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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Art is.....weird

Some would say that a personal-type post containing the sort of minutiae that takes up my weekend has no place on a blog this.

I say eff all y'all. It's Sunday, I can do what I want. I'll even put it behind a cut, you babies.

Continue reading this post.
All anybody can talk about today is the giant hangover that Nuit Blanche has left over the city. I don't know if I ever elaborated, but the event is a giant art festival that runs all night through numerous sites all over the downtown core of Toronto, from the CN Tower to Queen's Park to the Ontario College of Art and Design and back again. After a productive practice with the Fabulous Ictusband [This Friday at the Avalon Front. You know you want to come] Greg, Sarah and I met up with the Lady at Queen and Spadina and it was a madhouse. Not like it isn't any other time, but Nuit Blanche gave everyone an excuse to be out on the street acting like idiots, a theme we would return to numerous times before the night concluded.

We began our night at OCAD, which is cool enough to look at on its own but takes on added excitement when the posterior park is filled with people having images of their dancing selves inserted to Bollywood romances via bluescreen or sitting on the grass watching video installations. The College itself was open for visiting but the lineup to enter was prohibitive. Besides, we had one destination in mind: Dumpster Hotel. On the way to the installation we happened upon an event at a local church. Thinking we might experience something transcendent, we took some seats at the back and watched the movie. This is what the event program had to say about the piece:

Made in collaboration with a group of children from a cultural centre outside Zagreb, Croatia, this film records the rehearsal of the song "magical World". Written in...1968, the lyrics speak of personal personal transformation with both pride and melancholy.
Nice enough sentiment. What we saw was what seemed like a loop of some creepy children singing a six-note melody repeating the same line over and over. After three minutes the women got up and left. "I think I get it. It's a magical world," said Sarah. We hummed the song all night.

After a brief encounter with spontaneous dance in a townhouse's front yard, we found the Dumpster Hotel. A five-star hotel, spa and bar constructed in large part from the detritus society leaves behind and centered around a massive City of Toronto dumpster, it drew quite a crowd. Reservations for both the spa and the hotel were unfortunately full.

Not having planned our itinerary very effectively, Greg suggested heading down to UofT to see what we could find. "Man, these are all galleries," said Sarah, "I want the trash!" Thankfully the replica alien crash at the King's College Circle met that need for us. As we leaned on the surrounding fence poking logistical holes in the exhibit [last I checked, beekeeper suits did not guard against radiation poisoning], I turned to Sarah and said, "So I suppose if anyone ever asks what the Ictus band's artistic sensibilities are, the answer is loowwwwww brow."

It was around 1.00 a.m. at that point and everyone was fading fast, so we headed back to the cars. During the walk we encountered:

  1. A young man who looked like a drowned rat singing a song of his own creation entitled "Poontang" through a rolled up poster.

  2. A class war developing between a crowd of mooks and a young mohawked dude and his dreadlocked girlfriend. The mooks won the exchange with "It's okay, mohawk, I hate my parents, too." I believe the mohawk kid responded by threatening to stab the mook in the neck.

  3. A crew of drunks on a street corner in Kensington Market who made sexual slurs at Lady Trail. On a whole, I think I decided that Kensington should probably have a bomb dropped on it. Infidel, I know.
Home by 1.45, we were asleep by 2.00.

A much more civilized affair, the Word on the Street festival took place in Queen's Park today, with readings, signings and more discounted books than you could dream of. We met up with a friend of the Lady's and made a round of some of the exhibitors before stopping by the Vincent Lam reading. It was nice to finally hear him read, after my aborted attempt in Kingston last year. He got bonus points for reading from the story about corpse dissection, while there were children in the audience. The Lady and her friend hit the Pride tent to hear playwright and author Sky Gilbert read while I had my book signed by Lam. He was extremely personable, if not the greatest public speaker. Gilbert was the exact opposite.

Having rolled up on his bike a few minutes before his reading was scheduled to begin, he locked it to a tentpole and hopped on stage. Because he and Lam overlapped I didn't get to see much, but I found him a very engaging reader, due to his drama background no doubt. But whereas Lam signed for everyone who stopped by, Gilbert ran offstage following his reading, stopped by the signing tent, scribbled his name in a handful of books, left them with organizers and vanished, never to be seen again. Lady Trail was bummed, especially as this is a man she's done work on academically, and even interviewed personally for a paper in undergrad.

We capped off the afternoon by walking the rest of the way around Queen's Park. The Lady was kind enough to buy me a copy of Murakami's Norwegian Wood [with the UK cover, which is so much better] for three bucks, and she grabbed a first edition of Coupland's Shampoo Planet, just in time for the signing tomorrow, which she may or may not even have signed.

That was our weekend. How was yours, Windsor?

Friday, September 28, 2007

The State of the World: Caj Fri

--On campus, you should probably know that Humanities Week kicks off next week. You could just read about all the events in The Lance after they happen, but why not actually go there yourself for once.

--Locally, the talented Mr. Schnurr continues writing the saga of his and his group's attempts to get some truth out of the Windsor Utilities Commission. The latest episodes involve dealings with WUC Commissioner Ken Lewenza Jr. Nice to see that even when you run a respectable blog you still get anonymous a-holes causing a ruckus. And I do find it interesting that Ken's stated he's not interested in dealing with people with personal agendas. Last I checked, those were the only agendas most politicians had. Call me jaded.

--After the initial surprise that Myanmnar's military junta would allow organized protests, thing have gotten back to normal with beatings and tear gassings.

--Jones Soda officially goes too far. The 'Christmas Dinner' soda pack with the turkey and brussel sprout flavoured beverages was one thing. Dirt and sweat flavoured drinks? Are you completely catering to the fraternity hazing market?

--Cops carrying submachine guns on city streets. Well that's just a wonderful idea.

--Why bother banning peanuts when it's so much easier to ban the allergic children?

--What would you do with half a million dollars? Pay morgage? Yep. Travel with the wife? Yep. Become Storm Trooper? Uhh...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Big City Livin

Lord what a day, Windsor. Following an interview at the Yorkdale Indigo [hey, if you gota work retail, you may as well work retail selling something you love. Now watch me not get hired, *sigh*], I picked up the tickets for the Coupland reading next week and hopped the train back down for the Dunny Trading Party at the Magic Pony.

An hour on the TTC and I strolled up to the door, checking out the assorted hipsters in attendance, some armed with cases of older Dunny series [no interest to Daddy, he already has them all] some armed with only their wallets, eager to trade after they'd bought their cases. The staff were setting out refreshments on the cleared tables people could pull up to trade their wares. I saw no signs of the items we were all there for, but figured they might have been stashed away until things got underway.

Six o'clock came and went. No Dunnys were revealed. What was revealed was a printed sign informing us that Series 4 had not cleared customs in time, so they wouldn't be in. But they were still going to have the party.

Are you kidding me? How do you have a trading party without the item everyone's supposed to be there to trade? I resisted the urge to drink half of the beers they had out for people and made my way up Queen muttering to myself. Crossing Peter Street I decided to try my luck at the Silver Snail [best comic shop in town]. Of course they have them, and for cheap. I scooped up nine boxes, pulled one double, and went home feeling not bad. But damn, do my feet hurt.

Oh, and they're apparently making a movie of The Time Traveller's Wife. Because I think passed a set for it near Bathurst. Another Toronto first down, whoopdeedoo.

Hits with the quickness!
As a nice followup to all those indignant and morally outraged cops who get speeding tickets, maybe I'd have more sympathy if you didn't taser pregnant women.

Giraffe fight!

Ridley Scott discusses why he recut Blade Runner. Again.

The next social network.

And now I'm off to watch John and Stephen. That is, if my effing neighbours decide to stop clog dancing or whatever the hell it is they're doing upstairs.

What the--?!


















Delayed!

Seriously, too much to do today, slept too late, you'll get something, but it'll be later. Probably much later. But you will get it. I just don't know how good it'll be.

Go watch some Clone High til I get back. Remember, it's back on Teletoon at 11.30 weeknights!


Oh, and I would hope this goes without saying, but morons, stop soaking yourself in Axe and lighting yourself on fire. Fools.

The Return of Late Night Dumb

Usually the evening update comes late because I've seen something exciting on television, not because I'm helping the Lady mark Gr. 11 essays, which is what I was doing tonight. I must love that woman, Windsor.

But really, the fact of the matter is I have looked tonight, Windsor. Lord, how I have looked. And I am sorry to say, but the internets are boring as hell right now. Maybe I suck tonight, maybe it's all the nerds being so focused on their specific nerdery needs tonight [from Halo to Dunny S4 to Furry bowling tourneys]. So how about some people acting stupid?

The improper way to handle grenades
how not to throw a grenade

Add to My Profile | More Videos

I really don't know what this kid thought would happen [no embed].

And finally, just because it makes me laugh, The Skeletor Show.



It's probably the ragtimey jazz that makes it for me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The State of the World

Live from the Mothership
Home base gets an update today with stories on the policy to put the kibosh on unprofessional faculty/student shenanigans, campus police's response to the string of sexual assaults at other schools, and the story of that unfortunate football loss to Queens over the weekend.

Aftermath
So yesterday I gave you video and transcripts of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia. And you may have heard the boos and seen the President of the University's scathing introduction of the man before he got onstage.

I'll leave you to consider for a moment how it would go over if Stephen Harper or President Bush got that sort of introduction at a foreign university, and whether that sort of behaviour is becoming of its highest officer.

That being said, it can't be denied that Ahamdinejad is savvy, to say the least. As appalled as North Americans might be by his behaviours and tirades [they don't have homosexuals in Iran? Really?], to a large portion of the global populace, he looks like a confident leader unafraid to stand up to the Western giant and speak his mind. Sam Sedaei further breaks down how Columbia blew it over at HuffPo.

In this country
On our side of the border, the word of the day seems to be minority, as Stephen Harper predicts a vote today would result in another Conservative minority, and Dalton McGuinty says he would "accept" a minority government in the provincial election [awfully big of him].

Some Liberals are saying Harper's prediction is just a bluff, to assuage the fears of those wary of a blue majority. Said Liberal MP Scott Brison, "[The PM] knows that a Harper majority is a nightmare scenario for many Canadians," adding that the Tories are hiding their true colours [and right leaning tendencies] until after they win a majority.

McGuinty told reporters that even with the possibility of a minority looming, his party will not alter its campaign plan.

Briefly
Rudy Giuliani shoots presidential aspirations in face with his stupidly titled "$9.11 for Rudy" fundraiser. Neither Guiliani's camp or the fundraiser host knows where the idea come from, obviously.

Milwaukee lobbyists wish to construct monument to The Fonz.

Teenage girls brawl it out at the Chuck E. Cheese.

Parents with kids at Stanford will be thrilled their children are spending tens of thousands of dollars in tuition to take a class on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Around the Wired

Let's be honest here, Windsor. This week I not only have the Dunny Series 4 Trading party at the Magic Pony, but the Nuit Blanche Art Celebration is on Saturday, followed by the Word on the Street Festival on Sunday and the Douglas Coupland reading/signing on Monday night [full report next week].

Point being: totally working for the weekend this time out. Let's get this done.

Probably the most exciting news floating around out there is Amazon's cheaper, DRM-free iTunes killer, Amazonmp3. For those of you not in the know, 'DRM-free' means the files will play on any mp3 player, and you can do whatever you want with them, burn them to as many CDs as you want, etc. Tracks will go for as low as $0.89 [cheaper than iTunes] with albums as low as $5.99 [also cheaper than iTunes]. The public beta launched today, but you'll have to tell me if it's good to go in Canada.

The most interesting thing I unearthed today is a website for cops to out other cops who give speeding tickets to cops. This apparently violates the blue brotherhood, and extends to family members as well. I warn you, the petty bitching and moaning [especially in the 'Dick of the Month' section] will likely anger you. A lot. Police, don't do your job too well, or your ass is on the outs.

Lastly, if you happen to be in Atlanta on Saturday and get off by dressing up as a Klingon or fuzzy animal, stop by the Furry v. Klingon bowling tourney at the Midtown Bowl on Piedmont at 8.00 p.m.

Seriously, when did Furries become mainstream? The mind boggles.

The State of the World

The Quarterly Dupont Report
Windsor Star reporter Doug Schmidt must have been getting bored sitting around polishing his national newspaper award. Lucky for him, the coroner's inquest into the 2005 murder nurse Lori Dupont kicked off this week, giving him another series of articles to milk the corpse for.

I understand the coroner's inquest is necessary, Windsor. And I may even grant that what goes on there is in the public interest, but I've made no secret around here that I think the Star is far too eager to milk the tragedy for front page copy. Complete with the lead about sobs and tears, reminding you all that THIS IS A SAD THING.

This is why I don't know what to say when people ask me if I still want to be a journalist.

Bush picks a new target at UN
Speaking at the General Assembly of the United Nations today President Bush used his time at the mic not to go after Iran or Venezuela or any of the usual flies in his ointment, opting instead to announce new economic sanctions against the military dictatorship of Myanmar, while calling on the UN to "return to its roots" by promoting democracy globally.

Bush also expressed a willingness to expand membership of the almighty Security Council, specifically to [longtime US ally] Japan.

The Raw Report [or, what passes for sports coverage here]
Shelton and Beth Phoenix v. Jeff Hardy and Candace Michelle was the only thing worth watching. Seriously, I could watch Jeff and Shelton go all day, and Beth Phoenix is the best Diva I've seen in a long time. She's just a beast. I'd really like to see her get in a ring with Victoria or Melina.

The rest of the show was boring as hell. When I'm flipping over to Halo coverage on G4, you know I could care less about what's happening on Raw. I didn't even bother with the last 20 minutes, I just read the results on the website. Hopefully Coach's defeat to Cena will get him the hell off my television and put Regal back where he belongs next week. The Hornswoggle stuff was well done at the end of the show, but the Melina stuff was just sophomoric, even if I do appreciate her hotness.

The cage match left me wondering if Carlito was getting suspended too, after the beating he took from the H. Here's the thing: Hunter's been a main eventer for what? Almost 10 years? Does he need to keep laying out young guys to that extent? Does it really get his character over that much? Nope. It just buries the young guys. Put him in a match with Umaga, and have him lose. Honestly, Trips could lose every match he's in til he retires, he'd still be as popular as he is now. But no, they'll put the belt on him by Survivor Series.

To recap: you missed nothing.

Briefly
Ghost ships, Wal-Mart thieves and pirates: the best Florida story ever?

See you on Break.com: YouTube to use 30-second bumper ads at the start of clips.

When you're a polygamist, you probably shouldn't tell the old and busted wife how sexually skilled the new hotness wife is. Not while she's holding a knife, anyway.

The Coles Notes version of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Q&A at Columbia. Also, the extended Director's Cut.

The Heretic Speaks


















Hello? Anybody there? Nope, didn't think so. It's a quiet night out there tonight, Windsor, as everyone seems to poised to abandon work, school and family to get their hands on a copy of Halo 3. Everyone except me.

Because I just don't care. Never have. I don't care how well it plays. I don't like the look like of it, and first person shooters bore me to effing tears. Always have. They never feel like playing a game to me, they feel like operating a steadicam. And I came to that opinion after DOOM on the PC, and no footage of any FPS since has done much to change my mind.

I realize this blasphemy puts me on the outs with most anyone who's ever picked up a controller, but given my recent horror at what passes for entertainment on G4, I suspect I'm far out of step with gaming culture as a whole. During their four hour(?!) countdown to midnight tonight, they profiled the youngest professional gamer in the world, the unfortunately tagged Lil Poison. In the piece, the little rascal told viewers he started playing Halo when he was four.

This is not cool, people. It's bad parenting. Kid probably can't ride a bike, but he'll pwn your ass for fun. Strange days, Windsor.

They tell me the story's fantastic too, but I also tend to hate space war stories. Even as a full-on anime fan, I never watched a Gundam in my life [not even Wing, fangirls]. Pitch Black, Starship Troopers, whatever.

Seeing the much cooler reception greeted by the game in Japan only serves as confirmation for my suspicion that my tastes veer a little more AZN. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing that's going to get me to go NextGen is GTA4, and even that won't be for awhile. I'm more than happy to play Mega Man emulations on the PS2 until such a time arrives.

What say you, Windsor? Am I off my rocker, or are the Halo diehards just a very vocal [and testicled] minority?

PS: Saw Common at MuchonDemand today. Had to stand outside, didn't get to shake his hand, but it was still all right. Almost spit on Tim Deegan, and stifled the vomit from seeing Leah Miller up close.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The State of the World

While I was Sleeping
So apparently I fell off at some point last week because now the only thing anyone wants to talk about is Mexico, Mexico, Mexico.

Windsor has been bombarded by a recent influx of Mexicans fleeing north to avoid deportation from the United States and seeking refugee status. According to the latest in the Star, the flow of migrants has slowed to a point where local social services can hook them up with temproary lodgings, clearing out of area hotels and the Salvation Army residence.

Of course, the local Consular Agency in Leamington denies any of the claims by the fleeing nationals that Mexico is exceedingly violent or dangerous compared to any other South or Central American country of 100 million people.

Remember the environment?
While the cause seems to have lost a little of its vogue [and who can really keep track of the trendy humanitarian cause du jour, what with Africa, Mad Cow and UWSA transparency] but dammit, Stephen Harper is still focused, arguing at the UN today that the Kyoto Protocol [too rigid] be abandoned in favour of a new pact aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

At which point, I'll likely be dead. As such, my care factor on this issue gets suspended until such time as I have children.

Cool reception for Iranian President
Also related to the current UN summit, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in New York yesterday greeted by protesters. He's already denied Iran is building a nuclear bomb, or headed to war with the US, and been prevented from laying a wreath at Ground Zero. Busy boy.

For more Ahmadinejad goodness, the Prez was interviewed by Mike Wallace last week in an interview that aired last night on 60 Minutues. You can watch it here.

Briefly
The 'Jena 6' are catching oodles of ink all over. The small town Southern racial clash is being presented as something straight out of Mississippi Burning, but the AP reports the story might not be as simple as we may have thought.

Chivalry v. sexism: where does the line get drawn?

If you've been neglecting global currency conversion to focus on the high flying loonie, you may want to note that as of this morning, one goat = 47 CDs, a bottle of Jag and $375.

Time magazine puts the boots to Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Later tonight we'll discuss if I managed to meet Common at Muchmusic, and why I don't give a shit about Halo.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The State of the World

Once again Windsor, the dutiful housewife has things to attend to around the house, but cannot abandon your all consuming need for knowledge and information from around the globe, so have at it.

The Star starts us off with the shocker that most of you think the cost of tuition is a key issue in next month's provincial election. Well dizz-uh. The Trail actually thinks the Tories are the only ones on the right track with this one [increasing funding to universities, while not an assurance that the schools will then lower tuition, speaks to the core problem more than a tuition rollback or loan extension], but nobody's getting elected on the post-secondary vote here, so all you young voters may want to take a broader outlook.

Continuing on the provincial election for a moment, you may have noticed there was a debate on last night [strategically placed at 7.00 p.m. so as not to interfere with Survivor...Global knows where it's bread's buttered]. Going in, Dalton had to have known Hampton and Tory were going to go after him on his broken promises, and McGuinty stood up and took it like a man: “In the last election, I told Ontarians I wouldn't raise their taxes, and I broke that promise,” he said. “I had a really tough call to make and I knew that people were going to be angry about that. I understand that and I accept that. … I expect fully to be judged on that.”

Will such candor be enough to save his party from defeat? Does the spectre of Mike Harris cast a shadow long enough to dash John Tory's hopes more than faith-based school funding ever could? We shall see.

Elsewhere out there, German politician proposes legally expiring marriages after seven years, giving the couple the option to continue on; a cool ass video of a lion being reunited with the with the men who raised him after a year in the wild; man has cell phone stolen by monkeys during trip to the zoo; and experts say there will be cures for malaria, HIV and tuberculosis in the next ten years. This comes from FOX News, so you may want to salt grain that one.

Anyone know a good pasta sauce?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some Good News, for a Change

Sometimes Windsor, there's loads of quality material out there for me to corral for your entertainment. Other times, everything else gets demolished by a ball of comedy.

It may have taken longer than it should have for The Onion [the world's finest news source] to start broadcasting video, but it's been worth the wait. I myself had no idea incidents of domestic abuse had decreased so dramatically.


Domestic Abuse No Longer A Problem, Say Bruised Female Researchers

The State of the World: Brief PM Edition

One Teeter sent to Kingston by mistake, another not in stock on the day it should be. Batting .1000 this week, Windsor.

Maybe I should have just bought it online, as the loonie reached par with the US dollar for the first time in 31 years, before falling back to 99.85 cents. Being an arty writer type, I understand none of the reasons why this is so, but I do know it sucks for people who work over the border, while being awesome for cross border shopping at the same time. Somebody go to Target and get some Cherry 7UP for me and some Flippz for the Lady.

In other news, women at York University will sleep soundly tonight knowing that the man suspected for a pair of sex attacks on campus has been apprehended. 25-year-old Daniel Katsnelson will face 11 charges in court today.

In less important news: the benefits of the four day work week continue to be argued; the Saudis are headed for the economic lifeboat; prayer guides for spacebound Muslims and further reminder why I switched to Coke Zero.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

These Are the Days of Your Lives
























Short and sweet tonight, your man has to be up early to make sure he's at the Magic Pony in time to grab the Lady a Pirate Teeter by Joe Ledbetter [pictured above].

The previous, superhero themed edition, is the item currently en route to my old apartment in Kingston, as I mentioned the other day. Thank you, eBay.

A brief note to clarify some issues discussed in the opinion pages of The Lance this week. The complainant [he who shall not be named] takes issue with News Editor Natasha Marar's "cherry picking," of quotes from a written statement submitted by the complainant and two other members of UWSA council, which they "allowed" her to do, but not apparently to the extent that she did.

This attitude is flawed, because it assumes that Ms. Marar needed the complainant's permission to reproduce the quotes. She did not. Ms. Marar could have run a sidebar with the entirety of the statement in big block letters if she had wanted to. A written statement was submitted to a member of the press. How it is then used is at the discretion of the journalist.

As for the complainant's call for analysis and research to supplement the information, I agree it's a lovely idea, and one that would perform beautifully free of the constraints of a weekly deadline. No doubt Ms. Marar could have performed such an undertaking, but by my count she wrote four stories that week. Having done her job, I'd say she looked at the story in question and saw it as such: Dude says UWSA is in conflict of interest, UWSA says it isn't, the end. I don't know that it's the NE's job to provide analysis as much as to prevent the facts [disputed though they might be] from both sides of the argument, and let the reader decide for themselves. I read the article and was honestly more concerned with the alleged conflict of interest [which I think might very well exist] than with anybody complaining about it, as my original post last week will attest. I'm sure other students read the article and thought the allegations were the ranting of a madman with too much time on their hands. Such is their prerogative.

If there's one thing that's learned quickly from the News Editor chair, it's that the UWSA is a like a daytime soap, long running and mired in continuity, and the issues raised in the past two issues of the Lance will surely reemerge at a future council meeting. So don't get disappointed, Windsor, the entertainment won't be stopping anytime soon.

I stumbled upon this quote a couple years ago, writing my send off to the UWSA council of that time [ahhh, LaPorte and his angels], and its truth only grows with every passing year:

"University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small."
--Henry Kissinger

The State of the World

The Mothership Connection
The Star might be slow today, but The Lance is jam packed with stories on everything from UWindsor's recent rebranding to the administrative drama surrounding this year's Shinerama to tips on becoming an internet celebrity.

Yet I suspect what you really care about is the ongoing grudge match on the opinion page. Pop the corn and enjoy, Windsor.

We ain't gonna be birthing no babies
StatsCan's social trends division published a study yesterday that shows young adults are passing life milestones at a later age today than 30 years ago.

Said Warren Clark, the report's author, "In '71, you have three-quarters of 22-year-olds who have left school, half were married and one in four had children. You move ahead 30 years to 2001 and half are still in school, only one in five are in a conjugal relationship [which is usually common-law] and one in 11 have kids."

Experts attriubute the lag mostly to the expectation on young adults to stay in school longer, and with the lack of a youth labour market that leads to financial independence, something that the retirement of the baby boomers may help alleviate.

Keeping head down, eyes on prize working for Harper
Over dinner last night the Lady and I were having a rare political discussion on Stephen Harper's recent tactic of keeping his head down and saying the course as the Liberals are dogged with by-election losses and party infighting.

Fitting to read in the Globe today how unlikely it is, with a Speech from the Throne coming next month, that any of the opposition parties will look to topple his government after their recent losses, and how Harper is resisting the temptation to go all uber-conservative on them.

I still find the man sort of repellant, but it's the smartest thing he could be doing right now.

Briefly
Asshole urinates on dying woman in the street, proclaims it to be "YouTube material."

Nova Scotia high school embraces pink in anti-bullying campaign.

I knew watching G4 was rotting my brain from the inside. But not completely, I still know Morgan Webb isn't funny.

Dyar, don't ye be forgetting what day it be, ye scurvy dogs!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Variations on a Theme

Suited up the old kevlar and headed out to Scarborough tonight so the Lady could continue her shopping adventure for "Teacher Clothes." I'm not saying that Scarborough is the worst place in Ontario one way or the other, Windsor, alls I know is that every time the morning news tells me about a random shooting or stabbing or forced window ejection, it seems to happen there. Just saying, is all. Discovered two things at the Town Centre:

1. When the Lady shops, The Trail has a lot of time to people watch, and witnessed a young black man on his cell phone pass a young black woman, also on her cell phone. Their exchange consisted of him placing his hand on her stomach, which she flicked off as she continued on her way. I'm not going to say I'm an authority on black modes of communication, Windsor, but I suspect the young man was trying to hit on her.

Really? That actually happens? I thought that sort of thing only took place in videos. Pretty poor excuse for game.

2. Staying with the theme, sort of, I freely admit I do not understand the current trends in urban fashion. The 'rainbow vomit' hoodie trend is one I find particularly perplexing, if only because the colours are usually so loud and uncomplimentary I can't see why anyone would pay the 300 dollars to own one.

But occasionally, one catches my eye, and I wonder to myself, where I can I get it. This is Toronto, the yellow pages unfolded before me, clearly there must be a store that sells bootlegged designer streetwear. Now I know. Jazz, in the Scarborough Town Centre, is my fake-ass designer hoodie hookup. Now someone give me 90 bucks for that fake black on white Bathing Ape piece. I'd like the brown Kaws tee as well.

And when someone asks me if my shit is fake, I will say yes. Yes it is.

To conclude the theme, two highly skilled South Korean DJs. Ages eight and five.

Kid DJs - Watch more free videos

The State of the World

You know what's awesome, Windsor? When you move, and then you buy something off of eBay, but for some reason, even though you made your new address your primary shipping, eBay gives your old address to the seller. So my San Diego ComicCon exclusive piece of vinyl I got for a steal the other night is currently on it s way to Kingston.

Oh well, the Lady and I are always looking for a reason to visit.

Windsor to build new research centre in Leamington
UWindsor's outward expansion continues out Leamington way, as town council approves the university's plans to build an environmental research centre between Point Pelee and the Hillman Marsh.
Professor Dan Mennill, of the Faculty of Biology, said when built, the research station will join only a handful of others like it in the country, which attract researchers from across the globe.

NDP tops Liberals in Quebec by-elections. Wait, what?
Liberal leader Stephane Dion says his party lost a by-election in the Quebec riding of Outremont [the first since the 1930's] to the NDP because voters wanted to voice their dissatisfaction over the Afghan war to the current government.

Said Dion, ”I just want to say that our policy about Afghanistan is realistic. The one of the NDP is not. We cannot leave tomorrow, whatever the people may think. It would not be responsible for Canada to do so.”

While the Outremont loss might sting the most, the Liberals were shut out in all three of the week's by-elections. Dion continued to predict the Liberals would win a general election.

Why am I not convinced?

Mortality rate in children under five hits record low
UNICEF is reporting that the child mortality rate has dropped below 10 million for the first time since records began being kept in 1960.

Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF's executive director, called the milestone historic, but noted, “there is no room for complacency. Most of these deaths are preventable, and the solutions are tried and tested.”

Briefly
Florida student tasered at John Kerry Q&A.

Selling vinegar and fish bait as heroin is the new selling oregeno as pot.

In Canada, students can't get docked late marks. In England, they get to write and grade their own exams.

You know that bit in recent pirate media, where the map burns from the middle out to reveal the title of the movie? You probably shouldn't do that at home.

Monday, September 17, 2007

MIssed opportunities and excess random

So the city was all abuzz this week what with the Toronto International Film Festival in town, which didn't really do much for me. I kept up with what was being shown over on Torontoist but wasn't about to go stake out red carpets to try and glom onto visiting celebrities. That shit ain't my style, Windsor. Not even when the Lady and I bought booze behind Mark McKinney last week [which now makes two Kids in the Hall I've stood next to].

Even the movies shown didn't catch much of my interest, with the notable exception of Juno, the new offering from the director of Thank You for Smoking and featuring a cast filled with people I like including Jason Bateman, Rainn Wilson and the kid from Superbad. Watch the trailer!



While it would have been cool to see it a few months early, I can survive because it'll get a decent release later on.

I'm a little less blase about the fact that I missed a Miike screening. His first Western, SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO played during a midnight screening at Ryerson, with actors in attendance and even a filmed greeting from the man himself, since he was unable to attend. Typical Miike over-the-top action, with a cast speaking in phonetic English they don't understand and a Tarantino cameo? Son of a bitch. Now that would have been worth it.

Elsewhere....[with bonus commentary from Lady Trail]
Venezuelan man wakes up during his own autopsy. [Cuh-ray-zeeee!]

Tiny girl with primordial dwarfism has her own website. [I want to put her on a little pink cloud and push her around all day! [Spot the reference--Ed.]]

The hits continue for Ms. Spears as she gets dropped by her management. [Dropped? I'd like to dropkick her face! Wait, that's not nice, don't put that.]

To know her is to love her, Windsor. To the morning.

The State of the World

A sugary start to the week
You may recall last week the story of the man who's dog's back was broken by burglars for no real reason and my strong reaction to it.

The man, Richard Charuk, showed up at the Humane Society determined to get on with his life and get a new dog. The staff, basking in the success of that day's Adopt-a-Thon, recognized Charuk from media reports, and decided to waive the charges on his adoption of a four-year-old Boxer named Victor.

I may be curmudgeonly, Windsor, but The Trail loves some sap, too.

Awesome speaker + free = awesome
Arguably one of if not the most legendary profs to come out of UWindsor is English professor emeritus Alistair MacLeod. His 1999 novel No Great Mischief won a slew of awards and established him a worldwide literary presence. And he has never forgotten you, Windsor.

As part of the HRG's Martin Wesley Lecture Series, Dr. MacLeod will be giving a free public lecture discussing his life as a man of letters in Canada. Catch it tomorrow at 3.30 p.m. in the Freed Orman Centre of Assumption University, followed by a reception.

If you've never had the pleasure of being taught by the man [which The Trail was, thank you very much], all you pretentious English types should really do yourself a favour and attend.

Thank God for Halo
A few years ago the hot topic of the day concerned the lawsuit against Microsoft for violating American antitrust laws; essentially that the software giant manipulated its position to discourage competition in the market, by including certain software items with Windows that could not be removed, like Internet Explorer or Media Player.

Microsoft has been dealing with antitrust suits since around 2000, but the latest has been overseas, from the European Committee for Interoperable Systems. And a verdict has been reached: appeal denied, pay about $690 million. Reps for Microsoft have not disclosed if they plan to appeal to the European Court of Justice.

Briefly
Man discovers there are male and female forms of spoken Japanese, and he's unwittingly become well versed in the latter.

Get the scoop on those Alberta oil sands all your friends are skipping town to go work on.

When you root for the home team, maybe not the best idea to ask the visitors for autographs, even if you are a 10-year-old.

From the newly-created 'I Hate it Here' file: Toronto Public Health Unit searching for woman who casually dropped off a rabid bat at the area Wildlife Rescue. Woman described as foaming, delirious.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The State of the World

Shotguns. The only tool with more uses than duct tape.
Nothing better than seeing a story about all hell breaking loose in one's hometown as golfer's at an Amherstburg course were shocked to hear gunshots break out during women's league play.

Turns out the course had employed hunters to cull the troublesome geese population on the course. Instead of using the noisemakers or dogs or other methods used on other courses, Sutton Creek opted to bust some caps in some goose ass.

Best quote? Right here: "It was the day before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks and so [golfer Carmen Colledge] was quick to think the worst."

Really? You think Al Qaeda has been plotting for years to take out the women's golf league? Really?

Always look on the bright side of life
The main story on a lot of people's minds are President Bush's announcement of a small troop withdrawal from Iraq [about 6,000 by Christmas] and his attempts to recast the war as a vital security concern, while neglecting to mention the original reasons the war was initiated in the first place [WMDs and planting democracy, natch].

The stark reality for most American politicians is that the conflict will still be here when Bush exits office.

The continued trouble of the female chauvinist pig
It could be argued that the explosion of the so called 'Lad's magazines', your Maxims and Stuffs and so on, are nothing more than monuments of old fashioned sexism that have set male-female relations back a good thirty years.

Indeed, the fact seems so obvious one wonders how there can still be any argument. Yet it persists, argues Decca Aitkenhead in the Guardian, because the debate ignores "women's own complicity in the genre."
Briefly
Dr. Who + Jesus = The best Sunday morning ever.

Florida murder-suicide kills victims, farmland animals.

Damn, Detroit: headless, armless corpse found in garbage can.

Pipe bombs: not the best home security system.

Off to build furniture. Damn Swedes.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Javlar!

You know, before I lived in this stinking hole of a city, one of the mandatory destinations was IKEA. Even with full knowledge that the products are pretty yet cheap, I would wander the labyrinthine showroom and dream of all the items I will one day purchase [the latest is a wall-mounted Bertby glass door cabinet. You know, for mini-figures].

When you have to return to IKEA three times in a week because you've been screwed on the wrong size or wrong colour item, that thrill quickly fades. It is a hurt not even 50-cent hot dogs can soothe. Couple that with spending an hour trying to matte and frame some artwork tonight, only to discover cat hair had embedded itself inside the glass and there can be no doubt: The Swedes are trying to kill me.

What's shaking out there?

If you haven't been reading the talented Mr. Schnurr, [and really, why haven't you?], he doesn't disappoint again tonight, with some sobering analysis of the costs the east-end arena project is racking up.

First reviews of the iPod touch are coming in. Surprise, surprise: they love it.

iPod Classic doesn't fare so well.

Taiwanese kids learn English assisted by MC Hammer.

The only thing better than an apple a day, is a Soviet poster.

Ten worthwhile documentaries, yours for nothing courtesy of Google video.

So stop reading this and got watch some.

The State of the World, Condensed

Sorry Windsor, but Daddy the Housewife is expecting company this weekend and has loads to do around stately Trail Manor. So brief is the word.

Locally, UWindsor clerical staff votes in favour of a new collective agreement for three years highlighted by an increase in wage, health benefits and job security.

Provincially, the Liberals and Conservatives are taking their dirtiest campaign moves online.

Nationally, the federal government is opening the doors on previously closed discussions on its plan to force ISPs to provide customer information to authorities without a court order.

Globally, the US rhetoric against Iran gets moving.

Around the wired, teen kills parents for fear of disappointing them; lawyer empties his handgun in the backyard, punches cop in the bals; Michigan man builds guillotine to kill himself; 25 things all you real men out there should know how to do.

Off to clean the rest of the miniblinds and patch holes in my wall.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Behind the Curve




















Infographic courtesy of Chris' Super Invincible Super Blog.

Damn, things got almost downright topical here for a moment. Sorry, kids. Here's three videos you might have missed the past couple weeks [slightly NSFW].

The Phil Collins Gorilla


Britney Spears' Lone Defender


Jack McBrayer of 30 Rock Teaches You to Rip Off a Drug Dealer
Livin' 'Neath The Law with Jack McBrayer

Letters to the Editor

If there's one thing I deplore Windsor, it's being left waiting. When I took a shot at UWSA Law Rep Mr. Ken Birchall, I knew it was only a matter of time until he swung by to fire off a response. I expected to find it when I woke up this morning, but no, his holiness left me waiting until 6.30 tonight.

I think I'm insulted, Windsor. Certainly by his tardiness more than anything he actually had to say. But I'd hate for him to have gone to all that trouble for nothing, so let's indulge him.

Excuse me but do I even know you? I'm quite certain I would remember such a unique visage as yours. I mean it is almost pug like in its composition, surely you are pushing the women away with a ten foot pole at all hours of the day.

See what he did there, Windsor? He made light of my appearance! And my virility! OMG! How alpha male! I can't wait to see this guy in action once he hits a courtroom. See, when you want to flaunt your intelligence, you use words that no one ever uses in the common tongue. Like 'visage.' How clever!

No, Ken, you don't know me. But I know you. Or rather, I know your type.

And I don't need to push women away, one's all I require. And she happens to find pugs adorable.

If you smell anything, it's possibly .cologne? But perhaps more likely it is your breath being wafted back into your nostrils by the gusts of wind coming off your fingertips as you type.

Scanning for coherence: results inconclusive. Did you have to bend over to reach for that one?

For the record; Gary Kalaci, Avneil Yashpal and I presented a written statement to the Lance at their request which dealt with the facts at hand with regards to a lack of oversight, transparency and good management practices at all levels. These apparently are facts that neither the author of the piece nor you can be bothered to examine in any great detail.

You're absolutely right, I can't be bothered. I just read the stories. You know who else can't be bothered? Everyone else on campus who just reads the stories without doing external research to make sure you were represented properly. I do not doubt for a moment that there is anyone on campus who knows more about transparency than you do.

With respect to the "No Dogs" story she didn't go so far as to misrepresent what I said in much the same manner as any of the "quotes.” It is more that she captured the gist of things and put words into quotation marks at times more representative of her awkward grasp on English than what I actually voiced out loud at the time I was in her office.

And this is where this gets really funny, Windsor. If you read my original post, nowhere did I mention the "No Dogs" story. Because last night, I didn't know it existed. I only discovered it after a colleague informed me that you were the one who complained to have it taken down [after Pub management assured us there were no such complaints, but that's a topic for another time]. But thanks for outing yourself.

So not only did you take up the torch on the issues with the UWSA rebranding, you lead an army of one down to the pub to have a sign removed. Was the sign in bad taste? Well when I think 'dog' I think promiscuous men, so I guess it's all subjective. But pray tell, on who's behalf were you acting on, your constituents' or your own? Clearly, calling you the 'Warrior of Virtue' was completely off the mark. What was I thinking?

While this has been fun, I am confident in my pissing abilities, so I won't be getting into a competitive match here. But I'll make Mr. Birchall a proposition. Should you ever be interviewed by Ms. Marar again, have her use the office MD recorder. That way, should you be dissatisfied with how the subsequent story is written, we can upload the audio here, and people can judge for themselves. Deal?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Now the year's begun

Believe me, I had no intention of posting again tonight, but then I noticed the mothership had been updated, and not only had it been updated, but it had the first story on UWSA sniping of the year, and that's just too much for me to pass up. Briefly:
  • Some on council are concerned that student reps aren't getting the necessary training to do their jobs.
  • The firm hired to handle the UWSA rebranding may have scored its $25K payday [even though it has no experience working with student unions] because Godfather Dale Coffin knew the company's Prez back in the day.
  • Ken Birchall is making early moves to be this council's Warrior of Virtue, riding in on his white winged horse and swinging his glowing sword to smite all injustice and incompetence he sees. Read his quotes, Windsor, I swear you can smell the self-righteousness!
    Good to see you again, Ken. I'm still here, by the way. New editor didn't fire me. But hey, who knows. Had there been a new editor, he or she very well may have.
Mind you, conflicts of interest and questionable fiscal expenditures are hardly on the same level of say, accusations of racism, but this crew's off to a good start.

I have hope for these kids, Windsor. Give them time, I don't think they'll disappoint.

Too much information

















While I did manage to get out of the house to buy a piece of art for the walls, plus I got a package of toys from a hookup in NY, I have been crippled by *ahem* "loose bowel" for a majority of the evening.

So while I would love to tell you about the level in Super Mario World that plays itself or the fetish DVDs for dudes who like to watch women crush model trains [a Lady Trail favourite] or how to fix up a fake sunroof for your car, but I'm afraid my throbbing arsehole will not permit me to.

Sleep well, Windsor. Pray I'm back to full strength in the morning.

The State of the World

Hey Windsor, Nice Rack!
It's the biggest thing to hit Daily News possible ever, it's UWindsor's new brand! Your man has two thoughts.
  1. Why the pea-soup green?
  2. It looks like boobs. I'm infantile, I know. But it looks like boobs to me.
The various releases tell me the website will be getting a visual overhaul, which you can see the start of on the home page. I hope it moves along quick, because that two-table layout they've had for years is really starting to look stank.

Many reasons to stop and think this week
It's a happy week all over as not only do we mark the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks [six years ago, can you believe it?] but the one year anniversary of the Dawson College shootings in Montreal.

Odd to think there are young people now who became globally aware in a world where the fallout of 9/11 has always been there.

One more nutjob silenced
Speaking of 9/11, one of the many conspiracies that has floated in the years since is that the towers fell in much too controlled a fashion, as if someone had planned it. Engineers in Britain have released a study refuting that idea.

They say the towers suffered from progressive collapse, where each floor went one at a time, pancaking down on each other, which would explain the manner in which they fell.

Briefly
Hear me, Ben and Jerry. I will not rest until I find this man.

Purse snatcher tackled and apprehended by onlookers, who discover purse snatcher to be a cop. Awkward.

Single tear: world's smartest parrot dies.

Full circle to my earlier comment: Utah schools not observing 9/11, so as not to upset children who don't remember it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Crotchety Old Man, Surprisingly Contented

After a wholly lacklustre affair last year, the MTV Video Music Awards were looking to do a little retooling for 2007, and their efforts, while a considerable improvement over 2006, was still lacking in a few areas.

While I'm not going to link to everything, all mentioned moments can be seen on MTV.ca right now. Click the 'segments' drop-down on the VMA channel.

THE GOOD
I thoroughly enjoyed the 'Room Party' vibe throughout the show, with their various guest appearances and collaborations. The Foo Fighters seemed to be the hot spot, with CeeLo demolishing the cover of Prince's 'Darling Nikki' and Serj from System of a Down delivering the best cover of 'Holiday in Cambodia' I may have ever heard.

I even enjoyed Fallout Boy's sets. While I loathe the song, having them back up Rihanna on 'Shut Up and Drive' was different and therefore cool. Lil Wayne [someone else I typically hate on] even made me LOL when he dropped that 'I don't really get this song neither, but I'ma figure it out like a palm reader' line during 'This Ain't a Scene'.
The tease currently is that extended replays of the event will have full room party performances, which is certainly something I'd waste more of my time for.

Ooooh, Kanye. You a dangerous man. Performing my favourite song from Graduation was a strong jab. Having Common drop by to do a couple tracks was a knockout punch. Would have been cooler if Lily Allen had been there to sing the hook, but alas.
Final word on the 50/Kanye thing, all I'll say is this. When performing 'In da Club' at the Timberland party, 50 looked like he was catching his breath every other line. Kanye pit all his shit, out of breath or not. That's all I got to say about that.

Really, the performances on the whole were pretty awesome. Alicia Keys tore it up, Linkin Park was fine for being Linkin Park, and while I haven't seen it, even the snootiest of bloggers have sung the praises of Chris Brown's dance number. There was honestly more live music than they could keep on the screen, and that's what the VMAs should be.

THE BAD
There was an actual awards show there. Honestly, I could have given a shit about the actual awards, and the predictable fashion they were handed out in did little to win me over. Take Female Artist. Fergie wins. Nelly Furtado doesn't. Ridiculous. Fergie was custom built in a lab to have a hit record. It didn't matter how stupid or nonsensical it was, everyone knew her record would be a hit, much to our cumulative chagrin. Last year, did anyone think Nelly's album would have kept her on the radio for a year? Or that she would close the show with Timbers Lake and Land? You're lying if you said yes.

Never mind 'Umbrella' getting Video of The Year. Really? A phoned in verse from Jigga, a haircut and some ballet shoes makes the best video of the year? No wonder Kanye was pissed.

All right. Let's get it out of the way. You want me to talk about Britney. At this point, is there really anything I could say that hasn't been covered? Lord I'll never understand why we still care about this woman, or why she refuses to just disappear or willingly join Kathy Griffin on the D-List, but we do, and she doesn't.

I think what made her weak ass performance so is that it was exactly what everyone feared it would be, and nobody wanted to see that. I think after the horrifying year the woman has had, we wanted her to surprise us, and she did not. As soon as that first shot was a close up of the weave tracks going down the back of her head, we should have known. And as the stunned, barely-performed 'performance' played out, nobody was shocked, just disappointed that it met our expectations. We should not be surprised the latest move has been a court order.

What confuses me is why the hell the producers booked the 'shocking' Sarah Silverman to go on right after. It's like after touting the opening number as 'the biggest and most important opening number you will see this year or ever in your life' they hedged their bets by having Silverman go out. 'Well, if she sucks, Sarah can make fun of her and we save face by looking like we knew it would suck in the first place. Just in case.''

As for Silverman, I need to get personal for a moment.

Sarah, honey. The first time I saw you perform it was at the roast of Carson Daly, I believe. You closed your set by thanking the audience and proclaiming, 'This is the best anniversary of my abortion ever.' That's funny. Your bits in 'The Aristocrats' were pretty good, too. Why have you been so wack every other time I've seen you? I want to like you, I've tried to continue liking you. I like the idea of a balls-out, fearless female comedian. But Paris jokes? You've been doing that for two years. Diminishing returns defined. Going after Brit-Brit was like kicking the handicapable kid after he falls out of his wheelchair before study hall. Poo jokes? Poo jokes?! With the mandatory Jewish crack to cap the night off? Has it really come to this?

You're better than this. You know it, I know it. Step your game up. And PS: Your show is damn near unwatchable. Which is the point, I realize, so I guess you should be congratulated on repelling any viewers.

So there you have it. While not without its flaws, a promising first step on retooling the flagship event of the network. Now someone tell me what the hell workout Dr. Dre's been on.

The State of the World

Around Campus
The hustle and bustle of the return to campus continues this week as not only does the 'Campus Lifeline' program start for the wee first years [first on Tuesday, acquainting you with important dates in September] but if you hurry Windsor, at 11.30 this morning there will be the unveiling of THE UNIVERSITY'S NEW MARKETING PLAN!

I know, take a breath if you need to, it's okay.

I trust Daily News will fill me in tomorrow on all the excitement, but for all you lucky folks who are available, go enjoy the free food served up by campus celebrities from noon til 1.30 as you enjoy the new logo! I can only assume if I was in town I would be included among the 'campus celebrities', right Windsor?

The Veil continues to elicit controversy
Nationally, the main story seems to be Elections Canada's decision to allow Muslim women to wear the veil at polling stations, essentially refusing to confirm their identities.

Harper told reporters in Sydney yesterday at the APEC summit he thinks Elections Canada has overstepped its authority.

"I have to say that it concerns me greatly because the role of Elections Canada is not to make its own laws, it's to put into place the laws that Parliament has passed," said Harper. "So, I hope they'll reconsider this decision, but in the meantime if that doesn't happen, Parliament will have to consider what actions it's going to take to make sure that its intentions are put into place."

On Britney
Not now. My annual VMA takedown comes later tonight.

Briefly
McDonald's employee oversalts burger, goes to jail.

British scientists further unlock the mysteries of how we read.

Not doing much for your generation: teenager sits in overturned car at bottom of ravine for a week before, uh, just climbing out himself.

Seventeen uses for tennis balls.

Google finally embraces the devil, may run video ads in search results.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The State of the World

Around town
Call me sentimental, Windsor but anyone who does this to an animal deserves to have their ass removed.

Staying local for a moment, it appears that a provincial investment will turn the long abandoned Grace Hospital site to a long term care facility. LV Concorde, the site's owners, aren't saying how much the investment is, but it's part of a $32.1 million deal to provide 448 more long-term care beds in Windsor.

So it looks like all you punks who have been breaking in and ripping off typewriters the last few years will have to find somewhere else to loot. Shouldn't be too hard.

Someone tell them I don't care
Why is the national media continuing to shove this Mulroney/Trudeau nonsense down my throat?
One, it was never any secret what Mulroney thought about Trudeau, nor was it any secret he thought he got the shaft over Meech Lake. Two, Trudeau's been dead for seven years. How is it a long standing feud when one of the participants is gone and buried? Three, Mulroney has a book to push. Do you think we can't spot a publicity grab when we see it? Is Canada so starved for political scandal that a former PM sniping at his deceased predecessor catches ink on every national page?

Shock and horror!
I'll admit it. I've seen High School Musical. It was on one Sunday afternoon and I left it on as I packed CDs for the move. I thought it was good and harmless, even if I couldn't understand the fanatical devotion it incites amongst the tween crowd.

Then this dropped. Oops. Is there anything Disney hates more than having its squeakiness tarnished? Not that I can think of. At any rate, this "scandal" may have cost her the HSM gig from here on out, but that's just speculation. Who knows, maybe that was all part of the plan? Young actress fearful of being pigeonholed by Disney career plants a little self sabotage to get out of it? Stranger things have happened.

Briefly
Bush tells Australian PM the US is "kicking ass" in Iraq. He actually said that.

Didn't they already deal with this last year?: Potter 'vibrating broomstick' toy big hit with the ladies, promptly recalled.

First the Syrians and the Israelis, now the British and the Russians. Somebody needs to settle down around here.

If there's anything funnier [in a sad way] than a drunken priest article, I don't know what it is.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Here and There

Not to make it sound like I suffered in Kingston, but coming from the pirated American satellite of my parents, I found Cogeco digital cable a little lacking. My beloved VH1 and G4 were taken from me, leaving me with at best, Canadian IFC and The White Rapper Show on Muchmoremusic.

Now we have Rogers, since Rogers has a stranglehold on the communications industry in the GTA, and while I still miss my VH1, I have G4 again, and find it...lacking.

For those not in the know, G4 is the tech/gear/gaming/nerd culture network. I used to live for Attack of the Show a couple years ago and still enjoy what I've seen recently, but the rest of the network and most of the hosts can take the plunge as far as I'm concerned.

When was it decided that the common factor for any program trying to be cool while dealing with tech or gaming or comics should be snark? Eff, I can't even watch XPlay anymore, Sessler and Webb are both so frigging miserable, and they give every game a 3/5 anyway so what's the point? Like, I know Webb's supposed to be all sex-ay for the fanboys cause she's a skinny girl who knows her way around a 360, but her onscreen personality is way too cooler-than-thou. Hey, G4 Powers That Be: your viewers already feel like losers when watching the rest of the dial, give 'em a damn break on the one channel that's for them.

Honestly, every show on that network is nothing but jerks and a-holes. XPlay, the IT Crowd, Code Monkeys, everyone's an a-hole! Except for Pereira. I like that dude.

You know what makes Adult Swim so good? The fact that it only runs for a few hours a night, not all day every day. Learn from them, G4.

Though occasionally they do deliver, like when they gave me this video highlighting all the wonderful crap that the internets has given us. Through song!



How many did you remember?

The State of the World

All over but the shouting
The Star reports the university has come to an agreement with CUPE union reps that will go before members for ratification votes later today and over the weekend.

The deals are for three years and include job security language and salary increases. The university also backed off on a plan to reduce benefits.

Go Saints!
While the numbers aren't in for Windsor yet, your colleagues at St. Clair College are enjoying record first-year enrolment numbers, up about 11 per cent at 3,850 full time students.

College reps attribute the jump to emplyers' increasing need for smarts and skills in potential employees. And that shiny new downtown campus probably isn't hurting matters either.

Support democracy, keep your head uncovered
I don't think I've ever rolled my eyes as hard as I did when I first heard of the rule in some parts of the UK banning hoodies in schools because they were "intimidating." I remember the story being a big part of the press on UK rapper Lady Sovereign's early attempts to crack America, because she cut a few tracks defending the right to wear hoodies. Like honestly, if that's the biggest problem you've got...

Apparently, it was also the biggest problem Halifax had. An area school had adopted the rule to prevent students from dodging on-site security cameras. After much brouhahah, the rule has been revoked, but only if the hoods are worn down. I'm a go scare some old ladies at the train station as soon as I'm done here.

Briefly
Boston Globe columnist: "Though outrage over "racism" is ever fashionable, African-Americans have long had far less to fear from the violence of racist whites than from the mayhem of the black underclass."

Son of a bitch: Syria 'fires on Israeli warplanes'.

From the Wall Street Journal: The China lead paint fiasco has less to do with safety standards and protecting the children, and more to do with China's growing importance on the global economic stage.

When stealing a pot plant from the back of a truck, it's a good idea to ensure the truck does not belong to the local State DEA unit.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This and That

As a rule, I'm generally not one of those iFreaks who are so far up Steve Jobs' ass they'd blindly lap up every white shiny item to get tossed into the food dish. But I am only mortal, Windsor.

So the announcement of this has made me a little stiff in the party pack.

Essentially an iPhone without the phone, the iPod Touch redesigns the classic mp3 player with a full touchscreen, WiFi web browsing, video capabilities and the addition of a wireless iTunes music store. Download albums while riding the bus and listen to them immediately. Next time you sync the thing with your computer, the newly downloaded tracks get added to your library. At $299 for an 8GB model, anyone who wants to buy one for me is free to do so.

Or, barring that, a paltry 80GB iPod Classic with enough room for 20,000 songs will suffice nicely. Only $249.

In other news, the new Kanye album finally leaked online, which means I heard a *cough* "preview copy" earlier today. Hard to say how I feel about it. There's a lot of synths from top to bottom, and it may not have enough party tracks to really win people over. Plus, that 'I love you, Jay-Z' song that closes the album is a little too....much, for my tastes. Without even listening to 50's album I can tell you that Kanye's will be more interesting, but is that enough to sell more units? Probably not. Alls I know is Mr. West got me to sing enthusiastically along with T-Pain, which is something I never thought would happen.

In conclusion, flossing a cat.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Brave New World





















I never thought I would see it my lifetime. I mean, you hope, nay, dream about such a dayday, but I don't think you ever honestly believe it could happen.

But it has.

The UWSA has updated its website. With meeting minutes and everything. God in heaven, a new day has dawned.

And who do we have to thank for this new era? Some graphic design firm in Alberta. The underworked local industry thanks you for putting money back into the community, kids.

Origins: A Brief Reintroduction

Ain't it grand, Windsor? Another year filled with hope and optimism and the honestly held belief that this year, dammit, will be the one where you grow up, drink less and devote the energies necessary to live up to your potential.

And friends, I'll be here to celebrate your triumphs and mock your failures. But some of you coming to campus might not know the first thing about me. Just who the hell do I think I am?

Well, if you're too lazy to read the article on this little project that ran on the mothership, or to read my profile by clicking to the right, I'll explain it for you briefly.

My name is Jordan Ferguson, I am an alumnus of both the University of Windsor [English] and St. Clair College [Journalism and New Media]. In 2004 I was hired by The Lance to take over as News Editor. During my tenure in that job we began flirting with a number of new media projects like podcasts and blogs, all of which I played a feature role in, to some degree or another. The powers that be liked the idea of having a blog that ran all the time, so I got shuffled to the "Online Editor" position, which basically means I hunt out and create content, that you, the UWindsor student, might find interesting.

Sometimes that's commentary on school policies or local politics, sometimes that's linkfarming some fun stories of the day, sometimes that's original videos we at The Lance have produced. You'll never know what you'll find in this space, because I don't know what I'll put in this space until I sit down to do it.

You get updates twice a day, maybe more if I'm super productive. The morning is typically newsy, with the evening edition more lighter or nerdier fare. As for the title, it refers to a column I wrote in the paper under the pseudonym "The Paper Trail", because really, everyone wants to channel their inner Hunter Thompson as much as possible. If you're ever bored, go down to the office and read some of the old pieces. Or just read my successor, The Paper Cut, every week. She's easily raised the [admittedly low] bar I set.

I have a habit of arrogance and inconsideration. I am exceedingly hard on student government and have little faith in their ability to exact real change, but I love to watch them try. I hope to keep optimistic about my home city, but now that I've been gone [after a year in Kingston and now settled in Toronto] I find my resolve weakening with every visit home. This place is ostensibly a one man show, but the mail lines are always open for guest contributions, even though no one ever takes me up on it. Commenting is still open, I'd appreciate you not be a jackhole and sign some sort of name to it.

Anonymous comments are still permitted, but don't expect anyone to play nice with you should you choose that route. I've been doing this in some form or another since '99, trust me, you got nothing new. I know I'm fat, I know I'm bald, I know no one cares about designer toys or Asian movies, I know I spelled that word wrong, I know my logic is flawed. You know I don't care.

And when things get text heavy, the cats come out.



















Keep all that in mind, and year two should progress nicely. Learn to love it, learn to live with it.

So nice to meet you and good to see you again, Windsor. I'm The Paper Trail.