Saturday, May 31, 2003

When imperialism is swell

CaNN prints objections to the new Anglican "so marriage-like that it might as well be a marriage" gay relationship blessing in British Columbia's New Westminster diocese, pushed forward by the diocese's bishop, Michael Ingham.

The concerns are raised by the Anglican primate of Nigeria, Peter Akinola. The link goes to the full letter, but here's one section of his letter that I thought was well put:

But there is also a further context of which I must speak, painful though it is. May of us from the two-thirds world feel that the global north still seeks to retain its disproportionate power and influence in our Church just as in the world. It is significant that those dioceses most tempted to indulge themselves with unilateral actions, taken without consulting the wider Communion, seem so often to be among those materially most advantaged and to be in the global north.

Should this not occasion reflection? Do we not see here, in the ready assertion of superior wisdom, a new imperialism?

....our Communion has been jettisoned. Furthermore, failure to ensure strict compliance with resolutions duly passed at our meetings clearly shows that Bishop Ingham and his diocese see no value in being accountable to anybody.

The Primate may be thinking that Imperialism is seen as quite all right when liberals, their churches, and the other world organizations bodies that they control, use it on those who do not share their views. Empowering the Third World, in the minds of some, should only go so far.

It could be worse

Why do so many politicians these days remind me of Eddie Haskell?

I would be a rotten politician. I find it hard to BS. Occupational hazard, I guess. :)
The Canadian right...united while you wait

For the skinny on the Tory leadership convention...visit my friend Colby, who is commenting on the fly as he sits in front of his TV today. Lots of gems like these:

....Man, if I hear one more Conservative talk about the CPR as though he, his own self, had been out there driving the spikes alongside the Chinese navvies, I'm going to lose control of my bowels.

PS.... The Hiebert scheme

I am looking at the convention for a few minutes as they are waiting for the results of the first ballot. I am annoyed by the comments of Senator LeBreton and others to the effect that they have all these voters who would vote for an orangutang as long as it was running for the *Progressive* Conservative party. (Well no, I'm oversimplifying. How they put it was "we have a great brand name, our most holy and sacred party constitution says we have to run in all the ridings, etc.")

I have come up with a scheme, which will probably turn out to be like one of Baldrick's "cunning plans" from Blackadder. It might spur some ideas of your own, though.

It's time, I believe, for the Canadian Alliance to tell the Tories to fish or cut bait.

It's generally thought that Paul Martin will win, and the Liberals will comfortably win, the next Canadian election. So, the Alliance should break the seats into two categories: those where the Tories finished first in the last election and those where the Alliance finished first.

Mr. Harper should then announce that the Alliance will not run in any riding where the Tories came first (amongst the right parties) in 2000. He should say something to the effect of "We're tired of being blamed for splitting the right, we're giving the Tories a free run in the seats the did better in last time."

The Tories won't be able to complain. They will get to run in all 301 ridings, while the Alliance (off the top of my head) will run in roughly half. If the Tories can only win about 10 or fewer seats when they have a clear run in about 120-180 seats with no Alliance candidates, it should demonstrate that they can't come back. The Alliance can then say "Hey, we basically unsplit the right for one election, but nothing happened. This proves that Canadians believe that it's the Tory brand and positions that's messed up, not ours. So, we are going to revert to our plan to run everywhere and allow all Canadians to vote for us if they want to next time."

I know that many people, have suggested that the Alliance run only in the West. However, while this idea shows promise, I wonder whether this will turn the Alliance into a Canadian version of Australia's National Party.

From my limited understanding, the Aussie equivalent of the Tories, John Howard's Liberals, controls the cities and suburbs, while the Nats control the rural areas. My concern with this sort of set up is that the Australian social conservatives living in cities always have to settle for the Liberal who is running in their riding and the rural "socially liberal" conservatives have to settle for the Nats. As a Canadian who has often lived in the "wrong riding" according to this scenario, I am sensitive to this sort of thing.

Perhaps Alliance experts should talk to the Nationals in Australia, and the Bavarian splinter party that supports the Christian Democrats in Germany and get a good perspective on whether being the second place conservative party, on purpose, is all that great. It may indeed be a good idea, but I would like to know how that works out in practice before endorsing it myself.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Capitalists in space

Is there anything that free enterprise can't do? Dot com boffin Elon Musk is funding a project to build low cause launching platforms for space vehicles. SpaceX's eventual goal? The Economist reports that they are trying for Mars.
Ladies' problem

I think I am lucky to be a guy.I'm an actress...I play a part reports on another lady's "eyebrow mishap".

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Don't open the door, Jason's hiding there!

You'd be in Sleepaway Camp

Which Horror Movie Would You Be The Victim In?
brought to you by

And now, our salute to Jaws

From AP...Brazil deletes violent scenes from sychronized swimming routine:

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - The Brazilian women's synchronized swimming team will remove scenes of violence from an unusual routine it planned for the upcoming Pan American Games, sports officials said Wednesday.

Published photos of the team's rehearsal showed the nine swimmers using their hands to represent guns and covering their faces during a simulated shootout. The music reportedly included the sounds of gunshots and cries of wounded victims.....

What's next? A salute to Jaws? "Maria, you have to wear the swimming cap with the simulated shark dorsal fin. Elena is sick today..."

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

"Number 4...offer sexual favours to Instapundit...for daily linkage"

Right We Are has posted a list of tongue-in-cheek ideas that they were planning to use to drive up their number of hits. Their number 1 suggestion, which I am too polite to mention, will get them listed on the main list at Fark for sure.

I'd been meaning to put them on my permalinks, so here is an excuse to do so. Purely because I am a gentleman and nice guy, of course. I liked their weblog even before they joked about being the Republican Girls Gone Wild.

Why didn't I know any young conservative ladies like these when I was in college?
A "most" promising space first for Canada

On June 30, Canada's first space telescope will be launched. The suitcase sized satellite, MOST, will have a small telescope that will use the variations in starlight to answer questions like these:

Can we understand our Sun in the context of other stars? By putting a birthdate on the oldest stars in the solar neighbourhood, can we set a limit on the age of the Universe? How do strong magnetic fields affect the physics of other stars and our own Sun? What are mysterious planets around other stars really like? How did the atoms which make up our planet and our very bodies escape from stars in the first place?

Here's an introduction to the project from the University of B.C.'s website on the space telescope. Sorry, the Province's recent story on MOST, which will be launched into space June 30 on an old Russian ICBM, is not online.

"I just neutered the cat. Now he's French"

One of many redneckily conservative T-shirts at

Several of these are pro-war-on-Iraq, so I think paleoconservatives should do some shirts too. "A Republic, not an Empire", a slogan that old-time conservatives such as Garet Garrett could have coined, might be a good slogan for them.

If anyone cares to suggest some good liberal T-shirt sites...that *I* find amusing too...I'll be happy to mention them as well. My easily decipherable e-mail is at left.
Horseshoes up his butt

Frane Selak, an elderly Croatian music teacher, has survived many plane, train, car and bus crashes according to this story. Amongst his many escapes, he says that he survived when a plane crashed in 1963, killing 17, because he had been sucked out the rear doors of the plane and, landed, unconscious, in a haystack. Another time, he survived when a train he was on plunged off into a river.

This is a wire service story, so I hope that the original source has official reports, etc., to back this up. Sorry, I don't read Croatian and thus can't confirm this for you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

When cows have bad hair days

Two teens from Prince Edward Island have won top prize at the Canadawide Science fair for their study of how bad and ornery cows have certain types of hair patterns on their heads.

You may laugh, but their findings could help farmers by helping them to buy and breed better animals. Ornery cows, other scientists have found, have a correlation between what pattern of hair they have and how much milk they give.
This link will make you happy. Very happy indeed.

You did know that the Looney Tunes website has a selection of new Internet-only cartoons that you can watch, didn't you? You may enjoy them here.

Monday, May 26, 2003

It's Ted TV!

Those of you who get the Miracle Channel may be interested to know that Ted Byfield, noted conservative Canadian newsman, will be talking about his current project, a massive multi-volume history of Christianity. He's on the LifeLine show Tuesday evening and Wednesday during the day. Some details about the show, including times, are here.

Ted will likely be riffing on some of the neat historical facts that his researchers have been learning as they have been conducting their research.
One down, so many to go

The Boston Globe is reporting that the International Church of Christ (aka "The Boston Movement"), a cultish movement of alleged Christians that has bedeviled college campuses across North America seems to be imploding after leader Thomas "Kip" McKean was forced to recently step down.
Why Latimer and Ridley would probably be bloggers

Classical Anglican Net News (CaNN) offers some good reasons why conservative Christians are using weblogging and other new media to good effect.
Make your cat look like Anne of Green Gables

I know that the Japanese love Anne of Green Gables, but this is just nuts.

The Japanese company Pet Office is also happy to sell your cat little chicken, frog or sailor outfits at their website here.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Dog: North Vancouver's second official language?

Check out this sign from a pier in North Vancouver, which gives "curb your dog" directions in dog barks.

I have seen these signs before, so it's not a Photoshop jape.
Should being "pro-Canadian" mean always being "pro-American"?

"It's time for the Canadian Alliance and the rest of the Canadian right to stop worrying about what's best for America. Its deadliest insult should not be 'anti-American'" but 'anti-Canadian.'" argues my friend Kevin Michael Grace in a short CBC Radio opinion piece that you may read and listen to here.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

The end of Saturday morning cartoons

Animation World Magazine explains why the traditional Saturday morning of cartoons has gone the way of the dodo bird.

The reasons why are important, the feature notes, as they have helped kill nighttime family programming too.
Jayson Blair and stupidity by committee

Editor Charles Stough explains the groupthink idiocy that can allow "journalists" like Blair to do what they do:

....For the Times is unfortunately not the only paper where an anointed doofus gets less scrutiny than most reporters. The Times is a sadder case because one assumes that its managers have been excellent reporters; but what of other papers where managers happen by bozo explosion, one committee lizard hiring the next one, until finally the big decisions rest with posers who don't know the bus barn from the Board of Education.
Such managers aren't equipped to spot incongruities of fiction-writing reporters, assuming that management wants to....

There's more here, and it's all good.
The boob tube

There's a neat website, TVparty!, promoting a book of the same name, which has several interesting behind-the-scenes and tribute articles about TV programs. Some interesting looking ones are about the unseen pilot episode of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, the two shows that Andy Griffith made in the early 1970s, and a tribute page about the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling TV show of the 1980s.

Thanks to Kathy Shaidle for spotting it.
The Great One

Colby makes a good case that Wayne Gretzky may be having more of an impact on hockey now than when he was still playing.

Friday, May 23, 2003

There she is, the virtual Miss Germany...

German university scientists have displayed a series of tests at Beautycheck, which show that the growing move towards computer-fixed media portrayals of models and movie stars is a bit frightening from a social standpoint.

Their website, which is in English, explains in brief:

All this shows that we judge people and ourselves on a totally unrealistic basis. We compare ourselves with the most beautiful faces of the world which seem to be omnipresent in the media. They are integral parts in movies, in music video-clips, in commercials, they are on the title pages of magazines, on posters and so on. But the most absurd thing is that these “natural” faces the way they are depicted do not exist in reality either. Most of them are at least partially "artificial". Their digital images are increasingly optimized by modern image processing software. By doing so faces are generated with attributes that are unreachable for even the most famous super models.

What I found the most surprising was their Virtual Miss Germany test page (which you will find in their links at the left when you follow the link above.) They did a computerized composite of all the 22 contestants in the 2002 Miss Germany contest, who were asked to pose with neutral expressions, no makeup and hair pinned back. They then had test subjects compare the composite, whom I will call "Miss Fotoschoppisch", to a regular but blah headshot of the winner of the real contest, Miss Berlin. "Miss Fotoschoppisch" won hands down!


Amazing two-headed turtle found

No, it's not a link from the Weekly World News. It really happened. A nine year old girl found a little turtle with two heads in her back yard.

The link, by the way, includes a close-up photo of the two headed turtle.
Go Indians!

I'm happy to note that The Dartmouth Review, the United States' most prominent conservative student newspaper, has a weblog:The Inner Office.

I used to subscribe to the newspaper, back in the day, so a link is worth doing. But, my fave writer amongst the conservative student papers I read back then was a humour columnist, whose name escapes me, for the Northwestern Review at Northwestern University.

Fun site of the afternoon

Have you ever wondered what odd things people sell on the internet. Who Would Buy That? is a family-friendly website devoted to odd things you can buy online, such as a giant red cardinal parade float that was recently sold through eBay or Mao's little red book set to music on a record.
Movin' on a deluxe apartment in the sky

Tim Blair's fans might be interested to know that he has moved his weblog.
The fine will be 25 carrots

In England, reports the BBC, a rabbit hutch, with a rabbit inside, was given a parking ticket for being parked incorrectly.

A BBC wag captions a picture of the rabbit: "The unnamed rabbit is considering an appeal."

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Pottsville Maroons: "We wuz robbed!"

It's amazing what grievances get appealed these days. In order to add something to their anniversary celebrations, the town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania is asking that the National Football League award their old NFL team, the Pottsville Maroons, the 1925 NFL championship.

The link goes to the local paper's story which, I was suprised to read, notes that the governor of Pennsylania, Ed Rendell, personally lobbied an NFL committee on the issue. Even more amazingly, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has appointed a three person committee to investigate the issue, and to report back on whether the team's punishment was too harsh.

(Back in 1925, they had no NFL Championship game, so the team with the best record got the championship. Then commissioner Joe Carr ruled that the Maroons, who finished first, should not get the championship because they played a game in Philadelphia. This was an issue because the NFL rules at the time are said to have banned teams from playing home games in areas that would take away revenue from a local NFL team, in this case the Frankford Yellow Jackets. Frankford is now part of Philadelphia.)

I think that the NFL should wash its hands of this. Hopefully, that's what they will do. This fight should have taken place in 1926, when you could have had a more accurate reading of how the people who were running the NFL then thought of this matter.

At any rate, it will be interesting to read Sports Illustrated's take on this story.
Underneath the big W

Neon sign fans may be pleased to know that the old spinning W on the top of the old Woodward's building in Vancouver is going to be turned on again.

For those who you who don't hail from Vancouver, Woodward's was a small chain of B.C. department stores known for its one-price sales and an advertising jingle ("$1.49 day, Woodward's, $1.49 day, Tuesday."). The Woodward's store on Hastings St. was a local landmark because at the top of the store there was a small tower with a giant revolving W. When the W was turned on, you could see it halfway across the city.

Woodward's went bankrupt in 1993, and ever since then the old store building has been a source of wrangling for years as the activists living in the neighbourhood want the entire building to be turned into social housing (they have frustrated several efforts by private owners of the building--the city of Vancouver owns it now--to put in a mix of housing and office space).

Donors have paid $25,000 to have the W lit for a year, as a sign of hope for the neighbourhood (which is Vancouver's skid road). It's being relit for the first time tonight.
Bill Cosby routine: "Hey druggist, give me some Midol. And it's for me!"

April Winchell's idea for a new talent show: American Midol.

Play the Popdex Game!

Popdex has a new game on their website:The Popdex Game (Beta)...where you can guess which links will become popular on their search engine which ranks the most popular links.
No song about this Spam

PC World, reporting that US federal politicians are becoming annoyed with growing amounts of Internet spam, writes that Congress is considering a very very small tax on all e-mail to deal with the problem.

Anything that can be taxed has to be tracked and any thing that can be tracked can be monitored by government, so privacy advocates should watch this idea carefully.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Grocery store preserved for 50 years

The Times has an intriguing story about a small corner grocery in the small which closed in the early 1950s. All the perishables were tossed but everything else was locked up tight and never saw the light of day for 50 years. Now, the people who inherited the former store--which was sort of a general store and had everything--recently sold all the as-new 50 year old stuff to collectors to raise money for charity. The very interesting story notes that there is all sorts of cool things in there, such as a never used record player and some rare product posters:

They range from the mundane — bars of soap and packs of cigarettes — to an American Flyer miniature train set with a wind-up locomotive, a souvenir scorecard from the 1929 World Series and an antique Coca-Cola display still in its wrapper.

I love flea markets and thrift stores, so I would have enjoyed looking in the store and picking up a few things. At 1950s prices, of course.

I could use a new Victrola.
Proud Mary

Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich is perturbed that her first name, Mary, has become a byword for boring women of a certain age who all wear stereotypical clothes.

One day, she writes, all the Brittneys of the world will be a certain age too.
How not to weblog

Dawn Olson, on why is it important to "blog with your heart and not your ass" here.

Lots of thoughful suggestions on how not to let your weblog take over your life like the green pods they kept finding in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Dilbert's Wally is editor for a day

From the Wall Street Journal: How to Fake A Hard Day at the Office.

The article notes that you can seem to do lots of stuff in your office by using the latest generation of office accessories while far away. It features a boss who was able to run his trucking company while sitting on the beach in Mexico, drinking pina coladas.

Thanks to Buttafly.
Homer Simpson: "Wow, I feel like a kid in some kind of store!"

Tim Blair writes that he is a major source of referrals to the neat website

I wonder why this has happened. Are there conservative toys there, that Mr. Blair linked to once? Do they sell Australian toys?

It's an interesting mystery. I hope that Mr. Blair can shed some light on this for us.
Good may need it

Over the weekend, computer programmers met in Calgary in order to try to create a hack proof program. Here's the story.

I would suspect that a hack-proof program or system is probably impossible...but it never hurts to try.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I think I'm a clone now

The busy Dave Stevens lays out some solid reasons why he needs clones yesterday.

I guess Dave has never seen the movie Multiplicity.

Update: Dave argues that as long as he doesn't clone Michael Keaton, he should be okay
Shots fired

Today, Kevin Steel nonchalantly starts a post with "....Yesterday was interesting enough. There were shots fired right in front of my home.... He has a link to a news story about what happened, which begins:

EDMONTON - A police officer fired several shots Sunday afternoon at a fleeing truck that had slammed into several vehicles at a downtown intersection, injuring two women....

Monday, May 19, 2003

What would Jesus joke?

The Fellowship of Merry Christians says that God likes humour and laughing. Here's one of the many pages on their website that correctly implies that God's people have funnybones.
Why Revelstoke doesn't have Sunshine Girls

David Black's company has bought the Revelstoke Times Review. What's intriguing about this, as reported in a Times Review story and column on the purchase, is that it offers the paper an opportunity to complain about the Sun tabloid chain, their previous owners.

In case the link dies, here's what editor David Rooney wrote about the Sun tabloid chain's ideas:

....For starters, I can tell you that while you may not notice any immediate changes the newspaper's appearance will soon be altered as we revert to the larger format that characterized us prior to last January.

That's when executives working for our former owner convinced their superiors that compressing newspapers into a much smaller format was a good thing.

That's not something I liked or agreed with, but what can you do when the bosses get goofy ideas and tell you to get with the program?

He continues:

There are two other major points in favour of this shift in ownership.

The first is the fact that Black Press Ltd. is a British Columbia-based company — not a mega-corporation based in far-off Quebec whose editors working with the lurid Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto Sun tabloids were beginning to send us increasing amounts of editorial suggestions and lists of Sun stories we could use — if we wanted them....


Have a cow, man

Thanks to a foreign website, you can have Bart Simpson write your phrase on a chalkboard just as he does in the opening credits of The Simpsons. Just follow the directions, in English, here.
For all your Sea Monkey and X-Ray Glasses needs

Here's Steve Conley's tribute to the comic book ads of the past.

Lots of pictures, and a page which records reader's tales of their own experiences ordering from comic book ads when they were kids.

A question from me...did anyone in the United States actually read Grit? That newspaper promised lots of cool stuff to those kids who shopped their paper around.

Remember those sets of army men that were sold on the back of comics in those garish colour ads?. Imagine pitting a Revolutionary Army versus a World War Two army....

Sunday, May 18, 2003

The biggest purse in the universe!

Secret Agent Josephine has just decided to dump her big bag in favor of a small purse. She has before and after pictures and descriptions.

I don't carry a purse, but I think that my mother may certainly relate to her. Mom used to carry a huge purse, with enough stuff in it to supply a small army division. I was always amazed at what she had in there.

Be a Berean when you e-mail.

A Scripps-Howard News Service story advises that Christians can be a susceptible to passing along religious urban legends by e-mail. The story mentions Truth Miners, a Christian website that tries to assess the veracity of what Christians are chatting about.

I'm pleasantly surprised that Fark, of all websites, posted this link too. Good for them.
Do you get enough hate mail?

If you are a conservative writer or weblogger, it may interest you to know that you can generate your own hate mail using this handy computer tool.

The Magic Liberal Eight ball (suitable for all issues) that Buttafly refers to in the above link has been removed from her main site...but you can find it again by clicking on this cached version from Google. The Google cache version of the Liberal Magic 8 Ball seems to still work fine.

What does the Liberal Magic 8 Ball think of my post? Shake Shake Shake..."You're a Fascist!"

Witty stuff... :)

Saturday, May 17, 2003

In 2002, Rick's Miscellany is created!

The Lemon's History Of The Internet.

It's gotta be's on the 'net after all. :)
Here there be hampsters!

One poor one's tale: How Hampsterdance Stole My Soul.

(I agree that the old Hampsterdance page was more fun, but unlike this person I managed to turn back and save myself in time.)
One way to deal with Spam

Happy Fun Pundit must be raking in the dough after their recent Star Trek post. As you will see in the linked post, they have decided not to answer any Nigerian spam letter mentioning figures of less than $45 million.

Friday, May 16, 2003

A rowdy college frat house could sack Canada

For some reason the online version of the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper, which featured a pair of ladies who had sectioned off part of a local beach to allow a seal to shed its skin, didn't see fit to post this interview with a Canadian Armed Forces officer who is about to step down:

You have to pick your battles when you can seat your entire army in a hockey
arena and still have seats to spare, says one of Canada's top soldiers.

The Corel Centre -- where the Ottawa Senators play -- accommodates 18,500
people, Maj.-Gen. Cameron Ross said Thursday.

"That is the size of the Canadian army. You can put the Canadian army in the
Corel Centre," Ross told the Times Colonist editorial board.

"Its field force is about 12,000. (The field force is the trigger pullers,
the men and women with the bayonets.) So there's only so much we can do
around the world to resolve peace with a hockey rink full of soldiers."....

This is scary news, but not surprising given how federal politicians have trimmed the forces over the years. You can't defend a country as large as Canada with only 12,000's just nuts.

Good thing we live next to the United States. Oh sorry, I forgot that we are supposed to dislike them. Never mind.

Mama mia!

The Calgary Herald is reporting that a Calgarian, Timothy Snell, is a finalist on the Italian knock off of American Idol.

To follow his bid to become, an Italian Idol, you may look at the show's website here. This is their site about him. Both are in Italian, but there are lots of pictures available.
Lite Brite!

Here's an Internet page that allows you to use your computer to simulate a Lite Brite toy!

Thanks to Venomous Kate.
Happy post!

Since I helped take care of an ewe and her lamb when I was younger, I've thought that sheep are neat animals. Here's a cute picture of two playing lambs. It's worth e-mailing!

This is one of the zillions of lambs pictures spotted by the Google Image Search for "lambs".

I don't know why an information site about Scotland used this picture of two lambs to illustrate their answer to the FAQ:

Q. Are there any dangerous animals or creepy crawlies in Scotland?

(I suspect the site is just trying to imply "No" by their choice of pictures...unless all Scottish lambs carry cricket bats with them so they can sneak up to you, pop you on the head and steal your deep-fried Mars Bars--a Glaswegan delicacy you can make at home.)

Blog title of the day

Its...Trailer Park Girl!

She just *lives* in an RV park though. I doubt that you would ever see her on Jerry Springer.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Anti-Idiotarians of the world, unite!

I'm happy to note Tim Blair's mention of my blog, amongst several others:

SEVERAL BLOGS worthy of note that I have not thus far noted ... La Petite Claudine, of which I understand not a word, although the pictures rock; Rick's Miscellany, which features quality miscellany from, er, Rick; Electric Venom, which especially rewards the link-hitting, background-digging reader; and Bill Cimino's Bloviating Inanities, which shortly will be prosecuted for insufficient inanities under the trade protection act.
posted by Tim Blair at 4:38 AM

Thanks, Mr. Blair!

By the way, while I am out and about, there are often lots of thoughtful things to read on Mr. Blairs' blog. (Psst...his blog is always good. That's why I have him in my links at left.)

Fulfill the superhero five year plan!
Overfulfill the superhero five year plan!

DC Comics has just released Superman: Red Son, the first of an alternative universe trilogy in which Superman landed on a Stalin-era collective farm. The National Post reports that Superman, in this series, helps the Soviets to conquer the world.

The writer of the above story is correct that Superman writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster did have Superman battle evil businessmen and war profiteers early in his lifetime. However, this idea sits wrongly for me. It seems so Bizarro in so many ways.

Let me cite two for now:

1. All the arts were heavily censored in the Stalinist era. Their Supermen were the Stakhanovite shock workers with their faked production totals. Art was almost always supposed to be subservient to politics, so a character like Superman would probably never have surfaced.

2. I doubt that two artists of Jewish heritage (Siegel and Shuster) would appreciate the idea that their creation could ever be said, even theoretically, to be Stalinist, given that Stalin himself was so anti-Semitic.

The idea of the comic is interesting but I think it would be fair to say that Superman would be, by definition, have to be anti-Stalinist.

Shoplifters give security guard chasing them a ride in their getaway car

Yes, it really happened, according to this Langley Advance News story.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

New words alert

It might interest you to know that The Word Spy, a website that tracks the development and use of brand new words, is put together by another Canadian, Paul McFedries!

Another interesting site for you to look at.
Send her some hits!

You might be interested in Allison Kaplan Sommer's weblog. She's a blogger in Israel and a former reporter for the Jerusalem Post. Enjoy...while I get caught up on a few things.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

There must be lots of Oreo pushers in California...

Lawsuit seeks to ban sale of Oreos to children in California
Happy Fun hits

Happy Fun Pundit has a problem. HFP wrote a funny post about why the Star Trek universe of the future is quite screwy, if you think about it.

Instapundit, and other bloggers, suspected that HFP was going out of its way to get hits by writing that post. In response, they wrote a funny post about other things they could post on to get hostile hits.
A symphony of sighs

I'm very happy to see that my friend Kevin Michael Grace is posting again, but I do hope that he gets some happy news soon.
Woo Hoo!

One of the funny news story links that I have submitted has made the main Fark page. It's the link at the top here.

I've been trying for a while, so it's neat to see.

Readers of Rick's Miscellany, however, learned of the Tesco supermarket survey, which found that British men claimed to be better than women at steering shopping carts, a few hours ago.
Hockey thoughts

Colby has convinced me that a move to Olympic-sized ice would probably be bad for the NHL. His thinking through of the idea is worth reading. (Now that I have read Colby's thoughts, I would prefer that if---and I say if--the idea is tried, that it be done in some AHL franchise for a year.) Nevertheless, for the reasons that Colby outlines, making the ice bigger would seem like a bad idea.

Colby also has a brief post-mortem on the seppuku of the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL playoffs. I'm still grumbling about the Canucks' recent exit at the hands of the Minnesota Wild. Yes, Dan Cloutier let in some bad goals, but if you asked me, the Canucks' failings in the playoffs were probably due to a lack of hard work and discipline.

It pains me to say this, but this year's Wild reminds me of the 1982 Canucks. That edition of the Canucks wasn't expected to do much, but rode some puck luck to the final. I remember that they always seemed to outwork their opponents with good forechecking and backchecking. Yes, the '82 Canucks beat every team that they should have beaten. Yes, the Canucks lucked out when the Oilers were eliminated in the first round of that playoffs. But, nevertheless, everyone on the 1982 squad worked together, unlike this edition of the Canucks. So many times on TV replays I would see the current Canucks fail to backcheck, trying to use their sticks when a check would be more appropriate.

If I were Canucks coach Mark Crawford, I would try to come up with a better defensive scheme. Also, he had to have known that during the playoffs the sometimes lax checking that the Canucks dined out on during the regular season would be tightened up considerably, so alternate techniques of springing the offense should haven been tested in the regular seaon.

I would suspect that the play of the Sedins-Linden line supports what I say. Often they were better than the Morrison-Bertuzzi-Naslund line and it seemed that they worked a lot harder in forechecking and backchecking than the Canucks top line. Perhaps this is because the Wild lines that the Sedins line faced were that much worse, but rolling video would pinpoint what both these lines did effectively.


Update: Colby makes a salient point on my observations above:

He lets Dan Cloutier off the hook way too easy, I'm afraid: yeah, he let in "some" bad goals, if by "some" you mean about 12-18 over the seven games.

Well, if I were Cloutier, I would consider myself lucky to be offered another contract this summer. However, I think that he only deserves 30-40 per cent of the blame for the Canucks exit. He's the individual most at fault for the collapse, but if the Canucks had worked and played better as a unit, Cloutier's howlers would have been less decisive. Some goals that Cloutier let in might have disappeared with harder backchecking and better team play. With better forechecking, the Canucks could have outscored the Wild in one more game.

Canucks fans shouldn't let Cloutier off the hook. That said, they shouldn't think that dumping Cloutier alone would solve most of the team's problems. (I think that Colby would join me in that observation.)

Bless the "Sunshine Breakfast" and all who sail on her

Ian Jacques of the Sechelt-Gibsons Coast Reporter newspaper won't miss the B.C. Ferries Sunshine Breakfast. (Readers of my blog will recall that the allegedly horrid breakfast meal was scuttled by the new Ferries food service.)

Perhaps Mr. Jacques was forced to eat Sunshine Breakfasts at gunpoint, I don't know. The editorial is amusing, although I am sure that Joy MacPhail was kidding about having it declared a "heritage food". But...perhaps the new owners of the infamous B.C. fast ferries should scrape off some paint and make sure that none of them were originally christened "The Sunshine Breakfast".

No jokes about not asking for directions while operating the carts, please

A survey by English supermarket chain Tesco has found that British men claim first place in supermarket cart skills.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Quote of the day

"I'd rather play ball than eat or sleep."

--Canadian Dottie Ferguson Key, who played professional baseball in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League dies at the age of 81.
If Dr. Clayton Forrester is your professor, ask to audit the class!

Hmm, two different tests, two different results:

Tom Servo! you've been
around on the show (like
crow) ever since it got started! you too, are
one of the funniest!

Which Mystery
Science Theatre 3000 Character are you?

Brought to you by Quizilla

In the Not Too Distant Future . . .
Which Mystery Science Theater 3000 Member Are You?

...brought to you by Quizilla

Posts will follow "in the not too distant future", I calls. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Jesus (sp?)

A thoughtful primer for reporters from Poynter Online on how they can cover religion better.

What I find intriguing about this is that 50 years ago, say, you wouldn't have had to tell journalists how to go about the simple steps in the linked piece. Everyone, even the most ink-stained reprobate, knew about the role of faith and society.

It might be worth putting in your "How the world has changed" file.

I think Kathy Shaidle spotted it, so three cheers for her.
Mr. Thompson's next target: toilet maunfacturers?

MSN Crafts Web-Enabled Toilet

(Yes, I am tongue in cheek, but I can see some health fascist wondering why toilet makers don't attach simple exercise equipment to commodes...)
Step away from the Whopper...we've got you surrounded

I just love when governments browbeat companies into doing what they want them to. Case in point...last week, Tommy Thompson, the federal minister for health in the U.S., made noises that he would stomp on fast food companies that didn't crack down on the amount of fat that they pump out. It's the old "I'm not responsible for my own actions" idea. It was a bit dismaying to see Mr. Thompson play both Good Cop and Bad Cop at the same time.

In the wire story picked up by the Calgary Herald, he was a Taco Terminator:

"I'm going to start giving out awards and singling out ones that are doing good and the ones that aren't," he told reporters at a food policy conference. "If I get in trouble, I get in trouble."

Thompson specified PepsiCo Inc., Coca-Cola Co., McDonald's, Wendy's and Taco Bell as companies that could offer consumers healthier options and promote more sensible diets.

Meanwhile in the Washington Post story he was made to sound like the voice of sweet reasonableness. The contrast of the two stories is interesting.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Sunshine Breakfast is torpedoed

Deadlines urgently call, but I can quickly report the end of the infamous BC Ferries Sunshine Breakfast.

The breakfast--sort of a scrambled eggs benedict with scrambled eggs and ham, covered in a yellow sauce--has sold briskly for 20 years, but the new semi-privatized B.C. Ferries has decided to dump the breakfast. British Columbians always joke about the alleged lack of quality of the breakfast when they talk about how bad the ferry system's food is. To cite one example, please look at the Adrian Raeside cartoon at the link, which shows pigeons refusing to eat the breakfast. A B.C. Ferries memo, which notes that the company was tired of all the jokes, is also quoted there.

I very rarely ride the ferry, and I don't remember eating that breakfast. (Perhaps my brain is blocking out the pain.) That said, it's yet another of the many small changes that point out that BC is slowly and permanently changing. For example, Rosemary Brown, who was a key player in provincial politics, died over the weekend, and I will bet that there are many new British Columbians who have no idea who she was. It's sort of bittersweet to see things change so surely.

By the way, the late CH TV news in Victoria did a story on the death of the breakfast. Their interviews of ferry passengers kept on finding people who loved the breakfast. They sold almost 180,000 of the meals per year, so someone was eating them.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Except for Grammar, Spelling, Fact, Style, Libel and Taboos

From the fine weblog of Charles Stough, a post for long-suffering editors:

A true-life memo from a perfectly rational copy editor, the selfsame Charley Stough, BONG Chief Copyboy, responding to a reporter's gripe in 1993 at the Dayton Daily News. The reporter's name is unrecorded here. Let that be a lesson:
"I wouldn't mess with your stories. Your stories are perfect, just like you. I place your stories on a pedestal and bask in their radiance. I imagine sitting with them in darkened bistros, with soft music of Gypsy violins and eunuchs for waiters, dreaming of ancient wonders and exotic poetry, sipping fine wines and rejoicing in the feel of silk on skin. Why would I change a word of your stories?"

Monday, May 05, 2003

Hey Hey, you're a Monkee

The Times is reporting that audtions are being held in London to find a "Davy Jones" type for the third version of The Monkees. The new group will appear on an NBC TV show modelled on the 1960s hit, according to a passing mention in this story on 19 Entertainment, which is producing the show.

It's funny that no one is remembering the last time they tried to do this in 1987. The New Monkees lasted just six months.

I won't be applying for the latest version of the Pre-Fab Four as I am probably not cute and cuddly enough. But, it will be interesting to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle again.
No, she doesn't get naked

The interesting website of young techie lady StephTheGeek is here. She sounds like she is artistic and creative, so there might be several things on the site for you to enjoy.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

"when it seems that money on a blog is always a cramped little hotel room"

Spotted by Kevin

From Rob's Amazing Poem Generator (which will turn any website into poetry for you):

Once again, as an escape from productive labor, I have resorted to programming. This one generates poetry. This poem was generated from

Miscellany Except as
one can you a hover {
color: 003366; } .a:
car around.. bymiddle and as libertarian
when it seems that money
on a blog is always a
cramped little
hotel room as
read here, Miscellany about and
present coworkers who needs the
newspaper 300
reasons why
His living
room as you can
bend the truth. Hownoble.Which
Osbourne You emulsify and have recently been
them and you can
violate the Vampire Slayer fails to win the pair is a
good thing.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Why, oh why, Delilah!

Pastor Jack, the "Tom Jones exorcist" and his Church of Tom Jones may be found here.

The "pastor" says:

The tabloids have dubbed me "THE TOM JONES EXORCIST" because I travel around the country leading prayer meetings & healing services with the help of the Welsh superstar's beautiful voice playing softly in the background. Why? His voice enables me to get in touch with the holy spirit & cast out demons. I don't know exactly how it works, I only know it does. It has nothing to do with the lyrics of a particular song...

The Voltdab Ubangi...didn't they open for DOA at the Commodore Ballroom back in 1987?

It seems that Look magazine might have been onto something in that article I mentioned a few days ago. According to this website here...:

The Voltdab Ubangi arrived to Earth in Saucers powered by the Electromotive Force to the inauspicious location of Port Hope , Ontario, in 1883. They were returning the remains of The Lost Son, the first Son of Earth they had encountered, who will be born in that location at some future date (indeed, the exciting possibility exists that he has since been born!)

A tip of my blogging fedora to Crank Dot Net....
How to put in a day at work by driving through a parking lot

In British Columbia, Helmut Giesbrecht is the former NDP Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Kitimat area. In the local paper, the Northern Sentinel, he wrote a letter a couple of weeks ago complaining that his replacement as MLA, Liberal Roger Harris, didn't attend a public meeting in Terrace. (It turns out that Mr. Harris was in meetings that day trying to save Skeena Cellulose, a mjor employer in the region.)

Mr. Giesbrecht writes that Mr. Harris need not have risked a $300 per day fine levied on all provincial legislators who, with certain minor exceptions, miss more than 10 days of a session.

He writes:

What "full days" means is you can leave in the morning of the day before, drive through the legislature parking lot--now you are in the precincts for a portion of the day--and it doesn't count as a full day. The next day counts as one of the ten you are permitted; you come back the day after your "full day" and as long as you are "in the precincts" before midnight--that is a drive through the parking lot--the whole absence counts as one day.

This means the 10 days can actually be almost 30....

Perhaps Mr. Harris was too wise to reply. After all, we have the former MLA writing how you can violate the intent of the legislature's rules by driving through a parking lot at 11:59 PM. Why, one wonders, does Mr. Giesbrecht know how to do this?

I would have been content with a one sentence reply if I were the MLA that Mr. Giesbrecht is criticizing. "Why is he pointing out how I can bend the rules of the legislature that are supposed to apply to all MLAs?"
Just the facts, ma'am

Hello, Bernstein! You're the newspaper reporter.
You like late nights, lots of coffee and
probably chain smoke. You're pushed around by
middle and upper management, but it's all an
effort to give the public the truth. How

Which Journalist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(I think Quizilla needs a quiz like "What kind of *Canadian* journalist are you?" Hmmm....wheels start turning....)
What, no Producers?

You are Young Frankenstein:
You're stubborn unless you figure it out yourself,
then no one can stop you. Try not to let your
work get the better of you, or the town and you
should turn out fine.

Which Mel Brooks Movie Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Yes, I know, but it's like eating Lays potato chips...for those of you who have seen the Mark Messier TV commercials.)
It's quiz time again :)

Colin Mochrie

Which 'Whose Line is it Anyway?' actor are you!?
brought to you by Quizilla
I wonder how my parents would score on this test

Kelly Osbourne
You are most like Kelly Osbourne. You are a wild
partier, but you know where to draw the line.
You get attatched to people and care deeply for
the people you are close to.

Which Osbourne are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hulk Hogan sings!

The Hulkster's record is reviewed, as well as selections by Eddie Murphy, Joe Pesci, Shaquille O'Neill, Joey Lawrence, Jennifer Love Hewitt and more in Seanbaby's appraisal of The Amazing Celebrity Somethings-Turned-Singers in the current issue of The Wave.

It's nasty but amusing. Sample opinion, on Joe Pesci's album:

If you were visiting a shark attack survivor in the hospital who had just had their face bitten off by a bear after an accident in the flesh-eating acid factory, and you played them Vincent Laguardia Gambini Sings Just for You (Clean Version), I'm confident that their dying words would be, "That CD you just put in is the worst thing that's ever happened to me.".

DOA and Thor collaborate on hockey songs?!?

I'm listening to Dan Russell's Sports Talk show on CKNW radio and he's just had Joey Keithley of punk band DOA and heavy metal singer Thor as guests on the program. The two musicians have just collaborated on a CD of songs suitable for hockey games or other sports. One of their punky metal songs, "Overtime", which they played on air, includes a snippet of the Hockey Night in Canada theme!

The musicians added that some of theiur songs have been played at Canucks games this year. One of the songs, they added, was played over the PA system before each game of their 10 game regular season win streak this year.

I believe they are telling the truth. Messrs. Keithley and Thor promise that there is information on the CD on their websites:

...but I didn't see anything there just now. But, you can e-mail them and see if they have any infomation for you.

The pair is also doing something neat for Vancouver hockey fans. They want to make replica items for the Vancouver Millionaires, the team that won the 1915 Stanley Cup--I think they were talking about T-shirts and jerseys. There is also an item on this in their new CD, they said.

Friday, May 02, 2003

D'oh, guv'nor

Read about the family which might become the British version of The Simpsons.
Hmm dear, that was a semi-colon

"A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation point. That's basic spelling that every woman ought to know."

-- Mistinguette (as quoted in Theatre Arts, December 1955)
Jack Chick update

If you've ever seen his Christian comic tracts, you might be interested in this new profile of the very reclusive Jack T. Chick in Los Angeles magazine.

(sound of Rick fainting)

From Colby's hockey weblog, after he ran the latest games through his Stanley Cup odds calculator:

As you can see, the updated Cup odds now make Vancouver the favourite to win the whole thing. I'm sorry if this is psychically disconcerting to Canucks fans: it may be an outright historic first....


Thursday, May 01, 2003

You can't make "rump-fed ronyon" using this list

A high school English teacher has come up with the mix-and-match Shakespearean Insult Kit. Don't be a beslubbering tickle-brained joithead...and check it out.
I suspect that some of the words might be faux Shakespeare, but I leave it to experts to decide.

It's a handy list for would-be political columnists... "Senator X, the pribbling sheep-biting ratsbane, opposes the...."

Can you guess what play the Shakespearean put-down in my headline comes from?

Chaplains at war...the comic!

From Atlas Comics...The 12 dumbest covers ever of American comics. They explain their choices too.

Their annotated list of the 25 all-time best comic covers might interest you too. I like the old Action Comics Superman one where he's about to toss a car around..