Curling! In Moncton, New Brunswick!

The 2009 World Men’s Curling Championship is being held in my town, Moncton, New Brunswick. It starts April 3rd. This is a VERY big deal for a city few have heard about.

Curling involves sliding a 40 pound rock down an icy surface, aiming for a bulls-eye. Whoever gets closest wins. I think. This explains how fun it is:

The language of curlers is amusing for those new to the game, say watching it on TV for the first time. “HARD! HARD! HARD!” you’ll hear them roar to entice the folks with brooms to brush the ice harder (which causes the ice to melt, which causes the rock to slide more). I couldn’t find any good videos demonstrating it.

I think this is the first sport-related post ever on Steel White Table besides chess.

25 Albums You Should Listen To From Start To Finish

Turn off the shuffle: 25 great albums that work best when listened to from start to finish.

I recognize only a few. They include folk, country, rap, pop… Here’s the entire list, although you should read their interesting writeup about each selection:

  1. Frank Sinatra, Come Fly With Me (1958)
  2. Cursive, Domestica (2000)
  3. Hüsker Dü, Zen Arcade (1984)
  4. Pink Floyd, The Wall (1979)
  5. King Crimson, In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)
  6. Neutral Milk Hotel, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (1998)
  7. Deltron 3030, Deltron 3030 (2000)
  8. Wyclef Jean, Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring The Refugee Allstars (1997)
  9. The Flaming Lips, Zaireeka (1997)
  10. Parenthetical Girls, Entanglements (2008)
  11. Dr. Octagon, Dr. Octagonecologyst (1996)
  12. Sufjan Stevens, Illinois (2005)
  13. Catherine Wheel, Adam And Eve (1997)
  14. Randy Newman, Good Old Boys (1974)
  15. Queensrÿche, Operation: Mindcrime (1988)
  16. Tom Waits, Franks Wild Years (1987)
  17. Mike Watt, Contemplating The Engine Room (1997)
  18. XTC, Skylarking (1986)
  19. Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska (1982)
  20. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads (1996)
  21. Masta Ace, Disposable Arts (2001)
  22. Willie Nelson, Phases And Stages (1974)
  23. Prince Paul, Psychoanalysis: What Is It? (1996)
  24. Drive-By Truckers, Southern Rock Opera (2001)
  25. The Who, Quadrophenia (1973)


The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Movies like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly are why I love movies. It’s a motion picture that takes hold of you from the first frame and doesn’t let go until the end credits are rolling. It’s a true story of a guy who has a stroke that leaves him unable to do anything except blink one eye, and from that one blinking eye he writes a book and communicates with people.

In the opening shot (and for the first half hour of the film), we see what he sees after the stroke. His waking up. His distorted vision. We hear his voice — but no one else does because he’s unable to speak his thoughts. We hear his thoughts as he reacts to seeing his reflection for the first time, as orderlies clean his body that he can’t feel, as his children come to visit him, all of it. The experience of seeing what he sees is immediate and affective. (It’s also funny because he has a better sense of humour than most of the people around him.) I’ve never seen anything like it. I sat in my seat until the theatre lights came back on. It’s an extraordinary film.