31 Days of Horror: Mystery of the Wax Museum

Sure the title doesn't sound menacing but this 1933 early two strip technicolor horror film is so memorable that it has been remade twice since - once in 1953 with the 3D movie House of Wax and again in 2005.

Mystery of the Wax Museum features Lionel Atwill (Doctor X) as a horribly burned sculptor who only works in wax. With the help of his two assistants - a drug addict and a deaf mute named Hugo - he recreates his previously destroyed wax sculptures by using a secret ingredient to give them that "life" like quality. Fay Wray (Doctor X, King Kong) co-stars as a young woman who looks a lot like Atwill's lost Marie Antoinette.

Directed by Doctor X's Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) - this was Warner Brothers last effort in using the two color technicolor film process. They didn't like it and as hard is it to believe - audiences didn't embrace colour films at that time.

The 1953 House of Wax featured Vincent Price in the Lionel Atwill role. The film is pretty close to the original but has more things flying at your face. The less said about the horrible 2005 remake the better.

Louisiana JP Won't Marry Interracial Couple

Yep, it's true. (Hammond Daily Star). And every stereotype about the American South being full of ignorant hicks and bigots is bolstered. Nice work, Louisiana!

Little Boy Whisked Away By Flying Saucer

Don't try this at home: A six year old boy climbed into a home-made helium balloon which then untethered itself and floated away. The balloon has now landed, sans kid. (AP)

Photo courtesy of Al Jazeera, who must also find this really really sad and weird.

UPDATE: Boy found hiding in a box in his family's garage, waiting for a lickin'.

UPDATE #2: What the hell kind of name is "Falcon"?

Public Money, Tory Cheques

The Conservatives have been busted for putting their logo on oversized government cheques (used for photo opportunities). Obviously, that's a big no-no. But get a load of this:

Opposition politicians are also convinced that the Conservatives are flowing government stimulus disproportionately to Tory-held ridings. An investigation this week by the Halifax Chronicle Herald appears to bolster that suspicion. The paper reported that more money – $162-million – is being spent in the three ridings held by Conservatives in Nova Scotia than in the province's other eight ridings put together. The $87.7-million that Defence Minister Peter MacKay's riding of Central Nova received exceeded that of all five Liberal-held ridings combined.

The Globe and Mail has the story here. So, just to double "check" (ha ha), this is the party going up in the polls, right?

California Vs. Gay Marriage: What, We Need Facts Now?

I'm pretty big into 'live and let live' until someone's actions hurt people. (Real harm, not hurting someone's feelings or offending their sensibilities). This is one reason why I, a lame straight dude, squawk incessantly about gay rights and gay marriage even though in my country these issues are, hopefully, pretty much settled (no thanks to Conservative politicians like Tom Lukiwski and Maurice Vellacot, who argued, vehemently, against these rights back before his Conservatives formed government).

Gay marriage clearly is not substantially different from straight marriage--as author, editor and pundit Dan Savage has said, it can be loving and committed, horrible and abusive, with children, childless, non-monogamous, not permanent, whatever.

Anyway in America last year, as you may recall, California voters voted to outlaw gay marriage because they're pushy religious jerks/scaredy-cat bigots, er, I mean it harmed families or some such bullshit. The law to ban gay marriage was called Proposition 8. And, not surprisingly, it's constitutionality is being challenged.

It actually should be a fun case. In this Associated Press story, a judge was asked to throw out the challenge. But he turned the table on Prop 8 supporters and basically said, "gay marriage is harmful? Prove it!"

And the pro- Prop 8 lawyer couldn't. At. All.

Facts and evidence. Who'd have thought you'd need those things when you decide to ban gay marriage? Should be a good show when this thing goes to court next January.

Six In The Morning

Ever have one of those mornings where half the websites you visit take a minute or more to load, and you're trying to get work done, and it's really slowing you down and making it tough to stay focused on what you need to get done? yeah. Me too!


1 DO CANADIANS REALLY WANT THIS? So what, we're going all Tory now (Globe And Mail)? Is it because Ignatieff (yes yes yes I know he was in town yesterday but that's not relevant) seems like a desperate, power-hungry phony, Layton's a wiener and we can't vote for Duceppe? So what, we want a majority government run by Conservative politicians who interfere in public inquiries, love military adventures, appear to despise the public sector, attack the arts, hate the CBC, are hostile to refugees, CANCELLED OUR FREAKING PUBLIC DAYCARE PROGRAM, have historically opposed gay rights, will probably screw up public health care, have contempt for science and the environment, and love to use overheated rhetoric to demonize their opponents? (um, cough.)

Have voters gone bananas? A majority Conservative government would probably do irreparable damage to our country. Could you please, please, PLEASE reconsider?

2 SASK PATIENT FIRST REVIEW RELEASED Here's the news. My thoughts later. Still traumatized by polls. (CJME)

3 IT'S A START Missed this one a few days ago. Sorry about that guys. The federal, provincial and Regina governments are building a bare-bones 40-unit complex for Reginans with mental health issues or/and addictions. It's hoped it will be ready in 2011. (Leader-Post)

4 TURNS OUT IT'S NOT OKAY TO COVER UP BRUTAL RAPES If American companies try to stop their employees from taking legal action after they're drugged, raped and beaten by co-workers--which is how Haliburton handled the case of employee Jamie Leigh Jones after she was brutalized--they will be barred from receiving defence contracts. Thank you, Senator Al Franken. (Guardian)

5 HARPER COULDN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH The prime minister (the one we want to give our country to) was told about Canadian-captured prisoners being tortured but didn't believe it. (Toronto Star)

6 TERROR IN PAKISTAN Militants murder people, blow stuff up, generally prove they're a bunch of thugs. Here's the link. Yuck. (CBC)

Pick of the Day: On the Ice of Labrador

Presented by New Dance Horizons, On the Ice of Labrador is the latest creation of Montreal Danse. It was choreographed by Sarah Chase, who I had the pleasure of interviewing on a bitterly cold January day in 2004 when she was in Regina to present Mapping/Portraits.

As a choreographer, Chase is very narrative driven. In this work, says the press release from Montreal Danse, she weaves seven different stories into a biographical tapestry. Themes explored by the dancers, who interact with each other in various configurations, include aviation, music, death, disease and loss of memory due to Alzheimer's.

On the Ice of Labrador runs tonight and tomorrow night at the Conexus Arts Centre (Shumiatcher Room) at 8 p.m. Here's a brief video clip from an April performance of the work in Montreal. (YouTube)