# Monday, December 13, 2010

This is interesting, it’s a video looking inside what is thought to be the world’s most expensive book. The book is John James Audubon's Birds of America. Apparently it caused something of a sensation when it was published in the 19th Century. It has been valued at between £4m and £6m and is being sold as part of the collection from the estate of the 2nd Baron Hesketh. Whilst quite impressive what is interesting is that the illustrations would have been completed by people who had never actually seen a live example of the birds in question, hence why they lack background detail and in some case they were dismissed an inaccurate.

posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 8:40:10 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, December 12, 2010

If you like whisky and have a bit of spare cash then you might be interested in this idea. Based on the book 101 Whiskies to Try Before you Die it is the ultimate package of just that, 101 whiskies, in fact one of each mentioned in the book. The special offer is available from Royal Mile Whiskies until the end of December and even includes a free copy of the book, bargain.

posted on Sunday, December 12, 2010 11:22:38 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, December 11, 2010

A man has survived eating nothing but potatoes for two months.  Chris Voigt ate 20 potatoes a day during the diet and managed to lose a stone and half in weight as a result. He is the the executive of the Washington State Potato Commission and embarked on the diet to try and draw attention to the nutritional benefits of eating the vegetable.

posted on Saturday, December 11, 2010 11:30:41 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, December 10, 2010

article-1334019-0C440525000005DC-996_306x423 I came across this article which highlights some of the creations by fashion house United Bamboo. As you see they have been made exclusively for cats. The poor things don’t look very happy and not I’m sure I would get my cats into any of these outfits. They do look funny though.

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posted on Friday, December 10, 2010 10:54:51 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, December 09, 2010

According to this article we will see less robins this year as their numbers are 27% lower than average. In fact robin numbers are at their lowest since 1997 according to a recent study. It is thought the decline is down to last years harsh winter which reduced the amount of food available for the birds. As the robin does not migrate in winter they tend to suffer more than other birds in freezing conditions. I have quite a few robins in my garden and have been keeping them well fed with seed, bread and kitchen scraps particularly during the recent snow when their food is harder to find.

posted on Thursday, December 09, 2010 10:18:11 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I have been following the Royal Mail Twitter tag with interest over the past few days to try and gauge how badly the service has been affected by the recent bad weather. As someone who uses both Royal Mail business collections and deliveries, 15 inches of snow in the local area has meant 3 days without business collections and 4 days without receiving mail. With the snow starting to disappear both were working yesterday but there are obviously massive delays within the Royal Mail network as mail has backed up at the sorting office.

Looking at the various comments on Twitter there seem to be a lot of people awaiting parcels and getting frustrated because there is no snow in their local area, hence in their mind no reason for delay. I wonder how many of them have taken into account where there parcel is being dispatched from and the fact that many areas have been cut off completely for several days. It seems obvious to me that in many cases mail has to move through regions with problems in order to reach them but judging by the general opinions I have seen, people do not understand this.

I do also find it interesting that many people are of the opinion that the postmen refuse to deliver in these difficult conditions when in fact they are simply not allowed out to deliver mail due to health and safety rules. In all I think Royal Mail are getting a fairly bad press at a time when I am also waiting for deliveries from 2 major courier companies, Royal Mail has delivered to me but a week later still nothing from the couriers.

posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2010 11:57:07 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 07, 2010

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This is interesting its a soft drink that claims to burn calories. Called Aspire the cranberry flavoured drink claims to burn 209 calories within three hours of drinking it. It does this because caffeine and green tea when combined with amino acid and ginger create a thermogenic effect where the body generates more heat in order to digest food. The drink has only been tested on 20 people so it is not clear whether it could be used as part of a weigh loss plan. Personally I think you are better of eating less and exercising but if you want to try this its available from Holland and Barrett at a cost of £1.59 for a 250ml can.

posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 10:23:04 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, December 06, 2010

Over the past week the snow has been causing all sorts of problems which is hardly surprising since we have had 15 inches of it in Sevenoaks. With that amount of snow I think people expect roads to be blocked and train services to be cancelled. The situation has been that no trains have been running out of Sevenoaks at all for nearly four days with the service just starting to get back to normal.

South Eastern who run the line have been getting a very bad press as a result. The main problem, however, seems to be the fact that they have not given their customers any information. Rather than tell people there have been no trains running their website and the National Rail website were for most of the time showing all services as running normally. This resulted in frustrated commuters turning up at the station expecting a train service when there was none. In fact the only reliable information available has come from Twitter where customers have been venting their frustration.

The one TV interview with South Eastern’s Sarah Boundy failed to address the problems. She highlighted the fact that South Eastern have a new website that was able to cope with the increased traffic. Unfortunately she missed the point that a new website is not very useful if it doesn’t contain up to date information. It took South Eastern two days to change the site to indicate which routes were running by which time customers had already stopped trusting the information given. All in all this has been a complete disaster for South Eastern. It will be interesting to see if they learn from the experience.

posted on Monday, December 06, 2010 8:59:19 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article McDonalds has launched its own degree course for its managers. The course which is accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University is a two year foundation degree in managing business operations. It is a customised version of Manchester Metropolitan University's management development programme and allows McDonald’s employees to get a recognised qualification without leaving their jobs. The course will be a combination of classroom study, e-learning and training in the workplace.

posted on Monday, December 06, 2010 8:40:58 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback