Thursday, 31 December 2015

Cartoon Corner

Calvin and Hobbes

The Stem Gender Imbalance Explained - Dilbert by Scott Adams

Badlands

Time for Bed

See you next year.  :o)

Again?

New years resolutions 2015
The entire nation is today busy scrambling around making pathetic attempts at entirely ignored 2015 resolutions, before making the next list of never to be attempted personal improvement goals.
Across the country, pages upon pages of year-old good intentions are being removed from sock drawers and filing cabinets, before being rapidly scanned for something, anything, that can be achieved before midnight tomorrow.
Simon Williams of Bagshot spent an hour looking for his list before telling us, “Shit, this one says write a song. A song?! Christ, a Limerick is a sort of song, right?
“Lose half a stone. Nope, I’m going to skip that one, short of donating some organs or a freak amputation in the next 24 hours I’ve got no chance with that.
“Learn a new language? I learned to ask for five beers in Dutch on a stag do to Amsterdam in June, so I think that’s definitely a tick.
“Still, I’m sure it’ll be different with next year’s list, right?”
New Year’s Resolutions
Michelle Jameson, 28, defended her decision to leave her resolutions until this afternoon, before pointing at a calendar and insisting it is still technically 2015.
“Look, I’ve got about 36 hours to go, so I’m not a failure.  I am NOT a failure.
“This one here says go to the gym more often. Well, seeing as I never go to the gym, if I go this afternoon I can tick that one off, technically.  Shut up, yes I can yes I can yes I can!”
Realist John Gibson said, “I knew what this year was going to be like, so my list includes ‘earn less in real terms’, ‘put on a bit of weight’, ‘lose some hair’ and ‘let my relationship with my wife disintegrate even further’.
“So you see, this is why I’m looking at a page full of ticks.”
NT

Our Old Life

Jacob has worked on the front lines of hotels for more than a decade, starting as a lowly valet in New Orleans and ultimately landing at a front desk in New York City. He’s also the author ofHeads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality and a man with some hospitality secrets to spill.

1. HOTELS ARE RAKING IT IN.

The fact that a hotel could fail to be profitable astounds me. Why? The average cost to turn over a room, to keep it operational per day, is between $30 and $40. If you’re paying less than $30 dollars a night at a hotel/motel, I’d wager the cost to flip that room runs close to $5. Which makes me want to take a shower. At home. That $40 turnover cost includes cleaning supplies, electricity, and hourly wages for housekeepers, minibar attendants, front desk agents, and all other employees needed to operate a room as well as the cost of laundering the sheets. Everything. Compare that with an average room rate, and you can see why it’s a profitable business.

2. STAYING FOR JUST ONE NIGHT? YOU MIGHT GET “WALKED.”

The term “walking a guest” sends shivers down any manager’s spine. Since the average no-show rate is 10 percent daily, hotels will overbook whenever possible. The sales and reservations departments are encouraged to book the property to 110 percent capacity, in the hopes that with cancellations and no-shows they will fill every room. What happens when the numbers game doesn’t play in the hotel’s favor? Someone gets walked. The hotel will now pay for the entire night’s room and tax (plus one phone call—how cute is that?) at another comparable hotel in the area.
A guest is more likely to get walked if:
1. He booked using Expedia, hence he has a deeply discounted rate and is less important.
2. He never stayed here before and may never visit the city again.
3. He’s a one-nighter.
4. And this one is so much more important than all the others: He is acting like a jerk.

3. SMART COMPLAINERS WIN.

Though most complaints should be delivered to the front desk directly, in person or on the phone, keep in mind that most issues will not have been caused by the front desk at all. So briefly outline your problem, offer a solution if you have one, and then ask whom you should speak with to have the problem solved. “Should I speak to a manager about this?” “Should I speak to housekeeping about this?” Those are wonderful and beautiful questions to ask. Most of the time, the front desk will be able to solve the problem immediately or at least act as proxy.
Want to make sure that the agent doesn’t nod, say “certainly,” and not do a damn thing? Get his or her name. Nothing tightens up an employee’s throat like being directly identified. You don’t have to threaten him or her either, just a nice casual “Thanks for your help. I’ll stop by later to make sure everything has been taken care of. Tommy, right?” Whatever you asked me to do I am doing it. (Will screaming get you what you want? Well, probably. But it’s not nearly as effective.)

4. THERE’S A BETTER WAY TO CASE A PILLOW.

To put on a pillowcase, the housekeepers throw a solid karate chop right down the middle of the pillow and then shove it in, folded like a bun. This method is preferred to the civilian method of tucking it under your chin and pulling up the pillowcase like a pair of pants because these ladies have no interest in letting 50 pillows a day come into contact with their faces.

5. ENJOY YOUR LEMONY FRESH GLASSES.

You know what cleans the hell out of a mirror, and I’m talking no streaks? Windex? No. Furniture polish. Spray on a thick white base, rub it in, and you’ll be face-to-face with a spotless, streak-free mirror. However, I am not recommending you take this tip and apply it in your own home. Though using furniture polish is quick and effective, over time it causes a waxy buildup that requires a deep scrub.
The housekeepers kept this move behind closed doors along with another dirty secret I didn’t discover until I walked in on ladies with Pledge in one hand and a minibar glass in the other. Keeping those glasses clean-looking was also part of the job. So the next time you put a little tap water into the glass and wonder why it has a pleasant lemon aftertaste, it’s because you just took a shot of Pledge.

6. NEVER, EVER PAY FOR THE MINIBAR.

Minibars. Most people are appalled at the prices. However, you never have to pay for the items in the minibar. Why not? Minibar charges are, without question, the most disputed charges on any bill. That is because the process for applying those charges is horribly inexact. Keystroke errors, delays in restocking, double stocking, and hundreds of other missteps make minibar charges the most voided item. Even before guests can manage to get through half of the “I never had those items” sentence, I have already removed the charges and am now simply waiting for them to wrap up the overly zealous denial so we can both move on with our lives.

7. BOOK ON A DISCOUNT SITE, GET A DISCOUNT EXPERIENCE.

Reservations made through Internet discount sites are almost always slated for our worst rooms. Does this seem unfair? First of all, we earn the slimmest profit from these reservations. And honestly, those guests didn’t really choose our property based on quality; they chose based on value. We were at the top of a list sorted by price. But the guest behind them in line, the one with a heavy $500 rate, she selected this hotel. When she comes to New York, she goes to our website to see what’s available. Since we have no reason to assume Internet guests will ever book with us again, unless our discount is presented to them, it truly makes business sense to save our best rooms for guests who book of their own volition.

8. BELLMEN HATE YOUR SUITCASE—BUT NOT BECAUSE IT’S HEAVY.

Bernard Sadow: the man all bellmen hate, though they’ve never heard his name. In 1970, he invented the wheeled suitcase, the bane of the bellman’s existence. Before that, the bellman was a necessity, a provider of ease and comfort, a useful member of society. When Sadow sold his first prototype to Macy’s in October 1970, he instigated a catastrophic change in the hospitality environment, causing the once noble species to retreat, rethink, and reemerge as a hustler fighting for survival. Sadow might as well have invented the phrase no bellman wants to hear, the phrase that leaves bills unpaid and ruins Christmas: “No, thanks, I got it.” Or that surprisingly prevalent and ignorant phrase: “I don’t want to bother him.” Don’t want to bother him? The man has a family. No one is being bothered here!

9. FRONT DESK AGENTS CAN ALSO BE AGENTS OF KARMA.

Any arriving guest should receive what are referred to as initial keys, which are programmed to reset the door lock when they are first inserted, deactivating all previous keys. Not until the keys expire or a new initial key enters the lock will the keys fail to work. With a “key bomb,” I cut one single initial key and then start over and cut a second initial key. Either one of them will work when you get to the room, and as long as you keep using the very first key you slipped in, all will be well.
But chances are you’ll pop in the second key at some point, and then the first key you used will be considered invalid. Trace that back to me? Not a chance. Trace that back to the fact that you told your 9-year-old daughter to shut her mouth while harshly ripping off her tiny backpack at check-in? Never.

10. THERE’S ONE SUREFIRE WAY TO GET AN UPGRADE.

Here is one of the top lies that come out of a front desk agent’s mouth: “All the rooms are basically the same, sir.”
Bull. There is always a corner room, a room with a bigger flat screen, a room that, because of the building’s layout, has a larger bath with two sinks, a room that fits two roll-aways with ease, a room that, though listed as standard, actually has a partial view of the Hudson River. There is always a better room, and when I feel that 20 you slipped me burning in my pocket, I will find it for you. And if there is nothing to be done room-wise, I have a slew of other options: late checkout, free movies, free minibar, room service amenities, and more. I will do whatever it takes to deserve the tip and then a little bit more in the hope that you’ll hit me again.
Some people feel nervous about this move. Please don’t. We are authorized to upgrade for special occasions. The special occasion occurring now is that I have a solid 20. That’s special enough for me!
MF

5 + 1

What’s the environmentally safest way to dispose of your Christmas tree? It’s hard to say. Grown, managed, transported, and recycled efficiently, a real Christmas tree’s environmental impact should be near neutral. Unfortunately, not all Christmas tree plantations are equal in their environmental impact.
The most eco-friendly way is to leave the tree in the ground, where it belongs, so you never have to dispose of it. But then you don't have a Christmas tree in your house to bring festive cheer. One thing you can do is be environmentally smart when it comes to the tree's disposal. After this festive season, why not try one of these eco-friendly methods.

1. CHIP IT.

If you’re lucky enough to have access to a big wood-chipper, you may be able to chip the entire tree. Wood-chip is great as a decorative landscaping material. But if you really want to do great things for the environment (and if you have access to a lot of Christmas trees), you could make a bioreactor to denitrify water. Nitrates are put on farms across the world to help increase crop output, but a considerable amount is washed away into lakes and rivers where it’s disastrous for fish and potentially toxic for people. A wood chip bioreactor encourages the growth of bacteria that break down the nitrates in the drainage water, reducing the amount that gets into the water supply. It's not a simple project, however. To make one, you have to dig a big trench, get the water to flow through said trench, and fill it with wood chips. More info can be found here [PDF].

2. CRAFT IT.

iStock
If your tree hasn’t yet let go of its needles—and you haven’t yet let go of Christmas—get crafty with it. Cut off small branches and bind them round a circle of wire to make an attractive wreath. This looks even better if some of the cones are still attached. If you’re feeling really adventurous—and absolutely “pining” for Christmas—you could set up an essential-oil extractor to get supercharged Christmas scent. If you are already distilling alcohol, you have everything you need—here's how to do it. With a little less effort and equipment, you can make a weaker liquid called hydrosol, which is a fragrant condensate water containing water-soluble parts of the needles.

3. STICK IT.

Many legumes, such as garden peas, are thigmotropic—they respond to objects they touch, growing in coils along or up them. Needle-free Christmas tree branches have lots of twigs, texture, and knobby protrusions for peas and beans to get a grip on. This allows them to grow upwards strongly towards light. Simply stick a small tree-branch in the soil next to each new shoot for a free, effective legume climbing frame. Another advantage of this technique is that it makes grazing animals less likely to munch those tender green shoots, as they tend to avoid getting Christmas tree twigs spiked up their noses.

4. TREECYCLE IT.

Getty Images
Come January, it’s cold, the festivities are over, work looms, and you’ve got too much on your mind to be thinking about dead-Christmas-tree horticulture or crafts. Fortunately, a simple solution is at hand. Most counties and municipalities now provide Christmas tree recycling points where you can take your tree for chipping. Some “TreeCycle” points will even exchange your tree for a bag of wood-chip or chip mulch. OK, this probably means that you’ll have to jam that Christmas tree into your car once more, but as long as you don’t have to drive too many miles out of your way, municipal Christmas-tree recycling is still an environmentally friendly option.

5. DONATE IT.

After you’ve had your Christmas cheer, why shouldn’t fish have some fun? Several communities have programs in place where they’ll take your old Christmas tree, drill a hole in the base, tie a brick to it, and throw it in a lake. When humans create artificial lakes, they tend to be relatively featureless on the bottom for easy dredging. That’s great for us, but it means baby fish have nowhere to escape predators. Christmas trees provide a nice, temporary place for the fish to hide out and explore.
If, on the other hand, you’d like to see your Christmas tree mauled by a pride of lions, that’s OK too! Some zoos around the world take Christmas tree donations (but please remove all the tinsel first) and allow the animals to play with them.
6 - Don't buy one in the first place...

MF

Follow the Path to Enlightenment

Pulp Fiction in Chronological Order
by noahsmith.
From Visually.

RIP


Lemmy Motorhead
Motörhead frontman Lemmy has been killed by death, it has been announced.
This has come as a surprise to many as it was assumed The Grim Reaper was more likely to take up a role in the ever-changing lineup of the band, possibly playing drums.
Death is not expected to slow the legendary musician down, and he has immediately announced an extensive tour covering Dis, Mictlan, Hades, Gehenna and an open air gig at the Styx arena.
It is also reported that mere death will not slow Motorhead’s prodigious rate of album releases.
“Look, I’m sorry about this but in my defense he had been on my list since 1975,” a visibly upset Death told us.
“I’ve actually been trying to collect him for forty years, and nothing stuck. You’ve got to respect that.
“You shouldn’t be too sad though; Lemmy did say that he didn’t want to live forever,” he added.
“It’s in the fucking song.”
When asked, Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor, who died in November, confirmed they were looking to get the band back together.
Shares in Jack Daniels have fallen 47% in early trading on the news.
NT

Like Marmite

Love him or otherwise, there’s no denying that Quentin Tarantino is a natural born filmmaker. Since bursting onto the scene with 1992’s Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino has crafted a slew of films that have consistently amazed, and occasionally offended, audiences around the world. As his latest film, The Hateful Eight, makes its way into theaters, here are 20 facts about some of your favorite QT films.

1. WHATEVER EXPLANATION YOU’VE HEARD FOR THE TITLE OFRESERVOIR DOGS PROBABLY ISN’T TRUE.

Tarantino told potential investors that “reservoir dog” was a gangster term from French films like Breathless and Bande à Parte, and that it meant “rat.” That wasn’t true; Tarantino just knew that investors would want an explanation for the title, and that they wouldn’t know those films well enough to contradict him. Later, the widely told story was that it came from Tarantino’s days working at a video store, when he recommended Louis Malle’s Au revoir les enfants (1987) and the customer misheard it as “reservoir dogs.” (But Tarantino expert Dale Sherman points out in his book, Quentin Tarantino FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Original Reservoir Dog, that Au revoir les enfants wasn’t available to rent until after Tarantino’s employment at the video store.) Another version of the story has Tarantino’s girlfriend recommending that movie, and QT himself mishearing it. Yet others have suggested that it was a combination of Au revoir les enfants and Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs (1971). Tarantino has never given a clear, plausible explanation for the title, so quit asking him.

2. YOU CAN WATCH PULP FICTION CHRONOLOGICALLY ... KIND OF.

The narrative structure of the film plays out of sequence, but it’s easy enough to break it down into seven distinct sections (a prologue, an epilogue, two preludes, and three large segments) that can then be re-ordered into a chronological narrative (here’s an infographic).

3. JACKIE BROWN DRIVES BUTCH’S CAR FROM PULP FICTION.

The Honda Civic that Pam Grier drives in Jackie Brown is the same car that Butch (Bruce Willis) drives—and hits Marcellus Wallace with—in Pulp Fiction. The car also makes a brief appearance in Kill Bill: Volume 2.

4. WARREN BEATTY WAS TARANTINO’S FIRST CHOICE FOR THE TITLE ROLE IN KILL BILL.

When Tarantino let the actor go because of creative differences, he cast David Carradine in the iconic role because Carradine previously appeared in Tarantino’s favorite childhood TV show, Kung Fu.

5. THE CONCEPT FOR DEATH PROOF GREW OUT OF TARANTINO’S DESIRE TO BUY A VOLVO.

In a 2007 interview with Newsweek, Tarantino explained the genesis of the idea for Death Proof, the director’s half of Grindhouse: “About 10 years ago, I was talking to a friend about getting a car. And I wanted to get a Volvo because I wanted a really safe car. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to die in some auto accident like the one in Pulp Fiction … So I was talking to my friend about this, and he said, ‘Well, you could take any car and give it to a stunt team, and for $10,000 or $15,000, they can death-proof it for you.’ Well, that phrase ‘death proof’ kinda stuck in my head."

6. CHRISTOPH WALTZ WASN’T THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY COLONEL LANDA IN INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

Tarantino originally wanted to cast Leonardo DiCaprio. 

7. THE HORSE THAT JAMIE FOXX RIDES IN DJANGO UNCHAINED IS HIS OWN.

YouTube
He was given the horse as a birthday gift four years before the movie’s release.

8. TRUE ROMANCE WAS TARANTINO’S FIRST SCREENPLAY.

In the original script, Clarence Worley (Christian Slater’s character) wrote the screenplay forNatural Born Killers while traveling cross-country with Alabama. But the script ended up being over 500 pages long, so Tarantino decided to split it up into separate movies.

9. FROM DUSK TILL DAWN WAS TARANTINO’S FIRST PAID WRITING GIG.

He wrote the script for the film, which Robert Rodriguez directed, for $1500. Tarantino wrote the From Dusk Till Dawn script as a way to showcase the talents of a special effects company called KNB. In return, KNB agreed to provide the special effects for the “ear scene” inReservoir Dogs free of charge.

10. MICHAEL KEATON PLAYED HIS JACKIE BROWN CHARACTER IN ANOTHER MOVIE.

YouTube
Keaton plays FBI agent Ray Nicolette in Jackie Brown. One year later, he reprised the role for Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight (both movies were based on Elmore Leonard novels).

11. TARANTINO DIRECTED RESERVOIR DOGS BECAUSE TONY SCOTT DIDN’T.

Because he was still new to the business, Tarantino knew he couldn’t direct both True Romance and Reservoir Dogs. So he gave both scripts to Tony Scott and told him to pick one. Though Scott wanted both of the films, he ended up choosing True Romance, leaving Tarantino to make Reservoir Dogs.

12. BRUCE WILLIS COULD’VE BEEN SUED IF HE RECEIVED A SCREEN CREDIT FOR FOUR ROOMS.

YouTube
As a favor to his friend/Pulp Fiction director, Bruce Willis appeared in Tarantino’s “The Man from Hollywood” segment in Four Rooms for free. Which is a no-no as far as the Screen Actors Guild is concerned. In order to avoid a possible lawsuit for violating guild rules, Willis received no screen credit for his part.

13. PULP FICTION’S VINCENT VEGA WAS WRITTEN FOR MICHAEL MADSEN.

Tarantino specifically wrote a number of roles in the film for chosen actors (including Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, and Amanda Plummer), but nothing compared to his dedication to having Michael Madsen play Vincent. Madsen, who knew of Tarantino’s plans and said he wanted to do the part, dropped out two weeks before the script was finished to star in Wyatt Earp.

14. ELI ROTH DIRECTED INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS’ FILM-WITHIN-A-FILM.


The director best known for horror films such as Hostel and Cabin Fever also appears inInglourious Basterds as Donny Donowitz. The faux Nazi propaganda film Nation’s Pride, seen in Chapter Five, lasts just over six minutes.

15. “THE MAN FROM HOLLYWOOD” IS BASED ON A ROALD DAHL STORY.

Tarantino’s segment in Four Rooms is based on a Roald Dahl short story, Man from the South, which was previously adapted for a 1960 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

16. TARANTINO THINKS HE “OVER-TWEAKED” DEATH PROOF.

And even said so in an interviewStill, he said he was proud of the film.

17. MICHAEL FASSBENDER REPLACED SIMON PEGG IN INGLOURIOUSBASTERDS.

YouTube
Before Michael Fassbender was cast to lead Operation Kino, Tarantino wanted Simon Pegg to play Archie Hicox. Pegg had to drop out to shoot the motion capture for Steven Spielberg’sTintin, a decision which Pegg said caused him “agony.”

18. LEONARDO DICAPRIO HAD SOME ISSUES WITH ALL THE RACIAL SLURS IN DJANGO UNCHAINED.

Co-star Jamie Foxx once shared that DiCaprio was rather uncomfortable shooting a scene that required him to repeat a number of racial slurs. Sensing his discomfort, Foxx recalled that Samuel L. Jackson took DiCaprio aside and gave him a sort-of pep talk: “Hey, mother***er, this is just another Tuesday for us. Let’s go.”

19. ROBERT RODRIGUEZ DIRECTED PARTS OF PULP FICTION.

When Tarantino is on screen as Jimmie, someone else had to be behind the camera—and that someone was frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez

20. IN TURN, TARANTINO DIRECTED A SCENE IN SIN CITY.

This scene.
MF

Quote/Unquote

It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.
Darrin Weinberg

Viz Bits

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 16.37.56

Origins

The salt of the earth

Meaning

Those of great worth and reliability.

Origin

The phrase 'the salt of the earth' derives from the Bible, Matthew 5:13 (King James Version):
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
The positivity towards salt in this phrase conflicts with many other uses of the word salt, which has also been used express negative concepts; for example, in the Middle Ages, salt was spread on land to poison it, as a punishment to landowners who had transgressed against society in some way.
It seems that the 'excellent' meaning in 'the salt of the earth' was coined in reference to the value of salt. This is reflected in other old phrases too, for example, the aristocratic and powerful of the earth were 'above the salt' and valued workers were 'worth their salt'.
'The salt of the earth' was first published in English in Chaucer's Summoner's Tale, circa 1386, although Chaucer undoubtedly took his lead from Latin versions of the Bible:
Ye been the salt of the erthe and the savour.

The Phrase Finder

The Power Fades

Sixteen-time world champion Phil Taylor suffered a major upset as he was beaten 4 - 3 by Dutchman Jelle Klaasen in the last 16 of the PDC World Championship.

All the big names are getting knocked out, but it's compelling stuff.

Star Wars DYK?

QF-934

IotD

New formula "improvements" for foodstuffs that isn't.  Ggrr...

The Dawn of 2016

Tomorrow we wake up to a new year and if it's half as much fun as 2015 has been, we shall be in for a treat.  Have a happy Hogmanay and have a cracking hangover.  :o)

As We're on the Subject

Shaun Of The Dead. Hot Fuzz. The World’s End. Now, with the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy now complete, and the ice cream almost melted from the cone, Empire sat down with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright to get the real scoops for a very special podcast. Taken from that 75-minute slice of fried podcast gold, here are some of the things you may not have known about the three films...
Shaun Of The Dead Behind-The-Scenes
1 As they prepared Shaun Of The Dead, Wright and Pegg had never written together before. They insist they were very studious in the process, though, and relied heavily on Syd Field's book, The Definitive Guide To Screenwriting: "We would try and match the events in the movie to his act chart... The reason why we read all these books was because we'd never written a film before." Pegg admits Spaced was more unconventional and anarchic, so writing a film proved to be a very different experience: "We were just curious to see if those rules did apply, and they did. And really good, well-structured movies that genuinely satisfy you – Raiders, those kinds of films that just leave you thinking, 'Oh, that was great' – tend to have a development which is fairly uniform... We basically discovered that we weren't going to write three consecutive sitcom episodes – we had to write a different kind of animal." - - - - - -
2 Wright is still angry that his first feature, A Fistful Of Fingers, got one star from Empire (since bumped up to three). "Thank you [then Reviews Editor] Caroline Westbrook! I haven't memorised the review. The only nice thing that it said was, 'There's just enough talent in the director to predict that he might be ashamed in the future...'" Not that he's holding too many grudges today: "I think when I made that film – which is very, very silly – I had a sort of a moment when I'd made it, afterwards when I was editing it, when I suddenly realised I'd committed something to film and there was no way back... I realised the big difference between an amateur film and a professional film – and I was very much still in the amateur camp." - - - - - -
3 Pre-Spaced, Wright directed French & Saunders' Titanic-themed Christmas Special way back in 1998. "It seems bizarre when that's on UK Gold, and I go, 'Oh yeah, I shot that...'"Shaun Of The Dead cast4 When they were writing Shaun, Pegg was a lot more optimistic than Wright. "I just assumed it would get done. Edgar was obviously more in touch with [long-time producer] Nira Park... and reality." The film was initially developed at Film4, but the company had to give it up, forcing the duo and Park to pitch it to other (hopefully) interested parties, including Working Title. Wright remembers it as a very tense year, not knowing if the project would happen at all. In the end, Simon and Edgar were in Iceland (the country, not the frozen food shop) just before Christmas in 2002, when they got the call from Working Title that Shaun was going to get made. They started shooting the following March. - - - - - -
5 Wright still owes Pegg £600 from that period – perhaps explaining the same debt Gary repays to Andy in The World's End. At that point, Wright was heavily in the red, having turned down various TV offers just in case Shaun got the green light. His landlord even reduced his rent for him. But it was all for the best, as Pegg reflects: "It just shows how in certain situations with getting films made, you have to hold your nerve. If you don't, these chances slip by, and thank goodness [Edgar] did." - - - - - -
6 Nick Frost not only waited tables between series 1 and 2 of Spaced, but even after series 2.
Dawn Of The Dead 2004
7 By complete coincidence, Shaun was released very close to the 2004 remake of Dawn Of The Dead (above), causing slight alarm for Wright. He went so far as to get hold of a script of the remake, just to make sure they weren't doing anything too similar. There was one element that happened to be in the scripts for both films – a jogger, who would have become the only running zombie in Shaun – so Wright quietly removed it... only to find no trace of it in the finished Dawn either. - - - - - -
8 The internet saved Shaun's (American) bacon. Initially, the film was destined to go straight to video in the USA, until the buzz started to build. "It's fair to say that the internet buzz in the States, on websites like Ain't It Cool, got it a [theatrical] release in the US," Wright admits. - - - - - -
9 They found writing their second Cornetto installment surprisingly tricky. As Pegg remembers, "Hot Fuzz was like that difficult second album. The initial draft for Hot Fuzz was like 185 pages long. It didn't have the leanness or the economy of Shaun Of The Dead... It was a much more strenuous sculpting of the first draft down to something leaner." By the time The World's End came about, Wright says they found the process a lot easier: "Of the three scripts, The World's End was the most fun to write. It'd been in our brains for so long that when we actually turned on the tap it just came all flooding out."X-Men Origins: Wolverine10 Wright was asked to be in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (above), but declined – "I have the hair, but I do not have the body." - - - - - -
11 They're not allergic to improvisation (see: "Smashy Smash Egg Men"), but it's not at the heart of how they make their films. Pegg thinks it has something to do with Wright's stylish directing: "One of the key films that was an influence on us was Raising Arizona. And when I watched that film when I was a kid, I realised that the directorial style of the movie was almost like a character in the film... That's the thing with our films: Edgar's directorial style is like a character. We have to be in line with Edgar's directorial style – and that's not a burden on us, it helps us enormously." - - - - - -
12 If Wright had his way, it was going to be calledHott Fuzz. He didn't see eye to eye with Pegg, who was mostly apprehensive of being asked about the extra t in every Q&A he would do subsequently. Eventually Edgar relented, and the one t stuck: "I think that was always the top title – the only other one was Blue Fury, but Hot Fuzz just jumped out more." Meanwhile, Shaun Of The Dead was originally titled Teatime Of The Dead, while The World's End never changed. It was a name close to their heart, as they had a lot of history at the Camden pub of the same name, including filming the alley gunfight in Spaced next door.
The World's End Gary King
13 Wright shares a birthday with Hitler. BREAKING NEWS: Wright has subsequently contacted us to say that he was born two days before the German dictator. Well, two days before and 85 years afterwards. - - - - - -
14 Originally The World's End was going to end with Gary King going back in time to rejoin his younger friends. It was to be in the third act, but in the end, Wright decided, "It just felt like it was too late to introduce that. And if you're going to make a film about time travel, it may as well be the entirefilm." In addition, it felt a little too similar to Back To The Future Part II and Hot Tub Time Machine, so it was scrapped in favour of Gary roaming the land with his younger blank friends. - - - - - -
15 Wright used to scream with disgust every time Pegg made out with Rose Reynolds when filming The World's End. You'll have to listen to the podcast for the full effect...The World's End Edgar Wright16 They're proud of smuggling in a certain honesty and sadness within the three films. This is one of the things Wright's most happy with: "There is a Trojan horse element to these movies. We're able to put so much of ourselves in there. Everything in there is from our lives. We've been there. We've been those characters." - - - - - -
17 When The World's End was being cast, someone at the studio got a little worried that Paddy Considine might not be handsome enough to play Steven, the romantic lead. "To be fair," Edgar adds, "they were thinking of him mostly in Bourne Ultimatum, where he's quite downtrodden." On his wrap gift, Wright wrote to Considine, "You were awesome and handsome." - - - - - -
18 Wright has a voice cameo in The World's End. Listen out for him as Gary wanders through Steven's building site, when a digger drops its bricks. It's Wright who shouts, "Oh, for fuck's sake!"
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