Family Feud contestant thinks she knows what Popeye's favorite food is, but she's wrong

Oh my gosh, this poor gal is never going to live this down. Eve, a contestant on Family Feud Canada**, screwed up her family's chance to play for $10,000 by incorrectly answering the world's easiest sudden-death question: "What's Popeye's favorite food?" Oof! Let's hope she's at least offered an endorsement deal from a certain fast food chain.

Even crazier, watch these unaired outtakes:

**Am I the only one who didn't know there was a Canadian version of Family Feud?

(Twitter) Read the rest

Radicalized makes the CBC's annual Canada Reads longlist

The Canadian Broadcasting Coporation's annual Canada Reads prize is one of Canada's top literary prizes, ranking with the Governor General's prize for prestige and reach; it begins early in January with the announcement of a longlist of 15 recommended books, and then these are whittled down to a shortlist of five books later in the month. Over the months that follow, each of the shortlisted books is championed by a Canadian celebrity in a series of events across the country, with the grand prize winner being announced in late March after a televised debate among the five books' "champions." Read the rest

Internal docs reveal that Canada's Exxon subsidiary knew about climate change risks and lied about it for decades

Imperial Oil is Exxon's Canadian subsidiary, with control the majority of Canada's tar sand oil -- the filthiest, most climate-damaging oil in the world. Calgary's Glenbow Museum has a largely unregarded archive of historical internal Imperial Oil documents, which were retrieved by Desmog and the Climate Investigations Center and turned over to The Intercept. Read the rest

Canada legalized pot. Beer consumption there dropped.

“Volume decline accelerated in 2019, down 3% through November.”

The new availability of a wide array of legal marijuana products has is beginning to take a bite out of beer consumption in Canada, reports Bloomberg News. Read the rest

Podcast: Science fiction and the unforeseeable future: In the 2020s, let’s imagine better things

In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my Globe and Mail editorial, Science fiction and the unforeseeable future: In the 2020s, let’s imagine better things, where I reflect on what science fiction can tell us about the 2020s for the Globe's end-of-the-decade package; I wrote about how science fiction can't predict the future, but might inspire it, and how the dystopian malaise of science fiction can be turned into a inspiring tale of "adversity met and overcome – hard work and commitment wrenching a limping victory from the jaws of defeat." Read the rest

Science fiction, Canada and the 2020s: my look at the decade ahead for the Globe and Mail

The editors of Canada's Globe and Mail asked me to reflect on what science fiction can tell us about the 2020s for their end-of-the-decade package; I wrote about how science fiction can't predict the future, but might inspire it, and how the dystopian malaise of science fiction can be turned into a inspiring tale of "adversity met and overcome – hard work and commitment wrenching a limping victory from the jaws of defeat." Read the rest

Alberta's tax-funded climate denial "war room" ripped off its logo from a US tech company

The Canadian Energy Center (AKA "The War Room") is a taxpayer funded propaganda outlet that the Alberta government -- dependent on the tar sands, the world's filthiest oil -- funds to deny climate change. It receives CAD30m/year in public funding. Read the rest

After hack, Canadian LifeLabs paid ransom for 15M+ customers' health data

After LifeLabs was hit by a a cyber attack in November, the Canada-based medical lab paid a ransom to recover stolen data belonging to more than 15 million of its customers. That stolen data included usernames, password, and some 80,000 or more test results. Read the rest

Leviathan: an eight foot tall, seven foot wide assemblage sculpture "ghost ship"

Last year, artist Jason Stieva completed work on "Leviathan – Ark of the Apocalypse," a spectacular, 7-foot-long, 8-foot-high sculpture of a ghostly pirate ship. Steiva is an assemblage sculptor and tattoo artist from Whitby, ON who spent 15 months on the ship, which is populated by a variety of readymade Warcraft miniatures and other findings. Read the rest

Canada's infrastructure was once cheap and effective to build. Now, it's a titanic transfer from taxpayers to the world's biggest businesses and investors

[We're delighted to have Rosemary Frei back with us, this time reporting on a global transformation: once, infrastructure was created efficiently with cheap central bank funding and now it's done with public-private partnerships, at much higher price-tags, creating massive transfers from taxpayers to the biggest businesses and private equity funds in the world. As we get ready for huge infrastructure buildouts to address climate change, the super-rich stand to reap trillions – money we could be spending on saving our lives and even our planet. -Cory]

Trillions of dollars are being plowed into high-tech hospitals, zero-emission public transit and other megaprojects around the globe. Shiny new infrastructure is popping up virtually everywhere, from Australia to Appalachia. Read the rest

Radicalized is one of the CBC's best books of 2019!

Well this is pretty great! Radicalized, my book of four novellas, is one of the CBC's picks for best Canadian fiction of 2019. It's in pretty outstanding company, too, including Margaret Atwood's The Testaments. Read the rest

Library Socialism: a utopian vision of a sustaniable, luxuriant future of circulating abundance

SRSLY Wrong is a "research-based comedy podcast" run by a pair of Canadian fellas with a background in radical politics, occupy, and the Pirate Party; in a three part series, hosts Aaron Moritz and Shawn Vulliez; in a series of three long podcast episodes (1, 2, 3), the pair elucidate and elaborate a utopian vision for the future that they dub "Library Socialism." Read the rest

Public treated to obfuscation at Waterfront Toronto meeting on negotiations with Google sister company over surveillance district

[Rosemary Frei is an independent journalist who broke the story that Google's Sidewalk Labs had quietly sewn up the rights to turn most of Toronto's lakeshore into a surveilling "smart city" (Google/Sidewalk lied about this at first, were cornered, admitted it, and rolled back the plan). Now she's back with a report on last night's "Public Update on Quayside" meeting, where any hope anyone nursed that Google would be pursuing humane urbanism, rather than surveillance and extraction, were firmly dashed. -Cory]

At Waterfront Toronto’s first meeting for the public after its board of directors voted Oct. 31 to continue negotiating with Sidewalk Labs on the parameters of a 12-acre surveillance district, officials from the public agency made it clear they’re already wedded to the Google sister company.

The hundreds of attendees of last night’s ‘Public Update on Quayside’ were each given a package that included a copy of an Oct. 29 letter from Waterfront Toronto President and CEO George Zegarac to Sidewalk Labs’s Chief Development Officer Josh Sirefman. Zegarac lays out in the letter how the two bodies will work closely together -- with Waterfront Toronto taking the lead in on such things as negotiations with all three levels of government – to "develop an ‘Innovation Plan’ to advance and achieve Waterfront Toronto’s priority outcomes." Based on this newly arrived at ‘realignment of Master Innovation and Development Plan threshold issues,’ Waterfront Toronto’s final decision on whether to proceed with the plan will be taken by its board by March 31, 2020. Read the rest

Sidewalk Labs' quiet plan for Canada's banks to manage a national digital ID for health care and housing

[I'm delighted to welcome Lilian Radovac back for another excellent piece on the digital surveillance shenanigans in Canada, which aren't always as showy as their stateside counterparts, but are every bit as worrying. In this piece, Radovac reveals the buried plan for a finance-sector managed, all-surveilling National ID card buried in the latest massive wedge of largely unread documents from Google spin-out Sidewalk Labs (previously) that is building a controversial, privatised city-within-a-city in Toronto -Cory]

In Sidewalk Toronto news, Sidewalk Labs has finally released its Master Innovation and Development Plan Digital Innovation Appendix. As with the 1,524 page MIDP before it, there's a lot to read in the DIA but a few excerpts already stand out.

Announcing the winners of Sense About Science's 2019 Maddox Prize

The UK charity Sense About Science (previously) has announced the winners of its 2019 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science:forest fire expert Bambang Hero Saharjo and pharmacist Olivier Bernard. Read the rest

Toronto approves Google's surveillance city, despite leaks revealing Orwellian plans

Yesterday, Waterfront Toronto unanimously approved the continuation of Sidewalk Labs's plans for "Quayside," a privatised, surveillance-oriented "smart city" that has been mired in controversy since its earliest days, including secret bullying campaigns, mass resignations of privacy advisors, lies that drastically understated the scope of the project, civil liberties lawsuits, and denunciations by the indigenous elders who were consulted on the project. Read the rest

Scariest Halloween decoration ever: measles viruses

Toronto's Andrea Addario lives next to one of the world's greatest Halloween haunters. As she tweeted, he exhibits "extreme genius" every year, and this year is no exception: he's studded his tree with giant measles viruses made out of pumpkins and carrots, along with a coffin-shaped sign reading "VACCINATE YOUR KIDS." (Thanks, Allen!) Read the rest

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