Thursday, 31 March 2016

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Ghastly Man

Sane people worldwide have advocated ‘some form of punishment’ for the individual who went ahead and bore Donald Trump, despite sound medical advice to the contrary.
The survey is based on Trump’s latest assertion that what goes on in a woman’s womb is somehow some of his fucking business.
The Republican presidential nominee believes abortion should be illegal in certain states and is prepared to camp outside a clinic near you with pictures of a chopped up foetus.
And if the hotly-tipped contender gets his way, women’s rights across the United States will be on a par with those in the Republic of Ireland.
However Trump is prepared to consider each case on merit with a sympathetic hearing for anyone who’s been knocked up by a Mexican rapist.
The Republican front-runner’s stance has even been branded extreme by the kind of pro-lifer who protects the sanctity of life by making obscene calls to abortion doctors before shooting them in the head.
Trump’s birth some sixty years ago coincided with a rare alignment of stars in the constellation Cassiopeia that alarmed the midwife and a vaguely eccentric Catholic priest who was in the area at the time.
Further clues as to Trump’s true identity appeared on an ultrasound scan that featured two horn-like appendages and a curious birthmark behind the ear.
While the presidential hopeful has supported the Woman’s Right To Choose in the distant past, he now insists he meant Canada or prison.

Well Said

Anything not worth doing is worth not doing well. Think about it.
Elias Schwartz

Pricey Props

Movie memorabilia has grown massively in value in recent years, as fans scramble to own a piece of cinema history. Many of the props featured below languished for years in storage at movie studios before savvy people realized their worth and began selling them at auction. Today, a variety of businesses exist purely to sell props from films and TV shows, ensuring that our obsession with such memorabilia continues. Ten of the most dizzyingly expensive movie props ever sold at auction are listed below


The super-stylish Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery as James Bond in the filmsGoldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965) sold at auction in 2010 for $4.6 million. The car wasone of two Aston Martins that EON Productions was given for use in Goldfinger. One was outfitted with add-ons (like rotating number plates and guns that appeared through the tail lights) and dubbed the "Effects Car," while the other was for regular driving and dubbed the "Road Car." The latter was outfitted with all the special gear after the movie was finished, and went on to appear in Thunderball. The Road Car was originally sold for $12,000 in 1969 to radio executive Jerry Lee, who mostly kept it in storage. The other original Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 was stolen in 1997 from an airport hangar in Boca Raton and has not been seen since.


20th Century Fox
The most expensive movie costume ever sold is Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white dress from The Seven Year Itch (1955), which sold at auction in Los Angeles for $4.6 million in 2011. It was sold as part of actress Debbie Reynolds' amazing Hollywood costume collection, which also included the headdress worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (1963) and a bowler hat once owned by Charlie Chaplin. Reynolds had hoped to one day open a museum to display her collection of over 3500 items, but the project never came to fruition, and so (much to fans’ delight) Reynolds decided to sell.


Picture Steve McQueen and it is likely that the image that pops into your mind is of him in his famous Le Mans driving suit. One of the three surviving suits used in the 1971 film Le Mans was sold in 2011 for $984,000. Amazingly, the iconic piece had been owned by Timothy Davies from Wolverhampton, UK, for 40 years after he had won it in a newspaper competition when he was just 12 years old.


Paramount Pictures
A Givenchy black dress made for Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) was sold in London for $807,000 in 2006. The massive price tag was a huge shock to experts, who had predicted it would sell for a maximum of $138,000. Hepburn, as Holly Golightly, wore a version of the dress in the opening scene of the movie as she steps out of a bright yellow taxi onto a deserted 5th Avenue in the early morning. Two other copies of the dress survive, one in Givenchy’s archive, the other in a costume museum in Madrid.


The ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the The Wizard of Oz (1939) are thought to be one of the most valuable movie props in history, although they seldom come up for auction. Only four pairs are known to survive, one of which is on permanent display at the Smithsonian'sNational Museum of American History. The last pair to sell at auction in 2000 went for $666,000. The slippers were actually silver in L. Frank Baum’s original book, but producers felt that silver would not show up well against the yellow brick road on film, and the shoes were changed to the now-iconic ruby color. In 2005 a pair of the slippers were stolen from The Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota, and in 2015 an anonymous benefactor offered a $1 million reward to anyone giving information leading to their return.


Six DeLorean DMC-12 cars (and one fiberglass replica) were bought for the filming of theBack to the Future trilogy. The original "A" DeLorean time machine car from the movie was carefully restored and is on display at Universal Studios Hollywood, while a second DeLorean is displayed at Universal Studios Orlando. In 2011 the third known DeLorean, having been through extensive refurbishment, came up for auction and sold for $541,000 with some of the proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. In 2016 a new DeLorean announced they would be manufacturing 300 new DMC-12 models, which are expected to cost about $100,000 when they go on sale in 2017.


The statuette of the Maltese Falcon featured in the 1941 film of the same name, directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart as detective Sam Spade, became one of the most expensive pieces of movie memorabilia ever when it sold at auction in 2013 for $4.1 million. The lead statuette is generally touted as the original prop used in the film, hence its vast value, but a number of plaster falcons have been put forward as more likely candidates (after all, who wants to act while wielding a 45-pound lead prop when a 5-pound plaster one is available?). Since more than 75 years have gone by, the true falcon may never be identified for sure.


20th Century Fox
The lightsaber used by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) andThe Empire Strikes Back (1980) was sold in 2008 for $240,000. The lightsaber was made from the tube of an old Graflex camera handheld flash, and during filming a wooden pole was placed where the blade would be. The pole was doused in a special projection paint that made it easier for the post-production special effects team to add the colored glow of the weapon (more recent films have substituted CGI.)


Doug Kline via Flickr // CC BY 2.0
The Ascot dress and hat worn by Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964) was sold at auction in 2011 for an incredible $3.7 million. The Edwardian-style white lace dress, with black bow detail, was designed by legendary costume designer Cecil Beaton, who served as both costume designer and an art director on the film, work that subsequently won him Academy Awards in both categories.


In 2014 the cowardly lion costume worn by Bert Lahr in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz was sold at a New York auction for over $3 million. The costume was created from actual lion hides and weighs almost 60 pounds, which must have made it incredibly hot to wear under the studio lights. The costume sold at auction is stuffed and has a sculpted mask of Bert Lahr’s son's face, making it look spookily lifelike.


The back of beyond


A lonely forsaken place.


The inland desert region of Australia that is otherwise known as the Never-never is also sometimes called the 'Back of Beyond'.
The back of beyondThe term is more generally used to refer to any real or imagined remote region. It was first put into print by Sir Walter Scott in his novel The Antiquary, 1816:
"You... whirled them to the back of beyond to look at the auld Roman camp."
The Scots and Irish dialect version 'back o' beyant' is also found in print throughout the 19th century. It's quite possible that Scott anglicised a rural expression rather than coined it himself - something he did numerous times with other phrases.


Fun Fear [sic]- 3

Presidents Park, Williamsburg, Virginia

Presidents Park, Williamsburg, Virginia
In February 2016, images emerged of a farm in Virginia littered with 43 giant busts of former US presidents—the remnants of a failed theme park in the state.

After Presidents Park, near Williamsburg, went belly up in 2010, Howard Hankins began taking the busts to his 400-acre farm some 10 miles away. The process took a week and cost around $50,000, with each of the president weighing up to 9,000 kg. He has launched a crowdfunding page to help restore the heads and open a new park. 

"The plan is to open a new museum and relocate these statues to a place where they can be seen by all," the GoFundMe page, seeking $500,000, explains.

Some of the 20-foot sculptures are missing vital parts such ears or noses and Lincoln has a gaping hole in the back of his head, but there are nevertheless plans to revive the idea. Hankins also wants to include exhibits on the White House, America's First Ladies and a Spy and Covert Operations Center. (Source)

Camelot (Chorley, Lancashire)

Camelot (Chorley, Lancashire)
An eerie theme park lies abandoned after being a popular resort with local families for nearly 30 years. 

The site was formerly home to Camelot, a theme park in Chorley, Lancashire. It closed in 2012 after being open for almost 30 years. Owners blame the closure on low visitor numbers, inclement weather and events such as the 2012 Olympics and The Queen's Jubilee. (Source)

Fun Fear [sic]- 2

Happy World (Yangon, Myanmar)

Happy World (Yangon, Myanmar)
In 1997, some of the most influential men in Myanmar's dictatorship gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a glitzy new theme park by Yangon's city zoo.

The powers-that-be hoped that it would help distract an isolated population from the realities of life under tyranny. State media branded the theme park a “recreation center for the people” and boasted of “world class, modern games.”

Today, the park lies derelict as vines and trees slowly swallow the majestic red rollercoaster, the Viking pendulum ship and an array of other dead machines. But there is life—dozens of people still live in the abandoned restaurants and amusement centers on the park's southern edge after losing their jobs when it closed over three years ago.

No one knows why the park closed, but the offices of owners Doh Pyi Thar Enterprises Ltd. are now inhabited a vicious pack of stray dogs. 
The park's future is uncertain, and squatters fear they will eventually be kicked out when bulldozers arrive. (Source)

Kejonuma Leisure Land (Tohoku, Japan)

Kejonuma Leisure Land (Tohoku, Japan)
Is this theme park cursed? Some people believe so. 

Kejonuma Leisure Land, in Tohoku, Japan, attracted hundreds of thousands of children each year, boasting an amusement park, a campsite and a driving range. 

Visitor numbers started to decline in the late '90s, and by 2000, Kejonuma closed its doors, in part due to Japan's low birth rate and economic collapse. But according to The Japan Times, the theme park was built next to the site of "the pond of the ghost woman," an ancient myth which could have been a factor in its premature closure. (Source)

Six Flags (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Six Flags (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Hurricane Katrina crippled New Orleans over a decade ago, but in some parts of the area, the devastation looks like it occurred yesterday. The Six Flags theme park is one such example. 

Photographer Seph Lawless' chilling images show that the once lively park has gone virtually untouched since the storm hit. "Everything is still intact. You can see where the people would wait in long lines; the roller coasters; the snow cone stands; the souvenir shops, and even the Ferris wheel is still there, which was decaying in some parts," he said. Lawless even spotted an alligator while in the park: "A lot of the flood waters were trapped there, so alligators are out there, and some at least 10 or 12 feet long. 

The derelict theme park was the setting for the box office smash reboot, Jurassic World. Because it was in such bad condition, a crew of 400 people built a new backdrop on the grounds to bring out the "modern world meets Jurassic World" feel of the movie. (Source)

Fun Fear [sic]- 1

The Land of Oz (Beech Mountain, North Carolina)

The Land of Oz (Beech Mountain, North Carolina)
The Land of Oz is located in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. The 1970s theme park was abandoned less than ten years after it opened. 

Entrepreneur Grover Robbins dreamed up the theme park as a way of attracting families—and money—to the resort town. He was indeed onto something. In its heyday, the theme park attracted up to 20,000 visitors a day, but Robbins never lived to see them—he died at 50 of bone cancer, only six months before the park opened in 1970. 

Tragedy continued to beset the park. A fire destroyed the Emerald City and part of the museum collection, including dresses that were worn by Judy Garland in the movie. Visitor numbers started to dwindle and finally, ten years after its opening day, the Land of Oz closed its gates. 

All hope is not lost, however. In the 1990s, Project Emerald Mountain was started by a group of kind-hearted volunteers who have slowly restored the park. While it is still somewhat derelict, tourists are welcome to going in search of the Emerald City. Oz is also home to a two-day festival each year with a guided tour through the park, a picnic at Dorothy's Kansas farmhouse and, for an additional $100, a whirlwind visit from Dorothy herself. (Source)

Atlantis Marine Park (Two Rocks, Australia)

Atlantis Marine Park (Two Rocks, Australia)
Atlantis Marine Park sits 60 km north of Perth in the small fishing town of Two Rocks. Built in 1981, it was part an ambitious plan for a resort and residential area called Yanchep Sun City, a proposed satellite city to support Perth's growing population. 

The park was initially a huge success with families from Western Australia, who flocked to the park to watch live dolphin shows, swim, ride pedal boats and have their obligatory photo with King Neptune, the statue at the entrance. (See above.) But despite the popularity of Atlantis, the area's financial boom never occurred, and the 1987 stock market crash put a halt to any prosperity. Just nine years after opening, the park shut its doors. 

Atlantis has since been damaged by vandals and has become overgrown and derelict. In 2015, however, King Neptune was restored to his former glory after a petition by locals demanding something be done with the ruins. Volunteers cleared the gardens, fixed the broken fences, and the park is now open to the public on weekends.

The site is currently owned by the Fini Group, and a plan has been put forward to develop the area into a mix of retail, commercial and public open spaces, including the preservation of King Neptune. (Source)

Discovery Island & River Country (Bay Lake, Florida)

Discovery Island & River Country (Bay Lake, Florida)
Just east of the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Florida, is Bay Lake. In the middle of the lake is an island that Disney won't let anyone set foot on.

Discovery Island is home to an abandoned theme park. Just across the water is another deserted park, River Country. 

These are the only Disney parks to close permanently. Discovery Island was a nature reserve from 1974 to 1999 and River Country, a water theme park, operated from 1976 to 2001.

Why did the parks close? Well, Disney remains mum, but some believe it has to do with the lake itself. New Florida Laws prohibit the use of natural water bodies, requiring chlorination and only municipal water supplies, for water park use. According to Ruin-Nation, a blog of abandoned places in the United States and beyond, “The deadly Naegleria Fowleri bacteria is said to be alive in the (River Country) park's water during the hot summer months. This could also have added to the reasoning of the park's final season.” (Source)


Viz Bits

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And as we're Second

4Man City302051
5West Ham301250
6Man Utd301150
11West Brom30-739
16Crystal Palace30-833
20Aston Villa31-3616