December 31, 2014

Old Photographs of New Year's Eve Celebrations in Times Square

Before we welcome in 2015, take a look back at some of the best shots of New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, New York City.

Looking north from 43rd street, a huge crowd gathers around a Christmas tree to welcome in 1938.

Thousands of people fill Times Square to watch the annual ball drop on New Year's Eve in 1939.

Times Square is packed with an endless sea of excited revelers in 1940.

An estimated 750,000 celebrators turned out in Times Square on Jan. 1, 1945, which was all lit up with the help of Lady Liberty.

Times Square is all lit up as the annual New Year's Eve bash begins in 1948.





Rare Behind the Scenes Photographs from the Making of the Film "Taxi Driver"

Taxi Driver (1976) is director Martin Scorsese's and screenwriter Paul Schrader's gritty, disturbing, nightmarish modern film classic, that examines alienation in urban society. Scorsese's fourth film, combining elements of film noir, the western, horror and urban melodrama film genres. Historically, the film appeared after a decade of war in Vietnam, and after the disgraceful Watergate crisis and President Nixon's resignation.

It explores the psychological madness within an obsessed, twisted, inarticulate, lonely, anti-hero cab driver and war vet (De Niro), who misdirectedly lashes out with frustrated anger and power like an exploding time bomb at the world that has alienated him. His assaultive unhinging is first paired with a longing to connect with a blonde goddess office worker (Shepherd), and then with an attempt to rescue/liberate a young 12-year old prostitute named Iris (Foster) from her predatory pimp "Sport" (Keitel) and her tawdry, streetwalking life.

The film is regularly cited by critics, film directors, and audiences alike as one of the greatest films of all time. Here, below is a collection of behind the scenes photographs from the set of the 1976 film.










December 30, 2014

Santa Claus's Plane at Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, 1934

This collection of photographs documents the arrival of Santa Claus's plane at Northumberland. Santa can be seen arriving via plane in a field at Seaton Delaval, Northumberland. He is greeted by a crowd of excited children who then go on to parade with him to the local High Street for gifts and music.


Santa's plane ready to land in a field at Seaton Delaval, Northumberland.

Santa Claus arriving in his plane in a field at Seaton Delaval, Northumberland.

A large crowd rushing to Santa's plane in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland.

Santa Claus in his plane, holding a teddy bear and shaking the hand of gentleman in a field at Seaton Delaval, Northumberland.

Santa Claus, outside a shop on Astley Road, Seaton Delaval, giving out apples and oranges to children.

Santa Claus and a band leading a parade of children through the streets, passing the Manse, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland.

(via Northumberland County Archives Service)



Rare Photos of a Young Osama bin Laden Dressed in His Judo in the Early 1980s

Jimmy Wu, a top Taiwan judo coach, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a tournament in the central city of Taichung that he came across bin Laden when coaching the Saudi Arabian national judo team from 1981 to 1991.

Bin Laden, whom Wu then knew only as "Osama", attended classes at the judo centre while still a university student. He was too tall for judo, and Wu said he advised him against the sport, but he was insistent so Wu accepted him.

"I didn't know the name bin Laden then," Wu said. "After 9/11 (attacks on New York and Washington), I was invited to a seminar, and some of my former students there said 'oh Jimmy, Osama, now he's our hero'. I was surprised and I looked for some pictures and I said 'oh this guy' and I started to have some memory of him."

Wu showed Reuters photographs of himself and a tall, thin, bearded, serious young man with a mop of black hair whom he said was Osama. Osama attended lessons two to three times a week but Wu never saw him again after 1984.

Reuters has no way of verifying that the man in the pictures was bin Laden.

Bin Laden was shot dead by U.S. forces in Pakistan on May 2, 2011. He had been on America's most wanted list since his followers carried out the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001.

An undated photograph shows Taiwanese coach Jimmy Wu (C) seen with who he says is himself with Osama Bin Laden (R) and an unidentified man dressed in their judo gi in Riyadh. REUTERS/Photo Courtesy of Jimmy Wu Cheng-min

Taiwanese coach Jimmy Wu poses with what Wu says is a photo of himself (C, in picture) with Osama Bin Laden (R, in picture) dressed in their judo gi, during an interview with Reuters in Taichung May 7, 2011. Wu showed Reuters photographs of himself and a tall, thin, bearded, serious young man with a mop of black hair whom he said was Osama. Osama attended lessons two to three times a week but Wu never saw him again after 1984. REUTERS/Nicky Loh

An undated photograph provided by Taiwanese judo coach Jimmy Wu (2nd R) shows what Wu says is Osama Bin Laden (C, top) having a meal with fellow judo members in Riyadh.

An undated photograph provided by Taiwanese judo coach Jimmy Wu (2nd R) shows what Wu says is Osama Bin Laden (C, top) having a meal with fellow judo members in Riyadh.

An undated photograph provided by Taiwanese judo coach Jimmy Wu shows what Wu says is Osama Bin Laden dressed in his judo gi in Riyadh.

(via Reuters)



December 29, 2014

Elizabeth Serving in WWII: Rare Pictures of the Queen as a Driver and Truck Mechanic in 1944-45

With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret largely stayed out of London, having been relocated to Windsor Castle. From there she made the first of her famous radio broadcasts, with this particular speech reassuring the children of Britain who had been evacuated from their homes and families. The 14-year-old princess, showing her calm and firm personality, told them "that in the end, all will be well; for God will care for us and give us victory and peace."

Elizabeth soon started taking on other public duties. Appointed colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards by her father, Elizabeth made her first public appearance inspecting the troops in 1942. She also began to accompany her parents on official visits within Britain.



In 1945, Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service to help in the war effort. She trained side-by-side with other British women to be an expert driver and mechanic. While her volunteer work only lasted a few months, it offered Elizabeth a glimpse into a different, non-royal world. She had another vivid experience outside of the monarchy when she and Margaret were allowed to mingle anonymously among the citizenry on Victory in Europe Day.










December 28, 2014


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