# Saturday, February 28, 2009

A barman in Norfolk found himself in trouble with his boss after he cooked the pub takings. Luke Woolston, the barman at the Jolly Farmers in Ormesby, Norfolk stored the money inside an oven for safe keeping after he cashed up. Unfortunately he had failed to realise that the oven was switched on and it was only when he smelt burning that he realised he had cooked £1,000 on the pub takings. He later confessed to his boss by text message who took the unusual tactic of simply telling the customers what had happened saying I thought I could handle it in one of two ways - either give him a strong talking to or tell two or three customers, thinking it would be round the village in no time and his life would be hell for two or three weeks. It seems to have worked."

posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 2:08:27 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I drink a lot of tea so was pleased when I found this article which suggests that drinking three cups of tea a day can help to reduce the risk of stroke. The study was carried out by scientists from the American Heart Association who found that drinking three cups of tea a day cuts the risk of brain clots by 21 per cent. It is thought that it may do this by reducing blood pressure.

posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 2:06:41 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, February 27, 2009

article-0-03AD21E6000005DC-395_468x648 This is great its an office space that comes complete with its own helter skelter slide. The feature is part of the Electric Works office complex in Sheffield which opens on Monday. The slide inside is part of one of the office suites, it is made of steel and plastic and is 87ft with a 40ft drop. The slide takes you from the third floor right down to the ground floor reception in just seven seconds so it could be a great way of getting rid of annoying clients very quickly.

posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 10:30:03 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, February 26, 2009

PD*27155414 This is interesting, its a portable sandwich toaster which has been invented by a Korean designer. It is designed to allow users to heat up their lunchtime sandwich without the need for a grill or a toaster. It works by producing heat via nanotechnology using moleculer sized tubes of carbon. It then spreads this heat using the ceramic unit until the bread is toasted. Unfortunately it appears to have a few flaws, it can only toast one side at a time and it only toasts part of the sandwich at the time. It's an interesting idea and perhaps if it were the size of a slice of bread might be a little more practical.

posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:09:09 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This article suggests that the type of exercise you do dictates the type of food that you want to eat afterwards. Apparently some work outs trigger cravings for health foods such as fruit whilst other make you more inclined to reach for a chocolate biscuit or a piece of cake. A long tiring swim in a cold pool tends to leave you hungry for high fat foods whereas going for a run on a warm day is more likely to make you want to eat fruit. Dr Stensel explains this saying: 'While some high-intensity exercise, such as running in hot conditions, suppresses the ghrelin hormone, which stimulates appetite, other high-intensity exercise, such as swimming in cold water, actually increases the hormone which, in turn, increases hunger.' I'm not sure I agree, any form of exercise makes me want to eat chocolate.

posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:27:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pancake Tower This is apparently the world's tallest pancake stack. It stands 29.5 inches (75cm) high and beat the previous record by 0.4 inches. To make this amount of pancakes took 100 eggs, 17 pints of milk, 11lbs of flour and 6.6lbs of butter. The stack includes 672 pancakes and took 22 hours to build, that's a lot of pancakes.

posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 1:45:56 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-1150131-0394E3CB000005DC-996_233x281 Marks and Spencer have recently started selling a wedding ring and engagement ring set for those on a budget. At just £18 it certainly won't break the bank. The rings are platinum plated and diamante encrusted with the underneath being made of a tin alloy. The engagement ring also includes a fake diamond. The M&S logo features on the inside of the ring in place of a hallmark and the set comes in a purple jewellery box. I wonder how popular these will turn out to be.

posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 11:40:19 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 23, 2009

PD*27095430 According to this article this is Britain's fastest ever police dog. He has been nicknamed The Stig after the Top Gear racing driver because at only three months old he can already outrun dogs that are twice his size and age. Following the completion of his training in 2010 the dog will be used to catch fleeing criminals.

posted on Monday, February 23, 2009 12:32:29 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, February 22, 2009

090218-extinct-bird-photo_big This is the first and perhaps the last picture of a rare Worcester's buttonquail. The quail which is thought to be extinct was photographed for the first time before being sold for food at a poultry market. It seems that a TV crew had enough sense to photograph the bird but not enough to stop it from being eaten. It is possible the that the species may still exist undetected in other regions of the Philippines but for now the last known specimen appears to have become someone's dinner.

posted on Sunday, February 22, 2009 4:30:58 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, February 21, 2009

If you have a bit of spare cash then you might want to bid for what is officially the last bag of Woolworths pic 'n' mix. It is being sold by an ex store manager Ed Adams who is auctioning it to raise funds for Retail Trust, a charity for retail industry workers. He bagged the sweets shortly before closing his store for the last time and the bag has been certified by the administrators to show it is officially the last one. The current bid stands at £14,500.10 and if you want to bid you can do so on ebay.

posted on Saturday, February 21, 2009 11:43:18 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, February 20, 2009

i2dw5nf19jy2mawf3l60wNCio1_500I found This is Why You're Fat some time ago and am still amazed at some of the truly awful creations submitted on the site. This rather awful looking creation is a bacon cheese pizza burger its basically a giant burger between two large meat pizzas complete with eggs, bacon and cheese. Now doesn't that put you off your lunch?

posted on Friday, February 20, 2009 1:39:14 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, February 19, 2009

Regular readers will know that I like wine so I am always quick to highlight articles about the benefits of drinking it. This article, however, says just the opposite. It is based upon a study from the National Cancer Institute in Paris which found that as little as one unit of alcohol, the equivalent of half a glass of wine can increase the risk of colon cancer by nine per cent and the risk of mouth or throat cancer by 168 per cent. The report also found that when more alcohol was drunk the risk was greater. The findings appear to dispute previous claims that small amounts of alcohol could be good for heart health. I seem to read conflicting reports every few weeks so its hard to know what to believe, but I think I like wine a bit too much to be giving it up.

posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:43:30 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It appears that one company at least is yet to feel the effects of the recession. Whilst many other businesses are struggling business is booming at Domino's Pizza. Profits for the last 12 months were up 25% to £23 million with like for like sales rising by 10%. There were also 52 new store openings last year. The company appears to benefiting not only from the fact that people are choosing to eat in rather than go out but also from the recent bad weather which has kept many people at home.

posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 1:37:50 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is a good example of a rather bad thief who robbed a petrol station but was then quickly caught after he ran out of petrol. The man had robbed a petrol station in Florida, threatening the clerk with a knife. He then fled with the money but unfortunately for him he ran out of petrol not far from the scene of the crime. He was arrested only a few hours later after he abandoned the car. A perfect example of how not to commit a crime.

posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 12:13:57 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 16, 2009

CornerForest3 This is interesting its some artwork from Yuken Teruya who turns everyday objects such as pizza boxes, toilet rolls and bags into art. This is one of the projects featured on the website. Its called Corner Forest and includes lots of individual toilet rolls which are hung to create a forest.

thumb_CornerForest1

posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 11:15:31 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, February 15, 2009

We usually go out on Valentines Day but this year we decided we would stay in and cook at home. I received a gift of flowers and chocolates from my husband in the morning and then we went out to source ingredients. We ended up going for a menu of seared scallops with a tomato salsa, fillet steak with rocket salad and banoffe pie accompanied by a bottle of Bollinger. It was all cooked to perfection and was very tasty and when I consider that to purchase food of this quality in a restaurant would probably have cost double what it cost us to cook at home I think we did quite well. That's not to say we won't be going out for a meal but we will go next weekend when we won't be paying over inflated Valentines Day prices.

posted on Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:18:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, February 14, 2009

I read this article with some disbelief, its about a women who had booked a holiday to Costa Rica. Unfortunately for her, the travel agent had made a mistake on the ticket entering the wrong airport code on the ticket and she ended up in Puerto Rico. Instead of entering SJO the code for Juan Santa Maria in San Jose the travel agent had used SJU, the code for San Juan in Puerto Rico. Not realising the mistake she boarded the plane and it was only when she got into a taxi to go to her hotel that she was told "This is not Costa Rica. It's Puerto Rico". What I can't believe is that she managed to get all the way there without noticing she was flying to the wrong destination. The departure boards do show the destination of the flight, so I'm assuming she missed this small but all important detail. Failing that, did she not get a little suspicious when the captain said "welcome aboard this flight to Puerto Rico". Whilst the travel agent has obviously made a mistake here, I think you would expect some degree of common sense on the part of the customer.

posted on Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:31:58 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, February 13, 2009

This article suggests that despite a Government pledge to crack down on developers who build new homes on flood plains, the number of new homes built on flood risk areas is increasing. The article points out that local planners gave the go ahead for 16 new developments in danger areas in 2007/2008. In each of these case although the Environment Agency raised objections, these were ignored and many were approved after the floods in the summer of 2007 when thousands of families lost their homes and possessions. There are now around two million homes built on flood plains in the UK and the insurance industry will no longer cover people who move into new homes in at risk areas unless the builders have installed flood defences.

It just seems ludicrous to me that despite the bad floods of the past couple of years developers are still choosing to build on areas that are at risk of flooding. The flood plains are called that for a reason, they are there primarily to take the excess water when an area floods. In fact two definitions of the term are "All land adjacent to a watercourse over which water flows in times of flood or would flow but for the presence of flood defences where they exist" and "The area around a body of water which may at times be under water and may at other times be dry land, depending on the level of the water in the lake, river, pond, etc." It seems to be me that if they developers insist on building on flood plains they need to stop building conventional houses and look at other solutions. Something like this Eco-home might work. It is built on stilts so that the water simply flows underneath the house. It also has no foundations that will be swept away by flood waters. Another interesting idea are these floating houses made by Dutch company Waterstudio. One thing is for sure building conventional style houses in an area which will flood is a dumb idea and developers should be looking at the long term implications.

posted on Friday, February 13, 2009 9:18:08 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

PD*26818581 I came across this picture of a heart shaped island in Croatia today. The unusual shape was of the island called Galesnjak was highlighted on Google Earth and it has since become known as Lovers Island. The owner has now started receiving lots of requests from people who want to spend a romantic break there.

posted on Friday, February 13, 2009 9:15:47 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, February 12, 2009

This article suggests that more people are ignoring level crossings. This doesn't surprise me because recently there seems to have been lots of news reports about people being killed or injured on level crossings. The article shows a video of a car driving through a level crossing moments before the train comes through and also talks about an incident where a man's show was clipped by a passing train. All of the reports have one thing in common people who can't be bothered to wait for the barriers to go up and decide to ignore them. I live in an area where I have to cross a level crossing every time I want to go into town and whilst it is really annoying and I spend much of my time waiting there it's just dumb to jump over the barriers, they are there for a reason. As one reader commented "It's called natural selection".

posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:45:23 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

One-Missions-electric-mot-001This is the world's fastest production electric motorbike. It is produced by a Californian company Mission Motors and is considerably quicker than other models already on the market. It can reach a top speed of 150mph and can run for around 150 miles before it needs charging. It is likely to go on sale for $68,995 (£47,100) with a cheaper model being announced in the summer.

posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:43:56 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-0-034E670F000005DC-687_468x321

This cow was unfortunate enough to be struck by lightening. Surprisingly she survived although has some nasty burns. It is apparently very rare for a cow to be struck by lightening and most die so it appears this is one very lucky cow.

posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:39:30 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This is interesting its a project to help raise awareness about breast cancer. It called Artful Bras and the idea is that members of the Quilters of South Caroliner have created a one of a kind bra. The results will be part of a touring exhibit and when the exhibit ends in October will be auctioned off with the proceeds being donated to the Best Chance Network. Here are just a few of the designs but you can see the rest at the website here.

IMG_3728

 Hooters-3738

 IMG_3746

 

 

 

 

posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11:11:39 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you are planning a big romantic proposal this Valentines Day you might want to check out this article for some examples where a public proposal has gone horribly wrong. It includes one where a lady was left standing in a restaurant in her underwear after jumping out of a giant cake, her intended was not impressed and simply left. Shame.

posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:27:45 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

We had roast pork at the weekend and my favourite part was the crackling which was perfect. Looking around on the internet it appears people have lots of different methods for making the perfect crackling. Personally I put deep cuts in the fat on top of the pork joint spaced about 1cm apart. Then I rub some salt into the cuts I have made and drizzle some olive oil over the top and put it into the oven covered for about 2 hours. Halfway through the cooking time I sprinkle a little more olive over the top and leave the meat covered with foil. Once the pork joint is cooked I slice the layer of fat from the top and place it into a roasting tray on its own for about 10 minutes with the newly exposed fat side facing to the top. This allows it time to crisp up to produce perfect pork crackling. I'm sure other people have tried and tested methods that they will want to share but this works for me. How do you cook your pork crackling?

posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:03:47 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A South Korean grandmother has taken the written driving test a total of 771 times and has failed on each occasion. She has been taking the test since April 2005 and consistently scores between 30 and 50 marks, however, she needs 60 out of 100 in order to pass. She has so far spent more than four million wong (about £2,000) but is not to put off and will be back for another attempt. I admire her persistence, I think I would have given up by now.

posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 11:46:40 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 09, 2009

If you use Twitter you might want to check out an article from the Time Online which lists the 50 most popular celebrities on Twitter. Stephen Fry, Russell Brand, Britney Spears and John Cleese are just a few that you might be interested to follow.

posted on Monday, February 09, 2009 3:28:24 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article the number of UFO sightings in Britain has doubled in the past year. A total of 285 unidentified flying objects were reported in 2008 compared to just 135 in 2007.  One was even reported hovering over Parliament on the 12th of February last year. I'm not entirely sure why the amount of sightings should double, perhaps it is down to people wanting to add a bit of excitement to their lives during the difficult economic conditions. Either way, one thing is for sure, if the aliens are looking for signs of intelligent life, then Parliament is the wrong place to look.

posted on Monday, February 09, 2009 2:28:25 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This article is interesting, it suggests that whales used to live on the land. Fossilised remains of an ancient whale from 47 million years ago seem to prove that the creatures were dependant on the land for resting and breeding and may have once lived completely on the land. The fossil found was a female whale that was pregnant with a calf when she died. The calf's position in the womb appears to back up the theory that at this point whales were not totally aquatic. Looking at the position of the calf in the womb it would have been born head first like land mammals rather than tail first as the norm in aquatic mammals. It is this that in the words of Phillip Gingerich of the University of Michigan shows “They clearly were tied to the shore".

posted on Monday, February 09, 2009 9:37:32 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, February 08, 2009

 

I made this roasted rack of lamb with a herb crust and rosemary jus yesterday and it was really good. If you want to make it, here is the recipe which is from BBC food. I would recommend using less breadcrumbs than suggested in the recipe as I has too much of the bread crumb and herb mixture left over. As I tend to try and use everything to prevent waste I have saved the remaining left over herb crust mixture and intend to use it to make a herb crusted chicken breast during the week.

Ingredients
For the herb crust
200g/7oz fresh, rich white bread
2 tbsps freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp fresh soft thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
4 tbsp vegetable oil
100g/4oz unsalted butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 lean racks of lamb, french trimmed
For the rosemary jus
500ml/17fl oz hot, good lamb stock
1 large sprig fresh rosemary

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 240C/450F/Gas 9.
2. To prepare the herb crust, break the bread into large pieces and place in a food processor or blender and turn into fine crumbs.
3. Add the herbs and garlic and blitz for a further 30 seconds.
4. Heat the oil in a large pan with the butter until foaming, but not coloured. Season the racks and add to the pan, skin-side down, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side (for medium rare). Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
5. Place the racks of lamb, fat side up, on a chopping board, and brush the mustard over the racks, to apply a good coating.
6. Press a generous handful of the herb crust over the racks and transfer to a medium-sized roasting tin and roast for 5-15 minutes, depending on how your lamb is preferred. Cover the bones with foil if browning too quickly.
7. To make the jus, heat the stock and rosemary in a pan over a medium to high heat and reduce by half, stirring occasionally. Check seasoning, strain and keep warm.
8. Slice the racks in half and serve immediately.

DSC_0001 Lamb 2

posted on Sunday, February 08, 2009 12:29:34 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-1135683-034BF5C3000005DC-979_468x353 Fossil hunters have discovered the fossil of a snake which they believe would have measured 45ft long. The snake would have been longer than a bus and would have been able to swallow an animal the size of a cow. The creature named Titanoboa would have lived on a diet of crocodiles and giant turtles which it would have squeezed to death before eating them whole. It would have lived in South America and would have weighed around 1.25 tons. This is an artists impression of what it might have looked like. It makes me think of the film Anaconda. I wonder whether there might still be some huge snakes living in remote locations today.

posted on Sunday, February 08, 2009 11:17:48 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, February 07, 2009

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This is rather strange its a cardboard PC. It is made from 12 cardboard panels which are stuck together using non toxic adhesive. When the PC reaches the end of its life the cardboard body can be taken apart and recycled and the internal components are designed to be easily dismantled. I wonder how hot this thing gets, it does have a dedicated internal venting chamber but I'm not entirely sure putting a flammable material around a PC is such a good idea.

posted on Saturday, February 07, 2009 10:53:35 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, February 06, 2009

It appears that Woolworth's is not completely dead. This article suggests that the name will live again but as an online only brand. The brand has been purchased by Sir David and Frederick Barclay who specialise in buying up home delivery retail groups. They already own Littlewoods and some home delivery divisions of Argos including Kays, Marshall Wards and Great Universal and expect woolworths.co.uk to be running by the summer. It's good to see the Woolworths name will not disappear completely, and will be interesting to see what the online version is like.

posted on Friday, February 06, 2009 10:30:26 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

This article from the National Geographic is quite interesting, it suggests that early humans were able to crack nuts with their teeth. Unlike us the Australopithecus africanus had strong chewing apparatus which was able to handle hard foods such as nuts and seeds when other food was not available. They also had well muscled heads that could withstand high forces such as the teeth of canines. I wish I could crack nuts with my teeth.

posted on Friday, February 06, 2009 10:28:55 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, February 05, 2009

Allergy advice- contains milk. That's the very helpful advice found on the side of a pint of milk according to this article. Whilst I appreciate that allergy advice is needed on certain products that might have hidden milk content, I do think that anyone who buys a pink of milk is aware that there is milk in the product. This reminds of a bag of nuts that I purchased at Christmas which had the helpful advice "warning may contain nuts". Whoever puts these warning labels on the products must think we are really stupid.

posted on Thursday, February 05, 2009 1:05:27 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, February 04, 2009

article-1131947-033A73CB000005DC-384_468x325 I came across this picture of a cool hedge whale today. It was created by Nicki Leggatt who decided she wanted to do something a little different with the hedge in her front garden. I have a large hedge in my garden I wonder if my husband will let me turn it into a whale.

posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2009 1:04:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, February 03, 2009

article-1131447-033ADD2C000005DC-864_468x271 This is quite cool its the world's fastest electric car. Created by Shelby Supercars the Ultimate Aero EV can reach speeds of 208mph and can accelerate to 60mph in 2.5 seconds. It is possible to charge the cars batteries in just 10 minutes from the mains, the car then has a range of between 150 and 200 miles before it needs recharging.

posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2009 2:14:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 02, 2009



It’s unusual to get much snow where I live so I was surprised this morning. Overnight we got nearly 5 inches of the white stuff. The cats have never seen this much snow and seem a bit bewildered by it. In the picture you can Willow investigating.

posted on Monday, February 02, 2009 11:24:26 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, February 01, 2009

I'm quite partial to the occasional doner kebab but the reason I don't eat them that often is I am aware they contain masses of calories. It didn't really come as much of a surprise to me when I came across this article that a doner kebab contains an entire day's calorie allowance for an average person. That's about 2,000 calories in just one kebab. The average kebab also contains 98% of the daily salt quota for an adult. Surprisingly some of the kebabs sold as Halal also tested positive for pork  when it was not identified as an ingredient. I find this aspect slightly more worrying than the information about the calorie intake, we all know kebabs are bad for you and are best enjoyed in moderation but I think most people would like to know what's in the food the eat.

posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 2:51:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback