Archive for May, 2006

Media deathwatch: bad MOJO

logo_new.gifMOJO 730, an AM sports radio station, has had its format changed. 24 Hours is reporting that starting Monday, the new format will be continuous traffic reports during rush hours, and re-runs of CKNW’s talk radio the rest of time.

In other words, Corus has fired the talent and are passing the savings on to themselves.
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As if Canadian TV could get any weirder. . . .

. . . the CBC is premiering a new animated series called “What It’s Like Being Alone.” Official website here and here.

Think Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love meets Roman Dirge’s “Lenore” comic books, all set in a remote orphanage.

Despite the fact that I have neither cable nor any television reception at home (my TV is essentially a monitor for my DVD player), this is something I would consider re-establishing the cable in order to watch, assuming it pans out to be as interesting as the marketing materials make it seem.

CBC has taken an interesting marketing approach for the new series, which, in addition to the catchy posters scattered around downtown, consists of:

  • a blog for one character
  • a flickr profile for another
  • a MySpace page for yet another
  • one more MySpace page
  • a YouTube profile with some movies
  • They’re definitely going for the younger crowd with this one.

    All I Want for Christmas . . . is a Hippo Home

    The top stories in the news this morning all focus around Hazina the hippo’s continuing lack of a new home. [News 1130, CBC News]

    Even despite the $10,000 paycheque from TELUS for Hazina’s holiday acting performance, earmarked to speed along the creation of adequate facilities for the young hippo, the Greater Vancouver Zoo still hasn’t followed through, but claims the new habitat is due to be completed next month.

    The SPCA claims that the completion of the new facility doesn’t excuse the zoo from the 19 months of inadequate housing the baby hippo has had so far, which have contributed to weak knees and joints in the hippo due to having to support her full weight in a wading pond too shallow to float in. Hazina has also suffered loneliness from being the only hippo at the zoo. The SPCA considers the premature deaths of four previous hippos at the zoo to be an indication that something needs to change and that the zoo’s list of excuses has run out.

    There’s no information so far if or when the hippo will be removed from the zoo, pending the outcome of the charges.

    What do you think? Should the SPCA have waited the one more month until the new hippo habitat is complete?

    On the other hand, should the SPCA have said something two years ago, when the zoo was arranging to adopt the hippo without adequate facilities in the first place? Or even earlier with the deaths of the previous animals?

    If the zoo is fined, is this better or worse for the hippo in the long run? If the hippo is taken from the zoo, where should she be sent?

    The secret life of utility poles

    poletag.jpg
    Photo: Denis Cousineau

    A picture in the Metroblogging Vancouver flickr pool reminded me of something my father had told me, and that led me down a few odd paths to discover some poorly-documented stuff. But here’s the short version: utility poles can serve as the poor man’s urban GPS. Amaze your friends.
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    Photo nerdery + UBC = Autostitch


    Autostitched panoramic photo: castewar, who suggested this story.

    Once again, I am missing my trusty digital camera, which is currently vacationing in Greece. The particular reason this time is because I have been directed to a free photo stitching utility called Autostitch, which was created by Matthew Brown and David Lowe at UBC, automatically assembles panoramic images from your photos, and looks like a ton of fun.
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    In-your-face Nature

    Last year it was hydrangeas. This year it’s azaleas (that I briefly called “flowerballs” while their real name eluded me). Each year I pick a bloom that I see around this city to go very nutty over.

    I’ve developed this inadvertant custom of taking a walkabout on 16th Avenue every two months and marvelling at how new blooms come to the forefront and burst with their colour. In fact, even my five-minute walk to work through Hospital District – admittedly a dreary area – has seen pink cherry blossoms and fragrant magnolias come and fade and give way to fuschia-red azaleas and huge holly bushes.

    In my most recent walkabout, I found more specimens that aggravatingly I cannot identify: purple-leaved plants, orange flowers with petals delicate-looking like tissue paper, and “the coin plant” which has really flat round leaves rimmed with silver and with ribbings looking like cacti. Surely anyone else knows more than I do about plant species….

    Souvenir of Canada: The Movie

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    Excuse me, why was I not informed?! Douglas Coupland’s book Souvenir of Canada has apparently been made into a film, and I only found out because I was randomly surfing through our blogroll, and stumbled on the Vancouver Canucks Op Ed entry about it.

    It’s playing at the Fifth Ave cinema this week. Please go now. Trailers, et cetera at the official website.
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    Equal Time: picking on Hedy Fry

    My last entry here discussed some grandstanding by the PM on street racing. But in an effort to give similar time to similar folly, I present the MP for Vancouver Centre, Hedy Fry, dealing in stupidity on the subject of prostitution.
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    X-Men: The First Show


    Wolverine / Logan

    Originally uploaded by JackySee.

    Who else saw the first screening(s) at midnight?

    Who else went to the theatre at 10 p.m. and waited in line from 11 p.m. that snaked down two stories of stairs to the main floor of International Village?

    Who else stayed until the credits were done and cheered at the sight of the credits, “Filmed in part at Vancouver Film Studios“?

    Who else will have to suffice on four hours of sleep on Friday’s workday….?

    Yeah, it rocked.

    Looking Tough on Crime


    Photo: Jeffery Simpson

    Prime Minister Harper was in town today to announce that Canada was about to become an even less pleasant place to be a street racer. And hey, that’s a pretty hard thing to be against, eh? And yet, I am.
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