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Extra! Extra! Thursday's News Today, March 1st 2007

Posted by Asmaa / March 1, 2007

20070301_bar.jpgThe Globe and Mail gushes over Celebrity Accused Conrad Black over an intimate dinner in Toronto. The writer can't resist remarking on how suddenly handsome His Lordship is and how he's become a "babe magnet." Ew.

The Parti Québécois and the Quebec Liberals launched their first television ads. And guess who's missing from the PQ spots? Yep, André Boisclair

The director of a St. Hyacinthe hospital where 16 people died after getting C. difficile said he didn't know about the epidemic until after several people died. He told a coroner's inquest into the deaths that he assumed staff followed proper disinfection guidelines, but never checked into the matter himself. Moral of the story: Never get hospitalized.

The cold weather and lack of terrasses are apparently keeping smokers out of Montreal bars and at home hacking away on their couches. It's costing local businesses millions in lost revenues.

Margaret Atwood scores yet another Canadian literary honour. She will be the recipient of the $10,000 grand prize for lifetime achievement at the Blue Met literary festival, which begins April 25. Do you think she even cares anymore?

The Montreal film industry is breathing a collective sigh of relief as Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz bring the schlock sequel The Mummy 3 to town. This on the heels of news Brad and Angelina are coming to visit for a conference next fall. Hollywood North indeed.

And, as MP reported yesterday, Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts is the only North American stop for a major exhibit of Walt Disney's work. No word if any of these quality films from the Disney Vault will be showcased, too.

Photo from heicktopiertz from the MP Flickr Pool.
Media, City

Extra! Extra! Thursday's News Today

Posted by Asmaa / February 1, 2007

The trash-talk continues as Mayor Gérald Tremblay threatens to fire tourism chief Charles Lapointe for his comments about the city's cleanliness problem. "Are we returning to the time of the Greeks, where we shoot the messenger instead of listening and doing something about the problem?" asks a former tourism official. ... Hérouxville's neighbouring towns want to follow suit and adopt their own Welcome Wagon code of conduct. Says the mayor of the 300-resident hamlet of St-Roch-De-Mékinac: "It's not up to us to adjust to them. We don't deserve that. We're here." In other words, if we have to live in this hick town and suck it up, so do they.

Justin Timberlake celebrated his 26th birthday with 20,000 of his nearest and dearest Montreal fans at the Bell Centre. At about $125-501 a pop, it was a very happy ?? and sexy ?? birthday indeed. ... Despite the upcoming UN climate change report and heightened concern about global warming, Canadians care more about getting a good deal on a car than buying an environmentally friendly vehicle. Towing capability and interior styling ranked higher on the list of features drivers are looking for.

Italian President Silvio Berlusconi's wife has publicly demanded an apology for his incorrigible flirting and womanizing, writing a front-page letter in the newspaper, La Repubblica. After a recent television presentation, he told the winning Miss Smiles and Songs that he'd marry her if he weren't married already. Berlusconi has since issued a groveling press release in response to his wife's scolding missive. "Forgive me, however, I beg of you, and take this public testimony of private pride that submits to your anger as an act of love. One among many. A huge kiss. Silvio." Awwww ...

Extra! Extra! Thursday's News Today

Posted by Asmaa / January 18, 2007

clocky.jpg Stock up on Paxil while you still can. The cap has come off the price of prescription drugs here in Quebec. Prices have been frozen since 1994. ... According to sketches found in his car, Dawson gunman Kimveer Gill was considering other targets, like Vanier College, and found Université de Montréal "too big" for his plans ... The toponymy commission has apparently put off its Parc Ave. decision to work out some kind of compromise with the city. That might include only renaming part of the street ?? the uglier part ?? after Bourassa. ... Women are especially struggling to find affordable housing in Montreal, a city hall advisory board said in its first-ever report on the issue. They cited difficulties for new immigrants and discrimination against single mothers.

The reality show Big Brother has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Britain and India. Contestant and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty has been called "a dog" and ridiculed for her eating habits. (FYI: Housemate Jermaine Jackson now goes by Muhammad Abdul Aziz. It's less of a hassle.) In the House of Commons, Tony Blair made the brave move of saying he had not seen the show but he backed "opposing racism in all its forms." ... That ?? and global warming ?? is one of the reasons the cheery folks who run the Doomsday Clock have moved it ahead by two minutes. It is now 5 minutes to midnight. Apocalypse soon. Maybe. Probably.

This just in: 'Half-animal' woman found in Cambodian jungle.

FILM CLUB: Flirting With Disaster @ Boa 11/20

Posted by Asmaa / November 19, 2006


David O. Russell is not an easy director. It's not that his themes are overly challenging or his characters too difficult to identify with. He is, to put it bluntly, a bully.

New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman (Rebels in the Backlot) has a long-standing feud with the director, who slammed her for her 2004 portrayal of him as an overgrown, ADD-afflicted child who stripped down to his boxers and rolled in the grass on the set of I Heart Huckabees. Earlier that year, Russell attacked Memento director Christopher Nolan at a fancy Hollywood restaurant and put him in a headlock after hearing that Nolan cast Jude Law away from Huckabees. And perhaps, most infamously, on the set of 1999's Three Kings, Russell and his star George Clooney got into a fistfight after Clooney objected to the way the director was treating the extras. Russell reportedly later said: "I wouldn't make another George Clooney movie if they paid me $20 million." Smart man.

At a time when filmmakers are so PR-managed and "independent" directors like Quentin Tarantino are part of the starmaker machinery, Russell is a refreshing iconoclast. His first film, 1994's Spanking the Monkey, brings Benjamin Braddock into the age of pre-millennial angst. His second, Flirting With Disaster, channels the screwball spirit of Bringing Up Baby and runs with it until it collapses into a heap of sweet exhaustion.

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A double scoop of Huevos Rancheros

Posted by Asmaa / October 18, 2006

pep6.jpg Are you tired of the mess eating pizza makes? The drippy sauce, the limp crust and especially the stringy, dangerously hot cheese? How about if I told you could enjoy all the taste and all the fun of a slice of pepperoni pizza in a compact, no-muss, no-fuss format? Sound too good to be true?

Well, it is ... true, that is. Nir Adar is a food stylist who claims his innovation, the Crispy Cone, will do for food what the iPod has done for music. "The cone is a big idea that's catching on," Adar told industry glossy, Food Management, a magazine which obviously has its finger on the pulse of culinary advancement. "Thanks to the ice cream cone, society is familiar with the cone's shape. A meal in the cone is the future." And all this time, I had hoped the future would look more like the Jetsons' Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle.

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Survivor #1: Cao Bois, but no Indians

Posted by Asmaa / September 17, 2006

caoboi.jpg So, the new season of Survivor: Cook Islands began last Thursday. And even if you've been hiding in a cave for the last few months, you most likely know about the show's newest controversial twist.

The 20 survivors, jumping off a ship that looked like a leftover set-piece from Pirates of the Caribbean II, were divided into four tribes: Asian-American, Caucasian, Latino and African-American (and of course had those silly Ewok-sounding tribal names). The producers and host Jeff Probst call this a social experiment. Many people think this is a calamity. They think this season of Survivor is blatantly racist and endorsing poor values. Others think this will make for really exciting television to deconstruct and debate.

This divide has even hit the Malik-Majeed family and now, Midnight Poutine has stepped in as our marriage counsellor and invited us to air our dirty laundry in public. Watch this space for weekly updates.

But before we get to our tête à tête, I'd like for all of us to ponder the question posed by Caucasian hippie-chick Parvati: "Different ethnic groups ... I mean, is that kosher?"

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