Opinions on Leeds Arena

9 May

The building of Leeds Arena is practically over and its opening is around the corner. Residents in Leeds, West Yorkshire, have been waiting for the arrival of the arena since the city does not have a major venue where to hold music or indoor sporting events. “O2 is not big enough” some say.

Although the opening of the venue won’t be until Bruce Springsteen’s concert in Summer of 2013, people in the streets have already got an opinion. Let’s hear the voices of Leeds on Leeds Arena!

Timeline of Boston’s tragic events

23 Apr
Monday,
April 15

Image courtesy of Christopher S. Penn

Image courtesy of Christopher S. Penn

2:50 p.m. First explosion goes off near to the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon on Boylston Street. Seconds after, a second explosion detonates 1500 yards away on the same street.

2:52 p.m. Chaos, fire, pain. Race volunteers and emergency workers aid wounded spectators and runners and Boston emergency crews, police and firemen respond.

6:12 p.m. President Obama addresses the nation. “The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight.” (click here to see video)

Tuesday,
April 16

Image courtesy of Kalavinka

Image courtesy of Kalavinka

5:15 p.m. FBI says there have been no claims of responsibility, and investigators are considering a wide range of suspects.
Wednesday,
April 17

Image courtesy of Vjeran Pavic

Image courtesy of Vjeran Pavic

2:50 p.m.Contrary to widespread reporting, FBI states that no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack.
Thursday,
April 18

Image courtesy of Office of Gov. Patrick

Image courtesy of Office of Gov. Patrick

2:oo p.m. Obama attends a special inter-faith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with victims, rescuers, and city and state leaders.

5:10 p.m. FBI appeals to the public releasing pictures and a video of two men suspected of involvement in the attacks.

10:30 p.m. Thursday: MIT campus police officer is shot dead at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Friday,
April 19

Image courtesy of qwrrty

Image courtesy of qwrrt

1 a.m. Gunshots and explosions are heard in Watertown. One of the suspects is killed after the shootout.

2 a.m. The FBI releases new portraits of both suspects

4 a.m Boston Police confirm that the two men involved in the shooting of the MIT campus police officer and the shooting in Watertown are the same suspects believed to be responsible for the bombing of Boston 2013 Marathon

Saturday,
April 20

Image courtesy of Marsmet

Image courtesy of Marsmet

6:45 a.m The surviving Boston bomb suspect is identified as 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

8:40 a.m. A U.S. law enforcement official and the uncle of the suspects confirmed that the name of the slain suspect is Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s older brother.

10:35 a.m. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth says it closed its campus and ordered an evacuation after confirming that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is registered there.

Noon State police in Watertown say officers are searching door-to-door but still have not found the bombing suspect.

8:50 p.m. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is captured and taken into custody. Boston police soon announce via Twitter: “CAPTURED!!!”.

FAQ: GOAL LINE TECHNOLOGY

16 Apr
Image Courtesy of Richard Fisher

Image Courtesy of Richard Fisher

 

WHAT IS GOAL LINE TECHNOLOGY?

Goal line Technology (GLT) is an electronic method to determine when the ball has completely crossed the goal line. The objective of this system is not to replace the referee or the official’s role in a match but to assist and aid them in their decision-making.

WHO IS IT GOING TO USE IT?

FA Board (IFAB) has approved two Goal-line Technology systems to be used in the coming 2013-2014 Premier League Season. After passing a series of scientific tests in December of 2012, FIFA announced the introduction Hawk-Eye and GoalRef at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, the same systems that Premier League will be using next year.

HOW DOES HAWK-EYE SYSTEM WORK?

Hawk-Eyes functioning relies on the different angles’ combination of seven cameras focused on the goals. There is not a specific spot for the cameras’ location; however the most common spot is the roof of the stadium. The images filmed from each of the cameras are processed to identify what the ball is and what the ball is not, at the same time that they track the ball.
When the ball comes into their range, the cameras are able to identify the exact timing when the ball crosses the goal-line, and within a second, the outcome is sent to the match referee’s watch.
The Hawk-Eye system has been used before in other sports such as tennis or cricket.

HOW DOES GOALREF SYSTEM WORK?

GoalRef system creates the radio equivalent of a light curtain. It works by detecting the passage of the ball using magnetic induction. Low magnetic fields are produced around the goal, and when the ball crosses the line, a slight but detectable change on the magnetic field is detected, allowing to accurately position the ball. The outcome is transmitted to the officials through radio signal.

HOW ACCURATE ARE GLT SYSTEMS?

The systems are millimetre accurate, ensuring that no broadcast replays could disapprove the decision made. Besides, both systems are precisely built not to be affected by any possible interference.

WILL VIEWERS BE ABLE TO SEE THE IMAGES OF HAWK-EYE?

Yes. The video replay will be available for viewers 10 seconds after the recording. The Hawk-Eye is able to remove the players from the image to ensure that the ball is fully visible.

WHEN DID THEY DECIDE TO CREATE GLT?

The question to introduce goal-line technology began to be raised in 2000 after Victor Ikpeba’s penalty for Nigeria against Cameroon was deemed by the referee not to have crossed the line after deflecting off the crossbar. Nevertheless, the televisions showed it had. The match concluded with the fair or maybe unfair victory of Cameroon with the Trophy of African Unity.
In addition, calls to introduce GLT have grown louder after the recent seasons. The non-awarding goal of Frank Lampard’s shot in the match between England and Germany at the 2012 FIFA World Cup in Bloemdontein triggered the IFAB to reconsider the use of GLT to provide an accurate and exact outcome.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF GLT?

The results of GLT are more accurate than any human observation since the systems are not affected by weather factors such as rain, fug or snow. Besides, if the decisions are decided in an objective manner, there will be fewer disputes.

On the other hand, the GLT might slow the game down, even though the inventor of the system, Paul Hawkins, assures that the GLT will not transform football into rugby, since it is a really fast and efficient system.

HOW DO FOOTBALLERS AND FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS FEEL ABOUT GLT?

According to CNN, football players are keen to internationalize this technology. Tijs Tummers, secretary of FIFpro’s technical committee, assured that players were tired of incorrect decisions over goals. In a poll by international player’s union FIFpro, 90% of respondents said they wanted to see goal line technology introduced.

Where to watch football in Leeds: 8 independent places

14 Apr

Football has power. It has the ability to mobilize football lovers, create brotherhoods between team supporters and to transform an stadium into a community for 90min. It has the ability to make people live, to make people feel. Some even say that football might have become part of the Western European culture. Some might not understand the passion, but football lovers travel and plan their journey keeping in mind that next Wednesday is Champions League. Leeds is one of those places where brotherhoods come to light on football days. The city offers many places where to enjoy a beer while watching the match. Places like Yates, Shooters or Walkabout are usually the most busy places on football days; however, there are other hidden and not that hidden places around City Centre that offer uniqueness, since these places, besides offering the ideal football atmosphere combined with great food and beverage deals, are places that solely exist in Leeds. Desktop1

1. THE LIBRARY PUB

Address: 229 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 3AP Tel:0113 244 0794 Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 11am-1am Sun: 11am – 12:30am

The Library Pub

The Library Pub

This red brick building presented by the name “Library” might seem the reader’s paradise; however, it is the paradise of another type of passion. The Library Pub is not filled with bookshelves and tables; it is furnished with two screen projectors and over a dozen of TVs visible from any spot of the pub. The Library Pub, which belongs to Stonegate and can only be found in Leeds, is ample and has a large people capacity; however, the ceiling is meters away from the client’s heads, eliminating the distress feeling on football days when the place gets fully crowded. The pub offers great deals on drinks, shots (5x£10) and food. In addition, the pub comes with two pool tables available for those who do not love football but like to feel the warmth of the ardent football supporters.

2. ELDON

Address: 190 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9DX Tel: 0113 245 3591 Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 12am – 12:30am Fri & Sat: 12am – 1pm Sun: 12am – 11:30pm

IMG_1113
Young audiences embrace the Eldon’s essence of traditional pub on football days. The bar, furnished with beer barrels as tables and wood stools giving it a classic but at the same time overwhelming feeling, has no music on. This might come as a surprise but according to them, any football fan would rather hear, cheer on, agree or disapprove any of his or her mates’ comments because the spoken word is also part of the match. The pint, which costs £2.05, is almost a must on football nights and the beer barrels rapidly are filled up with empty cups. Despite this, throughout the years, the Eldon as well as having become one of the stops for the famous pub-crawl Otley Run, has become the foreigners’ meeting point on Tuesday’s nights.

3. DRY DOCK

Address: Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 3AX Tel: 0113 391 2658 Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 11am – 12 midnight

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Dry Dock gives shelter to those who miss the ocean and to those who somehow love boats but feel ill when sailing in open seas. This boat offers the possibility of leaving any sea sickness aside, since Dry Dock is ashore and anchored. Dry Dock invites you to get on board and enjoy £1.5 pints watching football in any of their many prow or stern’s TVs. This pub, which belongs to the pub company Stonegate, is unique on shape providing exclusive features. It is well known how football’s intensity warms the atmosphere up, that is why the deck can be used as a scape gate to take a breath of fresh air or to have a cocktail on summer days. Dry Dock is the boat to be to watch football with quality and economic beverage and food deals surrounded by yours.

4. THE OLD BAR

Address: 2 Lifton Place, Leeds, LS2 9JZ Tel:0113 380 1316 Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 11.00am to 12.00midnight Fri: 11:00am – 1.00am Sat: 11.00am – 12.00 midnight Sun: 12.00noon – 12.00 midnight

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One of the most hidden but overwhelming and ideal places to watch football might be The Old Bar. The bar, which is located on the ground floor of Leeds Uni Student Union, is spacious and well equipped on football evenings: the place counts with several screens and a main projector. Football fans have an affair with the projector during 90min since it provides quality image in a large scale. People stand and sit surrounding the projector by the hand of any of the delicious dishes that Leeds Uni offers such as the beloved breaded chicken. The Old Bar welcomes not only students, but people from any age that share the passion of the ball.

5. AIRE BAR

Address: 32 The Calls, Leeds, LS127EW Tel:0113 245 5500 Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11:00-01:00 Fri 11:00-01:00 Sat 10:30-01:00 Sun 10:30-12:00

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2013-04-11 12.29.30

Aire Bar is located in the heart of Leeds City Centre. Behind the small entrance in 32 The Calls is hidden a friendly lounge furnished with comfortable sofas that seem to have been built solely to comfortably watch football in the two large screens. The bar’s basement is converted into a cosy terrace with views to the River Aire becoming the ideal place to relax after the intense 90min match. In addition, the bar offers above 20 different types of red and white wine and beer that can be accompanied with the traditional English dish fish and chips. If two matches are being broadcasted at the same time, the possibility of keeping updated with a phone or a PC is now possible since the Aire Bar offers free wifi to all their costumers.

6. THE HOURGLASS

Address: 157-158 Lower Briggate, Leeds, LS16BG Tel: Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10am – Midnight Saturday – 10am – 2am Sunday – 10am – Midnight

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2013-04-11 12.22.19

The hourglass is situated in the lively zone of Leeds where all pubs and restaurants are located. The two-floor bar, which perfectly fits the definition of an English traditional bar with its wood tables, chairs and parquet, counts with several TV plasma screens and projectors that simultaneously broadcast different type of live sports at the sound of live music. The bar in Lower Brigatte welcomes people of any age that want to enjoy live sports in a warm environment by the hand of a £4.45 buffet. Besides, if the match takes places on a Saturday night, costumers at the Hourglass will be able to start their night-out at the rhythm of a professional DJ.

7. 1871

Address: 7-8 Boar Lane, Leeds, LS15DD Tel: Opening hours: Mon-Sunday: 10am – 1am

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2013-04-11 12.20.13

The 1871 has a great amalgam of clientele. The bar-lounge is part of The Marriot’s Hotel but the doors are open for any football fan. This bar’s atmosphere is quite different from the ones presented in this page since 1871 is filled with Art Deco radios and toy robots adopting a fancy, trendy and modern aesthetic. Costumers can enjoy one of their famous cocktails at the same time that they watch football in a more relaxed, quiet and chilled environment. The bar is easy to find since it is located in between Call Lane and the Train Station and opens its doors for people not staying in the hotel every day of the week.

8. PIN

Address: 24 Street, Leeds, LS101JF Tel: Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 16:00-23:00
Fri – Sat: noon- midnight
Sun: noon – 22:00

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2013-04-11 12.36.16

The active life and the noise of the City Centre might become tiring at some point, that is why PIN is located only 2 minutes away from the City Centre in a more calm zone. The bar, situated on the other side of the river, offers the possibility to make a table reservation on football evenings. Besides, customers’ stomachs will be satisfied by the delicious “PIN Pies” which can be differently build and cooked according to own tastes. The PIN Bar is another option to watch live sports surrounded by yours in a more relaxed part of the city.

We all like the Likes

9 Apr

Nowadays it’s weird to meet someone who has not been yet captured by any social media. Facebook, as well as being the via of communication of the 21st century, has become a parallel World where we all reflect who we are (or at least who we pretend to be).

Image courtesy of  MacEntee S.

Image courtesy of MacEntee S.

We want to keep our Fb profile organized and updated with our latest plans, travels and parties. Feeds usually come by the hand of photographic proof: people love to show and see pictures. We upload nice pictures (either of you, your dog or the bug you found on the street this morning) and we post in our Walls, not for us, but for our Fb friends. Otherwise, why would you post for? If you post a video, you’ve seen the video already, so why would you post it if it wasn’t for others to see? We exclusively post for our Fb friends and we wait for them to respond, after all, the pleasant part of social networking is the feedback.

Facebook’s and Instagram‘s “Likes”, as well as Twitter‘s “Favorite” or “Retweet”, are the nicotine buttons of Social Media.Most smokers admit to be dependent on nicotine whilst some others, that smoke one day after another, claim not to be addicted. The latter don’t exist. If you are a regular smoker, you want nicotine.

Something similar happens with Social Media.

Some Facebook users admit that they like feedback, others say that they don’t care. The seconds are mistaken, if they posted and no one ever liked or commented their posts, they would stop doing it since interaction, the very base and essence of social media, would be dead. Besides, I personally don’t believe how someone can have one of those red notifications on top of the page and not even be a bit pleased. You post something for the others to see so you can get feedback . We don’t post just for the pleasure of posting (as well as smokers don’t smoke water cigarretes), we want something in return.

Besides, the more feedback you get, the more feedback you want. There are many ways to increase your interaction, if you “Like” your colleague’s pictures, they’ll “Like” yours back and if you follow 3000 people in Twitter, at least 600 will follow you back. It’s all about giving and receiving or vice versa.

Same things happens with blogs. It’s self-satisfying to receive feedback and to see the number of views your blog has by the end of the day. However, increasing blog’s visitors is hard, specially when your blog is a newborn, this is why journalists at Leeds Met have posted some tips on How to attract people to your blog that you can follow to increase your blog traffic.

Apple’s wristwatch: the new iWatch

5 Mar

The opportunity of becoming James Bond is getting closer. His watches’ impossibilities, the ones people have witnessed and admired since Sean Connery appeared in the big screen, might be at our disposal due to iWatch. Truth be told, buyers will not likely be able to blow up cars or drive private jets by pressing certain buttons; however, rumours about Apple’s launching its first wrist device have begun.

iWatch. Image courtesy of Brett J.

iWatch. Image courtesy of Brett J.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is currently working on this new challenge to have it ready by Christmas of 2013. There are rumours around the cybernetic universe claiming that the Apple’s wristwatch (iWatch) will incorporate the iOS system, ruling out the simplest system created for the iPod Nano.

It is not the first time a company wants to play 007’s role; other companies have attempted to create a ‘smartwatch’ but they have failed to do so. Microsoft gave up on its version in 2008 and Sony tried to create a design able to connect to mobile phones. 
However, Apple could take advantage of being the “most valuable company of all time”  and launch a watch that made the difference, since, after all, Apple has always “thought different”.

The creation of a “smartwatch” will also be a test for the company. Most Apple users complain about the non-long-lasting batteries of the company’s products. This weakness (or strategy to ensure a new purchase once the battery has grown old and does not last half a day) needs to be taken care of since a watch that is only able to show the time a limited amount of hours looses its feature as a watch. Nevertheless, if the battery were fabricated to last at least 2 or 3 days, it would become a wrist device beyond a simple watch. Apart from being a source of time it could become a phone, a calculator, an iPod and a weather forecaster.

Some think that the iWatch will be a failure, others that it will be the best mechanism ever created and some others do not believe Apple will ever launch such thing. For now, the future of the iWatch is uncertain; however, if there’s smoke, there’s fire…

Leeds: Live it, Love it, Eat it

26 Feb

Eating out in Leeds: Jamie’s restaurant . Image courtesy of The Food Place

Leeds seems to have been built to welcome foreigners. The essence of Leeds stays in the crash or meeting of the different cultures, in other words, in the cosmopolitan aspect of the city.

Throughout the years, the shock of cultures have transformed Leeds into an empire of good taste since all different type of dishes that are served around the globe are close at hand, allowing the natives to discover the different cultures through the palate and providing the foreigners a warm welcome offering a home-feeling solely based on the sense of taste.

However, as it is known: if more options are offered, more chances are to get something wrong. Therefore some research must be done before stepping into the Leeds’ food land to rightly choose what better suits oneself.  Bloggers, who are usually ordinary people and most of the time work non-lucrative, can provide an honest and helpful opinion during the decision making process. Leeds’ food blogsphere is an endless dimension where researchers can found themselves easily lost, that is the reason why blogs written by Helen Simpson or Katie Bolton must be used as leading material.

Blogs are like good wine: the passage of time and the prestige that a certain brand has been building almost assure the consumer (in this case: the visitor of the blog) a good purchase. Food is not only a necessity but also a pleasure.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well – Virginia Woolf

Katie Bolton writes food blog Leeds Grub. Her personal aim since the day she created the blog was “to seek out some of the best eateries in Leeds, focusing on small, local businesses that serve truly tasty food that is also value for money”. Her ‘prestige’ as blogger can be stated by Leeds links: The City’s Top Food Blogs, a report published by The Guardian which qualified Bolton as a trustworthy food blogger; and at the same time, offered her perspective on some other blogs also dedicated to cuisine that she considered worth visiting such: Them Apple or The Good Stuff.
The Leeds Grub space does not give a simple advice on where to go. Bolton’s posts offer a good set of photographs of the food served (it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words) that are always backed up with her personal experience and thoughts. To conclude her posts she cleverly creates a section at the end where she ranks from 1 to 5: the presentation of the food, the taste, the ambiance of the place and also the service. She completes her work with the average price and with local’s address. Her blog does not always advice places to have big courses but also recommends places to have a bite, for example: Afternoon Tea Oulton Hall describes a typical English tea station that many foreigns, and also natives, would find overwhelming.

On the other hand, Helen Simpson writes with no fear about her food experiences on her blog The Writing of a Food Lover. She confesses that her biggest passion is the Italian cuisine even though her Jamie’s Italian Experience was not the most suitable. Differentiating from Bolton, Simpson frequents exotic places such as Thai Edge, which she strongly recommends or the argentinean Gaucho. Nevertheless, an ordinary burger carefully cooked with quality ingredients can become as exotic as a dish from Thailand, for Simpson a classic burger in Gourmet Burger became: “without a doubt, the best burger ever tasted”.

However, for many westerners no meal can be considered finished without the taste of good coffee. “Rich”, who writes the food blog mentioned above Them Apple, crucifies both Costa and even the beloved Starbucks coffee establishing Mrs Atha’s Coffee Shop as the ideal place for an authentic cup of coffee.

Leeds allows oriental visitors to enjoy their typical phrik nam pla, the South Americans to enjoy the famous and sweet dulce de leche and the West Europeans to enjoy a cup of coffee better than the Starbucks’. In other words, Leeds gathers different cultures by the art of cuisine, fact that makes the city not only cosmopolitan but also a good place to live when food is considered a pleasure of life.

Understanding Quentin Tarantino

20 Feb

Movies lead us to places and times we have never been either seen. I thank directors, actors and the rest of the crew for their existence because after all, movies are one of my biggest passions.

Today, after watching Djando Uchained this past week, I want to thank Quentin Tarantino.

Quentin Tarantino

Even though I visit the IMDb site regularly (for me the most trustworthy movies’ site by far) and I had heard about Tarantino’s existence I oddly discovered him not long ago. When I say ‘discover’ I mean, discover myself as one of his fans.

My first meeting with one of his works occurred with Inglorious Basterds. After watching Brad Pitt cutting people’s scalps, my opinion was easily built: I did not like it. I was not happy about my rejection because I was aware of many cinema lovers’ devotion towards his work, so I decided to take a break and leave him aside for some time. After digesting the basterds’ bloodshed, I decided to give him (or maybe myself) a second chance and try with Pulp Fiction (I used to be the biggest fan of Grease so I decided to go for Travolta).

My Pulp Fiction experience wider my vision towards his style. I found myself enjoying his humour and appreciating the clever division of the movie into little ‘stories’. When the final credits bumped into the screen I had an heterogeneous opinion that mixed random components like perplexity, confusion or enjoyment… I dare to say that I liked it. I discovered an intelligent script camouflaged or hidden between ironic situations; I realized how the cast was accurately selected; I enjoyed the soundtracks impeccably composed to fit each scene; and I also recognized how the photographic framing was perfectly thought taking into consideration small details that needed to be shown.

Tarantino’s movies have an style that can only be understood with time. His movies need digestion. They are like a good tea: while drinking it you can enjoy it more or less but, at the end, when the cup is empty, the warm feeling you find is always good.

I recently watched Inglorious Basterds again. I am still not a big fan of Pitt’s hobby for scalps but I do love the sense of humor, the sarcasm, the irony and the cast that the film provides.

Don’t rush if you don’t get Tarantino at first, you eventually will. If that does not occur to you, I would recommend you to watch some of his movies in any case, because some actors are worth being watched. Djando (a bit long but fantastic) could be an option, just because of the role that Christoph Waltz plays. He outdoes himself.

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Happy Valentine’s day!

14 Feb

Happy Valentine's day!

Why not celebrate? Enjoy your day