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Sunday, 31 March 2013

TOP 10: Best Selling Products of All Time

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Some products sell well when first introduced while others fail miserably. Very few sell so well that they fundamentally have impact on the whole world. 

Besides selling in droves these products significantly changed the various cultures around the world most prominently American culture. While each product is in a different industry — from smartphones, to video game consoles and music albums — there are clear similarities among the leaders. All the products that made the list were innovative in their respective categories when released. Before Star Wars, people never camped out in front of the theater to see the midnight debut. Harry Potter was the first major fantasy book series particularly geared toward tween readers.

Many of the best-selling products were successful because they were a franchise. Though both were instantaneous successes, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) continues to release new versions of the iPad and iPhone. The 11th generation of the Toyota (NYSE: TM) Corolla, another best-selling product, hit the markets last May. The Mario franchise has turned into 31 titles.


Most of the products on our list — although not all — have reached a wide demographic. The Rubik’s Cube could be purchased and played by anyone. Harry Potter, while initially geared toward a tween audience, was eventually enjoyed by people of all ages. Even the iPad, while generally considered a luxury item, has multiple features and price points.

So without further ado, here is the Top 10 list.


1. Rubik’s Cube

Rubik's Cube Solved


> Category: Toy

> Units sold/sales: 350 million units

> Parent Company: Seven Towns Ltd.

ErnÅ‘ Rubik created the first prototype of the “Magic Cube” in 1974 in Budapest, Hungary. An American toy manufacturer bought the product license and renamed it the Rubik’s Cube in 1980, making the puzzle an international sensation. At the height of the toy’s popularity in the mid-1980s, the company estimates that as much as one-fifth of the world’s population had tried solving the Rubik’s Cube. With its eye-catching colors, affordability and the puzzle’s level of difficulty, the Rubik’s Cube has maintained popularity over the years.


2. iPhone

iPhone 5


> Category: Smartphone

> Units sold/sales: 250 million units

> Parent Company: Apple

In just five years, 250 million iPhones have been shipped, making it the top-selling smartphone to date. Apple’s iPhone is typically the top seller for Verizon (NYSE: VZ), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Sprint (NYSE: S). Research firm Strategy Analytics estimates that the iPhone has generated about $150 billion in revenue for Apple since its introduction to the market in June 2007. There are six generations of the iPhone: the original, 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S and 5, and more likely ahead. With newer generations often more popular than previous ones, Apple’s iPhone sales are likely to continue to grow at a healthy pace.


3. Harry Potter

Harry Potter Series
> Category: Book series

> Units sold/sales: 450 million units

> Parent Company: Scholastic (U.S. publisher)

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) released the first Harry Potter book of the series in the United States in the 1990s, under the name Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The book was an instant success, only to be repeated with each successive installment. Harry Potter became the top-selling series, with sales totalling $7.7 billion. The novels made J.K. Rowling one of the highest paid authors in the world and led to a similarly successful movie franchise. Recently, Rowling agreed to release e-book versions of the series, which grossed $1 million in three days. The final entry, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is one of the fastest selling books of all time, with more than 11 million copies sold in the first 24 hours of its release.

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4. Michael Jackson Thriller



> Category: Album

> Units sold/sales: 110 million units

> Parent Company: Epic Records

The 30th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Thriller release by Epic Records will be this November. One of the first albums to use music videos as a promotional tool, it reached its status as best-selling album of all-time in just over a year. Jackson won eight Grammy Awards in 1984 for Thriller, including Album of the Year. Seven of the songs on the album were Billboard top ten hits. To put the King of Pop’s album sales in perspective, Justin Bieber’s My World (1 and 2) have collectively sold just 3.2 million.


5. Mario Franchise

Super Mario Character
> Category: Video game franchise

> Units sold/sales: 262 million units

> Parent Company: Nintendo

The character “Mario” debuted in 1981’s popular Donkey Kong franchise. Since then, the Italian plumber has appeared in dozens of titles, including at least 31 separate titles that have topped 1 million unit sales. One of the subfranchises, Super Mario, has alone sold more than 262 million units. While it is the most popular console video game franchise of all time, the Angry Birds mobile franchise, which creates phone and tablet application games, has recorded more than a billion downloads.

6. iPad


iPad mini
> Category: Tablet

> Units sold/sales: 67 million units

> Parent Company: Apple

Apple released the first iPad in April of 2010. The iPad was an instant success and became first commercially successful tablet computer. Recently, the company has launched the third generation of its hugely popular tablet computer. Since its release, more than 67 million iPads have been sold. To put this number in perspective, it took 24 years for Apple to sell the same number of computers. According to IDGConnect, 12% of iPad users in enterprise (at work, not home) no longer use their personal computer. And in the education sector, Apple sells two iPads for every computer.

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7. Star Wars

Star Wars
> Category: Movies

> Units sold/sales: $4.54 billion in ticket sales

> Parent company: 20th Century Fox

In 2009, James Cameron’s Avatar became the highest-grossing U.S. film of all time. Adjusted for inflation, 1939’s Gone with the Wind remains the highest-grossing film, according to Box Office Mojo. However, when a film franchise is considered — and accounting for inflation — nothing comes close to George Lucas’s Star Wars. The original movie debuted in 1977, grossing more than $1.4 billion. With the five films that followed, ending with Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the franchise grossed $4.54 billion.



8. Toyota Corolla





> Category: Vehicle

> Units sold/sales: 39 million cars

> Parent Company: Toyota

The Corolla has been selling for more than four decades, with the model evolving over 11 generations. Since it was first produced, Toyota has sold one Corolla every 40 seconds. The car was also the first the Japanese manufacturer that chose to produce in the U.S. — sales in the U.S. began in 1968. The current model gets 34 MPG and has a starting price of $16,130. Right behind the Corolla for best-selling vehicle is the Ford (NYSE: F) F-150 pickup.


9. Lipitor

Lipitor medicine
> Category: Pharmaceutical

> Units sold/sales: $125 billion revenue

> Parent Company: Pfizer

Lipitor belongs to a class of drugs called statins that help lower the level of LDL — the so-called bad cholesterol — in the blood. It was developed by Warner-Lambert, which later merged with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), and was approved for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997. Though Lipitor was not the first in its class, its ability to reduce cholesterol and significant advertising quickly propelled it to the top of its class of drugs. The same year that it was released, the FDA began to allow direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. By 2008, the market size of drug advertising grew to more than $4.5 billion, and in 2009, Lipitor had the largest ad expenditure of any drug. This past November, Pfizer’s patent on the drug ended. Since 1997, the drug has had sales of over $125 billion, which amounts to 20% to 25% of Pfizer’s revenue during this time.

10. PlayStation

Playstation


> Category: Video game console

> Units sold/sales: 300+ million units

> Parent Company: Sony

The first edition of the Sony (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation, released in 1995, was the Japanese electronics manufacturer’s foray into video games. Five years after the first PlayStation was released, Sony began selling the PlayStation 2, the second edition of its console. The PS2 went on to become the most popular gaming console of all time, selling more than 150 million units by the beginning of 2011. The PS3, which hit the market in 2006, has been less successful, but the franchise as a whole is by far the most popular in history, having sold well over 300 million units. The video gaming console has been bolstered by popular game franchises, including the Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, and Gran Turismo series.

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Saturday, 2 March 2013

TOP 10: Weird And Scary Mythological Creatures

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Every country has a well-known tale that passes on from generation to generation about mythical creatures that roam our land. In Britain there’s the Loch Ness Monster, North American’s have Bigfoot, Transylvania has Dracula, and Latin American countries have the Chupacabra. The most popular films and books at the moment are the Twilight series, which feature a host of vampires and werewolves! In this article we’ll be taking a look at ten of some of the scariest mythological creatures from around the world.
Mythological creatures come in all shapes and sizes, but it seems the same old creatures always hog the headlines. We constantly hear about gremlins, zombies, gorgons and cyclops — but now it’s time for some lesser-known creatures to shine. 

10. The Chimera



The Chimera according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of three animals: a lion, a serpent and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. 


                                         
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9. Berserkers



Berserkers (or berserks) were Norse warriors who are reported in the Old Norse literature to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury. Most historians believe that berserkers worked themselves into a rage before battle, but some think that they might have consumed drugged foods. Norse legend depicts these human warriors who would transform into maniacal, uncontrollable beings sometimes in the shapes of wolves, bears and wild bulls. This would improve their effectiveness in battle. They are described as having bloodshot eyes, incredible strength, and endurance. Scandinavian kings would use the Berserkers as their part of their army or as their personal bodyguards.


   

8. Aswang



A cross between a vampire and a witch the Aswang is popular in Filipino folklore. Almost always female the creature is a cannibalistic eater of the dead and of the living. They can transform themselves into either a black dog or a black boar. Some of the methods effective in fending them off is the use of garlic and/or holy water. During the day they are in their human form and appear as quiet, shy, elusive characters. At night though they transform into the terrifying creatures whose trademark features include very bloodshot eyes.


Like UFO stories, aswang stories are one of the favorites of sensationalist tabloids, especially when there are grave robberies, kidnapped children, strange noises, people with eccentric or peculiar habits, and other bizarre incidents that can somehow be attributed to them.

Stories of the aswang are popular in the Visayan region of the Philippines, especially in the western provinces of Capiz (a province on Panay Island), Iloilo and Antique. Capiz, in particular, is singled out by tabloids as an area of high supernatural activity: a home to aswangs, manananggals, giant half-horse men (tikbalang) and other mythological creatures. Many of those who live in Capiz are superstitiously inclined, and adorn their homes with garlic bulbs, holy water and other objects believed to repel aswang. Since the stories recount aswang eating unborn children, pregnancy is a time of great fear for superstitious Filipinos.

In Southern Luzon, the city of Antipolo is rumoured by locals to be a popular place for Aswang sightings, especially during the Holy Week, where legend says that paranormal activities are at their peak during the three days that Christ was dead.


                                             


7. Bakhtak



Suffer from excruciating nightmares? Ever wake up with a weight on your chest, unable to move or breathe? That may be the work of the Bakhtak, a creepy being of Persian folklore that sits on your chest while you’re sleeping. No one is quite sure why the Bakhtak takes such glee in filling you with bad dreams or causing near-suffocation and sleep paralysis, but we do know the Bakhtak gets around. The Bakhtak of Iranian fame is often depicted as a little goblin-like creature, but the same concept takes on the guise of an Old Hag in English folklore and is similar to the Mara of Scandinavian origin.


                                        


6. Blemmyes





Don’t invite a tribe of Blemmyes to dinner — unless you want to be on the menu. The Blemmyes was a tribe which became fictionalized as a race of creatures believed to be headless monsters. Their lack of head, however, doesn’t mean they lack a man-eating mouth. They have eyes and mouths on their chest. The Blemmyes were said to live in Africa. 

These cannibalistic creatures were first mentioned in the ancient world by Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC, and they were later noted in the work of Roman author Pliny the Elder. Blemmyes-like creatures were also mentioned as the Anthropophagi in Shakespeare’s Othello. They continue to pop up in modern literature, sometimes with traits that include a special language or armed with weapons such as blow darts and spears.


                                              


5. The Wendigo







The Wendigo is a creature appearing in the mythology of the Algonquian people. Descriptions of the Wendigo vary across culture, but they are generally described as a large alien-like canine beast. They are malevolent and cannibalistic creatures. Wendigos are strongly associated with the winter, the north, and coldness. Human beings will transform into Wendigos if they perform cannibalism. The person will become possessed by the demonic spirit of the beast, usually in a dream. Once transformed, the individual will become violent and obsessed with eating human flesh. These monsters are the embodiments of gluttony, greed, and excess. They are never satisfied with killing and consuming one person. Wendigos are constantly searching for new victims. They have been classified as giants and upon transformation the human will grow considerably in size. They populate rural and highly forested, mountainous regions. Recently the Wendigo has become a horror entity, much like the vampire, werewolf, or zombie.


                                              


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4. The Leshy



The Leshy is a male woodland spirit in Slavic mythology who protects wild animals and forests. A leshy usually appears as a tall man, but he is able to change his size from that of a blade of grass to a very tall tree. He has hair and a beard made from living grass and vines, and is sometimes depicted with a tail, hooves, and horns. He has pale white skin that contrasts with his bright green eyes. A leshy has a close bond with the gray wolf, and is often seen in the company of bears as well. He is the Forest Lord and carries a club to express that he is the master of the wood. He has blue blood, which makes his cheeks the color blue. Legend describes him as having a red scarf and his left shoe on his right foot. He also had no shadow.

Leshy is the protector of all animals and birds in the forest. Mass migration of animals supposedly happens at leshy's instruction. He is said to have the ability to shapeshift into any form, animal or plant. When he is in human form, he looks like a common peasant, except that his eyes glow and his shoes are on backwards. 

Leshies are terribly mischievous beings: they have horrible cries, and can imitate voices of people familiar to wanderers and lure them back to their caves, where the leshies will tickle them to death; they also remove signs from their posts. If a person befriends a leshy, the latter will teach them the secrets of magic. Farmers and shepherds would make pacts with the leshy to protect their crops and sheep. The leshy has many tricks, including leading peasants astray, making them sick, or tickling them to death. They are also known to hide the axes of woodcutters. If a leshy crosses the path of a person in the woods, the person will get lost immediately. To find the way out, you have to turn your clothes inside out and wear shoes on opposite feet. They aren’t always evil, but enjoy misguiding humans and kidnapping young women.


                                                


3. Incubus



An incubus is a demon in male form who, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them. Its female counterpart is the succubus. An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child, as in the legend of Merlin. Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death.

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION:

Victims may have been experiencing waking dreams or sleep paralysis. Nocturnal arousal or nocturnal emission could be explained away by creatures causing otherwise guilt-producing behavior. Then again, victims of incubi could well have been the victims of real sexual assault. Rapists may have attributed the rapes of sleeping women to demons in order to escape punishment. A friend or relative is at the top of the list in such cases and would be kept secret by the intervention of 'spirits.' The victims and, in some cases, the magistrates, may have found it easier to explain the attack as supernatural rather than confront the idea that the attack came from someone in a position of trust.



                                          


2. Encantado



Although they don’t look so scary when appearing in their human form many South Americans are so terrified by this Brazilian mythical creature villagers will dare not go near the Amazon River at night because that is where the creature roams in its human form – its most dangerous state. By day the Encantado lives as either a freshwater dolphin or sea snake. When they transform into humans though they behold superior musical abilities, seductiveness, and attraction to parties. Their victims can be driven to insanity, illness or even death.

Besides the ability to shapeshift into human form, encantados frequently wield other magical abilities, such as the power to control storms, "enchant" or haunt humans into doing their will or becoming encantados themselves, and inflict illness, insanity, and even death. Shamans and holy men are often needed to intervene and ameliorate the situation, but sometimes the spell is so great that it can not be completely cured. Such powers and habits make the encantado very similar to the Japanese kitsune, a supernatural fox that's famous by its shapeshifting abilities and for having children with human beings.

Kidnapping is also a common theme in such folklore. Encantados are said to be fond of abducting humans they fall in love with, children born of their illicit love affairs, or just anyone near the river who can keep them company, and taking them back to the Encante. The fear of this is so great for many people who live across the Amazon rivers area that many of them, children and adults alike, are terrified of going near the water in certain hours like 6 PM or basically alone. Some who supposedly have encountered encantados out in canoes have been said to have gone insane, although the creatures seem to have done little more than follow their boats and nudge them from time to time.


                                             

1. Seshnag

Lord Vishnu with his wife along with another goddess resting on sheshnag


Seshnag is a large thousand headed serpent often referred to as the king of all serpents in the Indian(Hindu) mythology. Though the creature is not evil but its description is a bit weird. According to the myth, it is said that all the planets of the universe are located on its heads and each time he shifts Earth from one head to another an earthquake takes place. It is said that when he uncoils, time moves forward and creation takes place. When he coils back, the universe ceases to exist.
Seshnag is generally depicted with a massive form that floats coiled in space, or on the universal ocean, to form the bed on which Vishnu(protector of universe according to Hindu mythology) lies.  Also known as Shesha which means "that which remains", from the Sanskrit because when the world is destroyed at the end of the kalpa(aeon equivalent to 4.32 billion years), Shesha remains as he is.



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