It’s Tick Tock Day – one last chance to make it big in 2012

And so another year is almost done and dusted; it’s 29 December – after today there will be only 2 more days to go before 2013 arrives. That time of year when you start seriously contemplating everything you thought you were going to do and achieve this year. And of course with this comes the regrets of all the opportunities missed, all the targets not achieved…

Well, today is Tick Tock Day – especially created to give you one last chance to pick some of those goals that have not been realised; to see if you cannot cram one or two more achievements into the year before everything starts over again with a new set of resolutions.

Keep one eye on the clock, and get a move-on with those 2012 resolutions!(© All Rights Reserved)
Keep one eye on the clock, and get a move-on with those 2012 resolutions!
(© All Rights Reserved)

Think about it this way – after today you have 2 more days to your disposal. That’s 48 hours. Or 2880 minutes. Or if you prefer, 172 800 seconds. That’s hundreds of thousands of seconds! Imagine how much you can achieve in that time!

But you better hurry – time is ticking… Tick tock, tick tock… 🙂

Lyle’s golden syrup – turning waste into gold

Today we celebrate the birthday of Abram Lyle (14 Dec 1820 – 30 Apr 1891), Scottish ship owner, sugar refiner, and the man who gave the world Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

Starting his career in the shipping industry, Lyle later started supplying casks to ship Caribbean sugar and molasses. This got him into the sugar business, starting the Glebe Sugar Refinery with some partners. One of the by-products of the sugar cane refining process was a treacle-like syrup that usually goes to waste, but with the help of chemist Charles Eastick, Lyle found a way to refine it further to make a preserve, called golden syrup.

Yummy pancakes, made that little bit extra special with the compliments of Abram Lyle and his wonderful golden syrup. (© All Rights Reserved)
Yummy pancakes, made that little bit extra special thanks to Abram Lyle and his wonderful golden syrup.
(© All Rights Reserved)

Lyle’s golden syrup was sold in tins featuring a drawing of a rotting lion carcass with a swarm of bees, referring to the bible story where Samson was traveling in the land of the Philistines to find a wife. During his journey he killed a lion, and when he later passed the same way he noticed a swarm of bees had started a hive in the carcass, producing honey inside the lion. From this, Samson created the riddle “Out of the eater came forth meat and out of the strong came forth sweetness”, and the last bit of this riddle, “Out of the strong came forth sweetness”, became the slogan for Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

Golden syrup, being made from those sugars that did not crystalise during refinement, consists mostly of glucose and fructose. It is more water soluble than sucrose, and as a result less likely to form crystals, remaining syrupy under normal room temperatures. It is also sweeter than sucrose, so when using golden syrup as a sugar replacement in cooking etc, about 25% less golden syrup is needed to match the sweetness of sugar.

I am always endlessly impressed by people like Abram Lyle: those individuals who look at something that others see as a problem, or as waste – in this case the treacle waste – and instead see it as an opportunity to create something new and original.

With Lyle’s end product being golden syrup, I guess this really is a case of turning waste into gold.