Thursday, July 31, 2008
Let it be known, The Dairy Farmers of Canada know how to throw down!
With summer long weekends comes drinking, more drinking and behaviour that can land you in a spot of bother. With that in mind, I share with you an ingenious invention specifically designed to help you avoid being caught (or at least identified) in an embarrassing situation. In the age of camera/video phones and YouTube you can never be too careful. Wishing Fish has got your back with their specially designed black bar sunglasses.
Party on, Garth.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So, first they offer their latest album as a pay-what-you-want download from their website [note: they don't have a record contract at the moment so it affords them a certain amount of freedom that other bands don't have; to be fair, those with record contracts derive a certain amount of comfort from getting paid by the record company]. This gathered HUGE amounts of media coverage and was, in their words, a great "social experiment". When the album was released on iTunes and in CD and other formats, they still sold a lot of records. Whatever sales they lost were probably more than made up for by a return to relevance.
And now they are playing with the music video format with their new video for 'House of Cards'. This video was shot using lasers instead of cameras. Radiohead used Geometric Informatics and Velodyne Lidar technology which is basically 3D scanning or motion capture. The system involves the use of 64 rotating lasers. It is pretty freaky to watch, if not particularly interesting.
There is also a "Behind the Scenes" video on their YouTube site that talks about how the video was made, how the idea for it came about, etc.
Unquestionably this video is groundbreaking in its use of technology and Radiohead is now not limiting themselves to just their actual music in their innovation. The bigger issue for me is, while boundaries are definitely being pushed, is the resulting art any good?
Monday, July 28, 2008
"Ever since Budweiser was sold to Belgian brewing monster InBev on Sunday, beer drinkers have been sighing that a piece of Americana has been lost. They've got it all wrong. During its rise to President for Life of Beers, Budweiser ended up crushing dozens of local brands that formed part of this country's colorful drinking heritage."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Heath Ledger is excellent as the Joker. He completely disappears in the role and is very compelling. Oscar worthy? I'm not so sure. For my money Aaron Eckhart is the star of the movie as Harvey Dent -- the "I believe in Harvey Dent" slogan seems tailor made to be reused for a supporting actor nomination bid. Interestingly, Batman himself is almost a secondary character in this movie as he keeps to the shadows. And that bring me to my only real complaint about TDK: It is very dark. Not in tone (which it is), but visually. A dark screen with your protagonist dressed all in black can make it difficult to see what is going on in the fast, jump cut fight scenes. Anyway, a minor complaint and I think the effect was probably intentional.
Oh yeah, and what was with all the 'dog' metaphors? Yes, the Joker is a 'dog let off his leash' but it seemed like overkill. Still, go see it. The Joker says Gotham deserves a better class of criminal and he's going to give it to them. Well, you deserve a better class of superhero movie and The Dark Knight gives it to you.
I said to LM just after Nadal had won the 5th set at Wimbledon that this was the beginning of the end for Federer. She scoffed and rightly pointed out that he was still number 1 in the world. Fair enough, but the end can come quickly. Federer looked like his classy self in dominating the first set against Simon, but then the uncharacteristic unforced errors – particularly on the forehand where he shanked a number of shots – started to pile up. He also struggled mightily on his serve and then, suddenly, a third set seemed possible and finally, a reality.
Still, Federer came out guns ablazin’ in the third set and seemed poised for a 4-1 lead which we then assumed would quickly be a 6-1 set. Alas, it wasn’t to be and we had an all-time upset on our hands. The most damning piece of evidence for me was that, on the court, Federer seemed somewhat disinterested. Sure, he competed but there was a general malaise to his game. He was able to turn it on at times, but on the whole he just seemed off the pace.
Beginning of the end or just an annus horribus that can be redeemed at the US Open in September and/or with a fresh start in 2009?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
- The Perceptive Travel Blog - posts, recommendations, photo contests and a nice logo
- Perceptive Travel Magazine - the best travel stories from authors on the move
- My Travel Backpack - have backpack, will travel
- Cheapest Destinations - Bargain destinations, vacation values, and international travel adventures.
- Travel Rants - rants and complaints about things you've likely ranted and complained about; travel tips, photos, etc.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
A famous British socialite once claimed that she never turns right when boarding an aircraft. We do - you can find us on seat 32E, nibbling salty nuts and fighting for elbow room. Sometimes we like posh lounge restaurants and sometimes we fall out of taxis! Wherever we are, we enjoy good friends, fashion, design, architecture, exciting art studios, concept restaurants and music gigs. Turnleft is a series of insiders' guides with great tips to the local scene. All our guides are free and edited independently.All that and they are always looking for contributors.
Turnleft is a new series of free city guides for urban travellers. Meticulously researched and beautifully designed, our guides are ideal for finding your bearings on a short trip or catching up on the latest in a city. We publish quarterly, ensuring fresh local content, and we are proud to enlist the help of the best-connected locals for each new edition. We distribute in art spaces, stores and bars. Grab a copy, it's free!
Coming soon: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris.
Storage costs for your money threatening to put you in the poor house? Your bulging wallet putting unnecessary wear and tear on the pockets of your designer pants? Well, I might have just the thing for you. From TrendHunter Magazine, here are the Top 30 Hip Hotels for 2008. I love the ‘Death Star’. Screw the French countryside, I know where I’m off to the next time I'm able to travel….
If those exotic hotels are hot and sexy enough for you, consult Concierge’s just released World’s Sexiest Beaches 2008 list. These beaches are so hot the already barely-there-bikinis literally melt off the women in the afternoon sun. And everyone is fit, healthy and friendly and eager to make your acquaintance. True story.
As a community we strive to do our individual and collective parts to make the world a better place, and we believe that the surfing of couches is a means to accomplish this goal. CouchSurfing isn't about the furniture- it's not just about finding free accommodations around the world- it's about participating in creating a better world. We strive to make a better world by opening our homes, our hearts, and our lives. We open our minds and welcome the knowledge that cultural exchange makes available. We create deep and meaningful connections that cross oceans, continents and cultures. CouchSurfing wants to change not only the way we travel, but how we relate to the world!
2. And from the neo-hippie vibe of CouchSurfing to the ultra hip 'travel mixologists' of Urbane Nomads…. While the goals of both the Urbane Nomad and the CouchSurfer are essentially the same - a meaningful travel experience that gets far beyond the traditional tourist package - it is hard to imagine their ethos being more different. If you’re bored with brunch in Barcelona, drinks in Dubai, and nightclubbing in Negril and are looking for something so fresh and so clean (polo in Pakistan?), I give you, Urbane Nomads. From their website (you can't make this stuff up):
Calling ourselves 'travel mixologists', we've served up interesting itineraries for you to choose from- all of which are available for tweaking and embellishments whilst keeping the main ingredients.
Beautifully-themed journeys for you to choose from and to tweak according to your predilections. We believe there are different ways to 'do' any particular country; taking in different sights, going on different activities and taking the pressure off the typical must-do travel list.
The Urbane Nomad keenly seeks the best that travel has to offer-keenly seeking out exciting design hotels with its associated mod cons, the most unique travel experiences in localities yet to be discovered by the masses or experiencing a favoured tourist destination on an entirely different level. Yet there is a concern and responsibility that the Urbane Nomad seeks to fulfil; favouring hotels with enlightened management and an architectural style respectful of its surroundings, whilst learning the cultural and political dialectics of the place.
Urbane Nomads offers interesting travel experiences, proffering locations and accompanying experiences that re-define 'the ultimate travel experience'. Our travel experiences go beyond the almost-clichéd 'ski in the morning, swim in the Mediterranean sea by afternoon' itinerary, nor is it just about holing up in a luxury resort in a remote area; completely oblivious to the lifestyle of surrounding locals. The prototypical Urbane Nomad can be found living it up in a sybaritic town of Latin America one holiday and roughing it out in an eco-resort (sans mod cons) in an undeveloped city the next. Whilst fully revelling in the mod cons of luxurious, well-designed hotels around the world, the Urbane Nomad is too aware of the potential pitfalls of the homogenous 5-star accommodation; one of the ironies of luxury travel. Mere tourists, holed up in the chic boite of their luxury resort hotel, unable to discern their location from the environment that this same resort and others like it creates, is a demographical stereotype and experience that the Urbane Nomad seeks to avoid. Taking an active interest in the culture and history of the area (which goes beyond watching a 'native' dance staged with the tourist in mind), the Urbane Nomad seeks out intelligent tours that go under the skin of the place.
To this end, we are offering scholar-led tours for certain destinations and alternative experiences even for the most prominently featured localities on the tourist agenda. Be it a surprisingly tranquil retreat from the chaos of touristy Bangkok or watching a no-rules polo match in the highest peaks of (a much less-touristy) Pakistan, Urbane Nomads seeks to create interesting, alternative travel experiences for the prototypical Urbane Nomad.
Travel Mixology - adding science to art. True to the strain of Ferran Adria's 'molecular gastronomy' in the field of food-as-entertainment, Urbane Nomads has applied the same concept to the travel industry. Serving up beautifully-themed journeys, add more favoured elements, detract or embellish upon an itinerary revolving around a particular theme. Have fun, whilst keeping to the essence of the trip.
1. Need travel inspiration? Let Travel Muse be your, um, muse. Whether it is daytripping in Uruguay or arting around on the turquoise trail in New Mexico, Travel Muse likely has something for you. From their website:
Whether you are looking for destination ideas on where to take your next family vacation or you have all the details figured out, TravelMuse makes the entire planning process easy for you. TravelMuse combines original editorial content and destination city guides with powerful planning tools. Our beta site currently allows you to:
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Make sure you pack the right swim trunks. No need to send me a photo.
Friday, July 18, 2008
- Very grandiose
- Lots of links that take you lots of places, including how to get laid in Buenos Aires
- I haven't spent much time on it, but 'The Traveler's Notebook' looks like a pretty cool website
- I could have ripped off this website for all my Travel Week posts
- You can start your own travel blog
- Not exactly budget travel
- I didn't discover this website until Travel Week was over half done
- You can start your own travel blog
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Of course, that would be buying a ticket and going to see 'The Dark Knight' this weekend, or on Monday when the crowds subside somewhat. Or, if you are really lazy, cheap or afraid of crowds and/or fanboys, order 'Batman Begins' from Zip.ca, turn up the a/c and order in Thai food.
The second best way to see Gotham would be to visit Chicago. The Second City. The Windy Apple (um??). Chi-town stands in for Gotham in the latest Batman movie (in a Globe & Mail interview, star Christian Bale can't stop talking about the stunt that saw him standing on the upper-edge of the Sears Tower).
If you are wondering how The Dark Knight can possibly live up to the hype, I leave you with Jesse Wente''s comments from his CBC Radio One review:
In addition to praising the late Heath Ledger's performance as the best and scariest Joker ever, he sums up the film thusly, "This is definitely the best superhero movie ever made."
Le Cool attempts to address this interesting dilemma: Lonely Planet and their ilk are great the first time you visit a spot, and adequately flag the "must see" attractions (e.g. in London: Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben). But what happens the next time you visit that city and you've already seen the tourist attractions? How do you crack the city code and get to the good stuff? The local stuff?
Well, I suppose you could pick up the local "Time Out" or something similar but the Le Cool books are more geared to the traveler; whereas those local guides are more geared to, well, locals.
Here's some additional information on Le Cool, the self-described "Series of weird and wonderful guide books", from their website:
Le Cool travel book series. Current cities includes: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lisbon, London and Madrid.
These are not ordinary guidebooks. LE COOL works with local editors, writers, photographers, illustrators and designers to create unique books that truly reflect the experience of each city.
Completely independent, we don't care about the hippest or the latest, we just work to hunt down the most incredible experiences we can find. And we never, ever accept payment or favours in return for content.
LE COOL PUBLISHING started in 2003 with a weekly email magazine in Barcelona. It's a funky agenda and a guide to the city's cultural life, a good friend who's always in the know. Now we publish online guides in eight cities around Europe, as well as print magazines and books. This is just the beginning.
“The guidebook for people who hate guidebooks”
“The travel guide for the been-there, done-that set”
New York Times
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
All this time was Axl waiting for the Beijing Olympics to arrive before releasing the "greatest album of all time"? If so, shouldn't he be releasing it on August 8, 2008 (8/8/08)?? Will it be an important statement on world politics and democracy in the 21st century??? Or will it be about running from the cops, partying, paranoia and the perils of rock 'n roll decadence, themes previously explored in detail on earlier albums? We wait with bated breath.
Source: The New York Times
a) Everyone wants to know how to get to Sesame Street (how to get to Sesame Street, how to get to Sesame Street, how to get to....). Why wouldn't you want to go there? I've heard that the air is sweet.
b) Feist's appearance on Sesame Street is awesome and is going to go viral, so it couldn't wait any longer. [My apologies in advance for this song being stuck in your head for the next 4 hours; a possible remedy would be listening to Weezer's 'Pork & Beans', although a few hours from now you'll undoubtedly need a remedy for that.... Have you heard Feist's song on Sesame Street...?]
If the video doesn't load, click here to watch it.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
All that is for another day. Today is about drinking while traveling [stories about being brought back to Youth Hostels by the police, sleeping under beds, the Calamari Standard, singing 'me gusta mueve mueve' and anything involving the aptly named Absento will be reserved for a more appropriate setting -- you know who you are].
A Pub Crawl Around The World - nice props to Toronto here!
How to Say “One More Beer, Please” in 50 Different Languages
Ian Wright on the Pub Crawl - "A pub is just an extension of normal living, not some stale, lifeless room that feels like an art gallery with drinks."
Monday, July 14, 2008
- The Motorcycle Diaries
- Everything Is Illuminated
- Into the Wild
- Y Tu Mama Tambien
- The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
- Endless Summer
- Before Sunrise
- Before Sunset
- Central Station
Sunday, July 13, 2008
You may have seen this a couple of weeks ago in the NY Times or this weekend in the Globe & Mail’s Report on Business. In case you don’t read those publications, or blew by the article in the ROB to the more august articles about the iPhone frenzy and airline expansion/trouble read on for a remarkable tale and fun video. Hell, even if you did see the articles, read on anyway.
Here’s Matt’s backstory (his site sometimes loads slowly, so be patient). It is a pretty remarkable tale about travel, goofy behaviour and the power of the interweb. I wish I'd done this... ah well, a different time and age, I'm afraid.
[Coxy – this puts the Elvis poses to shame… although they’d still make a good photo essay. Note to self on photo side project.]
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Do you use oh-so-clever phrases such as "let's ask the internet", "if only there was a magic box that could tell us the answer... oh wait, there is", or my own personal favourite, "working The Google".
If so, you may want answers to the following questions:
a) Is Google making us stupid?
b) Do androids dream of electric sheep?
One of these questions is tackled in the cover story of the July/August 2008 Atlantic Monthly.
Friday, July 11, 2008
The next time you're out at a concert, hanging out in Trinity-Bellwoods Park or wandering Queen Street West (or West Queen West, or Ossington, etc.), bring this handy little BINGO card with you for some good times. Because as they say, if you can't laugh at yourself, at least laugh at somebody else. [I'm sure someone said that sometime somewhere. You know that guy at the party, in the black shirt and jeans? Not him, the other one. Might have been him. Or not.]
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Here's the official Shit Box Press Release:The festival season is upon us again and this years must-have/essential item is the aptly named Shit Box!
As the name implies Shit Box is a lightweight portable cardboard toilet, made specifically for outdoor use. The concept is simple the box pops up from its convenient 14” flat pack to a rigid reusable box, you pop in a degradable poo bag, do you business, seal and dispose of (responsibly of course!), and off you go.
Although originally designed for the nightmare that is the British festival toilets, Shit Box can be used for camping, building sites, fishing, travelling and kids caught short.
This eco friendly toilet is the creation of Richard Wharton whose personal experience with festival toilets lead him on a quest to design an alternative you could use in your own space, and that was both cheap, portable and non chemical.
Wharton’s quest dates back to Glastonbury in 1989 when he simply couldn’t face another trip to the “long drop” toilets, after three days you can imagine the carnage. Inside his tent was a Kleenex tissue box and this set him thinking that if this was larger and sturdier you could put a bag inside and hey presto you’ve got your own private John.
Almost 20 years on and after many proto-types Shit Box has finally arrived. The reason it took so long to come to fruition is because Wharton was busy with his ‘day job’. As founder and creator of renowned high street fashion footwear chain “Office” and its other facias Offspring, Poste and Poste Mistress, Wharton achieved great sucess and international aclaim as well as numerous industry awards. He was listed as one of the worlds most influentail people in fashion by Elle magazine and broke the mould with his style of retailing. Two years ago he sold up to spend more time with his family and concentrate on The Box idea.The Shit Box at Glastonbury.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Why are Farmer's Markets so popular, you ask? Well, for an answer to that you need go no further than an old posting on this site that linked to Stuff White People Like.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Have you ever wanted a better way to:
- See what your friends are reading?
- Keep track of what you've read and what you'd like to read?
- Get great book recommendations from people you know
Well, now there is an easy way to do that with Good Reads.
If you want to see my Good Reads page click here. (Make fun of my book selections at your peril you heartless b*stards!! Thanks for reading!)
And remember, if you can't be a book, read one. Huh??
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
1. Bon Cop Bad Cop
2. Hard Core Logo
3. Whale Music
4. The Red Violin
5. Strange Brew
No dark and brooding Cronenberg or Egoyan movies allowed on July 1st.