Mites in Eco-roof forces a School to close

However good a product or invention maybe, there are some disadvantages associated with it. The Eco-roofs installed across various schools and other buildings in the United Kingdom, have an untold problem, the mites. For the harvest mites, these Eco-roofs are a safe haven. A haven that they like very much. Such an instance happened at a School in Cumbria, where the pupils were sent home early, as the mites began to bite them.
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Fumigation teams were called to deal with the pests, which the secondary school described as “still an ongoing problem“.

Dennis Laird, chair of governors at Walney School, told the North West Evening Mail: “As a result of an insect infestation, the school’s management team took the decision to close the school today at lunchtime.

“We are now working closely with the county council to resolve this issue and it is anticipated that the school will re-open on Monday as normal.

“Clearly it is not acceptable and pupils and parents will rightly expect the problem to be solved quickly.”

Walney School said the pest control company fumigated the venting systems throughout the weekend and used smoke bombs to keep the mites at bay. Acting headteacher Helen Collis admitted the problem lies “with the type of roof that has been installed”, and said a council representative would be meeting with the Department for Environment to resolve the issue.

The grass eco-roof has been in place for around 12 months.

A Cumbria County Council public health spokesperson said: “Although a bite can be itchy and uncomfortable, harvest mites in the UK do not carry any diseases that present a risk to humans.

“The best way to get rid of mites on the body is a hot bath or shower, and to make sure clothes are washed at a normal temperature.”

A Pill to erase painful Memories

There is no backspace or CTRL+Z in life. Whatever once happened, could never be changed forever. If it is a painful thing, then the memory will haunt us for our entire life. Not anymore, says Scientists of MIT. They have discovered a pill that will erase  painful memories from our brain and let us lead a peaceful and happy life.

It sounds like a plot from a Hollywood sci-fi movie, but neurologists believe they have come a step closer to being able to erase those haunting memories you’ve never been able to shake.

Echoing the 2004 Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a group of researchers think they have identified the gene, called Tet1, which performs the fascinating role of ‘memory extinction’.

The process, which occurs when old memories are replaced by new ones, is being treated as the key to arriving at a stage where memories can be managed and even deleted completely.

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Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who have conducted the research, say that if a way can be found to amplify the activity the Tet1, it could lead to medical advances such as treating the memories of those who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

As part of their study, the researchers compared learning behaviour of mice with the Tet1 to mice who had their version of the gene inhibited, or as the scientists put it, ‘knocked out’.

Both sets were trained to fear a certain cage by giving them a mild electric shock each time they were placed inside.

The mice whose tet1 has been ‘knocked out’ learned to associate the cage with the shock, just like the normal mice.

But when the researchers put the mice back in the same cage without delivering the shock, the two groups behaved differently.

To the astonishment of scientists, mice with the Tet1 gene did not fear of the cage, because their memory of being hurt had already been replaced by new information.

The ‘knockout’ mice, whose memories had not been replaced, were still traumatised by the experience.

Speaking to the Huffington Post, study co-author Andrii Rudenko, said in a written statement: ‘They don’t relearn properly.

‘They’re kind of getting stuck, and cannot extinguish the old memory.’

After the animal test, the researchers now say that if they can find a way to boost the activity of the Tet1 gene, it might be possible to help people suffering from addiction as well as PTSD.

Rudenko said: ‘We think the most likely way to boost Tet1’s activity would be to use some drug: a type of pharmacological activator – such an activator still needs to be identified.’

Melbourne – world’s most habitable city

Melbourne is awarded as the most livable city this year as well. It’s been on top from past 3 years. Indeed the ranking for top three cities remained same as they were last year. Vienna came second while Vancouver and Toronto stayed at third and fourth respectively. There was a tie between Calgary tied with Adelaide on fifth position. A total of 140 cities were surveyed under five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment & education and infrastructure. Scores in each category and sub-category are compiled and weighted to give a total out of 100. 100 mean ideal and 1 means intolerable.

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Melbourne made it three years in a row as the world’s most livable city, according to the 2013 Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Livability Survey.

The top cities and indeed much of the rankings remained similar to last year, with Australian and New Zealand cities landing five of the top 10 spots. Canadian cities made up another three of the top 10 positions.

Elsewhere in the EIU rankings, 28 cities saw changes in their rankings with negative livability changes driven by “civil unrest, with the Arab Spring, European austerity and Chinese discontent all contributing,” according to the EIU report.

Vienna came a close second while Canadian cities Vancouver and Toronto stayed at third and fourth; Calgary tied with Adelaide for fifth place.

The top spots are mostly “mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density,” said the EIU.
At the bottom of the list, due to ongoing civil conflict in Syria is Damascus — dropping 10 rankings.

A total of 140 cities were surveyed under five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Scores in each category and sub-category are compiled and weighted to give a total out of 100. 100 is considered ideal and 1 intolerable.

The report noted a few major changes. Madrid dropped five spots to 44th due to “unrest and protests,” but remains in the top tier of livability. The Slovakian capital of Bratislava moved into the top tier (a score of 80 or above), now at 63rd place in the ranking.

Tehran, Douala (Cameroon), Tripoli, Karachi, Algiers, Harare, Lagos, Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Damascus (are at the bottom of the list with conflict responsible for many of the lowest scores, the report stated.

Global Livability Survey

Top 10 most livable cities (unchanged in 2013 from 2012):

1. Melbourne, Australia, 97.5

2. Vienna, Austria, 97.4

3. Vancouver, Canada, 97.3

4. Toronto, Canada, 97.2

=5. Calgary, Canada, 96.6

=5. Adelaide, Australia, 96.6

7. Sydney, Australia, 96.1

8. Helsinki, Finland, 96.0

9. Perth, Australia, 95.9

10. Auckland, New Zealand, 95.7

Vacations may provoke you to leave your job

Everybody is aware of the fact that vacations are necessary in today’s lifestyle as the stress level everybody facing in his/her day to day life is quite high. Vacations are very good. But a latest study has brought a new fact that Vacations are bad for jobs you hate. Survey was conducted by monster.com on more than 1200 people and 70 % of people agreed on the fact that they thought of switching the job when they came back from vacation. They also agreed that vacations distracted them from their daily routine.

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A new study confirms what we’ve long suspected: Vacations are great for mental health and bad for jobs you hate.

The survey, conducted by Monster.com, found 70 percent of people are more likely to look for another job after they return from vacation. The results are based on a poll of more than 1,200 people who visited Monster’s website in the U.S. between July and August of this year.

Vacations are a great time for self assessment. They offer free time, relaxation and detachment from your day-to-day routine,” explained Mary Ellen Slayter, Career Advice Expert for Monster.com, in a press release. She continued:
These factors can significantly improve your ability to diagnose a persisting personal obstacle; they also provide the mental clarity needed to carefully consider the life changes required to remedy the source of your strife. … Returning after a vacation can be hectic and distracting, but don’t allow yourself to forget what you’ve discovered during your time off.
The findings couldn’t come at a more appropriate time. An earlier survey found U.S. workers are using fewer vacation days this year than they did last year, and still staying in touch to answer emails and check in at the office when they’re supposedly off the clock.

Lack of adequate vacations also (at least partially) explains why work stress is on the rise, in addition to other contributing factors like poor pay and increasing workloads.

Looking for an excuse for more vacation days? Here are our 20 favorites. Otherwise, see below for methods to de-stress at your desk

 

 

Renting a luxurious yacht is similar to a holiday in a floating caravan

Planning to go on a holiday with lots of money?? You should think of cruise holidays or you could plan to hire a private yacht for your family. This way of stylish Holiday is quite luxurious as many of the yacht come with all the usual stuff – such as pool fun, sports, high ropes and great kid clubs. Plus it’s got plenty of restaurants, bars and choice of bedrooms – from standard and family, to swim-up rooms with a pool outside and deluxe which have the full works. Apart from yacht or cruise holidays you can also opt for caravan holidays. Caravan holidays are like camping holidays which I believe every person would Love to do.

 yacht

 

If you had unlimited wealth would you really want to spend your holidays on a yacht?

I was in St Tropez recently which is full to bursting with very rich people on very big yachts; actually bigger than very big – these ocean-going behemoths were massive. So big, in fact, that many of the yacht captains had to tackle the large right-angled exit out of the harbour in stages

And I thought then: what’s so great about being on a yacht?

In case you suddenly get very rich, bear what I say next in mind: yachts are caravans. Admittedly they are big, plush, well appointed caravans which can go to sea – but at the end of the day a yacht holiday has much in common with a caravan holiday.

No privacy: You can’t get away from people either on or off the yacht. Imagine, say, you’re Simon Cowell: on board you have to go to breakfast and have coffee (probably with UHT milk like you do at a caravan site) with Sinitta and other people you invited along on your holiday in a moment of weakness – and they’are all, like, right on top of you. No chance even of going out for a walk to get away from them. And on board you have to make annoying chit-chat with all the crew (who probably hate you).

Once you’re tied up in St Tropez you have to run the gauntlet of paparazzi and crowds of gawping tourists whenever you have to pop ashore for tea bags, a sliced white and 10 Bensons.

It’s eye-gougingly expensive: Owning a big yacht, as someone said, is like standing in a cold shower tearing up wads of £50 notes. Apart from the weekly crew cost and diesel fuel and other running costs (somewhere near £150,000 week for a big boat), there are the astronomical costs of berthing (expect to pay around £3000 per day in St Tropez).

Very rich people are a bit dull: You get to be a billionaire by never having much fun (on your battle to the top, for example you never have time to go on holiday). As a consequence rich people, even rich people from the entertainment business, have little idea what to do on their holidays.

Oki Islands Japan- An Amazing Sight To See

The Oki Islands Japan, located in the Sea of Japan, mark one of Japan’s six geo-parks and a pretty spectacular place to visit.  The area is a grouping of islands, both inhabited and uninhabited, that has a thriving ecosystem and dedicated members of the community working to keep it that way.As put by the Oki Islands’ website in layman’s terms, geoparks are the places that show us how the earth is put together. They are the areas that showcase the geology, ecosystems and lifestyles of those people who live on and take care of the land.

Oki Islands Japan
Oki Islands Japan

The Oki Islands, located in the Sea of Japan, mark one of Japan’s six geoparks and a pretty spectacular place to visit, even if it’s only virtual.

The area is a grouping of islands, both inhabited and uninhabited, that has a thriving ecosystem and dedicated members of the community working to keep it that way, thus being named to The Global Geoparks Network (GGN).

Don’t actually know what a geopark is? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. As put by the the Oki Islands’ website in layman’s terms, geoparks are the places that show us how the earth is put together. They are the areas that showcase the geology, ecosystems and lifestyles of those people who live on and take care of the land. Under the umbrella of UNESCO, the GGN works to “develop models of best practice and set quality standards for territories that integrate the preservation of geological heritage into strategies for regional sustainable economic development.”

There are plenty of things to do while visiting the Oki Islands Geopark. You can pick one of the four tours, like the Nishinoshima Course. This three and a half hour trip, by car, will take you from coast to coast, stopping at four must-see destinations on the island, including the bright red cliffs overlooking the sea and views of the peaceful countryside. Access to the islands is made easy from the major cities in Japan, if you’re thinking of booking a trip.

Japan isn’t the only nation with a number of spots like this, China has some pretty spectacular geoparks themselves. They can literally be found all over the world, if you’re interested.

Beach at Great Yarmouth Fun that doesn’t break the bank

Kids in their summer holidays get bored very fast. A recent survey by Nationwide Building Society showed the summer holidays cost the average parent an extra £1,000 per child. What to do here is an option for your kids if you are staying in Norfolk, England United Kingdom here you will get an indoor water park, a pier at Great Yarmouth, Slides at Vauxhall Holiday Park, clean beach at Great Yarmouth and that too in your budget. I am sure your kids are surely going to love it.

Great Yarmouth
Beach at Great Yarmouth

The school bell rings one muggy afternoon in late July and the nation’s children burst out of the school gates fizzing with excitement and energy.

Roll forward 24 hours and you’re at: “I’m bored. Mum, I’m really, really bored. Dad, I’m sooooo bored. What are we doing today?”

The problem with most of the things you could be doing that day or any day of the six-week summer holiday marathon is that they’re going to cost. Usually, a lot.

In these tough economic times thousands of families have been unable or unwilling to shell out on a big family holiday, either abroad or in Britain. But the harsh reality is that staying at home isn’t a cheap option, either. A recent survey by Nationwide Building Society showed the summer holidays cost the average parent an extra £1,000 per child. Which is where, here comes the drum roll, the self-catering holiday park comes in.

We opted for Vauxhall Holiday Park just outside Great Yarmouth, Norfolk – and everyone loved it.

It was about a 20-minute walk, five-minute drive from the town itself, close enough to be able to pop in if necessary, far enough away to feel like a self-contained holiday destination.

And despite all my efforts to encourage the kids – two, five and seven – to leave the park to “go and see things”, they weren’t having any of it.

Why visit the spot that inspired Dickens to write David Copperfield when there’s a Splash Zone? Why visit the Nelson Museum when there’s a climbing wall and paintball? Duh! It’s not unfair to say Great Yarmouth has seen better days. Daniel Defoe, who knew a fair bit about travelling, recorded it in his travel journals as “a beautiful town”. That was presumably before the 99p shops and tattoo parlours moved in and the recession drove out lots of the other local businesses.

But there are still quaint corners to be found in Great Yarmouth, and its greatest draw for holidaymakers remains its Golden Mile, lined with amusement arcades, cafes and restaurants from which its two fabulous piers jut out into the North Sea like long tentacles of fun.

For generations it has been synonymous with good old-fashioned seaside trips, and that remains the case today.

The Pleasure Beach offers endless entertainment. Entry is free but you won’t escape without shelling out a whole lot of cash on the rides. Beyond the caravan park and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk has plenty to offer. Some of these can be ­eye-wateringly expensive, although nothing is cheaper – or better – than a day on a beach with a picnic.

But in these hard-pressed times there’s much to be said for the holiday park if you can find one with enough activities to keep your kids occupied and you relaxed.

You pay your money up-front but then sit back in the knowledge that if the kids are having a good time you’re not going to be constantly shelling out on day trips and other activities.

My kids, like virtually every child at the site, were obsessed with the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, suitable for all ages and with the emphasis firmly on having fun in the water.

There were also go-karts, an outdoor multi-sports area, trampolines, outdoor and indoor play areas and a club where kids could do painting, puppet making and a host of other arty activities.

There were also organised events, from teddy bears’ picnics to dance contests. Mine weren’t old enough for it but for the too-cool-for-school 12 to 17-year-olds there was also The Hideout Club, which put on sport, music and dance.

For adults there was a gym, beauty treatment facilities, coffee shops, a good quality restaurant and a variety of evening entertainment options.

And, of course, being self-catering there was always the option of staying in your caravan, knocking up a bit of pasta then sitting outside watching the sun go down with a quiet beer for a fraction of the cost of eating out.

A holiday park offers quality, clean and comfortable accommodation and a whole range of activities for the entire family, without breaking the bank of mum and dad. So for anyone trying to beat boredom on a budget – this comes highly recommended.

A book that reveals all Myths About air-travel!

Ever wondered what happens when you flush your aircraft toilet mid-air? Ever thought if you could even open the door at deadly heights? If you are not sure where to find answers to those trivial questions about aircrafts and air travel, here is a book for you. The book titled ‘Cockpit Confidential’ written by Patrick Smith explains the most frequent doubts and Myths about air-travel. This is must read for any air traveler.There has been much debate about whether the energy emitted from mobile phones can cause electronic systems on planes, and even in hospitals, to crash or malfunction.

On this subject Smith says in his book: ‘Few rules are more confounding to airline passengers than those regarding the use of cell phones and portable electronic devices. ‘Passengers should know that the restrictions pertaining to computers, iPods, and certain other devices aren’t about electronic interference. ‘The main reasons laptops need to be put away is to prevent them from becoming high-speed projectiles in the event of an impact or sudden deceleration.

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He continues that although cellular communication can ‘potentially’ interfere with cockpit equipment, ‘in all likelihood’ it doesn’t. He also adds that the machines and electronics in airplanes and cockpits have been designed to shield against any interference. This means the authorities are ‘erring on the better-safe-than-sorry side’ because although there have been no proven cases where a phone has ‘adversely affected the outcome of a flight’, Smith believes that ‘you never know.’

One example Smith gives is if the shielding is old or doesn’t work properly, then the protection could suffer and this could potentially lead to problems. ‘The policy is clearly stated, but obviously unenforced, and we assume the risks are minimal or else phones would be collected or inspected visually rather than relying on the honor system,’ said Smith. ‘I’d venture to guess at least half of all phones, whether inadvertently or out of laziness, are left on during flight. That’s about a million phones a day in the United States.

 

‘If indeed this was a recipe for disaster, I think we’d have more evidence by now.’ The book also tackles the subject of turbulence. Smith explained: ‘Conditions might be annoying and uncomfortable, but the plane is not going to crash. Turbulence is an aggravating nuisance for everybody, including the crew, but it’s also, for lack of a better term, normal.’

Planes are engineered to handle turbulent conditions and the level of turbulence required to dislodge an engine or bend a wing spar is something even the most frequent flyer won’t experience in a lifetime of traveling.’ During the 1980s, toilets on planes used a blue liquid that pushed waster from the bowl into a storage tank.

This liquid added weight to the aircraft, which consumed more fuel, and if it leaked, frozen blocks of waste could end up falling over town and cities. On modern-day planes, such as the ones Smith flies, this toilet system has been replaced by a vacuum. When the toilet is flushed a valve opens to a sewer pipe and the waste is sucked into a tank.

 

The waste is then stored in the tank until the plane lands and ground crew vacuum it out and dispose of it. And on the subject of doors opening mid-flight, Smith stresses the point that: ‘You cannot – repeat, cannot – open the doors or emergency hatches of an airplane in flight. You can’t open them for the simple reason that cabin pressure won’t allow it. Think of an aircraft door as a drain plug, fixed in place by the interior pressure.’

Halkidiki – the best place for honeymoon

Halkidiki is a 3-pronged peninsula village in northern part of Greece. It is Voted as the world’s most romantic destination and hence the best place for honeymoon. Many local people here believe that god of love was born here. The place is full of natural beauty, far away from city’s noise. You will get white sand beaches here. The best services in the world are found here. You can eat local food as well as the food of your choice. Perfect place to spend some good quality time with your beloved. An unforgettable moment of your life.

halkidikiYou know what it’s like. You’ve been together nine months, enjoyed some fantastic weekends away and then comes the big one – your first holiday together.

That was the situation I found myself in at the start of the summer when my boyfriend Jay and I decided to take the “next step” in our blossoming relationship.

We chose Greece, named the most romantic destination in a worldwide survey. According to myth Eros, the mischievous winged god of love, was born there (so far, so good). Our base for the week was Ouranoupolis, a quaint fishing village in Halkidiki, about 75 miles from Thessaloniki Airport. The Greek translation of Ouranoupolis is Gate to Heaven. Impressive!

Luxurious

As we arrived at our hotel, Eagles Palace, our luggage was whisked away and we were welcomed on to the Kamares restaurant terrace for some cool refreshments as reception staff checked us into our luxurious room. Within seconds we knew we’d love staying there.

The five-star Eagles Palace is on its own stretch of golden beach with clear blue sea, luscious green hills and those beautiful views of the bay.

It’s just two miles from the pretty port where thousands of tourists go every year to board the ferry to Mount Athos, where women are banned from setting foot. The secluded religious retreat was favoured by Prince Charles during his relationship difficulties with Princess Diana and I prayed Jay wouldn’t want to visit for similar reasons.

We started with a visit to the hotel’s spa. Before our treatments (I enjoyed a body massage while the boyf opted for the back and neck rub) we took full advantage of the swimming pool, steam room, sauna and jacuzzi. Our hectic lives back home seemed a million miles away.

Before our holiday Jay had told me he didn’t “just like to lie around on a beach all day”. I had panicked – most of my sunshine breaks consisted of hours lazing on the sand or by the poolside, topping up my tan and drinking lots of cocktails (well, they do say opposites attract!).

But in Ouranoupolis we found a happy medium. In fact, Jay’s active side had a positive influence on me and I went to the gym twice (more than Jay did) during our seven days. Another day we even went canoeing. I also managed to thrash him at tennis on the hotel’s court (sorry Jay, I HAD to mention it).

Jay loves to scuba dive and was delighted to find the Athos Padi Diving Centre on Eagles Palace’s beach. Sisters Katerina and Niki own the centre and offer diving trips for all levels to more than 15 different sites. They also take boat trips out for snorkelling.

While my other half was exploring under the sea, I lazed on the beach, read my chick-lit book and enjoyed a cocktail or two (I did say we found a happy medium).

On the beach near the diving centre is the Water Sports Centre of Nea Roda. You can waterski, wakeboard, windsurf and sail, paraglide or try a jetski or banana boat.

But as we had come to Ouranoupolis in search of romance, Jay and I decided to hire a small motorboat for a day. With a picnic prepared, we set sail for the island Ammouliani. Next up was the Drenia Isles, a complex of small, uninhabited islands. After lunch we swam in the clear waters before jumping back on board to travel along the shores of Mount Athos (no, Jay didn’t want to be dropped off there) before motoring back to the harbour.

Before the holiday I had started Weight Watchers after piling on the pounds in the first nine months of my relationship with Jay.

In Ouranoupolis I’m afraid the diet went out of the window. On the first couple of days I resisted the packed breakfast buffet and early evening ice creams.

But after counting up what I HAD eaten those days – and realising it was almost three times the amount I should have, I gave in and we dined like kings and queens.

Our favourite meal was in the Kamares restaurant at the hotel. The food was outstanding. I enjoyed feta cheese with sweet red pepper while Jay had scallops sautéed with corn puree and truffle cream for starters.

Next up we shared Chateaubriand from veal fillet with potato dauphinoise before finishing off with the choux pastry profiteroles stuffed with vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate sauce. Delicious.

We stayed half board at Eagles Palace for four nights and B&B for the remaining three.

On nights when dinner wasn’t included we went to the port – Eagles Palace runs free shuttle buses until 9pm – where we discovered Kritikos restaurant tucked away from the seafront.

We were welcomed by Stelios and although the restaurant was packed he managed to find a romantic table with a wonderful sea view. He was happy to chat and recommend dishes. We shared the spinach with house sauce, sautéed mushrooms, pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes and the barbecued feta cheese baked with tomatoes, peppers, onion, olives and olive oil for starters. Jay then chose the house speciality – lobster spaghetti – while I ordered moussaka. We finished off with a slice of revani, traditional Greek cake, which was on the house.

As our holiday in Ouranoupolis came to an end we knew we’d chosen well. We’d been looking for romance – and had found it.

TRAVEL FILE

When to go

The Eagles Palace hotel is open from April to October.

Hot tip

Take advantage of the events put on at the Eagles Palace hotel, many of which are free. When we were there there was a wine-tasting festival. And don’t miss the hotel’s amazing walk-in wine cellar.

Get inspired

When we were staying at the hotel, a traditional Greek wedding took place on the beach. Planners were on hand to help loved-up couples get ideas to make their own big day magical.

Do try

It costs about £17 to hire a bike from the hotel for half a day to explore the area. You can order a picnic lunch basket for about £12 per person, with sandwiches, juice, water and fruit.

Book it

Seven nights including transfers after September 25 costs from £1,060 per room based on two sharing including transfers and breakfasts. A suite for a family of four costs £1,425.

EasyJet Flies from Gatwick to Thessaloniki four times a week with fares from £30.49 each way.

Super Cars that Offer Speed with Mileage

Ever imagined a super car that gives mileage better than your hatchback or sedan? That could have only been possible in dreams or James Bond movies. But not anymore. Not just one, but two auto manufacturers are putting out their hybrid super cars that offer speed with mileage, the rarest of the combos. The Porsche 918 Spyder and the BMW i8 are going to take this world by storm, if the world is so rich to buy them at their present price point.

Fuel Efficient super Car
Fuel Efficient super Car

Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor show, the Porsche 918 Spyder can reach 60mph in less than 2.8 seconds, while BMW’s futuristic i8 takes less than 4.4 seconds to reach the same speed.

But the sleek sports cars are designed to be fuel efficient as well as fast. Porsche’s Spyder can also do 72 miles per gallon and is almost a third more fuel efficient than the Toyota’s Prius, while the BMW i8 is even less thirsty as it can manage 113 miles per gallon.

Porsche’s £537,000 offering is a carbon fibre supercar with a plug-in hybrid drive, making it the latest racing car manufacturer to try and make more eco-friendly cars sexy.

The company said: ‘Never before has a supercar designed for everyday use offered such an impressive dynamic performance combined with the fuel consumption of a compact car.’ It combines a combustion engine with an electric motor system to boost its performance.

The Spyder has a top speed of 211 miles per hour – 93mph when solely using the electric motor  – and has a V8 engine, which combined with its electric capability, provides 887 horsepower. Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of research and development, said: ‘We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine performance, efficiency and driving pleasure. We have kept our word.’

When let loose around the famous racing circuit, Porsche said that the 918 Spyder completed the 12.8 mile track in just six minutes and 57 seconds. The hybrid car shaved 14 seconds off the previous Nurburgring record for a street-legal car, making it the fastest super car built for normal roads to race the course.

Dr Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project, said: ‘The radical hybridisation of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this record possible. ‘The Nordschleife is and remains the toughest measure of a super sports car. Posting a time of 6:57 minutes, we have achieved a result of which the development team and everybody at Porsche can be rightly proud.’

BMW has finally taken the wraps off its much-teased hybrid supercar, which has a top speed of 155mph and is capable of doing 113 miles per gallon.

The futuristic i8 is the car manufacturer’s ‘most advanced’ sports car ever and is powered by a relatively small 1.5 litre turbocharged engine which, combined with an electric motor, generates 362 brake horsepower. This gives the plug-in hybrid a 0 to 62mph time of just 4.4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

While it is fast, the i8 also claims to be ‘green’ and emits just 59g/km of carbon dioxide as well as being fuel-efficient for a sports car. Power from the petrol engine goes to the rear wheels while the electric motor goes through the front. The car is capable of being driven in electric mode for 22 miles at a top speed of 75mph and BMW claims the i8 can have its battery charged from zero to 80 per cent in less than two hours.

When fully charged and with a full tank of fuel, the four-seat i8 can be driven for around 310 miles before needing to be topped up. BMW has been teasing the arrival of its more eco-friendly supercar for a long time with drawings of concept cars, but has now confirmed the car will go on sale in July next year and will cost £99,845.

Making its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the distinctive car looks like a new member of the BMW family but has upwards-opening scissor doors and daring details like its ‘iBlue’ neon trim on the grille, ‘side skirts’ and back bumper.

Talking about the design, the company said: ‘The structure of overlapping and interlocking surfaces contributes to the unmistakable appearance of the BMW i8. This layering principle allows aerodynamic forms to be wrapped up in a progressively styled package.’ The body is made of carbon and aluminum and the mixture of colours apparently show off the way the air flows over the car, while its shape means there is no need for a spoiler.

The company said: ‘The new BMW i8 combines the performance of a sports car with the fuel consumption of a small compact car, boasting impressive efficiency and sustainability without forfeiting driving dynamics.

‘No compromises, but rather the optimal combination of driving pleasure and responsibility. ‘The BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that brings together the advantages of electro-mobility and innovative engine technology. ‘The result is an extraordinarily dynamic driving experience – with extremely low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.’