Around the town
Everyone’s favorite Vatican City resident, Pope Francis, has been named Time‘s Person of the Year 2013. “Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly—young and old, faithful and cynical—as has Pope Francis,” Time editor Nancy Gibbs said of the magazine’s choice. (Time)
Attack of the Clones
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been generating plenty of headlines lately, but the biggest news seems to be that the U.S. actually cares.
Toronto’s infamous crack-smokin’, oft-sweating mayor has made waves in the past week for such admirable feats as talking about oral sex on live TV, and bowling over a charming little old lady in city council.
But during the past five days I spent visiting my glorious hometown, there was one Rob Ford story that seemed to dominate the local news networks: that Mr. Ford is being mentioned on American late night comedy shows.
“Many Beatles fans remember where they were when they heard John Lennon was shot. I hope they also live to hear the day he was given another chance,” is a thing that was actually said by a Canadian dentist who plans to clone John Lennon using DNA extracted from the late Beatle’s rotting tooth. #Science.
up and down the street
Last summer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a series of initiatives to expand the city’s broadband capabilities—specifically when it comes to fiber connectivity. But it’s no secret the city has a long way to go before access to fiber is widespread. In Brooklyn, for example, one businessman said his DSL connection is even slower than dial-up. And in rankings recently published by New America Foundation, New York only placed tenth on an international list of cities with fastest Internet speeds.
So maybe it should come as no surprise that the people of Nunavut—Canada’s northernmost territory, with a population density of 0.052 people per square mile and whose most populous city, Iqaluit, is home to around 6,000 people—might be getting fiber connectivity before you.
In June, I took my daughter Marguerite to Canada to say goodbye to my brother Steve and his family before they moved to Bali, of all places. For the past decade or so, Steve has lived outside Creemore, a bucolic Ontario town, and Marguerite amused herself by chasing butterflies beside the river running through his Read More
Last week, Gawker editor John Cook launched a crowd-funded project to purchase an alleged videotape of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. They called it a “Crackstarter,” a play on Kickstarter, and aimed to raise $200,000 from viewers like you. As of this writing, more than $196,000 has been pledged.
It isn’t clear that Gawker will even be able to buy the video. Mr. Cook has been unable to get in touch with the video’s owner for over a week. (Mr. Cook did not return our request for comment). But one thing’s for sure: if Mr. Cook does manage to track down the owner and purchase the video, it will mean a big payday for Gawker. A post containing the video could draw record pageviews and advertising revenue.
Could Canadian killer and infamous internet villain Luka Magnotta be behind a Hollywood murder mystery? After an international manhunt, German police say they have arrested Luka Magnotta in Berlin over ten days after he allegedly killed and dismembered a man named Lin Jun, posted a gruesome video of the crime online and mailed the body parts to the headquarters of Canadian political parties. However, The Observer has uncovered information that could potentially link Mr. Magnotta to an infamous case from earlier this year where the severed head and hands of a man were found on a wooded trail near the Hollywood Sign.
Update (6/8/12 8:37 A.M.): The LAPD has confirmed they are investigating the possibility Mr. Magnotta was involved in the Hollywood Sign killing.
Near the end of Canada (Ecco, 432 pp., $27.99), the new novel by Richard Ford, the narrator suggests a few literary parallels to the story he’s just finished telling. It’s quite a crib note:
[These books] to me seem secretly about my young life—The Heart of Darkness, The Great Gatsby, The Sheltering Sky, The Nick Adams Stories, The Mayor of Casterbridge. A mission into the void. Abandonment. A figure, possibly mysterious, but finally not…
A cross between Robin Hood and Baby Face Nelson, Edwin Boyd was (and still is) Canada’s most popular and notorious bank robber. A decent family man and decorated war hero, he returned from World War II with one dream in mind: to provide for his wife and two children by making a living as an actor. All he got was frustration, desperation, rejection and tragedy. Thanks to careful writing and direction by newcomer Nathan Morlando and a powerful, charismatic centerpiece performance by Canadian heartthrob Scott Speedman, Citizen Gangster is a sympathetic portrait of this legendary career criminal as steeped in nuance and controversy as that of Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde.
In dramatic Contrast to the usual vapid monotony that permeates most Canadian films, Good Neighbors is a toxic thriller with unbearable intensity about an odd group of tenants in a small Montreal apartment house in the dead of a Quebec winter. Shades of Roman Polanski’s The Tenant and Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess come to mind Read More