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Monty Hall, Dead at 96

Monty HallMonty Hall was 96. He was the game show host best known for co-creating hosting Let's Make a Deal.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Hugh Hefner, Dead at 91

Hugh HefnerHugh Hefner was 91. He was the editor-in-chief and publisher of Playboy magazine, which he founded in 1953.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 269: Stephen Brunt

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 269In this 269th episode, Mike chats with sports journalist Stephen Brunt about his years at the Globe & Mail, his video essay for the 2010 Olympics, his fallout with Bob McCown, his work with Jeff Blair and much, much more. This episode is exactly 2:14:40.

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Investment Culture of Australia

Everyone that takes a quick look at the investment culture in Australia can observe that there are a few things that are not working quite right. For example, there are a lot of Australians that would rather gamble on a sporting event instead of using the same amount of money to invest and get a long-term return from them. And what might seem like a small issue, can rapidly turn into a big problem since Australians prefer short-term investments with big risks rather than a longer-term investment with a lower grade of risk.

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-calculator-near-ballpoint-pen-on-white-printed-paper-53621/

Where does the issue come from?

If you take some time speaking with local investors, either in the start-up scene or not, it will become clear that there is a strong desire to invest but, in most cases, the environment is confusing and hostile for newcomers. And while nobody can really explain why Australian are limited when it comes to investing, there are a few things done to change this situation.

What can be done to change things?

Well, first of all, in order to make investing more attractive, you have to start by trying to reduce the risk or, at least, present the situation in such a manner that investing becomes a good idea over other short-term risks like gambling with Unibet Casino free spins, for example. And it’s the government’s job to make investment more attractive by lowering taxes and creating a healthy environment where investors can feel free to take more risks. Unfortunately, the bureaucracy and lengthy applications are keeping people away for now. There is a strong need for implementing easy-access and incentives like a VAT return or tax-back practices that act as a plan B or safety net for investors. Not unlike uk income tax bands.

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/airport-bank-board-business-534216/

Education is everything

For people to be more open to investing, you need to make them understand the assets, classes and what happens during the investment process. In other words, if the population does not understand the whole process, they won’t be interested in investing. Education and raising awareness through extra-hours of entrepreneurial guidance can drastically change things.  You need to know how to attract fresh blood into the system by engaging in the market and inviting individuals to learn about the whole phenomenon through events, meeting and complex programs.

Start-ups and the investment issue

In the end, it may be reduced to better support for start-ups that can increase the chance of success. For this, you need a matrix that will help communication and connection between the right people. Either if we’re talking about mentors, advisers or specialists in the domain, you need to keep these people inter-connected. Through this, the access to influential people and capital can be encouraged and start-ups can have better chances for success.

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/sydney-australia-161878/

The bottom line is that, right now, Australia produces a very small number of start-up exports and investments in companies or ideas compared to other nations that, perhaps, don’t have the same economic environment. Even so, with some tweaks in policy, better education and support structures for investors, Australia can put that massive potential into practice and become a great market.   

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Joey Bats: An Appreciation

When the Blue Jays acquired Jose Bautista from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008, I knew nothing about him. I remember thinking his last name reminded me of former Blue Jay shortstop Tony Batista who had a silly batting stance but plenty of power. In 2008, Bautista got into 21 games for the Jays, hitting three home runs.

Six Blue Jays hit more home runs than 28-year old Bautista in 2009: Hill, Lind, Barajas, Overbay, Wells and Rios. That's right, catcher Rod Barajas out slugged Joey Bats back in 2009. None of us saw 2010 coming.

To be honest, I initially resented Bautista. I grew up loving George Bell and took some comfort that he still held the franchise record for home runs in a season. Not even Carlos Delgado ever hit 47 homers in a season for the Jays, but here was Bautista, seemingly coming out of nowhere to set the new standard. Bautista's 2010 season was exceptional, but his 2011 season was even better.

Take a look at Bautista's numbers in 2010 and 2011. No Blue Jays batter has put together back-to-back seasons as stellar as these. He was the best player in baseball.

joeybats

Bautista would put up four more fantastic seasons, culminating in 2015's bat flip in that seventh inning of the ALDS against the Rangers. I can't tell you how many times I've re-watched this 7th inning and every time my heart flips with Joey's bat. It's the greatest Blue Jays moment since Joe touched 'em all in '93 and we'll have it forever.

batflip

I'm going to miss watching Joey Bats suit up for my Jays. He's the best Blue Jay of the past decade and, in my humble opinion, one of the five greatest Blue Jays of all-time.

Thank you, Jose.

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Autumn is the New Summer

weather

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 268: Jackie Perez Kicks Out the Jams!

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 268In this 268th episode, Mike and Jackie Perez play and discuss her ten favourite songs. This episode is exactly 1:37:01.

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Jake LaMotta, Dead at 95

Jake LaMottaJake LaMotta was 95. He was the professional boxer known as The Raging Bull who was World Middleweight Champion in 1949 after defeating Marcel Cerdan.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 267: Tim Thompson Kicks Out the Jams!

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 267In this 267th episode, Mike and Tim "Boundless" Thompson play and discuss his ten favourite songs. This episode is exactly 1:49:21.

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Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Dead at 73

Bobby Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was 73. He was the professional wrestling manager, wrestler and colour commentator I knew best from his years in the WWF. Young Mike watched many a match called by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.

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The Ongoing History of All Jams Kicked Out

We've had 13 jam kickers thus far in the Kick Out the Jams! episodes of Toronto Mike'd. You'll find all 13 (and counting) right here.

Listener Tyler Campbell has meticulously documented every jam kicked out and recorded this detail in a shared spreadsheet. Click here to open the KOTJ spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

It's not just which jams have been kicked out by whom, but the frequency in which each artist pops up. The Beatles, for example, have been kicked out seven times, and unbelievably, it's seven different songs.

Knowing the jams before you listen is an obvious spoiler, so I've asked Tyler to wait a week before updating the spreadsheet. Now if you're up to date and have already heard Mike Stafford's jams, click through!

Thanks, Tyler! I owe you a six-pack of Great Lakes Beer.

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Thank You!

This morning's Terry Fox Run at High Park was amazing. I've been participating every year for over a decade now, and I don't remember a morning as warm as this one. Some years I'm wearing my Terry Fox tee shirt over a sweater but this year it was hot when the run began at 9am.

I want to thank every single person who pledged my run. Together we raised $737.

Terry Fox Run 2017

My 2017 Terry Fox Run heroes are:

  • Thomas E.
  • Faunie H.
  • Steve Y
  • Javed Jafri
  • Brian Gerstein
  • Shawn G.
  • Steve L.
  • Stephen B.
  • Troy
  • Cheryl
  • Rick C in Oakville
  • Blind Dave.
  • Dale
  • Paula A.
  • Eric M.
  • Maarten H.
  • Miriam. D
  • Broni
  • markosaar
  • Pete Fowler

I rode with the two older kids to High Park and had to stop and take a picture. It really was a perfect day.

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Rankings & Stats vs. The Money: A Comparative Analysis of the Atlantic Division

Let's look at the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference and try to come up with a few season predictions for the Toronto Raptors based on early 2017-18 Power-Rankings, statistics, and of course, the betting odds set by Las Vegas and offshore sportsbooks; it would be unwise to make any assessments without considering and following the money.

Upon analyzing the Atlantic, the first thing I noticed is that it is one of the weaker divisions in the NBA this year. It's a two-horse race between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors.

Power-Rankins and Probabilities in Atlantic  
1. Boston #6 in NBA with 51 predicted wins, 91.8% Chance of making the playoffs and 56% chance of winning the division.
2. Toronto #10 in NBA with 47 predicted wins, 84,4% chance of making the playoffs and 34.2% chance of winning the division.
3. Sixers #18 in NBA with 37 predicted wins, 45.9% chance of making the playoffs and 7.3% chance of winning the division.
4. Knicks #25 in NBA with 29 predicted wins, 18.7% chance of making the playoffs and 1.5% chance of winning the division.
5. Nets #29 in NBA with 27 predicted wins, 10.1% chance of making the playoffs and 0.4% chance of winning the division.

Even before getting any deeper, things are already looking pretty good for the Celtics and Raptors franchises and their 2017-18 campaigns. Mathematically speaking, with the top-8 from each conference getting a playoff berth, it's looking like it would take some seriously disappointing extenuating circumstances to keep the Boston and Toronto out of the playoffs ... and at a relatively good seed as well; one or two-seed for the Celtics and three or four-seed for the Raps.

When we compare this to numbers found in Vegas and offshore, everything seems to line right up with our previously stated rankings: The Celtics are hovering around -400 win the Atlantic followed by the Raps at +550, the Sixers at +750, the Knicks at +5,000 and the Nets way, way back at +10,000. Before placing action on games or season futures, review bookmaker for odds.

Follow the Money!
Digging deeper, we find more and more congruency: The Celtics have been lined out at a healthy 53.5 regular season wins. This is two games better than my favorite ranking system's number. The Raptors are lined out at 47.5 regular season wins ... which is right on the button. The 76ers are at 38.5 regular season wins, just a win more of love from the strip. The Kicks at 30.5 regular season wins is also getting one game more of love. And finally, the Nets are lined out at 26.5 regular season wins, which is just a half game of shade.  

The line for the Raptors to go OVER 47.5 (meaning win 48 games or more) is juiced up to -130, which means the Raptors are favored to break that season wins number by about twenty cents on the dollar. On the other hand, the Celtics at 53.5 is at -110/-110, which lets me know that they really feel confident that the Celtics win exactly 53 or 54 games.

By comparing team rankings and statistical probabilities against the Money, we are able to decipher with astonishing accuracy, seasonal NBA outcomes without even having to spend the extra time breaking down players and scheduled matchups --the statisticians in Vegas already did that work for us!

My 2017-18 Predictions for the Raptors:
49 wins and a #4 seeded playoff berth

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Scouting out Toronto Raptors bets

With the Toronto Maple Leafs already looking like a top-tier NHL team, their Air Canada Centre roommates, the Toronto Raptors, have their work cut out for them if they want to once again be the toast of TO come spring. Are they up to the task?

Logic dictates that the Raptors should once again be a competitive force in the Eastern Conference. Despite losing some useful rotation players, the team retained its two biggest free agents in Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. There has been an organizational focus this offseason on modernizing an offense that has routinely fallen short against top teams, and the tweaks appear to be paying some immediate dividends in the preseason. Barring injury woes, there is no reason Toronto shouldn't win somewhere between 45 and 55 games.

The question is whether or not that will be enough to set it up for success in the playoffs. 188BET is giving Toronto 26.0 odds to win the East, which is good for fifth-lowest in the conference behind the Cavaliers (1.60), Celtics (2.50), Wizards (15.0), and Bucks (21.0). Clearly the betting world has lost some faith in the Raptors, who were downgraded despite finishing ahead of Washington in the standings last April, knocking out the Bucks from the playoffs in May, and maintaining continuity while Boston totally revamped its roster over the summer.

Those things matter. If you're going to dismiss the Raptors for being a known commodity, do so at your own peril. They've got a pair of All-Stars and a mob of scrappy youngsters who are ready to go out and prove you wrong.

Even their perceived ceiling is flimsier than it's ever been. The Cleveland Cavaliers have long been viewed as an impenetrable road block to the NBA Finals, but after trading away Kyrie Irving for an injured replacement, LeBron's squad has its own set of questions to answer before it can be pencilled in for a conference victory. If you believe the hegemonic Cavs are going to take a step back, then Toronto is as good a bet as anyone to usurp them. Its longshot odds only sweeten the deal.

Winning the conference, however, is just one of many bets involving the Raptors for the 2017-18 season. Glance over the MVP contender odds at 188BET and you'll find the Toronto backcourt lurking in the fray. Neither DeMar DeRozan (67.0) or Kyle Lowry (81.0) is a favourite to go home with the hardware that Russell Westbrook claimed last season, but it's not impossible to imagine a scenario in which one—or both—of them catapults into that conversation.

Sure, it would probably require a key injury or two—perhaps even to one of DeRozan or Lowry themselves—for that to materialize. The NBA is arguably more loaded than it’s ever been, and superstars like LeBron James (5.40) and Kawhi Leonard (5.50) are set to shoulder a greater load this year than at any time in the recent past for their teams—meaning that they will also receive heaps of credit should things go well. Still, there's no reason why DeRozan or Lowry can't leapfrog players like the defensively unproven Karl-Anthony Towns (41.0), the injury-riddled Blake Griffin (51.0) and Joel Embiid (41.0), the aging Chris Paul (41.0), or the suddenly star-clustered Paul George (41.0) and Jimmy Butler (51.0).

It's hard to pick either of Toronto's All-Stars as being a more likely MVP candidate than the other. DeRozan outshone Lowry last season, but only because the latter missed significant time and the former went on a torrid scoring streak to start the season, which appeared to be fueled—at least in part—by an egregiously low Sports Illustrated player ranking that isn't as egregious this time around. Lowry will be well-rested after the offseason and hungry to prove himself once again, but if all the three-point practice DeRozan has been doing can translate to the court, then watch out—he'll be the Raptor that MVP voters think of first.

The most intriguing Raptors bet of all might be OG Anunoby in the Rookie of the Year (ROY) race. Ranked in the bottom tier of candidates, the small forward from Indiana is the ultimate low risk-high reward bet. His 101.0 odds would trigger an astronomically huge payout if he does manage to break through and claim the prestigious award.

Part of the rationale for Anunoby's low ranking can be chalked up to injury. He was hurt towards the end of last season and was expected to miss significant time before making his Raptors debut. However, Anunoby has greatly accelerated that timeline, seeing his first minutes of NBA action in Toronto's preseason matchup with Detroit. More importantly, he looked pretty good.

Against the Pistons, Anunoby made a strong impression in limited time. He dished some nifty assists and showed some skill off the dribble. Once he starts playing at full speed again, the three-point shooting and defensive prowess he was known for in college should start reappearing. These are valuable abilities in the NBA—and Dwane Casey knows it. The seventh-year Raptors coach also knows that Anunoby was undervalued in the draft because of his injury, calling the kid "a top-10 pick" despite being selected at No. 23.

All of those things add up to Anunoby having the potential for a ROY campaign like the one we saw from Malcolm Brogdon last year. The versatile Bucks guard defied the odds and became the first second-round pick to ever win the award by serving as a steady contributor for a winning team. That's the model Anunoby would have to follow as well, since he won't be a star right away on a loaded squad like the Raptors. But with Toronto's starting small forward spot up for grabs, there's a universe in which Casey starts a healthy Anunoby to complement the stars, and unleashes Norman Powell and CJ Miles to feast on opposing bench units. Starting for the Raptors would give Anunoby the exposure he needs to actually put together a legit case.

The problem with counting on Anunoby to follow the Brogdon model in this year's race is that there appears to be far more competitive field than there was a year prior. The 2016-17 crop was fluky in the sense that most of the top talent was either injured, unusually raw, or bland. Frontrunners Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid missed either all or most of the season; Brandon Ingram, Dragan Bender, Kris Dunn, and Denzel Valentine weren't polished enough to make the meaningful NBA impact that their lottery pick status warranted; and Jaylen Brown, Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray, Thon Maker, Taurean Prince, and Pascal Siakam were solid but unspectacular. This year's class already has a ton of justified buzz around it. Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, Dennis Smith Jr., Donovan Mitchell, and Kyle Kuzma dazzled in Summer League; Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, and Malik Monk have the tools to be truly special; and De'Aaron Fox, Jonathan Isaac, Lauri Markkanen, and John Collins will get starring roles and gaudy stat opportunities on bad teams. Oh, and Simmons is eligible too. This could be one of the best rookie classes in years.

Anunoby clearly has a tough road to the top. Still, the payout with him could certainly be worth a small wager. At the very least, it will be another reason to root for a player and team that are chalk full of potential. Go Raps go!

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Harry Dean Stanton, Dead at 91

Harry Dean StantonHarry Dean Stanton was 91. He was the actor best known for his roles in “Paris, Texas,” “Twin Peaks,” “Big Love,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Repo Man.”

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New Toronto Waterfront Driftwood Art: A Giant Known as El Corazón

Toronto artists Julie Ryan and Thelia Sanders-Shelton are set to unveil their latest Waterfront driftwood installation. It's a giant that will soon have a heart. The heart is scheduled to be installed during the grand opening on Tuesday morning.

I spoke with one of the artists today and was told this giant has a name. He's El Corazón, which is "The Heart" in Spanish.

Here's a pic I took earlier today. I'll return to snap a picture of El Corazón with his heart in place.

El Corazón

If you'd like to see pictures I've taken of their Toronto sign, here's a daytime shot and here's a shot I took at sunrise to commemorate my daughter's 13th birthday.

If you'd like to visit these awesome art installations yourself, here's where you go:

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 266: 12:36

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 266In this 266th episode, Mike chats with Marc Weisblott of 12:36 about the current state of the media in Canada. This episode is exactly 2:04:23.

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Frank Vincent, Dead at 80

Frank VincentFrank Vincent was 80. He was an actor who appeared in several of my very favourite movies and television shows, including Raging Bull, Do the Right Thing, Goodfellas, Casino and The Sopranos.

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Should the Kick Out the Jams Episodes be a Standalone Podcast?

I have a question for the hivemind. If you're a subscriber of Toronto Mike'd, I need you to chime in with your opinion.

There are now 13 Kick Out the Jams! episodes of my podcast. Right now, they're part of Toronto Mike'd. If you're subscribed to Toronto Mike'd, you get these episodes along with the deep dives and 12:36 and Elvis recaps.

Should these Kick Out the Jams! episodes remain a part of Toronto Mike'd or should they spin off into their own standalone podcast?

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 265: Mike Stafford Kicks Out the Jams!

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 265In this 265th episode, Mike and Mike Stafford play and discuss his ten favourite songs. This episode is exactly 1:13:53.

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Daily Photo: Lowest of the Low at the Danforth Music Hall

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Nope

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 264: Lowest of the Low Kick Out the Jams!

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 264In this 264th episode, Mike and Lowest of the Low play and discuss their ten favourite songs. Lowest of the Low also perform live and we hear an unreleased re-recorded version of Rosy and Grey. This episode is exactly 1:27:36.

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Nine Movie Reboots Nobody Wants

Nothing makes the average moviegoer angrier than the phrase ‘reboot.’ Remaking classic films for a new audience is one of the easiest ways to divide fans between “let’s give it a chance,” and “let’s make sure we destroy every copy.” In reality, there are only really two possible reasons why a movie should be rebooted: 1) The original failed to deliver on what was a good idea 2) There are more stories to tell that the original omitted.

These rules tend to get ignored, with movie companies instead electing to reboot franchises that don’t need it and remaking movies which already hit the spot.

Jumanji
Remember the 1995 version of Jumanji? Of course you do, it was terrific. Robin Williams gets trapped in a board game for a quarter of a century before a young Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce come to save the day. It was wonderful and one of the most memorable performances of Williams’ career.

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Now, the movie remake is set for release later this year with a star-studded cast set to be trapped inside of a video game instead. ‘Kids these days only play video games,’ was probably the thinking behind it but the movie executives probably aren’t aware of the fact that board game sales have never been higher.

The Birds
If 2009’s The Lodger, 2007’s Disturbia and 1998’s Psycho are anything to go by, it’s clear that remakes of Alfred Hitchcock films are great and everyone should definitely do them. Not really, of course, but that doesn’t seem to matter anymore. 1963 horror classic, The Birds is set for a remake as a BBC television series with producer David Heyman at the helm.

Hellboy

Everyone’s favourite giant red-horned Nazi demon enjoyed mainstream success with the 2004 movie, Hellboy. Director Guillermo del Toro and star Ron Pearlman achieved similar success in the 2008 sequel and plans for a third outing were constantly teased but they never materialised.
Despite the second film being released nearly ten years ago, it’s clear that the people still want more Hellboy. Big Red is the featured on t-shirts, Pop Vinyls, he even has an online slots games full of comic book graphics and an edgy soundtrack,. Earlier this year it was announced that the franchise would be rebooted with a new director and star. We want more Hellboy but not like this. Not like this at all.

Memento
This film does need to be remade for so many reasons. Memento is the story of a man searching for the person who killed his wife, while suffering from severe short-term memory loss. It was director Christopher Nolan’s second feature length and the movie which really kick-started his career.

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It was about as good as it could have been and was released just 17 years ago but it is still in line for a reboot. Who even still owns a Polaroid camera?

Battle Royale
Battle Royale is the story of a class of Japanese ninth-graders who are forced by their government to fight to the death. It’s bloody, brutal and did exactly what it wanted to do. It’s the latest in a long line of great foreign films to be getting a remake for a ‘Western audience.’
It’s doubtful whether a remake could either capture the tone of the original or be anywhere near as gruesome with Hollywood’s strict rules on classification. If Western audiences want a gory film where a group of ninth-graders kill each other they should just watch Battle Royale (2000).

Scarface
I mean, come on. Why on earth would anyone think a remake of Scarface would be a good idea? Why stop there? Let’s remake Goodfellas with Channing Tatum or Godfather Part II with Owen Wilson as a young Vito Corleone. The original is a classic. Be inspired by it when you commission new ideas. With a slot already in IMDB, it is inevitable that a remake is on its way.

Police Academy
Yes, because the world needs more Police Academy movies. The seventh instalment in the series recouped a little over 1% of its budget at the box office which only means one thing: time for a reboot.
The story of a ragtag group of oddities applying for jobs in the police force has kind of been done to death right now and in this world where trust in the police is lower than it’s been in decades, maybe now isn’t the right time.

The Naked Gun
Again, what is the point? The Naked Gun was the story of a bumbling police detective, Frank Drebin attempting to foil an attempted assassination on Queen Elizabeth II. It may not be quite as good as Leslie Nielsen’s other cult comedy classic, Airplane, but it still produces laughs thirty years on.

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Ed Helms was due to play the lead in both this and the remake of another comedy classic, Vacation. The 2015 remake of the latter was poorly received and as a result, plans for the former were somewhat shelved. Maybe Hollywood has learnt its lesson or much more likely, this list of unwanted remakes will be getting its own reboot in a few years.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 263: Splash'N Boots

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 263In this 263rd episode, Mike chats with Splash'N Boots about the big yellow boot and so much more. This episode is exactly 1:19:23.

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Why You Should Avoid Playing with OLG

Gambling in Canada is not only becoming more and more popular, it is also becoming better and better. The fact of the matter is that in less than a decade the online gambling industry, particularly in Canada, has exploded. This is not only because of the massive advances in online gaming technology as well as mobile gaming technology, it is also because Canada’s status as a top online gambling mecca has increased tremendously.

In order to cash in on this incredible trend of online gambling in Canada, certain provincial gambling options have emerged over the past few years. The idea behind these local websites is to offer Canadians a viable alternative to the influx of international online casino brands.

There are several so-named lottery corporations, each serving a different region or group of provinces in Canada. This includes BCLC (British Columbia Lottery Corporation), WCLC (Western Canada Lottery Corporation), ALC (Atlantic Lottery Corporation) and OLG or Ontario Lottery Corporation. The question is though, are they any good and should you be gambling with them?

OLG and Playolg.ca – What are they?
If you live anywhere in Ontario, there’s a more than good chance that you’ve heard of OLG. In fact, you may have already played games with OLG and not even realised it. This is because the main purpose of OLG is to sell lottery tickets to people living in Ontario. In this regard, everything is A-Okay and hunky dory since the lottery side of the brand goes back a couple of decades.

However, when they introduced their eGaming side of the operation, intended to offer an alternative to Ontarians who wanted to gamble online, that things became a bit fuzzy. PlayOLG.ca is designed to operate like an online casino and offers a range of casino games including slots, table games, single play poker, scratch cards, and so on. Basically all the things (more or less) that you would find at an international online casino. PlayOlg.ca also further expanded to compete with international sportsbooks by offering a type of online sports betting facility called Pro-Line.

How Pro-Line from OLG Works
Pro-Line goes all the way back to 1992 when it was offered in kiosks by OLG as well as by ALC under the Pro-Line Stadium brand. Both Pro-Line and Pro-Line Stadium work on a parlay ticket, which means that you need to place several bets on the same ticket and have all those bets right to win. Players can select anywhere from two to eight games per parlay ticket with three betting options on offer: points spread, moneyline or totals. You can also combine these different betting options on your parlay but not within the same game.

Why You Should be Shopping Around in Ontario
While Pro-Line, as well as OLG would like you to believe that sticking with them is your best bet to making real money with sports betting, the truth is somewhat different. The fact of the matter is that Pro-Line parlay bets are not true parlay bets.

This is mainly because Pro-Line only offers fixed odds betting, while top international sportsbooks will offer you much better odds and bigger payouts. This is because international (offshore) sports betting sites increase payouts based on the number of legs in your parlay ticket, while Pro-Line’s parlay tickets lean more towards giving Pro-Line (and OLG) a bigger advantage. Pro-Line also presents problems when it comes to a tie bet. While international sportsbooks will give you a realistic tie bet option, Pro-Line require a win margin of at least 6 points in basketball, or 4 points in football, with anything less considered a tie.

As far as online casinos go, the OLG casino has some of the main detractors as Pro-Lin. The biggest of which is that the return to player (RTP), or amount of winnings an online casino gives back to the player for every dollar bet, is much lower at the OLG online casino.  The same slots you could be playing at an international online casino catered to Canadians probably has a better RTP than OLG. What does this mean, well it basically means you have a better chance of winning and actually taking home money. Don’t believe me? Check out authority online casino websites like TopOnlineCasinos.ca and they will tell you all about this stuff.

Not only do you not have as good a chance of winning but you also don’t get as many game choices and great welcome bonuses to play with. There are dozens of reputable online casinos out there that have dozens more software providers providing thousands of games and experiences. OLG online casino simply can’t compete with that. Bottom line is that you had best educate yourself on where to spend your hard earned money before blindly giving it up to good ol’ OLG.

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Relaxing online Games for the winter

Relaxing online games for the winter can really help people enjoy this relatively sleepy season. Some people feel compelled to do a lot of outdoor activities during the summer, the spring, and even the autumn. They might feel that it is something of a waste of the fairly nice weather to do anything that is actually going to keep them inside.

The business at the 7Sultans online casino is certainly great in the summer, spring, and autumn, so it is clearly not a universal belief that people should avoid indoor activities during these months. However, this is still a philosophy that is popular enough that a lot of companies are able to see their businesses skyrocket in terms of success the moment the first snowflakes start to fall.

Some people like to enjoy more relaxing activities in the winter in general because they more or less associate the winter with periods of rest. The winter is certainly an inherently restful season for a lot of animals. While human beings might not hibernate, people will still sometimes limit certain activities as the winter months start to get closer and closer.

People today are not going to consider winter quite as sleepy as people would in the past. After all, many people today do not live agricultural lifestyles, and this was more or less standard in even the recent past. However, some of that thinking is still ingrained in the culture at large. People are going to want to relax and rest in the winter, and it is even easier to do that in an age of online activities.

During certain points in American history, people would only have a couple of books for entertainment during the winter. This is certainly no longer the case today, and that can make all the difference in the world when it comes to how people approach winter. They will actually be able to have a lot of fun with the selection of winter activities. They are not going to have to just passively wait for spring to arrive again. Winter can be a time of new beginnings for people today, at least in its own way.

A lot of people now will find that certain companies are really thriving in an environment where people spend more time indoors, since people do spend more time indoors today than they did in the past. The Canadian online casino gaming industry has been particularly successful in the new world for a lot of reasons. This is partly due to the fact that Canada really does have very long and cold winters compared with a lot of areas.

People in Canada have to be able to make sure that they can keep themselves entertained for a long period of time. Online casino gaming is popular even in areas that have a lot of sun all year, demonstrating that the world seems to be moving indoors more often. However, in colder areas and in colder months, it's particularly nice to know that casino games are available.

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The Fan 590 Turns 25: Alumni Who Have Appeared on Toronto Mike'd

The Fan is 25 years old today. The first all-sports radio station in the country, it was a big deal when 1430 flipped. We had a World Series champion baseball team and an exciting Stanley Cup contender.

Many hosts and former hosts of The Fan 1430 / 590 have visited me to appear on my podcast. Here's a list for those interested in the history of the station. I suggest starting with Nelson Millman.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 262: Laura Diakun

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 262In this 262nd episode, Mike chats with Laura about her years at The Score and TSN and the incredible coincidence that brought them together. This episode is exactly 1:49:12.

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What's In a Name? Of SkyDome and the ACC

I was forced to read far too much Shakespeare in University. Not that it was bad, but it just felt too schooly, and I never liked that feeling. Of course, it's my fault for taking all those Shakespeare classes in the first place...

Billy S. gave Juliet this great line, and I think it applies nicely to Toronto sports venues.

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet

The SkyDome cost over half a billion dollars to build, and the city and province kicked in a large chunk of that change. As a result, it never felt right when Rogers picked it up for $25 million and then renamed it the Rogers Centre. SkyDome wasn't named after a corporate entity. As a result, I usually call it "the dome". People usually know exactly what I'm referring to.

The ACC, however, was named for a corporation from day one. You may have heard of Air Canada. Changing the name to Scotiabank Arena doesn't bother me in the least. I'm more concerned with what we laypeople will call it... I'm supporting "The Cashbox".

Corporately named sporting venues is the reality of the world we live in today. We watch soccer at BMO Field and watch the Marlies play at Ricoh Coliseum and practice at the MasterCard Centre. Don't get your knickers in a knot when they swap out one corporation for another. The highest bidder usually prevails.

But that SkyDome swap still stings... that one is different.

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My Week With the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe #ChevyDrive

When we took our monster road trip to the east coast last year, I was planning on driving a Chevy Tahoe. The Tahoe is very large, and with the six of us driving 5837.4 KM, I wanted the space. Instead, we took that trip in a Chevy Traverse, but I had a mental note to try out the Tahoe next summer.

That's exactly what I did last week. With the week off work, I planned a camping trip for me and my oldest and family trips to the aquarium, CNE and bowling alley. As advertised, the Tahoe is full-sized. Three rows of seats and 94.7 cu. ft. of cargo space.

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe Test Drive

When I parked my '99 Mazda Protege and hopped in the 2017 Chevy Tahoe, I not only had to adapt to the size difference, but the upgraded power. It's great fun zipping along in a 5.3L V8 and rather addictive. My kids also appreciated the 4G LTE Wi-Fi while I enjoyed the satellite radio.

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe Test Drive

Another feature I quickly took for granted and seriously missed when I returned to my Mazda was the in-windshield display. As you looked through the front windshield, you could see your current speed. It wasn't distracting or annoying but rather clever and convenient. Now that I have to take my eyes off the road to check my speed, I realize how much safer this was in the Tahoe.

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe Test Drive

In summary, if you're looking for a large SUV with power, the Tahoe fits the bill. It's one of several 3-row cars I'm test driving before I buy something that will fit my entire family of six. Here are previous such test drives:

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Daily Photo: GEEZ!!!

20170828_172342

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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