Saturday, August 04, 2007

I Think This is Supposed to be a Big Deal


MuchMusic, reports that Toronto has just been named ‘Spice City.’ The Spice Girls are reuniting (probably spent all they made )and gave fans worldwide the opportunity to choose another city for them to add to their upcoming tour.

Looks like it's Toronto. Yawn!

The Insanity of Bottled Water

With Toronto in the midst of a nasty heat wave, you just see bottled water everywhere. Bottled water is multi-billion dollar industry and rivals pop and fruit juice in popularity. There are even designer brands that have their own celebrity spokespersons and outrageous prices (like $55 per bottle).

But the ludicrousness of bottled water is finally coming under scrutiny. Ignoring the sky-high markup and the pollution created by production and distribution, the bottles themselves are single-use recyclable (meaning they can only be used for food products once, and are then converted into non-recyclable materials like carpet or synthetic fabrics), and an estimated 88 percent are never recycled anyway. I won’t even get into the allegations about the toxins that leach into the water from the plastic.

Recent studies have shown that most of bottled water’s hyperbolic claims of superiority to tap water is complete bunk: much of it comes from the same place as the stuff in your toilet bowl, and in spite of fears of contamination created by the Walkerton E. coli tragedy, tap water is arguably safer than the bottled stuff. Toronto's water is provided with 650 bacterial tests each month, while the testing practices of bottled water companies are self-regulating and fairly unknown.

As for Toronto, in spite of the water and sewer system allegedly being on the verge of collapse, our tap water is not only safe but tastes good too!

Rare Barry Bonds Rookie Card (without his shirt on)


Something for a Long Weekend


Today we bombed Iran....

....just kidding!!!

Sit on the bench like Beckham


If you scheduled your Civic Holiday weekend around seeing David Beckham in Toronto, you can relax.

It's official.
He's coming.

But if you actually want to see him play, you still might be disappointed. Injuries will likely keep him on the bench.

Hope you didn't pay the scalpers too much for those tickets.

Revenge of the Dogs

Dogs are turning the table on humans following the dog abuse case surrounding Michael Vick. First there was the dog who shot and killed his owner. But another dog homicide has been reported.

Dogs belonging to Ving Rhames attacked and killed a live-in caretaker at the actor's Los Angeles home.The caretaker was found dead on the front lawn of Rhames' gated home in an expensive Brentwood neighborhood, covered in dog bites.

Several large dogs were running loose on the property when police responded to the scene shortly and animal control officers took three huge bull mastiffs and an English bulldog into custody.

"It appeared that the person suffered a number of injuries as a result of the dog mauling," Sgt. Lee Sands said. "There were numerous dog bites all over his body."Sands said four dogs, the largest weighing nearly 200 pounds, were being quarantined as part of an investigation into the attack.

He said it was not yet clear how many of the dogs had taken part in the mauling or why they had turned on the caretaker. The victim, who worked for Rhames for two years and lived on the property, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Representatives for Rhames, who is out of the country shooting a film, had no immediate comment.

EDIT: Police are now saying that the victim of the dog attack at Ving Rhames' home could have had a heart attack, since none of the wounds -- on his arms and legs only -- appear to have been life threatening. They speculate that he was possibly running for his life after a confrontation with the dogs.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Suspects in Police Officer Death Remanded


Nadeem Jiwah, 19, who has been under a recognizance order to live at Hawkesbury Crescent in Northwest Scarborough has been charged with manslaughter and additional charges are pending. Const. Rob Plunkett, 43, a 22-year veteran of the York force, died after being pinned between a car and a tree on Ascot Crescent in Markham, just north of Birchmount Road and Steeles Avenue.

Plunkett had been part of an undercover police team investigating alleged air bag thefts from vehicles in the area.Officers allegedly spotted two cars on Ascot Crescent and saw a man attempt to remove an airbag. When officers approached and attempted to make an arrest, one of the vehicles reversed with its drivers’ door open, police reported. Plunkett was pinned by the door as the vehicle struck a tree, police reports said.

A married father of three children, a daughter, 18, and sons 16 and 14, Plunkett was rushed to the emergency room at The Scarborough Hospital, Grace Division where he died of his injuries.

A second man, Baseer Yousafzai, 23, faces charges of theft and mischief.

Meanwhile, the Ontario government is looking at imposing stricter rules when it comes to tracking auto parts, including airbags.

The illegal parts trade is growing in the province, and thieves will go to great lengths to get their hands on air bags. The culprits can sell the stolen parts to crooked repair shops for hundreds of dollars, while the shops can charge their customers as much as $1,000.

The province is considering tracking auto parts so mechanics will have to prove their parts are not coming from thieves. The stolen airbags trade only began within the last couple of years.

Yikes! Snow in August!



The above screenshot came from the extended forecast on the CityNews website this morning. On August 9th they are calling for rain and snow with a high temperature 29C (85F). I just want to know how much snow are they expecting because I may need to get my snowblower out of storage.

I'm not a science major but won't snow melt in this heat?

City has since corrected their graphics. We are just looking at possible thunderstorms.

Another Darwin Award Candidate

A 20-yeard-old student was electrocuted by his computer. The young man reportedly opened the external casing of the computer's CPU to prevent it from overheating because he didn't want to switch on the air conditioner in his home.

According to the report, his sweaty legs came into contact with the computer's wiring, which might have caused a short circuit. The computer's internal voltage is as high as 380 volts, enough to give a deadly shock.

An initial investigation by police officers and medical staff found he had been electrocuted. They found bruises on his legs as well as blood from his nostrils.

Article here

Woman kept dead husband by her bed for a year

A woman in Mexico City kept the body of her dead husband by her bedside for a year until neighbors, disturbed by the smell, called the police.

Police broke down Mercedes Velarde's door on Tuesday and found the putrefied body of her husband Edmundo on the floor of her bedroom.Authorities said on Wednesday they were investigating Velarde's claim her husband died of natural causes. They believe the man, in his early 60s, had mental problems that may have been linked to his death.

The family is being examined by a psychiatrist. After an autopsy, the family could face criminal charges or be sent to a psychiatric hospital.

Authorities said hiding a dead person, even a family member, is a crime.

There is a lesson to be learned here. If you intend on keeping a family member at home after they have expired, make sure you have plenty of ice. Neighbours will not tolerate the smell.

Article here

Interested in Buying a Flying Saucer?


Now you can own a flying saucer just like the one flown by George Jetson.
Moller International has completed tooling and has begun producing parts for a small airborne two passenger saucer-shaped vehicle that is designed to take-off and land vertically.



Dr. Moller calls the M200G, “the ultimate off-road vehicle” able to travel over any surface. “It’s not a hovercraft, although its operation is just as easy. You can speed over rocks, swampland, fences, or log infested waterways with ease because you’re not limited by the surface. The electronics keep the craft stabilized at no more than 10 feet altitude, which places the craft within ground effect where extra lift is obtained from operating near the ground.

This lets you glide over terrain at 50 mph that would stop most other vehicles,” he continued. While the Company does not foresee the requirement for significant training or licensing to operate the vehicle, it is prepared to offer demonstration sessions in Davis, California once the vehicle is ready for market.

Depending upon engine production volume the M200G price could start as low as $90,000.

Trip Down Memory Lane

Keith Richards throwing a TV off a hotel balcony. Mind you I remember David Letterman throwing TVs and watermelons off the top of buildings at one point in his career.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Update on Allison Stokke

...well she is still pole vaulting!


UPDATED PHOTO FROM CAL


Starbucks to Reduce Their Menu

Starbucks is going to downsize their drink menu in order to speed up the endless Starbucks waiting experience, in which grouchy decaffeinated customers stare uncomfortably at bottles of "ethos" water while they plan how best to murder the customer ordering a coffee that takes 14 words to describe.

Will fewer choices speed up the line? I remain unconvinced.

Don't forget if you want a Juicy Raspberry in a twist over it, Starbucks has a "secret menu" (you can order whatever you want and they have to make it for you).

Security Camera Catches Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

Someone Please Explain How This is Done

Mary-Louise Parker is 45 Today


...I had Weeds on my mind.

Woody Allen Coming to the Toronto Film Festival


I'm not afraid to admit it: I'm a huge fan of Woody Allen's films. The popular yet eccentric director has had his fair share of duds recently, but any man that includes movies like Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters as part of his filmography is undoubtedly talented.

Allen's newest film, Cassandra's Dream, will be screening as a gala presentation during this year's Toronto International Film Festival. For those Torontonians for whom the festival is more about star power than cinema, Allen's new movie stars Colin Farrell, Tom Wilkinson, and Ewan McGregor, so its inclusion in TIFF is bound to draw some big names to Toronto in September.

Weeds Season 3 in Canada


Showtime in the U.S. is beginning Season 3 of Weeds this month. Unfortunately for Canadians we will have to wait. The Showcase channel has targeted the fall for Season 3 of Weeds.

York Police Officer Run Down and Killed


A York Regional Police officer has been killed in the line of duty.

According to reports the unidentified undercover officer was investigating a theft on a residential street near Birchmount and Steeles in Markham when a vehicle struck him and then took off at about 5am Thursday. It's alleged the policeman was deliberately run down.

Dozens of orange cones mark the scene, some on the street and others on the front lawn of a residence. Two people were subsequently arrested but police have yet to release names.

This is the 9th York Region policeman killed in the force's history and the first since 1984.
EDIT: The officer killed today was Robert Plunkett, 43. A 19-year old has been charged with manslaughter.

Guns Don't Shoot People, Dogs Shoot People?


A Memphis, Tennessee man is in critical condition after his dog shot him in the back.


Police say King George, a 150-pound Great Dane, accidentally knocked a .22-caliber pistol off his owner's end table around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The gun went off, hitting his 21-year-old owner in the back.


"I knew he was smart, I didn't think he was that smart", said the victim's fiancee, Miesha Lucas. "He was always protective. I didn't think he would be like that."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

10 Reasons to Throw Away Your Cellphone

It makes your life more complicated

A phone is just another thing that checks email, holds information and schedules events, and which has to be carefully kept in sync with all the other crud in your life that checks email, holds information and schedules events. The difference? This one likely has a 240 pixel-wide screen and a shabby interface spawned from the hellish loins of Windows CE.

It's horribly expensive

Total Cost of Ownership. Apply that idea to everything, not just cars and mortgages. The fact is that most cellphones will cost you thousands over the life of the contract. Short of paying-as-you-go with a Wal-Mart crapdybar, you're in it for a good $1,000, and about $2,000 or so with a smartphone.


It enslaves you to a one-sided contract

This is the magic that allows the previous item to happen, but is sufficiently vile to warrant an entry of its own. Everyone is at it, but the most iconic example of how times have changed is AT&T: Ma Bell has reglued itself together with almost Marxian inevitability, but now has the advantage of having countless customers under astonishingly abusive contract terms. Take that, deregulation.


It makes you perpetually available

If it's on, they can get you. If it's off, they wonder why they can't get you. It's a lose-lose situation for your Zen.

It is boring

The hype tsunami surrounding Apple's iPhone reveals that even something minimally inventive can completely wire public interest in what is otherwise a completely hidebound and risk-averse industry. Are we in the future yet?

It must constantly be recharged

Unless you want to hoik around a brick, the chances are you're recharging it daily. Screw fuel-cells: with WiFi, BlueTooth, WWAN and whatever else, we need AAA-size disposable fission reactors to keep these buggers awake.

It knows where you are

GPS is in every box, but you can't use it for much. The government loves to watch them without warrants or probable cause: if it's in your pocket, you are Robocop and The Man is Dick Jones.

It encourages stupid people to become a public menace

Forget about whether talking on cellphones while driving should be illegal: the fact remains that it is stupid. I know that you are perfectly capable of the mental gymnastics required for all this — you are a hypercephalic Gadget Lab reader — but it's best that you stop now, so as not to encourage lesser minds to attempt similar feats. Some are now being caught texting while driving. Just pull the car over, for heaven's sake!

Ubiquitous pleather accessory shops

Mallbound Cellphone crap shacks are an offense to nature. On the bright side, they support the whitewashed pegboard industry.

It turns you into a public annoyance

Hell is other people's ringtones.

OJ Takes a Beating on a Call-In Show

Ontario to offer HPV Vacinne to Grade 8 Girls

The Ontario government will spend $39 million a year to offer Grade 8 girls a vaccine which could prevent cervical cancer. The Canadian Press has learned the cash will fund vaccinations for some 84,000 girls a year and will protect against human papillomavirus (HPV), a disease which is associated with 70 per cent of the cases of cervical cancer. The money stems from federal funding which was set aside for three years.

However not everyone agrees with the controversial program. A group of Canadian public health professionals says there remain a number of unanswered questions about the HPV vaccine and that a universal vaccination program in Canada "is premature and could have unintended negative consequences."

Unusual Mugshots

The Smoking Gun has an interesting collection of wierd looking mugshots that you can find here.






Train Wreck Update: Mom of the Year





You Can Get Arrested For That

Two Englishmen discovered a large number of obscure American laws and went on a crime spree. They took photos and now have a book.





Whale hunting in Utah is illegal.






Hand walking across the street is illegal in Hartford.





Fishing in your pajamas is of course illegal in Chicago.


Check the rest out here.

So How Does Intelligent Design Explain This Guy?


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Man walks free after sheep refuses to testify

I'm not making this up. A man who was accused of having sex with a sheep was able to walk free after the animal was unable to testify.

The man, from the Netherlands, was reported to police after a farmer caught him having sex with a sheep. But the case was thrown out of court as the sheep couldn't take to the stand to testify it didn't want to have sex and had suffered emotional stress.

Under Dutch law, bestiality is not a crime unless it can be proved the animal didn't want to have sex.

Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin has said he plans to change the law to make bestiality a criminal offence.

Too Much Drugs

Recycling Bin Instructions

Going on a few weeks holidays so jotted down some instructions for my daughter on what to do with the recycling bins.

Mom and Dad have gradually grown accustomed to a complex system of recycling, which we can barely keep straight, let alone explain to the uninitiated. I'm glad you've both got a university degree because this requires your kind of detailed mind. Do I have your full attention?

There are 14 receptacles, each holding distinct types of garbage.

Depending on its nature, garbage may be picked up weekly, biweekly, by request, or not at all. In the latter category, you can take it to a drop-off depot miles from the house at exactly 7 a.m. on alternate Wednesdays, or to a neighbourhood school once a year.

Collection day on our street is Thursdays, but will change to Wednesdays just for fun at some point while we are away. Lucky you!

The unfortunately named beige box under the kitchen sink is actually step one of the "green bin" composting system. The green bin, not to be confused with the green "box," has a lid, a metal latch and two racoonproof buckles. It is for mainly food waste.

The green "box" has no lid and is for yard waste, although the "bin" can also take plants and soil, which means they're not mutually exclusive.

The "bin," which lets out a poisonous odour when opened, goes out every week, the "box" every second week. And no, I haven't forgotten about the beige box. It should be lined with a plastic bag --Loblaws or Longos bags are a good size -- and filled with all food waste including meat and bones, animal waste, used tissues and even diapers, in case you're planning to have a baby while we're away.

When the beige box is full, transfer the bag and its contents directly to the green "bin." Make sure to latch and buckle the lid or you will be cleaning racoon leftovers off the walkway.

Now that we're warmed up. Let's move on to the "grey box," which, wouldn't you know it, also includes a 'blue box.' Don't ask! Here's my suggestion: Put newspapers, flattened cardboard things and all paper scraps into the grey box.

Use the blue one for plastic and glass containers, milk cartons and empty tins with lids inside. These two boxes are collected biweekly but not the same biweekly as the green box.

Have I mentioned the regular garbage? You'll like this! The tall white bin under the kitchen window that's lined with a dark green bag ...is for used, plastic wrap.

When the green bag is full, tie it up and take it outside to the light brown garbage can with wheels. I've always wondered why it needs wheels when plastic wrap weighs so little. But as for collection, it is of course biweekly.

Finally, we come to 'miscellaneous.' Liquor bottles go in the blue bag with the green recycle symbol on the front; Styrofoam trays go into the big white plastic bag for later disposal at the faraway site; sanitary products go in the little white bin in the bathroom then transferred to outside "green bin"; used batteries go in the ceramic pot on the kitchen window.

The collection schedule? I've decided to make this extremely simple for you. Go out to the sidewalk at around 8 o'clock on Wednesday nights, look up and down the street, and follow the "when in Rome" method of what to put out.

Michael Vick won't be needing his jersey for a while


...especially now that one of the co-accused has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the prosecuters.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Worst Canadian


Back in May, there was an ongoing competition to determine the “Worst Canadian.” Early contenders for the honor included pop singers like Celine Dion and Shania Twain, and the former owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Well, we should have seen this one coming. Nobody can irritate the public like a politician, and the just-announced winner of the coveted title is former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The top-ten list features four prime ministers, including the current one. Indeed, if we can be honest here, there are more prime ministers than serial killers on the list, although it’s pretty close.

Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka finished behind Trudeau and Mulroney and just one spot ahead of Harper. So all the PR consultants and communications experts are really making the difference.

Don't you just hate when this happens


Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, the wacky Freddy von Anhalt, 64, was photographed after a trio of women robbers (he says) pulled up next to him, asked for a photo, but instead robbed him at gunpoint and left him naked and cuffed to his Rolls-Royce.


Sources say that video surveillance tapes of Bellagio Road are being reviewed, and that a major publication is asking the D.A. to investigate the "robbery." Filing a false police report is a misdemeanor.

Ontario's Liberal Government is Lame

Today the provincial government announced another lame policy as a lead up to the provincial election on October 10. Effective August 13, they will be removing provincial sales taxes on all over-the-counter smoking cessation products. This is peanuts (ok it's $5 million but small for govt programs) and will have no impact on the number of smokers in the province. It's just a feel good announcement with no substance that reflects a directionless government with no vision.

Looking back over the last year or so, that's all we are seeing out of this government. Their policies are tissue paper thin.

On July 27 the government announced it would hire 200 new OPP officers to fight guns and gangs. No strategy, just throwing a little cash at a huge problem.

On June 12 they announced that a recycling program for computers, printers and televisions so they do not end up in landfill sites. Meanwhile no solution on what to do with Toronto's garbage which is currently being shipped to Michigan because the local sites are full.

On April 18 they announced that the sale of incandescent light bulbs would be banned effective 2012. Of course, the government has no strategy on meeting our electricity needs going forward and had to postponed eliminating dirty coal burning plants.

In August 2005 the government banned pit bulls in the province. Hardly a menace worthy of the attention of government.

The Liberal's previous election platform included democratic renewal. So after the Premier's own citizens' assembly proposes a new model to be put to a referendum, the Premier refuses to endorse it and sets 60% as the threshold on the yes side of the referendum. Ok at least here you can see they stand for the status quo.

I could go on and on.

What's Dave Doing?


...clever trick to check out Scarlett's generous cleavage.

Team Chile and the Toronto Police

Remember when Team Chile turned its soccer match into a hockey game (only fitting for the city of Toronto)? Turns out the team was throwing punches at female Toronto Police officers, which one would think is a valid reason for officers to up the ante and bring out the tasers.

But how do we know that anyone on the team threw any punches at all? Easy. The Star is reporting that the players are freely admitting it.

Team Chile is still saying it just wanted to shmooze with their fans while the police are saying that shmoozing involved loud and potentially violent arguments with said "fans", at which point officers intervened. Police spokesman claim they were on the receiving end of some considerably aggressive behaviour, and their job in those circumstances is to stop that behaviour.

Where is Tie Domi when you need him?

Toronto "Shooting" News

A great weekend for gun play in Toronto.

A woman was killed after being shot in the head. The SIU is investigating, and police won't say who fired the shot (yet).

Police also shot and killed two pit bulls in an apartment after the dogs were ordered by their owners to attack entering officers.

A 25-year old was gunned down execution style in his car.

A highway police chase resulted in the suspects shooting back at police and the QEW shut down for the ensuing investigation. Watch out for a 2002 burgundy Cadillac Escalade with plates AKRZ 595.

UofT will be shutting down their popular 88-year old shooting range, and its 400 members aren't happy.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I Know Who Killed Me is a BOMB!


As if Lindsay Lohan hasn't gotten enough bad press, now she has bad reviews. Metacritic.com has given I Know Who Killed Me a score of 18 out of 100 which is described on the site as "extreme dislike or disgust". It is the lowest rating currently on the site.

The studio dumped the film on the theatres without previewing it in front of critics. I wonder why? If this exploitation role is where is career is at, then her career also needs some rehab.
Nonetheless, the movie is estimated to have earned $3.2 million over the weekend which would put it in 9th place in gross receipts. So having Lindsay Lohan in the a bad film that was showed to critics pays off.;

Paris Hilton filming in Toronto

Hotel heiress and ex-con Paris Hilton is on her way to Toronto.

Producers are set to announce they have cast Hilton in Repo! The Genetic Opera, a rock opera/horror film that begins a six-week shoot in Toronto on Sept. 10.

The movie, based on a successful theatrical production by Terrance Zdunich and Darren Smith, is about an organ failure epidemic in 2056 that forces people to purchase genetically perfect body parts from Geneco, a biotech company committed to collecting regular payments. Paris will sing and dance in the musical which also stars Paul Sorvino and Alexa Vega.

Six weeks of media frenzy downtown. Sigh, can't wait.

Cheney to have heart surgery, Bush to be President briefly

Last Saturday doctors performed surgery on George Bush’s asshole, and this Saturday they’ll do it again! But this time, it’s the other asshole, Dick Cheney. They are going to take apart his robotic pig heart and replace the core reactor.

Read more.

There are advantages to short skirts



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Nothing Like High Heel Racing


Train Wreck Update


Britney in one of her more conservative outfits trying out a pole.

Crazy Phil Spector is 67