Tourist destinations: Grand Canyon National Park (USA)

Have you ever been here?

The National Park of Grand Canyon is situated in Arizona (USA).

It was opened in 1919 and it represents one of the best natural place of America.

What are its natural origins?

Because of a powerful erosion, the Colorado River created a sort of huge gorge. Accordingly, the river has carved its way creating a canyon 446 kilometres long, about 1,5 kilometres deep and 29 kilometres wide.
This place changes continuously through natural events: powerful rainfalls, show, heat and wind.
Furthermore, also the color of stones suffers many changes because of the light: from grey and brown to pink and from red to violet.

There are different ways to explore the Grand Canyon: for instance by helicopter or by hiking down to the bottom. However, in summer it is not a good idea because the weather is extremely hot.

How many animals are there?
Animal life in this place includes about 70 different species. You can find squirrels, coyotes, the bighorn sheep, the ringtail cat, the mule deer, reptiles and five types of amphibians. In addition, there are about 250 species of birds.

A little curiosity: five Indian tribes live in this region! They are the Hopi, Navajos, Havasupai, Paiute and Hualapai.

The delicious history of the Hamburger

The delicious history of the Hamburger

Hamburgers might not be too healthy, but they taste good.

A hamburger is a sandwich made up of one or two patties of cooked meat placed inside a sliced roll of bread. The term burger may apply to different kind of hamburgers around the world, like the bison burger, the turkey burger or the veggie burger.

The hamburger is very famous and eaten worldwide, however the history regarding its origin remains unclear. There are many claims in different areas of America and european countries, but noone really knows where it was first invented. “The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse (1758) actually refers to a “burger sausage” very similar to nowadays hamburger.

In 1869 a similar snack was also popular in Hamburg, by the name of “bread roll warm” (Rundstück warm), made up of two pieces of bread and meat on the inside.

In 1884 the Boston Journal discussed about the “Hambug Steak” and  on July 5, 1896, the Chicago Daily Tribune made a reference regarding a “hamburger sandwich” in an article about a “Sandwich Car”.

The truth might have been uncovered by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who believes the famous hamburger was first created in America by Louis Lassen, a danish immigrant, who had a diner in New Haven, Connecticut.

Even though we might never truly uncover the misteries regarding the origins of this marvelous and delocious food, the most important thing is that we’re still able to enjoy this fat delicacy filled with cheese, bacon and lettuce.

The importance of being… Oasis!

“I said maybe, you’re gonna be the one who saves me, and after all, you’re my wonderwall…”
Do you recognize this song?
It’s “Wonderwall“, one of the best work of the English rock band Oasis, formed in 1991 by Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan and Tony McCarroll.
But they were a band until 2009. That’s because Noel Gallagher (guitarist, singer, composer and songwriter) decided to pursuit the soloist career.
What a pity!

 

Even if now Oasis do not exist anymore, we’ll always remember their beautiful songs.
Among their best works we have to mention the famous album  “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” (1995), which became a commercial success selling over four million copies. This made it the fourth best-selling album in UK Chart history.
This album contains 3 beautiful songs: “Wonderwall“, “Champagne Supernova” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger“.

 << And so, Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by, her soul slides away, but don’t look back in anger, I heard you say, at least not today! >>

The last one song is partly an homage to John Lennon: in the video, the singer is wearing John-looking glasses and the intro is similar to “Imagine“.

Strangest jobs you didn’t even know existed.

Strangest jobs you didn't even know existed

The Strangest Jobs Available.

There are so many job opportunities around and each one can be more or less suited for different personalities and characterial features. Each one of us aspires to get a nice and well-paying job or maybe a less time-consuming one that can help us earn something for side expenses. For whatever reason you’re looking for a job, the world is full of clever people who came up with the strangest ideas for a job application.

Nowadays you can practically pay someone to do anything for you: to walk your pets, to cook for a family dinner, to plan your party, your wedding or even style your wardrobe. All these jobs seem funny and clever, but there are some that are even stranger and, sometimes, rather curious.

  1. Iceberg Mover: this one pretty much explains itself with its name. You move icebergs from their original location in the ocean to another one. This job became available shortly after the events of the Titanic in 1912. There an International Ice Patrol, part of the US Coast Guard, that monitorates and moves icebergs if needed.
  2. Snake Milker: Tired of being a “boring famer” milking cows? Then why not switching to snakes! Their milk is used in laboratories for research and to create anti-venom.
  3. Professional Cuddler: In some countries people can get paid to cuddle their lonely clients during cold nights. This has nothing to do with prostitution apparently (excuse my sarcasm), but it still is a weird job indeed.
  4. Professional Bridesmaid: If you’re a bride in need of some serious and pofessional bridesmaids that can replace your unorganized and clumsy real friends, why not paying one? Professional bridesmaids are becoming more and more popular, offering all kinds of services for brides-to-be.
  5. Dog Surfing Instructors: If your dog cannot surf properly you MUST hire a professional dog surfing instructor to teach him. Yeah, you can spend money they way you like, I guess…

This is just a quick list but you can find more and more ideas online, be sure not to miss any of this “wonderful” opportunities!

Cupcakes that will win your heart!

Cupcakes that will win your heart

Everyone knows about cupcakes!

Cupcakes are one of the most famous cakes in the world. They’re, as the name suggests, small cakes just right to serve one person and they’re also called “fairy cakes” or “patty cakes” in different variations of the English language. Cupcakes are usually baked in thin paper or in an aluminium cup. They’re very similar to muffins and what truly distinguishes them is their colourful icings usually decorated with delicious sprinkles on top.

These awsome mini-cakes were first mentioned in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons (1796), the first american citizen to write about cooking in a book of recipes. The name “cupcakes” was given to this dessert since in centuries previous to the 19th people didn’t really have molds to bake such tiny cakes, so they just used cups and pottery.

Why are cupcakes so popular?

Cupcakes are becoming more and more reknown thanks to globalisation and social medias. With the possibility to travel around the world and sharing traditions and food, many people are given the opportunity to try out these delicious mini cakes in America and Great Britain, spreading their fame in their homeland when they go back. Cupcakes are also becoming more and more popular thanks to social medias, since their funny, joyful and colourful appearance is perfect to be shared online with friends, followers and fans.

However, the main reason why cupcakes are so popular and trendy is because they taste delicious and contain less calories than a real cake (they’re little so less fat! Or are they…?). The standard cupcake contains: butter, sugar, eggs and flour. Their smaller size also helps with baking, since they can bake way faster than normal desserts and cakes. The best way to make a cupcake is to fill them with more icing, fruit or pastry cream and you can choose whatever you want!

There are thousands of good recipes online and you can make so many different types of cupcakes that you can basically eat for thousands of years. Indulge in your gluttony with these heavenly small cakes and stop caring about getting fat, at least you’ll be doing it right.

Other interesting variations of the standard cupcake include: ball cake, cake in a mug, cake in a jar, butterfly cake and gourmet cupcake. Bon appetit!

The World of Cheesecake!

Have you ever eaten a cheesecake?

Cheesecake is a sweet dessert famous all over the world, especially in America.

It is a not-baked sweet consists of a base of dough made up of cream with sweetened cottage cheese, which is processed with other ingredients.

To make the base you can use the moistened coffee with biscuits, syrup or liquor, or crushed and then repulped with the addition of butter or egg yolk, or even it can be made up of sponge cake or pastry.

To prepare the cream you can usually use fresh and very soft cheeses such as ricotta, mascarpone cheese or other spreads. The cheesecake is often enriched with fresh fruit or chocolate, but you can also use other ingredients such caramel or toffee.

Their recipe can be different. For instance, in the United States  the majority of the cheesecake includes the use of cream cheese or Quark cheese. The type of cheese that you use will affect the texture and taste of your cake. However, there’s not a universal recipe of cheesecake. You can modify and combine the ingredients in various ways!

Today we’ll show you 3 delicious and similar recipes of this dessert: blueberry cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake and pistachio cheesecake.
Let’s bake!

 

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE:

The blueberry cheesecake is a very unique and tasty not-baked cheesecake,such as many baked or not-baked cheesecake, which you cook in every moment of the year.

Ingredients:

80 g butter

150 g of biscuits

250 g of mascarpone cheese

100 g of sugar

150 g plain greek yogurt

100 g of whipping cream

50 grams of milk

4 gelatine sheets

Vanilla extract

300 g of blueberries

4 tablespoons of water

2 teaspoons of brown sugar

Method:

With a mixer crush the biscuits until you have a fine grain. Mix this grain with melted butter.

Take a pan and form the first level (a few cm of height) with the biscuit and butter grains.
Put the pan in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to solidify the layer of biscuits.

Then, soak the gelatine in cold water.

Put 150 grams of blueberries in a saucepan with water and brown sugar. Cook these ingredients for about ten minutes. After cooking, strain the juice and add half of the squeezed gelatine. Mix well.

Heat the milk with the vanilla seeds and add to fire off the other half of the squeezed gelatine. Let it dissolve.

Mix in the same bowl mascarpone cheese, sugar, yogurt and whipped cream.

Separate this mixture into two bowls, then add one-half of the blueberry juice and to the other one add milk and vanilla. In this way you’ll obtain a white cream and purple color cream.

Take back the pan with the biscuit base from the refrigerator and put inside the creamy white. Then, put in the refrigerator to firm up for at least two hours.

After this time if the white layer will be firmed put over the layer of purple blueberry cream and put back in the refrigerator to firm up the cheesecake for two hours.

After this time, take out the cheesecake and decorate the surface as you prefer with the remaining blueberries!

 

 

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE:

If you’re not a cheese lover, chocolate cheesecake is perfect!

 

Ingredients:

80 g butter

200 g of melted chocolate

150 g of biscuits

250 g of mascarpone cheese

150 g plain greek yogurt

100 g of whipping cream

100 g of sugar

50 grams of milk

4 gelatine sheets

Vanilla seeds

Method:

With a mixer crush the biscuits until you have a fine grain. Mix this grain with melted butter.

Take a pan and form the first level with the biscuit and butter grains.
Put the pan in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to solidify the layer of biscuits.

Then, soak the gelatine in cold water.
Heat the milk with the vanilla seeds and add to fire off the other half of the squeezed gelatine. Let it dissolve.

Mix in the same bowl mascarpone cheese, sugar, yogurt and whipped cream.

Take back the pan with the biscuit base from the refrigerator and put inside the creamy white. Then, put in the refrigerator to firm up for at least two hours.

Then, add the melted chocolate on the top of the cake and put all back in the refrigerator to firm up the cheesecake for two hours.

After this time, take out the cheesecake and decorate the surface as you prefer!

 

 

PISTACHIO CHEESECAKE:

 

These type of cheesecake is very tasty!

 

Ingredients:

150 g of biscuits

80 g butter

200 g of pistachio cream

250 g of mascarpone cheese

150 g plain greek yogurt

200 g of sugar

50 grams of milk

100 g of whipping cream

4 gelatine sheets

Vanilla seeds

Method:

Crush the biscuits and add them to with melted butter.

Take a pan and form the first level with the biscuit and butter grains.
Put the pan in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to solidify the layer of biscuits.

Then, soak the gelatine in cold water.
Heat the milk with the vanilla seeds and add to fire off the other half of the squeezed gelatine. Let it dissolve.

Mix in the same bowl mascarpone cheese, sugar, yogurt and whipped cream.

Take back the pan with the biscuit base from the refrigerator and put inside the creamy white. Then, put in the refrigerator to firm up for at least two hours.

Then, add the pistachio cream on the top of the cake and put all back in the refrigerator to firm up the cheesecake for two hours.

Finally, take out the cheesecake and decorate the surface as you prefer!
These are just 3 of the various cheesecake recipes.

 
If you don’t like blueberries, chocolate and pistachio you can cook other types of cheesecake, recycling these recipes and just changing the main ingredient!

 
Some examples of other delicious cheesecake:

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Coconut-Lime Cheesecake
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Cherry Cheesecake
  • Nutella Cheesecake
  • White, Milk and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Oreo Cheesecake
  • New York Cheesecake

and so on…

 

If you are not a brilliant chef you can buy these desserts. Where?
Cheesecake, nowadays is available in pastry shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops or even in the best supermarkets!

The majestic and gracious jellyfishes

The majestic and gracious jellyfishes

Dancers of the sea, both gracious and dangerous.

Jellyfishes are known all over the world and they inhabit different seas with thousands of species and variations. These wonderful animals are also called “jellies” and are charaterised by their soft body composed of trailing tentacles and a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell. 

They move with a notorious free-swimming pace, following the flow. This specific way of moving, thanks to the various lenght of their tentacles, makes them look like they’re slowly dancing with the flow. Most jellyfishes live in the sea, but some of them can also be found in fresh-water. What’s so special about these creatures is that they represent the oldest multi-organ animal! They first appeared 500 or 700 millions years ago and they still roam the oceans.

The beauty of danger.

As beautiful as they may be, some jellyfishes can do more than just cause you a skin irritation if you touch them. There are, in fact, some dangerous ones that can even kill a human being with a single touch. One of the most perilous is the box jellyfish from Australia. This jelly can have tentacles that grow up to three metres and if they come in contact with human skin they can cause a pain so strong that it leads in most cases to heart failure or drowning.

If you want to see some beautiful examples of jellyfishes, you better watch them online or make a trip to the nearest aquarium, since a face-to-face encounter might result in some unpleasant situations!

Where Will It End – Musica for Africa

when will it end musica for africa

Where will it end.

 

When music is inspired by strong emotions and influenced by the very soul’s reaction to tragedy, sorrow and grieve , it turns into a powerful message in the form of a song with the unique sound and the strength to carry meaningful substance with it, such as “Where will it end”.

 

The Tragedy behind the music.

 

To bring this song to life, the pain for the shocking events of the Garissa University College attack of April 2, 2015, in Kenyan soil, that killed 148 people and left 79 injured.

 

The Garissa University Massacre came down in history as the deadliest in Kenya since the 1998 US Embassy Bombing and as the second deadliest overall and was perpetrated by several gunmen belonging to the Al-Shabaab group that later claimed full responsibility for the attack. In fact on April 4th a message from this group was sent to the Kenyan population where they denounced the unspeakable atrocities committed against the Muslims of East Africa and claiming the attack as a revenge for those killed by the Kenyan security forces. They also claimed the site was chosen as one of those institutions built over a land belonging to Muslims and colonized by Non-Muslim by force.

when will it end musica for africa

 

Where Will It End

The Singers and the Composer.

 

The very structure of the song is a mix of many different souls that worked together as one to promote the message of unity that many times is overlooked by the world’s powerful entities in this controversial time of human history.

 

To sing this hymn to the victims and the grief of their families, two African native reggae artists: South African Thuthukani Cele, former keyboard player for Lucky Dube and Congolese artist, Mermans Mosengo, member of the international group Playing for Change.

Their style and unique vocals bring the listener into this journey of words and melodies, accompanied  by the Zulu harmonies of the The Wits Choir of Johannesburg who most of all, is specialized in African Ethnic sounds.

 

This song has been striking the heart of many, so much it has been made into a second version in 2016: “Where will it end” is in fact also sang by the New York singer, Brian Clayton, great soul vocalists who worked alongside great names in the music industry like Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Sting  and Aretha Franklin.

His vocals are accompanied by the Soweto Gospel Choir, the first African native Gospel band, formed by more than 30 members and famous worldwide, taking parts in many international tours and giving their voices for projects like Pixar’s Wall-E, featuring in the Golden Globe nominated song “Down to Earth” with Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman.

 

The creator of this song is an Italian song writer and producer Mariano Schiavolini who made sure from the start of his career that his songs mattered.

His style unites different sounds and harmonies, representing his songs in a pleasant mix of soul, spiritual and progressive rock making it easy and intriguing for many different singers to lend their voices to a noble cause.

 

The Message in Music.

His passion for Africa made the humanitarian message as the most relevant in his songs and outside the music as well making him part of the project “Musica For Africa” who sees him gather artist from all backgrounds and scenes to play as one in an iconic ensemble, grasping with all their passion to the message of unity the world keeps forgetting.

 

The author speaks of his “Where will it end” as an hymn to those students killed mercilessly that day in Kenya, not indiscriminately, but because of what they believed in, martyrs of freedom itself.

 

The lyrics, written in English by Nikki Turner a writer from Cambridge, illustrate the struggle between the two worlds of light and darkness, making the choice that would destroy so many lives for the simple hatred born by ignorance.

 

“When you are the danger in every shadow, then only you can make it right.” these words in the lyrics are an appeal to the very forces who seek to destroy, the forces that pushed the man who killed so many innocents to pull the trigger.

 

“Tell me how can you hate me, when you don’t know me? And who said you should hurt me, before we’ve met? And tell me, who was it that told you, that I could never be your friend?”

The chorus questions are a plea to reason, questions that we could ask to anyone from any sort of background, down from the streets to our neighbours up to the most important world leaders.

Fear and ignorance are the canalizing entities that push hatred forward into feeble minds that commit atrocities in the name of extremism.

 

In the video directed by Loraa White, we can see the parallel experience of two protagonists starting their day.

One is a student getting ready for school, the other is the assassin getting ready to shoot: the story is narrated showing segments of their lives and how they differently cope with that is going to happen and will inevitably happen at the end.

The student’s everyday life is torn apart by the bullet of the murderer, all her hopes for the future she was planning thanks to her choice of pursuing education gone in an instant all because she and her fellow students, in the eyes of a twisted mind, chose to believe in the wrong religion.

 

The message is clear, message from those who died that day to those who will keep fighting: do not give in to fear or ignorance, keep believing, keep studying, keep questioning who tells you the world is to be one way only and that there is only one right.

 

A date to remember.

The second anniversary of the tragedy of the Garissa University College, is approaching the 2nd of April 2017 and to never forget this horrible chapter still ongoing of human history, the song has been released in online stores and available since the 31st of March 2017.

 

The Youtube Video

Beauty and the Beast (2017): the Plot

The famous fairy tale Beauty and the Beast has returned with a movie, having the partecipation of Emma Watson, who interprets Belle.
Do you know the history of this unforgettable Disney animated movie?

 

Villeneuve is a French village, where life is very monotonous. Belle, daughter of Maurice who is an eccentric local artist, dreams for herself a different life. One day, after being attacked by wolves on the market street, Maurice finds refuge in a ruined castle, not knowing that this dark and mysterious place is actually home to a fearsome beast. Belle, worried for the situation, goes to search him. The only way to release her father is taking his place. So she became the guest of that cursed place where people have the appearance of talking furnishings and their master is a rude and heartless monster. But thanks to her courage, she manages to be strong against the brutality of the beast. However, after an episode of rescuing, she notices the most kind and generous side of the beast. Accordingly, between them, a tender friendship is born.
Thus, all the talking “objects” begin to hope that Belle is his true love and she can break a mysterious spell.

Did you know the benefits of Dark Chocolate?

Do you like dark chocolate?

If you buy dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, a lot of benefits there will be for your health and your brain!

  • It improves Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure, allowing arteries to stay flexible and dilated.
  • It is a powerful source of antioxidants.
  • It contains serotonin.
    Serotonin is produced by the brain and it determines the mood. When the production is not enough, it can bring us to depression. Therefore, dark chocolate plays a natural and antidepressant action on the nervous system, making us more excited.
  • People taking regular cocoa have less exposure to cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke
  • It can be great against the sun, making your skin better. In fact, there are many sun creams that contains extracts of cocoa
  • It can improve the brain functions, helping us to think better.
  • According to some theories published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, dark chocolate can help you to live a long life

However, the healthiest chocolate ingredient is cocoa; therefore, to obtain these results, you have to prefer a chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. Chocolate, in fact, contains many other substances that are not as beneficial,such as sugar.