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

Friday, August 31, 2007

The State of the World: Casual Friday

Slept too late, quick hits for one and all!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The types of headaches only Toronto can provide

Man, it's pretty dead out there tonight, Windsor.

So, Lady Trail has this...thing, where she thinks if I ride the subway by myself, I will get stabbed or shot or eaten by mole people. She insists that we should ride the subway together, at which time I will be infused with some sort of totemic power provided by her presence that will protect me from stabbings and shootings and mole people consumption.

So when the new figure series from Joe Ledbetter dropped today, I couldn't hop the train down to the Magic Pony to grab a few, because she would have gone into a rage of fear and...uh, rage. So I waited until she got home from work. We just drove down anyway and the only ones they had left were some scraps no one else did, which is fine by me, but people, if I had just taken the train, no worries.

Totally going by myself tomorrow if the Silver Snail gets some in.

In other news, driving with The Lady has become more and more fun, as the bikers. cab drivers and all around dickholes careening through the streets of the Big Smoke have started to take their toll on the young lass. I quote:

"I'm going to chew your fucking leg off!" --Lady Trail, after getting stuck in an intersection by an inconsiderate driver in front of her.

You and I both know that's funny, Windsor. But God help either one of us if we laugh.

To the morning, friends! New issue of The Lance should be on stands by then, a warm embrace to welcome you back to the mountains of academia. Enjoy!

The State of the World: The Thievery Continues

We try to be honest, Windsor, we really do. But Rogers has one hour of their three hour window left, and if they don't show up, it'll be free cable and internet for at least another week. Hail piracy!

Lowered expectations
"We're not last!" reads the headline, suggesting that's all you could really hope for as Windsor ranks 23 out of 27 Ontario cities in livability.

The Last Boy Scout sees it as a tool, obviously: "What we really do with these studies, that becomes the question," said Mayor Francis. "There is some valuable information in the sense of looking at what different cities are doing. It's just a tool we use and combine with other studies out there, and see what we need to improve."

Windsor still eked out ahead of Toronto, despite the Big Smoke gaining top marks for sustainability. So I suppose that's all that matters.

EDIT: Rogers stopped by between news items. So now, instead of blogging from a cluttered living room on a laptop, I'm blogging from a cluttered office on the Mac. Here's hoping the hole they had to drill in the side of the house doesn't upset the landlord. Old house + media junkies = square peg, round hole.

Quebec plans exclusive resort for naughty boys
Quebec is developing plans to build a dedicated detention center for sexual assault offenders. The plan, revealed yesterday by Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis, is aimed at deterring convicts from reoffending.

So, the myth goes that rapists get chewed up and spit out in regular prisons. What happens in a whole prison of them?

Briefly
The number one reason to stay the hell off IRC: stupid ass hackers.

Judge rules banging a minor you meet on the internet can still land you in jail, even if her profile says she's 18.

Tennessee clowns stick it to the KKK.

Journalism students in Florda get graded on the ad revenue they generate. Boourns, Florida.

Man steals briefcase, discards it after discovering it only contained a pair of envelopes. Too bad they were filled with cash.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Late night roundup

Hits from here and there.


Things might come a little later tomorrow morning, as Rogers is installing all of our communications services, and I have no idea how that will take. However long it is, I probably shouldn't be stealing access from the neighbours while they're here.

The State of the World

What's an extra $20 million for the greater good?
You may recall your administration unveiling plans last year for a shiny new engineering and research building when it scored a $50 million bond for "capital expansion" or some other damn thing.

Last week the province handed out another $40 million. Which is awesome, right? Well it would be, if they didn't need $110 million for the project.

$50 million + $40 million = $90 million
$90 million - $110 million = -$20 million.

Oops. So they've got their hands out again, looking to corporate and private donations to make up the shortfall. Uncle Ross is confident they'll get it. Never let it be said the man's slacking during his last year in office.

I'm a little concerned by the fact that the article (a) mentions a closed-door meeting of the BoG that unanimously approved the move and (b) how the hell we ended up in this position again. Why does it seem like this school is always putting the cart before the horse when it comes to development.

You all better pray to your God of choice that they get that money, because I'll give you one guess where they'll be headed next if they don't.

Elbows up, head down
Since it's no secret I don't drive, two feet and the TTC will be my primary mode of transport throughout this cursed megalopolis I now live in. But even being away from the QEW or the Gardiner can't save you from traffic rage, as a new brand begins emerging in urban city centers: sidewalk rage.

As the condo industry increasingly looks to downtown cores as prime locations, the amount of people using the sidewalks continues to increase as well, more than they were ever intended, which leads to conflicts and dust-ups between pedestrians.

And as with any rage, a new set of etiquette rules has emerged to counter it, with common sense rules like minimizing your personal baggage to reduce your personal perimeter, and not stopping suddenly.

Briefly
Locker key that sank the Titanic up for auction.

Pranksters give Bush's Brain the old "cling wrapped car."

Croatian man found dead in his apartment eight years after police failed to notice him there in 1999.

Researchers announce the world "dodged a bullet" regarding bird flu.

Mayoral candidate suggests dressing city workers and homeless as pirates. Where else? Oh, Florida.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Grasping for the Big Time

CELEBRITY SIGHTING #2, SORT OF.
You may recall, Windsor, a post back in July where I outlined my distaste for Global weatherman Bill Coulter. I won't get into details, but things were said. Things like "he bugs the shit out of me" and "I'd like to draw him being mauled by a bear."

So it was with no small amount of surprise to discover the man himself made it over to my little corner of the web and left me a comment. A comment that left me...almost liking him.

Damn you and your self-effacing charm and charismatic wit, Coulter! Damn you to hell! You won't win me over! Do you hear me!

Seriously, dog. I live in Toronto now. Get me a job. Or at least tell Pooja and Zuraidah they make me giggle. In my pants. Yow!

THE MOTHERSHIP HAS LANDED
The Lance's website has been MIA for about a year now, but no longer! A simple jaunt over to www.pastthepages.ca will give you all the news, arts and sports from the latest issue of The Lance. Issues from this year will be archived as we go along.

If your looking for a place to start, why not this article on a terribly charismatic blogger you might be familiar with.

Damn, they could have asked me for a better picture, though. I know a guy who could hook me up with an awesome photographer.

























Despite this, you're still growing on me, Coulter.

The State of the World

Capitol gets a brief respite
Shut up since March, the Capitol theatre will open again for two weeks next month when it hosts Theatre Intrigue's student production of Les Miserables.

Despite the glimmer of hope, the issues between the city and the theatre's bankruptcy trustee isn't any closer to being resolved. Said Oona Mosna of the group Citizens for the Capitol Theatre, "[O]perating the Capitol under receivership is not a sustainable, long-term solution."

We like the country, it's you we're not sure of
The Globe has a story this morning on what they're calling "The Harper Paradox": that is, where polls show most people feel Canada is heading in the right direction while both the Liberals and Conservatives remain almost tied as the party of choice.

So how does Harper capitalize on the positives his parliament has accomplished and maybe even make it to the promised land of majority government? Focus on securing that last seven to 10 per cent and worry less on holding on to the support you already have, since polls show most Conservative voters won't be heading to any other camp, which can't be said of Liberal voters.

A last bit of aggression on a recurring topic
So, if you happen to subscribe to the Windsor Users Livejournal feed, you might know what the marquis events for this year's Windsor Welcome Week are. You might even find them on MySpace, along with a declaration that "Our website doesn't suck anymore."

Which would be awesome. If that line wasn't stolen from The Comedy Network. Or if it were true. Which it is not. I like the fancy new logo, though. Is that just a one off, or did some rebranding dollars go to that? Hope that kid who designed the current logo two years ago is enjoying his iPod.

Briefly
Bizarre: US military apologizes, passes buck to China over soccer balls given to children in Afghanistan with 'Allah' printed on them.

Pacific ocean spews up foamy cocktail of salt, chemicals, dead fish and seaweed excrement off the coast of Sydney [with pics!]

For all the heated debate they cause now, civil unions between same-sex couples were no big deal in medieval Europe, according to historians.

Pew Study says despite its prevalence in print and on broadcast, interest in tabloid journalism has not steadily increased over the last 20 years. So who are you listening to, media?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Optimistic beginnings and video goodness

Twenty-four hours in Toronto, one celebrity sighting. If you consider CBC Newsworld host and Naomi Klein husband Avi Lewis a celebrity. Saw him at the Yorkdale shopping center. Which, considering his outspoken stance on consumerism and globalization, seemed like an odd location.

And are you thinking of your upcoming year, Windsor? Taking stock of all the plans and goals you want to accomplish in the next eight months? You should be. I am. You know who else is? Your undergraduate student alliance. Yes, they've got big plans this year, starting with yet another renaming of the Pub/Thirsty Scholar now Basement [cause it's in the basement, natch], and moving out to an extensive rebranding, so I'm told. You'll hear more about that soon enough, I'd wager.

As for us here, as you've gathered, we're back on our 'twice-a-day' diet, giving you more of the goodness you crave, yet can't possibly consume. And there's rumblings that the mothership will be going back online soon, which is good news for me, as I've been floating here too long. Wouldn't mind hitching my anchor up to something sturdy.

VIDEO LINKAGE
If you haven't seen it yet, here's Miss South Carolina's reply to a question asked at the Miss Teen USA pageant last night.

Amusing outtakes from that Lavalife TV spot. Because who doesn't want a hot organsum?

'YMCA' is the most embarrassing song in history, this we know. So how does one make that song even worse? Sing it in Finnish, for starters.

And one non video, where I share with you the horror of Cruggs, the cursed offspring of Crocs and Uggs.

The State of the World

And we're back.

East side house explodes overnight
Firefighters on the east side spent their Sunday night trying to extinguish the burning ruins of a home on St. Paul Ave which appeared to have exploded.

The home, allegedly occupied by a family identified as Lundy, was completely destroyed by the fire, yet authorities report no deaths in the blaze, with one man taken to hospital with injuries to his upper body.

Work continues to save historic Greek landmarks
In other news of the flamy variety, firefighters in Greece have managed to save the 2,800-year-old ruins of Ancient Olympia from wildfires.

Authorities believe the fires may be the work of arsonists, and are looking to determine whether the work of arsonists could be punishable under Greece's anti-terrorism laws.

"Fires are burning in more than half the country," said firefighter spokesman Nikos Diamandis. "This is definitely an unprecedented disaster for Greece."

More tattoos on the TSX
According to Japan's national police service, the yakuza [mafia] are hard up for cash, and are turning to more traditional methods to get it, like the stock market.

Police also warn that the need for fast cash is making the gangsters more prone to violence after years of relative calm on the organized crime front.

Japan's crime families have been forced to diversify after a 1992 law made family heads legally culpable for crimes committed by their soldiers.

Briefly
Alberto Gonzales, the US Attorney General with the world's worst memory, resigned Friday, according to the NYTimes.

For all the history buffs and Bush bashers, Slate looks at how the W stacks up against other less popular presidents from days gone by.

Actor Owen Wilson stages alleged suicide attempt.

Forecast calls for bloody moon later tonight. How late? Try 3.30 a.m.

Reboot





















Are we live? Is it on? Ohhhh, yes. Year Two starts............now.

See you in the morning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Radio Silence Engaging

















Five things I didn't do in Kingston:

1. Go to Fort Henry. The old military is apparently the best spot to watch the sunset in town, and gives a view of the Kingston waterfront from the the other side of the river. But I'll never know.

2. The prison museum. The one time I tried to go, it was during the off-season and tours were by appointment only, and only then for groups. By the time the summer hit, I was working more and life demanded more. I forgot all about it. But if there's anything I would come back for, it would be to get a look at the old women's clink.

3. See Ghetto Xpress at the Toucan. Every Monday at 10.00 p.m. a funk and soul band plays in Kingston's finest pub: The Toucan off of Rocheleau Court. Since they only played on Mondays, it was nigh impossible to find some people to go out who didn't have to work the next day. So, no funk for me.

4. Tour City Hall. It's like the Dillon Hall of Kingston, the nicest building that they put on all the tourism brochures, and I've never set foot in it. Laziness robs me of culture again.

5. Take the Haunted Walk of Kingston. There's only like, seven different versions. Never went on one. Lady Trail told me about the stablehand who died behind Chez Piggy, I'm good.

I also never went to a Frontenacs game, I never took a 1,000 Islands Boat Cruise, and missed visiting about 15 restaurants in the downtown core I would have liked to.

This is not to suggest my time in Kingston has been wasted. It's been an interesting year filled with lessons and laughter, and who can ask for more than that? With Miss Christina and Mr. John still here, I trust we'll be back to visit.

And with that, Windsor, we enter move time. I'm not saying you'll get nothing for the rest of the week, but I don't want you to be surprised if that happens. When we go regular again, I'll be broadcasting from the center of the universe, along with about 750,000 other hacks doing the same damn thing. Life is an adventure, if nothing else, Windsor.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Last Classic Weekend

Well Windsor, The Lady and I made the last trip to our favourite rental shack in K-town to snag one last pair of releases before we hit the road this week [though when that may be is anyone's guess]. Behold, the selections.

Zodiac
I enjoy the David Fincher. I'm one of the few people who probably liked The Game more than Fight Club [Fight Club is very iconic of its time, it feels to me like the themes have been bettered in the year since]. While I never saw Panic Room, I saw enough of his music video work to know his chops were still up to snuff.

Hearing the descriptions for this movie on its release, it seemed a perfect fit to me. The story of the first serial killer to court the press and how the press dealt with it, as well as the frustrations of the cops trying to find him felt like a story made for Fincher to tell. And the results are mixed.

Fincher does a good job with the suspense, and with placing the film firmly in its time [one scene deftly shows how far investigative techniques have come, as departments in three different California counties try to figure out how to share information. Hard to do without even a fax machine], and the actors are all fine in their roles, though Robert Downey Jr. as SF Chronicle reporter Paul Avery felt underused to me. But I just can't flat out approve the movie.

There's a weird red herring three-quarters through that felt like useless padding, and when it's over you look back and realize it's a movie that doesn't really go anywhere. Which is probably how the cops looking for the Zodiac felt. For fans of Fincher or suspense it's worth a rental, but if you've never liked these kinds of movies, Zodiac won't win you over.

The Host
This one was on the list for a while. A monster movie from Korea with some shiny special effects assisted by WETA Workshop, the best thing to compare it to is the old movie Tremors, with its combination of comedy, drama and spookiness.

Inspired by an actual event, The Host tells the story of a monster that emerges from the Han River after it's polluted in South Korea and kidnaps a young girl named Hyun-seo. The movie follows the efforts of Hyun-seo's charmingly incompetent family to try and rescue her.

The coolest thing about the movie is that the monster is revealed the first 20 minutes into the flick, and will sometimes be on screen for lengthy periods of time. Guess what? It's just as creepy when the ugly S.O.B. is skulking around as when you can't get a good look at him.

The only problem really, is the same problem that plagues Asian cinema as a whole: weak. ass. ending! Honestly, would it kill somebody over there to write an ending that makes sense and has a touch of optimism? I swear.

Bonus Quickie Summation! Superbad
It's not the best movie like this you'll ever see, but you should still go see it as soon as you can. Even money says "I am McLovin" t-shirts are being printed as we speak, ready to be shipped to your local Hot Topic.

Thanks for the good times, Classic Video. Best rental store I've ever seen.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Appealing to the Hivemind

So I'm typically pretty resourceful with these things, but have hit a total wall, so bear with me, and help if you can.

Back in the days when Muchmusic was good, they had a late night electronic show called rU Receiving?, and I'm looking for a video/song that aired on it fairly frequently.

The problem is I can't remember the name of the artist or track. Here's what I know.
  • The beat was sketchy and chaotic in that Aphex Twin kind of way, where the drums sound all squishy and farty and off-time.
  • The video was just a white background with geometric shapes vibrating in time to the music.
  • I suspect the artist's name was James something, and the song title was something very prosaic and had something to do with math, hence the shapes in the video.

A long shot, I know. But should the stars align and someone knows this song, let me know and you can have a dollar.*

*Dollar to be supplied by Lance EiC D'Arcy Bresson. Find him in the Lance offices, CAW Centre, basement, across from the Thirsty Scholar.

The State of the World

The dry season in Windsor
As someone who nearly broke his neck numerous times on the Mic Mac Park waterslides [shoulderblades and ankles are the key to speed, man], it was with no small amount of sadness that I read that they've been closed this season.

The slides are owned by a private company, which felt its energies would be better spent on other ventures this year.

Everyone from the slides' owners to city officials are optimistic that they'll be back next year, but for now it's another locked gate and 'No Trespassing' sign.

Don't you get sick of this?

From the 'Hold Your Breath' file
The Star also reports that Essex County Council is going to look at the benefits and costs of regional public transit to and from Windsor.

Riiight.

From the same file
The UWSA webiste has still not been updated. I think I last went there in.....May, perhaps?

Utah mine catastrof*ck continues
I really hadn't seen anything on the whole Utah mining disaster since last week, when rescue workers were confident they had located the trapped miners.

Eleven days later, and not only have the six miners not been found, but three rescue workers died in another cave-in.

Utah governor Jon Huntsman said he doesn't want underground tunneling to continue, but that decision rests with the federal mining authority.

Briefly
When you make sweet love by the fire, keep the extinguisher handy.

Canadians: rapidly losing their moral high ground over Americans.

Robbing a bank during your afternoon job hunt can lead to embarrassing arrests.

It's one thing to toss your wife over an apartment balcony. It's another to give her a kiss goodbye before you do it. Creepy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Comrades and Compatriots

According to Technorati, the growth of the blogosphere [hate that word] is still healthy, with about 120,000 blogs going online every day.

Let that one sink in for a minute.

At any rate, I thought tonight might be a good time to look at some of happiness that can be found among the over 70 million blogs on the wired.

Basic Instructions
How to disguise a yawn. How to share a movie with someone you love. How to lie to a child.

These are skills everyone must learn in their lives, and cartoonist Scott Meyer is here at your service to dispense the necessary knowledge to you.

Horror Movie a Day!
Like the title says, your man BC watches a horror movie a day and tells you what he thought of it. He distaste for J-Horror gets points deducted but his love and enthusiasm for the genre make his blog a fun read for anyone whose tastes run toward the gruesome. I may never have heard of Mountaintop Motel Massacre without it!

T-Shirts Around the Internet
Everyone knows, the key to ultimate coolness is the proper t-shirt. And everyone knows the internet is the place to find the hypest t-shirts. But with so much selection, how can you find the best ones to suit your needs? If you don't know your Palmercash from your Threadless, this is your blog.

Go Fug Yourself
I mention this one everytime I do one of these writeups, but Heather and Jessica continue to be the web's best pair of fabulous catty bitches working today. Plain and simple: no one tears a badly dressed celebrity apart like they do. Respect the originators.

Torontoist

Part of the Gothamist network, if you're looking to get a handle on what's going on in the center of the universe, this is probably the best place to do it.

Once Upon a Feast

One area of the web that's hugely popular but rarely discussed by people not already involved are food blogs, and OUaF is definitely one worth a perusal: Recipes for sauteed scallops and shrimp on a blueberry and tiny greens salad, ginger ice cream sandwiches and charmoula flank stank on the front page alone.

The London Underground Tube Diary
Probably the only thing I'm excited for in Toronto is the subway. I have a love for the subterranean trains zipping under the city, the staircases in the middle of the sidewalk, the whole thing. This blog devoted to the most famous subway system in the world not only gives status updates but celebrates public transit schlubs everywhere.

Just a fraction of what's out there, so get surfing and find something fun. Let me know what you find.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Around the Wired

Wired meaning internet, not the magazine, even though our first story comes from there.

#1. Two years ago an anonymous editor removed a large chunk of the Wikipedia entry concerning voting machine manufacturer Diebold. Specifically, it was the chunk that criticized Diebold's machines.

While one may never know who exactly removed the information, the 'digital fingerprint left behind by the act gave an IP address that originated from Diebold's corporate offices. This sort of thing happens all the time, apparently.
A university student in Cali has had enough, and came up with Wikipedia Scanner, a searchable database of Wikipedia edits to where they originated, and who owns the IPs. For kicks, he downloaded the whole of Wikipedia and had a look at what the Scanner could turn up.

Microsoft and Congress and the CIA
. Oh my.

#2. I will not argue for or against, but last month the religion reporter for the LA Times wrote a lengthy piece discussing how his job caused him to lose his faith.

#3. Clown told he can't use his bubble machine because people could slip and fall, then told he can't use balloons, as some children are allergic to latex. Poor Barney Baloney.

#4. For the hardcore nerds among you: ArsTechnica is putting together a pretty comprehensive look back at the Amiga computer company. For those not in the know, Amiga was a division of Commodore back in the 80s that made what were, at the time, kick ass computers that could have changed the landscape of personal computing today. But, as these things tend to go, the potential was pissed away by shortsighted execs and bad management.

#5. Dunny Series 4. Oddly enough, I can resist most of that. Others, well, we'll see how common they are when the ratios drop.

Out. Gotta see how my girl Butterscotch does on America's Got Talent!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The State of the World

Billboard makes its impact, vanishes
A controversial billboard at Wyandotte and Marion depicting Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has been taken down after three days.

Hussein Dabaja, one of the men responsible for buying the sing, said the sign's removal had nothing to do with public pressure or backlash, rather because the space had only been purchased for the weekend.

The sign now depicts an ad for Rose City Ford, much to Ward 3 councilor Alan Halberstadt's relief: "Perhaps it is a good thing it is down, because it caused such a discord in Windsor," said Halberstadt. "We don't need that kind of discord."

Hezbollah, a political group representing Shia Muslims, is considered a terrorist organization by the Canadian government.

Take a moment to peruse the comments on that story when you're done reading the main article. It's pretty amusing and frustrating in all the usual ways.

Head of lead paint toy company commits suicide
If you recall last week we linked to a story about a large number of Mattel toys having lead paint. It would seem that the head of the Chinese manufacturer of said toys killed himself over the weekend. I'd blame myself for spreading the word, but we also established last week that this blog is blocked in China, so he didn't hear it here.

Stop the presses!
A very sensible take on the evolution v. creationism debate comes from......the Pope, of all people.

Score one for Brita
Pepsi has announced it will be changing the labels of its Aquafina water to make it clear that it's tap water. Purified tap water, but tap water nonetheless.

Coca-Cola said it has no plans to do the same on its Dasani water, despite it also originating from a public source.

Briefly
Facebook glitch leads to code exposure, identity theft worries.

Would you buy Kanye West's new album to force 50 Cent out of the music industry? Because nothing says gangsta like taking your ball and going home.

Hope everyone who saw Tommy Lee at the Boom Boom Room on Saturday tested negative.

Hidden gay lover has no claim to lover's estate, BC court rules.

Laundry......done!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Randoms

OR: The sort of post that makes Chris Schnurr wonder why he he still comes here with such regularity.

ITEM!: Did you know All Saints reunited last year? I had no idea. Guess what? They're still hot. And still cannot sing.

ITEM!: Lady Trail in general can tolerate my toy habits because they can be passed off as art and look trendy. You know what can't be passed off as art or made to look trendy? Giant robots. And oooh, Windsor, does The Trail love him some giant Japanese robots.

So my recent discovery that the Kaiyodo company developed new type of joint for their action figures giving them heretofore unparalleled articulation was not a good thing. Discovering that most of the series was classic giant robots was worse. Discovering GR-1 and GR-2 from Giant Robo are available was the deathstroke. First thing to do when reaching Toronto: Mecha Battle Royale. Second thing: prepare for the single life.

ITEM!: Movie Trailer roundup, since I am woefully behind on these.

Beowulf: Pretty, but looks like one giant Final Fantasy cutscene. The last movie to look like that? The Final Fantasy movie, and we remember how well that did.

The Darjeeling Limited
: Wes Anderson's latest offering has the typical light comedic touches and indie rock soundtrack that makes his movies so beloved to a certain type of person. I still don't know if that type of person is me. I liked Rushmore well enough, so perhaps this one will be worth a rental down the line.

Lars and the Real Girl
: Want to know why Ryan Gosling's been wandering around with that nasty mustache? Here you go. But I don't know if the plot of this movie isn't too weird to freak out all the girls who dream of Noah from the Notebook, Lady Trail among them.

Dan in Real Life: Inclusion of Dane Cook in the cast, -5. Inclusion of Juliette Binoche in cast, +10. Making Steve Carrell seem boring, +death.

ITEM!: The above mentioned Mr. Schnurr alerted us to a site that will tell you if any URL is blocked in China. Guess which one just joined the list?


















I trust you'll join me in thinking this is the greatest day in this blog's history.

ITEM!: Hi, I was late to the Chocolate Rain party. But I'm right on time for the John Mayer remix.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The State of the World: Freaks and Geeks



















In which we explore happenings that matter to you, the savvy web surfer.

Beloved Japanese character to baffle Western children
Wired reports that Domo-kun, the mascot for Japanese public broadcaster NHK, has been picked up for 26 two-minute episodes to air on Nickelodeon.

Domo-kun has been entertaining audiences in Japan since 1998, and producers hope the nonsensical yet entertaining clips can do the same in North America.

And if the little brown guy looks familiar, you probably remember him from that 'God kills a kitten when you masturbate' pic that arrived in your email six years ago.

The Onion brings journalistic integrity, correct punctuation to MySpace
That headline is from the actual press release, it was just too good not to use.

YouTube might be the household name, but MySpace wants you to know its got the big dollars to woo the top tier content providers, the latest of which is comedy institution The Onion.

The social network and the satirical icon announced yesterday they are joining forces to create a "branded community" for users to view content not accessible anywhere else.

Spend some time with the best kids show ever
So apparently out DC way local cable access has been airing a kids show called Pancake Mountain. With more than a few jokes for parents and tongue planted firmly in cheek all around, the show has become a hot spot for touring indie bands to play the Jam Sessions that conclude each show.

You can find all YouTube has to offer here. I enjoy the Scissor Sisters doing a karaoke rendition of 'Respect' with puppet goat interviewer Rufus Leaking; Metric performing 'Combat Baby' with a stage of toddlers and Fugazi singer Ian MacKaye's song about vowels. Pretty dope.

Briefly Geeky
American Airlines looks to be the first airline to offer internet access on flights.

Classic literature+rising stars of contemporary and lowbrow art = the best gallery show I won't be able to attend.

Man undergoes thumb operation to better manipulate his iPhone.

Don't know your error 404 from your error 410? Ape Lad provides you with a series of HTTP error graphics.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tales to Tickle Your Terror


























If I may, for a moment Windsor, indulge me in a rant of old.

Sometimes, your friends may post a picture to the FB of you taken at a New Year's bash looking surly in a paper hat. You may find that said picture has been cross-posted to a group celebrating the picture's location: everyone's favourite deathtrap, The Loop. And it may bring you joy to peruse the group, remembering all the good times you had at that establishment. And then you may find a post on a discussion thread that ruins it all.

"[This group] is full of unfaithfuls. i looked through all the pictures and theres about two faces I recognized, one being Mudsley who doesnt even regular at the Loop, and the other being the [homophobic epithet] from Neverending White Lights.

"[M]y point is, get rid of half the pictures of douchebags who feel cool because they went to the loop, or 'that freak bar'."


And you may find the posting curious, and you may wonder more about who posted it, to see if you recognized him, given the years you spent at that particular bar. And you might find you do not recognize him, because the author was born in 1987.

Two things.
  1. At 20 years of age, do you really want to play 'I'm more hardcore than you' with Loop-goers? Because we can play. I could tell you that I saw Eric's Trip when I was too young to get in. Or that I remember when Liam DJ'd on Boogie Nights. Or that I remember when Boogie Nights were the night to go. Or that if you couldn't go Sunday, you went Thurdsay, but you definitely didn't go Saturday. Or that I remember when there was Swing dancing on Wednesdays and movie double features with free popcorn on Mondays. Or that my band reaped the benefits of the bar's temporary closure in 2006, playing a show at The Avalon that Saturday, and having the place packed to the doors, because the Loopers didn't have anywhere else to go. Or that I remember when people didn't drink Double Mudds [the horror!].

  2. Or I could just tell you that the day you start judging people who go to the Loop, whether skaters, punks, goths or fratboys and barwhores, is the day you reveal you never understood what makes the Loop so special in the first place, you dumb son of a bitch.
To the morning.

"Wow, Windsor looks like...Bosnia."

















The sweatiest people in Windsor last Saturday.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, Windsor, and while I don't know if that's entirely true, I do know there are parts of you that I greatly miss.

And there are others I do not.

Granted, Saturday nightlife is probably not the best 'welcome back' one could have [Lady Trail was threatening to punch a bitch out 10 minutes after arriving at the bar], but trust me, when you love amongst it, Ouellette on a weekend becomes a normal affair and it doesn't faze you. When you leave it, you come to realize what a bizarre, pornographic slopshow it actually is. And I suspect I might be over it.

I mean, the last thing I ever in my life want to be is one of those a-holes who turns his back on the Rose City because he's left for quote-unquote 'greener pastures.' But a drive up Wyandotte West ain't pretty, people, and it's hardly a neighbourhood unique in that regard.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the show and gave us three of your hard-earned dollars. We hope the rock proved a good return on your investment.

FIVE BEDTIME LINKS:

New York Times does away with paid online access to columnists and Op-Ed pieces.

Stoners: you're not out of the woods yet, but you're almost there.

Giant Lego man lands on Dutch beach.

Hitler's record collection unearthed. Maybe.

Is there anything scarier than a cease and desist from Chuck Norris?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Live! Tonight! Sold Out! We Hope! [Shameless Self Promotion]


























Tomorrow night! The Chubby Pickle! First local show in a year!

"Brutally intense and devastatingly powerful, they are a sight to behold live as well as on album."-- Jamie Greer, The Windsor Scene.

"Windsor's Ictus proves to be a moveable feast of alternative and metal sounds." --Ted Shaw, The Windsor Star.

"The most striking thing about [Ictus] are Sarah Jacobs' vocals treading somewhere between disdain, yearning, dark emotional detachment and the likes of Garbage's Shirley Manson."-- Exclaim! magazine.

"[Ictus are] a tightly regimented and dynamic group of musicians."-- Chartattack.com

"If you attempted to produce music that had even a small thread of meaning and passion it would be believable and an audience would view it as valuable."-- Todd Palladino

"U guys arn't goth ur wannabe goth."-- Some kid on MySpace

So I'll be coming home tonight and in town til Monday. If you know me, the cell's the same, hopefully Bell will have deigned to reactivate my service. You don't pay your bill for a few months and they get all uppity. Jeez.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Fans...They Do Nothing

Do you people even comprehend how frigging hot it is today? Because I don't think you do. And are you aware that the Trail household is without A/C? Oh yeah. See, A/C is expensive, and the first two months of summer were so temperate, we figured we try to get by with some fans, since we're not going to be here too much longer anyway, and our next apartment has air conditioning.

Yeah, them fans don't do shit.

So I'm sitting here, in my drawers, in a state of constant glistening, needing to do some laundry and clean our disaster of an apartment. So if my attention span is a little spotty today, that's why.

LINKAGE!

Everyone's favourite triple murder suspect returns to the Rose City. He'll appear in court today.

The new must-have toys for kids this year? Lead paint!

Edmonton can't shut down its tent city yet, so its looking to confine and more easily identify campers. Questionable!

Canada gets testy with Russia over arctic land claims.

Minnesota bridge collapse gets the fearmonger machine into high gear: are your bridges safe?! Run for your life!


Heatstroke. Done.