THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE LANCE, THE UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR STUDENT NEWSPAPER:
NEWS, REVIEWS AND COMMENTARY, COURTESY OF THE PAPER TRAIL

Monday, April 30, 2007

Desertion, Missed Plans and Thoughts on Malt Liquor

Today is April 30th, which makes tomorrow May 1. Which means a good 80 per cent of the people living in the city's east end are clearing out. Very weird driving around the perimeter of the Queen's campus, weaving through the U-Haul and Ryder trucks lining the streets on one block, followed by the empty houses with furniture and garbage bags piled on the yards of another.

This is not a new phenomenon, I know, and I'm sure if I ever found myself wandering from Indian to Askin today I would have seen the same thing, but the student ghetto in Kingston is so large, and Queen's students make up so much of the pedestrian traffic downtown, it becomes very noticeable when they've left.

It's also worth noting that I had grand plans for you this week, Windsor. Noted author and 2006 Giller Prize winner Vincent Lam was in town on Sunday for a reading and book signing, and I had been planning for weeks to attend. Even talked to his press handler about filming a portion of it so I could try to make a video for y'all. So that was the plan for Sunday.

Then this happened on Saturday night:



























Yeeeah. Clearly was in no shape for a dignified afternoon of literature the next day. I was not impressed with myself. But you should all read Lam's book, it's disgustingly good for a guy who writes when he's not working in a Toronto emergency room.

Related: The Trail is officially too old for 40s. But if circumstances dictate their necessity, Shlitz has less of a paint thinner taste than Olde English.

Learn from The Trail, children: think before you drink.

And now, to bed.

The State of the World

Leone pleads guilty
Windsor businessman Carl Leone brought his sex trial to a sudden end on Friday after pleading guilty to 15 counts of sexual assault. Leone's lawyer told the court that his client was "prepared to accept responsibility."

Leone is back in court today for a pre-sentence bail review.

Not quite Trudeaumania, but a start?
While downplaying his famous name all the while, Justin Trudeau won a tough battle for the Liberal nomination in the Quebec riding of Papineau over the weekend with 54 per cent of the ballots.

Despite concern from some Liberals that Trudeau's low popularity in Quebec, where he has echoed his father's hard federalist stance on the province, could damge the party's efforts to gain ground there, Trudeau says his concern now is on winning the riding back from the Parti Quebecois.

China continues pre-Olympic cleanup
According to Amnesty International, China is using the upcoming Beijing Olympics as an excuse to crack down on human rights activists and local journalists, primarily by holding them without trial for extended periods of time.

While China has lightened up restirctions on the foreign media, allowing them to conduct interviews without permission from local authorities, the reports filed from those interviews will be blocked from the domestic audience.

Briefly
MySpace to help out all those sad emo kids taking pictures of themselves in the mirror.

Men, if you need an eyebrow job, Iran is no longer an option.

UWindsor misplaced a few million from the faculty pension plan. Bad. Florida A&M lost a golf cart, a salad bar, some industrial sized popcorn poppers and a marquee sign among other items totalling $2.7 million US. Oh, Florida.

Sony suffers a lapse in judgement while promoting God of War II [pic, while pixellated, might be offensive to some].

Friday, April 27, 2007

On the Road Again




















Stayed up way too late last night cleaning up my iPod a bit. Funny how personal our iPods have become. I know when I have it going at work and someone picks it up, I get visibly uncomfortable. My song library is a very private thing; it's one thing for me to play DJ on a road trip, it's another for someone to root around in it uninvited. Just another in the ever growing list of ways we continue to isolate ourselves from one another.

Onto the 401 again as The Lady returns to the T-Dot for a follow-up interview on a private school gig. Further posting today is wholly dependent on what time we come back.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Casual Thursday State of the World


















The Trail will not be tiring of lolcats anytime soon. Deal.

Turns out the sex offender coming to live in Kingston I mentioned the other day is actually coming here from Windsor, where he was convicted of 26 offences on 13 boys between ages nine and 17.

You know, of all the pieces of home I would have liked to have brought with me when I left, the creepy pedo wasn't high on the list. The recipe for a Double Mudd, however....

Thanks a lot, Corrections Canada.

Somewhat related, you know you're officially old when you're seated on a bench in a mall, waiting for your lady to finish buying clothes, and a couple of ten-year-old girls start using the shiatsu recliners directly across from you. No better way to feel dirty dirty when doing nothing at all.

In other news, Rossy Ross is busy thinking of ways to spend all that new money you'll be paying next year. The Star reports UWindsor might have big plans for the land adjacent to the Art Gallery. Ross says the U is looking at a number of options, though the city has withdrawn its original request for proposals regarding the site, which was planned to be an urban village.

Around the world of the web, we find word of thousands of Japanese people conned into buying sheep they thought were poodles; the Dean of Admissions at MIT quits after it's discovered she lied about her doctorate 28 years ago; and another teenager experiences the joys of high school in a post-Cho world.

Going to watch the Queen now. Cause Helen Mirren can make anyone look hot.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The State of the World: Quick and Dirty

Just like you like it.

Surprise to no one, that proposed tuition increase was passed by the Board of Governors yesterday. International grad students taking it up the hoop the hardest, with tuition increased 41 per cent.

Best line comes from BoG member Dennis DesRosiers, who doesn't understand what all the complaining is about, since $13,800 for international grad students is way cheaper than the $40,000 he spends to send his daughter to Columbia University.

Columbia : Windsor :: Winston Churchill : Will Ma

But thanks for that, Dennis.

Extra fun can be had by looking at the UWindsor Daily News article on the budget, which of course makes one scant mention of tuition increases, crammed at the end of the piece. Mostly, it talks about the fantastic ways they plan to spend your tuition increase, including marketing [still working on that reputation thing], scholarships [rewarding your successes by giving you back your own money], and all the sunshine, rainbows and orange juice you can stand.

--Moving on, it turns out the real world is no longer safe for Superman, as Kryptonite has been discovered in a Serbian mine. For real. Found by miners and given to Dr. Chris Stanley at London's Natural History Museum, the rock's chemical formula is almost identical to the one for Kryptonite, as revealed in last summer's Superman Returns. Though without Fluorine, the rock is not green or glowing, which is kind of a let down.

--Clearly, Windsor, I know nothing about math, or I would be off making gobs of money in an office somewhere instead of blogging in my underpants at 11.30 at night. But I'm fairly certain that the difference in difficulty between these Chinese and British university math tests is substantial, and offers further proof why China will spank us all in the end.

--NASCAR champ Tony Stewart likens his sport to pro wrestling. I disagree. Pro Wrestling is exciting.

Goodnight, everyone, I'm here all summer!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Los Flotsamos

Because I know you missed it.

ITEM: I would like to point out that joining our sexual assailant who walked away from a halfway house here in Kingston, a convicted murderer walked away from a minimum security institution on Sunday, plus an "untreated violent sexual predator of young boys" is coming to town too. Fantastic.

ITEM: A couple of weeks ago in advance of the release of Grindhouse, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez were on the Charlie Rose Show. During the interview Tarantino commented that he hates biopics, because they basically exist to win actors awards.

I think I've concluded that in literature, World War II has become the biopic. Yes, it's the touchstone moment in history of the last 100 years, and should continued to be studied and taught and learned from. But I don't need to read novels about it anymore. I'm done with it. Everything is Illuminated is what ultimately confirmed this for me. It's like that book followed the 21st centurt capital-A Art playbook: meta-awareness+textual gimmickry+WW2 = serious piece of art. Yeah, I'm a little tired of that.

ITEM: If Shawn Michaels and John Cena had the match they had last night at Wrestlemania, I might feel better about spending 50 bucks on the PPV.

ITEM: John Kricfalusi is the guy who created Ren and Stimpy, and is in general one of the smartest guys in the world when it comes to animation, character and graphic design. And there's a new and extensive interview with him here.

ITEM: Hi, I'm new. I just discovered lolcats.


















Life is wonderful. Huh. World War II and cats shooting lasers. You really can have it all around here, Windsor.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The State of the Grad House: Demolished


















What was left of The Grad House on Saturday afternoon. Photo courtesy Ryan Rogers.

You can read for yourself the Star's article on the impromptu demolition of the Grad House here, but you can only get the snotty commentary here.

At the risk of being stereotypical, I have rarely known construction jobs of any consequence to take place on a Saturday. Most construction guys I've known don't work on weekends, especially the first stellar weekend of the season unless the employer shells out a shift premium.

And hell, the university didn't have to tell the student groups who were working to have the Grad House declared a heritage site when they were planning to tear it down, so don't you accuse them of rushing through it to dodge legal challenges.

BUT: What I find interesting is that the university failed to notify Kathleen Towne, the great-granddaughter of the guy who built the house in the first place. She wasn't interested in restoring it, but wanted to see it fall. And Amanda Gellman UWindsor's VP University Advancement [and long a favoured whipping post at The Lance], told Towne she would let her know when that would happen. But didn't. Why? Because Gellman didn't know it was going to be torn down last Saturday.

Nooo, that certainly doesn't seem like a rush job, does it?

Also from the friendly Mr. Rogers, a software mixup is being blamed for a packing slip that used a racial slur to describe a couch's colour.

Also: Popular Mechanics tells you where your flying car is; Captain America nicked by cops with a burrito in his pants [Oh Florida]; save the world by skipping work; and you may want to sit down for this one, but teenagers like to grind on each other at school dances.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Lubed Up

The Government: 1
The Trail: -$900

Happy tax season, Windsor!

The State of the World

This is why I'm hot
Ever wonder how people you see around campus get their faces plastered on course calendars and other university materials? They're on the Public Affairs database, and now you can be, too. Just go here, fill out the form and upload a pic of yourself, and your grinning mug could be out there for all of campus, nay, the world to see.

I moved here for this?
Don't forget, all my K-town peoples, that a violent sex offender is currently on the lam after walking out of the city's halfway house last night.

So if you see a white dude with a buzz cut and a tattoo on his neck that says 'hustler,' walk away slowly and call the police.

Make sense much?
Enjoy your sweet, sweet incandescent light bulbs while you can, Ontario. They're going the way of the dodo by 2012. Off the shelves completely.

Though it won't be illegal to use them, only to buy or sell. So hey, go nuts border town, cause you know America won't be approving that proposal!

Related: Karen Hall, are there really enough aged spinsters in the Rose City to warrant your continued publication?

Briefly
For Shelly: graf mural valued at over $300,000 painted over by London transport company.

Welcome to Year Zero, Post-Cho: Florida student removed from school for pointing out who he doesn't like in yearbook.

Mom dodges jail for instigating toddler fight club. In a tie with this woman for 'World's Greatest Mom' title.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This and That


















Not even an army of 12-year-old girls can stop justice.

Thanks to everyone in attendance this morning, who patiently and respectfully listened bright and early this morning as I prattled on about what it is I do here. Super double humble thanks to Leanne and moonknee for stopping by; I'm happy you got something out of it.

Read an interesting piece in the Toronto Star today regarding an angle of the Virginia Tech massacre that's been going unnoticed. I'll paraphrase for the lazy among you.

Surprise to no one, the media coverage of the incident has been playing out about the way you would expect it to, and with NBC's recent acquisition of the shooter's video manifesto [it's gibberish and garbage. Be the bigger person and ignore it], you can be sure the talking heads will be analyzing for weeks to come.

If there's one aspect to the story the media have really latched onto, though, it's the two hour gap between attacks. "Where was the university administration?" asks the media. "Where were the police? How could they fail those students so badly?!"

Why this article is interesting is because it asks, "Media, where were you? Why didn't you get the word out, sound the alarm? Isn't that your job, too?"

In a town like Blacksburg, Virginia, that seems to be easier said than done. Of the four locally operated radio stations in the area, two are ESPN, one is Top 40, and one is a Fox News affiliate [read: national focus, no local]. Because of the media consolidation in the area, there was no way for the local media to report on the first shooting because there was no one physically present to do so.

The other bit of food for thought comes as Facebook has really come into its own in the wake of this tragedy. Media outlets, instead of pounding the pavement, are scouring the web,
looking for anyone they can talk to, preferably someone no one else has found yet. Facebook has truly built a comprehensive network of support for people affected by the attack.

But where was it during? Says Antonia Zerbisias in her article:
...what about text messaging? How come so many kids I know can get the word out about a house party in, like, three nanoseconds, but when hundreds of students...are in lockdown in a dorm, they can't seem to spread the news of a shooting?

Understand, I am not blaming the victims here. I am genuinely flummoxed.
So am I, to be honest. What good is all this tech is we don't use it when we need it the most?

In Toronto tomorrow, playing moral support for a Lady with a job interview. Posting may be sporadic. Yes, again. We'll get through it, Windsor, trust me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Professor Trail























This Wednesday I'll be speaking to a group of teacher candidates at Queen's all about the wild world of blogging. Lady Trail's got herself a group project for her English class on alternatives to the essay, and I'm the A/V component, as well as a rare example of someone who earns money to clickety-clack on the interwebs.

Been a long time since I was expected to speak to a room full of people. One of two things will happen: people will be bored to tears because I'm telling them things they already know, or they'll be bored senseless because they have no idea what I'm talking about. Should be a banner morning for The Trail either way.

The State of the World

33 dead in shooting at Virginia college
In what's being called the worst shooting rampage in U.S. history, 32 people were killed by a lone gunman on the campus of Virginia Tech this morning, before the assailant committed suicide.

Most of the victims were students shot in a dorm as well as a nearby classroom building. Reports say shots were fired around 7.15 this morning when two people were shot and killed in the dorm. The remaining victims, including the gunman, were shot over two hours later in Norris Hall, a science and engineering building.

University and police officials are facing criticism regarding why more wasn't done to secure the campus after the initial attack.

Said Wendell Flinchum, the school's police official, "We knew we had two people shot. We secured the building. We secured the crime scene...We acted on the best information we had at the time."

A White House representative said President Bush was praying for the people affected by the shootings, adding "The president believes there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed."

Sigh. There are other things going on today, Windsor. But none of them seem as important.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The State of the World

I had no intention of giving you anything today, Windsor. But then I saw I got paid, so I guess I owe it to you.

The hits keep coming
Apparently the Star decided "high tuition = news" because for the third time in as many days they have a story on the rising tuition Windsor students will be facing, an increase of up to 15 per cent over the next three years.

Long and the short: the university will rely on tuition as income more in the coming years than they ever have before, to 49 per cent. Conversely, reliance on government grants will shrink. As well, international students will continue to get treated like cash cows to an even greater extent.

Officials say such a dramatic hike is simply the reality of doing business in a highly competitive market where everyone is vying for faculty.

Liberals won't run candidate against Green Party Leader
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion confirmed yesterday that his party will not run a candidate in the riding of Central Nova, to better the chances of Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

Dion and May say they are putting progress ahead of partisanship, while critics say the move limits Canadian's choices.

The Nova Scotia seat is currently held by Defense Minister Peter MacKay, a reality that has some Liberals shaking their heads at Dion's decision.

Said one party member in the Globe and Mail: “Not running a candidate in MacKay's riding is truly the stupidest thing that a group of people who wrote the book on stupid things have done yet. Dion still thinks he's at the convention brokering deals. He better realize elections are one ballot.”

Further reason to hate Toronto
What is it with Toronto? While most Ontarians who don't live there have a sort of begrudging respect or mild annoyance with the city, the further east or west you move from the centre of the universe, the contempt becomes almost palpable.

A new documentary called "Let's All Hate Toronto," will be examining that very phenomenon, as it follows a character named Mr. Toronto who travels the country with a sign advertising "Toronto Appreciation Day," and watches the hilarity unfold.

Said co-director Albert Nerenberg, "There is something different [about hating Toronto]. People are more passionate about it."

Briefly
When home improving, watch that nailgun.

Mexican drug lords launch publicity camapaign using the decapitated heads of cops.

Latest trend in bridal wear? Accomodating your pregnancy.

Scotland's dumbest crook celebrates 100th conviction.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bits and Bytes

Some news and some decidedly not news.

BITS: No doubt you saw in today's paper that the proposed tuition hike is in fact a reality, and there's a number of things that don't add up to me, but then again, I'm not that bright.

Maybe my business major readership can draw me a doodle to explain this, but how do you plan to spend $15.5 million more than last year, when you're already $4.9 million in the hole?

And the cause of this shortage? A $3.3 million dollar shortfall from the faculty pension plan. No indication where that money might have gone, which is odd, because you would think an institution like a university would have something like an accountant to keep track of these things, so that $3 million does not spontaneously evaporate.

Hope is not lost yet, as this proposal still has to be approved by the Board of Governors, who are real people who you can talk to and make your opinions known to. In this information age, tracking down an email address is not a difficult thing, so put in some work, and let them know how you feel about this. But be polite and rational; you get more bees with honey than hot sauce, Windsor.

BYTES: Saw a piece on the morining news this week on the phenomenon of Googling one's self, and how one man took it upon himself to meet all the people in the world who shared his name. Inspired me to check my own name, which I hadn't done in a while. Turns out in addition to being your beloved Paper Trail, Jordan Ferguson is a character in a series of Christian books for young readers, vocalist in an Oklahoma rock band, and a young girl who owns the domain to our name [memo to self: buy www.jordanferguson.com at earliest financial convenience].

BITS: Painful confession time. The Trail has never done his taxes before, and was confident that even after his move to K-town, Papa Trail would still take care of them. Imagine my surprise to get my tax package and T4's in the mail last month, forwarded from my parents. Apparently they want me to go to jail.

Funny story: so last year I ended up getting kneed in the package to the tune of $700, which seemed a little excessive for a guy making well below the poverty line, but there you have it. Tonight, I gave the whole thing a dry run, and came to pretty much the same number. On the refund side. So either I'm an idiot, or my father can't read. H&R Block will settle that for us.

BYTES: I don't know why Don Imus gets fired for saying some dumbass shit, when lots of people say worse dumbass shit all the time, and they don't get fired. Selective outrage, I suppose.

Also, there are worse ways to spend a few moments than watching time lapse video of Tim Biskup painting a mural. Or listening to Neil Gaiman read one of his short stories.

Also, be prepared for further sporadic posting, as work is utterly killing me this week, and my free time needs to be dedicated to the first draft of that short story project I was asked to do. Since the draft is due on Saturday, I should probably try to write it. After I get done at the CTC, of course. Lord, what a hell of a life, sometimes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Remember The State of the World?

It's cool, I don't either.

Major cool points for the Green Corridor
Tomorrow night [April 12] at 7.00 p.m., music student Steve Ward, along with fellow trombonists Curtis Perrin and Graeme Brown will head up to the pedestrian overpass on Huron Church and perform Ward's piece "Reqiuem for Trucks," a composition designed to be accompanied by the sounds of the truck traffic that is a staple of the area.

Following the performance, an exhibit by three visual arts students will be on at the Green Corridor Eco House, 793 Sunset, at 8.00 p.m.

Catch Ward's video trailer for the performance here, and make a concerted effort to attend. The Green Corridor is for my money, the coolest thing UWindsor has initiated in a loooong time, so support it!

Bite down, cause it's gonna hurt
Guess what? Uwindsor has a $5-million defecit! Who's gonna cover the loss? I'll give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.

Yes, you are! At least, that's what's currently being proposed. A five per-cent hike for first-years, four per-cent for everyone else, and 40 per cent for international grad students.

Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Ma.

Oh God, please nooo!
A sad day for myself and Lance EiC D'Arcy Bresson, as our favourite parliamentary crush, Belinda Stronach, announced she's leaving politics and heading back to the public sector.

Stronach will return to her father's company, Magna International where she will serve as executive vice-chairman and Minister of Hotness.

In other news, I suddenly became much more interested in the sale of Chrysler.

Briefly
The prozac nation can't commit.

Cotinuing bad times for national radio host who called Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy headed hos."

Obesity pandemic in the U.S. = new appreciation for sumo wrestling.

Fearing Mooninite related flashbacks, Boston mayor requesting Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie not be shown in his city. To be replaced with hot cocoa for everyone.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monkeys and Diswashers, reprise

























You may recall a recent "controversial" entry where I discussed my approach to the ethical minefield that is running a blog, in particular the unfortunate reality of anonymous comments, an approach that currently hasn't changed.

Maybe I've become insensitive in my old age, but I've just come to accept anonymous comments from a-holes as the nature of the beast. I've been getting insulted on my blogs from OpenDiary to LiveJournal [shout out to the diligent soul who sleuthed out my LJ. Sorry it wasn't more exciting], and I accept it for what it is: silly people with too much time on their hands.

But, and this is an important distinction, I'm nobody. Heated comments are limited to the occasional jerk, and individuals I've offended. If I gathered the sort of traffic that other notable blogs did, I might change my tune. It's also worth noting that most heated discussions are directed at me, and I'm a big boy who can handle it. But if a flamewar began with two individual commenters, I might intervene to keep it from spinning out of control.

These issues have been on the minds of those who think about these things.

Turns out there's a growing number of web junkies [interlectuals, perhaps?] who want to establish a common code of conduct for blogs. The movement is being spearheaded by book publisher Tim O'Reilly and Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales. O'Reilly and Wales' initial proposal is to create a number of conduct codes denoted by certain graphics that would be universally recognized and posted to a website, so that any visitor will know exactly what the rules are, if comments are subject to deletion and what the determining factors might be.

The preliminary code [which can be found here] is based on a similar code from the womens blog network BlogHer, which assumes that a blogger is repsonsible for everything on their blog, including the comments left by visitors, and should have the right to delete comments they find offensive.

Critics of the proposal say such efforts only serve to homogenize the Web and stifle free speech. Noted technology blogger Robert Scoble for one, is uncomfortable with the rules, saying, "As a writer, it makes me feel like I live in Iran."

Certainly something to think about. What do you think, Windsor? Comments are open. For now.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Under the Weather

























The Trail and Lady Trail, happily reunited at last.

My bodywide ache and pain/mild fever combo notwithstanding, Easter Monday is considered a holiday in many organizations and school boards, Windsor.

Seriously.

Back on sched. tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The first day of the rest of your life
























Well, Windsor, you made it through another one, did you? Your academic year starts to gear down, you hunker down for spring finals and then you hit the road until September.

Your beloved Lance has ceased weekly production for the year, going monthly until September, and I know that leaves you wondering what will become of your precious Trail in the weeks and months to come.

In short: paid or not, nobody's told me to stop. So I imagine I'll still be here, surly as ever.

As for this week, it may be a little sporadic. Lady Trail comes home on Saturday, and my homie Dr. Pepper [who you may or may not recall from some bizarre incidents filling in for Ali the Sexpert on the old Lance podcast last year] is coming up for the weekend as well. And with me working every day this week, let's just say it doesn't leave Daddy with a whole lot of time or energy to get the house in order and keep things around here as snappy as you might like. Cause I gots to clean, people.

Besides, I'm way too upset that Gina "The Glock" Glocksen got voted off Idol tonight. Yet Sanjaya remains.

I won't let you win, 12-year-old girls. I refuse.

The State of the World

Taggers target of ire, again
Sometimes Windsor, you're almost embarassing to me. Today's source of shame is Shelly Arnold, co-ordinator of the Chatham-Kent Municipal Youth Council. Shelly's organization got a public skatepark up and running five months ago, and was appalled to discover some Windsor nogoodniks had graffiti'd it up.

"It's disheartening," Arnold said. "It took five years to raise funds for the park and five minutes for someone to vandalize it."

This is why you embarass me. Okay, you're peeved someone dirtied up your pristine skate park, I understand, but to dismiss the work immediately as vandalism is disappointing. Half the time anymore it ain't graf's intent to vandalize, it's to leave your mark, skillfully. The article doesn't show the piece in question, it likely wasn't a Sharpie scrawl. And duh, it's a frigging skatepark. You know how much skaters hate colourful displays of creativity. But go on with your bad self, Shelly. Get them kids off your lawn.

Getting his ducks aligned
Stephen Harper finally gets around to coming through on one of his biggest election proises from the last campaign, and still insists he's not gearing up to go back on the trail?

Today Harper announced that the federal government had reached a deal with all of the provinces on medical wait-time guarantees, but details were not exactly plentiful, with no insight into what the guarantees are, or how they might be enforced.

Law shmaw, believe in Jesus!
Following up from that 'honk once for Jesus, twice for Satan,' story from the other day, city officials ordered both signs removed under zoning ordinances. The satan sign-owner has removed his. The Christ lover is refusing, as Easter has not passed.

Remember kids, only heathens obey the law.

Briefly
Iran frees captured British soldiers, as a 'gift' to Britain. See America, Iran is totally cool!

Attention men: Marriage will ruin your lives.

Ex-employee sheds light on Wal-Mart's spy programme.

For that story you might have heard somewhere else, Keith Richards assures you, he did not snort his father's ashes.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

No One Cares [except me and D'Arcy]

















Shawn Michaels says a prayer before the start of his WWE title match at Wrestlemania 23. Photographed by D'Arcy Bresson from his third row ringside seat. Asshole.

So Wrestlemania is now a thing of the past, the first PPV I ever spent my own money to watch, and the question is, was it worth it?

Here's the thing: On the strength of the matches, no, I don't think it was worth my 50 bucks. The matches were good, and I was excited to be a part of the spectacle, and to watch a show where I really didn't know what would happen [as we'll see in a minute], I just didn't think the show overall had that pop that makes it the biggest show of the year.

But matches notwithstanding, it was still worth it to see JORDAN SMELLS emblazoned in big black block letters for the world to see during MVP's entrance. I think it makes an appearance during Matt Hardy's entrance too, but I wasn't paying close enough attention at that point. So, the recap.

Money in the Bank
The Trail said: Randy Orton
Winner: Mr. Kennedy

My losing streak started early, as Smackdown up and comer Mr. Kennedy got the rub and the contract good for a title shot any time over the next year. On close inspection, one will notice my picks were fairly conservative, which is why I ended up being wrong; creative just ended up going in a direction I didn't think they would, which is never a bad thing.

The bout had its share of sick spots, with Jeff Hardy's ladder-breaking dive onto Edge and Kennedy's rolling slam off the ladder to the little bastard [who I half expected to explode on impact]. But I gotta say, without Shelton Benjamin, I felt it was lacking this year.

Kane v. Great Khali
The Trail said: he didn't care
Winner: Khali

Pizza break. I loved when they tried to hype Kane slamming Khali as 'shades of Hogan-Andre'. Uhh, not even close, but good try. Again, surprised to see Khali get the win, but I guess his character is supposed to be an unstoppable monster. Kinda kills that idea if he loses to his first opponent ober 220 lbs.

Benoit v. MVP
The Trail said: MVP
Winner: Benoit

Three surprises in this match for me: Benoit won, MVP looked surprisingly good [or was filmed that way], and Benoit won with the flying headbutt, which you don't see too often anymore.

ECW Originals v. New Breed
The Trail said: New Breed
Winner: Originals

Who'd a thunk? Even though I thought the match itself was a yawner, I couldn't believe Van Dam got the pin on the big show. Again, creative went a way I didn't think they would, which is still good.

Melina v. Ashley
The Trail said: Ashley
Winner: Melina
Thank the lord for this one. Not like the women's division is terribly exciting television to begin with, but I at least like to watch hot girls who can wrestle, which is what Melina is. Put Mickie James or Victoria with her and send Ashley on her way.

Lashley v. Umaga
The Trail said: Lashley
Winner: Lashley
This was a total no brainer, but it was still cool to see Donald Trump take the much-speculated stunner. It was possibly the worst looking stunner anybody's ever taken, but it was still cool that Trump respects the business enough to do it. Plus, I think Umaga and Lashley have the makings of a good feud on their own, in the short term at least.

Undertaker v. Batista
The Trail said: Undertaker
Winner: Undertaker
Nice to see Batista breaking a sweat in a match for once, and Taker made him look like a million bucks, but there was only one way this could end: putting the strap on the Dead Man. I just wonder who they can make into a viable challenger for him. I also wonder if they can find a place for Batista on the undercard.

Shawn Michaels v. John Cena
The Trail said: Michaels
Winner: Cena
What a heartbreaker. I honestly did not think Cena would keep the title past Sunday night. But he did, scoring his third Wrestlemania victory, and tapouts over HHH and HBK. Michaels was on fire from the word go [who in their right mind, with a bad back, does a springboard moonsault to the outside?] and Cena busted it like he always does. Love him or hate him, Cena knows he's not a mat technician, so he does what he can by giving the crowd every last thing he has, and you can't ask for more than that. I'd still like to see Cena lose the title and chase it til Summerslam, but the way things are shaping up on RAW, I don't know who you give it to at this point.

2-6 is hardly a prediciton record to be proud of, Windsor. But I suppose 'Anything can happen in the WWE,' isn't just a clever catchphrase. I hope they can keep me guessing in the months to come.

Oh, and thanks for enduring this. You all get cookies.

The State of the World

Area man charged in RCMP probe
A three-year probe into the online sale of counterfeit watches has lead to the arrest of Michael Gittens, a 28-year-old Windsor man.

Two things interesting about this. Did you know selling phony Rolexes can get you nicked under the copyright act?

Also, the article defers to a 2005 article Gittens was interviewed for, where he said his nickname was showtime and he was running an urban music production company. Yet the subject line in my RSS feed said 'Rapper charged.' Umm, the article never says Gittens called himself a rapper. You must keep a mighty big brush in your bag to paint with such broad strokes, Windsor Star.

No booze at the Kwik-E-Mart
A private members bill introduced in Queen's Park today to allow the sale of provincially-produced beer and wine in corner stores was promptly shot down by the Premier, who said in light of the recent lottery scandals, corner stores don't measure up to the necessary standards of security to sell alcohol.

"It's much easier for us to maintain security through the (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) and the Beer Store than to give that power to thousands of convenience stores," said Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.

A nice experiment, if pointless
The early shift to daylight savings time has had little impact on energy consumption, in the States, anyway.

It seems instead of drawing power for evening lights, Americans are using more power in the dark and cold March mornings.

Briefly
For American politics junkies, the shark jumping of John McCain.

Everyone knows cigarette smoke is bad and affects other people, but when will someone tackle that other intrusive problem that can ruin your dinner: children?

Ten creepiest deep sea creatures. You know damn well I didn't actually click that link.

Useful!: DUI laws not applicable to driving a zamboni while loaded.

Shooting a guy probably isn't the best way to keep him from killing himself.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Pinnacle of Flotsam?

Normally on Mondays, Windsor, I find you a selection of dumb stuff to enjoy and distract you from whatever you're supposed to be doing.

But I don't know what I could find that could possibly top the sheer lunacy that is Alanis Morissette's rendition of "My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas.

Enjoy.

The State of the World

Still safe to eat in Windsor
The Capitol may be gone, but the strange pairing of the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit River Tunnel Partnership ponied up $35K to save Festival Epicure, the popular food festival, which features fare from over two dozen local establishments and brings over 30,000 people.

Both the brodge and the DRTP will contribute half of the cash.

Grad exhibition on now @ LeBel
Some of this year's visual arts graduates are holding an exhibition of their work in the LeBel Gallery from now through Saturday. The show, "e -klek-ti-ka," features work from over 25 visual arts students, in a variety of media. So go get some culture, you heathens.

Months later, cops still looking for flag
So, I don't even remember when that Olympic flag got stolen from Vancouver's city hall, but I think it was in January.

Would you believe the Vancouver Police department is still looking for it?

Eight officers executed a search warrent on the offices of the Downtown Eastside Residents Association last week looking for the flag. After an hour search, they left empty handed, raising the ire of DERA and the Anti-Povery Committee, two organizations how have loudly protested the money being spent on Vancouver's Olympics, money the feel could be better spent on public housing and easing poverty.

Still, the Van City cops say they, "follow up every criminal case as much as we can, as much as resources allow. This is something that affected a lot of people . . . it was very upsetting to the citizens of Vancouver."

Briefly
EMI launches DRM-free music downloads.

Hot Polish girls wreak havoc on British school system.

Honk if you love Jesus. Honk twice if you love Satan. A clash of epic proportions.

"Unable to come to terms with the death of their pet dog, a childless couple in southern India hanged themselves." What in the hell, people?