Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sensational Journalism


The Post made this stuff up. And the Post also wonders what Olsen knows in an editorial. The police immediately announced that they had no interest in speaking to Mary Kate Olsen. Tasteless gutter journalism.

Rocky Balboa Endorses McCain

One Hit Wonder

Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy (1991)

'Get Smart' Movie Trailer




I just don't know. I think if Mel Brooks had written the script I would have a better feeling about this.

Hackers Are Attack Scientology Websites

I guess the computer geeks have gotten bored with Guitar Hero 3.


Dennis Kucinich Drops Out


...but can his wife Elizabeth stay on!

For Women Who Like Coloured Men

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bus Schedule Foils Bank Robber

Talk about a botched bank heist. A woman walked into a local savings and loan near Atlanta and demanded money. The teller did as she was instructed and handed over a bag of cash. But when the culprit got out into the parking lot with the loot, a dye pack in with the cash exploded, leaving the money and her orange.

The bright orange woman quickly ducked into a nearby restaurant and tried to wash the bills off and changed clothes, hoping to leave the scene. But she didn't grab a car. And she didn't even hail a cab. Instead, this genius decided to take the bus.

And you know what bus service is like. Police found "carrot top" waiting at a stop for the vehicle, quickly placing her under arrest.

Spray Painting Swastikas as Revenge Against Ex


Sure, getting dumped hurts, but does that mean you need to deface an entire neighborhood? A Brooklyn man was arrested after police discovered he was behind a number of swastikas found in Brooklyn, apparently acting out after being left for another (possibly more stable) man.

According to police, 911 received a number of calls from a pay phone about swastikas on buildings and cars in Sheepshead Bay neighbourhood of Brooklyn; the culprit was described as a bald man. On December 21, the police received another call about vandalism and when police responded to where the pay phone, they found Pavel Andreenko. He denied being involved and was released.

However, a few days later, Andreenko punched a man while wearing paint-covered clothing. The outfit matched that of a man filmed by a surveillance camera spray-painting a swastika at a high school on Dec. 19."

And the bald man? That described his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.

"Canadian" is a derogatory term?

According to the National Post, an email from a prosecutor in Texas (actually the Harris County District Attorney's Office) has revealed that the term "Canadian" is used among U.S. racists as a code word referring to African-Americans. The e-mail was sent in 2003 but just recently came to light. It reads:

"He overcame a subversively good defence by Matt Hennessey that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant and forced them to do the right thing."

Anyone ever heard of this term before?

501 Queen Streetcar


The 501 Queen streetcar route in Toronto is 24.8 kilometres (15.4 miles) long. It is the TTC's longest surface route, the longest streetcar route operating in Canada, and one of the longest in North America.

The route was first instituted in the mid- to late-19th century by private operators as a horse-drawn line, was later electrified, and was assumed by the TTC upon its creation in 1921. Service is provided 24 hours a day. The 3-hour round trip times combined with congested downtown traffic on Queen Street have proven too much to handle, plaguing route 501 with chronic delays.

It turns out the National Geographic has has named the 501 Queen streetcar as one of the top 10 trolley routes in the world. Others include Berlin’s Tram 68, Lisbon’s 28 Tram, Seattle’s George Benson Waterfront Streetcar, New Orleans’ St. Charles Streetcar Tour, Hong Kong’s trams and San Francisco’s Streetcar F. The 501 Queen showcases so many Toronto neighbourhoods and its a great way to see the city. But the designation will not likely impress its users.

The sheer length of the route presents all sorts of problems. Streetcars are routinely "short turned," which forces passengers to disembark and wait for another streetcar to finish their journey. This is done to avoid overtime because bad traffic and the length of the route keep operators on the routes too long. Operating a fixed rail service in mixed traffic is a real challenge.

The solution being discussed is splitting the route into 2 or 3 routes. This will disappoint tourists but make commuters a lot more happier.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Market Trend



Steve Bell

Women Have Officially Achieved Equality


As reported in the Chicago Tribune, ESPN reporter Dana Jacobson was suspended for getting drunk and acting like a total ass at the Mike & Mike Roast in Atlantic City two weeks. I mention it only because it shows that women can now go out, get stinking drunk and be obnoxious just like us guys.

Jacobson made an absolute fool of herself, drinking straight vodka from a Belvedere bottle, mumbling along and cursing like a sailor as Mike & Mike rested their heads in their hands in embarrassment. She got booed off stage.

During her drunken rant, Jacobson, reportedly tried to make fun of Notre Dame by saying "Fuck Notre Dame, Fuck Touchdown Jesus, Fuck Jesus." I'm waiting for a video to be posted on YouTube.

Scarlett Johansson will release her debut album, Anywhere I Lay My Head, on May 20 which will feature 10 Tom Waits covers, as well as one original track, according to a statement released by her label Atco Records.

I'm a little leary but will keep an open mind.Below is Scarlett singing Summertime from Lost in Translation.


Worst Sportscaster Ever

Perk Up from the Winter Blahs

You have a choice. Either the cute baby polar bear...

...or the cute Maria Sharapova.




Gas Dips Below A Buck, Filler Up


In Toronto, we woke up this morning pleasantly surprised to see gas below $1/litre. The first time it fell below the $1 mark in a month. Should stay at this level for the next few days so gas up!

Blackouts Become Part of Hamas PR War


Both the Palestinians and Israelis continue to punish civilians as frustrations mount in the ongoing low level war of attrition. As deplorable as it may be, it's a fact of life in the Middle East.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that on at least two occasions this week, Hamas staged scenes of darkness as part of its campaign to end the political and economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip.

In the first case, Palestinian journalists who were invited to cover the Hamas government meeting were surprised to see Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and his ministers sitting around a table with burning candles. In the second case on Tuesday, journalists noticed that Hamas legislators who were meeting in Gaza City also sat in front of burning candles. But some of the journalists noticed that there was actually no need for the candles because both meetings were being held in daylight.

They had closed the curtains in the rooms to create the impression that Hamas leaders were also suffering as a result of the power stoppage according to one journalist who spoke to The Jerusalem Post. It was obvious that the whole thing was staged.

Another journalist said he and his colleagues were told to wait for a few minutes before entering the chamber of the Palestinian Legislative Council so that each legislator would have time to light his candle. He said that when he saw that the curtains had been closed to prevent the light from entering, he realized that Hamas was trying to manipulate the media for political gain.

Richard Peddie is so Creepy

Howard Berger picked up on this in his blog but on the video below at the 4-minute, 43-second mark of the Fletcher press conference, Peddie unmistakably begins mouthing along with Fletcher as he reads his statement. Cliff says: “I’d like to thank Richard and the board for making me…” and then Peddie’s lips start moving. Peddie looks away from Fletcher, then turns his attention back to him at the 5:09 mark of the video. And, again, he begins mouthing the words Fletcher is speaking…. “move the club ahead to the next level so it can compete with all the top teams in the league, so it can eventually lead to playoff success.”

Did MSLE write Fletcher's remarks? Is Peddie still pulling the strings? It makes you wonder. Until Peddie is completely out of the picture I wonder how much will change for the better.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fred Phelps is Garbage

This is why I included Fred Phelps in my survey of the most hated Americans in 2007.


NHL All Stars by Nationality

Here is the breakdown of 44 All Star Game players by nationality:

Canada 24: Jason Arnott, Brian Campbell, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Shawn Horcoff, Jarome Iginla, Ed Jovanovski, Duncan Keith, Vincent LeCavalier, Manny Legace, Roberto Luongo, Rick Nash, Chris Osgood, Dion Phaneuf, Chris Pronger, Mike Richards, Martin St Louis, Marc Savard, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton, Scott Niedermayer, Corey Perry, Mike Ribeiro

Russia 7: Pavel Datsyuk, Sergei Gonchar, Ilya Kovalchuk, Andrei Markov, Evgeni Nabokov, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin

Sweden 3: Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Sedin

Slovakia 3: Zdeno Chara, Marian Gaborik, Marian Hossa

USA 3: Rick DiPietro, Scott Gomez, Tim Thomas

Czech Republic 2: Tomas Kaberle, Tomas Vokoun

Finland 1: Kimmo Timonen

Slovenia 1: Anze Kopitar

Well over half the players in the game will be Canadian. Which makes me think that an interesting format might be Canada vs. The World. The number of Russians in the NHL has dropped off considerably as many are choosing to stay at home and play in the Russian Super League. There will be only 7 Russians in the All Star Game but considering there are only 31 Russians in the NHL this year, that means almost 25% are All Stars. Slovenia has only produced one NHL player ever in Anze Kopitar and he is in the All Star Game.

source

What's wrong with this world?


A Goth girl who considers herself to be her fiance's human pet is thrown off a bus- well, because no pets are allowed on the bus. Tasha Maltby is perfectly happy to walk around with her boyfriend on a leash. "It is definitely discrimination, almost like a hate crime," complains 19-year-old Miss Maltby.

Hey she calls it a lifestyle choice. I'm not sure what to call it.

Starbucks is Testing $1 Cup of Coffee


According to the Wall Street Journal, Starbucks is testing a $1 cup of brewed coffee in some Seattle-area stores. The eight-ounce short size isn't on Starbucks's menu but has long been ordered by in-the-know patrons. Typically, a short, brewed coffee would sell for around $1.50, although that can vary from store to store. Starbucks is also testing the offer of free refills for traditional-brewed coffee in the Seattle area.

The $1 test undercuts even low-cost coffee purveyors, including McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts in the US and Tim Horton's in Canada. Although most sit-down restaurants top off customers' coffee free of charge, specialty cafes have largely stayed away from the practice. This is quite the move from the company that virtually invented the $4 coffee.

Last year, Starbucks blamed a slowdown in customer traffic on pressures on consumer spending. The company has raised its prices in part to offset the high cost of milk, a move analysts say has eaten into sales. Perhaps Starbucks has finally found out about price elasticity and will be looking to increase customer traffic with lower prices.

John Ferguson's Legacy with the Toronto Maple Leafs

Below is pretty much all the transactions by John Ferguson during his tenure as Maple Leaf general manager. Much blame has been put on Richard Peddie and the MLSE board for the current state of the Maple Leafs. But it was Ferguson who came up with these trades and negotiated these contracts. Very few have worked out in the Leafs' favour. So many of his free agents signings are now out of hockey. There haven't been a lot of trades but they have all included draft picks.

2003-04
August 29 - Leafs named John Ferguson general manager.
September 27 - Signed free agent Ken Klee for 1 year.
October 28 - Signed free agent Clarke Wilm for 1 year.
January 10 - Claimed Craig Johnson off waivers from Anaheim.
February 11 - Traded Ric Jackman to Pittsburgh for Drake Berehowsky.
March 3 - Acquired Brian Leetch from the Rangers for Max Kondratiev, Jarkko Immonen and a 2004 draft pick.
March 9 - Acquired Ron Francis from Carolina for a 4th round 2005 draft pick.
March 9 - Signed a retired Calle Johansson.
March 9 - Claimed Chad Kilger off waivers from Montreal.

2004-05
Season lost to lockout.

2005-06
July 31 - Acquired Jeff O'Neill from Carolina for a conditional 2006 draft pick.
August 6 - Signed free agent Tie Domi for 2 years.
August 6 - Signed free agent Jason Allison for 1 year.
August 11 - Signed free agent Alexander Khavanov for 1 year.
Augusst 12 - Signed free agent Eric Lindros for 1 year.
August 18 - Signed free agent Jean-Sebastien Aubin for 1 year.
September 10 - Signed free agent Mariusz Czerkawsk for 1 year.
November 6 - Traded Nathan Perrott to Dallas Stars for a conditional 2006 draft pick.
February 11 - Resigned Thomas Kaberle for 5 years.
March 8 - Acquired Luke Richardson from Columbus for either a 2006 5th round draft pick.
March 8 - Traded Ken Klee to New Jersey for Aleksander Suglobov.

2006-07
June 24 - Acquired Andrew Raycroft from Boston in exchange for Tuukka Rask.
June 29 - Re-sign Bryan McCabe for 5 years.
June 30 - Bought out Tie Domi and Ed Belfour.
July 1 - Signed free agent Pavel Kubina for 4 years.
July 1 - Signed free agent Hal Gill for 3 years.
July 18 - Signed free agent Mike Peca for 1 year.
July 18 - Signed free agent Bates Battaglia for 1 year.
October 7 - Signed free agent Signed Boyd Devereaux for 1 year.
January 10 - Claimed Travis Green off waivers from Anaheim.
February 27 - Acquired Yanic Perreault and a 2008 5th round draft pick from Phoenix for Brendan Bell and a 2008 2nd round draft pick.
February 27 - Sign Darcy Tucker to 4 year contract extension.

2007-08
June 23 - Acquired Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell from San Jose for 2007 1st and 2nd round draft picks and a 2009 4th round pick.
June 26 - Signed free agent Simon Gamache for 2 years.
July 2 - Signed free agent Jason Blake for 5 years.
July 10 - Signed free agent Scott Clemmensen for 1 year.
January 11 - Claimed Dominic Moore off waivers from Minnesota.
January 22- John Ferguson is fired.

Tom Brady has a High Ankle Sprain


The most talked about and photographed ankle in America belongs to Tom Brady. The New York and Boston media are in a frenzy over this one. "Reliable sources" are telling the media that Brady has a minor high ankle sprain.

That is what I originally suspected. Now high ankle sprains take longer to heal than other sprains but this one obviously not very serious because he is walking without a limp. There is a risk of aggravating the injury during the Super Bowl. I could see the Giants putting pressure on Brady to force him out of the pocket. I would still take Giants on the spread.
UPDATE: The spread has already gone from 13.5 to 11/5. Bootgate is having an affect on bettors.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NY Fast Food Restaurants Will Have to Display Calorie Info


The day of 2500 calorie desert may soon be gone in New York. Today the New York Board of Health passed regulations requiring 10% of the city's 23,000 restaurants to prominently display calorie counts on their menus. A previous push to require calorie disclosure was blocked by a federal judge in September; the new rules will be mostly limited to fast food restaurants that have 15 or more locations nationwide.

And the restaurant industry is expected to take the city to court again. In a statement to the Daily News, Justin Wilson of the Center for Consumer Freedom derided the city's “nanny-state public health policies. It doesn't take a Ph.D. in nutrition, let alone a high school diploma, to tell the difference between a 12-piece bucket of chicken and a salad.”

City health officials insist the regulation will result in 150,000 fewer New Yorkers becoming obese over the next five years and at least 30,000 less diabetes cases. Other cities are looking at similar regulations.

The Next American President

My sense is that the majority of Americans are disillusioned with politics and only small minority continue to be engaged. That is a real tragedy and undermines a great democratic system. At election time voters have an opportunity to change the political landscape but seem to get trapped voting for the status quo almost every time. I don't want to endorse any particular Presidential candidate. I feel everyone should make a personal choice and not be influenced others. Super Tuesday will soon be here which is now almost as important as election. I do have advice on how to do choose someone who might make a difference.

1. Think "outside the box"
Avoid the establishment's preferred candidates because that is voting for the status quo. I think everyone knows who these candidates are. The establishment candidate are low risk politicians who aren't likely to shake things up. Going "outside the box" has its risks and once in a while you are going to get burned (eg., Jimmy Carter). That also means giving incumbents a good hard look rather than automatically voting for the most familiar name.

2. Focus on leadership and vision
Most voters focus on candidate's position on specific issues and fail to see the big picture. Often there isn't even a big difference in the candidate's positions on issues outside of the more contentious wedge issues. Leadership isn't just a buzz word, it's paramount. It's about how decisions are made, how they inspire people, what motivates them, how do they deal with crises, and whether they have integrity. How candidates handle themselves while under the spotlight of a campaign will tell you a lot about what kind of leader they will make.

3. Avoid candidates that go negative
Don't get sucked in by negative political ads. Politicians use them because they work. And don't believe their campaigns aren't behind the ads (Bush's swift boat ads) despite their claim of innocence. A politician that uses negative advertisement will likely carry on this type of activity in office. Character assassination is not a very good mechanism to communicate to people. You want to a candidate that focuses on their own merits without tearing apart their opponents. A good candidate can conduct themselves in a civil manner while debating issues.

4. Check where the money comes from
Candidates raise a lot of money and you should be concerned where it comes from. Are they going to be beholding to those that donate heavily. Do you want to maintain big business and interest groups' stranglehold on government. Also candidates that raise and spend big money are more likely to be the establishment candidates (ie., the status quo). Check out this website.

5. Don't focus so much on party
Many voters have voted for only one party their entire life. This type of thinking perpetuates the partisan nature of government. You need to focus on the candidate and not on whether they are red or blue. There are candidates with crossover appeal if you have an open mind.

Patriot Fans are Inching Toward the Panic Button


TMZ.com has published pictures of New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady in a walking cast yesterday. The team is suggesting that he is fine and only doing this to respond to regular "bumps and bruises". Obviously he has something more serious than some bumps and bruises. He at least has a strain or sprain which requires some immobilizing.

Everyone knows that Brady had a season for the ages. He threw a record 50 touchdown passes and only 8 interceptions. An average of over 3 TDs per game. Now against San Diego on Sunday he threw an uncharacteristic 3 interceptions. Over the last 2 months the Patriots have continued to win but not in the convincing manner that was displayed earlier in the season. Let's not take anything away from the opponents since Jacksonville and San Diego are very good teams and should not have been pushovers.

Still, an injured Brady may be the Achilles' heal that teams have been looking for to beat the Pariots. It would be unfortunate that their winning streak ends in the Super Bowl. But today that is a possibility. The spread right now is 13.5 points so the bettors may be looking hard at the Giants right now.
UPDATE: The NY Post reports they talked to Dr. Rock Positano, a foot and ankle specialist from the Hospital for Special Surgery, about the injury. Dr. Positano said that if you're wearing the cam walker (the boot), "that usually means you're hurting. He's sustained some kind of trauma that requires immobilization. This is not just a simple strain or a sprain." While it's obviously impossible to know what Brady's injury is, that didn't stop the good doctor from speculating about an injury to the metatarsals or Achilles' tendon. "

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Maple Leaf GM Announcement May Be Wednesday


The Fan 590's Howard Berger reports the MLSE board of directors held a lengthy meeting earlier today at the Air Canada Centre, hoping to iron out the details of a contract for Fletcher. He is looking to assume a presidential-type role (not interim), with full authority to hire the next general manager of the Maple Leafs. Cliff would remain at the top of the hockey department, and would have meaningful input into all matters relating to the team. Final authority, however, would be the domain of the GM, as in all functional organizations.

Fletcher is apparently looking for the MLSE board to move aside once a budget is in place. That means no approval of trades and free agent signings.

One further snag is minority shareholder and company chairman Larry Tanenbaum, who was instrumental in Fletcher being dismissed by the Leafs in May, 1997. Though no one will confirm this, it is believed Tanenbaum does not want Fletcher to return. In the latest round of his on-going internal squabble with CEO Richard Peddie, Tanenbaum is apparently trying to rally enough board members to offset the directors affiliated with Peddie, and the company’s prime shareholder, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

I'm not thrilled about bringing Fletcher back. He had his good points but also a lot of weaknesses. But I do like the idea of eliminating all the political interference. If that can be accomplished, even my dear sweet mom would stand a chance to improve the Leafs.

Waiting for the School Bus


Same TTC Driver Attacked Twice in 1 Day


Sadly ironic but a TTC bus driver was assaulted twice this afternoon by 3 men — kicking his legs in one incident and spitting at him in another — the same day a Toronto Star investigation revealed that TTC bus drivers suffer severe stress levels.

It's really depressing to read the Star article about how awful some people can be. The Star obtained the records from the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. Here is some of the "highlights":

- bus window was shot out by air rifle
- rocks thrown through his windshield
- hand guns pointed at them
- peppered sprayed during a fight on a bus

Razzie Nominations

The Golden Raspberry Award Nominations always come out the day before the Oscar Nominations. I like to always check them out to see if I happened to have seen one of the nominated films. Here are the nominees for the major awards. I've only seen one film, The Number 23.

Worst Picture of the Year
Bratz
Daddy Day Camp
I Know Who Killed Me
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Norbit

Worst Actor of the Year
Nicolas Cage, Ghost Rider & National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Jim Carrey, The Number 23
Cuba Gooding Jr., Daddy Day Camp
Eddie Murphy (as Norbit), Norbit
Adam Sandler, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

Worst Actress of the Year
Jessica Alba, Awake, Fantastic Four & Good Luck Chuck
Logan Browning, Janel Parrish, Nathalia Ramos & Skyler Shaye, Bratz
Elisha Cuthbert, Captivity
Diane Keaton, Because I Said So
Lindsay Lohan (as Aubrey), I Know Who Killed Me
Lindsay Lohan (as Dakota), I Know Who Killed Me

Skiing is not for wimps

Michael Moore is not endorsing any candidate


Michael Moore has posted a letter on his website in which he has stated that he will not be endorsing any candidate at this time. I suspect this a relief to the Democratic contenders who are all trying to expand their base and likely view Moore as far too partisan and divisive. He describes the Democratic front-runners as a less-than-stellar group of candidates.

He also states that Rolling Stone magazine had asked to do a cover story where he would ask the hard questions that no one was asking in one-on-one interviews with Senators Clinton, Obama and Edwards. All three candidates had to agree to the interview or there was no story. Obama and Edwards agreed. Mrs. Clinton said no, and the cover story was killed.

Some Canadians Get to Vote in US Primaries

For the first time Americans living in Canada can vote online in the Democratic Presidential Primaries on February 5th. Also, at the Democratic national convention in August, the expatriate Internet votes will be represented by delegates of Democrats Abroad.

This is in addition to casting their primary absentee ballots in the state where they last voted or physically showing up at voting centres in various locations around the world.

The Democrats Abroad will only have 22 delegates, with 11 votes. That's less than Wyoming (18) but more than American Samoa (9).

Giuliani Waits for Florida


Mitt Romney takes Michigan and Nevada and holds an early delegate lead. Mike Huckabee has rallied the evangelical vote. John McCain has bounced back from a poor start to win South Carolina and New Hampshire.

Then there is Rudy Giuliani. He has concentrated his efforts on Florida which he hopes to capture and then move on to other delegate rich states - New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. But is it too late to get back in the game? On This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Giuliani had to answer some tough questions about his strategy:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor, you weren't even in the game yesterday -- sixth in Nevada, sixth in South Carolina. Ron Paul beat you twice. How do you spin that?

GIULIANI: We're concentrating on Florida. We've been here for two weeks. We've been campaigning here not quite full-time, but just about full-time for two weeks. We decided some time back that this is the place where we should put our most emphasis, that it worked out strength and weaknesses the best, and now we're ready for it.

We're ready for everybody to come down here, join us, start talking about who can lower taxes the most, who has the best record of a tax cutter, who's had the best record of stimulating an economy, which is so important, to people of Florida, the people of America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Mr. Mayor, when we spoke to you before Christmas, you said you were going to play in Iowa. You spent more than $2 million in New Hampshire, had more than 100 events there. There have now been six contests, and you've come in sixth or last five times. What do you say to Florida Republicans who are looking for a candidate who has proven they have broad-based support across the party, across the country?

GIULIANI: I say Florida can prove that. Florida is a microcosm of the country. It's a large state. It has virtually every, you know, diverse group that you can think of in different parts of the state, different economies in different parts of the state, different industries. This is a state that reflects America to a large extent, and we know this is the state that determined our president in the year 2000, so it's a state that's also very politically aware.
And the big issues here are the big issues in the country: Who can stimulate the economy, who can lower taxes. I have the biggest tax cut plan of anyone running. I have the most experience in cutting taxes of anyone running. And I've shown that it can work, that you can actually cut taxes and raise revenues, which is what really you have to do now if you want to deal with the deficit by also reducing spending.
UPDATE: I noticed new polling number released today has Giuliani trailing McCain in New York. He may be toast before Florida.

Huge 100 Car Pile Up North of Toronto Yesterday












Sunday, January 20, 2008

No Country for Old Men


Last night I went to see No Country for Old Men. First off I'm a huge Coen Brothers fan. They do not produce standard Hollywood fare. Everything they do is different and original. I think their best film was Fargo although my favourite is The Big Lebowski. I would have to say the new film is their best to date/

No Country for Old Men has some similarities to Blood Simple and Miller's Crossing in that they all deal with crime and have complicated plots. There are 3 main characters whose lives intersect. Tommy Lee Jones plays Ed Tom Bell, a weary, old sheriff whose stoicism can barely mask his dismay at the tide of evil seeping into the world. Josh Brolin plays Llewelyn Moss who has stumbled upon a group of vehicles on a drug run which has obviously gone bad because everyone including dogs are dead. There is a pile of drugs but it is the suitcase full of cash that attracts Moss' attention which takes off with it. Javier Bardem plays Anton Chigurh who is a ruthless and thoughtless killer with a bad haircut who tracks down Moss to recover the money. He has the warped sense of values that only a psychopath could identify with.

It is a chilling and violent film with an incredible script, cinematography and acting. The pacing, the mood and the attention to detail are breathtaking, sometimes literally. For example, in one scene a man sits in a dark hotel room as his pursuer walks down the corridor outside. You hear the creak of floorboards and the beeping of a transponder, and see the shadows of the hunter’s feet in the sliver of light under the door. The footsteps move away, and the next sound is the faint squeak of the light bulb in the hall being unscrewed. The silence and the slowness awaken your senses and grabs your attention. You know whats coming next but you are still surprised.

There are some unsettled details that are intentionally left unresolved when the movie comes to an abrupt end. I highly recommend the movie but it's not for the squeamish.

Tom Cruise Speaking at a Scientology Rally



source

365 Days and Counting...


Things are Opening in China


China Daily reports on homosexuals and lesbians in China and it appears things have begun to open up.

Glad Someone is Enjoying the Weather


Makes You Wonder What's in That Coffee

Irrefutable Proof the Group is Lip-Synching

Current Delegate Count

With Clinton and Romney winning in Nevada and McCain taking Sout Carolina the current delegate counts are:

Democrats (2,025 needed to win)
Obama 38
Clinton 36
Edwards 18
(the rest have 0)

Republicans (1,191 needed to win)
Romney 59
Huckabee 40
McCain 36
Thompson 5
Paul 4
Giuliani 1
Hunter 1