The Sunday Funnies & Factoids – The ‘It’s Too F**king Early for Christmas Carols’ Edition
by Keith Lennox, All-len-All, 11/09/14 –
Happy Sunday, one and all. Thanks for stopping in for some mind numbing factoids…. you know, the things that will fill your brain and be of absolutely no use to you going forward in life. But, on the upside, there just might be a nugget of trivia here that you can pull out during a dinner party that will leave people awed at your brilliance………. or not. Okay, enough jibberish… on with the show.
2) Actor Jimmy Stewart was a colonel in the Air Force, and was later promoted to Brigadier General as a member of the Air Force Reserves.
3) New Mexico State’s first graduating class in 1893 had only one student— and he was shot and killed before graduation….. bet the student loan carrier was pissed….
4) Richard Hollingshead of Camden, N.J., built the first drive-in theater in his driveway. The theater consisted of a sheet strung between two trees and a movie projector mounted to the hood of his car. The setup was reportedly inspired by his mother: she was a large woman who was uncomfortable in the seats at regular movie theaters.
5) The tip of a fencing weapon is the second fastest moving object in the Olympics. The fastest is a bullet.
6) In the 1970s, Mattel sold a doll called “Growing Up Skipper.” Her breasts grew when her arm was turned…….. YOWZAH !!!!
7) In 1914 and 1915, two Boston baseball teams beat two Philadelphia teams in the World Series. In 1914, it was the Boston Braves defeating the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1915, the Boston Red Sox emerged victorious against the Philadelphia Phillies.
8) 11 Movies That Made Less Than $400 at the U.S. Box Office
When talk turns to Hollywood’s biggest box office turkeys, the final tallies for these cinematic stinkers typically fall somewhere in the seven- to eight-digit figure range. Case in point: 2013’s biggest bomb, the Johnny Depp starrer The Lone Ranger, which earned $260.5 million worldwide (but cost $250 million to produce). While it’s the most spectacular studio failures that seem to bear the brunt of the financial scorn, there also exists a legion of films that have made so little impact at the box office that they’ve hardly been deemed worthy of mention at all. Until now…
1. ZYZZYX ROAD (2006) // GROSS: $30
If this film’s looks-like-a-typo title (it’s pronounced ZYE-zix, by the way) wasn’t enough of a turnoff, its tagline—“Dead Ahead”—should have served as a harbinger of the box office doom that would eventually befall it. To be fair, the thriller—which stars Tom Sizemore and Katherine Heigl—only played in one theater (the Highland Park Village Theater in Dallas). But it played in that theater for an entire week! By the time its run had ended, six people had seen it for a grand total of $30 in ticket sales, making it the lowest-grossing movie of all time (yes, even still today). This dubious honor became a key part of the marketing plan when the title was acquired by GoDigital for distribution in 2012, with the company’s marketing director tellingThe Hollywood Reporter, “I am confident it will make us more than $30.”
2. STORAGE 24 (2013) // GROSS: $72
While box office analysts keep pointing to The Lone Ranger as 2013’s biggest bomb, Johannes Roberts—writer-director of the British sci-fi flick Storage 24—would have been happy with just a fraction of that big-budget clunker’s ticket sales. Heck, he’d have been happy to just crack the $100 mark. But triple digits weren’t in the cards for this flick, which—like Zyzzyx Road—played in one theater for one week. “You take the film for what it is; we had no money,” co-writer/star Noel Clarke told Indiewire. “And we were ambitious.”
3. DOG EAT DOG (2009) // GROSS: $80
After winning a slew of awards and nominations at film festivals and other key industry events around the world—including a World Cinema Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance—you would think that Carlos Moreno’s Colombian crime world drama Dog Eat Dog would have the legs to sustain a single-cinema theatrical release. And you would be wrong.
4. THE OBJECTIVE (2009) // GROSS: $95
Since co-directing The Blair Witch Project—the indie movie whose success all other indie movies attempt to re-create—in 1999, Daniel Myrick has kept a relatively low profile, directing just a couple of other films, most of which have gone straight to DVD. But in March of 2009, IFC Films gave this sci-fi flick a limited theatrical release. Very limited. It spent a week in just one theater in New York, where it earned a grand total of $95. But there’s a little bit of conflicting info here: While sources like Box Office Mojo list this as its only box office take,IMDb’s stats show that it earned slightly north of $2 million when it was released in L.A. one month later.
5. THE GHASTLY LOVE OF JOHNNY X (2012) // GROSS: $117
“Ghastly” kind of says it all. This 1950s-inspired sci-fi musical—which stars Creed Bratton (a.k.a. Creed from The Office)—may have nabbed five awards on the American film festival circuit, but it only managed to scare up $117 during the week it spent in a single theater in Kansas City, Kansas in October 2012. Maybe that’s because it had screened at the Kansas International Film Festival less than three weeks earlier? In the spring of 2013, Johnny tried again, placing the movie in six theaters over the course of four weeks. While it managed to break the $1000 mark in revenues when it showed in two theaters in L.A. ($1356 to be exact), its total run earned back just $2436 of its estimated $2 million budget.
6. PRETTY VILLAGE, PRETTY FLAME (1998) // GROSS: $211
The 1996 Yugoslavian film Pretty Village, Pretty Flame proves that hit films don’t necessarily translate from continent to continent. While it received plenty of favorable reviews from American film critics, Pretty Village, Pretty Flame only managed to attract $211 worth of business when it received a one-theater/one-week release on January 16, 1998. A far cry from the nearly 800,000 moviegoers who caught it in Serbia (which was close to 10 percent of the country’s total population at the time).
7. PLAYBACK (2012) // GROSS: $264
It’s one thing when a movie starring relative nobodies and playing in one theater crashes and burns at the box office. It’s another thing when the lowest-grossing movie in a single year has a recognizable name in it. Okay, so it’s Christian Slater. But people know who he is, right? Apparently not enough to merit this rip-off of The Ring—which cost $7.5 million to make—even a nicely rounded $300 in its one-theater run. Oh, and we should mention that the first $252 was made in its opening weekend, meaning that it earned just $12 in the week that followed. The good news for Netflix streaming customers is that they can watch it for themselves and decide.
8. INTERVENTION (2007) // GROSS: $279
One theater. Three days. $279 in 2007. That’s pretty much the full theatrical story of Mary McGuckian’s tale of addiction, which won the director a Best Feature Film Award at the 2007 San Diego Film Festival—and a Best Actress honor for Jennifer Tilly, who is just one member of an enormous cast that includes Andie MacDowell, Colm Feore, Rupert Graves, and formerBaywatch babe Donna D’Errico.
9. TROJAN WAR (1997) // GROSS: $309
Two years after she became a series regular on Party of Five, Jennifer Love-Hewitt starred in this rom-com turkey that could roughly be considered a teenage version of Martin Scorsese’sAfter Hours: A kid (Boy Meets World’s Will Friedle) gets beat up, mugged, and arrested on his quest to find a condom so that he can score with his dream girl (played by Marley Shelton). Nope, not even the vast American population of hormonal teens could save this $15 million Warner Bros. production from being pulled from its one theater less than a week after its arrival.
10. THE MARSH (2007) // GROSS: $336
Less than one month after he accepted a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, Forest Whitaker was making news of a different sort when the supernatural thriller he starred in alongside Gabrielle Anwar was released in one theater for three days and recouped less than .005 percent of its $7 million budget. As the film’s tagline stated: You can bury the past, but sometimes the past won’t stay buried…
11. APARTMENT 143 (2012) // GROSS: $383
Imagine if this movie had actually been called Apartment 383? Oh, the irony! The financial failure of this Mexican horror flick certainly isn’t a result of shoddy marketing materials; its U.S. distributor, Magnolia Pictures, even earned a Golden Trailer Award nomination for Best Horror Poster. But so little seen was the movie when it was eventually released in one theater for one week that it doesn’t even merit a critic score on Rotten Tomatoes (a paltry 24 percent of the audience liked it).
9) The State with the longest official name is also the smallest. The winner is the “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”
10) Unlike a traditional toxin, viper venom functions by preventing the blood from clotting so that the victims bleed to death…… good to know…..something to think about if you ever happen to find yourself on the kitchen floor bleeding out…..
12) In the early 20th century, peanut butter was more haute cuisine than suburban staple. Snooty establishments like New York’s Vanity Fair Tea Room served up peanut-butter-and-watercress sandwiches, and the cookbooks of the day endorsed plenty of PB pairings, including pimentos and chili……… ummmmmm, peany butter…. ummmmmm
13) During the 2002 Iraqi election, Saddam Hussein’s campaign song was Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
14) In 1728, the philosopher Voltaire got rich by outsmarting the lottery. When the French government accidentally created a raffle where the prize money was significantly larger than the cost of all the tickets combined, Voltaire and his friend formed a syndicate, bought all the tickets, and won.
15) 25 of Oscar Wilde’s Wittiest Quotes
2. The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.
3. Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
4. It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
5. The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.
6. Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
7. What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
9. When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.
10. There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
11. Work is the curse of the drinking classes.
12. Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
14. All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
15. Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
16. There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
17. Genius is born—not paid.
18. Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.
19. How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?
21. My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.
22. The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.
23. I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
24. There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.
25. Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.
And one bonus quote about Oscar Wilde! Dorothy Parker said it best in a 1927 issue of Life:
If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.
16) The concept of community service as a form of probation originated in Alameda County, California, in 1966. It was first used as an alternative punishment for female traffic offenders.
17) Sanyo’s name means “three oceans” in Japanese. The company’s founder wanted to sell his wares across the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans.
18) ‘Limey’ was originally used as a derogatory word for sailors in the Royal Navy, because of the Royal Navy’s practice since the beginning of the 19th century of adding lemon juice or lime juice to the sailors’ daily ration of watered-down rum (known as grog), in order to prevent scurvy.
19) Underneath the striped fur of a tiger is striped skin (which preserves the camouflage effect).
20) Why Do We Have Middle Names?
The phrase “middle name” first appeared in an 1835 Harvard University periodical called Harvardiana, but the practice dates back much further.
In ancient Rome, having multiple names was an honor usually bestowed upon the most important people–like Gaius Julius Caesar. The fad died out only to pick back up again in Western cultures in the 1700s, when aristocrats started giving their children lavishly long names to indicate their place in society. Similarly, lengthy Spanish and Arabic names adopt paternal or maternal names from previous generations to trace the individual’s family tree. (In other cultures, like Chinese, there are traditionally no middle names.)
The three-name structure used today began in the Middle Ages when Europeans were torn between giving their child a saint’s name or a common family name. The practice of giving three names eventually resolved the problem with a formula: given name first, baptismal name second, surname third. It branched to America as immigrants arrived: Adopting a trio of labels became a way of aspiring to a higher social class. Nonreligious middle names–often maternal maiden names–gradually became the norm, and by the Civil War, it was customary to name your child whatever you liked. Middle names had started to become more or less official by World War I, when the U.S. enlistment form became the first official government document to include space for them.
So there you have it, boys and girls…. this weeks installment of the SF&Fs. Thanks ever so much for stopping by.
Have a great week ahead and remember to pay it forward at least once…. you’ll be happy that you did. I promise. See you back here next week, same time, same website.