After 13 Years, Dorothy's Stolen Slippers From 'Oz' Have Finally Been Found

FBI
FBI

In the hierarchy of movie memorabilia, one item has traditionally been prized above Darth Vader's masks or Christopher Reeve's Superman tights. The size five ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in 1939's The Wizard of Oz have long been revered as the "holy grail" of collecting, according to experts. Only five surviving pairs of the many used in the making of the film are known to exist, which made the theft of one pair in 2005 big news.

Those slippers have just been recovered, as The New York Times reports. But the question remains—who took them home?

On August 28, 2005, Garland's red-sequined shoes disappeared from under a smashed Plexiglass display case at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Without security footage or fingerprints, local and federal law enforcement were left with a cold trail. The shoes didn't belong to the museum, either: They were on loan courtesy of collector Michael Shaw, who originally purchased them from an MGM employee named Kent Warner for $2000 in 1970. With little hope of recovery, Shaw accepted an $800,000 payout from the insurance company.

In a press release that accompanied a press conference held Tuesday, the FBI announced that the case gained momentum in summer 2017, when an unnamed individual approached the insurance company and stated he had information about the location of the slippers. Declaring it an extortion scheme, police in Grand Rapids consulted with federal agents to plan and execute an undercover operation that led to their recovery this past summer in Minneapolis. The slippers were delivered to the Smithsonian, which compared the shoes to a pair housed at the museum in Washington. Curators there declared them genuine. 

Both police and the museum were puzzled by the heist, as it would've been almost impossible to profit from the slippers without drawing attention and questions as to how they were acquired. One pair remains in the Smithsonian and will be back on display October 19 following restoration work; another pair was purchased by a group led by Leonardo DiCaprio for display in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, due to open later in 2018; two others remain in the hands of private collectors.

The FBI says the investigation into the theft is ongoing and is urging anyone with tips or information about the crime to contact the agency at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).

[h/t The New York Times]

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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Peanuts Holiday Specials Won’t Air on Network TV for the First Time in More Than 50 Years

Does your Christmas tree usually look like Charlie's?
Does your Christmas tree usually look like Charlie's?
Lee Mendelson Film Productions

Since time immemorial (or, more accurately, since the 1960s), families have paused their hectic holiday schedules to gather in front of the television and watch Charles Schulz’s Peanuts crew encounter giant pumpkins and tiny Christmas trees.

CBS debuted the first special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, in 1965, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving followed in 1966 and 1973, respectively. They continued airing the programs annually until ABC took over in 2001, but the decades-long streak remained unbroken.

Soon, that streak will end. According to MeTV, the Peanuts specials will not be broadcast on network television this year. Instead, they’ll be available to stream on AppleTV+, which acquired the rights earlier this year. If you don’t already have a subscription, there’s no need to sign up just yet—as People reports, the platform is making all three seminal specials free to watch on specific days this holiday season. Non-subscribers can press play on It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown anytime from October 30 to November 1; A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will be free from November 25 to November 27; and you can catch A Charlie Brown Christmas from December 11 to December 13. While it’ll definitely be convenient for people to choose when to watch the specials on their own, nostalgists will likely lament the end of the nationwide camaraderie born of synchronized viewing.

If you’re not just a seasonal Peanuts fan, you might want to go ahead and spring for an actual subscription to AppleTV+. It’s now the official home for all existing Peanuts content, and there’s plenty more on the way. According to a press release, kid-focused production company WildBrain (responsible for Teletubbies and Caillou, among other shows) is partnering with AppleTV+ and Lee Mendelson Film Productions to create Peanuts programs for Mother’s Day, Earth Day, and more.

[h/t MeTV]