Monthly Archives May 2007

4×4’s and Carnivores

Don’t get confused but even though cars produce dramatically LESS CO2 than livestock farming, we still need to reduce the amount we use our cars/trucks/planes.

Burning fossil fuels produces a number of toxic chemicals that there is no doubt our atmosphere and the air we breathe would be better off without. (Environment Agency – Air Quality and Emissions)

But according to the national statistics website CO2 emissions have actually dropped steadily in the last decade which suggests we are contributing less to global warming.

So what I find surprising is the fact that we are being encouraged to use less fossil fuels and CO2 producing forms of transport and in many cases we are being charged more for the privilege but we are not being told to eat less meat?

This is not a joke.

Extract from

“According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.”

There are many ways to interpret and display statistics and other reports claim that cars/transport produces 1/30th of the CO2 that livestock farming does.

And how are these vast amounts of CO2 actually being produced?

By animals farting.

“Livestock now use 30 percent of the earth’s entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 percent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock, the report notes. As forests are cleared to create new pastures, it is a major driver of deforestation, especially in Latin America where, for example, some 70 percent of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing. ”

If a vegetarian drives a 4×4 could they still be ‘carbon neutral’??

Did you know: Human beings are not carnivores. Are bodies have not yet evolved enough to process meat properly. That is why some meat can remain undigested and cause intestinal cancer.

What’s the Deal with Tesco Value Broccoli?

Firstly, the real deal you get with Tesco Value Broccoli is a saving of between £0.10/Kg and £6.77/kg.

To break that down a bit, Tesco Value Broccoli is only £1.18/Kg (source, my local Tesco! 20/05/07) whereas, Tesco ‘Organic’ Broccoli is £2.99/Kg. (£1.81 more)

You buy 2Kg of the Organic variety (in store) and you’ve just paid £3.62 more than you would have if you buy the Tesco Value alternative.

Now just think for a minute what that £3.62 could buy you…?

If you go online to the Tesco online shopping service, the only difference between ‘Pre-Packed Tesco Broccoli’ and the ‘Tesco Value Broccoli’ is the price.

Seriously, the value stuff has EXACTLY the same nutritional value as the normal stuff but it’s £2.05/Kg MORE EXPENSIVE!! Just because it’s pre-packed!!

The ‘Loose’ non-value Broccoli is only £0.10/Kg more than the Value Broccoli but you’re really just paying 10p more so you don’t have ‘Tesco Value’ in your shopping trolley!

I registered with Tesco’s online shopping website to see if they had any facts and that’s what they revealed!

It makes no sense whatsoever to buy the non-Value Broccoli!! Unless you like throwing money away?

And get this, the prepacked ‘normal’ stuff is actually less nutritious than the loose stuff and is £1.95 more expensive!!

You pay £1.95 just to be saved the effort of putting a bit in a bag! (Oh and some of that £1.95 pays for the plastic – good eh?)

Now the ‘Finest Tenderstem Broccoli’ is a staggering £7.95/Kg!! Did they just pull a number out of a hat? £1.18/Kg sounds like a number with some profit shaved off, £7.95/Kg sounds like a number somebody made up!

On the plus side, the Tenderstem has a bit less salt and a bit less fat. But when did you ever hear of someone getting fat from too much veg?


‘Pay As You Throw’ Tax On Rubbish – Fundamentally Flawed

Excerpt from Yahoo News:

‘Families face a new “pay as you throw” tax on rubbish under proposals to be unveiled by the Government.

It means the average family could end up paying around £120 a year to have their rubbish collected, on top of their council tax.

Under the proposals people will be provided with a slop bucket for food waste and kitchen scraps.

They will also have to separate out glass, plastics, paper and tins.

Councils will be able to issue fines for people who fail to comply.’


Personally I think this is just a way to allow local authorities to impose more fines where possible and boost revenue by doing so.

My local authority can’t process much of the recyclable waste so why should we be fined when they’re just going to throw a huge percentage of it into landfill anyway??

Many products are recyclable but we’re told not to because it costs too much to either process the waste or transport it to be processed and that simply isn’t good enough.

The government is failing to invest in a waste infrastructure that will get more of our rubbish properly recycled.

Until the public has been issued with difinitive instructions about what can and can’t be recycled…

…..or until an infrastructure is put in place so that a much higher percentage of the waste actually does get processed and recycled….

….the public should not be fined for failing to comply with a flawed system.

Cheapest & Lowest APR Secured Loans

For many years one of the unique selling points of secured loans has been something of a myth.

It has been advertised that the APR of secured loans is often more competitive than unsecured loans because they are less of a risk to lenders.

The loan is secured on property so applicants are less likely to risk missing payments.

However, this has not strictly been true. Over the last 6 years secured loans have typically been offered at a higher rate than most leading unsecured loans.

Until today! (Well, I only found out today…)

FirstPlus Homeowner Loans are now available through an exclusive partnership with at the highly competitive and cheapest current UK online rate of just 6.2% Typical APR.

Here’s a link if you want to find out more

This rate is now one of the cheapest loans or lowest apr loans on the market among both secured and unsecured loans.

Although are claiming to offer the lowest APR in the UK of 5.9% but if you read all the info, this is only available on loans over £75,000.

Only a couple of unsecured lenders (Moneyback Bank 6.1% & Northern Rock 6.2%) are offering a better rate than Firstplus and these lenders have been consistently offering market leading loan rates.

I’ve mentioned before in previous posts that APR is calculated as a 2/3 average of all loans sold to FirstPlus must be doing some spectacular deals at the moment.

Their own loan (directly available from not the exclusive offer) is currently on offer until June 15th 2007 at just 6.9%

Adwords Value for Money?

On a couple of my finance sites I display a 728×90 ‘leaderboard’ Google adwords ad.

These display 4 or 5 sponsored results. (see example on

In the finance world, people pay an arm and a leg to appear at the top of the sponsored results and subsequently within the top few results that are rotated within these ‘leaderboards’.

More recently I have noticed some of the major financial institutions monopolising the entire ad!

Just one advert dedicated to one advertiser across the entire 728×90 leaderboard so it looks like a large banner in full colour and with graphics!

How is this fair?

People that are paying top dollar for top listed sponsored results are clearly missing out!

These large adverts are appearing when before there would be 4 sponsored results. No matter which way you look at it, the more full sized ads that are displayed, the less the smaller ads get shown.

Who is winning?

Google methinks…. and those with vulgar marketing budgets….

Who was it that once thought Google were the good guys? It’s all about the money…. They may appear to smile while they take your money but they still take it…

Us and Them

How to completely undermine the nation’s confidence and respect in parliament with one fowl swoop….

“MPs passed a controversial measure on Friday exempting themselves from a law that gives the public access to official information.”

Personally I have no faith, confidence or respect for parliament and I suspect there are millions of Britons that have felt the same way for a long time.

So many people just don’t vote because they don’t think it will make any difference to the way the country is run.

The general feeling is that government will do whatever it wants despite the feelings or needs of the people.

And now this. They have chosen to keep their spending a secret.

They have chosen to exempt themselves from the freedom of information act.

“Critics called the move a ‘squalid’ bid to shroud parliamentary expenses and allowances in secrecy.”

They can find out anything they want to about us, but we can no longer find out anything about them.

“Under the bill, MPs will also be exempt from disclosing their correspondence to public bodies including councils, hospitals and police forces.”

For a body of people that so many of us don’t trust anyway, this is doing nothing to improve things and only serves to make the problem much, much worse.

Do you:

A) Agree with the move.

B) Disagree and think it should be reversed immediately.

C) Don’t care.



Screw Top Paint Pots

Is it me or is it hard to believe that someone has only just come up with the idea to make paint pots with screw top lids?

OK so sample pots have them but for as long as I can remember paint pots/tins have always had a tight fitting ‘lever-off’ lid.

They can be extremely annoying!

How many keys have been bent trying to pry off a paint lid?

How many pots of paint have ended up in peoples laps from stubborn lids finally giving way?

Crown now sell paint in screw top lids. I’ve just seen their advert on TV and that’s what made me think, why has this not been done before?

And the question still remains; has nobody thought of this until now? Not possible!!

Was there a surplus of tins that needed using up before a new design could be used?

Lara Croft Arrested in Manchester

What a great story! – From Yahoo News

Movie and computer game Point of Sale marketing displays often feature life sized representations of main characters. These can come in the form of full sized cardboard cut-outs and more recently full sized dummies.

These effigies can fetch a pretty penny and are highly desirable among fans and collectors.

One such life sized dummy, formerly used to promote one of the Tomb Raider games was taken home by the computer shop owner to be sold to the highest bidder on ebay.

This shop owner called police about nuisance phone calls and when the police turned up at the house, they spotted what they thought was an ‘armed gunman’ through the window!

Following correct procedure, armed police were called in and the house was raided! One officer is reported to have shouted ”Where’s the weapon, where’s the weapon?”

The poor owner had no idea what was going on and was terrified by the ordeal.

What makes this story even more ridiculous is the man has been bailed on firearms offences!!

‘Lara Croft, meanwhile, remains “impounded as evidence”.’

Love LV?

Liverpool Victoria, a popular financial services provider, has recently rebranded themselves as ‘LV’.

Liverpool Victoria was founded in 1843 and is based in Bournemouth on the south coast of England. The company provides a range of financial services such as loans, credit cards, home and car insurance and a range of savings and investment services.

I’ve been past their head office a few times (never actually been in the building though) and it is quite an impressive and memorable looking structure. It presents an established and respectable impression and is something of a landmark in Bournemouth.

The new ‘LV’ branding puts a cross a more trendy and approachable organisation by bringing the idea of love and bikers into their advertising along with some fresh fruit and veg, a dalmation and a little bit of sunshine. (sounds strange but it seems to work!)

Only 5 years left?

A recent report by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) claims we only have 5 years before the planet could suffer a climate catastrophe.

According to the WWF we have until 2012 to make a difference and it is possible for us as a race to achieve some sort of balance and prevent…. well, what exactly?

What will happen in 5 years? Floods? Storms? Intense heats and larger deserts? Dry water reservoirs?

Will we go beyond a ‘point of no return’ and spiral into an apocalyptic nightmare?

And what exactly can WE do? We are told to recycle but I know for a FACT, that my local council can’t process a lot of the stuff that IS recyclable so it just goes in a whole in the ground anyway!

The Yellow Pages cannot be recycled!! It’s true! The dye requires so much processing the resulting pulp is no good.

I have friends who are dispondent about recycling and don’t bother because frankly ‘what’s the point’ and in some ways I understand why they feel that way about it.

All I recycle is paper, plastic bottles, glass and tins because I don’t want to risk putting something in my recyclables that might see the whole lot go to landfill.

Councils don’t have enough money to transport the waste to plants capable of processing certain types of rubbish and I’ve heard (but need to check) there is only 1 polystyrene processing plant in the UK!

Using less electricity and buying cars that either use bio-fuels, are electric or extremely economical is another way we can help do our bit.

But there’s another theory floating around about 2012.

Anyone interested in Aztec cultures or the Mayan Indians of South America may have heard about this but the Mayan Calendar actually ENDS in 2012….

Apparently there will be a planetary alignment, the Earth will pass through an intense photon belt in space and everything will change….!!

It’s a freaky theory because the Mayan Calendar has taken into account some extremely complex and verifiable calculations and makes interesting reading (despite the Photon field theory being fundamentally flawed)!