IMDB Top 100 movies

Saw this on 43things.com. It’s voted by people like us.

Complete list at IMDB Top 250 movies.

Bold means watched.

1. The Godfather (1972)
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

5. Shichinin no samurai (1954)
6. Schindler’s List (1993)
7. Casablanca (1942)
8. Pulp Fiction (1994)
9. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
10. Star Wars (1977)

11. Buono, il brutto, il cattivo ll (1966)
12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
13. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

14. Rear Window (1954)
15. Cidade de Deus (2002)
16. The Usual Suspects (1995)
17. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

18. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
19. 12 Angry Men (1957)
20. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
21. Citizen Kane (1941)
22. C’era una volta il West (1968)
23. Memento (2000)
24. Psycho (1960)

25. Goodfellas (1990)
26. North by Northwest (1959)
27. Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, Le (2001)
28. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
29. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
30. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
31. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
32. American Beauty (1999)
33. Fight Club (1999)
34. The Matrix (1999)

35. Vertigo (1958)
36. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
37. Apocalypse Now (1979)
38. Taxi Driver (1976)
39. Paths of Glory (1957)
40. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
41. The Pianist (2002)
42. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
43. Se7en (1995)
44. Léon (1994)
45. Untergang, Der (2004)
46. The Third Man (1949)
47. Chinatown (1974)
48. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
49. American History X (1998)

50. Boot, Das (1981)
51. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
52. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
53. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
54. L.A. Confidential (1997)
55. M (1931)
56. Rashômon (1950)
57. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
58. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
59. Modern Times (1936)
60. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
61. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
62. Alien (1979)
63. Sin City (2005)
64. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

65. All About Eve (1950)
66. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
67. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

68. Double Indemnity (1944)
69. Raging Bull (1980)
70. Some Like It Hot (1959)
71. Metropolis (1927)
72. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
73. Crash (2004)
74. The Shining (1980)

75. Vita è bella, La (1997)
76. The Incredibles (2004)
77. City Lights (1931)
78. Aliens (1986)
79. Amadeus (1984)
80. The Great Escape (1963)
81. The Sting
82. Touch of Evil (1958)
83. Rebecca (1940)
84. On the Waterfront (1954)
85. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
86. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
87. Kill Bill: Vol.1 (2003)
88. Ran (1985)
89. The Apartment (1960)
90. Jaws (1975)
91. Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
92. Strangers on a Train (1957)
93. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
94. Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1989)
95. The Great Dictator (1940)
96. Donnie Darko (2001)
97. Braveheart (1995)
98. Forrest Gump (1994)
99. Fargo (1996)
100. Finding Nemo (2003)

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Who needs iLife?

Remember when the Internet bubble burst? Well, it’s back and better than ever. The new hot trend is called as a Web 2.0 that is a mixture of dhtml, CSS and Ajax. They are well-designed, functional and useful, well, for most of the time anyway.

Gone are the days of walking to a Best Buy store, taking a stroll in the software aisle, and getting your greasy hands on a plastic box that wraps the software inside and then you carry it under your arm to a checkout. Oh wait, that’s prehistoric, during the Windows 3.xx/95 time. I mean get a broadband connection, find files to be downloaded, install them, only to find that you have successfully infected your computer with thousands of viruses or malware. Now you’re clueless because you’ve thrown away your $99 Windows Setup CD in the trash with that annoying AOL promotional CD (remember them?). Either you will have to walk back to Best Buy and buy another Windows CD or be stuck with a $2,000 computer that runs slower than Altair 8800.

Well, I’ve got good news for you. You don’t have to set foot in Best Buy or download malware files. There are applications that are web-based and all it requires is a web browser—I highly recommend Firefox–and you’re all set.

For calendaring, I use 30boxes.com.

For social bookmarking, I use del.icio.us.

For photo storing/sharing, I use flickr.com.

For planning or organizing trips/events, I use basecamp.com.

For online banking, I use bankofamerica.com.

For to-do lists, I use rememberthemilk.com.

For TV listings since I don’t have a tivo yet, I use evoketv.com.

For reading newspapers, I use news.google.com.

For emails, I use gmail.com, the world’s best email.

These are good to keep your life organized and to touch bases. Best of all, they are FREE. If you need a more specialized software like Adobe Photoshop or a decent HTML editor, well, you’ll need to install them.

Now, who needs iLife?

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“Flowers for Algernon”

While doing research on the cochler implant technology, I had a flashback of this book, called “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. I read this book in high school and was one of my favorite books. What’s cool about this book is that it’s written in the first-person narration when the main character, Charly, was asked to write a progress report. Since he was mentally retarded, he wrote on a elementary-level grammar writing and would misspell words. After he got a surgery, his grammar improved, so did his IQ and at one point, he was smarter than the scientists who did the surgery. But his emotions could not keep up with his rapidly growing intelligence, like finding out about who were his real friends as they would tease him when he was mentally retarded, and ofc there was a love plot as he fell in love with one woman. The book cannot be a book without any kind of drama, that his intellect was only temporary and he slowly drifted back to where he was before the surgery.

This book is one of my fave books I read in high school.

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“Open Water” DVD review

Abiding by this tip to make your blog a worthy time to read, here’s my movie review for Open Water DVD.

For about the first time in my life, my parents actually watched a movie before I did. I often would be the first one to say “Did you see that movie?” to my parents or vice versa and I would always reply “Yes, I’ve already watched that.” Sometimes my parents would get frustrated that I’d already watch the movie and lose some family quality time. Anyways, my parents suggested me to watch this movie and they said very good movie. So, I decided to take their suggestion after all. I thought it was going to be some kind of “Jaws” movie, from the look of the cover. But it never was one, far from that and wasn’t even done professionally. What do you call that movie with high-quality film? Panavision? Open Water movie was shot with a DV camera with only four people mostly. Two characters (husband and wife), director and his assistant, apparently. That’s what I learned from reading one of the reviews on the www. It was like a documentary movie but wasn’t shot this way, like you would see in the 9/11 Fahrenheit movie.

I guess I’m a little lazy to tell you the whole story as you can find all about it on other sites but I do want to make this point so that you can appreciate the movie somewhat a little more. At the end of the movie, I wasn’t even happy with the movie and thought I wasted a good five bucks that I rented at the blockbuster. (Yes, I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon to subscribe monthly yet). Before I reacted too harshly, I decided to read some members’ reviews around in the www to get a better understanding of the movie somewhat. That’s how I learned that this movie actually took two years and was shot with only four people. Two in front of camera and the other two in the back. What sets this movie apart from the Jaws movie was they interacted with REAL living flesh sharks. They weren’t fake or made up with CGI or have any kind of special effects. I suppose that’s what made this movie a bit special, if you will. Also, I think Americans aren’t used to this kind of movie that is too realistic and doesn’t have a happy ending. So, when you watch this movie, please keep in mind that it’s a documentary movie (meaning no awesome special effects like Jaws or CGI effects like the Perfect storm), was shot with real live sharks, and the constant up-and-down shots (like the Blair Witch project) to make you feel like you are in the sea with the actors. All in all, it’s no Oscars-award winning movie but it does teach you a lesson. Be SURE that you’re known to your tour guide and that they know you’re here so they won’t forget if you get missing. :-)

“Good-Bye To All That”

For about a week since, I have been reading this really mind-opening book called “A Short History of Nearly Everything.” by Bill Bryson. At first, I thought the author was joking about the title—how could you explain everything about Earth’s history and how we come in form in one book? I’m no scientist or geologist myself so I thought it’d be rather difficult reading this book but it’s surprisingly not. The sentences aren’t laden with all the technical words and the author did his best to give a brief background on each scientist that contributed to the history of Earth and us.

As I read through the book, I realize that this is not just a literary book but also a textbook cuz it has a lot of information with tons of theories, explanations, and names. It’s 100 times better than any science textbooks I’ve ever read in middle school or high school. In fact, the author criticized a lot about textbooks we used in secondary education. They were either already outdated or some theories were misinterpreted as proved by recent scientists. Anyway, back to the topic, I read a cool paragraph that summarized everything about Earth’s history. Imagine, Earth’s history in a single paragraph? Could you write like that? Bill Bryson did. Here’s the vivid paragraph.

“If you imagine the 4.5 billion odd years of Earth’s history compressed into a normal earthy day, then life begins very early, about 4 a.m. with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish, and the engimatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 pm, trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 pm, plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow.

Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 pm the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scence just before 11 pm and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. ” pp. 337

Ok ok, so it’s not one but two paragraphs–close enough but what about this next paragraph?

“Perhaps an even more effective way of grasping our extreme recentness as a part of this 4.5 billion-year old picture is to stretch your arms to their fullest extent and imagine that width as the entire history of the Earth. On this scale, according to John McPhee in Basin and Range, the distance from the fingertips of one hand to the wrist of the other is Precambrian. All of complex life is in one hand, “and in a single stroke with a medium-grained nail file you could eradicate human history.”

There you go, you have the entire Earth’s history right across your extended arms. Isn’t that better than what we were reading in HS science textbooks?

Before you start thinking about becoming 100 years old, our existence in Earth’s history is very SMALL, no more than a few seconds into Earth’s modified 24 hour history and can be easily wiped off with a nail file. Bill Bryson says that one certain thing about life is that it goes extinct. Nobody knows when but we all will become extinct. So, what do you do? Focus not on the length of your life but the width of your life. Try to make your life as wide as you can and you shall die a rich, fulfilling life. :-)

Before I end this post, average species last 4 million years. :-)

Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy

Since I’ve started working at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and getting steady paychecks, I’ve gotten become conscious of my cash flow. I want to be more financially responsible and grow my wealth. So I went to the Barnes and Noble bookstore and browsed through aisles. Found this bestseller and bought it. Man, I really learned a lot from this book—-common sense, advice, and wisdom make up the most part of this book. The book explains that being rich and being wealthy are not the same thing. It’s “Income vs. Consumption.” You may be earning more than 100k (only 5% of all Americans earn more than 100k) but you spend on a lot of things (consumption), such as 60 inch tv, fancy house, 2 or 3 different luxury cars, pool, and so on. These prevents you from becoming wealthy. You may look “rich” to your peers but inside, you’re really not.

The book has a formula of how wealthy you should be. (I left my book at home so I’ll look up the formula again) The big key to become wealthy is to “live below your means”. That means don’t overspend your income earning and try to have the widest margin between spending and saving as much as you can. The less you spend, the more you can save. Then your money begin to accumulate and build wealth. That’s all there is to it. But we are in the capitalism world and we’re surrounded by marketing—billboards, tv commercials, even competition with your peers who just bought a brand-new car or a big screen tv.

It also talks about Offense and Defense. We have to defend ourselves from those marketing pitfalls. Offense is accumulating wealth while defending against spending on items. I learned more about taxes and why people are always trying to avoid paying taxes. I realize that the government really takes a big chunk of your money (approx. every 30 cents of a dollar goes to the government), so the best you can do is to minimize your income taxes.

To do that, start investing in tax-deferred accounts such as 401k, TSP (Thrift Savings Plan for those who work for the Federal), IRA (Individual Retirement Account). Your paychecks will be deducted first before tax is charged. I plan to invest in these accounts as soon as I build up my savings account first (for emergency).

Finally, if you’re 25 years old or less, like I am, USE YOUR AGE AS YOUR ADVANTAGE because the younger you are, the more you are able to accumulate your wealth over time. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Start investing early and live below my means. That’d be a struggle for sure and takes some time to become used to it. My goal to be financially independent before I become 50. :-)

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