Archive for November, 2006

Vote for Rory

I remember line from Robin Williams’ Live on Broadway HBO special, “In the World Cup they always claim there’s bad refereeing, someone may have been paid off. Oh, shit, say it ain’t so! You’re telling me that the Oscars are also political? Fuck off!”

There’s a group of cheeky hockey fans running around the internet and hockey media claiming that something with the NHL All Star voting ballot just isn’t right.

For the first time, the NHL is offering an all online, all digital voting system for this year’s game in Dallas. These guys have tried out the system and discovered how skewed it really is. Local Canucks blogger JJ explains what’s up with

… Not intended as a shot on Rory [Fitzpatrick] but more of a means to point out the flaws in the league’s voting system – where one can vote as many times as they want – the internet campaign has gained unbelievable steam. [CanucksHockey]

JJ explains on The Crazy Canucks podcast that a campaign has been put together to get people voting for Rory Fitzpatrick – an unlikely candidate, nominee and currently injured Canuck defensemen. The problem is that the tally so far should be overwhelmingly OVER 100,000 votes for Rory but is reporting that the TOP pick, Sidney Crosby, is sitting well under 100,000 and is in the number one spot. A-Ha! They’re right, it doesn’t add up – what about Rory?

I guess you could say they’re stickin’ it to the NHL man, maybe they’re just seeing how far any of this gets them, or perhaps they really DO love Rory Fitzpatrick. Whatever the case, check the website, and the campaign video below, although I must warn you after the first song, it gets pretty painful.

Vancouver’s antiwar movement’s odd bedfellows happened to be passing by the latest antiwar/anti-imperialism/anti-US protest outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on the weekend when I picked up some of the literature they were handing out. They really haven’t learned their lesson since a few months back.

Mobilization Against War and Occupation and Fire This Time reps are still handing out 9/11 conspiracy literature and advertising videos and audio recordings that “prove” that 9/11 was a neocon/Zionist/Vampire plot. That’s not new. But another pamphlet put out at the protest by the allied vancouver communites in solidarity with cuba (vcsc) was promoting a party to celebrate Fidel Castro’s birthday with the slogan, “80 more years!”

Why do our antiwar protesters give comfort to dictators and human-rights violators?

They’re Still Staying in Canada

My friend David recently published an op-ed piece for the LA Times:

It seems that the LA Times Editorial Dept. was kicking around the idea early last week that an American who had left the country for Canada due in some part to the reelection of Bush in 2004 might have some potentially humorous commentary on the fact that that they now live in a country with a Conservative Prime Minister while the US has since elected a Democratic majority in Congress.
David and his wife Pam moved to Vancouver in July 2005 from Boston. They were the first set of Bush-detesting US immigrants I’ve met and the ones whose adoration of this city put the rest of us locals to shame. Well-educated, cultured and kind, the Druckers have proven to be formidable Scrabble opponents.

David’s article has even been the most emailed on the LA Times website!

David posted the whole article here.

Great job, David! Vancouver is all the richer for your presence!

Winter Wonderland at Last

After yesterday’s aborted business trip to Burnaby, low speed braking problems, a tree falling across a road, and uphill tantrums, my car managed to get home only to see my parking spot taken. The bastard eventually moved but not before the roof collapsed on a family member’s car (which amazingly got away with only a small dent). And not before my partner fell in the middle of the road and lost his iPod cover forever to the treachery of the blizzard.

After an hour and a half of digging out my car and re-parking it in its rightful spot this morning, I can finally enjoy the beauty of the weather. From the inside, with the curtains drawn and a generous helping of macaroni and cheese. I’ll worry about getting to work tomorrow. (Tuesdays are my Mondays but the joke will be on me when I drag my sorry ass over the frozen-over slush the rest of you will scrape over our streets today.)

Between staring at the white serenity outside, I’ve visited Flickr to spy on what others in the Lower Mainland see:

You Can Drink the Water

Almost a million people in the area are now free to drink the tap water. I, myself wasn’t thinking a couple days ago when I turned on the tap and rinsed my toothbrush with the lovely milky-coloured water that flowed out. Oops.

Medical health officer Dr. Patricia Daly said turbidity levels in the Seymour watershed have dropped low enough to allow people to drink unboiled, unbottled water [cbc]

After 12 days of boiling water, buying only bottled water and paying close attention to local news, I think I’m not alone when I say, I don’t want to hear the word “turbidity” again for a very very long time.

So, how are you spending your snow day?

Snow Day
With a great many offices and schools just closing up for the day, there’s a bunch of us sitting at home enjoying a bit of a free day. What are you doing with yours?

Vancouver’s second gift to the world: Green Peace

Rainbow Warrior

Originally uploaded by grayem.

For the next seven days, the Metroblogging sites around the globe will be unveiling seven gifts their cities can share with the world – one gift a day for seven days. Metroblogging Vancouver’s second gift is Green Peace [gp].

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions for a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace’s goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity.

In 1971 the enviroment was not really the issue it is today. Whereas today we argue about climate change and worry about the hole in the ozone layer back then the majority of enviromental issues tended to focus on the Theodore Roosevelt style natural conservation (we want natural areas protected because they’re pretty and it gives us a place to shoot bears) as opposed to what we have to day when we’re facing the very real need to save the world from our waste and consumption.

Started as a way to protest and stop nuclear testing Green Peace was formed in Vancouver in 1971 and then expanded to protesting whaling. The fact that very few major industrial nations whale any longer can be seen as a major victory for the group. The fact that the dangers of nuclear waste and radiation as well as the issues of “global warming, ancient forest destruction, Nuclear power, and genetic engineering” [wp] are all issues that thanks to Green Peace we are aware of. I mean Kirk and Spock went back in time to save whales [wp] in part because of the awarness created by Green Peace.

Green Peace has since out grown its Vancouver roots and its headquarters are now in Amsterdam, but it started here and with it began a new era of enviromental awarness across the globe.

For all of Vancouver’s gifts to the world just click here.

School Closures

Vancouver public Schools are NOT closed today, per the Vancouver School Board in a release issued this morning. For more information, visit the VSB website as there are a couple closures due to power outages.

SFU Burnaby is closed but other locations are open. Douglas College, Kwantlen, all BCIT campuses and UBC are closed.

CKNW has a splash page up with school information for all regions.

According to his calculations, he’s not dead.

It’s been over 2 weeks since the South Coast of British Columbia was pelted with heavy rains, winds and a boil-water advisory. Within a couple of days most cities had the ban lifted meanwhile, 900,000 of us downtown, in Burnaby and on the North Shore still have to take the extra precautions and NOT drink the water [mbv1][mbv2].

We covered the storm, the effects and the water situation pretty well here at Metroblogging but there’s another Vancouver blogger out there who taking it a little further.

Travis Smith decided that he would defy local GVRD warnings and continue drink our cloudy, silty, smelly water every single day – and he’s blogging it all.

Day 1: I’m going to drink nothing but Vancouver tap water, and report the effects to you. In your face, E.Coli! (Well, in my face, more accurately…) [Unvarnished]

Now this must get the conspiracy theorists going. Almost a million people have been warned, businesses closed or turned away patrons, and bottled water fueled fights broke out in grocery aisles… but everything seems, pretty okay.

Day 3: Vomitting? Nope. Diueria Dyeriah Dhiarea Dieriuh The Runs? Nope. A “social problem”? Nope. Intense, almost painful craving for Diet Coke? Check. [Unvarnished]

Smith includes pics of the water in his posts, along with tibdits of local news and updates surrounding the whole issue and it’s daily progress.

The water has cleared but the advisory hasn’t yet been called off. With our new blanket of snow everything seems so crisp and white, even that lovely tap water. It’s now the 6th day that Travis Smith has been drinking the water, he seems well enough to head out and take some pics of the snow and to report that well, there is nothing to report.

(Photo Above is Property of Travis Smith on Flickr)

Surrey’s Suspected Spy & His House

Soon after Baron Carl von Mackensen bought the Bryce family home in north Surrey in 1910, the German national became the toast of the town, hosting lavish parties in the 1902 house. Most popular with the citizens were his annual Christmas parties.

But things went downhill in 1914. The Baron flew the German flag, which at the time was the black-white-red horizontal tricolour from the house’s rooftop and all hell broke loose. The enraged citizens of Port Kells threatened to bring down the flag with gunfire. The Baron removed the flag.

The damage was done, however. Authorities confiscated (and later sold) his house, finding a shortwave radio in his house and passageways from room to room via the closets. Though never proven, suspicion had it that the Baron spied on Fraser River shipping. Von Mackensen was interred in Vernon for the rest of the war and deported, in July 1919, to Germany. The internet has failed to bring up information before or after his Surrey stay.

(This sort of thing happened both ways. In Germany, on August 4, 1914, J.T. Gerould was arrested for spying. He was actually buying books for “the University of British Columbia’s first serious library” and, before his three-weeks jailtime in Leipzig, he had already bought 20,000 books in England and France. The evidence needed for his arrest was a copy of the UBC site plan in his luggage. Eventually the Germans deported him to Switzerland.)

Though talk of turning the von Mackensen house into a pub started years ago, today the 9564 192 Street so-called “spy house” or “the castle” is home only to squatters. The house is on Canada’s Register of Historic Places.

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