The Humanoids: Happy (July) Holidays

I’m having trouble figuring out what is the biggest holiday. Is it Christmas, Victoria/Memorial Day, or Canada/Independence Day? At Christmas, you give and receive gifts which makes it a hit with the kids. But the other two have the adults (and most teenagers) giving and receiving beer. On that alone I’d knock off Christmas but the snow and blizzards seal the deal. When you consider that Canada Day and Independence Day fall close enough together that you can party twice in short succession and take that whole stretch off without burning too many vacation days, it has to be the winner. The fact that I live on the US border probably makes it seem better too.

The Pirate Bay
the-pirate-bayWhat was once the world’s largest file-sharing website has fallen a long way since being targeted by Swedish authorities at the urging of Hollywood types. Just hours after announcing that they were launching The Video Bay (a video service that would broadcast any video regardless of copyright violation), The Pirate Bay announced that they were being bought. Global Gaming Factory paid 60m Swedish kronor for the company. Then they announced that they would pay copyright fees to companies whose movie, games, or music are linked to by the site. While the founders made a nice profit that will help pay off their substantial fine and legal fees, TPB has been destroyed. What was once the greatest BitTorrent site of all time looks to become a store that uses torrents to download. It’s a sad day on the internet.

Marian Hossa
marian-hossaHossa and his ex-Red Wings teammate Tomas Kopecky made the jump to Detroit’s arch-nemesis, the Chicago Blackhawks. The thing with Hossa is that he signed a 12-year contract with a rumoured cap hit of $5.1M over the life of the contract. After the outcome of the last two post-seasons, as Deadspin put it, the Hawks won’t win the Cup for the next 12 years. This season he might. The eleven following years is not so likely. His greed killed him. He had a 10-year, $40M-ish offer from Detroit. In Chicago, he’ll play for a team that has committed roughly $34M for only eight signed players in 2010-11. Between choking in the playoffs and signing the wrong contract, things aren’t looking too good for him or the city of Chicago.

al-frankenThe great state of Minnesota has a new claim to fame to add to “the state that elected a well known professional wrestler as governor.” Now they can claim to be “the state that elected a little known comedian to the Senate.” Al Franken is no Lewis Black that’s for sure. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that only 300 or so more people voted for Franken than the incumbent. Then again, what does it say for the state when the other guy won the first time they counted the vote.

asteroidsIn what could go down as one of the dumbest movie ideas in the history of Hollywood, Universal Studios is developing a movie based on the arcade classic Asteroids. For those of you too young to know about it, in Asteroids you spun around in a triangular space ship and shot asteroids (and the occasional UFO) before they destroyed you. I think you could find a movie plot for Space Invaders but I’m struggling to think of a plot to go with Asteroids that doesn’t resemble Armageddon. I’m sure Asteroids: The Movie will end up with a worse plot and worse acting than Armageddon On.

Andy Murray
andy-murrayMy cousin (as long as he’s in the tournament) Andy Murray is well on his way at Wimbledon. He’s playing that other Andy, Andy Roddick. What Murray lacks in the “smoking hot wife” category compared to Roddick, he makes up for by being a superior player all-around. The only thing Murray has going against him is the fact that he has the weight of the whole of the British Isles on his shoulders. Millions and millions of people ride an emotional roller coaster with his every point. I don’t envy him if he has to face Roger Federer and loses. He could go home to find his house on fire.

The Williams Sisters
williams-sistersFor the second consecutive year, we have an all Williams brothers sisters final at the All England Club. While I’m sure that this will be great for American ratings, the rest of the world would rather this be played on one of the side courts. Even if Elena Dementieva had beaten Serena in their semi-final, we would have had Darina Safina or Venus on the the other side of the court and neither are Centre Court worthy by the new standards. Also, they’ve already met in the finals of a major seven time with Serena holding the edge (5-2). Don’t expect an exciting match. They’ve gone to three sets only three times. What I’d like to know if what happened to Sharapova and Ivanovic? Shouldn’t the WTA do everything in their power to get them to every major final? I wouldn’t be going out on too much a limb to say they’re women’s tennis’ brightest stars.

Lance Armstrong
lance-armstrongRemember him? He’s that guy that the French were persecuting while he winning seven Tour de France championships. Apparently Lance feels compelled to make his return to bicycle racing to prove that he wasn’t on the juice when he won seven in a row. Is it possible that a man can comeback from cancer and win the world’s most gruelling bike race? Yes. Likely? About as much as winning the lottery jackpot by yourself. Whether he wins or not, expect the American media to treat him as America’s greatest sporting hero while the rest of the world will accused him of being a steroid using cheat. Then he can bitch on Twitter about all the haters trying to take him down.

mark-cohonYes, we’re covering the CFL on the blog mostly because I want to follow up on some of the players I watched while covering Canadian university football for CHRW. The CFL seems to have finally found a nice niche. Eight teams and an exclusive TV contract with TSN seems to be working well for the CFL because I’ve heard more about the upcoming season than last year’s Grey Cup. They’re still doing things wrong like looking to go back to Ottawa after their last attempt there lasted all of maybe three seasons. The video review at a central HQ is something I don’t like either. Sure it speeds the game up because HQ can have a play reviewed before the ref has a headset on. On the other hand, it takes power away from the ref and fans in the stands don’t want to see the games sped up too much. They only see nine games a year. Also, free Arland Bruce. By the way, CFL commissioner Mark Cohon told me that he’s not cracking down on celebrations. The Bruce fine was for that specific incident.

George Lucas
george-lucasWhile watching one of the Star Wars movies on Spike, I realised something. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. The downfall of everyone’s favourite movie trilogy started in May 1999 with The Phantom Menace. Mind you, I don’t think George’s problem was with going with political overtones to the movies or trying to write comedy scenes (though Jar Jar Binks was annoying). His problem was casting miserable actors as Anakin Skywalker. Jake Lloyd was unbelievably annoying while Hayden Christensen was only good in lightsaber fights but couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag. You can’t say that the dialogue sucked or the whole thing was poorly written and cast. After all, Ian McDiarmid and Ewen MacGregor pulled out great performances to make the movies watchable (especially Revenge of the Sith) and casting Liam Neeson, Ray Park, and Christopher Lee were the best choices humanly possible. George just fell on his face trying to cast Anakin.

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