10 Biggest Nerd Gatherings in the World

For the majority of the year, the most serious nerds among us are shut away in dark rooms or basements in front of computer screens and games of Dungeons and Dragons. But every once in a while, the mothership seems to call them all home, at least for the length of a convention or other kind of meet-up. You'll see Star Wars characters and gamers in a trance, flocking to event sites. Now, we're not going to delve into the differences between geek and nerd culture. If you want to argue about it, we can probably assume that you fall into one of those two categories and will find a gathering you'll love below.

  1. Comic-Con International

    This famous meet-up in San Diego typically draws in more than 125,000 lovers of comic books, sci-fi, and basically anything that might get you beat up in high school. Welcoming nerds since 1970, Comic-Con has grown into a huge cultural phenomenon, attracting the media, comedians, and curious members of the public, as well as fans of the many pop culture elements the convention caters to. Apparently these nerds and nerd-watchers aren't sparing any expense; the convention has an annual impact of around $160 million on the regional economy. If you're going, buy tickets early as they tend to sell out, plan which workshops you want to attend, and don't forget your camera.

  2. Tokyo International Anime Fair

    As a trade fair for the anime industry that takes place in the home country of anime, you know this event lures in the best and most famous anime companies and creators in the world. Though it's only been around since 2002, the support of Japan's government and powerful politicians have helped its attendance skyrocket to the 130,000 people it has seen in recent years. Prestigious industry prizes, known as the Tokyo Anime Awards, are given out during the convention. While anime and manga may not be considered nerdy in Japan (and many American fans would contend that it's not nerdy anywhere), it's hard to deny that there's a specific demographic of people that follow the Japanese animation trend.

  3. Dragon Con

    Each year crowds pushing 50,000 converge on Atlanta to consume as much about the sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book industries as their little (or big, as the case may be) brains can hold. With a long list of prominent guests and performers, contests for everything from different types of costumes to robot battles, and an independent film festival, this event is perfect for those who really enjoy any of the categories covered here and want to mingle with other fanboys. Been looking for the chance to enter a Star Trek pageant or show off your comic book sketching skills? This is your arena.

  1. Assembly demo party

    If you don't know what a demo party is, well, you're in good company. The demoscene is a computer programming subculture where participants create audio-visual presentations to show off their skills and creativity. Don't even try to act like that's not nerdy. A demoparty is normally a several-days-long event where programmers get together to compete against each other by creating the best "demo" in several different categories. The Assembly is one of the largest demoparties and takes place in Finland. Thousands of the most demoscene-obsessed from around the world gather to compete and hang out for three or four days.

  2. DreamHack

    Computer lovers and multiplayer gamers should put DreamHack in Sweden on their list of events to attend sometime in their life. The gathering, which is considered the world's largest computer festival, actually holds world records for being the largest LAN (or local area network for you non-gamers) party with 12,754 connected computer systems and for having the world's fastest Internet connection. The event is held twice a year, lasting 72 hours each time with activities scheduled around the clock. The fun includes the festival where attendees can plug their computers into the system, several gaming and digital arts competitions, concerts, and an expo for the latest technologies.

  3. International Consumer Electronics Show

    While most people head to Vegas to have a scandalous good time with scantily clad showgirls and high-stakes poker tables, a large segment of the nerd population go there for the annual technology trade show. Since major products like the VCR, Nintendo, and 3D HDTV have been introduced at the event in years past, it has become a haven for technophiles around the world. The most recent gathering boasted 153,000 attendees and demonstrated some improved technologies, like an accelerated processing unit that you would probably only understand if you're a huge computer nerd yourself. Don't feel bad if you are; at least a computer nerd is one of the more profitable breeds of nerd.

  4. Anthrocon

    It's hard to say that anthropomorphic fans fit in with traditional nerds, but it's definitely not a mainstream interest. Furry fans or furries, as they're often called, love fictional human-like animal characters. This includes any animal that walks, talks, dresses, or otherwise acts like a human. While this might be normal for children considering how many books and cartoons involve talking animals, this conference is for the obsessed adults, many of whom dress up as their favorite anthropomorphic fantasies, costumes that they call fursuits. You might think you were walking into a sports team mascot convention if you didn't know where you were. While there are other furry conferences around the country, Anthrocon is one of the largest, with more than 4,200 members.

  1. Comiket

    Possibly the largest gathering of comic-book nerds on the planet, with more than 500,000 participants each year, Comiket is a huge market for selling self-published comic books, particularly Japanese ones. It takes place in Tokyo twice each year and crowds get so thick that people who arrive in the morning normally wait between one and five hours in line just to enter. Unlike many other nerd gatherings, the audience at this event has traditionally been mostly female, though the tides seem to be turning in the past two years. Whether it's men or women buying these unique comic books, they can expect to resell them for much more than they purchased them for since reprintings are few and far between.

  2. Gamescom

    Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, is widely recognized as the world's largest games event. More than 275,000 nerds and 5,000 journalists (who might also be nerds for all we know) show up each year, and companies show up from 39 countries to show off their gamer gear. Since the world's biggest video game fans and industry experts are all together in one place, many game developers, including Nintendo, Sega, and EA, use the opportunity to show off and test their newest toys. And you can't deny the hilarity of the eager attendees rushing into the event space when the doors open, which has been affectionately named "The Running of the Nerds."

  3. World Joyland

    What do nerds do in the time between their favorite conventions? They plan vacations to video game-themed amusement parks. China's World Joyland is a 600-acre theme park based around the works of the company that created World of Warcraft and Starcraft. The park definitely attracts large numbers of geeks. The day before the park's grand opening, it arranged to break the world record for most people dressed up as comic book characters. They succeeded, with 1,530 nerds showing up for the task. Another 201 people were disqualified for dressing as characters from video games or other forms of entertainment. It must be depressing to be disqualified from being a part of the comic-book nerd community.

10 Surprisingly Hot Cross-Dressing Movie Characters

Androgyny may be the future, but cross-dressing is just so now. Albert Nobbs opens widely today, and saddled with Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations for the impenetrable Glenn Close and the ever-fantastic Janet McTeer, gender-bending once again takes a front-row seat in cinema — just in time for awards season. Although gender identity and performance are relatively new fields of academic study, cross-dressing has been a mainstay of the theater for millennia. Sometimes it's to highlight a societal disparity (in the case of Albert Nobbs, the main character must cross-dress to maintain gainful employment in 19th century Dublin), sometimes it's to facilitate a narrative arc or showcase an actor's breadth of talent, and sometimes it's just for fun — but cross-dressing is older than many religions, and it's here to stay. So be cool, and do yourself a favor: check out these ten surprisingly hot cross-dressing movie characters. Spoiler alert: they're not the gender you think they are…

  1. Girl In Love Who Plays Boy In Love Who Plays Girl In Love in Shakespeare in Love

    Mirroring drag tropes present in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Shakespeare In Love is a vehicle for Best Actress Oscar winner Gwenyth Paltrow's on-screen (and on-stage) beauty to shine. Surprisingly hot about this performance? Said beauty shines even through that ill-placed pube-esque goatee. And, get real: fictional 1590s actor Thomas Kemp did not have a relaxed spiral perm, even when playing Juliet. Although moviegoers were aware of the ruse the entire film, the Queen (played by the unparalleled Dame Judy Dench) is fairly hip for not exposing the pair of lovers to the rest of the upper crust of Elizabethan London.

  2. Girl Who Plays Boy And Helps Other Girl Who Plays Boy Accept Him/Herself

    Dressing in drag is long-standing Oscar fodder, and transvestism can be brash or brilliant — sometimes both. Enter: Janet McTeer. The poetic actress who dazzles on stage and screen plays Hubert in the Glenn Close passion project Albert Nobbs. A biological female and painter who identifies comfortably as a male and has taken a wife, McTeer's Hubert is as confident and alive as Close's titular character is stoic and stilted. And no matter the gender identity, confidence is always hot.

  3. The Girl Pee-Wee Who Is Hotter Than The Male

    In Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Paul Reubens looks surprisingly cute and comfortable (the last ten seconds of this video are a scream) while impersonating a female to out-wit a cop. Whether it's the shapeless vintage dress, the fun hair, or just the coy attitude, Girl Pee-Wee is much like Girl Bugs Bunny — cuter, and a bit more fun, than the original.

  4. Drag Director

    You can't make a top ten list about hot people without Johnny Depp. And you certainly can't make a top ten list about surprisingly hot performances without including Depp's work as the oft-cross-dressing cult film director Ed Wood. Playing a real-life transvestite of weird brilliance, Depp's performance turns this biopic into a respectful nod to a man who gave cinema much, whether wearing rouge and blonde wigs or not.

  5. Girls Who Play Boys Who Play Girls Who Lip-Sync To Girls But Are Actually the Girls Singing

    Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette play Connie and Carla, a pair of musical theater-obsessed BFFs that become fake drag queens to hide from some mob killers. Although it's not entirely obvious if these ladies are hot as women or hot as women playing men in drag, that's part of the surprise. You'll just have to watch to find out.

  6. Boy Who Dresses Like Girl Who Named Self After Wine

    Loudmouth, tell-it-like-it-is Lady Chablis is infamous in the Southern United States. "If you need a label," she says of her transvestism, "just stick with B*TCH!" Playing herself in the movie based on the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the Lady's interpretation of class, and her signature sass, have turned her into a bona fide gender-bending sex symbol, and a surprisingly hot voice for small Georgia town African-American transvestites with balls of brass and hearts of gold.

  7. Party Drag (With Party Drugs)

    You can't have Shakespeare, it seems, without having a little cross-dressing. In Baz Luhrmann's updated version of Romeo + Juliet, Harold Perrineau brilliantly executes the role of Romeo's best friend, Mercutio. Introducing himself by providing Ecstasy to the Montagues and then brilliantly lip-syncing "Young Hearts" to a raucous Capulet party they're crashing, this character's glitter and glitz are both surprisingly edgy and hot. And Perrineau's dance training came in handy when he had to don platform heels and gyrate around — he looks much better than lots of club-goers, be they women or men or somewhere in between.

  8. Trio of Fairly Serious Male Actors Dressing Up Like Girls

    John Leguizamo, Wesley Snipes, and Patrick Swayze completely disappear into their roles as a trio of road-tripping drag queens in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. Fun, vulnerable, and surprisingly beautiful, these three actors proved that you can be masculine and still be feminine — and what matters the most is being human.

  9. Justin Bieber Impression

    Androgyny is standard sexiness fare for the younger generations. And if you're into Justin Bieber, you're probably into Amanda Bynes as Sebastian, a girl-masquerading-as-her-twin-brother in a new high school in She's The Man. Donning a bowl-cut and dealing with the evergreen issues of cute boy trouble and high school life through a girl dressed as a boy's eyes, Bynes is surprisingly uplifting, and probably hot — if you're a Belieber.

  10. Singer/Scientist/Sweet Transvestite Who Is Really An Alien Who Is Really A Boy Dressed Up As A Girl (aka The Gold Standard)

    No one, not no one, not no one is hotter than Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Effortlessly doing jumps to the left and steps to the right in tranny heels and bustiers that outshine even the most practiced in the cross-dressing performing arts, there's just no beating Dr. Frank N. Furter, the undisputed King … of Queens.

10 Sleep Hacks for the Avid Traveler

On a train, in the rain. When on planes, energy wanes. Whether you're a business traveler, a posh international jetsetter, or a college kid with dreadlocks and a ratty old backpack, travel can be both stressful and fun. No matter your modus operandi for seeing the world, one of the key elements to successful travel is the inclusion of sound and restful sleep. Before you complain about not having the time for a decent doze, consider these 10 sleep hacks, both digital and analog, especially tailored to the avid traveler. In the words of William Wordsworth, "rest and be thankful."

  1. Downers

    Maybe not the net healthiest way for long-term sleeping problems, but popping pills certainly can work wonders when you're on the road. Be they hard-core narcotics, over-the-counter sleep aids, or herbal remedies like melatonin, a pharmaceutical sleep aid is sometimes the only thing that you have access to on-the-go. Avoid using both uppers to promote wakefulness and downers to help you sleep, and avoid relying on these methods for more than a few days at a time.

  2. Caffeine Nap

    If you're a world traveler, or even just a business one, it's highly likely that you drink coffee or tea at least once per day. Consider, then, the caffeine nap. Down a cup of coffee in the afternoon and take a 20 minute nap as a chaser. Caffeine takes about 30 minutes to activate in your body, and you should wake after a cat nap with a burst of energy and euphoria. Be sure to set your alarm to wake you, just for extra insurance, and enjoy increased productivity and decision-making capabilities.

  3. Neck Pillow

    For the less pharmaceutically inclined traveler who is often using public transportation (planes, trains) for your travel or commutes, try employing the use of a neck pillow. Relieving neck pressure can help induce better quality sleep, meaning better rest and increased energy and alertness upon waking. Breathable memory foam and buckwheat are popular materials; just about anything is better than an airplane pillow or crumpled-up jacket.

  4. Pzizz

    The Pzizz Energizer is an audio engine computer program that produces frequencies meant to induce sleep for a limited amount of time. Producing unique modules every time you rest, Pzizz can aid in all sleep types — from a power nap to the deepest of sleeps. Originally a desktop application that is now available on mobile devices, Pzizz is priced between $5 and $6.

  5. Lay Off the Sugar and Carbs

    Beginning your day with refined or processed sugars and complex carbohydrates facilitates an afternoon crash. Especially if you've been indulging heavily during your travels, decide against a carb-infused or highly sugary breakfast in the morning. You will be less likely to experience a sloth-inducing sugar crash, as well as enjoying more restful sleep, even if all you have the time for is a disco nap.
    Pro Tip: To stimulate your adrenal glands upon waking, drink a large glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of sea salt.

  6. Hydrate

    Water, as much as oxygen, is the stuff of life. To avoid jetlag and interrupted sleep during your travels, make sure that you begin and remain well-hydrated throughout commutes. Hydration cures many ills, and can be an immeasurably important, oft-overlooked tool in the fight for restful sleep.

  7. Alternate Nostril Breathing

    When attempting to induce your pre-dreamland calmness, try the ancient practice of alternate nostril breathing. Simply placing one knuckle over your left nostril, taking several deep breaths through your right nostril, then reversing, can psychologically prompt you to induce your neurological pre-sleep routine.
    Pro Tip:Don't try this at the office.

  8. Starve Yourself and Don't Sleep

    You can't make this stuff up. A study from Harvard Medical School suggests that, scientifically, the best thing that you can do to reset your internal sleep clock to a new time zone is to remain awake for 12 to 16 hours, while also abstaining from food in the hours leading up to this sleep fast. Remember that daylight resets you, so make sure to do this on a day when you can get some sun. Refrain also from caffeine, alcohol, and copious use of tobacco during this time. Bonus: the extra wakefulness is sure to make you so tired, that you'll be sleeping like a baby before you can say "jet lag."

  9. Dress for (Sleep) Success

    The businesswoman in the three-piece wool suit is sleeping better than you are in your most comfortable sweatpants. Why? Temperature. Your body's temperature has much to do with your quality of sleep. Your polyester sweatpants and unbreathable fabrics, comfortable though they may be, are hurting you, not helping. Take off your socks and shoes to expose (well-washed, please) feet on an airplane; eschew the scratchy blankets for which some airlines are charging upwards of $10. Opt for a jacketless rest in a business suit, rather than a track one, and you'll be asleep in no time flat.

  10. Practice Polyphasic Sleep

    A mainstay of the professional sleephacker's wheelhouse, polyphasic sleep is a method in which one forgoes most or all of the night's sleep, or "core hours," in exchange for a series of power naps throughout the day. This alternative resting method, of which there are many incarnations, has been practiced for ages, and the science does back it up. It can improve brain function, energy levels, and provide more time to party from Bangladesh to Bangalore.

10 Underrated Culinary Cities in America

Did you know you can find great Vietnamese restaurants in Houston, Texas? Or enjoy Somali food in Columbus, Ohio? How about Caribbean cuisine in freezing Minneapolis? The combination of a city's local culinary traditions with those from around the world is the recipe for a diverse and innovative food culture. Below is a mouth-watering sampling of U.S. destinations for great food that might not be on your radar.

  1. Columbus, Ohio

    Midwesterners love to eat, but that doesn't mean they love to eat bland. This so-called cow town in central Ohio, probably and unfairly best known for its football culture, boasts a diverse selection of restaurants that includes Korean, Somali, and even authentically spicy Creole cooking. Columbus' beautiful German Village is where you'll find several incredible bakeries and restaurants including Juergen's, serving homemade baked goods for over 40 years.

  2. Charlotte, North Carolina

    Underrated even by the folks that live there, Charlotte is home to a diverse mix of ethnic restaurants including spots for Indian, Thai, Malaysian, and Ethiopian cooking, as well as plenty of places that serve good old-fashioned fried Southern dishes. There is also a growing food truck scene led by a handful of independently minded chefs who serve surprisingly sophisticated dishes out of spaces that are about the size of an overpriced New York City apartment. The local blog Eat My Charlotte provides detailed descriptions and reviews of the city's growing culinary scene.

  3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Birthplace of the hoagie sandwich, Philadelphia has become a veritable melting pot of restaurants, many opened and maintained by nationally recognized star chef Jose Garces. Latin-American, Mexican, and Italian cooking are all represented in the city. Fresh and organic ingredients from local farms are on the menu of many establishments, including sustainable cuisine advocate Judy Wick's White Dog Café. And if you really want to stuff your face, be sure to visit The Hoagie Factory, which has been in the same location since 1954. If you're new to the hoagie, check out the menu in advance, and try not to refer to it as a "sandwich."

  4. Eugene, Oregon

    A long-standing Saturday farmers' market, chefs dedicated to local and organic ingredients, and tons of well respected wineries and vineyards are a few of reasons why Eugene, Oregon's second largest city, boasts such a thriving food scene. The local blog Eugene Weekly Chow! features establishments that cook with locally produced ingredients and provides a detailed and extensive list of the city's restaurants. For the visiting wine connoisseur, there are several vineyards and wineries close to Eugene offering tours and daily tastings.

  5. Asheville, North Carolina

    Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and known popularly as the Paris of the South, Asheville's culture embraces both the sophisticated and the earthy. Downtown and beyond, there is a broad selection of restaurants and damn good coffee shops that will please the most casual or discerning foodie. For all you Van Morrison fans out there, downtown's Tupelo Honey Café is considered a must-do visit for lovers of Southern cooking, if only for their sweet potato pancakes with peach butter. The nationally renowned The Market Place uses ingredients from area farms for its unique menu.

  1. Houston, Texas

    Houston locals reportedly dine out more than residents of any other city: four times a week according to a recent statistic! But even with 8,000 restaurants to choose from, representing more countries across the globe than you might imagine, Houston somehow still doesn't get its due as a destination for culinary variety and excellence. UrbanSpoon is a great place to start your research of Houston eateries. Houston has the third largest Vietnamese-American community in the U.S., and there are several great Vietnamese restaurants to choose from as a result. And it's probably accurate to describe Houston as the barbeque capital of the world, with Gabby's being just one destination among many for those who crave ribs.

  2. Austin, Texas

    Food trucks — they seem to be popping up in cities all over the U.S. But Austin, the nation's capital for live music, is truly a power spot for food truck culture. However, good eating in this city doesn't begin and end with a taco truck. The Austin-based food blog Relish is just one of many, many blogs dedicated to the city's complex culinary culture, providing news, reviews, and recipes. Where do you eat first when you visit Austin? This is not an easy question to answer…

  3. Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Caribbean, Brazilian, North African: these are descriptive words synonymous with warm even incredibly hot weather, which is not something Minneapolis is known for. No matter. Culinary traditions from throughout the Caribbean and Latin-Americas are plentiful throughout this chilly city, as are fresh takes on comfort food at establishments like Mission American Kitchen & Bar. Minneapolis is also known for its craft beer and breweries, including the Surly Brewing Company, whose beers are found in many of the city's bars and restaurants.

  4. Denver, Colorado

    Denver, host of the annual National Western Stock Show, is well known for its steak houses. If you crave ribeyes, sirloins, t-bones, and tenderloins, as well as Western big game cuisine like elk and bison, then saddle up, and head straight to Denver. But like all of the cities on this list, Denver has a rich and varied food culture running counter to the traditional, thanks to several innovative chefs, a half a dozen of whom were nominated for the James Beard House Foundation award in 2010. These culinary masters embrace and create new fusions of food but, as would be expected in a city that prides itself of being unpretentious, few menus come without what the Denver Post calls "a solid take on meat-and-potatoes."

  5. Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Red, or green? Not sure how to answer? Here's a clue: Say "Christmas" if you like both red and green chiles. For nearly 500 years, regional cuisine in Albuquerque has combined Native American ingredients with Spanish and Mexican to create what is popularly known as New Mexican Cuisine. More traditional, straightforward Native American fare can be sampled as well. Albuquerque's wine-making history goes back to 1629, when Spanish missionaries first planted grape vines throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Several of the city's well-respected and award-winning wineries are open to visitors and host daily wine tastings.

10 Things You Need to Know About Downton Abbey

Within the last few months, you've probably heard murmurs about a little show called Downton Abbey. Well, those murmurs exploded into full-on raves very recently as PBS premiered the first episode of season two on Jan. 8, with everyone from an America's Next Top Model judge to comedians Patton Oswalt and Michael Ian Black chiming in on Twitter to comment on the phenomenon. Now that your friends and coworkers are all abuzz with gossip about the English period drama, you might be ready to dive into it or possibly write it off altogether. Before you do either, you need to know a few pieces of information to make the most informed decision (or at least be able to vaguely follow your friends' Downton Abbey conversations).

  1. It's not DownTOWN Abbey

    It's an easy enough mistake to make if you aren't familiar with the show since downtown is actually a word, and Downton is, well, a place some British writers made up. But if you don't want to be laughed at, or worse, glared out of a conversation about the show, you'd better get the name right. It helps if you say it with a snobby British accent. Downton Abbey is the country estate (think castle rather than cottage) of an earl and countess. The drama in the series revolves around these elites, their family, and the servants in their household, and boy, do they have a lot of drama.

  2. It's set in the best time period possible

    We probably all have our favorite eras — some of us probably even prefer shows set in the future. But there's something about the early 20th Century that draws us in, and Downton Abbey seems to touch on every awesome aspect. At the end of the Edwardian era, the romantic tragedies of the Titanic sinking and the world going to war for the first time combine with the impending change when the rich and poor will become more equal. There may be perfect period costumes and an American accent you wouldn't recognize today, but the show deals with the real issues and history, from the Suffragette effort to the war effort. And it doesn't bother dragging through time like real life; it zips through two years in just a season so we can get to the good stuff.

  3. It's not Pride and Prejudice

    Just because it's a period drama with fancy costumes and a rich upper class doesn't mean that this show is really anything like a Jane Austen novel. The etiquette and decorum are similar, though the Austen story and the PBS show take place 100 years apart, but Downton Abbey has an edge that Ms. Austen wouldn't dream of. It's like comparing Mad Men to Happy Days just because they happened in related time periods. Without spoiling any of the fun parts of Downton, there is death, sex, and some behavior very unbecoming of a lady. You won't be bored, and you won't be wading through thick, flowery language trying to follow the plot and figure out which are insults and which are professions of love.

  4. The servants aren't all good and the rich aren't all bad

    The beauty of Downton Abbey is that no class is stereotyped. Each character has a developed (and evolving) personality regardless of whether they hang out down in the kitchen and servants' quarters or live the high life and are waited on hand and foot. Among the servants, there are truly honest, decent people, who either love their job and harbor a fierce loyalty to the household or tolerate their job but perform it with integrity, and there are those who will trample on others to get their way. Among the wealthy characters, some are kind-hearted and progressive, others are ruthless and manipulative, and many fall convincingly in the middle.

  5. Ugly sisters are the worst

    This is one lesson we learned from the Kardashians that seems to apply to every time period. When you start watching Downton Abbey, you might earnestly want to like Edith, the middle of the Earl's three daughters. With her shrew face and unsexy haircut, you think she must be the most beautiful on the inside, but it doesn't take long to see that she's got a serious case of sisterly jealousy. In fact, there's not much else to her character besides her malicious intent to destroy her elder sister's happiness, and it's kind of believable in a society that values beauty and winning the affection of men more than whatever else poor Edith might've offered to the more modern world. Feel sorry for her if you must, but don't trust her for a second.

  6. It's not all love stories and rivalries

    On the surface, this series might seem like it's targeted at the gentler sex, but don't let all the manners and corsets fool you. With the announcement of the Great War (or World War I for you modern folks) at the end of the first season, Downton Abbey ushers in a new kind of drama. We're taken to the trenches in France where rich and poor fight side by side. We see the toll the war takes on all those back home and the inner struggle of the men who haven't enlisted yet. We probably won't be seeing Saving Private Ryan levels of gore, but many of the plot lines will surely be more appreciated by men than women.

  7. Maggie Smith's still got it

    Even though Smith looks like she could've been alive in 1912 when Downton Abbey opens, she's still one of the highlights of the cast. The actress, best known recently for her role as Harry Potter's Professor Minerva McGonagall, plays the role of Dowager Countess of Grantham, which is a fancy way of saying she's the Earl's mother who still has considerable say in the way things are run around Downton Abbey. Smith has a way of delivering withering stares and crippling insults in a such a polite way that you wouldn't know whether to cry or thank her. She also makes a believable out-of-touch old lady, asking what a "weekend" is and taking on a new-fangled swivel chair. Smith has already won an Emmy for the role and has recently been nominated for a Golden Globe.

  8. And the rest of the cast matches her

    Though the rest of the cast is more unknown to an American audience than Smith is, you won't be disappointed by the caliber of their performances. Many of them are famous among Brits and you may even recognize a couple if you've seen the right films. In particular, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, who play the Earl and the Countess, stand out from the pack, earning Golden Globe nominations this year for Best Actor and Actress in a TV Miniseries or Movie.

  9. It's making PBS cool again

    We say "again" because you can't deny your childhood love for shows like Wishbone and Reading Rainbow. For decades, PBS has really only appealed to the very young and the very old (or at least very serious) viewer, but with the introduction of Downton Abbey, PBS is generating buzz they haven't experienced since the death of Mr. Rogers (may he rest in peace). The show earned four Emmys last year and was watched by 13 million people, merits that might bring PBS back to the glory we felt it deserved when we were five.

  10. It's online

    Whether you want to catch up or peek ahead, the Internet has the Downton Abbey episodes for you. Season one is available to stream on Netflix and PBS' website has a limited number of full episodes from last season and the recent season two premiere. Also, if you need your drama fix before the new episodes are shown each week on TV, the second season has already aired in England, so you can find it online if you know where to look.

The 10 Most Believable Movie Bullies

Wedgies, swirlies, after-school fights. These aren't foreign concepts to most of us, especially those of us who were ever picked on by a bigger, meaner kid growing up. While many movies tend to stereotype bullies and the nerds they tormented showing laughable instances of being shoved into lockers and comical displays of revenge, other films give a thoughtful depiction of the psychology and reality of bullies and the bullied. You probably wouldn't want to be on the bad side of these domineering characters.

  1. Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story

    The infamous bully with the yellow eyes is a classic example of a neighborhood ruffian, terrorizing the smaller kids with his trash-talking minion by his side. While the wolf's theme from Peter and the Wolf may not have literally played whenever our old antagonists appeared, it's certainly close to the menacing theme song we imagined. Farkus makes Ralphie and his friends cry "Uncle," stalks them on their walks home, and nails them in the face with snowballs, but just like many real-life bullies, he's not above crying when he gets a taste of his own medicine.

  2. Regina George in Mean Girls

    Boys may use physical bullying more than girls do, but there is no greater hell than the one that can be created by mean teenage girls. Regina George is beautiful and always gets her way, and yet still feels the need to bad-mouth every girl in her high school. She even starts rumors about former friends, like her middle-school best friend, Janis, whom Regina labeled as a lesbian. Most girls know, whether popular or not, that high school is a minefield for girls as they try to win over boys and pretty friends, often at the expense of other girls. Regina might be the Queen Bee and ultimate bully of the school, but the movie also shows how girls within the same group of friends tend to torture each other.

  3. John Bender in The Breakfast Club

    Everyone seems to have their role in the high school world, and for John Bender, it's that of the misbehaved bully. While in detention with a jock, a nerd, a princess, and a weirdo, Bender teases everyone, especially the rich Daddy's girl. He reduces her to tears by making fun of her and embarrassing her for having such an easy life. But throughout the movie, you see a different side to the classic tormenter. Bender's jealous of what his life is lacking, including money and the love of his parents. He's been neglected and abused throughout his childhood and it's hardened him. The Breakfast Club humanizes bullies and allows us to see that there's often a hurt child behind the mean exterior.

  4. Carlin in Scum

    This 1979 British film about inmates in a borstal, or youth prison, shows a brutal side to such institutions and what happens when teenagers are left to struggle for dominance. In the world of youth correctional facilities, at least in the late '70s, the options were to be bullied or become a bully yourself. Carlin is the perfect example of a troubled youth who turns to violence only as a means to survive. He arrives at the borstal after taking the blame for his brother's crime and tries to stay out of trouble, but discovers that it's impossible to stay out of harm's way. After being assaulted by the current borstal leader, Carlin gets his revenge and becomes the new "Daddy" by issuing beatings to anyone who stands as his competition.

  5. Mitch Hiller in Enough

    We traditionally think of bullying as something that stops after graduation, but some evil people never outgrow their domineering personality. Enough is the story of a woman who is physically and psychologically abused by her husband. He uses their daughter and his money as pawns to keep his wife under his control and turns to violence when that won't work. Though the fact that Jennifer Lopez plays the main character in this drama kept the film from achieving much success, the stalker husband Mitch Hiller drives home the point that bullying doesn't stop in school and reminds us of the women out there who battle this kind of bullying every day.

  6. Marianne in Easy A

    Bullies come in all forms, and even people who feel like they've got good intentions can turn into tormenters. In Easy A, a girl lies about losing her virginity and an overzealous (and albeit stereotypical) Christian named Marianne spreads the rumor and ruins the girl's reputation. Though this character is a little over-the-top, she serves as a reminder that bullying someone because they don't follow your religious beliefs is still bullying and there are better ways to save someone than trying to run them out of your school.

  7. Kenny in Let Me In

    You may not believe in vampire children after seeing this American remake of the Swedish Let the Right One In, but you'll be confident that horrifying, savage bullying exists. The director of the film nails this thought when he says that the real horror of the story isn't the vampires, but the hell that some children have to go through. Kenny tortures his classmate, Owen, beating him and threatening to push him into a frozen lake. Even after Owen stands up for himself, Kenny just recruits his older brother to help him teach Owen a lesson during a terrifying scene in a pool. The fate of the bullies may not be realistic, but their methods unfortunately are.

  8. George in Mean Creek

    This 2004 independent film helped humanize bullies. When you're on the receiving end of insults or poundings, it can be hard to get any insight into why someone would act that way, but it becomes clear in this movie that bully George is just lonely. When some boys invite George on a boat trip with a plan to get revenge, they discover that George is really trying to be accepted by them and has been acting out for attention. George meets a sad doom after joking about a sore subject with one of the boys and it serves as an example of a misunderstood tormenter becoming the victim of vengeful bullying.

  9. Biff Tannen in Back to the Future

    Biff Tannen is the kind of bully who never grows out of his domineering ways and continues picking on weaker guys even when he's out in the working world. Before Marty McFly travels to the past, Biff is Marty's dad's supervisor, humiliating him every chance he gets. We then see that Biff has been taking his aggression out on the older McFly for decades. This kind of bully hates anyone who gets in the way of what he wants and will step on people to get ahead, only stopping when he finally gets challenged by one of his victims and knocked down himself.

  10. Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid

    It's not unusual for a top athlete to turn to bullying when he feels his dominance (in a sport or otherwise) being threatened. In The Karate Kid, Daniel LaRusso challenges Johnny's status with a popular girl and Johnny's martial arts team begins to torture Daniel. Johnny tries to defend his pride by exhibiting fiercely violent tendencies, which is often the answer young men turn to when they haven't learned better ways to deal with problems. You can also see the influence an adult bully can have on the younger generation as Johnny's sensei encourages him to be ruthless and use immoral karate moves.

9 Coolest Literary Siblings

Emotions run high between siblings, be they brothers, sisters, and/or brothers and sisters. It really doesn't matter how old or what gender you are, being in the same room with a person who not only looks like you but also looks like one or both of your parents can inspire equal feelings of love and revulsion. "Mom always liked you best!" is a familiar familial complaint in spite of the fact that "Mom" loves each one of her kids equally and only wants you to stop dumping oatmeal on your sister's head. Great writers throughout the ages have had a field day with the sibling dynamic. And there are so many variations on this theme it's almost hard to know where to begin.

  1. Franny and Zooey Glass in Franny and Zooey (1961) by J.D. Salinger

    Book One features Franny on the verge of a nervous breakdown. In Book Two, Franny has had the breakdown, and her brother Zooey, whose bedside manner leaves much to be desired, tries to bring her back from the abyss. He resorts to phoning Franny and pretending to be their kinder, gentler brother Buddy, which (predictably) doesn't work for long. In the end, the memory of a telling incident with a third brother, Seymour (dead by suicide), provides Franny with the lifeline she needs.

  2. Cinderella and her evil stepsisters in Cinderella by Charles Perrault (1729)

    Cinderella's evil stepsisters may be the most realistically portrayed in literature when it comes to unchecked and cruel behavior toward gentler, and kinder members of a family. Although the Brothers Grimm retold "Cinderella" in their 1812 collection, the original tale may date back as far back as Ancient Greece. Does this mean women, disregarding for argument's sake men and Air Jordans, have always had an inexplicable obsession with shoes?

  3. Lucy and Freddy Honeychurch in A Room With A View (1908) by E.M. Forster

    Lucy seems to let her hair down only when dear brother Freddy is around. Freddy, who never warms up to Lucy's fiancé, the stuffy, stick-up-his-ass Cecil, unknowingly befriends George, a free spirit who smooched Lucy earlier in the book during a somewhat traumatic trip to Italy, and set the wheels in motion for Lucy to find true love and remain an independent spirit. Now that's being a good brother!

  4. Sisters Celie and Nettie in The Color Purple (1982) by Alice Walker

    Walker's novel is filled with iconic characters, two of the most memorable being Celie and her sister Nettie. Celie is finally able to emerge as a strong, self-determined woman, in spite of the years of unimaginable abuse she's endured, in part through her bond with and love for her sister.

  5. Third cousins Charlie and Paulie Moran in The Pope of Greenwich Village (1979) by Vincent Patrick

    To paraphrase one of the book's characters, third cousins to Italians are like twin brothers to the Irish. Not even Italian mobsters and corrupt Irish cops can sever the sense of loyalty that Charlie and Paulie share with each other. Paulie's almost sociopathic disregard for holding down a job and settling down pushes their relationship to the brink, and yet somehow, things never go completely over the edge.

  6. Twins Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee in Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice found there (1871) by Lewis Carroll

    For his sequel to Alice in Wonderland, Carroll sampled this duo from an old nursery rhyme. The characters appeared in the beautiful, Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland and director Tim Burton's twisted take on Alice and Through the Looking Glass. An example of how these two are a part of our popular vernacular, Ralph Nader famously referred to George W. Bush and Al Gore as "tweedle dum and tweedle dee" with regard to each man's policies regarding corporations.

  7. Caleb and Aaron in East of Eden by John Steinbeck (1952)

    Brothers Caleb and Aaron mirror Cain and Abel from the Book of Genesis, which Steinbeck repeatedly alludes to throughout his novel. The level of cruelty that family members are capable of exacting upon one another is a major theme in what Steinbeck considered his greatest novel.

  8. Hansel and Gretel retold by the Brothers Grimm (1812)

    "Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his wife and his two children." How can you not love two kids who, abandoned in the woods by their wimpy father and psychotic (step?) mother are nearly eaten by a cannibalistic witch living in a house made of candy? Even 21st century kids identify immediately with these two little ones and how they stick together even in the scariest of circumstances.

  9. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne: The Brontë sisters

    Okay, they're not fictional, but their accomplishments for their time (early to mid 1800's) were so unusual, they each wouldn't be out of place as a character in a novel that any of them might have written. Interestingly, considering that the Brontë sisters grew up mutually supporting each other in the shadow of an abusive father as well as sharing their earliest writing efforts each other, they are each best known for creating almost autonomous heroines, like Charlotte's orphaned Jane Eyre or Helen Lawrence Huntingdon in Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Earning Potential of a Video Game Tester

How to Become a Video Game Tester

The video game industry generates nearly $10 billion in revenue each year, and it captures at least eight hours of free time each week among adults ages 18 to 49. In this hypercompetitive world, it is crucial that developers release exciting games that are free of glitches, bug and errors. A few bad reviews from a popular blog and customers translates into thousands of wasted dollars, so game developers heavily rely on quality assurance (QA) testers to ensure that a polished product is released.

For avid gamers, becoming a beta tester may seem like the ultimate dream job. Having free access to unreleased titles, shaping the development of a game with your opinion and discovering secret passageways and codes, all while getting paid to do something you love, can become a reality if serious effort is put into becoming a professional video game tester.

The Role of a Video Game Tester

Earning a paycheck as a professional video game tester is very different from playing for fun. The role of a QA specialist is to test the game for glitches and bugs the programmers must fix before release. As the game is played, detailed notes must be taken for the QA report on crashes and freezes, as well as any inconsistencies in graphics, audio or storyline that negatively influence the gaming experience. Providing comprehensive summaries on the error, where it occurred and how often is critical.

As a result, beta testing can become tedious. Testers are typically assigned one video at a time. While most titles are in final development, testers do not choose their favorite games. Rather than playing the game from beginning to end, QA specialists are usually assigned specific levels. Their main goal is to push the boundaries of the game to identify quirks and discrepancies. Weapons should react the way they are intended, while impassable barriers should be impenetrable from various angles and speeds. Each level should load, and graphics should be displayed, correctly.

Identifying these types of errors requires repetitive play. Thoroughly combing over one game requires hundreds of hours. Testers must be observant to spot unordinary or problematic aspects of the game. Once the assignment is complete and the bugs are fixed, the game must be retested until the gaming experience is as smooth as possible.

Despite the tedious attention to details, beta testers universally agree they have the best job ever invented.

Required Skills for Video Game Testing

There are no age requirements or advanced training required to become a video game tester. While degree programs do exist for game design and IT development, there is no set curriculum or advanced training courses for quality assurance testers.

Jeff Roper, who served as the QA Project Lead for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, recently told G4, "The basic characteristics managers look for are a fundamental love and passion for video games. Other important characteristics are an eye for detail, critical thinking and the ability to stay focused."

Job posting for QA testers often require employees to have an analytical mind, a keen eye for errors and good report writing skills. They must also understand how to evaluate a product, and they must adhere to strict deadlines. Testers who freelance from home also need self-discipline to complete assignments quickly and thoroughly.

Although not required, many game developers give applicants bonus points for possessing knowledge of MMORPG, roleplaying and console games. Testers should also keep up with industry developments, the latest releases and the next generation of gaming system. Freelancers may be expected to provide their own consoles and high-definition TV, but a company game testing center will supply all needed equipment.

With persistence, the passion to turn a gaming hobby into a real career can happen. Wages vary considerably by company and assignment, but generally beginners earn $8 to $15 per hour. After two years, that income can double, while experienced testers who have gained strong references can make up to $50 per hour. Most assignments are paid at an hourly rate, which means testers increase their earning potential the faster they get at evaluating. Some developers allow testers to keep the games, while others offer a free copy upon release.

In this highly competitive field, many beta testers work from home as freelancers, although large companies prefer employees to work onsite due to confidentiality issues. Hiring managers rarely advertise open positions online or in newspaper ads. Instead, they rely on recruitment agencies that specialize in the gaming industry. Numerous testers report that they successfully approached their employer directly for a game testing position.

Since landing a job in this industry is inextricably linked to networking, it may take some time to get in the door with a game developer. When searching online, look for jobs requesting quality assurance testers, rather than video game testers. This will weed out many of the scams that offer a list of open position for a subscription fee. You should never have to pay to get a job.

While it is generally agreed that you should also not perform work for free, an unpaid internship with a gaming company will provide valuable experiences, contacts and references, and it may possibly extend into a paid position. Most companies limit freelancers to testing a single game until production is finalized, so it is important to line up projects while working on assignments.

Resources for Landing a Video Game Tester Job

G4 University recently released its Complete Guide to Landing a Video Game Job course, which introduces study programs, workshops and educational paths that lead to careers in the gaming industry. You will also find advice from working professionals, as well as a comprehensive list of where to apply for a video game tester job.

10 Actors Who Didn’t Break Out Until Middle Age

Like the song says, "Age ain't nothing but a number." Of course, that song was sung by a teenager, and it created some serious legal problems for the much older subject described in the lyrics. Perhaps a more helpful adage would be, "It's never too late to break out and begin a new adventure," be it completing a degree, starting a new business, or learning a new skill. If you need a little inspiration, consider the careers of these actors who didn't pop until they were approaching middle age.

  1. Don Johnson

    (b. 1949) Breakout age: 35! In 1984, after years of appearing in several failed television pilots and a handful of mostly forgettable films, Johnson was cast as undercover police detective Sonny Crockett in Michael Mann's groundbreaking television series Miami Vice. And hey, if you count Nash Bridges and a third career resurrection in Robert Rodriguez's ultraviolent grindhouse homage Machete, that's two additional middle-age career break outs!

  2. Rue McClanahan

    (b. 1934; d.2010) Breakout age: 38! Before she took on the role of the oversexed Southern Belle Blanche Devereaux in the hit series The Golden Girls, McClanahan broke out playing the role of Vivian Harmon on yet another groundbreaking show, the 1972 All in the Family spinoff Maude. In real life, like Bea Arthur's character Maude (and Bea Arthur herself), McClanahan was an outspoken, socially conscious feminist.

  3. Fred Rogers

    (b. 1928; d.2003) Breakout age: 40! Fred Rogers became a children's television icon as a result of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood which premiered on public television in 1968. His background as a minister and skills as an actor (he provided the voice for most of the puppets appearing on the show) served him in his mission to inspire healthy social, cognitive, and emotional development in his young viewers.

  4. James Earl Jones

    (b. 1931) Breakout age: 40! Sure he provided the unforgettable voice of the evil Darth Vader in George Lucas' 1977 classic Star Wars and subsequent sequels/prequels. But it was Jones' breakthrough performance as boxer Jack Jefferson in the 1970 film The Great White Hope that gave him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Jones was also one of the first celebrities to appear on a then-new and innovative children's show called Sesame Street where, in one of the early pilots, he slowly, and dramatically, counted from one to 10.

  5. Dennis Farina

    (b. 1944) Breakout age: 42! Chicago-born and raised Farina served on the Chicago police force for 18 years moonlighting as an actor before being cast by Michael Mann in a couple episodes of Miami Vice and then as the lead in the stylish, controversial, and short-lived series Crime Story.

  6. Bernie Mac

    (b. 1957; d.2008) Breakout age: 44! One of the Kings of Comedy, Bernie "Mac" McCullough came up as a stand-up comedian with R- and X-rated routines inspired by the greats Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor. In 2001, Mac brought another layer of emotional depth to his edgy humor in the role of a nearly overwhelmed dad suddenly saddled with three adopted kids on the Fox TV series, The Bernie Mac Show. The show was a hit and brought the Macman's talent into living rooms of "America," as he was wont to address the viewer in recurring segments where he broke the "fourth wall" and addressed the camera directly.

  7. Bea Arthur

    (b. 1922; d. 2009) Breakout age: 44! Another alum of The Golden Girls, actress, comedienne, and singer Bea Arthur is well known for her supporting role on the show All In The Family where she played Edith Bunker's outspoken, adamantly feminist sister Maude Findlay. But before her television success, this multifaceted performer won a Tony Award for her performance as Vera Charles in the musical Mame (1966).

  8. Pam Grier

    (b. 1949) Breakout age: 48! Grier of course is an icon of classic 1970s blaxploitation films including the classic Foxy Brown. Leave it to Quentin Tarantino to see the scope of her true potential as an actor and cast her as the star of one of his best films, Jackie Brown (1997).

  9. Morgan Freeman

    (b. 1937) Breakout age: 52! Freeman made his Broadway debut in 1968 in an all-black version of Hello, Dolly!. Later, he was featured on the 1970s children's television show The Electric Company playing the characters Easy Reader and Vincent the Vegetable Vampire. But it was his award-winning performances in the 1989 films Driving Miss Daisy and Glory that sealed his reputation as one of the great actors of our time. He is also the man you wish narrated your life.

  10. John Houseman

    (b. 1902; d. 1988) Breakout age: 71! One of the great producers of early groundbreaking American theater, including the politically charged The Cradle Will Rock, Houseman personified the professor-you-love-but-who-still-scares-the-hell-out-of-you in his career-defining role as Professor Charles Kingsfield in the 1973 film The Paper Chase. Law school would never be the same.

History’s Most Famous Last Words

It's a sad fact we have to face: we're all going to kick the bucket eventually. Whether it's from old age or a freak accident, each of us will see a light at the end of the tunnel some day. If you're smart, though, (or just lucky) you'll take the opportunity to leave some words of wisdom or tell a legendary joke on your deathbed. The famed dying words of these people have become a part of history itself and kept our memory of them from dying.

  1. Groucho Marx

    The comedian with dozens of famous quotes (and many that he didn't say but are attributed to him anyway) couldn't leave this life without giving us one last zinger. In 1977, at the age of 87, he was hospitalized with pneumonia. Before his death, he said, "Die, my dear? Why, that's the last thing I'll do!" You've got to wonder how long he'd been saving that line.

  2. Nathan Hale

    Hale is often more remembered for his final words than he is for the life he lived. During the American Revolution, Hale was sent to spy on the British troops on Long Island, N.Y., the only person who volunteered for the dangerous job of reporting from behind enemy lines. He ended up being captured by the British and hanged in 1776, but not before delivering the well-known patriotic phrase: "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Hale is considered a historical American hero for his brave act and catchy one-liner.

  3. John Barrymore

    Theater-goers today would probably recognize the name John Barrymore as the grandfather of actress Drew Barrymore, but he was a famous actor in his own right. Part of the celebrated Barrymore acting family, John Barrymore has been considered one of the best actors of his time, with a career that lasted from around 1913 until 1940. He died in 1942, but not before delivering this proud line: "Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him." And then it happened, whether he allowed it or not.

  4. Oscar Wilde

    The famed poet and playwright must've known he had to have something great to say as his parting words. After all, his whole life had been about words (his notable works include The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray), and he couldn't go out on a bad note. Just before his death from cerebral meningitis in 1900, he said, "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has got to go." Some historians believe these weren't his final words, but may have been uttered in the weeks leading up to his death. Either way, it seems as if the wallpaper won.

  5. Humphrey Bogart

    The American Film Institute named Humphrey Bogart the greatest male cinema star ever, but there's one thing even more certain than that: the man liked to drink. He had once suggested that world peace could be achieved if the world leaders all just had a few drinks together. When the Casablanca star passed away in 1957, he seemed to have just one regret: "I never should've switched from scotch to martinis."

  6. Winston Churchill

    Winston Churchill had so much going on in his life that death was the least interesting thing to ever happen to him. He served as the Prime Minister of England twice, won a Nobel Prize in Literature, and became the first Honorary Citizen of the United States. It'd be hard to crack open a history book without finding a mention of Churchill and his great feats. So it's no wonder that as he faced death in 1965 at the age of 90, he told loved ones, "I'm so bored with it all."

  7. Charlie Chaplin

    You might not expect a silent-film star to have anything interesting to say, but Charlie Chaplin's last words gave the actor a voice some of us didn't know he had. Well into his career, he did begin to appear in talkies and obviously said something wrong in his personal life because he was exiled to Europe during the McCarthy Era. His dying words, though, are more well remembered. When a priest pronounced "May the Lord have mercy on your soul," Chaplin said to him, "Why not? It belongs to him."

  8. James French

    Condemned criminals typically have a lot of time to think about what they're going to say before they're executed. Some express remorse, reassure their families that they love them, or maintain their innocence. But others have a little more fun with the legacy they're leaving. While serving a life sentence, French murdered his cellmate and was ordered to be executed by electric chair in 1966. When he was asked if he had any last words he wanted to say, French said to the members of the press in the audience, "How's this for a headline? 'French Fries.'" Another executed criminal named George Appel told his executioners, "Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel."

  9. Voltaire

    The noted French philosopher and outspoken voice against the religious dogma of the time spent his life writing thousands of letters and pamphlets as one of the French Enlightenment leaders. A few months before his death, Voltaire believed he was dying and summed up his feelings in writing: "I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition." He survived though, and got a do-over in May 1778. Though his critics say he repented or died in agony, his supporters say he refused his last rites with a little bit of sass. A priest told him to renounce Satan before his impending death, and Voltaire replied, "Now, now, my good man, this is not the time for making enemies."

  10. Jesus Christ

    Whether you're a Christian or not, you probably are familiar with the last words of Jesus as he died on the cross, as recorded in the Bible. Before his death, he is said to have spoken with God, another criminal on the cross, and his mother, but his most well-known line was "It is finished." According to Christian teachings, he was referring to his life and his job on earth as the son of God. Even those who don't believe in him as the messiah know that these last words became important ones in the world's history.

Degree Quick Finder

1

2

3

Recommended Colleges

With over 50 online programs available, American InterContinental University has a wide range of options for students seeking to advance in their career.

Request Info Now

Committed to providing quality education at an affordable price, Strayer University offers full support and financial aid options for qualified students.

Request Info Now

Kaplan University is an accredited, leading provider of online higher education. We offer 170 online programs and degrees in a variety of fields. Rigorous curriculum is designed to provide you with the relevant skills to pursue your career and personal goals.

Request Info Now