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.
Embrace every little thing you have-
because tomorrow-
who knows where it will be-

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Want to cure a hangover?

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.



 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...


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.


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?


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

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-

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


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?


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

A six year girl who recently died of cancer.
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.