# Monday, 08 August 2011

As a lover of wine I am always looking for more excuses reasons to drink it. This latest one seems a little bizarre. It claims that drinking wine can protect you from sunburn. It seems that a substance in grapes can protect the cells from damage caused by Ultraviolet rays. The flavonoids in the grapes can stop the chemical reaction that causes cells to die and therefore stop skin damage. So based on this, I will making sure to always have a cold glass of wine in hand when sitting in the sun.

posted on Monday, 08 August 2011 09:29:14 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article India’s tiger population has increased by 20% in the last four years. Official figures from India's Environment and Forests Ministry show that there are now 1,706 tigers living in reservations and national parks compared to just 1,411 in 2006. The largest increases have been seen in the Corbett and Kaziranga national parks where tigers received the highest levels of protection but some new populations have also been discovered in guarded reserved forests such as Satyamangalam forest where 54 tigers were found. Despite the good news tiger habitats have still shrunk by 12.6% increasing the likelihood of tigers straying into human settlements and the potential of attacks on villagers.

posted on Monday, 08 August 2011 09:27:54 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback


If you spot a mysterious object floating in the sky near you, then it may be this missing floating island. The £9,000 helium filled  island which was recently used at a music festival in Cambridgeshire was cut loose from its tethers and has floated off into the atmosphere. It does, however, have to land sometime and the islands creators are appealing for anyone who has spotted it to come forward.

posted on Monday, 08 August 2011 09:26:11 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 07 August 2011

I harvested a huge batch of damsons and blackberries from the allotment where we have both growing wild on our plot so decided to make some jam. The damsons were washed and put into a pot with about a pint of water to boil. Any bugs float to the top so are quickly removed. The damsons quickly cook down to a pulp and then all you need to do is remove the pips, add the sugar, approx. 500g to the same amount of fruit and bring back to the boil until it reaches the setting point. The blackberries were processed in much the same way. I salted them first overnight in warm salt water to draw out any maggots. Then boiled them in about a pint of apple juice until soft. Drained them through a sieve to remove the pips. Added the sugar, I used jam sugar here with the pectin already added, and boiled until the setting point was reached. Both jams taste fantastic, the damson jam is a little on the tart side but nice and the blackberry is just the right sweetness without being too sickly. The best part is it was all made from free fruit.

posted on Sunday, 07 August 2011 12:22:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A penguin who recently turned up on a beach in New Zealand after getting lost is soon due to be released back into the wild after receiving treatment. Happy Feet as he has been nicknamed has been recovering at Wellington zoo after he became ill due to eating sand which he may has mistaken for snow. He has now gained some weight and is due to be released offshore in the next few weeks. Hopefully he will be able to find his way back home.

posted on Sunday, 07 August 2011 12:15:58 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 06 August 2011

article-2020396-0D390E0A00000578-557_634x347If are thinking of getting a cat or kitten you might want to consider getting one from a rescue centre. According to this article animal charities are dealing with an unprecedented amount of cats and kittens needing homes and are struggling to cope with demand. Taking on a rescue cat can be a rewarding experience as we have learnt first hand with our four cats but one thing I will say is that many rescue centres should consider looking at their rehoming rules. When we were looking for a cat as a companion for our cat Willow, we were turned down by one animal home because we lived near a road (who doesn’t), the fact that we already had a perfectly happy cat didn’t appear to change this decision. We later found our cats from Hounslow Animal Welfare Society at the following link who were more than happy for us to rehome two of their cats. Sadly with four cats, our home is now at capacity otherwise I would gladly take on few more furry friends but if you are thinking of getting a cat you might want to check out ever growing list of cute furries who are desperate for a new home.

posted on Saturday, 06 August 2011 11:47:09 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

These colourful looking cauliflowers have recently gone on sale on Tesco. They are part of plan to encourage children to eat more vegetables. The rainbow packs include purple, orange and emerald coloured cauliflowers which are much more attractive than the normal white variety. The cauliflowers are all naturally produced and have been crossed with other types of the brassica family to create the colours. They certainly look more interesting and would brighten up many recipes.

posted on Saturday, 06 August 2011 11:34:33 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article it will soon be curtains for the rat population on the Scilly islands. The brown rats have become something of a menace on the island as they grow in numbers and are damaging local bird populations. There are thought to be around 3,100 brown rats on the island, numbers which are impacting greatly on the populations of storm petrels and manx shearwaters, both of which nest in burrows and so make easy prey for rats. The rats are also causing problems for the Scilly shrew which as the name suggests is only found on the island. Under the plan the RSPB and other local conservation groups will be asking the European Commission for a grant to fund bringing in pest control experts to poison the rats. So far the local human population appears to be in overwhelmingly in favour of the idea.

posted on Saturday, 06 August 2011 11:31:08 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 05 August 2011

I have a new business idea in the pipeline which for now will remain a secret as it’s still in the very early planning stages. Myself and my business partner have a fairly good idea of what the business will do and what is required to get it up and running but the sticking point has been the name. We have spent ages brainstorming and deliberating about what to call it, and after a month or so had absolutely nothing. We have at last reached an agreement on the name and can now go ahead with registering domain names and setting up a company but the naming process has not been easy. It got me wondering how people go about finding a name a new business venture. Is there a process you use for this? Any comments welcome below. 

posted on Friday, 05 August 2011 10:55:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article which suggests it could be in use as soon as March 2012. The International Football Association Board will rule in March 2012 on whether or not to approve the system. If it is approved then it is likely to be used in leagues from the start of the 2012-13 football season. It would also be used at the 2014 World Cup. The Fifa chief Sepp Blatter has opposed the use of the technology for many years and the debate on whether it should be used appeared to have been ended in March 2010. However, when Frank Lampard had a legitimate goal ruled out in the last World Cup the debate was reopened. Blatter later apologised for the officials error and now says he has changed his mind on the matter. Meanwhile trials of different systems are taking place this year in the hope the decision will be approved in March 2012. Personally I’m unsure why we need so much debate on the issue, if the technology exists, then shouldn’t we use it. At least it would clear up any reasonable doubt in suspect referring decisions.

posted on Friday, 05 August 2011 10:53:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 04 August 2011

This is an interesting idea it’s a type of tights that are made to be worn with boots. Called the bootight they are like conventional tights except they have built in socks. The idea is that it looks like you are wearing tights but you also have the added warmth you get with socks. The built in socks also stop slipping and the problem of your socks falling down within your boots. It will be available in two options one for mid-calf boots and one for ankle boots. At £22.99 they are more expensive than ordinary tights but it seems like quite a good idea.

posted on Thursday, 04 August 2011 11:13:12 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback


It seems the latest must have beauty remedy is a cream made from snail slime. Snail slime is apparently good as an acne solution and for inflamed skin. There are now various brands of creams including Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream which soothes and regenerates skin. I’m not convinced myself.

posted on Thursday, 04 August 2011 11:10:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 03 August 2011

There is nothing worse than a cold that drags on for ever but according to this article zinc supplements could shorten the illness by as much as 40%. In a trial it was found that taking high doses of zinc can cut the length of colds by almost half. The results were based upon a trial of zinc lozenges which are already available as a cold remedy. Next time I get a cold I will be sure to give it a try.

posted on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 11:30:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to this article which suggests the restaurant will make changes to it’s happy meals from September. They will start including a quarter cup of peeled apple slices in every happy meal and will also reduce the child’s French fry portion from 2.4 ounces to 1.1 ounces. The new meal will be available across all of it’s US based restaurants from September and is part of a campaign against childhood obesity. It is expected to reduce the annual consumption of America’s children by 49 billion calories.

posted on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 11:29:14 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A restaurant in New York has recently launched doughnuts filled with Foie Gras. Do or Dine, in Brooklyn has been the subject of an internet campaign to boycott the product due to the way Foie Gras is produced, by force feeding geese to fatten up their livers. This, however, only appears to have made the doughnuts more popular. I’m not sure I would fancy one but it certainly is an interesting idea.

posted on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 11:26:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 02 August 2011

Cornish Pasties have recently been awarded protected status by the EU. The ruling means that only pasties actually made in Cornwall can now be called Cornish Pasties. An authentic pasty according to the EU should have the traditional shape, crimped on one side. The contents should be uncooked mince or chunks of beef, swede, potato, and onion with a light seasoning. All other pasties will now have to drop the word “Cornish” from their name in order to comply with the regulations.

posted on Tuesday, 02 August 2011 10:07:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article Tesco will soon be introducing free wi-fi to hundreds of its stores. The technology will enable Tesco to tailor its special offers to the customer and send them directly to their phone as they shop. It will be trialled initially in 2,700 UK branches but if successful could be quickly rolled out across the country.

posted on Tuesday, 02 August 2011 10:02:56 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 01 August 2011

That’s according to this article which suggests there could soon be a change in the legislation over the amount of water that is added to bacon. New legislation would halve the amount of water that can be added from 10% to 5%. This should result in better tasting meatier bacon. The rules which would come into place in 2015 would mean that’s rashers with more than 5% water would have to be labelled as “bacon with added water”. Current legislation sets this limit at 10% and very little bacon sold in the UK has less than 5% water. Retailers claim that diners may not like reduced water bacon because our palates are accustomed to high water content. They also say it would make bacon less moist and less tender when it is cooked.

posted on Monday, 01 August 2011 10:47:11 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A 200 year old bottle of wine has recently been sold for £75,000. The wine which is a 1811 Chateau d'Yquem has beaten the record for the most expensive bottle of wine not sold at auction. It was purchased by French collector Christian Vanneque. He intends to put the wine on display in his new restaurant. Despite the price it is still not the most expensive wine ever sold, this honour goes to a bottle of 1947 French Cheval-Blanc which sold at auction for £192,000 last November.

posted on Monday, 01 August 2011 10:44:51 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback