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SURVIVOR: YELLOWKNIFE? I’ve joked about it before, mostly in the context of the licensing agreement that prevents Canadian contestants from appearing on Survivor to protect the rights of the show’s Canadian broadcaster from producing a homegrown version, but it seems that Mark Burnett is actually considering a Canadian locale for some upcoming Survivor, according to a story by David Staples of the Edmonton Journal.
Survivor host Jeff Probst told Staples that “Mark is leaning towards, truly considering, a colder climate, especially if the show goes on further, because it is hard to find locations.”
Probst admitted that “there's some negatives because physically you tend to shut down when you get cold, you don't do as much. You're going to be wearing parkas and hats and boots and you're not going to be in bikinis, and challenges become a little different.” So the skin factor is cut down considerably, and there’s a chance that the fatties – who have a thicker layer of insulation and energy stored in body fat – might probably stand a better chance of surviving the lulls between the challenges while filming on, say, Baffin Island or in an abandoned hunting camp near Lake Of The Woods.
Of course, they don’t have to set an episode in the middle of a Canadian winter - I’d love to see some future gang of Survivor contestants trying to fend off an early-summer black fly infestation somewhere on the Canadian Shield, or boil their buns off under the endless sky, amidst the flat vastness of some isolated Prairie outpost. But that’s just me, and I’m a mean bastard.
SOLDIER BOYS: A week ago, I hinted that it was your duty as a citizen to abjure pleasure for at least an hour and tune in to the coverage of the federal budget; today, I’m strongly suggesting that you tune in to The Crazy Eights tonight at 8:00pm on CBC to catch a remarkably even-handed, even respectful, documentary on Canadian soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.
The first thing that strikes you is the casual toughness of these professional soldiers, members of a volunteer force who do their job with little of the ritual bellyaching we associate with most of our film portrayals of conscript armies practically since the First World War. The closest we get is a priceless line, delivered by one soldier thinking about home during a lull in the action: “I could die this year, and I could never have seen the fuckin’ Leafs win. Put that on your conscience, boys.”
The Crazy Eights repeats Saturday at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBC Newsworld.