Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The World's Strangest Laws

25. It is illegal for a cab in the City of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses.

24. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

23. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down.

22. In France, it is forbidden to call a pig Napoleon.

21. Under the UK’s Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations 2006, it is illegal not to tell the taxman anything you don’t want him to know, though you don’t have to tell him anything you don’t mind him knowing.

20. In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle.

19. In Ohio, it is against state law to get a fish drunk.

18. Royal Navy ships that enter the Port of London must provide a barrel of rum to the Constable of the Tower of London.

17. In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants – even, if she so requests, in a policeman’s helmet.

16. In Lancashire, no person is permitted after being asked to stop by a constable on the seashore to incite a dog to bark.

15. In Miami, Florida, it is illegal to skateboard in a police station.

14. In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation.

13. In England, all men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day.

12. In London, Freemen are allowed to take a flock of sheep across London Bridge without being charged a toll; they are also allowed to drive geese down Cheapside.

11. In San Salvador, drunk drivers can be punished by death before a firing squad.

10. In the UK, a man who feels compelled to urinate in public can do so only if he aims for his rear wheel and keeps his right hand on his vehicle.

9. In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed.

8. In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon more than six-feet long.

7. In Chester, Welshmen are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset.

6. In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

5. In Boulder, Colorado, it is illegal to kill a bird within the city limits and also to “own” a pet – the town’s citizens, legally speaking, are merely “pet minders”.

4. In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

3. In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague.

2. In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman’s genitals but is forbidden from looking directly at them during the examination; he may only see their reflection in a mirror.

1. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast is legally the property of the King; the tail, on the other hand, belongs to the Queen - in case she needs the bones for her corset. 

Search Profiles In Social Networks : 9 Popular Search Engines For Social Networks

Social network search engines help one to search dozens of social networking sites and other online sites by a person’s name, nickname, email address etc. Here we gathered a list of such search engines which can help you finding other people’s profiles in various social networking sites.

1. Social Mention

Social Mention

Social Mention is a social media search and an analysis platform. It aggregates user generated content from across the world into a single stream of information. In Social Mention you can search blogs, micro blogs, networks, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, videos, audios and questions for a specific term just by typing your term. The results can be sorted by date, source, sentiment, keyword and more.You can also create alerts for your searches which will be sent to your mail daily and install a real-time buzz widget on your site.

2. yoName


With the help of yoName you can search for people using their name, username, email address or phone number on 26 different social networks. Just type the information into the search field then click yo and the results will be sorted in a tabbed interface depending on different social networks.

3. is a very powerful social network search engine. It is also known as the social white pages. You can search for a person by his first and last name in one single interface. The sites are broken into categories such as Social (Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, Bebo), Professional (LinkedIn), Academic (Google Scholar, MIT), Blogs (Wordpress), General (Pipl, yoName, Google e), and Regional. In the main page it gives you options of the all of the sites.

4. Folowen


Folowen was also a directory. The social search of this site is powered by Google. It covers most of the top social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, Ning, Vimeo, hi5, and Bebo. The user can search for social profiles and organizations on several social media sites in one search result. Anyone can use the service but the signed up users can search the history which will be saved automatically, thus enabling the user to find their result anytime. When you search social links are broken up by social network, with the top result showing for each website. You can click more results if more than one result was discovered for a particular website.

5. Samepoint


Samepoint is a conversation search engine. It allows you to see what people are talking about. The results can be sorted in multiple ways by selection from options at the top of the screen which include real-time, bookmarks, wikis, networks, groups, micro blogs and news. When you search, your results appear in a stream of content and it provides snippets of the conversation, along with the symbol of the social site where the conversation is taking place.

6. Google Social Search

google social search

In Google’s social search you can search for a term and click on more search tools off to the left hand side of the screen. When more options appear select Social and the results are filtered so as to include only those found in your social circle.

7. Wink People Search

wink people search

Wink People Search is a powerful search engine. It is the world’s largest people search engine. You can find people by name, location, school, work, interest (like music, TV, movie) and get their phone number, address, websites, photos, work, school and more. It has hundreds of millions of user profiles in its database. In order to get better results with Wink, you should include as many details as you can such as birthdays, high school or university, company, hometown and interests.

8. Pipl


Pipl is a people search engine .It searches the deep web, which is not typically crawled by search engines like Google. In Pipl you can search by name, email, phone number and username.

9. Whoisi


Whoisi is an easy to use search engine which is currently in public beta. It allows you to find out what your friends are doing. It is a unique because it is public and can be edited by anyone just like a wiki. There is no sign up required and your friends need not participate on the site in order for you to keep track of them. It allows you to search with a real name, screen name or even a nickname.

Customize Your Facebook Fan Page: Tips, Tricks, Applications

Customization will always make you stand out from the rest of the world, the same rule applies on Facebook as there are more than 400 million active users.By now you may be well aware of Facebook fan page which is used for promoting business online on Facebook. But just creating a simple fan page won’t help you get the fan following you want. With this article I will be sharing with you some of the most basic tips that you can implement right away & customize your fan page within few minutes, using some applications and codes.

Static FBML

An application which should be implemented by most of the fan-page owners. Static FBML is really simple to implement and can be used to do various modifications on Facebook Fan Page. FBML supports pure HTML & CSS.
We will use Static FBML to create customized Fan page for Facebook.

Adding FBML To Fan Page

  1. Login to your Facebook account & Search for Static FBML
  2. Then click on the tab Add to My Page & Select the page.
Now we will add some code that will transform your fan page completely.

Creating Landing/Welcome Page

Landing or Welcome Page is the first page you see when you visit a new fan page encouraging user to click on the Like button. Creating a Landing page really simple & I will share the step by step guide on how you can do it easily.
In previous step you have already installed the Static FBML application now you need to create a welcome page image that will encourage users to click on the like button. You can do it easily in Photoshop or any similar applications.
When creating the image “Do remember that image’s width should be of  520px” the height does not matter but it would be good if you keep it of appropriate length.
1.Create an image with width 520px & appropriate height in Photoshop or similar application.
2.Create a folder name FB at your server & upload the image in that folder.
3.Now Navigate to your fan page & click on Edit Page tab below the Fan Page’s Profile Image.
Customising Facebook Fan Page 4.Locate your FBML application & click on Edit.
Customising Facebook Fan Page
5.Now you will see a similar window like the image below.
Customising Facebook Fan Page
6.Now add an appropriate title like Welcome or your blog name anything you prefer.
In FBML part just add the following code.

If you want to add link to the image just add the following code

src =””>

You can also use text after the image with some HTML tags like h1, h2,
, etc as done in 1st Web designer Facebook fan page.
7.Once you are done click on save changes & now navigate to your Fan Page you will see a new tab with the title you have written, by clicking on that tab you will see your image in that page.
Customising Facebook Fan Page8.Now to set your new page as default landing page you need to click on the edit page tab as we have done in step 3 & locate wall settings then set your default landing page to new page.
Customising Facebook Fan Page
You are all done with creating a new & improved version of your fan page. We will add some more code to fan page to make it more personalized so keep reading further.

Adding Subscriber Form to Fan Page

If you use feedburner to manage your feeds you can easily add subscriber form to your fan page by getting the code under the Subscription management in your feedburner account.
Customising Facebook Fan Page
Now navigate to your FBML application and then click on edit & then click on add another FBML box.
Customising Facebook Fan Page
After adding the FBML box, enter title subscribe & paste the code from the feedburner into that box & now you are all done.
If you want that box to be appearing in the sidebar or the wall just click on the tab & select move to wall tab & then it will be appearing on your fan page’s wall. Similarly you can add contact form to the fan page as well.

Facebook Cookbook: Building Applications to Grow Your Facebook Empire
Building Facebook Applications For Dummies
Facebook Marketing For Dummies

Thursday, June 24, 2010

29 Ways to Collect Email Addresses for Your Business

There are a ton of ways to get people to sign up for your email marketing offers. I've put together a list for you to read, so you know all of the ways you can be growing your list.
  1. Put an offer on the back of your business cards to get people to sign up for your newsletter.
  2. Tradeshows - Bring a clipboard or sign-up book with you to tradeshows and ask for permission to send email to those who sign up.
  3. Include a newsletter sign-up link in your signature of all of your emails.
  4. Send an opt-in email to your address book asking them to join your list.
  5. Join your local chamber of commerce, email the member list (if it's opt-in) about your services with a link to sign up to your newsletter.
  6. Host your own event - Art galleries, software companies (one here has a party every quarter and invites the neighboring businesses), retail shops, consultants (lunch & learn) can all host an event and request attendees to sign up.
  7. Offer a birthday club where you give something special to people who sign up.
  8. Incentivize your employees - Give them $ for collecting VALID email addresses.
  9. Giving something for free like a PDF? Make visitors sign up to your opt-in form before you let them download it.
  10. Referrals - Ask you customers to refer you, and in exchange you'll give them a discount.
  11. Bouncebacks – Get them back! - Send a postcard or call them asking for their updated email address.
  12. Trade newsletter space with a neighboring business, include a link for their opt-in form and ask them to include yours in their newsletter.
  13. SEO - Make sure you optimize your site for your keywords. You need to be at the top of the natural search when people are looking for your products or services.
  14. Giveaways - Send people something physical and ask for their email address as well as their postal address.
  15. Do you have a postal list without emails? Send them a direct mail offer they can only get if they sign up to your email list.
  16. Include opt-in forms on every page on your site.
  17. Popup windows - When someone attempts to leave your site, pop up a window and ask for the email address.
  18. Include a forward-to-a-friend link in your emails just in case your recipient wants to forward your content to someone they think will find it interesting.
  19. Include a forward-to-a-friend on every page of your site.
  20. Offer a community - Use Ning as your easy-to-set-up community and have your visitors interact and sign up for your newsletter.
  21. Offer "Email only" discounts and don't use those offers anywhere but email.
  22. Telemarketing - If you've got people on the phone, don't hang up until you ask if you can add them to your newsletter.
  23. Put a fishbowl on your counter and do a weekly prize giveaway of your product - then announce it to your newsletter. Add everyone who put their card in on to your newsletter list.
  24. Include an opt-in form inside your emails for those people who get your email forwarded to them.
  25. Tradeshows - Collect business cards and scan them into a spreadsheet. Make sure you ask permission to send email to them, then mark the card.
  26. Use Facebook - Host your own group and invite people to it, then post new links often. From time to time, post a link to sign up for your newsletter.
  27. Use Facebook - Post the hosted link from your newsletter into Linked Items to spread the word.
  28. Use Facebook - Include an opt-in form on your Facebook Fan page.
  29. Use Twitter - Twitter the hosted link of your email campaign every time you launch.
If you've got any additional ideas, let's hear them!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Speed Optimization Tips For Your Website

Minimize HTTP Requests
80% of the end-user response time is spent on the front-end. Most of this time is tied up in downloading all the components in the page: images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash, etc. Reducing the number of components in turn reduces the number of HTTP requests required to render the page. This is the key to faster pages.

Use a Content Delivery Network
The user’s proximity to your web server has an impact on response times. Deploying your content across multiple, geographically dispersed servers will make your pages load faster from the user’s perspective. But where should you start?
As a first step to implementing geographically dispersed content, don’t attempt to redesign your web application to work in a distributed architecture. Depending on the application, changing the architecture could include daunting tasks such as synchronizing session state and replicating database transactions across server locations. Attempts to reduce the distance between users and your content could be delayed by, or never pass, this application architecture step.
Remember that 80-90% of the end-user response time is spent downloading all the components in the page: images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash, etc. This is the Performance Golden Rule. Rather than starting with the difficult task of redesigning your application architecture, it’s better to first disperse your static content. This not only achieves a bigger reduction in response times, but it’s easier thanks to content delivery networks.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations to deliver content more efficiently to users. The server selected for delivering content to a specific user is typically based on a measure of network proximity. For example, the server with the fewest network hops or the server with the quickest response time is chosen.
Some large Internet companies own their own CDN, but it’s cost-effective to use a CDN service provider, such as Akamai Technologies, Mirror Image Internet, or Limelight Networks. For start-up companies and private web sites, the cost of a CDN service can be prohibitive, but as your target audience grows larger and becomes more global, a CDN is necessary to achieve fast response times. At Yahoo!, properties that moved static content off their application web servers to a CDN improved end-user response times by 20% or more. Switching to a CDN is a relatively easy code change that will dramatically improve the speed of your web site.

Gzip Components
The time it takes to transfer an HTTP request and response across the network can be significantly reduced by decisions made by front-end engineers. It’s true that the end-user’s bandwidth speed, Internet service provider, proximity to peering exchange points, etc. are beyond the control of the development team. But there are other variables that affect response times. Compression reduces response times by reducing the size of the HTTP response.

Put Stylesheets at the Top
While researching performance at Yahoo!, we discovered that moving stylesheets to the document HEAD makes pages appear to be loading faster. This is because putting stylesheets in the HEAD allows the page to render progressively.
Front-end engineers that care about performance want a page to load progressively; that is, we want the browser to display whatever content it has as soon as possible. This is especially important for pages with a lot of content and for users on slower Internet connections. The importance of giving users visual feedback, such as progress indicators, has been well researched and documented. In our case the HTML page is the progress indicator! When the browser loads the page progressively the header, the navigation bar, the logo at the top, etc. all serve as visual feedback for the user who is waiting for the page. This improves the overall user experience.
The problem with putting stylesheets near the bottom of the document is that it prohibits progressive rendering in many browsers, including Internet Explorer. These browsers block rendering to avoid having to redraw elements of the page if their styles change. The user is stuck viewing a blank white page.
The HTML specification clearly states that stylesheets are to be included in the HEAD of the page: “Unlike A, [LINK] may only appear in the HEAD section of a document, although it may appear any number of times.” Neither of the alternatives, the blank white screen or flash of unstyled content, are worth the risk. The optimal solution is to follow the HTML specification and load your stylesheets in the document HEAD.

Put JavaScript at the Bottom
The problem caused by scripts is that they block parallel downloads. The HTTP/1.1 specification suggests that browsers download no more than two components in parallel per hostname. If you serve your images from multiple hostnames, you can get more than two downloads to occur in parallel. While a script is downloading, however, the browser won’t start any other downloads, even on different hostnames.
In some situations it’s not easy to move scripts to the bottom. If, for example, the script uses document.write to insert part of the page’s content, it can’t be moved lower in the page. There might also be scoping issues. In many cases, there are ways to workaround these situations.
An alternative suggestion that often comes up is to use deferred scripts. The DEFER attribute indicates that the script does not contain document.write, and is a clue to browsers that they can continue rendering. Unfortunately, Firefox doesn’t support the DEFER attribute. In Internet Explorer, the script may be deferred, but not as much as desired. If a script can be deferred, it can also be moved to the bottom of the page. That will make your web pages load faster.

Reduce DNS Lookups
The Domain Name System (DNS) maps hostnames to IP addresses, just as phonebooks map people’s names to their phone numbers. When you type into your browser, a DNS resolver contacted by the browser returns that server’s IP address. DNS has a cost. It typically takes 20-120 milliseconds for DNS to lookup the IP address for a given hostname. The browser can’t download anything from this hostname until the DNS lookup is completed.
When the client’s DNS cache is empty (for both the browser and the operating system), the number of DNS lookups is equal to the number of unique hostnames in the web page. This includes the hostnames used in the page’s URL, images, script files, stylesheets, Flash objects, etc. Reducing the number of unique hostnames reduces the number of DNS lookups.
Reducing the number of unique hostnames has the potential to reduce the amount of parallel downloading that takes place in the page. Avoiding DNS lookups cuts response times, but reducing parallel downloads may increase response times. My guideline is to split these components across at least two but no more than four hostnames. This results in a good compromise between reducing DNS lookups and allowing a high degree of parallel downloads.

Minify JavaScript and CSS
Minification is the practice of removing unnecessary characters from code to reduce its size thereby improving load times. When code is minified all comments are removed, as well as unneeded white space characters (space, newline, and tab). In the case of JavaScript, this improves response time performance because the size of the downloaded file is reduced. Two popular tools for minifying JavaScript code are JSMin and YUI Compressor. The YUI compressor can also minify CSS.

Avoid Redirects
The main thing to remember is that redirects slow down the user experience. Inserting a redirect between the user and the HTML document delays everything in the page since nothing in the page can be rendered and no components can start being downloaded until the HTML document has arrived.
One of the most wasteful redirects happens frequently and web developers are generally not aware of it. It occurs when a trailing slash (/) is missing from a URL that should otherwise have one. For example, going to results in a 301 response containing a redirect to (notice the added trailing slash). This is fixed in Apache by using Alias or mod_rewrite, or the DirectorySlash directive if you’re using Apache handlers.

Remove Duplicate Scripts
It hurts performance to include the same JavaScript file twice in one page. This isn’t as unusual as you might think. A review of the ten top U.S. web sites shows that two of them contain a duplicated script. Two main factors increase the odds of a script being duplicated in a single web page: team size and number of scripts. When it does happen, duplicate scripts hurt performance by creating unnecessary HTTP requests and wasted JavaScript execution.
Unnecessary HTTP requests happen in Internet Explorer, but not in Firefox. In Internet Explorer, if an external script is included twice and is not cacheable, it generates two HTTP requests during page loading. Even if the script is cacheable, extra HTTP requests occur when the user reloads the page.
In addition to generating wasteful HTTP requests, time is wasted evaluating the script multiple times. This redundant JavaScript execution happens in both Firefox and Internet Explorer, regardless of whether the script is cacheable.

Flush the Buffer Early
When users request a page, it can take anywhere from 200 to 500ms for the backend server to stitch together the HTML page. During this time, the browser is idle as it waits for the data to arrive. In PHP you have the function flush(). It allows you to send your partially ready HTML response to the browser so that the browser can start fetching components while your backend is busy with the rest of the HTML page. The benefit is mainly seen on busy backends or light frontends.
A good place to consider flushing is right after the HEAD because the HTML for the head is usually easier to produce and it allows you to include any CSS and JavaScript files for the browser to start fetching in parallel while the backend is still processing.

Preload Components
Preload may look like the opposite of post-load, but it actually has a different goal. By preloading components you can take advantage of the time the browser is idle and request components (like images, styles and scripts) you’ll need in the future. This way when the user visits the next page, you could have most of the components already in the cache and your page will load much faster for the user.

Split Components Across Domains
Splitting components allows you to maximize parallel downloads. Make sure you’re using not more than 2-4 domains because of the DNS lookup penalty. For example, you can host your HTML and dynamic content on and split static components between and

No 404s
HTTP requests are expensive so making an HTTP request and getting a useless response (i.e. 404 Not Found) is totally unnecessary and will slow down the user experience without any benefit.
Some sites have helpful 404s “Did you mean X?”, which is great for the user experience but also wastes server resources (like database, etc). Particularly bad is when the link to an external JavaScript is wrong and the result is a 404. First, this download will block parallel downloads. Next the browser may try to parse the 404 response body as if it were JavaScript code, trying to find something usable in it.

Reduce Cookie Size
HTTP cookies are used for a variety of reasons such as authentication and personalization. Information about cookies is exchanged in the HTTP headers between web servers and browsers. It’s important to keep the size of cookies as low as possible to minimize the impact on the user’s response time.

Don’t Scale Images in HTML
Don’t use a bigger image than you need just because you can set the width and height in HTML. If you need
then your image (mycat.jpg) should be 100x100px rather than a scaled down 500x500px image.

Keep Components under 25K
This restriction is related to the fact that iPhone won’t cache components bigger than 25K. Note that this is the uncompressed size. This is where minification is important because gzip alone may not be sufficient.

Reducing the load time of your site is very important this day in age. Google uses load times to calculate where your site sits in it’s rankings. The faster the load time the better your listing in the search engines. Also, saving half a second could save your bounce rate. Impatient readers can’t stand to wait for images to load and will just leave a site in a huff. Why take the risk of losing readers to slow load times. Take these tips into account and your page load time will increase. There are several other methods, tips, tricks, etc associated with this topic. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, I look forward to hearing from you.

 Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets
Get to the Top on Google: Tips and Techniques to Get Your Site to the Top of the Search Engine Rankings -- and Stay There
Best Website: Simple Steps to Successful Websites

Actors Who Make Better Directors

You know the maxim, “Those who can’t do, teach”? Well, a variation of that phrase can be applied to movie making. Sometimes, actors of limited range and ability in front of the camera find surprising depth, sensitivity, and taste behind it. So here are our picks for actors who are better off calling the shots than taking them.

Ben Affleck

Breakout Directorial Effort: Gone Baby Gone
Other Highlights: Um, Gone Baby Gone
Crimes Against Acting: Why is Ben Affleck on the list after only directing one movie? Have you seen his acting reel? The fact that Gone Baby Gone is a smart, engaging thriller more than enough to overshadow the likes of Daredevil, Paycheck, and, Gigli.

Jon Favreau

Breakout Directorial Effort: Iron Man
Other Highlights: Iron Man 2, Zathura, Made
Crimes Against Acting: It’s not that Favreau is “bad” in anything, he’s just pretty much one-note. Putting aside sensitive Mikey from Swingers, he usually pops up as the boorish loudmouth in stuff like I Love You, Man and Couples Retreat. As a director, however, he’s only helmed one of the most successful (commercially and critically) superhero franchises ever.

Kevin Costner

Breakout Directorial Effort: Dances with Wolves
Other Highlights: Open Range (we’ll leave The Postman out of this)
Crimes Against Acting: Winning the Best Director Oscar your first time out is a pretty big seal of approval, especially when your acting “style” had pretty much settled on “stiff, stiffer, and/or miscast” (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Bodyguard, Wyatt Earp, Tin Cup, Dragonfly)

Peter Berg

Breakout Directorial Effort: The Rundown
Other Highlights: Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom, Hancock
Crimes Against Acting: Quick, can you even name a movie Berg acted in? Exactly. The Rundown was a better action movie than it had any right to be, and it certainly did more for Berg’s profile than Corky Romano.

Ron Howard

Breakout Directorial Effort: Splash
Other Highlights: Gung Ho, Willow, Night Shift, Parenthood, Backdraft, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon
Crimes Against Acting: As a director, Howard has proven he can jump around from comedy to drama to historical epic with aplomb. As an actor, he was always either “Opie” or “Richie Cunningham.”

Sophia Coppola

Breakout Directorial Effort: The Virgin Suicides
Other Highlights: Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette
Crimes Against Acting: This is slightly unfair, since it was clear Sophia had no real ambition to be an actress. In The Godfather Part III, she appeared as anxious to get off screen as we were to get out of the theater. As a director, though, she has proven thoughtful and inventive.

Mel Gibson

Breakout Directorial Effort: Braveheart
Other Highlights: The Man Without a Face, The Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto
Crimes Against Acting: Let’s put it this way – no one was giving him Oscars for his starring roles. Not only did he make one of the most profitable movies of all time (The Passion of the Christ) but also one of the most divisive. Love him or hate him, you can’t say he’s dull. Remember when the most controversial move he made was daring to do Hamlet?

Rob Reiner

Breakout Directorial Effort: This is Spinal Tap
Other Highlights: Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, A Few Good Men, The American President
Crimes Against Acting: Like Ron Howard, Reiner’s most iconic role was a TV punch line (“Meathead” on All in the Family). He pops up now and again on camera, but even a few well-delivered quips don’t add up to the sheer iconic nature of his directorial efforts. Just try going through a day without quoting one of his movies, we dare you: “I’ll have what she’s having,” “Have fun storming the castle,” “You can’t handle the truth!,” “These go to 11”…

Nick Cassavetes

Breakout Directorial Effort: Unhook the Stars
Other Highlights: She’s So Lovely, The Notebook, Alpha Dog, John Q
Crimes Against Acting: The son of the godfather of American indie film does his dad proud behind the camera, and fills the clearance bin at Best Buy in front of it. The Wraith? Delta Force 3: The Killing Game? At least four or five movies with titles that are some variation on “Sins” “Body” and “Death”? Yeesh.

Spike Jonze

Breakout Directorial Effort: Being John Malkovich
Other Highlights: Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are
Crimes Against Acting: Seeing as his only major acting role was as a clueless redneck soldier in Three Kings, it’s doubtful anyone is asking: “Why doesn’t Spike act more?” He was funny as hell in Kings, but his filmmaking work is what has people….wait for it…jonesing for his next endeavor.

Quentin Tarantino

Breakout Directorial Effort: Reservoir Dogs
Other Highlights: Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1& 2, Inglorious Basterds
Crimes Against Acting: There’s only one person on earth who thinks he has genuine talent an actor: Quentin Tarantino. Every time Q shows up on screen (Destiny Turns of the Radio, Desperado, Planet Terror, almost all his movies) we’re reminded why we like his writing and directing. Behind the lens, he’s cool, iconic, and taboo-shattering. In front of it, he’s irritating, obnoxious, and won’t go away fast enough.

Penny Marshall

Breakout Directorial Effort: Big
Other Highlights: Awakenings, A League of Their Own, Renaissance Man, The Preacher’s Wife
Crimes Against Acting: We’re sorry, Laverne, but you can take a seat next to Ron Howard and Rob Reiner. Is it any wonder that not only has Marshall completely ditched acting, she’s completely quit speaking? Watching the movies she’s directed is great, listening to her talking about her movies is like listening to Tom Waits after recent jaw surgery.

Clint Eastwood

Breakout Directorial Effort: Play Misty for Me
Other Highlights: The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Pale Rider, Bird, Unforgiven, The Bridges of Madison County, Mystic River, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Invictus

Crimes Against Acting: Before you fire bomb the comments section, take a deep breath and hold it. Let’s not revise history--because of the iconic nature of some of his acting roles, it’s easy to think that Clint was revered as a thespian. He wasn’t. Most people dismissed him as a squinty, gravelly-throated precursor to Stallone and Schwarzenegger. But as a director, he is effortlessly classy, jaw-droppingly productive, and nearly infallible.

Film Making : Learn Basics to Becoming a Film Maker

The Film Director Prepares: A Practical Guide to Directing for Film and TV
Film Directing Fundamentals, Third Edition: See Your Film Before Shooting