February 27th, 2015

Solving a sticky litter problem


by Emma How


My husband vividly recalls being made to write out ‘the mastication of glutinous substances is obnoxious’ 100 times on the blackboard when caught chewing in class. Although symbolising the anti-social mindlessness of adolescence for many a schoolmaster, the problems associated with chewing gum are, regrettably, not confined to the Just William classrooms of yesteryear.

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February 20th, 2015

Pickles, politics and power


by Peter Jones


“If you want to get anywhere in politics, you’ve got to be good at pushing on open doors. If you can’t resist pushing on closed ones, then you ought to have chosen another job.” That rather bleak assessment of the extent of ministerial power comes from C.P. Snow’s novel Corridors of Power, in which the lead characters try (and fail) to tip the balance against 1950s Britain seeking an independent nuclear deterrent.

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February 13th, 2015

Return of the heat pump


By Rob Reid


Since last summer, I’ve learned a lot about heat pumps, all in the name of deciding whether I could go green on heating my house without leaving my bank balance in the red. When I last wrote about my dilemma, I reached the classic consultant’s view that more research was required. Since then, I’ve been carrying it out, and it’s time to make good on my promise to report back on what I found.

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February 6th, 2015

Chasing the sun


by Chloe Bines


I recently attended a ‘build your own solar charger course’ run by Bristol charity Demand Energy Equality at which I constructed a portable 18W solar photovoltaic (PV) panel from second hand solar cells and a laptop case. Having spent a couple of nerve-wracking hours with a soldering iron, the feeling of satisfaction was immense when I finally put my panel out in the sun to charge my phone: success!

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February 3rd, 2015

Moo-ving on up

The Typing Pool

by the Administrator


January is a particularly rich month for folklore, as all manner of customs are required to ensure prosperity for the year ahead. Regular readers of the Administrator’s update will no doubt be aware that the Land of Blog remains an equally rich preserve of the traditions of yesteryear, and it will no surprise that we’ve been busy saying our ‘black rabbits’, burning hawthorn bushes, and dropping egg whites into water in order to guarantee you a healthy supply of articles in 2015.

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January 30th, 2015

Better out than in?

Be careful what you wish for

by Hulda Espolin Norstein


If the UK was to leave the European Union, what difference would it really make to our environmental laws?

UKIP’s increased influence on the political agenda and David Cameron’s eurosceptic-appeasing promise to hold an in/out referendum has rapidly turned the UK’s exit from a pipe-dream to a real possibility. Both sides of the debate are spending considerable time and effort informing the public (and each other) about why the UK should remain in/leave the EU; how obvious it is that continued EU membership is essential/detrimental to turning the economy around; how crucial/unnecessary it is to our geopolitical influence – in fact, how the EU is the solution to/cause of most of the UK’s problems.

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January 23rd, 2015

Clean streets, dirty conscience?


by Ian Doyle


Ask residents what’s important to them in their local environment and clean streets will always be one of the first things they mention. Litter, in all its unpleasant forms, has the power to dramatically affect perceptions of environmental quality and reduce residents’ pride of place, and there is evidence that it has detrimental effects in terms of property values, mental health, and crime. Therefore, it’s not surprising that clean streets are given high value.

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