Saturday, January 31, 2009

80's Are Back

Above: T-Pain ft. Chris Brown "Freeze"

Remember those neon outfits you might have worn as a child?  I sure do.  They were actually really cute.  However, as time went on and the 80's faded, so did neon.

Lucky for us 80's children- neon is back!  You can see it everywhere now, from American Apparel to Kanye West; sunglasses to headbands. 

Neon adds a flash of color to a dark outfit, or can be worn to make a statement.  

I have recently rediscovered my love for bright colors.  Out with the old, and in with the old?It's the beginning of a Neon- Revolution!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Pants or no Pants?

I was part of a rather rousing conversation today.  A couple guys I know, who have been playing competitive basketball since age 15, and who are now 27 years old playing in a men's league, were discussing an opposing team player's choice of clothing for the court: pants.  

Now to the average person, this may not seem like a big deal.  However, as a basketball player myself, I have never seen this.  Not only are pants not fashionable for the court, but more importantly they are hot and restrict movement.  These guys just can't get over it, so I'm putting the ball in your court: Is it or isn't it a fashion faux pas?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 Superbowl Commercials

Above: 2009 Superbowl Commerical

Just days away from the Superbowl, I have yet to hear anything about one of the things I enjoy most about it: the commercials. According to the Houston Chronicle, NBC has raised its price from $2.4 million to $3 million, for every 30 second commercial. Yikes- with this economy? The dissapearance of usuals such as General Motors and FedEx, will be replaced by TeleFlora, Denny's, and Pedigree, to name a few. I can't wait to see what hilarious commericals this years Superbowl broadcast will produce.

What's your favourite Superbowl commerical of the past?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

(Un)Classy CHRW?

Last night I almost dragged myself out of bed to post, after flipping through radio stations. I decided to try out 94.9 CHRW, which is the University of Western Ontario’s radio station. I must admit, I have only previously listened to this station once, and nothing about it sparked my interests.

Now I remember why I don’t listen to it. As I turned the dial, I was exposed to the ridiculousness of the commentary. Although funny and student oriented, and the music they showcased was definitely music I’m interested in, I couldn’t help but cringe at some of the comments being made. Naturally, I pulled out my phone instead of leaving the warmth of my bed, and wrote in the memo pad, “Apparently we had some really gay people on here last week, so sorry if they offended your little gay ears.” This may not be word for word, but it’s what I caught.

Is this why they have the 12 am timeslot? Or do they think that no one is listening? I often listen to 106.9 The X, which is Fanshawe College’s radio station. This type of commentary would not be found on their station.

In my opinion, the commentary is just as important as the music-keep it classy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You

“I started dating this guy a couple of months ago, but he broke up with me after three weeks. Ever since then, we’ve been acting like a couple, and he says he’s in love with me. But he also says he doesn’t want a girlfriend because of “rules” he has for himself. What’s his deal?”
from January’s issue of Cosmopolitan

HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU! Or, as Cosmopolitan suggested, it gives him the freedom to sleep with whomever he wants.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, the film He’s Just Not That Into You is released in theatres on February 6th. Based on Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s 2004 New York Times bestseller, He’s Just Not That Into You, which was based on a Sex and the City episode, Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little, this film follows the lives of men and women who don’t understand why he or she is just not that into them.

Although this movie looks interesting, I would not pay money to see it. Most people will not see it for actual advice, but some will. It’s like going on Jerry Springer and expecting to get helpful advice. It just isn’t realistic.

So to all the women out there who are left with unanswered questions, don’t expect to find answers from a movie, or writing into Cosmopolitan. Look inside, and above all, look at who you are stressing over. If he doesn’t seem interested, is HE really worth it?

Monday, January 26, 2009

111- Year Old Becomes Dad


Hong Bao

Chinese New Year kicks off today, and the Year of the Ox begins.

As my birthday falls during celebration of Chinese New Year, I always received a small, red envelope from the Mandarin (one of my favourite birthday dinner locations as a child), with chocolates inside. It seems as though stuffing your mouth with chocolates also temporarily disables your hearing, especially when your parents are trying to explain a tradition to you. So here it is: an explanation of those small, red envelopes.

Giving Hong Bao, red packets or red envelopes, is a Chinese New Year tradition that symbolizes wealth and luck. It is usually handed out to younger generations on New Year’s Eve by their parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, and immediate family. Money given in this way may not be refused, as red is the lucky color and will bring good luck to the person receiving it. The money, Ya Sui Qian, meaning “suppressing age money,” is supposed to stop children from getting older. It is believed that everyone becomes one year older on New Year’s Day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Football-less Sunday

This is the first weekend that football has not been a staple in my Sunday afternoon.

Instead I filled it with relaxing in the hot tub, and watching basketball.

I forgot how much I like not hearing the sounds of guys yelling at the television, as if they are going to change the referee's call.

Until next weekend. . .

Friday, January 23, 2009

Save Money

Working as a teller in a bank, I've noticed that most people are not aware of the new Tax Free Savings Account, being offered to Canadians. You should take advantage of this!

Benefits include:
  • Pay no tax on investment growth earned in the account

  • Withdraw your money at any time and pay no tax on withdraws

  • Contribute up to $5,000 per year

  • It's FREE

This type of account gives you the opportunity to save, while paying no tax on investment income or growth. It is ideal for short- and long-term savings, and withdraws are easily accessible as well as tax free. Any unused contribution room is carried forward to the following year, at your convenience. Amounts withdrawn can be re-contributed starting the next year. Visit your bank (cough, TD, cough) for more information on how you can open this new Tax Free Savings Account!

Danny Kass x Nike Zoom Force 1 "Double Tongue"

Two words: I want.

Pro snowboarder Danny Kass' collaborative design with Arbito, and Nike.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Slow Walkers

Slow, adj. 1. not quick or clever in understanding; dull; obutse 2. taking a longer time than is expected or usual 3. marked by low speed, etc.; not fast 4. making speed difficult 5. lacking in energy; sluggish- Webster’s New World Dictionary

Have you ever heard of the Facebook group, “I Secretly Want to Punch Slow Walking People in the Back of the Head?” The name of it is a little extreme, but today for the first time, I wanted to join this group. With over 1 million members, it seems that I am not the only person who feels this way.

I have always despised slow walkers; especially in the winter. Just because you lack a destination, doesn’t mean that others don’t. There are such things called classes, which start at specific times. So break up your massive, six person, sidewalk hogging group, and move over!

Here’s the link if you also feel enraged:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Shut Up?"

After viewing Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, and as a student in an information media program, I am disappointed in my lack of awareness regarding the journalistic ethics that FOX News values.

The lack of integrity that Fox News displays, as reported in this film, strips the notion of ethical journalism that viewers have come to trust and depend. Fox News’ ability to blur the line between facts and commentary is exemplified through their use of sayings such as, “some people say,” or “officials say.” Peter Hart notes in the film that the idea behind journalism is to source, and this is the networks way of inserting anonymous information. Hart goes on to say it’s a “clever way of inserting political opinion when it probably shouldn’t be there.” I was appalled by the amount of times these few words were used by newscasters. Since when have facts and sources become insignificant?

“Show, don’t tell,” is a common phrase used in journalistic reporting. This film does both, through collaborative video and audio clips, which allowed me to focus on the way in which the network reports. Video clips of Bill O’Reilly’s “shut up” antics, immediately made me lose respect for the network. A network should pride itself on representing facts accurately, while respecting the opinions of those being interviewed. Being told to “shut up,” makes both the interviewer and network look ignorant, in my opinion. The news business is just that, a news business. News networks are a type of entertainment industry which strives to generate income through viewership. Telling interviewee’s to “shut up,” will get a gut reaction from viewers, therefore keeping them interested.

I commend the former Fox News employees and contributors, who were brave enough to reveal their past experiences, and speak their minds about a situation that would have formerly been condemned by FOX News. As voice “Anonymous 3” noted, “if you challenge you them on their attitudes of things, you’re history.”

Although I do not watch FOX News on a regular basis, I am starting to wonder if other networks are similar in their way of reporting. This film and its contributors have encouraged me to analyze and take notice of the information I depend on daily. Whoever said you are rewarded for pushing the envelope (most likely Rupert Murdoch), must not have known that this film was going to be made.

21 Days Late

Today is January 21, 2009. I am already twenty one days late. I sit here looking at my day planner and there it is: a Post-it note with the words, “New Years Resolutions” staring me in the face. I guess it’s better than, “I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.” (any Sex and the City fans out there?)

I’m not one to leave my New Years Resolutions until this late in the month, but time has been passing me by. School is back, vacation time is over, and little leisure time exists on the weekends for me. I have decided that this weekend I will make those resolutions. I’m sure I am not the only person who has neglected their resolutions, so here is some tips on how to make them and maintain them.

1. Set achievable goals. For example, “I want to win the lottery,” compared to “I want to lose weight,” is a more realistic and achievable goal.

2. Break down large goals. “I want to lose weight,” can be broken down to “I want to exercise more frequently.”

3. Be specific. “I want to exercise more frequently” by running, walking, and lifting weights.

4. What steps will you take to maintain these goals? Possible steps to maintain this goal could include setting a specific exercising schedule, joining a gym, utilizing a personal trainer, or a walking date with a friend.

5. What do you want to do for yourself? With the pressures of society, many people feel that they should do what’s trendy, or create a better image for themselves. Resolutions are about doing what’s important to you as an individual.

If you weren't feeling inspired before, I hope you are now. Late New Years Resolutions are possible!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Laptop Luxury?

I need to vent. I find it a little ridiculous that in my last semester of university, some professors have decided to ban laptops in the classroom. In a Media, Information and Technoculture program? Am I hearing this right?

Maybe I’m just one of those people that always need to be connected. Or maybe, I just like taking really good notes. After taking notes on a computer for the past 3.5 years, I have become accustomed to typing notes, instead of hand writing them. Typing notes allows me to take down information quickly and accurately, and I’m not left asking my neighbour if he/she caught the last bit of the professor’s sentence. Now my professors want to remove a tool for my success? That’s like taking away candy from a child.

Some professors claim that they “regret” doing this, but laptops are “distractive.” Of course they are. Facebook, MSN, and Perez Hilton are just a few of the ways to pass time for some students. We are paying for our education, and what we do, or don’t do on our computers, is our business. However, the reason I purchased my laptop in first year, was for academic purposes. It is still used for that, and I feel that if most professors deem laptop use acceptable, then banning them in certain classes is obstructing students from lecture information.

If you have a doctor’s note regarding laptop use, then you may use one. I do not disagree with this whatsoever, except this singles out those who may have a medical or learning disability, which is unacceptable.

I feel that until the University of Western Ontario decides to ban laptops in all classes, then it should not be done at the free will of the professor. Laptops have never been considered a luxury until now. There has never been any rules regarding the use of them, and deciding to remove them from the classroom hurts the students more than the teachers.

Obama is Change

Obamanation: 1. the fanatical obsession that has swept the United States in support of Barack Obama: “He has done so well that it is clearly an Obamanation”- Urban Dictionary

Pulled by the tug of history, it was no surprise that an estimated 2 million people attended the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States today. As a sea of people filled the National Mall in Washington, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment for America, and the free world. They have elected their first African- American President, Barack Obama

“A man whose father, less than 60 years ago, might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath,” said Obama. These words were the ones that stood out most to me. It is not uncommon for a nation to show its support for a nominee through the campaigning and voting process. However, for a country who until recently has only elected Caucasian president’s, the nation’s support for an African-American president is a step to equality for all; past, present, and future.

In my opinion, Obama does not only represent defeat for African-Americans, but for all races, cultures, and genders who struggle to make themselves equal. A young African-American boy interviewed in his classroom by ABC television this afternoon, said he aspires to be the next president after seeing Obama sworn in. That is truly moving.

I can’t help but get caught up in the Obama fever. Despite my lack of knowledge surrounding the history of the United States, as a Canadian citizen with dual-citizenship in the U.S., I wanted to be apart of today’s festivities. An individual with the hopes of change, not just the United States, but for countries around the world, has a lasting affect on his followers. The opportunity to watch history being made, and sharing a collective moment of happiness and pride in the citizens of a country, leaves me feeling that change has truly and finally come to America.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why Blog?

As a Media, Information and Technoculture student in my fourth year at the University of Western Ontario, I am surprised that this is my first encounter with blogging. In what seemingly has become a growing trend in the information realm, I have yet to familiarize myself with this new way of communicating. As Web 2.0 strives to gain power after the depletion of the dot-com bubble in 2001, I also want to develop my own power to find my voice and express it through my blog.

Blogging: For Passion, Politics or Profit is the reason I am starting this blog. This class will introduce me to blogging and its affect on journalism. As a student who is still undecided as to what to do after graduating, I anticipate that this class will give me another opportunity to develop new skills, and may spark an interest in a new way of communicating.

I must admit that although thoughts flow through my head at an alarming rate, writing them down in a more laid back and non-essay type manner will serve to be difficult for me. I have not had a lot experience with writing down my thoughts as they come, except for a journal I kept at the age of nine for one week, while at my cottage. That was thirteen years ago. I am beginning to find that it has gotten easier.

I have yet to decide on a theme for this blog. I am passionate about many things, but do not specialize in one area enough for it to be the focus of my blog. I am hoping that comes with time and experience.

I ask you to be patient with me as I find my voice, and develop a new passion for blogging.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What Not to Wear: According to Snowboarder Style

As the thermometer reached minus thirty-nine degrees, it is no surprise that I resembled Randy from A Christmas Story, today. “I can’t put my arms down,” was exactly what was running through my head. Fortunately with arms out to the sides comes balance, and with balance comes a smooth ride.

However, snowboarding is not only about how you ride, but what you’re wearing when you do it. Mt. Tremblant wasn’t supposed to know what hit it with my Marilyn Monroe pop art bandana. Unfortunately, fashion was not an option today. Neck warmers were in full effect.

Enough said.

Hopefully tomorrow will allow our true colors to shine.