Saturday, March 13, 2010
It wasn't so long ago that the Reform party blew in from the West on a wave of populism. We all know that the Reform begat the Canadian Alliance party which begat today's Conservative party. Preston Manning reminded Canadians that all other politicians, once they arrived in Ottawa would forget their roots and their constituents. He promised that his party would never fall into the traps of power which was best known for arrogance and entitlement.
Stephen Harper inherited the leader's mantle of the populist party from Manning and understands the roots of the movement. Which brings me to the stumbling Conservative power couple Rahim Jaffer and Helena Guergis. Can you think of two people that better represent arrogance and entitlement? Within one week, Guergis makes headlines for her airport tantrum because security staff there failed to give her special treatment. Then it comes out that her husband through his lawyer has worked a sweet deal with the Crown to walk away from drunk driving, speeding and drug possession charges with a paltry $500 fine. A fraction of what his lawyer cost him.
This is not going over well on Main Street. Perhaps this turns out to be the final chapter of the western populist movement. Conservatives aren't much different than Liberals once they get to Ottawa. They use the rules like proroguing Parliament to cling to power. They seek out symbolic policies like rewriting the national anthem because they think that's what the people want. They too are out of touch with their roots and constituents. What happened Preston?
In the below video, Sexy Dragon strips down to his socks and undies and busts a move in various, very public places (such as Fairview Mall, Eaton Centre, TTC, Pacific Mall, ROM, U of T, and Younge & Dundas) -- much to the blushing reactions/glares/cheers/jeers of passersby and to the chagrin of security officers who sometimes feel compelled to rain on the parade.
In the next video in the series, he plans to tackle another cross-cultural stereotype by dressing up as a banana ("yellow on the outside and white on the inside") and hitting the streets. Stay tuned for it to appear on the Sexy Dragon website.
They plan to issue a statement on what they say are the negative effects of religion on society.
All 2,500 tickets were sold out earlier this year, but a religious gathering at the same venue in December attracted three times as many delegates.
The Global Atheist Convention is bringing together scientists, philosophers, writers and comedians.
They will also hear a film proposal, exposing the amount taxpayers spend subsidising religion.
Participants will be urged to avoid "missionary zeal" in their determination to promote their non-religious message to the world.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Now a member of the city's legislative assembly has gone a step further by introducing a bill that would ban the use of salt in restaurant kitchens.
Bill A10129 would forbid the city's chefs from using salt in any of their recipes. The ban's proposer, Felix Ortiz, a Democratic member from Brooklyn, says it would give consumers the choice about whether to add salt to their meal.
Restaurants trying to sneak a bit of sodium chloride on to the plate would be fined $1,000 every time they were caught.
Ortiz's bill comes on the back of a high-profile attempt by the city's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, to encourage New Yorkers to consume less sodium. The city estimates about 1.5 million residents already suffer from high blood pressure, which can be exacerbated by overconsumption of salt. In America as a whole, the average daily intake of 3,400mg is well above the recommended maximum of 2,300mg.
Bloomberg's campaign aims to cut the amount of salt in pre-packaged and restaurant food by a quarter, in five years. Unlike Bill A10129, however, it is purely voluntary.
A woman traveling to Israel is questioned by security officers who are suspicious of her bag. So they take it out the back and shoot it, killing her MacBook. Amazingly, the hard drive survived.
“The Israeli security’s decision to shoot my laptop was nonsensical on multiple levels – unprovoked, unduly aggressive, a waste of government funds, etc.” the woman, Lilly Sussman, wrote on her blog. Israel did reimburse her for around 80 percent of the cost for a replacement laptop.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Yesterday, Howard Stern held a Tiger Woods "Mistress Pageant" with three of the golfer's past lovers—Jamie Jungers, Loredana Jolie and Jamiee Grubbs. Jungers, who said last year, "I mean, I’m not raised to do something like I did [date a married man], and I’m not saying it’s OK..." kiss-and-told on Stern's program— "The first night was more making out and rough sex...toward the end it was more passionate"—and was crowned "Miss Mistress."
The Post has the recap of the show: "The worst part of the show for the golfer was the graphic discussion of his sex habits. Stern repeatedly asked all the women about his tastes in lovemaking, and his penis size. The ladies said he was carrying a driver, not a putter." The Howard Stern website has much more graphic details—for instance, how Jungers and Grubbs say that Woods didn't use protection with them while Jolie says she was his "favorite" and that he enjoyed watching her with other women, "We were like little puppets and he liked the whole show."
Jungers was given $75,000, while Grubbs received $15,000 as runner-up and Jolie got $10,000, courtesy AshleyMadison.com. Grubbs also said, "I'm the one who got the super crappy voicemails...I do think I deserve some sort of, like, apology."
Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old student at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi, asked to be able to take her date. The school's board objected – and to McMillen wanting to wear a tuxedo – so the American Civil Liberties Union got involved, pointing out the discrimination issue.
How did the school react? By blaming "distractions to the educational process caused by recent events" and cancelling the prom for everyone – which left the rest of the students unhappy. The local Clarion-Ledger newspaper, under the sparkling headline "Mississippi lesbian alleges retaliation after prom date debate", reported McMillen's reaction to the news that the prom had been scrapped.
A Facebook group, Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend to Prom!, has been started.
I'm sure most of the school already knew that Constance was gay. It's 2010 - except maybe in Mississippi it seems.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
So, for one of the Harper favourites turns a coke possession charge, a +.08 impaired charge and a 43 kph over-the-limit speeding offence into "careless driving"? How is that fair?
So Rahim Jaffer walks away with a $500 fine. I'm sure Rahim and Helena can drop as much in an evening out in downtown Toronto. The judge called it a break. I call it a gift,
Tell me I would get the same consideration. This couple is just too much. You have to keep Rahim away from coke and Helena away from airports.
Lee Jin-gyu fell for his 'dakimakura' - a kind of large, huggable pillow from Japan, often with a picture of a popular anime character printed on the side.
Now the 28-year-old otaku (a Japanese term that roughly translates to somewhere between 'obsessive' and 'nerd') has wed the pillow in a special ceremony, after fitting it out with a wedding dress for the service in front of a local priest. Their nuptials were eagerly chronicled by the local media.
Call me judgmental but this guy is a world-class loser. I know you're thinking of all the advantages of marrying a pillow - no arguments, a reasonable VISA bill, you can watch all the sports you want. Take my word for it, it's a sham!
In Vaughan we have a unique group of unethical, self-serving, untrustworthy politicians that you could possibly inflict on a community. Voters anxiously wait for the election this fall for the opportunity to throw the whole bunch out. Though it wouldn't come as a shock if their replacements also lack the integrity needed to hold public office.
The most recent event only adds to the sad legacy of this council. Last month Tony Carella was shopping at one of the local Longo's where he parked his wife's car in a handicapped parking spot. The infraction might have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for a picture snapped by an astute shopper while Carella was pulling out of the space. The photo was handed over the the Toronto Star.
When confronted with the evidence the councillor denies any intent: “I have never knowingly parked in a handicapped spot. I might have done it, but never consciously.” Come on why do these politicians think we are that dumb. I'm sure he is a regular at that Longo's store and never noticed they had handicapped parking.
That was yesterday. Today he is singing a different tune since his first explanation didn't go over very well. He’s sorry and he’ll never do it again. And he's donating $300 to Community Living York South, a York Region-based organization that supports people with learning disabilities.
None of this morally gets him off the hook. Just another example of the flawed group of characters running our city.
Canada's largest airline has learned it sometimes has to take a back seat to the country's biggest sporting passion, ice hockey, the head of Air Canada said on Tuesday.
The airline was forced to delay a flight from Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games because passengers watching the end of gold medal final on airport televisions ignored repeated calls to board.
"We incurred a flight delay for a reason Air Canada had not yet encountered in over 72 years of existence," chief executive Calin Rovinescu told a business gathering. The Canadian fans were rewarded for their delay, as the nail-biting end to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics saw Canada beat United States 3-2 in overtime.
Of course anyone who has flown Air Canada knows that most flights are delayed. Call it the Revenge of the Passengers.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
A Kentucky woman cuffed for public intoxication added a third degree assault charge to her rap sheet after allegedly squirting breast milk into a sheriff's deputy's face. Toni Tramel, 31, of Owensboro, was changing into a prison uniform when she took her chance to let the female officer have it with one barrel. The deputy was quickly subjected to a "biohazard decontamination process". Yes, we're all trying to figure out what is hazardous about breast milk.
In fact, that leads to the next story where a New York is letting diners at Klee Brasserie munch on cheese made from breast milk of the chef's wife. He suggests that the flavor depends on what the cheese is served with -- he recommends a Riesling -- and "what the mother eats."
Breast milk doesn't curdle well due to its low protein content, so a little moo juice has to be added to round out the texture.
Officials say an Ohio inmate who intentionally overdosed on pills hours before his scheduled execution has returned to prison and is on suicide watch.
Prisons spokeswoman Julie Walburn says 43-year-old Lawrence Reynolds Jr., who admitted taking an overdose of medication prescribed to him, arrived at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown shortly after noon on Tuesday.
Walburn says Reynolds is isolated from other inmates and under constant observation.
Reynolds was treated at a Youngstown hospital after he was found unconscious in his death row cell Sunday night.
The type of drug he used and why it was prescribed aren't being disclosed. How he accumulated the pills is under investigation.
Reynolds' execution for the 1994 murder of his neighbor near Akron has been rescheduled to next week.
So how crazy is this story. A guy that the state wants dead is kept from dying so that the state can kill him. This is bureaucracy run amok.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Palin has previously called for at least a partial privatization of Canada's health care system. In November 2009, Palin was apparently tricked by Mary Walsh from the Canadian-comedy news show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and was asked a question about Canada's health care system. Walsh was posing as a fan of hers from Canada. Palin answered: "In fact Canada needs to reform its health care system and let the private sector take over some of what the government has absorbed. So thank you, keep the faith."
Let's set aside the Phil Kessel trade because you can never justify giving up that much for a player who's name isn't Crosby or Ovechkin. What Burke is saying is that building around players 21 to 23 rather than 18 to 20 will shorten the rebuild by a couple of years. I'm all for that.
The Leafs are now the youngest team in the league so the rebuild is well underway. If all their veterans had been traded for draft picks the Leaf lineup would look much different. It would be stocked with minor leaguers and fringe NHL players not youngsters. You would be waiting several years to see how the draft picks turn out. Just look around the league. Pittsburgh, Chicago and Washington rebuilt through the draft but they were out of the playoffs for years.
Phoenix finished no higher than 23rd overall in the past 5 season and their average finish was 25th. It looks like they will finally make the playoffs this season. Los Angeles has had a similar experience with their best season in the past 5 being a 21st finish overall and an average finish of 25th. They too look to finally grab a playoff spot this season. For Columbus, St. Louis, Florida and the Islanders, they are still waiting for a winning season to happen. For every Steve Stamkos, John Taveres and Drew Doughty there is Patrik Stefan, Alexander Svitov or Rico Fata. If you pick a dud, it just sets you back that much farther.
As you watch Dion, Schenn, Kessel, Bozak, Caputi, Stalberg, Hanson and Kulemin you can at least get a sense of where the Leafs are going.
Voters in Switzerland have rejected a proposal to introduce a nationwide system of state-funded lawyers to represent animals in court.
Animal rights groups had proposed the move, saying that without lawyers to argue the animals' case, many instances of cruelty were going unpunished.
But the measure was rejected by around 70% of voters in a referendum.
Opponents had argued that Switzerland did not need more legislation. The government had opposed the idea.
Voters were almost certainly swayed by worries about how much such a system might cost taxpayers, and by objections from Switzerland's farmers already struggling with reduced subsidies and falling milk prices.
Switzerland already has some of the strictest animal welfare legislation in the world. Pigs, budgies, goldfish and other social animals cannot be kept alone; horses and cows must have regular exercise outside in summer and winter; and dog owners have to take training courses to learn how to care for their pets.
The ratings for the Academy Award show has been slipping over the past few years. Although the largest audiences occur when a blockbuster film is favoured to win best picture. More than 57.25 million US viewers watched in 1998, the year of Titanic. The 76th Academy Awards ceremony in which The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King received 11 Awards including best picture drew 43.56 million viewers. The most watched ceremony based on Nielsen ratings to date, however, was the 42nd Academy Awards (best picture Midnight Cowboy) which drew a 43.4% household rating on April 7, 1970.
By contrast, ceremonies honoring films that have not performed well at the box office tend to show weaker ratings. The 78th Academy Awards which awarded low-budgeted, independent film Crash generated an audience of 38.64 million with a household rating of 22.91%. More recently, the 80th Academy Awards telecast was watched by 31.76 million viewers on average with an 18.66% household rating, the lowest rated and least watched ceremony to date, in spite of celebrating 80 years of the Academy Awards. The best picture winner of that particular ceremony was another low-budget, independently financed film (No Country for Old Men).
Last night's show had good ratings because Avatar was considered one of the favourites even though in the end The Hurt Locker was the big winner. The telecast was watched by 41.62 million viewers on average with an 26.75% household rating. It shows a lot of people have seen Avatar.
The organizers made some changes to attract more younger viewers and will take credit for the high ratings. They should thank James Cameron. The expanded field of best picture nominees (10 instead of 5) was intended to attract more viewers. I thought there were more younger presenters than usual (Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner). The horror movie and John Hughes tributes had to be aimed at younger viewers. Though I thought that was all negated by using Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as hosts.
The format is so stale and dying for a face lift. Within 20 minutes I was ready to walk away. The song-and-dance opener by Neil Patrick Harris was painful to watch. Martin and Baldwin were not funny at all. Calling out celebrities in the audience was lame. Somebody get Billy Crystal on the phone ASAP.
Each year you are painfully endure presentations to people you don't care about for films you know nothing about. In attempt to entertain they try various dance numbers, film montages and special effects. Who's stupid idea was it to have a dance number to the score of The Hurt Locker? The night just drags and then suddenly the last 20 minutes they blow through the major awards. When the best picture was awarded Tom Hanks didn't even announce the nominees. The envelope was opened and the winner announced.
There are absolutely no surprises either and the winners are totally predictable. The Hurt Locker swept most critics groups awards for best director and best picture including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston and Las Vegas film critics association. Sandra Bullock had previously won 5 best actress awards for her role in The Blind Side including the Crtics Choice Awards. Jeff Bridges had already won 4 best actor awards including the Screen Actors Guild. So there wasn't much drama last night. I suspect most people are just watching to see what the rich and famous are wearing.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
I only managed to see 6 out of the 10 of the films nominated but half the films are not serious contenders. The number of nominees were doubled to attract a larger TV audience but only 3 have a chance to win.
I would have to vote for The Hurt Locker, which was a riveting study in dehumanization. I haven't made up my mind yet.
My fear is that Avatar will win. It's just a bad, bad movie with a plot that a 14 year old could have written. Though i did enjoy the 3D for the first hour. Then I was ready to pack it up and go home.
I thought A Serious Man was great, not least of which because so many people seem so bewildered by it. I have no idea how An Education got the nomination, frankly. Cute movie, but why pick this one over Crazy Heart, which was excellent? Finally I really enjoy Inglourious Basterds but don't see how it can win best picture.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Jeff Bridges really deserves it; he's a great actor and this was a great performance. I
I have not seen A Single Man, though I'm dying to. I liked George Clooney a lot in Up in the Air. Clooney really seems to be a polarizing actor for a lot of people I come across. I think he deserved the nomination, but I don't expect him to win. Bridges deserves it more.
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
I've not seen The Last Station, Blind Side or Precious. Carey Mulligan's nomination is a bit of a suprise. Not that she's bad in An Education, but she didn't particularly stand out, either. I did see Julie and Julia but I didn't think this was one of Meryl Streep's best works and shouldn't earn her an Oscar.
Based on how many awards Sandra Bullock has been picking up these past few months, I wouldn't bet against her. That Oscar would look good next to her Razzie.
I really want Kathryn Bigelow to win this one. Partially because The Hurt Locker was just so riveting but also because I don't want to hear any more of James Cameron's arrogant bullshit.
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
I've only seen Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds and he was hysterical. I wouldn't be shocked if he wins.
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
I did not see Nine or Precious. Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick both were very good in Up in the Air. Maggie Gyllenhaal was very good in Crazy Heart. I think she is a little underrated as an actress. I understand Mo'Nique's performance was incredible so I assume she wins though I loved Anna Kendrick.
From the films I saw I would give it to Up in the Air which was well-written.
I would give it to A Serious Man which is one very original and fascinating screenplay. However, so few people understood the movie that the Coens may walk away empty handed.
Florida might want to consider adding shaving your privates to its bill on banning phones while driving
"She said she was meeting her boyfriend in Key West and wanted to be ready for the visit."
If that weren't enough, Megan Mariah Barnes was not supposed to be driving and her 1995 Ford Thunderbird was not supposed to be on the road.
The day before the wreck, Barnes was convicted in an Upper Keys court of DUI with a prior and driving with a suspended license, said Monroe County Assistant State Attorney Colleen Dunne. Barnes was ordered to impound her car, and her driver's license was revoked for five years, after which time she must have a Breathalyzer ignition interlock device on any vehicle she drives, Dunne said. Barnes also was sentenced to nine months' probation.
WORST ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock, All About Steve
WORST SCREEN COUPLE: Sandra Bullock & Bradley Cooper, All About Steve
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Billy Ray Cyrus, Hannah Montana: The Movie
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Sienna Miller, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
WORST PREQUEL, REMAKE, RIP-OFF OR SEQUEL (Combined Category for 2009): Land of the Lost
WORST DIRECTOR: Michael Bay, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
WORST SCREENPLAY: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen written by Ehren Kruger & Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, based on Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures
WORST PICTURE OF THE DECADE: Battlefield Earth
WORST ACTOR OF THE DECADE: Eddie Murphy, Adventures of Pluto Nash, I Spy, Imagine That, Meet Dave, Norbit, Showtime
WORST ACTRESS OF THE DECADE: Paris Hilton, The Hottie and the Nottie, House of Wax, Repo: The Genetic Opera
Did you know that winning an Oscar means you can can take liberties with Halle Berry.
The movie was bad the acceptance speech even worse.
Cuba Gooding Jr. just loses it.