November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010)

Canadian comedic actor Leslie Nielsen died today after a bout with pneumonia. He was 84.

Today, Nielsen is probably best known for his deadpan comedic roles, especially in Airplane! and the Naked Gun movies. But he spent the first part of his career as a serious dramatic actor on both film and television. It was his second film role that made him famous: starring in 1956's Forbidden Planet as John J. Adams, a James Kirk-type spaceship commander. (Forbidden Planet - one of my favourite science-fiction films - was one of the main inspirations for Star Trek, which just goes to show that Canadians make the best starship captains. Oh, and Firefly too.)

A little-known fact outside of Canada is that Nielson's older brother Erik was a longtime Member of Parliament for Yukon and a Cabinet minister during the Conservative governments of the 1980s. This relationship was named in the (in)famous mockumentary The Canadian Conspiracy as the connection to a Canadian government conspiracy to subvert American media.

Rest in peace, Lt. Drebin.

November 27, 2010

And now . . . this - Nov. 27/10

Don't cross her, she might turn it off

After billions of years the Sun finally has an owner - a woman from Spain's soggy region of Galicia said Friday she had registered the star at a local notary public as being her property.

Angeles Duran, 49, told the online edition of daily El Mundo she took the step in September after reading about an American man who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and most planets in our solar system.

Hm. To quote Ben Kenobi, "Who's the bigger fool, the fool or the fool who follows him?

But wait, there's more.

Duran, who lives in the town of Salvaterra do Mino, said she now wants to slap a fee on everyone who uses the sun and give half of the proceeds to the Spanish government and 20 percent to the nation's pension fund.

[Full Story]

Sounds like a luractive deal, at least until the waves of skin-cancer lawsuits start rolling in.

November 19, 2010

And now . . . this - Nov. 19/10

Welcome to sunny Floriduh

A man who bought a foreclosed Florida home may have found the former owner's body when he discovered a corpse in the garage.

Mortgage lender Wells Fargo sold the home Wednesday. Neighbors told authorities that the woman had "disappeared" some time ago.

[Full Story]

Which just raises the question: Does anyone ever bother to check foreclosed houses before selling them? Or do they all come with a complimentary corpse?

Meanwhile, on the stupid side of the continent . . .

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's . . .

Vigilante justice has come to Seattle, and the caped crusaders drive a Kia.

Seattle police say a group of self-described superheroes have been patrolling the streets at night trying to save people from crime. They call themselves the Rain City Superhero Movement and say they're part of a nationwide movement of real-life crime fighters. . . .

Investigators identified nine people dressed in costume going around Seattle after dark. A police source said the characters go by Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Penelope and Phoenix Jones the Guardian of Seattle.

But don't listen to Captain Ozone or Knight Owl, police were told. They're apparently not part of the group.

[Full Story - and you really want to read the whole thing]

It's all fun and games until the crooks form the Rain City Supervillain Movement and level the city with an atomic death ray.

The student brownshirt infection spreads to yet another school

As a Waterloo alumnus, I remember the good old days when UW was a bastion of political apathy. Sure, we didn't give a crap, but at least we didn't have to occupy stages to tell everyone. It seems that in the 13 years since I graduated, K-W has become a bastion of radical nuttery.

After cancelling her appearance due to vocal protests, the University of Waterloo has apologized to an author and the audience that had gathered to hear her speak in the Humanities Theatre last Friday.

Journalist and columnist Christie Blatchford cancelled her scheduled appearance on Friday night, where she had planned to discuss her new book Helpless: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy and How the Law Failed All of Us by vocal protests. She had been invited to speak on campus by the university bookstore.

Blatchford's book chronicles government action during 2006 protests in Caledonia, Ontario. First Nation protesters had demonstrated against efforts by a corporate land developer to build on land that the protestors claimed they are entitled to due to rights laid out in treaties with government. Members of KW Anti-Racist Action (ARA) took the stage following a teach-in that was held regarding the topics surrounding the book.

[Full Story]

So the WatCops couldn't handle three ignorant waifs? Please. These people thought it made sense to cry "racist" to protest an author presenting a thesis that the government has failed to treat all its citizens equally. I'm sure a couple of security guards with grade 12 educations could have thrown them into utter confusion.

And while we're at it, let's also weep for the state of graduate education:

[Protestor Dan] Kellar said he took a role in protesting against Blatchford's appearance in the academic setting of UW, as he feels she is a non-academic figure. "This is an academic setting and she has no place coming here to talk in an un-academic fashion," he said.

As opposed to the eminently "academic" action of occupying a stage in protest to stifle the free exchange of ideas, that is. Oh, brother.

November 18, 2010

Last Chance U.'s student goobermint does it again

Well, you can say one thing for CUSA: at least they're being consistent. Whether they're voting to decertify any campus club that disagrees with official pro-choice dogma, calling pro-life advocates Holocaust deniers, or cancelling charity events that raise funds to find cures for diseases that don't kill enough minorities or women, you can usually count on the Carleton University Student Association to hop on the hot-air balloon of stupidity and drift up into Cloud Cuckoo Land.

On Monday, CUSA voted again to decertify Carleton Lifeline, the campus pro-life club, as the National Post reports:

Carleton University’s official student association has banned the Ottawa institution’s anti-abortion club, offering it just one way to get back into good graces: support abortion rights.

On Monday, the Carleton University Student Association (CUSA), decertified Carleton Lifeline for its anti-abortion views. It told the club that being against abortion violated CUSA’s anti-discrimination policy, but that it could get recertified in a day or two.

"We invite you to amend your constitution to create one that respects our anti-discrimination policy as laid out above," wrote Khaldoon Bushnaq, CUSA’s vice-president of internal affairs. "If you are able to resubmit a constitution that meets our criteria by Thursday, November 18th we will be able to certify your club for this semester."

[Full Story]

Translation: "By all means the pro-life group can have its status back, just as soon as it stops being pro-life." Nice club. Shame if something happened to it.

As club president Ruth Lobo points out in the article, Lifeline hasn't had an issue with CUSA since 2007. If they havent changed their constitution, then obviously CUSA's complaint about it not meeting policy is bogus. The last time Lifeline was decertified, it was a knee-jerk reaction to a debate held on campus a month earlier on whether elective abortion should be legal. This time, decertification comes a month after some Lifeline members were arrested for "trespassing" (on their own campus) for displaying the graphic Genocide Awareness Project. It looks to me that the CUSA's accusation of "discrimination" by Lifeline is a fig leaf meant to cover up CUSA's own discrimination against students who refuse to toe the line of official orthodoxy. (If GAP showed bloody images of dismembered Palestinians instead of dismembered fetuses, would we even be reading about this?)

A blog I read earlier today (and unfortunately can't find now, to give proper credit) put it well: CUSA discriminates against opinions contrary to its own policies, then through compulsory fees, compels pro-life students to discriminate against themselves. I guess we'll see in the next few days whether the usual public pressure at CUSA's idiocy makes them blink. Again.