You know what we’re talking about – it’s when your every move from the preceding 12 months are recounted and considered. It’s when every vulgar word and every innocent fib are judged and when every good deed or selfless helping hand are rewarded. Normally, it’s Mr. Kringle’s job to take on the role of the ultimate judge, but as per usual, we like to have our say as well. You know, help out ol’ Santa when we can.
That being said, perhaps it’s time to take a look at the year that has just passed and ask yourself, “Would I be under the naughty or nice list this year?” You don’t have to answer that right away. In the meantime, enjoy our list of naughty and nice public peeps of 2011.
For the most part, we can’t complain too much about Mother Nature here in Canada. She gives us four glorious seasons to embrace everything from canoeing, to snowboarding, to ice fishing, to backyard barbecues. But, this year, we feel a bit differently. Over 19,708* earthquakes have already struck worldwide and have caused over 21,000* deaths in 2011. And here in Canada, 19 confirmed tornadoes have torn up the country – with the most devastating, an F3, striking the small town of Goderich, Ontario on Aug 21, resulting in one fatality, numerous people injured, structural damage to buildings, roofs removed, numerous vehicles overturned and trees torn down. It’s time we take off our “appreciative Canadian” hats and place Mother Nature on the Naughty List for the first time in Chill’s history. Frankie Flowers of Citytv’s Breakfast Television said it best: “Mother Nature was like a rollercoaster in 2011 giving us some great highs and thrills and scaring the crap out of us at the same time.” *earthquake.usgs.gov
This Winnipeg Jets defenseman is on thin ice. We probably won’t know the result of his court case until the start of 2012, but it doesn’t take a judge to tell us drinking and driving a boat isn’t ok. Dude, you’re a role model. For those that aren’t too familiar with the case, on August 31, police boarded Byfuglien’s boat in Minneapolis, MN and although he took a breath test at the time and blew under the legal limit for alcohol, he refused to take a blood or urine test. Police brought in a “drug-recognition expert” who alleged the 26-year-old “was under the influence of a controlled substance.” Much of the case hinges on Byfuglien’s refusal to take the blood or urine test, an offence that carries up to one year in jail in Minnesota. Seriously, just pee in the cup.
There is not one person out there that has stood up and applauded the new look of Facebook – it sucks. This has to be a make-work project for some over– paid programmer forced to justify their existence. This is one change we’re not clicking “like” on. The privacy settings are confusing; the new chat hardly makes sense and non-chronological sorting of news is straight-up weird. We expected more from you, Zuckerberg.
Since July 1, 2011, the NBA has been entangled in the fourth lockout of the Association’s history. The main issues revolve around revenue sharing, salary cap and just general greediness. Until the National Basketball Players Association can reach an agreement with NBA owners, the lockout will continue to cost the players about $350 million of lost pay per month, really only proving one thing: If the players can afford to lose that much a month they don’t deserve a penny more for tossing a ball around in ridiculously overpriced Nikes. Really? Come on. Hug, make up and play the fricken game!
We loved our Canadian hottie on 24. Now, lucky for us, she’s back on the small screen as Alex Kerkovich on the ABC comedy series Happy Endings. However, we’re even more impressed that she still finds the time to do so much outstanding charity work. Recently, Cuthbert joined other stars who strutted, danced and twirled down the runway to raise awareness for the Heart and Stroke foundation during the fourth annual “Heart Truth” Fashion Show in Toronto. If that’s not enough, Cuthbert is half of one of Canada’s most loved couples. She and her boyfriend Dion Phaneuf – Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chill’s Issue 45 cover boy – truly are a power couple, having done a variety of charity work together, including work for the Ronald McDonald House charity. That’s a power play that we can cheer for.
Are you reading this online? Or perhaps you just finished some online banking? You can thank Steve Jobs for that luxury. The co-founder of Apple recently passed away after an ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer. However, if anyone can say that they made their life a worth while one it would be Mr. Jobs. Not only did he pioneer the concept of a personal computer, first being released to the public in 1983 under the name Apple Lisa, he also enabled users to navigate around the screen with a mouse. More recently products such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad have single-handedly changed how we consume content in the digital age. Why was he so successful? Well as Steve said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.”
Prince William and Princess Kate
The textbook fairytale couple with the fairytale wedding captured an estimated 2.2 billion viewers worldwide when they tied the knot this past April 29. That’s impressive, but what impressed us even more was that their first official international stop as a couple was right here in Canada. For nine days the dynamic duo took our nation by storm on their Royal Tour, visiting everywhere from Parliament Hill for Canada Day celebrations to the Calgary Stampede parade to Somba K’e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife to meet aboriginal leaders and partake in aboriginal events. They also managed to help pack 1,000 care packages for military children in the U.S.A. and helped open a new children’s cancer centre at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London on September 29. This is the same hospital that Will has taken over the role of president for and the same one that Will’s late mother, Princess Diana, helped to open the original children’s cancer unit for. Their travels, charity work and injection of hope into the world is why they are on top of the nice list this year.
A man that has been permanently placed on the eternal nice list, Jack Gilbert Layton, Leader of the NDP, lived and breathed charity, community service and putting everyone ahead of himself. What is perhaps the most heartbreaking part of Layton’s passing is how soon it came after what was potentially his greatest political achievement. Since riding a wave of popularity, the NDP, under the leadership of Layton, became the official Opposition in Canadian Parliament after the 2011 election, even putting the Prime Minister’s office in Layton’s sights for the next election. The work he did for Toronto homeless, poverty and the environment is unmatchable and unforgettable – Jack, you will be missed.
In a heartwarming interview shortly before his tragic passing this year, he spoke to The Roz & Mocha Show on KiSS 92.5 the morning after an election debate. Roz made a point of saying that he looked like a regular guy, the guy we all want to listen to and hang with. Not missing a beat, he immediately deflected the compliment to his equally awesome wife Olivia Chow. Roz and Mocha then took it one step further telling Mr. Layton he had the elusive “cute factor” vote. After a big laugh he said, “Careful, Olivia might get jealous. If you want to talk cute, Olivia is the goddess of cute.” Roz responded saying, “The one thing I do love about you Jack, is that when you finished your speech post debate, your girl walked right up, and in front of everybody you gave her a big kiss. That’s what I like about you – people love a man that loves his woman.” After a slight pause, Jack responded, “Well, it’s been 25 of the most beautiful years a guy could possibly have, I’ll tell you that.”