Monday, January 31, 2011

EGYPT IS IN CHAOS

My trip to Las Vegas was excellent. Not only was it sunny skies and decent temperatures for the four days I was there, but I also got to partake in some free lessons in blackjack, craps and roulette from the Luxor casino. You know, that's the resort that is built like a pyramid and has an Egyptian theme to it.
And that is my segueway to talk about the chaos in Egypt, with all these calls for Hosni Mubarak to resign as president. That was the big story the whole time I was in the United States: the top two stories that anyone really cared about down there were the chaos in Egypt and Charlie Sheen going into rehab.  

Not even firing his cabinet last week did Mubarak any good with the Egyptian public. Word is the chaos is worse than ever and the foreigners are all rushing to get out of there. Meanwhile, a big million-man march is scheduled for tomorrow.

A lot of these journalists are siding with the protesters and seem to be implying that democracy and human rights are going to bust out all over if Mubarak is toppled. But I've seen these sorts of revolutions happen before and while some of them end up ushering in freedom and the like (ie. Eastern Europe 1989, or the toppling of Ferdinand Marcos's regime in the Philippines in the Eighties), a lot of them don't. Such as in Cuba. Or, especially, Iran. The last thing we need is for a group of despots to be toppled, only to be replaced by even worse despots who happen to be religious nuts. I worry about what I hear about some of the opposition groups in Egypt. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see an improvement in Egypt along with everyone else. I just worry all this chaos is going to result in the country going in the complete opposite direction, though.

I'll try to keep you posted on the latest Egypt news as it happens, but I have had an exhausting weekend and a very long day of travelling again in very cold weather, so that's going to have to be all for now.

WEATHER UPDATE

It's going to dip to -45 C with the wind chill by morning where I am.

Why I even bothered to return from Las Vegas, I haven't a clue.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'M BACK FROM LAS VEGAS

Just returned from my trip to Las Vegas where it was nice and warm for the few days I was there. Now it's back to cloudy skies and -21C. Yikes.

I should also note that on my flight home most of the TVs on WestJet were tuned into the Grand Slam of Curling on CBC. Such is life in Saskatchewan.

Also, may I say that this weekend is a good example of why the NFL must not go out on a lockout in 2011. The sports landscape is pretty barren. I'm sorry, but basketball is no substitute, the NHL All-Star Game is no substitute, and while I'm glad there was auto racing with the Rolex 24 on, auto racing is no real substitute either. I will say, though, that if it isn't for auto racing I would be going bat-crazy during the months when football is in the off-season.

I will have more to say later, but that is it for right now.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

SO, ANYWAY, THE NFL PLAYOFFS ARE STILL ON

So you can blame that, plus the workload I'm under at the moment, for the lack of posts here at the blog.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ON RICKY GERVAIS' HOSTING THE GOLDEN GLOBES

Honestly, I don't see what the fuss about -- he did his job! But the stars and the movie execs never like it when the host is funny at awards shows, for some reason. These uptights in Hollywood really do need to lighten up and grab a sense of humor about themselves just a little.

That's all for tonight. Well, what do you expect when your humble blogger has to go report the news basically every night this week?!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2010 BOX OFFICE YEAR IN REVIEW

Earlier this week I had a chance to do a review of the year at the box office for 2010. You can read it here. As you can tell by the graphic, Toy Story 3 was the biggest winner at the box office last year, finishing Number One among all releases -- although if you really wanted to be technical about it, Avatar from 2009 was the real winner because it made most of its record-setting gross during the winter and spring of 2010.  

What a year to forget, too -- box office was down, and the attendance was down even more. I talk a bit about how the public is turned off by all the 3D movies. It's not so much that people don't like 3D -- it's that they feel they are being ripped off. People are not happy about spending upwards of $20 on 3D. At a lot of theaters, too, the 3D version of the movie is becoming the only option you can see, so it really is getting to be a big ripoff. There have been plenty of articles about that, too. Hopefully 2011 will be better, but forgive me for not being overly optimistic on that score.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

NEWS FROM NOWHERE FOR A COLD JANUARY DAY

So I am stuck here at home watching Peter Sellers movies on the DVD player and running down some of the stuff happening in the world. Quite a few things going on this weekend to get people over that horrible shooting in Tucson last week:

First, the NFL playoffs continue on.

As well, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure final tables are this weekend -- big weekend in the Bahamas for the poker people. Live updates here. Also, the Aussie Millions have started in Australia.
Too bad so many Americans are bent on outlawing online poker and making lives miserable for poker players (esp. the online players in the state of Washington.)

Maybe the poker players in Washington should move to Las Vegas where, among other things, there are more beautiful girls. Speaking of which: the Miss America Pageant is tonight. Full coverage on ABC TV and online at GlobalBeauties.com.

Did you hear the big radio news out of Canada this week? The FAN radio stations in Calgary and Toronto have rebranded as "Sportsnet Radio." According to this article TSN is also planning to enter the radio wars and the word for some time has been that they are going to convert their absolutely lame-o CP24 Radio 1050 station in Toronto to TSN Sports Radio, and do the same with its other properties across Canada. They already turned their oldies station on 1290 in Winnipeg into a sports station, and I'm sure they are going to turn it into a TSN-branded station before too long. Keep an eye on that situation -- it could be some good news for sports radio listeners and could hopefully create jobs for people who cover sports for a living in this country.

In other radio news -- former homeless "Golden Voice" voiceover guy Ted Williams, who was plucked off the streets to a career in voiceovers,has truly made it as a celebrity now. Why? Because he's going into rehab. Thank you very much, Dr. Phil.

Auburn won the Tostitos BCS title 22-19 over Oregon, and all anyone can talk about is Brent Musburger's call of the game on ESPN -- "for all the Tostidos."  Many folks are not impressed.

And Dr. Conrad Murray is going to trial for manslaughter in the Michael Jackson case.

There's lots of important news going on in the world. Just not here.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

CAN'T BLOG RIGHT NOW, I'M WATCHING THE PLAYOFFS



Scores from the playoffs are here.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

HORRIBLE NEWS OUT OF ARIZONA

Tuned in the news and found out that congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head at an event at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona, and while the word is that she has survived the shooting, a total of 18 people were shot and six people were killed. The live stream from ABC in Tucson is here, the live stream from FOX in Phoenix is here. CBS in Tucson has coverage, and CBS in Phoenix has coverage here.

Upsetting news to say the least. "What is the world coming to?" is one of my thoughts about all this.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

ON INSECURITY

Well, I still haven't gotten over the World Juniors result, but I have some free time to do this blog, so I might as well use it.

There is a new show on CBC called InSecurity. I didn't see the premiere this week, but I sure as heck plan to. It sounds like some sort of comedic take on the whole spy genre and it's made by some of the people who brought you Corner Gas. Here's what the co-creator had to say about it on CBC.

I'm interested in it for a couple of reasons. One is because, obviously, I'm a freak for following all things espionage, whether it is spy movies or actual spy-type people -- like that Russian Anna Chapman babe, who recently was also on TV, too. I wouldn't want to be a spy, but it's fun to follow them.

The other reason I'm interested in the show is because even though this show is set in Ottawa, it's actually filmed in Regina. Regina!!! That's basically my neck of the woods. Anyway, it's good to see some decent TV production still being done in Saskatchewan now that Corner Gas is kaput.

Oh, and by the way may I point out that it makes total sense for a show like this to be shot in Saskatchewan. You may think Saskatchewan is an odd place to make a spy TV show, but in fact this province happens to be a hotbed of fandom for the TV show Get Smart. Don't laugh. The local TV stations ran millions upon millions of reruns, and believe it or not Don Adams even shot a bunch of tourism commercials promoting Saskatchewan.

I'm totally digressing. Check this show out.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

EPIC COLLAPSE

5-3 for RUSSIA?!?!

JOHN ROBERTS SELLS HIS SOUL TO THE JOURNALISTIC DEVIL, JOINS FOX NEWS

So John Roberts' CNN show American Morning was cancelled and it was widely reported that Roberts was going to be transferred to Atlanta to be closer to his soon-to-be-wife Kyra Phillips. Well, a crimp has been put into that plan -- he has up and quit and joined the folks over at Fox News. That has come as a shock to people who can't believe a Canadian ex-rock-and-roll journalist could end up there, with all the right-wing people.

The reason, we are told by the online news sites, why Roberts made the switch: Roger AILES. Apparently the two go back a ways and Ailes has a reputation for sticking with his talent -- something CNN has shown an unwillingness to do. Heck, look at all the people who've left CNN in the past while. And look how many of them are now at Fox News or even Fox Business News! It's a long list -- Greta Van Susteren, Bill Hemmer, Lou Dobbs, you name it.

I wouldn't even be surprised if Kyra Phillips ends up at Fox News pretty soon to join ol' "JD" Roberts.Surprising development in TV land, to say the least.

CANADA-RUSSIA JUNIOR HOCKEY

It's another scintillating World Junior Hockey final, and once again the only country on earth that cares about this event is, you guessed it, good old Canada. Isn't it sad that at every game the crowd is something like 95 percent Canadian? It was that way for the match against the USA on Monday -- pretty much everyone in the arena in BUFFALO was cheering for CANADA. Since when did Buffalo, New York become part of Canada?

It's like holding a basketball tournament in Canada and the only people who show up at the arena are Americans cheering for the USA. Hilarious. No one cares about this international tournament except for people in Canada. Why don't they simply forget about hosting this thing anywhere outside Canada's borders?

Canada currently leads this one 3-0 over the Russians after 2. Be sure not to flip over any cars in Buffalo after you win, Canadian fans.

UPDATE: What the heck?! It's now 3-3!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

THE MICHAEL JACKSON DEATH CASE IS ON

Since there's not much else going on in North America right now, I thought I would kick the year off by talking about the big legal case du jour at the moment: the Michael Jackson death case, with his infamous doctor accused of manslaughter in connection to it. The preliminary hearing for Dr. Conrad Murray is now under way in Los Angeles.

As I said before, it sucks to be Michael Jackson's doctor. Everyone wants to lynch him, whether he's the guy responsible for Jacko's death or not. I wonder, though, whether he actually should be the one held responsible. This isn't some open-and-shut case to me.

Word is that the defence in this case is going to claim that Jacko basically overdosed all by himself and that it wasn't the Doctor's fault -- that it might have been some sort of suicide. I dunno if I would go that far, but I could see something like an accidental overdose happening.

We'll see what transpires. This is just the preliminary hearing, not the actual trial, so this is going to last quite a long time yet. I also highly doubt that we'll see the charges against the Doctor tossed out before an actual trial begins.  

All in all, this looks to be yet another gong show in southern California, with the usual press attention. I notice even TMZ is following this case bigtime. Every one of these legal matters down in LA seems to be a real freak show, with all these freaky celebrities usually involved in one way or another. I'm waiting for Nancy Grace's show to come on and find out what she has to say about it, although it seems to me as if Nancy has given up on celebrity trials and is devoting herself to missing persons and the like.

Here's an idea for a first-person story -- if this Jacko Death case keeps going for a while, maybe I should go down to Los Angeles and do a first-person story on this for the paper. Naaah, that'll be too expensive.   

In other important celebrity legal news, Lindsay Lohan is out of rehab and, thankfully, still out of jail. For now, anyway.