Quick Hits - February 23

Doctor Who Begins Slow Move to Space

I was not surprised to hear that Space will be picking up Doctor Who. While the show has been a ratings winner for the CBC, it has been neglected a bit by the Corporation since its initial enthusiasm during season one, and they never really knew how to handle the Christmas specials. When they chopped a full third out of Journey’s End, I had to wonder if they had the commitment to proceed with the upcoming season of four or five sixty-minute specials.

Well, on Saturday, March 14 at 9 p.m., Space is taking The Next Doctor off of the CBC’s hands, and I’m expecting that they will proceed with the other specials as well, possibly around the time that the Sci-Fi Channel in the States gets ahold of them.

I’ll miss having Doctor Who on the CBC. I was proud to see the show so prominently displayed on Canadian television. But I think with Space, it will have found a home wherein it will feel more comfortable.

They Eat What?!

Courtesy of R.J. Anderson, comes this link which is sure to hold you in disgusted awe. This is Why You’re Fat.com features page upon page of photographs of grotesquely large portions, or bizarre food combinations, like The Sandwich of Knowledge (“The bottom tier contains eight strips of bacon, six sausages and four burger paddies; followed by a second tier of black pudding; topped by a third tier comprised of two diced chicken breasts and six fried eggs.”) or The McNuggetini (“A McDonald’s chocolate milkshake with vanilla vodka, rimmed with BBQ sauce and garnished with a chicken McNugget.”)

On the other hand, this sixty pound Rice Krispie square is a work of art.

Me: I wouldn’t want to eat that. I’d just want to stand and look at it.

Erin: (looks closer). Geez, somebody assimilated Kellogg’s!

As I was drinking coffee at the time, it was then that Erin won the Kukwa cup.

Obama Envy?

If you’d been following this blog, you may have noticed something: I hadn’t posted a thing about President Obama’s visit to Ottawa this week. And it’s not that I don’t like the guy — I do. But it’s a state visit, and those are pretty boring, and it’s a short state visit, and those are pretty pointless. I have no interest in discussing which politician (Harper or Ignatieff) got more of a rub from the president, because at the end of the day, this one visit changes nothing, and I have more important things to do.

But while some bloggers have gone a little overboard in getting excited about Obama’s visit, that really doesn’t compare to the bloggers out there who are complaining about this “undue fawning”. I mean, man, you think that Obama himself spat in their coffee this morning, or that they were personally stuck behind the presidential motorcade on their commute. I really don’t understand such surly attitudes, unless perhaps it’s sparked by jealousy, that their political opponents are getting a little bit of joy out of the day that they wouldn’t otherwise have. And, if that’s the case, I can only say this: get a life.

Maybe it is “undue fawning”, but these excited Canadians are still expressing a welcoming gesture to the leader of a country who is our largest trading partner and our best friend on the world stage. Maybe they’re overreacting over a small event, but their attitude is still a positive one motivated by joy and friendship. That’s more than we can say for those who can’t do more than grouch.

The Potential for Abuse of This…

Every writer cares a lot about his or her writing space, and no wonder. It is here where we spend some of the most important moments of our career. It’s here where inspiration strikes, and here where distractions are, if not eliminated, at least manageable. I used to write on the couch in front of the television set, watching Vivian play, but now that we’ve replaced the soft couch with something a little less comfortable (the new couch good for guests, not good for sleep-overs, which in many ways makes it a perfect couch to host visitors), I find myself on the dining room table, half a split-level up, overlooking the living room and within steps of the kitchen. All in all, it’s a good space.

Of course I sit, but that doesn’t mean that all authors do. I believe Eric Wilson writes standing up. He thinks on his feet and has to walk away from his computer often as he pushes the ideas out of his head. And as for Arthur Slade, he uses a treadmill.

No, seriously.

This is actually part of a movement promoted by Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic, and his reasoning is pretty sound: he argues that we are built to move about all day, not sit about, and that if we can keep up and moving all day, we’ll be healthier. To that end, some offices have replaced their desks with treadmills. Ambling along at a leisurely one mile per hour, workers burn over 150 calories a day and still manage to finish their work, drink their tea and, yes, chew gum at the same time.

Once I got over my initial “well that’s weird” reaction, I could see the merits to this proposal, but I could also see potential for abuse. I mean, it’s one thing if an office replaces desk with treadmills. When they start replacing the treadmills with hamster wheels, we’ll know that it’s gone too far, what with the water served by drip and the food pellets, and attaching generators to said hamster wheels to power the lights…

I also wonder if somebody could program those treadmills for practical jokes; have them start out at one mile per hour, but then go a little bit faster, then a little bit faster, then a little bit faster, and seeing how long it takes for the poor worker to notice.

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