# Friday, 15 July 2011

According to this article some beauty products could contain chemicals that can make you fat. Dubbed “chemical calories” they can be found in products such as shampoo, body lotion and soap as well as household cleaning products. The chemicals such as phthalates and Bisphenol-A have been shown to disturb the body’s natural weight control system. Research suggests that daily exposure to them could be linked to childhood obesity and weight problems in adults. Studies on animals have shown that the chemicals depress testosterone levels and can also mimic the effects of oestrogen, both of which can cause weight gain. It is possible to purchase products that do not contain these chemicals but I must admit at being a little surprised to find that beauty products could have an affect on weight gain.

posted on Friday, 15 July 2011 10:45:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article it is possible to train the brain to forget embarrassing or bad memories. Scientists have found that selective memory does exist and it is possible to train your brain to forget. It seems that when you actively try to forget something and repress it for long enough you will eventually forget completely. Mastering the technique could be useful for people suffering from depression or post traumatic stress disorder particularly if it is caused by dwelling on traumatic memories.

posted on Friday, 15 July 2011 10:39:22 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 14 July 2011

An Italian company has become the first to create halal mozzarella. The firm La Baronia, based in the town of Castel di Sasso has recently been awarded halal status by an Islamic culture association in Italy. It makes the mozzarella from the milk of water buffaloes, with the key difference to regular mozzarella being that no alcohol based chemicals are used to cleaned the machinery in which the halal version is made.

posted on Thursday, 14 July 2011 10:32:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-1309961489073-0CE2996000000578-950808_466x322A rare zebra donkey crossbreed has recently been born at a zoo in China. The foal is the offspring of a female zebra and a donkey who shared an enclosure at Xiamen Haicang zoo. The creature has been nicknamed a zonky.

posted on Thursday, 14 July 2011 10:30:16 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 13 July 2011

I am always looking for ways to save money on the shopping bill, however, one thing I don’t compromise on is the quality of the meat I buy. Despite choosing the more premium cuts of supermarket meats it does tend to be quite tasteless and often the quality is not great. If I could afford to do so I would buy all my meat from an organic scheme, such as Abel and Cole, however, whilst the quality of the produce is always excellent, the reality is that it exceeds my monthly shopping budget and as such I only buy meat from here on special occasions.

I recently came across a website called Westin Gourmet who claim to sell gourmet meat at budget prices. You do need to be able to buy in bulk but if you have the room to do this it seems a good way to order. I placed my first order which included a tray of 25 chicken breasts, a large pack of chump chops a bulk pack of 10 steak burgers, gammon steaks and 1kg of beef mince. This came to just over £75 with free shipping. You are able to choose the day but not the time of delivery but Saturday delivery is available at an additional charge. The meat is delivered by DHL and comes in a well packed insulated container so that everything arrives well chilled.

I was impressed with the size and quality of the chicken breasts which are larger and less fatty than the supermarket equivalent. The lamb chump steaks are at least double the size I would usually buy in Sainsbury’s and the beef burgers and steak mince also look fantastic. The chicken when cooked requires very little seasoning or flavouring and has much more flavour the supermarket alternative. We are yet to cook the other meat but I am hoping to BBQ some of the burgers at the weekend. So far I have been very impressed with the quality of my order and the flavour of the meat. I have also received an offer code to save some money off my next order. I will definitely we ordering from them again, particularly as it suits me better to order a months worth of meat in bulk and freeze it. They also have a loyalty points scheme where you receive points every time you order to redeem against their products which is a nice idea for regular customers.

posted on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 10:00:47 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I tend to steer well clear of shop brought sandwiches because they are often not only tasteless but also full of preservatives. For these reasons I prefer to buy fresh bread in the morning and make my sandwiches on the day I want to eat them. This new idea, then is probably not for me. According to the article scientists have found a way to make a sandwich last longer. The concept which is likely to be rolled out across convenience stores means a sandwich can be keep “fresh” or edible at least for anything up to two weeks. The sandwiches have a shelf life of 14 days and supposedly taste as good on day 14 as they do on day one of being made. Launched by Booker, the secret is to suck all of the oxygen out of the packaging. The fillings are also preserved with a slightly acidic mayonnaise which acts as a preservative. The flavours available will include chicken tikka, chicken and bacon, tuna mayonnaise and cheese onion which will all be available on oatmeal bread. They will be aimed at the budget shopper with a price tag of £1.49 per packet.

posted on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 09:55:55 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 12 July 2011

3,156 baby lobsters have been released off St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly. They have been released by the National Lobster Hatchery as part of a sustainability project. The young lobsters were released directly on to the seabed where they will bury themselves in the sand for the first two years of their life whilst they grow. 13,000 baby lobsters were also released last year and there are plans to release another 20,000 during 2011. It is thought that fishermen  should start to notice an increase in lobster numbers in the water in about three years time.

posted on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 10:29:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article a glass of milk can contain up to 20 painkillers, antibiotics and growth hormones. A team of researchers analysed 20 samples of cows milk brought in Spain and Morocco. They found traces of anti-inflammatory drugs, niflumic acid, mefenamic acid and ketoprofen which are commonly used as painkillers in animals and people. Whilst the doses are thought to be too small to have any effect on the person drinking them, the report does highlight how man made chemicals have found their way into the food chain.

posted on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 10:09:58 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 11 July 2011

According to this article pet owners are being warned to watch out for snakes after two dogs have recently died from adder bites. Vets have reported an increase in attacks during recent hot weather which encourages the snakes out into the open. Although adder bites are rare because of their declining numbers, pets are more susceptible because of their size and because owners often take a long time to realise they have been attacked. Adders are usually shy by nature, however, and tend to like wooded areas but can be dangerous when disturbed.

posted on Monday, 11 July 2011 10:55:37 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s the surprising findings from a recent study which suggest women with gum disease can take over seven months to conceive compared to the usual five months. It seems that poor oral health can be as bad for your chances of conceiving as obesity and can delay conception by up to two months. The the main cause is the inflammation caused by gum disease which can set off a chain of reactions capable of damaging the body’s normal workings. Peridontal disease has also been linked to heart disease, type 2 disease, miscarriage and poor sperm quality in men. It seems the message here is to get flossing, whether you are trying to have a baby or just trying to stay healthy.

posted on Monday, 11 July 2011 10:52:46 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# 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