Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So Long and Merci For All the Fish

You may have noticed, this blog hasn't been active since (insert date of latest post). I'm not dead or anything (at least not in any noticeable way, but I stopped being so sure nowadays since seeing The Sixth Sense), and I'm just as busy as ever, but I've stopped feeling guilty and responsible if I don't update the blog. The fact is: it finally dawned on me that I have no readers, apart of my family and a nano-circle of closest friends (and even then, when I ask them their opinion on my latest post, they would say: oh your blog? I haven't checked it for a while), so I'm saying: f*ck it, if nobody cares, why should I?

Hence the title of today's post. It's my way of thanking, from the bottom of my heart, the two followers who agreed to be identified as such: sincere, humble, grateful thanks to them for clicking on something that somehow linked them to this blog, and now I'm setting them free. Heartfelt thanks  to other anonymous readers, if any, to all the people who were previously interested enough to comment and to anyone who accidentally stumbled on this blog. I might post again, whenever.. but it will only be for myself.

Kisses and hugs and thanks for all the fishes.


Explanation from Wikipedia: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984, ISBN 0-345-39183-7) is the fourth book of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series written by Douglas Adams. Its title is the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspatial express route, as described in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The phrase has since been adopted by some science fiction fans as a humorous way to say "goodbye" and a song of the same name was featured in the 2005 film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

UPDATE: I might have spoken too soon (or too late): I can't seem to find my followers on the blog, so they must have de-followed themselves a long time ago, and I didn't even notice.  This final post is so obviously overdue it would be embarrassing to anyone who cares. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Intelligence Squared Debate

Aired 11-7-09 on BBC World, the debate theme is: " Is the Catholic church a force for good in the world? " Speaking for the motion, Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe MP. Speaking against the motion, Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry. Votes are taken before and after the debate.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Swine Flu Lottery


The swine flu season is in full swing and vaccination campaigns have just started in Montreal. As usual, all kinds of weird/bad decisions have been taken, that make you wonder sometimes... We're not talking only about the massive disorganization of the first few days that forced parents with young children and pregnant women standing in huge lines for 5-6 hours in the cold. Consider:

Montreal is the largest city in the province of Quebec, it's where the flu pandemy would have the most disruptive impact. So of course, it's not where the vaccination campaign would start, because that would be too rational. Montrealers would be among the last to be vaccinated in the province.

Why did it take so long? Here's an extract from the local newspaper The Gazette :

"Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc chastised Montreal's top health official for failing to deploy the city's H1N1 vaccination program as planned months in advance.

Concerned that further inoculation delays would put people at risk for swine flu infection now that the virus is in hyper speed, Bolduc personally called David Levine, head of the Montreal Health and Social Services Agency, to demand an explanation.

Bolduc made the call late Monday night, said his press attache Marie-Ève Bédard.

There was no reason for Montreal's delay, Bédard said.

Not only did the city have the vaccine on hand "for quite a while," but also the authority to hand over the doses to the 12 local health agencies responsible for handling the campaign at various sites, she said. "So the minister found it difficult to understand why Montreal hadn't started its vaccination." Levine promised that the plan would be on track by 10 a.m. yesterday, with the vaccine delivered to every hospital, clinic and nursing home.

But at a press briefing held yesterday morning, Levine said that as far as he was concerned, there were no delays.

Accompanied by Richard Lessard, head of public health, and Louise Massicotte, in charge of the vaccine program at local health agencies, Levine explained that plans initially called for a mid-November start date and it was a huge logistical job for the agency to prepare for an earlier start on Oct. 26.

In fact, Lessard added, it was actually a good thing that Montreal did not start immunizing Monday because only that evening the vaccine manufacturer provided health authorities with new handling directives.

Sensitive to light and heat, the vaccine itself must be kept at temperatures between 2 to 8 degrees C, and if not used within 24 hours of being mixed with the adjuvant and one hour of filling a syringe, it will expire, Lessard said.

Back in Bolduc's office, Bédard, however, dismissed these "new" vaccine directives: "This is the first time I've heard of this. I don't know why he said that. The procedures have been known for a long time ... and Montreal was in charge of sending (early) vaccine to northern Quebec." Neither Levine nor Lessard was available to comment."

So there's your answer. As a professional linguistic expert, let me translate: Q: Why the delay? A: Heck if I know.

Vaccines are now limited to people who care for infants, children 6 months to 5 years old, expectant mothers more than 20 weeks pregnant, those with serious immune deficiencies, the gravely ill, front-line and health workers.

For healthy adults and children older than age 5, vaccination will not begin until December 7th. I'll be taking a couple of trips at the end of the year, starting on the first of December, so I guess I'll miss the whole thing. Unless I pull rank with my diabetes, since adults age 18 to 65 with a chronic illness will get inoculated starting November 23rd.

In the meantime, here are a few groups who are getting their shots ahead of everyone: hockey players, inmates in jail, high-level civil servants and homeless people.

Any questions? Ask the health care professionals below (no, not the pumpkin, he's a PR guy).





Update: I will regularly update this post by adding new groups who I learn are able to jump the line and get inoculated before their turn :

7 November: professional basket ball players, the 200 top donors to a hospital.

10 November: Claude Dubois (famous singer) and family

11 November: Afghan detainees in Canadian bases in Afghanistan (I kid you not)

12 November: "In B.C., where eight died from the swine flu last week, an alleged nurse posted an ad on UsedVictoria.com to auction the H1N1 vaccine on the Internet. The ad, posted Monday, "said the auction would continue until midnight on Friday. After that, the nurse was to contact the highest bidder, come to the winner's home with proof of credentials and administer the shots," The Province reports"

Thursday, November 05, 2009

See Ya Later Alligator!

Sent by Michelle (Merci Michelle!)


  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What? Too Soon?


My suggestion for this year's Halloween Costume, on sale at: http://www.microflight.com/Balloon-Boy-Halloween-Costume-Kit, for the low low price of $19.99 (you supply your own helium).



Sunday, October 18, 2009

J'ai la sécurité d'emploi

Je suis allée à Zellers l'autre jour pour acheter des valises pour mon voyage à Los Angeles.

Une des valises portait l'étiquette suivante:


Pour comprendre ce charabia, je fais ce que font tous les Québécois quand ils ne comprennent pas un texte en français: je cherche la version anglaise. Euréka! Tout s'explique!




La valise en question est vendue avec un petit sac à dos, qui est "niché" à l'intérieur. Les instructions sont destinées au personnel de la Section des valises du magasin: ils doivent sortir le petit sac à dos de la valise avant de mettre l'ensemble en vente. 

La morale de l'histoire est que ce n'est pas demain la veille que je serai remplacée par un logiciel de traduction automatique.

P.S. J'ai acheté une autre valise. 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Abomination

I wasn't ready yet to post, but this is too disgusting for me to keep quiet. I will not reproduce the graphic gruesome pictures, so go ahead and click on the link, but if you are of a delicate nature, please abstain:

http://theseoultimes.com/ST/?url=/ST/db/read.php?idx=7333

I hope this is a hoax.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dragostea din tei

I really hate this song, but it's my son's favorite, so this is dedicated to you, B-Boy!

Now excuse me while I go throw up....



And now for my other son, Asparagus: 


Monday, August 31, 2009

Ted Kennedy

In his eulogy, President Obama called Ted Kennedy the soul of the Democratic Party and the Lion of the US Senate. Apparently, the senator is loved and admired by millions of Americans.

On July 18, 1969, in a drunk driving accident, Ted Kennedy drove his car into the Chappaquiddick river, managed to escape from the wreck and went back to his hotel without telling anyone of the accident, leaving his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne to drown in the car.

This web site gives detailed information about the tragedy: http://web.archive.org/web/20050305121122/www.ytedk.com/chappindex.htm

Link via No Quarters: http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/2009/08/31/my-problem-with-teddy/#more-31581

Of course, that was a long time ago and people can change, I'm told. But may be it's because the  Chappaquiddick incident was not such a big deal forTed Kennedy, who was capable of joking about Ms Kopechne's death.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Sunday: Time to Criticize The Vatican

Via Pharyngula: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/

Warning: The video is almost 30 minutes long

Penn & Teller, Bullshit! The Vatican from Brewster on Vimeo.

And I found a link to this YouTube clip in the comments.

I think I'll go to Hell for showing it, but.. I'm already booked there for other sins, so what's one more.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My New Phone: The Nokia N900

It's been what..Two years? Three years? Time to buy a new cellphone. I really wanted the Palm Pre -- I've always liked the Palm family -- but it's sold exclusively by Bell and as any resident of Quebec would tell you, Bell has the worst customer services in the world, may they rot in Hell!

Don't want an IPhone because of the cult attitude of its users, so what's left? I give you the Nokia N900!!!!

From  http://www.infosyncworld.com/reviews/cell-phones/nokia-n900/10470.html 

The Nokia N900 has finally been officially announced, slated for release in October 2009 with a price tag that might surprise you.

If you were disappointed by the underpowered Nokia N97, it may be worth waiting until October for the Nokia N900 in stead. Put simply, Nokia's new N900 boasts technology that is worthy of a high-end smartphone today combined with software for the future. 

The Nokia N900 will come equipped with a slide-out QWERTY thumbboard, Quad-band GSM network support, 10/2 Mbps HSPA connectivity (with T-Mobile USA support) as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 support. Limited RAM has been an issue on the previous generation of Maemo based tablets, but the Nokia N900 will offer 256 MB RAM plus 768 MB virtual memory. This will especially be crucial for the desktop-grade, Mozilla based browser to deliver the goods as promised. The Nokia N900 is also powered by an ARM Cortex-A8 processor and 3D graphics acceleration with support for OpenGL ES 2.0. 

The Nokia N900's 3.5-inch WVGA display is of the resistive touchscreen kind, meaning that it responds both to finger and stylus navigation. A complete overview of the Nokia N900's capabilities can be found here, revealing that Widgets will just be a small part of the package. Our hope is that Maemo 5 ... and the N900 will silence the Widget craze to some extent, and that developers will be encouraged to develop real applications again. 

In addition to the new Mozilla based browser, the Nokia N900 will offer a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash. The camera should also be capable of recording WVGA video, while a front-faced camera will act as a VGA web camera. The smartphone will also be capable of video and audio playback, and offers up to 32GB of internal storage as well as a microSD memory slot capable of holding 16GB cards. A 3.5mm headphone jack has also been incorporated. 

The Nokia N900 will be available in October 2009 with the healthy price tag of 500 EUR (around 700$) before taxes and carrier subsidies.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

He's Sorry And He Was Just Following Orders


From The Independent (UK) (http://tinyurl.com/lktua5), via The Confluence



My Lai Massacre (and it's pronounced Me-Lie)


Saturday, 22 August 2009 - The only US Army officer convicted over the 1968 massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai made an extraordinary public apology while speaking to a small group near the military base where he went on trial.

William Calley, who has long shied away from publicity and routinely turned down journalists' requests for interviews about My Lai, broke his long silence after accepting a long-time friend's invitation to speak at a meeting of a local community club.

Speaking in a soft, sometimes laboured voice, he told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus, Georgia: "There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai," the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported yesterday.

"I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry."

Calley, 66, was a young lieutenant when a court martial at nearby Fort Benning convicted him of murder in 1971 for killing 22 civilians during the infamous massacre of 500 men, women and children in Vietnam.

Frustrated US troops came to My Lai on a "search and destroy" mission, looking for elusive Vietcong guerrillas. Although there were no reports of enemy fire, the troops began mowing down villagers and setting fire to their homes.

The incident shocked Americans and undermined support for the war.

Though sentenced to life in prison, Calley ended up serving three years under house arrest after President Richard Nixon later reduced his sentence.



My Lai Massacre by Eric Humphries (www.paintedatrocities.com/)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pho, Pho, Glorious Pho

via Cynical C, Anthony Bourdain's reportage on Pho on his TV series No Reservation

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Future Competition for Miss Teen USA South Carolina 2007

I found this clip via Cynical-C Blog. Apparently two white American girls decided to videotape themselves trying to convert an Indian girl into Christianity and uploaded the video on YouTube.

Cynical-C has these quotes from the video:

"I had two friends over. One regular one and one Indian one."
“She’s Indian. It’s like, an African country in Asia.”
“But I am not African. I am Asian.”
“Then why are you so dark then?”

I hope the videoclip goes viral.



A reminder, about the title of this post:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chauvinistic Canadians, an oxymoron?



Here are the lyrics, so you can sing along:

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please
Even if in winter things tend to freeze
We've got the world monopoly on trees
And our country's bordered by three different seas

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please
We invented the zipper, we've got expertise
We made insulin to combat disease
Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

CHORUS
Brits have got the monarchy
The US has the money
But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The French have got the wine and cheese
Koalas chill with the Aussies
But I know that you wanna be Canadian

Et si ce n'était pas assez
On a deux langues officielles:
L'anglais et le français
Ooh la la

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please
Where else do you find mounted police
Or go to the hospital and not pay fees
Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

And when freshwater is in high demand
We've got the world's largest supply on hand
So you know that we could make a pretty good friend
But it's even better if you can be...

CHORUS

So you're thinking to yourself,
"How do I live in this beautiful country?"
Well we've got some steps for you to follow...

STEP 1: Lose the gun
STEP 2: Buy a canoe
STEP 3: Live multiculturally
STEP 4: You're ready, there is no more!

We got beavers, cariboo and moose
We got buffalos, bears, and Canadian goose
And we're sorry about Celine Dion
But she did do that good song for James Cameron...

CHORUS
Brits have got the monarchy
The US has the money
But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The French have got the wine and cheese
Koalas chill with the Aussies
But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The Greek chilled out with Socrates
Can't build a wall like the Chinese
But I know that you wanna be Canadian

In Kenya they have safaris
We've missed lots of other countries
But I know that you wanna be Canadian

Susan Boyle in China

Granted, the Beijing Summer Olympics and Susan Boyle are old news, but a good laugh is never to be wasted. Click on picture to enlarge. (via http://shanghaiist.com/2009/04/24/susan_boyle-_harmonised.php)


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

No Pun In Ten Did

From: Bits & Pieces http://bitsandpieces.us/

funny pictures of dogs with captions
Lol Dogs http://ihasahotdog.com/

It is said that the ability to make and understand PUNS is the highest level of language development. Here are the top 10 winners in the International Pun Contest.

 
1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The Stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.
 
2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, ‘Dam!’
 
3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly, it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it, too.
 
4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says, ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’
 
5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
 
6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. But why they asked, as they moved off. ‘Because,’ he said, ‘I can’t stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.’
 
7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named Ahmal. The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him Juan. Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, ‘They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Ahmal.’
 
8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to ‘persuade’ them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he’d be back if they didn’t close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.
 
9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is SO BAD, it’s good) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
 
10. And, finally, there was the person who posted ten different puns, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make his readers laugh. No pun in ten did.

Laurel and Hardy Dance to the Gap Band

So it's not Thriller, but at least it's a choreography I can follow and reproduce (more or less).

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

OTAKUTHON 2009




This year's programme looks great! See for yourself: http://www.otakuthon.com/2009/events/attractions/






I'll be going on Saturday August 1st, unfortunately not wearing any costumes... I mean, I'll be wearing clothes of course, but not...oh never mind.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Le Chimpanzé et le Magicien

Un chimpanzé exceptionnellement intelligent est tourné en bourrique par un magicien, avec la complicité de son maître (ce traitre!). Lien fourni par Nebu (merci Neb!).

Personnellement, je pense que c'est assez débile de rire au dépens de cet être innocent, dont  je m'émerveille devant l'incroyable intelligence.

Michael Jackson Again!

The inmates from the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, in thePhilippines, have a new number on YouTube. They took the audio file of Michael Jackson's live performance of Dangerous at the 1995 MTV Award and reproduced his whole dance routine. I"m so jealous!

And here is the real dance routine by the King of Pop at that MTV Award night. I'm giving you the whole 10 minutes of his performance (even with the guitarist Slash refusing to leave the stage).

There are two celebrities whose death I will never recover from: Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson.

The Official Michael Jackson YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/michaeljackson?blend=1&ob=4

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Want a fake Gucci handbag...or a kidney? Go to New Jersey


From the Daily Mail in UK:   http://tinyurl.com/lz2sck

"More than 40 people, among them rabbis, mayors and other elected officeholders, have been arrested for corruption in New Jersey.

The accusations range from laundering tens of millions of dollars to black-market trafficking of kidneys and fake Gucci handbags....Federal prosecutors in the U.S. said the investigation focused on a money laundering network that operated between Brooklyn, New York, Deal, New Jersey, and Israel.

The network is alleged to have laundered tens of millions of dollars through Jewish charities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey.

'New Jersey's corruption problem is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the nation,' said Ed Kahrer, who heads the FBI's white-collar and public corruption division. 

...

The arrests became headline news in Israel today, with the country's mass-circulation dailies featuring pictures of bearded ultra-Orthodox Jews being led away by law enforcement officials.

Among the 44 people arrested were the mayors of Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus, Jersey City's deputy mayor, and two state assemblymen."

And if you want to know the details of the organ trafficking, read Cannonfire's blog: 
http://tinyurl.com/m9l3kq

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Twilight Mania Thwarted Again

I love Twilight (see? I told you I'm normal!)  so when they announced the launching of the official Twilight Saga: New Moon movie website, I of course rushed there: http://www.newmoonthemovie.com/.

And that's when they lost me: to enter the site, you have to downbload Adobe Flash Player Version 10. I HATE IT WHEN WEBSITES FORCE ME TO DOWNLOAD OR INSTALL STUFF!!!!1!!.



WTF!!

I know! I understand that by installing the newer version of Flash Player, I would be able to see all the special effects that have been designed and included. And I say Friggadoo! I want to have the choice of not being able to see the special stuff. I just want to see the actors' photos and read the information about the new film, maybe download a wallpaper or two. I don't care about watching 3-D trailers or interactive fancy schmancies. The fact that they are shutting me out right at the entrance is seriously pissing me off. So fuckem!



PFFFT!!!

1001 Pots in Val David

I went last Tuesday with my friend and mentor Mr. Cheong to visit the annual 1001 Pots exhibition in Val David. It was the first time in many weeks that the sun finally made an appearance, so the ride was relatively pleasant.

We visited the exhibition but, except for a few pieces (photos below), the vast majority were banal, uninspired and sometimes plain ugly, at least for my taste. There was nothing that jumped out at me and made me think: "I've got to have that, damn the costs!" And yet, there were many visitors and most of them were eagerly buying, it seemed. It reminded me of Bat Trang, the "famous" ceramic village near Hanoi in Vietnam, a must-go destination for all tourists. It was the same parade of tired, boring, repetitive, same-same pots and vases and plates.

This year, it looked like every potter at 1001 Pots was making square sushi plates and Belgian butter pots. I didn't go last year, but they were probably all making candlesticks-in-the-shape-of-a-cat or raku piggybanks. I wanted to buy a couple of ikebana dishes, but found out by lifting them that they were not water-proof, for crissake! So I took very few pictures of pots and more pictures of flowers at the restaurant near the river, where we ended having lunch. This will probably be the last year where I will be going to 1001 Pots, especially now that I found from the programme that many of the potters are from Montreal. 









Monday, July 20, 2009

More Examples of Men's Inhumanity to Women


This picture of a collective wedding was sent to me by a friend. Apparently it’s being widely circulated in France because of the current proposed anti-burqa law controversy. All the grooms look happy, and rightly so : they are now garanteed what most males aspire to: free sex, free cook, free house cleaner, free children provider and baby sitter, etc. The brides?…who can’t tell?

Not all weddings are happy occasions :

The Jerusalem Post (http://tinyurl.com/l6ybsm) has issued this interview of a serving member of the paramilitary Basiji militia on his enforced participation in the rape of young Iranian girls prior to their execution.

Founded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 as a "people's militia," the volunteer Basiji force is subordinate to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intensely loyal to Khomeini's successor, Khamenei. (A bit like Mao ZeDong’s Red Guards, Pol Pot’s genocidal militias and the various  armies of children in Africa).

In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a "wedding" ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: the young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard - essentially raped by her "husband." 

"I regret that, even though the marriages were legal," he said. 

Why the regret, if the marriages were "legal?" 

"Because," he went on, "I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their 'wedding' night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food. By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die. 

"I remember hearing them cry and scream after [the rape] was over," he said. "I will never forget how this one girl clawed at her own face and neck with her finger nails afterwards. She had deep scratches all over her."


Saturday, July 18, 2009

C'est compliqué, les relations

Premier exemple: 

Via La Presse ( http://tiny.cc/1idLR): Harry et Pepper, deux pingouins de Magellan qui filaient le parfait amour et n'hésitaient pas à couver les oeufs abandonnés par leur congénères, se sont séparés après qu'Harry fut parti s'installer dans le nid voisin avec une femelle de la même espèce, veuve depuis quelques mois. Après six ans de vie commune, Harry a abandonné son compagnon Pepper pour tomber dans les bras de Linda, une veuve esseulée de l'île aux pingouins du zoo de San Francisco, rapporte le Los Angeles Times vendredi. La nouvelle a suscité moultes réactions sur la blogosphère, où la veuve a immédiatement été traitée de «briseuse de couple» ne vivant que pour «son propre bonheur, sans se soucier de ceux qu'elle pourrait blesser». 

Harrison Edell, qui s'occupe des pingouins du zoo, est plus pragmatique, expliquant que le partenaire de Linda était une sorte de chef et qu'il possédait sur l'île non pas un, mais deux nids. Or «la propriété foncière, chez les pingouins, ça compte», assure Edell, et Linda était devenue «un bon parti».

Alors que Pepper rejoignait le clan des célibataires, le site chrétien OneNewsNow.com en profitait pour affirmer que la rupture des deux pingouins apportait le preuve que «la nature préfère les relations hétérosexuelles».  John, un blogueur plus compatissant, le coeur brisé par la séparation, souhaitait à Pepper de rapidement trouver «un autre pingouin mâle, dix fois plus sexy que Harry».

Moi, ce qui m'ulcère, c'est que l'on blâme Yoko Ono... pardon, je veux dire Linda, alors que c'est Harry qui a fait preuve d'égoïsme, de cupidité et de traitrise dans toute cette affaire.

Deuxième exemple:

Un milliardaire québécois vivait depuis 9 ans avec sa maitresse avec qui il a eu 3 enfants mais qu'il n'a jamais épousée. Après 9 ans et 3 enfants, madame n'a évidemment plus la fraîcheur d'antan, alors que les milliards de  monsieur sont convoités par des milliers de bimbos et autres golddiggers qu'il croise tous les jours. Ce qui devait arriver arriva: monsieur, ayant choisi une autre partenaire (new and improved),  fout madame dehors, madame réclame la moitié des milliards de monsieur, monsieur refuse, madame va en cour, la cour donne raison à monsieur. Madame recevra de l'argent (beaucoup) pour les enfants et pourra vivre dans un des manoirs de monsieur avec plein de serviteurs pour lui épargner les corvées ménagères, mais c'est tout. Entre temps, monsieur a lancé une campagne de publicité dans les médias pour qu'on parle tout le temps de lui en termes flatteurs et qu'on voit quotidiennement ses photos. Il s'agit de faire de monsieur un personnage sympathique et populaire, un peu à la Trump mais en moins con. Monsieur va aller dans l'espace, monsieur suit le Tour de France à la télé, monsieur fréquente le Festival de jazz, etc. Madame va faire appel, mais elle n'a aucune chance devant les milliards de monsieur.

Moi ce qui m'ulcère, c'est que l'on continue de nos jours d'élever les petites filles en les encourageant, non pas à assurer leur indépendance financière pour pouvoir choisir leurs partenaires de vie de façon plus rationnelle, mais à demeurer des mineures mentales dont le plus grand souci est de satisfaire aux canons de beauté du jour afin d'attirer un homme qui remplacera les parents, l'idéal étant un prince charmant milliardaire.



Saturday, July 11, 2009

Eternal Zoom

Via Bits & Pieces: http://www.lehtikuva.fi/hehkuva/

Click anywhere and keep zooming. I gave up after ten minutes.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I'm Sorry...More Micheal Jackson!

The King of Pop is mourned by thousands of fans around the world. One of the ways to celebrate his memory is try to reproduce his best known dance steps: the moonwalk. You can join the commemoration, if you want, by sending a video of you moonwalking to this site: http://www.eternalmoonwalk.com/

Warning: if you go on that site, you will be sucked in, spending hours watching people (and animals and things)  moonwalk with more or less success.

In ze meene taime... let's see the master do it.



Update: 10 July 2009

Apparently -- and I'm shocked, shocked!!! -- some people don't know how to moonwalk!!! So here's a tutorial, with (bad) French subs. So there's no more excuses.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Michael Jackson Memorial

Here are the photos from the memorial: http://www.flickr.com/photos/talkleft/sets/72157621098556670/show/

And the musical tribute:

The original number:

Thursday, July 02, 2009

KOSHI!!!!!


This year at Jazzfest be sure to catch Montreal’s premiere Kung-Fu comedy act Koshi. Koshi features the acrobatic breakdancing of bboy WD-40, the circus skills of Emmanuel Cyr, the dancing ability of Danielle Hubbard, and the vocal talents of Jason Levine. Replete with incredible actions scenes, physical comedy, and one-liners, Koshi is guaranteed to knock your socks off, tickle your family’s fancies, blow your friends minds and put your lover in the mood for even more ACTION!!!! (regardless of sexual orientation!!!)

So come on down to Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles for a real treat!

Schedule(subject to change):

Friday July 3rd:
8:30pm - de Maisonneuve between Jeanne-Mance and St-Urbain
10:00pm - St-Urbain & St-Catherine
11:15pm - St-Urbain & St-Catherine

Saturday, July 4th
7:00pm - St-Catherine in front of the steps
8:00pm - de Maisonneuve & Jeanne-Mance
10:30pm - de Maisonneuve & Jeanne-Mance

Sunday, July 5th
7:15pm - St-Catherine in front of the steps 
8:30pm - St-Urbain & St-Catherine
10:00pm - St-Urbain & St-Catherine

 A preview from last year (This year will be a new and improved version):

Home Movies

Here is a video I took of my younger son B-Boy when he was a baby, in the park with his friends.

Just kidding...

Here's the video clip showing The Making Of:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thriller 2009

Two years ago, I found out about an organization called Thrill the World which is dedicated to organizing groups around the world to dance the choreography of Michael Jackson's video Thriller together on a certain date at a certain time. They provide the music and teach the choreography step by step. Since my lifelong dream was to dance like Michael Jackson (isn't that everybody's lifelong dream, anyway?), I tried to form a group to do that dance, but it was a miserable failure. I have to show you the video, one of these days, you’d piss your pants laughing at my pathetic efforts . Here's how it should be done.


Last year, I tried again, but couldn’t even rustle up enough people. This year, now that Michael is dead, I guess it is even more important for me to do the dance, before something happened to me as well and I would die regretting not having done it.

Anyway, go to the Thrill The World site (http://www.thrilltheworld.com/) and try to get your own group to learn the steps. This year, the event will be held on: Sunday, October 25th at 12:30am UTC / GMT.

To encourage you, here is a YouTube clip showing Michael Jackson and his crew of dancers rehearsing the piece. You’ll find that even Mr. Moonwalk himself makes mistakes. So I’m not too embarrassed to make a fool of myself yet one more time, a bit like the hippos in Fantasia trying to dance the Nutcracker ballet.



And of course, one cannot mention Thriller without showing the other two famous versions:

The Indian version (with subtitles from Buffalax)



And the Philippines prison inmates version



I'll see you in October!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Holiday

Summer is finally here. Elsewhere in the world, summer has started a long time ago, but for us Montrealers, we couldn't be sure until now. Yesterday, we even hit 30 degrees celsius and we had our first thunderstorm, with hail to boot!!!

In celebration of summer, B-Boy went and bought his first pair of sandals (see below) of the season. It's THE SANDALS OF THE NEXT GENERATION!!1!!11! In short, they have a metallic edge in the sole, so that you can open a bottle of beer everywhere you go. Patent pending. You'll notice they cost him 40 bucks, discounted from 60 bucks. There's a sucker born every minute or something.





Bonus Cliff Richard retrospective: The Young Ones

Monday, June 22, 2009

Divas ou Salopes?



Interprètes à Eurocontrol

J'ai réussi à me libérer pour quelques heures et je suis allée manger à midi avec une amie interprète de la cabine chinoise. Malgré nos promesses mutuelles de ne pas parler métier, on a fini quand même par aborder les mêmes sujets.

Je me suis plainte du traitement que j'ai reçu récemment de certaines collègues. Cela faisait longtemps que je n'ai pas fait d'interprétation et maintenant que je reprends graduellement le collier, je constate que le marché de la pige est rempli de nouveaux visages. Toutes ces petites jeunes louves qui défendent leur territoire avec une férocité choquante.

Premier exemple: J'entre en cabine tôt le matin et je trouve deux collègues déjà installées au micro. Je dis "Bonjour!". Silence total. Je répète, plus fort: "BONJOUR!" Elles ne daignent pas se retourner. Je demande: "Je vois d'après la liste des affectations qu'on sera quatre interprètes. Est-ce qu'il y a une autre cabine?". L'une d'elles se retourne enfin et me jette: "Ben non! Vous avez déjà vu deux cabines françaises?" Avant que je ne puisse répondre, la seconde se retourne et décrète, sans daigner me regarder, "Puisqu'on est quatre, on fera chacune 20 minutes, au lieu d'une demi-heure." Voilà, elle a décidé. Résignée, je leur demande: "Dans ce cas, je prends le 3e tour?". Silence méprisant. Je sors prendre un café. Quand je reviens, je les écoute: fautes de grammaire, syntaxe boiteuse, contresens, etc. Je fais mes 20 minutes et je m'en vais. Le lendemain, je rencontre par hasard la 4e interprète qui me confirme qu'elle a été traitée tout aussi grossièrement par les deux divas. Elle m'explique que ce sont des débutantes qui se sentent menacées par tout le monde. Je dis oui oui, mais à mon avis, la grossièreté n'est pas une stratégie très habile quand on débute dans un métier.



Deuxième exemple, plus récente. Encore une conférence où il y a deux équipes de quatre interprètes. Cela semble être une nouvelle tendance, parce que normalement, on est seulement deux ou trois en cabine. Comme je suis débordée de travail, j’ai apporté avec moi mon portable (qui pèse trois tonnes) et quand j’ai fini mon tour, je m’installe dans un coin et je tape mes traductions. Le chef d’équipe me dit que notre équipe a fini pour la matinée et qu’on ne reprend qu’à 13 heures. Entre temps, l’autre équipe est arrivée et va prendre la relève jusqu’à 13 heures.

Je m’installe devant mon portable et je me concentre sur mes traductions lorsqu’une des interprètes s’approche et me demande : «Est-ce que tu vas rester la matinée ici ?» Je réponds, naïvement : «Oui, je ne reprends qu’à 13 heures, mais j’ai des trucs à faire, alors je vais rester ici à les faire.» «Ben, le problème, dit-elle, c’est qu’il n’y a pas assez de chaises pour tout le monde. Il y a juste 4 chaises et tu en occupes une et il ne reste que 3 chaises et nous, on est 4. Il va falloir que tu sortes.» «Oui, mais après chaque tour, vous avez une heure et demie à attendre. Vous allez rester toutes les quatre en cabine en même temps? Et votre quatrième collègue n’est même pas arrivée encore.» «Ouais, mais si jamais elle arrive et qu’elle veut s’asseoir, elle n’a pas de chaise.» Bête et disciplinée, je commence à fermer mes fenêtres et mes fichiers pour partir, lorsque je reprends mes esprits. Je me suis dit : Wait a minute, pourquoi est-ce que je lui obéis comme une conne? Si la quatrième arrive et qu’elle exige ma place, je négocierai avec elle, mais je ne vais pas me trimballer partout avec mon machin de trois tonnes, simplement parce qu’une inconnue me l’ordonne.

Je suis restée. Et pendant tout le temps où je suis restée en cabine, l’autre équipe a toujours travaillé à deux.

Mon amie l’interprète chinoise m’explique : Your problem is what we call «interpreting while Asian», it’s like «driving while black». Tu as une tête d’Asiatique alors que tu travailles dans des combinaisons de langues occidentales. Les gens n’aiment pas ça. C’est comme toi, quand tu vas dans un restaurant chinois ou vietnamien et que tu vois plein de clients Blancs, tu te dis que la bouffe ne va pas être bonne. Le pire serait d’aller dans un resto où le chef sushi est un Blanc ou un Pakistanais.


Console d'interprétation

Les dessins sont de Mox (http://mox.ingenierotraductor.com/).

Friday, June 19, 2009

L'amour arrache

This is B-Boy's latest piece, performed a few weeks ago, at the end of his school year. He's dancing with Isabelle.



In case you're interested, here's his website: http://www.wix.com/wdforty/portfolio

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let A Thousand Chadors Bloom



People in the West, and especially North American liberal bloggers, are all excited by the events in Iran. They are excited because they think that they are witnessing the unfolding of a historic revolution: Bad Guy I'm-A-Dinner-Jacket rigged the election to prevent Good Guy Mousavi (who has the decency to have a name that can be pronounced by Americans) from taking powers, so the Good Iranians are going to the streets to protest and try to force Teheran to respect the popular vote and declare Mousavi the winner. Their weapon? Twitter! At least that's the story we read in the Western media.

From Associated Press: TEHRAN, Iran - In a massive outpouring reminiscent of the Islamic Revolution three decades ago, hundreds of thousands of Iranians streamed through the capital Monday, and the fist-waving protesters denounced President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim to victory in a disputed election.

From MSNBC Nightly News : Defying efforts of the state to block the Internet and cell phone use, Iranians used Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to transmit information about the protests taking place in Tehran.

I am personally very, very skeptical whenever I see big crowds of demonstators or mobs, because I know there are always puppeteers behind the curtains. According to David Seaton (http://seaton-newslinks.blogspot.com/):

"Have you noticed that you can read all these Iranian "tweets"? Are you aware that the language of Iran is Farsi, not English? Does this piece of information suggest anything to you? Perhaps, the world is like in Hollywood movies where all the exotic character speak English, albeit with charming foreign accents? Or maybe, the dial on a person's bullshit meter might tremble a bit?

But, unlike the run up to the war in Iraq, this time some amateurs have take the trouble to do the homework that the "professionals" seem too understaffed to do themselves.

A financial website, "Charting Stocks", has taken the trouble that the MSM can't be bothered with and has exposed a very effective Israeli psy-op.

So, whatever is actually happening in Tehran, we now know that the Israelis are manipulating our perceptions.

Sit back and read this:

Proof: Israeli Effort to Destabilize Iran Via Twitter #IranElection
Right-wing Israeli interests are engaged in an all out Twitter attack with hopes of delegitimizing the Iranian election and causing political instability within Iran.

Anyone using Twitter over the past few days knows that the topic of the Iranian election has been the most popular. Thousands of tweets and retweets alleging that the election was a fraud, calling for protests in Iran, and even urging followers hack various Iranian news websites (which they did successfully). The Twitter popularity caught the eye of various blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch and even made its way to mainstream news media sites.

Were these legitimate Iranian people or the works of a propaganda machine? I became curious and decided to investigate the origins of the information. In doing so, I narrowed it down to a handful of people who have accounted for 30,000 Iran related tweets in the past few days. Each of them had some striking similarities -

1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their profiles.
3. "IranElection" was each of their most popular keyword
4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH.
5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo
6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER.

Why were these tweets in English? Why were all of these profiles OBSESSED with Iran? It became obvious that this was the work of a team of people with an interest in destabilizing Iran. The profiles are phonies and were created with the sole intention of destabilizing Iran and effecting public opinion as to the legitimacy of Iran's election.

I narrowed the spammers down to three of the most persistent - @StopAhmadi @IranRiggedElect @Change_For_Iran

I decided to do a google search for 2 of the 3 - @StopAhmadi and @IranRiggedElect. The first page to come up was JPost (Jerusalem Post) which is a right wing newspaper pro-Israeli newspaper.

JPost actually ran a story about 3 people "who joined the social network mere hours ago have already amassed thousands of followers." Why would a news organization post a story about 3 people who JUST JOINED TWITTER hours earlier? Is that newsworthy? JPost was the first (and only to my knowledge) major news source that mentioned these 3 spammers.

JPost, a major news organization, promoted these three Twitterers who went on the be the source of the IranElection Twitter bombardment. Why is JPost so concerned about Iranian students all of a sudden (which these spammers claim to be)? I must admit that I had my suspicions. After all, Que Bono? (who benefits).

There's no question that Israel perceives Iran as an enemy, more so than any other nation. According to a recent poll, more than half of Israel's population support using military force against Iran if they do not cease from developing nuclear energy (which they have the legal right to do as per the NNP treaty). Oddly enough, this comes out of a country which is not a cosigner to the NNP treaty and has no right to develop nuclear energy, yet posses an arsenal of nuclear BOMBS.

Of course, Mousavi himself plays an important role in causing the social unrest within Iran. How often do you see a candidate declare himself the winner before any votes are counted and then, when faced with defeat, call the entire election process a fraud? As obvious as it was in our own 2000 election, Al Gore would not touch the topic of voter fraud. No major US politician goes near the subject. They know full well that such an accusation would shake the entire foundation of our democracy and threaten the political structures that are in place.

These twitting spammers began crying foul before the final votes were even counted, just as Mousavi had. The spammer @IranRiggedElect created his profile before a winner was announced and preformed the public service of informing us in the United States , in English and every 10 minutes, of the unfair election. He did so unselfishly, and without any regard for his fellow friends and citizens of Iran, who don't speak English and don't use Twitter!"



Go read the rest at Seaton's blog.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

If You Still Don't Understand What Sexism Is, Here's The Explanation

I found this powerful post by Riverdaughter (A picture says a thousand words) at her blog The Confluence (http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/a-picture-says-a-thousand-words/#comments) and I am reproducing it here, for your education:


Anti-semitism



Racism



Torture



Culture
Any questions?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Blue Ribbons of Recognition

(Sent by Olga - Thank you Olga!)



This is passed along on the internet as a true story, but is it? From Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/glurge/difference.asp

Critique des critiques



Cette image m'a été envoyée par plusieurs de mes amis. Apparemment elle circule beaucoup sur l'internet. Je la reproduis ici, parce qu'elle illustre une tendance dans la pensée critique moderne que je trouve particulièrement débile.

Je n'ai pas d'opinion personnelle sur le Président Sarkozi, mais je constate qu'il n'est pas très aimé des médias. La France étant la plupart du temps une démocratie, les citoyens ne sont pas obligés d'aimer leurs dirigeants et ne se privent pas pour les critiquer. Mais se moquer de quelqu'un parce qu'il ne correspond pas aux canons de beauté du jour? Comme si c'était de sa faute et qu'il pouvait y changer quelque chose? Bon, Sarkozi n'est pas aussi grand de taille qu'Obama? Et alors? Obama n'est pas aussi pâle de teint que Sarkozi. Qu'est-ce que ça prouve d'un côté ou de l'autre?

Les critiques de Tom Cruise, incapables de l'attaquer sur le plan artistique, se vautrent dans des remarques narquoises sur sa petite taille, surtout comparée à celle de son ex-femme Nicole Kidman. Même chose pour les chroniqueurs américains qui, pour attaquer Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, l'actuel président d'Iran et bête noire du moment de la Maison Blanche, se moque de son nom ("I'm a dinner jacket"). On se croirait à la cafetaria d'une école secondaire.

Tout ça vole bien bas. Que dis-je "vole", tout ça rampe bien bas, et ce genre de "critiques" en dit plus long sur le moqueur que sur le moqué.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Save the endangered US CEOs

Trailer/Teaser for Michael Moore's new movie:



Always giving it to the CEOs at http://www.michaelmoore.com/

2009 Peony Show @ The Montreal Botanical Garden

Today, Mr. Cheong and I went to the Montreal Botanical Garden with a friend of his from Singapore, for the 2009 Peony Show. This is the first time I actually get to seriously try my new Leica camera that I got for Christmas, from my generous Ex. The battery died right in the middle of the photo session, but I managed to take enough shots to realize how great the camera is and what a pleasure it was to use it.

Here's a photo essay, called "Peonies" (What, did you expect "Peanut Butter Sandwiches"?)