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Daily Aggregation: True Facts About Marsupials

daily-aggregation-21. CANADA POST MAKES A PROFIT Good thing Stephen Harper is ending home mail delivery and killing good jobs at a profitable company.

2. ERASE THE FACTS Stephen Harper’s government tells civil servants to delete potentially embarrassing e-mails.

3. FEDERAL NDP PROMISES INQUIRY INTO MURDERS Because unlike Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair’s party wants to understand why bad things happen. There is a counterpoint to this argument, namely that we know enough already to take action and we don’t need to wait years for an inquiry to tell us things we already know.


5. KEEP AN EYE ON THAT VOLCANO A really fucking big volcano in Iceland is acting up.

6. THE DRESSLER SHUFFLE Four other CFL teams are interested in OUR slotback. OURS!

7. VIVA LAS VEGAS Sounds like the NHL is getting ready to expand again.

8. ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE ATTACKS UNIONIZATION EFFORTS Someone has to stand up for the good of the sport against greedy teenagers who make a perfectly legitimate $50/week.

9. ACCIDENTS HAPPEN A nine-year-old girl shooting an Uzi at an Arizona firing range lost control of the weapon and killed a gun instructor. Someone — possibly the parents — filmed the unavoidable, no-one-could-have-foreseen-it accident. More here.

VIDEO: TRUE FACTS ABOUT MARSUPIALS ZeFrank’s latest explains everything you need to know about kangaroos and other stuff related to kangaroos

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RidergirlWith the Winnipeg Blue Bombers enjoying a bit of a resurgence so far this season, the annual Labour Day Classic which goes at Mosaic Stadium on Aug. 31 promises to be more competitive than it has for the past few years (witness 48-25, 52-0 and 27-7 blowouts by the Riders in 2013, 2012 and 2011 respectively).

Before that happens, though, Rider fans will have a chance to get their game face on by attending this fringe play written and performed by Saskatchewan-born, Ottawa-based Colleen Sutton (photo above). Sutton’s performed the play a few times before in Regina, and it looks at the province’s obsession with the Riders from a female perspective while also exploring the idea of football as a metaphor for life.

Ridergirl will enjoy a three-day run at the Artesian from Aug. 28-30. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. each night, and tickets are $25 for those in Rider gear and $30 otherwise.

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Daily Aggregation: Superman V. Ice Bucket

daily-aggregation-21. GAZA TRUCE: IT’S OFFICIAL Thank goodness that’s over. People could’ve died if this stuff continued.

2. CALL THE DAMNED INQUIRY Despite Stephen Harper being a brain-locked moron on the topic, there’s lots of desire for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. But if you consider this to be whinging and must have a counterpoint, I recommend this.

3. GLOBAL WARMING IS TERRIFYING The evidence keeps piling up that it’s happening and it could become irreversible. Maybe you should express your concern to your MP? Especially if you have kids. Assuming you like your kids.

4. GLOBAL WARMING FRIGHTENS SCIENTISTS The people who actually understand what we’re doing to the world are basically shitting their pants. Meet biologist Shauna Murray:

Science (scared climatologist)


Says Shauna:

We’ve recorded all sorts of climate change shifts in multiple areas. However, the scientific process is consistent. Every single individual study that has been done, has gone through the same rigorous process, data collection, research analysis, and qualified peer review. At the moment, we’ve at least 10 000 different papers, completed over 20 years, each using different data sets, and they are all coming to the same climate change conclusions. We’ve a weight of evidence that the average person is simply not aware of – and this frightens me.

More scared scientists here and a HuffPost story about the project here.

5. WRITING THE CHEQUE Burger King is officially buying Tim Horton’s and moving the company to Canada to get out of paying some U.S. taxes (and no, Canada won’t get any additional tax revenue out of this, as the second story says). More here, here and here.

6. REGINA’S RED LIGHT CAMERAS Some news story I didn’t read here.

7. LAWSON POOL TO REOPEN The fumes are fixed.

8. MEET THE INTRUDEAUER The guy who walked into the unlocked Trudeau home comes forward and everyone realizes it was a case of harmless drunken shenanigans. And we learned a valuable lesson about locking doors.

VIDEO: BUCKET AFTER BUCKET Superman can take a punch. He’s invulnerable, so an enemy can unload blow upon blow and Supes keeps coming back for more. In a twisted way, it’s one of the fun things about the character. I guess that’s the idea behind his ice bucket challenge. Either that, or they’re trying to shrink his super-bulge with ice water. Should’ve kept the red shorts, I guess.

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REVIEW: The November Man Is the Wrong Kind of Bleak

Cool guys don't look at green screen explosions.

Cool guys don’t look at green screen explosions.

While it’s true James Bond is a tough act to follow, Pierce Brosnan seems to be having a hard time finding a niche following his stint as 007. Not a gifted comedian or dramatic actor (how many businessmen can this guy play?), Brosnan has attempted a number of variations on his suave British spy persona. The November Man is the most blatant and the least successful, by a mile.

Retired CIA agent Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) is recruited for a mission off-the-books, involving a former colleague and a Russian presidential candidate with a seriously dirty resume. As it happens often with under the table assignments, everything goes wrong and Devereaux finds himself on the run, pursued by all the parts involved and with a very big secret to protect. The cherry on top is that a former pupil of his is on his tail.

Even for run-of-the-mill spy thrillers this one is particularly incompetent. Between token action sequences, every character has a chance to deliver highfalutin speeches about foreign policy. I would rather hear Pierce sing. Brosnan good looks and charm make him hard to believe as a weathered, bitter pro. A bigger offender is Luke Bracey: Ostensibly a pretty face studios want to turn into the next Channing Tatum, Bracey has the charisma of a wet noodle and not for a second gives the impression he could outsmart 007.

Once an effective craftsman (No Way Out is still a paradigm of the twisty political thriller), Roger Donaldson fails to provide any believable ground to the unfolding of the intrigue. Every character tries very hard to find the least effective way possible to achieve their goals. The November Man attempts to gain in poignancy by introducing Chechnya to the narrative, but its intentions are too blatant to be taken seriously.

A bit of trivia: Luke Bracey is set to star in the remake of Point Break as the Keanu Reeves’ character. I’m skipping that one for so many reasons.

One caustic Prairie Dog. The November Man opens tomorrow.

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Thinking As She Thinks

Thinking as She ThinksThis is the final component of the Dunlop Gallery’s summer blockbuster Tragedy Plus Time which included two galleries worth of visual art along with three performances. In total, three curators and 19 artists were involved. The last two artists are Alison S.M. Kobayashi and Christopher Allen, and they’ll be presenting Thinking As She Thinks at the Artful Dodger Wednesday Aug. 27 at 8 p.m.

Kobayashi is based in Brooklyn, NY, and the performance she and her collaborator will be presenting tomorrow will be its premiere. Since performance is an organic art form, there’s generally no script or stage directions for the performers to follow. So each time a work is presented it stands as an unique creation.

There is a starting point, of course, and in this instance it’s a collection of audio recordings, diaries, lists and other memorabilia that Kobayashi has collected over the last 10 years. The origin of these materials is unknown, and she uses them to spin tales about different people’s lives. As the stories unfold, she and the audience experience shifts in perspective related to gender, age, time, space and other variables.

The above photo, by the way, is from a thematically similar performance by Kobayashi and Allen called DEFENSE MECHANISM ou MÉCANISME DE DÉFENSE (2012). (Photo credit: Romain Etienne).

Following Thinking As She Thinks there will be a session of Armando format improv by the Tragedy Plus Time players: Jayden Pfeifer,  Katie Rich, Colby Richardson and Judy Wensel.

Again, the performance is at the Artful Dodger (1631 11th Ave.) on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. And it’s free admission.

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“Drowning” Man More Like It

VictoriaPark(Aug25)IIf you think it’s wet here (above is a shot of the northwest quadrant of Victoria Park tonight), the famous Burning Man arts festival that takes place each year in the Black Rock desert in northern Nevada has been forced to take emergency measures to deal with an unusual rain storm that has turned the festival site into a muddy quagmire.

Over 50,000 people typically attend the arts festival, which includes all sorts of wacky and weird creative activity highlighted by the ritual burning of a 40 foot plus effigy (the Burning Man). But for now the gates are shut and the festival is on hold. You can read more in this USA Today report.

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ICYMI: Roy Romanow’s Government Secretly Explored Joining The U.S.

From CBC:

Former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow said he was glad he had a plan in case Quebec separated from Canada and is even happier he didn’t have to use it. Romanow told CBC News this morning that he set up a secret team of Saskatchewan officials to consider the possibility that the Prairie province might leave Canada in the event of a “Yes” win in Quebec’s sovereignty referendum in 1995.

“The mandate was, just sit down, blue sky what you think all the options are; the pros and the cons and let’s talk about this, in case the vote goes the wrong way,” he said. “Happily, it went the right way.”

More here. I guess I’m glad governments plan for contingencies. I think. Wonder what big, secret things Brad Wall’s government plans for? Hopefully there’s something going on for Saskatchewan getting wrecked by global warming…

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Daily Aggregation: Pole Little Squirrel

daily-aggregation-21. FRANCE DISSOLVES ITS GOVERNMENT SO BUSINESSES CAN HAVE TAX CUTS That’s how it looks to me, anyway.

2. EARTHQUAKE IN CALIFORNIA A magnitude 6.0 earthquake centered in Napa, California sent more than 100 people to hospital.

3. FACT: CUTTING GRENNHOUSE GASES SAVES ON HEALTH COSTS Story here. I assume we can’t do this in Canada because our federal government is a stooge for the oil industry.

4. HARPER ON HARPER A Toronto Star columnist accurately describes Stephen Harper’s narrow-minded, anti-reality perspective: “There is no nuance in the prime minister’s world. There are bad guys and good guys and there is no public questioning about how we got where we are.”


6. THE NEW CONNAUGHT IS READY Yay! Now I guess we can get on with being a bunch of heroes who demolish 100-year-old heritage buildings. Woo Regina! Go Riders!

7. SPEAKING OF THE RIDERS The Kansas City Chiefs have released Weston Dressler, it’s always nice when someone learns a valuable lesson in humility and speaking of that, the Riders are tempting fate in Winnipeg.

8. BURYING MICHAEL Deceased accused cigar thief and alleged jaywalker Michael Brown will be buried today. Brown was shot at least six times by a Ferguson, Missouri cop who pulled over to cite the now-dead 18-year-old for improper pedestrian activity. No word yet on whether the funeral is scheduled for tear gassing.

9. RESPECT POLICE AUTHORITAH Some Americans  who I’m sure aren’t racist imbeciles have jumped to the defence of the Missouri teenager shooting Missouri cop, because if you’re a white cop in America you’re innocent until proven guilty. Unlike unarmed black teenagers, who obviously deserve to get shot while running away. Oh wait, but “Michael Brown could have been white. It didn’t matter, Darren Wilson was doing his job.” Finally, cartoonist Tom Tomorrow has a comic on how everyone is supposed to act when white cops shoot black teens.

10. FLIPPING BURGERS, DRINKING COFFEE AND DUCKING TAXES Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Horton’s for apparent tax reasons, because Canadian corporate taxes (15%, federally, additional provincial corporate rates vary)  are lower than American corporate taxes. I’m sure all these tax savings will trickle down into higher wages for workers in both companies.

11. REST IN PEACE, RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH The 90-year-old actor and director passed away this weekend.

12. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VERY POPULAR! The dumb but funny space opera (which I’ve seen twice and might see again) is the number 0ne movie in the United States. Jorge didn’t think much of it.

LOOK AT THIS DUMB SQUIRREL Not so smart now are ya, ya little birdseed thief?

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Kind of like Rocky, except with a werewolf as a hero instead of Sylvester Stallone, Teen Wolf Too failed to find much in the way of critical and box office success when it was released in 1987.

Sometimes, of course, movies are ahead of the curve a bit and don’t really garner the reception they deserve. It’s only with the passage of time, and the subsequent growth in the sophistication of the audience, that the true genius of the picture emerges. Is that the case with Teen Wolf Too, or does it truly deserve its place in Hollywood’s Hall of Shame?

Regina comic Jayden Pfeifer gives us a chance to revisit the flick Tuesday when he screens it as part of his Talkies series. The screening is at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m., and admission is free with a donation to the food bank.

To give everyone a head start on formulating their own opinion on the film here’s the trailer:

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Sunday Matinee: Lost Orson Welles

TooMuchJohnsonCitizen Kane wasn’t Orson Welles’ first movie, he had experimented with film before. In 1934 he co-directed an experimental short film in school called The Hearts of Age. In 1938 Welles and the Mercury Theatre was putting on a production of William Gillette’s play Too Much Johnson. Welles wanted to do something different. He decided that before each of the acts of the play, he would show a short film, in essence cutting down the live action play and turning it into a movie and mixing the two together.
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Thunder Vs. Edmonton Wildcats

Regina ThunderLike the Riders did with their home win against the Hamilton Tiger Cats on June 29, the Thunder got their 2014 championship defence off to a great start with a 19-16 overtime victory against their arch rivals the Saskatoon Hilltops on Aug. 17.

Stats-wise, the game was as close as the score indicated — albeit with a big difference between the two teams. On offence, the Hilltops and Thunder gained 369 and 407 yards respectively. But whereas the Toppers had 254 yards rushing the Thunder only had 44. But they more than made up for it through the air, with QB Jaeden Marwick going 29-42 for 363 yards and two TDs while Saskatoon QB Jared Andreychuk was 6-20 for 115 yards.

Today at 1 p.m. at Mosaic Stadium the Thunder play their second game of the 2014 Prairie Football Conference season. Their opposition isn’t likely to be as formidable as last week, although the Wildcats are coming off a 36-16 road victory against the Colts in Calgary on Aug. 16. On the face of it, that’s impressive. Although the Colts were winless in 2013 at 0W-8L so they’re by no means an elite PFC team.

After today’s game the Thunder get a bye, then they journey to Saskatoon on Sept. 6 for what’s sure to be a much hyped rematch against the Hilltops.

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A Most Wanted Man

Based on a 2008 John LeCarre novel, and directed by Anton Corbijin, this espionage thriller stars the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as a German intelligence agent based in the port city of Hamburg. Historically, Hamburg was the city where the 9-11 terrorist attacks were planned, and this movie focuses on Hoffman’s struggles to run an anti-terrorist squad and develop intelligence sources in the city’s Islamnic community.

The tension ramps up when a young Chechen/Russian man shows up. A victim of torture, he is regarded as a potential jihadist, but he also has a defender in a human rights lawyer played by Rachel McAdam.

A Most Wanted Man screens Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 p.m. Here’s the trailer:

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Friday Afternoon Kitty: Pizza Hut

So there’s a wacky series of commercials for Japanese Pizza Hut that stars four cats as PH employees. They’re weird.

I heard about these on Jezebel, which is great for cat videos. The Pizza Hut Japan page is here.

Have a great weekend!

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SaskTel Summer Invasion

Features wakeboarding, skateboarding, freestyle motocross, energy drink drinking, and other activities in Wascana Park. Action kicks off at noon today and Saturday, and culminates both nights with concerts that get going at 6 p.m.

The concert line-up had yet to be finalized the last time I checked the Summer Invasion website, but tonight the headliner is Swollen Members with Grandtheft and Def 3 and Factor also on the bill. Saturday, the headliner is Hedley with the Gaff, Sound Society, Halfway to Hollywood and Prop Planes also playing. Tickets are $49 each night, or $69 for a weekend pass.

To get everyone stoked here’s the video for the Halfway to Hollywood tune “Green Lights”:

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Evening Aggregation: Farewell, Twinkie

daily-aggregation-21 U.S. SUPREME COURT BLOCKS VIRGINIA SAME-SEX MARRIAGES Meanwhile, Florida struck down its gay marriage ban for the fifth time since mid-July. The ruling is stayed — no marriages yet — but out of state marriages will now be recognized.

2 OH STEPHEN HARPER He only cares about evil shit when Islamic extremists assholes do it.

3 WHO WILL THINK OF THE DIRT? What’s going on with the chunks of ground being removed from the stadium site? This.


5 NHL TWEAKS DRAFT LOTTERY Here’s a story for us hockey nerds. We’re less than a month out from the start of the NHL season!

6 GLOBAL WARMING SLOWING? MORE LIKE FAKE! It turns out global warming is not happening! Yes, it was a socialist scheme all along, perpetrated by left-wing scientists and enabled by liberal media! The plan was to force advanced, civilized and superior countries like the United States to send money to crummy third-world nations who can’t do anything right. Classic commie wealth redistribution!

And since global warming isn’t real, you don’t have to read this story explaining how the oceans are temporarily absorbing heat, causing warming — which is still going on — to slow.

VIDEO: R.I.P., TWINKIE A big, cute, pretty and tame snake died a while ago. Sad.


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My Super Secret Revealed

Malta Map“Hey Dechene, you ain’t been writing so much lately. Ain’t seen you on the blog. Something up?”

Indeed there is.

I’m outta here.

Yep, I’m moving. To goddamn Malta. That’s a small island nation in the Mediterranean, close to Sicily, that’s old and warm and, by all accounts, gorgeous.

I will be coming back, however. I still ♥ Regina and all that. We’ll only be gone about eight months.

Y’see, it’s my wife’s sabbatical year. And from September 2 to April 30 we’re going to be living abroad so she can do math research with a bunch of profs over there.

Seriously, Malta is a hotbed of combinatorics. This is a legit math trip.

Me? I’m just along for the ride. And to marshal kids. And drink obscene amounts of coffee.

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What Happens When Governments Invent Their Own Reality

The psychotic nature of the Harper government reminds me of a joke that floated around Soviet Russia during the 1970s. The Ministry of Finance was looking to hire an economist, and they interviewed several people for the position. A Communist Party official would sit in on the hiring interviews, but would remain silent most of the time. The bureaucrats would ask the candidates a series of complex questions about economic matters, and at the end of the interview the Communist Party official would ask one question:

“How much is two plus two?”

All but one of the candidates were surprised by the question and replied, “Obviously, four.” Those candidates for the job were thanked for their interest and sent on their way.

One candidate, after hearing that question, leaned over conspiratorially, and whispered, “What would you like it to be?”

That was the candidate who got the job.

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2014 Summer Jam

On Friday Aug. 22 the Regina-based film troupe Split the Bill is holding, in the immortal words of American theatre impresario Ed Sullivan, “a really big shew”.

The troupe has done something similar twice in the last few years, if I’m not mistaken, and now they’re back for round three. The SNL-style variety show, which is being held at the Exchange, will include live music courtesy of Regina bands Indigo Joseph and Gunner, along with skits and ten comedy shorts produced by the group.

Tickets are $5, and doors at the Exchange will open at 7:30 p.m., with the show starting at 8 p.m. For a small taste of what to expect at 2014 Summer Jam, here’s a trailer produced by Split the Bill:

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Cinema Under The Stars

Tonight the final installment in the 2014 summer movie series Cinema Under the Stars goes in Victoria Park. From what I’ve seen of the previous six screenings that have been held, crowds have been pretty decent.

With each passing week, of course, the start time creeps up by 15 or so minutes as the ratio of daylight to darkness shifts from the summer to the winter side of the ledger. Pre-show entertainment typically begins at 8 p.m., but with sunset tonight scheduled for 8:07 p.m. the screening should start shortly after that.

Tonight’s flick is Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Here’s a sneak peak courtesy of the trailer:


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Camping Royale

CorpusIIIn May 2012, you’ll perhaps recall, the touring dance/theatre company Corpus was in Regina to perform a couple of works in Victoria Park. One revolved around a shepherd tending a flock of sheep and protecting them from a ravenous wolf, while the second concerned a hapless group of air force pilots who continued to train despite having no actual aircraft due to government budget cuts.

The performance was presented by the Dunlop Art Gallery. Now, Corpus is back with a new work called Camping Royale. As you can see from the above publicity photo, it’s got a bit of a fairy tale vibe with two queens trying to survive in the wild without the aid of servants and other comforts of the royal court.

The performance is family friendly and goes in Victoria Park Wednesday Aug. 20 and Thursday Aug. 21 at noon.

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