Best Of Regina 2010: Polls Are Now Open

It’s Sept. 1 and just like I promised last week in a rambling prairie dog essay, you can now vote in this year’s Best Of Regina contest! There’s 125 categories, more than 80 of them new or brought back this year. Plus we have write-in votes. And one lucky voter will win $1000 in gift certificates for the City’s best restaurants, shops and services! Zow!

And yes, I said 125 categories. One-hundred-twenty-five. PLUS write-in categories. The categories range from the obvious (Best Band, Best City Councillor, Best Local Store) to the just plain good-to-know (Best Plumber, Best Insurance Agents). And some of them are goofy but you can find those ones yourself. (But I will say I expect Best Pet to be an epic battle!)

Head over to the poll now — here’s the link — and take a look at the questions. You can take your time — the poll is open until Thursday, Sept. 23 at noon.

And if you’re reading this in Saskatoon, well hey! Best Of Saskatoon voting started today at our sister paper, Planet S. Check out their contest here. Last I heard they had about twice as many votes as us so far, but I’m sure by the end of both contests we’ll have more votes because Regina is, OBVIOUSLY, a better city than Saskatoon. And not just because Regina has prairie dog. Although that sure helps. Ha!

Rockin’ It Web-Only

Due to various factors* we didn’t run any music previews this issue. Well, thanks to the miracle of a little thing I like to call THE INTERNET, three music stories that didn’t make the print edition are on our website. Click here to read Emily Zimmerman on Blondie, James Brotheridge on Kleins96 and Chris Morin on The Business. All bands play shows in town this week, starting with Blondie at the Casino tomorrow.

*E-mail attachment screw-ups, a book feature that ran long and the editor playing hooky from work all production weekend to hang at the Folk Festival. Where he was seen DRINKING!

New Dog!

Have you picked up the new prairie dog yet? That’s it in the photo with the friendly and amazing  Regina Folk Festival staff. This issue is the annual Folk Festival spectacular, and it’s got the usual handy-dandy pull-out guide plus a bunch of great articles on the festival itself, including a must-read interview with Buffy Sainte-Marie by Stephen LaRose. Rosie also wrote maybe the best news piece he’s penned this year: a look at the federal government decision to drop $16 billion on shock-and-awe, attack-style fighter planes. Plus there’s a good piece on the recent census flap, an interview with CBC’s Sook-Yin Lee on her new movie which is ALL ABOUT SEX, a fun chat with the band Said The Whale, and the usual And Much More!

Post Gormley Wrap-Up

Spent the last many hours enjoying the weather hence the lateness of this update… Anyway, my fears of going on the Gormley show turning into a bloodbath were a tad overblown. It was actually very fun. I didn’t win him over to the side of science and reason. But I don’t think I gave any ground either.

If you missed it, the good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it) is that John Gormley has said he will happily and proudly sign our Global Warming Skeptic’s Declaration. His will be the first we receive. And I promised him that we will frame it and send a picture to him of it hanging over Stephen’s desk.

Also, in 10 years, if it turns out that climate change isn’t real, we’ll have to throw a party in John Gormley’s honour and name him the mayor of prairiedogville. The bet’s pretty safe. Mind you, if it ever turns out that the evidence is overwhelming that anthropogenic global warming isn’t real, I’ll be throwing lots and lots of parties.

It’d be nice to think that’s a possibility, but as I said on the show, the science is clear. The planet’s getting warmer and we’re the cause.

In return, John’s promised that if in 10 years it turns out we’re clearly right, he’ll have me back on the show to say “I told you so.” I was hoping for a little more. At least he could buy me a beer.

A very warm beer.

And that’s it. Thanks VERY much to everyone for the encouragement and advice. And for all the post-show virtual high-fives on the blog, on Facebook and in my in-box.

And as we’ve mentioned before, please download that Global Warming Skeptic’s Declaration (there’s a link in the right column there) and send it to all the science deniers you know.

Prairie Dog Vs. John Gormley, Fight!

Get this: I’m going to be on the Gormley show tomorrow morning, defending climate science. Yeesh. If you want to hear Gormley tear me to pieces, please tune in. It’s going to be a bloodbath.

And no, this is not false modesty. There’s a reason I’m in print journalism.

Anyway, why is talk radio interested in the prairie dog‘s opinion on climate change, you ask? Well, you see, recently we kind of sent out copies of our Climate Denier Declaration from two issues ago. (It’s at the bottom of this page. And you can download the declaration pdf directly at this link.) We mailed them off to right-wing pundits and climate deniers all over Canada and the U.S.

Gormley was on our list and his producer is the first person to contact us about it.

According to his people (actually: person, producer Tammy), as of this afternoon, Gormley hadn’t read the declaration so no word on what he thinks of it. I’m going on the show to find out if he’ll be signing it and sending it back to us. Hope he will.

Now, while I don’t relish the idea of dog blog readers listening in to what will occur tomorrow morning, I’ll bet the lines will be open to comments after our discussion. It’d be nice to have some clever callers to the show defending the scientific consensus on global climate change.

A whole bunch of calls would be even better.

The Bulging Mailbag

On June 3  prairie dog published a news brief about some scummy anti-abortion bus ads with the tag line “growing… growing… gone”, similar to the awful image on this page (I saw the bus ad but didn’t have my camera and have had no luck snapping a picture since). The ads were bought by Regina Pro-Life, an organization run by people who apparently think the world is in such terrific shape the only cause needing their whiny moral angst is the plight of pre-human tissue. Children bombed in Afghanistan? Silence. Hungry kids in Regina? Silence. Kids molested by the same priests who condemn birth control, sex education and a woman’s right to choose? Silence. Fetus potentially terminated at nine weeks by a woman with the audacity to make her own decisions for her own body?  FREAKOUT!!! Anyway. I don’t think much of them and they don’t think much of me. But boy, run a story about their crap ads and you set all-time prairie dog reader mail records. We’re at the dimming end of July and STILL getting mail from the no-choicers. Here’s some tasteful tidbits from our upcoming issue’s record-length letters page:

“It is ultimately more unfair to an “unwanted” child to kill them when many couples painfully want children. There are alternatives to choose from (e.g. adoption).”

And:

“Take a hard look at this world and perhaps you will recognize that the world’s worst injustice, abortion, is much worse than the cruel slavery of human beings in the past. And yet you and many others, in a mental slumber, support abortion under the dehumanizing rubric of ‘choice’.”

We also have pro-choice defenders pouring gasoline on the debate:

Do your pro-life readers wish to see increased child poverty and eventual increase in crime rates? Would they be willing to pay higher taxes for bigger prisons and more police to protect them from the hordes of angry, unwanted young men and women who were born, through no fault of their own, to unprepared mothers? Would they be willing to open their homes to adopt or foster these precious souls, some of whom likely have FAS or were born with addictions and other afflictions?  Yeah, I thought not. Economically, legalized abortion was the best thing to happen to this, or any, country.  That’s a fact.

Some reading to look forward to on Thursday!

Besides the letters we’re printing, I’ve also had some interesting e-mail exchanges in the last week like the one that produced these gems from a reader:

I know about unwanted babies but that doesn’t make it right to kill them before birth so the mother continues her immoral life.  Every human has the choice to have sex or not have it as they recognize the consequences.

And:

Stephen, I grieve every day  for the chaos in our world. I am very aware how bad things are.  I know the solution and would be amiss if I did tell you.  We need to get back to God and live according to his direction.

My understanding is that God’s directions are maddeningly obtuse. No one can agree on what they are and  his followers tend to think their interpretations are always right. Does the Bible say masturbation causes hairy palms or is that marrying your sister? Where does Jesus stand on the gold standard vs. the fiat money system? People just can’t agree on the important points. Cue heretic burnings, schisms and other pointless historical stupidity.

Welcome to to the world of organized religion, where all personality disorders and cognitive malfunctions are welcome.

I’m so glad I’m an atheist.

After next issue we’ll be taking a break from the topic on our letters page, because enough’s enough already. Why should the anti-choicers get all the space when there are evolution-skeptics, climate change deniers, dinosaur-hunting creationists and probably a few stray wizards, alchemists and druids with axes to grind?

But for one more issue, there will be flame and ire on prairie dog’s letters page. You’ve been warned (or should I say tantalized?)

New Dog!

Have you seen the new issue of prairie dog that came out yesterday?  What? You haven’t?!? Just look how excited this strange guy I don’t know who came down here from Saskatoon is. He can’t believe how lucky he is to have such a fine paper to read while visiting Regina for his personal and/or business reasons. Don’t you want to be this happy? Of course you do. Sometime this weekend, pick up your free copy of prairie dog, Regina’s Independent Voice. It’s available at 400 locations in Regina.

Wooo!!!

Have you voted in prairie dog’s dome stadium poll yet? It’s down there on the right side. Two of the statements you can vote to agree with have the word “wooooooo!!!” in them. (Another has “socialism” but I’ll let you find that on your own.)

Random thought: can one ever do evil when they’re saying “wooo!!!”? Probably — but only by accident. There cannot be hate in one’s heart when “wooo!!!” is on the lips.

More “wooo!!!” here.

We’re Not Just Online

 

Some troublemaking dame poses with the latest 'dog.

It’s true! We have a print edition! It’s out now and available at around 400 locations city-wide (but not government-run liquor boards, which we were kicked out of a couple years ago, or the goverment-run Casino Regina, which we were kicked out of last year, or public areas in the government-run STC depot, which we were also kicked out of last year.)

Better Twitter and Longer!

The prairie dog isn’t the only one to get their Twitter password phished.

If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably received a message along the lines of “i’ve been having better sex and longer with this here” in the past day or so. Hell, you may have even received it from the prairie dog‘s Twitter account.

Our bad. But, at least we’re in good company, according to the Guardian UK.

Welcome To Prairie Dog Online

Goooooooooood morning Regina! Welcome to prairiedogmag.com, the new Internet home of prairie dog magazine.

If you’re already a reader, you’ll know that prairie dog is a free distribution,  independent bi-weekly published and distributed in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  For 17 years now we’ve published news, opinion, opinion about news and news about opinions, with commentary on everything. We also work hard to interview actual smart, informed people in our stories, which we hear people like.

We also run a lot of arts coverage, with a strong focus on upcoming cultural events–the idea is that people can read our magazine and get some notion about what to go out and see. We write about rock shows and CDs, visual art (including performance art), movies both popular and arty and sometimes books and dance and theatre.

And we print (and now, web-print) reviews of local restaurants, profiles of local people, occasional sports stories and odds ‘n’ ends widgets-and-whatnots to keep things fun.

Basically, we’re neato. And now we’re on the Internet. Hooray!

What else?

This website’s home page features Dog Blog, a regularly-updated blog prairie dog started in December 2008 with news, arts, rants, copious City Hall coverage and links to the notable events going on in a particular day. Expect regular updates.

(You can visit the old dog blog location by clicking here. You have 1,529 posts to get caught up on. Some of them have videos of cats being cute!)

The new prairiedogmag.com will now be the online location of our magazine, with most of the articles from the physical paper and eventually, archives. (We’ll have back issues of the paper posted to the beginning of 2010 as fast as we can get that up and we’ll add more archives over time. )

So I think that’s enough to get us started. Snoop around the website, leave comments on the blog and have fun. It’s what we do.