Bill Gates is Largest Shareholder in CN

sexy-bill-gatesBill Gates owns $3.2 billion of Canada’s CN Rail. He probably knows something I don’t, probably about trains.

The only person who beneficially owns, or exercises control or direction over, directly or indirectly, shares carrying 10 per cent or more of the voting rights attached to any class of shares of the company is Mr. William H. Gates III,” the circular said.

Find out whatever the hell that means, and maybe also what a “circular” — proper noun? — is, from the CBC article.


muffedMuffed: an excellent past participle we do not hear enough.

Ruediger reflected on his big day and reckoned he’d never seen, nor ever will see again, a presentation muffed quite so spectacularly.

Canadian Human Rights Museum Irony

130Construction on the Canadian Human Rights Museum is to be complete in 2012. It’s a $320 million project, the large construction area of which is visible from downtown Winnipeg. The final, incomprehensible design promised is not easy to make out from its current state. The Canadian Human Rights Museum now looks suspiciously like a prison.

Maybe it’s just the guard towers. Why does a human rights museum need such vantage? If we dare to play with and decode the doublespeak, we find The Canadian Museum of Fascism or the Canadian Museum for Cruel Punishment. And so Winnipeggers worry-on. Let’s hope we see that weird Gehry ripoff sheathing up soon.


Jon Stewart, Barack Obama and Donald Trump

Barack Obama is Donald TrumpJohn Oliver on the Daily Show, and Obama firing contentious figures: “These guys are good at this. Van Jones, McChrystal, now Sherrod. This administration will fire anybody…I’m telling you. President Obama is like the Donald Trump of governance. All he needs Jon, all he needs is a bad toupee and to dip Air Force One in gold.”

Stay Jazzy Canada

jazz-handsIf you enjoy sabotaged, incorrect, or otherwise ignorant Wikipedia content, you might be smug.

“Jazz Hands” we’re told originates from dance, choreography, is popularized and lampooned in film and TV, refers to the shaky hands of a British alcoholic, and is commonly used in tense, Canadian business meetings. Wait…

“In Canada, jazz hands are often used to relieve the tension of uncomfortable business meetings. It is not uncommon to use jazz hands in combination with blurting out an expression such as “let it shine” in order to keep a meeting civil.[citation needed]”

A citation is understandably hard to find here, but commentary abound. You might have actually been involved at some point in a Canadian business meeting. Many folks have had this very experience. But the “let it shine” jazz hands tension-breaker outburst may not actually be as popular as one Wiki writer insists. We love the matter-of-fact “often used” and “not uncommon to…”

In the essence of truth, Smug News was obliged to edit this Wikipedia page, adding “The Canadian businessperson is a diverse cohort; recent sociological inquiry indicates the jazz hands meeting outburst is less common than once thought, perhaps a regional or even defunct phenomenon. ‘Let it shine’ however remains in common use.”

Read Ignatieff

ignatieff“If we were dogs, we would all be the same breed … As if to spite this huge natural gift, and to disfigure what could be our overwhelming solidarity, we manage to find excuses for chauvinism and racism on the most minor of occasions and then to make the most of them.” — Christopher Hitchens on the “narcissism o f the small difference.”

Hitchens mentions Ignatieff’s book The Warrior’s Honor to make the case for this phenomenon in the context of the Balkan Wars.

I don’t believe I’ve read Ignatieff outside Canadian politics. And apparently that’s my fault. Wikipedia gives me new appreciation for his intellect, his work, and life, if not of his PM suitability. Wikipedia also tells me Ignatieff wrote a well-appreciated biography of the philosopher Isaiah Berlin, whom I’ve also only recently learned I should have been aware of.

It’s a shame to witness once impressive figures stoop to the (obligatory?) behaviour of the politician. And is not the opposition always the most pathetic?

Evolution? Not For Me.

Conservative Bradley Byrne lampooned for his supposed support of evolution. Someone actually paid for the airtime and production of this. And presumably some folk will vote on its appeal.

This ad suggests Mr. Byrne is misguided. We should pity Bradley, oh if it weren’t for how he reacted: check out Maher: (somebody please send me a better video of just the response sans-Maher)

Phillies Fan Tasered in Front of Thousands

phillies-fan-taserThe best thing about this awesome incident is how oblivious this “law enforcement official” was to the optics of what he was about to do.

Taser International: preferred by lazy, townie cops everywhere.

This is the best clip of the night. Watch as his arms instinctively, almost, take the turf impact just as he loses consciousness. Classic.

The best Phillies fan taser ever.