# Sunday, 29 May 2011

I was quite surprised to come across this article. It seems that a head teacher in Middlesbrough has asked parents to dress properly before taking their children to school. The problem appears to be that parents in the area tend to wear their pyjamas when taking their children to school in the morning. In some cases they are still wearing them when they pick their children up in the evening and some have even attended meeting wearing pyjamas. The head teacher says the trend sets a bad example and makes staff feel uncomfortable. After the letter urging parents to think about what they wearing, parents have now taken to wearing leggings over their pyjamas. I do wonder what they wear when they go to bed, surely not the same pyjamas they have been wearing all day. It just seems the height of laziness when people can’t be bothered to dress.

posted on Sunday, 29 May 2011 12:04:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article which suggests they could be as effective as statins in fighting bad cholesterol. According to the article as little as two ounces of tomato paste or a pint of tomato juice could be enough to help many patients. Ripe tomatoes are high in the compound lycopene which gives them their red colour. It is this anti oxidant that helps to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A study carried out in Australia analysed the benefits of lycopene and concluded that it could provide a natural defence to raised levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Cooked tomatoes are more beneficial than raw ones as the body is able to absorb more lycopene from these. I’m not particularly at risk of any of these conditions but with all the pasta sauce I make, feel sure I am getting a very good dose of lycopene.

posted on Sunday, 29 May 2011 11:39:16 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 28 May 2011

I got a load of spinach from the market because it was on offer so decided to make some quesadillas. You can make them with various fillings but these are filled with a mixture of spinach, chicken and peppers. Basically you fry a chicken breast, add the red pepper and a few spring onions and fry until cooked. Wilt the spinach in another pot. Then put some of the spinach mixture on a tortilla followed by small chunks of cooked chicken and spring onions. Top with grated cheese and put another tortilla on top. Cut the tortilla into four pieces and fry in a little oil for a few minutes. I usually keep them warm in the oven whilst frying them in batches. Then serve with some guacamole and a little salsa.

posted on Saturday, 28 May 2011 12:45:30 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article which suggests running backwards can not only burn more calories but can also help to protect your joints. Apparently it is kinder to your joints because it entails less of the pounding motion associated with forwards running. It is also supposed to burn a fifth more calories. Fans of reverse running say that it improves your balance and your peripheral vision. Personally I have enough trouble running forwards without the added complication of bumping into things.

posted on Saturday, 28 May 2011 12:24:06 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 27 May 2011

This is an unusual story, its about a man who is addicted to sausages. He is thought to be the first person in Britain to undergo counselling for this addiction. David Harding eats up to 13 sausages every day having eaten at least 1 a day since he was a child. He is now seeking help for his addiction and has spent almost £2,000 to try and break the habit having had hypnosis and counselling. Despite this he remains addicted to sausages spending around £700 a year on them. He first realised he had a problem when his wife decided to cook something different for dinner and he found he couldn’t live without his daily sausage fix.

posted on Friday, 27 May 2011 10:43:29 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article which suggests organic fruit and vegetables are packed with more key nutrients. As a result it is claimed that switching to organic produce could increase the average lifespan by up to 25 days for men and 17 days for women with some people surviving for up to five years longer. The study from the University of Newcastle has found that eating organic produce can improve general health and can even encourage the body to burn fat. It challenges previous research from the Food Standards Agency which had found no increased benefits from organic food. I’m not sure either way, but can only conclude that I prefer to eat food I know has not been contaminated with pesticides, hence why I like to grow as much as possible myself.

posted on Friday, 27 May 2011 10:03:03 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 26 May 2011

That’s according to this article which suggests sales of digital books are becoming more popular than the printed alternative. Amazon is now selling 105 Kindle e-books for every 10 print books on their US website. It has sold three times the amount of Kindle books so far in 2011 as it did in the same period last year. It’s interesting to see how quickly the e-book has become popular. Personally I do buy them to read on my iPhone but I also in some cases prefer the printed alternative. I don’t think for me the e-book is ever really going to replace a printed book but for now I am happy to use both.

posted on Thursday, 26 May 2011 11:03:58 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article home buyers do not expect to be able to afford their first house until they are aged 38 or aged 43 in London. It seems that for many the fact that house prices are so high and that they need a large deposit mean they simply cannot not afford to buy a property before this, and many have given up trying to buy a property altogether. Although the number of mortgages available for first time buyers has increased during the past year, it seems there are still a limited number of deals available for those looking to but their first home. First time buyers also now need a large deposit with most needing around 23% of the homes value.

posted on Thursday, 26 May 2011 10:13:12 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 25 May 2011

article-1306151537312-0C382D1A00000578-215274_636x370This is an interesting idea, devised by a Chinese farmer. In order to stop his chickens from fighting he has fitted them with specially designed plastic glasses. The glasses prevent the birds from seeing straight ahead and so make direct confrontation with other roosters more difficult as they are forced to look around the sides and be more cautious. Although it sounds ridiculous the farmer claims that his normally aggressive roosters are a lot more peaceful now they are wearing the glasses.

posted on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 14:05:25 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A pair of entrepreneurs have invented a beer that is designed specifically to be drunk in space. Looking to capitalise on space tourism and believing they are ahead of the game on this one their beer has been tested for space travel. Made by microbrewery the 4 Pines Brewing Company it is designed to be drunk in zero gravity and a prototype has already been tested under these conditions. The Vostok 4 Pines Stout is a full bodies flavoursome beer which they believe would work best in space.

posted on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 11:42:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 24 May 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, 24 May 2011 10:27:41 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback


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, 24 May 2011 10:08:22 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 23 May 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, 23 May 2011 11:43:48 (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, 23 May 2011 11:40:32 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 22 May 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, 22 May 2011 11:35:06 (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, 22 May 2011 11:32:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback