What's going on these days...?
- Did you hear about this new species of leopard in Borneo? This thing looks bad-ass. "The clouded leopard is Borneo's largest predator, has the longest canine teeth relative to its size of any cat, and can grow as large as a small panther."
- Marvel Comics is trying to pull off a "death of" stunt, this time with Captain America. This comes on the heels of the recent Civil War storyline, where Cap and a group of "outlaws" defied the U.S. government and refused to abide by the Superhuman Registration Act. Eventually, Cap surrendered rather than incur civilian casualties, only to be taken out by...a sniper? SO lame. So not gonna last. If you read the issue, you know this "event" has plenty of loopholes. This didn't stop some media outlets from reporting the story, much as they did the "Death of Superman" - remember that? Mark my words: Cap will be back around the time that the Initiative storyline winds down - a year or so (July 4, 2008?). (As I suspected, the "Captain America" mantle will be picked up - temporarily - by The Punisher who has been getting a little more attention thanks to his role in Civil War) Give some points to Marvel for taking on a relevant political issue - the SRA was often compared to Bush's bullsh*t Patriot Act (a misnomer if there ever was one - let's protect Freedom by taking freedom away, shall we?). It's only fitting, then, that Captain America, the symbol of all things good in the U.S., would "die" fighting it.
- A couple of very real deaths occurred recently, however - both by suicide. Richard Jeni was a terrific stand-up comic - probably my favourite. I can recall a number of his routines involving late night Brooklyn-based diet infomercials ("I've got a weight loss plan for you: it's called 'Stop eating, you fat bastard!'...Send me fifty dollars, I'll send you a tape. It's not video tape, it's not audio tape, it's Scotch tape: Put if over your mouth, so the Twinkies don't get in."), the stupidity and allure of Jaws 4, and a whole bunch more.
- Brad Delp, the lead singer of famed '70s band Boston passed away this week also. I have their greatest hits CD, which includes songs like "More Than A Feeling", "Foreplay/Long Time" and "Amanda" - essential to any classic rock collection.
- Today, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the longstanding publication blackout/ban for elections. Seems some guy got fined ($1,000) for posting the Atlantic Canada results prematurely on his website. He fought the fine all the way to the Supreme Court with the support (not surprisingly) of all the major madia outlets. "He argued the prohibition in the Canada Elections Act violated freedom of speech and freedom of political association and said the ban was obsolete in the age of the Internet and other modern communications technology." Huh? Seems to me that quick and efficient mass communication tools make the ban more relevant than ever. If polls are going to have the same business hours regardless of time zone (meaning the BC polls stay open 3 hours later than the ones in Ontario) then you have to have a ban. Exit polls are one thing (inexact and flawed as they are) but posting the actual results in one region before the voting is over is just wrong (no one should know the results while an election is still taking place!). The solution is to have all the polls close at the same moment everywhere - midnight in Ontario, 9pm in BC (or something similar). Sure, the networks won't like it because of the loss of prime time coverage in the east (the alternative is to screw west coasters and have the polls there close at 6pm or something) but elections shouldn't be about television.
- I thought women tried to avoid wearing the same stuff as other women. So why is it that everywhere I look I see women carrying those ridiculous Louis Vuitton bags? (or knockoffs - how sad is that?) Weird. Honestly, ladies, it makes you look pathetic and shallow.
- Pete Rose recently admitted that he did in fact bet on baseball games involving the team he was managing at the time - the Cincinnati Reds. The thing is, he claims he bet on his team to WIN every time. Wow. If it's true, this guy shouldn't be punished; he should proceed directly to the Hall of Fame - do not pass GO, do not collect $200. That's some kind of gamer. It's not like a bet like that would affect your managing - you should be trying to win. The only shame in all this is that Rose looked like a jackass all these years for denying he bet on baseball at all.
- I'm still trying to figure out what I think of Facebook. It's such a weird concept. The appeal is that it circumvents some pay sites like Classmates, who must be crapping their pants right now (it'd be a good way to organize a reunion, provided enough members join). But the whole notion that people use it to compare the number of friends they have is completely and utterly sad. Not to mention that it's an internet voyeur's dream - you can find out tons about a person (yes, even if they make their profile "private"). It's a good way to find out if your friends have any "cute" connections that they could set you up with - thus bypassing the whole Lavalife thing. You can post pictures (bypassing Flickr). It's also a way of keeping in touch with friends (bypassing email) and what's going on in their lives (bypassing blogs). But none of this is really "free". You can bet your ass Facebook is using all of this networking info for some nefarious purpose - yes, I've started getting junk mail in my beer.com account.
- Don't you love how the Leafs manage to toy with us at this time of year? (Yes, I mean "us" - if you're not a Leafs fan, you're a closet Leafs fan!) Just when you thought they were out of it, back come Tucker and Wellwood, with Peca in the wings. Sometimes you think that if they could just get healthy and into the playoffs, they might do alright. And then the unicorns suddenly run away.