August 12, 2005

LinkNews Digest [08/12/2005]

DeathMatch Takes Its Toll on Korean Man

SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean man who played computer games for 50 hours almost non-stop died of heart failure minutes after finishing his mammoth session in an Internet cafe, authorities said Tuesday.

The 28-year-old man, identified only by his family name Lee, had been playing on-line battle simulation games at the cybercafe in the southeastern city of Taegu, police said.

Lee had planted himself in front of a computer monitor to play on-line games on Aug. 3. He only left the spot over the next three days to go to the toilet and take brief naps on a makeshift bed, they said. Lee had recently quit his job to spend more time playing games, the daily JoongAng Ilbo reported after interviewing former work colleagues and staff at the Internet cafe.

After he failed to return home, Lee's mother asked his former colleagues to find him. When they reached the cafe, Lee said he would finish the game and then go home, the paper reported. He died a few minutes later, it said. (LINK)

70,000 Stranded at Heathrow Airport

LONDON - At least 70,000 travelers were left stranded Friday as British Airways canceled all flights to and from Heathrow Airport after catering staff, baggage handlers and other ground crew walked off the job in wildcat strikes at the height of the summer tourism season.

British Airways said flights would be suspended until at least 8 p.m. London time, as the government-backed mediation service ACAS announced it would oversee talks in a bid to resolve the dispute. With almost 100 BA aircraft out of position around the world because of the strike, Heathrow management warned that disruption would last for days.

"People are saying we won't get out of here until Monday or Tuesday," said Sally Hater, a resident of Cambridge, Vt., trying to get a flight to Boston. "We had to wait four hours last night just to get hotel accommodation. They gave us phone numbers, but you can't reach them. They're useless."

About 1,000 people spent the night on floors and in seating areas at the airport, BA spokesman Tony Cane said. He said BA had been able to put up about 4,000 others in hotels. (LINK)

Famous Boston Swans are Same-Sex Couple

Boston's beloved pair of swans -- feted by city leaders, residents, and tourists alike as one of the Hub's most celebrated summer attractions -- are a same-sex couple. Yes, scientific tests have shown that the pair, named Romeo and Juliet, are really Juliet and Juliet.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department conducted the tests months ago, but didn't announce the results for fear of destroying the image of a Shakespearean love story unfolding each year in the Public Garden.

"Each year when the swans go in, the kids immediately come to us and say, 'Which one's Romeo, and which one's Juliet?' " parks spokeswoman Mary Hines said yesterday in response to a Globe inquiry. "It's just like one of those fairy tales; why spoil it?"

The news ignited something of a debate among swan spectators in the Public Garden yesterday, with some insisting the city now should buy a true Romeo and others saying the city should embrace the two as a couple.

"If these two swans are happy together, they shouldn't have to have a guy," said Emma Stokien, a 15-year-old from New York. "It's good to have the swans as a symbol of the acceptance in Massachusetts." (LINK)
Dr. James Dobson could not be reached for comment.

Homeless Tapped as Advertising

Aug. 11, 2005 -- A budding Seattle entrepreneur looking for a low-cost marketing campaign says he's found an inexpensive and highly visible tool to publicize his Web site — he calls it "bum-vertizing."

Ben Rogovy, a 22-year-old University of Washington graduate, says the homeless and panhandlers are an untapped labor force, and he's putting them to work.

"It dawned on me this could be inexpensive and effective," he said. And he believes it's a campaign that benefits both him and the homeless people he's hired to hold signs advertizing his Web site. He said he's giving panhandlers a job and getting advertising on the cheap.

In exchange for food, water and an undisclosed amount of cash, panhandlers agree to hold their please-give-sign and Rogovy's sign advertising his Web site, which purports to be an online directory that connects "poker players from around the globe."LINK - Site Gallery

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