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November 2018

Newsbytes archive for October 2018

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, earthfurst, Fred, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe, and Sonious.

Actor goes from Polkin' to Tokin'; faces legal trouble for his mascot parody

Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (20 votes)

Canada Weed Flag

If you live in Ontario, you probably haven't heard of Marc Scott - but you've probably seen him if you watched children's shows on TVOntario, the province's educational broadcaster (similar to PBS). He used to perform as the costumed character known as "Polkaroo", a polka-dotted kangaroo on the station's preschool TV series Polka-Dot Door from 1985 to 1993, and on later series such as Polka-Dot Shorts (1993-2001) and on Gisèle's Big Backyard (2001-2007).

His name has recently returned to the limelight - in a less than flattering way - after he attracted the attention of his former employer. He's received a cease-and-desist order and might face a potential lawsuit for creating and wearing an "unauthorized parody" of Polkaroo, named "Tokaroo", a red-eyed and brown-furred marijuana-smoking marsupial he created in celebration of Canada legalizing Marijuana on October 17, 2018.

Fear of wolves in Germany highlights conservation issues and the future of our planet

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (28 votes)

Flayrah_wolf.jpgThe wolf is by far the most popular fursona species but, as a recent opinion piece in Deutsche Welle pointed out, they are not universally loved. In Germany, like many places in Europe, wolves were driven to extinction and it was only in 2000, after approximately 150 years, that wild wolves were born in Germany once again. Many people, particularly farmers, are worried about wolf attacks on their livestock – echoing our previous reporting of wolves in France– while others are concerned about the risk to humans. But this conflict is about more than wolves; the conversations about wolves are intertwined with much larger issues.

Discussions around wolves show both the fear of the wild and the human desire to eliminate all danger while seeing themselves not only as superior to other animals but, to use the Biblical terminology, granted dominion over them. This is seen in sentiments that even question the right of other animals, such as wolves, to exist in "our" world.

"Wolves do not fit into our civilization any longer," she said, adding that her fear of wolves means she no longer enjoys walking in the countryside.

Over time, more and more evidence has accumulated that, due these attitudes, we are responsible for a widespread decline in animal populations and species that leave us with a dangerously low level of biodiversity. This is termed the sixth extinction.

Furry team raises over $34,000 for ALS foundation

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (21 votes)

On November 10th, 2018 in Irvine, California furs came together in support of one of their own in his fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frequently given the acronym ALS. They walked for a mile at Orange County Great Park to raise awareness and money for the foundation combating this debilitating disease. With Tony “Dogbomb” Barrett leading the team and matching donations, they successfully raised their goal of $34,000.

Toast the Rabbit, aka Rainhopper Roo, sentenced to 70 months for child pornography

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (19 votes)

Daniel Branton, known in the fandom as Toast the Rabbit and Rainhopper Roo, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, in relation to his June 2016 arrest. According to the arrest documents, child pornography was found on his laptop.

Branton was sentenced on November 5th, 2018 to 70 months (5.8 years) in prison, a mandatory mental health assessment, and lifetime probation upon release. Among the conditions of his probation, he must undergo mental health treatment, register as a sex offender, and must not own any sexual images of minors, including fictional content such as drawings. He must stay away from children, and his computer use will be monitored.

In the furry fandom, Branton was the technical director of 2 Sense, and in 2009 he served as the co-chair of Califur.

(Hat tip to Dogpatch Press/Patch Packrat for access to the judgement order.)

'Detective Pikachu' trailer is anthropomorphic

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (17 votes)

Detective Pikachu will be hitting theaters May 10 of next year. Hopefully, Pikachu talking goes down a little better with the fans this time.

Movie review: Three animated films from 2017

Your rating: None Average: 5 (15 votes)

The film poster for The Jungle Bunch. (The frogs are sidekicks)This is a triple movie review! Three animated films for kids from 2017, all of them originally French, that have been dubbed into English (or soon will be): The Jungle Bunch, Sahara, and The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales. The last one is the best by far, but isn't available in English yet. Coming soon!

The Jungle Bunch

Original title: Les as de la jungle (literally "The Aces of the Jungle"; here's the trailer). When my nephew was little, I took him to see the Thomas and the Magic Railroad movie, because he loved the whole Thomas The Tank Engine thing. I knew it was a franchise with loads of characters, and the movie relied on familiarity. I know I watched it, but to this day, I have no memory of it.

Similarly, The Jungle Bunch is based on a lot of television episodes, plus an earlier movie or two. You don't need to have followed any of them to watch the 2017 movie, but it probably helps to connect with it more. Personally I didn't find the characters particularly deep, and they're not meant to be. I liked some of their designs more than others. It's a computer-animated film, and the animation and backgrounds came out well. Visually it looks very good!

Remembering Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 5 (24 votes)

Fred PattenThere is a balding man with glasses, standing in the corner, cradling a book against his stomach, reading. You saw him a lot. At the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society meeting hall, the APA collation room, in the library, at science fiction conventions in function rooms and room parties, at San Diego Comic Con in the Rowrbrazzle contributor parties, at furry parties.

His name is Fred Patten, and was in no way the passive participant he seemed. With a partner he opened a book shop in Long Beach, California that not only carried SF and Fantasy books, but comics from all over the world. He reviewed SF and Fantasy literature for fan and professional publications. His apartment was literally wall-to-wall books. He collected SF/F art, storing paintings in his bed frame. I don't think anyone knew where he slept... or if he did.

In memoriam: Fred Patten (1940-2018)

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Fred PattenFred Patten was born in Los Angeles, California on December 11, 1940. By the time he was ten years old, he'd become interested in science fiction and had started to collect SF books and magazines. From 1958 to 1963 he attended UCLA, where he graduated with a master's degree in Library Science. During his university years, he discovered science fiction fandom, joined the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS), and started to write for fanzines.

In the 1970s, Fred became a partner in a bookstore in Long Beach, and also developed an interest in manga and anime from Japan. In 1977, along with Mark Merlino and others, Fred was one of the founding members of North America's first anime fan club, the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization. Partially through the C/FO, he and Mark expanded their mutual interest in animals in cartoons and science-fiction, which was a major step in the early evolution of furry fandom. A lot people aren't aware that in North America, both anime and furry fandoms share an originating root!

High Tail Hall data breach revealed; owners say new site "MUCH more advanced"

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HTH Studios The BBC reports the theft of user data relating to decade-old furry adult game High Tail Hall and its successors.

HaveIBeenPwned lists the disclosure of 411,755 HTH Studios accounts from August 24, including data such as:

Browser user agent details, dates of birth, email addresses, IP addresses, names, phone numbers, physical addresses, purchases, usernames

Passwords were stored as "salted" SHA-1 and MD5 hashes, which may decrease the impact of their being compromised - however, such protections are no longer considered sufficient to protect original passwords, due to the speed at which these types of hashes may be computed.

High Tail Hall, originally released on Newgrounds in July 2004, is described by its creators as:

a puzzle game where you can have erotic encounters with the surrounding characters, and work out your frustrations if you come across a particularly complex puzzle.

Zoosadist furry Rubén "Woof" Pernas arrested, Cuban animal advocate group reports

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (7 votes)

Rubén Marrero Pernas
Editor's Note: Links to sources will be in Spanish, as they originate from Cuba.

Another arrest has been made on a member of the animal abuse ring brought to light in September. According to Cubanos en Defensa de los Animales (CEDA, or Cubans in Defense of Animals), Rubén Marrero Pernas, using the fandom pseudonyms "Woof" and "Warg" (amongst others) was arrested on November 24, after details of his involvement in the group had been shared on social media. CiberCuba has more details surrounding the story.

This Is Life presented Furries as a wholesome coping mechanism, and that's fine

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (16 votes)

Journalist Lisa Ling sits on a bed, surrounded by fursuit heads.Our fandom had been waiting for a Sunday night to watch CNN, a moment of truth.

A year earlier, Anthro Northwest sprung a surprise documentary film crew onto its attendees. It immediately caused an uproar online. There was much debate and drama around it, and then things were silent.

The film crew belonged to Lisa Ling and her new flagship show for CNN, This is Life with Lisa Ling. An episodic documentary program to highlight some of the oddities in our humble society. I, like many furs I'm sure, had never heard of the show nor seen it. It felt like we were in for another nasty media portrayal.

Closer to the airdate, we discovered that our subculture was going to be the show's season finale. Pressure's on, right?