|Inca Mummies! |
Nuvo the Robot! Bad Apple?
Glenn Slams Bush, Osama & Elvis!
Ardipithecus Kadabba & More!
By Tania Mellado
Some were already broken, exposing skulls and showing several hunched mummies with cloth bags tied to their bodies and offerings in their hands.
|Japan Unveils Nuvo Robots!|
TOKYO March 3, 2004 (AP) - A Japanese company unveiled on Tuesday a prototype of a human-shaped walking robot it said will be mass produced for sale at $4,600 by the end of the year.
|London March 5, 2004 (AP) - The Church of England has announced the creation of its first "virtual parish" and invited people to apply for the position of "web pastor". |
The purpose of the Internet church, or "i-church", according to its website, "is to provide a Christian community for those who wish to explore Christian discipleship but who are not able, or do not wish, to join a local congregation".
The move comes at a time when the Church of England is suffering a continuing decline in attendance - down to about two percent of the nation on any given Sunday.
In an advertisement in the Church Times, the diocese of Oxford invites applicants for the post of "Web pastor" to build and oversee a groundbreaking Internet parish community.
The successful applicant, who will answer to the bishop of Oxford, will need to be as familiar with the information superhighway as he or she is with the Church of England, the advert says.
"We are looking for a dynamic, confident Christian (lay or ordained) who is able to build this new community, lead its core members and be available to visitors to the site," says the advertisement. "You will need excellent communication skills and the ability to work creatively in a new and untested environment."
Saint Louis University Press Release
|Astronaut Glenn Slams Bush Space Plan|
By Broward Liston
"We have projects that are planned or in the queue now, projects that people -- academics and laboratories and companies -- have spent millions of dollars to get ready," Glenn said.
"That pulls the rug out from under our scientists who placed their faith in NASA, and our scientists within NASA who devoted years and years to their work."
|Concerned Scientists Blast Bush|
|Public Library of Science Press Release |
March 5, 2004 - The Union of Concerned Scientists recently released a report, "Scientific Integrity in Policymaking: An Investigation into the Bush Administration's Misuse of Science", criticizing the Bush administration's willingness to ignore scientific conclusions in the interests of advancing a political agenda. (See the report here - http://www.ucsusa.org/global_environment/rsi/report.html)
The report, which was signed by over 60 prominent scientists prior to its release on February 17, 2004, questions the integrity and independence of several scientific advisory committees. By law, such committees must be "fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed by the advisory committee." (Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2, Section 5(b)2 and 3)
In an essay published today in PLoS Biology, two members of the President's Council on Bioethics, Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, and Janet Rowley of the University of Chicago, outline their concerns about two recent reports issued by the council--"Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness" (http://bioethics.gov/reports/beyondtherapy/index.html) and "Monitoring Stem Cell Research" (http://bioethics.gov/reports/stemcell/index.html) - and about the process that generated these reports.
The first report deals with, among other issues, current research in fertility and aging, and with related advances in biotechnology that could potentially cure genetic diseases or promote longevity. The second report concentrates on stem cell research and governmental funding of this research.
Blackburn's and Rowley's criticisms center on the reports' selective use of science to support what they describe as an ideologically conservative political agenda. The first report raises the specter of "designer babies" and criticizes aging studies as focusing entirely on the desire for immortality. Blackburn and Rowley suggest that these characterizations misrepresent both the current science as well as the diversity of scientific opinion on the research. The second report promotes adult stem cell research while minimizing the limitations of that research, suggesting that research into embryonic stem cells is unnecessary. Blackburn and Rowley again contend that such a report should have presented the entire breadth of scientific research into stem cells and the full range of scientific opinions.
Blackburn and Rowley conclude, "Continuing discussion will form the basis for future decisions on these topics; keeping such discussion open and balanced is of paramount importance."
On February 27, 2004, Blackburn, an outspoken critic of the reports even before this essay, along with William F. May, a retired professor of ethics at Southern Methodist University, were dismissed from the President's Council on Bioethics by White House directive.
Public Library of Science - http://www.publiclibraryofscience.org
|Cheney's Pal Gets Oil Rights|
By Pete Yost
|Osama Likened to Elvis|
By Mike Collett-White
Later in February, Iranian radio said bin Laden was captured in a tribal area of Pakistan. A senior US defense official described the report as "another piece of stray voltage".
|Birmingham UK March 5, 2004 (AP) - It's central England, not Middle Earth, but one school is offering its pupils the chance to learn Elvish. |
Youngsters at Turves Green Boys' Technology College in Birmingham are being offered weekly after-hours lessons in Sindarin, a conversational form of Elvish invented by Lord Of The Rings creator JRR Tolkien and based on Welsh sounds.
Educational co-ordinator Zainab Thorp said she hoped the classes would help boost the self-esteem of pupils, some of whom have learning difficulties.
"The recent success of the Lord Of The Rings films has increased the interest in learning Elvish," Thorp said. "The children really enjoy it. It breaks the idea that education should simply be aimed at getting a job."
Thorp said Tolkien was an expert in ancient languages who had developed two forms of Elvish. Sindarin was based on Welsh sounds and was the more commonly used, while Quenya, which related to Finnish, was largely a ceremonial language.
"A couple of the boys are very into role-playing games. Knowing Sindarin is useful when giving orders to their Elvish armies," Thorp said.
"It's also very useful if they want to go on to university to study, as it involves looking at some of Tolkien's old manuscripts. This develops some very complex skills."
Turves Green - http://www.turvesgreenboys.bham.sch.uk
|Patrick Stewart Condemns Films Portraying Violence Against Women|
By Jeremy Lovell
By Maggie Fox
His team's report, published in Friday's issue of the journal Science, suggests that the last common ancestor of chimps and humans had long canines used to fight -- something chimps have today, but not humans.
In modern apes these sharp teeth are used by males for fighting, or to frighten off an aggressor. The theory is that hominids evolved more peaceable behavior, said White, with females choosing males who could stand upright and help raise young over males who were busy fighting and showing off.
Fossil remains of similar creatures found in Chad and Kenya are similar enough to suggest they are closely related -- even in the same genus as Ardipithecus, the researchers said.
|Genre News: Firefly, Buffy on Angel, Kingdom Hospital, Stargate Atlantis, Batman, Wonderfalls & More!|
Universal said in a statement: "We have wanted to be in business with Joss Whedon for a long time and we're incredibly excited to be working with him on his feature film directorial debut. Joss is a true creator, whose talent crosses all mediums. His mythic worlds are inhabited with rich, detailed and very human creatures.
"Serenity will provide him with a great opportunity to paint another larger-than-life canvas with very identifiable, real characters at the heart of the story."
Fox Firefly DVD site - http://www2.foxhome.com/firefly
Buffy on Angel?
"They had asked me to do Angel, and it was a very bad time in my personal life. There was a lot going on in my family. And I had to back out. And you sort of never hear the second side of the story. You never hear why I didn't do it. And then all of a sudden, people get really angry, and nobody asks why it didn't work for you."
At the time, reports suggested that Gellar had pulled out because she wanted to distance herself from the Buffy franchise.
"Well, to be truthful, I don't know if I'm even going to make it home before they finish. But no one's contacted me. I'll be totally honest. And it depends. I think.
"I go back and forth on the idea, especially because Angel had such a hard time, in my opinion, always getting out from Buffy's shadow. And it never got to stand on its own. And I would hate for it to go out being about Buffy. It'll all depend on if I'm home in time and what the ideas are."
For her part, she said she's open to it, explaining, "If everything falls into place, and it feels like the right thing at the time for the right people."
Save Angel Rally - http://www.saveangelrally.com
Vote to keep Angel via the latest E! poll at http://www.eonline.com/Gossip/Kristin/Archive2004/040227_poll.html
March 6, 2004 (eXoNews) - Hey, I said that I would apologize! (See previous Genre News pre-review comments on Kingdom Hospital.)
So, there was a very scary moment with the talking anteater (if that's what it is - it might actually be Otto's talking German Shepherd.)
Most of the dark moments in Kingdom Hospital were beyond familiar to those who have seen films made from King books (some of which, admittedly, Mr. King did not like any better than I did.)
King did write and produce Kingdom Hospital, and he has always acknowledged his influences, so it is not surprising that horror genre clichés haunt those somewhat less than pristine halls. (Do hospitals really allow dogs? Even talking dogs?)
We live in an era of perpetual horror. Not just the constant onslaughts of slasher movies and Stephen King wannabes, but daily newscasts that make us groan in shame at being human. Slaughter in Africa, Haiti, Iraq. Senseless child murders in Belgium. Daily political and religious suicide bombers. The body count grows in direct proportion to the population.
We talk philosophy and religion and history. We ain't superstitious.
Reworking the same old formulas may sell soap to the less sophisticated, but 21st Century TV is mostly one long vamp, waiting for the end. Kingdom Hospital was enjoyable to a point, but what exactly is the point?
USA will launch Touching Evil on March 12th, also at 9PM/8c opposite Wonderfalls. Touching Evil is executive produced by Bruce Willis and stars Jeffrey Donovan as Detective David Creegan, who has just come back on the force after a brain injury. That is apparently the entire premise for the show. USA says, "as a result of his brain injury, Creegan is apt to ignore common sense - and sometimes even the laws he is sworn to uphold - in his passionate, unending quest for justice." Great. Another over-the-top cop.
NEW YORK March 2, 2004 (PRNewswire) - Casting has been completed on SCI FI Channel's highly-anticipated original series, Stargate Atlantis. Joe Flanigan leads the cast of heroes, who will undertake humanity's greatest - and most dangerous - mission yet. Atlantis will debut with a two-hour premiere in July '04, which will feature cross-over appearances by members of the Stargate SG-1 team.
LOS ANGELES March 4, 2004 (AP) - "Batman Begins" has begun. A new movie about the origins of the Caped Crusader started filming Thursday in Iceland, with "American Psycho" actor Christian Bale starring as the shadowy vigilante who protects Gotham City from psychotic villains.
Gary Oldman will play Lt. James Gordon, a younger version of the character most "Batman" fans know as Commissioner Gordon.
In the mythology of the books, dinosaurs never became extinct. Instead, they have evolved to be 6 feet tall and have integrated themselves into modern society by disguising themselves with human-looking latex costumes.
LOS ANGELES March 4, 2004 (Reuters) - She may not be ready for prime time just yet, but Janet Jackson has been booked on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" next month, her first planned network TV performance since baring her breast at the Super Bowl.
Jackson previously appeared on "SNL" as a musical guest in 1994.
Jackson's last U.S. television appearance was her notorious Super Bowl halftime performance on Feb. 1, which ended with duet partner Justin Timberlake ripping open her costume to expose her right breast during CBS's live coast-to-coast telecast.
She subsequently bowed out of plans to star in an ABC TV movie about singing great Lena Horne after Horne objected to being portrayed by Jackson, saying she was offended by the Super Bowl incident.
TORONTO March 5, 2004 (CP) - Already she's being compared to prime time predecessors like Claire Danes and Keri Russell.
"I'm sort of prepared. I've been doing this for almost 17 years now, so it's not like I just started. I've lived a certain amount of fame in Quebec and my parents are actors, too, so I've seen people asking my parents for autographs forever. I know what this is. I think when you get a little piece of it before, you know what to expect. I'll be fine."
Her anglophone crossover came in 2000 with the lead role in the TV movie Heart: The Marilyn Bell Story, a part for which she spent months practicing her swimming and which eventually earned her lavish praise from the genuine article, Marilyn Bell Dilascio.
Be sure to read Kate O'Hare's Zap2it interview with writer-producer Tim Minear (Angel, Buffy, Strange World, Wonderfalls, X-Files) at http://tv.zap2it.com/tveditorial/tve_main/1,1002,271|86782|1|,00.html
|Click here for last week's Genre News!|