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Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles is a 1974 American satirical black comedy-western film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg and Alan Uger, was based on Bergman's story and draft; the film received positive reviews from critics and audiences, was nominated for three Academy Awards and is ranked No. 6 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Laughs list. Brooks appears in three supporting roles, Governor William J. Le Petomane, a Yiddish-speaking Native American chief and "a director" in line to help invade Rock Ridge; the supporting cast includes Slim Pickens, Alex Karras and David Huddleston, as well as Brooks regulars Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn and Harvey Korman. Bandleader Count Basie has a cameo as himself; the film satirizes the racism obscured by myth-making Hollywood accounts of the American West, with the hero being a black sheriff in an all-white town. The film is full of deliberate anachronisms, from the Count Basie Orchestra playing "April in Paris" in the Wild West, to Slim Pickens referring to the Wide World of Sports, to the German army of World War II.

In 2006, Blazing Saddles was deemed "culturally or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. On the American frontier of 1874, a new railroad will soon be rerouted through Rock Ridge, in order to avoid running through quicksand. Realizing this will make Rock Ridge worth millions, the conniving attorney general Hedley Lamarr wants to force Rock Ridge's residents to abandon their town, sends a gang of thugs, led by his flunky Taggart, to shoot the sheriff and trash the town; the townspeople demand. Lamarr persuades the dim-witted Le Petomane to appoint Bart, a black railroad worker, about to be executed for assaulting Taggart earlier. A black sheriff, he reasons, will offend the townspeople, create chaos, leave the town at his mercy. After an initial hostile reception, he relies on his quick wits and the assistance of Jim, an alcoholic gunslinger known as the "Waco Kid," to overcome the townspeople's hostility, he subdues Mongo, an immensely strong, dim-witted, but philosophical henchman sent to kill him he beats German seductress-for-hire Lili von Shtüpp at her own game, with Lili falling in love with him.

Upon Mongo's release, he vaguely informs Bart of Lamarr's connection to the railroad, so Bart and Jim visit the railroad work site and discover from Charlie, Bart's best friend, that the railway is planned to go through Rock Ridge. Just as Taggart and his men arrive to kill Bart, Jim outshoots the thugs, forcing Taggart to retreat to Lamarr. Lamarr, furious that his schemes have backfired, hatches a larger plan involving a recruited army of thugs, including common criminals, Ku Klux Klansmen and Methodists. At a distance of 3 mi east of Rock Ridge, Bart introduces the white townspeople to the black and Irish railroad workers, who have agreed to help in exchange for acceptance by the community, explains his plan to defeat Lamarr's army, they labor all night to build a perfect replica of their town, as a diversion. While the townspeople construct replicas of themselves, Bart and Mongo buy time by constructing the "Gov. William J. Le Petomane Thruway", forcing the raiding party to turn back for "a shitload of dimes" to pay the toll.

Once through the tollbooth, the raiders attack the fake town populated with dummies, which are booby-trapped with dynamite bombs. After Jim detonates the bombs with his sharpshooting, launching bad guys and horses skyward, the Rock Ridgers storm the villains; the resulting brawl between townsfolk, railroad workers, Lamarr's thugs breaks the fourth wall as the fight spills onto a neighboring set, where director Buddy Bizarre is directing a Busby Berkeley-style top-hat-and-tails musical number. Lamarr, realizing he has been beaten, hails a taxi and orders the driver to "drive me off this picture", he ducks into Grauman's Chinese Theatre, playing the premiere of Blazing Saddles. As he settles into his seat, he sees Bart arriving on horseback outside the theatre. Bart blocks Lamarr's escape, shoots him in the groin. Bart and Jim go into Grauman's to watch the end of the film, in which Bart announces to the townspeople that he is moving on because his work in Rock Ridge is done. Riding out of town, he finds Jim, still eating his popcorn, invites him along to "nowhere special".

The two friends ride off into the sunset—in a chauffeured limousine. Count Basie and his orchestra make a cameo appearance, playing "April in Paris" in the middle of the desert as Bart rides toward Rock Ridge to assume the post of sheriff. Brooks appears in three on-screen roles: Governor Le Petomane, the Yiddish-speaking Native American chief, an applicant for Hedley Lamarr's thug army, he has two off-screen voice roles, as one of Lili's German chorus boys during "I'm Tired", as a grouchy moviegoer. The idea for the film came from a story outline written by Andrew Bergman that he intended to develop and produce himself. "I wrote a first draft called Tex-X", he said. "Alan Arkin was hired to direct and James Earl Jones was going to play the sheriff


An iceport is a more-or-less permanent indentation in the front of an ice shelf, that can serve as a natural ice harbor. Though useful, they are not always reliable, as calving of surrounding ice shelves can render an iceport temporarily unstable and unusable. Iceports have played a critical role in Antarctic exploration. For example, the Bay of Whales served as the base for several important Antarctic expeditions, including: 1910-1912: Amundsen's South Pole expedition, led by Roald Amundsen 1928-1930: Richard Evelyn Byrd - First expedition 1933-1935: Richard Evelyn Byrd - Second expedition 1939-1941: United States Antarctic Service Expedition, led by Richard Evelyn ByrdNorsel Iceport was used by the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition to moor and unload the expedition ship Norsel in 1949; the NBSAE established Maudheim Station about 1 mile south of the iceport. The term iceport was first suggested by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names in 1956 to denote "ice shelf embayments, subject to configuration changes, which may offer anchorage or possible access to the upper surface of an ice shelf via ice ramps along one or more sides of the feature".

Prior to the invention of the ice pier, U. S. ships participating in Operation Deep Freeze discharged cargo at temporary iceports in McMurdo Sound. At that time and tankers arriving with supplies and fuel were forced to dock as far away as 16 km from the harbor. Ships would moor alongside seasonal pack ice, where longshoremen would offload cargo onto large sleds. Snowcats and tractors would be used to tow the freight over ice to McMurdo Station, a difficult and dangerous operation. U. S. Navy engineers constructed the first floating ice pier at McMurdo Station, Antarctica’s southernmost sea port, in 1973. Since that time, the use of iceports has declined but not been eliminated. Iceports in Antarctica include: Atka Iceport Erskine Iceport Godel Iceport Norsel Iceport Bay of Whales Ice pier

Walking football

Walking football is a variant of association football, aimed at keeping people aged over 50 involved with football if, due to a lack of mobility or for other reason, they are not able to play the traditional game. The sport can be played both indoors and outdoors. Walking football was devised, during 2011, by John Croot of the Chesterfield F. C. Community Trust. Coverage of a session on Sky Sports News and a documentary aired on Sky Sports Football in October 2017, led to several other clubs taking up this version of the game, it has since become a current craze. Though based on association football, the key difference in the rules, from standard football, is that if a player runs they concede a free kick to the other side; this restriction, together with a ban on slide tackles, is aimed both at avoiding injuries and facilitating the playing of the sport by those who are physically disadvantaged. The manner in which the sport is played promotes cardiovascular fitness whilst producing the least stress on the body.

It helps participants maintain an active lifestyle. In walking football the game was played without goalkeepers and, the ball must never be kicked above hip height. Different footballs are used in the outdoor variations of the sport; when played indoors, a size 4 futsal ball is used. Outdoor games involve a traditional football; the size of the pitch can vary to suit different locations. The length should be from the width between 15 and 30 yards; the sport came to wider public attention in July 2014, when Barclays Bank aired a television advertisement featuring walking football to promote their services. Official website

Grace Kelly (film)

Grace Kelly is a 1983 American made-for-television biographical film starring Cheryl Ladd as Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco. The film aired on ABC on February 21, 1983; the producers claimed that Princess Grace assisted for several weeks with the films preproduction before her unexpected death in 1982. Cheryl Ladd as Grace Kelly Christina Applegate as Young Grace Kelly Lloyd Bridges as Jack Kelly Diane Ladd as Margaret Kelly Alejandro Rey as Oleg Cassini Ian McShane as Prince Rainier of Monaco Marta DuBois as Rita Gam The New York Times wrote that Cheryl Ladd, "comes reasonably close to being as beautiful as the original," however regretted "the sense of stately awe and suffocating propriety that seeps through the project. Grace Kelly will offend nobody. It's not to interest too many people, either". Grace Kelly on IMDb

Svetlana Sleptsova

Svetlana Yuryevna Sleptsova is a retired Russian biathlete. She is a member of the club CSKA, she is a three-time Junior World Champion and won the bronze medal in the mixed relay at the 2008 World Championships in Östersund. In 2009, she was part of the gold medal winning Russian women's relay team at the World Championships in Pyeongchang. Sleptsova is an Olympic champion in relay at Vancouver. In February 2020, Sleptsova was found guilty of an anti-doping violation and had her results from 2013-14 disqualified Svetlana Sleptsova was born in a sports family. At the age of ten, she started regular biathlon classes, when biathlon coach Alexander Korchak came to her school and invited her to engage in biathlon. In a chat of 17 January 2008 at Rasen-Antholz, Sleptsova recalls: "I started doing biathlon in third grade. There was biathlon in Khanty-Mansiysk at that time. There was no alternative." The young athletes were shooting with air rifles, the biathlon exercises were combined with ballet dancing and karate.

Sleptsova achieved her first success in 2001, when she won the A. Strepetova prize at the Russian Youth Championships. In 2005, under the direction of Mikhail Novikov, she won the individual competition at the Youth World Championships in Kontiolahti, 1:15 minutes ahead of Vita Semerenko. A few months she suffered a severe loss—the death of her father. Growing into the juniors' age group, Sleptsova became a member of the Yugra team of head coach Valery Zakharov. After two years, thanks to hard training under the sensitive guidance of an experienced coach, she advanced to one of the world's best junior athletes, did her World Cup debut at Pokljuka in 2007. According to Sleptsova, this experience helped her to be better prepared for the Junior World Championships, so she achieved two victories at Martell—in the sprint and pursuit competitions, respectively; the successful season for this young athlete was completed by the Senior Russian Championships, where she won three medals, received a ticket to the country's main national team.

Sleptsova coped quickly with senior biathlon, attaining several top-10 ranks before the start of the new year. Next, she finished the sprint at Oberhof, Germany as second, repeated this result in the subsequent week at Ruhpolding. After the disqualification of Kaisa Varis, she was awarded the victory of this competition. Sleptsova arrived at the 2008 World Championships in Östersund in good form, but an illness prevented her from demonstrating her maximum capability. However, she won the bronze medal in the mixed relay competition. At the end of the season, at Oslo-Holmenkollen, she achieved her first "real" victory standing on top of the pedestal, won the pursuit competition as well, she came up with similar results at the 2008 Russian Championships, winning three gold medals and the grand prize—a car. As of 2009, she has three world cup victories, excluding the one Varis retrieved after being cleared to compete again after IBU had broken test correction process. Sleptsova's last competition was the 2017 Summer Biathlon World Championships in Chaykovskiy, Russia.

There, she won on all three disciplines. Following that, Sleptsova announced her retirement on 27 August 2017, as she will concentrate on family life. All results are sourced from the International Biathlon Union. 1 medal * The mixed relay was added as an event in 2014. 2 medals * During Olympic seasons competitions are only held for those events not included in the Olympic program. 6 medals 5 victories – 16 podiums – * Results are from UIPMB and IBU races which include the Biathlon World Cup, Biathlon World Championships and the Winter Olympic Games. 6 victories – 16 podiums – * Results are from UIPMB and IBU races which include the Biathlon World Cup, Biathlon World Championships and the Winter Olympic Games. * Statistics as of 8 March 2017. * Results in all IBU World Cup races and World Championships including relay events and disqualified races. Statistics as of 8 March 2017. Official website Svetlana Sleptsova at and from IBU


Sclerocormus is an extinct genus of ichthyosauriform from the early Triassic period. The fossil was discovered in China, it is only known from one specimen, however the fossil is complete and as such further increases our understanding of the early evolution of ichthyosaurs. Sclerocormus is much larger than its closest relative Cartorhynchus, with a total body length of close to 1.6 metres. Its proportions were unusual amongst basal ichthyosauriformes, with a short built trunk, a long tail over 92 cm long, a small skull with a short, narrow snout and toothless jaws. Like Cartorhynchus, the skull of Sclerocormus is wide, with a short, edentulous snout much narrower than the skull roof; the skull is unusually short at only 6.25% of its body length, compared to 12% in Chaohusaurus and 15% in Hupehsuchus. Unusually, the nasals of Sclerocormus extend to the tip of the snout, a trait which it shares with Cartorhynchus; the snout is short, only 30% of the total skull length. By contrast, the orbits are large, occupying over a third of the skull length.

The upper temporal fenestrae are large indicating a strong bite force despite its lack of teeth. The trunk is short and built, with broad and flattened ribs; the ribcage is deepest at the shoulders and becomes shallower, forming a straight, constant slope, similar to Cartorhynchus but in contrast to the more rounded underside seen in other ichthyosauromorphs. An extensive gastral rib basket runs along the underside in two parallel series on each side; the inner of the two series are composed of flat, overlapping triangular pieces of bone that resemble the condition in hupehsuchians. The cervical and dorsal vertebrae bear tall, vertical neural spines that are broadened so as to leave little space between each spine; this resembles the condition in Hupehsuchia, but is unlike the well-spaced, posteriorly inclined spines of basal ichthyopterygians. The caudal neural spines in contrast are lower than they have rounded tips; the tail itself is long and slender, composed of at least 67 caudal vertebrae, does not appear to have had a fluke.

The haemal arches possess a unique morphology, where only the ninth pair and onwards are fused distally, however unlike other diapsids they are not V- or Y-shaped in cranial view, but U-shaped. Small dermal ossicles were reported from the cervical region, ranging in size between 2–5 mm, curiously resemble the pelvic ossicles of saurosphargids. There are no ossicles present unlike in hupehsuchians; the full binomial name, Sclerocormus parviceps, comes from the Greek words for'stiff trunk' and the Latin words for'small skull'. In the phylogenetic analysis performed by Jiang et al. 2016, Sclerocormus was found to be a basal ichthyosaurform and as a sister taxon to Cartorhynchus. Jiang et al. erected the new clade Nasorostra for these two taxa, itself a sister taxon to Ichthyopterygia. As with other recent analyses, Ichthyosauriformes and Hupehsuchia are recognised as sister clades in Ichthyosauromorpha; as the holotype of Cartorhynchus was not mature, it was possible Sclerocormus represented a large or mature Cartorhynchus.

However, it was established this was not the case, as there were significant anatomical differences between the two genera, including different presacral vertebral counts and the form of the gastralia, that could distinguish between the two taxa. This cladogram represents a simplified form of the phylogeny from Jiang et al. 2016: Due to its heavy build and body shape, Sclerocormus inhabited shallow waters, as with Cartorhynchus, was a slow swimmer. The narrow, toothless snout indicates Sclerocormus was a suction feeder, using its snout to generate syringe-like pressure concentration to suck in soft-bodied prey. Due to the small size of its jaws and head relative to its body, Sclerocormus would have been limited to feeding on prey much smaller than itself