May 05, 2006

LinkNews Digest [05/05/2006]

Lucas To Release Original Trilogy UN-SPECIAL EDITION-ED!

In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie and, as bonus material, the theatrical edition of the film. That means you'll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983.

This release will only be available for a limited time: from September 12th to December 31st. International release will follow on or about the same day.

"Over the years, a truly countless number of fans have told us that they would love to see and own the original version that they remember experiencing in theaters," said Jim Ward, President of LucasArts and Senior Vice President of Lucasfilm Ltd. (LINK )
Translation: "Yeah, we figured that we've reached a critical Point-of-No-Return in fan alienation and disinterest with the Star Wars franchise, and we decided that we needed to cash out all the things we were still holding on to that could POSSIBLY make money."

Freed by DNA, Killed by GMC

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- A man who spent 12 years in prison for murder before new DNA testing exonerated him last year was killed in a hit-and-run as he walked on the city's South Side.

The vehicle sped away after hitting Dan Young Jr., 45, Wednesday night, police said. He was pronounced dead Thursday, the Cook County medical examiner's office said.

Young had been released from prison in January 2005 after new testing on DNA evidence failed to link him and another man to the 1990 murder and sexual assault of Kathy Morgan, 39, whose body had been found in a South Side building after a fire.

Chicago police said the hit-and-run was under investigation. No arrests had been made in the case Friday morning, police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak said. (LINK )

FBI Don't Need No Stinkin' Warrants

The FBI sought personal information on thousands of Americans last year from banks, Internet service providers and other companies without having to seek approval from a court, according to new data released by the Justice Department.

In a report to the top leaders of both parties in the House, the department disclosed that the FBI had issued more than 9,200 "national security letters," or NSLs, seeking detailed information about more than 3,500 U.S. citizens or legal residents in 2005.

"This tells us why they didn't want to tell us in the past how many of these they were actually using," said Caroline Fredrickson, Washington legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union. "The idea that this kind of power resides in the hands of so many people at the FBI with no court oversight is very troubling."

At the FISA court, the number of warrants for clandestine searches and surveillance has more than doubled in the past five years, according to government figures. The court -- which historically has refused only a handful of warrant applications -- did not reject any of the government's requests last year, although two cases were withdrawn by Justice before a ruling was issued, the report said.(LINK )

Prince Admits to Liking Dogs - Fried

The Effects of Royal-Family inbreeding, Case and Point:
A Danish prince has upset animal rights campaigners by admitting he loves dogs - delicately sliced and lightly fried.

Prince Henrik of Denmark told Ud & Se magazine: "Dog meat tastes like rabbit. Like dried baby goat. Or perhaps - I know! - like veal. Like the veal of a baby suckling calf, only drier."

The 72-year-old Prince, the husband of Queen Margrethe, is the honorary president of the Danish Dachshund Club, reports the Times. He developed an appetite for dog-bone stew and other canine delicacies at an early age. He grew up in Vietnam, where roast dog remains a speciality. "I’ve got no qualms about eating dog meat," he said. "These dogs are bred to be eaten, just like chickens."

The Prince is rarely seen without his dachshunds. He has said that he would like to be reborn as a dachshund in the Danish Court. And he has advised parents "to bring up children like dogs".

Danes recall a tabloid-fuelled drama in the 1990s, when one of the royal dachshunds disappeared. "In the light of the Prince Consort’s confessions, perhaps we should reopen the case of the disappearing dachshund," Mats Jørgensen, an architect and cat owner, said. (LINK )

Invention of the Week: The TeddyGun

(IMABARI, Japan) -- A paintball firm is hoping to add color to wedding receptions in Japan with a new device it has jointly developed -- a gun-shaped party cracker that shoots out a teddy bear.

Sunamiya, a paint firm based in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, announced the development of the device, which blasts a teddy bear equipped with a parachute into the air. The teddy bear parachutes down afterwards.

Developers hit on the idea after noticing that it had become a trend for people to throw teddy bears into the air instead of bouquets at wedding receptions. "We're hoping to capture the hearts of couples," a company representative said, commenting on the new device. (LINK )

Snakes on a Porch... On Fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Shatavia Kearney, 19, called the Charter Landing Apartments office Sunday and asked someone to remove a snake from her porch. Police said she was told to deal with the situation herself, The Florida Times-Union reported Wednesday

So Kearney doused the snake with a flammable liquid and set it on fire, according to a police report by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. In the process, the vinyl siding caught fire and was charred and melted in two places. No one was charged and the snake got away. (LINK )
Now she's done it. As Foe and Maddy know, Snakes can really hold a grudge. This snake is going to get her back when she least expects it. One day, she'll just be having breakfast and POW! It pops out of the toaster!

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