Sunday’s Random Stuff

– If you watch a lot of movies, you’ve probably noticed Morley cigarettes, a fake brand of smokes closely resembling Marlboro. What you might not know is how many movies and TV shows the fake smokes have appeared in: everything from Beverly Hills, 90210 and Burn Notice to The Twilight Zone and The X-Files. In fact, the earliest known use of “Morleys” was in that 1963 Twilight Zone episode, when William Shatner pulls out a Morley on a plane and begins to light it, only to be stopped by his wife, who points out that the “No Smoking” sign is still on. Check out Wikipedia’s exhaustive list of Morley appearances here.

– Remember the song “Purple People Eater”? It was a #1 hit in 1958 for character actor Sheb Wooley, and the song still appears on compilations of “goofy songs” (think Dr. Demento), children’s albums, and in the Minnesota area (the Minnesota Vikings colors are purple and white, and their defense was called the “Purple People Eaters” from the late 1960s to the late 1970s). But did you know that Wooley is also credited as the voice behind the infamous Wilhelm Scream, a sound effect used in hundreds (if not thousands) of movies and TV shows? Every Star Wars and Indiana Jones film features the Wilhelm Scream at least once, and the scream is also heard in episodes of Battlestar Galactica, Family Guy, Lost, Human Target, Community, CSI: NY, and the films Titanic, There’s Something About Mary, Spider Man, Reservoir Dogs, and more. Who knew?

– The “Havana Brown” breed of cat is also known as the “Swiss Mountain cat”… and it originated in Britain. I don’t get it.

– In 1974, a giant ship ostensibly owned by Howard Hughes headed out into the Pacific Ocean in what was publicly called a “deep sea mining experiment”. What the public didn’t know until later was that the whole thing was funded by the CIA, and the actual goal of the ship was to raise a sunken Soviet sub. Called “Project Azorian”, the mission was a mixed success. It failed to bring up the entire sub as planned, but parts were indeed salvaged (along with the bodies of six Soviet sailors, which the US forces buried at sea with full military honors). Although the project was supposed to be secret, Seymour Hersh of the New York Times and columnist Jack Anderson blew the lid off the (mis)adventure less than a year later. The whole story is back in the news because the CIA has just released an article about the project, which it had published in an internal publication back in 1985. The article seems to agree with the US Navy… who at the time felt that the whole thing was a giant waste of time and money.

– I don’t get this, either:

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