Science and Technology geek, avid reader, Canadian.
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Half in the Bag: The 70-Minute Rise of Skywalker Review

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Internet superstar Rich Evans joins Mike and Jay on this very special episode of Half in the Bag. The guys discuss the newest Star Wars film, “The Rise of Skywalker” and attempt to make sense of it in the fairest, most humane way possible.

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MatthewMk2
192 days ago
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Zack Snyder confirms Snyder Cut of Justice League with photo evidence

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For the last two years, fans of Zack Snyder's DC work have been clamoring like a parademon for a director's cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE. After Snyder left the project due to a personal tragedy, studio interference, and a final "polish" by director Joss Whedon, JUSTICE LEAGUE was released with a resounding thud in 2017. A clear Frankenstein mashup whose ignominious claim to… Read More...
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MatthewMk2
216 days ago
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Release the Snyder Cut!
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Team behind CGI James Dean form company to resurrect more Hollywood actors

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There are times when digital trickery is needed to bring an actor back to life, such as when Paul Walker tragically died mid-way through production on FURIOUS 7, but we seem to be on the cusp of something else entirely as Variety has reported that a new company is aiming to resurrect hundreds of actors, sports legends, and musicians for future multi-media entertainment. Hi, Maya Angelou… Read More...
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MatthewMk2
237 days ago
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This is just wrong.
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John Scott all-star kerfuffle ends with Gary Bettman, NHL the butt of joke

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In a 1955 comedy titled “The Mouse That Roared,” the tiny, fictional Duchy of Grand Fenwick invades the United States led by actor Peter Sellers and armed with just bows and arrows. After much hilarity, they improbably win the war.

Change the dates and names and that plot summary nicely sums up pro hockey’s latest kerfuffle. Only tin-eared NHL boss Gary Bettman isn’t laughing anymore.

A few weeks ago, some hockey fans with a sense of humour took advantage of a rule change in the league’s balloting for the Jan. 31 All-Star Game and launched an internet campaign to vote enforcer John Scott onto the team. It was a lark to begin with, little more than a half-hearted attempt to add some fun to an event annually lacking in that department.

To be clear: The 6-foot-8 Scott is hardly an All-Star; his skill set pretty much begins and ends at his fists. He’s collected just five goals to go along with 542 penalty minutes, which explains how he wound up playing for seven different organizations in a 10-year pro career. Making matters worse, Scott isn’t on an NHL roster at the moment, having been traded only last Friday by the Arizona Coyotes to Montreal, which in turn shipped him out to the club’s AHL affiliate in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

And that’s when things got interesting.

Scott’s journeyman status is a reminder that there isn’t much demand for enforcers in today’s fast-paced NHL. The Coyotes tried putting the 33-year-old left wing on waivers four times in the previous six months, but found no takers until his name shot to the top of the All-Star balloting and stubbornly stayed there. Conspiracy theories abounded.

In short order, the league was accused of throwing technicalities in Scott’s path to keep him off the ice; manipulating the online voting; trying to buy him off with the offer of a free trip to All-Star weekend in Nashville for him and his family; even pressuring the teams involved in the trade to bury him quietly in the minors. The reactions of Scott and Bettman, the two principles in this wearying drama, was telling.

Scott long ago proved his commitment to hockey and has plenty of scars to prove it. He anguished about embarrassing the game. He talked with teammates and then his family. It didn’t hurt, of course, that he did the math, too.

Scott’s contract is for $575,000 per year. $700,000 per year, though less the longer he plays in the minors. His wife is expecting to deliver twins at any moment. He’s also lost nearly $80,000 in suspensions and fines — a sum that would be erased by the roughly $100,000 share doled out to each All-Star on the winning side.

Eventually he concluded it was “a huge opportunity for me. I never ever thought I could ever go,” he told the New York Times on Wednesday, after playing his first game for the St. John’s IceCaps in Bridgeport, Connecticut, “so I’m kind of making the best of it and taking a positive spin on it.”

Bettman, on the other hand, is still spinning.

Although the NHL blanched at the thought of Scott ruining the flow of its new 3-on-3 format — meant to showcase finesse players like Alex Ovechkin and Jaromir Jagr — he insisted the league intended to go along with the joke all the time.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntoshGary Bettman is still spinning.

“The fans spoke in large numbers for the process and he’s going to be joining us in Nashville. There was never any doubt about that,” the commissioner said during an appearance Tuesday in San Jose, California, for the Sharks 25th anniversary celebration. But he followed that soon after with an implied threat.

“Obviously the fans decided it was important to vote for him and we respect that. Whether or not we need to make adjustments into the future and ensure that truly All-Star players are there,” Bettman added, “is something we’ll worry about after we go to Nashville.”

Fine.

But whether we’re talking about sanctioning votes at the United Nations, wet T-shirt contests in bars or balloting for the All-Star Game, what we’re conducting is a popularity test. If All-Star games are supposed to be for the fans — as opposed to just another marketing opportunity — the league better be prepared to live with the outcome. The NHL already reduced the number of available slots fan balloting could decide from a dozen players previously to just four this time around.

Scott still has no idea which team’s jersey he’ll wear, but that’s the least of his worries. With babies on the way and a career to resuscitate, he’s got enough on his plate.

“It was something I didn’t want to deal with — something that was thrust upon me,” Scott said. “But now I can move on and play hockey and hopefully work my way back to the NHL.”



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MatthewMk2
1625 days ago
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Whatever Happened To The Beatles?

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When I was growing up, back in the 1960s, there was a band called The Beatles that was more famous than any other band.  From 1964 to 1969 they were always in the news, always on the radio, often seen on television, setting the pace for sixties pop culture.  You heard their songs everywhere, either ordinary folks just singing, or professionals covering their tunes.  I bought all their albums as they came out, with each new release a big occasion.   Then The Beatles broke up and everyone was sad.

the-beatles

Years later, when CDs came out, I bought all The Beatles albums again, but this time the albums were different from when their songs came out on LPs in the 1960s.  The CD albums were repackaged like they had been first released in England as LPs.  For a while, this brought The Beatles back into my life.  For decades when I listened to music it was by listening to CDs, and now and then I’d play The Beatles.  I still thought of them as the most famous band on Earth.

Starting many years ago I switched to Rhapsody subscription music, and after a few years to Rdio, and after another few years to Spotify.  I listen to streaming music at my computer, or when walking around with my iPod touch, or on my big stereo through my Roku connected to my receiver.  The Beatles have never been on streaming music.  As I slowly stopped playing CDs, The Beatles were forgotten.  Then they released their albums again on remastered CDs.  I bought them all except Yellow Submarine.  However, I didn’t even play all these new CDs because I’ve gotten out of the habit of playing CDs.  Some of those remastered CDS are  still in the shrink wrap.  Maybe I’ll get around to them eventually, but streaming music is my habit.

I’ve gotten so used to listening to streaming music that if I can’t add a song to my playlists, or call the album up when I think about it, it doesn’t get played.  So I don’t’ hear The Beatles anymore.  This year when they had all the 50th anniversary stuff it was fascinating to watch on TV.  That would have triggered memories and gotten me to add some of their songs to my playlists, if they had been available on Spotify, but since they weren’t, I haven’t.

I said to my wife, “I wonder what Beatles songs I’d add to my playlist if they were available?”  I never found out, because they still aren’t on streaming.

I have two sets Beatles CDs, plus all their songs ripped to my computer, and even uploaded to my Amazon Music and Google Music accounts.  Rhapsody/Rdio/Spotify has ruined me.  I now think of music as what I hear everyday from Spotify.  I sometimes get out my favorite albums I play on Spotify and play them on CD just to hear their better sound quality, but I don’t play The Beatles because I don’t remember them anymore.  My music world has become Spotify, and The Beatles are not part of that world.

I know people who still play The Beatles, not their CDs, but digital songs they’ve stolen or bought as singles.  Those folk are still stuck in the past of owning music.  Statistics show streaming music is catching on, and even the number of illegal downloads are down.  Sales of purchased digital songs are down too.  If stolen and bought songs are in decline, and renting is on the increase, when are people going to play The Beatles?

I wonder if other people are like me, and have forgotten The Beatles because their songs aren’t available via streaming music?  Well, new people who never knew The Beatles don’t even know what they are missing.  But for us old farts, it’s, “Whatever happened to The Beatles?”  It’s a new world out there when it comes to discovering and playing music.  Some bands are bucking the trend because of the money.  And I can understand that.  But music seems to be in two places now, either live or streamed.  Who plays albums anymore?  Or the radio?

Hey, whatever happened to The Beatles?

JWH – 7/10/14


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MatthewMk2
2189 days ago
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Serious Sam 3: BFE has been certified for PlayStation 3

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MatthewMk2
2252 days ago
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Serious Sam 3 is finally coming to PSè!
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