Friday, November 29, 2013

How to Make a Movie for Less Than Ten Thousand Pounds

Making movies doesn’t have to be about huge budgets and big name stars. The history of cinema, even recent cinema, is littered with success stories that came from nowhere. So if you’ve always fancied yourself a bit of a Steven Spielberg, but thought you would never be able to raise the cash, think again. Follow these tips to bring in your own masterpiece at the budget of your choice.

Work with your friends

Friends will often work for free, and because they know you there’s already an unspoken connection there. Directing is all about getting people to do something you want, how you want, when you want: and if your cast is already disposed to make your life easier then you can shoot faster and with more control. If your friends are wary of the project, woo them with the thought that an unexpected hit could make them all famous!

Work with your equipment

Beg, borrow and steal the basic equipment you need – which at the very least means having access to one camera and one editing suite. To make the best film you can, you need to write and frae your shots for the equipment you are able to find. There’s no point in writing a shooting script that calls for a broad establishing shot, or a smooth tracking opening sequence, if you can’t get your hands on a good wide angle lens or a reliable dolly.

Work to a precise shot script

When you have your equipment, plan your shots in great detail. If you have them all written out before you begin, you can set them up with the minimum of fuss and bother. Shot arrangement takes time, and time is money – so the less you waste, the less you have to spend. If your budget is really tight, you could even give yourself a time limit. When the clock stops, the shooting stops too.

Write for your cast

If you can, write a script that works to the strengths of your key cast members. Having an organic script is a good way to get the best from the actors and actresses at your disposal. You keep in what works, and you take out the stuff that doesn’t. This won’t affect the shots you have composed, unless the changes wrought in the script as you go are exceedingly drastic.

Choose your locations cleverly

A clever set of locations can make even the smallest budget go a long, long way. Set the whole thing inside a house, and then use a friend’s home. Or give yourself the run of a city you are familiar with. The key word here is “familiarity”. The more places you know, the better your film will look: because you’ll be able to compose shots and scenes to fit them. Some shots or scenes may have access requirements beyond the norm. If you need to get heavy equipment out into the woods, you may need to use trackway to get it there. If that’s the case, condense all of your woodland shooting into a consecutive period of days, so you only have to hire the stuff once.

The Author is a documentary film maker. His personal blog network covers every aspect of film making, from finding funding to honing your script. He is followed by thousands of film fans, cinematographers and directors – and his posts often attract the attention of back links and re-tweets. He lives and works in Cardiff.

Festive Flatbread recipe

Festive Flatbread
Courtesy Gay Lea Speadables

1 – 8 inch round Naan flatbread 
3 Tbsp Gay Lea Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadables butter
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
8 dried apricots, cut into slivers

• Spread Naan bread with Gay Lea Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadables butter.
•  Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and dried apricots.
•  Place in toaster oven or conventional oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes until the nuts and apricots are slightly browned and bread is fragrant.

Cut into triangles and serve with sharp cheddar or gorgonzola and other cheeses.
Makes 8 to 10 pieces.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

PUSHPAN review

   The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.*

Award-winning PUSHPAN® is a unique non-stick cake pan with a removable bottom — the next evolution of the springform pan. It is the only cake pan that is completely watertight and leak-proof. The integrated silicone seal on its loose base guarantees that every cake, cheesecake and quiche is released from the pan with perfection, creating perfect presentations every time.  

PUSHPAN pricing starts at $19.95 for an 8-inch PushPan and extends to $24.95 for the 9 ½ inch. 

Bad photo of the cake. It really looked better than that.


I am not much of a baker and I do not make cake often. I think I make a cake once per year because I can't seem to get cakes cooked right but I used the PushPan the other day when I made a chocolate cake and I am very happy with how the cake turned out. The cake was so delicious and moist. I think this is the very first time in years that I was 100% happy with how it turned out and even my husband commented this was the best cake I have ever made. 

I absolutely love that it is so easy to take the cake out of the pan by just pushing the bottom part once the cake was cooled off enough. 

I will be making cakes more often from now on.

If you love to bake cakes I highly recommend this pan.

The Simpsons season 16 on Blu-ray Giveaway

Hold onto your donuts! Season 16 of the “The Simpsons” — the longest-running scripted show in television history — includes all 21 hilarious episodes, tons of meticulously slapped together special features, plus a veritable who’s who (woo-hoo!) of celebrity guest voices, including Fantasia Barrino, Jason Bateman, Gary Busey, James Caan, Stephen Hawking, Eric Idle, Jane Kaczmarek, Lucy Liu, Liam Neeson, Amy Poehler, Ray Romano and plenty more!

Special Features:
Greetings, Junior Scienteers! 
Sketch Galleries
Special Language Feature (Pranksta Rap) 
Living in the Moment
Animation Showcase – Future Drama ACT 1
Bonus Episode  – Holidays of Future Past
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentaries on all Episodes
Easter Eggs
“The Simpsons” Season 16 Blu-ray
Street Date:  December 3, 2013
Prebook Date:  October 16, 2013
Screen Format:   Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:  English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby
Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:  English / French / Spanish
Total Run Time: 483 minutes
U.S. Rating:  TV-NR
Closed Captioned:  Yes
“The Simpsons” Season 16 DVD
Street Date:  December 3, 2013
Prebook Date:  October 16, 2013
Screen Format:   Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:  English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Surround Dolby
Digital 2.0, French Surround Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles:  English / French / Spanish
Total Run Time: 483 minutes
U.S. Rating:  TV-NR
Closed Captioned Yes 



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dark Matter PC Game review

  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.* 

Dark Matter is a 2.5D side-scrolling survival horror game, set in a derelict spaceship besieged by a sinister alien presence, and infested with deadly parasites. As the Ensign, you must explore fetid hallways and abandoned facilities, scavenging for parts and blueprints, expanding your arsenal to up to four deadly weapons and freely customize each to fit your combat style against intelligent, reactive enemies. Dark Matter delivers a hard-hitting take on the survival horror genre in deep space, with a heavy emphasis on tactical combat and exploration.


Out of breath, you run into the door, slamming against its cold metal surface. The clicking of scuttling claws recedes into the distance, swallowed by the pitch black oblivion behind you. You know better than to feel safe. There are too many infested at your back, and another blank metal door ahead. With a quick reflex you check your ammo supplies, and slot a fresh magazine into your shotgun. With a quicker prayer, you flick the switch and open the door. The metal jaws open on endless night you don’t dare pierce with your flashlight, not to disturb those things that live in shadow. By the pale bioluminescence that washes up from the floor grates, you piece together the picture of a corridor, and what could be a stretch of exploding pods. Just beyond, the silhouette of a fully grown crawler stirs. 

Grinning in the dark, you turn on the weapon’s flashlight, and point it straight down the corridor. Predictably, the blisters swell up to full irritation, ready to explode at the slightest touch. The crawler turns to hiss at you, instantly aroused by the light, and your presence. In your mind’s eye, it dumbly rushes forward into the blister pods to kill itself, saving you precious ammo. 

It takes a precious moment to adjust to reality when the sleek shape crouches and jumps towards you instead. There is time for just one panicked shot before the inevitable flight, as you run for your life, barely keeping ahead of the claws slashing for you. In a moment of adrenaline-fuelled inspiration, you slam the wall panel as you retreat past the chamber’s door. The heavy, powerful mechanism smoothly slices the crawler in half just before the critter can reach and disembowel you. There is no time to congratulate yourself, as you hear a familiar hissing from above...

Key features:

  • 14 levels in a gritty tale of deep space survival 
  • 4 weapons, and 4 ammo types. Elemental ammo effects that allow you to freeze, dissolve or set fire to your enemies. 
  • Three craftable upgrades to customize your weapons. 
  • Collect scrap and alien resources to craft your own tools and health packs. 
  • Invest in the weapons and upgrades you prefer, develop your own combat techniques. 
  • Non-linear exploration and storytelling with complex enemy AI that reacts to the player’s actions and tactics. 
  • Light and darkness are integral parts of gameplay, not just visual touches. 
  • Uncompromisingly real-time lights and shadow casting for spine-tingling moments of pure, darkness-fuelled terror. 
  • Clean, hand-painted textures and custom shading techniques are combined in a unique visual style. 
  • Dynamic soundtrack that adapts to gameplay circumstances.


It is very dark so I had to change my brightness settings on my laptop because I don't like having it very bright.

I really thought this game wasn't all that great. Graphics were ok but not that great.The character's movement feels like robotic.

I found this game a little boring with boring level design.

I give this 2 out of 5.

Monday, November 25, 2013

What’s the appeal in online slots?

What’s the appeal in online slots?

With so many games available online, what is it that makes online slots so popular? There are thousands of different games to choose from and yet millions of players go online every day to get a little fix of playing slots.


You can play slots for just a few minutes or hours at a time. One of the biggest appeals about playing slots is the sheer convenience of being able to play whenever you want to, for as little or as long as you like. All you need is access to the internet.

Simplicity rules
When you play online casino games, you can choose your gaming type by what kind of challenge you’re up for. If you’re at the end of a busy and stressful day, it may not be the best time to sit down at a virtual poker table, for example. You need all your wits about you to avoid potential traps laid by other players and you could risk making costly mistakes if your head isn’t in the game. With slots, that’s never really a concern. There’s nothing to decide apart from which game to play, and how much to bet per spin. Slots are a great game to unwind with.


The choice of online slots grows every day. Most casino sites offer hundreds of slots, and there are plenty of different casino sites to choose from. And sites tend to introduce new slots on a regular basis to keep the gaming selection fresh for their players. You can also vary the way you play slots, playing by yourself or choosing to play slots that feature in tournaments so you’re playing against other people, in the aim of coming out top on the leader board.

Money talks

Gaming for itself is fun, but what really adds to the appeal of playing slots is the amazing amounts of money that you could win if luck is on your side. If you are into slots for the money, then the best choice of game is the progressive slot, where a little percentage of every bet placed goes into the pot, and the jackpot win can come at any time. Someone, somewhere, is bound to have won on their very first spin, while other players will never hit the jackpot – it’s that element of chance that keeps us all playing!

It’s the combination of easy entertainment for a relatively low stake, tied in with the possibility of winning a life-changing amount of money that keeps slots players so loyal to these games. Of course, the amounts you bet can really stack up quickly, especially if you play the multiline slots, so it’s really important never to bet more than you are comfortable about losing. As long as you keep that in mind, slots can remain in their place – as a source of entertainment rather than a cause of debt!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Wolverine on Blu-ray Giveaway

I have a fantastic giveaway going on right now. If you are a fan of The Wolverine then I think you will want to enter in this one because personally I thought this movie was awesome!!.  

Before you enter in the giveaway please check out this neat little feature.

The Wolverine is coming home for the Holidays on DVD and Blu-ray on December 3rd!

The Wolverine’s release to DVD and Blu-ray is right in time for the holiday season. There’s no better way to relax by the fire than watching Hugh Jackman face his ultimate nemesis as he stars in this action-packed thriller. See The Wolverine is his most vulnerable state yet and witness as he fight off mutants and samurai. While the film takes place in modern-day Japan, a country The Wolverine has not seen since World War II, he is actually from Alberta, Canada. To give you a better sense of where The Wolverine comes from and truly understand his character, we have compiled a list of the top 5 things to do in his hometown of Alberta!

Hit the slopes!

Alberta has numerous ski resorts that are both kid and adult friendly! Ski Banff is a resort in Mt. Norquay that is great for skiing, snowboarding and even tubing! This awesome snow spot is most famous because it is the Olympic training ground! If we had to guess, we think The Wolverine probably skis in his spare time.

Ice Fishing

As surprising as this may be, no, you are not actually fishing for ice cubes! In Alberta ice fishing is a very popular outdoor activity that includes a free dinner (if you manage to reel in a fish of course).


No, you cannot buy these at Nordstrom. However, this activity provides a great workout and is kind to your wallet! Find a trail and get to shuffling!

Eat at Rouge Restaurant

This delicious establishment was placed on a list of the Top 50 Restaurants in Canada ( The ambiance is just as beautiful as the environment around you. What do you think The Wolverine would order? Maybe a salad?

Visit Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaurs and The Wolverine, so much in common, right? Anyway, the Dinosaur Provincial Park is a must see if you are going to Alberta! You can be involved in a dinosaur dig and even camp on the grounds! This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


One winner will receive a copy of The Wolverine on Blu-ray. US AND CANADA ONLY

Zumba Fitness World Party for Xbox 360 review

   The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.* 

Zumba Fitness is a global lifestyle brand that fuses fitness, entertainment and culture into an exhilarating dance-party workout. Known as the ultimate “fitness-party”, Zumba® classes blend upbeat world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography, for an effective, total-body workout. Founded in 2001, the company is the largest branded fitness program in the world – reporting more than 15 million weekly participants, in over 200,000 locations across more than 180 countries. In addition to its original Zumba® program, the company also offers a variety of specialty classes, including: Zumba® Step; Zumba Gold® (active older adults); Aqua Zumba®; Zumba® Kids/Zumba® Kids Jr. (ages 4-11); and Zumbini™ (ages 0-3). The Zumba® fitness lifestyle is rounded out by the company’s many consumer product offerings, including DVD sets, music collections, multi-seasonal apparel and footwear, video games and Fitness-Concert™ events. For more information about Zumba Fitness programs and products, or to find a live class, visit Find us on Facebook, Twitter.

  Game Overview
Only the premier global fitness brand can offer you an interactive experience so big it spans the globe! For the first time ever, Zumba® takes you on a cultural joyride around the world in Zumba® Fitness World Party. Immerse yourself in the movement and music of exotic global destinations in this exhilarating at home workout that features a brand new visual presentation. World Party is the latest release in the best-selling Zumba® Fitness video game franchise that has sold more than nine million copies worldwide and ranks as the #2 fitness franchise of all time, second only to Nintendo’s Wii Fit. This groundbreaking new dance-fitness experience unites you with the global Zumba® community while offering all of the fitness features you need to maximize your work out. Learn to love your workout with this fun, freeing interactive journey that expands your horizons! 

Get fit to 40+ new routines and songs including chart-topping hits from Lady Gaga, Daddy Yankee and Pitbull, fresh Zumba® originals and eclectic tracks from regional musicians. Move to 30+ dance styles from around the world including Salsa, Hip-Hop, Tahitian, Calypso, Bollywood, Cumbia, Reggaeton and Irish Step, plus new additions like Plena, Blues, Capoeira and Girly Funk. New visual presentation makes you feel as if you’re traveling the globe and joining a global jam with your favorite celebrity Zumba® instructors.

Zumba Fitness World Party is now available for Xbox360 Kinnect, XboxOne, Wii and WiiU in stores near you.


This is a very fun workout.  It will make you sweat and burn a lot of calories.  
It isn't easy if you are a beginner and a person who has 2 left feet like me. I really felt it and the next day I was sore pretty much everywhere.  This is one workout I will be doing almost every day for a while from now on because it is a very good workout.  

I looked at the song list online and there is just one I know and heard of and I am hoping there will be add-ons with more music I have heard of.

If you like Zumba I think you will like this one.

I give this 4 out of 5

Riiviva Microderm 4-day sale event & Giveaway

Well it is that time of year again!  You know that time where there are huge sales and deals in stores the day after Thanksgiving (US).

This year Riiviva Microderm has a awesome 4-day sale event and you can save 30% off their entire store plus free shipping to the United States.On top of the 30% you can save an extra 10% if you like Riiviva on Facebook.


One winner will win a $299 Riiviva Microderm Kit. US AND CANADA ONLY.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holiday Essentials for Serious Cooks and Bakers

Eliminate stress this holiday season with bakeware and cookware that helps ensure that your festive desserts and entrees are a big hit with family and friends.

Award-winning PUSHPAN® is a unique non-stick cake pan with a removable bottom — the next evolution of the springform pan. It is the only cake pan that is completely watertight and leak-proof. The integrated silicone seal on its loose base guarantees that every cake, cheesecake and quiche is released from the pan with perfection, creating perfect presentations every time.  

“Made from heavy gage steel, PUSHPAN offers even heat distribution and require no paper lining,” says Richard Gould, president, Pangea Sales.  “Three different sizes are available and once you have tried a PUSHPAN you will never go back to regular bakeware.”

PUSHPAN pricing starts at $19.95 for an 8-inch PushPan and extends to $24.95 for the 9 ½ inch. 

In addition to quality bakeware products, serious cooks should also consider updating their cookware. Made in Germany, new WOLL Diamond Plus cookware has set a higher standard in non-stick cooking performance, due to better heat conductivity and a longer lasting, diamond-coated, non-stick surface.

 “Woll Diamond Plus cookware is far superior to other non-stick cookware products,” says Gould. “It is made of pressure cast aluminum and is dishwasher safe and metal utensil friendly.”

Woll Diamond Plus cookware is available in open stock or a 7-piece sets and prices range from $100.00 to $275.00 

Pangea Sales is the Canadian distributor of both PUSHPAN and WOLL Diamond Plus Cookware.  For more information and to purchase these products visit:

Nikon gifts

COOLPIX S02: The Pocket-sized Traveller If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate stocking stuffer, the COOLPIX S02 is the perfect fit. The S02 packs a ton of punch in a stylish, ultra-compact frame. Weighing in at just 100 grams (3.5 ounces), and measuring 77.1 mm x 51.3 mm x 17.5 mm, the S02 is equipped with a 13.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, 3x zoom and 2.7” LCD touch screen. The S02 is equipped with Full HD (1080p) video, handy for preserving dynamic moments like the all-important New Year’s countdown. Built-in Scene Modes (including Portrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, Close-up and Backlighting) and retouch effects help users shoot with confidence and effortlessly capture beautiful images.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP): $149.95. Available in silver and white.

Now everyone can help preserve family memories! There’s a lot going on during the holidays, and children are a part of it all. Hand them a camera to see the holidays through their eyes, and you’ll be amazed at what they discover. The S31’s oversized buttons are perfect for tiny hands, and its tough shell makes it durable enough to be used by every member of the family. Housed in a compact, durable body that’s waterproof (up to 5m or 16 ft), shockproof (up to 1.2m or 3.9ft), and dustproof, this camera takes the worry out of photography. Its 2.7-inch LCD display supports an enhanced, easy and intuitive graphic user interface (GUI) that allows for simple navigation and several shooting and playback modes.

MSRP: $119.95. Available in white, pink and blue.

Friday, November 15, 2013

BlackBerry Q5 Smartphone

*I was not payed or given a product for this post.*

Do you have a family member who has a smartphone on their list of things they want for Christmas? Check out the BlackBerry Q5 Smartphone. 

BlackBerry Q5 Smartphone
Ideal for cost-conscious moms and socially connected kids that need to stay connected all day long, the BlackBerry Q5 offers the familiarity of a physical keyboard, the convenience of a touch screen, and the advantage of a battery that provides up to 12.5 hours of talk time and 14 days on standby. The keyboard allows them to type and send messages instantaneously, while the touchscreen gives them the fast and intuitive smartphone experience they crave. Essential social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare apps come built-in, and managing your messages and notifications is easy with BlackBerry Hub. Light and durable, the BlackBerry Q5 includes the full power of the BlackBerry 10 operating system with access to a plethora of entertainment and organization apps in BlackBerry World. The BlackBerry Q5 fulfills all the mobile needs of the busy mom and social butterfly.

Lunatik Touch Pen Review

   The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.* 

LUNATIK Touch Pen was born from a desire to integrate the pen with a digital stylus. Designed to meet our demanding specifications for touch screen responsiveness and flow, our patent pending dual-mode tip and custom engineered premium materials allow for a seamless transition from analog to digital with the click of a button.


Aircraft-grade aluminum barrel PVD-plated metal injection molded graphite clip High grade silicone rubber grip Gel ink refill


I have a iPad 2 and I have tried a few styluses but I just couldn't find one that I really liked until I came across Lunatik Touch Pen.

I absolutely love my Lunatik Touch Pen. My husband tried mine and he liked it so much he wanted his own so I gave him one of mine.

It is the perfect size and I love that it is a pen as well so it is double useful. It works with many devices. I have tried it with my iPad 2. my HTC Desire HD and my husband's Samsung Galaxy and to my surprise it worked on all 3.

I am so very happy with this product and I know I will be buying more in the future. These would be great as stocking stuffers.

Touch Pen comes in 8 different colours.

I highly recommend this product


   The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.* 

 The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
All of your favorite characters from The Little Mermaid continue their adventures in this enchanting sequel to one of the most celebrated animated films of all time.  Even though her parents tell her merpeople and Atlantica are just “old fish tales,” Ariel’s daughter, Melody, dreams of being part of that magical world. In an unforgettable story that will take your breath away, all the good creatures on the land and under the sea must join forces to show Melody that both her worlds can live in perfect harmony.

The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning
One of Disney’s most beloved characters reveals the extraordinary events that led up to her transformation into a princess!  Long before Ariel walked on land and into Prince Eric’s heart, she was one of seven beloved daughters of powerful King Triton. But times were troubled in the underwater kingdom – and music was banned! In this magical adventure, Ariel, her fun-loving sisters, and her loyal friends Sebastian and Flounder strive to bring music and friendship back to Atlantica. Featuring breathtaking animation – and some thrilling surprises – The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning is an enchanting tale you’ll share with your family again and again!

Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack November 19th


I actually didn't even know there are 2 more The Little Mermaid movies.  I have always love the first movie so when I was asked to review THE LITTLE MERMAID II & ARIEL’S BEGINNING: 2 Movie Collection I just couldn't refuse.  These 2 movies are cute and fun so if you child love The Little Mermaid this is one to get and add to your collection of Disney movies.

I give this 5 out of 5

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Steampunk Originals: Volume 1 & 2 review

   The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.* 

Published quarterly by Arcana Studios ( ), Steampunk Originals is an open-call comic anthology series. Welcoming art of all styles/ media and stories of all tones/ genres, the resulting volumes are a kaleidoscopic exploration of the a Steampunk theme. The first four volumes have featured over a hundred creators from across six continents and we're still just getting started. 


Steampunk Originals: Volume 1 ( ISBN: 978-1-77135-116-4 )  ( Diamond: AUG13 0980 | SRP $14.95 ) 

 Steampunk Originals: Volume 2 ( ISBN: 978-1-77135-167-6 ) will be released in January ( Nov '13 Previews | SRP $14.95 ). 


I haven't reviewed graphic novels in quite some time now but this one I just had to review because it is the genre that I love.

I had heard of Arcana Studios before and I have read a few of their graphic novels before so I happy to review these 2 Steampunk Originals .
The Steampunk Origionals collections are all done very well. I had some I really liked more than others but all in all they kept me reading.

The e-copies were sent to me but I think I might purchase the print version because I always prefer print when it comes to graphics novels.

I give this 4 out of 5

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Short History on The NHL

The NHL was formed in 1917 in Montreal, Quebec. Previously, the National Hockey Association was the premier league. However, the NHA was suspended due to disputes with the owner of one of the teams.  The NHL was then created as a solution and barred his team from playing. The Toronto Arenas, Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers and the Ottawa Senators were the initial teams in the NHL. The early days of the NHL was also filled with a number of issues, such as a Stanley Cup being called off due to a flu epidemic.

In the 1920s, the league expanded into America with the Boston Bruins. Shortly thereafter, the New York Americans, Pittsburg Pirates and the New York Rangers. Unfortunately, the Great Depression brought a swift end to a number of these teams.

The NHL still exists today and is perhaps more popular than ever. It is considered one of the four major professional sports, along with the MLB, NFL and NBA. The NHL has a history of disputes, lockouts and protests, but it still remains the premiere league for professional hockey.

Who are the Current Top Teams in the NHL?

There are several league favorites at the moment. The Pittsburgh Penguins are believed by some analysts to be next in line for the Stanley Cup. Of course, this can always change throughout the season.

The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers are always teams to watch as well. The Toronto Maple Leaves and Philadelphia Flyers have performed well in recent years and just might take the top spot.

When it comes down to it, any team is capable of surprising NHL fans throughout the course of any given season. You never know who is going to reign supreme. It all depends on off-season training and trades.

How Do People Bet on the NHL?

The NHL typically has lower betting limits than other major leagues. This is because most bookies are less comfortable with taking high bets on the sport. There are many different ways to bet on the NHL, you can see some here at all pro.

The Grand Salami is perhaps one of the most well-known. It will allow the gambler to have a vested interest in every game being played on a particular day. The exact rules will vary from bookie to bookie, however, it allows you to wage over or under on the number of goals scored on a particular day.

You can also bet on various statistical totals with the same over/under system. This is how most gamblers prefer to bet. Of course, you can also bet directly on who will win a certain game.

The rules will vary for every type of bet and it’s a good idea to understand them before putting any money on the line.

The NHL has a long and tumultuous history. However, it has been able to become one of the four major leagues in North America and continues to attract new fans. With 30 teams across two countries and an active betting community, it’s easy to see why this sport is growing so much.

Leslie loves watching sports and writing about business and sports on various blogs.

How Pets Can Improve Your Health

"Having a dog or a cat at home could make kids allergic; People with allergies should avoid pets", or so goes the myth.  The truth is just the opposite. Recent studies have discovered that having a furred animal—a dog or a cat, or even a polar bear—at home makes kids less prone to having allergies and asthma. Kids who grow up on the farms and are exposed to animals have lower risks of allergic reactions including eczema and asthma.

If it's healthy to keep a dog or cat at home, why not bring it to the office with you? In fact, if you knew the health benefits that your pet has for you, you'll hardly ever leave home without it. Here's what pets can do for your well-being:

Relieve Stress and Lower Blood Pressure

This might not come as a surprise to married couples. A State University of New York at Buffalo study revealed that people are less stressed when they are with their pets than when they are with their spouses—or even close friends. Another research, conducted on hypertensive stockbrokers who had adopted a dog or a cat, found that the subjects had lower blood pressure readings than before.

When you are under stress, chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine are released into the blood stream. They lower your immunity and cause plaque to build up in the arteries. Research has shown that playing with your dog raises the level of serotonin and dopamine, which have calming effects on the nervous system.

Sniff Cancer and Blood Sugar Level

A dog's olfactory power dominates its brain in much the same way as our sight dominates ours. Dogs depend heavily on their sense of smell to interpret information. This may be the reason why dogs can detect blood sugar levels and cancer in their owners.

"Panda", a black Labrador, is on record for correctly detecting cancers from samples of people's breath and stool. In 1989, a woman reported that her dog constantly sniffed at a mole in her leg. She got curious and got her mole checked. It was found to be a form of malignant melanoma and was surgically removed. Dogs can detect cancers in skin, bladder, lung, breast, and ovaries. It is unclear what the dogs are sniffing for, probably a malignant substance common in all cancers.

A 1992 research found that dogs would exhibit a peculiar change in behaviour when their owners had dropped blood-sugar levels. It's probably the chemical changes that happen in the hypoglycaemic owner's body that their dog can smell and react to. The finding is very useful for people with instable glucose levels, who wouldn't need to prick every time for testing their blood-sugar. There are organizations like Dogs4Diabetics that train dogs for such patients.

Prevent Strokes and Heart Disease

Pets provide a welcome distraction during stressful situations. Patting your dog or caressing your cat calms you down. It's been shown that cat owners have significantly lower chance of having a stroke or a heart attack. Additionally, pets also help rehabilitate victims of major trauma, such as heart attack, or PSTD among war veterans. Pet owners generally have better moods, which is good for the heart. Dog owners have lower cholesterol levels, although it's unclear whether that's because of the dogs or the healthier lifestyle of people who own dogs. Either way, owning a pet is a sign of good health.

Pets in Offices

Various studies have shown that the companies that allow dogs at the office have better bottom lines. Presence of dogs at workplace boosts morale and keeps people happier. Allowing dogs at office instils more trust and better teamwork, a recent Central Michigan University reveals. In the US, where some 20% offices already allow dogs at work, a Take Your Dog To Work Day is held every year in June. The trend is yet to catch up in the UK, where far fewer offices have embraced it so far.

With amazing benefits for personal and organizational health, it would be hard for any thinking organization not to invite dogs, cats or even other pets to the office. Will it make your office look like a zoo? Probably yes, but a zoo can be a fun place to work in.

Dr Garry J McCLean was commissioned to study the beneficial effects of owning pets by The Workplace Depot