September 17, 2004

LinkNews Digest [09/17/04]

[Sorry, most of these are from last week, but I had to post the pics and report from DCon.]

Hefner & Stan Lee Team Up for "SuperBunnies"

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- A silk pajama-clad superhero fights crime with the aid of a superbuxom team of specially trained Playboy bunnies. If that sounds like it must be a cross between the oeuvres of Stan Lee and Hugh Hefner, that's because it is.

MTV has ordered an animated pilot for "Hef's Superbunnies," a collaboration between cartooon veteran Lee's newly launched Pow! Entertainment and Playboy's Alta Loma Entertainment division. Hefner's name and likeness will be featured in the pilot, and he also might provide the voice of his cartoon alter ego.

Hefner said he sparked to the notion of being involved with an edgy, sexy animated series as soon as Lee, the mastermind behind such Marvel comic book legends as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, approached him with the "Superbunnies" concept.

"This project is going to be a lot of fun," Hefner assured. "It's going to be more than just an action show. It's going to be very satirical with a lot of cutting-edge aspects to it."

'Weird Al' Yankovic Attacked by Moths

DU QUOIN, Illinois (AP) -- Things got hairy for parody singer "Weird Al" Yankovic as a flock of unwanted fans rushed onstage during his performance at a state fair in southern Illinois.

Green moths swarmed Yankovic, some nesting in his trademark long curly locks.

"My band asked me if I could find a concert where we would be attacked by insects," Yankovic told his audience Wednesday at the Du Quoin State Fair. "I said I would see what I could do."

Yankovic didn't seem bugged by the uninvited guests, though, as he plugged along with songs and costume changes during his self-described "rock and comedy multimedia extravaganza" to support his recent album, "Poodle Hat."

Wind From Hurricane for Sale on eBay

MIAMI - For anyone who didn't get enough of Hurricane Frances as it blew through Florida, remnants of the storm are for sale. More than 170 items were listed on eBay's Internet auction site Monday, a day after the eye of the Category 2 storm came ashore.

The starting bid for Tupperware filled with wind was a penny. Photos showed Broward County residents running around with the containers "catching" the wind. Surprisingly, someone had already bid $10 for one of the four containers.

Carol Baroudi, industry analyst and author of The Internet For Dummies, said "I think these are all tongue in cheek. I don't think anyone's serious about these things. I think it's trying to find a sense of humor, which is a good thing."

Ebay has canceled auctions that coincide with tragedies, such as items billed as debris from the space shuttle Columbia or pieces of the World Trade Center and Pentagon (news - web sites). Ebay officials did not return a phone call seeking comment about the Frances auctions.

"It's a different kind of thing," Baroudi said. "So far I don't think it's crossed the line of totally tasteless. I don't see anybody being victimized by this stuff. I've seen a lot of positive stuff here."

S*it Really Does Happen

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - A Dutch driver was covered in hundreds of liters of manure when a tank burst on a lorry carrying fertilizer, police said on Tuesday.

"It was a nice night ... so he probably opened his window when he stopped at a traffic light, and then -- (it) happened," said Dana Kragten, spokeswoman for police in rural Drenthe province. "The tank had a small window which burst, probably due to pressure ... The man said he had no time to back away his car or close his window."

Police said the man, whose car was sprayed with an estimated 1,700 liters (370 gallons) of liquid manure, escaped injury though his car had to be towed away

Iraq Deemed Civilized With Women's Workout TV

Iraq's Iraqiya TV is preparing a series of tutorials about aerobics, intended mainly for Iraqi women. The programme will be aired nationally twice a week in the morning to encourage Iraqis to work out. The programme is called Allah b'il Khair ya Iraq, meaning To Your Good Health, Iraq, and will feature students from Baghdad's college of physical education.

Once criticised as being amateurish, and a mere tool of the US-led coalition, al-Iraqiya TV is being incorporated into an Iraqi national broadcaster. A programme like Allah b'il Khair ya Iraq - with its aerobics show - should provide welcome relief for some Iraqis from the daily routine of conflict and bloodshed on television screens.
Link (BBC)

Rotten Tomatoes of Varying Color Hit Schroder

BERLIN (Reuters) - The mushy remains of a tomato thrown at a prominent member of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats has posed a legal dilemma for authorities trying to assess how to punish the thrower.

Police investigating the fruit, thrown by an unemployed protestor at the premier of the state of Brandenburg, said on Thursday they have concluded it was a yellow tomato. Had it been a soft red one, the man would have faced a lesser charge of causing malicious damage. A harder, green tomato could carry the tougher charge of bodily harm.

A yellow one is somewhere in between. "In these types of cases it has to do with the consistency (of the fruit)," said Caecilia Cramer-Krahforst, spokeswoman for the court in the eastern city of Cottbus.

No decision on the charge has yet been reached.

SPD politicians have been facing the wrath of the public in recent months especially in the economically depressed east where many people face painful jobless benefit cuts from next January.

Real-Life "Cannonball Run" Shut Down

MADRID, Spain (Reuters) -- Spanish police temporarily seized luxury and sports cars driven by people they suspected of participating in an illegal road rally named after a 1981 film starring Burt Reynolds, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Police said they were tipped off by a driver of a family car who said he had been overtaken by high-powered cars bearing rally-type markings in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

The managing director of Cannonball Run Europe, Tim Porter told Reuters on Tuesday that entrants in the rally of the same name had been fined by Spanish police, citing a law which the Spanish embassy later told his organisation does not exist.

"I think it is absolutely outrageous the police can make up laws as they go along," Porter said, adding that another of the rally entrants detained was charged with suspected speeding."At least half a dozen of them were picked up in a service station drinking coffee."

Police said they tracked down and impounded 71 cars including Porsches, Ferraris and Rolls Royces and took statements and addresses from their mostly British drivers. "We suspect (the racers) of belonging to an illicit group, which organised illegal races which could put the lives of other people in danger," a Catalan regional police spokesman said.

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