Wednesday, October 19, 2016

10 Best Playstation One Games in Playstation Network's Store

The Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 have taken turns being the best selling console of the current generation. The Playstation 3 is lagging behind in sales but the one advantage they have is in their Playstation Network store. The original Playstation still has the best library of games and many are available in the Playtation Network store.

10) Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Game Rankings: 89.07
Crash Bandicoot got a very high score on Game Rankings. It should be said that Crash Bandicoot is a Mario type platformer that is really aimed towards kids. Adults that like cutesy Mario games may also enjoy Crash Bandcoot though.

9) Final Fantasy VII – IX
Game Rankings: Average Score of 91.53
There is probably no video game series that is debated more than the Final Fantasy series. Some think Final Fantasy VII is the best, others side with Final Fantasy VIII and some swear by Final Fantasy IX. If you average their scores together they still get a combined 91.53 score from Game Rankings but for the record they rank them 1) Final Fantasy IX 2) Final Fantasy VII 3) Final Fantasy VIII

8) Metal Gear Solid
Game Rankings: 93.75
Metal Gear Solid was the first of the recent Metal Gear series and really brought the stealth video game to the forefront (although Syphon Filter did precede it and is also in Playstation Network’s Store). Metal Gear Solid is the highest rated game on this list according to Game Rankings.

7) Resident Evil 2
Game Rankings: 92.57
The first Resident Evil introduced the world to the horror genre and is worth playing (it is also on Playstation Network’s store) but Resident Evil 2 is the highest rated out of the three Resident Evil games available. Resident Evil 3 is not a bad choice if you like the first two.

6) SimCity 2000
Game Rankings: 61.00
SimCity 2000 is not rated very highly but I thought I would include it for the casual gamers. Sim games are popular with casual gamers and Sim City is a classic in that genre.

5) Street Fighter Alpha 2
Game Rankings: 82.00
Street Fighter Alpha 2 is not the highest rated fighting game on the Playstation Network’s store (Dead or Alive received a ranking of 83.92) but Street Fighter is likely to have more familiar characters. If the gamer has never played any fighting games and doesn’t have a preference then Dead or Alive is not a bad option.

4) Suikoden
Game Rankings: 81.29
Suikoden is a RPG that has a much lower rating than the Final Fantasy series but that is largely due to less ambitious graphics. Suikoden’s gameplay is a lot of fun and the dialogue at the very least is better than Final Fantasy VII. Suikoden is also a dream come true for gamers that like to collect things because there are over 100 characters to find and convince to join your group.

3) Tomb Raider
Game Rankings: 90.02
Tomb Raider is one of the iconic games of the Playstation but more recent versions of Lara Croft have fallen flat. The first Tomb Raider is probably still the best with the exception that the graphics are older.

2) Twisted Metal 2
Game Rankings: 86.44
Twisted Metal 2 is one of the best vehicular games on the Playstation. For those that are not familiar with the series Twisted Metal is a car combat game, not a racing game. Twisted Metal succeeds because of a great story and cast of characters that is better than most fighting games.

1) Xenogears
Game Rankings: 90.54
Xenogears is a less known RPG but according to Game Rankings it is actually better than Final Fantasy VIII and in my opinion it might be better than all three Final Fantasy games.

Tags:10 Best Playstation One Games in Playstation Network’s Store

10 Best Places for Coffee Gift Baskets

Shopping for a caffeine connoisseur is always a bit tricky, but you can make things easier on yourself by choosing a great gift basket. They usually carry a variety of different coffee-related products, and are sure to please that hard-to-shop-for person on your gift-giving list this year. There are many places to select from when buying a great coffee gift basket, and don’t forget that adventurous souls can even build their own basket! Here is a guide to some of the best gift baskets out there.

1. Target. There are two different gift baskets available at Target. They are on-line only, so don’t look for them in your neighborhood store. For 59.99 you can buy a Starbuck’s Gift Basket that includes English Caramels, Biscotti, Chocolate Grahams, Hot Coco, and of course sample bags of Starbucks’ most popular blends. Target also offers another basket called the “coffee and Tea Break Gift Set” It includes three star bucks coffees, one coco, assorted cakes, and one tea mix. This basket is offered at 49.99. Both items ship within one to two days, and cannot be shipped to P.O. Boxes.www.target.com

2. Dean and Deluca. This is one of those do-it-yourself gift basket sites, but they have an amazing selection and all you have to do is choose what you want in the basket, they do the rest for you. Their smallest basket starts at 8.00 and has room for about 4-6 products from their selection. There are 21 different basket options alone, and 45 different basket stuffers in the coffee category. Items to go in the baskets range from coffee mugs and presses to cookies and coffees. There are six different coffees to choose from and two different coffee samplers. Shipping options vary depending on items ordered, but in many cases items can be shipped the next business day after an order is placed.www.deandeluca.com

3. Gevalia. Gevalia is a popular brand of coffee and they now offer gifts baskets on their website. There many different baskets to choose from, and prices range from $19.95 to $99.95. All baskets feature Gevalia’s great tasting coffees. You can select between regular and decaf coffees for most baskets. Gevalia offers next day and second day shipping as well as standard shipping for all orders.www.gevalia.com

4. Giftbaskets.com. Giftbaskets.com offers 17 different coffee gift baskets for your shopping needs. You can select from Starbuck’s themed baskets or Kona Coffee assortments. Each basket displays a list price for the items, and their price which is significantly lower. Each selection shows individual shipping information including when it will ship and any shipping specials being offered on the baskets themselves. Prices range from $38.00 to $112.00.www.giftbaskets.com

5. Harry and David. Harry and David has a smaller selection of gift baskets to choose from, but it is a trusted name that always delivers quality products. They have 7 different coffee offerings including a delicious dark chocolate mint coffee. Prices range from about $20.00 to $40.00. Harry and David’s shipping options appeal to every gift giver. They can ship internationally which takes one to two weeks, as well as fill orders for overnight delivery within the United States.http://ift.tt/17U1U8c

6. Macy’s. Macy’s website does offering a few gift baskets to choose from, they offer Starbuck’s as well as house blends. The truly great gift baskets, however, are no where on their website. You actually need to go into a store to find them. Most Macy’s locations will have gift baskets in their gourmet candy and food departments. They sell Godiva, Starbuck’s, and Frango coffee gift baskets. There is usually more of a selection around the holidays. Prices can start off at about $20.00 and go upwards of $100. The only drawback to this is that you cannot ship the items from Macy’s, but their great selection makes up for that pesky trip to the post office.www.macys.com

7. FTD. FTD is not just for shipping flowers anymore, they now offer coffee gift baskets as well. They only sell about 5 coffee-related baskets, but this is the perfect site to use if you would like to send the items quickly, and possibly with another basket or flowers. You can choose your delivery date, which in mosy cases can be the next day depending on what time you place your order. Prices for these baskets average at around $50.00.www.ftd.com

8. Wine Country Gift Baskets. Wine Country Gift Baskets has a small but impressive selection of baskets, all featuring either Starbuck’s or Ghiradelli coffees. These beautiful baskets start off at $29.95 and go up to $74.99. Some items are not available immediately, but this is clearly stated under the item when availability is an issue. They provide next day shipping, standard shipping, and even shipping to Alaska for an additional fee. http://ift.tt/182DzPh

9. Starbucks. Why not go straight to the source? All Starbuck’s stores offer some gift ideas, but their website offers even more. They provide several different gift boxes to choose from, and you can pair them with great items like tumblers and travel mugs for the perfect gift!. Orders are delivered by UPS or DHL, and you can choose between standard, express, or next day delivery.http://ift.tt/136ZWye

10. Findgift.com Findgift.com takes all of the hassle of searching different websites out of your hands. They will match you with coffee gift baskets from trusted sites all over the internet. When you see a basket that you love, simply click on it, and you will be directed to the site that sells it. This is a very quick and easy way to do last minute shopping for you coffee lover.www.findgift.com

There are so many different options out there for coffee gift baskets, these are just a few. Remember to keep in mind any dietary needs of the person that your gift is intended for, and make sure that you have all of the correct shipping information for them before you place your order. With these resources, you should be able to make any coffee drinker in your life very happy!

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10 Best Quotes from the Help Movie

“The Help” is a movie which revolves around a young woman, Skeeter, who sets out to write a book from the perspective of black women working for white families in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. The film stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen, Octavia Spencer as Minny, Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly, Jessica Chastain as Celia. There are a lot of good quotes in the film, but here are ten of the best:

“The Help” Quotes and Dialogue

Minny: I work Sunday through Friday.
Celia: You can’t work at all on the weekends.
Minny: …Mmmkay. Well, what time you want me here?
Celia: After nine and you gotta leave before four.
Minny: …Mmkay.

If there was such a thing as a co-Oscar award, it should go to actresses Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain for their part in “The Help.” You can watch a clip of their dialogue in this Youtube video.

Minny (to Skeeter and Aibileen): You two give me heart palpitations!

Minny (to Skeeter, after agreeing to be interviewed by her): I need to see you square on at all times. …I got to come up with the questions too?!

Skeeter (to her mom, Charlotte): What is that?
Charlotte: Shinolator. All the way from New York City. I’m a good mother. Come on, sit down.
Charlotte (doing Skeeter’s hair): The whole system costs eleven dollars. Even smells expensive! You’re going to look beautiful on your date tonight.
Skeeter: I can feel the hope in your fingers.

Emma Stone and Allison Janney (Charlotte) also work well together in the movie. You can watch this full Shinolator scene between Emma Stone and Allison Janney on Youtube.

Aibileen: We’ve gone and done it now.

Skeeter (to her rude blind date Stuart): I’m sorry, but were you dropped on your head as an infant or were you just born stupid? A little clichĂ© but Emma Stone makes every line sound good.

Minny (talking about Hilly’s outfit): She look like the winning horse at the Kentucky Derby… all those flowers and bows.

Hilly: Have you lost your mind?
Minny (about to tell her about the revenge pie she baked for her): No ma’am, but you about to.

Celia (to Minny, after not seeming to be aware that white bosses don’t usually eat at the same table as the help): Oh, there you are!

Aibileen (to young girl): You is kind… You is smart… You is important. This is one of the most memorable movie lines of 2011.

Source
“The Help” movie written by Tate Taylor (based on the book by Kathryn Stockett).

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10 Best Sherlock Holmes Short Stories

Sherlock Holmes has remained a popular literary figure since his creation by the great, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. With the release of the newest film featuring the dynamic, mystery solving duo – Sherlock Holmes, set to release this Christmas Day, it would be in the interest of many excited movie and literature fans to either become familiar with the tales or to simply refresh themselves on the subject. Following is a list with ten of the most inventive, interesting and creative short stories involving Holmes and Watson at their finest.

1. The Red-Headed League
This is a great way to introduce oneself to Sherlock Holmes, as it is one of the first short stories involving the master detective. In this tale, a portly, red-headed gentlemen seeks Holmes’ advice on a matter concerning a league in London that is prepared to pay any fiery redheads a large sum of money for doing simple, secretary tasks and because they have red hair and while the man seemed hesitant about attempting to fill the position, his assistant, a curious fellow, appears to be more excited about the league than anyone.

2. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
In this story, it begins with Holmes interrogating not a person, but a hat. This tale unleashes Sherlock’s uncanny ability at gathering the most trivial information from objects and building events and people out of them. Like with many of the mysteries, this one begins innocently enough, with a case that appears to have no criminal mind behind it, until Holmes delves further into the facts.

3. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
I’ll say this is probably one of my favorites out of the many tales that have been written. The story begins with expanding on the more personal characteristics of Sherlock Holmes, showing his less than admirable features which Watson remarks upon, including the detective’s rather large ego. From there, it grows into a wild tale told by a young governess about a peculiar job offer presented by a rich man which includes such eccentricities as having her wear only a certain shade of blue dresses and that in order to take the job, she must cut her hair. This story shows Doyle’s ability to tell a mystery that can be just as exciting without the usual robberies, kidnappings and gunfights.

4. The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
One of the more gruesome stories, although the title would most certainly have you think differently. It opens with its usual setting, Holmes and Watson in their rooms at Baker Street, using the moment to show off Holmes’ ability to basically read Watson’s every thought, which allows the reader themselves to learn more about the good doctor. Afterwards, the tale sets in regarding an older maiden that receives a most terrible package in the mail, which within a box of salt, rests two severed, human ears.

5. The Adventure of the Yellow Face
A fantastic opening which portrays Watson’s fascination with Holmes’ abilities in boxing, a sport the detective is often not known for among many readers, and his occasional use of cocaine, which Watson remarks upon by saying it was the detective’s way of keeping his mind busy when there were no cases at hand. The story is about a most nervous gentlemen coming to Holmes for advice concerning his wife. She recently has been taking large sums of money and refuses to tell her husband what it is for, leading a mystery to a most interesting conclusion. The Adventure of the Yellow Face is one of Doyle’s magnificent showings of a mystery without any criminal activity, whatsoever.

6. The Adventure of the Dancing Men
This is a most interesting and clever mystery about a gentlemen from the countryside coming to Holmes with a piece of paper that has little dancing men drawn on it. The note itself means nothing to him, but when the man’s wife saw the figures, she fainted and has since, been living in a state of fear. He does not understand why and comes to Holmes to solve the drawings and put his wife at ease.

7. The Adventure of the Abbey Grange
This story is famous for being one of the Doyle’s favorites as well as housing Holmes’ notorious line, “Come, Watson! The game is afoot.” It begins early in the morning with Holmes receiving a telegram from Hopkins, of Scotland Yard, asking for his assistance with the murder of Sir Eustace Brackenstall, one of the richest men in Kent. The only witness to the murder appears to be Sir Eustace’s wife, who was wounded during the event.

8. The Adventure of the Priory School
Beginning without warning almost, a man barges into the Baker Street residence and asks for Holmes’ help in a most urgent manner, which the detective says no to, on the grounds of many active cases at the time. Only then does the man, a Dr. Huxtable, exclaim that the only son and child of the Duke of Holdernesse, one of the greatest subjects of the Crown, has been abducted from Huxtable’s priory school at the age of ten.

9. The Adventure of the Naval Treaty
This story begins with Watson receiving a letter from an old school friend, asking for assistance to a most dire situation in which Holmes must be present. The opening allows the reader to gain a greater understanding of Watson, who often does not speak much of himself in his retellings about Holmes’ adventures. A notable point in this story is that Holmes does make reference to his tobacco stuffed in a Persian slipper and his use of chemicals in solving cases.

10. The Adventure of the Reigate Squire
In this tale, it is seen that for all of Holmes’ iron will and ability to go days on end without sleep, he can become ill and does so. Under Watson’s care, he is ordered to not think or work on any cases, but a burglary and murder at the Cunningham’s residence results in their coachman being shot and killed through the heart and Holmes is once again on the case.

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10 Best Non-Tourist Sites in Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong is a busy and exciting island, crowded with loads of skyscrapers and people. There is a lot to do there, but here is a list of the top sites that are a bit different, or non-tourist in nature.

Learn Tai Chi, the ancient form of breathing and exercise. Free classes are offered daily at Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront and Hong Kong Park. Take a taxi from your hotel to either.

Queen’s Road and Des Voeux Rd. in the Sheung Wan district have some interesting local shops and very local restaurants. Take a taxi from any hotel to this area. Almost no English here, but you can get by. Be careful of the traffic, and sit down to a local meal.

Man Kwong Street Pier, and Shun Tok Centre next door, are two great spots for art and antiques. The first spot has a small museum, and many shops to buy local artwork.

Causeway Bay. Take the subway to the Causeway Bay stop in Hong Kong and just walk around with no destination in mind. It’s loaded with small markets and shopping centers, including several streets lined with discount clothing.

Climb the Peak all the way to the Top. There a series of escalators that take you up the mountain in the heart of Hong Kong, known as The Peak, or Victoria Peak. Many tourists take it up a few levels. Don’t stop there. On my trip, my friends and I were the only ones who actually went all the way to the top (about 20 levels, 1,800 feet above sea level). When you reach the summit, you won’t find any shops or tourists. There are only residential condos at the top level. But: you get the best view in town! Do it for the exercise and for the best photos of your trip.

Hike. After you’ve reached the peak, walk down the winding road a few levels toward the Zoological Botanical Gardens. You can’t get in from this end, but your goal is to hike around it. You get a refreshing walk, interesting sites, and a different perspective.

The Star Ferry. Cross over to Kowloon on the Star Ferry. It costs less than $1 and takes just 10 minutes to get you from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. From there at 8pm every evening you can watch an animated light show performed on the skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island. It occurs every day from 8 until 8:20 pm. Shop in Kowloon. Now that you’re on the Kowloon side, do some shopping at the outdoor markets about 10 streets north from the bay. Try the Mong Kok and the Goldfish Market first.

Visit Aberdeen. Take a taxi from your hotel, or ask about boat tours to Aberdeen. It used to be a fishing village, and you can still see boat dwellers there. You’ll also find large floating restaurants. A free ferry will take you to them. Hung Shing Temple is in that area, where the God of the Sea protects the fishermen.

Cross Tsing Ma Bridge. There is no real reason to do this, except that it’s the world’s longest suspension bridge with cars and trains both crossing. You’ll get some breathtaking photos along the way.

Chaung Chau Island. Take a ferry from Central Pier, and enjoy a day on this quiet island. There are almost no vehicles here, so you will walk or bike your way around. You’ll find some smaller temples, herbalist shops, and quiet boat life.

There is a lot to enjoy in Hong Kong, and you’ll need more than a week to see it. There is less nightlife these days (compared with 12 years ago), so stay close to your hotel after 11pm. Otherwise, getting a taxi may be difficult. We had a hard time getting around at midnight, and the streets were eerily empty. The club we wanted to see closed at 11:30 pm, and many clubs are only open on weekends. Get up early and enjoy the bustle of the daytime in Hong Kong, instead.

Tags:10 Best Non-Tourist Sites in Hong Kong, China

10 Best Places to Visit in Philly

University City

If you’re looking food, entertainment, and fun, University City has some of the finest culture in town. What are you in the mood for? Food? Numerous pizza joints, Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indian restaurants are all here. Movies or ice cream? Head to The Bridge Cinema and Ben and Jerry’s both located at 40th and Walnut. Games? Drop by University Pinball at 40th and Spruce. Music? Visit the World CafĂ© found at 30th and Walnut. Parks? Clark Park is found at 43rd from Woodland to Baltimore. Truly, there is too much to mention here, so my advice is to get outside and explore for yourself, you will be sure to find something fun.

Rittenhouse Square/Love Park

Just looking to relax or take a stroll? These two parks are great spots to do so. Laced with trees and flowers, Rittenhouse Square is perfect for a walk or a picnic. Dip your feet in the fountain, catch some rays, and do some people watching at Love Park. Located within a few blocks of each other, one could easily visit both in the same day.

Jim’s/Pat’s/Geno’s/Phil’s

Philadelphia: the birthplace of freedom…and the cheese steak. Everyone argues who has the best steaks in town. Why not go and find out for yourself? As an added challenge, try them all in one day. Don’t worry, calories aren’t real.

Reading Terminal Market

You’ll never beat the aromas that fill the air at Reading Terminal Market. Baked goods, meats, seafood, produce, flowers, and ethnic foods are all here. Shop for groceries and cookware, or dine in at one of their countless restaurants. Come get fat and happy. Good times, good people, good eats.

Philadelphia Zoo

Animal lovers beware: otters are even cuter in person. See hundreds of mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians at America’s first zoo. For those who are scared of the ground, the zoo even has a hot air balloon which provides a magnificent view of the zoo and the city skyline. Whether you are an avid biologist or a casual animal enthusiast, the zoo is sure to be a “wild” trip.

Penn’s Landing/Old City

Penn’s Landing is a great place to chill (Literally. Bring a hoodie, it gets a little breezy). Sit riverside and watch the boats go sailing under the Ben Franklin Bridge during the day. In the summer concerts are held here, and in the winter an ice rink is built for skating. Right next door is Old City, which has countless amounts of shops and restaurants. Spend a lazy afternoon and dinner here and go home happy.

Sports Complex

With such a rich sports history, a stay in Philadelphia wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the game. Be sure to see the Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Sixers, or Wings at some point during your time here. Even if sports aren’t your thing, everyone has to experience a raucous Philadelphia crowd once in their life. Just try not to get tasered.

Ben Franklin Parkway Museums

Be sure to plan a couple of days to visit the Ben Franklin Parkway and its three museums. The Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, and the Art Museum are all located within a few blocks of each other, and always provide an educational and interesting visit. With rotating exhibits, there is always something new and exciting going on here.

Electric Factory/Kimmel Center /TLA/Tower/ Trocadero

Philly’s live music scene is one of the best out there. If you’re looking for local and small bands, mainstream bands, classical acts, comedy, or to see an old movie, there is almost always something happening. The TLA and Trocadero are smaller venues, which host movie nights and rising talent. The Electric Factory and Tower Theater usually present the bigger names, and classical music can be found at the Kimmel Center. Kick out the jams and forget your troubles.

South Street

Easily the most eclectic location in Philly, you might call it “the boardwalk away from the shore”. With tons of unique and trendy clothing stores, restaurants, and specialty stores, you could easily spend a whole day exploring what South Street has to offer. If you’re in the mood for getting a cup of Joe, refurnishing your stylish bedroom, or getting your tattoo touched up, South Street always satisfies.

And if all else fails, remember: Wawa is open 24 hours a day.

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10 of the Best Scary, Creepy and Mysterious Halloween Books for Preteens

My two kids and I love a good scary story, especially at Halloween. Here are 10 of the most intriguing, most terrifying tales involving vampires, werewolves, ghosts, ghouls and supernatural scares to keep you awake at night.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Pages: 320. Known as the father of “Coraline,” “Stardust” and the award winning “Sandman” graphic novel series, Neil Gaiman has branched out to write so many classic macabre tales that are loved by both kids and adults, has done it again with this tale of an orphan boy raised by the ghostly residents of a graveyard has won both the prestigious Hugo and Newbery Book Awards. This book is a must read for anyone who likes a great, spooky story.

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan. Pages: 192. I read this edge of your seat, creepy thriller when I was eleven and I still remember it as one of the spookiest stories I’ve ever read. It’s a mystery about a fourteen year old girl sent to a mysterious boarding school with only 3 other students. Lots of twists and turns and a plot that won’t quit makes this a neat little page turner for all.

Savvy by Ingrid Law. Pages: 352. This Newbury honor book is a fantastical, supernatural, adventure about a girl who gains mysterious powers like the rest of her family on her 13th birthday provides a delightful romp into the unexpected. And isn’t Halloween all about the supernatural, mysterious and unexpected after all?

Goosebumps HorrorLand #1: Revenge of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine (the first book of this new series).144 pages. The master of kid “horror” is back with these two stories about a strange ventriloquist and an odd amusement park that my 9 year old daughter swears is seriously scary and perfect for it. Any of the Goosebumps books are good for this time of year.

Camp Creepy Time by Gina Gershon. 224 pages. A thirteen year old boy gets sent to a sleepaway camp that’s full of ghosts, werewolves, vampires, aliens, monsters? Sounds like a good Halloween read to me.

My Sister the Vampire #1: Switched by Sienna Mercer. 208 pages. Olivia’s moved to a new town to discover she has a twin sister who is cool, very cool… in fact she’s downright cold. Why, she’s a vampire! My 9 year old daughter loves this book, the first of a series of fun, vampire lit light that’s very popular with the preteen crowd.

Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1) by Heather Brewer. 192 pages. And now a vampire lite book for the boys (oh, and girls too, of course). This popular series takes unfortunate Vampire, Vlad from 8th grade through 10th. It’s quick and comedic and the kids seem to really like it. by P.J. Duval. 244 pages. This book, the first in a series of three is part ghost story, part city girl moves to country, and is mysterious, scary and lots of fun for the pre-teen girl.

The 39 Clues Book 1:The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan. 220 pages. Orphan siblings Amy and Dan have their hands full with this mysterious popular series that a fabulous treasure hunt, full of suspense puzzles and dangers. Kids will love the online computer interractive component to this series of 10 books.

Emily the Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger, Jessica Gruner, and Buzz Parker. 264 pages. This latest installment of the popular series was just published this past summer in time for creepy Halloween yumminess. Emily is a 13 year old Goth girl with amnesia, who has all sorts of dark, strange and twisted adventures, told in the form of a diary.

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10 Best Summer Family Movies of 2010

Check out some of the best family movies of 2010 this summer and put a smile on your kids’ faces without spending a fortune. From some of the best new animated movies to action flicks, feel-good movies, and talking CGI animals, the family movies of the summer of 2010 offer something for every family looking to beat the heat from the comfort of a theater seat:

Shrek Forever After – One of the best summer family movies of 2010 will be the last in this animated series, as kids sadly bid farewell to their favorite ogre from Far Far Away. To send Shrek off with a bang, his fairytale gets a little more fractured, as the ogre accidentally makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to send him to a bizarro version of Far Far Away where donkey is scared to death of him; he’s hunted by witches; Puss in Boots’ fit feline physique is covered with layers of fat; Rumpelstiltskin is king; and, worst of all, Fiona is no longer in love with him (and she’s now the leader of a group of rouge ogres fighting against oppression). It may be bittersweet to see the end of some of our favorite family films, but be sure to take the kids to give Shrek the proper larger-than-life sendoff when one of the best animated movies of 2010 hits theaters on May 21st.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – This is one of the best movies of the summer for parents with older kids, a live-action fantasy flick that looks like ‘Aladdin’ brought to life. It could be one of the best movies based on a video game ever made, and perhaps an adequate replacement for a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie, since there’s not one on the horizon this summer. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a Prince protecting an ancient dagger capable of unleashing the Sands of Time, a force that would give their controller the power to rule the world. Add Gemma Aterton as a beautiful and mysterious princess, and you’ve got one of the upcoming family movies of the summer that’s sure to be a blockbuster. So enjoy the sand and sun while having some family fun on May 28, 2010.

Marmaduke – There are a few family-friendly movies about talking animals hitting theaters this summer, and it’s a genre that’s definitely hard to turn into a movie that will not be mocked. So will Marmaduke succeed in stealing our hearts with his mega-bark? The colossal (and colossally clumsy) comic strip pooch will do his best, aided by the voice of Owen Wilson. The story follows Marmaduke as he moves from Kansas to California, becoming a part of the Mutts v. Pedigrees turf wars and trying to woo the dog of his dreams. However, his big size and larger-than-life personality can often get him into trouble, so he’s got to do the whole redemption thing with his family and new friends. It may not be the best of the summer family movies on this list, but I bet kids will love the doggie dance sequence. So be prepared for plenty of pooch power on June 4, 2010, and get ready for your kids begging you for a pet Great Dane.

The Karate Kid – Okay, so in this remake of the classic, Will Smith’s son actually learns Kung Fu (why not call the movie ‘Kung Fu Kid’?), and he moves from Detroit to China, where he learns the martial art form to beat his new bullies. Of course there’s a girl and Jackie Chan plays the maintenance man who is a secret kung fu master, but can he save the new kid from disaster? This isn’t one of the family movies of the summer that I’m most looking forward to, but hopefully Jackie Chan teaches Jaden Smith some helpful moves when it hits theaters on June 11, 2010.

Toy Story 3 – This is definitely one of the must-see summer family movies of 2010, as well as one of the most anticipated (and Academy Award-worthy?) animated movies of the year. Woody and Buzz must once again find a way to save the day, as young adult Andy gets ready for college and they accidentally wind up in a daycare center. This, of course, creates an opportunity to introduce the audience to a variety of fun new toys, including a fabulous Ken doll who meets his soul mate and a female dinosaur. So will Buzz, Woody, and the gang be able to find their way home this time? It will be difficult, as they’ve got to contend with toys that may not be all that they seem, as well as their worst enemies yet: a hoard of terrifying toddlers. Be sure not to miss one of the biggest animated family movies of the summer in theaters on June 18, 2010, because it will be best watched on the big screen in 3D.

The Last Airbender – This is one of the summer family movies of 2010 that already has a big built-in fanbase of fankids, thanks to the animated series, but grownups should be able to pick up on what’s going on here pretty easily as well. The movie is set in a world divided by the elements earth, wind, fire, and water. The powerful fire nation has waged a war against all the others, and it’s up to “the last airbender”, the only boy that can control all the elements, to stop them. Can a series of movies like this one fill the void soon to be left by the Harry Potter series? And can M. Night Shyamalan direct a kids’ movie without a “what a twist” ending? Check out what looks like one of the most epic family movies of the summer of 2010 on July 2, 2010 to find out, and beat the summer heat in a cool theater while watching some fiery action onscreen.

Despicable Me – This seems like one of the most original animated family movies of the summer, a fun film that focuses on a guy that’s the ultimate goon, because he has a devious plan to steal the moon. However, three little orphaned girls don’t see the inventor as a man gone mad; they view him as a potential dad. So can their own devious plan to procure a father save the moon from destruction? Watch one of the wackiest animated summer movies with your family on July 9, 2010 to find out, and enjoy listening to Steve Carell’s soothing tones voicing the moon marauder.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Can Walt Disney turn a little segment of musical movie ‘Fantasia’ into one of this summer’s biggest family-friendly blockbusters? I’m guessing Disney is banking on this new wizarding world to draw in Harry Potter fans, as this fantasy film will feature a somewhat similar storyline involving sorcery. Nicholas Cage plays a master sorcerer living in modern-day Manhattan who recruits an average guy to teach the methods of magic to. However, unlike Harry Potter, Jay Baruchel’s wizard is a little reluctant to get involved in the impending battle of good magic vs. dark magic. Will there be walking broomsticks? It would be a fun shoutout to the animated short starring Mickey, but dads will likely enjoy the movie for another reason: Monica Bellucci as a sexy sorceress. There’s a little something for the whole family in one of the most magical summer movies of 2010, so don’t miss this one on July 16th.

Ramona and Beezus – Beverly Clearly’s iconic character from Klickitat Street finally gets her own film, and a fun new way for readers to experience Ramona’s overactive imagination. The adorable Joey King stars as the girl growing up with her insufferable older sis Beezus (Selena Gomez), who is just part of the many problems the accident-prone grade schooler has to face. It looks like one of the more unique family movies of the summer, and the sequences that involve Ramona’s imagination springing to life should be fun to see after so many of us had to imagine them ourselves so many years ago. If you grew up with Beverly Clearly and your kids now enjoy her books, then this is one of the best family movies of the summer you can bond together over on July 23, 2010.

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – What can I say? I doubt this will be one of the best movies of the summer you’ll see, but at least it’s family (and pet) friendly. Here cats and dogs have to team up to stop one power-hungry feline from turning the world into her personal litterbox. So will this yarn full of yips and yowls delight audiences just as much as a ball of yarn would delight our feline friends? It’s hard to say, but seeing man’s best friend with the ability to talk (and do battle with feisty felines) is usually a big kid-pleaser, so don’t miss this one on July 30, 2010.

So from talking animals to princes, apprentices, and animated ogres, don’t miss the wide variety of family-friendly movies making their way onto the silver screen this summer.

SOURCES: http://ift.tt/2e85jyp

Tags:10 Best Summer Family Movies of 2010

10 Best Selling Books on Amazon for 2011

A list of the 10 Best Selling Books on Amazon for 2011

1. The Investment Answer
(read customer reviews)

2. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
(read customer reviews)

3. Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!
(read customer reviews)

4. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
(read customer reviews)

5. The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life
(read customer reviews)

6. The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
(read customer reviews)

7. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
(read customer reviews)

8. Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
(read customer reviews)

9. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
(read customer reviews)

10. Cutting for Stone
(read customer reviews)

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10 of the Best Summer Movies of All Time

Summer movies watched at any time of year can put a smile on your face. With the summer season approaching, it is time to dig out your favourites and get ready for the sunshine. Whether it’s bright and cheerful musicals or even a teen comedy that gets you in the mood for the warm weather, take a look at some of these great movies for summer!

“Grease”
There can’t be anyone in the world who hasn’t heard of “Grease.” For many people it is still the ultimate summer movie, even though it is over thirty years old. When Australian goody two shoes Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) moves to America, she meets the romantic Danny Zuko (John Travolta) at the beach. Unfortunately, when she starts school, the guy she thought she knew acts completely differently around his friends, pretending he doesn’t know her at all

The kids at Rydell High will take you on a musical journey of teen life, and make you wish you could go back to school with them!

“Crossroads”
In what is possibly one of the most underrated movies of recent times, Britney Spears stars as Lucy, the shy girl who wants to make music but is afraid of disappointing her controlling father. On the night of her high school school graduation, Lucy seeks out her former best friends, Mimi (Taryn Manning) who lives in a trailer park and is heavily pregnant, and Kit, (Zoe Saldana) the most popular girl in school. When they were kids, they got together to bury a time capsule and on opening it, they begin to remember the dreams they once had.

“Crossroads” is a real feel good movie, featuring a summer road trip and an excellent soundtrack. What more could you possibly want?

“Dirty Dancing”
Baby Houseman’s (Jennifer Grey) world is unexpectedly turned upside down when she goes on vacation with her family to Kellerman’s resort. Her curious nature leads her right into the arms of resident dance teacher, Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and gets her into all kinds of trouble.

The words “Nobody puts baby in the corner” are now legendary. Even after all this time, hearing them can still make ladies swoon!

“Talladega Nights”
If a good laugh helps you to get into the summer spirit, you should check out “Talladega Nights.” This utterly ridiculous film follows number one NASCAR driver, Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) as he is knocked off the top spot by French racing superstar, Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen). Will Ricky lose everything he worked for, or can he get his old life back again?

Please note, you will only truly enjoy this movie if you don’t mind sacrificing a great plot for silliness!

“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”
Who doesn’t love seeing Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow? In the first of the “Pirates” movies, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) teams up with Captain Jack to rescue the love of his life, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the clutches of the evil Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).

This is a great summer movie because, with great adventure and humor throughout, you can’t fail to enjoy it!

“The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants”
In this teen comedy/drama, a group of four differently shaped friends are amazed when they find a pair of jeans that fits them all perfectly. As they face their first summer away from each other, they make a pact to share the pants while they are apart, while detailing their adventures along the way!

As well as being a fun movie for girls, it is also very moving and packed with strong messages about growing up.

“The Wedding Singer”
Struggling wedding singer Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) is a hopeless romantic, right up until the day his fiancee jilts him at the altar. His outlook on life becomes very bleak until he forms a friendship with the soon-to-be-married, Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore).

“The Wedding Singer” is full of laughs, and is worth watching for the comedy song lyrics alone!

“American Pie 2”

With their first year of college over, the boys have a whole summer to spend however they choose. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) tells his friends about a beach house where they can work during the day and party at night, prompting them to pack up and start a brand new adventure.

“Adventures in Babysitting”

After Chris Parker’s (Elizabeth Shue) date gets cancelled, she agrees to babysit for a couple of kids in her neighborhood. What seems like it should be an easy job turns into a nightmare when Chris’ friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller) calls her from the city, needing a ride home. From the moment she puts the kids in the car to drive downtown, the chaos begins!

If you want to feel better about your own life, you should really check out this movie! It will make your own children look like angels!

“Mamma Mia”

Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) is about to get married and has always wanted her father to walk her down the aisle. The problem? She doesn’t know who he is! On discovering that her father could be one of three men, she invites them all to visit in the hope of finding out the truth.

“Mamma Mia” is probably one of best movies ever made to personify summer. Set in the sunshine, to the music of ABBA, it will instantly lift your mood!

Tags:10 of the Best Summer Movies of All Time

10 Breakup Blunders to Avoid If You Want Your Ex Back

You might have all the right intents in the world of wanting to stop the break up and win your exwife back, but you could be fumbling along instead. You could, in fact, be making matters even worse rather than maximizing your chances of winning your lost ex-lover back.

Are you committing any of these ten breakup blunders?

1. The first is when you tell your exlover the horrendous error she is making by calling it quits. This may not deter her to stall the separation. Instead she may start thinking what a wrong decision it was to tie up with you to begin with.

2. Getting in touch straightaway after a breakup. A phone call too soon can be too stifling. Remember your ex-wife wants some space now, otherwise why would she leave?

3. Calling when you are tipsy. When you consume too much, you let your emotions run amok. So you keep picking up the phone trying to get your ex to talk to you …. See # 2

4. When you send pleading e-mails and hordes of messages on voice mail. This genuinely won’t help and will probably just make matters worse.

5. Expressing feelings of desolation and depression to your ex since the breakup. You are in all likelihood seeking to tickle your exwife’s sympathy nerves. But in reality, to your ex-partner, you are getting to be overbearing and desperate. What you are doing is known as being ‘manipulative’ and this normally ends with a heavy damaging blow to any relationship.

6. Forever arguing about the separation and raking up past disagreements and squabbles. This would surely grab your ex’s attention and could make them communicate, but is this the best way to pass valuable quality time? Think about it, is being immature. It is not going to get you where you wish to go. Plus it merely keeps you stuck in the past. This is ineffective both in the long and short-term. In someways, it keeps you where you began.

7. Repeatedly confessing your everlasting love. Even if your lost lover fully valued and recognized your unfading affection, this is not the time to confess such emotions. If not, why would they have left in the first place? It is now time to take a fresh stock of the situation and begin to trace back your steps to see what exactly went wrong with the relationship. Don’t just believe that your earnestness can win over the situation.

8. Apologizing again and again and again. Maybe you hurt your partner by being a two-timer or not living by your commitment. Being remorseful is natural and asking for forgiveness is perhaps the correct action. Alas, not many people know how to apologize sincerely. Of course, don’t be too quick to ask for a pardon. If you didn’t do something that justifies an apology, then you are compromising yourself and this isn’t an appealing trait in anybody.

9. Wanting a green-eyed ex. This might work temporarily as most people are controlling by nature, but it cannot affect the reasons for the break up or improve the situation in any way. Just in case you are trying to use clever maneuvering methods to get back your exwife, think about how the relationship can turn undesirably complicated. Then it would be hard to keep up in the long run.

10. Begging her to take you back. Let me tell you something here, if you were capable and emotionally strong, you would never feel such a strong urge to get somebody back to your life to the point of begging on your knees. She will just see you as weak or whimpy. Women prefer their men to be sensitive but strong.

Now that you know what the common mistakes individuals make trying to win over their ex back, you could spend some time in reflecting on the relationship and pinpoint the reasons why it turned sour. Figure out how to alter things and then plan out a more intelligent strategy to get back your ex lover.

Tags:10 Breakup Blunders to Avoid If You Want Your Ex Back

10 Business Mistakes for Start-Ups to Avoid

Too many people jump into a business without thinking it through. Success involves analyzing, planning, and implementing strategies for the venture. In this article, you’ll find ten mistakes often made by start-ups and tips to prevent the pitfalls.

1. Not enough research on the business. The idea is not feasible or the owner lacks important information.

For businesses with a physical location –

a) Is the area getting sufficient foot traffic?
b) Are surrounding business owners unified and networking?
c) Could the business survive in good and bad economic times?
d) Is the community safe? What are the neighborhood crime statistics?

2. Miscalculating the size of the market and the owner’s potential share. Not knowing the customer.

Know the competitors in your target market. How have they achieved success? Don’t re-invent the wheel – use what works! Determine whether there is a substantial demand for your product or service. According to an eHow article, find out the demographics of the area and whether your intended product or service will be useful.

3. Underestimating operating costs and not having enough money.

Start the business with sufficient capital and reserves. For a brick & mortar establishment, estimate costs for:

a) the lease g) software
b) lighting h) staff
c) heating i) office supplies
d) water j) printing
e) insurance k) marketing
f) equipment l) other expenses
g) postage

If you have an internet business, have you projected annual web hosting, domain, and other service provider costs?

4. Projecting higher sales, focusing on sales volume, and not enough on the profit margin.

Don’t price yourself extremely lower than competitors to attract business. People often have difficulty determining how to set prices for services. It’s a popular question on numerous forums. Check industry standards. For other factors to consider and different types of pricing models, here is an article from About .com.

5. Spending too much on overhead…facilities and personnel.

Compare leases before selecting a space. Research national and local salaries before deciding on compensation for staff. Compare costs for service providers.

6. Not having a “Plan B.” Always have a contingency plan for unexpected occurrences and an exit strategy.

Nothing ever stays the same, including the economy. Too many business owners lost thousands of dollars because they expanded & spent excessively over the last ten years and didn’t factor in the effects of a possible recession. How will the company survive with fewer customers? What would happen if a partner left, developed a chronic illness or died? What if you or your spouse died? Has a succession plan been written for the business?

7. Hiring friends or relatives rather than people who have the skills required…lack of support.

Depending on friends and family could compromise the company. Remember this is your dream not theirs. Are they committed to work the necessary hours, shifts or overtime? Are you hiring them because they will work for less money to help get you started? Are you spending time training them when you should be working on other projects?

8. Accepting defeat rather than discovering a solution. Good entrepreneurs find a way.

Every problem can be resolved by analyzing the issues. If you can’t figure it out, ask for help from a consultant, another business owner or mentor. Organizations for women & minorities, incubators, local SBDCs, state departments of commerce, and chambers of commerce are also there to lend a hand.

9. Trying to do too many things at once.

As the owner, focus on what YOU do best. Don’t attempt to do everything. Being the publicity agent, office manager, web designer, inventory manager, bookkeeper, recruiter, and buyer will overstretch & exhaust your energies.

10. Not having a clear, long-term goal. No sales, marketing or business plan.

Will your marketing plan produce the sales you need to turn a profit? Score, a free small business mentoring resource, offers a start-up template that can keep you on track. Helpful online training from the Small Business Administration (SBA) on how to write plans are available here.

The SBA is a terrific resource for planning, budgeting, tools, workshops, counseling, and guides to avoid these consequences. Lastly, check out the myriad of videos available at SBTV.com. Get advice. Get informed. Stay prepared.

Tags:10 Business Mistakes for Start-Ups to Avoid

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