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9 August 2017

British chocolate bars take on a new twist in Japan

KitKat bars were launched in the UK in 1935, as an ideal snack to go with a cup of tea. In those days they were two wafer fingers covered in milk chocolate. They have been popular since then, with UK variations including chunky bars, four-finger versions and mint, orange and peanut butter flavours.

But in Japan, KitKats have taken on a new life. There are dozens of different flavours, and the makers are opening a new factory to meet the demand. Sales have risen 50 per cent in Japan since 2010, where it is the number one chocolate. KitKats went on sale there in 1973, and sold well because the name is close to a Japanese saying which means "you will surely win".

Now KitKats are often given as presents to encourage children sitting exams, and more than different flavours have been created since 2004, including regional and seasonal specialities. Flavours include purple sweet potato, edamame bean and wasabi.

Who will buy the UK's most difficult to reach pub?

Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne is just off the north-east of England. It has a castle, a village, a ruined grand church, and a pub.

It also has a road which disappears under the sea for much of the day, when the tide is high. Sometimes people who have driven on to Holy Island get stuck there for longer than they wanted to, if they don't check the time of the high tide.

Now, one of the two pubs is up for sale. For GBP 65,000, someone can take over the Crown and Anchor, where customers sometimes have to stay for an extra four hours if they get the time of the tides wrong.

Kyle Luke, the current landlord of the pub, who is planning to go travelling in his camper van, says the tides are known a year in advance so people should not be taken by surprise. "You can't complain about tides. The place would be pointless without the tide… it just becomes the rhythm of the day."

What do the world's oldest family eat?

There is a family in Northern Ireland where the 13 brothers and sisters have a combined age of 1,075 years and 68 days. This means they are the world's oldest family.

Now they have explained their secret – porridge. Leo Donnelly, who is 72 and the youngest brother, says the family eat porridge for breakfast and also last thing at night.

"We've always followed Daddy's habit of that nice warm bite before sleep. People thought it was unusual but now the proof is there," he said.

Scientists who specialise in why people live a long time have investigated the family's diet. They live on a farm, and eat a lot of food they have grown themselves, including the porridge oats, vegetables and fruit, home-made bread and sometimes meat.

How a UK university may make washing machines lighter

If you've ever tried to move a washing machine you will know how heavy it is. That is because when it spins the clothes, it is full of water and needs to be weighed down so it doesn't move.

Most washing machines have at least one concrete block in them, which weighs around 25kg (4 stone). Now a team at Nottingham Trent University have come up with an alternative that will make the machines weigh less.

They have replaced the concrete block with a plastic tank which can be filled with water once the machine has been delivered to its owner. Dylan Knight, a student at the unverstiy, has helped to develop and test the tank. He said: "Everyone thinks the idea must have been thought of before. No one can really believe it. But I promise you it definitely works."


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