living in wonderland

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Location: Wonderland, Alberta, Canada

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Oprah before OPRAH

Did you know what Oprah did before she was a host of a day time talk show? She was a professional question asker on infomercials. Just like Homer Simpson was. Her latest return to this former job was displayed on the many repeated broadcast of her show with Al Gore talking about his movie (third highest grossing documentary according to Oprah's repeated claims). Every question she asked seemed to lead easily into his next point. I was waiting for her to ask him if global warming makes her steak juicier. Playing to emotions rather than intellect, Gore showed that if the ice on Greenland were to melt, the World Trade Center Memorial would be underwater. Fortunately, Oprah was there to ask the burning question everyone wanted. How can we get people to know what you know?

Not that I am discounting the importance of taking care of the environment, but Gore's answer, and jokingly so, was "Buy the DVD. Buy the book." I am so glad that Oprah was there to ask the questions.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dan Does Daring

Outrage erupts as Daniel Radcliffe, best known as the wizard boy Harry Potter, expands his acting resume which requires him to bare all in the UK production of Equus. Parents all over are calling for the end of the advertisement depicting Harry Potter naked. But wait! There is no lightning shaped scar on his forehead. There are no glasses. There are no Gryffindor robes or a wise cracking redheaded Ron Weasley. These are not pictures of Harry Potter. Even for those who disagree with the pictures, you can not say it is inappropriate for Harry Potter to have these pictures taken. It isn't Harry Potter. It's Daniel Radcliffe, an actor who portrays Harry Potter. Although he appears in a children's movie, he is no longer a child in the eyes of the British Government.
Do you reminisce about old episodes of "Diff'rent Strokes"? Remember Kimberly Drummond? She was in Playboy. No wait, that was Dana Plato. She also abused drugs and alcohol while filming the TV show, overdosed on valium, and robbed a video store. Parents must remember that actors are people that take various roles in their career. Some you like, some you don't. For example, who would you rather invite to dinner: Hannibal Lector or Zorro? Trick question. They are both Anthony Hopkins.

We Interupt This Program....

What is a good reason to interupt a regular scheduled program? Here are a few logical options:
1. An Amber Alert
2. A weather related emergency
3. An act of terrorism or declaration of war immediately affecting the broadcast area
4. The retirement of a hockey player's jersey
What? What was the last one? The retirement of a hockey player's jersey?
Well, that is what the CBC (the government operated Canadian Broadasting Corporation based in Toronto) did this week.
From 1971 - 1979, Ken Dryden was the goalie for the Montreal Canadiens. His number 29 was being retired to the rafters and while flipping channels I caught a bit of his speech. Realizing that the players boxs were full of players ready to start a game, I watched a bit. Ken Dryden droned on about his success and the gratitude he has for hockey and the Montreal organization. After he finished his speech, the announcer's voice came over the scene and stated that the Ottawa and Montreal areas can find the game broadcast on their local channels and all other stations will return to regular scheduled programming. That meant for us in Wonderland no hockey game. I was somewhat surprised that they would stop programming for Dryden's dry speech and then continue with Dr. Who already in progress. As a hockey fan I would have been happy to sit through the thank yous and gratitudes to see a hockey game. No such luck. Thanks CBC. Thanks for nothing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Lesson in Canadian Politics

Currently in Alberta the governing party is going through a leadership battle. The current leader is retiring and the review for a new leader has just passed the first vote. In order to become a leader of a political party, the candidate must receive 50% + 1 of the votes of party members. Becoming a party member is easy. Just sign your name and pay your fee.
The oddity of Canadian politics is that the new leader of the party becomes the new leader of the province. No election of the people, just paying party members. Next Saturday is the second round of votes of the three top candidates from the first round. One of these three men, in this case, will be the Premier of Alberta (equivalent of a US State Governor). It will be up to that new leader when to call a general election to determine if the public want his party to rule the government.
This is because of another Canadian political oddity. You don't get to vote for who you want to lead the province or country. If he of she is the leader of the party that gains the more votes, by default that party leader becomes the Premier or Prime Minister. This is mighty frustrating for a Canadian voter who likes the party, but not the leader. Canada's great political system, established by a well known drunk and his friends, is a piece of work.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Cold War Alive and Well in Canada

Shock and disbelief on the coverage of the Russian Spy case in Montreal. Paul William Hampel is being held in a secret location as he prepares for trial. At his first court appearance for his deportation, Federal Court Judge Pierre Blais told the court he was 'very surprised and angry' that his orders were not followed as Hampel was not given an outline of the case against him in time.
It should be a very simple outline:
- You stand before the judge
- The judge will ask of you are a spy
- You say yes or no
- if 'yes' you get deported
- if 'no' you go to trial and then deported
What is more unbelievable is that there were 10 uniformed immigration and border services agents in the courtroom wearing bullet proof vests. Maybe there was a tip that his countrymen would come and break him out before the taxpayers could pay for his cushy flight home. Hampel apparently smiled at reporters when the judge stated that the case will be postponed until Nov 28. Another six days from now to find a way to signal his comrades where his secret prison is located. A delayed trial is no big deal. What is most amazing to themadhatter is the final sentence of the uncredited report from story from the CanWest news service:
"Some reporters attending the hearing could be heard talking with what sounded like a slight Russian accent."
Coincidently there were French accents as well. Since that is one of the two official languages of Canada, yes we have two, there is no suspicion of French spies.
Man, is Canada paranoid.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Canadian Security Threatened

A spy, suspected to be a member of the SVC successor of the KGB, was arrested in an attempt to leave Canada under an assumed identity. Paul William Hampel, as he was known, was detained after a security certificate was sent out regarding his activities. Here's the kicker. He'll probably be deported for his actions and the tax payers will have to pay for it. Way to go, Canada. he gets a free trip home.
It is not known what information he was spying for and where he was going.
It is presumed that he is not from Poland, as we all know their hockey team sucks because they do not know the formula for ice.
It is not plans for climate change as we know that Canada was placed 51st of 56 countries. We beat the US!! Shut up, Canada. It's not your turn!
We know it is not our plentiful oil. None to be found at Trudeau Airport or Aeroport de Trudeau.
Definitely not our silly language laws that only apply outside the sovereign nation independently living within Canada.
What does Canada have that the SVC wants so badly, especially in Montreal? Simple. Sandwich al a viande fumee de Montreal or the recipe for the Montreal Smoked Sandwich. Well comrads, Here it is. Bon apetite!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Interview with Canada on Climate Change

themadhatter: Hey, Canada! You received the fossil award from the Climate Action Network and Germanwatch has come out with a report card and you are number 51 of 56 countries ranked for performance and climate policy change. What is your reaction, Canada?
Canada: We are ahead of Kazakhstan and two ahead of the US. I am happy we beat the neighbour to the south. He thinks he is so great with his military, set election dates, and private health care. It feels good.
tmh: Isn't it embarassing to have 50 countries ahead of you.
C: Well I guess you could look at it that way. But we are ahead of the US and that is really important to me.
tmh: Have you thought of following the actions of Sweden, Denmark, or Britain in thier action for climate change.
C: Sweden does have a good hockey team, but I think we can beat them, eh?
tmh: So what is your policy on climate change?
C: I have a full closet with varying clothing to be ready for the weather. Did I mention we are ahead of the US?
tmh:ARGH!!Canada beats Sweden 2006 Torino Olympic Games

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Don't Know Much, But I Know I Hate Him.

Canadian news agencies are reporting with glee today as the US mid-term elections have given the Democrats control of the House of Representatives. The Senate is still being contested in Virginia and Montana. Kevin Newman, Global National news anchor will be most thrilled. He has always presented a skewed version of Americans living in Canada. During the last Presidential Race, the only people he interviewed were disgruntled Democrat supporters that fled the US, half of which were lesbian and didn't approve of George W.'s stand on family values.
A general dislike for the current president has made most ill-informed Canadians desire a Democratic government. Imagine on 9-11 if Al Gore was president. What would be his response? "Can't we all just get along?" Or maybe, "The burning fuel from the planes in the WTC is bad for the environment." I doubt that Gore would have the stones to take on Osama and company, but Canada mourned a Republican win. Now the tide has turned as it did for most presidents in their second term.
Congrats, Canada. You got what you want, but you don't know what you are getting.