Wikinews Shorts: March 15, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, March 15, 2007.

Potter #7 to break Potter #6's record

12 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be printed by American publisher Scholastic, a record setting number for the first edition of any book.

The immensely popular book series will break Scholastic's previous record first printing, for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which sold 6.9 million copies in its first 24 hours of release.

The first six books have sold a total of 325 million copies worldwide.

The Deathly Hallows will be released July 21, at 12:01 am EST.


Harry Potter to appear on French stamps

Photos of the Harry Potter movie cast will appear on French stamps and stationery.

La Poste will release the three designs this weekend, with the following rate/design combinations:

  • Priority domestic: Harry Potter
  • Slow domestic: Ron Weasley
  • International: Hermoine Granger

The Harry Potter characters have appeared on stamps in Australia, the Isle of Man, and Taiwan, as well as numerous smaller nations that depend on stamp sales to foreigners. Canada has issued non-circulation coins of many of the characters, based on the movie actors' appearances.


Wal-Mart's package reduction strategy results

After launching its Packaging Scorecard initiative on February 1, Wal-Mart has released its first in-store packaging reduction results.

On February 1, Wal-Mart announced that its trying to reduce packaging by 5% as of 2013. Their vendor site has been visited by 2268 companies, and 117 products have been entered into their sustainability calculator. It determines the score based on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by production, materials, product-to-packing ratio, and "cube utilization", how space efficient the product can be shipped.

Buyers will be able to log onto the website in 2008, to make their purchasing decisions.

Beyond attracting environmentally conscientious customers, this move will save Wal-Mart USD$3.4 billion over the next five years.


TV show about a card game to launch in Canada

European trading card game-turned-television series Chaotic will air in North America for the first time March 16. Canada's Teletoon animation channel has scheduled the series to appear regularly Sunday mornings.

The series helps viewers learn game strategies for the game. Unlike most card games, kids are encouraged to play virtually; once they purchase a pack, they type in special codes on the cards to access those characters online.

The plot of Card Captors Sakura was based around a card game, while the Pokemon game is a famous spin-off products, based on the series and video game.

Chaotic was also the name of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline's reality television series.


Wind tunnel free-fall record set

Andy Scott of Marsh Gibbon, England just set the world record for "free falling distance in a vertical wind tunnel".

By balancing himself in the jet of air for one hour, 18 minutes and 52 seconds, Scott, 37, fell the equivilent of 130 miles at the Airkix Windtunnel in Milton Keynes.

Vertical windtunnels were originally created so that free fall parachutists could safely practice positioning themselves, before making actual real life attempts.

The record has yet to be officially confirmed with Guinness World Records.