In the wildly popular This Hour Has 22 Minutes segment “Talking to Americans,” Rick Mercer ventures south to feed people outrageous misinformation about Canada. Week after week, they buy it hook, line and beaver tail. On April 1 (8 p.m.), CBC will run a one-hour special of Mercer’s encounters with U.S. citizens, featuring old and new footage. Highlights of “Talking to Americans” include people on the streets of San Francisco promising to never again use the word “Hullabaloo” since the people of Hull, Que., consider it derogatory. A Columbia University professor signs a petition to stop Canada’s barbaric practice of leaving senior citizens on ice floes to perish. Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack congratulates Canada on finally moving from a 20to a 24hour clock. By the end, the special
proves to be too much of a good thing: three minutes of American ignorance in an episode of 22 Minutes is hilarious, but a full hour can be downright depressing.
More than 3,500 would-be starlets across the country tried out, but only five were plucked for stardom. This week, Global’s Popstars, the Canadian reality-TV show about the making of a band, unveiled the members of Sugar Jones. They are: Vancouverite Sahara MacDonald, Winnipegger Maiko Watson, Mirella Dell’Aquila of St. Leonard,
Que., Montrealer Julie Crochetiere and The band: plucked for stardom Andrea Henry of Hamilton. Henry replaces Marla Berman—who was axed after being convicted of stealing a fellow contestant’s purse and spending $2,311 with her Visa card. The group will release a single in May and an album in June. Two other made-for-TV girl bands released singles that debuted at No. 1—Australia’s Bardot and England’s Hear’Say, which had the third best-selling debut in history. Sugar Jones members insist their goals are more modest. “What’s important” says Crochetiere, 20, “is to stay focused on making music.”
A disarming text
On March 29, Halifax military brass will crowd the city’s historic Cambridge Military Library for the official launch of a new version of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, the world’s oldest (fifth century BC) treatise on military history. But this isn’t the usual take on the wily Chinese general’s teachings. The acclaimed new translation, essays and commenThe Art of Wir ;
tary are by a group of six modern-day Buddhists—four of them based in Halifax—who abhor vi. . . ounizu
olence and war in
any form. The aim of the Denma Translation Group— which includes Haligonian James Gimian, publisher of The Shambhala Sun magazine—is to reveal the broader implications of Sun Tzu’s teachings. “Conflict is inevitable,” stresses Gimian. “Sun Tzu knew this. But he also understood the importance of finding a response to conflict that does not just begin a new cycle of aggression.”
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