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Archive for January, 2008

Guns and Oakenfold – The Coolest Movie Scene

January 30, 2008 1 comment

This is probably one of the coolest scenes I have ever seen from a movie in a very long time. Its from Collateral with Jamie Fox and Tome Cruise.  Its the scene where they’re in Club Fever (I think).  The song in the background by Oakenfold just tops it.  Have a look:

The Future of Tennis – Tamira Paszek

January 17, 2008 3 comments

Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek is a 17 year old who was seeded 39th as of the 2008 Australian Open.  That’s where I first saw her as a matter of fact, a few days ago at the Aus Open.  She was playing the number 3 seed in the grand slam, Jelena Jankovic.  Although Paszek lost the match, she played an incredible match. The final score ended up being 2-6, 6-2, 12-10.  She almost won the match in the 3rd set when she was up 5-4.  The match lasted for a total of about 3 and ten minutes.

As I said before, she is a 17 year old who represents Austria.  Her mother, Francoise Paszek can be attributed to exposing her to tennis at the age of four years old.  I was pretty surprised to learn of the Canadian connection she has.  Her father is a gentleman by the name of Arif Mohammad who was born in Tanzania, raised in Kenya and lived in Canada.

What amazes me about Paszek is the amount of talent she possessed at such a young age.  In 2005, she became the finalist at the Girl’s Single Championship at Wimbledon and in 2006, became the finalist at the Girl’s Single Championship at the US Open.  Also, in 2005, she was a wild card for her first WTA match where she was eliminated in the second round.  In 2006, she won her first WTA title at the Banka Coper Slovenia Open.  2007 was a big year for Paszek.  She broke the top 100 in the WTA and reached the fourth round of Wimbledon beating Tatiana Golovin, seeded 17th and Elena Dementieva, seeded 12th.  That win alone pushed her up from 54th seed to 35th seed.    Later on, in the 2007 US Open, she managed to make it to the fourth round, losing to Anna Chakvetadze who was seeded 6th.  Then this year, at the ASV Classic in New Zealand, she made it to the semifinals, losing to Lindsay Davenport.  As of the 2008 Australian open, she has collected a total career earnings of US $355,274.  Not bad for a 17 year old.  

Tamira Paszek Whats funny about Tamira is that she reminds me of a young Martina Hingis.  I noticed during the Jankovic match that she played mainly from the baseline.  She really didn’t come up to the net all that often.  Hingis, in her earlier days was like that too.  Eventually, as she gained more experience in the WTA, she became more comfortable with her play and had no problem coming up to the net.  I suspect that Paszek is the same way.  If I recall correctly, in the Jankovic match, Paszek had something like three match points where she could have wrapped it up but failed too.  This isn’t a big deal being that she is 17.  I am sure with time and a little bit of more experience, she’ll be able to handle those match point situations way better.  She certainly has the talent, she just needs more time to develop on her game.  Jankovic won the match because of her experience. 

Tamira’s match with Jankovic was good for her for one main reason: Exposure.  More people than ever know about her and will be more receptive to her talents.  She certainly caught my attention.  Afterall, she played for 3 hours with a woman who is seeded 3rd in the world.  I can’t wait to follow her career over the next few years.  I am very confident that we will be hearing more of her in the near future.  I haven’t been this excited for a tennis player in a really long time. 

Go Paszek!

Click on the link below to view some pictures of Tamira Paszek in action. Read more…

In Solidarity With Dave Cournoyer

January 12, 2008 2 comments

Steady Eddie I feel obligated to come to the defence of a fellow political science student who is being bullied by the premier of his province of Alberta.  Premier Ed Stelmach is suing a U of A poli student Dave Cournoyer because he failed to register his domain name on the Internet.  Seeing that it was available, Cournoyer decided to purchase the domain for 14 dollars.  Steady Eddie finally decided to catch up to the times and create a website dedicated to all the failures of his government and chronicle the decline of the Conservative dynasty in Alberta when, to his surprise, edstalmach was already purchased!  Now, the honourable member for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville is suing the U of A student to try and get the domain back.

To Ed, I say pick on a guy your own age.  There are plenty of other ways to resolve conflicts with people but hurling lawyers at students is not one of them.  Plus its not very good PR.  Frankly speaking, if you waited this long to register your domain, you really don’t have a case.  I mean, you were first elected in what, 93?  Ok so the Internet wasn’t all that big back then.  But in 1997 you entered into the cabinet as Minister for Agriculture.  Alright fine, I’ll admit, even in 97 the Internet was still relatively a new phenomena and people didn’t really understand the full potential of the net; certainly not politicians.  But come on, by the year 2000, everyone knew what the Internet was and people were fully aware of the potential of it.  OK but even then, lets just say you were naive and still didn’t realize what the net could do for you.  By 2004 you had become the Minister for Intergovernmental affairs.  SURELY you would have realized what the Internet was by then.  But I guess you didn’t and now you are suing a student because you didn’t know what the hell the Internet was.  Like really, do you not feel that this is in some way your fault? Or at the very least the fault of your staff for not having the brains to take up your domain.  Nowadays people register their domain even before they think of running for nomination.  You got elected in 93, became premier in 06 and you are just now thinking of having your site up?

Before this whole fiasco came about, Cournoyer blogged on Daveberta under the auspices of the edstelmach.ca (via redirection) domain.  The blog was used as a means of legitimate political descent against the Stelmach/tory government.  There are some Canadian experts in the field of E-Commerce that argue that by virtue of Cournoyer using the domain for means of political discourse, it is rightfully his. Also, there are some that argue that Stelmach isn’t even popular enough to lay claim that his name a legitimate trademark (I’ll spare the jokes for you guys). 

Typical of the Conservative attitude in the province, there are some that claim this is the workings of the Alberta Liberal Party because Cournoyer was a paid employee for ALP.  Here’s a good example of the typical rant and cry by the right wing Alberta conservative.  Note the infuriatingly flawed logic that’s inherent in the article. 

So in Liberal logic it’s Internet open season on anyone who doesn’t own all the domain names that are slightly connected to them.

So yea, like its that black and white. Mind you, the above article is from the Sun, a newspaper that uses a grade 5 reading level, pictures of semi-nude women, advertisements for call girls, strip clubs and escort agencies to attract readers. So really, I don’t expect any type of sophisticated logic to come out of that paper. But I think you guys get my point. It seems that any type of descent that the Conservatives face is always some sort of ploy by the leftists to gain political points. I am sure that suing a 24 year old university student is perfectly honourable.

If Dave was legitimately slandering Eddie’s name then I would agree that Stelmach has a case against Cournoyer. But because his criticism is of a political nature, there it cannot be considered as being that at all. In fact, I would argue that Cournoyer is being censored by the Premier. I am sure that if Cournoyer were praising Stelmach, calling him God of all of Canada, Eddie would be tipping his cowboy hat at him, at the very least; patting him on he back. I can’t remember them off the top of my head but there were a few federal MPs that found that their domains were taken by special interest groups (I think they were pro same sex marriage when the MPs were anti same sex) and there was really nothing they could do about it. It wasn’t until after the whole same sex marriage was declared legal in Canada that they got their domains “back.”

I got the perfect solution for Stelmach. Go to Register.com and type in your domain. Near the top of the page will be a set of options for you. Choose C, make an offer. If you really care about your name, don’t tarnish it by using bullying tactics. Use the good old free market approach to settle your dispute. The good thing about this solution is that:

  1. You won’t make yourself look like a crying baby
  2. You’ll spare yourself the criticism of picking on students
  3. If you offer enough money, you’ll help out a fellow highly indebted student who lives in the only debt free jurisdiction in the western hemisphere, just in time for the start of the winter semester
  4. You’ll be helping out the Alberta economy.

Its a win-win situation.  You’ll get your domain and he’ll won’t have to pay tuition for a semester.  Or at the very least, he won’t have to reach into his own pocket for text books.  Law suits are for weaklings.  This is the real Conservative way of doing things. 

Good luck with your battle Mr. Cournoyer.  Your fellow students are with you.

ER Must End

January 11, 2008 2 comments

ER

I was afraid that this time would come.  I have been a fan of ER since the days of Carol Hathaway, Mark Green, Doug Ross and the rest of the crew back in the day.  When it first came out, ER was a dynamic and exciting new television series with equally dynamic and exciting characters.  The writing of the show in the past has just been phenomenal.  As amazing as the acting has been on the show over the past years,  I believe that it is the writing that actually made the show what it is today.  And I am sure you all know that acting in a role on ER is no easy task.  In terms of television, ER has the hardest acting role on any show on right now. 

The whole dynamic between Carol and Dough, Jeanie and how she dealt with Aids, the love story between Neela and Galant, and so many other stories, they were written in such a way that they would captivate the audience and have then truly involved in the story from A to Z.  This could not be more true than with Mark Green.  Honestly, who could forget Dr. Green and his battle with brain tumour.  We all know he lost that battle and honestly, we could all see it coming.  But the writing during that season was probably the best its ever been on the show.  I still remember this scene where Mark is on the island and he’s walking with is daughter Rachel, both with surf boards in hand.  All of a sudden Mark starts shaking and falls to the ground.  If there is one scene out of all of ER that I will remember for the rest of my life, it has got to be that.  The Juxtaposition between the beauty of Hawaii, the palm trees, the blue sky and the tragedy that was Dr. Green and his slow, painful, emotional, dark death…honestly, I can’t explain it.  It was genius.  It was beautiful. 

But lately, I haven’t been able to feel that spark.  After Mark Green’s death, ER was still good.  You had the whole John Carter, Luka Kovac, Gregory Pratt situation in Darfur.  You had the Neela and Galant love story, Kovac’s run in with the crazy patient played by Forest Whitaker and everything else in between that I have failed to mention.  Which was all good but in all honestly, the writing, the story lines, the characters and their progression have all been going down.  It just seems like everything is going around in circles and there isn’t any real progress in the characters.  I mean there was that scare where Pratt might have left the ER but he decides to stay.  Abby goes to rehab and gets sober, which isn’t really all that big of a deal.  It just seems like nothing really is going on on ER.  There isn’t anything captivating, there isn’t anything that we can look forward too.  I have begun to notice that with all the veterens that have passed, its been a bit more difficult to create something out of the newer characters.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been some good moments but generally speaking, it really hasn’t been all that exciting.  Where there was potential, like say with Dr. Ray Barnett and his relationship with Neela after he lost his legs, they just cut Ray out of the picture completely.  And I don’t know how everyone else feels about this but personally, I don’t like the addiction of uncle Jessie (John Stamos aka Dr. Tony Gates) to the ensemble, although I must admit he has done a pretty good job thus far. 

I am pretty sure I can go on and on about how ER has gone progressively more crappier after the death of Mark Green.  But I think you get the point.  So having said that, sadly, I believe that ER, with 14 seasons under its belt, the longest running American primetime medical drama in history, should come to an end.  Maybe not this season, maybe not even next season, but soon.  They should wrap things up, do what they have to do, finish up and close the lights on the way out.  As amazing as the show still is in its current state, I believe that they should end the show while it is still decently good.  It would be so unfortunate to have a show like ER end when it gets bad.  Its just like Seinfeld; end the show when it is still good.  Its the best way to go out.  Abby doesn’t look like she’ll ever be happy, even after being sober.  Sam will keep dating and trying to find the right guy, which will take a really long time.  Neela is always up and down, I really am not sure which direction she is heading in.  Uncle Jessie is new to the ER so there is only so much they can do with the character they have engineered for him.  Pratt is gonna stay in the ER until he dies, looks like it.  I mean, you get the point.   Just end it now. 

I use the death of Mark Green as a reference point because I think ER’s climax was Mark Green.  The writing for the show, in my opinion was the best ever, just in case you’re wondering.  But good things can only last for so long.  That is the nature of this life.  And the life of ER has, or should rather, come to an end.  Lets just hope they don’t end the show like The Sopranos.  I really hope someone responds to this entry so that someone can prove me wrong and tell me I have no clue what I am talking about and that there still is life left in my beloved program.  If nobody responds, I’ll assume that I am correct in my assessment. 

Felicity

Felicity

No, this is not my current state of being.  Rather, I am in a state of felicity while watching felicity.  This is my latest obsession while on winter break.  When this show came out, I was probably in grade 6 or 7 when this first came to air.  I could see that it was a good show but I never really watched it because frankly I was far too young and would not have understood any of it.  At that time, we had a family friend that was staying with us who was attending university and he was heavy into this show.  And literally, almost a decade later, I can clearly see why.  Felicity is a really good show.  If you haven’t heard of it or if you haven’t watched it, I am afraid I won’t be telling you much about it.  You have to check it out for yourself.  I just finished the first season last night.

At first I thought Felicity was just a tad bit crazy with her following Ben to New York and when she dropped out of pre-med.  But it all comes back to the title of the show, Felicity.  Although I am only beginning the second season, I can already see how its all about a person’s desire to find and attain happiness, no matter how crazy that pursuit really is.  Every character in the show is trying to attain the ultimate state of felicity.  It also shows how difficult attaining that state really is.  I mean, everyone can attain one degree or another of felicity, but to achieve the ultimate state of felicity is something that is probably one of the most difficult things in the entire world.  And the thing is, very few people actually get to reach that state.  There are the obvious themes in the show, like love, friendship, self discovery, creativity.  Some people may argue that these are cliches but I would argue that these are all things that are inherent in life and in human nature.  These themes need to be addressed in order to attain a state of felicity.  I sure know that my life involves pretty much all these themes. 

The writing is phenomenal.  And the setting is by far the best;  New York city and a university campus…it honestly can’t get any better than that.  For university students especially, I would highly recommend watching this show.  Its very addictive so don’t let it interfere with your school work.  Its too bad that the show got cancelled in only its fourth season.  It seems like there are so many good shows that get cancelled early.  That’s the nature of television I guess.  I know the Canadians are going to be mad at me when I say this but God bless American Television.

More Nostalgia – Electric Circus on MuchMusic

January 7, 2008 2 comments

When I was in elementry and Jr high, I used to look forward to Friday nights.  Friday nights at 9pm in particular.  That was because Electric Circus used to be on Much Music.  Electric Circus was the live dance show dedicated to Club, House, and Trance music.  As far as I can remember, it was Monica Deol, who I had the biggest crush on, hosted the show.  Later on, when she left Juliet Powell hosted the show.  I would say that after Juliet left, the show and Much Music in general began its decline into crappiness.  Electric Circus was a good show in that it gave the mainstream access to music that wasn’t very mainstream.  Plus for those that lived in Toronto, it was a place to find out where all the DJs who came into town were playing.  I remember, during the late 90s, they began to have live chat rooms where you could talk to some of the dancers while you watched the show.  Electric Circus was one of the more unique shows on television at the time.  I think it was new years where they used to go upto Parliment Hill and have the show and dancers in front of the House of Commons.  The Wonderland Parties were always hype as well.  God I miss those days…well here are some clips for you guys to go back into time with. Enjoy!

Nostalgic Molson Canadian Commercial

January 7, 2008 5 comments

You guys remember this?

I am not a drinker but I always loved Molson Canadian commercials.  They probably make some of the most recognizable commercials in Canada.  This was by far one of their best.  This is the type of commercial were you can only watch in the winter at night.  Any other time of day or season doesn’t do justice to this commercial.  They used to play this commerical during every commercial break on Hockey Night In Canada.  Brings back some good memories.  The best commercial was by far the commercials they ran from late 94-early 96.  I still remember that commercial:

Buildings.
Blocks of time passing by.
Orographies of unforgettable characteristics
And stone
Bouncing off of back bones buried deep
In your own
Backyard.
Why?
Because
I.
Am.

Ok, I may have not quoted it exactly but keep in mind, the last time I saw that commercial was literally 11 years ago. But the amazing thing is that I still remember it. It was THE BEST commercial I have ever seen. The imagery was so Canadian; Sir John A. McDonald hammering in the last spike, an old clip of the Forum in Montreal, one of the old Montreal Canadians hoisting up the Stanley Cup (forgive me but the name eludes me right now), plus a whole different range of other clips. Each clip was like half a second long and each clip represented Canada in one way or another. Its probably one of the most Canadian commercials ever made. Ahh good times….