Many hope for snow on Christmas. Frank Capra demanded it. The “It’s a Wonderful Life” director wouldn’t settle for the fake snow other movies of 1940s typically used to create a winter set. He wanted real snow for his Christmas classic. The above never-before-seen photos from LIFE.com show the set of the 1946 flick, which used a revolutionary new technique to create more realistic snow. The artificial snow created for the film was costly, but it blanketed the fictional town of Bedford Falls and changed how snow would be depicted in holiday movies to come.
If you watch the DVD, Capra´s son, the now-late Frank Jr., explained the cumbersome process for the snow on set. Quite a challenge, especially given the 90 degree temps outside anyhow. The final result was worth it.
LOS ANGELES -- Michael Ansara, a television and movie actor whose roles included a Klingon on "Star Trek," has died. A longtime friend and spokesman for Ansara says the actor died Wednesday at his home in Calabasas, Calif. after a long illness. He was 91. Besides the "Star Trek" role, Ansara appeared on dozens of TV shows, including "Broken Arrow," "Law of the Plainsman," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Hawaii 5-0" and "Murder, She Wrote." His film credits include "Julius Caesar," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and "The Comancheros" with John Wayne.
How much do you like courgettes, the green vegetable Americans call zucchini? According to one Facebook page devoted to them, hundreds of people find them delightful enough to click the "like" button – even with dozens of other pages about courgettes to choose from. There´s just one problem: the liking was fake, done by a team of low-paid workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose boss demanded just $15 per thousand "likes" at his "click farm". Workers punching the keys might be on a three-shift system, and be paid as little as $120 a year.
Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card that President Obama is being challenged by foreign policy, employment and the New York political scandals, keeping his approval rating down. "A week of trials and travails for the president. The ´New World Order´ is not as uncomplicated as the Cold War. A resurgent Russia, led by a former wrestler and KGB-operative, flexed its muscles and decided to give Edward Snowden a one-year asylum. So Russia now supports transparency? Yikes! Iran´s new reform-minded president reminded us, on the eve of his inauguration, that ´reform´ must mean different things
A group of property owners who voiced concern about the proposed wind farm on Lookout Mountain have filed suit against the two companies involved in the project and some of their neighbors who allegedly have agreed to have wind turbines placed on their property. The suit was filed Thursday by attorneys Tom King and Jeff Kirby on behalf of a group of about 32 landowners against Noccalula Wind LLC and Pioneer Green Energy and property owners Steve Shaneyfelt, Tim Shaneyfelt, Michael Shaneyfelt, Sara Box, Jeffrey Walker, Emily King, Chris King, Donald Chandler and Margaret Adams Moon.
Lit fireworks thrown into crowds. Purses and phones stolen. Gangs beating up people and fighting with each other on Oak Street Beach. Those are some of the occurrences callers reported to 9-1-1 operators on the night of the July 4. CBS 2´s Suzanne Le Mignot reviewed tapes of the calls. At 9:23 p.m., a 9-1-1 call is made about fireworks being set off among crowds of people at Oak Street Beach. “We’re over here by Division and Lake Shore Drive by Oak Street Beach, and there’s a crowd of people throwing M-80´s by the people,” one called tells
On Monday, the Eliot Spitzer campaign announced it had hired Lis Smith, former Director of Rapid Response for Obama´s reelection, as a spokesperson. It is the second Obama campaign veteran Spitzer has hired for his political comeback race for NYC Comptroller. Sources have told Breitbart News the staffing up of PR specialists is due to growing rumors that Spitzer is engaged in an affair with a married woman. Spitzer was forced to resign as Governor of the Empire State after revelations surfaced that he was a frequent client of a high-end prostitution network. His recently announced run for city Comptroller
Virginia candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe bypassed state law to acquire land for his “green car” factory in Mississippi and invited President Obama to attend an event for the company that subsequently bogged down in a wide-ranging scandal. Documents obtained by Cause of Action through a Freedom of Information Act request indicate Obama considered attending the rollout of GreenTech Automotive’s first electric car. McAuliffe was the chairman of the company, but quietly resigned in December 2012. GreenTech is currently embroiled in a scandal over the company’s EB-5 visas. (RELATED: Virginia lawmakers pressure McAuliffe over GreenTech scandal)
A judge ordered one of Chicago’s most politically powerful labor unions to suspend picketing against 16 funeral homes last week after receiving reports that striking Teamsters had, among other things, disturbed a child’s funeral. SCI Illinois Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest funeral home chains, asked a district court to intervene after striking funeral directors and drivers with Teamsters Local 727 allegedly harassed grieving families. “We are grateful that the court agreed to issue this temporary restraining order, and we are hopeful that it will help protect grieving families who are experiencing the most difficult times of their lives,”
Serial sexter Anthony Weiner’s wife partly blamed herself last year when her horndog husband confessed to her that he was at it again. Friends and family told People magazine that Huma Abedin was kicking herself at the time for bailing out of couples counseling and focusing more on their newborn baby boy. But, thanks to a new round of joint therapy that continues even now, the couple was able to put the relapse behind them. “They really became a unit, and she feels much closer to Anthony now,” a relative told the magazine. That’s a long way from how Abedin
Bill O’Reilly has been on a justified tear against the “grievance industry” and its CEO, Al Sharpton. Sharpton fired back on his low-rated MSNBC show Tuesday, and sounded like he was blaming Trayvon Martin’s parents and the Sanford police — anyone but himself and his own choice to get involved and make it a huge racial moment. If the justice system wasn’t so biased towards minorities, Sharpton argued, then maybe he wouldn’t have to express so many grievances. “If the police in Sanford had acted justly, maybe Trayvon Martin’s parents wouldn’t have had a grievance
I think he’s going to end up not running, but if his favorables stay this high, maybe he has no choice. He’s technically “next in line” and he’d make a decent compromise candidate (as would fellow Wisconsinite Scott Walker) for righties who are leery of Christie, Paul, and Rubio for various reasons. Second look at Paul Ryan? Are Ryan’s numbers really that surprising? He’s been overlooked on blogs lately because we’ve all been busy shaking our fists at Rubio over immigration and gawking at the Rand Paul/Chris Christie brawl, but thanks to 2012, Ryan’s name recognition is sky high.
WASHINGTON — Sarah Palin´s leadership PAC spent nearly $500,000 during the first six months of the year, and made just one donation to a political candidate, new campaign filings show. Much of Sarah PAC´s money went to operating expenses, including more than $217,000 paid to consultants and more than $124,000 on postage and mailings. More than $48,000 covered airfare and other travel expenses. Palin, the GOP´s 2008 vice presidential nominee and former Alaska governor, recently said she has "considered" mounting a Senate challenge next year to Alaska´s Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, one of his party´s most vulnerable incumbents.
Colin Powell has admitted to exchanging ´very personal´ emails with a Romanian diplomat but denies having an affair with the much younger woman after a hacker threatened to release their intimate messages. The 76-year-old retired general told the Smoking Gun that he met Corina Cretu, 45, roughly 10 years ago when she was working as an assistant to the president of Romania. She is now a member of the European Parliament. ´After I left the Department of State in January 2005 we stayed in touch via email,´ he told TSG.
CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya. Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret. CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy
The United States will temporarily shut down its embassies and consulates around the world Sunday, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt, as a precautionary measure, the State Department said Thursday. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf did not say how long the international installations would stay closed -- only that the decision was taken “out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting.” Sunday is a normal workday in many Arab and Middle Eastern countries. Embassies in Europe and Latin America would be shuttered that day anyway.
American scientists claim the planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate in the past 65 million years. Climatologists at Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment have warned the likely rate of change over the next century will be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift since the dinosaurs became extinct. If the trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive, they said.
About 400 area retail and fast-food workers, together with colleagues nationally, participated in a strike Thursday to demand raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. “If not $15, then something. I mean give us something. I work 36 hours a week and barely make enough to pay my rent, gas bill, light bill. It gets to the point where I barely have enough for lunch sometimes,” said Angel Richardson, 21, who works at McDonald’s. “I’m five months pregnant, what am I going to do in four months? I hope something changes.” The minimum wage is $7.25 nationally and $8.25
Executive Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Mark Glaze gave some ambiguous and potentially dangerous self defense advice Friday on “Hardball.” Glaze, speaking in opposition to “Stand Your Ground” laws, said in a circumstance where someone “comes at you” with an axe handle one should attempt to either “talk,” “fight with your fists,” “run away,” or “deescalate the situation,” but not shoot the attacker: MARK GLAZE: Very often somebody will come at you. They might want to have a fistfight. They might come at you with an ax handle. CHRIS MATTHEWS: Would you consider the guy with the ax handle armed or not?
The administration has popped the bubble of hope some small business had that switching to part-time staff would let them escape the high costs of Obamacare. The Small Business Administration on Thursday created a website to explain to businesses that the government will simply tally up the number of part-time employees firms have to determine if enough hours have been worked to essentially create a "full-time equivalent." Some smaller businesses had thought that if they could get under the 50 full-time employee cap that activates Obamacare by cutting full-time workers and hiring more part-time workers they would escape
Government workers in the city of Seattle have been advised that the terms "citizen" and "brown bag" are potentially offensive and may no longer be used in official documents and discussions. KOMO-TV reports that the city´s Office of Civil Rights instructed city workers in a recent internal memo to avoid using the words because some may find them offensive. "Luckily, we´ve got options," Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights wrote in the memo obtained by the station. "For ´citizens,´ how about ´residents?´"
Citing a potential al Qaeda attack, the State Department on Friday issued a worldwide travel alert and warned American citizens that the terrorist group may be plotting a strike in the Middle East, North Africa or elsewhere. “Current information suggests that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” reads a portion of the alert, which lasts until the end of the month.
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) suggested on Friday morning that the tea party movement is comprised of the same types of people who fought against the civil rights movement during the 1960s. Speaking with the Daily Beast, Rangel said of the movement: “It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. He added that the tea party movement can be defeated similar to how the civil rights movement eradicated Jim Crow mentality: “It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused
The nation´s most active death penalty state is running out of its execution drug. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Thursday that its remaining supply of phenobarbital expires in September and that no alternatives have been found. It wasn´t immediately clear whether two executions scheduled for next month would be delayed. The state has already executed 11 death-row inmates this year, and at least seven more have execution dates in coming months. "We will be unable to use our current supply of phenobarbital after it expires," agency spokesman Jason Clark said. "We are exploring all options at this time."
Congressional investigators this week released emails suggesting that staff at the Federal Election Commission have been engaged in their own conservative targeting, with help from the IRS´s infamous Lois Lerner. This means more than just an expansion of the probe to the FEC. It´s a new link to the Obama team. In May this column noted that the targeting of conservatives started in 2008, when liberals began a coordinated campaign of siccing the federal government on political opponents. The Obama campaign helped pioneer this tactic. In late summer of 2008, Obama lawyer Bob Bauer took