Regina Fringe Festival

Yeah, the 2010 festival isn't going to be held until July 2-6. But applications are apparently available now for anyone interested in performing at the festival. There's fifteen spots up for grabs. They're allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until January 29. All you have to do is visit the festival website at http://www.reginafringe.com/ for all the details. And who knows, come next summer, we might find a way to review your show on what will undoubtedly be our awesome new website.

French Filmmaker Eric Rohmer dead at 89

French filmmaker Eric Rohmer has died at age 89.

Who you might ask?

Well Rohmer was a brilliant director who was part of the French New Wave in the 1960's. He had a habit of making blocks of films with a particular theme running through them. I've only seen his Six Moral Tales - which consists of La Boulangère de Monceau (The Bakery Girl of Monceau), La Carrière de Suzanne (Suzanne's Career), La Collectionneuse (The Collector), Ma nuit chez Maud (My Night at Maud's), Le Genou de Claire (Claire's Knee), L'Amour l'après-midi (Love in the Afternoon/Chloe in the Afternoon).

He also had his Comedies and Proverbs - La Femme de l'aviateur (The Aviator's Wife), Le Beau mariage (A Good Marriage), Pauline à la plage (Pauline at the Beach), Les Nuits de la pleine lune (Full Moon in Paris), Le Rayon vert (The Green Ray/Summer), L'Ami de mon amie (My Girlfriend's Boyfriend/Boyfriends and Girlfriends) and the Tales of Four Seasons - Conte de printemps (A Tale of Springtime), Conte d'hiver (A Winter's Tale/A Tale of Winter), Conte d'été (A Tale of Summer) and Conte d'automne (A Tale of Autumn).

His films deal with people and their various relationships. There's a lot conversations that take place and usually not much action or drama. Still there's something beautiful and compelling about his movies. These are brilliant films and if you haven't seen them before, they are worth checking out.

1977 Interview with Eric Rohmer from zenfoolio on Vimeo.

Is Fox News The Broadcast Branch Of The U.S. Republican Party?

Pretty much. (L.A. Times)

Hmm. Fancy That.

There's no equivalent federal tax credit for parents with kids in arts programming like there is for parents of sportier tykes, says the L-P. That was one of Stephen Harper's promises when the arts bit him in the ass before the last election. According to the government, it's busy prioritizing the economy, blah blah blah. I can think of one, oh, $86 billion industry that would know how to put money to work to stimulate the economy, but whatever.

I'm actually shocked that anyone cares about such piddling amounts as any of the vote-buying-tax-credit schemes on offer from the feds (in lieu of real programming, childcare, etc. ad nauseum) but who am I to say?

Six In The Morning

1 END OF A MEDIA ERA Well, despite efforts by CEO Leonard Asper, Canwest's newspapers are up for bank auction. The Globe and Mail reports the Canwest boss sent a letter to the Bank Of Nova Scotia arguing that selling his family's papers in the current economic climate would be bad for shareholders. Scotiabank, which leads a group of secured creditors, basically told him to get lost. (Globe And Mail)

2 HUGE SEARCH FOR MISSING REGINA WOMEN But Carlene Walters, a post-traumatic stress disorder sufferer who's been missing since randomly leaving her home Dec. 30, is still missing. (Leader-Post)

3 LIBERALS GO ON THE ATTACK The federal party slams the Tories for shutting down Parliament in a new advertising campaign (Toronto Star). Good. Really, Canadians should be protesting this in the streets and they're not. Maybe a few partisan TV commercials will wake up the sheeplings who don't read the Economist.

4 SCHOOL BOARD DREADS CUTS A Saskatoon school board lays out its problem with provincial budget freezes and reckless tax changes. Repeat after me: former School Board trustee John Conway has been proven correct when he said taking taxation powers away from school boards would cause huge problems. (StarPhoenix)

5 PROP 8 CHALLENGE HITS COURT; JUDGES BAR YOUTUBE BROADCAST The completely irrational and insane citizen-voted California law that blatantly discriminates against gays and lesbians is being challenged in the state's supreme court today. But you can't watch the action live on YouTube, because U.S. conservative gay-bashers succesfully whined to judges that their bigot-allies testifying against gay marriage have a right to spew their hateful bullshit without their faces being on the Internet. How conveeeeeeeeeeeeenient. (LA Times)

6 ENTER THE SEXBOTS Here's a preview of the future. Get used to this kind of stuff. It's only going to get crazier. (Toronto Star)

Pick of the Day: Terraforming: The Creating of Habitable Worlds

There's some pretty rad technology discussed in this book by University of Regina Astronomy prof Martin Beech. Crashing comets into otherwise arid planets to provide a source of water, transporting gas from the Sun to Jupiter to turn it into a mini-star, altering the orbits of asteroids and getting them to clip Venus to speed up its rotation so that a "day" doesn't last 243 Earth days, even erecting giant screens and mirrors in space to help cool down Venus and heat up Mars.

With other planets in the solar system, we don't really have a choice if we're to make them conducive some day in the distant future to human habitation. But the truly scary thing is that scientists, due to fears about runaway climate change if we're unable to get our greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels under control soon, are actually contemplating similar interventions here on Earth. It's called geo-engineering. And it's a pretty sad comment on the lameness of our species, that we've abused and exploited nature to such an extent that we actually have to resort to terraforming Earth to ensure it remains habitable.

That we need to move off Earth is a no-brainer. As Beech notes in an interview in our upcoming Jan. 14 issue, tremendous resources are there for the harvesting in the solar system. As well, if we can establish viable extraterrestial settlements they can act as an insurance policy should humanity one day be menaced by the type of catastrophe that exterminated the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. (YouTube) But before we do that, we really need to get a handle on sustainable development so that we don't soil those worlds like we have our own.

In the hope that we one day get our shit together and begin to explore and settle other planets here's the trailer for the 1958 sci-fi cheesefest Queen of Outer Space which is set, and I use the term extremely loosely, on Venus. (YouTube)

Got notice late last week that tonight at 7 p.m. there's a forum on Community Engaged Research at the University of Regina's ShuBox Theatre where several artists and educators who specialize in community engagement talk about the benefits of what they do.