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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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The Slocan Ramblers

Based in Toronto, the Slocan Ramblers have been plying their trade as a bluegrass band since 2009. In 2012, they released an album called Shaking Down the Acorns.  Judging by their website,  they’ve been busy on the festival circuit this summer. Tuesday night they’re in town to play a show at the SCES Club that’s being presented by Grassroots Regina.

Doors are at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15. To give you a sense of what to expect here’s video of the Slocan Ramblers performing a cover of “The Law and the Lonesome” by Corin Raymond and Jonathan Bird at a Folk Alliance conference in Kansas City earlier this year:

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Sunday Matinee: Lauren Bacall

To Have and Have NotLauren Bacall passed away August 12th at the age of 89. Bacall had starred in some awesome classic films over the years and surprisingly I haven’t really ever gotten around to writing about them. Well here’s a couple of my favourites.

Bacall’s first starring role defined her life and her career. She was cast opposite in Howard Hawks’ adaptation of what Hawk’s considered Ernest Hemingway’s worst novel, To Have and Have Not in 1944. Hawks and Hemingway worked on the screenplay and changed the story greatly. The final result owed a little more to Humphrey Bogart’s previous hit Casablanca than Hemingway’s novel. Still it’s a fun film.
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Regina Thunder vs. Saskatoon Hilltops

Regina ThunderToday at Mosaic Stadium at 1 p.m. the Regina Thunder begin defence of their 2013 Canadian Junior Football League title with a game against their arch rivals the Saskatoon Hilltops.

Last season, you’ll perhaps recall, the Thunder thwarted the Toppers in their quest for a fourth straight CJFC crown when they defeated them on their home turf in the Prairie Football Conference final 21-16 on Oct. 27. Then on Nov. 9 the Thunder captured their first CJFC championship with a 55-26 thrashing of the Vancouver Island Raiders at Mosaic Stadium.

Against Saskatoon, Thunder QB Asher Hastings had a huge game, completing 25 of 37 passes for 316 yards and one TD. In the off-season, though, Hastings elected to switch to university football and play with the Hamilton-based McMaster Marauders. That leaves the Thunder with a massive hole to fill on offence, and as of a few days ago head coach Scott MacAulay still hadn’t named a starter to replace Hastings.

Spencer Mack and Jaeden Marwick are the two candidates for the job. Both might end up being capable QBs, but the odds of either being able to replicate the success Hastings enjoyed last season are probably pretty long. And it doesn’t help that the team’s first test in 2014 comes against the perennially tough Hilltops, who will doubtlessly be looking to exact revenge for last year’s modest upset in the PFC final.

Still, the Thunder were by no means a one-player team last year. And while they have also lost several other key contributors on offence at the receiver and running back positions, they have decent depth, an experienced coaching staff, and a championship run under their belts that could serve as a springboard for future gridiron success.

Following this game, the Thunder have a second home date against the Edmonton Wildcats on Sunday, Aug. 24 (Mosaic Stadium, 1 p.m.) Then they get a bye before playing their first road game of 2014 — a rematch against the Hilltops in Saskatoon on Sept. 6.

For more information visit the Regina Thunder website.

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Riders Vs. Montreal Alouettes

RidersVsMontrealThe Riders take the field at Mosaic Stadium at 5 p.m. today to face the Montreal Alouettes. Prior to their last home game against the Toronto Argonauts on July 26, they were coming off a bye week that, despite being early in the season, seemed to come at a good time as up until then the Green & White had been struggling to regain the form on offence, defence and special teams that propelled them to a Grey Cup title in 2013.

Since the bye, the Riders have reeled off three straight victories: 37-9 over Toronto; 38-14 over the Redblacks in Ottawa on Aug. 2; and 23-17 over the Bombers in Winnipeg on Aug. 7. The victories give the Riders a 4W-2L record, and help them keep pace with the four other teams in the hyper-competitive CFL West where only two points separate first from last.

Most of the points earned by western teams have come at the expense of eastern opponents, and that’s a trend that should continue today against the 1W-5L Alouettes. On defense, the Riders have been pretty dominant during their winning streak. They lead the league in QB sacks with 26, and in the last three games have forced 13 turnovers — including an interception and fumble recovery that were returned for TDs against Winnipeg, providing the margin of victory in the hard fought contest.

Without the veteran presence of retired QB Anthony Calvillo, Montreal has struggled on offense all season. With rookie QB Troy Smith on the shelf with an injury, former Winnipeg QB Alex Brink will start. The Als have also revamped their offensive coaching staff, bringing in a new receivers coach and hiring former CFL/NFL pivot Jeff Garcia as QB coach, while former Rider QB Ryan Dinwiddie remains offensive coordinator. That will likely result in a few wrinkles being added to the Als offence, but that won’t necessarily translate into success against the Rider D.

On offence, the Riders are still a work in progress, especially when it comes to the passing game. But while the Riders sit 8th in the league in average passing yards per game at 203.7, they are first in average rushing yards at 135.7 per game. Montreal, meanwhile, sits second last in the league when it comes to defending the run so that should be an area the Riders will look to exploit.

After today’s game, the Riders have a stretch of three games against West division opponents starting with the B.C Lions in Vancouver on Aug. 24, followed up by the annual Labour Day home-and-home series against Winnipeg. Leaving two points on the field against the Als today would be a definite step backward for the Green and White. But assuming the Riders don’t self-destruct on offence and special teams with turnovers, penalties and big plays against them it’s hard to see that happening.

Game time at Mosaic Stadium is 5 p.m. As usual, TSN has the broadcast, and more info can be found on the Riderville website.

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Daily Aggregation: The Idiosyncracies We Love

daily-aggregation-21. MICHAEL BROWN WAS WANTED FOR STEALING CIGARILLOS; OFFICER WHO KILLED HIM NAMED Story here. So perhaps Michael Brown wasn’t an angel? Well, I agree with the sentiment in this CBC headline.


3. FUNDING FOR DANCE The federal government will give Regina dance organization New Dance Horizons a much-needed $164,000 over the next two years. According to the federal press release, the cash comes from the Canada Arts Presentation Fund.

4. STATISTICS CANADA MADE A BOO-BOO And Finance Minister Joe Oliver says it isn’t because of cutbacks and anyway, it’s fixed now.

5. EVERYTHING IS LESS CONVENIENT IN HARPER’S CANADA So if you still want home delivery of mail, now you apparently have to get a note from your doctor. Here’s an idea: how about we just continue to have home delivery of mail?


7. FORD SPOKESPERSON SAYS STUPID THING Apparently you’re a communist if you don’t support lying drug addicts. Huh.

VIDEO: PECCADILLOES Let’s wrap up the Dog Blog video tributes to Robin Williams with this scene from Good Will Hunting, which I think speaks for itself.

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Cannabis Becoming A Wedge Issue In Canadian Politics

CannabisIIThe B.C. Court of Appeal delivered an important ruling yesterday when it found that restrictions placed on the manner in which medical cannabis can be used were unconstitutional. The case dates back to 2009, and concerns a man charged with trafficking after he produced marijuana cookies and topical cannabis creams for a medical marijuana club in Victoria.

The case predates the coming into force of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations in April, but the ruling would seem to be applicable to it as well. That’s because under MMPR patients who receive a prescription from a doctor to use cannabis are limited to purchasing dried cannabis.

Research done by medical cannabis advocates, though, has shown that smoking dried cannabis isn’t the only way to obtain medical benefits. Rather, edible products, creams, tinctures and other cannabis off-shoots can also provide patients with relief. Indeed, in some instances, depending on the patient’s circumstances, they provide superior results to simply smoking or vaporizing the herb.

By a 2-1 majority the justices who heard the case, which resulted in charges being dismissed against the man, gave the federal government one year to amend the regulations to permit the consumption of other cannabis products beyond dried cannabis.

Whether the Harper government will comply is another matter. Heading into the October 2015 election, the Conservatives seem determined to use marijuana (be it for medical or recreational use) as a wedge issue to inflame their base. In recent months several Conservative MPs have distributed bullshit brochures in their ridings warning that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, who has come out in favour of legalizing marijuana and regulating it like alcohol and cigarettes, wants to make marijuana available to children.

Of course, Trudeau’s position, which is also largely supported by the federal NDP, would do no such thing. Instead, by decriminalizing marijuana and developing a regulatory framework, the black market for marijuana would dry up, organized crime would be deprived of a lucrative cash cow, billions in police, court, and prison costs would be saved, and hundreds of thousands of Canadians would no longer be subjected to criminal sanction for doing something that is already legal in two American states: Colorado and Washington.

In the U.S., an additional 20 states permit the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Here in Harperland, though, Veteran Affairs announced recently that it was considering capping the benefits it provides to veterans who use cannabis for relief of pain, PTSD and other combat-related conditions. As well, Health Canada has apparently approached three doctors groups (the Canadian Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada) to enlist their aid in an anti-marijuana advertising campaign that would have obvious partisan political overtones and would compromise the integrity of the above-noted organizations.

Given that integrity is largely an unknown concept to the Harper government, that’s not surprising. Instead, the Conservatives seem determined to put ideology ahead of the health and well-being of tens of thousands of Canadians who currently use cannabis for medical purposes, and pursue an asinine “tough on drugs/crime” policy that has proven to be a disastrous failure in the United States and the rest of the Western world.

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La Boheme

La Boheme is one of the best-known, and most often performed, operas in the world. It was composed by Italian Giacomo Puccini to a libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa and is loosely inspired by a series of stories by French writer Henri Murger that were published in novel form in 1851. The stories themselves were set a few years earlier in the Latin Quarter of Paris, and recounted the adventures of a number of young bohemians.

Puccini’s opera, which was first performed in 1896, focused on the doomed love affair between a poet named Rodolfo and a seamstress named Mimi. Saturday and Sunday at the RPL Theatre at 2 p.m., there will be a broadcast of the opera  as performed at London’s Royal Opera House. Tickets are $15 Adults, $12 Seniors & Students.

To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s an excerpt from a performance earlier this year at New York’s Metropolitan Opera:

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