Saturday, February 20, 2010

10 Bizarre Ways to Die

With respect to sages and crystal ball advocates around the world, you never know how or when you're going to go. There are a lot of ways to die, and some are certainly more bizarre than others. Even natural causes like heart failure can be brought on by some pretty strange circumstances. So while a death certificate may read, "died while sleeping," the fine print might say, "after a satellite fell through the roof."

Throughout history there have been some pretty unusual deaths. Attila the Hun is said to have died from a nosebleed. Isadora Duncan, a popular American dancer in the 1920s, was strangled to death after her scarf got caught up in the axle of the car she was riding in. Stanford White, architect of New York's Madison Square Garden, was shot and killed on the roof of the building he designed. And writer Tennessee Williams famously choked on a bottle cap.

Those are odd and ironic ways to go, but they don't hold a candle to the 10 bizarre deaths on the following pages.

Friday, February 19, 2010

10 Popular Cell Phones

If you were to look back at movies from the early 1990s, every once in a while you can catch a glimpse of one of the characters using a cell phone. The device is about the size of a home phone, maybe bigger, and is weighed down by a huge battery. The gargantuan size of the cell phone is usually meant to poke fun at the character in question, who's probably a pompous, wealthy executive sporting sunglasses and driving a convertible.­

Now, of course, the cell phones you see in movies and in advertisements are painted in a much sleeker, hipper light -- they're several times smaller and slimmer, designed to slip into your pocket easily, and flip or glide open with the slightest gesture. Cell phones aren't just cell phones anymore. Now so-called smartphones combine extra features such as camera and video, MP3 players, Internet browsing and e-mail and GPS navigation, making them all the more useful and attractive to buyers.

The cell ph­one boom tha­t started in the late '90s is still ongoing, and every new innovation creates more buzz and skyrockets a device into popularity. Which cell phones have made some of the biggest impacts on the industry?

10 Best Places for Outdoorsy Types to Live

For­ ma­ny people, hiking, canoeing, mountain biking and kayaking are activities they're only lucky enough to enjoy on vacation, maybe a few weekends a year. But for the lucky dwellers of outdoor meccas, adventure sports are right in ­their backyards. These people, who range from weekend warriors to career outdoor experts, live in communities that cater to the outdoorsy type.

What's it like to live in an outdoorsman's paradise? Well, it depends on your version of paradise. Which would you prefer -- the hustle and bustle of the city with a nearby river for canoeing, or a sleepy town where you can fly-fish in the summer and ski in the winter?

These spots appeal to locals and tourists alike. Their adventure sports attract those getting away from the daily grind and those looking for new home. Residents of outdoorsy hotspots have careers in just about anything -- they may be doctors, lawyers, politicians or executives in nearby metropolitan areas, or they may work at­ the local ski shop.

­The best outdoorsy towns offer a range of activities for all seasons. Hotspots for winter snow-skiing may also be close to the best rivers and lakes for summer canoeing, kayaking, wakeboarding, fishing and sailing. The best spots also must be affordable for a wide range of people -- from service industry employees to business executives who retreat to their outdoorsy abodes after long days at the office.

These 10 outdoor spots range from towns with populations under 3,000 to major metropolitan areas, from remote lake villages in North America to mountainous landscapes in Central Europe. Which spots suit your taste?