Saturday, December 23, 2006

Movie Review - Deja Vu

Saw Deja Vu today and all I can say is that unless you are a big Denzel Washington fan, I wouldn't recommend it. Deja Vu has a premise that is spectacularly ridiculous. It's so unfathomably impossible, that suspension of disbelief doesn't even come close to describing what is necessary in order to go along with this plot. The plot is so far out there that I just could not get into the movie. However, some critics like it so I guess there is an audience out there. But Spike Lee's Inside Man was so much better. A lot of explosions and Denzel do not make up for a stupid story. Doug Carlin (Washington), an agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, using cutting-edge wormhole technology, travels back in time to stop a Timothy McVeigh-style terrorist (Jim Caviezel) from blowing up a New Orleans ferry, the fiery event that opens the film. The real reason he is so keen on climbing into the time machine is the beautiful Claire (Paula Patton), whose death preceded the explosion and is somehow related both to it and Carlin. But the plot device that sends Carlin into the past is painfully presented in long minutes of explanatory dialogue that is part scientific and part quasi-spiritual gibberish. It would have been more plausible had they brought out Mr. Peabody from Rocky and Bullwinkle with his wayback machine.

The Secret Life of Santa

Friday, December 22, 2006

Double Standard: Trump Fires Miss Nevada

Clearly the Donald has set a double standard when in a matter of days he does not fired Tara Conner, Miss America, for alleged drugs, drinking and hard partying and then turns a round and cans Katie Rees, Miss Nevada, for much the same problem. However, the difference was that pictures surfaced of Katie's wild partying. Except the pictures floating around were taken before she was crowned. Notice in this picture the sign behind her. Daddy must be so proud of his little girl. I refuse to post the others but you can find them here.

Last night

What happened to the reindeer?

It's Not Bush, It's His Speechwriter

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Best Christmas Display Around

Display contains 20,000 lights and is found in Newmarket, Ontario just north of Toronto. Check out the video.

Donald, You're a Dink....but most people know that

I have no problems with the Donald Trump's decision to give Tara Conner, Miss America, a second chance, or to say with a straight face that he believes in "second chances," or that he found Conner to be remorseful and willing to go into rehabilitation. My problem is with the concept that the Donald is doing all this out of compassion, blissfully unaware of the biggest marketing opportunity. This could have been done in private but why not get publicity out of even if it might humiliate the poor girl.

It's not like the girl is going to change overnight. You throw a girl from Kentucky into the New York City nightlife and what do you except will happen. Exactly....underage drinking as well as doing drugs and other girls. So good luck with your rehab Tara. If it doesn't work out, maybe the Donald will make you his next wife.

Trump is part owner of the stupidest pageants on the earth (Miss America and Miss Universe). That gives him the right to humiliate these women who have no obvious talent and are more than happy and content parading with the title. Just one of a number of reasons why the Donald is a dink.

Get them before they get you


The Hunt for a Bush Presidential Library

It seems the selection for a George Bush presidential library will be bumpy. As Jay Leno recently put it: "George Bush presidential library selection is down to three schools, Southern Methodist University, Baylor University and the University of Dallas...and the losing school will get to host the presidential library."

The blog of Paul Burka, the senior executive editor of the magazine Texas Monthly, includes excerpts of a letter written to SMU's president by faculty, administrators, and staff of the university's Perkins School of Theology, worrying about siting the library at the university.

Conan O’Brien suggested that: “President Bush is putting together his presidential library and apparently the library is going to cost $500 million, which will work out to $100 million a book."

It is rather ironic that there are people who want to raise over 500 million dollars for a library to a president who admittedly does not read. What would be in the library - colouring books? Welcome to the George Walker Bush Presidential Library and Repository for Colouring Books. It's catchy!

"It's not that the library is going to be extravagant. It's just that he's hiring Haliburton to build it. They're the best." --Jimmy Kimmel

"President Bush is trying to raise $500 million for the Bush Presidential Library. It's not just a library, it will also contain a think tank, because when you think George W. Bush you think thinking." --David Letterman

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Liberal Nomination Watch

'Tis the season for election speculation. Here's a run down of some of the high profile Liberals who might have a safe seat on their Christmas wish list now that the parties are starting to gear up for the next vote.

Bob Rae - I must first say that I find it someone ironic that the candidate who put out the least policy during this leadership race will be writing the Liberal platform but I'm sure Bob will do a good job. The offer is very reminiscent of Chretien putting Martin in charge of the Red Book after his win in 1990. As for where Bob will run, that's the million dollar question. Rae might go head to head against Jack in Toronto Danforth Last election Layton beat Deborah Coyne by 14% of the vote but it was a lot closer in 2004 and with every poll we saw this summer saying Rae could steal NDP votes, this would be the battle of the election and likely the best use of Rae's star power.

Gerard Kennedy - There are a lot of options for Kennedy but the most logical would seem to be to take on Peggy Nash in Parkdale. Even though the riding is now NDP both federally and provincially, Kennedy has stolen this riding from the NDP before and won the seat in 2003 by a huge majority (over a 40% lead on his closest challenger). Kennedy could also try and establish his credentials as a Western Liberal for a future leadership run which would make several Manitoba seats appealing.

Martha Hall Findlay - After the campaign she ran, her impact on Dion's win, and the fact that she's been shuffled aside in the past for a "star" candidate (Belinda), you have to figure Martha will get a safe seat. And since the safest seat around is Toronto Centre, that's where my money is.

Justin Trudeau - It's been speculated for a long time that Justin would one day run and the stars seem to be aligning for it. He raised his Liberal profile during the convention and the party is in desperate need of fresh blood in Quebec. Justin is as good at retail politics as any of the pros and it would give the Liberals some youthful energy in the Quebec caucus if he won a seat. Outremont seems to be the most talked about target, although daddy's old riding in Mount Royal could open up if Cotler decides to not run again.

The Ugly World of Holocaust Deniers

Holocaust denial is a very painful issue for my family. My parents fortunately survived the Holocaust but must confront accusations that the whole thing is a hoax. The Holocaust in relative terms is still a young event. So what happens when the remaining survivors who are witnesses to the atrocities die off? It probably won't make much difference. If people can't accept the mountain of evidence that exists, then nothing will convince them because they don't want to be convinced.

So why would government (specifically Iran) sponsor a
conference for Holocaust Deniers. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clearly is taking a leadership role in the Arab world. He has supported Shi'ite proxies in Iraq in order to undermine America in the region. He used his Hezbollah proxies to wage war against Israel. He continues to pursue nuclear weapons as a means to further empower Arabs. I believe he is serious about his desire to destroy Israel. The recent two-day conference on the Holocaust held earlier this month by the Iranian government is all part of a plan to continue the attack on Israel. Since Israel was created as a reaction to the Holocaust, then if the Holocaust is a hoax, there is no legitimate need for a homeland for Jews.

While holocaust denial has long been the preserve of the European and American far right (
David Duke was also a delegate at the Conference), it has increasingly found a niche in the Middle East. Here, it is less to do with neo-Nazi politics, but more to do with the presence of the state of Israel. The Conference attracted wide spread criticism. Some even in Iran. Alongside the criticism, however, comes the cleverly intertwined debate on free speech. Ahmadinejad has suggested that the western world does not allow 'any investigation' into the holocaust. David Duke, moreover, has stated that 'It's a shame that Iran, a country we often call oppressive, has to give this opportunity for free speech'. The problem for historians, however, is not so much the question of free speech, but the much greater problem of (historical) truth.

The most difficult aspect of the Conference was that it was attended by a smal
l contingent of Jews. A handful of Orthodox Jews have attended Iran's controversial conference questioning the Nazi genocide of the Jews - not because they deny the Holocaust but because they object to using it as justification for the existence of Israel. Some of them belong to Neturei Karta (Guardians of the City), a Hasidic sect of a few thousand people which views Zionism - the movement to establish a Jewish national home or state in what was Palestine - as a "poison" threatening "true Jews". To take such extreme measures in order to gain a platform to express their views is so irresponsible.

Baby Goes Through Airport X-Ray Machine

A woman places her month-old grandson in a bin for carry-on items that was x-rayed at the Los Angeles airport. The baby was sent to hospital (although the grandmother objected) where doctors determined he did not get a dangerous dose of radiation. Thanks Grandma!!

I want to look away but....


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Simon Wiesenthal will not be baptised

As bizarre as it might sound, The Church of Latter Day Saints has removed Simon Wiesenthal's name from its International Genealogical Index from a database of names of people who be could be baptised after death.

If the Mormons want to baptise me after my death, go knock yourselves silly. But you better hurry, the Buddhist could beat you to it.

Sarah Silverman - Give The Jew Girl Toys

A Case of Too Much Y Chromosone

An Indian runner who won a silver medal in the women's 800 meters at the Asian Games failed a gender test and was stripped of the medal. Shanti Sounderajan, 25, took the gender test in Doha, Qatar, after placing second. Click here for story.

Since it appears Sounderajan never had sex-change surgery it looks like a case of too much Y chromosomes.

They don't make crack like they used to

A North Carolina woman was arrested after complaining to a police officer that the crack cocaine she had just purchased wasn't very good. Click here for story.

I guess her dealer didn't have a very favourable return policy.

Glad to see you go

Just what does media giant Rupert Murdoch get his top book publisher, Judith Regan, for Christmas? Apparently, a permanent vacation.

Regan, who recently made headlines for planning, then pulling, O.J. Simpson's quasi-confession, "If I Did It," was fired Friday by HarperCollins, a subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corp. Word broke during the company's holiday party.And, I'd have to say, well deserved. I'm sure Murdoch et. al. have had a lot of guff over the book from the families affected, as well as from the public. So, Regan's Christmas canning was likely just a slight little payback.

No question. The planned book and T.V. interview had to have been the most immoral and tasteless act of 2006. The motives no matter what the participants claim was only money.

Look out for those blonde teachers

Meet Debra Beasley, 26, a former teacher from Florida who was charged in 2005 for having sex with a minor. Debra pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years of Community Control (house arrest) and seven years of probation, along with a string of other requirements.

Meet Pamela Rogers, 28, the former Tennessee teacher was jailed last year for having sex with a 13-year-old student, resumed communicating with the boy after her February release from prison.

Meet Kristen Margrif, 27, a Michigan high school English teacher. So can you guess why she was just arrested? That's right, Margrif has been accused of having sex with a 16-year-old male student.

Meet Angela Comer, 26, a Kentucky teacher on charges of illegal sex acts with a minor over allegations that she had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy who had been her student.

Goodbye Fred Flintstone

Joe Barbera, half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such beloved cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and the Flintstones, died Monday. He was 95. With his longtime partner, Bill Hanna, Barbera first found success creating the highly successful Tom and Jerry cartoons and went on to win seven Academy Awards, more than any other series with the same characters.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Movie Awards

It's the end of the year and time for movies to receive critic awards.

US National Board of Review
Film: Letters From Iwo Jima
Actor: Forest Whitaker, The Last King Of Scotland
Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Supporting Actor: Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
Supporting Actress: Catherine O’Hara, For Your Consideration

Boston Society of Film Critics
Film: The Departed
Actor: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Supporting Actor: Mark Wahlberg, The Departed
Supporting Actress: Shareeka Epps, Half Nelson

Los Angeles Film Critics
Film: Letters from Iwa Jima
Actor: (TIE) Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat & Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Supporting Actor: Michael Sheen, The Queen
Supporting Actress: Luminita Gheorghiu, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

New York Film Critics Circle
Film: United 93
Actor: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Supporting Actor: Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls

San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Film: Little Children
Actor: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat
Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Supporting Actor: Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza, Babel

DC Area Film Critics
Film: United 93
Actor: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Supporting Actor: Dijmon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls

Potato Latke Recipe

Be forewarned - high Calorie, not very nutritious, but very, very yummy. But a Hanukkah tradition nonetheless.

6 potatoes peeled, pared, grated and drained well (squeeze out as much of the potato juice as you can)
One small onion, grated
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp baking powder
Canola oil for frying

Combine all ingredients and either fry in pan with oil (flipping once when edges start to get crispy or look brown) OR bake in oven at 400F on oiled baking sheet/tin foil, flipping when edges look brown (obviously far fewer Calories if baked). Let cool on very absorbent paper towels and enjoy!

Like I was considering drinking it....

Hate All That Viagra SPAM?

I've discovered some recipes to deal with all that unwanted SPAM. Available without a doctor's prescription, these Viagra SPAM recipes are guaranteed to impress and downright spamilicious. Here are some recipes to sink your teeth into. My favourite is the Viagra SPAM mouse (see picture).