March 24, 2006

LinkNews Digest [03/24/2006]

Brave Wardens Capture Wooden Lion

Armed safari park staff were told a lion was on the loose - only to discover it was a wooden cut-out.

Wardens were told the big cat has escaped from an electrified enclosure. They ordered terrified park staff indoors and desperately tracked down the beast reports The Sun.

Bosses at Longleat, Wilts, did not tell wardens it was a training exercise until the "lion" was caught. General manager Keith Harris said: "After a while the 'lion' was spotted about half a mile outside the enclosure.

"It was encircled by vehicles while the choice was made to sedate or kill it. We decided to sedate it. It was only then that the truth dawned on everyone. Most staff thought it was a real emergency. The whole exercise went very efficiently." (LINK )

Roman Online Game Crucifies Player Criminals

Players who misbehave in the Roman online role-playing game Roma Victor will be punished by having their characters crucified and displayed in public spaces for other players to mock and throw things at. The first crucifixion is being doled out to "Cynewulf," played by a 27 year-old electrical engineer from Flint, Michigan, whose crime is "ganking" (ripping off) new players as they first appear in game. Cynewulf will be hung on the cross for seven days.

Crucifixion is to be used as a form of player 'ban' within the virtual world of Roma Victor, with the length of the ban reflecting the severity of the punishment. For cheating by exploiting a bug and advancing his or her character's skills unfairly, for example, a player might typically receive a seven-day ban; multiple or more serious offenses will result in a longer (or even permanent) ban. (LINK via BoingBoing )

Chef's Unwanted Farewell Episode

On Wednesday's South Park 10th season premiere, Hayes' Chef character was struck by lightning, impaled, shot, mauled by a mountain lion, eaten by a grizzly bear, and, oh, yes, accused of being a child molester.

The episode was the capper to Hayes' Mar. 13 resignation. South Park chieftains Parker and Stone cranked out the inaptly named "The Return of Chef!" as an answer to the defection.

In the completely made-up story, Chef is "brainwashed" by an organization of child molesters called the "Super Adventure Club." In order to cure Chef, Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny take their friend to a psychiatrist, a frowned-upon profession among Scientologists.

In the end, Chef dies a million Kenny deaths, only to live on, sort of, as a Darth Vader version of himself. At his funeral, Kyle urges South Park residents to remember Chef as he was, before the brainwashing. If there is to be anger, he says, don't direct it at the beloved cafeteria worker. Rather, says Kyle, "we should be mad at the fruity little club for scrambling his brain." (LINK ) UPDATE:VIDEO OF CHEF'S DEATH
Related Links:
  • A Prank on Tom Cruise's visit to Yahoo Headquarters
  • The Banned South Park Scientology Episode, available on YouTube

    Also: The Best Scientology Pageant Ever!

    It's a good time to blog about "A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant," a 2003 musical depicting the kooky teachings of the Church of Scientology. You can even buy the soundtrack album!
    A jubilant cast of children celebrate the controversial religion in uplifting pageantry and song. The actual teachings of The Church of Scientology are explained and dissected against the candy-colored backdrop of a traditional nativity play.
    Avant-garde performance art and children's theater meet in one of the funniest and most bewildering holiday shows you will ever see: the OBIE Award-winning ironic masterpiece A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant. (LINK via

    Soldiers Credit Video Games

    Strategy Page columnist James Dunnigan says that CROWS (Common Remotely Operated Weapons Systems) -- which are big guns manned remotely by someone inside an armored vehicle with a joystick and live cam -- have proved highly successful in Iraq because the soldiers operating them grew up playing (presumably first-person shooter) VIDEO GAMES. Experienced gamers have no difficulty gaining total situational awareness and whipping around the video camera on the guns, spotting hints of trouble and blasting anything that moves. CROWS is one of several "weapons for the Nintendo generation," according to the Dallas Morning News. The military is even using the Pentagon's game, "America's Army," to train CROWS gunners. The guns were first deployed in Iraq in January, 2005. Here comes the VIDEO(LINK )

    Bus Driver Fired for Playing GTA WHILE DRIVING

    Steve Allcock was reported by terrified passengers who heard the screams of characters being butchered as he drove between stops. Bosses fired him after on-board CCTV footage showed he had [a PSP] device on his knees.

    One passenger said: He was playing on a Sony PlayStation PSP not only at bus stops but at traffic lights and sometimes while driving. The music and sound effects could be heard throughout the bus.

    Steve used the console, like the one with Grand Theft Auto on, as he drove his single-decker from Accrington to Blackburn, Lancs. His boss at Blackburn Transport, Michael Morton, said: The driver was interviewed and we feel we’ve taken appropriate disciplinary action. (LINK )

    Links of note:
  • AOL's ToonTopia: Beetlejuice, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid and others streaming Free
  • Hasbro puts Transformers TV Episodes Free Online
  • A History of Link from Legend of Zelda
  • "APOCALYSE POOH", an old-school (1987) VHS mash-up of Apocalypse Now and Winnie the Pooh. DisturBING!
  • "BirdsEye Tourist"- Movie & TV Section: Satellite Photos of famous locations. Like The Bluth Banana Stand from Arrested Development and the Hill Valley Town Square from Back to the Future.
  • An expose on Disney's mis-named "Fast Play" for DVDs: Over 7 minutes of Previews, ads and Piracy Warnings
  • A very cool WebCam, with live tracking and Avatar FX (Video)
  • Sell your used books to Barnes & Noble, they even give pre-paid envelopes.
  • Entire Mario Soundtrack Performed w/ Props (Video)
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