Popular Posts

We will be recording a live episode of the podcast (with stand-up comedy and live music) on Thursday, April 21st at Frank and Oak Ottawa. Check out the details here, and we'll see you there!
We're partnered with Brew Donkey for a contest, and you have the chance to win a FREE brewery tour ticket (a $90+ value). Enter now at ottawhatpodcast.com/brewdonkey!
Week 4 closes Dec 3rd!

Friday, February 26, 2016

New Bilingualism Laws Force Comedy Club Patrons to Laugh in Both Official Languages

A group of new bilingualism laws passed on Monday are no laughing matter for comedy clubs in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The laws will cause a number of changes, including forcing comedy goers to laugh in both official languages.

Signs directing patrons on how to laugh in French and English will be posted on the front doors of comedy venues. The signs will have to be at least 8 ½” by 11” and will direct the patron to snort appropriately.

Harriet Stein, the owner of Ottawa's Yuk Yuk's comedy club, said she’s hoping the new legislation will make the experience more inclusive for patrons. “I always welcome all kinds of customers,” said Stein. “hopefully this will ensure the french minority will feel more welcome.”

The new laws have mostly confused patrons, including heckler Frank Zippo.

Zippo, who has been banned from Ottawa's Absolute Comedy twice, said he’s started taking French classes at an adult high school so he can heckle in both official languages. “I’ve always been meaning to learn French,” said the 39-year-old. “Now I have an excuse to make it a priority, just as I have made criticizing people on stage a priority.”

The law also states that comedians in the Outaouais have to tell jokes in both official languages.

Bart McKinnon, known for his routine criticizing Justin Trudeau, said he’s been working on improving his act so that his jokes will work in both languages. “The problem is a lot of jokes sound stiff in French,” he said. “It kind of ruins the mood when I have to bring up Google Translate on my phone.”

There is no news yet on how these regulations will affect sales and whether or not this will make comedy nights any funnier.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

#93 - Helenka Zemanek

This week's podcast features Helenka Zemanek, a world traveller who enjoys Ukrainian dance despite not being Ukranian, and raves about Ottawa's Ethiopian restaurants, despite not being Ethiopian.

Amaan is sick this week; see if he makes it through the podcast alive!

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Svitanok Ukrainian Dance Society


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Canadian Tire Dollar gains on weak Canadian Dollar

Economists all across Canada are shocked at the recent gains the Canadian Tire Dollar (CTD) is making, specifically when compared to the performance of the Canadian Dollar (CAD). The Canadian Dollar, (at the time of writing) sits at $0.73 USD, but the Canadian Tire Dollar has risen from $0.08 USD to $0.86 USD making it more valuable than the actual Canadian Dollar.

Martin Glansberg, an Ottawa economist specializing in alternate currencies says, “It’s truly amazing seeing the CTD beat out the CAD by almost 18%. It’s the biggest gain in alternate currency in one year than I’ve seen in my whole life. The CTD has been significantly less valuable than the CAD since its introduction to the market in 1958, and the way the market has been behaving lately, it’s no wonder that an alternate Canadian currency is beginning to take the lead.”

It is not currently known whether American markets will accept Canadian Tire money, however in Canada it can be used in place of Canadian dollars at all Canadian Tire locations.

To adapt to the rise in their currency’s value, Canadian Tire has begun to expand their variety of products from home and automobile equipment to many other items such as food, clothing, and are considering breaking into the real estate market.

“Look, with our dollar doing better than the actual Canadian Dollar, we’ve got to adapt fast or else we’ll be left behind. With enough work, we can make the Canadian Tire Dollar the new leading Canadian currency,” says James West, owner of Nepean’s Canadian Tire. “I can’t believe we were giving this away, it used to be something like 10% of the change you got back was CTD, but now, no way. We’re setting up currency conversion stations at the entrance to every store so we can start distributing more of our dollars. We’re even considering minting higher denominations of currency.”

Previously, the CTD was divided into bills of 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1, and $2, but the store chain is considering releasing $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills. “We can’t be certain on the future of this new currency, but we’ll see how the market behaves,” says West.

Reports also indicate that Walmart is considering launching an alternative currency, Wally Dollars (WAD), to compete with the CTD.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

#92 - Melissa Stengel

We talked with our good friend Melissa Stengel this week on the show. She told us about her life in Hintonburg, moving up the management ranks at Starbucks, and the weird kinds of stores you can find in Ottawa.

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Carleton's New Residence Advertises Smallest Rooms Legally Possible

Carleton University recently obtained a building permit to create yet another residence building. The new structure boasts a higher student capacity, despite its smaller size.

In 2011, Carleton University opened Lennox & Addington residence buildings, which saw students packed together in small rooms. There was room for two beds, two desks, a sink, small closet, and a shared bathroom with another room. In total, its capacity is 717 students. The goal this year is to find a way to fit 1,000 new students into a building normally meant for 500.

“We’re using bunk beds to fit four people into a room smaller than what we built in 2011 with Lennox & Addington,” says Alessandro DiMillo, the chief architect. “We’re trying a new system for the bathroom. Two toilets and two shower heads,  back to back for privacy, of course. We want to meet our goal of having literally the smallest rooms we’re allowed to build while also providing some privacy to students. Compromise and all that, you know?”

In an effort to further save space, the building is being designed with actual paper for walls. “Every inch counts, which is why we’re having four rooms share a bathroom,” says DiMillo.

The residence building, tentatively named Sardinia, is set to open in September 2017 but construction won’t finish until sometime in 2018.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

#91 - Eric Turmelle

Eric Turmelle, burgeoning comedy writer and good friend of ours, joins us to chat about hockey, the LeBreton Flats development, and a little about life in suburban Ottawa.

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ottawa Families Will Participate in New Reality Show "Block Swap"

While Ottawa is a city with a distinct atmosphere, there are sections of it that differ greatly. These differences will be highlighted on TLCs new series “Block Swap”, where two families from different neighbourhoods will have to switch houses for a month.

“It was challenging,” said Tia Ramone, a contestant who had to move from the Glebe to Bell’s Corners, “It was like a whole new world over there. I had a hard time shopping for basic everyday needs. It’s like they had never even heard of organic vegan dog food.” Ms. Ramone and her daughter lived in the trailer park in Bell’s Corners for 4 weeks, while the Jones family moved into her Glebe townhouse.

The Jones family had their own difficulties with the move. “This place is really messed up. There’s no Tim Hortons or McDonalds anywhere near here. How is that even possible?” ranted Alan Jones. “The Glebe lacks basic necessities. Where am I supposed to get my cheques cashed? They claim to be dog friendly, but apparently my pitbull is the exception to the rule.”

If successful, future seasons of the show may expand to other areas of town such as Rockcliffe Park, Herongate, Kanata Lakes, and South Keys.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Trudeau Will Appoint New Minister of "Munchies and Chill”

As the journey towards marijuana legalization continues, PM Justin Trudeau is faced with a hard question: what will Canadians do once they’ve smoked up? Earlier this week, Mr. Trudeau created the cabinet position of Minister of Munchies and Chill and appointed Marcus J Greene of Vancouver to handle all issues related to being stoned in Canada.

“As marijuana comes closer to being legalized, we’re working hard to create services for people to use while high,” says Greene. “We’ve got teams in every province getting stoned and compiling a list of their favourite things to do, and from our research so far we’ve found that doing pretty much anything is immensely enjoyable when you are toking.”

“How many times you been having a session with the boys and your lighter gets stolen? That’s going to be a federal crime under omnibus Bill C-420,” says Greene. Also included in the bill, personally authored by Greene, is a list titled “Totally Awesome Songs to Listen to”. It is simply a tracklist for Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”.

“We want a bean bag chair on every street corner, man,” says Greene. “We also want to make it legal to use Doritos as currency, but only when buying more Doritos.”

“Seriously man,” states a placated Greene, “you ever just go out and lamp in a field and watch the clouds? You ever been chilling with the guys and had a really great chat about life? That’s the sort of experience I want to bring to Canada. My staff and I are going to work our hardest on managing all issues related to chilling and snacking while high. Right after I pack this bowl.”

Thursday, February 4, 2016

#90 - Hamza Haq

This episode features actor Hamza Haq, who came to visit from Montreal to discuss auditions, his role on the Shomi show The Art of More, and to tell us about his love of Kinder Surprises.

Sponsor -
This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Look Kool - TVO Kids
The Art of More - Shomi

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New species of mould discovered at the Museum of Science and Technology

The Museum of Science and Technology closed in September 2014 after maintenance workers discovered asbestos, serious problems with the roof, and high levels of airborne mould. Currently, plans are underway to complete extensive renovations, expected to cost in the range of $80 million. However, a new discovery has got local scientists very excited: the museum has been hosting a brand new species of mould.

Sixteen months after this original discovery, researchers have completed their analysis of the strains of mould recovered from the building, including a new species which could change plans for the museum. An application has been submitted to cancel renovations and instead simply preserve the area to study the large culture of Aspergillus scitecharus.

“We’re talking about a freaking bakery here,” says Fazil Hassan, Professor of Microbiology at Carleton University, “let’s not pretend it was a museum in the first place. When the best exhibit in the museum is a ‘crazy kitchen’, you need to reconsider your priorities. Just give the space to us and it’ll immediately have more to do with science than ever before.”

Harsh words from a passionate scientist.