Monthly Archives: December 2009

New Year’s Eve Blue Moon Eclipse

image by Ack Ook on Flickr
From Neatorama
27 December 2009 16:52
by Miss Cellania

New Year’s Eve Blue Moon Eclipse

On December 31st, we will see the second full moon of the month, or the 13th full moon of the year. These rare occasions are called a blue moon, as in “once in a blue moon”. But that’s not the only thing special about New Year’s Eve this year. There will also be a partial lunar eclipse on the 31st (visible in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia)!

Only a very small portion of the Moon’s southern limb will be in the Earth’s umbral shadow, but there will be a noticeable darkening visible over the Moon’s face at the point of greatest eclipse. Need more? Then know this eclipse is the one of four lunar eclipses in a short-lived series. The lunar year series repeats after 12 lunations or 354 days. Afterwards it will begin shifting back about 10 days in sequential years. Because of the date change, the Earth’s shadow will be about 11 degrees west in sequential events.

For the eclipse, the duration of the partial phase will last within two seconds of a hour long, while the penumbral duration from beginning to end will run about four hours and eleven minutes. Penumbral contact will begin at 17:17:08 UT and umbral contact at 18:52:43 UT. The moment of greatest depth of shadow will occur at 19:22:39 UT, 31 December 2009.

Link -via Geeks Are Sexy

(image credit: Kostian Iftica)

Science & Tech eclipse lunar eclipse moon New Year

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Overdoing Food Quality? – Musings

So now we need to grow our vegetables under cover to stop “the critters” soiling them and effecting our health?


Greenhouse growers push food safety message | The Packer.jpg

from: The Packer
(click image for full story online)


Reminds me of the reaction when you suggest sun drying to someone as an appropriate technology. The immediate reaction is “but what about the safety” not realising the majority of the worlds dried fruit is sun dried.

Which in turn illustrates the marketers “skill” to have come up with the natural sun dried concept to the upper income shoppers at Woolworths, five years ago.

John F Marshall – Small Scale Equipment Manufacturer

John F Marshall is active in offering small enterprise equipment in sub saharan Africa.

Suppliers Website

Food processing equipment manufactured by John F Marshall.jpg

(Click the image to visit the website)


The image above, from their website, shows only 5 of the machines they offer.

Dave Cole, who was involved in Rutec the successful small business development company, is head technical and sales manager and brings a design and construction focus. They even offer to design machine to their clients specifications/needs.

This site is well worth visiting and bookmarking.


Garic and Garlic Products Opportunity

Apparently the consumption of garlic has soared in China because it is believed to have benefits in protecting against the contraction of swine flu. | business | world news Flu drives garlic prices-10.jpg

(click image for full story online)


This combined with poor prices over the last few years has lead to an expected shortfall of 400 000 tons this year. This has resulted in the price increasing 40 fold.

Anyone with garlic stocks is able to generate large profits, while those who could get get new garlic into the market in the short term would generate good incomes. Planning to produce garlic in the medium term might not be so profitable as the very high prices mut drive a new excess production driving the price down.

Manufacturers who could produce shelf stable products that the Chinese health buyer would use could maybe be able to ride out the inevitable fluctuations in supply and price.


10 European Food Trends for 2010

Here is a set of Top Ten Trends for 2010 from Innova Research. This is an interesting set as it has some new ones like Sustainability, Energy & cooking at Home. | The top 10 new food NPD trends for 2010.jpg

(click image for full story online)

the ten trends are

Sense of simplicity – the downturn is blamed for people nostalgic for simpler times and simpler foods.

Sustainability – consumers are looking for locally sourced, more sustainable and fairly traded products.

Simple nutrition – consumers becoming tired of hard to see health benefits could look for products with traditionally perceived benefits such as fruit, vegetables and milk.

Functional foods – although labeling is making these difficult for manufacturers some will make it through and have a commanding position.

Immunity – Swine flu fears have created a demand for immunity boosting products in many countries which will need careful management on the health claim issue.

Energy – this established class of food in the USA seems to be coming to Europe.

Free from – the move to foods such as ‘gluten-free’, preservative free continue to be important.

Home cooking – consumers continue to rediscover their cooking and entertaining skills.

Extreme flavours – spicy food is expected to grow some say because of more exposure to Africa via the world cup

Real authenticity – foods promoted as authentic will need to be more thoroughly local eg ingredients

How do you see this – the one about Africa and extreme flavours seems nonsense based on a not so good understanding of what African Food is about to me? What do you think?Email me here, otherwise leave a comment.


The Guardian Science Blog on Baking

This article from the Science Blog of the UK Guardian is really worth reading – its a great blend of the physical aspects of making a loaf of bread and some science down to the level of equations and protein structure.


The science and magic of breadmaking | Science |

(click image for full story online)


This isn’t really for the Food Technologist or the baker to learn about baking, but is rather a gentle and enjoyable read showing the interrelation between biological processes and science.