Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Jul 18, 2013
July 18, 2013
Filling a need:
A funeral home in Scotland is offering an alternative to wooden caskets.
JOHN FRASER and Sons is now making eco-friendly caskets out of wool. Funeral directors claim the furry caskets are surprisingly strong and can support a body weighing over 500-pounds.
Spokeswoman VICKI FRASER says, "People touch them and say how comforting they are." The coffins feature a personalized name plate, and a biodegradable waterproof base. They come in either white or brown.
Editor's note: I can't think of a better way to spend my eternal sheep --I mean sleep. (Still)
On, off and way off-Broadway:
That Cirque du Soleil show, "Ka," has reopened in Las Vegas after one of the performers fell to her death during the closing scene of a performance on Jun 30.
The Hollywood Reporter says there was a memorial announcement before the show in memory of SARAH GUILLOT-GUYARD, followed by a standing ovation at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
Sarah was the first Cirque du Soleil performer to die in an onstage accident in the company's 29-year history.
Broadcast, cable and video news:
The big news yesterday was that the SYFY network has given a green light --as had been rumored earlier in the week-- for a sequel to last week's best cheesy movie ever --"Sharknado."
The new movie will be set outside (wait for it...) New York City and be on TV sometime next year. The good news --the same folks who did the original will be behind the sequel as well.
And, as a bonus, SYFY is also giving the movie's fans the opportunity to create "Sharknado 2's" subtitle by submitting their ideas to a Twitter contest @SyfyMovies using the hashtag #Sharknado. Twitter is possibly the best place for the contest, since there were more than 604-thousand tweets last week during the movie.
Meanwhile, if you didn't catch the original, SYFY plans to re-run the movie tonight at 7 pm (Eastern). Enjoy!
Sharknado... meet Shark-Slip-Ons! TOMS shoes has partnered with Discovery Channel's Shark Week to release a limited edition line of blue camouflage shark-printed slip-on shoes. They come in two styles for women, ranging from $58 to $79 in price. SheFinds.com says sales of the shoe will benefit the ocean conservation organization Oceana. "Shark Week" kicks off on August 4th on the Discovery Channel. (Bartha)
Health and Medical Briefs:
Scientists have managed to isolate and shut down the extra chromosome responsible for Down's syndrome.
Granted, it's only been done in isolated cells thus far, but it's still a huge step for chromosome therapy for Down's syndrome. Globally, about one in a thousand babies born has Down's syndrome. People with the disorder are at risk for heart defects, bowel and blood disorders, and thyroid problems. Though full chromosomal therapy is a ways away, managing to isolate the chromosomes and effectively shut them off is a huge deal.
"This will accelerate our understanding of the cellular defects in Down's syndrome and whether they can be treated with certain drugs," says JEANNE LAWRENCE, who lead the research team at the University of Massachusetts. (AB)
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