Looking for an excuse to get out of the house on Christmas Day?

In Vancouver, the Fraserview, McCleery, and Langara golf courses will be open on December 25 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to the park board, it's the second straight year this is happening.

The opening hours for these golf courses will be dawn to dusk for the rest of holiday season.

While the pitch and putt courses at Stanley, Rupert, and Queen Elizabeth parks are closed for the winter, the park board says in a news release that people with their own clubs are "still welcome to hit balls on the greens".

Time is running short on turkey dinner preparations. If you'd like a taste of the feast without all the work, there's another option: turkey dinner in a tart.

South Granville's Tarts Bakery (1509 West Broadway) is offering a savoury tart that incorporates many elements of Christmas dinner. The all-butter pastry crust has a turkey pot-pie filling that's topped with stuffing and cranberry sauce. All the components are made from the family recipes of owners Lisa and Shawna Coan.

Looking for something to do tomorrow? The Straight’s got you covered. Here are five events happening in or around Vancouver on Tuesday, December 23.


B.C. country vocalist Karen Lee Batten (pictured above) performs at the Railway Club.


A vegan holiday feast featuring appetizers, main dishes, and desserts takes place at Graze Food and Drink.


Today (December 22), members of a Belgian feminist group pelted the country's prime minister with French fries and mayonnaise.

The group, renamed LilithS after a split with feminist radicals FEMEN, was protesting recently elected prime minister Charles Michel, proposed austerity measures, and what they see as the “criminalization of the poor”.

The incident occured as the PM began to give a speech in Namur, Belgium. After the protesters were dispersed, Michel continued his speech as planned, although without his mayo-covered jacket.

Local videographer Terence Chung wrote in about a "social experiment" that he and his friend conducted in downtown Vancouver.

Basically, they gave socks to a homeless man named "Trench", and then came back and asked him if he could spare something warm to wear.

They recorded the results of their ruse—presumably without Trench's knowledge—and subsequent conversation, and posted it up on their VanCityVideo YouTube channel.

Their message? "Be good to those around you - help people in need."

The story had receded into legend. In 2000, around the same time that KISS began its recovery from washed-up symbol of greed, cynicism, and tastelessness to reinvigorated symbol of greed, cynicism, and tastelessness, Paul Stanley made this outrageously awful commercial for the worst coffee on the market. 

It was never broadcast, but somehow, Stanley's Folgers moment has finally been leaked online, probably by the North Koreans.

It's tempting to remember the Bill Hicks quote about entertainers who do commercials—"Off the artistic roll-call forever"—except that KISS was never on the artistic roll-call to begin with. (Except for The Elder.)

My homeless binner friend Henry has now been in Prince George, British Columbia, for nearly a week. He left Vancouver last Monday evening aboard a Greyhound bus in order to spend a few weeks with his family. From what he told me it sounded like his family was really looking forward to seeing him.

Legendary British rock vocalist Joe Cocker died today at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer.

His passing was noted in a statement from Edgar Berger, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, who had signed Cocker to his label.

“Joe Cocker is a legendary artist of rock and blues history and yet he was one of the most humble men I've ever met," wrote Berger. "His iconic voice will forever be etched in our memories and our thoughts go out to Joe’s wife Pam and his family at this difficult time. Joe will live on in the hearts of millions of fans around the world."

The press release from Sony described some of the highlights of Cocker's lengthy musical career:

Three weeks ago, on December 1, Google’s YouTube and South Korean pop star PSY shared an amazing milestone: the music video for “Gangnam Style”—by far the most viewed thing on YouTube by a wide margin—also became the first to be watched more than 2,147,483,647 times, causing the video sharing service’s 32-bit counter to overflow, or rollover like an odometer.

Former Georgia Straight music editor Sir Bob Geldof recently launched an online campaign to raise funds for the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Now a Hong Kong horror flick set for release on video this March will take a much less kind and not-even-close-to-gentle approach to drawing attention to the virus.

The film, Ebola Zombies, will be unleashed on DVD by Wild Eye Releasing on March 24. It is described as "The Raid meets Dawn of the Dead".

Here's the official synopsis: