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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Indiana Jones' Bullwhip Can Be Yours for $70,000

Indiana Jones' Bullwhip Can Be Yours for $70,000

The famous whip used by the ever popular Indiana Jones will be sold at auction in Los Angeles, and is expected to raise between $50,000 to $70,000. British-based firm Bonhams & Butterfields is running the auction, which features props from Raiders of the Lost Ark. According to Guardian, the 12.5 ft-long "stunt whip" is thought to be the one used when Jones was dragged behind a military troop carrier, and is the only one of the six from the film left intact. A prop idol that was also used during filming is expected to sell for between $20,000 and $30,000.

The movie was released 30 years ago this Sunday, and remains massively popular, despite the fact that Steven Spielberg's 2008 sequel to the franchise, the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was widely panned. Nostalgia runs high, and even a Jones fedora from Crystal Skull was once auctioned for almost $20,000.

Killer Queen Cover (FreddeGredde)

Uploaded by on Jun 11, 2011

Me and my seven clones, performing the Queen classic "Killer Queen" on vocals and several instruments.

Filter Turns Filthy Water Drinkable

Water filter turns filthy water drinkable - Michael Pritchard 2009 video

Uploaded by on Oct 13, 2009

Support my Raise to Empower campaign at

A Solution for Flash Floods, especially here in the Philippines

Check out The Clean Water Project by two creative Filipinas.

30 Things You Might Not Know About 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'


In honor of the 30th anniversary of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,' we've unearthed 30 little-known facts about the beloved action-adventure movie.

Diehard 'Raiders' fans already know that Tom Selleck, not Harrison Ford, was the first choice to play Indy, but some other big names were in the running too, including a recent Oscar winner who turned down the role of a lifetime.

And you probably know that Indiana Jones got his name from George Lucas's dog, a malamute who also inspired him to create Chewbacca, but did you know Steven Spielberg also had a hand in creating the iconic name?

Read on for more 'Raiders' trivia.

1. Although it sounds like movie legend, 'Raiders' was born as Lucas and Spielberg built sandcastles on the beach in Hawaii, where both were vacationing as 'Star Wars' opened. Spielberg wanted to make a James Bond film, but Lucas told him he had a better idea: something called 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.'

2. Our hero's original name? Indiana Smith. It was changed on the first day of production when Steven Spielberg told Lucas it just didn't sound right and suggested "Jones" instead.

3. Lucas first dreamed up Indy in 1973 with a treatment called 'The Adventures of Indiana Smith,' inspired by 'Buck Rogers' and 'Flash Gordon' serials.

4. Lucas asked Philip Kaufman, director of the 1978 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers,' to develop a script. "Phil Kaufman had provided the [plot device] of the Lost Ark of the Covenant, which his orthodontist had told him about when he was 11 years old," 'Raiders' screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan said in 1993. Kaufman was originally set to direct, as well.

5. Besides Selleck, actors considered for the lead included Nick Nolte, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Tim Matheson, Nick Mancuso, Peter Coyote, and Jack Nicholson, all of whom would have made for a very different film. The actor who turned it down, by the way: Jeff Bridges.

6. Harrison Ford was cast less than three weeks before principal photography began.

7. Amy Irving (who would marry Spielberg in 1985) and Debra Winger were considered for the role of Marion. Sean Young played Marion in the screen test for all the Indy auditions, as seen in the DVD extras. The next year, Young would star opposite Ford in 'Blade Runner.'

8. Sallah's name means "sprout," which is probably due to the much shorter Danny DeVito being offered the role first instead of John Rhys-Davies. (Perhaps this helped him get the part of Gimli?)

9. The role of Nazi interrogator Toht was offered to Klaus Kinski, who instead chose to appear in the horror film 'Venom' because the salary was better. Spielberg then picked Ronald Lacey because he reminded him of Peter Lorre.

10. Indy's well-worn leather jacket was actually brand new. The costume director "aged" each jacket (there were 10 in all) with a metal brush and Ford's own pocket knife. Same with Indy's trademark fedora: It came from Savile Row of London and various members of the cast (including Ford) took turns sitting on it to make it look as battered as necessary.

11. In the classic opening shot of the movie, the mountain of the Paramount logo dissolves to a real peak, which is Kalalea Mountain on Kaua'i, Hawaii, stunt man Vic Armstrong confirmed to Moviefone. Interestingly, it's nicknamed "King Kong," because it resembles the giant ape's profile.

12. 'Raiders' was Alfred Molina's screen debut. His first scene involved being covered with tarantulas. Unfortunately, the spiders, which were supposed to swarm in a creepy fashion, didn't move. The reason: They were all male. A female spider was put on Molina's chest and the male spiders immediately started to crawl towards her.

13. The giant boulder was Spielberg's idea and was supposedly based on a Scrooge McDuck cartoon called 'The Seven Cities of Cibola,' in which an idol is lifted off of its pedestal, triggering a giant rock, which nearly crushes the thief.

14. In the novelization, it's revealed that Marion was only 14 when Indy first romanced her, lending a creepy truth to her line, "I was a child. It was wrong!"

15. Also in the novelization, Marcus Brody finds Indy in his bathrobe at his house because he's just entertained a co-ed. (Possibly the girl who writes 'I Love You' on her eyelids in the film.)

16. Burly British wrestler Pat Roach gets killed twice in this film, once as a giant Sherpa who perishes in the Nepalese bar and again as the German mechanic who's done in by the plane's propeller.

17. The same actor who plays Indy's guide who tries to kill him in the jungle also plays the monkey keeper with the eye patch in Cairo.

18. When everyone else was struck with dysentery on the Tunisia set, Spielberg was the only one who didn't get sick, thanks to the fact that he avoided the local cuisine and ate only canned Spaghetti-O's.

19. The sound of snakes slithering was achieved by the sound designer running his fingers through a cheese casserole, and he created the sound of the heavy Ark lid being lifted with the lid of his toilet at home. He found the perfect sound effect for the rolling boulder by sending a Honda Civic coasting down a gravel hill.

20. The scene in which the monkey executes a "Heil Hitler" salute took 50 takes. A grape was attached to a fishing line and held just out of reach of the camera shot to get him to "salute."

21. To save money, Spielberg rented stock footage: The DC-3 flying over the Himalayas is from 1973's 'Lost Horizon' and a 1930s street scene was taken from 1975's 'The Hindenburg.'

22. The snakes in the Well of Souls sequence not only weren't afraid of fire, they kept trying to get closer to the flames to warm themselves! At one point Spielberg picked up a snake and told it, "You're ruining my movie." Spielberg also admitted the sight of all those snakes (even though many weren't real) made him nauseous.

23. The set of the Well of Souls: Also used as the hotel room set where Jack Nicholson does all his writing in 'The Shining.'

24. Ford really was in pain in the scene aboard the freighter where Marion tries to find a place on his body that "doesn't hurt." He'd bruised his ribs being dragged behind the truck (he was needed for close-ups), and had torn his ACL when the plane in the fight scene with the bald German rolled over his left knee.

25. The canyon where Indy threatens to blow up the Ark is the same one where the Jawas take R2-D2 in 'Star Wars.'

26. You probably know that R2-D2 and C-3PO appear in hieroglyphics in the Well of Souls scene. Lucas also put in these Easter Eggs: When Indy gets off the Nazi Sub, over the loudspeaker you can hear, 'ein, ein, drei, acht.' (German for one-one-three-eight) and his friend Jock's airplane at the beginning of the film has the registration number 'OB-CPO.'

27. How does Indy survive the U-boat's plunge? A scene was filmed where he lashes himself to the periscope with his whip. Presumably it was cut for continuity since Indy had left the whip tied to the Nazi truck.

28. According to the novelization, the writing on the headpiece of the Staff of Ra included a specific warning not to look into the Ark, which is how Indy knew to avoid the same fiery fate that befell his Nazi captors.

29. The film was originally given an R-rating because of the graphic nature of Belloq's death. To earn a PG (PG-13 didn't exist until after 'Temple of Doom') Spielberg had flames superimposed over the image of Belloq's head exploding.

30. An early draft of the script had Indy traveling to Shanghai to recover a piece of the Staff of Ra. Two sequences set in Shanghai -- a mine chase and Indy using a gong to shield himself from gunfire -- were used

The classes where children as young as THREE learn to pole dance

By Tom Kelly


To the tiny students at this dance studio, the moves are totally innocent.

In fact, they are being instructed in the sleazy art of pole dancing. And their age? As young as three.
Child protection groups yesterday labelled these images from the classes ‘deeply disturbing’.

Parents pay £5 an hour for their daughters to learn pole dancing at the Little Spinners classes.

Instructor Carly Wilford insists it helps youngsters keep fit and boosts their self-esteem.

Floor show: Many pupils want to copy their mothers at the pole dancing classes for children which cost £5

Floor show: Many pupils want to copy their mothers at the pole dancing classes for children which cost £5

Disturbing: A youngster slides to the floor in a provocative pose during a 'Little Spinners' pole dancing class

Disturbing: A youngster slides to the floor in a provocative pose during a 'Little Spinners' pole dancing class

Pole dancing classes for children: Little Spinners classes cost £5 and are held at the Make Me Fabulous Dance Studio in Northampton

Pole dancing classes for children: Little Spinners classes cost £5 and are held at the Make Me Fabulous Dance Studio in Northampton

But charity Kidscape warned it was another indication of the growing sexualisation of children, which has prompted Government-backed proposals to protect their innocence.

Demand: Instructor Carly Wilford who works for Make Me Fabulous studios in Northampton

Demand: Instructor Carly Wilford who works for Make Me Fabulous studios in Northampton

Up to eight girls attend the weekly classes at the Make Me Fabulous dance studio in Northampton.
The revelation comes a week after it emerged that a beauty parlour is offering make-overs and facials for children as young as one.

Trendy Monkeys in Brentwood, Essex, caters only for the under-13s. It offers to transform children with face masks, new hairstyles and lipgloss.

The pole dancing lessons take place in a room decorated with pink feather boas and sparkling mirrors. They are advertised on a website which also promotes adult lessons, features pictures of lingerie-clad women and describes pole dances as ‘sexy, relaxing and invigorating’.

The children, aged three to seven, learn moves including holding their legs in a V-shape while sliding down the pole.

One mother, who took her three and five-year-old daughters to the classes, said: ‘The girls love it. But it is not a wise idea to announce at school that you let your children pole dance.’

Kidscape director Claude Knights said: ‘Exposing children to pole dancing at such a young age carries a great risk.

‘The children will innocently enjoy copying the raunchy moves they learn, but be completely unaware of the sexual messages these send out which inevitably can have dangerous results.

‘It is of course very important for children to take exercise and group activities, but why would you package it as pole dancing, something which has overt sexual connotations?

‘We need to allow children to be children. The people who started these classes and the parents who take their kids to them need to ask themselves hard questions.’

'Completely unaware of the sexual messages': Instructor Carly Wilford oversees two toddlers during a class

'Completely unaware of the sexual messages': Instructor Carly Wilford oversees two toddlers during a class

Private school educated Miss Wilford, 30, from Islington in North London, said she started the classes six months ago because of demand from the children of mothers she teaches to pole dance.

She said: ‘They wanted to join in because it is such fun. There is nothing sexual about it. I am trying to remove the stigma from pole dancing and show that it actually helps children keep fit and learn balance, much like gym classes. Nothing has meaning apart from the meaning someone attaches to it.’

She said pole dancing originated from a traditional Indian sport called Malkhamb in which gymnasts, including many children, performed around a wooden pole. She added: ‘I’m not a scumbag.’

The Government-backed Bailey Report, compiled by Mothers’ Union chief executive Reg Bailey and released last week, called for new measures to protect children, including controlling access to clothing, adult content on mobile phones and some advertising.

Owner Michelle gives her daughter Bailey a foot spa

Owner of the Trendy Monkees spa in Brentwood, Essex, Michelle gives her daughter Bailey a foot spa

The Look

The Look

Description: In This Picture: Photo of shamed politicians

Watch the Best Trailer Yet for Cowboys & Aliens


Leader image for Watch the Best Trailer Yet for Cowboys & Aliens

When Jon Favreau said that the summer of 2011 was going to be like Omaha Beach, it’s unlikely he thought his own blockbuster would be one of the casualties. Yet despite mountains of advanced hype, lately the buzz seems a bit quiet on the Cowboys & Aliens front. Does that have to do with the film still being seven weeks from release, or with the somewhat still-born trailers? Whichever the case, Universal is ready to make a push: The studio debuted a new trailer for the genre mash-up during the Guy’s Choice Awards on Friday night, and — well, the results speak for themselves. Click through to watch the best Cowboys & Aliens trailer yet.

More explosions! More Sam Rockwell! More Some Paul Dano! Daniel Craig saying complete sentences! (Sorta.) This isn’t as good as the mind-numbingly perfect trailers for Transformers: Dark of the Moon or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, but it’s certainly better than anything Rise of the Planet of the Apes is selling.

Cowboys & Aliens shoots into theaters on July 29.

It’s 1989. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is drawing for Apple Computer.

There’s a history lesson that I bet you didn’t know. Years ago, The Simspons’ Matt Groening used to sketch away his days working with Apple Computer for its advertising campaigns. Groening created this rather stunning piece which we found over on Reddit and thought we’d share with you.

The funny thing is, we’re not exactly sure which party ended up with the better end of the deal…

U.S. Troops In Iraq Leaving Saddam Palaces


Iraq Palaces


BAGHDAD — Available soon: nine palaces in lakeside complex frequented by visiting kings and dictators, beautiful molded ceilings and light fixtures, many bidets, Saddam Hussein mural and former prison cell. As is, with Tomahawk missile damage. Contact: U.S. Army.

Thus might read a real estate ad for the Victory Base Complex, one of the many properties the U.S. military is vacating as the Dec. 31 deadline for its withdrawal from Iraq approaches. It will leave behind probably some of the most elaborate, some would say tacky, office spaces ever used by American soldiers, sailors or Marines.

The U.S. military has been headquartered in the complex near Baghdad International Airport almost since GIs reached Baghdad in 2003. Countless U.S. dignitaries have passed through.

It is an odd place to work, surrounded by so much Saddam history and grandiosity.

By the time the dictator was toppled, he had built about 75 palaces and VIP complexes nationwide. That is according to the then U.S. military historian's report on the Victory Base Complex written last year.

Touring the complex is a bit like touring Saddam's mind.

There is the Victory over Iran palace, commemorating the 1980-1988 war he started that ended in stalemate and half a million dead. And the Victory over America palace commemorating the 1991 Gulf War in which a U.S.-led coalition drove Saddam's invading forces out of Kuwait.

"Any war that Saddam survived was a victory," said Col. Les Melnyk, the former U.S. military historian in Iraq.

Now the Iraqi government must figure out what to do with all this square footage.

Story continues below

It already is turning a palace complex in the southern city of Basra into a museum. A palace near the ruins of Babylon may become a hotel.

Bahaa Mayah heads an Iraqi committee that decides on the fate of the palaces and recently toured the Victory complex.

He thought it would make a good presidential complex, being near the airport.

"When a foreign president or prime minister visits Iraq, we close all the streets, and a lot of security measures are taken and so it really disturbs the traffic inside Baghdad," he said. "So the best place is near the airport where the president can receive his guests without any security burden."

Before Saddam's building spree, it was a country club for Baghdad's elite, and still sports the old signs advertising parking spaces and casino hours.

Saddam had his initials etched into the walls, columns and ceilings of almost every building. One of the last known murals of Saddam decorates the former barracks of his elite Republican Guard.

There is the jail cell he occupied after his capture by U.S. forces, the room where he was interrogated, the spot where he gardened while awaiting trial and the dolly to which he was strapped when he was taken out of the building.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the jail cell will become a museum.

A prime property at the Victory complex is Al Faw palace, whose construction became Saddam's personal architectural hobby. He made more than 400 changes to the plans, according to the history of the complex.

"It has gorgeous ceilings and chandeliers, but we use it like a regular office building albeit with a lot more marble," Melnyk said.

Saddam's most dramatic – and, as it turns out, most damaging – alteration grew from paranoia. Flying over the building, he thought he saw a cross woven into the design and suspected the Yugoslav architects did it on purpose.

"He assumed, being the paranoid man ... that he was, that they were trying to insert a Christian symbol into his country. So he made the decision on the spot to double the size of the palace," Melnyk said.

The result of the hasty remake is that the back half of the palace is unstable, Melnyk said. Cracks are showing, chunks of the walls are falling off, and the palace may cease to be inhabitable. Meanwhile, the staircases are chipped and nicked after years of U.S. troops' weapons accidentally banging into them.

The troops do not mind climbing three floors just to use the massive bathroom – 12 sinks in one room alone. The bidets are used to store toilet paper.

The U.S. military has made many improvements to the palaces it has occupied – smoke detectors, new wiring, upgraded plumbing. Interiors have become cubicled office space and machines clean the floors at Al Faw.

The security agreement governing the withdrawal, however, does not require the U.S. to fix any damage it has caused to these buildings.

It does not help that the palaces were not always built very well. In the back of Al Faw, the paint looks haphazardly applied to the plaster ceiling moldings, the chandeliers in the hallway do not line up and the floor tiles are uneven.

Saddam was thinking "Versailles," but the materials he bought were more half-price sale at Home Depot. At Al Faw the banisters are gypsum, not marble. The Arabic script on the walls looks like gold but it is really brass.

The largest building in the complex is the Victory over America palace, its ceiling holed by an American bomb, its walls featuring graffiti left by American troops. It is a cavernous building with a walk-in fireplace, sweeping staircases and nooks high above the massive ballroom where Saddam could spy on his guests.

Melnyk did not know why the building was bombed. But he joked that its name probably did not help.

At water's edge is a building that the U.S. targeted with a Tomahawk missile, believing Saddam was inside. The roof collapsed, killing some 200 officials of the ruling Baath Party who were watching a movie. It was later used by the U.S. to train sniffer dogs in the hunt for bodies in the wreckage, Melnyk said.

In another part of the building, he said, U.S. forensics teams identified matter scraped from the side of an empty pool as brain parts, suggesting someone was executed there just before the invasion.

Now Iraqis must decide how to place Saddam's grand designs in their historical context – to raze them as bitter memories, or recycle them for a future free of American occupation.

Mayah, the committee head, notes that most of them were built in the 1990s, when Iraq was under international sanctions and the public was suffering from sweeping shortages.

"They did not have money to feed themselves, while the president was building palaces," he said. The palaces "should stay and remind Iraqis of the period they were built in."

(This version CORRECTS Corrects status of historian; updates photos. Also sent in advance. Multimedia: An interactive showing the palaces of Saddam Hussein that the U.S. Military will soon return to the Iraqi government will be available from noon EDT Sunday in the _international/saddam-palaces folder.)

Talking traditional Samoan tattooing — Sulu'ape Steve Looney comes to the great tradition of tattooing through his teacher, Suluape Petelo, a descendant of one of the original families tattooing in Samoa.

There are a couple of ways you can look at traditional tattooing. If you’re Japanese, you might think of the large koi fish or dragons that typically adorn the bodies of your local crime syndicate. Or you could imagine the tats seen on sailors in old cartoons, where most of the images comprise of ships, anchors, and sea faring motifs. But the most traditional might actually be the black Polynesian patterned work from the Samoan and Marquesan Islands. Besides pre-dating both American and Japanese traditional-style work, the word tattoo itself comes from the Polynesian word “tatau”. Suluape Steve Looney comes from the great tradition of Samoan tattooing through his teacher, Suluape Petelo, who can trace his ancestry back to one of the original families tattooing in Samoa. Although Steve uses tattoo machines, as opposed to traditional hand tools, he still has the knowledge and reverence that make him an excellent person to talk to about the subject of Samoan style tattoos.

Italy: A Colorful Land of Wine


Vinophiles: whether your favorite Italian type is a crisp classic Chianti or a young sparkling Lambrusco, you’ll find it on Antoine Corbineau’s tasty poster ‘Incomparabili Vini Italiani.’ The map charts everything from the countries varietals, regions and types into a playful and colorful format that would make almost anyone thirsty. The illustration was created for his ongoing project with Italian production and distribution group Carniato Europe.