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Wednesday 25 February 2015

General Hospital

Dr. Drake to surgery please.  Dr. Patrick Drake to surgery.

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Address: 1983 Marengo St.
Date: Feb 2014
Website:  www.lacusc.org

  As you head north through Los Angeles on the I-5, just after the exit to the I-10 to San Bernadino, and as you continue north towards Sacramento, there is a familiar sight for soap opera fans.  Get into the right hand lane, roll down your windows and get your cameras ready.  Then as the traffic coming off of the I-10 merges with the I-5 point your cameras north-east and fire away.  This is how it worked for us, but if you are lucky enough to be stuck in a Los Angeles highway traffic jam then you may have plenty of time to view General Hospital.   
  General Hospital is currently the third longest running soap opera on television.  Only Guiding Light and As The World Turns have had more episodes, but both are no longer on the air.  General Hospital first aired in 1963 and recently celebrated 50 years.  The show takes place in the fictional town of Port Charles and never actually filmed inside of the hospital, (pictured above) but the hospital was featured in the opening credits.  In reality it is the LAC + USC Medical Center which is short for Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center.  The show is filmed at The Prospect Studios in the Los Feliz neighbourhood of LA.  Most of the characters on the show either work at General Hospital or have been a patient there for one reason or another.  They have given birth, emerged from comas, or recovered from numerous shootings, poisonings and car accidents.
  Even though the Medical Center is only seen in the opening credits, it has still been part of the show almost every weekday for the past few decades.  It is always fun to see the real world location.  On a previous trip to Los Angeles we also spotted actor Michael Easton in a North Hollywood Rite-Aid looking for help buying bottled water.  He played both John McBain and more recently Dr. Silas Clay on the show.  So always have your camera ready while you are in LA as there is either a television star or a filming location just up ahead.

Map of Our World
General Hospital

Post # 40

Friday 20 February 2015

Humphrey the Polar Bear

Humphrey the Baby Polar Bear

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2000 Meadowvale Road
Date: Feb 2015
Website:  www.torontozoo.com

  Humphrey the polar bear was born November 9th, 2013.  He was one of three cubs born that day and the only one to survive.  Unfortunately, his mother Aurora was not properly taking care of him.  As a result he had to be raised by the keepers at the Toronto Zoo.  The pictures and video are from when he was almost five months old. 

Humphrey in the water.

  Humphrey always entertained everyone at the zoo and he grew bigger and bigger.  At 1 year and 3 months old it is obvious that he is still just a cub.  We braved -40 degrees Celsius weather to visit Humphrey one last time before he moved to the Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg.  He didn't seem to mind the cold as he took a nap with what looked like a big smile on his face.  Have a safe trip Humphrey.

Humphrey rests before his trip to Winnipeg.

Click here to take a virtual tour and see our collection of Toronto Zoo animal photos.

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo (Tundra Trek) , Assiniboine Park Zoo (Journey To Churchill)

Post # 39

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Statue of Liberty (In The Movies)

Yup! The Griswolds are back!

Location: New York, New York, USA
Address: Liberty Island
Date: Jan 2009
Website:  www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm

  The Statue of Liberty has been seen in numerous movies.  Nothing does a better job of letting you know that you are on American soil than a few shots of Lady Liberty standing watch over New York.  Most movies don't actually make the trip to Liberty Island and instead use special effects.  Here are a few of the movies we have seen that feature the statue, courtesy of some movie magic.

National Lampoon's European Vacation
  When we first started thinking about movies that featured the Statue of Liberty, we recalled a movie in which a plane crashes into her torch and causes it to swing in her hand.  We figured it out.  As the Griswold family returns from Europe, Clark (Chevy Chase) accidentally enters the cockpit instead of the washroom.  He then bumps into the pilot and causes the plane to dive.  Oops!

Planet of the Apes
  George Taylor finally escapes those "damn, dirty apes".  He sees the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the sand on a beach.  It is then that he realizes he is still on planet earth.

  Mega Maid is a vacuuming spaceship that bears a striking resemblance to the Statue of Liberty.  This resemblance is further emphasized by a Planet of the Apes parody.  When she crashes into a beach the whole thing is witnessed by a couple of apes on horseback.  "There goes the planet."

Here's something off the request line from Liberty Island.  We gotta squeeze some New Year's juice from ya, big apple.

Ghostbusters II
  If you visit the Statue of Liberty and wish to go inside the pedestal or up into the crown, you must book your tickets well in advance.  Ray, Egon, Peter and Winston manage to not only make a last minute trip up to the crown, but do so in the middle of the night.  Using some of their slime they bring the statue to life and she wades across the Hudson River and into the streets of Manhattan.

Superman IV
  Superman IV isn't the best Superman movie (actually it's the fourth best), but it does feature the Statue of Liberty.  The villain, Nuclear Man, takes the statue and flies her through the streets of Manhattan and then hurls her towards the ground.  Superman swoops in and saves the day and she is safely returned to her pedestal.  For his efforts, Superman gets to leave Liberty Island courtesy of the business end of a boot.

Judge Dredd
  I am the law!  Sylvester Stalone (Judge Dredd) spends a little time hanging from a hole in the side of the statue's head.  In this futuristic tale the Statue of Liberty has been moved to the middle of a Mega City and hides a secret laboratory.

  The X-Men have a battle that starts in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.  Magneto is going to create radiation in the statue's torch which will mutate all the world leaders meeting on nearby Ellis Island.  Besides making a mess of the museum in the pedestal, the X-Men damage the statue's head and Wolverine's claws leave a few permanent scratches.

Men in Black II
  In the Men in Black movies, a neuralyser is a stick which produces a bright light and can wipe the memory of anyone who looks at it. After defeating the evil Serleena in an explosive fashion, Agent K ( Tommy Lee Jones) uses the Statue of Liberty as a giant neuralyser to wipe the memory of all of New York.  We don't recall if we have seen this movie.

The Statue of Liberty has also seen her share of movie disasters.  She has been hit by tsunamis in both Deep Impact and The Day After Tomorrow, and an alien attack in Independence Day.  Despite all the abuse she has seen in the movies, the Statue of Liberty has been standing since 1886.  Thank goodness it was all just special effects.

Map of Our World
Statue of Liberty (In The Movies)

Post # 38