Wednesday 27 February 2008

Candy before swine

I have to admit I really like Pork scratchings, crispy curls of pork skin they sound disgusting - but I ask you do you like crackling on a joint of roast pork?

I also really like chocolate, almost any kind - high cocoa solids, milk chocolate you name it, I like it.

So how about if you put them together?

They come in milk, dark and white chocolate - curiously the chocolate is sugar free. Why?? You have Pork rinds why not go all out? A little sugar? not really an issue.

I guess if you can have chocolate-covered bacon and gummi bacon, you can have chocolate-covered pork rinds.
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Tuesday 26 February 2008

Suits you sir!

A 44-year-old Dutch artist, Desiree Palmen, decided to attempt the same visual deception as a chameleon.

The difference being that she uses a method that requires a huge amount of effort and attention to detail. She makes cotton suits and paints the camouflage on by hand, painstakingly matching it to the chosen background. Either she or a model then poses in the suit in the chosen place.

"It takes hours for her to paint the suits. First she takes photographs of the scene then, back in the studio, she meticulously transfers the detail on to the cotton suit with acrylic paints."

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Monday 11 February 2008

Augmented Reality

Thanks to BMW's augmented reality project fixing a car could become easier than assembling a flat pack desk from Ikea

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Tuesday 5 February 2008

Fast Carbon or Carbon Fast

The Church of England is urging people to cut down on carbon, rather than chocolate, for Lent this year.

Two senior bishops and development agency Tearfund have joined together to call for a cut in personal carbon use for each of the 40 days of Lent.

The Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, who is also vice-president of Tearfund, and the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, have launched the "carbon fast" to reduce carbon emissions.

The 40-day plan lists simple energy-saving actions that can lead towards a lighter carbon footprint, including snubbing plastic bags, giving the dishwasher a day off, insulating the hot-water tank and checking the house for drafts.

Participants are asked to begin the carbon fast by removing one light bulb from a prominent place in the home and live without it for 40 days, as a constant visual reminder during Lent of the need to cut energy. On the final day of the fast, people are encouraged to replace the missing bulb with an energy-saving bulb.

Jones said: "Traditionally people have given up things for Lent. This year we are inviting people to join us in a carbon fast. It is the poor who are already suffering the effects of climate change. To carry on regardless of their plight is to fly in the face of Christian teaching.

"The tragedy is that those with the power to do something about it are least affected, whilst those who are most affected are powerless to bring about change," he added. "There's a moral imperative on those of us who emit more than our fair share of carbon to rein in our consumption."

Figures from Tearfund, which is helping communities cope with the impacts of climate change around the world, highlight the contrast between carbon emissions in the developed and developing world. A total of 9.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted per person each year in the UK, compared with in 0.067 tons in Ethiopia and 0.24 in Bangladesh.

There has been a rising chorus on climate change from churches in recent years. The Church of England has already committed itself to reducing carbon emissions by 60% by 2050 through its Shrinking the Footprint initiative.

Chartres, the 132nd Bishop of London and the Church of England's third most senior figure after the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, has previously said that Christians have a moral duty to save the planet. In 2006 he pledged not to fly for a year, saying that "making selfish choices such as flying on holiday or buying a large car" were a "symptom of sin".

Last year, the Vatican also hosted a conference on climate change, where Pope Benedict urged bishops, scientists and politicians to "respect creation" while "focusing on the needs of sustainable development".

The full list of pledges for the carbon fast:

Day one
(Ash Wednesday.) Remove one light bulb and live without it for the next 40 days.

Day two
Check your house for draughts with a ribbon or feather. If it flutters, buy a draught excluder.

Day three
Tread lightly – whether that's by foot, by bike, on to a bus or on the gas as you drive. Find a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions when you travel today.

Day four
Are you recycling everything possible? Really – everything? Look into it today.

Day five
Can you talk about your Carbon Fast at church today? Encourage others to join in.

Day six
Turn your central heating thermostat down by one degree.

Day seven
Say au revoir to standby. Check that all electrical equipment is switched off when not in use. The TV alone will save a hefty 20kg of carbon dioxide per year.

Day eight
Unplug your mobile phone charger: it uses electricity even when it's not charging.

Day nine
Climate change isn't a distant threat – it's affecting poor communities now. Pray for Tearfund's work to help vulnerable communities adapt to the changing weather.

Day 10
Give your dishwasher a day off or promote it to a Grade A energy efficient appliance.

Day 11
Use local shops or farmers' markets ( instead of driving to out-of-town shopping parks. They will thank you; supermarkets won't notice your absence.

Day 12
Tell politicians to take action on climate change today. Check out Tearfund's campaign work at

Day 13
Put the heat on your electricity or gas suppliers and ask them if they have a green plan. Make the switch and feel cosy.

Day 14
Take a shower instead of a bath: you'll heat less water.

Day 15
Snub plastic bags. Get into the habit of taking your rucksack to the supermarket or go retro with a trolley. Ask your supermarket to remove unnecessary packaging.

Day 16
Switch off lights as you leave the room.

Day 17
Only fill your kettle with as much water as you need.

Day 18
Cut the air miles. Don't consume any food that you know has been imported by plane (apart from Fairtrade products).

Day 19
Grace Maglasey and her husband Andrew struggle to grow enough food because their village in Malawi is caught in a cycle of floods and droughts. Join in with Grace's prayer today: "We pray that those of us who farm should harvest a lot of food so that this year we will not have hunger. In the name of Jesus, Amen."

Day 20
Compost. Put the nutrients from food waste back into the soil – not into a methane-emitting landfill.

Day 21
Only run your washing machine when you have a full load.

Day 22
Find one way to save paper today: re-use an old envelope or print double-sided.

Day 23
Turn the taps off. In one day a hot, dripping tap could fill a bath.

Day 24
Counsel your local council. Thank them for their recycling facilities but ask them if they could provide any more.

Day 25
Who works hardest in the house? Mum? Dad? No, the fridge. It's churning away 24/7. Treat it to a good de-icing to make sure it's running efficiently.

Day 26
"Love does no harm to its neighbour" Romans 13:10. But while our lifestyles consume more and more energy, our poorer neighbours are suffering. Reflect on ways to love our neighbours in our increasingly connected world.

Day 27
Pressure a car owner to check their tyre pressures. Low tyre pressure means high fuel consumption.

Day 28
Do a home energy check at or call 0800 512 012 for a paper copy. You could save up to £250 a year on bills.

Day 29
Run your washing machine at 30 degrees. This uses 40% less electricity than running at 40 degrees.

Day 30
Find out a new fact about the impact of climate change today. Amaze your friends.

Day 31
Fit aluminium foil behind your radiator – allowing you to turn the radiator down and save £10 a year per radiator.

Day 32
Any old iron? If they're on their last legs replace old electrical appliances with energy-efficient models. They could save a third of the energy.

Day 33
Have an embrace-the-silence Sunday. Turn off everything. No TV, no radio, no ringtones, no cars. It'll be good for the soul.

Day 34
Tell the Mailing Preference Service that you want to stop junk mail. Call 0845 7034599 or visit Sign up to Tearfund's e-newsletter Twelve at

Day 35
Put an insulation jacket on your hot-water tank. If everyone does, we'll cut enough carbon dioxide to fill 148,000 hot-air balloons.

Day 36
Re-use an item you would have thrown away – such as a jam jar, an envelope or an ice-cream container.

Day 37
Put a lid on it. That's pans when cooking; and use a kettle to boil water.

Day 38
Draw the curtains to keep the heat in.

Day 39
Could your church be greener? Talk to your church leaders. Tearfund can help – visit the site.

Day 40
Replace your missing bulb with an energy-saving lightbulb. Over its lifetime, you will save 60kg of carbon dioxide per year and up to £60. Make a personal pledge to serve others by pursuing a more sustainable way of life.

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