Saturday, November 10, 2007

New poll puts Tories closer to majority

Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party have been lifted to their high water mark in terms of national support, with a new Ipsos Reid Poll conducted exclusively on behalf of CanWest News Service and Global Television revealing that the Conservative Party now enjoys the unprecedented support of 42% of Canadian decided voters, a three-point climb nationally since last week.

Support for Stephane Dion and the Liberals, on the other hand, remains stagnant at 28% support nationally, while the NDP has rebounded by two points and enjoys the support of 15% of Canadians across the country. The Green Party is holding steady at 7% support.

The key battle ground for Harper, though, is in volatile Quebec where for the first time ever the Conservatives (31%) are tied for support with the Bloc Quebecois (31%). These numbers represent a 19-point decline for the Bloc Quebecois since last week, and a nine-point leap for the Conservatives within Quebec since last week. It remains to be seen if the Conservatives can sustain their good showing in Quebec, and this is certainly something worth watching over the coming weeks.

The Liberal Party in Quebec is also sharing in the spoils of the Bloc’s decline this past week, jumping six points from 17% to 23% support. The NDP has the support of one in ten (10%) Quebecers, while the Green Party has 5% support within this province.

In Ontario, the Tories have dropped slightly (three points) from 43% support to 40% province-wide. The Liberals, though, have gained some ground (two points), moving from 34% to 36% support within Ontario. The NDP have dropped from 14% to 13% support, while the Green Party has moved from 8% support to 10% support.

Another Study Claims Chiropractors a Waste of Money

I've always been of the opinion that chiropractors often overstate their benefits. I would stop short of calling them quacks but a number in the profession make some profound claims. Still many people swear by their chiropractors but largely because they promote a dependency relationship. There have been numerous studies that have trashed chiropractic treatment. The latest is in The Lancet:

Researchers looked at the difference in recovery from lower back pain after a variety of treatments, including painkillers and manipulation.
They took 240 volunteers who had visited their GP with lower back pain and gave them anti-inflammatory drugs and spinal manipulation or a fake treatment.

The results showed no difference in recovery times and in all cases symptoms lasted for about nine days. The study, in The Lancet, concluded that spinal manipulation had no beneficial effects.

The report's author, Mark Hancock, of the Back Pain Research Group at the University of Sydney, said if patients receive good advice and take ordinary painkillers there is no need to recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or spinal manipulation.

He said the treatments did not reduce symptoms, were potentially risky and costly.

She can dance

A 25-year-old girl from Ireland and her Myspace page has had over a million hits.

Breast Milk for Sale

Martha Heller, 22, An Iowa mother with extra breast milk on her hands this week placed a newspaper ad in The Gazette newspaper (see below) offering 100 ounces of her breast milk for $200 or the best offer. So far, business is slow. There’s only been one response to the ad—it was a prank call—and state health officials aren’t sure whether such a sale is a very good or safe idea (though it’s not officially against the law). Heller says her freezer is overflowing with breast milk she’s pumped since August, as her 4-month-old daughter won’t drink it from a bottle.

I can't see anyone buying breast milk for their baby from a stranger.

Sign We'd Like to See

Friday, November 09, 2007

More on the Canadian Dollar and the NHL

Forbes magazine has done a ranking of NHL teams based on value, revenue, operating income and other factors.

As I mentioned previously, Canadian teams while only 6 in number, contribute about 40% of revenue and have been pushing up the cap. The impact has been squeezing smaller market American teams, some of which have never made any money.

The Forbes ranking shows that 3 of the top 6 revenue generators are in Canada. Not surprising, the Maple Leafs are on top. Remember these are figures for the 2006-07 season and do not reflect the most recent rise in the Canadian dollar.

Walking Funny?


Alien Smugglers from Mexico are Creative

Border jumpers can always come up with another creative trick to sneak into America. And once to catch them and send them back, they only stay long enough to come up with another scheme.
A man hiding in a suitcase and a driver was detained by US Customs and Border Protection officers after a failed smuggling attempt. The discovery came during a stop at the Paso del Norte port of entry on Tuesday. The large suitcase was in the back seat of a car.

The driver, 42-year-old Martin Enriquez Hernandez of Denver, was charged with alien smuggling. The man in the suitcase, 26-year-old Jesus Ivan Payan Estrada of Chihuahua, Mexico, was taken into custody on re-entry after deportation charges.

Customs officials said the main in the bag was 5-foot-7, and weighs about 160 pounds. Now that had have been a good size suitcase. I'm about that size and I don't own a suitcase that I would fit into.

Ontario's Conservation Chief Wants Clothesline Ban Rescinded

Ontario's chief energy conservation officer wants more people to be able to legally hang their clothes out to dry. This one of a dozen recommendations released on Wednesday that would cut down on energy use in the province.

There are a number of subdivisions across Ontario where it is illegal for people to put their clothes out on a clothesline. I had no idea that this was illegal in Ontario. I guess some neighbours don't want to see your laundry.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment says that a standard clothes dryer consumes 900 kilowatt hours of energy per year, creating up to 840 kilograms of air pollution and greenhouse gases.

There is also a ban on roof-top solar panels in some subdivisions.

The hit that effectively ended Eric Lindros' career

Mother of the Year Candidate sends Stripper to son's Classroom for his 16th Birthday

Most parents like to pull out all the stops to make a child's 16th birthday as memorable as possible. But having a female stripper surprise your son in front of his teacher in class would not feature on many wish-lists. Yet that's what happened when one woman booked a special performer for her son's big day. Article here. Just a bizarre story.

Allegedly a booking error - a stripper dressed as a policewoman turned up in place of the gorilla-suited man the mother had apparently asked for.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Eric Lindros Retires

I always wanted to see Eric Lindros play for the Maple Leafs. When it finally happened during the 2005-06 it was such a let down. Although only 32 years old at the time, he played like he was 52. There was 2 or 3 games where there was a glimpse of the young Eric but mostly I saw a guy who struggled to keep up with the play.

But when he broke into the league he was a lethal force, the ultimate power forward. He just skated over veteran defenseman that got into his way as he drove to the net. I think it was during a Canada Cup, when Eric was just 18 that he crashed Ulf Sammuleson into the boards and shattered the Swede's collarbone. It was scary to watch him play. That is the Eric Lindros I choose to remember. As for whether he gets into the Hall, who am I to say. Others will decide that over the next few years.

My Presidential Endorsement

I understand Pat Robertson has endorsed Rudy Giuliani for President. I think I'm as relevant as Pat so I'm also going to endorse a candidate. I throw my support behind Tie Domi. I know that Tie will always put up a good fight for the little guy. Though Tie is going to have to hustle and find a hot partner to campaign with if he want to win my poll (see sidebar).

More on Canadian Dollar and the NHL

I found this table on the Battle of Ontario blog which illustrates what impact the rising Canadian dollar has had on the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Senators are paying about the same amount (in Canadian dollars) in salaries this year as they did in the 2000-01 season and slightly less than in the 2002-03 season. However, the Leafs are spending substantially less. About $15 million less than in the 2000-01 season and about $50 million less than in the 2002-03 season.

Canadian Dollar is Changing the NHL Landscape

I think the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement is taking a beating as a result of the rising Canadian dollar. Negotiated just 2 years ago, the currency issue was never a consideration. But then why would you expect it to be.

For one thing, the salary cap is tied to league revenue. Everything is calculated in U.S dollars. So the 6 Canadian teams pay salaries and report revenue in U.S. dollars. With the Canadian dollar rising about 25% against its American counterpart, revenues have grown without any increase in attendance, new TV money, etc. I made this point before when the cap was increased to $50 million. And I understand that 40% of NHL revenue now comes from the 6 Canadian teams.

So you can count on another substantial cap increase for next season. So what does it all mean? Well what you would consider a small market and large market team is being redefined. Edmonton has always considered a small market and has had trouble competing with the big boys. Not any more. But as well, struggling U.S. markets are struggling even more. Salaries are being pushed up by the Canadian currency and they can't compete. This is the reverse of what was happening 10 years ago when Canadian teams couldn't compete because of the falling Canadian dollar.

Also, teams like the Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes, which rely on revenue-sharing money, must generate a year-to-year revenue growth rate in excess of the league average revenue growth rate according to the CBA. But the rising Canadian dollar makes that impossible for these markets.

In the past Canadian teams survived partly because they always had strong fan bases but were just at a financial disadvantage. But small market American teams do not necessarily have that strong fan base. The answer may be to move some franchises to Canada. However, Commissioner Bettman has absolutely no interest in the Canadian market. Meanwhile he has his eye on expanding the NHL to Kansas City and Las Vegas. Owners will be convinced because they are eager potential owners who would provide at least $500 million for existing owners to stick into their pocket. Expansion revenue is not part of the CBA so there is no sharing with players/

How Hot is the Toronto Real Estate Market?

Well for one thing, anxious realtors are paying others to camp out in the cold outside a Bloor St. building until condo sales begin next Tuesday. The queue began on Monday and the media claim about 90 people are now in line.

So what is the fuss about? An 80-storey tower with luxury condos at One Bloor East. The $450-million project is going up on the corner of Yonge and Bloor.

The Toronto Star interviewed several people in line who were being paid to stand in line for the week by real estate brokers who are allowed to buy a maximum of three condos each on a first-come, first-served basis. A 22-year-old woman that talked to the Star would not divulge exactly how much she was being paid for her services, but her 24-year-old boyfriend, camping out beside her, said the compensation would be enough to cover the couple's rent for three months and buy them a new television set.

Nothing about the Toronto market shocks me anymore.

Harper Tries to Buy an Election Win

Politicians traditionally use taxpayers' money to buy themselves elections. It's a long standing in practice in politics. But the recent mini-budget announcements by the federal Conservatives is an exercise in cynicism.

The Conservatives sat on an obscenely large surplus and ignored requests for assistance from provincial and municipal governments to announce massive tax cuts. The $60 billion in tax reductions also effectively ties the hands of the opposition parties going into the next election. It will be impossible to commit to any significant new program spending during the campaign with out reversing some of these tax cuts. That is why Liberal leader Stephane Dion has sent out signals that a Liberal government might repeal the GST cut.

Stephen Harper shows little interest in addressing our country's problems. He has been in constant election mode since becoming Prime Minister and focused on winning a majority to carve out a legacy for himself. Meanwhile large cities are drowning in red ink and unable to address our aging infrastructure. Road cave-ins, closed landfill sites, tainted water incidents and the bridge collapse in Minnesota are warning signs that big money is needed to address looming crises. Toronto and Mississauga have been forced to create new taxes to address some of these problems. But with Ottawa controlling 2/3 of every tax dollar, they can't go it alone.

Danger in Pakistan

We all have to be worried about events in Pakistan which is really the frontline on the war on terrorism. The country has nuclear weapons, an unpopular leader, a large radical Muslim population and terrorists walking around freely. How easy would it be for Al Qaeda to take control of the country and its nuclear arsenal, who knows?

President Pervez Musharraf has only been interested in maintaining power. He pays lip service to the West on terrorism to maintain their support. In reality he has directed more energy towards battling judges and lawyers than jihadists. During this current state of emergency, jihadists have actually taken control of border towns while police round up unarmed lawyers.

Today's announcement of elections in February is another bone thrown to the West. Whether these elections will ever happen are questionable. Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, returned last month from eight years abroad after Musharraf gave her immunity from old graft charges and as a result of pressure from the United States. The United States had hoped Ms. Bhutto would end up sharing power with Gen. Musharraf after elections due in January. Musharraf will attempt to manipulate her to achieve his one goal, hanging on.

God help us all.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

1972 Dolphins vs. 2007 Patriots

Yes, it's a little early to be making comparisons but most people are already wondering whether the Patriots can duplicate that unbeaten season of the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins made 3 SuperBowl appearances in the 1970s and won 2. The current Patriots have already won 3 Super Bowls and could add a 4th this year.

a Different Colour Wheel

Not quite the cure for cancer

...but there is now wedgie-proof underwear. The invention was created by eight-year-old twins Jared and Justin Serovich as a solution to the terrifying schoolyard wedgie.

The “Rip Away 1000” are rigged shorts that have been reengineered in a way that prevents them from going up your crack when the bullies start grabbing and yanking. Instead, Velcro seams come apart and “they just rip away.”

Hey it got the boys on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

German Bank Clerk Steals From Kids' Piggy Banks

Here is one that will further erode your faith in mankind. A bank cashier has been caught stealing from children aged between one and nine. They handed her their piggy banks full of pocket money and she credited their savings accounts with less than was in them. Authrities calim that the case has shattered the children's faith in banking. I guess they are too young to have their innocence shattered like this.

She was found out by a father who set a trap by having someone hand over two piggy banks containing amounts he had counted.

2 TTC Streetcars Collide

There are lots of collisions every day on the streets of Toronto. But you don't see two streetcars collide too often. According to CityNews, four people are in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and an investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing, with results expected very soon.

The streetcars were travelling north and south along Spadina Avenue and collided around 3 p.m. at the intersection at Dundas Street in the heart of Chinatown. It appears the northbound streetcar came off the track and smashed into the southbound streetcar.

Speculation is faulty switching equipment is to blame. Plenty of insurance claims and law suits to follow.

Photo by JL1967 from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Toronto Letter-Bomber Tried to Poison Models

The man accused of being the GTA letter-bomber is also now being accused of trying to kill models by sending modeling agencies poisoned water. This is consistent with his possible motives for the letter bombs which has been speculated to be revenge.

Adel Arnaout has now been charged with attempting to kill eight others by poisoning bottled water and sending it to two modelling agencies. The Star reports that bottles of water were injected with a poisonous chemical then delivered to Christen and Associates Model and Talent Management and Blitz Models and Talents, both located downtown, on July 22, 2004, under the guise of a promotion. Pinholes were seen in the bottles and the liquid had a foul odour which deterred anyone from drinking it.

Global News had previously reported that Arnaout was convicted of harassing managers of a Toronto modelling agency with which he had signed, hoping for a career as a male model. When Arnaout failed to get any work as a model, he allegedly began calling the agency repeatedly and threatening them, claiming to be a member of the Russian mafia.

Top 10 Maple Leafs Since Their Last Stanley Cup

A lot of players have worn a Maple Leaf sweater since their last Stanley Cup in 1967. It's been a couple generations of players that have come and gone. The franchise is beginning to look like the Chicago Cubs of the NHL. Well, I've put together my 10 top Leaf players not to have won a Cup here over the last 41 years.

10. Dave Andreychuk (92-96)
Dave was fortunate to hang around long enough to win a Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004 at the age of 40. He falls on this list because during his time with the Leafs he was a prolific goal scoring. In the 1993-94 season he scored 53 goals. He lead the league in powerplay goals in 1991-92 (28) and 1992-93 (32). He played at the edge of the paint and took quite a beating to score many of these goals.

9. Lanny McDonald (73-80)
Lanny was also a gifted but rugged goal scorer. In his last 4 seasons with the Leafs he averaged 43 goals per season. Unfortunately his best season was with Calgary where he scored 66 goals. Like Andreychuk he finally won a Stanley Cup late in his career (1989).

8. Norm Ullman (68-75)
Norm was one of the most consistent players in the NHL during his career. He was the key player in the 1968 Frank Mahovolich trade. Early in his career he centred Gordie Howe and was an All Star. With the Leafs he wasn't so lucky but playing with Floyd Smith and Paul Henderson, he still had his best year in 1970-71 when he scored 85 points.

7. Jacques Plante (70-73)
Jacques had such a long and distinguished career that his accomplishments with the Leafs are largely lost in time. At the age of 42, he had the lowest goals against average (1.88) in 170-71 with Leafs and was an All Star.

6. Rick Vaive (80-86)
Rick was one of the few gifted Leaf scorers during the pathetic 1980s. He holds the Leafs single season goal scoring record (54) and had 3 50-goal seasons. That is amazing looking back at those weak Leaf teams. During this career as a Leaf he scored 537 points in 534 points at a rate of 1.01 points per game, second only to Doug Gilmour.

5. Mats Sundin (94-present)
Mats like many others on this list has had to carry his team. He holds the NHL record for overtime goals (15). Another consistent scorer, he has continued to lead Leaf scorers despite never playing with star wingers (ie, Jonas Hogland). In 13 seasons the durable Mats has missed only 40 games. He has made 9 All Star game appearances. Unless he gets traded to a contender, he will never win a Cup. However, he has an Olympic gold medal and at the Worlds won 2 golds, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. This season Mats became the Leaf career leader in goals and points.

4. Curtis Joseph (98-02)
Curtis had his best years as a Maple Leaf. His goals against average as a Leaf was 2.41 and recorded 133 winds and 17 shutouts. He was runner up for the Vezina in 1999 and 2000 and won the King Clancy trophy in 1999-2000. During his Leaf tenure, the team was very much offense-oriented and relied on Curtis to make numerous saves every game.

3. Darryl Sittler (70-82)
Like Sundin, Darryl was the heart and soul of the Leafs for many years until he was driven away by ignorant management. He was the first Leaf to score 100 points and accomplished it twice. Until this season, he was the Leaf career leader in goals and points. He also holds some impressive NHL records including a 10-point game (including 6 goals) and a 5-goal playoff game.

2. Borje Salming (73-89)
Borje anchored the Leaf defense for 15 years through good and bad seasons. He was an All Star from 1975-80 and paved the way to the NHL for other Europeans. He was a tough competitor who could not be intimidated and the scars on his body are a reminder of what he went through. He played against the bruising Flyer teams during the Broad Street Bully days but never backed down. He holds the Leaf career assist record (660).

1. Doug Gilmour (91-97, 03)
Dougie was the most popular Leaf player over the past 2 decades. He holds the Leaf single season point record (127) and assist record (93). He won the Frank Selke Trophy in 1993 and is the last Leaf player to win a major NHL trophy. He actually came the closest to carrying the Leafs to a Cup final in the past 41 years. In the 1992-93 season he scored a pivotal double overtime goal against St. Louis in the 2nd round of the playoffs with Curtis Joseph in net. In the next round the Leafs were leading the series 3-2. During overtime of game six, Gretzky high-sticked Gilmour, drawing blood, without being assessed a penalty by and then scored the winning goal moments later to stave off elimination. The King went on to win the series. Gilmour finished second to Gretzky in playoff scoring with 35 points.

Things That are Becoming Less Affordable by the Day

Barrel of Crude Oil $98.62 (US$)
Litre of Gas $1.01 (CDN$)
Ounce of Gold $836 (US$)

However, that shopping trip to the US is looking better and better with the Canadian dollar worth $1.10 against the American dollar.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

NHL Trade Gridlock

So do you know how many trades have been made in the NHL since the season started a month ago? Zero! Not even a 4th liner for a low round pick.

It's not like there are 30 General Managers who are happy with the teams. Anaheim, Pheonix, Atlanta, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Chicago have been actively chatting. But with over half the teams very close to the salary cap, it is just to difficult too execute a trade this early in the season. You can't pick up a $4 million player unless the other team takes one back in exchange. And in most cases there's no point. So if Ottawa were to pick up Federov from Columbus, they would likely have to move Redden.

In March, that $4 million player becomes only a $1 million hit on your payroll and becomes more feasible. So GMs have no choice but to wait for injured players to rehab and slumping players to recover. That is what Ferguson has been counting on. He is hoping that the return of Wellwood, McCabe, Bell, Tucker and Colaiavoco will kick start his team. Burke is hoping that Selanne and Niedermayer come out of retired. Waddel hopes that Hossa recovers from his slump/injuries. You make all your moves in the summer and then you have no choice but to stick with what you got.

The Paul Byrd Affair

Paul Byrd's reputation, his clean-cut image, his stature as one of baseball's good guys, they all took a hit.

Just hours before Game 7 of the AL championship series, Byrd acknowledged using human growth hormone for a medical condition, a tumor in his pituitary gland. But the Cleveland Indians' right-hander claims he never injected the banned drug without a doctor's prescription. He said he had nothing to hide. It all sounded quite innocent and legal, until people began to scratch below the surface.

The San Francisco Chronicle began to investigate his story. Byrd bought nearly US$25,000 worth of HGH and syringes from 2002-05, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. HGH was not banned by baseball until January 13, 2005. Byrd made his final purchase of HGH a week earlier, the newspaper said.

But Byrd bought HGH from a Palm Beach, Fla., anti-aging clinic under investigation by authorities for possible illegal distribution of performance-enhancing drugs. Two of Byrd's prescriptions for HGH were not written by a physician but by a shady dentist whose license was suspended in 2003 for fraud and incompetence.

Byrd claims baseball officials have known that he's been taking the drug but no official from Kansas City, Atlanta or the Angels (his teams during the period) or from major league baseball has acknowledged knowing anything about it. Players can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to take drugs for various medical conditions, but none has ever been granted for HGH and Byrd never applied for one.

Something isn't right here.

Who would crave White Castle Latkes?

Leslye Louis of New Melle, Missouri, was selected as the winner of the 16th annual White Castle recipe contest for her original creation, The Latkes You Crave. For Canadians not familiar with White Castle, it is America's oldest hamburger chain with the cheapest burgers around which attracts lots of students (see Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle). I admit to some late night vistis to White Castle while at university in Philadelphia.

Leslye obviously has a very health lifestyle. She is a self-described "White Castle Purist". Through the years, White Castle has remained a big part of her life. She collects White Castle items; she's taken White Castles to her faculty meetings; enjoyed Valentine dinners at White Castle; and wherever she travels, Leslye always makes it a point to make White Castle her first stop.

How nice.

The recipes are judged on the best use of 10 White Castle hamburgers, originality, and taste. Last year's winner was: Enchiladas de White Castle Burgers y Queso.

Here is her winning recipe:

The Latkes You Crave
Submitted by: Leslye Louis

10 White Castle burgers
3 eggs
4 cups grated potatoes
1/4 cup grated onion
4 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Vegetable oil

Remove the pickles and crumble or dice hamburgers in a large bowl and set aside. Beat eggs until light and foamy. Stir in the grated potatoes,grated onion, flour, seasonings, herbs and combine with the hamburger mixture. Heat 1/8 to 1/4 inch vegetable oil in a large skillet. For each Latke, drop about 1/4 cup White Castle potato mixture into the hot oil, fry on each side until golden brown. Add oil to pan as needed, to keep proper depth for frying. Drain Latkes well on absorbent paper. This makes about14-20 of the lightest White Castle Latkes in the Latke-land. Serve hot,with applesauce, dairy sour cream, apple butter or eat plain.

Yikes, they're calling for snow!

Periods of rain or snow

Weather forecasts are like rollercoaster rides, up and down. On Halloween temperatures reached a balmy 20C (68F) and remained mild on the weekend. Now I see they are forecasting snow by the end of the week. I'm getting on the snow tires this weekend.

Mushie, you're doing a heck of a job

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sean Avery with Mary-Kate Olsen?

From the "Gag me with a spoon" file comes rumours that Mary-Kate Olsen is getting friendly with New York Ranger Sean Avery.

From (If it's there, it MUST be true!):

Avery, who was previously linked to Elisha Cuthbert and rumored to be the other man in JT's "What Comes Around Goes Around," has been seen squiring MK all over the Big Apple.

He shoots, he scores!

I know I'm not the only guy who once fantasized about the time when the Olsen twins would be legal (not that we have a chance or anything), but then they stopped eating, started smoking, and just generally started to look ghoulish.

Rules for Lifeguards


Maple Leafs Skate Like Pylons

Kentucky Creation Museum is a Hit

O ne could always hope that most of the idiots going to visit the "Creation Museum" in Kentucky are only there to see what all the fuss is about, but somehow I doubt it:

Each day near Petersburg, Ky., 1,500 to 4,000 visitors, including busloads from Christian schools and churches, stand in line for as long as an hour to wander 60,000 square feet of animatronic exhibits presenting the Bible's creation story as fact.

It's been six months since the Creation Museum opened to crowds and protests, and the controversial attraction has proven more popular than even organizers had predicted.
Halfway into its first year, it is on the verge of surpassing its projected year-long attendance goal of 250,000. Officials now expect nearly 400,000 people to pass through the doors by year's end.

The $27 million facility drew worldwide attention for its claims that the Earth is 6,000 years old, not billions; that dinosaurs and man coexisted; and that geologic features such as the Grand Canyon and fossils were created in a global flood provoked by Adam's and Eve's original sin.

Stalking Tina Fey?

Hollywood TV writers have gone on strike. The first picket lines appeared in New York on Monday morning, where NBC is headquartered. But as you can see from the picket sign on the far left, some people may have alternative motives.

More Leaf Trade Rumours

The Globe reports that Peter Forsberg has decided to bow out of participating in the upcoming Karjala Cup in Helsinki after leaving his first day of practice with Team Sweden complaining of pain in his right foot (The Globe cites his "problematic ankle") and casting doubt onto a possible return to the NHL. There was very high interest in Detroit, Ottawa, Colorado and Vancouver in Forsberg.

Now Ken Campbell of The Hockey News suggests the Ottawa Senators should forget trying to win a bidding war for a banged-up Peter Forsberg and instead try to make "a bold and concerted pitch" for rejuvenated Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin.

Come on, everyone in the hockey world knows it'll be a cold day in hell before the Leafs trade Sundin, or anyone else from their roster, to the Ottawa Senators. The only way Sundin might - emphasis on "might" - end up in a Sens jersey by the trade deadline is if another team is involved whereby the Leafs trade him to that team which then "flips" him to the Senators. And if there was any hint of Ottawa landing Sundin, it wouldn't go down.

Was this wrong?

Victoria Schattauer nude photo shocks Goshen, Ohio - The small town of Goshen, Ohio has been rocked by scandal after a nude photo of a Goshen cheerleader and her coach turned up. Both of the young women are topless, and it would appear that they have quite a bit of explaining to do. According to the school, one of their cheerleading coaches took the nude snap at a recent party. It then proceeded to propigate through email, and that's when the school asked police to get involved. Goshen Superintendent Charlene Thomas said that the school board fired 19-year-old assistant coach Andrew Emerson for hosting the party and 19-year-old freshman cheerleader coach Victoria Schattauer for allegedly providing alcohol to a freshman at the party.

Hmmm, I guess not everyone knows that you shouldn't get underaged girls drunk, take their photos and then circulate them on the Internet. I bet if you google Victoria Schattauer you will find the pic unblurred.

Do the Conservatives Have a Hidden Agenda?

The federal Conservatives continually harp about accusations that they have a hidden agenda. When the opposition uses that language it is some veiled threat that the Conservatives will unleash a neo-conervative set of policies. First it was suggested that this would happen if they ever won an election. Now it's in reference to the possibility that they might an actual majority. Much of it is fear mongering.

But then they pull of something like this that gets you thinking. The Conservative government said it will no longer appeal on behalf of Canadians facing death sentences in other democratic countries. Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day announced in the House of Commons last week that he will not plead for clemency for Albertan Ronald Allen Smith, who faces lethal injection for the 1982 murders of two men in Montana.

Stephen Harper suggested in Question Period that Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values — our belief in democracy, freedom, human rights. But one of the distinct differences between Canada and United States is our positions on capital punishment. That has now been blurred. So it makes me wonder is there a hidden agenda?

Hot Presidential Candidate Spouses

I've started a new poll on the spouses of current Presidential candidates. I'm sure you're like me and tired of the campaign. So I'm asking you to pick the hottest spouse (see side bar poll). Personally I still prefer Jackie Kennedy.

Elizabeth Kuchinich

Bill Clinton
Michelle Obama

Jeri Thompson

Judith Giuliani

Iconic Moments of the 20th Century

An odd website that uses seniors to recreate iconic photos of the last century. Above is a recreation of the Black Power salute by American athletes (Tommie Smith and John Carlos) at the 1968 Olympics.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Shirtless One Turns 38 Today

Hey I look just as good as Matthew McConaughey without a shirt. It's just that I'm concerned about skin cancer.

World's Unsexiest Women

According to Maxim magazine the world's unsexiest woman is Sarah Jessica Parker, closely followed by these three lucky ladies:

Troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse was voted No. 2 because of her "hemorrhaging translucent skin, rat's nest mane and lashes that look more like surgically attached bats".
The mag listed Grey's Anatomy Sandra Oh at No. 3 for her "cold bedside manner and boyish figure".
Pop star Madonna took out the No. 4 spot for her "self-righteous bellyaching and rapid postnuptial deterioration".

"Combine a Paris Hilton-like pet accessorising fetish only for dirt-poor foreign babies with a mug that looks Euro-sealed to her skull, and you've got Willem Dafoe with hot flashes," Maxim Magazine said.

Oh, Britney Spears came in fifth for the obvious reasons.

A White Person on the Cover of Ebony?