August 25, 2006

LinkNews Digest [08/25/2006]

The Chocolate Virgin Mary

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. - Workers at Angiano's gourmet chocolate company, Bodega Chocolates, discovered under a vat a 2-inch-tall column of chocolate drippings that they believe bears a striking resemblance to the Virgin Mary.

Since the discovery Monday, Angiano's employees have spent much of their time hovering over the tiny figure, praying and placing rose petals and candles around it.

"I was raised to believe in the Virgin Mary, but this still gives me the chills," Angiano said as she balanced the dark brown figure in her hand. "Everyone should see this."

The chocolate, on display for most of the week in the front of the company gift shop, now rests in a plastic case in a back room and is brought out only for curious visitors.

For Jacinto, the discovery came just in time. Raising a son on her own, she has struggled with marital problems for months and says she was about to lose her faith.

"I have big problems right now, personally, and lately I've been saying that God doesn't exist," she said, pulling the dog-eared prayer card out of her pocket. "This has given me renewed faith." (LINK )

Kiwi Pr0n Parade on Harleys

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A parade of 30 topless pr0n stars riding motor bikes down the main street of New Zealand's biggest city will go ahead, officials said Monday.

Auckland City Council Monday gave the "Boobs on Bikes" parade the green light, saying there was no legal reason to stop it despite concerns by some councilors that granting it a permit would add legitimacy to the event. The parade, part of an "Erotica Expo" organized by local entrepreneur Steve Crow, will proceed down Auckland's Queen Street from midday Wednesday.

Police earlier said they did not regard the parade of leather-clad porn stars as indecent. "In the opinion of the police, given the standards of decency observed in this day and age, a female being topless in a parade on a weekday in Queen St will not in itself constitute an indecent act," police inspector Rob Abbott wrote in a letter to The New Zealand Herald newspaper Monday.

However, the behavior of the participants during the parade might still attract the attention of police, he warned. (LINK )

Tom & Jerry Smoking Scenes Cut in UK

LONDON (Reuters) - They chase each other at high speed, wielding axes and hammers. But the famous cartoon duo of Tom and Jerry are in trouble in Britain for smoking on screen.

Media regulator Ofcom received a complaint from a viewer who took offence at two episodes involving smoking. In one, "Texas Tom," the hapless cat Tom tries to impress a feline female by rolling a cigarette, lighting it and smoking it with one hand. In the other, "Tennis Chumps," Tom's opponent in a match smokes a large cigar.

In a bulletin posted online, Ofcom noted "concerns that smoking on television may normalize smoking," and said that the Turner company, licensee for Boomerang which aired the cartoons, had agreed to edit some smoking scenes out of Tom and Jerry.

"The licensee has ... proposed editing any scenes or references in the series where smoking appeared to be condoned, acceptable, glamorized or where it might encourage imitation," Ofcom said, adding that "Texas Tom" was one such example. (LINK )

South Park Creators Plan "Rubber Suit" Movies

Parker and Stone, who have re-christened their Par-based shingle Important Pictures, will first make the Jeff Roda-scripted high school comedy "My All-American." They plan to follow with "Giant Monsters Attack Japan!," a film scripted by J.F. Lawton ("Under Siege") that will combine live-action with the "rubber suit" techniques made popular in Asian imports like "Godzilla."

Parker will direct each film and Stone produce; both will work on the scripts with the writers. Sean Daniel and Nickelodeon will also be producers on "Giant Monsters." Parker and Stone are aiming for a 2007 production start, timed to a hiatus from "South Park," which this week launched its 10th season.

"My All-American" will sport a young cast, marking the first time Parker and Stone have worked with real actors since the pre-"South Park" features "Cannibal: The Musical!" and "Orgazmo."

"Neither of these movies feel like vehicles for big stars, but this will be our opportunity to find out if there are any actors left who want to work with us," Stone said. (LINK )

August 24, 2006

For the South Park Fans

While checking out a link for Raduius IM, A GPS-enabeld messenger that tells you who is nearby and available to talk (Stalkers AHOY!)... I noticed some familiar names in the demo page's buddy list.

August 23, 2006

O'Reilly Overstates the Case AGAIN.

Bill O'Reilly, You have intelligent arguments half of the time, and even bring up points that make me think about my own beliefs and leanings. Then, the rest of the time you spout this overstated Right-wing extremist bullshit.

In response to the Federal Judge's ruling against the NSA and the Bush Administration for their Warantless Wiretapping of the entire country, Bill asks "Does she WANT dead people in the street here in America?" He goes on to say that she's opposing this, not on the legal basis of right to privacy or seizure without a warrant, but as a personal vendetta on the Bush administration. "And the unintended consequence of that.. is Death."

There are other countries where opposing the Government means death as well. China, Cuba, Most of South America. Let's hope that our system of government keeps us juuuuust a bit better off of than a dictatorship.

August 21, 2006

MF Snakes on a MF Plane

Oh HELL yeah. The Man's Night Out Movie Club is back in swing. Charter Members Justin and I saw Snakes on a Plane on Saturday night and it was everything we expected. Without Samuel L. Jackson and the budget hike from internet buzz, this would probably have been a yawner that you might find on USA Network. But give it a kick-ass leading man, a good effects budget and Juliana Margulies (My favorite ER eye candy) with a slick Stewardess makeover and we have a campy, fun popcorn flick that's destined to be a GREAT drinking game once it comes out on DVD. (Every time someone gets bit, take a drink, Every time Samuel L. curses, take a drink...)

Click below for the poster:

August 18, 2006

LinkNews Digest [08/18/2006]

Fast Food and Revenge in Georgia

Melinda Ann Thomas, 34, and Linda Ann Thomas, 51, were standing in a crowded line around 8:30 a.m. Saturday as they waited to order breakfast, police said. A cashier opened a new line and they stepped to the front of it-- a move that angered another customer who was waiting to order.

According to the report, the unidentified woman started yelling at them and threatened to kill them.

The woman then left the restaurant before the Thomases and stayed in the parking lot, sitting in her dark blue Jeep Cherokee, witnesses told police. As the Thomases made their way to their car, witnesses said the woman pulled out of her parking space and sped toward the women, striking them both with the passenger side of the Jeep. Neither woman was badly injured, the police report said. The woman is being sought by police on charges of aggravated assault. (LINK )
"I don't want a large Farva I want a goddamn liter of cola!"

"Eat Your FruitMeat, Son."

In September 2005, Japanese food company Nissui introduced a new product, meant to appeal especially to children: strawberry milk-flavored fish sausage.

Gustatory inventions of this sort may start popping up everywhere thanks to the development of a new genetic approach to creating the flavor compounds present in food and drinks. Scientists at HortResearch, a biotechnology company in New Zealand, are isolating the genes that produce flavor in fruit. Their ultimate goal is the development of a technique that will allow large-scale production of compounds identical to the fruit's natural enzymes.

"The idea is that the flavor will be more realistic," said Richard Newcomb, a scientist at HortResearch.

To capture the flavor of fruits like apple or kiwi, researchers focus on the genes that are activated in the fruit's skin at the end of the ripening process. They take genetic samples from the fruit, insert them into bacteria to express just those genes, and then analyze the flavor compounds produced.
The end result of synthesis is a reconstituted blend of compounds, which approximate the fruit's flavor. (LINK )

Burton & Depp: Together Again for "Sweeny Todd"

In the film, Depp will play killer barber Sweeney who murders the customers who come into his London shop and makes them into pies, in an evil partnership with his fellow tenant Mrs. Lovett.

Dreamworks, the studio behind the project, have revealed the film will be based on Stephen Sondheim's award-winning stage musical, 'Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street'

Sondheim's production was a 1979 Broadway hit and went on to win 8 prestigioous Tony Awards. (LINK )

August 12, 2006

The NTSB: Good Idea, Bad Implementation

America does one thing right: Spring into immediate action. Unfortunately, this "Don't think, BLINK" response often doesn't consider it's implications.

Case and point: This week, Britain foiled a terrorist plot to kill hundreds on airplanes with liquid chemicals. Evidence is unclear if it was a liquid explosive or chemical poison agent. Some expoerts point to Hydroggen Cyanide, a tool that was nearly used in the New York Subways:
Ron Suskind's book revealed the terrorist breakthrough in a device called a "mubtakkar" that can be easily concealed in a carry-on bag and once detonated, kills everyone in a confined space within minutes. It's a variant of the Zyklon B innovated by the Nazis.
So either poison gas or chemical components for a bomb. How is our government protecting us from this threat in the United States? By forcing people to dump ANY AND ALL LIQUIDS into open containers in the Airports. Essentially doing the risky work of COMBINING said chemicals together in a public area with hundreds of people packed into a small area. So if there actually WAS a similar terrorst plan in America, it would be carried out by our own bumbilng TSA Agents, and the terrorist might be far away before the chemicals started their reaction and escape capture.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and safe, doesn't it?

August 11, 2006

Looking Forward to DragonCon

I just can't wait fot it.

Here's a post to the DragonCon group board on LiveJournal:

My friends have all bailed, and i've had my hotel reservations since February. I have a room at the Hyatt from Friday nite to Sunday nite with two double beds. One bed, and all of my floor space, is still available.

Best nightly offer for the extra bed gets it.

Floor space will be $20/nite, and we'd prefer people who can stay all weekend, but worst comes to worst, I might take individual nite offers. Drop me a line and let me know what I can do for ya.

PS- I can't promise there won't be porn shot in the room at some point. I am not responsible for what your virgin eyes see. ;) Also, it's a smoking room, but we don't like tobacco. Other stuff's fine.
It's like a weekend pass to a year's worth of College Dorm Life, compressed into one weekend!

LinkNews Digest [08/11/2006]

New Slang: "Swiss Retirement Home"

ZURICH, Switzerland - An 85-year-old woman was found in the vault of a Swiss bank when she set off motion detectors hours after the bank was already closed, according to a statement released Wednesday.Employees at the Zuercher Kantonalbank apparently forgot about the woman.

The director of the bank's safe allowed the woman into the vault on Monday before closing it punctually at 4:30 p.m. local time with the woman still deep in study of her documents, ZKB said.

She remained so still that she initially failed to activate either the motion detector or the attached camera, the bank said in confirming a report that appeared in the Zurich-based daily "Tages-Anzeiger."

She was freed from the room four hours after the vault was closed. The bank gave the woman a bouquet of flowers for suffering from the ordeal and said it would decide on further nonfinancial compensation.(LINK )

Kid eBay's 2% of all Future Earning for College Money

Hi there, my name is Ron Steen. I am selling 2% of my future earnings for a chance to go to college. I am offering up 2% of every dollar I make for the rest of my working life for a starting bid of $100,000. I am starting Cal State University of Fullerton on August 21st, 2006 and I want to pay for college and its expenses by myself. In exchange for money to go to college I will send you 2% of whatever my income is annually in the form of a check once a year. This also means if I win the lottery you will get 2%, any income is your income (but I don‘t play the lottery so don‘t count on that one) The papers will be drawn up by my lawyer and you are more than welcome to look them over.

Q: What are your SAT scores? what was you high school class standing and what was your GPA?
A: I got a 1550 on my SAT’s, and I’m not sure about my class standing but I did however finish with over a 3.5.(LINK )

U.S. Trails Europe For Evolution Beliefs

People in the United States are much less likely to accept Darwin's idea that humans evolved from apes than adults in other Western nations, a number of surveys show.

A new study of those surveys suggests that the main reason for this lies in a unique confluence of religion, politics, and the public understanding of biological science in the United States.

Researchers compared the results of past surveys of attitudes toward evolution taken in the U.S. since 1985 and similar surveys in Japan and 32 European countries.

In the U.S., only 14 percent of adults thought that evolution was "definitely true," while about a third firmly rejected the idea.

In European countries, including Denmark, Sweden, and France, more than 80 percent of adults surveyed said they accepted the concept of evolution. (LINK )

Attention American Theme Restaurant Investors!

The Rising Sun Anger Release Bar in Nanjing, China lets customers smash glasses and even hit specially trained workers reports China Daily.

The owner, Wu Gong, says he was inspired to open the bar by his experiences as a migrant worker. The bar employs 20 men who have been given protective gear and physical training to prepare them for the job.

Clients can ask the men to dress as the character they wish to attack. Customer Chen Liang said: "The idea of beating someone decorated as your boss seems attractive."

But another man, Liu Yuanyuan, said violence was not the answer. "If people really feel angry, they should adjust their lifestyles or seek psychological treatment." (LINK )

August 04, 2006

LinkNews Digest [08/04/2006]

Israel's Victory Rides Llama-Back

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - It may have one of the world's mightiest militaries, but Israel has turned to imported beasts of burden to help troops wage a 20-day-old offensive against Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

Israeli newspapers carried pictures of South American llamas accompanying commandos out of southern Lebanon, their saddlebags full of fighting gear.

Yedioth Ahronoth daily quoted a senior Israeli military commander as saying the white-furred pack animals could carry up to 60 pounds each over rough terrain, were quiet and required feeding only once every two days. (LINK )

Quoth Eddie Van Halen, "Bow-chick-a-WOW-wow"

CHATSWORTH, Calif. -- Eddie Van Halen is scoring some porn. Well, at least some of the music score for a porn movie.

He's joined forces with adult director Michael Ninn to write and perform two songs for the upcoming feature, "Sacred Sin."

Van Halen told the Adult Video News Web site that he's not bothered by possible criticism.

Van Halen said that he's " working with a friend" and likes his work. Ninn "is like a Spielberg" of the "sensual," Van Halen said.

Van Halen said that he thinks the songs are some of the best work he's ever done. (LINK --Thanks Kelly H.!)

In related news: David Lee Roth now covering old Van Halen songs with a Bluegrass band with his new album "Strummin' With the Devil"

Colbert: Truthiness Vs. Wiki-ality

Since The Daily Show has been getting so much love from the tech crowd lately, with their recent discussions on net neutrality, spinoff show The Colbert Report had to really step things up to top its parent show. They did so by going after a topic that would get even more attention among techies: Wikipedia. As plenty of folks have been emailing and submitting, Stephen Colbert decided to take on Wikipedia tonight, and discuss his vision for a new "Wikiality," where the masses create the facts they want to believe in. And did they ever.

At the conclusion of the amusing segment, Colbert instructs his audience to find the Wikipedia entry on elephants, and edit it to say that "the number of elephants has tripled in the last six months." Not surprisingly, plenty of people went to either make the edit, or to see if had been made. Sean Feeney quickly wrote in to note that the rush from the Colbert Nation apparently took down the site, giving visitors a message about technical difficulties. Of course, it didn't take long for the folks at Wikipedia to leap into action and lock down 20 elephant related Wikipedia pages (they also claim that the technical problem was unrelated to Colbert-driven traffic, but Colbert is likely to claim otherwise). Of course, for those who are both fans of Stephen Colbert and Wikipedia... who gets the tip of the hat and who gets the wag of the finger? (LINK via TechDirt, Video )

MySpace for Seniors Launches with Death Alerts

A social networking website for Americans aged 50-plus went live on Monday - complete with an online obituary database that sends out alerts when someone you may know dies and that plans to set up a do-it-yourself funeral service.

The founder of internet job site, Jeff Taylor, launched, a similar site to the popular online teen hang-outs MySpace or Facebook for the 50-plus crowd. Instead of career and school sections, has interactive games to build brain strength, news on entertainment and hobbies for older people, a personalised longevity calculator and tips to live longer. It also has a nationwide database of obituaries dating back to the 1930s to which people can add photos and comments.

"The death business is growing," Taylor told Reuters, offering figures showing the number of deaths in the United States rose to 2.4 million in 2005 from 2.2 million in 2000, and was projected to rise to 4.1 million by 2040.

In addition to adding photos and videos to obituaries, members of can sign up to receive an alert when someone from a particular area dies or in response to pre-defined keywords such as a company or school name.

He said baby boomers, the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, also wanted to have a greater input into their own funerals. This prompted to look into a service where people could plan for their favorite songs to be played at their funeral and where friends and family can go afterward for food and drink. (LINK )

LucasFilm Asks YouTube to Return SW Fan Videos

Lucasfilm has been informed that YouTube recently removed from its site several fan-made Star Wars spoofs and parodies. We would like the fan film community to know that this was not done at our request.

Apparently the action was taken by YouTube as a result of a misunderstanding of a request to remove an item containing material taken from without our permission. We have asked YouTube to restore any works that they inadvertently removed. (LINK )

August 02, 2006

Up Against The Wall

The Web site that I created for Phil is up. It's an entertainment/interview magazine called "Up Against The Wall". It's got a crapload of reviews of DVDs and such and I've convinced the guy to let me start reviewing Anime next month. Check it out and let me know what you think of the design.

August 01, 2006

The Missing Key

We came back from a weekend in Savannah to find that Stormy, our precocious kitten, had somehow removed the comma/left bracket key from my keyboad in the den. The keyboard hadn't been knocked over, the key had simply been removed. And hidden.

So until I get a replacement, I'm having to stab the KeyHole with a pen whenever I want to use a comma. So my average email to work goes like this:
Mary [STAB]
If all goes well [STAB] I should have those TPS Reports to you by 11:00. However [STAB] the server has been having some issues [STAB] so it might be as late as 11:30.
Thanks [STAB]