Last night Canadian iconic band, Blue Rodeo (with opening act, The Sadies) brought their 1000 Arms Tour to Oshawa’s Tribute Communities Centre.
While my favourite song is Diamond Mine (see above) I was introduced to an old song by Blue Rodeo called “Disappear”. A sad story, great lyrics and wonderful song. Here’s a fan’s recording from a gig in Toronto:
I was going to call the title of this blog post: How professional football got away with murder. This is how emotional and powerful this story is.
Based on real life events, Concussion is the story of how Dr. Bennet Omalu (played by Will Smith) discovers a neurological deterioration that is similar to Alzheimer’s disease while conducting an autopsy on former NFL football player Mike Webster (played by David Morse). Dr. Omalu names the disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and co-publishes his findings in a medical journal. As other football players face the same diagnosis, the doctor begins a mission to raise public awareness about the dangers of football-related head trauma.
As the movie states, football players know that football is dangerous. They know they can break their leg playing the game. They may even get a concussion. However, the movie suggests that the NFL hid from the players the one thing they didn’t know could happen to them: That the repeated head trauma would lead to former football players literally losing control of their minds and body.
There are better writers than I who have written about this issue. Here’s one such article from USA Today that is well worth the read. It’s titled, “The chilling first script of ‘Concussion’ is everything the NFL doesn’t want you to see.”
Read the book, see the movie. It will change the way you watch NFL football.
Over the holidays millions of people went to the theatre multiple times to see one film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, there are at least two movies that are more important (at least here in North America).
One of them is the movie adapted from Michael Lewis’ book of the same name: The Big Short. According to IMDB, The Big Short is about “Four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed.” However, it’s much more than that. This is, of course, a true story. Millions of people in North America and around the world lost jobs, their homes and their entire life savings.
In an interview with Variety, movie director and screenwriter Adam McKay said this when asked how the banking world has reacted to the film,
It started when we were filming. We’d book a location and then be told, “No, no, they pulled the plug. The husband’s a banker” or “the wife’s dad is a huge banker.” At first it was little prickly things like that. And then as the film opened in a limited run (on Dec. 11), there were six or seven op-ed pieces in the world of economics and finance, crossfire arguments. The Wall Street Journal reviewer liked the film but an op-ed piece took a swipe at us, then Paul Krugman responded to the Journal piece, then Forbes responded to Krugman, then a Libertarian columnist really liked this movie. … It’s encouraging. We made this movie to get the conversation going. Even in the last few Q&As, there’s been — well, I’d say a little arguing, but not yelling. It’s a good sign. This movie was designed to stir the pot. And even more than financial people, I’m glad that “regular” people are talking about it. What’s amazing about this story is that it’s still happening.
Go see this movie. Not only is it important but it is also entertaining.
On December 3 2015, Scott Weiland was found dead. He will be best remembered as the frontman of the successful rock band Stone Temple Pilots. Weiland’s recognizable voice and dark lyrics were part of my high school days along with the music of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden (to name but a few).
I think I may have heard about geocaching sometime ago. But it was not until I went on a Cub Scout trip a couple of weekends ago that I actually had an opportunity to experience geocaching.
For those of you who don’t know, geocaching is a worldwide phenomenon. Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunt using GPS-enabled devices (most smartphones). Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates (or use their smartphone like I did) to end up at a specific location. They then attempt to find the cache (a hidden container) hidden at that location. Obviously, someone had to place the cache at that specific location and upload the coordinates.
I’ve only just begun – I found a cache in Guild Inn Park in Scarborough! But I can already imagine the amount of fun I will have.
If you’ve experienced geocaching I’d love to hear/read your comments.
Watch this simple video to better understand geocaching.
I never thought I’d visit Sudbury. Why? It’s so far north! But when we found ourselves an hour away from there we decided to make the trek and spend the last day of our mini vacation in Ontario’s “north”.
We hiked the Bell Park Boardwalk, visited Science North and even took pictures of the “Big Nickel”. We ended up in Sudbury after camping for a few days in the beautiful Grundy Lake Provincial Park.
Bell Park Boardwalk with the Science North building in the background. On Hermit’s Bay.
Kahzmir posing with a Smilodon (from the last Ice Age)
Stephen Colbert left The Report to play the straight man in late night television. Jon Oliver took his talents to HBO. And even household favourite David Letterman is leaving late night.
Today, Jon Stewart announced his retirement from The Daily Show. This dramatic change in the television landscape opens the door for both fresh new voices as well as his “conservative” critics to fill the void.
If you lived in Toronto in 2014 you know that politics took front page on almost a daily basis. And not because of anything good. Mostly. The third and eighth most popular articles from 2014 highlighted two personalities from Toronto politics. Third place (coincidentally) features Olivia Chow. I met Chow over the summer at a friend’s backyard barbeque. I also read Crazy Town by Robyn Doolitlewhich ended up as the eighth most popular article of karimkanji.com this past year. The book detailed the various shenanigans of Rob Ford and his dysfunctional political family. I also wrote about meeting eventual Mayor of Toronto, John Tory.
The following three articles also ended up in the top ten most popular articles of 2014:
Tin Lizzie is the affectionate name given to the world’s first mass-produced car: Ford’s Model T. Made in the first few decades of the 19th century, the Model T was also the first car to be made on Ford’s assembly line. Today, all mass-produced cars are made on an assembly line. And many other industries use the same assembly line process in their factories and warehouses.
Last weekend, I went back to my favourite Ontario town that’s 2 hours away: Stratford. There was a classic car fair just outside City Hall.
And that’s where I met Tin Lizzie. Allow me to introduce you all to this piece of history: