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Marvel Movies leading up to Infinity Wars

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Marvel Movies leading up to Infinity Wars

Top 10 Marvel Movies that play into Infinity Wars

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Spoiler Alert! Info about these movies will be stated as I debrief my top ten. Here it goes.

10. Ant Man
This movie was actually a lot better than I expected it to be. My friend Sam told me it was great and he was right. It was super funny with a great story line. Honestly, though I wanted to see more of his best friend turned side kick Luis. He was the best part of the movie with his rambling explanations and incredible comedic delivery. I don’t really have many complaints with this film. There were no huge plot twists other than the fact that their heist didn’t work when trying to steal the yellow jacket suit from the villain, but since we knew that it couldn’t possibly be that easy I don’t know if we can even call that a plot twist. But still I thoroughly enjoyed this film and if I had more personal attachment to the comic book characters I would probably be ranking this a lot higher.

9. Captain America: Winter Soldier
I’m not going to lie, I forgot about this one and about how great it is. It wouldn’t have even made my top 10 but my brother Blaze reminded me of how amazing it is. In this movie we get to see Steve Rogers struggling to find his place in the world in modern day, since he is originally from the world war 2 era. My favorite thing about this movie is that it features some of the best hand to hand combat out of any of the Marvel films. Some super hero movies use so much effects that you can't actually tell what is going on during the fight. Winter solider has great fights that you can appreciate what is happening, plus captain America takes one a whole squad of soldiers in an elevator. The Antagonist is this film is a twist in and of itself with the grand reveal that Bucky Barnes is the Winter Soldier and makes it difficult for Captain America to fight his brain washed war pal who is still his companion from years ago. I guess the only reason I have this film ranked so low on my list is because amongst all the other flashy MCU movies this one gets lost and can be forgettable. But it should be remembered, because it is fantastic!

8.
Doctor Strange
Obviously this movie had amazing cinematography and stunning visual effects. But that’s about all it had going for it. The movie seemed to drag out as if we were struck by Dr. Strange’s Eye of Agamotto and stuck in some infinite loop of long movie plot. Ironically, for how long they dragged out the plot it felt like Dr. Strange evolved too quickly to become one of the most powerful heroes in the MCU.  It was also a little too mystical and un-relatable, but that isn’t the movie’s fault, that’s just how the character is designed. But I did love the costumes. My friend Thanh helped me re-rank this one up a few slots pointing out that this movie presents the unique ideas of folding space and combat within it. The protagonist is different too, being both unlikable and unapologetic.

7.
Spider Man Homecoming
The best spider man since Tobey Maguire’s Spider Man origin film. I felt like this movie really captured the essence of the young teenage boy spider man from the comic books. The villain in this movie had a good back story, motive, and was believable. The best part of the movie was the twist that had Spiderman’s prom date turning out to be Vulture’s daughter. Great movie!


6.
Black Panther
Something we haven’t seen in a long time, a really good stand alone Marvel movie that doesn’t rely on cameo appearance of other known characters. This story had good back story and even if you have no idea who Black Panther is before the movie starts, you know what is going on by the end. This is very much unlike Guardians of Galaxy which failed to explain anything. You watch a movie about 5 characters and hardly know any of them. They use words and phrases that is never really explained and leave the audience feeling lost in space wondering if they missed something. Guardians also desperately needed a laugh track to cue the audience when to laugh. You know they were trying to tell jokes but the poor delivery just made the audience feel awkward rather than happy. I call them the wanna-be-Avengers. Dr Tim Brookes reminded me of one good thing the Guardians movie did, which was help advance the Thanos story-line. But anyway, back to black panther. Michael B. Jordan did an amazing job as the main antagonist in the film.  It was one of those villains who you loved and hated at the same time. Even though I knew he was evil I found myself having a hard time picking who to root for. There were some great twists and awesome action sequences. Visually stimulating and fun. Overall great movie.

5. Thor Ragnorok
This movie accomplished what Guardians of the Galaxy failed to do. While Guardians constantly mocks itself and relies on childish comedy, Ragnorok is genuinely funny. A big part to this is the relationship Loki brings to the films. He is my favorite Villain within the Marvel Universe. I feel like he is the most believable being both selfish and real. He struggles with the relationships and occasionally does the “right” thing, but mostly when it will benefit him. This movie has great action sequences, good music, good plot twists, and advances the MCU storyline.  As my friend Dr. Namihas pointed out, “Thor was not only hilarious and had great action scenes, but it re-wrote who Thor’s character was without us even realizing it. This is very hard to do in film, but they nailed it.”
 

4. Avengers Age of Ultron
The best part of this movie was once again seeing all of our favorite heroes unite on the big screen. We also see the creation of Vision, the introduction of Scarlet Witch, and the new and improved hulk-buster ion suit. I also loved learning more about each of the characters which is sometimes hard to do when you try to fit so many stars on one screen. But they didn’t let the big names overshadow anyone, and one of my favorite storylines was learning more about Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye. He is the most human of the Avengers and gives us a daily dose of reality checks throughout the film that make us laugh at how over the top certain action sequences are. My favorite is when he jokes about it to Scarlet Witch, saying, “None of it makes sense… We’re on a flying city… and I’ve got a bow and arrow.” Amazing action sequences, especially at the end when they are all fighting Ultron. As my friends J-may and Lindsay stated it had some good points for reflection on humanity, but, not the best super villain of all time.

3.
Captain America: Civil War
This movie is incredible and so much more important than most people realize. The ignorant discount this movie not realizing the importance of what this script is really saying. I don’t blame you if you didn’t love the movie the first time. To be honest, the first time I watched this movie I thought, “this is a fun movie to watch with some great action sequences but the plot line was pretty terrible.” I would watch it again and again because it has so many of my favorite characters but if I actually stop to think about why they are fighting, it seemed pretty silly. However, I was missing the point entirely. This movie is crucial to the MCU story line that helps lead us to the division right before the infinity wars. This movie is the glue that ties together all the other story lines that have been developed over the past decade. This movie brings in Ant-Man and introduces us to the noble character of Black Panther. It rebirths spiderman giving him a new face and a more comic accurate personality. It brings Hawk-eye out of retirement and shows the relationship between all the characters we have seen teaming up throughout the last several films. We see Iron man develop a conscious through his thickened suit of pride. He is finally broken down to realize that while they had been saving lives they were also taking innocent ones in the process. It is almost as if Tony’s blind arrogance had to be shifted elsewhere and Captain America promptly assumed that role. Distracted by his old war pal Bucky Barnes, Captain America was willing to break up the Avengers rather than be held accountable.  The question became is it better to have free reign to save the world but lose some innocent lives in the process, or be under the authority of the United Nations, have more accountable but be susceptible to not being allowed to fight when they feel necessary, or worse, locked up when they are seen as too dangerous as we see happen at the end of the film. Quickly stated it may seem trivial but this argument could be debated for life with no real answer as to what is best. And I appreciate that this movie is fighting against people and powers that are believable rather than just weird alien creatures and demi-gods. It made it seem more real and brought more emotion to the film seeing the action heroes battle each other and other misguided foes rather than metallic underworld beings. And once again the Villain is more believable, being someone who is seeking vengeance after having his wife and son murdered by the aftermath of the Avengers, rather than just some freak trying to take over the world. This movie has comic relief, incredible action sequences, and depth. It dives deeper into Tony Stark’s past and gives us a glimpse of what is to come in future movies. And how can you not love seeing all your favorite heroes on screen together at the same time. That alone makes this one of the top films. Even though I didn’t think so initially, after much analysis this movie now will go down as one of my favorite Marvel movies of all time.

2.
Iron Man
The movie that kicked off the Marvel Series and bought Marvel to a whole new level. It literally put Marvel on the map. My friend Keenan reminded me that this movie was the biggest risk out of all the Marvel movies because this was in a period when super hero movies weren’t seen as crazy money makers for studios. Prior to this, as my friend Eric pointed out, Marvel had failed several times with other movies such as the Hulk and without the success of this Iron Man we would likely be without all the other movies listed on this list. Certainly there would be no infinity wars. Robert Downey Jr. played the role perfectly and with a good balance between action and comedy it was a real crowd pleaser. Plus the story telling was fantastic.

1.
Avengers
My childhood fantasy come to life. I grew up reading the comics and to see all my favorite childhood heroes come together on the big screen was like a dream come true. There was definitely a feeling of nostalgic triumph as the heroes came together to take down one of the best acted villains in the MCU universe, Loki. This movie also gives us one of the most iconic Iron Man quotes of all time… Steve Rogers: Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?    Tony Stark: Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.”
And again Keenan reminded me that like Iron Man, this movie was a pioneer of sorts because there had never really been a successful movie featuring such big cross overs. After the success of this movie several others have tried to copy the style with the DC universe being the biggest copy cats currently.

 

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Metabolism and Nutrition Facts

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10. Digestion starts in your mouth
Most people think that your food is digested in your stomach but it actually starts being digested while still in your mouth.  Dietary polysaccharides are first digested in the mouth by salivary alpha-amylase which breaks down the glucose alpha 1-4- glucose bonds.  In fact, studies show that those with a low level of salivary amylase predisposes them to obesity.

9. Fiber not absorbed but oh so important
Don’t know if you knew this, but fiber CANNOT be digested for energy by our bodies because we as humans lack the enzymes to break it down. So you know all those ads declaring how their food is high in fiber… you are getting zero energy and nutritional value from that. But wait! It is still very important on the back end… literally. Without it pooping would be terrible. And it actually helps weight loss, control blood sugar, and reduce the chances of several chronic diseases (Stroke, Gallstones, Diverticulitis, Heart Disease). So eat your fiber people!

8. Don’t neglect your desire for CARBS
Anyone that knows me knows I’m a big believer in bread. Here’s the science to back it up. 45-65 percent of your total daily calories for an adult should be from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are ESSENTIAL for your body’s energy production. ALSO, Red Blood Cells NEED a constant supply of glucose aka carbohydrates. They can ONLY use glucose. Probably most importantly is the fact that the brain NEEDS glucose to function. Proteins and fatty acids do not cross the blood brain barrier. If you are lacking those oh so important carbohydrates your body resorts to starvation mode and produces ketone bodies to fuel the brain instead of glucose. Makes me wonder about all those people are those “no carb diets.”  Or those “meat heads”. Now I fully understand that expression. Yikes! How’s the health of your brain?


7. Good Fat
Some fats are bad (duh we all knew that) but some fats are crucial to a healthy diet. Some fat leads to coronary heart disease while others help reduce the risk. Some fat may lead to cancer while other types are critical for prostagladin synthesis and absorption of certain vitamins. So how do you know which is which? Basically, stay away from Trans fat and Saturated fat. Instead choose foods with monoUNsaturated or polyUnsaturated fats. All in moderation of course. It all boils down to double bonds on the fatty acid chain. Monounsaturated fats have one double bond and polyunsaturated fats have several. These double bonds effect the melting point so you can usually tell the good fat from the bad fat just by looking at it. Unhealthy saturated fats and trans fat are usually solid at room temperature such as pork fat or butter. Mono and polyunsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature such as olive oil and tuna juice.

6. Fat and Happy
On the note of fat, some of the best fats are types of polyunsaturated fat that contains omega-3. This type of fat that is usually found in fish not only helps fight against the risk of coronary artery disease but can help protect against irregular heartbeats, lowers blood pressure, and decreases overall chances of sudden cardiac death. This is double bonded fatty acid chain makes me agree all the more with the expression fat and happy.  

5. It costs food to eat food.
Approximately 5-10% of the digestible energy contained in food is used in a process called Diet Induced Thermogenesis (DIT) or Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), which is the energy needed to digest, absorb, and distribute these macronutrients.

4. One size DOESN’T fit all
The equation for weight loss is simple… you need to use more energy than you absorb. You can do this by increasing physical activity or decreasing your food intake. However, what makes it complex is the fact that this will be different for all of us. The equation deals with ENERGY intake not food intake. So two people could eat the same amount and exercise the SAME amount and one person may gain weight while the other LOSES weight. It has to do with the individual’s metabolism and a lot to do with the individual’s resting energy expenditure (REE) which is the cellular energy used for breathing, circulation, ion transport, and maintenance of cellular integrity. This is different for EVERY person! So don’t think that just because certain exercise or diet worked for one person that it will work for you. Diet and exercise should be assessed on an INDIVIDUAL basis.

3. BMI bull
So doctors all across America use what’s called the BMI index to help determine and classify obesity. I find this to be a very flawed system. The Body Mass Index ONLY takes into account your weight and height. Nothing else! The exact formula is weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. Anything over 25 is considered overweight and over 30 is obese. So according to this system I am OVERWEIGHT! I don’t think I am in perfect shape, but for someone who is more on the scrawny side to be called overweight would make me think this system is very flawed. To determine whether or not a person is overweight should be done on a case to case basis rather than a universally blanketed structure.  


2. Get to the gym or get fat
Glucose is the main source of our bodies energy. So many of us are worried about consuming too much glucose because we don’t want to get fat! The good news is that even after consuming excess glucose the body doesn’t convert it to fat right away. It gives you a chance to go to the gym sometime within the next 10-18 hours to get rid of it. How nice. So how does your body hold onto this excess energy? It stores the excess glucose as glycogen in the liver an d skeletal muscles which holds a 10-18 supply of glucose. The glucose in the liver store houses can be used for blood homeostasis but the glucose in the skeletal muscle can only be mobilized during exercise. After that storage center is saturated then, you guessed it, the excess energy is converted to adipose tissue aka fat.

1. I’m starving… no actually you aren’t.
I’m Starving! I hear this expression thrown around all the time when people start to feel the grumblings of hunger. But this of course is a hyperbole (over-exaggeration). Technically if you have eaten anything in the past 4 hours you are technically still in the “fed” state and are still processing your previous nutrient intake. If you have eaten ANYTHING in the past 3 days, then technically you still aren’t starving, but rather you are in what is called the post-absorptive fasting state. When you are starving your only source of blood glucose is gluconeogenesis. That means you have depleted all your fat and glycogen stores. So next time you feel the sting of hunger maybe try a more accurate declaration such as, “I’m famished!” or “My glucose levels are feeling extra depleted!”


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90's Rap Songs

Counting down the top 10 rap songs from the 1990's. Did these songs make your list?

Today we are going to be counting down the top 10 rap songs from the 90’s. Collaborating with me I have the stud, Joshua Mini-hulk May, with me.

10. House of Pain - Jump Around
This song is not exercise indoctrination, just a legit, good reason to JUMP.  What I don’t get is how such a happy song was birthed from a group who calls themselves “House of Pain”. Regardless, this song uses the correct formula of a catchy beat and repetitive phrase that uses lingo and verbiage dumbed down enough for its target audience.  

9. Marky mark and the Funky Bunch good vibrations
Let me preface this by saying you NEED to watch this music video. It is worth your time. I love how he keeps us in suspense about what he and his lady are going to do as the blinds to their bedroom slowly open and shut. What a tease! And let’s not forget that every time I see that man shirtless I am inspired to go to the gym and be all I can be. To think we would have never gotten to see Italian Job, the other guys, Ted, or Shooter without this song! Let’s just all give thanks for Lolleatta what’s her face for guest-featuring, making this a decent song, and helping kickstart the career of Marky Mark.

8. Eric B. & Rakim – Don’t Sweat The Technique (1992)
This song is probably on every break dancer and B-boy’s playlist out there. If I had to use 5 words to describe this song I would say: funky, frisky, dramatic, cacophonous, and violent. Not many songs inspire such an eclectic list of adjectives which is why America welcomed this instant classic and why it made this list for my top ten.

7. Coolio- Gangsta’s Paridise
One of the many reasons I love rap from the 90’s is how much these guys wanted to make sure you knew how hard and thug they were. But then at the end of the day they weren’t sure if they liked that or not. Making lots of money and living in big houses seemed nice, too. This song made it big for its catchy beat, but stays in our hearts forever because we can all identify with his inward struggle.

6. The Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa (1994)
The Notorious B.I.G. (rest in peace) has many names… his birth name Christopher George Wallace, his alias Biggie Smalls, and various nicknames including King of New York and Frank White.  But nothing pleased him more than hearing people call him "Big Poppa". This song is known for its sleazy beat and making it cool to throw your hands in the air… again. Even though it wasn’t a revolutionary idea, some how this song became a smash hit. I do hope he is a good dad after potentially impregnating half the women in the room. 

5. Sir mix a lot: baby got back
Ode to ladies with large rear-ends (you know who you are)! I’m sure this will come as a shock to some, but sometimes guys talk about girls in terms of which qualities they might appreciate more than others… I will just say that Sir Mix a Lot makes a rather poignant point.

4. Jay-Z: Big Pimpin’
This song really changed the way I thought about women. Before hearing it I was pretty sure they were amazing, kind creations, one of whom I would someday have a marriage and partnership with. After hearing it I was rather certain of my former opinion and knew Jay-Z was kind of a punk, but it sure did look like he was having fun out there and the song has a catchy beat. I even employed some of his techniques, and wore out my skates with all the imaginary tonsil hockey I was playing. JK, I was about 10 years old when this song came out but thought that joke sounded funny.

3. MC Hammer: U Can’t touch this
This may or may not be a direct rip off of Rick James’ Superfreak which came out a decade before, but who cares? With his “too legit to quit attitude” and jeanie parachute pants, Stanley Burrell gifted us with what will forever be known as “Hammer Time”. The only thing I’m still confused about is what exactly is it that we can’t touch? My best friend’s girl? The paintings within the Sistine Chapel? Freedom in its tangible form? Infinite stones?

2. 2Pac – Changes (1998)
When I hear this song I like to imagine the heated argument between 2pac and his label manager. “2Pac please, you know where your bread is buttered- saying cuss words and talking about inappropriate activities! This song is just…. Well…. Too much like an actual song.” Then Tupac responds with:“C’mon, man. I’m tired of playing your games. Ever since I was a kid I just wanted to make a beautiful ballad telling people in the ghetto how much I love them!” I would like to end by saying 2Pac, if you are still out there, please know this was out of love, that no publicity is bad publicity, and that this song is legit.

1.  Will Smith: Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Kicking off the greatest TV series of all time, Will Smith introduces us to #1 Rap Song of the 1990’s. Come on, how could it not be? Who doesn’t know this song? “Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down and I'd like to take a minute just sit right there I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.” In this decade, Will Smith not only gave us this timeless gem, but also came out with several other solo albums.  In 1991, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince teamed up to create "Summertime" which won them a Grammy for Best Rap Single.

So there you have it! Let me know what you think? Do you agree? Which songs should have made the list? Comment below :)

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Tips while traveling by Airplane

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Tips while traveling by Airplane

Trent's Top 10: Tips while traveling by AIRPLANE

[Press play] Things you should know before traveling by plane... After my extensive traveling through Asia and Europe these past couple months, I thought I would share 10 things you may not know about airplane travel... I also received insight from relatives and friends who work as pilots and flight attendants.

After my extensive traveling through Asia and Europe these past couple months, I thought I would share 10 things you may not know about airplane travel… I also received insight from relatives and friends who work as pilots and flight attendants.

10. You can be upgraded to first class even after take-off. It doesn’t happen often, but if you are the chosen one, it probably has nothing to do with luck. According to flight attendants, if they upgrade someone it will usually be someone well dressed, not a slob. So suit up! No tank tops and baggy b-ball shorts.

9. Most people are unaware that you can receive free sanitizing wipes. I highly recommend you clean your tray table, remote, and anything else you plan to be using throughout your flight, seeing that planes are bacteria factories that help transport sickness and disease around the world. Just think about how many people everyday touch these things! The worst is the people that cough into their hands and then touch everything in sight. Gross! I asked flight attendants and they told me that honestly the tray tables only get cleaned once a day, if at all. So if you don’t clean it yourself, you are probably touching poop every time you touch your tray table… I have seen way too many parents set down poopy baby diapers on these tray tables. I have learned my lesson, and YOU have been warned.  

8. On the note of sanitation, if you want to be warm or comfortable, bring your own blanket and pillow. They hardly ever wash or clean these items. According to some of the flight attendants I spoke with, usually after flights they are just folded up, repackaged, and handed out for the next flight. Yuck!

7. Ask for no ice. When you are served your complimentary beverage on flights, the attendants pile in the ice to keep your beverage cold. The downside is not much room is left in the little plastic cups for liquid. When I’m parched, I’m hoping for more than just a few tablespoons of refreshment. If you realize that cold is just a luxury you can more than double the amount of liquid you receive by asking for no ice.

Better yet, ask for the whole can. Most flight attendants have no problem doing so and plus it saves them the time and energy of opening and pouring it for you. A call that a win-win.

6. Medical attention. Some flight attendants deserve the title of nurse with the amount of medical ailments they have attended to. Most people don’t know it, but many planes are stocked with painkillers, antacids, and other basic medications. So if you have a headache or heartburn, all you have to do is ask. Not only that, but many flight attendants are fantastic at making ice packs out of the barf bags and other plastic bags on board. They also have bandages for minor cuts and abrasions.


5. Water bottle refill. For those of you who are ultra thirsty or just like to have a bottled water handy at all times, you are probably deeply saddened when going through the airport security and have to empty its contents for safety reasons. No need to fear, bring on your reusable, hopefully eco-friendly, water bottle and kindly ask your flight attendant for a refill. Unless there is a shortage on the plane, this shouldn’t be a problem… BUT be careful! Do not ever use water other than bottled or canned water.  According to the Wall Street Journal, all other water on the plane can contain hundreds of times more bacteria than above governmental safety guidlines. So as gross as this sounds, don’t wash your hands after using the plane lavatory. Your more likely to get sick from the water. That’s why we have hand sanitizer. (http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2008/08/28/thinking-of-drinking-airplane-water-read-this/)

4. Seconds on snacks. Granted there is enough, and if your airline provides free food/snacks, after every passenger has received some, you can receive more for free.  Above all by courteous and polite to your flight attendant. They serve hundreds of cranky travelers a day every time they go to work.

3. Pilots only tell you what you need to know. They won’t tell you if one of the engines of the planes blows out because they don’t want to cause panic. Plus most aircrafts can fly fine with only one engine operational. They won’t tell you about dangerous thunderstorms or unseen updrafts. They might say things like turbulence ahead. The indicator I listen for is “Flight attendants take your seats.” That’s when you know you are approaching some serious turbulence and definitely want to be buckled up.

2. Freefalling. If your plane explodes mid-flight and you are 35,000 feet above ground, you still have a chance for survival. (http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/survive-plane-crash-quiz.htm) You will probably pass out for the first minute or so from shock but after that, you need to ready yourself for impact. The position that gives you the best chance for survival is face-down toward earth, spread out as much as possible slowing yourself down with the wind resistance. As you glide to earth slightly less graceful than a flying squirrel aim for either a swampland or snowbank. Other wise you may be screwed. Water upon impact will be as hard as concrete, and dirt is hard as rock… because it is rock. If nothing else, make right with God and sing to yourself Tom Petty’s version of Free Falling.

1. Best seat in the house. Since we are on the note of safety, the safest seats are usually the back of the plane if you are actually to crash into the ground or water. It may be annoying sitting in the most crammed seats and being the last one off the plane, but according to a study by Popular Mechanics you have a 40 percent chance higher chance of surviving a plane crash. To solidify these stats, researchers crashed a Boeing 727 with cameras and test dummies. (http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/aviation/safety/4219452). All first class, front of the plane passengers would have been killed, while nearly 80% of those sitting in the rear of the plane would have survived. If your plane does crash, you have 90 seconds to get off before the interior will reach temperatures hot enough to melt your skin off.

All this plane crash survival talk really wants to make you fly huh? Don’t worry! Your chances of dying in a plane crash are about 11 million to 1. You are more likely to die as a civilian on the ground from falling parts of a plane than a plane crash.  You actually have better odds of becoming president than dying in a plane crash.  So even though there have been several high profile plane crashes recently, it is still the safest mode of transportation.

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