Some groovin' 1949 bebop to hand-painted film animation - must be Norman McLaren. This vid just felt right for a Sunday afternoon that seemed a bit lazy. Also, the music is played by Oscar Peterson. What more could you ask for? Make sure you snap your fingers at the end of this one.
Canadian Governor-General Michaelle Jean ate a piece of raw seal heart in an Inuit community yesterday... and I say bloody well flippering right!
A frank discourse on the idiocy of Gary Bettman, the short-sightedness of the NHL, and why hockey needs to come home to Hamilton, Ontario... okay, you may not care about hockey, or Hamilton, or even know or care about who Gary Bettman is, but if you want to hear me trash talk the Wizard of Idiot for a few minutes, take a listen.
Also, if you're one of those "tech news" people, Jim Balsillie's involved, and, for those of you who don't know who he is, he is the CEO of a little outfit called Research in Motion who sell a gadget called Blackberry... not that we'll be talking about app stores or anything, but if the tech geek thing floats your boat, there you go.
Check out makeitseven.ca for updates on the saga.
As with all dystopian stories, the video clip gives an alternate future of Canada if Bill C-61 had been passed by our previous Conservative government. Much like the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Bill C-61 threatened to send Canada down the path of lawsuits and lobbyist scare tactics. For those of you reading from the US, check out a cynical perspective on our version of DMCA. You know, us top-of-the-list international pirates.
Many Canadians are all too familiar with this classic cartoon from the National Film Board, but for the benefit of the unitiated, I submit for your perusal, The Cat Came Back. If you just can't quite appreciate the storyline, you'll probably find the music quite infectious. It's sometimes years between seeing this short for me and I usually smile a nostalgic smile every time. Hope you enjoy it.
Concerning the death of originality in the summer blockbuster movie season, snippets of a life lived in and around hockey and...by special request...a special reading of a letter from Linus Torvalds explaining the penguin as the Linux logo as read by... Morgan Freeman!
Never let it be said that the iPod touch cannot be used for a long form blog post. I said in a recent podcast that I never thought I'd be podcasting about hockey, but I'm Canadian, and after some 70 or so podcasts and a couple hundred blog entries, I think I'm entitled come playoff season. As I sit in a Montana's in Mississauga (restaurant chain for the uninitiated) I am watching the NHL playoffs on multiple TVs and recalling a few memorable times that hockey has influenced my life.
The only time I ever felt like a sports hero was at age seven when I scored an overtime goal on a breakaway and, for the first time in my life, intentionally lifted the puck off the ice for the winner. And while I enjoyed many other moments playing hockey, that moment ranked right up there.
A couple of decades later I had bit more of a surreal hockey moment when I spent the one semester if my post-secondary life in a university residence during Teachers' College. Sitting in our floor's TV lounge/common area, a group of us foul- mouthed Canadians in a US Teacher Ed. program (all guys in the room at the time mind you - and at a university that still bore the vestiges of a Franciscan monestary... save your Catholic jokes for later) learned that Mario Lemieux had been stricken with cancer in the prime of his career. In the five months I spent in that dorm, I never heard the place so quiet... eerily so. You wouldn't think that a collection of some of the most misogynist mouths I'd ever heard could be stunned into silence at the news of a hockey player's illness. No one spoke for several minutes, or at least until the next gratuitous sex-filled beer commercial anyway.
The last hockey memory comes in the form of a trip to Las Vegas. The moment itself was hardly earth-shattering, but did suffice in conveying a vast gulf between two culture. On the one occasion I've been to Vegas in October, I happened to be sitting in the MGM Sportsbook in front of a sea of television screens (a place I often refer to as Valhalla). That night was a major playoff game between the Red Sox and the Yankees and the room was full of fans in official MLB attire hootin' and hollerin' as their teams played what I'm sure was an amazing. My friend and I, however, sat at the far end of the room watching two small screen that were playing NHL games. It was the opening night of the regular season. The games were insignificant. I think Minnesota and the Ducks may have been involved. And we were in our glory.
There was a popular beer campaign a few years back that rifled off a dozen reasons to claim "I AM Canadian". And while I would never claim that Canadians have a sole claim on the game that I was raised with, I never watched one of those commercials without thinking, how many people could explain the following: Peter Puck, putting the biscuit in the basket, straddling the blue line, going roof, Savardian Spinnerama, neutral zone trap, or why 92 goals or 215 points in a season are feats of biblical proportions.
I never thought I'd be podcasting about hockey, but next to the other six seasons: Winter, Spring, Construction, Summer, Fall, and TV Premiere, NHL Playoff Season is right up there in prompting a two month anticipation of great televised sports.
In as much as I believe that any product of a culture can help to define at least one piece of the culture that spawned it, hockey helps to define the entire Canadian culture for the past century.
Norman McLaren's "Dots" - Hand painted on film frames with soundtrack created by scratching the audio track of the actual film stock in various shapes and lengths to create tones. Almost 70 years old. Please check out some of his other stuff on YouTube.
Okay... first off, if anyone outside of Canada ever thought they saw a cheap game show, they were never in the Great White North during the 1970's. Grand prizes included toaster ovens, dinner for twos, and the cash sometimes almost went to triple digits. Included below are some clips from some of the cheesiest games ever played on television.
The Premier Episode of the Mad Dash
Check out Alex Trebek's 'fro in Pitfall (admittedly this show had a budget)
Definition actually lasted until the 80s, but still brings the cheese
Pay Cards was produced in Canada and syndicated to the US... so you know it was good!