Science Fiction Movies

Science Fiction Movies

In recent years, science fiction movies have made a big comeback in Hollywood and I, for one, consider that a very good thing.

I like to be surprised when I go to the movies. I like to see things that I’ve never seen before and I like to be confronted by virtual realities that I did not even think possible. That’s why science fiction movies are my cup of tea.

They traditionally cover a wide range of subjects and themes, including several that are uniquely their own. Today’s trend in science fiction puts a premium on special effects, backed by today’s cutting-edge technology that can make even the most bizarre scenes seem realistic, such as alien life forms, spectacular battles in outer space, time travel or traveling to other worlds at the speed of light.

Often, science fiction films are purely speculative in nature and are peppered with recurring themes involving science and technology. Other prevalent themes in sci-fi movies are mysticism, magic, the occult and the supernatural, which are also key elements of fantasy or occult/religious movies. In fact, quite a number of films blur the line between these genre, such as Forbidden Planet, Chronicles of Riddick, and the Star Wars series.

It’s hard to define precisely what makes a science fiction film because the genre has no universally accepted definition. In fact, science fiction may vary from viewer to viewer in that what is sci-fi to me may be fantasy or horror to you.

If you’ve been a long-time fan of Hollywood, then you know that science fiction has come a long way. There was a time when special effects meant putting a toy spaceship at the end of a string and waving it in front of a camera or having someone dress up as an orangutan and terrorizing an entire city. Certainly, the special effects in science fiction movies have evolved from the downright laughable to today’s breath-taking and awe-inspiring treatments that seem truly realistic. Some of the great milestones in this regard are marked by films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Star Wars films, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and The Matrix.

Of course, science fiction films just seem to be getting better by the year, as evidenced by such recent hits as "Lord of the Rings", "I, Robot" and "Superman Returns."

A Sense of Humor in the Workplace … Is it me? Or, was that not funny?

A Sense of Humor in the Workplace … Is it me? Or, was that not funny?

When I was first initiated into Corporate America, I had a sense of humor that went unmatched by any mortal soul. I was quick-witted, smart, sharp, and knew every gag and joke available to humanity. Most of it, I learned in college. But, college never really did teach the fact that having a sense of humor in the workplace is different than ‘jocularity.’ After a few brushes with career-chaos, I realized that the definition of ‘corporate humor’ deals with how one handles oneself and not how one can elicit laughter.
— Where did this come from? —
One of my friends came to Las Vegas last week to visit and relax a bit. He and I went out and checked out some of the local bands. During the course of the evening, he brought up some issues about his current job situation. After some introductory words, we discussed the issue that he seems to get blamed for some of the stupidest things, that he never did, and no one takes him seriously anymore. Then, he cracked some joke about it and we carried on.
Not being taken seriously by your peers is actually a common problem with people who do have a sense of humor. But, funny has no place in the workplace and can easily wreak havoc on an otherwise blossoming career.
— So, no more laughter? —
Of course, laughter is necessary in life. But, in a professional setting, it becomes a different type of laughter. One situation you will encounter as you move through your career is the seriousness of professionalism. Of course, to some, this is not a problem. But, to those that have a funny bone, this is a big problem and a detriment to one’s career.
You have to realize that when your boss asks if you have a sense of humor, he’s not asking if you’re a clown. What he is asking is whether or not you can accept criticism, deal with difficult people, and gracefully handle mistakes without snapping people’s heads off when things get stressful. It is important and considered professional to be able to take criticism lightly as it is sometimes used as a tool of ‘turf wars’ than an actual personal attack.
— Hey, that was funny! —
If you begin to crack jokes and make snide remarks, you will eventually not be taken seriously in the workplace. You will be seen as someone who wastes time because every time that someone approaches you to discuss a project or other issues with you, some of that time is spent explaining your humorous comments. Additionally, many corporate-minded individuals do not have the time to analyze comments with hidden meanings and will take what you say as absolute. Therefore, if you make a ‘stupid’ comment in hopes of eliciting a smile, your comment will be taken as an absolute and a representation of your professionalism in the workplace. Finally, if your comments do have hidden meanings or contain humorous connotations, then anything you say will be taken as unreliable, thus labeling you as unreliable.
Realize that the corporate culture labels you by ‘visible change,’ not completely by merit. What I mean is, the last way you presented yourself is the way that you will be seen in the workplace. If you are a serious, pleasant, and hard worker, you will be seen that way. If you crack a joke in the middle of a serious moment, from then on, you will be seen as a joker.
— Look over there! —
One thing to keep in mind is that many people crack jokes and make ‘humorous’ comments when they are uncomfortable or lack confidence in a situation. If this applies to you, realize that your peers know this as well. Being overly humorous under stress gives off a sign of weakness within the workplace and will also cause you to be ousted from the ranks.
Try to find another outlet for discomfort or confidence issues. Perhaps a favorite ink pen or a small quartz crystal to toy with in such situations will remind you to maintain your professional façade as well as keep you calm.
— Watch what you say! —
One of the big problems facing corporate cultures today is that, in general, everyone is ‘sensitive’ to everything. Instead of working together for a common goal, there are individuals that stay on their toes looking for that one thing that they can use to cause some sort of upheaval within the culture. With that, corporate-minded peers are also on the lookout for those who might do or say something to upset those sensitive individuals.
Because of this situation, there truly is no room in a standard corporate culture for remarks and comments that in certain groups might otherwise be humorous. You have to realize that when you speak within a corporate culture, be concise, be realistic, and do not add comedic breaks or sarcasm. Since everyone is taking everything ‘seriously’ with a ‘sense of humor’ for themselves, then whatever you say will be taken seriously and could easily land you in hot water.
To alleviate the chance of being misinterpreted, keep emotion and personal beliefs out of the context of your conversations. Basically, listen closely and be concise in what you say. Not only does this eliminate the problem of having people take you wrong, but it also saves a lot of time.
— The Deadly Silence —
There are several little games played within the corporate environment to elicit a fatal comment from the unwary. The most deadly game is the ‘long pause.’ In many cases, you might sit before your boss, or peers, and provide information on a particular subject or project. During the course of the discussion, you notice that your audience appears to be listening to everything you say. Then, at the end of your soliloquy, the audience seems dead or stuck in a mental time warp. This pause can last for as long as 10 seconds.
During this pause, it might seem as though your audience is mulling through your comments, but this is not entirely the case. They are creating an uncomfortable pause for you to begin doubting your comments in hopes that you divulge additional information and demonstrate your lack of confidence and discomfort.
This situation will get you every single time if you’re not aware that it is only a game. One purpose of this game is so that the audience can acquire additional information from you that you would have otherwise never divulged. On the other hand, the audience might be trying to acquire your nonsensical traits from your discomfort to use during a future turf war. Again, be concise, and then listen. Wait out the infinite pause without saying a word and you’ll see that they were just waiting for you to speak.
— What’s next? —
Realize that you can still have fun and enjoy your work without the frolicky antics of a pubescent employee. One mishap can destroy a lifetime of kudos making it is easier to fall from graces than to repair a reputation. Companies want people they can count on 100% of the time, not just when you’re serious and comfortable. Focus, take responsibility, move forward competently, and produce quality results.
If you’ve already fallen because of your sense of humor, then you will have to work hard to get back into the good graces of the culture. All you have to do is maintain a professional façade, realize that corporate America is ‘not personal,’ and motivate in your career with confidence.

Birthstone Jewelry Beliefs and Celebrity Birthdays

Birthstone Jewelry Beliefs and Celebrity Birthdays

Wearing birthstone jewelry is very popular today. Not only is it fashionable; somehow, it also makes the item feel more personal and part of the wearer’s personality. Almost all gems are believed to be imbued with some special sort of power and this is one of the reasons why it is considered lucky to wear birthstone jewelry. Let’s look at some of the mystical properties and beliefs about these special gems and some famous people who would wear them.

January’s birthstone, the garnet, is believed to have blood purification properties and to protect against poisoning. Actress Faye Dunaway and supermodel Kate Moss are two celebrities who were born in January.

The amethyst, the gem of the month for February, is a symbol of serenity and peace. In addition, it’s reputed to protect the wearer from intoxication. Princess Stephanie of Monaco, singer Roberta Flack and actress Drew Barrymore have amethysts in their birthstone jewelry.

March’s birthstone is the clear blue aquamarine. Perhaps because of its color, it is sacred among sailors, who believe that it will protect them from the perils of the sea. NBA player Shaquille O’Neal, heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr. and singing legend Liza Minnelli are among the celebrities who are under the protection of the aquamarine.

The eternally stylish and elegant diamond is April’s birthstone. Believed to symbolize true love, it is the most popular gem used in wedding rings. Among the notables having diamond birthstone jewelry are England’s Queen Elizabeth II, actress Jessica Alba and tennis player Andre Agassi.

May’s birthstone is the enigmatic emerald. Some people believe that emeralds are magic and had the ability to make the wearer psychic. Famous people having the emerald as their birthstone include British Prime Minister Tony Blair, socialite Bianca Jagger and singer Janet Jackson.

The simple and classic pearl is the birthstone for June. It is viewed by various cultures as a symbol of power, love, purity and chastity. Pearl birthstone jewelry celebrities count sex symbols Marilyn Monroe and Angelina Jolie among their numbers.

The red ruby is July’s birthstone. It is believed to help in matters of love and to enhance sexual prowess. Hollywood actor Tom Cruise and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, are among the celebrities born in July.

Birthstone jewelry for August includes the lime green peridot, is traditionally believed to give good sleep and protect the wearer from nightmares. Oscar winner Halle Berry and Grammy winner Whitney Houston are two of the women who count the peridot as their birthstone.

Sapphire is the birthstone for September. It is believed the give the power of precognition and is also linked to joy and peace. Two glamorous figures who can be poster babies for sapphire birthstone jewelry are actresses Brigitte Bardot and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The delicate opal is October’s birthstone. Some cultures believe the opal brings bad luck, while others associate it with innocence and purity. Tony-winning actress Julie Andrews and U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton were born in October.

The topaz is central in November’s birthstone jewelry. Medicine men and women in some cultures used ground topaz in their concoctions to heal asthma, and the birthstone was also reputed to have a calming effect on the quick-tempered. The late Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco and Hollywood actress Demi Moore are two examples of famous November babies.

Finally, we have turquoise as December’s birthstone. The Indians of North America revered this gem because of its power to warn the wearer of danger and because of the luck it brought. Pop princess Britney Spears and film director Steven Spielberg celebrate their birthdays in December.

Wearing birthstone jewelry is a popular tradition that continues to this day. Necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, brooches and many other dress accessories adorned with these gems are not only fashionable but also more meaningful for the wearer or for the recipients of such gifts. Also, having birthstone jewelry is a reminder that you have at least one thing in common with celebrities!

Tha Trademark: A New Kind of Music for Everyone to Enjoy

Tha Trademark: A New Kind of Music for Everyone to Enjoy

Listening to music is one of the best forms of entertainment today. You have to consider that listening to your favorite music can definitely relax you and can make you work with far more efficiency in the office. Studies have found that listening to music can also have a great effect on the body as a stress reliever.

In fact, many offices today are now letting their employees listen to their favorite music in order to let them work faster. They now allow their employees to bring their own music CDs and DVDs and headsets in order for them to listen to their favorite music while they work. You may find it impossible but children who study while listening to their favorite music can also have a great effect on their grades. You have to consider that music is a great stimulant that can make your brain work faster and work with far more efficiency.

Besides, working or studying without any entertainment can be very boring and can make you sleepy. So, by listening to music, it will keep your brain alert and avoid boredom while you do your work or you are studying.

So, if you want your children to work harder in their studies and their homework, you should try and purchase their favorite music CDs in order to let them study harder and with far more efficiency than ever before.

One of the most popular music today is RnB and Hip Hop music where teens definitely enjoy it. You also have to consider that there are different artists today and one of the most popular is Tha Trademarc. Tha Trademarc has been appearing with John Cena who is one of the most popular wrestling superstars of the WWE or the World Wrestling Entertainment. If you watch WWE and saw John Cena entering the ring, or watched him perform with Tha Trademarc, you have an idea on what Tha Trademark is all about and what their music is all about.

If you saw WWE with John Cena performing with Tha Trademarc, you will know that their music is definitely very popular today. In fact, even adults enjoy their music too. So, if you enjoyed their music, you can purchase Tha Trademarc CDs in your local CD store nationwide. You can also purchase music CDs from John Cena where most of his performances are backed up with Tha Trademark.

Tha Trademarc offers a new kind of music for people of all ages. Once you hear the music of Tha Trademark, you will want a copy of their CDs as well as your teenage children too. Today, Tha Trademarc is not getting more and more popular especially with WWE fans all across the globe. They are now touring the United States and sometimes they tour with WWE and John Cena.

The music created by Tha Trademarc contains explicit lyrics. It is recommended that your child should be old enough to understand proper language in order to let him or her enjoy Tha Trademark. It is recommended that children under 18 years old shouldn’t hear Tha Trademarc music as it contains explicit lyrics. However, if you enjoy Tha Trademarc music and your child is already 18 years old or above, you can try and purchase the CD for him or her. You will see that they will definitely enjoy Tha Trademarc and John Cena.

If you enjoy Hip Hop music, you should definitely get the music CD of John Cena and Tha Trademarc. You will see that they offer a different kind of hip hop music and you can easily distinguish them from other hip hop artists.

This new kind of hip hop music can definitely make you work harder and let your kids in college study harder. It will keep their brain active and work harder when they are listening to music. It can also be a great music to listen to after a long day at work and you want to unwind.

So, if you are looking for a different kind of hip hop music and you enjoy watching WWE, you should consider listening to John Cena and Tha Trademarc music CDs. Their CDs are now available in stores nationwide.

Funny gifts. To give or not to give.

Funny gifts. To give or not to give.

When deciding whether or not to send someone a funny gift, consider the following two things in order to avoid potentially embarrassing your receiver. First and most importantly, consider your relationship with the recipient in judging the appropriateness of your humor. A secretary, for example, should not give her married boss a suggestive gift on the occasion of his retirement, and likewise, a boss should not give his secretary such a gift in recognition of her tenth anniversary with the firm. Second, consider the occasion, and err on the side of conservatism whenever doubt exists as to whether or not it calls for humor. It is never appropriate, for example, to give a gag gift to a bride or groom on their wedding day, nor is ever acceptable to send a card or gift that makes fun of something personal such as a person’s appearance, health or age.

Unless you are absolutely positive of the recipient’s sense of humor, it is better, as a rule, not to send gifts that are humorous if there’s a chance they might offend. If you simply cannot resist the temptation to yuk it up at your friend’s expense, practice at least some degree of restraint in choosing the gift by keeping a few common-sense rules of etiquette in mind. Always consider carefully your receiver’s audience at the time your gift is revealed. Will there be children present at the party? Will someone’s wife be offended by what your gift implies? Ask yourself if a loved one’s feelings might be hurt when they open up a gift that makes fun of their personality, their physical appearance or their age?

Even if your recipient seems to possess a great sense of humor when he or she is alone with you, that does not indicate a “green light” for you to give a funny gift that teases. Always remember that there are people out there who enjoy dishing it out and playing their jokes upon others, but when the tables are turned, they cannot take your ribbing no matter how harmless it may seem to be. It is in this way that some people are more selective than others in maintaining a sense of humor. If this is the case with your friend, you are a better off in taking the highroad than in choosing a gift that may cause his haunches to rise. Remember too that what you and your friend once shared as a private joke between you many years ago, may not seem so funny to him now. Understand and accept that with maturity, a person’s perception as to what is funny and what is not may change with time.

So think twice before you decide to send or give a funny gift, and always remember that a gift is more than just a gift, it is an affirmation of the relationship that you share with your recipient right now. If you do decide to send a funny gift, be sure that it is one that will not only make the recipient laugh, but that his guests will laugh as well. An appropriately funny gift should also turn out, somehow, to be useful later on, after the occasion has past.

Does all of this serious talk about gift giving take the wind out of your sails when it comes to showing your good cheer? Well don’t let it, because there are certain types of gifts that you can give that do manage to tickle a funny bone while remaining well within the bounds of what most people would consider acceptable humor. Traditionally, these gifts are items which are not normally given as gifts, but for the circumstances of the occasion make them funny in and of themselves. The young graduate, for example, who is sure to set the world afire, may be given a fancy lighter to start him blazing down his path. Later on in life, when he’s succeeded in making partner, he may display or keep the lighter as a reminder of his earlier days.

Gifts of anticipation can also be humorous in a good hearted in a unique and sentimental way, and these gifts are the easiest to give when one’s financial situation does not allow for something bigger. As an example, a young sailing enthusiast might be given a world map wrapped up with a card that expresses something like the following : We hope that the enclosed map will help you to find all of the treasures of the world, and, the quickest way back home should you find yourself in need of a hot shower and a place to get your laundry done for free.

One last thing to keep in mind when choosing funny gifts for women, as a rule, woman are less appreciative of such things, especially when the gift is given by a male. According to a large-scale survey, the percentage of females who are receptive to receiving funny gifts is very insignificant in comparison to men. The reason is not likely to be that women in general lack the sense of humor of men, but more likely, it is because most women do not like to be made to feel as though they are being laughed at in any way. Just as women don’t commonly like to talk about their age, neither to they want do be reminded of it by the so called funny cards and gifts they are bound to receive when turning yet another year.

In general occasions of gift giving are taken more seriously by women and by nature, women are more sensitive, and more likely, therefore, to be upset by someone’s clumsy attempt at being funny. It is always best with women to be sincere in your attempt to recognize an important occasion; always remember that with women, it is not about the gift itself, its about the thought that you put into picking it out for them. For her, it is your intention that turns a humbly wrapped trinket into precious treasure every time.

The Boss Endorses Barack Obama

The Boss Endorses Barack Obama

Folk rock legend Bruce Springsteen endorses Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. The musician recently posted a letter on his official website that stated his support for the Illinois Senator. The endorsement was posted before a debate between Hillary Clinton and Obama in Philadelphia.

In Springsteen’s letter to fans, he said he supported Obama because he reached out to the same demographic of the USA that the folk rocker’s songs reached out to. The musician believes that Obama’s ideals and dreams for the country reflect his own. He even criticized the detractors of the presidential hopeful for taking attention away from important issues to distract voters.

Bruce Springsteen is only the most recent celebrity to jump on the Obama train. Since the beginning of the caucuses and primaries, all presidential hopefuls have received both financial and vocal support from various celebrities. While some celebrities are content to host fund-raising events or send in checks, others accompany their candidate to public outings and debates and speak out about why they chose a candidate.

The musician is known for his eloquent lyrics and soulful music that deal mostly with the problems of America. His songs have been tied to progressive politics as his lyrics express the concerns of ordinary middle class men and women to make ends meet. Known as “The Boss”, Springsteen is recognized as an icon for the blue collar demographic and it is believed that this will help Obama connect more with those voters. Springsteen also endorsed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in the 2004 elections.

Senator Obama has had a lucky string of celebrity endorsers who passionately speak for him and draw attention to his causes and ideals. Most notable among Obama supporters is the talk show host, media mogul, entrepreneur and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey. The internationally known “Queen of TV” publicly spoke about her reasons for endorsing Obama. She sincerely expressed her belief that Obama should be the next president.

However, Obama is not the only one with big names backing his campaign. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York also has star power enlisted in her campaign. Some prominent Clinton endorsers are Madonna, Barbara Streisand, Steven Spielberg, poet Maya Angelou, the novelists Anne Rice and John Grisham, Quincy Jones, America Ferrera of Ugly Betty fame and musicians 50 Cent, John Mayer and Jon Bon Jovi.

It has been a bit more difficult for Republican candidate John McCain to get endorsements from the predominantly Democratic world of show business. However, he did manage to garner some support from celebrities. Action stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, actor Tim Selleck and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling are some of the names that support the Arizona senator.

Other celebrities who have endorsed Obama are George Clooney, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Matt Damon, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, Scarlett Johannsen, Morgan Freeman, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Sharon Stone, Ben Affleck and former basketball player Charles Barkley.

Gospel Music: Tracing Back Its Roots

Gospel Music: Tracing Back Its Roots

Ever since some cognitive human beings have set foot on Earth, music has greatly taken part of their lives. The folks belonging to the days of yore created their own musical arrangements by plucking strings and hitting things like wood, hide, or stone. The sounds of nature have also served as one pleasant musical sound for them. They undoubtedly took pleasure listening to the sound of the waterfalls, the animals, and even the weather-related reverberations.

Music has then taken a further course. Throughout the passing of time, people have invented creative means of creating music. From the schools to the churches, there is music. The music industry has also created varied genres of music for all occasions.

You will often see or hear people preaching about the word of God. The gospel of the Lord is being delivered through the means of other people who serve as His own instruments. Simply listening to His words enlightens your spirit, right? God has often reminded His people to love one another as he loves everyone. He places every creation he has made under His care. Although every person has been created in His image and likeness, still no one leads a perfect life. To put it in a much simpler term, no one is as perfect as God is.

One’s spirituality and faith can thus be manifested by several means. Reading the bible, following the ten commandments of God, praying, singing gospel music, and attending mass are among the typical ways by which one’s spirituality is nourished. They often say that those who sing praise twice. Thus, by singing the gospel music, you are praising twice!

What is gospel music?

Gospel music is a religious music that contains the word of God. Gospel music is at all times used as one medium to praise God Almighty. In varying tunes and arrangements, gospel music can always be heard during the celebration of the mass, praise and worship activities, and healing mass.

There is no limit as to the use of gospel music. You can even make it as your morning praise habit. You can listen to it while driving your car. Or you can let it resound in your house. Some gospel music singers perform the genre in nightclubs and secular settings. These days, more and more gospel music are hence becoming danceable therefore making the enlightening of the spirit more effective.

The Roots of Gospel Music

The gospel music was first popularized by the African-American churches way back in the 1930s. Two styles of the gospel music emerged in those days—that of the black people and that of the white southerners. Despite the two separate styles, gospel music still traces its roots from the Methodist hymnal. There came a time when the artists from the two separate categories sang the gospel music of each other.

The onset of gospel music has marked a phenomenon in America regardless of the distinction between the while and black churches. Indeed, gospel music has reached Australia that gave birth to the gospel choirs of Jonah and The Whalers and The Elementals plus the beginning of the Australian Gospel Music Festival. Norway also gave rise to both the Oslo Gospel Choir and the Ansgar Gospel Choir.

The Influences of Gospel

The trendy pop music had greatly influenced the gospel artists. In turn, gospel music has also influenced the rhythm and blues singers of the 1940s up to the 1950s.

Gospel music has reached the peek of its popularity. Until now, several other gospel musical artists are gaining their own fame for the genre and a lot other patrons are getting drawn on them.