Tag Archive: America

Total solar eclipse 2017

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The Great American Eclipse will see the sun, moon and earth become perfectly aligned

Eclipses have both fascinated and terrified civilisations for centuries, prior to scientific progression and explanatory theories, people believed it was a sign that the world was ending.

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will witness an eclipse of the sun for the first time in 99 years, where the Moon will pass in front of the Sun casting darkness across swathes of the Earth's surface.

The sun will completely obscure Nashville, Tenesee at 1.28 pm (local time)

The sun will completely obscure Nashville, Tenesee at 1.28 pm (local time)


Dubbed the Great American Eclipse, the moment will see the Sun, the Moon and the Earth become perfectly aligned in a once-in-a-lifetime celestial spectacle seen from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.

Although we won't see a perfect alignment in the UK, we will be able to see a partial eclipse (where the moon covers only a part of the sun).

Nasa will host an Eclipse Megacast for four hours during the eclipse, which will be picked up by international TV stations.

Who will see it?

Eclipse path of totality in black - 14 states across the United States will experience it (Picture Credit: Nasa)

Eclipse path of totality in black - 14 states across the United States will experience it (Picture Credit: Nasa)


Everyone in North America, parts of South America, Africa and Europe - including the UK - will see at least a partial solar eclipse, where the moon covers only a part of the sun.

However, 14 states across the United States will experience a total solar eclipse with more than two minutes of darkness descending in the middle of the day over the course of 100 minutes.

More than 12 million Americans live inside the path of totality and more than half of the nation live within 400 miles of it. Millions more are expected to travel to cities along the path to witness the phenomenon.

What causes an eclipse?


The diameter of the Sun is 400 times that of the Moon but it lies 400 times further away - which means if you are in exactly the right alignment on the surface of the Earth at the right time, you will see the two celestial bodies overlap exactly.

Where can I see the eclipse in the UK?

Sadly Brits won't get a total eclipse like our friends across the pond, but we will be treated to a slight partial eclipse which will still be worth watching.

It will be visible in parts of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from around 19:35 on August 21 - but make sure you're in a spot where there's no cloud.

What areas will see total blackout?

Anyone within the path of totality will see the sky become dark for several minutes as the moon completely covers the sun. The path is relatively thin, around 70 miles wide, and stretches from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.

It will first be seen at Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 9:05 PDT, with totality beginning at 10:16 PDT.

Over the next 90 minutes, it will cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and end near Charleston, South Carolina at 14:28 EDT.

The lunar shadow will leave the US at 04:09 EDT.

Its longest duration will be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds.

How can I see it safely?

Never look directly at the Sun, even through sunglasses or dark material such as a bin liner or photographic negative.

Makeshift filters may not screen out the harmful infrared radiation that can burn the retina of the eye risking permanent eye damage and blindness.

Also, viewers must never use binoculars or a telescope.

Wear special eclipse viewing glasses - not ordinary sunglasses - or construct a simple pinhole camera which projects an image of the Sun onto a blank piece of paper.

When will Britain next see a solar eclipse?

There was a pretty spectacular eclipse in Britain in March 2015, but the last total eclipse in the UK was in August 1999.

You might be waiting a while for the next decent one too - it won't take place until 12th August, 2026. On that date up to 95 per cent of the Sun will be obscured.

Britain will not see a total solar eclipse until 23rd September, 2090.

Imagine a world…

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MAKES YOU THINK: A blogger has listed all the positive contributions Muslims have made to the world

MAKES YOU THINK: A blogger has listed all the positive contributions Muslims have made to the world

...without Muslims

The internet has been going viral with a blog post on Tumblr which features an inflammatory image of the Twin Towers in America along with the words ‘Imagine a world without Muslims’ - implying that if the religion were to never have existed, the buildings would still be intact today.

Muslims have been getting constant bad press in the news and Islamophobia has become a buzzword. Yet the blog post turned what could have been another forgettable troll post into something positive and thought-provoking.

Underneath the photograph it said: “Yes, let’s imagine a world WITHOUT MUSLIMS, shall we?”

Without Muslims you wouldn’t have:

  • Coffee
  • Cameras
  • Experimental Physics
  • Chess
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Perfume/spirits
  • Irrigation
  • Crank-shaft, internal combustion engine, valves, pistons
  • Combination locks
  • Architectural innovation (pointed arch -European Gothic cathedrals adopted this technique as it made the building much stronger, rose windows, dome buildings, round towers, etc.)
  • Surgical instruments
  • Anaesthesia
  • Windmills
  • Treatment of Cowpox
  • Fountain pen
  • Numbering system
  • Algebra/Trigonometry
  • Modern Cryptology
  • 3 course meal (soup, meat/fish, fruit/nuts)
  • Crystal glasses
  • Carpets
  • Checks
  • Gardens used for beauty and meditation instead of for herbs and kitchen.
  • University
  • Optics
  • Music
  • Toothbrush
  • Hospitals
  • Bathing
  • Quilting
  • Mariner’s Compass
  • Soft drinks
  • Pendulum
  • Braille
  • Cosmetics
  • Plastic surgery
  • Calligraphy
  • Manufacturing of paper and cloth

The post went on: “It was a Muslim who realized that light enters our eyes, unlike the Greeks who thought we emitted rays, and so invented a camera from this discovery.

“It was a Muslim who first tried to fly in 852, even though it is the Wright Brothers who have taken the credit.

“It was a Muslim by the name of Jabir ibn Hayyan who was known as the founder of modern chemistry. He transformed alchemy into chemistry. He invented: distillation, purification, oxidation, evaporation, and filtration. He also discovered sulfuric and nitric acid.

“It is a Muslim, by the name of Al-Jazari who is known as the father of robotics.

“It was a Muslim who was the architect for Henry V’s castle.

“It was a Muslim who invented hollow needles to suck cataracts from eyes, a technique still used today.

“It was a Muslim who actually discovered inoculation, not Jenner and Pasteur to treat cowpox. The West just brought it over from Turkey

“It was Muslims who contributed much to mathematics like Algebra and Trigonometry, which was imported over to Europe 300 years later to Fibonnaci and the rest.

“It was Muslims who discovered that the Earth was round 500 years before Galileo did.

“The list goes on………..

“Just imagine a world without Muslims. Now I think you probably meant, ‘Just imagine a world without terrorists’. And then I would agree, the world would definitely be a better place.

“But to hold a whole group responsible for the actions of a few is ignorant and racist. No one would ever expect Christians or white people to be held responsible for the acts of Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma bombing) or Anders Breivik (Norway killing)...and rightly so because they had nothing to do with those incidents. Just like the rest of the 1.5 billion Muslims had nothing to do with this incident.”

So imagine, what would a world without Muslims really be like?

FROOTERIA: A taste of America from the heart of Leeds

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Do you want to sample some classic American dishes but can’t afford the airfare to get to New York for a quick snack?

Perhaps you want to revisit your youth and order up a classic Slush Puppie or Snow Cone?

Well now, thanks to one quick visit to Hyde Park’s Frooteria, you can have all of this and more.

Launched earlier this month, the modern eatery is the perfect place to pick up a heavenly bagel, packed full of locally sourced ingredients, bought fresh every day.

With a shake on the side, or perhaps an exotic bubble tea, the menu is a unique one for this area of Leeds as Frooteria manager, Mohsin Hameed explains.

“We have tried to bring a new concept to Hyde Park with Frooteria and the menu has been received really well so far,” he said.


“I actually went to New York last year to research markets and menus over there and the things I learned I have tried to share with customers right here in Leeds.

“We have a scrumptious selection of bagels on offer, from American-inspired concoctions, to veggie creations.

“The smoothies have also started to earn a reputation of their own. Packed with fresh fruit and 100 per cent natural ingredients, the refreshing drink is the perfect pick-up during a busy day.”

As well as a delectable menu, all of which is HMC-approved, Frooteria’s interior transports you to NYC’s Times Square thanks to a huge wall mural of the vibrant city where bagels were first made famous.


“The whole idea of opening Frooteria is to freshen up the Hyde Park food scene with some funky new ideas,” Mohsin added.

“Our bubble tea is only available in a handful of establishments across the whole city, with our suppliers only stocking the most reputable bars and cafes.

“Slush Puppies were huge in the 90’s, yet they disappeared as cheaper alternatives hit the market. We have brought them back in a number of flavours, not only for their taste but also for a touch of nostalgia for our customers.”

With the customer always in mind and just a walk away from Headingley’s rugby and cricket grounds as well as being a student haven, Frooteria is bound to be a hit in Leeds.


Contact details:

92 Brudenell Road, Leeds, LS6 1JB

Opening times:

Monday to Saturday 11am-7pm

Telephone: 0113 2755111

Twitter: @Frooteriauk,

Facebook: Frooteria,

Instagram: frooterialeeds


dynamo (338x450)COMPETITION

“Dynamo the Magician’ is visiting Leeds Arena next month and Frooteria are giving you a chance to be a part of the magic.

Simply log onto tripadvisor.co.uk, search for Frooteria (Leeds) and leave a review to be in with a chance of winning two free tickets to the live show.

All reviews will be entered into a prize draw that takes place on Friday 11th March with one lucky person scooping the tickets. Good luck!

BIG MOMMA’S WAFFLES: A taste of the States in the heart of Yorkshire

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Food lovers across the region are being invited to taste the latest craze to take over the White Rose Shopping Centre, as Big Momma’s Waffles proves a delightful hit with customers.

Launched last month, the business is the realisation of a dream come true for sisters, Harpreet and Gurvinder Kaur, who after much research, and a little bit of help from their own Big Momma Jas, decided to embark on this exciting new venture.

Serving up an array of sweet and savoury waffles, with unique creations that really have to be tasted to be appreciated, there is something for every customer at the must-visit attraction.


Prepared fresh every day, the light fluffy waffles have long been a favourite for foodies ‘across the pond’, and now it is your chance to experience a taste of America right here in Leeds.

Since launching last month, Harpreet says the response to Big Momma’s Waffles has been really positive as the aroma of freshly baked waffles continues to fill the walkways of the White Rose.

“We have always wanted to launch our own business and with Big Momma’s Waffles we think we may have found the perfect recipe,” she said.

SONY DSC“Inspired in name by our own Big Momma Jas, we developed the brand around a love for quality food and with waffles at the heart of it all.

“As people are opting to go out for a coffee and cake more and more these days, we are presenting another option to customers which we think they will love.”

Waffles can be eaten either on-the-go or dine in at Big Momma's seating area, with eight flavours of ice cream and sweet toppings available to produce your own unique creation.

From strawberries and cream to banoffee, or even the popular Nutty Professor, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting your special treat.

Fancy something a little bit different? Why not try a signature waffle toastie - melting your favourite fillings inside a waffle to create a mouth-watering creation no appetite can resist.

Alternatively, the ‘Italian Job’ - combining pepperoni, jalapenos and cheese on top of a freshly baked waffle, could offer up just the temptation, or perhaps it is an American favourite of Chicken and Maple Syrup which is your desire.

“Our menu has taken a long time to develop, with every dish receiving the Big Momma seal of approval before it can be served up,” Harpreet added.

“Every option is halal certified to ensure we cater for the whole community and to allow everybody to enjoy a Big Momma’s waffle.  


“We have dozens of flavours available in both sweet and savoury and we invite all food lovers to come down and experience some amazing waffles.”

As well as waffles, Big Momma’s also serves up an array of milkshakes in all the classic flavours, topped with whipped cream and blended with your favourite chocolates such as Oreo, Ferrero Rocher and more.

With something for every taste, Big Momma’s Waffles is guaranteed to have something for you, so head down today and experience a taste of the States in the heart of Yorkshire.


Contact details:

Big Momma’s Waffles,

White Rose Shopping Centre

(next to Dorothy Perkins and Burton),


LS11 8LU

Fighting militants through TV

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In a somewhat unique move, the United States have announced that they are to finance a new 24-hour satellite TV channel in northern Nigeria in the latest fight against insurgents.

The project, which is already underway, is aiming to counter insurgencies by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram and other groups in the region.

A US official said the country would: “support Nigerian efforts to provide an attractive alternative to the messaging of violent extremists.”

DANGEROUS: The Boko Haram militant group have been televised across the world over recent months, due to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls, and now Nigeria will be launching a TV channel to counter insurgent groups

DANGEROUS: The Boko Haram militant group have been televised across the world over recent months, due to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls, and now Nigeria will be launching a TV channel to counter insurgent groups

According to sources, the project has been in the making for two years with initial discussions taking part as far back as 2012. The contents of the channel will be produced in Nigeria by Nigerians in response to the violent Boko Haram group.

In recent months, the US has been one of a number of countries which has increased its collaboration with Lagos, providing greater surveillance and communication in response to violence from Boko Haram – in particular due to the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April.

The new TV channel, which is not yet broadcasting but is near to completion, will be financed by the state department's bureau of counterterrorism and is expected to cost about £3.6m.

The project is run in Nigeria by Equal Access International, a San Francisco-based government contractor that has managed media programs sponsored by the state department in Yemen and Pakistan meant to encourage youth participation in politics and counter Islamist extremism.

According to The Times newspaper, foreign policy experts have said the project faced several challenges in a region with low levels of infrastructure, public services, literacy and security. Access to electricity is limited and few people own televisions.

In addition to the broadcasts, the Times said the project would provide training to journalists in the region.

First book printed in America sells for record $14.2 million

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The Bay Psalm Book, one of eleven surviving copies of the first book printed in America, sold for $14.2 million on Tuesday evening at Sotheby's in New York, setting a new world auction record for any printed book.

Although it had been estimated to fetch up to $30 million, it easily surpassed the previous mark of $11.5 million, paid in December 2010 for John James Audubon's "Birds of America."

American businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein purchased the book. He is the co-founder and co-chief executive officer of the U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group LP.

Sotheby's said Rubenstein plans to loan it to libraries across the United States, before it will be put on long-term loan to one of them.

"We are thrilled that this book, which is so important to our history and culture, is destined to be widely seen by Americans who can appreciate its singular significance," said David Redden, chairman of Sotheby's books department.

Bay Psalm Book

Bay Psalm Book

"We are of course also thrilled to have achieved a new world auction record price for any printed book, which affirms that books remain a vital part of our culture," he added in a statement.

Printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Bay Psalm is one of the rarest books in the world and among the finest surviving copies of original 1,700 that were printed.

It is also the first copy to be sold since 1947 when it set an auction record for a book at $151,000.

Boston's Old South Church sold the Bay Psalm Book from its collection to cover the cost of building repairs and to fund its ministry. It is one of two owned by the church.

Harvard and Yale universities and other institutions own the other existing copies.