Archive for February, 2009

Found Sat-Nav

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The other day, I found a satellite navigation system in the street, complete with in-car recharger. Sheer merionesian curiosity forced me to switch it on and try it out. Nothing happened, because it was flat out of juice.

I did not have a suitable 12V power supply at work, but fortunately the charger ends in a standard mini-USB connector (like the one on a digital camera) and I was able to charge it from my computer.

Now, this thing belongs to somebody. I shouldn’t just keep it, even though it’s a Tom Tom One and eminently hackable (it’s running Linux underneath). So what am I going to do with it?
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Better Late than Never

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Well, my local council have finally got around to including my street in the door-to-door recycling collection scheme. Which they have been promising for about 4 years. Better late than never. I should save a fortune in shoe-l**th*r from not having to make a special trek to the recycling centre every so often.

I have had my blue bin (for cans and bottles) delivered yesterday, along with bags for paper and textiles. The brown bin (for organic matter: kitchen and garden waste and cardboard) should be arriving today.

First recycling collection will be next week, then alternating week-to-week with rubbish collections. It takes me a lot longer than two weeks to fill a rubbish bin, though …..

*** UPDATE *** The brown bin has indeed arrived. Can’t help noticing that it and the blue bin are rather slimmer than my black bin!

Not Worth Their Salt

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

The lobbying group Consensus Action on Salt and Health have really shot themselves in the foot here with this FAQ entry:

Are there any incidences where I should up my salt intake- e.g. if I have been physically working hard on a hot day, or when abroad in a hot climate?
No, if you eat little or no salt then there is no salt in the sweat.

No s#!t, Sherlock.

The salt concentration in sweat is controlled in the exactly the same way as the urine. The body will adjust and hold onto any salt if a lot is being lost in the sweat.

The converse is also true: if you consume more salt, then you excrete more salt.

Call me paranoid if you like, but I’m finding it difficult imagining that these people do not have an ulterior motive. We’ve been eating salt for years, and some people eat quite a bit more salt than us Brits; so how come it’s only started affecting us now?

Disclaimer: Speaking as someone who once came close to dying of acute hyponatraemia, and as someone who no longer enjoys a certain high street bakery chain’s pasties because they do not contain enough salt to bring out any flavour, I do have a bit of a vested interest in this.