End Credits - February 22, 2018

23Feb

This week, End Credits gets back into superhero mode! After a long three month drought without any capes and powers, we get back into the swing of things with a movie that's definitely gong to break a few barriers, Black Panther. In the news, we'll talk about a superhero director that's not having such a good time, a legendary director that's got cashflow issues, and a documentary director that's having politics interfere with his potential awards glory.

This Thursday, February 22, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson and Candice Lepage will discuss:

1) Zack Attack. The course of the DC Extended Universe has not been smooth. While Wonder Woman was a boundary smashing success, and Batman V. Superman and Suicide Squad at least made some bank, Justice League was, by all accounts, a total and complete failure. Whose fault is that? Is it Zack Snyder's? New rumours say that Snyder was fired from the film weeks before he supposedly stepped away to address a personal tragedy, which suggests that studio suits were fed up with his direction for their valuable franchise. What next for the DCEU?

2) Buck of the Irish. Martin Scorsese is in the process of making his latest film, The Irishman, which is based on the life of mob hitman Frank Sheeran. A murderer's row of acting talent that's been assembled for this film including Al Pacino, and Scorsese collaborators from the past like Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel. So why is it looking to be not only Scorsese's most expensive film, but Netflix's too? Might the streaming giant have finally bitten off more than it can chew by giving a near-blank cheque to Scorsese to de-age his older actors?

3) Last Man Not at the Oscars. Getting nominated for an Oscar should be the pinnacle for any filmmaker, a once in a lifetime opportunity for some. Having said that, producer Kareem Abeed and Mahmoud Al-Hattar, founder of White Helmets, will not be allowed to support Feras Fayyad and his film Last Men in Aleppo in-person because they're being barred from travelling to the United States for the ceremony. It's the second year in a row where a nominee can't attend due to politics and travel bans, so why can't we have nice things?

REVIEW: Black Panther (2018). The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is perhaps its most audacious yet. Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) shakes up the formula considerably with this tale T'Challa, the King of the fictional African country Wakanda, so technologically advanced that it might as well be the future. But while T'Challa tries to find his place on the throne, and as the legendary Black Panther, outsiders try to undermine him, and use the riches of Wakanda for their own ends. But that's only half the story...

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #113 - The Guelph-Wellington Women’s Campaign School

21Feb

According to the United Nations, the make-up of any government requires 30 per cent representation by women in order to assure that the concerns of women are well reflected. In Guelph, four of the 13 members of our city council are women, which puts us at just over that 30 per cent mark. That's good, but we can be doing better. 

It wasn't even 10 years ago that the make up of Guelph city council was seven out of 13 were women to men around the horseshoe, including the mayor, but in the present era of #MeToo and Time's Up, the imperative of getting more women involved in politics has only increased. Politics is a tough business though, and even if you want to run, what's the process or running? And how do you campaign, raise money, and do all the other things to win office?

This is where the Guelph-Wellington Women's Campaign School comes in. Organized by the Canadian Federation of University Women, and hosted by Ward 3 Councillor June Hofland, the school will teach female candidates, and their supporters, about the paperwork they'll need to fill out, coming up with a campaign plan, figuring out your message and communications strategy, and hopefully some answers to all of the questions that the perspective candidates might have.

Before all that though, we're joined on the podcast this week by two representatives of the CFUW, Barb Hale and Teresa McKeeman. We talk about the work of the CFUW, the reasons they've helped put together this campaign school, what kind of training women are looking for, what kind of challenges they face, and whether or not we're seeing an explosion of interest by women in running for politics because of current affairs. 

So let's get into running for office like a woman on this week's Guelph Politicast!

The Guelph-Wellington Women's Campaign School is on Saturday February 24 at 8:30, and though it is sold out, you can reach out to organizers at gwcampaignschool@gmail.com or visit their website in order to stay up-to-day on future events, or to learn other ways to get involved.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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Open Sources Guelph - February 15, 2018

18Feb

Open Sources Guelph is back live and on air this week, and we're back to deal with not just the news, but some of the biggest social shifts of our times. Here in Canada, First Nations and racism is back in the headlines as a court verdict shed a ghastly light on what the lives of our Indigenous youths may be worth. Meanwhile, talk of harassment in the political sphere put the ball back in Patrick Brown's court, while south of the border Americans confront their president's own apparent misogyny. As for Britain, they've got the evils of social media on the mind.

This Thursday, February 15, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Justice for Colten. Last Friday, the acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer that shot and killed Colten Bushie set off a firestorm among First Nations people, and their friends and supporters across the country. Rallies of support have been held all over Canada, while both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould may have overstepped in commenting on the outrage of the verdict. Meanwhile, Gerald Stanley launched a GoFundMe to recoup legal fees and supporters have been leaving donations in the name of famous First Nations heroes, a racist slight to the people upset about the murder of Bushie and Stanley's acquittal. Are we looking at a watershed moment for the systemic violence against Canada's Indigenous people?

2) Defending Wife Beaters? "We absolutely wish him well." That's what President Donald Trump had to say about his former staff secretary Rob Porter, who left the White House under a cloud last week when it was revealed that he had not just beaten one ex-wife, but that he had abused both his ex-wives. Almost a week later, Trump has said nothing about Porter's victims, while his White House is seeming to do everything to deny that they had any knowledge at all about Porter's personal life, even though he's been working with a conditional security clearance for over a year. The light has fallen most harshly on Chief of Staff John Kelly, but will anyone pay the price, or will the Trump White House roll on?

3) Brown's Back. After fading into the night at the end of January when he stepped down as PC leader, Patrick Brown is now on a career rehabilitation tour accusing his accusers of lying, accusing CTV of irresponsible reporting, and threatening possible legal repercussions. Although he was forced to give up his ambition to be Premier of Ontario, Brown seems hellbent on keep his job as MPP and remaining in the Conservative caucus. In the meantime, the PC leadership contest rolls on with Doug Ford banking on social conservatives by promising to repeal the new sex ed curriculum, while Caroline Mulroney tries to show why the daughter of a former prime minister is the anti-establishment choice to lead the party.

4) Social Responsibility. Members of Parliament from the United Kingdom travelled to the United State last week to hear testimony from executives in social media companies in order to get to the bottom of the Fake News phenomenon, and its effect on an electorate that's supposed to be well-informed. Social media like Twitter, and Facebook have taken the brunt of the blame for the spread of Russian disinformation that may have interfered in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, but while the U.S. administration and the companies themselves seem hesitant to act, governments and citizens around the world are worried about what might be coming in the future. So is it time to make social media companies take hard action, and is it time to impose some regulation?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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End Credits - February 15, 2018

16Feb

This week on End Credits, we get a bit tied up with what's come before, but that doesn't mean we're going be bound by nostalgia. If you liked these double entendres, then you're going to love our review this week, Fifty Shades Freed. In the more PG realm of things, we talk about all those trailers that came out during, and after, the Super Bowl last week, why 1999 is still the best, and why you shouldn't, maybe, get rid of those DVDs just yet.

This Thursday, February 15, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson and guest co-host Andrea Patehviri will discuss:

1) Game Day Trailers. The Super Bowl is the biggest day in sports, but it's also the biggest day in advertising, and that includes new movie trailers. So many big movies released sneak peaks last week including Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Untitled Deadpool Sequel, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, The Quiet Place, Venom, Skyscraper, The Cloverfield Paradox, and Avengers: Infinity War. We'll talk about some of our favourites from list, and whether the hype was successfully raised on these big projects.

2) Critique Like It's 1999. In a recent article, The Globe & Mail supposed that 1999 was the last, great year in movies. Not only did it feature a once in a lifetime slate of groundbreaking movies like Fight Club, American Beauty, The Matrix, Office Space, The Sixth Sense, The Iron Giant and more, it was just before HBO, Netflix and franchise-building revolutionized how we watch movies. Is this a fair opinion, or is this the latest in a series of editorials lamenting the present state of the film business. Does nostalgia wear rose-coloured glasses?

3) All the Discs. Collider's Matt Goldberg wrote about a problem he had: how do you watch a movie, when you want to watch it, when none of the streaming sites we've come to depend on carry it? In so much as tech specialists and movie fans have been watching for the pending death of physical media, it seems that the disc won't die, and Goldberg's case is one that people may not be considering: what movies do you have in your collection that can't be found on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Crave or wherever? Are we cutting off our physical feet to spite our digital face?

REVIEW: Fifty Shades Freed (2018). Just in time for Valentine's Day, we finally get an answer to the question: Can a petulant man-child with an unhealthy obsession for binding, tying, and punishing the women he sleeps with find happily ever after with a woman that's just trying to live an old-fashioned modern life? Fifty Shades Freed is not going to win any points for progressive gender issues in modern romance, but they made a multi-million dollar trilogy based on some Twilight fan-fic about how no problem in a relationship can't be solved with an awesome vacation, lots of money, and the most boring kinky sex you've ever seen.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #112 - Dr. Francesco Leri, Addiction Specialist

14Feb

The University of Guelph posted on its website: "Looking for an Expert on the Impact of Opioids on Learning and Memory? U of G Is The Place," and I thought, "Well, I'm not *looking* for such an expert, but if the University is offering..." A couple of emails later, and you're on your way to learning about the latest research into how the brain gets hooked on drugs, and not just drugs, but any sort of addictive behaviour.

Dr. Francesco Leri is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Guelph. He's an expert in Behavioural Pharmacology and Neuroscience, which is a way of saying, he “investigates psychological and neuropharmacological mechanisms involved in the development, persistence and recurrence of behaviours reinforced by chemical and natural rewards.” In other words, he studies how behaviour and biology teaches our brains to get addicted, whether that's drugs, chocolate, sex, thrill-seeking or whatever.

To what end? Well, you may have heard of the province's ongoing crisis with opioids. In Ontario, someone dies from an opioid overdose every 10 hours; over a three-year period, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health clocked 30 deaths in our area from overdoses. It's a serious public health issue, and while politicians and frontline health staff are doing all they can to help people, understanding the biology and psychology of addiction may be the best long-term solution.

This week on the podcast we get scientific. Dr. Leri takes us into his research and how it's actually pretty hard to get your brain hooked on drugs, and even harder to get your brain unhooked. We also talks about the difficulty in treating addiction because of everyone's own unique experiences and biology, and how addiction rewrites the brain. We also talk about how our high sugar diets might be contributing to our susceptibility to addiction later on, and finally, philosophically, we talk about whether or not addiction is a disease the way we understand it.

So let's talk about drugs, and how and why some of us get hooked with deadly consequences, on this week's Guelph Politicast.

You can read Dr. Leri's article “Sugar in the diet may increase risks of opioid addiction” at the Conversation.com. You can also check out Ontario's Narcotics Strategy, including changes made to the availability of OxyContin, here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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End Credits - February 8, 2018

9Feb

Just in time for the coming games in South Korea, we flashback to the events leading up to the Winter Olympics nearly 25 years ago on this week's End Credits. We go for a skate with the new bio-pic about Tonya Harding, and we take a spin on some news items from the past week. Film critics are top of mind with one getting into Twitter trouble, and other taking a critical look at one of the most controversial subjects of the current #MeToo movement. Plus, while we're talking about black superhero movies, why aren't we talking more about that kickboxing vampire movie?

This Thursday, February 8, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson and Vince Masson will discuss:

1) Thread Count. In a strange twist, Chicago Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper was suspended from his job for a week because it was revealed that he had bought Twitter followers six times. Yes, you can buy Twitter followers. A lot of celebrities, athletes, and other influence makers do it, but should journalists? How about people in the movie review business? Roeper said that he was trying to build his brand, but is his job to build his brand, or is it to review movies? And can you imagine having to re-build your Twitter account again fro scratch?

2) Re-Allenate. There have been so many implications from the #MeToo movement, and one of the lesser ones is the question of what we're supposed to think now of the artistic work of those accused. Enter Woody Allen. New York Times movie reviewer A.O. Scott wrote last week his thoughts about Allen's filmography in the wake of #MeToo and persistent allegations about child abuse and Allen's own difficult personal history. Can we separate the artist from the art? Should we render Allen's films to the dustbin of history, or should we look at them anew with what we've learned?

3) Blade Rerunner. Marvel's Black Panther comes out in a couple of weeks, and there's no doubt it's a game changer, but what about the first black Marvel hero that came to the big screen? As a Washington Post piece reminds us, long before we had Black Panther, we had Blade. The 1998 horror-action flick starred Wesley Snipes as the vampire-hunting "Daywalker", and while it had a hand in creating the modern era of comic book movies, it almost seems like we've forgotten these contributions as part of the conversation of superhero movies. So have we forgotten about Blade?

REVIEW: I, Tonya (2017). In 1994, figure skate Tonya Harding watched all her Olympic dreams implode when her rival was attacked, and the perpetrator turned out to be associates of her husband. She became a national joke in the process, but now Harding's unbelievably true story is being told in all it's not so glorious glory starring Margot Robbie as the title subject. Follow Harding through the school of hard knocks, with a barely caring mother played by Academy Award nominee Allison Janney, to near Olympic champion and all the messed up ups and downs in-between.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.

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Open Sources Guelph - February 8, 2018

8Feb

What an exciting time to be in political-centric radio! This week on Open Sources Guelph, there's is so much friction to observe and report on, and we begin with the emergency leadership race of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, who are being asked to choose between two talented and accomplished women, and Doug Ford. Also, we'll talk about how the shiny happy future of NDP leadership might actually be tearing the country apart (in parts).

***Reminder: Open Sources is preempted this week for Black History Month programming on CFRU, so this week's episode will be available online here at 5 pm on Thursday.

This Thursday, February 8, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Only a Mulroney Can Save Us Now! Remember when Conservatives hated a) children of former Prime Ministers becoming political leaders, and b) professionals who have spent their working life in the U.S. returning to Canada to become political leaders? Don't tell Caroline Mulroney because she's ready to be Ontario's next Premier. But you know what, so is Christine Elliott! Elliott will attempt to do what she couldn't do last time, and convince the party membership to make her PC leader. At the same time, interim leader Vic Fedeli says that there are thousands of missing or incomplete membership forms in the PC Party's member database. How is the party falling apart so badly a few months before a slam dunk election? And, oh yeah, Doug Ford something, something...

2) AB vs BC. Meanwhile, inter-provincial relations on the left coast hit a new snag this week over the issue of oil. Alberta's NDP government has oil to sell, and it wants to get it to ships docked in British Columbia to haul it away to market. But not so fast! The NDP government in B.C. doesn't want any part of that dirty oil, and is throwing up all kinds of road blocks up to keep it on the other side of the Rockies. Rachel Notley has now threatened legal action, saying that John Horgan is acting criminally in the interest of keep favout with the rogue Green Party MLAs that are holding up his government. Yikes. Who could have ever imagined such enmity between two prominent NDP governments? Is there any way forward, and will Justin Trudeau have to choose a side?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #111 - The State of the City 2018

7Feb

Shall we play a game? Mayor Cam Guthrie thought it was a good idea last Friday when he revealed his annual State of the City address in the form of a Monopoly-style board game in order to tout a year, and indeed a term, of many accomplishments. It may have been persuasive for the crowd in attendance, but can you be persuaded?

As always, the State of the City address is an event by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. In other words, it's a business event, and in business you always want to put your best face forward. So last Friday at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre, Mayor Guthrie put a face forward that showed an incredibly successful Guelph with some challenges, but mostly just an overwhelming number of successes. To put it another way, Guelph has been made great again.

This greatness comes in many forms. The construction of the Guelph Police Headquarters is on time and on budget! Guelph is on the map for high speed rail! The Wilson Street parkade will add parking to Downtown Guelph for the first time in 35 years! Infrastructure funding! South End Community Centre design! Hydro merger! Guelph Transit... Well, we're working on it. But still, Guelph Innovation District! And so on, and so forth.

So let's head to the Delta and have breakfast with the mayor, and other people, on this week's Guelph Politicast! 

You can read the Politico coverage of the State of the City here. And you can find a link to the video of the State of the City at the Mayor's own blog here

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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Open Sources Guelph - February 1, 2018

5Feb

Oh man, we've got some issues this week on Open Sources Guelph, and men is the biggest one. In the first half of the show, we'll talk about the ongoing issues of sexual harassment and assault allegations, which have now found their way to being exposed in Canadian politics and media. And yes, we'll talk about how one of Toronto's favourite* sons has now ingratiated himself in the drama. In the back half, we'll discuss the latest about the pending Russian election, and we'll look back at two tragedies from a year ago that have become largely forgotten.

This Thursday, February 1, at 5 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and gust co-host Brad Evoy will discuss:

1) PC Thug. The fallout from Patrick Brown's sudden resignation after sexual assault allegations continued over the last week with the resignation of the party's president, a reported hack of the party database, and the worst kind of drama possible with former Toronto city councillor and human wedge issue Doug Ford throwing his hat in the ring to replace Brown. Ford, who's evidently putting his ambitions to be Toronto's next mayor on pause, has got a steep uphill climb because there are a lot of people in the PC Party that do not want to replace one circus for another, but is there anyone capable of stepping in and being a better alternative to Ford? On top of that, is there anyone, Ford included, that can unite the party against the Liberals with almost 5 months till E-Day?

2) #MeToo Canada: The Further Allegations. While the world churns at Queen's Park, we've seen the full extent of the #MeToo tidal wave hit Canada's shores. Kent Hehr had to quit the Federal Liberal cabinet within hours of a new avalanche of allegations against him. Elizabeth May was hit with allegations of bullying, which, while being described as the smears of an ex-staffer, are nonetheless being investigated. Paul Bliss, a political reporter for CTV Toronto, was himself suddenly suspended from the Brown beat after allegations came out against him. And Warren Kinsella is promising that a big name is about to added to the list of accused that "will shock you." Where is the issue going next, and what of the campaign to dig up dirt on Justin Trudeau?

3) Russian Stressing. Russians go to the polls on March 18 for what's likely going to be a foregone conclusion: the re-election of Vladimir Putin as the President of Russia. Alexei Navalny, Putin's would-be successor, continues to be stymied because he can't run in the election, and he was arrested again on Sunday for organizing an "unauthorized" demonstration against his exclusion. Putin seems like he's about making Navalny's life miserable, and, by consequence, the lives of supporters miserable, but Russian experts are watching and they're noting that the longer Putin stays in power, the harder it's going to be on Russia once he's out of power. So is there a way out of this for Russia, and what would it take for Putin to see reason?

4) How Soon We Forget. One year ago, a gunman walked into a mosque in Quebec City and killed or wounded several people who worshiped there. The incident offended Canadians, and rallied support for a Muslim community that's seeing an ever increasing number of hate crimes being directed at them, especially in Quebec itself. Meanwhile, in northern Ontario, it's been one-year since Barbara Kentner was hit with a trailer hitch thrown from a moving vehicle and condemning her to a long, slow, painful death. Kentner was the target of a seemingly race-driven rumour that she had physically assaulted a boy and intimidated a witness, allegations that turned out to be untrue. What do these incidents teach us about the racial undercurrent of the country?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.

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End Credits - February 1, 2018

2Feb

Things are pretty golden on this week's End Credits. We've got a lot of awards stuff to talk about with the release of the Academy Award nominations (and the Razzies), and a review of the darling of this year's Oscars, The Shape of Water. Between those two items, we'll also talk about the remake of RoboCop that might be, and the remake of Crocodile Dundee that will never be. Sort of.

This Thursday, February 1, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson and Tim Phillips will discuss:

1) Winners and Losers. The #OscarsSoWhite campaign a few years ago seems to have resulted in genuine change as the Academy Award nominations last week featured a female and an African-American both nominated for Best Director, the first Black women to be nominated for Best Cinematography and the second Black woman *ever* to be nominated for Best Screenplay. Can we safely say that Hollywood has learned its lesson from Time's Up and other movements? We'll also talk about the Razzie nominations, and why they might have went overboard in terms of one nominee that was divisive, but hardly the worst.

2) Reboot-Cop. Ed Neumeier, one of the screenwriters of the original RoboCop, said in a new interview that he had an idea for a continuation of the series that would discount the previous two sequels and the 2014 remake. Sound familiar? It's the same tact that the David Gordon Green's Halloween movie being released later this year is taking. On top of that, Ridley Scott says he's got one more Blade Runner in him, despite the fact that 2049 was a commercial flop. Then on TV we've got a Murphy Brown reboot, Magnum P.I. and Cagney and Lacey remakes... Has the remake happy Hollywood finally gone too far with non-originality?

3) Done-Dee. They had us. Viral videos featuring Danny McBride as the son of the original Crocodile Dundee were making the rounds last week, masquerading as a re-quel of the 80s fish-out-of-water comedy, while really being a preview of a Super Bowl ad for Tourism Australia. On the one hand, we're at the point where not even a Super Bowl ad seems to be enough to get you, or your company, the right amount of attention, and on the other had, Hollywood has deflated our expectations enough to believe that a Dundee continuation with McBride was a perfectly normal thing.

REVIEW: The Shape of Water (2017). Guillermo del Toro channels his love for the classic Universal monster movies, especially The Creature from the Black Lagoon, through his lens of magical realism with The Shape of Water. Set during the Cold War, a mute night cleaner at a government facility discovers one of the subjects there being tortured is an intelligent fish man found in the Amazon. Despite their differences, the two fall in love, and a plan is hatched to free the fish man from the clutches of a sinister government agent, and if love can conquer that, it can conquer everything. See if we enjoyed the film that got 13 Oscar nominations...

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.

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