Saturday, December 3, 2016

10 Twitter Tips for Beginners

First there was Orkut. It took you a long time but you finally succumbed to ‘orkutting’. But just as you were getting the hang of it, everyone started talking about MySpace. You had a look at the website but it seemed far too daunting, and only your longhaired hippie friends seemed to be on it. So you decided to pass it up. Then one day you asked your colleague for a client’s email and he said he will ‘Facebook’ it to you. You blinked in confusion and he blinked in amazement when he realized you weren’t on Facebook. You scribbled the client’s email into your diary as your colleague shook his head in pity.

You will not stand for it anymore. You do not want to be the technological retard. Twitter is big and you want in. But you have no idea where to get started.


Here are ten tips for beginners on Twitter. Follow these tips and you will fit right in!


There are three types of messages in Twitter: Tweets that include someone’s name, Tweets that are a reply to someone else’s message, and direct messages. The first two are public, the third can only be seen by the user the message is meant for.


There are different styles of Tweeters. Some people use it mainly to talk to their friends and family. Unless you know the person, you probably won’t find their tweets very interesting. Some people are there mostly to market their products and services. You will come across many more types. Pick whatever type you want to be.


If you want your Tweets to be followed, you need to Tweet about something that matters to someone. Be it latest developments in your chosen field of expertise, information about the latest product line your company is launching, or the birth of your first grand child, it has to be of some interest to someone.


Start out by following established Tweeters in your area of interest. Use the Find tool to find well-known people who share the same passions as you, then follow them. A number of them will follow you back.


Over time, reduce your list of people to follow to the most interesting ones.


Retweeting is a great way of making new friends on Twitter. If you like someone’s post, go on and spread the word. Preface a retweet with RT and do not forget to include the person’s Twitter name.


Tweet frequently enough to be seen as someone worth following but not so often hat you are seen as loud, intrusive, or a bore.


There are directories that list Twitter users by what their interests are. List yourself on these directories under the keywords that best describe your interests and very soon you will have a following.


Share pictures. Pictures make your Tweets more interesting. A number of add-ons let you upload pictures and post them directly to Twitter.


And finally, Go mobile. Once you have familiarized yourself with using Twitter on your computer, start using your phone or mobile device to Tweet. You can use text messages to Tweet though it is much more convenient to download a mobile client for your phone if the device supports it.


Labels: 10 Twitter Tips for Beginners

10 Trivia Questions About the 1994-95 Orlando Magic

1. What was the Win-Loss record for the Orlando Magic during the 1994-95 NBA season?

A. 57-25
B. 72-10
C. 47-35
D. 50-32


2. Who held the team record for Assists during the 1994-95 NBA season?


A. Brian Shaw
B. Penny Hardaway
C. Dennis Scott
D. Nick Anderson


3. Who coached the Orlando Magic during the 1994-95 season?


A. Stan Van Gundy
B. Doc Rivers
C. Brian Hill
D. Chuck Daly


4. Who had the most Points Per Game for the Orlando Magic during the during the 1995 NBA Playoffs?


A. Penny Hardaway
B. Shaquille O’Neal
C. Horace Grant
D. Nick Anderson


5. Which Orlando Magic player had the highest salary during the 1994-95 season?


A. Shaquille O’Neal
B. Penny Hardaway
C. Horace Grant
D. Nick Anderson


6. Which Orlando Magic who played with the team during the 1994-95 season was the 1st draft pick in franchise history?


A. Nick Anderson
B. Dennis Scott
C. Shaquille O’Neal
D. Chris Webber


7. What teams did the Orlando Magic defeat to advance the 1995 NBA Finals?


A. Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers
B. Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls
C. Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks
D. Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers


8. What team did the Magic face in the 1995 NBA Finals and what was the result of that series?


A. They beat the San Antonio Spurs in seven games
B. They lost to the Dallas Mavericks in five games
C. They lost to the Houston Rockets in four games
D. The beat the Phoenix Suns in four games


9. Which Orlando Magic player wore #3 for the 1994-95 season?


A. Tree Rollins
B. Brian Shaw
C. Keith Tower
D. Dennis Scott


10. Horace Grant, who played for the Orlando Magic during the 1994-95 NBA season has a twin brother. What is his name?


A. Hank
B. Harold
C. Harvey
D. Herb


Labels: 10 Trivia Questions About the 1994-95 Orlando Magic

10 Unique Christmas Tradition Celebration Ideas

Not feeling the traditional holiday spirit? Want to create a unique celebration for yourself and your family? Here are some ideas for getting creative this year. Create your own unique Christmas soundtrack. Not into traditional winter holiday music? You aren’t alone. Make your own personalized mix of music for the holiday season by choosing non-traditional songs like “Merry Christmas from the Family” or find ones that represent what this time of year means to you.

Write a letter to yourself or someone else as a time capsule that will be opened at a future Christmas celebration. This is a fun and unique tradition to use with children especially, because they change so much from year to year.


Hide all of the kids’ gifts throughout your house on Christmas Eve. When they wake up in the morning, they aren’t allowed to open anything until everyone has found all of their presents. I got this idea from a mom who did it with her kids, and they loved participating in this unique Christmas tradition. Just make sure you remember where everything is hidden! Put presents for little ones in more obvious places, and use different wrapping paper for each child.


Some of us are getting tired of the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story on TV every year. Find another movie that can represent your own unique Christmas tradition. If you’re really into flicks, consider starting a movie marathon tradition with your family. You can either watch the same ones every year, switch it up with themes, or rent your family’s list of the best movies from the previous year.


Celebrate Christmas with extended family on another day so that you can spend the actual holiday relaxing at home. This might be difficult to arrange, but it lessens the stress of running around to different events on Christmas day.


Use Christmas as an excuse to pamper yourself, especially if you won’t be spending it with family. Booking yourself at a spa, indulging in takeout, or reading a good book are unique Christmas celebration ideas that will cheer you up if you’ve had a rough year or don’t enjoy the holiday season.


Spend some time doing outdoor activities. This is a wonderful unique Christmas tradition, because places that are normally crowded will be completely empty. Go for hike in the woods, go skiing, take a walk, or whatever you enjoy doing in nature. Take a camera along to document the first year of your new tradition.


Buy a new ornament for your child each year as a unique Christmas tradition. Pick ornaments that say something about who they are, like a favorite activity, or that represents something they’ve done during the past year. You’ll enjoy looking at all of them during future holiday celebrations.


Make a point of giving to strangers. This might not seem like a unique Christmas tradition idea to some people, but many don’t do it. Tailor this celebration to your family by choosing a cause you care about and doing something unusual. Buy a holiday gift for the homeless person on the street.


If you have family or friends that live far away, find a unique container for the Christmas present you send them. Buy a special box, decorate it, and mail your gift. Ask them to add more decorations and send it back the next year. It will be fun to see how it changes over time.


Labels: 10 Unique Christmas Tradition Celebration Ideas

10 Top Thoroughbred Champion Athletes of All Time

Many don’t think too much of the horses in racing being athletes but to watch them with personal trainers, caretakers, diets to provide maximum nutrition and a performance that is absolutely an athletic achievement it’s clear they are the epitome of an athlete.

A case can be made for many horses but here’s a short list of exceptioinal equine athletes.


1.Secretariat romped onto the racing scene in 1972 and as a big, beautiful colt it was said maybe he wouldn’t run. Some say older mares are past their prime for producing but his dam, Somethingroyal, was in her late teens when he was born. Secretariat was quite possibly a horse for the ages. We’ll likely never see another like him. He broke the record for the Kentucky Derby, a 1:59.2 mark that still stands 36 years later. Sham would have been outstanding any other year save for being born in 1970.


The Preakness Stakes saw Ecole Etage leap to the front but it didn’t last long. Torsion, Deadly Dream have been pretty much forgotten by the masses but Secretariat shut down any bid from those three on the backstretch as Sham launched a red at the red tail. Sham and Secretriat again left the field behind in the stretch and a timer malfunction denied Secretariat an official record of 1:53.2 which also has never been topped in the last 36 years.


In the Belmont Stakes a small but good field – Sham and Secretariat rolled to the front and raced down the backstretch with Sham slightly leading the way 10 lengths ahead of the rest of the field. Secretariat rolled ahead on the turn as Sham tried to close the gap but the big red horse widened almost effortlessly. Secretariat ran a monster race that day sizzling through the race and opening up by 18 lengths on the turn, wearing Sham down to where he was too tired to close it. Secretariat demolished the field by 25 lengths and shattered the record stopping the clock in 2:24 for the mile and a half. A full 2 3/5 seconds was sheared off the record and he did it without feeling the whip, without being challenged. Many good horses have run in the last 36 years but none have come close to the legendary Secretariat. Sham was the only horse to get close to him which really should elevate the dark colt to a much higher level of respect than merely second to Secretariat in the Derby, actually stopping the clock in record time too but 2nd place time doesn’t count.


Long after he left the race track Secretariat would run for the sheer celebration of running in his paddock. Laminitis stilled the big heart and lightning fast feet of Secretariat 20 years ago but his legend lives on in the memories of those who witnessed his amazing launchinto history and those lucky enough to visit Claiborne and see him after his retirement. Tributes have been done and a statue looms at Belmont’s site of his bid at history.


When Secretariat approached there was a swagger in his walk – he’d make eye contact with you and had that stamp of “I’m important”. The first click of a camera and he’d pose as if to say “how ’bout this shot”? and with fans crowded around he was amazingly tolerant for a breeding stallion. He sired Horse of the Year Lady’s Secret and the almost-Triple Crown winner Risen Star. The latter won the Preakness and Belmont after a disastrous trip in Kentucky. This was the year of Winning Colors, Forty Niner, Brian’s Time and a good number of other nice horses. Risen Star took command much like his sire in the Preakness. The game filly Winning Colors pushed Risen Star to drive in the Belmont for a winning effort, coming out of the turn 4 lengths and drawing away in the stretch romping by nearly 20 lengths. Despite this and Secretariat’s phenomenal success as a broodmare sire some consider him a failure at stud as he didn’t do the impossible – reproduce himself or better.


2.Seattle Slew remains today the biggest bargain of all time and if we’re talking athletic achievement he needs to be there. He was and is the only horse to enter the Kentucky Derby undefeated and win and go on to win the Triple Crown. Purchased for $17,500 by a couple from the northwest he was 2 year old champion and easily won his Derby prep. In the Flamingo he was 10 lengths ahead but was slowed to not burn up, winning by 4 easily. He was the overwhelming favorite and was a disastrous strart but in ¼ mile had woven through horses and by the end showed he was a professional race horse. Preakness day Slew was the 2nd fastest official time. On to Belmont on a muddy track but he took the lead and easily did what he had to do.


Health problems bothered Slew as a 4 year old and he ran a second before being pointed towards the Marlboro Cup where Kentucky Derby winners would meet for the first time. Slew with Angel Cordero up would battle Affirmed with Steve Cauthen and on the turn Slew was solidly in the lead with Affirmed giving a gallant chase. Two weeks later Slew beat Exceller and won that race. The Jockey Gold Cup would see Affirmed and Exceller challenging with sizzling fractions until Affirmed’s slipped and he dropped out. Slew and Exceller were head to head, stride for stride down the land and Exceller won by a nose.


At stud first at Spendthrift farm he was a contrast to Secretariat, as if wondering why all the people continued to come. He had a quiet confidence about him and was an incredibly intelligent horse.


He later was moved to Three Chimneys and was continued to be ridden daily well into his teens. For all he had done on the track he was a bargain but Seattle Slew’s value increased to priceless when he began siring the likes of Swale, Landaluce, A.P.Indy Slew O’Gold, Capote and a long list of other legends in their own right. He battled health problems that threatened his race career, breeding career and very life and had surgery to fuse vertebrae in his neck to reduce pain from pressure on the spinal cord. He returned to breeding, getting 90% of his mares in foal.


In February 2002 the lack of coordination returned and another surgery was performed. He was recovering nicely but stressed at hearing the mares and not breeding so was moved to Hill ‘n’ Dale farm for what turned out to be his final journey. Slew died with his long time groom and owners at his side 25 years to the day of his Kentucky Derby win. He was 28.


3.Tiznow was the first horse to win back to back Breeders Cup Classic. His owner saw her dream realized when, battling cancer, she watched her colt win. A very talented field including the Irish horse Giant’s Causeway, Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid, Albert the Great and Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus as well as many more talented colts. Coming down the stretch Tiznow had put away Albert the Great but Giants Cause wan challenged hard. Head to head and Tiznow won by the bob of a head in what was a true test of champions. Three days later Ms. Straub lost her battle with cancer.


An incredibly talented, intelligent horse Tiznow won the Classic and in 2001 returned to do battle again. To set the stage it was a couple of short months after 9/11. Several talented horses shipped over from Europe to challenge including Arc d’Triomphe winner Sakhee.


He was facing a talented field of Galileo, Aptitude, Include, Albert the Great, Guided Tour, Sakhee and a full field of talent. Tiznow settled comfortably in third allowing Orientate and Albert the Great to battle in front on the back but in the tour Tiznow loomed large. Albert the Great made a bid on the turn and looked ready to roll to a win but…not so fast.


Coming out of the tour Aptitude was rolling in full stride, Tiznow set down to run. Sakhee rolled on the outside mid track to challenge with Tiznow just inside and seeming to relish the challenge. As one Sakhee and Tiznow battled to the front. In full stride he crossed as “TIZNOW WINS IT FOR AMERICA!! echoed over the track. Largely overlooked in the preshow as no one had won back to back Classics, Tiznow surely made his belated owner beam from above.


Today Tiznow has sired the outstanding race horses Well Armed and Colonel John as well as several other stakes winners. His dam is a granddaughter of Seattle Slew. He is, still, the only horse to win the Classic twice.


4 and 5 will be linked forever as in the same breath they were mentioned on the track. Affirmed and Alydar, separate horses with a single challenge. Affirmed was the last Triple Crown winner, with Alydar pushing him every step of the way looking for a mistake to turn 2nd into a win.


In the Kentucky Derby Affirmed split horses on the turn and Alydar closed on the outside desperately trying to cut the gap and coming on like a freight train but running out of room. In the Preakness Affirmed made a race from the beginning, leading down the backstretch as the field closed the gap on the turn. Coming to the stretch Alydar charged to the challenge with both horses driving hard and giving everything they had with Affirmed the better by a short lead at the wire.


The Belmont Stakes some predicted an upset. The longer distance would give the hard running Alydar more time to grind out a win. Only Darby Creek Road, Judge Advocate and Noontime Spender showed up to chase the chestnut pair. On the backside Affirmed and Alydar started a speed duel heads apart. The gap between them and the field widened but between them was tight. Neither horse would back down with Affirmed remaining in front but Alydar challenging every stride. Alydar put a head in front for a moment down the stretch but Affirmed battled back with a head margin separating them at the finish.


In one of the greatest rivalries in racing history Affirmed won 7 of the 10 meetings. As a stallion after retirement Affirmed was personable horse with a quiet confidence as fans gathered to ooh and ahh over him. As a sire Alydar proved a better sire but both continued their battles through their sons and daughters, as they do today 22 years later with grandsons and granddaughters. Both are gone now – Alydar to suspect circumstances and Affirmed to age.


Along with these top 5 there are others who deserve a mention to the top list.


6.Afleet Alex deserves mention not only for his wins but for an athletic exhibition that is almost unbelievable. In the 2005 Preakness Scrappy T was a speedball set to challenge and was leading coming out of the turn but as they came out of the turn Alex rolled to challenge when Scrappy T veered sharply and suddenly. Without time to shift or blink Afleet Alex was on his knees in full stride with the rest of the field looming behind. Not only did Alex not go down but he gathered himself back on his feet without losing the jockey and drove on, undeterred to win by daylight. He went on to win the Belmont and champion 3 year old colt.


7. Citation was said to be the greatest three year old ever. Winner of the Triple Crown he was so dominant many refused to even race him.


8. Pharlap absolutely deserves a mention for athletes. His accomplishments made a movie. He won under extreme conditions that would cripple most horses. Could he have rolled through America? That is forever a question but there I no doubt he’s an international superstar.


9. Roseben is documented in an article of his own here and review of that certainly puts him at a athlete level.


10. John Henry not only expected respect but outright demanded it. Temperamental and talented he became one of America’s most beloved champions.


There are certainly many achievements that come to mind as equine athletes. These are among Thoroughbred horse racing’s brightest.


Labels: 10 Top Thoroughbred Champion Athletes of All Time

10 Uncommon Video Games from the 90’s Every Gamer Should Play

Star Tropics (1990) – Chronicling the life of a young boy named Mike Jones, Star Tropics involves cave exploration, alien bad guys, and fighting off enemies with a magical yo-yo. The story begins with Mike visiting his uncle, Dr. Jones, on C-Island only to find him missing. Baboo, Dr. Jones’ assistant, lends Mike a submarine, a crucial component of the game, in order to island hop to find clues about his uncle’s disappearance. Defeating cavern bosses grants Mike extra hearts that increase the strength of his yo-yo. The intensely colored 2D graphics and memorable music add to the game-play, but the true genius comes from increasingly difficult chapters and puzzles swirled around a complex and unexpected plot. Owners of the original game were surprised with an unusual clue to solving Uncle Jones’ disappearance, a physical letter to be dipped in water. New gamers fear not, Star Tropics is still available for purchase on the Virtual Console for Wii. (Released by Nintendo for NES).

Mansion of the Hidden Souls (1994)
– The game-play is slow, the music repetitive, and the storyline short, but if you look past the bad, Mansion of the Hidden Souls is a story worth the experience. Mansion resident June is summoned by the elder to solve the mystery of the blood red moon by speaking with other ghosts and solving puzzles. The ghosts appear as butterflies that transform into eerie human heads that, at times, react fiercely to stories and events of the plot. Over ten spirits haunt the mansion, leaving June with an overwhelming task of moving from room to room searching for clues. Combine the floating heads with random encounters, paranoia-inducing music, and voices that always seem to trail off to get a creepy game that keeps you looking over your shoulder every few minutes. Remember, try not to make Cathy angry. . . (Released by Sega for Sega Saturn).

Astal (1995)
– On a world known as Quartilia, young Leda and her protector, Astal, watch over the planet and bring life to all inhabitants. While the goddess, Antowas, sleeps, an evil force, Jerado, fights to takeover the world with his warrior, Geist. Astal ravages the land after Geist kidnaps Leda, only to awaken Antowas and receive punishment for ruining her creation. Imprisoned on the moon, Astal watches as Leda is stolen once again, causing him to break free and finally rid Quartilia of Jerado and Geist. Play the game as Astal and his bird companion, racing through over 20 levels of gem-like enemies and larger-than-life bosses. Each level is side scrolling, split between player-controlled time and computer-controlled time. The planet resembles its name, a plethora of quartz crystals sparkling in time to twinkling music, like faeries with a dark sense of humor. If you have two controllers, one player can control Astal while the other uses the bird to help fight enemies. (Released by Sega for Sega Saturn).

Suikoden (1995)
– Although popular among veteran gamers, Suikoden is probably unknown to new video game enthusiasts. The first role-playing game (RPG) of its kind, Suikoden boasts a turn-based battle system that invokes physical and magical attacks through the use of runes, the cornerstone of all Suikoden games. Wander the world as the hero and recruit the 108 Stars of Destiny to build an army, construct your own castle, and return peace to the land. To be successful, an RPG must possess a deep, spiraling plot, believable characters, music and graphics to match the feel of the game, and, most importantly, the addition of challenging quests and puzzles to receive 100% completion of the game. Trust me, Suikoden excels at all of these traits. Without a guide, some serious footwork is required to recruit every Star of Destiny, and if you don’t know where to look, you may find your save file reaching over 60 hours of gameplay. And I loved every second of it. (Released by Konami for PlayStation).

NiGHTS into DREAMS (1996)
– Flying around a dream land, collecting orbs of Ideya, and fending off Nightmaren may sound simple, but only with speed and exact maneuvering will players defeat Wiseman and deliver peaceful dreams. NiGHTS into DREAMS opens to reveal two children, Claris and Elliot, who have fallen prey to nightmares due to fears in the real world. With the help of Nights, a Nightmaren who has betrayed his creator Wiseman, each child flies through Nightopia to collect their missing Ideya, colorful spheres of light which hold positive pieces of their personalities. Each level or dream consists of four Mares where players must fly through the dream to collect points. Each Mare is graded, and passing grades go on to a boss battle hosted by one of Wiseman’s top Nightmaren. Characters fly in a whimsical 2D environment, but can also use their human counterparts to walk each dream in 3D. However, the dream will end if caught by a beeping alarm clock. For diehard fans, the game music is unforgettable with its upbeat tempo and flute-like sound. While the Sega Saturn version may be difficult to find, Nintendo released a new game, Nights: Journey of Dreams, for the Wii. Not the same experience, but at least it gives gamers a taste of Nightopia. (Released by Sega for Sega Saturn).

Glover (1998)
– Have you ever experienced a game so frustrating that you screamed in conjunction with a Donkey Kong throw of the game controller? Well, Glover will make you do just that, along with slightly cry when your ball is destroyed with one life left at the end of the level. Confused? Good, because complete sanity should be abashed when playing this game as an enchanted white glove that must save the kingdom from his evil counterpart, Cross-Stitch. After a corrupt potion spills and turns the kingdom into a wasteland, Glover must return the kingdom’s transformed crystals to the wizard’s castle to restore the realms. Glover would normally be a simple, linear adventure game with fun, crazy levels of carnivals and dinosaur forests, but adding a required bouncy ball into the mix proves to be extremely challenging. Players must travel with the ball throughout every level, using its different forms to solve puzzles and cross barriers. Add in thin ledges, ball-snatching enemies, repetitive music, and slightly off camera angles to the party for a borderline breakdown of gamer sanity. But, to be a true gamer, one must face hardships (and chest pains) to save the world. I’ll see you again in three months with missing hair and the gleam of bouncy balls in your eyes. (Released by Hasbro Interactive for N64)

Bomberman Hero
(1998) – Picture it, an adorable, long-eyed warrior cloaked in white, pink, and blue. Atop his head rests a small, pink bomb. Although he looks cute, Bomberman is a serious warrior who will stop at nothing to save the princess from the evil Garaden Empire and their leader, Bagular. Bomberman must travel to different planets, exploring various stages to reach the assigned bosses under Bagular. Each planet offers a new visual experience, ranging from dark forests and snow covered mountains to volcanoes and pyramids. Not only can Bomberman run and jump, but some stages also require the use of flying and submarine modes. Stages are ranked based on the number of points collected, gold being the highest possible rank. Those who achieve gold rankings for every planet will unlock special minigames and an alternate ending. No worries though, stages can be replayed an unlimited number of times in order to achieve a perfect score. So if you love throwing bombs at enemies, especially salt bombs at slugs, use Bomberman to fulfill your pyromanical desires and save the princess from the empire (insert Star Wars music). (Released by Nintendo for N64).

Tonic Trouble (1999) –
Eating your vegetables has never been more important, especially when faced with oversized killer carrots and turnips. When spaceman Ed finds an unknown can of sludge on the table, he does what any sane person would do, throws back his head and takes a nice, big swig. The nasty flavor causes Ed to dispose of the liquid, which makes its way to Earth and into the hands of the evil Viking, Grogh. The potion transforms Grogh and the surrounding lands, and Ed must fights his way to the can to prepare an antidote. Each level consists of collecting parts to build a catapult that will fly Ed to Grogh’s kingdom. A variety of weapons are earned throughout the game after saving The Doc from his haywire robots. Ed must travel through canyons, glaciers, and ancient pyramids to find all of the machine parts. With the help of Suzy, The Doc, Agent Xyz, and some magical popcorn, Ed stands a good chance against defeating Grogh and bringing peace back to Earth. Despite an inventive plot and range of challenging levels, my two gripes of the game would have to be the poor camera angles and load times of the game, known for causing partial freezes and glitches during gameplay. If you can ignore those flaws, Tonic Trouble is a fun adventure for all types of gamers. (Released by Ubisoft for N64).

Jet Force Gemini (1999)
– Defeat the evil Mizar and his insect army by cruising the galaxy as the brother-sister-dog trio known as the Jet Force Gemini team. The only crew left from their organization, Juno, Vela, and Lupus must go from planet to planet saving natives and killing alien bugs in order to stop Mizar from destroying the galaxy. Jet Force Gemini is a product of Rare, known for their graphic styling and catchy music. Gameplay exists as third-person shooting with a multitude of weapons to use. If accuracy isn’t your gig, you may find yourself consistently running low on ammo, one of the big challenges of the game. Certain members of the team, with each team member hosting different abilities like swimming and flying, can only explore specific planets. Although most levels are tedious, requiring the rescue of every tribal to acquire 100% completion, the game is worth the experience, testing gamers’ attention to detail and shooting skills. Halo and Call of Duty just can’t stand up to this N64 galactic classic. (Released by Rare for N64).

Legend of Dragoon (1999)
– Yet another gem in the RPG world, Legend of Dragoon has some of the best custom music ever created for such a long and in-depth game. Players begin the game on the continent Endiness with Dart, a blonde, rough-looking guy who is immediately attacked by a giant dragon. Physical attacks are launched using a sync system where the X button must be pressed when a series of squares align in the middle. Throughout the game, Dart travels through different regions and meets companions who join his quest to destroy the black monster that killed his parents. Each member of the team resonates with a Dragoon spirit, equipping them with various elemental powers and armor of matching color. Exploring the expansive map requires a lot of time and patience in order to collect all of the treasure chests and key items. Although battling becomes monotonous when power leveling, the storyline is captivating and the side quests allow players to gain more knowledge about the characters’ pasts. Misplaced trust, murder, and secret love flourish throughout Dart’s life, unbeknownst to him and the player until the very end. (Released by Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation).


Labels: 10 Uncommon Video Games from the 90’s Every Gamer Should Play

10 Unique Valentine's Day Gifts: From The Kama Sutra to a Fondue Set

Valentine’s Day brings to mind little candy hearts, chocolate candy filled in bright red boxes, and more flowers and hearts than one person could every really handle in a given period of time. And if you had to admit it to yourself, you’re as sick of giving these gifts as you are receiving them. So this year, why not try giving your special someone something a little more unique? Take a look at the top 10 most unusual Valentine’s Day Gifts.

1. Fred Flare’s Plush Heart. If you’re sick of giving heart shaped things to everyone for Valentine’s Day, you’ll love this little gift from the folks at Fred Flare. This 6″ X 8.5″ stuffed plush is actually shaped like a real heart, aorta included!


2. Cake Roll Washcloths. Fred Flare also makes this adorable washcloth that looks just like a small slice of roll cake, or even a piece of sushi. Better yet, you can choose from three different colors! Just imagine the look on your Valentine’s Day sweetie when they open up this little package. Both items are available from http://www.fredflare.com.


3. The Kama Sutra. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but trust me when I say this is a very unusual Valentine’s Day gift. It seems like everyone has heard of this book, but not that many people actually own a copy. Even if you never plan on opening it, or better yet trying it out for yourself, your Valentine’s Day honey will be surprised and maybe even a little curious at this gift.


4. Wax Lips. How many of us remember this old standby from our childhood days? Well wax lips are back and better than ever, perfect for an unusual Valentine’s Day gift. You can even use a pair to decorate the top of your gift box!


5. Chocolate Valentine’s Day Fudge. Unless you live in Wisconsin, you might not have even heard of this one, but it makes a great and unique Valentine’s Day gift. This huge slab of rich chocolate fudge is embedded with little conversation hearts and then coating with thin strips of white chocolate. Check it out for yourself at http://www.wisconsinmade.com.


6. Personalized Candy Conversation Hearts. We all know those little conversation hearts that come out every year at this time. On their own they might be a little cheesy, but if you want a truly unique Valentine’s Day gift, try personalizing a set. You can make them say anything you want, even if its just “I Love You”.


7. Valentine’s Day Fortune Cookies. If you and your sweetie love Chinese cooking, then this might just be the perfect unique Valentine’s Day gift. Each little red or pink cookie comes with a Valentine’s Day appropriate fortune inside. These are available from the Oriental Trading Company at http://www.orientaltrading.com.


8. A Fondue Set, Complete with Chocolate and Strawberries. Fondue is one of the sexiest things ever created by man, and if you try this one with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day, you’ll see just why this unique gift made the list. Try dipping strawberries and marshmallow into the chocolate and see how long you last in the kitchen.


9. Valentine’s Day Jelly Beans. Remember those little conversation hearts that everyone seems to hate? Well now you can get the feel of conversation hearts in jelly beans. Each bag contains red and pink jelly beans (the colors that everyone seems to love anyway) and each one is printed with a sweet little message. This is one truly unique Valentine’s Day gift!


10. Photo Blanket. For something truly unique this Valentine’s Day, think about giving a photo blanket as a gift. You can choose any picture you want, and the company will create a 50″ X 60″ blanket with that image on it. It can be you and your sweetie, or your sweetie with their greatest hero. Several companies create photo blankets, including Kroger grocery stores!


Hopefully this list will help you find the perfect unique Valentine’s Day gift, and steer you clear of heart shaped boxes filled with chocolate candy!


Labels: 10 Unique Valentine's Day Gifts: From The Kama Sutra to a Fondue Set

10 Unique 2010 Pet Products

1. Kitty’s Crumble Cat Litter

This particular kitty litter is all natural and pet safe and is made with renewable and sustainable resources. This is a top pet product that is made of coconut husk and is the leading eco-friendly pet product in the United States and in Canada. Environmentally conscious pet owners can be assured that it is 100% organic, recyclable, and biogradable as well. These are quality pet products. The coconuts are grown without fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.


2. Doggles Monsterpulls Tug Dog Toy


This is one of the sturdiest chews that you can find. It is a ballistic nylon interior and a tough, yet plush fabric exterior. Can you imagine? This is made of recycled water bottles, this chew toy is eco-friendly as well as dog-friendly. It would make a great eco-friendly gift for Christmas or any day. It measures 15x9x2 inches. You and your dog can have hours of fun while bonding and encouraging your relationship at the same time.


3. Vitram 4 inch Balls with Ropes


These are designed for the heavy K-9 chewers. Vibrams K-9 has a rock climbing rope that is easy for tossing, picking up, and it is unique. Vibram uses clean rubber. It is tough and has a hollow center to fill with treats and rewards. It is designed for Performance Proven Lug Sole Design and for fun bouncing and long lasting use.


4. Pets Eye View Camera


With Pets Eye View Camera you will not need to wonder what your pet does when you are gone. Technology has increased even greater than ever before. This is a first-of-its-kind digital collar camera. This is an ideal pet product. Your pet will not even notice that it is there. It can be used with cats or dogs and is water-resistant. The internal memory will store over 35 photos. It will also do time-lapsed recordings.


5. Feline Greenies Succulent Beef Flavored Treats for Cats


The Feline greenies are dental treats for your cat. It has been clinically proven to help reduce tarter and plaque buildup. It cleans teeth and freshens the breath. It does not contain any artificial colors or flavors. It has added vitamins and minerals. Feline Greeneies are 100% nutritionally complete and balanced.


6. New and Improved Nutro Natural Choice Cat Food


The New and Improved Nutro Natural Choice Cat Food contains the ideal blend of protein, fat and carbohydrates along with essential vitamins, minerals and taurine. They have now reduced the size of the product’s kibble to 24% smaller. This is thought to make it tastier to your cat. This product is made with special nutrients to improve your cat’s skin and fur. Because indoor cats might be prone to gain weight they added L-carnitine to help convert fat to energy. This shoud help to control your indoor cat’s weight.


7. Greenies Pill Pockets Treats for Dogs


This new and unique pet product can be inserted into your dog’s prescription medication. Can you believe they contain a built-in pouch for hiding the tablet, capsule, or supplements? You no longer will have to restrain your dog to administer medication. Because the dog loves the taste of the treat, they will not even notice the medication that you have put in it. This helps to make administering the medication much easier. They come in a large and a small size.


8. Organic Bumper Dog Bed


The Organic Bumper Bed comes in a variety of colors. They are definitely unique. Choose between basil green, huckleberry (purple), ember (red) , gold, and Stillwater (blue). This organic bed is made with a removable organic cotton cover. The inside cushions 100% recycled IntelliLoft, which was previously plastic soda bottles. This help keeps plastic from going to landfills and lowers the carbon footprints too. This bed has been Certified Safe by third party testing. Not only that, it has been rigorously tested for over 100 rotationally harmful substances and was found to be 100% SAFE! It is machine washable and made in Montana, United States of America.


9. The New Mini Hurley size dog bone toy


Does your dog just love to chew? Is your dog chewing on a bone most of the time? The New Mini Hurley size dog bone is durable and can be tossed, chewed, or it can float. It is made from extremely pliable,


one-of-a-kind Zogoflex material that is buoyant, pliable, and designed to be recyclable. It is non-toxic and FDA compliant and is made in the United States. It nor any of it’s components contain any known sources of lead, cadmium, mercury, latex, natural rubber, phthalates, hormones, Bisphenol A, or asbestos.


It is dishwasher safer. The return rate is 1%. You have a choice of receiving a free one-time replacement or refund of your choice.


10. Allergy Aid Soft Chews


Does your dog or cat suffer from allergies? Allergy Aid Soft Chews help support your dog’s proper skin moisture. It also supports normal respiratory health. It can be given for dogs and cats over 12 weeks of age. It is endorsed by the National Animal Supplement Council. It comes in a 90 count package.


Sources:


Kittyscrumble.com


Velvetsnoot.com


Petgadgets.com


CatChannel.com


Thenutrocompany.com


Greenies.com


Westpawdesign.com


Kvsupply.com


Labels: 10 Unique 2010 Pet Products

10 Types of Companies Who Don't Always Have Websites, and Should

If you’re anything like me, you want to be able to take care of everything online. I can’t tell you how much more I love a company when they have everything I need on their website. Whether it’s to order a pizza online, make an online appointment, see scheduling availability, prices or even just hours of operation, all I want is the information without (sadly) having to talk to anyone. I typically need most of my information after work hours, and honestly, after a long day at work, the last thing I want is to here “can you hold for a second?” Or, even worse, “our hours of operation are from 8:30AM-5:00PM, if you’ve reached us before or after these hours, please leave a message and we’ll call you back.” Then, I’m thinking “Perfect! I’ll just have to go ahead and leave a message and hope someone calls me back to schedule my appointment? Yea right!”


In my travels, I’ve come to notice certain types of companies who either don’t have a website, or have a website, but with the bare minimum amount of information available. I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the top 10 companies who don’t always have a website, why they should, and how One27 Studios can help create positive solutions for these companies.


1. Hair Salons ‘” . One27 Studios has tools and the ability to place a scheduling application and a detailed online menu of services to make the life of any scheduling employee a bit easier, as well as allowing more time to handle other business related tasks. Along with creating less work for employees, there may also be an increase in customers due to the easy use of the online applications.


2. Landscapers ‘” Believe it or not, landscapers are on a similar page of needs as hair salons. They’re both cutting things and taking appointments. During the summer seasons, landscapers mow up to 50 lawns per day, or even more. The difference with landscapers and hair salons is that the timing isn’t based off of the customer’s schedule. Really, the landscapers can map out their plan for the day, and hit house by house, which sounds easy. Although, when it comes down to planning a route, it can become very tedious. One27 Studios can create a list application to help track what houses that are on the schedule for that day, the house’s location and the amount of time needed per individual house. The use of the application will result in a strategic plan for the day, allowing more daylight hours, and equaling an increase in profit.


3. Catering Companies ‘” There are a lot of catering companies who do have websites, and a lot that don’t. I’ve noticed through my own personal experience, that when I am able to find a website for a catering company, it only contains the vital information (i.e.: phone number, e-mail address, street address). If I’m in a rush to place an order, none of this really appeals to me. We can easily create a custom menu application to tie into your website that will allow customers to pick exactly what they want, how much of it they need and when they want it. There’s also the option of a shopping cart add-on which could allow the customer to pay for their order resulting in a simple delivery of what was ordered. This saves time and steps for the catering company, as well as time and aggravation for the customer.


4. Contractors ‘” A small amount of contractors actually go through the trouble of having a website built for them. Contractors might be thinking that there is little to showcase on a website with their line of work. While, pictures might not be a huge selling tool with contractors, online tools might be a huge asset. Having One27 Studios build a custom appointment setting tool, or to see what types of services are offered and what hours are being worked would be an enormous help to the helpless home owner who desperately needs a leaky roof fixed.


5. Florists ‘” Florists do have sites more often than some of the other’s on this list, but their sites consist of galleries. Galleries can be a huge selling point, but when there are hundreds of florists in your area, it might be hard to choose from. Therefore, a florist might be able to utilize a tool where they can customize they’re bouquet online, by picking from a list of flowers the shop has, specifying how many of each flower and in return, receiving an online quote right then and there. It saves time for everyone, and makes for a simple pick up at the end of the day for the customer.


6. Cafe’s ‘” Don’t you always want to view a menu before you go anywhere to eat? All cafe’s should have a website to display their top foods or drinks as well as a potential online ordering system to make for an easy pick up for “to go” orders.


7. Bakeries ‘” Bakeries can use a website as a portfolio of their finest creations, and also an online order form for customers that will give them information on how much their order will be and when it will be available for pick up.


8. Tailor ‘” Want to know the status of those pants your getting hemmed? Tailors should have a website for not only informational purposes of hours and costs, but also to show estimates on how long their wait potentially would be for hemming and altering. One27Sudios can also offer a tool that will allow them to give customers a log-in so they can check the status of their item being worked on.


9. Daycare ‘” There are thousands of in-home daycares and very little that consider having a website. Great reasons to have a daycare website are to show potential mom’s and dad’s what the daycare looks like, what a schedule for the day might look like, certifications the daycare provider has, rates, and hours. In addition, One27 Studios has a tool that will allow parents to have personalized log-in onto the website with the ability to see their child’s daily progress report, which would updated by the daycare provider. This will help the daycare stay organized as well as the parents always being informed of all daily activity.


10. Doctors offices ‘” Doctor’s offices probably don’t really consider the need for a website, but having an advice page, a scheduling application, or a direct question/answer tool that will send a question directly to your doctor, will in turn allow the doctor to be able to directly message you back. This could potentially save an unnecessary office visit, and the patient from sitting on hold for an hour or so.


In conclusion, if you are one of the companies listed above, and you don’t have a website, but should, go visit One27studios (www.one27studios.com) to see how they can help your company boost sales, increase available time, and minimize some overhead expenses. It’s so easy to not be on this list!


Labels: 10 Types of Companies Who Don't Always Have Websites, and Should

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