A Little Friday File Fun

October 30, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - They say that a picture is worth a thousand words...

Well, here’s a thousand to get you going…

– – – In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan , Plantraco Microflight says a certain new Halloween costume is practically “flying” off the shelves – – – it’s a “balloon boy” costume – – – with a mini silver helium balloon attaches with a string to the gondola-like compartment – – – and a cardboard box kids cut holes into and put over their heads.  

You can see (and order) it HERE  http://www.microflight.com/Balloon-Boy-Halloween-Costume-Kit;jsessionid=0a0109491f432c26258221b14c60a48dd31a31aea67b.e3eSc38LcheTe34Pa38Ta38Naxj0


It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s… a cake?  MORE at http://holykaw.alltop.com/its-a-bird-its-a-plane-no-its-a-cake

- - - In Lansing, Michigan , Sean Murphy, an employee at Preuss Pets here - - - has unofficially broken a world record - - - having managed to fit 16 Madagascar hissing cockroaches into his mouth for a total of 10 seconds - - - the current world record is 11 cockroaches - - - you can watch this below

If you can't view the below video, try http://gannett.a.mms.mavenapps.net/mms/rt/1/site/gannett-lansing-051-pub01-live/current/launch.html?maven_playerId=articleplayer&maven_referralPlaylistId=playlist&maven_referralObject=1306626751

- - - In Nashville, Tennessee , the local police department is auctioning a confiscated "set of custom made teeth grills" - - - with the proceeds of the sale earmarked for the Police State Drug Fund - - - the so-called "mouth ornament" is adorned with six topaz stones and two citrine stones, and is made of 10 karat yellow gold - - - you can see this below:

- - - In Carroll, Iowa , Matthew McNelly, 23, and Joey Miller, 20, were trying to break into an apartment here - - - but drew the attention of the resident, and were forced to flee - - - they were pulled over shortly thereafter following the resident's 911 call and identification of the would-be burglars' 1994 Buick Roadmaster- - - of course, it was pretty easy for the arresting officer to guess they had been up to no good - - - with the masks they had made - - - and were still "wearing" - - - made by a Sharpie marker - - - you have to see this to believe it!  

And here's another thousand....

- - - In Proctor, Minnesota , Dennis Anderson, 62, had an accident - - - running into a parked vehicle with his vehicle - - - little wonder, considering that he was subsequently found to have a blood alcohol content of .29, more than three times the legal limit - - - what was unusual was Dennis vehicle - - - a La-Z-Boy lounge chair powered by an eight horsepower Kohler lawnmower engine - - - with   a stereo, headlights, a built-in cup holder - - - and a "He.ll Yeah It's Fast" bumper sticker.   You can see Dennis' "ride" below

TRIVIAL PURSUITS:   The Mona Lisa may well be the world's most famous painting for any number of reasons.   But it is almost certainly the most famous painting actually stolen from the Louvre - and recovered.  

When was it stolen - how long was it missing - and what was the motivation of the thief?  

Answer(s)

 

The theft:

 

On August 21, 1911 , the Mona Lisa was stolen right off the wall of the Louvre in Paris.   It was such an inconceivable crime, that the Mona Lisa wasn't even noticed missing until the following day.

The thief's motivation

In the Autumn of 1913, two years after the Mona Lisa was stolen, a well-known antique dealer, Alfredo Geri, placed an ad in several Italian newspapers which stated that he was "a buyer at good prices of art objects of every sort."   In November of that year he received a letter from someone who claimed to be in possession of the Mona Lisa.   A meeting was arranged, and on December 10, 1913, an Italian man who claimed his name was Leonardo Vincenzo appeared at Geri's sales office in Florence, and said he wanted just two things; a half million lire for the painting - and a promise that the painting would never be given back to France.  Leonardo explained that he had stolen the painting in order to restore to Italy what had been stolen from it by Napoleon .

To make a long story short (you can read the long version at http://history1900s.about.com/od/famouscrimesscandals/a/monalisa.htm ), Geri said he would have to compare the painting with other da Vinci works, walked out with the painting - and summoned the police.  

As for Leonardo's real name - it was Vincenzo Peruggia, who had worked at the Louvre in 1908. Still known by many of the guards, Peruggia had walked into the museum, grabbed the Mona Lisa, went to the staircase, removed the painting from its frame, and walked out of the museum with the Mona Lisa under his painters smock.

The return

The painting was displayed throughout Italy before it was returned to France on December 30, 1913 .

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