Sunday, December 27, 2009

merry




Where is all of the snow?
Rainy Christmas?

I am not complaining- It is less cold this way.


Anyway, hope everybody has had a wonderful holiday. Mine is going well, though I just got sick...

On Christmas eve me and my friend Erin decided to go for a drive and see if anything was open. Naturally we drove over to Bathurst-- the Jewish part of the city. To our surprise there wasn't a single thing open, not a Starbucks, nothing. At least Tim Horton's is always open...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Long Time No Blog

Chanukah is over, but my two week break from school has just begun fortunately.

On the third night of Chanukah I had some close friends over and I make some Turkey, Challah, and Latkes. We played Rummicub and make a makeshift Menorah our of tea lights. It was quite delightful.

On the last night of Chanukah, the night I arrived home to Toronto, I was given some gelt (chocolate money) from my mother. A couple pieces ended up in my back pocket with my house keys.. here is what happened...


Moral of the story-- Chocolate Melts-- Who would have thunk it...

A couple of nights ago I saw Avatar. It was a quality movie-- quite sad actually. The 3D was tres cool- there were quite a few WOW moments. I won't give away too much, but I have to say that glowing tree branches are sweet!!

Being home is nice, I have gotten all caught up on the Family gossip-- some juicy pieces this time. What is not nice is the temperature of my house- tres tres froid.

I can't wait to see what this break has in store-- stay tuned to find out :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chanukah

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah- A time when Jews get together, light candles, eat delicious fried foods, and chocolate wrapped in gold foil.
Its a good thing my mum called me earlier today to remind me---
I can't turn my head without seeing a Christmas decoration, yet I don't even know when Chanukah starts.
I suppose I am grateful that the holiday isn't shoved down my throat.
It feels slightly more /special?/ this way.
I wish I was at home to celebrate with my family, but-- you know..School.

I do like Christmas decorations though-- Colourful lights, Trees with shiny things on them, red and green, Toy Soldiers... Pretty :-)

Also-- My body is starting to get angry at the 40 degree temperature difference between inside and outside.

Whenever Chanukah rolls around and I am wishing to be celebrating with my family I think back to my first year of university and how my girlfriend at the time made me an Menorah our of pipe cleaners.



...It was pretty awesome.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Want a good laugh?



Send your own ElfYourself eCards

ElfYourself is a great treat for a good laugh or a good source of procrastination.

In only a few simple steps you can upload a few pictures of you and your friend's ridiculous faces and you will get a great video of song and dance starring you.

The great part is that you can do it as many times as you want with as many pictures as you want and it continues to be free.

It also can double as an excellent holiday e-card...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let us talk about food for a minute.



Tonight I made Potato Pizza for dinner.
My world changed when I discovered this pizza.
I, like many, always thought pizza fell under a few strict guidelines--
It required tomato sauce, cheese, came piled with traditional pizza toppings, and hopefully tasted delicious.

When I was in grade 11 though, a couple of my friends on a couple separate occasions subjected me to an entirely new pizza experience: Potato Pizza.

What makes this pizza so delicious?
Well, instead of tomato sauce-- it is made with pesto sauce.
Instead of pepperoni or sliced tomatoes or pinapple-- it has roasted potatoes, caramalized onions, potentially roast garlic, and in the case of the one I made tonight-- sliced turkey.

This may sound weird, but I have yet to meet a person who has tried this pizza and not feel in love.
The flavour combination is unique and delightful-- quite reminiscent, but not quite the same as traditional pizza.

It is the twists on old classics that make life exciting and delicious.


Friday, December 4, 2009

With December Comes...


Snow
With Snow Comes...

Chilly walks home
With chilly walks home comes...

Snow people
With snow people comes...

Snow ball fights
With snow ball fights comes...

Bundling up in lots and lots of layers
With this bundling up comes...

Hot chocolate
With hot chocolate comes...

Smiles
With smiles comes...

December holidays
With december holidays comes...

Family and friends
With family and friends comes...

Presents
With presents comes...

Wrapping paper
With wrapping paper comes...

Cards that wish well
With well wishes comes...

Positive thoughts
With positive thoughts comes...

Enough euphoria to get though four months of cold XD
Gotta love december.





Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What every university student needs...

Alcohol in pill form... More convenient alcohol!



"A researcher at a Russian university has developed a powdered form of alcohol that will soon make the consumption of vodka more convenient. From The Times of India:
Russian professor Evgeny Moskalev of Saint Petersburg Technological University has evolved a technique that allows turning alcohol into powder and packing it in pills. The new technique can solidify any kind of alcohol, including whisky, cognac, wine and beer
“Dry” vodka can be wrapped in paper and carried around in a pocket or a bag. Vodka in form of a pill would come handy at parties when “consumers” would be able to calculate their exact required dosage.
Verily, we live in an age of medical wonders."

(Article Credit)

What could be more convenient than a pill that makes you drunk...?

What would it taste like?

I am kidding-- this is the stupidest idea I have ever heard.

Monday, November 30, 2009

After the fact----


(Props to Jessica Diana for the picture)

You don't know what you have until after it is gone.

These words are so true, yet so bitter.
Have you ever lost your wallet?
Your cell phone?
Your iPod?

Have you ever dropped an ice cream cone?
Lived through a power failure?
Gotten so sick that you couldn't get out of bed?

Have you ever been in a play or a class or a team?
That one day... just... ended?

Have you ever lost a friend?

Nothing will be around forever.
Nothing.
Ever.
Embrace every little thing you have-
because tomorrow-
who knows where it will be-

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hangovers.



Want to cure a hangover?
Laugh.

Laughing has been proven to make you forget about a hangover within seconds...

Okay -- Maybe a I made that up. BUT - that doesn't mean an excited kitten isn't a great thing to be watching on Sunday mornings..

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is the end....

***School Assignment Alert*****




"The End" of Television, Print, and Radio... may be closer than any of us would imagine.


According to Pop Culture expert Jian Ghomeshi in a three part CBC special titled, "The End" the internet could soon take over all of these mediums and more. Or, at the very least, the 2.0 (user interaction and content) generation will be changing things in a big way-  as it already has begun to do.

As this very blog (or any blog) proves, it is becoming more and more of a trend for amateurs to create content, but how does that affect the mainstream media?

The special breaks down the question into three separate categories: Radio, Television, and Print Media.

RADIO 



(Source)

 One of the key questions that was mentioned in the segment on radio was: Who would turn down a box that played free music all of the time with no further effort than the click of a dial?

Amazingly-- the answer is moving ever closer to everybody. Something that is free and effortless is not enough anymore. Nowadays the public wants free, effortless, personalized, and commercial free.

There were a few different post radio options that were mentioned. The first was satellite radio and although it is quite niche-- it still costs money. The second is podcasting, which is free most of the time and niche most of the time, but it is also amateur most of the time. The third are websites like Pandora- who are currently trying to digitize, tag, and connect all music. The biggest flaw with these companies are twofold- People don't want to rent- they want to own and that you can never take the person out of radio.While this may be true today, as these technologies get more sophisticated- things may change...

TELEVISION

When it comes to television, Ghomeshi focused on user-generated content, but I, and many people in the documentary agree that user-content can get tiresome. Nobody wants to watch America's Funniest Home Videos ALL OF THE TIME-- Only SOME of the time. This is why I do not think that professional television will perish, but I do think it will probably switch screens. The problem once again though is-- who will pay for professional television? As the younger viewers become immune to advertisements it becomes more and more difficult to charge advertisers through the nose.



(Source)
 

PRINT
 
With the rise of user generated content there are no longer gatekeepers forcing people to only discuss what they believe to be news. The blogosphere also calls the mainstream out on something in real time if they make a mistake. Many people disregard blogs and user gen. content because it is amateur, but  the conversational aspect is something the traditional media should embrace rather than neglect.

The problem with digitizing content is that it is corporations that have the money to do this task. Are we willing, as a culture, to sacrifice all information to a corporation?




Newspapers are also in quite a bit of trouble because as they move online they have no choice but to give their product away for free. On the other hand, the newspaper sees the online audience as a new, younger audience-- older scholars say that there should be a mix of the different medium so that older people use online content and younger people embrace print content. Advertisers are making the switch rather than lingering on old news as money spent on online advertising now exceeds the money spend on print advertising.







---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
According to Margaret Atwood: the computer is not as convenient as the book, as the television, as the radio, but what happens when computers are small and indestructible? This is an idea I see coming to fruition in the not too distant future. Computers are nearly as ubiquitous as any other other piece of technology and they are only embedding themselves in everything more and more as time goes on. With the perfecting of such inventions as digital ink and paper, it will not be a surprise when everything that we can touch is a computer. The question is: will the content creators stay the same and if they do will they still have a realistic business strategy? If people are eventually going to be able to distance themselves from advertisements by tweaking open source software or downloading a program to their digital everything, then the odds of decent quality, professional content will no longer be profitable or even possible. By then who knows what the web will look like, or how humans will view the digital entertainment genre in general.

COLD FX-- Placebo or Miracle Cure?


(Source)

Me and my close friends have an ongoing debate as to whether the mysterious, "all natural", Cold-FX pill actually boosts your immune system or is just a fifty dollar placebo.

Whether or not they work, what could be more hilarious then people giving testimonials for a ginsing pill?

If they are going to help me get through my week then honestly- to me- it does not matter either way...

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jason Robert Brown



I suppose I will make this week theatre week because, well, theatre is consuming my life this week.


I will start out by saying that Jason Robert Brown is one of my idols. His ability to write music is incomparably brilliant. His songs are emotional, energetic, and exquisite. I am talking about him today because, for the second time, I saw him preform live tonight (last night now) at the Glen Gould Studio. A little about Jason Robert Brown: he is a broadway composer. He has written music for The Last Five Years (coming to London, Ontario in January), Parade, Songs for a New World, Urban Cowboy, and the recent tween broadway musical 13. The above song is from Songs for a New World- A song cycle about the stuggles of love, life, chances and choices. The thing that is so spectacular about his songs is each and every one of them tells a story- a beautiful story- most of the time a tragic story- about human nature.

Anyway, watching him preform live is like watching Usain Bolt doing the 100 metre dash, or watching Martha Stewart bake a cake (crappy metaphor, but still). The piano literally comes to life when he plays it. As Richard Ozunian, a Toronto Star reporter says: "People don't like Jason Robert Brown, they love him."

When Jason Robert Brown walks onto a stage the people in the audience that know what they are in for are wailing, clapping, and whistling. When Jason Robert Brown walks off of the stage the ENTIRE audience is STANDING, wailing, clapping and whistling-- until and even after he comes out minutes later telling people to go home!

His patter, his voice, his lyrics, his humour, his energy, everything- sheer perfection.

He is a master of smuff.

Even if you don't like musical theatre-- If you have ever Loved then just listen to the words. And be taken to a new world...


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Top Ten Reasons Why Live Theatre Is Awesome

I am a drama nerd. I love watching theatre, working at the theatre, and being in theatre. Currently I am playing the role Moritz Stiefel in Theatre Western's production of Spring Awakening.



This is why I feel it is an opportune moment for me to blog about why I find theatre to be such an exhilarating experience. And what better way than in list form... here goes:

1. Of all the entertainment mediums what could be more a real and rich experience than watching people live, right in front of you, on stage?

2. I could not feel more alive than when I am on stage.

3. Instant audience feedback/ participation.

4. It is unedited-- If somebody messes up then you get to watch them fix their mistake. Whether they do it well or poorly it still tends to be hilarious!

5. Intermission.

6. Every performance something new happens-- you will never see that exact same thing twice.

7. It forces you to be in the moment, if only for a second, regardless of what side of the stage you are on.

8. When you are in the theatre-- you can feel the energy bouncing off of the walls.

9. You can become (or become engrossed in) a completely different person for a few hours. All of your troubles, trials, and tribulations disappear for a couple of hours.

10. Clapping, laughing, crying, and of course, expecting the unexpected.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bye Bye Busses- Hello Community?



Something really neat has happened in the city of London, Ontario--
The entire public transit system has decided to go on strike.
----- London, Ontario is a city with thirty thousand university students.

Problem? You would think so, but something-- actually kind of beautiful-- has come out of this predicament-- A new sense of community.

Mustangs Moving Mustangs is a contingency plan set up by the university to harness the power of people to get from here to there.

Here are the plans that they have put into action.

1. "Flag A Ride"- is a city wide game of tag. People with cars put the tags on their cars which mean "I can give you a ride." And people with no cars can get a tag to hold out at cars which mean "I need a ride." It sounds simple enough, but think about how in only a couple of days a pretty foreign concept of picking up a complete stranger, introducing yourself, and giving them a ride can become a generally adapted concept in a time of need.

2. Bike, Walk, Cab- I have noticed a lot of people out and about walking around campus and off campus. Much more than usual and something quite amazing happens when people have been doing some walking in the fresh air for a couple of days. They smile! People that you would normally drive right past, or ignore completely on the bus are now smiling at you, and maybe even going as far as a "Hi" or a "Sup?" I smile goes a long way and being forced to walk to school and looking around at the world you are living in-- dare I say-- is smile provoking.

Not only that, but the extra 10-50 minutes spent walking to school is 10-50 minutes that is spent...not on facebook. And time away from that site is a blessing- not a curse.

Even taking a cab is good for the community--why? I was riding in a cab not to long ago that the driver was telling me how much they are struggling to find business. I found it easy to sympathize with a man who has to feed his family and pay his bills and his rent on 100 dollars, not to mention the need to cover gas.

What could be better for business than thousands of students who all need to find a way home?

3. Carpooling/ Vans- what could be more fun than carpooling? Communal music/ conversation-- dare I say-- singing along? And the university is also doing a decent job sending out vans to populated locations to pick up and drop off student folk.

Now-- I am by no means pro-strike. This strike negatively affects many people in many ways, including myself. BUT when something like this happens-- I feel like it is a good idea to look at the smuff that the situation brings.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shooting Stars

Make a wish...

At four am the streets are empty.
At four am the city is closed.
At four am the shooting stars come out.

Driving down Wonderland with the windows rolled down- music blaring-
Driving toward the place where the streetlights end
Driving north
Zero Degrees

Tim Horton's
Hot Chocolate
Large- please.

Continue down the road...
Light, Light, Dark, Brights...

Giant stop sign-- pull over.

Climb on top of the car
Look.
Up.

Thousands of worlds
Thousands of tiny specks
Thousands of what ifs?

All of a sudden-
You catch something out of the corner of your eye-
It is moving-
Gone-

You see another one.
And another.
That one has a tail.
This one is orange.

Think of a wish and wait for one to come while the wish is in your head ----- Nothing.

They only come when your head it clear- when you are not expecting them.

Eventually the cold gets to you-
The hot chocolate is empty-
The stars become sparse-

Drive home
Glad you got to see something
Glad you took a risk
Glad that the moment happened
Glad that the sky will always follow you
Where ever you go
What ever you do

The sky is there. Watching you- watching it-





Monday, November 16, 2009

Velcro

Anybody remember velcro?



I bet even if you do remember velcro, even if you wore it today, you didn't know that velcro has a twitter and a website.


What could be a more lazy, time saving innovation than velcro? And honestly what could look much cooler?





(Credit)

The use of velcro makes such a happy sound too! I suppose the only reason I don't insist on finding velcro shoes is that now, I just slip my shoes on. Speaking of lazy shoe tools-- next to velcro, what could be cooler than those curly laces?! -- OH MAN! They have their own website too.

Honestly, being a teenager is nothing more than remember all of the cool stuff that you had as a kid and wanting it back. Kids shows, kids clothes, an imagination, free time... le sigh.

Sadly, the older you get-- the easier it is to remember the things that sucked about all of the cool kids stuff. Velcro for instance was awesome--- until it stopping being sticky and became useless.

Velcro also reminds me of those burr things that get stuck to your clothes and sometimes prick you when you are walking through a forest... hiding those things in a friends hood or pocket though...made for hours and hours of fun... XD.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Eating Cinnamon

 Okay, so sometimes you have a day where you need to watch somebody do something unbelievably stupid. Well- get ready for it... This video will feed your hunger...





Was that not amazing?

You may be wondering why he is doing such a ridiculous thing? And the answer is-- all in the name of internet collaberation. For the past 10 weeks Charlie, and a bunch of other famous UK youtubers have been creating a pop song with the ultimate goal of highjacking the iTunes charts. This is that week that the song has finally come out and even though they are not doing as well as they hoped they would have, they are still doing an amazing thing with web 2.0.

Link to the music video of the song
Link to the song on itunes------The money all goes to charity


(P.S. The cheesyness is kinda of the point) -- Only a warning.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

iPod Headphones (And why they suck)

This is going to be a rant post, but you know what? Everybody deserves a rant post every once in a while right?

Let's get to it!

iPod Headphones SUCK!

How so? Well, where should I begin?

I just bought an iPod touch a week ago and needless to say, I am quite fond of it. Let me tell you-- I am almost glad I lost my 4 gigabyte iPod nano. On the other hand, I am not glad that I lost my Pod Nano's Sony headphones that I bought for it in the summer. They were comfortable, loud, crystal clear, in ear, black (nondescript), and fifty dollars-- which is a real pain to have to spend when your brand new iPod comes with brand new headphones-- which I happen to be wearing right now.

Firstly-- They are uncomfortable. Plain and simple, they are putting my ears through pain as I type.

Secondly-- They don't stay in my ears. I have decently large ears-- so this one really boggles my mind. It may be due to the fact that I am used to my in-ear headphones now, but I feel like they could stay in your ears with slightly less effort.

Thirdly-- They break easily! I have been using these headphones for three days and they are already broken. I would like to think that I treat my technology fairly well, and I can say with confidence that I haven't done anything to these headphones to give them a reason to be broken at this point. The way they are broken is one ear plate has detached itself and reveals its guts, often. This is not an uncommon problem either.

I have had a good four to five pairs of iPod headphones in my relationship with the iPod family and they have all broken within a couple months. Some have crumbled until there was nothing left, some have broken on the inside causing the audio to sound distorted, some have become twisted on the plug end, and all of let me down in one way or another.

Fourthly-- Everybody knows you have an iPod if you are wearing them. Obviously this was Apple's intention, otherwise the headphones wouldn't be so -- well -- white. But there is an immediate flaw to this. People like to mug people who have iPods. I won't get into a lot of detail, but I know people personally who have been attacked entirely due to the iPod's in their pockets. I know that I am not keen on advertising that I have a product in my pocket that people are willing to go to jail to have the opportunity to steal. This doesn't apply as much as it used to because iPod's have become much less expensive and much less of a class dividing device, but I am sure it still happens.

On the bright side-- Apple is pretty good at giving you a replacent when your product breaks, sadly, when I tell them that their headphones are innately flawed and broken, they will only give me more of the same headphones...  :-/

Monday, November 9, 2009

Misty Night

On bench I look at the world as if, for one small moment, I am outside of it, overlooking.

In the far off distance I see vague images of buildings.
The buildings are probably empty for the day, or maybe filled with students studying, or janitors cleaning.

A little closer I see a vast field, in hill form. It contains one willow tree, just waiting...wanting somebody to sit underneath it, but it is nighttime, and the ground is too dewy.

I notice the streetlights, lighting the concrete path.
The lights also draw attention to the mist in the air.
The mist makes the scene look so surreal.

Two students are standing under one of the streetlights.
Crying, holding hands, while the taller one kisses the other one of the forehead.
A story told through body language.

A boy on a bicycle passes them quickly, he is going downhill, what is his rush?
Three others pass them and walk up the hill.
A laugh is heard out of one of them and the other two join in.

In the building across the way, a series of windows.
In each lit window, a student plays an instrument.
A bassoon, a trombone, a piano, a violin, and the last one is just singing - alone.
Each person, in a world where only the instrument and them exist.

A cloud moves in the sky.
The full moon reveals itself for the first time all night.
It smiles, but only briefly.
It likes the attention..

A squirrel runs up the hill and taps me on the foot.
I exist too... I suppose.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oreos are awesome



Okay, so, in a world where we are BOMBARDED with advertisements, you gotta think majorly outside the box to get people's attentions.

I think Mr. Christie has done it. Nothing could make you want an oreo more than an elevator sized Oreo being dipped into an elevator sized glass of milk.

As I said before-- "the milk is not what matters" -- or rather "the Oreo is not what matters" -- what matters is how in your face the Oreo is -- and it goes without saying that smuff rarely refers to size.

Smuff in this case is something as ubiquitous as an advertisement that has the capacity and originality to make a person's day. And if I saw this in a mall, than, hell, I know it would make my day.

(It would probably get my to buy an couple boxes of Oreos as well...)


Monday, November 2, 2009

Notes Left Behind


                                                                                                                   (Credit)
A six year girl who recently died of cancer.
Tragic.
But her story.
Her unbelievable sense of... all that is beautiful about humanity.
She will never know what her Notes meant.
To her parents, to her family, to the world.

Elena-- knowing-- at six years old that her life was already coming to an end-- started writing notes of love-- and hid them around her house for her family to find and read.

“She would tuck them into bookcases, tuck them into dishes, china you don't touch every year and you'd lift it up and there'd be a note in it,” Elena’s father (Keith Desserich)

 Her parents wrote a book about the struggle, which can be found here.


I suppose I just want to say, no matter how old you are... or how young. You can matter, you can make a difference. And never underestimate the power of a note or loving sentiment.

<3




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Old School Video Games!



Why are 8 bit NES games so much cooler than most of the games that came out in the last 10 years?

Smuff--- that's why!

An addicting game can be started at any time and become engrossing within minutes. All you need are the small things-- A catchy tune for the music. A guy in a red suit or blue or green (turtle) suit that jumps on things and maybe a smiling cloud or two. A few blocks that you break or stack on top of each other. A couple buttons... and you have a game that you can play not just until you have beat it, but forever...

The problem with most new games is they require intricate details, graphics, and story lines to be played or understood. The other problem with new games (the multi-player ones in particular-- I am speaking to you Halo!) is an amateur played doesn't stand an effing chance against anybody else because it is just level memorization. One you have the level memorized-- well-- why play anymore at that point?

I suppose NES games also have an element of level memorization (since there are few sporadic surprises in the programming), but their simplicity keeps them almost just as fun.

Don't get me wrong, great new games exist. And crappy old games also exist. But even the crappy old ones are hilarious. See: Angry Video Game Nerd.

Lastly-- Old school video games make for Frickin Sweet Clothing! --


(Credit)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wordle



Today I discovered this neat website titled: Wordle

The site creates "word clouds." You can type in any website and it will take the words and turn them into a neat picture based on the frequency that you use them.

Here is an example of a word cloud using this very blog!




It looks like I don't use the word SMUFF nearly enough!!!

I love that something as simple as words arranged in a new fashion, with a little colour, is such a visually stimulating experience.

I think that I am going to put a Wordle in the sidebar and update it as the site updates so you guys watch the site evolve in a more unique way.

In other news, I feel like Peter Paul and Mary and their song, All Mixed Up, compliment this picture quite well -- so give it a listen.

-- Mary Travers you will be forever missed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is out for Macs (or the beta version is at least)... You got download it here:

http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/eula_dev.html?dl=mac

It took nearly a year and a couple of months for it to move from being an exclusive PC browser to now being a browser available for the Mac as well.



The above image is from my first test run of the browser and I am excited already. This post was done using mostly the chrome browser and other than one minor glitch it seems to be pretty awesome and really fast...

Why is Chrome smuff? Google has been priding itself on simplicity and effectiveness since its humble beginnings and that is the main reason that it is doing so well.

Chrome doesn't fail to follow up on Google's philosophy. Just opening up the browser for the first time, I was asked where I wanted to import bookmarks from and the transfer to Chrome was as easy as that. Another thing I love about Chrome is not only is the URL bar a place to put in websites, it also doubles as a google search bar.

Other than that, Chrome is one of those items that just works and there is no fangled gadgets needed or special add-ons, which makes it a pleasure to use.

If all things were smuffed like Google is, the world would be a much less cluttered and stressful place...

I can't wait for the Google OS

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Steve the Beetle

Meet Steve.


I found him in room and I decided he was too awesome to release back outside into the world and so I kept him. 

I keep him in a Ziplock container. I poked some air holes in it and put some grass and leaves in it for food. His legs looks like walking twist ties and sometimes, when I take off the lid to his home, he will walk around the edge over and over again. Exercise is important no matter how small you are I suppose.

Where the Wild Things Are ---- Reviewed



What small thing is the most extraordinary, creative, uncensored, ignorant, imaginative and curious thing on earth? If you listen to Spike Jonze, the director of Where the Wild Things Are, then your answer is bound to be "Children." One child in particular, who goes by the name MAX.

Max is a ferocious individual who craves attention the way any human being does once all that we have learned and all of the layers and social constraints that we have put up have been stripped.

The movie opens with Max in his wolf pajama costume ensemble chasing his pet dog in debatably the best scene of the movie. The way that Max interacts with this animal makes you question which one of them is more of an animal. The gorgeous shaky camera movements entrance you in a way that immediately make you feel as if you are Max, a crucial way to feel for the rest of the movie to resonate.



(credit)

As the movie progresses Max, just trying to get attention from another human being, picks a snowball fight with his sister's friends. Eventually it gets out of hand and nobody comes to Max's rescue. The common childhood theme of "Nobody Cares" comes into play at this point and Max beings to FLIP OUT.... At everybody.... the last straw being when he actually bites his mother for trying to restrain him and, at that point, he runs away, far away, into the depths of his deepest imagination.

This is where he meets the wild things.. and using his unbelievably skilled sense of manipulation that only a child such as himself could have, he becomes "king" of their colony (of sorts).



(Credit)


Sadly, once he meets up with the Wild Things, the amount of anger and angst (in the wild thing world) is almost overbearing, and there is very little recoup time before another fight breaks out. Sure, this is how real life works, but in the movies, you need a little contrast to keep things fresh. Don't mind me though, that is essentially my only complaint of the movie. So, the wild things help him though his confused role in life, his understanding of how animalistic he is, and finally, they help him understand the finicky elements of comradeship and family.

This film is so beautiful and it is an adventure. I feel like most of this is constructed by the elements that many people overlook when watching a movie/ the smaller or less noticeable elements:

#1. THE SOUNDTRACK IS GORGEOUS. If you haven't yet listened to the song that I posted at the top of the post. CLICK PLAY NOW!!! Karen O. (of Yeah Yeah Yeah's fame) and her wonderful friends have done it again. It encapsulates you in the world of childhood imagination in the most soothing of ways, in much the same way as a lullaby does.

#2. The cinematography- Spike Jonze is a master of his art. Enough said.

#3. The costumes/ CGI/ you find it hard to believe that he didn't actually genetically breed real monsters because they couldn't look more real...


Monday, October 19, 2009

BedHEAD

I want to loo

This morning I sneezed. So I went to the bathroom to grab a tissue and on the way out I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I thought three things in this order:

1. WOW, ridiculous bedhead.
2. Who would want to wake up next to him?
3. I miss you.

So after that I went back to your room and I crawled into your bed. And you smiled. At me.

You smiled. At me.

Or maybe you just smiled. And I happened to intercept the smile.
Either way. When I smiled back... You continued to smile.

So, I think the point is... my bedhead is so funny that it makes you smile. And maybe laugh (but only a little).

Why else would you be smiling?


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Outfoxed


For those of you that do not know, this blog is being written, in part, for a course at the University of Western Ontario on blogging. In this course we periodically have to write a response to something we watched or discussed in class.

In this entry I am going to respond to a Documentary that we watched in class titled, “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism.” The film’s focus is Fox News and makes an impressive jab at their “imperfect” ultra right wing viewpoints (which is, in all honesty, not a difficult thing do—just watch any episode of The Colbert Report or The Daily Show).

It is always funny for me, as a Canadian, to watch anything Fox News related because a Canadian counterpart to Fox News doesn’t really exist (yet). While watching this documentary, it is hard for me not to find the tactics used by Fox News to be comical. These tactics include: using fear to get their audience to believe what they have to say, “muddy the argument enough” until they “win” with at least a draw, and playing off of “the people that don’t think that [they are victims of propaganda because]… they’re much easier to propagandize.” In other words, they take advantage of American ignorance…

An example from the documentary of Fox News’ formula is a portion where they interview Jeremy Glick. In this portion Jeremy talks about his appearance on the O’Reilly factor. Jeremy discusses how Bill O’Reilly hushed him and denied him a word in edge-wise anytime that he had anything potentially threatening to say that was contrary to O’Reilly’s POV. The documentary made it seem as though anybody who doesn’t let O’Reilly manipulate them is almost immediately kicked out of the studio.

The slogan of Fox News, which the documentary kept referring back to, is “fair and balanced” and I feel like the main point that it was making is that Fox News is far from fair and far from balanced. Fox News deals with "news" (or should I say, opinion) poorly and uses way too much yellow journalism (sensationalism), but I would argue that the trend and direction that most news channels seem to be heading in is not for from what we see on Fox News today. Even though, as I said at the beginning, I don’t find Canadian news this comical, I fear that it may not be too far off.

The end the documentary discusses that a public uprising is necessary for this phony reporting to be stopped and although I agree, I wonder if, with the rise of the Internet, people care enough about TV news at this point to not let it go to shambles.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Always wear a helmet, kids!


The milk is not what matters. The milk is not what matters. The milk is not what matters.

What matters is safety kids. Safety first!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Micro



If you are at all interested in microscopic imagery, then check this out.

If you are not interested in microscopic imagery, then check it out and... you will be.

It is proof that the most beautiful, and amazing things aren't necessarily something you can see with the naked eye. Sometimes, if you put a little extra effort into looking beyond the surface and between the cracks the world can turn into a new, mysterious and wonderful place.

(If you click on the link you will reap the benefits of the work already being done for you, but that doesn't mean it isn't more rewarding when you make the extra effort yourself!)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Talking Big

"My commitment to you is unwavering even as we wrestle with these enormous problems"
Of course politics matter and that is why a president that has an interest in helping more groups than just the big ones, or just one at a time, is refreshing to say the least. BUT-- I feel like the bigger somebody talks, more weight is added to their shoulders. I don't think Obama has fallen over yet, but he has certainly been weighed down by the issues and the skepticism (and even the "praise".) I hope he maintains his integrity though because he has the potential to fix lots and lots of smuff.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tight Grip

...When we are 70, will you still love me?

How about 80?
Will we still lie together?
Will we still laugh at each other's jokes?
Will you still smile when I walk in the door?

When my hair turns gray, when I loose the poof, when I have a few wrinkles...

Will we still hold hands? When we do, will you still squeeze? A grip that says, "never let me go."
Will you still think that I have pretty eyes? Will I still get so excited that I can't wipe the smile off of my face?

Will we still remember the nights, the nights we when we just...cuddled?
Will I still remember the first time I saw you?
Across the room.
Will you still like me "too much"?
Will I still remember the first time that you spoke to me?
The first time that we kissed?
The first time that we [censored]?

Will you still hold a grip on my heart?
Will I still hold a grip on yours?
Will we still walk across town without a care?
...Will your heels still be 7 inches high?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

PUPPY PIGS!

Okay, so I have been following this vlog for an extremely long time (since mid 2007) titled the vlogbrothers and they have long been obsessed with the idea of there being puppy sized elephants.
(They are going to use the word Nerdfighter a lot, their first video on what that is...is here)...oh THE AWKWARDNESS!!!-- Don't mind the song if you watch that video...

I am probably going to mention them a bit in the process of this blog, but BACK TO THE ENTRY.

So, they like puppy sized elephants. And who doesn't remember the infamous house hippos commercial...



The point is...small animals are just so adorable... and now, they have become a reality...


I WANT ONE! And they actually exist... Check it out!

Not only do they exist, but celebraties are buying them...and owning them...
My mind can't help but to wonder about mini giraffes. XD

two weeks in.

Alllllrighty...

Now that I have been blogging for two weeks I think it is that that I stop convincing myself and whoever may be reading this what Smuff is and actually start blogging... I feel like I have sort of an idea what I am going to be talking about in my blog at this point, so if you want to come along for the adventure feel free to follow.

Much love,

Philip

Mini Me is Smuff



I feel like this picture speaks for itself. It has been circulating the interweb for the past 24 hours and why? Because of smuff!

People may not know that they find smuff fascinating, but they do, and this picture proves it. Now, obviously, this is a much lighter (more humorous) version of smuff, but it is still smuff. Anyway, I should probably write a sentence that doesn't have the word smuff in it... No, I'd rather not actually, smuff is just too awesome.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Anne Frank is Smuff.

This video of Anne Frank is the only (known) existing footage of this amazing young woman. It just surfaced on the internet and in a little over a week has nearly a million hits on YouTube. I feel like Anne Frank is one of the things that smuff is all about, so I am glad I stumbled across this video.

Anne Frank was one of six million human beings that were murdered during and because of the holocaust. Yet, just an image of her existence for two seconds in a video is so valuable. Why? Because she is a real human being, and her story is relate-able, horrific, terrifying, and true. The diary that she wrote when she was hiding for her life in a hidden attic in occupied Germany gives the world a first hand perspective of how horrifying the circumstances were during that time. Her story, however small and insignificant (while it was happening) is the sort of thing that actually can make even the coldest of hearts change their mind about the real cost of war.

So... 1 in 6 million...it may sound puny, it may sound like unachievable lottery odds, it may sound like the most insignificant fraction, it may even sound like smuff, but Anne Frank may be a good reason to rethink that.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Google Censorship is Smuff.

A terrifying reality has hit the internet: Google is finally censoring itself.

Now I hear many people saying, "that is old news man! Google has been censored in China for a while now."

Well I am not talking about censorship overseas, I am talking about censorship right here, in North America. Now, to be honest, I can't provide a first hand account of this phenomenon because I still only know about this occurring in the United States (please comment if you know about it happening in Canada), but it is still slightly disturbing to know that even Google has its own priorities, agenda setters, gatekeepers, yada yada yada...

Now, in case you haven't clicked the hyperlink above yet, the censorship that I am referring to is that of taking "The Pirate Bay" off of its search results or off its friends list...if you will.

Now, in case you aren't as much of a computer nerd as I am, The Pirate Bay is one of the Internets largest Bittorrent websites, which is a site where users host or "seed" content, be it music, video, games or software and others download or "leech" the programs and hopefully go on to help seeding the product when they have finished their download. It is the big share-story of the Internets.

Why did Google censor The Pirate Bay? Well, they recently were sued for "assisting in making copywritten content available." Check out their full trial results here.

For now, this is only smuff, they are still pretty reliable in finding most stuff, but now that Google is not afraid to censor itself, who knows what it will censor next?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yom Kippur is Smuff

I feel like my point didn't come across in my last post. The point being-- As much as something may affect me, it is comforting to know that the world moves on. It makes you realize you too, will work things out and continue on.

Now to today's post...

Today was the Jewish Holiday Yom Kippur (please note that what I say about the holiday are my interpretation and if they are not factually accurate feel free to comment). Yom Kippur is known as the most significant day in the Jewish calendar and it comes a little more than a week after the Jewish new year. On this day you fast (no eating, drinking) for 25 hours and probably attend synagogue for the day to repent for any wrongdoings of the last year. This may not sound like small stuff, it sounds pretty important, but to me it is a day all about small stuff.

Since I not a religious Jew, I think of the holiday and the religion itself as more of a tradition that involves certain foods, large family gatherings, reflection, and keeping alive a certain positive spirit. Naturally, on this day, reflection is the key theme for me. This day is a day when I think about the events of the past year, good and bad, and ask myself what I did wrong, how I can better myself in the next year, and where I want things to head for me.

I think especially about the small things that happened in the last year, things that you will understand more as you continue to read my blog, and why they meant what they meant.

One last small thing that is worth mentioning is how amazing food and water really is and how lucky I am to always have access to it, in large quantities. I say this because after not eating for a full 25 hours, the taste of water and food... is just the bees knees. If you want to REALLY appreciate something, cut it out of your life for a while.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I am smuff

I left my house this morning feeling like I and the current events in my life were significant in the grand scheme of things, but to my surprise it was a beautiful day outside. A squirrel three doors down from my house was busy eating away at a nut he probably spent four hours hunting, the cars were all on the road, the trees were rustling in the wind, just like any other day.

I walked to my bus stop and everybody there was doing their own things, perfectly (or so it seems) content living their own lives. I saw students listening to their portable mp3 devices, a mother with her young child, a elder man, and all of the other usual folks.

Sometimes it is hard to comprehend, since we can only see the world through our own eyes, that when we are upset, or happy, or crazy, the world doesn't reflect our feelings. -- Life is not a movie. --








p.s. Smuff means small stuff.

Image Credit: http://www.natures-desktop.com/images/wallpapers/1024x768/squirrels/squirrel-eating-nut.jpg

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

An Introduction

Welcome! My name is Philip and this new blog is going to be about the smaller stuff in current events, the mass media, and life in general. My keyboard just broke...

It is amazing how one little piece of plastic on the bottom of the keyboard can ruin ones typing experience by unbalancing the keyboard on the table.