Alien Toad at the Vancouver Aquarium!

Here's a story I produced on the Amazonian Pipa Pipa ( Surinam Toad ) for Discovery Channel's US show Is It Possible? It was filmed right here at the Vancouver Aquarium where they had a "pregnant" and camera-shy Pipa Pipa.


Discovering the Documentary Section in My Local Video Store

The video store
My favourite thing, I wrote in my Yelp review about local video store Videomatica in Kitsilano, is their documentary section. With the Doxa festival here in Vancouver just wrapping up this weekend now's a good time to get acquainted with what local video stores have to offer in the documentary domain.

Videomatica rents a couple docs I've previously written up on sister site 416style, like the truly touching tale of two men in love in Chris and Don: A Love Story; you'll also find Addicted to Plastic a hopeful doc focusing on our predilection for plastic. If you missed American Swing at Doxa, and your chance to peek behind the doors of the seventies swinger spot Plato's retreat, Videomatica has that too.


604style's Doxa Documentary Festival Picks

Having missed Hot Docs in Toronto I was pretty upset, I kept thinking I'd have to start my own documentary festival in Vancouver. Fortunately I found Doxa which, like other doc festivals around the globe, is growing and gaining the kind of attention it deserves.

I spent a nice afternoon at Kits beach making some picks which I'll pass your way.

Chasing Wild Horses - An NYC fashion photographer finds himself chasing some beautiful beasts on Sable Island.
Directors: Matt Trecartin and Natasha Ryan, Canada, 2008, 50 minutes
Tuesday May 26 | 1:00PM | Pacific Cinémathèque

Here Are The News - An originally illiterate Yukon woman creates an esteemed and lengthy career for herself as a journalist.
Director: Cathleen Smith, Canada, 2008, 51 minutes
Wednesday May 27 | 3:00PM | Pacific Cinémathèque

Devil’s Bargain: A Journey into the Small Arms Trade - The director gains amazing access to a seething underworld we rarely hear from.
Director: Shelley Saywell, Canada, 2008, 89 minutes
Thursday May 28 | 6:30PM | Vancity Theatre

Carmen Meets Borat - People of Romania revolt at being manipulated on-screen by filmmaker and comedian Sasha Baron Cohen.
Director: Mercedes Stalenhoef, The Netherlands, 2008, 85 minutes
Friday May 29 | 9:00PM | Vancity Theatre

Act of God - From the director of Manufactured Landscapes comes a striking look at people's who's lives have been touched by lightning.
Director: Jennifer Baichwal, Canada, 2009, 75 minutes
Saturday May 30 | 7:30 PM | Granville 7 Theatre

Vancouver versus Toronto

Cypress Community Garden

Since I visited Vancouver in 2000 I'd always wanted to see what life was like on the west coast...now I've finally made it! Starting the summer soaking up life in Kitsilano, a fabulous community that rivals many of my fav places in Toronto. It's sort of a mix of the Annex and Avenue Road, Bloor West Village and the Beaches.

Since I did a little comparison of the two Canadian cities on my sister blog 416style and reminisced about some things I missed I thought I should even things up and tell you what I love about living in VanCity.

1) The mountains, the ocean and the beach, but that's an easy one. Last weekend I kayaked with a loon family including two babies, albeit not in the city, I was up at Sakinaw Lake.

2) Sushi! It's everywhere and I never grow tired of it. Walk a block from my house and there are 3 restos right on the corner. The day was driving out of Toronto to come to Vancouver I visited seven sushi restaurants and not one was open on a Sunday. (Mind you, Mondays in Vancouver might be the equivilant.)

3) The walkability of the city, strolling Denman, Commercial, Granville or West 4th.

4) Community gardens. A block from me are these abandoned railroad tracks that are blooming with flowers and fruit planted in neighborhood plots. A trail follows the Cypress garden path for several blocks with a flash of colour that makes up for the graffiti I miss in Toronto. (: There's a huge plot downtown too and if that weren't enough there seem to be so many avid gardeners, nearly every place I pass by on foot has landscaped or added a bit of natural beauty.

day 174 - on the rails


Two Canadians from Vancouver have been detained in China after protesting against their treament of Tibetans. On a day when Bejing would be celebrating the one-year countdown to the start of the 2008 Olympics, these students unfurled a massive banner on the Great Wall of China.


Canada's Next Top Metropolis

Originally uploaded by DracoRed.
A couple things weirded me out about Canada's newest borrowed TV format Canada's Next Top Model, which debuted a couple weeks back. First, CityTV couldn't seem to find a level for the audio, it was jumping all over the board. The worst thing however, was the location of the show. Fashion in the forest? I just don't see it. The model's retreat is a gorgeous spot on the lake outside of Victoria (I'm guessing) where "Supermodel" Tricia Helfer flies in to meet the young models on a float plane. Sure, great shot, great scenery, but where's the context? Canada's Next Top Model comes across as "Super" amateur because of this bad decision. The show should be pushing this country's fashion-focused metropoli, Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal. That's where the talent, the passion and the energy are, which sadly seem to be missing from the Canadian version of this show.


Eleven months into my blogging hobby I now have 5 blogs, I’ve created 114 posts and -here’s the BIG NEWS- today I reached 10,000 hits. Thank you all for stopping by, leaving comments (that’s what blogging’s all about) and showing your support for my writing habit.

Feel like going for a spin? FourONEsixSTYLE will take you for a ride around Toronto. Need to know what’s hot in technology and media? Freshtracks will give you the latest news, reviews and breakthroughs. Don’t want to travel the bumpy road anymore? Travel in style when you visit bumpmedia’s travel blog.

Burgeoning blogs include one for my Theta friends from University to stay in touch, and another blog building up to the 2010 Whistler Olympics (I can’t wait).

Highlights of my blog career include getting posted on CBC’s The Hour homepage (thanks for noticing) and getting one of my flickr photos published on a book cover.

Now that I’m feeling like an old time blog pro I’ve also started contributing to an addictive urban blog called blogTO. You’ll catch me posting there at least 3 times a week.

“Where do you find the time?” my friends ask. I know though that if I wasn’t writing I’d go mad. So please, drop by and read my blogs now and then and help contribute to my sanity.
Vidfest, Vancouver's International Digital Festival, takes place June 14 -16. Whether you are a game developer, animator, interactive designer, creative director, producer, mobile content developer or digital filmmaker, you'll surely find ways to get your creative juices flowing. Workshops, screenings and award shows make up the event, as well as opportunities to network with true industry pioneers. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and creator of Pong will be there to offer his pearls of wisdom, as well as Chris Turner, former Shift magazine writer and author of Planet Simpson. If you've got game, Vidfest is the place to be.


Hippo Stars in Telus Commercial

Happy Hippo
Originally uploaded by rajue.

In a recent Telus campaign, the Greater Vancouver Zoo's baby hippo, Hazina appears, riling animal right's organizations such as the Vancouver Humane Society. The society believes this will spur trade of exotic animals, says Vancouver's daily Metro News. However, the larger issue here seems to be that the zoo has not yet built a suitable accomodation for the growing animal. Telus conceeded that the hippo should have a better living environment and has contributed $10,000 to the zoo for this purpose. I think that's one good reason to involove the zoo in more advertising. If the zoo can't raise funding well enough on its own maybe it's time to venture down this road further.