# Friday, May 20, 2011

article-1388227-0C1DE07D00000578-366_634x435

This cute little guy is one of four pink kittens recently rescued by the Cats Protection League. The kittens were found abandoned at a concrete factory in Redruth in Cornwall. The pink colour is thought to have come from them having been been in contact with the red pigment used in concrete manufacturing. The colour won’t wash out so the kittens are likely to remain pink until it grows out of their fur.

posted on Friday, May 20, 2011 10:36:34 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you tend to buy the bigger brands of ketchup rather than the supermarket own brands, then this article might make you change your mind. Big brands like Heinz and Branston performed much worse than the supermarket own brands in a blind tasting. A total of 13 tomato sauces were tested by consumer watchdog Which? The Heinz ketchup was found to be “artificial, bitter and vinegary”. Sainsbury’s ketchup came top and was praised for its “rich and fruity taste” and “thick, smooth, velvety consistency”. Marks and Spencer came 2nd whilst Tesco came 3rd and the Co-op 4th. Branston came 5th and Heinz managed 12 out of 13 with Daddies bringing up the rear. Unfortunately the article does not list all the prices of the sauces so it’s hard to make a proper comparison but I will certainly be checking out the Sainsbury’s alternative next time I am in the store.

posted on Friday, May 20, 2011 10:28:19 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, May 19, 2011

article-1387393-0C155CA800000578-358_468x339This is interesting its a new Swedish design for ready meals that emits a whistle when the meal is cooked. The meal is packaged in a similar way to most ready meals with a plastic wrapping. However, it contains a valve in the in the packaging that seals in freshness after the meal is cooked in the factory. The same valve emits a whistle when the meal is cooked much the same as an old fashioned kettle does. It’s an interesting idea and should soon be on sale at Tesco if you fancy trying one.

posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:45:27 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s the message from the RSPB after the recent dry spell. It seems that the RSPB have received a lot of calls to report swallows and martins searching for mud to repair their nests. With the dry weather, however, mud supplies are not readily available. The RSPB recommends putting out a shallow container such as a dustbin lid full of mud or creating damp patches around the edges of borders and ponds for birds. Swallows and martins rely on mud in order to build new nests and make repairs to old ones. Without the right materials available it can affect their chances of breeding successfully, particularly during these dry spells when martin nests dry out and fall to the ground with the young still inside. It’s not something I really considered but I will be off to make some muddy areas in the garden.

posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:41:39 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, May 18, 2011

article-1386623-0C0A0F3400000578-581_468x312This is an interesting idea for those who are counting the calories. Called the lettuce boat it’s a lunch option that instead of bread wraps the contents in lettuce leaves. Available from Waitrose it contains just 125 calories and looks like just the thing for those wanting to cut out carbs. There are a range of fillings available including chicken and mango, feta cheese and cucumber, red onion and pepper. At £2.50 they are not hugely expensive. For £3.50 there is also an open lettuce boat available which contains either sweet chilli chicken or oriental king prawn with crunchy vegetable and rice noodles. They all include dressing which comes on the side to prevent the snack from becoming soggy. They do look like they might be a little hard to eat, without them falling apart so might not be a good lunchtime option for those on the go. They certainly do look like a healthier option, however, for people who want to lose a few pounds.

posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:05:48 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article. A study which looked at 400 men and women found that people with fewer qualifications are prone to ageing more quickly. DNA evidence found that cellular ageing is more advanced in adults with no qualifications than with those who have a university degree. Experts believe this is due to the fact that education may simply help people to lead more healthy lives such as smoking less, taking more exercise and having more access to better quality healthcare. It is also thought that well qualified people may be under less long term stress or be better able to deal with stress.

posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:01:47 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 17, 2011

That’s according to this article which suggest ministers are unveiling new proposals on speed limits. Under the proposals the speed limit on motorways could be raised to 80pmh whilst those on other roads could be cut. The Government is looking to cut the number of people killed and seriously injured in car crashes. They will look into how speed limits should be set and take into account the benefits of shorter journey times and the implications for road users. Already 52% of traffic on motorways travels at more than 70 mph with 35% of cars being driven between 70 and 79 mph. In this case, then it may make sense to raise the speed limit, although driving at higher speeds does burn more fuel so is unlikely to be popular with environmental campaigners. It is also likely that speed limits would be cut on roads such as single carriageways where they are thought to be too high. It will be interesting to see what if any changes are actually made.

posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:27:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

As someone who has suffered quite badly with migraines in the past (less so now, fingers crossed) I found this article interesting. It’s about a new shock treatment which is being trialled on migraine sufferers. The treatment involves having a small remote controlled device implanted inside your nose, just above the nerves. When the patient feels a migraine coming on they then press the button on the remote to trigger the device which delivers a mild shock. The shock numbs the nerves and stops the pain of the headache. With around 5.6 million people in the UK suffering from migraines and 90,000 people being absent from work every day as a result of a migraine, if this works it could prove quite popular. It is currently undergoing a trial which will be followed by further clinical trials so it will be interesting to revisit this at a later date to see the results.

posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:02:25 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, May 16, 2011

If this article is to be believed we should see an abundance of strawberries this summer, and not only will there will be more of them, they will be much sweeter than usual. According to the article it is down to the warm weather we have been experiencing meaning that British strawberries will be ready weeks earlier than usual. It should mean we see the best English strawberry crop for around 30 years. The weather also means an increased sugar level making the fruits sweeter and juicer than usual. I have certainly noticed a nice crop of strawberries coming along in my garden. At the moment it’s too early to see what they taste like but I am looking forward to trying them.

posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 10:48:02 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-0-0BF239BD00000578-277_634x860article-0-0BF23BD300000578-334_634x421This is interesting it’s a functional house with a double bedroom, lounge, shower and kitchen all packed into a 10ft cube. The house which has been showcased at the Edinburgh Science Festival is certainly compact. Despite this the the lounge has a table a and two chairs, it includes a 4ft wide double bed, a full sized shower and a kitchen. It also includes solar panels on the roof to generate electricity. It has been designed to be carbon neutral and is thought to be the smallest eco-home in the world. It certainly looks cosy.

 

article-0-0BF23ABF00000578-317_634x404

posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 10:29:08 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, May 15, 2011

article-1304524720078-0BE50EE200000578-43992_466x648This is the world’s longest cigar. Created in Havana in Cuba it measures an amazing 268 feet 4 inches long, that’s 81.8 metres or about the length of a football pitch. It was created by Jose Castelar Cairo who also created the previous longest cigar which measured 148 feet 9 inches. He has now held the world record for the longest cigar four times having first entered the record in 2008 with a cigar measuring 36 feet.

posted on Sunday, May 15, 2011 11:16:53 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This is interesting, called Leafsnap it’s an iPhone application that is able to identify a tree by it’s leaves. To use the application you need to take a picture of the leaf on a white background. The application then uses face recognition software to identify the species. It is produced by the Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. It uses the same technology as face recognition software to identify the species. It’s an interesting idea and having tried it, it is useful, however, it currently is mainly US based so is not so good with UK species.

posted on Sunday, May 15, 2011 11:12:23 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, May 14, 2011

According to this article a record amount of English wine was produced last year. Over 4 million bottles was produced as an increasing amount of farmers have turned towards wine production. This is the highest volume of wine ever produced, breaking a previous record of 3.5 million bottles. Figures show that there is 75% more land turned over to wine over the last five years. In addition to this last years cold and wet late summer provided good conditions for sparkling wine which thrives in cool weather. Currently the biggest producers are Chapel Down and Nyetimber who both specialise in sparkling wine. Waitrose have also recently entered the market and in 2009 started planting chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes, although these vines will take another 2 years before they start producing grapes. With more English wine being produced it would be nice to see some on sale in the local supermarket.

posted on Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:40:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-0-0BDF368700000578-585_468x351This is interesting it’s a device called a Coffee Joulies which claims to keep your drink at the perfect temperature for up to five hours. The device which resembles a glass bean is placed inside the thermos with the hot drink. It absorbs the extra thermal energy in the drink when it is hot and then releases this energy to keep the drink at an optimum drinking temperature as it starts to cool down. The beans are made of a non toxic material sealed within the stainless steel shell. They only work, however, when the drink is insulated with a lid. It’s an interesting idea, but I do wonder whether they are any more effective than an ordinary thermos.

posted on Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:37:42 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, May 13, 2011

According to this article Cadbury are to launch a range a bath products. The products will be made with the cosmetic company Anatomicals and will smell like the three new flavours of the Dairy Milk Bliss bar. They will be launched in June this year and will be the first time that Cadbury has tried making bath products. The limited edition products will be sold by John Lewis and asos.com.

posted on Friday, May 13, 2011 10:10:31 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article which suggests it can add as much as £20,000 to the value of the average home. Second on the list is a room extension which can add an average of £16,069 to a homes value, whilst a conservatory adds around £8233. Smaller improvements such as a new kitchen can add around £5617 and new windows £5265. Generally, however, people need to spend a minimum of £10,000 on a conversion or extension in order to see  a return on your investment. Still, it’s interesting reading if you are thinking of doing any home improvements.

posted on Friday, May 13, 2011 9:57:46 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback