Monday, August 31, 2009

god wants us to have one!!

liberty university has finally fulfilled god's greatest prophecy: the all year, snowless ski hill.

the "university", which is located in lynchburg virginia, was founded by jerry falwell in the 70's but became an official university in 1984.

jerry falwell died awhile back, but that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things because apparently he signed off on a lot of things before his death, like this ski hill.

jerry falwell jr says that the hill costs $4million dollars and is being paid for with private donations.

$4million dollars in private donations for a fucking snowless ski hill. for real? this is ridiculous! couldn't they fund many, many, many years of education for many scholars with that money?

who are these people and why do they want to waste their money?

Friday, August 28, 2009

why (the states) needs universal health care

the most dangerous game...

the other day at a republican rally in twin falls, rex rammell a possible candidate for the governor's office, joked about hunting the president.

idaho organizes a wolf hunt every year but to participate you have to purchase a wolf tag, which costs $11.50. when someone in the crowd shouted a question about "obama tags" rammell went with it and said that sure they'll buy obama tags!

this is such a funny joke!! good one rex rammell!!

what could be funnier than hunting the president?

hunting a BLACK president, that's what!

since it was a joke, rammell doesn't think he needs to apologize. you know, jokes don't actually cause any real harm. i mean, why should he have to apologize for egging on a crazy republican rally goer shouting about hunting the president?

those republicans, they just get funnier and funnier every day.

best lightning ever

from sam javanrouh's daily dose of imagery, a lightning storm from a few weeks ago:

Toronto Lightning Storm from Sam Javanrouh on Vimeo.

help the marmosets, because they can't

thank you, for showing us the monkey!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

pamphleteers wishlist

if you would like to purchase the pamphleteers a gift for some reason, you should know that the one thing we want most in the world is a pygmy marmoset:

second only to the fennec fox:

luckily, both are at a zoo in south korea, so you can probably grab them both in one trip!

julie and julia, i want my money back.

i've been had.
i went to a movie tonite under the false pretense that it was a real movie, based on interesting stories.
what i got was a trick. i was tricked into watching something along the lines of shopaholic or he's just not that into you without any warning whatsoever.

i watched julie & julia.

the julia was thumbs up, the julie was another story.

julia child was a dynamic and unconventional woman whose ambition and passion enabled her to be creative and fulfilled during a time when most women had to settle for a new washer/dryer set and being a care robot to their husbands and children. say whatever nostalgic garbage you want about the 1950's but anyone who has read the feminine mystique(or who has parents born or raised in the 50's) knows that it was a terrible and repressive time for both men and women

julie powell is insipid and a complete waste of movie popcorn. her biggest problem, apparently, is that she's been forced to live in queen's. she has to COMMUTE to work. she's a failed writer who wrote half a novel but didn't have the motivation to finish it, her friends are all successful and high powered women who spend their weekly lunch dates on their cell phones, and her job is one of those shitty ones where she has to deal with people! woe is her, her life is hooorrrrrriiibbbbllleee!

this was my first problem with the movie, i suppose, her job. because the film is semi-set in new york city in 2002, there's the obligatory shot of ground zero where julie supposedly works.
i can't tell if she works at an insurance agency or some kind of fundraising apparatus, but the first bit of the film focused on her shows her in her cubicle having to take calls from an assortment of people, from 9/11 widows to people upset about the memorial plans. but it's almost like a joke, the people calling and yelling at her or crying at her.

so she's become complacent with life, fine. but what does that have to do with julia child? julia child was anything but complacent and went out of her way to find a career that she loved and she never did anything half way.

problem number two: julie and julia also have no parallels when it comes to female relationships. julia child's story is intertwined with the lives of other motivated and interesting women--from the women she wrote the cookbook with to the woman who she corresponded with for eight years but never met(who eventually helped them publish the book).

nora ephron, as usual, gives the female lead in her film one 'real' friend--a quirky(read: weird) woman who provides "comic" relief and is uglier than the lead.

i don't even remember julie's friends name honestly, nor do i recall her career, or anything substantial about her. probably because she has no reason to be in the movie and basically just acts as a sounding board for julie's insecurities and self-centered whine fests.

their relationship basically consists of this:

julie : "waaaahhh, i'm a bitch!"
friend: "yes you are"

julie: "waaaaah, my university friends are more successful than me"
friend: "yes, they are"

julie has no meaningful relationships with anybody but her husband. alternatively, the women in julia child's life acted as catalysts for change and progression--without these women the story wouldn't exist.

the only person who has any substantial contact with julie is her husband, who the entire movie seems to pivot around for some bizarre reason.

which brings me to problem number three: husbands!

julia child's relationship with her husband is a supportive and equal one--in the film(i don't really know anything about her real life). she is vigorous and can't stand doing nothing so she goes out and does whatever she wants. her husband always supports her but doesn't do anything for her because he knows she's completely capable of doing whatever she needs for herself.

the rolling stone review of the film said that "tucci and streep are magical together, creating a portrait of an unconventional marriage" and it's true--they're sweet and loving, ambitious and dedicated to their interests/politics. they're also really respectful of each other and hilarious.

julie needs her husband for everything. he even sets up her blog for her. apparently both men are the same--"really nice", but julie's husband is nothing like julia child's. julie and her husband are not respectful of each other, and they're most certainly not hilarious.

julie's husband eats before she sits at the table, he encourages her to follow her dreams but then he punishes her for doing it when she becomes successful, mocking how self-centered she's become. they don't encourage change in each other's lives and they resent each other.

at one point her husband actually leaves her. he's sick of the blog, he's sick of not having sex with her every night, he's sick of her 'being the center of the universe'(which translates to him NOT being the center of the universe), and so he leaves her.

he doesn't call her or see her until basically she learns that what she's done is wrong, that she "doesn't deserve" such a great guy, unlike julia child. she learns to put her "marriage"(ie: sex with her husband) before the blog. she calls him and tells him she misses him, she needs him. she writes a blog about it(which he reads). then he comes home to her.

seems pretty outlandish for the guy who made his wife move to queen's so they could be closer to his "office"(he's a writer) to accuse her of being selfish. she IS selfish, but they both are. it just seems annoying that his selfishness is alright but hers isn't.

julia child's story isn't just a love story, but a story about hard work and sacrifice, about being passionate about something other than a husband. julie powell's story has no real ending except a happy ending with her husband--who she's learned to defer to.

all really sickening, actually.

problem number four: politics

in 2002, in new york city, where are the politics? they could have drawn some actual parallels between the two women's lives with politics.

while julia child is in paris joe mccarthy, republican extraordinaire, becomes a prominent figure in the united states. his communist-grabbing hands reach all the way to paris and people start feeling the pinch of his politics.

julia child's husband(like thousands of others) is interrogated under mccarthy. his friends, books, travels, etc are all under question. his years of service to his country mean nothing and he is placed under scrutiny.

why not draw parallels between mccarthy-ism and the kind of new mccarthy-ism that arose post 9/11. remember that? remember the whole "if you're not with us you're against us", "if you question the government, you are a terrorist", "what? you want to know WHY we're invading iraq? terrorist!".

julie works at ground zero and it's literally a year after 9/11, how can you erase those politics? sure, not everyone is political or was political at the time, but including the mccarthy presence in the julia child side of the story was a decision and so why not just pay tribute to the political climate in 2002?

i don't know, i guess i just pretty much hated everything about this movie EXCEPT the julia child parts. why not just give me over two hours of julia child? at least those parts were charming and engaging!

the review on joy hog said that julie & julia is a "delectable film. you'll want seconds" but in reality i actually kind of want to just throw up my first serving.

"the more kids you blow out of your uterus, the more cheques harper will write to you"

xm 301 wrote this comment on our dear north americans: stop breeding post, and i thought it was fitting so i want to post the entire comment.

"While I agree that from an environmental perspective, we need to get family sizes under control, we also need to reconcile the fact that many people wish to raise their own children.

Part of the problem is Canada’s current model - penned by the Conservative government - provides direct financial incentives for having children: The more kids you blow out of your uterus, the more cheques Harper will write to you. (Please consider the hyperbole as not an anti-feminist statement, but rather a slag on current policy.)

This is wrong-headed policy that fails to acknowledge global overpopulation. More disturbingly, it is essentially a backdoor Conservative incentive to keep women out of the workforce. As women statistically earn less than men, it makes more sense for the wife to stay at home and raise children in “traditional” families. In other family dynamics, such as single-parent homes, this policy still does not provide enough money to properly provide child care.

Instead, government should be providing incentives and funding for early childhood learning and childcare spaces. There is no shortage of research that indicates early childhood learning and properly-funded school programs have a net benefit to society. These policies allow equal access, along with incentives for all to enter the workforce. Further, they do not provide a monetary incentive to overpopulate the world.

We’re likely not going to be able to legislate family sizes in Canada, but we can rewrite policy to ensure rational behaviour with healthy consequences."

being one of my smartest friends, xm 301 is right. probably you should just go here and read everything else he's right about.

$68,000 babies are the worst!

the questions around ohip funding invitro fertilization continue to be lobbed at us today and to make us really feel the personal sting of this debate the star brought in a real life example:

"Danielle Alderman and her husband, Jeff, longed for a child.

Now, after $68,000 and several fertility treatments over five years, the dreams of the Burlington couple are coming true. Their baby, most likely a girl, is due at the end of the month.

The Aldermans think OHIP should foot the bill for other infertile couples who want children.

Of the $68,000, they spent about $25,000 on fertility procedures. The balance, for drugs associated with the procedures and to combat Danielle's existing blood-clotting disorder, was paid for by Jeff's work medical insurance plan.

"It's a shame that money can be the only thing that stands between amazing parents and their family," said Danielle, 32, a graphic artist."


honestly, i understand that this couple really wanted a baby. i get that a lot of people have a strong desire to have their own family.

but they feel that the government should pay $68,000 for that desire?

why do these people feel like these treatments, which THEY had covered, should be footed by the taxpayers?

what about using tax money to feed every child in this country? or expand and make more efficient the children's aid network so that abuse and neglect of children in this country can actually be addressed in a meaningful way(which isn't happening now)? why not make changes to the adoption system so that more homes for children can be found?

i find this real life story to be disgusting and totally offensive.

oh, its only "money" standing between parents and their family, danielle alderman?how about fucking nature? how many hormones and medications did you have to pump into your body before you could force it to be a baby carrier?

i get that you "want" a family, a biological baby. but guess what? some mothers "want" to have their eyes checked, or their dental health maintained, they want to feed their children and send them to a decent school.

if you have the resources to delve into fertility treatments that are expensive, go for it. but it's selfish and completely illogical to expect the procedures to be funded by the government when there are so many other uses for that money.

according to beverly hanck, the executive director of the infertility awareness association of canada, has stated that ontario cannot afford to fund infertility treatments.

hanck says that in ontario annually about 5,000 invitro fertilization treatments are done which is about 65% of all in vitro procedures performed in canada.

28% of women who undergo invitro and deliver in ontario have multiple births, which are higher risk and are associated with waaaay higher costs when it comes to care of the mother and infants.

alot of parents who opt for invitro have several embryos fertilized due to the high failure rate, so more embryos=more chances to conceive.

so the first and most obvious step would be to curb this practise, which could be achieved through regulating fertility clinics. apparently ontario could save at least $130 million annually by regulating single embryo fertilization---$130 MILLION.

so before we jump on the 'fund my invitro baby' bandwagon, maybe the government ought to regulate the industry it's being pushed to fund and recoup that $130 million dollars.

then maybe they could use those millions of dollars to, i don't know, actually provide basic health care.

the real "shame" here is that this diverts attention away from actual issues around infertility--like the environmental causes of infertility, that the expectation and pressure to have a family is so high and tense that people will do almost anything to achieve it, and that women's bodies are subjected to chemicals/hormones/invasive treatments all for the sake of motherhood--something that society makes them feel insufficient for if they don't participate in it.

maybe it should be funded eventually but right now i think it's more important for us to take a closer look at the actual issue and what's going on behind it, rather than just band-aiding this one up--because we all know how well band-aid solutions work.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

oh no no no no no...

as a lefter than left leaning person there are a lot of things that i think the government should fund. healthcare is one of those things, education(including post secondary and graduate), fixing roads, public transit. you know, those kinds of things.

i think in this country our basic health care should cover eyes and teeth for everyone, because we need to see and eat.

i think our tax dollars should be used to make the country more accessible and make people and children healthier and smarter.

i don't think this covers infertility treatments.

in the star today i read a story about an "expert" infertility/adoption panel that is recommending the government cover infertility treatments like invitro fertilization, an insanely expensive procedure.

they're also calling on the government to overhaul the outdated adoption system which leaves thousands of children in bureaucratic limbo every year.

i agree with the adoption system needing an overhaul, but who are these infertility experts and why do they feel that childless couples should have their invitro paid for when there are children that need homes in canada?

doesn't it kind of seem like they cancel eachother out? infertility, adoption, you know they do go together in some way.

can't have a baby? adopt a baby!

oh wait, no, let's ask the government to fund invitro treatments so that people can have biological children at all costs.
so what does in vitro cost? according to the panel's report the "single greatest barrier to assisted reproduction services is the cost, with one cycle of IVF costing about$10,000," anyone who has actually had invitro will tell you that it takes more than one cycle to become pregnant though because it has a pretty low success rate.

not only is there a financial cost but women's bodies get put through the ringer for invitro. not only do they need to get constant hormone injections to prepare themselves for the procedure but the procedure itself is extremely invasive and puts a lot of stress on the body itself.

part of this plea for funding is because of the high multiple birth rates associated with invitro. apparently in canada fertility clinics do not have to be accredited to operate and so often will cut corners and end up having a really high multiple birth rate, which costs the health care system "millions".

according to the sarnia observer the 14 clinics that perform in vitro treatments are unlicensed and unregulated.

um, maybe they should just have to be accredited? doesn't that make sense?

i just find it completely ridiculous that any "expert panel" would suggest that the government subsidize infertility treatments when we don't even have basic eye or dental care in this country.

why is it that i can't even get my wisdom teeth out, but couples should be able to spend any and all tax dollar resources to ensure they have a biological child that looks like them? how many mothers with children skip their routine dental appointments or put off having their own eyes checked so that they can buy food for their children instead?

fix the adoption system and find those children homes, that should be a top priority.

not surprisingly when this panel was formed the adoption council of canada wrote a letter of opposition to the minister because the committee's purpose was "to help find solutions for people who are trying to start or expand a family." the ACC wrote that this mission suggested that the interests of the adopted child are second to those of the adults who are struggling with infertility.

they wrote that adoption is about finding a home for a child, "not a family building service for those unable to conceive" and that any discussion on adoption must focus on children's rights and needs.

this panel seems entirely focused on finding ways to make sure people have families, like this little gem:

"single women need access to donor sperm and single men need donor eggs and a gestational carrier"

yes, this is a fabulous idea. maybe we can have a government bank of "gestational carriers" that way single men who want babies can have one and women who need work really badly can become government gestational workers.

it doesn't help that the president of waterloo is the panel chair, because we all know university presidents only represent bad things in this world. but something just seems off about these recommendations.

find the thounsands of children who need homes a home, fix kids eyes, fix their mother's eyes, then we'll talk about funding in vitro, yes?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

also, this:

i heart the internet.

there's really only one way to fix this mess..

now we all know that in issue 600 of "archie", archie proposed to veronica. before the issue was actually revealed, however, it was up in the air just who archie would choose to marry: betty or veronica?

i didn't think he should chose either, you can read why here.

but in the end, archie did choose and he chose veronica lodge.

there are a lot of things i don't like about this, the marriage part for one. secondly, how long has the archie empire had to prepare for this cover? archie is proposing to someone and this is the cover they chose?
why is it happening inside the jewellery store? archie didn't take veronica somewhere romantic or special to pop the question that's been coming for like sixty years?

typical archie.

archie has always been a bumbling fool and this proposal cover only further solidifies this fact.

also, of course betty is outside the window crying as she watches all of her hard work being the good "girl next door" go down the drain. betty's been trying to win archie's heart for decades and i think secretly she figured archie would marry her because she's more wife material than veronica.

veronica lodge is a bitch, and everyone knows that maybe banging the bitch is fun but she isn't marriage material.

but betty was wrong! we were all wrong! archie chose the bitch and left the good girl out in the cold.

it's kind of suspicious that jughead is watching from the window as well--after warning archie about the pitfalls of women for all of these years he is also watching his own hard work go down the drain. jughead knew archie could never marry him, but that didn't stop him from trying to sell archie on a woman-less life.

stephen colbert was right when he said jughead was just a guy in a tiara who hates women. he eats to fill the void left by the knowledge that he can never be with his one true love, archie, and that he'll have to settle for that ugly beanpole ethel.

over the years we've all come to know that jughead is happiest when he's stuffing his face with archie. but maybe what we missed is that what would actually make jughead happy is stuffing his mouth with archie, you know?

the archie/veronica wedding has to be foiled somehow and maybe the writers of the comic should try going in a new direction on this one.

like maybe they should have their wedding in canada but jughead could stand up at the last minute and declare his love, and then he and archie could get married instead.

i think the chances of that happening are pretty slim, but archie did choose veronica which means all bets are off.

Friday, August 21, 2009

update: michelle obama shortsgate

we posted about this bullshit around michelle obama "wearing shorts".

in a lot of the news stories there are statements about the fact that laura bush didn't wear shorts, that other first ladies didn't wear shorts, blah blah blah.

well guess what?

it's not hard to find pictures of first ladies in shorts.

case in point:
laura bush, in shorts

ok media... go NUTS!!!!

toronto cat rescue: sustainable cats and kittens

awhile ago we wrote about how north american babies are destroying the world.

i feel that there are too many babies and children that need homes in the world and so until there are none, there should be some form of moratorium on baby making.

clearly there are several problematic issues that arise with this proposal, but whatever.

so to test the theory on a smaller scale, we should apply this to animals.

if you're thinking about getting a cat or kitten, why not go over to toronto cat rescue and pick from their many cats / kittens?

sure, you could go to a pet store and get a fresh new kitten, but at toronto cat rescue they know the cats and their personalities and so you get to pick the animal that works best for you.

this means less abandoning your new pet and more loving it.

here is one of my personal favorites:


or, "bobby"

so if you're thinking about adding a new pet to your life, maybe go peruse the ones at TCR! probably you buy vintage clothes, antiques, grab stuff at garage sales or flea markets.. so why not get a used pet as well?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

does michelle obama have the right to punch these people in the face?

what the fuck shit fucking shit damn is this!?!?!?!

i saw this on huffington post today and i was extremely, extremely confused.
i thought it was just a fashion poll, like, oh how does michelle obama look in shorts? good? bad? better than you?

why the hell is it phrased like this: "does michelle obama have the right to bare legs?"

um, of course she does. not because "it's so modern" but because they're her own legs!! like, who cares what she wears?!

16% of people think it's inappropriate for the first lady to wear shorts. why? why does anyone look at these pictures and think to themselves "well that is just completely inappropriate of her, to wear those shorts that expose her legs!"

and as for the 24% of people who voted that she should wear "longer" shorts next time: you are idiots. IDIOTS. look at this woman!! she's walking her dog in the summer, what do you want her to wear, a 50's housewife cocktail dress?!

it's 2009. we live in a time when formality is kind of taking a backseat to other things, like you know, important things. for instance, in 2009 i go to my university job in a dirty t shirt and ripped jeans, and you know what? it doesn't matter what you wear!!

michelle obama should start doing really outrageous things like wearing S&M gear. i think the next picture of her coming out of air force one should maybe include some form of whip or zippered mask.

and then the poll can read: "does michelle obama have the right to keep the zipper on her mask open?"

and hopefully most people will respond: "absolutely! it's so modern!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


when did nationalizing health care become the same as perpetruating a holocaust???

i'm not really entirely sure where the nazi reference keeps coming from, but these fucking crazy idiots in the states are alllll over it.

apparently, obama is a nazi, and according to the nutball in the first video all jews should be against him(apparently, all jews should also be heckled by crazy ladies wearing israeli defense forces t shirts).

where is the logic? has the world gone mad?

at least barney frank is setting some crazy bitches straight:

the thing i really like about this stuff and the town hall meetings, is that its basically forcing the wacky freakshows who think this shit to come out and say it in public.

they can't resist the urge, and when they scream nazi or make other fantastical accusations they get taken to task for it and ridiculed for thinking such foolish things based in an alternate reality that seems to exist only in their weird collective unconscious.

i hope the health care reforms go through and all of these people just spontaneously implode upon hearing the news.

more good news

dear people who think that the iraq war was somehow based on anything noble or good, or that the fallout helped civilians, or that foreign soldiers are helping to "rebuild" the country: not true.

according to a report that human rights watch released on august 17th, hundres of gay men have been tortured or killed in iraq in recent months, but the same security forces/milita that have cooperated with the us military and were "trained" to govern the country.

iraqi gay rights campaigner, ali hilli, stated that iraq is the most dangerous place in the world for lgbt people and that even during the saddam years there was more sexual freedom for iraqi citizens. (actually, there is a great article in GQ about ali, which you can read here).

now that's progress.

the report, "they want us exterminated": murder, torture, sexual Orientation and gender in iraq", outlines the rape/torture/abuse/murder of lgbt iraqis and discusses how mahdi army spokesmen have "promoted fears about the "third sex" and the "feminization" of iraq men, and suggested that militia action was the remedy."

one reporter wrote in sawt al-iraq that the army is:
"bullying civilians who have otherwise been safe, in various forms of oppression, discrimination, and killing ... once again, they are intruding in every small and simple detail of everyday life; they prevent the people from practicing daily activities that are normal in most theocratic religious systems even in saudi arabia and iran. ... individuals are violated, assaulted, and encroached upon in an agonizing way. In addition to death threats against any man who grows his hair a couple of centimeters longer than the sadri standards that are measured exactly and applied harshly, there are threats against those wearing athletic shorts or tight pants. ... these standards are being used simply as a justification for killing homosexuals. ...The slogan is to kill and kill, then kill again for the most trivial and simplest things."

the report also details how the excuse of religion is used but not widely believed, according to one young man who was threatened and knows several people who have been murdered:

An 18-year-old who had been threatened with death, and knew several friends who had been killed, made much the same point when he told us:

"god created people in all shapes and sizes. and you just have to accept that this exists. if you don't like gay people, you're free to condemn them; but you can't kill them. don't talk to them. don't associate with them. but don't massacre them. this is just wrong. it has to stop."
besides that no religion really supports massacreing lgbt people, there are a lot of legal reasons that this is completely unacceptaple:

the government of iraqi is legally bound under international human rights treaty law and customary law.

one such treaty obligation is to the international covenenant on civil and political rights(ICCPR), which iraq ratified in 1971. the ICCPR protections "place a mandate for action upon iraqi authorities, including officials who bear responsibilty for enforcing security and law in iraq"to not ignore threats to the life of anyone within their jurisdiction and includes a legal obligation to protect them.

according to the ICCPR, "everyone has the right to liberty and security of person" and this includes people of the lgbtq persuasion.

as well, the arab charter on human rights (which was adopted in '94) states that "every individual has the right to life, liberty and security of person. these rights shall be protected by law."

iraq is also subject to the convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment(the convention against torture).

and guess who else has a legal obligation to condemn these attacks and to take responsibility for fostering an environment in which it can happen more freely: the united states and any other country that supported or participated in the invasion of iraq.

more information here, at iraqi lgbt.

Monday, August 17, 2009

maybe the city of toronto should invest in these post-strike?

the largest carnivorous pitcher plant ever has been discovered and to top it all off, this thing eats RATS.


apparently some christian missionaries were "climbing a mountain"(mount victoria, in the phillipines) back in 2000 and reported seeing these massive plants.

the botanists found the plant in 2007 and is now released the results of their study, including the plant name: Nepenthes attenboroughii, after sir david attenborough.

clearly the city of toronto should just invest in many of these plants to clean up the rat problem after the garbage strike, it would probably eat all of the cockroaches too.

problem solved!

fireballs, spaceships, and david duchovny? please bring that on.

apparently britain's national archives released the government's complete file on the "rendlesham forest incident" of 1980, which is one of britain's
most famous ufo sightings.

i grew up watching the x-files with my mother, so i find this exciting. but i also find it interesting that the government had this secret 4,000 page document that contained details of 800 alleged encounters during the 80s and 90s. like, why all the secrecy? doesn't that just make it look suspicious?

why keep it secret when some of the files look like this:

i feel that usually these kinds of things have more to do with top secret army projects etc, but it's still kind of fun to read through this junk. also, alot of the incidents were reported the year independence day came out which was also the same year that the xfiles was most popular in britain.

also, i went to the international ufo museum last year in new mexico, so clearly this kind of junk is my bag.

it makes for interesting end-of-summer reading at least!

maybe if you like stuff you'll like this?

we posted that new modest mouse video awhile ago but this video is much better:

it was made by these people.

ohbijou is pretty much the cutest band in toronto. eff and i went to their cd release show and it was amazing so it makes sense that someone made them an amazing video.

public health care ate stephen hawking!

talks about health care reform in the states has finally proved, once and for all, how nutty those people are.

or, how nutty a lot of them are.

people will say just about anything to discredit public health care, mainly because they're scared they'll have to give up a fraction of their own privilege to provide for those who have none.

i think they should. i think if you make a shit load of money and are a car driving, service using citizen then you should pay more because you probably use more.

it just seems fair. but, my ideas of fair are a bit different and they got me fired this year so i'll just move onto my favorite argument AGAINST public health care so far(from the Ny Times):

"In an editorial denouncing Democratic health reform plans, Investor’s Business Daily tried to frighten its readers by declaring that in Britain, where the government runs health care, the handicapped physicist Stephen Hawking “wouldn’t have a chance,” because the National Health Service would consider his life “essentially worthless.”

except stephen hawking was born in britain and has lived there all of his life.

you know it's bad when people start holding stephen hawking over heads. it's like "oh, don't nationalize health care, i have stephen hawking and i'm not afraid to drop him"

or "maybe you don't care about stephen hawking? is that why you want to make health care public?"

death panels+rationed health care+apocalypse catalyst=public health care and no stephen hawking

these people are crazy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

not so cynical now, are we!

here at pamphleteers headquarters we love our bikes. we also love causes.

so imagine how excited we got when i learned about something that would combine those two things for the best cause, ever.

friends for life bike rally

i'm sure i've heard about this event peripherally over the years, but i was at work the other day when someone declined a pastry because they had just cycled to montreal.

yes, toronto to montreal. on a BIKE.

besides being extremely impressive, the fact that this bike ride was for the toronto people with aids foundation and managed to raise approximately $900,000.00 is amazing.

every year hundreds of people decide to fundraise money and then hop on their rides and trek for six days to raise money for a great cause.

geoffrey chown, who declined the pastry and unknowingly spurred two new riders through such a simple act, told me that he's done the friends for life bike rally for eight years-- four as a rider and four as crew. he also told me that anyone could do it: the youngest person riding this year was fifteen and the oldest was 72.

this seems to be true. there are a few qualifiers, such as fundraising a minimum of $2200.00, completing a bike maintenance clinic, completing training rides of 50kms and 100kms before a deadline, etc but other than that it seems to be something you decide to do and then do it.

so, eff and i are going to do it.

next year after some fundraising, training rides, and bike clinics we are going to ride our goddamned bikes 600kms to montreal for a great cause.

i mean, first we're going to have to buy bikes that didn't cost us $60 on craigslist and haven't been hit by hummers, but.. that's a small obstacle to overcome.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

dear carleton university: blaming a girl for her own rape? not going to fly.

on august 31, 2007 the president of carleton university was probably sleeping the sound sleep of the privileged on expensive sheets in a quiet neighborhood.

but at 11:30pm, a young woman was working late in a chemistry lab and was violently sexually assaulted by a man that has never been caught.

because i don't really believe in reiterating the details of sexual assault, i won't. but it was violent and cruel, and the woman ended up needing surgery for her jaw and spent weeks on a liquid diet, and is now facing shoulder surgery as a result of her attack.

since the attack carleton has ensured that new security measures are in place including, which is great, but the victim of the attack was still attacked and had her life destroyed.

so she sued carleton.

according to the ottawa citizen the woman is seeking $535, 000 in damages for her injuries, mental suffering, expenses and future loss of income. in her statement the jane doe states that "university officials were negligent by failing to take adequate security measures, including equipping laboratory buildings with security devices such as swipe cards and ensuring that door and tunnel entrances to the building were visibly monitored by security cameras."

i agree. any student knows that sometimes being at school late at night is completely unavoidable. science students especially know this because they do lab work which often requires checking results or other time sensitive things.

also, it was 2007. which means carleton university had ample time to make accommodations for women working late at night on campus. throw up a camera or two around or in the labs, make the buildings inaccessible except to those who have keys, you know, simple things like that.

small security measures like cameras or swipe cards might not stop all violent crimes, but they do help deter some crime or catch the perpetrators of others.

considering that carleton DID put in these measures after the woman's attack you would think that carleton would agree that maybe they dropped the ball.

actually, the university is alleging that it's the woman's own fault that she was violently raped and had the shit beaten out of her. because she didn't keep a "proper lookout" for her own safety, failed to register with the department of university safety as a student working late, that she chose to remain on the premises alone, and that she chose not to lock the door of the lab.

i have four words for whoever crafted this response: you piece of shit.

not only has this statement been properly identified as victim blaming, but it sets an incredibly dangerous precedent.

'don't want to get raped? don't go to school' is basically what their statement is saying to women and men on their campus. oh, you don't want to have your face smashed in while you work in the lab? well then you'd better make sure the door is locked at all times but keep in mind that by choosing to be at school late at night you're choosing to make yourself available to rapists.

it's like how in the 90's a police officer in toronto who was investigating a bunch of stranger rapes in the park told women that in order to prevent the attacks they should hit the ground and start chowing down on grass. yes... grass.

apparently, a woman vomiting is so repulsive sexually that a rapist will immediately take off running.

so maybe this young science student just didn't eat enough grass before her long shift in the lab.

i'm guessing that carleton tries to encourage its students to feel safe at their new school, which eventually becomes a home to many of them. they probably tell students that theirs is a special community, a community that each student belongs to. they want you to feel comfortable for the four years or more that you will spend on the campus.

well in this case we get to see a rare case of complete transparency: the university will blame a young woman for a violent attack to save itself $535,000.

$535,000 doesn't seem like a lot of money to be asking and it doesn't really seem like an amount of money over which to invoke such a ridiculous defense. it especially doesn't seem like a huge amount of money considering this woman probably ended up dropping out of school and maybe now her science dreams are ever farther from coming true.

that amount of money is nothing to a university, some university presidents make a little under this amount every year for doing basically nothing. so carleton university, do the right thing and don't make this woman's life any harder than it has been. give her the money, some grass seeds, and maybe shove your antiquated victim blaming up your ass.

dear north americans: stop breeding


i feel like i've been waiting for this study for a long time. dear yuppie couples in the united states: your baby leaves more of a carbon footprint than the babies in developing nations. alot more.

the study, coming out of oregon state university, "concluded that in the united states the carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of an extra child is almost 20 times more important than some of the other environmentally sensitive practices people might employ their entire lives – things like driving a high mileage car, recycling, or using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs."

this means that you could recycle, use energy-efficient shit, compost, whatever and popping out that baby cancels it all out. great job trying to save the planet but what's really hurting the planet is the plethora of babies being born here in north america.

the study states that "potential carbon impacts vary dramatically across countries" and that "the average long-term carbon impact of a child born in the U.S. – along with all of its descendants – is more than 160 times the impact of a child born in Bangladesh."

and why is that? well, i imagine it has something to do with the fact that we're unbelievably greedy and consume like crazy here in north america. we waste more than anybody, we consume more than anybody, and even if our population is smaller or growing at a slower rate we're still sending an annual "fuck you" to the earth.

so all of this bullshit about "population control" in developing nations, for the good of the planet, has finally been revealed as the bullshit it really is in terms that people will actually acknowledge(unlike, you know, how it used to be critiqued in terms of racism).

i'm a proponent of voluntary human extinction, which means i believe that my white yuppie cousins who live in the 'burbs of toronto and ottawa should not fill the void in their lives with children. it means that maybe sometimes we should be all 'hey, maybe i WANT a baby but maybe it's just not the best plan since i already use up enough resources as it is.'

or, that if you absolutely must have a baby, you should consider raising one that needs a family. maybe we should consider denying ourselves the right to have a biological baby until every child in the world who needs a family has one. i mean this in the least cliche way ever, because i really feel like having a child of your own is a selfish thing to do because it's really not necessary for any reason.

clearly, many people would disagree here. but the study proves it, it's selfish. you're ruining the world with your incessant baby-making(not to mention ruining my train ride from montreal last night when you allowed your baby to scream for the entire five hours).

so maybe instead of having a baby, or another baby, you should just go ahead and plant a tree or something--the world will thank you for it.

crappy taxidermy of the day

this little guy looks like one of the disney owls gone terribly, terribly wrong. his mouth and eyes have even been frozen in mid-song.

more where that came from: crappy taxidermy

Friday, August 7, 2009

clearly this is the best after-death option for anything with skin..

there are website devoted to anything you can possibly imagine. probably there isn't anything better than weird taxidermy to be devoted to, though.

this website is called crappy taxidermy which is kind of misleading because everything on it is the best ever.

like this:

what better way to honour your precious pet hamster than to taxidermy it and include a top hat and umbrella combo? there is no better way!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

oh no! one less dinosaur creationist theme park in the world!

over at boing boing they posted about this dinosaur creationist theme park in florida that is being seized by the government because the owners owes like ten billion dollars in back taxes or some shit like that.
tax evasion, whatever. how, at a time like this, can the government deny people a dinosaur creationist theme park?

what is a dinosaur creationist theme park, you ask? well creationists believe that god created everything for reals. not just a symbolic thing, like god crafted each creature with his bare hands(because creationists also believe that god is male).

so, according to this logic a lot of creationists believe that dinosaurs existed at the same time as humans.

so the perfect opportunity for a theme park was born. it's the best of all worlds really: dinosaurs, cavemen, jesus. all wrapped up in one.

clearly the man who owns this park was called by god and should not have to pay taxes!
he knows this, because that's actually his defense: he was employed by god and that ministers were not supposed to be subjected to payroll taxes. he also claimed that he had no income and no property.

exactly. it's god's income and god's property.

anyways, don't be too upset about this closure--there's still the dinosaur gardens prehistoric zoo in ossineke michigan.

breaking news on the huffington post numero deux

here is the second installment of breaking news on the huffington post".

awhile ago we posted about censorship at the huffington post and how ridiculous it was that they decided a certain video wasn't newsworthy when they publish such trash and pretend like they don't publish trash at all.

here are five of the top, hard-hitting, newsworthy stories on the huffpost this week:

1. "matt damon, don cheadle and families join clooney in lake como"

what the world needs now, is vacations-sweet vacations. because i have an insatiable desire to know where matt damon, don cheadle and george clooney are at times of the day i am grateful to the huffpost for providing me with this information.

it also makes it way easier to stalk celebrities when the media reports on their whereabouts 24 hours a day(and posts pictures for maximum find-ability).

2. "putin's outdoor adventure vacation"

whew. i was under the impression that putin's vacations were just like everyone elses--don't worry, he's gone on an adventure vacation!

3. "world leaders' ladies top vanity fair's best-dressed list"

i wonder how this happened? let's think about this... wealth, power, visibility, top designers at your beck and call, someone hired to dress you... how on earth did the "leaders' ladies" top this list?

thank you, huff post, for bringing this important news to our attention.

4. "paula abdul LEAVING idol"

i know who paula abdul is, but... what is idol? are they talking about that american idol thing? and also, why is that still on television? maybe idol should leave idol.

but, paula abdul is leaving and i'm glad i know that. one day i may tune in just to watch the paula abdul portion of said show and be hugely disapointed that she is no longer appearing.

future crisis averted.

5. "ryan o'neil: i hit on my daughter tatum at farrah's funeral"

i like when the media turns a serious issue like.. you know, incest and makes it into a headline.
i didn't even read this story, because it grossed me out that tatum o'neil was a childstar and this ryan o'neil said something like this. so, when she was a child and also a star, did he hit on her then?

i don't know, i just find this one so tasteless that i'm not even going to joke about it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

whales should get on this..

this video is going to get a lot of hype because it was directed by heath ledger, and he died before it was finished.

but looking past heath ledger the video should be getting a lot of hype because it's amazing.

whales hunting humans--it's basically perfect. also, the song is modest mouse-ey.

my only problem with concepts like this, or documentaries that show the evils of industries like whaling is that they tend to demonize the actual fisherpeople.

i feel like the system of supply and demand, as well as the economy, are more to blame for the excesses of whaling/sharking/etc. individuals who are involved in the most basic part of that--the actual capture and killing of animals-- aren't doing it because they're greedy or like to roll around in the blood of animals but because it's one of the only options for employment in a kind of shitty world.

apparently the proceeds from the itunes video downloads in the first month of release(this month, august) will go to the sea sheperd conservation society. the sea sheperd is an international non profit, marine wildlife conservation organization "committed to ending the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans".

the thing i like about the sea sheperd society is that it investigates legal violations at sea because a lot of the time there isn't enough coast guard man power to do that--so, we make laws about protecting the seas and their inhabitants but then don't have anyone actually enforcing said law.

so maybe you should download the video on itunes.

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