Friday, April 22, 2011

It's not what you think

Portly gentleman at the Sixers game

Yes he is quite the sight. Oh and the Philadelphia 76ers lost 100-94.

I can post election results on May 2 until all polls have closed

Neither Parliament or Elections Canada has any appreciation for the fact that we live in the 21st century. That's because if I post on this blog local election results before polls have closed in all parts of Canada, I could be fined under the same law that would have prosecuted someone for revealing the same information via radio nearly 80 years ago. The same goes for Facebook posts or tweets.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that while this part of the Elections Act does breach Canadians’ right to freedom of speech, that breach is justified under Section One of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Under the Elections Act, anyone caught posting votes results before polls close could face a $25,000 fine or up to five years in jail.

Our entire voting system is archaic. I popped in at an advance poll today to cast my vote. I was confronted with a line with about an hour wait time. But that's not the end of it. That was at my poll. At the poll next to mine (and in the same room) there was no line up at all. The returning officers were just staring into space. So I just turned around and left. No wonder voter turnout is so low. The same problem exists across the country.

Billions of dollars of financial transactions are safely carried out online. But Parliament and Elections Canada can't figure out how to move voting into the 21st century.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Morgan Spurlock has done it again. His latest jab at corporate America is The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which exposes the shady practice of product placement. The film documents his efforts to make a movie funded entirely by product placement.

Here is the trailer:

Not so smart gangster tattoos murder scene on chest

The process was routine. L.A. County Sheriff's homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd was flipping through snapshots of tattooed gang members.

Then one caught his attention.

Inked on the pudgy chest of a young Pico Rivera gangster who had been picked up and released on a minor offense was the scene of a 2004 liquor store slaying that had stumped Lloyd for more than four years.

Each key detail was right there: the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where 23-year-old John Juarez was gunned down, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign — all under the chilling banner of RIVERA KILLS, a reference to the gang Rivera-13.

Lloyd's discovery of the tattoo in 2008 launched a bizarre investigation that soon led to Anthony Garcia's arrest for the shooting.
These gang members are cold and detached to the real world that they think nothing of inking their crimes onto their body. I must admit it's not a world that I can relate to. Kudos to the detective who was able to put the evidence together on this one.

No home ice advantage in the NHL playoffs

Historically home ice has been viewed as an advantage although studies don't always support that belief. Yet so far in the Stanley Cup playoffs home ice has been no advantage at all. Only 14 home teams have won so far out of 33 games played. That a rate of 42.4%. Both Boston and Montreal have only won on the road. In both the Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay and San Jose-Los Angeles series, road teams have won 3 out 4 games so far.

In the 2009-10 NHL playoffs home teams won 52.8% of the games. In 2008-09 the winning percentage of home teams was 59.8%. Not sure what is happening here but in three season we have gone from almost 60% advantage for the home team to almost 60% advantage to the visitors.

Toronto to remain Liberal

With just over a week left until the federal election, Liberal support is fading across the country but Toronto. Polling data shows that the Liberals may take 20 Toronto seats with the remaining 2 seats going to the NDP.

There are a number of very tight races where the lead is less than 5%.

Don Valley West

Don Valley West is now represented by Liberal Rob Oliphant, who has held the riding since the 2008 federal election. Oliphant has carried the Liberal banner since longtime Liberal MP John Godfrey stepped down in the summer of 2008. In this election, Oliphant, the Liberal critic for multiculturalism, is facing off against Conservative candidate John Carmichael, a car dealership owner, who is taking his third crack at winning Don Valley West. In 2008 there were 2,771 votes separating Oliphant and Carmichael.

York Centre

A safe Liberal seat since 1962 but not this election. Ken Dryden, the incumbent, has seen his margins of victory over the Conservatives shrink from 11,202 votes in 2004, to 9,640 in 2006, to 2,090 in 2008. The Conservative rival, Mark Adler, is a high-profile businessman who founded the Economic Club of Canada, and who has been working hard in the riding in which he was born and raised, and in which he still lives. If the Conservatives win this one it might be a signal that Harper will get win a majority government.


This is another rematch between long-time Liberal Joe Volpe and Conservative Joe Oliver. Eglinton-Lawrence has been a Liberal stronghold since its boundaries were first conceived in the 1970s and held by Volpe since 1988 who is a past Cabinet Minister and Liberal leadership candidate. Conservative candidate Joe Oliver, a lawyer and businessman, came within just over 2,000 votes of unseating Volpe in 2008.


Despite significant gains in this election, New Democrats will have their work cut out for them if they're going to hang on to the Toronto riding now held by leader Jack Layton's wife, Olivia Chow. Chow first won Trinity-Spadina in 2006, but found herself neck and neck with her Liberal opponent throughout the last election before pulling ahead by what turned out to be a significant margin — more than 3,400 votes. But Christine Innes is back and more determined than ever to reclaim the seat held by her husband Tony Ianno for 13 years. Changing demographics may be a factor as the riding is less ethnic with new residents filling the towering condos along the lakeshore.

Iran may be banning dogs as pets

For much of the past decade, the Iranian government has tolerated what it considers a particularly depraved and un-Islamic vice: the keeping of pet dogs.

During periodic crackdowns, police have confiscated dogs from their owners right off the street; and state media has lectured Iranians on the diseases spread by canines. The cleric Gholamreza Hassani, from the city of Urmia, has been satirized for his sermons railing against "short-legged" and "holdable" dogs. But as with the policing of many other practices (like imbibing alcoholic drinks) that are deemed impure by the mullahs but perfectly fine to many Iranians, the state has eventually relaxed and let dog lovers be.

Those days of tacit acceptance may soon be over, however. Lawmakers in Tehran have recently proposed a bill in parliament that would criminalize dog ownership, formally enshrining its punishment within the country's Islamic penal code. The bill warns that that in addition to posing public health hazards, the popularity of dog ownership "also poses a cultural problem, a blind imitation of the vulgar culture of the West."

The Iranian clerics' war on Western culture has gone from drinking alcohol to women's attire and men's "Westernized" hairstyles. Valentine's Day and now dog ownership. Their commitment to drive out Western influences only alienates Iranian youth further and drivers a wedge between the country's future and the mullahs.


Break out the matzo it's Passover Week

Squirrel's reign of terror ends

Chewy's days destroying police cruisers in Oklahoma City are over.

Police say th e y've caught a squirrel — nicknamed Chewy — that has caused $700 worth of damage to police vehicles over the past two weeks. Police said chewy would chew on the cars' wires.

But a Twitter account — Scofflaw Squirrel or @OKCBadSquirrel — claims Chewy may be "unfriendly," but the rodent was "wrongly apprehended and accused."

The squirrel tweeted that it had been framed.

"I want my lawyer. Not some court appointed nut," the squirrel said after being arrested Tuesday night. "Call PETA. I've watched enough Gnaw & Order: Squirrel Victims Unit to know how this goes down."

The police released the squirrel without charging him.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Poorest city in America is a Jewish New York suburb

Kiryas, NY, doesn’t look like the poorest place in America. The village has no slums, no homeless people, and pretty much no crime. Yet a whopping 70% of Kiryas Joel's 21,000 residents are below the federal poverty line, and its median family income is just $17,929, making it far and away the poorest place in America—at least statistically, according to the New York Times. But Kiryas is an odd place; it’s populated predominantly by ultra-orthodox Satmar Hasidic Jews, most of whom speak almost exclusively Yiddish.

Women there marry young and don’t use birth control, giving the town the lowest median age (12) and highest average family size (6) in the country. But residents manage just fine, thanks to charity from its wealthier members and collective action. About half of the residents receive food stamps, and one-third receive Medicaid benefits and rely on federal vouchers to help pay their housing costs.

The community runs many businesses as nonprofits and, by voting en masse, wields enough political clout to get loads of government help. They recently, for example, built a government-funded $10 million postnatal maternal care center—prompting one state lawmaker to call for an investigation. “They may be truly poor on paper,” the lawmaker says. “They are not truly poor in reality.”
There are towns in Israel just like Kiryas. Everyone in town studies the Torah and no one really works. But in Israel there is a huge welfare state supporting the Orthodox community. In the U.S. they have to get more creative.


Sign of the day

Last Wednesday, Steve Holland's 71 year-old mother, Claudia, had just turned off the TV around 11:30 p.m. when she heard a "whop" sound as someone kicked open her front door. "I guess the dogs kept them from coming in. I never saw anybody so I guess the dogs scared them and they left," said Claudia Holland.

She says her three tiny dogs, Jessie, Hank and Speedy went nuts, barking ferociously at the people on the other side of the door. "It was scary because I thought what am I going to do?" said Claudia. She called police, and she now has a new door and deadbolt.

However, that wasn't enough for her son. "I just wanted to put out a big enough message not just to whoever broke-in, but the rest of the community," said Steve. It was put on the lawn just a few days ago, and already the family have received many many calls laughing at the sign. But Steve says it's not a joke, there are three guns in the home.

Break out the matzo it's Passover Week

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Federal seat projection

A Conservative majority continues to slip away from Stephen Harper based on projections by Greg Morrow at DemocraticSpace. These projections are based on post debate polling. However Conservative support is not leaking to the Liberals but rather the NDP. The numbers confirm that voters were impressed by Jack Layton's performance in the Leaders' Debates. In fact all the parties have lost some support to the NDP.

However, yesterday's interview of Michael Ignatieff by Peter Mansbridge will not help his cause.

Stephen Harper insists that the three opposition leaders would scheme to form a loose arrangement that would vote against his budget and seek to take over the government with the agreement of the Governor-General. Ignatieff says there is no such plan, and that he would only consider a deal with other parties if asked by the Governor-General after the Conservatives had failed to gain the confidence of the House.

Except Ignatieff's latest statements seems to contradict earlier remarks about no willingness to get into a coalition. This may have an impact on voters or at least the Conservatives hope so. What troubles voters is giving the Bloc any influence in running the country.

What is interesting is with less than two weeks remaining in the campaign the Liberals are pretty much acknowledging they will not win and seem to be wooing voters to keep the Conservative in a minority position so that the Liberals can take control through a non-confidence vote. That's not really how Parliament is supposed to work but the rules allow it. This could turn out to be a form of political payback after the Conservatives also bent the rules to prorogue Parliament to avoid a non-confidence vote in December, 2009.

5-Apr 12-Apr 19-Apr
Conservatives 157 152 148
Liberals 69 78 77
NDP 33 34 39
Bloc 49 43 43
Green 0 0 0
Others 0 0 0

‘Because I Got High’ singer sued for forgetting concert date

Rapper Afroman, best known for his songs about marijuana use, was sued today for failing to appear at a concert at The Patio at the Continent in Columbus, Ohio. The lawsuit, filed in the Franklin County Municipal Court, alleges that Afroman forgot to appear at an April 9, 2011 concert scheduled at The Patio.

“We set a date and signed a contract. I even sent the deposit to Afroman himself, right away. They must have just forgotten about our show,” said Nathan Pettry, a concert promoter working with The Patio.

The irony is that the date April 20 is well known as a counter-culture holiday where cannabis users gather to consume marijuana.


Man throw wife on cliff to get at inheritance

Charles R. Black of Camden has been charged with aggravated assault for an incident April 7 where his wife, Lisa Black, told police he pushed her off Mt. Megunticook near Maiden Cliff, according to court documents.

According to an affidavit filed in Knox County Superior Court by Detective Dean Jackson of the Maine State Police, Lisa Black told first responders that she and her husband had driven to Mt. Megunticook, hiked to the top and were having lunch near the cross on Maiden Cliff.

At one point, Lisa Black told police, she stood up and started walking when she was struck on the back of the head three times. She was knocked to the ground and her husband Charles Black dragged her to the edge of the cliff and threw her over.

Lisa Black told police, the court documents state, she fell a short distance and got up and ran down the mountain to Route 52 for assistance. She told police as she was making her way down to the road, her husband fell down past her and appeared to be injured.

She told the detective that she had inherited $4 million when her father died and that Charles Black had been taking her money without her permission.

She also told police that there were several other incidents involving her husband that made her feel as if he has been trying to kill her. A couple of weeks prior to this incident, Charles Black climbed a ladder to the attic and, while Lisa Black was at the bottom of the ladder, he fell down on top of her. Charles Black told his wife he passed out.

Also around the same time frame, the two were up on Mt. Battie, also in Camden. Lisa Black walked close to the edge of the cliff and Charles Black was behind her and she was struck on the back of the head and she fell to the ground. Charles Black again said he passed out and the front of his head bumped the back of hers.

She also told the detective that her husband had contacted an old girlfriend in Arizona and the two had been having an online affair. She also told police that the two had been having marital problems and had been to counseling.

Charles Black told police that he and his wife hiked the mountain and were having a Subway sandwich. He said he picked up a couple of rocks to add to his rock collection and he put them in his backpack. The next thing he recalled was falling down a hill. He could not remember hitting Lisa Black or throwing her off the side of the mountain.

He did remember falling from the attic onto her and also falling into her on Mt. Battie.

Charles Black told police that he had been communicating with one of his old friends after she found him on Facebook and he said Lisa Black found out about it and was upset.

Black said that he felt everything was going well with their marriage at this time, but did say they had problems in the past and had been to counseling.

Really how many times does a guy try to kill you before you clue in? Seriously either this guy is the most incompetent killer in America or his wife has nine lives. Kind of reminds me of Wiley Coyote who also had a penchant for surviving falling off cliffs. Beep beep.


Break out the matzo it's Passover Week

Hump Day Hottie

Michelle Trachtenberg

Man dressed as mannequin spied on ladies in toilet

A bearded pervert donned a mask and wig to spy on women using the ladies toilets at Birmingham’s showpiece Bullring mall. Student Joel Hardman was rumbled after a shopper reported seeing someone “dressed like a mannequin” walk into the lavatories. He later emerged from a locked cubicle and admitted performing a sex act. And Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard Hardman’s phone contained three images of women’s feet taken beneath cubicle doors and an audio recording of a flushing toilet.

Hardman, 22, pleaded guilty to observing another person doing a private act for his own sexual gratification. Jonathan Purser, prosecuting, said Hardman, believed to be an MSc student at the University of Birmingham, told a Bullring security guard: “Yes, I’ve been a bit weird.”

He told police he found the sound of women on the toilet sexually exciting and said to officers: “It’s good you’ve caught me – maybe now I’ll stop.” Mr Purser said Hardman was caught out after the shopper saw him enter the Bullring’s female toilets “dressed like a mannequin with a mask and a wig”. The court heard Hardman confessed he had done it once before, in the women’s toilets at a university campus, but moved to the Bullring “because it was busier”.

Asked why he had done it, he replied: “I get sexual gratification out of everything that goes on in women’s toilets.”

Is that wrong? If they didn't want you to be doing that wouldn't they post signs in the washroom indicating that jerking off while listening to women pee is not allowed? Now he gets labeled as a pervert because of a lack of communication.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New York rules kids games unsafe

New York State bureaucrats have identified a potentially deadly hazard facing our children this summer - freeze tag.

That's right, officials have decided the age-old street game - along with Wiffle Ball, kickball and dodgeball - poses a "significant risk of injury."

And classics like Capture the Flag, Steal the Bacon and Red Rover are also deemed dangerous in new state regulations for day camps.

The law sought to close a loophole that legislators said allowed too many indoor camp programs to operate without oversight.

Under the new rules, any program that offers two or more organized recreational activities - with at least one of them on the risky list - is deemed a summer camp and subject to state regulation.

When I first read this article I thought it was one of those fake news items from The Onion. Then I find out it's real! Adults have are ruining childhood. First they took the fun out of organized sports like baseball and hockey. Now they are killing playground fun. No wonder kids are into drugs. It helps get through the boredom.

Mom spends 6 years to make prom dress out of starburst wrappers

Not sure which is more absurd - making a prom dress out of candy wrappers or spending 6 years to make the dress? Either way mom needs to get a life.

Break out the matzo it's Passover Week

Monday, April 18, 2011

Man grabs gun of wounded cop to defend against robbers

The 50-year-old school safety agent was visiting ARJ Auto Repair in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Saturday night with a group that included hero cop Anthony Presley.

Five robbers ordered the group onto the ground and began rifling through their pockets. Presley, an MTA Bridges and Tunnels officer who was off duty, pulled his pistol, stood up, identified himself as a cop and told the robbers to stand down. Presley was shot in the shoulder during the close-quarters gunfight that ensued, police said.

The unidentified school safety agent grabbed the Glock that Presley dropped when he was shot and chased the five bandits, firing back after at least one robber shot at him. The agent, who is not licensed to carry a gun, could face charges, sources said.

Two of the robbers were wounded in the gun battle.

Charge a hero? Are they nuts? No jury would ever convict this guy so why bother.


Gross! Someone should wipe this CityNews reporter's nose before she goes on air

Sign of the day


I want this baby penguin

Break out the matzo it's Passover Week

Sunday, April 17, 2011

G8 spending proves Conservatives no better as custodian of taxpayers' money

Two draft reports from the auditor general raise new questions about how the Conservatives decided to fund projects ahead of last year's G8 summit. Two different drafts of the report were leaked to the press last week.

Both drafts offer details about how nearly $50 million was spent on G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund projects -- 32 in total -- in Huntsville, Ont., and surrounding areas, mostly in the riding of Industry Minister Tony Clement.

The January draft accuses the government of misleading Parliament in order to win approval for the $50 million funding request, and alleges the approval process may have been illegal. Conveniently the final report will not be released until after the election.

This is classic pork barrel government spending.

$100,000 gazebo an hour away from G8 conference

one of the Muskoka Tourism gateway signs: $408,000

Muskoka Tourism visitor information centre: $260,000

Little-known hamlet of Orrville received roadwork, streetscape and beautification: $745,000

Another Gateway sign

Parry Sound downtown streetscaping: $1,143,750

Let's not forget the fake Muskoka Lake in downtown Toronto: $1.9 million

They forgot to photoshop this one

This paparazzi photo of Scarlett Johansson has been making the rounds in cyberspace. Yes one of the sexiest women on the planet is like everyone else, struggling with her weight. She is listed at 5'4" and 115 lbs which makes her one of the shorter actresses in Hollywood and not one of the thinnest. Some guy a few years ago bid over $40,000 in a charity auction just to meet Scarlett.

Let's start that fight again

I was into Popeye candy cigarettes at that age

Pranksters hack traffic signals

It seems prankster are taking over traffic signals. The signal below was discovered in Spokane, Washington:

This was was discovered in Nimwegen, Holland. It seems people kept pressing the button to see the couple having sex and of course every time they did, the traffic had to stop suddenly, causing a considerable number of rear end collisions.

You can rent Liechtenstein for $70,000 a night

Executives can take corporate hospitality to a new level by hiring an entire country, albeit a small one. The principality of Liechtenstein has decided to make itself available to private clients, from $70,000 a night, complete with customised street signs and temporary currency.

The country has woken up to the marketing opportunities of their mountainous landscape. The price tag includes accommodation for 150 people, although the 35,000 inhabitants would remain. Any personal touches, such as an individual logo created out of candle wax or a customized medieval procession, come at an extra, undisclosed cost.

Upon arrival in Liechtenstein, visitors would be presented with the symbolic key to the state, followed by wine tasting at the estate of the head of state, Prince Hans-Adam II. Other options include tobogganing, fireworks and horse-drawn carriage rides through the capital Vaduz. Visitors could also try cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoe hiking to explore the picturesque landscape.

12 year old arrested over spilt milk

A 12-year-old boy was handcuffed and arrested by police when he scuffled with an officer after refusing to clean up spilled milk in the cafeteria of his Indiana middle school. The student is facing a pair of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement counts, according to a Valparaiso Police Department report detailing the incident at Ben Franklin Middle School.

The sixth grader, whose name was redacted from the report by police, got into a dispute with a school staffer when he refused to retrieve some napkins and clean up the spill during his lunch period. The boy, police reported, became “belligerent” and told the employee, “This is stupid, you’re retarded.”

After a school resource officer approached the student and asked him to clean up the milk, the boy said, “This is crap, I’m not doing it.” He then got up, emptied his tray into the trash, and began to leave the cafeteria. The officer instructed the boy to return to his seat and wait further instructions from the school administrator.

When the student became “increasingly agitated,” the officer grabbed the student by the arm and “began to perform an educational escort.” The boy then broke free, and ran around the cafeteria and a hallway before being tackled by the officer, who handcuffed the five-foot, 100-pound student. The child was taken to the principal’s office, where he was later released into his father’s custody.

Prime ministers making girls cry

I want this singing cockateil