Monday, August 15, 2011

Who's Jumping?

Name the four people jumping in the picture below! (Sorry there is no prize for answering is correctly. It's just something to amuse yourself with for a few minutes.) It really shouldn't be too hard. (: Have fun!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Movies in LALA Land

So for my brother's Senior trip my family went to Los Angeles, California. I have two things to say about it 1) The city is absolutely awful and I hate it and 2) the trip was a lot of fun!

While there we toured three movie studios: Sony (who bought out Columbia), Warner Brothers and Paramount. Lots of classic movies were made in these three studios. We even got to see Lucille Balls office! It was lots of fun. We were shown places where the Brady Bunch was filmed, and discussed different old stars that had contracts with certain studios and explored the world of film. It was great!

During the old days studios pretty much owned their actors. Nowadays actors act at any studio the movie they are making is being filmed. However, back in the day an actor or actress signed a contract, for whatever amount of time, to "stay true" (so to speak) to one certain studio. They were paid a certain amount and basically sat around the studio from 8 to 5 every day waiting for a job to drop into their lap. Big name actors usually had a sort of "living quarters" where they spent their time when they were filming a movie. Once they were hired for a movie they would spend several weeks on the film then the lull would start all over.

If there was a studio that wanted a certain actor, but didn't have a contract with them, the studio that did have the contract with that particular actor could "lend them out". For example, say Cary Grant was signed on with Columbia but Universal wanted him for a movie, Columbia would share him while the movie was being made. This could be costly for Universal as they would have to pay both Cary Grant and Columbia. With the way movies are made now, though, is much more flexible for both the studios and the actors.

Back in the Golden Age of movie making studios could film anywhere from 20 to 30 movies in a year. Now movies are made much more slowly and carefully to make them just right and make sure they are quality, and in the end most studios only shoot 4 to 7 movies a year.

I suggest that if people were to visit LA they take at least one tour of a movie studio. I also suggest that it's not Universal as that is more of an amusement park, and less of the "real deal". Have any questions of the history of filming movies? Please leave a comment!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Autopsy Report: Myths and Truths, You Decide

There are thousands of Elvis fans to this day. For those who were alive when he died there was great devastation. Many couldn't believe it, many didn't want to believe it, and some strongly believed it wasn't true. Whether it was because they were doubters, knew it for a fact or were so in love with the rock'n'roll king that they convinced themselves he was still alive is a mystery. So here I present to you facts and stories and will let you take away from this what you want. Enjoy.

On August 16th, 1977 Elvis Aaron Presley died.

It is believed Elvis had had a late night dentist appointment on the night of the 15th, and went home to Graceland to finish some final details on a tour he was starting on the 17th. He went to bed at about 7 in the morning to rest up for his evening flight. While getting ready for bed he must have died. He was living with his fiancee, Ginger, but they were staying in separate rooms, so no one was with him during his final hours.

Some reports indicate that Elvis was naked and in the bathroom when he died, while others say he was in blue pajamas and in his dressing room. It's also possible that he was in blue pajamas in the bathroom or naked in his dressing room. Nevertheless he was discovered by his then fiancee, Ginger.

He was found in the afternoon and there was an attempt to revive him. Later it was believed that he had been dead for several hours before he was found, and resuscitating would have been pointless. Police said there appeared to be no "foul play".

Autopsy reports said that he had anywhere from 8-14 drugs in his system. Some people believed he died of a drug overdose while others said all the drugs in his system were prescribed to him and were not enough to kill a man. It has been reported that Elvis died of a massive heart attack. Many people believe Presley would have died whether he had drugs in his system or not because he had such a bad heart.

The news of Elvis' death hit the world hard. People went into mourning faster than they did when JFK was assassinated. Fans stormed Graceland wanting to be there during the funeral. Could Elvis Presley, the King of Rock'n'Roll really be dead?

There was a viewing and thousands of people went to see their rock'n'roll idol's lifeless body. It's reported that 75,000 people wanted to see the body and about 30,000 people were able to. Is it possible to say that if this many people saw the King dead that he really was and still is dead to this day? Apparently this isn't good enough for some fans because rumors and "sightings" of Elvis being alive are still flying around to this very day.

Much like the stories of Kennedy's death being a conspiracy, and the moon landings being a hoax are the stories of Elvis faking his own death. Whether these stories are true or just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, I'll let you decide.

First lies the question of Elvis' gravestone. It's said that it was originally spelled wrong. Elvis' name was Elvis Aaron Presley and on the gravestone it was spelled Elvis Aron Presley, but when I tried to look up proof of this I couldn't find any. Either the error was corrected or it never happened and was just a rumor started by someone who believed Presley was still alive.

Then there was the coffin and the body inside the coffin. Wax you say? It's possible. People are reported to have said that when they were carrying the 900 pound coffin they felt a cool air, supposedly because of an air conditioner to keep a wax body cool. Maybe this was the realistic body people saw when they went to view his body.

A story of Elvis faking his own death has drifted around hoping to make people believe that Elvis is an undercover agent fighting the war against drugs. Because Elvis was so against the use of drugs it was decided that Elvis should "die" so he could fight this drug battle without anyone suspecting him. (Read more here.)

There is a story that Elvis was going to expose some criminals, possibly those who were apart of the Mafia. If he did this his life would be in grave danger. So much in fact that he would have to become apart of witness protection and disappear. Someone so famous couldn't possibly "just disappear" so a cover story was formed so he would be gone for good. Wouldn't be funny if the criminals were caught or died and Elvis "came back from the dead"?

How would a person fake their own death? Apparently Elvis was "a pharmaceutical expert" and knew exactly what drugs to take to make it look as though he were dead (I believe that this would backfire though when the autopsy starts seeing as how they have to cut you open). Shortly after his death a man, looking remarkably like Elvis Presley, boarded a plane head for Buenos Aeries. He went by the name John Burrows, a name Elvis supposedly used every once in awhile when he didn't want publicity. (Read much, much more on the topic here.)

The myths of Elvis faking his own death and still being alive to this day continue to circulate everyone around the world. People are constantly "seeing the King". But what is true, and what is not? Is any of it true? You decide.

(This post has been dedicated to my friend Wendy. The biggest Elvis fan I know! And to be honest she has helped my own love of Elvis to blossom. Love you, Wendy!)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Alfred Nobel and His Prize

For some reason I have been fascinated with the Nobel Prize recently. So here is a tiny bit of history on Nobel and his prize.

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. It's destructive powers were incredible. Nobel hated the fact that he was die being known as the one who created dynamite. This simply couldn't happen. So with this in mind and a bank account that was full to overflowing he had a plan. Why not be the one to promote peace?

Nobel wrote his will in the most peculiar way:

"The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the most work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiological or medical work by the Caroline Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be a Scandinavian or not."

(Read Nobel's entire will at

To learn a more complete history of Nobel and his prize by clicking here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Photo of the Week June 10, 2011

Bonita Granville playing Nancy Drew, 1939.