French is merely a dialect in France

It is now official.

According to Mario Dumont, leader of an opposition party, the language spoken in France is merely a dialect and not an “official” language in the Province of Quebec because

his children were unable to understand the Parisian dialect used in the French version of Shrek the Third. —

Unfortunately for M. Dumont, the “dialect” that he fears – whether French or English – will limit for generations the ready participation of Quebec citizens in local and world events. Isolation, whether practiced by language in this case, or formerly by religion, can’t be a good thing in the long run.

Keeping them down on the farm keeps them ignorant. But then, that’s the way – whether it be past or present – Quebec has always liked to keep its citizens.

Link to Montreal Gazette article here.

Indiana Jones hype

One of the original Indiana Jones characters, whether or not the writer of the movies intended it to be so.

Rahn, small and weasel-faced, with a hesitant, toothy smile and hair like a neatly contoured oil slick, undoubtedly served as inspiration for Ford’s most famous role, Indiana Jones. — John Preston,

You’re mine for life

Updated May 13, 2010: The Phoenix NewTimes has a more recent article.
Updated March 10, 2010. Go here for a current article from the blog ars technica.

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Remember seeing this? Have you heard the commercial on xmradio?

LifeLock brags

That guy has a smug smile on his face because he’s taking money from people who believe that he can protect their identity.

Well, I’ve got news for you. He can’t, according to a class action lawsuit. In fact, that guy’s identity has been stolen — using just that information — more than 20 times.

The Rock is no more

The Rock Cafe sign in Stroud, Oklahoma

The Rock Cafe sign in Stroud, Oklahoma

Updated below

My informant tells me that on Tuesday evening, May 20, the venerable Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma, burned to the ground. All that remains are the outer stone walls holding up sections of a collapsing roof.

The Rock was a quaint little place in the sleepy town of Stroud, Oklahoma, where once-busy Route 66 passed through as the premiere highway for those heading west. Now, of course, 66 has been replaced by the interstate system and most of the towns once served by the old route have languished.

I ate at The Rock Cafe only once, and had the fried tomatoes and pink lemonade. The proprietor, Dawn Welch, was happy to regale me with tales of being the inspiration for the character “Sally Carrera” in the Pixar movie “Cars”.

My thanks to Coaster for the update.

Read more here.

Updated June 2009: Dawn has reopened the Rock! Here’s a link to her blog.

Canadian health care is tough!

Oh yes it is!

An 82-year-old man, a recipient of open-heart surgery and breathing oxygen while in his hospital bed, was tasered three times by the ever-omniscient RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in British Columbia.

…officers resorted to taser use as a last resort, even attempting to knock the knife out of the man’s hand with a food cart.” — RCMP Cpl. Scott Wilson

A freaking food cart? There were two officers in the room. Perhaps it took that many to lift the cart. I would have thought a blanket or a pillow would have been sufficient, but then I’m no RCMP constable. Thank goodness. Because then I’d have to admit to being a big, dumb ox.

Why, you ask? Well, it seems that the 82-year-old heart patient suffering from pneumonia was claiming that there was a dead man in the next bed. The big, dumb oxen — otherwise known as RCMP constables — didn’t even bother to check on the man in the next bed, who was sleeping. Rather, they chose to taser their chosen victim, since pepper spray couldn’t be used for fear of contaminating the entire hospital

Superintendent Jim Begley, head of the Kamloops RCMP, said yesterday that he believes his officers acted properly. —, Anna Mehler Paperny

It looks to me as though their CO is a big, dumb ox also.

Link to article here.

Recently, at the Vancouver airport, another individual was tasered by oxen, resulting in his death.