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Dennis Burt at the Venice Lido (2 of 3)
Picture from the collection of Dennis Burt
Original Caption: 1945-07-26 Lido Venice 'what do you think of me Love Dinks xxx'
Copyright Gary Burt 2013
Many thanks to Gary for providing us with these photos from his father's collection.
Why Does Venice Flood, and What is Being Done About It?
Throughout November 2019, Venice has been inundated with the city's worst floods in half a century. Photographs and videos spread across the world showing the city’s iconic St Mark’s Square underwater, with a 2-meter-high surge threatening irreparable damage to historic sites such as Saint Mark’s Basilica. While the city has been battling rising water levels since the 5th century, the recent floods, set against the context of climate change, have spurred debate about how coastal cities are vulnerable to rising sea levels, and how the damage can be mitigated against.
Venice has become accustomed to periodic flooding, described in local folklore as “acqua alta” (high water). While the city can experience flooding almost 60 times per year in the autumn and winter months, recent decades have seen a notable increase in the severity and regularity of floods. The afore-mentioned St Mark’s Basilica, for example, has flooded six times in 1,200 years. Four of those floods have been in the last 20 years.
There are several factors that make Venice particularly prone to flooding. As detailed by Reuters, sea levels around the coastal city have been rising for decades as a result of climate change, with a 20-centimeter rise estimated over the last century. While the water level has been rising, the city itself has been sinking by approximately one millimeter per year due to the soft, moving terrain on which it is built. The fragile base on which the city is built has been compromised further in recent decades, with the city pumping groundwater for drinking and industrial use up until the 1970s.
Venice’s geographical location has also contributed to the city’s flooding. Located on a marshy, shallow lagoon on the edge of the Adriatic Sea, the Venetian islands have been subjected to tidal variations of 50cm in sea levels throughout the year. A series of barrier islands known as “barene” have protected the inner islands from flooding since the 12th century, with Venetians blocking rivers and strengthening the barrier islands to enhance the city’s protection.
When the 1960s heralded the excavation of the Canale dei Petroli, permitting oil tankers to reach the mainland port near Venice, the centuries-old protections were compromised and the lagoon eroded. As a result, Scirocco winds blowing from the southeast can now drive water into the lagoon, which combines with high tides to increase the risk of serious flooding.
The changing attitude of Venetians to their built environment has also indirectly increased the risk of flooding. For centuries, when new buildings were built in the city, they were built on top of the pillars and foundations of old buildings, which steadily raised the city. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Venice restoration expert Pierpaolo Campostrini described how flooding risks were lessened by building the city higher at the sacrifice of 13th and 15th-century palazzos.
They were not sentimental about the past. They did not worry about preserving old buildings. They just built new ones on top of the old ones. And the city kept rising. But of course, we can’t do that anymore. Now, there are cultural constraints. We don’t want to lose the beautiful Renaissance architecture we have here. Knocking it down and building on top of it is not an option. We have to find another way to save it.
-Pierpaolo Campostrini, Venetian restoration expert speaking to Rolling Stone magazine
The latest flooding, which covered 85% of the city, has drawn attention to the question of how Venice can save itself from heightening floods. The most apparent solution in MOSE an unfinished scheme of 78 storm gates that began construction in 2003. Anchored by four vast retractable gates at the inlets of the Lido, Malamocco, and Chioggia, the scheme has been designed to seal the entire lagoon from high tides in fifteen minutes. The multi-billion-euro project has however been plagued with cost overruns, corruption scandals, and delays. Even if completed, questions have been raised over how effective MOSE will be, with worries that almost daily use of the barriers will increase pollution and alter sewage flows.
While the MOSE project may turn into an impressive example of humankind holding back the power of nature through brute force, a long-term approach to protecting Venice from flooding may be to work with nature, rather than against it. Re-naturalizing barrier islands to slow the tide, and ceasing industrial activity that requires the dredging and deepening of the lagoon, have already been suggested as ways to restore the centuries-old balance between the city and natural surroundings. The city could also look to other regions for inspiration, including pioneering Dutch methods in water management, prioritizing the ethos of “living with water.”
While coastal cities around the world will face the looming issues of sea-level rise, Venice’s precarious situation is as much about local political incompetence as it is about global environmental changes. The future offers no respite, with dire flooding projections suggesting that in 50 years the city will experience annual floods on the scale that are currently making headlines around the world. Therefore, city officials must reach beyond a fault-ridden barrier scheme and take urgent steps that merge short-term mitigation with a long-term redress of the symbiotic relationship between the city and lagoon, land and water, urban and natural.
Summer days in Venice - live trip report
I have just arrived in Venice and am writing this on the little terrace of my hotel room. I am staying at Pensione La Calcina on the Zattere, where I booked a single room for 3 nights (before moving to another hotel on Tuesday. The room is absolutely tiny, but very cute, and — it has a private terrace! Ok, no view to speak of, but I see part of a small canal :).
I travelled this morning by train from my home town of Bern in Switzerland. The journey was comfortable (even though the train was full) and didn‘t seem too long (which makes me wonder once more why it never occured to me to do this before). To pass the time on the train I had brought with me „A Night on the Orient Express“ (an entertaining piece of chick-lit, pretty good for a train journey to Venice).
After getting off at Venezia Santa Lucia and admiring the glorious view of the Canal Grande, I made my way over Ponte della Costituzione (and saw that funny „bubble-cabin-thingy“ mentioned in The Venetian Game!) to get my 5-year-city-pass. There wasn‘t a long line and I was in and out of the office within maybe 10 or 15 minutes. The friendly young lady at the counter took my picture and filled in the form for me, I just had to sign. So now I‘m the proud owner of a personalised 5-year Venezia Unica City Pass, yay! I loaded it with twenty rides (two carnets) and was good to go.
Took the vaporetto directly from P. Roma to Zattere, quickly found my hotel and checked in.
Freshened up a bit, now writing this before going out to explore and wander. Plus for tonight I have booked a cicchetti tour with airbnb, for (hopefully) good food and some (hopefully) good
I‘m off now, will continue this later.
Have a lovely time, enjoy don't do tours Venice is easy on your own,
You should note that La Calcina has some historical fame with artists and writers. Though while the photos suggest decorations are grand and ancient they are not the fusty, frilly draperies of 50 years ago that I recall.
Please keep your updates coming! We will be in Venice for 4 nights in September and I really enjoy getting live updates from fellow travelers. Enjoy!
I love the location of La Calcina, and the restaurant out front on the canal is nice, too. Glad to see your report!
Oh to be able to just hop on a train and zoom down to Venice. So envious.
In June we squeezed three days from a trip to France to sneak over to Venice just because we needed a Venice fix. Just spent two days wandering in areas we had not walked through yet. This is an architectural Bienale year so you should be able to find some interesting little free displays around Venice, most in small unused churches or outside areas. I don't think you are far from the church where we found the DaVinci machine reproductions.
Don't miss your afternoon Spritz in a quiet campo and have great weather.
I carry my Venezia Unica card all the time.
In Australia, well, it’s nice to be reminded.
Sophie, thank you for the advice. I actually considered just going around on my own, but somehow yesterday I felt like having some company and maybe get to know a couple of places I might not have found on my own. It turned out quite a fun and successful evening, so no regrets there :-).
Dennis, thank you for the link! I might have stumbled upon it when I booked, but re-read it now. And staying here I can surely understand why people would want to come here and write:-) (am I not doing the same right now? Lol)
jtwiz, hope you will enjoy your stay in September! 4 nights will give you a nice first impression of Venice!
PWMW, yes I agree, it‘s a wonderful location!
andrew p, indeed I‘m lucky! The train ride was so easy (and very cheap at 29€ one way if booked early enough) that in the future I will probably just zoom down for the weekend whenever I need a Venice fix!
And yes, looking forward to my first Spritz! Yesterday there was only wine.
Peter, it seems that my card as well has found its fix place in my wallet. Don‘t think I‘ll remove it when I get back home :-).
I‘ll continue the report in the next post.
So, knowing that doing a Bacaro-tour is by no means necessary I still stuck to it and went. It seemed to be a very laid back thing offered by a young Venetian who also rents an airbnb room in his apartment.
So after having a sit-down shower (in my bathtub under the sloping roof) I put on fresh clothes and started to make my way up to Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo where we were all to meet. I had over an hour to get there, and the goal was to reach my destination without excessive use of a map. Also, I tried to take a roundabout route where I had not walked yet before, but somehow still kept ending up in places that were familiar to me.
On the way I kept looking for the crowds that people warned me against if I was to visit during the summer months. Somehow they must have been somewhere else on the island as I found myself mostly walking alone through the narrow calle. Yes, from time to time when I reached a campo or a wider street there were people there, not just tourists, but many locals (or at least Italians) and children playing soccer etc. It was a friendly and peaceful atmosphere, but maybe I had prepared myself for the worst and then found it wasn‘t that bad at all.
Magically, without even intending to, I suddenly found myself standing on Piazza San Marco. And oh yes, there it was pretty crowded. But the piazza is huge, and to be honest it didn‘t seem more crowded than when we were there in April. Even with the crowds it managed to impress. The orchestras were playing as I passed Gran Caffè Quadri, and I promised myself to sit down there one day and have a sgroppino.
Anyway, I found my destination without checking the map too often, and even arrived a bit early. The campo was almost empty, and soon two young girls approached me and asked if I was on the tour as well. Shortly after we found the rest of the group and proceeded to the first stop, which was close by. Lucky for us, as it had just started to rain. Introductions followed and first glasses of wine were poured. The group consisted of these two young girls, from the US, an older lady from Tasmania, another older lady from the US, our Venetian guide and his girlfriend, who had joined us spontaneously, and myself.
I have to say, we had so much fun. All of these people were interesting and interested, we were talking and exchanging experiences, drinking wonderful wine and eating great cicchetti. For me, there could have been more food and less wine in fact, as I‘m not used to drinking a lot of alcohol (I did opt for a non alcoholic drink at 2 of the 4 places we visited), but appreciate good food. We tried the topical Venetian specialities, like bacalao mantecato, sarde in saor, polpette di carne, etc. I‘m so glad I tried the sarde in saor again I had tried them in April, but didn‘t enjoy them at all, suspecting I had not tried them in the right place. The ones served in Ai Promessi Sposi were a world away from what I had eaten in April! I‘ll return there at some point and eat them again :-).
The tour ended in Anica Adelaide in Cannaregio, where we could sit down and have our last drink. It was supposed to end at 8:30, but we still sat there at 10pm. Conversations and wine flowed freely, and I found it most interesting to hear a Venetian‘s view of the current situation in Venice. Sad, how the mayor is apparently doing nothing to improve the situation for the residents. I hope to be one of the respectful visitors to this unique place, one who supports the city and does little damage. not sure if this is a realistic wish.
At some point a friend of our guide joined us. He has a sailing boat at Sant Elena and is taking some people out to the lagoon this afternoon to swim, and invited me to join them. Looking forward to that!
After 11 I started to get tired and said my goodbyes. The Tasmanian lady was also ready to leave so we walked together to Piazza San Marco from where she was going to take the vaporetto for the Lido, where her accommodation was.
She was leaving Venice today and had a ticket for the Biennale which apparently is still valid today, so I will go and have a look before the sailing. I‘m planning to visit the Biennale again sometime during this trip, but today might give me a first impression on what to expect. I read Katia‘s articles and have a list of what I want to see, but if I cannot fit it all in I‘ll be back again in October anyway for the rest.
After I dropped of my Tasmanian companion at the vaporetto stop I felt like some gelato. Hadn’t had one yet and I had promised myself to have one every day at least! So back towards Rialto to my favorite gelateria SuSo. The first gelato had to be „Manet“ from SuSo.
I wandered around a bit at night enjoying my „Manet“, slowly making my way to the Rialto vaporetto stop. Of course on the way I was chatted up, oh these Italians lol! Only, he wasn‘t Italian at all, but Albanian. Now I don't know what‘s worse. of course he ended up on the same Vaporetto, and I found out his name was Mirco, he had been in Venice for ten years, before that in Florence and 5 years in London, and he works as a waiter at Ai Artisti. Very interesting, thank you but no, I didn‘t want to have a drink with him ( even if I hadn‘t already had enough to drink lol). He got off at San Tomà and that was that. He was nice and friendly, but still I don‘t think I‘ll have dinner at Ai Artisti.
I got off at Accademia and from there it was a short walk to my Pensione.
I slept well, the bed and pillow were comfortable, the AC worked silently, the hotel was peaceful and quiet.
Venice Beach Rock Festival. 1968. Dennis Stock
In the late 1960s, Dennis Stock captured the attempts of California hippies to reshape society according to the ideals of love and peace. He described the voyage as nothing less than extraordinary: “A recent trip blew my mind across this state of being, as I collected images along the way to remember the transient quality of the Big Trip.”
This print is for personal usage only, intended for display in the home or other private spaces. For all other uses, such as display in public spaces or institutions, publishing the image online or in print, or any other form of usage, permission must be granted by Magnum Photos. Please contact the Magnum Shop with any questions.
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© Dennis Stock | Magnum Photos
Being self-competitive is one of my stronger traitsDennis Stock
Dennis Stock was born in 1928 in New York City. At the age of 17, he left home to join the United States Navy. In 1947, he became an apprentice to Life magazine photographer Gjon Mili and won first prize in Life’s Young Photographers contest.
He joined Magnum in 1951. Stock evoked the spirit of America through his memorable and iconic portraits of Hollywood stars, most notably James Dean. Other notable projects include his work on the jazz scene and on the California free-loving counterculture of the 1960’s.
In the 1990s he went back to his urban origins, exploring the modern architecture of large cities and his later work was mostly focused on the abstraction of flowers. Dennis Stock resided in Woodstock, New York, until his death in 2010.
Adieu, ‘Lido’ : After 32 Years and 22,000 Performances, the Curtain Falls on Vegas’ Aging Institution
Lucky Seven Limousine chauffeur Rena Warden carries a folded photocopy of her “Lido de Paris” showgirl photo to show passengers interested in the good old days along the Strip. Carefully unfolding the tattered sheet of paper, she smooths it out on the cocktail lounge table: It depicts a high-contrast likeness of a much younger Rena, draped in a dated costume of white mink and Persian lamb.
“It was taken in 1970,” Warden said over a glass of white wine that she sipped during the “Lido” farewell party Tuesday night. If the costume still exists at all, it’s more suited to a museum than a high-breasted model like the one Rena once was.
“I’m going to call my memoirs ‘Tits and Feathers,’ ” she continues with a laugh.
For 32 1/2 years, the “Lido” and its troupe of topless showgirls, slick jugglers, animal acts and slapstick comics have done two and sometimes three shows a day, six days a week. But tonight, after 22,000 performances, the heavy velvet curtain comes down on the “Lido” for the final time.
An estimated $5 million to $8 million in sets, props and costumes will go the way of the “Lido de Paris” marquee out in front of the Stardust Hotel--victims of a younger, less flash-and-trash oriented casino marketing strategy.
The longest-running show in Las Vegas history may or may not find a new home along the Strip. Rumors among the cast and crew are that another hotel-casino, perhaps Caesars Palace, just down the Strip from the Stardust, may be interested.
In the meantime, the Las Vegas “Lido” is history.
And what a history: Three decades on the Strip that have seen Vegas itself transformed from a sleazy, Mob-corrupted playground for the few high rollers into a corporate-run Disneyland of bourgeois naughtiness for millions of visitors each year. When the “Lido” opened, it elevated the trashy strip shows to new heights of gaudy, but essentially middle-class, respectability.
The breasts were just as bare, of course, but the “Lido” was the Las Vegas Strip, and, inside the Stardust, it was Paris .
Those who want to watch precisely one hour and 37 minutes of French fluff, flounce and flutter will have to go to the original (and considerably less spectacular) show in Paris.
“The show never started or ended any more than 30 seconds late,” recalled Walter White, a 20-year veteran of the “Lido” stage crew. “You could call your wife and tell her exactly when you’d be home for dinner.”
For the most part, the men and women of the “Lido” were, and are, working-class family people who happen to dance, aim spotlights, sew costumes or bare bosoms for a living. There is even a grandmother at work among the girls in the current chorus line. Despite the lurid lure of tall, leggy women whose mammary glands hang out for public view twice each night, the original French revue has never catered to anything but the most conservative values offstage, according to former cast members.
Tracey Heberling, another showgirl from the “Lido’s” heyday, now runs a child care center, but she remembers having to grin, keep in step and dance around horse or dove dung often left behind by a previous act.
“There’s this idea of what a showgirl is, but the truth is we’re really very normal, you know,” Heberling says.
She has two grown sons and goes to college at UNLV in her spare time. Other “Lido” alumna run dance schools, cocktail lounges, cleaning services, convalescent homes . . . and all are saddened to see the Parisian show where they danced, sang and performed in the vaudeville tradition fade away.
Far from learning sin and vice on the “Lido” runway, the showgirls learned self-discipline, Heberling said. When she was in labor with her second son, she insisted upon applying her makeup on the way to the hospital so that she would look her best in public.
“Everyone has kept nice,” she says, glancing around at a crowd of perhaps 100 former dancers and stage crew members at the farewell party Tuesday night. Donn Arden, the Fred Astaire contemporary who choreographed the first “Lido” and has gone on to stage several other Strip extravaganzas, showed up. So did some of the original chorus line members. Muscle tone and makeup have kept many of the showgirls, some now in their 60s, looking a decade or two younger.
Heberling first danced in the show in 1960, two years after it opened. For 15 years, she did the twice-nightly routine and remembers Oscar-nominated actress Valerie Perrine, perhaps the best-known “Lido” alumna, when she did her showgirl turn in 1969. One of the partygoers displays an 8-by-10 of a pre-motion picture Perrine in heavy mascara with her hands cupped over--though hardly disguising--her naked breasts.
Despite the suggestive nature of such poses, “Lido” nudes were, and are, downright strait-laced. Between shows, many go home to cook for families and help kids with homework.
Heberling recalls that stage managers once required dancers to attend church services. On Saturdays, the “Lido” carried a third show at 2 a.m. for late arrivers who had flown in for the weekend from the East Coast, she said. For Catholics like Heberling, Stardust entertainment director Tommy McDonald called in a priest at the close of the show to celebrate Sunday sunrise Mass in the Stardust showroom.
But Las Vegas remains Las Vegas, even at the “Lido.” After several years of post-"Lido” Eucharists, Heberling recalled, the casino bought the priest a green Mercedes to show its appreciation and the church transferred him and his new car to less gaudy--and potentially corruptible--digs a short time later.
There’s a droop to the pink-spangled C-cup brassieres hanging next to the faded purple ostrich plumes up in the second-floor dressing rooms of the “Lido de Paris” showroom.
Dust on the cracked plastic leaves of the phony ficus plants used during the Forbidden Love Dance is so thick that it rolls into greasy balls between the thumb and forefingers. And the two silvery satellite props backstage at the Stardust Hotel which are used in yet another of “Lido de Paris’ ” nine acts, look as though they belong in the Smithsonian, not in a Vegas Strip showroom.
Next month, a female impersonation floor show called “Boy-Lesque” that just finished a run at the Sahara moves into another showroom in the Stardust Hotel, while the frayed red carpeting of the “Lido” showroom and the ice rink, swimming pool, waterfall and other “Lido” accouterments of the showroom stage get a complete overhaul.
In mid-July, a new and more ‘90s kind of revue will open in the refurbished showroom: “Into the Night,” with hip-hop dancing and a “Sting” rock crooner as part of the program. Auditions for the new show have been conducted in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles this week, with further auditions scheduled for New York early next month. “Lido” headliner Bobby Berosini and his trained orangutans will probably remain in the new show, but most of the fantasy production numbers won’t.
“Multi-sensory . . . high-tech . . . intense” are the descriptive sound bites that “Lido” director of publicity Kathy Espin uses to describe the new show.
Bare breasts will be part of the new show, of course. Entertainment of the world’s most jaded audiences--the shell-game shocked conventioneers and weekend gamblers who leave billions of dollars behind in the desert before heading home to Middle America--demands several sets of mammary glands on stage each night.
Some things never change, muses Espin.
But the feathered boas, rhinestones and mink that have graced the stage of the Stardust’s Cafe Continental for more than 32 years are headed for the warehouse or worse. The “Lido’s” Gallic-flavored burlesque packed an estimated 19 million into the northeast corner of the hotel’s casino since the show first opened on July 2, 1958. Bob Hope and the McGuire Sisters were in that first audience.
As of Tuesday, the biggest name to RSVP for the last show was LaToya Jackson, “and she’ll show up for a garage sale, I’m told,” said Espin.
Such is the faded glory of the “Lido de Paris.”
Though the official reason given for the shutdown of the show is that the Stardust wants to modernize under its newest owners, the Boyd Group, the real reason is the enormous expense of producing the show, according to several sources.
Under its agreement with the owners of the “Lido” name, the show must be produced in Paris and then exported to Las Vegas--a proposition that runs about $3 million in addition to another $3 million or more a year for payroll, licensing rights and other expenses. All artistic changes must get pre-approval from Paris.
The only other French show on the strip, the Tropicana’s “Folies Bergere,” is licensed from the Parisian original but wholly produced in Las Vegas.
Still, the biggest shortcoming of the current edition of the “Lido de Paris” show, titled “Allez Lido!,” is that it is old.
In the past, the productions changed every 2 1/2 years, with new costumes, skits, props and music incorporated into the new productions in order to bring variety to an old production. But production costs and tariffs on many of the expensive costumes imported for the shows made the 2 1/2-year rule economically prohibitive, according to wardrobe supervisor Annie Plummer. Rather than pay the heavy U.S. duty to ship sets and costumes back to Paris, they were often simply destroyed, she said.
Because of the escalating costs, “Allez Lido!” became the longest-running edition of the show. For over 13 years, the same basic scenes, songs and costumes have been used.
“They still wear bell bottoms on stage, for God’s sakes,” said Espin.
Once, when Siegfried and Roy were still in the show back in the early ‘70s, stage crewman Terry Mann remembers a 250-pound tiger that the two animal trainers had tethered to a pillar on stage. The animal chewed through the rope and, while no one was looking, leaped up into the rafters above the stage. The show went on. The trainers got the tiger out of the attic between shows, before it could fall through the ceiling and land on a dinner table.
Singers sang “Chanson D’Amour” while sliding around in slick dove offal and dancers kept on showing their teeth despite close brushes with disaster. One woman hobbled off stage with a smile on her face after having her instep crushed by an elephant’s hoof.
And Walter White remembers the time that a horse spooked on stage and ran through the audience, stepping on a pregnant woman before it was brought to bay.
“The kid was probably born with a horseshoe birthmark on his forehead,” he says with a laugh.
Rena Warden remembers her own minor animal problems, the night she had to dance around camels in an oasis fantasy while the animals spit gobs of sputum at her.
Did you know that many years ago, 11, 000 to be exact, the Island of Rottnest was part of the mainland? Its true! The Swan River entrance is thought to have been just North of the Island. Although the ocean has now engulfed Rottnest, the ocean between it and the current shoreline would have been lakes and undulating land.
When the polar ice caps started to melt, the sea level rose and filled in the land and lakes resulting in a shift of the shore line some fifty one kilometres west of Cottesloe. Tide action and wind eventually created the duned shores we see today.
Taken from Cottesloe, a Town of Distinction by Ruth Marchant James, pg 3.
Photo by Jaymantri on Pexels.com
Seven Famous Penises In History
The penis. So well-known, yet so enigmatic. For many women, the human penis remains one of life’s eternal mysteries. When we here at The Frisky Labs aren’t sitting around talking about our vaginas, we sit around talking about men’s penises. How do they work? Why do they look like that? What is the deal? We may not have answers, but we do have a lot of questions. In the spirit of better understanding this elusive member of the male anatomy, we bring you some of the most notorious phalluses in human history.
1. John Holmes: Endowed with what may be the best-known penis of all time, John Curtis Holmes was born in Ashville, Ohio, and went on to become the adult film industry’s most famous penis-for-hire, starring in some 2,500 X-rated movies. Ultimately, a drug deal gone wrong and HIV felled this great in penis lore. While the exact size of his “little friend” may never be known, estimates range between 10 and 14 inches.
2. Napoleon Bonaparte: Sure, he ruled France, but part of Napoleon’s enduring legacy involves his penis. Rumor has it the ruler’s purportedly short ruler was posthumously removed, mummified, and stored in a box. Most recently, the New York Times reported it in the collection of a deceased Manhattan urologist.
3. John Wayne Bobbitt: While some phalli are famous for their size, Bobbitt’s one-eyed-bandit’s claim to fame is having been loped off with a knife by his soon-to-be ex-wife Lorena. After the wayward penis was located in a field, where Lorena had tossed it out the car window, surgeons reattached it. Bobbitt went on to play in the band Severed Parts and starred in “Frankenpenis.”
4. David: Quite possibly the most-viewed penis is that of David, Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of a naked young man. Created in the early 16th century, the statue stands in Florence, Italy, where thousands gather every day to contemplate David and his package.
5. Frank Sinatra: According to Hollywood gossip-mongers, Ol’ Blue Eyes had a giant-sized python in his pants. According to his valet, the crooner had to have his underpants custom-made to accommodate his girth. Supposedly actress Ava Gardner observed: “He only weighs 120, but 100 pounds is c***.”
6. The Minister in “The Little Mermaid”: In the mid-nineties, a Christian group stepped forward to declare that in an early wedding scene in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” the minister is sporting an erection. In addition, the videocassette of the film was purported to feature a golden phallus in place of a church spire. An Arkansas woman sued Disney over the incidents but dropped her suit not long after.
7. Rasputin: The Mad Monk lived a life devoted to mysticism and debauchery, and the story of what happened to his genitals after he died is equally colorful. After he was murdered, some say he was castrated. In another twist, some say it fell into the hands of a group of Russian women living in Paris who worshiped it. Finally, his daughter, it’s said, heard of its location, demanded it be returned to her, and kept it until she died. Later, the box turned up in Santa Cruz and what lay inside was a sea cucumber.
On this date in 1789, Catherine Murphy was led past the hanging bodies of her husband and their other male codefendants at Newgate Prison, secured to a stake, and put to the last burning at the stake in English history.
The convicted coiners — counterfeiting rated as high treason at the time — were the last heirs to gender-specific execution methods before the Treason Act of 1790 gave coin-shaving ladies equal access to the halter.
Though Murphy thereby earned an unenviable historical footnote, the de facto practice on the scaffold had long since been changed to spare lawmen the spectacle of a woman roasting to death. Murphy, in fact, was killed by hanging — and the “burning” part of the sentence only imposed upon her corpse. (This, however, was still more than enough: NIMBYing prison neighbors appalled by the stench of burning flesh had lent their support to the Treason Act’s reforms.)
On this day..
Possibly related executions:
Dennis Burt at the Venice Lido (2 of 3) - History
Most of Italy occupies a long peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea, with the Adriatic and Ionian Seas on the east and the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas to the west the country also includes the Mediterranean's two largest islands, Sicily and Sardinia, and many smaller islands. With this geography Italy has a very long coastline reckoned by geographers at about 7600 km (4722 mi). Guarding this coast are many lighthouses the Directory lists more than 400.
Italy is divided into 20 regions (regioni), many of them well known outside the country in their own right. This page includes the lighthouses of the two regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto, which together encircle the northwestern end of the Adriatic Sea. This area includes the important ports of Trieste and Venezia (Venice).
The history of this area is lengthy and complex but a few recent dates are important for understanding lighthouse history. The Republic of Venice, which had controlled much of the Adriatic Sea for many centuries, fell to Napoleon in 1796. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1814 Friuli Venezia Giulia continued as part of the Austrian Empire, while Veneto (Venice) was placed under Austrian rule as part of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. Lombardy-Venetia was incorporated into Italy following the brief Third Italian War of Independence in 1866. Trieste continued under Austrian control until the Austrian Empire was dissolved following World War I it was annexed to Italy in 1920. After World War II the city of Trieste and the adjoining peninsula of Istria became the Free Territory of Trieste under United Nations supervision. In 1954 the free territory was dissolved and the city of Trieste was returned to Italian sovereignty Istria was incorporated into Yugoslavia and is now part of Slovenia.
The Italian word for a lighthouse is faro, plural fari. This name is usually reserved for the larger coastal lights smaller beacons are called fanali. In Italian isola is an island, isolotto is an islet, secca is a shoal, cabo is a cape, punta is a point of land, baia is a bay, stretto is a strait, fiume is a river, and porto is a harbor.
Aids to navigation in Italy are operated and maintained by the Italian Navy's Servizio dei Fari e del Segnalamento Marittimo (Lighthouse and Maritime Signal Service). Lighthouse properties are naval reservations, generally fenced and closed to the public.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights . EF numbers are from the Italian Navy's light list, Elenco Fari. Admiralty numbers are from volume E of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals . U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.
General Sources Fari e Segnalamenti Lighthouse information from the Italian Navy's Servizio dei Fari. Online List of Lights - Italy Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. Italy Lighthouses Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com. Majaky: Italie Photos posted by Anna Jenšíková. Lighthouses in Italy Photos by various photographers available in Wikimedia Commons. World of Lighthouses - Italy Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net. Italienische Leuchttürme auf Historischen Postkarten Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse. GPSNavigationCharts Navigation chart information for northeastern Italy.
Porto Piave Vecchia Light, Jesolo, August 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Michael Kesler
Lighthouses of Friuli Venezia Giulia
Lanterna di Trieste, Trieste, March 2008
Wikimedia public domain photo by Tiesse
Vittoria Light, Trieste, April 2015
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Molino8
Lighthouses of Veneto (the Venice Region)
Bibione Light, Bibione, July 2018
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ralf Naegele
Molo Nord Light, Lido di Venezia
photo copyright Capt. Peter Mosselberger used by permission
Isola di Murano Light, Venezia, July 2009
Wikimedia public domain photo by Abxbay
Rochetta Light, Alberoni, May 2014
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Marc Ryckaert
Porto Levante Light, Albarella
Servizio Fari photo courtesy of Egidio Ferrighi
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: North: Austria | East: Slovenia | South: Eastern Italy | West: Lago di Garda
Posted August 21, 2006. Checked and revised September 29, 2020. Lighthouses: 30. Site copyright 2020 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Digital and drive-in, film festivals try to salvage a season
FILE - Jury President Cate Blanchett, center, is seated at the start of the opening ceremony of the 77th edition of the Venice Film Festival at the Venice Lido, Italy, on Sept. 2, 2020. This year, three of the four major fall film festivals, including Venice, are going forward despite the pandemic. Those in Venice acknowledge it hasn’t been anywhere near the same. Masked moviegoers in set-apart seats. A barrier walls off the red carpet to discourage crowds of onlookers. Greetings are kiss-less. A little bit of the romance of movies has gone out. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)
NEW YORK &mdash This is normally the time of year when flashy premieres march down red carpets and proclamations of Oscar buzz circle the globe. An avalanche of new films topples onto screens. The movie houses of Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York shake with applause. The movies, more than ever, feel alive.
This year, three of the four major fall film festivals &mdash all but Telluride, which had to cancel &mdash are going forward despite the pandemic. But the movies are a sliver of what they normally are. Most premieres in North America will be held digitally or at drive-ins. For a season predicated on badge-wearing throngs and marquee movies, it&rsquos meant rethinking what a film festival is. Or maybe just doubling down on a mission.
&ldquoA situation like this forces you to assess what is fundamental,&rdquo says Dennis Lim, director of programming for the New York Film Festival. &ldquoWhat do you really need for a festival to happen? You need films and you need audiences. It&rsquos our job to select the films and put them in front of audiences in a meaningful way. If we can&rsquot do that in a cinema, what can we do?&rdquo
The answers, for the programmers of the New York Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, will begin unspooling later this week. TIFF opens on Thursday with the premiere of Spike Lee&rsquos David Byrne documentary &ldquoAmerican Utopia.&rdquo New York follows Sept. 17 with Steve McQueen&rsquos &ldquoLovers Rock.&rdquo Venice, the world&rsquos oldest festival, has been running since last week.
Those in Italy acknowledge Venice hasn&rsquot been anywhere near normal. Masked moviegoers sit in set-apart seats. A barrier walls off the red carpet to discourage crowds of onlookers. Greetings are kiss-less. A little bit of the romance of movies has gone out.
But not all of it. Jury head Cate Blanchett said it was kind of &ldquomiraculous&rdquo that the festival was happening at all. Pedro Almodovar compared months of lockdown to a prison. &ldquoThe antidote to all this is the cinema,&rdquo he said.
Unlike the canceled Cannes Film Festival in May or the improvised virtual edition of SXSW, Venice has managed to host an in-person festival, albeit at a much reduced scale. Toronto and New York are aiming for hybrid festivals. New York has partnered with Rooftop Films to hold drive-ins in Brooklyn and Queens far removed from the festival&rsquos home at Lincoln Center.
Toronto is doing likewise but also with indoor screenings (of just 50 people) at his downtown hub, the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The festival is currently mandating mask-wearing only when moving around a theater, not during the show. Even days before opening night, indoor screenings aren&rsquot completely off the table for New York, should the state&rsquos theaters be reopened.
Both New York and TIFF have, with the same provider, launched digital platforms to host virtual screenings. A limited number of tickets will be available, but the festivals&rsquo reaches will actually expand. Anyone in Canada will be able to buy tickets to TIFF screenings, and New York Film Festival films will be briefly available nationwide.
Still, the major studios aren&rsquot sending any films, nor is Netflix. The postponement of the Academy Awards to late April hasn&rsquot helped. The normal calculus of Oscar season, in which buzz is often built first at the festivals, is on a different timetable this year.
Tom Bernard, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, believes the race may have changed but the importance of festivals in it remains. The specialty label has several films heading to the festivals including the hit Sundance documentary &ldquoThe Truffle Hunters&rdquo and &ldquoThe Father,&rdquo with Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.
&ldquoWe&rsquove got movies that we&rsquore certainty trying to put into the Oscar race. The festivals certainly do that because that&rsquos been the brand of the festivals for a long time. That hasn&rsquot changed,&rdquo said Bernard. &ldquoIt gives our movies the distinction that rises them above anything that&rsquos streaming and positions them for the theatrical experience, which will be coming back in the future.&rdquo
But it&rsquos also unlikely the festivals &mdash used to having the spotlight for a week or two &mdash will attract the same attention in a year when many have far more pressing concerns than sneak peaks of upcoming films.
&ldquoWe feel that even though there&rsquos a very harsh reality right now, stories are more important than ever,&rdquo said Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head of TIFF. &ldquoWe also need to think about all of the artists who have been affected who need festivals to really give them a platform. This will ensure that the culture stays alive.&rdquo
Many filmmakers don&rsquot want to simply sit out the pandemic. They want to reach audiences however they can, and join conversations like those that have followed the death of George Floyd. McQueen, who has three films from his Small Axe anthology at the festival, called Lim a week after Floyd&rsquos death.
&ldquoThere was a reason they wanted to get this film out now,&rdquo said Lim who heads NYFF with festival director Eugene Hernandez. &ldquoHe had dedicated the films to George Floyd and he wanted us to take a look.&rdquo
Tommy Oliver&rsquos &ldquo40 Years a Prisoner,&rdquo about the face-off between Philadelphia police and the Black liberation group MOVE that led to a violent raid in 1978, had been planned for release next year but will instead debut at TIFF ahead of airing on HBO in December. Through Michael Africa Jr., the grown son of two incarcerated MOVE members, the film captures the long scars left on families and communities by police abuse. Helping audiences understand the history of today&rsquos tragedies, Oliver feels, is vital.
&ldquoThe thing that was the hardest was that Mike and his family wouldn&rsquot get the experience of having an audience watch it at a festival. I&rsquove had it before and it&rsquos an incredible thing,&rdquo says Oliver. &ldquoBut Toronto is an incredible platform. Most of the time, we don&rsquot get to do things exactly as we envision them. It&rsquos about figuring out how to adapt and move with whatever comes up. Is this ideal? No. Will it work? Yes.&rdquo
The lineups at these festivals are still more than you might expect. TIFF boasts new work from Chloe Zhao, Spike Lee, Werner Herzog and Frederick Wiseman. New York has some of those, too, along with films from Sofia Coppola, Christian Petzold, Jia Zhangke, and Garrett Bradley&rsquos acclaimed Sundance entry &ldquoTime.&rdquo
A common thread, festival leaders say, is that filmmakers want to help sustain this vibrant ecosystem of film culture &mdash which on a normal festival night is seen in the teeming festivalgoers outside the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto or heard in the hum of chatter throughout Alice Tully Hall in New York. Typically, Vincente and her fellow co-head Cameron Bailey would be fighting traffic to hop from venue to venue to introduce films. This year, aside from a daily drive-in, they&rsquore recording them.
&ldquoThe funny thing is, we feel like the festival started last week or the week before,&rdquo said Vincente. &ldquoWe&rsquore prerecording so much.&rdquo