Stephen Harper: They say he’s brittle. Ideological. Uncompromising. But how flexible does he have to be when everything’s going his way?
Joe Clark: As his Alliance dissident pals crawl back to Harper, Joe feels “free.” Any freer and the Tories will be free to fold their party.
Saku Kolvu: Puts some magic back in Montreal hockey by returning after a struggle with cancer. Now, can he inspire the Habs to a little playoff success?
4Ê*Danny Graham: Nova Scotia Liberal leadership candidate gets “hip” help from Rawlins Cross, as defunct Celtic rock favourites regroup for a fundraiser.
“I am being tied to my bed at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
I have been sedated. I have been given drugs that interfere with my memory. I am a prisoner." -Sixteen-year-old Jehovah’s Witness from Calgary, who’s being forced to undergo blood transfusions for leukemia, lost her court appeal last week
“The school board says that they cannot condone a homosexual lifestyle. I’m sorry, I don’t have a lifestyle. I have a life.” -Marc Hall, 17, of Oshawa,
Ont., announced he’s suing the Durham Catholic District School Board, because they won’t let him bring his boyfriend to the prom
Spotlight on the slasher
“■don’t do retro,” says music enigma I Nash the Slash, “since I’m still recording new stuff.” This may come as a shock to those who lost track of the Toronto-based musician a decade or two ago. But Nash, who adopted his name from a killerbutler character in a Laurel and Hardy film, and became popular in the late 1970s with his eerie electronic violin sounds, has never stopped making music. And while it’s been 20 years since he toured internationally with the likes of Gary Numan and the Tubes, this April 26-28 Nash will be the first Canadian to play the annual Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival-a celebration of avant-garde
music-in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Festival organizers remembered him from instrumental albums like Decomposing ( 1981)—the first record playable at any speed-which got airplay on communist-run Polish and Russian radio stations years ago. “There were no words to create any political statement,” explains Nash. As a performer, Nash always liked the idea of concealing his identity. And the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear disaster inspired his trademark disguise. Nash began wrapping his face in surgical bandages soaked in phosphorescent paint-he glowed green when the stage lights went out. The bandages
stuck, so to speak, and Nash has performed with them ever since.
A solo artist and co-founder of the progressive rock band FM, Nash has also scored films, like Canadian cult classics Roadkill and Highway 61. And most recently he’s written music to accompany screenings of old silent films, like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1921) and Nosferatu (1922)—the latter of which he’ll perform in St. Petersburg. Later this year, Nash will tour Canada with Swedish band Hoven Draven. And throughout it all, he’ll be wrapped in gauze. “Some people ask if I want to be like KISS and take off the makeup-take off the bandages,” says Nash. “But what did KISS do a year later? Put it back on!”
Bird bird bird-the bird is the word
The terms for groups of birds can be as tame as a clutch of chickens oras wild as a coil of widgeon. While some have been in use for hundreds of years (even inspiring rock bands-A Flock of Seagulls), others have been bumped into relative obscurity (a
pitying of turtledoves). Here are some other feather rufflers:
■ A murder of crows: Perhaps based on the folk tale that crows judge a misbehaving member of their own kind and will, If found guilty, kill him.
■ A bouquet of pheasants: This de-
scription is based on the image of a group of pheasants breaking free from a central hiding spot to fly in different directions.
■ A charm of finches: The word charm has been used for close to 500 years to describe the blended sound of many birds singing.
■ A kettle of hawks: While this expression is not listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, it has been used by hawkers for many years.
■ A dole of doves: To dole is to mourn and, as early as 1848, the word was used to describe a group of doves cooing.
■ A parliament of owls: Based on the belief that owls are the serene, wise observer of human society-well groomed and considered noble.
■ An ostentation of peacocks: Speaks for itself: Chaucer first wrote about these preening creatures in 1374, while NBC made them its symbol in 1956.
Five athletes, one boat, two rescue units, one logistics expert and plenty of cold, ice, water and wind. All the makings for a new Canadian sport-winter waterskiing. “We are extreme players,” laughs Ron Paquet, referring to his Quebec-based team of Denys Martin, 45, a champion high-speed water skier, Martin’s wife Francine Brown, 49, current Canadian wakeboard champion Jean-François Gosselin, 30, and St. Lawrence River pilot
Gary Provencher, 35, who skied Antarctica in 1997.
Paquet and Martin had kicked around the idea for years. Then in February, after searching for the perfect body of water-one without large ice floes—this group of friends gathered on the Ottawa River at St.-Anne-de-Bellevue, just west of Montreal. They strapped on skis and wakeboards in water so cold that the currents were the only thing keeping it from freezing over. “That is the beauty of it,” says Paquet, 49. “It is cold enough to keep
out the wannabe players and save it for those few who will be serious about it.”
Now Paquet and his crew plan on holding an annual winter waterskiing event to raise money for charity. They are also hoping to encourage people in other areas of North America to form teams so they can race against each other. “You’ve got to be in shape because we ski hard,” says Paquet. “And you need the will and the courage to do it." Not to mention a few loose screws.
Light up and get tossed
Thinking about lighting up a smoke out back of Glace Bay High School? Better resist the urge. Unless, that is, you welcome a two-day suspenslonand some help kicking your habit. It’s all part of the Cape Breton high school's unique bid to slash the region’s appallingly
high smoking rates. Latest figures show that 30 per cent of Cape Bretoners over the age of 15 are smokers-that’s more than the average for Nova Scotia, Canada’s most tobaccoaddicted province. “No smoking has been a school board policy forever up here,” says GBHS principal John Ettinger. “But everybody ignored it.”
Now there’s zero tolerance for anyone who flouts the rules: after the suspension, the only way students are allowed back in class is if they sign up for the No More Butts program, which involves peer-led counselling and going on the nicotine patch or chewing nicotine gum. Launched at the start of April, the program usually gets one or two new recruits a week through suspensions. More surprising: 50 or so teens have signed up voluntarily. “Jeez, it’s up to seven dollars a pack,” says 17-year-old Jeff Miller, a Grade 12 student. “I want to kick the habit. Now I think I have a chance.” He’s already curtailed his vice-down to four cigarettes a day from a pack a day. Proof that Glace Bay High
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