May 2012 Archives

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Virtual Cleanse by All Heart

leafsFollowing that last entry, I felt I needed some eye bleach... a spiritual virtual cleanse of sorts. Sounds like a job for All Heart, the greatest Wendel Clark tribute video in the history of the world.

Wendel Clark is all heart. Watch thrice daily for optimal results.

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Luka Rocco Magnotta's Digital Trail

Luka MagnottaAt this hour, police are hunting for Rocco Magnotta, also known as Luka Magnotta, in connection with the torso found in Montreal yesterday and the body parts mailed to political parties. Luka Magnotta is a male model and porn star, originally from Toronto but now living in Montreal.

This story is just developing, but Luka Magnotta has left quite the digital trail. His site is currently offline (it's back), likely crushed by the traffic this type of sensational story generates, but his YouTube channel is up, containing tame videos like this one.

What's far less tame are the videos he allegedly made of him killing, mutilating, dismembering and having sex with the dead bodies of cats and kittens. One such video is titled "1 Boy 2 Kittens Video" and other is "Vacuum Kitten Killer Hunted Edition". There's no way I'm linking to either of these, but I will embed a video about the search for Luka Magnotta, the serial kitten killer.

More recently, it seems Luka Magnotta has progressed from kitten killing to murdering people. In a video titled "1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick Video", a young man in a purple hoodie literally kills a man with an ice pick, before committing acts of necrophillia and cannibalisim. A Facebook group ForGreatJustice believes this snuff film to be from Luka Magnotta.

And that leads us to today and one of the more bizarre news stories to come out of this country. Magnotta, who hasn't been seen for several days, is the prime suspect in this investigation, and he may be tough to track down. He once wrote this article on "How To Disappear Completely And Never Be Found". He failed to follow his own advice, however, giving himself a week instead of the self-recommended four months.

When making the decision to disappear, it is very important to understand that this is not a process that can be successfully accomplished overnight. For best results under normal circumstances, a minimum of four months is really necessary to successfully carry out the heroic actions necessary to leave your old life behind. This is certainly not an undertaking to be entered into lightly - be completely sure of yourself before you commit to this.

That's quite the digital trail... Here's a SUN TV interview with him from five years ago when there were rumours of him dating Karla Homolka. It goes without saying, if you see Luka Magnotta, call 911.

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How to Make Tarantino Movies Even Better

How to Make Tarantino Movies Even BetterI love Quentin Tarantino movies. The last time I attempted to list my favourite movies of all-time, six long years ago, he was all over it.

Want to make Tarantino movies even better? Consider this Reddit comment.

Inglourious Basterds spoiler below.

It's well known that all of Tarantino's films take place in the same universe - this is established by the fact that Mr. Blonde and Vince Vega are brothers, everybody smokes Red Apple cigarettes, Mr. White worked with Alabama from True Romance, etc.

As it turns out, Donny Donowitz, 'The Bear Jew', is the father of movie producer Lee Donowitz from True Romance - which means that, in Tarantino's universe, everybody grew up learning about how a bunch of commando Jews machine gunned Hitler to death in a burning movie theater, as opposed to quietly killing himself in a bunker.

Because World War 2 ended in a movie theater, everybody lends greater significance to pop culture, hence why seemingly everybody has Abed-level knowledge of movies and TV. Likewise, because America won World War 2 in one concentrated act of hyperviolent slaughter, Americans as a whole are more desensitized to that sort of thing. Hence why Butch is unfazed by killing two people, Mr. White and Mr. Pink take a pragmatic approach to killing in their line of work, Esmerelda the cab driver is obsessed with death, etc.

You can extrapolate this further when you realize that Tarantino's movies are technically two universes - he's gone on record as saying that Kill Bill and From Dusk 'Til Dawn take place in a 'movie movie universe'; that is, they're movies that characters from the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, and Death Proof universe would go to see in theaters. (Kill Bill, after all, is basically Fox Force Five, right on down to Mia Wallace playing the title role.)

What immediately springs to mind about Kill Bill and From Dusk 'Til Dawn? That they're crazy violent, even by Tarantino standards. These are the movies produced in a world where America's crowning victory was locking a bunch of people in a movie theater and blowing it to bits - and keep in mind, Lee Donowitz, son of one of the people on the suicide mission to kill Hitler, is a very successful movie producer.

Basically, it turns every Tarantino movie into alternate reality sci fi. I love it so hard.

Damn...

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Jim Unger, Dead at 75

In MemoriumJim Unger was 75. He was the Canadian cartoonist best known for his syndicated comic strip Herman which ran for eighteen years in 600 newspapers in 25 countries.

herman

Herman was always one of my favourites.

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The Beautiful South - A Little Time

MP3Don't call it a comeback...

I used to share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday, and due to popular demand, I'm bringing it back. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it before playing.

play The Beautiful South - A Little Time
CFNY used to play this track often in early 1991 and I loved it. It was the only hit on this side of the pond from this British band.

It holds up nicely. Still a great track.

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Gay-Straight Alliance

Gay-Straight AllianceArgh.

This recent news story about Cardinal Thomas Collins taking exception to the McGuinty government's amendment to its anti-bullying legislation preventing Catholic school boards from vetoing the club name Gay-Straight Alliance, pisses me off. If an anti-homophobia group wants to call itself Gay-Straight Alliance, so be it. Unfortunately, the Catholic church regards homosexuality as a sin, and the name "gay" in a Catholic school group's name is something they fear.

At this point I should fully disclose that my mom worked her entire career as a teacher in the Catholic school board and I attended Catholic schools through high school. My kids, however, are in the public system. The archaic rhetoric spewing from the church in 2012 is shameful and I can't believe this separate school system gets $7 billion a year in public funding.

Can we please stop funding institutionalized hate?

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Discovering Cover Songs for the First Time

musicWhen I was 8 and 9, I just assumed every song I heard on the radio was an original song by the artist. I didn't know artists could cover songs originally performed by other artists. So when I heard Tainted Love by Soft Cell, I just assumed that was Soft Cell's song. It wasn't.

In 1985, I was a big fan of Mötley Crüe's "Smokin' in the Boys Room". 10-year old Mike loved that tune. Here's the video.

Then, one of those ads for a 70s music compilation album came on TV, and it included "Smokin' in the Boys Room" by Brownsville Station. Wha-wha-what???

It was the same song, sung by a different band, over a decade earlier. What was this abomination?

I had discovered the cover song.

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Buying Essays Online: Who Does It?

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to TorontoMike.com. I received the following entry late last week from Kieran.

I hate cheating. This is my personal life position. I always try to complete everything in my life by myself. It can either be my car repair, or my college paper, or even my GF (I hate THAT kinds of cheating too). But my last crazy party ended up with F mark for English Literature, so I had to rewrite my essay in one day. And that was the only moment when I told to myself that cheating is not that bad and that I can use some help from professionals. So I googled "college paper" and found this one - http://www.college-paper.org.

First thoughts were like - Oh. These guys just want my money and their office is in Pakistan (for sure). The problem was - that I didn't have any time at all. So I told them my VISA numbers, gave them all they need and chose "highest urgency" level. They called me 3 minutes after that - nice voice (it didn't sound like India or Pakistan) asked me about my order - I told them all I knew. I don't want to give you more details - this stuff is boring, they sent me my paper in 5 hours, I got B and my professor was happy (as was I, for sure). So what is the conclusion? Order your essays at that site? Well... only if you need to. Party all the time? Also nope. Always think about tomorrow and don't let cheatin' happen.

I have never purchased an essay for school. Then again, I graduated in '98 and every essay I wrote was based on research I did in actual paper books borrowed from libraries both on campus and off. Sometimes the books I needed weren't allowed to be taken out of the library and I had to do all my work there. These were some seriously tough times.

But writing essays was a strength of mine, and if I put in the work, I always got good results. I honestly believe that if I were in university today I'd still write every one of my essays and wouldn't be tempted by essay writing services. But then again, I also hate paying for things I can do myself. So I'm not certain if my reasons are wholly moral in nature or self serving to save a buck and ensure a good grade.

What about you? Have you ever submitted an essay you didn't write? Did you ever pay for an essay? How'd that work out for you?

Discuss "Buying Essays Online: Who Does It?" (17 comments so far)


Do It For Ponikarovsky

ponikarovsky

Poni spent nine years playing for the Maple Leafs, scoring 114 goals and 257 points in 477 games. He is now four wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup.

I'm rooting for him.

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Hot May Open Mike

May 2-4 Long Weekend Open MikeWe're hitting 30° today, people. 30°... and that's Celsius, my American friends.

But if I hear one of you complain about the heat I'm gonna lose it on you in the comments. Consider yourselves warned.

Print

You know the drill, discuss anything you want in this space. And if you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer you.

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Brooke Shields stars in The Exorcist

So I happen to be a gigantic fan of what I consider one of the best films of all time - The Exorcist.

There have been embarrassing sequels, awful prequels, spoofs, copycat films, tribute sites and even Exorcist action figures complete with spinning heads and R-rated sound effects.

It's no surprise then that there is now a theatrical version of The Exorcist being staged in Los Angeles this summer, and Brooke Shields is playing Chris Macneil, the mother of the possessed girl Regan. http://geffenplayhouse.com/more_info.php?show_id=137

I was wondering if the experience might be similar to going to Marineland, where there's an announcement before the show warning patrons that those in the first few rows will get wet - only with The Exorcist it's fake projectile vomit.

Would you see this if it was on stage in Toronto?

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My New Favourite Gum

Stride Spark Kinetic MintI chew a lot of gum. You may recall my desperate plea 7 years ago for sugarfree bubble gum. I like my gum sugarfree, and I like to blow bubbles. Is that too much to ask?

I recently discovered a new gum that I love. I take down six pieces a day, and I never get tired of it. They sell it in bulk at Costco and it's called Stride Spark Kinetic Mint.

Stride Spark Kinetic Mint

No, they didn't pay for this endorsement, and I've never received a free pack (although I'd accept one), but I'm so damn happy with this gum I just wanted to scream it from mountain tops.

Why I dig Stride Spark Kinetic Mint:

  • I can blow bubbles with it
  • It's sugarfree and even has vitamins
  • The flavour has a great minty kick to it and lasts
  • It's the perfect consistency for aggressive sport chewing

If you chew gum, what's your gum of choice?

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I Don't Hate Fearless Fred

I Don't Hate Fearless FredI don't hate Fearless Fred. Not even a little bit.

Way back in November, Fearless Fred appeared on the Humble and Fred podcast and had a bone to pick with me. Here's an excerpt:

November was a long time ago, but this topic was recently brought up on the podcast (a pirate named Rusty believe it or not) and I'm hearing from a bunch of new listeners who are missing vital context. People are writing me emails telling me to apologize to Fearless Fred, but these people have only heard Fred's rant above.

For those new folks who think I hate on radio personalities and harass their families, here are the facts:

  • I wrote about Fearless Fred's move from Edmonton to The Edge 102. As you'll see, I was pretty gentle.
  • Then, he fired the first shot, going off on me in an interview. Of course I wrote about that, posting Fred's quote, but again I was awfully gentle.
  • I've never, ever written a single word about Fearless Fred's wife or family. I never cross that line. I spoke about Fearless Fred as a radio host, a public figure, and merely commented on the situation at Edge 102 and his on-air abilities.

So no, I don't believe I owe Fearless Fred an apology, but he probably owes me one. And no, I don't hate him. Not even a little bit. He seems like a decent guy and I'd love to bury the hatchet.

Discuss "I Don't Hate Fearless Fred" (37 comments so far)


I'm Allergic to Stuff

allergic to stuffI'm not literally allergic to anything, but I don't want stuff. I was thinking if you left me some fairly basic clothing and footwear, and a few kitchen and bathroom essentials, I'd be very happy with a mere handful of items.

  • At least one decent wifi-connected computer
  • My Android phone
  • My baseball glove and tennis racquet
  • A deck of cards

I'd miss cable tv for the live sports but I'd learn to live without it. I don't think there's anything else...

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The Latest Raptors Recap Ever

The Latest Raptors Recap EverI watched the Oklahoma City Thunder eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers last night. That's rather significant, because I can count the basketball games I've watched this season on one hand.

Since the Raptors arrived in 1995 this is by far the least I've followed them. For one, it was a shortened season, and I was rooting for the lockout. It was a lost season and we all knew it so why emotionally invest? I opted out.

Having said that, I've never opted out of a lost Leafs season, and there have been plenty of those. I chalk that up to the simple fact that I'm a bigger hockey fan than I am a basketball fan. Still, I'm shocked at how invisible this Raptors season was... it started and then it was over.

Heading into this season, I wanted two things. I wanted the Mavs to fizzle out because I didn't want Vince Carter winning an NBA Championship. That happened. And I'd like the Heat to lose.... just because. Here's hoping that happens in the 2nd round against the Pacers.

So that's my super late Raptors recap. We stunk, but we knew we'd stink, and we think we have a decent coach and brighter days ahead.

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Top 102 New Rock Songs by 102.1 The Edge (2012 Edition)

Top 102 Albums of 1993102.1 The Edge, a.k.a. CFNY, has unveiled the top 102 "new rock songs" of all time, according to 102.1 The Edge listeners.

This is the list they played Saturday, May 19, 2012.

  1. Sublime - Santeria
  2. Nirvana - Come As You Are
  3. Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song
  4. The Smashing Pumpkins - Today
  5. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
  6. Weezer - Buddy Holly
  7. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  8. The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking
  9. Blur - Song 2
  10. The Killers - Somebody Told Me
  11. Pearl Jam - Even Flow
  12. Our Lady Peace - Naveed
  13. Green Day - When I Come Around
  14. Alice In Chains - Man In The Box
  15. The Tragically Hip - Ahead By A Century
  16. The Offspring - Self Esteem
  17. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
  18. Arcade Fire - Wake Up
  19. Nine Inch Nails - Closer
  20. Finger Eleven - One Thing
  21. Foo Fighters - Learn To Fly
  22. Oasis - Wonderwall
  23. Billy Talent - Try Honesty
  24. The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
  25. City And Colour/Dallas Green - Save Your Sissors
  26. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California
  27. Metric - Gimme Sympathy
  28. Bush - Glycerine
  29. Stone Temple Pilots - Plush
  30. Our Lady Peace - Superman's Dead
  31. Jane's Addiction - Jane Says
  32. Sum 41 - Fat Lip
  33. Sublime - What I Got
  34. The Tragically Hip - Little Bones
  35. Muse - Uprising
  36. Three Days Grace - I Hate Everything About You
  37. Mumford And Sons - Little Lion Man
  38. K-OS - Crabbuckit
  39. Radiohead - Creep
  40. Sam Roberts - Brother Down
  41. Green Day - Brain Stew
  42. The Tragically Hip - Fifty-Mission cap
  43. Weezer - Say It Ain't So
  44. Foo Fighters - Everlong
  45. Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
  46. The Black Keys - Tighten Up
  47. Jimmy Eat World - The Middle
  48. Tool - Sober
  49. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
  50. Coldplay - Yellow
  51. The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl
  52. The Killers - Mr. Brightside
  53. Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire
  54. Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
  55. Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box
  56. Beck - Loser
  57. Our Lady Peace - Starseed
  58. Linkin Park - In The End
  59. Oasis - Champagne Supernova
  60. Soundgarden - Fell On Black Days
  61. The Tragically Hip - Blow At High Dough
  62. Stone Temple Pilots - Big Empty
  63. Three Days Grace - Animal I Have Become
  64. Green Day - American Idiot
  65. Billy Talent - The River Below
  66. Incubus - Drive
  67. Arcade Fire - Ready To Start
  68. MGMT - Kids
  69. Our Lady Peace - Innocent
  70. Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows
  71. Metric - Help, I'm Alive
  72. Foo Fighters - Best Of You
  73. The Tragically Hip - At The Hundredth Meridian
  74. Blind Melon - No Rain
  75. Sum 41 - In Too Deep
  76. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
  77. Finger Eleven - Paralyzer
  78. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
  79. Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights
  80. Bob Marley/The Wailers - Jammin'
  81. Our Lady Peace - One Man Army
  82. The Offspring - Come Out And Play
  83. Alexisonfire - This Could Be Anywhere
  84. Muse - Starlight
  85. The Tragically Hip - Courage
  86. Beastie Boys - Sabotage
  87. Billy Talent - Devil In A Midnight Mass
  88. Nirvana - Lithium
  89. Three Days Grace - Just Like You
  90. Radiohead - Karma Police
  91. K-OS - Man I Used To Be
  92. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
  93. City And Colour/Gord Downie - Sleeping Sickness
  94. Beastie Boys - Figth For Your Right
  95. The Matthew Good Band - Load Me Up
  96. Pearl Jam - Daughter
  97. Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
  98. Alice In Chains - No Excuses
  99. The Tragically Hip - Poets
  100. Blink-182 - All The Small Things
  101. Bedouin Soundclash - When The Night Feels My Song
  102. Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way

102.1 The Edge likes to do this with great frequency. In fact, they did it just last Labour Day. Here's how the list looked then.

  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
  2. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  3. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
  4. Nirvana - Come As You Are
  5. Metallica - The Unforgiven
  6. Foo Fighters - My Hero
  7. Linkin Park - In The End
  8. U2 - With Or Without You
  9. The Tragically Hip - Ahead By A Century
  10. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California
  11. Pearl Jam - Even Flow
  12. House Of Pain - Jump Around
  13. Metallica - Nothing Else Matters
  14. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Otherside
  15. Nirvana - All Apologies
  16. The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
  17. The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
  18. Foo Fighters - Best Of You
  19. Beck - Loser
  20. U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
  21. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue
  22. Beastie Boys - Figth For Your Right
  23. Metallica - Enter Sandman
  24. The Tragically Hip - Courage
  25. Blind Melon - No Rain
  26. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
  27. Our Lady Peace - Is Anybody Home?
  28. Blur - Song 2
  29. Billy Talent - Try Honesty
  30. MGMT - Kids
  31. The Tragically Hip - Poets
  32. R.E.M - Losing My Religion
  33. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Give It Away
  34. Lenny Kravitz - American Woman
  35. Foo Fighters - Everlong
  36. Oasis - Wonderwall
  37. Green Day - Brain Stew
  38. The Tragically Hip - Blow At High Dough
  39. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop
  40. Coldplay - Clocks
  41. Linkin Park - Numb
  42. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
  43. Nirvana - Rape Me
  44. Incubus - Drive
  45. Pearl Jam - Alive
  46. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Soul To Squeeze
  47. Nirvana - About A Girl
  48. Foo Fighters - Learn To Fly
  49. Oasis - Champagne Supernova
  50. Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
  51. Rage Against The Machine - Testify
  52. Three Days Grace - I Hate Everything About You
  53. The Offspring - Self Esteem
  54. Our Lady Peace - Somewhere Out There
  55. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Around The World
  56. The Tragically Hip - At The Hundredth Meridian
  57. Green Day - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
  58. K-OS - Crabbuckit
  59. Foo Fighters - All My Life
  60. Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves
  61. Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name Of
  62. Finger Eleven - One Thing
  63. Stone Temple Pilots - Creep
  64. Our Lady Peace - Innocent
  65. Green Day - Time Of Your Life
  66. Arcade Fire - Neighbourhood #3
  67. Radiohead - Karma Police
  68. Sum 41 - In Too Deep
  69. Nine Inch Nails - Closer
  70. The Tragically Hip - Fifty-Mission cap
  71. Sublime - Smoke Two Joints
  72. Our Lady Peace - Superman's Dead
  73. Foo Fighters - Times Like These
  74. Billy Talent - Devil In A Midnight Mass
  75. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
  76. Three Days Grace - Just Like You
  77. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
  78. Bedouin Soundclash - When The Night Feels My Song
  79. The Killers - Mr. Brightside
  80. Sum 41 - Fat Lip
  81. Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
  82. Our Lady Peace - Life
  83. Beastie Boys - Intergalactic
  84. Metric - Gimme Sympathy
  85. Everlast - What It's Like
  86. Nickelback - How You Remind Me
  87. Nirvana - The Mand Who Sold The World
  88. The Tragically Hip - Little Bones
  89. Green Day - When I Come Around
  90. Sam Roberts - Brother Down
  91. Pearl Jam - Daughter
  92. Finger Eleven - First Time
  93. Stone Temple Pilots - Plush
  94. Sloan - Money City Maniacs
  95. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Tell Me Baby
  96. Our Lady Peace - Naveed
  97. Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire
  98. Big Wreck - The Oaf
  99. Blink-182 - All The Small Things
  100. Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker - Laces Out
  101. The Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm
  102. Three Days Grace - Never Too Late

It's pretty amazing to see the #1 song from Labour Day 2011 finish 78th this weekend. That was a Red Hot Chili Peppers tune, a band that placed 10 songs in the top 102 last time, but only 3 this time. Are Edge listeners finally tiring of all RHCP all the time?

The Tragically Hip placed 8 songs in the top 102 this time around, making them champs. But this list looks surprisingly different than the last one. Santeria, a surprise #1 this time around, didn't crack the top 102 last time.

Does anyone else want to chime in with observations?

Discuss "Top 102 New Rock Songs by 102.1 The Edge (2012 Edition)" (25 comments so far)


Robin Gibb, Dead at 62

In MemoriumRobin Gibb was 62. He was the singer and songwriter best known as a member of the Bee Gees, co-founded with his twin brother Maurice and older brother Barry.


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May 2-4 Long Weekend Open Mike

May 2-4 Long Weekend Open MikeAre we still calling Monday Victoria Day? Can we please rename it Terry Fox Day?

By any name, a long weekend full of 20-something highs sure smells sweet. Bring it on.

Print

You know the drill, discuss anything you want in this space. And if you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer you.

Discuss "May 2-4 Long Weekend Open Mike" (64 comments so far)


Donna Summer, Dead at 63

In MemoriumDonna Summer was 63. She was the Queen of Disco, known for such hits as "Last Dance," "Love to Love You Baby," "I Feel Love," "Bad Girls" and "Hot Stuff."

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My Burgers Then vs. My Burgers Now

My Burgers Then vs. My Burgers NowIt's the May 2-4 long weekend, and most of us will enjoy at least one BBQ. Who doesn't love a tasty barbecued hamburger?

In the good old days, when I didn't give a hot damn about nutrition labels, I'd likely gravitate towards the Presidents Choice Gigantico burgers. Don't they look good?

gigantico-34

Each Gigantico hamburger contains 34 grams of fat. 34!

This weekend, I'll enjoy Presidents Choice Blue Menu Sirloin lean beef burgers. These, I must admit, are also very, very good.

bm-sirloin-8

Oh... and each Blue Menu hamburger only contains 8 grams of fat.

Ignorance is bliss, but awareness is essential. And that's one to grow on.

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Beaver Cleaver? Who's That?

tvThere's a new girl on my ball team and on Monday night I picked her up to drive her to our games. She lived in a nice neighbourhood so I told her Beaver Cleaver must live nearby.

I'll bet you know where this story's going... "Who's that?", was her reply.

Who's Beaver Cleaver? Really? This 23-year old Canadian-born English-speaking woman had never heard of Beaver Cleaver.

I was floored. Leave it to Beaver aired well before my time, but it's forever available in syndication. Furthermore, as a pop culture reference it should even be known by those who have never seen an episode.

I'm going to assume every person who will ever read this entry has heard of Beaver Cleaver, am I right?

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Living With The Name Michael

Living With The Name MichaelHere are the top 5 names for births in the USA from 1912-2011. As a male named Michael, I'm always interested in where that name ranks.

Incredibly, from 1949 to 2010, the name Michael has ranked in the top four. Even more incredibly, from 1953 to 2010, it ranked in the top three, usually finishing first.

Growing up, there were always at least three Mikes or Michaels in my class. That's 10% of us with the same first name.

I played a couple of slo-pitch games last night with two other Mikes, and the three of us have been on this team for a decade. There are literally thousands and thousands of Toronto Mikes...

I'm willing to bet a bunch of you are named Michael or Mike. Chime in if that's you.

Discuss "Living With The Name Michael" (21 comments so far)


Top 102 Albums of 1993

Top 102 Albums of 1993I was perusing the spirit of radio site when I stumbled upon the Top 102 Albums of 1993 according to CFNY a.k.a. 102.1 The Edge.

Through the years I've shared a number of CFNY lists, all of which can be found at http://www.torontomike.com/cfny_edge_102/, but this 1993 list caught my eye for a few reasons:

  1. In 1993 I was almost never without a radio and listened to a shitload of CFNY
  2. Most of this list are albums I owned and loved
  3. Terrestrial radio in this city used to play some pretty sweet stuff, aforementioned bias aside

Here's the list:

  1. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
  2. Nirvana - In Utero
  3. Depeche Mode - Songs Of Faith And Devotion
  4. Pearl Jam - Vs.
  5. New Order - Republic
  6. Radiohead - Pablo Honey
  7. Breeders - Last Splash
  8. Catherine Wheel - Chrome
  9. U2 - Zooropa
  10. Porno For Pyros - Porno For Pyros
  11. James - Laid
  12. Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstacy
  13. Bjork - Debut
  14. Pet Shop Boys - Very
  15. Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine
  16. Suede - Suede
  17. The The - Dusk
  18. Juliana Hatfield Three - Become What You Are
  19. The Cranberries - Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't I?
  20. Lemonheads - Come On Feel The Lemonheads
  21. P.J. Harvey - Rid Of Me
  22. Stone Temple Pilots - Core
  23. Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish
  24. Doughboys - Crush
  25. Adorable - Against Perfection
  26. Belly - Star
  27. Tea Party - Splendor Solis
  28. Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way?
  29. hHead - Fireman
  30. Tool - Undertow
  31. Kate Bush - The Red Shoes
  32. I Mother Earth - Dig
  33. Dinosaur Jr- Where You Been
  34. Jane Siberry - When I Was A Boy
  35. Various - 1993 CFNY New Music Search
  36. Tragically Hip - Fully Completely
  37. Blind Lemon - Blind Lemon
  38. Verve - A Storm In Heaven
  39. Frank Black - Frank Black
  40. Trash Can Sinatras - I've Seen Everything
  41. Midnight Oil - Earth And Sun And Moon
  42. 13 Engines - Perpetual Motion Machine
  43. Dead Can Dance - Into The Labyrinth
  44. Curve - Cuckoo
  45. Revolting Cocks - Linger Ficken' Good & Other...
  46. Swervedriver - Mescalhead
  47. Eric's Trip - Love Tara
  48. Wonder Stuff - Construction For The Modern Idiot
  49. Primus - Pork Soda
  50. R.E.M - Automatic For The People
  51. Concrete Blonde - Mexican Moon
  52. Front 242 - :06:21:03:11 Up Evil
  53. Matthew Sweet - Altered Beast
  54. Urge Overkill - Saturation
  55. Cocteau Twins - Four Calendar Cafe
  56. Soul Asylum - Grave Dancer's Union
  57. Spirit Of The West - Faithlift
  58. World Party - Bang!
  59. Cracker - Kerosene Hat
  60. New Fast Automatic Daffodils - Body Exit Mind
  61. Odds - Bedbugs
  62. (missing)
  63. Jesus Jones - Perverse
  64. Beloved - Conscience
  65. Cranes - Jewel
  66. The Watchmen - McLaren Furnace Room
  67. The Fall - Infotainment Scan
  68. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Sport Fishin'
  69. Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Are You Normal?
  70. Hothouse Flowers - Songs From The Rain
  71. Mystery Machine - Glazed
  72. INXS - Full Moon Dirty Heart
  73. Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Don't Know How To Party
  74. Hunters & Collectors - Cut
  75. House Of Love - Audience With The Mind
  76. Daniel Lanois - For The Love Of Wynona
  77. Tears For Fears - Elemental
  78. Acid Test - Drop
  79. Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales
  80. Paul Weller - Wildwood
  81. Stereo MCs - Connected
  82. Ocean Blue - Beneath The Rhythm And Sound
  83. Revolver - Cold Water Flat
  84. Rose Chronicles - Dead And Gone To Heaven
  85. Waterboys - Dream Harder
  86. Machines Of Loving Grace - Concentration
  87. Bad Religion - Recipe For Hate
  88. Crash Test Dummies - God Shuffled His Feet
  89. Peter Gabriel - Us
  90. Cowboy Junkies - Pale Sun, Crescent Moon
  91. UB40 - Promises & Lies
  92. Crash Vegas - Stone
  93. Dada - Puzzle
  94. Teenage Fanclub - Thirteen
  95. Moxy Fruvous - Bargainville
  96. Mae Moore - Bohemia
  97. Various - Stone Free
  98. Buffalo Tom - Big Red Letter Day
  99. Various - Sweet Relief
  100. Rymes With Orange - Peel
  101. Redd Kross - Phaseshifter
  102. Pursuit Of Happiness - The Downward Road

Almost twenty years later, the station continues to play tunes from a few of these albums, mainly those from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Radiohead and STP, but they haven't played New Order in quite some time...

Discuss "Top 102 Albums of 1993" (7 comments so far)


My Phone Notification Settings - What Are Yours?

phonePeople definitely have personal preferences when it comes to mobile phone notification settings. We'll start with my preferences, then we'll get to you.

These settings are currently applied to my Samsung GALAXY S II, but it was pretty much the same when I had a BlackBerry. I'm going to ignore settings for Twitter, Facebook and other apps and stick with the big 3.

Phone Calls: Frequent callers have a custom ringtone. Non-frequent callers get the default ringtone (currently grabbed from a Beastie Boys tune), and everybody vibrates.

Text Messages: Both sound and vibration.

Email: Nothing. I get far too many emails to be bothered with an audio or vibration alert, although I'm not yet at 1000 emails a day.

Ok, your turn. How are you notified of phone calls, text messages and emails?

Discuss "My Phone Notification Settings - What Are Yours?" (8 comments so far)


The Car Stereo I Wanted Then, The One I Want Now and The One I Have

car stereoThe graphic below has been floating around. It's totally accurate. Here's the car stereo I wanted 10 years ago and the one I want now.

car-stereo

And here's the car stereo I actually have today. Please suppress your laughter.

2012-05-14 22.08.25.jpg

The CD player hasn't worked since 2006... My kingdom for an Aux-in!

Discuss "The Car Stereo I Wanted Then, The One I Want Now and The One I Have" (8 comments so far)


2012 Playoff Pool Update

Playoff PoolI meant to post this following round 2, but here it is with round 3 already underway

The Lamster Line will remain in tact as my Palma Pasta buddy tied it with 22. But who of the 14 poolies will be taking home cold hard cash? There are three with a shot at winning, and each is relying on a different team.

Bob could win with his Kings. Bob's an awesome guy and I'm sure he'll tip the Commish if he wins.

Pats could win with his Coyotes. Pats is a better guy than he is a right fielder, but he won in 2009 and I doubt he'll tip the Commish if he wins.

My brother Steve could win with his Rangers. Although Steve won last year and there's no way he'll tip the Commish if he wins.

It's going to be a fun finish.

For the current standings go here.

Discuss "2012 Playoff Pool Update" (3 comments so far)


Open Mike (Better Than The Avengers!)

Open Mike (Better Than The Avengers!)I haven't seen The Avengers yet, but I'll bet you have. I hear it's pretty good, but it can't possibly be as good as this Open Mike.

It was a quieter week in the city. Our mayor didn't mug a single reporter, the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs is winding down and men all across the GTA are wondering what to get their mothers for Mother's Day. You're welcome for the reminder.

Print

Discuss anything you want. And if you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer them.

Discuss "Open Mike (Better Than The Avengers!)" (67 comments so far)


The First Embedded YouTube Video

The First Embedded YouTube VideoYouTube videos have been embedded in blogs since the dawn of time. Actually, that's not true. YouTube didn't exist until 2005.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to find out when I embedded a YouTube video on this blog for the first time. It was February 4, 2006 when I shared Brokeback to the Future.

Less than a year later, YouTube was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion. Coincidence? I think not.

Discuss "The First Embedded YouTube Video" (5 comments so far)


Making a Big Deal Out Of Things We Shouldn't Be Making a Big Deal Out Of

clink on gay marriagePresident Barack Obama has endorsed the right of same-sex couples to marry. I was happy to hear it, it's the right thing, but it's time we stop making a big deal out of things we shouldn't be making a deal out of.

I borrow that sentiment from Clint Eastwood, who says it better than I ever could.

clint

Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want...

Discuss "Making a Big Deal Out Of Things We Shouldn't Be Making a Big Deal Out Of " (56 comments so far)


Vidal Sassoon, Dead at 84

In MemoriumVidal Sassoon was 84. He was a widely recognized British hairdresser, credited with creating a simple geometric, "Bauhaus-inspired" hair style, also called the bob.

I only know his name because of ads like this and couldn't be escaped in the 80s.


Discuss "Vidal Sassoon, Dead at 84" (3 comments so far)


The New World Capital for Homos, Draft Dodgers and Degenerates

The New World Capitol for Homos, Draft Dodgers and DegeneratesThe Canadian Design Resource is sharing this warning about Toronto. They don't know the original source, so if you do, please let us know in the comments.

toronto-homos

I can dig it.

Discuss "The New World Capital for Homos, Draft Dodgers and Degenerates" (9 comments so far)


New Angle of Tank Man at Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989

New Angle of Tankman at Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989Someone posted this picture on Reddit and I was blown away when I saw it. It was taken June 5, 1989 in Beijing, China.

tankman

That of course is Tank Man, he of the iconic photo below.

tankman2

I've always just known this second photo. I didn't realize there were other angles and additional footage, like this:

Nobody knows what happened to Tank Man. What's tragic is that youth in China aren't aware of Tank Man and many have never seen these images as they're censored by the Communist Party of China.

Here's hoping the very courageous Tank Man escaped the CPC and went into hiding where he remains safe to this day.

Discuss "New Angle of Tank Man at Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989" (6 comments so far)


The Star Naming Scam

Star Naming ScamI helped an old friend with her new site. It's called My Toronto Scoop and she posts all sort of deals in the GTA. Check it out, won't you?

I saw she recently posted a promotion from one of those star naming companies. Basically, you adopt a star and give it any name you want. It sounds like a pretty cool gift, doesn't it?

The thing is, it's a scam. You can't buy star naming rights.

As an international scientific organization, the IAU dissociates itself entirely from the commercial practice of "selling" fictitious star names or "real estate" on other planets or moons in the Solar System. Accordingly, the IAU maintains no list of the (several competing) enterprises in this business in individual countries of the world.  Readers wanting to contact such enterprises despite the explanations given below should search commercial directories in their country of origin.

Go ahead and name that star, but don't give these companies a penny. Your certificate won't be worth the paper it's printed on.

Discuss "The Star Naming Scam" (2 comments so far)


Maurice Sendak, Dead at 83

In MemoriumMaurice Sendak was 83. He was the children's book author and illustrator who saw the sometimes-dark side of childhood in books like "Where the Wild Things Are" and "In the Night Kitchen."

wildthings

Discuss "Maurice Sendak, Dead at 83" (1 comment so far)


Still Rocking the WWWD With Pride

wwwdI still love my WWWD t-shirt. I bought it from puckinghilarious.com over two years ago and it remains my go-to tee when I need an extra dose of intensity.

WWWD, of course, stands for What Would Wendel Do. Here I am wearing it yesterday at High Park.

2012-05-06 15.58.37

Pic courtesy of my daughter, the budding photographer.

Discuss "Still Rocking the WWWD With Pride" (3 comments so far)


Beastie Boys on Chappelle's Show (Unaired)

Beastie Boys on Chappelle's Show (Unaired)I've been listening to a lot of Beastie Boys since learning about Adam Yauch's passing. I've also been watching footage of the Beasties, but my favourite clip so far is this unaired performance for Dave Chappelle's show.

This was filmed for the 3rd season of Chappelle's Show which never happened. Instead of recording a 3rd season, Chappelle took off for South Africa, but not before dropping this gem on his audience.

You know why my show is good? Because the network officials say you're not smart enough to get what I'm doing, and every day I fight for you. I tell them how smart you are. Turns out, I was wrong. You people are stupid.

Discuss "Beastie Boys on Chappelle's Show (Unaired)" (5 comments so far)


The Effect of Time on the Critical Reception of Music

PinkertonIt's amazing what time does for the critical reception of music.

Let's look at Weezer's second album for example. Pinkerton was released in 1996 and was initially panned by Rolling Stone magazine. Furthermore, the readers of the magazine named the album the third worst of 1996.

pinkerton

Fast forward to 2002 when Rolling Stone readers voted it as the 16th greatest album of all-time. In a span of six short years that's quite the 180° turn.

Personally, I quite enjoyed Pinkerton right off the bat, but today I'm more likely to spin The Blue Album. One things for certain, both albums are light years better than the crap Weezer is releasing these days.

Discuss "The Effect of Time on the Critical Reception of Music" (1 comment so far)


George Lindsey, Dead at 83

In MemoriumGeorge Lindsey was 83. He spent nearly 30 years as the grinning Goober Pyle, Gomer's cousin, on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Hee Haw."


Discuss "George Lindsey, Dead at 83" (0 comments so far)


Burnt Toast Dr. Penfield

Burnt Toast Dr. PenfieldEvery time I smell burnt toast, I ask aloud "burnt toast, Dr. Penfield?

That's what happens when you see this ad a million times during your formative years.

Who else does this? There's no way I'm the only one...

Discuss "Burnt Toast Dr. Penfield" (8 comments so far)


Adam "MCA" Yauch, Dead at 47

In MemoriumAdam "MCA" Yauch was 47. He co-founded the Beastie Boys in 1979 with Mike D, Mix Master Mike, and Ad-Rock.

I'm a big Beastie Boys fan. Paul's Boutique and Check Your Head rank among my favourite albums of all time.

Adam Yauch was a practising Buddhist, and because of that, everything I learned about Tibet I learned from the Beastie Boys. But aside from that awareness, the Beastie Boys were one of my five bands. I've been playing the shit out of them since Licensed to Ill.

I'm gong to spin Check Your Head again... MCA will be missed.

So what's your name, Yauch? My name is MCA
I've been coming to where I am from the get go
Find that I can groove with the beat when I let go
So put your worries on hold
Get up and groove with the rhythm in your soul
And now I'd like to pass the mic
To my brother Ad-Rock c'mon and shine like a light

Discuss "Adam "MCA" Yauch, Dead at 47" (4 comments so far)


Star Wars Day Open Mike

starwarsMay the Fourth be with you. On this fine Star Wars Day, let's have some good, clean fun with an Open Mike.

starwarsday

Discuss anything you want. And if you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer questions.

Discuss "Star Wars Day Open Mike" (23 comments so far)


Urinal Dividers

Urinal DividersAt my former place of employment, I worked on the 10th floor. The men's bathroom had urinal dividers between the urinals. It felt nice and private when taking a leak beside a colleague.

At some point, I was moved to the 9th floor. It was nicer on the 9th floor, and even the bathroom was more modern and sleek, but there were no urinal dividers. Even if you stared straight ahead, you saw more of your colleagues than you ever wanted to.

I remember my pal Eric telling me it was very European, but on my recent trip to Germany, every public washroom I visited had urinal dividers. It seems they've evolved overseas.

urinal-dividers

What do you think? Is it time we have urinal dividers in every washroom?

Discuss "Urinal Dividers" (22 comments so far)


Why Rob Ford vs. Daniel Dale Annoys Me

Rob Ford vs. Daniel DaleI've had a few emails asking me when I'm going to write about the incident at Rob Ford's house yesterday evening. Here's Daniel Dale's account of what happened, if you're a bit behind.

The fact is, I don't want to write about this. This story annoys the shit out of me. Rob Ford is such an alienating figure in this city, that everybody either loves him or hates him. Depending upon which side of the fence you're on (no pun intended), this story simply reinforces your aforementioned decision.

Take my pal Freddie P, for example. He's the biggest Rob Ford apologist I know. Of course he sees this as the Toronto Star threatening the Mayor's security late at night. It doesn't matter that:

  1. It was still bright outside
  2. Dale was on public property the entire time
  3. Dale clearly stated who he was and why he was there
  4. Earlier in the day a significant story broke about Ford using his influence to buy public land

All of that is irrelevant, because Rob Ford is defending his family. Those who love Rob Ford, love him even more because of stories like this. His fan base eats this shit up.

And if you don't like Rob Ford, this is yet another example of how ridiculous he has become. Rob Ford's first account of a controversy has never been accurate. Now, whether it's Marg Delahunty or Daniel Dale, Rob Ford's in danger. The most legitimate threat reported from Ford's house since he became mayor was his sister's ex-boyfriend who entered though the front door.

Another day, another silly controversy involving our mayor, and everybody will use the incident as further proof of how horrible / awesome Ford is. That's why the story annoys me and that's why I refuse to write about it.

Discuss "Why Rob Ford vs. Daniel Dale Annoys Me" (90 comments so far)


Junior Seau, Dead at 43

In MemoriumJunior Seau was 43. He was a 12-time Pro Bowler and 6-time First-Team All-Pro NFL linebacker, enjoying his best seasons with the San Diego Chargers.

seau

Early reports indicate Junior Seau died from a self-inflicted gunshot. That's a damn shame, he was one of my favourites.

Update:

Junior Seau is the 8th member of the 1994 Chargers team that made the Super Bowl to have passed away. Here are the 8 along with the causes of their deaths:

  • Junior Seau - suicide
  • Lew Bush - heart attack
  • Rodney Culver - plane crash
  • Dave Griggs - car accident
  • Doug Miller - stuck by lightning
  • Shawn Lee - heart attack
  • Chris Mims - enlarged heart
  • Curtis Whitley - drug overdose

Discuss "Junior Seau, Dead at 43" (4 comments so far)


The Leafs Official Twitter Feed and What It Could Learn From the Kings

The Leafs Official Twitter Feed and What It Could Learn From the KingsThe Maple Leafs' official Twitter feed isn't bad. It's informative and engaged, and it says "cheers" a lot. It practically has a personality...

But then there's the Los Angeles Kings' official Twitter feed. Now it has personality, and even likes to trash talk.

Here's their infamous taunting of Canucks fans following their win in round one.

lakings

And this one is fresh...

lak

If we ever have a reason to be so brash, I'm hoping the Leafs' Twitter account takes a cue from the Kings and becomes as fun. If you can't lighten up on Twitter, what's the point of being there?

Discuss "The Leafs Official Twitter Feed and What It Could Learn From the Kings" (6 comments so far)


May Day!

may dayToday is May Day, which is a holiday in a whole bunch of places for a wide variety of different reasons.

When I hear it's May Day, I only think of one thing. Brad May's deke of Ray Bourque and goal against Andy Moog on April 24, 1993 in overtime to clinch the Adams Division Semifinal series for the Sabres.


Discuss "May Day!" (3 comments so far)


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