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R is for Review: 'The ABCs of Death'

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The ABCs of DeathAnybody can die, evidently.”
-“ABC”, Robert Pinsky, United States Poet Laureate

Necrophilia is more erotic than that [censored!].”
-SWfan, Flayrah commenter

The ABCs of Death is the brainchild of producer Ant Timpson (an end credit suggests the whole thing was inspired by a nightmare of his): take 26 horror directors from around the world and give them a letter of the alphabet. They then pick a word with that letter, and direct a short film for $5,000 that depicts a death involving that word.

Pretty simple, and a great concept for a horror anthology, but why the review on a furry site? Well, there’s Thomas Malling’s “H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion,” which is basically a live action Tex Avery cartoon. And there are plenty of animal-related shorts available, as well; some of the best shorts on the roster, including “D is for Dogfight,” “N is for Nuptials,” “P is for Pressure” and “Q is for Quack,” involve animals, if not always anthropomorphic.

But are these highlights worth the time for furries?

Review: 'An Army of Frogs: A Kulipari Novel', by Trevor Pryce

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An Army of FrogsThis is one of those officially-Young Adult books (recommended age: 10 to 18) that adults should enjoy equally. Advance reviews are comparing it favorably with Jacques’ Redwall books and “Hunter’s” Warriors books about the talking cat clans.

With the stealth of a warrior, Darrel hopped along a wide branch, tracking the two scouts below. A waterfall roared in the distance, and a tasty-looking fig wasp flitted past.
Darrel ignored a pang of hunger, resisting the urge to shoot his tongue at the wasp for a quick snack.
Dinner could wait until he’d dealt with the enemy. (p. 1)

An Army of Frogs gets off to a rousing start. The back-cover blurb is a good summary:

Darrel, a young frog, dreams of joining the Kulipari, an elite squad of poisonous frog warriors sworn to defend the Amphibilands. Unfortunately, Darrel’s dream is impossible, because he isn’t a poisonous frog and no one’s seen the Kulipari since the last scorpion war, long ago. Anyway, now the frogs’ homeland is protected by the turtle king’s magic. So it no longer needs defending – or does it?

Enter the spider queen, a powerful dreamcaster capable of destroying the turtle king’s protective spell. She and her ally Lord Marmoo, leader of a vicious army of scorpions, are bent on conquering the frogs’ lush homeland. The frogs have never been more vulnerable. Can Daryl save the day and become the warrior of his dreams?

“An Army of Frogs: A Kulipari Novel”, by Trevor Pryce with Joel Naftali. Illustrated by Sanford Greene. NYC, Abrams/Amulet Books, May 2013, hardcover $15.95 ([6+] 272 [+6] pages).

Review: 'Alien Spidy' (PC)

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Alien SpideyMost game reviewers are looking into games like BioShock Infinite, but I’m not even going to try and stretch the question as to whether Big Daddy is anthropomorphic, cause I’m sure I’d get drilled. Maybe StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm? Well, zerglings get kinda close, but xenomorphy… are there any aliens out there that have more animalistic qualities?

Ah, here we go, a game about an alien spidy named… well, Alien Spidy. Who'd have guessed? Let's see if the game is out of this world, or just a space case.

August 2011 Newsbytes archive

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For historical purposes, a collection of links and other tidbits posted to Newsbytes in August.

iGorilla supports Congo park; Brazilian specimens burnt

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Two quick stories from the BBC: A fire has destroyed a collection of snakes, spiders and scorpions at the Instituto Butantan in the Brazilian city of São Paulo:

"The entire collection was lost, the biggest collection of snakes in the world," curator Francisco Franco said. "It's a loss to humanity."

Meanwhile, a $4 iPhone app called iGorilla is to be sold to support conservation work in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park.

Editor's note: The feature list looks suspiciously similar to the company's 99¢ iPuppet.

Spider hair inspires water-repellent surface

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ScienceDaily reports on recently-published research at the University of Florida to create a hydrophobic surface that resembles spider hair.

The key, according to UF professor Wolfgang Sigmund, is the material's chaotic structure, which mixes long/short and curved/straight hairs.

The effect relies entirely on the material's structure. An oil-repellent version is also possible, though the relevant research is yet to be published.

Spiders - I hate spiders!

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Do you hate spiders? Then avoid this movie! But those of you who love humor with horror ought to take a gander at the movie Eight-Legged Freaks, coming out soon --

http://eightleggedfreaks.warnerbros.com

Just a quick read reminds me of last summer's Evolution, a movie that combined doltish humor with a strong action plot, gross monsters, and even a few genuine scares to great success. Unlike all too many monster flicks, these people aren't taking themselves seriously. This film may well turn out to be the schlock hit of the summer.

I just hope the CGI spiders don't turn out to be the most animated characters in the entire movie.

Spider-Chicken

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You've seen "Super Chicken". Now there is "Spider-Chicken", in Flash animation! Check it out for yourselves: http://www.my-tv.it/

Spider "urban legend" comes to life

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We've all heard stories about insects and spiders living in people's hair, or crawling in their ears and getting stuck. And usually you can take comfort in knowing it's just a story.
But a female motorcyclist actually had a spider living in her ear, which was discovered, like in many of the fake tales, when she complained of a headache.

Nature's Guard

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"Nature's Guard, Anti-Terrorist Strike Force", is the new, highly marketable, cross media tie in, Cartoon Series featuring animals that have guns and stuff. Oh, and they fight terrorists too!