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Ripples #27

 

Compiled and Written by Lenny Giteck
 
Partying Prince Harry Jumps (or Falls) 
Into Nightclub Pool Fully Clothed
 
You remember Prince Harry — the other one. The younger brother who developed quite a reputation as a wild party animal, whose judgment was not always up to British royal snuff. One episode that comes to mind: the time he dressed as a 
Nazi for a costume party — apparently never having been told about the impact of the Blitz on Britain during World War II. 
 
Then there were the photos that went viral on the Internet not long ago: They showed Harry cracking up uncontrollably behind his 90-year-old grandfather Prince Philip, who purportedly had passed royal gas at an inopportune moment. Other members of the family — all of them lined up on a balcony — managed to keep relatively stiff upper lips despite the noxious attack. 
 
In any event, Harry recently was partying at Veneranda, an open-air nightclub in Croatia, when he either jumped or fell into the establishment’s swimming pool. According to the Web site news.ninemsn.com.au, following his fully clothed entrance into the water “a bare-footed and soaking-wet Harry then hauled himself out of the pool and carried on dancing with fellow clubbers.” 
 
The report continued, “An onlooker told the newspaper [that] Harry ‘seemed really tipsy’ and was untroubled at being the center of attention. ‘Everyone thought it was really funny and Harry was laughing his head off.’”
 
The 26-year-old prince continued dancing right on the edge of the pool, allegedly lost his balance again and went into the water for an encore performance.
 
Photos: To see photographic evidence that British royals ain’t what they used to be, click here.
Video: To view a blurry video of the incident, probably taken with a cell phone, click here. The video tends to support the “he fell in” theory.
 
 
Wealthy Londoners Go Underground to 
Add Swimming Pools to Their Homes 
 
While we’re on the subject of rich Brits and swimming pools…it seems the latest trend among London’s well-heeled crowd is to add indoor swimming pools to their houses by digging into the earth and creating opulent, often multifloor basements. From nytimes.com
 
In a city that has some of the richest people and most expensive real estate in the world, well-off homeowners who have exhausted the traditional methods of home expansion — build up or build out — are enthusiastically branching out the only other way possible: down. 
 
Far beneath London’s surface, and to their neighbors’ considerable chagrin, they are using enormous machines to remove thousands of tons of dirt and replace it with new structures extending as many as four floors down. 
 
They are building not just swimming pools, but also cinemas, recreation centers, gyms, wine cellars, bowling alleys, squash courts, climbing walls, servants’ quarters, saunas, waterfalls, Jacuzzis, hair salons and multicar garages with special elevators to shuttle vintage car collections up and down.
 
Building up or out in London is rarely possible because of the city’s strict zoning laws. That leaves the downward option — but it has come with its share of controversy, soured relationships among neighbors and bitter lawsuits. Again, from nytimes.com:
 
Matthew Wright, a popular television and radio host, wrote recently in The Daily Mail, describing the basement project next door: So bad was the “excavation, foundation drilling, concreting, underpinning (you want to try to live through underpinning), not to mention shuttering, grinding, drilling and so on”…that even earplugs “meant for shotgun enthusiasts” could not drown out the noise. Unable to sleep after the workmen arrived at 7:15 every morning, wielding pneumatic drills that caused his bed to vibrate, Mr. Wright…became too exhausted to continue hosting his late-night BBC radio show and had to quit.
 
In at least one case a neighbor’s house was so damaged by the excavation work next door, its foundation crumbled and the place had to be completely rebuilt.
 
Stomping on Gaddafi’s Face Before 
Having a Blast in His Daughter’s Pool
 
As of this writing, the whereabouts of Libyan strongman and mental case Muammar Gaddafi are still unknown — but that didn’t stop some rebels from invading his daughter Aisha’s plush home in Tripoli, treading on the dictator’s face (symbolically, on a poster on the floor) and jumping into the indoor swimming pool.
 
According to an article on the Web site itn.co.uk, “Many of the rebels expressed anger at the opulence of Aisha's property, and a man who identified himself as Mohammed said it was 'only right' that the house now belonged to the Libyan people: ‘This is the property of the Libyan people. They [Libyans] have been living in poverty for the last 42 years and he [Gaddafi] has been living in luxury.’” 
 
All Ripples can add to that sentiment is, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy…or family.
 
Video: To watch some Libyans having a grand ol’ time at Col. Gaddafi’s expense (at last!), click here.  
 
 
Miami Heat Star LeBron James S-l-o-w-l-y 
Manages to Conquer High-Platform Anxiety
 
Ripples is unclear about the backstory, but somehow Miami Heat basketball player LeBron James recently found himself on a high-dive platform above a swimming pool in Barcelona, Spain. The pool was surrounded by a large crowd shouting encouragement (“Jump! Jump!”) to the athlete, who clearly was not too keen on the task ahead.
 
It took quite a while for James to muster the courage to step off into space — which in no way is to criticize him, since Ripples can barely stand on a six-foot ladder without going a bit weak in the knees. And when you take the height of the platform (even though it wasn’t the top level) and add in the basketball player’s 6-foor-8-inch body…well, you wind up with a pretty daunting challenge.
 
Nevertheless, he managed to do it after much hemming and hawing, stretching, looking around and — in Ripples’ view — desperately trying to think of a way out without losing face. All of which is to say, don’t expect the snail-paced video below to exactly be a thrill ride.
 
Video: To watch LeBron James take his gutsy, if perhaps shaky, leap of faith, click here. You might want to fast-forward to just before the end. 
 
 
Overcoming Diving Challenges:  
Julianne Moore and Corpulent Man
 
A few issues back, we lauded Oprah Winfrey for taking swimming lessons at this advanced stage of her life.
 
Now another celebrity has come out of the water closet…let’s rephrase that…has come out of the fear-of-water closet: Actress Julianne Moore (“Jurassic Park,” “Boogie Nights”) revealed she’s been waging a long battle with her dread of diving from the edge of a pool. The Web site contactmusic.com quotes Moore as saying:
 
I’ve been learning how to dive for 15 years…I came to swimming kind of late so I figured once I mastered that, that was enough, right? I didn’t have to learn how to dive too. (I could) just step in. Or cannon-ball in…I mean why go in head-first? Because that seems kind of ridiculous to me…you don’t want to hurt yourself.
 
But people say things to me like, ‘You can’t dive?’ Like, “You can’t open a door with a key?” But, I had to learn the [same] way…they teach kids. Where you sit on the side of the pool, with one knee up and one leg bent, and you know, [the coaches] say, “Just fall in the pool.” So I spent a few years like that. 
 
Ripples hopes Ms. Moore is exaggerating about the 15 years. Still, no matter how long she’s been at it, we applaud her persistence in trying to overcome her diving demons. Unfortunately, we haven’t found a video of the beautiful actress’s poolside exploits — but face it, Ripples can’t always rise to the level of the Marilyn Monroe clip in the last edition.  
 
Julianne Moore could learn a thing or two from the gentleman in the video below. He confidently plunges head-first from the side of a pool right through the hole of a small floaty ring — a feat made even more impressive by his considerable girth. The rather blunt headline on neverboredonline.com described the achievement this way: “Fat Dad Dives Through Tiny Floaty.” Ripples prefers the kinder and gentler term “corpulent” — but no matter how you put it, we’re talkin’ one big dude and one small pool toy.
 
Video: To make up for the lack of a Julianne Moore video, feast your eyes on the big, bad, bold belly in this clip!  Click here
 
Until next time…happy watershaping to you! 
 

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