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• Three different mechanical sharks were employed during the filming of “Jaws.” All were nicknamed “Bruce” after Steven Spielberg’s attorney, Bruce Ramer.

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• After completing the filming of “Jaws,” the studio had so little confidence in the film that the three Bruces were dumped on the Universal back lot. No efforts were made to preserve them, and none of the three original sharks remain.

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• In Steven Spielberg’s terrifying 1975 classic, “Jaws,” you don’t see much of the actual shark until very late in the film. That wasn’t just an aesthetic choice. It was due to all of the problems Spielberg and the crew had with the mechanical sharks that were used during filming.

• All three mechanical versions of “Bruce” proved unreliable from the beginning of the shoot. The animatronics stalled the first time one was put in the water, and the sharks sank to the seafloor several times, leaving divers scrambling to recover them.

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• A fourth “Bruce” was made from the same mold as those used in the film. Although it never had a place in the filming of “Jaws,” it was employed at the Universal Theme Park from 1975 to 1990. • In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror classic “The Birds,” people in a California beach town are suddenly terrorized by swarms of birds. As outlandish as the premise sounds, it was inspired by an incident only two years before where birds in Monterey Bay suddenly began crashing into local houses.

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• Many years later, the strange real-life occurrence that inspired “The Birds” was explained as the

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Page 2

May 24 - May 30, 2012

Tidbits of Eastern Idaho - For Advertising Call (208) 525-5151 BEHIND THE MAGIC (continued):

result of toxic algae in the birds’ water supply.

• On June 8, 632, in Saudi Arabia, Muhammad, founder of Islam, dies in the arms of Aishah, his third wife. In 610, in a cave north of Mecca, Muhammad had a vision in which he heard God command him to become the Arab prophet of the “true religion.â€? He began having religious revelations, which he collected as the Qur’an. • On June 5, 1933, the United States goes off the gold standard, a monetary system in which currency is backed by gold. The Great Depression of the 1930s had frightened the public into hoarding gold. Roosevelt ordered all gold coins and gold certificates in denominations of more than $100 turned in for other money. • On June 4, 1942, the Battle of Midway -- one of the most decisive U.S. victories against Japan during World War II -- begins. During the four-day sea-and-air battle, the U.S. Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers while losing only one of its own. • On June 9, 1956, one of the world’s topselling crime novelists, Patricia Cornwell, best known for her forensic pathologist character Dr. Kay Scarpetta, is born in Miami. Cornwell’s first novel, “Postmortem,â€? was released in 1990. • On June 7, 1962, the banking institution Credit Suisse opens the first drive-through bank in Zurich, Switzerland. The drivethrough featured eight glass pavilions and a sensor on the ground that activated a light trail that directed drivers to the next available bay. • On June 6, 1981, more than 500 passengers are killed when their train plunges into the Baghmati River in India. The rail accident was caused by an engineer who braked too hard to keep from hitting a cow that was crossing the tracks over a bridge. Seven cars derailed into the river. • On June 10, 1979, actor Paul Newman roars into second place in the 47th 24 Hours of Le Mans, the famous sports-car endurance race held annually in Le Mans, France. In 1969, Newman starred as a race-car driver in the movie “Winning,â€? performing many of the high-speed scenes himself without a stunt double.

• In the 1976 suspense blockbuster “The Omen,â€? a couple (played by Gregory Peck and Lee Remick) takes on the care of an orphan who may literally be the devil’s spawn. The filming of this movie was so crazy it inspired the documentary “The Curse of the Omen.â€? • Not one, not two, but three planes associated with “The Omenâ€? were hit by lightning during the shoot. Among those onboard during these three separate incidents were star Gregory Peck, screenwriter David Seltzer and executive producer Mace Neufeld. • Speaking of Mace Neufeld, his hotel during the “The Omenâ€? shoot was the object of an IRA bombing. A restaurant frequented by the cast and crew was also bombed. Luckily, no one was hurt in either incident. • The special effects coordinator of the film had the spookiest scrape. On Friday the 13th, 1976, he crashed his car in Holland. When he got out, he noticed the road sign. It read “Ommen, 66.6 km.â€? • In terms of sheer danger, the film shoot for the 1925 epic “Ben-Hurâ€? (the second of three cinematic adaptations of the novel of the same name) takes the cake. The chariot race in the film is still renowned for its realism, because the race was completely real. • “Ben-Hur’sâ€? director Fred Niblo wasn’t happy with the initial footage of the race, so he staged it again. The second time, he told the stunt drivers that the winner of the race would be given the equivalent of around $1,000. Drivers took the race so seriously that there was a huge pile-up of men and horses before the finish line. • Another scene in “Ben-Hur,â€? a huge sea battle between two ships, proved equally dangerous. Italian extras were recruited and separated by political affiliation (pro- or anti-fascist), then put on

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the two boats, to give the on-boat clashes more “realism.â€? • After separating the two sets of extras according to their violently opposed political affiliations, “Ben-Hur’sâ€? director gave all the men prop swords that had actually been sharpened, again for “realism.â€? • In Howard Hughes’ misbegotten 1956 epic “The Conqueror,â€? John Wayne played Genghis Khan. Filming was disastrous from the very start, when a flash flood nearly claimed the entire crew of the film. • Later, “The Conqueror’sâ€? lead actress, Susan Hayward, was attacked by a panther. Fortunately, she survived the attack and was able to carry on filming. • Most of the filming of “The Conquerorâ€? took place in St. George, Utah. Heat during filming regularly topped 120 degrees, and, unbeknownst to the performers, not far away in Yucca Flats, Nevada, were the military testing grounds for the atomic bomb. • Eleven atomic bombs were tested in Yucca Flats during filming of “The Conqueror.â€? Not only were the actors and crew exposed to dusts blown over from the nuclear test site, filmmakers unknowingly shipped 60 tons of the radioactive dirt back to Los Angeles for reshoots. • There aren’t many films more beloved than 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz,â€? starring Judy Garland. A little known fact is that she wasn’t the child actor the screenwriters had in mind for the part. Their choice for the part wasn’t a child actor at all: W.C. Fields! • In “The Wizard of Oz,â€? actress Margaret Hamilton offered one of the best villains in film history — The Wicked Witch of the West. Her performance was so good, in fact, that many of her scenes were trimmed down or even removed because they were too frightening. F


May 24 - May 30, 2012

Tidbits of Eastern Idaho - For Advertising Call (208) 525-5151

Page 3

Plan Now for Emergencies Q: I wanted to write and remind your readers to have a plan in place in case of natural disasters. I live in a hurricaneprone area, so I keep what I call a “hurricane kit� ready at all times. It’s stocked with first-aid supplies, food, water and other items that I can grab and throw into the car in case my family needs to evacuate. I also know the location of important papers so I can grab those, too. And I reserved a corner of my garage to store post-hurricane supplies like tarps, a generator and basic tools. I learned to do all this several years ago when a Category 3 hurricane passed through my town, but not until after the storm. Now I’m prepared before the storm. -- Curtis F., Orlando A: Thanks for reminding us all, Curtis! Organization is key to surviving during and after a natural disaster, fire or other calamity. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: --Prepare your family for the most likely scenario depending on your geographic location: hurricane, tornado, blizzard, wildfire, flood or other event. --Learn about and prepare for household emergencies, including fire, a gas leak, carbon monoxide leak, etc.

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Page 4

May 24 - May 30, 2012

Tidbits of Eastern Idaho - For Advertising Call (208) 525-5151

THE PATH OF A STAR Among the countless actors and actresses that have graced our TVs or movie screens, there are an untold number of fascinating stories about how those men and women got there in the first place. Here are a few of the most interesting ones. • Although Elvis wasn’t primarily an actor (though he did appear in 31 movies between 1956 and 1969), his eighth grade teacher certainly encouraged acting over his eventual day job. She told him that he had no “aptitude for singing.” Fortunately, he politely disagreed with her appraisal and became the best-selling recording artist of all time. • Emmy-nominated actress Jane Lynch of the hit Fox show “Glee” got her first break from doing commercials for Frosted Flakes. She struck up a friendship with the commercials’ director, Christopher Guest. Later he would cast her for big spotlight roles in his films “Best in Show” and “A Mighty Wind.” • People strongly associate John Travolta with his starring role as Danny Zuko in the smash movie version of “Grease.” Yet five years earlier another future star played the same role in a theater production of “Grease.” He was a then little-known actor named Richard Gere. • Before he became the blockbuster superstar we know from such movies as “Rain Man” and “Mission: Impossible,” Tom Cruise considered a far different calling: priesthood. In fact, he told Parade magazine: “I looked at the priesthood and said, ‘This is what I’m going to do.’” Fortunately for Hollywood, he ultimately decided not to become “Father Cruise.” • Before becoming the world-famous director of the two highest-grossing movies of all time, “Titanic” and “Avatar,” James Cameron drove a bus for a living. • Long before winning an Oscar in 1997 for Best Supporting Actor in “Jerry Maguire,” Cuba Gooding worked as a back-up dancer for Lionel Richie. When Richie played the Olympics in 1984, Gooding was with him. • Mick Jagger once considered a more stable calling than “internationally famous rock star.” He originally studied to be an accountant at the London School of Economics. • Legendary actor Christopher Lee — who has appeared in over 275 movies and shows in his long, illustrious career — was once a heroic figure in another life, too. He was a Special Operations Executive during World War II, serving as part of an elite unit commissioned directly by Winston Churchill. • Also serving in the unit with Christopher Lee was Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond. Many of Bond’s adventures were actually modeled after Fleming’s own experiences with the elite commando unit.

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• Kurt Russell has been on our TVs and movie screens since the 1970s, but did you know he was also a champion athlete? Before injury, Russell played minor league baseball. His batting average when he retired was .586! He was a pretty good race car driver also, winning six national championships before he was 21. F

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Tidbits of Eastern Idaho - For Advertising Call (208) 525-5151

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• Even if you haven’t heard the They Might Be Giants song “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” you are probably aware that the Turkish metropolis has undergone name changes throughout its long history. It seems that when the name was Constantinople, it was common for residents of the area to refer to things “in the city,” which in the Aegean dialect of Greek is pronounced “is tan polin.” Eventually the name stuck, and in 1930 Turkish authorities formally adopted the name Istanbul.

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• The giant squid has the distinction of possessing the largest eyes of any animal -they’re as big as pie plates. • For a queen bee, laying 3,000 eggs is all in a day’s work. • Evidencing a drastic change in the nature of the United States since its agrarian beginnings, today only a quarter of Americans live in rural areas. • The next time you’re in the jungle observing gorillas, be sure to notice if one sticks out its tongue. That means it’s angry.

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• In the filming of the original “Star Trek” television series, the ship’s transporter was used simply to cut costs. With it, characters could move from one set to another without having to shoot costly landing scenes. As a side note, the sparkling effect that could be seen when characters were transported was created by aluminum dust. • If you’re like the average American, you’ll eat nine pounds of peanuts this year. • Those who study such things say you’re more likely to be bitten by a mosquito if you’ve just eaten a banana. ***

The colossal Vulcan statue overlooking the Birmingham, Alabama, skyline has a rich history over a century long. • Vulcan, the ancient Roman god of the forge (a furnace shop that heats and molds metal), was first associated with Birmingham in 1885 when his image was used as advertisement for the hardware and home furnishings store George C. Kelley Company. • He was one of the rare ugly gods of ancient literature, and before the Vulcan statue was erected, Birmingham residents clashed over whether to create a statue of Vulcan or Mercury, the handsome god of commerce and travel, as a symbol for their city. • In the early 1900s, Alabama State Fair Manager James A. MacKnight elected that a statue of Vulcan would best represent the city’s growing industrial capabilities to be presented at the fair. • Built in 1904 from the design of Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti, the Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world and the largest metal statue to ever be made in the United States. • Vulcan is 56 feet tall and made from 100,000 pounds of iron. Its pedestal is 124 feet, making Vulcan a combined 180 feet. • The statue was originally planned to be 50 feet tall; however, when residents learned that a 52foot statue of Buddha stood in Tokyo, they opted to increase Vulcan’s height. • After receiving the commission, Giuseppe Moretti was only given six months to complete the project. • Moretti constructed the full-size Vulcan plaster cast with 16 assistants in an abandoned church in New Jersey before it was transported to Birmingham. • When Vulcan arrived in Birmingham, he was not assembled correctly, with his left hand turned the wrong way and his right hand backward. As a result, he could not hold his hammer and spear.

Thought for the Day: “Eminent posts make great men greater, and little men less.” -- Jean de la Bruyere

• Vulcan’s hammer represents the tool he used in his forge, and the spear is a depiction of his completed work.

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

• Since Vulcan originally couldn’t hold his spear, he was used as a marketing ruse. At different times, he held a giant ice cream cone, a soda bottle and a jar of pickles. • When Vulcan was first assembled, the Commercial Club’s Vulcan Committee charged 10 cents to see him. • Between 1896-1900, Vulcan became part of Birmingham’s Mardi Gras, with the king of the celebration parading around as King Vulcan. • In 1946, Vulcan’s spear hand was given a lighted torch to encourage safe driving. On days no one was killed in a car accident, it glowed green. If a fatality had occurred, it glowed red.

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• Harsh weather conditions caused Vulcan to crack and be removed from his pedestal in 1999. He was restored and returned to his place atop Red Mountain in 2003.

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• After repairs were made to the 50-ton statue, and he was put back in his place, city leaders also created a corresponding revitalized historical park, now called Vulcan Park and Museum.

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• Today, Vulcan Park and Museum is available to book for events, and has hosted corporate parties, cocktail parties, luncheons and wedding ceremonies and receptions. F


Tidbits of Eastern Idaho - For Advertising Call (208) 525-5151

May 24 - May 30, 2012

Page 7

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sometime in 2013.

HOLLYWOOD -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, “The Gubernator,” is returning to action movies now that he’s no longer governor of California. For his comeback, he’s chosen “The Expendables 2,” alongside Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lungren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and “Thor,” Chris Hemsworth. Arnold kidded, “The Expendables 2’ has every action hero between 30 and 100!” It’s budgeted at $100 million and will be released Aug. 17, 2012. Come January 2013, we’ll see Arnold in “Last Stand” with Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker and Johnny Knoxville. He plays a smalltown sheriff pitted against a notorious drug kingpin and his gang. Schwarzenegger is currently shooting “The Tomb” with Sylvester Stallone, Jim Caviezel, Vincent D’Onofrio and 50 Cent. Stallone plays a prison designer who must escape from a prison he built and find the person who put him there. Arnold’s character name in this one is Swan. It will be released

Next month he shoots “The Unknown Soldier” for an April 2013 release. Then he goes into “Ten” and maybe a “Terminator” sequel. So much for those who said he couldn’t get elected dog catcher after his governorship and family scandal. Unlike politics, scandal fuels the box office, and he’ll “be back” with a vengeance! And now a tribute to real soldiers. The sixthannual GI Film Festival was just held in our nation’s capital, and celebrities such as Lou Diamond Phillips, William Devane, Pat Sajak, Joe Montegna, James Cromwell and Peter Berg mingled with politicos such as Ross Perot and Reps. Jeff Davis (R-Ky.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.). The centerpiece of the Festival was the film “Doughboy,” which stars Terry Kiser (“Weekend at Bernie’s”). The term “Doughboys” originated after the Mexican-American War, and they too are veterans who should never be overlooked as heroes who sacrificed for our country. Two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman (“Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Rain Man”) hopes to change his luck after the sudden cancellation of his HBO series “Luck” by directing the comedy film “Quartet,” due out next year. He’s cast great actors: Tom Courtenay (Oscar nominated for “The

Dresser”); Oscar winner Maggie Smith (“The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”) and all the “Harry Potter” films, as well as “Downton Abbey”; Michael Gambon (“The King’s Speech”); and Billy Connolly from TV’s “Head of the Class,” “The Last Samurai” (with Tom Cruise) and the “Hobbit” films. The “Quartet” live happily in a home for retired opera singers until diva Maggie Smith arrives to complicate matters. If Maggie channels opera-diva Maria Callas, we’ll get to see just how “callous” a diva can be! (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


Page 8

May 24 - May 30, 2012

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1) New; 2) Cyrus; 3) 40; 4) 2; 5) 90; 6) Esau

1. Is the book of Titus in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. From Isaiah 45, whom did God ask, “Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it”? Gideon, Peter, Cyrus, Elijah 3. For how many days did Goliath take his stand for a man to fight him? 2, 6, 10, 40 4. From Acts 5 and 12, how many times was Peter delivered from prison by an angel? 2, 5, Dozen, 70 5. Which Psalm is a prayer of Moses, the man of God? 23, 90, 117, 150 6. Who sold his birthright for a pottage of lentils? Cain, Jacob, Esau, Able (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


Tidbits of Eastern Idaho #708