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Archive for November, 2000

Sir Ian’s comment on film surroundings.

Sir Ian McKellen made a comment on his own website that fans have spent more time discussing how characters will look than how their surroundings will look. I think we’ve kept people pretty well-informed about the look of the place, but it reminded me of a recent email from a correspondent who urged me to look at some of the NZ landscape art that captures the ‘Middle-earth’ nature of the place. She suggested some online galleries such as Fishers Gallery.

The site uses frames so you have to browse within it. I found some pretty nice landscapes, many from the South Island around where filming’s taken place. Check out Margaret Rhodes, Peter Beadle, Tim Wilson, Aston Greathead, and one or two from the current exhibition, Ivan Clarke.

Posted in Old Main News

E! Online updates!

The monster entertainment site, E!online has just updated it’s “Force of Hobbit” section, which is chock full of spicy LotR news! Curious about what the palantir will look like? Wanna hear the latest scoop on Gollum? Check out all the details in this November update! [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Wedding bells at Barliman’s!!!

Our Gandalf has a rather big announcement : )

It’s with great pride that I bring the news of Jezza’s and Farmboy’s marriage engagement! The good lad got down on one knee and asked for my sister’s hand in marriage this week. I am extremely overjoyed to welcome Farmboy (Mike) into our family. So cheers to Farmboy and Jezza. I wish them all the happiness they so rightly deserve. Please let them know how much they mean to us and Barlimans. To my new brother and my old sister (heehee) I love you both and congratulations again.
Your brother Gandalf

Posted in Barliman News

BursarWatch!!! Late November Edition

TheBursar has had a bit of spare time over the holidays and he’s sent 2 letters in 2 days! We post them here, with his snailmail addy following for anyone interested in writing to him.

Letter #1 (11/23/00)

Hey Barliman’s!
This is the intrepid Bursar writing to you yet again from deep within Great Lakes. First of all, Thank-you’s go out to everyone who is sending me letters and updates. I tell the people who ask that you are my fan club. : )
Anyway, today is Thanksgiving and as such is Holiday Routine. This is good, My jaw needs rest, especially now that my two lower wisdom teeth are gone. Ouch. But you have to carry on. And that is precisely what I am doing. I miss Barli’s.
On a side note, does anyone live near Chicago? If so, we could hang out a little during my liberty weekend. That would be cool.
Back to the main story… The people here are pretty cool to me. We are a family now. We have to be. But still, I crave news. The update I got last was Nov. 14 and Pip sent me a cool article on the press conference! (Thanx!) Too cool. So filming ends Dec 22… I don’t get out of here until Jan 5, and even then I think I go directly to my “A” school in Charleston, SC. That’s bad. I was hoping for a little downtime at least. I need the friendly atmosphere of Barli’s and some Blackened Balrog Wings.
I have a request for one of y’all… I miss my Tolkien, but I also miss my Pratchett. If someone could send me the Pratchett Quote File, I’d really appreciate it. That would be good for 10 strange looks at least. : )
Oh well, I oughta wrap this up; time is of the essence, although I don’t know what essence it is. Possibly Eu d’Nil.
Looking for a ray of hope, humor, and happiness in an environment desperately lacking in them (except for the coffee!).

Your Bud, Friend-for-Life, and Impossible-to-Get-Rid-of Guy,

Letter #2 (11/26/00)

Hello, All!
Well it’s been almost a month now since I left Barli’s. I can only imagine how things have changed. I feel out of place, like I’m still near home, but know I’m near Chicago. Strange.
How has Barli’s been? Organized chaos as usual? No unscheduled P.J. on-line press conferences? I’m sure you’ll let me know if there is.
TW, my new nickname here is Tweak, after the hyper kid on South Park. My shipmates have discovered my caffeine addiction. Mmmm… coffee…
There is a massive abuse of power here amongst the recruits given division staff positions. They should be required to take a leadership class. Shouting does not solve everything! Hardly a day goes by without some degree of headache.
Liberty weekend after Pass-In-Review is gonna be wild. Think about this: me, a legal adult, a sailor to boot, with money, no commitments except the Navy, all alone on the town in Chicago. Whoa.
The people I learn from the most are the Division Commanders. The sea-stories are so full of info, it is invaluable.
My picture should be taken soon. I’ll send y’all one!

The world will be my playground.

Am I ready to be on my own?

Is the world ready for me??

Your friend,
Nuclear Engineer-in-Training Bursar!

For your direct connection to TheBursar, write:
SR Hill, Robert V
Division #906 Ship Berth 04
Recruit Training Command
3301 Indiana Street
Great Lakes, IL 60088-3127

Posted in Barliman News

Fan Watch: GI Joe & LotR

Check out this action figure set-up, sent in from Ringer Fan Finrod. [more]

Posted in Old Main News Grey Book Update

Surf on over to Sir Ian Mckellen’s (Gandalf) official website to check out his latest Grey Book entry. Sir Ian talks of Rivendell, Hugo Weaving and the Council of Elrond. [more]

Posted in Old Main News

Yes, there is an Arwen Barbie….

No seriously. There aren’t. Yet. But there are genuine Franklin Mint Tolkien dolls, and a TORN correspondent has three to sell over on E-bay. (more)

Posted in Old Main News

Preserving the magic of this earth…. supports two charities – one is appropriately enough a literacy programme called Books in Homes. The other is World Wide Fund for Nature. They don’t do the big exciting protests that grab the attention of the media, but they’re prepared to stick with the slow grind of researching how our wildlife live and what threatens them, and they take on the boring and daunting task of educating the public and making legislative changes to protect our wild heritage. TheOneRing’s support has helped them learn more about the rare Hector’s Dolphin and the endangered Albatross (more)

Posted in Old Main News

Preserving the magic of this earth….

Marine Research and the One Ring Net

WWF is using the funds for TheOneRing.Net to help fund two projects; saving the North Island Hector’s Dolphin and developing a campaign on albatross. A description of the projects is set out below.

The North Island Hector’s Dolphin
New Zealand is home to one of the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphins, the North Island Hector’s Dolphin. There are thought to be approximately 100 left in a population that possibly numbered in the thousands at the beginning of the century. They are critically endangered. The range of the dolphin has been reduced dramatically and they are now only found along the north west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The decline in the North Island Hector’s Dolphin population is thought to be caused by commercial and recreational set net fishing near the coastline in their shallow water habitat.

WWF-NZ has been working with stakeholders to implement a ban and fisheries management system for set net fishing in the area where the dolphins are found. WWF is also working with Auckland University on research which will help to more accurately assess the size of the surviving population and their demographic makeup.

In parallel to the research, WWF will run a WWF Strandings and Sightings Network asking for public assistance in ascertaining the range and behaviours of the dolphins. The WWF public education program targets recreational set net fishers in the northwest of the North Island, and will be run through local schools in the area and community groups. The first of these education programs begins in November, and the WWF Strandings and Sightings Network will start operating at the same time. This is timed to coincide with the beginning of the summer which is the best time to sight the dolphins and when everyone is at the beach.

For further information see or

WWF is currently investigating the status of Albatross populations in the Southern Ocean. Recent information shows that there has been a substantial decline in their numbers. This decline has been expected for some time because large numbers of albatross have been caught by fishing boats in the southern oceans over the last 30 or more years – it is estimated that an albatross is drowned on a fishing line every 5 minutes. But because the numbers caught were not well known and because the birds spend such large amounts of time at sea getting a good estimate on populations has been very difficult. Only recently has the state of the albatross really become apparent and it is a bad news story.

Albatross are amazing birds. They have a wing span of 8 feet and routinely soar at speeds of 160 km/hr, often traveling at this speed for hours on end. Many albatross routinely cirumnavigate the globe. When they are soaring their heartbeat is equivalent to being at rest – soaring is as easy for albatross as sitting on a nest.

Albatross are very slow breeders and even a loss rate of 1% each year will drive the species to extinction. If a parent is killed whilst feeding a chick, the chick will also die. In many cases the loss of one albatross acutally means the loss of 2 albatross, i.e. the chick also.

WWF is becoming increasingly alarmed by recent data that is showing huge declines in albatross numbers. WWF is using funding from TheOneRing.Net to help pull together the necessary background information to develop a campaign and to help fund the campaign. WWF plans to launch the campaign in mid 2001.

Posted in Old Special Reports

Oliphaunt is hard to miss in Rings trilogy

At first glance it’s obvious. Of course it’s an elephant.

But on closer inspection it becomes apparent that this is a very big elephant, more like several woolly mammoths rolled into one than the comparatively tiny frame of say, Kashin, from Auckland Zoo. [More]

Posted in Old Spy Reports

Look Out! Oliphaunt!!!

The NZ Herald Online has a GREAT picture of an Oliphaunt! Wow is this thing big! [more]

!!! SPOILERS !!!

Posted in Old Main News

ANCANAR: More Production Pics

The folks at ANCANAR, the LOTR themed indie film currently in post-production in LA, have posted some new stills as well as some info regarding the film on their website. Check them out!

Posted in Old Main News