Jackie Chan

Chan Kong-sang, known professionally as Jackie Chan, is a Hong Kongese martial artist, film director, producer and singer. He is known in the cinematic world for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, innovative stunts, which he performs himself, he has trained in Wushu or Kung Fu and Hapkido, has been acting since the 1960s, appearing in over 150 films. Chan is one of the most recognisable and influential cinematic personalities in the world, gaining a widespread following in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres, has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he has been referenced in various pop songs and video games. He is an operatically trained vocalist and is a Cantopop and Mandopop star, having released a number of albums and sung many of the theme songs for the films in which he has starred, he is a globally known philanthropist and has been named as one of the top 10 most charitable celebrities by Forbes magazine.

In 2004, film scholar Andrew Willis stated that Chan was "perhaps" the "most recognised star in the world". In 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $350 million, as of 2016, he was the second-highest paid actor in the world. Chan was born on 7 April 1954 in Hong Kong as Chan Kong-sang to Charles and Lee-Lee Chan, refugees from the Chinese Civil War, his parents nicknamed him Pao-pao. His parents worked for the French ambassador in Hong Kong, Chan spent his formative years within the grounds of the consul's residence in the Victoria Peak district. Chan attended the Nah-Hwa Primary School on Hong Kong Island, where he failed his first year, after which his parents withdrew him from the school. In 1960, his father emigrated to Canberra, Australia, to work as the head cook for the American embassy, Chan was sent to the China Drama Academy, a Peking Opera School run by Master Yu Jim-yuen. Chan trained rigorously for the next decade, excelling in martial acrobatics, he became part of the Seven Little Fortunes, a performance group made up of the school's best students, gaining the stage name Yuen Lo in homage to his master.

Chan became close friends with fellow group members Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, the three of them became known as the Three Brothers or Three Dragons. After entering the film industry, Chan along with Sammo Hung got the opportunity to train in hapkido under the grand master Jin Pal Kim, Chan attained a black belt. Jackie Chan trained in other styles of martial arts such as Karate, Judo and Jeet Kune Do. Chan joined his parents in Canberra in 1976, where he attended Dickson College and worked as a construction worker. A fellow builder named Jack took Chan under his wing, thus earning Chan the nickname of "Little Jack", shortened to "Jackie", the name Jackie Chan has stuck with him since. In the late 1990s, Chan changed his Chinese name to Fong Si-lung, since his father's original surname was Fong, he began his career by appearing in small roles at the age of five as a child actor. At age eight, he appeared with some of his fellow "Little Fortunes" in the film Big and Little Wong Tin Bar with Li Li-Hua playing his mother.

The following year, the young actor appeared in extras of The Love Eterne and had a small role in King Hu's 1966 film Come Drink with Me. In 1971, after an appearance as an extra in another kung fu film, A Touch of Zen, Chan was signed to Chu Mu's Great Earth Film Company. At seventeen, he worked as a stuntman in the Bruce Lee films Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon under the stage name Chan Yuen Lung, he received his first starring role that year in Little Tiger of Canton that had a limited release in Hong Kong in 1973. In 1976, Jackie Chan received a telegram from Willie Chan, a film producer in the Hong Kong film industry, impressed with Jackie's stunt work. Willie Chan offered him an acting role in a film directed by Lo Wei. Lo had seen Chan's performance in the John Woo film Hand of Death and planned to model him after Bruce Lee with the film New Fist of Fury, his stage name was changed to Sing Lung to emphasise his similarity to Bruce Lee, whose stage name meant "Little Dragon" in Chinese.

The film was unsuccessful. Despite the film's failure, Lo Wei continued producing films with similar themes, but with little improvement at the box office. Chan's first major breakthrough was the 1978 film Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, shot while he was loaned to Seasonal Film Corporation under a two-picture deal. Director Yuen Woo-ping allowed Chan complete freedom over his stunt work; the film established the comedic kung fu genre, proved refreshing to the Hong Kong audience. The same year, Chan starred in Drunken Master, which propelled him to mainstream success. Upon Chan's return to Lo Wei's studio, Lo tried to replicate the comedic approach of Drunken Master and showed new features at the time with Jackie as the Stunt Director Half a Loaf of Kung Fu and Spiritual Kung Fu, he gave Chan the opportunity to make his directorial debut in The Fearless Hyena. When Willie Chan left the company, he advised Jackie to decide for himself whether or not to stay with Lo Wei. During the shooting of Fearless Hyena Part II, Chan broke his contract and joined Golden Harvest, prompting Lo to blackmail Chan with triads, blaming Willie for his star's departure.

The dispute was resolved with the help of fellow actor and director Jimmy Wang Yu, allowing Chan to stay with Gol

The Graveyard Five

The Graveyard Five were an American garage rock band formed in Lakeport, California, in 1967. Musically, the group possessed a haunting and eerie ambiance, inspired by the ghostly settings of a cemetery; the band upheld an spectral image on stage and are best remembered for the song "The Marble Orchard", which has since received substantial notice among garage rock enthusiasts. The band formed in 1967 after a chance encounter between the group members at a convenience store, with a line-up that consisted of Louis Shriner, Dave Tempelton, Dennis Roller, Steve Kuppinger. A decision to name the group the Graveyard Five was made when the bandmates experienced an apparent supernatural encounter with the dead, while playing with an ouija board; the unaccounted "fifth member" of the Graveyard Five was a coffin that the group would ceremoniously carry onto the stage prior to performances. Combine with their elaborate light show, the band developed a dark presence in their live performances, with a repertoire that contained surf rock-inspired instrumentals.

Kuppinger recalled the Graveyard Five's rise to popularity was met with challenges, noting the struggles of performing at "bars where they just were not ready for us. We had beer bottles thrown at us while we played, it was some hard work for little pay". Nonetheless, the band soon became a popular live attraction in the Bay Area, opening for Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Loading Zone, Jefferson Airplane, among others; as a result of winning a battle of the band's competition against another local rock outfit known as the Fatigues, the Graveyard Five earned a recording contract with record producer Stan Sweeney. The band chose original compositions that reflected upon their self-described "graveyard sound", the songs "The Marble Orchard" and "Graveyard Five Theme", for the group's debut single. "The Marble Orchard", an allusion to a cemetery, was penned by Shriner and Kuppinger, quite on an October night in Lakeport’s Hartley Cemetery. Kuppinger detailed the song's conception, saying "It was a stormy night.

Lightning. Thunder. We sat in an old Studebaker station wagon, wrote that song as it happened; the heartbeat in the beginning is me thumping my bass strings. I put a lot of reverb and echo on it and it came out better than the stock heartbeat they had recorded to use. I seem to remember that when Louis asked for the cigarette I handed him a Lucky Strike non-filter, so if you can picture it, about what it looked like that night in the cemetery". In September 1968, "The Marble Orchard" was released on the Stanco record label. Though the song was demanded regionally, many of the pressings were destroyed in a fire or by Shriner, while on a LSD-induced trip. A follow-up single, featuring "Stay By My Grave" and "Out of the Night", was intended to be released in early 1969, furthering the Graveyard Five's dark premise. However, dealing with the effects of a bad trip, suffered a mental breakdown while the band was touring in Florida, he destroyed the group's equipment in the incident, the Graveyard Five disbanded before the single could be released.

A whole set of material, fit enough for a complete album, was composed and recorded, but that too has yet to be distributed. Since its original release, "The Marble Orchard" has become recognized on several compilation albums, including most prominently on Pebbles, Volume 16. An original copy of the Graveyard Five's single fetches sums of up to $4,500, a testament to its collectivity. All of the band members themselves have experienced eerily peculiar events after the Graveyard Five: Tempelton was imprisoned, Shriner's whereabouts are unknown, Roller suffers from the damage caused by severe burns to his arms, Kuppinger is diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which keeps him in a constant state of pain. "The Graveyard Theme" b/w "Marble Orchard" - Stanco Records, 1968

1910 Great Flood of Paris

The 1910 Great Flood of Paris was a catastrophe in which the Seine River, carrying winter rains from its tributaries, flooded the Paris conurbation, France. The Seine water level rose eight metres above the ordinary level. In the winter of 1909–1910, Paris and the surrounding area experienced higher than normal rainfall which saturated the ground and filled rivers to overflowing. In January 1910, Parisians were preoccupied with daily life and lulled into a false sense of security because the Seine's waters level had risen and fallen again in December, they ignored reports of mudslides and flooding occurring upriver. They were slow to notice warnings signs within the city as the Seine's water level rose eight meters higher than normal, its water began to flow much faster than normal, large amounts of debris appeared. By late January, the Seine River flooded Paris when water pushed upwards from overflowing sewers and subway tunnels seeped into basements through saturated soil and from the sewer system that got backed up, which led to the basements of several buildings sustaining damage.

The waters did not overflow the river's banks within the city, but flooded Paris through tunnels and drains. These larger sewer tunnels were engineered by Baron Haussmann and Eugene Belgrand in 1878 which magnified the destruction caused by the flood in 1910. In neighbouring towns both east and west of the capital, the river rose above its banks and flooded the surrounding terrain directly. Winter floods were a normal occurrence in Paris but, on January 21, the river began to rise more than normal; this was seen as a sort of spectacle where people were standing in the streets watching the water rise in the Seine. Over the course of the following week, thousands of Parisians evacuated their homes as water infiltrated buildings and streets throughout the city, shutting down much basic infrastructure; the infrastructure was more vulnerable to flooding because most of it was built within the sewage system in order to avoid cluttering the streets. Police and soldiers moved through waterlogged streets in boats to rescue stranded residents from second-story windows and to distribute aid.

Refugees gathered in makeshift shelters in churches and government buildings. Although the water threatened to overflow the tops of the quay walls lining the river, workmen were able to keep the Seine back with hastily built levees. Once water invaded the Gare d'Orsay rail terminal, its tracks soon sat under more than a metre of water. To continue moving throughout the city, residents traveled by boat or across a series of wooden walkways built by government engineers and civilians. On 28 January the water reached its maximum height at 8.62 metres above its normal level. In March, the Seine returned to normal levels. Estimates of the flood damage reached $1.5 billion in today's money. The flooding lasted nearly a week, according to one report. Remarkably, despite the damage and duration of the flood, no deaths were reported. There were fears that an outbreak of disease would occur after debris from flooded homes piled into the streets; the flood provided the setting for the 2011 animated film A Monster in Paris.

Jeffrey H. Jackson, Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 Media related to Great flood of Paris in 1910 at Wikimedia Commons Crue de la Seine Postcard collection of flood photographs Images by photographer Pierre Petit Assemblée nationale website on the 1910 flood The flood's impact on Parisian hospitals L'explosition virtuelle Paris Inondé 1910: Galerie des bibliothèques, Ville de Paris Revisiting the flood 100 years later