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9.19.2002 by Forrest, every Wednesday.

Science Applications International Corporation

So today I get a phone bill. Not ordinarily a big deal. Except that this one contained a shocker: Area Code 514 will be switching to 10-digit dialing. Any of you who have had to make a phone call in Toronto (or, actually, a number of North American cities) know what I'm talking about. You will have to dial the area code even for phone numbers within your own area code - because they're adding a new one. Bored, I did a little digging to find the culprit - it turns out that SAIC, an unknown-to-me but enormous outfit (they have 40 000 employees – as many as Bell or Bank of Montreal) is in charge of area code planning in Canada, among other things. If one looks at their meeting minutes, one can see that they're plainly in league with The Man (Bell) too - the choice of this method (instead of just splitting the area code) is mainly a matter of convenience for the phone companies. Never mind that the rest of us are going to have to spend the rest of our lives dialing enormous phone numbers (514-xxx-yyyy). Hmph. Of course they did supposedly put out an ad asking for public input - but I never saw it.

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter

I will admit that, despite the intriguing title, I was wary of this movie before going. After all, a 16mm amateur parody of vampire movies? The concept seems to have a high potential for so-dumb-it's-not-funny-ness. I was very pleasantly surprised though - I was nearly pissing myself laughing the whole time. It's one of those movies that has everything - Vampires (of course), blasphemy, lesbians, masked Mexican wrestlers, wicked fight scenes, musical numbers, hilarious gags and tons of cheap gore, not to mention a soundtrack that is actually quite pro. And, like all good movies, it was made in Ottawa, so it's always nice to see the hometown boys do well Which they have, even being invited to Cannes to screen the film this year. If this movie is playing or on video near you, you MUST see it. And I know that it's already been reviewed in Pulp, but people can always use a reminder. There is a trailer available here.

Concordia Students

OK, admittedly, Benjamin Netayahu is a prick. OK, Worse than a prick, he’s downright evil. But it was quite embarrassing to see hundreds of Concordia students throwing stuff and generally causing a ruckus in order to prevent him from speaking at the university. If they wanted to make a statement, they could have sat quietly through his b.s. speech, and then asked the appropriate questions at the end. Just because someone is despicable does not mean they should be prevented from speaking. In fact, having someone that high-profile makes it even more educational - Even a speech from Hitler or Stalin would’ve been interesting, a glance into the mind of a true nutbar – and by extension his followers and supporters. So this incident was not at all cool. And Concordia students are often vegetarians too, which is bad.

European Airlines

I am in the process of investigating a trip to Europe, and was shocked at how cheap flying is there – in many cases it’s cheaper than the train! Here, silly anticompetitive regulations leave only a few airlines able to fly, and those (even the “discount” ones) are horrendously expensive. Just try finding a Toronto-Montreal fare for a specific date for under 300$. In Europe, on the other hand, you can fly easyjet from Amsterdam to Barcelona for 80 Euros. Return. Or from London to Athens return for 50 Pounds (120$C). We’re definitely doing something wrong over here. And they’re definitely doing something right - you know you're in trouble when Europeans are being better capitalists than you.

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