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24 Fun Facts about Steve Carell

It’s a freaking scary world out there…but thankfully, we have Steve Carell.

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Best known for his role as Michael Scott in the US version of The Office, Carell is arguably one of America’s most versatile comics. He’s done it all – movies, TV, commercials, stage acting…he’s taken on hilarious roles, goofy roles, serious roles and scary roles. Not only is he talented, but he’s beloved by almost everyone who has the pleasure of working with him.

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Today is Carell’s 56th birthday, and whether you love him as the adorkable Michael Scott, the hilarious Brick Tamland or Andy the Virgin, or as one of his more serious characters in Dan in Real Life, Little Miss Sunshine, or Foxcatcher, there’s no denying Carell has got some awesome acting chops.

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To celebrate this genuine loveable man on his b-day, here are 24 fun facts about Steve Carell!

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24 Fun Facts about Steve Carell

Carell is the son of an electrical engineer (father) and a psychiatric nurse (mother).

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Carell was editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper.

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Carell’s original plan was to become a lawyer. He attended Ohio’s Denison University, where he received a history degree in 1984 before planning on to continue with law school.

While at Dennison college, Carell became a member of the country’s oldest collegiate improv troupe, Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company.

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Carell met his wife, Nancy Walls, while at the famed Second City in Chicago.

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Carell also applied for a role on SNL, but lost out to Will Ferrell.

The 1991 film, Curly Sue, was Carell’s film debut.

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But it was The Dana Carvey Show that helped advance Carell’s career. He worked in the writer’s room alongside Stephen Colbert, Louis CK, Robert Smigel, Bob Odenkirk, and Charlie Kaufman.

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Carell’s friendship with Colbert led directly to his breakout role on The Daily Show. He was on The Daily Show for more than 5 years.

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Like his foil, Michael Scott (The Office), Carell also loves hockey. His favorite position is goalkeeper and he even plays for a men’s league in Burbank, CA.

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Carell is maybe best known for his role as Michael Scott; however, producer Ricky Gervais was considering a whole handful of other actors before Carell even popped up. This list included Paul Giamatti, Hank Azaria, Bob Odenkirk, and Martin Short.

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But Carell would go on to win a Golden Globe for the role in 2006 and would come to rack up 12 other Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of Michael Scott. In totality, Carell has been nominated for more than 120 awards and has won only 33 of them.

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Both Carell and his wife own a general store in Marshfield, Massachusetts. Residents claim that Carell will occasionally stop in and help stock shelves.

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Carell’s wife has appeared alongside Steve in several of his projects, including The Office, The 40-Year Old Virgin, and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

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The famous chest-waxing scene in The 40-Year Old Virgin was real. He wanted his reactions to be as life-like as possible. What a pro!

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Carell’s role in Little Miss Sunshine (Uncle Frank) – and arguably one of my favorite role’s of his – was actually written for Bill Murray. The role almost went to Robin Williams before Carell was ultimately cast.

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Carell is also a talented fife player.

James Spader was actually gunning for the role of Brick Tamland in Anchorman…but producers thought he was too good for the role. Spader would go on to replace Carell in The Office after Carell left the show.

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For his role in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Carell actually learned a few magic tricks from David Copperfield. He had to sign a non-disclosure agreement swearing him to secrecy.

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Before Sean Penn starred as Harvey Milk in the biopic, Milk, Carell was cast to play Milk in the film, The Mayor of Castro Street. Carell’s film got scrapped after Penn’s film was released.

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Carell was awarded star number 2,570 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 6, 2016. Both Adam McKay and Will Ferrell accompanied him and helped unveil the star.

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Carell gave a commencement speech to the graduates of Princeton University, one of whom was his niece, in 2012.

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For his Oscar-nominated performance in Foxcatcher, Carell went full-method for the part, not interacting with his co-stars or crew on set. His fellow co-star, Mark Ruffalo, said he found Carell “terrifying” while filming.

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The director of Foxcatcher claimed that Carell’s character John du Pont was so unpredictable that he wanted to cast someone that no one would ever imagine playing that role.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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19 Fun Facts about Johnny Bravo

Man, I’m pretty!

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In the early 90’s, TBS founder Ted Turner wanted to build an animation empire. His production company purchased Hanna-Barbera (The Flintstones, Space Ghost, Scooby Doo) and launched Cartoon Network in 1992.

The network continued airing those nostalgic cartoons, but Turner was committed to creating unique, original content to get that younger generation hooked on animation.

On July 14, 1997, Cartoon Network debuted a show that would become a cornerstone of that move towards fresh, new content: Johnny Bravo.

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Now, let’s get one thing straight here. I LOVE Johnny Bravo. I love him so much that if you don’t like him, I might have to question our friendship 😉 (not really, but maybe…)

And it would seem that I’m not alone. As a matter of fact, most of the viewers of this classic cartoon are women…and they love it. I don’t know if it’s Johnny’s adorable charm, hilarious chauvinist yet loveable (?) attitude, or the fact that he loves his momma, but this man has a place in the hearts of women all over the world.

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of this narcissistic greaser with the killer pompadour, here are 19 fun facts about Johnny Bravo!

19 Fun Facts about Johnny Bravo

The fact that Johnny sounds just like Elvis is no coincidence. Creator Efram Giovanni Bravo (!) Partible wanted voice actor, Jeff Bennett, to create a mix of old and young Elvis for Johnny’s voice.

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Elvis wasn’t the only inspiration, though. James Dean, Danny Zuko (Grease), and Michael Jackson were also inspirations into how Johnny looked and moved.

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Speaking of Jeff Bennett, here’s what the voice of Johnny Bravo looks like…in all his forms! This guy’s got some talent!

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Naturally, the competition was tough for this role, but what allowed Bennett to get the part was his ability to do the karate chop sound effect with his mouth without skipping a beat!

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Three of Johnny Bravo’s biggest supporters at Cartoon Network were women. Ellen Cockrill, Janet Mazotti, and Julie Kane-Ritsch fought to keep this loveable chauvinist on air.

And they weren’t alone. When creators showed the first episode to viewers, every woman in the audience was applauding…just goes to show you he’s a total ladies’ man!

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Johnny Bravo was based on Partible’s senior thesis project, an animated short called Mess o’ Blues. The short featured an Elvis impersonator with jet black hair and a white jumpsuit. There has been no official release of the short, though some snippets of footage do exist.

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Much of the animation of Johnny Bravo was inspired by Al Hirshfeld illustrations. Hirshfeld, who was famous for his caricatures, inspired Bravo’s head and hair, specifically.

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Johnny Bravo was Partible’s first rendezvous into TV.

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The legendary Joe Barbera was a weekly visitor to the Bravo writer’s room.

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Johnny Bravo also helped launch the careers of Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) and Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents). MacFarlane was a writer and storyboard artist while Hartman was a writer and director.

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PS: Wanna know more about Family Guy? Check out this post on 32 Fun Facts about Family Guy!

There was talk of a Johnny Bravo movie, starring The Rock, in 2002. The Rock is apparently a huge fan of the cartoon and was completely on board until the project fell through.

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Johnny Bravo is one of five original Cartoon Network shows. He’s so much a part of Cartoon Network that he’s the mascot of Tooner Field.

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India loves Johnny Bravo. Like, LOVES him. So much so that his name was added to their dictionary. It is used to describe someone with a personality similar to Johnny Bravo himself.

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Farrah Fawcett, who also loved the show, made a guest appearance as Little Suzy’s cousin.

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We may not know how old Johnny is, but is birthday is February 14th. How appropriate!

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The name “Johnny Bravo” was inspired by an episode of The Brady Brunch, where Greg got signed on to be a rock star named Johnny Bravo.

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Johnny gets hit by something in every single episode of the series.

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There’s also a theory that Johnny Bravo predicted 9/11. In a scene aired on April 27, 2001, a film poster appears to show a burning tower emitting a smoke cloud with the words, “COMING SOON”. Four months later, the attack on the Twin Towers happened.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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28 Fun Facts about Louis Armstrong

From 1994 to 2007, I was a proud, well-trained, 100% bonified band nerd. I was in pep band, marching band, orchestra, concert band, and – my original love – jazz band. My instrument of choice was the trumpet and my goal in life was to play “Hail to the Chief” for the President of the United States.

The reasons behind this have been explained on my blog before (it involves Abraham Lincoln and Bug Hall and nothing related to today’s post), but in an effort to improve my skills and become worthy of playing for the Prez, I had to study the greats…

And as any self-respecting jazz trumpeter will tell you, there’s really no one better than Louis Armstrong.

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I grew up listening to Satchmo, even before I decided to dedicate my life to playing the trumpet. I loved his unique voice, his stylistic playing, and his overall joy for life. He is one half of one of my all-time favorite records, Ella & Louis Together, and stars in one of my all-time favorite movies, High Society (which also stars my one and only Frank Sinatra!).

Born August 4, 1901, Armstrong had a rough life, growing up in the deep south at a time that made life challenging for anyone of color. As luck would have it, a simple twist of fate set Armstrong’s life in motion, and he would go on to record some of the most influential jazz albums of all time.

He is often called “The Father of Jazz” and is even credited with inventing the popular ‘scat’ technique. He’s created jazz foundations, served as a jazz ambassador for the US, and developed a sound so unique that anyone could pretty much identify a song by ol’ Pops pretty much instantly.

Armstrong died of a heart attack in his sleep on July 6, 1971, a month before his 70th birthday. Even after his passing, Armstrong continues to influence the music community, receiving several honors, including induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, posthumously.

In celebration of the impact Armstrong has had on the music industry and on the lives of musicians all over the world, including mine, here are 28 fun facts about Louis Armstrong!

28 Fun Facts about Louis Armstrong

Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father abandoned his family after Armstrong’s birth and his mother was a prostitute who frequently left Armstrong to his maternal grandmother.

While growing up, Armstrong did assorted jobs for the Karnofskys, a family of Lithuanian-Jewish immigrants. They gave him monetary compensation, a hot meal every night, and regular invitations to Shabbat dinners. They even gave him a $5 advance so he could buy his first horn. In honor of that family, Armstrong wore the Star of David around his neck throughout adulthood.

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After being arrested at the age of 11 for firing a gun into the air, Armstrong was sent to the Waifis’ Home for Boys, where he received his first cornet lesson.

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For nearly 10 years, Armstrong did not play in his hometown of New Orleans because it did not allow integrated bands. He returned in 1965 after the Civil Rights Act passed and “…triumphantly played with an integrated band in the city’s Jazz Museum.”

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, established and funded by Armstrong in 1969, was devoted to providing education in the history of music and jazz.

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Armstrong was famously very quiet about race issues in the United States and refused to speak on the topic until he heard the news about the Arkansas National Guard refusing to let black students from entering Little Rock High School. He told the media, “The way they are treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell!”

Armstrong pronounced his name ‘Louis’, but adopted and answered to the nickname, ‘Louie’.

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Armstrong’s wide smile earned him the name “Satchelmouth” when he was a kid. This later became “Satchmo”, when a reporter mistook the name when he met Armstrong. Armstrong liked the revised nickname so much that he used it for an autobiography and had it engraved on some of his instruments.

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Armstrong was married 4 times throughout his life. Though he loved kids, he never produced children with any of his wives.

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Armstrong was one of the first celebrities to be arrested for drug possession. He made no secret of his fondness for marijuana, which he described as “…a thousand times better than whiskey.” He served 9 days in jail after being busted with the drug outside the Cotton Club in California.

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But that didn’t stop him from smoking a joint now and then. Armstrong said that smoking weed “…makes you forget all the bad things that happen to a Negro.” He continued using the drug for the rest of his life.

Before Armstrong married his fourth wife, Lucille, he made sure she could make his favorite food: rice and beans.

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He actually loved rice and beans so much that he signed his letters, “Red Beans and Ricely Yours”.

He loved performing so much that there were some years he appeared in more than 300 concerts.

One of Armstrong’s most well-known songs, “What a Wonderful World” didn’t even make a blimp in America until nearly 20 years after Armstrong died (thanks to its inclusion in the Good Morning, Vietnam soundtrack).

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Armstrong is also said to have invented ‘scat’, the art of making musical instrument noises with the human voice.

Armstrong’s personality won him fans of all races and religions, something rare for his time.

When he met the Pope Pius XII in 1949, the Pope asked him if he had children. Armstrong replied, “No, daddy, but we’re workin’ on it!”

Armstrong is quoted with saying, “Without jazz, there wouldn’t be any rock n’ roll.” For his early influence on the rock n’ roll genre, Armstrong was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Armstrong was deemed ‘America’s Jazz Ambassador’, traveling to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe on Goodwill missions arranged by the US State Department.

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Armstrong did not show his face at many race rallies or marches; however, he did donate money to the civil rights movement after the attack in Selma, Alabama.

During Armstrong’s lifetime, only one of his recordings ever reached the No. 1 Billboard spot in the US: his 1964 cover of “Hello, Dolly”, which pushed the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” from the top spot on the Hot 100 List.

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Armstrong also won the Male Vocal Performance Grammy Award for “Hello, Dolly”.

One year after Armstrong passed away, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Armstrong recorded more than 60 records, several of which have been named some of the most influential jazz records in history. He recorded them all in a span of 3 years.

The home Armstrong and his wife, Lucille, lived in for nearly 30 years is now a museum about the entertainer, called simply the Louis Armstrong House. It’s located in Queens, NY.

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When Armstrong died of a heart attack at the age of 69, an estimated 25,000 people attended his funeral.

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Among the honorary pallbearers were Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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67 Fun Facts about the Planets

I’ve said several times that if I was born with a scientific mind, I’d want to be an astronomer. I love learning about space and our Solar System and the thought that there might be life out there in the universe is both fascinating and terrifying to me.

Sometimes when I’m bored or can’t fall asleep, I’ll just stumble various space sites and learn about the planets that make up our Solar System. Much like researching the Jon Benet Ramsey case at 2 am looking for the clue that will crack the case, part of me thinks maybe, just MAYBE, I’ll stumble upon something, well, out of this world.

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One article I found particularly interesting was that the planets don’t rotate around the sun like they’re on a racing track, as some TV shows and pictures would have you believe…they actually move in interesting oval patterns, with poor Pluto just on a path all it’s own:

Image result for planet gifsWhite is Mercury, light blue is Venus, brown is Earth, purple is Mars, grey is Jupiter, red is Saturn, yellow is Uranus, green is Neptune, dark blue is Pluto

If you also love learning about the vastness of our amazing Solar System, check out these fun facts about the planets.

67 Fun Facts about the Planets

MERCURY

Here’s  a picture of Mercury compared to Earth:

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Mercury does not have any moons or rings.

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A year on Mercury takes 88 Earth days.

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The diameter of Mercury is about 3,031 miles, making it the smallest planet in our Solar System.

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The surface of Mercury that faces the sun sees temperatures upwards of 800 degrees F, while the other side of the planet can see temperatures as low as -280 degrees F.

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Despite being the closest planet to the sun, Mercury is the second-hottest planet, with Venus having a hotter surface temperature than Mercury.

Mercury is also the most cratered planet in the Solar System. It does not possess the ability to “self-heal” like other planets.

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Because it’s so close to the sun, Mercury is a hard planet for us to visit. Only two space crafts have ever visited: the Mariner 10 in 1974 and 1975 and the Messenger probe in 2004.

The Hubble Space Telescope cannot view Mercury. This is because Mercury is too close to the Sun and the brightness would harm the electrical components of the telescope.

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VENUS

Here’s a picture of Venus compared to Earth:

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Venus is often called Earths “sister planet” due to their proximity in size.

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The rotation of Venus is so slow that it travels around the sun quicker than it can make one rotation on its axis. This means that Venus has a longer day than it does a year.

Venus is the brightest object in our night sky after our Moon.

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Like Mercury, Venus is also void of moons and rings.

Venus rotates in the opposite direction of most planets, known as retrograde rotation. A possible reason might be a collision with an asteroid or other object that caused the planet to alter its rotational path.

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Even though it’s not the closest planet to the sun, it’s certainly the hottest. The average surface temperature of Venus is about 863 degrees F.

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EARTH

The rotation of the Earth is gradually slowing, at about 17 milliseconds per one hundred years. This has the effect of lengthening our days, but it happens so slowly that it could take as long as 140 million years before the length of a day increases to 25 hours.

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The Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System.

Earth is also the only planet not named after a mythical god.

Scientists have estimated that there are nearly 2 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way alone.

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According to scientists, the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old.

The average temperature of Earth is about 55 degrees F.

Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth’s surface, meaning much of the planet has never even been explored.

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Due to our distance from the sun, it takes about 8 minutes for light to reach our planet.

MARS

Here’s a picture of Mars compared to Earth:

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Mars is home to the tallest mountain in the Solar System: Olympus Mons. This volcano is 13 miles high and 373 miles in diameter. Scientists believe it could still be active.

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As of September 2014, there have been more than 40 missions to Mars, 18 of which have been successful.

Mars also has the largest dust storms in the Solar System. They can last for months and cover the entire planet.

Mars rests comfortably 35 million miles away from us.

There are signs of liquid water on Mars, meaning life could – in some way, shape, or form – exist there.

JUPITER

Here’s a picture of Jupiter compared to Earth:

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Jupiter is two and a half times more massive than all the other planets in the Solar System COMBINED.

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Despite its size, Jupiter has the shortest day of all the planets. It turns on its axis once every 9 hours and 55 minutes.

Jupiter orbits the sun once every 11.8 Earth years.

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The big red spot on Jupiter is actually a storm that has been raging for at least 350 years. It’s so large that three Earths could fit inside it.

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Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, clocking in at about 3,200 miles in diameter, bigger than Mercury.

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If Earth was the size of a nickel, Jupiter would be about as big as a basketball.

The volume of Jupiter is great enough to hold 1,300 Earths.

Jupiter also has the most moons in the Solar System, housing 67 that we know of.

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SATURN

Here’s a picture of Saturn compared to Earth:

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Saturn is the most distant planet that can be seen with the naked eye.

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Saturn is mostly made up of hydrogen. Deep inside the planet, the hydrogen becomes metallic and there is a hot core in the center of the planet.

The famous Saturn rings are made mostly of chunks of ice and small amounts of carbonaceous dust. The rings stretch out to more than 75,000 miles from the planet and are incredibly thin, only about 65 feet thick.

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Saturn is also the only planet in the Solar System that is less dense than water…meaning that if there was a body of water large enough to hold it, the planet would float.

Saturn’s moon, Titan, is the only body in our Solar System beyond Earth that is known to have water on the surface.

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URANUS

Here’s a picture of Uranus compared to Earth:

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Uranus was the first planet discovered with the use of a telescope.

It also is tipped over on its side, with an axial tilt of 98 degrees. It’s often described as “rolling around the Sun on its side”.

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Uranus makes one trip around the sun every 84 Earth years.

The upper atmosphere of the planet is made of water, ammonia and methane ice crystals, giving it the pale blue color it’s known for.

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The only space craft to fly by Uranus was the Voyager 2 in 1986.

Like Venus, Uranus also spins opposite to the rest of the planets in the Solar System.

Uranus also has 13 unique rings.

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Due to the fashion in which it spins, portions of Uranus can have nights that last more than 40 years.

NEPTUNE

Here’s a picture of Neptune compared to Earth:

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It’s thought that Neptune actually formed much closer to the Sun before migrating to where it is now.

Neptune is not a solid planet, so it spins on its axis very rapidly (about takes about 18 hours to make one rotation).

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Neptune holds the record for the strongest winds in our Solar System. Wind speeds have gotten up to 1,300 mph.

“The Scooter” is a cloud that moves around Neptune about every 16 hours.

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Neptune is so far from Earth that it took the Voyager 2 TWELVE YEARS to get there.

PLUTO

In 2006, Pluto was demoted to “dwarf planet”, meaning it is a planetary-mass object being neither a planet nor a satellite (moon).

From the time Pluto was labeled as a planet, then demoted to a dwarf planet status (about 76 years), it never even completed a full rotation around the sun.

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As a matter of fact, one journey around the sun for this dwarf planet takes 248 Earth years. This means that since its discovery in 1930, it has yet to complete a full orbit.

Pluto is smaller than our moon.

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According to some astronomers, Pluto may have once been one of Neptune’s moons, but somehow broke out of the orbit.

One of the reasons Pluto was declassified as a planet was because there are asteroids in the Solar System that are bigger than Pluto.

Since its declassification, Pluto’s technical name is now 134340.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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32 Fun Facts about Family Guy

It seems today that all we see is violence in movies and sex on TV…and no one is going to exploit that quite like Family Guy.

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Chances are if there was a political faux pa, a media meltdown, a viral video or picture, or a celebrity feud in the past 20 years, Seth MacFarlane’s long-running cartoon was gonna bring it up and throw it right back in your face.

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Not shying away from any sensitive topic (I mean, they’ve covered everything from family abuse to creepy child-loving neighbors), Family Guy is a show that will make you laugh and cry. And personally, I LOVE it!

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Sure they have their up and down episodes, and when they killed off Brian I just about lost it, but Family Guy is always a show I know I can turn to when I need a laugh. No one is safe from MacFarlane’s clever, on-topic writing, and the characters that make up the town of Quahog, Rhode Island are nothing if not colorful reminders of people you surely know in your own life…in situations we can ALL relate to, TBH…

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Hard to believe, but Family Guy is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, and after 16 seasons and countless celebrity guest-stars, there’s no denying that Family Guy will go down (giggity) in history as one freakin’ sweet show!

Whether you’re a religious watcher or someone who tunes in now and again when it’s running late-night on Cartoon Network, here are 32 fun facts any beer drinkin’, TV watchin’, couch sittin’ fan is gonna love!

32 Fun Facts about Family Guy

Seth Green based Chris’s voice on Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.

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BFF’s Peter and Brian stemmed from creator Seth MacFarlane’s 1997 Cartoon Network short, Larry & Steve.

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BONUS FACT:  MacFarlane also worked on one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Johnny Bravo, as well as Dexter’s Laboratory, and Cow and Chicken.

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Family Guy was the first animated program since The Flinstones to be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmys. Take that, Homer Simpson! 😉

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In fact as of 2017, Family Guy has won 7 Emmy Awards.

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And speaking of The Flinstones, MacFarlane also used to work for Hanna-Barbera, the house of The Flinstones and The Jetsons. There are several references to both of these TV shows in Family Guy because of MacFarlane’s affection and familiarity with those characters.

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The Family Guy intro plays tribute to All in the Family. MacFarlane loved the classic 70s sitcom and wanted to pay homage to it in his own show.

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After Family Guy was cancelled for the second time, more than 100,000 fans signed a petition to bring it back on the air.

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Brian Griffin was named “Stoner of the Year” by High Times in 2009.

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The main cast makes about $225,000 per episode.

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According to his driver’s license, Quagmire would be 70 years old today. The gang discovers he was born in 1948 in the episode, “FOX-y Lady”.

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Every episode includes at least one character saying “What the hell?” to another.

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The ultimate question…whether Stewie can be understood by his family…is still up for debate. Show creators pick and choose when Stewie can be heard and/or understood.

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Joe’s wife Bonnie was pregnant for 7 years. She finally gave birth to Susie in season 7, episode 7.

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The character of Neil Goldman is named after one of the show’s writers; however the real Goldman has not worked on any episodes featuring the character he helped name.

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It takes about one full year for ONE EPISODE to get on the air. That being said, they do obviously work on several episodes at once.

Family Guy GIF by Fox TV

Almost every episode also has two versions, one for TV and one for the DVD. Needless to say, the DVD versions are much…dirtier.

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When Family Guy first aired, MacFarlane was the youngest executive producer in all of network TV. He was only 24 years old.

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The entire Family Guy franchise is worth about $2 billion.

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When producers decided to kill off Brian in 2013, the fan outcry reverberated off every wall. People signed petitions to bring Brian back and even boycotted the show. When Brian came back only two episodes later, fans thought their magic brought him back to life; however, it was all part of the storyline the whole time. Still, producers were overjoyed to know that Brian had so many fans out there!

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The character of Peter Griffin was inspired by a security guard MacFarlane knew at the Rhode Island School of Design. The man, Paul Timmins, had a “big thick Rhode Island accent…with absolutely no self editing whatsoever.” Timmins is very proud of the honor.

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At one time, Lacey Chabert, Cree Summer, and MacFarlane’s sister, Rachel, all voiced the character of Meg at one time before MacFarlane settled on Mila Kunis, who still voices Meg to this day.

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Kunis was only 16 when she landed the role of Meg.

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MacFarlane voices SO MANY CHARACTERS on Family Guy, including Peter Griffin, Brian Griffin, and Stewie Griffin. He also voices Glenn Quagmire, news anchor Tom Tucker, Lois’ father Carter Pewterschmidt and Dr. Hartman.

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The character of Brian is heavily based on MacFarlane himself. They share the same “voice of reason”, hobbies, political views, and rationality.

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Though Quahog, Rhode Island doesn’t exist in real life, there’s lots of speculation at this little town is based on Cranston, RI.

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One of MacFarlane’s favorite scenes from the show is when Peter tries to get Tom Selleck to eat a spoonful of beans through the TV screen.

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MacFarlane modeled Stewie’s voice on the character of Rex Harrison from My Fair Lady, which makes this scene even better.

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In 2009, Brian and Stewie made a joke about “Bruce Jenner’s vagina”…that was 6 years before Jenner went through a gender reassignment surgery to become Caitlyn.

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George Lucas, who is a huge fan of the show, gave MacFarlane permission to run with the Star Wars-themed episodes. That’s freakin’ sweet!

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Quagmire’s one-of-a-kind look was based on classic comedian, Bob Hope.

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MacFarlane admitted that the reason Meg gets so much abuse in the show is because there are “a bunch of male writers not knowing how to write for a teenage girl.”


Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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27 Batty Fun Facts about The Dark Knight

In about 4 days, The Dark Knight will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. Holy SHNIKIES, BATMAN!

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Starring the late Heath Ledger in one of the most iconic roles of his short, yet stunning, career (The Joker), The Dark Knight blew box offices away like:

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Still sitting at the top of the list of IMDb’s list of the best movies of all time (#3), The Dark Knight almost didn’t happen, as director Christopher Nolan didn’t want to create a sequel to his first dive into the Batman story, Batman Begins…but the idea of giving a story to one of the most classic and well-loved comic villains of all time was too great a challenge to leave behind.

As any native Chicago-dwelling Batman-loving girl will tell you, The Dark Knight holds a special place in the hearts of lots of nerdy Illinoisians…as the film was shot right in the heart of the city (Chicago = Gotham City FOREVER). Also starring Christian Bale as Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred, as well as Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nestor Carbonell, and Eric Roberts, The Dark Knight is arguably one of the better Batman films (though my heart still belongs to Tim Burton’s classic Batman).

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❤ SWOON! ❤

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, here are 27 BATTY Fun Facts about The Dark Knight!

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Feeling nostalgic? Take a look back at 14 Fun Facts about Tim Burton’s Batman!

27 Batty Fun Facts about The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight was not inspired by any ONE Batman story…in fact writers were inspired by several plot lines throughout the DC Comics series.

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For his role as The Joker, Heath Ledger locked himself away in a hotel room for weeks, experimenting with voices and mannerisms until he developed something he was satisfied with. The Sex Pistols and characters from A Clockwork Orange were among his inspirations.

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Originally director Chris Nolan had no intention to make a sequel to Batman Begins, but the idea of flushing out the character of The Joker kept him interested.

The only name on Nolan’s wish list to play The Joker was Heath Ledger.

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Throughout the production of The Dark Knight, Ledger kept a “Joker Diary”, where he would write stylized notes, clipped quotes and texts from inspiring characters, and lines from the script written in his own hand-writing.

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The role of the district attorney, which ultimately went to Maggie Gyllenhaal, was once under the hopeful eyes of fellow actresses Rachel McAdams and Emily Blunt.

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Fellow cast mate Michael Caine expressed concern that Nolan wouldn’t be able to find someone to top Jack Nicholson’s performance as the character of The Joker (from 1989’s Batman)…however, he came around when Ledger was cast, saying, “now that’s the one guy that could do it!”

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The licking-of-the-lips tick that The Joker possessed was mostly because the prosthetics, which extended into Ledger’s mouth, would loosen as he performed. He would lick his lips in an effort to keep them in place.

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Nolan wanted the truck-flipping scene (when Batman uses steel cables to flip The Joker’s 18-wheeler trailer) to happen for real…and it did…on a little street in Chicago.

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Christian Bale (Batman) was adamant about standing atop the Sears Tower in Chicago with his cape billowing around him. Bale actually performed several of his own stunts throughout his career as Batman.

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In the scene where The Joker is dressed up as a nurse, you can see that his name tag reads “Matilda”. Matilda is the name of Ledger’s daughter, born in 2005.

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The man who says, “we’re not intimidated by thugs” during The Joker’s raid on Bruce Wayne’s party, is Patrick Leahy, the Democratic US Senator from Vermont. A lifelong comic book fan, Leahy has actually appeared in five Batman films to date.

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Katie Holmes, who played district attorney Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins was replaced by Gyllenhaal after Holmes decided to star in Mad Money instead, which scored a measly 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. Bummer, Katie…

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Further speculation claims that Holmes actually left because her then-husband, Tom Cruise, was jealous of Christian Bale.

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Ledger actually designed the look of The Joker himself, using makeup he’d bought from a local drugstore. Nolan was so impressed that he tasked the makeup team to recreate it themselves.

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Within two days of its release, The Dark Knight was already ranked as the greatest film of all time by users on IMDb. It’s now sitting comfortably at position 3.

Ledger posthumously won a total of 32 Best Supporting Actor awards for his work on The Dark Knight, including the Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG and Critics’ Choice awards.

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The Batsuit Bale wore in the film was constructed from 200 unique pieces of rubber, fiberglass, metallic mesh, and nylon. It was constructed to give Bale more flexibility.

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Bruce Wayne drives a Lamborghini Murcielago in this movie. The Spanish word for “bat” is murcielago.

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Bruce Wayne’s penthouse was actually shot on the ground floor of an office building in downtown Chicago. During the daytime, the same space was re-dressed and used for Harvey Dent’s press conference scenes.

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A total of 39 cars were destroyed during production.

The Dark Knight was the first comic book movie to reach the $1 billion mark.

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Ledger actually interviewed fellow Joker alum, Jack Nicholson, about the role. Nicholson told him, “The role of being The Joker will haunt you, the role is so dark that you probably won’t be able to sleep.”

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The Dark Knight made more money in six days than Batman Begins made in its entire domestic run.

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The hospital that gets blown up in the film was an abandoned Brach’s candy factory in Chicago. The explosion actually triggered panicked calls to police from residents who feared a terrorist attack.

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James Gandolfini was considered for the role of gangster Sal Moroni, but it eventually went to Eric Roberts.

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Mike Engel, the reporter who is kidnapped by The Joker, is played by Anthony Michael Hall. You might know him from National Lampoon’s Vacation, 16 Candles, Weird Science, or my personal fave of his, The Breakfast Club.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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23 Fun Facts about Forrest Gump

On July 6, 1994, the film Forrest Gump hit theaters. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that this is both one of the most well-loved and most overrated movies of all time.

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Starring Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robyn Wright and many others, Forrest Gump took home 6 of the 13 Oscar nominations it received and gave birth to a restaurant chain, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, with locations all over the world. It became a cult classic and gave birth to several quotable lines that have become part of our general lexicon.

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To celebrate its 24-year anniversary (wow!), here are a few fun facts about Forrest Gump!

23 Fun Facts about Forrest Gump

The movie was based on a book of the same name, written by Winston Groom.

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When Forrest gets up to talk at the Vietnam rally in Washington, the microphone plug is pulled and you cannot hear him. According to Tom Hanks, Forrest says, “Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That’s all I have to say about that.”

Hanks wasn’t paid for the film. Instead he took percentage points of the film’s profits, which ultimately netted him in the region of $40 million. That’s a whole lotta ice cream!

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Forrest Gump is the film debut of actor Haley Joel Osment, who would go on to star in The Sixth Sense five years later.

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Every transition of Forrest’s age, one thing remains the same: he wears a blue plaid shirt in the first scene.

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Hanks’ eyes are closed in every photo you see of Forrest in the film.

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Those Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurants you see all over the US, Japan, China, Mexico, and the UK are a direct result of the success of Forrest Gump.

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During those crazy ping-pong matches, there was never a ball in play. The ball was added later with CGI, animated to meet the actors’ paddles.

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Forrest’s Medal of Honor ceremony uses the footage of the actual ceremony for Sammy L. Davis, who was awarded the medal in 1968 by President Johnson for his actions in Vietnam. Hanks’ head was superimposed on Davis’ body.

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Sally Field, who played Forrest’s mother in the film, is only 10 years older than Hanks.

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Bill Murray, John Travolta, and Chevy Chase all turned down the role of Forrest.

In October 1994, Forrest Gump was a part of an amazing 4-movie cult classic line-up that were all playing in theaters at the same time: Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, and Jurassic Park were the other three.

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The shrimp boat used in the film now resides in the moat surrounding the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Downtown Disney in Florida. One of the ping-pong paddles used in the film also bears Hanks’ signature and is hanging up inside the restaurant.

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Though it’s not specified in the film, in the book sequel, Gump & Co, Jenny dies from Hepatitis C in the early 1970s from her years of drug abuse. This was an unknown disease until the late 1980s, and doctors had no idea how to treat her for it.

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Gary Sinise’s (Lt. Dan) legs were wrapped in blue fabric, which allowed the production team to digitally remove them later.

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The line, “My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump,” was made up spontaneously by Hanks while shooting the scene with Bubba on the bus. The director liked it so much that he kept it in.

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The park bench that Forrest sits on for a good portion of the film was located in historic Savannah, Georgia, at Chippewa Square. It has since been removed and is now in the Savannah History Museum.

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Mykelti Williamson wore a prosthetic to extend his lower lip for his role as Bubba.

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Forrest’s awards and decorations, as worn in his Class A uniform are as follows: the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Infantry Shoulder Cord, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Badge, and Meritorious Unit Commendation.

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Hanks modeled his Southern drawl on the real life accent of Michael Conner Humphreys, who played young Forrest in the film.

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Forrest Gump won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Director (Robert Zemeckis), Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, and Best Screenplay.

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In 2011, the Library of Congress selected Forrest Gump for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Lt. Dan tells Forrest in one scene that the say he (Forrest) works on a shrimp boat will be the day he (Lt. Dan) becomes an astronaut. This is a reference to the book, where Forrest actually becomes an astronaut. The following year, Sinise and Hanks appeared together, as astronauts, in Apollo 13.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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