From a distance, Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City sure doesn’t look like much. The “skyline” begins to emerge over the horizon in the rolling green farmlands about 50 miles north of London, but there are no gothic spires or granite citadels, just the slanted, pocked roofs of two boxy metal buildings.
But nearing the complex on a winding two-lane road, the immensity of the filmmaker’s make-believe metropolis comes into focus: The structures that looked squat from afar are actually 15 stories tall — and as long as 81-story skyscrapers lying on their sides. Constructed more than 85 years ago to house Britain’s Royal Airship Works, the giant coffin-shaped sheds sat unused or ignored for years, and waiting for some great undertaking, after the nation’s flagship dirigible went down in flames in a horrific 1930 crash in France.
The field mice had the run of the buildings but after the southern shed was renovated in 1994 it was used by occasional rock stars preparing for tours (U2 and Paul McCartney among them) or Hollywood production. The 525-ton door opened for Nolan in 2004. Cardington has since become a special home base, which is fitting given the fact that illusion, extreme architecture, old-school craft and colossal scale are screen trademarks for the London-born filmmaker best known for his three Batman films and “Inception.”
For 2005′s “Batman Begins” they put in the faux masonry of the Narrows and Arkham Asylum. Nolan’s team added to the indoor cityscape for 2008′s billion-dollar hit sequel “The Dark Knight” and then, for the topsy-turvy fights of “Inception,” special-effect guru Chris Corbould built a spinning corridor that made actors like hamsters in a wheel. More recently, Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley added a cruel and exotic underground prison for “The Dark Knight Rises,” which opens July 20.
Whether the origin of the term “couch surfing” had anything to do with traveling surfers is a mystery, but surfers have been crashing at each other’s pads since they first started spanning the globe in search of new breaks and foreign adventures. So it’s only natural that Surfbreak Rentals, a new website dedicated to connecting traveling surfers with great beach rentals, carries on this long standing tradition by launching their “Stay With a Surfer” feature.
How it Works
- A room in a house or apartment near a surf break can now be listed for FREE.
- You do not HAVE to be a surfer to list a room, but it is recommended that you have some local knowledge about the surfing conditions in your area.
- All of the arrangements and details are up to the host and traveler to work out between themselves.
Surfbreak Rentals was founded by a group of Northern California surfers with a passion for traveling and technology. After years of struggling to find great places to stay near their favorite destination surf breaks, they finally decided to do something about it by creating surfbreakrentals.com. The entire site design and navigation is based on more than 1,600 global surf breaks, which makes it the first vacation rental site that allows users to search for accommodations based on specific beaches and surf breaks.
My favorite feature – “Sort By: Distance to break”.
For a new documentary, the Discovery Channel took a Boeing 727 to a remote part of the Mexican desert and had it crash to examine what exactly happens in an emergency situation.
It didn’t go well for the plane.
The fuselage of the 727 actually broke in two. The cockpit and front seats actually folded under the back half.
The plane, which was thankfully full of crash dummies, was being controlled remotely to make for a fairly realistic crash. The pilot that flew it from take-off had ejected just moments before.
This is the first full crash test of an airplane in these conditions since NASA’s 1984 test crash in California’s Mojave Desert.
via Business Insider
// Thx to Reg Saddler