Canadian tax dollars at work! Back in 1984 (source: Montreal Gazette - Oct 17, 1984), the Canada Council gave the following grants to fund Canadian artists who had "innovative" projects:
• Jim Freedman got $4,885 to write a book on "professional wrestling as it relates to small towns, offering reasons for its decline in popularity."
• Richard Lyle Hills received $3,125 to write "a collection of short stories examining the lives and values of those who work at construction jobs."
• Joanne Claire was granted $8,200 to write "a book which questions the beliefs and assumptions upon which our lives are based."
• Daniel Boudereau and Helene Cosette got $14,700 to develop "a performance integrating movement and color by acrobats inside a multi-chambered cubic structure."
Thirty years later, what became of these projects? The only one I could track down was Jim Freedman's wrestling book, which was published by Crowbar Press in 1988 as Drawing Heat (Amazon link). And it actually sounds like an interesting book.
But all the other projects — nada. Did they actually produce anything with the money given to them?
Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington DC and now a Councilmember, has reportedly taken a stand against taxing yogurt, saying that a yogurt tax is "crazy," and pointing out that "Yogurt is really more healthy than some other things, as is cottage cheese."
However, there isn't actually a yogurt tax. Barry apparently misheard a reporter who asked him about a so-called "yoga tax," which is a proposed tax on gyms and health clubs.
I grew up in DC when Barry was mayor, so it gave me a warm glow to see that he's still making the news.
License plates may not seem like a product that requires improvement, but Compliance Innovations begs to differ. They've come up with "e-plates" that use an electronic ink display. They cost a lot more than traditional plates — over $100 versus less than $5. However, they allow the DMV or police to remotely change what the license plate displays. So if you're late with your registration payment, "Expired" appears in bright red letters. No state has yet decided to adopt these e-plates, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. [epoch times]
Governments sometimes produce comic books for propaganda or educational purposes. "Confidencias de un Senderista" is an example of this genre. (According to Google Translate, that means "Confessions of a Hiker"). It was a 37-page comic book produced by the Peruvian government in 1989 and handed out in shantytowns around Lima in order to inform people about the violent tactics of the Shining Path. Reportedly the comic book met with "mixed reactions."
If you read Spanish, you can check out the entire comic book over at scribd.com.