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Posted by Victor Crew on

Girl Attacked by Mountain Lion Recovering With Minor Injuries

A 6 year-old girl suffered only minor injuries from which she is recovering from after what is suspected to be a mountain lion attacked her at a park in California. State wildlife experts are currently searching for the animal in question.

A group of patrons including the victim and her parents along with a few other adults and children were hiking on a Rancho San Antonio County Park trail in Santa Clara County. As the animal attacked one adult punched the animal in the ribs—believed to weigh about 160 lbs. The rest of the group helped scare it away by making loud noises.

A park ranger was able to quickly provide the child with first aid.

The attack happened just two miles from the main parking lot. Park officials stated that this was unusual as these lions are a rare encounter in the area. The lions live throughout the Santa Cruz Mountain region and are generally not a threat to people.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that since 1986 there have only been 17 reported mountain lion attacks against humans in the entire state. The park is currently closed while the Department of Fish and Wildlife look for the animal. Once found, official will determine what to do next.

Not long ago the first mountain lion was killed in California under the state’s new “3 strike law” which states a mountain lion can be killed by a property owner after it has killed or injured livestock or pets.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife reminded hikers that if they see a lion to stay calm. To make themselves large and loud and slow back away. Never turn and run, officials stated.


Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

A Galaxy Far, Far Away Was Filmed A Little Closer to Home

The Star Wars franchise has captured the imaginations of people around the world since “Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope” was released in 1977. For decades fans have made journeys to these sometimes not-so-faraway places to see where their favorite film was shot.

Many of the films in the franchise feature impressive landscapes of many types, many of which aren’t as alien as some might think. George Lucas’ original three films are well known for focusing on a particular kind of landscape in each film.

The igloo exterior of Luke’s house was filmed about 300 kilometers away on the dried-up salt lake of Chott El Jerid. The igloo is still there, reachable with a decent car at the GPS coordinates 33°50’34.42″N, 7°46’44.48″E. The surrounding craters are man-made, to create the illusion that the underground house is next to it. The igloo from the 1977 movie was dismantled, but again rebuilt for “Attack of the Clones,” and later restored by a fan. Nearby is La Grande Dune, site of the Dune Sea. About 30 minutes from the igloo is the set of Mos Espa, the spaceport town where Anakin was discovered as a young slave.

Endor, the forest moon home of the furry Ewoks, was filmed among California’s giant redwoods. Most of the well-known scenes were shot on private land owned by a lumber company. Since the cast and crew worked on “Return of the Jedi” in 1982, heavy logging has left most of the landscape unrecognizable. But driving through the parks still gives a feel for the set, especially along the Avenue of the Giants highway. In Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park and the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, plates were filmed for some chase scenes.

Exteriors of the ice world Hoth in “The Empire Strikes Back” were shot in the tiny village of Finse, Norway. The cast and crew stayed at the Finse 1222 Hotel, where snowstorm scenes were shot from the back door. But the main battlefield scenes were shot on the nearby glacier. In March and April, skies are normally clear and there’s still plenty of snow. Guides in Finse can help with hikes to see the exact locations.

The new “Rogue One” Star Wars film adds to the list of impressive location shoots. Iceland’s other-worldy landscape is fast becoming the go-to destination for sci-fi movies, and “Rogue One” joins the club.

The black sand beach of Reynisfjara, a wild stretch of North Atlantic coastline close to the small town of Vik and Iceland’s southernmost tip, stands in for the stormy planet of Eadu. We stay on “Rogue One’s” Eadu for another visit to Iceland, this time Krafla, an active volcano in the country’s remote northeast. A source of geothermal energy, Krafla’s seething crater and nearby Lake Mývatn have also made an appearance in “Game of Thrones.”

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

The Happiest Place on Earth Turns 60

Walt Disney is one of America’s best known dreamers – best known for bringing his dream to life. Sixty years ago, July 17th ,1955, Walt Disney opened the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California to an invite-only crowd and gate-crashers that swamped the park which was riff with problems – including wet paint, rides breaking down, food shortages and even a gas leak. The park cost $17 million to build in 1955 and continued to have problems the following day when it opened to the public.

In the early days Disneyland was far from a sure thing – Walt Disney often stayed overnight at the park to work on problems and slept in a small apartment above the Firehouse on Main Street U.S.A. This is the only park that Walt would work on personally, but it was his vision that would spawn a world-wide empire of imagination.

When the park first opened it included only 18 attractions spread over Main Street U.S.A, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Adventureland. Today there are 11 Disney theme parks spread across the world. These days Walt Disney Corp also includes a television station, cruise ships, a movie production company, toys and just about anything you can think of.

While this level of success, let alone any success was not a guarantee when Disneyland opened its doors some 60 years ago today so-called “Disney vacations” are the dream vacations not only of children but of many people world-wide.

Jody Victor