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Eco-retreat combines glamping with monster spotting

Set amid the backdrop of the stunning Great Glen landscape in Scotland, Loch Ness Glamping is a luxury camping spot for those hoping to catch of glimpse of the elusive creature affectionately dubbed "Nessie." If the monster spotting doesn’t go to plan (and let's face it, that's highly likely) you can return to "roughing-it" in your private eco-retreat complete with under-floor heating. Read More
— Holiday Destinations

A driving holiday in the fast lane

Taking in the sights of a foreign land by car isn't a new approach to tourism, but this variation on the theme provides an extra injection of speed – supercar speed. The "Elite Car and Castle Tour" merges old world British castles with high adrenaline track days and luxury driving in 15 of the hottest cars in the world including the Aston Martin DB9 Volante and V12 Vantage, Audi R8, Bentley GT Convertible, Ferrari 430 F1 Spider and California, Jaguar XF, Porsche 997 Turbo PDK, Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder and Maserati Quattroporte. Read More
— Environment

CryoEnergy System uses liquid air to store energy

Balancing demand for energy with timely production is a juggling act that is particularly relevant to renewable sources such as wind and solar. Because the wind isn't always blowing and the sun isn't always shining, the energy produced by these systems needs to be stored efficiently so it can be used when it's needed. While some scientists are looking into storing such energy by converting it to natural gas, Britain's Highview Power Storage has its own approach, which is already in use in a pilot project. In a nutshell, the company is storing excess energy as liquid air. Read More
— Science

One for the road: Researchers develop biofuel from whisky waste

The message is clear. Whisky and driving is not a good mix. But rules are made to be broken and researchers at Edinburgh Napier University have managed to successfully marry the two, albeit as a fuel for the vehicle and not the driver. Researchers have taken two by-products of the whisky-making process and transformed them into an energy dense biofuel that doesn't require vehicles to undergo any modification prior to use. Read More
— Environment

World’s Largest Tidal Turbine will generate enough power for 1,000 homes

The oil and gas fields of the North Sea have been meeting the power needs of the UK population for a number of years but such things have a finite lifespan and there are different ways to get power from the sea. The world's largest and most powerful tidal power turbine has just been unveiled by Atlantis Resources Corporation ahead of installation at a special berth at the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland. The AK1000 will shortly be secured to the seabed off the choppy waters of Orkney and connected to the grid at EMEC. The company claims that the turbine is capable of generating enough electricity for 1,000 homes and is the first of a series of turbines to be deployed. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People Feature

Extreme beer - man's favourite drink suddenly gets much stronger

Alcohol is the oldest and most commonly used of all recreational drugs, with annual sales exceeding one trillion U.S. dollars. Beer has been the world's most popular alcohol since before the invention of the wheel with annual sales now exceeding US$500 billion. Most of the world’s beer has between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume, and the strength of beer achieved by natural fermentation brewing methods has limits, but a well crafted beer that is repeatedly “freeze distilled” can achieve exquisite qualities and much higher alcohol concentrations. An escalation in the use of this new methodology over the last 12 months has seen man's favorite beverage suddenly become stronger than spirits such as whisky and vodka, and more expensive too. The world's strongest beer is getting much stronger, very quickly, and this week we spoke to the brewers at the centre of an informal but escalating competition to brew the world's strongest beer. New contestants are gathering, and the race is now on to break 50% alcohol by volume. Read More
— Urban Transport

Britain's first amphibious bus nearly becomes a submarine

Great Britain's first amphibious bus service has hit a slight snag in testing - a component failure halting the Stagecoach Amphibious Bus in its third crossing of the river Clyde between Renfrew and Yoker in Scotland. Proposed as a replacement for a ferry service that's set to close down next month, the "amfibus" is designed to deliver a 'seamless' trip across the Clyde with minimal transition time between its regular coach mode and jet-powered water crossing mode. Read More
— Environment

Oyster - the world's largest working hydro-electric wave energy device

Rounding off a big week in renewable energy is news that the world’s largest working hydro-electric wave energy device has been officially launched in Scotland. Known as Oyster, the device, stationed at the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) Billia Croo site near Stromness, was installed this year and is, at present, the world’s only hydro-electric wave energy device which is producing power. Read More