10 of The Best Easter Eggs in Film


If you have seen Ready Player One or read the book you will know the significance of Easter Eggs.

In my teens, I became obsessed with Easter Eggs. Not the delicious chocolate ones but the hidden gems in films, games and other media. Least it was an obsession that didn’t result in hours at the gym.

Photo by Erik Witsoeon Unsplash

Easter eggs are found in media such as computer software and films. Called Easter eggs because they mimic the idea of an Easter egg hunt to find them. They can be a hidden message, character or image. They are the programmers or directors little secret.

Be warned they are not easy to find. Number 10 in my list took me several hours of fast forwarding and rewinding. Watching the film a clip at a time before I saw it.

Here are my 10 favourite Easter eggs in films:

1 — Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director and producer. He is regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He was also one of the first directors to put Easter eggs into his films. This consisted of a small cameo appearance from himself. Out of the 52 films he made he appears in 39 of them.

In his most famous film The Birds, Hitchcock can be seen leaving the pet shop with two small dogs. These were actually his dogs in real life.

2 — Melissa McCarthy & Ben Falcone

Melissa McCarthy is one of my favourite actresses. In the style of Hitchcock, her poor suffering husband Ben Falcone turns up in many of her films. His cameo appearances see’s him being treated badly by McCarthy’s character.

This tradition started early in their relationship. His first cameo appearance is in Gilmore Girls the show McCarthy made her name in. He plays a family member of Fran Weston the original owner of the Dragonfly Inn. While burying his family member Suzi McCarthy convinces him to sell her the inn.

3 — Tron

Tron was one of my favourite films as I grew up. It is without a doubt one of those Easter egg’s you see and then have to rewind to check you saw right. During one of the scenes whilst they are looking at the grid of the game a tiny Pac-man is on the screen.

There are several other Easter egg’s in Tron which you can look out for including the famous Mickey Mouse. More about that later on.

4 — Catch Me If You Can

Catch me if you can tells the true story of Frank Abagnale. Frank defrauded the government out of millions of dollars. The film starts both Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. When Frank is arrested one of the officers is the real Frank Abagnale putting in a cameo appearance.

5 — Raiders of the Lost Arc

This is a film that has many Easter eggs and web pages dedicated to showing you where they are. There is a large connection with this film and Star Wars and not the obvious, that they both star Harrison Ford. At one point Indiana Jones is holding up a gold artefact, one of the hieroglyphs on it show both C3PO and R2-D2

This is not the end of the collaboration between the two films. The Clone Wars have several references to Indiana Jones, including an appearance of the famous hat.

6 — Hidden Mickey Mouses

I could dedicate a whole post to hidden Mickey Mouse in films. In most Disney films Mickey Mouse appears. In Tron, it is the shape of his head as they pass over a computer field. In Wreck-it Ralph he appears on a billboard in the background. Sometimes it is the full Mickey Mouse sometimes it is three circles in the shape of his head.

This however from Toy Story is one of my favourites. At the back of Andy’s wall, he has a watch clock with the picture of Mickey Mouse

7 — Toy Story

Carrying on from hunting Mickey Mouse, Toy Story is another film filled with Easter eggs. The flooring in Sid’s house, when Buzz and Woody run home, is an exact replica of the flooring in The Shining.

My favourite Toy Story Easter egg is in film three. When the toys meet the bin man, it is in fact, Sid who is collecting the bins. He is even wearing the same skull t-shirt as he did in the first film.

8 — Fight Club

Fight Club has an Easter egg that you can see every time that you watch it. However, you may have never noticed it. There is a coffee cup in every single scene of Fight Club. A Starbucks coffee cup to be exact. Go back and watch it and you will see although, some you have to look for.

In 1999 during an interview with Empire, the director explained. The cups were to make fun for the fact that that everywhere you looked there was a Starbucks coffee shop. In a movie that rejected corporate branding, it’s ironic that the director added these Easter eggs.

9 — Star Wars Episode 1

I have to admit to this being my favourite Easter egg of all time. In episode one, the action starts with a council meeting. The pods are discussing the state of the federation. If you pause the scene and scan around in one of the pods you can see E.T and all his family.

10 — Frozen

If you have children who watch films several times it is always helpful to have a few Easter eggs to look out for. This Easter egg took me an hour of searching to find. In Frozen at Elsa’s coronation as the guests are coming through the door two of the guests might look familiar. Both Rapunzel and Flynn can be seen entering the palace. In the scene, Rapunzel has short hair as seen in the final scenes of Tangled.

The writers went further to combine the two stories. The trip that Anna and Elsa’s parent take at the beginning is to attend the wedding of Rapunzel and Flynn.

Finally

These are a few of many Easter eggs that are out there. Go on your own Easter egg hunt and let me know the best ones you find.


Stress is an Illness

Stress until recently has not been considered an illness, rather a lazy person disease, however as the cases have become more frequent and the symptoms more pronounced so research into the causes and effects of stress have begun. Although these studies have not been running for too long they have already produced some very definite results.

Modern thinking today has concluded that stress originates from one of the most basic of psychological responses, the fight or flight response. In the dark ages when faced with a large animal the body had two ways of coping fight the animal or run away. Bringing this then into the modern day, you are sitting in your car in the traffic and someone is banging their horn behind. You have two responses fight back or run away, however fighting back is considered socially unacceptable while running away would mean you leave your car behind. The only response we have left is to let the stress bottle up.
Stress was given two definitions by psychologists Goetsch and Fuller (1995) these definitions fell into three categories stress as a stimulus, stress as a response and stress as an interaction between organisms and the environment.
Everyone can be affected by stress; the degree that it affects your life depends on your lifestyle and working environment. Some forms of stress may even be considered beneficial to a person as it allows us the energy and interest to explore our environment, however, when stress becomes intolerable it becomes harmful.

Stress can manifest itself in several different ways both physical and psychological some of the more common are listed below:

Why does stress affect our body at all? Our bodies react to stressful situations by preparing us for action, increasing our heartbeat and blood pressure. Chronic stress will involve repeated episodes of increased heart rate which, in turn, produces increases in plaque formation within the cardiovascular system; the heart. In some severe cases, doctors have even observed changes such as enlargement of the adrenal cortex and shrinkage of the thymus, spleen and lymphatics. Stress can also affect the immune system, which in turn can make you more susceptible to disease; stress also appears to reduce the effectiveness of the immune system at killing foreign bodies.
It is important however to appreciate that not all stress is directly caused by yourself some is caused by others that you have no control over. The biggest continual cause of stress to most people’s lives is work especially if they work in a high-pressure environment, of which care work is now rated within the top five. Continual shift work does not help this condition as it causes a disruption in the circadian rhythms which can increase the symptoms of stress. Other common activities have also recently been given a stress rating. Some of the highest are, moving home, getting divorced and Christmas.
There are several theories that have been made about effective ways of managing stress and these have been divided into categories the first is Behavioural Techniques.

People can be taught to help alleviate stress by using simple techniques such as relaxation training and aerobic training. Aerobic training helps increase the heart rate and oxygen consumption naturally, individuals who exercise regularly show considerably lower heart rate when faced with a stressful situation. Cognitive techniques help people develop the knowledge of knowing what stressful situations are and then teaches them a method of coping with this situation.
Within these theories, Reflexology can help cope with stress by encouraging the body to relax. As a unit, the human body receives its nerve supply directly from the spine. An unusual amount of tension leads to the muscles of the spine tightening. This affects the nerves, which in turn produces pain.
Another area where reflexology is an advantage in itself is it aids the circulation of blood allowing it to flow more freely making sure that all the tissues and organs in the body receive all the necessary oxygen and nutrients. Then any toxins or impurities still contained are flushed or cleansed from the body.
Reflexology provides a way of inducing deep relaxation giving the human body a chance to seek its own homeostasis. When a body is relaxed it has a greater chance of healing itself.
Reflexology provides a method, which is virtually guaranteed to relax the body and balance its biological systems. This may vary with some people, as sometimes there is a surge of vitality and well being. However, this sensation will eventually progress to reach the mind and also the subconscious. This in itself will make a person more positive within their self and discourage ill health all of which are stress issues.
As the level and variety of stress has increased in modern society so have the methods of treating it, from conventional ideas such as antidepressants to more holistic thinking such as reflexology. Whatever your stress level and method of treating it. Just remember to recognise that stress exists and take care of yourself.

design desk display eyewear
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Lloyds Bank Forcing Families Into Poverty

If you are a customer of Lloyds Bank I don’t need to tell you about the disgusting change they have made to their overdraft fees just before Christmas. In the literature, they boast that they will be saving a high percentage of their customer’s money on their fee’s. In reality, this is another great example of the rich getting richer whilst the poor get trampled on.

To explain the fee’s quickly you are charged 1p for every £7 you owe daily. An overdraft of £1200 will cost you £1.71 a day, £53.01a month. Although this will go up as the fee’s of £1.71 mount up, soon you will owe £1207 which put the daily fee up to £1.72 and so on always accumulating more debt. The average person on benefits can have an overdraft as high as £3000 which would be a daily fee of £4.28 and a monthly charge of a staggering £132.68 all taken out of you incomings before you can buy food and heat.

 

This change in fee means that if you are a poor family living in your overdraft you will be paying daily for your fees. This money will be removed as soon as money enters your bank. Those on benefits will potentially have their benefits paid in at midnight to have them removed as fees by 1am. No transactions are allowed to be processed between 12-1 in order to allow the bank the opportunity to remove their fee’s. In addition to this change previously Lloyds bank charged overdraft fee’s two months behind so for November and December you will be paying two sets of fee’s, the daily charge and the backdated old monthly charge from October and September.

Many people may say take a loan and pay off your overdraft for a cheaper monthly fee. We are talking about the poorest families. The ones who don’t have the credit rating in order to qualify for a loan. Lloyds bank is forcing hundreds of families into poverty. Poverty where they can’t afford heating in the coldest months, or food on the table. Lloyds bank has turned into a real-life Ebenezer Scrooge. I can only pray for three ghosts to visit the fat bank executives this year with their festive spreads and warm houses.

The big question here is how as a society we can allow people to be treated like this. As a nation, we are charitable giving generously to causes such as Comic Relief and Children in Need now it is time to look after our own.

What can we do?

After watching Martin Lewis last night I am pleased to say The Financial Ombudsman will make the bank give your money back if the charges have caused you to go into financial difficulty causing you to go into poverty and not be able to pay your bills. I urge you to contact them if you are having problems.

As a customer who is not directly affected but, still believes this practice is wrong I have switched my bank account. I even got £100 for switching. It is time to stand as a society and stop banking officials starving our kids.

Don’t Ignore The Pain

When offered a cup of tea by my friend I agreed and thought I would pop to the loo. When in the toilet that was when the pain hit me.  The most excruciating pain I had ever felt gripped the side of my body.  I could describe it as a period pain but much worse just below my waistline on the left side.  Having taken some painkillers the pain appeared to relent a little and I thought nothing of it.  However, this continued every time I went to the loo and it was becoming increasingly difficult to pass water.

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This was the time I thought maybe a doctor’s visit was in order.  When I went to the doctor he felt my stomach, asked a few questions and for a urine sample, which I couldn’t give.  The doctor informed me that he was sure it was a urine infection and that antibiotics would clear it up.  To be honest the pain did recede for a couple of weeks and I felt better.

Then during my monthly cycle, the pain returned, just as it had been before but stronger.  I would be walking to the kitchen or talking to my friends and the pain would grip me, turn me over and be so severe I would perspire uncontrollably.  The pain continued not just during my cycle but most of the month. I just couldn’t go on. There was something seriously wrong with me. The doctor sent me for some tests.

During a scan, doctors discovered a 6cm cyst attached to my left ovary.  They said that the cyst was filled with blood and had completely taken over my left ovary.  Had the pain been investigated when I originally went to the doctor, keyhole surgery may have been able to remove the cyst.  Due to the size, I would have to undergo full open surgery, resulting in a scar similar to that when you have a C section.

By the time that the operation was carried out the cyst had grown to 10cm in diameter and had completed destroyed my left ovary, resulting in that having to be removed along with the cyst.  My lasting memory of waking up after the operation is how well I immediately felt.  I never realised how physically ill the cyst had made me until it had been removed.  Then I clearly felt better even though I was now sporting twenty staples along my abdomen.

My advice to all women who have similar pain is to get it investigated and keep pursuing the point with your doctor.  I sat back thinking it would get better and go away on its own and now I have potentially halved my chance of conceiving with only one ovary.  Make as big a pain of yourself as you have in your side.

A Tribute to Working Mums

This is a tribute to all the working mothers out there. A group of amazing women I am now part of. Little did I know how difficult this was until I joined you. Leaving on a morning at 7am I looked into my little girl’s eyes as she followed me around the room and my heart breaks. Having reached the grand old age of 7 months she now knows the signs that mum is leaving for work.  I am sure the effect on me is far worse than the effect on little one. I miss her every minute of the day. I wonder what she is doing and wish I could see her smile. My mind is forever occupied with her face.

I remember the dreaded ordeal of returning to work after the Christmas break. In many aspects as a teacher, I am extremely lucky with the breaks I get. However, just like all the other working mums out there, I have to go through the heartache of leaving my little bundle at home having spent every day with her over the last couple of weeks.

The figure for working mothers has increased to 1.2 million in 2017 so I know I am not alone in this dilemma. How do you ensure you work hard enough to bring home a decent wage whilst constantly juggling the work, home ratio.  I constantly throughout my day thinking about what my bundle is up to. I believe I might have bored several members of staff with my Christmas pictures. I don’t think 120 photos is excessive.

All this anguish is made bearable though with the beautiful smile I receive when I returned home. I get a strange type of pride when my better half tells me that I often get the first laugh out of the baby all day.  I often pay in strange ways for my absence from the house with refusals to go to bed and the heartbreak when she cries and prefers her other parent.

To all the working mum’s out there I applaud you.

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The World I Want For My Daughter

My best friend is beautiful.  Not this new modern plaster the makeup on beautiful, classic 1950’s beautiful.  She looks good with or without makeup.  When we go out together people stop and look.  Yet she see’s none of this.  Brought up in a world obsession with size 0 and airbrushed photos. She fights a battle between herself and the mirror every day.

Eating Disorder 1

In a survey of men, her figure was described as ideal.  Yet she believes she is overweight.  I have heard her on more than one occasion describe herself as disgusting.  As women, we are the most critical of other women.  This constant criticism leads to anxiety.  Anyone who looks attractive is often criticised by other women.  Why other women do not support each other more is beyond my comprehension.

Being sexy is about attitude, not body type.  It’s a state of mind.

Amisha Patel

The most publicised eating disorders are anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Both are known and discussed on a regular basis outside of medicine.  Most patients seek treatment for an eating disorder which is not specific.  A staggering 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder.  11% of these are male.  Male eating disorders have taken a dramatic rise over the last couple of years.  Recently men are being faced with as much criticism as women in the press.  Young boys striving to reach the media’s idea of a perfect body.  Using eating disorders to achieve their goals.  Eating disorders remain one of the most misunderstood types of mental illness. It also has the highest mortality rate of any mental illnesses.

Eating disorder 2

Another phenomenon taking over my Facebook feed is the runners. Groups have been set up throughout the country to encourage people to run. I don’t understand it, it frustrates me when every other status is about how far someone has run. Now I’m not saying running is bad for you. It is actually very good for you. The concern should come when exercise is used as a form of dieting to excess. If a person works out with the sole purpose of losing all calories consumed in that day.

Eating disorder 3

People who are thin are considered to be healthy.  People who are overweight are considered to be unhealthy.  Never is diet and muscle tone taken into consideration.  A person who has starved themselves for many months is actually less healthy than someone who eats a healthy diet but remains a few pounds overweight.

We live in a society where looks rank higher than achievement and intellect.  Models are considered more desirable than professors and doctors.  Status is judged on how many followers you have, rather than how many GCSE’s you have.

As a new mother, I believe it is time to take a stand.  Stand against magazines who only use size 0 models. Magazines that airbrush their celebrities.  I don’t want to know about the latest celebrity diet craze or how a slim celebrity has slimmed down even more.  I want to know about real women who work hard and are happy with the size they are.  I want my daughter to judge herself on her achievements and goals, not on her looks and figure.

Even the models we see in magazines wish they could look like their own images.

Cheri K. Erdman

I want my daughter to live in a society where celebrities are happy to appear as they are.  Where the only filter I come across is in my coffee machine. Where academic achievements rate higher than looks.

I want my daughter to live in a society where she is happy just to be her.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this. Twitter @samharnold

Tom Cruise is Not 6’4″

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1) – Lee Child

Tom Cruise put me off Jack Reacher. I’m not a fan in case you didn’t realise. I remember Lee Child fans not being happy with Tom Cruise being selected. I can see why now Tom Cruise is not 6’4”.

Jack Reacher has just left the army and is travelling around America. A nomad with no fixed route in mind. Buying clothes when he needs to change and sleeping in cheap motels.

That is until he is drawn to the town of Margrave, a tiny town in Georgia. Within a couple of hours of arrival he is arrested for a murder, he didn’t commit. The first murder in the town for thirty years. A couple of hours later he is detained in a local jailhouse on the killing floor. So starts his adventure to clear his name and unravel the mystery of this perfect town.

As a series of 23 books, there were parts of me that didn’t want to like this book. I however, couldn’t help falling in love with it and Jack Reacher. The image of Tom Cruise is well and truly gone.

The book is fast-paced and entertaining for all 500 pages. You will not be able to stop reading once you start. The support characters are equally as well written as the main character.

The book has twist and turns throughout. I have to admit to putting the mystery together at the same time as Reacher. A fact I am very proud of. For those that don’t get it Child leads you to the conclusion along with the other characters. You almost have to deduct the solution for yourself. A factor I loved, if only more writers used this technique.

I am now thoroughly addicted to Mr Jack Reacher and am embarking on a quest of my own. To collect all the rest of the books in the series. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️