May 04, 2007

LinkNews Digest [05/04/2007]

"Dead Like Me" Movie In The Works

"Dead Like Me," the popular Showtime television series starring Mandy Patinkin and Ellen Muth, is returning as a made-for-DVD movie. MGM told that Stephen Herek ("The Mighty Ducks") will direct the new film. There's no word yet on who’ll be starring in the film -- but hopefully they'll revive the original cast.

The series, which makes bizarre death an art form, centers on George (Muth), a young woman killed by a toilet seat from outer space and forced to work as a grim reaper. Led by a reaper named Rube (Patinkin), she and an assortment of other eccentric characters are sent to reap the souls of the ill-fated.

Can I get a "Hell Yeah"?

Lord of the Rings Online Game Scraps Marriage, Fearing Gay Dwarves

Nik Davidson is a game designer at Turbine, the Westwood, Mass., company producing "The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar." The game has been in beta (a test version) since September, and during discussions of new features for the game, which was officially released Tuesday, the design team wound up in a heated discussion over what restrictions should be placed on marriage. They debated not only gay marriage but also marriage between members of different species. Finally, the game's executive producer settled the matter by pulling the entire marriage feature.

The team had also originally planned to introduce a way for characters to marry other characters -- within certain guidelines.

"The rule that we tried to follow across the board was: if there's an example of it in the book, the door is open to explore it," Nik says. "Very rarely will you see an elf and a human hook up, but it does happen; the door is open. Dwarves don't intermarry with hobbits; that door is shut ... Did two male hobbits ever hook up in the shire and have little hobbit civil unions? No. The door is shut."

More than that, Nik says, it seemed as if same-sex marriage would simply not have fit with Tolkien's vision for the worlds he created.

"Tolkien was a conservative Catholic," Nik says. "He went out drinking with C.S. Lewis every night, and the two of them had a worldview that was -- well, let's just say it clashes a little bit with the sensibilities of East Coast liberals who make up the largest population of Turbine." (LINK)

Chinese Prisoner Dies of "Adult Sudden Death Syndrome"

Investigators said Li Chaoyang, 38, had been unco-operative while in detention in Xing'an county in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwestern China. "Cuts on his face and other injuries" had been caused by a fall during an escape attempt, they said.

Li, a judge with the local Pingle County Court, was detained on March 23, accused of taking bribes.

Shi Shaosen, head of the Guilin municipal law enforcement supervisory section and chief investigator in the case, said the prisoner had not been maltreated. "Li Chaoyang's sudden death conforms with adult sudden death syndrome," said Mr Shi, citing a forensic report.

Li's relatives had claimed there were wounds on his body, a gash across his lip and one of his front teeth was missing. They questioned the cause of his death and wrote about it on a blog.

"The investigation proves Li Chaoyang's case was handled according to legal procedures and strictly according to the law," Mr Shi was quoted as saying. "There were no reports that torture was used to extract a confession, or bodily harm caused by guards, or an assault by cell mates." (LINK )

Online Comics != Terrorism

Matt [ Artist of Three Panel Soul was working as a contractor for a branch of the government. He made the mistake of being interested in the hobby of paper target shooting at about the same time as the VA Tech shootings and talking to someone about this hobby at work. Keep in mind he wasn’t even talking about those shootings, in fact he was discussing how he wanted a gun which would make it *difficult* to kill someone [accidentally].

He was promptly fired and not allowed back to work because people were scared of him.

To top it all off, he was later visited by police detectives for making a comic about his experience, because it was a "borderline terroristic threat." (Is "terroristic" even a word? Did they get that from the Colbert report?)

I’m not a lawyer or a reporter or anything, but I would recommend anyone who was one of those things to contact Matt. ( machallboyd ATZORS ) If you’re a cartoonist or a webcomics fan, spread his story around. The more people who know about this, the better. He’s a good dude who deserves your support.(LINK )
One Commenter got it exactly right:
It's Ironic, innit? Dick Cheney actually shot someone in the face and does other things that actually harm people (like, EVERYONE in America), and he still has his job. Matt's not gonna go postal on anyone, c'mon! People need to stop having these knee-jerk reactions to everything - it really makes everyone look bad!

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