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Dungeons and Dragons was developed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

 

Gygax and his lifelong pal Don Kaye formed a company together -- Tactical Studies Rules, aka TSR -- to print and sell this strange new game, among other games. Kaye was reportedly a bigtime gamer. The two men owned a third of the company each; the other third was owned by Brian Blume, who they needed as an investor to get the whole thing rolling.

In January of 1975, Don Kaye died of a heart attack. Blume's father Melvin bought out Kaye's shares to keep the company afloat. This made Gygax the minority shareholder, although the Blumes had nothing to do with the development of the game. Later, in a corporate fracas involving grudges and lawyers, the Blumes sold out to a rich buyer, Lorraine Williams, and at that point, Gygax pretty much quit having anything to do with the game he invented.

More'n once, I have wondered what D&D would look like today if Kaye had not died.

 

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Meat Loaf's real name is, in fact, Meat Loaf.

71780584.jpg.cac13ebf852ce64df38af1916532c800.jpg He was BORN Marvin Lee Aday, and kept this a closely guarded secret through much of his musical career until People magazine outed him. So he legally changed his name. Now he is Meat Loaf, now and forever. I have often wondered if doormen and roadies call him "Mr. Loaf" to his face.

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Perhaps surprisingly, bats are also related to the Primates, the mammal taxon that includes lemurs, monkeys, apes, and humans; and to the Scandentia, the Asian tropical tree shrews. All these mammals are sometimes classified together in one large taxon, the Archonta.

- ucmp.berkeley.edu

Edited by pcktlnt
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The Terror is a 1963 film starring Boris Karloff and a VERY young pre-fame Jack Nicholson. It was directed by Roger Corman.

Theterrorposter.jpg.54292cd7ceb8c273440310ed2db7b736.jpg On first viewing, it comes across rather odd, dreamlike, and more'n a little incoherent.

I discovered later that the reason for this is because The Terror holds the record for shortest shooting time for a feature film: between two and three days. Corman had hired Karloff, Peter Lorre, and Vincent Price for his previous feature, The Raven, and finished sooner than expected... so he made a deal with Karloff for two more days, hired a writer to come up with a story as they were filming, and they literally made up the story as they went, using leftover costumes, props and sets from The Raven, The Haunted Palace, and other American International films that Corman had worked on.

Another reason for the film's odd dreamlike quality may be that due to union rules, parts of the film were directed by Corman, Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, and several others, then edited and cleaned up for release.

On the flip side, The Thief And The Cobbler is an animated Arabian Nights sort of story, starring the voices of Jonathan Winters and Vincent Price, among others; it was animator Richard Williams' magnum opus. He was literally animating the film, frame by frame, in his spare bedroom, and took 29 years between its genesis and its release.

 

cobbleramarayv2web.jpgAnd it would have taken longer, except his backers jumped the gun; wanting to capitalize on Disney's Aladdin, they yanked the movie out from under him, added some rather cheap additional animation and songs, and released it. A heartbroken Williams disowned the whole thing, but reconsidered, and after a few years, upon discovering that the fans had reedited the released version without all the songs and crappy animation, he participated in a re-release; the Recobbled Cut, which was way closer to his original plan for the film.

Interesting tidbit: In the original, the two title characters? The Thief has no lines, and pantomimes his way through the entire film, and the Cobbler (whose name is Tack) has only one line, towards the end of the film. The line was to be performed by Sean Connery, but they never got that far. In the Miramax Films version that was released, both the Cobbler (Matthew Broderick) and the Thief (Johnathan Winters) are given extensive dialogue, mostly in the form of internal monologues, since neither character's lips ever move...

 

 

 

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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Even Weirder:

One of Peter Bogdanovich's early efforts was a film called Targets. The A plot is about a madman who climbs up in a high place and begins picking off innocents with a sniper rifle. The high place is the screen at a drive in movie. The B plot is about Byron Orlock, an elderly actor best known for his early horror films who is afraid of being typecast and washed up... played by Boris Karloff. In the climax of the film, they bring the loony down because Orlock is determined to stop him, and keeps advancing on him, even after being wounded... and the loony is badly confused, because the actor on the screen AND the real person approaching him seem to be the same person!!!

The film playing at the drive in was, of course, The Terror.

Karloff himself was rather pleased with the film, although it didn't get the accolades it might have; Charles Whitman had killed a bunch of people from the clock tower at UT a few years earlier, and despite the film's high quality and splendid acting, a lot of people were, like, "Too soon!"

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In 1912, English actor William Henry Pratt was a member of the Jeanne Russell players, a theatre company based in Regina, Saskatchewan. Unfortunately the company struggled and eventually went bankrupt, leaving the penniless Mr. Pratt stranded and wondering how he would be able to afford to live.

 

The next day after the bankruptcy, the Regina Cyclone of 1912 happened, where an (estimated) F4 tornado tore squarely through downtown Regina, killing 28 people and leaving 2500 people homeless out of about 30000, with over 500 buildings damaged or destroyed (if you're ever in Regina, you'll notice that the north wall of the Knox-Metropolitan United church has different-coloured bricks).

 

As tragic as it was, the actor survived and was able to get a job clearing debris at $0.20/hour. With the money he was able to join a troupe and head to Prince Albert, SK. Later on he would be able to head down to Hollywood and have a successful career.

 

But you never knew him as William Henry Pratt. You know him..........as Boris Karloff.

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59 minutes ago, Pezler the Polychromatic said:

In 1912, English actor William Henry Pratt was a member of the Jeanne Russell players, a theatre company based in Regina, Saskatchewan. Unfortunately the company struggled and eventually went bankrupt, leaving the penniless Mr. Pratt stranded and wondering how he would be able to afford to live.

 

The next day after the bankruptcy, the Regina Cyclone of 1912 happened, where an (estimated) F4 tornado tore squarely through downtown Regina, killing 28 people and leaving 2500 people homeless out of about 30000, with over 500 buildings damaged or destroyed (if you're ever in Regina, you'll notice that the north wall of the Knox-Metropolitan United church has different-coloured bricks).

 

As tragic as it was, the actor survived and was able to get a job clearing debris at $0.20/hour. With the money he was able to join a troupe and head to Prince Albert, SK. Later on he would be able to head down to Hollywood and have a successful career.

 

But you never knew him as William Henry Pratt. You know him..........as Boris Karloff.

 

I knew that Karloff's name was Pratt, and that he had been a truck driver in his youth. THIS, I did not know.

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24 minutes ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

 

I knew that Karloff's name was Pratt, and that he had been a truck driver in his youth. THIS, I did not know.

I consider it to be a high honour to be able to teach the Master of Esoterica something. ::):

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27 minutes ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

 

I knew that Karloff's name was Pratt, and that he had been a truck driver in his youth. THIS, I did not know.

Me neither. I find this fascinating.

 

In my youth I was a big fan of horror and monster movies, so Famous Monsters of Filmland was required reading and Boris Karloff featured often in those.

 

Never knew about his Canadian connection though.

 

A little more digging brought up that he was part of an acting troupe that played in many small Canadian towns including Kamloops here in BC, which at that time, 1911'ish, had a population under 4,000.

 

It would have been such a small out of the way place, and required a lot of effort to get to, it just tickles me that he would've performed there back then.

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There are a LOT of weird stories about The Wizard Of Oz, but my favorite had to do with the actor who played the Wizard himself.

download.jpg.888d37cab7b11e5fdef3e7914ca95a13.jpg Frank Morgan was a well known actor who was getting on in years when he was tapped to play the Wizard of Oz in the famous Technicolor musical film, the one that starred Frances Gumm as Dorothy. The script called for his costume to be a tad shabby but of good cut and quality, and some twenty years or more out of fashion. And the costume department couldn't come up with anything that fit. And when it fit, the director didn't like it. And if it fit and the director liked it, Frank found it uncomfortable.

So finally, Frank said the hell with it and stopped at a thrift store on the way home and bought an old frock coat. It was of good cut and quality, but it had to be thirty or forty years old, and Frank thought it fit the bill. It fit, and was comfortable. And while wearing it, Frank noted a slip of paper in the pocket. Turned out to be a cleaning bill for the coat... made out to the coat's former owner... L. Frank Baum.



Wizard_oz_1900_cover.jpg.6171cd5dc93b7d1a80b5fe5298fdd0a1.jpg At first, both Morgan and the studio were skeptical... until they contacted Baum's widow, who confirmed that it was one of her husband's old coats.

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Platypus, also known as the “duck-billed platypus,” belong to one of the three types of mammals known as monotremes, that is mammals that lay eggs rather than giving birth to a baby. It wasn’t      until 1884 that the naturalists could confirm that the female platypus laid eggs. Each female lays around one to three leathery-shelled eggs, and the hatchlings are initially blind and hairless. Being a  mammal, the platypus has mammary glands but no nipples. Instead, the milk is released through the skin pores and gets collected in the grooves in her abdomen from where the babies lap it up.

    

Another interesting fact about platypuses is that they have a sense known as electroreception. Instead of sensing other animals using their eyes or ears, they sense them by detecting electric fields generated by muscular contractions. Monotremes are the only mammals with electroreception, and platypuses are the most sensitive

 

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To add on, platypi were considered mythological until the late 1700 and even with a carcass, naturalists believed platypi were a hoax.

 



On a subject so extraordinary as the present, a degree of skepticism is not only pardonable, but laudable; and I ought perhaps to acknowledge that I almost doubt the testimony of my own eyes ...

- George Shaw, Nature's Miscellany 1799

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7 hours ago, pcktlnt said:

To add on, platypi were considered mythological until the late 1700 and even with a carcass, naturalists believed platypi were a hoax.

 

 

 

- George Shaw, Nature's Miscellany 1799

 

I was just about to say that, but you beat me by seven hours. There was at least one VICIOUS monograph written by a British zoologist who was quite sure someone was trying to take him for a ride...

 

 

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Awright, boys and girls, let's set the Wayback Machine for 1976, as bizarre and surreal a year as any I remember, with Bicentennial Coke Cans, mood rings, and tube tops for women. In that fine and glorious year, there was a kid show called Ark II.

Ark-II.jpg.ede29187f20a80aaf510619bfdde2bad.jpg After a Great Disaster*, humanity's knocked back to the stone age, but a secret cabal of scientists built this amazing RV, packed with tape deck comPOOters and scientific knowledge, and sent a group of young people and their talking chimp out in it to bring civilization back to the heathens. It ran for one season, and was notable for having nearly no interior scenes aside from those aboard the Ark; I'm guessing the entire show's budget went for actors and that infernal vehicle, which got so much screen time, you'd think it had a contract of its own...

Speaking of budgets, the following year, a science fiction extravaganza was born amidst the burning of a whole bunch of money: Damnation Alley, the tale of a squad of military guys who, after surviving the Great Disaster,* set out in an amazing combat RV, the Landmaster, in order to seek out survivors and perhaps find some remnant of the American military to which to report.

91qmRumFYCL._SL1500_.thumb.jpg.3fb41f7f52eab24673aa6f88a85ef095.jpg Turns out that another science fiction epic that cost too much came out that same year... little thing called Star Wars... and DA sorta tanked and became yet another lost investment, the kind that makes the Hollywood guys say "Science fiction doesn't sell," at least until George Lucas bought his first diamond-crusted Rolls Royce to use for an ashtray.

Now here's the funny part: both of these entertainments were ephemeral, and soon forgotten... but some of us... me, for example... vaguely remembered them through the lens of childhood... and the car customizer who built the Landmaster still had the thing sitting in his auto lot in Los Angeles, for all to see. And apparently, people got the idea that he'd built the Ark II, and that perhaps the same vehicle had been used in both productions!

Regrettably, 'twern't so. The Landmaster was built by Dean Jeffries, of Jeffries Automotive, a company that did auto work for movies. The Ark, on the other hand, was built by the Brubaker Group, an outfit that did concept cars. The Landmaster sat on Jeffries' lot for decades until it was restored; last I heard, you could rent it. The Ark, on the other hand, was dismantled after the show's run, and the front end used to construct the space shuttle for yet ANOTHER kid show, Space Academy**, and its sequel, Jason Of Star Command.

SA_06.jpg.86a843df405f1a0833ccad7381cfbba0.jpgSA_03.jpg.4547280bd8ac0d69d37a01b46529a22a.jpg A shame. I'd rent the Ark in a noo yawk minute. Imagine pulling into a GoodSam campground in THAT thing!

*For some reason, nearly all seventies science fiction was based around the idea that somewhere around the year 2000, civilization was going to collapse. The reason was usually nuclear war, although the Planet Of The Apes franchise had an ape rebellion, and Ark II implied the disaster was ecological in nature. The older I get, the HARDER it is to get kids to understand what the Cold War was like, and how many of us had bugout plans for when the Reds finally launched everything over the poles...

**Space Academy, basically Star Trek For Kids With A Huge Moral At The End Of Every Episode, is notable for hiring most of its cast from previous science fiction shows. Half the teenagers were in the awful "And The Children Shall Lead" TOS episode, and their mentor, Commander Gampu, was the first role I'd ever seen Johnathan Harris EVER play straight; literally everything else I'd ever seen him in, he was doing a variation of Dr. Smith from Lost In Space. He was actually pretty good. Although more than once, I wondered if Pamelyn Ferdin, seen seated at right, was actually that perky or if she was out of her mind on cocaine...

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1 hour ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

 

I was just about to say that, but you beat me by seven hours. There was at least one VICIOUS monograph written by a British zoologist who was quite sure someone was trying to take him for a ride...

 

 

if you believe in intelligent design, then the only explanation for the platypus is that someone really was trying to take them all for a ride. 

or having a wet day at work...

Edited by Gadgetman!
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