It's Wednesday; happy "Hump Day" — Andrew from Narcity here. ☕
Off The Top: A Montreal café is officially launching today with a unique — and poorly timed — theme: cryptocurrency. Yes, Casa Crypto celebrates all things related to the battered blockchain-based assets, which feels kind of akin to opening an Enron-themed bistro in 2000. "Our goal is to sell, buy and educate clients about the world of cryptocurrency," the owners told MTL Blog — exactly what you want to hear if you're looking for a drinkable cup of coffee and, like, a danish or whatever on your rush to work.
In Case You Missed It
Not all passports are made equally. Canadians might not realize that passport holders from many countries need to formally apply for a visa to enter another country. For example, Canadian passport holders can enter 116 countries without a visa, tying with the likes of Singapore and Lithuania for fifth place in the world on that front. On the other end of the spectrum is poor war-torn Afghanistan; their passport holders can only enter five countries without a visa, making travel to and from the central Asian nation a significant challenge, writes Sameen Chaudhry.
- Counterpoint: The reigning champion is the United Arab Emirates; passport holders can enter a whopping 122 countries without a visa (and can receive on-arrival visas for an additional 58), beating out second-place finishers Germany, Sweden, Finland, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland and South Korea.
- READ THE FULL STORY HERE
It's been well over a decade since James Cameron's Avatar hit theatres in 2009 — and summarily passed his previous box-office champ Titanic to become the highest-grossing film of all time. Now, we're two days out from its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water going nationwide — and the Ontario-born director is setting the bar extremely high. "We have to, literally, be in the top five grossing films in history to succeed," he recently told the Hollywood Reporter — a lofty target that accounts for the film's $350 million-plus production budget, according to Josh Elliott. Oh, that's all? Easy peasy.
- Context: There are a few big reasons why it's taken Cameron forever to get the next entry of his sci-fi epic made, first and foremost being the technical innovations Cameron and Co. developed in order to film underwater. Related: Cameron got really, really into submarines in the wake of the original Avatar film's success, which is a very relatable hobby for someone to have.
- READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Apparently, there's this genre of media that involves adults performing certain physical acts on camera. Furthermore, there's this web streaming company called Pornhub that allows users to upload said videos for distribution to the masses. Well, Pornhub has released its 2022 in review stats — and it seems that Canada really enjoyed the site's core products, ranking eighth globally in highest daily traffic. Furthermore, as Katherine Caspersz notes, the most-searched phrase in 2022 was none other than "milf," an acronym that presumably stands for "man, I love film," or something similar.
- Go Deeper: Interestingly, Canadians spent an average of nine minutes and 28 seconds per visit to the site in 2022, about 20 seconds less than the 2021 standard. Uh, practice makes perfect?
- My Take: Wait, all these stats are being made public, just like that? So much for Incognito Mode.
- READ THE FULL STORY HERE
What Else You Need To Know Today
🎄 GRINCH ALERT
Call her Scrooge or liken her to a certain green inhabitant of Mt. Crumpit; Madeline Forsyth remains steadfast in her belief that some holiday films simply don't stand the test of time. From the garish and unsettling animation style of The Polar Express to the too-cheesy-by-Netflix-standards The Princess Switch (plus a flat-out wrong take on Jim Carrey's Grinch flick), here are six Christmas movies to skip this year.
💑 DATE EXPECTATIONS
It's not all doom and gloom this holiday season. Ottawans should check out Megan Johnson's roundup of seven romantic date ideas around our nation's capital — with the caveat that they aren't just food and drinks. One suggestion? Axe throwing, which is romantic in the sense that it demonstrates to your partner just how handy you are with a blade should you ever get lost in the woods (or if he cheats).
🥪 EARL OF SANDWICH
Look, we're not trying to reignite the never-ending debate over what constitutes a sandwich (my take: hot dogs in, tacos out) but it's worth noting that plenty of Montreal businesses are already testing the limits of sandwichitude by ditching traditional bread vessels for the likes of donuts, waffles, naan and even deep-fried mac and cheese. Here's Sofia Misenheimer with six of weirdest sandwiches you can find in the Quebec metropolis right now.
🏠 SURREAL ESTATE
You don't need to be a billionaire to buy a starter villain's lair; for a mere $2.49 million, this 1.9 acre private island in B.C. can be yours, replete with a small log cabin (that will almost assuredly be torn down and replaced by a massive waterfront palace). Ashley Harris gives us a tour of the unique property.
Supersized Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf turns 25 years old today. Migos rapper Offset is 31. Former Disney Channel star Vanessa Hudgens is 34. Three-time gold medalist Team Canada goalie Kim St-Pierre is 44. Former FBI director James Comey is 62, your honour. The late Bill Buckner — a very good baseball player known for one of the worst blunders in World Series history — would have been 73 today. Former tennis No. 1 Stan Smith, today perhaps better known for his namesake Adidas sneakers, is 76.
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Thanks for reading Narcity'sCanada Morning Brief — the dominant reason "newsletter writer" landed dead last among Pornhub's 2022 search trends.
Have a great day and I will see you back here tomorrow!