Happy "Friday Jr." — Andrew from Narcity here. ☕
Off The Top: If the headlines about the rapid growth of artificial intelligence technology have you fretting a robot takeover, rest assured that the tech isn't that advanced yet. I recently asked the generative text tool ChatGPT for its 25 best Canada-themed pickup lines and if you actually tried to use some of these on a real person, you'd end up in the ER or in prison.
HEY YOU! You should sign up for the email version of this newsletterright here. It's better than this version. Trust me.
In Case You Missed It
Food Basics store. Right: No Frills store.
If you're like me, you eventually gravitate to one particular grocery store for most of your shopping needs. (Invariably, it's whichever store is closest.) However, if you've never stopped to compare prices across stores, you may be surprised to learn just how much variation in pricing there can be on the exact same items. Our team recently visited both Food Basic and No Frills to see just how different the grocery bills would be for the same basket of items. Here's what Rhythm Sachdeva discovered
Cans of coconut milk on a shelf. Right: A Dollarama storefront.
In a similar vein to the previous story, I've been playing around with how to incorporate even more affordable ingredients into my home cooking by leaning on items from the dollar store. My local Dollarama has really beefed up its grocery aisles with more than just steeply discounted chocolate bars; on my recent trip, I found coconut milk, spices, rice, pasta, canned fish and other shelf-stable goodies. Then I spoke with a nutritionist to figure out how to use these items to make healthy, tasty at-home meals.
Outside the Rogers Centre. Right: The Toronto Blue Jays home opener.
There are plenty of different ways to enjoy a Blue Jays game in person this season — especially after the team invested millions renovating the friendly confines of the Rogers Centre to improve the game-day experience. I recently had the opportunity to check out the stadium's new Outfield District, a collection of themed social areas spanning all levels beyond the field's outfield wall. Here's how I think you could get the most out of your day at the ballpark, whether you plan to spend $40, $100 or even $250.
The Canadian flag. Right: A person wearing plaid.
When you've lived in Canada for all or most of your life, it can be a little tough to recognize just how odd some of our local customs and traditions are for the rest of the world. Enter the Reddit forum r/AskACanadian, where commenters who immigrated to Canada as adults weighed in on some of their biggest surprises upon touching down in the Great White North. From the exorbitant phone prices to our apparent fascination with plaid, Janice Rodrigues takes us through some of the most illuminating responses.
Let's unpack the seismic changes in the world of media
Tucker Carlson at the 2022 Patriot Awards in Miami, Florida. Right: Don Lemon at HBO's Very Ralph world premiere in NYC in 2019.
It's been a ludicrously busy stretch in the media industry; you can practically hear the typing from industrious authors racing to get their behind-the-scenes books to market. Here's a little rundown of the last stretch:
- April 18:Fox News settles the defamation suit brought forth by Dominion Voting Systems over repeated falsehoods in the wake of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election for an eye-popping US$787 million.
- April 20: Two years after its staff won the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting, digital journalism trailblazer BuzzFeed announced its plans to shutter its news division as part of company-wide layoffs.
- April 24:NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was fired after allegations of sexual harassment from CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble were corroborated by parent company Comcast.
- April 24: Fox News announces that primetime commentator Tucker Carlson, arguably the biggest name at the network, was done at the company.
- April 24: Across the cable news world, CNN's longtime on-air personality Don Lemon was also dismissed; while the move had nothing to do with Fox's Carlson firing, the timing gave off a nuclear disarmament feel.
- April 25: Politics prognosticator Nate Silver announces that his ABC-owned data journalism site FiveThirtyEight would be "substantially impacted" by mass layoffs at Disney and that he expected to part imminently himself.
Bits & Bobs
🤢 TOTAL RECALL
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency released a new list of food recalls, including a slew of items with undeclared potential allergens and a hot sauce with bacteria contamination. Read Sarah Rohoman's breakdown, then head to your cupboards and fridge to locate any of the offending items.
🌼 MAY FLOWERS
What are you doing in the final week of May? If you follow Madeline Forsyth's lead, you might end up at the Lilac Festival in beautiful Warkworth, Ontario — just a two-hour drive east of Toronto. Here's what you can expect to discover at this year's edition.
🥾 TAKE A HIKE
Somehow, Alberta looks as if Middle-earth and every John Wayne movie had a baby. You've got towering glacial mountains next to azure-blue waters... which are only a stone's throw away from the most desolate desert terrain in the country. Charlie Hart has pinpointed 11 surreal places in Alberta you'll want to add to your summer bucket list.
❤️ DATE EXPECTATIONS
Back in 2019, my colleague Patrick John Gilson went on a date... with an American couple he met on Tinder. They weren't swingers, per se — just stylish tourists looking to make friends during their brief stay in Toronto. Read about what happened when Patrick met up with the dapper duo at a west-end salsa club.
- Three-time Stanley Cup champ (and Penguins lifer) Kris Letang is 36
- "Since U Been Gone" songstress Kelly Clarkson is 41
- Lost creator Damon Lindelof hit the half-century mark
- The Wire and Game of Thrones creep Aidan Gillen is 55
- Cedric the Entertainer is 59
- Barbra Streisand turned 81
- Bruising ex-NFL running back DeAngelo Williams hit the big 4-0
- NBA all-timer Tim Duncan turned 47
- Two-time Oscar winner Renée Zellweger is 54
- Play-by-play talking head Joe Buck is also 54
- Simpsons voiceover legend Hank Azaria turned 59
- Dutch soccer legend Johan Cruyff would've been 76
- The one and only Al Pacino is 83
- The Yankees' slugging behemoth Aaron Judge turned 31
- Hollywood hunk Channing Tatum is 43
- Former U.S. First Lady/accomplice Melania Trump is 53
- The inescapable Kevin James is 58
- Martial arts legend and actor Jet Li is 60
- Giancarlo Esposito, the villain in every TV show, is 65
- The wonderful Carol Burnett celebrated the big 9-0
- Mercurial Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios turns 28
- It's about damn time for Lizzo to be 35 years old
- Fallout Boy frontman Patrick Stump is 39
- "The Iceman" George Gervin, who popularized the finger roll in the NBA, is 71
- The late radio icon (and Shaggy voice actor) Casey Kasem would've been 91
- The late Coretta Scott King was born on this day in 1927
- Star Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman celebrates his 30th birthday
- Jessica Alba turns 42 years old
- Penélope Cruz marks a 49th trip around the sun
- Former late-night TV host Jay Leno turns 73
- The late To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee was born on this day in 1926
Thanks for reading Narcity's Canada Morning Brief!
I'm working on nailing a new format for this weekly newsletter. If you have a question or comment about this week's edition, let me know at email@example.com or hit me up on Twitter if you'd prefer at @andrewjoepotter.
Have a great day and I will see you back here next week!