Boardies are water repellent and quick-drying. But the chemical that makes them water-repellent is also a major pollutant. So we need to change our thinking on them.
Boardies could be polluting that beautiful sea in front of you
Boardies and PFAS
PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are chemicals used in many products because they repel water and stains. However, a growing number of scientists are expressing concern about these chemicals. The substances persist for a very long time. They seep into our water and soil, and may adversely impact people’s health and wildlife. And that’s the last thing we want to leave behind in the ocean after our swim.
Human health problems linked to certain PFAS exposure are many. The list goes on: kidney and testicular cancer, liver malfunction, hypothyroidism, high cholesterol. Also, ulcerative colitis, lower birth weight and size, obesity, and decreased immune response to vaccines. So, scientists have suggested a new framework to reduce harmful chemicals like PFAS.
The general rule here is that if isn’t essential, then manufacturers, please don’t use them. And we as consumers should not buy them.
Boardies should be avoided if dangerous chemicals are used to make them
The study was published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It points out that it may be nice to have water-repelling surfer shorts. But in this instance water repellency is not essential. Other products that we should ditch include personal care products and cosmetics, food contact materials, and ski waxes.
Legitimate uses are things like fire-fighting foams, where lives are at stake. Some retailers and manufacturers are already taking voluntary measures to phase out the use of PFAS in their products.
Perhaps you’d just like to go with boardies that are made from recycled fishing nets? Surfers, choose boardies that take a little longer to try. The environment will thank you for it. ■
DO YOU HAVE a business on the Gold Coast aimed at tourists? Well then you might be interested in this. A recent survey has shown that the stage of life we’re in has a significant impact on the reasons we travel.
Are you trying to attract Millennials to the Gold Coast? That’s good, because this group won’t put off travelling, even if they can’t afford it! “Forget what you thought about Millennials travelling on a shoestring,” said Karen Fuller, senior director of global market research at Vrbo. “Our results revealed that they are actually the most likely to go into debt for travel, which is consistent with the notion that Millennials like to accumulate experiences, not things.” Only 27% of Gen Xers and 15% of Boomers are prepared to go into debt for travel.
Gold Coast Accommodation
If you are marketing your Gold Coast accommodation, service or experience on the Goldie, then here’s something else to keep in mind. 45% of Millennials said they’ll travel purely for exploration. 20% of Gen Xers (aged 35to 54) said they’ll travel for a special occasion. Of those, 44% said the special occasion is a milestone event, such as an anniversary or a birthday. Baby Boomers are the least likely group to be travelling for a hobby or activity, like surfing, hiking, or skiing (6%), a 17% difference from Millennials. It seems that each generation needs a different campaign message.
Internet/WiFi access is the single-most important accommodation amenity for travellers of all ages, outranking traditional must-haves like TV and air-conditioning.
For Millennials, the gap was much wider than for any other age group: 72% said they want online access. This is something you’ll need to highlight in your advertising campaign! So get stuck into that marketing plan, Gold Coasters! ■
Virtual reality beaches can make us feel better in uncomfortable situations!
IMAGINE WALKING along a beach on a lovely day. The waves are hitting on the shore, crabs are scurrying in the sand, you can hear the calls of the seagulls. You turn to continue along the path feeling calm and relaxed. Then, you suddenly hear your dentist say, “Fine, all done, you can take the headset off now.”
A recent study decided to find out if having a lovely experience at the beach (in virtual reality) would make the dentist chair better. The study was done while fillings were being put in, and teeth were being pulled out.
Two virtual reality programmes were offered to the dental patients. One was a walk along a beach. The other was a walk around an anonymous virtual reality city. Those who ‘walked’ along the beach were less anxious. They experienced less pain, and had more positive recollections of their treatment a week later, than those in the standard care condition. These benefits were not found for those who walked around the virtual city.
Virtual Reality Setting Are not all Equal
Dr Sabine Pahl, the project’s coordinator said, “Merely distracting the patients isn’t enough. The environment for a patient’s visit needs to be welcoming and relaxing.” The beach virtual reality encounter resulted in demonstrably better experiences in the dentist’s chair.
Dr. Karin Tanja-Dijkstra was the lead author of the study. “The use of virtual reality in health care settings is on the rise. Our research demonstrates that under the right conditions, this technology can be used to help both patients and practitioners.”
The authors of the research stress that the type of virtual reality environment the patient visits is important. There is a growing body of work that shows that natural environments, and marine environments in particular, can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Co-author Dr. Mathew White said, “We have done a lot of work recently which suggests that people are happiest and most relaxed when they are at the seaside. So it seemed only natural to investigate whether we could bottle this experience and use it to help people in potentially stressful healthcare contexts.”
Gold Coasters, next time you feel stressed, jump onto the beach! You’ll feel a million times better! ■
The Black Pearl is a magnificent seafaring beast. The sailing vessel has won the highest honours at the World Superyacht Awards for 2019 – Best Sailing Yacht Overall.
Developed by a company called Oceanco, the boat, measuring 106.7m in length, is the world’s largest private sailing yacht. A team of designers, engineers, naval architects, builders, and project managers came together to make Yacht into a reality.
Black Peal, the best sailing yacht in the world
A true sailing yacht, The Black Pearl is capable of crossing the Atlantic without using any fuel. Under sail power, the yacht generates its own energy. This energy is then fed back into its battery systems. Simply sailing across the ocean can generate enough energy to power the internal systems of the boat. This cancels out the need to run generators. The sails can be set or furled by pushing a button, and can be operated by one person. Astonishingly, all 2900sqm of sails can be set in 6 minutes!
The owner of The Black Pearl has an engineering background. He was exceptionally involved in the entire build process. The anonymous owner said, “Being an engineer, I have a natural inclination and curiosity about new systems and innovative technology. Eco consciousness is vital for the future of our planet. I wholeheartedly support research that will drive us to more sustainability and I have ensured that green technology was very much a part of the creation of The Black Pearl.”
The sails can be set or furled by pushing a button, and can be operated by one person.
Black Pearl Solar
The rig of the The Black Pearl is prepared for solar sails to be fitted in the future. The development of solar sails is ongoing, but when they become available, they will click right into place. This will add more power to the onboard batteries.
The yacht’s interior’s centrepiece is a multi-level central atrium, including a magnificent stairwell and lift that rises alongside the central mast. Rather than the conventional array of rooms at various levels, there is a central, high-ceiling saloon, with a more informal upper deck saloon/cinema. A dining room can convert to a banquet space, with panoramic balconies on either side. A large beach club can deploy landing platforms on either side for full enjoyment of the sea. The interior décor has been decked out with crystal, mahogany, elm burr, and ebony inlays, gilded bronze, marble, onyx, and silk. When your ship comes in, this is the one you can upgrade to. Ahoy! ■
A new type of circular runway is shaking our ideas about how airports can be run using much smaller spaces, reports Nicole Buckler.
As the plane lands, the passengers will experience a slight turn
The Gold Coast Airport is growing. International property and infrastructure group Lendlease has been appointed to deliver Gold Coast Airport’s southern terminal expansion. This is the next phase in the $370 million airport redevelopment.
There will be plenty on room inside the circle for the airport hub
While another runway isn’t imminent, it may soon be required, considering just how much the Gold Coast Airport is expanding.
Another Runway Needed?
A huge 6.6 million passengers pass through it every year, and this will more than double by 2037. And, the population of the Gold Coast and Northern NSW is forecast to grow significantly in the next 20 years. Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said, “The existing terminal is currently operating beyond capacity.”
The side of the runway would be banked slightly
The Gold Coast Airport isn’t the only aviation hub that’s growing. All across the world right now, airports are bursting at the seams. More and more people want to fly, more often. While airports need to expand three-fold, most airports in established cities can’t get bigger due to a lack of land surrounding them. And getting permission for more runways is becoming near impossible.
But there could be a solution to that. The Endless Runway is a radical and novel airport concept, which may solve a lot of problems.
The design allows for less congestion in the air
Dutch researcher Hank Hesselink came up with the idea behind the circular runway, after watching YouTube videos about scary crosswind take-offs and landings. He wanted to design an airport where the wind was not a big issue. The circle design ensures that planes take off with no crosswind, only headwind. With a circular runway, planes can take off or land regardless of what the wind is doing. And, the shape can improve the noise footprint on the local area.
The circular runway can take four times the workload of current airports
Hesselink set about studying this very concept. He received funding from the European Commission via the Netherlands Aerospace Centre to work out whether it was viable. Currently, scientists are using simulators to test the circular runways. The design of the runway allows for three planes to land at the same time. When completed, it will handle the work of four runways.
The circle design ensures that planes take off with no crosswind, only headwind.
The runway is 3.5kms long, and the sides are banked. As the plane lands, the passengers will experience a slight turn, much like a turn in the air. And, it won’t feel like it is a roller-coaster – pilots will only use part of the circle to land.
Planes can land of take off from any direction on the circle
The runway will be large enough to provide sufficient room for infrastructure preferably inside the circle, even for an airport hub. This makes the airport compact, while allowing current-day aircraft to use the circle without significant structural modifications.
Multiple aircraft could take off from the same circular runway, and also land at the same time
Multiple aircraft could take off from the same circular runway, and also land at the same time. This would be the end of congested air spaces – aircraft would be able to fly in to the airport from many different directions.
Currently, scientists are using simulators to test the circular runway.
This idea is a just a concept at this early stage, but it is a great one. And while there are many design hurdles to overcome, we would love to see this at the Gold Coast. Mostly because it looks super cool.
Nicole Buckler is the editor-in-chief at Sunkiss Media. She has been a journalist for over 20 years, working in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Dublin and Taipei. She recently returned to the Gold Coast, saying she has seen the world but the best place on earth is right here, and she’s never leaving again. You can contact her at Nicole@sunkissmedia.com.au