It’s An Emergency! Quick, Call…Uh…Somewhere!

File this one under you learn something new every day.

Until now, I assumed that 911 service was something that everyone in the country had. But as I’ve just discovered, the Northwest Territories won’t have it until this November, the Yukon only got it in 2016, and Nunavut has something called Priority Dispatch service, which they say is enhanced but is still primitive enough that they have to ask for your address and phone number when you call.

N.W.T.’s long-promised 911 service will be functional starting in November, says the territory’s minister of municipal and community affairs.
“The days of residents and visitors to the Northwest Territories not knowing how to contact community emergency services will finally come to an end,” said Alfred Moses in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
The territory has been planning and laying the groundwork for the emergency dispatch service for months. Once operational the service will be available in every community in the N.W.T. 
It would be similar to 911 systems in other jurisdictions, but with service available in all of the N.W.T.’s 11 official languages through interpreters contracted by the territory.

There have been problems in the past with 911 calls in the N.W.T. People have called the number to report emergencies, only to discover the service doesn’t exist.
“There have been several emergency situations over the years and across the territory where having 911 service would have improved response times, and in some cases even saved lives,” Moses acknowledged in the Legislature.

Well, I suppose I shouldn’t feel too badly about my ignorance if people who live there don’t even know that.

Speaking of which, if you live there and didn’t know that, here’s a frequently asked questions page you might be interested in.

Double-Decker Bus

The Irish-American Society from Hackensack and the Polish-American Society from Hackensack charter a double-decker bus to go to Atlantic City for the weekend. The Irish-Americans are on the bottom of the bus, and the Polish-Americans are on the top.

The Irish-Americans are drinking and whooping it up, when one of them realizes he doesn’t hear anything from up above.

He walks upstairs to check things out, and there are all of the Polish-Americans clutching the seats in front of them with white knuckles, scared to death.

“What in bloody hell’re you doin’?” He asks. “We’re down there boozin’ and partyin’ and havin’ a grand old time.”

“Yeah,” says one of the Polish guys. “But you guys’ve got a driver!”

Snake Bite

Two brothers are out hunting. One of them stops to take a leak. As he’s doing his business, a rattlesnake suddenly bites him right on the penis.

“Lie down and don’t move or the poison will kill you,” says the other brother. “I’ll run and get a doctor.”

He runs into town and eventually finds a doctor’s office.

“I can’t leave,” says the doctor. “I have too many patients. But you can save him yourself. Just take a razor blade, cut a little X on each hole where the rattlesnake’s fangs went in and suck out all the poison.”

He thanks the doctor and runs back to his brother.

“What’d the doctor say,” asks the wounded brother.

His brother looks at him for a moment and says sadly…

“He said you’re gonna die.”

This Is The Match That Never Ends?

At #WWECrownJewel, @WWERollins will defend his #UniversalTitle in a #FallsCountAnywhere match against #TheFiend @WWEBrayWyatt, and the match CANNOT be stopped for ANY REASON! #SmackDown

Cannot be stopped for any reason?

Leaving aside for a second that this is how Hell in a Cell was supposed to work and that had it done so you wouldn’t have to go to the trouble of saying this at all, I have to ask. What if somebody wins? That seems like a good reason to stop.

Who wants to bet that the match gets stopped without a winner? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Where The Fake Celebrity Ads Come From And How They Work

Perhaps you remember me writing about those damn fake celebrity endorsements that were constantly popping up here and pretty well everywhere else on the internet for a while. If you do, chances are you may be interested in this long article about Ads Inc., one of the companies seemingly responsible for a lot of them. How A Massive Facebook Scam Siphoned Millions Of Dollars From Unsuspecting Boomers
Asher Burke built his company, Ads Inc, on the back of one of the internet’s most persistent, lucrative, and sophisticated scams — the subscription trap. And then it all fell apart.

In this case, “fell apart” means that the company tried and ultimately failed to go legit a couple times, its head was killed in a helicopter crash and it ended up shutting down at least for now in part because of this story and the doom it was likely to bring.

The focus here is largely on scams run through Facebook, but there are tentacles everywhere that affect many other advertising platforms including Google, which does our ads for us.

Do I think the death of Ads Inc. will be the end of shadiness like this? Of course not. There’s always somebody willing to step up and fill the void as long as the money is there, and from the sounds of it (spending $30,000 to bring in $70,000, for instance), the money is most definitely there. But I’ll go ahead and call this a good catch just based on the size and volume of the operation.

You don’t know Ads Inc., but you may have seen one of its ads on Facebook: a tabloid-style image that claims a celebrity has been caught saying or doing something scandalous that puts their career or life in jeopardy. The ad leads to a webpage that mimics a media brand such as TMZ, Fox News, or People magazine. But it’s all fake: the “news” article, the website, and the additional claim that this star has, for example, discovered an amazing new skin cream that you can try for a small fee. The fake celebrity scandal hinted at in the ad is the hook that gets people to click so they can be pitched on what appears to be a no-risk, product trial for a small shipping fee, such as $4.99.
Within a week or two of making that payment, another, much higher, charge appears on customers’ credit cards — because they have been enrolled in an expensive monthly subscription.
“You get a free trial and then you get rebilled. They say you can cancel but the 800 number is pretty hard to get through and pretty much the only way to go about it is canceling the credit card,” said the Ads Inc. employee.

Subscription traps, also called free trial scams, have long been a bane of the FTC: Over the past decade, the agency has gone after perpetrators who’ve stolen more than $1.3 billion.

Like emails from a Nigerian prince, the subscription trap is one of the most enduring — and wildly profitable — scams. Over time it has evolved in a way that exploits key aspects of the digital media ecosystem. It is a harmony of attention capture, seedy digital advertising, audience targeting and optimization, clickbait, user interface design, e-commerce, and insatiable greed. Like so many of our current digital ills, it targets vulnerable people on the biggest and most profitable digital platforms — such as Facebook — and authorities have proven largely ineffective at stopping it.
“This is clearly a massive worldwide problem,” said Steve Baker, who spent two decades investigating scams at the FTC and now runs the Baker Fraud Report, a website that reports on consumer fraud. Last December, he published a detailed report on subscription traps for the Better Business Bureau, which found that most people are charged roughly $100 by the time they’ve figured out what had happened.
“There are millions of victims of this, certainly,” he told BuzzFeed News.
The Ads Inc. employee said its victims often have one thing in common: age.
“There is one demo that this workflow is targeted towards, and that’s baby boomers,” they said. “You run this toward anyone else, and it’s a disaster. But you do this fake news shit with a trial offer scam and you send it to somebody that’s not that savvy [and it works].”
The Ads Inc. employee said the key is to take a celebrity older people like and find a product that matches their image.
“I like to say Willie Nelson is a fount of profit. You slap his face on a CBD offer on a site that looks like Fox News, and it sells itself. Everyone likes Willie and knows he likes marijuana,” they said.

Watching Things I Like. What A Concept

I haven’t watched one second of WWE since that wretched Hell in a Cell finish. I have no idea if they tried to justify it on Raw. I have no idea how the draft went. I have, for the most part, no idea what’s going on there at all. And oddly, I really don’t care to find out. I say oddly because I’ve been watching WWE religiously since before I can remember. I thought I started late 85 or early 86, but I have an uncle who swears he watched with me earlier than that. But regardless of when I started, the first wrestling I remember seeing is Vince McMahon’s WWF. And since then, whether it was the best of times or the worst of times, I was always there. I watched lots of other wrestling too, but WWF/E was the one thing I always went out of my way to make sure I saw.

But dammit, they’ve finally broken me. Cracked me, at least.

Say what you want about 1995 or the 2001 WCW invasion or any other era you didn’t think much of. None of it is as bad as modern WWE. Multiple times a week, they get the absolute least out of the absolute most. They have the deepest pool of talent that anyone has ever had in the history of wrestling, and yet the shows are as dull and boring and nonsensical as ever.

So for a while at least, I’m not going to watch them. It’s not worth hating something I love when there’s so much other wrestling out there that’s actually good. I have a huge list of shows dating back to May that I haven’t gotten around to because I’ve sunk so much time into what someone I know called “the five hour vortex.” New Japan, Ring of Honor, Impact, All Elite…I want to catch up on all of it. Right now I’m working my way through the NJPW Best of the Super Juniors tournament. It’s long, but it’s awesome. And not once have I flipped my lid about something, which is quite refreshing, let me tell you.

Maybe I’ll catch up on the WWE I’m missing at some point. It’s 2019, it’ll be easy to do that if I want to. But for now it’s nice not giving a shit about it. Unless you still somehow genuinely enjoy the product, I suggest giving it a try. It might just save your wrestling fandom.

You’re Spelling Out The Wrong Word, Guys

Question for whomever wrote those ZipRecruiter commercials on the radio: The part where you give out the special web address and then have the voice guy spell out the word Canada, who is that for, exactly? We’re in Canada. Anyone in a position to need that address is probably going to know how to spell the name of the country. And if by chance they can’t, there’s no way they’re going to know how to spell ZipRecruiter. Hell, I’ll bet that there are people who can spell Canada who would have trouble with ZipRecruiter, so why aren’t you spelling out that part? It’s only your name, which is kind of the most important thing about you.

Flip, Flop And Ford

It’s been quite fascinating these last few months watching the Ford government have to swallow so much of its own shit as everyone shovels it back on them rather than rolling over and just taking it like they expected we would. It’s especially fascinating when you get to read it in list form and you realize that the day to day feeling you have that they’re literally trying to fix everything they touched in year one is pretty well right. A list of cuts and program changes the Ford government has reversed

There’s quite a bit to digest here, but I think this one might be my favourite. It so perfectly embodies everything about these people and their ability to do absolutely anything wrong.

Size of cabinet: When Doug Ford came to power, he cut the size of the cabinet to 21 people, down from 29 under former premier Kathleen Wynne. In a cabinet shuffle this summer, he added several new portfolios, bringing the size to 28.

Butbutbut Liberals bad! Waste! Defecits! Incompetence!

Perhaps Kathleen Wynne wasn’t so bad after all.

Complete + Wrong

Not sure if the ad on TV for Buckley’s Complete + Mucus bothers anyone else, but it’s been bugging the heck out of me.

  1. The name of the product doesn’t make any sense. If something is complete, it’s done. The minute you have to add a +, it’s no longer complete and the thing you’ve added is separate. Why not call it New and Improved Buckley’s Complete? That way it’s still complete, it’s just rejiggered. Yes, there’s a difference.
  2. Did you people not read or say the name aloud before going to market with it? “Complete + Mucus”? The message any reasonable person would take from this moniker is that they’re about to purchase pills filled partly with stranger snot. This is gross and no one should do it.

Alright. I feel a little better now.

WWE Rearranges Some Deck Chairs

I guess, since I mentioned he and Paul Heyman getting the jobs back in June, it’s probably worth noting that Eric Bischoff has already been removed as Smackdown’s Executive Director and replaced by Bruce Prichard. No reason has been given for why this happened.

WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that it has named Bruce Prichard the Executive Director of Friday Night SmackDown, reporting directly to WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
Prichard will oversee the creative development of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX and ensure integration across all platforms and lines of business, replacing Eric Bischoff.
Prichard brings nearly 40 years of experience in sports entertainment with an extensive background in character development and creative storytelling. Over the course of his career, Prichard has served in a variety of roles including announcer, producer, agent and on-screen personality. Earlier this year, Prichard returned to WWE as a member of the company’s creative team.

I’m sticking with my original assessment that none of this really means a damn thing, because in spite of all of the changes we were supposed to see the shows have largely been as dreadful as ever. It makes me sad to say it, but that isn’t changing until Vince McMahon finally steps aside and new blood can start dismantling his weird processes and get things back on track.