June 09, 2006

LinkNews Digest [06/09/2006]

"Mandy" beats "The Mosquito" For Repellants

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Officials in one Sydney district have decided to pipe Barry Manilow's music over loudspeakers in an attempt to rid streets and car parks of hooligans whose anti-social cars and loud music annoy residents and drive customers from businesses.

Following a successful experiment where Bing Crosby music was used to drive teenage loiterers out of an Australian shopping center several years ago, Rockdale councilors believe Manilow is so uncool it might just work.

Councilor Bill Saravinovski said local authorities plan to install a loudspeaker and pipe in Manilow music, interspersed with classical pieces, over a car park favored by car "hoons," or hooligans.(LINK )

Is "Life-like Corpse" an Oxymoron?

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Truth proved to be stranger than fiction for a high school criminology class investigating a fake crime scene when the students discovered a real body during a field trip.

Teacher Sue Messenger had been creating mock crime scenes with fake skeletons and other evidence for more than 20 years to give students in her forensics courses a firsthand look at what crime scene investigators do. On Monday, however, 29 students from St. Thomas Aquinas High School got more of a jolt they expected when they discovered the real body in Fort Lauderdale's Holiday Park.

"The first thing we thought was, 'That's a real good dummy she set up,'" said student Juan Cantor, 15. "I think they kind of went into shock and disbelief," Messenger said. "What are the odds that we would be out here?"(LINK )

If It Didn't Work in Ancient Rome...

KIEV (Reuters) - A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in Kiev zoo after he crept into the animal's enclosure, a zoo official said on Monday.

"The man shouted 'God will save me, if he exists', lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions," the official said."A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery."

The incident, Sunday evening when the zoo was packed with visitors, was the first of its kind at the attraction. Lions and tigers are kept in an "animal island" protected by thick concrete blocks. (LINK )

Snakes on a Plane -- No, SERIOUSLY!

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Monty Coles was 3,000 feet in the air when he discovered a stowaway peeking out at him from the plane's instrument panel: a 4 1/2-foot snake.

"Nothing in any of the manuals ever described anything like this," said the 62-year-old Cross Lanes resident.While maintaining control of the single-engine plane with one hand, Coles grabbed the reptile behind its head with his other. "There was no way I was letting that thing go," he said. "It coiled all around my arm, and its tail grabbed hold of a lever on the floor and started pulling."

The next step was to radio for emergency landing clearance. "They came back and asked what my problem was," he said. "I told them I had one hand full of snake and the other hand full of plane. They cleared me in."(LINK )

Canadian Kids Support Gov't With $4k Donations?

Former Immigration Minister Joe Volpe hit the spotlight this week after it emerged that a pair of 11-year-old twins and their 14-year-old brother had each donated C$5,400 ($4,900) to his leadership campaign.

The parents of the children -- who also donated C$5,400 to Volpe's campaign -- are related to the chairman of generic drug maker Apotex Inc. In total, five former and current executives of the firm and 15 of their family members handed over C$108,000.

Thursday, Volpe ordered that five donations from people under 18 be given back.

The opposition New Democrats are demanding a probe to determine whether Volpe was trying to circumvent the Elections Act, which says companies cannot donate to leadership campaigns and limits individual contributions to C$5,400.

"Apparently all across the land, teenagers with a few hundred grand to burn are asking themselves: 'Do I buy a new sports car or support a long-shot for the Liberal leadership? Ferrari or Volpe?'" wrote Ottawa Sun columnist Greg Weston.(LINK )

Rockstar Games Unveils: "Table Tennis"?

Is it me, or is this a bit of a mismatch from the company that brings us "Grand Theft Auto" and "Midnight Club"? On the last point of a match, does a voice shout "FINISH HIM!!" and you get to shove your paddle down his throat?
As one of the first commercially available video games, Pong seems to have an almost academic importance, but not enough credit is given to the simple elegance of its design--two bar-shaped "paddles," one square "ball"--something that was born largely out of technical limitations. There is an obvious correlation between Pong and the newly minted Rockstar's Table Tennis for the Xbox 360, in that Table Tennis is literally a ping-pong simulation. But it also follows the same philosophy of stripping the experience down to its essence, something focused and intense. Rockstar's Table Tennis treats the game like a serious sport, taking incredible care to present some of the most realistic player characters ever put in a game and delivering frenetic and nuanced action. (LINK )

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