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Wednesday 8 November 2006

Environmental health officer hit by ‘strong smell of mice’ at London Starbucks

Starbucks has been fined £12,000 after one of its coffee shops was found to be infested with mice.

‘Mouse droppings were found next to spoons, knives, cups, clingfilm and boxes of biscuits and coffee that were about to be used, London’s City of Westminster magistrates heard.’

Read more…

The staff need to wake up and smell the er… mice.


Filed under: Food & cookery,Health — GS @ 6:33 pm
Friday 27 October 2006

The Gulf Stream came to a halt for ten days in 2004

The Gulf Stream is an ocean current that keeps Britain warm by dragging water northwards from the tropics

Now scientists have revealed that a part of the Stream came to a temporary halt for ten days during November 2004.

No one is quite sure what this means. Will it happen again? Is it a sign of the current stuttering to a permanent halt?

‘A complete shutdown would lead to a 4C-6C cooling over 20 years.’ A new ice age…

Sea change: why global warming could leave Britain feeling the cold.


Filed under: Environment — GS @ 9:32 pm
Friday 22 September 2006

AA batteries that recharge by USB

Here’s a great idea. The top of the rechargeable AA battery flips to reveal a USB plug. You just plug the battery into a spare USB port on your PC and it charges up. Nothing else needed.

AA batteries that can be recharged from a USB port

I love rechargeable batteries. If you take care of them, they can last for years. I have four NiCad batteries that I bought on Old Compton Street in 1992 (was that electrical shop called Rayners?). I think they cost about £10.

For years I used them in my flash-gun. Now I use them in my digital camera. They must have been recharged hundreds of times and still work perfectly.

Imagine the damage to the environment if I had used standard batteries all this time instead and what would the cost have been? Maybe £500?

There are two types of rechargeable AA battery. The older NiCad type and the more recent NiMH. The secret to getting long life out of Nicads is to make sure you always run them down completely before you recharge. Otherwise they develop a ‘memory’ effect, which means you never get a full charge from them again. Whereas the NiMH type can be ‘topped up’ whenever you like.

In fact, my experience so far has been that, if they are looked after, NiCads seem to survive much longer than their NiMH counterparts.

These USBCell batteries are NiMH and cost £12.99 for two. Which isn’t bad if you get a few years of use out of them.


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 10:37 am
Thursday 13 April 2006

green.tv

green.tv is the first broadband TV channel dedicated to environmental issues. It launched at the beginning of April with the backing of the United Nations Environment Programme.

The site had 250,000 hits in the first week of being online.


Filed under: Environment,Politics,Science — GS @ 7:13 am
Saturday 11 February 2006

A critical rise in world temperatures is now unavoidable

The Independent newspaper reports that a dangerous rise in temperature is now unavoidable. We are on course for ‘a rise in global mean temperatures to two degrees above the level before the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century,’ the article says.

The two degree threshold was set down by scientists from around the world last year and, beyond it, really dangerous climate change is likely to be unstoppable.

Consequences include the Greenland ice sheet melting which would lead to a sea-level rise of several metres.

Global warming: passing the ‘tipping point’


Filed under: Environment — GS @ 10:25 am
 
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