Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jurassic Park: The Game

I'd been hearing about this game - here's a bit of a sneak peek at it:



Not sure what to think of this one yet. It almost seems like it stuck to the first movie a little too closely - if you were going to do that, why on earth would you wait 17 years to make a game this closely related to the movie?

And there's a "secret" new dinosaurs they're revealing that's a poisonous nocturnal hunter? Did they bother to read the book? They didn't need to introduce another animal when they could just use the "compys" which were plentiful and venomous.

It doesn't look like a "sand box" game either, but more like a platform game - they didn't really show any gameplay in this either. I'm not impressed yet. I hope they release more info to make this morning impressive.

Monday, March 28, 2011

While not watching the President's address

... I decided, instead of watching Obama address the nation, to switch over to Murder She Wrote. I knew that that network wasn't going to be interrupted by topical issues, and I wasn't disappointed. I was pleased to discover that James Keviziel (the guy who played Jesus in Passion of the Christ) was in that episode, which is interesting.

This leads me to:

The Angela Landsbury School of Performing Arts Dean's List

Ned Beatty (1.01) from Roseanne (as Ed Conner)
Tom Bosley (1.02) from Happy Days (255 episodes)
Gabe Kaplan (1.03) from Welcome Back, Kotter (79 episodes)
Martin Landau (1.03) from Mission Im:possible (76 episodes)
Joaquin Phoenix (1.08) from Walk the Line and Gladiator (and David Letterman)
Milton Berle (1.12) from It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (and 55 eps of the Milton Berle Show)
Glynn Turman (1.13) & (3.07) & (6.05) who you don't need to know, but he was in Gremlins, which is awesome
Leslie Nielson (1.14) & (3.06) the man who needs no introduction!
Robert Goulet (1.15) of Will Ferrell fame (and was in one of the Naked Guns with Neilson!
Cesar Romero (1.15) the Joker in Batman with Adam West
Jerry Orbach (1.16) from Law and Order (only 274 f-ing episodes!)
Linda Blair (1.19) from The Exorcist (and Reposessed with Leslie Nielson)
Kevin McCarthy (1.20) from UHF as the evil Channel 4 owner
Howard Hesseman (2.01) from WKRP in Cincinnati (90 episodes)
William Atherton (2.03) & (3.22) from Die Hard and Ghostbusters (and Lost, season 6)
William Christopher (2.07) from M*A*S*H (213 episodes!)
Lee Meriwether (2.07) & (9.19) & (11.13) from Bathman as ... Catwoman (wiggle eyebrows up and down)
Norman Fell (2.08) from Three's Company (and the Ropers) as Stanley Roper (56 episodes)
Larry Wilcox (2.15) & (4.20) & (7.17) & (9.09) from CHiPs (117 episodes)
Robert Stack (2.19) from Unsolved Mysteries of 15 years. (He was born in 1919!!!!) voice of Ultra Magnus in the Transformers movie, apparently in Falcon Crest quite a bit.
Linda Hamilton (2.20) from the Terminator movies with Arnie.
Courtney Cox (3.01 & 3.02) season premiere! Of course, she's from Friends.
Hayley Mills (3.03) from Disney movies.
John Glover (3.04) & (4.02) from Gremlins 2, and ... Smallville (145 episodes)
Tom Selleck (3.08) from Magnum P.I. where he plays "Magnum" where they solved a crime together.
George Takei (3.15) from Star Trek (22 episodes as the famous Mr. Sulu)
Ernest Borgnine (3.16) from McHale's Navy (138 episodes)
Adam West (3.16) from Batman, again! Nice.
George Clooney (3.18) from ER (109 episodes) and other things.
Fionnula Flanagan (4.08) & (10.07) from Lost (as Ms. Hawkings)
Billy Zane (4.17) from that line in Zoolander, "Thanks .. Billy Zane."
Sonny Bono (4.19) from Sonny and Cher.
Jamie Farr (5.02) from M*A*S*H (214 episodes)
Conchata Ferrell (5.09) from Two and a Half Men (132 episodes)
Dirk Benedict (5.12) & (12.10) from The A-Team as "Faceman" (96 episodes)
Bill Maher (5.13) from ... well being a big asshole for money, but with less talent than Dennis Leary.
Jerry Stiller (6.08) from King of Queens, Zoolander, Seinfeld.
Sally Struthers (7.06) from All in the Family (184 episodes)
Michael McKean (7.07) from SNL and Celebrity Jeopardy (and This is Spinal Tap)
David Lasbury (8.22) Angela's nephew, who made it into season finale.
Harvey Fierstein (9.05) from Independence Day and John Lovitz parodies (and Death to Smoochie)
Margot Kidder (9.16) from Superman as Lois Lane (and later for being insane)
Cynthia Nixon (9.16) from Sex and the City.
Sam Anderson (9.18) & (10.09) & (11.15) from many episodes of Lost as "Bernard Nadler"
Neil Patrick Harris (9.19) from Doogie Howser, MD, How I Met Your Mother and Harold & Kumar.
Don Swayze (10.06) from the younger brother of Patrick.
Morgan Fairchild (10.09) supermodel from General Hospital
Julianna Margulies (10.09) from ER and now The Good Wife.
George Segal (10.09) from Just Shoot Me
Felicia Lansbury (10.17) & (11.20) is Angela's Niece, good to see she made it on t.v.
Robert Knepper (10.20) & (12.17) from Heroes (final season) and Prison Break.
Shannon Tweed (11.15) from Playboy magazine, and Gene Simmons Family Jewels
James Caviezel (11.16) from Passion of the Christ.
William O'Leary (11.16) & (12.23) from Home Improvement as Tim's brother Marty.
Zeljko Ivanek (12.05) from just about every show you can imagine. He's been in it.
Doug Hutchinson (12.09) from X-Files, Lost and the Green Mile.





On another note - did the president declare war on Libya today? I wasn't paying attention.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dinosaur news again!

Been a while since we had Dinosaurs News!

Lots of Jurassic Park stuff coming up - but we start of with kids and dinosaurs (not that you have to be a child to enjoy dinosaurs).

Kids Discover Dinosaurs in Duluth
by Jena Pike
northlandsnewscenter.com

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Hundreds of people came out to discover dinosaurs in the Duluth Children's Museum tonight.

Little paleontologists got to identify, dig out, and clean dinosaur fossils, some of which were discovered in Minnesota.

More than 350 people had come in the first half-hour of the event.
Dino night is part of Museum First Fridays, in which families can enjoy a new theme the first Friday of every month for free.

The director says increasing numbers of people show just how much the museum needs extra space.

"Our plan to move is really predicated on when we raise money. We've raised about a half a million dollars of the 4.8 million that we need to date. We got some pending requests with foundations and corporations, but what we're really looking for is a legacy donor, a league donor to step forward," Michael Garcia, CEO and president of Duluth Children's Museum.
Click to read more.

When I was in Tennessee back in May 2004 my fam and I got to check out this awesome dinosaur museum that was made by some rich guy who made his money off of a fighter pilot museum. He had all these life-sized model planes, but his grandkids (again you don't have to be a kid to like dinosaurs) wanted a dinosaur museum instead - so he got the Jurassic Park's designers and model-makers to make life-sized dinosaurs.

Anyhow - it looks like a very, very similar endeavour is coming to New Jersey.

Jurassic Park Company eyes Secaucus for national lifelike dinosaur exhibit
E. Assata Wrigh


Imagine a large-scale exhibit of dozens of life-sized animatronic dinosaurs set against the natural vegetation and wildlife of the Meadowlands. Now imagine this exhibit coming to Secaucus.

Similar exhibits, known as “dinosaur parks,” have been popular and successful in a number of cities, including Cincinnati, Chicago, and Oklahoma City.

If a Glen Ridge-based company gets its way, the New York City area could debut its own dinosaur park in spring/summer 2012 – with Secaucus the likely home.

“It’s going to feel like a dinosaur expedition, like a safari into a lost world,” said Guy Gsell, president of Jerseysaurus, the company working to open the dinosaur park in town. “Every kid – and I mean kids from 5 years old all the way up to middle-aged guys like me – love to imagine what it would have been like to be there, to see live dinosaurs. The best dinosaur parks that have been done thus far creates that feeling.”

At present the plans are very preliminary, since Jerseysaurus is still negotiating for a site, corporate sponsorship, and other funding. But if the company’s plans work out, the Secaucus park would be a permanent installation in town, a departure from most other dinosaur exhibits.

“What will make what we’re doing different is we’re not planning it as a tour, or a leg of a tour,” Gsell said. “We are hoping to open up a dinosaur park that will be part of the life of this area for many years.”

The seasonal park, he added, would be open to the public about nine months out of the year, spring through fall, with families and schools being the park’s two biggest target audiences.

As planned, the park will include life-sized replicas of dinosaurs that will feature animatronic technology to create a realistic, three-dimensional quality often missing from traditional exhibits. For example, using robotic technology, the dinosaur models – which will be endowed with flesh-like “skin” – will be able to make sounds and small movements, the accuracy of which is based on historical research by paleontologists.
Click to read more.

Jurassic Park 4 update? Sure!


Jurassic Park 4 Shooting at Universal Studios Hollywood?
Erik
Behind the thrills.com


It’s been rumored for years now, and the rumors have been all kinds of bug nuts crazy but it seems that the cameras have finally started to roll on Jurassic Park 4 at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Backlot. The movie seems to have creeped into production this week, and thanks to the folks over at Theme Park Adventure we have a few pics to go on. The best I can tell this isn’t photoshopped as it came directly from TPA’s twitpic (click here to check them out on Twitter) as they were at the park.

The last we heard of Jurassic Park IV it was way back in 2007, and included a screenplay for the film that Steven Speilberg was really fond of. It included going back to the Island from the first film, and bringing back that canister of shaving cream that Nedry hid all the DNA samples. Then it took a turn for the weird. The DNA was supposed to be used for some crazy idea to breed out the dinosaurs that were breeding like crazy and making life miserable. That DNA was instead used to create super smart dinos that became Mercenaries, and talked.

As late as last year it seemed that JP 3 helmer Joe Johnston was pretty much set in stone to direct number 4 and said “Well, there is going to be a Jurassic Park IV. And it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve seen. It breaks away from the first three—it’s essentially the beginning of the second Jurassic Park trilogy. It’s going to be done in a completely different way. That’s pretty much all I can tell you.”

It doesn’t exactly confirm that it’s going to be the Mercenary Dinosaurs, but hopefully it won’t be “Hey let’s go to this Island”.

As you can see filming is taking up a few different sets, and it’s also begun some blue screen work by the War of the Worlds soundstage area. Nothing else can be seen of the sets from the tram tour, but the good news is that filming has started, or so it seems. It could be a joke a mistake or anything else. And now Universal claims it was a joke someone pulled, though a special edition blu-ray is coming this year and could have new material. We’ll keep you posted if we hear more.
Click to read more.


Jurassic Park Game Details Surface
Some details have finally crept in on the Jurassic Park game that’s currently in development.

Revealed in the latest of Game Informer, the first tidbits we have on Telltale’s Jurassic Park game are encouraging but there are a few things that are somewhat disappointing. With there being three Jurassic Park films, two books that are somewhat vastly different from the films that were made and the prospect of really cool spin-off opportunities, some had wondered when the new JP game would take place. Well keeping in tune with everyone’s favorite installment of the Jurassic Park series, the JP game will be set directly after the events of the first Jurassic Park film.

Sadly, none of the characters from the film such as Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) or Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) will make an appearance in the game and it wasn’t confirmed if we could expect to see John Hammond, the man behind Jurassic Park, to pop up as well. The character that players assume the role of in the game is a Jurassic Park employee who I assume finds themselves wanting to get off the island as fast as possible so they don’t become dinosaur chow.

The gameplay in Jurassic Park won’t exactly be in tune with Telltale other projects such as Back to the Future as the game will indeed be reminiscent of Heavy Rain i.e. the action scenes heavily involve Quick Time Events. The game will make players think a bit as there will be puzzles but other gameplay mechanics weren’t divulged so it’s unknown if players will be able to roam around the abandoned and dinosaur infested InGen facilities and explore things or if they’ll be put on a very linear path filled with QTE scenarios.

Unlike the Back to the Future games, Telltale apparently isn’t taking a stylistic approach to Jurassic Park as the game utilizes a realistic art style. Early reports peg the game as not being a complete visual masterpiece, but apparently the look of the game is adequate given the size of the game and Telltale’s development team. As long as the dinosaurs look convincing and are roughly on the same quality as Jurassic: The Hunted I’ll be a happy camper.

Just like Telltale’s Back to the Future games, the Jurassic Park project will be split across five episodes with the first set for release this Spring. Aside from the obvious release on the PC and Mac, it wasn’t stated which consoles it would be released on but if BTTF is any indication a PSN release should be a lock while Xbox 360 owners may be left crying once more.

It’s nice that we finally have some details on Telltale’s Jurassic Park game, but I just hope that the gameplay is compelling and merely won’t consist of a series of rooms strung together with one or two puzzles and four QTEs. I’m also a bit worried about the QTEs as well as they could either prove to be amazing or fall completely flat if not implemented properly along with making replay sessions a bit boring. It’s a bummer that we won’t see any of the main movie cast pop up, but maybe Telltale will throw gamers a bone and insert a character cameo for the finale episode of the game. Even if Jurassic Park doesn’t turn out to be a masterpiece, I’m just happy the franchise is getting another shot in the video game arena and we’re finally getting another game featuring dinosaurs.
Click to read more.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hunter S. Thompson's Rum Diaires

It seems more than a coincidence (or perhaps it's exactly that, just a coincidence) but I was talking with a colleague about The Rum Diaries and how much I'd enjoyed the book - I read it back in 1998, I think, at that time I had no inkling to become a writer of any kind - it honestly wasn't a consideration - I simply hadn't thought of it.

But The Run Diaries was a lot of fun to read - I didn't write down a lot of quotes back then, but I remember I did write this one down, from the beginning of the book:
"Like most of the others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that my instincts were right. I shared a vagrant optimism that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top.

At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles - a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going."
Always there's a push an pull in us between hope and despair - that what you're working toward could be great, or fall flat. The epitaph sort of sets the tone for the book, but at the same time has a poetic way of drawing its reader in, because everyone should feel this way at some point in their life.

It isn't John Keats, but it definitely tackles the journey to aspire to idealism, it alludes to the cyclops we all have to stake in the eye to return home to our ideals.

I would be remiss to not mention that the Rum Diaries is being made into a film - I would prefer to have found that this film was made years ago, to watch it with the lanky, un-hollywood actors of the 80s in washed out colour with tacky and out-of-date soundtracks following the protagonist's journey - but a 2011 release with (synonymous with Hunter S. Thompson) Johnny Depp in HD 3D (if only) might be worth it, too.

Finished Fallout 3

Yeah - I had an awesome time playing Fallout 3. I own Fallout 2 and absolutely love it - played it through many, many times - enjoying the humour, gruesomeness and expansive gameplay in a post-apocalyptic world with a deep mythology and backstory. It's incredibly well designed.

So after loving Fallout 2 so much I was especially sensitive and wary that the follow up couldn't live up to its standards. And as soon as I opened the packaging and saw some of the artwork in the manual, I realized they'd used some of the iconic artwork from Fallout 2 and then had someone try and match that artwork style to create more material - and that itself didn't live up to the Fallout 2 standards.

I guess this sensitivity was all exacerbated because an entirely new company took the Fallout franchise and developed it for themselves - how often does that work out? Well -

Now that the game is said and done, I absolutely loved wandering the wastelands and finding random encounters, villains and weapons. The storyline, environment and mythology were all well put together, the perks and attributes were all fantastic, although I found the difficultly level too challenging for me.

My approach to gaming is not to enter into a difficult situation, but rather to have fun - being a superhero that dominates over others in a world where atomic weapons and fighting for survival were necessary. Yeah - I died a few times, but I certainly wasn't interested in dying all the time. My first few adventures from one town to the next on "Normal" went awful - slaughtered left and right by guys holding nothing but a board with a nail in it. I was very disappointed - and it became frustrating - and there's nothing worse than me grumpy and frustrated over a videogame. It's nonsensical and unfounded - so I try my best to alleviate any tensions from my end decreasing the difficulty levels when necessary.

That being said - after that initial adjustment, things were much, much better and fun. There were few apprehensions in entering areas and confronting enemies was no longer a problem.

- -

My thoughts on the game and its place in the Fallout franchise? I liked the atmosphere and world of the wasteland - it was incredible. The baddies you fought all the time were awesome, the equipment and weapons you got were great and the overall storyline was welcoming, too - you weren't on an endless race to find a GECK or waterchips, but rather are chasing your father after he escaped from his vault to followup on his project from a lifetime ago.

I loved the extra things you could do like build your own weapons, maintain and upgrade your own equipment and listening to the radio while you're on assignment.

BUT I found there was little association between regions in the game - and there are literally dozens of locations that are completely unrelated to the main story narrative. If anything, you're required to explore unnecessary corners of the mpa for the hope of finding a new location. In Fallout 2 your missions and side-missions linked you to new cities and eventually graduated you to a new town where you greater skill level was challenged. This just wasn't quite the same in Fallout 3.

Also, there was great humour and many, many Easter eggs throughout the wastelands, which you don't find so much (or, at least they're not as obvious) in Fallout 3.

But the landscape is different now - while the first two games were based on the west coast of California and Nevada - this is all around Washington D.C. and filled with all the monuments and locations you'd expect to find in the area - it was really welcoming.

The game was a lot of fun, the world and backstory well put together, and the franchise was definitely honoured well in the new game -

not to spoil anything, but let's just say, at the end of the Fallout 2 you could explore the world some more after the final mission was complete, to endlessly upgrade your character and dominate over the rangers, mutants and legions of the Masters' Army. This game limits your levels to only 20 - so strategically upgrade your traits and skills appropriately, as 100 % in some skills is imperative to make progress in some areas (whether lock pick, computer hacking or repairing).

Also - this means your perks are limited to only 20 as well, which means you'll have replay the game to simply try new traits that you might otherwise not have considered useful during your first run through the game.

In the end, the story was very, very well tied together. It was cohesive, meaningful to the character and progressive - I was very pleased when it was all said and done, because "War ... war never changes." I could almost speak the lines before they were even delivered, it was so natural and authentic, so well put together.

While there's definitely replay value there - I think I'm going to have to focus on a new game for a while. This one took a lot of time to explore and enjoy so I welcome something new for a while and perhaps some time in the future I'll pick it up again and see what else there is to enjoy out in the wastes.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New scene for Tomb of the Undead

Yeah - finished the latest Tomb of the Undead post - which you can see here. It is called "My name is scam," which is a take off of a Sean Penn movie - but for the record I've never seen a Sean Penn movie in my life. I don't think.


Ugh, it's already well after 10 p.m., though the Leafs are only starting the second period right now. I'm confident I'm heading to bed instead of listening to the rest of the game. I hope you like all the airport pictures in this scene - they were a "pleasure" to draw.

One link on zombie dinosaurs for behind the scenes info on the comic:

Fletch (1985) - "Charge it to Mr. Underhill"

So Fletch was on "Game TV" whatever that is, last night. Fletch is about a journalist who goes undercover to get the inside story on the dirty underside of Los Angeles - almost like a detective. While working on a drug story on the beaches, he's made an unusual offer by a very rich man. He doesn't understand, so he takes his quick wit and collection of disguises on the road to find out who this guy is, and what he wants.

The movie had Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Belair, the bad boyfriend from Drop Dead Fred, Gina Davis (must have been an early role for her, she didn't really say or do anything in it) and of course Chevy Chase.

It wasn't a very good movie, let's be fair, but it kept you guessing with the mystery. I didn't figure it out, but had fun trying.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

working from home ...

... because we're meeting our new family doctor today. So that's kind of nice.

It saves me a few hours commuting for the day - which I might be able to enjoy again on Friday when the on site reporting assignment I was mentioning, actually happens. The client would like my company to cover an event in Uxbridge for the news program, so instead of driving to Peterborough that morning, I'll be heading to Uxbridge, which is much closer. Plus, getting all my interviews done at once after a neat presentation is pretty streamlined, as well, which is good.

It should be a great event, a speaking tour that I've covered over the last few months a few times, getting reactions to it, so to actually see the presentation itself after all this time will be fantastic. I'm looking forward to making the most of it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reporting on location

I might have a chance to actually head out into the field to cover an event this morning / afternoon for work. Instead of reporting from my desk on the telephone, I have the chance to go on location to report on a presentation on community inclusion at a high school.

I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Odd coincidences in sports

I was cleaning out the garage today and I got to recalling an old Toronto Star headline in the sports section that read "Win, win, win" as the Raptors, Blue Jays and Maple Leafs all won games on the same day.

It got me to wondering whether it ever happens in a calendar year that the Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors, FC and Argos all play on the same day - and if so, how often. Then, what would be the likelihood that all those teams win that night?

The odds seem unlikely - but it would be cool. It's still cool if only three of those teams win. I think the Jays and Leafs won on Saturday - not sure about the Raptors, but the odds are against them.

It would seem that the Jays would have to be playing in late October (like, in the World Series) to win a game at the same time as the Raps or Leafs. Or, vice versa, both the Raps and Leafs would have to be playing late in April to at the same time as the Jays.

I don't think the Argos play around these times at all - do they?

ANYHOW - this was interesting only because I noticed in the NHL western conference standings that the Pacific Division has Vancouver (1st), San Jose (3rd), Phoenix (4th), Los Angeles (5th), Dallas (6th) and Anaheim (9th).

Basically, almost the entire division has qualified for the playoffs. When's the last time that's ever happened? I would have to think it's extremely rare. And Anaheim's only one point out behind Nashville, and they have a game at hand. It's not unrealistic to think this might hapen.

That's downright amazing to think that five of eight teams will be from the same division - it's impressive when three teams qualify for the playoffs from one division, let alone ALL of them. Things must be tough down there.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New scene for Tomb of the Undead

I had this finished a while ago and I'm not sure why I didn't put a link up -

In any case, a new scene for Tomb of the Undead is finished called Barney's Recon.


Here's the teaser for Barney's Recon where Casey gets moved along toward entering into the second act. There's only a few more things to instigate him forward, and then we're into the exciting world of Act II.

Other links that provide a little more background for the production can be found at:
I should have had this link up ages ago - don't know how it slipped my mind. Only a few more pages till we leave Act I and bust into Act II, which will be awesome.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spoof reader feedback

I was actually interviewed about this article by CBC radio - I haven't any idea whether they used any of the material or not - but it took 20 minutes of my day the other day.

So - what do people say about the news about fake news?

They range from "chill out":
ShaylaB19
Talk about overreacting.Get a grip man!! It was a spoof! I thought Windsor had a better sense of humor than that.
topgun6
People need to chill. It's just meant as a satirical piece and imo, was well done..
cheers

Sault Guy in Belle River
Oh c'mon, people. It's a spoof. It's supposed to be funny and if you unclench your sphincters for a few minutes, you'll realize that it IS funny. Ever see Russel Peters, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams or any of 100 other comedians? Their acts are based on racism, sexism and just about any other ism you can think of. More and more, the parodies are aimed at the rampant political correctness that has taken over our humourless and hyper-sensitive society. What a pity that we can't laugh at anything any more for fear of offending someone's overblown sensibilities. Untwist your panties and relax!

lexluthor
This edition of the paper was around when I was there in the 1980's. Anybody who doesn't like it needs to get a life, unless they are one of those people who go on witch hunts for "these offensive things".

JC40
people are too serious. is it not obvious its a spoof? seems obvious to me.

To supportive of the article:
jordanjones
Hilarious. It's refreshing to see a clever attempt at humour; a fail in execution and total acceptance all in a few paragraphs.
What's even funnier is the lance took it off the web because people were offended and the star puts it back up.
jeeves86
That's pretty funny. If you just look at the headlines, almost Onion-esque material.
Some people just don't like the university:
anonymous28
Oh boo hoo Wildeman, then why did you draw attention to it rather than dealing with the situation quietly so as to not further bring harm to the reputation of the University? Right, because it was about you.

class of 88
the president of the university is living in a bubble of his own hubris. He should be more concerned about the bigoted, hateful administration staff. This institution is so caught up in the pretense of an ivory tower image that they have forget or are unaware of the already terrible reputation of the school. The Lance put out some humour and some people were offended - seems like they did their job. Let Western take over the u of Windsor and end this sad expensive joke of a failed educational experiment.
some people don't like the Star:
anonymous
When does the Mock edition of the Windsor Star come out? You know the one with accurate reporting and no spelling or grammar errors.

To latently racist:
anonymous_63
try walking into the west wing of the leddy...
To obviously racist:
ohdiesel
I do not despise foreigners, only the scummy ones from 3rd world countries as I stated before. This ARTICLE demonstrates the victim mentality of so called minorities and commie pinkos, aka, the useful id!ots. You must be one of them, I see.
To "you're overreacting":
ClintonHammond
No one with half a brain in their head could have read ANY of those articles and not KNOWN they were spoofs...
If you couldn't tell they were spoofs, maybe you have a case to get your money back from your post 2ndary school.
rteacher
Such spoofs are a long tradition of The Lance and student newspapers since there was such a thing as a student newspaper.
http://www.yrad.com/kamamer/pennysaviour/sl.htm [link to a '93 spoof edition]
I finding it very, very hard to believe other mainstream news organizations couldn't see the obvious parody in each and every paragraph. The intentionally poorly done faked photo that accompanies the article is another incredibly obvious tip off. Humor will always offend some, I guess. People are always prepared to be offended and some, like MissMelrose, will try to leverage humor to promote their own agenda.

To off the mark entirely
anonymous
I find the responses on here more frightening then the article itself. Whatever happened to responsible journalism. Media outlets have a responsibility not only to their readers, but to the advertisers who pay their salary! Personally, I think the editor-in-chief should recieve some type of repramand for his actions. He and his staff delibertly put the reputation of an established newspaper in jeopardy. This is just another example of how our society continues to see that there is nothing sacred anymore. Everything can be exposed and no one has to take accountability for it. Shameful.
to complete nonsense [seriously, what is this saying?]
Kay R
As a U of W grad from many years ago (Business), I don't recall anyone taking the Lance, or any other publication on campus all that seriously.......oh ya, that's right, scrutiny of the non-benevolent......that was more a Social Science Major issue.....lol. (lighten up already....)
To finally getting closer to the mark
MissMelrose
As a graduate of U of Windsor, I can tell you that the Spoof edition always had an undertone of racism, sexism and homophobia in their articles. I remember specifically an article that parodied "Take Back the Night" (an annual march down the streets of Windsor to help end violence against women). The headline read "Take Back the Night Mistaken for a Zombie walk" - mocking battered women.

I am finally glad the administration and the human right's office is finally taking a stand.

I also know this fall there has been demonstrations and protests regarding the Lance and their articles having undertones of racism and sexism. Humour should not about the humiliation of race and gender.
There is some work being done that's analyzing the content of The Lance, which is an important step, for sure. You can find more of that here.

A content and quality analysis of the Lance is best served by omitting the Spoof Edition content, if you ask me. I think there's lots of valuable work to be done performing a content analysis - but it loses credibility significantly when the any time is spent reviewing the spoof editions.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spoof edition fallout

Well, there's been some feedback on the spoof edition that I posted about - which is interesting.

Lance spoof issue 'disgraceful' from the Windsor Star.
U of W president fires back
Frances Willick, The Windsor Star
Published: Wednesday, March 16


A spoof issue of the University of Windsor's student newspaper landed the Lance staff in hot water after the school received complaints from the public about "extremely offensive" statements attributed to university president Alan Wildeman.

A fabricated article printed in the Feb. 29 issue announced the school will begin admitting students based on their physical attractiveness. The article said students won't gain admission to the school unless they rank seven or higher on the "Hot or Not-o-meter" or unless they're international students.

A fake quote attributed to Wildeman questioned international students' adherence to "Western standards of appearance and hygiene" and said those students would be allowed to attend the school only if they won grant money or if they had "extensive plastic surgery."

Wildeman published a statement on the university's website Friday calling the spoof issue "a communication vehicle for racist and sexist remarks.

"Mainstream news reporters have found this issue online and have called to inquire about the disgraceful subject matter and especially the extremely offensive, false statements that were attributed to me," Wildeman's statement reads. "As outrageous as it is, this issue could be perceived as fact, a prospect that is damaging to the university's reputation, and more seriously, is damaging to racialized and international students, staff, faculty and our community."

Lance editor-in-chief D'Arcy Bresson said the spoof edition was intended to be humorous -not offensive. "We screwed up," he said. "There's no other way we can say it. It was a colossal screw-up."

Bresson said the article about the fake admissions standards was intended to illustrate the view that international students are viewed as "cash cows" by the university. "We missed the mark entirely," Bresson said.

Another story in the spoof issue reports a make-believe assassination attempt on a professor. The fake article blames the CIA for the gunman's actions and suggests the same man was responsible for the peeping Tom incidents at the Electa Hall residence.

In late 2009 and early 2010, students who lived at the residence were alarmed by reports of a man who was spying on women while they showered in the building. The school boosted security in Electa Hall following those reports.

Ironically, a third fake story reported that the Lance was going out of business because of rumours of homophobia, misogyny and racism at the publication.

Though the print version of the paper -which contains a full-page advertisement from the Government of Canada -was labelled "spoof issue" on top of most pages, there was nothing on The Lance's website to indicate the stories were fabricated.

"That was just a huge oversight," Bresson said.

As soon as staff at the paper got word of Wildeman's response to the story, they removed the spoof edition from the website and issued a public apology. "On behalf of The Lance I would like to apologize to the UWindsor President Alan Wildeman and the UWindsor community for the content of our annual spoof edition," the statement read. "It was never our intention to offend anybody in the UWindsor community and we feel terrible about this situation."

The Lance staff also met Tuesday with the school's office of human rights, equity and accessibility, who will meet with staff three more times over the coming month to provide education about those issues.

followed up with Mock edition of Lance 'damaging' to University of Windsor:


WINDSOR, Ont. -- A spoof issue of the University of Windsor’s student newspaper landed the Lance staff in hot water after the school received complaints from the public about “extremely offensive” statements attributed to university president Alan Wildeman.

A fabricated article printed in the Feb. 29 issue announced the school will begin admitting students based on their physical attractiveness. The article said students won’t gain admission to the school unless they rank seven or higher on the “Hot or Not-o-meter” or unless they’re international students.

A fake quote attributed to Wildeman questioned international students’ adherence to “Western standards of appearance and hygiene” and said those students would be allowed to attend the school only if they won grant money or if they had “extensive plastic surgery.”

Wildeman published a statement on the university’s website Friday calling the spoof issue “a communication vehicle for racist and sexist remarks.

“Mainstream news reporters have found this issue online and have called to inquire about the disgraceful subject matter and especially the extremely offensive, false statements that were attributed to me,” Wildeman’s statement reads. “As outrageous as it is, this issue could be perceived as fact, a prospect that is damaging to the university’s reputation, and more seriously, is damaging to racialized and international students, staff, faculty and our community.”

Lance editor-in-chief D’Arcy Bresson said the spoof edition was intended to be humorous — not offensive. “We screwed up,” he said. “There’s no other way we can say it. It was a colossal screw-up.”

Bresson said the article about the fake admissions standards was intended to illustrate the view that international students are viewed as “cash cows” by the university. “We missed the mark entirely,” Bresson said.

Another story in the spoof issue reports a make-believe assassination attempt on a professor. The fake article blames the CIA for the gunman’s actions and suggests the same man was responsible for the peeping Tom incidents at the Electa Hall residence.

In late 2009 and early 2010, students who lived at the residence were alarmed by reports of a man who was spying on women while they showered in the building. The school boosted security in Electa Hall following those reports.

Ironically, a third fake story reported that the Lance was going out of business because of rumours of homophobia, misogyny and racism at the publication.

Though the print version of the paper — which contains a full-page advertisement from the Government of Canada — was labelled “spoof issue” on top of most pages, there was nothing on The Lance’s website to indicate the stories were fabricated.

“That was just a huge oversight,” Bresson said.

As soon as staff at the paper got word of Wildeman’s response to the story, they removed the spoof edition from the website and issued a public apology. “On behalf of The Lance I would like to apologize to the UWindsor President Alan Wildeman and the UWindsor community for the content of our annual spoof edition,” the statement read. “It was never our intention to offend anybody in the UWindsor community and we feel terrible about this situation.”

The Lance staff also met Tuesday with the school’s office of human rights, equity and accessibility, who will meet with staff three more times over the coming month to provide education about those issues.

The office’s director, Kaye Johnson, called the spoof issue “hurtful” and “harmful.”

“You could sense that people were trying to be funny in some instances and that it was over the line in terms of not just sensitivity to other people, but in terms of its appropriateness,” she said.

After meeting with the staff Tuesday, Johnson said it’s clear their intentions weren’t malicious. “As long as we take the opportunity to work toward a paper that is a better paper for all people that are on campus, then I think that we can turn this into something that can help us move forward,” she said.

The Lance receives 30 per cent of its budget from student fees. Full-time undergraduates each pay $4.91 per year for the Lance. The remainder of the paper’s budget comes from advertisements.

Bresson said the Lance is considering spiking its spoof edition after this controversy. “It’s an idea that’s being circulated,” he said. “It’s the most popular edition of the year according to web hits, but we’re starting to ask if it’s really worth it.”

There are some great comments at the end of this article - I'd like to go through them and post some highlights, but there just isn't time this morning before work. Maybe another time soon.

Other than that, it's St. Patrick's Day, eh? ... hmmm

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Reimer eclipsing Giguere

I know this really isn't earth-shattering or anything - but James Reimer has eclipsed J.S. Giguere in wins some time a week ago. Right now he has 13 wins on the season, while Giguere has only 11.

Giguere has 11 wins in 36 games, which is ghastly. Gustavsson has an awful 6 wins in 23 games, which is insane, and Reimer, the man of the hour, has 13 wins in 26 games.

So good for Reimer, the guy plays a third of the season and racks up 76% of the wins of the other two goalies, combined! It's awesome - good for him. Nobody will take that away from him.

With only 10 or 11 games left this year, will there be a competition to see who wins the most games in 2011?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Charlie Sheen makes Charlie Harper look like a kitten.

This guy speaks in poetry. On the subject of a bad phone connection between him and his agent:
"This connection is .. ah, whoever invented this connection should have their face hacked off in front of their children, and then worn as a mask out on a tight-budget shopping spree in stores that don't even exist yet."
- Charlie Sheen.



If there's anything to learn from all of this Charlie Sheen excitement, it's that he's an absolutely incredible actor. You would have had no idea that what we're seeing right now is able to learn lines, perform, and act in any way that resembles normal on television.

This guy's mind is exploding with things he seems to need to express, and he seemed to be able to put is on mute while working and filming six (or whatever) seasons for Two and a Half Men. Good for him.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lance spoof edition

I miss writing for the Spoof edition each year back at The Lance. There is usually a hybrid of carefully crafted humour that goes over too many people's heads, distasteful crass insults a bit too direct to be funny, and other stuff that really isn't funny at all.

But once in a while there's an article that's absolutely hilarious. It is my pleasure to present:

Last Call by Paul Breschuk


I miss writing for the Spoof edition each year back at The Lance. There is usually a hybrid of carefully crafted humour that goes over too many people's heads, distasteful crass insults a bit too direct to be funny, and other stuff that really isn't funny at all.

But once in a while there's an article that's absolutely hilarious. It is my pleasure to present:

Last Call by Paul Breschuk

After 83 years of pushing envelopes the University of Windsor's student newspaper The Lance is going out of business. Unlike other publications that have shuttered in recent years due to financial constraints, The Lance is closing because of its content.

All good things must come to an end. But no one ever said The Lance was good – literally. Many even claim that it has become, among other things, a painful symbol of campus journalism’s ineptitude and corruption. It was this growing dissatisfaction which eventually sank the long-standing publication amidst swirling rumours of homophobia, misogyny, and racism.

Tuesday of last week marked the final editorial meeting for the dejected, heavy-hearted Lance staff. The atmosphere in the CAW basement office, typically joyful and raucous, was replaced with anxious looks, long sighs, and many unanswered questions.

“I do not know where to go from here,” said Josh Kolm, sports editor for The Lance. “A lot of us are worried about how this might impact our journalism careers. How will we get hired after this?”

Kolm is not the only writer whose C.V. received a black eye after working for The Lance.

“It has always been my dream to write for Macleans. But after this, the only way they would hire me is if Bill O’Reilly suddenly became their editor-in-chief,” said Michal Tellos, a long-time Lance writer.

Despite their outward benevolence, writers like Kolm and Tellos belong to the old guard, an old boys club of campus journalism dating back to the male-only Assumption College days of Windsor’s university. While this inner fraternity did well to exclude common proletariat outsiders from gaining positions within the publication, it was even better at excluding content written by or about women and visible minorities.

Admittedly, The Lance has always been owned and run by a clan of cigar-puffing, right-leaning, rich, old, white men. Despite the female presence on the editorial board it was revealed their contributions were ignored because that's not who the complainants targeted.

In surveying the article topics, no one can deny The Lance's track record against issues such as organic farming, fair trade, and marijuana legalization. But there was an even darker side. Fermenting between the covers of The Lance was a sinister sociopolitical agenda that was soon to be exposed.

Slowly, readers began to notice the newspaper’s attempts to shape Canada with its virulent hate-speech, calling for an end to multiculturalism, black history month, and voting rights for women and Liberals. This archaic and morally corrupt ideology, which has become a cornerstone of The Lance, was finally revealed to the community by the good work of a Women’s Studies course. For their class assignment, students of fall semester’s 53-410 “Women in Protest” combed over several editions of The Lance, looking specifically for gender and racial coverage biases. What they found was startling.

After writing about their findings in pamphlets and blogs, and ultimately voicing their concerns with their classmates outside the CAW Centre on Dec. 2. The long-held dirty secret of this campus newspaper was finally exposed.

From there, the authorities took notice. Leading the way in a march to bring justice to The Lance were the Canadian Civil Liberties Union, Canadian Human Rights Commission, NAACP, and finally, the RCMP.

“At first we did not pay much attention the claims of the Women in Protest group,” said Ellen Moore of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. “I mean, the whole thing seemed fueled by class marks. Since it was for a ‘Women in Protest’ class, could that have given the students an unfair and slightly dubious incentive to find fault with the newspaper? Would they have received lower marks if they found no fault with The Lance, thus having no reason to protest for their protest-oriented class?”

Cheryl Dubois, spokesperson for the Canadian Civil Liberties Union, was also initially skeptical.

“At first glance, their analysis seemed to lack credibility,” said Dubois. “They were clearly using too small of a sample size, looking for specifically biased results, using spoof issues and old and out-dated copies of the newspaper, not presenting any specific figures or stats, using questionable analytical methods, going into the study with a prejudice against the publication, ignoring the scientific rigors of impartiality, misreading data, making substantial claims based on analytical oversights and outright mistakes, not ever explaining or even divulging any clear criteria for what makes a newspaper racist, not clearly identifying the tipping point for what is and is not an acceptable ratio of female-oriented content compared with ‘straight white guy content’, without warning holding a publication hostage to this invisible and perhaps flawed criteria, relying on a black and white numbers game to identify sexism rather than using a more nuanced and holistic approach which could allow for a diplomatic and sensible discussion, and not to mention being baited the whole time by class marks for a ‘Women in Protest’ course.”

But once Dubois and her associates actually read a copy of The Lance, the allegations quickly gained credibility.

“When we finally read The Lance we were shocked at the amount of vitriolic hatred printed against women and visible minorities,” said Moore. “How could they be printing this stuff for so long and get away with it?”

Soon after the RCMP’s involvement, The Lance was ordered to cease and desist all printing and dissemination of the newspaper after its final March 1 edition.
In case you are wondering, dear reader, the very pages you are currently holding mark the final agonizing breaths of the henceforth defunct and defamed Lance.

Finally, this now infamous behemoth of bigotry and hatred has been forever silenced.
“I’m not sure how it could have gone on for so long,” said UWindsor President, Alan Wildeman. “I guess no one ever really read The Lance. I know I never looked through it.”

A little long, but all worth it. Nice!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New scene for Tomb of the Undead finished


Sent from Marseilles - I finally introduce two new characters that will serve as the official "bad guys" for the story. Sometimes it's best to be just straight up clear about who characters are - and make no mistake, these guys are going to make things interesting for the rest of the story.

Also - the story gets a needed "push" to get things moving into the second act where shit gets exacerbated, the key to a well-paced story. It should speed up as we get into the next act, and get there quickly.

And here are some links to graphic novel news, previews and some more behind the scenes details on Tomb of the Undead, if you'd like:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Keith Aulie removes Scott Hartnell

I like Scott Hartnell, nothing wrong with him. And Keith Aulie didn't have an NHL fight under his belt. Until this happened.



That's cool. It's not Kodak Moment cool, but he got his footing and then put a lot of jabs into Hartnell's mouth until the linesmen drag him away.

Nice.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Trade Centre - round three

It's been a little while since I've updated the Burke trades - but now that the official trade deadline for the NHL has come and gone for 2010, I think it's time to get back into the swing of things.

So - time to track the trades that Bryan Burke has made as the GM of the Maple Leafs to see whether or not the Leafs got the best of the deal.

Of course we have a variety of new trades to add to the equation!

Therefor, how have Burke's moves favoured the Leafs so far?


So, beginning at Free Agency back in 2009 - Jul. 1 - I've gone over each of his trades and considered which team got the best of it.

13. Mitchell Trade [Feb. 28, 2011]
To Toronto: the NYR's 7th round draft pick in 2011.
To the New York Rangers: John Mitchell, who has yet to play in the NHL for the NYR.
12. Colborne Trade [Feb. 18, 2011]
To Toronto: Joe Colborne, it'll be a while before he plays in the NHL. Plus Boston's first round pick in the 2011 draft.
To Boston: Tomas Kaberle, 5 games, 1 assist, 1 point and that's it.

I honestly believe that Toronto will get more out of this than Boston will get out of Kaberle for the rest of the year. However, for now, Boston has the advantage in this trade.
11. Versteeg Trade [Feb. 14, 2011]
Straight up to Philadelphia for their first round draft pick in 2011. For now, Philly wins this one, as Toronto drops his salary for being a lousy third line player.

10. Lupul Trade [Feb. 9, 2011]
To Toronto: Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner
To Anaheim: Francois Beauchemin

Lupul: 10 games, 2 goals, 3 assists and 5 points.
Beauchemin: 9 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points.

Advantage: Toronto.
9. Lashoff Trade [Aug. 27, 2010]
To Toronto: Matt Lashoff
To Tampa Bay: Alex Berry and Sefano Giliati.
No players have played NHL games here, yet.

Jeez, what a snoozer trade!
8. Versteeg Trade [June 30, 2010]

To Toronto: Kris Versteeg and Bill Sweatt
To Chicago: Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis.
Versteeg: 53 games played, 14 goals, 21 assists, 35 points.
Stalberg: 60 games played, 9 goals, 10 assists, 19 points.

DiDomenico and Paradis have not played a game yet. Head to head, looks like Chicago is leading in this trade so far.
Notes: Toronto now has Philadelphia's first round pick for 2011.

7. Brown Trade [June 26, 2010]
To Toronto: Mike Brown
To Anaheim: 5th Round pick in 2010
Brown: 32 games played, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points and 51 PIM (plus a rockin' moustache)

Anaheim selected RW Christopher Wagner - no NHL games played.

Advantage: Toronto.

6. Matt Jones Trade [Mar. 4, 2010]
To Toronto: Matt Jones and Phoenix's 4th (which Washington used) and 7th (which Edmonton used) round picks for 2010
To Phoenix: Lee Stempniak
Matt Jones doesn't have a lot of stats to his name, which is no surprise. I can't find any record of him on any Maple Leafs roster, but his link remains on their official site.

Stempniak: 83 games played, 28 goals, 21 assists and 49 points

Advantage: Phoenix!

5. Caputi Trade [Mar. 2, 2010]
To Toronto: Luca Caputi, Martin Skoula
To Pittsburgh: Alexei Ponikarovski
Caputi: 26 games played, 1 goal, 5 assists and 6 points.
Ponikarovski: 16 games played, 2 goals, 7 assists and 9 points.

This is about to boil down as a wash. Ponikarovski was a healthy scratch for the Penguins in the playoffs, and nobody's even talking about Caputi and hope for him to join the Leafs in the future. I say this is a draw that nobody wound up happy with.

Advantage: Toronto.
4. Phaneuf Trade [Jan. 31, 2010]


To Toronto: Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom, Keith Aulie
To Calgary: Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers, Ian White.
Phaneuf - 6 goals, 23 assists, 29 points and 74 games played.
Sjostrom - 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points and 76 games played.
Aulie - 0 goals, 0 assists, 22 games played as a rookie (plus a wicked fighter, apparently)

Stajan - 8 goals, 36 assists, 44 points and 87 games played.
Hagman - 16 goals, 21 assists, 37 points and 89 games played. (heard he's cleared waivers)
Mayers - 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points and 27 games played. (left Calgary as a free agent)
White - 6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points and 43 games played. (traded with Brett Sutter to the Hurricanes for Tom Kostopoulos and Anton Babchuk)

Calgary's really rolling right now, but it's certainly not because of Matt Stajan - The Leafs are rolling and it's definitely because of Phaneuf, Aulie and Sjostrom. I still say Toronto wins this trade, conclusively.

3. Giguere Trade [Jan. 31, 2010]

To Toronto: J.S. Giguere
To Anaheim: Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake
Giguere has played 44 games, with 17 wins, 17 losses, 2 shutouts and 6 overtime losses. He has 112 goals against in 2441 minutes played (or a 2.75 GAA).

Blake has 18 goals in 88 games with Anaheim, 41 points. Vesa Toskala was swapped for Curtis McElhinney, who was who has traded to Tampa for Dan Smith - in any case, the assets from this trade have expired.

Giguere has given the Leafs a win for almost each of the goals that Blake gave the Ducks.

Advantage: Toronto.

2. Kessel Trade [Sept. 18, 2009]


To Toronto: Phil Kessel
To Boston: 1st and 2nd round picks in 2010 and 1st round pick in 2011.
Phil Kessel has 134 games, 57 goals, 47 assists and 104 points for the Leafs so far.

Tyler Seguin has 59 games, 10 goals, 11 assists and 21 points for the Bruins.

Jared Knight (32nd overall, 2010) has only minor league stats, 63 gp, 36 g, 21 a and 57 points for the London Knights in the OHL.

Boston, of course, hasn't made their 2011 first round selection. Toronto is winning this trade so far. Especially now that Kessel is playing well.

1. Primeau Trade [Jul. 27, 2009]
To Toronto: Wayne Primeau and a 2nd round pick in 2011
To Calgary: Anton Stralman, Colin Stuart and a 7th round pick in 2012.
Evaluation: All that's left of this trade is to see what Calgary's 2nd round pick in 2011 will mean to the Leafs, and then what Toronto's 7th round pick in 2012 will be (though, it's much more likely the 2nd round pick is more valuable than the 7th round pick).

Advantage: Toronto, decidedly.

I think I'm missing a few trades here, like swapping Martin Skoula for a pick - but ... who cares? I'm certain whoever they selected in the draft for Skoula doesn't matter. They picked Sam Carrick from the Brampton Battalion in the 2010 draft, the fifth round.