Top 10 Eco-Friendly Reasons to Buy Organic Meat & Dairy

Eating fewer animal products is a good choice for the environment. When and if you choose to eat animal products you can make a significant difference for your health and the environment by taking these steps, and here’s why:
Choosing to support farms that caretake the environment and the animals they raise in an ethical manner, is a very positive way to spend your food dollar. Animal agriculture produces surprisingly large amounts of air and water pollution, and causes 80 percent of the world’s annual deforestation. It also requires large amounts of water, and livestock worldwide consumes half the world’s total grain harvest.
By supporting local, sustainable and organic farms in your local community you also support the larger community of which we are all a part. By eating animal products raised on such farms you provide the healthiest choice for your family and support the farms that support healthy and ecological neighborhoods.

1. Free of antibiotics, added hormones, GMO feed and other drugs; no GMO animals

Animals raised organically are not allowed to be fed antibiotics, the bovine human growth hormone (rbGH), or other artificial drugs. Animals are also not allowed to eat genetically modified foods. Further, animal products certified as organic can not have their genes modified (for example, a scorpion gene cannot be spliced into a cow gene).
How: The animals are raised in a healthier environment, fed organic feed, and often eat a wider range of nutrients than those raised in factory farms (such as would be the case of free-range chickens and ranch cattle). The animals are not from a test tube.
Highlights: Organically raised animals have been shown to be significantly healthier than their factory-raised counterparts.
More: Visit the Organic Trade Association Web site for updates on the U.S. federal organic standards.

2. Mad cow safeguard: Animals aren’t forced to be cannibals
The practice of feeding cattle the ground up remains of their same species appears to cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a horrific disease that destroys the central nervous system and brain, can be given to humans who eat the cows. The disease in humans has a very long latency period, and is called Creutzfeld-Jakob disease.
How: Animals are fed 100 percent organic feed without ground up animal parts.
Highlights: By eating 100 percent organic meat you are protected by a label insuring the cow has only been fed 100 percent organic feed.

3. More humane, ethical treatment of animals
Factory farms treat animals like commodities, and they are kept in tightly confined pens and often never move more than a few feet their whole lives.
How: Buy meat and eggs raised from chickens raised outdoors free ranging and grazing.
Highlights: Animals are more likely to be raised without cruelty.

4. Animals free-range and graze
The words “free-range,” and “ranch raised” are clues that the animals were raised in a more humane way. Their diet tends to be more well-rounded; the animals are not confined and spend time outdoors in the fresh air.
How: Free range chickens eat more grubs and bugs than their industrially-raised counterparts; free range animals graze as they are inclined.
Highlights: Humane and ethical treatment of animals; more nutritious food.

5. Manure
Small farms use it, industrial farms pollute with it.
How: On small, diverse farms, manure is used to naturally fertilize soil. Industrial farms produce so much manure, on the other hand, that it is a human health risk. The overspill of manure can contaminate wells with E. coli and other pathogens. In one region of North Carolina, for example, hog farms produce 10 million metric tons of waste annually.
Highlights: Sustainable farms use their manure productively as organic fertilizer. The manure is “pure,” coming from animals fed organic diets.

6. Animals are integral to small farms
Using animal manure is considered recycling of nutrients. No farm can cope with all the animal offspring, so selling some makes economic sense. Sustainable farms tend to provide and sell a range of products, and organic eggs and animal products would be included.
How: Most organic farms have a few cows, chickens, etc.
Highlights: The animals—many of diverse gene pools—serve a purpose besides providing food.

7. Fewer chemicals used
Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are not used on the food or land. Residues of persistent chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, dioxin, and many pesticides concentrate in animal fat. Eating organic animal fat reduces your exposure to these chemicals.
Farmers working on organic farms are exposed to fewer chemicals.
How: Organic agriculture works for a healthy balance of the soil, including using crop rotation and other techniques to improve soil fertility, instead of controlling the environment with chemicals. The animals are not fed food containing pesticides, and so the amount of persistent pesticides in their fat is reduced.
Highlights: Safeguards groundwater, farmers’ health, topsoil, habitats, and neighborhood health.

8. Diversity
Industrial farms rely on just a few species of cattle, chickens, pigs, etc., whereas small sustainable farms tend to raise a wider variety of livestock. Entire species of livestock can die out if they are not raised on farms.
How: Support our food supply by buying food representative of a wide gene pool. Every time you even buy a brown instead of a white egg you are helping to support diversity.
Highlights: Support diversity by supporting diversity on your local farms. Buy their milk, eggs, and meat.

9. Factory farms use huge amounts of resources
The factory farm industry is run with cheap, nonrenewable fossil fuel. Producing, transporting, processing, and marketing the food all depend heavily on it. Without cheap fuel, industrial agriculture would be impossible because it would be too expensive, notes organic farming expert Fred Kirschenmann. The heavy pesticide use on industrial farms contaminates groundwater and soil. Kirschenmann believes industrial farms are responsible for the loss of over half of U.S. topsoil.
How: Organic farms uses less energy with careful ecological management, and using natural ecological balances to solve pest problems. Buying animal products from local farms further reduces energy by reducing the amount of miles the food travels to your table.
Highlights: Organic farms use 70 percent less energy than industrial farms, and since they don’t use pesticides they help preserve ground water. The farming techniques of organic farms builds topsoil and doesn’t contribute to its erosion.

10. Your dollars support the farm you buy from
If you buy your meat from an organic farmstand at a farmer’s market you support that farm. On the other hand, if you buy non-organic meat that isn’t local, free-range, or ranch-raised from a supermarket chain, you most likely support a multinational food conglomerate.
How: You can contribute to the well-being of your community by supporting small, local, diverse organic farms.
Highlights: Buying organic animal products is better for your health, your local community, and the larger community as a whole.

| Reference/Source: by Annie B. Bond

Top 10 Wild Animals That Attack Pets

Sometimes our pets go looking for a fight, but other times the fight comes to them-from land, sea, and even air. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently reviewed more than 500 laceration/bite wound claims in search of animal-inspired incidents to determine which wild animals most frequently attacked and injured companion pets in 2008. In addition to the usual suspects-snakes, coyotes and raccoons-VPI received claims for pet injuries caused by a squirrel, scorpion, javelina, porcupine, ground hog, skunk, rat, goat, beaver, woodchuck, black bear, mountain lion, hawk, rabbit, sea urchin, and jellyfish.
The following are the 10 animals aside from dogs and cats that were most responsible for pet injury claims in 2008:

8.Ground Hog

Wild animal attacks typically result in pet insurance claims for treatment of lacerations, bite wounds, puncture, and soft tissue trauma. Snakebites may require antivenin and scorpion stings may cause allergic reactions requiring antihistamines.

Treatment protocols vary depending on the severity of the attack and costs can range from hundreds of dollars for bandages or stitches to thousands of dollars for surgery for damaged organs or broken limbs.
Though animal attack claims came from all areas of the country, javelina and scorpion claims were exclusive to the state of Arizona. Javelinas, or peccaries, are feral pig-like omnivores native to the southwestern United States. They have been known to viciously attack both pets and people.

"Whether in urban or rural areas, pet owners should be aware of the danger posed by wild animals," said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "VPI's data reveals that not all members of the animal kingdom observe backyard fences, or appreciate the curiosity of a pet that may enter their territory. Always make sure that a pet's rabies vaccine is up to date and if you know that potentially dangerous wild animals are present, or you're in an unfamiliar area, take extra care to keep your pet close and secure."

| Reference/Source: by Veterinary Pet Insurance

Top 10 Lifestyle Planning Questions For Baby Boomers

What Is Lifestyle Planning?

Lifestyle Planning is about getting your balance in life right in retirement. It is about knowing what your values are and what you want to achieve in your retirement years. If you saw the movie "The Bucket List" you will know what I mean. If you didn't see it I recommend that you do. Life is more than money and status. For many people it isn't until they are approaching retirement that they have the time to think about what they have achieved in life and what they value for the remaining years that will give them satisfaction.

How Does Lifestyle Planning Differ From Normal Financial Planning?

Lifestyle Planning is planning how you want to live and what you value when you retire. For instance, maybe you never completed your college degree and would like to when you retire. Perhaps you would like to learn a new musical instrument or travel.

Financial Planning, on the other hand is planning financially for the future lifestyle you want in retirement. For many people the Global Financial Crisis has brought this into sharp focus. Can you afford the lifestyle you want? Will a compromise be required that requires you to work longer before retirement or earn some income in retirement? The answers to the questions that you ask yourself and your Lifestyle Planner and Financial Planner are going to determine your enjoyment over your retirement years.

The Top 10 Lifestyle Planning Questions for Baby Boomers

1. Where do you want to retire to? This is important because if you live in a cold climate currently but you suffer from arthritis, you might want to choose to live in a place with a mild year round temperature in order to help your arthritis.

2. What type of home do you want to live in? In other words, do you want to live in an apartment, townhouse, or stay in your family home. Will you need any modifications to your home such as ramps or walk-in bath tubs? Perhaps downsizing your home will be a good idea and free up some capital for investment to help fund your retirement.

3. How do you plan to spend your time? Obviously, if you have a spouse or life partner, these kinds of decisions will be made together. Nevertheless, you need to decide how you want to spend your retirement.

4. Do you want to travel? If so, do you want to travel by plane, car, or motor home? There are lots of discounts for retirement travel.

5. Do you want to learn any new skills? If so, make a list of those that you always wanted to learn, but never had the chance.

6. What do you plan to do now and in retirement in order to stay healthy and alert? This may include diet, regular moderate exercise, taking herbs, and vitamins.

7. Are there skills you always wanted to learn but could not during your working years? For example, if you always wanted to learn to play a piano, why not plan to take this up during your retirement years.

8. Do you have a hobby? Maybe you always wanted to own your own business, many people turn hobbies into small businesses that helps supplement their retirement income.

9. Do you want to work during your retirement years? Many people simply want to enjoy life with no work at all when they retire, but for others, the thought of not working at all can cause anxiety. If you want to work, what do you want to do?

10. Would you like to begin a new career when you retire? Many years ago when the life expectancy was 70 years, no one planned doing much when they retired except to sit around waiting to die. However, today, people are living 90 + years and are still mentally sharp and healthy. Therefore, beginning a new career at age 65 is certainly not unheard of and in fact, it is becoming the norm for many baby boomers.

Why Lifestyle Planning will grow in importance

Lifestyle Planning will continue to grow and be a vital aspect to baby boomers simply because medical advances have allowed people to expect a longer lifespan. Therefore, planning what you want to do when you retire, without regards to money is very exciting and it helps keep you focused on a bright and exciting future.

In addition, Lifestyle Planning pushes you to place Financial Planning to the fore in your thinking about your future because, in order to do all of the things you want to do as you age, it requires money. Therefore, people are more motivated with their finances when they realize the many aspects of their life are still to come after retirement. Balancing work and leisure, with part time work to generate some income, will not only be important for many people, it will be essential.

Why clients should investigate self-employment

Self-employment is a great way to earn extra income during retirement, but also it is a way to fulfill life-long dreams, which again is an essential part of Lifestyle Planning. Self employment is controllable which makes it attractive as a Lifestyle Planning strategy. Some people may have planned their finances well and may not need the extra money from self-employment, but it still helps keep the mind sharp and gives you a daily purpose. However, the Global Financial Crisis has severely eroded the savings of many baby boomers and self employment is a way of generating the supplementary income that will help them achieve Lifestyle Planning dreams
and get their values right.

| Reference/Source: by Jack Taggerty

Top 10 Lifestyle Changes I Made After My Heart (Attack)

In Apr 2009 I was attacked by my own heart. Imagine that!

It is hard to deal with an attacker that resides right inside your chest, and you consider it your “own”. Isn’t it?

But as it turned out, it was me or rather my stupid habits, that had attacked my heart first, and the hearts backfire was actually a desperate attempt to get my attention and request me (quite boldly) to change my lifestyle.

And that is what I did exactly, and now after going through complete medical checkups and the passage of approximately 1.5 years my heart is not beating me anymore. It is simply beating as it should, to keep the blood circulating inside my body in a normal fashion.

I never experienced any angina attack after the one and the only attack I had in Apr 2009. Not even a slight pain. I took my medicine regularly for 6 months and then gradually, with the help of my doctor, I started dropping the meds one by one, and today I am totally off the meds. I hate taking medicine by the way.

I want to share with you the top 10 lifestyle changes that I made to please my beloved heart, without whose constant help and incessant work—day and night, I probably would not be alive to write this post for you today.


1. I stopped smoking. That was a big one for me because I had been smoking for almost 25 years, prior to the heart attack. That constricted my arteries and the clot formation later on, blocked two of the sub-arteries. I quit smoking cold turkey and never looked back. By the way, I am proud of my self discipline on this account.
2. I minimized my intake of junk food (which was the other main cause of clot formation, bad cholesterol). Before the heart attack I was taking 80% junk food and 20% home made healthy food. Now the ratio is exactly the opposite.
3. I started exercising at least 3-4 times a week. I play cricket usually or I just go for a walk or a jogging session.
4. I started enjoying life as much as I can with my family, friends and my hobbies like reading, writing and watching good movies.
5. I stopped taking life too seriously. Damn it, I thought, I can die any day, and once I realized that, I was fine with life as it is. Sure I have bad days like everyone else, but I always manage to find a way to calm myself down and loudly tell myself that, “This too, shall pass.”
6. I started practicing meditation more often. That helps me immensely in grounding myself and calming me down and making me look at my life as part of a bigger picture.
7. I uncluttered my life. Emotional un-cluttering helped me the most. The regrets, the anger, the failures, the heartbreaks and the hurts, all had a purpose which they fulfilled. I accepted that moved on.
8. I started focusing on the essentials of life. I let go of all the crappy, useless and thoughtlessly defined life goals and reduced them to the ones that really made me want to get up every morning with a zest for life.
9. I let go of the “what-ifs”. If I wanted to do something I did it. If I didn’t, I stated it clearly. The “what-ifs” are useless time wasters that only suck your life-force. Do what you want to do or change your thinking about what you are doing. You’ll either fail or you’ll succeed and failure is just as much a part of success as anything else because it teaches you about what doesn’t work.
10. I stopped fearing death. That might seem crazy, but I no longer fear death anymore and think, that the only thing that is keeping me alive is my death, and it will keep on protecting me till the final buzzer sounds and it is time for me to move on. So why fear something that is eventually going to happen anyway.

Things do happen for a reason, and any disease you might be suffering from right now, may actually change your way of thinking for the better, for good. So don’t condemn anything but accept it, and learn from it, and most importantly live from your heart.

| Reference/Source: by Abubakar Jamil

Top 10 Science Fiction Movies of the Decade (2000-2009)

 All the end-of-year/decade lists going up right now inspired me to hit one up of my own. And all the hype about James Cameron’s Avatar, which is being trumpeted as some sort of monumental science fiction success, gave me just the topic:  the actual best science fiction movies of the aughts. 
This list might be controversial, but I stand by it.  I watch a lot of movies, and not just the big-name stuff–indie and foreign flicks comprise probably half of what I see between the big screen and my DVD player.  Science fiction is a problematic genre; it is one of my first loves in movies (although, interestingly, not really in books)–but it is so rarely done well.  2000-9 was a decade of remakes and sequels and also, I suppose, an average decade for SF films.  It had enough true gems to fill out a top 10 list and not a whole lot more.  The years represented tended to be two or three movies in a year or two-year span, then a gap before the next grouping.
And lest any accusations fly over my being some sort of movie snob who won’t watch a big-budget SF movie, here’s a list of movies you might be expecting to see on here and won’t, despite the fact that I did see them–they just weren’t good enough:  Avatar, Minority Report, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, any of this decade’s Star Trek movies (although I did like the newest one quite a lot, and it might have made a top 20), War of the Worlds, Transformers, Terminator III (well, maybe you wouldn’t expect to see that one here, but I did see it), Alien vs. Predator (and half the sequel, which was all I could sit through), Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, either of the Matrix sequels…I’m sure there were a few others I can’t remember, because, if there is one thing big-budget, studio SF movies seem to have in common, it’s that they are forgettable.  Oh, yeah, saw Iron Man.  See what I mean?
Finally, a few words about criteria–fantasy (i.e., magic and not technology) was not considered, so no Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.  I am using as my definition for SF stories that are based in science (anything from medicine to theoretical physics), technology, or a projection of the future.  Magic, the occult, and Middle Earth don’t cut it.  Television series were not considered, so no Battlestar Galactica or Stargate.  I looked at the film equivalents of monographs (vs. serials) only.
So, without further ado…My Top Ten Best Science Fiction Movies of the Decade
10.  Cloverfield.
Included because of the possibility that the monster was an alien, and even if it wasn’t the monster vs. technology mode is a classic form of the SF movie; but I’ll list an alternate at the bottom in case anyone disagrees that this is SF.  Regardless, this movie is a classic monster movie, updated to modern times and given a fresh start.  It took documentary-style filming to a new extreme, and it was very careful to operate within its capabilities.  It didn’t try and reach too far with its special effects, instead playing on the fear of the unknown and the fear of the monster’s destruction rather than of the monster itself.  It showed that a team of unknowns on a shoestring budget can do with dedication, heart, and a creative approach what a studio can’t with endless funds and countless CG programmers.

9.  Serenity.
Was this a 2-hour episode of Firefly disguised as a movie?  Perhaps.  Was it good enough to convince me to go buy the series (which I had missed entirely) on the strength of the movie alone?  Yes.  And was it a hilarious action caper that also had heart, consequences, and a truly fabulous villain?  Also yes.  I fell in love with the characters in one sitting, and I appreciated the darkness included in the movie.  Despite it starting out light-hearted and ending on a bittersweet but overall happy note, the movie didn’t shy away from brutality or the bleak responsibility for actions.  The Reavers were truly horrifying, not just for what they were but also for what they represented:  an attempt to stamp out the conflict in the human heart.  I loved the sentiment that to take away human conflict is to take away humanity; we’re a flawed but beautiful species, and too often humanity is represented simply as being flawed.  I also loved the philosophical villain, who is frightening because he is so implacable, and wonderful because he can recognize when he is wrong and change his course because of that recognition.

8.  Code 46
The first of the dystopian-future movies to make the list.  This was an overlooked little movie that is disturbing on a lot of different levels, everything from the control given to the governments over literally every individual, to the horror of being reconditioned to hate what you love or to forget what you hate, to the Freudian sensuality of falling in love with a copy of a genetic parent.  The ending is so very bittersweet; this is one for those of you who love impossible love stories–the stories of a love so great it had to be put aside.  Haunting.  That’s what this story is.

7.  District 9
What a fabulous movie this was.  Forget all the comparisons to apartheid too many critics made, and just look at it as I think it was intended to be looked at–a what if movie. What if aliens landed a ship above Earth and had no way to get home?  What would happen to them politically and socially?  How far would humanity go to push them away from us…and how far might one man go to save them?  Wikus is the perfect anti-hero:  he is an average man, who operates on a brutally selfish level (as, if we are honest with ourselves, most of us probably would do in those same circumstances) but yet finds a kernel of true heroism in himself at the same time.  The ship effects were fabulous; every detail mattered here, as the groaning and rattling of car windows as the ship moves recall childhood rides on the school bus, and the tractor beam picks up not just its target but also a whole ton of other stuff, and the dirt and filth and grit of the setting tell you that when the interviewees called District 9 a ghetto, they meant it.  The filming is a perfect balance between documentary and cinematic styles, with a few odd-angle fixed shots to keep things ever-interesting on a visual level.  Some of the deaths might even rate a spot on a best deaths of the decade list, so if you like that sort of thing it even has that going for it. 

6.  Sunshine
Danny Boyle is a fabulous director, and he did an excellent job with this film.  So much to love…first, I think, is the simple fact that it’s a movie about heroes.  Every single one of the people on that ship make a personal sacrifice to save the world; they are all heroes, in a day and age where movies seem reluctant to give us heroes because that’s “not realistic.”  These heroes were; some were weak, some were brave, but all of them were human.  Second, because he showcases the human fascination with a destructive power, the absolute beauty of something that has the ability to obliterate us.  Third, because there were no stars in his space–that close to the sun, there wouldn’t be.  I know for a lot of people this movie went haywire with the madman part, and the ship’s AI was really questionable for not catching the intrusion sooner, but I didn’t mind the final wrinkle in the plotline, and the ending was simply beautiful. Visually, and for the outcome of the mission.

5.  Solaris
Even my list is not immune to the remake syndrome afflicting this decade!  But this was a remake that might have justified its existence by trumping the original.  The movie is compelling because of its acting.  The visuals are great, and the special effects subtle.  The story is achingly relatable–both in the sense that we are all haunted by the memories we carry around, and also in the sense that anyone who has lost their true love can understand the main character’s decision to go back into space, if that meant he could find her again.

4.  Moon
I can’t say enough good things about Duncan Jones’ debut movie.  If you didn’t get the chance–or didn’t take the chance–to see this movie on the big screen, then you really missed out.  This movie shows why modeling is still a thousand times to be preferred to CG renderings, as Jones went back to some of the old masters to help out on this one.  Every detail was attended to, to make you feel like you are up there on the moon alone with Sam and his AI and his fragmented communication with Earth, from the dirty jumpsuit of a blue-collar working man to the lonely tracks on the moon showing that he was the only one to drive across that landscape to the beautiful blue planet hovering so close but so very far away.  The story will punch you in the gut with its tragedy and frighten you with its implications, and Sam Rockwell deserves a Best Actor nod for his performance, and this was quite possibly the best movie of 2009.

3.  The Fountain
Darren Aranofsky’s foray into SF wasn’t for everyone, but it was for me.  I have seen this movie upwards of ten times, and I love it more every time I watch it.  I love his oils-in-water, 1960s-light-show special effects, and I love the heartbreaking story of a man who spends 500 years trying to save his dying wife, and I love the fact that it is such an open text that after that many viewings I’m still not sure what actually happened and what was simply story-within-story–as in, didn’t actually happen.  And I love that Aranofsky refuses to explain, that he wants people to not be sure, to be able to see what they want in the film.  Also, I love the conception of a truly unique means of space travel; 500 years into the future the technological mechanisms they’re using are going to be as incomprehensible to us as an Ipod would be to William the Conquerer, so, sure, why not make it a floating bubble in space?  It’s not likely to seem any more familiar to us than that does, whatever the future holds.  Also, one of the best love stories of all time, period.

2.  Donnie Darko
I struggled with whether this is a science fiction movie or some other brand of speculative fiction, but in the end decided that the parallel universe and time traveling ideas counted as physics, therefore…here it is.  This is probably the out-and-out weirdest of the movies on this list, which is saying something considering the company it keeps, but it is a strange little story.  It makes you think:  it makes you wonder what’s going on, and it makes you wonder what if, and it makes you wonder if you’d be brave enough to make the same choice.  It’s another movie that is fabulous from a production standpoint, with excellent cinematography and directing, and a break-out performance from Jake Gyllenhaal.

1.  Children of Men
This is not just the best science fiction movie of the decade, but a movie that would make my best of all time list.  This movie is a slow burn.  The first time you watch it you might just think it’s interesting and sometimes funny, has a compelling story and good acting, crazy dystopian future and a wild scary premise, but maybe not one that you immediately recognize as amazing. But if you let it sink into your brain for a few days or weeks or months, and come back to it again…you realize that this movie is perfect.  There is not one detail to be changed in its filming or execution, and that is a rare thing to say, indeed.  It has some of the best war scenes I’ve ever seen in an SF film, and the directing pulls off some rather incredible sequences of extended action and choreography ranging into the minutes before any editing break occurs.  The acting is across the board excellent, and the conflict open enough that you don’t really know what’s going on, whether there is a giant governmental (or corporate) conspiracy to control population growth or if it was some strange disease or what.  It tells you just enough to satisfy, and not enough to ruin.  It strikes every balance right, and to change anything at all would diminish the brilliance of the whole.

A few interesting observations.  None of these were high-budget films; several were made for about $5 million, and most (perhaps even all, but I’m lazy and didn’t look up the ones I didn’t know offhand) for no more than $40 million.  While some of them have recognizable actors, none of them have big stars who are a box office draw on the strength of their name alone.  Yet, somehow, all of them are all quality films from a movie production standpoint–they are well-directed, well-acted, well-written, well-designed, well-constructed movies.  They blow their big-budget counterparts out of the water in pretty much all of those ways, and to me that just sort of implies that SF is best left to those who truly love it, not those who are just trying to capitalize on a current trend.
Most of these movies also have incredible soundscapes to accompany them.  A lot of it is moody, dreamy, hypnotically beautiful instrumentals–specifically Sunshine, The Fountain, Moon, Solaris, and Code 46Code 46 introduced me among other things to Sigur Ros, who are one of my favorite foreign bands now.  The Fountain soundtrack is probably my favorite soundtrack of all time.  From the Sunshine score, which overall is a mixed bag, “Kanada’s Death, Part II” and “Sunshine, Adagio in D-minor” are absolutely transcendent.  Children of Men and Donnie Darko also use very recognizable and iconic individual songs.  I love that music wasn’t overlooked or undervalued by the directors; it can make or break a film.
Finally, a short list of other movies I want to mention and why.  These are not necessarily runners up; a couple of them would be, others weren’t quite SF enough to make my list, others are simply movies I thought were interesting and deserved a bit of attention just for doing something different.

Alternate number 10, if you don’t count Cloverfield as science fiction:  28 Days Later.  Danny Boyle gets major props for being the only director to show up twice on this list.  With this film he created a (biological warfare-based, therefore SF) reinvention of zombie movies, and showed the world that the grotesqueries of horror aren’t necessarily incompatible with good direction, good acting, good editing, and being just a damn good movie.
The Cowboy Bebop movie deserves consideration just for being part of one of the best SF series ever.  Like Serenity, this could be considered a two-hour episode of the show played on the big screen, but the story was self-contained enough that you can love this film without ever having seen the series.  Moreover, if you’re into animation, they went above and beyond the normal fabulousness of the 15-minute episodes in this swan song opus.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was a movie that I just wasn’t sure counted as unequivocally SF as it would need to to make this kind of list.  It does use technology, but is it quite enough technology?  I couldn’t be sure.  So I left it off, but it must be mentioned as a near-miss or a just-barely-disqualified because it really is such an interesting premise, such a good story, such a good love story, and such a performance from Jim Carrey–his best, in my opinion.  One of my favorite movies and love stories of all time, regardless of what other lists it makes.
Mike Judge’s Idiocracy deserves a nod for its truly frightening dystopian future–frightening because it seems so very, very possible at times.  Unfortunately the movie as a whole wasn’t really good enough to earn it a spot, but its first 15 minutes should be required viewing in every classroom in America.  Wake the fuck up, people–that can’t be our future.  As in, we must not let it be.
District B-13 was a minor French SF release that probably didn’t come to your neck of the woods unless you live in NY, LA, or Austin. I have no idea if it’s a serious movie to native speakers; I had subtitles, and so for all I know it’s the equivalent of a Jean-Claude van Damme movie if you speak the language.  But its premise was a near-future worst-case-scenario sort of projection that seems frighteningly possible, and it stars two stuntmen instead of “actors,” so the action is first-rate and nearly non-stop, and for those two reasons it warrants a mention here for those of you always on the hunt for a new dystopian movie to depress yourself with or an adrenaline rush to pump yourself up with.
The Prestige is almost more properly Steampunk than science fiction, since it’s science fiction set in the past and thus not still possible. But Chris Nolan did such a fine job with the film, and it’s just a toe over that disqualification line, that I felt it deserved a mention as an also-ran.
Watchmen is another in the mode of The Prestige that I’m not sure can count as SF since it involves an alternate version of our past.  Also, I don’t know if I would have put it in my top 10 even if I did decide it counted, because I am not sure how I’ll view it in ten years. With the movies on my list, any CG is either small enough or used for blending modeling instead of as the base for action or the world, and I’m afraid that this movie might have relied too much technology that can (and will) be surpassed to still stand strong as a great movie–not a great story or great acting, but a great movie, on the technical side of things–to look as good at the end of next decade as it does now.  However, it is a fabulous story and an interesting exploration of human psychology and morals, and certainly it’s worth watching to give us all pause in allotting too much power to people who “know what’s best for us” better than we know for ourselves.
2046 is another that isn’t quite SF, isn’t quite anything else.  It’s also got strong elements of noir film and the reality-bending psychology that has been so popular this decade.  It’s foreign, it’s subtitled, it’s haunting, it’s lonely, it’s awesome.
So there you have it.  My top 10 science fiction movies of the last ten years, and a few others that people need to see.  But what do you think?

| Reference/Source: by Elena Nola

Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth

Whether it took the Earth 4.5 billion years to get to where it is today (or a mere seven days), destroying it might take a lot less time. Sam Hughes presents a host of methods for ending the planet -- and life -- as we know it. Enjoy!

10. Existence Failure

You will need: nothing
Method: No method. Simply sit back and twiddle your thumbs as, completely by chance, all 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms making up the planet Earth suddenly, simultaneously and spontaneously cease to exist. Note: the odds against this actually ever occurring are considerably greater than a googolplex to one. Failing this, some kind of arcane (read: scientifically laughable) probability-manipulation device may be employed.
Utter, utter rubbish.

9. Gobbled up by strangelets

You will need: a stable strangelet
Method: Hijack control of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, New York. Use the RHIC to create and maintain a stable strangelet. Keep it stable for as long as it takes to absorb the entire Earth into a mass of strange quarks. Keeping the strangelet stable is incredibly difficult once it has absorbed the stabilizing machinery, but creative solutions may be possible.
A while back, there was some media hoo-hah about the possibility of this actually happening at the RHIC, but in actuality the chances of a stable strangelet forming are pretty much zero.
Earth's final resting place: a huge glob of strange matter.

8. Sucked into a microscopic black hole

You will need: a microscopic black hole. Note that black holes are not eternal, they evaporate due to Hawking radiation. For your average black hole this takes an unimaginable amount of time, but for really small ones it could happen almost instantaneously, as evaporation time is dependent on mass. Therefore you microscopic black hole must have greater than a certain threshold mass, roughly equal to the mass of Mount Everest. Creating a microscopic black hole is tricky, since one needs a reasonable amount of neutronium, but may possibly be achievable by jamming large numbers of atomic nuclei together until they stick. This is left as an exercise to the reader.
Method: simply place your black hole on the surface of the Earth and wait. Black holes are of such high density that they pass through ordinary matter like a stone through the air. The black hole will plummet through the ground, eating its way to the center of the Earth and all the way through to the other side: then, it'll oscillate back, over and over like a matter-absorbing pendulum. Eventually it will come to rest at the core, having absorbed enough matter to slow it down. Then you just need to wait, while it sits and consumes matter until the whole Earth is gone.
Highly, highly unlikely. But not impossible.
Earth's final resting place: a singularity of almost zero size, which will then proceed to happily orbit the Sun as normal.
Source: "The Dark Side Of The Sun," by Terry Pratchett. It is true that the microscopic black hole idea is an age-old science fiction mainstay which predates Pratchett by a long time, he was my original source for the idea, so that's what I'm putting.

7. Blown up by matter/antimatter reaction

You will need: 2,500,000,000,000 tons of antimatter
Antimatter - the most explosive substance possible - can be manufactured in small quantities using any large particle accelerator, but this will take some considerable time to produce the required amounts. If you can create the appropriate machinery, it may be possible - and much easier - simply to "flip" 2.5 trillion tons of matter through a fourth dimension, turning it all to antimatter at once.
Method: This method involves detonating a bomb so big that it blasts the Earth to pieces.
How hard is that?
The gravitational binding energy of a planet of mass M and radius R is - if you do the lengthy calculations - given by the formula E=(3/5)GM^2/R. For Earth, that works out to roughly 224,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules. The Sun takes nearly a WEEK to output that much energy. Think about THAT.
To liberate that much energy requires the complete annihilation of around 2,500,000,000,000 tonnes of antimatter. That's assuming zero energy loss to heat and radiation, which is unlikely to be the case in reality: You'll probably need to up the dose by at least a factor of ten. Once you've generated your antimatter, probably in space, just launch it en masse towards Earth. The resulting release of energy (obeying Einstein's famous mass-energy equation, E=mc^2) should be sufficient to split the Earth into a thousand pieces.
Earth's final resting place: A second asteroid belt around the Sun.
Earliest feasible completion date: AD 2500. Of course, if it does prove possible to manufacture antimatter in the sufficiently large quantities you require - which is not necessarily the case - then smaller antimatter bombs will be around long before then.

6. Destroyed by vacuum energy detonation

You will need: a light bulb
Method: This is a fun one. Contemporary scientific theories tell us that what we may see as vacuum is only vacuum on average, and actually thriving with vast amounts of particles and antiparticles constantly appearing and then annihilating each other. It also suggests that the volume of space enclosed by a light bulb contains enough vacuum energy to boil every ocean in the world. Therefore, vacuum energy could prove to be the most abundant energy source of any kind. Which is where you come in. All you need to do is figure out how to extract this energy and harness it in some kind of power plant - this can easily be done without arousing too much suspicion - then surreptitiously allow the reaction to run out of control. The resulting release of energy would easily be enough to annihilate all of planet Earth and probably the Sun too.
Slightly possible.
Earth's final resting place: a rapidly expanding cloud of particles of varying size.
Earliest feasible completion date: 2060 or so.
Source: "3001: The Final Odyssey," by Arthur C. Clarke

5. Sucked into a giant black hole

You will need: a black hole, extremely powerful rocket engines, and, optionally, a large rocky planetary body. The nearest black hole to our planet is 1600 light years from Earth in the direction of Sagittarius, orbiting V4641.
Method: after locating your black hole, you need get it and the Earth together. This is likely to be the most time-consuming part of this plan. There are two methods, moving Earth or moving the black hole, though for best results you'd most likely move both at once.
Very difficult, but definitely possible.
Earth's final resting place: part of the mass of the black hole.
Earliest feasible completion date: I do not expect the necessary technology to be available until AD 3000, and add at least 800 years for travel time. (That's in an external observer's frame of reference and assuming you move both the Earth and the black hole at the same time.)
Sources: "The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy," by Douglas Adams;

4. Meticulously and systematically deconstructed

You will need: a powerful mass driver, or ideally lots of them; ready access to roughly 2*10^32J
Method: Basically, what we're going to do here is dig up the Earth, a big chunk at a time, and boost the whole lot of it into orbit. Yes. All six sextillion tons of it. A mass driver is a sort of oversized electromagnetic railgun, which was once proposed as a way of getting mined materials back from the Moon to Earth - basically, you just load it into the driver and fire it upwards in roughly the right direction. We'd use a particularly powerful model - big enough to hit escape velocity of 11 kilometers per second even after atmospheric considerations - and launch it all into the Sun or randomly into space.
Alternate methods for boosting the material into space include loading the extracted material into space shuttles or taking it up via space elevator. All these methods, however, require a - let me emphasize this - titanic quantity of energy to carry out. Building a Dyson sphere ain't gonna cut it here. (Note: Actually, it would. But if you have the technology to build a Dyson sphere, why are you reading this?) See No. 6 for a possible solution.
If we wanted to and were willing to devote resources to it, we could start this process RIGHT NOW. Indeed, what with all the gunk left in orbit, on the Moon and heading out into space, we already have done.
Earth's final resting place: Many tiny pieces, some dropped into the Sun, the remainder scattered across the rest of the Solar System.
Earliest feasible completion date: Ah. Yes. At a billion tons of mass driven out of the Earth's gravity well per second: 189,000,000 years.
Source: this method arose when Joe Baldwin and I knocked our heads together by accident.

3. Pulverized by impact with blunt instrument

You will need: a big heavy rock, something with a bit of a swing to it... perhaps Mars
Method: Essentially, anything can be destroyed if you hit it hard enough. ANYTHING. The concept is simple: find a really, really big asteroid or planet, accelerate it up to some dazzling speed, and smash it into Earth, preferably head-on but whatever you can manage. The result: an absolutely spectacular collision, resulting hopefully in Earth (and, most likely, our "cue ball" too) being pulverized out of existence - smashed into any number of large pieces which if the collision is hard enough should have enough energy to overcome their mutual gravity and drift away forever, never to coagulate back into a planet again.
A brief analysis of the size of the object required can be found here. Falling at the minimal impact velocity of 11 kilometers per second and assuming zero energy loss to heat and other energy forms, the cue ball would have to have roughly 60% of the mass of the Earth. Mars, the next planet out, "weighs" in at about 11% of Earth's mass, while Venus, the next planet in and also the nearest to Earth, has about 81%. Assuming that we would fire our cue ball into Earth at much greater than 11km/s (I'm thinking more like 50km/s), either of these would make great possibilities.
Obviously a smaller rock would do the job, you just need to fire it faster. A 10,000,000,000,000-tonne asteroid at 90% of light speed would do just as well. See the Guide to moving Earth for useful information on maneuvering big hunks of rock across interplanetary distances.
Pretty plausible.
Earth's final resting place: a variety of roughly Moon-sized chunks of rock, scattered haphazardly across the greater Solar System.
Earliest feasible completion date: AD 2500, maybe?
Source: This method suggested by Andy Kirkpatrick

2. Eaten by von Neumann machines

You will need: a single von Neumann machine
Method: A von Neumann machine is any device that is capable of creating an exact copy of itself given nothing but the necessary raw materials. Create one of these that subsists almost entirely on iron, magnesium, aluminum and silicon, the major elements found in Earth's mantle and core. It doesn't matter how big it is as long as it can reproduce itself exactly in any period of time. Release it into the ground under the Earth's crust and allow it to fend for itself. Watch and wait as it creates a second von Neumann machine, then they create two more, then they create four more. As the population of machines doubles repeatedly, the planet Earth will, terrifyingly soon, be entirely eaten up and turned into a swarm of potentially sextillions of machines. Technically your objective would now be complete - no more Earth - but if you want to be thorough then you can command your VNMs to hurl themselves, along with any remaining trace elements, into the Sun. This hurling would have to be achieved using rocket propulsion of some sort, so be sure to include this in your design.
So crazy it might just work.
Earth's final resting place: the bodies of the VNMs themselves, then a small lump of iron sinking into the Sun.
Earliest feasible completion date: Potentially 2045-2050, or even earlier.
Source: "2010: Odyssey Two," by Arthur C. Clarke

1. Hurled into the Sun

You will need: Earthmoving equipment
Method: Hurl the Earth into the Sun. Sending Earth on a collision course with the Sun is not as easy as one might think; even though you don't actually have to literally hit the Sun (send the Earth near enough to the Sun (within the Roche limit), and tidal forces will tear it apart), it's surprisingly easy to end up with Earth in a loopy elliptical orbit which merely roasts it for four months in every eight. But careful planning can avoid this.
This is impossible at our current technological level, but will be possible one day, I'm certain. In the meantime, may happen by freak accident if something comes out of nowhere and randomly knocks Earth in precisely the right direction. Earth's final resting place: a small globule of vaporized iron sinking slowly into the heart of the Sun.
Earliest feasible completion date: Via act of God: 25 years' time. Any earlier and we'd have already spotted the asteroid in question. Via human intervention: given the current level of expansion of space technology, 2250 at best.
Source: "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers," by Grant Naylor

| Reference/Source: By Sam Hughes

Christian Bale and Kristen Stewart – Top 10 Celebrity Look-Alikes List

I love this site and thought I’d research a few celebs and their twins for ya’ll. Here are ten I liked but you might not, no biggy, just let me know in the comments your faves!

1) Christian Bale Totally Looks Like Kermit the Frog

Ive also heard Kermits violent rant on the Muppets set...Bale got nothing on this Frog!
I've also heard Kermits violent rant on the Muppets set...Bale got nothing on this Frog!

2) Hermione Granger Totally Looks Like Bella Swan

Harry Potter better hope RPattz doesnt see this
Both want to work their magic on RPattz

3) Kimbo Slice Totally Looks Like Mr. T

This was taken right before Kimbo beat Mr. T up and took his gold chains.. I pity dat fool
This was taken right before Kimbo beat Mr. T up and took his gold chains.. I pity dat fool

4) Zac Efron Totally Looks Like Jared Leto

Ill let you decide who plays for which team?
I'll let you decide who plays for which team?

5) Michael Moore Totally Looks Like Guillermo Del Toro

We await the mash-up of The Hobbit and Roger and Me.
We await the mash-up of The Hobbit and Roger and Me

6) Taylor Momsen Totally Looks Like Ashley Benson

I fully support cloning!
I fully support cloning!

7) Freddy Mercury Totally Looks Like Borat

Freddy looks like Borat, parties like Bruno
Freddy looked like Borat, partied like Bruno

8) Sasha baron Cohen’s Bruno Totally Looks Like Mad tv’s Stuart

No, I can do it... Look what I can do
No, I can do it... Look what I can do

9) Brad Pitt Totally Looks Like Hermann Rorschach

Difference: Brad Pitts inkblots sell for alot more.
Difference: Brad Pitts inkblots sell for alot more.

10) Bret Michaels Totally Looks Like Fergie

Fergie works her butt onstage, Brett gets his kicked by the stage!
Fergie works her butt onstage, Bret gets his kicked by the stage!
Well, that’s ten I liked, if you have favorites you want to share hook me up in the comments.  Let me know what other top ten lists you’d find appealing and I’ll do my best to deliver.

| Reference/Source: by Blaine Jeffery

Top Ten Antivirus 2011

Most Antivirus companies have already released their latest software, the 2011 version of their antivirus software. Since the numbers of viruses over the internet are exceeding to the unbearable limits, antivirus companies are aggressively working on their antivirus programs to provide the best security and thus making their way in the top ten antivirus 2011 worldwide. It was extremely interesting to test various antivirus software on our lab computers. We infected our computer systems to fully test the capabilities of these antivirus programs. Among the best we found are the Norton antivirus, Bitdefender, F-Secure, ESET Nod32 and Kaspersky antivirus 2011. While Norton antivirus 2011 continues to be the best antivirus software, Kaspersky is still the best antivirus and security software manufacturer for business computers. Bitdefender and F-Secure are both good for home and business computers.

Here are the much awaited results. We have already tested these antivirus software and so far, this is the most comprehensive and best “top ten antivirus 2011″ review on the internet! If you plan to buy any of these software, you can check for antivirus coupons to save money on these top ten antivirus 2011 programs.

Antivirus Speed Stealth Configuration Price
BitDefender Antivirus 2011
Review | Download
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Norton Antivirus 2011
Review | Download
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F-Secure Antivirus 2011
Review | Download
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ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4
Review | Download
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Kaspersky Antivirus 2011
Review | Download
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TrendMicro Antivirus 2011
Review | Download
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Panda Antivirus 2011
Review | Download
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AVG Antivirus 2011
Review | Download
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ZoneAlarm Antivirus 2011
Review | Download
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G Data Antivirus 2011
Review | Download
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Top Ten Antivirus 2011 Testing

To rate the top ten antivirus 2011 a strong criteria is used. The antivirus software are measured on various factors like technology, stealth, speed, price, support, configuration, ease of use and more. As we move on with time, speed keeps becoming even more important factor. Also, pricing is another major factor that we included while ranking the top ten antivirus 2011 software. The list of best antivirus software 2011 is quite long. We considered the following antivirus software list to come up with the top ten antivirus 2011.

  • BitDefender Antivirus 2011
  • Norton Antivirus 2011
  • F-Secure Antivirus 2011
  • ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4
  • Kaspersky Antivirus 2011
  • TrendMicro Titanium Security
  • Panda Antivirus 2011
  • AVG Antivirus 2011
  • G Data Antivirus 2011
  • ZoneAlarm Antivirus 2011
  • Vipre Antivirus 2011
  • McAfee Antivirus Plus 2011
  • CA Antivirus 2011
  • Avanquest SystemSuite 11 Professional
  • Avira Antivir Premium 2011
  • Sophos Endpoint Security 2011
  • Comodo Antivirus 2011
  • PC Tools Spyware Doctor with Antivirus 2011
  • Quick Heal Antivirus 2011
  • Microsoft Security Essentials 2011
These are some of the best-of-the-best antivirus software and we have selected the top ten antivirus 2011 out of these antivirus programs. These security software were tested on various factors. Some of the factors we considered to judge these antivirus software are:
  • Speed – Antivirus software should be fast. Only the fastest antivirus will make for the top ten list.
  • Price – Antivirus software should be cheaper. The last thing we want is an expensive piece of software.
  • Stealth – Antivirus software should be able to detect and remove all virus, spyware and malicious codes.
  • Configuration – Antivirus software should be easy to configure and easy to run scans.
  • Updates – Updates should be regular and should not interrupt a user.
  • Real-time – Antivirus programs should provide real-time scanning options to detect and block real-time threats.
  • Support – Antivirus Companies should provide adequate after-sale support, related to the product.
These are just a few factors that have been considered while ranking the top ten antivirus 2011 software. Based on these factors, we have provided our lab test results. What do you think about this list of top 10 antivirus 2011?
| Reference/Source: