Sunday, December 24, 2006

Goodness Gracious Me - it's the Eve of Boxing Day Eve

I am back in wonderful Nova Scotia with all my family (with whom i have noticed, take a lot of naps, myself included), all festive for the Holiday Season. And in pure, I suddenly have all this time on my hands, let's google (the appropriated word for Search) youtube for vids. In dedication to the holiday consumer festivities, the mall lines ups, and the newly introduced Sunday Shopping in Halifax (except the Liquor stores, to my dismay), here is a video from the British Show, Goodness Gracious Me, on fashion. Not much to do with Christmas, not much to do with anything else, but it made me laugh, as my stomach rumbles for the Chin-Yee holiday lobsters. Hope you all have a wonderful break, and I will be blogging again soon!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Jon Stewart

In New York last week, Rob and I hightailed it down there, got stuck on the George Washington Bridge - and made it in time to stand out in the cold to get into The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It was a bit surreal, especially since we were in Montreal that morning and drove straight to the show, but it was an awesome experience. Jon chatted a bit with the audience, and got berated by an audience member about the sprinklers... the special guest was rocking climbing crazy man and now author, Ed Viesturs, who bantered well with JS. It was a quick fix though - the 23 minute show is a 23 minute show, no retakes, no editing, cut to commerical, back to the show kind of deal. Colbert and Stewart of conflab a bit before their on air banter. It was a great - but short experience, got to love John Stewart for maintaining one of the best shows and news sources on the air today.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Girating Cowboy

Rob and I spent a wonderful time in New York City, and amid all the bright lights, tall buildings, anmd indie/corporate vibe of the city, here's what I thought was blog worthy. The girating Santas of the Broadway hardware store. But, the icing to the cake was not these wonderful Holiday gems, it was the window next door, that took Christmas one step further...with the cowboy Santa. Red suit and all. I wonder if he's a republican? Probably not, his sleigh doesn't run on oil.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

90s pop culture turns high culture - Mario bros medley

Is this what it feels like to hear your favourite song on the "oldies" network? Not really, but I thought that I would try to shake some of us invinsible 90s kids up a bit...

The rate that our pop culture gets turned around, reapproriated, and sent back to us packaged in a newer, sexier outfit is remarkable - and exciting when things like this video/orchestra are out there - to shake up the remixers and tech savvy gamers out there.

Here's a fun reminder that the recylcing of cultural symbols and signifiers is not limited to the underground DJ, or even the remixing rap artist. here's a 6 minute medly performed by play! a video game symphony.

This is not an original idea, and I am proud to say that during my high school band days (stand up and electric bass - which I cannot play at all anymore but in my mind), two keen and talented musicians, no older than 17 wrote an entire ensemble piece for a full band, with this very same idea. The Mario Bros theme songs - sans the Ninetendo 64 version. Now that is foresight, and if those two talented Dartmouth Highers of Nova Scotia (circa 1996-1999) are out there, please drop me a line - you wrote us in the rhythm section the most kick ass dungeon part.

recorded by: djuret

Thursday, November 30, 2006

progressive print mags

As we all soak up our media intake online, from many, many, many outlets on the internet - there are some courageous media savvy individuals and organizations that still make hard copies of their work. Sometimes for free, and sometimes for low cost, and even, gasp, hand deliver it to your door, so that you can read over the breakfast table, rather than balancing your breakfast over your keyboard (and hence, spill coffee or egg yolks into it...which my dear news junky partner (rob maguire) so lovingly did to my imac, because his powerbook is in the shop. Speaking of Rob, here's his podcast, featured on CitizenShift on this very subject of independently published newsies, like The Dominion - a grassroots newspaper about Canadian and international politics, as well as Montreal's local bi-monthly issues based mag, Siafu.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


In the spirit that a couple glasses of wine, 12:09am, and the PVR recorded Colbert Report - here is a fun animated gif of a unrealistic way to commit suicide...with papercuts.

And to write about something that has nothing to do with papercuts (but I am an accident prone paper user) - Here's an unoft summary of my week:
Today (or yesterday) 27th: Jewelery class - I am making my first lost wax ring. It is nice to do things that don't require me to look at a screen.

Tomorrow (or later today) 28th: learn to save lives a la St-John's Ambulance instruction. They want me to be there at 8:30 am. That is no way to get this potential life saver in the mood of doing any lifesaving good. I hope they provide the coffee.

29th: see day 28th - but hopefully with more lifesaving skills than I have now.
And, check out some Georgian restaurant by Snowdon metro.

30th: This Final Cut Pro user, is going to become a dual Avid editor too! This skill seems to be more beneficial to me than the lifesaving one at this point - but I guess its all relative to whether you are choking around me in the future, or need me to cut a film.

1st: see day 30. and TBD.

This post is completely useless. My apologies for reaching the end of it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Expozine Montreal

Montreal’s small publishing and artistic community came out in droves to share their wares, and celebrate the groundswell of artistic independence in congregation at Expozine. In the stuffy, packed basement of a church in Mile End – the bustling noise of creative collaboration was eminating off the concrete walls, and you could breathe it in the oxygen-starved air.
An uncountable number of small publishers filled the room, and among the things that I picked up (and looked on longingly – but couldn’t take home either because I came ill-prepared with not enough cash, or the crowd around the table was too big to get through.), were both editions of Matt Forsythe’s ogingogo comic
filled with reflective illustrations and carefully chosen obscurities. Combining a playful technique with asian flavour, the comic is for the thoughtful reader/viewer with a sense of subtle humour. Decidedly un-North American, Matt’s global influences are apparent in his comics.
Political bi-monthly, bi-lingual magazine, Siafu were also publicizing their free publications – a collective of Montreal journalists and commentary on specific subjects, such as education, and this month’s reclamation of public space. And, many silk screening and printmaking artists were showing off their very wall-worthy work, for reasonable prices.
All in all, oxygen or not – Expozine is not only a haven of diverse and interesting independent Montreal talent – its was also a great gathering of the creative community, that has been thriving in their resistance to corporatization and are taking control on the making and distribution of our culture.
Here’s a short video of what was going on in the basement.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

kudos to my dear fellow Dartmouthians

In support of fellow members of the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia clan, I raise my hat and beer to Matt Mays and his new album, When The Angels Make Contact. Released last week, the is-it-an-album-is-it-a-sound-track-to-a-kick-ass-David-Lynchesque-film, is something to checkout in this talented Dartonian's repatoire. Reflective, and long highway driving worthy, I love hearing about Darksiders doing what they want to do, well.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Quietening smallness and sunlit beaches

I went home to Nouvelle Ecosse this past long (federal employee) weekend. It was a much needed break from the impending cold of the Mont, and visit with the family and friends. It is always a breath of fresh air to go to the beach, Conrad's beach in particular, to watch the crashing waves, the sand suck in the thirsty salt water, and to watch the huge sky, and water stretch on and on.

I miss this part. The loud bigness of quiet. Sounds stupid, I know, but that's the wording that describes it best for me. Vocab and grammar are things of the past for me it seems.

Here's a terribly shot video of the sun setting on Conrad's, and a soft reminder to me that there is a lot of space around, that doesn't need to be filled by me or you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mid-Term Hound

As the American mid-term elections kick off, enjoy the time with a video of a Canadian dog watching the polls trickle in, the pundits waffling on no doubt, late into the night. This is of course, Beta, the most apathetic of apathetic dogs. She's friendly to robbers, and conservatives. And if asked, still has no opinion on North Korea.

She does like to pee on Bush though, and loves a minority very much.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hallowe'en Spirit

Okay, to blow the cob webs off of my blog (or maybe I should leave them there, now that Hallowe'en and coldness are in the air...), I will ring in the festivities of the fall with this pumpkin big mac that I saw on Boing Boing. It was originally posted on the Bits & Pieces blog. It's a great picture, and I am in the market for some pumpkin carving ideas, so any suggestions are well-welcome. But I have to say that the comments are just as good. It is great to see the debate over the iconic burger-pumpkin, complete with giant meat patty and all.
Here is a sample of the comments: what is the point of this?
# posted by Anonymous : 5:56 PM

This is pretty cool!
# posted by Anonymous : 6:02 PM

haha. that looks cool :D I wonder if anyone wound eat it? XD
# posted by Anonymous : 6:57 PM

you can't fucking eat it.
# posted by Anonymous : 7:52 PM

Hey retard, it's a pumpkin, of course you can eat it
# posted by Anonymous : 8:07 PM

lol, someone just got schooled!
# posted by Anonymous : 10:19 PM

Yeah you can eat it but I imagine it would taste pretty nasty...great idea anyways. t(-_-t)
# posted by Anonymous : 10:19 PM

how big a grill did he have to use to cook that pattie?
# posted by Anonymous : 11:25 PM

thats not a big mac... wheres the secret sauce??... the extra bread in the middle??... the second patti??... if anything thats a 1/4 pounder w/ cheese...
# posted by Anonymous : 11:59 PM

wow, and the U.S. is already the most obese country. Just imagine if we started eating shit like this!
# posted by Anonymous : 1:25 AM

As an obese American, I would totally eat this. Also, I would totally thank God for creating a country full of yummy pumpkin burgers I could eat in front of other countries with their rice and veggies and crap. Totally.
# posted by Anonymous : 2:41 AM

The AMERICAN Halloween... sad
# posted by Anonymous : 3:50 AM

actually there are 2 kinds of pumkins...ones for eating and ones for decorating...the ones used for decorating supposedly don't taste very good, i don't know why we don't decorate both tho
# posted by Anonymous : 5:03 AM

That Big Mac pumpkin is a total slut...who hasn't had sex with it??
# posted by Anonymous : 5:32 AM

It is a 1/4 pounder with cheese!
# posted by Anonymous : 6:29 AM

I would totally eat that pumpkin out.
# posted by Anonymous : 8:32 AM

Looks kinda like pac man with pimples and his mouth full.
# posted by Anonymous : 8:48 AM

Yeah, not enough patties to be a Big Mac
# posted by Anonymous : 9:14 AM

I think that pumpkin is deceptively small, therefore the patty is probably not that big.
# posted by Anonymous : 10:15 AM

It's a Le Royale with cheese....
# posted by Anonymous : 11:26 AM

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Land of the propagating magnets

These magnetic ribbons were everywhere in California (and I have seen some of the creeping up here) This one made me laugh - and shudder. War propaganda appropriating the peace ribbon, in camoflage - good to wear in any war zone.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

2nd Video: Peace Rally to end warcrimes inflicted on the Lebanese people

Here's another short video from the peace march in Montreal last weekend. It's the same speaker in my previous video post, but I felt that it is still important to let our collective voices be heard on this matter.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Venice Beach Busker

On a trip to Los Angeles last week - I went to the infamous venice beach - and saw this guy busking...slightly abusive to the crowd, he wouldn't let anyone leave or go on with his show unless he reached X amount of dollars (that he did, a few times - but, hey everyone's gotta earn a living.) His show was entertaining nonetheless - so check it out. A little light hearted fun...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Montreal Peace March for Israel out of Lebanon

Today in Montreal, 65 000 people congregated peacefully in Parc Lefontaine to protest against the injusticeful massacres that Israel is inflicting in Lebanon - and continues to do in Occupied Palestine. Walking in solidarity downtown, and speaking out against the Israeli war crimes and the US and Canadian compliance (and US funding) - the signs, the chants, the united view of many Canadians and others in the global community are demanding that Harper uphold what Canada stands for, what the United Nations stands for, and for Israel and America to follow international law - and to stop the killing of innocent people, and the demolition of culture.

The video (I am trying out youtube) is at Guy-Favreaux building downtown.

To see more pictures and commentary check out Rob Maguire's blog and you can check out more pictures at my flickr page.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Reflecting in the heat...

Maybe it's the heat - maybe it is that time of year, when you reassess, re-look, and pretty much "re" everything that is going in the world, and more selfishly, yourself.

I look at the shambles and war crimes that are not only happening each day in the middle east, and all over the world (but the Israeli wars crimes (and other middle eastern conflicts/invasions) and killings are the ones that are deamed "newsworthy" right now) but being beamed into our homes. And the embarassingly apologetic racism that Steven Harper is spewing under the International lens - and successfully supporting an illegal invasion, and flushing Canada's reputation down the shitter. We are not only sitting on the sidelines, twiddling our thumbs over whether the people of Lebanon deserve peace and safety, and even whether our own civilians deserve to be safe in this country or others.

And, as I look at all this... I am wondering what I am going to do? Where is my responsibility in this? The action that I feel in my heart (as I sit comfortably in my Montreal home, the absence of missiles and bombs whistling overhead - my walls all standing sturdly around me) is pumping hard, and I am standing here foolishly, thinking among other things...about my self. And my own miniscule misfortunes... apathy is scary, but self-absorbtion is just plain ugly.

This is for another post though.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

vlog from Fundy

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In the heat and the whimsical feeling that summer always has a tendency to bring... I have been less than good at keeping my vlog updated.  Here's one reason why: spent last week travelling the Maritimes, with my Maritimer (New Brunswick) partner - which works out well for this Nova Scotian! Here's a mini vid on our trip to Fundy National park.  The first camping trip with the dog...

hope you are all passing a wonderful summer! See you online in the air conditioning!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Quivering Dog

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Completely without significant's a video I took in Ottawa a few weeks ago, of this odd dog, that would slowly become overcome with full body shakes, while his owners looked on. It was an weird sight from the pub terrace.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The US House of Commons rejects Net Neutrality

A dark day is upon the landscape of the internet - as the telecom industry moves to control our free consumption and participation on the internet. The Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE) was passed with a majority of 321 votes to 101 in the US House of Commons. This act will allow telecom companies to regulate the use of the internet, and take the power of grassroots media, and free publishing out of the hands of the user/contributor. writes:
The bill drew overwhelming support from Republican members of the House, with the GOP caucus voting 215-8 in favor of it. But Democrats also favored the proposal, albeit by a narrower vote of 106 to 92. The House's sole independent member, Vermont's Bernie Sanders, a champion of internet freedom who is seeking his state's open Senate seat this fall, voted against the measure.

The fight over net neutrality now moves to the Senate, where Maine Republican Olympia Snowe and North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan have introduced legislation to codify the net neutrality principles of equal and unfettered access to Internet content into federal law. Mark Cooper, the director of research for the Consumers Federation of America, thinks net neutrality will find more friends in the Senate, at least in part because the "Save the Internet" coalition that has grown to include more than 700 groups, 5,000 bloggers and 800,000 individuals is rapidly expanding.

"This coalition will continue to grow, millions of Americans will add their voices, and Congress will not escape the roar of public opinion until Congress passes enforceable net neutrality," says Cooper.

Cooper's correct to be more hopeful about the Senate than the House. But the House vote points up the need to get Democrats united on this issue. There's little question that a united Democratic caucus could combine with principled Republicans in the Senate to defend net neutrality. But if so-called "New Democrats" in the Senate side with the telephone and cable lobbies, the information superhighway will become a toll road.

Check out also Democracy Now! videocast on the subject of our threatened web freedom, and the most powerful citizen tool we have. Also check out "Save the Internet" - and join the movement to stop corporate control of the internet.

back on the vlogan

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It's been a long gap between now and my last vlog - and if I am to keep my vloggler card, and my dignity, I needed to be more caring towards my video element! In all seriousness, I have been neglectful, and here is my attempt to redeem myself - not much substance, except that Deepa Mehta is a wonderful inspiration, and that is a Canadian news portal that is worth checking out.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Lost the desktop blues

So I have neglected my blog for the last little while...because I have been out every night looking for my lost cat, Lazarus - a 2 year old, short haired male brown tabby.

In my neglect of things online - for the more tangible, and furry, I have not corrected a mistake that I made in my last post about North of 9/11, Dave Bernans book about, not Netanyahu protest in 2002 at Concordia, but about the aftermath of September 11th, and its effects and far fetched implications to ConU.

D. Bernans (North of 9/11 author) said...

Great video. Just a note about the novel's plot. It does not cover the period of Sept. 9, 2002. The entire plot takes place between Sept. 11, 2001 and Oct. 9, 2001. So there is no discussion or description of the Netanyahu protests. All the protests in North of 9/11 are about the coming war in Afghanistan (the bombing started on Oct. 8, 2001).

For more info on North of 9/11 please see the publisher's web site

You can also buy the book at the Concordia University Coop Bookstore and other great independent bookstores.

This is post is going to jump around a bit - but back to my cat blues - I was feeling that my neglect to my blog was not helping the cat rescue mission, so I decided to Stumble upon some thing interesting. And, low and behold - Firefox finds me what I needed to apease my gloom, in a real web-way. Check out Desktop Blues and make your own blues riffs and rhythms with a touch of a mouse. Made by Well, it made me feel better - and bluesman, if you see my cat, please strum me an email...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

North of 9/11 book launch

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Dave Bernans launches his novel, North of 9/11 about Concordia University's recent historical event - post 9/11 - when Benjamin Netanyahu came to town, and to our school, in 2002, and many people took to the streets to protest the presence of a war criminal in our hallowed halls of education.  Riot police, broken windows, police brutality, and arrests - this was just the beginning of what was to prove a very interesting, and difficult year for all students, and activists, especially those involved in Middle Eastern politics. 

Bernans' book is about the aftermath of September 9th, 2002 - when Concordia, a university known for its progressiveness and mulit-culturalness, and shut its doors to free thinking, rationality, compassion, and human rights. 

This short video shows Dave Bernans at the Simone de Beauvoir institute, reading a selection from his novel, North of 9/11 published by Cumulus Press, and playing a song - about those times that changed the face of free Concordia.

Monday, May 15, 2006

My guilty pleasure... Ask a Ninja

Thought I'd let you all in on something... I am like so many of you out there, completely taken by the Ask A Ninja vlogcast. I pick it up on my FireAnt media viewer and look forward to each new episode, the catchy theme music, and helpful Ninja tips....

Now that I have got that out of the way - one more geeky confession, I got very excited when I found out that they are attending the Vloggercon 2006 in San Francisco this upcoming June, along with Kent Bye from The Echo Chamber Project. I'd love to go to this conference, but will most likely have to wait till vloggers travel a little more North and little more East. Would love to be there though - so if anyone has an extra plane ticket to S.F. - I'm there!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Death of the Internet - the viral doc

COA News has put out a new v-doc...viral as in spread it, share it, watch it, and talk about here it is...with a short synopsis by Steve from Currents of Awareness below.

The Death of The Internet?

Major telecommunications companies are spending millions lobbing the
congress to make the Internet into a private network. In political
lingo this means abandoning what is called "Net Neutrality". In common
sense terms it's about the government withdrawing our right to Internet
Freedom, it's about the Death of The Internet. This V-Doc. (viral
documentary) is about the current threat to Internet Freedom and how we
can hold on to the open Internet and our right to communicate.

The only way the telecommunications companies will be successful is if
we fail to raise awareness about this situation. If people find out
that we are about to lose our Internet Freedom there is no way they will
allow congress to do this.

This congressional decision will set a monumental precedent, and thus,
impact not just U.S. citizens, but citizens all over world.

Other places you can find Death of The Internet?

You Tube

Windows Media Player Version

BlipTV (Fast)

">AddictiveClips (Faster Loading, Lower Resolution Video)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Meet Beta

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It took a while - but, all (great ideas or) things come to those who, the dog has a name!   Named in a moment of genius by Ezra Winton of uberculture, Beta is the new family member!  So for all of those who know me on a daily basis - ie. those in the English Program cooridor and basement the National Film Board, Quebec centre.  This is a celebratory video from my past birthday - April 29th - of Beta.  It's silly, it's geeky, it's retro media, and completely cyber-fun - Beta has so many great meanings, so here is the namesake!

Meet Beta, and one (maybe) last silly dog video - sorry everyone, I'll try not to become one of those people, who is pet obsessed. 

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Omar from Koumbit

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This past Wednesday, CitizenShift and Parole citoyenne hosted a wicked autonomous media event in Montreal's Societe des Arts Technologiques with guests from all aspects of freeing culture in an interesting bilingual panel discussion. From one blogger's beginnings into the blogosphere, to a creator and advocate of resposible media participation and open source technology (koumbit), to the WEB 2.0, to creative commons, to media power for the disenfranchised (Homeless Nation), to someone from one of the first accessible particpipatory media, and the current radiosphere (Bandaparte)

This is a short clip of Omar, from koumbit - and from their "About" page:

"Koumbit is a non profit organisation whose mission is to promote the appropriation of free, libre and open software by social groups in Quebec, in Canada and abroad.

We work on the development of a collective software platform and we provide support for users of free and open software.

Koumbit is a derivation of the haitian creol word "Konbit" which translates to: association of people towards the realisation of a common goal. "


Friday, April 28, 2006

The new dog....what to name her

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Hmmmmm.....never go to the SPCA and expect to NOT leave with a pet...this is the couldn't resist, had to have her, half basset, half german shepherd girl named.....well, she doesn't have a name yet. Any ideas?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sergio y Vanessa at Diary of a Lost Circus

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This past Earth Day I attended with friend and former colleague, Colleen Ayoup a burlesque show at Petit Campus, called Diary of a Lost Circus. It was quite a smashing little show, with tons of entertaining and diverse acts, from steel guitars to boob tassles (naturally) to mimes, and bag pipes. At times the stage, and ambience of the bar resembled the tinted lantern hues of an opium den, and at other times, a good ol' Nova Scotian ho down... all in all - quality entertainment - with a touch of classless class (or brash class - my fave). There was tons of talent on stage, from across the country - but have to say, my heart goes out to Sergio y Vanessa...the sultry spanish duo - with all their fantastic acrobatics and facial expression....definitly a follow up performance is in order.

WARNING: boobs. butts and mustaches galore.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Grand Central Dancing

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A breakdancing troup, breaks it down in Grand Central Station, New York City - to a large commuting crowd, they show off their talents in true New York style. This is just one more of the interesting detours that NY has to offer its constituents and those who flock to the city looking for some artistic, street flavour.

People breakdancing in a New York subway, to me, is what makes the history, and the trends, music, and style that has originated in this city so unique. This artistic communique and dialogue is media at its realist, grittiest, strongest, and finest. Out of the bubble of the internet that often protects us from direct interaction - here is a dose of culture that is so vibrant, that it makes you stop and take notice...the subway is an art gallery of its own - more modern than MoMA....and a lot less expensive.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Potato peeling vendor in NY

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Just returned from New York city over Easter weekend.  So much to see, so these next few posts will be dedicated to this boistrous city.  We stayed at the Virginia House in Spanish Harlem, a great, vibrant neighbourhood, and had the most wonderful staff, room, and wireless internet (so there was no excuse for me not to be blogging/vlogging...but I still thought that I would save all my tales for when I returned. 

 This is a fun little video from Rob and my first day there, where a smooth talking potato peeler vendor puts on a show to sell his wares. Aparantly he has been selling these little gadgets for 15 years in New York, so next time you are downtown, pick one up...just $5 a piece, or 5 for $20..."they make wonderful gifts...and your friends will think of you eveytime they set foot in the kitchen!"

you can also check out photos on my flickr page and on Rob Maguire's page as well.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Who Owns Culture?

One of my favourite, dedicated Montreal media activists, Patricia Bergeron, the project leader of Parole citoyenne, sent me this video, Who Owns Culture? this is a creative commons film, produced and by Lawerence Lessig, of a speech that he did roughly one year ago, about (of course) the detriment that the old laws of copyright have on our right to freedom/power of creative expression, and open contribution to our culture. He gives a brief history lesson of the "1st Napsters", those technological tools to pirate and/or share creative works of art of others, without paying royalties:

1. player piano companies -were making copies of sheet music - no royalties were paid to the composers
2. radio - broadcast free airwaves of music without paying performers
3. cable tv - antennaes to capture broadcast and sold to their viewers without paying the broadcasters
4. sony beta max - video recorder...basically a machine begging to pirate material.

...and now we have the abundance of digital technology and know-how to share and pirate, and create, and be users, makers, shares, and speakers...

and the past has shown us that when ever there has been a new technology that threatens the copyright law...the law has waited to let the technology evolve, before making an assesment of their destructive qualities ... and the law has always favoured the PIRATE. And, this is because, the positive creative capabilities of the technology have outweighed the destructive ones.

DIGITAL technology is not allowed for this waiting/understanding period - there is an immediate demand, that the NEW techology fit the old law...NOW.

..and, this change from the past, is because it is no longer the CORPORATIONS engaging in piracy - it is the masses, and there has been a push to stop this collective sharing.

Lessig makes it clear that he is against Piracy - that you should not steal the works of artists, but that he is against this "war" on digital technology, and their future creative potential. That these creative tools can and are being used for more than just "hoarding" the artistic property of others, but can be used to make culture, and creatively contribute to our understanding of culture and our surrounds. Especially this boom in re-appropriation, and jamming of mainstream media and culture...the Digital Creativity - remixes and mash-ups, and re-expression of culture, and the tools to share these new creative .

and then he puts it out to us (the contributors!)...that the discussion needs to be turned from the "experts" and that this debate needs to observed in its "natural" techno-online environment, and away from the arguers, and those paid to argue:


- but to listen to the creators, and the future creators.

This is definitly a neat little video, with fun web-famous mashups and remixes included, made by the your average culture contributor and their home computer...who are taking this exciting power of expression and the tools we have, to make them their own shareable contibution and commentary to our culture.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Chin-Yee family fluff

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Making films (and media) will do something to you...or to at least how you interact with the your surroundings. The complete need (and yes, it is totally addictive) to document all things that you do, because they seem to hold some kind of significance, or could at least be interesting to someone (who that is, is often the more grey area of your conviction that there needs to be record of this existing...somewhere), takes a hold of you, and you end up experiencing all moments that seem to be worth remembering, through a screen, with the intension of experiencing later...

all this explanation is overy grandiose (and if you have read this, now you definitly know that you are not in for very much...) to the video that I have put online today...


I was going through old miniDV tapes of mine, without any clue what was on them, and found my documentation of my family (the Nova Scotian Chin-Yees) at Christmas in 2003 - and then skip ahead to last Christmas - 2005, where I had begun my addiction to taping everything on my still digitial camera that has video capacity.

This is dedicated to those that will be entertained, or who at least understand the craziness that is my family, and of course, to the embarressment of my family members.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Autonomous Media : activating resistance and dissent

I recently returned to a favourite book of mine that came out a little less than a year ago, this is Autonomous Media : activating resistance and dissent, self described as, "a collection essays on street-wise, do-it-yourself media projects. Because this book is not just about saying, but is primarily about DOING."

This collection was compiled by local Montreal media activists, Andrea Langlois and Frédéric Dubois, and is a great, cohesive collection of media testimonials and essays of all sorts, on the topic of self represented, local, grassroots media. Filled with useful links, active groups, and ideas for getting involved in your own local initiatives.

I have appropriated this book, as an inspirational commute read, toilet read, and awesome pick me up, when feeling bogged down by the enslaught of corporate media.

I highly recommend everyone to find a copy of this (Cumulus Press book) publication, and also check out their site/blog, made by non-profit web design organization koumbit, also commited to the use of open source software.

Thursday, March 30, 2006's networthy re-birth

Watch the video

This is the love child of Aisling and Ranya - our third year Concordia Communications film (and yes, film, the good, costly stuff...).  ish pokes fun at apathetic, over intellectualizing, over substanced students - who talk the talk (ad nauseum) - but do little to walk the walk (though there are many locations in the short).  A tongue in cheek jab at pop culture, this is the student film to characterize the infamous , and ever present lazy "smart" student, that we all have inside of us...

and of course - doubles as a complicated "how to" manual on the proper way to read an ambiguous flyer in -30 Montreal weather.

shift the collective unconscious...


this is of course shouted out to Kassandra and Davey Havok...

Friday, March 24, 2006

one kind of travelling shot...

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Went on the Bahgdad Twist shoot as line producer on Thursday, march 23.  here's a little snipit of the DOP sitting on the baggage conveyer belt.  This montreal based filmmaker, Joe Balass short film, about his family arriving to Montreal in the 60s to escape persecution as Jewish people in Iraq.

We were shooting on super16mm - with the aaton camera.  An oldie but a goodie, and you still can't beat the beauty of film, and the technical symphony that occurs on set. 

Saturday, March 18, 2006

"I take one step closer to you"

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I attended Michael Franti's show in Montreal's Theatre Outremont last night - St-Paddy's day - where he screened his film I know I'm not Alone, that follows his journey through Baghdad, the Palestinian territories, and Israel to help him understand what life is like for those living in occupation. Franti's peace-sharing, and story-listening journey looks at the devastation of the young, US occupation, and the destruction of Palestine which has been existing for several generations. Armed with his guitar, and musical mesage - Franti gained the trust of many and access to their lives and homes through the universal sharing of music and storytelling, and with his courageous acts of initiating dialogue between conflicting sides.

Following the film, the night continued with a question and answer and then of course music!

In this video - Franti dedicates the song to his friend, Marla Ruzicka, founder of CIVIC worldwide - The campaign for innocent victims of conlict, and who died by a car bombing last April (2005).

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tales from the Public Domain

Now this is neat...and about time, too! It seems like such a no-brainer... a cool comic creative commons/fair use super-hero...fighting against ownership on culture, and its effects in the documentary filmmaking world...

Brought to you by the Duke Law School, Bound By Law? is a fun, informative, and appropriatly placed piece of pop culture, that examines pop culture, and how we, as citizens, and information makers and consumers, are allowed to interact, and/or restricted to interact with our own collectively made culture.

Bound By Law uses documentary filmmaking as a concrete example of how our culture is being hijacked, by the simple fact that to create "reality" or truthfully reflective media - filmmakers (and other documentary media makers) have to constantly question what we are capturing on tape/film...a song playing in a cafe may render your footage unuseable because you cannot afford the copyright. This means that our cultural experience can only be represented by the highest bidder, not to the media maker that wants to show their point of view, or their own social experience.

And, how cool is it to have a kick ass chick fighting for fair use media? I don't think it can get much better than that...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

compressors, trains, and cats in heat. . . .

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My sincerest apologies for neglecting my dear blog - as infant as it is...but I have had a INCREDIBLE amount of work, and other things to attend to... not that this is a possible excuse that I can expect anyone to accept...but alas, is the only one I can offer for my lack of support...hmmm....maybe I should do it slightly better...for those that understand, or even just accept the beaurocratic, fed answer that I am going to offer...the end of fiscal year, is a crazy time!!!!! so here goes, check out this little vid. that I have to show you... nothing much...but a small, but hopefully first of many "aisling (with the help of many knowledgeable and wonderful people)'s first produced (even just associate producer on...) shoot....
my first real "legit" producorial role on set....

Sunday, February 26, 2006

2:30am...minus 20 degrees... and art galleries...bring it on!

Montreal's annual High Lights festival arrived with the signature cold, that every year I also anually ask myself why the hell I am in this god-forsaken ice cube still....and then I take part in only-in-Montreal style activities like last night's all nighter.

Amongst the many activities popping up all over the city - I went to the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal at 2:30am in the freezing cold that characteristicallty grips Montreal each February. In true montrealer form - the place was packed, art-lovers - rosy cheeked from the cold, and pre-boozing - getting too close the art, milling around, and generally having a good time.

Checked out the massive painting/sculpture/metal work of the Anselm Keifer exhibition - its debut in Canada. it was wonderul, with each piece towering higher and larger than the last. The description taken from the MACM newsletter:
"Kiefer is himself a monument in contemporary art. Born in Donaueschingen, Germany, just as the Second World War was ending, he is considered one of the most important and relevant artists of our day. Now based in Barjac, France, he continues to explore the fundamental experiences of human existence through mythology, history and time. To convey these rich historical and philosophical metaphors, Kiefer makes use of highly symbolic materials such as clay, ash, gold leaf, seeds, dried plants and lead."

And of course, amidst the cultural festivities (at 2:30am), you can always count on some goodhearted ol' sign-changin' funness (yes- funness is the appropriate word here...
Here's this "cultural" moment - that you won't find in any art gallery...
click here to see mini-film

Friday, February 17, 2006

PC Revolution 1981

So here's the funny thing, and I know that we all know it, and we all comment on it when it happens. but, damn! How useless am I when I can't use my computer?!

Was at work, and the power goes out, and I realized that the last time I had bothered to write anything down on a piece of paper was...well it, embarrassing actually. and, to go along with my carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrists, I cannot actually write for very least not legibly.

So, not being the only one who felt useless because their whole lives were stored in an electronic box, my work was closed...and ironically I go home and find this little gem from the past:'s flashback the PC revolution 1981

I watched it on my FireAnt video player , which I recommend to anyone to download. It is still in the beta stage - but its great little RSS powered video/vlog player. This great news bit (love D.Rather's hair..) was aired on macTVshow #109.

check it out...the revolution of the "small personal computer"!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Connectivity across borders

The exciting revolution of wireless connectivity is spreading further each day - and more and more organizations are looking in keeping this decentralization of information and communication sustainable. One collective Wireless Networking in the Developing World has written a guide on low cost wireless infrastructure building, that can be downloaded free under creativecommons licence on the website.

"Wireless infrastructure can be built for very little cost compared to traditional wired alternatives. But building wireless networks is only partly about saving money. By providing people in your local community with cheaper and easier access to information, they will directly benefit from what the Internet has to offer. The time and effort saved by having access to the global networkof information translates in to wealth on a local scale, as more work can be done in less time and with less effort. "

also check out Rana Ghose's film How Can Wireless Connectivity be of Use in a Development Context? An Acacia Connectivity Africa Project

This global movement to make connections and access more readily available to rural localities will be interesting and exciting to watch to see how this decentralization of media will change many people's preception of how media can be used, and where it is being used.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

i hope what they say about 1st impressions isn't true...

As the first post - this one will be short and sweet:
Going to break past the natural tendency to introduce myself to you...chances are you did not happen across this blog, but are someone I actively wanted to read it... so me explaining my loves and interests is more than a little futile. Though, for pure egotistical fun (which has a huge role anyway!), it could be entertaining, for me anyway.

1/2 Chinese-Jamaican
1/2 Irish
100% Nova Scotian
100% adopted Montrealer

there, we covered the surface.

how about i answer the question of Why when I come up with something more interesting than, I want to tell you about my day...