Kanye West just said 400 years of slavery was a choice

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Kanye West just said 400 years of slavery was a choice

(CNN)Tuesday brought us two Kanyes.

The first was a man who opened up about his mental health, his family, and his art in a nearly-two hour interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God.
The second was a Kanye who appeared at the TMZ headquarters where he had this to say:
When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice.
The rapper went on to add:
You were there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.
Provocative statements are second nature to the 40-year-old rapper. And this week he’s been making headlines left and right, including proclaiming his love for President Trump.
But when he made his off-handed remark about slavery, TMZ employee Van Lathan took him to task for it.

An employee confronts him

“While you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives,” Lathan said. “We have to deal with the marginalization that’s come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice.”
Lathan added, “Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled, and brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something to me, that’s not real.”

Kanye tries to explain

As his words lit Twitter on fire, Kanye tried to explain what he meant. Here is his series of tweets Tuesday evening:
[T]o make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will. My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved.”
And then Kanye quickly made it about Kanye:
[T]he reason why I brought up the 400 years point is because we can’t be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years. We need free thought now. Even the statement was an example of free thought. It was just an idea. [O]nce again I am being attacked for presenting new ideas.

Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle) Of The Andy Griffith Show, Has Died At 87

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF YAHOO NEWS)

 

Jim Nabors, who gave popular culture its most enduring image of a wide-eyed, good-natured if none too bright hayseed in a character whose very name – Gomer Pyle – would become synonymous with lovable rube, died Thursday in Hawaii. He was 87.

The news was first reported by Hawaii News Now.

With catchphrases “Shazam!” and “Golly” (the latter drawn out to four or five lilting syllables), Nabors debuted his downhome, gas station attendant character in 1962 on The Andy Griffith Show, where the slow-going, dim-witted Gomer was a constant irritation to Don Knotts’ officious, high-strung Deputy Barney Fife.

The Gomer character, and Nabors’ odd-couple chemistry with Knotts, proved so popular with audiences that he was given his own spin-off series in 1964. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C, co-starring Frank Sutton as his ever-yelling drill sergeant Vince Carter (“I can’t heeearrrr youuu!”) ran until 1969 on CBS.

Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. was an instant smash when it debuted in September 1964. The series finished No. 3 among all prime time shows that season with a 30.7 rating –- ahead of Andy Griffith – and was No. 2 behind Bonanza for the following 1965-66 season. The series slipped in the ratings after its move from Fridays to Wednesdays for the 1966-67 season, but CBS returned Gomer Pyle to Fridays the following season and it ranked No. 3 and No. 2 in prime time during the next two seasons.

Nabors’ comic persona, with his natural Alabama accent stretched to a near-cartoon drawl, evaporated when switched gears to sing, utilizing a baritone that sounded both formal and trained, a dichotomy used to great effect as far back as the Griffith show.

His 1966 LP Jim Nabors Sings with All Your Heart, made the Billboard Top 25 and went gold. He charted a dozen albums through 1972 and though he never matched that initial chart success two more were half-million-sellers. One of those was Jim Nabors’ Christmas Album, which topped the holiday albums chart in 1967 and again two years later.

His singing made him a frequent guest of variety shows in the 1960s and ’70s, particularly The Carol Burnett Show, and Nabors even became a Indianapolis 500 tradition with his rendition of Back Home Again in Indiana performed during the race’s opening ceremonies.

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Indian politician offers $1.5M for beheading of Bollywood star

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FOX NEWS AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

Indian politician offers $1.5M for beheading of Bollywood star over Hindu queen, Muslim ruler romance film

A member of India’s Hindu nationalist ruling party offered a $1.5 million bounty Sunday for anyone who beheads the lead actress and the director of a yet-to-be released Bollywood film that’s sparked controversy for depicting a romance between a Hindu queen and Muslim ruler.

The film “Padmavati” was set to be in theaters on Dec. 1 and has caused a firestorm over its alleged handling of the relationship.

Suraj Pal Amu, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader from the northern state of Haryana, offered the bounty against actress Deepika Padukone and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.The film’s producers postponed the release of the movie the same day.

Speaking at a public rally, Amu also said the film would not be allowed to be released at all, local media reported.

FILE - In this June 25, 2016 file photo, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone poses for photographers at the International Indian Film Academy Rocks Green Carpet for the 17th Edition of IIFA Weekend & Awards in Madrid, Spain. A member of India's Hindu nationalist ruling party has offered a 100 million rupee ($1.5 million) reward to anyone who beheads the lead actress Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the director of the yet-to-be released Bollywood film "Padmavati" over its alleged handling of the relationship between a Hindu queen and a Muslim ruler. The film's producers postponed the release of the film, which was set to be in theaters Dec. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Samuel de Roman, File)

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone poses for photographers at the International Indian Film Academy Rocks.  (AP)

The movie “Padmavati” is based on a 16th century Sufi epic poem, “Padmavat,” a fictional account of a brave and beautiful Rajput queen who chose to kill herself rather than be captured by the Muslim sultan of Delhi, Allaudin Khilji. Over the centuries, the tale has come to be seen as history, even though there is little historical evidence to support it.

Padukone plays the role in the film of Padmini, the legendary queen who committed “jauhar,” the medieval Rajput practice in which women of royal households walked into funeral fires to embrace death over the dishonor of being taken captive.

The film has been in trouble since the beginning of the year, with fringe groups in the western state of Rajasthan attacking the film’s set, threatening to burn down theaters that show it and even physically attacking Bhansali in January.

70th Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film "Nelyubov" (Loveless) in competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Cannes, France. 18/05/2017. Model Deepika Padukone poses. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe - RC1F97CCB4A0

Deepika Padukone poses at the 70th Cannes Film Festival.  (Reuters)

Most of the anger at the film appears to stem from allegations that Bhansali distorted history by filming a romantic dream sequence between the film’s main protagonists. Bhansali has denied the allegations.

Earlier this month, the head of the Rajput Karni Sena in Rajasthan said Padukone should have her nose cut — a symbol of public humiliation — for being part of a film that allegedly insulted the famed queen.

On Monday, local government officials vowed to take “stringent action” against those threatening Padukone and others involved in the movie, The Indian Express reported.

India’s 1.3 billion-strong democracy is the largest in the world, but despite significant economic progress over the last few decades its politics are held hostage by a complex mix of religion and caste. Books and movies have found themselves at the receiving end of threats of violence and bans because they either offend one religious or caste group, or are deemed offensive to Indian culture in general.

Members of India's Rajput community shout slogans as they protest against the release of Bollywood film "Padmavati" in Mumbai, India, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. The film has been in trouble since the beginning of the year, with fringe groups in the western state of Rajasthan attacking the film's set, threatening to burn down theaters that show it and even physically attacking the director in January. A member of India's Hindu nationalist ruling party has offered a 100 million rupee ($1.5 million) reward to anyone who beheads the lead actress and the director of the yet-to-be released film over its alleged handling of the relationship between a Hindu queen and a Muslim ruler. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Members of India’s Rajput community shout slogans as they protest against the release of Bollywood film “Padmavati” in Mumbai.  (AP)

In the past, India’s film censor board rejected the erotic drama “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and Hollywood movies that appear on Indian screens are routinely scrubbed of sex scenes. “The Da Vinci Code” was banned in the Indian state of Goa, which has a large Christian population, because religious groups objected.

On Monday, India’s Supreme Court refused to ban the controversial film, saying it is not inclined in the matter and the fate of the film needs to be decided by the country’s censor board, India Today reported.

In its decision, the court said: “The censor board has a role and the Supreme Court cannot assume that role. Why should the court interfere to stop the release of a movie which has not been cleared by the censor board?”

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone interacts with the media during a news conference promoting the upcoming film "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" in Mumbai, India January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade - RC1C7813B2F0

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone interacts with the media during a news conference in Mumbai.  (Reuters)

In 2014, the publishing house Penguin India pulled from shelves and destroyed all copies of American historian Wendy Doniger’s “The Hindus: An Alternative History” after protests and a lawsuit from a Hindu right-wing group. The group’s main objection was that the book described Hindu mythological texts as fictional.

India-born writer Salman Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” has been banned here since 1998, since many Muslims consider it blasphemous. Rushdie was forced to cancel a 2012 appearance at the Jaipur Literary Festival amid protests and threats by prominent Muslim clerics.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Della Reese, ‘Touched by an Angel’ star dies at 86

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Della Reese, ‘Touched by an Angel’ star and singer, dies at 86

Actress and singer Della Reese

(CNN)Della Reese, who rose to fame as a jazz singer and later found television stardom on the drama “Touched by an Angel,” has died.

She was 86.
“On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home surrounded by love. She was an incredible Wife, Mother, Grandmother, friend, and Pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer,” actress Roma Downey, Reese’s co-star on “Touched by an Angel,” said in a statement on Facebook.
“Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people,” Downey’s statement continued. “She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years.”
For nine seasons on CBS, Reese played Tess on “Touched by an Angel,” tasked with sending Angels to Earth to help people redeem themselves.
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“We were privileged to have Della as part of the CBS family when she delivered encouragement and optimism to millions of viewers as Tess on “Touched by an Angel,” CBS said in a statement to CNN. “We will forever cherish her warm embraces and generosity of spirit. She will be greatly missed. Another Angel has gotten her wings.”
Like many during her era, Reese got her start in the black church, where she began singing at the age of 6.
When she was 13, Reese snagged a gig with gospel legend Mahalia Jackson after another lyric soprano became pregnant and was unable to tour.
“Mahalia was magnificent,” Reese told the Archive of American Television in 2008. “I didn’t particularly like her because she didn’t let me do what I wanted to do. I thought when I got away from my mother on the road, I’d be able to get down and break it loose and do all the stuff she wouldn’t let me do. Mahalia was stricter than my mother.”
Reese went on to sign a record deal with indie New York label, Jubilee Records and in 1957 landed at No. 12 on the pop chart with the ballad “And That Reminds Me.”
Her initial success caught the attention of RCA, where her hits “Don’t You Know” and “Not One Minute More” helped secure her place in the music industry as an R & B/pop vocalist.
Reese would later become known for her live jazz performances.
But it was acting that broke her into the big time.
Her stint as the landlady on the 1970s comedy “Chico and the Man” led to other roles that showed off Reese’s sass, including as Vera, the tough-as-nails madam in a brothel in Eddie Murphy’s 1989 film “Harlem Nights,” which also starred her good friend, comedian Redd Foxx.

Actor Anthony Rapp accuses Kevin Spacey of making sexual advance toward him at 14

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY)

 

Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp accuses Kevin Spacey of making sexual advance toward him at 14

Spacey, in response, apologized to Rapp while also coming out as gay

UPDATED 

MIKE COPPOLA/GETTY IMAGES; DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES

Kevin Spacey has apologized to Anthony Rapp after Rapp alleged Spacey made an unwanted sexual advance toward the Star Trek: Discovery actor when he was 14 years old. Spacey, at the time, was 26.

“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story,” Spacey wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I a sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”

In addition, Spacey said Rapp’s story “encouraged me to address other things about my life,” including his sexuality. “I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy,” Spacey said. “As those closes to me know, in my life, I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic relationships with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior.”

In an interview with BuzzFeed published late Sunday, Rapp, now 46, alleged Spacey invited the then-teenager to his Manhattan apartment for a party in 1986, where Rapp said he spent most of the evening in a bedroom watching television. As the night wound down, Rapp said he found himself alone in the dwelling with Spacey.

“My memory was that I thought, Oh, everybody’s gone. Well, yeah, I should probably go home,” Rapp said. According to Rapp, Spacey allegedly picked the actor “up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold.”

“But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me,” Rapp said.

At the time, Rapp was starring in the play Precious Sons opposite Ed Harris while Spacey was doing Long Day’s Journey Into Night with Jack Lemmon. “He was trying to seduce me,” Rapp alleged. “I don’t know if I would have used that language. But I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually.”

Rapp said he left the apartment after the alleged incident, but claimed to “have a memory of turning around and [thinking], What was that? What am I supposed to do with it? What does it mean? The older I get, and the more I know, I feel very fortunate that something worse didn’t happen. And at the same time, the older I get, the more I can’t believe it. I could never imagine [that] anyone else I know would do something like that to a 14-year-old boy.”

Rapp told BuzzFeed that he never approached Spacey about what happened. (He began telling friends about it around 1990, which BuzzFeed confirmed.) Rapp eventually talked to a lawyer, who advised him against pursuing a case.

Rapp, who’s also appeared in movies like School Ties and Twister and on Broadway in Rent, said he’s bringing the issue up now because of the mounting sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. He currently plays Paul Stamets on Star Trek: Discovery.

“Part of what allowed the Harvey situation to occur was that there was this witting and unwitting conspiracy of silence,” Rapp said. “The only way these things can continue is if there’s no attention being paid to it, if it’s getting forgotten.”

In a statement released to EW after the BuzzFeed story published, Rapp said, “I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out, to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me. Everything I wanted to say about my experience is in that article, and I have no further comment about it at this time.”

This post has been updated

National Park Service proposes $70 entrance fee for 17 popular parks

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

National Park Service proposes $70 entrance fee for 17 popular parks

Madison Park, CNN • Published 25th October 2017
(CNN) — The National Park Service proposes more than doubling the entrance fees at 17 popular national parks, including Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone, to help pay for infrastructure improvements.
Under the agency’s proposal, the entrance fee for a private vehicle would jump to $70 during peak season, from its current rate of $25 to $30.
The cost for a motorcycle entering the park could increase to $50, from the current fee of $15 to $25. The cost for people entering the park on foot or on bike could go to $30, up from the current rate of $10 to $15.
The cost of the annual pass, which permits entrance into all federal lands and parks, would remain at $80.
The proposal would affect the following 17 national parks during the 2018 peak season:
  • Arches
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Canyonlands
  • Denali
  • Glacier
  • Grand Canyon
  • Grand Teton
  • Olympic
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon
  • Yellowstone
  • Yosemite
  • Zion
  • Acadia
  • Mount Rainier
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Shenandoah
  • Joshua Tree
Peak pricing would affect each park’s busiest five months for visitors.
The National Park Service said the increase would help pay for badly needed improvements, including to roads, bridges, campgrounds, water-line’s, bathrooms and other visitor services at the parks. The fee hikes could also boost national park revenue by $70 million per year, it said.
“The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a statement.
Of the 417 national park sites, 118 charge an entrance fee.
The National Park service has opened the proposal to public comments for 30 days at its website.
The proposal was blasted by the National Parks Conservation Association, a nonpartisan advocacy group.
“We should not increase fees to such a degree as to make these places — protected for all Americans to experience — unaffordable for some families to visit,” the group’s president and CEO Theresa Pierno said in a statement. “The solution to our parks’ repair needs cannot and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors.”
The South Kaibab Trail drops to the Colorado River in the bottom of the Grand Canyon in just under seven miles. Numerous day hike options turn around at phenomenal viewpoints if you don’t want to commit to an overnight trip to the bottom of the canyon.
Ben Adkison
“The administration just proposed a major cut to the National Park Service budget even as parks struggle with billions of dollars in needed repairs,” Pierno said. “If the administration wants to support national parks, it needs to walk the walk and work with Congress to address the maintenance backlog.”
On the National Park Service’s Facebook page, some commented that the proposal was reasonable since it was going to improve and maintain the parks. Others lamented that it would price working class people out of making trips that they had saved up for.
Entrance fees at several national parks, including Mount Rainer, Grand Teton and Yellowstone, went up in 2015 to their current price.
Those fee increases didn’t seem to deter visitors. In 2016, National Park Services received a record-breaking 331 million visits, which marked a 7.7% increase over 2015. It was the park service’s third consecutive all-time attendance record.
Most popular National Parks in 2016 (59 total)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park — 11,312,786 million visitors
Grand Canyon National Park — 5,969,811
Yosemite National Park — 5,028,868
Rocky Mountain National Park — 4,517,585
Zion National Park — 4,295,127
Yellowstone National Park — 4,257,177
Olympic National Park — 3,390,221
Acadia National Park — 3,303,393
Grand Teton National Park — 3,270,076
Glacier National Park — 2,946,681

Kid Rock For The U.S. Senate In Michigan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Kid Rock’s R-rated speech made his politics clear. But he left out the most important part.

 September 13 at 2:59 AM

Kid Rock performs during a concert before the Daytona 500 auto race in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2015. (AP)

Musician Kid Rock, who says he’s exploring a run for the Senate, delivered an R-rated political speech in Detroit on Tuesday night, chastising everyone from Nazis and professional athletes to single moms and deadbeat dads but pulling up short of officially declaring his candidacy as some had anticipated.

.@kidrock made a political speech tonight in Detroit as expected, but did NOT make clear that he’s really running for anything.

The singer, née Robert Ritchie, debuted his political material last week during a performance in Grand Rapids, Mich., according to the Detroit Free Press. He rebuked the same newspaper earlier Tuesday, revoking its press credentials for the Detroit show and berating editors for publishing an opinion piece that criticized him.

Kid Rock is a vocal, opinionated supporter of President Trump, and has hinted for months that he may challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who is expected to seek a fourth term next year. He launched a website over the summer to gauge his viability.

The event at Detroit’s newly opened Little Caesars Arena, the first of six concerts there by Kid Rock, attracted protesters offended by his past use of the Confederate flag as a prop during performances, and his fierce disapproval of NFL players, namely Colin Kaepernick, who have called attention to social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.

Those protesters were countered by Kid Rock’s supporters, some displaying the controversial Confederate symbol many associate with slavery and America’s long, deep divisions over race, but there were no immediate indications of violence.

Kid Rock on the night’s protests: “if anyone wants to protest tonight, they can protest these nuts.” Then compliments Detroit Police.

Kid Rock opened his performance with a new song, “Greatest Show on Earth,” its high-octane tempo punctuated by dynamic stage lighting. Brightly colored stilt walkers added to theatrics.

And then the venue went dark.

“Ladies and gentleman,” a public address announcer finally boomed. “Will you please welcome the next senator of the great state of Michigan, Kid ‘m———ing’ Rock.”

The eruption of applause was quickly dowsed by the piercing brass notes of “Hail to the Chief.” He gestured to the audience before striding to a lectern emblazoned with a knockoff of the presidential seal and the words “United States of ’Merica.”

And for the next four minutes he cursed and rhymed (and cursed some more), trumpeting his patriotism and lamenting all that ails our nation, in his view.

He opined about government-mandated health care:

It seems the government wants to give everyone health insurance, but wants us all to pay. And to be very frank, I really don’t have a problem with that, since God has blessed me and made my pockets fat. But redistribution of wealth seems more like their plan. And I don’t believe you should save, sacrifice, do things by the book and then have to take care of some deadbeat, milking the system, lazy a– m———ing man.

He called out single mothers who, in his view, over rely on government assistance:

The issue of struggling single parents is an issue close to my heart. But read my lips: We should not reward those who can’t even take care of themselves but keep having kid after f—ing kid.  Of course, we should help them out. I don’t want to stand here and sound like a jerk. But let’s help ’em out with child care, job training and find them a f—ing place to work.

He denounced white supremacists:

Nazis. F—ing bigots. And now again the KKK? I say f— all you racists. Stay the hell away.

He expressed support for gay marriage but drew a hard line on transgender rights:

Things shouldn’t be this complicated and, no, you shouldn’t get to choose. Because whatever you have between your legs should determine the bathroom that you use. 

He prayed for God’s guidance in America’s ongoing struggle with crime and terrorism.

And before closing, he called for unity:

And I do believe it to be self evident, that we’re all created equal. I said it once, I’ll scream it again: I love black people. And I love white people, too. But neither as much as I love red, white and blue.

 

Fox News Being Pulled Off The Air In The U.K. Because No One Is Watching It

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

V viewers in the United Kingdom will likely not miss watching Fox News, as the network’s parent company 21st Century Fox announced on Tuesday that the company would pull the channel amid low ratings.

“Fox News is focused on the U.S. market and designed for a U.S. audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the U.K.,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement provided to CNN. “We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the U.K.”

While 21st Century Fox said its decision was based on the channel’s inability to attract a considerable audience, critics say it’s actually an attempt to smooth over the media giant’s bid to take over European satellite company Sky. (21st Century Fox owns a controlling stake in Sky PLC, the parent company of the London-headquartered network.)

HuffPost UK reports that if the takeover is successful, it would give Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch access to Sky’s 22 million customers in Europe. This audience would be in addition to those of the three U.K. newspapers ― The Sun, The Times, and The Sunday Times ― that the media mogul already owns.

In June, officials delayed Murdoch’s attempted takeover of the 61 percent of Sky that his family does not currently own. British authorities asked regulators to review the deal to see if the takeover would give the family too much control over the country’s media landscape.

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Sky ceased broadcasting Fox News on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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Total Horses Ass In A Restaurant On A Date Gets His Due Reward: From An Off Duty Cop

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK.COM)

 

Someone asked “What has been your worst ‘nice guy’ experience?”, and this person just shared the best story ever

hero-cop-story-throwawayforpancakes-18

Image credits: shutterstock

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10 Interesting facts about London

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘DEBLOGTROOP’ BLOG)

 

10 Interesting facts about London

Disclosure: Some posts may contains affiliate links, which means we receive commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Fact#1: “Big Ben” is not the clock tower.

Big Ben London

The Big Ben is actually the name of the bell inside the tower. The tower itself is called the “Elizabeth Tower”. The tower is currently tilting to one side, similar to the leaning tower of Pisa! This is partly as a result of decades of underground excavation.

Fact#2: It’s the most visited city in the world.

London England

In 2014, London attracted over 16 million international visitors, setting a record of the most visited city in the world.

Fact#3: Taxi drivers in London have to take a test called “knowledge test”.

London Cab

The black cab taxi drivers have to pass the insanely difficult geography test called the “knowledge test”. They are expected to master 320 basic routes, all of the 25,000 streets that are scattered within those routes and just about 20,000 landmarks and places of interest within a six-mile radius of Charring Cross. So if you see someone on a scooter with a large map, it could most probably be an aspiring cabbie studying for the “knowledge test”.

Fact#4: The Palace of Westminster is the largest palace in the country.

Westminster Big Ben London

The houses of parliament are known as the Palace of Westminster. It is the largest palace in the country consisting of 6 restaurants, 8 bars, 1000 rooms, 100 staircases, 11 courtyards, a hair salon and a rifle shooting range. Fun fact: It is illegal to die in the Palace of Westminster.

Fact#5: London tried building its own Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower France Parise London

In 1889, London started to build a structure designed to surpass the Eiffel Tower in height but it was unsteady and was never completed. It was later on demolished in 1907.

Fact#6: About 40% of Greater London is green space.

London England

There is a lot of greenery is the city of greater London, the whole city is covered in green. With over 8 million trees in London, London can be classified as a forest according to a UN definition.

Fact#7: The city of London is one of the smallest in the UK.

London Downing Street

The core city of London is actually the smallest city in London stretching up to only 1.12 square miles with a population of around 7000. However, the area which developed around the core city called Greater London consists of about 8.5 million people and it is large enough to fit 4 New York Cities.

Fact#8: There is a cereal café in London.

Cereal Killer Cafe London

There is a special café in London that serves hundreds of varieties of breakfast cereals from around the world. The name of the café is “Cereal Killer Café”.

Fact#9: The world’s first traffic light signal was installed in London.

London Traffic Lights

The world’s first traffic light signal was installed in London in the year 1868 at the junction of Great George St and Bridge St near Westminster Palace in London. However, it was short-lived, as it exploded less than a month later injuring the operating police officer.

Fact#10: “London Eye” is the most popular tourist attraction in London.

London Eye

The London Eye is the name of a huge Ferris wheel located on the south bank of River Thames. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. It was the tallest in the world until 2006 when the Star of Nanchang in China surpassed it.

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