Your Guide to Lunar & Solar Eclipses in 2019 and How They’ll Affect Your Life BY:ALIZA KELLY FARAGHER

Overview in 6 pictures of a lunar eclipse in The Netherlands

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Each month, we can depend on the moon’s consistent cycle: the velvety darkness of the new moon, the vivid illumination of the full moon, and all the phases in between. But every so often, the moon’s orbit creates a powerful alignment with the sun, forming a potent lunation known as an eclipse.

Eclipses are dynamic cosmic occurrences that activate the lunar nodes. Simply put, the moon glides across an elliptical that is constantly rotating around the zodiac. The highest and lowest points of this orbit correspond with the lunar nodes, which appear in our birth charts as south and north nodes. The south and north nodes, often referred to as the Nodes of Fate, symbolize our past and future — our karmic pathway. Accordingly, eclipses activate these nodes within our birth charts, illuminating our destiny. So, yeah, eclipses are a pretty big deal.

But even though eclipses are major, they’re actually not that rare. In fact, each year, there are between three and seven eclipses and they often occur in clusters. An eclipse series began on July 13, 2018 and will continue through 2020 that will be electrifying the Cancer-Capricorn axis, shifting our public perception of safety (symbolized by Cancer) and authority (represented by Capricorn) — sounds about right, doesn’t it?

The Cancer-Capricorn eclipses continue this summer with a solar eclipse in Cancer on July 2, 2019 and a partial lunar eclipse in Capricorn on July 16–17, 2019. The final eclipse on this axis will occur on July 5–6, 2020, when a total lunar eclipse at 13 degrees Capricorn concludes this two-year cycle.

A multipleexposure image shows the various stages of a total solar eclipse
The stages of the total solar eclipse in Baihata, India

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What is the difference between a solar and a lunar eclipse?

There are two types of eclipses: solar and lunar. Solar eclipses occur during the new moon phase when the sun and moon are positioned at the exact same degree within the same zodiac sign. In this configuration, the moon passes between the sun and earth, temporarily obscuring the sun. If this occurs during daylight (as it did in August 2017, during the “Great American Eclipse”) the result is breathtaking: For several moments, the sun is completely obscured by moon’s silhouette.

Lunar eclipses, on the other hand, correspond with the full moon phase. But, unlike a normal full moon that reflects the sun’s illumination, during a lunar eclipse the moon emanates the Earth’s shadow (known as the umbra). With Earth perfectly wedged between the sun and moon, the moon exudes a tawny-red tone — this distinctive hue is why it is often referred to as a “Blood Moon.”

What are the dates of all the eclipses in 2019?

According to Time and Date, eclipses will occur the following dates:

 

READ MORE:  https://www.allure.com/story/guide-to-lunar-solar-eclipse-dates

 

 

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Glass straws? Straw straws? Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to plastic BY:David Carrig

The war on plastic straws is growing as more companies such as McDonald’s and cites such as New York are facing pressure to find sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives that won’t pollute our oceans, litter our beaches or wind up harming animals.

McDonald’s shareholders on Thursday rejected a proposal that asked the fast-food giant to report on the business risks of using plastic straws and look for alternatives.

Despite the rejection, the fast-food giant  has begun experimenting with using paper straws in its U.K. restaurants and making plastic straws available only on request.

It is estimated that more than 500 million single-use plastic straws are used and thrown away every day in the U.S. alone as Americans use them at an average rate of 1.6 straws per person per day, according to the National Park Service. That translates into 175 billion straws a year.

It’s no wonder sea turtles are being found with plastic straws stuck up their noses.

Only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling, and “a staggering 32% of plastic packaging escapes collection systems,” according to a 2016 study by the World Economic Forum.

A study by the University of California Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) found that 8 million metric tons of plastic trash end up in our oceans every year. That’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.

Plastic straws are one of the top 10 plastic items found in beach cleanups every year.
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And while plastic straws represent only a fraction of the overall tonnage of ocean plastic, they are less likely to make it into recycling bins, and their small size make them dangerous for marine animals and are consumed by fish.

More: Our trash is harming the deepest fish in the ocean

More: McDonald’s shareholders vote against plastic straw study

This has led environmentalists and conservation groups to add

 

READ MORE:  https://eu.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/05/23/sustainable-alternatives-plastic-straws-recyling/632993002/

 

 

Continue reading “Glass straws? Straw straws? Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to plastic BY:David Carrig”

10 of the best beaches in the UK BY: Clare Gogerty

Murlough nature reserve, Dundrum, County Down

A network of paths and boardwalks crisscrosses this 6,000-year-old dune system leading on to expansive sand flats and the shingle beach. The unusually high dunes are nearly four miles long and lie across the head of Dundrum Bay, with views of the Mourne mountains in the near distance. There is plenty of room here to hunker down among the marram grass, open a flask and, in summer, watch butterflies and moths (more than 620 species) and look for lizards. Common and grey seals are also frequent visitors.
Stay Portaferry Hotel (doubles from £80 B&B, family room from £120) at the head of Strangford Lough is a half-hour drive and a short ferry journey away.

Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire

Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire, England
 Photograph: Steven Gillis/Alamy

A jumble of whitewashed cottages overlook a curl of golden sand and the open sea in this former herring-fishing village. A sheltered bay between Whitby and Staithes, it is a popular destination for rock poolers, walkers (it’s on the Cleveland Way) and fossil hunters. Many of the homes are now holiday accommodation and perch one on top of the other, linked by paths and walkways rather than streets. The Royal Hotel, at the heart of the village, offers homemade cakes and coffee alongside a simple but tasty bar menu and local Black Sheep bitter on draft.
Stay Castle House (sleeps six, three nights from £500) at the top of the village has sweeping views of the bay from a comfortable window seat.

South Shore, Brownsea Island, Dorset

The south shore of Brownsea Island, Dorset.
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 Photograph: Alamy

Reached by ferry from the moneyed shores of Sandbanks, Brownsea Island is a pocket of safe wilderness in Poole harbour. Famous for its red squirrel population and as the site of Baden-Powell’s first Scout camp, its mixture of woodland, heath, ponds and lagoons suits a day of exploration and adventure. From the cafe and visitor centre at the quayside, head to the less-visited pebbly south shore. Tuck yourself into the sandy banks that line the beach and enjoy views across the harbour to the Purbeck Hills in the company of oystercatchers and dunnocks.
Stay National Trust-owned Custom House on the quay (sleeps four, three nights from £622) offers an immersive Brownsea experience.

Seacliff, East Lothian

Seacliff beach, North berwick
 Photograph: Kathy Collins/Getty Images

Accessed via a private road (with coin-controlled barrier), this beach near North Berwick, takes a little finding. The effort is worth it: the great sweep of sandy beach punctuated by rocky outcrops is framed by the romantic outline of Tantallon Castle on one side, and looks out towards the volcanic gannet haven that is Bass Rock. Dogs are allowed all year round and can run free. A tiny harbour hewn from the rock by a local laird is said to be the smallest in Scotland.
Stay There are sea views from the House at the Beach in North Berwick (sleeps 8 from £820 a week, short breaks from £120 a night for two).

Formby, Merseyside

Formby Point; sand dunes
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 Photograph: Alamy

Sunny days see daytrippers surging into the car parks at Formby beach. Most come to see the red squirrels in the pine woodland or to bask on the beach nearby. Walk a little further along, however, and you are rewarded with open space and flat sand: perfect to run with a kite, let a dog off the lead and gulp lungfuls of clean air. The miles of dunes and woodland bordering the beach hop with natterjack toads and other wildlife.
Stay Camp in a bell tent (sleeps two adults and up to three children, from £95 per night) with its own firepit and deck in the woods at the edge of working farm a half-hour drive from Formby beach.

READ MORE:  https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/mar/10/10-best-beaches-in-uk-walks-wildlife-picnics

 

Continue reading “10 of the best beaches in the UK BY: Clare Gogerty”

How to Identify the 10 Different Types of Clouds Posted by Christine Sarikas

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Do you need to know the different types of clouds for school, or are you just interested in what’s up there in the sky? At first glance, all clouds can look pretty much the same, but with a bit of knowledge and practice you can soon learn how to tell exactly which kind of cloud you’re looking at.

In this guide, we show you all the steps to becoming a cloud-identifying expert. We’ll go over the ten main types of clouds and give you the info you need to identify each cloud type, including cloud names, their shape, height in the sky, color, and the weather you can expect them to bring.

We’ll end with some additional tips for identifying clouds, including easy tricks to differentiate similar-looking cloud types.

The 10 Main Types of Clouds

How many types of clouds are there? Generally speaking, there are ten main types of clouds you’ll see in the sky, and we discuss each of them below. For each of these different types of clouds, we’ve included a picture of the cloud, a short description, and the following additional information:

  • Height: Where in the sky the cloud typically occurs (low-level, mid-level, or high-level)
  • Color: The color of the cloud
  • Shape: The form the cloud typically takes
  • Weather: The weather the cloud is usually associated with or predicts

 

Altocumulus

altocumulus

Image source: Angelo Su/Flickr

  • Height: Mid
  • Color: White
  • Shape: Heap-like and often grouped together
  • Weather: Varies

Altocumulus clouds are fairly common clouds that look like round white or gray patches in the sky. They are sometimes grouped in parallel lines and have been described as looking similar to tufts of wool or fish scales.

 

Altostratus

altostratus

Image source: Wonderlane/Flickr (cropped from original)

  • Height: Mid
  • Color: White or light gray
  • Shape: Thick and flat
  • Weather: Usually indicate warmer weather is approaching; can cause light precipitation

These clouds form a white or gray layer that blankets the sky at mid-level. There are usually no patches of blue sky when these clouds appear, but the sun is often visible as a dimly lit disk behind the clouds (although no shadows appear on the ground).

 

Cirrocumulus

cirrocumulus

  • Height: High
  • Color: White or gray
  • Shape: Rows of small patchy clouds
  • Weather: Typically sunny and cold

Cirrocumulus clouds are much smaller than most other types of clouds, and they are sometimes called cloudlets. They are found at high altitudes and are made of ice crystals. They often are arranged in parallel rows. They are one of the rarer types of clouds and usually don’t last long.

 

Cirrostratus

Cirrostratus

Image source: aivas14/Flickr

  • Height: High
  • Color: Transparent/white
  • Shape: Wispy, but thicker than cirrus clouds
  • Weather: Varies

These are transparent, wispy clouds that

READ MORE:  https://blog.prepscholar.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-clouds

 

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Think You Don’t Need Houseplants? Science Says Different By: Noma Nazish

TWEET THIS
succulent
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Whether it’s a bland living room or boring workspace, potted plants are a safe bet if you want to jazz up interiors on a budget. Interestingly, spending a little green on greens can do wonders for your well-being as well. A significant amount of scientific evidence suggests that being around greenery can stave off stress, elevate mood and improve cognitive function, among other things. ‘Nuff said. Here are five proven reasons you need some houseplants in your life RN:

  • They reduce stress and anxiety. According to a studypublished in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, active interaction with indoor plants (like touching and smelling) can reduce physiological and psychological stress. What’s more, even the potting soil can help you keep a handle on daily stress and anxiety. This is because soil contains microbes dubbed “outdoorphins” (M. vaccae) which work as natural antidepressants. “It boosts your mood by releasing cytokines, which then leads your brain to produce more serotonin. So, just by being around soil, these outdoorphins flood your body and boost your mood,” writes Joey Doherty, a Certified Wellness Counselor. Although a walk in the park would be more effective (due to increased exposure to those microbes), being around houseplants can be beneficial too. “It has also been established that plants confer positive changes in the brain’s electrical activity, muscle tension and heart activity,” notes environmental health expert Danica-Lea Larcombe, in an articlepublished in The Conversation. Place potted lavender or snake plant in your bedroom to de-stress and sleep better.
  • They spruce up the air quality. According to the American Lung Association, indoor air can be even more polluted than the air outdoors. Some of the most common air pollutants include asbestos, mold, radon, formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide. Exposure to these fine particles can cause dry eyes, headaches or even serious ailments like asthma. According to NASA, plants like Peace Lily and English Ivy can filter out most of these toxic fumes. They absorb these pollutants through their roots and leaves. Research also highlights that rooms with houseplants contain up to 60% less airborne molds and bacteria than rooms without any greenery.
  • They act as 

READ MORE:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2018/02/10/think-you-dont-need-houseplants-science-says-different/#ee7bd673595a

 

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