# Sunday, 20 March 2011

Two new species of stingray have been discovered in the Amazon rain forest. The stingrays which have been likened to pancakes are the first new stingray genus to be found in the Amazon in more than 20 years. They have been named Heliotrygon gomesi and Heliotrygon rosai and feature slits on their bellies and a tiny spine of their tails.

posted on Sunday, 20 March 2011 09:05:25 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 19 March 2011
Poached Chicken

I tried making some poached chicken the other day and it was quite tasty. The chicken was poached for about 15 minutes in a mixture of water and wine with a few herbs to give it flavour. You can read more about poaching chicken here if you want to give it a go. The end result was a tender tasty chicken breast which I served on top of tagliatelle cooked with crème fraiche, bacon and parmesan sprinkled with parsley. It makes a fairly quick and easy mid week meal.

posted on Saturday, 19 March 2011 11:54:56 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 18 March 2011

According to this article Subway has become the world’s largest fast food chain overtaking even McDonald’s. The chain now has 33,749 outlets in 95 countries whereas rival McDonalds have 32,737 and Burger King just over 12,000. Britain alone now has 1,350 Subway outlets. I suppose people perceive a sub from Subway to be a more healthy option than a McDonald’s burger when in many cases the calorie content is quite similar. I am surprised by the rapid expansion of the chain, it seems that almost every town now has a Subway.

posted on Friday, 18 March 2011 13:35:30 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 17 March 2011

I was aware that some restaurants were now starting to display calorie content on their menus but it also seems that under the same health initiative pubs will start to display the number of alcohol units a drink contains. Although the initiative is voluntary it could see beermats and pint glasses being redesigned to show consumers what proportion of their daily limit they are drinking. The scheme covers food, alcohol, physical activity, health at work and behaviour change and is designed to help people make better lifestyle choices.

posted on Thursday, 17 March 2011 09:43:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 16 March 2011


This is good idea to make use of roof top space to grow vegetables. The scheme called Food from the Sky has planted this vegetable garden on top of the roof of Budgens in Crouch End. The garden was actually started last May and is now producing enough vegetables to sell in the supermarket each Friday. The garden uses food waste from the supermarket to make compost and grows a variety of produce including potatoes, peas, broccoli, strawberries and raspberries. The warmth from the supermarkets heating and lighting systems apparently creates the perfect conditions for the plants because it helps to protect them from the worst of the frosts. The rooftop garden also has the advantage of being free from slugs and snails. It certainly is a good idea and a clever use of space, as the scheme expands hopefully we will see more of these gardens and perhaps one might soon come to a supermarket near you.

posted on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 12:25:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 15 March 2011

This is an interesting idea, its a way of turning urine into hydrogen fuel. The idea comes from Gerardine Botte, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio University. She worked on the fact that urine contains two compounds that can be a source of hydrogen, ammonia and urea. By placing an electrode in wastewater and applying a gentle current she then found that hydrogen gas can be used to power a fuel cell. Her system works in the same way as the electrolysis of water but ammonia and urea hold their hydrogen atoms less tightly than water meaning less energy is required to split them off. The technology would be put to the best use in areas where there are large numbers of people such as airports and sports stadiums with an office building of 200 to 300 workers having the potential to generate 2 kilowatts of power, It could also be used to generate power from animals with the urine produced by 1,000 cows generating around 40 to 50 kilowatts of power. It’s certainly an interesting idea particularly as it make use of a waste product.

posted on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 11:55:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 14 March 2011

In an interesting experiment scientists tagged wild baby turtles like this one to see how far they swim. The surprising results found that the turtles travel around 4,500 miles despite the fact that they are only six months old. The turtles were tagged with customised 9 gram tags and were monitored by satellite as they made their journey. To put the distance they travel into context it is like travelling from London to Mumbai. Amazing for such little creatures.

posted on Monday, 14 March 2011 10:38:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 13 March 2011

According to this article the Harvester chain of restaurants will be the first national chain to put the calorie content on its menus. The chain will print the calorie content of every dish from a light tomato soup at 90 calories to a rather calorific mixed grill at 910 calories. Research carried out by Harvester found that customers would find the information useful rather than taking the enjoyment out of having a meal out. Although the government has called on restaurants to display information on calorie content, it is currently voluntary and as yet Harvester is in the minority in publishing the information. It will be interesting to see whether other large restaurant chains start to follow suit.

posted on Sunday, 13 March 2011 13:30:14 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback