# Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Meerkats

Compare the Market have found another way to capitalise on the success of their Compare the Meerkat campaign. They are now giving away cute cuddly meerkats for every customer who buys car insurance, home insurance or pet insurance via the website. There is a choice of four characters including Aleksandr, Sergei, Bogdan the meerpup, Maiya the teacher, Yakov the toymaker and Vassily, a regular at the Queasy Mongoose pub.

posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 9:47:54 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-0-0CCD317C00000578-477_224x601The high street chain Peacocks have recently launched a budget wedding dress inspired by the one worn by Kate Middleton for her wedding. The dress has a similar neckline and lace sleeves but also includes a ribbon around the waist which was not a feature of Kate’s dress. It will launch at Peacocks online store on the 7th of August and will be on sale in sizes 8 to 18. If you want one they cost just £60. 

posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 9:45:39 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Scientists have recently opened a bottle of 170 year old beer. The beer was found in a Baltic sea shipwreck along with several bottles of champagne. It has been sitting 50 metres below sea level for so long that it had become contaminated with seawater. Despite this the scientists opened the beer and analysed the contents. They found malt sugars, hops and aromatic compounds that are still used in beer today as well as lactic acid which would have given the beer a sour taste. There were, however, no active yeast cells meaning they will unable to replicate the beer using a reverse process. A further five bottles have also been recovered from the wreck and another will be opened and analysed at a further date. I wonder whether any are still in a drinkable condition.

posted on Tuesday, July 05, 2011 9:47:54 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, July 04, 2011

According to this article scientists may have found a cure for hay fever. It comes in the form of a cellulose nasal spray which forms a barrier over the membrane in the nose, filtering out allergens like pollen. It has been developed from a powder produced from pine trees and has been proven to reduce the symptoms of hay fever. It is not clear from the article, however, whether it is already available to purchase or if it still in development.

posted on Monday, July 04, 2011 10:41:57 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Potatoes

Corn

Beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things are coming along nicely at the allotment with the potatoes just beginning flower. The sweet corns are growing fast and the runner beans appear to have picked up despite being damaged by a late frost. Currently the bulk of the work consists of keeping on top of the ever growing weeds. We are also gradually clearing the back part of the plot in preparation for more crops next year.

posted on Monday, July 04, 2011 9:59:02 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, July 03, 2011

VisitorWe have just had a new cat move into the neighbourhood which is causing a bit of excitement in our four cats household. The new cat who lives next door has been trying his best to make friends with our cats without success. He has been visiting the garden several times a day and has been popping in to help himself to a snack (pictured left). A few days ago we found him trapped inside the kitchen unable to get out. So far our cats remain unimpressed. They have made it clear that they hate their new neighbour and do not appreciate him visiting. It seems they also take a dim view of sharing their food. We are currently looking into purchasing a new cat flap that works with our cats microchips. Hopefully this will stop the visits inside the house but as for the garden I guess they will just have to learn to get along.

posted on Sunday, July 03, 2011 12:01:35 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

023

029If you have the time then smoking a chicken is a very flavoursome way to cook it. We use our kettle style BBQ to do this and generally leave the chicken cooking for about three to four hours although it can be usually be left all day if needed. The trick is to get the coals  nice and hot. Place a aluminium dish of water underneath the chicken. Stuff the chicken with a few fresh herbs to add flavour and drizzle with a little oil. Then just close the lid and let the smoke do the work. Check on it after a few hours to make sure the fire hasn’t gone out and if so relight it or add more wood. We served it with a garden salad and some potato salad made with the first crop of early potatoes also from the garden.

posted on Sunday, July 03, 2011 11:55:04 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, July 02, 2011

article-2009401-0CB565CA00000578-34_468x328According to this article. this is the world’s most expensive razor. Costing $100,000, that’s about £62,460 it is called the Zafirro Iridium. Researchers have spent three years developing the razor which has a handle made of 99.9 per cent iridium, the most corrosion resistant platinum metal. The razor also has two blades made out of white sapphire. They are just 80 atoms thick on the cutting edge and are much sharper than any other blades currently on the market. The question is, who would buy a razor that costs this much money?

posted on Saturday, July 02, 2011 10:50:51 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-2008985-0CC495F800000578-908_634x419This is an interesting idea, it’s a theme park in Las Vegas where customers can drive diggers and other machinery. Called Dig This the park has various machinery including a pair of bulldozers and some hydraulic excavators. Visitors are able to buy three hour packages which include a safety course followed by some time operating the machines. They are able to dig a trench, build an earthen mound or perform skill tests using the machines. It all sounds quite fun, I wonder if there is anywhere in the UK you can do this.

posted on Saturday, July 02, 2011 10:47:01 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, July 01, 2011
_53722522_handbag_margaret_thatcher

A handbag used by Margaret Thatcher has recently sold at auction for £25,000. Margaret Thatcher was pictured with the bag as she stood with President Ronald Reagan in 1985. It was brought by an unnamed Cypriot buyer and was expected to attract bids of up to £100,000 so it seems they have picked up a bargain.

posted on Friday, July 01, 2011 10:21:25 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article. A study has found that the insects are more likely to fly towards a person after they have consumed a pint or more. Researchers believe that they are attracted by the odour and breath changes caused when you consume alcohol. It might also be that they have to come to associate beer odour with a lack of defensiveness from drinkers. The research was part of a study into the insects to try and halt disease spread by mosquitoes. Tests were conducted on a group of people aged between 20 and 43. They were given a litre of beer and insects were given the option of flying towards traps containing either open air or the human odour of the participant. It was found that 65% of mosquitoes flew towards the human odour after the person had consumed beer compared with 35% before any beer was consumed. I wonder if the same applies to wine.

posted on Friday, July 01, 2011 9:52:57 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, June 30, 2011

That’s according to this article which suggests the French may be losing their love for wine. In two generations French wine consumption has dropped by three billion bottles, the equivalent of a bottle per adult per week. Researchers believe that the culture of wine drinking in France is being lost with the younger generations being less likely to drink a bottle with food and more likely to drink simply for pleasure. It seems the French are now drinking wine occasionally rather than on a regular basis, a change which has occurred within the last two generations. The research looked at successive generations and their approach to wine drinking. The over 65s were most concerned with wine heritage and more likely to drink it daily. The middle groups were more occasional drinkers and were more likely to drink socially with friends. With the under 30s, however, wine consumption was the exception rather than the rule. It seems it is decline in younger drinkers that is largely responsible for the decline in consumption.

posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011 12:29:28 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article your pillow could be a breeding ground for all sorts of bugs. The article suggests that up to third of the weight of your pillow could be made up of bugs, dead skin and dust mites and their faeces. It seems your pillow is also an ideal breeding ground for bugs such as MRSA, C.diff, flu, chicken pox and even leprosy. The findings come after a study of hundreds of pillows used by Barts and the London NHS Trust. The tests found high levels of living contamination of the outsides of the pillows with germs having found their way inside the pillow through rips in some cases. In some cases the pillows were contaminated with E.coli whilst others contained germs that can cause respiratory and urinary tract infections. The problem, however, is not confined to hospitals with many people simply putting a fresh cover on their pillows rather than washing the whole thing. Based on this I wonder whether you are allowed to take your own pillow when having to stay in hospital.

posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011 11:07:40 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, June 29, 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, June 29, 2011 10:19:58 AM (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, June 29, 2011 10:17:37 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback