Friday, October 21, 2016

10 Back to School Essentials for PENN Students

Douglas Cosmetics: You can find lots of discounted cosmetics and little fun beauty gadgets here. I’ve recently purchased everything from bra strap converters to Bliss foaming sugar scrub, origins bath bubbles, a folding hairbrush and mirror combination and Evian face spray to keep you skin hydrated, all at a nice price.

Valu-Plus: This is a great place to buy loads of socks and t-shirts from Fruit of the Loom. They are two for 4.99. 60 pairs of undies means no laundry until Christmas. And a a ghetto spot you can pull this off for under forty dollars. I kid you not. Just take Septa’s Market Frankford El to 52ND and Market and walk across the street to the southwest corner of the block. You can also get cheap cheap clothes for clubbing at Sneaker Villa on the second floor. Off to the left is the skinny girls section.

Clark Park Farmers Market
Walk south forever on 43rd Street until you reach Baltimore Avenue. Then you can have coffee at the Greenline Cafe or, shop on Saturday morning.= at the farmer’s market. Some guy sells great tacos and John and Kira’s chocolates can usually be found. There’s are also muffins and cheeses and stuff you don’t actually have to cook or even heat but tastes just like home. Watch for info on Head House night market later this fall at 2ND and Lombard.

Make restaurant reservations for Parents’ Weekend and homecoming: try The Kibitz Room 15Th and Locust, Dante and Luigi’s (10Th and Catharine) or The Saloon at 7Th and Fitzwater.

Travel central: If you didn’t bring a car to campus, Septa token machines can be found in the bookstore on the second floor and just outside the CVS between 34Th and 36Th on Walnut. Stops you need to know 69Th Street and 15Th Street, are important stops for free interchanges to the stadiums (Broad Street/Orange Line) 2ND and Springarden is how to get to bars like North Third and other fun places near 3rd and Brown. Two more stop at Girard is where you’ll find the Piazza at Schmidt’s and amazing hoagies at the deli called Paesano’s.

Mann Music Center
Take the 52 bus out here for the last of the season outdoor concerts. Stephen Starr catering has really given it a nice polish, or you can pack your own food and beverages and have a picnic, Just don’t forget the cutter’s bug spray. You people should go on more old fashioned dates. It’s nice to get away from prying eyes. There’s also a free Philadelphia Orchestra Concert 09/21/10 at Dilworth Plaza which is on 15Th street near City Hall.

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10 Basic Tips when Interviewing

If you are either just out of college, changing careers or working contract, you have to go to interviews to get a job or to get your next assignment. Having been in Human Resources and Recruiting, I have seen a lot of what not to do. Some are basics that one might think “everyone knows that!” but sometimes people forget the basics too.

1. Do not arrive late: Prepare yourself for circumstances that may be out of your control, like a traffic jam, so try and leave a bit early. If you see that you are running late, call 20 minutes prior to your interview time and let your interviewer know the situation.
2. Dress for success: It doesn’t matter if the job descriptions say it’s a business casual environment; wear a suit to your interview.
3. Don’t be cocky: Confidence is good, but cockiness is a turnoff, thinking that you are better than your interviewer will show, saying it makes the situation worse. On the other side of the coin, don’t be too insecure either. Be confident in your knowledge about getting the job done without overstepping boundaries.
4. Bring a resume with you: Even if they have one, it is always good to have one to three handy, as if the interview may go very well and you may meet with more than one person. Also make sure that your resume is error-free. And please do not pull out your resume from your bra!
5. Don’t talk about your other businesses: If you have a construction company or worse if you have a website that gives Playboy look meek on the side but you are interviewing with an Oil & Gas company do not bring it up. It shows you are not interested in the position and the company and it is unprofessional.
6. Don’t badmouth your past employers: If you do this, your potential new employer may question what you may say about them; it doesn’t matter how well or bad terms you left.
7. Have a positive attitude: This shows excitement and interest in the position. If you have a bad attitude, the interviewer is going to think that you may be even worse if you get the job and bring everyone down. When it comes down to the interviewer may go with the person that had a better attitude even if their skills weren’t as good.
8. Have Manners: Always be polite, say thank you, please and excuse me and don’t burp in the interview or chew gum, it is plain rude.
9. Do your homework: Research the company and have at least one to three questions. Questions show interested in the company.
10. Do not ask the interviewer out: this will not get you the job and it is inappropriate.

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10 Best 24-Hour Restaurants in Las Vegas

Are you in Las Vegas for an all-nighter and looking for a nice restaurant to get some grub, no matter the time of day? Then look no further because this article will name ten of the best 24-hour restaurants in Las Vegas, include the price for the food and drink items, the level of customer service and the overall atmosphere of these restaurants.

For the first top restaurant on our list, is the LA Piazza, located on 1000 North Min Street and offers its patrons with some of the best pizza dishes in the city. The overall atmosphere is friendly and relaxing, as you have a sip of your favorite beverage and play a little bit of poker to win some money. The customer service is wonderful and friendly and the prices for the foods and drinks are not too expensive, so your wallet will not be burned as much. For reservation info, LA Piazza can be reached by phone at (702) 382-6487.

The restaurant at the Grand Lux Café, located inside the Venetian Hotel, is another top 24-hour place to eat and offers its patrons with authentic American cuisines and the atmosphere is family-friendly and fun. The food at the Grand Lux is very good and so is the customer service, which is very friendly and professional in helping customers with their issues. The average prices for their dinners are from $10 to $20 and reservations can be made by phone at (702) 414-3888.

The Carson Street Café, located at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, is another top place to eat in Vegas and you will be treated to some fine and authentic American cuisine. The food and atmosphere at this place is okay and their sandwiches are better than the ones you would get from a local deli shop. The average prices for the foods are from $6 to $18 and reservations are not accepted at this eatery.

Kilroys Restaurant, located on 1021 South Buffalo Drive, is also another 24-hour eating place and also offers its patrons some fine tasting food, including the burgers and drink. The restaurant’s overall atmosphere is friendly and relaxing and the customer service is okay. Both the restaurant and bars are open 24 hours a day and no reservations are needed to eat at this place.

The three Original Pancake House restaurants that are located on 4833 West Charleston Blvd, 4710 South Fort Apache Road and 8620 West Cheyenne are also good places to eat and offer its patrons some good breakfast foods. The pancakes and waffles are off the chain and the customer service is very good, with friendly and helpful wait staff. The prices for their plates range from $4.95 to $9.00 and the kids can also enjoy eating here as well. Reservations are not accepted at the three Original Pancake House restaurants in Vegas, so come on in and enjoy the food.

Big Dog’s Bar and Grill, located on 1511 North Nellis Boulevard, is also another 24-hour eatery, where you can enjoy some of the best pizzas, subs and domestic and imported beer in the city. The overall atmosphere is relaxing and calm, where you can kick back and enjoy some good food and beer and the customer service is friendly and helpful. The average price range for the foods is from $10 and $16 and no reservations are needed, so come on in any enjoy the food and beer.

For more 24-hour restaurants, there is Jr’s Place, located on 5745 South Durango Drive and offers its patrons an array of authentic Italian food. The overall atmosphere and customer service of this place is very good and the food is of high quality. The prices for the foods vary from plate to plate, but the price is well worth it, due to the high quality of the food and no reservations are needed to eat there.

The last top 24-hour eatery, in Vegas, is Zoozacreckers deli shop, located on 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard and offers its clientele an array of American cuisine. The deli café’s overall atmosphere and customer service is friendly and conversational and the food, including the corn beef hash, is to die for. The price range for the foods and drinks, at this place, varies from item to item and no reservations are needed to eat and relax here.

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10 Best Drama TV Shows of the Decade (2000-2010)

Every decade has its memorable drama TV shows. Since 2000, TV from the “Oughts” (the 2000s) has brought us a more nuanced, grittier view of our lives. The heroes of the best drama shows are more complex and the problems they face seldom end in neat little packages. It was a messy, complicated, bittersweet decade. Here are ten of the best TV dramas from 2000-2010.

1.The Sopranos (1999-2007) – James Gandolfini starred as Tony Soprano, a mobster who tried to stay in control of his crew and family. Superb acting and writing lured viewers into the dark world of the New Jersey mob. Part soap opera and part Scorsese film, the Sopranos was the definition of compelling drama and was appointment TV for its entire eight year run.

2. The West Wing (1999-2006) – Writer/Producer Aaron Sorkin brought his unique rapid-fire wit to this “if only” political drama. Martin Sheen starred as President Josiah Barlett in this liberal-leaning drama with a superb ensemble cast including Allison, Janney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Rob Lowe. The issue-oriented writing made this White House drama one of the smartest shows of the decade.

3. 24 (2001-Present) – Set in “real-time”, each season depicted a 24-hour period in the life of Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). From terrorist plots to an annoying teenage daughter, Jack Bauer faced it all in this edge of your seat serial drama. Unique structure and heart-pounding plots make 24 one of the most fun, water-cooler friendly shows of the decade.

4. Foyle’s War (2002-Present) – Masterpiece Theater brought this brilliant series to American shores. Set in Hastings, England during WWII, this beautifully written drama centered on Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchens). Unable to fight, Foyle remains on the home front to solve murders in a time of war. Gorgeous production value and excellent acting and writing make this understated and underrated drama one of the best.

5. Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) – Based on the campy series of the same name from the late 1970s, Battlestar Galactica is a clever reimagining of the premise. Great special effects and set design take a back seat to the human drama. Edward James Almos anchored this imaginative and thought-provoking science fiction series.

6. House (2004-Present) – British comedian, Hugh Laurie, shed his accent and his funny-man only status with the title role in this medical drama. Laurie’s Dr. Greg House is a curmudgeon’s curmudgeon. A misanthrope with only the tiniest glimmer of a heart, House is a character every woman wants to heal. Funny and shocking, House is a slow burn for redemption.

7. Six Feet Under (2001-2005) – Alan Ball’s complex drama tackled the big stuff: life and death. Set in a funeral parlor, Six Feet Under followed the lives of the Fisher family. Never easy, but always compelling, Six Feet Under made for great TV. The talented ensemble cast included Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy and Rachel Griffiths. More than just another TV drama, Six Feet Under is about the fragility of life and how we deal, or don’t deal, with our own mortality.

8. Mad Men (2007-Present) – Set in the world of a 1960s advertising agency, Mad Men is a reflection of our changing world. Beautifully filmed with fantastic period detail, Mad Men tells us where we are by showing us where we’ve been. Cool and stylized, Mad Men is repressed drama at its best.

9. The Wire (2002-2008) – Gritty and complicated, The Wire was an extreme close-up of our failures. Each season focused on a different aspect of Baltimore, Maryland from the drug trade to the government and the systemic failure of each. Violent and dark, The Wire is a grim police drama that required a commitment from its viewers and rewarded them with some of the best drama on television.

10. Friday Night Lights (2006-Present) – Based on a book and film of the same name, this wonderful series explores the sports-obsessed side of America. Set in the fictional Texas town of Dillon, Friday Night Lights follows the lives of the football team and their families. Grounded by an outstanding and understated performance by Kyle Chandler as coach Eric Taylor, the young cast is full of faces you’ll be seeing for a long time to come.

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10 Best Deaths on ABC's Lost

The final season of Lost is coming soon and there is sure to be a big shake up. I’m sure one thing we can count on is that somebody, maybe several people, will die this season. Over the past several years Lost has been one of the best television shows at killing characters. These are the 10 best deaths on ABC’s Lost.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost Tom Friendly
In one of many badass Sawyer moments Sawyer, Juliet and Hurley save Sayid, Jin and Bernard from the Others. Tom decides to surrender but Sawyer shoots him dead anyway.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost Nikki Fernandez and Paulo
Nikki and Paulo were two of the most hated characters on Lost. The only thing they ever did right was die. Nikki and Paulo’s death was one of the most surprising simply because we find out they were buried alive on accident.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost Mikhail Bakunin
Mikhail had one of the best deaths, if he actually died. You never know with Mikhail because he had more lives than a cat. Despite taking a spear gun shot to the chest he somehow managed to escape the Looking Glass but presumably Mikhail dies when he sets off a grenade to destroy the Looking Glass.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost Anthony Cooper
John Locke’s father is captured by the Others and Locke is told that if he wants to join the Others he must kill his father. John Locke can’t bring himself to kill Cooper but Richard reveals to him that Cooper is the same man that conned Sawyer’s family as a child. When Sawyer finds out that Cooper is the man that conned his family he has no problem doing the deed.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost Alexandra Rousseau
After Karl and Rousseau are killed by mercenaries Alex is taken by hostage. Kearney threatens to kill Alex if Ben does not surrender. Ben tries to bluff by telling Kearney that Alex isn’t really his daughter and that if Kearney wants to kill her then go ahead. Kearney calls Ben’s bluff immediately and shoots Alex.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost Ana Lucia Cortez and Libby Smith
When Michael double crosses the Oceanic survivors it is no big surprise that he kills Ana Lucia. The shocking part comes when Libby walks in on him and Michael is forced to kill Libby to keep her from ratting him out.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost Daniel Faraday
In a strange turn of events the Oceanic survivors all travel back in time. When Faraday shows up he gets in trouble with the Others of the past. One of the leaders of the groups shoots Faraday and we learn that this woman is actually Faraday’s mother.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost Juliet Burke
Jack decides to undo everything that has happen by dropping a bomb down a well. When the bomb is dropped it doesn’t go off and a fight breaks out between the Dharma Initiative and the Oceanic survivors. Juliet falls down the well but wakes up long enough to make sure the bomb goes off.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost Charlie Pace
Charlie and Desmond traveled to the Looking Glass to try and find out about Naomi and whether she came from Penny’s boat. When Mikhail sets off a grenade that floods the communication room Charlie sacrifices himself by closing the hatch and trapping himself inside so that Desmond won’t drown, too.

10 Best Deaths on ABC’s Lost John Locke
In one of the most shocking moments in Lost Locke decides he is going to hang himself for failing to bring the survivors back to the island. Ben convinces Locke not to kill himself but as soon as Ben gets the information he needs he strangles Ben to death.

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10 of the Best Free Crochet Patterns for Fall and Autumn Decor!

Decorating with crocheted items is something that my grandmother always did, therefore it is a bit nostalgic for me. During the fall season I would always see things like ornaments and pot holders that she had personally made just for the season. If you are like me and looking for free crochet patterns for Fall and Autumn Decor you have found the right list. I have gathered 10 of the best free crochet patterns for Fall and Autumn and included them all in this one list!

Free Crochet pattern for an Acorn by Planet June – With removable cup, they are about 2 inches tall, quick and easy to make. These acorns are super cute and you can find different ways to decorate with them. Add a few of them to a bowl to sit on your mantle of try to string them together to make a very cute crocheted garland.

Free Crochet Turkey Pattern – Very cute turkey crochet pattern! Quick and easy to make. Tom the Turkey is about 4 inches tall. Great fall colors are included in this pattern, so Tom will fit in with your other decor. Add him to a wreath or to the table centerpiece during Thanksgiving.

Free Crochet Pattern for Indian Corn – It’s never to late for Indian corn! Bundle a few of them together to make an awesome centerpiece for your thanksgiving table. String them together with yarn and make a cute Indian corn garland.

Free Crochet Pattern for Scarecrows – This free crochet pattern teaches you how to make adorable scarecrows. These little guys would look great added to a wreath or just sitting around the house. Recreate your family using the scarecrows! These are so cute that you will want to put them away after fall so that you can use them again, and again.

Free Crochet Pattern for a Stuffed Pumpkin – Very cute little stuffed pumpkins. They measure around 7 inches when finished. They are big enough to be a stand alone decoration or they would make a great wreath embellishment. Mix them with other crocheted fall decor to create a great fall scene to display in your hallway or entrance way.

Free Crochet Pattern for Fall or Autumn Placemats – Honestly these can be made in any color to suit the type of decor that you are using. Make a set of these to decorate your Thanksgiving table. You can also use them all throughout your house to put your other decor items on top of!

Free Crochet Pattern for Turkey Dishcloth – This free pattern started off as a coaster pattern in the 80’s and was transformed into this Dishcloth pattern. They are adorable and would look great hanging on the wall or to used as an end table place mat! So cute that you won’t wash the dishes with it!

Free Crochet Pattern for a Nut Bowl! – This is a super cute bowl that you can use to hold anything. The finished bowl measure 5″ x 6.5″ Make a few of them to place around your house to catch loose change and keys! Put one on your counter or desk at work and fill with candy, people will love this!

Free Pilgrim Crochet Pattern- A free crochet pattern to create a super adorable pilgrim! I love this little guy. I think that he would be a great gift to give to a child while they are learning about the Pilgrim’s voyage to America or to decorate your home with during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Free Crochet Pattern for Thanksgiving Magnets – Learn to make a turkey fridgie, a crow fridgie, and a scarecrow fridgie with these cute free Fridgie crochet patterns. Remember that magnet will stick to more than just your fridge! Try decorating the sides of your stove or the front of your dishwasher, Never ever ever put magnets on your computer.

Whether you are making a small gift for a friend or decorating your home you will find these Free Crochet patterns for Fall or Autumn useful in helping you create something unique!

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10 Best Actor in a Leading Role Potentials for the 2010 Oscar Awards

These actors are Hollywood’s A-List. Tinsel town’s leading men with the acting chops to back up any role. Ten of the top performers in the movie industry and each one is hoping to get that Oscar nod come Academy Awards night March 7. Here are ten of Hollywood’s actors who have presented what I consider Oscar-worthy performances.

Brad Pitt, “Inglorious Basterds The WeinsteinCompany.
He’s a hunk, we all know this, and he can act, too. Maybe he will get the nod for his role in this Quentin Tarantino movie of a soldier on a Nazi killing spree. Only Quentin could write the story the way we all wish it could have happened and cast each character so well. This World War II fantasy film has Pitt as the leader of the Basterds, on a mission to kill Hitler and every Nazi they encounter on the way. And, best of all, Pitt is enjoying himself, making a joke of the enemy. Relaease date: August 21, 2009.

Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker” Summit Entertainment.
Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron’s ex, (“Avatar,” and “Titanic”), directs this war drama that takes place in Iraq and stars Jeremy Renner as Staff Sergeant William James. He is a member of a “bomb squad,” an elite group of specially trained military personnel. He becomes the head honcho of the unit and his men discover that their fearless leader likes to live on the edge. As they are consumed with fighting and survival, Renner will have an effect on each of his men that will make a lasting impression. Release date: June 26, 2009.

George Clooney, “Up In The Air” Paramount.
How can you like a guy who’s job it is to board a plane and fly all over the country being the bearer of bad news? That’s what Clooney’s character has to do in this flick, as he plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate hatchet man I call the corporate bully. He’s got the job that no one wants. You are not suppose to like him, but he draws you in and causes you to root for him. Yes, the hatchet man. This is suppose to be a comedy, however you may not find it funny since people are losing their jobs–especially during our economically challenging times. Release date: December 25, 2009.

Ben Foster, “The Messenger” Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Foster digs deep to portray Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery, a soldier wounded in battle and reassigned to the Army’s Casualty Notification Service. His job: breaking the bad news to families that their loved one has died serving their country. Foster gets into the role and adds depth to this film delivering a nice performance. Release date: November 13, 2009.

Matt Damon, “The Informant” Warner Brothers.
Matt Can handle a good role. He does not disappoint us in this picture, playing Mark Whitacre, a worker at the agri-industry corporation ADM, (Archer Daniels Midland), who discovers some hanky panky illegal price fixing going on and decides to blow the whistle. He goes to the FBI thinking he is doing something good and he will be regarded as a hero. They make him an informant, give him a wire and he fantasizes that he has been transformed to “secret agent man.” Go ahead, have a good laugh. Release date: September 18, 2009.

Sharlto Copley, “District 9 TriStar.
It’s aliens versus humans in this sci-fi drama set in future South Africa. Sharlto Copley is Wilkus van der Merwe and its his first acting job, ever, and he nails it with style. Extra-terrestrial aliens have become refugees and placed in a camp in an area of Johannesburg called District 9. In the meantime, the humans have to decide what to do with them and they hire van der Merwe initially, to be in charge of the aliens. But the real reason they want Wilkus there is to obtain information on their advance weaponry. While there, he is exposed to biotechnology that causes his DNA to change. Mutating to an alien will give him the weaponry knowledge and the humans want him. He needs somewhere to go to sort this whole thing out. The only place he can go–District 9. Copley is a bright star rising and we will see more of him on the big screen. Release date: August 14, 2009.

Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart” Fox Searchlight. Dimly lit, smoke-filled, crowded bars, and out-of-the-way honky tonk joints are the venues where Bad Blake hits the stage. A lonely, washed up country singer on his last leg, Bad Blake, played by Jeff Bridges, meets Jean, a writer. She is there to do a story on him and a ray of sunshine enters his life. A love relationship develops, and as the movie unfolds, you see a poignant portrayal of a man who is battling alcoholism while trying to keep it all together, especially his career. Bridges does a fabulous job helping us, the audience feel his pain. Release date: December 16, 2009.

Colin Firth, “A Single Man” The Weinstein Company. As a homosexual college professor Colin Firth’s character, George Falconer, finds himself all alone after years in a relationship with the death of his partner. It’s LA, circa 1962, and Professor Falconer is finding it hard to carry on. The film takes us through a day of his life as he tries to cope with his loss. There to help him put things into perspective is his best friend, Charly, played by Julianne Moore, who is 48, attractive, and trying to make sense of her own life. Release date: December 11, 2009.

Robert Downey Jr, “Sherlock Holmes” Warner Brothers. Robert Downey Jr has already won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in this movie. Guy Ritchie (Madonna’s ex) directs this flick that gives us another perspective on the character of the gum-shoes intellectual detective Holmes. Here, Ritchie offers a Sherlock that is much more outgoing, even a brawler of sorts, raucous as he seems to be living life by the seat of his pants. No stuffy shirts, top hats, biscuits and tea here. Throughout the movie, Downey carries on showing us another side of the sleuth. Downey grew up in Hollywood and developed his acting abilities early, so we would expect nothing but a brilliant performance as he handles the British accent and shows his versatility on screen. You may not see much of a plot in this movie, so, go for the great action. Release date: December 25, 2009.

Morgan Freeman, “Invictus” Warner Bros. Automatically the combination of actor/director Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman translates into a guaranteed box office hit. This is a movie based on the true story of Nelson Mandela and how he used the South African rugby team to unite South Africa in the shadows of apartheid. The 1995 World Cup Championships served as an opportunity to do this and he enlists the help of the rugby team captain, played by Matt Damon. As fate would have it, the team goes on to win the 1995 World Championship. If you like sports, history, and good solid acting, go see this movie. Release date: December 11, 2009.

And there you have it. Hollywood’s leading men giving you the best that they’ve got. These films represent an array of good, solid performances that are guaranteed to move you, draw you and and keep you coming back to the theatre for more. May the best man win.

For a complete list of nominees for best actor, click on:

Rhonda Manning,,,, Associated Content.

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10 Best Actress in a Supporting Role Potentials for the 2010 Oscar Awards

1. Mo’Nique for Precious

Precious, released October 3, 2009, is the heartbreaking story of a young, obese, abused teenager growing up in Harlem, pregnant with her second child. She begins attending an alternative school, where she learns the true meaning of life and moves to make a better life for her and her baby. Also starring Gabourey Sidibe, Mariah Carey, and Paula Patton.

2. Anna Kendrick for “Up in the Air”

Up in the Air, released December 23, 2009, is about a man who travels around the country firing people, living out of a suitcase, until this company does something he never expected: grounds him. Also starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Jason Bateman.

3. Samantha Morton for “The Messenger”

The Messenger, release November 13, 2009, is the story of an American soldier struggling with an ethical dilemma when he becomes involved with the widow of a fallen officer. Also starring Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, and Steve Buscemi.

4. Julianne Moore for “A Single Man”

A Single Man, released November 6, 2009, is a story that centers on an English professor who, after the sudden death of his partner, tries to go about his typical day in Los Angeles. Also starring Colin Firth, Nicholas Hoult, and Matthew Goode.

5. Penelope Cruz for “Nine”

Nine, released December 25, 2009 is a story about famous film director Guido Contini as he struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as his engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother. Also starring Marion Cotillard, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Nicole Kidman.

6. Maggie Gyllenhaal for “A Crazy Heart”

Crazy Heart, released December 16, 2009, is a story about a broken down, hard living country music singer who’s had too many wives, too many years on the road, and too many drinks too many times, but tries to find salvation with the help of a journalist who discovers the true man behind the musician. Also starring Jeff Bridges, James Keane, and Rick Dial.

7. Judi Dench for “Nine”

Nine, released December 25, 2009 is a story about famous film director Guido Contini as he struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as his engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother. Also starring Marion Cotillard, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Nicole Kidman.

8. Natalie Portman for “Brothers”

Brothers, released December 4, 2009, is a story about a young man who comforts his older brother’s wife and children after he goes missing in Afghanistan. Also starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, and Clifton Collins, Jr.

9. Sigourney Weaver for “Avatar”

Avatar, released December 18, 2009, is a story about a paraplegic marine sent to the moon Pandora on a unique mission, where those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture. Also starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Stephen Lang.

10. Rachel Weisz for “The Lovely Bones”

The Lovely Bones, released January 15, 2010, is the story of a little girl who has been murdered and watches over her family, and her killer, from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal. Also starring Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan, and Susan Sarandon.

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10 Best Conservative Blogs

One of the more familiar complaints about the main stream media is that it’s reporting tends to be liberally biased. Fortunately, conservative oriented blogs have helped to provide a balance for this bias. Here are a few:

Instapundit is put out by Law Professor Glenn Reynolds, who is also an author, podcaster, TV personality, and a number of other things besides. Instapundit’s slant goes toward the libertarian, with posts that tend to be brief, with lots of links to other parts of the blogosphere, written with rare wit and insight.

Hotair is run by author, columnist, and TV personality Michelle Malkin. The two main bloggers are Allahpundit and Ed Morrissey, formerly of Captains’ Quarters. Hotair posts tend to link with breaking stories about politics or public affairs along with conservative commentary.

Red State
Red State is a group blog, edited by Erick Erickson, that claims to be the most widely read right of center blog on Capitol Hill and the most cited right of center blog in the media. Its posts usually consists of short essays, with links, on various political happenings and issues of the day.

Hugh Hewitt
Hugh Hewitt is run by Hugh Hewitt, a lawyer and radio talk show host. Hewitt’s posts very often contain tie ins to his daily radio show, including transcripts of interviews.

The Corner
The Corner is one of the online blog presences of the venerable National Review. Posts by the National Review writing staff and contributors can be short, pithy comments, with links to other stories, or longer essays. Frequently links are given to articles posted on the National Review website.

Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn is a famous Canadian conservative and author of the bestselling book, America alone. Steyn recently ran afoul of a so-called Canadian “human rights” commission over writings thought to be biased toward Islam. His fight, detailed on his blog, is celebrated as a struggle between the right of free speech vs politically correct persecution.

Little Green Footballs
Little Green Footballs started life as a general discussion of the interests, including bicycle racing and web design, by its owner Charles Johnson. In the wake of 9/11 is turned into one of the most famous political blogs on the Internet. Little Green Footballs played a crucial role in exposing the Killian documents as frauds and ending the career of Dan Rather. Little Green Footballs has also done investigative work on the altered photographs taken by Adrian Hajj of Israeli bombing in Beirut.

Newsbusters is a site dedicated to exposing liberal media bias by posting examples and critiques of the same.

Powerline is a group blog written by three lawyer friends, John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff, who attended Dartmouth together. Powerline participated in the Killian documents controversy, helping to expose the documents as frauds. Powerline was named 2004 “Blog of the Year” by Time Magazine.

Iowahawk is a conservative blog that frequently uses humorous posts to make its points. A recent post along these lines was “The Idiossey”, a poem written in the style of Homer’s Odyssey about a character named “Obamacles”, an obvious reference to Barack Obama.

Tags:10 Best Conservative Blogs

10 Best Doctor Who Episodes of the 2000s

The Matt Smith era of Doctor Who has begun and the new series got off to a great start with the first episode, “The Eleventh Hour.” Matt Smith immediately made fans with his great portrayal of the Doctor and the first episode already ranks as one of the best episodes of Doctor Who since the turn of the century. These are the ten best episodes of Doctor Who so far in the 2000s.

The Doctor’s Daughter
Episode Originally Aired: May 10th, 2008
Doctor: David Tennant
The Doctor, Donna and Martha encounter a group of armed men that forces the Doctor’s hand into a progenation machine that uses the Doctor’s DNA to create a soldier named Jenny. Since Jenny is from the Doctor’s DNA it is as if he has a daughter. The Doctor’s daughter is played by Georgia Moffett, the real life daughter of the fifth Doctor, Peter Davison.

Rise of the Cybermen
Episode Originally Aired: May 13th, 2006
Doctor: David Tennant
Spoiler alert! In this episode the Cybermen return. Just thought I would give a heads up in case you couldn’t tell from the title.

Turn Left
Episode Originally Aired: June 21st, 2008
Doctor: David Tennant
Donna was the weakest of companions but the episode “Turn Left” was one of the few bright moments. In this episode we get the alternative story of what would have happened if Donna had turned right at a literal crossroads moment in her life instead of turning left, which lead to meeting the Doctor.

The End of the World
Episode Originally Aired: April 2nd, 2005
Doctor: Christopher Eccleston
The Doctor and Rose travel to five billion years into the future on a space station called “Platform One.” All of the creatures on the space station have gathered to watch the end of the Earth as it is about to be destroyed by the sun. The Doctor discovers that someone is trying to kill each of the guests on the space station and he must save them.

The Eleventh Hour
Episode Originally Aired: April 3rd, 2010
Doctor: Matt Smith
The Eleventh Hour is the first episode of the new Matt Smith series. Both Matt Smith and Karen Gillan impressed right away and the episode ended with a nice montage of all the past Doctors.

Bad Wolf
Episode Originally Aired: June 11th, 2005
Doctor: Christopher Eccleston
In “Bad Wolf” the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack Harkness all awake to find themselves on various reality television shows. The future version of “Big Brother”, “The Weakest Link” and “What Not to Wear” are a lot more fatal than the versions we remember.

Human Nature
Episode Originally Aired: May 26th, 2007
Doctor: David Tennant
The Doctor and Martha are trying to escape the Family of Blood. In order to do so the Doctor must turn into a human for three months so that he can not be detected. The Doctor lands on earth in 1913 where he becomes a regular school teacher and Martha is a maid at the school. The Family of Blood find the Doctor’s location and Martha must awaken the Doctor, whose memories left him when he became a regular human.

The Empty Child
Episode Originally Aired: May 21st, 2005
Doctor: Christopher Eccleston
In “The Empty Child” the Doctor and Rose land in London during the Blitz of World War II. The Doctor finds a small child with a gas mask that all the other people are afraid of and must find out what is behind it. The Empty Child won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form and was the first appearance of Captain Jack Harkness.

Episode Originally Aired: July 8th, 2006
Doctor: David Tennant
The Cybermen and the Daleks are both recurring species in the Doctor Who universe but the two species never had a conflict with each other for 45 years, until this episode. Not only is this a monumental moment but it has some hilarious moments thanks to the Cybermen/Dalek smackdown. “You are superior in only one respect.” “What is that?” “You are better at dying.”

Episode Originally Aired: June 9th, 2007
Doctor: David Tennant
After the 200th episode of Doctor Who there was a poll in Doctor Who Magazine to crown the best episode of all time. “Blink” finished second only to “The Caves of Androzani” from the Peter Davison series in 1984. It is especially impressive considering the episode had very little of the Doctor in it and instead mainly focused on Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan.

Doctor Who Episode list can be found on

Tags:10 Best Doctor Who Episodes of the 2000s

10 Best Baseball Video Games of All-Time

Many sports video gamers choose football as their number one sports purchase each year due to the Madden and NCAA Football franchises but over the years the best football games have all come from long series of games. Major League Baseball on the other hand has produced a lot of great video games that are unique from each other. These are the 10 best baseball video games.

Sports Talk Baseball (Sega Genesis)
Any gamer that picked up a Sega Genesis controller and inserted the Sports Talk Baseball cart would consider the play-by-play to be pretty bad by today’s standards. At the time though, commentators that actually spoke were a new idea and Sports Talk Baseball did it a lot better than its football brother.

Bases Loaded (NES)
Bases Loaded made the mistake of using the camera behind the pitcher instead of behind the batter. This camera angle is how baseball is seen on television but hitting the ball is more difficult. Other than that Bases Loaded had very good graphics at the time and the game produced six sequels.

Earl Weaver Baseball (PC)
Earl Weaver Baseball looks ancient now but provided many innovations for the baseball genre. Earl Weaver Baseball was the first game that allowed players to simulate an entire season, had a manager mode, had multiple ballparks that looked differently, had the firs MLBPA license and featured real players and the Amiga version of the game had the first voice synthesis of any sports video game.

Pete Rose Baseball (Atari 2600)
Despite a behind the pitcher viewpoint like Bases Loaded, Pete Rose Baseball was probably the best pre-NES baseball game. Pete Rose Baseball was a pleasant surprise because until then the baseball games on the Atari were an epic fail

Realsports Baseball (Atari 5200)
Realsports did not have a lot of extra features that we love so much in baseball games but all the important elements of the baseball game were handled well. Realsports featured very good graphics at the time, the gameplay was very good and the voice synthesis was top notch.

Basewars (NES)
Basewars was one of the most memorable baseball games because of how bizarre it was. Basewars was set in the future and players would have a team of baseball-playing robots. Some of these robots would have tank treads, others would hover, another had a motorcycle wheel an some had human legs. Each player also had a weapon and a team would win either by scoring more points than the other team or destroying so many of the opponent’s players that they have to forfeit.

Baseball Stars (NES)
Baseball Stars did not have real players or teams but it made up for the lack of a license by allowing players to create their own team and name all of their players. In the season mode each player would have a money value and by paying them that much money the player would be able to increase the player’s stats. Unfortunately paying a player more money doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll play better in real life (I’m looking at you Jason Bay).

Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (Super Nintendo)
Ken Griffey Jr. had all the real Major League Baseball teams and may have been the first game to have the Rockies and Marlins as part of the league. The players were fake but their names could be altered so the player could enter real players. The nicest feature of Ken Griffey Jr. was that it had all the Major League Baseball stadiums in great enough detail to tell which ballpark it was.

MVP Baseball 2005 (Playstation 2)
MVP Baseball 2005 is the second best baseball video game of all-time even though from a technical stand point it probably ranks first. The MVP Baseball series of video games was such a superior franchise than the 2K series that five years later there are still many gamers trying to get a copy of a five-year old MVP Baseball game over the current season’s 2K game.

RBI Baseball (NES)
MVP Baseball 2005 is the best baseball video game from a technical standpoint but RBI Baseball runs away from the pack in nostalgia and fun. RBI Baseball was like the baseball equivalent of football’s Tecmo Bowl. It was the game that a larger percentage of the first video game generation grew up playing.

Tags:10 Best Baseball Video Games of All-Time

10 of the Best Country Songs of All Time

I love, love, love country music! I grew up on it, and I am a pretty dedicated listener. I am a pretty sentimental person, and I enjoy music that has powerful lyrical messages. Here are ten songs that I absolutely love. I am sure I am forgetting some, so there may be a Part 2 to come! This list is in no particular order.

#1 “The Dance” by Garth Brooks
The message this song conveys is how I think we should live life. It suggests that life is best to chance…which is true. We never know what is going to happen in the future and if we obsess over it we will noot enjoy what is in front of us.

#2 “The Baby” by Blake Shelton
This song is very touching. Although it discusses how youngest children are often favored, I take the mother-child bond away from the song. There is no other bond like a child and his/her mother. No matter how old you get, you are never ready to lose a parent.

#3 “Forever and Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis
This could be your grandparent’s song. It is so cute. It truly shows the power of true love. You can fall in love with someone for her looks, but true love is when you love someone when they are not as beautiful as long ago. This shows true unconditional love.

#4 “It’s a Love Without End Amen” by George Strait
I talked about mothers with “The Baby” description. Dads deserve some credit, too. This song makes me think of my dad. No matter what I am doing in life, I know that my dad is always there for me. A daddy’s love never goes away for his children.

#5 “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” by Gary Allen
This is as true as it gets! We all know that life ain’t always beautiful…but it is indeed “a beautiful ride.” We all have bad moments in life, but good to make up from them. If you look at the total picture, the good moments make life worth it.

#6 “I Believe” by Diamond Rio
This is one of the most touching songs to me. I lost my mom a few years ago, and this song reminds me that she is with me always. If you have lost someone, I recommend this song. We all have angels among us…remember to believe.

#7 “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks
Whether or not you like this song will probably depend on if you have a belief in God. It is a good reminder that when things are not going your way, it is not that God is ignoring you; it just means He has a plan for you. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.

#8 “Three Wooden Crosses” by Randy Travis
Another Randy Travis song…gotta love him. This is another testament to the way we should live our lives. You have to live every day like it is your last because you never know when it is going to end. It is alll about “what you leave behind you when you go.”

#9 “Don’t Take the Girl” by Tim McGraw
What a cute song! It portrays growing up, and also expresses how you never know what could happen “ten years down the road.” The true power of love is expressed here. When you are truly in love, you would rather anything else happens besides losing that person.

#10 “He Didn’t Have to Be” by Brad Paisley
I couldn’t leave Brad out. This is a wonderful song. Sometimes the relationship between stepparent and child is not as it should be, but the story in this song represents a truly remarkable man and the influence he has on a boy.

I highly encourage to listen to these songs if you have not already. I know you will take something powerful and positive away from them. Stay tuned for more of my favorites. Happy listening!

I used one site to spark some ideas. View that here

Tags:10 of the Best Country Songs of All Time

10 Best Books of All Time That Talk About Economics

Books on the economy and economics have been written as long as writing has been around. People always want to know how to get ahead; often times it is these books on economics which help light an otherwise darkened path. This list of the 10 best books of all time about the economy and economics is something of a hodge-podge but all the titles on this list can help the individual struggling with their place in the world as it relates to the economy.

How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie: The first title on this list was one of those books my dad had when I was growing up. What many people don’t appreciate on the surface is that business and the economy often has little to do with business and the economy. Economics, in the end, is all about people; how they react to news, how they interpret news, and how they invest or pull support from a product, idea, company, or what have you. Dale Carnegie would probably say that Jesse James’ ‘value’ as a celebrity is on the outs right now; perhaps Jesse James should read Dale Carnegie’s book. How to Win Friends & Influence People was published in 1937; originating from Carnegie’s speech series which he had begun giving at the 125th Street YMCA in New York City where he lived. Carnegie argued that financial success is “15% professional knowledge and 85% the ability to express ideas, assume leadership, and arouse enthusiasm among people.” This was something of a watershed moment at the end of the Great Depression; when so many people were angry and despondent, Andrew Carnegie’s book inspired countless people and has earned its place on this list of the 10 best books of all time about the economy.

Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.: Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If Louis Gerstner had acquiesced into the role which had been lain out for him in 1993, the world would certainly be a different place today. Published in 2002, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance tells the story of the too cumbersome computer giant IBM and their rapid transformation from near extinct company, on the verge of folding, to a feisty player in the industry who refused to bow down and reinvented themselves for the benefit of the world.

The Tipping Point: Malcolm Gladwell: Economics and the economy is an influence based realm; just ask Justin Bieber. Regardless there is that moment when your idea, fashion, idiosyncrasy, or concept goes from being art-house to being a phenomenon. The Tipping Point explains that very phenomenon. As much a sociology book as an economics text, The Tipping Point goes into great detail in describing the way people all over the world sell their products and sell their ideas.

Sam Walton: Made in America: Sam Walton/John Huey: If you don’t know Sam Walton you don’t know American business. Perhaps better known is the retail empire Walton left behind; Wal-Mart. Sam Walton: Made in America is an inspired and inspiring success story which tells one of the greatest American success stories in the history of this nation; certainly deserving on the list of the 10 best books of all time about the economy.

The Art of the Start: Guy Kawasaki: Many may know Kawasaki from his blogs or from his evangelism selling the first Macintosh in the 1980’s; however it’s his 2004 book, The Art of the Start which deserves mention here. In very familiar terminology, Kawasaki breaks down the GIST of things; making the material both accessible and applicable. Kawasaki also details a number of important facets to the game of the start up like raising capital, interviewing prospective employees for a start up, and getting to the nut of what the business of doing business really is.

The Smartest Guys in the Room: Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind: The story of business and economics, one would hope, would be about positive success stories; just as often as not though, there are failures. One of the grandest failures in recent memory; one which affected countless individuals the world over; has got to be the story of the fall of Enron. The Smartest Guys in the Room is the definitive retelling of the Enron story. Jeff Skilling, Andy Fastow, and Ken Lay are the three on the griddle here and McLean and Elkind spare them no expense. A must read for anyone in business and economics; if anything The Smartest Guys in the Room is an important cautionary tale. Published 2004.

The Rise of the Creative Class: Richard Florida: I wonder how many people reading this article right now would identify with Richard Florida’s analysis of the role of “the creative class”? According to The Rise of the Creative Class, nearly 40 million Americans identify themselves from their role as “purveyors of creativity.” This is also an esthetic which belongs to a whopping 25% of the unemployed. Even though these creative types are unemployed and so vast in number, their influence is noted. Economist Richard Florida takes us on the journey in his 2002 text. For the actual unemployed, The Rise of the Creative Class is available for free online; just follow the Google hyperlink in this paragraph.

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: Gordon Mackenzie: Gordon Mackenzie is nobody’s fool and Orbiting the Giant Hairball is an entertaining look around navigating your way through the corporate environment with grace and finesse. Mackenzie’s own story is entertaining enough; breaking out the microscope to analyze his own professional evolution is a great read for any stifled corporate type. Published 1998.

Lucky or Smart? Bo Peabody: Checking in at a hefty 80 pages, this book from Internet entrepreneur Bo Peabody is a brief look at the question posed in the title; is it smarts or is success in business based on luck alone? Peabody seems to be of the persuasion that smart people can be lucky; smarter people also have better things to be doing than reading a book about someone who stumbled on his own fortune, like creating their own.

Legal Offshore Tax Havens: Jesse Schmitt: Associated Content said to use personal experience for this story (and this piece is getting a little long…is anyone still reading?)…so, Legal Offshore Tax Havens is a book written by me. It may be on only one top 10 list of the best books of all time about the economy, but it is my own look at how to keep your money away from the government. Read the first nine books, make your millions, and then come back to Legal Offshore Tax Havens to find ways to keep more of that money you’ve made.


Tags:10 Best Books of All Time That Talk About Economics

10 Best Non-Tourist Sites to See in Phoenix, Arizona

The Mystery Castle, Phoenix, Arizona

A man who had tuberculosis and was looking for a drier climate to help mitigate his condition built the Mystery Castle in the early 20th century. After his death, his daughter moved into the home and still lives there today. The castle has a unique architecture with a great story behind it. This is a great place for photographs.

Location: 800 East Mineral Road, Phoenix, AZ 85042
Hours: Oct. thru June Thu-Sun 11 am-4 pm.
Cost: Adult $5 and children Free.

Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum

This museum is actually a 1800’s era town located on 90 acres 30 minutes north of downtown Phoenix. You’ll be able to visit a blacksmith shop, sheriff’s office and jail; a complete ranch complex and all the people there are dressed in authentic period style clothing. A trip here will take you back in time.

Location: 3901 West Pioneer Road, Phoenix, AZ 85086.
Hours: Winter 9 am-5 pm Wed-Sun; Summer 9 am-3 pm Wed-Sun.
Cost: Adults $7, Students 6-18 $5, and children Free.

The Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum

This museum has been in existence since 1884. It has one of the world’s largest collections of minerals, rocks, fossils and mining materials. This museum schedules special events and contains a gift shop with specially priced minerals for purchase.

Location: 1502 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
Hours: 8 am-5 pm Mon-Fri and 11 am-4 pm Sat.
Cost: Adults $2 and children 17 and under Free.

The Heard Museum

The Heard Museum has collections of Native American culture and art. It has 10 exhibition galleries, free-guided tours, an outdoor sculpture garden, a café, and trading post style shops. This museum was founded in 1929 and contains great history of the area.

Location: 2301 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Hours: 9:30 am-5 pm Mon-Sun.
Cost: Adults $12, Students $5, children 6-12 $3 and children under 6 Free.

Desert Botanical Gardens

The Desert Botanical Gardens sport a collection of more than 20,000 specimens to include the largest cacti collection with more than 1300 examples. March thru May is when the blooming is the best so plan your trip during these months. Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen as the desert sun can be very hot.

Location: 1201 N Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008.
Hours: 8 am-8 pm October thru May daily and 7 am-8 pm June thru September daily.
Cost: Adults $15, Students 13-18 $7.50, children 3-12 $5 and children under 3 Free.

The Arizona Science Center

The Arizona Science Center features a futuristic architecture and attempts to turn learning into fun for the whole family. It has a laser light show that can be seen in the Planetarium and a 5 story IMAX theater showing various educational and exciting films.

Location: 600 East Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Hours: 10 am-5 pm Mon-Sun Closed Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Cost: Adult $12, Child 3-17 $10 Planetarium and IMAX extra.

Pueblo Grande Museum

The Pueblo Grande Museum offers an opportunity to learn about the ancient Hohokam Indian culture. This museum contains three galleries, a theater and an interpretive trail. The outside display makes it very real as to what these Indians had to do to survive in the desert, from home building to farming.

Location: 4619 E Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034.
Hours: 9 am-4:45 pm Mon-Sat 1 pm-4:45 pm Sun.
Cost: Adult $6, Children 6-17 $3, Children 5 and under Free.

Arizona Capital Museum

The Arizona Capital Museum has more than 20 exhibits that tell Arizona history from territorial days to present. This museum contains an exciting store to buy souvenirs and you can park free at Wesley Bolin Plaza.

Location: 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
Hours: 9 am-4 pm Mon-Fri.
Cost: Free

Historic Heritage Square

The Historic Heritage Square is conveniently located near the Arizona Science Center. Located within the Heritage Square are many homes listed in the National Register of Historic Places. There are two restaurants and two of the historic homes offer free tours. This is a pleasant place to stop and grab a nice lunch.

Location: 600 East Monroe Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Hours: Varies
Cost: Free

Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting

The Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting is the largest museum of its kind. It contains restored antique fire trucks and equipment from civil war era to present day. It is also located near the Desert Botanical Garden.

Location: 6101 East Van Buren Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008.
Hours: 9 am-5 pm Mon-Sat Noon-4 pm Sun.
Cost: Adult $6, Students 6-17 $4, Children 3-5 $1.50 and children under 3 Free.

These are 10 of some of the great sites to be seen here in Phoenix Arizona. I encourage you to check these out whether you are a visitor or a resident. Enjoy.

Tags:10 Best Non-Tourist Sites to See in Phoenix, Arizona

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