Saturday, March 06, 2010

It's Panda Week in Canada

Today's version of the "baby on Board" sign

Helicopter parents have no boundaries.

Is this the Hugh Hefner of primates?

U.S. introduces $10 visitor fee, Canadians exempt

Residents of 35 countries that share a visa-waiver program with the United States will have to pay a $10 U.S. entry fee, except for Canadians, officials say.

U.S. officials told the Toronto Star Canadians would be exempt because of the special relationship between the two countries.

U.S. President Barack Obama signed the American Travel Promotion Act into law Thursday. It is designed to boost travel to the United States. U.S. tourism fell precipitously after security measures were put into place following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Not sure how this will increase tourism.

The Star said the $10 fees would provide half of a $200 "Come Home to America" campaign, with the rest provided by the U.S. travel industry, under the new act's provisions.

Reports did not say when the new $10 fee would be implemented.

Have we gone to far? 6 year suspended for hand gun

To the little boy's mother, it was just a 6-year-old boy playing around. But when Mason Jammer, a kindergarten student at Jefferson Elementary in Ionia, Michigan, curled his fist into the shape of a gun and pointed it at another student, school officials said it was no laughing matter.

They suspended Mason, saying the behaviour made other students uncomfortable, said Erin Jammer, Mason's mother. School officials allege Mason had displayed this kind of behaviour for several months, despite numerous warnings.

"I do think it's too harsh for a six-year-old," said Jammer, who was previously warned that if Mason continued the practice he would be suspended. "He's six and he just likes to play."

Jammer says her son isn't violent, and there are other, more effective ways of teaching him not to make a gun with his hand. "Maybe what you could do is take his recess away," suggested Jammer, adding her son doesn't have toy guns at home. He's only six and he doesn't understand any of this."

Kiki Dee is 63 today

It's Panda Week in Canada

Wow, a marijuana-free workplace

Friday, March 05, 2010

The most popular teacher in New Hampshire

English teacher Melinda Dennehy has been charged with indecent exposure for allegedly e-mailing nude photographs of herself to a 15-year-old student at Londonderry High School.

Dennehy, 41, of Hampstead, turned herself in to Londonderry police this morning and was promptly arrested. Dennehy has since been released on $10,000 personal recognizance bond, but is not allowed near school grounds.

The charges stem from an investigation begun earlier this week into a series of photographs of Dennehy that had been sent to a student at the school.

According to the arrest affidavit released this afternoon, police believe as many as four nude pictures were sent two months ago to the student, whom Hart identified as a male juvenile. The photos were forwarded and seen by at least two other juvenile students at the school, according to the affidavit.

Dennehy was placed on paid administrative leave and that the school's own investigation is ongoing.

Female cop fired for wanted to sleep with every cop on the force

Within days of being posted Jessica Parfrey propositioned her supervisor to have an affair because "everyone knows you're supposed to fall in love with your buddy".

A month later, after he turned her down, she told him: "Can't we just f***? I am a 19-year-old girl, what is wrong with you?"

The Industrial Relations Commission in Sydney heard that Ms Parfrey also offered an officer oral sex in a pub toilet and carpark and later propositioned another, saying: "I know you want me."

Both men refused.

She tried to call another colleague 12 times, left six text messages and then offered to help him study for his police exams by stripping off an item of clothing for every question he got correct. He refused.

Ms Parfrey was sacked from the police in September 2007, five months into her probation.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy told her in a letter that her conduct had been "entirely inconsistent" with the standards expected of an officer.

However, she claimed her dismissal was unjust and argued that the majority of the alleged sexual harassment took place outside work during drinks with workmates.

John Grayson, deputy president of the Industrial Relations Commission, refused yesterday to reinstate her, rejecting her claims that she had been joking.

He said he believed her former colleagues at Waratah local area command, near Newcastle.

Ms Parfrey, who was not in court, has been working as a barmaid.

She graduated from the Goulburn police academy in May 2007 but she failed two subjects in her associate degree in policing at Charles Sturt University and had to fight to overturn a two-year study ban.

The commission also heard that during her probation she told another officer that she wanted to attend the scenes of fatal traffic accidents because it would "f*** up her head" and she could use it for a hurt-on-duty claim.

She also offered to lie in a suspected drink driving case, the commission was told.

While out on patrol, she and another officer saw a suspected drink driver standing 100 metres from his car.

She offered to say she had seen him behind the wheel, the commission was told.


It's Panda Week in Canada

Thursday, March 04, 2010

We now return to our regular programming

The Olympics are done and is the prorogue. The outrage and protests across our fine nation were forgotten as quickly as a Sidney Crosby wrist shot heading behind a surprised Ryan Miller. Welcome back to the Canadian stalemate, one of the longest running programs on our political stage.

That's right the Conservatives and Liberals are both still stuck in a political "no fly zone". Since 2005 there has been really very, very, little change.

The two-week survey of political support conducted Feb. 18-28 by The Canadian Press Harris-Decima suggests the Tories and Liberals are dead even at 31 per cent. The NDP had support from 16 per cent of respondents, the Greens had 12 and the Bloc Quebecois was at eight.

Don't believe Harris Decima well then a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
33 per cent of decided voters support the Conservative candidate. The Liberal Party is second with 29 per cent. The NDP is third with 20 per cent, followed by the Bloc Québécois with nine per cent, and the Green Party also with nine per cent.

How about the latest EKOS poll. It show Conservatives at 32.4 per cent, Liberals at 29.4 [er cent, the NDP at 15.2 per cent, Green at 10.5 percent and the Bloc Quebecois at 9.4 per cent.

Ignatieff seems unable to find traction as a prime minister in waiting. While Harper seems to have gained little from the Olympic excitement. The tail end of the polling was done through the final days of the Games, when Canada was racking up its record haul of gold medals.

Catherine O'Hara turns 56 today

Mug Shot of the Week

Doesn't this look like the face of a hardened criminal?

Remember the Beatles song "Why don't we do it in the road?"...

The daring duo are being hunted after a motorist passed on the this photo to police.

A police spokesman said: "We want to find this couple because such behaviour is not permissible."

The open air sex session took place on Sunday in the industrial city of Krefeld, West Germany.

Motorists said the cheeky pair were at it for at least ten minutes.

A local cab driver said: "I nearly crashed my cab, it's not something you see every day in the middle of the road."

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

It's Panda Week in Canada

Gee how did that get there?

When Lashamma Lawson of Albany, GA went to the Dougherty County jail on Monday she was busted for carrying 10 bags of marijuana in her purse, according to deputies.

Lawson, 24, was going to the jail to pick up her criminal background check for a new job when officers searched her purse at a security checkpoint.

Lawson said she forgot the pot was in there, according to the incident report.

I guess she’s going to have to make another trip to pick up an updated criminal background check.

Please no more remakes!!!

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a… feature film?

A big screen version of the 60’s TV classic “Gilligan’s Island” is reportedly in the works.

According to Variety, the sitcom, which ran from 1964 to 1967, is being developed for the big screen by Warner Bros. and Atlas Entertainment.

The movie version of the TV series will reportedly take a contemporary approach to the classic characters and premise.

“The characters are so good,” producer Charles Roven told the entertainment trade mag. “We think it’s going to be a great story to transport these cultural icons to the modern day.”

A cast and director will reportedly not be picked until screenwriter Brad Copeland finishes the script, but “Gilligan’s” original show producer Sherwood Schwartz – who is an executive producer for the movie – reportedly said in an interview last year that he’d like Michael Cera as Gilligan.


Hump Day Hottie

Lindsay Vonn

It's Panda Week in Canada

Something tells me this marriage won't last

A newlywed Massachusetts couple spent their wedding night in separate jail cells after police said the bride tried to run over an old flame of the groom.

Police say 22-year-old Hyannis resident Marissa Ann Putignano-Keene tried Monday to run over the other woman and the woman's son in a parking lot. The intended victim later told police that she had previously been in an intimate relationship with the groom.

Police say the couple got married at Barnstable Town Hall and split a bottle of Champagne afterward.

The bride was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Her husband, 37-year-old Timothy Keene, was riding in the car with her and was charged with disorderly conduct.


Monday, March 01, 2010

Some Canadians were not amused at the campy finish to the Olympics

I guess some people don't appreciate a little bit of humour and self-deprecation. Anyone can do pyrotechnics, laser light shows and acrobats. These closing ceremonies were unparalleled because instead of trying to overwhelm, you got a few laughs instead. So Canadian. The absolute highlight of the evening was Michael Buble's rendition of The Maple Leaf Forever. Whoever came up with that production number is a genius.

Buble was perfect, and the Broadway production swirling around him was so wonderfully campy. The dancing Mounties, and then the giant wooden Mounties being wheeled out, and the dancing maple leaf babes, and the swaying coureurs des bois in their canoes, and the giant beavers and moose, and best of all, the giant hockey table game. It was all a bit of inside joke. These are symbols of Canadian stereotypes that have endured for years. Now perhaps finally put to rest.

Anyway, I have to run. I have guests coming over and the igloo is a mess.

It's Panda Week in Canada

TV audiences for the gold medal game were huge

The rating numbers coming for the gold medal hockey appear to be enormous. According to Sports Business Daily there were 27.6 million viewers on average in the U.S.
This is up 46% from the 2002 USA/Canada showdown, and will very likely be the highest-rated hockey game since 1980. It is estimated that 1 in every 3 Americans with a TV were watching the game. This is out of this world.

In Canada the ratings were even larger. The hockey game became the most-watched TV broadcast in Canadian history, with an average audience of 16.6 million viewers.

Nearly half the Canadian population watched the entire game on average, while 80 percent of Canadians watched some part of the game (26.5 million).

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I interrupt the Olympic posts to bring you Lady Gaga in a plastic dress

No doubt the most memorable performance in Vancouver Games

Joannie Rochette wins bronze and the hearts of all Canadians.

Canada celebrates hockey gold

Dundas Square in Toronto

Downtown London, Ontario

Downtown Vancouver - check out the Santa Clause in the last 10 seconds

It's our game!

Team Canada rules today!!

Happy 55th birthday Gilbert Gottfried

Even the chimps in Russia need rehab

Zhora, a chimp in a Russian zoo, has become addicted to smoking and an alcoholic after visitors gave him too many "treats."

"We asked visitors not to give him [alcohol and cigarettes], but it was all in vain," the deputy head of Rostov zoo, Nadezhda Yeutushenko, said. Yeutushenko told Russian press that Zhora was kept behind three rows of fences, but visitors still managed to throw him alcohol and cigarettes.

Zhora has now been transferred to a different city for rehab treatment.

Zoo workers blamed visitors for Zhora's vices. "People laugh when they see an animal drinking [alcohol] and smoking," they said, "but vicious habits damage [the animal's] health, and many do not understand this."


The Own the Podium program was not a failure

I was maybe too quick to jump on the bandwagon of criticism of the Own the Podium program established by the Canadian Olympic Committee to garner a record number of medals. Although in my defense I suggested it was still early. The first week of the Vancouver Games saw a number of weaker than expected finishes. Let's face it some Canadian athletes choked under the weight of thousands of rabid Canadian fans cheering them on. They normal compete in front of foreign audiences. But they got used to the noise and fed off of it. Then the medal rush began which peaked yesterday when a single day record of 3 gold medals were picked up by Canadians.

The COC's goal was to top all countries in the overall medal total. They will come third with 11 fewer than the Americans and three fewer than the Germans (once men's hockey medals are handed out). However, Canada's overall performance at the games was outstanding. Canada will finish with either 13 or 14 gold medals depending on the outcome of the hockey game which not only tops all other countries but is the most won at a Winter Olympics (Norway won 13 golds in 2002). We will be third or fourth in silver also depending on the hockey results, seventh in bronze and first in 4th place finishes. We were more competitive in Vancouver than we had ever been previously. The 26 medals won improves on the 24 medals picked un in 2006.

Although the $120 million spent on increasing the number of medals did not achieve its goals the program will impact on Canadian youth for years to come. History has shown that participation in sports increases dramatically following a successful Olympics and from my perspective that's why we are all winners. I also noticed for the first time in my lifetime Canadians came out of their comfort zone to vocally support their athletes. People proudly wore their red maple leafs and weren't the least bit embarrassed about it.

Maybe the world learned a little more about Canadians. NBC did some excellent film clips on Canada. As a Canadian they were much appreciated.

UPDATE: Canada did set a Winter Games record with 14 golds. We may not own the podium but you have to admit we owned the top of the podium.

Statue of the Week

J.P. Ricciardi has a job

It's not quite a job in baseball but former Toronto Blue Jays general manager, J.P, Ricciardi who was fired at the end of the 2009 season, is joining ESPN’s Baseball Tonight as an analyst. No surprise since Ricciardi's personality would likely work against him as he tried to secure another front office job. However, he never had anything nice to say to reporters that covered the Blue Jays. He often gave the impression that he nothing but contempt for the media. He had a prickly personality so it should be interesting watching him dish out a healthy share of barbs.

He was always accessible to national baseball writers in the U.S. He also unleashed occasional public criticism against the local media, especially newspaper reporters. In his final Toronto radio appearance before he was fired, he blasted the media for “swaying” the public to believe the Jays had underachieved last season.