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Knight Rider filming locations

Knight Rider filming locations

As a kid, I LOVED catching the latest Knight Rider episode each week. Besides the episodes with KARR, one of my other favorites as a kid was the episode that featured Michael’s evil twin Garth and Goliath: a giant semi with the same protective shell as KITT.

I love visiting locations where my favorite films and TV shows were filmed, and it turns out someone found the filming location for the Goliath episodes. How cool is that?

One Froggy Evening

One Froggy Evening

In 1955, Looney Tunes writer Michael Maltese was inspired by the story of Ol’ Rip to write a cartoon episode titled One Froggy Evening. In the episode, a construction worker demolishing a building finds an 1897 time capsule inside a cornerstone. The capsule contains a living toad, Michigan J. Frog, which is able to sing Tin Pan Alley songs; in particular, “Hello! Ma Baby” and “I’m Just Wild About Harry”.

But did you know that it was based in fact?

On July 29, 1897, a 4-year-old boy named Will Wood caught a horny toad in Eastland County, Texas. The boy’s father, Eastland County clerk Ernest E. Wood, decided to use the reptile to test the West Texas tradition that the creatures could survive for many years in hibernation. The horned lizard was placed in a cornerstone of the Eastland County Courthouse in Eastland, Texas along with other time capsule memorabilia, including a Bible and a bottle of alcohol.

Thirty years later, construction workers began to tear down the old courthouse, and town officials scheduled a public event to open the time capsule in mid-February 1928. A crowd of 1,500 spectators gathered in Eastland, Texas, to witness the opening of the time capsule and to learn the fate of the horned toad. Newspaperman Boyce House recalled the chaotic scene:

“When the brick wall was pulled away from the cornerstone, the crowd rushed forward, in its excitement pressing so closely against a worker that he barely had room to ply his pick in order to break a layer of cement that was over the top of the stone. Then he lifted a sheet of metal underlying the cement. As this covering was raised, disclosing the cavity, Rev. F. E. Singleton (pastor of the Eastland Methodist Church), who was standing beside the cornerstone, leveled a finger and said: ‘There’s the frog!’ Eugene Day, oil man, thrust his hand into the cavity and lifted out a flat, dust-covered toad which he handed over to Rev. Mr. Singleton. The pastor handed the creature on to Judge Pritchard who dangled it aloft by a hind leg that all might see. Suddenly the other hind leg twitched: The frog was alive!”

Within days, national newspaper chains reported the discovery of the entombed lizard on their front pages. Due to the extensive media coverage, Ol’ Rip became a national celebrity.

The peak of Rip’s fame occurred in May 1928 when, during his national tour, the lizard was transported to Washington, D.C. where Texas Senator Earle Bradford Mayfield presented the specimen to President Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge. A bemused Coolidge purportedly declined to touch the frog and merely nudged it with his spectacles. A newspaper article reported the incident:

“President Coolidge asked numerous questions concerning his celebrated guest; stroked the frog’s back with his horn-rimmed glasses, and then President and Old Rip gazed steadily at each other for a full minute without a sound—Silent Cal had met his match”.

Old Rip now resides on display in the Eastland County courthouse.

Old Rip.

And you can see the cornerstone he spent 31 years in as well

3D floorplans of famous movies

3D floorplans of famous movies

I’m a big fan of movies and of visiting the very places where movies were shot. I always find it amazing to see or be in the very spot these iconic moments in film took place.

Many movies and famous scenes, however, took place on a sound stage or on a set that is usually simply destroyed as soon as the shooting is done to make room for the next production.

Enter Expedia who commissioned 3D floorplans for many famous movies such as The Shining, Goldfinger, Lost in Translation, Pretty Woman, and The Hangover. For places that actually exist, they also have links to how to reserve these very rooms.

Film and furniture also covered these layouts and even sells prints of some of them.

If you want to check out a similar artist’s work, check out Boryana Ilieva’s website Floorplan Croissant where you can buy her own water color creations of famous locations.

No End House

No End House

NoEnd House is an amature creepy-pasta short story from a few years back. It tells of a haunted house that has 6 progressively scarier rooms. Supposedly nobody who has made it to room six has ever been seen again.

The short story has a great premise, but many argue that Channel Zero’s version is an even better telling of the story. The six part series starts with them finding out about the haunted house and taking a visit. What happens next is some good story telling, but I thought the final chapters were a bit weaker than the first ones. The first few episodes are definitely worth a watch.

On a tangent, I think this is what Hollywood should be doing these days: taking promising but flawed ideas and working them into great ones. I understand why studios rehash tried and true IP’s like Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvell, etc. They always sell. But it doesn’t demonstrate any real talent to try and reboot old classics with tropey time travel, alternate universe takes, harmful revisionist cannons, or even political/social agendas. Most of the time they only succeeded in ruining critical themes, diluting, damaging, and turning classics into distasteful cash grabs. Lets wake up here Hollywood – there’s lots of great ideas out there if you have the eyes to see them.