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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
I've proven who I am so many times / the magnetic strip's worn thin
— Bruce Cockburn, Pacing the Cage
June 30, 2007

State of the (Media) Nation

To say I am not fond of CNN is to understate the problem: I actually blame CNN directly for the demise of quality news reporting. An article on Slate by the editor of US Weekly provides the best explanation of why I can imagine.

The editor of Us Weekly explains why she banned Paris Hilton from its pages. - By Janice Min - Slate Magazine

What I was unprepared for, however, was the apparent banning of Bush coverage from CNN. That day, as the Senate judiciary committee issued subpoenas to the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, the Justice Department, and the National Security Council in its investigation of the wiretapping scandal, the cable news network that bills itself as “the most trusted name in news” chose instead to devote two prime-time hours to the woman widely credited for inspiring Britney Spears to not wear underpants.

The emphasis above is my own.

I regret that the Canadian news cycle has been deeply affected as well, and while I do love CBC Radio One I find NPR and the BBC a better news organization.

Posted by skooter at 7:30 AM This entry is filed under Politics.
Tags: BBC, CBC, George Bush, News, NPR, Paris Hilton

June 26, 2007

South America Here I Come!

My 40th birthday is going to spent in South America. I wasn’t planning on visiting Peru really, but I think I might have to now:

Paleontologists: Giant Penguins Roamed Peru

(CBS/AP) - WASHINGTON: Giant penguins roamed what is now Peru more than 40 million years ago, much earlier than scientists thought the flightless birds had spread to warmer climes.

Posted by skooter at 6:22 AM This entry is filed under Penguins.
Tags: Penguins, South America

June 24, 2007

Home Owners Who Don’t Pay Attention

The New York Times has an interesting article on the intersection of leisure and residential properties—specifically home on golf courses.

It also happens to contain one of my favourite quotes ever to illustrate the mindset of the so called “average American.”

A Fairway View, but the Window Is Often Broken

“We did not consider the feng shui of bad golfers,” she said. “When I go outside, it’s like dodgeball out there. I wish I knew that you have to be careful where you live on a golf course.”

Far bit it from me to suggest that it would be obvious that you would have to be careful where you live on a golf course, but certainly doesn’t seem like rocket science.

Posted by skooter at 10:41 AM This entry is filed under America.
Tags: Golf

June 20, 2007

Music Outdoors

For months now, I’ve been waiting for Wilco to head back to Vancouver. Jeff Tweedy was here over a year ago and since then nothing. The new album came and went with no concert announcement, leaving me seriously considering flying to Toronto to see the June 30th show at Massey Hall, even though I’ve never been a big fan of that venue (the Hall…and maybe the city too.)

A preliminary announcement was made of an August 20th date at the Orpheum Theatre which was exciting, except for the fact that I’m really a big fan of the general admission concert…the open space in which to move around and listen to music. It’s much better than sitting in some randomly assigned seat.

Pre-sales start for most Canadian shows today so I checked the site only to discover that the show’s been relocated from the Orpheum to the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park.

Now if I’m a big fan of the general admission concerts I think that outdoor concerts are the absolute ultimate way to listen to live music. There’s nothing quite like sitting on some random patch of land with music wafting over you. The last outdoor concert I went to ended with The Tragically Hip singing Wheat Kings into the warm air of an Ontario night; those last few bars lingered in the air for almost a decade, it seems.

So now I’m very excited about the prospect of this show and I can guarantee one thing: it’s not going to rain in Vancouver on August 20th, 2007. It just won’t happen.

Posted by skooter at 6:27 AM This entry is filed under Music.

June 16, 2007

What’s Wrong with This Picture

There’s a serious problem with this screenshot of the Globe and Mail’s home page and it highlights another one.
Globe and Mail Home Page: June 13, 2007

These shots were taken on June 13th, 2007 — three full days after Fernando Alonso had already failed to “do it again” at the 2007 edition of the Canadian Grand Prix. That’s Canada’s national newspaper failing to update its home page with respect to one of Canada’s greatest international sporting events.

Of course, you’d never know if from just looking at the screen shots. It was only while searching for one this time that I noticed that the Globe home page provides no indication of the current date. The word June doesn’t appear anywhere on today’s home page either.

Posted by skooter at 4:14 PM This entry is filed under Technology.
Tags: Globe and Mail, News

June 12, 2007

Mr. Wizard Passes On

Mr. Wizard is dead. I loved watching his show for a while, and kids who love science owe him a huge debt of gratitute. Canada’s Bob McDonald at Quirks & Quarks is a more mature, adult version; Bill Nye the Science Guy a more modern, kid oriented one.

Mr. Wizard will be missed.

TV’s ‘Mr. Wizard’ Don Herbert dies at 89
By LYNN ELBERAP TELEVISION WRITER

LOS ANGELES Don Herbert, who as television’s “Mr. Wizard” introduced generations of young viewers to the joys of science, died Tuesday. He was 89. Herbert, who had bone cancer, died at his suburban Bell Canyon home, said his son-in-law, Tom Nikosey.

Posted by skooter at 9:01 PM This entry is filed under Science.
Tags: Obituaries

June 3, 2007

Lack of Civic Identity

An interesting article on the Canada West Foudation’s compares the booms in Calgary and Dublin.

To my eyes, the most interesting part was this:

The rich cultural identity of Dublin is steeped with names that have impacted the world — Yeats, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde — giving the city a confidence and maturity in dealing with social change.

The boom there has spawned a healthy public debate about the pros and cons of the new socio-economic reality.

The slightest whiff of economic prosperity has a tendency to give Calgary tunnel vision, often resulting in intoxicating booms and painful busts. Unlike Dublin’s open discussions over the new socio-economic reality, Calgary has pushed forth a dogmatic sense of boosterism, making critical comments appear unpatriotic.

A local geologist stated: “In Calgary, you are what you own. All anyone talks about is owning real estate, their job, cars and stuff. People are becoming very selfish.”

Vancouver, of course, suffers from a similar tunnel vision—perhaps worse, given the derision with which people in live in “Vancouver Vancouver” regard the more suburban areas such as North Vancouver or Surrey. By virtue of not being, simply, Vancouver they are regarded with disdain.

In general, I think Vancouver has not yet defined itself. More accurately, perhaps, this most “livable” of cities has defined itself primarily by what it is not rather than by what it is. Vancouver is not Toronto and it is not American…but what is it?

A friend said last week that Vancouver was becoming like a resort town, where only those who don’t need to but choose to can afford to live in the city while those who must can’t afford it.

I’m not sure this is a healthy future.

Posted by skooter at 2:25 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Vancouver.
Tags: Alberta, Economics, Ireland, Urban Development, Vancouver