alice in wonderland

March 27, 2010

I saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D tonight. It was better than I expected even though 3D is not my favourite way to watch a movie. I like that Tim Burton didn’t overdo the effects and I felt fairly immersed for the most part. It feels like 3D falls apart when the camera quickly pans across a screen. It gives the impression that the bits are rushing to catch up to the focal point of the scene. I’m not sure if this is a shortcoming of the technology or artistic creativity (that I just stomped on). Either way, I feel it ruins the illusion.

Besides the technology, the human actors were also very believable 🙂 – especially the Red Queen, the Mad Hatter, and Alice. The actress who plays Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is fantastic; she reminds me of a young Gwyneth Paltrow. I seem to be one of the few people I know who has never read the books but I am now tempted. Bye…going down the rabbit hole…be back soon.


earth hour sucks

March 23, 2010

Earth hour sucks because:

  • people think that by turning off their lights for an hour they are now environmentalists.
  • people think that they have done their part for the environment and can slack off for the rest of the year.
  • people I know are planning a huge candlelight party with a large carni-BBQ with cold drinks and don’t understand why it’s ironic.
  • the popularity of Earth Hour has made it into a trendy meaningless fad.
  • I think I was correct about the impacts of token behaviour.
  • I heard someone lecture a person in India about how they should be more ‘green’ like us Canadians.

Yeah, Earth Hour has some good points like communicating as a symbol of the changes we can make. So, I’ll do it anyway since I’ll probably be asleep.

spring wine and food

March 22, 2010

Happy Spring. I had a beautiful meal yesterday at Treadwell in Port Dalhousie in the Niagara region. I started with a truffle, soy-cream risotto; second was squash and mushroom gnocchi with sage, all washed down with Sauvignon Blanc from Nyarai Cellars. Dessert was vanilla ice cream, dolce de lecce ice cream, and chocolate sorbet with an espresso.

The highlight of the day was a tasting at Kacaba Vineyards were we tasted some of the best Ontario reds I have ever tasted. In fact they were some of the best reds that I have tasted. Two standouts were the 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve and the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. 2007 was an outstanding year for Ontario, especially for the red grapes that got a chance to ripen fully for a change.

hot pot

March 21, 2010

A week ago I had an amazing Chinese hot pot dinner at a friend’s house. It started with an informal blind wine tasting of a couple of reds – a pinot noir (so obvious by the nose) and a syrah (that smelled like Bordeaux and tricked us all). Then the hot pot started with a pot of plain boiling water – this is new to me since I always started my hot pot with broth. We started by mixing our personal dipping sauce by choosing from XO sauce, soy, sesame oil, grated ginger and chili paste. Then it was on to poaching salmon, skate, prawns, scallops and squid. Soon followed by oysters, clams and crab. All this accompanied by some good white wines and unfiltered sake.

I was completely full by this point, but the show must go on. The broth was smelling wonderful – we added watercress, and then spinach, tofu and u-don noodles. We all finished with a wonderful bowl of soup. This was the very best hot pot meal that I ever had. Absolutely wonderful.

The story in my previous blog entry made me realize just how important (and scary) Facebook has become. The suspect’s Facebook profile photo is used in the article, as well as the victim’s friends have been scoured for news leads and to determine her family structure. It is the first example I have seen that has so blatantly invaded a victim’s privacy to gather information for a story. Another reason to be careful of what you post.

honour killing?

March 20, 2010

The story about the Belleville killings doesn’t fit most people’s limited definition of an honour killing, but it seems like the same thing to me – killing someone because they have caused you embarrassment or because you cannot control them.

I see domestic violence and killings as the same as ‘traditional’ honour violence and killings. Both are about control and manipulation by force. In North America, we tend to hide domestic violence as an internal family problem – “dirty laundry”. We should openly condemn every act of violence whether it is local and familiar or imported from far away places. To argue whether one or the other is culturally tolerated is meaningless – they both are. Now let’s do something about it! Listen. Speak. Act.


March 20, 2010

Quebec has made two recent rulings related to the niqāb – the body-covering garment worn by some Muslims. In one, a woman was barred from a free French language class unless she removed her niqāb; in the other, a woman wearing a niqāb was denied her demand that a woman take her medicare card picture.

In the first incident, the school insisted that the instructor must see the pupil’s face to correct pronunciation. Quebec’s Immigration minister has backed this decision after pressure from the Parti Quebecois for failing to protect Quebec values. The woman has now lodged a human-rights complaint. In the second incident, Quebec’s Human-Rights Commission ruled that Read the rest of this entry »