June 10, 2005

LinkNews Digest [06/10/2005]

Canada Plans Selling Ads in College Textbooks

For the past several months, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., one of the country's largest publishers of university textbooks, has been quietly trying to coax companies into buying advertising space in their texts.

"Reach a hard to get target group where they spend all their parents' money," says a McGraw-Hill brochure touting its planned ads. "Do you really think 18-24 year olds see those on-campus magazine ads? Do you really think they could miss an ad that is placed in a very well-respected textbook?"

"We've never offered this before and we'll only offer it to the right organizations," McGraw-Hill's brochure says. The company plans initially to charge as much as $1.40 per book, and the ads would be inserts, instead of being placed permanently alongside text.

Several media planners whose companies weren't involved in the ad push said McGraw-Hill's efforts are likely to backfire. "Textbooks are one of the last bastions," said Randy Stein, a partner at Grip Media Ltd., a Toronto ad agency. "There are some things that should remain pure and sacred. What's next, university professors with logos on their blazers like NASCAR?" (LINK)

Penn Jillette Names Daughter "Moxie Crimefighter"

Jillette, 50, and his wife Emily, 39, welcomed Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette on Friday, according to publicist Glenn Schwartz. It was the first child for the couple, who married last year.

"We chose her middle name because when she's pulled over for speeding she can say, `But officer, we're on the same side,'" Jillette explained. "`My middle name is CrimeFighter.'"

The typically mute Teller had no comment on the new arrival. (LINK)

The jury is out on whether this cruel name will ensure her future as a stripper, or just make her become a goth teen in order to defend the name as "ironic".

Attempted Harry Potter Book Leak Thwarted

LONDON, England -- Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has won a court order to stop two men leaking details of her latest work after they were arrested in a dramatic operation to recover two copies of the book.

The novel, due to be released July 16, was offered to two British newspapers -- one of which said one of the alleged sellers had fired a fake gun near its reporter.

Rowling was granted a British High Court injunction against the two men, ages 19 and 37, after they were accused of attempting to sell printed copies of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

A Northamptonshire police spokesman said: "Two books were recovered and they are currently being held in secure circumstances as evidence." The sixth Harry Potter novel has sparked massive interest since Rowling revealed that a major character will be killed in the book. (LINK)

(I will continue to use every opportunity to type the word "Thwarted". It just looks so cool spelled out.)

The Industrious Dentist

A dentist has been told to pay a patient £4,000 compensation after he got her drunk to carry out 14 root canal treatments in one day.

The court in Munich heard the work would normally have been scheduled to be carried out over a course of several weeks. But the dentist, who was not named for legal reasons, decided to get everything out of the way in a mammoth 12 hour operation.

He gave the woman large glasses of cognac in between drilling, telling her it would take the pain away. But the woman later complained of being in enormous pain and sued the dentist. (LINK)

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jules Verne’s death, a group in Nantes, France built a huge robotic elephant, an enormous marionette girl, and a wooden spacepod. Link to the photo gallery (French), which is a bit disturbing, as they made the girl marionette take a shower in public. (No, she did not shave.)

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