Saturday, March 21, 2009

Brian's Favourite Things #2: Flip camcorder

I just bought a new Flip camcorder today at Wal-Mart. It's a low-cost camera that's easy to use, versatile and light! It's my new favourite thing, even though I've only had it for a few hours. Here's the first video I took tonight and that I uploaded to YouTube:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

American Idol: Idol Chatter for Thursday, March 19, 2009

American Idol is now officially down to the top 10 after yet another contestant was eliminated on last night's results show. I got two of the three bottom three contestants correct this week, but didn't guess the elimination correctly. Unfortunately, the contestant eliminated last night will not be part of this summer's American Idol tour. So who was sent home? Click here to read my Idol Chatter column in today's Moncton Times & Transcript to find out!

Please spare the cheese when you have to sneeze

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Editorial Page

It's cold and flu season, but that's no reason for people to forget their manners, is it? An incident during a recent trip to the grocery store was clear evidence of what can happen when we're not thinking of others when we're sick.

No matter what your household was like growing up, you were probably told to cover your mouth when you coughed or sneezed. Indeed, it's a rite of passage in every household. We follow little kids around and watch them like a hawk when they're sick to ensure they learn the social graces of covering their mouths.

In recent years, people have been taught to sneeze into the inside of their elbow in order to keep their hands clean. Makes sense to me. No use coughing or sneezing into your hand only to go around touching things, shaking hands and passing along germs, right? Unless you have some sort of weird profession I've never heard of, you probably don't do much with the inside of your elbow.

There should be public service commercials during cold and flu season to teach people to use common sense. I don't know if it would have prevented what I saw at the grocery store the other day, but maybe it would help at least increase the number of people who know how to properly sneeze in public. I know that's a very strange thing to consider, but you'll probably agree with me after this.

So I was at the grocery store the other night after work. I passed by the dairy case --- you know, where they keep all the cheese, butter, yogurt, eggs, etc.

As I was moseying down the aisle checking out the cheese, these two men walk toward me. They were both quite burly and reminded me of construction workers spending the week in town before heading home on the weekends. They were buying some groceries to munch on --- either in their apartment or motel room where they stay during the week . . . at least this is what I assumed.

One of the men, the larger of the two, decided he needed to sneeze. Now, this was a big guy. He looked like he could shoot out a mean sneeze. As he walked by the dairy case, he turns to look into it and let go of a huge sneeze that could have killed a child, had one been standing in front of him. Let's just say that the yogurt, butter, etc., got a nice shower.

There was zero effort to cover his mouth. It was the grossest thing I've ever seen. Then he and his friend started laughing. "Man, that was a pretty good sneeze!" the other said to him. And they continued to laugh like it was a big joke. Yeah, sneezing on other people's food is just hilarious.

Yeah, great sneeze, I thought. Too bad the store would have to destroy half the food in the dairy case because you were too ignorant to turn away. I was really flabbergasted. Other than giving him a disgusted look, what could I do? Would store management take me seriously if I told them some ogre just spewed half his lungs over their butter display? Should I call 911 to report someone leaving parts of their brain on the container of cottage cheese I had my eye on?

I don't gross out easily. I can watch open-heart surgery while eating lunch, after all. But there are limits. Sneezing on my food is one of them.

I mean, seriously, what was this guy thinking? And what was remotely funny about this? Obviously, he and his friend will never be nominated for a Nobel Prize, but still, it's just common sense.

I'm just as guilty as anyone else for showing up to work sick. It drives me nuts when other people do it, but I have to admit I've shown up to work practically hooked up to life support machines at times. Sometimes, there's just too much going on to take an unscheduled day off. Although hypocritical, I know I should stay home from work when I'm sick with a cold or the flu, but I usually come in anyway and end up giving it to my colleagues.

So far, I've managed to avoid getting a major cold this winter. Other than a minor case of the sniffles several weeks ago, I've remained healthy. I constantly wash my hands with sanitizer. Actually, I'm surprised my skin hasn't disintegrated yet!

One thing I haven't had in years is the flu. Since I started getting an annual flu shot, I've been flu-free! It's amazing to me how many people say they don't believe in it and then whine and complain when they end up spending a week or two in bed sick as a dog. Well, duh! I realize the flu shot doesn't cover all strains of the virus, but still . . . better safe than sorry, right? The last time I had the flu was in 1993.

I do take other preventative measures. I take vitamins and supplements. Some may not believe in them, claiming that all they do is give you "expensive urine". I, however, have always believed in them and feel they've made a difference in my energy levels.

They don't give me energy, but they keep me healthier, which gives me energy.

Spring arrives this week and winter will come officially to an end. There will still be snowstorms, mind you, but they will eventually peter out. As we spend more time outside, the flu season will eventually come to an end, as well. That is, just as long as we remember to stay away from that sneezed-on container of cottage cheese in the grocery store.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Idol: My choice for this week's #1 performance

If people can't stop talking about it, it's gotta be good. The buzz surrounding this performance is deafening, actually.

The more I watch it, the better I like it. Purists all hate it, but I think it's creative, original and bold.

For the second week in a row, Adam Lambert is my choice for #1 performance of the week. Here he is with Ring of Fire:

American Idol: Idol Chatter for Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Last night, the American Idol contestants tried their skills at country music under the guidance of music legend Randy Travis.

There were certainly some interesting performances, with Ring of Fire by Adam Lambert creating the most buzz because of its uniqueness. People either hated it or loved it. My theory is that if you liked Adam before this week and had never heard the song, you would have loved him last night. Country fans, however, were probably covering their ears. As for Johnny Cash, he was likely spinning in his grave.

So who's going home tonight? Is it Adam? We'll find out at 10 p.m. Atlantic / 9 p.m. Eastern on Fox/CTV. Click here to see who I think the bottom three will be and who'll be sent home in today's Idol Chatter column in the Moncton Times & Transcript.

This week's Hump Day column...

... is all about being sick in public and the social graces that go along with it. Something I witnessed this week at the grocery store really turned my stomach! Check out Hump Day on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript or come back here tomorrow when it will be posted online.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Layoffs at Sesame Street announced

Meet the UroClub!

Ewwwwwww!

It's a real product, too! Go to uroclub.com to buy one.

Don't miss Live Bait Theatre's production of The Dresser!

Location: Live Bait Theatre, 87 Main Street, Sackville NB

Dates: March 26-29 (7:30 pm on the 26, 27, 28; 2:0 pm on the 28, 29).

Tickets: Regular: $15; Students $10. Available at Rob Lyon Graphics, 97 Main Street, Sackville NB

Reservations: (506) 536-1904

(Click on the photo for a larger version.)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Habitat for Humanity home on Lemenager Street in Moncton

Here's another report from my (only and highly unpaid) regular correspondent, Walt Forsey, who's been working with Habitat for Humanity here in Moncton.

"The Moncton branch of Habitat for Humanity turned over their two latest homes to the families today (Sunday, March 15).

I have been following the constructions of these homes since the beginning because I'm making a souvenir DVD of the process for the families and the volunteers.

You used a video of the sod turning last May.

Here's a link to the video about today's happy occasion."


Thanks again, Walt! Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful organization that deserves everyone's support!

New Acadieman season on CapAcadie.com: Quebec separates in Acadieman vs the 2009 World Acadian Congress

NEWS RELEASE

New Acadieman season on CapAcadie.com: Quebec separates in Acadieman vs the 2009 World Acadian Congress

The next season of Acadieman will be broadcast on the CapAcadie.com website. Entitled Acadieman vs the 2009 World Acadian Congress, the season – when complete – will make up a full-length film featuring fictitious events surrounding the 2009 World Acadian Congress (WAC). Quebec separates... the Americans invade... and the Acadians are deported. Those are just some of the challenges to be faced by our Acadian superhero.

The media and the general public are invited to the launch of Acadieman’s third season on Thursday, March 19, 2009, at 7 p.m. at the Théâtre l’Escaouette, 170 Botsford Street in Moncton, where four new clips will be aired. The Mézagouèche band will also be on hand to perform.

“I’m putting together a 90-minute feature film, a story called Acadieman vs the 2009 WAC. The film will be divided into clips of about three minutes each that will be aired weekly on www.capacadie.com,” said Dano LeBlanc.

This fall, the series will be broadcast on TV Rogers (the French-language arm of Rogers TV) over four episodes. The feature film will be released on DVD in time for the 2009 WAC.

The series is a co-production of Capacadie.com, TV Rogers and the 2009 World Acadian Congress.

“This is a great way of showcasing the strength of the new CapAcadie.com. Television is moving more and more toward the Internet. That’s why we launched CapTV. In December, we gave a quick preview of the series when we aired Acadieman vs Christmas. We were pleasantly surprised to have received nearly 30,000 viewings in three weeks,” said André Wilson, assistant manager of CapAcadie.com.

TV Rogers, which aired the first two seasons of Acadieman, is pleased with this new partnership with CapAcadie and is very anxious to broadcast the third season in September. “TV Rogers has believed in this series since the beginning. The Acadieman series is a major hit for us. Once again, creator Dano LeBlanc has succeeded in developing a season filled with humour and surprise twists,” said David Richard, head of programming for TV Rogers.

Acadieman vs the WAC

The new season was also made possible thanks to financial support from the 2009 World Acadian Congress. “The partnership of Acadian and the 2009 World Acadian Congress, through a new series broadcast a few months before the Congress begins, seemed to be very original way to promote the event,” said Robert Frenette, the Congress’s executive director. “We’re convinced that Acadieman’s fans will fall in love with him all over again through these new adventures. What we hope is that the series will attract a record number of web surfers and increase the already major fan base of the first Acadian superhero!”

As Dano LeBlanc explained, the colourful “chiac-talking” character will travel all over. “The story is that Acadieman has been hired by the World Acadian Congress to recruit people from all over the world to visit the Acadian Peninsula in the summer of 2009. At the same time, Quebec separates from the rest of Canada. A wall has been built along the border of the new country. In fact, the “separatist wall” completely surrounds Quebec. At the moment of separation, the American army invades, something that greatly complicates things for Acadie. The results: a second deportation – but this one will be done in a more contemporary manner than the first one,” LeBlanc said.

The Moncton artist likes to challenge himself before every season. “This year, I’m working with Eric Cormier, a new animator who’s using new software to develop the clips. This is why Acadieman, his mother, all his friends and even his cat Tigris look a bit different – a bit more modern for a more cinematic look. As well, we now have original music created by the band Mézagouèche made up of Claire LeBlanc and Daniel Fournier,” LeBlanc says.

Starring...

A few stars will be featured in the new series. One clip starring Quebec actress Pascale Bussières is already complete. Roland Gauvin will also make an appearance. As well, the Acadieman team created one of the clips with an eighth-grade class from Moncton’s École Le Mascaret as part of their Géniarts project. Several parts of the episode were written by the students, who also created various characters.

To download a preview of the series, click here. To view the preview online, click here.

-30-

FOR INFORMATION OR INTERVIEWS:

Carol Doucet
Media Relations – CapAcadie.com
(506) 384-6897 – caroldou@nbnet.nb.ca
____________________

Not familiar with Acadieman? Check out a couple of YouTube clips:

"Acadieman au call centre"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Riot scene at audition for America's Top Model reality TV show in New York City

"An audition in New York for the TV show America's Next Top Model turned ugly when chaos broke out, leaving six people injured and three arrests.

Thousands were queuing outside a Manhattan hotel hoping to be selected for the hit reality show, created and hosted by former supermodel Tyra Banks.

Police cancelled the audition but could not say what had sparked the panic.

Reports suggest matters were made worse when a man charged into the crowd attempting to steal handbags."


Click here for more info.

Watch a video of the stampede/riot here:

Successful rally in Moncton yesterday re: enhanced animal cruelty laws in New Brunswick and Canada

A rally in favour of enhanced animal cruelty laws in New Brunswick and Canada was held on Saturday, March 14, 2009, in Moncton. Hundreds showed their support, including politicians of all stripes.

Moncton Ward 4 councillor Paul Pellerin talking with Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Brian Murphy. Moncton Ward 2 councillor Merrill Henderson is in the background:


Moncton East MLA Chris Collins with Moncton councillor-at-large Pierre Boudreau to his right:

Kent County Animal Rescue's Nicole Thébeau with one of her rescues:

Event organizers Rita Bihr, Monette Gould and Valerie Hannon:

A large crowd gathered to show their support:

"I'm not a piece of property":

"Please change the laws so other puppies are not murdered":

Listen to what Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Brian Murphy had to say:



Are you on Facebook? If so, please join the Moncton SPCA Supporters group!