Saturday, 28 February 2015

Hollywood Prop Money

In Hollywood, massive stacks of paper banknotes remain one of the most enduring movie symbols of wealth and excess. No one buys drugs or pays their hitman via credit card.

Perhaps most striking of all are scenes in which huge amounts of money are treated with cavalier disrespect. When watching the on-screen clips of huge amounts of money, it’s rare to see real banknotes – and the world of fake movie cash is governed by strict laws.
In the early days of Hollywood, counterfeiting laws prevented the use of real banknotes in film. But in 1920, when the Mexican revolution came to an end, large quantities of colourful Mexican currency hit the market, and were acquired by film studios looking for a substitute for US money. According to the website Paper Money of Sonora, the most common were the $5, $10 and $20 notes from the Banco del Estado de Chihuahua.
When the real Mexican notes ran out, studios began to produce their own mock-ups, based on the original designs (some of which featured the studio's name).

In the 1970s, filmmakers began to demand more realistic-looking money. Strict legal guidelines must be followed. US laws demand that fake cash be one-sided, and less than 75 per cent or more than 150 per cent the size of a real bill.

The Breaking Bad cash pile
The risks of producing too-realistic money were aptly demonstrated during the filming of the 2001 Jackie Chan action comedy Rush Hour 2. A pivotal scene required an explosion at a Vegas casino, during which hundreds of thousands of fake banknotes were shown falling through the air.

But the fake notes, supplied by the Hollywood prop company Independent Studio Services (ISS), were picked up by movie extras and passers-by, who then attempted to spend them along the Vegas Strip. Secret Service agents swooped in, confiscated more than $100 million worth of prop money, and promptly accused the prop maker of counterfeiting.

Banknote featuring Eddie Murphy as the Prince of Zamunda.
When it comes to movie prop collectors lack of realism in a banknote can actually increase its appeal. Many banknotes are custom made for their respective films, often because the movie's plot requires a specific type of note.



Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Ghaghoo Diamond Mine, Botswana

The Ghaghoo diamond mine was officially opened in 2014 by the president of Botswana. It is held by Gem Diamonds Botswana, which holds a 25-year mining licence.

'Ghaghoo' is the name of a locally abundant camel thorn acacia tree, and is the name historically used by locals to refer to the area, before geological exploration teams arrived over thirty years ago, renaming the area 'Gope' - literally translated meaning 'nowhere'.
The Ghaghoo mine is situated in the south-east portion of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The mine is expected to reach its designed throughput of 720 000 tons per year in 2015.

Total resources are estimated at 20.53 million carats with an in-situ value of US$ 4.9 billion.
One of the most difficult tasks to overcome was mining through approximately 80 vertical meters of sand overburden before reaching the competent country rock.

Botswana’s government has always denied that diamonds were the reason for the evictions of the Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve between 1997 and 2005 – one of its claims was to protect the wildlife.
Lord Jones said in 2004, “Survival International continue to allege that the Bushmen have been forced off their lands because of diamonds."

The Kalahari Bushmen have lived sustainably alongside the reserve’s wildlife for generations but continue to face persecution in the name of conservation. Bushmen caught hunting to feed their families are arrested, beaten and tortured.



Sunday, 22 February 2015

Cool Concept Cars

The Centurion name was first used on a Buick concept car in the 1956 Motorama. It featured a red and white fiberglass body, airplane like interior design, and a full clear "bubble top" roof. It also had the first backup camera in place of a rear view mirror, although it was never shown to be functional, merely a concept.

Lamborghini Concept S. 2006. This 5-litre V10-powered concept, of which there are only two in existence, looks just as inspiring as its Gallardo production brother.


The Audi quattro concept was produced by Audi and presented at the Paris Motor Show in 2010.

The car was shelved in 2012.
2007 Audi Locus Concept Design by Ugur Sahin.
The 1953 General Motors Firebird 1 was created to see whether a gas turbine engine would be viable in the cars of the future. It wasn't.
1938 Buick Y-Job. Complete with electric windows and headlights that could hide away, it was revolutionary in it's day.




Saturday, 21 February 2015

Stones of Pagan Witchcraft

Pyrite Cluster - The resemblance of pyrite to gold has made it a traditional symbol for money and good luck. It's sunny golden color associates it with the sun, and with fortification and strengthening of the mind. The name comes from the Greek word meaning "a stone which strikes fire".

Iron Pyrite makes an energy shield, blocking out negativity from various sources.
Rainbow Fluorite - Fluorite helps to ground excessive energy, particularly mental, emotional and nervous energy. It is a healer, it affects all the chakras as well as mental attitudes. It is excellent for use in cleansing the aura ... it is known to ride the aura of cording (unwanted attached energy lines from other people).

Fluorite aids in channeling ... for connecting with the Akashic records for answer to your past lives. It is particularly helpful in aiding inter-dimensional communications, particularly with Nature spirits, faeries, elves and other fae folk.
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Hematite is used to improve relationships.

The name comes from the Greek word for blood. It has been used as an amulet against bleeding, and so is known as the "blood stone". When arranged like the petals of a flower, it is referred to as the "iron rose". Native American folklore states that war paint made from hematite will make one invincible in battle. People in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries wore hematite jewelry during mourning.
Titanium Quartz Cluster - quartz crystal bonded with titanium. The titanium coating is permanent will never scratch or come off. It is bonded on the molecule level.

Stone for creativity, both removing blockages to creativity and enhancing creative powers. Promoting clairvoyance and all forms of "seeing". They are used in meditation and yogic practice, where it appears to stimulate the upward movement of the kundalini. Carrying the mineral is said to assist in "reading" people." Stimulates the third-eye intensely. Wonderful for healing dysfunction in relationships.
Citrine Druzy Cluster - Citrine is related to the sun. Like the sun, its vibrations are positive, uplifting, and energizing. This makes citrine a good choice for people that could use a little extra motivation. Citrine's energies have an energizing effect that can also lead to greater physical activity, and thus improve overall health.

Citrine also help to develop a feeling of security and inner calm.
Chalcopyrite (Peacock Ore) - Enhances perception; strengthens contact with ancient cultures of the universe by acting as a connective agent. Considered a "stone of the mystic" ... bringing information relevant to the etheric energies; opens and activates the crown chakra. Excellent for use in "no-mind meditations"
Aragonite Cluster - promote a sense of balance while cleansing the surrounding energy. Said to fortify strength and confidence and to open new visions.
Rainbow Andalusite - Faery Cross Stone Andalusite tumbled and polished crystal, also known as The Faery Cross Stone. It is stunning in its fire (opalescence). In the center is a cross... a natural part of its crystalline structure and a symbol of protection and balance. Absolutely unique from any other gemstone in the crystal world. Used as a powerful protection stone, it also stimulates self enhancement, self realization and memory.

When used in channeling work, it magnifies past lives.
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Amber Copal - A fossilized tree resin - allows the body to heal itself by absorbing and transmuting negative energy into positive energy. It stimulates the intellect and opens the crown chakra. It also transmutes the energy of physical vitality toward the activation of unconditional love. It aligns the ethereal energies to the physical, mental, and emotional bodies, providing for an even flow of perfect order to the requirements of the Earth plane while balancing the electro-magnetics of the physical body.
Crocodile Jasper - said to sustain and support through times of stress, and bring tranquility and wholeness. Jasper provides protection and absorbs negative energy. It balances yin and yang. Jasper clears electromagnetic and environmental pollution. It supports during prolonged illness and re-energises the body.
Spirit Quartz is a crystal of harmony and alignment. It takes all the crystal energies of the main stone and amplifies them over and over again in all the tiny points, each reflecting light back and forth to one another so all can bathe in the combined radiance of the whole.

In the Book of Stones, Naisha Ahsian describes this crystal as "a hundred-voice choir singing in harmony." Its resonance is spiritually uplifting, radiating high-vibrational energy in all directions, and is a perfect ally in aligning the aura, chakras, meridians and the physical body, as well as carrying the gifts of Spirit out into the world.
Malachite Tumbled Gemstone - Malachite is believed to be a strong protector. It is said to protect the wearer from accidents and protects travelers. Malachite has been used to aid success in business and protect against undesirable business associations. It is a stone of balance in relationships. Malachite is always green, usually in banded tones. Most malachite comes from Zaire, Chile and Australia. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used malachite for jewelry and ground it to use as eye shadow. It is used in amulets to protect against the evil eye. In the Middle Ages it was used to protect against witches and other dangers.
Amethyst is said to give spiritual insight, promotes a sense of good judgment and encourages a quiet and calm mind. Aids in meditation to find deep inner peace. Comfort at times of loss or grief, aids dreaming, inspiration and intuition. Helps balance the crown (brow) chakra.
Aqua Aura Crystal is produced through a special process in which the surface of the crystal quartz is bonded with vaporized, finely powdered pure gold. This results in a brilliant blue with iridescent rainbow flashes. This color-enhanced crystal is effective in stimulating the throat chakra, enhancing your ability to communicate inner truth, and to express inner emotions in a positive way. Aqua Aura safeguards from psychological attacks.
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Tiger Eye - Tiger's-eye or Cat's-Eye is a stone for the mind, not the body. Tiger Eye is used to focus the mind. It will cause the mind to have feeling of oneness and feel more direct in all thoughts. It makes one aware of one's own needs related to the needs of others.

A personal symbol carved in Tiger eye is excellent for the spiritually advanced to use in meditation.
Septarian (also known as "Dragonstone") Nodules combine all the metaphysical properties of the minerals that make it up, making it extremely powerful. It aids communication with Mother Earth. It is said to help in overall healing and health. It is also an a grounding stone. It relates to the Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakras. Septarian Nodule is used to assist in communication with others and to aid in being understood. It also plays a role in rapid healing for the body and degeneration of teeth bones and muscles. Septarian Nodules help in banishing nightmares, negative energy and block psychic attacks. (i.e. psychic vampirism)
Labradorite is said to provide quick relief from anxiety. Thought to improve one's ability to cooperate with others in harmony. Labradorite is also said to give perseverance, strength and enhanced intuition when one is experiencing times of conflict.