29 November 2009

Crashing the Divide Between Self-Obsessed Celebrity-Seekers and Serious People

I've been thinking quite a bit about the incident last week where an uninvited couple seeking their 15 minutes of fame crashed a White House dinner party. It was a major security breach and even though the couple passed through security scanners without any weapons, thus not posing any threat to any of America's political leaders, they are the next folks in a series of people who are looking for fame and fortune at any cost. Apparently the couple is now in negotiations with the Bravo! Network for a TV show, and they also had a camera crew following their adventures at the White House.

To me, there should be a separation between entertainment and state. Let the celebrities do their thing while the serious people conduct the business of the country. There are certainly some very well-educated and highly articulate celebrities that voice their political opinions--the governor of California is the freakin' Terminator, after all--but more often than not we get the eye-rolling escapades of Britney Spears or Sean Penn. I have a great fear that one day a major political party is going to elect its presidential candidate or party leader on an American Idol-style show, complete with 20 second soundbites, choreographed dance numbers, and the winners are judged by Ellen Degeneres and Simon Cowell. For goodness sakes, we already have Sarah Palin on the precipice of being the Republican candidate for 2012; imagine the possibilities of how it could get even worse!

Getting back to the White House crashers, we've already crossed the line when it comes to self-obsessed celebrity seeking. The balloon boy incident was an embarrassment, and the family should be in jail or some sort of counselling, not hoping the good executives of TLC call looking to make them the next John & Kate. The fact that two dumbasses think that getting into the White House to pose for pictures with Joe Biden and Rahm Emanuel should be their ticket to fame and notoriety is kind of revolting to me. These clowns can go crash Paris Hilton's birthday or have live sex on Facebook or whatever obscure means they want to go through to find their 15 minutes and get their TV show. Leave the serious people who have serious things to do alone. Sure they were having a little party - it's not an invitiation for YOU to come join. And really, the politicos have their own ways to make asses of themselves for the gossip pages.

27 November 2009

Can Carey Price Make the Olympic Team?

With his play this past month I have to wonder if my favourite goaltender might have an opportunity to be named the #3 goaltender for Team Canada at the Olympics. Of course Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur are locks for the 1-2 positions, not necessarily in that order. But there's been some shifting in the rankings for who gets to be the pressbox watcher. There was a lot of talk about Steve Mason at the start of the season but he's been going through the dreaded sophomore jinx, and his numbers this year are not so good. Marc-Andre Fleury has the benefit of being the defending Stanley Cup Champions' goaltender, and his play has been stellar this year.

Carey Price stumbled out of the blocks this year, further burying his chances after the collapse of last season. But ever since Halak's agent got on the Twitter, Carey has been sensational. The game against Pittsburgh the other day was the first game in 7 that he'd allowed more than 2 goals. His save percentage has been around the .940% mark over that stretch. He's been making a lot of big saves and giving his injury-depleted roster a chance to win every night. If he can keep up his level of play through the end of December, when Team Canada names the official roster, can he make the team?


Carey Price

26 November 2009

New Layout

I got really tired of the old one, as images were always severely cropped and restricted without a lot of fidgeting. Plus I'm attached to these colours a little bit.

Take the Pledge

Here: http://www.whiteribbon.ca/pledge

25 November 2009

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Every day should be the day for the elimination of violence against women. Here's why:

* 1 in 3 women experience male violence at some point in their lives.
* Nearly 60% of Canadian men find prostitution acceptable. 92% of women who are involved in prostitution do not.
* Every day in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at least one woman reports a sexual assault.
* Less than 10% of sexual assaults are reported to police.
* 97% of sexual assaults are committed by men.
* 83% of the more than 40,000 acts of domestic violence in Canada in 2007 were committed against women.

06 November 2009

Possibly the Most Damning Thing of All

"Sheila Fraser's scathing report on Canada's ability to deal effectively with a national emergency such as H1N1 has landed relatively quietly. It's almost as if most people already knew their senior levels of government had failed them, so Fraser's report comes as not much of a surprise." (Howard Elliott, Hamilton Spectator, November 5, 2009)

Generally speaking, when Sheila Fraser submits a report it doesn't land quietly, in absolute terms or even relative to, oh I don't know, Spinal Tap turning it to 11. Even though people knew something was wrong with the sponsorship program, when Fraser released her report it was a bombshell of monolithic proportions. So for her to issue a report on the shortcomings of Ottawa's preparedness and have it generate nary more than a shrug of the shoulders is truly revealing of just how little Canada thinks of its government's response to the H1N1 pandemic. It is true that Canadians are renowned for their politically apathetic ways, but the silence speaks volumes.

02 November 2009

My Head Hurts

Myth 4: Taking the regular flu shot puts me at risk of becoming very ill with H1N1

Fact 4: Preliminary findings from some Canadian studies indicate that those healthy adults that tested positive for H1N1 were twice as likely to have received seasonal vaccine. More research is needed to establish whether or not there is a causal relationship between these factors. What is important is that there is no association with receiving seasonal vaccine and experiencing serious illness from H1N1.

This information was sent to me this morning. Break it down:
The "myth" is that getting the seasonal flu shot increases the likelihood of getting H1N1
The response is to say that studies show that people who got H1N1 got the seasonal flu vaccine – they are "twice as likely" to get H1N1 as some unidentified group. The response continues to say that getting the flu shot has no causal relationship to getting H1N1.

Is it any wonder that Canadians are confused as to whether or not they should be lining up to get the H1N1 vaccine?