Gwynne Dyer: Germ Changer

They teach you in journalism school never to use the phrase “…X has changed the world forever”. Or at least they should. Covid-19 is certainly not going to change the world forever, but it is going to change quite a few things, in some cases for a long time. Here’s eight of them, in no particular order.

1. The clean air over China’s cities in the past month, thanks to an almost total shutdown of the big sources of pollution, has saved 20 times as many Chinese lives as Covid-19 has taken. (Air pollution kills about 1.1 million people in China every year.) People will remember this when the filthy air comes back, and want something done about it. India too. Continue reading “Gwynne Dyer: Germ Changer”

Sunday Matinee: A Study In Terror

In 1965 Sherlock Holmes found himself facing off against a mysterious and notorious killer for the first time. Jack the Ripper.

Three prostitutes have murdered in gruesome fashion with no clues to the killer other than the press call him Jack the Ripper. Soon after a mysterious package arrives for Sherlock Holmes (John Neville). It’s a case of surgical tools with scalpel missing. With the help of Dr. Watson (Donald Houston) Holmes starts looking into the case.
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Belle and Sebastian: Friends in T.O.

Photos: Jorge Ignacio Castillo

There is probably no better time to see a band live than when they are not promoting a new album. Two-and-a-half years removed from debuting the fun, bouncy “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance”, Belle and Sebastian hit the stage last night in Toronto with a set that seamlessly mixed greatest hits and deep cuts.

The show, which kicked off the North American leg of their 2017 tour, was a nearly two-hour solid demonstration of musical proficiency. Belle and Sebastian indulged on their penchant for classism, arching back to the band’s chamber-pop days, when the presence of a violin, cello and trumpet was a given.

The easygoing nature of the Scottish group was in full display through lead singer Stuart Murdoch. The gregarious, unassuming Murdoch believes he can take the pulse of the city by their public transportation system (he is not wrong). Stuart was a bit troubled by the TTC, but came to the conclusion once pot is legalized, nobody will mind. Continue reading “Belle and Sebastian: Friends in T.O.”

DA: The Force Awakens (After A Copyright Attack)

Daily AggregationHappy afternoon, Saskatoon! How happy? 22°C happy. Why are you reading this? Find a patio that has beer. The sun doesn’t set until 7:51 tonight. Go! Scram! Shoo! This blog post will be here all weekend.

1. MORE JOBS, WAIT. MAYBE NOT Conflicting reports on Saskatchewan’s employment situation.

2. SPITEFUL SASK GOVERNMENT BABIES CAN’T HANDLE CRITICISM, LASH OUT The Opposition NDP 11 MLAs. The governing Sask Party has 51. The Opposition NDP just had its funding cut by $64,00, compared to $130,000 for the government. The Sask Party loses $2,550 for every MLA. The NDP? $5,800. That isn’t just unfair, it’s targeted suppression of a political opponent. Who do these bullies think they are, Putin?


4. MASSIVE SASKATOON POLICE SCANDAL Two cops made fun of crime victim Bronek Hart’s name. Unacceptable! Wait. Bronek? That is kind of a funny-sounding name. Apparently it’s Czech (from “Brotislav”) and means “glorious armor”. Doesn’t sound like this Bronek has very thick armor. Well, he was having a bad day. Hopefully the cops will apologize for being idiots and for using an offensive slur, and we can all go back to reading about the end of the world, speaking of…

5. SYRIA: NO MUSHROOM CLOUDS YET SO THAT’S GOOD U.S. President Donald J. Trump gave Russian ally Syria a 59 penis pummeling last night. Here’s the Washington Post’s latest. Not that the regime doesn’t deserve a faceful of missiles, but Assad has been murdering children for a long time and it seems unlikely this will stop that. Besides, it’s not like this will inspire that grandstanding, egomaniacal hypocrite to accept Syrian refugees, which is what he’d do if he actually gave a shit about children.

6. SYRIA: MORE: “World leaders react to strike”, “U.S. Missile Strikes Bring Angry Russian Response”, “Was Trump’s Syria Strike Illegal?”“Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Dangerously Impulsive”,“The Grim Logic Behind Syria’s Chemical Weapons Attack”, “U.S. Tries To Restore Military Back Channel With Russia After Syria Strikes”.

7. SYRIA: TRUDEAU SUPPORTS MISSILES AND REFUGEES Yuuuuuugh. Well he’s in a tough spot. The country he leads is next door to a deranged and heavily armed giant. Still grotesque and nauseating.

8. SYRIA: JEET HEER: THE GENERALS HAVE WON THEIR WAR WITH TRUMP One of our favourite mighty intellectuals throws his brain at Trump’s Syrian adventure.

9. SYRIA: BRIAN WILLIAM’S BEAUTIFUL MISSILES I assume the news anchor was trying to make a darkly poetic analogy contrasting the lights and colours of rockets with the destruction they cause but it didn’t work and bringing Leonard Cohen into it is just shitty. Also I apologize for writing “59 penis pummeling” at the start of this thing. That was horrible.

10. AN OILERS OWNER SEX SCANDAL? Stepping away from conflicts between nuclear powers: so Daryl Katz is being sued. First: don’t threaten the careers of women you’ve propositioned after they’ve turned you down. Second: fuck, just don’t be an entitled rich creep. Third: there are professional sex workers out there happy to take money for companionship. Even from gross, slimy men.

BAD LIP READING: THE FORCE AWAKENS After a ridiculous, and brief, copyright takedown, the latest Bad Lip Reading video is back online. While not as amazing as “Seagulls (Stop It Now)”, it’s still a lot of fun.

31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – First Man Into Space

space the spooky frontierAstronaut test pilot Lt. Dan Prescott (Bill Edwards) is scheduled to test the new Y-13 rocket much to his brother’s, Cmdr. Charles “Chuck” Prescott (Marshall Thompson), chagrin. Dan doesn’t follow Chuck’s orders and flies to high, blacking out and then crashes into the desert. Instead of going back to base Dan goes find his girlfriend Tia (Marla Landi). Chuch finds Dan, yells at him and sends him back to base.

Chuck doesn’t want Dan to fly the next test but everyone else still think Dan is the best pilot for the job. On the next test flight Dan again goes higher than ever before, climbing to 1,320,000 feet before trying to return the rocket to Earth.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – Attack The Block

space the spooky frontierWhile walking home from work nurse Samantha Adams (Jodie Whittaker) is robbed by a group of kids lead by Moses (John Boyega). The robbery is interrupted by what first appears to be a meteorite crashing into a parked car.

When Moses investigates he’s attacked by weird creature that he kills. Moses and the gang take the creature back to their apartment block which also happens to be the same apartment complex that Samantha lives in.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – Under The Skin

space the spooky frontierA man on a motorcycle (Jeremy McWilliams) stops on the side of the road and walks into the ditch. He comes back up with a woman’s body which he drops in the back of a white van. In white space, a naked woman (Scarlett Johansson) undresses the dead woman and puts on her clothes. When she’s finished she notices an ant which she picks up and looks at.

The woman goes and gets more clothes and starts driving around in the van. She picks up random men and takes them back to her place where they end up walking into a black liquid void instead of getting lucky. The woman goes out to get more men.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – The Man From Planet X

space the spooky frontierGood Professor Elliot (Raymond Bond) has set up shop on an island near the Scottish Moors. A newly discovered planet dubbed “Planet X” (no word on if it contains the extremely rare Alludium Phosdex, the shaving cream atom) is traveling close to Earth. The Professor has invited his friend reporter John Lawrence (Robert Clarke) to see the planet as it passes by. Professor Elliot has the unscrupulousDr. Mears (William Schallert) as an assistant.

Elliot’s daughter Enid (Margaret Field) is also on the island. Lawrence and Enid hit it off and go for a walk where they discover a strange cylinder probe. Professor Elliot is fascinated by it but Dr. Mears wants to profit off of the new alien metal. One night Enid stumbles across a spaceship that has landed in a field. A strange looking alien is inside and when Enid brings her father back to the ship a ray turns Professor Elliot into a mindless easy to control zombie.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – The Color Out Of Space

space the spooky frontierThere have a few attempts to bring H.P, Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space to film. The first was the 1965 Die, Monster, Die! with Boris Karloff. It strayed far from the original story and was a pretty mediocre effort overall. It’s watchable but not great.

The next attempt would happen in 1987 with The Curse. It’s a little closer but still kind of messes up the story at the end. In 2010 Huan Vu crafted a German made adaptation that is not only a great little horror movie but a pretty faithful adaptation too.
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31 Days Of Space: The Spooky Frontier – The Deadly Spawn

space the spooky frontierThis is going to sound familiar. An asteroid crashes into Earth near a small town. Two campers go looking at the meteor only to get devoured by something.

Just a short distance away is the lovely home of Sam (James Brewster) and Barb (Elissa Neil) and their kids Pete (Tom DeFranco) and Charles (Charles George Hildebrandt). Visiting the house happen to be Uncle Herb (John Schmerling), Aunt Millie (Ethel Michelson) and some deadly alien spawn that have moved into the basement.
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