Weekly Reckoning: Troublesome Edition

weekly-reckoningTROUBLE. Hear me, people. There is trouble. Rhymes with rubble and tastes even worse (rubble tastes like McDonald’s). Are you troubled by this influx of trouble? You should be. It’s troubling.

1. HEY DO YOU LIKE TWILIGHT? WELL TOO BAD Rob Bricken of io9.com seems optimistic, but I can’t see how, because the Twilight franchise, that godawful horde of books and films that made the last decade so painful to experience, is coming back in the form of a short-film competition for women filmmakers. Actually, this seems like the best possible way to revisit Twilight: a series of short imaginative takes on the world created by Stephenie Meyer, and not a money-fuelled juggernaut rolling over our screaming souls.

2. IS YOUR SPERM SECOND-RATE? HAVE A DRINK. NO, WAIT A recent study has determined that even moderate alcohol use can result in low-quality sperm. And carbonated water makes your sperm all jumpy-like.

3. A BOX OF FLUFFY PUPPIES? YES Greg Zubiak was out walking in a field near Glaslyn when he found a box of 20 puppies! Yay! They’d been abandoned and left to contend with coyotes and the cold. Boo. But he gathered them up and took them to the Battlefords Humane Society! Yay! They’re stretched pretty thin right now with the sudden influx of fluffy puppies, so the Battlefords Humane Society is looking for donations of time, money and teddy bears, because tiny puppies need to cuddle with teddy bears, which is the world’s most adorable fact.

4. HOW’S THAT EBOLA DOING? GREAT, THANKS FOR ASKING Africa continues to be ravaged by the worst Ebola outbreak in history, with 3,400 dead so far and the disease neatly outpacing anyone’s ability to keep up. Meanwhile, the lone US patient is “fighting for his life” in Texas.

5. YOU THOUGHT THE HONG KONG PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTS WERE A GOOD THING THAT POINTED THE WAY TOWARDS A BETTER FUTURE, BUT REALLY THEY’RE JUST TROUBLE, ACCORDING TO A WIRE SERVICE HEADLINE I guess some “Hong Kong residents” are pushing back against the “protesters” (who aren’t residents?) and the police are the voice of reason? Hmm. The story mentions that the protests are hurting business, which I guess is more important than democracy and human rights now. This is going to end up like Tiananmen Square back in 1989, when pro-democracy protesters really slowed down tanks, sort of.

Six In The Morning: Rob Ford Round-Up

6-in-the-morning1 ROB FORD: THE SAGA CONTINUES Toronto’s executive committee drafts an unprecedented letter asking Ford to substantively address the “crack smoking mayor” allegations and they’re doing it publicly, with the deputy mayor saying “I would like the mayor to speak up”. Meanwhile, Ford’s chief of staff remains fired. CBC has a timeline of the runaway Rob Ford train. There’s no new word on the drug dealers with the video–they’ve been out of communication for some time–but the Rob Ford Crackstarter is nevertheless closing in on its target ($163,542 as I publish this), which could be good news for some Canadian addiction non-profits, who will get the cash if the video stays vanished. Also, Now has a good column about why this whole raise-money-to-but-a-video-from-drug-dealers thing is just horrible. And by the way, all this stuff about “faking videos” is nonsense. Although the Sherlock Holmeses at Small Dead Brains Animals think they’ve got proof that the video is a fake, so you can go look at that if you like malarkey (H/T John Gormley, who retweeted that one).

2 ROBOCALLS WERE ORGANIZED FRAUD: JUDGE Greg blogged it last night and I’m mentioning it again because I’m  annoyed that bye-elections weren’t ordered. Supposedly the scale of the fraud wasn’t significant enough. Here’s the story and here’s the actual ruling. In other robocall news, the CRTC has fined Alberta’s Wildrose Party $90,000 for breaking the robo-rules.

3 MEANWHILE IN SASKATCHEWAN We, along with three other lower population provinces,  got a “D” in health care; Regina wants federal money to clean up the dead lots once used by gas stations (context here); The police union is worried about our new labour laws and the lack of an arbitration mechanism for when contract talks break down; a police officer’s assault trial continues; and the Saskatoon Blades have been eliminated in the Memorial Cup and Saskatoon is so sad they’re banning dogs from riding in the backs of trucks.

4 MORE ARRESTS IN LONDON ATTACK Here’s the latest news on BBC and the Guardian. Also, Glenn Greenwald has a thoughtful column on the definition of terrorism here.

5 SYRIA AGREES TO ATTEND HYPOTHETICAL PEACE TALKS IN GENEVA Read all about it.

6 THIS IS WHAT AN “INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT” LOOKS LIKE A bridge in Washington State collapsed, dropping cars and people into the water. Fortunately no one was killed. The collapse appears to have been triggered by a Canadian trucker whose truck might have been over the weight limit but having said that, the bridge had received low scores on inspections and was rated “functionally obsolete” in 2010. Remember those infrastructure conferences in Regina? This kind of thing is why it’s important to fund infrastructure. Also, don’t drive overloaded trucks on bridges.

7 THIS SIX HAS SEVEN Hey, the Boy Scouts of America will now accept gay scouts who must GET OUT, GET, OUT, GET OUUUUUT when they become adults and would like to be scout leaders, but minimal progress is still progress.

8 EIGHT? WHY NOT? John Gormley has a slightly pompous but not insane column on the ongoing Senate scandal.

PURR Word on the street is that today’s Friday Afternoon Kitty isn’t a cat at all. But what’s a Friday without a cat? So here you go. More here. Meow!

New, New, New Dog!

New Dog (may 16)The latest Prairie Dog is out, out OUT and it’s great and you should grab a copy at your nearest street box or convenience store or restaurant counter or friendly neighbourhood pub! People! There are at least four reasons you MUST do this! Here they are!

1.) Prairie Dog is a fan-fucking-tastic newspaper and there’s nothing else like it in the province!

2.) Smart, talented, funny, friendly and sexy people read Prairie Dog and since you are (OBVIOUSLY) all of those things, this is the paper for you!

3.) Prairie Dog is a magic potion of genius news reporting and opinionating and HAIL-arious stupid bullshit, plus cartoons! If you read it you’ll see things no one else can see; do things no one else will do! Come ON do I have to keep explaining this?

4.) I can’t remember what the fourth reason was so I asked Morash (publisher) and he said “it will make you taller or at least raise your standing among your peers.” YEAH.

WHAT EXACTLY IS IN THIS EDITION THAT HAS WHITWORTH JIBBER-JABBERING LIKE AN ADHD GERBIL ON A SUGAR HIGH, YOU ASK? Oh, lots of stuff. This Prairie Dog starts off with another amazing cover by Shuster Award winning cartoonist Dakota McFadzean! Flip on into the paper and there’s a hoarder’s attic of great stuff to read — NewsQuirks, a review of Little Saigon, Top 6 columns, a Q &A with a dead pet, a story on the organized labour-bashing Bill 85 (which was just passed in the Sask. legislature), a beautiful obituary for Regina’s indoor skatepark, about eight sentences on our gallant Fougemayor’s housing summit, interviews with the bands Cannibal Corpse and Chains Of Love,  an epic column by John Conway about Stephen Harper’s assholery, CD reviews, Sound Check and Hnetflix, a review of The Great Gatsby, Dan MacRae’s awesomely dumb-ass hockey column, Queen City Confidential, Typo Wiener and more, more, more, MORE!

Prairie Dog! Holy poop, you guys! It’s the most unique reading experience you’ll find in Regina!

Free Willysaurus!

You know those Disney-style animal movies about the unlikely adventures of a lost li’l bear or a brave orphan raccoon or an otter with a chip on its shoulder or a flock of sheep with a lust for violence… okay, scratch that one. But you know the type of movie? Those animal movies so drenched with oppressive sentimental moments that even stony-hearted toughsters tear-up when things look the most bleak for the furry hero? Well, there’s going to be one with with dinosaurs, and it just got a new trailer.

Go, little, uh, whatevertheceratops, go! (sob)

Gravatars: An Extremely Fun Thing You Can Do With Prairie Dog Now

Dog Blog commentators have probably noticed the big blue “G” logos besides their names. Those thingies aren’t decorative; they’re placeholders for Gravatars. What’s a Gravatar? You know how you have a profile picture on your Facebook page? Same sorta idea! Continue reading “Gravatars: An Extremely Fun Thing You Can Do With Prairie Dog Now”

Six In The Morning: Margaret Thatcher Is Dead, Dead, Dead

6-in-the-morning1 SEE ABOVE Here’s the BBC, some more BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Canadian Press and the Guardian, and more Guardian, and more Guardian and still MORE Guardian. Oh, and here are a couple of articles on Margaret Thatcher and feminism. And here’s the CBC story, which has this key factoid: “Once in office Thatcher slashed the tax rates for the wealthiest Britons, increased the value-added tax (VAT), reduced government subsidies and began to sell off state-owned enterprises and public housing. The number of unemployed quickly doubled.”

2 ONE OUT OF FOUR CANADIAN NURSES SAY YOU SHOULDN’T GO TO THEIR HOSPITAL IF YOU’RE SICK Yikes.

3 AND ANOTHER ROOF DOWN AND ANOTHER ROOF DOWN; ANOTHER ROOF BITES THE DUST Another Regina business’ roof collapses due to snow. The business is a pawn shop. Maybe landlords should maintain their buildings eh?

4 NEW HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION DELAYED IN NORTH BATTLEFORD Read all about it.

5 “TECHNICALLY SPEAKING WE’RE NOT HIRING FOREIGN WORKERS TO REPLACE OUR OWN. THE FOREIGN WORKERS IN QUESTION AREN’T OUR EMPLOYEES. THEY’RE EMPLOYED BY A COMPANY WE’VE CONTRACTED WORK OUT TO SO THAT OUR PROFITS SHALL BE EVEN GREATER. PLEASE STOP BEING MAD AT US NOW.” Good luck with that one, Royal Bank of Canada.

6 FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS BENEFIT GOVERNMENT SECRECY Gee, laying off close to 20,000 civil servants makes it harder for Canadians to learn about their government. Well that’s not a heap of self-interested Conservative malarkey, nooo.

BONUS: MORE PROBLEMS WITH OUR CRAPPY WEATHER It’s bad for teh kittehs!  Also, this is nuts. The normal high/low is 10°C/-4°C but today’s forecast is -7 °C/-18 °C.

A SONG ABOUT ENGLAND Pinched from this Guardian piece about songs about Margaret Thatcher. Enjoy.