Smug BC Ferries CEO makes good case for a causeway

Urban Compass by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Vancouver

Does it ever seem that sometimes “they” go out of their way to make us crazy?

What other explanation can there be for the ridiculous salaries at BC Ferries? CEO David Hahn makes almost one million bucks a year, and when challenged, issues the following brain-exploding explanation: “I think people have to decide if they want the old, dilapidated ferry system or if they want what they have today.”

No, Dave, that’s not the choice. We want a good, reliable ferry service without getting held for ransom by its CEO and employees, four who make more than $400,000 a year, four dozen more who make $137,000 to $200,000, and 1,000 who make more than $75,000!   … read full story

Secret is out: The Internet changed everything

Just Saying by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Canada

Julian Assange, first martyr of the Internet?

It certainly looks that way. The founder of WikiLeaks, the man who embarrassed heads of state around the world by leaking thousands of messages written by U.S. diplomats, has been arrested and is cooling his heels in a London jail without bail, waiting to find out if he will be extradited for having sex in Sweden.

Yep, you read that right. The more you read about the alleged sexual molestation case against the 39-year-old Aussie, the more you have to wonder if he’s being set up for tattling on the world.

Accounts in Newsweek, The Daily Mail, AOL News, etc., make it clear he’s not being held on rape charges, but something called “sex by surprise,” and one of the women allegedly surprised by sex bought breakfast after the alleged surprise.   … read full story

The arm that pokes the fire bites the hand that feeds

Urban Compass by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Vancouver

When I think I understand what’s going on, something happens to make it clear I understand nothing.

Like the Fireplace Channel.

Every year during the holiday season, Shaw dedicates one of its apparently endless supply of cable channels to a 24/7 video of wood merrily burning in a fireplace.

Sometimes the logs just crackle in the fire, sometimes Bing Crosby turns up to sing about roasting his chestnuts on an open fire. You know…festive fireplace music.  …read full story

A recipe for instant soul in downtown Vancouver

Urban Compass by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Vancouver

If Mayor Gregor Robertson can lift his head from his bizarre obsession for building massive concrete barriers in the middle of city streets (a.k.a. dedicated bike lanes), here’s an idea he should consider that will benefit everyone in our fair city, even the forgotten pedestrian.

The idea comes from the lone opposition voice on city council, NPA Coun. Suzanne Anton, but if the mayor is smart, he will climb all over it and claim it as his own. It’s that good.

Anton wants to launch public consultation on the creation of “a major public square on Robson Street between the art gallery and the courthouse, permanently closing the site to traffic.”   … read full story

Oxford cracks the mysery: Are cats smarter than dogs?

By Paul Sullivan, published in Metro Canada

Stop the presses!

We’ve got the answer to the question that vexed the ancients: Which are smarter, dogs or cats?
The answer is dogs.

Before you cough up a hairball, we’ve got scientific evidence to support this outrageous (if you’re a cat lover) claim.

Oxford University scientists have studied the brains of 500 species of mammals, both alive and extinct, going back 60 million years, and have discovered that the brains of social animals such as monkeys, horses, dolphins camels and dogs have grown faster than the brains of solitary mammals, like deer, rhinos … and cats.   … read full story

The colourful cartoon world of B.C. politics

Urban Compass by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Vancouver

Remember that movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, where real people and cartoon characters live side by side in Toontown?

After the last week in B.C. politics, don’t you feel we’re all trapped in Toontown?

Consider the evidence. There’s Gordon Campbell, the premier, who stands accused of being an enormous bully whose temper tantrums are so extreme his own cabinet ministers have to wipe the spittle off their faces when he’s done.

Sounds a little like legendary cartoon hothead Yosemite Sam.   … read full story

Spike in food bank use is a national disgrace

Just Saying by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Canada

Did you know that last March, 867,948 Canadians stood in line at a food bank?

That’s nearly one million Canadians who either can’t or don’t know how to take care of themselves, and the number is rising.

One in 10 of those people were there for the first time, and that’s 28 per cent higher than 2008.

This in a country where people are giving each other cars for Christmas.   … read full story

What good comes from sending Carol Berner to prison?

Urban Compass by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Vancouver

It’s a sad story with an unhappy ending.

Not the best way to start the week. But after Carol Berner was sentenced Friday to two and a half years in jail for running over and killing four-year-old Alexa Middelaer, I’m left haunted by shadows from the past.

Some news stories hit closer to home than others. This one throws a rock through the window of my heart.   … read full story

A Chilean miner’s inspiring NYC marathon run

Just Saying by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Canada

Let’s see. You just spent 69 days buried under a collapsed mine, so, to unwind, what do you do?

Well, if you’re Edison Pena, you run the 42-kilometre New York City Marathon.

Or in Edison’s case, you hobble along on knees swollen with tendonitis, crossing the finish line in five hours and 40 minutes, waving the Chilean flag and limping to one of your favourite Elvis tunes, Wonder Of You.   … read full story

Kudos for being clever, but masked traveller still broke the rules

Urban Compass by Paul Sullivan published in Metro Vancouver

OK, it was a clever trick, disguising yourself as a grumpy but harmless old guy, slipping through security and smuggling yourself to Vancouver.

No one notices grumpy harmless old guys — to that I can testify — and nobody noticed the 20-something who managed to sneak on Air Canada Flight AC018 last week with fake or borrowed papers and a fake face.   … read full story