Is that a vampire nun?

This post borrows liberally from two sites I pilfered from my brother.

First, after following the link in the weird little strip he designed, I decided to make my own. I suggest you do the same.

Second, this unsettling link from badscience — a site my brother pointed me to — talks about how the UK is changing regulation of homeopathic remedies to allow them to make medical claims without evidence. I’d hate to see Canada make a similar move, for fear that people would equate homeopathic remedies with actual medical treatment. More than they do now, I mean.

[tags]strip generator, badscience, homeopathy, mhra[/tags]

The lower 56

Of the 82 movies on my “short” list, we could only pick the 26 listed below. Here’s why we didn’t choose the other 56:

My wife didn’t want to see them:

  • A Stone’s Throw
  • Deliver Us From Evil
  • Four Minutes
  • The Island
  • The Wake

They’re coming to theatres in the next couple of months:

  • A Good Year
  • All The King’s Men
  • Babel
  • Bobby
  • Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
  • Catch a Fire
  • Cheech
  • For Your Consideration
  • Shortbus
  • Stranger than Fiction
  • The Fountain
  • The Journals of Knud Rasmussen
  • The Last Kiss
  • The U.S. vs. John Lennon

Schedule conflicts:

  • Amazing Grace
  • After the Wedding

We just didn’t end up choosing them:

  • 7 Ans
  • A Few Days Later…
  • Abeni
  • As the Shadow
  • Away From Her
  • Bamako
  • Black Book
  • Breaking and Entering
  • Cages
  • Cashback
  • Chacun sa nuit
  • Copying Beethoven
  • Dixie Chicks – Shut Up and Sing
  • Fido
  • Griffin & Phoenix
  • Jindabyne
  • Lake of Fire
  • London to Brighton
  • Love and Other Disasters
  • Out Of The Blue
  • Quelques jours en Septembre
  • Seraphim Falls
  • Severance
  • Shame
  • The Book of Revelation
  • The Dog Problem
  • The Last King of Scotland
  • The Last Winter
  • The Namesake
  • Thicker than Water
  • This is England
  • Un Crime
  • Un Dimanche à Kigali
  • When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts
  • Zidane: Un Portrait du XXIe Siècle

There were various reasons why we didn’t choose these. Some just lost out to our 26, some — like Away From Her and the Dixie Chicks documentary — were galas that we figured wouldn’t attract the director or any of the cast (which, knowing they’ll be in theatres soon, removes a lot of the attraction). Some — like When The Levees Broke — were just too long.

There were some very tough choices in there, like Cashback, Fido, Lake Of Fire, Out Of The Blue, and especially The Last King Of Scotland. Given all the buzz around that last one I’m afraid it’ll be the hit of the festival and I’ll have passed it up. But, that’s how it goes. Nothing to do now but enjoy the 13 we get and wait for the rest to be released.

[tags]tiff, toronto international film festival[/tags]

The round mound of expound

I really, really, really hope we get to see this one. It’s premiering at the film festival.


I liked Charles Barkley as a player, but I don’t like him all that much as an analyst. I do, however, like him as a political commentator.

Charles Barkley was his usual outspoken self during a recent television interview in which he said, among other things, that he advocates gay marriage, believes Republicans have screwed up the country and is “struggling with my idea of what religion is.”

[tags]death of a president, d.o.a.p., charles barkley, tiff, toronto international film festival[/tags]


After an aborted attempt to drop off earlier this afternoon (we missed a single yellow highlight), I took the envelope back down to College Park. We’re in box #12.

Crossing fingers………………………………………………………now.

[tags]tiff, toronto international film festival[/tags]

Am I missing the goat? I mean boat?

The new Black Keys disc Magic Potion is very good. If you’re a fan of chunky, fuzzy blues/rock, you’ll like this.

I just can’t get into the new Mountain Goats disc Get Lonely. In general, I’m a little hot and cold on the band…actually, that’s not true. I’m more cold than hot. A lot more. This new disc is no different…despite all the love it’s getting, it just all sounds blah and meh to me.

[tags]black keys – magic potion, mountain goats – get lonely[/tags]


We have winnowed the list of 82 films down to 13 (a friend of ours is taking 2):

  1. Thu Sep 7: The Bothersome Man *or* Requiem
  2. Fri Sep 8: Citizen Duane *or* Chronicle of an Escape
  3. Sat Sep 9: The Wind That Shakes the Barley *or* EMPz 4 Life
  4. Sat Sep 9: Rescue Dawn *or* All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
  5. Sun Sep 10: Candy *or* Retrieval
  6. Sun Sep 10: Kurt Cobain About A Son *or* 2:37
  7. Mon Sep 11: Diggers *or* Blindsight
  8. Mon Sep 11: Little Children *or* Fay Grim
  9. Tue Sep 12: The Half Life of Timofey Berezin *or* 10 Items or Less
  10. Wed Sep 13: The Hottest State *or* Day Night Day Night
  11. Thu Sep 14: The Pleasure of Your Company *or* Snow Cake
  12. Fri Sep 15: D.O.A.P. *or* Penelope
  13. Sat Sep 16: Outsourced *or* Macbeth

Nellie’s filling out the paperwork now. Tomorrow I’ll drop it off and lock my fingers into the “crossed” position.

[tags]tiff, toronto international film festival[/tags]

Slush anyone?

Last week TimmyD blogged about the (now-resolved) softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the US. It seems there’s a potential new wrinkle in the story which, if true, is pretty unsettling:

The Tyee has an excerpt from testimony delivered by an American trade lawyer to our own Standing Committee on International Trade. Not only does Elliot Feldman lambaste the Conservatives’ softwood lumber deal as a rotten deal for Canada but he lets us in on something that ought to be a headline on every media outlet in the country: of the one billion dollars plus that we’re allowing the Americans to keep under the terms of that deal, $450 million goes straight to the White House with no congressional oversight. The legalese in the contract says it will go for “meritorious initiatives”. Feldman calls it a slush fund and suggests that it will be used to help campaigning Republicans who are desperate to maintain control of both houses of congress in November’s mid-term elections. [from POGGE]

As if it weren’t bad enough that those $450 million were ill-gotten gains. Couldn’t they just end the duplicity at the unfair trade practices?

More here.


Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in months. Not surprisingly, there are no headlines or lead stories on the news about how much easier life is for people who choose to live 80 km from where they work (or vice versa). Never fear; I’ll be sure to remind them next time they start up their (presumably gas-powered) whining machines again.


This is pretty hard to believe:

An architect of Iraqi descent has said he was forced to remove a T-shirt that bore the words “We will not be silent” before boarding a flight at New York. [from the BBC]

Wait…no it isn’t.

[tags]softwood lumber dispute, elliot feldman, slush fund, gas prices, we will not be silent[/tags]

Catch a downloadable Star

Very interesting idea by the Toronto Star (or maybe they copied it…I don’t pay much attention to the newspaper business) to offer a free PDF version of an afternoon paper for download, delivered to your inbox at 3:30 (or 4:15 if you want business news too). I like this idea for two reasons: 1) it shows the Star is thinking about…well, something new; 2) it might help to cut down on the unholy mess of free daily newspapers in our subway system. Each day, twice a day — after the morning and evening commutes — tens of thousands of those things are abandoned on subway seats and floors, stuffed into garbage cans, and left scattered about TTC stations. Of course, anybody who gets this daily email will likely just print the PDF, but since it’s not bound hopefully they’ll just print the pages they want; at the very least, it’s less paper consumed (and strewn about) than one of those daily rags.

Well done, Star.

[tags]toronto star, star p.m.[/tags]

My first cut of picks for the film festival

I just went through the festival guide and marked all the films I found interesting. I narrowed it down to 82. Nellie is reviewing my list now, whittling out the ones she doesn’t want, but she’s not being very brutal about it and we’re probably going to end up with about 70. Figure maybe 10-15 more get eliminated because of scheduling problems and…well, we’re gonna have some touch decision on our hands. We can only see 13 or 14, so somethin’s gotta give.

Anyway, here’s the first cut. I can’t be bothered linking them to the official schedule.

  1. 2:37
  2. 10 Items or Less
  3. 7 Ans
  4. A Few Days Later…
  5. A Good Year
  6. A Stone’s Throw
  7. Abeni
  8. After the Wedding
  9. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
  10. All The King’s Men
  11. Amazing Grace
  12. As the Shadow
  13. Away From Her
  14. Babel
  15. Bamako
  16. Black Book
  17. Blindsight
  18. Bobby
  19. Book of Revelation, The
  20. Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
  21. Bothersome Man, The
  22. Breaking and Entering
  23. Cages
  24. Candy
  25. Cashback
  26. Catch a Fire
  27. Chacun sa nuit
  28. Cheech
  29. Chronicle of an Escape
  30. Citizen Duane
  31. Copying Beethoven
  32. D.O.A.P.
  33. Day Night Day Night
  34. Deliver Us From Evil
  35. Diggers
  36. Dixie Chicks – Shut Up and Sing
  37. Dog Problem, The
  38. EMPz 4 Life
  39. Fay Grim
  40. Fido
  41. For Your Consideration
  42. Fountain, The
  43. Four Minutes
  44. Griffin & Phoenix
  45. Half Life of Timofey Berezin, The
  46. Hottest State, The
  47. Island, The
  48. Jindabyne
  49. Journals of Knud Rasmussen, The
  50. Kurt Cobain About A Son
  51. Lake of Fire
  52. Last King of Scotland, The
  53. Last Kiss, The
  54. Last Winter, The
  55. Little Children
  56. London to Brighton
  57. Love and Other Disasters
  58. Macbeth
  59. Namesake, The
  60. Out Of The Blue
  61. Outsourced
  62. Penelope
  63. Pleasure of Your Company, The
  64. Quelques jours en Septembre
  65. Requiem
  66. Rescue Dawn
  67. Retrieval
  68. Seraphim Falls
  69. Severance
  70. Shame
  71. Shortbus
  72. Snow Cake
  73. Stranger than Fiction
  74. Thicker than Water
  75. This is England
  76. U.S. vs. John Lennon, The
  77. Un Crime
  78. Un Dimanche à Kigali
  79. Wake, The
  80. When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts
  81. Wind That Shakes the Barley, The
  82. Zidane: Un Portrait du XXIe Siècle

[tags]toronto international film festival, TIFF[/tags]