News roundup, part 3

There are some such things as bad firsts. A good example would have to be Cassie Campbell joining the Sports Hall of Fame. Sure its not the actual Hockey Hall of Fame, but its bad enough.

While competing in three Olympics, seven world championships, and nine Four Nations Cups, she accumulated 16 gold and four silver medals. She is widely considered the face of women's hockey in Canada.
Er, is Hayley Wickenheiser late paying her dues or something? And I thought the "face of women's hockey" was that bad watch commercial with all the lesbians screaming "Canadian Women's Hockey Team, Esquire"?

The Financial Post has (another) great editorial, this time by William Watson, on the nature of the 49th parallel.
Unlike politicians, economists assume consumers are rational and can also do simple arithmetic of the sort required to translate between exchange rates. On that score, it's disconcerting that Canadians seem only to have noticed many U.S. prices are lower than ours now that the loonie is at par with the greenback and price stickers are translatable without calculation.

When they had to divide the U.S. price by 0.62 or 0.85 or 0.93 or whatever the exchange rate of the day was, they couldn't manage the comparison. If that's true, how will Canadians cope in the brave new information economy?
He really hits the ground running at the end with the bold suggestion that Flaherty...
could raise the limits on Canadian travellers' duty-free exemptions. Right now you can bring back a measly $50 duty-free if you're out of the country 24 hours. A minister who really wanted to stand up for consumers and make Canadian retailers sit up and take notice would make that $1,000. Stay out a week, bring back $10,000 worth, no questions asked. That would close the price gap lickety-split.
Sounds good to me!

Mad scientists around the world rejoice! world prices for uranium seem to have bottomed out. There's no better time to build that giant space laser or beuwolf cluster of fembots.

Unless the premier of Alberta abruptly changes tone and dismisses recommendations for higher oil and gas royalties, there will be little effect on prices of Canadian energy stocks, analysts said Thursday.

Investors are already prepared for hikes, analysts said, and shares will likely rise after Ed Stelmach details changes to the Canadian province's tax regime on Thursday.
So much for this analysis.

The Guardian writes about Bush's trip to Califor-nih-ay. My first off-the-cuff response to this is remembering that men like to look at fire: pyromania aside, how many of your fellow men have you gone camping with to discover that in the presence of a flickering pile of ripe wood and ashen pepsi cans you lose all interest in everything outside your sphere of influence? Keira Knightly and Eliza Dushku could strip naked in front of a campfire and I probably wouldn't even notice. So I suspect that Bush quite rightly saw the news reports and imagined going to see scenes like this, rather than this. I know I'd be disappointed...much as Guardian editors should be for this paragraph:
The tricky matter of when to time a presidential tour - which itself commands state and local resources - was one that the White House had to work through. Bush did not want his presence to interfere with emergency response efforts, so aides insisted that he and Schwarzenegger together decided Thursday was the right time for a presidential visit.
So, er, his aides insisted (to the press?) that Dubya/Arnold decided together? Aides can't insist on the same thing that the leaders decide together on, so there's a dropped participle in there somewhere.

One of the FBI's most wanted has been arrested in New Brunswick, despite being believed to be in Calgary. The funny part of this is when I saw the "BISMARCK, N.D" byline I actually misread it as "Bismarck, Nova Brunswick" and simultaneously wondered why I didn't know there was a Bismarck in Nova Brunswick and how McNair was there instead of out west. Turns out I was just psychic.

The sodomy of real people not being annoying enough to have to hear about, the media is now tormenting us with the uranism of Harry Potter characters. This article in the Montreal Gazette is one of the more lunatic varieties:
Hermione probably reads Margaret Atwood, and Harry Potter and Ron, probably nothing much at all. These enticing tidbits came out during J.K. Rowling's brief meeting with the press at Toronto's Elgin Theatre during the only Canadian stop on her North American tour.
Margaret Atwood was born in 1939, long after the Harry Potter books even took place. This is pure pandering to the lunatics who live in T.O.