The Rock Pillars of Stonehenge
Fun Facts About Stonehenge
- Stonehenge is located on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England – about 137 kilometers Southwest of London.
- The origins of the name Stonehenge is taken from the combination of ‘stone’ and ‘henge’, a tribute to the biggest henge in Britain.
- Though there is no specific evidence about who built the Stonehenge. It is believed that Druids, Greeks, or Atlanteans might have built the Stonehenge.
- Stonehenge was constructed somewhere between 3100 – 1100 BCE.
- On September 21st, 1915, C.H. Chubb purchased Stonehenge for 6,600 pounds
- Stonehenge and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 and is also legally protected by the Scheduled Ancient Monument.
- Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage while the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.
- The circle was aligned with the midsummer sunrise, the midwinter sunset, and the most southerly rising and northerly setting of the moon.
- The builders of Stonehenge have featured it in a way that it encompasses sophisticated mathematical and geometrical understandings of the framework and the structural engineering of the construction.
- Stonehenge has a henge, or a ditch and bank, which surround the large stone circle.
- The stones of Stonehenge were placed in such a way that they increase in size towards the centre and alternate in shape between tall, thin pillar-like stones and stones of a tapering obelisk shape.
- Two types of stone were used for the construction of Stonehenge- the ‘bluestones’ which weighed almost four tons and were brought from 240 miles away. The other type of stone used was the ‘Sarsen’ stones which had a height of about eighteen feet and weighed twenty-five tons.
- It is anticipated that more than thirty million hours of labor was required for the construction of Stonehenge.
- Stonehenge is the most well known among the nine hundred stone rings which exists in the British Isles.
- Most archaeologists believed that Stonehenge’s use had been limited to the ritual activities of different Neolithic chiefdoms before 1950. However, its use as an astronomical observatory was an equally important function of the Stonehenge.
Early Beatles circa 1962
Fun Facts About the Beatles’ “Love Me Do”
Paul McCartney (credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: September 4th and 11th, 1962 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Musicians: Paul McCartney: lead vocal, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
John Lennon: harmonica, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (Gibson J160E)
George Harrison: acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Ringo Starr: drums (version 1), tambourine (version 2)
Alan White: drums (version 2)
First released: October 5th, 1962 (UK: Parlophone 45-R 4949) version 1; April 27th, 1964 (US: Tollie 9008) version 2
Available on: Past Masters, Volume 1, (Parlophone CDP 90043-2)version 1 Please Please Me, (UK: Parlophone CDP7 46435-2; US: Capitol CLJ 46435) version 2
Highest chart position: 17 (UK: December 27, 1962), 1 (1 week) (US: May 30, 1964)
Live versions: February 20, 1963, for BBC radio’s Parade Of The Pops.
BBC versions: Eight (for the BBC radio programs Here We Go, Talent Spot, Saturday Club, Side By Side, Pop Go The Beatles, and Easy Beat.
- An attempt at a straight blues that dates all the way back to the Quarrymen days of 1958.
- Originally, the song was sung as a Everly Brothers-style duet, with John taking the solo “Love Me Do” at the end of each verse. However, John decided to add harmonica to the song at some point, having been directly inspired by Bruce Channel’s recent hit “Hey Baby.” Since he couldn’t play the harmonica riff and sing the last line of verse at the time, producer George Martin ordered Paul to do it instead, on the spot. You can hear the nervousness in his shaky spotlight.
- There are two versions of this song. Version 1 features Ringo on drums and was recorded first. When the Beatles reconvened to cut the song again on September 11, 1962, however, producer George Martin, still unsure of the new kid Ringo’s ability, substituted session drummer Alan White. This “version 2,” on which Ringo merely plays a tambourine, remains the best-known (and, frankly, better quality) version: it was released as a single in the US, as opposed to the original single in the UK, which was taken from version 1 (although subsequent UK pressings used version 2). Version 2 was also kept off the Please Please Me album in favor of 1, although Martin claims this was probably not done on purpose.
- Although this was never a favorite among most Beatles fans, John and Paul have both stood by the song in interviews.
- This song was actually recorded first on June 6, 1962 during the group’s first audition with EMI. At that time, Pete Best was still the drummer. This version, thought lost for years, turned up in George Martin’s home and can no be found on the CDAnthology 1 (Apple 34445).
- George Martin originally wanted the band’s first single to be an outside composition called “How Do You Do It,” but although the band recorded it, they eventually won the right to release this instead. Gerry and the Pacemakers later had a hit with a cover of “How Do You Do It” modeled very closely after the Beatles’ version.
- Rumor has been spread for years that this, the Beatles’ first UK single, only made it onto the charts because manager Brian Epstein personally purchased 10,000 copies of it. No evidence of this has ever been found, however, and John Lennon, for one, has publicly branded the rumor as false.
- This song was reissued as a single in the UK in 1984, and this time climbed to #4.
Madame Tussaud's, London
Amazing Facts About Madame Tussaud and her Wax Museum
- Madame “Marie” Tussaud (born Anna Maria Grosholtz in Strasbourg, France) was an artist known for her wax sculptures and the wax museum she founded in London.
Madame Tussaud - Self Portrait
- Her father, a soldier named Joseph Grosholtz, was killed in the Seven Years’ War just two months before Marie was born.
- Her mother, Anne-Marie Walder, took her to Bern where she moved to work as a housekeeper for Dr. Philippe Curtius. There she took the Swiss nationality.
- Curtius was a physician, and was skilled in wax modelling, which he used to illustrate Anatomy. Later, he started to do portraits. Tussaud called him uncle.
- Curtius moved to Paris in 1765, starting work to set up a cabinet de cire . In that year he made a waxwork of Louis XV’s last mistress, Madame du Barry, a cast of which is the oldest work currently on display.
- In 1767, Tussaud and her mother joined Curtius and also moved to Paris.
- The first exhibition of Curtius’ waxworks was shown in 1770, and attracted a big crowd. In 1776, the exhibition moved to the Palais Royal and, in 1782, Curtius opened a second exhibit, the Caverne des Grands Voleurs, a precursor to the later Chamber of horrors, on Boulevard du Temple.
- Curtius taught Tussaud the art of wax modelling; she showed a lot of talent and started to work for him.
- In 1778, she created her first wax figure, that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
- Madame Tussaud was imprisoned during the French Revolution and made death masks of executed nobles
- She eventually inherited Phillippe Curtius’ wax exhibition and for the first time took her exhibition on tour in the British Isles in 1795.
- Madame Tussaud’s Wax Exposition in London debuted on April 26th, 1928.
- Before modern times when news was communicated largely by word of mouth, Madame Tussaud’s exhibition was a kind of traveling newspaper providing an insight into international events and bringing people face to face with people in the headlines.
- It takes six months, more than 250 precise measurements and photographs, 2,400 lbs of wax and $45,000 to make each of Madame Tussaud’s wax portraits.
- Each strand of hair is inserted individually, taking approximately five weeks to complete each head.
- Two maintenance teams inspect and primp each figure daily before the museum opens.
- To add authenticity to the portraits at Madame Tussaud’s New York, many artifacts have been donated from the celebrity or purchased from auctions.
- All portraits have their hair washed and make-up retouched regularly.
- All celebrities’ vital statistics are kept confidential, despite repeated requests from the public and media.
- Because wax shrinks, was figures are made two percent larger than the real life subjects they portray.
- Dating back to the early 1900, members of the British Royal Family have routinely participated in sittings for portraits by Madame Tussaud’s. This tradition continues today, including a sitting with Diana, Princess of Wales just months before she died.
- More than 500 million people worldwide have visited a Madame Tussaud’s, that’s more than the population of North America and Australia combined.
- Currently, over 2.5 million people a year visit Madame Tussaud’s, mingling with celebrities of all types, from sports heroes like Muhammad Ali to Hollywod celebrities like Marilyn Monroe to models like Naomi Campbell and politicians like Bill Clinton.