Sunday, August 7, 2011

Top 10 Monters in the Bible

Whether you believe its God’s word, a historical relic, or a load of hogwash, there’s no doubt that the Bible contains some interesting stuff. Like monsters, for example. All sorts of terrible creatures and mythical beasts can be found in its pages. Like…

10. The Behemoth

In Job, one of the Bible’s oldest books, the Behemoth is described as a gigantic, powerful creature that can only be tamed by God. His tail is so large that it ‘moves like a cedar.’ This description has led some Creationists to claim that Behemoth was in fact a Biblical-era dinosaur. However, carbon dating aside, the creature is mentioned as having a navel, which would rule it out as an egg-hatched lizard. In Jewish tradition, the Behemoth is a primal earth-monster, a symbol of chaos. Less imaginative scholars have suggested that the Behemoth is simply a poetic description of a real giant creature, like a hippopotamus

9. The First Beast

If there’s one place that’s good for finding Biblical monsters, it’s the book of Revelation. No one agrees on whether this book of ‘visions’ contains descriptions of future events, or symbolic representations of the past, but everyone agrees that it sure has a lot of monsters. The ‘First Beast’ of Revelation, so called because it’s mentioned first and no one came up with a better name, is a monster with seven heads and ten horns that rises from the ocean. It also features the feet of a bear, the mouth of a lion, and the general appearance of a leopard. Theologians and Biblical scholars have interpreted this beast as symbolizing everything from the Papacy to the 1st Century Roman Emperor Nero.

8. The Second Beast

This beast, which unsurprisingly follows the first, rises up out of the earth. It has two horns and speaks ‘like a dragon.’ Personally, I’ve never heard a dragon speak, but I imagine it must be scary. This guy’s job is to perform false miracles that encourage people to worship the first beast. It also allows the first beast to kill anyone who doesn’t worship it. Damn. Once again, interpretations are varied: it’s been described as a symbol for everything from the prophet Mohammed to the modern United States.

7. Unicorns

Unicorns are mentioned nine times in the King James Bible, a medieval translation that remains popular to this day: ‘Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with band in the furrow?’ the book asks. Unfortunately, linguists have since discovered that the Hebrew word re’em, translated as ‘unicorn’ here, actually refers to the aurochs, a distant ancestor of the modern cow which went extinct in the 17th century. Which is a shame, because unicorns are far more interesting than slightly-larger-than-usual cows.
In fact, a whole bunch of ‘mythical creatures’ in the King James Bible are simply additions by medieval translators who were more interested in being poetic than in making sure their creatures existed. The cockatrice, a rooster-headed dragon mentioned in the book of Isaiah, has been scaled down in more recent translations to ‘viper.’ Lilith, a female demon, has been downgraded to ‘screech owl’, and mentions of satyrs (half-man, half-goat creatures) have been changed to ‘goats.’ More linguistically accurate, maybe, but nowhere near as fun.

6. Abaddon’s Locusts

These guys are ruled by Abaddon, an angel of the bottomless pit whose name means ‘Destroyer.’ Because they appear in Revelation, they’re of course not satisfied with being normal locusts: instead, they resemble war horses, have the stinging tails of scorpions, the faces of men, long hair like a woman’s, and wear crowns of gold and armored breastplates. Their scorpion’s tails are used to sting their victims, an experience that’s apparently so painful that ‘men shall seek death, and shall not find it.’ Ouch.

5. The 200 Million Horsemen

This epic army also appears in the visions of Revelation, although they’re not to be confused with the far more famous Four Horsemen, the guys who symbolize Death, War, Famine and Pestilence. But these riders aren’t to be messed with, either. Their horses have the heads of lions, tails like serpents, and spit smoke, fire and brimstone out of their mouths. Eventually, they’re responsible for the deaths of a third of all mankind. The horsemen army is led by four fallen angels, which is never good.

4. Daniel’s Beasts

Like Revelation, the book of Daniel is largely made up of visions which are meant to symbolize real-world events. In one of these visions, Daniel sees no less than four monsters emerge from the sea: one is a lion with eagle’s wings, which is then transformed into a human-like creature and has its wings plucked off; one is a bear-like creature who is told to gorge himself on flesh; one looks like a leopard with four wings and four heads, and one has iron teeth and ten horns, with which it destroys the whole earth. And believe it or not, the vision actually gets weirder from there. These beasts are often said to represent four different nations that existed in Daniel’s day.

3. The Dragon

Another beast from Revelation, the great Dragon is described as having seven heads and ten horns (those are very popular in Revelation.) He also has a tail capable of sweeping a third of the stars out of the sky. The author later identifies this dragon as Satan himself, who fights against God’s angels and is cast into hell.
The King James Bible refers to ‘dragons’ elsewhere, but like its mentions of ‘unicorns,’ these are mistranslations. Most modern versions of the Bible identify them as jackals, hyenas, or snakes.

2. The Nephilim

Much confusion surrounds the Nephilim, or ‘fallen ones,’ who pop up in Genesis and are described only as the offspring of ‘sons of god’ and ‘daughters of men.’ Some have interpreted this to mean the offspring of angels and human women. Another, less interesting explanation is that the passage refers to the mixing of two human tribes: ‘godly’ people descended from the good-guy Seth and the somewhat less godly descendants of bad-guy Cain.  If that seems too dull, don’t worry: there’s also a strong Internet community that believes that the Nephilim were in fact extraterrestrials.

1. Leviathan

The second of the great monsters described in the book of Job, Leviathan is a massive sea-monster who’s impervious to human weapons, breathes fire, and emits smoke from his nostrils. Leviathan is probably related to another Ancient Near Eastern monster called Lotan, a seven-headed giant serpent who represented primeval chaos. As with many other Biblical creatures, there are some less exciting theories that insist that Leviathan is just a poetic depiction of a crocodile, although last time I checked crocodiles did not breathe fire.

source= toptenz

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Top 10 Websites

“Hooked on Internet?  Help is a just a click away.” – Unknown
The quote truly says it all. When it comes to the Internet, there is nothing that you can’t do. In today’s world, we are run by technology and the flow of updates to already existing technology seems to be never-ending. With that said, it is really no surprise that the Internet has definitely become a true part of everyday life. In the U.S. alone there are 266,224,500 Internet users; in Asia there are 825,094,396. Throughout the entire world there is said to be 1,966,514,816 people who use the Internet and the number continues to grow each day. Along with the Internet came the millions of websites that we all use. While some don’t become as popular as others, many have become so common that they seem like an everyday must have.
Below are 10 websites that have clearly changed how we function both online as well as offline. Even though the Internet has been available for public use since 1992, it’s only been in the last few years that some websites really became giants. The websites below can easily be called a part of everyday life for many.

10. Craigslist– Changed classified ads

Before the Internet if you ever had interest in a classified ad, you’d probably go straight to the local newspaper and see what you can find. Of course then the Internet came along and while you could find classified ads online, most of the websites were filled with spam posts or people looking to set you up while others were just unorganized and most of the time classified ads for smaller locations were nonexistent. However, today, if you’re ever looking for anything, and I mean anything, all you need to do is go to Craigslist.
You can find plenty of things on the classified ads website; from cars, to pets, to jobs, homes, and even a place to discuss anything you have on your mind. Despite recently coming under fire for its “personals” section of the website, Craigslist continues to be extremely popular among people all around the world. You can find ads in your state and then narrow down to a city which makes finding what you need much easier.
But, just like older classified ads websites, you will find spam ads and you will run into ads that are created by people looking to get your money and run. The website offers a service to report spammers and often shows a warning page explaining how many scammers work and what to look out for when using the site.

9. Geocities – Changed internet accessibility

Even though nowadays anyone and everyone can access the Internet, from your 3rd cousin to your great-grandmother, when the Internet was first created, those who used it were mainly those involved in the technology or scientific fields and many times these people were looking for bugs, fixes, and ways to improve the technology that existed. As crazy as it seems, at one point in time, the Internet was pretty boring and bare. However, as websites began to pop up, more and more everyday people started to use the Internet. To continue this growth, websites such as GeoCities were created, which opened a whole new world to those people who weren’t the most tech-savvy as others. GeoCities allowed people to easily create their own website.
The website was started in 1994 and was first known as BHI (Beverly Hills Internet), which at the time was a small web-hosting company based out of Southern California. The company offered free service to people within various locations in California and years later became a country-wide service and then world-wide.
Today the website is defunct in the U.S. and Canada, but is still offered as a service in Japan. When Yahoo purchased the service after 10 years of success during what is called the dot com bubble, it is said that almost 38 million GeoCities pages were shut down. Despite only being offered in Japan, it’s safe to say that GeoCities allowed for some of the earliest web designers.

8. Blogger– Changed the blogging scene

Blogging is the way of the world now. Who needs to scribble in a personal diary or to write random things on ripped pieces of notebook paper when you can hop on your computer, log in, and type all of your thoughts onto your computer screen, press upload, and have the opportunity to have the entire world read what you’ve got to say. Blogger was launched in 1999 and since then has allowed the blogging world to flourish.
While many want to credit LiveJournal or some other blogging site with raising the bar in the blogging world, Blogger most definitely came first and is often credited for setting the stage for the format of a common blog. The website has been designed and redesigned and most recently has begun to work closely with Google to include some of their most popular features.
The website on the Alexa scale is ranked #8 and each day over 388 million words are published on the website. Even though competitor websites such as WordPress, LiveJournal, and TypePad have come about, Blogger is easily credited with starting the blogging revolution.

7. Pandora – Changed how we listen to music

The way we listen to music has drastically changed over time. Today MP3s and MP4s are the way of the world, but let’s not forget records, music cassettes, and of course, the radio. However, even though MP3s and digital music seem to be the latest fad, Pandora has stepped up and offered a way to listen to music online while you surf.
Pandora is an online radio station that basically lets you create your own station based on the music like you like to listen to. Of course, listening to music on the Internet isn’t something new, but being able to create your own music station is. Anyone can tune into music that is played on Yahoo or listen to your favorite radio station online, but the fact is that most of those songs are played every hour (or so it seems) and sometimes the song playing isn’t one that you particularly care for.
But, when it comes to Pandora, website will play a song and based on whether you like the band or not, the website will play similar music. The great thing is that Pandora often throws in new bands that are on the rise. You can easily type in a band on the website, listen to a song, and then have the chance to listen to a new band that is similar to your tastes.

6. Facebook – Changed how we interact

First there was the telephone, then pagers, then cell phones, then along came the internet with instant messaging services and chatrooms, and before all of this when people wanted to communicate, there was conversational speaking and letters. Today, we have Facebook, and this one social networking site has seriously taken the world by storm. Though technically not the first social networking site created, many will argue that it is the most useful and is the one that has made the largest impact on our society.
It seems like everything we do is based on Facebook these days. Pictures, friends, relationships, gossip; it all ties into Facebook in some way of another, and wherever you go, you’ll usually find something Facebook-esque. Musicians are asking fans to add them on Facebook as are authors, political candidates, businesses, and anything and everything between.
The website was launched in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg six years later the website has exploded, attracting more than 500 million users, ranging from your average Joe, to celebrities, and even political world leaders.

5. Wikipedia – Changed how we research/learn

Before Wikipedia came along, high school and college students had to do their own research the hard way. In all seriousness, before Wikipedia became one big booming e-encyclopedia, many of those that were offered online either required a paid membership to have access to information or the encyclopedia altogether lacked a lot of information. It was either go to the library to find the research you needed or dish out some money to get it.
However, Wikipedia changed all of this and really made research a breeze. The website became the first of its kind: a free e-encyclopedia that has grown and will probably continue to do so as long as the Internet is available. On April 16, 2010, the website had its 1 billionth edit and today it is ranked the #7 most visited website by Alexa. In the U.S. it is the 6th most visited website in the country.
The amazing thing about Wikipedia is that you can literally fin anything and almost everything on Wikipedia. With 3,410,052 articles and growing, there isn’t much you can’t find. If you can’t you can easily edit and add information yourself. The website appeals to Internet users from all over the world, offering information in various languages such as Spanish, Russian, French, German, Italian, and many others. And yes, Wikipedia has a Wikipedia page.

4. Amazon – Changed the face of retail shopping

When you need food, you go to the grocery store. When you need clothes, you go to the mall or your favorite retail store. If you need pet supplies, you go to the pet store. If you want to listen to music, you go purchase a CD at a store. All of this is common sense, and generally when people need things, they visit a brick and mortar store. However, when Amazon was launched in 1995, the company, based out of Seattle, changed the entire face of retail shopping. Their name says it all; Amazon is the largest river in the world and is the largest online store on could imagine. Where else can you buy jewelry, MP3s, clothing, vitamins, dog toys, and anything else from the same location?
Most recently Amazon even began selling food products that can be delivered to your door. With the creation of Amazon, it’s safe to say that less and less people are visiting brick and mortar stores to purchase certain items. The website offers free shipping with a $25 purchase as well as a Prime account which promises free 2-day shipping or $3.99 next day shipping. The point is, anyone can count on Amazon to have what they need. It’s truly amazing how an e-shop can stock and supply such a wide array of items.

3. YouTube – Changed daily entertainment

When it came time to looking or watching videos online, there wasn’t a wide variety of options. At times people would upload videos for people to watch, but many times due to bandwidth and other factors, those who owned websites just opted to stay away from the videos and other high bandwidth features. However, an easy fix to this problem came about in February 2005. YouTube, which has been successfully running for 5 years now, solved any and all problems when it came to entertainment on the Internet. Not only can you watch videos but you can also listen to music and even blog through videos.
Millions of people from all over the world enjoy the features of YouTube each day. Because of YouTubethere is one great place for everyone to look at videos and even comment and review them. The website allows you to really watch anything you could ever think of. From music videos to bloggers, to tutorials and just outright random videos, you can surely find it on YouTube.
The website is ranked #3 on the Alexa scale and offers 29 different languages for users who live outside of the United States. Though other video websites are available, such as Hulu, none have been as successful as YouTube has been.
2. eBay – Changed how we buy and sell
While online shopping has become a great fad that it seems everyone has latched onto, eBay is one of many websites that should have credit for advancing this online phenomenon. Even though most websites today offer users the ability to purchase what they want online, eBay not only offers online shopping it also allows users to bid on some of the hottest items each year. eBay has most definitely made shopping something that anyone can do without having to get in the car, drive to a store or the mall, and then look around to find the right size or color.
With online shopping with a few simple clicks your shopping is done. eBay allows users from all over the world to bid and buy items. The good thing about the website is that many times you pay a lot less than you would in stores and even better is the fact that items are available that may not be sold in a store local to you. eBay has made it easy to find some of the most popular items as well as items that aren’t sold in stores anymore.
eBay is also well known for its ability for users to sell various items, from perfume to clothing to shoes and anything and everything in between. eBay is one of the very few websites that offers live real time auctions for products.
1. Google – Changed virtually everything
As extreme as it sounds, it’s pretty safe to say that when it comes to the Internet Google can be found anywhere and everywhere. No matter what kind of activity you do online, from watching videos, to blogging, to just reading the local news online, you’re probably some way, somehow using a service provided by Google, and many times you don’t even know it. When you watch a YouTube video, you’re using a Google service. If you’ve ever used Blogger, that’s a Google service. Chrome: Google browser. If you’ve ever seen a Doubleclick ad; yep, that’s Google too.
So in essence, Google is everywhere; ubiquitous. From watching videos to uploading pictures to show to friends and family, whether you know it or not, Google is a very well used service all over the world. If you ever need to get somewhere, you probably go to If you need to search for something, is probably the first place you go