Archive | July, 2009

Evolved: The Circus

30 Jul

Colorful costumes, unbelievable contorsion movements, sky high balancing acts, and enchanting music all intertwined into one incredible story. Sound familiar? The art of acrobatics and gymnastics has been around for centuries, and we all have a childhood memory of a classic circus with high wire acts and colorful costumes, but bringing it all together creates an artform reletively new. Cirque Du Soleil might come to mind, one of the first companies to combine acrobatics, contorsionists, circus settings and epic soundtracts into one theatrical performance. This is a style of entertainment that is only recently etching its way onto the world stage.


I had seen one Cirque Du Soleil show before, the travelling show ‘Delirum’ as it made its way through North America. And I was fascinated by the performance. Last spring while in Beijing, after seeing a chinese opera performance one night, I had the oportunity to go see the Beijing Acrobats the next night. I was completely blown away by the athletic abilities of these young adults and children performing on stage, easily on par with the stunts I had seen in Cirque Du Soleil.


Recently I attended Cirque Shanghai Bai Xi in Edmonton. This time, famous chinese acrobatic stunts such as the 10 people on one cicycle stunt and pole leaping were performed. The music was modern, many tracks were remakes of famous theme songs. It all went together well. The chinese shows have a refreshing distinct difference and feel than say Cirque du Soleil. But all are worth every penny to sit and watch it all happen live before your eyes.

So next time you have the opportunity, take in a show, you’ll be experiencing the evolution of theater, and leaving with a big smile on your face.

Nasa Earth Observatory Releases Eclipse Photos

23 Jul

On July 22, 2009, if you found yourself in India, China, Taiwan, or floating in the pacific, you might have been greeted with the longest solar eclipse of the century.

 These images show the earth at 8:30am Taiwan time, and one hour later when the moon completely over overlaps the suns disc in totality. The shadow of the moon you can see here centered over Taiwan at 9:30am.

People from all over the world came out to witness this eclipse as it made itself visable throughout asia. With a total of 6 minutes of full eclipse made over the pacific ocean.

You can read the CNN article here. Or visit the Earth Observatory story here.

Giant Jellyfish: The Invasion!

19 Jul

Sounds like a cheesy horror flick, but fake this is not.

Nomura Jellyfish can grow up to 2m in diameter and weigh 220kg, making them one of the largest in the oceans. Habitat is primarily located in the waters between Japan and China in the Yellow and East China Sea. So whats the story with these things? Well the population of these jellyfish has been exploding, with problematic bursts in the last few years. Large groups of these jellyfish drift towards Japan and can wreak havoc on the fishing industry in Japan, destroying nets and causing real economic damage to Japan’s communities which rely on fishing as their primary industry.

2005 and 2007 saw large numbers of the Nomura drift into Japanese waters, and this summer they are gathering for another invasion of Japan, with sightings in the Sea of Japan recently.

Check the article:

It is not clear what is causing the population explosion of these jellyfish, ideas range from increased nutrients from China’s agriculture and hydro industry being leaked into the coastal water, overfishing of predator species, and increasing ocean temperatures.

Being a diver myself, I have yet to encounter one of these, and I’m not so sure I want to. The whole scenario sounds like a great idea for another Monster vs Japan flick, in some long awaited sequal to the Godzilla days.

Edmonton Police Services launches Crime Map.

17 Jul

In the news recently was the launch of the Edmonton Police Services crime mapping tool. This tool utlilizes the google maps application, and is a much needed technological advancement in crime prevention for a city such as Edmonton.

I first read about it in the Edmonton Journal, you can read the article here.

Users can goto and select the neighborhood they want to search, you can even select the types of crimes you want displayed. Soon you will be greeted with a map of your neighborhood dotted with the locations of recent crimes. If your neighborhood looks like it has chicken pox, that might not be a good sign.

Other cities have used this type of mapping for years, and it is good to see Edmonton get on board. Its crucial that residents of the city see where and when crimes happen. This raises public awareness, and can prevent future crimes from happening. If we become aware of crime hotbeds, it better prepares us to keep an eye open for any suspicious activity. Criminals also become aware that their crimes location and details are made open to the public, which in some instances work as a prevention tactic.

This is definetely a big step forward for the City of Edmonton and EPS.

Whats your Favorite Pixar Short?

16 Jul

Not only is Pixar famous for its role in great animation movies. But almost just as famous are its infamous shorts that precede all Pixar movies. Over the years there has been many good ones, which one is your favorite? Here’s a sample of mine… Make sure you watch them in HD.

Country Anyone?

15 Jul

Take a look at some of the tracks Ive been listening to lately…

Swimming Pools, not the inflatable kind…

13 Jul

Peeped this on another blog, and thought I’d share it. Swimming pools have come along way since the days of a kitty pool in your backyard…

World’s Most Amazing Swimming Pools

Our Obsession with the Abnormal

3 Jul

First off let’s discuss what abnormal is all about. Abnormal isn’t a bad or derogitory term, it simply means not normal, normal being of course those traits, behaviors, characteristics, etc. attributed to the majority of a given sample.

Now take in to account a Television Network; TLC. TLC has been satisfying our craving for oddities by dishing out reality shows based on families such as the famous ‘John and Kate Plus 8’. John and Kate quickly stole the spotlight from TLC’s previous poster boy of reality TV, ‘Little People Big World’; the pumpkin growing little family from Portland. We would watch John and Kate raise their 8 children, and wonder how they could do it, fascinated by their lifestyle and how they managed it.

But John and Kate took on a sudden twist this spring, the couple is getting divorced. Viewers could see it coming as the tension between this couple grow on the show over time. With some specialisits even condeming the show to being a toxic environment to raise 8 children, due to the parents relationship and their everyday lives being broadcast on TV.

The show is now temporarily cancelled, but in the wake of ‘John and Kate Plus 8′ comes ’18 kids and counting’, and ‘The Little Couple’. TLC has all the bases covered when it comes to our taste for this flavor of reality TV.

So what is it that draws us to these shows, what is it with our fascination of the strange and unusual. Is it the same psyche that inspires some bizarre architecture, compels us to stray from the pack in highschool with some strange hair style or clothing, or to eat some strange-to-us food in a far away country? Is it better to be the unusual, or to be part of the mass of normals gawking at the abnormals?

If you have the answers, feel free to let me know…