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An experimental COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax appears to offer strong protection in late-stage UK, South Africa studies

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — An experimental COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax appears to offer strong protection in late-stage UK, South Africa studies.last_img

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Happy Birthday, Grease! 37 Fun Facts About Rydell High

first_imgSandy, Danny and the Rydell High gang are turning 37 today! The smash-hit movie Grease was released June 16, 1978, starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing and Jeff Conaway as the coolest high schoolers in history. Filmed on a shoestring budget, the movie adapted from the hit Broadway musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey went on to become the highest-grossing movie musical ever. Isn’t it the most, to say the least? Check out these 37 automatic, systematic, hydromatic facts all about our pals at Rydell High.1. The 1978 film was based on the 1972 Broadway musical of the same name, which originally ran for 3,388 performances and has since been revived twice.2. Several changes were made for the big-screen adaptation—the “Burger Palace Boys,” as the greasers were called in the Broadway show, were changed to the much catchier “T-Birds” in the movie.3. Originally, producers had the idea to make Grease an animated movie—they settled on a live-action film with animated opening credits instead.4. Four Grease film stars also appeared in the Broadway production: John Travolta (Doody on Broadway and Danny in the movie), Jeff Conaway (Danny on Broadway and Kenickie in the movie), Barry Pearl (Sonny on Broadway and Doody in the movie) and Jamie Donnelly (Jan on Broadway and in the movie).5. The majority of the cast hadn’t seen the inside of a high school in quite a while: John Travolta was 23 at the time of filming, Olivia Newton-John was 28 and Stockard Channing was 33.6. Frankie Valli sang the film’s title song “Grease,” which plays during the opening credits.7. Henry Winkler was considered for the part of Danny but he turned it down because he didn’t want to be typecast after starring on Happy Days.8. Susan Dey (The Partridge Family) and Deborah Raffin (7th Heaven) were both considered for the role of Sandy.9. John Travolta was initially star struck by singer Olivia Newton-John—he went to her house to convince her to co-star in the movie and was very impressed that she had a pool.10. To capitalize on Olivia Newton-John’s popularity, the film’s creators opted to keep her Australian accent and change Sandy’s last name from Dumbrowski to Olsen.11. Elvis was originally offered the role of Teen Angel, but he turned it down. It was played by Frankie Avalon in the movie.12. Another Elvis connection: In the play, “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” had a reference to Sal Mineo, but he was murdered in 1976, so the reference was changed to Elvis for the film. Elvis died on August 16, 1977, the same day the scene was filmed.13. Dinah Manoff, who played Marty, couldn’t dance, so she was conveniently missing from most of the dance scenes.14. Lucie Arnaz was the studio’s original choice for Rizzo, but her mother Lucille Ball refused to let her do a screen test.15. Gerald Ford’s son Steven was initially cast as Sandy’s jock boyfriend Tom, but even though the part had no lines, he decided he was too nervous. The role went to Lorenzo Lamas instead.16. During the movie’s shoot, the cast reportedly chewed 100,000 pieces of bubble gum.17. “You’re the One that I Want” was filmed at a traveling carnival that was only in town for the day. Portions of the carnival had to be re-created later for close-up shots.18. The hickeys on Rizzo’s neck in the diner scene were authentic, given to Stockard Channing by Jeff Conaway, who played Kenickie. Talk about method acting!19. The song “Greased Lighting” was originally supposed to be sung by Jeff Conaway, but John Travolta convinced producers to let him sing it instead.20. In Mexico and Venezuela, Grease was released under the name Vaselina.21. John Travolta was disappointed when the last shot of the song “Sandy” ended with a cartoon hot dog jumping into a bun. “He wanted a close-up [on him],” director Robert Kleiser told The New York Post. “But that hot dog was fantastic. I didn’t want to shoot the close-up because I loved the hot dog. That was a battle, but I won.”22. The movie soundtrack had two number-one singles: “Grease” and “You’re the One That I Want.”23. Although he was taller than John Travolta, Jeff Conaway slouched when he was filmed with the star so he would appear taller.24. Most of the dancers had character names like Sauce, Trix, Cee Cee, Woppo and Bubba, even though they were never used in the movie.25. It was 116 degrees during the filming of the Rydell prom scene, which took two weeks to film in downtown Los Angeles. Several extras were treated for heat-related illnesses.26. In the final carnival scene, Eddie Deezen, who played Eugene, was filmed on a spinning ride. Afterwards, he got sick and threw up in the middle of the carnival lot.27. Annette Charles (Cha Cha), who had been in the hospital undergoing tests for pain, checked herself out to film the drag race scene. That night, she was rushed into surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.28. Sandy’s pants in “You’re the One That I Want” really belonged to Olivia Newton-John—they were 25 years old and she had to be sewn into them when her zipper broke.29. The producers had hoped for a product placement deal with Coke, but it fell through. There are several shots of Coca-Cola products and signs in the scenes taking place in the Frosty Palace that have been blurred out or digitally removed.30. After the success of the movie, Paramount had plans for a Grease franchise, featuring three more movies and a TV series. But when Grease 2 flopped in 1982, these plans were put on hold.31. The writers of Grease were inspired to write the song “Beauty School Dropout” after seeing a news story about a teenage murderer who had recently dropped out of beauty school.32. Kleiser originally wanted to direct the song “It’s Raining on Prom Night” as a Singin’ in the Rain-esque sequence with Sandy, but that was vetoed in favor of a new ballad, “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”33. The actors behaved almost like real high-school students on set. “We were so bad,” Susan Buckner, who played Patty Simcox, told People. “Almost everybody would come in two, three hours late. They had to bring us all in and give us a lecture.”34. Jamie Donnelly had prematurely grey hair, so she had to dye it black to play Jan.35. Jeff Conway (Kenickie), later married Rona Newton-John, Olivia’s sister.36. Grease 2 had double the budget ($13 million) of the original film but only earned $15 million at the box office.37. Grease only cost $6 million to make, but has taken in $400 million internationally to date, making it the highest-grossing movie musical of all time. View Commentslast_img read more

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Poe’s Perspective: Being a real fan is worth the heartbreak

first_imgMy parents met at a bar owned by former Kansas State quarterback Lynn Dickey, and my dad popped the question in the nosebleed seats at Arrowhead Stadium. As soon as I was born, I was stuffed into a white-and-red onesie and toted to Chiefs training camp. That’s why, last Saturday afternoon, I didn’t believe that the Chiefs would win. I grew up through year after year of the same old disappointment — a stellar start to the season followed by a dramatic crumble into postseason failure. The possibility that the Chiefs could step up and dominate another  I was stunned, rewinding the moments with my mom in a series of clipped, all-caps texts. Most of my existence is owed to football — the Kansas City Chiefs in particular. And it meant that I had to face a very real, overwhelming possibility — that, with one more win, the Chiefs will play in the Super Bowl. As a pessimistic fan, part of me will expect the loss from the first snap. But the rest of me simply won’t care. The team taking the field in Arrowhead this season is one of the best we’ve seen in Kansas City in awhile and, for once, we feel that we might have the upper hand for awhile — the best tight end in the league and a baby quarterback who’s changing the way the position’s played. Regardless, I’ve lived through two-loss and two-win seasons, and I’ve loved this team long enough to know that things will be okay. The thing I’ve learned since moving to Los Angeles is that not everyone completely understands what it means to be a fan. It makes sense, really, that in a city privileged with the wealth of stars like Kobe Bryant, with a torrid history of NFL teams that came and went only to return a few years later, fandom would be a casual thing. Los Angeles is a tourist city and its fans’ perspectives follow suit, coming and going like fads, following the ebbs and flows of winning and losing seasons. I couldn’t help it. That team had always been inextricably, permanently part of me. Even my first crush was connected — a boy with shaggy blonde hair named Robbie, who I deemed to be the cutest sixth-grader alive. He also happened to be Kevin Harlan’s son. But to me, being a Chiefs fan runs deeper. It means a quiet Sunday afternoon in Kansas City with a bowl of chili balanced on my lap, my dad holding his iPad up inches from his nose to read off stats. It means nonsensical texts from my mom — “Did you see that?” and “PAT!!!” were two of the most recent — that I automatically understand. I’ve never watched the Super Bowl as an actual fan, instead enjoying the annual excuse to eat a ton of pigs-in-a-blanket and, if need be, shout insults at the Patriots. I’m not even sure how I’ll react if that happens. (Cry? Laugh? Name my first son Patrick, after the Chiefs’ quarterback?)center_img Each fall, as the air became less muggy and dense, my mom hoarded McCormick spice packets to prepare for long Sundays of chili cooking in the Crock-Pot and football blaring in the living room. We always muted the ESPN announcers, preferring the talent on our local radio station — the warm astonishment of Kevin Harlan’s, “Oh baby, whatta play!” and the roaring excitement of Mitch Holthus’ cry, “Touchdown, Kan-sas Cit-y!” The Chiefs weren’t especially good when I was little, but they were good enough to make me fall in love — hard. Maybe too hard. Even as a kid, I was an overly loyal fan. When the Bengals beat us one year, I attempted to boycott a dance competition I was supposed to attend in Cincinnati the following month. (I lost that argument very quickly, but remained bitter through all three days of the trip.) Even after the 2006 season, when we lost Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez and only won two games, the Chiefs were my guys. A lot can be said about what it means to be a fan. Yes, fandom makes people do crazy things — paint their chests, stand knee-deep in snow on a Sunday, travel thousands of miles and name their children after strangers. But folks from the Midwest know it’s different. Don’t get me wrong, our teams normally aren’t all that good. We suffer through losing streaks, losing seasons, losing decades. The sports gods giveth and taketh away heartily in the heart of America — just ask anyone from Cleveland if you don’t believe me — and most of us know that all good things with our teams will come to an end. I didn’t get much time to consider that prospect before one of my friends asked the pessimistic counter — what would I do if they lost? — but my answer was immediate. I won’t care. I mean yes, I’ll be crushed, but it won’t be the type of loss that destroys me as a fan. Most importantly, it means that no matter what, each season, my family and I can count on the same game, the same field and jerseys and colors that feel like home no matter the record or year. Win or lose this Sunday, and every Sunday after that, the Chiefs are still that something I can count on. Julia Poe is a senior writing about her personal connection to sports. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs weekly on Thursdays.last_img read more

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