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CHEWS THE NEWS - the Escape of Inky the Octopus

Let me tell you who does not need a new Grinch movie. Bosses.

SOLAR STUFF: Every week I search for news items we can chew on. This week I found an item about a major breakthrough in solar energy. We all know rooftop solar panels make power from sunshine. A new type of solar panel can also make electricity from raindrops. OK, forget Site C! Forget windmills! Vancouver rooftops are going to make all the power we need!

STAR BORES: And speaking of Vancouver, last week it was announced the next “Star Wars” movie will be filmed in the city. That makes sense.

Vancouver certainly has enough spaced out people. Meanwhile, the other big space movie series now has a Canadian connection. Canada Post unveiled a series of “Star Trek” stamps. The Spock stamp was unveiled - and this makes sense too - in the Alberta town of Vulcan.

My favorite episode of the old “Star Trek” TV series was where the sliding doors on the USS Enterprise malfunctioned - and almost sliced off one of Spock’s ears.      

GRINCH GIGGLE: While on the subject of movies, here’s more proof Hollywood has run out of ideas: In production right now - a new animated version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. Hollywood can’t leave things alone. They have to mess with classic movies by producing stupid re-makes that ruin our fond memories. What’s next - a new version of “Frosty the Snowman” that blames Frosty’s melting on global warming??

    Let me tell you who does not need a new Grinch movie. Bosses. Every year around Christmas, thousands of bosses base their Grinch behavior on the classic movie Grinch. But these are busy people. They don’t have time to learn new Grinchy stuff. 

PILOT PROBLEM: A new study shows more airline flights were on time last year, but passenger complaints were way up. The way things are with Air Canada, I’m kind of surprised they didn’t charge a $100 “Your Flight Is On Time” fee. Meanwhile, there was a report of a worldwide shortage of airline pilots. New recruits are not enrolling in pilot training. We need to tell people you don’t have to be a fully qualified pilot before you’re allowed to wear those cool pilot sunglasses.

SUGAR SCARE: In health news: A new study shows sugar addiction is a major health problem. Personally, I take stories about sugar addiction with a grain of salt.

INCREDIBLE INKY: (Thanks to the reader who emailed me this story) At the National Aquarium in New Zealand, a large octopus named Inky climbed out of his tank and escaped to freedom in the ocean. Inky is a smart octopus. You have to hand it to him -- hand it to him -- hand it to him -- hand it to him -- hand it to him -- hand it to him -- hand it to him -- hand it to him.

TV TIME: It’s time to visit New York City, where last week a young guy named A.J. Fragoso won a place in the Guinness Book of Records. A.J. set a new record for TV viewing. He stared at TV for 94 hours straight. A.J. said he could have gone longer -- but somebody turned the darn thing on.

UFO LOL: A report says UFO sightings in Canada have increased dramatically. Hey, if you think Canadians see a lot of UFOs now  just wait until Ottawa legalizes marijuana. (One UFO expert predicts aliens from another planet will attack Canada to get revenge for Justin Bieber music our radio stations have been sending into space) Quebec is the Canadian province with most UFO sightings. But to avoid breaking Quebec’s strict language laws, nobody can report an Unidentified Flying Object. They have to report l’Objec

Non-Identifie En Volant. An “O.N.I.E.V”. That’s kind of lame.

STAIRWAY SUE: In rock music news: The band Led Zeppelin is being sued for copyright infringement for the song “Stairway To Heaven”. What’s worthy of chewing on is that the legal case took 44 years to get to court. Why 44 years?  Well, it takes 22 years to listen to all of “Stairway To Heaven” - and the lawyers needed to hear it a couple times.

CANUCK PUCK: We started in Vancouver, let’s end there. A hockey fan who was hit in the face by a puck is suing the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks say every ticket has a warning about the many risks of attending hockey games, so they’re not responsible. Although I guess they may be at fault if you get hit by a Zamboni in the parking lot.