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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Is It Just Me?

The US Flag

Is it just me or does anyone else find it absolutely amazing that the U.S. government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington, and determine exactly what that cow ate. They can also track her calves right to their stalls, and tell you what kind of feed they ate. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around in their country, including people that are trying to blow up important structures in the U.S. My solution is to give every illegal alien a cow as soon as they enter the country.

*Auntie 'M'

Gay Canadians Hail Election 'Victory'

NDP and Bloc Quebecois will keep the Lib's in line... The NDP and The BLOC Quebecois will keep The Lib's In line while locking out Harper and the redneck Conservatives... Heck, I'm just happy that Jim Pankiw was voted out! --The Wizard.
(Ottawa) Canadian gays Tuesday were celebrating what they regard as a victory in Monday's federal election that left the Liberals clinging to power as long as they are propped up by the country's two smaller parties. (election coverage)

“Yesterday was a great day for equality,” said Alex Munter, Co-Chair of Canadians for Equal Marriage. “Canadians have overwhelmingly voted for parties committed to equality for all Canadians, including lesbian and gay people. Now Parliament needs to move forward with equal marriage legislation. One-quarter of Canadians still cannot access equal marriage, and they must be put on an equal footing with the rest of us.”

Going into the election polls showed that the Conservative Party could win either a minority or possibly a majority government, but a series of blunders by party candidates unleashed a wave of concerns among voters.

During the six-week campaign Conservative leader Stephen Harper attempted to say little about same-sex marriage, other than that his government would oppose it. He would not say whether he would use the notwithstanding clause in the Constitution which allows governments to override court decisions. But, the man who was touted as the party's likely justice minister was eager to talk.

In an interview with a documentary filmmaker MP Randy White said that a Conservative government would redefine the Charter of Rights and use the notwithstanding clause to overrule court rulings it doesn't agree with, such as same-sex marriage.

"Well the heck with the courts, eh. You know, one of these days we in this country are gong to stand up and say, the politicians make the laws and the courts do not."

The film was turned over to the Liberals in the last days of the campaign, and made available to the media.

Another statement in the film was: "If the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is going to be used as the crutch to carry forward all of the issues that social libertarians want, then there's got to be, for us conservatives out there, there's got to be a way to put checks and balances in that."

"So the notwithstanding clause . . . should be used and I would think that not just for the definition of marriage, but I think you'll see more uses . . ."

Throughout the campaign same-sex marriage advocates have dogged Harper as his campaign crisscrossed the country.

At a stop in Guelph, Ontario, Laurie Arron, political coordinator of Canadians for Equal Marriage, and a fellow activist were accosted when they pressed Harper on the Conservative position on gay marriage.

Then it was revealed that the party would encourage legislation taking away a woman's right to chose. Voters were also uneasy with Conservative Party stand supporting the US war in Iraq.

“Canadians got the message that the Conservative Party is dominated by those with regressive Reform Party values,” said Laurie Arron, Political Coordinator for Canadians for Equal Marriage. “Canadians soundly rejected those values as being anathema to the kind of society people want.”

But, the election showed that the public is dissatisfied with the Liberals, already in power for three consecutive terms, over a series of scandals involving millions of dollars.

In Quebec, the party was hit hard by the separatist Bloc Quebecois. In Ontario, the New Democrats and Conservatives had gains, and in the west, Conservatives ruled.

“The loss of a handful of supportive [Liberal] MPs was more than compensated for by the election of NDP and Bloc MPs who support the Charter and support equal marriage for same-sex couples," said Arron.

"It’s also heartening that the only Conservative elected in the Greater Toronto Area, Belinda Stronach, supports full equality for lesbian and gay people in all laws. Clearly there is no political advantage in opposing equal marriage for same-sex couples. In fact, the results of the election show that MPs who supported equal marriage for same-sex couples did better than those who opposed it.”

Scott Brison, the gay Progressive Conservative MP who refused to join the merged Conservatives and ran as a Liberal handily won his Nova Scotia riding. Real Menard was reelected for the Bloc in Quebec. Libby Davies was reelected for the NDP in British Columbia, as was Bill Siksay, who replaced Svend Robinson. But, Glen Murray, the first openly gay mayor in Canada lost his bid to sit in the House of Commons as a Liberal.


Leroy is a 20 year-old 5th grader. This is Leroy's homework assignment. He must use each vocabulary word in a sentence.

1. Hotel - I gave my girlfriend crabs, and the ho tel everybody.
2. Dictate - My girlfriend say my dictate good.
3. Catacomb - I saw Don King at da fight the other night. Man,somebody get that catacomb.
4. Foreclose - If I pay alimony today, I got no money foreclose.
5. Rectum - I had two Cadillac's, but my bitch rectum both.
6. Disappointment - My parole officer tol' me if I miss disappointment they gonna send me back to the joint.
7. Penis - I went to the doctors and he handed me a cup and saidpenis.
8. Israel - Tito try to sell me a Rolex. I say, "man, it look fake." He say, "Bullshit, that watch israel".
9 Undermine - There's a fine lookin' ho living in the apartment undermine.
10.Acoustic - When I was little, my uncle bought me acoustic and took me to the poolhall.
11.Iraq - When we got to the poolhall, I tol' my uncle iraq, you break.
12. Stain - My mother-in-law stopped by and I axed her, "Do you plan on stain for dinner?"
13.Fortify - I axed this ho on da street, "how much?" she say "fortify."
14.Income - I just got in bed wif da ho and income my wife .

Furthering your education with Today's Ebonic word:
Today's word is :"OMELETTE"
Let us use it in a sentence.

"I should pop yo ass fo what you jus did, but omelette dis one slide."

Wizard's Note: No Offence meant to anyone.

*Thanks, Daryn!

Foot Locker Stores Accused Of Gay Discrimination

Foot Locker Stores Stand Accused of Gay Discrimination(Columbia, South Carolina) A lawsuit was filed Tuesday accusing Foot Locker, Inc. of harassing and then firing a gay employee.

The suit alleges that Kevin Dunbar, 26, suffered antigay harassment and discrimination at the hands of his coworkers, supervisors and customers.

Dunbar claims that when Dunbar formally complained that he was being harassed the discrimination grew worse. His suit says that he was transferred from one store location in Columbia to another, where his new store manager refused to shake his hand and said, "I heard about your shit, I don't want your faggot ass in my store."

"Once I became a target, every morning when I woke up and I was scheduled for work, I knew that my supervisors and coworkers would verbally insult and degrade me, probably in front of customers," Dunbar said Tuesday. "At best, they'd talk behind my back and make my every task twice as difficult -- just because I'm gay."

Foot Locker, Inc. has a nondiscrimination policy which includes sexual orientation.

"Kevin Dunbar was subjected to a nightmarish workplace and then fired because he is gay," said Greg Nevins, an attorney with Lambda Legal which is representing Dunbar.

"Foot Locker could have addressed this problem, as it clearly promises employees in its policies, but instead chose to ignore it and make it worse. Our client followed the rules to address the discrimination, and all it got him was a pink slip," said Nevins.

In the lawsuit, Lambda Legal argues that Foot Locker, Inc., breached its contract with Dunbar by violating the company's own anti-harassment, anti-discrimination and open-door policies that are promised in the employee handbook.

Three customers who witnessed three separate incidents of antigay harassment have sworn affidavits on Dunbar's behalf.

One customer approached Dunbar and gave him her name and phone number "because as a Christian woman I felt this was wrong, and the Lord told me to help and heal because the hurt, pain and embarrassment I saw on Mr. Dunbar's face was intense."

On another occasion, a customer was shopping with her four children and heard Dunbar's coworkers calling him "punk ass" and "faggot."

After one particularly harsh round of name-calling, a customer was concerned for Dunbar's safety when she heard a coworker threaten, "I will beat his punk ass!"

A spokesperson for the company refused comment on the suit.

In conjunction with the lawsuit, Lambda Legal launched what it calls a "Blow the Whistle on Foot Locker" campaign today, designed to activate people nationwide beginning with a series of town hall meetings set to kick off in Columbia after Labor Day. An aggressive post-card campaign also launched today will encourage thousands of people nationwide to complain to the company.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

A Warning? Or A Case Of Chicken Little?

A couple learned a hard lesson this last week.

Their house burned down...nothing left but ashes. They have good insurance, so the home will be replaced and most of the contents. That is the good news. However, they were sick when they found out the cause of the fire. The insurance investigator sifted through the ashes for several hours. He had the cause of the fire traced to the master bathroom. He asked the lady what she had plugged in the bathroom. She listed the normal things....curling iron, blow dryer. He kept saying to her, "No, this would be something that would disintegrate at high temperatures." Then, she remembered she had a Glade Plug-in in the bathroom. The investigator had one of those "Aha" moments. He said that was the cause of the fire.
Glade Plug-in with night light

He said he has seen more home fires started with the plug in type room fresheners than anything else. He said the plastic they are made from is a THIN plastic. He said in every case there was nothing left to prove that it even existed. When the investigator looked in the wall plug, the two prongs left from the plug-in were still in there. The family had one of the plug-ins that had a small night light built in it. She said she had noticed that the light would dim....and then finally go out. She would walk in a few hours later, and the light would be back on again. The investigator said that the unit was getting too hot, and would dim and go out rather than just blow the light bulb.

Once it cooled down, it would come back on. That is a warning sign. The investigator said he personally wouldn't have any type of plug in fragrance device anywhere in his house. He has seen too many burned down homes.

As I care about my friends, it was important that I share this with you.

Warning: Immediately remove all "plug-ins" of this type from your home. You'll sleep safer at night.

Thanks, Daryn!

Wizard's Note: Yet again, we are faced with a dire warning authored by someone who didn't see fit to sign his or her name to it. We have no way of determining, therefore, whether the exact incident described above actually took place.

As to the general question of whether plug-in air fresheners constitute a fire hazard, there is conflicting information:

Manufacturers Say the Products Are Safe
Manufacturers, particularly S.C. Johnson, maker of Glade PlugIn brand air fresheners, maintain the devices have been thoroughly tested and are safe when used as directed. And although the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission presided over a voluntary recall of 2.5 million "misassembled" Glade Extra Outlet Scented Oil Air Fresheners in April 2002 on grounds that they "could pose a risk of fire," the agency has issued no warnings on any brand of plug-in air freshener since.

'Scores' of Consumer Complaints
Nevertheless, as noted in a May 2002 article in the Milwaukee Business Journal, the Consumer Product Safety Commission admitted at that time having received "scores" of complaints about the devices. Some fire victims interviewed in TV news reports about the 2002 recall blamed plug-in air fresheners for damage to their homes. That same year, a class action lawsuit was filed in Illinois alleging that a faulty Glade PlugIn air freshener had ignited, resulting in $200,000 damage to a Chicago home. The suit, which contended that other consumers had experienced similar problems, accused S.C. Johnson of negligence in not warning consumers that the product could overheat and cause fires. S.C. Johnson responded that no investigation had ever found Glade PlugIn air fresheners definitively at fault in any home fire.

Independent Tests Showed No Product Malfunction
An independent investigation conducted by Underwriters Laboratories, a nonprofit safety certification firm, found that none of the reported problems with plug-in air fresheners sold under the Glade brand could be duplicated in a laboratory setting and concluded that fires attributed to the products were actually a result of faulty home wiring.

Internet Rumors Are False, Says Manufacturer of Glade
S.C. Johnson posted the following notice on its Website in response to rampant email rumors:

SC Johnson recently learned that there have been postings on the Internet that have claimed that our products were involved in fires. It is important that you know that all of our PlugIns® products are safe and will not cause fires. We know this because PlugIns® products have been sold for more than 15 years and hundreds of millions of the products are being used safely.
Because we are committed to selling safe products, SC Johnson thoroughly investigated these rumors. First, we confirmed that no one had contacted SC Johnson to tell us about these fires or to ask us to investigate them. Additionally, we had a leading fire investigation expert call the fire department representative who is identified in one of the Internet postings. That fireman indicated that he has no evidence that our products had caused any fire.

We also know that our products do not cause fires because all of our PlugIns® products have been thoroughly tested by Underwriters Laboratories and other independent laboratories and our products meet or exceed safety requirements. SC Johnson also has worked closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate allegations that PlugIns® products have been involved in fires.

As a more than 100-year-old, family-owned company, SC Johnson is committed to providing top quality products that can be used safely in homes and we want to reassure you that PlugIns® products can be used with complete confidence.

Pool Boys


Teen thriller Swimfan is chock full of melt in your mouth eye candy. Click here to read a review.

Liberals Squeak By As Canada Elects Minority Gov't

Minority Gov't Elected (Ottawa) A week ago Canada's governing Liberals were being written off as pollsters predicted a Conservative landslide in Monday's general election, but as the Conservative Party policies on same-sex marriage, health care, and defense became apparent, voters became nervous.

Monday Canadians reelected the Liberals but handed them only a minority government one which will be forced to wheel and deal with the country's two smaller parties, the New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois.

The electorate shaken by Liberal scandals wanted to punish the party, but not enough to elect the new Conservative party which as the campaign wore on looked more and more like the old extreme rightwing Canadian Alliance. The Conservatives were formed by an amalgamation of the Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives.

During the six-week campaign Conservative leader Stephen Harper attempted to say little about same-sex marriage, other than that his government would oppose it. He would not say whether he would use the notwithstanding clause in the Constitution which allows governments to override court decisions. But, the man who was touted as the party's likely justice minister was eager to talk.

In an interview with a documentary filmmaker MP Randy White said that a Conservative government would redefine the Charter of Rights and use the notwithstanding clause to overrule court rulings it doesn't agree with, such as same-sex marriage.
"Well the heck with the courts, eh. You know, one of these days we in this country are gong to stand up and say, the politicians make the laws and the courts do not."

The film was turned over to the Liberals in the last days of the campaign, and made available to the media.

Another statement in the film was: "If the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is going to be used as the crutch to carry forward all of the issues that social libertarians want, then there's got to be, for us conservatives out there, there's got to be a way to put checks and balances in that."

"So the notwithstanding clause . . . should be used and I would think that not just for the definition of marriage, but I think you'll see more uses . . ."

Throughout the campaign same-sex marriage advocates have dogged Harper as his campaign crisscrossed the country.

At a stop in Guelph, Ontario, Laurie Arron, political coordinator of Canadians for Equal Marriage, and a fellow activist were accosted when they pressed Harper on the Conservative position on gay marriage.

Then it was revealed that the party would encourage legislation taking away a woman's right to chose. Voters were also uneasy with Conservative Party stand supporting the US war in Iraq.

While Western Canada, a perennial conservative stronghold, enthusiastically supported the Conservative Party, voters disenchanted with the Liberals in Quebec threw their support behind the Bloc Quebecois. In Ontario, the province with the largest number of seats in Parliament, the vote was split between Liberals and the New Democrats.

A minority government will keep the Liberals on their toes, forcing them to make deals with the New Democrats. And, that could be good for same-sex couples. The NDP is a longtime supporter of gay marriage.

Scott Brison, the gay Progressive Conservative MP who refused to join the merged Conservatives and ran as a Liberal handily won his Nova Scotia riding. Real Menard was reelected for the Bloc in Quebec. Libby Davies was reelected for the NDP in British Columbia, Bill Siksay, who replaced Svend Robinson in BC is leading. But, Glen Murray, the first openly gay mayor in Canada lost his bid to sit in the House of Commons as a Liberal.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Thought For The Day....

The Thought For The Day

Best Of The Provinces ...

1. Vancouver: 1.5 million people and two bridges.
2. Your $400,000 Vancouver home is just 5 hours from downtown.
3. You can throw a rock and hit three Starbucks locations.
4. There's always some sort of deforestation protest going on.

1. Big Rock between you and B.C.
2. Ottawa who?
3. Tax is 7 per cent instead of approximately 200 per cent for the rest of the country.
4. Oilers vs. Flames.
5. Eskies vs. Stamps.
6. You can exploit almost any natural resource you can think of.
7. You live in the only province that could actually afford to be its own country.
8. The Americans below you are all in anti-government militia groups.

1. You never run out of wheat.
2. Cruise control takes on a whole new meaning.
3. Your province is really easy to draw.
4. You never have to worry about car roll-back if you have a standard transmission.
5. It takes you two weeks to walk to your neighbor's house.
6. You can watch the dog run away from home for hours.
7. People will assume you live on a farm.
8. Buying a huge John Deere mower makes sense.

1. You wake up one morning to find you suddenly have beachfront property.
2. The only province to ever violently rebel against the federal government.
3. Hundreds of huge, horribly frigid lakes.
4. Nothing compares to a wicked Winnipeg winter.
5. You don't need a car, just take the canoe to work.
6. You can be an Easterner or a Westerner depending on your mood.
7. Because of your license plate, you are still friendly even when you cut someone off.
8. Pass the time watching trucks and barns float by.

1. You live in the centre of the universe.
2. Your $400,000 Toronto home is actually a dump.
3. You and you alone decide who will win the federal election.
4. There's no such thing as an Ontario Separatist. Separate from what? You are the centre of the universe.
5. The only province with hard-core American-style crime.
6. Much Music's Speaker's Corner - rant and rave on national TV for a dollar.
7. The only province with enough idiots to elect an idiot for a premier.

1. Racism is socially acceptable.
2. The only province to ever kidnap federal politicians.
3. You can take bets with your friends on which English neighbour will move out next.
4. Other provinces basically bribe you to stay in Canada.
5. You can blame all your problems on the "Anglo *#!%".

1. One way or another, the government gets 98 per cent of your income.
2. You're poor, but not as poor as the Newfies.
3. When listing the provinces, everyone forgets to mention yours.
4. The economy is based on fish, cows, and ferrying Ontario motorists to Boston.
5. No one ever blames anything on New Brunswick.
6. Everybody has a Grandfather who runs a lighthouse.
7. Just as charming as Maine, but with more unemployed fishermen.
8. You probably live in a small seaside cottage with no television.

1. Everyone can play the fiddle. The ones who can't, think they can.
2. You are the "only" reason Anne Murray makes money.
3. You can pretend you have Scottish heritage as an excuse to get drunk and wear a kilt.
4. The economy is based on lobster and fiddle music.
5. Even though it smells like dead sea animals, Halifax is considered Canada's most beautiful city.

1. Even though more people live on Vancouver Island, you still got the big, new bridge
2. You can walk across the province in half an hour.
3. You were probably once an extra on "Road to Avonlea".
4. This is where all those tiny red potatoes come from.
5. The economy is based on fish, potatoes, and CBC TV shows.
6. Tourists arrive, see the "Anne of Green Gables" house, then promptly leave.
7. You can drive across the province in two minutes.
8. It doesn't matter to you if Quebec separates.
9. You don't share a border with the Americans, or with anyone for that matter.
10. You can confuse ships by turning your porch lights on and off at night.

1. If Quebec separates, you will float off to sea.
2. In the rare case when someone moves to the Rock, you can make them kiss dead cod.
3. The economy is based on fish, seafood, and fish-related products.
4. If you do something stupid, you have a built-in excuse.
5. You and only you understand the meaning of Great Big Sea's lyrics.
6. The workday is about two hours long.
7. You are credited with many great inventions, like the solar-powered flashlight and the screen door for submarines.
8. It is socially acceptable to wear your hip waders on your wedding.

Gas Sippers Take on the Gas Guzzlers

Cars are Changing...

As millions of Canadians hit the road this summer, most will have one common thought in mind: how much is gas going to cost on this trip? Vacation travel increases during warmer months, and already high fuel prices will likely remain so with this seasonal demand. Consumers may find their summer vacation budgets suddenly stretched to the limit.

Motorists can’t control the cost of gas, but they can control the type of vehicle they drive. Big thirsty SUVs, so comfortable for family trips, don’t seem as ideal when filling the tank. What if families could get the comfort without paying for all that gas?

Now they can. Hybrids, cars that combine gas and electric power, have come a long way in the last few years. Those currently available offer all the comfort and convenience of a traditional vehicle and manufacturers are introducing more technologically advanced models all the time.

“Next year we are going to be drowning in hybrids,” says John Davis, executive producer of the award-winning PBS automotive magazine show, “MotorWeek.” Davis predicts that within five years, hybrids will make up 15 percent of the total automobile market -- about 2 million a year.

Yet many consumers are still dubious about giving up their gas-powered vehicles. Davis has test-driven all of the available hybrids and gives them high marks. He offers the following guidance for consumers interested in making the leap to the new technology.

* Not all hybrids are the same. Although they all combine gas and electric power, they may use the combination in different ways. Some hybrids only use gas until they need an extra boost, and then the electric power jumps in. Others use gas and electric power together at all times. “A full or strong hybrid, like the Toyota Prius, is a car that can run on gas or electric power or both,” explains Davis. “Don’t tell me two engines aren’t better than one,” he adds.

* Mileage estimates may vary. Davis cautions that the mileage quoted by hybrid manufacturers is from government tests, and is seldom what the average driver experiences. The government tests cars under perfect conditions, so real world driving often doesn’t match up. However, Davis says that a hybrid like the Prius will get 42 to 45 mpg in combined city and highway driving, a vast improvement over a mid-size gas-only car.

This summer Ford will begin selling its new Escape Hybrid, the first hybrid SUV. Preliminary tests show that the Escape Hybrid is capable of more than 35 miles per gallon in routine driving. Many advocates for hybrids think they will have the most impact on SUVs and trucks where poor fuel economy is often seen as a social embarrassment.

* A hybrid battery is often under warranty for at least eight years. “A lot of people are concerned about replacing a hybrid battery but you probably won’t ever need to buy a new one,” says Davis. “Nobody knows yet how long they will last, but Toyota has been selling hybrids for almost a decade now and very few have needed their batteries replaced.”

* All the benefits of a traditional vehicle. Davis says that driving a hybrid is just the same as driving a traditional vehicle. Power, comfort and handling are the same, and the cars require no unusual maintenance.

* These cars will save you money. “A hybrid sticker price is about 10 percent more than a gas vehicle, but if you plan to own the vehicle for at least 4 years, you could easily save that in gas,” says Davis. Because an electric engine can go from zero to maximum power instantly, hybrids can shut down the gasoline engine when stopped at a light without affecting acceleration when you need it. Overall, you will probably burn about one third less fuel with a hybrid.

* Good for the environment. You not only burn less gas, you will burn it more cleanly. Hybrid emissions exceed all federal and state requirements. “They beat any gasoline-powered vehicle. They are amazingly clean, and they emit less greenhouse gases.” says Davis. “You can feel good driving one.”

It will only get better. Over the next 12 months there will be a number of new hybrid models coming on the market. “We are moving out of the experimental phase,” says Davis. “Hybrids are here to stay.”

For more hybrid road test information, visit www.pbs.org/motorweek. Airing on PBS and the Speed Channel since 1981, MotorWeek covers all aspects of the automotive industry and offers consumers unbiased, cutting-edge news and features covering new vehicle trends, current safety information, and the results of practical road tests.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Geeky superhero hits stores

Geeky Superhero Flies into Stores!

GeekMan is brought to you today by the Small Œ ligature and Section sign §...

He’s six inches tall, made of plastic, and sports a pocket protector — he’s the GeekMan Action Figure, a computer nerd and tech geek superhero.

Created by Toronto-based Happy Worker Enterprises, GeekMan is a lighthearted parody of computer and technology professionals. The figure features realistic sculpting and can be posed a number of ways, the firm said. He comes equipped with five weapons of wisdom and tech gadgetry: geeky glasses, laptop, handheld computer, wrist watch and coffee mug. Also included is a secret Web site pass code.
Geeky Superhero Flies into Stores!

“GeekMan’s arrival is timely, as he strives to save the tech industry from its doldrums and prevent digital doom and dotcom destruction,” the firm said in a statement. “He was made to represent ‘everygeek,’ the common qualities that exist in computer professionals everywhere.”

“It’s about time that the computer and technology world had a superhero of its very own. GeekMan was designed by geeks, for geeks,” added Kris Schantz, founder of Happy Worker, in a statement. Schantz spent five years at Internet companies.

Happy Worker’s team of artists and sculptors worked for 18 months on evenings and weekends to bring GeekMan to life. With a suggested retail price of $19.99, GeekMan is currently shipping to specialty toy and computer stores throughout North America. For more information, visit www.happyworker.com.
Geeky Superhero Flies into Stores!

GeekMan Theme Song - Lyrics

Geeky Superhero Flies into Stores!

Geek-Man, Geek-Man, Geek-Man,
Geek-Man, GeekMan!

He's a brainiac,
Busting books, coding hack,

With one glance from his eyes,
logic seems to materialize,

Taped glasses and pocket implants,
Belt to his elbows, he’s one smarty pants…
Deep underground in his secret computer lair,
Powered by junk food, caffeine and his monitor glare.
(he’s a key clacking code hacking thinking machine…) He’s GeekMan…

Evil business types, look out!
If he’s on the scene, reason reigns throughout.
Go go go, gogogo tech gadget belt…
look out Internet girls, he's looking so ‘svelte!
(What a hunk’o’hunk’o’ nerdy love…) He’s GeekMan!

Propeller head, computer freak,
He’s the super-alpha-uber-geek,

Geeky Superhero Flies into Stores!

Geek-Man, Geek-Man, Geek-Man,
Geek-Man, GeekMannnnn!

Mixing Viagra with Beer

Mixing Beer and Viagra

*Thanks, Auntie 'M'!

Looking Back (June 8,1990)

Windoze 3.0
Windows 3.0 out at last

What's the difference between MS Windows 3.0 and the current Apple OS? Not much. Microsoft Canada has just released Windows 3.0. Its much-vaunted graphical operating environment. And it's everything previous versions tried to be, but never were.

Never mind it was a year in the making. Windows 3.0 is an icon-based,, menu driven operating file and program management environment for DOS-based PC's offering a graphical view of all the information stored on the system.

The package contains WYSIWYG displays and user-friendly desktop applications such as Clipboard, CardFile, Windows Write, a scientific calculator and a paint program developed by ZSoft.

The package also contains two extremely addictive executive stress relief programs - Solitaire and Reversi.

"A GUI does not an Apple make," growled Chris Fowler, head of Apple Inc's public relations department. He goes on to say, "A $500 clone running this system (Windows), is obviously not going to happen.", he said, "And clearly, the largest installed base of DOS systems is the PC"s and the XT's, which have effectively been obsoleted. They don't have the horsepower to run it... They've got to buy new systems to do that."

"Eventually, however, I think most people will want to move to OS/2. But OS/2 needs to be cleaned and polished and honed... and the hardware base improved."

However, OS/2 or not, at a retail price of $179 and with US$10 million available to promote it world wide, Windows 3.0 will certainly establish itself as a major GUI presence.

A little something to make you smile and/or shake your head…

Now that Vancouver has won the chance to host the 2010 Winter Olympics these are some questions people the world over are asking! These questions about Canada were posted on an International Tourism Website:
Q: I have never seen it warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow?(UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around and watch them die.

Q: Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only Four thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada?(Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to contact for a stuffed Beaver. (Italy)
A: Let's not touch this one.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Ca-na-da is that big country to your North . .. . oh forget it. Sure, the hipporacingis every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Canada? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is... oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Vancouver and in Calgary, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in Canada? (Germany)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Canada? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in British Columbia where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada? (USA)
A: Only at Thanksgiving.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round?(Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of Vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget it's name. It's a kind of big horse with horns. (USA)
A: It's called a Moose. They are tall and very violent, eating the brains of anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: I was in Canada in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Surrey, BC. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.

Ever Wonder?

1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE

2. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?

3. OK.... so if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the "Jags" and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the "Bucs," what does that make the Tennessee Titans?

4. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea...does that mean that one enjoys it?

5. There are three religious truths:
a. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at Hooters.

6. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?

7. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

8. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

9. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?

10. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a racecar is not called a racist?

11. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

12. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted,cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

13. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

14. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

15. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?

16. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me ....they're cramming for their final exam.

17 I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? toothpicks?

18. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?

19. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

20. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

21. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?

22. If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?

23. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?

*Thanks, Auntie 'M' =)

Matthew Shepard Killer Loses Bid For Shorter Term

Matthew Shepard (Cheyenne, Wyoming) One of the two men convicted of murdering gay college student Matthew Shepard Friday lost an appeal for a shorter sentence.

Russell Henderson contended that he was denied effective legal assistance during his trial. Henderson claimed that his court-appointed lawyers were ineffective because they did not discuss potential appeals.

Prior to the trial Henderson made a deal with prosecutors to void the death sentence and pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping in Shepard's slaying of the gay college student in 1998. He is currently serving two life sentences.

District Judge Jeffrey A. Donnell Friday rejected Henderson's argument.

The second man convicted of Shepard's murder, Aaron McKinney, also is serving two life sentences for the killing.

During their trial the court heard that Henderson and McKinney, both 21 at the time, kidnapped, pistol-whipped, robbed and left Shepard tied to a fence outside Laramie in October 1998. The 21-year-old University of Wyoming student died five days later at a hospital from massive head injuries.

The trial was told that the pair targeted Shepard solely because he was gay.

The Goatee

A woman in her late forties went to a plastic surgeon for a face-lift. The surgeon told her about a new procedure called "The Knob," where a small knob is placed on the back of a woman's head and can be turned to tighten up her skin to produce the effect of a brand new face lift. Of course, the woman wanted "The Knob."

Over the course of the years, the woman tightened the knob, and the effects were wonderful - the woman remained young looking and vibrant. After fifteen years, the woman returned to the surgeon with two problems.

"All these years, everything has been working just fine. I've had to turn the knob many times and I've always loved the results. But now I've developed two annoying problems:

First, I have these terrible bags under my eyes and the knob won't get rid of them."

The doctor looked at her closely and said, "Those aren't bags, those are your breasts."

She said, "Well, I guess that explains the goatee."


Saturday, June 26, 2004

Knievel made jump over 25 cop cars successfully

EAST HANOVER -- Motorcycle legend Evel Knievel's son, "Kaptain" Robbie Knievel, jumped over 25 police cars -- sirens on and lights flashing -- at an East Hanover auto dealership Thursday.
Rob Knieval
Daredevil Robbie Knievel, son of motorcycle legend Evel Knievel,
starting his successful jump in East Hanover Thursday.

"I always wanted to be a police officer," the 42-year-old daredevil said Thursday. "The fact there were police cars involved is why I agreed to do the jump. I support police officers and anyone who risks their life at work.

"We were originally supposed to jump 21 police cars, but I asked if they had 25, because jumping 25 would be a record," he said. "They said they did."

The event was a promotion for the Warnock Dodge Chrysler Jeep on Route 10 called "Above the Law." The jump took place at 8 p.m. Thursday. Knievel was available to sign autographs before the jump.

In a phone interview while driving from Washington to Chicago, with his entourage following him on Harleys and an A&E camera crew filming the trip for a reality TV show, Knievel reflected on his career.

He turned 42 in May and still remembers the first motorcycle he rode when he was 5. The first time he jumped over a car was at Madison Square Garden at the age of 9. After 30 years of stunts, the most recognized motorcycle jumper in the word said he feels like time and his body are catching up to him.

"I'm a little over my head trying to do a jump these days," Knievel said. "I have 19 broken bones, torn ligaments, you name it. Things just don't work as good as before. But I still have my balance and I want to keep doing this for as long as I can, at least for another 10 years. That'll change if I get in another bad accident."

The last stunt he performed was in December 2003 in Las Vegas. Prior to that, he performed only two shows a year. He's even performed a police benefit show with New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi. On July 31, he plans to jump over two jet planes at the USS Intrepid Museum in New York.

In past promotions, Warnock has hosted celebrities such as NFL Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor and Jim Kelly.

"This is the first time we've hosted an event of this magnitude at the dealership," Robert Warnock said. "The Knievel family has a long history of spectacular feats. We're pleased to bring entertainment of this caliber to East Hanover."

"We like to do events for our surrounding community," said Kathy Henao, a spokeswoman for the dealership, who said that it was hard to judge how many people were likely to show up.

Police expected a large turnout -- Knievel draws many curious onlookers. A live show he taped for the Fox network drew an estimated 30 million viewers. He also sold out a show at the Atco Raceway in South Jersey.

It doesn't hurt to have a household name. Evel Knievel began jumping in 1965. At 66, he remains a source of inspiration for his son.

"Me and my father's fans span three or more generations," the younger Knievel said. "I've done shows where, afterward, a grandfather, his son, his son's son, would come up to me and tell me that each of them has watched one of our stunts.

"Some people come to see me get hurt," he said. "A smaller percentage want to see me get killed. But most of the people who come want to see me be successful."

Knievel has completed 250 jumps but, with practice runs, he says he has jumped more than 3,000 times. The average number of cars he jumps is 25.

Knievel said he has crashed more often than he's landed. His father, though, crashed many more times, and that primarily has to do with the bike the younger Knievel uses.

"It's certainly a great bike," said Kevin Levy, general manager of Hanover Honda Yamaha KTM on Route 10. "The last time I saw him do a stunt, he was riding a Honda CR500, a dirt bike, which has great suspension. His father had a heavier bike, and that's why he always crashed. Generally speaking, Robbie is a consummate professional. It's a hell of a way to get a crowd together."

The lights and sirens on the police cruisers were not a distraction, Knievel said. The only thing I was worried about was speed. Knievel needed to lift off from the ramp at 85 m.p.h., clear all 25 cars and land on the far ramp. He needed to use a portion of the street to do that.

He said he was more worried about getting a speeding ticket.

New attack hitting Web users through major sites

IDG News Service (25 Jun 2004)
Internet users visiting some of the most popular sites on the Web may unwittingly be downloading malicious code that compromises their computers and sets up a relay network for a future onslaught of spam, a security services company warned Thursday.

NetSec Inc., which provides managed security services for large businesses and government agencies, began detecting suspicious traffic on several of its customers' networks on Thursday morning, said chief technology officer Brent Houlahan.

Examining firewall logs and other data points on those networks, NetSec found that when users visit certain popular Web sites — including an online auction, a search engine and a comparison shopping site — they unwittingly download a piece of malicious JavaScript code attached to an image or graphics file on the site.

Without the user's knowledge, the code connects their PC to one of two IP addresses in North America and Russia. From those systems they unknowingly download a piece of malicious code that appears to install a keystroke reader and probably some other malicious code on the computer, Houlahan said.

The code may be gathering the addresses of Web sites visited by affected users and the passwords used to access them. In addition, the IP address in Russia is a known source of spam, and the code may be creating a network of infected machines that could be used to relay spam across the Internet at some later date, he said.

He stressed that NetSec is still examining the code and has yet to determine the exact payload or the intent of the attack. The SANS Institute's Storm Center is also studying the outbreak and has found that the code surreptitiously downloads and installs a Trojan horse program named msits.exe, according to Johannes Ullrich, chief technology officer at The SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center.

The attack affects only users running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system and Internet Explorer browser, he said. It was unclear Thursday how the attack originated, but it may exploit a known vulnerability in Microsoft's IIS (Internet Information Services) Web Server software at the Web hosting facilities, Frasnelli said.

It was also unclear Thursday afternoon how many systems had been compromised and how widespread was the problem. NetSec said it had protected its own customers by writing custom intrusion detection signatures and blocking its customers' PCs from visiting the IP addresses involved in the attack.

"There's a potential for widespread impact because currently the (antivirus) vendors don't have a signature for it," Frasnelli said.

Fahrenheit 9/11 filmmaker burns Harper

WASHINGTON - U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore sounded off Wednesday on Canada's election, warning voters not to elect a Conservative government.

Moore, in Washington for the official American premiere of his movie Fahrenheit 9/11, said he hopes his film will convince Canadians to bypass Stephen Harper.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore

"You've got four days after it opens, to get people out to the polls to make sure that Mr. Harper doesn't become your next prime minister," he said.

"We're trying to get rid of our conservative, you know. We're going one way, you guys shouldn't be going the opposite direction," said Moore, whose new documentary takes a critical look at U.S. President George W. Bush's response to the Sept. 11 attacks and the Iraq war.

"You should be saying, 'You know what? We don't want this country, Canada, to become like Bush's America,'" he said.

When asked why he's concerned with Canadian politics, Moore responded: "Well first of all, I live on the Canadian border. I don't want to have to look across the border and see you guys going our way."

Moore said he's trying to convince Americans to be more like Canadians, and praised the country's "ethic."

"And that ethic says: 'We're all Canadians, we're all in the same boat. If one of us gets sick, that person should get health care 'cause we're all affected.'

"The American way is pull yourself up by your bootstraps: 'Me, me, me, me, me. It's mine. It's mine.' You know? Don't go that way. Your Conservatives are trying to take you that way."

Friday, June 25, 2004

SHOTGUN! Official Rules

The Theory

The term "Shotgun" refers to the front passenger seat of an automobile. "Calling Shotgun" is the act of claiming the position of Shotgun for one's self. As this position is the most coveted of all positions when riding in a car, the following list of rules has been created to ensure that Shotgun can be acquired in a fair and equitable manner by any passenger of an automobile. Click here for the complete set of rules.

Warning from The Wizard of 'OZ'

If you have a SPAM filter or even if you are just deleting SPAM manually...

If you get a prompt that "Gerard Hassein" or another name that you don't recognize, "has asked for a receipt, when this email was deleted", do NOT say yes! Say NO!. If you answer 'YES', then the sender of the SPAM will know that your email address is real. It will serve to validate your address. You should have this set to require you to allow or disallow reciepts on your own. Do not let Outlook or Outlook Express automatically send reciepts.

Email me and I will tell you how to set that up, if you need help there.

--The Wizard.

Ahhh, Winnipeg!

A curious fellow died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of judgment. As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march right through the pearly gates into Heaven. Others though, were led over to Satan who threw them into the burning pit.

But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would toss a soul off to one side into a small pile. After watching Satan do this several times, the fellow's curiosity got the best of him. So he strolled over and asked Satan what he was doing. "Excuse me, Mr. Prince of Darkness," he said. "I'm waiting in line for judgment, but I couldn't help wondering...why are you tossing those people aside instead of flinging them into the Fires of Hell with the others?"

"Ah, those...," Satan said with a groan. "They're all from Winnipeg. They're still too cold and wet to burn."

*Thanks, Bright Eyes! =)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

SCARY - Boy Writes Apology in Blood for Dozing in Class

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese teenager was forced by his teacher to write an apology in blood after dozing in the classroom, the school's principal said on Monday.

The teacher later went to high school principal Hiroaki Dan and confessed what he had done, Dan told Reuters.

The teacher had apologized to the 17-year-old boy and his parents, Dan said, confirming a local media report of the incident, which happened last Thursday.

He said the boy was taken to the staff room of the school in Fukuoka City, southern Japan, after being caught asleep during a lesson. The 40-year-old male teacher handed the boy a box-cutter and paper and told him to write an apology in blood.

The teacher left the student, who then cut his finger and began to write an apology using his own blood.

Other teachers in the staff room did not notice what was happening, Dan said.

"To ask a student to write in their own blood is something I just can't imagine," he said.

He said the boy was back in school, and neither he nor his parents had asked to switch teachers. The teacher involved is expected to resume classes in a few days, Dan said.

The incident comes on the heels of an attack in which an 11-year-old girl killed a classmate by slashing her throat with a box cutter, also in southern Japan.

AFI picks best movie songs ever ( 'Over the Rainbow'* leads list )

Judy Garland in The Wizard of OZ
Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz."

1. "Over the Rainbow"* from "The Wizard of Oz"
2. "As Time Goes By" from "Casablanca"
3. "Singin' in the Rain" from "Singin' in the Rain"
4. "Moon River" from "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
5. "White Christmas" from "Holiday Inn"
6. "Mrs. Robinson" from "The Graduate"
7. "When You Wish Upon a Star" from "Pinocchio"
8. "The Way We Were" from "The Way We Were"
9. "Stayin' Alive" from "Saturday Night Fever"
10. "The Sound of Music" from "The Sound of Music"

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- There's no song like "Over the Rainbow."

Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale's wistful ditty in "The Wizard of Oz" led the American Film Institute's list of 100 best movie songs Tuesday, followed by "As Time Goes By" from "Casablanca" at No. 2 and the title tune from "Singin' in the Rain" at No. 3.

"Over the Rainbow," sung by Judy Garland in the 1939 musical fantasy, was picked as the top song in U.S. cinema in voting by about 1,500 actors, filmmakers, writers, critics and others in Hollywood.

"That deserves it. It's one of the great, great songs. Judy Garland, the emotion in that song. It gives me chills whenever I hear it," said Burt Bacharach, who was represented on the list for co-writing "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" (No. 23) from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" (No. 79) from "Arthur."

In 2001, Garland's "Over the Rainbow" (and Bing Crosby's "White Christmas") also topped the 365 "Songs of the Century" selected by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America.

The rest of the AFI top 10: 4. "Moon River" from "Breakfast at Tiffany's"; 5. "White Christmas" from "Holiday Inn"; 6. "Mrs. Robinson" from "The Graduate"; 7. "When You Wish Upon a Star" from "Pinocchio"; 8. "The Way We Were" from "The Way We Were"; 9. "Stayin' Alive" from "Saturday Night Fever"; 10. "The Sound of Music" from "The Sound of Music."

Two other songs made the list from both "The Sound of Music" ("My Favorite Things" at No. 64 and "Do Re Mi" at No. 88) and "Singin' in the Rain" ("Make 'Em Laugh" at No. 49 and "Good Morning" at No. 72). "West Side Story" also landed three songs: "Somewhere" (No. 20), "America" (No. 35) and "Tonight" (No. 59).

Chosen from 400 nominees, the list was announced in the CBS special "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Songs," the institute's latest countdown to promote U.S. film history. The show's host was John Travolta, star of "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease," whose "Summer Nights" came in at No. 70.

"A list like this really drives people back to rediscover or discover these movies," said Jean Picker Firstenburg, the institute's director. "It's about older generations revisiting them and younger generations finding them for the first time."

Past specials presented such lists as the best 100 American movies, comedies, screen legends and love stories. AFI leaders had been mulling a list of best movie songs for years.

"It's an idea we've had floating around since the beginning," said Bob Gazzale, who produces the AFI specials. "Movies and music are so obviously linked at the heart, really. Even before sound came to films, there were songs that went with silent pictures, as well."

The earliest song to make the list was "Isn't It Romantic" (No. 73), sung by Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald in 1932's "Love Me Tonight." The newest came from 2002 with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger's rendition of "All That Jazz" (No. 98) from "Chicago" and Eminem's "Lose Yourself" (No. 93) from "8 Mile."

Unlike the Academy Awards, which honors songs written specifically for new movies, the AFI list allowed any tune integral to a movie. So songs such as "It Had to Be You" (No. 60) from "When Harry Met Sally..." and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" (No. 94) from "The Big Chill" made the cut.

Other tunes ranged from sublime with Paul Robeson's "Ol' Man River (No. 24) from the 1936 version of "Show Boat" and Garland's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (No. 76) from "Meet Me in St. Louis" to the goofy with "Springtime for Hitler" (No. 80) from Mel Brooks' "The Producers" and Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle's wacky rendition of "Puttin' on the Ritz" (No. 89) from Brooks' "Young Frankenstein."

Songs came from blockbusters ("My Heart Will Go On" from "Titanic" at No. 14 and "Unchained Melody" from "Ghost" at No. 27) and from counterculture flicks ("Born to Be Wild" from "Easy Rider" at No. 29 and "Aquarius" from "Hair" at No. 33).

"I think this list is about music that has made its way into daily lives, rather than an assessment of what's great," said Jennifer Warnes, who sang two duets that made the list, "Up Where We Belong" (No. 75) from "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" (No. 86) from "Dirty Dancing."

"The reason why my songs made it there is that they're used. I still hear 'Up Where we Belong' when I'm at the store buying frozen peas, and it makes me happier to be buying frozen peas."

*Note: A true fan knows the name of the song is not 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow"


A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St.Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, "What are all those clocks?"

St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands on your clock will move."

"Oh," said the man, pointing .."whose clock is that?"

"That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved,indicating that she never told a lie."

"Incredible," said the man. "And whose clock is that one?"

St.Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life."

"Where's Paul Martin's clock?" asked the man.

"Martin's clock is in God's office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

*Thanks, Auntie 'M' =)

'I am Canadian' could end up south of the 49th parallel

Molson's may soon be sold to COORS

As a dyed-in-the-goat-hair nationalist, I was a great fan of that stirring "I am Canadian" beer ad produced by Molson. Made me want to hobble right down to the Legion and hoist a few. But Molson and Canada, I fear, will soon part ways. I refer, of course, to the uncivil war between Molson chairman Eric Molson and his cousin, Ian Molson, who resigned as deputy chairman at the annual general meeting in Montreal yesterday.

To understate the case, Ian is not happy. The company created by good old Johnny Molson a millennium ago is bleeding market share in Canada and getting slaughtered in Brazil, where it bought the doomed Kaiser brewery two years ago for $765-million. Now there are rumours Molson will be marched into the maw of a global brewer. But who? My Bay Street source, Deep Kibble, says Coors is the most logical suitor. He swears that informal merger discussions have already begun. That might explain the takeover premium that has crept into the stock. Putting Coors and Molson together makes sense in one aspect -- they already know each other. Molson brews and distributes Coors Light in Canada. Coors distributes Molson's brands in the United States (Molson USA is 50 per cent owned by Coors). But I also note that Coors, like Molson, is a virtual minnow in a market dominated by orcas -- Anheuser-Busch, SABMiller, Heineken and Carlsberg. And how would they market themselves? I am bi-national? Doesn't quite get the blood pumping, does it?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Catty Men

Four men were bragging about their smart cats.

The first man was an Engineer, the second man was an Accountant, the third man was a Chemist, and the fourth was a Government Employee.

To show off, the Engineer called to his cat, "T-square, do your stuff." T-square pranced over to a desk, took out some paper and a pen and promptly drew a circle, a square, and a triangle. Everyone agreed that was pretty smart.

But the Accountant said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said, "Spreadsheet, do your stuff." Spreadsheet went out into the kitchen and returned with a dozen cookies, then divided them into 4 equal piles of 3 cookies each. Everyone agreed that was pretty good.

But the Chemist said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said, "Teaspoon, do your stuff." Teaspoon got up, walked over to the fridge, took out a quart of milk, then got a 10 ounce glass from the cupboard and poured exactly 8 ounces without spilling a drop. Everyone agreed that was pretty amazing.

Then the three men turned to the Government Employee and said, "What can your cat do?". The Government Worker called to his cat and said, "Coffee Break, do your stuff." Coffee Break jumped to his feet, ate all the cookies, drank all the milk, took a crap on the paper, mounted the other three cats, claimed he injured his back while doing so, filed a grievance report for unsafe working conditions, put in for Workers Compensation, and the rest of the day on sick leave.

What's in a name?

The famous Olympic skier Picabo (pronounced Peek-A-Boo) Street is not just an athlete, she is a nurse. She currently works in the Intensive Care Unit of a large metropolitan hospital.

She is not permitted to answer the telephone while she is at work, however. It simply caused too much confusion when she would answer the phone and say: "Picabo, ICU ".

Police Bumper Snickers

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*Thanks Auntie 'M'!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

From Saskatchewan to space

Summer marks Canada’s bid to become the first private spacecraft success

Rocket to be launched from Kindersley, SK

This summer, a group of Canadians hope to usher in a new era of space exploration at an airstrip outside of a Saskatchewan city located near the border of Alberta.
They hope to launch a small rocket from a hot air balloon at Kindersley, Saskatchewan and grab a $10 million prize designed to encourage private exploration of outer space.

The X Prize – modelled after the $25,000 Orteig prize captured in 1927 by Charles Lindbergh for his transatlantic flight from Long Island, New York to Paris--was started in 1996 by a St. Louis-based foundation. The cash award will go to any team that takes a privately funded, three-person craft to a sub-orbital altitude of 100 kilometres into space, returns safely to ground and then repeats the experience within two weeks in the same vehicle.

"Since our inception, more than 20 teams from seven countries have registered for the competition," says X Prize president and chair Peter Diamandis. "X Prize is fully funded through January 1, 2005, through private donations and backed by an insurance policy to guarantee that the $10 million is in place on the day that the prize is won."

To date the prize remains unclaimed, but with 27 teams from across the globe vying for the honour, pressure to launch is heating up. Two Canadian teams are in hot pursuit of the X Prize: Canadian Arrow based in London, Ont. and the Da Vinci Project out of Toronto.

Canadian Arrow plans to launch a number of unmanned test flights this summer from an undisclosed location rumoured to be near one of the Great Lakes. That leaves the Da Vinci Project as Canada’s other best hope to claim the elusive cash prize.

Team leader of the Da Vinci Project, Brian Feeney, 44, is a former aerospace project manager who worked in the area of life support systems. The would-be space explorer will not disclose a precise launch date, fearing that his team will lose a competitive advantage.

"No announcement has been made yet," says Feeney. "We’re going sometime this summer."

For Feeney, the Da Vinci Project is the actualization of a fantasy to fly into space that began as a child.

"I remember watching the first Gemini rocket on television when I was in Grade 1," he says. "It’s a waking dream all of my life."

To realize that dream, Feeney will squeeze himself (and enough ballast to simulate the weight of two other people) inside the rocket named Wild Fire MK VI. At 16 feet (4.8 metre) long and just 56 inches (1.4 metres) in diameter, Wild Fire is smaller than the average SUV on Calgary’s streets. Made from a carbon fibre shell, the spacecraft will be tethered to a reusable, piloted helium balloon that will float to an altitude of 80,000 feet.

At that altitude, Wild Fire will dangle more than a 1,000 feet below the balloon at an 80 degree angle as Feeney begins a countdown sequence to start its engines. At that point, the rocket is to break free of its tether and carry the space-seeking Canadian into sub-orbital space at a maximum speed of 2,670 miles per hour and a force four times that of normal gravity. The plan then calls for the vehicle to begin a freefall back with a parachute deploying and carrying Feeney safely back to earth.

Although Feeney is confident the Da Vinci Project will claim the award, other teams are closing in on the X Prize. Rivals include a California group from the aeronautical research company Scaled Composites which has already made test flights of its vehicle SpaceShipOne (SS1). Also regarded as one of the top teams in the hunt for the $10-million prize is the British entry from Starchaser Industries which hopes to win with its Thunderbird rocket, which is in part financially backed by Bill Gates’s Microsoft Corporation.

Despite the list of impressive, and undoubtedly wealthier competitors, Feeney remains confident about his team's prospects to win the X Prize. The Da Vinci team has the support of more than 300 volunteers and monetary donations from individuals and businesses that now total more than $5 million.

"There are so many facets to this project," he says. "Nobody can claim they are in the lead."

Asked if he thinks about the danger of his planned Saskatchewan-to-space flight, Feeney launches into a long analysis of the potential danger involved in everyday occurrences such as crossing the road and then he suddenly stops himself and says, "You understand your mission and you manage it accordingly."

And when the official announcement for Wild Fire’s launch date is known, Feeney estimates that between 50,000 to 100,000 people will turn up to witness what he hopes is the beginning of private space exploration. Exploration that began with a child’s wild imagination and continues four decades later at a remote airstrip in Saskatchewan.


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Canadian Member Of Parliament Charged With Theft

MP Svend Robinson (Vancouver, British Columbia) Svend Robinson, the first openly gay man to sit in Canada's House of Commons was charged Monday with theft.

Robinson, who has represented Burnaby British Columbia in Parliament for 25 years admitted at a news conference in April that he had pocketed an expensive diamond ring from an auction house.

Breaking down in tears several times Robinson said he had been under "severe stress and emotional pain" and called the incident something "totally foreign to him."

Robinson said he had gone to the auction house to look for an antique ring as an engagement gift for his longtime partner.

He said when he realized what he had done he attempted to contact the owners of the store but could not reach them because of the Easter holiday weekend. Robinson said he then went to police, told them what he had done and gave them a full accounting.

But, by that point police already knew that he had taken the ring. After discovering the diamond ring missing the auction house turned over a video surveillance tape to the RCMP.

The charge was laid by a special prosecutor appointed for the case. Robinson is to appear in provincial court on July 8.

Robinson, 52, announced at the April news conference that he was taking a medial leave from Parliament and would not run for re-election. Canadians go to the polls next Monday. Since the news conference Robinson has kept a low profile.

“I know that not knowing what the result of the special prosecutor’s report was going to be was weighing very heavily on him,” said Bill Siksay, Robinson’s constituency assistant of 18 years who stepped up to run for the New Democratic Party in his place.

Over his career in politics Robinson has been an outspoken advocate for gay rights. This spring legislation he authored to include gays and lesbians in the classes protected from hate speech passed the House of Commons. Robinson watched the vote from the gallery.

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*Thanks, DW! =)