Fundraising Events in Toronto

It’s unlike me to post twice on the same day, but this is important. Our tsunami relief group, the Canadian Committee for Relief to Eastern Province, has scored three exciting fundraising events in Toronto. The first one is tomorrow. Come if you can. If you can’t, please share this info with those who might:

1.Wednesday Jan 5th @ Andy Pool Hall (489 College St)

Better-times music provided by DJs:

Hatiras, Matt C, DJ Dayhota, Dino & Terry, DJ Krista, Denise Benson,

Charles Lewis, Dany V., Adam Nathan, Justin Medved, Amir Ebrahimnia,

Whitney Baker, Tee Loo’s Kitchen, Joel Smye, Simon Rojas, Andrew

Allsgood, DJ Zahra, and Marc de Breyne with many more supporters!

7pm-2:30 AM

Minimum donation: $5

All money raised at the door, a percentage of bar sales, and the proceedsof the auction (featuring products from Puma Clothing, Prize Records, Crash Records and Bustle Clothing) will be donated.

2. Thursday Jan 13th @ The Embassy (223 Augusta Ave)

Hosted by Nirmala from Controller Controller, with DJs

DJ Serious, Mike Tull, Denise Benson, Brenden Canning Broken Social

Scene, Abacus, DJ Nav, John Kong, Son of S.O.U.L., Dalia, Dj Nana,

Jocelyn D, DJ Nav, John Kong, Noel Nanton, Kola, Chocolate, Sonar, DJ Amita


$10 – $50 sliding scale

3. Friday Jan 21: The big one…. Legendary South Asian singer Shahid

Ali Khan will perform at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street W.)

7pm onward

$10 in advance (

$15 at the door

Khan is a disciple of the late great Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali

Khan. This is a huge deal.

More seriousness

I’d forgotten that I’d sent my two tsunami articles to, and apparently they’d forgotten to inform me that they’d published them! Both pieces appear here.

The horrors in post-tsunami SE Asia continue to mount. There are new reports of organized abuse of women and children in the refugee shelters, including the gang rape of children. As many have been saying for some time, the wave was only the beginning of the misery; this is a longterm tragedy.

Then there’s this doofus named David Holcberg who’s arguing that the USA and other rich nations should not be sending financial aid to SE Asia, pretty much because government money should be spent on domestic issues only. Unsurprisingly, he writes this for the Ayn Rand Institute. Interesting how conservative think tanks have no problem spending hundreds of billions bombing other countries, but balk at spending a few million to help them.

Let me spell it out for you, Holcberg: if you don’t want to give because it’s morally right, then do it for selfish reasons. SE Asia’s collapse means a greater probability of the collapse of the world banking system, a dramatic decline in the purchasing power of big markets for the USA and increased instability in places like Indonesia where anti-US rebels are already making headway. See? Keeping SE Asia safe and happy is best for everyone.

Lord Love A Geoduck

With all the seriousness about us these days, let’s dwell on some frivolity, shall we? The following is supposedly a photo of Rasputin’s penis, recently bought on auction by a curiosity collector:



It does seem likely, though, that had the mad monk’s schlong been sliced off, it would have been at its base and not the navel, no? Besides, this looks more like a geoduck or a sea cucumber. Will wonders never cease?

Now, one of my favourite shows these days happens to be Stargate: Atlantis, which is a spin-off of Stargate SG-1. But here’s my problem with the new show. Why does the grand city of a 10,000 year old technologically-advanced space-faring civilization so resemble my highschool chemistry class? A failure of imagination, my friends. Same reason all aliens on American sci-fi shows happen to be white people with mid-Western accents.

And speaking of aliens on American sci-fi shows, how come none of them ever speaks with contractions? Something about advanced alien culture that is averse to the apostrophe? Just another mystery for our times, I guess.

PS. Both of my tsunami articles (here and here) have seen interest from India Currents Magazine; the first might see print in February.

Tsunami Relief

You know, one of the cool things about using a real blogging service is the RSS feed it automatically produces. (Read this to learn about RSS.) Of course, I personally know of only one other person who is keen on RSS, and that’s my homeboy Andrew Currie; but if you’d like to enter this brave new world, it helps to get a newsreader like SharpReader.

The changes on this site continue to mount. If you do some careful browsing, you’ll find new link styles, a change in content, and even more writing samples (though be warned that everything here is copyrighted, so I’ll sue your ass off if you misuse my stuff.)

Back in the real world, our tsunami relief efforts are continuing. It’s nice to see that the USA has been shamed into increasing its support to ten times its initial response… which still puts its per capita donation at less than that of Canada’s ($1.20 vs $1.23, not counting the exchange rate). It also means the World Bank is no longer the single biggest donor in this effort, so maybe the bank wil take this as a challenge and increase its contribution?

The organization I’m part of is called The Canadian Committee for Relief to Eastern Province, and is focusing solely on providing medical aid to a specific region of Sri Lanka. The big donors are providing other materials and have a more diffuse effort. But this region of the island is underserviced due to several factors, including the Sri Lankan government’s unwillingness to help areas which are ostensibly under “rebel” control. Also, the ubiquitousness of land mines in the region means that aid trucks are less likely to arrive there.

The committee is made up of scientists and health professionals, all of whom (except me) have relatives or other contacts in that region. So we have our own mini distribution network which, once we get the supplies to send, means that items will get transported faster and more directly to where they are needed.

If you’d like to help, please visit (which will have content any minute now) and consider making a donation. Or attend one of the fundraising events we’ll be hosting in Toronto and Ottawa in coming weeks.