Tuesday, 31 March 2015

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

126 and Counting

Some 126 years ago, the Eiffel Tower opened its doors to the public for the first time.

The enormous metallic structure is now a globally recognised, iconic piece of architecture.

To mark the unveiling of the Tower which has become a symbol of love and Parisian elegance, Google is featuring a Doodle by illustrator Floriane Marchix on its homepage today.

In honour of the Eiffel Tower, here are six things you didn’t know about it.


It’s named after its engineer

Opened by French premier Pierre Tirard on 31 March 1889, the Eiffel Tower is named after civil engineer Gustave Eiffel. The feat of turning architect Stephen Sauvestre's vision into reality earned Eiffel the nickname “the magician of iron”.

It’s almost as tall as the Shard, which is the tallest building in the EU

The Eiffel Tower stands at 300m (984ft) high (324m if you include its antennae), while the Shard is 306m tall (1,004ft) in its entirety.

A picture taken on February 11, 2014 at people walking at sunrise on the Trocadero Esplanade, also known as the Parvis des droits de l'homme (Parvis of Human Rights), in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

It doesn’t like the cold

When it gets cold, the Tower shrinks by about six inches.

It was the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years

The Chrysler Building in New York claimed its place in 1930. But it continued to be the tallest structure in France until the military transmitter in the town of Saissac was erected in 1973.

It is the most visited ticketed monument in the world

As many as 7 million people visit the Eiffel Tower a year, and almost 250 million people have visited the tower since it opened.

The Eiffel tower as it nears completion over the period from 26 December 1888 to 20 January 1889. (Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)

It was built to celebrate revolution

The Eiffel Tower may be a symbol of romance, but it was built as the main exhibit at the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair), which was held to mark the centennial of the French Revolution in 1789.

TInd

Dead Duck

Plans for Great Britain football teams to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics have been scrapped.

The English Football Association had hoped to field men's and women's teams at the Games but failed to gain support from the other home nations.

More at the BBC

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Hang Them All

Daily Mail prison fury over summer time
Murderers and rapists, many of them foreign, are sticking two fingers up to Britain’s soft-touch justice system after clocks went forward by one hour.
The sixty minute sentence reduction has been handed out to all prisoners regardless of their crime, leaving many decent hardworking Britons shaking their heads in disbelief.
Radical muslimaniac hatemongers who are due for release before the autumn will see their sentences slashed by a whole hour due to liberal lefty daylight gain.
Many within the justice system believe they will use the extra hour to rape innocent Britons, while living it up on benefits in massive houses paid for by decent hardworking taxpayers.‎
Daily Mail readers are incensed by the prospect of dangerous maniacs flooding onto the streets like a tidal wave of knife-wielding faeces.
“It’s a joke!” blasted Miriam Frampton from Cheltenham.
“No doubt it’s some barmy EU directive foisted upon us by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels.
“While their snouts are in the trough, I’ll be fending off sex-crazed Eastern Europeans who’ve been released an hour early.
“Only Ukip can save us!”
Reg Jenkins from Peterborough is similarly outraged.
“It comes as no surprise that the enforcement of Daylight Saving Time was first implemented in Germany,” he told us.
“I’d much rather play golf in total darkness and be a target for foreign perverts than see those same perverts granted early release by the flawed liberal extra sunshine agenda.
“I never met my grandfather, but I’m absolutely certain that he’ll be spinning in his grave!”
Ukip leader Nigel Farage sympathised with voters who are concerned about foreign rapists gaining an hour.
“What kind of message will this send out to criminals from Romania and Bulgaria,” he said.
“The sun that lights up the UK is the same sun that shines over Brussels and the rest of Europe.
“What this country needs, and what UKIP will fight for, is its own sun.
“We need a sun that puts British people first!”
NT

I Like Him

But not the character.  Still, cop for this if you're a Mr Bean fan...

Rowan Atkinson may have more than 50 acting credits on his resume, but to most of the world he’ll always be best known as the ridiculously rubber-faced Mr. Bean. As the iconic British comedy series celebrates its 25th anniversary (complete with a newly remastered DVD set from Shout! Factory), we uncovered 15 things you might not know about Mr. Bean.

1. MR. BEAN BEGAN LIFE ON THE STAGE.

Though it was on January 1, 1990 that Mr. Bean made his television debut on England’s ITV, Rowan Atkinson began developing the character more than a decade earlier, while he was pursuing his master’s degree in electrical engineering. “I was asked in my first term at Oxford to do a sketch in this one-night show at the Oxford Playhouse, and I’d never written anything,” Atkinson recalls in The Story of Mr. Bean, a feature on The Whole Bean DVD. “I’m not really naturally a writer, so I just had to invent sort of 5 minutes of something at 48 hours’ notice. I just stood in front of the mirror and started to mess about with my face. And this strange, surreal, sort of non-speaking character evolved.”

2. ONLY 14 EPISODES WERE EVER PRODUCED.

Even the most dedicated fans have trouble reconciling the fact that only 14 episodes of the live-action series were ever produced. It did, of course, spawn two movies, an animated series (whichreturned to British television earlier this year), a video game, and some books, including Mr. Bean’s Definitive and Extremely Marvelous Guide to France.

3. THE SERIES WAS BROADCAST IN NEARLY 200 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.

Because the bulk of the comedy is physical, not narrative, Mr. Bean has not gotten lost in translation. “There doesn’t seem to be a country in the world, or not that I have visited, or indeed none that I have heard of, who don't seem to get him, who don’t seem to understand and enjoy the character of Mr. Bean,” Atkinson told ABC. “I think, and I’ve always assumed, it’s because he’s basically a child trapped in a man’s body."

4. ATKINSON HAS FAITH IN HIS FACE.

While the beginning of Mr. Bean started by looking in the mirror, Atkinson decided to put faith in what he was doing with his face following that first successful performance at Oxford. “In the sketch the following Sunday, I just went through a whole lot of facial expressions,” Atkinson said in a BBC World Service radio interview in January. “I’m not sure whether there was a particular narrative, a logic to it, but I did my best and it certainly solicited laughter. But since then, I’ve hardly ever looked at my face … I hope it’s doing what I think it’s doing.”

5. THE GUY WHO DIRECTED LOVE ACTUALLY DEVELOPED THE CHARACTER WITH ATKINSON.

Atkinson’s creative partner at the time, and the man who helped develop the character of Mr. Bean, was writer-director-producer Richard Curtis. The two collaborated on Not the Nine O’Clock News and Blackadder before Mr. Bean ever hit the airwaves. Curtis would later make the jump to the big screen as the writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones’s Diary, and the writer-director of Love ActuallyThe Boat That Rocked, and About Time. (Which explains Atkinson’s cameo in Love Actually.)

6. ATKINSON WAS INSPIRED BY JACQUES TATI.

Over the years, Atkinson has repeatedly cited French comedian Jacques Tati as one of the great influences on Mr. Bean. “My interest in physical comedy was from discovering a film by Jacques Tati called Mr. Hulot’s Holiday,” Atkinson says in The Story of Bean“It just struck a chord with me. I so admired it, because it was an uncompromising comic attitude and setting that I really admired.”

7. MR. BEAN DOESN’T SPEAK IN FRENCH EITHER.

Before he made his small-screen debut, Atkinson tried out the Mr. Bean character on the audience at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, Quebec. In order to ensure that the character’s near-silent comedy would translate, he requested to perform for a French-speaking audience as opposed to the English-speaking attendees.

8. HE COULD HAVE BEEN NAMED AFTER ANOTHER VEGETABLE.

It wasn’t until shortly before Mr. Bean hit the airwaves (and after production had already begun) that the character actually got his name. Originally, he was going to be called Mr. White. Then the show’s creators began throwing around some vegetable names, and considered Mr. Cauliflower before deciding on Mr. Bean.


Shout! Factory

9. MR. BEAN IS THE MAN WHO LIKES TOILETS.

Mr. Bean doesn’t speak often, but when he does the voice he uses is the same one Atkinson used to voice “The Man Who Likes Toilets” sketch on Not the Nine O’Clock News.

10. ATKINSON THINKS MR. BEAN IS AN ANARCHIST.

Atkinson often refers to the character of Mr. Bean as “a child in a grown man’s body.” And in a2003 interview with IGN, he called him “sort of such a natural anarchist. But at the same time, Mr. Bean is a very, very self-contained character because he's so sort-of introspective and so selfish and self-centered that there's no particular need to have another person in the scene to make him funny.”

11. YES, HE REALLY CAN WIGGLE HIS EARS.

Mr. Bean’s legendary ear wiggle is one trait Atkinson has in common with his on-screen alter ego. While promoting Mr. Bean’s HolidayABC’s David Stratton asked “perhaps the most crucial question of the entire interview: can you really wiggle your ears?” To which Atkinson simply replied, “Yes, I can.”

12. MR. BEAN PERFORMED AT THE OLYMPICS.

When London hosted the Summer Olympics in 2012, Mr. Bean was on hand for the opening ceremony, where he ushered in the games with a rendition of “Chariots of Fire.”

13. ATKINSON RETIRED THE ROLE IN LATE 2012.

In an interview with The Telegraph in November of 2012, Atkinson admitted that Mr. Bean’s time was coming to an end. “The stuff that has been most commercially successful for me—basically quite physical, quite childish—I increasingly feel I’m going to do a lot less of,” Atkinson said. “Apart from the fact that your physical ability starts to decline, I also think someone in their fifties being childlike becomes a little sad. You’ve got to be careful.”

14. IN 2015, BEAN ROSE AGAIN—FOR A FUNERAL.

Never say never: On March 13, 2015 a brand-new Mr. Bean sketch, “The Funeral,” premiered to celebrate Comic Relief, and in honor of Bean’s 25th anniversary.

15. MR. BEAN’S CREATORS COULD NOT HAVE PREDICTED ITS SUCCESS.

When asked about Mr. Bean’s enduring appeal during a BBC World Service radio interview earlier this year, executive producer Peter Bennett-Jones said, “I don’t think anyone could have anticipated quite how successful and long-lived it would be. Coming up to 25 years is an extraordinary thought since we first went on air on January 1, 1990. Mr. Bean’s been very good to us all, so we love Mr. Bean.”
MF

Top Direction

Members of a local One Direction fan club have set up a support group, help line and counselling service for people affected by Jeremy Clarkson’s sacking.
The group of young “Directioners” in Norfolk had first become concerned at the emotional response from their own fathers.
“Middle-age is a sensitive time for men,” said Kelsee, 13, from Ipswich.
“They’re very vulnerable and can become completely irrational over events like this.”
Since the BBC announced that Clarkson would not be returning to Top Gear, employment law experts have been bombarded with calls from people requesting compassionate leave.
“Unless someone is grieving over the loss of a close friend or relative, they must take any time off as holiday,” explained workplace solicitor Beano Pinnacular.
“We’ve also had to clarify many times this week that punching a colleague is very much frowned upon too.”

Directioners support Top Gear fans

Young volunteers for the Norfolk help line have been inundated with calls.
“Some of them are inconsolable,” sighed Jayde, 12, from Shottisham.
“It’s easy to dismiss them as spoilt man-babies having a tantrum over something sp trivial when there are much more important things going on, but when that millionaire friend of the Prime Minister hit a junior employee for bringing him the wrong kind of food, it really struck a chord with people.”
“Yes,” nodded Kelsee. “It’s a challenging time in these men’s emotional development, and I think they just need someone to talk to.”
Jayde pointed briefly at the One Direction poster on the wall of their call centre.
“We were upset when Zayn Malik left this week, but ultimately it’s only a pop band aimed at kids.”
“You’ve got to keep a sense of perspective. It’s not important like that grown-up’s show about shouting in cars.”
NT

COD- 2

6
The delivery service that serves a last meal (and movie) just like the meals prisoners on death row get

The delivery service that serves a last meal (and movie) just like the meals prisoners on death row get
Some people like to dress like their favorite celebrity. On the flip side of the coin, Last Meals Delivery Service in Toronto will bring you the same meal that someone on Death Row chose as his last. 

The meals must be ordered a couple of days ahead of delivery and cost about $20. You don't get to pick it out exactly what it is, but when it's delivered it comes with a DVD and a paper mask of the convict who selected it. 

Since this service is only available in the Toronto area, I haven't had the chance to try it. Does anybody in the vicinity want to let us know if these meals are, um, “to die for?”
(Source | Photo)



7
The cops who arrested a pizza delivery man and delivered his pizza for him

The cops who arrested a pizza delivery man and delivered his pizza for him
Does this fall into the “serve” part of the police motto of “to protect and to serve”? 

After arresting a driver on drug-related charges in January 2015, Oswego, Illinois officers discovered that the man was a pizza delivery guy en route to a customer's home. Theofficers arrested the delivery driver on drug paraphernalia charges after he went through a red light. A second squad car arrived on the scene after and discovered a large pizza on thedriver's front seat with the recipient's address on the receipt next to it. 

The officer decided to drive his squad car over and make the delivery himself. “A confused resident accepted the pizza and was very glad that the police were there to deliver it, rather than talk to them," police noted.

Included in the police department's Facebook post of the incident was a "Pizza Police" badge with the sentiment, "Justice any way you slice it."
(Source | Photo)



8
The restaurant that delivers food by trains

The restaurant that delivers food by trains
Fritz's Railroad Restaurant has been doing steady business since opening in 1954 in Kansas City, Kansas. The restaurant, with locations in Kansas City, Missouri, and Shawnee, serves typical American food like hamburgers, fries, and hot dogs. But it's the way the food is served that is unique and fun for people of all ages to enjoy.

At Fritz's Railroad Restaurant, you order your food by phone. Your food then arrives in a toy train delivery car. A mechanical arm stops your order at the platform above your table, which then lowers to deliver your food. Although the rig is said to be noisy, along with the train whistles they sell, it's all about the atmosphere and a happy kid. (Source |Photo)



9
The man who stole a delivery truck and dropped off meals which led him to the police

The man who stole a delivery truck and dropped off meals which led him to the police
Keith Hinds of Hartford, Connecticut thought he had it all figured out. The con man allegedly stole a car used to deliver Chinese food, and then finished bringing customers their orders in order to collect the money for himself.

The real delivery driver told police that someone took his car while he was inside a local middle school. Faster than you can say Kung Pao, the delivery guy called his boss, who in turn told the remaining customers on the driver's route that their orders were canceled. But that was after one of the deliveries had already happened, which led the police to catch Hinds trying to deliver to one of the people who had their orders canceled.

The impostor deliveryman was charged with grand larceny, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia and less than half an ounce of marijuana. Looks like Hinds was served a dish of Egg FOOL Young. (Source | Photo)



10
The company that delivers in-flight food to your home

The company that delivers in-flight food to your home
Are you the one person in the world who likes airplane food? Then you're in luck!

In October 2014, German company Air Food One ran an eight-week trial service of delivering in-flight food to people's homes.

The service made once-weekly deliveries of meals inspired by Lufthansa's business class menus in Germany's Dusseldorf and Cologne regions. Foods on the menu include steak filets, chicken in pepper sauce and fried cod, along with vegetarian options. They retail at about $13. 

The company spokesman, Max Thinius says that the meals are “astonishingly OK.” How something can be astonishing and OK at the same time is beyond me, but are said to taste better than first class because they are not preheated but are cooked fresh by customers. (Source | Photo)