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Entertainment News 7-12-11

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  • robalini
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com http://robalini.blogspot.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 12, 2011
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      Steamshovelpress.com is back! New web content! New book product! New conference information! PLUS: a new, daily, twitterish quip: "Parapolitics Offhand!"

      Now available on CD and through US Mail only: Popular Parapolitics, 219 pages, illustrated, of comentary on the nexus of parapolitics and popular culture. $15 post paid from Kenn Thomas, POB 210553, St. Louis, MO 63121.


      8 secrets about Disneyland
      Adam K. Raymond, MentalFloss.com
      July 1, 2011
      Beneath Disneyland's popular ride, the Matterhorn, is a basketball court -- just one of the park's many secrets.
      Disneyland park officials encourage cats because they control the mouse population
      Splash Mountain-goers gave the ride a bad name in the 1990s for flashing the camera
      A hidden VIP lounge called Club 33 requires a $10,000 initiation fee

      From how to score a cocktail to where to scatter grandma's ashes, this is your ticket to the real Magic Kingdom.

      1. There are dead bodies in the Haunted Mansion

      The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland is one of the scariest places in the park, but not for the reasons you'd expect. In his 1994 book "Mouse Tales," former Disney employee David Koenig tells the story of a tourist group that requested a little extra time on the ride so they could hold a quick memorial for a 7-year-old boy.

      Disney gave the family permission, but it turns out, the memorial was only half their plan. When the mourners were spotted sprinkling a powdery substance off their "doom buggies," the Haunted Mansion was quickly shut down until all the remains could be cleaned up.

      Amazingly, this wasn't an isolated incident. Stealthy ash scatterings have occurred all over Disneyland. Not everyone tries to skirt the rules, though. Every year, several families ask for permission. According to one Disney spokesperson, the answer is always no.

      2. The cats own the night

      Each night at Disneyland, after the sunburned families and exhausted cast members have made their way home, the park fills up again -- this time, with hundreds of feral cats. Park officials love the felines because they help control the mouse population. (After all, a park full of cartoon mice is more enticing than a park full of real ones.)

      But these cats aren't a new addition to the Disney family. They first showed up at Disneyland shortly after it opened in 1955, and rather than spend time chasing them away, park officials decided to put the cats to work.

      Today, there are plenty of benefits to being a Disney-employed mouser. When they're not prowling the grounds, these corporate fat cats spend their days lounging at one of the park's five permanent feeding stations. Of course, Disney also goes to great lengths to manage its feline population. Wranglers at the park work to spay and neuter adult cats, and any time kittens are found, they're put up for adoption.

      3. It's a good place to be a flasher, again

      Just before the final, five-story drop on Splash Mountain, Disney cameras take a snapshot of the riders to catch their facial expressions. The idea is to provide guests with a wholesome keepsake of the experience.

      But in the late 1990s, the photographs took a turn for the obscene after exhibitionists started baring their breasts for the camera. Soon, Splash Mountain had gained a reputation as "Flash Mountain," and Web sites featuring the topless photos began cropping up.

      In its effort to curb this Tourists Gone Wild phenomenon, Disney began hiring employees to monitor the photos, training them to pull anything offensive before it got displayed on the big screen. Since then, the number of flashers has dwindled.

      In fact, the countermeasure was so effective that in May 2009, Disneyland decided that it didn't need employees to monitor the photographs anymore, putting an end to what must have been one of the strangest jobs in the park -- watching for topless riders.

      4. Fully formed mustaches are welcome

      Even though Walt Disney had a mustache himself, he wanted his employees clean-shaven. The idea was to make sure they looked as different from the stereotypical image of a creepy carnival worker as possible.

      So, for 43 years, Disney theme park workers were forbidden from growing facial hair. But on a momentous day in March 2000, the company took a giant leap forward and decided to grant the park's male employees the right to sport mustaches. (Beards, goatees, and Chester A. Arthur-style muttonchops were still off limits.)

      There wasn't much time for rejoicing, though. When several employees started to grow out their facial hair, management realized that they hated the stubbly look. The rule was quickly amended.

      Today, in order to have a mustache at the park, Disney employees must either have them when they're hired or grow them during vacation.

      5. Disney World is its own city

      Four years after opening Disneyland's doors in 1955, Walt Disney became convinced that it was time to expand his franchise. After scouting several locations, he decided on a plot of land in Orlando, Florida. But there was a major obstacle standing in his way.

      The land spilled over into two counties, meaning the task of constructing Disney World would require navigating the bureaucracies of two local governments. To skirt the issue, Disney petitioned the Florida State legislature to let the company govern its own land, essentially making Disney World a separate city.

      The request wasn't as novel as it may seem, however. Governments often create special districts for private companies because the arrangement is mutually beneficial.

      The company wins by receiving more power over things such as building codes and tax-free bonds, while the local government saves money on providing infrastructure. In the end, the state gets an economy-boosting business that it paid little to help build.

      So, that's what Florida did. On May 12, 1967, the Reedy Creek Improvement District was born. Governed by a board of supervisors, the agency has powers typically reserved for city and county governments.

      It has the authority to open schools, create its own criminal justice system, and open a nuclear power plant -- although it hasn't chosen to do any of those things yet. The company also holds all of the seats on the board, and it can always count on its residents' support. After all, they're all Disney employees.

      6. They paint the town green

      If you look beyond the fantasy of the Magic Kingdom, Disney hopes you won't see anything at all. The less-than-magical parts of the park, such as fences, garbage bins, and administrative buildings, are all coated in a color known as "Go Away Green" -- a shade that's meant to help things blend in with the landscaping.

      According to Disney officials, there's no set formula for the color, but that hasn't stopped die-hard fans from trying to recreate it.

      One enthusiast collected paint chips from the park and took them to The Home Depot, where he supposedly found an exact match -- useful knowledge if you're looking to fade into the background at Disneyland.

      7. You can shoot hoops inside a mountain

      Disneyland's Matterhorn is best known for its bobsled-like roller coaster that twists down the giant peak. But few people outside the park know that deep inside the 147-ft. mountain lurks a basketball court. How did Disneyland become a place where your hoop dreams could come true?

      After construction of the Matterhorn was completed in 1959, the roller coaster occupied the bottom two-thirds of the mountain, while the top third remained empty. What to do with the extra space?

      Disney employees voted to put in a basketball court. Because a regulation court wouldn't fit inside the mountaintop (sometimes magic can't trump physics), only one goal was installed.

      As for the story about the court being installed to skirt building ordinances, that's just an urban legend.

      8. There's a speakeasy

      Hidden behind a dull green door in Disneyland's New Orleans Square is one of the park's most exclusive and mysterious attractions: a VIP lounge called Club 33.

      Walt Disney built the club as a secret hideaway for dignitaries and celebrities, and he even went to New Orleans to personally pick out the knickknacks for the interior. During the 44 years that Club 33 has been operational, it's served the likes of Johnny Depp, Elton John, and scads of executives from companies such as Boeing, Chevron, and AT&T.

      But if you're hoping to join, you'll have to be patient. It takes about 10 years to get off the waiting list, after which you'll have to fork over $10,000 in initiation fees and another $3,500 each year that you're a member.

      But it's worth it; Club 33 is the only place at Disneyland where you can ditch the kids for a cocktail.


      Awesome Quotes: Oscar Wilde

      "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."



      Eva Longoria


      Holly Madison

      Pia Toscano


      Michael Bay Hit, Hanks & Roberts Flop

      Movie Winner: Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third entry in the series, which not only looks to make over $300 million in North America, but has gotten pretty good reviews, especially compared to Transformers 2. Mr. Bay, you are officially vindicated...

      Transformers 3... It is that good

      "Transformers: Dark of the Moon": An American summer-movie masterwork
      Andrew O'Hehir
      Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011

      Movie Loser: Larry Crowne. A flick starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts should be box-office gold, but this rom-com was a flop to both audiences and critics...

      Review: `Larry Crowne' is Painfully Awful
      Luke Mullen
      July 1, 2011


      4th of July Obscure Facts
      SmallCap Network

      The 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence didn't all sign it at the same time, and most of them didn't even sign it on July 4th, 1776. The actual 'official' signing was on August 2nd, 1776, when most of the 56 signers put their signature on the document. (Thomas McKean was the last one to sign is, and he didn't do so until January of 1777.)

      Benjamin Franklin wanted to name the turkey as the national animal. Fortunately, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were able to give the honor to the bald eagle.

      Just for reference, when the United States officially became a country in 1776, there were about 2.5 million people living here. Today that number is around 300 million.

      Independence Day hasn't always been a paid Federal holiday, or even an unpaid holiday for that matter. It wasn't until 1870 that Congress declared the 4th of July was a day off for Federal workers, but it was unpaid time off. It wasn't until 1941 that it became a paid day off.

      The national anthem isn't exactly an original tune. It's actually sung to the tune of an old English drinking song called 'To Anacreon in Heaven'. (Of course, the anthem's lyrics weren't written until 1814, so it's not only quirky, it's got practically nothing to do with the 4th of July or the revolution.)

      Speaking of songs, "Yankee Doodle" is (sort of) an American original, and it was sung around the time of the American Revolution.... by British military officers. The song was actually poking fun of the backwards, buckskin-wearing 'Yankees' they had fought with during the French and Indian War several years earlier.

      Last year, the Unites States imported $190 million worth of fireworks from China... the bulk of the demand. Though there's no word on how much of that was specifically spent for 4th of July festivities, it's safe to assume the number is 'a lot'. (New York City uses about 20 tons worth of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day each year.)

      Most of the US flags and 4th of July-related items are, ironically, made in China. About $350 million dollars are spent very year to import these flags and decorations.

      Malia Obama, President Obama's daughter, was born on the 4th of July.


      Lindsay Lohan For President!
      Adam Gorightly
      July 3, 2011

      No longer the subject of intrusive random drug and alcohol tests, anarcho-libertarian-discordian Presidential Candidate LiLo hits the L.A. party scene to meet with her constituents and celebrate the restoration of America. Long may she wave!


      A new film about the death of Princess Diana has been banned in the UK
      Garth Pearce
      Saturday July 2, 2011

      AN explosive new film which claims Princess Diana was murdered on the orders of the ­British Establishment has been banned in the UK, prompting allegations of a cover-up.

      Unless the makers of Unlawful Killing cut 87 scenes from their hard-hitting documentary, it cannot legally be screened here.

      The film's director, actor Keith Allen, will now show it in Galway, Ireland, which is outside Britain's legal jurisdiction. He insists the British public has a right to see the full version of his 90-minute film.

      "This film is made in Britain but cannot be shown in Britain," he said. "This has never happened before. But as with so much about Princess Diana the rulebook has been rewritten."

      Mr Allen started making his film in October 2007 at the beginning of the six-month inquest in London into Diana's death.

      The film was financed by Mohammed Al Fayed, the former owner of Harrods, whose son Dodi, 42, also died in the crash.

      But Mr Allen insists that Mr Al Fayed had no other involvement in the production.

      "Before I met him, I'd partly believed the media caricature of him as a madman, driven nuts by the death of his son and wildly accusing the Royal Family of having planned the 1997 crash," he said.

      "Instead I found a man who was sane but frustrated that Britain would not hold an inquest into his son's death. I felt that there was something going on."

      He then met barrister Michael Mansfield, who later represented Mr Al Fayed at Diana's inquest. "He persuaded me that there were suspicious circumstances surrounding the crash and signs of a cover-up," he said.

      Mr Allen added: "My film is supposedly in contempt of court. I openly question the impartiality of a coroner (Lord Justice Scott Baker) who had sworn an oath of allegiance to the Queen yet was sitting in the Royal Courts of Justice, presiding over a case which involved the monarchy.


      Album of the Month: Ukulele Songs
      Eddie Vedder

      Price: $11.88 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.

      Song Title Time Price
      1. Can't Keep 2:36 $0.99
      2. Sleeping By Myself 1:53 $0.99
      3. Without You 3:17 $0.99
      4. More Than You Know 2:24 $0.99
      5. Goodbye 2:27 $0.99
      6. Broken Heart 2:36 $0.99
      7. Satellite 2:28 $0.99
      8. Longing To Belong 2:38 $0.99
      9. Hey Fahkah 0:08 $0.99
      10. You're True 3:23 $0.99
      11. Light Today 2:41 $0.99
      12. Sleepless Nights 2:39 $0.99
      13. Once In A While 1:44 $0.99
      14. Waving Palms 0:37 $0.99
      15. Tonight You Belong To Me 1:41 $0.99
      16. Dream A Little Dream 1:30 $0.99

      Ukulele Songs is a collection of original songs and covers performed by Vedder on ukulele. The first single from the album, "Longing to Belong," is available now.

      Amazon Link:

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