Superstitions are something we all have been subject to since our childhood. Some of us even believe in these silly things because of certain experiences we’ve had. Superstitions are hard to believe on the surface since one event leads to another without anyway natural cause but it happens often enough that we believe they are is correlation. Although there is no statistic proving to prove superstitions are real, culture and folklore state otherwise. Superstitions despite not being all real have interesting origins and meanings, here a few common superstitions.
Knock on Wood!
Knocking on wood is a very popular one we hear almost daily. People knock on wood to avoid something bad from happening, there are many other examples but that is the one people use generally.
It is thought that this superstition started in the church, by religion like many other superstitious beliefs. Fathers of the church would knock on wood when praying since Christ had died on wood. Others believe this tradition of knocking on wood was even before Jesus Christ. Ancient Greeks had a diety that was to be communicated to through wood and they would too knock on wood.
Friday The 13th!
This one goes far back and has links to nearly every religion and system of belief like it. The number 12 is considered the number of completeness. Here a few examples illustrating that fact, an year has 12 months, a clock has 12 hours, Olympus had 12 gods, 12 signs of zodiac in the sky, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 successors of Mohamed in Islam and even a few other. The religious ties don’t end here, a Friday is thought to be the day Jesus was crucified. That is why Friday and 13 are considered unlucky.
Opening an umbrella inside the house is considered bad luck. This one actually has a logical reason and one that doesn’t go back to thousands of years ago. Umbrellas when invented were highly unpredictable instruments when opened and closed. They had springs inside them that could launch them a few feet away. This launch could and did hurt people when they opened it inside. Despite umbrellas evolving the superstition stayed.
Since summer is coming(in some parts of the world), I decided to write a short article on some fruits you might want to try out. Specifically fruits that are exotic and are typically not seen in the common food market. They might be hard to find but are definitely worth the effort.
Rambutan’s are perhaps not the most exotic fruit, most people have had them at least once but don’t know the name. It’s the size of a small peach, bright red and with strains of the plant sticking out like a messy hair. Rambutan’s are normally sold in packets of a dozen or less. The inside of the fruit is a jelly sort of white edible which is the main fruit. Inside of that a seed is located. The taste most often is sweet and sometimes bitter depending on the cultivation location(Philippines, Indonesia and Nicaragua). Being somewhat a close relative to berries, they contain the same anti-oxidants.
At first glance looks like an ordinary raspberry but their location is what makes the distinction. These little fruits grow in the Northwest of America, where very little other plants grow. Like raspberries you have to peel of the fruit’s outer layer to eat it. It can be eaten raw or processed as jam like other berry. These can be found in bushes in Alaska during the short summer, collecting them from the wild is permitted but is quite dangerous. Bears have these berries in their diet so if they see a human collecting them he might also join the diet.
Both of these fruits are tasty and diverse, you can make juice or jam with them. They are also great anti-oxidants(great for your skin). Also with all the carbohydrates they make great summer fruits that refill your energy.
Although physical books are a great addition for any living room, there is an greater alternative available these days. Ebooks are a new method for literature distribution. They are especially useful for young new writers who can’t get a book on the shelves. Here are a few cons and pros of ebooks and physical books.
The Differences between Ebook and Physical Books
A real physical book is always a nice addition to anyone’s living room or library. A good library can inform people of your personality and intelligence just by looking at it. Also reading a physical book has a feeling that can’t be achieved with ebooks or even kindle. It’s hard to say what that feeling might be for different people and different books. Sometimes it’s the paper or the bulk of the book. Safe to say a great looking book is great to have as display. As good as a book might look on your shelves, not everyone has the space for the amount of books they have. That’s one of the benefits of the ebook as they don’t require any physical space other than the device they are on(kindle/ipad/pc). Ebooks are also a lot more cheaper than physical books as there is no cost of production and the cost of distribution is less. One of the hardest thing with literature is finding an obscure book or a lesser known one. Sometimes these old books don’t sell a lot so the cost of production is not worth it for a physical copy but fortunately they still get published on the ebook services. The problem with ebook services is that not all of them offer every book so you might need to make an account for more than one service. Though that isn’t the worst problem you could have. Ebooks can’t be stolen unlike a physical book but your account can. So that is definitely a problem but very few people would try to hack an ebook service account. Losing a kindle might be a bigger loss. Some people believe that reading off a screen is worse for eye sight though this has been already disproved as both have the same effects.
So as you can see both have their pro’s and con’s it’s up to you which one you prefer.
Most computers nowadays have huge harddrives and with that comes room for huge library of files. Though harddrives are powerful and cheap they aren’t as practical for someone who uses multiple computers. Unless you’re using an external hard drive, you can’t bring all your important files along with you. This is important when you’re traveling or as previously mentioned have more than one pc. Thanks to the advent of cloud storage you can just upload your files on the net. This is not only fast but extremely safe. Safe because when your files are being sent to the cloud service, the data is being encrypted. Unfortunately due to most of these sites being accessed through a password, they can still be hacked. A strong password will certainly help against hackers who might try to decrpyt it. Thankfully most hackings that happen are due to a person finding out the password in real life and not on the net like most people believe.
Can I Trust The Cloud Service?
Fortunately there are already 3 big companies that offer cloud storage. That diminishes your chances of being scammed by some shady site/service. Google Drive, Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Drive are the three most popular ones. As you would expect from them, the service is thoroughly guarded and automated. The government can still ask these site to see a member’s storage though such measures are taken only when the situation is highly extreme. One thing is sure Cloud Storage is definitely safer than carrying all your important data in an external hard drive or laptop.
Benefits of Cloud Storage.
Cloud storage has one huge advantage over hard drives and even external hard drives. It’s accessibility. With the requirement of internet, you can access your cloud storage anytime and anywhere. This is not possible with hard drives as you need to have your computer or laptop. Cloud services can be used on smart phones, even tablet devices though this is certainly possible with an external hard drive it is a lot more complicated and unintuitive. With physical data there is always risk of losing it because of a system failure. This can be prevented with constantly backing up your data but in the cloud you don’t need to do any of that. As long as you have your account your files stay on the server till you wish otherwise.
To conclude, cloud storage does have some negatives but the positives far outweigh them. With the cloud you always have your data with you. The same could be said about the external hard drive or laptop but those are physical things that you can lose unlike the cloud.
Lawsuits have become a common thing in modern western society, it has gone to the point of absurdity as some cases have shown. The famous example of the robber in the night falling off your stairs suing you because of his critical condition. That is a legit case and there are many like it as stupid.
God Among Us
Chris Roller is not only a man but a mighty wizard as witnessed by the CIA according to him(How does that work?). Christopher Roller claims to have sex with the stars and be immortal(or at least the ability to beat that). In 2007 he tried to apply a patent for “Godly Powers”, which would make it illegal to do godly things on earth(whatever that means) without compensating Christopher financially. Why would he try to do that? Because he thinks he’s some kind of god on earth. He went as far as suing David Blaine for $50 million. He made his case by declaring that Blaine was stealing his powers to perform magic tricks. Unfortunately despite being a self proclaimed god he lost this case.
Some people are so eager to make a quick buck that they sue over the most bewildering thing and even that they do wrong. A victim of a bar fight tried suing Anheuser-Busch(beer maker) because a bottle of their brand was used on him. This victim instead of suing someone like the bar owner who’s responsible for illegal acts of violence in his establishment decided to sue a multi millionaire company. This man could have probably made some money but chose the wrong option, like he did when getting in to a bar fight.
I Killed You, Now You Owe Me Money
David Belniak, a resident of Tampa, Florida, a man who was convicted of a DUI manslaugter was sentenced for 12 years in prison. The accident was in 2007 where he killed 3 people by rear ending their car. In 2012, he decided to sue the dead victims, claiming it was them who had caused the accident and that they have ruined his life. He also wants more than 15 000 for all the emotional distress he’s received. Despite the 6 eye witness during the accident all claiming it was M. Belniak who came out of nowhere hit the victim’s car, his lawyer claims otherwise. Interesting to note that his lawyer is his sister. Stupidity runs deep in this family.
Being Ugly is a Crime
A Chinese man Jian Feng had an ugly baby but a parent is suppose to love their child no matter what right? Wrong, Jian Feng was so offended by this, that he asked his model looking wife why was their baby so atrocious looking. She told him the truth, that she had several surgeries before looking as good as she did. Jian Feng was so offended by this lie that he filed a lawsuit against her under false pretense of marriage and won $120 000 in damages.
There was a time where superhero movies were only for the fan’s of the comic but now things have changed. In today’s superhero movie you get everything you would want from a popcorn action flick without needing to be a huge fan of the series. Also the fact that superhero movies have become some of the most successful movies of the last decade helps in their proliferation. Aside from the obvious adaptions such as Spiderman, Superman and all the other big names. We get a few lesser known ones such as Antman and Deadpool. Here are a few superhero movies coming out relatively soon.
This is the superhero made for the big screen, he is funny, self indulging and a bag full of energy. The fact that he breaks the fourth wall for a superhero is a pretty big deal, it’s going to be interesting how they deal with that in the movie. If you didn’t know the movie is still in production and might come out sometime in 2014. Unfortunately, Ryan Reynolds is the star as Deadpool, he failed miserably as the Green Lantern. Yes the script was bad but Reynolds did nothing to make it better. Despite Deadpool having lots of potential as comedy action flick, it should be approached with caution since Reynold has never been comedic or action oriented as an actor.
The Avengers 2
Let’s face The Avengers was one of the most exciting movies ever. It was so well paced and was great all around except maybe the plot. With Joss Whedon at the helm you can expect it to get better and keep that same faithfulness to the original Avengers series. Avengers 2 doesn’t need to change much but the addition of new heroes is obvious and new main villain since Loki is one of the least interesting villains in the entire Marvel catalogue. Avengers 2 will truly be bigger and better.
The self made superhero returns. Despite not having the craziness of other superhero movies the original Kick-Ass delivered some really emotional feelings something which most big badass action movies fail to do. The sequel will have the two main superheroes from the original, Kick -Ass and Hitgirl. Most of the main characters are kids or young adults but with one exception as there is a goofy adult with them. Nicholas Cage previously had this role but the torch has been passed to Jim Carrey. To say the least, Jim knows how to play goofy. With or without the big cinematic action setpieces, Kick-Ass 2 is definitely one of the most awaited superhero movie to come in a long time.
The sport of MMA has grown with each year and the amount of prospects has grown with it. Nothing builds a fighters reputation like exciting fights even more so than victories. This has often lead a debate among the hardcore fans whether the boring effective fighters should adapt their style to be more fan friendly. But in the end we can all agree this is a sport and you have to do everything you can to win. Most MMA fighters are exciting due to the nature of the sport but there are very few that go out of their way to put on amazing fights. Here are the 2 most exciting ones currently and of all time in my opinion.
Winner of the original Ultimate Fighter, Diego Sanchez has had few of the greatest wars in the UFC welterweight division. His early battles with Karo Parisyan and Nick Diaz were some of the fastest paced fights ever at that time. His amazing cardio and ability to always come on top in scrambles are what makes his style so exciting. At one time he trained his boxing with boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya. Though in many ways Diego is still the same fighter since he won TUF, relying mostly on his energy to outlast his opponents. He now has had two stints in the UFC’s lightweight division, with the first one he had one of the greatest fights ever vs Clay Guida(another highly energetic fighter). In recent years before his move to lightweight, he had great fights with Paulo Thiago, Martin Kampmann and Ellenberger. All fight of the nights and two of them victories. What you can expect out of a Diego Sanchez fight is simple, fast pace action.
This man’s nickname should be enough to tell you what kind of a fighter he is. Known as the Axe Murderer and The Mad Dog, his style does those nicknames justice. The king of the soccer kings, one of the most brutal MMA techniques ever. Wanderlei Silva will go wild straight out of the bell unlike anyone else. Sadly his cardio isn’t great but he still goes wild nonetheless which tactically isn’t a great idea but makes for great fights. Nearly all his pride fights were brawls and a couple of his UFC fights have been good too. Since coming to the UFC he hasn’t looked the same(literally) but in his last fight vs Brian Stan he showed a fire that has been missing in his game for a long time. His fightstyle is basically swinging his fists at you and kneeing you in the face. Back in the day this strategy was pretty efficient but these days fighters are a lot more smarter. Still despite being on his last legs, Wanderlei Silva gives us some of the best fights in the UFC.
Monuments are titanic structures built to represent something important and last forever. However with war and decay, nothing can last forever. Even monuments of the modern age are facing the test of time, from the Taj Mahal to the statue of Liberty without preservation and proper care they would be far worse. As time goes by, the materials and foundations of the buildings get worse. There are not only natural factors that cause this, factors created by humans too such as pollution. Here are a few monuments whether due to natural catastrophes or human intervention, have fallen.
Buddha of Bamiyan
This was one of the most magnificent monumental statues of the ancient world. Being created as far back as the 6th century. The two statues of Buddha are craved into a cliff and inside those statues are dozens of caves with hidden art. The statues were in the Northwest of Kabul in an area known as Bamiyan. They were destroyed by the Taliban insurgents in 2001, because they represented false idols. The hate for the Taliban was fueled internationally by this event, Switzerland and Japan went as far as promising to help build it back. Since it’s destruction the Buddha’s of Bamiyan have taken a new symbol, that of oppression and religious freedom. The destruction did permit one great finding, as behind the statues were many caves previously never discovered. These caves had mural paintings dating back from the 5th till the 9th century. Researchers theorized that the paintings were done by artist’s traveling on the Silk Road. The Silk Road was a famous path from Europe to China, with may travelers on it daily.
Hanging Gardens Of Babylon
This one is a bit tricky since some historians believe it never even existed in the first places. Despite the doubt there are also many texts that state it was there. What are the gardens? Well it’s a man made structure but with waterfalls and gardens. With multiple levels, with each level having a different role.
It was said that the water didn’t touch the ground and moved around the terrace of the Garden by canals . The Garden was supposedly made by a king for his wife because it would remind her of her homeland . Though that certain king is in the records, the queen is not, it could be she was never officially married with him. Others claim that creating and maintaining such garden would be impossible with the technique of that era. The gardens were destroyed after Earthquakes during the 2nd century and no trace of it has ever been found.
The world war was a horrible global disaster but as years have passed people have studied it scrutinously. Not a day goes by without a movie or a book about the world war coming out. The first world war was a tragic event but a lot of interesting and bizarre things happened during it that are not well known. Here are a few.
A man or a woman?
Without getting too much into the World War and it’s belligerents. The war was started by Germany against France but soon many allies, treaties were invoked and half of Europe was at war against each other. As the German Empire was concentrating their main attack on on the west of Europe, they got attacked at the East by the Russian Empire. Alright here is where the weird things started happening. Most of the Eastern front was left undefended by the Germans, so they could have their forces nearer to the capital. In one of the villages, a Russian officer was flirting with a women and tried to have intercourse with her, he found out that he couldn’t because it was a man. And the man was wearing German army shorts. This lead to a waste paranoia for the Russian forces, many officers after that would have mandatory skirt checks for the entire female population of the villages and towns.
In the early 1900s, news was easy to control and hard to spread. This made national propaganda a lot easier and even more powerful. Before the war even started, the German authorities needed a reason to start the war vs France, of course there was the huge animosity between them from an earlier conflict but to justify the lives of millions would need something more fresh and stronger. A few days before the declaration of war, German newspapers ran a the headline that a northern German city was bombed and that hundreds had died and thousands were injured. Of course the finger was pointed at France. People got out in the streets in Germany with hate and demand for retribution towards France. The Kaiser and his delegates were glad that they had given the people a reason to fight against this great evil. Unfortunately that bombing never happened, this fact never made it out until much later due the country being an empire and not a democracy.
There was also craziness in the western front. German forces had gone through Belgium like the wind and had already ended up on the northern border of France. Each time a German regiment passed through a Belgian village the officers would stay at the biggest mansions, eat and drink the most expensive stuff. When these accommodations weren’t provided their enemies, the Germans would give out punishments. Expecting such generosity was surprising to say the least.