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General

DeLaet ties Royal Montreal course record

Posted July 25, 2014 by Bill Beacon

MONTREAL – It was a festival of birdies for the threesome of Jim Furyk, Graham DeLaet and Matt Kuchar on Friday at the US$5.7 RBC Canadian Open. Furyk and DeLaet tied the course record at Royal Montreal with 63s while … Continue Reading

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General

Maclean’s on the Hill: polling problems and end-of-life care

Posted July 25, 2014 by macleans.ca

Also: Bruce Carson on his legal troubles and latest book

The post Maclean’s on the Hill: polling problems and end-of-life care appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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Biology

Google Wants to Create a Map of What a Healthy Human Body Looks Like

Posted July 25, 2014 by George Dvorsky

Google Wants to Create a Map of What a Healthy Human Body Looks Like

It’s the ultimate baseline study — an effort to collect the fullest picture of what a healthy human being should look like.

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General

Project Almanac Gets Found-Footage Time Travel Right

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

Project Almanac is shot found-footage style, had its title changed three times and had its release date pushed back nearly a year, but don’t jump to conclusions just yet. We got the chance to see Dean Israelite’s directorial debut at Comic-Con, and wh…

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General

Patent Trolling Is Worse Than Any Other Time in History

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

It’s the tech world’s version of ambulance chasing: firms that earn money by asserting patent rights against other companies, without manufacturing any useful products of their own. And, according to the latest numbers, the economic burden of patent l…

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General

Travel Chat: Quick summer getaways close to home

Posted July 25, 2014 by Ruth Dunley

There are only a few weeks of summer left, but it’s not too late to plan a vacation closer to home. Join our live chat as our travel experts discuss staycation ideas, day-trips and weekend holidays that will give you […]

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Canada

Graham DeLaet, Jim Furyk tie Royal Montreal course record at Canadian Open

Posted July 25, 2014 by The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — Canada’s Graham DeLaet has a share of the course record at Royal Montreal. DeLaet and two-time Canadian Open champion Jim Furyk tied the mark with rounds of 7-under 63 today at the RBC Canadian Open. DeLaet and Furyk […]

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General

Graham DeLaet ties Royal Montreal course record

Posted July 25, 2014 by Staff

MONTREAL – Canada’s Graham DeLaet has a share of the course record at Royal Montreal. DeLaet and two-time Canadian Open champion Jim Furyk tied the mark with rounds of 7-under 63 today at the RBC Canadian Open. DeLaet and Furyk … Continue Reading

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General

Deals: Marvel Cinematic Universe, 75 Years of Batman, Munchkin

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

Six films and a Tesseract. $130 today. [ Marvel Cinematic Universe]Read more…

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General

Toronto FC set to face the best in the East, Sporting Kansas City

Posted July 25, 2014 by Staff

TORONTO – After digging deep into its roster for a friendly against Tottenham, Toronto FC gets back to business Saturday when it hosts defending MLS champion Sporting Kansas City. Four days later, Toronto wraps up a busy July with a … Continue Reading

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General

Watch Jack Black Face Off Against Goosebumps’ Slappy The Dummy

Posted July 25, 2014 by Lauren Davis

During the Goosebumps movie presentation at San Diego Comic-Con, Jack Black brought out the film’s real star: Slappy the Dummy. Together, they did a ventriloquist routine on stage… one that didn’t end well for Black.Read more…

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General

At Comic-Con? Put On Your Mask for the Surveillance Camera Network

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

In the TV series Person of Interest, an AI can access virtually every surveillance camera across New York City. So the question is: do cities really create networks of interconnected private and public security cameras? Yes, they do. Including in San …

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Books

21 Books That Changed Science Fiction And Fantasy Forever

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

Speculative fiction is the literature of change and discovery. But every now and then, a book comes along that changes the rules of science fiction and fantasy for everybody. Certain great books inspire scores of authors to create something new. Here …

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General

Best of canada.com Travel – July 19-25, 2014

Posted July 25, 2014 by Mark Stachiew

Here are some of the most interesting stories to appear on the canada.com Travel channel in the past week: Ancient Balkan town sets tone of acceptance As we approach the eve of the centenary of the Great War, we take […]

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Comics

TV Chat: Superheroes are taking over your TV

Posted July 25, 2014 by Ruth Dunley

If you love comics, you will love the next TV season. If you don’t, well, brace yourself — superheroes are taking over your set. Nearly all the networks have comic book-based series in the works. Join our TV chat as […]

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Europe

Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba rejoins Chelsea on season-long deal

Posted July 25, 2014 by Associated Press

LONDON — Didier Drogba rejoined Chelsea on Friday, reuniting one of football’s most theatrical characters with flamboyant manager Jose Mourinho. The 36-year-old Ivory Coast international, who was a free agent after spells with Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray, signed a season-long […]

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General

A solar storm in 2012 just barely avoided devastating our planet

Posted July 25, 2014 by Zach Honig

If you’ve spent time on a beach without protection, you probably have a good idea of just how damaging the sun can be. That gigantic star that gives us life from millions of miles away can also do great harm, as Earth nearly discovered during a…

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General

This Subway Singer is An Angel Sent From Above

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

This video of a lady singing in a New York City subway station has gone viral and it will totally make you believe in a higher power. The cellphone video features the unknown woman singing Beyonce’s hit song Halo. Now normally it would be considered blasphemous to have someone sing Queen Bey’s holy hymn, but […]

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General

Here’s The First (Tiny) Look At The Vision In Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Posted July 25, 2014 by Rob Bricken

Here's The First (Tiny) Look At The Vision In Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Marvel has been releasing two interconnected Avengers: Age of Ultron posters a day at Comic-Con; when the last two posters are released tomorrow, we’ll post the entire, 8-part epic picture. But today’s Quicksilver poster reveals something more — the first glimpse of the android known as The Vision!

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Canada

Canada’s Bezzoubenko captures second rhythmic gymnastics gold of Games

Posted July 25, 2014 by The Canadian Press

GLASGOW — Canada’s Patricia Bezzoubenko has captured her second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games. The 17-year-old rhythmic gymnast won the individual all-around title a day after she led Canada to gold in the team event. Francesa Jones of Wales […]

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General

Logan Couture physically and mentally slow to recover from Sharks’ playoff collapse

Posted July 25, 2014 by The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Logan Couture doesn’t have to look far to be reminded of the San Jose Sharks’ playoff collapse against the Los Angeles Kings. His surgically repaired right hand still has scars from last month’s surgery, and the recovery has […]

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General

Canada’s Bezzoubenko claims second gold

Posted July 25, 2014 by Staff

GLASGOW, Scotland – Canada’s Patricia Bezzoubenko has captured her second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games. The 17-year-old rhythmic gymnast won the individual all-around title a day after she led Canada to gold in the team event. Francesa Jones of … Continue Reading

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General

Soul Healing a4 Integration of Body, Mind & Consciousness | Building SOUL

Posted July 25, 2014 by buildingsoul

Psycho-therapy actually originated as a form of healing (therapy) with the breath of spirit or soul (psyche). Today it is a practice w…5 Zoom(s)

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Canada

Bill Longstaff: Hamas more legitimate than Harper’s Conservatives

Posted July 25, 2014 by Bill Longstaff

Discussions on the Palestine issue are usually framed as Hamas vs. Israel. This suggests Hamas is merely an organization when in fact it is the democratically-elected government of Palestine, having won the last all-Palestine election in 2006. Or at le…

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General

Frontline physician Tim Jagatic on the worst Ebola outbreak in history

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

Dr. Jagatic on the disease’s stigma and whether or not it could spread beyond West Africa

The post Frontline physician Tim Jagatic on the worst Ebola outbreak in history appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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General

Creator Reveals Penny Dreadful’s Origins And The Horrors Yet To Come

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

Penny Dreadful got off to a strong start in its first season, boasting a remarkably detailed world, deeply complex characters and an exciting core narrative. But to be fair, as creator John Logan pointed out at the show’s Ballroom 20 Comic-Con panel, …

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General

Fast Food for Thought: Chipotle’s Foray into Publishing

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

What do the Paris Review and Chipotle have in common? If you guessed that they’ve both published Toni Morrison, you’re right. Last month, Mexican “fast causal” restaurant chain Chipotle announced that they would print original short fiction and non-fiction pieces on their bags and cups in stores nationwide. The lineup of writers that have contributed is staggering—Toni Morrison, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis, George Saunders, Judd Apatow, and Jonathan Safran Foer, who is curating the project. Overnight, Chipotle has a contibutor base that even the New Yorker would be jealous of.

So the story goes, the idea was conceived when Foer was eating at a Chipotle and, being without a smartphone (he didn’t own one yet) or a book or magazine, found himself bored and in need of reading material. Then the light bulb went off—what if there was something interesting to read on the very packaging he was eating from? He wrote an email to his acquaintance, Chipotle CEO Steve Ells, who jumped at the proposal, and here we are.

In Foer’s own words, the campaign is less about having something to read when you leave the house without a book or your iPhone and more about the accessibility of quality writing. In an interview with VF Daily, Foer recalls saying in his email to Ells: 

“I bet a shitload of people go into your restaurants every day, and I bet some of them have very similar experiences, and even if they didn’t have that negative experience, they could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text.” 

“What interested me,” Foer says later in the interview, “is 800,000 Americans of extremely diverse backgrounds having access to good writing. A lot of those people don’t have access to libraries or bookstores. Something felt very democratic and good about this.”

Even still, Foer misses the point of his own project. Most everyone who lives near a Chipotle has access to the internet (at home or on their smartphone) and, though waning in number, there are still bookstores and libraries nearly everywhere. In fact, while there are about 1600 Chipotle locations (most in the United States), there are over 26,000 bookstores (according to Statista.com) and 120,000 libraries of all kinds (according to the American Library Association) in the United States. 

On the societal level that Foer is speaking on, the problem is not access—bookstores and libraries are still far more prevalent than Chipotle restaurants. The problem is that bookstores and libraries are becoming less and less culturally relevant, and chances are if you’re on your laptop or smartphone, you’re likely not reading Toni Morrison. It’s not that people can’t read work by these writers, it’s that they don’t.

What’s unique about the Chipotle campaign, then, is that it inserts world-class writing into a space where society does a good portion of its consuming (literally) and forces the customer to at least look at it. It would be like if every time you rode the subway Pavarotti came over the loudspeaker. Maybe the fact that the encounter comes in a place where one doesn’t expect to find art would even add to the impact of the work.

Chipotle Communications Director Chris Arnold seems to acknowledge this point: “We’d like for these little two-minute essays to provide a little analog pause in an otherwise digital world,” he told me. “It’s our hope that customers will read and enjoy them, and maybe discover a writer they didn’t know before.” This idea of someone “discovering” a new writer comes not from access, per se, but from putting the writing right in front of them. Redirecting focus away from a smartphone might just be necessary to accomplish that.

Even still, something about the whole thing still doesn’t feel right. We can all agree putting writers of the modern American canon onto something that will be smeared and torn and, of course, thrown away is at least a little disconcerting. With this brand of forced accessibility, let’s call it—literally handing someone top-tier writing whether they asked for it or not, as opposed to say, buying or checking out a book—inevitably comes disposability.

Outraging as it might be to many, more than anything it’s a sign of the times. In our Twitter-Snapchat-newsfeed culture, most of what we read is both democratic and temporary, open to all but gone very quickly. Just like putting these writers into Chipotle in the first place meets the American public on its level, so does the idea of making the writing short and temporary. But that doesn’t make the notion any less hard to swallow, even for many of the writers ask to be part of the campaign.

Said Arnold, “To get our initial group of ten submissions (which is what we have now), we reached out to between 40 and 50 writers, so many more said no to us than accepted the invitation to participate.”

The gatekeepers of literature—academia, publishing houses—have been dying a slow and painful death for some time now, but this might be the coupe de grâce, at least symbolically. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that judging by the heavy hitters commissioned by Chipotle, the new ones are also pretty strict about who they consecrate. And, as far as restaurant chains go, Chipotle isn’t so bad. Their mission statement focuses on a commitment to using organic vegetables and sustainably farmed meat—their animated film, “The Scarecrow,” about this very subject was viewed nearly 13 million times and just won the PR award at Cannes on June 16 of this year. Even McDonald’s, a major early investor, divested eight years ago (although some speculate they are still involved with the company). 

But as Foer points out, none of that matters when it comes to this vision.

“Chipotle was pointed to quite often, as a model of what scaling good practices might look like,” he says. “The truth is, that’s not really why I did this.”

Although Foer states that he “wouldn’t have done it if it was for another company like a McDonald’s,” his point is that Chipotle’s status as a conscious company is not what qualifies it in this undertaking, but rather that it serves hundreds of thousands of customers per day (while not being as overtly corporate and as morally bankrupt as the face of fast food).

In the end, at the heart of the campaign is the idea that it doesn’t matter who’s providing culture so long as it gets in front of as many eyes as possible. And it’s hard to argue that that’s a bad thing, in principal. But in practice, the effects of the mass-dissemination of culture at the expense of the established channels of how and where it’s disseminated have yet to be seen. Is it such a bad thing that you have to go out of your way to read Michael Lewis, even if that just means making a conscious choice to buy or check out a book? Is it so undemocratic that a Malcolm Gladwell book be kept in a library, where it is bound between two covers and kept upright on a shelf? As I’m sure Chipotle would agree, these authors ought to be revered. It’s just hard to remember that when their work comes with a side of sour cream.

Giancarlo T. Roma is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician. Follow him on Twitter.

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General

An Interview with a Guy Who Can’t Sleep Because He Is Afraid of Dying

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

This is not J. but a bus driver in Mumbai. Photo by Pedro Elias via

It is often said that along sex and pooping, sleep is one of the greatest pleasures in life. But what if, suddenly one day sleep goes from being awesome to a nightmare, from which you can’t even wake up.

J. – who didn’t want to give me his full name – suffers from hypnophobia, namely the fear of falling asleep. The mere thought of sleep makes him panic – which sort of complicated our interview, because every time he thought about his phobia, he had to try suppressing an anxiety attack.

VICE: Hi J., can you explain what hypnophobia is?
J.:
Hypnophobia is to be afraid to sleep. It’s one of the most specific, sensitive and difficult to understand phobias as it occurs in very few cases, but seriously affects the physical and psychological health of those affected.

How is it affecting you?
it is affecting every area of my life. I try to avoid sleeping by all means because I’m afraid of dying – suffer a heart attack for example, or a fatal accident. The next day, I feel totally powerless and hopeless. This heinous physical and psychological fatigue is really taking a toll on me. Any small detail of your daily life is affected, things that a normal person would not be able to understand.

What was it that triggered it in your case?
It all began with a vermian injury [a brain injury that causes loss of balance and dizziness]. One night in August 2010, while having dinner and watching television, I suddenly lost consciousness for a few seconds. I fell off the couch. Immediately after I came to, alone and unaided, I went to the hospital.

The treatment I received was very bad, and the doctors thought my problem was a “mania” or something “invented”. The psychiatrist and the doctor diagnosed me with “hypochondria and a psychosomatic problem”. This was the starting point of my hypnophobia.

What did you do next?
I went to a lot of public and private hospitals and countless doctors who made me take countless tests. I got all kinds of diagnoses: some were saying that I had cancer, others brain tumours, ear problems – you name it I’ve had it.

As it was expected, all these conflicting diagnoses created this fear in me that something could happen to me at any time. Keep in mind that this difficult process took almost two years, in which I suffered permanent dizziness, vertigo and severe headaches, besides the sleep problems.

Gradually, my fears were increased. I began to be afraid of sleeping, and thought that I suffered from a serious illness.

None of these guys is J. either. Photo by Bruno Bayley

You explain your phobia is based on the fear of not waking up, the fear of death. What are your beliefs on this subject?
I am an atheist, I do not believe in gods. I think that when we die it’s all over and that thought terrifies me. I guess no one prepared me for this: my family or professionals, nobody.

You’ve said that you do everything you can in order to not to fall asleep. What do you usually do?
When I prepare to sleep I suffer a gradual increase of anxiety. My body triggers episodes of panic and choking, to prevent me from falling asleep. It’s hard to explain, you have to feel it: my pulse quickens, I tremble, I don’t know what to do. You feel powerless. The situation, your subconscious dominates you.

Besides that, I sometimes consciously get out of bed and go out desperately seeking help. I’ve gone to mental health centres, where instead of helping me, what they did was aggravate my condition with pills and drugs. I have thought about ending it all, but let’s say I am a strong person. I have an inner strength that keeps me from doing that.

When you do fall asleep, do you rest well?
When I sleep, it is because I fall asleep. Still, my mind plays tricks on me, reacting as a self-defence mechanism to keep my consciousness from relaxing and disconnecting from reality to have a restful sleep. I guess the brain disconnects because it knows that if you do not sleep, you die.

How many hours do you usually sleep for?
Between three and five hours, depending on the day and the intensity of panic.

Now that you’ve been diagnosed, do you follow any treatment? Do you take any drugs?
There isn’t a pharmacological treatment. You have to follow a specific and concrete psychotherapeutic treatment.

There is a very small number of centres that treat that kind of illness, which are very expensive and therefore inaccessible to most people with my problem. I just try to go out, distract myself – I walk or think about other things to minimise the effects of hypnophobia.

How do you feel when you wake up and realise nothing bad has happened to you?
I wake up very tired, exhausted. I don’t want to do anything and obviously I’m sleepy. You can never overcome phobias, you can monitor them and live with them as best as possible, but you must keep in mind that they cannot be cured and whoever says otherwise is lying.

How does hypnophobia affect your social life?
I have no social life. My relationships with humans are limited as for my family… no comment. Nobody understands what I am going through and tend to identify it with madness. It’s also impossible for me to perform well at work. This has aggravated my isolation, distrust, appearance of new pathologies and mental health.

How do you feel when people think that you are “crazy”?
Well, they are crazier than me because they have no empathy.

Is there something you would like people to know about hypnophobia?
Support is essential, but we live in a hypocritical society in which people with physical and psychological disabilities are abandoned and abused by our capitalist society. You are treated like a freak and you don’t have the right to bother others with your problems.

These phobias should be investigated – the number of people affected by them are much higher than we think. And at the moment, the only solution is in private clinics that working people can’t afford.

More on sleep:

The Smug Men Who Never Sleep Think We’re All Slobs

Sexsomnia Is a Bedtime Bonner Kill

Wait, Are These Taxi Drivers Sleeping or Dead?

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Climate Change

The annual cost of U.S. forest fires has more than quintupled in the past two decades, with current

Posted July 25, 2014 by Anonymous

The annual cost of U.S. forest fires has more than quintupled in the past two decades, with current govt spending levels at $3- $4 billion per year. The combination of warmer temperatures and dryer lands has been especially devastating in western states — and is expected to worsen as climate change induces more droughts.

Read more…



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General

Reasons Why Comic-Con Is the Worst Place Ever

Posted July 25, 2014 by Dave Schilling

Comic-Con 2014 Photos by Julia Prescott

Since 1970, the San Diego Comic-Con has brought comic book fans and sci-fi/fantasy enthusiasts from all across the world together to share stories, discuss the great mysteries of existence (Kirk vs. Picard, how does Superman shave, where is the bathroom on the Millennium Falcon), and purchase expensive collectibles. My first time attending was in 2007, and it was all I had dreamed of when I was kid making my Waterworld action figures kiss. It was a magnificent spectacle of the obscure, the misunderstood, and the marginal in pop culture. I was at home.

In the last 20 years, the Con has taken on a different tone. It’s less a conclave of dorks than an opportunity for Hollywood to pitch their latest projects to the masses; the Cannes Film Festival, but with a 24-hour Subway on every corner. For VIPs and industry bigwigs, the experience is private cars, lavish hotels, and fancy parties with copious amounts of free drinks. For people like me who just want to get their Sandman trade paperback signed by Neil Gaiman, it’s a whole lot more frustrating. Here are all the reasons why I now dread going to Comic-Con:

There Are Lines for Everything, Even Taking a Shit

Comic-Con is extremely popular—like “Pamela Anderson in Baywatch” popular. Yearly attendance is estimated at over 130,000 people, but on a normal day, downtown San Diego only holds around 28,000 people. Those numbers do not add up. The area around the convention center morphs into what looks like a makeshift disaster relief zone, but I suppose that’s also the ideal scenario for sci-fi/fantasy fans, because it’s like you’re living inside the movie World War Z

An area that’s so severely overcapacity is bound to create lines for just about anything you could possible want or need. There’s even a line to get into “Preview Night” on Wednesday now. Get excited to “preview” the back of somebody’s Farscape t-shirt for two hours while you wait to get into the convention center!

The area was just not built to contain that many hungry, sleepy, drunk people who really need to pee, which means competition for basic services is fierce. One of the most sought-after items at Comic-Con isn’t a mint condition copy of Action Comics #1… it’s a working toilet. Lines can become truly interminable, possibly due to how long it takes for a guy to unzip and get out of his “Xenomorph from Alien” costume. When wearing an outfit with that many moving parts, finding your dick takes some time.

Photo via Flickr users Dave & Margie Hill

The Lonely Celebrity Signing Area

I remember when the highlight of Comic-Con was getting face time with my heroes, like the original Apollo from Battlestar Galactica or the dolphin from seaQuest DSV. They actually seemed happy to be there, eager to soak up the adoration of the loyal fans that remembered their glory days. Yes, ma’am. I did see your guest spot on Dark Shadows. You were great. I always wish they had brought your character back to get revenge. It’s a shame M.A.N.T.I.S. got canceled, isn’t it?

Now that the Con is primarily about new stuff instead of nostalgia for the past, the celebrity signing area has turned into a grim reminder of the fleeting nature of fame. Sure, there are still a few hearty souls who get pumped up about having a chat with 64-year-old Erin Gray from Buck Rogers. There just aren’t enough of them left to keep the guests of honor from looking as though they’ve been told it’s terminal and they should get their affairs in order.

My Comic-Con badge from 2011. Yes, they spelled my name wrong.

Trying to Get a Badge Is Awful

As rough as it is to attend Comic-Con, getting there is an even bigger hassle because of the sheer amount of interest and the wonky nature of Comic-Con International’s online purchasing system.

From comic-con.org:

“If you are interested in purchasing a badge for Comic-Con International 2015, you must first sign up for a Comic-Con Member ID. Your Comic-Con Member ID will act as your login to the EPIC online registration system during EPIC Open Online Registration and will also add you to our verified special member ‘E-List.’”

Not sure what “EPIC Online Registration” is, but it sounds really neat, huh? I gues I’ll click on Comic-Con International’s FAQ page to get more info:

Comic-Con International will send an email with the Open Online Registration date and time to all eligible members at least 48 hours in advance of the sale. At least 24 hours prior to the sale, all eligible members will receive an additional email with their personal registration code and a link to the EPIC Registration landing page.

To guarantee you receive all email notifications from Comic-Con, please be sure to sign in to your Member ID account and click the “OPT-OUTS” option on the “My Account” tab. Make sure you have not checked the “Email Opt-Out” box. If you have selected to opt-out of email notifications from Comic-Con, you will not receive important registration announcements.

Oh… so that means I’m guaranteed to be able to buy a ticket at that point, right? RIGHT?

Do you know what do I do now since this came up? @SD_Comic_Con @Comic_Con pic.twitter.com/a3MRcAmNgK

— Yo It’s Katy-o (@InsanelyKaty) March 15, 2014

OK. Great. That worked out.

Everything Is Expensive, Especially Parking

Local merchants, realizing that Comic-Con week is their best chance to ensure they turn a yearly profit, jack up the price of everything. They really screw you on anything that’s a finite resource (as is their prerogative in this glorious capitalist nation), and parking is the most finite resource there is due to the aforementioned population issue in downtown. It’s best not to drive at all during Comic-Con. There’s always taxis, the San Diego Trolley, or pedi-cabs. Pedi-cabs are great, right?

Pedi-Cabs Suck

These pedal-powered personal conveyances are ostensibly designed to make getting around downtown San Diego much easier for Con attendees. Sometimes, they actually can be fairly handy, if you need to get a few blocks faster than your legs can carry you (and you have a few extra dollars in cash burning a hole in your wallet). Other times, they are guided missiles with one mission: hitting you while you try to cross the street.

The drivers are also kinda pushy about getting you to ride with them if they see you hoofing it. Like, why would you walk if you can hop in the cart on the back of my bike that’s shaped like the Iron Throne! Pedi-cabs are Comic-Con’s natural predators. Beware.

Everyone’s Constantly Getting “Turnt”

Since when did a comic book convention for people who have a hard time making eye contact turn into a 24/7 rave? Once the floor closes for the day, San Diego’s Gaslamp District rises from the ashes like a Phoenix (you know, from X-Men #101-108) and is reborn as a geek-themed frat party. The big star of last year’s convention was not the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer or Benedict Cumberbatch. It was this girl’s puke, since we all got to step over it and around it, and smell it. The smell is what I’ll never forget. Good lord, the smell.

Hall H

Everyone wants to cram into Hall H to see sizzle reels, trailers, and sometimes just logos from various upcoming genre films and TV shows. Despite being the largest room in the convention center, Hall H only has a capacity of 6,130. That’s a small fraction of the people who attend the Con.

The demand for Hall H presentations is so intense that in 2012, I stood in line for three hours to get into the Doctor Who panel. I finally made it to the front of the line when the security guard informed me that Hall H was now full, but I was welcome to be first in line to see The Cleveland Show panel. You know, the cartoon with the black people.

Needless to say, I did not stay, but everyone behind me did, because by sitting through the interminable banter between the voice cast of The Cleveland Show, they could stick around for the next panel, which was either the Firefly reunion or a sneak peek at the font that would be used in the end credits of Iron Man 3. I don’t remember. 

If you actually get into Hall H to see a panel, you pretty much can’t get up to walk around or take a leak, because someone will take your seat, especially if it’s close to the podium or the Q&A microphone. You’re stuck there. I hope you like combing through the Comic-Con program to find something to read or futily trying to get service on your cell phone. Don’t expect the panels to start on time, so download Angry Birds now. You’re going to be real familiar with that game soon enough—unless you came with a friend, in which case you can discuss which restaurant you’re going to wait in line to maybe eat at after it’s all over.

Good Luck Carrying All the Toys You Just Bought

Here are some things I’ve bought at Comic-Con: the entire set of Enterprise bridge crew figures from Star Trek: First Contact, a giant Dark Knight Batman toy, a Con exclusive Indiana Jones poster, a Judge Dredd t-shirt I never wear (because when is that socially acceptable outside of Comic-Con?), a Star Trek: The Motion Picture mini-poster, a bootleg DVD copy of Re-Animator, multiple sonic screwdrivers, and a Mon Mothma Star Wars figure (still in the package, natch).

I love all of this stuff, and I proudly display it all at my home. Actually getting all that crap to my home is the hard part. The people in the above photo had to drag a fucking cart around all day to hold all their toys. What happens when they both have to pee at the same time? Do they bring the giant laundry basket full of toys with them into the bathroom? What about if they want to sit down to a nice meal? Can they bring that goddamn thing into Hall H with them? Isn’t that a fire hazard?

The Religious Protestors

What better place to proselytize and convert lost souls than a large-scale gathering of kindred spirits who also obsess over sensational fantasy stories about the conflict between good and evil, with a healthy dollop of questionable gender politics? It’s like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel, folks. That doesn’t make it any less annoying. I’ll take my Christ in allegory form—straight from Krypton, resplendant in blue and red tights. Thanks.

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Chelsea legend Drogba returns on one-year deal

Posted July 25, 2014 by tsn.ca Top Stories RSS

Go to TSN.ca for details. #TSN

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Morgan Freeman’s Voice Sounds Even More Godly With Helium

Posted July 25, 2014 by Melody

Morgan Freeman’s voice is legendary. The man has played many acclaimed roles, he’s played God several times and has even narrated a ton of films and shows. Next to the man who narrates movie trailers, Freeman is one of entertainment’s most important voices. But what happens to it when you add helium? Well, the results […]

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Johnny Manziel — FIRES PIGSKIN THROUGH CAR WINDOW … Caught On Video

Posted July 25, 2014 by TMZ Staff

Here it is … the raw footage of Johnny Manziel hitting a Nissan Altima IN STRIDE during a car commercial back in June … and nailing the driver in the face. TMZ Sports broke the story … Manziel was instructed to fire a football into the…

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