Judge was supposed to preside over a Pennsylvania couple's wedding. She called ICE on them instead

If you want to erode the public's trust in the legal system, making a court house an unsafe place to be, even during what's supposed to be a joyful occasion, is a great place to start. Read the rest

Lone Canadian cop takes down alleged mass murderer without firing a shot

I was getting on a plane in Toronto yesterday when I heard the news that a van had been intentionally driven into a crowd of people. Read the rest

What, today, would most delight a serious Joni Mitchell fan? (Other than a new album?)

How about a whole album full of 11 excellent songs you’ve never heard before, which Joni wrote between 1964 and 1969 but never got around to recording.....sung by an excellent singer....with expert tasteful backup....including the first song she ever wrote, “Hunter,” which until now had appeared on a handful of early unreleased test-pressings of BLUE? Songs so good, they all sound like just-discovered outtakes from SONG TO A SEAGULL—which is basically what they are? How ‘bout, all this for only a sawbuck, US? (or $13 for a physical CD)

Romance writers sought for library residency at my former Toronto workplace

I was a teenaged page at the North York Central Library in suburban Toronto, working in the Business and Urban Affairs section, shelving books, taping together newspapers while we waited for their microfilm versions to arrive, and fiddling around with the newly installed (and poorly documented) computerised catalogue/lending system -- I worked there with many other would-be writers, like Nalo Hopkinson, who was a public service clerk a few floors down. Read the rest

Rick Astley sings with Choir! Choir! Choir!

Rick Astley is getting around lately. We recently saw him on a Canadian morning show for a live, in-person rickroll. Now he's singing his 1987 hit song, "Never Gonna Give You Up," with Choir! Read the rest

Ontario town councillor posted racial slur to Facebook then claimed his account was hacked and asked IT to wipe his hard-drive

Don Cardy is a town councillor in Brant County, Ontario; on August 29, 2017, late at night, Cardy replied to a post in Arabic with a two-word post: "Fucking raghead." Read the rest

Nova Scotia filled its public Freedom of Information Archive with citizens' private data, then arrested the teen who discovered it

A 19 year old in Nova Scotia wanted to learn more about the provincial teachers' dispute, so he filed some Freedom of Information requests; he wasn't satisfied with the response so he decided to dig through other documents the province had released under open records laws to look for more, but couldn't find a search tool that was adequate to the job. Read the rest

Rick Astley rickrolls unsuspecting weather reporter on air

Rick Astley was waiting to be interviewed in the studio for the Canadian morning TV show Your Morning and decided to rickroll Brandon Gonez, the show's weather reporter, on air. Read the rest

Hells Angels around the world rally to downrank Manitoba businesses that don't serve outlaw bikers

After Winnipeg's Marion Hotel turned away members of the Manitoba Nomads -- a branch of the Hells Angels, classed as a criminal organisation under Manitoba law -- the gang's president called on Hells Angels affiliate around the world to leave one-star ratings for the business on Facebook, driving both the hotel and its restaurant off of Facebook, seemingly permanently. Read the rest

Justin Trudeau's no-action tweet offering help to refugees harmed by Trump's #MuslimBan created chaos

Amid the chaos of Trump's illegal ban on refugee claimants and other migrants from Muslim-majority nations, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Read the rest

Hockey Noir: The Opera

A bunch of years ago, I was sitting at a LA Kings Hockey game, noticing the music the game made. The skates on the ice. The slap of the sticks. The puck being handled and passed around. The grunts. The whistles. The roar of the crowd. The bursts of music clips. The Zamboni. And in that moment, I knew that I had come up with the idea that for my new opera it would have something to do with Hockey.

The Shop: Toronto's new inclusive makerspace

Toronto's great wealth of makerspaces continues to grow: now there's The Shop, an "all-inclusive makerspace with a focus on woodworking, metal and ceramics."

They offer members access to well-stocked workshops with metal/woodworking tools and ceramics equipment; and they run regular classes on making various useful and lovely things at all levels of mastery, and they have a retail shop where makers can sell their creations. Read the rest

Glenn Greenwald and Michael Hayden debate surveillance

Every year, Canada's Munk debates feature high-level, high-profile debates on burning policy issues. This year, they debated surveillance, and the participants were Glenn Greendwald and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian on the anti-surveillance side and former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz on the pro-surveillance side. Read the rest

Aurora Award nominees, including a performance from actual outer space

Brooke Abbey writes, "The 2014 Prix Aurora Award nominees have been announced! [Ed: this is the Canadian popular science fiction prize]. I am one of the nominees, in the fan music category, which this year also includes A MOTHERFUCKING ASTRONAUT - Chris Hadfield's awesome Space Oddity cover IN ACTUAL SPACE is nominated. Read the rest

Telcos gave spies unfettered, deep, warrantless access to Canadians' digital lives

Michael Geist writes, "The recent revelations regarding massive telecom and Internet provider disclosures of subscriber information has generated a political firestorm with pointed questions yesterday to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the House of Commons. Read the rest

Mayor Rob Ford recording: drunken, sexist, racist, homophobic, abusive rant

The recording of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack (again) isn't the only recording to emerge of the mayor; he was also recorded making drunken, racist, homophobic, misogynist remarks at a bar where he was also abusive to the bartender and said rather revolting things about his wife. Read the rest

New Rob Ford crack-smoking video emerges, Ford takes "break" from re-election campaign

Rob Ford has announced a "break" from his re-election campaign for mayor of Toronto, after a video of him smoking crack last weekend surfaced, being offered for sale by a drug-dealer for seven figures:

In one of the clips shown to The Globe and Mail on Wednesday, the mayor rapidly shifts his weight back and forth on the spot, talking into his cellphone and his right arm swinging at his side.

Read the rest

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