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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Top 10 Christmas Books

Book is always a great gift for kids for Christmas. But with so many books to choose from you probably don't want to spend the whole day in Barns and Noble or Amazon. I have found an interesting site called Family Education that list the top 10 Christmas Book for your kids of different ages. This should save you some time if you ever want to put a Christmas book under the tree or in the socks.

Here they are:

  1. Letters from Father Christmas(for all ages): letters from Father Christmas about activities at the North Pole and those who lived there.
  2. The Polar Express(ages 4-8): young boy on the trip to North Pole with Santa Claus. An animated film was made from the book.
  3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe(ages 9-adult): little girl and her siblings stumble into an old wardrobe while palying hide-and-seek. The movie is on third week of release.
  4. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever(ages 8-12)
  5. A Christmas Carol(for all ages): Charles Dicken's classic. Many movies were made from this classis including a muppet version in 1992.
  6. The Nutcracker(ages 4-12): another classic by E.T.A. Hoffmann.
  7. My Father's Angel(ages 3-6): illustrations of angels standing ready for situations.
  8. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree(ages 3-8): want to know what happens to Mr. Willowby's big Christmas Tree?
  9. Spirit Child: A Story of the Nativity(ages 6-12): a 400 year old book from Aztec.
  10. Molly's Surprise: A Christmas Story(ages 8-12)

Find Christmas Book on for half the price

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Top 10 Christmas Tree

Christmas weekend is coming and many of you probably have already decorate your front yards and living rooms with lights and Christmas trees. Ever wondering what kind of trees are preferred by everyone? The website has listed the top 10 most popular Christmas Tree in North America. Here they are:
  1. Fraser Fir: excellent needle retention with nice scent.
  2. Douglas Fir: persistant needle and sweet scent when crushed. The tree is found in nearly every tree lot in United States.
  3. Balsam Fir: short, flat, long-lasting and armatic needles. The tree itself is very fragrant.
  4. Colorado Blue Spruce: solid living, pleasingly symmetrical
  5. Scotch Pine: most planted commercial Christmas tree in North America; long lasting aroma.
  6. Eastern Red Cedar: regional favorite of the South; drak, shiny, green and armatic needles
  7. White Spruce: regional favorite in northeast US and Canada; crushed needles have unpleasant ordor.
  8. Eastern White Pine: good needles retention but has little fragrance
  9. White Fir/Concolor Fir: nice aroma and good needle retention.
  10. Virginia Pine: tolerates warmer temperature; popular in Southeastern United States.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Top 10 Shopping Malls of the World

November to December is not only called the holiday season but also called the shopping season. People rush to shopping malls close by to get gifts for others or for their own. Not only to buy gifts, people go to shopping malls just to enjoy the holiday atmosphere.

Indeed shopping malls have become part of the lifestyle of millions of people in United States. To make people stay longer, companys have built bigger and fancier shopping malls. Recently opened Victoria Gardens, a open style shopping mall with 110 shops including three department stores in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, has amazed me with beautiful lanscaping and downtown like shopping atmosphere. As a result we end up spending minimum of 2 hours in the mall. However the mall is considered tiny compare to the world's second largest shopping mall, West Edmonton Mall in Canada which includes indoor wave pool with beach, amusement park with rollar coasters and large water tank with submarine ride, which I visited few years ago.

So ever wondering what's the biggest mall of the world? Have you visited any of them yet? And are any of them in nearby cities or even in the Unites States? Here's the list of the world's largest shopping malls according to shopping areas from the studies conducted by Eastern Connecticut University.
  1. Golden Resources Shopping Mall(Beijing, China) : the largest mall in the world has 6 million square feet of shopping areas, equivalent to 100 football fields. The 6 level shopping mall was opened last year with more than 1000 stores.
  2. West Edmonton Mall(Alberta, Canada): held the title for the largest mall in the world for 20 years but is still the largest shopping mall in North America with 3.8 million square feet of shopping spaces. The mall was opened in 1990 with 800 shops and water park, amusement park, indoor lake, aquarium, mini golf and ice ring.
  3. Beijing Mall(Beijing, China): the 3.4 million square feet mall in China was opened this year with 600 shops on four level of shopping with residences.
  4. Grandview Mall(Guangzhou, China): With three out of four world's top shopping malls from China, now you should know why people call China the next world's largest market. The mall in Guanzhou, southern China was opened this year with 3 million square feet of shopping area.
  5. South Coast Plaza(Costa Mesa, CA, USA): largest shopping mall in United States since 1967 with 2.7 million square feet of shopping area and 280 stores.
  6. Aricanduva Mall(Sao Paulo, Brazil): largest mall in South America with 2.6 million square feet of shopping space. Built in 1991 the mall has total of 534 shops.
  7. Mall of America(Bloomington, MN, USA): largest mall in United States in terms of total area (4.2 million square feet). The shopping area is about 2.5 million square feet with 520 shops. The 1992 built mall also has theme park, underwater aquarium and museums.
  8. Mall of the Emirates(Dubai, United Arab Emirates): the largest mall in Middle East with 2.4 million square feet and 350 shops built this year.
  9. Danbury Fair Mall(Danbury, Connecticut, USA): a 1.5 million square feet shopping mall with 250 shops.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Top 10 TV Shows

Ever wondering what everyone is watching? Are you watching the shows everybody else is wathcing? Actually there is a company called Nielsen Media Research who keeps track of the most watched shows every week. Here's the list of the top 10 tv shows last week.
  1. CSI(CBS) - 18.8% - 30.9 million
  2. Without A Trace(CBS) - 13.9% - 21.7 million
  3. 60 Minutes(CBS) - 12.4% - 19.7 million
  4. Survivor: Guatemala Finale(CBS) - 11.9% - 21.2 million
  5. Survivor: Guatemala(CBS) - 11.6% - 20.2 million
  6. Law And Order: SVU(NBC) - 10.8% - 16.3 million
  7. CSI: Miami(CBS) - 10.2% - 15.3 million
  8. E.R.(NBC) - 10.1% - 15.3 million
  9. Grey's Anatomy(ABC) - 10.1% - 15.7 million
  10. NFL Monday Night Football(ABC) - 9.9% - 15.1 million

According to the list looks like CBS is the clear winner.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Top 10 Movie Series of All Time

Whenever there's a big blockbuster movie hit, film companys always want to duplicate the success by making the second or the third movie and makes it a series. However a successful first movie doesn't automatically transfer to a successful sequel and may even turn out to be a bust.

Here we list the top 10 all time movie series in terms of total gross sales, we left out the movie series which has any one of its movie not listed in the all time top 150 movie list.
  1. Star Wars - 6 movies - $2.18 billions
  2. Harry Potter - 4 Movies - $1.07 billions
  3. Lord of the Rings - 3 Movies - $1.03 billions
  4. Batman - 4 Movies - $803 millions
  5. Spider Man - 2 Movies - $777 millions
  6. Jurassic Park - 3 Movies - $767 millions
  7. Shrek - 2 Movies - $708 millions
  8. Indiana Jones - 3 Movies - $619 millions
  9. Man in Black - 2 Movies - $441 millions
  10. Toy Story - 2 Movies - 437 millions

Monday, December 12, 2005

Top 10 Movies of All Time in Gross Sales

You probably have bring your family at least twice this year to see bit hits this year such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Chronicles of Naria: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe or Chicken Little. With gross sales of these big movies kept hitting tens and hundreds of millions have you ever wondering if these movie are at the all time box office top 10?

Well according to the All Time Box Office Chart from Yahoo here is the list of the all time best movies in terms of gross sales:
  1. Titanic ($600,788,188): It's not the tragic sinking of the giantic ship Titanic that made this James Cameron's production a mega hit but the love story between Jack and Rose.
  2. Star Wars ($460,998,007): The first movie of the successful sci-fi series from George Lucas which sits at the top of the all time high for 20 years until Titanic took over in 1997.
  3. Shrek 2 ($441,226,247): The second movie of the not-your-typical-prince-and-princess live-happily-ever-after fairy tale Shrek.
  4. ET the Extra-Terrestrial ($435,110,554): Steven Spielberg directed this world-wide movie phenomenon regarding an adventure of a friendly extra terrestrial and a little boy who tried to help the alian get back home. The ET ride was one of the most famous ride in Universal Studio.
  5. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace ($431,088,301): the second trilogy of George Lucas's Star War empire. Eager Star War fans waited 17 years so see the story of the young Anakin Skywalker who later became the famous Darth Vader.
  6. Spider-Man ($403,706,375): Nobody can replace Tobey Maquire as the best fit to for the heroic Spider-Man.
  7. Start Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith ($380,270,577): so now you know why George Lucas is probably one of the best film makers. Three film on all time top 10 and all of the Star War series are on all time top 25. This is the last film of second Star War Trilog with a darker ending.
  8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($377,027,325): Peter Jackson successfully brings the famous fantasy series into the movie theaters. The trilogy has been a blockbuster hit with all three films on all time top 20.
  9. Spider-Man 2 ($373,585,825): Again the heroic Spider-Man saves citizens in New York City as well as Sony Pictures.
  10. The Passion of the Christ ($370,782,930): Mel-Gibson successfully brings the well-known bible story life regrading the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ. This becomes a must-watch film for many Christians around the world.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Top 10 Gadget for the Holiday

Don't know what to get for the holiday? Here's the top hot gadgets that you should be getting for the holiday.
  1. Microsoft Xbox 360 (Game Console): Poweful home entertainment system from Microsoft with 3.2 MHz CPU and 20G hard drive. The high definition games will bring home entertainment to a new era.
  2. Apple iPod Nano (MP3 Player): If everybody is getting one, maybe you should get one too before even your neighbor's dog gets one.
  3. Motorola Razr V3 Cell Phone (Cell Phone): stylish cell phone highly rated by many sites
  4. Sony PSP (Handheld Entertainment)
  5. Canon PowerShot S500 (Digital Camera)
  6. Palm Treo 650 (PDA)
  7. i-Dog (Toy)
  8. Archos Gmini 402 (Poket Multimedia Center)
  9. Sling Media Slingbox
  10. Sirius S50 Portable Satellite Radio/MP3 Player

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Top 10 High Growing Housing Market

The housing market is probabaly enjoying one of the biggest red hot growth. Triggerred by record low mortgage rate, people are buying real estate as if they are shopping in dollar stores. Although the red hot housing market has cooled down a bit recently, the price appreciation for houses in hot real estate markets for past few years were just overwhelming. Many home owners who bought the houses at least for two or three years have seen their home prices doubled and some of them even trippled.

My colleague who bought a house in Diamond Bar, California, one of the hottest market has seen his home value doubled from $300,000 when he bought the houses two years ago to $650,000 earlier this year. Another friend of mine who bought his house seven years ago in Fontana, San Bernardino County, California, one of the top 10 high growing housing market, is enjoying a monsterous appreciation from $130,000 to above $450,000.

The national median price of a home was $212,000 in September, 2005 up 13% from year ago. Please note that the media home price is just the national average and if you take a look at the top 10 high growing housing market from early last year to first quarter this year you will see why everyone is now talking abou the possible housing bubble.

The top 10 high growing housing market is listed according to the percentage increase and includes the current median housing price.

  1. Bradenton, Florida - 45.6% - $275,100
  2. Sarasota, Florida - 36% - $326,300
  3. West Palm Beach, Florida - 35.9% - $362,800
  4. Riverside/San Bernardino, California - 32.6% - $343,400
  5. Ft. Launderdale/Hollywood/Pompano Beach, Florida - 31.8% - $320,700
  6. Las Vegas, Nevada - 29.4% - $291,000
  7. Melbourne, Florida - 29.3% - $184,000
  8. Orlando, Florida - 28.7% - $194,400
  9. Miami, Florida - 28.4% - $315,700
  10. Ocala, Florida - 27% - $122,200

Looking at the list, have you notice the interesting trend that I've noticed? That's right not only all top 10 high growing housing market are in southern part of United States but also 80% of them are in the state of Florida. These places have warmer climate and are probabaly attracting the baby boomers who are now reaching the retirement age. So if you haven't bought a house and are condering getting one, find the ones that baby boomers would like.