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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Friends protest Pluto's demotion

Oh great!!! The belligerent and aggressive hallmarks of "short planet syndrome".

Size doesn't matter. That was the message as friends and colleagues of the late Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto, gathered on the New Mexico State University campus to protest the International Astronomical Union's recent decision to strip Pluto of its status as a planet.

Tombaugh's widow, Patricia, and their son, Al Tombaugh, also participated.

NMSU astronomer Bernie McNamara told the crowd that textbooks shouldn't be rewritten.

"Why not? Because the debate is not over," McNamara said.

The IAU determined last week that a planet must orbit the sun and be large enough to assume a nearly round shape, as well as "clear the neighborhood around its orbit." Pluto's oblong orbit overlaps Neptune's, which led the IAU to downsize the solar system to eight planets from the traditional nine.

McNamara argued that only about 400 of the union's thousands of members were present when the Aug. 24 vote was taken.

"This was not a statement by the astronomical community at large," he said, adding that a petition opposing the IAU definition of a planet is circulating among the world's planetary scientists and astronomers.

Tombaugh was 24 when he discovered Pluto while working at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., in 1930. He came to NMSU in 1955 and founded the school's research astronomy department.

His legacy is visible across the city, where an observatory, a campus street and an elementary school bear his name.

Some say Tombaugh's discovery was significant because it took 60 years for stronger telescopes to locate another object with an unusual orbit like Pluto's, and 73 years before scientists discovered a bigger object in the area.

"Clyde Tombaugh was an American hero," said Herb Beebe, a longtime colleague. "For that reason alone, Pluto's status as a full-fledged planet should be kept."

categories: Miscelleous
Other Stories according to Google: Harmony Central User Forums - Let's protest Pluto's demotion ! | Is 8 enough? Reaction mixed to Pluto's demotion | Is 8 enough? Reaction mixed to Pluto's demotion | CBC News: Is 8 enough? Reaction mixed to Pluto's demotion | CBC News: Is 8 enough? Reaction mixed to Pluto's demotion | digg - Breaking: Pluto is NOT a planet anymore | SciGuy: Pluto's demotion : a cultural backlash? | DFisher2005's updates | Untouchable57's updates | Kottke.org

3:20:13 PM    

Friday, June 30, 2006

Don't Leave Home Without Your Condom-On

Completely safe? Lab Tested for Your Safety On Mice!

Condoms aren't that hard to use; any flight attendant would be happy to demonstrate. But for men who just can't seem to learn, here's an infomercial for the Condom-On. "Using technology developed by NASA for the Mars Lander, the Condom-On has been aerodynamically optimized in wind tunnels to prevent air drag and ensure that your condom arrives at its destination ASAP," says the Web site. There. Problem solved.

Via Boing Boing.

But Joshua Davis, who created it, says "I actually think this could be a viable product but I don't have any background in manufacturing so I decided to just shoot the commercial and put the site up."

Let's hope he's less serious about the "i-Cut Home Circumcision device" he's also hawking. That really looks dangerous.

Bonus: we're not naming names, but viewers may recognize a certain golden-voiced jazz moonlighter and Wired Magazine senior editor in the ad.

Link to website, direct link to video.

categories: Miscelleous
Other Stories according to Google: Teens and Condoms | A Simple Condom Primer -- The Infection Section @ Scarleteen.com | Sponsored Links Update (by Jeremy Zawodny) | What the Board of Education Doesn' t Want You To Know | What College Women Should Know | What College Women Should Know | StudyLink Fresher UK | Help me please | Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. - The Condom | Wheelchair, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and disability

1:59:24 AM    

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Arizona Looks To Run Montana-Style Anti-Meth Ads

In Montana, where the campaign is hard to miss, it's been credited with a 30 percent decline in use of the drug among teens. People are often more disturbed by the truth then a lie.


The gritty, in-your-face ads on television, radio, billboards and newspapers have exposed Montana teenagers to the ugly truth about the evil grip of meth addiction.

They're as subtle as a sledgehammer.

A billboard shows a grungy, dirty toilet with the words, "No one thinks they'll lose their virginity here. Meth will change that."

One TV spot shows a young man covered with scabs harassing people in a coin laundry and beating them up for loose change. At the end of the ad, the teen runs up to his pre-meth self and screams, "This wasn't supposed to be your life!"

Fueled by the deep pockets of software billionaire Thomas Siebel, the Montana Meth Project has become a national success story with its often-shocking content. Now, Arizona officials are close to bringing the provocative ad campaign to the state, where meth has taken hold in cities and suburbs, rural areas, affluent houses and lower-income neighborhoods.

On Tuesday, county and state officials, including staff members from the Governor's Office and the Attorney General's Office, will fly to Helena, Mont., to watch the latest round of TV spots and meet with Siebel. The multimillion-dollar ad campaign, "Not Even Once," has saturated the airwaves in Montana, helping reduce meth use among teens by as much as 30 percent.

"I just don't think we have time to waste," Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said. "I don't think there is hardly a family in Arizona that doesn't have some tragedy associated with meth. It's scary that kids think this is a drug you can experiment with at parties and it won't hurt you."

"We need teenagers talking to teenagers."

The goal is to have an Arizona Meth Project up and running by August, Goddard said. A non-profit organization in Arizona would run the project and continually raise funds. An advisory group, comprised of elected officials, doctors, business owners, educators and tribal officials, would be set up.

Dr. Marc Matthews, director of the trauma unit at Maricopa Medical Center, has seen the physical, emotional and psychological devastation of meth addiction firsthand.

"It's absolutely brutal," Matthews said. "The American people are unwilling to recognize the horror that is happening every day here in Arizona and across the country. The drug is almost maniacal. Once it gets hold of you, that's it."

This campaign takes a lot of hits from ad professionals, which seems strange to me. Toilet sex and flesh slicing are on the minimal end of what meth can inspire.

I am sure that those who have issues with these campaigns have never had a father/son/wife/grandmother who was a junkie... it is a different animal when it is in your backyard and you have to live with it.

I haven't seen these ads but if they are an effective deterrent, then more power to them and the agency that created them. The crack epidemic of the 1980s was very real, and very obvious, to anyone who lived in a city. But that's probably why nobody tried to say its existence was being blown out of proportion. Meth addiction seems to be more of a problem among poor, rural whites who are too often invisible to the media or laughingly dismissed by the general population in "white trash" or "trailer trash" jokes.

categories: Miscelleous
Other Stories according to Google: KATU 2 - Portland, Oregon | KATU 2 - Portland, Oregon

12:24:42 AM    

Sunday, April 09, 2006

14 Things To Do If You Have Missed The Rapture

Dude, I can DO this! This is what Grand Theft Auto has been training me for since Vice City.

In pdf or text.

1. DO NOT commit suicide, and stay extremely calm if you have missed the rapture. There will be a period of total chaos, suicides, and heart attacks. People all over the world will be in total chaos. Please understand the fact that you who remain here have missed the rapture, and are living in the tribulation period, and nothing you do can change that fact. Listen! Don’t look back. Face the fact you've been left, but there still is hope for you!!

2. KEEP A TIME TABLE. Look back and find the date people were reported missing or raptured, mark that date, and put it away. Keep track of the following 7 years. The first three and a half years will not be too bad, but the last three and a half years will be so horrible that human vocabulary is insufficient to describe the events that will take place.

5. BEWARE OF A WORLD CHURCH. This church is not of God. Do not back this church. It is from Satan himself. Do not associate with any kind of world church. Beware of Communist agents who will play the role of pastor. Beware of any big church movement after the rapture. Ask Jesus for a spirit of discernment.

7. DO NOT accept the mark of the beast (666). The Anti-Christ will control the economic system completely, and he will destroy the money system and install a number system either on your hand or your forehead. Do not take this mark. If you do, you will be automatically doomed for eternity. Be prepared if you do not take it. You will be tortured or even put to death, but your soul will be saved in the end. You probably won't be able to buy, sell, or trade anything, but do not take the anti-Christ's number system. Begin now to ask Jesus for strength and boldness. There will be very rough times ahead.

Suggested Items NOT in original list:

1) Scope out the church parking lots and take whichever vehicle suits your fancy. After all, they won't be needing their stuff anymore!

2) Find a nice mansion that has been "left behind", preferably with a pool, sauna, bowling alley, movie theater, etc.

6) Find girls/guys that have been Left Behind. Chances are it was for good reason, and these are the girls/guys you always wanted to hook up with before the Rapture anyway.

14) If anything that looks remotely cataclysmic is occurring in your area, go to the nearest marina and take a yacht, then move to a safe location. Begin again at Step 1.

The people left behind will immediately deny that anything out of the ordinary has happened. "The world's leaders will declare that there was no Rapture, that a mass hysteria took place, and the news media will follow the party line," raptureready.com says. "Then to make things easier, shortly after the rapture, one-fourth of the world's population will be decimated due to wars, famine and plague. Those who were Raptured will be counted among the dead."

Even after an Apocalyptic event, politicians and the media will lie. A number of Christian celebrities will also be left behind and they'll also do their best to convince you there was no Rapture. I'm sure Pat Robertson will host an hour-long special on the faux Rapture and use it to call for even more money.

This is where the real fun begins. You'll have to find a way to buy and sell goods without having accepted the government-issued microchip required to be a consumer. If you accept the mark of the beast, you'll be able to buy Hostess Twinkies and All-Tempa-Cheer without worry. But then you'll be assured of going to hell. Tough choice.

Raptureready.com advises, just as in the pre-millennium days, to stock up. Hoard food, ammunition, gold and water and store them in a remote area away from a major city. "You will need enough for seven years," they point out.

The Bible says it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. So in actuality nearly everyone will miss the rapture. What if we already did?

categories: Miscelleous
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11:38:15 PM    

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I've Been Tagged - The Meme of Seven

Finally, I'm trying to obey Lance's Meme and responding to his Meme of Seven. Some of my answers are actually serious and truthful.

Thanks Lance, I'll get even with you if I can.

Seven things to do before I die:

1.- Ride on the "Orient Express" train at least from Paris to Venice.
2.- Visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland
3.- Ride the "City of New Orleans" train to a rebuilt New Orleans
4.- Ride my mountain bike on the trails around Moab Utah
5.- Revisit battlefield at Gettysburg and monuments in Washington DC
6.- Ride train from Cusco to mountain-top Incas ruins at Machu Picchu
7.- Attend a "Burning Man" happening in the desert

Seven things I cannot do:

1.- Pat my head while rubbing my stomach
2.- Be too good-looking or have too much money
3.- Can't eat and chew food quietly
4.- Can't drive my car without listening to my iPod
5.- Can't organize my work space
6.- Can't find the CD/DVD that I need right now
7.- Can't have enough memory and/or disk space on my computer

Seven things I say most often:

1.- Damn
2.- God damn it
3.- Where's mine
4.- Just a minute Dear, I'm checking my eMail
5.- WTF
6.- Just go ahead and do what you want to, I don't care
7.- This is the worst, at least they can't do anything lower than this

Seven books I love:

1.- HTML for the Web - Elizabeth Castro
2.- The Cuckoo's Egg - Cliff Stall
3.- Best Democracy Money Can Buy - Greg Palast
4.- Rise of the Creative Class - Richard Florida
5.- Secrets & Lies - Bruce Schneier
6.- Body of Secrets - James Bamford
7.- Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser

Seven Movies I Watch Over and Over:

1.- High Noon - Gary Cooper
2.- The Gods Must Be Crazy - N! Xau
3.- Tom Jones - Albert Finney
4.- Breaking Away - Dennis Christopher
5.- Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf - Elizabeth Taylor
6.- The Birdcage - Robin Williams
7.- Mister Roberts - Henry Fonda

Seven Songs I Play Over and Over Again:

1.- Who Will Answer - Ed Ames
2.- A Good Hearted Woman in Love with a Good Timin' Man - Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson
3.- To Beat The Devil - Kris Kristofferson
4.- To All The Girls I've Loved - Willie Nelson/Julio Iglesias
5.- Frankie and Johnnie - Glen Yarbrough
6.- As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow - Johnny Cash
7.- Suzanne Takes You Down - Judy Collins

Seven celebrity crushes:

1.- Angelina Jolie
2.- David Strathairn
3.- Charlize Theron
4.- Christina Applegate
5.- David Letterman
6.- Jon Stewart
7.- George Clooney

categories: Miscelleous
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3:27:02 PM    

Friday, December 23, 2005

Bin Laden Niece in Glamour Shots

The niece of Osama Bin Laden has posed for provocative photographs for an American magazine.

Wafah Dufour, an aspiring musician and model, is the daughter of the al-Qaeda leader's half-brother Yeslam.

She appears stripped to ostrich feather lingerie, and in a bubble bath, in photos for American GQ magazine.

US-born, she says she is an American, and distances herself from her uncle. "Everyone relates me to that man, and I have nothing to do with him," she says.

Ms Dufour, 26, took her mother's maiden name after the events of 11 September 2001.

She lived in Saudi Arabia, where Bin Laden is from, until she was 10, before moving on to Geneva and back to the US.

'Like any New Yorker'

She says she never sees any of the extended Bin Laden clan, including her father.

"There are 400 other people related to him, but they are all in Saudi Arabia, so nobody's going to get tarred with it. I'm the only one here," she said.

Her father and Osama Bin Laden are among more than 50 children fathered by Mohammed Bin Laden, a Yemeni immigrant to Saudi Arabia, and construction magnate.

Ms Dufour was in Geneva when the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US, masterminded by her uncle, were launched.

She said: "I was freaking out, crying hysterically, watching this in horror. I was like 'Somebody's bombing my city, and I wanna go home!'"

"I was born in the States, and I want people to know I'm American, and I want people to understand that I'm like anyone in New York. For me, it's home," she said.

categories: Miscelleous
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9:11:50 PM    

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

'Girls Gone Wild' Creator Probed About Police Record

The creator of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series was barraged with pointed questions in court this morning designed to counter his claims that he was the victim of robbery, kidnapping and extortion at his Bel-Air mansion last year.

Joe Francis, 32, who made a fortune persuading young women to bare their breasts for the camera, testified that an armed intruder stole cash and possessions and then forced him to make a humiliating, half-naked video.

Francis identified his assailant as Darnell Riley, 28, who is accused of six felony counts of burglary, robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and attempted extortion.

In Los Angeles County Superior Court today, Riley's lawyer fired back at Francis, grilling him on his own police record.

Defense attorney Ronald Richards asked Francis about a theft arrest in North Carolina, and a case pending in Florida alleging that he filmed minors for one of his videotapes and was charged with racketeering, prostitution, obscenity, child pornography and possession of an illegal drug.

"Is it true you have a 47-count indictment against you in Florida?" asked defense attorney Ronald Richards.

"I cannot answer any questions about this case, per advice of counsel," Francis answered.

Francis declined to answer half a dozen times more, citing his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment.

Under questioning by Richards, Francis acknowledged in the past, he had accused four other people of extortion. But he said those cases, about which no details were available, were separate from today's charges.

"Nobody else broke into my house and put a gun to my head," Francis testified.

Francis testified that after he returned home from a night of partying Jan. 22, 2004, Riley broke in, pulled a gun on him and videotaped him, seminude, making sexually humiliating comments about himself. He then threatened to distribute the video unless Francis paid him $300,000 to $500,000.

Riley has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His preliminary hearing is expected to end today

Police were tipped to the case by tabloid magnate and socialite Paris Hilton, Francis' former girlfriend, who heard discussion of the alleged plot at a party.

Over prosecutor Hoon Chun's objections, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bernard F. Kemper on Monday allowed the media to film portions of the partially obscured video when it was presented in court, but banned broadcasters from televising Francis' testimony.

Francis said Riley took his watch, $1,100 in cash and his cellphone but demanded more. "He said, 'I need $100,000 in cash right now or you're going to die,'" Francis testified.

Francis was unapologetic this afternoon following his testimony.

"Even if you think I'm a bad guy cause I do 'Girls gone Wild', it didn't give him (Riley) the right too break into my home and rob me and threaten me," Francis told reporters outside the courtroom.

"I don't want attention from this in my life," Francis said. "To relive this is even more painful."

categories: Miscelleous
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12:13:21 AM    

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Finally Six Flags' Mr. Six Getting Deep-Sixed

Six Flags... the Wal*Mart of amusement parks

Mr. Six, that freakishly festive old bald guy (actually, probably not old) with the oversized glasses and bad makeup is won't be invading our televisions again with his manic dancing and annoying "We Like to Party" song.

Now new owners will have finally put him to rest. He's not an appealing character, and he would seem to frighten some children. (He frightens some adults.)

Mr. Six memorabilia flies off the shelves. The look-alike contests draw hundreds. He has his own roller coaster, Mr. Six's Pandemonium. All in all, Mr. Six has been a huge, if annoying, success. Despite this, Dan Snyder, who took control of Six Flags amusement parks along with two partners yesterday, plans to force the old spokesgeezer into retirement, the New York Post reports. Apparently, Snyder and his team want to shift the primary marketing focus from thrill-seeking teenagers to mothers with young children.

Mr. Six did like to party, but the party's over.

categories: Miscelleous
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2:45:14 PM    

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

For all the readers who will be out of town for the festive feasting, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. For all of the rest of you, hang on -- it's a news-filled festival weekend. More to come...

Over 2,000 American young people are not going to be having Thanksgiving dinner with their families on account of George Bush's incompetence and sociopathology.

I pray for Americans like Congressman Murtha and Patrick Fitzgerald this Thanksgiving. They and millions like them are rays of hope in a desolate landscape.

President Bush has pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys, and they are headed for Disneyland.

Marshmallow and its backup, Yam, are being shipped to Disneyland in California, where Marshmallow will serve as grand marshall of the annual holiday parade.

Turkeys have been known to look into the sky when it rains and drown themselves, earning it the reputation as the world's dumbest animal. Today at the White House, the turkey met his match.

Meanwhile, the unpardoned Dick Cheney is presiding over the mass torture of the turkeys.

Ha. So ANOTHER turkey figured out how to get a free pass into the White House press corps....

categories: Miscelleous
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5:37:35 PM    

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fan Who Took Favre's Ball Says He's Innocent

Don't let the fact that you were filmed stripping the ball out of an NFL quarterback's hands on live television stop you from pleading innocent to the charge

CINCINNATI - The fan who ran out of the stands and snatched a football from Brett Favre's hand pleaded innocent to a variety of charges at his arraignment Monday, while the Bengals promised not to let it happen again.

Gregory Gall, 31, of Cincinnati, is accused of resisting arrest, trespass and disorderly conduct while intoxicated. He was released on his own recognizance following his appearance in Municipal Court.

The Bengals are reviewing their security measures to prevent a repeat of Gall's run on the field, which interrupted the final minute of Cincinnati's 21-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

 NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday that the league doesn't get involved in team security issues.

"It's a local matter," he said. "If there's any questions, we can assist them. But it appears to be an isolated incident, and the Bengals are reviewing it."

Favre drove the Packers to the Cincinnati 28 in the final minute and took a snap from center when Gall ran onto the field, prompting officials to blow the play dead.

Gall approached Favre from behind, snatched the ball from his throwing hand and ran to the other end of the field with security guards in pursuit. He was finally tackled and taken from the field.

The five-minute delay gave the Bengals time to regroup. They sacked Favre on the next play, and the clock ran out after Favre faked a spike and wound up running downfield. He flipped the ball forward illegally as the game ended.

Several Packers complained about security, noting that the fan could have hurt Favre. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis acknowledged after the game that the delay broke the Packers' momentum, and joked that the team would pay the fan $20.

A day later, Lewis said fans must be kept off the field.

"That's the first fear you have — there's a guy running clean at Brett Favre," Lewis said Monday. "That's why you can't allow that to occur. Our people that handle security feel very badly about it and will take steps (so) that kind of thing never happens here again at Paul Brown Stadium."

Sports leagues have struggled with the question of how to prevent fans from going on the field. In September 2002, a father and his son ran onto the field during a

Chicago White Sox game and attacked Kansas City first base coach Tom Gamboa.

A fan went onto the field at halftime of the Patriots' Super Bowl win over Carolina two years ago, briefly delaying the second-half kickoff.

The NFL required all 32 teams to conduct pat-downs of fans entering their stadiums before games this season. Local government officials initially balked, but the pat-downs were conducted before each of the last two Bengals home games.

categories: Miscelleous
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5:59:23 PM    

Big Easy lets 'The Ghoul Times Roll'

Ghost town alive. After the real horror of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans revels in 'Mardi Goth'

Revellers get political in the French Quarter Saturday night. The "You're doing a great job, Brownie" sign is an ironic paraphrase of U.S. President George W. Bush, who praised former FEMA director Mike Brown's handling of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina before Brown resigned under a torrent of criticism.

The margarita Diane Spieler sips during her nocturnal masquerade on Bourbon St. perfectly matches the glow-in-the-dark green of her hideous face, airbrushed in dreadful detail with reptilian scales and skeletal hollows. Is she a radioactive ghoul? An alien sea serpent?

"If somebody asks me, I just tell 'em I'm Katrina," the 57-year-old New Orleans accountant says, glaring through ghostly pale contact lenses beneath hair molded into spikes. "Doesn't it look mean and freaky?"

Two months after the monster hurricane's horrifying rampage, Halloween has brought back the French Quarter's thirst for theatric horror and debauchery, its Mardi Goth mojo in the heart of a city long known for its reverence for voodoo and Anne Rice's glamorously gothic vampire novels.

"Halloween is the best kept local secret. It's shoulder-to-shoulder, just like Mardi Gras, but everybody's in costume,"

Spieler said late Saturday, the spooky celebration in full swing two days early. "It's the first big, fun, drinking night since the hurricane."

Much of New Orleans remains a ghost town, but the French Quarter teems with wicked witches and pimps in purple velvet. Elvis struts the sidewalk flanked by Supergirl and Marilyn Monroe. An Amazonian blond's skimpy cop outfit flirts with indecent exposure. Others share the Katrina theme, dressing as discarded refrigerators and the blue tarps that cover broken city roofs.

"Enough cleanup! Time for a drink!" said Bobby Hughes, 23, a Loyola University graduate student sporting a blond pigtailed wig, a plaid skirt that is too short on his 6-foot-6 frame, and a blouse knotted above his waist that bares traces of a red bra.

"Helga's my name tonight," said Hughes, joined by girlfriend Kat McKibben, a "love bug" with floppy antenna, feather boa, butterfly wings and fuzzy slippers. "You're hot!" a passing man tells Hughes.

Spared the brunt of Katrina's wrath and the flooding that followed when levees ruptured, the French Quarter has steadily revived since reopening a month ago. Its bars, restaurants and T-shirt shops have been kept afloat by a transient stream of construction workers, relief volunteers and journalists.

Trash cans overflow with discarded beer cups. Shoes stick to sidewalks lacquered in spilled liquor. Outside the Bourbon Street Blues Company, a woman lifts her shirt in return for a shower of beads tossed from the balcony.

"Different parts of the city, the Garden District and everything, are not the same at all," said Dawn Carroll, 33, dressed as a "Tool Time" character from the sitcom Home Improvement, only with a naughty tool belt. "This makes you think that (New Orleans) is going to come back. It'll be back full force."

Bourbon St. might not be kid-friendly, and many neighbourhoods remain too wrecked for door-to-door trick or treating, but children haven't been neglected.

Outside De La Salle High School in the Garden District, little Batmen and butterfly-winged fairies fill sacks with chocolate bars and lollipops from bowls on tables lining the sidewalks. Indian warriors and cheerleaders dance to zydeco music, oblivious to the downed power lines in the median of St. Charles Ave.

Cherly Oncale worked on her son's costume for two weeks during their hurricane exile in Atlanta. Their flight from Katrina took them to five hotels in five cities. They returned two weeks ago to a friend's house.

"We need a good party right now, to kind of reground us," Oncale said.

categories: Miscelleous
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5:39:25 PM    

Monday, October 31, 2005

Date For Da Vinci Code Trial Set

Lawyers acting for Dan Brown, the world's highest-paid author, and the two men who claim he stole their ideas, met at the High Court in London yesterday to agree details of a trial scheduled to begin on February 27.

Two historians, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, are suing Brown's publishers, Random House, claiming that Brown lifted "the whole architecture" of the research from their 1982 book, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, for The Da Vinci Code, Brown's global hit of a religious thriller.

Baigent and Leigh's non-fiction work presents the theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and had a child, and that their descendants have carried on their bloodline to the present day. This theme forms the basis for the action in Brown's novel, which has sold 29m copies worldwide, earning its author £45m in the last year alone.

The novel's suggestion that the Catholic church has spent the last 2,000 years working tirelessly to cover up the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene has roused the ire of the Vatican, which was driven in March to appoint a cardinal to rebut what it calls the "shameful and unfounded errors" contained in the book.

However, the combination of the central conspiracy theory and the clues, anagrams and puzzles that litter the pages are central to the appeal of the book, which has been translated into over 40 different languages.

Commentators have already pointed out that the name of one of the major characters, Sir Leigh Teabing, is an anagram of the names Leigh and Baigent, although there is no sign of Henry Lincoln, the third author of the 1982 book, who has chosen not to take part in this suit.

This is not the first time that Dan Brown has been called to defend himself over the provenance of his novel. In August, he won a court case brought by another author, Lewis Perdue, who claimed that The Da Vinci Code reproduced elements from two of his novels, Daughter of God and The Da Vinci Legacy. Perdue had sought damages of $150m (£84.2m), and had requested that the court block further distribution of the book and stop work on the movie adaptation currently in production, starring Tom Hanks and the French actor Audrey Tautou in the lead roles.

Following yesterday's discussions between the lawyers, Random House says that a "substantial" part of the claim by Baigent and Leigh has been dropped. The publishing house adds that it is "delighted with this result, which reinforces [its] long-held contention that this is a claim without merit."

categories: Miscelleous
Other Stories according to Google: Guardian Unlimited Books | Special Reports | Date set for Da Vinci | Guardian Unlimited Books | Special Reports | Date set for Da Vinci | Date set for Da Vinci Code plagiarism trial - Yahoo! News | UK date set for Da Vinci Code plagiarism trial - Yahoo! News | UK date set for Da Vinci Code plagiarism trial - Yahoo! News | Da Vinci Code :: Date set for Da Vinci Code trial | Da Vinci Code :: Date set for Da Vinci Code trial | Date set for Da Vinci Code trial | ENTERTAINMENT | NEWS | tvnz.co.nz | Date set for Da Vinci Code trial | ENTERTAINMENT | NEWS | tvnz.co.nz | Oddly Enough News Article | Reuters.com

1:07:37 AM    

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hair Didn't Have Anything To Do With It

To superstitious athletes, hair is a big thing. They'll grow good-luck beards, carve out funny-looking goatees, shave their heads bald. Somehow, this is supposed to improve their chances of winning. So, what are we to make of this year's World Series? The Astros were the ones messing about with their hair, and they're just got swept four games to none. (They grew beards, then shaved them. Who knows what they'll do now that it's over.) The White Sox, meanwhile, have a more unusual superstition -- they think it's a good thing to have Journey's Steve Perry follow them around. Hair is less important. Or is it? Back on Sept. 2, the team did host a Mullet Night promotion at U.S. Cellular Field. It seemed like no big deal. But before Mullet Night, the Sox had lost 15 of 22 games at home, and they had a losing record overall for August. After Mullet Night, they picked things up, steamrolled the Indians, the Red Sox, the Angels and the Astros, and now they just won their first world championship in 88 years. Coincidence?

categories: Miscelleous
Other Stories according to Google: I (RCS Song Titles Index) | iWon - Celebrity Gossip | My Way - Celebrity Gossip | No Hair Day, by Elsa Dorfman | was immediately taken, by the thought that she | The hairstyle hall of fame | ‘ It was your Grandad Peel. He didn’t have a heart attack. He | Essence: Hair -raising tales - hairstyles | his waist I decided, to do the same since

11:37:57 PM    

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