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All Time Best Video Games

Video games have been part and parcel of the teen/young adult cultural experience for going on 40 years now, since the advent of the video arcade that featured games such as Pong, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Tempest.

Soon thereafter, the arcade started moving into the living room, as video-game consoles became all the rage with Atari, Nintendo and others through the 1980s. Then, things have evolved to unreal proportions, where video games are now immersive experiences of virtual reality and some of the commercials look like trailers for blockbuster movies.

And before, while it was just you, a quarter and the computer inside the video game, now you have an interactive experience where a person can put in a game at home and play with thousands of others from all over the world – and even communicate with them in a social-network setting.

The evolution of video games has created its own demographic – the gamer.  And gamers have been vital in developing franchises in the gamer world, as certain games became hugely popular and spawned sequels and expansions of the franchise. Here, we’ll list for you (in no particular order) five of the most enduring video-game franchises of all time. If you are even a casual gamer, chances are you’ve played one of these or at least know somebody who does.

Mario

Mario is “The Simpsons” of video games, as the little plumber man started as one of the characters on the old 1980s arcade classic, Donkey Kong. He was the one who had to jump over the barrels that the gorilla, Donkey Kong, would roll down the ramps. Mario broke away from his primate friend and spread his own wings, combining with his brother, Luigi, to create Super Mario Bros., followed by MarioKart. He’s been around for 30 years, but he doesn’t look like he’s aged a day considering he has infinite lives and never dies.

Sims

Who wants to live an alternate reality?  We’re not alking a fantasy world, but a world that is plausible and yet is not your life. Welcome to Sims, the game that has developed highly successful franchises over the last 15 years since it first launched. With Sims, you can create entire towns and people, putting it whatever houses and businesses of your choosing and even control every aspect of the lives of the people you place in that town.  You could create a “relationship” with that crush and make her fall madly for you, or you can create a bully and finally stand up to him!

Call of Duty

Perhaps one of the most famous military/war franchises around, Call of Duty was one of the first such games to reach popularity. A very realistic game will garner a lot of players and will last a long time in the gaming subculture, and CoD meets that standard with its sights and sounds. It is one of the early adopters of an immersive experience, as if a player is actually in a war zone and surrounded by mayhem, starting with a World War II motif and moving forward through several of the most prominent military actions over the last 75 years – and even into new areas we’ve never broached in real life.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Like Sims, Sonic is another cartoon-like game, with a furry little friend named Sonic who runs rampant. Originally a Sega creation, little Sonic has been a rival of Mario on Nintendo system games for a number of years. He hasn’t had his own game in years, but his supporting role with Mario has been enough for him to have a popular recurring role with many gamers.

Resident Evil

Perhaps the zombie apocalypse idea came to root here with this horror-themed franchise that has lasted 20 years and has spread its storyline (yes, it has characters and a storyline!) over 12 games.  If you have ever loved horror films and always wanted to be in one, this is about the closest you may ever get. Enjoy it, because there are no Academy Awards for surviving.

TV Characters Who Were Just TOO Happy

Yes, sometimes you’re watching your favorite TV show or movie masterpiece and there’s one character that just grates on your nerves. Not because that character is actually poorly written, not because you actually love to hate or hate to love them, but because they just won’t stop smiling. How can that be realistic? What is he hiding? Sometimes, you just want that character to see the more miserable side of the world. Of course, that never happens. These TV characters were way too happy for whatever reason and cruel reality never got anywhere near them.

We’ll start with the barest, most obscure memories. Do you remember the Sidler on Seinfeld? He was that guy–always smiling–who would sneak up on Elaine without really meaning to, and it bothered her so much that she ended up giving him a case of tic-tacs to carry around as a sort of alarm system. When she told him the reason for the tic-tacs was his bad breath, he didn’t get the slightest bit offended. He smiled, said thanks, and they went on their way. Naturally, Elaine got tired of the sound of tic-tacs.

Maybe we should explore the darker side of things. Even on a drama about a serial killer like “Dexter,” there had to be one character who always had a smile on his face. Look no further than Masuka, the lead forensics investigator. Sure, most of his smiles–and they were endless–came to light after a crude sexual innuendo or terrible joke, but the show definitely needed him for some well-placed comic relief.

You probably won’t be too surprised by these others. Happy the dwarf deserves a spot on this list. I mean, when your very name is “Happy,” what choice do you really have? He was the guy who always smiled and always saw the best in everyone, and he was the guy who didn’t know how to frown. Sure he was a cartoon character, but who cares? Happy represents a good life lesson for the rest of us. No matter how bad things get, there are still things that matter all around us–and we should focus more on those.

Then again, Baloo from The Jungle Book might top even Happy the dwarf. This guy knew how to have a good time even when the world was chaos all around him and his little friend. With a positive outlook and the right way of looking at even the worst of situations, you never know what the powers-that-be might have in store for you next. Baloo epitomized this philosophical viewpoint, and maybe we should try to be more like him.

Who did you think was just too happy to be on TV?

Weird Museums You Need To Visit Before You Die

For every great museum full of art and history and an inspirational understanding of life, there is another that stands out for completely different reasons. If you’ve ever wanted to visit a museum of a different sort, then search no further. These are the weirdest museums you need to visit before the grim reaper claims you.

In Dedham, Massachusetts there is a museum which only accepts art that sucks. Yes, you read that correctly. If you can’t draw or paint, this might be the place to take your submission. The “Museum of Bad Art,” as it’s named, is so very quaintly located in a basement. Enjoy the toilets.

If you’re into home security, perhaps you should take a quick visit to McLean, Texas where you’ll find the Devil’s Rope Barbed Wire Museum. Guess what useful invention this museum is dedicated to exploring! If it’s chosen artistic obsession isn’t great enough, then just know this: you’re visiting the former site of a bra factory on the well-known route 66. Have fun.

If home security reminds you of a situation that got out of hand in your very recent past, then look no further to Houston, Texas for the National Museum of Funeral History. We’re sure you’re as excited as we are to learn about the ancient art of putting people in the ground. Or incinerating them. However you prefer to go, we’re certainly not going to judge.

The UFO Museum and Research Center might provide the weird intellectual aftertaste you so rightly crave, and you’ll find what you need in Roswell, New Mexico. If you want to know a little more about the “alleged” conspiracy theory that suggests little green men crash-landed nearby in 1947, then you won’t want to miss this one.

Then again, if you’d rather travel internationally you’ll still find what you’re looking for in the weird museum department. If you’re a fan of puppies, then perhaps you might want to check out the Dog Collar Museum in England, where you can find a centuries-old collection of accessories for man’s best friend.

You might be feeling frisky during your travels and, if so, you should visit the Iceland Phallological Museum. Sure, it’s not for everyone, and your favorite beer-drinking, confederate flag-waving, football loving husband might not be so interested in learning all there is to know about the history of the penis, but do drag him along anyway. And don’t worry too much–this museum isn’t devoted to the human penis–it’s devoted to all of them! You’ll find 276 to be exact, from a number of species. You know you want to learn the ins and outs of each and every one!

We do hope you’re in the mood for some travel, because the world’s museums have so very much to offer our naturally inquisitive minds.

Weird Things That Make People Happy

You know how people have pet peeves? Little things that get on their nerves? Well, there’s no name for it, but there are little things that make us ridiculous happy – even if it’s nonsensical. Here’s a few things that make us innately happy:

  1. Cleaning Wax From Your Ears – especially if you feel the pressure being built by the wax, the relief of cleaning the wax out can bring you great joy.
  2. The Pop From Opening A New Jar – there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing that noise after you’ve struggled to open the jar for a few minutes
  3. Finding A Seat On Mass Transit – for commuters who end up having to stand, finding a seat can be the biggest victory of the day
  4. Watching Your Breath In Cold Air – you can’t deny it: you’ve pretended to be smoking cigarettes and watched to see how far your breath can go
  5. The Smell of The Library – we probably all own a kindle but when you get a new book or walk into a bookstore or library it’s absolutely amazing and nostalgic
  6. New Car Smell – the scent of fresh leather tingles your senses and makes you feel that you’ve accomplished the American Dream by owning a brand new car
  7. Popping Bubble Wrap – if you don’t find this enjoyable then you are fundamentally wrong with you. This is the best stress reliever
  8. Stepping on Autumn Leaves – hearing them crunch and crackle under your feet makes you feel powerful
  9. Waking Up & Realizing You Can Sleep Longer – that moment when you wake up before your alarm goes off and you have another half hour of sleep! Priceless
  10. Hearing An Old Song That Used To Be Your Jam – turn the radio up, roll the windows down, and get ready to do your best performance – it’s your jam!

This list is brought to you by:

https://www.oalaw.com/

http://cyber-breeze.com/50-little-weird-things-that-make-us-happier-some-are-just-so-simple/

What Makes a Dog Cute?

When you see something that is absolutely fricking adorable, you just know! You don’t sit there and think “Oh why is this so cute?” But if you do, here’s an explanation of the science behind the word cute.

First, let’s do some etymology and see how the world “Cute” came into being. “Cute” comes from the German word Kinderschema. Kinder means baby or child and schema means features. Therefore, kinderschema means childlike features.

Here are some characteristics of babies and dogs:

  • large head relative to body size
  • big forward facing eyes
  • floppy walks and teetering gait
  • round body shape
  • soft touchable skin (well in the case of dogs, fur)

You never realized how much in common your dog is to that of a baby. And that’s what makes it cute! We associate the helplessness vulnerability of a cute baby to other animals such as cats, dogs, chinchillas, and so on and so forth.

And now that we know why, here’s a few dog breeds that make the absolute cutest puppies.

English Bulldog – They are wrinkly, tubby, and they look like they are squatting.

Golden Retriever – A classic, cute puppy that is just a fluff ball of fur.

Corgi – Corgi’s legs are even shorter than their bodies, which makes their walk hilarious and absolutely adorable.

French Bulldog – This is different than the English bulldog because it isn’t tubby but its ears are gigantic which makes it look silly and cute.

Pomeranian – This breed is known for look like a stuffed teddy bear. They have a very fluffy coat and tiny ears which make them almost like a stuffed animal.

Is there a type of dog breed that I am missing from my list? What is your favorite cute dog breed? Are there any other dogs that you think are ugly? Even the Bedlington Terrier has some cute features!

 

Land Of Free and Home Of The Brave

What is the American Dream? According to Wikipedia, “The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity, and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.” This idea, which stems from the declaration of independence that all men are created equal, is what drove people to conquer the western frontier leading to manifest destiny and drove the wave of immigration into our country into the 19th century (according to the lawyers at http://visaserve.com/), which led to the industrial revolution in the roaring 20s, which was also inspiration for the Civil Rights Movement in 1964.

Does the American Dream still exist in today’s world? Although originally “all men” meant white men, it has now come to include all of humankind. The American Dream has shifted from what used to be about material things (like owning a car, owning a house with a white picket fence) to now focusing on creating a meaningful life by being charitable, giving back to the community and society as a whole, spending time with friends and family and being able to maintain their socioeconomic lifestyle.

Another shift in the American Dream comes from parents wanting the American Dream for their children, whereas now that these children are grown, want the American Dream for themselves. With more and more millennials now being of working age, they want to have a good income to support their lifestyle but they are also the most charitable and globally conscious generation. With that being said, there’s a chance that this generation turns the American Dream into something international.

What do you believe? Do you believe that the American Dream still exists or is it something that is long in the past?

Can Colors Affect Your Mood?

According to the famous artist Pablo Picasso, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of emotions.” Can the color of something really change your mood? Welcome to Color Psychology. Although not really a tested field in the world of science, color psychology has been applied to the industries of marketing, advertising and of course graphic design because they claim certain colors can capture people’s attention and get them to convert (whether by buying their product or remembering their logo for future purchases).

This isn’t the first time that people have though color might affect the body. In Ancient Egypt and China, they practiced chromotherapy, which is the use of colors to heal the body. This practice is still found in holistic treatment centers. Each color corresponds to a part of the body to help it heal. For example, red stimulates circulation and blue relieves pain.

But what do modern scientists say about this effect of color? Can it really make a difference to your emotions? Many current psychologists say the science behind this is iffy because the association of colors comes from previous experience with that color. For example, if your abusive step father’s favorite color was blue, then being in a blue room might not give you the same calming effect as most people. Also, they argue that although it might be calming at first, this is a temporary effect and not permanent.

Because the marketing and advertising industry have designated red, orange and yellow as warm colors and green, blue and purple as cool colors, we are subconsciously believing in this theory also. We also associate the warm colors with summer and the cool colors with winter. This can be seen in the fashion industry and beauty industry.

What do you think? Do you think that color can impact your mood or cure your ailments?

How To Be Happy At Work

There’s an old adage saying that you’re not supposed to be happy at work because ‘It’s called work for a reason!” (They even wrote a book about it!) Well, we don’t believe that this is true! After talking to one of our real estate lawyers at the law firm Merlino and Gonzalez, they gave us some great advice on what makes the day go fast and work and how to enjoy it, which I will impart that wisdom onto you!

Find A Work Best Friend – Do you think Merlino and Gonzalez would be partners in a law firm is they weren’t best friends? That might be wishful thinking, but finding that one good work friend can make all the difference. You need at least one friend to bitch too, gossip with, talk bad about the managers with, and work on projects with. When you are having fun at work with your friend, the time will fly by and you will be surprised how much more gets done!

Eat! – A lot of people think that they are so overwhelmed with work that they don’t have time to take a lunch break. Do It Anyway! Sometimes your brain needs to take a break from the stress of work. Go out for a cup of coffee every now and then. Eating a well-balanced lunch that healthy for you and making sure you are drinking water can give you more energy to make it through the afternoon of your job and make you overall happier. Don’t forget to keep snacks on hand for the 3 pm wall. Keeping your blood sugar at a normal level will keep away the cravings!

Move Around – Get up! Get a fit bit and make sure you do your 250 steps. Moving around and giving yourself a mental break and a little physical activity will get your blood flowing and energy levels back up.

How do you stay happy at work?

Benefits of Daily Vitamins

For those who do not like to eat fruits and vegetables, the absolute least you can do is take a daily multivitamin. When you are skipping out on these foods you are not getting essential nutrients that help our bodies in numerous ways. Even if you do eat lots of fruits and vegetables, sometimes you still aren’t getting enough of certain nutrients, so there’s no harm in taking a multivitamin. Over the counter, brand-name vitamins do not have enough concentration to be considered toxic. So what do you have to lose?

Illness Recovery – when you are sick, your body is unable to function properly because it’s using its resources to fight off infections from bacteria or viruses. Taking a multivitamin which has Vitamin C and other immune boosting vitamins will help you recover from your illness quicker. According to Medline Plus, Vitamin C is used in the formation of proteins which can help heal wounds and form scar tissue and repair bones. There’s also been studies that show that Vitamin C can help lower the amount of time it takes to recover from the common cold.

Improve Your Brain – Vitamins such as Vitamin D which comes from the sun but can also be taken in supplement form help our brains from improved thinkings to improved mood! When Vitamin D is activated by enzymes in the liver and kidney, it acts as a hormone and releases brain chemicals that help our bodies in a variety of ways including regulating cell growth, increasing calcium absorption, and maintaining immune and cardiovascular health.

With more and more Americans being afraid to go out in the sun due to the development of skin cancer, and more and more Americans relying on fast food because it’s more affordable than spending a lot of money to eat organic greens, the very least you can do is take a multivitamin!

Cool Things To Do In Houston TX

Start With Opening Day At Minute Maid Park

Houston, Texas is such a cool city that it is impossible not to have fun. Even if you don’t know your way around, driving downtown is both thrilling and well, hair-raising. Hey, you can always take an Uber or a cab. Downtown Houston is only part of what is available to you, as you will soon see upon your visit. Maybe you have been to Houston before, but you are checking out suggestions for cool things to do in Houston TX.

Minute Maid Park is on Crawford Street in Houston, Texas, and it is currently the #7 ranked attraction in the city. If you can go to Minute Maid Park anytime of the year, choose April and get yourself some Opening Day tickets. That is the absolute best time to show up there. There will be booths and vendors for blocks all the way around the park and in the courtyard. You will have so much to do well before the game starts, and there are great little places around the park to hang out before and after the game, too.

Taking in Opening Day or a game at Minute Maid Park on any day is an all day affair. You could go grab a bite to eat at a restaurant, but you’re not going to need one after spending the day at Minute Maid Park. It is also suggested that you take the tour of the park if you are able. Other fun and cool things to do in Houston, Texas after you have visited Minute Maid Park include the Space Center, the Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. You need a few more suggestions to get your way around Houston though, and so you should visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center, The Galleria and Rice University Campus.