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Ask the Times: Questions about the Sahara Desert, O.J. Simpson's pension, iPad upgrade, 'Foyle's War'

The Sahara's size

I saw a weather report recently where the forecasters said the Sahara Desert is about the size of the United States. Is that true?

Yes. The Sahara Desert covers about 3.6 million square miles of Africa. The United States covers 3.7 million square miles, which includes water, Alaska and Hawaii. The continental United States is 3.12 million square miles.

O.J.'s NFL pension

Even though O.J. Simpson is in prison, does he collect his pension from the NFL? Also, how much is his pension?

Simpson, a former running back who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, receives his NFL pension, which has been reported at $28,000 a year, even though he's serving time for kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges. He also receives money from another retirement account that is shielded from creditors, the AP reports.

An iPad upgrade

I see Apple is coming out with a new operating system. I have an iPad 2. Will I be able to upgrade?

According to reports, yes. Apple devices that will be updated are the iPhone 4, 4S and 5, the fourth and fifth generations of the iPod Touch, the iPad Mini, and the iPad 2, 3 (retina) and 4 (retina + Lightning). But not every feature of the new operating system, iOS7, will be available to each device.

Apple products that will not accept the new operating system are the iPhone 3Gs, 3G and 2G; the first generation iPad and the first three generations of the iPod Touch.

No release date has been set for iOS7, though it's expected to be this fall.

'Foyle's War'

My wife and I have enjoyed the various episodes of Foyle's War and were pleased to learn that three new episodes would be released this year. Have had no luck in finding out if they will be shown locally or on something like Masterpiece Theater. Can you find out where and when the new Foyle's War episodes will appear here?

The eighth series of Foyle's War will be broadcast as part of Masterpiece Mystery sometime in September on WEDU, according to Allison Hedrick, vice president of communications for the station. Like seasons 6 and 7, this series consists of three episodes, each about 90 minutes long.

Foyle's War is a British detective drama set between July and September 1946, and stars Michael Kitchen as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, Honeysuckle Weeks as Foyle's driver, Samantha Stewart, and Anthony Howell as Detective Sergeant Paul Milner.

Hedrick also said there is a special broadcast called Inside Foyle's War scheduled for 9 p.m. Aug. 11 that "features a sneak peek at the upcoming new season."

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email

Ask the Times: Questions about the Sahara Desert, O.J. Simpson's pension, iPad upgrade, 'Foyle's War' 07/26/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 12:12pm]
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