I just noticed that The Beaver: Canada's History Magazine has published its results for top ten ``worst Canadians''. I didn't see it myself, just saw a write-up about it in the Reuters ``Oddly Enough'' blog. There were two lists made, one from a poll of historians and one from a poll of the general public. Reuters's blogger (Robert Basler) described the public's choices: ``if we can be honest here, there are more prime ministers than serial killers on the list, although it's pretty close.'' I have to admit of the winners, I recognize the names of the prime ministers, as well as of Celine Dion and Conrad Black, but I have no idea who the other names are. Serial killers, I infer.
The Reuters blog file photo of Pierre Trudeau, taken 1982, has him with one hand over his head and doing this odd little dance step that I'm sure must have made sense at the time. Although right now it makes him look exactly like his slightly spastic comic rendition on SCTV, which may not have been being as exaggeratedly wild as I had been assuming.
I also ran across a report about an international Cosplay Summit which gathered anime and manga fans from around the world to Japan's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. The news article -- without a trace of a smirk to it -- said this was part of an effort to promote a Cool Tokyo image to the world. I don't deny that cosplayers -- or anyone dressing in costume -- can't be fun, but ``cool'' seems like the wrong word for doing it with skill and imagination and flair. Done well you have something that defies ordinary social standards and marches proudly to its own pace. (Done poorly and you have the comic book stylings of David Gonterman.) In any case the cool/lame axis doesn't seem to measure it, somehow.
Weird Brian Williams introduction to an NBC News Special Report about the bridge collapse in Minneapolis: ``We'll have Dateline airing in just a few moments, in its entirety, their iPod theft investigation, but as you can see we are covering a major breaking story at this hour: we've had an Interstate bridge collapse in Minneapolis/Saint Paul.'' I suppose I'm glad they aren't cutting any of the detailed investigation of how to track down stolen iPods. (Actually, they cut a bit of Chris Hansen's introduction.) I don't want to belittle the nuisance of having your iPod stolen, but it seems kind of like slumming for an hour of nearly professional network news time.
Trivia: When Germany invaded in 1914, Belgium was in the middle of an upgrading program for its army which was due for completion in 1926. Source: The First World War, Hew Strachan.
Currently Reading: Gnarl!, Rudy Rucker. It turns out the local library has more Rudy Rucker books than I've ever seen in all the bookstores I've been in put together. I guess somebody's a fan.