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Wednesday 30 March 2016

World’s Largest Paper Clip

Big Red Paper Clip.

Location: Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada
Address: Bell Park 6th Avenue
Date: Oct 2014
Website: townofkipling.ca

  The small town of Kipling, Saskatchewan has the world's largest paper clip on display.  The paper clip is over 15 feet tall and and weighs 3043 lbs.  The paper clip represents a series of internet trades that also made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.  When we drove from Regina, Saskatchewan to Winnipeg, Manitoba we specifically detoured in order to check it out.
   It all started in 2005 when Kyle Macdonald traded a red paper clip online for a fish shaped pen.  He then traded the pen for a door knob and so on and so on.  Eventually, he ended up trading a KISS snow globe with actor Corbin Bernsen.  KISS is a band best known for their painted faces, stage pyrotechnics and Gene Simmons' tongue.  Corbin Bernsen is best known for appearing in the Major League movies or as Arnie Becker on the television show L.A. Law. As a result of all this trading Corbin now has a star in front of the giant paper clip.

Kipling's Walk Of Fame.

  The snow globe was traded for a movie role.  This is where the town of Kipling finally became involved.  The movie role was offered online and the town of Kipling traded the house at 503 Main Street.  One of the residents of Kipling acted in Corbin Bernsen's movie Donna On Demand.  The trading was complete and the big red paperclip was erected in Bell Park.  It now joins a long line of world's biggest items that draw tourists like ourselves to small towns like Kipling.  Not many of them can boast such a story as this one red paper clip.

The Bell In Bell Park.

  One question we have is if a paper clip is defined by its shape or its function?  While this giant red steel bar has been bent into the traditional paper clip shape one wonders if it would be capable of actually holding paper.  Aside from the fact it would need giant sized pieces of paper, we wonder who or what would give it that slight bend needed in order to slide some paper into place?

Back of the Paper Clip.

Map of Our World
World’s Largest Paper Clip

Post # 104

Friday 25 March 2016

My Big Fat Greek Wedding House

My Big Fat Greek House.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 73 Glenwood Crescent
Date: Oct 2014
Website: www.facebook.com/MyBigFatGreekWeddingMovie/

  The sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding will be released in theatres today.  The original movie was filmed mostly in Toronto and went on to become the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time.  The movie was written by Nia Vardalos about her own life.  She plays Toula who is a Greek woman that falls in love with a non-Greek man (John Corbett).  The story follows the two families as they come together for the inevitable big fat wedding.
  The home above was used as the exterior of  the Portokalos house where Toula lives with her family.  You can tell that even in real life this home belongs to a Greek family.  The statues in the yard and the decorations on the front make this clear.  There were still a few modifications that were made for filming such as adding a false second floor and placing additional statues and lighting in the front yard.  A false garage painted like a Greek flag was added on one side while the actual garage pretended to be a big bay window.
  The home makes multiple appearances throughout the movie and dressed up in all it's proud Greekness it really is hard to miss.  Based on the trailer we watched for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, it looks like the entire cast is back for the sequel.  That includes the house. 

Map of Our World
Portokalos Home

Post # 103

Sunday 20 March 2016

Royal Alexandra Theatre

The Royal Alex by Day.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 260 King St West
Date: Nov 2015
Website: www.mirvishproductions.com/theroyalalexandra

  The Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto opened in 1907 and holds claim to being the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in North America.  It sits on King Street West at the eastern edge of what used to be a string of restaurants owned by Honest Ed Mirvish.  The theatre received its name and royal title from Queen Alexandra who is the great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II.  It is more commonly just referred to as The Royal Alex.
  The theatre has hosted countless productions through the years.  One notable performance was a production of Godspell which featured Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, Paul Schaffer, Howard Shore, Gilda Radner and Victor Garber among others.  Some of you may recognize most, if not all of the names here.  After Godspell, the first four went on to success on the television show SCTV.  The next three went on to Saturday Night Live and Victor Garber played Jesus in the film version of the play.  They all have had successful careers in television and movies.  Some of them have been honoured on Canada's Walk of Fame just across the street on the south side of King Street West.

Martin Short Canada's Walk Of Fame.
Eugene Levy Canada's Walk Of Fame.
Paul Schaffer Canada's Walk Of Fame.
Victor Garber Canada's Walk Of Fame.

  We ourselves have seen at least two successful productions at the Royal Alex.  Many years ago we saw the Abba musical Mamma Mia! which starred Camilla Scott in the main role.  We also attended a more recent performance of Kinky Boots which has musical numbers written by Cyndi Lauper.  The Royal Alexandra Theatre continues to draw crowds after almost 110 years in operation. 

The Royal Alex by Night.

This location is near St. Andrew subway. Visit other Toronto TTC stations.

Map of Our World
Royal Alexandra Theatre
Canada's Walk Of Fame

Post # 102

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Between The Avalon & The Colony

Looking South towards the ColonyHotel.

Location: Miami, Florida, USA
Address:  736 Ocean Dr.
Date: Aug 2004
Website:  www.colonymiami.com

  When we were in Miami we took a walk along Ocean Drive which is the main street of South Beach.  Little did we know that we were walking through two on-screen crime scenes.  One was filmed over twenty years before we arrived and the other would not happen until two years later.  We had taken a few pictures which managed to capture some of the action that took place between 7th and 8th streets along Ocean Drive. 

 You Gotta Stay Loose Looking North On Ocean Drive.

  In the movie Scarface, Tony ( Al Pacino) and Manny (Steven Bauer), along with Angel and Chi Chi are headed to make a drug deal of their own.  They turn onto Ocean Drive up at 13th street near The Carlyle Hotel.  They head down the strip past 8th Street (pictured above) and then drive past the Colony Hotel (pictured at the top of this post).  They finally pull a u-turn in front of the Beacon Hotel and park the car across the street between the Beacon Hotel and the Sun Ray Motel.  We are guessing they parked approximately where the white car is parked below.  Tony and Angel head up some stairs to a top floor apartment of the Sun Ray Motel while Manny and Chi Chi wait in the car.

I'm not out in 15 minutes...something's wrong.

  Basically, things do not go well.  Angel gets killed by a chainsaw, Manny and Chi Chi rush inside, a gunfight ensues, Manny gets injured and several people are killed. It all ends with Tony shooting a Columbian drug dealer in the head outside on the street, to the horror of the Beacon Hotel patrons.  Tony then pulls another u-turn in the car and Manny and Chi Chi pile into the back seat.  They then race off heading south down Ocean Drive.  We also headed south past the Colony, the Sun Ray, the Beacon and finally the Avalon before we reached 7th Street.
  This brings us to the next crime scene from the television show Dexter.  When we visited Miami, Dexter star Michael C. Hall was still Six Feet Under.  Dexter is a forensic analyst and his sister Deborah is a Miami police officer.  Oh... and Dexter is also a serial killer.  In episode two they have been tracking a killer dubbed "The Ice Truck Killer".  Deborah phones Dexter and they both arrive on the scene at the south end of the Avalon Hotel.

I feel like at kid at his own surprise party.  This is the same truck.

  There is an ice truck parked on the street.  Inside they find severed fingertips frozen in a block of ice.  The entire scene unfolds with both the Beacon and Colony hotels clearly visible across the street.  It turns out that the ice truck is parked in almost the exact same spot that Tony Montana's car was parked in Scarface.  We think this was done as an intentional nod to the classic film location.  Say hello to my little coincidence!

Map of Our World
Between The Avalon & The Colony

Post # 101

Thursday 10 March 2016

Tundra Buggy Tour (Day Two)

Look at That Bear There.

Location: Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Address: Churchill Wildlife Management Area
Date: Oct 2014
Website: www.everythingchurchill.com

  We were ready for the second day of our Tundra Buggy Tour.  You can read about Day One here.  Our group decided that the best course of action was to head towards where we had observed a bear digging yesterday.  Normally, we tried to travel along something that resembled a road.

A Tundra Buggy Road.

  Sometimes we had no choice but to take things off-road.  Part of the route we took seemed more like we were traveling along a stream than across the tundra. The buggy crept through the water towards our destination.

  Another Tundra Buggy was rolling along ahead of us when it suddenly stopped.  Over beside some bushes was a polar bear sleeping right out in the open.  He sort of woke up when our buggy stopped as well.  It was only to take a big yawn.

  It turns out that the buggy in front of us had stopped for more than just polar bear watching.  The day before we had been wondering what would happen if a buggy broke down or got stuck in the mud and rocks.  Turns out the answer would unfold right in front of us.  Luckily the broken buggy was on a stretch of road.  A pickup truck came by and pulled up next to the broken buggy.  One of our guides exited our buggy, took his rifle from its case and bravely strode down the road to stand guard while the repairs were completed.

Buggy Repair Churchill Style.

  Fortunately the bear was still as disinterested as ever. The repairs were completed and our guide returned to the safety of his tundra buggy.  The other buggy began to continue on its way.  This seemed to finally arouse the bear who decided it was time to take a walk across the tundra.  He walked around as we wondered if he would decide to come and check us out.  Once again we were rejected by the bear.

  We headed further along and reached the spot where a bear had been digging yesterday.  We looked along the water's edge and he was nowhere to be seen.  Perhaps he had moved on.  We went a little higher up onto a rocky plateau and then all of a sudden there he was.  He was busy chewing away on something in the grass.  It seems his digging the day before has netted him a bit of a feast.  One of our guides suggested it was most likely part of a whale, perhaps a beluga.  The bear chewed his dinner for some time and then suddenly turned his back on us.  We got the hint and our Tundra Buggy decided it was time to move on.

A Bear enjoys a bite of Beluga.
Polar Bear side profile.
 Bear Back.

  We had another great day out amongst the bears.  As we headed back we passed the buggy that had problems earlier. 

Glad you were here.

  They waved a wave that said they were all glad that our buggy drivers had come to their aid.  We waved a wave that said we were glad it didn't happen to us.  No one wanted to spend the night stuck out on the tundra.  Actually that's not true.  A night on the tundra does sound exciting, but only when it is properly planned for.

Days on the Tundra.

You can read about Day One here.

Map of Our World
Tundra Buggy Tour , Tundra Buggy Tour (Digging Bear)
Post # 100

Saturday 5 March 2016

M5 Industries

Who are the Mythbusters?

Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Address: 1268 Missouri Street
Date: Feb 2014
Website: www.m5industries.com

  When we were in San Francisco we stopped by the offices of M5 Industries Inc.  This is the company owned by Jamie Hyneman.  Together with Adam Savage he hosts the MythBusters television show.  Adam & Jamie are usually assisted by Kari, Grant and Tori.  This trio is often referred to as the Build Team.  On the show they test rumours or myths and use science to determine if they are plausible or busted.  The show has always proved entertaining and all of the personalities on the show are likeable and legitimately seem to be interested in what they are doing.  Another great thing about the show is that they like to blow things up.  Blow things up good.  They then like to replay the explosion in super slow motion so you can really get a good look.

Am I missing an eyebrow?

  The offices are attached to the M5 workshop which is where a majority of the episodes are filmed.  When we arrived at the building some workers were outside repaving part of the front sidewalk.  Perhaps it was an experiment gone wrong, or maybe the destruction was intended.  It definitely reminded us of the Jimmy Hoffa episode where they buried two pigs in concrete very close to that spot.  It also reminded us of an episode where Jamie was buried alive while inside a coffin.  That myth was tested almost in exactly that spot.  In fact there have been numerous episodes where things have been dropped off of the roof or blown up in the garage doorway or tested in front of the wall with the M5 INDUSTRIES INC sign.
  The back lot of the building has also seen a fair bit of use, especially in the earlier episodes.  They shot a frozen chicken through the windshield of a plane and Jamie created an army of marching feet in an attempt to shake a bridge apart.  As time went on the Mythbusters myths grew in size and they spent more time out on the bomb range blowing things up or at the Alameda Runway crashing cars.  The Build Team also used a nearby location called M7 to conduct experiments.

Failure is Always an Option behind M5.

  Mythbusters will be airing its final episode today (March 5, 2016) after about 13 seasons.  We are sad to see the show end, but the Mythbusters and the M5 building must be glad that they all made it in one piece after years of taking risks to entertain us.  Do not try what you saw on Mythbusters at home.  They are what you call experts.

Map of Our World
M5 Industries , Alameda Runway , M7

Post # 99