Monthly Archives: April 2007

Hot chicks sucking fags

There are a lot of interesting pornographic websites out there (don’t ask me how I know this): porn involving pregnant women, porn involving books, glasses and all sorts of other inanimate objects you wouldn’t consider sexual.

Now a Quebec entrepreneur is filling the gap of smoking porn. It’s not actually porn, since the girls aren’t naked or anything. They’re just smoking suggestively. And you have to pay to see it.

Dominic Arpin asks the obvious question: What are they smoking? And how smoke-deprived do you have to be to pay to watch other people smoke?

Tivijournal – Ça manque de rigueur, rigueur, rigueur!

(WARNING: French content ahead)

There’s a story in The Gazette today by me (you’ll have to take my word for that, since my byline accidentally disappeared during editing — my editor has promised alcohol as compensation).


It’s about Tivijournal, a group of young journalists who poke fun at Quebec media and politicians in a monthly satire show. I interviewed them last month as they were preparing their March episode of post-election humour. Pictured above is Félix B. Desfossés, the charismatic host who looks far more confident than he is in his trademark pink shirt and exposed chest hair.

Continue reading

Yes, Your Grandma Majesty, I’m fine

The fact that Gilles Duceppe would so rudely rebuke a theoretical invitation of a foreign head of state to Quebec City’s 400th anniversary celebration bothers me somewhat, but what really gets me is that he endorses grandmothers getting involved in their grandchildren’s romantic affairs:

“[The Queen] has enough matters to settle at home, starting with her grandson,” Duceppe told reporters outside the House of Commons yesterday. “He has problems with his romantic relations. That’s enough for Madame.”

Huge story, but no news

Unsurprisingly, news of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history led the three local English newscasts this evening. And, also unsurprisingly, the coverage was disappointing.

CTV had the most coverage of the event, a full 10 minutes of its newscast, and also scored a local angle by finding a Virginia Tech student from Quebec. Their main story was repackaged from ABC News, as was a list of former school shootings (that should give an idea of what little there is to report here) which featured Montreal rather prominently (Polytechnique, Fabrikant and Dawson).

CBC (whose anchor desk is being manned by the eye-pleasing former CBC Radio Noon host Nancy Wood) had its own report from Neil MacDonald in Washington, which added the Bush Administration’s predictable reassurance that they believe in the right to bear arms.

Global’s report was so short I didn’t notice where it came from.

All three networks included streeters from young people on downtown streets. What this showed me: young people in Montreal think school shootings are bad. Wow. Thank you for informing me. Among the eye-opening quotes: “If you’re not safe at school where can you be?”

And, of course, all three had a Dawson angle. There was a shooting at Dawson, and that guy killed himself afterward too. So there must be some connection to report, right? Though the interviews with students were hardly enlightening, they did include some discussion with shooting victims about the political implications of gun laws.

So what do the three main newscasts follow this huge story with? Well, the weather of course. Apparently it’s windy outside, and that’s slowing down motorists. That in turn was followed by human interest stories and other slow-news-day stories. CBC’s Marianna Simeone had an editorial piece saying cellphones should be banned while driving (how much you want to bet she’s answered at least one cellphone call while driving this week?).

To CTV’s credit, they later came back to the Virginia shootings with more ABC coverage and an interview with anyone they could find to call himself an expert and pull uninformed hypotheticals out of his ass a local psychologist.

We’ll see how the papers handle it tomorrow. Judging from’s special page on the subject (filled with the Canadian Press coverage they should be weaning themselves off of as they prepare to dump the wire service), it should be good.

It’s the Internet. Ethics don’t matter here.

Montreal Tech Watch points out the stupidity of a group giving website awards to companies like Bell, Videotron and Desjardins. These are big companies with complex websites, but are they really all award-worthy?

A theory:

The answer lies on the “experts” who choose the winner. There was SECOR Conseil, s2i web, Conseil Action and CogniLab. If I could make a hall of shame, I would put them on the list. These companies have Videotron, and all other companies on their customer lists. They are obviously praising these companies in order to get lucrative contracts; because you have to recognize their websites are not a model of excellence, accessibility and user experience.

Doesn’t that sound a tad fishy to anyone else?

I’ll add that in their press release announcing the winners, they don’t bother linking to the websites they mention. I know “A HREF” is a difficult tag to understand, but you’d think these people would get basic HTML down before judging websites for usability.

Bonaventure Boulevard?

So the city wants to take down one of its elevated highways, now that green and grounded is the new civic planning method. The three-phase project would replace the Bonaventure Expressway – the main artery into downtown from the south shore, into a redirected “urban boulevard” that diverts away from the waterfront and then splits in two as it turns into the city. The Gazette today focuses on the latter part. Depending on who you talk to, it’ll either be a wide-median green-as-all-hell fantastic-view gateway to the city centre, or two parallel roads with big buildings between them to make up for some of the money they’ll be spending.

Columnist James Mennie is rightfully skeptical about the plan, because while an “urban boulevard” sounds all cool and stuff, it won’t look that great when 18-wheelers are spewing carbon monoxide all over the place.

Of course, the biggest problem for me is that everyone coming into downtown will now have six new traffic lights to go through, even if they’re just using the Bonaventure to get to the Ville-Marie expressway. Though they don’t specify it exactly, Mennie hints that their solution to this problem will be to convince motorists to use public transit, and will include a bus-only lane to help facilitate this.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Quadruple overtime

There’s nothing quite like it. After 120 minutes (the equivalent of two full games) of play, and five hours of real time, the players are far too exhausted to make hard shots, race for the puck, or even stand up straight.

Tonight, the Vancouver Canucks (with former Hab Yan Bulis) beat the Dallas Stars (with former Hab Mike Ribeiro) 5-4 in fourth overtime, two minutes short of becoming the fifth-longest game in NHL history.

Funny enough, while it easily set a new record for Vancouver, Dallas had a longer game which went into fifth overtime in 2003.

Now, of course, the best thing to do is look at the game’s stats. It was quite a night for Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo — his much-anticipated first NHL playoff game had him see 78 shots on goal, at least 36 of them consecutive saves.

But the real star of the night, of course, was Vancouver’s #18, defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick. The almost-all-star didn’t have any goals, any assists or even any shots, but I was cheering for him the entire night. After all, he was drafted by the Canadiens. And if we can’t make the playoffs, at least we can be confident we planted the seeds of other playoff dreams.

Throughout the night I noticed that the TV people are still kinda flying by the seat of their pants on all this. Somewhere in the third overtime, my CBC signal lost its video feed for about 15 minutes (the audio was fine). No problem, I switched to RDS, who were in turn taking their feed from Versus in the U.S.

But then RDS lots its Versus feed. To their credit, they quickly replaced it with a backup feed of some sort and got back on track. The only problem was that this feed had the Versus play-by-play. They had to keep that audio so you could hear the crowd, but lower the levels so the RDS French play-by-play would drown out the English version.

Eventually, CBC regained its video feed, but then the audio got replaced by some guys doing analysis of the Eastern conference. I started wondering why everything was going so badly until I tuned to TSN and saw the country music station instead. It was then I figured the problem was probably with Videotron.

Don’t they know better than to have problems in triple overtime?