# Monday, October 24, 2011

article-2049258-0E606B8800000578-148_634x381

A new design has been chosen for electricity pylons  in a contest run by the National Grid. This T-shaped design by a Danish company was the winner out of six finalists. The company called Bystrup will receive £5,000 of prize money and will work with the National Grid to develop the design further. It is not yet clear how long it will take to see the new design appearing across the UK.

posted on Monday, October 24, 2011 9:56:07 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, October 23, 2011

As someone who has suffered a miscarriage in the past I find this article a little disturbing. It suggests that in a small number of cases some pregnancies are being terminated unnecessarily. Researchers have found that in the first six weeks of a pregnancy there is too much room for error in ultrasound scans. A small number of viable embryos at this stage may wrongly be thought to have miscarried when they are in fact still healthy. Whilst the scale of the problem is unknown a study suggests as many as 400 viable pregnancies could potentially be misclassified as a miscarriage. Currently two results are used to diagnose a miscarriage and thus the decision to terminate the pregnancy. These are that the embryo is greater than 6mm in length but without a heartbeat or that there is a pregnancy sac greater than 20mm but with no visible embryo. However, it is possible for this diagnosis to be incorrect as in the case studies in this article where the embryos were later found to be perfectly healthy. It seems, then, that the advice in the early stages of pregnancy is to err on the side of caution and request a second scan up to a week a later. An early scan can often be hard to read and not detect a heartbeat in a small embryo whereas a slightly later scan can sometimes give different results. Whilst miscarriages are still very common and as many as one is three pregnancies do end in a miscarriage it does seem as though these guidelines need to be reviewed if so many cases are misdiagnosed.

posted on Sunday, October 23, 2011 12:05:47 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Nepal government has been asked to consider installing portable toilets on Mount Everest to give mountaineers somewhere civilised to go. Apparently waste is becoming a problem on Everest, with it becoming littered with the debris of past exhibitions. Some of this waste such as human excrement can take decades to decompose due to the extremely cold conditions. Environmental groups believe that the installing lavatories will go some way to reducing the amount of waste left on the mountain. The Eco Everest Expedition, a Nepal based coalition of environmentalists who campaign to keep the mountain clean, have collected more than 13 tonnes of rubbish, 400 kilogrammes of human waste and four bodies from the mountain since 2008.

posted on Saturday, October 22, 2011 9:37:08 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, October 21, 2011

Primary schools in France have issued a ban on tomato ketchup due to fears that pupils are becoming distanced from traditional cuisine. The chairman of the National Association of Directors of Collective Restaurants said that they had to ensure children become familiar with French recipes so that they can hand them down to the next generation. He also expressed concerns that children were using sauces to mask the taste of what they were eating. The children will now only be allowed ketchup and mayonnaise once a week when they are having French fries for lunch.

posted on Friday, October 21, 2011 9:40:15 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you struggle to find products that use sustainable palm oil then you might be shopping in the wrong supermarket. The Co-op now has 81 of its own label products that contain fully traceable sustainable palm oil. Based on this it has claimed to be the largest UK supermarket to be able to certify all its palm oil as sustainable. The retailer is working with a co-operative of smallholders who produce sustainable palm oil which is accredited by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil as part of an initiative in supporting sustainable solutions. 

posted on Friday, October 21, 2011 9:39:23 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, October 20, 2011

If you need any more excuses to eat chocolate then this article is for you. It suggests that women who eat a bar of chocolate a week can reduce their risk of having a stroke. The claim comes from a new study which looked at more than 33,000 Swedish women. It found that those who ate the most chocolate had the lowest chance of stroke. People who ate 66g of chocolate in a week were found to be 20% less likely to suffer a stroke whilst those who only consumed 8g or less were at the highest risk. I’m not convinced but as a precaution will make sure I have a regular chocolate intake, just in case.

posted on Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:06:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If you are looking for something unusual this Christmas then the latest offering from Heston Blumenthal could be for you. He has created a mince pie that smells of pine when it is heated up. The pies which have recently gone on sale at Waitrose are expected to be very popular this Christmas. The pies contain a sachet of sugar which has been infused in pine oil. Once this sugar comes into contact with the hot pie the aroma is released. They are priced at £3.29 for six if you want to give them a try.

posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:36:06 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, October 18, 2011

article-0-0E4D2DEF00000578-921_468x286

If you find that the avocados normally available in the supermarket are a little on the small side then these giant avocados could be just the thing. Much larger than the size we are used to seeing in our supermarket, these are about the size of a melon. They will be available from Waitrose priced at £4.99. Personally I’m not sure I could use it all before it started to go off, I guess you must really need to like avocado.

posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:28:21 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 17, 2011
article-1318188334399-0E4C2D5800000578-425903_466x497

I have seen many bizarre outfits and costumes for pets in the past but I don’t think I have come across any wigs before. A US based wig maker is now making wigs for dogs. Customers can pay around £35 to have their dog dressed up to look like Sarah Palin, Madonna or Elvis. They do look a little bit silly.

posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 9:40:15 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback