Saturday, January 31, 2009

Q: What's over 100 million years old and is still cool?

A: Yeah, dinosaurs.

Some people think that being a paleontologist is easy, and all you have to be is a total pussy, like Ross Gellar - but in fact, paleontologists are tough bad-asses like Indiana Jones (except they don't fight Nazis, Stalinists and Aliens). Although a paleontologist could probably take out the Red Army if he had to. They're always out in the 'Stans digging stuff up - so they're like international spies crossing dangerous borders in intense areas around the world. They see more commie action than the average man, that's for sure. More than Ross Gellar, anyhow.

[Not a paleontologist.]

Do you think finding dinosaur bones is safe? Well, it's not, and you could go to jail for it, like Nathan Murphy, who made headlines around the world in 2001 after he excavated a 77 million-year-old mummified duckbill dinosaur - later named Leonardo - that turned out to be one of the best-preserved fossils found. Apparently he's being charged with stealing fossils (which means he excavated a fossil on property that he didn't have permission to excavate from).

The fossil in question has been nicnamed Sid Vicious. That's how real paleontologists think - Gellar would have named the fossil Bette Midler, like an idiot.

When I was in Chicago, IL I saw a presentation by the former curator of the Royal Ontario Museum about his trip to Kazakhstan, where they last entire months in the badlands of the middle-east (or Asia, or whatever continent Kazakhstan is in - it's kinda in the middle of everything, isn't it?).

Months with rationed water, food rations, intense weather conditions, and the laborous task of smashing through rocks to excavate shattered fossils and teeth - all so that you can take them back (via muthufucking helecopters, yo!) so you can study these bones for years and years, trying to figure out what the hell they mean.

[Triceracopter - People who design helicopters wish they were paleontologists.]

Ross Gellar can't even decide what the colour of his f-ing shirt is (and it was pink) let alone decipher the complex clues that dinosaur bones and fossils leave behind. If a paleontologist wears pink (which they sometimes do) at least they've got monstrously awesome beards, sunglasses and a plaid pair of socks to compensate.

That shirt might be pink, but it doesn't matter - this paleontologist is bad-ass! He's like a lumberjack / witch doctor. Awesome.

That is Robert Bakker - bad-ass paleontolgist. He climbs rock cliffs and uses TNT every year to blow the shit out of whatever stands between him and fossils (namely, rock - but he could probably blow up a Soviet spy, right?)

Jack Horner sticks in his thumb and pulls out a ... whatever the hell he's looking for. This guy read through a few books and realized that all predators these days are like hamsters compared to dinosaurs - so he flipped the biosphere the bird and started studying the greatest predators and carnivors the world has ever created. That's awesome.

When paleontologists, like Jack Horner, finish with these holes, they can drop in elopers who interfere with their bizness and backfill that shit. That's right, you don't tresspass on a paleontologist, because they just don't give a fuck about anything but dinosaurs. If you haven't been dead for over 70 millions years, they haven't got the time of day for you. Conversely, if you asked Ross Gellar what time it was, he'd stutter the exact time to you, and then ask if there was anything else he could do for you! That's not what paleontologists do!

Paleontologists tell the time of day from the position of the sun! And there are only two times of day to a paleontologists - daytime or night time. They work while the sun is up, then they rest, waiting for daybreak, when they start working again. Gregarious, unlike Gellar. Ross would be late for work, like a dick.

In conclusion, if I were to guess whether Michael Bay was a paleontologist or a Ross Gellar, I'd have to go with a Ross Gellar; why? Because he's decided that his Tranformers 2 movie doesn't need the Dinobots! WTF? The reasoning is: “We couldn’t quite figure out how to justify a robot that would pretend to be a dinosaur.”

EVERYONE would pretend to be a dinosaur if they could pull it off! Transformers just don't know about them yet, or else they'd be disguising themselves as tyrannosaurs, stegosaurs, ceratopsians, pteradactyls, and sauropods in no time. Guaranteed, a transformer would have his mind blown if he saw a dinosaurs. It'd be awesome.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dr. Garvan

THAT SITE IS THE FUNNIEST THING I'VE EVER READ!

Here, Dr. Garv is proclaiming that God told him that a respectable professor from Oxford will renounce evolutionism and declare Creationism as the one and only way. I'm still not sure who this guy is, or where he's from - but he's the funniest thing in the whole world.

Please, meet Dr. Garvan. He likes: Bible, Church and Godly Things, Civilization II, Jesus, Witnessing healings and miracles

He has some other interests, like: Amateur science, Bonfires, Cats, Indian commandos, Mice,
Pirates, Revolving bookcases, Spiderman

And then there are the odd things that he likes, the kinds of things that make you wonder scary things: CCTV and amateur espionage, Crossbows and weapons, Dead pigeons, Digging holes, Embalming, Exploding things, Hearses, coffins and death-related things. ???

And what doesn't he like?
  • action figures
  • birds
  • bright sunlight
  • Chattering classes
  • Chinese restaurants
  • demons
  • deviant sexual practices
  • domineering women (hilarious!)
  • evolution
  • famous ginger women
  • foreign religions (awesome!)
  • foxes (what?)
  • goths
  • heliocentrism (like, the sun?)
  • Israel / zionism
  • moths
  • Obamamania
  • pikeys
  • psychiatry
  • rap and loud rock music
  • the corporations
  • the Labour government
  • the oil industry
  • tree huggers
  • uncovered ceilings with metal beams
  • Unfamiliar sounds and smells (LOLOL!!!)
  • witches, wizards and witchcraft
In the comments section under one of his posts, someone asked if he was a real doctor. The answer: Hi Kathryn, Yes Garv is a real Dr and you can be a real Dr to. Just pick a subject you like and call yourself a Dr.

Furious - but calming

My operating system at work was crashing about every 70 seconds on Tuesday. It pissed me off. I couldn't do most of what I usually have to do because the damned system was dropping like balls on a 10-year-old.

SO I had to reinstall the operating system, and that was the most painless part of this whole process. Two days later (and almost three solid hours dedicated to getting it right) I still can't get my work emails. And that's pissing me off. I just want to do my job - you know, communicate with my employees, my customers, etc etc, but apparently installing Lotus Notes and linking it to my uwlance account is more difficult than explaining the concept of water to Helen Keller.

The dumbest part is - some guy just has to tell me what to do - and I'll do it, but everything's got to be automated these days, and you need to download things from one place, wait for access codes and automated emails to get profile ids, (Yes, to set up your email operating system, they send you an email that you can't open because you haven't set the system up - it's a brilliant process) and then apparently you have to slam your head through a wall - and then everything should be up and running just fine.

I hate this.

BUT I had a chance to start reading a new blog today - and I think it's going to be one of my new favourites. "The Garvanian" Just saying the name makes me smile.

I stumbled across the site after doing some research on dinosaurs (which I tend to do) and he appears to be a hilarious Creationist with a PHd. Now, I'm not entirely sure that he's actually a Creationist, or a doctor, but the narrative and tone of his blog makes me laugh - and the comments he receives are hilarious, too.

It's good stuff - so there's a silver lining in having ITS try and figure out how to get my email back - more time to dick around reading blogs online.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jughead

Welcome to Jughead, episode 3 of Season 5 of Lost. Because of some malfunctions of my television, cable provider and VCR (yes, all three of these things went Hurley on me) I now have to blog the episodes for the sake of posterity.

[I'll add some screenshots of the episode once they become available]

The things I had to go through in the final hour leading up to Lost was frustrating - unacceptably frustrating, but ... it's leading to a new method to follow along.

The show begins!

In a busy Asian market, Desmond is in search of a doctor. The two are in Mumbai, and Penny is having a little baby. I hear his name is Charlie [from a spoiler]. But when is this? Oh, a few years ago, I guess, because Des and Penny's little man is a couple years old now. And now they are sailing back to Oxford to find Faraday's mum just like Faraday's little message asked them to do. Desmond plays with double-entendre as he tells his little son a tale about a fantastic Island that Des spent many years on, tricking us with the Island but meaning Scotland.

And they're going to have to dodge Charles Widmore, because it'll be bad news if he catches them back in the United Kingdom. It'll be a dramatically bad time if Widmore shows up in this episode. Let's see what happens, yes?

Island - Double-vision and headaches are not good for Charlotte. Dan is going to protect her - and at the creek, Sawyer and Juliet haven't made it yet.

Miles looks around, and things are looking bad. Miles's attitude isn't good enough for Dan. Then his dead-sense gets tingling, and he sees that there are some serious traps all over the creek's shore. It blows the hell out of some red-shirts, and then some tribal military guys show up, with bows and arrows, and they are pissed. The lady in charge comes out after Daniel -

"You just couldn't stay away, could you?" [7:22]

[spinning]LOST[/spinning]

In a harbour - Des an Penny are recapping Desmond's mission. Why now? We don't know, he doesn't understand how all of this works, but he knows that it happened, and he recalls it clearly. Daniel tasked him to find his mother after he got off of the Island.

Penny wants Des to promise he'll never go back to that Island - he doesn't promise, how cheeky. So, we can expect that he'll be heading back with the others.

On the Island: There's a debate as to who put those landmines down. Ellie says that it was the freighties, but we know it wasn't them, so it must be the US military that did it. The lady seems to be striking a bargain - where are the rest of your people?

Locke/Juilet/Sawyer- They are holding Jones and Cunningham at gun point in the bush. Locke has waited all night to figure out who these guys are. It's an old rifle but it appears brand new.


And the bastards speak Latin, but so does Juliet. These guys are Others, just like Juliet.

Back with the freighties, Miles is going nuts, they walked over a fresh grave of 40 dead US soldiers, most were shot, but one died of radiation poisoning. They've been dead for less than a month? But they couldn't say what year they were in, yet.

They arrive at a neat camp, and Richard is there. How does he look? Just fine, just like always. He seems to be the leader of the Others. The woman is the second in command. Now Daniel is acting like a man on a mission. It appeared earlier that Miles was passing the buck to Daniel when he was asked who was in charge - but the look on Faraday's face, and his attitude seems to show that he is in fact the man.

"I assume you've come back for your bomb." [5:32]

Oxford - No Faraday's around for Desmond. He's asking around, but Oxford has no record of him. And now Desmond appears to be losing some memories himself, he can't remember the experiments, the year it was, these details are escaping him. Perhaps darting through the Department of Physics will help? The familiar office is being fumigated, if you believe that.

Nothing on the chalk-board, and only a picture of Faraday with a woman under his feet. The maze is still there. Some toughy shows up - "Rumour had it he was trying to send rats' brains back in time."

So why is Oxford ignoring any memory of Daniel Faraday?

"After what he done to that poor girl" - what girl?

Island - keep it together until there's another flash, freighties. But that could be in 5 minutes or 5,000 years, which is awesome. The Others think that the freighties are with the American military.

The housing on the atomic bomb has been compromised, Faraday reckons. It could destroy the entire island and it's broken. It's got to be rendered inert. So Faraday and Alpert are going at it, and Alpert wonders how he can trust Faraday with the task of rendering this bomb inert. Dan expresses his love for Charlotte - the plot thickens. Good enough for Richard - but now they have a way to get to Faraday if he steps out of line.

Locke - he's fingering the compass Richard gave him a little while ago. We now learn that Latin is the language of the enlightened. These Others, they've got the same attitude - Jones and Cunningham are badass. I believed they were Others immediately. They acted like them, talked like them, it was perfect. Then, just like Mikhail and Bea Klugh would do, Jones breaks Cunningham's neck for fun, and then books it. Locke should shoot him, but ...

"He's one of my people" [9:24]

Oxford - no Faraday yet. Theresa Spencer, Abigail says "you must come in. " Looks like Theresa is in bad shape. She can't hear us - she's away right now. Looks like she's travelling back and forth in her consciousness. Apparently Dan left her like this. Mr. Widmore, Dan's benefactor, has been taking care of Ms. T out of his own pocket. Was this part of Widmore's research for the Island?


Island - hydrogen bomb. Dan has got commitments, and it makes Charlotte get stuffed up. Richard says that only a month ago the Others found 18 members of a battalion. They could have left peacefully, but they said no, and were killed.

Richard follows a chain of command - then Jones comes running in, and Alpert isn't happy. He's worried that Jones led them back to their camp - but the cocky Jones says, "You think he knows this island better than I do?"

Locke - Juliet tells Locke that Richard has always been on the Island. He's old. So Locke says he's going to walk in there and talk to Alpert, but Sawyer wants to rescue Faraday - so Locke gives them a 10-minute head start.

Faraday - Ellie looks just like Theresa. Dan has got a set on him, he's got skills, and they're worth a fair sum in the past. He's able to keep himself too valuable to kill - and he likes it this way. So what does this hydrogen bomb look like?

We see the bomb [7:12]



The bomb - Dan's up on the thing seeing what name is has, and is examining it. It's leaking bad stuff, and he needs everyone to back up. It's unsafe, then Sawyer saves Faraday and takes Ellie hostage, just after Faraday reveals that they are from the future.

Oxford - Widmore, whom Desmond was supposed to avoid, has Desmond just walk right in on him. Des isn't happy. Widmore's secretary is looking for excuses, but Charles says to let Desmond speak. Now, Des is a 'colleauge.'

Widmore spent 10 years funding Faraday's research. Des won't answer any of Widmore's questions. Yet, Widmore tells Desmond that Faraday's mother is in Los Angeles. Looks like she might be Ms. Hawking after all. "She's a very private person."

Gone. Many, many years.

Locke - Going for his constitutional. He starts calling out for Richard. And he gets it.

"Jacob sent me." Richard is listening.

But Jones doesn't want Locke doing shit, so Richard says, "Put the gun down, Widmore."

Locke say what?!

"Nothing. Nice to meet you." Widmore was an Other. Straight up born on the Island long ago, one of the Others, kind of Others. That's awesome. [8:40]



And we'll sit pat for the final, what?, 8 minutes of the show? We'll see a little bit more of Desmond's journey, then some more of Locke's journey, and we'll need a set up for the next episode.

So, here we go ...

Oxford - Penny's reading to Charlie. They went fishing in the Thames, but caught nothing. Faraday's mum, Des lies, died a few years ago. But, Penny reads him like he's a page out of Dickens. Los Angeles is a long ways from Scotland. Desmond wants nothing to do with these adventures - he's scared that he might have to go back to the Island, and he doesn't want to do that.

Widmore is scared that Penny can't go to the Island. He knows that it's an unforgiving place. "I guess we're going with you" Penny says, despite Charles's hopes that she'll never go to that Island.

Locke - Here's your compass, Richard. So what year is this? It's 1954. Locke sends Alpert to his own birth in a couple of years. We now know that an explanation of how to get off the Island is privileged information - which Locke will certainly receive sometime soon.

Charlotte - Nosebleed, collapse, she's gushing red, Dan's upset -

Lost.

Then a commercial for Dirty Dancing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, with my cousin Ashley dancing around. Nice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not watching spoilers for Lost right now

So I like to follow along with a blog called DarkUFO because it is literally the only place you need to turn to find anything you want out about an upcoming episode of Lost. That's where you go for sneak peeks, polls, screencaps, tid bits and snippits. Basically, if there was someone out there who was going to tell you what happens in the upcoming episode, this is where you go to be teased about it.

It does exceptionally well over the summer - filming updates about what's going on in Hawaii while they film the first few episodes, multiple 2-5 minute clips from an upcoming episode- and there are riddles and hangman puzzles and all kinds of different ways to follow along and guess what might happen next. It's awesome.

But it's more awesome not knowing what's coming up - what's about to happen - it's more awesome not knowing about the plot, the storylines and the alliances because Lost is all designed to shock the viewer - and if you're good, and you don't watch the spoilers, then it's exceptionally rewarding.

So I'm reading all the posts labelled:
And other things like:


Spoilers - Episode 5.05 - Promotional Photos http://tinyurl.com/aumocm

Spoilers - Episode 5.12 title revealed http://tinyurl.com/bqksle

Spoilers - Episode 5.05 - Press Release http://tinyurl.com/c6pczf

Spoilers - Sky One - Lost on Location - Screencaps added http://tinyurl.com/bskqpa

So here are the things I don't know about the next few episodes because I'm not reading the spoilers - a casting call for a new character to be in the show, two sneak peeks showing me about five minutes of the actual show before it airs, some promotional photos, giving me a glimps into important scenes or props that might be significant in the next episode, the title of episode 12 (what could it be? And what importance might it hold?), and a press release about episode 5 - probably a synopsis from the production studio.

I know these answers are just a click a way - but I'm not going to go there. And it's hard. And there's a list of things I'm missing on every single day! This site is totally crazy with spoilers.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, ... I can't handle this shit. It's hard. It's hard not researching and reading about something you like and just waiting all the time for it. I taped last week's episodes and I've watched the over again - and I may just have to keep doing that until it's gone.

You might recommend that I busy myself with something, and you might point out that I've got way too much time to worry about this sort of thing - and you're right.

But know this - I am not reading those spoilers. And I am not watching the sneak peek videos. And I won't be.

Ross Gellar is a pussy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

All-star game today

I'm excited for the NHL All-star game. It's just neat to watch the big stars all together having fun. It's just simply fun, and hopefully there will be some neat interviews and goals and stuff like that. Of course there won't be anything too tremendous happen, but that doesn't mean that it won't be neat. Sometimes the games are close and low scoring, but most of the time they're not. No idea what will happen, but it doesn't matter what does happen, it's just neat.

BUT along those lines, I'm not happy with Lidstrom and Datsyuk for not showing for the all-star game this year - after watching all of the players signing jerseys, shaking hands with fans, doing interviews, signing autographs, you can see how absolutely important this is for the fans. The fans who represent the value of the league and the stars and the teams, everything. Without fans, there is absolutely no money in the NHL. The players know this. So when they don't show up, that's hurting the game.

So when I'm upset that the Red Wings only representative was their head coach, Mr. Mike Babock, it demonstrates that there is definitely something wrong with the attitude the players perceive the rest of the league with. They really feel that they're entitled to do what they want instead of paying their dues.

My fiance counters - but Ryan, what if it were a Maple Leaf snubbing the all-star game? Would you be then upset? To retort, Mats Sundin was 'too good' for the All-star game a few years in a row - and do you see anybody upset that he's not a Maple Leaf anymore? That's right, NOBODY misses him here. Everyone was happy to see him turn the page on his life, and move on. His presence was a chapter that had to be closed, and the Maple Leafs basically allowed him to decide when that was, before they could begin to make the necessary changes. So to reiterate, Sundin can be the selfish entitled Swede that he is in Vancouver, and nobody here is going to miss him.

A change of scenery won't change Sundin - and Vancouver will notice that. It's going to be Luongo, not Sundin, that will have any impact on that team if they make it deep into the playoffs. The onus is on Sundin to prove me wrong. I don't hate the player, but I certainly don't offer him more praise than what he's earned. I'm not going to go questing for reasons why he deserves to only sign one-year contracts, and sit out half seasons, and decide when and where he's going to be an ambassador for the league - he's just too ... selfish is the word. And there's just too many people saying "he's earned it," when there's no really good reason to think that he has.

I've got some neat stuff to relate to you about a dinosaur hunter who might be going to jail - and I think I'll conduct a post that argues that the dumbass show Friends damaged the reputation of Paleontologists irreparably.

The premise: Ross (whatever the hell is last name was) is not a paleontologist. I will then demonstrate what Paleontologists are, and what Ross is, and you will definitively see that he is not a paleontologist. It should be great.

Until then,

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just like Mr. T

Well, I was feeling sick, more sick than I've felt in about three years (back when I got a severe case of food poisoning) but I just don't have time for that sort of shit - so I'm not sick anymore.

Just like Mr. T, I told whatever the hell I had to get lost, and now I'm better. It took a day of rest, but then there wasn't anymore time to spare on that sort of thing, so I kicked it out. It's good to feel good again.

That doesn't mean that I fared well at hockey last night, because we didn't. Our team didn't have any chemistry and we didn't do very well at all - hopefully next week we balance the teams a little more. BUT I did managed to pick up a great big book of old DC comics called "The War that time forgot" all about army platoons that wind up on 'Mysterious Island,' sometimes called "X Island" that has dinosaurs on it, that were frozen beneath the earth's crust, but are awakened because of explosions from the Navy and the Army. Something like that.

It's kind of neat, but not nearly as interesting as Dinosaurs Attack, which I linked to last year for a few days. It's too bad, I hoped that there would be more dinosaurs ripping people apart, but rather it's dinosaurs hugging tanks with their tales, and sea monsters clinging on to submarines - not so great, really.

That brings me to -
This was brought to my attention by the friendly folks at Immediate Regret, who performed the dinosaur draft a few months ago. This is actually a poodle that some woman trimmed and then dyed to resemble Leonardo, the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle. Fucked up, I know.

I think the best part of this photo is that the lady seems to be saying, "Yeah, so what? I dyed and shaved my poodle to look like Leonardo. You want to fight about it?"
- Royal Cow

The NHL has it's All Star festivities this weekend, and I'm all excited to watch whatever's going to happen this year. Rarely is there anything too special to watch, but it's neat seeing all of the celebrities that the NHL has made play together all at once. I'm especially interested this year because Nick Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk are too shitty to bother showing up to the All Star game.

So the NHL has suspended them for 1 game as a result. Detroit GM Ken Holland is apparently angry that they are being penalized - but that's what you get for sucking at listening to the fans. They call themself a classy organization all day long, but when they behave like this toward the fans of the NHL (as opposed to only behaving for Detroit fans), they should be embarrassed.

Here's how I see it - NHL hockey players are rich and wealthy because of the fans. The fans watching them, buying their jerseys and watching them on television are what makes them worth the money the negotiate for. SO if the fans vote for them into the all-star games, the players should have the decency to return the favour by showing up for an exhibition weekend of fun and games as thanks.

Consider it this way - would YOU go to a weekend of fun and games with a bunch of celebrities and professionals in your field of expertise becuase the fans who voted for you to be there have paid you millions of dollars to be there? You probably would - or else you'd be a total jerk, and should get suspended for it. Right?

I hate the Red Wings. The fewer the merrier, if you ask me.

And, because I'm in good spirits today, I'm going to keep blogging - this is going to be great.

Wednesday marked the return of Lost, which I watch fanatically - we all need something to pique our interests, or else we're just aimless. Lucky for some people, they're in love with their careers, or their hobbies, and they can have something to show for their engaged minds. Me, on the other hand, just has a lot of Lost trivia tucked away in my head.

Which means this test is just for me.

For the record, Question 10 should be asking about Karl, not Kyle. Shame. In fact, without watching the show for a second, you should be able to get two of these answers, so ... it's not too difficult. (I got 100% correct). You're all welcome to try as well.

I've got three more neat articles to link to - but this post is a bit long, and perhaps I'll let it digest before I go on. I hope you're all feeling wonderful (like me) and I'll catch up with you soon.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sick as could be

That's right - not sure what the hell happened, but I woke up Wednesday morning with a sore throat - and was couch-ridden all Thursday. If I didn't have to do payroll and lay the sections out for my editors, I'd still be in bed right now - but this paper has to come out rain or shine. 

Which oddly, isn't what the mail room here at the University prescribes by. You aren't in the office at 10 a.m. and they'll phone you up and say they aren't delivering your mail anymore. It's actually less work to not drop the mail off if we're not here, YET they want to eliminate the work altogether if you're sick for a day. 

It's too bad, because the lady who drops the mail off seems so nice - you'd never guess that she was so lazy.

I've got to hack some phlegm out and get back to work now, talk to you all soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Feature from the spoof edition

A parody of Spiderman - I hope that it's not too big to open properly.

Li'l Betty Button

As my brother has already discovered, the spoof edition articles are up and available at The Lance's website, where you can read my personal contributions, which I'll list below.

Medical School Funding Fallout.

Text messaging scandal strikes the UWSA

and although I didn't write this one, it's definitely worth reading. It's about the Detroit Lions.

I'll try and link the image that was the feature article for Alan Wildeman that took so damned long to design. It may take a while to get it up - the picture is big.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Third hand smoke?

Blow it out your ass. But wait, third hand smoke isn't that easy to blow out your ass - because it's the tiny smoke particles that are all caught up in

Third-hand smoke is "term being used to describe the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, not to mention cushions and carpeting, that lingers long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room. The residue includes heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials that young children can get on their hands and ingest, especially if they’re crawling or playing on the floor," according to the New York Times.

Can this hurt children? Can just sniffing smoke hurt you?

Well, this article says that 84 to 95 per cent of people believe that "inhaling smoke from a parent's cigarette can harm the health of infants and children." Now, that's an opinion poll, hardly a science, and less likely to be something that should spur a new article in the New York Times - BUT - perhaps it's a good place to demonstrate why something might actually be done about this.

What are we supposed to learn from all of this? “The central message here is that simply closing the kitchen door to take a smoke is not protecting the kids from the effects of that smoke." That's right, stinking like a cigarette will bring Children's Aid to your house to kidnap your kids.

But I swear, if Canada starts putting rules in place to prevent people from smelling a certain way, it's going to get stupid in this country. I understand banning cigarettes from commercial establishments, but if cigarettes and tobacco are so damned bad for you, why are they still legal?

What if your neighbour's house burns down, and that stuff gets into your lungs? Can you charge them with killing you? What if you bbq your food, and some smoke gets into the meat (or veggies or whatever) and that has carcinogens in it? Will people start throwing the shit out of their ass to stop picnics? When I used to walk to school along Huron Church road (the largest international crossing in Canada) and there were huge transport trucks rolling along smelling like diesel. Don't see anybody doing anything about that?

Seriously, if some rule gets passed in Canada banning 'third-hand smoke,' I don't know what I'm going to do - but it's an indicator that perhaps it's time to move the hell out of Canada. Seriously. Every year we get more rules and more laws that restrict each of us just a little bit more - and it's going to be smothering in 50 years from now - if we don't stop this nonesense.

Every country in the world will laugh at us if any legislature comes from this. Seriously. We'll be an embarrassment. But we'll just have to wait and see.
Some things you should know:

First, I forgot to take the trash out today - and now the garbage truck is driving off without my trash. Nobody else to blame for not doing it. Too bad.

Second, Jim Henson's old puppet company has been hired to make a new show for PBS called Dinosaur Train, which is likely nothing like the trains my old roommates used to run. It's about Buddy the Dinosaur, hatched into the world amongst a different species (just like Disney's Dinosaur) and he quests over 40 episodes to find his own people, and learn about everyone else. In the end, he'll learn that people are very much alike, but to appreciate the differences in them.

Nothing too ground breaking - but the catch is always that the puppets are awesome. If this gets big, of course, there will be Tickle Me Buddy's all over the place, which should be neat. Any time there is more dinosaurs, the better.

The Spoof Edition will be printed tonight, and available on stands by tomorrow morning, which should be fun for everyone involved. I'll try and link/post some of the details/columns from it later on. It was fun to work on, no doubt.

Lastly, despite losing the race to get the garbage out - I did win a wishbone battle, where my fiance and I split the wishbone from a chicken I roasted the other day, and emerged the victor. My wish will now come true - and I'll let you all know if it does. (I hope it does).

(Next post, I'll movie-review Hancock - I'm not going to spoil whether I liked it or not - mostly because I haven't decided yet).

Until next time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spoof edition tomorrow

That's right, the feared spoof edition starts tomorrow. I saw a preliminary draft of the paper last night, and there are a couple pictures that still have to be fixed up and I think one article didn't make it to the press - so perhaps I'll post that up here tomorrow or something.

Lost starts in two days, which is going to be awesome. I've decided that any spoilers I can get my hands on are fair game until the season premiere, and then, once episodes are on weekly, I can handle not reading spoilers.

Basically, I know the first 20 minutes of the show, watched about 12 minutes of it already, and am pretty sure I've got the gist of what's going on already. However, spoilers don't give you the dialogue and plot, just the sets, actions, characters involved. So there's always a great deal of speculation and uncertainty. So far, it sounds cool - and there's the promise that more answers will be provided this year, so we can look forward to that.

Here is the most up to date well of spoiler information for the show, and you can read it till you don't want to anymore, at this link.

And this week, I'm going to try and post daily. Things just haven't inspired me lately. Not sure how else to explain it. I'm sure it's more a measure of applying yourself than it is to wait for your muse to arrive, right?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spoof Edition

Around this time of year, about four people in the whole world start to worry about The Lance. Most of the time, I hear absolutely no feedback on the paper - except after the Spoof Edition! There is already a fair buzz surrounding this year's edition, and I think things are looking up. 

Basically, I know what's on the docket, but I haven't seen whether or not the articles are good/funny. In fact, I've got two articles that aren't that funny, but could definitely use some spicing up. 

I've also developed about two new ideas for short articles to toss in just this morning. Besides it all, I think it's going to be funny, but until I see it all put together, it will be hard to say with any certainty.

I wonder if sometimes The Lance would fair best if we just spoofed everything that happened every week instead of just reporting on what we do - something like all those 'fake news shows' do these days. The Rick Mercer Report, Colbert Report, Daily Show, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Royal Canadian Air Farce, etc. 

I just bet people are more interested in having their news spiced up into an entertaining way rather than actually just get the news. I suppose that wouldn't be fair of me to enact though. 

Well, in parting, here's hoping the Schulich School of Medicine has a sense of humour.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some things you should know:

First, I forgot to take the trash out today - and now the garbage truck is driving off without my trash. Nobody else to blame for not doing it. Too bad.

Second, Dinosaurs
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/entertainment/view/400990/1/.html

Monday, January 12, 2009

Viewing my WIP

Another week, another paper. Almost done at the office here - just having my production manager cap off the finishing touches on our next edition. It's a good thing - and it's going to look great. I'll link to it on Wednesday when it goes up on the site. 

But, while I'm sitting with down time, it means I can tweak personal side projects (only because I'm done my work and commitments to In Business). Meaning, I can definitely show you the progress made on the Zombie Dinosaur artwork that's in development. 

It's what I call a  Work In Progress - check it out.

So there's a neat background of a Chicago city street (an image photographed by yours truly about two years ago when I was out in the Windy City to see Sue) with a series of people escaping from a yet-to-be-disclosed zombie dinosaur. The images are coming along nicely enough, and I'm excited to see how this will all look when it's done. No reveals on what the dinosaur will be yet - but it should be cool.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Well, I lost $20 at the casino last night, but that's not too bad. My fiancee broke even, and my other buddies seemed to walk away not too unhappy that they'd lost some cash. I guess that's how the casino works. This was my first trip into the place since the renovations from the Caesar's upgrade.

The front entrance is alright - nothing too fancy, and certainly not as impressive as Caesar's in Las Vegas. I wouldn't expect the place to be that fancy, but ... it wasn't really even that close. The place looked essentially the same - just a few upgrades to the front entrance to make it look clean and modern.

I was also disappointed that the floor was so small - I understand that they want slot machines all over the place because they bring in tonnes of money - but that's all there seemed to be. The floor where the tables were was small - I thought there would be a lot more area dedicated to that sort of thing - but there wasn't. For a premiere establishment, it just didn't seem to be that impressive. This is Canada, though - we don't go big or go home like the Americans - we just do what we can afford.

Frankly, it'd be nice to be tremendously impressed one of these days by something Canadian. In the States, things are meant to impress - to be bigger than life. There's something fantastic and awesome about it all - and that's really magical. Here in Windsor, anyhow, you just don't see things like that. Big buildings with fancy front entrances just aren't that common. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places.

Anybody out there recommend somewhere to visit that's cool? I'd love to see something cool one of these days.

Until then - I got a bit more work complete on my upcoming Zombie Dinosaur, which is coming along alright. I've committed a lot of time on the setting and the foreground for this one - and haven't even started on the zombie-dinosaur yet. But it should all come together really well. I scanned some of the elements, and I think they're going to look great when they're assembled.

Once I get the second element finished up, I'll put it together and post it up. It's going to look really neat.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Anything exciting going on?

Nope. I'd have posted something in the recent days if I'd been personally up to anything interesting - but with some regret, I'm not.

Work, though, has been busy enough, so that's been good. I get antsy if I get bored, so keeping a little busy is a good thing. This week two of my editors went to a national conference in Regina (or Saskatoon, actually) and I hope they're having a good time out there - but that means they aren't around to do their end of the work around the office.

That means my job is to pick up the slack while they're bettering themselves and work on their sections while they're gone. The paper is likely to be about 20 pages this week, and I'll be doing the layout for about 15 of them, so I'm a busy guy. I'm lucky, though, that they provided me with all the articles I'll need to fill the sections in, so I'm not on the hook for writing anything - which is relieving. That would be a lot of pages to fill all by my lonesome.

So that's what is going on this week - and then next week is our Spoof Edition, which we've finalized a work docket for - meaning, we're ready to start making up the news and having some fun with everything. I don't know how it's all going to work out in the end, but it should make for a worthwhile read when we're done with it.

Anyhow, I hope you're having a great weekend so far. We've received almost 15 cm of snow down here so far, and that's making things interesting around here. If I'm going anywhere tonight, it'll be in a cab. Driving in this stuff can be the worry for someone who's getting paid to do it, not me.

I've got two new posts considered to publish, but I just haven't spent any time on them yet, and I've got an In Business article to write - which I should prioritize over blog posts (although, there's definitely time in the day to do them both).

Talk to you soon,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jon Lajoie

Now that you've taken a moment to observe who Jon Lajoie is, and hopefully watched a few of his videos while you were at it - I'd like to say that he's got a new contract with HBO to make a few episodes of his videos into something for television.

HERE'S the cool part - The Lance had a chance to interview the man, and the videos are right here!






and

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Interesting tid bits

Big bony frill
First off, the first ever ceratopsid discovered outside of North America may have been pulled out of a massive Chinese bone bed. With a frill measuring at 2 metres, that's a pretty big triceratops to overlook. 

Why such an ugly face?
In an earlier post I made mention to a Rob Zombie movie that's coming up - and I have found a sneak peek at what Michael Myers will appear like in Zombie's sequel to Halloween. It kinda looks like: 



Itty bitty teeny weeny ...
Sticking with zombies: there is a new patch, or hack, or whatever you want to call it for the new hit game Left 4 Dead. Someone has decided that the zombies should be wearing red thongs while they run around. And then they made it happen

Lost is like just over two weeks away
There have been a devastingly large amount of spoilers coming out for the new season of Lost, and I basically know what happens in the first two episodes, though I've only been able to piece together a few lines of dialogue from them. Simply put, the 9 month hiatus that you have to sit through to get new episodes of a season of Lost is unbearable, and scanning the Internet for whatever you can find out about it is honestly the only thing you can do to not only keep interested, but to satisfy your interest. 

I swear, though, I'm not going to quest for spoilers once the season starts - I can wait a week (sometimes even two) for new season - just not months and months. 

That being said, I know of events that are occurring in the show for the next two hours, but I have no idea in what context they will be delivered in - so when a guest star I would usually be surprised to see shows up, I will have no idea why they are there. And of course, I'll have no idea what the characters are motivated by - just what they are doing.

Expect Sayid to get shot in the arm again - by my count, this will be the third time he's been shot in the arm. If I'd been shot in the arm that many times, I'd get out of whatever business I was in, and find a nice secluded island that nobody could find, and ... oh wait ;) - that idea didn't work out so well the first time he tried that. 

Thanks for stopping by - I'll have some neat new updates very shortly. To set you up for some fantastic inclusions on the blog soon, I'll leave you with this: 


Monday, January 5, 2009

The bongos are funny, but ...

While this is almost old news, there was a dumb hockey fight last Saturday between Russian sniper Alex Semin and Rangers' defenseman Marc Staal. While it is often unlikely to have snipers dropping the gloves in a fight, this one takes the cake.


Of course Semin gets tossed around a bit (and you'll see that he completely loses all of his gear during the fight) and then when the refs break it up, he starts patting Staal on the back like he's hitting a drum and not a grown man. He looks childish in his efforts to make a counter-attack, and he should be embarrassed. Yet, this isn't what caught my eye the most.

In the background, on the boards, what the hell is Chevy Chase Bank? And why is their spokesman not Chevy Chase? AND did you know that Chevy's real name is Cornelius Crane Chase? I'll bet you didn't. 

Apparently this Chevy Chase Bank doesn't have anything to do with Chase Banks. Also, they apparently decided that the name Chevy Chase wasn't good enough for the big comedian to have all to himself.  Their history doesn't exactly explain why they went with that name, but say that their history dates back 100 years. 

That was interesting to me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The year ahead in movies



Films that I am looking forward to in the new year:
List from The Edge.

Apparently the $200 million "Watchmen" movie is under duress because the rights to make the film weren't exactly satisfying to all parties involved. It's currently being negotiated by lawsuit, and who knows what will happen to the film.
Regardless, "Watchmen" comes out on March 6, and I expect to skip it.

Harry Potter and the half-blood prince - skip. (June 17)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1) Yeah, I'll see that.

Star Trek (May 8) was moved from December '08 because you movie viewers will pay more money to see it in the summer. So the die-hard trekkies have to wait five more desperate months to see what J.J. Abrams has done with their favourite series and characters.

Night in the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian (May 22) will probably be skipped so that I can go see Terminator 4: Salvation - BUT I'm going to wait from some reviews to come out. T3 was shit, and I haven't been impressed with Christian Bale since American Psycho.

"Land of the Lost" with Will Ferrell (June 5). I'll see you in line for this one! Definitely catching it on opening weekend.

"Transformers" and I will also be meeting on June 26 to rendez vous. Transformers are totally cool - even if Shia LaBeouf isn't. (I have no idea how he's becoming an action star - because he's just the same dumb kid from Dumb and Dumberer).

August 7 will bring G.I. Joe. A lot of people are going to be psyched about this - BUT - it's starring Brendan Fraser. Perhaps it's not going to be the awesome army flick with everyone's favourite band of heroes fighting Cobra. I can see a lot of: "... and knowing's half the battle" from Fraser throughout the movie.

I'm not sure what "Tyrannosaurus Rex" (August 28) is, but it's being made by Rob Zombie, and it's apparently about a tyrannosaurus rex, so - hopefully dinosaurs are going to tear the shit out of people finally! I also hope that the special effects live up to what Rob Zombie has done in the past - and we don't get another Carnosaur (which was shit - though the book wasn't). Also, this is another exciting time to recall that dinosaurs and zombies belong together.

[EDIT: nope, this isn't about dinosaurs - shitty]

"Where the Wild Things Are" (October 16), even though it stars the destestable Forest Whitaker, is a definite trip to the cinema.

And who doesn't want to see "Sherlock Holmes" on November 20? I'd see this in a heartbeat, even if I didn't know that Robert Downey Jr. was going to star in it!

I've not confirmed when "Astroboy" is coming out, but I'm going to catch that as a sure thing, as well.

Reader feedback

cara
said...
this is really depressing considering how much i really wanted to
see that film. you are the second person who has told me it is not very good.
such a let down considering how good it looked in previews...


Hi Cara,

did you rent Forrest Gump? I'm telling you, some home-popped corn and a comfy couch are nice, but nothing will break you down to a tissue wielding fiend like Forrest Gump. I think I was in grade eight (in Ottawa) when I first saw the movie, and I didn't get most of what was going on - but watch it again, and you'll be fighting to get the kleenex back from whoever swiped it from you.

He's just too simple to understand the gravity of everything that's going on around him. And all he tries to do is do his best.

WAY better than The Unusual Case of Benjamin Button: premise, a coming of age story, where a guy ages differently. (And he doesn't really come of age, Hilary Swinton does).

After reading another review: it turns out the same writer did the script for this movie and Forrest Gump, too. Perhaps that's why it comes to mind so readily while you're watching it.

Honestly, I heavily encourage you to rewatch Forrest Gump - you'll get WAY more out of it, and probably notice a lot of new things if you haven't seen it in a few years. It could be like watching a new movie that you haven't already seen.

ALSO - if you do bother to see this film, tell me what shallow metaphor the hummingbird represents. I get the clock that runs backwards - it make sense. But the hummingbird? It appears there is little consensus on it. No matter how you slice it, the imagery was obtuse and unclear.

It's like having a three-year-old demand that you read his letter while he screams at the top of his lungs, yet the letter is nothing but a scribbled mess that only has meaning to its author. Not worth the attention, other than to assauge the author's undecipherable efforts at expression.

This is the only movie that I've ever left the theatre during (for a piss break). I didn't care that I was missing part of the story. Granted, I usually only see movies in theatre that I know will be awesome. (My last three movies before this: Role Models, Choke and Burn After Reading). Judge me if you will.

Talk to you soon, Cara.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Rent Forest Gump instead of watching Benjamin Button

The Unusual Case of Benjamin Button = (My Girl + Titanic + Forest Gump) / 12

Why is it these cool movies divded by 12? Because it merely holds a quarter of a light to these other films. MacCauley Culkin does a better job dying as a yongster than Brad Pitt's character does. The old lady in Titanic does a better job being old than Swinton does. And Forest Gump does a better job spanning decades while the bildungsroman is coming to life than Benjamin Button does.

If you were to take a movie that was retold from an old woman's perspective, and end it with a young little child dying, you'd probably think you were watching Titanic and My Girl back-to-back, but instead, you're spending three hours watching The Unusual Case of Benjamin Button. The movie had little in terms of character development (and the protagonists didn't seem to have to overcome much in the 90 years the story seems to span over) and in the end, you probably could guess what was going to happen.

Seriously, this was nothing special, and there is no reason why the academy awards, or the oscars, or whoever is shrowding this film with recognition, should be gushing over it. An old woman is on her death bed in the hospital, and her daughter is reading an old diary (Benjamin Button's diary). The film is a flashback from the hospital as the daughter reads the diary. It's about a man who is born old, and ages in the opposite direction. And despite his unusual circumstance, he doesn't necessarily overcome any unusual circumstances, (and there are only about three instances where he's mistaken for being old [when in fact he is young]).

Benjamin Button served in WWII and there wasn't much exciting about it (other than the captain of his ship - who was pretty awesome) and his love affair with Tildan Swinton wasn't all that exciting either. Whatever the academy is calling the chemistry between these two actors, I think Danny Glover and Mel Gibson worked better together in all the Lethal Weapon movies, than Brad Pitt and Swinton did in this film.

In fact, Brad Pitt and the entire cast of Oceans 11, 12 & 13 were better than Brad Pitt and Swinton - I have absolutely no idea why they're getting so much attention. This movie is unusual, as it has an absolutely unusual premise, but besides that, it's merely a third of what Forest Gump accomplished.

Instead of watching The Unusual Case of Benjamin Button, rent Forest Gump. (You'll thank me in the end).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Leroy Jenkins

For my brother, and possibly my sister, who would find this funny.




Yeah, that's pretty good. I got a bit of the zombie dinosaur created, and the background should be ready soon enough. I made some calls for the In Business article, but won't be able to make much ground on that until next Monday (when my contact returns to work) and I managed another image for the Spoof Edition, which should be nice to have scanned and ready to go.

Anyhow, happy new years! And remember that Leroy Jenkins is just stupid.