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Morning Cable - March 28, 2012
The latest in Trayvon solidarity: hoodies and hijabs; Ontario budget cuts harsh on the arts and is Popcorn the "perfect" snack food? Your Morning Cable

The Latest in Trayvon Martin Solidarity: Hoodies and Hijabs

LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates pose in their hoodies as part of the social media campaign rallying for “A Million Hoodies for Trayvon Martin.”

In the weeks since Trayvon Martin’s Feb. 26 death, more than 300,000 people have posted photos of themselves wearing a “hoodie” to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to support the message, “We are all Trayvon” and, “Hoodies Don’t Kill, People With Guns Do.”

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Similarly, the campaign is also drawing solidarity from the death of an Iraqi-American mother of five, last week. The death of Martin, an unarmed black teenager fatally shot in Florida for looking suspicious, is raising comparisons to California’s Shaima Alawadi, who died following a brutal beating. Alawadi was attacked while wearing a hijab. Next to her body, somebody left the note, “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” Classy.

In a nod to the Million Hoodie March for Martin, organizers are holding a One Million Hijabs for Shaima awareness campaign, which, like the Martin one, is about drawing strength from our differences. All this, plus Geraldo Rivera sort of apologized for his hoodie remark? Not a bad day. 

Ontario Budget Cuts Harsh on the Arts

John Malkovich on stage at Luminato 2010 in the world premiere of his latest play. Image: Pink Mafia 

Tuesday’s unveil of the province’s new budget came with some harsh realities for arts funding. The Ontario government plans to siphon millions of dollars from the culture, tourism and sport sectors, including a 23 per cent cut to Toronto’s Luminato Festival, and more to the Royal Ontario Museum, TVOntario and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Sure, Toronto’s film industry may be thriving, posting record-setting grosses of $1.13-billion last year, but the arts remain a popular target for harsh budget cuts.

Last year, TVOntario received 52 of its $90-million operating budget from the McGuinty government, but this year, the organization is being encouraged to seek alternative funds to stay afloat. In addition, Luminato, a 10-day festival started in 2007, was promised $15-million over four years by the McGuinty Liberals in 2010, but cuts will reduce these payments by $1.5 million starting in 2012, and $2-million the following year. The festival’s annual budget is usually in the $13-million range, so these cuts are sizeable.

Eight cultural attractions, the AGO, ROM, the Ontario Science Centre, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Ontario Heritage Trust, Science North and the St. Lawrence Park Commission can expect an almost $5-million cut over the next three years.

But how will these cuts influence the success of these thriving arts communities? So far, the government’s actions are prompting these agencies to become more resourceful in their fundraising and brand marketing strategies, but at least there is a little bit of time to brainstorm. The total reduction shared by these eight agencies in 2012 will be an estimated $900,000.

Is Popcorn the “Perfect” Snack Food?

Crunch and Munch for lunch? It’s not bad for you, and in fact, it may be healthier than some fruits and vegetables. Researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania have found popcorn to be the “perfect snack food.”

You don’t say?

The study found popcorn to contain up to 300 milligrams of polyphenols, an antioxidant known to reduce cholesterol and also prevent cancer. The report says popcorn contains more antioxidants and healthy by-products than other fruits and vegetables. Hmm. Of course, this is air-popped popcorn, not the always-fun movie theatre kind which is covered in butter, oil and salt.

Still, a snacking win is a snacking win. Most popcorn contains less calories, fats, and saturated fats than other snacks. Oh, to be able to participate in that study… Maybe I’ll pop open a bag and e-mail them my own personal findings.

____

Joanna Adams writes the Morning Cable, and lots more, for Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter at ‏ @nowstarringTO.

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