Narco Headed to the Hall

After having been tackled for a loss in the recent financial meltdown (Edmonton Journal), former Saskatchewan Roughrider wide receiver Don Narcisse, who played for the team from 1987-1999, and who still boasts a pro football record 216 consecutive-game-pass-reception streak, was inducted into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame today. Joining Narco, as the diminutive number 80 was lovingly known by Rider faithful, are former Edmonton/Baltimore QB Tracy Ham, former Winnipeg/Montreal D-lineman Elfrid Payton, ex-Bomber punter Bob Cameron and some guy I've never heard of (Joe Pistilli).

Post of the Day

Okay, Obi Wan Kenobi looks a little out of place -- unless, in an obscure way, the author of that blog is suggesting that maybe Eber Hampton is actually Charles I. But his analysis about First Nations University of Canada's predicament, and its roots in band politics, is pretty spot on (Simple Massaging Priest).

Six in the AM: PST for Cities, Dome Delay and Hacked Emails

1. NO MORE PST REVENUE FOR YOU, SASK CITIES: Premier Wall announced that because of lacklustre potash prices, PST revenue sharing will be frozen for Saskatchewan's cities and towns this year. But he promises things'll improve next year. For that, he received a standing ovation from the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association gathering at which he was speaking. Yay! We get less money than the Sask Party promised! Yay! Aren't conservative governments great at managing money during hard times! Yay! Nobody could have predicted a drop in potash prices when the last provincial budget was released! Nobody, that is, except for everybody! (Leader Post)

2. DOME UPDATE: Because, you know, they don't want us thinking they're throwing a million dollars away, city and provincial politicians recently received an update on the dome stadium feasibility study. And how're things going? From what the contractors who're earning that million dollars are saying, great! Because, you know, you're not paying them a million dollars to say their study is anything less than great. You want a thorough study? They're being thorough. You want responsible? They're being responsible. You want it done and public so we can move on? Yeah... well... they're not there yet. The promised January 2010 deadline has come and gone. Look for something in late February, early March. So..... just the feasibility study is a month or more behind schedule. How does that bode for a third-of-a-billion-dollar stadium getting completed on time and under budget? I'd say, not so well. Apparently, the project will cost $350 million "not including other costs associated with such a project" which is nice and vague. (Leader Post)

3. HACKED EMAIL SCANDAL BOGUS: Writing in the Guardian, Fred Pearce shows how the scandal over the hacked CRU emails (which some argue show a conspiracy among scientists to suppress climate denier research) is all based on nonsense and carefully chosen sound bites. Among his insights, Pearce points out how the oft quoted "hide the decline" line can't be referring to the early 21st century flattening of global temperatures because the email it comes from was written in 1999, shortly after the hottest year ever on record. Great point, Pearce. Where the hell were you two months ago when East Anglia University was bumbling its way through its worst PR nightmare? Mainstream science really fumbled the communications ball on the hacked email front. Fumbled it like a bunch of scientists playing football. (Guardian)

4. RCMP INVESTIGATING PUBLIC WORKS: Conflict-of-interest charges are being levelled against a federal public works bureaucrat. (Globe and Mail)

5. NFLD PREMIER SEEKS HEART HELP: Danny Williams is heading out of province to get treatment for an undisclosed heart ailment. In fact, he's heading stateside. Hmmmm. (Globe and Mail)

6. OSCAR NOMS ANNOUNCED: Can't say there's anything that surprised me on the list except for District 9 being a best picture nom. (Total Film)

Pick of the Day: The Zolas

The most famous Zola I know of is the 19th century French writer Emile Zola (pictured, in a portrait by Eduard Manet). As played by Paul Muni in a 1937 biopic I remember seeing years ago, he wrote a famous front-page article in 1898 headlined J'Accuse where he accused the French military and government of corruption and anti-Semitism for trying and convicting a French army officer named Alfred Dreyfus of espionage on trumped up charges. Zola was subsequently arrested, tried for libel, convicted, and only escaped imprisonment by fleeing to England.

I don't know the exact origin of this Vancouver-based prog-rock band's name, but I assume it has something to do with Emile Zola. Because the only other "zola" I can think of comes at the tail end of "Mazzola" and I doubt the band, which headlines a gig at the Club tonight, would have named themselves after that.

If that's true, and Emile Zola is the inspiration for their name, I give them props. It lends a literary air to the band without being too pretentious. Of course, if it's not backed up by quality songwriting it's all for naught.

Backing up the Zolas tonight are We Are the City. Here's video of the former performing "The Great Collapse" off their debut album Tic Toc Tic. (YouTube)