# Wednesday, 29 June 2011

This is interesting it’s a scheme being run in Hackney that uses refillable glass wine bottles. Launched by Borough Wines the scheme offers red, white and rose wines in a single use glass bottle for £10. However, if you bring your own bottle and fill it up from one of the barrels then you can get a whole litre of wine for £6, a 50% saving. The refill scheme works by buying large boxes of quality wine which it then decants into barrels and is able to sell at bargain prices. I think it’s quite a good idea. It would certainly save on the amount of bottles I have to take to the bottle bank every week. It’s just a shame no one does this in my area.

posted on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 10:19:58 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article scientists have applied for permission to dig up Shakespeare in order to find out how he died. The team of palaeontologists have made a formal application to the Church of England to excavate Shakespeare’s tomb in his local parish in Stratford upon Avon. It is hoped that if they are able to go ahead with the excavation they will be able to recreate a three dimensional reconstruction of the writer finding out what sort of life he led, any illnesses he might have had and how he died.

posted on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 10:17:37 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 28 June 2011


An Emperor penguin has turned up in New Zealand after apparently getting lost. It is the first penguin seen in the country for 44 years and is around 4,000 miles away from its usual habitat. Emperor penguins usually live in Antarctica and it is not clear exactly why this one has turned up in New Zealand, but it is thought it might be a young penguin who has simply got lost. Unfortunately the sand and heat of New Zealand are not suited to penguins so in order to survive he will have to try and find his way back home. 

The penguin was later hospitalised after eating sand in an effort to cool himself down, thinking it was snow. It is hoped he will soon recover and be released back into the wild to try and find his way home.

posted on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 09:18:52 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article your dishwasher could harbour deadly bacteria. Scientists have found that dishwashers create the perfect breeding ground for some types of fungi. Researchers found that 62% of dishwashers contain Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis  on the rubber band inside the door. These like a hot and humid environment and can also be found in other kitchen appliances such as washing machines and coffee machines. Both of the yeasts are known to be dangerous to human health and display a high tolerance to heat, salt concentrations and aggressive detergents. The research comes from looking at samples taken from private homes in 101 cities across the world. What is not clear from the article is what measures need to be taken to prevent the build up of this bacteria.

posted on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 08:44:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article which suggests treating yourself to a shopping spree has a lasting impact on your mood and leaves few negative side effects. Researchers conducted interviews at shopping centres and asked shoppers to keep diaries of their shopping behaviour. A total of 62% said they had brought something to cheer themselves up and 28% indulged in a shopping trip as a form of celebration. The study concluded that retail purchases were overwhelmingly beneficial.

posted on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 08:40:10 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 27 June 2011

Astronauts and a team of scientists have managed to grow two small plants in space. The plants were grown in small greenhouses without gravity and using special water, soil and light techniques. The experiment which was part of a food growing trial was hailed a success when two out of fourteen seeds successfully germinated and produced plants. Although it has been seen as a crucial step in providing food and oxygen for long space missions two out of fourteen plants doesn’t seem a huge success rate to me. Perhaps it is still early days but I would normally expect at least half of all seeds to produce plants.

posted on Monday, 27 June 2011 13:20:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article meat grown in the lab would generate only a tiny fraction of the emissions produced from conventional livestock production making it a much greener alternative. Artificial meat, then could be an alternative for people who are worried about the environmental impact of their food but who do not want to give up eating meat. Researchers also believe that artificial meat could be the key to feeding the world’s growing population whilst reducing our impact on the environment. Analysts have found that lab grown meat would reduce greenhouse gases by up to 96% in comparison to raising animals and would require between 7% and 45% less energy than the same volume used to produce conventional meat. I guess the big question, however, is whether people would want to eat meat grown in a lab, particularly when people are becoming more concerned about where their food comes from and how it is produced.

posted on Monday, 27 June 2011 12:39:47 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 26 June 2011
sea bass

I got a couple of lovely sea bass from the fish counter and Sainsbury’s and as it was a nice day decided to put them on the BBQ. The good thing about cooking them this way is that they need very little preparation and taste really good. The fish were already gutted so I put some slices of lemon into the cavity along with a few bay leaves and a nob of butter. Added a few sprigs of lemon thyme and rosemary from the garden and wrapped them in foil. Then you just need to wait for your BBQ to get nice and hot, before putting the fish on for about 30 minutes. Once it is cooked it just falls off the bone. Lovely, and it makes such a change from a normal meat BBQ.

posted on Sunday, 26 June 2011 12:15:42 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 25 June 2011

The British Library has recently handed over 250,000 books to Google for scanning into the Google Books project. The material which includes books, pamphlets and magazines from 1700 to 1870 are in several European languages. All of the works are now out of copyright and will be made available both on Google and through the British Library. Google will finance the cost of the items which will be free for users to access although Google will be free to place advertising alongside the content. It will be interesting to see exactly what is made available.

posted on Saturday, 25 June 2011 13:01:09 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

_53522743_sheepA farmer in North Yorkshire has put his sheep to good use by using them to advertise his business. Blocked from putting up billboards because they distracted passing motorists on the A1 he instead decided to use his sheep. He painted the logo of his turf business on the side of 20 his sheep. They has recently been sheared so he saw it as a perfect opportunity, using a stencil to produce the logo. The only issue appeared to be getting the sheep to stand still.

posted on Saturday, 25 June 2011 12:57:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 24 June 2011

That’s according to this article which suggests it can boost sex drive by at least a quarter. Sixty healthy men aged between 25 and 52 took the extract of the herb twice a day for six weeks. Their libido levels were monitored to assess any changes using a scoring system. Within six weeks their scores had risen by an average of 16.1 to 20.6, a rise of 28%. It is thought that the fenugreek seeds contain compounds called saponins which stimulate the production of male sex hormones. I wonder how it compares with other available treatments, it would be interesting if a simple spice was as effective as mass marketed alternatives.

posted on Friday, 24 June 2011 09:05:11 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-2005828-0CA586D200000578-345_468x373This is an interesting idea from Tesco it’s a strawberries and cream sandwich. It is thought to be the only sweet sandwich currently on sale and has been produced to celebrate this years bumper strawberry crop. The berries are sliced and placed between two slices of white poppy seed bread which has been spread with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam. I’m not entirely sure that I fancy the idea but if you do they are on sale at Tesco for just £1.00.

posted on Friday, 24 June 2011 08:56:37 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 23 June 2011

untitledThe dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the film The Seven Year Itch has recently sold for $4.6 million. The dress was part of a private collection owned by actor Debbie Reynolds. She acquired it in 1971 when she brought all of Monroe’s wardrobe from the studio 20th Century Fox. However, the upkeep of the item has proved expensive and with Reynolds struggling with debts she recently decided to sell them. The dress exceeded expectations to sell for far more that predicted.

posted on Thursday, 23 June 2011 09:36:24 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article which suggests magpies are able to identify humans that have posed a threat to their nest and recognise them again. A team in South Korea made the discovery during routine research on a nest monitoring study. During this research it was found that when a researcher approached a nest he had previously climbed up to, the magpie behaved very aggressively. When someone approached the nest who had not previously approached the birds they would simply fly away. Despite trying to disguise the researcher who had previously disturbed the nest by having him wear different clothing, the birds would always identify him. American crows and Northern mockingbirds have also been found to have a similar ability. I guess the message here is, don’t upset magpies they will remember you.

posted on Thursday, 23 June 2011 09:26:22 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Bramleyapple2This is interesting, it’s a 200 year old Bramley tree from which every Bramley has originated. The tree from which over 2 million other trees are thought to have originated is still growing and producing fruit despite having once being blown over in a storm. In fact Every Bramley grown today is a direct descendant from this one tree. Amazing stuff.

posted on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 10:29:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback


Frank Fox was a regular at his local pub, the Whitmore in Coventry, so naturally was devastated when it closed down. He salvaged the furniture and spent £5,000 creating his own pub in his back garden. After knocking down and rebuilding his shed, he now has a 20 seat private pub. The pub is open to his family and friends who make a donation when visiting. Any profits go towards the charity Help for Heroes. This gives me a few ideas for my log cabin at the bottom of my garden.

posted on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 10:23:49 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback