Monday, August 22, 2005

They Killed Emily of New Moon! (SPOILER ALERT)

Well, not quite.
But Martha McIsaac, who plays Emily of New Moon,, was playing a character, Hedwig, in a production of The Wild Duck I saw last weekend. And they killed Hedwig. And who were they? Well, that is the question of the play - I am sorry to have given away this much to anyone who might want to go. But I would say go anyway.
It was wonderful. Nobody seemed wrong, and Martha McIsaac was quite natural as the daughter of the somewhat failed Ekdal (you may have to accept the wild enthusiasm she has for Dad, but I have seen it in real life, with real Ekdals), who was played perfectly by Diego Matamaros, with both of them led into great trouble by Ekdal's friend Gregers, played with trembling nuttiness by Brent Carver.
It shames me that until last night I had never seen nor read this play. It was full of conflicts I recognize both as a human and as someone with a Norwegian background (the latter perhaps trumping the former at times).
The production felt so even, with all roles filled well.
Now it was a Soulpepper production, and I saw one other on the day - Hamlet. I enjoyed it mightily as well, though it seemed far less even - in fact it seemed to me to have been carried by William Webster (the link is an educated guess) who played Polonius, and Albert Schultz (many of you will know him as Rob Diamond in 'Street Legal'), who was a very convincing, if somewhat mature, Hamlet. It is also well worth seeing.
As in every year this group has existed, it makes choices that make it thoroughly worthy of patronage. Thanks, Soulpepper, yet again. And. mostly, thanks to Albert Schultz.
Now let's hope they do not kill off Anne of Green Gables in one of the remaining shows I will see.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Dirndls again, and the Pope

My sister today makes some observations on World Youth Day in Cologne.
At home I was watching it on TV this morning (yeah, I know I am an atheist, but there is a sense of show here worthy of some attention) and as people were wandering about in some ceremony some woman in a Drindl wandered through the centre of the scene. This was encouraging in view of the bad news logged in this post.
So my guess is that the EU regulation is not yet in force. But maybe more hopefully, where Benedict goes, the world is automatically free of EU regulation, and other rules apply.

Tennis Canada Own Goal

For around ten years, likely more, I have been buying tickets to the Friday afternoon session of what is now the Rogers Cup, the annual professional tennis tournament held in Toronto, in alternate years a men's or women's tournament. This session is attractive as the quarter-finals narrow the field somewhat so one has a reasonable expectation of quality, if not of even play; and I do not see the point of later rounds, each of which features at most one singles match. Each year, I buy my tickets for next year at this year's tournament.
Some years it rains and no matches are played; the rain policy (or at least practice) has been to credit this year's purchase to a purchase next year and in those cases, I have always simply applied the credit to the same session in the following year, and there have been such cases.
This year Tennis Canada sent me, with my tickets, a change in the terms of conditions. (I am not complaining about this, however arbitrary it sounds - I expect if I go look at the terms and conditions of my original purchase, it allowed them to change the terms and conditions at their pleasure.) The new T&C say that if I want a refund from a rainout the credit must be applied to a session IN THE SAME TOURNAMENT (i.e. the same year!)
Well, I have NO interest in any following session in the same year (as explained above - and there are other issues - e.g. this year I had other commitments competing with all following sessions). So the value of the tickets to me has dropped catastrophically. A rain problem means they become valueless, rather than essentially having roughly the same value in the following year, which is not too bad a discount.
Those who know Toronto's weather last week know it is a miracle that two and a half matches were completed in the Friday afternoon session this year - we had the largest rainstorms in years starting at around 3 pm.
So how does this affect my future behaviour? Well, I am no longer prepared to carry the risk of buying tickets in advance, as they can lose all their value simply because of some bad weather (such as we have experienced in the ten years of attendance). So that habit is gone. In fact already this year for the first time in years I did not visit the advance ticket office to get next year's tickets.
But there is more to this. I and those I go with have their own schedules and have to go out of their way to clear the time from their jobs to attend the Friday afternoon session. Now that Tennis Canada has made it foolish to buy the tickets until right before the session starts (because rain can make them worthless) how likely is it that we will be willing to go through the trouble to clear our schedules for it? I suspect this year was my last visit to the tournament. Too bad - I have always enjoyed it - it has been a highlight of my planned vacation days each year.
One small point - the Friday afternoon session that I did thoroughly enjoy this year was very sparsely attended. I expect it to be more sparsely attended next year.
And the great thing for me is that other vacation plans for future years should find me close to the French Open early rounds each year so maybe there are substitutes.

UPDATE (2005/09/20) : I am surprised and impressed. I love a serious commitment to customer satisfaction.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Credo - Minarchism

The wonderful Mahalanobis linked me to a blog I did not know (one day I must produce a blogroll, and this new one will be there) - Foreign Dispatches. Its author published a sort of credo today and it is one I can sign up to happily.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Maybe I am getting too philosophical. I just watched the end of an episode of the American "The Office". It struck me as totally unfunny. Now, as an early signup to the 500-channel digital universe in this country, I long ago got to see the BBC "The Office". I never found a single moment of it at all funny, and I work in an office! I know office life well. Well, one form of it, and it has no resemblance to that show.
Earlier today I got pointed at what I found to be a blog that made me laugh helplessly, only to find someone I love and consider close to me responded to it totally coldly. That person offered a theory about the difference, and I think it explained a lot, but it made me wonder about a lot more.
One thing I know with certainty is that the laughs I got out of that blog are somewhat like the laughs I get out of the more erudite 'Flashman' novels. But reflecting on it I know I read those novels largely because of what is outside the direct source of humour - but never totally away (in fact it makes the historical part believable).
I know that we would agree that "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was up there in the top 5 TV Series ever made. I am not sure how we would place 'Seinfeld' (which I loved, once my parents taught me about it - I don't really watch network TV unless instructed).
So how does humour work? It continues to mystify me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Small Displays of Courage

This police report (you can find it here) attracted my attention because the business in question is one I have been in (not at 3am), and sits in a shopping plaza I frequent. What stuns me is the strength of the 'victim' in this report, who, for what are likely fairly low wages (I could be wrong), nonetheless stands up toquite a variety of threats and thuggish behaviour and insists on performing his duties.

Robbery (Business) - 55 Division

A 22 year old male employee of Coffee Time, 3003 Danforth Avenue, reports that on August 15, 2005 at approximately 0330 hours, a male suspect entered the premises, purchased a cup of coffee and sat down at a table. The suspect then approached the counter and attempted to open the cash register but was unsuccessful. The victim, who was at the rear of the store, heard the attempt and came to the front of the store. The suspect then made a demand for cash but the victim did not comply and the suspect fled the scene empty-handed in an unknown direction. A short time later, a second male suspect also entered the premises and ordered a cup of coffee. The suspect then reached over the counter and demanded that the victim open the cash registered and give him the cash. The victim refused and the suspect repeatedly threatened to punch him in the face. The victim still did not comply and the suspect fled the scene, empty-handed, in an unknown direction. No injuries were sustained by the victim. Police are requesting the assistance of the public in identifying the following described persons in connection with this offence. Description of Suspect #1: Male, white, 19-23 years, 6’1”, 174 pounds, thin build, short dark-brown hair. Suspect #2: Male, white, 22-27 years, 6’2”, 180 pounds, short brown hair.


I am delighted to live in a city with people like that 'victim'. I am not so impressed with the suspects.

Now here is some real product placement!

"Authors offer immortailty ..." reads the title of this article.
King and Grisham are among 16 authors selling the right to have a character in a book named for the buyer to raise money for the First Amendment Project, a California-based nonprofit group that promotes freedom of information and expression.
King is Steven and Grisham is John.

I personally think the chase for even this sort of immortality is a fool's errand, so won't be bidding myself (delightfully, this is being done on eBay).

And I have a secondary thought. It is addressed in the article:
In the auction posting at, legal writer Grisham promised the character whose name he is selling would be portrayed "in a good light" in his next novel.

Amy Tan, author of "The Joy Luck Club," and best-selling romance writer Nora Roberts are also offering names, but they gave no guarantees about what sort of character it would be.

There is a converse concern in a way - being a character in a roman a clef. Your name is not used, but someone's view of you is portrayed, perhaps devastatingly. I come from a family full of people itching to write novels and I know several have some fear of winding up in one of those.

Our National Network

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, our 'national' broadcasting network, is in the middle of a labour dispute, a management lockout, so strange things are going on in our airwaves.
Given the uselessness of what I heard yesterday on my car radio on my normal pre-set CBC stations, I started exploring other pre-set stations, starting with the French CBC (called the SRC) stations. Imagine my surprise to find the usual suspects there interviewing guests, playing songs, and giving traffic reports.
Huh? Aren't these guys locked out? Surely they would not rebroadcast traffic reports or weather reports from last week.
Someone help me? Is the SRC a separate organization - in particular, another 'national' broadcasting network? Which would confirm the common claims that we are two separate nations in the Canadian state, and mark this notion as endorsed by our federal government.
Or is there something else I do not get? (The traffic and weather reports seem to be for somewhere in Quebec so ti is hard for me to check them directly.)

She's so High - is that really the inspiration?

Aarggh. Trapped by the editing process - thought I had posted the following when I made my last posting on this song. So assume this was here last weekend.

CBC's Fuse show (a refreshing replacement for the normal Sunday Edition droning) featured Randy Bachman and his son Tal Bachman last Sunday morning. Regrettably I see no way for anyone to hear this again now from the web - it was lovely.
I know despite never hearing the guy in his heyday that Randy Bachman is one of the great figures of Canadian Rock and Roll - but you probably know more than I do about him, just because of the timing (in my life - I know nothing much - though I recognize lots of his stuff now).

The show featured two wonderful points.

In one, Randy talked about his reaction to his son's going to University. He implored him, according to the story, not to waste his time that way, but to stick to a music career. You see, Randy was well aware of Tal's skills at that point, and he was also aware of the competition, as a recipient of thousands of demo tapes, and he said he knew Tal's were superior.

The other interesting point was Tal's story of writing his great pop song "She's so High". But his story of what inspired him baffled me. He said it came from building up the courage to approach one of the cool girls in high school, purportedly to ask for a date with her for his stepbrother. (Doctor, I have a friend who ...)

But then I thought - wait a second! This guy is the son of the guy who is arguably Canada's leading rock and roll figure of the last twenty years? He thinks that gives him no market power with the cool girls in the school? And actually, listening to the show, I got the feeling that might really be true - these guys seemed nicely grounded. Maybe Tal was that dense/innocent. Tal did seem surprised that the cool girl in question seemed eager to field the request. ("Wow - I'll get to meet Randy Bachman....")

A small point - "She's so High" really hit the top when sung by the Norwegian Idol. (Just for my sister's Norwegians in the News series.)

Heaven, I'm in Heaven ...

... and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak ...

Finally there is an Astaire-Rogers DVD set! And Amazon has sent me my Astaire-Rogers Collection 1. I am already itching for 2.

So I put in the 'Swing Time' DVD and checked out the extras, which includes a nice highlighting of the dances. Nice to see commentary from the brilliant Hermes Pan.

The humour and genius of this film is something else - the 'Bojangles' of Harlem' sequence is as brilliant as I recall, and as full of joyful mischief. I have suffered through numerous modern 'expressive' dances, and I have yet to see anything that can match this sequence for expressing respect for Bill Robinson, the ability of the world to surprise. The moment when the 'real' dancer decides he has to try to fit in with the 'shadows' is very special. 'Pick Yourself Up' is wonderfully funny and zany. The song 'Just the Way you Look Tonight' is, without the context, a gorgeous Kern-Fields song but in the film it has an additional layer of humour - the irony is deeper because Ginger Rogers is pretty lovely in the sequence even though Astaire has to respond otherwise at the end. 'Never Gonna Dance' I cannot find words for - the take we see is one in which Rogers' feet are claimed to be bleeding - fortunately we do not have to see that.

The commentary is fascinating - there is a leitmotiv of the feet! Must go explore that. Ahh, the incredible richness of the most popular of popular culture.

Hmm - now for the Preston Sturges DVD Collection.....

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Deeper Reading of "She's so High"

I mentioned listening to Tal and Randy Bachman on the CBC (which because of a lockout is now broadcasting very odd material) and hearing the song "She's so High", which struck me as quite an entertaining pop song. In the chorus, the song lists three exemplars of women who were also "so high" and something struck me as odd. The list was "Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Aphrodite".
My mind said to itself, "Joan of Arc?". I would not compare Joan of Arc to the coolest girl in high school - I suspect she was more of a nerd.
But then I realized there was something else at work - a deeper meaning. The list covers three main areas of power, with Cleopatra representing the power of the state (political power), Aphrodite the power of love/beauty (sexual power), and Joan of Arc spiritual power. Surely that is it.
I leave it to the reader as an exercise to go find the lyrics of the song on the Internet and the deeper links to these three domains in the rest of the lyrics.
I do know that if it comes on my radio in the next while (quite likely if I keep listening to CBC Radio One, which just seems to be putting CDs on and going away for a while) I will turn the volume up and the car will start going faster all by itself.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Lhasa de Sela

A special taste (the name should be a hint) - her performance at the Festival d'Ete de Quebec is on TV5 right now, later at 2:05 am and 3:10 pm tomorrow. This is not to everyone's liking but I even paid to see her live and I don't do that often. And I would again. But she is weird. (Weird and wonderful.)

Canadian relevance - another measure

What does the national public broadcaster think we should be discussing?

This is measured, surely, best by the topic chosen for the weekly "Cross Country Checkup".

Here was what was felt we should all be addressing today :
The English Language: Which words do you think should be taken out of use? Which should be revived?
I suspect the rest of the world is eager to hear what we have to say.

Tennis nipples - Canada is finding itself short on relevance these days

The Toronto Star published a major expose in their Saturday edition last weekend. Read it soon - no doubt the link will expire. It turns out the Women's Tennis Association hopes to get attendance because its players are attractive young women. Yikes!

The article is about the upcoming women's tennis tournament in Toronto - every two years the WTA holds a tournament here in Toronto. I go every second year. I also go to the men's tournament every other year. The Star is now concerned about how the tournament is promoted. Hint - young healthy athletic women. Possible males in audience. Well, maybe females too.

Well, I thought I understood it - but the quotations baffle me no end.

One quotation in the article is this:
"I don't see the sporting necessity of having Maria Sharapova's breasts falling out of her top," fumes Richard Powers, professor of sports marketing at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. "Boy, oh, boy, what are they selling here? I don't think it's in good taste."
He "fumes"! Now they have me really interested - "falling out of her top". What could this all mean? BTW I don't see the sporting necessity of Sharapova wearing any clothes at all. We could return to the ancient Greek competitive ideal, at least in a summer as hot as this.

But let us get on the subject of the article.
Meanwhile, what's this controversy about her bosom?"I would say that it was something that we missed," concedes Stacey Allaster, director of the Toronto tournament, one of the top summer sporting draws in the city. "It's a shot of Maria hitting a serve."But it is not Sharapova's punishing serve that draws the viewer's gaze in this particular image. It isn't her tennis racquet, either.The picture in question appears in a large-format, four-page brochure promoting this year's edition of the annual Rogers Cup tournament. Allaster says the decision to use that image was an honest mistake."It's the nature of that Nike dress," she says, deftly slipping the name of the manufacturer into a telephone interview. "It's low-cut. It's something that we missed."
OK now I am getting really interested. In the end we are told they altered the photograph for later use. What could the images have been? Two photographs are included with the article.

One I will align left, and one, the 'corrected' one, right. Now I know you, dear reader, will find the change more quickly than I did, because I was doing it in a printed paper populated with the Star's usual random smudges and I mistook the difference on Saturday for a smudge. All I can say is, "Huh? This is worth reporting?".

Moreover - what's up there is not low-cut! Does nobody recall Chris Evert's apparently bra-less US Open? And what is with this poor U of T prof imagining Sharapova's breasts falling out of her top? Huh? Huh? And where is the serve? She is not serving.

My guess is that this was an inane article of no value written that at least made sense, that was later edited because of the controversial nature of the subject, but that the pictures were changed and many other things occurred. As it stands it is an inane article that makes no sense. Star quality indeed.

In any case, I know I am looking forward to spending a good part of Friday being astonished and delighted by young women (well, much younger than I) engaged in amazing physical activity, scantily attired, running all over a court, and playing tennis far better than I ever have. And next year I plan to watch the men.

Overdue bird blog

Another bird from the Great Yorkshire Show - see this post. Pretty clear he would have liked air conditioning too, I think.

Nadal wins Montreal - and almost speaks English

After a great match with Agassi, Nadal wins. Great match to watch.

At the end he actually spoke quite reasonable English in his award speech; this he could not do two months ago. Incentives matter.

Related to earlier comments, it is interesting that I do not find with Nadal the hostility I felt in Agassi's young heyday of sponsorship by Canon and Nike. Wonder how much of it was the brand-building in those days? Nadal has not yet found his big international brands.

Or maybe it is just me.

Right now I think very highly of both of them.

Fucking Amal - Show Me Love

The reference point is this IMDB entry. How could we change the title like this to bring it into English? - the Swedish title IS in English. And better, as noted below.

As I watched this film, utterly captivated, I wanted to write a long blog entry about it. Unfortunately Roger Ebert had already written almost all I wanted to say here. (This often happens to me.)

Some watchers may find the happy ending dubious, but Ebert points at why I do not consider it so:
It's more about vegetating in a town that makes the girls feel trapped. And it sees that the fault is not in the town but in the girls: Maybe their boredom is a pose
Elin, for all her wish to fit in and be normal, spends much of the film recognizing that it is Agnes who will escape this town and actually get to Stockholm, as they fail to do at one point in the film, and permanently with a real life there, not just for a momentary escape. Agnes has resources that will get her there. Elin, struggling for normality, has only the friends that help her feel normal, and they fail her progressively. Especially once she slightly opens her mind (and heart) to Agnes.

I feel grateful that the combinations of math, science, aquariums, music, chess, and perhaps being a nerd to just the right degree (as well as having a basic enjoyment of an oppositional stance) meant that the torment in high school was pretty minimal - I could feel for these girls, but thankfully never had to feel just like them.

This film was in a close battle for a while for my new #1 - certainly into my top 10 though.

The ticking clock

It just dawned on me that I am watching Andre Agassi playing tennis, needing all the court sense he has to defend himself against a brash aggressive young player who seems to be wanting to change court dress style (I had no more taste for Agassi's sloppy black shorts than I have for Nadal's rather neat Capri pants). Andre Agassi is fighting against that? Hmmm.

Friday I was offered the Seniors rate when I went to play a round of golf. Now this actually delighted me, as it is 10% cheaper than what I still pay (I would be more delighted if they had given it to me despite my ineligibility - four more years!), but it does mark the fact that things move along without my asking them to.

CBC Sports and Numeracy - Tennis

I am watching the commentary preceding today's Agassi-Nadal match in Montreal, and a question has come to mind. The "expert" (no doubt an expert on tennis) offered as support for his assertion that Andre Agassi serves remarkably well, something like, "He is fourth overall in aces in this tournament".

This may be evidence of something. But Agassi is a finalist, and therefore is in a round of the tournament only one other player is in (who is also claimed to be a better server than he seems, with no flimsy statistical claims to support that). On the face of it (barring byes) only four players will have played as many matches in the tournament as Agassi has, and so Agassi could be the worst of those with an equal number of matches in which to get aces, hardly a measure of serving quality. Also, if all his matches went to three sets, indicating he was just hanging in perhaps, he would have far more opportunities to get aces. Now perhaps the expert meant aces per some unit that made sense but that is not what was said.

UPDATE: The 'expert' decided to repeat the statistic as meaningful in the second game (even saying "who would have thought?"). I tried out the tournament website for detailed data to see if my hypothesis made sense about who the leading four in aces were - but the website does not seem to expose a player's statistics for this tournament! I am spoiled by Wimbledon - and must send a note to those behind this rather useless website.

Perhaps it is a bit much to expect good sense from sports commentary but it does occur at times.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Advertising strategies

Vain as I am, checking my previous post, I noticed the Google ads attached.

Does this make sense? I suspect that just MAYBE these ads may be more useful when attached to screeds from the infidels and so this makes sense.

Still it does seem odd to me. Would not someone want to advertise good books on Evolution? Oh well.

Ominous advertising - but maybe it is not so bad

The CBC has been advertising an upcoming show lately with the catch-question:
Is it possible to be a good person if you don't believe in God?
To be honest I would have thought what needed investigation is whether it is possible to be a good person and believe in God; for me, basing one's ethics on a fantasy seems rather flimsy. It allows one to to invent a God that authorizes the murder of those who do not believe in my invention as non-innocent, or to use the schoolroom to humiliate weekly those who choose not to attend Sunday School (the latter is a direct personal experience - and it was not really humilation, though was so intended, and might have been if the process had been taken as other than ridiculous).

This was well observed in a Pharyngula post today, which cites Richard Gayle (and his post is worth reading in general, as well as the commentary so far - he cites yet another great JFK speech):
People whose faith requires them to disregard facts are deluded. The delusions of faith have resulted in millions of deaths throughout history. Oe would have hoped that the Enlightenment and the following centuries would have lessened the power of these people. Looks like they are a strin strain of humanity that will always be with us. God did not provide the natural world around us to fool us or to decieve deceive us. We do not have the intellect we have to waste it on idiotic delusions about a geocentric solar system. Anyone who choses to believe the multiply-translated words of a document whose provenance is not wholy wholly known while ignoring the facts of the world we live in is a waste of humanity
That's a little rough but the principles make sense to me.

But back to the CBC. I caught the last ten minutes of the show being advertised. Now I want to see the whole thing.

Clearly put together by Rob Buckman (an interesting Toronto figure I once spent part of an evening chatting randomly with in a lovely bar here) it is rather sympathetic to the secular point of view - in fact the 'humanist' one (which I have always found a bit doctrinal :-) ). The CBC can still surprise me.

The CBC promotional page finishes with this observation:
But after horrific events such as Sept. 11 or the Tsunami disaster, some people will still ask "Where is God?"
It reminded me of what struck me as a sad letter to some editor after 9/11, in which the writer asked "Where was God in these events?" I wanted to scream - "Sitting in the cockpit with those boys egging them on into the twin towers and Pentagon."

Peter Jennings

I was quite saddened to learn of his death.

As one who grew up in the Ottawa Valley, my first memory of him was of the host of the local teenage dance show (a la Dick Clark but in a really small-town environment). That he became the journalist he did is a great credit to his basic skills. Could someone today follow such a career path with so little in the way of credentials, and have the world just accept the talent?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

Surprise is always an interesting pleasure (and I know I should not take sides). (Hat tip - Pharyngula.)

Islam and Innocence

I wrote a summary shortly after my return from the UK of what I had observed in the media after the first bombings in July. That summary included this speculative, and annoyed, paragraph.
The standard story was "Islam does not sanction the killing of innocents". What was interesting was that nobody in the media followed up on these formulaic comments by asking how the Islam in question defined innocence. I am pretty sure the murderers did not regard even the Muslims around them, co-operating in the social world that had humiliated the Caliphate, as innocents.
I am pleased to report that somebody in the media has in fact done this exploration quite nicely. Hat tip to Jeff Jarvis for pointing me to this chilling story in the Times.

A key citation from Omar Bakri Mohammed (who lives on state benefits in the UK):
This is not, of course, something that they would say in public. When Bakri finally commented publicly on the bomb attacks, he condemned the deaths of “innocents”. But this was not quite the remorse it seemed.
At Friday prayers, on the day after the second bomb attacks, there was a buzz in the air as Bakri walked into the Selby hall in his brilliant white shalwar kameez. In the preamble to the sermon he referred to the bombers as the “fantastic four”. He explained that his lament for the “innocent” applied only to Muslims. It was a linguistic sleight of hand which he summarised as: “Yes I condemn killing any innocent people, but not any kuffar.”
Other citations indicate my further point, that there are brands of Islam that also regard 'moderate' Muslins as being little more innocent than infidels.

None of this should be any surprise to anyone who has been paying attention for the last many years and is aware of some of what the Koran and hadith recommend regarding spreading the faith. I hope there continues to be useful investigative reporting of this form.

There are some encouraging points in the article; it is enjoyable to sense the frustration at the amount of exposure Bakri will get from this, given the frustation described in the article over the speed of existing British investigative work.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Police Report Hermeneutics

"approximately 2359 hours" again!! (See the earlier post.) There must be a reason. Could it be like financial reporting where you want to book the sale in the previous time period? Somehow there is a measure that rewards yesterday's crime?

Any ideas are welcome.

Robbery (Mugging) - 31 Division

A 37 year old male reports that on July 31, 2005 at approximately 2359 hours he was in the Jane Street and Macdonald Street area when he was approached from behind by two male suspects. The suspects attempted to remove cash from the victim’s wallet, but were unsuccessful. The suspects fled the scene empty handed in an unknown direction. The victim did not sustain injuries. Police are requesting the assistance of the public in identifying the following described persons in connection with this offence. Description of Suspect #1: Male, black, 20-25 years, 5’7”-5’9”, thin build. Suspect #2: Male, black, 20-25 years, 5’7”-5’9”, thin build, short black hair.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Total Human Drama - today's police report

OK figure this one out. THREE guys pull handguns and the victim says 'No'!! Who is that masked man? Wow. Hmm hang on - he has 5 gold rings (4 calling birds, three French hens, ...) in his pockets! For all this they got a hat and a t-shirt. It's another chance to try the grannies for the contraband.

Robbery (Swarming) - 31 Division

A 25 year old male reports that on August 2, 2005 at approximately 0010 hours he was walking through Stanley Park in the area of Jane Street and Clair Road when he observed four male suspects, one riding a bicycle. Three suspects produced handguns, pointed them at the victim and ordered him to empty his pockets. The victim refused. The suspects searched the victim’s pockets and removed a cell phone, five gold rings and a quantity of cash. They also removed the victim’s hat and shirt from his person. One suspect then fired two to three gunshots at the victim and all four suspects fled the scene towards Sheppard Avenue West. No injuries were sustained by the victim. Police are requesting the assistance of the public in identifying the following described persons in connection with this offence. Description of Suspect #1: Male, South Asian, 22-24 years, 5’10”-5’11”, medium build, long black hair in a ponytail, brown eyes. Suspect #2: Male, black, 19-21 years, 6’0”, thin build, long black hair in a ponytail, brown eyes. Suspect #3: Male, black, light complexion, 22 years, 5’11”, thin build, short black hair in an afro. Suspect #4: Male, black, 15-17 years, 5’2”.


August 2 Police Report

I have become far too attached to these reports. They seem to show that culprits are generally idiots.

Note below - one guy has an excellent threat, while the rest of the bunch cannot resist behaving in a somewhat random stupid way, rather than having the threat carry its weight.

I am assuming numerous white grannies are being intercepted in the hunt for the perpetrators. (Yeah I know this is pure rhetoric.)

Robbery (Swarming) - 54 Division

A 35 year old male reports that on August 1, 2005 at approximately 1730 hours, he was out front of an address on Edgecliffe Golfway when he was approached by five to seven male suspects. One suspect produced a handgun, pointed it at the victim and made a demand for cash, while the other suspects punched and kicked the victim about the head and body. All of the suspects then fled the scene, empty-handed, in an unknown direction. The victim sustained injuries and was treated at the scene by Toronto EMS. The victim was then transported to a hospital where he was admitted and is also being treated. His condition is unknown at the present time. Police are requesting the assistance of the public in identifying the following described persons in connection with this offence. Description of Suspect #1-#7: Male, black, 20-22 years. NO FURTHER DESCRIPTION AVAILABLE.


This Cannot be True

My sister has shattered me with this post. The Telegraph article in question can be found here.

I have personal connections to Austria and few things in the culture there can match the dirndl in sheer life-affirming perfection. Odd that some of the same people who no doubt rant against globalization support this sort of nonsense.

Of course I remain very suspicious. Can this really be serious?

Another police report - this one for language

What exactly does 'approximately' mean in this report?

Break & Enter (Business) - 32 Division

Esso Gas Station, 4550 Dufferin Street, reports that on July 31, 2005 at approximately 2359 hours, entry was gained into the premises by forcing a door. A quantity of cash and cigarettes were removed.


An Eloquent Post from Michael Totten

Only the link is needed.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Don Cheadle on the BBC in November

'Hotel Rwanda' was debuting in the UK when I was there last November and Don Cheadle was naturally promoting the film.
I watched a fascinating BBC interview with him. The interviewer at one point asked a question quite a bit like this : "Growing up black in the US you must have faced many instances of racism - can you tell me bout some of them?" My recollection of Cheadle's answer is that it was a somewhat puzzled, "Well, no, I cannot - I do not recall any". Of course the BBC interviewer was perplexed.
This was bad enough. But I have told this story to many people since November and almost all of them (they are generally Canadian) assume Cheadle is lying. I ask them why he would and nobody can tell me.

Other silly countries

ABC News tonight has as its lead item the use of steroids by a major league baseball player. This is silliness it is hard to match - it is siller for the fact that he told Congress earlier (another silliness point documented on these pages) that he did not use steroids.
I would say there must be better things to lead the ABC News night except perhaps for the parents whose kids get in serious problems because of their drug use.