Nobody likes Nuclear Man, Superman’s fiery nemesis from Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. But I do! That’s why I’m dedicating today’s Four In The Afternoon to our misunderstood villain.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on.
1. BURN! Jonathan Franzen’s steamroller of a novel Freedom is not a finalist for the National Book Award. I don’t know if Franzen is too upset; his last novel won the award nine years ago, and he’s pretty much the only Serious Author left on the planet that anyone actually knows about. It probably didn’t get nominated because it’s an entertaining, sex-soaked, easy-to-read tome that behaves as if the last fifty years of literature never happened, and there are lots of books out there doing something more interesting than machining out beautiful sentences about horny white people.
2. YAY! Chile continues to pull those miners out of the ground. As of this writing, 19 of the 33 miners have been freed. They’ve been trapped deep beneath the ground since August 5th, which means they’ve missed… the last few iTunes updates? The slight possibility of being shot by an openly gay American soldier? Something like that. I can’t wait for the movie.
3. OKAY! Potash Corp senior executives have pledged to actually, physically live in Saskatoon. That is part of their promise to the province. In return, they expect to make a crapload of money. Of course, once they get here they’ll have to deal with this guy:
4. BAN! Canada has become the first jurisdiction in the world to declare BPA, or bisphenol A, a toxic substance. But don’t worry: the only place you can possibly come into contact with BPA is polycarbonate plastic containers or the inner lining of tin cans, and what are the odds that you’ve ever eaten food from a can or a plastic container? I know, right? Anyway, you’ve got cancer.