Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sign of the day

AMBER ALERT: Have you seen Clarence?

If only Clarence could actually talk, then he could tell the Lee County Sheriff’s Office who stole him. Clarence is a ventriloquist’s dummy. He was reported missing on Tuesday by Richard Allen Parrott who hasn't seen him since October.

The deputy wrote: "Clarence is approximately three feet tall and last seen wearing tiny blue jeans with a tiny blue T-shirt and black and white sneakers size small."

Parrott said he didn't notice Clarence missing until April 8 because his car had broken down. He parked it at the Stillwell Parkway house, which is owned by his landlord. He was helping the landlord remodel the house and the new renters were fine with him leaving it there.

He went to get the car earlier this month and noticed it was unlocked, even though he had locked it months ago. A suitcase which contained Clarence was in the trunk, but Clarence was missing.

My personal photos week

At my last NHL game I actually was able to get out on the ice.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Valerie Bertinelli has turned 50!

Britney Spears dad orders her to wear a bra

Britney Spears' dad, Jamie who has legal control over all Britney's affairs has imposed a host of new rules on the singer. The poster child for Celebrity Psychos is a 28 years old mother of two that can't go to Starbucks without Daddy's permission.

Well Daddy is embarrassed by constant pictures of her nipples popping out of her clothes and has insisted she only leaves her Los Angeles home wearing the correct support. One security guard was told he is close to getting fired because he lets her go out without her bra.

Can Daddy also get her to stop singing?

Fashion Disaster

What the hell does Salma Hayek have on her feet and I can't believe they cost $5700!

Unibrow Recognition Week

Personal injury lawyers advertise in hospitals

There was a story in the Globe and Mail this week about a visitors lounge at the ICU in Sunnybrook Hospital with a large prominent sign (see above) with the name of personal injury law firm in downtown Toronto. St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto has a waiting room in the intensive care unit on the trauma neurosurgery floor also named after the firm. It seems that law firms are donating money for hospital naming rights.

Sunnybrook has the largest trauma unit in Toronto and many of the more seriously injured auto accident victims are treated there. St. Michael's has one of the largest brain injury units in Toronto and many of their patients are also auto accident victims. I guess this may be the latest in ambulance chasing.

Naming rights have spread from the private sector to the public sector including hospitals, universities and other government-funded buildings. What does a naming opportunity cost?

At the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, two personal injury law firms donated $1-million in total. For that, their names will appear in three patient dining rooms.

I would be interested in knowing how a bio-ethicist views this phenomenon. Comments posted with the articles varied. A lot of people took the opportunity to bash lawyers. There are potentially some big dollars available through auto insurance policies so despite doing a good job representing their clients they do take a hit. Some were critical of the government for underfunding the health care system forcing hospitals to take this money. But even if the hospital had more government funding, would they turn down large sums of money just to hang a sign in a room?

Sign of the day

Gas Station Clerk Wins Powerball 258 Million Dollars

A Missouri man who won a $258 million Powerball jackpot and plans to use some of the money to pay bills, replace his two missing front teeth and take his children to Disney World said he hasn't decided yet if he'll quit his job at the convenience store (salary $7.25 an hour) where he bought the winning ticket.

Chris Shaw — a 29-year-old tattooed father of three who was raised by his grandparents in rural southern Missouri — came forward Thursday as the winner of the 10th-largest Powerball jackpot ever. Shaw said he had just $28.96 in his bank account and recently bought a 1998 Ford Ranger from a friend who agreed to let him pay off the $1,000 price $100 at a time. Now, he said, he no longer has to worry about how he'll pay his friend — or his utility bills.

He has to decide whether to take the jackpot in 30 payments over 29 years or the lump-sum amount of $124,875,122. Why do these people always make it sound like they can't decide whether to quit their job. Like he's going to miss being a convenience store clerk. Even after replacing those front teeth, buying a dozen plaid shirts and installing air conditioning his trailer, he still should have over $100,000,000 to stick in the bank. At 4% interest he will be earning $456 of interest per hour 24/7 - even when he's sleeping. So sit on your sofa with a beer earning $456/hour or pump gas at the convenience store for $7.25.

Tough choice Chris.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Driver of the Year gets busted

Remember this very 'courteous' and 'careful' driver who was captured on video last year at an Extreme Fitness facility just 2 miles from my home.

A 62-year-old Richmond Hill woman whose terrible parking job became the subject of a viral YouTube video last year was sentenced in Newmarket court. She pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to report, and was given a $500 fine and ordered to pay restitution to the two victims whose vehicles she damaged.

She was also given six months probation and is restricted from driving between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The driving restriction I don't get since her accident occurred during the day. So how does the restriction relate to her offense?

One Hit Wonder

Christie - Yellow River (1970)

Sign of the day

List of NFL Suspensions

Uniform violation - 1 game
Domestic violence - 1 game
Using a banned substance - 2 games
Bringing a firearm into the stadium - 2 games
Assault - 2 games
Armed robbery - 4 games
Rape - 4 games
Animal cruelty - 6 games
Attempted murder - 6 games
Murder - 8 games
Excessive end zone celebration - 8 games
Attacking an official - 10 games
Gambling violation - full season

Unibrow Recognition Week

Migraine brings on Chinese accent

A British woman has suddenly started speaking with a Chinese accent after suffering a severe migraine, she said in comments quoted by British media Tuesday.

Sarah Colwill believes she has Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) which has caused her distinctive West Country drawl to be replaced with a Chinese twang, even though she has never even visited the country.

The 35-year-old from Plymouth, southwest England, is now undergoing speech therapy following an acute form of migraine last month which reportedly left her with a form of brain damage.

"I moved to Plymouth when I was 18 months old so I have always spoken like a local. But following one attack, an ambulance crew arrived and they said I definitely sounded Chinese," she said.

FAS has been documented around the world and is usually linked to a stroke or traumatic brain injury. It was first recorded in the early 20th century and there are thought to be only a couple of dozen sufferers around the world.


One out of three teens send 100 text messages per day

A third of US teenagers with cell phones send more than 100 texts a day as texting has exploded to become the most popular means of communication for young people, according to new research.

The study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which offers a glimpse into teen culture and communication, found that texting has risen dramatically even since 2008, eclipsing cell phone calls, instant messaging, social networks - and talking face-to-face.

The Pew Research Centre said that three-quarters of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 now own cell phones and of those that do, girls typically send or receive 80 text messages per day and boys, 30 per day.

"Texting is now the central hub of communication in the lives of teens today, and it has really skyrocketed in the last 18 months," Pew researcher Amanda Lenhart said, attributing the rise in part to payment plans that allow unlimited texting. Text messaging has become so much a part of teenagers' lives that 87 percent of those who text said that they sleep with, or next to, their phone.

Hump Day Hottie

Hayden Panettiere

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

About that Ontario doctor shortage

I was thinking over the weekend about the fight going on between the Ontario government and pharmacies in the province. I'll get into what the fight is about on another day. But that issue is really part of an undeclared war on doctors in this province.

For almost 20 years now there has been a reported shortage of doctors in Ontario. Everyone seems to have a reason - doctor burnout, stress on the job, too much paperwork, etc. Well it's all a bunch of nonsense. Ontario sits in last place in Canada for number of doctors per 100,000 in population. So 20 years into this problem and it hasn't been resolved. That's because the government has no intention in correcting the shortage.

It's quite easy for the government to supply more doctors - just expand medical school admissions and allow foreign trained doctors to practice here. But if 1,000 additional doctors were to each bill OHIP $250,000 each year that would cost the government $2.5 billion. That doesn't include additional tests and other procedures that these doctors would order.

The Ontario government has cleverly used the doctor shortage as justification to shift work to other health care providers. Legislation was recently passed that amended to Regulated Health Professions Act to expand the services that many health professions can provide despite resistance from doctors. For example physiotherapists will be able to prescribe drugs and order x-rays. These changes have been justified by relieving doctors of these responsibilities. Other professions will provide these services for less money. In some cases they are not funded by OHIP which means payment of these services are transferred to the public.

The recent spat with pharmacies is just part of the government's long term strategy to save money and offload costs to others. So don't expect the doctor shortage to be resolved. It's permanent and part of the Ontario landscape.

Happy 420 Day

The term 420 was coined from a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California, United States in 1971. The teens would meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana outside the school. April 20 ("4/20" in U.S. date notation) has evolved into a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.

So in honour of 420 Day here is a pretty entertaining drug bust.

Sign of the day

I need to start taking books out of the library again

A 1992 survey of 5,000 U.S. librarians, long withheld by a professional journal, found one in five respondents had engaged in sexual trysts among the stacks.

Will Manly, who said the New York-based Wilson Library Bulletin withheld the results of his survey in 1992, published results recently on his Web site indicating 51 percent of librarians in the early 90s were willing to pose nude for money and 61 percent of respondents admitting to renting an X-rated film, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

Manly said the survey questions were printed in the now-defunct journal, but bosses withheld the results and fired him for the saucy survey, which he said received 5,000 responses from librarians.

The survey also found 22 percent of respondents believed condom dispensers in library bathrooms would be a good idea and 14 percent said they had been sexually harassed by a patron.


Unibrow Recognition Week

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy 31st Kate!

The greatest terrorist threats are probably still from within

15 years ago today, Timothy McVeigh destroyed the lives of 168 people and damaged many more when he detonated a truck filled with explosives parked adjacent to the Oklahoma City Federal Building. More than 300 buildings were damaged or destroyed within a sixteen-block area of downtown causing an estimated $650 million in property damage. The Oklahoma City bombing was the worst act of terrorism on American soil until the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Sign of the day

Man busted for DUI in Barbie car

And when police asked the driver to pull over, the Barbie car, with its top speed of 4mph, was hopeless as a getaway vehicle.

Paul Hutton, 40, is regretting his impromptu roadtrip after he was arrested for drink-driving when he tried to take the battery- operated child's toy to a friend's house.

He took the Barbie car home after finding it abandoned ten years ago and has been tinkering with it ever since.

Mr Hutton had been drinking on March 28 when he decided to show the jeep off to a friend who lives just 500 yards away.

Police spotted him at 9 pm with his knees tucked up under his chin ambling along. He was arrested when he ignored warnings for him to stop and tried to make a very slow getaway. He was given a three-year ban because he had received another drink-drive ban within the previous ten years.

Nuremberg: It's Lessons For Today

Last night I saw the North American premiere of a documentary on the Nuremberg Trials probably one of the most important films produced in the 20th century. Yet it took 62 years for the film to arrive here.

Completed in 1948, it was widely shown in Germany but the U.S. government determined it was too graphic for American audiences. More importantly, it was believed that the U.S. government feared that public support for the rebuilding of Europe through the Marshall Plan would erode if the American were to see the film. So it was buried all this time.

The film was restored by the original director's (Stuart Schulberg) daughter Sandra including the English-language version which was never finished. It was such an important film because of its powerful anti-war message and a shame that audiences around the world have been denied access to it until now.

The film follows the courtroom drama at Nuremberg as four Allied prosecution teams led by Justice Robert Jackson, Chief U.S. Prosecutor, build their case against the captured Nazi leaders. There were four counts on indictments which are presented in the film through actual footage from the trial. Nazi documents and Nazi films. The documentary builds to a climax with the final summations of the prosecutors and the verdicts of the judges.

It is so powerful and chilling. No stronger anti-war message could be develop yet it has been hidden from the world for 60 years. One quote stands out in the film "let Nuremberg stand as a warning to all who plan and wage agressive war." Looking back over the past 60 years that message has been lost.

An additional viewing has just been scheduled for Sunday, April 25.

Unibrow Recognition Week

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Did you know that earthquakes are caused by extramarital sex?

A senior Iranian cleric has claimed that dolled-up women incite extramarital sex, causing more earthquakes in Iran, a country that straddles several fault lines.

"Many women who dress inappropriately ... cause youths to go astray, taint their chastity and incite extramarital sex in society, which increases earthquakes," Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi told worshippers at overnight prayers in Tehran.

"Calamities are the result of people's deeds," he said.

"We have no way but conform to Islam to ward off dangers."

The Islamic dress code is mandatory in Iran, which has been under clerical rule for more than three decades.

Every post-pubescent woman regardless of her religion or nationality must cover her hair and bodily contours in public. Offenders face punishment and a fine.

One Hit Wonder

Edison Lighthouse - Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes (1970)

Ricky Moranis is 57 today!

Unibrow Recognition Week