July 29, 2004

LinkNews Digest [7/29/2004]

"Simpsons" Character to Come Out of Closet

Speaking during a weekend panel at San Diego's Comic-Con convention, show producers dropped a bomb: An upcoming Simpsons story line will focus on what happens when Springfield legalizes gay marriage.

"We have a show where, to raise money, Springfield legalizes gay marriage," producer Al Jean told comic book fans. "Homer becomes a minister by going on the Internet and filling out a form. A longtime character comes out of the closet, but I'm not saying who."

And with that, Simpsons aficionados got their gaydar on and began winnowing down the list of potential suspects.

The early favorite appears to be billionaire Monty Burns' ever-devoted sidekick, Waylon Smithers, who--aside from being a yes-man--has been known to collect Malibu Stacy dolls, lives in the gay part of town (where Homer once shacked up with two gay guys), has a Mr. Burns screensaver and dreams of a naked Mr. Burns jumping out of a birthday cake.

But that might be too easy. According to online fan scuttlebutt, there are other characters who might be secretly having a gay old time in Springfield, including Homer's regular-guy cohorts at the nuclear plant, Carl and Lenny, as well as Moe the bartender, the Reverend Lovejoy, Principal Skinner and Comic Book Guy. Of course, the producers didn't rule out a lesbian wedding, either.

The gay marriage-themed episode is scheduled to air in January.

"Hogzilla" shot in Georgia

ALAPAHA, Ga. - Around these parts, they are calling it Hogzilla: a 12-foot-long wild hog recently killed on a plantation and now quickly becoming a part of local legend.

The plantation's owner claims the hog weighed 1,000 pounds and had 9-inch tusks. But few people have actually seen the hog — the only proof being a photo that shows the dead beast hanging from a rope.

Chris Griffin said he killed the beast last month at the River Oak Plantation, where he is a hunting guide, and has been showing off the picture around this small farming community ever since. The hog is nearly twice as long as the 6-foot-tall Griffin, who is seen standing next to it in the photo.

He did not want to hassle with slaughtering it since the meat of large feral hogs is typically not very good. Holyoak said he decided that the hog's head also wasn't worth keeping because it was too large to mount on a wall. He said the head has the diameter of a tire on a compact car.
Link (Yahoo)

British TV Takes Lead in Worst Reality Shows

First, it was "Watching Paint Dry," and now, the topper: "Make Me A Mum"
Television producers were criticised yesterday over reports that they are developing a reality show in which men would compete for a chance to father a child and then take part in an on-air "sperm race".

In the show, which has been mooted by the company that makes Channel 4's Big Brother, up to 1,000 men would attempt to convince a woman to pick them as the father of her first child by impressing her with their intelligence, sex appeal and fitness.

A second sperm donor would be chosen on the basis of genetic compatibility, and the two finalists would then take part in the sperm race in which the insemination process could be filmed using new technology.

Brighter Pictures, a subsidiary of Endemol, is considering making the programme, provisionally called Make Me a Mum. An Endemol spokesman said details about the show's contents were speculative.
LINK(UK Telegraph)

The Japanese Art of Shirt Folding

Okay, I know that this shouldn't be news, but I am just dumbfounded. This is a video of a Japanese woman folding a shirt in a defying-laws-of-physics sort of way. It looks so simple, but yet...impossible!

Target cashing in on "Kabbalah" Trend

With Madonna leading the way, many youth are taking up the K-word in order to appear fashionable. And just like Christian crosses, the wearable accessories are more popular than the actual religion. Case and point, Target's best seller: The Kaballah String", which retails for $25.99. (Yes, a piece of string. For $26.)
A centuries-old spiritual tool used by Kabbalists, this red string is believed to protect against the evil eye, a negative energy source. What makes this particular piece of string so special is, in part, the fact that it has traveled to Israel, to the ancient tomb of Rachel the Matriarch, and returned, imbued with the essence of protection. The string is tied to the left wrist—the left being the body and soul's receiving side—and worn to essentially deflect the negative energy brought forth by unfriendly and envious stares, unkind glances and looks of ill will. A feeling we've all experienced, the evil eye is considered by Kabbalah to be a powerful force and an influential factor in regards to achieving goals and everyday well-being. The string draws upon the connection to and awareness of Rachel and must be tied on by a loved one and sealed with Rachel's protective energy by reciting the Ben Porat prayer (included on a card). From The Kabbalah Centre. 72L"
Link (BoingBoing.net)

McDonald's New "Fruit & Pot" Parfait

Jul 27, 2004 2:52 pm US/Central SAN BENITO, Texas (AP) A Texas family is a little out of joint, after a stop at McDonald's.

Sixteen-year-old Valerie Valle says she found a partially smoked joint in her frozen yogurt parfait.

She and seven other family members stopped at a McDonald's in San Benito after a weeklong vacation on South Padre Island. Valle says she returned the questionable frozen confection and said no thanks to another.

Police took the marijuana cigarette as evidence. But there have been no busts or charges filed.

An official with the McDonald's franchise says they're conducting their own investigation and don't want to jump to any conclusions.
"People get the munchies, so they have a pot-laced parfait, which gives them MORE munchies, so they buy ANOTHER pot parfait! It's a profit feedback-loop!! Dude, we can't fail!!"

"That's no Moon..."

The Cassini Probe has taken some great photos of Saturn's moons, but one of those moons, named Mimas, is of particular interest.
Soon after orbital insertion, Cassini returned its best look yet at the heavily cratered moon Mimas (398 kilometers, 247 miles across). The enormous crater at the top of this banner image, named Herschel, is about 130 kilometers (80 miles) wide and 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep. Deeper than the Grand Canyon, Herschel stretches across nearly a third of the tiny moon's diameter. The central mountain shown at the center of Hershel is the height of Mount Everest on Earth.

This impact probably came close to disintegrating the moon. Traces of fracture marks can be seen on the opposite side of Mimas, suggesting that the destruction nearly split the satellite into two pieces. Although the icy moon bears a striking resemblance to the fictional 1977 'Death Star' from the Star Wars film by George Lucas, this low-density satellite probably had a more likely past not as a weapon or space station, but instead as a victim of one catastrophic day in its ancient history. That day Mimas came closer to dying rather than committing any planet-scale homicide.
Link for Picture

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