Albert Einstein

Behind the camera: Arthur Sasse
Where: Princeton University
Photo Summary: Einstein leaving his 72nd birthday. Annoyed with the media he stuck out his tongue at the cameramen
Picture Taken: March 14, 1951

Einstein, the man who brought us E=mc2, nuclear power, and changed how we look at the universe. His name, Einstein, has become synonymous with brilliance or genius. Yet he wasn’t the serious, stodgy scientist stereotype, which is perhaps why he is still such a popular figure. His giant intellect, crazy hair, humor and an indifferent wardrobe made him probably one of the most famous scientists if not public figures in history. The picture of Einstein with his tongue sticking out seems to sum up these down to earth characteristics that people like so much about him. Frederic Golden of TIME nailed it when he said, Einstein was “a Cartoonist’s dream come true.”

Taking the picture

Caveo Sileo, assignment editor … Liked it, but the chief editor didn’t
-Art Sasse

The shot was taken on Einstein’s 72nd birthday right after an event in his honor was finished at Princeton on March 14, 1951. While walking with Dr. Frank Aydelotte, the former head of the Institute for Advanced Study, and Mrs. Aydelotte back to their car, reporters followed trying to get shots of Einstein. Art Sasse of the INP let the crowd of reporters take their pictures and when the crowd had dispersed walked up close to the car and said, “Ya, Professor, shmile [sic] for your birthday picture, Ya?” Einstein probably thinking the photographer wouldn’t be fast enough stuck his tongue out and quickly turned his head away. The picture ran as a shot of all three people in the car. The editors debated on whether or not to use the picture and Sasse remembers that “Caveo Sileo, assignment editor … Liked it, but the chief editor didn’t. So they had a conference with the ‘big chiefs upstairs.’ The picture got okayed, and we used it…” Einstein liked the image and cut up the picture so that it was just his head. He used it for greeting cards that he sent to his friends. This famous image has probably been reproduced on everything from posters to coffee cups.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was born in Ulm in Württemberg on March 14, 1879, in what was then known as the German Empire. He was born in a secular Jewish family of Hermann and Pauline Einstein. His father ran an electrochemical business. Einstein had a normal education and didn’t suffer from autism, dyslexia, and/or attention deficit disorder. In 1894 Albert’s father’s electrochemical business went belly up and the family moved to Pavia, Italy. Albert stayed behind to finish his high school but even though he passed all his courses decided to leave early before graduation and didn’t get his diploma so he could be with his family.

He eventually moved to Switzerland to finish his high school and he continued on at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH Zurich) University, finishing a teaching diploma in the year 1900. He wasn’t able to find any work as a professor and a friend got him a job at the Swiss Patent Office in 1902. On January 6, 1903, he married Mileva Marić a fellow student at ETH and longtime girlfriend. The two had three children, the earliest a girl, Lieserl, was born out of wedlock and after her birth disappeared. In 1919 Einstein divorced Mileva and wed his cousin Elsa Löwenthal (born Einstein, Löwenthal was her first husband’s name) a few months later.

Throughout 1905 he published a number of papers later called the Annus Mirabilis Papers. Included in these papers was one titled, Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content? Which contained the famous E=mc2 equation. He left the Patent office and taught at a number of Universities in Europe eventually settling down in Berlin in 1914. He stayed in Berlin, until 1933, where he was the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics.

In 1915 he started a series of lectures where he described his theory of gravity, known as general relativity. The theories he introduced were proven in 1919 by Arthur Eddington. Eddington using observations obtained from Brazil and Africa recorded the bending of light during a solar eclipse, reinforcing Einstein’s theory of relativity. Some scientists resisted these new concepts and when Einstein won the Nobel Prize in 1921 it was granted for his earlier work on the photoelectric effect rather than his Relativity Theory. The Nobel committee picked the less-contested theory in hopes that the prize would be more acceptable to the scientific community.

Einstein flees the Nazis


Einstein becomes a US citizen


In 1933 Hitler came to power and passed the “The Law of the Restoration of the Civil Service” which forced Jewish government employees from their jobs. Einstein who had been teaching in America part-time decided to stay in America and in 1940 became a US citizen. In 1939 Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt urging America to start a nuclear program out of fear the Nazi’s would develop atomic weapons first. In his later years, he would hold a number of teaching positions while trying to prove his theories.

President of Israel

Throughout his life, he was a big supporter of Israel and worked with a number of Israeli Universities and Israeli causes. In 1952 the Israeli government offered the post of president of Israeli to Einstein an offer he declined. In letter to the Israeli government he wrote:

I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel [to be President], and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it. All my life I have dealt with objective matters, hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions. Therefore I would also be an inappropriate candidate for this high task … I wish from the bottom of my heart that a man is found who will be able to take over the hard and responsible office due to his work and his personality.

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Passes away at 76

Aged 76 at 1:15 AM, April 18, 1955, he died in a Princeton hospital in New Jersey from internal bleeding caused by a ruptured aortic aneurysm. His brain was removed and preserved before the body was cremated. Many groups studied the brain without any significant discoveries until it eventually ended up being studied by Canadian scientists in 1996. They discovered that the part of the brain, the inferior parietal lobe, which is responsible for mathematical thought and the ability to understand space and movement was 15% wider than average brains. Also, Einstein’s brain lacked a groove that normally runs through that region of the brain. These attributes of Einstein’s brain may have given him his genius.
Upon death Einstein left his name and image to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a University he supported while alive. The royalties from the licensing of his name and any products in his likeness now go to the University. The agency that runs manages the Einstein brand is very strict and insists that when using the name, ‘Albert Einstein™’, that the trademark ™ symbol must always be present. Albert Einstein™ is a lucrative trademark that makes millions for the University. Apple computer, Disneyland, and many other corporations use his name or likeness to sell products.

Ever seen a picture of young Einstein?


Albert Einstein with friends Habicht and Solovine,ca. 1903

Einstein on the right in 1903


Almost all of the products licensed to use Einstein’s image exploit the crazy-haired mad genius look of old Einstein. Pictures of young Einstein are usually ignored even though it was this time that the man Einstein changed the world. In contrast to his later years young Einstein was by all accounts and pictures, where he is clad in the latest styles, was a snappy dresser. His admirers overlook young Einstein, perhaps because his earlier images are of him following the herd rather than the popular later old Einstein, black sheep image. Images of the old Einstein have reached iconic status. Purists and admirers of young Einstein will have been left to moan about how “the most persistent myth about Einstein is that he was born at the age of 50.”

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American Girl in Italy

Behind the camera: Ruth Orkin
Where: Streets of Florence, Italy
Photo Summary: Ninalee Craig walking down a street surrounded by Italian men. She is wearing an orange shawl
Picture Taken: 1951
In 1951 Ruth Orkin was backpacking around Italy when she ran into another American, Ninalee Craig, doing the same thing at a cheap hotel in Florence, Italy. Talking the two decided to do a photo shoot on the streets of Florence. This, now iconic, shot is just one of many of Ninalee walking around the city while Orkin followed her and took shots Paparazzi style.

Taking the picture

After the two girls decided on doing the photo shoot they walked around the city taking pictures of Ninalee (then going by the name Jinx) doing various things. Craig remembers the two hours the shoot took as “we were literally horsing around.” While walking down a street Orkin noticed that the 6ft tall Craig was getting a lot of looks from the men hanging out there. She had Craig walk up and down the street and then captured this image. The daughter of Orkin who maintains the photographer’s collection after her death also confirms that the photo isn’t staged saying “She told the man on [the] motorcycle to tell the other men not to look at the camera,… But the composition, it just happened. And my mother got it. That’s what she was good at. … She didn’t take loads and loads of photos. She waited for shots.”

When asked if the men were harassing her or threatening her Craig said:

Very few of those men had jobs, Italy was recovering from the war and had really been devastated by it … I can tell you that it wasn’t the intent of any man there to harass me.
That young man [touching himself] is not whistling, by the way; he’s making a happy, yelping sound, And where you see him touching the family jewels, or indicating them, with his hand — well, for a long time that was considered an image people should not look at. That part was airbrushed out for years … But none of those men crossed the line at all.

Ninalee Craig



In 1951 a 23-year-old Ninalee Craig gave up her New York job and booked passage on a third-class ship going to Europe. Taking the name Jinx Allen for six months she toured through France, Spain, and Italy by herself. After about six months and spending less than a thousand American dollars Craig returned to her life in New York. She spent some time teaching before meeting an Italian widower and moving to Italy. The marriage didn’t last and so she returned to America where she met a Canadian and married again moving to Toronto in the 70s. “My life has been wonderful, I’m ready for more” says Craig.

Ruth Orkin

Ruth Orkin was born in 1921, Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of the silent film actress, Mary Ruby. At the age of 10 she took up photography and enjoyed a bit of fame after cycling from LA to New York, taking pictures along the way. She went on to become an American photographer, filmmaker and a late member of the Photo League. She married photographer and filmmaker Morris Engel. Together the made the critically acclaimed movie The Little Fugitive. She produced two photobooks, A A World Through My Window and More Pictures From My Window before dying from Cancer in New York on 16 January 1985.

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Microsoft – Bliss

Behind the camera: Charles O’Rear
Where: Sonoma County, California
Photo Summary: A hillside next to the shoulder of Highway 121
Picture Taken: 1996

In 1996 photographer Charles O’Rear was driving on Highway 121 through the Napa and Sonoma counties to the city of Marin. Looking over at the beautiful green hill and perfect sky O’Rear made the decision to pull over and snap the scene. Much later Microsoft Windows XP was looking for a picture and selected this one, renaming it Bliss. They choose the picture to be the centerpiece for the Windows XP $200 million advertising campaign Yes you can.

Taking the photo



Charles O’Rear was driving to the city of Marin and was struck by the scene he saw laid out before his eyes along Highway 121. To get the perfect shot he got out of his car and poked his medium format camera through the wire fence. He chose the ISO and f-stop settings and pushed the shutter. He would later remark in an interview:

Photographers like to become famous for pictures they created, I didn’t ‘create’ this. I just happened to be there at the right moment and documented it. If you are Ansel Adams and you take a particular picture of Half Dome and want the light a certain way, you manipulate the light. He was famous for going into the dark room and burning and dodging. Well, this is none of that.
I sure would have liked to have sold them another photo, But I think this is one that will be recognized by more people on the planet than any other photograph. People may still remember it when I’m dead and gone. It will probably be mentioned in my obituary.

To have full ownership of the photo Microsoft paid a huge sum, “one of the largest amounts ever paid to a living, working photographer.”

Photographer


Same location taken in 2006 shows there are now vineyards on the hill


Charles O’Rear is a professional photographer who has travelled the world taking pictures for National Geographic. He got his first camera when he was 10 and in his hometown of Butler, he worked as a sports reporter for the Daily Democrat. Moving to the big city he shot pictures for the Kansas City Star before he moved and worked for the Los Angeles Times shooting celebrities. After seeing his pictures National Geographic decided to give him a job and sent him to Alaska. For the next few decades, he worked NG taking pictures all around the world. While travelling through Indonesia on a year-long assignment he used over 500 rolls of film or thousands of pictures. Of all those only 25 for use for the issue of the magazine. He is now based out of Napa Valley, California and has published nine books of wine photography, including his best-selling Napa Valley: The Land, The Wine, The People and his wife co-wrote the Wine Across America: A Photographic Road Trip in 2007

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Marilyn Monroe

Behind the camera: The many press photographers and bystanders that took pictures of the movie shoot for, The Seven Year Itch
Where: The pictures were shot at Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street close to the Trans-Lux theatre.
Photo Summary: Marilyn Monroe
Picture Taken: Late Sept 8, early morning of Sept 9, 1954

Before her death, Marilyn Monroe was an iconic Movie star who’s movies thrilled millions. This famous scene was shot for the movie, The Seven Year Itch . The picture has been turned into posters, t-shirts, mugs and is probably her most famous image. Filmed on location on Lexington Ave, New York, the New Yorkers who turned up to watch the filming got so out of control that the director couldn’t use any of the footage taken because of the crowd noise. The scene had to be recreated in Studio but then was cut by the censors for being too steamy. In the actual movie, her skirt never rises above her knees.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962) was an American actress, singer, and model. After acting in small roles for several years, she gradually became known for her comedic skills, sex appeal, and screen presence, going on to become one of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s. She was and is idolized throughout the world as a sex goddess. Later in her career, she worked towards serious roles with a measure of success but was always restrained by several prescription drug addictions. On August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe died between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. She was 36 years old. The cause of death based on the toxicology report was acute barbiturate poisoning.

Marilyn and Joe Dimaggio

We haven’t lost a star; we’ve gained a center fielder
-Fox execs on the Dimaggio marriage

Marilyn was married three times in her short life. Her third and last was to Arthur Miller the famous playwright on June 29, 1956. Author of the play Death of a Salesman and a movie Marilyn stared in, The Misfits; their marriage lasted four years and seven months with the two divorcing in 1961. Her first marriage was when she was just 16 to James Dougherty on June 19, 1942. She filed for divorce in Las Vegas, Nevada and it was finalized on September 13, 1946.

Her second was in 1951 she eloped with, famous baseball player, Joe DiMaggio on January 14, 1954. Fox loved the idea of marriage with executives boasting that “we haven’t lost a star; we’ve gained a center fielder”. The marriage was rocky from the start with Joe pressuring Marilyn to become a quiet wife while Marilyn tried to keep her star rising. Even on their honeymoon, Marilyn left to do a tour for the troops in Korea. A busy schedule of movies saw Marilyn go directly from the movie set of Show Business to the set of The Seven Year Itch. This was a move that made Dimaggio furious as he wanted to spend some time with his new wife. An abusive man, friends, and makeup people would often see bruises on her arms and backs from her fights with Joe. When Marilyn visited Marlon Brando on the set of Desirée he noticed that her arm was black and blue. Yet the stoic Marilyn, while their marriage was crumbling she, had to shoot, The Seven Year Itch.

The scene from The Seven Year Itch

The Seven Year Itch was a play turned into a movie about a man who sent his family away upstate to escape the hot and humid New York summer. While alone he meets his new neighbor, the blonde and beautiful Marilyn Monroe, known in the movie as “the girl”. The two get to know each other and he is torn between his lust for the girl and being faithful to his wife.

The scene in which the skirt was to blow up was a part of the movie were Marilyn’s character, known as the girl, was on a date with the main character, Richard Sherman played by Tom Ewell. They are walking out of the Trans-Lux theatre where they just watched Creature from the Black Lagoon. As they walk down the street Marilyn sees the breeze wafting up from the sidewalk grates as a subway car passes underneath. Even though it is night, New York is still hot and humid and she runs over to catch the breeze. As subways run back and forth and her skirt is lifted up, she says her lines from which we get some famous quotes such as, “Don’t you feel the breeze from the subway? Isn’t it delicious?” and “Ooohhh! This feels just elegant!”

This particular scene is where Richard Sherman is overtaken by the moment and kisses Marilyn. However, while the play had Sherman eventually sleeping with Marilyn’s character the movie ends with Sherman being faithful and running to upstate New York to join his wife and son.

Behind the Scenes


Crowd around Marilyn while filming the famous scene picture by Sam Shaw

Crowd around Marilyn while filming the famous scene, picture by Sam Shaw


Directed by Billy Wilder the film required the subway skirt scene to be shot at a location on Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street in New York. Fox Studio publicity men put the word out on the street that Marilyn would be on location wearing an outfit that would, “stop traffic”. Marilyn who by this time was taking multiple pills for various ailments both real and imagined struggled with her lines. While Marilyn did a take after take a crowd began to develop around the many photographers who showed up to get pictures. Rather than being quiet and constrained, the mob of New Yorkers yelled and whooped whenever the skirt was blown up over her waist which the bright movie lights, despite wearing two sets of underwear, revealed “all” of Marilyn.

The Split

Joe Dimaggio hated publicity and Hollywood, he usually stayed away from the set but since Marilyn was filming in New York he hovered nearby drinking at a bar. He ran into a friend, Walter Winchell who convinced him to go to the set and watch Marilyn.

The scene when he arrived was of thousands of fans screaming every time they could see her underwear. Conservative Joe Dimaggio while listening to the roar of the mob in time with the skirt lifting over her waist became infuriated and stormed off the set. At the hotel, that night crewmen heard screaming from their room and the next day Marilyn’s hairdresser, Gladys Whitten had to cover up bruises on her shoulders with make-up.

After filming, the couple flew back to California were friends saw more fights and neighbors saw Marilyn wandering the streets crying. 274 days after getting married the two staged an elaborate press conference where they announced that they were getting a divorce due to, “conflict of careers” and, “the usual mental cruelty”.
The skirt scene that helped kill the marriage was thrown out by the director as the crowd noise made it unusable. The whole street was recreated in a studio so that Marilyn could do it again in privacy. Even then most of the skirt shots were cut from the picture when the Hollywood censorship board, the Hays Code or Production code, killed any shot where the skirt went over the knee.

The Dress

Over the years actress, Debbie Reynolds amassed a huge collection of Hollywood memorabilia including the infamous dress used in this image. In 2011 her collection was put on the auction block and a lucky and very rich bidder bought the dress for $4.6 million ( $5.52 million after taxes and fees were included ) This smashed the record for the most-payed-for dress which was held by Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black dress from the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany‘s, which sold for $923,187.

Copyright images

AP Images handles the listening for some of the September 8, 1954, Seven Year Itch photos.

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Betty Grable

Behind the camera: Frank Powolny
Where: Studio
Photo Summary: Betty Grable in a promotional shot for the movie Sweet Rosie O’Grady
Picture Taken:1943

While American soldiers were overseas fighting World War II, they longed for something that reminded them of home. They chose this picture of Betty Grable. Some liked her sexy figure; others thought she reminded them of that ideal “girl back home.” Whatever the reason, she was by far the number-one pin-up girl during that time.

Taking the picture

Grable had just finished the movie Sweet Rosie O’Grady, and the studio needed some bathing suit shots. Grable herself remembers that “the session wasn’t going too well; Frank was trying to achieve something different. After about a dozen shots, he told me to turn my back to the camera and he would catch my face in profile. I obliged, turned my face toward the camera, and asked, ‘How about this?'” which was when Powolny snapped his photo. Powolny remembers that:

I asked Betty if she’d like to have a back shot, just to be different, She said, ‘Yes,’ and began to clown around. ‘You want it like this?’ she asked, posing. And I said, ‘Yeah.’ I made only two shots of that pose. It was the second shot that became famous.

There are some who claim that Grable was pregnant at the time when this shoot happened but both her kids Victoria and Jessica’s birth dates wouldn’t match up. Victoria was born on March 4, 1944, and Jessica was born on May 20, 1947. It was doubtful that the pregnancy would have been showing in early 1943 if she conceived as late as June 1943. Also, Powolny took other photos of her facing the camera and it doesn’t appear to show a baby bump. When the studio released the photo it became the most requested picture in movie history.
FOX studios saw its potential and persuaded the US military to allow it to distribute 5 million postcards of this picture to American GIs fighting in the war. Soldiers soon had painted the picture on planes, bomber jackets, and barrack walls making it the most popular pin-up during the war.
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Betty Grable

She was born Elizabeth Ruth Grable in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 18, 1916. The third child of John Conn Grable (June 28, 1883-January 25, 1954) and Lillian Rose Hofmann (May 29, 1889-December 24, 1964). Her sister was Marjorie L. Grable (April 17, 1909-November 25, 1980) and her brother was John Carl Grable (who died in infancy). She was propelled into acting by her mother, who insisted that one of her daughters become a star. For her first role, as a chorus girl in the movie Happy Days (1929), Grable was only 13 years old (legally underage for acting), but, because the chorus line performed in blackface, it was impossible to tell how old she was.

She got a number of small-time roles in various movies before obtaining a contract with 20th Century Fox, becoming their top star throughout the 40s. It was during her reign as box-office champ (in 1943) that Grable posed for her iconic pin-up photo, which (along with her movies) soon became escapist fare among GIs fighting overseas in World War II. Despite solid competition from Rita Hayworth, Dorothy Lamour, Veronica Lake, and Lana Turner, Grable was indisputably the number-one pin-up girl for American soldiers. She was wildly popular at home as well, placing in the top ten box-office draws each year for ten years. By the end of the 1940s, Grable was the highest-paid female star in Hollywood.

Also, in 1943, she married jazz trumpeter and big band leader Harry James, by whom she had two children; they divorced in 1965. Grable’s later career was marked by feuds with studio heads, who worked her to exhaustion. At one point, in the middle of a fight with Darryl F. Zanuck, she tore up her contract with him and stormed out of his office. Gradually leaving movies entirely, she made the transition to television and starred in Las Vegas.

I little tragic irony involved a nuclear weapon named after Betty. On May 25, 1953, the largest atomic weapon fired by artillery was exploded over the Las Vegas desert in the test series named Operation Upshot-Knothole. The cannon was named Atomic Annie while the shell and the blast were named Grable. Thousands of military personnel were present at the Grable blast to test exposure to radiation. Operation Upshot-Knothole was responsible for the release of a large portion of the radioactive iodine produced as a result of continental nuclear tests. This fallout resulted in thousands of cases of cancer. Grable herself died of lung cancer at age 56 in Santa Monica, California. Her funeral was held July 5, 1973, 30 years to the day after her marriage to Harry James. She is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.

Frank Powolny

Frank Powolny was an immigrant moving to the United States when he was 13, growing up in Clarkson, Nebraska. As the chief portrait and still photographer at 20th Century Fox from 1923 to 1966 he captured thousands of stars including taking the last known photographs of Marilyn Monroe. On January 5th, 1986 he died of a heart attack in Valencia.

Picture copyright


The Wikipedia Commons website claims this image is in the public domain.

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Leeroy Jenkins

Behind the camera: Anfrony, Pals for Life member
Where: The Upper Black Rock Spire. Not too far in – the area is called the Rookery
Photo Summary: “Pals for Life” members and Ben Schulz aka Leeroy Jenkins
Picture Taken:

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Not to be confused with Leroy Jenkins the famous Jazz musician, Leeroy Jenkins is the name of a famous machinima video clip, that was created in the Blizzard Entertainment’s popular MMORPG World of Warcraft or WoW. The clip is famous for one of the characters running off into a Lion’s Den … actually, Dragon’s Den where he gets himself and most of his companions killed. The clip has since become an Internet meme and spread well beyond the boundaries of the WoW community, into other online games and media. A presentation at the 2005 “Aesthetics of Play” conference at the University of Bergen described Leeroy as the “one icon of the WoW player, one movie from the game that most people have seen. So mainstream is the “Leeroy Jenkins” clip that the character was mentioned as part of a clue on the November 16, 2005 episode of the game show Jeopardy! as part of their college week tournament. ”

Video Breakdown



httpv://youtu.be/aB_4zUkareg

The video clip is a computer recording of the game World of Warcraft. The clip begins with a dozen players from the group or clan Pals for Life (P4L), including Leeroy, planning a raid on The Rookery, a virtual location in the WOW world, part of the Upper Blackrock Spire. The players are heard conversing over Ventrilo, a type of voice over software, before entering combat. Jamaal is the one doing most of the planning and talking. Leeroy, remains quiet and off to the side. He has since stated that he was away, “reheating myself some previously bought fried chicken for my own enjoyment”. Just as they are discussing tactics (which players of the game will recognize to be comically poor) and calculating the possible rate of survival for the attack, Leeroy suddenly springs to life, shouting his battle cry: “Alright chums, I’m (back), let’s do this! LEEROOOOOOOY!!! JENKIIIIIINS!!!”. He then charges fearlessly into The Rookery, to the complete and utter incredulity of his teammates. Attempting to save him, they follow him in and are quickly overwhelmed by the whelplings, and unable to stick to the plan. At the conclusion of the clip, one of his teammates remarks, “Leeroy, you are just stupid as hell”, to which he replies, “Least I have chicken.”
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Was it Staged?

Almost as soon as the clip was posted WOW gamers claimed it was staged due and after much debate and controversy Pals for Life, Leeroy’s guild, have admitted that this was a staged promotional video. They maintain, however, that it is essentially a faithful re-enaction of a true event.

Interviews with Leeroy



Leeroy aka Ben Schulz (aged 24 as of Oct 25, 2005)did a number of interviews including one with Played to Death and GGL.com. In the interviews, it’s revealed that Leeroy is based out of Laffayete, Colorado and he’s been playing WoW since the early open beta version. At the time of the interview, Ben’s character Leeroy was at, level 60 with a PVP rank of sergeant that works as a miner/engineer.
Leeroy did get kicked out of the P4L after the incident but was allowed to return 5min later. Ben, when asked about how often he plays the game, said ” …about four or five hours a day. Some days I take a break … I’m currently unemployed so that helps (laughs) … Actually I just graduated in December … I graduated with a degree in electrical engineering [with] emphasis on digital signal processing and system design stuff. So, like making a cell phone.” As of May 2006, Ben is working as a repair technician for industrial lighting. He was offered a position as a game tester for EA but at $10 an hour turned it down.
He got the name one day while hanging with his friends:

It was pretty much made up. I was sitting around with a few guild-mates drinking forties … we start throwing out name for each other and Leeroy Jenkins popped out. I like the name because it was fun to yell … The rushing itself doesn’t happen too often. It happens a little more now when we are joking around. My “Leeroy Jenkins” yell happens far more often. I’ve been yelling that for about four years. (laughs)
[Leeroy tried to gain control of his name and the rampant merchandising but he said there was,] “actually nothing I can do about it now. I can trademark the name henceforth, which I have looked into, but other than that the video is public domain. The [Pals 4 Life] have made our own T Shirts … That’s www.ThePals4life.com. We’ve only sold three shirts and a thong, but we are really excited about the thong selling. There is nothing in my life that makes me happier than pulling down a chick’s pants and seeing my face.

Cheering for the Whiter One


Leeroy stepped into a little bit of controversy when it was revealed that he would be cheering the “white” as in a caucasian team. Here is how he tried to explain it:

I guess it came out wrong but like I’ve tried explaining that before but until America televises video gaming to that extent and we have people that are that hyped about it and play that hard to get there we are not going to produce that kind of players that Korea is producing right now. They are superstars. They play against the best and people strive to do that much harder than they do here. So in that, generally, Koreans kick the shit out of the white dudes. And that’s what that was about. I was just doing that to root for the underdog.

Timeline of Fame

This Internet phenomenon started with the release of a video clip online to the World of Warcraft forums. The video was released by the World of Warcraft Alliance player guild PALS FOR LIFE on the Laughing Skull PvP realm.
Leeroy was given a substantial boost in notoriety by the publication of an article in the August 2005 issue of PC Gamer UK by author Craig Pearson, entitled “The Ballad of Leeroy Jenkins”. Pearson’s article claims that the original video was designed as a negative commentary on the kind of “nerd-guilds” that meticulously and statistically plan out raids the way Leeroy’s guild was apparently doing. Leeroy is, in fact, the hero of the piece, acting against the geekiness of his guild.
A sidebar found in Pearson’s article titled “How to Be a Leeroy: Perhaps You Already Are?” cites Urban Dictionary as an indication that Leeroy has become a descriptive noun; “to Leeroy” is even being used as a verb in some circles. The article further encourages the readers to send in their best examples of being a Leeroy to “I’m a Leeroy” at the magazine’s address.

Mentions outside the Internet fuel the fame


Leeroy’s fame has crossed over into the mainstream by not only being featured as a Jeopardy question but also:

  • Mentioned in a strip of the popular comic, FoxTrot
  • Leeroy has recently been added to the Upper Deck World of Warcraft Trading Card Game (TCG). The card was drawn by Mike Krahulik, the artist who draws the webcomic Penny Arcade. Leeroy’s TCG appearance along with rumors of his cameo in the upcoming World of Warcraft motion picture keeps the legend alive into the future.
  • Referenced in the Marvel Comics series, Runaways, Vol. 2 #18, when Victor Mancha yells out the name to Chase Stein as he charges headlong into a burning building.
  • In MegaMan Battle Network 6, a man looking at a jellyfish tank in the aquarium states “The right jellyfish is Leeroy. The left is Jenkins.”
  • In the beginning clip of AMV Hell 3, of the popular AMV Hell series, Leeroy’s end catchphrase “At least I have chicken,” appears. However, it is jokingly referred to as “an old Klingon proverb.”
  • In the South Park episode Make Love, Not Warcraft, some of the words that Cartman uses when they start the final battle are quotes from the video, said in the same matter-of-fact tone of the video’s narrator. In the same episode, a character appears named Jenkins. Lastly, at the end of the credits, the Leeroy Jenkins voice is heard saying “it’s not my fault!”
  • Number of downloads

    As of December 2005, the Warcraft Movies website reports well over 1,500,000 downloads of the original Leeroy Jenkins video. However, it is difficult to estimate the total number of people who have seen the original video largely because it has appeared on numerous other websites like google video and YouTube, file sharing networks, and has been sent extensively by email as well. On Google and YouTube alone there have been over a million downloads.

    Transcript

    PALS 4 LIFE have now released as close to an ‘official’ transcript as is likely to be seen. Since there was no script the P4Ls have tried their hand at remembering who said what. Some of the audio is too bad to hear clearly, even for the P4Ls.
    Jamaal: [talking to teammates outside cave] OK guys, these eggs have given us a lot of trouble in the past, uh does anybody need anything off this guy or can we bypass him?

    Ritter: Uhh, I think Leeroy needs something from this guy.

    Jamaal: Oh, does he, he [sic] need those Devout Shoulders? Doesn’t, doesn’t [sic] he a paladin?

    Ritter: Yeah, but that will help him heal better, he’ll have more mana.

    Jamaal: [sighs] Christ. OK, uhh well what we’ll do, I’ll run in first, uh gather up all the eggs, we can kinda just, ya know blast them all down with AOE. Um, I will use Intimidating Shout, to kinda scatter’em, so we don’t have to fight a whole bunch of them at once. Uhh, when my Shouts are done, uhh, I’ll need Anfrony to come in and drop his Shout too, uh so we can keep them scattered and not have to fight too many. Um, when his is done, Bas of course will need to run in and do the same thing. Uhh, we’re gonna need Divine Intervention on our mages, uhh so they can, uhh, AE, uh so we can of course get them down fast, cause we’re bringing all these guys, I mean, we’ll be in trouble if we don’t take them down quick. Uhh I think this is a pretty good plan, we should be able to pull it off this time. Uhh, what do you think Abduhl? Can you give me a number crunch real quick?

    Abduhl: Uhhh.. yeah gimme a sec… I’m coming up with thirty-two point three three, repeating of course, percentage, of survival.

    Jamaal: That’s a lot better than we usually do, uhh, alright, you think we’re ready guys? [interrupted]

    Leeroy: All right chums, I’m (back)! Let’s do this! LEEROOOOOOOY JEEENKIIIIIINSSS!!! [runs into cave]

    -Short pause-

    Forekin: [incredulous] … Oh my God he just ran in. [runs in]

    Ritter: Save him!

    Jamaal: Oh jeez, stick to the plan.

    Forekin: Oh jeez, let’s go, let’s go! [follows]

    Abduhl [laughing]: Stick to the plan chums!

    Jamaal: Stick to the plan!

    Forekin: Oh jeez, oh fuck.

    Therien: Gimme a Divine Intervention, hurry up.

    Jamaal: Shoutin’!

    Therien: It’s saying I can’t cast! I can’t move, am I lagging, guys?

    Spiffy: I can’t move!

    Forekin: What the—what the hell?

    Spiffy: I can’t AE!

    Forekin: Oh my God…

    Abduhl: The eggs just keep respawning! More respawning!!

    Forekin: I don’t think you can cast with that shit on!

    Spiffy: Oh my God!

    Leeroy: We got em, we got em!

    Basphemy: I got it! I got it! [muffled shouts]

    Jamaal: Jamaal’s down. Jamaal’s down.

    Forekin: Oh my God..

    Jamaal: Goddamnit Leeroy!

    Forekin: Goddamnit…

    Abduhl: Leeroy you moron! [various put-downs of Leeroy amongst group]

    Unknown: gremove gremove

    Ritter: I’m on it.

    Basphemy: It’s on Bas.

    Jamaal: This is ridiculous.

    Forekin: I’m down, Forekin down. Goddamnit.

    Basphemy: Bas is down.

    Abduhl: This is the (something)th time we’ve died on this, God!

    Abduhl: Spiffy, rez us! Spiffy, rez us!

    Jamaal: Why do you do this shit Leeroy?

    Spiffy: I’m trying!

    Leeroy [crying]: It’s not my fault!

    Forekin: Who’s Soulstoned?

    Jamaal: We do have a Soulstone up, don’t we? [everyone dies] Think I need a Soulstone?

    Abduhl: Yeah but I don’t think we brought a Warlock.

    Forekin [noticing everybody is dead]: … Oh God…

    Jamaal + Others: Oh for – [sighs] Great job!

    Unknown: For Christ’s sake! [indistinguishable]

    Unknown: Fag.

    Abduhl: Leeroy, you are just stupid as hell.

    Spiffy: Nimrod.

    Leeroy: … ‘Least I have chicken

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    Afro Ninja

    Behind the camera: Casting agency staff for LeBron James Commerical
    Where:
    Photo Summary: Mark Allen Hicks
    Picture Taken:

    While trying out for a Nike TV commercial starring LeBron James a stunt man/martial artist Mark Allen Hicks attempted to do a black flip for the camera. It didn’t work and unluckily for him, his failed backflip was captured on camera and uploaded to the internet where it spread like wildfire. In Nov 2006 the Viral marketing company, The Viral Factory, collated page impression figures from websites such as YouTube and Google Videos. They determined that this video as of Nov 2006 had been viewed 80 million times. Hicks himself didn’t know of his fame until a friend called and said, “that was so funny! I just saw you on the Jay Leno show!” Hicks was puzzled because he had never been on the Leno show. He quickly checked online and to his horror had discovered that the casting agency had leaked his audition video. While at first he was angry he was able to parlay his new found fame into creating a full length movie called, Afro Ninja: Destiny




    The Commericial

    The commercial was for Nike’s Lebron James in the Chamber of Fear Series. Mike was reported to have stumbled out of the audition with a bloody nose and no role in the commercial. After mark’s “failed” audition the casting guys proclaimed “no more flips” to the next few stunt men waiting to audition. However, later Mike was able to come back to another audition and was booked for the commercial.

    Fight Science



    National Geographic did a show called Fight Science that explored how the designs and techniques of weaponry can exponentially increase an already fearsome fighter’s impact, control, and range. Mike Hicks was one of the fighting “experts” that showcased their skills in the show.
    www.afro-ninja.com

    While people were trying to track down Afro Ninja in a case of misidentification one Shawn Tanner was fingered as the AfroNinja in the video. Shawn was quick to point that he had nothing to do with the video and that his flash site www.afro-ninja.com had existed years before the video went viral.

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    Kolla2001

    Behind the camera: Kollaboration
    Where: Kollaboration which was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles
    Photo Summary: David ‘Elsewhere’ Bernal is the third dancer to appear
    Picture Taken: Saturday October 6, 2001

    David “Elsewhere” Bernal (born August 2, 1979) is a popping dancer from Santa Ana, California. He became well known through this video clip recorded at the Korean-American talent show, Kollaboration, in 2001. The clip showcased Bernal’s characteristic take on contemporary dances popping and liquid dancing. Performances of these dances were rare at the time, and the clip became a very popular viral video. In Nov 2006 the Viral marketing company, The Viral Factory, collated page impression figures from websites such as YouTube and Google Videos. They determined that this video as of Nov 2006 had been viewed 200 million times.

    Kollaboration



    httpv://youtu.be/iUz4OLQi_uw

    Kollaboration is a Korean American/ Korean Canadian Talent Show. “Kollaboration seeks to elevate Korean American/ Korean Canadian talent into the limelight of the music and entertainment industries, showcasing their talents and the community’s potential to the world.” It has been running since 2000 and serves to break down any stereotypes that exist in regards to Korean talent. David Elsewhere’s video clip was filmed at Kollaboration 2001 which was held on Saturday, October 6, 2001, at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles.

    David “Elsewhere” Bernal

    David started dancing around when he was 17. At his high school he and a number of students would play music, dance and break and a place called, “The Quad”:

    The first time I really performed in front of a big crowd was probably a year after I started dancing. It was in front of my school at The Quad, which I described to you earlier. My friends basically pushed me into the circle. I actually took out this house dancer, this guy who would go in circles and try to show off. I basically shut him up because he didn’t know how to break…all he did was his house dancing. I got a pretty big ovation from the people and that day really stuck with me. It was a huge, huge confidence booster.

    In 2002 he graduated from California State University Long Beach, California with a degree in Art and Illustration. On his homepage he sites besides B-Boy dancing his major dance artist influences were:

  • Squid – His longtime friend who got him started with dancing.
  • Salty – A mystery man that David saw on a video. He became obsessed with his style and dancing without ever knowing who he was.
  • Skywalker – Skywalker’s influence resulted in his style becoming much more fluid and exaggerated.
  • Since the video Bernal has done a number of advertisements for Heineken, iPod, 7-Eleven Slurpee and Pepsi. He also did a cameo appearance in the movie You Got Served and TV performances including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In a Volkswagen Golf GTI commercial him and some other dancers like Crumbs and another popper named Jay Walker did a spoof of 1952 movie Singin’ in the Rain where they recreated Gene Kelly’s Dance.

    Double Jointed?

    Most people when viewing the video think that David has to be double jointed to do his moves but when asked in an interview he stated:

    I’m not double-jointed at all. The only place where I am double-jointed is my thumbs, which doesn’t even matter. I would say I’m probably a little more flexible than most people in certain areas, mainly my shoulders and my ankles, but I wasn’t born that way. Those areas became flexible because of years of practicing.

    [midgoogle]

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    Numa Numa

    Behind the camera: Gary Brolsma’s Webcam
    Where: Gary Brolsma’s house in New Jersey
    Photo Summary: Gary Brolsma
    Picture Taken: November 2004

    Sometime in 2004 Gary Brolsma saw a Japanese Internet video clip that featured animated ASCII cats displaying amusing lyrics to the song, “Ma Ya Hi (Dragostea Din Tei)” by Romanian pop band O-Zone. After filming his own version with him dancing in front of his computer he uploaded it onto the net and it became one of the most downloaded videos on the internet. In Nov 2006 the Viral marketing company, The Viral Factory, collated page impression figures from websites such as YouTube and Google Videos. They determined that this video as of Nov 2006 had been viewed 700 million times.

    Pre-Gary



    httpv://youtu.be/KmtzQCSh6xk

    The Numa Numa (or “Numa Numa Dance”) gets its name from the chorus of the Dragostea din tei track, “nu mă, nu mă iei,” meaning, roughly, “(you) won’t take, won’t take me.” The video caught the ear of one Japanese Internet User, Ikari, who created his own video for the song. Using an animation that looks like a popular Japanese ASCII cat named Monā Ikari created a video which used English and Japanese Mondegreens or words that sound the closest to the original Romanian lyrics. It was this video and its concept that captured Gary’s imagination.

    Gary Brolsma

    Gary Brolsma (born January 14, 1986) is a resident of the state of New Jersey, USA. One of his teachers, Susan Sommer, described him as quiet but was good with technology, “Whenever there were computer problems, Gary … would fix them for the school,”
    Around Nov 2004, Gary was facing some depression after the death of his father, and he used his Webcam to film himself lip-syncing in an effort to lift his spirits. The video was meant to amuse himself and a few friends. But within weeks Internet users charmed by the innocence and ebullience of Brolsma’s performance spread the video around the world. Brolsma became an unintentional icon of the viral video phenomenon after uploading his “Numa Numa Dance” on the Newgrounds site on December 6, 2004, where it has since been seen over 13 million times. Since it was uploaded the video has been reproduced on hundreds of other websites and blogs.
    When asked about making the video Gary had this to say:

    It only took one take and about 15 minutes to put all together. A lot of people ask me if I planned the video out or took multiple tries with it. The real answer is… no. A week or so after I finished the video, I decided to throw it up on Newgrounds.com just for the heck of it, thinking it would get blammed (automatically deleted for a low scoring video). Little did I know it would explode in the views and would touch so many people.

    Not happy with just one version Gary also created some tweaked variants of the video since it became popular. One version also contains some puns, among them pictures of “feta cheese” during the lyric “fericirea” (“happiness”) and a LEGO representation of Bob Ross during the singer’s words: “sunt eu, Picasso” (“it’s me, Picasso”). Other third-party versions include a “Showdown,” between him and a German Kid getting angry at his computer. The video also had a brief cameo by the Star Wars Kid.

    As his video spread throughout the world the fame hit hard. He made appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s The Tonight Show and VH1’s Best Week Ever, but then became uncomfortable with the amount of attention. According to The New York Times, he was an “unwilling and embarrassed Web celebrity.” He stopped taking phone calls from the media; he cancelled an appearance on NBC’s Today Show on February 17, 2005; and he did not cooperate with The New York Times for their February 26, 2005 article about him.
    [midgoogle]

    Since then Gary has come to terms with his celebrity even releasing a New Numa video which was released on September 8, 2006, on Newgrounds, and promoted on a dedicated website, NewNuma.com. This was an unexpected move, though one which he had been urged to make by fans of his original video. The video was produced by Experience Studios (Seattle, WA). It features Brolsma and his garage band, The Nowadays, lip-syncing and dancing to New Numa. The song is a repeated Russian children’s rhyme and performed in heavily accented and barely understandable Russian by Chad Russell, a singer/songwriter from Fridley, MN, for producer and DJ, Variety Beats, on the BeLive label.

    Dragostea din tei





    Dragostea din tei (pronounced /ˈdra.gos.te̯a din tej/) was the most successful single by O-Zone a band originally from Moldova, but which launched in Romania. The original version was sung by Dan Bălan, Arsenie Todiraş and Radu Sârbu. The single was first released in 2003 in Romania, where the group lived and produced at that time, and in the spring of 2004 in most other European countries. As of 2006, the song is still in the lower reaches of some Eastern European singles charts. It was written and produced by Dan Bălan (who wrote most of the group’s songs) and was one of 2004’s most successful summer hits, as well as one of the best selling singles of the year across Europe. Tragedy struck when in 2005 the group split up. All of the members went their separate ways and started their own solo careers.

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    The George Washington Portrait

    Behind the camera: Gilbert Stuart
    Where: Gilbert Stuart’s studio in Germantown, Pennsylvania, near and now part of the city Philadelphia
    Photo Summary: George Washington
    Picture Taken: 1796
    This image is in the public domain because of its age

    In the aftermath of the American revolution, George Washington emerged as an iconic hero that led the new nation of America to Independence. He was the first elected President and images of him were in huge demand. One portrait artist Gilbert Stuart did a series of famous paintings as part of a series on Washington. This one, titled The Athenaeum, was commissioned in 1796 and become the basis for the American one dollar bill

    Painting the portrait

    By 1796 Washington was over 60 years old. For campaign reasons starting in 1789, he had been wearing dentures that were awkward to hold in his mouth. His first pairs were ill-fitting resulting in his face becoming sunken around the mouth. To fill out his face and provide a more natural look in this portrait Stuart ordered a larger pair of dentures and used cotton to expand his mouth area. The painting was commissioned by Washington’s wife Martha who was delighted in Stuart’s first portrait of Washington (Now called the Vaughan Portrait). Stuart never actually finished the original Athenaeum, for Martha, but created many copies that he did finish and sell to eager buyers.
    Washington would occasionally come around the studio to demand the painting be finished and handed over but Stuart never did and it remained unfinished until Stuart’s death in 1828. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston eventually came into possession of the painting where it remains to this day.

    Dollar Bill

    The American one dollar bill


    This portrait was chosen to be printed on the American one dollar in the 1928 series and hasn’t changed since although other aspects of the bill have been tweaked and adjusted from time to time. The one dollar bill is the most common bill of currency and of all the notes printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, one dollar notes make up about 45% of currency production.

    Gilbert Stuart

    Gilbert Stuart was born in Saunderstown, Rhode Island on December 3, 1755. He showed his talents at a young age and trained under the Scottish artist, Cosmo Alexander. He quickly became a famed artist that painted over a thousand people in his lifetime including the first six Presidents of the United States. He became was one of 18th century America ‘s master portrait artists and his home is now a museum that showcases his life.

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