# Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This is an interesting idea it’s a special set of traffic lights that are being installed for a colony of bats. The bats live in a tunnel in Oxfordshire which is also used by commuter trains. The lights are being installed as an early warning system to let the bats know when a train is approaching so that they have time to move out of the way. It is natural for bats to avoid bright light so it is hoped that the trial of traffic light system will prove successful. If it works it will enable a second train service to run between Oxford and London.

posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:31:44 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you are concerned about which is the healthiest ice cream this summer (personally I am not) then you might find this article interesting. It looks at many of the top brands and gives them points depending on how healthy they are. The Solero Berry Explosion for example is given 8 out 10 for being a reasonably healthy choice as it is nearly 50% fruit in the sorbet and the crisp coating. A Mr Whippy flake gets 5 out of 10 as the ice cream has lots of air pumped into it making it waistline friendly, and if you leave out the flake it has 50 less calories, but lets face it, we all want to have a flake. A Wall’s Mini Feast scores 1 out of 10 because the combination of chocolate flavour and mint ice cream has more saturated fat than two quarter pounders. It’s all quite interesting but I don’t really think about whether an ice cream is healthy or not. As they are an occasional treat I am well aware they are likely to be bad for me but they are nice Smile

posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:28:25 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 22, 2011

According to this article the latest offering from Dominos pizza is it’s new gourmet range. The range is designed to appeal to the more discerning pizza lover and includes the Pizza Rustica, Pizza Firenze and Pizza Florentine. In this article they are put to the test. Domino’s luxury range claims to offer “a host of mouthwatering new toppings on a fresh thin-crust base". They don’t fare too badly in the taste test but seem to fail mainly on not offering authentic ingredients, using bacon instead of Parma ham on the Pizza Rustica for example and lacking spinach on the Pizza Florentine. I’m not really sure, however, what you can expect from a £15 mass produced pizza. Having not tried them I can’t pass judgement myself but it’s clear Domino’s are trying to capture a more premium market. Personally I would rather make a pizza at home and cook it my stone bake pizza oven. It always taste great and I can usually make a couple of pizzas for under £5.

posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 9:49:16 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, August 21, 2011

article-2026611-0D72D88400000578-534_306x423article-2026611-0D72D8D300000578-969_306x423These kitties are the stars of a new book called Fashion cats. The book has been created by Japanese designer Takako Iwasa who came up with the idea after dressing her cats up in various outfits. The cats can be seen wearing costumes from period dress to a Harry Potter Hogwart’s uniform. All I can say is they must be very patient cats mine would take my hand off if I tried to do this to them and quite rightly so, I would deserve it.

posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 12:23:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, August 20, 2011

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These interesting looking yellow raspberries will soon be on sale at Tesco. Pictured here next to the normal red variety the champagne raspberry as it has been called has a sweet taste with less sharpness than the red one. They are grown by a producer in Berkshire and the colour comes from natural pigments which are normally hidden by the red hue in normal red raspberries. The fruit will be trialled in 10 stores in the South East but could be available nationwide next year if it proves to be successful.

posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 12:01:45 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article our native birds are facing an increased threat from malaria. It seems mosquitoes are doing particularly well in the UK due to the warm and wet conditions. It is this rise that is leading to increased cases of malaria in birds. Around 30 species of birds are affected and growing numbers are dying. It is thought that 30% of UK house sparrows are infected with malaria compared with 10% in 1990. Two thirds of tawny owls are affected and 15% of great tits. The disease whilst not always fatal does now appear to be a significant factor in the decline of our birds. Whilst this type of disease can not be transmitted to humans the latest analysis carried out on malaria infection rates suggest that increases in global temperatures could eventually lead to a return of human malaria to northern Europe.

posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 11:59:10 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, August 19, 2011

That’s according to this article which suggests they could be extinct within 15 years. They have suffered a dramatic decline over the past century and it is estimated there are now around one million hedgehogs in Britain, a decline of about 25% over ten years. Reasons for the decline include a reduction in habitat in the countryside and the use of pesticides which eliminate much of their food sources such as caterpillars and beetles. Hedgehogs are also faced with numerous dangers in residential areas such as rat poison, strimming and mowing as well as around 50,000 hedgehogs being run down by motorists every year. To help hedgehogs you can provide food and water, use wildlife friendly slug pellets and remove trailing garden netting.

posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 9:35:09 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

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This is an interesting idea to help cope with the stress of the daily commute. Punch bags on train platforms. This one has been installed at the Xujiahui subway station in Shanghai and customers are encouraged to take out their frustrations on the punch bag rather than the the staff. Whether or not it works is debatable. I wonder whether South Eastern might look into adding a few of these?

posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 9:32:13 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 18, 2011
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If your man has a bit of extra fat around his middle then these pants might be the thing to get. They are similar to those that are available for women and claim to flatten spare tyres, lift saggy backsides and make muffin tops disappear. At £10 a pair from Asda they also won’t break the bank although they do look a little bit silly.

posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:14:53 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-2024460-0D6086DB00000578-631_634x474This was the scene that greeted fire fighters when a pony was unfortunate enough to get himself stuck inside a tractor tyre. It is thought the pony was trying to reach grass under the type when it slipped and became stuck. Hydraulic cutting equipment was used to cut the tyre in half and the pony was eventually released unharmed.

posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:12:49 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article a group of Germans have called for a ban on office kissing. The German Knigge Society which sees itself as a guardian on correct etiquette has said that kissing in the office has become offensive. They are referring to the French style greeting which it seems has caused some confusion amongst some Germans. The Knigge Society has had several calls from people asking for advice on how to react when someone kisses them hello or goodbye. It says that there should be no kissing at least in the workplace because for many there remains an a “erotic component to the kissing” It has also likened it to a form of terror.

posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:09:21 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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This interesting looking creature is a ladybird spider. It is one of Britain’s rarest spiders and is in the news because it is being reintroduced at a nature reserve in Dorset. The spiders were once thought to be extinct but recently numbers of them have been rising. The spiders get their name from the distinctive ladybird like markings on their backs. They spend much of their time underground and as such are rarely seen. In 1994 there was thought to be just one colony of the spiders remaining in the UK with only 56 individual spiders remaining. This has led to a conservation efforts to increase numbers to more than 1,000. The program has involved captive breeding and releasing the spiders back into the wild. Conservationists have found that the best way to transfer them to their new homes is in empty water bottles which work as temporary burrows until the spiders become established in the local heathland.

posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:47:02 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you are visiting the beach this summer then you might want to keep an eye out for turtles. The Marine Conservation Society has asked the public to report any sightings of leatherback turtles during August. Apparently it is a peak time to spot the creatures in UK waters and see whether there are any areas where conservation measures may be needed. The turtles arrive from their nesting grounds in the Caribbean to feed on jellyfish which this year have been seen in large numbers in the Irish Sea. There have already been a dozen turtle sightings this summer but it is hoped many more might be spotted.

posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:45:16 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My latest courgette experiment has been courgette chutney. The courgette jam was a lot nicer than expected so flushed with success I decided to try a chutney. I used a good 10-14 courgettes chopped into small pieces some tomatoes, a couple of onions, a few pints of cigar vinegar and a couple of bowls of brown sugar. This was all boiled until thickened and actually smells quite nice. It needs a few months to mature so the final taste test will have to wait but its looking like a good way to use up a large batch of courgettes. Now what to do with the other 30?

posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:45:24 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback