# Tuesday, May 24, 2011

According to this article a man in the US has recently eaten his 25,000th Big Mac. Don Gorske claims to have eaten two burgers a day over many years. He ate his first burger when he was nine years old and has been buying six burgers on a Monday and 8 on Thursday  and freezing them until he is ready to eat them. Despite his apparent love of burgers he is thin and still has low cholesterol although doctors say they do not recommend his diet.

posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:27:41 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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article-1387600-0C179AA400000578-650_634x377This is interesting it’s a project which has been undertaken by the California Academy of Sciences to photograph all 12,000 known species of ants. The project involves taking detailed pictures of the creatures such as this picture (left) of a leaf cutter ant. They have already managed to photograph more than 5,000 species from all over the world. It certainly is interesting to see them up close. It should eventually produce a detailed resource for researchers studying insects.

posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:08:22 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, May 23, 2011

untitledThis is interesting, its a story about exploding melons in China. It seems that watermelons have become big business for Chinese farmers with prices prompting many a number of farmers to start planting them. In their haste to produce large crops very quickly, however, they have been dosing them with growth chemicals. The overdoses of the growth chemicals has led to an exploding melon phenomenon with the state media likening the situation to fields of land mines. Whilst on the surface the story is quite entertaining it does also highlight how many farmers in China abuse both legal and illegal chemicals, with many farmers misusing pesticides and fertilisers. This has led to calls for China to clarify its farm chemical standards in order to protect consumer health.

posted on Monday, May 23, 2011 11:43:48 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-0-0C1972AC00000578-545_634x796This is an interesting idea. It allows you to use a typewriter as a keyboard. It is actually a USB typewriter conversion kit that allows users to type on their computer using an old typewriter keyboard. Quite why someone would want to do this, I don’t know but if it is for you you can buy them at Etsy.com. They sell for between $699 and $899 depending on the model you choose and you can also buy a do it yourself kit for $74.

posted on Monday, May 23, 2011 11:40:32 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, May 22, 2011

According to this article Britain’s butterflies are experiencing something of an increase. It seems more open woodland and climate change is good for some species of butterflies. Although butterflies are still in long term decline, last year three quarters of at risk species  saw an increase in numbers. The main factor behind the improvement appears to be targeted conservation action such as leaving open glades in woods for flowers to grow. Better weather last year was also an important factor with a warm summer meaning butterflies had a period of successful feeding and a cold winter stopping butterflies emerging too early. The brown argus is one species that has benefitted from climate change, moving into new areas as it has shifted to feeding on a species of geranium that has become more available in the warmer climate. The wood white also saw numbers increase last year by 600 per cent and the marsh fritillary saw numbers more than double in the same period.

posted on Sunday, May 22, 2011 11:35:06 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article we could see a shortage of British plums this year due to the recent weather conditions. Late frost followed by high daytime temperatures has apparently led to 80% of the plum crop being ruined on some farms. Whilst we do often see May frosts, the recent ones which have been combined with exceptionally dry and warm and weather appear to be bad news for plums. Other crops such as apples, pears, raspberries and gooseberries on the other hand should benefit from the conditions and for these fruits we should expect a bumper crop. Looking at my fruit trees they all seem to have a good crop coming along, even the plums, so I will have to wait and see what sort of harvest I get.

posted on Sunday, May 22, 2011 11:32:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, May 21, 2011

B3DEK7_1892835cAccording to this article couples in Japan can now enlist their pet dogs as witnesses at their marriage ceremony. The dogs are allowed to carry the rings up the aisle and then seal the documents with their paw prints. The service is being offered by The Yokohama Kokursai Hotel near Tokyo as part of their dog wedding package. It allows people’s pets to play an active part in the marriage ceremony. As well as being able to carry the rings and witness the ceremony, the dogs are can also indulge in pre-ceremony pampering such as a wash and shampoo and being dressed in wedding outfits coordinated with their owners.

posted on Saturday, May 21, 2011 11:56:59 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you haven't yet tried it, planking is the art of lying down in a public place and looking like a plank. The trick, it seems is to make your body very still and straight, like a plank of wood and if possible take a picture of yourself and post it on your Facebook page. It seems planking is all about location, whilst a park bench could be a good start when you are practicing, ideally you want to plank at a famous monument or location.

posted on Saturday, May 21, 2011 11:53:17 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, May 20, 2011

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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