IF you fancy British beer, then a brew from West Yorkshire is the one for you.

The BBC reports that Timothy Taylor's 'Boltmaker', from Keighley, has been crowned the best beer in the country at the Great British Beer Festival in London.

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) competition involved bitters, ales, milds and more from small microbrewers and large regional brewers.

Timothy Taylor's head brewer Peter Eells said: “We work very hard to produce great beers and we really believe this is the best beer we can brew - so to have it acknowledged in such an important competition is absolutely fantastic.”

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But if chocolate is your thing, then Cambridge University is the place to work. A Daily Star story says that the university is looking for a researcher who will spend over three years inventing a chocolate bar that doesn't melt in hot climates.

Mind you, you'll need to be well qualified to satisfy the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology which is looking for the right person for a PhD in chocolate. They will be expected to 'investigate the factors which allow chocolate, which has a melting point close to that of the human body, to remain solid and retain qualities sought by consumers when it is stored and sold in warm climates'.

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And whilst on the subject of eating, the Daily Mirror tells us that scoffing fish and chips on Blackpool Pier has been named the best family day out in Britain.
A poll by VisitEngland of 2,000 adults gave top spot to the Blackpool experience as they attempted to find the nation’s 25 most enjoyable, technology-free fun days.

A cream tea in Devon, a picnic in the Lake District and getting lost in the maze at Hampton Court Palace were also in the top 10.

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Scientists at Exeter University have debunked the myth that magpies steal trinkets.

According to the BBC, the birds are actually nervous of such objects, presumably because they are novel and may prove dangerous.

Dr Toni Shephard said: “We did not find evidence of an unconditional attraction to shiny objects in magpies. Instead, all objects prompted responses indicating neophobia – fear of new things. We suggest that humans notice when magpies occasionally pick up shiny objects because they believe the birds find them attractive, while it goes unnoticed when magpies interact with less eye-catching items. It seems likely that the folklore surrounding them is a result of cultural generalisation and anecdotes rather than evidence.”

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One highly held theory does get supported however by a survey reported in the Daily Mail. Market analysts Mintel found that while the average Briton spends 4hrs 40 minutes cleaning their home each week, men spend just 3hrs 53mins compared to 5hrs 25mins for women.

It would appear that kitchens are cleaned most often, while doing the oven and windows are the least popular jobs.

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A decrease in places where dogs can be let off their leads to roam freely has been put down as one of the reasons half of Britain's eight million pooches are obese.

This is the finding of research by Liverpool University, reported in the Daily Star which also says that owners over feeding their dogs is another contributory factor.

Dog Control Orders were introduced in 2006 and give councils the power to demand dogs stay on their leads in certain areas and some popular beaches have also brought in restrictions.

Reference list:

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)

Daily Star (www.daily star.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)