No more football…

Well, for three and a bit weeks, anyway. Fortunately, Sheffield United’s upcoming promotion season kicks off at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane at 12:15pm on Saturday 9th August, so we don’t have too long to wait until top quality sport returns to our screens.

However, while you were all watching the MIGHTY Germany destructifying South American all-comers, the first qualifying rounds for the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League and Europa League had already begun.
I love these opening qualification rounds – the Europa League ones especially – for a few reasons: firstly, the teams in there are mostly ones that I’ve never heard of, from exotic (?) places like Moldova (Zimbru Chisnau), Slovakia (Trnava), Lithuania (Banga Gargzdai) and Sweden (Brommapojkarna). Secondly, this is probably their biggest ever chance at making the big time and playing some properly big clubs, should they somehow get through to the competition proper. And then thirdly, the fact that this first qualifying round is, more often than not, home to some of the biggest mismatches, with teams like Ljubljana’s Junior Girl Guides Troop Fifth XI chucked up against someone half decent like Ferencváros or IFK Göteborg, with potential rugby score-esque aggregate results:


Sadly for the likes of FC Santos Tartu of Estonia and FK Daugava Riga (of Latvia, obviously), we’ve seen the last of them for this year’s competition. And that’s a pity, because I had high hopes for the Tartu lads, especially. I hope that their 1-13 reverse doesn’t dent their confidence either, because physically they’re pretty much useless and their mental strength was all they really had going for them.

Meanwhile, in the Champions League, the tie of this next round is obviously PFC Ludogorets Razgrad versus Dudelange, because let’s face it, it’s probably the biggest Bulgaria v Luxembourg match-up we’ve seen in recent years and both teams will have all their World Cup stars back and raring to go. That one kicks off at 7pm (CAT) on Wednesday, and I know that you, like me, will be glued to Bulgarian radio online where there will surely be live commentary, probably in Bulgarian.

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Superbugs with Gary Delaney

From this week’s Mock The Week:

The reason that bacteria are so bad these days is that all the good ones have been put in yoghurt.

Fair point, well made.

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So many plans to blog today, but instead it was errands, then aquariuming, then a last minute trip to the (dreadful) rugby.


These are shrimpfish (not pipefish), which swim vertically and are therefore both pretty weird and pretty cool.

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Kelp Help

The weather this Friday is so different to the weather last Friday. I even have high hopes of seeing Saturday, which is not how I felt this time last week. Of course, I did get to see last Saturday, but it was only because of the building skills of the local builders, who built the walls and the corrugating skills of the local corrugators, who did the steel roof.

So, survive we did, and then when we braved the icy temperatures outside, some of us kept warm by dragging kelp along the beach:

Wet kelp is heavier than it looks (and it looks pretty heavy). A few hundred metres dragging wet kelp along sand in the wind is equivalent to doing an Ironman.

If you’re very-nearly-almost-six-years-old, anyway.

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Pretty Fly

This just in from our Agriculture correspondent:
Great news for the Western Cape agricultural sector. We farm sheeps, cows, pigs and the like. We have pretty canola fields. Grain, lots of grain: it makes our beer. We do grapes really, really well.
And now, we’re about to do flies. Common houseflies, black soldier flies and blowflies.
We’re about to have [clarkson] the biggest fly farm – in the world! [/clarkson]

8,500,000,000 of the little buggers.

That’s a lot of flies.

The 8 500 square-metre undercover facility, being built by Gibraltar-based AgriProtein, is due to be completed next year and aims to produce 23.5 metric tonnes of insect-based protein meal and oils and 50 tonnes of fertiliser a day. Fish and chicken farmers have already signed contracts to buy the feed, an alternative to soy and fishmeal, according to Jason Drew, the company’s co-founder.

That 23.5 tonnes of “insect-based protein meal” is a long-winded and fancy way of saying “maggots”. Can you imagine 23.5 tonnes of maggots? Each day? That’s almost 9,000 tonnes of maggots every year. From this one facility alone.
Fear Factor eat your heart out (but not like this).

It might not sound like the nicest thing in the world, because 8.5 billion flies eating rotting food, manure and abattoir waste isn’t the nicest thing in the world UNLESS YOU’RE A FLY AND IF SO, HOW THE HELL ARE YOU READING THIS?, but the science is good, it’s ecologically sound and it makes commercial sense.

My only concern is that the insects will be:

housed in giant cages

Presumably, they’ve considered the size of their livestock and calculated the space between the bars of the cages accordingly, right?


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