Need Some Cheering Up About The State Of The World Tonight? Don’t Read This.

Why, why, why do I read depressing things after sunset? From Vice, which at some point apparently assembled a collection of interesting writers (Greg Palast?!?!), comes this jolly confection:

Recent data seems to suggest that we may have already tripped several irrevocable, non-linear, positive feedback loops (melting of permafrost, methane hydrates, and arctic sea ice) that make an average global temperature increase of only 2°C by 2100 seem like a fairy tale. Instead, we’re talking 4°C, 6°C, 10°C, 16°C (????????) here. The link between rapid climate change and human extinction is basically this: the planet becomes uninhabitable by humans if the average temperature goes up by 4-6°C. It doesn’t sound like a lot because we’re used to the temperature changing 15°C overnight, but the thing that is not mentioned enough is that even a 2-3°C average increase would give us temperatures that regularly surpass 40°C (104°F) in North America and Europe, and soar even higher near the equator. Human bodies start to break down after six hours at a wet-bulb (100% humidity) temperature of 35°C (95°F). This makes the 2003 heat wave in Europe that killed over 70,000 people seem like not a very big deal. Factoring in the increase we’re already seeing in heat waves, droughts, wildfires, massive storms, food and water shortages, deforestation, ocean acidification, and sea level rise some are seeing the writing on the wall:

We’re all gonna die!

The article’s called “Some Credible Scientists Believe Humanity Is Verrrrrry Close To Destruction”. And this horrible, awful, terrifying piece reminded me of a couple of other stories I’ve read in the last few years.

Continue reading “Need Some Cheering Up About The State Of The World Tonight? Don’t Read This.”

I Have No Love For The Junos

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I made my way to the front of The Exchange Saturday night, eager to check out Saskatoon’s Shooting Guns, and settled in with the leather jackets and long hairs in front of the stage. My drying contact lenses itched and my beer was warming in my hand, but I felt that all-too-infrequent electrical excitement beginning to crackle in my body.

After the relentless bore of the Saturday night Juno Gala media room, I arrived tired from the string of industry-manufactured award winners filing in for questions, crystal trophies glittering heavily in hand. The beer was cut off early and the winners’ list handed out immediately, so if there was any zing to be had, it was quickly depleted. Also, my spiritual horse in the race Montreal’s epic Ratchet Orchestra, didn’t win for best Instrumental Album of the Year. I expected most of this, of course.

Continue reading “I Have No Love For The Junos”

National Gallery of Canada Handing Out Pink Slips

 

This just in (yesterday). According to a press release, the National Gallery of Canada is eliminating 29 positions due to a $2.5 million shortfall in its operating budget (translation: budget cuts). Among the staff to be let go are six librarians. Of course. Who needs librarians anymore, right? But fear not – seven new positions will be created to support the gallery’s “revenue generation and visitor engagement objectives.” It’s good to know your priorities.

Saskatoon Loves Happy Endings

Doomsday 2Merry Christmas from Saskatoon.  That’s what we say here in Saskatoon because, as our Mayor pointed out, Saskatoon was founded on Christianity.  That’s why our stores remain closed Sundays in recognition of the Sabbath and none of our restaurants serve meat on Fridays.

In light of the Mayans mind-boggling error in judgement, I have very little time to blog today.  I have a list of things to do before the weekend and I feel I should get started now because last minute Christmas shoppers are sure to swarm the streets.

1. Return power generator, ammunition and heirloom seeds.  I hope I can get refunds for all of this stuff.  If anybody wants to buy canned pork and  beans, I am sitting on a shitload!

2. Apologize. I was so sure about this one, and I may have been a bit assertive with friends and colleagues.  Telling people they’re nuts if they can’t “see the signs” is clearly a risky game.  I will say I am sorry and commit to  thinking logically from now on, even though accepting reality is likely to bum me out from time to time.

3. Get to the gym. Turning flabs into abs is back on.

4. Back out of the house sale. I guess I need the house after all. Hindsight suggests I shoulda built the bunker inside the house. Argh.

5. Beg for my job back. If currency is still currency, I would like to have some. Is the kiosk that buys gold still in the mall?

6. Christmas shop.  As a man, I require 90 minutes to complete this task.  I’ll need to get it done tomorrow since the stores in Saskatoon (as previously mentioned) are not open Sundays.

6 things to do, I have 6 things to do.  Gotta keep on top of my life . Got 6 things to do.  Farewell for now, and the best of all things to Reginans from the city with principles.

Keeping Up To Date On The End Of The World

Doomsday 2It’s before noon and Regina still stands, as best as I can tell. At least everything looks fine from my window.

The Guardian has had a live blog of apocalypse news going since they rolled over to December 21 for them. It’s worth going through.

One of the things they’ve posted is a video of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson debunking 2012 end of the world rumors. And a video of Neil deGrasse Tyson is always worth posting.

Pick of the Doomsday: Red Hot Riot

Doomsday 2Judging by the cavalcade of guest stars that will be putting in an appearance at this monthly variety show hosted by Jayden Pfeifer (that’s him in the blue tie below) it might well be subtitled the “Home for the Holidays” edition.

But seeing as the show also coincides with the whole Mayan End of the World calendar prediction thing the show’s theme is Away In A Mayan Apocalypse.

Red Hot Riot goes tonight at Artesian on 13th at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

It’s Midnight. So Far Nothing. So Far

Doomsday 2The clock has passed over to Dec. 21 in Saskatchewan. We’re okay here at the moment. No volcanoes, floods, aliens, lightning, earthquakes or giant, Regina-stomping kaiju. Though I guess they could be on city outskirts or emerging from Wascana lake even as I’m typing this. I’ll update this post if anything changes.

UPDATE 12:18 AM: I should probably explain the logo. As long-time Dog Blog readers might recall, back in spring 2011 the world was focussed on the doomsday prophecy of an old dude named Harold Camping. He’d got a lot of attention for his bible-based mathematical calculifications that indicated the world was going to end on May 21. Naturally, we live-blogged that “doomsday”. Designer Paul “awesome” Klassen even created a swank logo for it. Klassen updated his graphic for this apocalypse. Hope you like it. I mean, you better, because we probably don’t have long to live. After all, that last apocalypse was just about God (and if I understand this post by Rosie, Jesus and Macho Man Randy Savage were somehow involved). TODAY’S armageddon has Mayans. MAYANS, people! Much scarier.

It’s Doomsday In The Eastern Time Zone And I’ve Lost Contact With Ottawa And Montreal

Doomsday 2So it’s officially Dec. 21, 2012 in Ontario, or Mayan Doomsday. And I’m officially worried. Earlier today I was chatting with my friends Edwin and Kevin on Facebook — Kev lives in Ottawa and Ed in Montreal. I left a comment for them both a little while ago. And you know what? They haven’t answered. This could well mean a metaphorical tsunami of Mayan ruin is rushing towards Regina at this very moment.

Oh sure,that’s not the ONLY reason my friends might’ve not got back to me. Maybe they just went to bed. But I think you’ll agree it’s a compelling, if terrifying, explanation. It’s definitely consistent with the facts.

I’ll be up for a while yet, and I’ll keep you all posted on this.

Mars Dude Bombs Regina!

Some kind of reboot of The Avengers just arrived in comic stores and something terrible has happened. Perth, Australia and Regina — presumably this Regina — have been destroyed by awful villains. Oh no!

Prairie dog movie listings guy Shane Hnetka, who works at Comic Readers, alerted city authorities in an e-mail this morning:

I’ve always supported Jonathan Hickman. I push Manhattan Projects, The Nightly News, etc. like crazy. So I’m reading his big relaunch of The Avengers #1, minding my own business, enjoying the big-scale story about some sort of evil scientist alien messing with Mars and sending bombs to Earth, when Hickman casually kills all of us off. That’s right. Evil aliens have bombed Regina of all places. We don’t even get a meaning scene drawn in the comic, just a brief mention.

“The first two bombs hit Perth and Regina. That’s almost two million people,”  says Bruce Banner.

A quick Wikipedia search shows that 1,800,000 people live in Perth and 200,000 live in Regina so I guess that’s two million people but what the fuck? Don’t aliens usually attack New York and L.A.? I doubt it was ever shown in any comic but now Regina no longer exists in the new Marvel Now universe. Fuckers.

Yikes! Prairie dog will get to the bottom of this. Don’t you worry.

A Heat Wave Is Not Necessarily Caused By Global Warming But

Meanwhile in srs bznss, Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) tweeted a link to a scary AP article on this summer’s raging U.S. scorchapocalypse. Is it global warming? Well, we can’t say that, because weather (such as a heat wave) and climate (long-term trends in temperature, storms, etc.) are different things. But hell yeah it IS global warming.

Inset quote time!

If you want a glimpse of some of the worst of global warming, scientists suggest taking a look at U.S. weather in recent weeks. Horrendous wildfires. Oppressive heat waves. Devastating droughts. Flooding from giant deluges. And a powerful freak wind storm called a derecho. These are the kinds of extremes climate scientists have predicted will come with climate change, although it’s far too early to say that is the cause. Nor will they say global warming is the reason 3,215 daily high temperature records were set in the month of June.

Yeah uh huh. Meanwhile, North America is maggot-shot with political leaders who ignore scientists, minimize the dangers of climatic and ecological degredation and generally keep us throttled full-speed down the fossil fuel highway because they really care about jobs for their constituents hahaha no bales of money and fuck the future if it can’t take a joke.

Let’s have another scary inset quote!

Such patterns haven’t happened only in the past week or two. The spring and winter in the U.S. were the warmest on record and among the least snowy, setting the stage for the weather extremes to come, scientists say. Since Jan. 1, the United States has set more than 40,000 hot temperature records, but fewer than 6,000 cold temperature records, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Through most of last century, the U.S. used to set cold and hot records evenly, but in the first decade of this century America set two hot records for every cold one, said Jerry Meehl, a climate extreme expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. This year the ratio is about 7 hot to 1 cold. Some computer models say that ratio will hit 20-to-1 by midcentury, Meehl said.

aaaahhhhhhhh

And wait, wha?

While at least 15 climate scientists told The Associated Press that this long hot U.S. summer is consistent with what is to be expected in global warming, history is full of such extremes, said John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He’s a global warming skeptic who says, “The guilty party in my view is Mother Nature.”

Oh fuck off. There’s always gotta be one of ’em in every news story, doesn’t there? I’m not even gonna bother Googling John Christy to find out he’s an economist/geologist/creationist/paid fossil fuel shill/whatever. I’ll leave that to you guys.

Full story here, by the way.

UPDATE Yeah, I looked up John Christy. He actually IS a climate scientist! Apparently a very bad one.

Six In The Morning: Well, Kind Of

1 AIR CANADA IS FALLING APART, LITERALLY Monday afternoon’s incident at Toronto Pearson involving an Air Canada 777 passenger jet was not the aircraft’s first, apparently. A frighteningly thorough CBC story outlines the plane’s other two incidents that preceded Monday’s ENGINE SHUT-DOWN on the way to JAPAN.  Efforts to instill consumer confidence are going exceptionally well.

2 CLINCH OF THE MITT Pardon the phrasing, just trying to instill some snazz into what is being called the “most boring election ever“. Mitt has secured the Republican nomination following a big win in the Texas primary, and it’s hard to even care. We should. This guy has the potential to direct our country’s biggest economic partner, a relationship which will only get stronger with the unilateralism in Ottawa these days.

3 THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING Facebook shares have dipped to a new low this week, losing almost a quarter of their value. Meanwhile RIM, the Canadian company behind Blackberry has announced it will making making “significant” job cuts, following a rough quarter.

4 WAR CRIMINAL GETS FIFTY Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was sentenced to fifty years in prison for his role in the 2002 massacres in Sierra Leone. This is the first time a former head of state has been convicted by the ICC since WWII, and is a big step for humanitarian interventionism on the international stage. You know, all that stuff Canada used to stand for…

5 HORROR POLITICS Authorities have confirmed that the foot and hand sent to Conservative offices this week had belonged to the human torso found in Montreal’s west end yesterday morning. More here.

6 SPEAKING OF HORROR MOVIE SH*T Police are releasing more details following what has been described as a “cannibal attack” between two men on a Miami causeway Saturday afternoon. The attacker, 31 year-old Rudy Eugene is now believed to have been overdosing on a potent new LSD-variant called ‘bath salts’. The relatively new drug has been linked to high body temperatures, extreme aggression, superhuman strength and fixation involving the jaw and mouth. Check it out. Or don’t, I didn’t sleep last night.

Four In The Afternoon:Guns For The Holidays

4 in the Afternoon1 WEAPONS FOR THE HOLIDAYS Not to kick things off all doom and gloom, but fifty guns (and ammunition) were stolen from Wholesale Sports last night. Apparently only one or two gun heists of this magnitude happen in Canada every year, and where better than the country’s former crime capital. Sigh.

2 PASSING ON THE LEGACY In question period today Justin Trudeau was allegedly heard calling Environment Peter Kent a “piece of sh–!” after he discredited the critiques of an NDP MP because she hadn’t attended the climate conference in Durban. Well that is because opposition MPs weren’t invited to attend, Peter. This echoes Pierre Trudeau’s infamous 1971 ‘fuddle duddle’ in the House of Commons. Good on ya’.

3 ASTEROID NEAR TORONTO Remember all those times when we (half-heartedly) wished that Toronto would just be wiped off the face of the Earth? WELL, that almost happened (kind of). A blazing meteor fell east of Toronto on Monday night.

4 YEAR OF THE PROTESTER In somewhat of a surprise, Time magazine announced that their “Person of the Year” award had been given to “The Protester”, citing a year of change driven by protests in the Middle East, Europe and North America.

BONUS: BECAUSE WE ALL LOVE CARTOONS Click here to check out Washington Post’s picks for best editorial cartoons of 2011.

Climate Deniers Repeat E-mail Sleaze

Oh Christ. This again?

There’s a new Climategate scandal a-brewing. Or at least, that’s what the right wing blog-o-sphere is telling me. My first reaction upon learning of it: It’s total bullshit. Did five minutes of reading and discovered: It’s total bullshit.

And I can’t believe I’m having to waste my time on this nonsense again.

A few quick points:

• These aren’t new e-mails. They’re more e-mails from the same batch that were stolen in 2009. This is the climate deniers’ Plan-B material.

• Nothing in them disputes, refutes or undermines the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming. That isn’t surprising because the globe is warming and people are causing it. End of story.

• Note how these e-mails are “coincidentally” coming out before the COP17 climate change conference in Dubai.

I summarized these points from a post by Brendan De Melle over at DeSmog Blog. It’s a good place to start reading. Even better reads are Richard Black at the BBC in which he points out that UK police have spent less than £6,000 ($9,000 US) investigating the illegal hacking of the East Anglia emails; and then there’s an excellent piece by Stephan Lewandowsky at the Guardian who argues that the attack on climate science is the real scandal here.

Continue reading “Climate Deniers Repeat E-mail Sleaze”

Fuel For Editors On A Deadline

The paper’s due at the printer by six o’clock. Our drop-dead deadline is 10:00. Last time we sent the paper at about 2:00 a.m. This time’s gonna be different. Why? I’ll show you why:

That’s one black coffee (caffeine), one mocha frapp (sugar and caffeine), one banana (potassium) and one package of surprise Koko Patisserie olive twist-things (delicious starchy goodness). Not pictured: water (hydration) and Dayquil (germ-smashing). After I ingest this cornucopia of potency I will become an unstoppable editing force.

Nothing shall stop me from getting this paper out on time. Or at least, earlier than last time.

Maybe I’ll see you later: I’ll be the bald, fat guy running laps on O’Hanlon’s ceiling.

Dear Ghost Of The Novia Café: Forgive Us, Because We’re All To Blame

Today is the last day of operations for the 93 year-old Novia Café on 12th Ave.

Maybe no one will miss it that much. After all, the Novia of the past decade was a shadow of the original establishment that first opened in 1918. Still, it’s hard not to think about what might have been.

Old diners in other cities are now regularly taken over by young, savvy business people who see the potential in their beauty, character, and history. Sometimes they maintain the menu (albeit with some healthier additions) and other times they revamp it entirely, following more contemporary trends in cuisine. The Novia could have filled either role in Regina’s gastronomical scene. But not any more. Today the restaurant closes, and any hope of opening something like that in its place will be gutted along with what is left of the Novia’s original interior.

This is infuriating, but who’s to blame? The landlord who wouldn’t offer a lease, thus discouraging any proprietor from investing in upgrades? The construction of City Square, which took place over the past year on the Novia’s doorstep? The proprietor who wouldn’t open on weekends even when the Farmer’s Market and the Folk Festival brought thousands of people to the downtown?

Maybe we’re all to blame; Us, the people of Regina, who don’t seem terribly interested in hanging onto things (namely pieces of our shared heritage) and have thus allowed the destruction of buildings like the Capital Theatre, and the McCallum-Hill, and the old City Hall and (insert your own favourite heritage building that has been knocked down).

Regina is unlike any other city I’ve seen. Over the years, the evacuation and demolition of its once beautiful downtown has left the place pockmarked with parking lots and eyesores. Now one more piece of the downtown is heading out the door.

(photo of Novia Café via National Post)

We’re Good! We’re Still On!

For those of you, like me, who were massively disappointed with yesterday’s seeming absence of Rapture, there is still hope:

“While the world may not appear any different on the morning of May 22, 2011, it will only be because Satan has fooled the non-believers. The faithful will recognize that they are living in hell on Earth.” (Toronto Star)

Welcome to hell! See you in October!

Oh No…

This is really weird.

I just got into prairie dog a few minutes ago. As I approached the front door on the Scarth St. Mall, I could see that the lights in our second floor office were on. Typically on a Saturday, especially on a non-production weekend, there’s not much going on here. But our publisher/sales manager (Terry) and designer (Paul) have been doing a pile of rearranging and cleaning up over the last few days. I thought at first that maybe they’d snuck in to do a bit more work.

But as I climbed the stairs I couldn’t hear anyone tromping around grumbling and swearing and tossing old computer equipment around like they’d been doing. Then it occured to me that it was likely our editor (Steve). I’d heard him say on Friday that he was behind on payroll, and that he was planning on coming in on the weekend to get caught up.

As I entered the office I shouted out a greeting. When Steve didn’t reply, I thought, ‘Oh, he’s listening to his iPod.’ He does that sometimes when he wants to shut out distractions and focus on work. After turning on my computer and getting a drink of water, I wandered down to his desk to ask if he’d seen the TSN report from Atlanta where Thrasher  fans had held a rally to protest the possible relocation of their team to Winnipeg that involved them burning an old Jets banner.

When I reached Steve’s desk, this is what I found:

I checked the bathroom, but he wasn’t there. Same when I peeked out back on the off chance he’d ducked into the alley to have a few puffs from a cigar he’s been working on for the last week or so.

Having exhausted all possible explanations for why Steve’s beloved vintage Jets jersey and stylish chapeau were just sitting on his chair without him inside them, the only logical conclusion I can arrive at is that California pastor Harold Camping’s much-ridiculed prophecy has indeed come true and that Steve has been taken up by God into Heaven as part of the Rapture.

Which really pisses me off, I have to admit. Around the office, Steve’s the biggest basher of organized religion and wholesome family values by far. So that prick gets whisked off to Paradise while the rest of us have to tough it out down here, pointlessly putting out this rag for another few months until the World ends in October.

Oh well, guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. But I’m taking Steve’s desk. I don’t give a shit what anybody says. I’ve been playing receptionist at the front of our office for five years now. And I’m fucking sick of it. I have to placate/subdue all the loons who drop by with an ax to grind while Steve sits staring out our massive picture window all day, snapping photos of that stupid tree and ogling all the women in their summer sun-dresses.

From now on, that gig’s mine. Someone else can buzz people in and deal with their shit. If we’ve only got a few months left, I’m going to go out in style.

Anyone want a stinky Jets jersey and a rumpled black hat with traces of hair dye on the inside brim?

 

Sin City, Still Sinning

(Las Vegas) Today is supposed to be Armageddon. Like Raul Duke before me, I wanted my doomsday to have a Sin City backdrop. So, here I am. Prairie dog’s Vegas bureau. I’m sitting poolside with a chelada (Why the eff don’t we get these in Canada?) in my trembling hands.

I was at a bachelor party last night. My sister gets married tomorrow. But, I felt like “zombie-pocalypse” was a lock and I took a few chances I normally wouldn’t.  It’s been nearly an hour since the rapture was supposed to befall us, the gleeful sinners. If angry Zombie Christ was going to smite humanity I think this is where he’d start. Vice, deviance and plunder are encouraged here. This town loves a drunk and last night it loved me like the southern states love Dale Earnhardt collector plates.

I’m a little disappointed. I expected fire, brimstone, and Rush tunes to trumpet down from the heavens. I’m talking really shitty Rush….Roll the bones era. Not sure why, but I’m pretty convinced that when the world ends Geddy Lee will provide the soundtrack. Instead I’m sitting here with an empty wallet and a terrible headache. Oh well, I guess I’ll just wait till 2012.