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WideWorld BULLETIN 3

News in brief

by Alexandra McKenzie


Surf and The City

Venture Xtreme has announced a £20million project planned for 2011: an outdoor surfing machine – in central London. The machine, which will be the first of its kind in the world, will be erected at Silvertown Quays, in the east of the city. A provisional price guide of £30 an hour is not cheap, but it's designed to appeal to city slickers unable to make the long drive to UK surfing hotspots in Cornwall and Devon on a whim. Critics say the project cannot encompass the battle against the elements so integral to surfing, but with an estimated 60,000 surfers living in the city, the project promises to have a significant market.

Season debut for boarders

As the Winter Olympics beckon, the ski season kicked off in Argentina with the Snowboardcross World Cup. British hopeful Zoe Gillings managed a disappointing 10th place after a crash which slowed the boarder down following a hopeful start, whilst Canadian Maelle Ricker won the women’s event. Gilling refused to be downhearted, instead focusing on the race as valuable experience for upcoming Vancouver 2010.

Air on flights to become a little plane-er

A filter device could destroy 99.9% of viruses and bacteria on planes. The AirManager, developed by BAE Systems and Quest International, uses electric technology to filter particles in the air conditioning system of an aircraft and release only sterilized air.

Whilst the AirManager may herald the end of picking up pesky colds on planes, researchers suggest the device has potential beyond the air travel industry. BAE is discussing the possibility of reducing the spread of superbugs in hospitals with the National Health Service.

Gatecrashing: parents tag along on gap years

Post Office travel research has highlighted an increasing trend for parents joining their teenage children on gap years. Traditionally heralded as an opportunity to gain independence before heading off to university or the job world, about 250,000 youngsters took gap years in 2008.

But it seems they’ve got company: the research found up to 48% of gap year-ers are having their travels ‘gatecrashed’ by mum and dad. Head of travel insurance at the Post Office Rachel Croft suggested that parents, like their children want to ‘travel to new places and holiday for much longer.’

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