Page 9 - Celebrity Facts

Hakeem Olajuwon knew not every parent can afford to buy $120 sneakers, so he developed a sneaker that would cost only $35!

Consumerism has reached an all time high and the message sent by manufacturers of products via their advertising campaigns is actually doing damage in lower income communities.

Wealth has come to equal status, and Bill Gates and Michael Jordan are admired more for their status possessions than for their accomplishments.

In 1994 Nike's appeal to urban youth was the most obvious example of corporate marketing of high-cost status goods to lower-income households.

The psychological cost of this was much higher than they cared to think and the "American Dream" seemed out of reach for a janitor's kids.

That is why NBA star, Hakeem Olajuwon, decided to take a stand.

He asked: "How can a poor working mother with three boys buy Nikes or Reeboks that cost $120?" He answered the question himself: "She can't. So kids steal these shoes from stores and from other kids. Sometimes they kill for them. Parents must teach their kids a sense of value. Paying more doesn't mean its better. That's not value."

That is why Hakeem decided to work with Spalding to release a $35 sneaker under his name.

But unfortunately materialism was so deeply ingrained into American society by then, that even kids of a low income family did not want to show up at school in $35 sneakers if there were $120 sneakers on the market.


Olivia Hussey wasn't legally allowed to watch a movie she starred in, because it had a nude scene. She was the one that was nude.

Olivia Hussey gained fame for her first starting role as Juliet in the 1968 film "Romeo and Juliet." The film, directed by Franco Zeffirelli was released to critical acclaim, winning Oscars for Cinematography and Costume Design, and receiving nominations for Best Director and Best Picture. 

One of the things that made it the most successful Shakespeare movie ever at the time was that it was the first one to use actors that were close to the age of the original play's characters. Olivia Hussey was only 15 at the time!

When the movie premiered in London, Hussey was not allowed to attend, because the movie featured a nude actress… herself! The director had to get special permission to film her nude, but she still had to skip on the premiere. 

Another interesting fact, the movie was originally rated G in the United States, but because of the nudity it was re-rated, to the incredibly more restricting PG rating. 


'The Simpsons' was a highly realistic family sitcom until Conan O'Brien started writing for the show

Until 1991 The Simpsons was actually a highly realistic family sitcom. That was, until Conan O'Brien started writing for them. It was the episode 'Marge vs. the Monorail', also written by O'Brien, that created the big shift toward the surreal. From 1991 to 1993, O'Brien was a writer and producer for The Simpsons.

Conan has sole writing credits on 'New Kid on the Block' and 'Treehouse of Horror IV'. When O'Brien started writing at the Fox lot, he was extremely nervous and felt intimidated by the other writers. He was terrified that he would just embarrass himself, and may have had a point—for example, he did think it was the norm and expected to pitch characters in their voices, until he was informed that he was the only person who did that.

Maybe his first 10 minutes on the job was already an omen of how his presence would bring forth the surreal. He was left alone in his new office, but left after five minutes to get coffee. He heard a crash and hasted back to the office. There was a hole in the office window and a dead bird on the floor! The poor bird had flown through the glass, hit the far wall and broke its neck.

George Meyer walked in, looked at the bird and said: "Man, this is some kind of weird omen." Maybe it was the omen for the beginning of a surreal twist to The Simpsons.

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Some awesome lists!

Sir Christopher Lee was the only actor in the Lord of the Rings movies who ever met J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most well-known fantasy series ever written. The famous trilogy got a rebirth in 2001 when Peter Jackson's adaptation of the first book hit the big screens. Sadly, Tolkien was never able to see his work transformed into these epic films. In fact, only one of the people involved in the film ever met him!

That individual would be Sir Christopher Lee, the actor who played Saruman. Being a huge fan of the books (he reads them all at least once a year), he was a bit star-struck when it happened. He explains his experience:

"We were sitting there talking and drinking beer, and someone said, "Oh, look who walked in." It was Professor Tolkien, and I nearly fell off my chair. I didn't even know he was alive. He was a benign looking man, smoking a pipe, walking in, an English countryman with earth under his feet. And he was a genius, a man of incredible intellectual knowledge. He knew somebody in our group. He (the man in the group) said "Oh Professor, Professor..." And he came over. And each one of us, well I knelt of course, each one of us said "how do you do?" And I just said "Ho.. How.. How...""

Of course when Lee heard about the films, he knew he had to be a part of them. He had always envisioned himself as being Gandalf, so when he read that Peter Jackson would be adapting the trilogy, he immediately called his agent. Although he didn't get the role he always wanted, it must have been a thrill to be part of something he was so passionate about.


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson comes from a giant Samoan family that produced 16 professional wrestlers!

Dwayne Douglas Johnson graduated with a Bachelor in General Studies degree in criminology and physiology in 1995. He was a college football player for the University of Miami and won a national championship on the Miami Hurricanes football team in 1991. He also played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League. He was cut two months into the 1995 season and this led him to become a professional wrestler.

He comes from a Samoan family with a very long line of professional wrestlers. There are sixteen wrestlers in his family, including his grandfather, Peter Maivia, and his father, Rocky Johnson. His uncles Afa and Sika AnoaŹ»I were also wrestlers and are known as 'The Wild Samoans'

When Johnson told his father he wanted to become a professional wrestler, he was not too happy, but eventually agreed and decided to train him himself. Dwayne was originally billed as 'Rocky Maivia' but gained mainstream fame as 'The Rock'. He was the first third-generation wrestler in the history of the WWF.

On March 29, 2008, 'The Rock' inducted his father, Rocky Johnson, and his grandfather, Peter Maivia, into the WWE Hall of Fame. Johnson is widely hailed as one of the all-time great professional wrestlers.



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