Tuesday, May 8, 2012


  • In his recent autobiography, Ernest Borgnine reveals that his friend George Lindsay, Goober on "The Andy Griffith Show", turned down the part of "Mr. Spock" on TV's "Star Trek". Lindsay, by the way, started out as a science teacher.

  • James Whale said his Frankenstein (1931 star, Boris Karloff. "His face fascinated me. I made drawings of his head, adding sharp bony ridges where I imagined the skull might have joined".

  • The U.S. Air Force refused to help in the filming of Howard Hawks' The Thing (1951), because the theme of the movie was counter to the Air Force's claim that flying saucers don't exist. In fact, one crew member (Dewey Martin) reads a quote from Air Force regulations denying flying saucers to the others as they are flying near the UFO crash site.

  • In George Pal's War of the Worlds (1953), the unique Flying Wing aircraft that drops the atom bomb on the advancing Martians was a prototype and remains, to this day, the only aircraft of its model in existence.

  • The title character in King Kong (1933), was actually an aluminum skeleton, covered by molded sponge rubber covered with rabbit fur. In New York scenes, the Long model was 24 inches tall. He was smaller at a one inch- to one foot ratio in the earlier jungle sequences. Certain body parts were constructed on a massive scale when actors were featured in the scene, as when Fay Wray is nestled in the 8 foot cranelike structure that was Kong's paw. Three men were inside Kong's head to operate it.

  • John Candy was originally supposed to be the young lawyer in Ghostbusters (1984), but Rick Moranis was ultimately hired to play the character, which he helped develop.

  • Bela Lugosi only made $700 dollars for his seven week role in Dracula (1930). Of course, star making roles such as Lugosi's turn as the blood thirsty count routinely make little for the then unknown actors who make them. They make their bundle on subsequent movies.

  • The director of Vincent Price's excellent House of Wax (1953), had one eye. What's ironic is that Andre de Toth produced one of the best known 3D movies of the period, which he was unable to enjoy.

  • The Bates mansion in Psycho (1960), was built to 2/3's scale to heighten the dramatic impact. It appeared in sequels as well as TV episodes, as on CBS's Murder She Wrote.


        From pumpkin farmers to confectioners to costume shops and beyond, Halloween is big business in the U.S.--generating nearly $6 billion annually in retail sector alone. We dig into the numbers to show where the big money is spent, on everything from national charities to neighborhood dentists.

    • 36 million-Number of trick-or-treat aged kids 5 to 13 in the U.S.

    • 93%-Percentage of children who get to dress up and go door to door.

    • $5.77 billion-Total spent in 2008 on Halloween, including candy, parties and witches' brew.

    • $140 million-Money Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has raised since 1950.

    • 51.8 million-Number of adults who don their sexy nurse, pimp or pirate outfits on Halloween.

    • 73.4%-Percentage of households that say they will dish out treats on Halloween (26.6%: Number of households just asking for a nasty trick)

    • 28%-Number of children, aged 2 to 5, who will get cavities.

    • 1.1 billion-Pounds of pumpkins decorated, turned into pie and smashed in the U.S. each year.


        Golden Week (Gōruden Wīku), often abbreviated to simply GW and also known as Ōgon shūkan ( "Golden Week") or Ōgata renkyū ( "Large consecutive holiday") is a Japanese term applied to the period containing the following public holidays:

    April 29

       Emperor's Birthday (Tennō tanjōbi), until 1988
       Greenery Day (Midori no hi), from 1989 until 2006
       Shōwa Day (Shōwa no hi), from 2007

    Perhaps a little kite flying during this holiday

    May 3

       Constitution Memorial Day ( Kenpō kinenbi)

    May 4

        Holiday (Kokumin no kyūjitsu), from 1985 until 2006
        Greenery Day (Midori no hi), from 2007

    May 5

        Children's Day (Kodomo no hi), also customarily known as Boys' Day (Tango no sekku)

    Heading out to a movie or dinner for Golden Week


        The National Holiday Laws, promulgated in July 1948, declared nine official holidays. Since many were concentrated in a week spanning the end of April to early May, many leisure-based industries experienced spikes in their revenues. The film industry was no exception. In 1951, the film Jiyū Gakkō, recorded higher ticket sales during this holiday-filled week than any other time in the year (including New Year's and Obon). This prompted the managing director of Daiei Films to dub the week "Golden Week" based on the Japanese radio lingo “golden time,” which denotes the period with the highest listener ratings.

        At the time, April 29 was a national holiday celebrating the birth of the Shōwa Emperor. Upon his death in 1989, the day was renamed "Greenery Day."
        In 2007, Greenery Day was moved to May 4, and April 29 was renamed Shōwa Day to commemorate the late Emperor.

    Heading out to a Shrine

    Current Practice

        Many Japanese take paid time off on the intervening work days, but some companies also close down completely and give their employees time off. Golden Week is the longest vacation period of the year for many Japanese jobs. Two other holidays may also be observed for most or all of a week: Japanese New Year in January and Bon Festival in August. Golden Week is an extremely popular time to travel. Flights, trains, and hotels are often fully booked despite significantly higher rates at this time. Popular foreign destinations in Asia, Guam, Saipan, Hawaii, and major cities on the west coast of North America, such as Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, and    Vancouver, as well as in Europe and Australia, are affected during these seasons by huge numbers of Japanese tourists.