Stuff happens, week 11: A bridge too bent; freedom for cable subscribers

The bendy-bendy portion of Edmonton's newest bridge.
The bendy-bendy portion of Edmonton’s newest bridge.

Here in Edmonton, the city is in the process of rebuilding a major bridge into the downtown. It’s the 102 Avenue bridge, which I wrote about so lovingly a while back. I’m sure you remember that, right? Of course you do.

Last Sunday the city closed down Groat Road (a heavily trafficked route into downtown Edmonton) underneath the bridge to affix the monstrous metal bridge spans. Everything went find until …. they bent. Yes, bent. Twisted like a crazy straw. Incredible. I don’t know how such a thing could happen, but I can just imagine the construction crew watching the beams slowly bend out of shape, and everyone going, “Uh, you checked the specs on this, right?”

This week in the continuing saga of the Republicanation of the Conservative Party: a Conservative MP complains “it makes no sense to pay ‘whities’ to stay home while we bring in brown people to work in these jobs”; another MP says that new Canadians who want to wear a niqab at their citizenship ceremony should “stay the hell where you came from”; and another (that would be Stephen Harper) suggests rural folks need guns to protect themselves from evildoers. Ah, the warm and fuzzy Conservative party.

Have we reached atrocity exhaustion? Isis attacks at a museum in Tunisia, killing 21, and it barely rates a brief item on the news. In Yemen, scores of people (‘scores’ is a term the media uses when they don’t have an exact number, but they know it’s a lot) are killed in suicide bomb attacks on mosques. The response from the west? Um, there’s a ‘Yemen’?

There is good news for Canadian cable TV subscribers. The CRTC has ordered cable companies to offer subscribers a ‘skinny’ cable package that can be augmented by speciality channels added one-by-one, not in bundles. That means no more paying for a half-dozen channels you don’t watch just so you can watch one. Some of the lesser watched channels will fall by the wayside, but I don’t think the world will be a lesser place without Cottage Life TV. But don’t get too excited — cable doesn’t have to make the changes for about a year.

Yeah, it’s March Madness!  It’s the annual tournament promoted by the American college sports system to brings hundreds of millions of dollars into the American college sports system. On the surface, it’s an athletic contest, but in reality it’s a gigantic gambling opportunity. Still with basketball, Steve Nash, indisputably the best basketball player this country has ever produced, retired this week. Nash is one of those rare athletes who can properly be called a role model, someone all Canadians can be proud of, whether you watch basketball or not.

RIP: Robert “Bob” Appleyard was an English crickter who was able to bowl fast-medium swingers or seamers and off-spinners with almost exactly the same action. In his limited Test career, he took a wicket every fifty-one balls, and in first class cricket his 708 wickets cost only 15.48 runs each. And no, I have absolutely no idea of what of this means. But I need to finish this blog with an RIP, and this is the best I could do.

One thought on “Stuff happens, week 11: A bridge too bent; freedom for cable subscribers

  1. I’m surprised that you passed up the opportunity to comment on the real issue related to March Madness: that not a penny of those millions of dollars goes to the athletes. It feels strange to be seriously commenting on poor starving (semi-)professional athletes, but here we are. John Oliver had a great piece on the subject:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s