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friday favourites 27.07.12

image of the week
are we all still tingly from watching the olympic opening ceremonies? you know what was even better than watching the opening ceremonies? reading the bbc live text feed. all of it typed out in perfectly prim, objective bbc style, bit by bit. it was probably the most addictive, surreal thing that i've ever read. also, i left work during the letter "b" and arrived home for "s". that choice of letters is 100% honest and completely accidental and i happen to think that the whole "blooming flower of flames" thing was pretty breathtaking, so for once i'm not being cynical. seriously. i'm not being cynical. also, hats off to the queen, who showed that one of the world's most public figures can still surprise the people from time to time and it doesn't need to involve a sex tape.

i have to admit that i'm not a summer olympics fan. i do always fall in love with the winter olympics, because the competition does seem to be more broad and because about a third of the sports make me holler "why the hell would anyone even try to do that?" the summer olympics seem kind of staid by comparison. of course, i found out today that there is a delegation of non-affiliated athletes, which seems to be a giant thumbed nose at the very concept of the olympics, so while i wish my canadian compatriots the best, i think that insanity dictates i cheer for team independent.

as an aside, i have noticed that as i age, my opinion on the attractiveness of athletes is subtly changing. when i was a teen, that look used to scream "jock", which made them repulsive. a couple of decades later, i have to say that i look at a lot of those young faces and think "healthy", which suddenly seems pretty nice.

anyway, here's a few decidedly non-olympic things that made me smile this week...

good news :: things i can't make up from around the internet


hey, did you hear the one about the host of the puppet show on the christian television network who had a computer full of violent child porn and wanted to kidnap, violate and eat one of the youngsters in his congregation?

how about the one about how the institution of marriage is threatened by barrier-smashing women astronauts who stay in monogamous relationships for almost three decades?

or the old joke about the scientist who wanted to prove that you could replace the damaged portions of a human heart by building a jellyfish out of rat cells?

and i'm sure you're tired of hearing about the former republican state senator who wondered why the hell those pussies in the colorado theatre didn't man up and charge the guy with all the automatic weapons.

to quote darrell sheets from storage wars, the moon must've been in retrofit or something this week, because damn. that's some serious weirdness!

goings on :: stuff you can [and should] participate in


if you're in montreal... i'd like to apologise to you for forgetting to mention the most exciting thing happening last week, which was more like space's favourite stand-up comedian patton oswalt doing a show here as part of the "just for laughs" comedy festival. this is why i'm not a very good community bulletin board. however...

if you're in toronto... and you have a sweet tooth for the electro sounds, you should check out the third in a series of events by the united electronic audio workers of toronto. live bands and dj's abound, including a dj set by jairus khan, also known as the most memorable moment at the 2012 kinetik festival or "guy with industrial strength balls".

if you're in fort lauderdale... you'd be mad not to check out an evening with john waters! seriously, i'm stupidly envious of you.

of course if you're in montreal... you have no excuse! come and join us for the caustic lounge this coming wednesday. celebrate the festival of lugh, or just the changing of the month. the point is that you probably deserve to celebrate something, and there's no better time to do that than in the middle of the work week.

musical notes


this week, i learned that the difference between thinking about new music and having new music is about two beer. that's the little push extra that gets me from "i think this might be interesting" to "i will not remember buying this until i'm perplexed by its arrival in my mailbox". which is how you end up with atmospheric little gems like this in the mail:



follow-up and shameless self-promotion


a number of people re-posted/ retweeted my ponderings about the gun control debate that really needs to happen in the united states. thanks very much. i'm always immensely flattered when someone thinks enough of what i post here to call it to other people's attention. i was actually thinking that that one might garner me some hate mail, but nothing so far. which is funny, because i've actually been more sharply criticised for way more innocuous things i've said.

as i mentioned earlier, the caustic lounge is happening this week, so we do hope to see you there [there being cagibi, on the corner of st. laurent and st. viateur] for cider, sammiches and sounds.

kitteh of the week


as those who follow me on twitter may have noticed, this week marked the third birthday [approximate] of our beautiful brother and sister combo, seth and julia. one of the things that always strikes me about them is that people seem to be able to tell- without hearing anything about them in advance- that they're siblings. i have always been of the opinion that there was an actual resemblance, but i know i'm crazy. it really solidified for me when a woman i used to work with saw a picture of them on my phone and said "they're really brother and sister, right?" she had no doubt at all in her mind about said family resemblance. what do you think? can you see it?



thanks very much for reading and for making this one of the busiest weeks ever on more like space! you rock my world!!!

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mental health mondays :: the war at home

what's worse than being sent off to war when you're barely old enough to order a drink in a bar? making it home only to get poisoned by the government that sent you there. 
although it's certainly not a secret, i don't find that the opiate/ opioid crisis happening in america gets nearly the attention it deserves. at least, what attention it gets just seems to repeat "thousands of people are dying, it's terrible", without ever explaining how things got to the state they are now. there's mention of heroin becoming cheaper, of shameful over-prescriptions and dumping of pills in poorly regulated states/ counties, etc. but too much of the media coverage seems content to say that there's a problem and leave it at that.

one of the things that might be hindering debate is that a very big problem likely has a lot of different causes, which means that it's important to break it down into smaller problems to deal with it. and one of those problems conne…

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

digging for [audio] treasure

my computer tells me that i need to cut down the amount of music stored on my overstuffed hard drive. my ears tell me that that would deprive me of some wonderful listening experiences. 
halifax, nova scotia was not the easiest place to find out about music with limited appeal. it was a very music-centred city, to be sure, but, being smaller, things like noise, industrial, and experimental music struggled to gain a foothold, even as the alternative rock scene exploded in the early nineties. i was lucky enough to have some friends who were happy to share music that they loved, but i knew that there were lots of things that i was missing out on.

with the dawn of the internet, and various types of music sharing, i found myself able to discover bands that i'd heard about, but never managed to track down, from the days of underground cassette culture. and, to my surprise and elation, many of them do very much live up to what i'd imagined from reading descriptions of them in catalo…