Shared posts

28 Feb 16:00

A Timey Wimey LEGO TARDIS Console Room

by Rielly

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The madman behind this incredible LEGO TARDIS interior is Thorsten Bonsch. To commemorate Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, he built a replica of the TARDIS interior as it existed for most of the 11th Doctor’s run.

The project was so ambitious it took him nearly 3 years to complete. And none of the LEGO pieces have been modified, save for parts that are “officially” meant to be cut—like hoses and strings.

The level of detail is just incredible. You can check out more jaw dropping views after the break.

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Bonsch also has other Doctor Who related builds including the interior of the ninth Doctor’s TARDIS.

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I mean, just look at this little LEGO Dalek. This definitely needs to be a part of the upcoming officially licensed LEGO Doctor Who sets.

(Brothers Brick and Xenomurphy’s tiny World of Bricks)

02 Mar 13:30

Groot Would Approve Of This Solar-Powered, Dancing Baby Groot Bobble Head

by Geek Girl Diva

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Do I need to say more than “solar-powered, dancing baby Groot bobblehead” for you to immediately want this?

Y’know how the newer VW Beetles have a vase? I really think people who own a Beetle or a Mini Copper who don’t get this and put it in their cars are really missing the boat.

It’s scheduled to arrive in June, but you can pre-order now.

Product Page ($12.99)

25 Feb 15:00

Disney XD Is Rebooting DuckTales For A 2017 Premiere

by Sean Fallon

ducktales

Can Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck be far behind? We hope not.

Major nostalgia alert for people in their thirties. Disney XD is bringing back DuckTales for a 2017 launch! From Deadline:

The new series will follow Scrooge McDuck, his curious and mischief-making grandnephews — Huey, Dewey and Louie — and the optimistic yet temperamental Donald Duck as they embark on high-flying adventures worldwide. Other beloved characters slated to be in the new stories are: Duckworth, Gyro Gearloose, Launchpad McQuack, Flintheart Glomgold, Magica DeSpell & Poe, Ma Beagle and the Beagle Boys (Burger Beagle, Bouncer Beagle), Mrs. Beakley and Webbigail Vanderquack.

That’s awesome and everything, but seriously. We need more Gadget Hackwrench and Darkwing Duck.

24 Feb 15:30

Harry Potter Chapter One Dress

by Sean Fallon

harry potter dress

This unique dress features the text of Harry Potter in a very, very easy to read font size. Plus there’s a matching bag!

Check out the bag after the break…

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Product Pages: Dress / Bag ($277.51 and $34.89)

23 Feb 16:00

Everything You Need To Turn A Bedroom Into A Batcave

by Stefan A. Slater

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Etsy seller ShortysCreations01 is selling everything you need to turn your bedroom into a Batcave. The beds and dressers can be customized to any size and, as you will see after the break, he even makes tiny Batbeds for pets too.

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Product Page: (Prices Vary)

20 Feb 09:13

I Love You, New Orleans

by joythebaker

Mardi Gras
New Orleans, you beast.  You wild, unpredictable, crazy fun, wholly overwhelming place.  New Orleans isn’t just a city… it’s a spirit and culture.  It’s a lady and a trouble-maker.  It’s palpable and  irresistible, and will not be ignored.  New Orleans, you excite me.  New Orleans, I’m hungry.  New Orleans, I love you.  

I’ve lived for the past year as a new New Orleanian.  Fresh in this world.  Wide eyes.  Lost in the streets.  Enamored by the sights and sounds.  And sometimes… well, I’m a little overwhelmed by new city.  There’s a lot for this California girl to learn about the Deep South.  A lot to learn about Southern hospitality, being a neighborly neighbor, oyster eating, and brunch.  Those are all the easy things to learn.  

I’ve spent the past year living smack-dab in the middle of the French Quarter.  It’s been nutty:  filled with music and art and always new tourist friends.  I’m saying goodbye to the French Quarter and moving my kitchen, all my cookbooks, and TronCat… Uptown.  Let’s go cook in a new kitchen!  I can’t wait to share my new space with you.  It’s quaint and you’re invited over for cookies, always.  

Here are a few things I’ve learned so far in New Orleans:  

Grilled Oysters

•  When passing strangers on the street: Say hello / Say good morning / Say good day / Nod and smile / Smile and wave.  Always acknowledge.  There’s no such thing as ignoring a stranger.  They will not be a stranger for long.  

•  The summer months are hotter than blue blazes.  If you’ve don’t know how hop blue blazes are, ask my mom… she gave me that expression.  Also steamy. So incredibly steamy.  Keep telling yourself it’s good for your skin.  

•  The ladies at (the grocery store) Rouses don’t play.  Come correct or don’t come.  They do not play.  

•  Wear a bike helmet.  People drive crazy for real and the cracks and bumps in the road can jump up and bite you.  Whomever it was in Los Angeles that told you bike helmets are uncool doesn’t respect their own head and brain.  

•  Don’t wear headphones.  Listen to the music and feel the pulse.  It’s everywhere. 

New Orleans friends

•  It’s important to find your people.  Moving to a new city is hard and, for me, finding my footing is linked to finding my people.  Because New Orleans is the South… amazingly enough, your people will find you, email you, invite you over for coffee and pie… and because you’re in the South, you say yes to coffee and pie with strangers and you make new friends.  It’s very good. 

•  Drink a lot of water because you never know when one glass of champagne at happy hour will turn into one bottle of champagne.. on a Tuesday. There’s always a reason to celebrate. 

•  In New Orleans you can be who you are… and why not throw on a wig while you’re at it. 

•  It’s important to know the best:  

Coffee: Hi-Volt  /  Oysters: Peche (also get a sazerac!) for fresh oysters and Cochon for grilled oysters  /  Daiquiris: Cane and Table  /  Beignets: Cafe du Monde  /  Wine and bites:  Bacchanal 

More of my New Orleans suggestions here

Come visit wouldya?  I’ve got more to learn and a house full of cookies. 

16 Feb 16:52

The MeDesign Human Health Book

by Vanessa Ruiz

MeDesign Human Health Book

As part of the fascinating MeDesign program at the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at the Rochester Intitute of Technology, a group of MFA Graphic Design students were presented with this challenge,

design a book section (4 to 6 pages on a part of the human body); conduct research, write content and design largely non-verbal visual explanations through highly stylized graphic diagrammatic components.

Through a 10-week process, the students collaborated and tackled different parts of the body and design. Their goal was to clearly communicate and illustrate medical topics to the general public. The group’s effort resulted in the MeDesign Human Health Book, a stunning 64-page atlas with simple anatomical diagrams, iconography, and Bodoni and Neutraface typefaces.

MeDesign Human Health Book pages
Rui Ma MeDesign Health Book
Scott Howard MeDesign Health Book Eyes

As a designer by day, I appreciate the blending of anatomy and design—there’s not enough of it out there. The clean lines, simplification of form, and use of grid draw clear inspiration from Swiss design. Actually, it reminds me a lot of the incredible mid-20th century designs from Swiss chemical company, Geigy.

View the entire MeDesign Human Health e-Book at Flipsnack!

Learn more about the project and the designers behind it at the The Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT.

 

 

07 Feb 00:23

A Dog Nose Story: Gucci Finds a New Career

by noreply@blogger.com (Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB))
By GDB Canine Welfare Training Manager Jeannine May (with contributions by Marilyn Richen and Tammy Jackson)

I would like to share this story of Gucci. A career change lab that is spending a lot of time nosing around….

Gucci, an adorable female yellow lab, was born on June 25, 2012. She was raised in GDB fashion by Marilyn Richen and Tammy Jackson in the Pups With Vision puppy raising club. She was a somewhat challenging pup as she wanted to eat everything she could get her mouth on and always had her nose to the ground. I first met Marilyn and Tammy on September 7th when these first-time puppy raisers anxiously awaited the GDB Puppy Truck for the dog that would change their lives. I happened to be working Isis, my Lagotto Romagnolo puppy, during lunch to recognize the scent of truffle (underground fungus that is considered a culinary delicacy). We got into a conversation about my curly haired little dog being an Italian Truffle dog. It somehow came up that I teach truffle dog classes—training people to train their own dogs how to find truffles. We exchanged some information as they had potential truffle land, and life went on.

A very young Gucci puppy (yellow Lab) is held by her smiling new raising at the Puppy Truck delivery

I encountered Gucci again when she came to the Oregon campus to board when she was in season and another time for an overnight for her spay surgery (incidentally she was the first laparoscopic spay dog done on the OR campus). What a cutie she was!

At 14 months, Gucci was dropped from the puppy program. Part of her drop notice states:“Gucci is an intelligent and opportunistic dog requiring active handling. She demonstrates above average interest in things on the ground and may grab and ingest an item even when closely monitored.” Tammy and Marilyn decided to keep Gucci, but knew they needed to do something to keep her busy.
They have forested land; forests have truffles. Why not see if she can be a Truffle Dog? After all, she always had her nose to the ground anyway! They started taking Truffle Dog training classes with me at Pacific Truffle Dogs in November 2013 not long after she was career changed.  

Gucci was a quick study! She learned to find the odor of truffle and really liked the game of using her nose, finding the correct odor source and getting a treat for it. ‘Wow, how cool’ she must have thought. Being rewarded for what she has always wanted to do…use her nose! Tammy and Marilyn soon decided they wanted to expand her repertoire of odor recognition and we began to teach the odors used in K9 Nose Work competitions.

Gucci (yellow Lab) stands very attentively with her ears up and orange harness on in the forest.

Gucci was taught three additional odors simultaneously; birch, anise and clove. She passed her Odor Recognition Test (ORT) for all three odors on the first try! She was now ready for Nosework competitions. In the meantime, she was also working in the woods with Marilyn learning by experience how to find the buried treasures. When truffles are ripe they produce an aroma that is very attractive to some species of mammals, including squirrels, voles, dogs, and yes—pigs! Isolating and locating the specific source of fungi that grows underground, out in the middle of a forest, with all the various scents that a forest emits, takes talent and focus!

Throughout 2014 Gucci continued weekly training with Tammy and Marilyn. Tammy and Gucci began competing in K9 Nosework trials. Gucci earned her NW I title on her first try, and it only took two tries to get her NW II Title!  At the NWII trial in which she qualified she took a 1st place in Interior searching, 3rd place in Vehicle searching and a 3rd place Overall (for all search areas combined)! Awesome! To get to this level in only three trials is a BIG accomplishment!!  

Gucci (yellow Lab) wearing her orange harness sniffs low to the ground in the forest.

To top off Gucci’s amazing year of competition, Marilyn entered her in the first-ever North American Truffle Dog Competition called the “Joriad.” Gucci continued practicing real life truffle hunting on the family property as well as other locations in preparation for the event. On the day of the Joriad all 26 dogs entered had to pass two qualifying rounds in order to continue to the finals round. Many of the dogs she was competing with were of the famed Lagotto Romagnolo breed—the Italian Truffle Dog. The qualifying runs were held in a horse arena; this offered some special challenges to the dogs as they not only had to sniff out the truffle odor, but also they had to pay no attention to the crowd, the smell and sight of horses, the odd environment, cameras looking down their noses, nor horse manure.

Gucci was one of the 16 dogs that passed the first qualifying run. Woo hoo! And she passed with flying colors; no faults and well under time. Sadly, 10 dogs did not go through to the next round.
The next test was a bit more challenging. The truffle scented targets were hidden in a large area of the horse arena. There were two such areas and two dogs were competing at the same time adding to the ‘trial nerves’ of the handlers!  The teams each had five minutes to search the area and find five truffles. There were trees in pots, large rocks and logs placed in each search area to give it a bit of doggy interest, but it was definitely not the same as a real search in the woods.

Gucci (yellow Lab) sits while looking at her handler Marilyn in the horse arena during the competition.

Of the first four dogs competing in Round Two—none of them passed the requirements within the amount of time given. It was seemingly a bit more difficult than it sounded! Gucci was up next. I’m not sure who was more nervous; the students, Marilyn and Gucci, or me the teacher? I think it was me!

Team Gucci approached the start line and she saw the dog across the way. From my view point in the bleachers I thought Gucci was looking a bit distracted, which added to MY nerves.  Marilyn gave her the search cue to look for truffles and Gucci quickly headed in the direction of the dog!  Aaah!  Marilyn kept her cool though and did a good job in getting Gucci’s focus back. She quickly put her nose down and went to work. Not long after Gucci found her first truffle!  About a minute later her second, and then third, and the fourth followed quickly. We spectators were feeling excited but a bit anxious too. After all, none of the other dogs had found five. The clock was ticking…come on Gucci only one more. At 4 minutes 41 seconds Gucci started pawing and truffle number five was uncovered. She had qualified for the Championship round the following day! Of course she did, I knew she would…whew.

She was the first dog to make it to this point so far. The remaining dogs completed their runs with the result that only one other dog met the original five truffles in five minutes requirements!!  The event organizers had a pow-wow and decided to allow all dogs that found at least four truffles within the five minutes to compete as well. This brought the total Championship competitor number up from two to six. It proved to be a tough competition day in which 20 dogs had been eliminated!

Now the world of mushroom hunters and truffle hunters can be a bit on the secretive and unique side. In keeping with this theory, the organizers would not allow any spectators at the event. The only people privy to the sight location was the competitors, judges, organizers and volunteers. No friends, no relatives, no instructors. So Marilyn and Gucci went off on their own to compete for the top honors in the Field Championships of the Joriad. Go Team Gucci!

Gucci (yellow Lab) sits very upright waiting to begin the competition round with her handler Marilyn by her side.

This round was ‘for real.’ They were in an overgrown Christmas tree parcel of land in the undisclosed location somewhere around Eugene, Oregon. All the dogs and handlers were going to be competing at the same time on the same piece of land.  The rules said they had to keep at least 20 feet away from each other. They were given one hour to find as many truffles as they could. Each dog/handler team was assigned a volunteer that would keep the truffles the team found in a bucket with that dog’s name on it. At the end of the competition the truffles in each bucket would be counted only by the officials. Whichever dog found the most truffles would be the winner. If there was a tie for the same number of truffles, they would weigh them (they come in a variety of sizes) and the highest weight would win.

Since I couldn't go and watch, my knowledge of the details of the actual hunt are slim, but I know that Gucci went right to work and quickly started locating the naturally grown truffles deep in the soil. When Gucci locates a truffle she paws at the ground and Marilyn will then kneel down and finish digging it out. The majority of the truffles located this day were Oregon White Truffles – their scientific name is ‘tuber oregonense.’ This is one of about three or four native Pacific Northwest culinary varieties of truffle. The PNW truffle market is in the early stages of developing, but they can sell for anywhere from $30-$80 per ounce at the retail level.

At the end of the hour Marilyn was feeling tired, but good. Gucci had done her job well! They had located and dug up many truffles, but didn’t really know well how all the other dogs had done. Were they better/faster than Gucci? Had they found more than she? No one would know until the award ceremony that night.

The awards dinner was held at Willamette Vineyards just south of Salem, Oregon. There was wine, good food, and lots of interesting conversation. Finally they announced the winners—and YES!  Gucci had won the first ever North American Truffle Dog Joriad Championship!! The number of truffles the dogs had found was not announced, but rumor has it that Gucci was double the number of the second place dog.

Head shot of a "smiling" Gucci (yellow lab) looking straight at the camera.

I was certainly proud of my students and friends; Tammy, Marilyn and Gucci! Gucci won out over several dogs of the infamous Lagotto Romagnolo and has shown everyone what a great career-change dog she is.  Her new career is just beginning! Gucci will continue in both Nose Work competitions and will be looking at going pro in the truffle dog world.

GREAT JOB,Team Gucci!

12 Feb 12:30

This Castle Treehouse Is Fit For A King

by Nicole Wakelin

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Treehouses are generally things reserved for kids. They’re also usually small and not very fancy, but this one in Hertfordshire, England is cooler than the average house (mansion even). It’s got a game room and a kitchen and a bathroom and there are even separate treehouses for the adults and kids. According to builder Blue Forest:

The fairytale children’s tree house features a secret trapdoor leading to a games room. Inside, the room is fully equipped, complete with a plasma television and games console, meaning that the complex is also a great place for the kids to hang out and relax with their friends… and not that bad for the ‘adults’ either!

The adults’ treehouse is fully furnished to be a spectacular venue for treetop dinner parties and a large and comfortable living area for entertaining. The adults’ retreat also features a kitchen and a toilet, giving the owners the ability to host their guests from start to finish in their impressive treetop venue.

The two treehouses are connected by a dramatic canopy walkway which takes the form of several interconnecting rope bridges that weave between the trees and look out over the beautiful surrounding scenery.

As well as gazing out over the dramatic vistas of the garden, the decks also lead to a raised assault course. An eighty-yard zip wire descends from a crow’s nest that sits above a balcony and leads down to an exciting adventure trail.

No word on how much this cost, but I’m sure it was worth it.

See more pictures after the break.

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(Earthporm via Geekologie)








12 Feb 14:39

Photobomb

20 Jan 20:00

Not Linked To Reality

Writer | Europe

Client: “This is not what we requested at all. This [document] looks exactly the same as we provided a week ago. The deadline is tomorrow, we need this ASAP! When can you apply the edits?”

Me: “[Client], there seems to be a misunderstanding. I click the link and see the entirely new document. Have you checked this [link]?”

Client: “Found it. This should have been sent sooner.”

Me: “There were three versions sent earlier during the week to your email. Did you not receive them? Just to show, I’ve attached screenshots of the timestamps and emails sent.”

Client: “I did not scroll down to see the emails in Gmail. Please notify us earlier if I haven’t seemed to have noticed the link in your opinion.”

Me: “…”

12 Jan 02:36

BIG acrobats

by coach Rick

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Thank George Thomas for the link. As he says, you can’t unsee it. :-)

09 Jan 18:42

Hedi Xandt’s Bodilisk II

by Vanessa Ruiz
Bodilisk II – Acheron, 2015 Hedi Xandt Gods & Monsters

Bodilisk II – Acheron / 2015 /  Gods & Monsters / Hedi Xandt

Bodilisk II – Acheron, 2015 Hedi Xandt Gods & Monsters Bodilisk II – Acheron, 2015 Hedi Xandt Gods & Monsters

We’ve been following the stunning sculptures of Hedi Xandt since last year when we posted an overview of his work. His latest sculpture, titled “Bodilisk II – Acheron,” is an écorché style creature clutching a gold heart. Hedi states that his classical sculptures, “show the dark side of a beauty that is considered perfect and divine, literally set in stone.”

Hedi is a self-taught conceptual artist and professional graphic/multimedia designer. His work is dark, well crafted, and carries with it a deadly boldness that we absolutely love.

Has Hedi Xandt’s work piqued your interest? View more of his incredible sculptures and design at hedixandt.com!

 

 

09 Jan 13:30

Bailey’s Hot Fudge Sauce

by Meghan B.

Bailey's Hot Fudge Sauce | cakenknife.com

Hello, my name is Meghan and I am… a chocoholic.

Hi Meghan!

Some of you may already be aware of my chocolate addiction, particularly if you follow me on Pinterest because I have a whole board dedicated to it, for goodness sake. A piece of chocolate a day makes me a sane woman, that’s all I can say (there was a little rhyme there, huh? I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it! You can stop rolling your eyes at me now…). 

Bailey's Hot Fudge Sauce | cakenknife.com

Chocolate is so dreamy (oh let’s just say – it’s SEXY) when it’s spilling off a spoon like this isn’t it? Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor…

Bailey's Hot Fudge Sauce | cakenknife.com

Hot fudge sauce is one of the rare chocolate indulgences I give into. Usually it’s a piece of chocolate or a small brownie that ties me over. But when I really want chocolate, like reallllllllly want it, I go for a hot fudge smothered sundae.

This hot fudge sauce is even more sinful with dark chocolate and Bailey’s Irish Cream. The best way to describe it is a glorious combination of chocolate and booze, which will have you swooning. GAH it’s sooooooo good!

Bailey's Hot Fudge Sauce | cakenknife.com

The consistency is what wins me over with this sauce, even more so than the flavor. It’s thick, rich, and once it’s poured onto ice cream it starts to thicken even more. It’s the happy medium between Hershey’s chocolate syrup and that magic shell stuff that only tasted good if you got the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup flavor (remember that?!).

Bailey's Hot Fudge Sauce | cakenknife.com

Ready for dessert yet?

Bailey's Hot Fudge Sauce
 
Hot fudge sauce has never tasted as good as this dark chocolate and Bailey's homemade sauce!
ingredients
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 7 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream
directions
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half of the dark chocolate chips to a boil. Reduce the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and add the rest of the chocolate, butter, vanilla extract and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Stir together until the mixture is smooth. Let cool for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to thicken.
  3. Store in an airtight container. To reheat, warm in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
3.2.2885

*Recipe slightly adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker

The post Bailey’s Hot Fudge Sauce appeared first on Cake 'n' Knife.

07 Jan 20:34

Mushroom Inoculation Day

by Daisy

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Sometimes when bloggers don’t post it’s because they haven’t been doing anything worth blogging about. Sometimes it’s because they’ve been doing so much they don’t have time to blog about it; things happen faster than they can photograph them and there isn’t time in-between tasks to sit down and write down what they’ve been doing.

Then sometimes bloggers don’t post because they just don’t.

I’ve been in the last category. I’ve been doing things, taking pictures even, but the sitting down and collecting it all in a post hasn’t been happening much. Maybe it’s the seven year blogger blahs. Who knows? I’m going to try to be better this year.  Call it a resolution, call it a well-meaning attempt, just don’t call me late for mushroom inoculating.

Which I was, actually. That is, I inoculated my mushrooms logs too late this year. Ideally mushroom inoculation should be done some time before prolonged periods of temperatures below 18 degrees F. (according to Tradd Cotter’s advice in his book Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation).  Hopefully, though, since we seldom stay below freezing around here for more than a few days at a time, I’ll be okay.

I inoculate like I blog: after a nice long bout of procrastination.

I inoculated about 25 logs with shiitake and oyster mushroom spawn, both different strains than the shiitake and oyster mushroom spawn I successfully grew last year.  I also used the totem method to treat some log sections with nameko and lion’s mane mushroom spawn.

I’ve never tasted nameko OR lion’s mane or seen them in real life, but I’m taking a chance I’m going to like them. That is my brand of living on the edge.

In the above photo you can see my set-up; the sawbuck on the left holding the log, a handy stump table for the corded drill, and a thrift store slow cooker to melt the cheese wax to seal the logs.

I drill holes in a diamond pattern all up and down and all around the logs. They are spaced about 6 inches apart for shiitake. There are recommended spacings for the holes depending on the type of mushroom spawn (shiitake, oyster, etc.) you are using. I don’t always adhere strictly to these rules so if you see some variation, that’s my creative license at work. I use a stop collar on my drill bit so my creativity is stifled regarding the depth of the hole; too deep and the spawn may dry out, too shallow the amount of spawn in the inoculation tool won’t all go in.

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Here I jam the inoculation tool into the bag of spawn to fill it with the right amount of the sawdust spawn.  Once it’s filled up, it’s the correct, premeasured amount to fill the hole I drilled.

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Then I position the inoculation tool over the hole and wham! hit it with a hammer. My tool sticks and won’t work with thumb or palm pressure. I have to wham it in. Even if it didn’t stick, my hand would be swollen and sore for days if I whammed that many logs without the help of a hammer. My hands aren’t as young and resilient as they used to be.

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This is how it looks with the sawdust spawn.

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The next step is to brush melted wax over the filled holes to seal in the moisture. I use cheese wax I get from the mushroom spawn supplier. I put chunks of it in a heatsafe bowl which I set inside the crock pot. If you are doing this for the first time, here’s a tip: Make sure to turn on the pot at least an hour before you start to drill because it takes quite a long time to melt in the crock pot. Other ways to melt include a camp stove or an electric burner. I like the slow, steady, and safe pace of the crock pot, but plan ahead because you don’t want to be waiting around for your wax to melt once the holes are drilled and the spawn is waiting to be sealed under its nice warm coating of wax.

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Careful with the hot wax. And consider an apron; my wool coat now has a nice patch of wax right in the front with sawdust embedded in it.

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If you are on the fence about the aluminum labels to tack onto your logs for identification, get them. They’re cheap and they make the logs look very official. (Plus they identify which is which).

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Inoculating these 25 logs took me two (almost) full days of pretty tiring work by myself. Next time I work with this much timber I need to have a mushroom inoculation party, invite some people over, serve some good food, and knock this out in one day.

05 Jan 15:05

Healthy Avocado Egg Salad and Salmon Sandwich

by Skinnytaste Gina
Under 300 calories, protein packed, and loaded with good fats!

An open-faced egg salad sandwich with wild Nova salmon and cucumber slices – under 300 calories, protein packed, and loaded with good fats.

Easiest tip to make a sandwich lighter is to make it open-faced. To make a lighter egg salad, I use half the yolks so I am still getting the health benefits from using some of the yolks, plus I add some mashed avocado which makes it creamy and full of healthy fats.

This is great for breakfast or lunch. If you're only making one serving, you can refrigerate the egg salad in an airtight container. Enjoy!



Click Here To See The Full Recipe...
04 Jan 10:05

Tim Cunningham – “Fatima”

by pfmhcolumbia

Tim Cunningham – Sierra Leone – December 2014

My Christmas present this year came in the form of an amazing patient called Fatima. Fatima is not her real name so I will use it to honor her privacy in light of both the relentless stigma towards Ebola patients here in Sierra Leone right now and also in to respect her rights as a patient. She is around 10 years old and spent nearly a week with us in our confirmed ward at our ETU. Although she tested positive for Ebola, she never got sick. This disease is strange — it kills many people and others have a fever and perhaps some diarrhea for a day or two, then they rapidly recover. Some show no symptoms at all even though they cared for and lived with parents, brothers and sisters who succumbed to the disease. (I don’t know the sensitivity and specificity of our Ebola PCR test; maybe that plays a part in this mystery of the symptomatic and non-symptomatic cases too.)

Fatima witnessed much suffering and countless deaths at home and during the nights at the ETU when there were no nurses in the wards to provide comfort.

She mixed innocent compassion with a dark sense of humor. At times, the most healthy patient in the pediatric ward, she would ask for a lappa from us (a traditional cloth/covering), collect it, and then hide it so that when the next team came through a few hours later, she would ask for another. She played this game daily with much success. And in the evening time, during our last shift of the day, we could come into the pediatric ward and each sleeping child would have a lappa covering them, keeping them warm.

We also use the lappas to cover bodies of patients who die. It is not uncommon to walk into a room and see multiple patients covered completely. All of us on our team have laid too many lappas across our deceased patients. Fatima saw this everyday too.

One day her “gallows humor” came out full force. I walked into the pediatric ward to do one last check on some malnourished children before doffing my PPE and leaving for the day. When I entered the room Fatima said something to me and pointed at a covered body on the bed next to her. I jumped, startled because just earlier this child was alive and well. She saw my reaction and started laughing, quickly pulling back the sheet revealing a well child and her twisted prank.

She was “queen of the ward.” I asked her one day if she was the ward’s doctor and she said “no.” I then asked if she was the ward’s nurse, “no” again. So then I asked if she was more of the queen of the ward and her eyes and smile lit up. She would collect soap and cups for the younger kids, lead the healthy kids in card games and other activities out in the sunshine by the wards… and most importantly, make her friends drink. At one point a few days ago 1/3 of the patients in our ETU were younger than 18 years old. Fatima was their matron, supporting them and keeping the energy positive and playful. 

The pediatric ward is right near the doffing area, so while we were waiting in line to doff, she would dance with us. Her dancing soon became fits of laughter at me and my colleagues showcasing our lack of rhythm and finesse as we moved around like goofballs in our white “space suits.”

Four days ago Fatima tested negative for Ebola and we discharged her home!

We said goodbye to her in front of our ETU by our tree of hope. On the tree of hope each survivor is given a piece of lappa that they tie around.  Recently we topped 100 survivors; we are sending survivors home now almost daily. Fatima sat with the largest smile I think I’ve ever seen after tying her ribbon. Then she sat and waited for her ride home from the Red Cross. Fatima beat this disease.  Many have, and many more will.

©Cunningham

The tree of hope.


26 Dec 06:00

Hospital Puts Newborn Babies in Christmas Stockings

by John Farrier

(Photo: Magee-Women's Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center)

Babies born on December 25th are the best Christmas gifts of all! When they're born at the Magee-Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, nurses put them in Christmas stockings. They're not hung over fireplaces. That would probably be carrying the theme too far. But this is a nice gift to the tired and anxious parents of newborns.

-via Popehat

18 Dec 13:30

The New Baby Groot From Hot Toys Is Predictably Amazing

by Geek Girl Diva

hot toys little groot

We still can’t get enough of Baby Groot, especially when the Baby Groot in question is this adorable (and super accurate) version by Hot Toys.

While this version doesn’t actually dance, it is a fantastic replica. The 1/4 Scale Little Groot Collectible features 3 interchangeable head sculpts, movable arms, and a moveable body.

Head after the break to see more of this super cute collectible.

hot toys little groot 2

hot toys little groot 3

hot toys little groot 4

hot toys little groot 5

hot toys little groot 6

hot toys little groot 7

If you’re in Hong Kong or plan to be there for Toy Soul 2014, you can buy Groot at the Hot Toys’ booth (F01-12) from Dec 19 – 21. Otherwise, you can pre-order the figure for $44.99. It’s set to ship in January 2015.








12 Dec 18:12

creamy brussels sprouts and mushroom lasagna

by bridget

brussels sprouts lasagna 9

After making a few lasagnas that all started to look the same, I needed new ideas. Here’s one, cooked in homemade broth with meatballs between the layers of pasta, that breaks the mold. 19 steps! 125 miniscule meatballs! I’ve been excited about that recipe since the moment I saw it, almost a year and a half ago, but even with my obsessive weekend cooking habits, I haven’t found time to make it.

brussels sprouts lasagna 1

This one isn’t quite that original, but I had never put brussels sprouts, one of my favorite vegetables, in lasagna before. I can’t remember adding heavy cream to lasagna either, instead depending on the bechamel and cheese to add rich creaminess.

brussels sprouts lasagna 6

I did reduce the cream by half, and I still found it plenty decadent. The mushrooms dominated the flavor, but not in the overly earthy way of some pure mushroom lasagnas. It definitely hit the spot, even without meat or tomatoes, some of my standard lasagna crutches. But I still want a completely free weekend that I can spend making homemade broth and (125!) tiny meatballs to layer with fresh pasta.

brussels sprouts lasagna 7

Printer Friendly Recipe
Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Lasagna (slightly adapted from The Food Lab)

8-10 servings

Stirring the creamed mushrooms and the creamed brussels sprouts together does not result in an attractive mixture. However, it won’t make a difference in the final lasagna, and it simplifies the layering.

As the picture above shows, I divided the ingredients between a loaf pan and an 8-by-8-inch pan. I baked one immediately and put the other in the freezer for an easy and indulgent meal a few weeks later.

For instructions on boiling and rinsing the noodles, see step 4 of this recipe. You’ll only need half of a recipe of fresh pasta.

I’ve increased the brussels sprouts and decreased the mushrooms slightly, because even though I didn’t have enough mushrooms when I made this, they were the dominant flavor. I love brussels sprouts and want to taste them.

Mushrooms:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
16 ounces button mushrooms, roughly chopped in a food processor in 4 batches
2 medium shallots, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
4 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon picked fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup white wine or sherry
½ cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Brussels sprouts:
2 tablespoons canola oil
24 ounces Brussels sprouts, shredded on the grated disk in a food processor
salt and pepper
½ cup heavy cream

Bechamel:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups whole milk
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
12 ounces mozzarella, shredded
salt and pepper

To assemble:
1 pound fresh lasagna noodles or 12 7-by-3-inch lasagna noodles, boiled and rinsed
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. For the mushrooms: Heat the butter in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until the foaming subsides. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid they give off has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to sizzle and brown, about 12 minutes. When the mushrooms are browned, add the shallots, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the shallots are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add ½ cup heavy cream and cook until the mixture is reduced to a loose paste, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl; wipe out the skillet.

2. For the brussels sprouts: In the same skillet, heat the oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the shaved Brussels sprouts and a pinch of salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until well-charred on most sides, about 10 minutes. Add ½ cup heavy cream and cook until reduced to a loose sauce-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms; stir them together.

3. For the bechamel: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture is pale brown and nutty, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk in a thin, steady stream. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the nutmeg and 12 ounces mozzarella. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To assemble: Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread one-sixth of the cheese sauce on the bottom of a 9-by13-inch baking dish. Cover the sauce with a slightly overlapping layer of boiled noodles, cutting them as needed to fill any gaps. Top with one-fourth of mushroom/sprouts mixture, another one-sixth of the cheese sauce, and a sprinkle of grated mozzarella. Repeat the pasta, sprouts, and sauce layering three more times. Layer a final layer of noodles, then cover with the remaining béchamel and mozzarella.

5. Transfer to oven and bake until heated through and top is browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley, let rest 10 minutes, and serve.

brussels sprouts lasagna 10

11 Dec 14:38

Pinups for Pitbulls 2015 Calendar and Book

by Katherine Becker

Pinups for Pitbulls 2015 Calendar and Book

If you’re familiar with Pinups for Pitbulls, you know it’s an internationally recognized organization whose staff and nationwide network of volunteers work tirelessly to end breed discrimination and promote rescue of pitbulls and pitbull-type dogs — all while having a what looks like a really good time. What you may not know is that PFPB (based right here in my very own lovely Asheville, NC!) is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2015. Along with its always fun (and gorgeous) pinup calendar, PFPB has recently released a book to mark the occasion. PFPB founder Deirdre Franklin was kind enough to offer us a sneak peak of images from this year’s calendar (which features photography by Celeste Guiliano).

Pinups for Pitbulls 2015 Calendar and Book in other for humans

Net proceeds from the sale of books and calendars goes straight to funding PFPB’s education and advocacy efforts, which include fighting breed-specific legislation and discrimination, assisting dog owners in finding training and legal assistance, hosting educational seminars and events, and fighting for the lives pitbulls everywhere who are looking for their forever homes.

Pinups for Pitbulls 2015 Calendar and Book in other for humans

Pinups for Pitbulls 2015 Calendar and Book in other for humans

Pinups for Pitbulls 2015 Calendar and Book in other for humans

You can order books and calendars (as well as other fun stuff!) directly from PFPB’s site, and be sure to connect on Facebook to find out when they’ll be coming to your town.


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© 2014 Dog Milk | Posted by Katherine in For Humans, Other | Permalink | 2 comments
10 Dec 18:05

Loaded Cauliflower "Mash" Bake

by Skinnytaste Gina

Creamy mashed cauliflower made with a touch of whipped butter, buttermilk, garlic and herbs and topped with cheese and bacon – you'll swear it's loaded with fat!


A few weeks ago I stopped to eat lunch with the family at Pizzeria Uno. I ordered a burger and somehow the waiter talked me into getting the loaded mashed potatoes – OMG! Yes, it was a moment of weakness but some of my best ideas come from those moments. This version is so so good, lower in carbs and makes the perfect side dish to any meal. Enjoy!

Click Here To See The Full Recipe...
08 Dec 17:20

gingerbread biscotti

by deb

gingerbread biscotti for hot chocolate dunking

It’s scientific fact that the most decadent hot chocolate needs the perfect dunking cookie. Last week, the hunt for this led me to assault family and friends with bold, high-stakes queries such as “would you rather dunk graham cracker flavored, snickerdoodle or gingerbread biscotti in your hot chocolate?” Don’t let it ever be said that the Smitten Kitchen shies away from the hard questions! Gingerbread was the clear winner, and while I aim to please, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that a little snickerdoodle-style roll in cinnamon-sugar is never unwelcome in winter, and so it was.

what you'll need
wet into dry ingredients

This is gentle gingerbread; it’s not going to muddle your steamy cup of dark chocolate cocoa with molasses and cloves, but instead gently suggests a little winter spice. It’s as much a cookie as it is the ideal golden and crisp packet of December warmth, essential on 26 degree days like today (too soon, New York, too soon!) even if you, perhaps, after reading one too many articles about how Norwegian and Danish children go outside all winter, regardless of how cold it is, didn’t conclude that this meant that you and your small child should arrive at the schoolyard 30 minutes before the school bell to get your fix of “fresh air” and “nature exploration” and have still, 3-plus hours later, not warmed up.

forming the dough into a log

... Read the rest of gingerbread biscotti on smittenkitchen.com


© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to gingerbread biscotti | 144 comments to date | see more: Cookie, Photo, Winter

05 Dec 13:30

Guest Post from Feast + West: Pomegranate Bellini

by Meghan B.

Today I am thrilled to welcome my food blogger BFF, Susannah from Feast + West, who will be sharing an INCREDIBLE recipe with you all. I know you are going to adore her as much as I do. I mean, who couldn’t adore a Southern charmer who loves food, travel, and sparkly drinks?! With that, here’s my girl!

Guest Post with Feast + West: Pomegranate Bellinis | cakenknife.com

Hey friends! I’m Susannah from Feast + West. You might remember me from the amazing Blogsgiving Dinner that Meghan and I threw last month, and I am really excited she asked me to be here to share another festive holiday recipe with you.

I am a firm believer in sparkly drinks. Whether they’re served alongside appetizers or dessert, bubbly champagne is always welcome at any celebration. The holidays are no exception. If there’s ever a time to splurge on a fancy bottle, the holidays are it. 

I’m the kind of person who likes to take things to the next level. Call me crazy, but I can’t make plain chocolate chip cookies — I have this desire to dress them up with sea salt or cocoa nibs. Or both! This goes for cocktails too. I can never do just champagne. I’d much rather dress it up with quality mixers and fresh fruit to really dazzle my guests. (Fizzy prosecco and sparkling cider work too!)

Guest Post with Feast + West: Pomegranate Bellinis | cakenknife.com

This Pomegranate Bellini is all of that and more. Traditional bellinis are made with peach nectar and champagne, but pomegranates are in season and these cocktails look gorgeous on a holiday table. They’d be perfect for a holiday party or even a winter brunch. New Year’s Eve, even!

You’ll start with your champagne flutes and fill them with a bit of pomegranate juice. (You can find it at most supermarkets these days.) Gingerly top with champagne, then drop in a spoonful of ruby-like pomegranate seeds. They’ll float and dance with the bubbles, possibly in tune to whatever holiday music you’ve got playing. Your guests don’t have to know how easy it is to make champagne look even snazzier, and I’ll keep your secret.

Guest Post with Feast + West: Pomegranate Bellinis | cakenknife.com

susannah_headshot-10-2014-cropped

 

Susannah is a freelance graphic designer in Charlotte, N.C. and the editor of Feast + West, a blog about food, design and travel. Keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

Pomegranate Bellini
 
A gorgeous, sparkling holiday cocktail
Serves: 1
ingredients
  • 1.5 ounces pomegranate juice
  • 5 ounces champagne
  • 12 to 15 pomegranate seeds
directions
  1. Pour pomegranate juice in the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill glass with champagne, being careful not to overfill. Drop in pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.
3.2.2885

 

The post Guest Post from Feast + West: Pomegranate Bellini appeared first on Cake 'n' Knife.

02 Dec 12:30

This Christmas Tree Is Groot Thanks To A Custom Guardians Of The Galaxy Topper

by Amy Ratcliffe

15909763771_ae24ac3779_b

Groot is a tree-like creature so it makes perfect sense that he’d become a great Christmas tree decoration. DeviantArt user witchcraftywolfen crafted this awesome Groot tree topper from a CD spool cover, foam, plastic eyes, Crayola Model Magic, pipe cleaners, and acrylic paint. Whew. Because Groot can’t be without his pal Rocket, she also made a Rocket Raccoon plush to hang out on the tree with him. Both decorations are creative and awesome.

See the Groot topper off the tree after the break.

gotg__groot_tree_topper_by_witchcraftywolfen-d88657d

(via TSCF)








02 Dec 10:00

Salty-Sweet Peanut Butter Cup Bars

by noreply@blogger.com (Heather Baird)

This recipe is so easy, it feels like cheating. It's one of those treats you can turn to in the most harried days of the Christmas hustle and bustle. In about 5 minutes you can have a weighty pan of candy made, and after a short chill in the fridge, they're ready to be sliced up and packaged for gift giving.



You're probably aware by now that I'm a HUGE fan of salty and sweet together, especially when peanut butter and chocolate are involved. I love Maldon flake sea salton these bars, but Fleur de Sel or any other sea salt would be wonderful too. Or, if you'd rather keep things sweet, the salt can be omitted - but I urge you to think about it first. Or perhaps taste-test one lightly salted piece before adding it to the entire pan.


You can package the bars in cellophane bags tied with pretty ribbon, or place them  in cupcake liners and gift them in a pretty holiday tin. They're potent, so I usually cut them no larger than 1x3-inches.


Peanut Butter Cup Bars
[click for printable version]
Yields 12x8 or 13x9 dish
Prep: 5 minutes, total time about 45 minutes

The peanut butter portion of these bars is almost cookie-like, thanks to the addition of graham cracker crumbs to the batter. If you're short on time, buy graham cracker crumbs and chopped peanuts already prepared from the grocery store.

1 cup/226 g unsalted butter
1 cup/250 g creamy peanut butter
2 cups/180 g graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup/ 4 oz. finely chopped peanuts
2 1/2 cups/320 g confectioners' sugar
1 cup/6 oz. chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Maldon flake salt, optional

Line a 12x8 or 13x9-inch dish with parchment paper with two sides overhanging, or butter the pan generously.
In a 2 quart microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine the butter and peanut butter. Microwave at full power for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until melted. Blend together. Mix in crumbs, peanuts and sugar until the mixture is stiff. Press firmly into the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine chips, and shortening. Microwave at full power at 30 second intervals, until the chips and shortening are melted and can be stirred smooth. Pour over the peanut layer and smooth the chocolate evenly with an off-set spatula. Refrigerate until set, about 40 minutes.

Lift the candy from the pan by the two overhanging parchment edges. Sprinkle the chocolate with two or three pinches of Maldon flake salt, if using. Cut the bars into pieces and store in a container that seals air-tight.

Stove-top directions: If you don't have a microwave, then this candy may be prepared on the stove-top instead. Melt the butter and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a small saucepan over medium-low until smooth.

20 Nov 13:30

Aliens Take Their Dog For A Walk With A Facehugger Leash

by Amy Ratcliffe

facehugger leash

This epic Alien Facehugger leash is the nerdiest way to walk your dog. The leash is made from foam so it’s light enough for even the tiniest of dogs (it was designed to fit a small-medium sized dog actually). It will make your pup the most popular pup on the block.

See another picture of the leash after the break.

facehugger leash 2

facehugger leash 3 copy

facehugger leash 4 copy

Product Page ($150 via Bloody Disgusting and Topless Robot)








24 Nov 08:30

Herbed Mushroom and Sausage Stuffing

by Annie

It’s hard to believe I have been sharing recipes here for over seven years and somehow a stuffing recipe has never graced the pages of this site. I suppose it is because with all of the different variables – the type of bread used, veggies and herbs, type of meat or lack thereof – the possibilities are nearly endless. I have tried numerous recipes over the years and they have all been good in completely different ways. I’ll share more of the less traditional variations in the future, but many of you have requested a classic stuffing recipe so we are starting here.

Unfortunately I don’t have many clear memories of the things my mom cooked when she was alive – just scattered glimpses here and there. I do have vague memories of the Thanksgivings that she hosted and that I loved her stuffing. Whenever I have had classic mushroom stuffing over the years, it reminds me of those past holidays. After making so many variations on this theme over the years, I have determined what I prefer to include in my ideal version. Italian bread is ideal thanks to its sturdy but soft texture and its mild flavor. I like to include lots of mushrooms with just a bit of sausage, but the sausage can be easily replaced with more mushrooms for a vegetarian version. Onion, celery, garlic and fresh herbs round out the flavors of this simple, classic stuffing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

20 Nov 18:40

A Furry ‘Star Wars’ Chewbacca Rug That Looks Like the Legendary Wookiee Warrior

by Justin Page

Chewbacca Rug

ThinkGeek has released a fully-licensed Chewbacca rug that looks just like the “legendary Wookiee warrior” from Star Wars. The geeky rug, which comes in two different sizes, is available to purchase online.

Chewbacca Rugs are soft and fluffy and even have his bandolier running diagonally across them. Two different sizes will make sure you have add the proper amount of Wookiee to the room you are decorating. And we promise, no Wookiees were harmed in the making of these rugs. Ewoks, on the other hand…

Chewbacca Rug

Chewbacca Rug

images via ThinkGeek

19 Nov 13:00

This Groot Swing Is The Best Backyard Swing Ever

by Geek Girl Diva

groot swing

One of the things that makes director James Gunn so much fun to follow on social media is just how much he enjoys other people’s expressions of love for Guardians Of The Galaxy.

For example, this picture of a Groot swing that some fans made for an upcoming reality show called Super Fans, Super Builds. He posted it to his Tumblr to show it off and let people know how much he loved it.

I want one of those swings. Now.

(via Yahoo UK)