I have a feeling it might just get worse before it gets better.

posted on Thursday, December 02, 2010 10:48:36 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, December 01, 2010

According to this article Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas pudding is selling for more than £100 on Ebay. The pudding is unusual because it has a whole candied orange inside it. It was on sale for £13.99 at Waitrose but having proved very popular it quickly sold out. It appears, however, that it is much sought after and people are prepared to pay a lot more than the original value for one. It does look nice but I’m not sure I would pay that much for it.

posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010 8:35:56 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Snow I woke up this morning to find a covering of snow in the garden. It’s not very thick at the moment but it certainly looks pretty.

posted on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 10:10:55 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 29, 2010

This is an interesting idea from a website called useyourlocal.com It allows users to have their parcels delivered to their local pub so that they don’t have to wait in for deliveries. It costs a pub $50 a year to subscribe to the service, they then give customers a unique code which they enter when placing an order on a site such as Amazon. The landlord of the pub received an email when a delivery is on its way and the customer simply picks it up from the pub.

It looks like a good idea and something that could help the local pub become an important part of the community particularly at a time when many pubs are struggling. Looking at the website though there are currently no pubs offering this in my area. It does also appear to need quite a bit of updating as in my local area there are least 5 pubs listed on the site that I know have been closed for several years.

posted on Monday, November 29, 2010 11:49:56 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 28, 2010

article-0-0C249A56000005DC-588_634x447_popup This is Momo a Chihuahua that this article claims is the world’s smallest police dog. The dog which weighs just 6.6lb is one of 32 successful candidates that have recently passed the test to become a police dog in the search and rescue division. The test involved finding a person in five minutes by sniffing their cap. It is thought that Momo will be particularly useful to the Japanese police force because of her small size which should allow her access to areas her bigger friends cannot reach.

posted on Sunday, November 28, 2010 2:37:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, November 27, 2010

screen 1 I use Royal Mail’s Smartstamp software for printing most of my postage and whilst most of the postage is printed directly onto the envelope with my laser printer I rely on my trusty Dymo LabelWriter 400 to print postage for larger envelopes. The Dymo does a fairly good job printing onto 99012 (36 x 89mm) labels which look nice when stuck onto a C5 or A4 envelope. One thing that has always frustrated me, however, is that the Dymo has insisted on printing out both a postage label and address label thus using two labels when at times I only require one. Up to now I had assumed that the Dymo printed the double label by default but it seems there is a very easy way to get the machine to print a single postage label without the address. You simply need to select your postage options as normal (shown in the first screenshot) but make sure the “address” placement holder is deleted so that the address window contains no text. The Dymo will then happily print just the one label with your postage on it without the need to waste a second label. I still can’t believe this simple problem has been bugging me for so long.

screen 2

posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 4:01:21 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback