Monday, October 30, 2006

Finger Lickin'

Ain't It Great KFC Is Healthy Again?

Seriously, fuck off. This story is getting way too much play.

A quick breakdown: after years of slowly killing its customers by using cheap, hydrogenated oils in its food, KFC, under pressure from everyone with a brain, decides to stop using its deadly oils in favour of canola. So what? KFC is still about as healthy as any cheap fast food.

People are greeting this (non-)news story like its their license to go eat two buckets of deep-fried, deadly chicken, 'cause now, it's a little less deadly. Everyone applaud KFC for choosing to kill its customers slower.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Summer Internship?

The Deadlines Approach

Over the last week, I've received forwarded e-mails from the School of Journalism secretary about summer internships; the deadlines to apply span from November to December.

First came the Toronto Star and Reuters applications, which I promptly deleted (by mistake). And then today, I (actually, we -- the journalism students) received the details of the Victoria Times-Colonist. There'll be more to come in the next few weeks; details from the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Maclean's, Canadian Press, and probably some others.

I haven't yet decided on where I'll apply and (maybe I should delete "(by mistake)" from the paragraph above, because) I haven't yet decided if I'll apply to any of the options above.

Landing an internship at any of those publications will probably help me land a full-time newspaper job (with the exception of Maclean's) somewhere, but I'm no longer too keen on being a newspaper journalist.

When I made the switch to the Online Stream in April, I did so for a varitety of reasons I've discussed before (I'll avoid discussing them again), but I didn't make the switch because I didn't want to work as a newspaper journalist.

Back in the summer, I worked a short-stint of three long days on CP's Ontario Desk, and came to the realization that I have no desire to live the lifestyle of the newspaper journalist. There are healthier lifestyles that demand less on the mind. Being a newspaper journalist is harder work than I'm prepared to do. (Not that other forms of journalism are easier, but I find other forms of journalism more agreable.)

(And so, by writing the above, even if I do apply, with the high-searchability of this weblog, I'm sure I'll disqualify myself from any newspaper internships.)

Regardless, I have a vision of what I'll be doing in journalism (if I do anything), and it's more in the longer, magazine-vane. A job at a newspaper is a great learning experience, but it fails as something that will guarantee what I do want. Having copy butchured, and reporting time set at 'Minimum,' hardly replicates having a voice or time with a magazine feature.

It would seem that I should have streamed into Magazine at Ryerson, but there was something I wanted that Magazine didn't offer: an internship.


Friday, October 20, 2006

It's Over

Final Ryerson Days, Part I: The Review

A little while back I joined this new thing called RyersOnline. For more than six weeks, I tirelessly worked towards making the website something worth visiting. To call my time working on RyersOnline a complete failure would be excessively negative. My time working on RyersOnline was a complete failure.

Did anything I do on the site matter? No. Did people check our website on a regular basis? No. Do people know about our website? No. Who cares about RyersOnline? No.

(O.K., the last answer doesn't make sense; I was just trying to continue the parallel structure.)

O.K., it wasn't that bad. I genuinely enjoyed working with the broadcast group I was drafted to liaison with. And I genuinely enjoyed working with Pam Lam, who is a better journalist than she gives herself credit for being.

But after six weeks of working harder than I should have, I was disappointed by the questions of the new, incoming masthead. Questions like: Which liaison partner has the least amount of work?; How many hours will I have to spend here?; Can I do most of this from home?; and so on.

On Monday this week, one of the new mastheaders interrogated me as to what I've been doing for the last six weeks. I should have assured her I've been doing more than she'll attempt in her six weeks at the helm of RyersOnline.

And so Part I: The Masthead is finished for me. Part II: The Internship starts Monday. Part III: The God Awful Final Semester starts in January when I return to Ryerson. Until then, I'll be staying far away from campus. Far, far away.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Some Random

Links And Things

First: victory! Chelsea beats Barcelona 1-0. The Blues' third-string goaltender, Hilario, was impressive.

Second, a new Beatles album.

Third, a French fry and butter sandwich? 'Meat pie mums'? The stuff kids eat in Rotherham sounds deadly and disgusting.

Fourth, my RyersOnline days are now over. Thank God.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Number 500

Chelsea, Now The Leafs

I managed to get tickets to Saturday night's game between the Calgary Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Great game, and probably (hyperbole warning) the best I've ever seen in person.

The hero of the night was Mats Sundin, who scored a hatrick, shorthanded, overtime winner that happened to be his 500th career goal...


The Blues

Soccer Isn't Supposed To Be A Full Contact Sport

Less than a minute into Saturday's afternoon game, Chelsea lost their number-one keeper, Petr Cech, after a Reading player collided with Cech's skull. Turns out Cech has a fracture, and will be out for a (best estimate) long time. It's one of the worst injuries I've read about in sports and it happened on an overly aggressive play.

Not good for Cech or the Blues...


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Think Negative

Take A Look On The Bleak Side, It May Help

I've often been accused of being a pessimist. What I don't get is why so many people are negative about pessimists? A study reported in the Atlantic proves that being negative isn't so bad afterall:

Motivational speakers may tell you to believe in yourself, but if you want to do well in school, you may be better off taking a more pessimistic attitude toward your own abilities. In a report detailing the various things the U.S. can learn from the Chinese educational system about teaching math and science—including the importance of national curricular standards, better training of teachers, longer school years, and extra homework—comes the news that the U.S. lags far behind Asian nations in grade-school math and science scores. This gap, however, is not for want of student self-confidence: despite faring worse on a standardized eighth-grade science test than students in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, American students are more than twice as likely as their peers in those countries to enjoy high “self-confidence” in their ability to learn science.

I do take comfort in a study that proves that being negative is a positive.


Monday, October 09, 2006

August 31

It's Been Long

I looked into my trusty, free, RSU agenda today and realized that the last time I had a day off (didn't work or go to school or both), was Thursday, Aug. 31. That's 39 days ago by my count.

My next scheduled day off is Thursday, Oct. 19.

I'm not complaining, but that's way too fucking long.

Okay, I am complaining.


Colbert Feature

Can't Get Enough?

New York magazine has a nice, long feature on everyone's favourite right-wing pundit, Stephen Colbert:

Stephen Colbert is running at full stride. As he enters the studio, the audience is already cheering. He is dressed, as he seems always to be dressed, in a sharp suit and conservative tie, with rectangular rimless glasses and perfectly parted hair, so that when he does his short victory lap on the floor of the studio, he looks like a gleeful bank manager who’s just won the lottery or possibly lost his mind...


Two Films

"The Departed" vs. "Infernal Affairs"

It's only natural for me to compare Martin Scorsese's new film "The Departed" to the Hong Kong-film it was based on, "Infernal Affairs."

"The Departed" is not Scorsese's best film (though narrowing to one choice is impossible), but the movie is Scorsese's best lately. And considering the strong effort of "Gangs of New York" and "The Aviator," that means "The Departed" needs to be seen.

Scorsese's movie in comparison to "Infernal Affairs" is the stronger of the two. "The Departed" has a strong supporting cast that regularly steals scenes. "Infernal Affairs" does not. "The Departed" leaves sappiness out. "Infernal Affairs" does not. "The Departed" has humour. Well, you get the point...

But while "Infernal Affairs" is a bit inferior to "The Departed," the Hong Kong movie is still worth watching if nothing to see the different choices made between a foreign film and an American one.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Journal

Dishonesty: The Best Way

Part of my responsibilities on the RyersOnline masthead is to write a weekly journal about what I have worked on. Yawn.

What's been asked of us is to be honest and candid, but no person genuinely wants honesty or candidness. Both usually are painful to take, and most people can only accept mild doses.

If I were to be honest and candid in this week's journal, I'd write the following:

-I'm disappointed in RyersOnline and if someone asked me today if they should join the stream, I'd caution them against it. Keep in mind, I've only been on the masthead for less than five weeks.

-I have received no support from my masthead members when I've taken risks with editorials. Both of my masthead-ers have supported me privately, then when the instructor challenged me, both of my masthead-ers showed no support.

-I write a roundup of news on other school campuses; I link to other sites and their stories. Last week, a link to the Eyeopener's "Fuck You John Miller" editorial was removed from my roundup, because that editorial regarded a small issue effecting a few people. Then two days after I had been censored, RyersOnline ran the Ryersonian editorial in response to the Eyeopener. That made a lot of fucking sense.

-Nobody responds to RyersOnline editorials because they are yellow, coward pieces that stay on the fence, saying nothing and meaning less.

When it comes to those weekly journals, the only thing keeping me from being honest, is the truth.