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Thoughts from category: learning

finding a green car

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the world's worst paintjob

Cars aren't exactly the greenest machines in the world, but it's a fact of life that some of us need them in order to make our lives work better.

As I'm thinking of buying a new car, I thought I'd do some investigations into how green they are. And I thought I'd share some stuff with you, just in case you're looking into buying a car too.

First of all, I asked the people at WorldChanging if they knew of any data. They pointed me towards the website of the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA). Data available includes new car fuel consumption and exhaust emissions figures.

And then there's this top 20 chart of the greenest carmakers (thanks to Dan for sending this over).

All worth looking at before you book a test drive.

put the kettle on

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A nice man called Giles (strong no sugar) from Tetley got in touch with us to see if we were interested in meeting up to talk about tasting tea. You see, we taste a lot of fruit and they taste a lot of tea - we thought we'd see if there was anything we could learn from each other.

So we went over there for a visit.

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The method of tea tasting hasn't really changed over the years. What you do is make a strong cup of tea (double normal strength) with a dash of milk.

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You then taste with a big slurp and then spit the tea into a spittoon. The people at Tetley are very accurate with their spitting technique.

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Apprentice tasters spend a lot of time in the sourcing regions (3 months to a year), helping them to learn all about the tea. The chief taster said that when he tastes a tea he can picture the garden it came from.

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We heard about the ethical tea partnership that Tetley are involved in and we learned a couple of new things. Call us dumb, but we didn't know that Earl Grey isn't a special variety; it's actually black tea with bergamot oil. Most importantly, we all agreed on our favourite tea - Oolong, which is delicate, fragrant and well balanced. A bit like our ladies of the kitchen.

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the kids from plugg

Please say hello to PLUGG. PLUGG are a student design team from University College for the Creative Arts who asked us to set them a brief as part of their coursework. So we did.

They're a great bunch - it's early days but they already have nice ideas for packaging, video and some instore stuff. We'll share their work (if they're up for it) when they're done.

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clockwise from left - Andrew Denny Carol Ben Jon Mush

think about the future

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Sorry about the radio silence. We've just been spending a bit of time thinking about next year. There are lots of smart new ideas and drinks in the pipeline - I'd love to tell you what they are but I fear that I'd be struck down if I gave away our secrets. Anyway, it's nice to have surprises.

One thing I was wondering was what you'd like us to do in 2007. Any recipes you want us to have a go at, or different ingredients we should be using? Any new types of drinks you want us to make? Or any other stuff we should be thinking about?

If you've got a spare moment, don't hesitate to post a comment or two.

B&B in the USA

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Tesco are going to open stores in the USA. To work out what people want from them they did some market research. It was intensive market research. 50 top bods from Tesco went and lived with American families for two weeks and watched how the people ate, drank, shopped and all of that stuff.

Depending on your point of view, this is either very smart thinking or slightly creepy. Would you like it if we came and lived at your place for a couple of weeks?

Story found at influx