The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Action Biker is a 1985 game for the Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum released by Mastertronic. The game was a tie-in with snack food KP Skips, whose mascot was "Clumsy Colin" who featured in television adverts for Skips at around the time the game was published. Although marketed under the same title, the ZX Spectrum version of Action Biker differs from the Atari and C64 versions, to the extent that Retro Gamer magazine featured it in their "Same Name, Different Game" column; the music was composed by C64 game musician Rob Hubbard. The player controls the protagonist Clumsy Colin who rides a motorbike and has to navigate a landscape to extra equipment to improve the bike. Once all pieces are collected the player performs a final drag race. There is a time limit, the player has a limited number of lives reduced by crashing into background objects; the Atari and Commodore 64 versions feature an isometric view of the town, which wraps around at the edges. The Spectrum has a different viewpoint.
There are several key areas to the map: the petrol station, the lakes, the rollercoaster and the building site. Among the extras collected are a new gearbox, water-skis or a snorkel and a larger fuel tank. Although the Spectrum version shares the basic gameplay elements of navigating a motorbike around a scrolling city and collecting objects with the Atari and C64 versions, it is otherwise different in both plot and execution; the aim of this version, according to the instructions is to "find friend Marti and take him to the spaceport". Items helping him do; however "the alarm is set to go off at 8 o'clock and wake him up", Colin will "wake up" if he collides with other vehicles. While it may be implied that the game- including the otherwise incongruous "spaceport" reference- takes place within Colin's dream, the instructions do not explicitly state this. Further picking up Martin in the game gives you a message that he should be taken to the "airport", not the spaceport. In addition, Colin's bike has limited fuel, but "he can gain energy by eating Skips or by refueling at a garage."
The Commodore 64 version was positively reviewed by Zzap!64 who thought it was one of the best Mastertronic titles to date and excellent value for money. It was given an 83% overall score; the Spectrum version received poor reviews. A contemporary Sinclair User review commented that "why Colin is asleep is a mystery." Action Biker at Atari Mania Action Biker at Lemon 64 Action Biker at SpectrumComputing.co.uk Action Biker video
Mastertronic was a publisher and distributor of low-cost computer game software founded in 1983. Their first games were distributed in mid-1984. At its peak the label was the dominant software publisher in the UK, a position achieved by selling cassette-based software at the GB£1.99 and £2.99 price-points. As well as being an exclusive wholesaler of computer games to Woolworth's, Toys "R" Us and other leading retailers, Mastertronic sold software in outlets such as newsagents which had not been associated with the software market. Diversification included the setting up of US operations to source and distribute their software, as well as an unsuccessful arcade games division. However, it was their decision to market the Sega Master System in the UK that proved most successful, it resulted in the Master System selling much better against its rival, the NES than in many other territories and was cited by some as Virgin Group's reason for investing in the company. As the budget software market declined, the Sega hardware distribution became the dominant part of the business, the company was merged into Sega itself.
Although the original company no longer exists, the rights to the name were acquired by another company, Mastertronic Group, formed as a result of a merger of The Producers and Sold Out Sales & Marketing in 2006. In 1983 Martin Alper, Frank Herman, Terry Medway and Alan Sharam founded the computer game publishing company Mastertronic; the four had some financial backing from a small group of outside investors and previous experience in video distribution. Their initial venture involved bundling packages of 100 tapes and sending them to news agents, toy shops, motorway service stations, or just about anyone who would take them. At that time mainstream retailers refused to take the risk on budget games because of poor quality and sales. Mastertronic won them over with a regular supply of good quality and high selling games. Another key figure at the time was ex-Notts Cricket batsman Richard Bielby who ran a distribution network servicing a large number of small retailers. In late 1985 Mastertronic launched their M.
A. D label; this meant that they could sell games at a higher price. The first M. A. D. Game was The Last V8 and many more were soon to follow. Martin Alper, who had the most marketing flair, went to the United States in 1986 to set up Mastertronic Inc; the UK company was managed by Frank Herman, whilst Alan Sharam specialised in sales and logistics. As the business continued to grow Mastertronic created another label in 1986 -'Entertainment USA', when it began working with several American writers, including Sculptured Software and Randall Masteller, they wanted an outlet to sell games to the UK market, so Mastertronic moved in using Rob Hubbard or David Whittaker to re-do the music. Soon afterwards, this name was used by Woolworths as the new name for their wholesale business. In 1987 Mastertronic decided to expand their distribution of software and began exporting titles back across the Atlantic, so the label "Bulldog" was created to distribute the'Best of British' games in the US. Several other labels were invented for other publishers who wanted them to re-issue their old full price product at budget prices, such as Rack-it for Hewson and Americana for U.
S. Gold; however by this time the market for budget games had begun to decline sharply. A typical game might sell 50,000 units in 1986, but only 15,000 in 1988 and 5,000 in 1990; this was the impact of more competitors in the budget market, with many companies dumping their full-price product at the cheaper price point. Mastertronic bought out Melbourne House when that label was struggling with financial problems - this meant that they had first refusal on re-releases of games such as The Way of the Exploding Fist, and so their re-release label'Ricochet' was born. They pulled off a few major re-releases at most notably Crazy Comets and Impossible Mission. During the late 1980s, Mastertronic started a venture to develop arcade games under the name Arcadia; the intent was that the hardware would be based around the chipset from Commodore's Amiga computers, that the same game could run on both Arcadia hardware and home systems, reducing development cost. However, Arcadia was a failure. Guter noted that while those within Mastertronic who played games were aware of the difference in style between arcade and home games, the directors in charge of the company were not.
According to Guter, Arcadia's failure nearly bankrupted the company. Having bought Melbourne House and with heavy financial commitments to the Arcadia project Mastertronic itself was now suffering severe cash flow problems. Virgin stepped in and Richard Branson purchased the 45% of shares held by the outside investment group; the remaining 55% was held by Alper and Sharam until 1988 when they sold out in a complex deal which required their continuing involvement in the business and achievement of profit and cash flow targets. The company was renamed the'Mastertronic Group Ltd', was merged with Virgin Games to create'Virgin Mastertronic'. Virgin had their own team of programmers and wrote many of their games in-house, a major change to the way Mastertroni
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland, its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate, free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, most of it is non-native conifer plantations.
There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus moderate, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD; the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became sovereign over the following decades, Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language; the island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, sports such as association football, horse racing, golf. The names Éire derive from Old Irish Eriu; this in turn comes from the Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning'fat, prosperous'. During the last glacial period, up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.
By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. It is not until about 8000 BC, that more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island; these Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC. Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, stone monuments; the earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Co.. Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.
An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops; the Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included Britain, western France and Iberia, that this is where Celtic languages developed; this contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.
The most recent genetic research s
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum. In many contexts, potato refers to the edible tuber, but it can refer to the plant itself. Common or slang terms include tater and spud. Potatoes were introduced to Europe in the second half of the 16th century by the Spanish. Today they are a staple food in many parts of the world and an integral part of much of the world's food supply; as of 2014, potatoes were the world's fourth-largest food crop after maize and rice. Wild potato species can be found from the United States to southern Chile; the potato was believed to have been domesticated independently in multiple locations, but genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species traced a single origin for potatoes. In the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia, from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex, potatoes were domesticated 7,000–10,000 years ago. In the Andes region of South America, where the species is indigenous, some close relatives of the potato are cultivated.
Following millennia of selective breeding, there are now over 1,000 different types of potatoes. Over 99% of presently cultivated potatoes worldwide descended from varieties that originated in the lowlands of south-central Chile, which have displaced popular varieties from the Andes; the importance of the potato as a food source and culinary ingredient varies by region and is still changing. It remains an essential crop in Europe eastern and central Europe, where per capita production is still the highest in the world, while the most rapid expansion in production over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia, with China and India leading the world in overall production as of 2014. Being a nightshade similar to tomatoes, the vegetative and fruiting parts of the potato contain the toxin solanine and are not fit for human consumption. Normal potato tubers that have been grown and stored properly produce glycoalkaloids in amounts small enough to be negligible to human health, but if green sections of the plant are exposed to light, the tuber can accumulate a high enough concentration of glycoalkaloids to affect human health.
The English word potato comes from Spanish patata. The Spanish Royal Academy says the Spanish word is a hybrid of the Taíno batata and the Quechua papa; the name referred to the sweet potato although the two plants are not related. The 16th-century English herbalist John Gerard referred to sweet potatoes as "common potatoes", used the terms "bastard potatoes" and "Virginia potatoes" for the species we now call "potato". In many of the chronicles detailing agriculture and plants, no distinction is made between the two. Potatoes are referred to as "Irish potatoes" or "white potatoes" in the United States, to distinguish them from sweet potatoes; the name spud for a small potato comes from the digging of soil prior to the planting of potatoes. The word has an unknown origin and was used as a term for a short knife or dagger related to the Latin "spad-" a word root meaning "sword", it subsequently transferred over to a variety of digging tools. Around 1845, the name transferred to the tuber itself, the first record of this usage being in New Zealand English.
The origin of the word "spud" has erroneously been attributed to an 18th-century activist group dedicated to keeping the potato out of Britain, calling itself The Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet. It was Mario Pei's 1949 The Story of Language. Pei writes, "the potato, for its part, was in disrepute some centuries ago; some Englishmen who did not fancy potatoes formed a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet. The initials of the main words in this title gave rise to spud." Like most other pre-20th century acronymic origins, this is false, there is no evidence that a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet existed. Potato plants are herbaceous perennials that grow about 60 cm high, depending on variety, with the leaves dying back after flowering and tuber formation, they bear white, red, blue, or purple flowers with yellow stamens. In general, the tubers of varieties with white flowers have white skins, while those of varieties with colored flowers tend to have pinkish skins.
Potatoes are cross-pollinated by insects such as bumblebees, which carry pollen from other potato plants, though a substantial amount of self-fertilizing occurs as well. Tubers form in response to decreasing day length, although this tendency has been minimized in commercial varieties. After flowering, potato plants produce small green fruits that resemble green cherry tomatoes, each containing about 300 seeds. Like all parts of the plant except the tubers, the fruit contain the toxic alkaloid solanine and are therefore unsuitable for consumption. All new potato varieties are grown from seeds called "true potato seed", "TPS" or "botanical seed" to distinguish it from seed tubers. New varieties grown from seed can be propagated vegetatively by planting tubers, pieces of tubers cut to include at least one or two eyes, or cuttings, a practice used in greenhouses for the production of healthy seed tubers. Plants propagated from tubers are clones of the parent, whereas those propagated from seed produce a range of different varieties.
There are about 5,000 potato varieties worldwide. Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, they belong to eight or nine species, dependin
Pickled onions are a food item consisting of onions pickled in a solution of vinegar and salt with other preservatives and flavourings. There is a variety of small white pickled onions known as'silverskin' onions, due to imperfections they are pickled instead of being wasted, they are used as an essential component of the Martini cocktail variant known as a Gibson. Pickled onions are pickled in malt vinegar and the onions are about an inch in diameter. Silverskin onions are pickled in white vinegar, are much smaller. Full sized onions, e.g. Spanish Onions, can be pickled. In the Southern United States, pickled Vidalia onions can be served as a side dish. In Hong Kong, pickled onions are served in many Cantonese restaurants around dinner time, as a small dish before the main course is served. In Switzerland, they are served to accompany raclette, along with pickled gherkins. In Italy, it is known as'maggiolina'. In Mexican cuisine, one preparation, cebollas encurtidas, has sliced red onions pickled in a mixture of citrus juices and vinegar, served as a garnish or condiment.
Sometimes cooked beets are added, producing a more pink coloured dish. Pickled red onions in bitter orange juice are emblematic of Yucatan cuisine, where they are used as a garnish or condiment for seafood. List of onion dishes List of pickled foods – List of links to Wikipedia articles on pickled foods Oriental onion – Edible species of plant native to China and Korea
My Family is a British sitcom created and co-written by Fred Barron, produced by DLT Entertainment and Rude Boy Productions, broadcast by BBC One for eleven series between 2000 and 2011, with Christmas specials broadcast from 2002 onwards. My Family was voted 24th in the BBC's "Britain's Best Sitcom" in 2004 and was the most watched sitcom in the United Kingdom in 2008; as of 2011, it is one of only twelve British sitcoms. Set in Chiswick in west London, it stars Robert Lindsay as Ben Harper, Zoë Wanamaker as his wife Susan, Kris Marshall, Daniela Denby-Ashe, Gabriel Thomson as their children Nick and Michael. Since the show’s debut, several characters have left and others have been introduced; the character of Janey left in 2002 returned in 2004 and remained until the end. Kris Marshall's character, left in 2005 and returned for occasional brief guest appearances, though he was mentioned by other characters; the character of Abi, as played by Siobhan Hayes, was introduced in 2002 and left in 2008.
The characters of Roger and Alfie were introduced in 2003 and 2005, played by Keiron Self and Rhodri Meilir. In 1999, Fred Barron was considering producing a British sitcom the same way sitcoms were produced in the U. S. My Family was to feature a group of writers rather than the standard one or two, something, attempted in the UK with shows including Goodnight Sweetheart and On the Buses, but was atypical. My Family was consciously designed to have wide appeal, with characters viewers could build a relationship with in the same way as previous BBC sitcom 2point4 Children which focuses around a similar family unit; the show chronicles the lives of the Harpers, a fictional middle-class British family who live at 78 Lancaster Road, London. Dentist Ben and his wife Susan, a tour guide who works for an art gallery, have three children: Nick and Michael, who endanger their lives. Susan is a control freak, but Ben prefers to leave the children to it and stay as uninvolved as possible. Janey goes to University, but drops out and moves back in while Nick gets his own place.
Focusing on Ben and Susan, the show featured sub-stories ranging from Nick's schemes to Abi and Roger's love life. It is described as a "dysfunctional family"-style sitcom. Nick's bizarre jobs became a major feature of the first four series. After the departure of Nick more prominence was given to Abi and Roger's love life, Michael's misadventures, Janey's endless list of boyfriends, Alfie's dream of musical stardom; the show saw considerable development and change in its characters' lives, seeing Janey turn from teenage rebel to loving mother, Nick turn from slacker to a mature adult, Abi marry Roger, Michael go through and beyond school days. Meanwhile, Ben remained the same grumpy dentist, Susan remained the same control freak, Alfie remained the same slow-witted lodger; the series featured eight main cast members throughout its run, with numerous characters recurring throughout the 10 series. The main cast members were familiar to television viewers before their roles on My Family, but not all were considered stars.
During the tenth series' run, the actors all achieved household-name celebrity status. The main characters in My Family are Susan Harper, they have three children, Nick and Michael. Nick is a regular character until the 2003 Christmas special, makes one appearance in 2004's fifth series before making his final My Family appearance in the 2005 Comic Relief short as actor Kris Marshall wanted to do other projects and avoid being type-cast. Janey is a regular until the 2002 Christmas special and does not appear in series four, while the character is at university. Janey returns as a main character in series five. Abi Harper first appears in series three as the daughter of Ben's cousin Richard. Series three sees the first appearance of Roger Bailey, Jnr. Roger, who becomes a main character in the fourth series, is a dentist and the son of Ben's former mentor. In the 2005 Christmas special Alfie Butts, a friend of Nick's, moves into the Harper household. My Family features several recurring characters.
Series one features Daisy Donovan as Brigitte. In the second series "Stupid" Brian appears as Janey's boyfriend. Series four features Michael's girlfriend Fiona; that series sees the introduction of Michael's friend Hubert and Susan's mother Grace Riggs, who both appear in subsequent series until series seven. A minor recurring character from the 2006 Christmas special to series seven is Denis, the local Vicar. In addition, Mr. Alexander Casey, the Harpers' neighbour, appears in three episodes, "Driving Miss Crazy", "Neighbour Wars", "Mary Christmas" Robert Lindsay portrays Ben Harper. Ben Harper is an cynical dentist; when he is not at work sacking another assistant or trying to avoid fellow-dentist Roger, he is at home trying to relax. Ben isn't a bad man. Zoë Wanamaker portrays Susan Harper. Susan Harper is a control freak and good at getting her way, she is worried about her three children and forces Ben to go out of his way to monitor or look after them. Susan seems to spend most of her time at home.
She is a terrible cook. This is a homage to Butterflies, in which the male lead is a dentist called Ben and the rest of the family have to sneak the food