The making of Airplane!

One of the all-time great comedies is the 1980 film Airplane!. Its creators gave an interview about how they wrote the script and managed to get a major studio to back the film, especially the idea of using actors such as Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Pater Graves, and Leslie Nielsen, known for playing dramatic roles, to play parts that would have normally gone to comedians.
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What war does

Words cannot adequately describe the horrors that wars inflict on people. In this video captured by drones flying over the city of Homs in Syria, we get a look at the staggering levels of devastation that has been inflicted on the people of that city. This used to be the third largest city in Syria and a major industrial center. It is heartbreaking to see the impoverishment of yet another country in that region similar to the way that Iraq and Libya, other countries that had a modern infrastructure, were ruined by wars.
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UN panel says that Julian Assange has been kept in ‘arbitrary detention’

The Guardian is reporting that Julian Assange’s three and a half years holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London constitutes “arbitrary detention”. The official report is to be released tomorrow though the British and Swedish governments were informed two weeks ago. Assange’s lawyers are already calling for him to be allowed to leave the embassy without the threat of extradition to the US hanging over him.
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Score a win for the Satanists

In a post a few days ago, I wrote about how The Satanic Temple had applied to deliver the opening prayer at a meeting of the Phoenix, AZ city council. The council had been having opening prayers for over sixty years but the 2014 Greece v Galloway decision by the US Supreme Court had required government entities that offered such prayers to open it up to all groups and thus avoid the appearance of endorsing specific viewpoints.
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Rand Paul also bows out

Rand Paul has dropped out of the Republican race for his party’s presidential nomination after coming in fifth in Iowa. I thought that he would stay in at least until the New Hampshire primary because the evangelical climate of Iowa was not really conducive to his campaign and the more libertarian streak in New Hampshire would be better for him. But his poll numbers were poor there too and he must have decided it was hopeless to carry on.
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Cheating in professional sports

The world of tennis was reportedly rocked by a Buzzfeed/BBC investigative report that alleged that up to 70 tennis professionals, including 16 who had been in the top 50 and included winners of singles and doubles titles at Grand Slam events, had taken money for fixing matches, either deliberately losing or arranging for their opponent to lose. Players were offered $50,000 or more for fixing games and gambling syndicates made hundreds of thousands of dollars in return. The fixing was suspected after investigators looked at suspicious bets placed on events.
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Uh-oh, Ted Cruz has made Ben Carson mad

Ben Carson is mad at Ted Cruz because he says that Cruz’s campaign sabotaged his own by circulating a false rumor at caucus voting precincts that Carson had suspended his campaign and thus depressed the vote for him. This is a serious charge against Cruz that has been substantiated and adds to his reputation as a really nasty guy willing to not just lie but stoop to any kind of dirty tricks to get his way.
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Driving a Model T Ford

The Model T Ford car, produced from 1908 to 1927, is a legend in car history becoming the first to be popular in the mass market. A little fact that I had not been aware of is that the car got its name from a series of models that began with Model A and worked its way through the alphabet until they got to T when they had a winner. Not every letter corresponded to a production model since many were just prototypes.
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