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  #5251  
Old 09-11-2010, 04:15 PM
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Though the 1927 Yankees are often considered the greatest baseball team of all time, they had fewer future hall of famers on that team than the Philadelphia Athletics had that year.

Seven Yankees made the hall from that team: Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Earl Combs, Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock, Tony Lazzeri, and manager Miller Huggins. However, Philadelphia had eight future hall of famers: Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons, Mickey Cochrane, Lefty Grove, Eddie Collins, Zach Wheat, Ty Cobb, and manager Connie Mack.

Despite that, the Athletics lost by 19 games, partially because Cobb, Collins, and Wheat were at the tail ends of their careers.
  #5252  
Old 09-11-2010, 06:32 PM
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The National Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame is located in Cooperstown, NY - one of the few places known NOT to be the birthplace of the game (it is well documented from dates prior to Abner Doubleday's birth). The person with the best=documented claim to inventing the game in its modern form, Alexander Cartwright of NYC, is in the Hall but Doubleday is not.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:41 PM
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A reason given for building the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH was that disk jockey Alan Freed was credited with popularizing the term "rock and roll" for music in Cleveland in 1951 (though there are many earlier claimants to having coined the term "rock and roll").
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:22 PM
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Although the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland, most inductions of new members are carried out in New York City. Inductions have been in Cleveland only twice, I believe, since the Rock Hall was established in the mid-Eighties.
  #5255  
Old 09-11-2010, 11:20 PM
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If you ever forget in which order Alaska and Hawaii became states, just remember that it was in alphabetical order - Alaska before Hawaii.
And let's not forget Hawaii 5-0.

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Although the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland, most inductions of new members are carried out in New York City. Inductions have been in Cleveland only twice, I believe, since the Rock Hall was established in the mid-Eighties.
Cleveland boasts the the first electric automatic traffic light, the first public street lighting and the first successful coronary by-pass surgery.
  #5256  
Old 09-12-2010, 12:29 AM
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The current mayor of Cleveland is Frank Jackson, formerly president of City Council. He is a Vietnam War veteran. His father was a black man and his mother was an Italian-American woman, quite unusual given social conditions at the time of his birth.
  #5257  
Old 09-12-2010, 12:34 AM
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Another product of a union between a woman of Italian ancestry and a black American man was Franco Harris, the Pittsburgh Steelers running back whose fan club was known as "Franco's Italian Army" (and had precious few members in Cleveland, whose Browns have long had a "no love lost" rivalry with the Steelers).

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  #5258  
Old 09-12-2010, 12:35 AM
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Andrew Jackson is the only US president to have been a prisoner of war. As lads, during the Revolutionary War, he and his brother got caught by the British army while scouting for the Americans. They were released after a few days or weeks, but I believe the brother eventually died from the ill treatment received at the hands of the godless British.

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  #5259  
Old 09-12-2010, 12:47 AM
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Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson still appears on the U.S. $20 bill, despite periodic demands that his portrait be removed from it (largely due to his harsh Indian policies, or his unapologetic role as a slaveowner). Jackson is generally regarded by historians as one of the strongest and most capable presidents to serve between Washington and Lincoln. At the time of his assassination, Lincoln had a newspaper clipping in his wallet which approvingly compared him to Jackson.

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Old 09-12-2010, 03:32 AM
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Slaveowners who appear on currently used U.S. currency include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, William Clark (who is on the Missouri quarter) and Benjamin Franklin; Franklin and Grant voluntarily freed the slaves they owned and Washington freed his posthumously through his will. At least two people who appear on U.S. currency lived in some form of polygamy*: King Kamehameha (Hawaii quarter) had numerous wives (some of whom had multiple husbands), and Sacagawea whose husband Toussaint Charbonneau had at least one other wife, Otter Woman, at the time of the expedition.

*Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Jackson were not polygamists but both were partners in bigamous unions; Franklin's common law wife Deborah Reade (Rogers) and Jackson's wife Rachel Donelson (Robards) had both been abandoned by their first husbands but neither was legally divorced at the time of their remarriage.

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Old 09-12-2010, 12:38 PM
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Thomas Jefferson was so deeply in debt at the time of his death, largely because of his endless redesigning and rebuilding of Monticello, that his heirs had to sell many of his slaves, breaking up several families (the existence of which were not recognized under Virginia law at the time).
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:29 PM
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Darlene, the honors student played by Robin Givens (later Mrs. Mike Tyson, briefly) on the 1980s sitcom Head of the Class, was a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings; George Jefferson once claimed to be on The Jeffersons but wasn't.
  #5263  
Old 09-12-2010, 02:46 PM
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While Bob Kane gets nearly all the credit for Batman, in the early days much of the art was done by Jerry Robinson (who chose the name Robin, supposedly from "Robin Hood," though its similarity to his own last name is suspicious). Bill Finger wrote most of the early stories and created the Joker (though Robinson did show them a playing card and based the character's appearance on that of Conrad Veight in The Man Who Laughs).

Kane created the characters, but pretty much stepped aside from the writing and drawing of the strip to act more as editor.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:12 PM
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Jerry Orbach, perhaps best known for his long-running role as a NYPD detective on Law & Order, appeared briefly in the barbershop scene of the 1955 Marlon Brando/Frank Sinatra movie Guys and Dolls. He sang one solo line during "The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game."

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  #5265  
Old 09-13-2010, 09:26 AM
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Jerry Orbach the voice of Lumière in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, as well as being a noted musical theatre star; most notably Chuck Baxter in the original production of Promises, Promises (for which he won a Tony Award), Julian Marsh in 42nd Street, and Billy Flynn in the original production of Chicago.

He conquered both musical theatre and dramatic roles.
  #5266  
Old 09-13-2010, 09:37 AM
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The songs for the musical 42nd Street were written by Harry Warren, one of the great composers of the 30s. He was not mentioned in fliers and posters for the show, but that's not unusual for Warren, who, despite writing many classic songs and winning several Best Song Oscars, tends to be overlooked even by people familiar with his music.
  #5267  
Old 09-13-2010, 04:33 PM
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(Haven't we done that one a couple of times already?)

Manhattan's 42nd Street connects the United Nations, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, the NY Public Library, Times Square, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and the Circle Line docks. Its intersection with Broadway was the eastern terminus of the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental road.
  #5268  
Old 09-13-2010, 05:37 PM
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The Pyare Square Building, located on the west side of Madison, Wisconsin, is a cylindrically-shaped office building, which received its name as a pun on its circular shape (Pyare Square -> pi*R^2).
  #5269  
Old 09-13-2010, 06:28 PM
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The Capitol Records building in Hollywood, the first cylindrical office building, designed in 1955, resembles a stack of vinyl 45-rpm records in a jukebox, although architect Welton Becket denied that it was his intent. The blinking light on its roof spells "Hollywood" in Morse code.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:02 PM
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The killing of Thomas a Becket inspired T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral which was performed by NASA astronauts (with commentary by Walter Cronkite and Kathaine Hepburn) on a SCTV sketch.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:18 PM
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Despite the fact that Eliot wrote some classic serious poems and theater pieces, nowadays the most valuable of all his literary efforts is his throwaway book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:15 PM
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Eliot Ness led the Treasury Department prohibition-enforcement team nicknamed "The Untouchables" for their alleged incorruptibility. His best-known activity was targeting and finally nabbing famed gangster Al Capone, albeit for tax evasion. Robert Stack played him on the TV series "The Untouchables", and Kevin Costner played him in the film remake.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:53 PM
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Eliot Ness later served as public safety director of Cleveland, Ohio, and is buried in Cleveland's Lakeview Cemetery, along with President James A. Garfield, Lincoln aide and U.S. Secretary of State John M. Hay, and billionaire tycoon John D. Rockefeller.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:32 PM
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The US was granted the right to build the Panama canal only two weeks after Panama declared independence from Colombia (at the US's urging). The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, establishing this, was signed in Washington DC, and Bunau-Varilla at the time had been in exile from Panama for 17 years. He never returned to Panama, since he was French and only moved to Panama to oversee an earlier canal attempt.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:07 PM
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The first major attempt at a canal across Central America was financed by Cornelius Vanderbilt (g-g-g-grandfather of Anderson Cooper) who was hoping to dominate the California Gold Rush traffic. His plan would have connected the two coasts of Nicaragua by widening rivers, using Lake Nicaragua, and original canal building as necessary. It never came to fruition for several reasons (among them treachery by Vanderbilt's partners- they paid dearly), though the failure was good news from an ecological standpoint as the plan would have destroyed much of Nicaragua's ecosystem.

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  #5276  
Old 09-14-2010, 04:45 PM
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Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador merged from 1896 to 1898 under the name "República Mayor de Centroamérica" (Greater Republic of Central America), in an attempt to revive the earlier República Federal de Centroamérica (1823-1838) which included Guatemala and Costa Rica and part of Mexico as well. Both were born of worries about possible Mexican expansionism. Although no longer united, the nations of the region did form a military alliance that fended off American pro-slavery filibuster William Walker in the 1850's, although Walker did briefly gain control of Nicaragua.

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  #5277  
Old 09-14-2010, 08:22 PM
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Dennis Martinez, who pitched most notably for the Baltimore Orioles during his career, was the first native of Nicaragua to play in baseball's major leagues. Martinez also holds the record (245) for most victories by a pitcher who never won 20 in any single season.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:10 PM
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On March 12, 1951, Hank Ketchum's comic strip Dennis the Menace debuted in the US. Three days later, a second strip named Dennis the Menace debuted in the UK. To avoid confusion, the US strip was renamed for British consumption as Dennis the Pickle, later shortened to Dennis.
  #5279  
Old 09-14-2010, 11:16 PM
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Justin Berfield who played 2nd brother Reese on Malcolm in the Middle was an early favorite for the role of Annakin in The Phantom Menace but a growth spurt took him out of the warning; the role went to Jake Lloyd (who is 3 years younger) instead.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:45 AM
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...among them treachery by Vanderbilt's partners- they paid dearly....
Interesting. How so?

The Autobiography of Malcolm X was written by Alex Haley (later to go on to fame for Roots), based on more than 50 in-depth interviews he conducted with the black activist for over two years before Malcolm's February 1965 assassination.
  #5281  
Old 09-15-2010, 11:18 AM
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The Autobiography of Malcolm X gives one of the most in-depth analyses of "The Numbers", the illegal private lotteries run in NYC and most other major (and many minor) cities. People chose three numbers between 000 and 999 (a few were excluded, such as 123 and 666, because so many people played them they'd have caused a catastrophe in payout) and the winning number was chosen by some official number that nobody could possibly rig: during WW2 it was the number of war bonds that were sold the previous day which was printed on the front page of the paper, thus if 3,894,208 bonds had sold then 208 was the winning number. Pay off was 600:1 (minus a 15% "tip" for your numbers runner) and you could bet anything from a penny upwards. Though illegal those responsible rarely got into trouble as even policemen and city officials played the numbers.


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...among them treachery by Vanderbilt's partners- they paid dearly....
Interesting. How so?
Not for play:- He sent the very famous memo (now on a T-shirt) "Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won't sue you, for the law is too slow. I'll ruin you. Yours truly, Cornelius Vanderbilt" and he did. He was far from as rich as he would eventually have but he was already one of the richest men in the country (a multimillionaire in the 1850s- by 1877 his fortune was over $100 million, richer than Bill Gates in terms of his net worth as percentage of the GDP) and he went after their California interests strictly for vindictiveness. Everybody ended up losing big in Nicaragua due to the nationalization of their efforts, but Vanderbilt himself partly funded the overthrow and execution of Nashville native William Walker, who was in cahoots with his former partners, and today Vanderbilt University is situated on part of the farm where Walker grew up, though it's not known whether this was intentional.

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  #5282  
Old 09-15-2010, 11:36 AM
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Due to the Blacklist, Abraham Polonsky only directed two films: Force of Evil (starring fellow blacklist member John Garfield), about an attempt by a crime syndicate to displace smaller numbers dealers by fixing the results, and Tell Them Willie Boy is Here twenty years later, about a Native American (played by Robert Blake) who is being chased by the law, filmed as an allegory of relations between the US and the Indians.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:03 PM
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Although the President of the United States functions as both head of government and head of state, and is recognized as such by other countries, he is not explicitly designated as the latter by the Constitution.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:08 PM
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The Lockheed R6V Constitution, a double-decker transport airplane designed late in World War 2, remains the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever operated by the US Navy, even though only two were built due to its being underpowered. A more successful double-decker design was the contemporaneous Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, based on the B-29, but no more appeared until the current Airbus A380.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:15 PM
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In a Forbes study of presidential net worths George Washington was listed as probably the richest U.S. president when his ealth was adjusted for inflation with Lyndon B. Johnson also near the top*. Harry Truman and James Garfield were among the the most modest estates, both of them relatively penniless at the beginning of their terms. WW2 Veteran JFK's estate was difficult to judge since he was a full heir to and received enormous support from his parents [whose estate was considerably more than a billion dollars in today's value] and his share (inherited by his children) would ultimately be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but he was survived by both parents and was worth relatively little in his own right save for a townhouse and a trust fund, neither of which made him anywhere near as rich as even Obama.

Last edited by Sampiro; 09-15-2010 at 04:20 PM. Reason: To make compatible with previous
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:36 PM
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The Pittsburgh Pirates for many years played their home games in Forbes Field, known for its enormous outfield dimensions, with the left center field fence 457 feet for much of its existence. The field was so far that they would often store the batting practice cage in center field, confident that no one would ever hit it. Despite its generous dimensions, no one ever pitched a no-hitter at Forbes.

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  #5287  
Old 09-15-2010, 06:47 PM
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Many fans in his own lifetime considered Ty Cobb the greatest baseball player who ever lived, but Cobb (who was anything but modest) considered himself the second best. He considered Honus Wagner of the Pittsburgh Pirates his superior. In 1936, when all three were still alive, Cobb, Wagner, and Babe Ruth were the first three men inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  #5288  
Old 09-16-2010, 12:01 AM
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The Boston Pilgrims (now the Red Sox) won the first World Series in 1903 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. One factor in the win was an indifferent batting performance by Honus Wagner - that may have been attributable to Boston's "Royal Rooters" fan club, led by barkeeper "Nuf Ced" McGreevy of the Third Base Saloon (your last stop before going home). They took a trip to the Steel City, congregating behind third base, and sang the obnoxious song "Tessie" nonstop, often with orginal Wagner-oriented lyrics. An updated version by the punk-Irish bar band Dropkick Murphys came out just in time to help Boston win the 2004 Series, their first title since 1918.

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  #5289  
Old 09-16-2010, 09:43 AM
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Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan, two diehard Red Sox fans, had long talked about co-writing a book chronicling an entire season. They finally got around to it in 2004, thus writing about the historical season where the Sox won eight games straight, thus winning the American League championship (coming back from 3 down to the Yankees) and the World Series.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:47 AM
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King Henry III of France was also briefly the King of Poland. He left Poland when his brother died, putting him on the French throne. The Pole demanded he return or lose the crown, but Henry didn't bother.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:20 AM
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The Lockheed R6V Constitution, a double-decker transport airplane designed late in World War 2, remains the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever operated by the US Navy....
I'd never heard of that plane - thanks! Here's more on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R6V

McMurdo Station is the major U.S. research base in Antarctica, not the South Pole itself. McMurdo is occupied year-round, and although getting in and out during the winter is very dangerous and difficult, it can and has been done in medical emergencies.

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  #5292  
Old 09-16-2010, 12:31 PM
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McMurdo Station is the major U.S. research base in Antarctica, not the South Pole itself. McMurdo is occupied year-round, and although getting in and out during the winter is very dangerous and difficult, it can and has been done in medical emergencies.
The ice sheet that covers almost all of Antarctica is the largest body of fresh water on earth, containing about 91% of the world's ice and 70% of the fresh water. If it were to melt, it would raise the level of the world's oceans about 200 feet, or 70 meters.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:32 PM
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The US bases at McMurdo Sound and the South Pole research facility are all serviced via Christchurch, New Zealand, using ski-equipped C-130 Hercules transports flown by the New York Air National Guard.

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Old 09-16-2010, 04:52 PM
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Seven countries currently have territories on the continent of Antarctica -- Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:27 PM
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Marie Byrd Land, a part of West Antarctica east of the Ross Ice Shelf, named by explorer Adm. Richard Byrd for his wife, is the largest single part of the world not claimed by any nation.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:17 AM
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Marie Byrd Land, a part of West Antarctica east of the Ross Ice Shelf, named by explorer Adm. Richard Byrd for his wife, is the largest single part of the world not claimed by any nation.
Roger McGuinn of the Byrds is credited with popularizing granny glasses, a trend taken up most memorably by John Lennon.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:42 AM
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The last role played by Irene Ryan, who starred as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies, was in the original cast of the hit Broadway musical Pippin. She played Bertha, the lusty aged mother of Charlemagne, and was said to get two ovations during the show each night, the first being for her character's line "I think men raise flags when they can't get anything else up" (which as a surprise coming from a character known from such a wholesome show) and the other from a line in her song- "it's hard to believe I'm being led astray/by a man who calls me Granny".

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  #5298  
Old 09-17-2010, 05:18 PM
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Song-and-dance man Buddy Ebsen, who played family patriarch Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, was originally cast as the Tin Man in MGM's 1939 The Wizard of Oz. He was forced to relinquish the role due to an allergic reaction to the aluminized paint he had to wear, and was replaced by Jack Haley. His final film role was in the 1993 film version of The Beverly Hillbillies, in which he played detective Barnaby Jones.

Earlier, Walt Disney had used shadow film of his dancing in front of a grid, as an aid to animating Mickey Mouse's dancing in Silly Symphonies.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 09-17-2010 at 05:19 PM.
  #5299  
Old 09-17-2010, 07:17 PM
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Though Ebsen was cast as the Tin Man, he was originally hired to play the Scarecrow. Ray Bolger was first cast as the Tin Man, but pestered Ebsen to switch roles. Bolger wanted to role because he became a dancer after seeing someone perform the Tin Man on stage.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:23 PM
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One of Ray Bolger's later roles was Shirley's father on The Partridge Family.
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