# Sunday, 10 July 2011

If you have been prescribed the drug Champix to help you quit smoking then you might want to consider alternatives. According to this article the drug can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It seems that smokers using the drug are twice as likely to be taken to hospital with heart problems as those who took a dummy pill. Many of those affected also had no underlying cardiac problems when they had started taking the drug.  The drug which has been prescribed one million times in the UK last year, helps to dull cravings for nicotine and take away the enjoyment of having a cigarette.

posted on Sunday, 10 July 2011 11:44:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you have a job that involves sitting at a desk all day then you could be at a greater risk of developing a blot clot. That’s according to this article which looks at the case of one lady who developed deep vein thrombosis due to her job. A US study has found that a woman who sits for a long time every day can double or even triple her risk of developing a dangerous blood clot. Women sitting for more than 41 hours a week on top of their work hours are most at risk with a sedentary lifestyle greatly increasing the dangers. When I consider that much of my day and evening is spent sitting at the computer I do wonder whether I am moving about enough. My weekends are usually a hive of activity either working on the house or the garden but the very nature of my work requires me to sit for long periods of time. I guess I should make an effort to have more breaks away from the computer. The advice is to take regular breaks, every hour or so, making sure you get up, walk around and stretch your muscles.

posted on Sunday, 10 July 2011 11:37:34 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 09 July 2011

According to this article rhino poaching in South Africa could reach record levels as organised crime gangs are using more sophisticated methods such as assault rifles from helicopters. Last year a record 333 rhinos were killed in South Africa. This years figures, however, already look set to beat this with 200 rhinos having been killed already this year in South Africa. The majority of these have been lost at a tourist hotspot in the Kruger national park where 126 have been killed. Rhino horn is still much in demand in Asia where it is used for traditional medicine. Conservationists are calling for international moves to crack down on the supply and demands end of the chain in order to save the rhino. Law enforcement efforts are also been stepped up in South Africa in response to poaching with 20 poachers having killed in combat and 123 people arrested so far this year. Unfortunately, however, whilst the rhino horn is still in demand poaching continues to rise.

posted on Saturday, 09 July 2011 12:10:20 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This is cool, it’s a transparent car built by General Motors in 1939. Dubbed the Ghost Car, the Plexiglas Pontiac is the only one of its kind, although two were originally made it is not known what happened to the other. It is expected to fetch around $500,000 when it comes up for auction.

posted on Saturday, 09 July 2011 12:06:14 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 08 July 2011


With the weather being nice recently I have been eating my fair share of burgers to make full use of the BBQ. This one, however, might be a burger too far. Claiming to be the world’s biggest burger it weighs an amazing 777lbs and has more than a million calories. The burger includes a 110lb bun, 20lbs of onions, 12lbs of pickles and 30lbs of lettuce. It was made by organisers of the Alameda County Fair in the US with parts of the burger being sold for 99 cents at the fair and proceeds going to charity. That’s what you call a burger.

posted on Friday, 08 July 2011 16:09:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 07 July 2011


If you have a bit of spare cash to spend and fancy something a little unusual, then this new Bugatti might appeal. Costing £1.4 million the one off car is called the L’Or Blanc. it has recently been unveiled in Berlin to mark the the start of a partnership between the Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin and Bugatti. The car is unusual because it features porcelain on both the interior and exterior. It’s a nice looking car but personally I think I would prefer it without the porcelain detail, it makes it look a little strange.

posted on Thursday, 07 July 2011 11:48:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article which suggests a million more people now employ a cleaner compared with a decade ago. It seems the main reason is that in households where both partners work there is simply not enough time left to do your own cleaning. I don’t have a cleaner but I must admit finding time to clean the house can be difficult and when I am busy with work, then it simply doesn’t get done. Perhaps I should look into employing a cleaner for a couple of hours a week to make things a little easier.

posted on Thursday, 07 July 2011 09:49:55 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 06 July 2011

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, 06 July 2011 09:47:54 (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, 06 July 2011 09:45:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 05 July 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, 05 July 2011 09:47:54 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 04 July 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, 04 July 2011 10:41:57 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback












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, 04 July 2011 09:59:02 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 03 July 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, 03 July 2011 12:01:35 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback


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, 03 July 2011 11:55:04 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback