Surf’s Up At a Giant Artificial Wave Park In Wales

Well this is something, ever wanted to Surf within a park which produces enormous artificial waves? you’re in luck as a new adventure attraction has opened within the Conwy Valley in North Wales. Surf Snowdonia is a one-of-a-kind in-land surf facility that claims to produce the “longest man-made surfable waves on the planet.”

It has been a good 10 years in the making and holds the title of being the first Wavegarden surfing lagoon to be opened to the public. The facility has arrived with an estimated £12 million price tag and measures 300 x 120 m (984 x 394 ft) to put this into perspective; it’s roughly the same size of six full length football pitches.

So how does this gigantic park operate? In order to create the waves, the owners have implemented a snow plow-like machine, or “wavefoil,” which moves back and forth along an underwater track which is running the length of the lagoon. As the wavefoil moves, it generates a barrelling wave on each side of the central divider. The speed and size of waves which are able to be produced are controlled by a computer and can reach heights of 0.7 m (28 in), 1.2 m (47 in) and 2 m (79 in)

It certainly looks impressive if you’re into this form of sporting activity, the tech behind such a feat has allowed the park to offer visitors a unique experience which is different to many other theme parks. Surf Snowdonia is also built on the site of a former aluminium factory, its construction saw the removal over 100 years-worth of heavy industrial waste.

If you would like to see it in action, then by all means watch the adrenalin fuelled video below.

Thank You surfsnowdonia and Gizmag for providing us with this information.

Wales Has First ‘Energy Positive’ House in Britain

Wales has become home to Britain’s first ‘energy positive’ house, so-called because it can generate a surplus of electricity which its owner can then sell on. The three-bedroom detached property in Cenin, South Wales, cost £125,000 to build, according to its designers from Cardiff University.

The house is lined with heavy insulation to retain heat during cold months, with solar panels covering the roof and mounted in the garden. For eight months of the year, the house is expected to generate £75 more electricity than it will use, which can then be sold back to the national grid or stored within the property’s batteries.

It was developed to serve the low-carbon housing bill, proposed by Labour in 2006. Current Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, however, has recently scrapped the bill. “It was disappointing to see Osborne scrap the plans,” said Professor Phil Jones of the Welsh School of Architecture. “But the devolved Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish governments can set their own building standards. One reason we built this house was to demonstrate to builders that you could meet the standards at an affordable price with off-the-shelf technology. The housebuilders could do it too if they wanted to.”

Jones says that building his ‘energy positive’ design en masse could bring the cost of each property down to £100,000. “We save money and space by making the photovoltaic panels the roof itself and by dispensing with radiators and making the air collector part of the wall,” he added. “The building demonstrates our leading edge low carbon supply, storage and demand technologies at a domestic scale which we hope will be replicated in other areas of Wales and the UK in the future.”

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.

Welsh Assembly Responds to UFO Questions in Klingon

A series of questions posed by a Conservative MP regarding UFO sightings within the borders of Wales, the Welsh government responded in Klingon, the language of the infamous Star Trek antagonists. Shadow Minister for Health and Social Services and MP for Clwyd West Darren Millar asked Labour MP Edwina Hart, the Minister for Economy, Science, and Transport, three questions regarding UFOs at the Welsh Assembly.

Millar asked:

  • Will the minister make a statement on how many reports of unidentified flying objects there have been at Cardiff Airport since its acquisition by the Welsh government?
  • What discussions has the Welsh government had with the Ministry of Defence regarding sightings of unidentified flying objects in Wales in each of the past five years?
  • What consideration has the Welsh government given to the funding of research into sightings of unidentified flying objects in Wales?

To which the Welsh Assembly responded, in writing:

“jang vIDa je due luq. ‘ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH-devolved qaS.”

The reply in Klingon roughly translates as “The minister will reply in due course. However this is a non-devolved matter.” By “non-devolved”, it means that only the UK Parliament can respond, rather than the devolved Welsh Assembly. Since it was not in a position to offer a response, it seems that someone within the Welsh government decided to have a little fun with it.

Millar’s retort, a cheap gag, made him sound a little sore: “I’ve always suspected that Labour ministers came from another planet. This response confirms it.” A Conservative Party spokesperson claims that Millar relayed the questions on behalf of a handful of North Walians, saying, “Darren tabled these questions after being contacted by constituents.”

An official response – relaying the same response, only in English and Welsh this time – from Edwina Hart is due on 15th July.

Thank you Ars Technica for providing us with this information.

‘Revenge Porn’ Made Illegal in England and Wales

Sharing ‘revenge porn’ is now a criminal offence in England and Wales, thanks to a recent amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. The amendment was passed by the House of Lords last year and is set to receive Royal Assent – formal approval by the Queen – on Thursday.

Someone found guilty of distributing explicit images without permission from the subject, in order to harass, blackmail, or humiliate the subject could face up to two years in prison. As defined by the bill, ‘revenge porn’ is classed as “photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public.” The law covers both photos and videos, shared online or offline.

The law also makes it easier for victims of ‘revenge porn’ to get the offending photos or videos taken down from websites, bypassing the previous method of complex copyright appeals.

Source: Engadget

Cannabis Plants Found In Welsh Street Pots

Wales Online reports that something strange has been going on around the streets of the Welsh town Newport. While Cannabis is an illegal drug in the UK and Wales, its use is relatively common and widespread and rapidly becoming socially acceptable in many parts of the country – especially London. That said, in Newport passers by spotted Cannabis growing in the street plant pots that has thousands of passers-by every day.

Apparently they didn’t last long though, and the spotter (Dean Beddis) stated that:

“It’s actually rather a beautiful plant and stood out wonderfully…But they have gone now. I don’t know who took them…Either the council spotted them or some young type has spotted them and put them in his garden.”

The incident has embarrassed Newport council and police are now examining CCTV to figure out if they have been deliberately planted for cultivation of if they were mixed in with the compost and as compost very often has hemp seeds in it.

Image courtesy of Wales Online