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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