First Post (27FEB2005)
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ramblings of an information troubleshooter
don't quack me up
so after the wrap-up of the alianait festival,
i sort of ducked out of sight for awhile,
skipping both canada day and nunavut day
celebrations to hibernate indoors and try to
recharge a bit. when i finally decided to go
out on sunday afternoon to pick up a few
notions from the northmart, i was puzzled by
the fact that the northmart parking lot appeared
empty and worried that i might have set my
clock wrong and missed its regular closing time.
however, i was then waved over to the side of the
road by a by-law officer and finally noticed a
crowd of people huddled down behind the little
pedestrian walkway. spotting john with the cbc
camera, i decided to ask him what was up.
serves me right for going out in public ! only
an hour and a half before, someone had fired
rifle shots from green row in their direction,
where their tripod had been set up *on* the
pedestrian walkway, and they had to scramble it
down and duck for cover. and there i was walking
along, merrily oblivious. lucky for me, no further
shots were fired and
whole incident ended peacefully a few hours later
when the man gave himself up. i used to work down
the hall from the fellow, and had even had him over
to my place to play poker once. it's such a small
town here sometimes ...
saw 'surf's up' last week at the astro and found
it a nice way to spend an evening. the mockumentary
style was a nice touch and some of the waves almost
looked real to a non-surfer like me. the chicken
jokes were appropriately awful. i'll go to see
'knocked up' this thursday and then will be caught
up on the few movies that have come up here that
have any remote appeal for me.
however, i did get a recommendation to check out
a series of videos on youtube by 'tuff_fish'. my
fave is a
of daniel powter's 'bad day' with various tuff_fish
audio excerpts (language warning for sensitive
ears). i liked the song, so i did a google search
for the lyrics and found out that this is the track
that is played when someone gets tossed off of
american idol, a show that i've managed to avoid ever
seeing (made a teeny easier by not owning a t.v. set).
i did note that the performer was a canuck, tho, so i
added his debut album to my amazon wishlist (need to
burnish my cancon cred somehow !).
ip idiocy link of the day (thanks to the
newsletter for the heads-up):
attack of the mutant rice.
Last November, over the howls of anti-GMO
(that's genetically modified organisms)
activists, the USDA retroactively approved
the Liberty Link rice, known as LL601. The
department said the genes that it approved
are similar to those inserted for years into
canola and corn, with no apparent ill effects.
The experts at the USDA, the EPA and the Food
and Drug Administration, all of which bear
some responsibility for regulating transgenic
food, say the contamination is nothing to worry
Then again, the experts also have dismissed
repeated warnings that genetically modified
crops can't be managed or controlled. When
organic farmers worried that their fields
could be invaded by genetically modified
plants grown nearby, regulators told them
there was nothing to fear. The biotech
industry promised that experimental,
gene-altered plants could be grown in
open fields and never, ever end up in the
i find it ironic that i came across this
article exposing these 'oversights' (pun
intended) of the u.s. FDA in the same week
of a chinese FDA official for approving
untested medicine in exchange for cash. it's
hard to imagine that any u.s. official might
be held just as accountable should any deaths
arise from this contaminated rice or due to
with GM soy.
last nite i finally finalized the travel
itinerary for my iminent european tour after
much procrastination. i had booked my
flights earlier this year in april, but
didn't start getting around to the
accomodations and potential attractions until
late last week.
my first leg will be the most expensive - the
flight from iqaluit down to montreal is over
half of the entire flight cost. i'm taking
the regular first air flight down (hopefully
without duplicating the flight
attendant incident from my last trip south)
and then staying one evening at
alternative in the heart of old montreal.
the next nite i catch the red eye from
montreal to london heathrow and transfer from
there to the flight to berlin.
in berlin, i'll be staying at the
backpacker hostel. i'm sure i'll be
busy with my brother's pre-wedding and wedding
events, but since the
on bike tours start in the same neighbourhood
as the hostel, i plan on doing both the berlin
wall tour and the berlin's best tours if i can.
after recovering from the wedding festivities,
i'll be flying out of berlin the next week to
london heathrow, transferring to london gatwick
and then continuing on from there to dublin.
in dublin, i'll be staying at the
lane hostel, touted as being a former
recording studio for U2, van morrison and david
bowie. oh, and i must plug the hostel search
site hostelbookers.com - considering i was
searching for rooms mere weeks before my travel,
i was amazed at the room availability and
reasonable prices on offer. highly recommended.
i'll spend a week in dublin taking in some of
the sights in the neighbourhood and trying to
see if i can spot sinead o'connor lurking.
however, since dublin is a poker hotspot,
i've already printed off a copy of the
Card Club's tourney schedule so that i'll
be ready to give that a go once the camera
finger gets tired.
after that week in dublin, i'll hope onto a
to galway and
a car from there to drive to clifden. i'm
hoping that i can handle driving on the 'wrong'
side of the road for a few hours without
endangering anyone else. the connemara
peninsula is cited as having some of the most
majestic scenery in ireland, so i may have to
invest in another over-sized memory card for my
digital camera. i'll spend the nite at the
town hostel before returning to galway to
take the return train to dublin.
i'll return to the litton lane hostel for a
couple of nites and then i'll head back to
london where i will spend a couple of days
re-visiting that lovely city. in london,
i'll be staying at the
leinster inn. only after booking the
hostel did i check for casino locations, and
i was pleasantly surprised to note that the
victoria casino was a mere single tube
stop away from the hostel. oh, my lucky
after blowing all my dublin winnings in
london, i will have only pennies left after
springing for the trip out to heathrow
where i will enjoy the treats of the air
canada departure lounge (compliments of a
pass from roberta). then it's back over
the pond to montreal for a return engagement
at l'auberge alt before my return to iqaluit
and a smiling matthieu handing me a huge
stack of mail at the post office.
i was sad to read today that ulrich muehe,
who had been so impressive in 'the lives of
away. i was really looking forward to
seeing him in future films. thanks to
salon.com's andrew leonard for pointing
me towards the blog
of control, covering all sorts of
mind-altering infrastructure and design.
ip idiocy link of the day:
the u.k. government
a request to extend the copyright term for
music performances, which is a *good*
thing. the sad thing is that just about
everyone else is going extension happy
without thinking thru the consequences
hot sunshine in july
so i'm in my montreal stopover today before
taking the redeye flight over to europe tonight.
the sun is nice and hot, giving a welcome change
of pace from moody iqaluit climes. i went to
grab a couple bites of unagi from the sushi
place by notre dame, formerly nagoya, but now
calling itself tatami after renovations and
likely new management.
after that delish snack, i took the metro out
to the AMC 22 (for free, since there was no
station attendant) and caught a showing of the
latest danny boyle flick, his sf-themed
'sunshine'. the film featured a multi-ethnic
cast of recognizable, but not A-list (i.e.
too expensive) actors. cliff curtis (of 'three
kings' fame) plays the psychologist who gets a
high from staring at the sun. i must sheepishly
admit that i had actually mistaken him for kal
penn at first. hiroyuki sanada (who i recall
fondly from 'the last samurai') played the stoic
captain of the vessel who turns to face his doom
with silent defiance. michelle yeoh (of
'crouching tiger, hidden dragon', 'supercop'
and 'wing chun' fame) plays the graceful botanist
who watches in despair as her oxygen garden go up
in flames - one of the best images in the film.
cillian murphy (most recently seen in 'the
wind that shakes the barley' but also good in
'red eye' and 'batman begins') plays the
wide-eyed physicist who controls the bomb and
holds the fate of humanity in his hands.
chris evans (who i'm told played johnny storm
in 'fantastic four') is the brash engineer and
rose byrne (who was briseis in 'troy') was very
cute as the ship's pilot. i had seen her in
'marie antoinette' and 'star wars ep2', but
this was the first time that i really took
note of her. anyway, the cast was well
put-together, tho if they were meant to
represent humanity, the lack of someone of
african heritage was a noticeable omission.
the visual effects were amazing and definitely
need to be seen on a big screen to be fully
appreciated. the plot was straightforward
except for the bits featuring the survivor from
the previous icarus 1 vessel, which were
suitably disturbing. however, the most
outstanding element was the sound and music
design which were orchestrated effectively in
conjunction with the visual feast. the final
audio track, according to
was 'avenue of hope' by i am kloot, so i have
added 'gods and monsters' to my amazon wishlist.
however, i'm also hoping that an official
soundtrack with the tracks by underworld will
also get released.
i also wanted to mention that i had spent the
last couple weeks in iqaluit diving in to
seasons 5, 6 and 7 of 'the west wing'. i
enjoyed the live debate episode and was truly
sad during the funeral for leo macgarry. josh
and donna finally get together and cj realizes
that there is life beyond the white house. i'm
glad the series finished on a high note.
on sunday at the northmart, i picked up a copy
of a recent cd titled 'in.ngi.u.ti.qat.ta.u.ti.jut'
(all one word, with the periods indicating the
syllable breaks) or 'songs for each other' which
features some people that i know. i berated a
couple of them yesterday for not letting me know
that this cd was out, with proceeds going to
benefit the iqaluit women's shelter. anyway,
kudos to molly, celina, emily, jennifer and
anna, as well as to stuart, michael, neil and
tony behind the scenes. all of the tracks
are great, but my faves are anna's two tracks
with emily's 'water to drink' a close third.
this cd is kind of a snap shot of who was in
iqaluit at that moment in time, and reflects
the very transient nature of the music community
in iqaluit. michael and molly left iqaluit this
month, as did stuart and emily, tho emily promises
to be back in 2008 to help run alianait! again.
neil and anna were both down south over the past
year, but anna returned this month and neil should
be back soon. jennifer is now residing in pang.
celina and tony will just have to keep holding
the fort until another crew arrives to fill in
First Post (27FEB2005)
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