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The Late Movies: Happy Birthday, Clint Eastwood!

Today, Clint Eastwood turns 81. We're celebrating with clips from some of his best work on the silver screen—from spaghetti westerns to dark dramas and everything in between. Eastwood has won four Academy Awards and one honorary Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which is given at the yearly Oscar ceremony. In short: the guy's a living legend, so settle back with some popcorn and enjoy the look back at his career. And if we left off your favorite clip—and let's face it, Eastwood's had 66 acting roles on TV and in movies, so we've skipped a bunch—please leave a link in the comments.

Revenge of the Creature

Eastwood appeared in an uncredited role in this film in 1955. See it here, through the lens of Mystery Science Theatre 3000

A Fistful of Dollars

This 1964 spaghetti western was one of the first of the genre to be released in America. Eastwood was not the first person director Sergio Leone wanted for the role. Initially, he'd hoped Henry Fonda or Charles Bronson could pay "The Man With No Name."

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The third and final installment of "The Dollars Trilogy," this film began production shortly after Eastwood's TV series, Rawhide had ended.

Every Which Way But Loose

In one of his few comedic roles, Eastwood plays Philo Beddoe, a trucker roaming the American West in search of a lost love with his pal Orville and his pet orangutan, Clyde. Eastwood was reportedly advised against taking this role after years of working in spaghetti westerns. This film and its sequal, Any Which Way You Can wound up being two of the actor's highest-grossing movies.

Sudden Impact

The fourth film in Eastwood's well-known Dirty Harry series, Sudden Impact is the only Dirty Harry film to be directed by Eastwood himself. The film is probably best remembered for Harry's catch phrase, "Go ahead, make my day."

Unforgiven

Clint Eastwood produced, directed, and starred in this 1992 thriller. The film won four Academy Awards and in 2004, was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Million Dollar Baby

Despite being rejected by many studios, this film, which also starred Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman, went on to win four Oscars as well as many other important film awards. In addition to producing, directing, and acting, Eastwood also composed the music for this movie.

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History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

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holidays
Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
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For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, UglyChristmasSweater.com sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.

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