Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
10. Bubbles The Chimp
Bubbles The Chimp enjoyed the good life at Neverland Ranch, surrounded by amusement park rides and pampered by his master, Michael Jackson. Bubbles was often seen meandering around the ranch clad in a diaper, and Jackson has claimed that Bubbles actually performed work duties at Neverland, such as dusting and cleaning windows. Perhaps due to his strange living environment and his creepy master, Bubbles became very disturbed as he grew older, displaying fits of temper and even biting several visitors to Neverland Ranch: he was banished from Michael Jackson’s residence due to his misbehavior.
9. Grape Ape
This classic cartoon character was created by Hanna-Barbara in 1975. Grape Ape was known for his intense purple hue and the bright green sweater he always wore. He was also known for his catchphrase, “Grape Ape, Grape Ape!” which he would repeat whenever another character spoke to him. He had a special sidekick, Beegle Beegle, who always traveled alongside him on his many adventures. Grape Ape sat on the top of a yellow car while Beegle Beegle drove him around.
8. Albert, The First Monkey In Space
This rhesus monkey went into space on June 11, 1948, aboard a V2 rocket. Albert began his astronaut career after being launched from a base at White Sands, New Mexico, by the American space program. His flight ended in tragedy as he suffocated and died in the V-2 Blossom rocket. Albert was the first in a series of monkeys sent into space to test the safety of space travel for humans. Other monkeys also gave their lives in the name of science and space exploration: Albert IV survived a space flight in 1949. Unfortunately, Albert IV died on impact as the rocket landed.
This famous lowland gorilla was born on July 4, 1971, in San Francisco. Koko was a female gorilla who mastered over 2,000 words in American Sign Language, allowing her to communicate with humans in an astounding way. Some people felt that Koko was simply making signs without understanding their real meanings, in order to receive treats and rewards from her trainers. Francine Patterson, who was adamant that her famous animal really understood ASL, and was able to conduct lucid exchanges using hand signs, trained Koko.
6. Curious George
This charming monkey is known for his curious nature and his excited chatter. Curious George was brought from Africa by his caring master, The Man With The Yellow Hat, to live in the big city. Curious George is featured in a series of picture books written by Hans Augusto Rey and Margaret Rey. He has been a beloved cartoon character since his creation in 1941, entertaining countless children with his propensity for getting into trouble and mischief.
This ornery orangutan was featured in Clint Eastwood’s popular film, Every Which Way But Loose, and its sequel, Any Which Way You Can. Clint Eastwood’s character, Phil Beddoe, won the orangutan in a bet. Clyde got into the action in both films, punching villains and sticking his hand out of car windows to signal for a turn. Clyde died shortly after the sequel was filmed, reportedly after terrible abuse from his trainer.
4. Bear (BJ & The Bear)
Greg Evigan starred in this popular TV series, as a freelance trucker with a special friend – Bear, the chimpanzee. Bear’s real name was Sam, and he became protective of Greg Evigan during the filming of the show, trying to bite the actors who would “hit” Greg. Once in while, he would also challenge Greg himself, trying to prove his dominance. “Bear” was named after a football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant , and accompanied BJ on his 18-wheeler transport truck as he battled crooked sheriffs and met attractive lady truckers on the road.
3. Mighty Joe Young
In this 1998 Disney film, Joe is raised by Charlize Theron’s character, Jill, who brings him to the United States. An evil poacher, who was also responsible for the death of Joe’s mother, and Jill’s mother, then threatens Joe’s life. Joe met a heroic end in the film while saving a child’s life at the Santa Monica pier, where he fell from a Ferris wheel: this implausible scenario led the film to be considered a disaster by some critics. Nonetheless, the family film grossed over fifty million dollars: unfortunately, the filming budget was a staggering 90 million.
2. Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong first arrived on the scene in 1981, along with Mario, in the incredibly successful Nintendo video game (Donkey Kong). He was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, and was voiced by famous comedian Soupy Sales. Players of this classic video game must jump and run to the top of the screen to get past Donkey Kong and rescue Pauline, the damsel in distress. In 1994, Donkey Kong received a makeover (complete with red tie) and resurfaced to great fanfare in the Gameboy version of Donkey Kong.
1. King Kong
This legendary gorilla has been capturing the public’s imagination since the original black and white film, King Kong, starring Fay Wray, was released in 1933. Since then, his capture from Skull Island and subsequent tragic romance with his human lady friend have been immortalized in remakes such as 2005’s King Kong, directed by Lord of The Ring’s filmmaker, Peter Jackson. There have been seven films made about King Kong over the years, and King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962), the third in a series of Japanese films about Godzilla, remains a cult classic today.
10. 1965 Pontiac GTO
Possibly the one to start the American muscle car craze, the Goat or 1965 Pontiac Tempest GTO option featured racing car options that remained inspirational long after it was out driven in speed and power. From 0-60 in 6.1 seconds was not shabby, but not awe-inspiring considering the next 10 years of muscle cars. Regardless, this muscle car has the chops to make this list just by starting the phenom that has turned car enthusiasts into weekend warriors under the hood.
9. 1970 Buick ‘GSX’ Stage 1
A beefy Buick, the Stage 1 ‘GSX’ performance package boasted 360 bhp though testers said it came in at closer to 400 for the bigger valved, better headed and hotter camshafted car. This supercar did the quarter mile in 13.38 seconds and came in only two colors – Apollo White or Saturn Yellow.
8. 1969 Ford Mustang ‘Boss 429’
The ‘Boss 429’ 1969 Ford Mustang was the costliest non-Shelby Mustang Ford offered at the time. The reason came down to the semi-hemi 429 engine that Ford wanted to get into NASCAR. While the car was not built for its screaming starts, it was known for long-haul racing capabilities and smooth handling.
7. 1970 Plymouth Hemi-Cuda
The baddest of the 1970 Plymouth Barracudas or Hemi Cudas featured a 425 bhp 426 hemi engine. This muscle car boasted a 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and was known for burning rubber without much prompting. A brute on the road, the Hemi Cuda was made for muscle lovers. The Hemi Cuda came in one engine size, 426, while the other four engine options for the ‘Cuda did not have hemispherical heads.
6. 1969 Z28 Camaro
Not the most powerful, the 1969 Z28 Camaro was built for the excitement of road racing and loved for its sense of style and handling capabilities. Perhaps one of the most stylish muscle cars, this Camaro could do a quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds though only at a speed of a little more than 100 mph. Despite that obvious lack of raw power, it was noted for its great handling with four-disc brakes, positraction and power steering.
5. 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C
Thought to have too much power for its chassis, the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C featured an impressive 480 bhp. This sporty little number looked like a European sports car, yet had the muscle to prove it was American. Two twin turbocharged versions of this super car were made – one for Bill Cosby and one for Shelby. Cosby sold his because it had too much power and the next owner put it in a lake; Shelby’s Super Snake was sold in 2007 for $5.5 million US.
4. 1968 L88 Corvette
Boasting a top speed of about 170 mph with a special order package, the 1968 L88 Corvette is thought to be the end-all, be-all in the Corvette world. The 550 bhp motor was designed specifically for racing and GM didn’t want the L88 on the open road due to its power. More standard features of everyday cars such as air conditioning and a radio weren’t even offered to make this powerful car less attractive to the common man.
3. 1970 454 Chevelle SS
The 1970 Super Sport package Chevelle featuring the LS6 package came in at a whopping 454 horse. The option was standard for the average car buyer of the day making it one of the most powerful stock cars anyone could purchase. With racing stripes and a smooth interior, this muscle monger was the average muscle lover’s dream.
2. 1969 427 COPO Chevelle
A special order by dealers designated Central Office Production Order, the 1969 427 COPO Chevelle had a limited run of about 320 cars. This 450 bhp muscle car was fitted with a L72 427-cid V-8 due to demand from muscle loving Chevy dealers. Interestingly enough, Chevy didn’t want their mid-sizes at the time to have more than 400 cid. But the COPO Chevelles were made and distributed to some very happy dealers.
1. 1969 ZL1 Camaro
Perhaps one of the rarest of muscle cars, the 1969 ZL1 Camaro featured a jaw-dropping 500 horses under the hood in an aluminum V-8 engine. This bad boy American beast could go from 0-60 in about 5.3 seconds, which was why some of the 69 models made found their way into drag-racing. Over time, the full complement of cars was sold; however, the package option was never offered again.
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