How thorough is your Star Wars knowledge? Test yourself with May the Facts Be with You! 1200 Star Wars Stumpers for Serious Fans, now available from Pulp Hero Press.
It’s the Star Wars anti-quiz quiz book, challenging your knowledge of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Ewok Adventure/Caravan of Courage, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, The Ewoks/Droids animated series, and the four documentaries covering the first trilogy, Episodes IV, V and VI.
Buy your copy at Amazon.com. Put your learning to the test. Who knows? You might actually know more than Yoda!
To call attention to the theatrical release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Benedict Cumberbatch and a bunch of Weta Digital artisans brought the mighty Smaug to The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, December 11, 2014. Here it is:
From the UK’s Daily Mail:
By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation, October 29, 1897.
In remembrance of God’s goodness to us during the past year, which has been so abundant. “Let us offer Him our thanksgiving and pay our vows unto the Most High.” Under His watchful providence, industry has prospered, the conditions of labor have been improved, the rewards of the husbandman have been increased, and the comforts of our homes multiplied. His mighty hand has preserved peace and protected the nation. Respect for law and order has been strengthened, love of free institutions cherished, and all sections of our beloved country brought into closer bonds of fraternal regard and generous cooperation.
For these great benefits it is our duty to praise the Lord in a spirit of humility and gratitude, and to offer up to Him our most earnest supplications. That we may acknowledge our obligation as a people to Him who has so graciously granted us the blessings of free government and material prosperity, I, William McKinley, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the twenty-fifth day of November, for national thanksgiving and prayer, which all of the people are invited to observe with appropriate religious services in their respective places of worship.
On this day of rejoicing and domestic reunion, let our prayers ascend to the Giver of every good and perfect gift, for the continuance of His love and favor to us, that our hearts may be filled with charity and good will, and that we may be ever worthy of His beneficent concern.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven, and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-second.
Would you like to hear some delightful music? Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi wrote this piece, “A Town with an Ocean View,” for Hayao Miyazaki’s classic, Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Bluewavesgold uploaded this to YouTube on April 14, 2013.
Here’s a piano version, if you prefer:
Lapislazuli2512 uploaded this on January 9, 2011.
On September 26, 2017, 12pm BST, PropStore London/LA held a live Entertainment Memorabilia Auction. One of the items offered was the animatronic head of Tavros the Minotaur—played by New Zealand actor Shane Rangi—from The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). Bidding could be done in person, via Prop Store’s online auction platform, or telephone. The asking price: £3,000 – 5,000.
The webpage describes the head thusly: “The mask is constructed to be worn like a helmet. It features a foam-padded fibreglass shell; resin horns, gums and teeth; acrylic eyes; foam tongue; and foam skin with hair both glued and hand-punched throughout. The helmet contains a number of electronic components, including servos and receivers, which were operated by radio control during the production. The servos controlled two main articulation points, which included the jaw and eyes.
“The piece shows minor wear due to production use, but remains in very fine condition. Dimensions: 41 cm x 46 cm x 41 cm (16” x 18” x 16”)”
But the head went unsold and the lot was closed. Perhaps PropStore will offer it again at a later date.
Meanwhile, here are images of Tavros on display. Beauty, eh?
For your summertime amusement, here’s a T-Rex flipping into a boat:
Uploaded July 3, 2016 by Andreas Falk.
“The free district school was of itself an important institution was one of the pillars of the State. But the most important thing was the spirit with which it was maintained. Into it was infused, at the outset, and ever after, the genius of a Christian civilization, a civilization which was the growth of ages. Greece had developed the human mind with reference to politics, literature and art, but without a knowledge of the divine plan in respect to the end of human existence. Rome had defined the rights of the individual in a wonderful system of law, and by conquest diflfused this legal spirit over the civilized world; and yet Rome never knew the true value of the human soul, nor the ground of its claim to liberty. Education, in these ancient seats of honor and refinement, could not rise above the principle on which it was founded.
“The Christianity of the early and middle ages furnished the first corrective, but blindly excluded ancient culture as a component part of a complete Christian education. Still an intensity was given to the longings and activity of the human mind by means of its contact with spiritual and eternal things, which prepared it, on its reunion with ancient culture by the revival of learning, to produce what never before existed, a civilization flowing from Christianity as its source, but running in channels opened and prepared by Greece and Rome. [Cheers.]
“The swelling stream of Christianity, making all former and all contemporary progress tributary to itself, this it was which, by a Providential arrangement, came to our fathers at the very time that the institutions of the old world checked its free course, and the new world was thrown open with its larger and freer channels of communication. All previous history was necessary to prepare the colonists for founding our free States. No other people could be educated in the same spirit. It was because our fathers were true to their high trust, with lofty views and aims, striving to usher in a better period, that succeeding generations have been educated and trained for the service required of them in the cause of humanity. The essential condition of success in our schools now is the keeping up in our minds of this pure ideal of human society. [Cheers.]
“We must instill into the minds of the young, ideas of a higher and purer life, and make them feel that there is a great work for them and their posterity to achieve, which was impossible in former years; that all the past has been slowly accumulating knowledge and inventing means and instruments for them to employ in advancing to a still higher degree the well-being of society. The mere mechanical drill of the schoolroom, the daily toil of the teacher in giving the elements of knowledge, will not advance society unless the social atmosphere breathed by the young be healthful and invigorating. The family educates; the social circle educates; the political press educates; literature educates; fashion educates; the public assembly educates; we this day educate. Unless all these teachings tend in the right direction, it will be in vain that we trust in our schools for safety. The schools receive their character from the people. You have tenfold more power over teacher and pupil than they have over you, and can more effectually prevent the good they would do, than they the evil you may do. Create, then, a pure moral atmosphere for your schools. Let the town and the neighborhood be free from contamination, and then it will not reach the school. Let the love of freedom, of virtue and of religion everywhere be manifest, and then a new generation will be trained up in our schools, with all the care that is now bestowed upon them, to whom it will be safe, with God’s blessing, to commit the sacred interests which we so tenderly cherish in our hearts this day.” [Applause.]
On June 13, Universal Home Entertainment released the fourth installment of the Dragonheart series, Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire.
It continues the adventures of a benevolent dragon named Hissyoxyillammochogannatoss—“Drago” for short, with Patrick Stewart taking over the role originally voiced by Ben Kingsley in the third film. Drago’s mission is to improve human-dragon relations and to this end, he has nurtured six dragons to adulthood.
Drago has also split his heart with a human, Gareth, which creates a bond between the two. What one feels, so does the other. Gareth becomes king, and for the rest of his life, shepherds Britannia into a golden age of progress. The six dragons are honored with murals, shown here:
Pretty cool-looking, aren’t they? We can only hope Universal can ante the budget to accommodate these creatures with ample screen time and give us adventures for each. After all, there’s a whole planet for them to roam. And they may have their own offspring. A lot of potential, here.
In Dragonheart 4, we learn Gareth’s twin grandchildren, Edric and Meghan, inherit powers derived from the dragon’s “heartfire.” Edric has the strength of three men; Meghan can manipulate flames. Alas, the siblings have a falling-out. When Gareth dies, the siblings engage in a struggle to control the kingdom, with Meghan recruiting treacherous Vikings to her cause. It’s up to Drago to help restore peace to the family, and peace to the kingdom. If he fails, not only is the kingdom doomed, he fears his soul will be rejected by the Great Dragons in the Stars.
We can’t have that happen, now, can we?
Universal and the writer/producer, Matthew Feitshans, hope the film is successful enough to warrant further stories, eventually leading to a remake of the first Dragonheart film. Here’s ten minutes extracted from the opening:
Interesting, isn’t it, that three of the Dragonheart dragons are voiced by real-life knights: Sir Sean Connery, Sir Ben Kingsley and Sir Patrick Stewart. That’s a tradition I hope will continue for the sequels.
Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire, rated PG-13, is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and on Netflix.