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Watercooler Stories

Film shot entirely on iPhone 4 camera

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- South Korean director Park Chan-wook said he has completed a 30-minute film shot entirely on the video camera of an Apple iPhone 4.

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Park, director of the hit film "Oldboy," said the new film, "Night Fishing," was shot using only an iPhone and took 10 days to complete with a crew of 80 people, South Korea JoongAng Daily reported.

The director said the film, which depicts the story of a fisherman and a female shaman, will be released to a limited amount of theaters in the coming weeks.

"This is a great example of how companies that haven't been involved in movies are cooperating with artists," Park said. "Now aspiring directors and those with small budgets will be given a chance to create high quality movies with just an iPhone on one-hundredth of the costs for a normal movie."

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Teacher: Racy novel not meant for Internet

HEBDEN BRIDGE, England, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A British teacher fired after writing a steamy novel starring fictionalized versions of students said in an appeal the book was published without her knowledge.

Leonora Rustamova, 40, of Hebden Bridge, England, who was fired from Calder High School in May 2009 after her novel, "Stop! Don't Read This," was published online, told a pre-hearing review for her employment tribunal that her husband posted the book to the Internet without her consent, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The novel starred fictional versions of Rustamova and five 11th grade students, using the real names of the pupils, as the teenagers fantasized about her sexually.

"It's getting harder and harder just to see them as kids," a passage from the book reads.

Rustamova claims the teenagers begged her to use their names for characters in a book. She said she asked her husband for help publishing the book so the students could have hardcover copies, but he instead mistakenly posted the entire text of the novel on the Internet.


Minnesota mice didn't go south for winter

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Creatures have been stirring in Minnesota this winter, with exterminators reporting a spike in mice infestations in recent weeks.

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Todd Leyse, president of Adam's Pest Control in Medina, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that January has been a particularly busy month so far for his anti-rodent team.

"Normally people say, 'We're seeing some mice,'" Leyse told the newspaper. "Now, they're describing how they caught 25 mice in their house and they're at the point of frustration and want professional help."

The Star Tribune said wildlife experts agree 2011 has thus far been the year of the mouse.

A string of relatively mild winters allowed populations of wild mice to increase. This year's early snows not only drove the critters to seek shelter inside homes, but also provided cover from predators.

Experts say the best course of action is to seal up cracks and holes, put pet chow and other food away at night and unplug appliances so the wires can't be used for climbing.


Facebook lags in Japan

TOKYO, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Japanese have been slow to warm to Facebook, with fewer than 2 million of the Web site's 583 million members based in the country, analysts say.

Analytics site Socialbakers said less than 2 percent of Japanese Internet users have Facebook accounts, compared with 60 percent of Internet users in the United States, The New York Times reported.

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Experts said many Japanese prefer Mixi, Gree, Mobage-town and other Web sites, which contrast with Facebook by allowing users to mask their identities with pseudonyms, a feature many in the country find preferable to Facebook's real name-only rules.

"Facebook does face a challenge in Japan," said Shigenori Suzuki, a Tokyo-based analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings. "There are powerful rivals, and then there's the question of Japanese Web culture."

Taro Kodama, Facebook's manager for Japan, said in November he expects the country will turn to Facebook once the Japanese discover its usefulness as a tool to look up old classmates.

"The Internet in Japan has not been so closely connected with real society," he said. "Those other community sites can keep offering the joys of staying remote from real life."

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