I-Days Showcase

www.tru.ca/internationaldays/

The I-Days (March 11-14 2014) is a yearly even which is performed by students of TRU who come from different parts of the world and the country as well. There were variety of performances and even fashion parade of different attires from all over the world.
One of the students I interviewed said:
“It is such a blessing and a privilege for me to be able to connect with other cultures from all over the world. it makes me feel like I have gone all over the world through their eyes.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDQGOs9C2sw&feature=youtube_gdata

 

No Spoilers

I have not watched the second installment of the movie “The Hunger Games” yet, but I have heard from more than a few people about its greatness and how I have to watch it. The Hunger Games for those who don’t know is about last man standing competition, to the death, executed by children.

Since this being one of the “movies of the year”, I have a few friends already asking me to go watch it with  them. But just like the first of this series, I chose not to listen to any details about the movie or watch any reviews. This idea is relevant to the topic of meaning we talked about in class. For the past couple years I have gone into movies with no prior knowledge about them and therefore no expectations. I love it. I have enjoyed movies more and it has helped me make my own opinions about them.

One of the better movies I have done this for is Inception. Although it was hard to avoid the buzz about the movie since many people were talking about it, I went not knowing a thing. Whether it was drama or thriller, love-story or fantasy, or if there was a lesson to be learned. This way of viewing movies and all artistic forms (music, television, books) give you a sense of open mindedness in a world where you are always told what to think and what you are supposed to take from watching or listening to something.

What do you think about this? Is it a waste of money? Should we as viewers always know what kind of movie we’re watching, how good or bad it is, and what the major plot points are before we watch anything? Or is being uninformed a better way?

someday, I wish my name would be found here; What a man can do… you finish the sentence.

Just today, I woke up this morning to read the news, both home and abroad and I bumped into Forbes’ list of richest singers. I know I am the most introvert person I have ever met but I wanna be a triple threat: singer, dancer and actress. I love entertainment so much and to tell you the truth, the only reason I work out in the gym is just because I want to be physically fit enough for my job as an entertainer. so as I was saying, i ran into Forbes’ list of world’s most paid musicians and the richest were women. All those people who consider gender first or under estimate women should take a look at this list. Women topped men and you can imagine Beyonce earned more than Jay Z last year.

culled from Forbes

1. Madonna – $125 million
2. Lady Gaga –  $80 million
3. Bon Jovi – $79 million
4. Toby Keith – $65 million
5. Coldplay – $64 million.
6.  Justin Bieber – $58 million
7. Taylor Swift – $55 million
8. Elton John – $54 million
9. Kenny Chesney – $53 million
9. Beyonce – $53 million (tie)

See the rest after the cut….

11. Sean “Diddy” Combs – $50 million

12. Sir Paul McCartney – $47 million
13. Calvin Harris – $46 million
14. Jennifer Lopez – $45 million
15. Roger Waters – $44 million
16. Muse – $43 million (tie)
16. Rihanna – $43 million (tie)
18. Jay Z – $42 million
18. One Direction – $42 million (tie)
20. Dr. Dre – $40 million
20. Red Hot Chili Peppers ($40 million, tie)
22. Rolling Stones – $39 million (tie)
22. Katy Perry – $39 million (tie)
24. Tim McGraw – $33 million (tie)
25. Pink – $32 million (tie)
25. Tiësto – $32 million (tie)
                              Well, my only wish is to be here, someday.

 

Proud To Be Canadian, Eh?

As most, if not all, of you already know, Toronto’s outstanding mayor Rob Ford has initiated a landfall of media buzz and social site recognition, especially this past week. Almost every day I’m bombarded by shared links and sarcastic statuses on my Facebook wall; Canadian’s reactions from his comments, counter-comments, and witness accounts. Safe to say Rob’s put our proud country on the map for a number of reasons, non of which I’d like to be associated with – but why does it feel like my generation has put him on a pedestal? Is it because he’s not hiding behind lies and fake fronts anymore? Or his open admission to alcohol and drug abuse? Either way, the light we, as a community and country, are putting him in isn’t actually one of disgust and shame, but almost of admiration.

I enjoy a good time just as much as the next person; after a hard week of school and work, who doesn’t want to let loose, even just a little? I do, however, try to keep it tasteful. I know my limit in alcohol consumption (for the most part), and try to surround myself with people I know my mom would approve of. Social status and ‘keeping it classy’ isn’t everything in life, but it does affect the way we perform in academics, our future careers, and, in my opinion, our overall happiness. I feel that Mr.Ford has been dealing with some personal demons, and not in the most reasonable way. I know I can’t be alone in thinking this way, but why then are we celebrating him on social media?

If you don’t agree, or are looking for a cheap laugh (or a career in politics), here’s a link to purchase the tie he wore in his infamous media interview. Honestly….

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford addresses the media while wearing a throwback NFL tie on Tuesday.

Her Loss Their Gain?

I started reading the News this week and realized most of it isn’t as scary or depressing as I once imagined. Although there are a lot of tragedies worldwide, there are many stories, including the one I read today, that surprise me and instil happiness while reading them.

A man and his wife from Connecticut bought a desk off of Craigslist last week. When they got home they realized it would not fit through their door, causing them to dismantle the desk before entering their home. While taking apart the desk they realized something was stuck behind one of the drawers, what they found was unbelievable, what they did after was incredible. A grocery bag full of $100 bills was left inside the desk. The total amount of money in the bag: $98,000!!! Instead of being greedy and keeping it to themselves, they returned the money to the owner of the desk, who had taken her inheritance in cash and hid it in the drawer before forgetting about it. (HOW COULD YOU FORGET WHERE YOU PUT THAT MUCH MONEY!?) 

It reminded me of what we talked about in class: consequentialism (what consequence has the most intrinsic value), egoism (self-interest), universalism (everyones best interest) and altruism (everyone else’s best interest). What avenue would you choose? What best describes this situation? Do you think the fact that the man was a Rabbi had anything to do with their decision? Would you have kept the money (or some) for yourself? Morally I know what I should do, but honestly, it’s hard for me to say what I would have done… Does that make me a bad person?

Here is the news article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/13/man-finds-98000-in-desk-craigslist_n_4266258.html

Hacking the Gate

Steins;Gate is an anime series that deals with the issue of time travel. Okay after reading that sentence you probably laughed at both the words ‘anime’ and ‘time travel’, but that’s fine, I don’t really blame you for that, neither has the best reputation with the population at large. However, Steins;Gate is something special to me, I’ve always been rather fascinated with the possibilities of time travel in narrative (as well as real life, though that’s an entirely different matter) and Steins;Gate handles it very well.

For a little background info: Steins;Gate stars a university student and self-proclaimed mad scientist (his name is Okabe and yes he really does have a few screws loose) who ends up creating a machine that can send text messages back in time entirely by accident. From there Okabe gets wrapped up in not only the consequences of time travel, but also a larger conspiracy and stuggle for the world.

My main love for the show is how well it deals with these consequences. Every change Okabe makes goes entirely unnoticed by anyone else, only he remembers what the world looked like before his meddling. At first he seems to find it a novelty, but with each text sent back his life spirals further and further out of control.

Eventually this climaxes in one of his dearest friends dying repeatedly as he tries every possible way to save her, and yet no matter what he does she seems destined to die. It seems to him the only chance he might have of saving her is to erase every single change he made to the past and turn the world back to the original ‘world line’.

Unfortunately for everyone involved this means another character whose life Okabe unknowingly saved must die when she was ‘destined’ to. Made all the harder by the fact that this character and Okabe have fallen in love. This is all to the backdrop of an evil corporation attempting to use this time travel technology to take over the world of course.

Anyway, themes of destiny and the consequences of your actions for not only yourself but everyone around you are a constant throughout the series. Okabe gets to experience firsthand what it’s like to play God and it certainly does not end up being an enjoyable ordeal for him.

It certainly makes me wonder whether time travel would be worth it, no matter how cool the idea sounds. Perhaps such a power is not meant for mortal hands and mortal minds, for selfish beings such as us. I could even go as far as to wonder if pursuing such technology is ethically sound. What are your thoughts on the matter readers? When should science stop? At what point have we gone too far into the realm of playing God?

Getting Lost in the Story

I’ve noticed recently that in many of my classes, when there’s a lull in discussion or lecture, the first tidbit of chit chat that pops up is “what’re you watching?”. No, I’m not referring to those pupils who are glued to there phones watching the latest YouTube on cats sleeping, but to what television series is (or are) currently capturing all our spare time. Recent discussions have included the final episodes of Dexter and, of course, Breaking Bad, as well as season openers of The Walking Dead and my new favorite, American Horror Story: Coven. 

Personally, I never got into Dexter or Breaking Bad, so I asked one classmate what he thought of them. His response wasn’t one I was expecting. Instead of being excited about the story line, or having something to say about the characters and how they portray different lifestyles and aspects of the human condition, he reflected on how it made him feel. He had watched the first season in the span of a week (much like I’d do if I was late to the party), and said it had altered him. Not only was I caught off guard by his initial response (a guy talking about feelings – really?), he followed it with a comment that really stuck with me. In his experience, watching so much Dexter in a short amount of time had changed how he perceived real life, and he started having dark thoughts and not feeling quite like himself. This resonated with me; just how involved with the story line do we get? Is there a point when we stop questioning what we’re watching, and start working it into our daily life? Do we begin to think that the gruesome, dark scenes that we see on tv are a fact of human life, and not an extreme exaggeration?

This also reminded me about the discussion in class on video games and comics, and how they were blamed for child aggression because they were too gruesome and violent. What are your thoughts on television aggression and human violence off the screen?

Interpretation of Comedy

One of the things that stood out to me when we were discussing meaning was how does this extend to all forms of entertainment. We talked about the reasons we watch all the forms of entertainment. The one segment that I immediately thought about was comedy. The one thing that can cause a stir is everyone’s different sense of humor. People all have a line that they draw on what they can find funny or not. What if something that is not offensive to some, can cross some others own sense of decency.

Some comedians have made the point that all topics of society are fair comedic game, but even in recent day there has been some people who have come out to say that issues such as abortion and rape are off limits. Controversial as it may be, when we look at meaning, should comedians be allowed to talk about whatever they want.

Comedians are known for their sarcastic approach of retelling stories and events. Can they be put under the same questioning of the artists who create their own interpretation of other present-day or historic events. Filmmakers probably are held to a more accountable standard than a comedian would be. But the question remains, where in our society’s perception of meaning do we hold this standard, and can we look at something like comedy, and not take the words of the comedian too literally and become so easily offended.

Hangover Remedy

So I was up all night last night studying for a midterm with the TV on some late night drabble to help make the room seem a little more awake and lively. Around 3am and the third time I’d seen sports centre that night I muted the TV and decided to do some web-browsing hoping to find what? I don’t know, maybe a picture of Ryan Gosling with an award winning smile and some encouraging words written below saying something like “hang in there kitten” but instead I stumbled upon a drink called Last Call. Personally, never heard of this drink before but hey, they have the words “hangover” and “remedy” in the title description for their drink and on their website so I want, need to know whatever this (not to sound like an alcoholic, as I’m writing this while drinking a beer). I don’t know if anyone has watched or still does watch Dragon’s Den but the man that created this product, Bradley Friesen, appeared on the show. His pitch may have been a bit eccentric (or maybe that was just him) but damn was it good; he knew how to capture the rooms attention, get them laughing and engaged and how to sell them on what he had and frankly I’m sold too. I’ll be searching for this product for the next time I’m out enjoying the wild night-life of Kamloops.

Long story short his product will apparently cure you of any hangover you might have had after a night on the town and slamming a few back. It contains a “combination of vitamins, plant extracts and electrolytes” that help to rid your body of a wide range of hangover symptoms. Sounds pretty amazing if you ask me, go out, drink to your heart.. or liver… or wallet is content, get home twist the cap off this bad boy releasing the nutrients and you’re set for the morning.

As Bradley points out in his pitch, drinking is a social activity. We drink when we get a deal done with a client, to celebrate almost anything, to make us better dancers (or so we think), to get to know someone a little better; its part of our culture. So the idea of ridding ourselves of one of the worst parts of drinking aside from the lightening of a wallet is obviously appealing. However aren’t we supposed to be responsible for our actions and suffer the consequences for them in some way? Waking up in your clothes from the previous night, laying on your bedroom (or bathroom) floor or even on your lawn, with the worst pounding in your head you’ve ever felt is definitely not something anyone would want to repeat, this drink is taking that away. There are the obvious positives to this drink (if it really works) but what are the negatives to having a miracle hangover remedy? Are there any? Has anyone tried or heard of this product before?

Link to their page is listed below:

http://www.lastcalldrink.com/

Stranded Alone

So I know this post is coming in a little late, I was in Toronto for the weekend staying in a hotel that was going to charge me $20 for internet use for a 24 hour period. Unfortunately being the stereotypical “broke and starving”, “living paycheck to paycheck” student that I am, it was a little out of my price range. I had a few ideas of things that I thought would help keep me sane and occupied entertainment wise while on this island but the one that stuck out to me the most was the Rules of Engagement tv series. As much as I love How I Met Your Mother, for me I find the raunchy, over the top, verging on being politically incorrect humour of David Spade too much to pass up. Couple that with a sarcastic, slightly misogynistic, dry-humoured husband played by Patrick Warburton whose banters with his wife, Megyn Price, to “win the battle of marriage” and throw in an innocent, naive, somewhat unintelligent but goodhearted man who often gets taken advantage of by his friends and his sweet, down to earth, quick-witted girlfriend and for me that’s a winning cast. I find comedy and humour to be a remedy for any bad day and the best kind of entertainment to take your mind off of troubling issues, even for just a little while. This show constantly does that for me, no matter how often I’ve seen an episode I’m clutching my stomach laughing and gasping in shock at the happenings and situations that these wonderful characters find themselves in.