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Archive for August, 2011

Newest Deadly Competition: Kite Fighting?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Allow me to introduce you to the world of kite fighting.
Step 1: get a kite
Step 2: get it flying in the air
Step 3: Try to crash your kite into other kids kites so that theirs plummet to the ground and yours is the last kite in the sky.

Who was the first bully who dreamt up this? I assume it was a big brother conjuring up a new way to make his little brother cry.
Before you rush out to participate, let it be known this “sport” is potentially deadly. The participants are necessarily in danger, but motorcyclists are.
As I post this, a man in Ontario is in critical condition after his neck was sliced by a kite string. As he rode by an area often used for kite fights, little did he know he was about to be essentially clothesline off his cycle.
Now, I’m not saying kite fights should be bannedk, but as a motorcyclist I would, at the very least, like to know of any other kite fight areas across North America so I can avoid them or proceed with extreme caution.
A kite string. What a terrible way to go.

Driver swept away by storm Irene

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Aside from the odd tornado scare in these parts, we get off pretty ease when it comes to storms. I can’t imagine having to batten down the hatches on an annual basis because a big brute of a storm comes roaring through like clockwork. Often the damage is structural and is most unkind to hydrostations leaving people without power (over 5 million, last I heard) but sadly Irene has also taken lives. Picture yourself in your vehicle and the road gives way and you wash out into a swollen river. That’s what happened to a motorist in Quebec. Below is the 15m hole in the road.

Jack Layton’s Last Words to Canadians

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Jack Layton’s family has released a letter the federal NDP leader wrote just two days prior to his death today at the age of 61.

The Letter:

August 20, 2011

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

Ashton Kutcher isn’t going without while on the set of “Two and a Half Men.”

Production on the new season is underway and Ashton spends his time in between scenes in this massive, double-decker mega-trailer. 

My wife and I have a 950 square foot home and even that seems more than enough for us.  In contrast, Ashton’s trailer is 1,200 square feet. 

He’s got his master bedroom, walk in closet, full kitchen, hot tub and 6 flat screen TVs.  It’s all decked out in leather, oak and marble.  It’s 5 star luxury.

Allegedly, CBS is paying out $8,750 a week for Ashton’s home away from home. 

Will Smith had a similar trailer while filming Men In Black III except his was the “deluxe” version with a recording studio, a sound booth for voice-over work and a chess room. Also: a wireless touchscreen remote to control heat, AC, lighting and blinds.

For the base-price of $2million, you too can have your very own mega-trailer.  Or, become a star and have your bosses pay for it like Will and Ashton have done.

Movie Sequels for 2012

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

With the announcement of Austin Powers 4 in 2013, it reminded me of how much Hollywood loves releasing sequels. Then it got me wondering what sequels/prequels may be on the horizon in 2012:

G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2
Clash of the Titans 2
Die Hard 5
Ghostbusters III
Men in Black III
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Avengers
The Bourne Legacy
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Dark Knight Rises
The Expendables 2
Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Star Trek 2
James Bond 23
American Reunion
Sherlock Holmes 2
Wolverine 2
Underworld 4
Monsters Inc 2
Madagascar 3
Ghost Rider 2
Alien prequel
Ice Age 4
Resident Evil 5
Superman 2
Get Smart 2
Kick-Ass 2
Indiana Jones 5?
I, Robot 2?
Mad Max 4
Sin City 2
The Ring 3D
Zoolander 2

And honorable mentions to TV shows headed to the big screen:
21 Jump Street
24
Arrested Development

After looking at the list, it makes you wonder if there will be any room in theatres for new, original concepts.