Olympic aftermath, The man with the ‘golden arm’ and did Tea Partiers scald David Frum?

Olympic aftermath
Olympic aftermath, The man with the ‘golden arm’ and did Tea Partiers scald David Frum?Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir ended their storybook season in Turin by winning their first World Championship last week. Virtue, 20, and Moir, 22, whose fiery on-ice chemistry does not extend to a romantic relationship away from the rink, say they’ve yet to decide if they’ll compete next year. In another graceful move, John Furlong, the head of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, travelled to the mountain village of Bakuriani, Georgia, to attend the memorial service for Nodar Kumaritashvili, the 21-year-old luger killed in a training crash on the Whistler track. Furlong said he saw hundreds of condolence letters from Canadians and others when he visited the family. Nodar’s father, David Kumaritashvili, said during the service his son’s death shouldn’t discourage others from practising luge.
The man with the ‘golden arm’
James Harrison of Australia received a life-saving blood transfusion as a 14-year-old. Since then, he’s returned the favour in spades. Now, age 74, he’s approaching his 1,000th blood donation. He earned his “golden arm” nickname because his blood contains a rare antibody that can save babies with Rhesus disease, a deadly form of anemia. His blood was used to develop a vaccine called Anti-D. Health officials estimate that Harrison has saved some two million babies from death or brain damage.
Did Tea Partiers scald David Frum?
The fallout continues after Toronto-born conservative commentator David Frum was shoved last week from his right-wing perch at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) think tank in Washington. The firing came after the one-time speech writer for George W. Bush blogged that the Republicans blew the health care debate with hysterical rhetoric and a refusal to negotiate compromises with the Democrats. “We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat,” wrote Frum, who blames Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the likes of the hard-right Tea Party faction for marginalizing the party. Frum says pressure from donors forced the AEI to end their seven-year association—a charge denied by the institute.
Toronto girl wins a logomachy
Olympic aftermath, The man with the ‘golden arm’ and did Tea Partiers scald David Frum?L-o-g-o-m-a-c-h-y (a dispute about words) is just one of the puzzlers 11-year-old Laura Newcombe had to spell to win the Canwest Canspell National Spelling Bee for the second year in a row. Laura credits her knowledge of Greek and Latin root languages with helping her win the $15,000 education award. She and 11-year-old Scott Xiao of Burnaby, B.C., bested 250,000 students to make the finals in Ottawa. The two duelled for nine rounds before Scott stumbled on “normancy” while Laura correctly spelled “lidar”—a radar-like system that uses laser light.
Invasion of the body scanners
A female security officer at London’s Heathrow Airport has proven privacy experts right: the controversial full-body scanners that “see” through clothing to look for weapons are open to abuse. Jo Margetson, 29, says a male colleague took her picture as she walked through one of the machines. She says John Laker leered at her and made lewd comments about her body. “I’m totally traumatized,” Margetson told Britain’s Sun. She is considering a lawsuit. Laker was given a harassment warning, and may face further discipline.
Earth Hour was the cat’s meow
Barry Penner, B.C.’s ever-earnest environment minister, set the stage for a romantic Earth Hour dinner with his wife, Daris. Electric lights were off in the spirit of the energy-saving event and the house flickered with the glow of candlelight. All went well until their five-year-old cat, Ranger, brushed against a candle. “Suddenly there was a poof of smoke,” and a very “disgruntled” cat, Penner told reporters. Ranger suffered no serious damage. “His hair is a little bit singed and his pride is somewhat affected,” says Penner. The couple opened windows to rid the house of the smell of burnt fur. Using an electric fan, of course, was out of the question.
You’re offside, Mr. Rogge
Olympic aftermath, The man with the ‘golden arm’ and did Tea Partiers scald David Frum?International Olympic Committee chairman Jacques Rogge better keep his head up and his stick on the ice. His doubts about the future of women’s Olympic hockey raised the ire of former governor general Adrienne Clarkson. Hours before Canada’s gold-medal win in Vancouver, Rogge questioned if women’s hockey can remain an Olympic event if Canada and the U.S. are the only teams in serious contention for the championship. Clarkson, who created the Clarkson Cup championship to foster the women’s game, says the sport needs more time and resources to grow outside North America. She said that, and more, in a letter mailed to Rogge. Rogge didn’t respond to Clarkson’s “shot across the bow,” as she put it, so she wants Canada’s ambassador to Switzerland to hand deliver her missive to IOC headquarters. The future of women’s Olympic hockey can’t be decided in a closed meeting of a committee of the male-dominated IOC, she says. “This cannot be just a one-sided announcement. There has to be dialogue.”
Math is its own reward
Olympic aftermath, The man with the ‘golden arm’ and did Tea Partiers scald David Frum?Reclusive Russian mathematician Grigory Perelman has won a US$1-million prize for solving the “Poincaré’s conjecture,” one of seven fabled math problems that have eluded experts for a century. If the conjecture—a complex piece of abstract mathematics dealing with shapes that exist in four or more dimensions—is beyond the comprehension of, well, almost everyone, so is his response to the prize money, offered last week by the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Mass. Perelman has so far refused to accept the money, even though the unemployed former researcher at the Steklov Mathematics Institute lives in a tiny apartment with his mother in St. Petersburg. The 43-year-old has also turned down all math-related job offers over the past four years. Leave self-promotion to those who seek it, he told London’s Telegraph. “I do not regard it as a positive thing.”
School’s tree policy is barking mad
A woman who rescued a five-year-old boy stranded for 45 minutes in a tree at the Manor School playground in Melksham, U.K., wound up in trouble with school authorities and the local police. Kim Barrett, 38, a part-time cleaner, was chastised for trespassing on school grounds after seeing the boy safely back to class. Head teacher Beverley Martin said health and safety rules prohibit tree rescues. “Our policy when a child climbs a tree is for staff to observe the situation from a distance so the child does not get distracted and fall.” Barrett says no one was watching the boy. “When I took him in they had no idea he was missing.”
A former press baron takes on the Globe
Fallen press baron Conrad Black, whose current address is the Coleman Correctional Facility in Florida, lashed out at the Globe and Mail on Saturday for claiming he and his wife, Maclean’s columnist Barbara Amiel, have lost their Palm Beach mansion. The property, assessed at US$32 million, was transferred to Black­field Holdings, a Connecticut-based investment firm, to settle an $11.6-million mortgage on the property. It is for sale at an undisclosed price. Black used his column in the National Post to “rebut almost all” of the Globe story. He called Blackfield the “technical owner,” but “I retain an interest in the house and full flexibility to sell or reassert that interest.” The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on the appeal of his convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice.
This diva’s not for dissing
Olympic aftermath, The man with the ‘golden arm’ and did Tea Partiers scald David Frum?Did Justin Bieber, the 16-year-old international pop sensation from Stratford Ont., really insult überdiva Mariah Carey? For a brief time, Britain’s Sun quoted the baby-faced singer as saying Carey is past her best-before date. “I don’t love her new music. It’s not the same,” he allegedly lamented. “It’s like Michael Jordan coming back to the NBA. She is past her best.” Two things suggest the quotes were too juicy to be true: 1) they’ve been hauled off the Sun’s website; 2) Carey hasn’t ripped out his tonsils.
‘Purple Rain’ man bleeds red ink
Olympic aftermath, The man with the ‘golden arm’ and did Tea Partiers scald David Frum?Prince, the musician formerly known as a taxpayer, is listed as a tax delinquent in Carver County, Minn. Officials estimate that Prince R. Nelson and his company, PRN Music, owe US$450,000 to state and other government bodies. He’s also on the hook for the equivalent of US$3 million in damages after a Dublin judge held him liable for cancelling a 2008 concert on short notice. The Purple One lived in Toronto’s tony Bridle Path neighbourhood after marrying Manuela Testolini of Don Mills, Ont., in 2001. He returned to the U.S. when the marriage ended five years later.
A hard day’s night, says the nanny
Olympic aftermath, The man with the ‘golden arm’ and did Tea Partiers scald David Frum?Heather Mills, the ex-wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney, is back in a courtroom, and the experience is proving as unflattering as her divorce proceedings. She is being sued by Sara Trumble, a former nanny to the estranged couple’s daughter Beatrice. Trumble claims that Mills was “rude and horrible” to her staff. “I wasn’t the only person who felt that at that time,” she testified. “It’s just that nobody else will stand up.” She said Mills was a generous employer who grew angry and demanding after the marriage breakup. Trumble’s duties included blow-drying Mills’s hair and giving her “nude spray tans,” she said. She was once called in from her maternity leave and ordered to tell a video crew “how wonderful Heather was,” she said. Trumble returned after that leave to find she’d been reassigned to a cleaning job. She is suing for sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and changes to her employment terms. Mills has yet to testify. “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” an angry Mills whispered to her lawyer.