month : 10/2015 51 results

Mob Rule: Part 13

Checking in at the Flamingo If things were hot in New York, they're scorching in Las Vegas, where our family guy is wise to the history of the syndicate, but looking to get a better look at the landscape from his suite on the 30th floor By John Armstrong It was just after 7 a.m. local time when we touched down in Vegas and the heat hit us as soon as they popped the cabin door, an instant, sweltering blast like being in the kitchen on Christmas Day when your mother opens the oven to check the turkey. It was already over 80 and climbing and I could feel myself starting to sweat through my ‘lightweight’ wool suit. Vanessa already had her sweater halfway over her head, revealing a shorter version of a man’s white tuxedo shirt under it. She got a pair of sunglasses from the shoulder bag and immediately looked ready for the Riviera. “Don’t worry, the limo’s got AC,” Cohen said. “In Vegas, everything has AC – no-one goes outside except to get to the pool, and ...

Highway 17, the road not taken — sadly

Travel: Ontario's Highway 17 Highway 17, which is the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario, is surprisingly untravelled -- mostly because Canadians know other countries better than they know their own.   By Charley Gordon If you’re tired of the predictable travel articles about beaches in Asia, castles in Europe and gourmet food just about anywhere, this is the travel article for you. It’s about good old Highway 17, the one you can drive for four days and still be in Ontario. Highway 17, which is the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario, is surprisingly untravelled. This is not because of the scenery, which is often magnificent, or the road itself, which is well-maintained and easy to drive. It is mostly because Canadians know other countries better than they know their own. It’s a safe bet that more Torontonians have been to Bangkok than to Sudbury. For them, the north begins around Orillia and ends before North Bay. On their summer travels, they don’t get to ...

A fan’s lament

R.I.P Blue Jays Season The boys in blue took Canadians on a roller coaster ride through the post-season, turning even the hesitant and risk-averse into Bautista worshippers, but even with a pumped up Pompey and a ride from Revere, the Royals won the division crown By Rod Mickleburgh And so it ends, as it almost does in baseball when you embrace a team, with heartache and a taste of bitterness. After a magical, three-month run that delivered such delirious thrills and joy to me and millions of others across the country, the Toronto Blue Jays are gone, leaving players and fans to agonize over what might have been. It happens every year. Teams get so close to the final hurdle, only to falter at the finish line. If they didn’t, it wouldn’t be sports, and everyone’s team would win every year. In baseball, only one team out of 30 wins the World Series. How often is it the team you root for? The Cubs haven’t won since 1908, the Red Sox went 90 years without winning, Seattle ...

The Sick Days: Part 10

A serving of self-loathing, with a dollop of death wish An autoimmune diagnosis suggests something self-inflicted, and the fact that the 80 per cent of the 50 million American sufferers are women fuels the idea that there is a substantial psychological component. Forty-five percent of women suffering autoimmune disease were first labeled hypochondriacs. By Shelley Page Before I knew I was the proud owner of an immune system that couldn’t tell self from invader, doctors pushed sedatives on me. They hypothesized that my buffet of bodily dysfunctions — stabbing pain around my lungs, clawed hands, ruddy and hot joints — were provoked by overwork and exams, stress or anxiety. Something of my doing, or my response to something of my doing. Then I found out I had an autoimmune disease. And if we’re going to get all psychological about it, it’s like having the mutant spawn of Hannibal Lecter, the self-cannibal of all illnesses. We sufferers allegedly have an acute ...

Mob Rule: Part 12

Fasten your seat belt, the turbulence continues Flying high in the night sky, Jack Kennedy feels a little lightheaded thanks to Vanessa's skin-tight pants and leather boots, but he's brought back to earth with a warning about Joe Kennedy -- yes, that Joe Kennedy... By John Armstrong At Idlewild the gatekeeper waved our little motorcade through the gates, and Ricco gunned the big armored Lincoln out onto the runway and right up to the wide-bodied jumbo jet gleaming on the tarmac. The escort cars parked in a protective cordon around us and uniformed Pan Am attendants ran to collect our bags while Mickey’s bodyguard helped him out of the car. Vanessa had taken my advice and worn stretch pants, high leather boots and a thick, loose-fitting sweater that still managed to look sprayed-on. I assume this was what she regarded as comfortable travelling clothes; I’m sure they were, but the effect was anything but comfortable for me. I couldn’t help but be acutely aware of every man ...

Justin Trudeau: Is he just like us?

Talking 'bout my generation When he is sworn in as Canada's 23rd Prime Minister November 4, Justin Trudeau will assume the reins of power and speak for Generation X -- but how much of an X-er is he? We made a checklist. By Katherine Monk Canada’s Prime Minister-designate has already been called the voice of his generation, and at the age of 43, that places him in the middle of Generation X — which only seems fitting given he’s the child of a West Vancouver dynasty, another one of Douglas Coupland’s obsessions. But as an X-er, I wanted to make a checklist of the traits that define our oft-cited but little understood generation, to see if our new voice will be speaking for us, and the cluster of people and experience that make us who we are. Justin Trudeau: Is he just like us? He grew up when Pierre Trudeau was the Prime Minister. He looks good in a suit, but not like he was born in one. He’s into being a parent. He’s got a kid named Xavier. The older generation ...

Movie Review: Rock the Kasbah

Clash of cultures creates crude comedy Bill Murray returns to the big screen in the role of a rock 'n' roll flameout who tries to ignite his failing management career by heading to Afghanistan, where he encounters a Pashtun songbird in a gilded cage

Doom and ROOM

Movie review: ROOM Irish director Lenny Abrahamson uses carefully constructed frames to bring Emma Donoghue's story of confinement to the big screen, finding concrete results with a careful pour of emotion and a gifted young talent

Mob Rule: Part 11

Jack Kennedy and his family connections Our risk-averse narrator may be related to an American dynasty, but as he explains in this instalment, he'll never be welcome in the inner circle   By John Armstrong   I called down and told Ricco to requisition some of the armored money trucks from Receivables to carry the Commissioners back to the airfield for their flights home and select drivers, shotgun men, and bodyguards to accompany them. After the Waldorf, I was taking no chances. As we were escorting them to the elevator Bobby took me aside. “I’m sorry we didn’t get any time to really talk while I was here, Jack. Mother asked me to tell you everyone misses you and wishes you’d come home. I’d like that, too. I could really use you.” He pronounced it “awsked” with that funny upper-crust accent the whole family has, Boston by way of no-one knows where. I was both flattered and suspicious. It’s hard to know how to take Bobby. Even in his forties ...

Movie review: The Last Witch Hunter? Hope so

Vin Diesel's dark new adventure is an an extravaganza of gloomy fantasy and ordinary special effects, writes Jay Stone