City in Brief
Plethora of porn
Every boy watches porn. Or so it would seem after UniversitÃ© de Montreal researchers were unable to find a single male in his 20s who had never watched porn. The researchers were looking to conduct a survey on the differing views of men who had consumed porn and those who hadn’t. Unable to find anybody who fell into the latter group, the U de M professors decided to examine the habits of men who watched porn. After interviewing 20 heterosexual university students, researchers found that 10 was the average age at which the subjects had first viewed porn. Males in relationships watched an average of 20 minutes, 1.7 times per week. Single men watched an average of 40 minutes three times per week.
No Jan. fare hike
The SociÃ©tÃ© de transport de MontrÃ©al missed the deadline to formally announce a fare increase for January. Delays in passing a budget and other administrative processes prevented the STM from releasing fee-increase schedules one month ahead of the anticipated changes, as is required by its own regulations. An STM spokesperson who spoke with La Presse said when the fees do change, they could be expected to increase between 1.75 per cent and 2.25 per cent. The Agence metropolitan de transport made a proposal in October to increase its fees by 1.75 per cent starting Jan. 1.
The Gazette reported that six people were arrested in Laval after being spotted with “cloned” debit cards Monday. A Laval cop was taking out money when he spotted two men at the machine next to him using “suspicious” looking debit cards. After an investigation, six men were arrested and charged. They might have gotten away with it too, had the fake debit cards not been a thoroughly unconvincing plain white colour with “debit” written on them. The thieves used a machine that looked like a regular debit keypad, but actually copied the information off the victim’s card and made a “clone” of it.
Baby on Bridge
A baby was born yesterday in rush hour on the Jacques-Cartier bridge. The father-to-be was driving his expectant wife to the hospital when she could no longer wait. They pulled over to the side of the road and called an ambulance, which arrived on the bridge. The baby was delivered inside the ambulance, and the birth was reported to be (otherwise) without incident.
Obligatory H1N1 Brief
Premier Jean Charest got his H1N1 shot, putting him in the group of 43.2 per cent of Quebecers who have bravely bared their forearms to be inoculated. Charest said the shot did not hurt, and is encouraging other Quebecers to follow his lead. Thus far, 97 people in Quebec have died from flu-related complications. Quebec is hoping to have 60 per cent of the population inoculated by the beginning of the holidays.
Nation in Brief
Maple Leaf Garden lives
The storied arena the Toronto Maple Leafs called home from 1931 to 1999 will be re-opened. Investments of $20 million from the federal government, $20 million from students at Ryerson University and another $20 million raised in partnership with Loblaw Cos. Ltd. will see the arena re-open as part supermarket, part athletic centre in spring 2011. Ryerson students voted earlier this year to increase their athletic fees by $126 in order to help fund the deal. The arena was purchased by Loblaws in 2004.
Oink oink, eh?
Canadian pork will flow freely through China, once again. Or, at least, be available. Ottawa announced Tuesday the China-imposed ban on Canadian imports of pork was lifted. The market, which was closed off in May amid fears of the swine flu outbreak, used to provide $50 million in annual revenue, the House of Commons was told. Prime Minster Stephen Harper flew to Beijing on business the same day the border reopening was announced.
Obama snubs Harper
President Barack Obama phoned state leaders to personally brief them on the United State’s revised plan of action in Afghanistan. On the list were: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and China. No Canada. Prime Minister Harper had to make do with a call from Vice President Joe Biden. Parliament has passed a motion to not extend Canada’s mission in Afghanistan past 2011. Since Canada’s mission began in 2002, 133 soldiers, one diplomat and two aid workers have been killed. Obama’s new strategy involves deploying 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
For the love of dog
A man in eastern Ontario filed a human rights complaint, alleging he wasn’t allowed to bring his service dog into a bulk food store. The service animal in question is a three-kilogram chihuahua. He helps his owner with depression. Barring the dog from the store, the plaintiff said, constitutes discrimination against his mental illness. The couple who owned the store at the time of the alleged infraction in August 2008 said the issue at hand was not about the dog. They said the customer was yelling and swearing. The couple has since sold the store in order to get away from the man, they told CBC. The human rights tribunal may take up to six months to render a decision.
Pure(ll) waste of money
A CBC investigation found hand sanitizers don’t exactly get rid of 99.99 per cent of bacteria and germs on your hands. The test was conducted at a middle school in Hamilton, Ont., where children’s unwashed hands were contaminated from the stuff they had touched during their lunch break. A microbiologist swabbed their hands, then the students scrubbed with one of three sanitizer brands. A second swab showed that Purell killed just over 60 per cent of germs, President’s Choice got rid of a little more than 54 per cent, and Soapopular nixed 46 per cent. The microbiologist said the discrepancy can be attributed in part to more controlled test methods used by the sanitizer companies.
World in Brief
A man dressed up as an elf was arrested at a mall in an Atlanta suburb last week after telling the mall Santa he was packing dynamite. Mall officials said the 45-year-old man dressed as Santa’s little helper was not an employee. The problems started when he got in line to have his photo taken with Santa. When it was his turn, instead of sitting on the fat man’s lap and talking about the big red firetruck he wanted for Christmas, he told Santa he had dynamite in his bag. Santa called mall security, the mall was evacuated, no explosives were found and the man was arrested and now faces several charges, including making terroristic threats. Way to make the naughty list.
A black man in Florida said he became concerned after seeing a sign taped to the door of a bar that read, “Stop. Absolutely no color’s. You will not be served.” The sign was aimed at bikers, not dark-skinned people, according to the bar owner who was quoted in the St. Petersburg Times. He said he had been having trouble with bikers, who often identify themselves by flashing their gang colours or emblems. Police had been called to the bar on Nov. 15, on reports of battery. Soon after, deputies spent two days hanging out at the bar. And that is when the sign went up, the owner said. Some regulars (who were white) told the Times that some black people are regulars at the bar.
An American man is suing two casinos on allegations that they allowed him to continue gambling when he was drunk and supplied him pain pills and liquor to keep him at the tables. Terence Watanabe of Omaha, NE lost $127 million in one year at Caesar’s Palace and Rio Casino, the Wall Street Journal reported. Watanabe has filed a civil suit against the casinos’ owners, while the casinos allege he still hasn’t paid almost $15 million of his hefty tab. Harrah’s, the parent company of the casinos, contend Watanabe was not visibly drunk- just evidently a very poor gambler. Casinos routinely ply big spenders with free items, such as alcohol, free hotel suites, personal attendants, and apparently even served Watanabe seven-course meals at the tables, where he lost up to $5 million a day.
A British teacher came up with an unusual way to catch the interest of his 14-year-old students: stripping off his shirt and dancing in front of the class, while being egged on by his students. Unfortunately for 57-year-old Martin Rouse, of Suffolk, England, one of his students uploaded a cellphone video to YouTube. The video resulted in this overenthusiastic teacher being fired and banned from all schools in the district. In his defence, the students seen in the 45-second video seem to genuinely enjoy the performance, complete with shirt twirling above his head. And Rouse did have a good defence: “I was just trying to be cool,” he told the Daily Mail. Though Rouse will be permitted to apply for future positions at other schools, he will have to disclose his reprimand.