Mark Juddery was an Australian journalist and screenwriter who sadly passed away in 2015.
From rainbow breath to incredible weight gain via donuts.... READ ON
These folks, falsely declared dead, came out stronger on the other side.... READ ON
It's not easy to become a star, but here are some proven short cuts from the past 100 years of movie stardom.... READ ON
Back in January, we looked at 30 things turning 30 this year. Now let's see who's joining the half-century club in 2014.... READ ON
In the Golden Years of Hollywood, it was almost essential for any movie star to change their name—unless they happened to be born with an instantly cool name like Errol Flynn or Clark Gable. So if you’re a movie star, how do you choose your new name? Here are some tips.... READ ON
Alternate history, long popular with fiction writers, has also been explored by historians and journalists. Here are some of their intriguing conclusions.... READ ON
Let's remember a few significant or inspiring people who left this mortal plane this year—people whose deaths (or whose lives) might not have been on your radar.... READ ON
A number of films and television shows once thought lost have been rediscovered, quite unexpectedly, in many unusual ways. ... READ ON
Here are some of the more peculiar questions that people have pondered over the decades.... READ ON
Here are some people, places, events, and things turning the big 5-0 in 2013.... READ ON
It’s been a solemn year for the deaths of famous and significant people – and as always, many died who were less famous, but should be saluted nonetheless for their contributions to the world. Here are 11 of the lesser-known greats who passed this year.
1. Murray Lender: Bagel... READ ON
Killing off a popular TV character is a surefire way to get your show noticed. But for some characters who were supposed to die, the writers just couldn't do it.... READ ON
We previously covered some of the many alternate histories out there. Here are seven more intriguing ways the world could be completely different.
1. What if the Romans won the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest?
Effect: No one would speak English.
Explanation: In What If? (1999), edited by Robert Cowley, historians pondered what would happen if historical events had turned out differently. Many of these were popular questions — What if the Americans lost the Revolutionary War? What if the D-Day... READ ON
Alternate history, long popular with fiction writers, has also been explored by historians and journalists. Here are some of their intriguing... READ ON
Super-hero comics have provided some brilliant cliffhangers over the decades. Choosing 10 of the best, most significant cliffhangers is a tough job, so let's narrow it down to the "Big Two" comic book companies, Marvel and DC Comics. Between them, they have provided some cliffhangers that not only brought us back for more, but have influenced comics, television, and the movies.
1. Crushed like a... READ ON
Much early television was broadcast live and never recorded. This included news and variety shows, of course, but also early dramas and comedy series. Even recorded shows have not been safe. Film recordings were disposed of, to clear storage space or make way for new equipment. Video—useful, but expensive—was frequently erased and re-used. Nobody back in the 1960s was thinking of DVD sales. While many of the TV greats are still safe for an eternity of reruns, these 11 are either partly or completely... READ ON
Of all the honors that the Queen of England bestows on her subjects, a knighthood is easily the most coveted. To British citizens, few titles could be greater than having a “Sir” or “Dame” in front of their name. So what kind of person would turn down such a title? Surprisingly enough, many notables have done so. Here are some of... READ ON
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It has been a solemn year for famous deaths, with tributes to those who achieved several decades of greatness (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), those who died before their time (Amy Winehouse), and even some who belong in both categories (Steve Jobs). Then there were those influential, inspiring, or simply fascinating people who were not nearly as famous, but should be saluted nonetheless for their great feats — from the founder of the Internet (no, really) to the mystery woman on one... READ ON
Radio stations have censored or banned records for almost as long as they have been playing them. (Billie Holliday's 1939 song "Strange Fruit," which helped to inspire the civil rights movement, was banned by many Southern stations.) But since the coming of rock'n'roll in the 1950s, famous pop songs have been banned from airplay, or even removed from records, for a number of unusual reasons. Here are some of the most intriguing.
1. "Wake Up Little Susie" (1957) – The Everly Brothers
Reason: Teenage... READ ON
Everyone gives North Dakota a hard time. Well, some people in Montana and South Dakota do. People in states farther away can’t name a single thing about it. But we should all give this place more respect. It might be cold, it might have long and tedious roads, and it might not even be a state. (More about that in a moment.) But it was the birthplace of conservation in the U.S., made a man out of Teddy Roosevelt, and now has a bustling economy and plenty of jobs. The joke might be on everyone else.
1.... READ ON
You know you shouldn't believe everything you read about famous actors and actresses. Here are eight stars whose life stories (or significant parts thereof) were as fictional as the movies they starred in.
1. Theda... READ ON
Spider-Man is the most important comic book superhero of the past 50 years – and the main reason is because he’s always been daring. Even when he was introduced in 1962, by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, he was a brave concept: a superhero motivated not by altruism (like Superman and most others), or even by revenge (like Batman), but by guilt. (While he selfishly uses his powers for a showbiz career, he fails to stop a burglar. As a result, the burglar goes on to kill his uncle.) In... READ ON
This past year, like every year, many celebrated and significant people left us – an eclectic group, from Alexander Haig to Gary Coleman, from Lynn Redgrave to J.D. Salinger. With one tragic jetliner crash, we lost much of Poland’s political elite. But here, as published each year, are some of the other people whose deaths you might not have noticed, whose names you might not know, but who are certainly worth saluting.
1. Tsutomu Yamaguchi: Double A-Bomb... READ ON
One of the great things about comics is that characters can be physically disabled, yet still be superhuman. Here are some of the great disabled superheroes.
1. Dr.... READ ON
These 10 authors may not be Shakespeare, but they sure had vaulting ambitions. ... READ ON
There’s a long list of classic (or at least, significant) movies that might never be seen again: major films starring some of the most popular stars of the silent cinema; Saved from the Titanic (1912), the first drama about the sinking of the Titanic, starring real-life survivor Dorothy Gibson; The Life of General Villa (1914), a legendary Hollywood film starring the Mexican revolutionary as himself; most segments of the classic film serial The Perils of Pauline (1914), starring Pearl White; Alfred... READ ON
Australians are honest, trustworthy people, without exception. Well… maybe a few exceptions. Here are some of those rare Aussies in history who occasionally tried to tell a few fibs about themselves (including, in one case, lying about being Australian). Naturally, the rest of us are perfectly reliable…
1. Arthur... READ ON
We all know about Elvis, McCarthyism, Sputnik, the Korean War, Rosa Parks’ fateful bus ride, and Castro taking over Cuba – defining moments of the 1950s. In the decade itself, everyone was talking about now-forgotten moments like the Suez crisis, the “Busby Babes” plane crash and the hula-hoop craze. But then there were a few big events in the decade that hardly anyone noticed at the time. Here are just five of them…
1. Rocket ‘88’ launches... READ ON
Back in 2008, we presented 10 uncanny sets of birthday twins—celebrities born on the same exact day (Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln, George W. Bush and Sylvester Stallone, the actors who played Steven and Elyse Keaton on Family Ties). Well, we decided it was time to name a few more. Witness the following pairs who happened to share the same birthdate and may (or may not) have other things in common.
1. Mikhail Gorbachev and Tom Wolfe (March 2,... READ ON
Ed note: This post has been sponsored by the Warner Brother's film Invictus, out on DVD and Blu-ray on May 18th.Â Be sure to keep an eye out for more rugby stories, and our big DVD give-away later this week!
Rugby has been a unifying force for the Maori and the Pakeha (New Zealanders of European descent) ever since the sport arrived in the country in 1870. The national team, the All Blacks, has always had a roster filled with Maori and Pakeha players—but then South Africa's... READ ON
Here are some major events that passed under the radar because, on the same day, something even greater (or at least, more noticeable) was happening. In some cases, the event might not have grabbed our attention anyway, but has proven its worth in hindsight.
1. August 5, 1914: Introducing"¦ Traffic... READ ON
1. The Theme Song
Many TV shows have had memorable theme songs, but few were as innovative as the eerie Doctor Who theme. Composed by Ron Grainer (who also wrote the themes for such classic 1960s shows as Steptoe and Son and The Prisoner), it was arranged and mixed by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The Workshop pioneered electronic music in Britain, and Derbyshire's arrangement (using electronic oscillators, tape loops and reverse tape effects) was unlike anything ever heard... READ ON
You can't forget the great Christmas songs, movies and television specials. But what of the wonderful, heart-warming Christmases you spent with Archie, Richie Rich, Mickey Mouse and Little Lulu? Even super-heroes sometimes take a break from clobbering super-villains at Christmas. Here are some of the classic holiday stories that have made their way into the comics over the years.
1. Superman's Christmas Adventure... READ ON
In the 1940s, The Adventures of Superman was a radio sensation. Kids across the country huddled around their sets as the Man of Steel leapt off the page and over the airwaves. Although Superman had been fighting crime in print since 1938, the weekly audio episodes fleshed out his storyline even further. It was on the radio that Superman first faced kryptonite, met Daily Planet reporter Jimmy Olsen, and became associated with "truth, justice, and the American way." So, it's no wonder that... READ ON
As an Australian, I'm greeted with open arms whenever I go overseas. It's great to be liked"¦ but though I hate to admit it, there are a few things people get wrong about us. I'm afraid I don't have a pet kangaroo, I don't live on a wide-open Outback farm, I don't eat copious amounts of Vegemite, and I don't greet everyone by saying "G'day, mate." Some Aussies do those things, I'll admit, but most of us don't. While... READ ON
For over a century, movie stars have brought countless screen heroes to life "“ but of course, there has usually been a slight gap between the actors and the heroes they played. Yes, we know that a third of Angelina Jolie's income goes to charity, that Sean Penn took a canoe to help Hurricane Katrina victims, and that Tom Cruise once stopped to help a hit-and-run victim and paid her hospital bills. Nonetheless, most famous actors have been normal people like everyone else. But just so you... READ ON
World War II Bulgaria didn't have a Schindler, and it didn't have a list. It had a white-bearded mystic named Peter Deunov and an entire nation standing behind him. Together, they saved Bulgaria's 48,000 Jews from the Holocaust.
Bulgaria wasn't in the best position during the Second World War. Fenced in by the Soviet Union on one side and Europe on the other, it was forced into the middle of the action. That's why it's all the more impressive that Bulgaria is... READ ON
"Death comes in threes" is a popular maxim. In the world of fame and celebrity, however, it seems that death usually comes in twos. Some unusual duos have died on the same day: Mahatma Gandhi and Orville Wright, Jayne Mansfield and Primo Carnera, Luis Bunuel and David Niven. A few months ago, I looked at some uncanny celebrity birth twins. Here are some of those who were linked by death.
1. John Adams & Thomas Jefferson (July 4,... READ ON
Many famous actors aren't satisfied with their stardom, and they want to do something more. Over the years, a handful of actors have truly made a difference in the world "“ and in some cases, they did so in ways that you wouldn't expect. From inventors to troublesome mistresses to Kevin Bacon, here are seven examples.
1. Lola Montez "“ She Ended an... READ ON
Here are five great unscripted scenes that our movie memories couldn't do without.
1. Beginning a beautiful... READ ON
In recent months, some popular comic-book super-heroes "“ including Batman, the Martian Manhunter and the Wasp "“ have died in the line of duty. Yeah, right. Death means nothing for super-heroes, who have a habit of returning to life in various inventive ways. Here are some of the most memorable examples.
1. Lightning... READ ON
Every year during Oscar season, you can always safely guess one thing: Before the awards are presented, critics will complain about how predictable the Oscars are. But while every year seems to have a few obvious results, you do get the occasional shocker. Take the 1996 awards, for example, when Lauren Bacall was expected to be named Best Supporting Actress because, frankly, she was getting old. Instead, young Juliette Binoche's name was announced, which was a problem, because she hadn't even... READ ON
At the end of each year, the media reflects on the famous people who died over the past 12 months. This year's notable losses include Paul Newman, Edmund Hillary, Tim Russert and Arthur C. Clarke. But many others have been ignored by most news outlets. Here are ten more people who passed away in 2008 who are certainly worth remembering, including a Civil War widow, the world's oldest blogger and the man behind the McMuffin.
1. Irena Sandler: Cunning War... READ ON
1. Lots of Notable People Were Born
For at least 1,656 years, Jesus's birthday has been celebrated on Christmas day. As a result, those born on December 25 have complained that they only get one set of gifts each year. At least they have some good company. Christmas day is also the birthday of (among many other notables) scientist Isaac Newton, cosmetics tycoon Helena Rubenstein, Egypitian president Anwar Sadat, and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. It is also the birthday of several... READ ON
Many events live on in history for their greatness and significance. And some of those events, quite frankly, don't deserve all the fuss. When writing the book Busted! The 50 Most Overrated Things in History, I discovered a few such events. Here are five of my favorites.
1. The Signing of the Magna Carta
The legend goes that, after King John of England was forced to sign The Magna Carta ("Great Charter") in 1215, he (and his successors) could no longer ride roughshod over their... READ ON
As Christmas approaches, there is one thing on which we can always rely, year after year: festive television specials. For those who are tired of cute Christmas episodes where everyone from the Brady Bunch to Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets into the festive spirit, or don't need to see yet another broadcast of the much-loved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, here is some alternative Christmas programming, with clips that are definitely worth watching this holiday season.
1. Dragnet "“ The Big... READ ON
Blame astrology, numerology or just coincidence—some people who share a birthdate have more in common than the day they were born. Witness the following 10 sets of birth twins.
1. Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln (February 12,... READ ON
In August, I revealed some of the more obscure superpowers of comic book heroes and villains over the years. The list attracted plenty of comments from people who named other ridiculous superhero powers, inspiring me to write a sequel. Here are seven more powers bestowed on superheroes "“ not just in comic books, but also on television "“ that should be remembered.
1. The Power to Stop Timepieces
A forgotten character from the Golden Age of comic books, Mister Midnite first appeared in... READ ON
Sitting around watching television might not be as useless as you think. Certain shows have been remarkably accurate in their forecasts of the future. The list suggests that British TV producers are far more prophetic than their American counterparts. But that's OK; when someone invents Warp Drive, I'll revise the list.
1. The Troubleshooters... READ ON
When asked if Abe had any hobbies, Mary Todd Lincoln said, “Cats.”