Monday, June 15, 2009

News from the Fishbowl


According to MSNBC, the estate of Adrian Jacobs is suing Bloomsbury Publishing, claiming that J. K. Rowling lifted ideas for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from Jacobs's book The Adventures of Willy the Wizard.

[A statement] named the estate's trustee as Paul Allen, and said that Rowling had copied "substantial parts" of "The Adventures of Willy the Wizard -- No 1 Livid Land" written by Jacobs in 1987.

It added that the plot of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire copied elements of the plot of Willy the Wizard, including a wizard contest, and that the Potter series borrowed the idea of wizards traveling on trains.

"Both Willy and Harry are required to work out the exact nature of the main task of the contest which they both achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues from helpers, in order to discover how to rescue human hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal fantasy creatures," the estate statement said. [more...]

CAPTAIN AMERICA COMES BACK one is surprised. Super heroes, of course, have a habit of not staying dead. Reports CNN:

"The tenor of the world now is when we're at a point where we want to believe in heroes. Someone who can lead the way," said [Marvel Executive Editor Tom] Breevort. "It just feels like the right time." [more...]

Oh, gag. He's coming back as Obama.


Just make sure it has good special effects. Reports TMCnet:

"The conversation I'm hearing is less about a takeover," said Dennis Roberson, vice provost of new initiatives at Illinois Institute of Technology. "It's more insidious _ it's about bionic capabilities being implanted, working their way upward, getting closer to the brain." Cyborgs? "The way we think about technology, especially robots, is completely driven by science-fiction scenarios," said P.W. Singer, director of the 21st Century Defensive Initiative at the Brookings Institution and author of "Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century." He said that while researching his book he talked to a military officer whose ideas of what to build came from watching "The Empire Strikes Back." "We don't have to reach a world where metal ones are coming for us," he said. "It's a reality. They're here. We've flown 7,000 drones in Iraq. You could argue we're in a robot war in Pakistan right now." [more...]
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