June 25, 2004

LinkNews Digest [6/25/04]

Spiderman, with a Hint of Curry

America's Web-slinger, following the trend of tech jobs, is about to be outsourced to India. The series will be spun off to "Spider-Man India," which promises a Peter Parker that has more local lavor:
Spider-Man India interweaves the local customs, culture and mystery of modern India, with an eye to making Spider-Man’s mythology more relevant to this particular audience. Readers of this series will not see the familiar Peter Parker of Queens under the classic Spider-Man mask, but rather a new hero – a young, Indian boy named Pavitr Prabhakar. As Spider-Man, Pavitr leaps around rickshaws and scooters in Indian streets, while swinging from monuments such as the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal.

Mumbai’s (Bombay’s) first web-swinging superhero will be joined by a reinterpretation of the classic Spider-Man villain, the Green Goblin -- reinvented as a Rakshasa, an Indian mythological demon.

“We feel this is one of the most exciting and unique projects in comic history,” said Gotham Entertainment Group

CEO Sharad Devarajan. “Unlike traditional translations of American comics, Spider-Man India will become the first-ever ‘transcreation,’ where we reinvent the origin of a Western property like Spider-Man so that he is an Indian boy in Mumbai and dealing with local problems and challenges.”


Polly Wanna Rock and Roll!

Parrots repeat anything you teach them to, and they don't talk back or ask for raises. It was only a matter of time before one froned a Death Metal band. Enter "HateBeak":
Face-crushing guitars, head-pounding drums, bass so low it’ll make you vacate your bowels, and vocals so scorching, so extreme, they can’t be human. They’re not. This death metal outfit with a parrot for a singer takes your head off with two stabs to the throat. That’s right, a parrot for a singer, coming at you without mercy, Hatebeak pecks your eyes out and assaults your ears in a flurry of pummeling riffs and grey feathers that leaves you lying in a pool of blood begging for more. The first metal band in history with an avian vocalist!
Link (via BoingBoing.net)

Student Forced to Write Apology in His Blood

The boy was taken to the staff room of the school in Fukuoka City, southern Japan, after being caught asleep during a lesson. The 40-year-old male teacher handed the boy a box-cutter and paper and told him to write an apology in blood.

Other teachers in the staff room did not notice what was happening, Dan said. He said the boy was back in school, and neither he nor his parents had asked to switch teachers. The teacher involved is expected to resume classes in a few days, Dan said.
God bless the Japanese, if for no other reason, than to provide America with a stark contrast of culture.
    If this happened in America:
  1. The kid would have mouthed off the the teacher, saying it was their fault he fell asleep
  2. The kid would have sliced up everything in the teacher's lounge with the box-cutter, claiming it was the teacher's fault for giving him the knife
  3. The teacher would be sacked on the spot, and the kid would be transferred immediately
  4. This incident would have caused a nationwide uproar, resulting in the removal of any metal cutting implements from all schools, with the exception of a single pair of left-handed kindergarten safety scissors (since they never work to begin with).

Link (CNN)

Coffin Customizations

Yes, the whole shrink-wrap grpahics craze need not stop with public transportation. You can now get your own custom coffin, with your choice of Sports, Religions or Artistic themes. You can even have a little Joke if you like. (Thanks to Sam for the link)

Guide to Holywood Blogs

With the sudden onset of the RANCE phenomenon ("IS he REALLY an A-List actor? If so, who is he?"), The Onion's AV Club presents HollyBlog: The guide to Celebrity Bloggers. This week: Fred Durst, Gillian Anderson, Al Roker, Melanie Griffith and Billy Corgan. ("Rance" is not listed, since his identity is still a mystery.

Britain's Red Phone Booth Becoming Endangered

Due to increased mobile phone use and a gradual introduction of newer models, these symbols of culture are slowly being phased out. However, collectors and afficionados can still secure one for their own personal collection.
For 2,200 pounds (3,300 eu, USD$4,000), Internet business "British Bits" will sell you a complete K6 box, restored and stripped of its fittings, ideal for use -- the website suggests -- as a shower cubicle or even a modest-sized home bar.

"Mostly people like them as garden ornaments," a spokeswoman for the firm, based in Surrey, southern England, said of its customers. "But we even set down one in a NATO bunker."

Bloggers Seek Access to Political Conventions

In a move to improve the average blogger's journalistic credibility, some of them are requesting full press credentials and access to the big-ticket conventions.
Democrats say they'll offer media credentials to a handful of bloggers. The Republicans say they've yet to decide what to do about them -- credentialing deadlines passed with no announcement on whether bloggers could even apply.

Republican spokesman Leonardo Alcivar said details are still being worked out, but some analysts believe the party is wary of bloggers, who tend to be less predictable than mainstream journalists.
More than 50 bloggers met last Tuesday's deadline to apply for the Democratic National Convention credentials, of which an undetermined number will be selected based on originality, readership level and professionalism, said convention spokeswoman Lina Garcia.

She said the Democrats consider blogs important for engaging younger voters and expanding journalism to the citizenry. But that won't make the credentialing easy.
Link (CNN)


Not really news, but cool. MP3: Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" played by UMass Front Percussion Ensemble.

Christ on the Antenna

The world needs Cell Tower Antennas, and lots of them. The only problem? the things are an eyesore, and as such, unwelcome in suburban areas. The solution: Decorated antennas, disguised as trees or even Crucifixes:
"Different authorities always request ways to make the masts look nicer," said Josef Skuk, manager of the Austrian company Industrieanlageabau. So Skuk's company started disguising their masts to look like full-grown trees.

The latter crosses the line for some congregations, who are not willing to see Christ on a cross, with antennae sticking out here and there. The mayor of Schwabhausen, in deeply Catholic Bavaria, has come out against such an antenna in his village church. Mobile phone companies are hesitant as well.

LINK (Must-See picture)

The New Beatles Video

...but not really. It's a flashy ..uh, Flash animation with rotoscoped images, set to their "I Feel Fine" song. Incredible stuff.

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