Amy Lives On
Yesterday, which would have been the singer’s 28th birthday, also marked the launch of The Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charity set up by the singer’s family.
The charity will aim to help, support and care for vulnerable young people, and will be funded by the proceeds from Amy’s last single.
The single is a cover of the 1930’s jazz classic Body and Soul, which Amy recorded with U.S. legend Tony Bennett in the months before her death.
THE END OF SELL-BY DATES
Plans were unveiled today to ban sell-by dates in an attempt to curb Britain’s food waste.
It is estimated that a shocking 12 billion pounds worth of good food is thrown away every year. Consumers are often confused by the information printed on their food and, as a result, 60 per cent of food we throw away is actually still safe to eat.
The move will help households cut down on waste and save money. In future, our food will only be issued with one date, either a best before or a use-by date. Best before dates, which are used to indicate when food will taste best, will apply to most foods while use-by dates will be used sparingly and only on foods such as meat, fish and ready meals, which can be dangerous to eat after a certain date.
Apparently 55 per cent of shoppers even throw away food which is past its best before date but still perfectly edible. Clearly, it’s time we started using our common sense…
SETTING THEIR SIGHTS HIGH
Nasa has today revealed plans to build a 18 billion dollar monster rocket.
The new Space Launch System, which is due to be completed in 2017, has been dubbed ‘the most powerful rocket in history’.
Major-General Charlie Bolden, a former shuttle astronaut who now heads up Nasa, called it ‘the next chapter in America’s space exploration story’. The hope is that the rocket will bring America a step closer to landing a crew on an asteroid by 2025.
At 320ft tall, the Space Launch System still stands shorter than the Saturn V, which was used in the moon landings. If the new rocket is a success, Nasa intends to build a larger version that will allow the USA to carry out a manned Mars landing.
Flocks of wild birds have been spotted, or, rather, heard, mimicking the behaviour of pet parrots.
Scientists have reported an increase in concerned calls from people who have heard voices calling down to them from trees and lamp-posts. Apparently growing numbers of escaped pet parrots, who have been taught to repeat phrases by their past owners, are teaching the words to their new found flocks.
Much like our children do, baby birds copy the sounds the older birds are making. So if a baby bird lives in a flock with an escaped pet parrot, the ability to talk will be passed down the generations. ‘Hello darling!’ and ‘Who’s a pretty boy, then?’ are the two most commonly taught phrases, so keep an ear out next time you go for a walk…
THE PERKS OF BEING AN EARLY-RISER
A study which quizzed 1,100 men and women about their health and sleeping habits has concluded that getting up early is the best way to shed the pounds and beat the blues.
Research has revealed that early birds are slimmer, happier and healthier than late sleepers. Those who rise before 7am also have the fewest signs of depression and anxiety. They are more productive, completing chores and thriving at work, and are more likely to eat breakfast, which is linked to weight loss.
However, if you are a bit of a nightlark – with a penchant for a late night and a love affair with the ‘snooze’ button – you have a significantly higher chance of feeling stressed or becoming overweight.
CHOCOLATE IS GOOD FOR YOU – PROMISE
A study has revealed that, far from being bad for you, a little daily chocolate can actually boost your athletic performance.
When small doses of dark chocolate were combined with regular exercise, the study found that performance was increased by an impressive 50 per cent. It has been revealed that dark chocolate contains epicatechin, a plant compound which stimulates muscle growth in the same way that vigorous exercise does.
Currently the theory has only been tested on mice but fingers crossed it will apply to humans too. If so, dark chocolate could be used in treatments for muscle wastage… and there would be no need to feel guilty next time you reach for a sweet treat!
Psychologists have warned of the risks facing hundreds of thousands of British children who are currently on mood altering drugs.
650,000 children between the ages of 8 and 13 are taking Ritalin, a drug prescribed to children with ADHD, with many more taking drugs for depression or anxiety.
British psychologists are concerned that, following the publication of U.S. guidelines in 2013, which widens the criteria for mental illnesses, more of our children will be diagnosed. New guidelines make it likely that shy or unhappy children will be recommended for treatment or prescription drugs by their doctors. With an abundance of ‘new’ disorders our children can be diagnosed with, Britain’s children are at risk of being put on drugs that they simply don’t need.
Under these new guidelines, teenagers who lose their temper or argue with their parents will be diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder whilst young children who cry or cling in social situations will be deemed as having a social anxiety disorder.
Published on The Lady magazine’s website on Thursday 15th September.
PASS THE SLOP BUCKET…
Plans to return the glamorous-sounding slop bucket into every British kitchen have been questioned following a recent survey.
Rather than being dumped in land fills along with other household waste, the government, as part of their zero waste initiative, aim to have Britain’s homes recycling their food scraps. Slop buckets, which are already provided by all councils in Wales and half of those in England, are soon to be enforced nationwide.
But a poll carried out by Friends of the Earth has revealed that the effect slop buckets have on reducing waste may have been exaggerated. After asking 1,000 homes, the survey concluded that there is no significant difference in the perceived amount of food thrown away between those with slop buckets and those without.
However the poll also found that 80% of homes had positive attitudes towards having a slop bucket.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT KEEPS YOU SLIM
Those who use public transport as opposed to travelling by car are less likely to be overweight.
Taking the bus has been hailed as the way to beat obesity in a study published today by Imperial College London. The study monitored around 9,000 men and women over the age of 60 and found that those who used their free bus passes were 20 per cent less likely to become obese than those who didn’t.
The free bus pass scheme, which was introduced in 2006, cost England an estimated £943 million in 2009. The authors of the study hope that the apparent health benefits of England’s free bus passes will protect the scheme from future cuts.
A DEPRESSING STATISTIC
Record numbers of women are feeling blue, with one in seven being affected by depression.
According to a recent study, women are twice as likely to suffer from the illness than they were 40 years ago, giving them double the chance of getting depression than men.
One argument is that the pressure of pursuing a career and having a family is leaving women needing to reach for medical help, although the study suggests that rather than an actual increase in depression rates, there could simply be an increase in the number of anti-depressants being prescribed to women. The study found that women are more likely to visit their GP and as a result are twice as likely to be diagnosed as depressed.
Published on The Lady magazine’s website on Tuesday 13th September.
Doris Day Rockets into the Charts
Almost twenty years since her last album release, Doris Day (pictured here with Rock Hudson) has staged a musical comeback at the age of 87.
The success of Day’s newly released album My Heart has made the singer the oldest artist to ever secure a place in the Top 10 chart with an album featuring previously unheard material. Despite being released 47 years after her last major UK hit, Move Over, Darling, My Heart has gone straight to number nine in the charts.
The record breaking album is made up of tracks recorded between 1951 and 1994, and was produced by her son, who died in 2004.
Women cope with pain better than men…
…although, unsurprisingly, we are more likely to reach for the painkillers.
A poll carried out by joint care brand Regenovex has revealed that women are better at dealing with pain than their male counterparts. Of those who took part in the poll, a quarter of men and 52 per cent of women agreed that women coped with pain in a better way then men.
The report, which questioned more than 3,000 adults, found that women are more likely to seek treatment whereas a huge 78 per cent of men will simply grin and bear it.
With the help of TV personality Gareth Malone and popular television shows such as Glee, choirs have definitely come back in to vogue – and with research showing that joining a choir can have health benefits, it is hardly surprising.
The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health in Canterbury has revealed the extraordinary changes that singing can make to a patient’s health. Research has found that patients with COPD, a form of lung disease, may be able to control and improve their breathlessness through singing whilst those suffering from Parkinsons may be able to make their voices stronger and less wobbly. The upright posture adopted whilst singing also benefits Parkinsons’ and COPD patients.
Joining a choir can also significantly help patients to beat the blues; whilst singing in a group is an uplifting experience, it also triggers the release of the mood hormone oxytocin which lowers both stress levels and blood pressure.
During the summer, liquid eyeliner that stays put is a make-up essential. Avoid end of the day smudges with Miner’s long lasting, smudge proof liner. Created by beauty experts, brand new Define and Line has an easy glide nib and is super simple to apply. A celebrity favourite, this eyeliner will ensure precise and professional results with every application. Define and Line is the perfect solution to summer beauty woes and a chic addition to your make up bag.
Miners Define and line costs £2.99 and is available in black, brown and blue from St Leonard’s Pharmacy, Athelstan Road, Exeter. For more details visit www.miners.co.uk.
It’s easy to feel disconnected from the natural world but you can get back to nature this season with SpaRitual’s new summer nail colours. The first of four seasonal releases, the varnishes are inspired by the elements and colours of the world around us. From Native Rock to Driftwood, each colour in the six piece collection is a celebration of the beauty that can be found in nature. Upholding SpaRitual’s eco friendly philosophy, each bottle is made from 50% recycled glass and, as with all SpaRitual products, these varnishes are vegan and free of toxic chemicals.
The Evolve collection is available from www.sparitual.co.uk.
There is no need to cower behind your wind breaker this summer. Speedo’s new flattering designs and sophisticated support technologies mean that there is no reason why you shouldn’t feel comfortable and confident on the beach. The new sculpture range is perfect for those of you who want a little more support from your summer beachwear. Speedo’s Xtra life fabric slims, smoothes and shapes your body so you can love rather than loathe your curves.
Available in sizes 8 -22, the swimwear range supports and lifts cup sizes B-H as well as slims and flattens the tummy area. And there is no need to sacrifice style for support; the sculpture range is both flattering and fashionable. There are six different styles to choose from. Prices range from £40 to £75.
Published in the Exeter Express and Echo on July 2nd 2011. www.thisisexeter.co.uk
As the temperature soars, so do our hemlines. And after hiding away beneath our opaque tights all winter, our legs could do with a little pampering.
DHC’s new Olive-Corn Body Scrub & Polish effectively removes dull and dead surface skin leaving your legs looking healthy and silky smooth. Containing DHC’s trademark ingredient, olive oil, the lightly foaming body scrub polishes and nourishes the skin whilst the scent of lavender will get you in the mood for relaxing on the beach.
The scrub promises glowing results and is suitable for all skin types.
DHC’s body scrub and polish costs £12.50 and is available at www.dhcuk.co.uk.
Published in the Exeter Express and Echo on Saturday 2nd July.