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Camille Labchuk: Moshi Monsters Game Review

Great for the kids, but pushy with onsite purchases – that is the general verdict for Moshi Monsters, developed by the London-based company Mind Candy in 2007.

(http://www.moshimonsters.com) Moshi Monsters be a British website intended at children matured 6–12 by means of more 100 million register user in 150 countries worldwide. It is natural for . . . → Read More: Camille Labchuk: Moshi Monsters Game Review

Yappa Ding Ding: The pros and cons of getting drunk at the theater

Ten years ago I wrote a post about a performance of Ibsen’s Ghosts at Stratford (link). The production was powerful, tragic and grim – but the seemingly-drunken audience tittered and laughed all the way through it.Last week I had the opposite experienc… . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: The pros and cons of getting drunk at the theater

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Video Game Review – Warhammer Vermintide

This game has a long title, it is called Warhammer:Endtimes – Vermintide. Vermintide is a four player cooperative survival game, set in the Warhammer fantasy universe. People familiar with Valve’s Left4Dead series will be familiar with the play-style and challenges to be encountered in Vermintide. The plot of the game resolves around the actions of […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Video Game Review – Warhammer Vermintide

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lament For A Nation – A Review

(Originally written as a review for Good Reads) Here is a must-read for all Canadians – George Grant’s classic masterpiece, documenting the poor decisions which led to the loss of sovereignty of Canada to the US empire, just at a time when the British empire had been weakened enough that our former subservience to that . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lament For A Nation – A Review

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lament For A Nation – A Review

(Originally written as a review for Good Reads) Here is a must-read for all Canadians – George Grant’s classic masterpiece, documenting the poor decisions which led to the loss of sovereignty of Canada to the US empire, just at a time when the British empire had been weakened enough that our former subservience to that . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lament For A Nation – A Review

Yappa Ding Ding: Review of Hamlet (Stratford 2015)

This year’s Hamlet, directed by Antoni Cimolino, makes sense. I say that as the highest praise. I’ve seen the play many times and it never flowed so naturally before.

Like… Ophelia’s pregnant. She always struck me as a bit of a cry-baby, going bonkers because she gets jilted and her dad dies. Add the pregnancy, . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Review of Hamlet (Stratford 2015)

Yappa Ding Ding: Review of Hamlet (Stratford 2015)

This year’s Hamlet, directed by Antoni Cimolino, makes sense. I say that as the highest praise. I’ve seen the play many times and it never flowed so naturally before.Like… Ophelia’s pregnant. She always struck me as a bit of a cry-baby, going bonkers… . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Review of Hamlet (Stratford 2015)

Yappa Ding Ding: Elora Festival – Bach B Minor Mass (review)

Friday night at 7:30 the audience was seated in the Gambrel Barn in Elora. Onstage were the Elora Festival Orchestra, Elora Festival Singers, the VOCES8 choir, and Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal. Noel Edison was at his podium, his back to the audience, arms at his sides. There was an almost-overlong pause, maybe a . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Elora Festival – Bach B Minor Mass (review)

Yappa Ding Ding: Elora Festival – Bach B Minor Mass (review)

Friday night at 7:30 the audience was seated in the Gambrel Barn in Elora. Onstage were the Elora Festival Orchestra, Elora Festival Singers, the VOCES8 choir, and Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal. Noel Edison was at his podium, his back to the audience, arms at his sides. There was an almost-overlong pause, maybe a minute of dead silence. Then Edison raised his arms and the choir and orchestra opened up at full volume. It was like a knife edge between silence and music. If beauty can be shocking then that’s what it was. It was so beautiful I cried.

Bach doesn’t do filler. It started and then it just carried on as this breathtakingly beautiful experience. I wish the soloists hadn’t walked out to the front from their places in the choir because it broke my concentration a little, but I suppose the musicians needed to catch their breath.

The Elora Festival Singers are better than ever this year. There are such distinctive, beautiful voices, and Edison has made use of them in many solos during the festival. VOCES8 added three countertenors to the choir for the B Minor Mass, and Edison created moments when their sound was able to shine through.

It’s a tragedy that the barn was only two-thirds full. This was the greatest musical event of the summer in southern Ontario and seats were just $45. The production wasn’t promoted or reviewed by local or Toronto media, as far as I can tell. . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Elora Festival – Bach B Minor Mass (review)

Trashy's World: Bring on 2015!

Like any year, there were ups and downs over the past 12 months. However, 2014 was unfortunately a bit more about downs, than ups. On the positive side (cuz I like to mention good things first): First, and most importantly, the kids are thriving. My eldest is working full-time in retail and had come to . . . → Read More: Trashy’s World: Bring on 2015!

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Movie Recommendation of the Month

I rarely watch good movies. I spend my screen time on the blog, and with my current Diablo 3 addiction. Last night however, I did get the the opportunity to watch “Her”, a movie about a dude whose marriage is all but dissolved finding a new companion. The twist is that his new companion is . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Movie Recommendation of the Month

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Movie Recommendation of the Month

I rarely watch good movies. I spend my screen time on the blog, and with my current Diablo 3 addiction. Last night however, I did get the the opportunity to watch “Her”, a movie about a dude whose marriage is all but dissolved finding a new companion. The twist is that his new companion is . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Movie Recommendation of the Month

Yappa Ding Ding: Chili Cook-Off in Uptown

I take my chili seriously. One of the nicest things anyone ever did for me occurred a number of years ago when a colleague brought a container of his chili to work – and his recipe. He used coffee, cocoa, beer, cumin and oregano in his chili. I have been riffing off that recipe ever . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Chili Cook-Off in Uptown

Art Threat: Gender Mender: XXY is a cinematic exploration of intersexuality

From a purely organizational standpoint, there are plenty of reasons for the gender binary. The system delineates male and female characteristics as separate and static, ostensibly facilitating a natural and sustainable social order. It readily assigns roles and packages gender identity. It is convenient – when it works.

The problem with the system is that . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Gender Mender: XXY is a cinematic exploration of intersexuality

The Scott Ross: Mike Duffy & Why An Elected Senate Would Have Made This Worse

Nobody really thinks Senator Mike Duffy received $90,000 in return for some political favour, but that public perception would most certainly change if he and every other Senator faced regular expensive election campaigns that depended on large contributions and even larger political favours.

An elected Senate requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars every four years . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Mike Duffy & Why An Elected Senate Would Have Made This Worse

The Scott Ross: Mike Duffy & Why An Elected Senate Would Have Made This Worse

Nobody really thinks Senator Mike Duffy received $90,000 in return for some political favour, but that public perception would most certainly change if he and every other Senator faced regular expensive election campaigns that depended on large contrib… . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Mike Duffy & Why An Elected Senate Would Have Made This Worse

cartoon life: Impress

Impress is a new, free drawing app. I think the developer decided to take some very few elements from Paper and write the code. Sometimes things show up like they are ‘proof of concept’, or like they are an end of coding school project. Either the choices made here are deliberately restrictive and made . . . → Read More: cartoon life: Impress

Walking Turcot Yards: Jack Kerouac’s On The Road In Film

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; © 1953, 2012 Allen Ginsberg LLC. All rights reserved.William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, photographed by Allen Ginsberg in his East Village living room, 1953; from ‘Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg,’ an exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art and on view at NYU’s . . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: Jack Kerouac’s On The Road In Film

Yappa Ding Ding: Too Many Goblins…

…Orcs, whatever. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. Otherwise, quite good.

ezra winton: Scrap America – A conversation with Scrapper filmmaker Brian Ashby

This week’s Friday Film Pick is the beautifully shot and tenderly rendered Scrappers, a documentary that quietly follows two Chicago residents as they eke out a living from the salvaging of metallic refuse. It’s not fist-in-the-air advocacy filmmaking for the downtrodden, but in its own way Scrappers gets under the skin, forcing a closer . . . → Read More: ezra winton: Scrap America – A conversation with Scrapper filmmaker Brian Ashby

Dead Wild Roses: Diablo 3 Review – Pretty Fun, but Pretty Modular

Diablo 3 is an action RPG, in other words, it is one happy dungeon romp after another, always in search of the biggest and brightest loot to make the character of your choice that much more powerful. D3 does a wonderful job at using a variable reinforcement schedule when it comes to getting your . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Diablo 3 Review – Pretty Fun, but Pretty Modular

Art Threat: Invocation of the Queer Spirits – Book review: Queer Spirits by AA Bronson and Peter Hobbs

Invocation of the Queer Spirits (Governor’s Island) – AA Bronson

There is always a certain magic to be found in the moment of queering. As bodies are opened to unsanctioned desires and sensations, tense moments of wonder unfold before them. Static charges crackle and spark as genders and sexualities are peeled away . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Invocation of the Queer Spirits – Book review: Queer Spirits by AA Bronson and Peter Hobbs

Yappa Ding Ding: Henry V (review)

A pivotal moment in Shakespeare’s Henry V is when Henry tells his army to kill their prisoners.

Shakespeare has taken Henry through a long epic of personal change. In Henry IV Part I, Prince Hal is a dissipate, fun-loving, rich man’s son, feeling guilty about the bad deeds his father performed to get the crown. . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Henry V (review)

Things Are Good: A Good Book Review on Health

Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs (Simon & Schuster, April 2012) acts as the conclusion to the author’s bestselling “humble quest” trilogy. As with The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, Jacobs takes his readers on a wild and crazy journey, this time into the world of health.

We all see the ads on . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: A Good Book Review on Health

Flashback: Kirsty Who?

Way back when, I wrote the music column for my friend Christine Renaud’s express and upfront magazines, dedicated to “art, entertainment & life” in Prince Edward County. This review is very typical of my style at the time (or lack thereof!). I really can’t be arsed to edit it.

Remember Robert Plant’s “Tall Cool . . . → Read More: Flashback: Kirsty Who?