“When he told me about this character who could lift up a car using his ‘magnetic power,’ I said, ‘Uh…that’s Magneto.’ And Tim’s response was, ‘Is that a person or a power?’ And he immediately dropped that concept for something even cooler.” Jeph Loeb on ‘Heroes’ executive producer Tim Kring’s initial pitch for the pilot, Wizard #186

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“Canada’s foreign affairs minister says he wants to crack down on Chinese spies who are stealing industrial and high-technology secrets at a tremendous cost to the economy… The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has been investigating economic espionage involving China… Foreign students and scientists, business delegations and Chinese immigrants are among those used as informants, says the spy agency… News reports last year said there are as many as 1,000 Chinese economic spies operating in Canada.” Montreal Gazette

A princess wedding

“Disney recently announced a new line of wedding gowns inspired by Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella that sell for as much $2,900.” Laura M. Holson, The New York Times

Gaming’s Dirty Little Secret

“We all know that Square Enix makes the Final Fantasy games or that Capcom makes the Resident Evil games, right? Well, not exactly. One game development studio — one of the biggest in the world, actually — has secretly been behind a lot of the games you’ve played. And you’ve likely never even heard of it… Based in Kyoto, Tose has around 1,000 employees (some also in studios in Shanghai and Tokyo), making it the biggest non-publisher game developer in the world. And almost every major publisher has used it at one point or another — yet few have ever acknowledged this. Looking at Tose’s list of clients, almost all of gaming’s big names are there: Nintendo, Capcom, Namco, Sony, Square Enix, and even major American publishers like Electronic Arts and THQ. Tose has over 1,000 games to its name — or rather, to other companies’ names. And it’s been working in secret like this for over 25 years.” Sam Kennedy,

Red Crosses

“A red cross symbol is not a generic symbol for first-aid, emergency, hospitals, healthcare or medical services, products or personnel. The red cross symbol is a trademark owned by the American Red Cross and protected by federal and state trademark law, unfair competition law and anti-dilution law, and it is also protected by federal criminal law (See 18 U.S.C. 706, 917). The American Red Cross vigorously pursues those who infringe American Red Cross trademarks.”

Wii Sports

“What strikes you immediately playing Wii Sports — and particularly Tennis — is this feeling of fluidity, the feeling that subtle, organic shifts in your body’s motion will lead to different results onscreen. My wife has a crosscourt slam she hits at the net that for the life of me I haven’t been able to figure out; I have a topspin return of soft serves that I’ve half-perfected that’s unhittable. We both got to those techniques through our own athletic experimentation with various gestures, and I’m not sure I could even fully explain what I’m doing with my killer topspin shot. In a traditional game, I’d know exactly what I was doing: hitting the B button, say, while holding down the right trigger. Instead, my expertise with the shot has evolved through the physical trial-and-error of swinging the controller, experimenting with different gestures and timings. And that’s ultimately what’s so amazing about the device.” Steven Johnson

Human Beings

“It shouldn’t be about tolerance, it should be about respect, treating people as human beings. I don’t like the word tolerance. Are you supposed to tolerate me because I’m black, or are people supposed to treat me with respect because I’m a human being?” Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, on former NBA player John Amaechi, the first NBA player to come out as being gay

Sam Mitchell

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“Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks and Krispy Kreme all sell pastries and caffeinated beverages, so they’re obvious competitors. But beneath that similarity, they’re serving different markets. Krispy Kreme’s customers visit only occasionally but buy dozens of donuts; that chain is peddling a dietary splurge, not daily sustenance… Starbucks chief Howard Schultz has always seen his stores as neighborhood hangouts, a sort of nonalcoholic ‘Cheers’ setting with comfy chairs, porcelain cups and, increasingly, wireless Internet access. Dunkin’ Donuts, in contrast, is increasingly built on speed. Most of its new stores feature drive-throughs, and the chain bills itself as a pit stop for harried commuters.” Daniel McGinn, Newsweek

Sounds like fun

“Over at the Oxford English Dictionary, the life of a new word starts out in the Reading Program department, where about 50 people spend their 9 to 5 lives gobbling up all the printed material they can get their hands on: Novels, television transcripts, song lyrics, newspapers, magazines…anything. They’re on the lookout for new words (or innovative uses of old, mundane words). New discoveries are forwarded to a searchable electronic database of quotes, which Oxford calls ‘Incomings.’” mental_floss


“Then something strange happened… In the First World War, the average American soldier was still two inches taller than the average German. But sometime around 1955 the situation began to reverse. The Germans and other Europeans went on to grow an extra two centimetres a decade, and some Asian populations several times more, yet Americans haven’t grown taller in fifty years. By now, even the Japanese—once the shortest industrialized people on earth—have nearly caught up with us, and Northern Europeans are three inches taller and rising.” Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker