95th Grey Cup Preview: Two Prairie Juggernauts Bowl it out in a city nobody has ever heard of

That's right kids! The 95th Grey Cup is upon us, as the once-mighty Winnipeg Blue Bombers face off against the once-mighty (literally!) Saskatchewan Rough Riders.

Rider Pride has sold out the Skydome Rogers Centre Jim's Bait and Tackle Shop Park. The slightly-larger football is ready to be hurled, and its time for Third Edge of the Sword's Grey Cup preview.

Let's get this out of the way: I'm a-cheering for Winnipeg. Now true, my loyalties in all sports tend to lie out in the west (my favourite AL team is Seattle, my 3rd favourite NL team is the Dodgers, etc.) But in this case, I'm willing to make a massive exception. Why? Because like all Edmontonians, I know more than a few passionate [passionate = annoying = obnoxious = illogically fanatic -ed] Saskatchewan Roughrider fans. I'm sure all of you out in Blogland can say the same. The problem is, if Saskatchewan wins the Grey Cup, we're going to hear about it for years. Maybe decades...

Hey, remember when we won the Grey Cup back in 'ought-seven?
Those wheatlanders will remind us of their victory possibly for the rest of our natural lives -- or until the Riders win their 4th (yes, 4th) Grey Cup in a decade or two -- and I for one don't want to hear that.

So despite the sickening underdog status, the lack of a battle-tested QB, the semi-porous defensive line, and a rushing game that leaves a little to be desired, I'm going all-in for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

I checked out the Vegas line odds:

LVSC LVHilton Leroy's Caesar's Sportsbook Bodog
231 Winnipeg 50 49 48 49 49.5 48.5
232 Saskatchewan -11 -11.0-110 -11.0-110 -10.5-110 -11.0-110 -11-110

Anybody have a clue what this crap means? I think there's an 11 point favouring of Saskatchewan, so maybe the top number is the over/under? It still doesn't tell me how much it pays if I put $100 down on either team. Bodog says that the money line is +325 for Winnipeg, -450 for Saskatchewan. That means something does it?

Anyways, the Toronto Star says spend your over/under money on the number of kegs of beer consumed at Spirit of Edmonton.

Enjoy the Grey Cup everybody!

What Women Want

So apparently the relationship gurus at Plenty of Fish know how to talk to women, and potential suitors trying to email are given this handy guide:

    Women’s Top Ten Favorite Conversation Topics
  1. Hopes and aspirations
  2. Hobbies/interests in general
  3. Music
  4. Dreams
  5. Romance
  6. Friends
  7. Travel
  8. Vacations
  9. Movies
  10. Entertainment

    Women’s Top Ten Least Favorite Conversation Topics
  1. Politics
  2. Other dates
  3. Past relationships
  4. Science fiction
  5. Religion
  6. Celebrities
  7. Science
  8. Antiques
  9. Money
  10. History

So, uh, not that women are shallow or anything. They'd just rather talk about Gwen Stefani and Holly from the dayspa than the role of the state in complex modern economies, or the impact of scientific research on relgious beliefs and the subsequent reordering of the societal makeup.

It seems n'est pas likely

Hey, remember the Monopoly game at McDonalds that you and I didn't win?

Last year "Jason C. from AB/de l'Alb." won $10,000 playing the game. He advertised for it this year.

My hot coffee gave me a cool 10 grand...
Hey Jason, that's pretty pithy. I suppose they gave him some time to think about it, right? They didn't just ask for a quote right away. Or did they even ask at all? Did their ad wizards write it themselves and just ask Jason to say it? Did he even read it himself, or is it being falsely credited to him?

I ask, because "Jason C. de l'Alb" seems pretty pity in the other offical language too:
Mon petit cafe m'a rapporte la grande somme de 10 000$
I mean, since "cool" doesn't have the same play-on-words quality in French, he decided to use the contract between his little coffee and the grand sum? Did the dude even buy a little coffee? Did he even buy a coffee?

The new hero is totally different than the old hero. By that, we mean exactly the same

Edmonton's Nathan Fillion is the new face of heroism:

The handsome, chiselled face of an Edmonton-born Hollywood actor will soon be the symbol of a new kind of hero -- one that will be seen worldwide on the Internet and in a large-scale digital projection on the side of an historical building in London, England.

Nathan Fillion will be the face of Hero, a work of public art that challenges traditional notions of heroism. The project is the brainchild of Martin Firrell, a self-described British cultural activist who decided it was time to re-evaluate what we mean when we say "hero."

Well congrats to Fillion, though this quote did catch my eye:
"I woke up one morning, and I don't know why it was in my head, but I thought, 'Interesting, who we call a hero,'" Firrell said in a recent telephone interview from London.

Popular culture, Firrell said, characterizes heroes as white, male and violent. But are these descriptions accurate? Appropriate? No, Firrell decided.
The number of unarmed men in the movie Serenity that Malcolm Reynolds, the white male character that Fillion plays, shoots? Three.

Post #900 Baby!

Well, after what seemed like forever, its time for the 900th post on this humble lil' blog o' mine.

A long time of no updates has meant its now a frightful five months since the 800th post on June 27. Still, I did get a few posts in [100 or so, I'm guessing -ed] and time to crunch the frightful statistics: in June, after the 800th post, we had four posts over 3 days, 12 hours, and 40 minutes, for a post every 0.88 days (ie every 21 hours, 10 minutes, 0 seconds). In July, we had 10 posts in 31 days for a post every 3.1 days (ie every 3 days, 2 hours, 24 minutes, 0 seconds). In August, 18 posts in 31 days for a post every 1.72 days (ie every 1 day, 17 hours, 20 minutes, 0 seconds). In September, 14 posts in 30 days for a posting every 2.14 days (ie every 2 days, 8 hours, 34 minutes, 17.143 seconds). October saw a much more respectable 38 posts in 31 days, for a posting every 0.816 days (ie every 19 hours, 34 minutes, 44.211 seconds). As for November, we had 14 posts in 14 days, 19 hours, and 50 minutes for a post every 1.059 days (ie every 1 day, 3 hours, 32.5 minutes). In total, 99 posts in 141.346 days, meaning over the last 100 entries you saw a new post every 1.428 days (ie every 1 day, 10 hours, 15 minutes, 56.51 seconds).

Well, okay, so I fell off on my posting speeds a little bit. Clues as to why can be found here and here.

Coming up in the next 100 posts will be the Third Edge of the Sword Countdown to 1000 posts, as well as the site's 2-year anniversary and all sorts of fun and interesting things. [Rumours of these 'fun and interesting things' being the final Fringe Festival reviews have yet to be revealed, even to me... -ed]

As for now, let's look at the "best in show" since June, as always arranged by category:
Best Reads:

  • In perhaps one of the most genius things I ever wrote, I invent a new sexual revolution. I've already signed my ex on board, as well as a female co-worker. Okay, so neither of them are my enemies, so its not yet worked to my gain, but get out there Edmonton guys! They're waiting for you!
  • "Deus Ex", the hit computer game, takes another small step closer to reality.
  • When Mark Steyn links to a French website, BabelFish almost comes to the rescue. (Note: Not in the "teleporting you to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe" as the Earth explodes sense)
  • "North of the 49th Parallel" has entered the lexicon so pervasively it took Third Edge of the Sword to examine how blatently inaccurate it really is.
  • Why does Newfoundland still have problems filling jobs?

Well, here's to the next 100 posts being filled slightly faster than the previous ones. Of course, it would help if I did these reviews within 10 days of the previous posting...


No small coincidence

I really really really thought when I first glanced at this headline that the by-line referred to a "gay parole".

And, well, the kid certainly does look like quite the homo.


The 73,912th reason to wish Ted Morton would have won the PC Leadership race

Only Stelmach could frustrate the red-blooded true Albertans one step further by proposing replacing our "Wild Rose Country" license plates with...something else.

I guess rather than just complain as I always do, I should make a contest. Can any Third Edge of the Sword readers come up with good replacement license plate slogans?

Hey kids, its mega-sized news roundup time again - part three of...three

Are the Americans so sports-obsessed in the opening weeks of the NFL season (did you know that two 7-0 teams have never met in the...I don't care...that the selection of an attorney general depends on his view of riding behind a motorboat with surfing paraphernalia? (Answer: no, its some sort of terrorism thing)

Here's something a little weird: Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities has been asking Presidential candidates about defense priorities, and found that the Democrats were the ones to give the best answers. Go figure.

After almost four decades behind bars, the man who shot George Wallace has been freed. One of the the plusses of having these longer sentences in the U.S. has to be that it prevents any controversy when men like this get released. Long after all connected with the event (Wallace, for example) are dead, the perp finally gets out of prison. In Canada, Brenner would have received an 8 year conditional sentence of which he would have served 5 years, and after 3 would have started qualifying for conditional parole. Go figure then that people get a little upset about the justice system. There may be a lot of people who are against the U.S. system (the makers of the atrocious Lets Go to Prison that I watched last night), but you have to admit they put some thought into it.


Hey kids, its mega-sized news roundup time again - part two of...more than two

Lets start off with some newer material: non-Americans are freeloaders say Radiohead.

Whenever I see news stories like this, all I can think about is this.

More blogging competition: Europeans are taking to the medium like gangbusters. Time to fall another 50,000 pages in rank on Technoratti...

A new study says 400 deaths in Toronto are caused by pollution. But they are all Torontonians, so I say build some more cement plants!

Edmonton has its own bomb shelter. You know where it is? It isn't at 146 street and 103rd avenue, as the article claims. I know: I drove by it. Anybody know where the hell this thing is?

I'm not sure if the CBC is more mad that a "ulta-nationalist" performer had a concert, or if only Croatians were allowed inside. Several thousand of 'em showed up at least.

The Hollywood Writer's Strike is upon us. The best quote is from here:

Across the country, the Tonight Show's host, Jay Leno, pulled up on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to one of the 14 picket lines set up around Los Angeles, with three boxes of doughnuts for his writers. "I've been working with these people for 20 years," he told reporters. "Without them I'm not funny.
Even with them, Jay, you're merely passable.

We're all gonna die.

Stephen Harper makes a trip to Wood Buffalo (Fort Mac). The usual suspects are up in arms about it. Here's a curious thing I discovered: driving from Edmonton to Grande Prairie is about 460km and 5 hours. Driving from Edmonton to Fort Mac is about 441km and 5 and a half hours. I knew GP was a faster drive, but I assumed it was also a shorter one. You learn something new every day.

Dynamite has gone missing from a work site in northeastern Alberta. I need a good alibi. And Jack Layton's itinerary.

Another RCMP officer has been killed in Nunavut, in a "dry town". What? How on earth can that even be legal?

More crazy shit out of Pakistan: police and lawyers clash in the streets. Is it wrong to hope both lose? Meanwhile, a comment from Peter MacKay catches my eye:
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN -- A human wave of refugees could worsen security in Kandahar as the crisis in Pakistan deepens, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said yesterday during a visit to Afghanistan.
Whoa, whoa...Pakistanis (and apparently many Afghans) are returning to Afghanistan and many more may do so? Doesn't that mean that the BBC and CBC bad-news-from-the-war storyline has to be re-evaluated? We must be doing a pretty good job rebuilding Afghanistan if its becoming the country of choice for Pakistanis worried about Bhutto.

The real reason climate-change-obsessed researchers want Nobel prizes: it makes for better headlines when they try to score political points.

Writers on strike for $400,000 a week? Other writers on strike for $0?

WestJet is setting new records while Air Canada gets excited about a 0.12% increase in load factor.

Hey kids, its mega-sized news roundup time again - part one of...more than one

So this first round is a couple weeks old... I forgot to email it to myself when I first wrote it up:

The Liberals are suffering some internal dissention over Stephane Dion's decision to abstain from the GST vote. If you read the article for free the day it came out (I'm not sure why they make you purchase archives, and read the news for free while its timely) you'd read that some Liberals wanted to vote against the GST cut, others wanted to vote in favour of it, and what's this about promising to raise it?

It could be the most devastating battle since Optimus Prime vs. Megatron (er, Optimus Prime vs. Megatron in 1986, not Optimus Prme vs. Megatron in 2007, which wasn't nearly as good. Google is planning to take on Facebook.

Any wonder why so many of us old Reformers still love the guy? Preston Manning takes on the ill-conceived royalty changes brought about by Ed Stelmach. I know of a few old Newfies who really missed Preston too, actually. Hey, here's a question for readers: what's Preston's son's name: the one who was in a rock band? It isn't the "Jason Manning" who's now on Sonic 102.9, is it?

Speaking of royalties, remember how the royalty scheme wasn't going to chase out oil companies, it was just a threat and a bluff from greedy resource companies? There's only one way to describe this news article: like this.

Ed vs. Ralph, as dictated by The Economist. For such a named magazine, they don't know much about economics, do they?

2007 has been a weird year. The "Conservatives" have attacked the oil industry, and the people have largely been supportive. Meanwhile, a Commie bookstore has de facto started accepting American currency.

Is the Scud Stud a Stelmach Stooge? Read on.

Does anybody know any good Tinky Winky poetry jokes?

That damned Brazilian was asking for it, an inquiry was told by the bobbies. Edmonton Police officers (who are 100% corrupt) are nodding in agreement.

The Captain of the Enola Gay died a couple weeks ago. I commemorate the event with a joke.

Well, as long as the (Quebec) separatists aren't being unreasonable...

On the other hand, at least Quebecers get the hot tennis stars. We have the big booming economy, can't we get tennis courts with stands built out in Terwilliger or something?

So earlier this month there were killer floods in Mexico. Couldn't they have piped some of that stuff up for the San Diego wildfires?

The Liberals have demanded a probe into the government payout to Brian Mulroney, calling it a "mistake". The payout was in 1997. Who was in government at the time? Why must the Conservatives clean up the Liberals' mistake? And what is there to inquire? The Liberals paid Mulroney a settlement. Look at that word: it means to "settle". To wit, once you pay it you can't take it back, even if the person was lying at the time. If you thought they were lying, take them to court!

Remember the Google/Facebook entry halfway up this post? Well, Facebook responded the next day by whining like a little bitch. Meanwhile, the question is asked if Facecrack can pull off the programming required to milk its subscribers for moneyt. Er, wait, when did users agree to that? Oh yeah, every time they signed up. Finally, Facebook profiles are being used in job interviews. Bet you're proud of that 'pornstar name' widget now!

I guess we have to designate logging companies as national benefactors: the forests of Manitoba have become carbon producers, and cutting them all down for Ikea furniture is now for the good of the planet. [I'm sure we'll start hearing confirmation of this from the Sierra Club any minute now. -ed]

The high Canadian dollar has now meant that Canada Post is swamped. If you bought something online for Christmas, best to leave an I.O.U. in a big box.

Is this bad or good news? Regardless, the Burmese situation is heating up, and as soon as the "U.S. troops out of Iraq" march is over, a "U.S. troops into Myanmar" march will pick right up.

A detective vowed to find four-year-old Madeleine, who he believes to be in Morocco. Blonde girl in Morocco? Shouldn't be hard... Seriously, he claims 5 months, so let's see if he's a half-decent Sherlock Holmes. Or a three-quarters-decent Dirk Gently.

As has now been quite commonly mentioned, Stockwell Day is in hot water over his plan to stop seeking clemency for death row inmates who hold Canadian passports, unless the person is to be sentenced to death in North Korea or something. I really don't understand all the fuss: technically Canada has no right to intervene at all.

Just a small civil suit, hardly newsworthy: Canadian firm Wi-LAN Inc. is suing 22 companies, including Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Toshiba, and Texas Instruments. Well, as long as they aren't being carried away...

Linux vs. Microsoft, the most devastating battle since...wait, I already used that one. Well, there's some sniping...

The FCC is investigating Comcast for blocking P2P programs. Could Shaw be next?

China is not developing its lunar exploration program for military use. Recall also that China did not shoot all those people in Tibet either. China even says so, how can you not believe them?

Take that, PS3! A cheap HD-DVD player is on the way.

The University of Calgary Gauntlet, the 2nd most poorly run student newspaper in the province (ohhh, you don't need me to tell you who's first), got to sort of interview Jerry Seinfeld about his new shitty movie.

Lyn Cockburn at the SUN has decided she like Saku Koivu. My favourite bit in this Koivu saga is this:

Moreover, said Bertrand on Tuesday, Koivu had the audacity to marry a francophone and still doesn't communicate in Quebec's official language.
Koivu's wife, Hanna, is from Finland. She had to learn French, dumbass.

Also from the SUN, dozens of cats had to be put down. No comment, no joke.

But after two Edmonton SUN articles, I'm pleased to say that starting today the SUN has finally gotten rid of "ugly hockey mom week" in the SUNshine girl pages. Most of them weren't even in anything but jerseys, except for a chick from Montreal who wore a red dress and must be pushing 50.

A proposal from exactly whom you expected it to come from...

...yes, that's right boys and girls, there has no been a proposal to merge the Canadian and American dollars.

More of this dastardly Mr. Harper cozying up to George W. Bush, I can hear you say; first the death penalty thing and now this!

So naturally there's a horrified reaction to this proposal from the Conservative Party of Canada Bloc Quebecois. Er, the who?

Paul Crete, the lead finance spokesman for the separatist Bloc Quebecois, which elects members to Canada's Parliament only from Quebec, said the manufacturing and forestry sectors were already struggling with an economic crisis and did not need big swings in the Canadian-U.S. exchange rate to add to their woes.

So lemme get this straight: the most anti-American party in the House of Commons, from the most anti-American province in the country, who doesn't want anything to do with the United States or Canada, but plans on using Canadian money if they separate, is in favour of merging the currency. Does this make even the slightest sense to anybody else? [And anybody else know why there's not even a big "controversy" about this? If Harper suggested this Jack Layton would be selling effigies of our dear PM out of the backs of cube vans... -ed]


A pedophiles dream

Angry in the Great White North reports that Chinese-made toys have been recalled in Australia, and are being pulled from shelves in Canada, because they contain a date rape drug.

Australian officials said instead of using the safe chemical 1,5-pentanediol, the potentially dangerous chemical 1,4-butanediol was introduced in the manufacturing process. When ingested, 1,4-butanediol can metabolize into what is known as the date rape drug.


Jewel Staite Tribute video (no, she's not dead)

Question: does she mouth the word "virgin" at 2:40?

Bonus Jewel Staite youtube videos:

As a goth having sex on Dead Like Me

Saying hi to some kid

Entrancing guys with song on So Weird

As a kid (probably on CBC) promoting composting

A tribute to her role in Space Cases, where she actually shared the screen with Mark Hamill, George Takei, Michelle Trachtenburg, Bill Mumy, Trek author Peter David (!), Katey Segal, the Black Power Ranger, and a woman who looks like Kate Mulgrew but isn't (in the video at 0:16).

Peter MacKay Afghanistan visit marred by rocket attack

As reported here and here, recently promoted Defence Minister Peter MacKay was visiting a CFB located in Afghanistan earlier today when the base was subject to a rocket attack.

MacKay was conducting private meetings at Forward Operating Base Wilson, about 20 kilometres west of Kandahar city, when the attack occurred.

After the first rocket landed around 11 a.m. local time, Mackay was taken into an armoured vehicle for safety.

I'm daring to ask the question on everybody's minds...

Do we know where Belinda was at the time?


Da Kink in Da Hair

Or is that Da Kink in My Hair?

It's the new Global series based on the Toronto Fringe Play.

She wanted to write a play that would focus on the lives of black womyn and authentically reflect the joy, hardship, and struggles of a black womyn's lives. She wanted to incorporate her own personal story and also stories and "gossips" that she has heard to make 'da Kink believable. Months later the first rough draft of da kink was born.

The theory behind the play and the show seems to be: there are about 3750 black people in the entire country. 2100 of them are women. Five of them can act. Give 'em a show! (The audience? Well, some of the other 3745 must have some money!)

Heaven forbid anybody improve Saskatchewan

And people wonder why, when Alberta separates, I'm against bringing those eastern deadbeats along for the ride:

CUPE takes on the Saskatchewan Party.

Good news on the global warming front

Sure we may have lost out on this "warming trend" again in 2007 (the "year summer and july were the same thing"), but at least our pollen forecast is low!

You're 7 years behind the times, Jack

Today Jack Layton called for a referendum on abolishing the Senate in the next federal election:

WINNIPEG -- NDP Leader Jack Layton is calling for a referendum on the abolition of the Senate, an institution he describes as "outdated and obsolete."

"It's a 19th-century institution that has no place in a modern democracy in the 21st century," Layton told party organizers Sunday in Winnipeg.
[unlike, say, 19th century insitutions like Communism, which apparently have huge places in Jack Layton's vision of a 21st century democracy? -ed]

It seems to me, though, that if Jack and his NDP cronies really wanted a referendum about the Senate, all they had to do was have Alexa McDonough throw her full unwavering support behind Stockwell Day and the Canadian Alliance in 2000:
The policies as outlined in the background document go considerably farther than either Mr. Day or his official election platform have been prepared to venture.

For example, the Alliance has proposed national referendums on contentious issues if there was sufficient public interest, without defining how that interest would be measured.

The policy overview, however, sets a specific target of "3 per cent of the total number of voters who cast ballots in the last election" as the minimum number of names needed on a petition to force a referendum on capital punishment or abortion.

Based on 1997 federal election returns, 395,244 signatures would be required to force a referendum under Alliance rules.

In 2006, 14,845,680 people voted in the General Election, meaning that 445,371 people would need to sign onto Jack Layton's scheme, and he could have his referendum before he could sneeze.

(Two caveat emptors on this one though: first, the largest petition in Canadian history was done in the late 90s by the Reform Party of Canada calling on tougher child pornography laws, and it barely broke 2 million. secondly, the infamous "Doris Day" petition wasn't a real petition, and if the NDP wanted to have a petition in that style brought before Parliament I would welcome it, just as I would have welcomed Stockwell Day advising Rick Mercer to bring his 'petition' before Parliament to check for illegalities such as repeat names, non-citizens, and the deceased).

But alas, the NDP didn't endorse Stockwell Day for Prime Minister, and as a result today Harper should be telling them point blank that next time a genuine conservative movement offers direct democracy they shouldn't be so quick to laugh about it.


Unmistaken identity?

Is the same "Mike Carragher" from this page the "Mike Carragher from Edmonton" who made perverse scatological demands to Mark Steyn?