Volume 96, Issue 57
Friday, January 10, 2003

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News for Dummies:
Gollum and Avril battle Saddam and Bush for headlines

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

Although news was so scarce this week that Avril Lavigne's Grammy nominations dominated the headlines, News for Dummies is still here to keep Western students informed in the new year.

The United States continues a military build up for its inevitable war against Iraq, although United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix said this week he has found no "smoking gun."

Also this week, officials in Britain have indicated they would like to delay a conflict to give inspectors more time to search for and find evidence of biological, chemical or nuclear weapons. American President George W. Bush countered this argument by saying if they blow up enough stuff they are sure to find something.

An equally momentous debate heated up in Hollywood recently concerning whether or not Andy Serkis – the guy who posed for and voiced the digitally-created character Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – deserves an Oscar nomination for the part.

Purists say no, but some people were so moved by the quasi-performance they believe Serkis deserves the nod. If Serkis is nominated, the Academy needs to turn back the clock and award an Oscar to Donkey from Shrek.

The National Hockey League's Ottawa Senators filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday. The filing had been expected for some time, and is an ominous sign for fans who hope the Sens do not follow the Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques south of the border.

Deputy prime minister John Manley sparked a controversy when news broke this week that he had made a phone call to a bank executive regarding a financing deal for the team. Manley denied he did anything unethical and claimed he was just representing his Ottawa constituents. Being Minister of Finance, with the ability to pull the strings over the bank's head, must be a sheer coincidence.

The contenders for the leadership of the New Democratic Party met in a televised debate this week. All six candidates agree marijuana should be legalized and the United States is evil. Unfortunately, the three guys watching the nationally televised debate were too high to remember the candidates' names.

The National Football League has implemented officiating changes after last Sunday's debacle cost the New York Giants a playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Earlier this week, the league admitted the officials botched a call on a game-ending field goal that went awry for the Giants. After a horrible snap, the Giants attempted a pass into the end zone. Officials correctly flagged an ineligible Giants receiver, but failed to call a penalty against the 49ers for pass interference.

The penalties would have offset each other, meaning the Giants should have had another chance to kick the field goal. The league has announced it will let New York fans privately "talk to" the guilty officials for a few hours as punishment.

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