My 100th Blog

Hey, I realized I had just completed my hundredth blog. Looking back at the posts, I feel that some are good and some may have been better. Here are  my top ten. Enjoy. 🙂

I like them all, but here are my top ten posts.

  1. AHA endorses Wii Fiit Plus
  2. How to get driving licence
  3. Why is it Important to Quit Smoking and Alcohol?
  4. Quad City Kite Festival – 2010
  5. Obesity in Children
  6. 401K Versus IRA Versus Roth IRA
  7. Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby
  8. Anger Management
  9. Totally Vegan or Ritually Vegetarian
  10. Why Walking is the Best Medicine for all Ailments

Let me know your thoughts on my blog. Thanks.

Totally Vegan or Ritually Vegetarian

Due to the alarming number of heart attacks and cancers, the vegan and vegetarian diets are getting more popular. While buying food products, vegans and vegetarians often get confused whether to purchase a particular product or not. The chemical names of the ingredients do not give away the origin.  Here are some tips and ideas that might help. 🙂

Vegan

Vegans are people who do not eat animal or dairy products and may sometimes also avoid using leather and other products derived from animals. The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently released a list of food items that are safe for vegans and vegetarians. The numerous choices they listed are sometimes surprising and unaware of. The Vegan items are essentially meat free, egg free, fish free, gluten free, gelatin free, dairy free, and do not include any animal products. Some of the items include:

  • Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate
  • Nestle Nesquik Syrup
  • Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies
  • Fritos
  • Lay’s Potato Chips
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars
  • Wise Onion Rings
  • Hershey’s Syrup
  • Sara Lee Cherry Pie
  • Pillsbury Treat Toppers
  • Thai Kitchen Noodle Bowls

The list is endless and it is surprising that most famous brands do manufacture products in different flavors that are safe for vegans and vegetarians.

Vegetarian

Vegetarians are people who do not eat animal products but consume dairy products. They mostly promote consuming fruits and vegetables. Vegetables basically get digested easily and are rich in fiber. The anti-inflammation chemicals in the vegetables do reduce tumors and pains. The author of Crazy Sexy Diet,  Kris Carr admits that becoming a vegetarian helped her reduce her cancer and get fit in her life.

Some people who do not believe in vegetarianism argue that harming plants also is killing them. Some say that egg is also a vegetarian item. Further, some say that animal foods offer instant strength and proteins. In contrast, some vegans and vegetarians are looking for drugs and vitamins that do not contain any animal derivatives. Music legend Paul McCartney says that if slaughter houses had glass walls, everyone would turn a vegetarian.

Vegetarians can select the listed items above apart from natural fruits and vegetables. Healthy recipes can be prepared with vegetables and there a wide variety which you can choose from. Vegetarian food items can also be bought online. Some alternatives include:

  • Hummus
  • Soy
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Pulses
  • Grains
  • Falafel
  • Minestrone

Anyways, its an individual’s choice and everybody is free to eat what they like. After all, this is a free country. 🙂

Bald Eagles on the Mississippi

Every year the national bird and emblem visits the Mississippi river in January. This weekend enjoy the Bald Eagle show at the Mississippi Valley Welcome Center at LeClaire.  The free event is a perfect time for enjoying the nature apart from sighting the national bird.

The Mississippi Valley Welcome Center hosts the annual Bald Eagle Watch this Saturday 10 am and Sunday 1 pm.  The event is free and has outdoor viewing opportunities at the Lock and Dam 14. The directors and organizers will present information about the eagles and raptors. You can have indoor as well as outdoor fun apart from watching the birds.

The Center hosts trolley tours on Saturday 12 pm to 3 pm and Sunday 9 am to 12 pm. The trolley is hosted by eagle experts and the best stops where you can find bald eagles. The trolley tours cost $25 for adults and $15 for children per ticket.

The Quad City Botanical Center hosted a Bald Eagle show during the first week of January. The state bird of Illinois is the Northern Cardinal and that of Iowa is Eastern Goldfinch. January 5th being the National Bird Day, this event provides another opportunity to spot the National Bird. 🙂

Ragada: Move Review

Featuring Nagarjuna as a tough fighter, Ragada may entertain his fans but too many negative roles, fights, and murders make the movie dragging. With Anushka and Priya mani in other lead roles, Ragada is a time pass to watch movie when you have nothing else to do. 🙂

Story

Nagarjuna plays the role of Satya Reddy, who is an orphan. He is loyal to the family which brought him up. He grows up to be a tough and arrogant man. Nagarjuna’s mother runs a free hospital in Kadapa for poor people which was donated in the past. The son of the donor turns up to a corrupt politician and wants Nagarjuna’s mother to vouch for him during politics. When she refuses to do so, he threatens to take back the hospital and kill her. Hence, Nagarjuna pledges to earn crores of money to save the hospital which his mother works for.

Nagarjuna reaches Hyderabad in his thirst for earning money. He gets in the middle of a gang fight and saves a person. The opposite gang now in turn try to kill him and his family members.  They succeed in killing Nagarjuna’s mother and the rest of the story is how he avenges his revenge on those who killed his mother.

Review

To watch Nagarjuna in a tough role is a feast. Anushka is a total flop in this movie except for a couple of songs. National award winner Priyamani looks cute and does justice for her role in a typical and innocent Brahmin girl. The comedy by the hero and Brahmanandam are assets for the movie. The fights are sometimes tiring and you wonder how a single person can throw hundreds of people kicking in the air. This of course happens only in Telugu movies. 🙂

Though some songs are catchy, the continuous murders and never ending gun fires leave a headache for the audience. There are too many villains who are difficult to track. The climax is predictable and funny. Many killings in the movie is a  minus point apart from its bad ending. If you are a fan of Nagarjuna, you will not be disappointed and will be glad to find  him good looking and handsome in the movie. The hero’s phrase, ‘Kalisoste Cheruggada, Eduroste Ragada’ is funny to repeat! 🙂

Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu: Movie Review

Disney’s first South Indian production, ‘Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu’, does meet the graphics standards. But, the movie does not meet the expectations of viewers. Starring Siddharth and Shruthi Hassan apart from Manchu Lakshmi, the movie is a bit close to disaster. 🙂

Story

The story of Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu reminds us of the childhood ‘Chandamama’ stories. Evil and dark vampire Ilendri,  played by Manchu Lakshmi wants to capture death by torturing people and involving black magic. In the process, she captures men and directs them to kill ordinary people. She aims to gain immortality by killing the divine child, Moksha (Harshitha) who is protected by Yodha – hero Siddharth.

Siddharth is blind warrior who lives in the same ashrama as Moksha. He was blinded in a fight in the past and is rescued by the Swami of the ashrama. He is an able fighter despite his blindness and is upset as he lost his dear girl friend, Shruthi Hassan. In fact, Shruthi Hassan was captured by Ilendri to drink her blood whenever needed. the story is all about Ilendri tries to kill Moksha and how the hero rescues her by killing Ilendri. The hero meanwhile gets back his eye sight and his girl friend.

Review

The graphics and scenes are capturing. Some scenes seem natural but so artificial at the same time. The comedy, screenplay, narration, action sequences, and direction is so predictable that you may want to quit watching it in between. Some scenes and dialogues are obscene and inaccurate for young audiences. Some scenes such as the evil vampire in the bathtub and the poking of heroes’ eyes are scary.

The blind hero is a negative aspect for the story. You always wonder how is he going to rescue the little girl and the heroine if he cannot see. The hero being blinded for the most of part of the story was not a good idea. The songs are not that catchy and are mostly out of context. You may feel that you like it in the beginning, but as the story progresses, you get tired of the blind hero and the vampire attacks. Though the three main roles acted their part well, the story is not good and capturing at all. 🙂

Pennsylvania Turnpike on I-76

While travelling on the I-76, we encounter the Pennsylvania turnpike, an engineering master piece. Started in 1940, the turnpike accommodates the travel needs of millions of drivers apart from the beautiful scenic drive. The tunnels and the nature make the drive interesting while the darkness and poor turn signs make night drive risky.

The Pennsylvania turnpike is expanded to over five hundred miles and offers a unique driving experience. The  natural mountains, terrains, fields, and rocks give the drivers a wonderful view. The roads and turns seem like engulfing the car and consuming you sometimes. At times, you may feel that the turn is endless. The falling rock symbols literally mean and seem that the rocks may fall down on the car. Further, the trees on either side of the road grow diagonally according to the terrain. The trees seem like they are cover the road and may fall any time. At night, when you see a Fog symbol, you must not be surprised to see the fog immediately due to the height of the mountains. 🙂

The Allegheny mountains add to the beauty of the state with extensive nature life of plants and animals. The plateaus, rivers, lakes, mountains, forests, and the trees make it a must travel destination for the state visitors. The PA turnpike through the mountains leave you wondering about the engineering expertise and skill with which the roads and tunnels are built.

While it may be tedious for the drivers to concentrate on the road due to the turns. The turns are large and close that by the time the driver recovers from a turn another turn is awaiting ahead. I must the say the tolls and service plazas in between are in tact. But, the road symbols, turn signals, the marking beacons on the road, the glowing flashlights on the sides are poorly maintained. I think there are too many turns and hence the maintenance people left it to the fate of the drivers about the safety.

The country song ‘Pennsylvania Turnpike, I Love You‘ composed by Vaughn Horton in the 1970s is good listening and is funny. 🙂 Visit the official website for travel times, road conditions, exits, service plazas, gas stations, and other information before travelling the turnpike. Note that the state government has made the turnpike a text-free zone.

Golden Globes 2011

The Golden Globes 2011 show on NBC was fun watching. All the celebrities dressed in their best appeared for the Golden Globes in California last Sunday. Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes, while ‘The social network’ won most of the awards.

The Hollywood Press Foreign Association (HFPA) announce the Golden Globe awards annually to the best performances in the year. Operating since 1947, the Golden Globes is one of the most watched award shows apart from the Academy awards and the American music award show.

Colin Firth won the best male performance in ‘The King’s Speech’, Natalie Portman won the best female performance for ‘The Black Swan’, and ‘The Social Network’ won the  best movie award. I think ‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘Black Swan’ would have been great for kids to watch if they were not the ‘R’ rated movies.  Sometimes, it is sad that we cannot watch some of the good movies along with all the family members as they have the commercial elements and are not safe to watch with the kids. ‘The social network’, written by Aaron Sorkin, is a PG-13 movie. It is also a good movie and a real life example of how young teens turn out to be great entrepreneurs.

The award show was hosted by actor and comedian Ricky Gervais. His bold comments may have offended some of the audience and celebrities but I think everybody enjoyed his comments. In current industry, where everybody criticizes everybody, his comments are not as hurting if taken in a light manner. He hosted the show for the second consecutive year and do not be surprised if he gets one more opportunity next year.

Some of the best red carpet arrivals were Anne Hathway, Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullocks, Lea Michele, and Angelina Jolie among others. Some of the male presenters and winners such as Robert Pattinson, Justin Timberlake, Tom Hanks, Robert de Niro, and other stars look good in their best dresses. The guests at the show were looking tired of drinking, laughing, clapping, and cheering for their fellow stars. The award winners were emotional and overwhelmed and searching for words while thanking thier near and dears after the receiving the award. Overall, the show was fun to watch and good time pass on a Sunday evening. 🙂

Home Safety

Winter also brings one more threat for all of us. Winter burglaries and thefts during the long and dark hours is common. Many residents are helpless on the attacks. The police and the authorities in deed are clueless about the house break ins. Here are some tips to be safe at  home during winter.

Safe homes

What is the use of our wealth if we cannot enjoy them? It is ultimately satisfying to show off our possessions, but may not be safe always. House burglaries are on the rise during winter. Home safety is a must for all of us. The thefts are more in Quad cities than the state and nation average. It is alarmingly surprising the rate and efficicieny with which these burglaries are carried out. However, here are some tips to be safe.

  1. Secure your belongings
  2. Never store costly jewellery at home
  3. Store most of the gold coins and jewelery at the safe lockers at the local banks
  4. Wear your jewelery instead of storing them
  5. Secure the laptops and other electronic devices
  6. Keep the blinds and windows closed during the dark hours
  7. Store cash and other valuables in not common placers such as kitchen or store room
  8. Leave the lights on if you are going on a long journey or out of town trip
  9. Let  your radio or TV run for a timed period when you are not at home
  10. Inform a neighbour or friend to keep a watch on the home
  11. Set security devices, cameras, or burglar alarm systems if possible
  12. Storing the valuables in a ziploc and keeping them in an old paint  box or soda can may help
  13. Do not leave any valuables in the car or in the visibility so that you may attract the thieves
  14. Do not leave the garage keys in easy to reach places
  15. Insure the house and list all the valuables however small it is

Burglary

Irrespective of where we store the items, we must be aware that the thieves are smart enough to carry metal detectors which set off and give away the secret place. In case of a burglary or house break in:

  1. Report to police immediately on 911
  2. Stay out of the area until cops arrive
  3. Report to all the local authorities
  4. Check with your local pawn brokers
  5. Changing the locks is a good idea
  6. Spread the word among friends and families so that they are aware of the incident
  7. Check with the insurance agency about submitting the claims and the recovery process
  8. Follow up the investigation

Most of the times we may wonder why it has happened to us. It may be a pure unfortunate timing or bad luck. But, it is important to stay alert and focused. Let the incident not affect and traumatize you as the life has to move on beyond any happenings. Remember that children pick up the tensions from you and let them not get affected by the incident.

What are the safety practices you follow? How do you secure your belongings? Let me know your best practices. 🙂

Regis Philbin Retiring

The host of the ‘LIVE! with Regis and Kelly‘, Regis Philbin announced his retirement this morning. This may be shocking and sad for many of his fans, but I think he deserves a retirement after a long, tiring, and successful career. When will he enjoy his riches if he is working all the time? 🙂

Regis Philbin, 79 years, announced this morning that he plans to retire in 2011. He is the ‘mogul’ of the morning shows. He had been working for 28 years on the show. Regis along with his partner Kelly Ripa make the mornings more delightful with their wit and timely humor.

Regis has profound knowledge and wisdom in the TV industry. He lives in New York city with his wife Joy Philbin. He had numerous surgeries in his long career and he in deed deserves a relaxing retirement. His comments and comedy will be missed on the show.

The wealth of information and experience he brings to the show is matchless. Regis tends to forget the names of people and often mis spells the names of the celebrities, but I think we all enjoy even that. His facial expressions and timely humor make the show more lively.

You will be missed Regis. 🙂

Symptoms of Stroke

We all might have received chain mails about symptoms of heart stroke. Worldwide heart stroke symptoms observed not only in seniors but also young children in teens and adults. Here are some symptoms which we all must be aware not only for our selves but also for our near and dears which are put into an incident to be easy to remember.

Stroke: Remember The 1st Three Letters… S.T.R ..

During a party, a friend stumbled and took a little fall – she assured everyone that she was fine and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. (they offered to call ambulance)

They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food – while she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital – (at 6:00pm , Ingrid passed away.)
She had suffered a stroke at the party. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today.

Some don’t die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this…

Stroke Identification

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

Recognizing a Stroke

Remember the ‘3’ steps, STR. Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster.
The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions :

  1. S * Ask the individual to SMILE ..
  2. T * = TALK. Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (eg ‘It is sunny out today’).
  3. R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS .

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call the ambulance and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

NOTE : Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is
1. Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue.
2. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

As a prominent cardiologist says, if everyone who knows this can educate 10 other people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

and it could be your own..