Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Improv Everywhere

This is a group of actors/artists who stage various sketches on public places, and basically entertains people. It's not exactly street theater, but in some ways it is. I guess you could also consider it as social experiments as well.

The group stage it in such a way that it takes people by surprise. Something different to the daily routine people are used to. Something absurd that makes people stop and take a look, and hopefully make them smile. The best part is looking at the reaction of the people.

How would you feel if the guy sitting next to you on a train started belting out Elvis songs and shaking his hips. Either you can enjoy it, or run away from the mad man. Personally, I hope I will be able to enjoy it. However, if I was alone, I would be vary, but if there were other people around, I would definitely enjoy it.

Their site showcases all of their projects. Worth a look.

This is their latest, spontaneous singing at the mall.

The below is a talk given by the founder of the group at TED.

There was a similar thing done in SL by Airtel (that's what I heard or read somewhere, but I'm not sure), group of people dancing in front if the Fort Railway Station.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Cavalcade of Lights 2011

The city of Toronto officially started the Christmas season last Saturday (26th) night with a bang. It's called the Cavalcade of Lights and is held every year in front of the new city hall at Nathan Philips Square. The ceremonies are started off with the lighting of the Christmas tree. Then there is a musical show for about an hour, and then the show stopper, the fireworks. 

Christmas decorations are coming out all over the city. Malls are showcasing their Christmas trees and decorations, along with sales. Yep, Christmas is definitely on the way :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Robin Williams - Stand Up Routines

Robin Williams is one of my favorite actors. The man is an entertainment power house. I found some videos of his stand up routines from the early days and watching him is like watching a tornado, without the destruction.

This is an interview he did for the "Inside the Actor's Studio" series. Hilarious :D. The man doesn't have "serious" in his vocabulary.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Recently Read: Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz

Spoiler alert :)

I only recently discovered Dean Koontz. I picked up another book by his called Odd Thomas at the British Council just before I came here, but couldn't finish it before I left. So when I came across this one at a bargain price, I thought I'd have a go at it.

Twilight Eyes revolves around a young man called Slim, who is psychic. In addition to having premonitions, his greatest gift, or curse, depending on how you see it, is that he can see "goblins". Goblins are what he has named  animal like creatures who has the ability to transform into human form and live as normal humans, but in reality they live off human misery. Because of Slim's gift, he is able to see through the disguise and see their true nature. There are few other character in the story who can see, or feel the goblins, so with there help Slim goes to battle with the Goblins.

To me it is basically the good vs. evil story. The goblins are the bad guys who create various disasters around the world. They do this because they feed off the misery of the humans caused by their actions. However it also explores the fact that humans are in a constant path of self destruction. our never ending lust for power will eventually bring about our own destruction. In addition, it also deals with the differences of people, and how some people are more accepting of these differences than others. Well, that's how I feel anyway.

I have only read one and half Dean Koontz books, so I really can't comment on his other works, but these two are mellow compared to something by Stephen King.

Anyway, it is a good read, and should give it a chance.

In a non related matter, I found a a graphic novel of Terry Pratchett's Color of Magic and Light Fantastic at the used bookshop, so woo hoo :)

Dean Koontz official site
Twilight Eyes Wiki page
Amazon Link

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Toronto Santa Clause Parade 2011

Sunday the 20th was the day when Santa rode into town.

The Toronto Santa Clause parade has been entertaining kids and adults alike since 1905, which makes this year the 106th time the parade is happening. it has everything, from clowns to cartoon characters, marching bands, floats, and of course the big man himself, Santa.

Luckily the weather was good with a temperature of about 13, but there was a lot of wind, which made it much colder. But that didn't stop the people from coming in the thousands to line the parade route.

Official site
History of the parade
YouTube channel where you can see archive footage

pics below, enjoy

People lining up the parade rout

Here come the clowns

Clowns handing over panda ears to the kids

Police handing over gift bags to the kids

Po from Kung fu Panda

Some Hockey Dude


Power Rangers are in town

More Clowns

Marching band

police marching bacnd

Ronal McDonald making the rounds. McDonald's was a sponsor, so they were giving out free coffee. 

Mother Goose

Mr. Potato Head and Mr.Monopoly

On of the marching bands

Lego Men

Costumed characters


Hand walking monkeys

More costumed characters

Loony Tunes

A surfing Bugsy

Another marching band

Barbie float

Another marching band


Another marching band

The Muppet's float

Dinosaur floats from the Royal Ontario Museum 

Another marching band

Tots on toy cars

Happy Feet

Coca Cola float

Tim Horton's Gingerbread house


A marching band from NY, USA

Mrs. Clause

Here's the big man himself