Pipeline of Booze flowing into 24 Sussex Drive?   Leave a comment


Global News

Paramedics called to 24 Sussex, reportedly after Harper son’s 18th birthday

OTTAWA – Paramedics were called to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s official residence last weekend, reportedly to attend to an 18-year-old female with suspected alcohol poisoning.

The RCMP confirmed that Ottawa Paramedic Services were called to 24 Sussex Dr. on the weekend, but provided no other details.

According to Jenna Zeisig, whose cousin was at the residence, there was an 18th birthday party for Harper’s son, Ben, at 24 Sussex on Saturday.

“She said (the party) was really big,” Zeisig said.

Quebec’s Cogeco News reported Wednesday that the woman suffered from what was suspected to be alcohol poisoning after attending a party at the residence and was transported to hospital.

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Ottawa police say they did not respond to the call and the Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment.

An anonymous source did mail this photo to Straight-Up Breaking News Service in Winnipeg. The photo suggests that Stephen Harper was taking part in the debauchery.  “Wine, Women and Song” as the old saying goes.

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Alleged photos of some party goers at Ben’s birthday party at 24 Sussex.

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It looks like the young people were really getting on Down!

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Posted April 24, 2014 by markosun in Drugs, Politics

Spring in Winnipeg Photos   Leave a comment


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I am sort of a high-rise building buff.  I enjoy watching the construction of tall buildings.

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ALT Building

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It was a nice day 2 days ago as emergency vehicles were at Cityplace.

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But today the rain and snow started.

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When the weather outside is frightening, one must keep things exciting. That means doing what you have to do to stay amused.

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Posted April 24, 2014 by markosun in Buildings, Weather, Winnipeg

Super-Rich can now buy their own 377 foot Submarine/Yacht   Leave a comment


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377-Foot Migaloo Submarine Yacht Is Perfect for James Bond Villains

James Bond villains, take heed: Here’s a way to one-up all those other yacht owners in the bad-guys club — the Migaloo Private Submersible Yacht. This luxury design concept for a 377-foot submarine was created by design firm Motion Code: Blue, and could become a reality if some well-heeled buyer steps up.

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Of course this vessel features all the usual super-luxury features that are so important for taking over the world on your yacht, such as a helipad for quick escapes, a two-story owner’s suite with a private patio on the bow, eight VIP suites for all your henchmen, and plenty of room for those white cats you love to pet as you concoct your diabolical schemes.

And for all those lovely ladies that constantly surround you — because they like you, they really do — there’s a huge beach club midship, complete with a pool, bar and plenty of deck space for them to bask in the sun.

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But that’s just the beginning. This is a frickin’ submarine, folks. As you can see in the pictures above, all of those outdoorsy party locations get covered up for 787-foot-deep dive, taking you into an underwater world for lots of spectacular sightseeing.

And let’s not forget, there’s plenty of privacy deep below the ocean waves, giving you freedom to transport whatever contraband your heart desires. After all, how did an evildoer like you get the billions necessary for such a luxo-sport sub, anyway?

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The boat’s designers at Motion Code: Blue say this is not a completely impractical design, claiming it’s based on current submarines that currently cruise the world — in fact, its dimensions are identical to the U.S. Navy’s latest Virginia-class attack submarines. Even better for yachtsmen and women, all that room usually reserved for nuclear missiles and such is dedicated to pure pleasure and decadence.

This is certainly not a real product yet, but we were wondering how much such a vessel would cost. While we wait for the designers to give us some sort of price estimate, let’s compare it to that 377-foot Virginia-class attack sub. According to Military.com, it costs $2.3 billion to build one of those, and it can dive about the same depth as is claimed for this luxury underwater yacht fantasy.

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Whoa, that’s a lot of money for a toy. But what’s $2.3 billion to a villain hell-bent on taking over the world?

It’s not clear whether this design concept would be nuclear-powered, a feature that would let it cruise underwater indefinitely. Nor is it clear whether any government would permit a private citizen to own a nuclear-powered attack submarine, albeit dressed in sheep’s clothing, so to speak.

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Assuming the vessel will be diesel powered and won’t have all the high-tech weapons systems of military subs, the cost would likely be somewhere between 400-800 million dollars.

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Posted April 24, 2014 by markosun in Money, Technology, Watercraft

Ancient and Isolated Tribes and Ethnic Groups of the World   1 comment


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Kazakh

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The Kazakhs are the descendants of Turkic, Mongolic and Indo-Iranian tribes and Huns that populated the territory between Siberia and the Black Sea. They are a semi-nomadic people and have roamed the mountains and valleys of western Mongolia with their herds since the 19th century.

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Himba

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The Himba are an ancient tribe of tall, slender and statuesque herders living in northern Namibia. Since the 16th century they have lived in scattered settlements, leading a life that has remained unchanged, surviving war and droughts. The tribal structure helps them live in one of the most extreme environments on earth.

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Huli

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It is believed that the first Papua New Guineans migrated to the island over 45000 years ago. Today, over 3 million people, half of the heterogeneous population, live in the highlands. Some of these communities have engaged in low-scale tribal conflict with their neighbors for millennia.

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Asaro

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A number of different tribes have lived scattered across the highland plateau of New Guinea for 1000 years, in small agrarian clans, isolated by the harsh terrain and divided by language, custom and tradition. The legendary Asaro Mudmen first met with the Western world in the middle of the 20th century.

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Kalam

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The eastern half of New Guinea gained full independence from Australia in 1975, when Papua New Guinea was born. The indigenous population is one of the most heterogeneous in the world. Traditionally, the different tribes scattered across the highland plateau, live in small agrarian clans.

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Goroka

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The indigenous population of the world’s second largest island is one of the most heterogeneous in the world. The harsh terrain and historic inter-tribal warfare has lead to village isolation and the proliferation of distinct languages. A number of different tribes are scattered across the highland plateau.

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Chukchi

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The ancient Arctic Chukchi live on the peninsula of the Chukotka. Unlike other native groups of Siberia, they have never been conquered by Russian troops. Their environment and traditional culture endured destruction under Soviet rule, by weapons testing and pollution.

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Maori

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The long and intriguing story of the origin of the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand can be traced back to the 13th century, the mythical homeland Hawaiki, Eastern Polynesia. Due to centuries of isolation, the Maori established a distinct society with characteristic art, a separate language and unique mythology.

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Mustang

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The former kingdom of Lo is linked by religion, culture and history to Tibet, but is politically part of Nepal. Now Tibetan culture is in danger of disappearing, it stands alone as one of the last truly Tibetan cultures existing today. Until 1991 no outsiders were allowed to enter Mustang.

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Gauchos

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Nomadic and colorful horsemen and cowboys have wandered the South American pampas as early as the 1700s, when wild Cimarron cattle overpopulated the flatlands. In the 18th century, when leather was in high demand, Gauchos arose to clandestinely hunt the huge herds of horses and cattle.

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Tsaatan

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Tsaatan (reindeer people) are the last reindeer herders who survived for thousands of years inhabiting the remotest subartic taiga of northern Mongolia, moving between 5 and 10 times a year. Presently, only 44 families remain, their existence threatened by the dwindling number of their domesticated reindeer.

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Samburu

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The Samburu people live in northern Kenya, where the foothills of Mount Kenya merge into the northern dessert. As cattle-herding Nilotes, they reached Kenya some five hundred years ago, moving southwards along the plains of the Rift Valley in a rapid, all-conquering advance.

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Rabari

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For almost 1,000 years, the Rabari have roamed the deserts and plains of what is today western India. It is believed that this tribe, with a peculiar Persian physiognomy, migrated from the Iranian plateau more than a millennium ago. The Rabari are now found largely in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

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Ladakhi

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Ladakh (meaning ‘land of the passes’) is a cold desert in the Northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is divided into the mainly Muslim Kargil district and the primarily Buddhist Leh district. The people of Ladakh have a rich folklore, some of which date back to the pre- Buddhist era.

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Vanuatu

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Settlement in the 85 Vanuatu islands in the South Pacific dates back to around 500 BC. There is evidence that Melanesian navigators from Papua New Guinea were the first to colonize Vanuatu. Over centuries, other migrations followed. Nowadays, all the inhabited islands have their own languages, customs and traditions.

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Tibetans

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The approximately 5.5 million Tibetans are an ethnic group with bold and uninhibited characteristics. Archaeological and geological discoveries indicate that the Tibetans are descendants of aboriginal and nomadic Qiang tribes. The history of Tibet began around 4,000 years ago.

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Drokpa

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Around 2,500 Drokpas live in three small villages in a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. The only fertile valley of Ladakh. The Drokpas are completely different– physically, culturally, linguistically and socially – from the Tibeto-Burman inhabitants of most of Ladakh.

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Yali

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One of the tribes inhabiting the Baliem Valley region, in the midst of the Jayawijaya mountain range of Papua Indonesia, is the Yali ‘Lords of the Earth’. They live in the virgin forests of the highlands. The Yali are officially recognized as pygmies, with men standing at just 150 cm (4’9″) tall.

See also:  http://markosun.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/lost-tribe-on-small-island-in-the-indian-ocean-remain-virtually-untouched-by-modern-civilization/

Posted April 23, 2014 by markosun in Anthropology, Demographics, Geography, History

Day-by-day photos of the Red River Ice melt   Leave a comment


Photos courtesy of http://thedonaldstreetcollective.weebly.com/

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Posted April 23, 2014 by markosun in Environment

Harper Government’s Zealous Mission to build Pipelines   Leave a comment


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When it comes to the Keystone pipeline I somewhat agree that it should go ahead.  If it isn’t built the oil and gas will be transported by rail.  And this could be very dangerous as rail lines pass near and through towns and cities.  Any derailments and, well we know what happened in Quebec last year.

The Northern Gateway pipeline is a different story. This pipeline will wind up at Hartley Bay on the west coast of British Columbia. To get there it will pass through very rough terrain including over mountains. Once on the coast the oil and gas will be loaded onto giant tanker ships.  And there is very rich marine life in the waters where the tankers would be navigating.

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National Post

VANCOUVER — Ottawa no longer considers the North Pacific population of humpback whales a threatened species, which lifts many legal protections for the whales’ habitat.

In an amendment released Saturday in the latest Canada Gazette, the Environment Department says the status of humpback whales off the British Columbia coast has been upgraded from “threatened” to “species of special concern.”

The revision follows a 2011 report from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada which determined the whale’s numbers have increased annually since the early 1990s, and now include more than 18,000 adults.

Reclassification under the Species At Risk Act removes legal protection for humpback habitat, which includes Johnstone Strait off the northeast end of Vancouver Island, a region that would also see increased oil tanker traffic if the Northern Gateway Pipeline project is approved.

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The whale is central to a lawsuit brought by B.C. environmental groups trying to force Ottawa to abide by its own Species At Risk legislation.

The fate of the humpback was a major issue during the Northern Gateway public hearings that concluded last year, with many groups fearing that collisions, potential spills, and excessive noise would be a serious threat to the whales.

The endangered species legislation declares that “no person shall destroy any part of the critical habitat of any … listed threatened species.”

The government sent out 312 consultation letters and got 22 responses back.

Only five were in favour of the new designation — a total made up of two unidentified B.C. government ministries, one tourism organization, one environmental non-government organization, and one “unknown source.”

Of the other 17, six environmental groups, three academics, two tourism industry organizations, one First Nations organization and a single “unknown source” were opposed. Another four — two academics, one First Nations, and another “unknown” — were undecided. In several instances, the undecided said insufficient information was available.

The United States is also considering upgrading the status of Pacific humpback populations after the whales were hunted to near extinction in the early part of the 20th century.

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This government, made up mainly of Alberta energy capitalists, has only one headstrong focus: the exportation of natural resources.  And their pet natural resource is bitumen from the oil sands.  They seem to think that the revenue received from these exports will cure any ills that may afflict the Canadian economy.  No research into alternative cleaner energy sources. Harper and his crew have put all their eggs in one basket, oil and gas extraction and exportation from the northern Alberta oil sands. 

 

 

Posted April 23, 2014 by markosun in Energy, Environment

The Top-Ten Most Valuable Comic-Books in the World   Leave a comment


Empireonline.com

Comics are collectible, but unless you’re Nic Cage, there are some that you’re unlikely ever to actually collect. With the recent surprise discovery of an Action Comics #1 insulating the walls of a Minnesota property (there’s hope for us all!), here are the current ten most valuable comics in the world. [Figures based on estimates for “near mint” copies – which may not always even exist – at collector site Nostomania.]

10. Fantastic Four 1

Value: $279,000

What’s it about? Created in response to DC’s success with the Justice League Of America, Marvel’s own superhero team introduced a new Human Torch, Mr Fantastic, the Invisible Woman and the monstrous Thing. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were the creators, although who did what remains the subject of some controversy. The story sees the FF coming to grips with their powers, and putting them into action against subterranean nutball The Mole Man.

Why so valuable? The Richards clan and Ben Grimm take their first bow.

 

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9. Action Comics 7

Value: $404,000

What’s it about? Action regulars Scoop Scanlan, Marco Polo and Zatara were still in the mix, as was a strip called Zulu Diamond Mine, but it was, of course, Superman that was doing the business for Action Comics. This issue saw Supes join the circus as a star attraction, to help its nice owner Mr. Jordan fend off nasty debt-collector Mr. Niles. The seventh issue is already the second time Lois Lane requires rescuing. Clark Kent, meanwhile, is bullied by a fellow reporter but gets revenge by tearing off the rotter’s clothes using his super-speed. Ho ho, readers!

Why so valuable? Perplexing. There are no significant developments, as far as we can make out. Superman still can’t fly yet, and no new characters are introduced (Jimmy Olsen, unnamed but just about recognisable, made his debut in Action Comics #6). So perhaps this is simply a particularly beloved story, or perhaps it just got lucky at auction once. Or maybe Zulu Diamond Mine is awesome!

 

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8. Amazing Fantasy 15

Value: $407,000

What’s it about? The final issue of an ailing anthology – previously titled Amazing Adult Fantasy, which perhaps erroneously suggests costumed antics of a different sort – allowed editor Stan Lee to throw caution to the wind and chuck in a teen hero that nobody was much interested in. And with a thwip!, and an iconic Steve Ditko costume design, Spider-Man arrives. Sales for Amazing Fantasy #15 were consequently unusually high, but it was still cancelled. Spidey got his own comic, The Amazing Spider-Man, seven months later.

Why so valuable? Though the world may have mocked Peter Parker, the timid teenager… it soon marvelled at the awesome might of… Spider-Man!

 

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7. Batman 1

Value: $440,000

What’s it about? Not Batman’s first appearance, but immensely significant nonetheless. It’s his first solo comic, and unlike Superman’s, it featured all new material. And what material: the stories within give us our first adventures with The Joker and Catwoman (here called ‘The Cat’; she’s ‘Cat-Woman’ – with a hyphen – in issue #2). Joker plans a diamond robbery, and Batman clobbers him and sends him to jail. The Cat goes after an emerald necklace on a yacht, and Batman lets her escape, the softie. Then in his second story, Joker escapes from prison using trick false teeth, and goes after another necklace (where the hell are all these necklace plots in the Nolan films? Oh wait… there is one…). He’s stabbed in the heart at the end of this one, but comes back to life in the ambulance, because MADNESS! Further stories in the collection give us a Bat-origin and some Hugo Strange action.

Why so valuable? First Bat solo-outing, first Joker, first Catwoman. It’s actually surprising this isn’t higher up the list.

 

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6. All-American Comics 16

Value: $478,000

What’s it about? Boy pilot Hop Harrigan and US marines Red, White and Blue grace the pages of this anthology, but its significance is in the introduction of the Green Lantern, here in the form of Alan Scott. Scott miraculously survives a train wreck clutching a mysterious lantern of spacey origin, which gives him flashbacks to two millennia past. Hate when that happens. Moulding the lantern’s green flame of life into a ring, he learns to wield his new-found power, and nails the bastards responsible for the rail disaster in the process.

Why so valuable? Green Lantern is more popular than you realised.

 

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5. Marvel Comics 1

Value: $499,000

What’s it about? Flame on! Only not. The Human Torch that makes his debut here isn’t the one from The Fantastic Four, and isn’t even human; he’s an android. Nevertheless, this is where Marvel begins – published at this point by Timely Publications – and if the Torch isn’t Johnny Storm, the Sub-Mariner to whom we’re introduced is at least the Namor we know. Costumed detective The Angel (blue body-stocking, red cape, hmmm…) also takes his first bow.

Why so valuable? The origin of the multimedia behemoth we know today, true believers!

 

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4. Detective Comics 1

Value: $535,000

What’s it about? The first issue of the anthology comic that would introduce Batman to the world just over two years into its run. As its title suggests, the premiere volume is the home of the gumshoe detective and the dastardly villain. #1 gives us Speed Saunders and The River Patrol (vs Cap’n Scum!); Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise; detectives Bret Lawton, Bruce Nelson, Gumshoe Gus, Eagle-Eyed Jake, Buck Marshall and Slam Bradley; spy Bart Regan; and a collection of gags called Silly Sleuths.

Why so valuable? No really significant contents, but it’s the title that’s important: Detective Comics was the beginning of the world-beating DC empire. It is, after all, what DC stands for.

 

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3. Superman 1

Value: $715,000

What’s it about? Actually little more than a reprint of Superman’s first four strips from the pages of Action Comics, plus a few pages of new material for your ten cents, expanding the back-story and introducing Ma and Pa Kent. So we get Superman’s origin and first forays into superheroism. Then beyond Action Comics #1, Supes gets in the way of a munitions magnate trying to start a war; takes on a criminally negligent mining company; and levels the playing field of a rigged football game.

Why so valuable? The contents may be recycled, but it’s the first solo comic for the Man Of Steel.

 

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2. Detective Comics 27

Value: $2.57 million

What’s it about? Fu Manchu, The Crimson Avenger and hard-boiled detective Slam Bradley feature in this anthology, but its significance is the first appearance of The Batman, along with Commissioner Gordon and Gotham City. “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” sees the Caped Crusader investigating the death of a wealthy industrialist. Echoes of the plot (a chemical factory, a vat of acid) found their way into Tim Burton’s 1989 batbuster. We eventually get Batman’s origin in issue 33, and Robin shows up in #38.

Why so valuable? Batman begins.

 

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1. Action Comics 1

Value: $2.89 million

What’s it about? A compendium of stories featuring Marco Polo, “Sticky-Mitt Stimson” and “Scooby the Five Star Reporter”. Oh, and this thing called “Superman”… Creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster edited down their unsold newspaper strip at short notice, to produce a tale about Superman’s origin and first adventures. There’s no mention of Krypton, but baby Supes is dispatched to Earth by his father from “a distant planet” suffering a cataclysm. He grows up in an orphanage, learns he has super-strength and super-speed, and can leap great heights and long distances (no flying yet). As an adult he adopts the name Clark Kent, solves a murder, humiliates a wife-batterer and rescues Lois Lane from gangsters – and all in 13 pages!

Why so valuable? There are probably no more than 100 copies left in the world, and not many are in anything approaching decent condition. A copy found recently insulating a wall in a house in Minnesota “only” fetched $175k. The copy that once belonged to Nicolas Cage, on the other hand, was the first comic ever to break the $2m barrier at auction.

 

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Posted April 23, 2014 by markosun in Art, Entertainment, Fiction, Literature, Science Fiction

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