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 )

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