8 Facts About ‘The Sopranos’ That You Might Not Know

Originally conceiving The Sopranos as a movie, creator/showrunner David Chase had re-written it as a television series, only to have the pilot rejected by all the major networks before being picked up by HBO. While the premium channel already had a long history with original programming, The Sopranos quickly became the reason people would shell out the extra cash to add HBO to their cable package.

Here are some of the more hidden, obscure, or otherwise interesting facts about TV’s game-changing show about everyone’s favourite depressed mobster. Bone up, and then give the show another whirl on HBO Now because it really does hold up.

After the pilot was filmed, a dialect coach was brought in to help create Tony’s voice.

Tony Soprano

The Sopranos’ pilot was shot in 1997, then shelved for nearly two years, not airing until January 10, 1999. While there are notable differences in the show’s overall tone between the pilot and the second episode, the absence of Tony Soprano’s accent is very conspicuous. Once the series was picked up by HBO, Gandolfini worked with dialect coach Doug Honorof to help create his signature voice.

Most of the cast already knew one another.

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The cast of The Sopranos had worked with one another on several projects prior to the series premiere in 1999. Most notably, 27 cast members had roles in Goodfellas back in 1990. They would also appear alongside one-another in Mickey Blue Eyes, Made, Innocent Blood and Gotti, as well as non-mob movies as diverse as Two Family House, The Basketball Diaries, On the Run, and the Eddie Murphy vehicle The Adventures of Pluto Nash. Alum ofThe Sopranos still perform in projects together, and HBO even got two iconic characters back together to help promote their new stand-alone streaming service, HBO Now.

Tony’s daughter thought she was auditioning for a musical.

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Actress Jamie Lynn-Sigler heard about the role of Meadow Soprano from her manager, who assumed it was for a musical based on the title. When she auditioned for the role, Sigler even brought sheet music with her to the audition, as she is an actual soprano. Even after reading the script, she still thought the show was a musical, “a weird musical, but a musical nonetheless.” To avoid further confusion, which was shared by the network, changes were made to the show’s logo to make it more clear.

There are well-placed nods to The Godfather.

tony soprano

References to The Godfather have been a factor in The Sopranos since the first episode, as the movie is widely regarded as a favourite among Tony and his crew (Silvio’s Michael Corleone impersonation is a particular highlight). So, after a season-long confrontation between Tony and his Uncle Junior comes to a head, an attempt is made on Tony’s life in the episode “Isabella.” In his hands at the time? A racing form and a bottle of orange juice, which was a direct nod to The Godfather‘s well-known symbol for death.

Michael Imperioli’s spec script helped land him a writing job.

Michael Imperioli, who played hothead Christopher Moltisanti, out of pure fandom had written a spec script about his character overdosing on drugs, causing an experience with the afterlife. David Chase gave the script consideration after seeing Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam, which Imperioli had co-written, as well as appeared in. His idea was re-written for Season 2’s “From Where to Eternity,” where Christopher has his experience in the afterlife in the hospital after being shot. Imperioli would go on to write five more episodes for the show during its run.

There was an unintended homage to Fargo.

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Probably the show’s most widely discussed episode (outside of the finale), Steve Buscemi directs the almost stand-alone story of Paulie and Christopher, hopelessly lost in the woods of south Jersey after a simple errand goes disastrously wrong. The episodes snow-covered wilderness drew immediate comparisons to the Coen brothers’ Fargo, which Buscemi himself starred in. However, he revealed on the director’s commentary track that while they had chosen that specific location for the episode’s setting, the snow was not planned. They also expected the filming to go easy, when in reality it took 12 days to shoot.

Paulie’s taste in art gives a clue to how the season will end.

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In “The Strong, Silent Type,” Paulie recovers a painting that Tony had ordered to be burned, instead taking it to hang proudly in his own house. After the portrait of Tony makes him uncomfortable, Paulie takes it in for a touch-up, asking the artist to paint over his suit with a uniform “like Napoleon.”

While coming off as one of Paulie’s bizarre quirks, those familiar with Chase’s method of storytelling note the fact that Napoleon’s invasion of Russia is what eventually cost him his empire, and forced him to live in exile. The war drums that played out during the end credits indicated a coming conflict with a once closely allied New York family. However, it was Tony’s brief involvement with a recurring Russian character that would be the catalyst to Season 4’s finale. The moment also played out hilariously the following year.

A series-long extra’s identity is finally revealed.

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Throughout the show’s run, the closing credits would regularly list “3 to 5, 7 to 9,” without any real indication of who that was. It wasn’t until the episode “Heidi and Kennedy,” in which two important characters’ funerals take place on the same day when someone casually observes the character and addresses her by name, which we learn is based on her frequent attendance of wakes and funerals. While an obscure reference, it was a satisfying reward for viewers who’d paid way too much attention over the years

 

Some of the obscure references, homages, and Easter Eggs that the show managed to work in over the years.

Source: 8 Facts About ‘The Sopranos’ That You Might Not Know

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Six very good reasons for drinking more beer, not that we need any!

There is good news for beer lovers: Scientists have found several health-promoting properties of beer. So you can raise your glass with a clear conscience. Here’s to that!

1. Beer increases bone density Various studies have shown that beer has an increased silicon content. This helps to connect muscle and bone tissue to each other and increase bone density. Dark beer in particular, with its high hop content, contains silicon. So, moderate consumption of dark beer can certainly help prevent osteoporosis..

2. Beer lowers the risk of heart attack
According to Harvard University, more than 100 studies have found an association between moderate beer consumption and reduced risk of heart attack by 25 to 40 percent. So, if you want to do your heart some good, treat yourself to a nice, cold beer with dinner every now and then.

Twitter/VSChiropractic

3. Beer lowers your cholesterol level
Scientists have found that beer consumption contributes to increasing the proportion of healthy HDL cholesterol in the body. Two beers a day can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.

4. Beer decreases your risk of getting diabetes

In comparative studies, a relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes was found. American researchers found that of those who drank 1-4 10 oz beers per day, the risk of getting this disease was lower.

5. Beer can prevent kidney stones
You wouldn’t wish kidney stones on your worst enemy. Fortunately, this study found that the probability of getting kidney stones drops to up to 40 percent when you drink a bottle of beer a day.

Flickr/andrewcurrie

6. Beer protects from dementia

Of course, it sounds strange at first: using alcohol to combat dementia! Anyone who has ever had a blackout is probably now shaking his or her head in disbelief. But the above mentioned xanthohumol can actually also help to prevent oxidative stress. This is one of the factors that promotes dementia in old age. Therefore, beer (of course in moderation) can actually keep the brain fit for its age.

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Those of you who are well informed would have already known that good beer not only makes us happy, but also contributes to our health! So let’s raise our glasses to these new research findings!

Source: http://www.hefty.co/drinking-more-beer/

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Facts for the lads – Providing an Education

” For fuck’s sake ” aka ” ffs “

  •  sort of like “for god’s sake”, “for heaven’s sake”, etc
  •  For fuck’s sake! Would you just do me this one favor?

 

A mixture between for wtf and confusion, with a little bit of annoyance mixed in.
For fucks sake, Jim pull you damn penis out of my computer’s floppy drive!

Source: www.urbandictionary.com

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7 Times ‘The Sopranos’ Used Dream Sequences To Draw You In Closer

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Dream sequences are a well-worn trope in television, and they’ve been used to showcase fantastical visions, reflect a character’s feelings, or tell stories outside of the show’s canon. But they also often seem to take place at a moment that is removed from the rest of the series. What David Chase did with The Sopranos (available to stream anytime on HBO Now) was make the dream sequences inseparable from the rest of the story. When explaining his approach in The Essential Sopranos Reader, he said that The Sopranos “is a story about psychology. A man goes to his therapist. So those dreams are earned, because so much psychology has to do with dreams.”

While we most often see inside the head of Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), we do get the occasional look into the mind of his wife, Carmela (Edie Falco), his crew, and even his therapist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco). Here’s a look back at The Sopranos and its expert use of dreams sequences, and how those moments became essential to both its story and the act of bringing us closer to understanding its characters.

 

The Exploration of Anxiety

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To help understand the intention behind these dream sequences, you only need to look at what these characters are going through at the time. Given that Tony seeing a therapist is a major plot point in the first season, it carries over to his subconscious.

It starts with Tony ogling Dr. Melfi before he sees his associate, Hesh (Jerry Adler), outside the window. Before long, he finds her waiting room teeming over with members of his crew, as well as his son, A.J. (Robert Iler) who’s briefly seen peering through the office door. Suddenly, his boss, Jackie Aprile (Michael Rispoli), appears in Melfi’s office, rattling on about the smell of thunderstorms. Tony then approaches Melfi, whose back is to him, and as she turns around, it turns out to be his mother, Livia (Nancy Marchand) in her chair — which is a big enough scare to wake Tony up.

It’s a pretty straightforward dream that speaks to exactly what’s worrying Tony. Simply put, he’s a stubborn, middle-aged alpha male trying to swallow his pride and endure therapy — with the added concern being that he’s in the mafia; an entity that doesn’t take kindly to its members airing their laundry. This all comes into play here, with the idea of his crew crawling around the sanctuary of his therapist’s office while he tries to keep the whole ordeal a secret. The glimpse of A.J., however, shows something deeper, Tony’s sense of shortcoming over him needing therapy at all. Add a healthy dose of Tony’s mother issues for the big reveal, and you’ve got a pretty effective dream sequence.

This is used to similar effect a few episodes later in a Christopher-centric episode that looks at his sense of self-worth in the wake of his first murder, Czech gangster Emil Kolar (Bruce Smolanoff). While the sequence looks and feels much more surreal throughout, it manages to tap directly into Christopher’s fears, even ending with a horror movie-like twist. And once again, it sets up the tone for the story — Christopher’s fear of being caught, coupled with his fear of dying a nobody.

Read More >>

 

How ‘The Sopranos’ Used Dream Sequences To Help Tell Its Story

Source: 7 Times ‘The Sopranos’ Used Dream Sequences To Draw You In Closer


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Ever Wondered What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Too Much?

That’s why we need a nap after Christmas dinner.

Christmas is over which means you’ve probably eaten enough Terry’s chocolate oranges, selection boxes and cheeseboards to last you until next year.

But have you ever wondered what eating too much actually does to your body?

When you’ve just rinsed your huge plate of Christmas dinner, it can make you feel like you immediately need sleep or you’re going to burst.

Is it actually possible to eat so much food that your stomach explodes? Well in theory, yes, but your gag reflex is likely to kick in before it comes to that.

The average human stomach can put up with one to one-and-a-half litres of food before it gets the urge to spew it up. But it can stretch to accommodate over four times that amount before a rupture occurs which is good news for cannabis users who live anywhere near a 24-hour Domino’s Pizza.

When you scran a meal that is high in carbs, fat, and sugar, your parasympathetic nervous system tells your body to slow down and focus on digesting the food. That makes you sleepy.

As the food slowly digests, cells from your pancreas produce a hormone called insulin. That in turn leads to an increase in other hormones called melatonin (that makes you drowsy) and serotonin (that makes you feel happy and content).

A spike in glucose levels – that occurs as the result of the food intake – may also make it difficult for you to keep your eyes open. This can interfere with your brain’s neurological system that normally produces the orexin proteins. They are responsible for making you alert and wide awake.

Then your fat cells produce a hormone, called leptin, which binds to receptors in your brain so it knows you are no longer hungry.

If you always eat more than your body needs, it causes you to produce more of the powerful hormone leptin which is directly related to the amount of fat you store in your body.

In that case, you can build up a resistance to it, which disrupts the brain’s chances of recognising when you’re full, leading you to putting on weight.

Words by: Simon Doherty

Image credits: PA Images

 

Source: Ever Wondered What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Too Much? | The LAD Bible

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11 of the Most Shockingly Barbaric Medieval Weapons

Long before drones, guns, snipers, stabbings and drive by shootings, the human race used some pretty insane and brutal weapons. It’s like they were sadists because they created weapons specifically designed to cause considerable pain to their enemies.

Medieval weapons inflicted wounds that would never heal and made the enemy suffer considerably before they died. Looking back, you’ll realize that some of the modern weapons we have nowadays are just a modification of these medieval ones, albeit much less barbaric.

Take the caltrop for instance. It’s simply a weapon with sharp nails. Back then, it was used to slow down the advance of human troops or war animals like horses. In the 1990s when Caterpillar strikes were popular, they were used to destroy the tires of replacement workers and management.

When you read the full list of weapons we’ve described here, you might just be thankful that guns were invented because they cause much quicker and far less painful deaths than these bad-ass weapons.

 

 

Source: 11 of the Most Shockingly Barbaric Medieval Weapons

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Is Penis Size Really Important?

 

 A Big Penis Isn’t Really What Women Want, Says Study

‘ Is a big penis really important? ‘  is a question many men are curious about.  According to this study, researchers are saying that it isn’t.

Long story short

Researchers have discovered what women think is a “good looking penis”, and most men will be giving high fives all around when they find out that length comes SIXTH on their list of priorities.

Long story

Do you think that your penis is a handsome old chap? Would it absolutely earn a place on People Magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful Penises In The World” list? Does it do its own version of Blue Steel?

Well now you can find out, because scientists have found out what constitutes a “good looking penis”. The study, conducted by researchers at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich and published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, asked 105 women what they rated important about men’s penises. And the results were rather surprising.

Coming in at number one was the “general cosmetic appearance”, which, for lack of a better phrase, means that what women really want is a pretty ol’ peen. Second in importance was the appearance of pubic hair, although what kind of appearance was not specified (neat? au naturel? punk rock?). Wading in next was the girth of the penis, which was tied in third place with penile skin, followed by the shape of the glans (or, head, if you will). And, now for the [literal] biggie: penis length didn’t even make it onto the list of what women think constitutes a good looking penis untilsixth place. That’s right, it might be time for some of you to throw away that terrifying penis enlarging contraption you bought from Amazon and invest instead in some hair clippers and a solid skincare regime.

The research was all done to find out if women could spot whether the penises in the photos presented to them had undergone surgery for hypospadias, a medical condition where the urinary opening is not located in the right place. It was discovered that most women aren’t able to tell if a man had had surgery for hypospadias, and that the “position and shape of the meatus”, i.e. the urinary opening, actually came in last place in women’s ranking of Things That Make Penises Look Nice. “The information may help prevent the development of shame or impaired genital perceptions about penile appearance,” says Dr. Norma Ruppen, who led the study.

So there you go. Big penises are out, and handsome penises with nice skin and hair are in.

Ask The Big Question: Does your penis look like George Clooney though?

Disrupt Your Feed: Trust me, my penis is more aesthetically pleasing than my face.

Drop This Fact: The average length of an unerect penis is 3.6 inches.

Expand Your Expertise

  • What is a Good Looking Penis? How Women Rate the Penile Appearance of Men with Surgically Corrected Hypospadias [The Journal of Sexual Medicine]
  • Is YOUR penis ‘good looking’? Medical study reveals what women really rate as important (and it’s NOT length) [Daily Mail]
  • Does Size Matter? Actual Women Describe What Makes A ‘Good-Looking’ Penis [Medical Dail
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20 Battle Cries of Warriors Through the Ages 

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“I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable;I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” –Walt Whitman

Throughout cultures and time, shouting and yelling have typically been categorized as masculine acts. It makes sense. Yelling is inherently aggressive and often the prelude to actual physical violence.

Across mammal species, males will frequently engage in posturing that includes roaring, snorting, or screeching. The aim of this pre-fight auditory showdown was actually, to avoid having the conflict escalate into a physical altercation. If a male mammal can dominate his opponent into submission with just a roar, he eliminates the risk of getting killed or seriously injured and saves himself precious energy. If the roar doesn’t work to stave off the fight, well, hopefully, it was fierce enough to instill some fear into one’s foe, leading him to struggle less fiercely and submit sooner, rather than later.

These roars aren’t limited to the animal kingdom, though. In the great epic poems of cultures in both the East and the West, a manly, fierce yell was a desirable trait for a warrior to have.

In The Iliad, Homer often describes the story’s heroes in terms of their ability to let out a howl that could weaken the knees of their enemies. Diomedes is called “Diomedes of the loud war cry,” and both Menelaus and Odysseus are described as “utter[ing] a piercing shout.

”The mighty warriors that populate the Shahnameh, an epic Persian epic poem from the tenth century, are all described as arming themselves with a virile war cry: Koshan rumbled “in a voice like a drumbeat”; Rahham “roared out and began to boil like the sea”; and the thick-bodied Rostam thundered “like an elephant enraged.”

Cú Chulainn, a hero from Celtic mythology, used the “hero’s scream” to scare off devils and goblins.

The Georgian hero Tariel was able to drop opposing warriors using only the force of his mighty war cry.

And in Welsh mythology, the hero Culhwch was said to be able to give a battle cry so loud and violent that “all the women in the court that [were] pregnant [would] abort” and those women who were not pregnant would become sterile.

Lone heroes weren’t the only ones known to give battle cries, either. Bands of warriors would often cry out in unison to frighten their enemies and fill themselves with thumos.

Even today, soldiers and fighters continue to yell and shout when engaging with the enemy. You even see battle cries on football and rugby fields.

There’s something very visceral about the aggressive shout that taps into the animal within us. As historian Dean Miller notes in his book The Epic Hero, “If the human voice…carries the proof of intelligence and therefore of a living vitality specific to humanity, the warrior’s shout announces a retrograde act, moving back or down into animality or even into the inanimate (a drumbeat, the sound of the sea).”

Moving back into that raw barbarism via a mighty yell may be a way for us humans to tap into our animal strength. In fact, research backs this idea up: one study showed that athletes who scream when exerting themselves show an 11% increase in power output!

The battle cry has truly played an integral and just plain fascinating role in the history of masculinity. So today we highlight 20 famous and not-so-famous battle cries through the ages and around the world. Maybe it’ll inspire you to come up with your own manly shout.

Sound your barbaric yawp!

The Roman Barritus

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Unlike their Greek forebearers who drilled to music, ancient Roman soldiers typically marched in silence. But once they encountered the enemy, the soldiers would let out a unified war cry to intimidate their foes.

Soldiers in the Late Roman army adopted many customs and habits of the Germanic tribes they fought, including a battle cry they called “barritus.” In his work Germania, the historian Tacitus described this martial growl as marked by a “harsh tone and hoarse murmur.” Soldiers would “put their shields before their mouths, in order to make the voice swell fuller and deeper as it echoes back.” According to Tacitus, the goal of the barritus was to kindle courage in the Roman soldiers’ hearts, while striking fear into those of their enemies.

In the 1964 film The Fall of the Roman Empire, there’s a great scene with a Roman legion bellowing an intimidating barritus:

Read full article >> 20 Battle Cries of Warriors Through the Ages | The Art of Manliness

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