Honestly

Jay Dwivedi's personal page.  His business blog is here. Also visit my daily blog.

The Bourne Ultimatum Review


We live in a world in which it seems that the war with terrorists will never end. It is understandable why governments all over the world will keep fighting the bad guys and sometimes they will need to kill them. Of course, specialists are needed who can kill the troublemakers but also have the skill and patience needed to fight with those who are merciless, fanatics, and do no appreciate the value of life.

Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon) is a US government killer chasing the bad guys and is supported by Julia Stiles. Here is a video about the film which includes clips from the movie and interview with both Matt Damon and co-star Julia Stiles.

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What to do with unused airline miles?


Believe it or not, most people fly so infrequently e that they never get to that magical 25,000 number to get a domestic airline ticket (though most people need at least 50,000 to bring a partner along). One way to get there faster is to get an airline credit card for the airline that you have the most miles with or tend to fly more often. If you are still unable to get to that number before the miles expire, this video talks about what your options are. For example, you can rent cars, stay in hotels, exchange for gift certificates, or shop online. And if you have less than 5,000 miles, please do me a favor: donate them to your favorite charity. For example, we donate ours to Red Cross, that uses those donated miles to fly poor people for emergency medical treatment.

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The Simpsons movie review


A movie is a great way to tell a long, complicated story in a brief period of time. There is a downside, though. If the viewer already knows the story too well (Harry Potter is a classic example) and is really familiar with the characters, it may be difficult to keep the viewer engaged unless there is something really new. Indeed, there are hardcore fans of anime, manga, and comics, but despite the racial jokes controversy, "The Simpsons" doesn't appear to be as funny as the television episodes are (and they are free to watch). Here is a review by Christy Lemire.

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Company review


We now have enough evidence in all aspects of life that no matter how much money you spend and how many smart people you have on your team, there will always be someone who will beat you. And they don't necessarily have to be smarter or have more resources. Let's take SPAM for example. On one side are a bunch of people working out of home offices in their basements (though there are so called "direct marketers" who have simply taken a more sophisticated name for the same task) and on the other are some of the largest, technologically superior companies. Business, crime and terrorism are some of the other areas.

Of course, we all pay a heavy price for this scenario, but it also allows Hollywood to come up with some brilliant entertainment. "Company" is exactly that. Here is a review of the program in which you get to see how the spy agencies often fail to get things done despite enormous resources. You get to see Michael Keaton, Alfred Molina and Chris O'Donnell at their best.

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What to do in Niagara Falls?


If you can't go to see some of the most majestic waterfalls in the world, you must make every effort to visit the Niagara Falls. Both Lorena and I have made several visits and whether you visit at the peak of summer or in the middle of winter, it is a place worth visiting every single day of the year. Over the years, they have introduced a lot of new ways to "enjoy" the falls; now instead of just admiring the view, you can actually experience the force of the water. Watch this video to find out what all you can do.

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Pollution of Yamuna River


One of the things we noticed when we went to India in spring is that it is a very dirty country. Garbage is everywhere. We don't know if we should fault the Indian people or the absence of a system for garbage collection and disposal, but it seems that you can't be anywhere without garbage at your feet. No wonder the moment you step out of the plane, it seems the whole country smells bad.

In New Delhi, when we crossed the Yamuna (Jamuna) river, it was not a pretty sight. The river, like its sister Ganges (Ganga), looks like a dump. Apparently the country wants to clean up its image (and its rivers) before the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Based on our observations about India's infrastructure failing to keep up with the needs of its huge population, we aren't very optimistic.

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Is Claire Danes too skinny?


If you look at this picture of Claire Danes at an event in Toronto, where she was promoting the movie "Stardust," it is very obvious that like many other Hollywood stars, she needs to eat a little bit more food. Instead of seeing a cleavage, all we see is jewelry. Of course, there is way too much pressure to look skinny in the world of movies and fashion, but this reaching a dangerous territory.

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What is LipoDissolve?


During the Kobe (Japan) earthquake a decade ago, when the US Government included some drugs as part of its relief package, the Japanese politely declined. Why? Those drugs were not approved in Japan.

While it is understandable that different countries can have slight differences in their drug approval processes, all human beings are more or less alike (some studies have shown that based on diet, lifestyle, and genetic makeup, patients can respond somewhat differently to same medication). In other words, when a drug has been approved by respected agencies like the FDA or EMEA, there is really no need for other agencies to do a top-to-bottom review. It raises drug costs for everyone.

What is LipoDissolve?

So it may sound funny but there are many drugs that are approved in Europe for decades but are still considered dangerous in the United States (and vice versa). One of these drugs is being used for what is known as LipoDissolve (it is reported that Britney Spears had the procedure to get a flat tummy after her second child was born). Liposuction, tummy tuck, and gastric bypass surgery are some of the procedures that work best for losing weight and getting a flat tummy, but they are all surgical procedures. That means anesthesia and potential for complications. Lipo Dissolve is a non-invasive procedure that can help you lose some fat tissues.

Watch this video report to find out more about Lipo-Dissolve. In summary, it involves a series of injections in the target areas and this drug dissolves the fat. When some American plastic surgeons doubt its safety, we think it is because they see it as a threat to their traditional cosmetic surgery procedures.

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The Lindsay Lohan drama


We all know what happened to Anna Nicole Smith. Her addiction to drugs (and the chaotic lifestyle that she led due to that) resulted in her untimely death. We see so many similarities between Lindsay Lohan and Anna Nicole.

Can Lindsay turn her life around. Yes, according to Howard Samuel, a former drug addict and now director of a rehab clinic. It seems that what is happening to her is not unusual. It is not easy to kick any bad habit, even more an addiction to drugs. Many addicts go through these ups and downs; it's just that she she is constantly under spotlight and that makes it somewhat harder. Here is a video that talks about the challenges of recovering from drug addiction and how anyone can go through the program successfully.

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Car based sports utility vehicles review


While most reasonable people care for the environment and are concerned about global warming, despite the rising gas prices, they have also come to love their huge SUVs. Since we don't have one, we often feel restricted in our ability to haul stuff from Home Depot and when we have family members visit us, we end up renting one to accommodate the passengers and bags. So should you think about switching to car/SUV? Probably not since David Patton of Wall Street Journal finds out that you get what you pay for - these vehicles are neither cars nor SUVs and suck at being both.

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Noodle spa treatment


Looks like spa owners have prepared personal care products out of every imaginable products including chocolate, vegetables, seaweeds, diamonds, and all kinds of salts. Now a Japanese spa owner in Hakone (one of the most beautiful places near Tokyo and I would strongly recommend that you go there) has started offering a noodle bath. Aha, we like Japanese noodles and also love our spa treatments; so this is a great combination.

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How to lead a greener lifestyle?


A little while ago we shared our list of things that you could to fight global warming. We believe that public policies will eventually change. Right now it is being driven by corporations too concerned about their profits and they have simply bribed the politicians to impede efforts to fight climate change. Like everything else, once people change, governments change with them. Till that happens, here are a few things that you can do to go green. Amy Luers of the Union of Concerned Scientists gives tips that work for all of us.

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How to have an organic yard?


Like millions of other Americans, Lorena and I fight with weeds the way IT guys fight spammers. No matter what we do and how much we add all the stuff that The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG) convinces us to buy, the weeds grow faster and taller than the grass. Then we try to kill the weeds either by pulling them out or spraying them with some more nasty stuff from Bayer AG (BAY), the weeds win. We have simply resigned ourselves to keep fighting a battle that we will never win but Wendy Bounds of The Wall Street Journal might be on to something: an organic garden (our limited experience in the kitchen garden has not been too successful). Watch this video to find out how to have an organic yard with green grass and no weeds. I am sure it is a lot of work but it might just work for you.

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Designer Stephane Rolland


If you work at Balenciaga and then at Jean-Louis Scherrer, you sure do know a little about haute couture. Yes, Stephane Rolland has an outstanding track record in the world of fashion and now he is starting out on his own. His clients come from all over but it seems that rich women in the Middle East are clamoring for his creations. Here is an excellent video portrait of him and his work.

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