Israel – WTF?

Is there – and I ask this in all seriousness – insanity at the heart of Israel’s government?

After Israel’s deliberate act of piracy – if not war – in attacking the Gaza aid convoy this morning, before dawn, and storming the flagship, the Mavi Marmara, the official response, by Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, was to launch an attack on the convoy’s organisers, claiming there was no hunger and no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and the convoy was a political and media provocation by anti-Israeli organisations (well, doh!), and demanding the return of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Yeah, that’ll work – if he wasn’t already dead, he probably was soon after.

I try to keep an Continue reading

What’s the Telegraph up to?

A couple of days after trashing Lib Dem Treasury Chief Secretary David Laws, the Telegraph has now taken pot-shots at his replacement, Danny Alexander. WTF?

Are we to expect this Tory rag to attempt to undermine every Lib Dem promoted to high office? And why attempt to impugn Alexander? He appears to have broken no laws, or parliamentary rules, according to the Guardian. Taking advantage of a tax loop-hole, in the light of the expenses fiasco, was probably Continue reading

Sourdough and yeast…

I’ve just been browsing a website where the sourdough bread is labelled “Yeast Free”. They couldn’t be more wrong. OK, I accept it’s a genuine mistake, based on lack of information (which I’ve emailed them to put right – nicely!). More worrying is that their baker might have told them that.

A sourdough culture is created Continue reading

An emmer loaf…

Emmer (Triticum dicoccum), is a seriously ancient form of wheat, its first recorded cultivation dating back to around  9,000 BC, in south-east Turkey. These days, it’s the grain known as farro in Italy, though it’s also grown in other countries. Wikipedia will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about it.

The references to spelt in the Bible, are now known to be a mistranslation, and emmer is what was meant, as spelt was, geographically at least, very unlikely, while emmer was widely known throughout the historical Middle East and Mediterranean. Spelt, on the other hand, from its origins 5,000 years BC in Transcaucasia, moved westwards, and has always been primarily a European grain, before being carried to the Americas. (Pedant’s note – this is a simplification.)

Wikipedia also says, somewhat sniffily Continue reading

Some thoughts on Shipton Mill flour…

Since switching to Shipton Mill from Doves Farm flours, I’ve had to modify my recipes, particularly those based on unbleached strong white flour.

The Shipton Mill (SM) flour has a different texture to Doves Farm (DF), feeling more finely divided, with obvious fragments of bran, which was a bit disconcerting before I figured out what it was. It seems to have a higher moisture content, too – about 10% higher (or the flour reacts differently when hydrated, for whatever reason).

SM strong white is packaged in 2.5kg bags (compared to DF @ 1.5kg), and in a more robust paper sack. Presumably, that, along with Continue reading

Toxic Omeprazole – Fake and/or toxic drugs mystery solved…

I’ve spent the last few hours checking out the non-drug ingredients of the blue and orange Omeprazole capsules that have caused me so much grief, and I would have to ask why any of the following products, found in the suspect Omeprazole capsules, are there at all.

If SLS can damage the oral mucosa (see below), just how much Continue reading

Spare me from sloppy science…

Scientists have announced that not brushing your teeth twice a day is a recipe for heart disease. So says a study based on data from the Scottish Health Survey, which, it’s claimed, provides “…evidence of a link between poor oral hygiene and heart disease, revealing that people who Continue reading

Fake and/or toxic drugs, Part 2…

As I said a few days ago, in Fake and/or toxic drugs… I had reported the problem to  the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). They, in turn, passed it to their Defective Medicines Reporting Centre (DMRC).

Result – a brush-off. What’s needed is an investigation.

The text of my report to the MHRA was pretty much the same as my first post (see above link), so there’s no point in reproducing it here, but this is the text of the email received from the DMRC Continue reading

Sterling Diamond noise fix…

The Sunrise Medical Sterling Diamond scooter has a couple of noise problems. The worst is the direction indicator beeper, which is sodding deafening! So loud it attracts attention from amused, pointing, dorks over 100 yards away. It had to go, but how?

It’s hidden away inside the tiller moulding, and the plate which holds the buttons and indicator switch is the only way in. All you have to do is figure it out.

It’s held in place by four fasteners, which look like plastic, Phillips-head screws – but they’re not. You can turn the damn things til you’re blue in the face – nothing happens.

Yesterday, though, after a few weeks of hand signals, I got fed up – what the hell was the point of having signals if you couldn’t use them without looking – and sounding – like a complete tosser? The beeper was coming out, one way or another.

The secret proved to be Continue reading

Looking after mobility scooter batteries…

I was moved to write this because of the most abject bovine ordure I have just read in a blog post on the subject, and for which there is no excuse. If you’re going to share information, you absolutely must know what you’re talking about – or just shut the hell up. No matter how well-intentioned you might be, misleading information is worse than none at all.

The main thing to bear in mind is that your batteries, and pretty much the rest of your scooter, are best served by providing conditions that you like – not stuck out in a shed that bakes in summer and freezes in winter.

One school of thought says you should Continue reading