Top Five Free Apps on the Android Market

Written by: Lisa Pearson

The iPhone is known to have some great apps, but what about those who have Android phones? Android devotees need not worry; phones on the ave equally fun and functional apps to help make life more interesting. Take a look at the list Android operating system Take a look at the list of top five free apps on Android market  and see if it compares to your top five list.The Android market has a plethora of applications available from games, music, books, and movies. Many of the games and books are available for free on the Android market while many of the apps available on the iPhone require a nominal fee. If you are one of the many people who love to play games or listen to music in their spare time, the cost of apps can add up fast. According to Distimo, which is an app store analytics company, in 2010 57 percent of Android apps were free compared to the 28 percent of free apps on the iPhone.
If you are new to Android phones and the market, take a look at the helpful video below which takes you step-by-step through downloading and uninstalling apps.

For those who are already well-versed in the Android market, consider adding these top five free apps to your arsenal of applications:
Pandora-Music lovers can create their own music stations with this handy app. If you love the sounds of Adele and create an Adele station; Pandora will also play other singers with similar style of singing such as Duffy or Amy Winehouse. The great thing about Pandora is that you have the opportunity to listen to other artists you might not have discovered on your own.

Google Currents-This app delivers magazine-quality articles that you can read offline on smartphones and tablets. There are a variety of magazines and websites to choose from and you can also share interesting stories through email or a social networking website.

Alfred -Meet your new drinking and dining helper. You can “teach” Alfred what your favorite bars and eateries are and he will make recommendations on new places to visit. The more you tell him about what you like, the better his recommendations will be. Everyone can use this clever app is a great tool to help navigate you to all the great hangouts.

MyFitnessPal – For anyone who is trying lose weight, exercise more, or just eat healthier; this app tracks all of these things and then some. You can set a weight loss goal for yourself and the app will calculate the number of calories you should consume per day in order to reach that goal. It also has a huge database of food, drinks and exercises so you can input all your meals, drinks, snacks and workouts throughout the day.

Llama-Does your phone always ring at inopportune times? Llama is a location aware mobile app. You can have your phone set to silent but still have calls from your boss or family come through. You can also set a timer for a specific profile so if you’re going to be on a conference call for the next hour you can set it to silent for 1 hour and then it’s back to normal.

Hopefully, you discovered some new things from the list of top five free apps on the Android market. Before you pay for any apps, always look at the list of free offerings. You will likely find a comparable free app to the paid version. Happy hunting!

Isn’t She Sexy? Apple Places Restrictions on Its Most Sexiest Apps

Written By: Maureen Ahmed

Sex sells. That’s an understatement.

Apple started banning approximately 5,000 applications for its iPhone, especially those that feature sexually indicative material. Pictures of women in bikinis and lingerie and applications that can make a cartoon woman’s boobs bigger with the touch of the screen are now no longer available.

Or are they? Many application developers are confused about Apple’s screening process because apps from such conglomerates as Sports Illustrated and Playboy are still very much available for purchase. Other apps, such as “SlideHer,” a puzzle that allows iPhone owners to reassemble a photo of a scantily clad actress, and “Sexy Scratch Off,” where you can whisk away at a woman’s dress at the push of a finger, have been purged away. In a response to customer complaints, Apple started turning off the button on certain applications they deemed “inappropriate,” as reported by the New York Times.

But how do you define what’s “inappropriate?” Women have complained that the content has become too degrading and objectionable while parents are concerned that their children might turn on the screen on their iPod Touch and find a barely dressed woman on the screen. But how is Apple figuring out what to get rid of?

On its Web site, “Chillfresh” said that an Apple representative told the developer that the App Store policy will not tolerate applications that include the following: “images of women in bikinis, images of men in bikinis, images of skin, silhouettes indicating that the app includes sexual images, sexual connotations or innuendo, and sexually arousing content.” It was stated that no applications will be approved if they imply sexual content.

Cashing in on E-Waste

Written by Ian Bellamy

What do you do when your mobile phone dies? It’s a shame to simply throw it away, especially since it’s loaded with gold, silver, copper and other valuable raw materials.

Not to mention larger electronic devices, such as computers and tablets.

A German company, ALBA, has agreed to work with their national post office, who will collect any old electronic devices that will fit in an A4-sized envelop. The company will then harvest materials and reuse up to 80 percent of them.

Germany gets over 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, and has one the most developed recycling programs in the world.

There is, according to six categories of recyclables in place:

  • the yellow bin for packaging materials,
  • the brown bin for compostables,
  • the blue bin for paper,
  • the white glass bin,
  • the colored glass bin, and
  • the grey bin for the rest of the trash.

Recycling programs such as these are not unheard of. Cell for Cash (who is not currently accepting orders) was known to take old mobile phones and refurbish them for sale in developing countries. The Cash for Clunkers program in the U.S. would also scrap the old vehicles for the metal.

E-Waste is becoming a bigger problem day in and day out, as it accounts for 70 percent of overall toxic garbage.

According to Recyclebank, a company that encourages people to recycle, “The total annual global volume of e-waste is expected to reach about 40 million metric tons. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that we generated 1.5 billion pounds of all kinds of e-waste in 2006. This includes an estimated 44 million computers and televisions.”

Of course, this is only going to increase in time as more people get cell phones and computers and the rate which technology is becoming updated.

It’s harmful to see retired cell phones as “waste,” because in fact it is a resource. A functional phone can be donated, and a broken one can be refurbished or recycled. With the amount of e-waste that is already present and the amount that we will produce in the future, it is inevitable that we will have to keep in mind our limited resources, especially with regard to rare-earth minerals that are found in everyday devices.

We can expect that as the problem of e-waste becomes more dire, we’ll see more programs and companies, and it appears that Germany is leading the way.

Arizona State Seeks Funding and Help for New Football Stadium

Written by: Eric Forthun

Arizona State University has played in Sun Devil Stadium since 1958, yet they are now searching for a new means to make the stadium more viable. The current stadium, which consists of metal bleachers and older construction (only costing roughly $1 million at the time of build), has been home to professional teams like the Arizona Cardinals, and has hosted countless bowl games and sporting events.

The attempt to build a new stadium, though, could cost upwards of $300 million, a hefty amount for a new college stadium that would serve as an upgrade to the standing body. There is support amongst individuals in the community, particularly the school’s representatives, who see this as an option to not only earn money in the long run, but provide a memorable experience for students. Most do not care for the stadium’s older look and lack of accommodations, but the new upgrade could potentially allow for more amenities for students to search for during breaks.

Another major complaint about the current stadium is the lack of shade it provides, which is one of the largest factors in the new design. Large, wide-spread canopies would cover the stadium, or at least the bleachers, in hopes of providing viewers with more preferable situations. Officials hope that this will not only draw in more customers and students, but also allow for better viewing and more comfortable playing for the football players.

The cost, though, no matter how justifiable for the large upgrades planned, is still struggling to get support. While there are some who believe that the sporting events will draw in money, there are others who don’t see the cost as justifiable in the long run. Especially with the problems arising in public education right now, and the general lack of support amongst students for more ways to spend money that doesn’t go toward actual education, there isn’t enough of a claim by the university to warrant the cost.

The fight will persist, and the university hopes that the new stadium can shed light on the university as one of the top in the country. The new innovations, though, won’t be a complete remodeling, but a sign of rebirth as the college continues to thrive off of its widespread recognition. The football team, with a new coach and new hope for next year, wants there to be more public support for the team and the university itself, and the public may start to come around once the funding feels more opportune and appropriate.

As of now, though, the support isn’t substantial enough to mean anything, which will show the university what needs to be done to make the changes necessary.

Sony PlayStation 4 Supports Streaming Games Online?


Written by-Sarah Peel

Sony is reportedly planning to unveil their upcoming gaming console, PlayStation 4 on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in New York City. The console is expected to be built differently than the less popular PlayStation 3. With the recent release of Nintendo’s Wii U and Xbox 360’s popular online gaming, Sony has lagged behind. However, they may have a fighting chance with Sony’s newly bought, Gaikai cloud gaming system. Can this save Sony’s dying market share?

Sony has big plans in Manhattan for February 20, which will be the rumored debut of PlayStation 4. The formerly popular gaming console line might have a new lease on life, according to some. Sony is rumored to be pairing up the online cloud based Gaikai gaming service to the colorful generation console. The freshly bought service has been a saving grace for those who wanted major games that cannot be bought on mobile devices or played on older consoles. The website allowed users to stream and play major game franchises without needing the proper hardware. This has saved many gamers, which Sony saw as a potential threat and money making generator. With the purchase made in July, both Sony and Gaikai have remained hushed about what will happen with the new umbrella company.

Sony has been hurting with Microsoft’s Xbox 360’s beloved online gaming and now Nintendo’s Wii U. This has given Sony a run for the money, as well as seeing the PlayStation two stay on top compared to PlayStation 3. So far they have remained very secretive of the PlayStation 4, which does not come as a surprise. However, here is what we have heard on what you can expect to hear on Wednesday.

1. A new chip will be used, which will render older games useless.
2. New games will be stored on optical disc, while it is unsure if they will be also be on the cloud for streaming or not.
3. Cloud based game storage is highly expected. With Sony’s purchase and hint of playing PS games on the go, it would be highly unlikely for it not to be featured on the next generation console
4. No price point for the cloud plan or the actual device has been given yet. Nor have we heard of what the price point will be for the actual game disc as well.

Some of these things will either be confirmed, cleared up or denied during the unveiling in Manhattan.  However, don’t expect much to be released until we are weeks away from a hard release of the console.

Will Catholics Have An American Pope Next?

Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peters Sqaure

Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peters Sqaure

Written by- Sarah Peel

With Pope Benedict XVI leaving less than a month from now, can the world expect their first U.S. native pope?

On February 11, Catholics and non-Catholics alike awoke to some shocking new-Pope Benedict XVI was stepping down. The elderly pope has been reigning over the trouble religious institute since 2005, when Pope John Paul II passed away. Benedict XVI has had his fair share of scandals, as well as trying times for the Christian faith in his seven years reign. However, he has decided to step down at the end of February during the Lent season, due to age and health. This has caused much of the world speculate on the possibility of U.S. born pope is in our near future?

During the seven year reign of Pope Benedict, he has given many US priest high offices within the Church for the first time ever. Despite of the very bad reputation that has plagued the US Church since the 70s, many believe that we might see a turned tide during the conclave. Many have pointed out that both Benedict XVI and John Paul II were highly unlikely popes. But that doesn’t mean the U.S. is in out of the clear, especially with rumors of the sexual abuse being partly the reason for Benedict XVI’s resignation.

Currently we only have two popular U.S. Cardinals that might have the chance, both placed by Benedict and are conservatives. Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Cardinal Raymond Burke. Both have quickly hushed the question, but with the U.S. being such a heavy world influence, some hint that the Church could actually benefit from a U.S. based pope.

Questions of course remain, on how this would look for the Church since many have disdain for the Church. But with the last two recent popes, we have seen an usual shift that many hold out hope for. In fact, you can visit the Facebook pages for Cardinal Dolan and Cardinal Burke to see just how many wish for a U.S. bred pope. In fact, here is what Cardinal Dolan even had to say for himself on the rumors of a U.S. bred pope to “The Catholic Channel” on SiriusXM. “With the election of John Paul, with the election of Benedict, one wonders if the former boundaries seem not to have any more credibility.”

So what does that mean for the Church? That remains uncertain, but with the weeks leading up to the conclave you can prepare yourself for much hype in the U.S. for certain beloved Cardinals.

The Importance of Fatherhood

Written by: Selena DiGiovanni

This week, Obama gave his annual State of the Union Address. He carefully presented a plan to help this country grow and change. But one of the most underrated statements which President Obama made was about strong families and the importance of fathers.

“…And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples and do more to encourage fatherhood, because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child, it’s having the courage to raise one,” said Obama.

We have always known that fathers are important in our children’s lives, but our presidents have never made it a priority to call fathers back to their children.  We have never been told by our president that fathers need to form stronger bonds with our children. That is because, until recently, we have not known the true extent of the importance of fathers.

Father and baby bond.

Spending time with your children can make a world of difference.

In the past, several studies have been published which acknowledge that living in a strong home as a child leads to stronger lives in general. However, recent studies have gone into more depth, saying that, in order to have a strong foundation, both parents should be present in a child’s day to day life.

While it may seen like a minor difference, having a father in the home makes a tremendous difference to a child’s life. Studies conducted in Sweden have shown that children, both male and female, who have an active relationship with their father are likely to reap the benefits of that relationship. Benefits include fewer behavioral problems, as well as better social relationships with both genders.

“Long-term benefits included women who had better relationships with partners and a greater sense of mental and physical well-being at the age of 33 if they had a good relationship with their father at 16,” said Dr. Anna Sarkadi of the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at Uppsala University in Sweden.

In 2011, 27% of children (ages 0-17) in the US were living in one parent households. Of that 27%, approximately 75% of children were living in single mother households. That means that about 20.25% of children in the US are living without a father figure in their life. This number is higher than it has ever been, and in such stressful and tumultuous times, the benefits of having a loving father has never been more important.

A father reads to his son.

Connecting with your children is incredibly important.

While the mere presence of a father is not enough, building a strong relationship between children and their fathers is incredibly simple. Children simply require a loving bond with their father in order to form a lasting relationship. Fathers are strongly encouraged to engage their children emotionally and emotional moments as a time for learning on both sides. What you do in the short term can mean a world of difference for your children.

The men in our nation have been called upon to show courage. If you have the courage, love your children.

The Top 5 Reasons Why Lollipop Chainsaw is (Secretly) Good

Every gamer who made their way to GameStop in the spring of 2012 saw it. It was on posters, cutouts, and banners, casually placed in every spare inch of space the chain store had. Lollipop Chainsaw was here.

Of course, serious gamers weren’t interested. The game had a ridiculous plot. It featured a skimpily clad cheerleader as a main character. It was a pornographic b-movie plot on steroids thrown onto a game console.

But sometimes, something magical happens. When the game was finally released in June of 2012, it received a good number of reviews from several well known reviewers, including IGN and Game Informer. Many of the reviews were mixed, and generally somewhere around 5/10. But surprisingly, the majority of reviews were positive. Even the negative reviews had something good to say about the game.

And that is because, secretly, Lollipop Chainsaw is a good game.  And here’s why:

Juliet Starling cuts into zombies with her pink chainsaw.

Juliet Starling cuts into zombies with her pink chainsaw.

1. The plot is incredibly shallow and makes almost no sense.

The first step to appreciating how good Lollipop Chainsaw is is to step back and understand that the premise of this game is completely and utterly ridiculous. Relax your need for strong storylines and amazing character arcs. You are delving into the world of Juliet Starling, an overly stereotypical 18-year-old girl, who thinks of nothing but her boyfriend, lollipops, and rainbows.

Lollipop Chainsaw begins on the morning of Juliet Starling’s 18th birthday. She puts on her revealing cheerleader’s uniform and leaves home to go to her high school, where her boyfriend, Nick Carlyle, is waiting for her. When she arrives, she finds hordes of the undead attacking her fellow students. Luckily, Juliet and her family are all secretly zombie fighters, and she brings her chainsaw with her everywhere she goes. Her pink chainsaw with hearts cut into the blade. Which creates rainbows when killing zombies. Juliet hacks her way to where she was to meet her boyfriend, only for him to get bitten by a zombie. She performs a magical ritual which prevents him from becoming a zombie, but leaves him as a disembodied head. Nick is then hooked onto Juliet’s waistband and remains there for the duration of the game, providing commentary and conversation while you play.

Juliet continues fighting zombies in her school and meets up with her perverted sensei, Morikawa. They soon discover that a student by the name of Swan has released five zombie spirits from another world, and that they will wreak havoc in his name if not destroyed. Here’s where it starts to get strange…er. The five zombies are each related to a specific type of music. For example, one is a disco/funk zombie by the name of Josey who speaks in an auto-tuned voice and wears a full-length pink fur coat. Another zombie, named Mariska, is a psychedelic hippie zombie. Whenever she appears, Mariska is a stereotypical hippie who appears to be high, and plays several hippie instruments. For the sake of brevity and spoilers, I won’t go into depth concerning every zombie, but each one is more ridiculous than the last.

Despite having an incredibly vapid plot with laughable boss levels, there is no shortage of fun to be had while playing. Lollipop Chainsaw’s strange story makes it surprisingly unique, and every time something silly happens, you realize once more that this game is a work of genius.

Juliet Starling jumps into the air to kill zombies

Juliet Starling hack zombies in her default cheerleading outfit.

2. The main character is a skimpily clad cheerleader.

Make no mistakes on this front, Juliet Starling is exactly what she looks like. She is a cheerleader clad in a low cut sports bra and one of the shortest skirts a girl can wear without being exposed for the duration of gameplay.

This is no accident or happy coincidence. Going into this game, the creators understood exactly what type of characters they were developing. If the player moves the camera close enough to the ground to obtain an up-skirt, Juliet slams down her chainsaw to block your view. On top of that, once the game has been completed, several new provocative outfits are suddenly available for purchase in the in-game store. These range from a typical schoolgirl’s outfit all the way to a hot pink catsuit with a neckline which plunges down to her stomach. The clever creators of this game knew their audience, and certainly don’t skimp on the short skirts and skin tight outfits

3. There are subtle pop culture references.

I am the first to admit that Lollipop Chainsaw is a very shallow game. However, the masterminds behind this game are actually quite clever. Worked into the game between insipid conversation and revealing costumes, there are witty one liners and references which make the game even better.

Juliet has several comments which relate to cinematic triumphs of the 80s. One of which references Arnold Shwarzennager from the 1987 film Predator. Every time the player is about to complete a combat sequence Juliet quotes directly from the film and cries out, “If it bleeds, I can kill it!”

My personal favorite is a reference to George A. Romero, writer, producer, and director. Romero is the creator of several zombie films, and is considered the father of the zombie genre as we know it today. The creators of Lollipop Chainsaw tipped their hat to Romero by naming Juliet’s high school San Romero High School. Folks, that is pure poetry.

4. It only takes five hours to play.

Many would consider this a downside, but this is actually one of my favorite things about the game. I don’t consider myself to be a serious gamer, but I do often find myself playing Skyrim for hours on end, lost to the real world due to quests after quest. With Lollipop Chainsaw…not so much. A combination of loose story and easy gameplay make Lollipop Chainsaw the perfect game to play when you just want to kill some zombies for an hour.

In addition to being a great game to play in your down time, Lollipop Chainsaw is the perfect length for its content. Anything over five hours and Juliet’s commentary would be enough to drive anyone nuts. It also keeps the game from becoming boring and over repetitive.

5. The dialogue is ridiculous.

In Lollipop Chainsaw, Juliet Starling is voiced by Tara Strong. Strong has voiced a variety of characters from Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls to Timmy Turner from Fairly Odd Parents. It is her high pitched, ditzy-girl voice which truly brings the character of Juliet Starling to life. Her favorite phrases are a bit too explicit to list here, but there are a great many which cause bouts of laughter every time they are used.

Juliet holds Nick's head aloft and talks to him.

Juliet has a casual conversation with Nick, her disembodied boyfriend.

In addition to Juliet’s commentary, there is also dialogue between her and Nick during gameplay that serve as great bonuses for players. A favorite of gamers everywhere is Nick’s response to Juliet asking him what his favorite color is. Nick rapidly responds “Blue. No. Green. I ****** up. It’s yellow.”

Clearly Lollipop Chainsaw is not a piece of gaming gold. The reviews are mostly bad. The plot is shallow, and so are the characters. But if you’re someone that can take a step back and appreciate something because of how hilariously bad it is, then you’re halfway there to loving Lollipop Chainsaw. And halfway to joining people like me who think that Lollipop Chainsaw is secretly really good.

Commercials Worth the Watch

TV Commercials






It’s an unfortunate reality that commercials spend more time on air than our favorite television shows, and while our automatic response to commercials is to turn or use the time as a quick break, there are some advertisements worth the watch. Here are a few commercials you should stick around for.


ATT’s “It’s not complicated”

there are a few of these ads where a guy is talking to a group of children. This one is the funniest as the boy suggests tapping a cheetah to his grandmothers back to make her faster. I find it so comical because even the mediator is taken back by the boys answers.


Geico “Happier than…”

Geico has a number of commercials that have two guys playing guitars after telling a “happier than…” joke. This witch in a broom factory is my favorite because I can imagine the joy a witch would have with limitless brooms, along with guy who’s annoyed with the witch for constantly taking his broom.

State Farm “Like a Good Neighbor”

When State Farm customers need something all they have to do is sing a jingle and their agent appears, but those with them aren’t so lucky. In this commercial the unlucky friends has to deal with an old man taunting her with a dollar on a fish poll.


McDonald’s “Fishy Fishy”

An ad has achieved success when it gets a jingle stuck in your head. McDonalds does this with fish rapping over a catchy beat to advertise their Fish McBites.

Progressive’s Flo

Who doesn’t love Flo, the comical progressive employee who helps online shoppers find their policy. She’s become very noticeable staring in a large amount of Progressive commercials.

Does Sen. Feinstein’s Gun Ban Have Holes in It?

A drawing of an assault rifle.

Assault Rifle drawing

Written by Sarah Peel

Ever since the December 2012, Sandy Hook shooting, the U.S. Government has been attempting to ban assault rifles, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) leading the bill. However, it has come to the light that the possible bill would have serious holes in it. The so-called ban would protect over 2,000 make and models of so called assault rifles.

Sen. Feinstein of California might have written and lead the potential assault rifle ban bill currently, but it appears she has some side interest. The ban would supposed have loopholes for 2,200 rifles that fall as hunting weapons. It would allow certain assault weapons of different models to be safe as long as they fall under the hunting rifle label. This has caused some pro-gun ban supporters upset over the so-called ban. Many claim that would cause no level of public protection and would make the law pointless. However, the officials remain that it would prevent assault weapons from getting into the hands of potential shooters, even though hunting rifles would still be sold to the public.

Sen. Feinstein has responded to the claims via The Associated Press, in which she said was her goal. She claims that she wanted to make it as clear as possible that she was not going against hunting. However, she did not expect the backlash that she and her fellow bill supporters are receiving from those within their own party. As for her own stance on gun rights, Sen. Feinstein has not been a friend to gun rights supporters. She was the master mind behind the ban back in 1996, which also made exemptions for around 600 weapons back in the day. That law expired back in 2004 during the Bush years. Since then many attempts for a new, stronger law has been made without much support nor success thus far.

No word on if this bill will even pass, but both President Obama and Vice President Biden have been doing rounds trying to raise support across the country for it. Both have traveled and will continue to travel across the country to discuss gun rights and laws. Right now no date has been set for voting, nor has the National Rifle Association stopped fighting for gun rights. Every attempt thus far for gun control has been thwarted by the NRA with success. However, with the recent rash of mass shootings, much of the public has become twice as critical to gun laws.