Monday, May 28, 2012

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

Effective immediately I have moved to my new home on Wordpress.com!

Please follow me to johncairnsblog.wordpress.com. Thanks for tuning in.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

BACK IN BLACK

A lot of people are pointing these days to this revival of interest in Nineties nostalgia. It seems like every decade there is this great wave of nostalgia for that decade that took place two decades earlier. I remember this wave of Fifties retrospectives during the Seventies (Happy Days, Grease etc), and a wave of Sixties stuff during the Eighties(Platoon, China Beach etc), and so on. And in the Nineties, they had That 70s Show.

Look at all the great things from the Nineties that are back -- what with Beavis and Butthead on TV again, with Jenny McCarthy returning to Playboy, and with David Hasselhoff of Baywatch fame guesting as a lifeguard in Piranha 3DD. Plus you have movie revivals like the latest American Pie sequel American Reunion-- not to mention the 3D version of Titanic.

Now, another Nineties fossil returns from the crypt.



Yes, that's right, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are back with Men in Black 3, in 3D, and based on a lot of the comments out there, a lot of people think they should go back to the Nineties where they belong, and stay there.

I don't know why -- I loved this movie series when it came out.

This series was one of the good things about the good part of the Nineties -- right there with the Austin Powers movies. Anyway, the bad and boring sequel that featured Lara Flynn Boyle put a fast end to hopes of a quick return for the franchise, but now it's back with a cool time-travel plot that sends our hero Agent J back to 1969 to stop an alien from killing off Agent K. Hey, isn't this whole time-travel plot stolen from the Austin Powers movies, too?

See, this movie is proof the Nineties are back. I definitely want to see this movie. Anyway, the box office numbers are in and even though the movie has toppled Avengers for first place, Nikki Finke thinks the numbers are somewhat disappointing. Really, though, what did you expect?

ON TORONTO FC

I really don't have a lot of news to report right now. I've had a really hard week and unfortunately there just isn't a lot going on where I am. We are in the black hole between hockey and football season where I am. Unfortunately, that means soccer, and that sport is depressing the fans from coast to coast right across Canada.

I'm tuning in to the Toronto FC-Philadelphia Union game, two terrible teams, Toronto FC is trying to stop a lousy 0-9 start. Last week I watched Toronto FC's game with DC United on TV and FC looked just terrible.

Today, they're actually tied 0-0. I guess you can bring out the champagne if this score holds up. If this were any other league in the world, Toronto FC would be sent down.

Unbelievable. The fans of this team ought to be mad as hell, and they are -- the place is full of empty seats in Toronto. Now, earlier this week Toronto FC played and actually won the Canadian championship. What the heck does that tell you? Toronto FC can't win a game in the league, and yet they're the Canadian champion?!

This absolutely brings new meaning to the phrase "what a joke." The other Canadian teams have got to be totally embarrassed. And as far as I am concerned the Stanley Cup Finals cannot begin soon enough.

UPDATE: HOLY @%^& they actually WON THE GAME!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

THE AVENGERS SINK THE BATTLESHIP

I was tempted to put up a title that read "The Avengers Assassinate the Dictator", because that was also what happened this weekend at the box office.

The fastest-grossing domestic release in history (hitting the $400 million mark on Thursday) has taken down a number of competitors this weekend, based on this update from Nikki Finke.  The Avengers had a $55 million weekend for its third first-place weekend finish in a row; meanwhile it is a dismal $25 million for Battleship and a lousy $17 million for The Dictator, which opened Wednesday and is up to $24 million since its Wednesday release date. 

I cannot say I am surprised that this Dictator movie played so poorly, because I think a lot of people are turned off by now by Sacha Baron Cohen and his whole schtick. I think a lot of people, particularly Americans, just find his humor disgusting. The Euro folks seem to put up with him, though. He was seen this week at the Cannes Film Festival wearing his Dictator beard and partying it up on a yacht with girls in bikinis.

Bottom line is the people of America have spoken, and they have booted The Dictator out of office. Another movie that did badly this weekend was What to Expect When You're Expecting at $10.3 million, but really, what did you expect?

Last weekend, it was Tim Burton's flick Dark Shadows that also got mowed down by The Avengers. I think this shows you the feast or famine nature of Hollywood. It's typical these days for one movie to clean right up and dominate, and leave the rest of the competing movies starving in its wake.

Friday, May 18, 2012

JENNY McCARTHY SET TO SIZZLE AGAIN AT 39

It's official, guys. Fresh on the heels of all that Jaclyn Swedberg news from last week comes word that gorgeous Jenny McCarthy, former 1994 Playmate of the Year and popular with male and female fans alike, will be posing again in the July/August issue of Playboy at age 39.

I always knew she'd do it, even when she was going around claiming she was never going to pose for Playboy ever again. I figured she'd want to let loose and doff her clothes again one of these days. Besides, she took her son to an event at the Playboy Mansion recently and he absolutely loved it. He told his mom he "likes pretty chicks."

Recently, Jenny was quoted as saying "I would absolutely pose for Playboy. I would be so flattered if they asked me. It's probably not going to happen but I think I want to do it again."

Well, guess what, Jenny -- guys definitely wanted you back. Jenny McCarthy is the quintessential goofy girlfriend guys dream of having. (And on that note I say that is definitely it. No more girls on this blog.)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

MEXICAN FINAL IS ON

Just a reminder that no, soccer season is not over yet. The Mexican "clausura" title is on the line between Monterrey and Santos Laguna and the two-game finals begins tonight and ends Sunday. Here's a preview from the New York Times.

For the life of me, though, I will never understand the Mexican setup for their soccer leagues. They have basically two seasons -- a fall season and then a spring season. So you basically have a first-half champion and then a second-half champion! Two champions in one year! I'm sorry, but as someone used to seeing only one champion crowned a year, I find this totally ridiculous. Anyway, the finals are on. Enjoy, amigos.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

CANNES 2012

You know, I was thinking it over and wondering -- where would I rather be this time of year if I were an entertainment reporter? Would I want to be at the TV upfronts -- or would I want to be at the Cannes Film Festival?

It's got to be Cannes for me. The reason is simple: Diane Kruger sightings.

(True fact: I have actually seen Diane Kruger on a red carpet with my own two eyes, at the Toronto International Film Festival. No joke. She's definitely one of my favorite actresses for that reason alone.)

Plus, you have all the glamour at Cannes so I think that beats TV previews in LA hands down.

For coverage of Cannes, here are the links to Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and Movieline. There are probably more but I think that will have to do for now. Also, Variety has a live stream going daily from the festival. Fun stuff.

UPDATE: Here's Deadline Hollywood's coverage, and here's Hollywood Elsewhere. As for Variety, you can forget them because they're behind a paywall.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CSI: MIAMI CANCELLED

In addition to the news of new TV shows during this upfront week, there has been some big news about the shows that have been CANCELLED.

To me, the really shocking news from yesterday is that, along with a whole long list of other shows CBS has cancelled CSI: Miami. I really didn't see this one coming. I know it's been on for ten years and has to end sooner or later, but I didn't think it would end now. Apparently the reason cited for why this show got the can was because it was too expensive to produce, so it walks the plank. David Caruso is officially looking for a new job.

That's what happens when you're on a network overrun with Criminal Minds, NCIS and all these other procedural shows. You can't keep them all -- you have to make room for new blood occasionally. Fortunately, all is not lost, CSI fans -- they saved CSI: NY.

In other upfront news from today, ESPN is bringing back its 30 for 30 documentaries. Great stuff -- these are well done and well worth watching on those nights when the baseball game is rained out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

STAY TUNED FOR UPFRONTS COVERAGE THIS WEEK

I really do not have very much to say tonight about the 2012 television upfronts that are happening this week in LA. I will link you up here, though, to the Hollywood Reporter and their constant feed of the happenings down there

I suppose the big news came from the FOX upfront today, which announced Glee was moving to Thursdays to make room for a Tuesday comedy block. In other news, an Obama speechwriter is getting his sitcom onto TV.

Honestly, though, I have far less interest in network television these days due to the fact that I am always swamped at work. I never have enough of a chance to watch TV at night, due largely to all these meetings I have to attend.

Besides that, I just find I'm not into the shows that are on the air these days. Most of the shows I'm interested in are on CABLE, on weekends. And a lot of the shows I prefer are pretty much sports-related. Anyway, I am just too zonked out from all the rest of the stuff I've been covering to really give my opinion on the TV situation, but I do plan to weigh in later on in the week. Stay tuned for more coverage of the upfronts as the week progresses, folks.

WILD FINAL DAY IN THE PREMIERSHIP

So on Sunday morning I tuned in to the Manchester City- Queen's Park Rangers game on television here in frozen Canada to see what the finish of the Premier League season would be in England.

I deliberately tuned in late (read: slept in) and was cursing at the television when I turned the game on in the second half, with the score already 2-1 for QPR. Meanwhile, Man United was winning their game. I had been pulling for City to win and end 44 years of being the "LA Clippers" of the Premier League, and here they were throwing it all in the garbage.

I also was turning in to the radio feed from TalkSport in London, following all the action from all over England. Honestly, I thought City was done for by the time stoppage time rolled around. The fans all thought they were done for; they were all crying and throwing things in disgust.

And then in stoppage time they get a goal from Edin Zdeko to tie it, and then a couple of minutes later Sergio Aguero scores to put Man City up 3-2 -- and they won the title!!

Meanwhile the guys on the radio are screaming at the top of their lungs and saying "Oh my God" and things like that over this turn of events. This really was the greatest finish to a season ever. 

It was exciting stuff and a great way to end the Premier League season. It's too bad I didn't follow the season as much as I could have, but that's what happens when you live in Canada and have to put up with hockey highlights every night. Here in frozen Canada, soccer just isn't a high priority like it is in England.

Over there, soccer is major-league stuff, the kind of thing that puts all our North American leagues to shame, including even the NFL. The whole world really is watching.

The soccer broadcasters were all going on and on about how exciting a finish it was and how soccer was unrivalled for drama compared to all the other sports, and how this was why people follow the game. Well, I dunno about that-- the end of the major league baseball season last year was pretty dramatic, and there's lots of drama in American football every week and during the postseason.

As for hockey and basketball, though, I'll agree, they don't match the other sports for drama because of their lame-o, everyone-gets-in-the-playoffs regular seasons.

They could take a few lessons from the soccer people who at least have compelling regular seasons.

Anyway. it may be the end of the Premier League season, but the dramatic finish has me all revved up to watch more "football," as they say. Soccer season never really stops. There's the Champions League finale between Chelsea and Bayern Munich this Saturday. Also this weekend, there's the Mexican league final between Santos Laguna and Monterrey. (Yes, I actually care about Mexican football.) In a few weeks is the Euro 2012 tournament. And of course, all summer long we have MLS featuring our own local teams in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

At this point I should point out that Toronto FC should consider themselves very lucky to be playing in MLS instead of a real league with relegation and promotion. If MLS were the Premier League Toronto FC would be heading straight for relegation. They lost eight in a row to start the season, and the fans are fed up..

Really, MLS ought to consider kicking the team out of the league at the end of the season, they are that big an embarrassment.

May I also point out that Toronto FC are owned by the same jokers who are running your Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors into the ground. I didn't think it was possible for there to be a bigger train wreck in Toronto sports than the Maple Leafs, but FC have managed.

Here's a suggestion I have. The FC owners ought to sell the team to the owners of Manchester City. Then the new owners would simply take the Man City formula of throwing money at the team and spending on players, and then Toronto FC would start winning again. Hey, it's a thought.     

PMOY 2012

Way to go Jaclyn Swedberg, Playboy's newly-crowned 2012 Playmate of the Year.

You know, last year I thought Playboy kind of blew it in their PMOY selection (they should have picked Jaime Edmondson instead), but this year I thought they got it exactly right. That badass brunette Jaclyn was my first choice from the get-go. Hef made the right choice this year, just like the years when they picked Hope Dworaczyk, and Jayde Nicole, and these other hot brunettes.

Fun fact for guys: Jaclyn is a broadcast journalism major, so I'm sure we'll be seeing much more of her broadcasting on TV. No doubt, some sports network will snap her up in a hurry.

I don't know what Playmate prize Swedberg got for winning 2012 PMOY, but if you want my opinion I'd be disappointed if they didn't get her a Harley. Congrats Jaclyn... you sexy thing.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Hi, Mom!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

DULL TIMES FOR SPORTS FANS IN CANADA

I was watching the Stanley Cup Game Seven tonight between NY Rangers and Washington,with the Rangers knocking the Capitals out 2-1. It'll be the Rangers and Devils in the East and the Kings and Coyotes in the West.

I find it remarkable that sportscasters in this country continue to be addicted to the NHL, even though all Canadian teams are long since out. I tuned into radio sportscasts on Friday, and guess what the top story was? Not the IIHF World Championships, not the Blue Jays, not even junior hockey!

No, the top story was the fact that it was an off night in the NHL playoffs!! That's right, the top story was the fact nothing was happening in the NHL!

I know it's hard to go even one night without the Stanley Cup on TV in this country, but Canadian fans ought to at least try to follow other sports that actually have Canadian teams playing.

If you really want to follow Canadian hockey, there are still teams alive in other leagues.

Edmonton Oil Kings are still fighting for the WHL title, while the Saint John Sea Dogs and London Knights have already advanced to the Memorial Cup hosted by the Shawinigan Cataractes. Penticton plays Woodstock tomorrow night in Humboldt for the Junior A RBC Cup. And in the AHL, St. John's and Toronto are still alive. Of course, Team Canada is still alive and kicking in the World Championships. So there is still hockey to be had involving Canadian clubs. Too bad none of them are in the NHL.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I DON'T KNOW WHY I THINK THIS IS NEWS

Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Bachelor Pad etc., is getting divorced.

And no, he's not going to be the next Bachelor. Wise move, man.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

$200 MILLION FOR THE AVENGERS

Wow, this is the biggest North American box office weekend of all time for The Avengers.

$200.3 million, to be exact. That shatters the old record by over $30 million.

The full rundown on all-time opening weekends can be found at Box Office Mojo. Pretty impressive for The Avengers, even when you consider the prices that got hiked due to all the 3D showings.

FRENCH ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT

Well, the French have tossed out Nicolas Sarkozy and put in the Socialist Francois Hollande in today's French presidential election.

We'll see how the markets react to this tomorrow. That about sums up my comment on what took place in France.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

SUMMER BOX OFFICE: LOOK OUT FOR THE AVENGERS

This is the first official weekend of the summer box-office blockbuster movie season, and it all kicks off with one of the most anticipated superhero movies in years. I am talking, of course, about Marvel's The Avengers, which is right now romping to victory at the box office and could have an opening weekend of $175 million, topping Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 for the best opening weekend of all time. On Friday it made $80.5 million for the second-biggest single day and second-biggest Friday of all time, behind only the aforementioned Harry Potter Part 2 that made $91 million.

Wow. I expected big things from The Avengers but nothing quite like this. This is on track to be the biggest hit of the year so far, knocking off The Hunger Games.

I wrote a huge screed in my Cairns on Cinema column this week previewing summer movie season and some of the big summer movies that are on the way, including The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man. Needless to say, the comic book geeks are in for a whale of a summer.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

NEWT BOWS OUT JUST A LITTLE TOO LATE

The US Republican presidential race continues to grind to a conclusion with yesterday's news that Newt Gingrich has finally called it quits. Unfortunately, this is surely a case of Newt hanging in way beyond his expiry date, because he bows out in debt to the millions of dollars.

This is why, unfortunately, presidential candidates should get out of races while the getting is still good. Sadly, people still haven't learned from mistakes made by past presidential candidates such as John Glenn, who ended up in hock for years from his failed 1984 presidential run.

Newt probably should have quit the 2012 race the moment Rick Santorum swept those Midwest primaries (Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado) to emerge as the main challenger to Mitt Romney. That was the end for Gingrich right there. Instead, Gingrich hung in and all that did for him was waste a lot of money.

Presidential candidates whose campaigns are not doing well really do have to swallow their pride and shut down, just to keep the candidate from ending up in the sinkhole financially. I'm afraid Newt might have gotten some bad advice from some of his political people on this one.

Romney has already declared victory after last week's five-state sweep, including in Delaware which was Gingrich's last stand. The only GOP contender still nominally in the race against Romney is Ron Paul, and that's like running against no one at all.

So, what's CNN going to do now that the GOP presidential race is kaput? Their ratings are already starting to fly away.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

OH, OLIVIA MUNN, YOU ARE SUCH A TEASE

Continuing on with this blog's long-standing interest in all things female, here is a link to Ocean Drive where Olivia Munn, a personality revered by geeks everywhere, is on this month's cover and has a photo spread inside.

In it, Olivia does the Olivia thing and is photographed wearing shorts and the like, showing off her legs like she usually does. I thought she looked great.


And I should make a note to myself to find a girlfriend who's smart and looks like her. Olivia Munn is a babe!

Friday, April 27, 2012

HOCKEY NIGHT NOT IN CANADA; GOLF SEASON COMES EARLY TO CANADIAN NHL FANS

Hello Canada, and welcome to Hockey Night Not in Canada.

It just is not going to be the same here in Canada without any Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Mind you, it wasn't the same to begin with with only two Canadian teams in the playoffs this year.

Vancouver Canucks shocked everyone with their swift elimination at the hands of LA; meanwhile the Ottawa Senators, proud winners of this year's trophy as Last Canadian Team Standing, threw the kitchen sink and other appliances at the New York Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist, but still lost in Game Seven by a count of 2-1.

The other five Canadian teams -- Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary all were sitting at home watching the playoffs to begin with. So that's it. All the Canadian teams are out, and Canadian fans officially have no further rooting interest in the Stanley Cup.

Not only does this extend Canada's Stanley Cup drought to a miserable 20 seasons (since the 1993 Montreal Canadiens last title), but this is one of the absolute worst Canadian showings in the Cup playoffs of all time. Our combined seven Canadian franchises won a grand total of four games.

It is certainly the earliest exit since 1996, when five Canadian teams that year were all eliminated in the opening round. Coincidentally, that was the last year Winnipeg was in the league before they moved to Phoenix. Now, in Winnipeg's first year back, it's happened again. What irony.

Not only are all the Canadian teams all out, but so are a lot of Canadian fan favorites such as Sidney Crosby, whose Pittsburgh Penguins were bounced in the opening round. In fact, good luck finding too many teams that Canadian fans are going to have much interest in in the next round. Not only are the last seven winning Stanley Cup franchises all out (defending champs Boston being one of them), so are five of the six Original Six teams (Rangers excluded).

Adding insult to injury for Canada, three of the remaining eight contenders are in the Sunbelt -- Los Angeles, Nashville and Phoenix. If there is one thing that drives Canadian hockey fans crazy, it's whenever a Sunbelt team wins a Stanley Cup. If Phoenix wins the Cup, believe me, Canadians will be beside themselves.

Topping it all off is the fact that for most Canadians their playoff pools are officially ruined because of all the crazy first-round upsets (President's Trophy winner bounced, defending Cup champs bounced, Pittsburgh bounced, Detroit gone, etc.).

What is the CBC going to do with Canada's official sport now? They are going to be stuck for the next several weeks broadcasting games from American rinks. Seriously, Canadians are not going to be tuning in. All the bars around here are going to be empty. But on a positive note, at least we won't be having any riots like last year. 

I suppose there still is some hockey to follow for the Canadian nationalists out there -- there's the junior hockey playoffs, not to mention the World Championships. But really, who cares about that. It's not the NHL.

This situation ought to free up time for Canadian sports fans to follow our three Major League Soccer teams (Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps), and of course the baseball Toronto Blue Jays. And look on the bright side, CFL fans --- football season is not that far away.

Monday, April 23, 2012

PCs WIN AGAIN IN ALBERTA

Well, it was a wild election night in Alberta but in a different way than a lot of people expected. PCs are back in with a majority, with 60 seats in the legislature. The livestream is on from Global Calgary.

ALBERTA COULD BE IN FOR A WILD ELECTION NIGHT

Well, after all the excitement from the French election, we have more excitement tonight. For the first time in ages Alberta could be in store for a change of government if all the polls are any indication. Danielle Smith and the Wildrose could be on the brink of toppling Premier Alison Redford and the 41-year PC dynasty in Alberta. That would be a significant upset if it were to happen. Already, the editorial pages have weighed in with the Calgary Herald hedging their bets, while the Sun chain is full-on calling for a change in government.

The election results are not in yet but the postmortems have already started from the likes of Andrew Coyne and others. We'll see.

Personally, I haven't written too much about the election so far but plan to write a big column on it for the paper. Last week, for laughs, I decided to drive to Lloydminster just to check out the election sign wars there, and I saw lots of PC and Wildrose signs, so it's a pretty hot race there.

Results from the CBC can be found here starting at 8PM Mountain time (10PM EST). As for me, I will be sitting in city council chambers tonight and plan to follow the results from inside by tuning in the booming radio signal of 660 News. See you later.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS TODAY

You thought that all the fun was over when Rick Santorum dropped out of the US presidential race? Fear not. There are still fun election activities happening around the world.

I am sitting here waiting for the polls to close in the French presidential election, and you can watch that live coverage here from France 2 and the news channel BFM. It's always fun to watch the results and the analysis, even if you have no clue what they are saying. For a look back at how election nights were covered in France in years past, here's a look back.

Right now it looks like Francois Hollande, the Socialist, could be about to oust incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy, but it will likely take a second round of voting before it's official. Complicating matters are the numerous third-party candidates including the infamous Marine Le Pen, a woman who makes the aforementioned Santorum look like a flaming liberal.

This was the last poll results before election day. We'll see if they hold up.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS HAVE SO FAR BEEN A GOON SHOW

Well, even though there are only two Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs, interest is way up here in Canada and I notice ratings are up in the USA as well. Why? Some people are speculating it is due to the goon show we are seeing on the ice.

Last week, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh engaged in a big brawl in game 3 involving multiple players on the ice. That got a lot of press. Then we had that vicious late hit by Phoenix's Raffi Torres to the head of Chicago's Marian Hossa. Today the NHL lowered the boom, hitting Torres with a 25-game suspension that puts him out of action for the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Some people are actually finding these playoffs to be more entertaining than usual due to the brawls and hard-hitting play, not to mention the close games. But I notice a lot of whining and complaining from a lot of folks up here in Canada. Most of the whining seems to be originating from the network TV news reporters in Canada who are treating all these hockey fights as if they are important news, which they are not.

These hard-news outlets have been doing their usual depressing stories on how terrible all this is. They're treating this like some national crisis, when in fact it's not our crisis at all because the teams involved are all American. Philly, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Chicago -- yep, last I checked, Canada still has not taken the USA over.

But never mind that. Here's what I have to say to all these folks in Canada who are mad about the state of hockey and all the violence in it: quit following the sport, then! It's not as if someone is pointing a gun at your head, forcing you to watch this goonery. If you don't like what you're seeing, then don't watch it!

Heck, baseball season is on. It's not like there isn't a choice.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DICK CLARK HAS DIED

So long to America's oldest teenager. New Year's Eve will be missing something this year.

Story from ABC.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

SOME MAD THOUGHTS ABOUT MAD MEN

I have not been watching this season of Mad Men, although I would like to. I caught the season premiere episode online at the AMC website, but since my cable lineup does not include AMC I have missed the whole rest of the season, which isn't being streamed for free online. Instead, they expect me to fork over money to iTunes to watch it. Good luck with that.

Anyway, the season premiere was really good. It sort of got me interested in the advertising business all over again.

I went out and bought a book called The Real Mad Men, which talked about what really went on in advertising during Don Draper's time. Apparently a lot of the creative people in advertising really don't have much good to say about Mad Men's accuracy in depicting the advertising industry. There was a really big hit piece that legendary ad man George Lois wrote for Playboy a couple of years ago, where he trashed Mad Men and said Sterling Cooper was a misrepresentation of what was really going on at ad agencies in the Sixties. The ad business was far more cool, hip and creative than what you were seeing from these dinosaurs at Sterling Cooper. Anyway, that book I bought was a real eye-opener about what really went on in those days.

As for this season of the show, the real eye-opener for me was Jessica Pare playing Draper's wife Megan. It turns out she's Canadian! Here's a profile of her that ran in the papers up here in frozen Canada.

Jessica was scorching hot on the show, with a famous scene where her character loosened up her chronically-uptight husband by singing a rendition of Zou Bisou Bisou. It didn't go so well, because, well, Don is way too uptight for his own good.

That wasn't the only big scene she had. Check out this video of a scene from near the end of the premiere episode where Megan cleans up the apartment after the big 40th birthday party for Don. Needless to say, it's hot stuff on Mad Men this year. I gotta say it: Megan Draper rocks.


I think I am going to do some more advertising stuff here at the blog -- one of these days I want to put up some of these ads from the Sixties which would have been produced during the Mad Men days. That's all for now.

MIKE WALLACE TRIBUTES

Well, the tributes have been running today to Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes. He died last week and 60 Minutes ran their hour-long retrospective to him on tonight's show. Boy could he ever conduct a hot-seat interview. The link to CBS News' tribute is here. Also, his son Chris Wallace did a tribute piece on Fox News Sunday today and the link to that is here.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

THE US PLAINS ARE GETTING SOCKED BY TORNADOES

It's a massive swath of severe weather across the central plains of the USA. Oklahoma is getting hit right now. Live coverage from channel 9 in Oklahoma City. Also, live updates from the Weather Channel.

UPDATE: Not good news from Oklahoma in the wake of the tornadoes -- five people killed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunday, April 08, 2012

TALKING ABOUT THE STATE OF THE MOVIE AND TV BUSINESS HERE IN FROZEN SASKATCHEWAN

On this Easter Sunday, I've decided to post a few of the items I've written over the past while about the movie business. First, here's my piece that ran about the massive flop that was John Carter. Disney estimates it's cost their studio at least $200 million.

Second, here's my news story about the Saskatchewan government's plans to scrap the film employment tax credit in the province, followed by my column in the News-Optimist about it. Needless to say, I was not happy with the decision and thought it was the type of decision that would contribute to more people leaving the province. Really, part of the reason this province has revived itself over the past years has been due to the great publicity and work generated thanks to shows like Corner Gas (pictured). 

I'm sure my stance surprised a lot of the local readers. I should point out there was a lot more behind my column than might be apparent. For one thing, I have family in the film industry (ie. my brother), not to mention my own TV background. So I actually have some clue about how difficult it is for a movie or TV production to get financing and what a risky venture it really is. Besides, I lived in Toronto and saw first-hand what a vibrant movie industry did for the economy there.

Moreover, though, I'm really frustrated with what I've been hearing from people in Saskatchewan over the last several months, who seem to expect our young people to settle for these abundant resource-sector jobs regardless of whether they are cut out for that line of work or not. I want to say to these folks around here that there are still people from Saskatchewan who would rather do something else instead -- like break into the movie business, for example. Yet, too few Saskatchewanians seem to care whether those folks stay or go!

I could go on and on. I guess a lot of pent-up frustration with my home province finally boiled over into my column last week. Anyway, those movie business articles were my contributions to the cyber media universe.

In other movie news, learned that The Hunger Games beat American Reunion and Titanic 3D to win the box office again this Easter weekend (Deadline Hollywood).

Saturday, April 07, 2012

HAPPY EASTER!

Yes, it's Easter tomorrow, and you know what that means right here at the blog.
You guessed it: RABBITS.


Yes, my annual tradition of putting up pictures of Playmates continues. (I can't help myself -- I like these ladies.)

Have fun eating the Chocolate eggs tomorrow, guys.

GLAD TO SEE THIS NHL REGULAR SEASON ENDING

I have to say, I am very happy to see the major league baseball season under way. For whatever reason I've really been looking forward to seeing the season back on, mainly because it marks the official end of winter around here.

I am also very happy to see the NHL playoffs arrive next week, so that we folks here in frozen Canada can see some meaningful hockey games on our television sets once again.

Believe me, the last few weeks of Hockey Night in Canada, not to mention Sportsnet and even TSN, have subjected Canadian sports fans to an endless glut of meaningless nothing games involving all our country's crappy teams, like the stinking Montreal Canadiens or pathetic Toronto Maple Leafs, not to mention the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets.

The games we've seen lately on TV have been a joke. The other night Sportsnet ran a nothing game between Edmonton and the stinking Anaheim Ducks; today it was Calgary's turn to go on Sportsnet and beat them. The early games on Hockey Night in Canada tonight are all meaningless as far as the standings are concerned: a nothing matchup between Montreal and Toronto for the folks out east, while we here in Saskatchewan are subjected to Tampa Bay at Winnipeg -- which at least settled the drama of whether Steven Stamkos would get 60 goals. Well, he did, early in the third period, turning that contest into a complete nothing game, too.

So needless to say I will be so happy to see the Stanley Cup playoffs begin, for no other reason than to put an end to these nothing games littering our televisions. Be ready, instead, folks, for the endless glut of Canucks games instead.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

TORNADOES AGAIN, THIS TIME IN DALLAS-FORT WORTH

What a horrible year it has been so far for devastating tornado weather in the USA. Now today it's the Dallas-Fort Worth area that got hit this afternoon. It sounded like there were about a dozen tornadoes touching down all over the place. What a big mess down there, folks. The story here from the Dallas Morning News.

SWEEP

Mitt Romney has now won the three contests today in DC, Maryland and importantly, Wisconsin, a state Rick Santorum really needed to stay alive.

It now looks as if the Republican race is all over but the shouting, and the question now is whether Romney can deliver the knockout blow to Santorum in Pennsylvania on April 24.

I still think it would be a tall order to beat Santorum in his home state, but if it were to happen it would definitely be the knockout punch. Santorum would pretty much have to leave the race out of sheer embarrassment at losing his own home state.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NEWS FROM NOWHERE FOR A BEAUTIFUL MARCH SPRING DAY

Welcome back to another fabulous edition of News from Nowhere on this beautiful March day. Boy, do I have a lot to cover from the past week or so -- like the embarrassing St. Patty's Day riots in London, Ontario, the outrageous sexual abuse sentence that ex-coach Graham James got in Winnipeg, the earthquake in Mexico, Rod Blagojevich going to jail, and so on.

Of course, the big story from the world of sports last week was the news quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos, and you know what that meant -- all the Christians were all upset that Tim Tebow was getting traded. As it turned out, he went to the New York Jets.

In other sports news, the NHL season continues to crawl to the finish line, and the end couldn't come fast enough for the sinking Toronto Maple Leafs, who were officially eliminated last night to a chorus of boos and hisses in Toronto. Here's a story about the mess in Toronto.

Also nearing the end: the Winnipeg Jets, who lost 4-2 to the New York Rangers. Well, what can you say about the Jets other than the fact that Winnipeg fans shouldn't have expected much more than what they got out of them this season. It sure looks like Canada will have only two teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs: Vancouver and Ottawa. That ought to make for some interesting TV ratings for the CBC.

The American GOP presidential race is not over yet, but as I said, the fat lady is doing her concert tour. Right now the Newt Gingrich campaign seems to be in the most trouble. For one thing, the papers have pulled their reporters from the campaign. For another, the campaign is having to cut costs and Gingrich had to shake up his campaign team. All in all, the Gingrich campaign looks like a sinking ship.

In political news from here in frozen Canada the Alberta election is on and promises to be a big brawl between the two female leaders of the Alberta PCs and Wildrose. Also coming up later this week in Ottawa -- an actual brawl between MP Justin Trudeau and Senator Patrick Brazeau to fight cancer. Interesting stuff.

And speaking of boxing, some sad news -- legendary boxing writer Bert Randolph Sugar has passed away.

Finally, and I'll end with this for now, The Hunger Games set all kinds of box-office records for a non-sequel release in the month of March. It made a domestic $155 million last weekend, the third-highest in history behind The Dark Knight at $158 million and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at $169 Million; the highest weekend haul in history for a non-sequel ever, highest non-sequel opening day ever ($68 million), and highest March opening weekend ever.

That is it for today.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

NDP HAS NEW LEADER

Thomas Mulcair is the new leader of the NDP after that four-ballot convention yesterday, and it seems the problems with the online voting were the work of some hacker who tried to hijack the system and failed. Well, way to go Anonymous, or whoever the heck you are. You made a dull political day in Toronto even more boring for everyone.  

In other political news from yesterday, Rick Santorum won Louisiana.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

NDP CONVENTION VOTING WOES ARE DEFINITELY MAKING THE PARTY LOOK GOOFY ON TV

I am watching the NDP continue to look goofy on TV with their continued problems with online voting. We're seeing delegates in the convention hall holding up their iPads on TV, showing how they are locked out of voting.

Anyway, this kind of chaos is nothing new for leadership votes. There was one time in Nova Scotia when the Liberals' leadership phone-in vote was so riddled with problems that they had to cancel the whole thing. Now, that was way more embarrassing than what is going on here.

At least the NDP is doing the right thing by extending the voting hours so that everyone can eventually vote -- there have been conventions I know of where people were too obsessed about making sure they were on time, and who hung out to dry all the people who were having problems casting their votes. Unfortunately, extending the voting hours is also delaying the inevitable and making the party look bad on TV, with all the TV people making rude comments about it all.

I should note that delays are nothing new at conventions. I remember the 2004 provincial PC convention I was at in Ontario, and they took forever counting the ballots, and it went on and on and on. Listen, leadership votes are usually chaotic and don't run according to a script. The TV news anchors and reporters need to calm down.

As for where the NDP race stands now, it is down to three people with Thomas Mulcair still leading with 38 percent of the vote. Peggy Nash dropped from the ballot after the second-ballot results and, in keeping with the Kumbaya nature of this convention, refused to divulge who she would support next. So this convention is actually pretty boring that way, with not a lot of wheeling and dealing going on and, really, not as much division as the media would want you to assume.

Coverage of the convention is here from CTV.

MULCAIR LEADS

So the story this morning at the NDP convention is that Thomas Mulcair leads with 30 percent of the vote to Brian Topp's 21 percent, 16 for Nathan Cullen and 12 for Peggy Nash. Paul Dewar, Martin Singh and Niki Ashton have all dropped out and while Singh quickly moved to Mulcair, the other two announced they would not be publicly endorsing anyone. I think that's what we can expect today, a lot of Kumbaya sentiments and not much division. Here is a look at what is happening at the convention.


I think based on these numbers Mulcair will win, but I think it will take a long time. By the way, these TV anchors are really looking goofy saying how complicated a voting system this is. This is no more complicated than these past leadership contests which have used preferential balloting in one-member one-vote systems.

Friday, March 23, 2012

CONVENTION COVERAGE

Well, today was my day off at work -- for most of the day, anyway, because I did go in in the morning. So what have I been doing?

Why, what else. I've watched the NDP Leadership Convention, held this year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Of course I find that interesting because of the two leadership conventions I was at in the early 2000s at the same venue. Still, I should have found something else to do, since it has been all politics for me all this week.

I happened to tune into the CBC coverage right at the very moment that former NDP leader Ed Broadbent went on a rant against frontrunner Thomas Mulcair, saying on CBC that Mulcair's speech was a "bomb" right in front of Evan Solomon and Alexa McDonough. Then I saw former MP Lorne Nystrom, a Mulcair backer, also go on CBC and slam Broadbent for trashing Mulcair. All in all, it wasn't a very dignified show today on TV; then again, the media people may be making a bit too much of the whole thing, too. It livened up the day, anyway.

As well, a lot of people were going over the speeches in the hall and noticed Mulcair seemed to rush through his speech, while Peggy Nash ended up getting cut off at the end. So the pressure was really on the candidates today, but the way the process works this year, a lot of votes were already cast, so who knows whether it will have an impact.

Right now is the big tribute to Jack Layton in prime time. You can catch the coverage of the convention here from CBC, from Global and from CTV News. First ballot results are tomorrow morning, bright and early.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ROMNEY TAKES ILLINOIS

I think I will wait for tomorrow to do a rundown on all the rest of the news, but with respect to Tuesday's results in Illinois, I think it looks like it's pretty much over but the shouting for the GOP. Mitt Romney's lead seems insurmountable now after this latest blowout over Rick Santorum, and now he's starting to rake in more endorsements from the likes of Jeb Bush and other folks. The rest of the field need to start thinking about what is best for the party in the long run, and prepare to bow out gracefully, because this is only a matter of time now.

The fat lady is definitely singing, and her concert tour has just begun in Illinois.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ILLINOIS PRIMARY TONIGHT

Unfortunately I don't think I will be covering it here tonight, as I will be decidedly too busy. In fact this whole last week or so has been an exceptionally busy time for me covering the news. I cannot wait for Friday when I will finally have some time off. I'll hopefully have more to say about the Illinois primary, Peyton Manning, the Mexico earthquake and other news tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

RICK SANTORUM WINS, NEWT AND MITT LOSE IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI

I agree with Newt Gingrich's statement tonight that Mitt Romney's two third place finishes don't make him look like much of a frontrunner anymore.

I disagree with Newt, though, when he says he's going to fight on to the convention in Tampa. What baloney. He needed to win tonight and didn't do it. I think the pressure is really going to be on in the next few days from the conservatives out there for Newt to withdraw so Santorum can go up head to head with Romney. These were two states Gingrich should have had and they slipped away.



Oh, and Hawaii also votes today, but none of the political people care about them. The race goes on.

RESULTS COMING IN FROM ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI PRIMARIES

This is the most critical night yet in the Republican presidential race, it appears. Primary results are coming in right now from Alabama and Mississippi. 

Newt Gingrich needs both of these to survive but based on the CNN exit polls it looks like he is trailing in both of them. It looks like Mitt Romney might be ahead in Mississippi and if he takes that, he will really be celebrating because nobody was giving Romney any chance in the South. As for Rick Santorum, you can expect them to definitely step up their calls for Gingrich to get out of the race after tonight, because it looks from the exit polls that all Gingrich is doing is helping split Santorum's vote and helping him lose.

I really do think we are at a critical juncture tonight. We could either have the end of the Gingrich campaign or possibly the end of the entire race tonight. 

COURTNEY MAKES A ONE-WOMAN MAN OUT OF THE BACHELOR

As you know, Courtney Robertson was the lucky lady who got the marriage proposal from Bachelor Ben Flajnik on The Bachelor finale last night.

Why am I not surprised? The rumors about Courtney winning were flying for weeks on end. Besides, it was so obvious this 'bad girl' was the star of this year's show. All the tabloids were running stories about her.

It seems everyone else on the show hated her, based on the previous week's cat-fest where the contestants all got together before Chris Harrison and piled on Courtney. Not only that, but everyone in America hates her too. I understand this is because she hasn't acted like any Bachelor contestant in history. Apparently the regular viewers of this show expect the winning Bachelorette to be some boring girl-next-door type, and were offended by Courtney's brazen outrageousness and (according to Huffington Post) her 'penchant for nudity', doffing her clothes at the drop of a hat.

She was apparently sunbathing topless and skinnydipping and doing all these crazy things this season. I haven't been watching this season so I can't really tell you what I think of Courtney or her personality. All I know is based on these screaming headlines about the show in the supermarket tabloids. But if this exhibitionism is really what she was up to, then no wonder she won! There are probably lots of guys who are turned on by her antics. 

You know, Courtney reminds me of Richard Hatch, that guy who won the first season of Survivor. He was another outrageous individual who everyone hated, and Hatch also couldn't keep his clothes on. Just like Courtney.

Anyway, I didn't watch the finale last night either, and I gotta say, I worry for the people hooked on this show and on reality TV. This stuff rots your mind, and reality show fans  really do need some lives. Then again, I'm one of the people hooked on following sports, and sports is just as crazy and stupid as reality TV is.

(Speaking of which -- there's a flimsy rumor going around that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow could be picked to be the next Bachelor. To which sports fans say: God help us all.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

TIME FOR ANOTHER NEWS FROM NOWHERE -- AND TIME IS ALMOST UP FOR NEWT GINGRICH

Welcome to yet another News from Nowhere yet again, and I apologize for my absence from here over the past number of days. That is what happens when you cover a fire, go on the road on Thursday and Friday and then sleep all the time to recover from both the fire AND the trip. Anyway, I thought I would do this posting on this evening in advance of the next set of primaries coming on Tuesday night.

As you know, the last set of Super Tuesday contests sort of ended with a narrative of Mitt Romney winding up ahead, but still not by enough to clinch a nomination or deliver the knockout punch. (He did end up winning Ohio by a bare margin over Rick Santorum in the end.) However, the Fat Lady is beginning to definitely clear her throat for the rest of the field, and that is particularly true for Newt Gingrich (right).

Yes, he did win Georgia, his home state, but his 'Southern strategy' seems to be taking him nowhere fast and the calls are on -- from Rick Santorum in particular -- to throw in the towel. The bottom line is Newt has to win Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday or Newt is going to look like a dead man walking. A story on the upcoming contests is here.

As for the rundown on the previous contests from last night, here are those results here.

A couple of other items to touch on tonight, since I am just too tired to really write much tonight. One is a leftover story from Ohio: news that former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the wild man of the Democratic party, lost his primary contest for his congressional seat to Marcy Kaptur. So that is it for him. He's out.

Also out: Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, who was given his unconditional release by the team this week.

That is all for the moment. Hope you all enjoyed the time change -- all the rest of you, anyway, since Saskatchewan is the place where time stands still.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

SUPER TUESDAY

Welcome to our live coverage of Super Tuesday's primaries and caucuses in the USA. The polls are about to close in three states just as I write this now, and the big contests tonight are yet to come, in Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma. CNN has the latest update here.

The question is whether Mitt Romney will be able to clean up tonight and finally put an end to this sideshow involving these obvious pretenders Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

I doubt it. This weekend I tuned into NASCAR radio on satellite radio and heard, no joke, a Rick Santorum political ad! The ad blasted Romney and called him a liberal who was no different than Obama, and was complete with Santorum himself approving this message! So I don't know, folks. There seem to be a lot of conservative voters out there who aren't all that thrilled with Romney.

Also due tonight are results from North Dakota which interests me because of all the times I've been there. North Dakota ranks as the most popular state among Saskatchewan cross-border shoppers, plus we sports fans listen to our sports-talk radio from there. Anyway, that race seems to be completely unpredictable.

FIRST POLL CLOSINGS: CNN projects Newt Gingrich wins Georgia. No projection yet in Virginia and Vermont, though they think Romney's ahead.

More Super Tuesday results to come.

UPDATE: Projected winners are Romney in Vermont, Virginia and Massachussetts and Santorum in Oklahoma. Ohio and Tennessee are still too close to call.

Newt Gingrich is giving his Georgia victory speech right now. (7:49pm CST)

SECOND UPDATE: Now hearing word Santorum won Tennessee (7:51 CST).

Friday, March 02, 2012

TORNADOES!!!!!

Horrible twisters have gone through Illinois, Indiana and Alabama today and are going through Kentucky right now. What a mess. Story from CNN.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

BIG LOSS

Sad news from the online journalism world. Andrew Breitbart of Breitbart.com has died, age 43. The story here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

MITT ROMNEY WINS ARIZONA AND MICHIGAN

On to Super Tuesday next week. Story of tonight's results from MSNBC.

MICHIGAN, ARIZONA CONTESTS TODAY

Welcome back to the CAIRNS BLOG live continuing coverage of the US presidential race! Tonight is primary election night in Michigan and Arizona. The polls have closed in Michigan and results are coming in, and as of now the results could not be any closer between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney.

Here's a live stream and results from Michigan on Detroit's WXYZ. Also, as usual, CNN.  Enjoy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

RED FLAG AT DAYTONA

What a bizarre night.

So anyway, I left for city council right on schedule just before 8pm local time, over two hours ago. Now the meeting's over and, much to my surprise, not only is the Daytona 500 not over but this thing has been redflagged. It turns out there was a scary jet-fuel fire involving the car of Juan Pablo Montoya, who spun into a safety truck.

Fortunately everyone is all right, but they have spent over an hour cleaning up the track, waiting to resume the race with 40 laps to go. But even that is up in the air. Unfortunately, there are storms in the area threatening the track, and if it moves in and pours on the drivers, then that will be it for the Daytona 500 and Dave Blaney will end up declared the winner.

What a night. At least now I'm back home and able to watch this thing now -- what there is of it.

UPDATE: The cleanup is over and the racers are returning to their cars!! BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY!!!

DAYTONA 500 GOES TONIGHT

Yes, the oft-postponed race is finally on for prime time on FOX at 7pm EST/6 Central! Boogity boogity boogity!

And I am not happy about it at all, because instead of sitting at home watching the whole race, I'm going to have to cut out about an hour and a half in to go cover a city council meeting tonight!

All I hope is for a short council meeting and plenty of crashes and cleanup at Daytona -- then maybe I'll be able to catch the very end of the race tonight. Good luck with that.

UPDATE: No sooner has the race started than there has been a big wreck involving several cars, including Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick. Wow, scary business. Maybe I shouldn't be hoping for crashes tonight.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

WASHOUT OF A WEEKEND SO FAR AT DAYTONA

Here I was all excited about watching the Daytona 500 and about having something to watch on Sunday afternoons, finally, with my beloved football over and done with.

Well, unfortunately it has rained today at Daytona. A race that was supposed to have started hours ago is still in delay as I write this. The commentators on TV say they should be close to finished with the drying soon, but this really is disappointing.

It will be really interesting if the Daytona 500 runs up against the Oscars on the other channel tonight. If that happens you can bet Billy Crystal will not have much of a male audience to speak of tonight. Wait a minute -- isn't the NBA All-Star Game tonight, too? Wow, this Oscar show will have hardly any guys tuning in at all tonight, beyond friends and relatives of the nominees and the red-carpet fashion designers.

Speaking of the Oscars -- the red carpet coverage is streaming now from the AP.
Also, On the Red Carpet has live streaming on now, too.

They just showed a replay of Darrell Waltrip doing the Ickey Shuffle after his Daytona 500 win years ago. Yecch. This race cannot start soon enough, folks.

UPDATE: The race has just been CANCELLED. The Great American Race will run tomorrow, instead -- when I am stuck at WORK. So much for a washout of a day at Daytona.

Monday, February 20, 2012

WHERE WERE YOU 50 YEARS AGO TODAY?

Watching John Glenn orbit the earth?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

SPORTS INSANITY

I think I have the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue all figured out.

The reason they put out a swimsuit issue is because this is the sports dead season. Think about it. The NFL is over, and there's literally nothing much on tap until NASCAR's Daytona 500 and the March Madness begins -- and baseball is still weeks away.

I used to wonder why Sports Illustrated would devote an issue to swimsuits when it is so obvious swimsuits are not a sport. The reason is simple; they think they can sell more magazines with a girl like Kate Upton on the cover at this time of year than if they actually put out an issue with actual sports news, of which there is (ahem) not much of at this time of year. 

This really is a dog time for sports fans with, usually, very little in the way of compelling sports news.

Not this year, though.

This year we have Lin-sanity, and that has at least kept the sports fans preoccupied. I'm with the people who think the fuss over Jeremy Lin is good for sports.

Plus, we had sad news today of the death of baseball legend Gary Carter.

Oh, and it was a big day of free agent signings in the CFL, so football fans still have something to be interested in.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

WHITNEY HOUSTON IS DEAD!

Alas, another musical legend has passed before their time. Tonight's Grammy awards show is going to be a really somber affair after this news.

AS MAINE GOES...

Mitt Romney won a narrow victory over Ron Paul in Maine's caucuses yesterday. He also won the straw poll at CPAC over Rick Santorum, which really doesn't mean a thing in terms of delegates but at least gives him the appearance of some momentum after being trounced last Tuesday night. Boy, did Romney ever need these wins after what happened earlier. As for Ron Paul, he has still not won a thing. The race for the White House continues to be a bumpy ride.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

TOURIST TROUBLES

Where I am these days, a lot of folks have been heading off for winter getaways to these sunnier, warmer destinations.

I have been looking over these possible travel deals and have been thinking of a winter getaway myself. But I have cold feet about the whole thing because of these horror stories making the news lately about cruise liners sinking, of people getting beat up and killed in Mexico, and of people getting sick at resorts in Cuba. Just this week I heard that people are now getting sick on the cruise ships, too. You cannot seem to escape these bad stories.

Anyway, I wrote about all this news in my column this month. It should be good for a few laughs. 

ON THE OSCAR RACE

The one thing more exciting than following the US presidential race right now is the OSCAR race. My Cairns on Cinema column this week looks at that race and how the main contenders stack up for Best Picture, especially considering all the other awards that have been handed out recently (the Golden Globes, the Director's Guild, the SAG Awards and so on).

Right now it appears as if The Artist is the decided frontrunner, but other movies could still take it down.

In any event, my column is now up. The Oscars go to somebody on the evening of February 26.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

ON THE RICK SANTORUM SWEEP

Welcome to our latest update of the presidential race in the USA, where there has been yet another twist and turn in this crazy race for the White House.

Rick Santorum surprised everyone Tuesday by sweeping all three of the presidential contests on the GOP side. Now granted, these were mainly beauty contests, and the Missouri primary didn't even count for any delegates. But it does give Santorum a good dose of momentum as he won not only Missouri and Minnesota, but Colorado as well.

What this really means is that Santorum is assured of being on the ballot all the way through Super Tuesday next month, and should surely rake in the dollars in fundraising. These victories make Santorum at least look like he's a viable candidate now instead of some also-ran likely to withdraw from the race; plus, it should help get the media off his back. Rick Santorum is officially off the canvas.

Moreover, this result poses problems for everyone else in the race. It causes problems for Mitt Romney who doesn't look like he's so inevitable now after being slaughtered so completely. In fact, there's now even worry that Romney could even lose the contest in Michigan coming up, and if that happens all bets for him are off.

This Santorum sweep also causes a heap of problems for Newt Gingrich. Having Santorum continue to stick around as a viable candidate is sure to split the right-of-Mitt vote. Worse yet, Santorum could yet still emerge as the alternative to Romney instead of Gingrich, which could cause some of the people leaning to Gingrich to reconsider and maybe jump ship. 

Of course, Ron Paul has problems of his own having not won a race yet. But he did finish second in Minnesota -- which is progress, I guess. He doesn't look like he's on track to win a thing, though.

Anyway, we can all look forward to CNN primary election night coverage for weeks on end after this result. At least it gives the political junkies something to do.

Monday, February 06, 2012

MARIA MENOUNOS LOSES HER BET -- AND HER CLOTHES

Check out this clip: EXTRA hostess Maria Menounos bet everyone that her beloved New England Patriots would win the Super Bowl, and that if the NY Giants won she would go to Times Square and host her show in a bikini.

Well, we all know what happened. You've got to see this to believe it. Fun stuff from Maria Menounos.video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

CONGRATS TO THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPS

Well, our congratulations go out to the big winners of Super Bowl XLVI -- Doritos, and of course Chrysler (Clint Eastwood.)

Also, uh, to the New York Giants, too, for winning the game.

And NO congratulations to M.I.A. for flipping the bird during Madonna's half-time show. As an aside -- why the heck do these sorts of half-time incidents always happen during Super Bowl games involving the New England Patriots?

NBC ended up having to issue an apology for the finger incident, although it really ought to be M.I.A. who should apologize to both NBC and the NFL for such epic disrespect. As usual, the off-field stuff upstages the actual game at the Super Bowl.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

RANTING ABOUT SUPER BOWL ADS

Today is Super Bowl Sunday and part of the fun of the big day is watching all the ads on TV. Except, folks outside the USA miss out on these great ads. We in frozen Canada get stuck with a Canadian feed, so we are certain to see promos for Smash and other shows no football fan will watch on CTV.

So we won't be inundated by the talking babies, talking animals, supermodels, horses and chimpanzees that usually are shown on coverage of a Super Bowl game in the 'States. Although I probably wouldn't mind checking out that Ferris Bueller car commercial.

Despite Canadians' envy of our friends south of the border, there are some detractors down there who insist that Super Bowl ads suck. Great. These guys should move to Canada!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

NEVADA

You know, I wonder whether even people in Nevada care that this caucus was going on today. This state doesn't seem to care much about politics. 

Anyway, Mitt Romney is ahead by a big margin.

Lots more primaries and caucuses on Tuesday. I notice Ron Paul is already in Minnesota and Rick Santorum in Colorado.

NEWS FROM SASKATCHEWAN

While all the big political reporters in the USA are all excited by the presidential race, with the Nevada caucuses going on today, there was some news to report from Saskatchewan about political developments around here.

Namely, it was the news that Ryan Bater had resigned as leader of the Saskatchewan Liberals. My news story about it ran this week. So anyway, that news livened up a dull week in politics, and made me feel less jealous about these political reporters in the USA covering the GOP candidates.

In other news from Saskatchewan, I was at a dinner on Tuesday night and one of the highlights was a presentation by Steve Mazurak, VP of marketing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, about the successful branding of the club and its focus on the fans and Rider Pride. So here is my story on that.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ROMNEY CLOBBERS GINGRICH IN FLORIDA

Just as recent polls from the weekend predicted, Mitt Romney socked it to Newt Gingrich in the Florida primary tonight. Fifty delegates were at stake and Romney now claims all of them from Florida.



Now it is on to the caucuses in my favorite state -- Nevada.

Already Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have been hard at work campaigning in the Silver State, so Mitt and Newt have some catching up to do there in the desert.

The good news for Floridians now is that they don't have to watch any more attack ads on TV for a while now, at least. Unfortunately, folks elsewhere are not likely to be spared the same fate, as Newt pledges to fight on to the bitter end. The sooner this primary fight is over with, the better it will be for the GOP as far as I am concerned.