A Blog of a Work from Home Breadwinner. Blogging anything under the sun since college days.

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January 30, 2014

Can Sports Stars Expect Privacy?

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Dating back over 100 years to the days of Jack Dempsey and Ty Cobb, sports stars have always been big celebrities. However, much has changed in the world since then. The advent of TV and the Internet have made professional athletes every bit as famous as movie stars and musicians. Every major city now has at least one 24-hour sports talk station, creating a forum for fans to immediately voice their displeasure if a player has a bad game. The fact is that pro athletes are under more scrutiny now than they ever have been before.

Under the microscope

As is the case with other people in the public eye, the more successful you are at what you do, the more attention you will get from fans and the media. Therefore, if you are the fourth outfielder or a middle relief pitcher for a baseball team, you do not have to worry about TMZ following you and reporting on your every move. The same goes for pro soccer players who are defenders. The fans and media tend to focus their attention on the players who score the goals. So in that sense, it is possible for a pro athlete to have a private life. However, this is not the case if you are an elite level player.


January 29, 2014

Deniece Cornejo Meme

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Vhong Navarro’s recent misfortune has been trending as of late. Along with this, formerly under the radar model, Deniece Milinette Cornejo has also gained notoriety. It’s nasty business, with either side telling a different story. On one end, we hear of the girl inviting the boy over to her place at 11pm. On another, we hear of how the girl was s**ually assaulted prompting her guy friends to pounce and defend her supposedly purloined dignity.

Since this news has erupted, people have voiced out different opinions, majority of which tend to lean on Navarro’s side. What is most amusing however is how netizens have chosen to react. Apart from choice words, several memes have popped out online, ranging from laugh out loud funny to roll all over the floor hilarious.

First off, there is a photo of Deniece before and after getting obvious facial ‘improvements’. The humor doesn’t stop from there however, as soon, another meme featuring Liam Neeson’s now iconic call from the hit movie ‘Taken’ – ‘I will find you and I will kill you’ hits online. Then there’s another with Angel Locsin and Maja Salvador who appear to be incensed at Cornejo. But what seems to really top it all are three more memes - one with Pacquiao, another with a WWE wrestler (sorry wrestling fans for not knowing his name) and still another with the drunk guy from the news who orders bulalo from a bakery.

The law system being what it is, this legal hullaballoo of he said, she said will last for months so why not get a few laughs out of the whole thing? It’s genius, I say! If you can’t insult someone enough – make a meme and laugh. Ha.

January 29, 2014

Three Hot Books Make Exceptional Films For 2014

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Ben Affleck, Gone Girl

Whether a member of a book club, movie club, or book-to-movie club, terrific book titles are being released as films in 2014. While some clubs may have already read a few of these titles to appear on the big screen, some may not. What better way to jump-start the 2014 film season than to read the book first then see your favorite stars in the film version. Better yet, clubs can buy books in bulk cheap through popular book wholesalers that offer bulk books for sale to retail outlets and educational institutions. Some book wholesalers offer discounts on orders even as low as 25 books. But first, a sneak peak at books-to-movies being released this year. Each recap includes basic storyline and major actors to appear. Brief descriptions may help determine if a particular bulk books for sale title is right for your club.

Read It First Before Watching On the Big Screen
  • Gone Girl: This New York Times bestseller by Gillian Flynn portrays the story of Amy and Nick Dunne who, on the eve of celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, the wife goes missing. A mystery thriller extraordinaire, all elements seem to suggest husband Nick is the killer yet is he really? Suspenseful and poignant, the book has received accolades from such notables as Time Magazine, The New York Times, and People Magazine, among others. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star in the film.
  • The Monuments Men: Based on a true story by authors Robert Edsel and Bret Witter, this book and movie by the same title portray an elite force of British and American historians, curators, and museum directors who risk their lives during WWII to save art (and therefore culture) from Hitler and the Nazi’s destruction. A natural thriller in its own right, the all-star cast includes George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett.
  • The Fault in Our Stars: Named Time Magazine’s top fiction book of 2012, John Green’s book about Hazel, a 16-year-old cancer patient struggling with stage-four cancer and depression, finds solace in a cancer support group. She slowly discovers a deeper and richer support through meeting fellow cancer sufferer, Augustus Waters, however. Together they forge an unlikely romance that is gritty, witty and blissful, buttressing each other collectively and individually in their battle against cancer. Stars include Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgor, Nat Wolff, and Willem Defoe.
  • The Giver: A story about a young boy, Jonas, who seemingly lives in a perfect world without pain or violence. Yet as the boy matures, a calling of sorts by the giver reveals a story within a story from the past which is anything but pain free. Stunning and provocative, this book by author Lois Lowry hosts some big name actors in the film version: Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Swift, and Alexander Skarsgard, to name a few.
  • Divergent: Young Adult novels are having their way with readers and audiences alike. This story by author Veronica Roth tells the tale of Beatrice Prior, a teen with a remarkable mind. An authoritarian leader seeks to snuff Beatrice out, however, threatening her life and all those like her in this first release of a three-part series.
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January 28, 2014

Maintaining Your Automobile

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man fixing his vehicle

Every automobile should be equipped with the proper lights as mandated by law. First and foremost, lights are used for road safety. Proper light bulbs should provide sufficient illumination on the road as dictated by the department of motor vehicle in each state of the United States. For example, headlights at high beam should illuminate the road for at least several hundred feet in dark conditions. For safety reasons, all of the lights of a car need to be regularly checked and replaced when not working properly. For example, one single burnt headlight can cause dangerous situations by making the other headlight appear as it the turn signal is on.

Tail lights and license plate lights should also be working properly for safety reasons. When braking or parking, the lights in the rear of a vehicle should emit a mandatory illumination that goes through amber colored housings. Improper brake lights can send the wrong messages on the road and lead to some serious accidents and other unpleasant traffic situations.

Drivers should replace the headlights of their vehicles every few years. It is easy to shop for High Intensity Discharge, Halogen and Xenon headlights that are available at online auto shops. When selecting light bulbs for headlights, it is important to understand the different wattage ratings. A headlight that is too powerful for a vehicle can burn out some of the electrical fuses under the hood. Modern headlights are also available in a variety of color temperatures such as deep blue.
January 26, 2014

Budget Tips Keep Cars Tip-Top

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Too often, car buyers fail to recognize the hidden costs of staying on the road, leading to debt problems for consumers who cannot keep pace with car costs.  Before you buy a car, or make other long-term financial commitments, it is important to capture all the potential expenses tied to your purchase, so you can accurately determine what you can afford.

The original purchase price of your car is a significant starting point for determining its overall cost, but it is only the beginning of a series of expenses associated with buying cars.  Financing, for example, requires interest payments and fees beyond the price of your car, adding to its overall cost.

Insurance adds to motoring expenses too, issued to protect against personal injury and property damage.  Even petrol is cause for consideration, adding substantial sums to the total cost of staying on the road.

Accounting for all of your projected driving costs is hard enough when all things remain equal, but there are also unknown wild-card expenses on the horizon for car owners, since it is hard to value repair and maintenance costs ahead of time.  A payday loan could allow you to keep your car on the road by providing additional funds to cover the cost of unexpected repairs etc.

One thing is sure though:  Staying ahead of your car's upkeep is a more cost effective approach in the long run than letting things get away from you - only to take on high repair bills later.

Basic Recommendations from Car Makers
Cars require the same basic treatment to operate efficiently, though some car makers add specific care and maintenance instructions to the standard protocol.  No matter which make you drive, cars rely on precise tolerances to run well, so following upkeep schedules is the best way to ensure trouble-free operation.

Combustion engines use strictly tuned parts to fire properly, many times creating metal on metal junctions where car parts wear.  In order to protect against abrasion and friction causing premature failure, cars required lubricants, which act as buffers between parts, greasing them in functional unity. Pistons and rings, for example, rely on motor oil to keep them firing in sequence and creating the highest levels of horsepower possible.


January 21, 2014

How to Save Money When Buying a Car

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The main thing a buyer has to remember when buying a car in 2014 is that the dealer definitely has the advantage. In the automobile market, the seller has the upper hand. That is why the potential buyer needs to come to the dealership prepared with as much information as possible. In this case, knowledge is power.

Naturally, the first step is establishing a fair and accurate price for the car you want to buy. For used cars, the search begins by consulting a Kelly Blue Book or N.A.D.A., both well-trusted references. The prices listed on these sites may not be the price that will be offered on a lot. Seasons of the year can effect pricing (convertibles, for example sell better in the summer), or scheduled part replacement, or lack thereof, can make a difference in what is offered. Also available online are special downloadable “Packages” for specific vehicle purchases that allege to make available all the information for pricing specific types and models of cars.

The next thing a smart car buyer will do is to get as many quotes as possible on the car in which he is interested. Once again, the more information received the better the chances of getting a majorly lower price. This can be done by visiting local car dealers’ lots, or by using the internet on sites such as edmunds.com and carsdirect.com. There are others sites as well, just search “get a free automobile price quote”. There is no need to inform on the questionnaire whether you are trading in a car, or what type of financing you will be using. You will need to give your correct contact information, however, or you will not get an answer from the site. In specific cases it also makes sense to contact auto brokers, who specialize in negotiating fair deals on cars one such company is Interstate Auto Buyers, but searching online will reveal several similar companies.


January 19, 2014

Critics Choice Awards 2014

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Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years of Slave Movie
    Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup / Platt in 12 Years of Slave Movie

The recently concluded Critic’s Choice Awards hugely follows, for the most part, the list of winners from the Golden Globes. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto still bagged the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor (Drama) respectively. Frozen is still Best Animated Feature Film both Amy Adams and Leonardo di Caprio are still Best Actor and Actress for the Comedy or Musical category.

There are actually a slew of similarities between the two awards night but the most significant win for the season was for ’12 Years a Slave’. The movie garnered several awards including Best Picture (the most prominent for the night), Best Supporting Actress for newcomer, Lupita Nyong’o and Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley. Not a bad turnout considering the film had a total of breathtaking 13 nominations.


American Hustle was also a huge success. With its 13 nominations as well and 4 wins, it was a phenomenal! The movie won Best Acting Ensemble, Best Makeup, Best Comedy and Best Supporting Actress. (as mentioned earlier).

The ever composed Cate Blanchett won- yet again an award and was most charming in her speech to her son. She thanked several people but turned to her son to quip and say to be thankful that ‘it is I and no Jasmine, who is your mother.’ (Jasmine is the character she plays in the film ‘Blue Jasmine’.) The reaction was hilarious.

The only let down for me, was the disposition of the host, Aisha Tyler. Perhaps it is because I am not a native English speaker, perhaps because I am not wholly familiar with the American culture, but I do think she was a sordidly boring host. She bombarded guests with tasteless jokes which nobody seemed to acknowledge. She would strike an occasional conversation with actors and actresses but never give her mic or allow other people to speak. One notable moment there was when she was with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson – rattling off questions and never allowing Rita or Tom the benefit of answering.

But let’s not sour the event. The awards night was brilliant and the actors and actresses dashing and fabulous.See the complete list of the nominees and winners below. Now, onto the next awards – this morning, January 19, Philippine time.

BEST PICTURE
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Saving Mr. Banks
*12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale – American Hustle
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
*Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford – All Is Lost

BEST ACTRESS
*Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Judi Dench – Philomena
Brie Larson – Short Term 12
Meryl Streep – August: Osage County
Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks

BEST SUPPORTING ACTORBarkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl – Rush
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
James Gandolfini – Enough Said
*Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Scarlett Johansson – Her
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
*Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey – Lee Daniels’ The Butler

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Asa Butterfield – Ender’s Game
*Adele Exarchopoulos – Blue Is the Warmest Color
Liam James – The Way Way Back
Sophie Nelisse – The Book Thief
Tye Sheridan – Mud

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
*American Hustle
August: Osage County
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Nebraska
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST DIRECTOR
*Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
Spike Jonze – Her
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Eric Singer and David O. Russell – American Hustle
Woody Allen – Blue Jasmine
*Spike Jonze – Her
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen – Inside Llewyn Davis
Bob Nelson – Nebraska

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Tracy Letts – August: Osage County
Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke – Before Midnight
Billy Ray – Captain Phillips
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope – Philomena
*John Ridley – 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
*Emmanuel Lubezki – Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel – Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael – Nebraska
Roger Deakins – Prisoners
Sean Bobbitt – 12 Years a Slave

BEST ART DIRECTION
Andy Nicholson (Production Designer), Rosie Goodwin (Set Decorator) – Gravity
*Catherine Martin (Production Designer), Beverley Dunn (Set Decorator) – The Great Gatsby
K.K. Barrett (Production Designer), Gene Serdena (Set Decorator) – Her
Dan Hennah (Production Designer), Ra Vincent (Set Decorator) – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Adam Stockhausen (Production Designer), Alice Baker (Set Decorator) – 12 Years a Slave

BEST EDITING
Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers – American Hustle
Christopher Rouse – Captain Phillips
*Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger – Gravity
Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill – Rush
Joe Walker – 12 Years a Slave
Thelma Schoonmaker – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Michael Wilkinson – American Hustle
*Catherine Martin – The Great Gatsby
Bob Buck, Lesley Burkes-Harding, Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Daniel Orlandi – Saving Mr. Banks
Patricia Norris – 12 Years a Slave

BEST MAKEUP
*American Hustle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Rush
12 Years a Slave

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
*Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
Star Trek into Darkness

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
*Frozen
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

BEST ACTION MOVIE
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Iron Man 3
*Lone Survivor
Rush
Star Trek into Darkness

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Henry Cavill – Man of Steel
Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man 3
Brad Pitt – World War Z
*Mark Wahlberg – Lone Survivor

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE
*Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Evangeline Lilly – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Gwyneth Paltrow – Iron Man 3

BEST COMEDY
*American Hustle
Enough Said
The Heat
This Is the End
The Way Way Back
The World’s End

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Christian Bale – American Hustle
*Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
James Gandolfini – Enough Said
Simon Pegg – The World’s End
Sam Rockwell – The Way Way Back

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
*Amy Adams – American Hustle
Sandra Bullock – The Heat
Greta Gerwig – Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Enough Said
Melissa McCarthy – The Heat

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE
The Conjuring
*Gravity
Star Trek into Darkness
World War Z

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
*Blue Is the Warmest Color
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Past
Wadjda

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Act of Killing
Blackfish
Stories We Tell
Tim’s Vermeer
*20 Feet from Stardom

BEST SONG
Atlas – Coldplay – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Happy – Pharrell Williams – Despicable Me 2
*Let It Go – Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez – Frozen
Ordinary Love – U2 – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Please Mr. Kennedy – Justin Timberlake/Oscar Isaac/Adam Driver – Inside Llewyn Davis
Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Rey – The Great Gatsby

BEST SCORE
*Steven Price – Gravity
Arcade Fire – Her
Thomas Newman – Saving Mr. Banks
Hans Zimmer – 12 Years a Slave

Joel Siegel Award
*Forest Whitaker

Louis XIII Genius Award
*Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater for trilogy Before Sunrise, Before Sunsetand Before Midnight

Hollywood's Hottest Star
*Benedict Cumberbatch


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January 15, 2014

Asia's Next Top Model 2

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Asia's Next Top Model, ANTM, Katarina Rodriguez, Jodilly Ignacio Pendre


The Philippines was one step away from the coveted title of Asia’s Next Top Model in the first season. Stephanie Retuya was runner up to Thailand but now that the reality show is back, will the Philippines win this time? This season has no less than two Filipina contestants, so there are double chances of winning. I wonder if our recent lucky streak will continue when it comes to beauty shows.

Jodilly Pendre and Katarina Rodriguez are the Philippine bets to the Tyra Banks franchise, Asia’s Next Top Model or AsNTM. Dubbed by the local press as ‘the morena’ and ‘the mestiza’, each candidate brings a unique quality to the table. Jodilly Pendre, is younger between the two but at 20 years old, she already has had several modeling gigs under her belt. Katarina Rodriguez, on the other hand is a Filipina American who moved to the Philippines barely a year ago. She is a year older than Jodilly but has had no modeling experience yet – which unfortunately shows – based on the recent episode that was aired last January 8.


Asia’s Next Top Model is a show that is based on the American reality show, America’s Next Top Model. It has been reinvented in several different countries but only found its way to Asia last year. It is hosted by Nadya Hutagalung with Joey Mead King and Mike Rosenthal.

The second season began a week ago and has signed onto 13 episodes whereupon we will know who Asia’s Next Top Model will be. (Hopefully a Filipina!)

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January 15, 2014

4 Mini Video Cameras that can make you Feel like a Real Spy

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Everyone loves a good action movie, and there is nothing better than the cool spy gadgets the main character gets to use to stay under the radar. While many people only dream of using these cool spy-gear devices, others have found that the technology exists, and not too far off from the movies. If you or your child is highly intrigued by spy gear and mini security cameras, a mini video camera may be the perfect gift to help them feel like a real spy.

Finger-Sized Camcorder

A miniature camcorder is one of the coolest gadgets spies in the movies ever carry. This real-life technology can be both fun, and useful for security purposes. A finger-sized video camera is easy to carry around, allowing you to film and capture audio and video very inconspicuously. These mini video camera devices also often come equipped with adjustable lenses allowing you to pivot the view finder at any number of angles, and allowing you to film events or people without being noticed. The viewing screens on these devices now make it easier to play-back footage, while conserving the battery life of the camera itself. With the ability to add a timer to the camera, or turn on motion-sensing features, you or your child will feel even more stealthy and spy-like as they capture video at specific times and locations.

Mini Snake Camera

A miniature snake camera is pretty similar to what it sounds like. The device is often attached to a bendable wire, giving the lens a 360 degree range. These bendable mini cameras can be hidden easily, or even attached to the individual who is filming. The wires can be tucked away discreetly giving the wearer the feeling that they are just like a real spy or a spy in all of the famous movies. The miniature snake camera is often quite affordable and offers features like high resolution video and the option of recording in color with audio capturing. This camera is a favorite of the want-to-be spy, and can also be very helpful in capturing audio and video for security purposes.

Miniature Night Vision Camera

What can be more fun to a spy-in-training than capturing video using a night vision camera? These devices are often used as security cameras, and can be mounted to a structure like a home, fence, mailbox, or other solid fixture. The built-in sensors automatically select light settings that are optimum for filming in dark areas. Not only will you feel like a real spy as you watch back the footage that was captured over night, but the videos may come in handy if real crimes or suspicious activities took place in the area the camera captured.

Mountable Mini Cam

A mountable miniature camera is a very useful device that can be used in a number of places. From mounting them in your car to putting them in your home, these easy to use cameras are often chosen for their quality recording abilities and their affordable costs. Some mountable mini cams can be purchased for less than 50 dollars, and give you the ability to record at the touch of the button. Whether you child wants to pretend to be a spy, or you need an affordable option for securing your vehicle, these security cameras serve a number of both practical and fun purposes.
January 14, 2014

Golden Globes 2014

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Matthew McConaughey


Last year, I wrote about the shocking weight loss Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto had to undergo for the movie, Dallas Buyers Club. Movie fans were quick to pile one negative feedback after another, concerned about the drastic weight loss. It seems now that the award season is upon us, these two Hollywood heavyweights have the last laugh. Just a few hours ago during the Golden Globe awards, McConaughey and Leto each won Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture respectively. This spells sweet success for each actor who spent countless hours to look gaunt – just to look the part.

Other big winners that night which will certainly grab the Filipino’s attention is the Holiday-themed, animation hit, ‘Frozen’. Prior to bagging the Best Animated Feature Film, ‘Frozen’ had already captured hearts with its adorable characters, Olaf and Hans and sisters Elsa and Anna. ‘Frozen’ was also nominated for Best Original Song but lost to a movie on the late Nelson Mandela. ‘American Hustle’ is also on top of the list with Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Supporting Actress, Amy Adams as Best Actress and the movie itself as Best Picture.

Not to be outdone, ‘Breaking Bad’ took home honors as Best Television Drama with Bryan Cranston as the Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series (Drama). Aaron Paul was also nominated but lost to Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie’s father, for ‘Ray Donovan’.

For the complete list, check out the winners written in bold below:

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine 
**Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle**
Lupita N'yongo, 12 Years a Slave 
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County 
June Squibb, Nebraska

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

**Jacqueline Bisset, Dancing on the Edge**
Janet McTeer, White Queen
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Monica Potter, Parenthood
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

American Horror Story: Coven
**Behind The Candelabra**
Dancing on the Edge
Top of the Lake
White Queen


BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

**Breaking Bad**
Downton Abbey
The Good Wife
House Of Cards
Masters Of Sex


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

**Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad**
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
James Spader, The Blacklist

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

**Alex Ebert, All Is Lost**
Alex Heffes, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom 
Steven Price, Gravity 
John Williams, The Book Thief 
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years A Slave

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE

Atlas, Hunger Games: Catching Fire 
Let It Go, Frozen 
**Ordinary Love, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom**
Please Mr Kennedy, Inside Llewyn Davis 
Sweeter Than Fiction, One Chance

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Rob Lowe, Behind the Candelabra
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Corey Stoll, House of Cards
**Jon Voight, Ray Donovan**

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

**Amy Adams, American Hustle** 
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha 
Julia Dreyfus, Enough Said 
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is The New Black
Kerry Washington, Scandal
**Robin Wright,House Of Cards**


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips 
Daniel Bruhl, Rush 
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle 
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
**Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club**

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

**Her**
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years A Slave
American Hustle


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Blue is the Warmest Color
**The Great Beauty**
The Hunt
The Past
The Wind Rises

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
**Frozen**


BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

**12 Years A Slave**
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena
Rush


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

**Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine** 
Sandra Bullock, Gravity 
Judi Dench, Philomena 
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks 
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave 
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips 
**Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club**
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

**American Hustle**
Her
Inside Lleywn Davis
Nebraska
The Wolf Of Wall Street


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Christian Bale, American Hustle 
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
**Leonardo DiCaprio, 
The Wolf of Wall Street** 
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

**Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity** 
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips 
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave 
Alexander Payne, Nebraska 
David O. Russell, American Hustle

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

The Big Bang Theory
**Brooklyn Nine-Nine**
Girls
Modern Family
Parks & Recreation


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
**Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation**


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
**Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine**


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Rebecca Ferguson, White Queen
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
**Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake**

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
**Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra**

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

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January 14, 2014

Movie Review: Captain Phillips

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Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks

Only a few movies can succeed while revolving around a small cast but Captain Phillips is pulling it off well. You don’t even have to know someone from the Marine industry to understand and relate to the story. The build-up of suspense is enough and the tension is very real.

Tom Hanks, once again, shines in this movie. The A-lister is very effective as a stoic, calm and collected leader of the ship, Maersk Alabama. The rest of the ship’s crew, the Somali hijackers and the NAVY seal provide excellent backdrops to the drama as it unfolds. Capt. Phillips is a true to life documentary of the hijacking that happened in 2009. The Maersk Alabama was commandeered by Somali pirates despite valiant efforts to keep it from happening. The quick thinking crew, the small maneuvers and even the covert advice of

Captain Phillips keep the audience engaged. It is a relief to watch a movie where the characters are proactive and not just accepting of their fate.

The Somali actors also need special mention. The casting director’s choice of actors made the movie more realistic and alive. The Somali pirates have not been presented as mere menacing and hardened individuals. A few brief shots of where they are from and the kind of live they lead make them more human and also make the audience relent to them…a little. After all, poverty is no excuse for violence, is it? One thing to be remembered as well is a small scene where Hanks tells the pirate leader he didn’t have to do all these (pertaining to the crime) but got an answer that in his land, he had no choice. A few Google clicks away and you’ll be surprised to find that the Somalian’s ages ranged from 16-20. This knowledge somehow puts them under a new light…at least for me.

The only negative thing I have to say about the film is the small part that Catherine Keener had to play as Tom Hank’s wife. She barely has a few minutes airtime; she might as well have been replaced by an extra. It’s simply a waste of talent to cast someone of her caliber and not use her acting chops. All in all however, Capt. Phillips is a surprisingly great film and one which will be bound to win or at least get nominated in several awards.

You can check-out the trailer below here also:

January 12, 2014

Important Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping Online

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It has never been easier to shop, but remember, just as you don't need to leave your home to go shopping, cyber thieves don't need to leave theirs either. Stay one step ahead with these tips on how to reduce the risks while online shopping.

shopping online


Check the website looks like the real deal.

Fake websites are one of the main dangers to falling prey to identity theft.  Some criminals will go to great lengths to steal your hard earned cash, even designing look-a-like websites teasing you to make a purchase and hand over your vital identity and banking digits. For this reason, if you are at all unsure about the website you are visiting, it's best to avoid making a purchase. Also you should be especially suspicious about links you receive within emails, which can lead you to fake websites.

Only shop from a secured connection

Typing in your credit card details while using a public Wi-Fi connection exposes you to the risk of your details being stolen. To reduce the risk, by all means use unsecured connections to window shop, but leave the actual transaction until you get home where you can be sure the connection is secured.

Only buy from an SSL secured website

If a website is secured it means that information that is stored is far less likely to be stolen or intercepted by unwanted eavesdroppers. You can usually tell if a website is secured because the beginning of its URL in the address browser is highlighted as green.  You may also see a padlock icon which is another reassuring sign. Websites secure themselves by acquiring an SSL certificate which encrypts them to a recognized industry standard.  There are several providers and products, with many online stores choosing to install Thawte SSL Certificates which provide the most visible package so that shoppers know immediately that their site is a safe place to shop.  If you are curious on how this software works you can check on line for an SSL product overview.


Shop with your credit card

It is advisable to shop with your credit card rather than your debit card if you can avoid it. This is mainly because if you are the unfortunate victim of identity theft, you have a higher chance of getting your money back with a credit card. With a debit card, the money comes straight out of your account so it is far harder to remedy the situation. Many credit cards provide insurance of some kind against identity theft as well which helps. But if you report a theft after more than a day or two, you are unlikely to see your money again even if you used a credit card.

Check your statements

Lastly, make it regular practice to check your online bank account. This will help you to keep track of what purchases are being made and when. If you see large amounts of money being used on expensive items that you or another card holder is unlikely to have made, contact your credit or debit card company immediately and cancel the card without delay.

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