daily: flowers
Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Daily: March 19

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Nayha Tandon
New £1 coin to be introduced in 2017
A new £1 coin is to be introduced in 2017 in order to combat counterfeiting. The current 30-year old coin is estimated to have 45 million forgeries in distribution. The new coin will be designed to be the "most secure in the world" and will be based on the old 3d (three penny) piece. Whilst the Queen's head will remain on the front side of the new coin, the Treasury has announced that the image on the other side will be decided through a competition. The Royal Mint said the new coin would increase "public confidence" in the UK's currency, and decrease costs for banks and other businesses. The proposed coin will be almost the same size as the current £1 coin and will be made in two colours; it will also include high-tech technology to certify it can be authenticated at all points.

Money used for the garden is homeowners' biggest expense
A study has found that homeowners spend £300,000 a year on their garden over a lifetime, with the typical adult spending around a third of this on plants alone. The survey, held by online garden centre GardeningExpress.co.uk, asked 540 gardeners about their spending habits. Results revealed they spend £9,500 in their lifetime solely on plants, including buying seeds, bulbs, bedding plants, shrubs, trees and grass seeds. The second highest expenditure was at £9,000 on hard landscaping, with homeowners replacing their patio or deck 6 times over their lifetime of gardening. Garden furniture accounted for £3,600 or the total amount. Participants also acknowledged to spending over £1,800 on sheds and greenhouses stating they changed their shed four times and their greenhouse twice. Prior studies have revealed that gardening has a variety of benefits on people's lives, from increasing enthusiasm for life, to enhancing happiness.

White tea and fig are the perfect scents to sell a house
A study has revealed that the perfect smell when trying to sell a house is white tea and fig to impress potential buyers. Although traditionally it is thought the smell of freshly baked bread and brewed coffee are the perfect alluring scents, the study commissioned by Millgate Homes revealed otherwise. Property experts believe homes with the mixture of these odours have sold very quickly, with one major house builder now planning to ensure the scent of white tea and figs to feature in all of its properties. It seems these scents work best in new buildings as it is difficult to duplicate a 'homely, lived-in feel' in a building with little furniture or decoration. Aroma experts ScentAir were commissioned by the luxury house builder Millgate to produce the ideal smell for its show homes.

New app 'Glasses Off' claims to improve people's eyesight
A new app called 'Glasses Off' has become a popular hit. The app claims to be able to better people's eyesight through 'training' them with a string of exercises. It uses a series of patterns to produce 15 minutes exercises for users. If the exercises are done three times a week, makers claim it could result in the user no longer needing reading glasses after three months. CEO of GlassesOff, Nimrod Madar, explained that although glasses, contacts lenses and refractive surgery are typically used as a solution to improve near distance reading, human vision performance is actually limited by the quality of the captured imaged by the eye, and the image processing ability of the brain as it understands the images. Mr Madar, goes on to explain, 'Our solution is designed to improve reading by enhancing the image processing function of the visual cortex, demonstrating the amazing potential of the human brain.' Researchers have published numerous studies supporting the app's efficiency. A study carried out at the University of California at Berkeley showed that all participants who completed the GlassesOff programme were able to read the standard newspaper font size without the use of reading glasses. They also improved their 'Eye Age' by an average of 8.6 years.

Scrap metal dealer discovers £20million Faberge egg at a bric-a-brac stall
A scrap metal dealer, who spotted a golden egg at a U.S. jumble stall, instantly predicted a money-making opportunity. Initially he was unable to sell the egg (which he bought for $13,300) as potential buyers thought it over-priced, so then decided to research the ornament further – and discovered it was actually a $33million Faberge egg. The egg is the third of over 50 Imperial Easter Eggs designed by Carl Faberge for the Russian Royal Family. After the Russian Revolution all the eggs were seized by the Bolsheviks, and many were sold to the West. However, eight of them are missing, of which only three are thought to have survived the revolution – including this one. The egg contains a Vacheron Constantin watch given by Alexander III to his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna for Easter in 1887. It was last seen at an exhibition in St Petersburg in March 1902. In 2011 researchers discovered the Third Imperial Egg had also survived the revolution, and was sold at an auction in New York in 1964. The scrap-metal buyer found a newspaper article about the egg quoting Kieran McCarthy, director of Faberge experts Wartski, and flew over to London to meet him. Wartski purchased the egg for a private collector, which will be displayed in London from April 14 to 17.

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