10 of the Most Famous Computer Hacks of All Time

Hackers are a very diverse bunch, a group simultaneously blamed with causing billions of dollars in damages as well as credited with the development of the World Wide Web and the founding of major tech companies. In this article, we test the theory that truth is better than fiction by introducing you to ten of the most famous hackers, both nefarious and heroic, to let you decide for yourself.

Here's our Top 10 of the Most Famous Computer Hacks of All Time.

Black Hat Crackers

The Internet abounds with hackers, known as crackers or "black hats," who work to exploit computer systems. They are the ones you've seen on the news being hauled away for cybercrimes. Some of them do it for fun and curiosity, while others are looking for personal gain. In this section we profile five of the most famous and interesting "black hat" hackers.

1 - Jonathan James

James gained notoriety when he became the first juvenile to be sent to prison for hacking. He was sentenced at 16 years old. In an anonymous PBS interview, he professes, "I was just looking around, playing around. What was fun for me was a challenge to see what I could pull off."

James's major intrusions targeted high-profile organizations. He installed a backdoor into a Defense Threat Reduction Agency server. The DTRA is an agency of the Department of Defense charged with reducing the threat to the U.S. and its allies from nuclear, biological, chemical, conventional and special weapons. The backdoor he created enabled him to view sensitive emails and capture employee usernames and passwords.

James also cracked into NASA computers, stealing software worth approximately $1.7 million. According to the Department of Justice, "The software supported the International Space Station's physical environment, including control of the temperature and humidity within the living space." NASA was forced to shut down its computer systems, ultimately racking up a $41,000 cost. James explained that he downloaded the code to supplement his studies on C programming, but contended, "The code itself was crappy . . . certainly not worth $1.7 million like they claimed."

Given the extent of his intrusions, if James, also known as "c0mrade," had been an adult he likely would have served at least 10 years. Instead, he was banned from recreational computer use and was slated to serve a six-month sentence under house arrest with probation. However, he served six months in prison for violation of parole. Today, James asserts that he's learned his lesson and might start a computer security company.
2 - Adrian Lamo

Lamo's claim to fame is his break-ins at major organizations like The New York Times and Microsoft. Dubbed the "homeless hacker," he used Internet connections at Kinko's, coffee shops and libraries to do his intrusions. In a profile article, "He Hacks by Day, Squats by Night," Lamo reflects, "I have a laptop in Pittsburgh, a change of clothes in D.C. It kind of redefines the term multi-jurisdictional."

Lamo's intrusions consisted mainly of penetration testing, in which he found flaws in security, exploited them and then informed companies of their shortcomings. His hits include Yahoo!, Bank of America, Citigroup and Cingular. When white hat hackers are hired by companies to do penetration testing, it's legal. What Lamo did is not.

When he broke into The New York Times' intranet, things got serious. He added himself to a list of experts and viewed personal information on contributors, including Social Security numbers. Lamo also hacked into The Times' LexisNexis account to research high-profile subject matter.

For his intrusion at The New York Times, Lamo was ordered to pay approximately $65,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to six months of home confinement and two years of probation, which expired January 16, 2007. Lamo is currently working as an award-winning journalist and public speaker.
3 - Kevin Mitnick

A self-proclaimed "hacker poster boy," Mitnick went through a highly publicized pursuit by authorities. His mischief was hyped by the media but his actual offenses may be less notable than his notoriety suggests. The Department of Justice describes him as "the most wanted computer criminal in United States history." His exploits were detailed in two movies: Freedom Downtime and Takedown.

Mitnick had a bit of hacking experience before committing the offenses that made him famous. He started out exploiting the Los Angeles bus punch card system to get free rides. Then, like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, dabbled in phone phreaking. Although there were numerous offenses, Mitnick was ultimately convicted for breaking into the Digital Equipment Corporation's computer network and stealing software.

Mitnick's mischief got serious when he went on a two and a half year "coast-to-coast hacking spree." The CNN article, "Legendary computer hacker released from prison," explains that "he hacked into computers, stole corporate secrets, scrambled phone networks and broke into the national defense warning system." He then hacked into computer expert and fellow hacker Tsutomu Shimomura's home computer, which led to his undoing.

Today, Mitnick has been able to move past his role as a black hat hacker and become a productive member of society. He served five years, about 8 months of it in solitary confinement, and is now a computer security consultant, author and speaker.
4 - Kevin Poulsen

Also known as Dark Dante, Poulsen gained recognition for his hack of LA radio's KIIS-FM phone lines, which earned him a brand new Porsche, among other items. Law enforcement dubbed him "the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime."

Authorities began to pursue Poulsen after he hacked into a federal investigation database. During this pursuit, he further drew the ire of the FBI by hacking into federal computers for wiretap information.

His hacking specialty, however, revolved around telephones. Poulsen's most famous hack, KIIS-FM, was accomplished by taking over all of the station's phone lines. In a related feat, Poulsen also "reactivated old Yellow Page escort telephone numbers for an acquaintance who then ran a virtual escort agency." Later, when his photo came up on the show Unsolved Mysteries, 1-800 phone lines for the program crashed. Ultimately, Poulsen was captured in a supermarket and served a sentence of five years.

Since serving time, Poulsen has worked as a journalist. He is now a senior editor for Wired News. His most prominent article details his work on identifying 744 sex offenders with MySpace profiles.
5 - Robert Tappan Morris

Morris, son of former National Security Agency scientist Robert Morris, is known as the creator of the Morris Worm, the first computer worm to be unleashed on the Internet. As a result of this crime, he was the first person prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Morris wrote the code for the worm while he was a student at Cornell. He asserts that he intended to use it to see how large the Internet was. The worm, however, replicated itself excessively, slowing computers down so that they were no longer usable. It is not possible to know exactly how many computers were affected, but experts estimate an impact of 6,000 machines. He was sentenced to three years' probation, 400 hours of community service and a fined $10,500.

Morris is currently working as a tenured professor at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He principally researches computer network architectures including distributed hash tables such as Chord and wireless mesh networks such as Roofnet.

White Hat Hackers

Hackers that use their skills for good are classified as "white hat." These white hats often work as certified "Ethical Hackers," hired by companies to test the integrity of their systems. Others, operate without company permission by bending but not breaking laws and in the process have created some really cool stuff. In this section we profile five white hat hackers and the technologies they have developed.

1 - Stephen Wozniak

"Woz" is famous for being the "other Steve" of Apple. Wozniak, along with current Apple CEO Steve Jobs, co-founded Apple Computer. He has been awarded with the National Medal of Technology as well as honorary doctorates from Kettering University and Nova Southeastern University. Additionally, Woz was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in September 2000.

Woz got his start in hacking making blue boxes, devices that bypass telephone-switching mechanisms to make free long-distance calls. After reading an article about phone phreaking in Esquire, Wozniak called up his buddy Jobs. The pair did research on frequencies, then built and sold blue boxes to their classmates in college. Wozniak even used a blue box to call the Pope while pretending to be Henry Kissinger.

Wozniak dropped out of college and came up with the computer that eventually made him famous. Jobs had the bright idea to sell the computer as a fully assembled PC board. The Steves sold Wozniak's cherished scientific calculator and Jobs' VW van for capital and got to work assembling prototypes in Jobs' garage. Wozniak designed the hardware and most of the software. In the Letters section of Woz.org, he recalls doing "what Ed Roberts and Bill Gates and Paul Allen did and tons more, with no help." Wozniak and Jobs sold the first 100 of the Apple I to a local dealer for $666.66 each.

Woz no longer works full time for Apple, focusing primarily on philanthropy instead. Most notable is his function as fairy godfather to the Los Gatos, Calif. School District. "Wozniak 'adopted' the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment."
2 - Tim Berners-Lee

Berners-Lee is famed as the inventor of the World Wide Web, the system that we use to access sites, documents and files on the Internet. He has received numerous recognitions, most notably the Millennium Technology Prize.

While a student at Oxford University, Berners-Lee was caught hacking access with a friend and subsequently banned from University computers. w3.org reports, "Whilst [at Oxford], he built his first computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor and an old television." Technological innovation seems to have run in his genes, as Berners-Lee's parents were mathematicians who worked on the Manchester Mark1, one of the earliest electronic computers.

While working with CERN, a European nuclear research organization, Berners-Lee created a hypertext prototype system that helped researchers share and update information easily. He later realized that hypertext could be joined with the Internet. Berners-Lee recounts how he put them together: "I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the TCP and DNS ideas and – ta-da! – the World Wide Web."

Since his creation of the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium at MIT. The W3C describes itself as "an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff and the public work together to develop Web standards." Berners-Lee's World Wide Web idea, as well as standards from the W3C, is distributed freely with no patent or royalties due.
3 - Linus Torvalds

Torvalds fathered Linux, the very popular Unix-based operating system. He calls himself "an engineer," and has said that his aspirations are simple, "I just want to have fun making the best damn operating system I can."

Torvalds got his start in computers with a Commodore VIC-20, an 8-bit home computer. He then moved on to a Sinclair QL. Wikipedia reports that he modified the Sinclair "extensively, especially its operating system." Specifically, Torvalds hacks included "an assembler and a text editor…as well as a few games."

Torvalds created the Linux kernel in 1991, using the Minix operating system as inspiration. He started with a task switcher in Intel 80386 assembly and a terminal driver. After that, he put out a call for others to contribute code, which they did. Currently, only about 2 percent of the current Linux kernel is written by Torvalds himself. The success of this public invitation to contribute code for Linux is touted as one of the most prominent examples of free/open source software.

Currently, Torvalds serves as the Linux ringleader, coordinating the code that volunteer programmers contribute to the kernel. He has had an asteroid named after him and received honorary doctorates from Stockholm University and University of Helsinki. He was also featured in Time Magazine's "60 Years of Heroes."
4 - Richard Stallman

Stallman's fame derives from the GNU Project, which he founded to develop a free operating system. For this, he's known as the father of free software. His "Serious Bio" asserts, "Non-free software keeps users divided and helpless, forbidden to share it and unable to change it. A free operating system is essential for people to be able to use computers in freedom."

Stallman, who prefers to be called rms, got his start hacking at MIT. He worked as a "staff hacker" on the Emacs project and others. He was a critic of restricted computer access in the lab. When a password system was installed, Stallman broke it down, resetting passwords to null strings, then sent users messages informing them of the removal of the password system.

Stallman's crusade for free software started with a printer. At the MIT lab, he and other hackers were allowed to modify code on printers so that they sent convenient alert messages. However, a new printer came along – one that they were not allowed to modify. It was located away from the lab and the absence of the alerts presented an inconvenience. It was at this point that he was "convinced…of the ethical need to require free software."

With this inspiration, he began work on GNU. Stallman wrote an essay, "The GNU Project," in which he recalls choosing to work on an operating system because it's a foundation, "the crucial software to use a computer." At this time, the GNU/Linux version of the operating system uses the Linux kernel started by Torvalds. GNU is distributed under "copyleft," a method that employs copyright law to allow users to use, modify, copy and distribute the software.

Stallman's life continues to revolve around the promotion of free software. He works against movements like Digital Rights Management (or as he prefers, Digital Restrictions Management) through organizations like Free Software Foundation and League for Programming Freedom. He has received extensive recognition for his work, including awards, fellowships and four honorary doctorates.
5 - Tsutomu Shimomura

Shimomura reached fame in an unfortunate manner: he was hacked by Kevin Mitnick. Following this personal attack, he made it his cause to help the FBI capture him.

Shimomura's work to catch Mitnick is commendable, but he is not without his own dark side. Author Bruce Sterling recalls: "He pulls out this AT&T cellphone, pulls it out of the shrinkwrap, finger-hacks it, and starts monitoring phone calls going up and down Capitol Hill while an FBI agent is standing at his shoulder, listening to him."

Shimomura out-hacked Mitnick to bring him down. Shortly after finding out about the intrusion, he rallied a team and got to work finding Mitnick. Using Mitnick's cell phone, they tracked him near Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The article, "SDSC Computer Experts Help FBI Capture Computer Terrorist" recounts how Shimomura pinpointed Mitnick's location. Armed with a technician from the phone company, Shimomura "used a cellular frequency direction-finding antenna hooked up to a laptop to narrow the search to an apartment complex." Mitnick was arrested shortly thereafter. Following the pursuit, Shimomura wrote a book about the incident with journalist John Markoff, which was later turned into a movie.
  • Reference/Source: Focus.com by IT Security Editors

10 of the Most Effective Flirting Tips

According to Wiki, flirting is a playful, romantic or sexual overture by one person to another subtly indicating an interest in a deeper relationship with the other person, and can involve verbal communication as well as body language. Body language can include flicking the hair, eye contact, brief touching, open stances, proximity etc. Verbal communication of interest can include the vocal tone, such as pace, volume, intonation. Challenges (teasing, questions, qualifying, feigned disinterest) serve to increase tension, test intention and congruity.

Flirting usually involves speaking and behaving in a way that suggests a mildly greater intimacy than the actual relationship between the parties would justify, though within the rules of social etiquette, which generally disapproves of a direct expression of sexual interest. This may be accomplished by communicating a sense of playfulness or irony. Double entendres, with one meaning more formally appropriate and another more suggestive, may be used.

Here's Top 10 of the Most Effective Flirting Tips. Give it a try!

10 - Flirting is an attitude

A good flirt is self-confident and not afraid to take risks. Be enthusiastic and positive, it works!

9 - Start a conversation

The best opening line is saying hello.
Talk about the surroundings, ask a question, ask for help, state an opinion.
8 - Have fun

Be playful, light-hearted and spontaneous.
Show your vulnerability.
7 - Use props

Never leave home without a prop.
Props are natural conversation starters. They encourage conversation and others will be compelled to start talking to you.
Great props include: dogs, kids, unusual jewelry, a irresistable scent, a sweatshirt with your favorite passion or personalized Hoodie with your Rhinestone Initial or T-Shirt with your Rhinestone Initial ties, Guy's Personalized Sweatshirt hats, or an interesting book or newspaper.
6 - Be the host

Change your behavior from the role of guest to host.
You are not the passive person in waiting, but rather the welcome committee.
5 - Make the first move

Move closer to the person you want to meet.
Say hello!

4 - Always Listen

You have two ears and one mouth because you should listen twice as much as you speak.
Listening is a true art. Your flirting partner will be drawn to you.
Everyone loves to be heard.
3 - Eye contact

Make eye contact, but please look your partner in the eye gently (no more than 2-4 seconds) and then glance away.
Don't stare - it's always a turn off.

2 - Make Compliment

Compliment your flirting partner. The best compliments have the element of surprise.
The "flirtee" will know that you really noticed them.
Remember, your compliments must be honest, sincere and genuine.
When you receive a compliment the best response is merely, Thank You!
1 - Don't forget to Smile

It is contagious.
It will make you so much more approachable.
A smile lights up your face and draws people to you. You will be a people magnet.

10 of the 20 Best Songs of All Time

According to popmatters.com, here's the Top 10 best songs of all time. Check it out if yours is on the list.
10 - Ray Charles “Cryin’ Time”

Another vintage 1960s song that gave people something to slow-dance to, as Charles’ wistful voice transformed the mournful tune into a crossover hit.

9 - Roger Miller “King of the Road”

A quirky, laid-back singalong song that was novel enough in the `60s to draw rock-crazed crowds back into country music. Miller was the perfect foil for the British popsters of the day.

8 - Johnny Cash “Orange Blossom Special”

Of the many versions of this fiddler’s classic, anyone can sing along with Johnny Cash’s cover of THE best train song ever.

7 - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys “Faded Love”

If the twin fiddles of this Texas dancehall favorite don’t get you, move somewhere else. Quickly.

6 - Hank Williams Sr. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

He had bigger hits, but Williams’ elemental ode to sadness has been covered by dozens of artists and taken to heart by millions of fans.

5 - Willie Nelson “Whiskey River”

How many concerts have you attended that started with TWANG, TWANG, TWANG, TWANG, then these two words? We thought so.

4 - George Jones “He Stopped Loving Her Today”

Death, unrequited love, third-party gossip, it’s all here—along with Jones’ hangdog baritone.

3 - Merle Haggard “Mama Tried”

Haggard was still a handsome rebel himself when this tale of misspent youth made us all a little restless.

2 - Patsy Cline “Sweet Dreams”

The gold standard of songs for Cline wannabes—it takes pluck to attempt her triumph of vocal range and emotion.

1 - Johnny Cash “Ring of Fire”

The horns, the tempo, Cash’s smoldering voice and June Carter’s dead-on songwriting remain as exciting now as in the 1960s.

  • Reference/Source: Popmatters.com by Shirley Jinkins and Malcolm Mayhew [20 September 2007]

10 of Most Common Interview Questions and Best Answers

There are questions that employers commonly ask at job interviews and it's important to be prepared to respond to those interview questions. You don't need to memorize an answer, but do think about what you're going to say, so you're not put on the spot during the job interview.
Review the top 10 interview questions you'll most likely be asked at a job interview, plus the best answers. Also, review the other questions you may be asked, so you're prepared to ace the interview.

Here's the top 10 most common interview questions and their best answer.
1 - What is your greatest strength?

This is one of the easier interview questions you'll be asked. When you are asked questions about your strengths, it's important to discuss attributes that will qualify you for the job. The best way to respond is to describe the skills and experience that directly correlate with the job you are applying for.

Sample Answers

- When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
- I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I've earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.
- My time management skills are excellent and I'm organized, efficient, and take pride in excelling at my work.
- I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to resolve what could be difficult situations.

How Will Your Greatest Strength Help You Perform?

As a follow up to being asked about your greatest strengths, you may be asked about how your greatest strength helped your performance on the job. When you respond, relate your strengths to both the job description and your ability to perform at work.
2 - What is your greatest weakness?

When you're asked what your greatest weakness is, try to turn a negative into a positive. For example, a sense of urgency to get projects completed or wanting to triple-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will make sure that the project is done on time and your work will be close to perfect.

Note that the term "weakness" isn't used in the sample answers - you always want to focus on the positive when interviewing.

Sample Answers

- When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
- Being organized wasn't my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really helped my organization skills.
- I like to make sure that my work is perfect, so I tend to perhaps spend a little too much time checking it. However, I've come to a good balance by setting up a system to ensure everything is done correctly the first time.
- I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I realized that scheduling in advance makes much more sense.
- I would say that I can be too much of a perfectionist in my work. Sometimes, I spend more time than necessary on a task, or take on tasks personally that could easily be delegated to someone else. Although I've never missed a deadline, it is still an effort for me to know when to move on to the next task, and to be confident when assigning others work.
- I've learned to make my perfectionism work to my advantage at work. I am excellent at meeting deadlines, and with my attention to detail, I know my work is correct.
- I used to like to work on one project to it completion before starting on another, but I've learned to work on many projects at the same time, and I think it allows me to be more creative and effective in each one.
3 - How do you handle stress and pressure?

A typical interview question, asked to get a sense of how you handle on-the-job stress, is "How do you handle pressure?" Examples of good responses include:

- Stress is very important to me. With stress, I do the best possible job. The appropriate way to deal with stress is to make sure I have the correct balance between good stress and bad stress. I need good stress to stay motivated and productive.
- I react to situations, rather than to stress. That way, the situation is handled and doesn't become stressful.
- I actually work better under pressure and I've found that I enjoy working in a challenging environment.
- From a personal perspective, I manage stress by visiting the gym every evening. It's a great stress reducer.
- Prioritizing my responsibilities so I have a clear idea of what needs to be done when, has helped me effectively manage pressure on the job.
- If the people I am managing are contributing to my stress level, I discuss options for better handling difficult situations with them.
- I find that when I'm under the pressure of a deadline, I can do some of my most creative work.
- I'm not a person who has a difficult time with stress. When I'm under pressure, I focus, and get the job done.
- I find it exhilarating to be in a dynamic environment where the pressure is on.
- I find a past pace to be invigorating, and thrive when the pressure is on.
- I've done some of my best work under tight deadlines, where the atmosphere was very stressful.
- I'm the kind of person who stays calm under pressure, and handles stress fairly easily.
- It's a good idea to give examples of how you have handled stress to your interviewer. That way, they get a clear picture how well you can work in stressful situations.
4 - Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it.

There is no right or wrong answer to questions like "What are the most difficult decisions to make?" or "Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it." These are behavioral interview questions designed to discover how you handled certain situations. The logic behind these type of questions is that how you behaved in the past is a predictor of what you will do in the future.

Give concrete examples of difficult situations that actually happened at work. Then discuss what you did to solve the problem. Keep your answers positive ("Even though it was difficult when Jane Doe quit without notice, we were able to rearrange the department workload to cover the position until a replacement was hired.") and be specific. Itemize what you did and how you did it.

The best way to prepare for questions where you will need to recall events and actions, is to refresh your memory and consider some special situations you have dealt with or projects you have worked on. You can use them to help frame responses. Prepare stories that illustrate times when you have successfully solved a difficult situation.
5 - How do you evaluate success?

Best Answer

- I evaluate success in different ways. At work, it is meeting the goals set by my supervisors and my fellow workers. It is my understanding, from talking to other employees, that the GGR company is recognized for not only rewarding success, but giving employees opportunity to grow as well. After work, I enjoy playing softball, so success on the field is catching the winning pop-up.
6 - Why are you leaving or have left your job?

One of the questions that is typically asked in an interview is "Why are you leaving your job?" or "Why did you leave your job?" if you have already moved on. If you were fired from your job, use these answers to respond. If you left of your own accord, review these suggestions on how best to answer and tailor your response to meet your particular situation. Be direct and focus your interview answer on the future, especially if your leaving wasn't under the best of circumstances.
Don't Badmouth Your Boss

Regardless of why you left, don't speak badly about your previous employer. The interviewer may wonder if you will be bad-mouthing his company next time you're looking for work. I once interviewed a person who told me that her last employer was terrible. They didn't pay her enough, the hours were awful and she hated the job. That company happened to be my company's biggest, and most important, customer. And there is no way I would have hired someone who felt that way, justified or not, about our valuable client. So, she gave up any opportunity of getting the job as soon as she answered the "Why did you leave?" question.

Prepare answers to typical job interview questions, like this one, in advance. Practice your responses so you sound positive, and clear, about your circumstances and your goals for the future.

Sample answers to the interview question "Why did you leave your job?

- I found myself bored with the work and looking for more challenges. I am an excellent employee and I didn't want my unhappiness to have any impact on the job I was doing for my employer.
There isn't room for growth with my current employer and I'm ready to move on to a new challenge.
- I'm looking for a bigger challenge and to grow my career and I couldn't job hunt part time while working. It didn't seem ethical to use my former employer's time.
- I was laid-off from my last position when our department was eliminated due to corporate restructuring.
- I'm relocating to this area due to family circumstances and left my previous position in order to make the move.
- I've decided that is not the direction I want to go in my career and my current employer has no opportunities in the direction I'd like to head.
- After several years in my last position, I'm looking for an company where I can contribute and grow in a team-oriented environment.
- I am interested in a new challenge and an opportunity to use my technical skills and experience in a different capacity than I have in the past.
- I recently received my degree and I want to utilize my educational background in my next position.
- I am interested in a job with more responsibility, and I am very ready for a new challenge.
- I left my last position in order to spend more time with my family. Circumstances have changed and I'm more than ready for full-time employment again.
- I am seeking a position with a stable company with room for growth and opportunity for advancement.
- I was commuting to the city and spending a significant amount of time each day on travel. I would prefer to be closer to home.
- To be honest, I wasn't considering a move, but, I saw this job posting and was intrigued by the position and the company. It sounds like an exciting opportunity and an ideal match with my qualifications.
- This position seemed like an excellent match for my skills and experience and I am not able to fully utilize them in my present job.
- The company was cutting back and, unfortunately, my job was one of those eliminated.
7 - Why do you want this job?

Keep in mind that you can customize these answers to fit your particular circumstances and the job you are applying for.

Joyce Lain Kennedy's sample answers to the interview question "Why do you want this job?"

- This is not only a fine opportunity, but this company is a place where my qualifications can make a difference. As a finance executive well versed in the new stock options law, I see this - position as made to order. It contains the challenge to keep me on my toes. That's the kind of job I like to anticipate every morning.
- I want this job because it seems tailored to my competencies, which include sales and marketing. As I said earlier, in a previous position I created an annual growth rate of 22 percent in a flat industry. Additionally, the team I would work with looks terrific.
- I well understand that this is a company on the way up. Your Web site says the launch of several new products is imminent. I want be a part of this business as it grows.
Having worked through a college business major building decks and porches for neighbors, this entry-level job for the area's most respected home builder has my name on it.
- As a dedicated technician, I like doing essential research. Being part of a breakthrough team is an experience I'd love to repeat.
- This job is a good fit for what I've been interested in throughout my career. It offers a nice mix of short- and long-term activities. My short-term achievements keep me cranked up and the long-term accomplishments make me feel like a billion bucks.
- I want this job selling theater tickets because I'd be good at it. I'm good at speaking to people and handling cash. I would like a job with regular hours and I'm always on time.
- Although some companies are replacing Americans with imported low-wage workers, you are standing tall. This company's successful strategies, good reputation and values make it heads and shoulders above its competition.
- I'd fit right in as a counter clerk in your fine drycleaners. I have observed that the counter clerk position requires competence at handling several activities in quick order -- customer service, payments, bagging and phones. I like multitasking and, as a homemaker, I have a lot of practice in keeping all the balls in the air.
- The work I find most stimulating allows me to use both my creative and research skills. The buzz on this company is that it rewards people who deliver solutions to substantial problems.
8 - Why should we hire you?

A typical interview question, asked to get your opinion, or to validate the interviewer's opinion, on why you would be the best candidate for the position, is "Why should we hire you?"

The best way to respond is to give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position.
9 - What are your goals for the future?

The best way to respond to the interview question "What are your goals for the future?" or "Where do you see yourself in five years?" is to refer to the position and the company you are interviewing with.

Don't discuss your goals for returning to school or having a family, they are not relevant and could knock you out of contention for the job. Rather, you want to connect your answer to the job you are applying for. Examples of good responses include:

- My long-term goals involve growing with a company where I can continue to learn, take on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much of value as I can.
- I see myself as a top performing employee in a well-established organization, like this one. I plan on enhancing my skills and continuing my involvement in (related) professional associations.
- Once I gain additional experience, I would like to move on from a technical position to management.
- In the XYZ Corporation, what is a typical career path for someone with my skills and experiences?
10 - Tell me about yourself.

You walk into the interview room, shake hands with your interviewer and sit down with your best interviewing smile on. Guess what their first question is? "Tell me about yourself."

Do you "wing it" and actually tell all manner of things about yourself? Will you spend the next 5 minutes rambling on about what an easy-going, loyal, dedicated, hard working employee you've been? If this is the case, you stand a good chance of having bored your interviewer to death thus creating a negative first impression.

Because it's such a common interview question, it's strange that more candidates don't spend the time to prepare for exactly how to answer it. Perhaps because the question seems so disarming and informal, we drop our guard and shift into ramble mode. Resist all temptation to do so.

Your interviewer is not looking for a 10-minute dissertation here. Instead, offer a razor sharp sentence or two that sets the stage for further discussion and sets you apart from your competitors.

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Give them "your synopsis about you" answer, specifically your Unique Selling Proposition. Known as a personal branding or a value-added statement, the USP is a succinct, one-sentence description of who you are, your biggest strength and the major benefit that a company will derive from this strength. Here is an example of a Unique Selling Proposition: "I'm a seasoned Retail Manager strong in developing training programs and loss prevention techniques that have resulted in revenue savings of over $2.3Million for (employer's name) during the past 11 years."

What a difference you've made with this statement. Your interviewer is now sitting forward in her chair giving you her full attention. At this point, you might add the following sentence: "I'd like to discuss how I might be able to do something like that for you." The ball is now back in her court and you have the beginnings of a real discussion and not an interrogation process.

Be Specific

The key is that you must lead with your strongest benefit to the employer. Be specific and don't wander about with some laundry list of skills or talents. Be sure to put a monetary value on your work if at all possible and be ready with details when you're called upon. Give an estimated value to the $$ you've either helped to make or save for your employer.

Be Prepared

When you walk into an interview, remember to always expect the "tell me about yourself" question. Prepare ahead of time by developing your own personal branding statement that clearly tells who you are, your major strength and the clear benefit that your employer received. The advantages of this approach are that you'll quickly gain their attention and interest them in knowing more. You'll separate yourself from your competitors. You'll also have a higher chance of being positively remembered and hired.
  • Reference/Source: jobsearch.about.com by Alison Doyle, About.com Guide
  • About Alison Doyle is a job search expert with many years of experience in human resources, career development, and job searching, with a focus on online job searching, job search technology, social media, and professional networking. She has covered job searching for About.com since 1998.

10 of Hollywood's Richest Actors

Here are the top 10 richest actors in the world from what Top10 can tell! While it’s hard to know exactly who is the richest actors in the world as many of their earnings are undisclosed and we have no idea about how much of what they earn is spent on Ferraris and how much is invested. However this list is my attempt to give an estimate of the world’s richest actors. If you want to know which actors earned the most in 2009 check this article out.

10 - Adam Sandler

The funny man is well known for his family friendly films. However he also has his own production company which produced the moderately successful Deuce Bigelow franchise. His hard work means that he can now command a handsome fee fro his work and is estimated to have earned $55 million in 2009.
9 - Will Ferrell

Another funny man who seems to produce hit after hit and not always as the leading man. He can command around 18$ per movie although he didn’t earn as much as many of the other big hitters in 2009 he still is up there in the Top 10.
8 - Nicholas Cage

Cage has had many had hits such as Ghost Rider and Lord of War, he dosent have the pulling power of many of the bigger name stars but he does work hard. He put out 4 movies with his name on them in 2009 and is set to put out another 5 in 2010.
7 - Harrison Ford

Although he only made one movie in 2009 it is estimated that he earned 65$ million from. The latest instalment of the Indiana Jones franchise is no master piece but with the box sets of that and stars wars still flying off the shelves he must be earning a fair bit of packet.
6 - Brad Pitt

With a house full of hungry mouths and a wife who has all but given up the throne as the queen of Hollywood Brad must keep working to keep all and sundry happy.In 2009 Inglorious bastards was a hit and with him been one of the most in demand actors in Hollywood I cant see Brad running out of money or work anytime soon.
5 - Leonardo De Caprio

Leo has produced a number of big hits in the last few years. Most notably The Departed and with his current collaboration with Scorsese in Shutter Island due to be released and a string of more movies in pre production there’s no doubting he’ll be climbing up this ladder in the coming years.
4 - Tom Hanks

Whatever type of movie you want Tom can do it. In Saving Private Ryan he was an astute army officer, in Forrest Gump he was a lovable Alabama simpleton. He’s the most adaptable actor in Hollywood and it’s because of this he is so well paid. In recent years he hasn’t been working as much but with his production company and the earnings from his role as Robert Langdon in the film adaption of the Dan Brown novels his sure to keep the money rolling in.
3 - Will Smith

He’s the only man who can successfully sell a movie on his own. In the last few years he produced bad but profitable movies such as Hancock and 7 pounds. Although hes taking a break at the moment Im sure he’ll back to his best in a few years.
2 - Johnny Depp

Here’s Johnny!!I know wrong Johnny. Depp and Tim Burton have teamed up over the last few years to produce some of the most weird and wonderful movies around. In Charlie and the chocolate factory Depp took on the lead as Willy Wonky. Hes due to play in forthcoming Alice in Wonderland and of course who can forget the Pirates Franchise. He ain’t doing all this for free!
1 - Tom Cruise

Well if Tom hasn’t given all his money away to his church or to his ex wife he is surely the richest actor in Hollywood. He is estimated to be worth somewhere in the region of 624$. He not only commands one of the highest salaries in Hollywood but is also usually involved in a lot of the production that goes into his films. The 4th instalment in the Mission Impossible franchise is set to be released in 2011 and what income constantly streaming from some of his earlier large hits Tom is most certainly the richest man in Hollywood.

10 Safe and Smart Hacks for Google Reader

Google Reader is a feed reader. It allows you to subscribe to RSS and Atom feeds. You can manage feeds, label them, and even share your feed collection with others.

Google reader is extremely powerful and has a very clean interface. Google Reader allows you to read your favorite blogs in much the same manner as you would read your email.
Some of it’s many features include tagging, folder-based navigation, Firefox integration and the ability to import and export subscription lists as an OPML file. You can also star items for easy access, share your favorite items, and save your favorite items to del.icio.us.
All of these features have come to make Google Reader a dream machine for the productivity enthusiast.

Here are 10 Smart tips for getting the most out of Google Reader. Remember Google Reader is a powerful tool you've just got to know yet.

1 - Sort your feeds by priority.

Google Reader makes it easy to organize all of your feeds by topic. However, I would also suggest that you categorize
your feeds by priority as well. This way, you know which items are “Must Read” and which items “Can Be Skipped” on days that you’re busy.
2 - Use Keyboard Shortcuts.

You can’t become a Google master without learning the keyboard shortcuts for Google Reader. These little tweaks can save you a good bit of time in the long run.
Some of the most common shortcuts include:

j/k: item down/up
o: open/close item
s: toggle star
m: mark as read/unread
t: tag an item

For a complete list of Google Reader shortcuts, grab this Cheat Sheet.
3 - Optimize your feed reading time by combining certain feeds into one large master feed.

This can be done using FeedShake. Feedshake allows you to merge, sort, and filter multiple RSS feeds. You can also use filters and tags to create a more customized feed.
For a more advanced solution, you can try Yahoo Pipes. Yahoo Pipes is a very powerful RSS feed remixer that gives you the ability to create web mashups that combine a variety of data from different sources. Yahoo Pipes takes web aggregation to an entirely new level.
4 - Add tags to your feed items.

Google Reader lets you organize all of your feed items by tags. This is one of the best features for those who are
looking to optimize their time.
To add a tag to a post, simply click “add tags” and enter the relevant tags.
5 - Search your feed items.

The only feature that I would really like to see in Google Reader that is currently missing is a search feature. Fortunately, there are ways to work around this.
You can use Google Reader Custom Search to search your feeds using Google Co-op inside Google Reader.
6 - Star items for future reference.

Google Reader enables you to quickly star items for future reference. This can come in handy for items that you want to refer to later.
7 - Smart Google Reader Subscribe Button

The Smart Google Reader Subscribe Button makes it easy to subscribe to a site’s RSS feed while also letting you know if you’ve already subscribed to that site. If you subscribe to a lot of feeds, this kind of tool is very handy.
Another great way to add RSS feeds on the fly is with the subscribe bookmark. This tool enables you to quickly
subscribe to any site that you find interesting while surfing the web.
To access the subscribe button, click on Settings on the top right-hand corner of the Google Reader interface and
then click on Goodies. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see detailed instructions on how to use the subscribe bookmark.
8 - Use Expanded View.

For optimum productivity, use expanded view. Expanded view makes it very easy to scroll all of your feed items and
scan for interesting posts.
However, I don’t suggest that you simply scroll down the page. You can go from one entry to the next simply by
pressing the “J” key. Whenever you want to go backwards, use the “K” key to return to the previous post.
9 - Do a weekly or monthly cleanup.

Over time, there are certain feeds that you simply don’t read anymore, or read very infrequently.
These feeds should be dumped on a regular basis to keep your feed reader under control.
Google Reader has an excellent feature known as Subscription Trends that keeps track of where you do the majority of your reading. This will help you to quickly identify any feeds
that need to be dumped.
If your subscription trends reveals a feed that is read less than 5%, then it’s probably time to delete it. Fortunately, you can delete any feed directly from the Trends page.
10 - Dedicate a certain time of the day for reading your feeds and stick to your allotted times.

If you allow yourself 30 minutes to read through your feeds each day, then stick to it. Believe me, everything will still be there tomorrow.

10 of the Best Hollywood Movies in 2010

If you are looking for top movies you are sure to come across Another Year in your searches.

This is one of those movies that seems to be about ordinary people and ordinary lives but demonstrates how no one’s life is really ordinary. It is gentle and sweet yet it is so much more than just a feel good movie. The focus of the movie is an older couple that is looking forward to retirement and enjoying their empty nest.

Over the course of the movies, several interesting characters drift in and out, like Ken, the alcoholic friend of Tom and Mary, the divorcee that seems fine on the outside but on the inside is totally dependent on others. This is one of the best movies of the year and you’ll surely agree when you’ve seen it for yourself.

Here's our top 10 of the Best Hollywood Movies in 2010 that I enjoyed watching.

1 - Inception
"In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job to date: Inception."

No other movie deserves the top spot. Christopher Nolan turned out one of the best of all time. The mystery and sci-fi were so well tied in that the audience came back to the theaters for more and more. The phenomenal star cats and super talented director made the movie number one.

2 - Iron Man 2
"Because of his superhero alter ego, Tony Stark must contend with deadly issues involving the government, his own friends and new enemies."

Robert Downey Jr. provides another great performance in a role that seems to be tailor made for him. The sequel was bigger than the original and with the angry Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johansson in the fray this one got even better.

3 - Toy Story 3
"The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home."

The heartwarming adventures of the toys continued to win over parents and kids alike. Every sequel of the movie continues to be better than the previous one and his one was no exception. An instant classic!

4 - Tron Legacy
"The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father's creation turned bad and a unique ally who was born inside the digital domain of The Grid."

Tron was ahead of its time. 2010 was the correct year. Combine the vision, superior GFX and heightened fanboy expectations with the amazing Daft Punk score and you have a winner.

5 - Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
"Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart."

The movie was based on one of the best Indie comics of all times and did not disappoint. It was a great mix of love, action, oddity and bizarre sequences. Michael Cera absolutely nailed this one.

6 - The Expendables
"A team of mercenaries head to South America on a mission to overthrow a dictator."

An explosive star cast consisting of Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Add in a cameo by Bruce Willis. Action fans were crawling on their knees for this one. They were getting spoilt rotten.

7 - Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood
"In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power."

The man behind classics such as Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator returned to the screen with Robin Hood. His favorite star Russell Crowe also joins in to create a saga of the enigmatic legend of Robin Hood. It was a memorable take on Robin Hood.

8 - Alice in Wonderland
"19-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror."

Tim Burrton’s Alice in Wonderland looked out of the world and stunning. Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter put in great performances to make the movie one of the best of 2010.

9 - Clash of the Titans
"The mortal son of the god Zeus embarks on a perilous journey to stop the underworld and its minions from spreading their evil to Earth as well as the heavens."

The classic sword and sandal classic flick was remade using modern CGI. The director did a fantastic job of creating the underworld and the heavens while the newcomers Sam Worthington and Gemma Arterton made the roles of Perseus and Io believable.

10 - The Social Network
"A chronicle of the founding of Facebook, the social-networking Web site."

The gripping tale of how the most dominant social network came into being makes for a riveting and engaging watch. The focus on ideas, feelings and people made this one memorable.

10 of the Most Common SEO Mistakes Usually Neglected

No, these aren’t “myths” disguised as “common mistakes.” I’ve already beaten the SEO myths theme to death. What follows are 10 of the Most Common SEO Mistakes Usually Neglected. Some of these things catch even the best of us…

1 - Targetting the wrong keywords

This is a mistake many people make and what is worse – even experienced SEO experts make it. People choose keywords that in their mind are descriptive of their website but the average users just may not search them. For instance, if you have a relationship site, you might discover that “relationship guide” does not work for you, even though it has the “relationship” keyword, while “dating advice” works like a charm. Choosing the right keywords can make or break your SEO campaign. Even if you are very resourceful, you can't think on your own of all the great keywords but a good keyword suggestion tool, for instance, the Website Keyword Suggestion tool will help you find keywords that are good for your site.
2 - Ignoring the Title tag

Leaving the "title" tag empty is also very common. This is one of the most important places to have a keyword, because not only does it help you in optimization but the text in your "title" tag shows in the search results as your page title.

3 - A Flash website without a html alternative

Flash might be attractive but not to search engines and users. If you really insist that your site is Flash-based and you want search engines to love it, provide an html version. Here are some more tips for optimizing Flash sites. Search engines don't like Flash sites for a reason – a spider can't read Flash content and therefore can't index it.

4 - JavaScript Menus

Using JavaScript for navigation is not bad as long as you understand that search engines do not read JavaScript and build your web pages accordingly. So if you have JavaScript menus you can't do without, you should consider build a sitemap (or putting the links in a noscript tag) so that all your links will be crawlable.

5 - Lack of consistency and maintenance

Our friend Rob from Blackwood Productions often encounters clients, who believe that once you optimize a site, it is done foreve. If you want to be successful, you need to permanently optimize your site, keep an eye on the competition and – changes in the ranking algorithms of search engines.

6 - Concentrating too much on meta tags

A lot of people seem to think SEO is about getting your meta keywords and description correct! In fact, meta tags are becoming (if not already) a thing of the past. You can create your meta keywords and descriptions but don't except to rank well only because of this.

7 - Using only Images for Headings

Many people think that an image looks better than text for headings and menus. Yes, an image can make your site look more distinctive but in terms of SEO images for headings and menus are a big mistake because h2, h2, etc. tags and menu links are important SEO items.

8 - Ignoring URLs

Many people underestimate how important a good URL is. Dynamic page names are still very frequent and no keywords in the URL is more a rule than an exception. Yes, it is possible to rank high even without keywords in the URL but all being equal, if you have keywords in the URL (the domain itself, or file names, which are part of the URL), this gives you additional advantage over your competitors. Keywords in URLs are more important for MSN and Yahoo! but even with Google their relative weight is high, so there is no excuse for having keywordless URLs.

9 - Backlink spamming

It is a common delusion that it more backlinks are ALWAYS better and because of this web masters resort to link farms, forum/newgroup spam etc., which ultimately could lead to getting their site banned. In fact, what you need are quality backlinks.

10 - Lack of keywords in the content

Once you focus on your keywords, modify your content and put the keywords wherever it makes sense. It is even better to make them bold or highlight them.

10 (Ten) Usual things on an RPG

Another contributor, Aj Banda which I've meet from Bloggers.com recommends this Top10 list.

Here's Aj Banda's 10 (Ten) Usual things on an RPG
1 - Healing and Save Station

(e.g. Inn, camp, hospital, healing center, rest point, fountain)
Every RPG starts, with an adventure, and an adventure would be useless once you are defeated. That is the purpose of the healing and save stations. Oftenly named as an Inn and mostly found on every town. Most healing stations have save stations too, but definitely not all save stations have healing spot. Those save stations are mostly found inside the dungeon just before you trigger an importatnt scene.
2 - Healing, restoration and boost up items

(e.g Potion, Healing leaf, healing water, Power up, Phoenix, Revive, Restore, Panacea, Nectar, Union Plume, etc)
Since you cannot heal at all time, you need something portable to aid you. that is where the items take place.
Healing Items - as the names suggest, this restores your Life points
Restoration Items - this either revives the unconcious heroes or cures them from odd status like poison
Boost up Items - this items gives your heroes some boost up to their status, either tepmporarily or permanently
3 - Status Points

Characterize by the following:

a) HP (Health Points) - oftenly use and usually signify by a heart symbol. This serves as the life points of the character. Draining it to zero will trigger the game to end aka GAME OVER

b) MP (Magic Points/ Manna Points) - Oftely used together with HP and is usually used by magicians. This serves as the measurement whther a certain caharacter is still capable of casting a specific action like magic or a special attack

c) EP (Energy Points) - Something similar to MP but usually used for physical attacks or activities.(Well, most of the time)

d) RP (Rune points) - Similar to MP and/or EP

e) DME (Dematerialize energy)- similar to HP, as far as I know, only one game uses this kind of points which is the "Valkyrie Series". Well logically, they cannot use health points because their dead.

f) LP (Life points) - similar to HP

g) AP (Arts Point/ Ablity points) - Similar to EP

Other common status points are the following:

a) Attack Points - determines how strong the character physically

b) Intelligence - determines how strong the character in performing skills or magic. Also known as special attack

c) Defense - determines how much a character withstand a physical attack

d) Special Defense - determines how much caharqacter can withstand a special attack

e) Speed - determines the evasion rate or whether who hits first on a turn based battle
4 - Magic

Either one of the characters is a magician or at least one of them can perform magic, I'm pretty sure that there would always be something magical about the story. And when I say Magic, I don't mean like those that can cast fireballs but instead those that are not common on the real world.
5 - Sceneries

On making a game, one thing is always being checked, the Graphics! Whether the game is one of those old type games that has a poor graphics, there would always be a part where a very beautiful scenery would be shown. An example would be the big old tree at the back of Genkaku's house of suikoden 2.
6 - An Elder and/or A child

I don't know why, but this is very noticeable on every RPG, there would always be a child or an elder that would sometimes be a part of the story. You would mostly find an
Elder on the Village or I cryingf child on the way. (If they're not crying, they would be running or playing)
7 - Sword

Similar to magic, either one of the character is a swordsman(mostly the main one) or someone from the Evil forces would definitly used a sword. Or at least you can see it from somewhere in the game as a decoration.
8 - Armor and accessories

To boost up the characters status, they would be needing this stuffs. These are oftenly found on dungeons hanging around on treasure chests or dropped by enemies. Mostly they can be bought on an item/weapon shop on every town

9 - Map

It is something worth keeping on every RPG to avoid being lost.
10 - Guide
This is a very important part at the beginning of the game but mostly neglected specifically by the experience one. This helps you to coping up with the game specially for their special features.
  • Reference/Source: Ajibanda.blogspot.com by Aj Banda
  • About Beneath the Tree A collection of algorithm, code and other programming methods. Includes programmers' point of view, interests and game reviews.

    About Aj Banda, the author

    I'm Aj but some calls me aji. I'm a web programmer and a blogger. I used my blogs to share my knowledge to the world but most of the time it serves as a reference of my previous algorithms and source codes.

10 list of Signs that your Job Candidate is a Bad Idea

Gina submit this list and it's kinda funny... so I post it and Tada! She gets Featured. Do submit your top10 list to us and be featured!

Obviously, getting fired isn’t an ideal situation to ever be in. All the same, it’s certainly a situation that can be dealt with strategically, so that you get back into the workforce again quickly, with a minimum of discomfort.

Here's 10 list of Signs that your Job Candidate is a Bad Idea.

The candidate...

1 - asks you for a ride home.
2 - has draw's that are hanging out at the top.
3 - lists Mom as a reference.
4 - is too drunk to complete the application.
5 - is wearing one steel toe shoe & a Sponge Bob house slipper.
6 - asks you out on a date.
7 - is accompained by a putrid smell and leaves a snail trail as they pass by.
8 - has Coke bottle glasses and are unable to see you, much less look at you. And they are wanting a construction job.
9 - has black hair, black eyes and a tattoo that reads Stan Rocks, but they take the time to let you know that it should read Satan Rocks.
10 - asks you to retrieve their re'sume' on Facebook.

10 of UK's Hotel Breaks (INP)

Make no mistake, this list isn’t necessarily a top 10 of the best in the country but more of a list that complies with our image as a company. Listed here are just really desirable hotel and spa breaks we think you would enjoy. Some of these we already have on site and some that we would absolutely die for.

10 - The Savoy - London

Standing since 1889, The Savoy is a true London icon. Synonymous with the capitals heritage and style and situated on the banks of the Thames with The London Eye for a view, this place just screams London. It has recently been the recipient of a £100 Million revamp, the hotel seamlessly blends its original decor with the upgrade of fabulous art deco where all 268 of its rooms just state elegance.
9 - The Langdale – Windermere, Cumbria

The Langdale in the ‘Lakes’ is a resort comprising luxury hotel accommodation, self-catering lodges and cottages, all of which are marked at least 4*with almost every review it gets. An absoloutely brilliant venue that has some fabulous spa days available. Set in the heart of Cumbrian woodland with exclusive streams and rivers, this idyllic location also has top notch spa and 2 AA rosette restaurant, you really will NOT want to leave.
8 - St. Brides – Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

St. Brides Spa and Hotel comes in at number 8 on our least purely because its destination. With its contemporary design and magical views overlooking the harbour with elevated views over the beautiful Carmarthen Bay, this place is a real treasure. Look out for the outdoor hydrotherapy pool on the cliff top.
7 - The Feversham Arms & Verbena Spa hotel – Helmsley, North Yorkshire

Situated on the very edge of North Yorkshire Moors in the picturesque market village of Helmsley, this lovely quaint hotel is perfect base to explore the local towns shops or galleries or even the moors and further along is the coast. You can also make use of their spa that was recently given a 5 bubble award by the good spa guide.
6 - Ragdale Hall – Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Spa breaks at Ragdale Hall offer the perfect antidote to the stresses of working and family life. One of the finest locations we have on site, it has one a Health Spa of the Year award year by year for the last 10 years. A Luscious place with an excellent range of spa breaks. Definitely worth a go.

5 - Cliveden House – Taplow, Berkshire

Cliveden House is unique in many ways. One of the more regal on our list, it has an absolutely brethtaking spa and is surrounding by 376 acres of wondrous gardens and parkland. Notable guest of the hotel have included the likes of Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin.
4 - Sheraton Grand – Edinburgh

The Sheraton Grand, the only location on the list from Scotland but what it makes up for the lack of numbers make up in quality and then some! It is one of Scotlands most famous spas. Situated just beneath Edinburgh Castle, this 5* star hotel boasts 269 rooms, each more beautifully designed than the last, an a world class spa on the roof.
3 - W London – London

Situated on Leicester Square, this little delight is the envy of all local Hotels. It boasts 192 rooms, 21 suites including 3 spa suites, on site speciality spa and world class restaurant. This place has got everyone talking.
2 - The Club – Jersey

Described as Jersey's most exciting luxury boutique hotel, this stunning hotel partnered with its Michelin star restaurant ‘Bohemia’ and magnificent spa is a real treat. Just a stones throw away from the beautiful Jersey beaches too. Stylish yet comfortable.
1 - The Scarlet – Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

Gazing upon the Atlantic Ocean, is The Scarlet Hotel famed for its beauty and ethic of being an Eco-Hotel . Boasting local produce for its fabulous food, the restaurant is an absolute joy. Having just the 37 rooms here only serves to emphasise that feeling of intimacy, which is a good thing. The spa is also outrageously beautiful with its own signature of interior design and just adds to the feeling that this place is just lovely.
  • Reference/Source: ineedpampering.com by Angelika Adviento
  • About I Need Pampering Established in early 2005, I Need Pampering was created to cater for those that demand the very best in gift experience shopping. All our gift experiences have all been carefully selected from some of the top UK suppliers in the industry, most of them being award winning and innovative, known for their professionalism and expertise. We are continually growing year on year and have thousands of you coming back for more great gifts, so we must be doing something right. Our mission statement is a simple one, to deliver the best customer service to accompany the best packages and products the industry has to offer. We know that if you are impressed with your certificate, first of all you are going to remain a regular customer, and secondly, there is no greater tool than word of mouth advertising. Everything about our website has been carefully researched, thought-out and crafted to the tiniest detail to provide you with a pleasant, easy and exciting shopping experience. Spa days and spa breaks are our speciality with a host of the finest Spa Hotels and resorts in the UK. We also specialise in luxurious boutique hotel breaks and glamorous photoshoot makeovers. We are pleased to say that we are not just bound by the pampering experiences (exquisite as they may be) I Need Pampering has something for everyone. All of us here at I Need Pampering are constantly scouting the country for new and exciting locations for fabulous spa days and hotel breaks for not only you to enjoy but for us too, as we love a bit of pampering as well. Its tiring work providing you guys with the best experiences around. Customer feedback is also paramount to us. Whether you are buying this gift for yourself or a corporate gift you are guaranteed a fabulous time just remember to tell us about your day. Writing a customer review will earn you I Need Pampering reward points in the same that way that you would when making a purchase. I need pampering are now also featured with Ideal World Shopping and Ideal World Vitality channels, so look out for even more great gift experiences on the TV. Luxury online shopping has never been easier!

10 Pregnancy Facts that no one usually tells you

After the joy of discovering that you are pregnant, sure enough, you want to know exactly what you can expect to feel during the pregnancy stages. You are anxious about how you will handle each stage of pregnancy.

These are the 10 weird things that happen during pregnancy that people probably won't tell you about.

1 - You Could Be Pregnant For Over A Year

Most pregnancies last for about 9 months and doctors are likely to induce labor if pregnancy goes on too long. That being said, it is possible to be pregnant for a whole year. The world's longest pregnancy lasted 375 days, strangely, the baby was only a little under seven pounds.
It certainly puts a whole new perspective on being a few weeks late, doesn't it?
2 - A Male Fetus Can Get Erections In The Womb

Most mothers don't like to think about their baby boys getting erections, even when they are teenagers, but the fact is that many baby boys get boners while they're still in the womb. In fact, babies of both sexes are known to masturbate in utero, but boys are the only ones who can be caught while aroused on the sonogram.

If having sex while pregnant seemed a little creepy before now, just imagine what your baby is doing while you make love.
3 - Your Entire Undercarriage Might Need Stitches

The last place any woman wants stitches is in her taint, but many mothers have to get that area closed up surgically. Nine out of ten women have some type of vaginal tearing after birth, but there are many degrees of tearing. Some tears only require a little care or a few stitches, but the really bad cases go from the vagina all the way to the anus. Some can even affect the muscles beyond your anus. On the upside, tearing that reaches the anus is somewhat rare and only affects one in one hundred mothers.
Massaging the area prior to child birth can reduce tearing, but even then, it won't completely stop tearing in most people.
Suddenly, getting a C-section started sounding a whole lot more appealing, huh?
4 - You May Just Poop Yourself

During childbirth, it is extremely common for a woman to accidentally expel the contents of her bowels. There is a good reason for this –the muscles you use to push the baby out are the same ones you ordinarily use during a bowel movement. As if that weren't enough to get your sphincter ready to go, the baby directly pushes on the rectum as it makes its exit, helping to squeeze out anything near the exit.

In olden times, it was common for nurses to give enemas prior to labor, but this practice didn't end up stopping the mess from happening and often caused dehydration. These days, your doctors and nurses will be ready to help clean up the mess. In most cases, they won't even say anything about it so you won't know the difference.
It does make you think twice about filming the birth though, doesn't it?
5 - You Really Will Glow

Saying a pregnant woman is glowing is a common expression, but most people chalk it up to the woman's excitement about becoming a mommy. As it turns out though, glowing skin is a very real thing for pregnant women. While you're pregnant, the amount of blood in your body will increase by 50%. The extra blood ends up showing through the skin in many areas, particularly the cheeks.

On top of this, hormones cause the oil glands to become more active, resulting in a softer, shinier appearance. When the increased blood flow combines with shine, the result is a noticeable glow.
6 - Your Sense of Smell Gets Better

During pregnancy, your sense of smell increases drastically, as does your sense of taste. Scientists hypothesize that this is to help pregnant mothers avoid eating small levels of toxins that might not be dangerous to an adult, but could be deadly to a fetus. As smoke, alcohol and coffee are all particularly noticeable to pregnant women, this theory certainly seems to be on the right path.
7 - Contractions Don't Stop After Birth

Most mothers will have contractions for the first few days after birth. The muscle cramps are the body's way of stopping excess blood loss. On the upside, if you give birth at the hospital, you'll still be pretty drugged up and will probably barely even notice.
8 - You Don't Really Need To Eat For Two

Despite the widespread rumors that say pregnant women need to gain all the weight they can in order to birth a healthy baby, the truth is that most women will only need an extra 300 calories per day. That's equivalent to about one serving of yogurt and half a bagel. Most women only need to gain about 25 pounds throughout their entire pregnancy.

Of course, if you happen to be at the buffet and are having a tough time resisting the desserts section, go ahead and sneak a little extra. No one will give a pregnant woman a hard time if she pigs out
9 - Your Feet Can Grow Up To One Full Shoe Size

If you're wondering why your feet will get so big when you only gain 25 pounds, it has to do with the excess pressure on your feet paired with relaxed ligaments in your body. As your pregnancy wears on, your body starts to release the tightness of its ligaments to help with the birthing process. Unfortunately for your shoes, this also means your feet start to lose their arch and stretch out on the sides. The flatter, wider shape of your feet will probably be temporary, but if they grew too much, the change could end up being permanent. If your feet do stay a bit larger, it certainly will serve as a great excuse to buy more shoes.
10 - The Father Might Show Symptoms of Pregnancy

It's surprisingly common for a father-to-be to start gaining weight, getting morning sickness and even feel cramps in his lower abdomen. The condition is known as a sympathetic pregnancy or the Couvade Syndrome, which comes from the french word couvee meaning "to hatch".
  • Reference/Source: Oddee.com by Jill Harness[3/11/2011]