Saturday, April 28, 2007

TFC On Demand

If you missed Toronto FC's home opener this afternoon, you can watch the game in it's entirety on CBC's website. The match was streamed over the internet and has been archived here. Best of all, it's free to watch.

From the looks of things, it appears the CBC will do this for all TFC and Major League Soccer telecasts.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Al Jazzera English Now Available

Via the Hour's Blog. Despite the (doubtless politically motivated) decision of Cable and Sattelite providers not to carry it, you can now see English Al Jazeera on their YouTube Channel - ain't the Internet grand?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's Always Game Time

For the last few years, the Blue Jays have used a marketing campaign, showing how the players are always ready to play, whether it's on the field or off it.

Out of all the advertisements, this one is my favourite. It features first baseman, Lyle Overbay, who in my opinion, is one of the most underrated players in baseball. However, that has nothing to do with the ad.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Harper Hates Books

According to an article on Margaret Atwood has acussed the Harper Government of trying to squash the arts, especially the literary arts.
"They basically just hate us," she said in an interview with CBC Radio. "You know it’s people who have never seen any arts in their own lives — they would rather not have gardens, they would rather have parking lots. They just think it’s a frill probably."

According to the Writers Uniion of Canada, in 2002 cultural industries were responsible for more of Canada's Gross Domestic Product than Oil and Gas or Forestry.

The Dose-ification of The Globe and Mail

Yesterday, The Globe and Mail came out with a newly-designed newspaper. Not only has it shrunk in width, but just about everything in the paper has been given a facelift.

Oddly enough, my first reaction upon seeing the "new" Globe was "Hey! When did they start up that Dose paper agagin?" Dose was the free transit paper from CanWest that gave in to the other freebies Metro and 24 Hrs. and ceased publication some time ago. I've missed it (I don't live in any of the cities they serviced, but I always read it online) since its' demise, as the attitude and originality it brought to everyday news was quite unique. A website still exists ( but alas, the paper is but a distant memory.

Until now, that is...

Don't get me wrong. I LIKE the "new" Globe. The new Life section is quickly becoming a welcome inclusion, and the look of the entire package is certainly cleaner, especially the front section and the Report on Business section. I think this was a good move for The Globe in the end, as they might be able to attract younger readers, and perhaps even increase their female readership too.

Good luck to The Globe. And thanks for bringing back a bit of Dose!

Monday, April 23, 2007 dissapears

With little to no explanation the site has shut down.
Thank you to all those who have supported our websites. Due to increasing legal concerns resulting from our public participation in the Net Neutrality debate, we have at this time decided to shut down the operation of these sites.
We have no comment for the media and will not be releasing any additional detail about the factors leading up to this decision. We are currently looking for an appropriate organization to take over these properties and who has the resources to properly operate these sites.

Kevin McArthur
StormTide Digital Studios Inc.

I wish I could provide further details, but it appears that there aren't any and that more will not be coming. For more information on Net Neutrality check the video below

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Open Internet Coalition?

There is no doubt that the internet will, to an even larger extend than it already has, have a dramatic impact on the world. The implications for media are becoming more obvious by the day, but this is just the beginning. As more and more people come online and the average age of internet users goes up there will be profound implications for government and politics, religion and culture.

One only has to look at the effects that the printing press, radio, television and film had on society. The difference with the internet is the low, low barrier to entry and the fact that anything put on the internet is instantly available to the entire world.

This is the first truly populist, democratic media revolution in the history of mankind. We can all guess and speculate about it's ultimate ramifications but, to date, every guess about the future of the internet and how far reaching it's effects might be has fallen dramatically short of the mark.

It is also true that since the dawn of the internet, it has been a constant battle: between traditional and new media, between anarchy and control, between those who see the Web as a medium for sharing ideas and information and those who only see it as a medium for sales, and all too often between content creators and consumers.

I would like to suggest that it's time for a cease fire. I believe that the vast majority of people who use the Internet have more areas of agreement than points of division. So, I believe it is time to unite on the points where we agree and try to hammer out our differences on the points where we do not.

I believe that nearly everyone would like to see an internet where:
  • Everyone has an opportunity to be heard with a minimum of regulation.

  • Consumers have easy access to content that they enjoy.

  • Content creators can be paid fairly.

  • Conflicts between content producers and consumers are settled fairly and without law suits or the threat of law suits.

  • Individual privacy is protected.

  • Actual crime such as spam, identity theft, fraud and child pornography is minimized and punished when it happens.

  • So, If I am right about this, I would like to hear from content producers, internet users, service providers and nearly everyone else with a stake in this to discuss the creation of an Open Internet Coalition.

    The idea at this point is vague. I don't know how these discussions will be held. It is entirely possible that more can be added to the list above. It is likely that separate coalitions will have to be set up in different countries (to deal with that country's specific issues.) But ideally those groups would remain in communication with one another to share ideas and work together when possible.

    If you would like to be a part of this, or (especially) if you have ideas about how this coalition can be organized and communicate please get in touch at beach.justin[at]gmail[dot]com.

    (Simultaneously posted to Hype, Circles Around the Square and

    Saturday, April 21, 2007

    New Pornographers 'Challengers'

    The New Pornographers continue to demonstrate to the traditional recording industry just how you build your fan base and sell albums. According to an email from the band mixing on their new offering 'Challengers' is going 'better than expected'. If you are lucky enough to see the band in the near future, you can pick up a screen printed poster of the (rough version) of the cover art by Niko Case. Each of these posters will have a number on the back - if you send the number on the back to the band, you'll get a copy of the 'Challengers' CD delivered to your door as soon as it's released. How cool is that? A New Pornographers show, Poster and CD all for one price. I'm sure the RIAA will sue someone over it. Sadly, the New Pornos web site doesn't show any upcoming dates in Canada.

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    the Guitar: Update

    If you visit regularly then you know about Krief's (guitarist for the Dears) guitar. In case you've been following along, there is some good news. Friends and family have pulled together and bought him a new (identical) white Fender Standard Stratocaster and raised some cash to help him replace other equiptement.

    The hunt is still on for the original Fender, but the situation has definitely improved.

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Hype and stuff

    I am very happy about the way Hype has gone so far - a number of different writers on a wide variety of topics and, although posts aren't as frequent as I might like sometimes, it is steady. Sadly the other group blogs I've tried to create for the site haven't gone as well. People enthusiastically signed up to post, but some never posted at all, and others have been infrequent.

    So, I am expanding the topic range of Hype from pop culture to - nearly everything. I am shutting down the other group blogs on the site, moving their posts over here and inviting the authors to join this blog.

    For those of you who subscribe to the Hype feed, please forgive me if the feed is a little wonky the next few days while I make the transition

    For the time being at least Shuffle, Circles Around the Square and the Spotlights (see menu above) will continue. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    The Wrong Choice?

    I was reading the National Post's coverage on Virgina Tech.

    On page three (April 17), there was a collage of photographs from other school shootings. One particular photo was of a victim from École Polytechnique. She was sitting "slumped" in a chair, while an investigator gathers evidence. To be honest, I was very disturbed by the photo.

    Not in the sense that I was looking at a dead body. Rather, I was disturbed in the sense that someone will look at the woman and recognize her, as either their daughter, relative, or close friend. They are going to have to relive the horror. Anyone who has ever had to identify a loved one in a morgue, will also have to relive the horror. That's a dreadful thing to experience and I feel the National Post made a bad decision by printing this photo.

    I am fully aware that journalism is about providing all the necessary details. But sometimes, you have to break the rules if it's for a greater good. Everyone knows about the damage caused by these senseless acts. It doesn't need to be put out there bluntly. Out of respect for the woman's family, the National Post should not have printed this photo. They could have easily picked another photo that was less graphic, but still conveys the trauma.

    This is just my opinion. However, I am interested in your take on the photo. Did the National Post make the wrong choice?

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    First Weekend Club

    I was informed today that I will be an ambassador for the First Weekend Club which means that I'll get the occasional invite to advanced screenings of Canadian films and will let the world know what I think of them. In honor of this I have created a FWC Group on Facebook for the discussion of Canadian film and related topics.

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    Canadian Idol: oxymoron

    You get to rate posts now? Gee, great, no pressure.

    So anyway, yesterday I was at the Eaton Centre looking for something that fit (and failing), and among the throngs of shoppers, I noticed a few people walking around with pieces of paper pinned to their shirts. They had the Canadian Idol logo and some long number. So I deduced there was a Canadian Idol audition nearby, though still - why would these people finish going through all that standing in line for hours and finally facing some sort of gauntlet, and still walk around with that number pinned on them? Some sort of badge of courage? Well, it's a badge of something, though of what depends on the person, I suppose.

    A few years ago, when I heard that there would be a Canadian version of Pop/American/Australian/wherever Idol, I laughed my head off. Canadian...Idol. Has there ever really been such a creature? Well, no. This is going to sound a tad harsh, but English Canadians have pretty much always been genetically crappy at creating idols. Seriously. Any "idols" - celebrities - English Canadians have perceived as such were formed as idols somewhere else. The closest we've come to fully forming an idol and keeping it that way is with Pierre Trudeau, and he was from Quebec. Quebeckers are quite good at making idols; movie and tv stars, rock and pop stars; adored within their province - and they could give a rat's ass who else pays attention. This may be why of all the official Canadian Idols, the most recent, Quebec's Eva Avila, stands a chance in the years to come. She's gotta keep up the Français, though.

    Still, why was I really laughing at the prospect of a tv contest where English Canadian aspiring singers compete for the chance to have their career kick-started by the best minds the mainstream Canadian music industry has to offer?

    Sorry, I had to pause to laugh again. Man, that never gets old.

    You see, the mainstream Canadian music industry IS INCOMPETENT! The chances of them coming up with some plan to properly promote an artist or band and follow it through successfully for more than a couple years (jeez, that was a long phrase) are slim. God knows they try...for a while...then kinda stop. To the best of my personal knowledge, this has been going on for more than 20 years. It is a big reason why artists give up and just go somewhere else. Muchmusic helped a great deal, and clearly there are the odd exceptions, who tend to be bands who take matters into their own hands in a big way (Sloooooan being one example). But the usual pattern is some label signs a band, they sort of make a record, really promote a first single to radio and Much, and

    Fortunately, things have changed to some extent as avenues have grown for small-label or indie artists. But Canadian Idol is run by those who are still working in the old model - that model that never worked.

    Take a look at the careers of Canadian Idol winners. For all the big ratings and tv fame, their trajectories have been the same as all the other artists who've gone through that lame-ass machine. If you think about it, the most successful Canadian Idol contestant likely has been a "loser": Jacob Hoggard, who shined his entertaining Idol exposure straight into his band Hedley, who proceeded to work their asses off with their fortunately au courant brand of punk-pop and carve out some decent sales with their own deal. Will it last? Hard to say (they're on a major, after all), but it's impressive they ever got this far when you compare their fates to those of Jacob's old competitors.

    Granted, American Idol has more than their share of failures and mediocrities, which is probably yet another sign of mainstream music's massive sea change. Then again, Kelly Clarkson didn't really get going until she came out from under the Idol system, and she hasn't so far suffered too much from said sea change. But if those Yanks really want to know how be half-assed about fostering artists, they should take notes up here, and watch those kids at the Eaton Centre wear their numbers - maybe as their badge of eternal hope against futility.

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    What would it take?

    So there is this interesting discussion on Tea Makers about the death of arts and culture programming, why it's dying and what it would take to get people watching. I thought I would bring it over here and throw it out there generally. What would it take to get you watching arts programming? I'm not talking here, just to be clear, about entertainment programming (like Entertainment Tonight) but rather programming that focus' on art and artists rather than celebrity gossip.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    Daniel Hamelin and Manon's Dream on Board

    Originally posted to Roar of the Beaver

    Daniel Hamelin and Manon's Dream have been added to the Podsafe Download Section please give them a listen and rate the songs.

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    the Outfit comes on board!

    Originally Posted to 'Roar of the Beaver'

    For about a year now one of my favorite Toronto bands has been the Outfit. So, it is with no small amount of pleasure that I announce the the Outfit has agreed to being a part of the podsafe download section on (Thanks Lauren!!) - I won't prattle on about them much here, but expect to hear more about them in the days and weeks to come. For now, please feel free to have a listen and rate the music.

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    The Autumn Wind

    The National Football League has a media division known as NFL Films.

    During the season, crews are sent to every game, to capture the "sights and sounds." The footage is then taken and used for documentary specials about a certain player, team, season, or specific match.

    What I find enjoyable about these documentaries, is how NFL Films can take a simple football game and turn it into an epic battle.

    This is done by using powerful orchestral scores, a dramatic script, and a narrator with deep, Godlike voice, who reads the script. The most popular narrator for these films was a man named John Facenda. Football fans have described him as the "voice of God."

    Here is an example called "The Autumn Wind." It's a montage dedicated to the 1974 Oakland Raiders. Notice the language and Facenda's strong vocals.

    Help the Dears: Have You Seen This Guitar?

    Originally Posted to Roar of the Beaver

    Patrick, Guitarist for the Dears was recently robbed. One of the Guitars in particular had great sentimental value. His full post about it is below. If you have any information at all contact him through his myspace at or contact me ( and I'll pass the info along.


    So, This afternoon, I get a phone call from Tim Fletcher (the stills singer/guitarist) he's standing outside my rehearsal space (he rehearses next door) telling my window is broken. I ask him to look in, and sure enough, I had been robbed blind! They took all my guitars , my keyboards, pedals, and they took a bunch of stuff from Mike Nash (the guy I share the space with) Including his computer and back up hard drives (just to make sure none of his work is salvaged). They took amps, our PA system, pedals, 5 guitars, a bass, They were kind enough to leave some cables though, but not all of them..
    the list of stolen gear is below it's near 18 grand in value.

    The thing they took that I really want back most is my White Fender Stratocaster. I cried for hours about losing it. It has extreme sentimental value, and I don't know how I'll go on with out it. 16 people (friends and family) pitched in to buy me that guitar (of which I had been dreaming about my whole life) on my 18th birthday. I'm on a serious hunt for that guitar, I'm trying to gather some reward money, but I'm pretty broke right now.. I can safely say that I'll give $1000 (my family has raised this ransom money) no questions asked to have it back. My main photo is a picture of me using it, there's also a picture of the SG in the photos
    here are some details: White Fender Stratocaster standard 1998, white pick guard and maple neck , 4 of the bridge saddles are graphite (black) on the A, D, G and B strings, the other two are the originals. The whammy bar has black tape on the end bit (the white plastic bit has been cracked), There are strap locks on the guitar, and if the strap on it at the time was brown leather.
    They also took my Gibson SG special faded guitar. It's dark brown wood grain without varnish. The guitar has a crack on the back of the head stock that has been glued and sanded back but is visible if you look closely.
    My Epiphone Casino: Tobacco burst.
    A roland XP-10 keyboard.

    I would assume these people are going to try to pawn this equipment or sell it in a back alley or something. I'm putting the word out there in hopes that at least My white strat is found. I'm devastated !! I really can't express it enough. Again, any insight will help!
    keep in mind that these people might change minor details on the guitar, but the serial number is listed below
    Patrick x


    Fender Standard Stratocaster 1998
    $1000 reward
    serial #: Mz0198625
    details : White, with white pick guard and maple neck. This guitar has 4 Black Graphite saddles and 2 regular. It has strap locks and a brown leather strap. The white plastic tip on the Whammy bar is cracked

    Gibson SG special vintage
    details: Dark wood grain un varnished (the back of the headstock was cracked and glued back and sanded. The mark is visible but slight

    Epiphone Casino Tobacco burst

    Zoo customs
    details: 3 chrome humbuckers and a bigsby,black sparkle finish
    -maple neck and ebony fretboard This guitar is completely unique, it says zoo customs on the headstock, and the headstock design is a shape that no other guitar has (kind of a warped rectangle)

    Guitar Valleyarts Standard pro 0939

    Fender Jazz Bass 1975 reissue
    details: -natural finish many small dings and dents.
    -maple neck with bound fingerboard and pearl block inlays.
    -off white pickguard with vintage chrome pickup cover over neck pickup.
    -upgraded with sadowsky pickups (stamped on casing), schaller tuners, badass bridge.
    -likely in a modulus (reunion blues) gigbag Japan

    IMAC 5.2 computer
    serial#: W86380c4wh5

    Kaser External Drive
    serial # Y8FUN063250GB

    Line 6 Guitar POD
    serial#: Poda024037491900

    Alesis Amp RA500
    serial#: (21)a405010451000

    Fender Mini practice amp
    details: Hand held

    Peavey 50 watt guitar amp

    Traynor Amp head
    details: Converted from a combo,mid 70's model w/slant control panel,model # yba4 bass master
    -was converted from a combo so back panel has on 1 jack marked extension cab 8ohm and chassis has one rca jack.

    Yorkville PA amplifier
    details: Carpet casing

    Suzuki Omnichord
    serial #: 073291

    Roland Xp-10 Keyboard
    details: The display is slightly defective

    details : 66 key Midi controller

    All the guitars were taken with their respective cases

    Sunday, April 01, 2007

    The Random...

    I thought that for my next little article of words, I’d tell you about my sister. I don’t get along with her a lot of the time, we aren’t the types to go out of our way to spend time with each other, and we have next to nothing in common. Except, maybe just this one thing…
    My sister never really does anything particularly serious, whether it be making catering platters for a hundred or making her way up a flight of stairs, she does it quite unimportantly. And every now and then, she’ll have these peculiar random occurrences. For instance, she might be making her way down the very short, pseudo-hall of our apartment, and she’ll bust a move, A MOVE! Sometimes they’re cheesy and sometimes they’re actually coordinated.
    Then other times, she’ll pick up the last word of your sentence and like an automated alarm clock programmed to go off, she takes that word and blurts out the lyrics to a song with that word in the title. When I asked her why she did that, she said to me, “I get bored, so I turn my head into like a radio station to keep me busy.”

    That’s when I got the idea to write this because I realized that people through out my generation all have a little bit of that accidental sameness, the Random, as I call it. But, it would seem that we all have different degrees to our hit and miss lifestyles. I have my own instances of the unsystematic. I can’t keep a straight thought. My brain sees a visual cue and it instantly triggers a response, usually some short descriptive adjectives. It sees something else, and it shoot off another thought in no way related to the thought it had literally just a few short seconds ago. Many would argue this is a form of A.D.D. I however stand by my own little notion. I think you can’t keep a creative mind entertained. It’s always looking for ways to improve itself, mould itself a new experience even. (For sense of clarity I believe perhaps only 10% of the entire human population has this gift and 9.9% of that population is hopped up on prescription narcotics. Ha!)

    It’s not just us either. My best friend has a whole other set of strange whimsies. She’s more of an eccentric random. Hers can be like a series of fireworks, you’re never really sure when it’s starting but when it does, it’s spontaneous and you can’t help but stare at it and be mesmerized. Or, sometimes the loudness of it just scares you. Either way, you seem to end up along for the ride.

    Then I started to think, what if it’s really not just my generation? What if it’s some strange genetic sequencing? This led me to think of my mother, whom isn’t old enough to have Alzheimer’s and isn’t young enough to blame it all on pop culture and school shootings. She’s been smoking for over twenty years now and every night when she walks the dog, she has a cigarette. So, she leashes the dog, grabs the smokes, and nabs the lighter off the table. One night, I’m out on said dog walking mission, and my mom, as always, takes out a cigarette, scrounges her pockets for the lighter but can’t seem to find it. About a minute later she says, “Oh, we have to go back, I don’t have my lighter, I brought a baby carrot.” Admittedly, she isn’t all there sometimes but I still think this can be considered validly random in its own way.

    So, what’s the argument here? Are we getting dumber as a species? Many have already blamed mass media, television, music, bad sleep, genetic encoding, and unrealistic role models for other lack of mental focus. The list goes on forever really those are just a few I named off the top of my head. My honest opinion after taking a look around into all kinds of whimsical nonsense is that we’re all just really bored with each other and ourselves. Who cares what’s to blame really because right now it’s all theories and notions. Maybe, for today, let’s look at it as the brain’s way of turning over the sign in its little store window that says ‘Be Back in Five Minutes…’