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Morning Cable - February 20, 2012
Sentencing Vancouver rioters, injuries in the Dutch Royal Family, an OxyContin catastrophe, and DARPA meets Avatar. Your Morning Cable.

 

And THAT’S how you make an example of someone.

20-year-old Ryan Dickinson of Coquitlam, B.C. likely thought that rioting was a victimless crime when he joined hundreds of other rioters in destroying downtown Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in Game 7 last year. Today, he knows better – and the judge in his case is likely hoping that by giving Dickinson 16 months in jail (minus time served he will spend the next ten months behind bars) plus 24 months probation, his reckless actions may encourage others to think twice, or maybe even a third time before they grab that newspaper box and smash it into a police car ’cause your hockey team LOST A GAME! The crown attorney asked for 17 months and I was surprised the judge sentenced him to that much, but ultimately, Dickinson and any other prosecuted for rioting in Vancouver must now know that the judge aims to make examples out of all of them. Victimless, indeed.

It’s like a fairy tale.

First off, with all sympathies and respect to the Dutch Royal Family, what more appropriate way for the Dutch Prince to be critically injured than while skiing off piste in the Austrian Alps and getting caught in an avalanche? This is likely one of the most bourgeois ways to hurt yourself imaginable. Not struck by a bus, not hurt playing football, but caught in an avalanche while skiing. All joking aside, his condition is “stable but life threatening,” and the Queen and his wife are with him in hospital. Prince Johan Friso gave up title to the throne long ago, and is living as a (stinkingly rich) average citizen in the Netherlands. We here at the Standard wish him a speedy recovery.

There’s good news and there’s bad news.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation chief Stan Beardy is claiming that a catastrophe is about to hit many First Nations reserves in Canada because of the decision from Purdue Pharma Canada to stop producing the drug OxyContin. Beardy maintains that thousands of residents of Ontario’s reserves are addicted to OxyContin, which is typically stronger than morphine when injected or inhaled, and that when Purdue Pharma Canada stops making the drug next month, the withdrawal effects will be devastating. Purdue Pharma Canada is replaced OxyContin with OxyNEO specifically for the purpose of reducing addictions. So while I understand the Chief’s concern, surely it is better NOT to have thousands of people addicted to drugs than worry about the temporary effects of taking thousands of people off drugs? No?

Lame.

Project: Avatar is the latest project undertaken by DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is the Pentagon’s hi-tech research arm. DARPA has earmarked $7 million towards making the dream of Avatar – the James Cameron movie – a reality: not the distant planet and sexy bodies and blue skin, but the military’s ability to control another being using only your mind. According to the Darpa’s 2013 budget, “the Avatar program will develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.” And it will only be a matter of time before their semi-autonomous bi-pedal machines begin suffering from Stockholm syndrome and relate to their “enemies,” eventually falling in love and breeding with them, only to join their insurrection against the military that created them.

Yup – it’ll be just like this:


Andrew Reeves writes the Morning Cable (and other stuff) for Toronto Standard. You can follow him on Twitter at @reevesreport.

 

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