Olympocalypse! The Colbert Report!

Ever wanted to see The Colbert Report live?

Well, if you can get down to Science World by 9:15AM on Wednesday and Thursday, you can!

Start Time:
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 9:15am
End Time:
Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 9:15pm
Creekside Park next to Science World
The Colbert Report is taping at Creekside Park next to Science World on Wednesday 2/17 and Thursday 2/18 at 10am to a live audience. Please arrive by 9:15am if you would like to participate. Keep in mind there is no parking in the area so public transport is the best option

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Olympocalypse! The Shane!


“We Are More” by Shane Koyczan
When defining Canada
you might list some statistics
you might mention our tallest building
or biggest lake
you might shake a tree in the fall
and call a red leaf Canada
you might rattle off some celebrities
might mention Buffy Sainte-Marie
might even mention the fact that we’ve got a few
Barenaked Ladies
or that we made these crazy things
like zippers
electric cars
and washing machines
when defining Canada
it seems the world’s anthem has been
” been there done that”
and maybe that’s where we used to be at
it’s true
we’ve done and we’ve been
we’ve seen
all the great themes get swallowed up by the machine
and turned into theme parks
but when defining Canada
don’t forget to mention that we have set sparks
Read more

Olympocalypse! The Start!

That’s it! Arnold Schwarzenegger (who campaigned on a platform of taking jobs away from the province he’s worked in several times before – I’m just saying) has the torch, the opening ceremonies are under way, and we’re off to the races… and games… and distances? Is that it – time, goals, and distance? I think that’s right.

– Unless you’ve been asleep today, which I concede is possible, you’ll have heard about Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger. Kumaritashvili came down from the last turn of the track too early, which ran him into the right hand lip of the home stretch – at 134-144+ kph, that resulted in a terrible crash into some support girders. A tragic start to a happy day for a lot of people. To every Twitter wag that had something pithy to say about lugers, bite me.

– The CBC, prior to today’s crash, was already questioning whether an outer limit of safety has been reached in the Olympic games. A similar conversation has been ongoing around the office here – when car racing reached it’s “too dangerous” point, mechanical solutions could be brought into play. Race cars could have their speed delimited, forcing crews to seek strategic advantage through other means (like fuel efficiency, etc.) and engineering could deflect harm away from the driver. None of this is an option in skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, luging and so on. The way to push records and win games is just as much about pushing past safe/sane limits, as it is making the perfect start, finding the perfect line, etc. With a death (and a lot of injuries in the months leading up to the games), I think a lot of discussion will take place on this very subject.

– A happier story. My first year in Vancouver, I got to go listen to fellow Calgarian Tim Tamashiro play at the now gone Babalu Bar. With him were fellow jazz cads, Jamyz Bee and David Pierce. Good company, great show, an all round awesome time. Well, guess who’s the musical director for the Olympics? Tim Tamashiro would be a good guess, given the way I laid this paragraph out, but no, it’s Mr. Pierce. Mr. Tamashiro has a bit to say about his pal, Dave.

id Pierce, Jaymz Bee, Tim Tamashiro

David Pierce, Jaymz Bee, Tim Tamashiro

– Did you miss the torch run? No problem – Flickr is filling up with loooooooots of olympic photos.

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Olympocalypse! The gorging!

Yeah, two posts. So?

This is short though – our friends at Sense and Styles have posted this great look at Capone’s and the push to be an Olympic party point.

Passing through Yaletown today, I noticed a lot of the retaurants there are pulling out all the stops, some even putting up covered tents outside. In fact, I get the impression from VPD recruiting trailers and such, plus its proximity to LiveCity, Yaletown is going to be hopping. Keep that in mind, next time you’re down there and looking for a bite to eat.

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Olympocalypse! The dampening!

I got to check out the Panasonic Pavilion today at LiveCity (aka David Lam Park) and see their exciting 3D technology in action (did you see the Beijing opening ceremonies in 3D – no you did not. But I did) – I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but in the meantime I have to mention something important.

Leave your umbrellas at home!

Not all the time, but LiveCity (and I’m assuming any other outdoor venues that have security gates the public has to pass through to enter) will be searching bags and umbrellas are a no-go. You can’t take them in. They were kind enough to offer to hold mine, but I was there with maybe 100 people, and there were only a couple of temporarily liberated umbrellas – it was easy to retrieve later. I’m not so confident this will happen – or work if it does – during full events.

So, think water proof shells and plastic ponchos.

A couple of things to add to the Olympocalypse post today;

– Twitter hashtags are ramping up. Keep your eye on #Van2010 and #Olympics

– Things just barely started and we’ve had one bomb scare (it wasn’t) at Lonsdale Quay – keep an eye on your stuff. Absentmindedness will get your backpack mangled by a robot! Or blowed up real good!

– An update to yesterday’s post. TravelSmart.ca (which you should all check out – lots of good info) says stopping or driving in the “Olympic” lanes (excepting when you move in just before a right turn) will get you a $100 fine. So, I think the $1000 fine might be something specific to business vehicles – still anecdotal, but fair warning.

– Getting a jump on all the protests that are expected tomorrow, InSite got in the Prime Minister’s face (figuratively) today. Message sent (keep safe injection sits open) and nobody hurt – let’s file that under win-win, and see if we can’t keep it that way for the next few weeks.

– A new Fat Burger has opened on Broadways. This has nothing to do with the Olympics, it’s just really close and tempting…

Olympocalypse! The Beginning!

Like it or lump it, the Olympics are here and the city will never be the same. I wasn’t going to start this, hopefully, ongoing feature until later tomorrow, after I’ve had a chance to check out the Panasonic Pavillion and their swank 3D technology, but already the tales are upon us and it’s time to catalog them;

– Word is the events are being broadcast in HD, for free, to anyone with an HD TV and a little tinkering. I’m trying to find out more, but in the meantime, has anybody heard of this, or is this the topical equivalent of “Email this to 10 friends and Bill Gates will buy you lunch?”

– Not everything during the Olympics costs money or requires a lottery draw! Check out Where 2 Be For Free! Free Wilco concert on Saturday! Robson Square has a zip-line! And more!

photo by drowcliffe

– Have you seen those big, red, no stopping bags dropped over parking meters (like on the Broadway corridor or Main Street)? Well, they mean it. One part security and one part keeping a lane open for critical bus lines, the city is enforcing their temporary no-stopping policy with a (get ready) $1000 fine. I found this out from a local business who’s deliveries got upset by the truck’s inability to stop right out front of the store.

– That helicopter is keeping me up at night. I’m just saying.

– UBC students are getting some time off. Which seems a considerable road bump mid-semester. I haven’t heard any information about how the departments are taking this into account, but at least Greek row has figured out how to capitalize on the events.

– Olympics, this is the Internets. Internets, these are the Olympics. And hilarity ensues, as Pedo Bear becomes the unofficial fifth mascot for the Vancouver Olympics. Take THAT, Hidy and Howdy!

OK, there’s lots going on – what have you seen or heard? Send in your Olympic links and tales.

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Thursday, February 11th – torch arrives, route announced

It’s never fun when the title of a post encompasses the sum total of information, but that’s the case here. Next Thursday, the Olympic torch hits town – if you’d like to see it run by, route and times have been released online. It’s a fairly clever route, that seems to provide ample viewing opportunities without having to travel too far (unless you live above or below Vancouver, otherwise you’re making a trip no matter what – bring lunch.)

Vancouver SkeptiCamp 2010 taking registrations

Are you a critical thinker looking to meet with like minded individuals to share information and good conversation? Are you a self-righteous windbag who knows it all and is looking for real-world validation over your usual Internet diatribes? Well get ready, cuz Vancouver SkeptiCamp is coming to UBC. Saturday, March 20th if you’re the former. Saturday, March 27th if you’re the later – don’t worry if no one is there, it’s only because they’re intimidated by you.

SkeptiCamps are informal, community-organized conferences borne from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. Everyone from casual skeptics to the experienced participate, give talks and get to know each other.

Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Location: UBC’s Victoria Learning Theatre (Room 182) at Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, Vancouver [map]

Speakers: Anyone can volunteer to give a talk, but space is limited. Talks can be as short as 5 minutes, or as long as 20 minutes, but there’s always an opportunity for questions and audience interaction during and after the presentation. Register now and indicate your desire to give a presentation and email us your intended topic. Do you know an interesting speaker? Get them to register!
Admission: Free, but space is limited. Register by email now to guarantee your spot.
T-shirts: $10 for those who register early and email us their shirt size preference. Extra shirts may also be available at the event for a slightly higher price.
Wifi Internet: Free for anyone who registers and requests access, emailing us their full name, email address and telephone number.
Registration: Email vancouverskepticamp@gmail.com

Feel free to Twitter during the event and post photos to Flickr. Use the tag “VanSkeptiCamp” so others can search for your tweets and pictures.
This will be Vancouver’s third SkeptiCamp event, and we expect it to be the biggest and best yet. Come out to see and hear local skeptics give presentations, perform demonstrations, and discuss a wide range of topics related to science, skepticism, and critical thinking. Your participation will help make this event a success.

For those now scratching their heads, here is a definition of Skepticism.

Warner production takes over my street

It’s a little self-indulgent, but then, the filming of the CW show, Life Unexpected, is literally across the street from my place; I don’t know if a post about it is indulgent or unavoidable.

The people across the way basically got their house overhauled, on the outside at least, all on Warner’s dime – the only cost to them is having to go stay at a hotel every once and awhile.

Click to upsizen

Click to upsizen

The crew was still setting up in the morning before this photo, and as I left for work I passed by the location manager, who I’d spoken to before, during the early days of prepping the property – she gave a friendly smile and hello, but I’m pretty sure all she got back was a cold, blank, bleary-eyed, half-awake stare. Poor thing.

Anybody else getting a lot of production in their neighbourhood? I wonder what will happen when the Olympics butt heads with Hollywood.

Vancouver, in high-def and time-lapse, equals beauty.

I wish, I WISH, I could embed video into Metblog posts, but lacking that ability, please go here

The Innerlife Project has released their first, and hopefully not their last, video piece, blending HD time-lapse video of Vancouver and a dreamy ambient soundtrack into a love letter to the city. When people ask me why I moved to Vancouver, I’ll have to remember to send this to them.

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Indie I Do post-event report

Senses and Style was at the previously mentioned Indie I Do and reported on it, complete with some great pictures. If you weren’t able to make it, or if you were and want to share with others, check out their post!

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Duthie books to shutter after 53 years

I remember way back when, after first moving to Vancouver, buying books meant one of two things; Granville Books or the Duthie Books at Hornby and Robson. I also remember when the big chains showed up, Amazon.com went online, and Duthie started closing up stores.

Then an equilibrium was found. Duthie ruled Kits at their 4th Street location for a long time, but that’s coming to an end. Citing being unable to compete price-wise and the beginning shift away from hardcopy to digital readers, the 4th street location will soon shut its doors forever.

We are closing now while we can do so in an orderly fashion and not under any pressure from banks or suppliers. Duthies went through a radical restructuring 10 years ago and frankly, we do not want to go through that again.

Our last annual sale starts Thursday January 28 with 40% off everything and further reductions in the following weeks. Please use your gift certificates before the end of February.

Anybody wishing to shop for old times sake (and to ensure a few books don’t end up being sold by weight to a discount book store), should make a note and check out the annual sale.

[VIA Miss 604]

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Red Bull gives you wings – you bring the skates

Untitled-1Have you seen that short, very minimal commercial with a bunch of hockey players racing down a track in Quebec City? That’s Crashed Ice, a Red Bull sponsored extreme sport. (Update: between the time I wrote this and it being posted, Red Bull started running a new commercial, which is louder and explicit. Just pretend I mentioned whichever one you have actually seen.)

I kind of like the idea – I think a lot of Canadians could get into it. It’s fast, there are spills and chills, and while most of us have left our elite puck-handling days behind us, somewhere deep down inside a lot of us probably believe we could participate in a sport that rewards simple durability on skates. Heck, you even get to wear full hockey gear!

But how does an average Joe or Jane get to become an extreme sportsman/sportswoman like that?

Why, you try out.

Up until January 24th (11:59 pm EST) you can enter in a lottery draw to participate in one of 11 qualifying events across Canada, with winners going on to compete in Quebec City in March. And just in case, some entrants will win a trip to Quebec just to watch – so, worse comes to worse, you get a trip out of it I guess.

If you want a taste, you can always tune into the live webcast of the Crashed Ice finals in Munich, tomorrow. Or have a look at this video from last year’s championship.

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Space Madness 3

n109981514954_3922I saw the poster for this on a lamppost (who says those things don’t work?)

We’ll be decking out the Sanctuary Mothership known as the Club 23 West with a crazy sci-fi future & retro atmosphere, and we highly encourage everyone to step up and get together a crazy outfit to match the theme! It can be as simple as a glow in the dark t-shirt or a coupla LED pins, or as elaborate as a full-on Barbarella space vixen B-movie fetish outfit or cyber warrior!

DJs PANDEMONIUM & R-LEX Delivering that Death Ray Rotisserie of dance floor alternative, electro, new wave, 80’s & 90’s, industrial, ebm & more!


– $6 dressed sci-fi / with flyer
– $8 no flyer / plainclothes

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Indie I Do – Vancouver’s 2nd annual alternative wedding show

indie_banner_webVancouver, at least to a larger degree than most cities in Canada, isn’t a traditional wedding kind of town. And by traditional, I mean, the consumerized* “traditional”. Tuxes and white gowns and cake and flowers, etc. Not that these aren’t fine options, but this is a town where a lot of people already have an alternate take on traditional; traditional Chinese weddings, traditional Hindu weddings, etc. Let’s put it this way – the last wedding I went to was at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens, the bride wore white, then switched to red after for pictures, and the groom wore a kilt. It’s a mash-up kind of town.

And that’s before you get to the couples that wouldn’t be caught dead in a tux and gown, and are looking for something different.

So, one might say it’s long overdue that someone put on an alternative wedding show – enter, Indie I Do.

Brides and grooms who have a hard time finding the perfect item for their wedding will breathe a sigh of relief when they attend the second annual Indie I Do wedding event, being held at the Heritage Hall on Saturday, January 23, 2010.

Catering to a diverse crowd, Indie I Do promises something for everyone – be it an off beat theme wedding, same sex do, or simply a traditional couple looking to add a touch of their own unique personalities into their event.

Join the Indie I Do revolution! Buy your tickets now and don’t forget to join us on facebook.

See you at the show!

[VIA Senses and Styles]

*I made a word!

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