Three In The Afternoon

The following items are chewing on my ankles, demanding attention.

1. WE SHOULD BE TOLERANT OF OTHER CULTURES An eight-year-old Saudi Arabian child successfully divorces her 50-year old husband after courts originally said she'd have to wait until puberty to request permission to leave the union. Ha ha! Take that, you smarmy, preachy human rights advocates! I dare you to call Saudi Arabia a medieval backwater now! (Yahoo!)

2. ALBERTA: IGNORANT AND PROUD Live in Alberta? Have kids? Want to indoctrinate them in your extreme fundamentalist Christian beliefs, like evolution is pretend and gay people are made of satan, without some "public school" butting in and teaching them "facts"? Things are looking up. (CBC)

3. TORTURE 'TOON the new This Modern World is pretty good. If you haven't read TMW before, it's a long-running weekly political comic and maybe the best of its kind. Check it out here. (Salon)

J! E! T! S! Just end the season ...

Hoo boy. It turns out that the Phoenix Coyotes weren't taken over by the NHL at the end of the season, as most mainstream media reports.

They were actually taken over in mid-February, says the city manager of Glendale, AZ (where the Coyotes play). (National Post)

The NHL trade deadline was March 4th and the Coyotes were particularly active as "sellers", shipping off high-priced centre Ollie Jokinen and top-four D Derek Morris. But the team also added players: Petr Prucha, Dmitri Kalinen and Jordon Leopold, among others.

If the NHL took over the team before the Coyotes deadline fire sale/picking up other teams' bonus babies and salary cap casualties, then who knew? And what does that mean for Coyotes' fans? Both of them?

All in all, Garry Bettman's southern strategy is looking stupider and stupider all the time.

Hat tip to Puck Daddy

Don't worry, Colin. They've got your back

Governments have an interesting way to deal with the proceeds of crime. For example. prostitution -- the act of having sex with someone in exchange for money -- isn't illegal, but spending money earned through prostitution is illegal. And when police arrest and courts convict drug dealers, the proceeds of their crimes are impounded -- their money and goods are forfeited to the state.

But when someone murders his ex-wife the day after getting turfed from cabinet and the day before the first payment in what was then Saskatchewan's largest divorce settlement ... then writes a book about it, that's different, right? Especially if he's got friends in the right places. (CBC Saskatchewan)

On Losing Faith (Fighter)

Molleindustria pulled their year-old Flash game, Faith Fighter, off their website. Coverage in the media and on blogs suggests this was done in response to a brief statement by the Organization of the Islamic Conference condemning the game as incendiary and offensive. Turns out things might not be as clear cut as we're being led to believe.

The game, which is still available elsewhere on the internet, pitted all your favourite deities against one another, Mortal Kombat style. According to its makers -- who are also famous for creations such as Oligarchy and Operation: Pedopriest -- it was intended as a satire of the one-way islamophobic satire of those infamous Danish cartoons.

'Natch, this is playing out in the online media as a case of free speech being suppressed as a result of outrage from an islamic group. This Huffington Post article, despite its headline, suggests the reasons for the game being removed are more complicated. Yes, the OIC asked internet service providers to remove the game but it seems it was the game makers themselves who took the game down. According to a statement by Molleindustria:
In few hours this statement generated a way more heated reactions than the release of the game. We are not "bowing to the foundamentalists", we have no sympathy for any religion but we are aware that muslims are victim of widespread racism in the western world. This islamofobia is functional to the imperial interests in Middle East and all over the world. We just want to make clear that the game was not intended to contribute to the media-assisted narrative "islamic world vs freedom of speech".
(Forgive the bad grammar. They're Italian.)

Also of interest are comments by Molleindustria about how a Metro UK journalist may have had a hand in engineering the controversy and then went on to misrepresent the gamemaker's response to it (ie, made their responses up).

Molleindustria's final response seems to be to publish a sequel to the game.

UPDATE (May 1): Faith Fighter is back up on the Molleindustria site. It was apparently only taken down for 24 hours. Paolo, the game's designer, explains his reasoning this way: "In order to reassert control over the DISCOURSE AROUND the game I had to do something that would force the press to refocus on the intention of the game and defuse a potential turmoil based of false assumptions."

That's a clipping from his response to this article on the Play This Thing website. Paolo's comment is the second one after the article and is entitled You're Right It's the Streisand Effect. It's a very good read. He has some interesting things to say about the role of misinformation in creating a false conflict between islam and the west, and he sheds more light on the role of Metro UK in creating this Faith Fighter controversy.


Six in the Morning

Your morning dose of news comes to you today 100% swine-flu free.

1. MAYBE COLBERT IS TOO GOOD: A study from Ohio State University shows that many conservatives think Stephen Colbert is on the level. They think he's funny, sure, but tend to believe he is only pretending to be joking while genuinely meaning what he says. On the other hand, liberals, in general, get that the Colbert schtick is satire. (Huffington Post)

2. AN UNCIVIL BILL: When the Sask Party took power in 2007 and started firing civil servants they perceived as NDPers, few pointed out that severance package payouts could tally up to a hefty bill. Well, turns out they have. Saskatchewan taxpayers are on the hook for upwards of $10 million thanks to that bit of political nastiness. (Leader Post)

3. NORWAY TO BAN GAS CARS: Proving once again that anything worth doing (going to North America, making health care free, wearing pointy helmets) was done first and with a berserker rage by Vikings, the Norwegian government is considering a law to make gasoline-exclusive cars illegal by 2015. (Gas 2.0 blog)

4. LABOUR MARKS DAY OF MOURNING: People gathered outside city hall yesterday to honour those who've been injured or died while working. The International Day of Mourning is an annual event initiated by labour organizations 25 years ago. (Leader Post)

5. MASSIVE CHUNK OF ANTARTICA FALLS OFF: A piece of the Wilkins Ice Shelf the size of New York City has fallen off and become icebergs. This is in addition to 330 square kilometres of ice that broke up earlier this month. Global warming is the suspected culprit although some conservative pundits see in this a sign of God's displeasure with Arlen Spectre's treachery. (Globe and Mail)

6. LIBRARY BOARD ANNOUNCING PLANS FOR CENTRAL BRANCH: As I type, prairie dog editor Stephen Whitworth is at a press conference the Regina Public Library board is holding at which they will be announcing the firm they are retaining to refurbish/rebuild the central branch. More news as it becomes available. (Phone Call from Whitworth)

Murray Mandryk Today

There's a lively column by the L-P's political writer in today's paper. The topic: the Saskatchewan Party government's two-faced monkeyshines on the environmental file. For those who missed the news, last week the Saskatchewan Party said it was scrapping Saskatchewan's greenhouse gas reduction targets and harmonizing with federal targets--despite campaign promises to meet the NDP's 2020 targets. (Links to the Leader-Post)

Mandryk slams the government for saying one thing during the last election campaign, then doing another. Well, duh, there's a surprise. But this news isn't what matters. What matters is Mandryk's extremely entertaining prose.

Mandryk's outrage is a little bit misplaced (then again he's writing one column, not a comprehensive position paper, so cut him some slack, Whitworth). Anyone with a working brain now realizes that conservative politicians are the worst of a really bad bunch on environmental issues.* They don't understand/have contempt for science, they don't value conservation, they ruthlessley attack their critics and they consistently resist attempts to move their countries to sustainable energy systems like solar and wind power.

Bush was a monster. Harper is a monster. And anyone surprised by this just hasn't been paying attention.

It's also problematic that these issues fall under provincial jurisdiction rather than federal. Global warming is't a regional problem and the policy ought to come from the feds.

But I'm blahblahblahing here. Go read Mandryk's column, it's good and fun.

*Don't get me started on the federal Liberals, who should be jailed for their Kyoto failures.


Fulfilling a vow

According to promos we run for this blog in prairie dog, it's supposed to be up-dated daily. None of our other contributors have stepped forward today to honour that committment, so with only 53 minutes left in 4 . 28 . 2009 I've decided to grab the proverbial bull by the horn and post the following. (Canada.com) Riders open training camp June 7, by the way. And if you're grossed out by the accompanying photo, just be glad I had the patience and perseverance to wade through all the Britney, Lindsay and Paris crotch pix to get to it.


Morse the Merrier

Today marked the 218th anniversary of Samuel Morse's birth. For some reason, Google chose to commemorate it with a special graphic replicating the type of dot-dash system he invented to communicate via telegraph. That made me think of another famous Morse -- or, at least, relatively famous. Canadian actor Barry Morse. He's best known for his role as Lt. Philip Gerard in the American drama The Fugitive, but I'll always remember him for his role as Prof. Victor Bergman in the classic SciFi series Space: 1999. (YouTube)

One More Bea Arthur Video Clip

...from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Six In The Morning

1 SWINE FLU Today's Globe and Mail update on the latest, scary, potential pandemic.

2 TRADE WINDS Europe and Canada talk about a trade pact. The good news: any move to increased trade with Europe could help shelter this country from ongoing U.S. meltdowns. The bad news: any trade pact including "government procurement" needs to be treated like a possible attack on the public sector and particularly on public worker salaries. Local jobs are good, right? We all like them, right? Just checking. (Globe And Mail)

3 SO WHAT DOES A SHIT SANDWICH TASTE LIKE, ANYWAY? Canadian autoworkers ratify a brutal deal to save save their jobs. Musing: if Chrysler-Fiat doesn't go bankrupt, how long before we read a story about ludicrously high executive compensation (made possible, of course, by worker sacrifice?). My prediction: early October. (Montreal Gazette)

4 WE JUST DECIDED "RAPE" HAD AN UGLY RING TO IT Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai says his country will amend a vile, misogynistic law that took away women's rights to turn down sex with their husbands, among other things. (CBC)

5 GET OFF MY LAWN Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin proposes a national ban on cosmetic pesticides. His private member's bill has zero chance of passing, but this is notable because this debate isn't going away. Several provinces already ban or severly limit home pesticides. (Toronto Star)

6 SNAKE IN THE BOX A British mailman gets a bitey surprise. Ssss! (Guardian)

This Week at City Hall

Monday, April 27
City Council Meeting (5:30 pm): Looking at expanding the budget for the City Square Master Plan, the taxi fare increase, and the 2009 Local Improvements Program (that's the list of maintenance construction projects for the summer).

Tuesday, April 28
Mayor's Task Force on Access (5:30 pm)

Wednesday, April 29
Regina Planning Commission (4 pm): Considering an application for a new multi-unit seniors' complex and an application to convert a building in the Warehouse District into offices (1916 Dewdney) and build a parking lot beside it -- the parking lot, by the way, will necessitate the demoltion of a building just north of 1916 Dewdney and city administration have recommended approval of this plan because the developer plans to put up shrubs (sorry, landscaping elements) to mitigate the impact on the neighbourhood. Great, more shrubs.

Also, after a long absense, the dreaded condominium conversion has reared its head at planning commission once again. Four are under consideration this week. Three are being recommended for denial due to the still very 0.5 percentness of our vacancy rate. Administration, however, have added something new into their reports -- recommendations to the commission on what they could do if they decide to approve these conversions (which they most likely will). The plan is this: require that the property owner only convert 25 percent of the units to condos and leave the remainder as rental. In all three cases, the property owners have indicated they're okay with this plan.

The fourth condo conversion is being recommended for approval because it's a conversion of a presently empty building so no rental units are actually being lost to the market.

Okay, that's it for this week. You can, as always, find full reports and meeting agendas on the city's website.



Small screen legend and Goldenest of Girls Bea Arthur passed away yesterday (New York Times). Here's a nice little tribute on Dark Horizons, a fine movie news and rumour website.

But what you want to know is, can you have an embed of the Maude intro? Damn straight you can!

Maude TV Opening Theme - Click here for more home videos

And while I'm at it, here's a clip from an episode of Maude with more social significance than the entire runs of most contemporary sitcoms. Remember what the United States was growing into before medieval-minded Christian fascists seized control in the Reagan era? here, let Maude remind you.

Rest In Peace, Bea.



Coming soon, I predict, iPhone Gas Chamber (MSN)


This book might be worth checking out, if only to confirm my worst fears (as far as Canadian politics go). (Ottawa Sun)

billy bob verses jian: subtitles of hate

It's old news now, but Dog Blog follower Peakay just sent me a link to this too funny not to share video. It's the infamous Billy Bob Thornton Q interview (previously blogged about here), subtitled by Cracked blogger Michael Swaim. Warning: includes naughty language.

UPDATE: The embed is only filling up half the screen, for some reason, crap, so here's a link guaranteed to work. Pretty funny and worth the click.

UPDATE 2: Paul Dechen claims to have fixed it. Unfortunately this had made him boastful, but what can you do?

Saturday Morning

Breaking with the format a bit this week. Instead of a cartoon, here's some classic Canadian Saturday morning live-action fare, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein!

As far as I can tell, there's yet to be a definitive DVD release -- one that's comprehensive and complete. Instead we've been given boxed sets of "select" episodes that have been chopped up and truncated. Now maybe, for some, that's all the Frightenstein they can handle. But this, IMHO, is a pretty important part of Canadian television history and deserves full preservation.

Apparently, one of the problems holding up such a release is the show's use of songs. Specifically in the Wolfman segments. Seems many of the songs that were spun on EECH Radio wouldn't have been had they had to get past today's more rigid intellectual property laws -- most notable among them, the segments intro bit, Sly and the Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher".

Once again, copyright sucks a little joy out of the world.

More info on The Hilarious House of Frightenstein at wikipedia (of course) and on this fansite.


Six In The Morning

Links to six exciting news items ripped from the world of today by prairie dog's highly trained team of expert experts:

1 BACKED AGAINST THE WALL Chrysler and auto union the Canadian Auto Workers continue to negotiate terms of surrender. Meanwhile, here's an interesting open letter touching on recessions, depressions, government policy and how our current econmoic troubles are NOT the fault of workers. (Globe And Mail, Rabble)

2 CAUSE OF DEATH? A Canadian soldier has been found dead on her Afghanistan base, and combat action has been ruled out as a possible cause. Major Michelle Mendes is the 118 Canadian soldier to die in the current Afghanistan conflict. (CP/Toronto Star)

3 DO YOUR JOB, MR. HARPER Here's one from the "whose country are you working for, anyay?" file: A Canadian court has now ordered our government to intervene in the case of illegally detained Canadian national and former child soldier Omar Khadr. Editorializing alert: it's completely, completely despicable that our government sits on it's ass when a Canadian citizen is held without charge in a foreign concentration camp, and when that Canadian citizen was 15 years old at the time of his arrest...wow. Just, wow. Inexcusable. This government needs to go. (Toronto Star)

4 SNAPSHOTS OF TORTURE U.S. President Barack Obama's administration will release more photographs of prisoner abuse. Perhaps this is part of a cunning, calculated and blatantly political strategy to dodge accusations of bipartisanship with a lot of fancy talk about avoiding "retribution"while fuelling public anger at the the previous bastardocrocy? One can only hope. (Guardian, New York Times)

5 "MOST LAME SPIN EVER" An Alberta advertising campaign has been busted for using scenic photographs from...northeastern England? (Globe And Mail)

6 LIE, LIE, LIE, LIE, LIE A climate change-denying, pro-fossil fuel propoganda group's own scientists said global warming was real in 1995. (New York Times)



Watch the skies, everywhere! Keep looking. Keep watching the skies! (MSN)

(Bonus points if you can name the actor pictured.)

New Dog!

Cover by Alex Whyte

A few hours ago I bumped into prairie dog's Chief Distribution Officer hauling bundles of the new issue around the city. Not easy work, since this is our double-sized, extra-heavy Best Of Regina issue. Poor old Bill. A week from now he's going to have biceps the size of footballs. And I'm talking the CFL kind, not those sissy NFL tennis balls. Here's a brief overview of the latest prairie dog.

BEST OF REGINA Hundreds of readers cast thousands of votes in our annual reader's poll on the best people, places and pastimes in Regina. This year's categories include Best Restaurant, Best Brew Pub, Best Pizza, Best Eco-Warrior and Best Place To Have A Car Accident (and it's not "nowhere", although that did come in second). Want to know what your fellow citizens like about this place? Pick up a copy and see!

LEWIS BLACK VS. STEPHEN LaROSE The likable and rant-errific comedian and Daily Show pundit brings his scathing, entertaining squawkery to Regina on April 30. Stephen LaRose spoke with the comedian in advance of his show and hoo boy, is it ever a confrontational interview. (Actually, it sounds like they got along just fine. Good article though, you should read it.)

NUCLEAR NAY-SAYERS Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May swooped by last week to pronounce on our province's nuclear notions. In brief: she dunnit like 'em, she dunnit like 'em at all. Michael Bell was at the press conference and provides PD readers the important details.

DOWN WITH PIRATES Gwynne Dyer takes a perhaps shockingly hard line against sea raiders off the Somalian coast. Yes, he recognizes there are tragic and complicated historical and economic factors at play in our new age of freebooting, but sometimes you just have to call a scallawag a scallawag. And send in the navy to shoot 'em.

ALSO: Joel Plaskett, Pink Mountaintops, Pale Ale, City Hall, a restaurant review (Silver's Steakhouse), film reviews, Street Wear, News Quirks, Typo Wiener, Queen City Confidential and a whole pile of reader letters including a mean one about David Suzuki (I'm curious to see if anyone will defend Suzuki's honour, actually!).

Pick up your free copy at one of 400 locations city-wide. and if you see Bill delivering a fresh bundle, maybe give the man a hug.



Is this the Bruins' year, I wonder? They finished first in the East, and demolished the Montreal Canadiens in four straight. (CBC Sports)

Six in the Morning

1. HOW DEPRESSING: You wouldn't know it when you see the way Regina city council is throwing the cash and rosy outlooks around at their budget meeting, but according to the IMF, this is the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. And now that the IMF has said it... well.. it must be true. (Globe and Mail)

2. GOVERNMENT SUPPRESSED ASBESTOS STUDY: According to an expert who worked on an asbestos study in 2007 -- which is now only available thanks to Access to Information laws -- he believes the Harper government tried to supress the report. (Globe and Mail)

3. WHOOPS WE DID IT AGAIN: The RCMP now say they're sorry for lying to the public --- er, sorry, they're calling it "giving wrong information" now -- in the wake of the Dziekanski slaying. (Globe and Mail)

4. BC NDP SUPPORTED CARBON TAX.... IN 2007: The BC NDP have been doing a little spring cleaning on the many websites they maintain. In the process they removed a reference to their support for a carbon tax at their 2007 part convention. (DeSmogBlog)

5. GROUP CRITICIZES REGINA SCHOOL BOARD BUDGET PROCESS: RealRenewal, a Regina group fighting to protect the city's school system, has come out swinging at the school boards budget process, saying they're dismayed by the lack of transparency. (LeaderPost)

6. ANOTHER EARTH FOR EARTHDAY: Scientists searching for extrasolar planets think they may have found one that's nearly Earth-sized. (Yahoo News)

Happy Earth Day

Not everyone is in the mood to celebrate today, apparently. (Toronto Star)


Laura Barrett Update

I heard from Mike Dawson and the show IS happening, but not at the Exchange anymore.
The show got moved to a house: 2152 Argyle before the Weakerthans. It (we think) starts at 7:00pm SHARP. Show up early if you're planning on checking this out.


City Budget Passes

Regina's 2009 municipal budget* passed unanimously tonight. No big surprise there. Election year + 0% mill rate increase = teh awesome. There will be more on this in Thursday's prairie dog, but suffice to say, it was another very upbeat council meeting. And from the sounds of things, it was a much brisker deliberation than in years past.
* Actually, there were several budget documents considered: the General Operating Budget, the General Capital Budget, the Police Service Operating and Capital Budgets, the RPL Budget, the Water and Sewer Budgets, the Warehouse Business Improvement District Budget and the Downtown Business Improvement District Budget. They all passed.

Laura Barrett at the Exchange tomorrow?

I just want to put a word out there for Laura Barrett who may / or may not be playing tomorrow night at the Exchange. The concert is strangely absent from the Exchange's website, but it IS confirmed on Barrett's myspace. Hmmm. Waiting for a response from the Exchange on this one...
Should be good if she plays

Six In The Morning (Deadline Edition)

A fastfastfast look at the world on a sunny Saskatchewan Monday:

1 IT'S PRONOUNCED "ACK-DICK" AC/DC tickets go on sale and some Regina fans can't get tickets and they're very angry. This link is definitely worth visiting by the way, for the hilarious "Highway to Hell for you people" quote. (Leader Post)

2 MOURNING FOR COLUMBINE High school massacre marks 10th anniversary, and police officers who were at the scene recall the shootings. (BBC, Columbine Courier)

3 BRING ME A BUCKET Turns out the admitted Al Qaeda mastermind behind the 9-11 attacks was waterboarded 183 times by U.S. interrogators. Waterboarding is the torture technique that makes victims feel as though they are drowning, except the previous government didn't call it torture because torture makes it sound like something bad. (New York Times)

4 CHINA WALL GETS GREATER Another 180 miles discovered under shrubbery and such. (Guardian)

5 STANDOFF ENDS A "deranged" gunman who held passengers and crew of a Canadian plane hostage in Jamaica has been captured and nobody was injured. (Globe And Mail)

6 PICKING UP THE PIECES The CAW and Chrysler negotiate to meet the Conservative government's cost-cutting demands. (CP/Toronto Star)

This Week at City Hall

Monday, April 20
City Council Meeting (5:30 pm): This is a special meeting convened to deal exclusively with the 2009 Budget. Will be interesting to see how this goes down. Looks like we'll be getting everything the city could hope for -- and that includes no property tax increase. Wow. Feels like one of those Don't Pay A Cent Events at the Brick. Forget that a modest boost to the mill rate might give us a little breathing room should things turn sour in a year or two. I guess even a half-a-tick tax bump would be too much to ask for in an election year.

Thursday, April 23
Board of Police Commissioners Meeting (9 am): Considering a recommendation to continue the $25,000 reward for information about Tamra Keepness. Also considering monthly crime stats. Crimes against property for March 2009 are down 17.6 per cent over March 2008 while crimes against people are up 19.4 per cent.

As always, full reports and meeting agendas are available on the city's website.


Okay, Blue Jays

Next up for the 10-4 Toronto Blue Jays, who are off to one of the best starts in franchise history (Canadian Press), is a three-game homestand against the Texas Rangers (Legends of America) beginning April 21.


Saturday afternoon toon

Whoops, looks like there's been a posting miscue and we missed the Saturday Morning cartoon. No worries, I'm sure Dog Blog readers were out having fun last night and are just crawling out of bed now anyway. Here's today's cartoon, an old classic that's as spectacular as it is stupid.

Video courtesy Yootoob and copyright violation.


Six In The Afternoon

photo of Elizabeth May by Darrol Hofmeister, sharpshooter photography

If the 17 people who follow this blog are wondering why posts are down this week, it's because we're busy working on our huge Best Of Regina issue and there hasn't been a lot of leftover energy for this hobby. But sometimes one must procrastinate in a way that feels like legitimate work. Since one is stalling on real work, anyway. Here's six stories of note.

1 MAY TODAY Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May is in Regina today. May and Saskatchewan Green Party leader Amber Jones have called a 2:00 press conference at the legislature to discuss their Parties' position on nuclear energy, and May will speak tonight at the 2009 Barbara Powell Lecture (7:30 in the Education Auditorium, University of Regina). (Leader-Post)

2 PARK PAYMENT The federal government says it will spend 13 million on Saskatchewan provincial parks. Unfortunately it's all investment in tourism rather than the environment, so don't get too excited--but still this seems like not a bad thing. That cash will go to the Batoche historical site is terrific. Hopefully any new developments will respect protected areas--we don't need snowmobile race tracks demolishing fragile ecosystems. Have to say I'm worried about close to $1 million being spent on new campsites in Grasslands Provincial Park. Why is it conservatives generally don't seem to know anything about conservation?(CBC)

3 A WAR ON GREENHOUSE GASSES? The Americans are dealing themselves back into the climate change game. The U.S. Environmental Protection agency has listed several greenhouse gasses as threats to "public health and welfare", which apparently means the the EPA can start legislating toward them--and also sets the stage for an emissions cap and trade system. With this move the Americans reach a point they should've been 11 and a half years ago, when the Kyoto Accord was adopted. Meanwhile in Canada, our Prime Minister is still regarded as a global warming skeptic and oil patch-boosting pimp. (New York Times)

4 IT'S NOT ABOUT HIM, REALLY Brian Mulroney's brown-bag pal Karlheinz Schreiber says he's not just trying to get out of being extradited to Germany where he's wanted on fraud charges and he really, really respects the work of the Oliphant Inquiry into his shady business dealings with the much-loved former Prime Minister. (Toronto Star)

5 BUSH BOYS DEFEND TORTURE You're kiddin', really? I would've thought those Bushies were opposed to torture. Who knew they supported it? Wow, I'm so naive. (Guardian)

6 SASKATOON BLADES A Saskatoon woman has been arrested after attacking a mother and her child with a sword. It sounds like drugs were involved. Remember that scene in Russ Meyer's Beyond The Valley Of the Dolls where the dude (or was it a ladydude?) gets stoned and goes on a bloody murder spree with a sword? This incident wasn't that dramatic--no major injuries and not a single decapitation. (The StarPhoenix)


Asleep At the Wheel

Being a cinema buff, I'm surprised Jorge didn't do a blog post on the death the other day at age 53 of noted American actress Marilyn Chambers, best known for her role in David Cronenberg's psych-horror flick Rabid (Cinephile), among other things. (Chud)

Speaking of Graves

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale/Her infinite variety: other women cloy/The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry/Where most she satisfies (msn.ca)


The joys of public dominion

Jane Austen masterpieces currently belong to all of us, which means anybody could publish any book of hers and make money out of it without having to share the profits with Austen descendants.

The copyright bonanza was put to wonderful use by Seth Grahame-Smith, the writer behind "Price and Prejudice AND ZOMBIES." Oh, yeah! Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy not only have to deal with society protocol and their prickly personalities. There is also the small detail of the undead trying to peel the flesh out of their bones.

Take this notable "adaptation" of Austen work: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

Furthermore, Austen more recognizable work has also inspired the movie "Pride and Predator" to open later this year. To say the writer must be rolling in her grave would be putting it mildly.


The life of a prairie dog cover, from start to finish...

Now go pick up the real thing...grrr.

Six in the Morning

1. FIAT MAY BACK OUT OF CHRYSLER DEAL: Demanding the Detroit Dinosaur cut costs further (i.e., cut wages), Fiat threatens to back out of merger deal. (Globe and Mail)

2. BC NDPs STUMBLE ON ENVIRONMENT: By taking a stand for lower taxes -- specifically calls for an end to Liberal Premiere Gordon Campbell's carbon tax -- the BC NDP has received the scorn of environmental groups like the David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute. Not just a bad move for the environment, but a dumb move politically some argue. (DeSmog Blog, Globe and Mail)

3. AFGHANS PROTEST LAWS THAT HATE WOMEN: Around 300 students, activists and lawyers take to the streets in Kabul to protest a law that takes away from women many of their civil rights. The protesters are pelted with stones by counter protesters. (Al Jazeera, Globe and Mail)

4. IGGY'S GRITS CALL FOR TAX HIKE, MAYBE: Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff on tour in Ontario suggests he wouldn't rule out a tax hike to deal with the economic downturn. Conservatives mock him, no surprise. (Globe and Mail)]

5. FLOOD BAD, VERY BAD: The flooding in Manitoba this year is already ranked the third worst in the last 100 years. (CBC)

6. LOHAN LOOKING FOR LOVE: Yeah, sorry, I generally try to avoid blogging about this sort of thing (while secretly devouring it in private), but this is actually really funny. And if you haven't checked out the Funny Or Die website yet, its as good a place to start. I also recommend the Green Team sketch. (FunnyOrDie)


amazon apologizes

Over the weekend online bookseller Amazon.com removed sales rankings from books with gay and lesbian themes, making it fantastically difficult to find and buy them on the company's website. After calling the apparent discrimination/borderline censorship a "glitch", today Amazon apologized. Here's the Guardian's story on the apology, and yesterday's Guardian article on the error that neccesitated it.

And if anyone feels like buying a book/magazine/graphic novel from a local store, it's a lovely sunny day out there so no time like the present.

Letter Of The Day

Here's an excerpt from a fun letter to the editor, which we will publish in full next issue (April 23):

"I enjoyed many of the features in your magazine, but have to let you know my disappointment in seeing the article about the band "F----- Up."

"In the first place, I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to name their band in such a way. We learn from childhood that the "F" word is not one we should say, but now not only are bands using this word in their names, but publications such as yours feature reviews etc. of these bands with no qualms.

"Yes, it is a free country, but I wonder what has happened to plain old decency?"

It's easy to barf up a condescending, cop-out answer to that question (like, "band named after state of the world, war disease global warming baby seals blahblahblah that's the real obscenity here"). But the truth probably comes down to, "fuck" just isn't a shocking word anymore. But it is a useful and versatile one--and it's fun to say! (Try it! "Fuckfuckfuck!" Wheee!)

The palette of language has many colours and they can all be beautiful and ugly in different ways.


Six In The Late Afternoon

What's up? Lots!

1 PIRATES KILLED, HOSTAGE SAVED after a five-day standoff, American ship captain Richard Phillips is safe after U.S. snipers shot the three pirates holding him hostage. And now, their pirate-pals are pissed. But so is the U.S. president. (Guardian, Globe and Mail, NY Times)

2 THE GOOGLEMOBILE COMETH Minions of the Google empire are in Saskatoon taking photos of the city for the company's new Street View program that will eventually let viewers access a 3-D composite of many world cities. Privacy invasion, coolio Internet thing or both? (Star-Phoenix)

3 AMAZON DOT FAIL The online bookseller is scrambling along in damage control mode after after it (accidentally?) de-listed books on gay sexuality, making it difficult to search for and buy them and sparking a ginormous Internet flappola. Salon is following the story. (Wired, Salon)

4 CUBA LIBRE! U.S. President Barack Obama might be moving the United States toward a new stance on Cuba. This is not necessarily a good thing, though--the embargoey bullshitness and tourism restriction are staying in place. (New York Times)

5 LAST GAS The final episode of Corner Gas airs tonight. Also: did you see that clip with Brad Wall ignoring Wanda's goofy strike and driving through her picket line? Would've thought this might not be the best optics for a premier whose government brought in profoundly anti-labour legislation. Then again, a lot of voters in Saskatchewan seem to hate labour's guts, so maybe Wall's cameo is just another way to reach out to his political base. Here's the clip. Strange, creepy stuff. (CBC, YouTube)

6 MAYOR HAIR The Leader-Post has an insane, non-news front-page story story today. Which is no fault of Pat Fiacco's swell hair. And no, I'm not being sarcastic, the man does have nice hair and he wears a mullet well. And no, I'm not being facetious, mullets can (albeit rarely) be worn well. And Mayor pat has such a mullet. But Jeez, isn't prairie dog supposed to be the juvenile, unprofessional and lightweight media outlet in this town? Get off our turf, "Joe Couture" (if that is your real name)!

This Week at City Hall

Tuesday, April 14
Works and Utilities Committee (4 pm): Considering the 2009 Local Improvements Program -- this is the list of infrastructure repair projects for the year. Many walks, curbs and gutters are up for some maintenance in 2009. Also considering making it a requirement that food processing, preparing and serving facilities install grease interceptors so as to protect the municipal waste water collection system.
Development Appeals Board Hearing (5:30 pm)
Regina Appeal Board (5:30 pm)

Wednesday, April 15
Executive Committee Meeting (11:45 am): Considering -- for the third time -- a proposed new housing incentives policy. This looks like a good policy and I've heard from a couple committee members who've suggested they like the policy and that council supports it. It would seem all the city is waiting on is an affordable housing strategy from the province and then they can get this thing passed. Here's hoping the third time's the charm. Also looking at a report on the progress of the city's apprenticeship program.
Parks and Community Services Committee (4 pm): Looking at recommendations on how to spend their annual chunk of cash from the Sask Lotteries Trust Fund. Also, considering Community Investment and Revue board funding recommendations.

As always, full reports and meeting agendas can be downloaded at the city's website.


Kenny, Kenny, Kenny

It wasn't as bad as Greg Norman's infamous 1995 melt-down where he squandered a six-shot lead heading into the final round of the Masters and lost to Nick Faldo, but today was still pretty bad. (CBS Sports)

Tea Time

As the April 15 deadline for filing income tax returns in the United States approaches, conservatives across the country, in the alleged spirit of the 1773 Boston Tea Party, where American colonists protested against taxation by the British government without representation by dumping a bunch of tea in Boston Harbor, are holding "tea bag" parties to criticize the Obama administration's plan to boost tax rates on wealthy Americans to bring some semblance of progressiveness and reason to the American tax system. Fox News has been pushing the rallies big time. Other media outlets, meanwhile, are having a field day exposing the hypocrisy of the movement (Huffington Post), and cracking up about the protesters self-designation as tea-baggers. (Urban Dictionary)

Sea kittens?!?!?

During some before-bed web-wandering last night, I bumbled across a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) campaign to get people to stop eating fish. Or, rather :"Sea Kittens", as PETA has re-branded them. "Because nobody would hurt a Sea Kitten," says PETA.

As far as I can tell the campaign was launched last fall in Europe then swam it's bubble-eyed way to North America in January. Here's some news links on it: one from the Telegraph, another from the Calgary Herald (actually the Canwest wire service) and this critical piece in The Economist.

My take? It's a goofy and misguided campaign but it's kind of charming, too. Well, to fish-eating me, anyway. And given the world's current well-documented problems with insane, out-of-control over-fishing, what the hell, why not try to get people eating fewer fish in favour of a vegetarian diet?

In other PETA-related news, the band Pet Shop Boys are not going to change their name to "Rescue Shelter Boys", as PETA requested.

(Sea kitten artwork copyright PETA)


Saturday Evening Soft-Core Porn

First in a series. (YouTube)

saturday morning cartoon

Hooray, it's Saturday morning, and time for cartoons!

Keeping with prairie dog's current dinosaur theme, we present the opening credits of Hanna Barbara's Valley Of the Dinosaurs. VOTD was a Saturday morning cartoon from 1974. Sounds like 74-75 was quite the year for the "terrible lizards" actually--1974 was also the year Land Of the Lost debuted, while The Land That Time Forgot--Nazis vs. dinos at the north pole, if I recall--hit theatres in summer 1975. And if you want to count Godzilla as a dinosaur (and why not?) this was also the year he met his scariest foe since Ghidorah: Mechagodzilla!

Bottom line: if you were a little kid in the mid-70s, your brain probably got melted by dinosaurs. Grawr!


Good Friday

You'll never guess what I did tonight. (Google Images)

Posters of the Week

There is just too much awesomeness on Poster Cabaret. It really isn't fair. I won't type any more because anything I could type would be inadequate to express how mind blowing great these posters are. Stop reading. Click the link. Click it now.

Six for Jesus

Today Christians observe the brutal torture and execution of their saviour Jesus Christ, believed by many to have be the son of God (and a damned good guy even if he wasn't*).

It's also a day when prairie dog writers neglect Dog Blog because we're (almost) all a pack of atheist freeloaders exploiting the dominant faith's holiday for some time off.

But lest their be no posts at all today (UPDATE: I see Dechene posted while I was typing this), I shall shrug off my laziness to offer some news-related freeloading; i.e. links to the stories of other media outlets who paid hard-working journalists for them.

And here we go!

1 NOT SO SECRET SUPPORT Yesterday we learned that a Saskatchewan electricians' union has agreed to support Bruce Power's nuclear plans. Oh, reallllllllly. For anyone who missed it, here's my March 17 post on why nuclear power is a really bad idea. But it sure as hell sounds to me like this reactor is going through despite objections and, as far as I can tell, facts. Money to be made, and all that! (CBC)

2 BRAD LIKES DOMES The premier says that in his personal, unofficial view, an indoor, multi-use stadium makes more sense than an outdoor, mostly-football-only structure. If there was to be a new stadium. Which is up in the air, because there's other stuff to do first. Cough. (Star Phoenix)

3 IT'S NOT THE EMISSIONS, IT'S THE INTENSITY Saskatchewan and Alberta's economies are largely hostage to retrograde, planet-killing types of energy production (and no, switching to nuclear is not the way to go). Which is probably why the two provinces' environment ministers are pre-emptively balking at potential emissions-reduction regulations. (Globe And Mail)

4 FINE FERRET FRIENDS Most endangered species aren't completely adorable-looking. But this Saskatchewan cutie sure as hell is. (CBC)

5 BILLY BABY TAKES TOYS, HEADS HOME. To recap: actor and artiste Billy Bob Thornton acts like a pretulant princess on the CBC radio show Q. He says Canadians are like "mashed potatoes without the gravy". He refuses to answer the questions and treats his interviewer like a disobedient servant. And so, he quite reasonably gets trashed by media, continent-wide, and when his band That No One Cares About plays Toronto, Thornton (surprise!) gets booed by the crowd. He then tells his audience that affable CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi an "asshole", thus looking like an even bigger jerk. Then he cancels his Canadian concerts, thus proving he's a delusional egomaniac and completing his circle of jerk-ness. Good riddance, you big damn sissy. (Toronto Star)

6 A REALLY GREAT ACTOR IS IN REGINA RIGHT NOW. Forest Whitaker. Wow. hope he's not an ass like BBT. (Leader-Post)

*He wasn't. Because, like the bus ads say, there probably** isn't a God.



(Cover by Carey Shaw, Carey Shaw Photographics)

Fourteen days have passed and a new edition of prairie dog is on the streets, which pleases the the all-seeing, all-knowing swami. So what's in this issue? Why should you dash out and look for it like eager little squirrels chasing the season's first nut? Well, how about:

DINOSAURS COME FROM SCIENCE The spectacular-looking science-performance Walking With Dinosaurs is thundering this way and it promises more awe-inflicting spectacle that a half-dozen boxes of knockoff Ray-Bans from the Rowdy Roddy Piper classic They Live. But this article isn't so much about that show--which runs April 16-20 at whatever the arena at (what used to be called) Regina Exhibition Park is named these days. Instead, writer Greg "Gregory" Beatty writes about the imaginative notion--popular in certainChristian circles, rural Saskatchewan political ridings and an unnamed, unfit-to-govern federal caucus--that the Earth is only 6000 years old and dinosaurs frolicked with Adam, Eve, Noah and Jesus. So yeah, Greg beats on that loony tunes belief pretty good.

GHOSTS OF PRIME MINISTERS PAST John Conway asseses and compares the evolving legacy of former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien with the fetid failings of former Conservative Prime Minister Brian "I'll take my sketchy cash payments in brown paper bags, please" Mulroney.

ROCK, ROCK AND MORE ROCK there are a few notable bands playing town in the next two weeks and we've got the interviews. First, James Brotheridge talks to the mom-pissing-off-monikered Fucked Up, who have some interesting if slightly ungrammatical things to say about the hardcore scene, while Chris Morin talks to Canadian rock institution Nomeansno, who are articulate, genmtlemanly and professional. Actually, every single musician mentioned in this issue is waaay less doornobby than the CBC terrorist and general shitbrain Billy Boob Thorton (see earlier blog-post for details).

DIFFERENT SEEDS FOR DIFFERENT NEEDS Stephen LaRose checks out a gardening seminar-thing and learns stuff about why it's important to have hundreds of varieties of tomatoes in the world instead of, like, only four. It is important, you know.

PLUS! The ongoing, depressing newsroom implosion afflicting Canwest, CBC, and, well, everybody, featuring an interview with CBC's soon-to-be-early-retired Tom Roberts by Carle Steel; reviews of several movies, including the poignant Wendy And Lucy and the apparently better-than-anticipated Adventureland; Gwynne Dyer scares the hell out of everyone with a horrifying report on global inaction vis-a-vis climate change; Paul Dechene reports on the City's trash plan (summary: looks potentially quite good but he didn't like aspects of the consultation).

And, of course: News Quirks, Queen City Confidential, Street Wear (not an artist this time!!!), David Suzuki, various entertaining and enlightening Top 6 lists, CD reviews, three news briefs, our typo wiener winner, a correction, and--as we say in the biz when we get tired of typing--"lots more". (Probably not "lots" actually but I'm sure I missed a few things.)


AC/DC is coming to regina

Link here. Should be fun for fans. Fun's good. I approve of people having it. (Leader-Post)

But it's okay to listen to new music as well, right? Lots of Regina bands could benefit from some of the cash that will be chucked at this thing.

Here's a thought--how about a small ticket surcharge to collect some cash that could be reinvested in the local scene? If everyone who goes to this show at Taylor Field paid an extra $1.00 to some kind of City Arts Fund, that'd be like what, 32, 36 grand? Good seed money, eh? Help a few bands get rolling? improve the cultural infrastructure, fix up some older arts properties, etc? Build a better community? Anyone? Just a thought.

Billy Bob Thornton acts like a jerk on Q

I missed Q--the CBC Radio morning magazine hosted by Jian Ghomeshi--this a.m., but thanks to my laptop's Internet powers I was just able to catch the segment where an arrogant, self-important Billy Bob Thornton (henceforth BBT) embarrass himself, badly, during an interview.

BBT flips out about Jian bringing up his acting during the interview, which was about BBT's band, which nobody cares about.

My favourite quote is BBT rebuking Ghomeshi, who had, briefly, for context, mentioned that BBT is best known as an actor: "You were instructed not to bring that up," he says.

Well, fuck you, BBT.

I shouldn't say that. This is the great Bee Bee Tee. He's better than you, he's better than me.

You know, he could've been polite and gracious, and if his music is good, people would embraced it. But to act like this just proves that he's a dumb, unperceptive, egomaniacal, insecure and rude amateur who thinks he deserved to be treated differently than other, more accomplished musicians who've done a hell of a lot more to earn their attention.

(Then again, he mentions the late, great Forrest Ackerman's Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, and that's pretty cool, if you're a nerd like me who knows what BBT's talking about).

But basically, BRB acts like an over-privileged, petulant little princess. He embarrasses himself with misdirected anger at a classy, talented radio host who also knows a hell of a lot more than he does about music. What an unprofessional asshole. He should apologize.

Watch a clip here:

And, just to show how a pro acts, here's a Q interview with another musician who's charming, personable, polite and engaging--and who deserves the attention:

Six in the Morning

1. HARPER MAKES TAR SANDS EXEC OUR "CLEAN ENERGY" ENVOY: Sparking outrage among environmentalist organizations, Harper has appointed Charlie Fischer, a former tar sands executive, to be Canada's representative in clean energy talks with the Obama administration. (DeSmog Blog)

2. ARCTIC ICE THINNER THAN EVER: Disturbing news out of NASA: their data reveals that the amount of thick sea ice in the arctic is smaller than ever. (Globe and Mail)

3. WINNIPEGGERS ON FLOOD ALERT: The first and highest crest of the Red River could reach Winnipeg today. (CBC)

4. TAXI FARES ON RISE: Regina's executive committee has recommended a fare increase for city taxicabs. The increase will be debated at the next council meeting. (Leader Post)

5. BEWARE BEEF BUG: An E-coli warning has been issued for Safeway beef in Saskatchewan. (Leader Post)

6. TEXAS AUDIENCE SEES SECRET TREK PREMIERE: Thinking they were going to see a screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, an audience in Austin actually got to see the new Star Trek film. Leonard Nimoy was in attendance. (SlashFilm)



After having their summer blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine leaked online a month before it hits theatres, 20th Century Fox has fired a Fox News columnist for reviewing the movie early.

Balm for the Soul

After the winter we've had, I'm really looking forward to catching a bit of The Masters this weekend. (Britannica)


Play Ball!

Not sure why the Blue Jays' 2009 home-opener against the Detroit Tigers wasn't televised on Sportsnet tonight (on cable anyway). For everyone who missed the game, here's the CBC report on a 12-5 Blue Jays' victory.

Six In The Morning

1 MAD ABOUT MULRONEY Some Conservatives want to fraternize with the former Prime Minister they've been ordered not to see by Tory den mother Stephen Harper. No drama like a family drama. (CP via Toronto Star)

2 NO NEED TO RAISE TAXES The always- civic-minded Canadian Federation of Independent Business says cash transfers in the provincial budget means cities don't need to raise property taxes this year. Because we all know there's no infrastructure deficit in Saskatchewan compounded by years and years and years of inadequate transfers and insufficient taxation. (CBC)

3 SPARE SOME CHANGE? Alberta gets its first deficit budget in 15 years. Fortunately, the ruling Tories prepared for the inevitability of an economic downturn and didn't go on an insane, reckless, right-wing rampage. Oh wait... (Calgary Herald)

4 WHO KNEW RAPE AND OPPRESSION WERE SO UNPOPULAR? Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai says he's backing away from a religiously-inspired law meant to keep the ladies in line. Oh, and get him votes from Islamists. But yeah, kinda didn't work out so well. (Globe And Mail)

5 EARTHQUAKE HORROR IN ITALY An Italian capital is trashed and more than 90 people are dead in a region that should have been prepared, but wasn't. (The Guardian)

6 NO ONE LIKES SHRINKAGE Economist Jim Stanford says you can't downsize your way out of a recession. Of course Stanford works for the Canadian Auto Workers, so he's got a dastardly pro-job bias. He's also smart and uses facts in his argument--and it doesn't get much worse than that. You've been warned! (Globe And Mail)

In lieu of actual, you know, work ...

Remember the song Get This Party Started, which Pink recorded about 10 years ago?

Well, Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger) re-recorded it in 2007. (Dailymotion) Not bad at all ....

This Week at City Hall

Monday, April 6
Community Investment Review Board (12:15 pm): Review of funding recommendations for various community groups.
City Council (5:30 pm): Considering a concept plan for the Greens on Gardiner which appears to be an attempt to make this eastern sprawl less odious, a special tax levy for back alley maintenance, and a request by Councillor Fougere to review the Regina Road Network Plan with regards to Southeast Regina and the rapid expansion thereof. Also, there is a schwack of budget-related stuff on the schedule. I think a lot of it will be tabled until the April 20 meeting so that everyone has time to go over it. But hey, this is my first time through a Regina budget process so maybe I'm totally wrong. Oh... and for the record, "tabled" is city hall speak for "put-off until". Yeah, maybe you knew that already, smartguy. Me, months went by as I blinked mystified at such fancy lingo. If only there'd been a guy with a blog back then to hep me to the city-hall slang.

Tuesday, April 7
Finance and Administration Committee (12:15 pm): Considering the budgets for Warehouse District and Downtown Business Improvement Districts, a recommended taxi metre rate increase, a request for a $34,425 tax abatement on a property owned by Souls Harbour and Rescue Mission, and a request to expand the City Square Master Plan consultancy budget beyond $500,000 so as to accomodate detailed study of transit and traffic issues related to the Wow Project. (The Wow Project is a proposal to create a festival plaza of 12th Ave north of Victoria Park.)
Green Ribbon Community Climate Change Advisory Committee (1:15 pm)

Wednesday, April 8
Paratransit Advisory Board (5:30 pm)

As always, full meeting agendas and reports can be downloaded from the city's website.


You Decide

Creationist propaganda, or cheesy Sci-Fi flick? (YouTube)

Neil Young's Fork in the Road

The new Neil Young album, Fork in the Road, can be streamed over at MySpace. It'll be out in stores this Tuesday.

After a quick listen, the ten-track album sounds a lot like his current touring compliment: guitar, bass, drums, organ, backing vocals, and Young himself. Its closest relation in Young's recent discography has to be Living with War, except that Fork in the Road's concept – an album about an electric car – seems ridiculous at some points.

Saturday Morning Cartoon

The opening of a well-known, semi-loved classic cheeseburger. Not the most obscure or interesting thing out there, but pretty much mandatory--so let's get it out of the way now.

Via YouTube and copyright violation.


Crowdsourcing to Monitor Sask Rents

For those who don't know what "crowdsourcing" is, it's when you get the public (via the web) to do some job for you. In a good way.

In this case, ActUpInSask.org is asking Saskatchewan renters who faced rent increases in our tight housing market to submit their rent increases.

Six In The Morning

1 BUDGET DAY As I'm typing this, Regina is presenting its budget. There's going to be some spending, reportedly. Curious to see what we're looking at here. Hopefully more later. (Leader-Post)

2 LET'S AT LEAST CONSIDER IT Saskatchewan politicians unanimously agree to ponder nuclear possibilities. But is it all an astute Sask-Party plot to set the NDP's pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear factions at each other's throats? (CBC)

3 OFF WITH HIS HEAD You know, if the world wasn't so goddamn dependent on oil maybe we wouldn't have to put up with medieval bullshit from economically over-inflated little backwaters like Saudi Arabia, whose courts have upheld the death sentence (bad enough) by, um, BEHEADING, of a Canadian convicted of murder.

[EDIT] And not just any beheading but a PUBLIC beheading. [END EDIT]

News-followers may recall this is the same Saudi Arabia that recently sentenced a senior citizen to be flogged. Can we please, PLEASE, pour piles of money into alternative energy sources? Like we should've been doing for at least the last half-century? The world shouldn't be propping up Saudi Arabia. (Toronto Star, Guardian)

4 BOOZE LAW CHANGES Sask Party gov't unveils plan to 1.) allow restaurant customers to take their re-corked wine home 2.) to allow wine-kit stores to brew booze on the premises and 3.)grant licenses enabling the home delivery of alcohol. Here's my non-expert, off-the-top-of-my-head take: 1.) Excellent! 2.) Excellent, I think 3.) Are you guys out of your minds??? I'm willing to have opinion adjusted by smarter people, here. (Leader-Post)

5 LANDLORDS MAD AT CITY Landlords mad. City mad. Systemic problems of poverty, drug addiction, food security, hopelessness, crime and etc make people sad--and they need to be addressed to break the cycle of property destruction that fuels the antagonism between renters and inspectors, says one guy who used to be on City Council. Methinks guy is onto something here. (Leader-Post)

6 IOWA IS MORE PROGRESSIVE ON GAY RIGHTS THAN CALIFORNIA It's true. And you know why? Because Iowans are just plain, good people. I mean, who doesn't love this guy? (Wall Street Journal, IMDB)

UPDATE: Edited to add the adjective "public" to beheading. Designer Alex says that's an important point and I shouldn't leave it out.


the polls have closed!

The ballots will now be counted! Thanks to everyone who voted in prairie dog's 2009 Best Of Regina poll--results will be published in the April 23 issue.