We know that people love videos of animals doing funny/weird/cute/stupid things. Just look at all those viral cat videos—when we think we've seen enough, a new one pops up and we're instantly hooked again. It's like Christmas morning for me. "Another video of a cute fluffly kitty playing with a cardboard box?! You shouldn't have!"
So get ready for the next installment of animal videos—this time with a twist! I present to you the next singing sensation: Corgi Rae Jepsen!
If there was dog karaoke, this would be it.
Jocelyn is a graduate of English and Communications from SFU. She loves all animals, but her heart is cat shaped. She hopes to release her cat fashion line in the near future.
Photo courtesy of gallery.minitokyo.net
When was the last time you played a video game with a human main character who was not a white heterosexual male?
I remember being entertained by the internet meme "The World Needs Mages of All Colours—Gamers Against Racism." It is a response to the inclusion of black, red and white mages, or wizards, in the video game franchise, Final Fantasy. However, these mages are not actually multiracial complex characters but rather static characters wearing different coloured robes.
In video games, heroes of colour, queer protagonists, and strong female characters are disappointingly rare.
If this trend reflects an over-reliance on a consumer base of white males in their mid-20s, video game producers are missing an opportunity to reach new markets.
The problem is complicated by the fact that recent attempts towards inclusivity in video game design have been met with bigoted negative responses from many gamers.
Consider, for instance, the unfortunate response of many players to video game developer BioWare's decision to include same-sex relationships for players in the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises.
Gamers may be reluctant to re-think what a video game experience should consist of. This is reflected by the explosive negative online response to BioWare writer Jennifer Hepler's suggestion of having an option for video gamers to skip the gameplay and allowing players to focus exclusively on the story of the video game, so to appeal to a broader audience, including women.
Video games are about fantasy and learning how to deal with variables, with no real life consequences. Many people turn to video games for the opportunity to encounter new, alternative and fantastical circumstances. I think it would be a good experience for people to see video game characters that reflect their own identity and to also play characters that don't reflect themselves.Posted by Viola Chen | June 30, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of disinfo.com
Adidas recently released a pair of avant-garde sneakers with rubber shackles that close around your ankles. The tagline for the shoes asks, "Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?" But the shoes were promptly taken off the market because of a huge social media backlash on how they are—wait for it—glorifying and/or making light of slavery. Clearly, these shoes are meant to represent the shackles on the feet of the oppressed. The contrite Adidas wrote in a statement: "We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace."
Seriously, guys? Okay, sure, shackles might be a touchy piece of imagery. But we have to put things in context. I have a crazy hypothesis: They're just really stupid shoes. They were designed by Jeremy Scott, the guy who unleashed these gems on the world:
Photo courtesy of jeremyscottbyadidasr.com
Photo courtesy of mlkshk.com
Photo courtesy of newclothing.co
Yes, those cheetah-print sneakers have little stuffed tails. Yes, those lace-up wedges have huge leather butterfly wings. And who wouldn't pay $200 to walk around with their feet impaling creepy plush gorilla heads?
If you consider Scott's body of work, the shackle shoes just seem like another totally wacky design from this totally wacky designer. I really doubt that they are a racist plot.Posted by Viola Chen | June 28, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of sports.nationalpost.com
Several weeks ago, the deputy mayor of Gdansk, Poland thanked the city's residents and employees for behaving well as the city hosts the Euro 2012 football championship. Gdansk was full of rowdy football fans from over 16 nations across Europe, so Deputy Mayor Bojanowski was understandably grateful that operations were running smoothly: normal, civilized, and—wait a second, what did he say?
"I thank residents and city employees for behaving like normal civilized white people toward our guests, who have in turn also behaved like normal white people," he said in a radio broadcast.
To his credit, Bojanowski promptly published an apology in a local paper. A representative from a Polish anti-racism group, Foundation for Freedom, said that they were sure the deputy mayor meant no ill will; he is simply a product of a culture deeply rooted in stereotypes and xenophobia. Makes sense to me.
Bojanowski's statement is downright surreal to hear, because there's just no possibility of a North American politician saying something so obviously, utterly, and unambiguously racist. I feel like if any government official in North America publicly thanked "civilized white people," a fiery chasm would crack open under their feet and they would plunge down to the earth's core and be incinerated—or something else equally catastrophic.Posted by Viola Chen | June 29, 2012 | Comments (0)
Bashu, the Little Stranger, screening tonight at Vancity Theatre as part of VIFF's Reel Causes initiative, was made in 1986 and honoured in the late 90s as the best Iranian film of all time by a Persian magazine that polled 150 critics and filmmakers. Initially, it is a little slow-moving by 2012's standards. But once your internet-shortened attention span gets accustomed to the pace, what a riveting and fulfilling experience it is. Bashu draws you relentlessly into its world, especially with the performance of its firebrand of a leading lady.
For the first few minutes comes a long sequence showing the bombing during the Iran-Iraq war that kills Bashu's family and drives the little boy to jump into a truck. We follow the winding path he unwittingly travels into the lives of a farm-woman and her community.
Bashu wakes up in the North, and wanders into a field. Shortly after, he is discovered by Naii and her children. Initially, the strong-willed, mischievous and almost feral mother of two throws clumps of dirt at Bashu to shoo him away. She takes her children home, leaving him in the bushes. But soon she has a change of heart, leaving food and drink outside her door.
Thus begin Naii's and Bashu's struggles, first to understand each other across language barriers, then to affirm their bond and resist the pressure Naii's fellow villagers exert upon her to give up her attachment to the 'little piece of charcoal'. To them, Bashu is nothing but an extra mouth to feed, and worse: he is foreign.
In the face of their rejection Naii now stands as strongly by Bashu's side as she was at first against him, even while the villagers' moral codes vacillate according to their convenience.
Filmmaker Bahran Beizai paints the world of the two nuanced lead characters in often surreal images and against the backdrop of unrelenting group forces. Whenever Bashu feels especially traumatized or alienated the silent ghosts of his family appear, unseen by anyone else.
I was reminded of Golding's universe of children in Lord of the Flies when the younger villagers, a group of little boys, start to take an interest in Bashu. He speaks a funny language, he can read their Persian textbook though he can't speak their dialect, Gilaki, and he turns random objects into drums. But just when one thinks their interest is friendly, it takes a more sinister turn.
Beizai revels in the staged quality of certain scenes in the film. Some of Naii's scenes begin with her striking a pose, apparently photograph-ready, before she continues into action. Rather than taking the audience out of the story, these serve instead to immerse them into Bashu's experienced blend of reality and unreality.
Bezai's film is a funny, heart-wrenching, and sometimes brutal look at how human beings in groups negotiate having outsiders in their midst and accommodate change. But most importantly, it is about finding the strength to defend a bond the characters' immediate world conspires to destroy.
Bashu is evidence that the strongest dramas come out of complex characters pitted against each other in a vividly imagined and honestly depicted world, not special effects or clever language or self-sacrificing but one-dimensional heroics. Much respect to this Iranian gem.
Check out more Reel Causes events at: reelcauses.org.
Gayatri is a philosopher-turned-professional-film-fanatic, with East and West in her DNA, and a travel bug in her boot. Follow her @Gaya3b on Twitter.Posted by Gayatri Bajpai | June 26, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of visitkorea.ca
In about a month, I will be moving to Japan. I have never been there before and, of course, have many questions about what living there will entail. And perhaps the number one thing I've been told so far is that it's hot. So hot. The next thing I've been told? Wear formal business attire until your supervisor tells you otherwise. That combined with the apparently "weak" deodorant available in Japan has me somewhat concerned about my own comfort and body odor.
At least I'll be in good company, as government workers in Seoul, South Korea, are struggling through a hot, non-air conditioned summer in full suits. Strict dress codes have left an unsavory taste in the air of many offices. So why would the government subject their workers and their own sensory system to such a sweaty season? It's actually for a good cause, cutting down electricity consumption and working towards more environmentally friendly policies.
The President of South Korea has attempted to ease the dress code by allowing workers to show off a bit of arm and leg—the shorts and polo combo is the new summer suit that workers can don to combat the heat. I can only hope that the same goes in Japan. Yet many businessmen continue to dress to the nines in their pants and jackets. Why would you subject yourself to such torture?
Think about when you see someone wearing a particularly dashing suit—doesn't part of you ascribe some level of importance to him or her? In South Korea, it remains an important way of presenting your authority, which explains why some are reluctant to lower their social status by dressing like they're supposed to be at home relaxing.
Men and women continue to wear their suits, coming up with other methods to cool down, whatever they may be. Yet clearly, clothing still bears great importance in terms of showing social status, respect, and ambition. Is this a good or bad thing? If it is being done in the name of environmental sustainability, then kudos to all those office workers. But if you have the option of wearing lighter attire to your air-conditioned office, is it really that humiliating to denounce your suit status in lieu of comfort? In a bizarre struggle between psychology, tradition, and environmental sustainability, the people in Seoul have chosen a hotter, sweatier path to virtue.Posted by Codi Hauka | June 29, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of stopsmokingcigarettenow.com
In a recent Statistics Canada Survey, the percentage of both Canadian adults and teens smokers seems to have gone down. Is smoking not part of the Canadian culture now?
Canadians are more often labelled as being the 'healthy' or 'hippie' North Americans and maybe it is true. But when it comes down to smoking I am not sure whether the reason most Canadians don't like smoking is because it is inherently part of our culture or if it's because its imposed on us by strict governmental regulations.
In Canada, cigarettes are no longer visibly displayed in supermarkets. Cigarette cartons even have graphic images to turn smokers off. Also, most provinces in Canada have now implemented rules that do not allow people to smoke within 6 meters of doors or windows. Last year, the city of Vancouver went so far as to implement policies that would ban people from smoking in public areas such as beaches and parks.
Photo courtesy of cbc.ca
I would like to think that the adults and teens of Canada just have better ways of socializing with each other than over a cigarette. I feel like the North American culture is faster paced. We don't have it in the culture to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or a smoke. The coffee culture is more on the go and I assume it's the same with smoking culture.
Either way, I love that Canadians are not big smokers. I never really appreciated it until I travelled last summer outside Canada. When I landed back in Vancouver, the first think I noticed was the fresh air and the amount of people who don't smoke.Posted by Viola Chen | June 28, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of guardian.co.uk
Virgin Galactic is a company within Virgin Group; a company founded by Richard Branson. Branson is hoping to launch his first commercial flight into outer space by the end of 2013. On this journey to space from earth, customers will be able to go more than 100km above the Earth's surface. This will allow passengers to view the curve of the Earth for 7 minutes before descending back to earth.
The fantasy to experience life beyond the earths' atmosphere was always limited to astronauts or the realm of television. For Star Trek fans, I am sure this is a dream come true. Among those who have already booked their journeys are Branson himself, his son, daughter, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pit, Ashton Kutcher, Princess Beatrice and Paris Hilton. Not surprising that only the wealthy few are venturing on this trip.
But is the cost and risk worth it? Space tourism is a fresh, new market and as expected the flights will be costly. Virgin Galactic has priced the journey at £125,000. This is quite hefty and unaffordable for most people, but for those who can afford it, is it worth the risk? Critiques of space tourism have mentioned the growing concerns for the risk that passengers are taking. Some even say that this should be considered a dangerous sport.
There is no doubt that there is an unbalanced distribution of wealth around the world. It is unfair that only wealthy people can afford space tourism. But I'm not going to lecture the wealthy, telling them that there are much more useful things to spend their money on.
Is the idea of space tourism is ridiculous? Yes! But do I think we should put an end to it or convince those who are a part of it to do better with their money? No. As much as I am skeptical about space tourism and have many concerns such as environmental and individual risk factors, I don't think it's fair to limit innovators. Encouraging 'crazy' innovators has given humanity the luxury to fly across oceans.
The fact is, commercial airlines started the same way. Only celebrities and billionaires could afford flying airplanes. There is no doubt that this is a break through and it seems that a new industry is emerging. Space tourism will undoubtedly become cheaper. Personally, going beyond the earth's atmosphere has never been a dream of mine. Every time I think of space I can't help but remember the dreadful movie Armageddon. But if your dream has always been to go into outer space and you can afford the offering price, then by all means go for it!Posted by Viola Chen | June 26, 2012 | Comments (0)
July is here and school is officially out! It's the summer month when most people are likely to travel. The weather is nice but not too hot like August. For those who can't travel this year and are in Vancouver, I suggest you have a "staycation" and check out what exciting things await you this July!
And for those visiting Vancouver, well, let me just tell you that this will be a fun-filled month for you! You will surely get a taste of the different cultures that Vancouver has to offer to you. Lots of the events below show and cater to the diversity that is present in Vancouver. Your trip around the world, but much less expensive!
10. Canada Day: July 1st
Photo courtesy of eieihome.com
To start off the beautiful month of July, there will be lots to celebrate on July 1st. July for me is always marked by Canada Day. It's the day where I feel that the whole city is alive and out celebrating. We've been lucky too that it's always been sunny in the past, making it a nice way to commence the summer. Lots of things will be taking place in Vancouver that day. You can catch the many parades and festivals in Richmond, Granville Island, and Canada Place. Just get out your red and white gear and you'll be ready to carry on with the festivities. If you're more of a high roller, you'll be happy to know that there are Canada Day cruises happening.
This year Canada Day luckily falls on Sunday, so it's a great way to spend time with family and friends while celebrating. For those who are fans of fireworks, you can end the day with extravagant Canada Day firework celebrations. The spectacle will take place at the Burrard Inlet, but will be visible from multiple places in downtown and West Vancouver. This year I might check out the first annual Canada Day Block Party at the Waldorf Hotel. It looks promising, with Vancouver food carts, DJs, a carnival and much more. And for you soccer fans, don't miss out on watching the Euro Cup finals! Commercial will probably the best place to watch it. Happy Canada Day!
9. Summer Playland Festival: July 6th-8th
Photo courtesy of writergirlkarin.com
The second weekend of July will hold the "first true teen music festival in North America." The Summer Playland Festival (SPF) looks promising and definitely appealing to young adults that will be staying in Vancouver this summer! Carly Rae Jepsen, known for her #1 hit Call Me Maybe will be performing that weekend along with other big artists like OneRepublic, Joe Jonas, Marinas Trench, Gym Class Heroes and much more. I am way past my teen years but I would consider going to this! What's more fun than listening to good music and riding on PNE attractions?
8. Indian Summer Festival: July 5th-15th
Photo courtesy of insidevancouver.ca
Do you enjoy the Indian culture, and wish to indulge in it but can't afford a trip right now? Well not to worry because during the 10 days of the Indian Summer Festival, there will be lots of opportunities to enjoy Indian cuisine, music and more, all while being in Vancouver! I am really excited to check it out. The opening gala itself sounds promising; it features Chef Vikram Vij, owner of the highly known and esteemed Vij's restaurant.
7. Folk Music Festival: July 13rd-15th
Photo courtesy of sscl.wordpress.com
Artists from all over the world will be at performing at this year's 35th annual Folk Music Festival. The Folk Festival, like any other music festival, is an amazing experience. This year the festival will be held at Jericho Beach. Some artists that you might not want to miss out on are K'naan, Bette and Wallet, Jaron Freeman-Fox, Dan Mangan, Ani DiFranco, and Murray McLauchlan This year the festival seems to have a great variety of artists, from very folk-fest veterans to more contemporary folk artists who have been inspired and influenced by hip hop and indie. Arabic, Turkish, and Afrobeats will also be present at the Festival. A first timer of the music festival that I look forward to hearing is Emel Mathlouthi; she is a Tunisian singer that contributed to the Arab Spring. There is something for everyone!
6. Surrey Fusion Festival: July 21st-22nd
Photo courtesy of miss604.com
This year's Fusion festival will be bringing the best three things to together: music, food and culture. With a great line-up, diversity of cultural flavours and pavilions, the festival is one you do not want to miss! Walk Off the Earth, best known for their viral video cover of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" will be performing along with INDANATION a local band that has hit the international Bhangra scene. With a diversity of artists, the festival is sounding to be very exciting! Many pavilions will also show case food and crafts from countries all over the world.
5. Peruvian festival: July 28th
Photo courtesy of facebook.com
If you missed the Peruvian pavilion at the Surrey Fusion Festival, you have another day to celebrate the wonderful Peruvian culture on July 28th. There will be food vendors, live music and dance at the Ukraine Catholic centre. This is the first annual Peruvian festival that will ever be held in Vancouver, so this is definitely going to be an anticipated event.
4. 25th Annual Caribbean Days Festival: July 28th-29th
Photo courtesy of insidevancouver.ca
The Caribbean festival is far from dull! You can certainly expect a weekend of tropical rhythm, cuisine, carnival and culture. At North Vancouver's waterfront park, you can expect parading, dancing, music and dining Caribbean style.
3. Celebration of Lights: July 28th, Aug 1st and 4th
Photo courtesy of modernaccommodations.com
When I think of Vancouver summer I always remember the Celebration of Lights. It's definitely one of the biggest events in Vancouver. Every year for as long as I can remember I have attended the Celebration of Lights. It's a nice chance to just chill with friends on the beach for the day and then at night cozy up in blankets to watch the beautiful firework display that is performed by different countries.
This year all three participating countries have never performed at the celebration of lights. Vietnam will start off on July 28th followed by Brazil and then Italy. You can catch the fireworks from several locations but English bay always seems to attract the most crowds. Before the performances you can experience the culture of each performing country at Sunset Beach, which will be accompanied by music at Shorefest. Celebration of Lights has grown over the year and I think this year the pre-performance events will make it that much better.
2. Night Market
Photo courtesy of eatsnaprepeat.wordpress.com
The Night Market has always been a summer hit. As usual the Night Market opened in May and will run until September. This year though, the Richmond Night Market promises to be double the fun! With a new location added in addition to the old Night Market, there are many more vendors to see. The new market has less food and retail vendors but includes more entertainment, carnival rides and a "Dragon Zip line." The two night markets have different things to offer, so I say check them out both and see which one you prefer!
1. Grouse Grind
Photo courtesy of upmagazine.com
After all those celebrations, eating and drinking, if you feel the need to intensely exercise, the Grouse Grind is the place for you! The Grouse Grind is one of the best hikes in Vancouver. The best way to end your "staycation" in Vancouver is by doing something that most Vancouverites have done. The Grouse Grind is definitely a Vancouver experience! It embodies the great outdoors, athleticism and scenery of Vancouver. Hiking up the mountain is free but it costs $10 to go down the gondola. After you've hiked up "mother nature's stairmaster" you will not want to go back down on foot!
Enjoy the fun, packed month of July! Here's hoping for better weather! Also, along with the amazing events mentioned above you might also want to check out concerts that are happening in Vancouver this summer! Snoop dog, Frank Ocean, AVICII, Skrillex, and Beirut are all coming in July. This month is looking to be not so bad!Posted by Viola Chen | June 27, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk
Dish sponges have become the centre of racial controversy in the UK. British manufacturer Paladone has been accused of promoting racist imagery with their 'King of Disco' and 'Diva' scrub brushes. Both sponges feature black musical characters from the 1970s with huge afros; they are sold as a novelty item that makes doing the dishes fun.
Anti-Racism activists want the brushes pulled from stores.Unite Against Facism, a British rights group, says that the sponges embody stereotypes of black people created during slavery. The group finds it shocking that such a product exists in the 21st century. General Secretary Wayne Bennett told The Daily Mail that these scrub brushes push back the progress that has been made against racist stereotypes in society in the last forty years.
Paladone is defending their creation and refusing to remove it from stores. According to a press release, the sponges are based on musical themes without prejudice. The brushes are sold in a set of four, and feature two white characters: 'Punk' and 'Groovy'. Punk and Diva were released in 2010 and became so successful that Groovy and Disco were added to the collection the following year.
Photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk
So can scrub brushes be considered racist? At first glance, my immediate response was yes. Comparing black people's afros to brillo pads isn't cool. However, I realized that there are also Punk and Groovy, white characters that also sport different brillo pad hairstyles. Clearly, Paladone wasn't trying to insinuate that people of African descent have scrub brush hair.
Paladone was trying to, albeit sloppily, recreate styles from the musical genre. Diana Ross, the inspiration for the Diva scrub, has a huge afro—which happens to be one of the dominant styles of the 1970s. Many people of non-African descent permed their hair for the afro effect.
There is stereotyping of both black and white musical characters in these scrub brushes. Black women have curves; only white kids are punks; black men are the best dancers, and the 'typical' emblematic gogo dancer was white. It would have been refreshing to see these stereotypes broken. In the end, I prefer to be a Diva than a Groovy. GoGo music was never my style.
Kait Bolongaro loves to write about cultures and how people occupy them. She is a freelance culture journalist and photographer who is addicted to travelling. Kait continues to discover new lands and adventures, starting with a Masters of Journalism in Denmark in the fall. To follow her on her journeys, check out her website or follow her on twitter.
How does dating this guy affect how other people see me?
"Is he Chinese?" I heard this question just last week, but it's not the first time I've been asked. I get asked this question often when I talk about my significant other. Sometimes it's a lingering question like, "And your boyfriend is...?" Or sometimes it's a simple statement: "Oh, he's white!"
What I always wondered is what that says about me as a person.
The person we're dating is supposed to reflect on who we are, because they're one of the most important people in our lives. So what does his race say about me?
Sometimes, I feel like I'm being judged or accused of something. I never know whether this feeling is real or imagined. It's like someone is asking me if I'm dating my own kind.
Sometimes, I feel like I'm being figured out. Like dating a white guy is supposed to say something about how "white" I am, how integrated I am, or how "Canadian" I am.
When I speak about Stephen, I often forget he's a different race than me. I say he's stubborn. He's smart. He's seriously annoying me. Or he's being incredibly sweet. But I don't remember to say that he's white. It's no wonder people have a hard time attaching a picture of what he looks like to my description of him.
It's not that I don't know he's white. Sure, his eyes are the most incredible ever-changing mixture of blue, green and brown I've ever seen (this is your cue to barf), but I simply forget that my skin, my eyes, and my hair are darker than his.
But how others see us and how we see ourselves are not the same.
When I interviewed interracial couples for my thesis, their most common experience is that they only think of their relationships as interracial when others react to their relationship.
What do you think people think when you tell them the race of your boyfriend or girlfriend?Posted by Vinnie Yuen | June 27, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of who2.com
On May 19th, Mark Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan. "Mrs.Facebook," as many newspapers have titled her, is a well accomplished and intelligent woman that has a lot going for her aside from her marriage to the 28-year-old billionaire. The wife of Mark Zuckerberg is not the typical woman you would expect a billionaire to marry; she's not your average trophy wife.
Chan attended Harvard where she majored in biology and went on to go to medical school where she recently graduated as a pediatrician. Chan plans on working as a pediatrician even after being married to Zuckerberg. She even has inspired Zuckerburg to add an organ donation registry tool to Facebook.
Yet it is frustrating that media outlets are painting Chan as a wife who would live in the shadows of her husband. We live in a time where women are no longer—and should no longer be—defined by their husbands but by their own careers and accomplishments. It is quite ridiculous reading comments that portray Chan as being "a lucky girl" for having married Zuckerberg and that she is now living the American dream, having being raised by her grandmother while her immigrant parents worked long hours to make ends meet.
The "American Dream" is having the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work, regardless of your social class or circumstances at birth. Chan is a "lucky girl" and she got to where she is today not because she came from an underprivileged background but because she worked hard to get to where she is today.
She is a first generation American citizen who is both influenced by and encompasses foreign and native cultural traits which essentially makes her a cultural hybrid. For these reasons I think the media should recognize Chan's individual hard work as opposed to concentrating on her background and her husband.
It is nice to see that the "new trophy wives" of billionaires are no longer depending solely on the wealth and success of their husbands. But rather, they themselves are standing out as being smart, individual and successful women.Posted by Viola Chen | June 22, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of newszeus.com
With globalization, easy transportation and the increase in fascination with different cultures, the trend of backpacking has increased phenomenally over the years. Backpacking is especially appealing for those who love to travel and want to explore the world but can't afford the luxery of staying in 5-star hotels. It is also a way for travelers to get to know different cultures on a more intimate level, as opposed to doing very "touristy" things.
Thousands of college students backpack to Asia, Africa, Europe and South America all while capturing amazing photos of the more rural and simpler side of countries. The greater push for understanding global culture has become a trend, which is certainly not a bad thing. So what's so special about Michael Wigge?
Photo courtesy of theage.com.au
In 2010, Michael Wigge set out to go from Berlin to Antarctica with no money. Wait what?! Yes that's right, he crossed the Atlantic, went to North America, Latin America and finally reached Antarctica without a single penny in his pocket. He is definitely my hero!
He took the small concept of bartering to a whole other level. He would pick up small jobs here and there in order to get food and to even get across the Atlantic! He also relied a great deal on the generosity and hospitality of people.
What is amazing about Michael Wigge is that he was adventurous and bold enough to do so, with absolutely no shame. Michael, for me is the definition of someone who sets their mind to something and just goes for it; "if there is a will there is a way."
Photo courtesy of news.com.au
In this economy and globalizing world, unconventional ways to travel is picking up. Not only is it good for our bank accounts but it is also a lot of fun. Backpacking is already an adventurous way to travel where you get to meet people at hostels and while site seeing. But going the extra mile and replying on the generosity of strangers for a place to stay definitely tops that!
With a little bit of open mindedness and willingness to not be so comfortable, world travel is definitely within everyone's reach! I would take seeing the world any day over being comfortable. If you are up for it, the number one thing I always recommend to my friends and family is to travel! But a word of caution: once you start traveling, you might get addicted.Posted by Viola Chen | June 22, 2012 | Comments (0)
If you're single and desperately seeking for that special someone, or looking to re-kindle some magic with your partner, fret no longer! After following all of these tips, your only worry will be claustrophobia. Having numerous attractive people in your personal bubble (or the undivided attention of your special someone) can wear you out—prepare yourself (if that's you, you might want tips of being fought over).
So, there they are: seduction tips from four Schema-certified hotties. But this advice is useless if you don't use it. Now venture out into the world, young grasshopper, and apply this abundance of wisdom in your everyday life.
Let us know how these tips work out in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or by tweeting to @schema_magazine.
Happy seducing!Posted by Viola Chen | June 19, 2012 | Comments (0)
With several years of acting under his belt, Mister French Taste's Osric Chau reflects on diversity in Hollywood and his thoughts for the future.Posted by Viola Chen | June 25, 2012 | Comments (0)
It's no coincidence that Nadia Hatta gave us the following as her third seduction tip:
"Pick reading a book over playing video games for instant sex appeal"
Osric Chau gets down and
dirty personal at Koi Tapas Bar in the latest clip of our Mister French Taste cast interviews. Find out what's on Osric's literature radar and where he likes to do most of his reading.
Photo courtesy of bossip.com
And the award for Latest Celebrity Racism Gaffe goes to Gwyneth Paltrow, whose recent tweet "'Ni**as in Paris for real" (asterisks are hers) sparked outrage across Twitter and Facebook.
Paltrow was, in fact, referencing the song "N-ggas in Paris" on Watch the Throne, an album by Jay-Z and Kanye West. And when she tweeted the offending statement, she was, in fact, hanging out with a bevy of African American rappers in Paris, including Jay-Z, Kanye West, The-Dream, Ty Ty and Beehigh. Her only comment on the ensuing online debate was a defensive tweet posted two days later: "Hold up. It's the title of the song!"
Lil Wayne telling his concert audience to scream out "Hell! Yeah! N-igga!" while performing in Holmdel, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of lilwaynehq.com
It's a hot-button debate that has been going on for years, with or without Paltrow's thoughtless addition: When is it okay? Is it okay when, as one Slate writer recently pointed out, Lil Wayne tells a concert audience of 17,500 people to scream out "Hell! Yeah! N-gga!"? Is it okay for the pasty Paltrow to reference a song titled "N-ggas in Paris" by its actual name? Would it have been more okay if Paltrow had included quotation marks around the song title? Was it more okay because Paltrow traded the G's for asterisks?
If this post seems like it has a lot of question marks, it's intentional. These are complex questions that will never be definitively answered. However, I think it's fair to say that celebrities should err on the side of caution. Paltrow's tweet was careless at best, and she went one step further by failing to acknowledge that such a charged word might be offensive to some people.
Carmen Carrera. Photo courtesy of thedailybeast.com
TLC continues on its quest to be the trashiest channel on television with a recent episode of Cake Boss. Transgender celebrity Carmen Carrera was openly mocked in the June 11 episode. She originally thought that her appearance on the reality show would be spun in such a way to promote equality and acceptance of the transgender community.
Considering TLC, home of such embarrassments to humanity as Toddlers in Tiaras and Four Weddings, I'm amazed at Carrera's optimism.
Predictably, she was made the butt of a hateful joke. Throughout the course of the episode, Carrera flirted with Anthony Bellifemine, a character on the show, who welcomed her advances. The punchline was Buddy Valastro gleefully recounting the situation in an on-camera aside: "Anthony right now is on top of the world. You don't know what's coming, baby! I call him over because it's time to bring him back down to Chinatown. I tell him, 'That's a man, baby!'"
From conception to filming to editing, it was a clearly mean-spirited situation. And for just a bit more salt in the wound, Bellifemine later called Carrera an "it" while tweeting about the incident.
While TLC hasn't commented on the debacle, both Valastro and Bellifemine apologized publicly. Valastro released a statement affirming his support for "equality and gay rights" and Bellifemine tweeted an apology for his "it" comment. But the apologies, particularly Valastro's, sounded hollow and formulaic. It's hard to imagine a non-transphobic person participating in Cake Boss's nasty joke.Posted by Viola Chen | June 19, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of brownbyashlene.com
When June's crop of fashion magazines was published, the new Pre-Fall 2012 Chanel fashion ads were prominently featured in many issues such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. After his Paris-Bombay fashion show last season, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel's lead designer, has continued using India as creative inspiration.
This latest series of ads features blond models striking traditional Indian dance poses. Their hair is styled in an up-do with dreadlocks and ornate bridal headpieces. The outfits are perfectly executed but lack a distinctly Indian flair.
Photo courtesy of brownbyashlene.com
While I love the concept, Lagerfeld's idea of India is one-dimensional and is stuck in the 19th century. It is shocking that there are no Indian models in this campaign. Bollywood is home to many renowned actresses, who, I'm sure, would have loved to pose for Chanel.
In a country as diverse and beautiful as India, it is ridiculous to use a cigar and brandy room for a campaign background. This setting reeks of colonialism: the horrible patterned carpet, the wooden bar and the teapot. Chai is world famous, but the teapot has become a British power symbol.
The clothes are beautiful and technically flawless. However, what do they have to do with India? These stunning creations could be found on the streets of Beijing, Nairobi, and Buenos Aires and don't distinctly reflect their Indian inspiration. It just seems that the stylist stuck a mahta putti on the model's head and called it Indian.
Photo courtesy of brownbyashlene.com
The effect is a simplified and generic India. With so many regions and people, it is impossible to capture the cultural, geographic and linguistic richness of India in a few Chanel photos. While Lagerfeld did mention Bombay (which he forgot is now Mumbai), he didn't stay true to that inspiration either. The only positive part of this campaign is the model's poses inspired from Bharatanatyam's mudras. It combines dance and fashion in a distinctly Indian way.
While it is great that fashion is finally beginning to take inspiration from beautiful Indian styles, tailoring and colours, Lagerfeld didn't nail this. He should've visited India before he decided to create an entire collection based on it. It would have given him a better perspective, perhaps more creative ideas, on how to incorporate India into his vision.
Kait Bolongaro loves to write about cultures and how people occupy them. She aspires to be a culture journalist and photographer and to continue to discover new lands and adventures, starting with a Masters of Journalism in Denmark in the fall. To follow her on her crazy journeys, check out her website or follow her on twitter.
Being that Schema Magazine is as much about having (and managing) a complex identity, as it is about travelling and what's in celebrities' purses, one of our most favorite things is to ask when "you feel the most ...."
Nadia is one of those hyper-blends: born in Taipei to parents with mixed-heritage, raised in Taipei and Canada, and proud of being part Indian, Hainan and Arabic. Schema Magazine asked Nadia when or where she feel the most Taiwanese, and any other identity she navigates through.
Here's what Nadia had to say on being blended:
I am such a mix of all these that I've developed my own way of doing things. I actually had a hard time answering this because a lot of times everything is mixed, and shifts with the context. I am (naturally) more Taiwanese when I'm with Taiwanese friends or in Taiwan, and more Western when I'm with my Westernized friends. And language is obviously a huge factor. Speaking with different accents, for example. You naturally bring in cultural aspects into how you speak, through gestures, intonation and facial expression.
Nadia, you're absolutely right! We couldn't have said it more clearly. These questions perpetuate overly simple notions of ethnicity and probably not the best ones to articulate your complex cultural identity, which is far more fluid than these questions imply.
She gave it a shot anyway.
I feel most Taiwanese when ...
I go to KTV and order squid balls and sing Asian pop at the top of my lungs; and when I multitask: like, doing a Schema Mag interview, while doing a face mask and texting my appointments for tomorrow in both Chinese and English.
KTV refers to "Karaoke Chinese Style" (which is very similar to Karaoke Vancouver Style). Thanks for the Schema shout-out! And of course you're code-switching between Chinese and English.
I feel most "New York" when ...
I am doing MMA—my edge comes out to play.
I feel most Western when ...
I'm eating organic Nature's Path cereal with soy sugarless soy milk.
Photo courtesy of Nadia Hatta
OK, this just makes me hungry! And inspires me to start a blog about cereals. It takes some serious discipline to make a breakfast this healthy. Nadia's ingredients for this breakfast of champions: pure yogurt, craisins, fresh honey, almonds, sprinkled with ground sunflower & pumpkin seeds. Delicious!
I feel most Indian when ...
I am meditating and doing yoga.
Photo courtesy of Nadia Hatta
Love that finding her inner calm is where she feels most Indian.
Nadia just began co-hosting MTV China's Tian Lai Cun, and recently had a guest appearing in Mr. French Taste Episode 6.
Nadia Hatta's Official Site
Image courtesy of thedailybeast.com
Here's a statistic that inspires my faith in the American people: Fox news is considered the most "uncivil" network according to a recent poll. Granted, there were only 1,000 people surveyed (and there's no information on where these people were pulled from in the country), but let's not allow the missing facts get in the way of this joyous news; that's the Fox News way, after all.
Now let's get one thing straight: Fox News is considered real news. Real, as in "true" and "legitimate" and news as in "current events occurring in the world." You know how a newspaper like the Vancouver Sun is considered news? Well, that's what Fox News is considered in the world of television. I hope I've made that clear. Now, let's talk about Glenn Beck.
Beck (sadly) no longer graces the stage of Fox News to implore upon the people that he is a real American, one that is down to earth and in tune with what the nation really wants and believes in, and that Barrack Obama is here to destroy that vision of America. Despite being a grossly narcissistic person, Beck persistently tried to convince his audience that he was really just your average Joe, having been "self-educated" (whatever that means), a former alcoholic, and that, "you couldn't get any dumber than me." Inspiring words from an award-winning journalist.
Photo courtesy of mediabistro.com
He also proved to be an emotional basket case, crying on numerous occasions, throwing fits, pouring gasoline on people, comparing the current American government to Nazis, and using that completely ridiculous blackboard. Even Comrade Obama has never patronized an audience with that level of mockery. It is safe to say that these are all things not generally done nor considered doing on a legitimate news network, let alone as acts of civility.
Bill O'Reilly's face alone is far too splotchy to be deemed television worthy, but the No Spin Zone and O'Reilly Factor are prized examples of just how uncivil the network as a whole is. O'Reilly is a great supporter of making "facts" up, or factoids as they are known, and frequently employs the yelling method of interviewing. If O'Reilly were a pseudo science, he would be alternative medicine. The man insists that he just wants people to give honest answers to honest questions, and if they can't, then explain why. This is what the No Spin Zone is about: answering O'Reilly as truthfully as you can, and preparing to cry yourself to sleep that night, because only O'Reilly can be right and the best way of achieving this is through an all out verbal onslaught.
Photo courtesy of latimesblog.latimes.com
Leading up to the previous election, Fox News was palatably upset with Obama's chances of securing the presidency, and the perpetual man-child that is Sean Hannity, made this anxiety quite clear during an interview with The American Prospect's Robert Kuttner. Hannity accused Kuttner of "spewing garbage" about the Senator's affiliations with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, and insisted that the economy was not in "dire straights" as Kuttner had insisted. When confronted with being in denial about the state of America's financial system, Hannity went on to call Kuttner an idiot and fool, something you wouldn't usually do on a reputable news network.
There are also little things that are irksome, such as the possibility of Ann Coulter's razor sharp collarbones being used as WMDs, or what Geraldo Rivera is hiding within his mustache, but that's just aesthetics. I'm sure there are people out there that would point to the Daily Show and Colbert Report as leftist examples of what I have outlined here to be illegitimate and uncouth shows masquerading as real news.
A news network, a newspaper, and journalists in general have a responsibility to the public discourse that is upheld through presenting both sides of the story. The point of a good story is to inform and inspire that discourse and debate around it. Fox News is a tragic comedy performed by a troupe of hacks parading as journalists. Even if only 1,000 people's opinions were a part of this survey, it's assuring to know that at least some Americans can discern real news from fake news.Posted by Codi Hauka | June 21, 2012 | Comments (0)
So far, we've asked Nadia Hatta to spill her purse, and for Osric Chau to empty his pockets. Despite the in-depth interview we did with Sarah in May, there really is no substitute to this as a means of getting to know someone.
Our interpretation? Don't let Sarah's status as a legitimate hottie fool you. She is serious about show business and meticulously organized. Everything in her purse has a container and a purpose.
Here are the contents of Sarah Lian's purse:
Photo courtesy of Sarah Lian.
This might be the least cluttered purse, ever! Like the purse of a secret agent. Ironically, Sarah's currently in the midst of shooting XIII, a television spy series based on a Belgian comic book series, and stars Stuart Townsend who plays "XIII".
This is Sarah's biggest role to date. As Sarah plays the love interest of "XIII" (get in line, buddy!), it's a recurring role (which is great for Sarah). Her character also speaks a mixture of both English and Mandarin, giving Sarah the chance to show off her versatility working in different languages. We can't wait to see it!!
Sarah Lian on Moving Back to Canada, Mr. French Taste and Linsanity
Sarah Lian's Top 3 Seduction Tips for Men
Sarah Lian on When Do You Feel Most Canadian?
Sarah Lian's Favorite Outfits from Mr. French Taste
Photo courtesy of mochimag.com
Teresa Hsiao of The Huffington Post recently wrote an article called "A White Man's Guide to Dating Asian Girls". Here is my guide for Chinese girls that are intending to date a white guy some time in their future.
Step One: Avoid Asian-lady fetishists
These guys have impossible standards, such as expecting you to wear elaborate kimonos or look stunning in a qi-pao (extremely difficult if you have any meaty lumps and bumps that aren't the good kinds). You also run the risk of being called a victim of colonialism. Luckily, these men can usually be identified quite easily. If they use the following terms when speaking about Asian women—"exotic," "nice and quiet," or "me love you long time"—run. Run as fast as you can.
Step Two: Meeting the parents
Congratulations! The white dude you're dating happens to be a nice guy who likes you for reasons other than the fact that you're Asian. You'll have to meet his parents sooner or later. One thing to keep in mind is that humour and hugs are awesome at winning over white parents. If you bring them oranges as a gift the first time you come over for dinner because your mom strongly encouraged you to do so, his parents won't get it. Talk about barbeque grills and lawnmowers with his dad and talk about 30-minute meal recipes with his mom. You'll be hugging on a day-to-day basis in no time. Easy peasy!
Step Three: Marrying a white dude
Western tradition calls for the bride's family to pay for most of the wedding. Chinese tradition calls for the groom's family to pay for most of the wedding. Expect no one wants to pay for anything. Try to come out of this alive. If you both make it, then you'll know you have something absolutely amazing.
Photo courtesy of nathalierothschild.com
The Swedes have taken the concept of work hard and play hard to a whole new level. As a North American, I've always heard of the crazy rave parties that Europeans love to throw, but at lunch?
Lunch Beat is a fairly new phenomenon that started in 2010 by Molly Ränge. Molly wanted a way for people to re-energize in the afternoon. The simple act of eating a sandwich at your desk was not cutting it for Molly so she started throwing mini lunch dance parties. The concept of Lunch Beat is that you blast some music and party your bottoms off so that when you go back to work you feel refreshed.
As goofy as this concept sounds, I think its an awesome idea! Especially for the workaholics out there. Lunch for me is one of the most important meals of the day. It's a time to take a break, get out of the work mood and rejuvenate. Lunch Beat definitely does that! In the words of Will Farrell: "It gets the people going." There is nothing weird about taking a break and dancing off the stress from work. It's kind of like going to the gym but more fun!
Photo courtesy of finedininglovers.com
If you're planning on attending one of these lunch beats, you might want to take a look at their manifesto. Yes, kind of like fight club. One of the most important rules to Lunch Beat is that you don't talk about your job at Lunch Beat. Now for any of the employers out there that are worried their employees might be too wasted or not in the right mind set to go back to work, don't worry! Another rule of Lunch Beat is that it is preferably a drug-free environment. For Molly, Lunch Beat is all about the dancing. Everyone can go back to work happy!
Starting in Sweden, Lunch Beat has spread all over Europe and has even hit the US. I definitely would love to see a Lunch Beat in Canada! It's a simple concept that makes people happy on a daily basis and an amazing trend that should pick up everywhere! Not to mention that it would be entertaining watching bureaucrats and business men dancing away in their suits.Posted by Viola Chen | June 13, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of nytimes.com
In 2010 a monument was placed in Palisades Park New Jersey in memory of the 200,000 comfort-women. This did not sit very well with the Japanese government and now has sparked a global controversial debate and petition over the removal of the monument.
The Japanese comfort-women matter is one of the many women war crime and human rights issues that is constantly swept under the rug. "Comfort women" refers to the thousands of women kidnapped and raped by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Many of the women that were in countries under Japanese Imperial control were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese armed forces. These women and girls endured horrific human rights violations. Unfortunately, the controversy comes into play because some Japanese historians and government officials deny that the women were forced into prostitution. For this reason, there is still currently anti-Japanese sentiment felt by descendants of Japan's neighbouring countries.
Photo courtesy of northjersey.com
This part of history is not globally exposed, understood or talked about. Part of the silence on this issue comes from the victims of this crime who find it difficult to come out and publically talk about what they have endured. But it would be ignorant to deny that certain Japanese officials have avoided openly talking about comfort women and some go to even claim that the women were not forced into anything.
The Japanese government has apologized and has compensated some for the crimes that were committed against the comfort women. But is that enough? I feel as though the Japanese government has been reluctant to acknowledge the issue on a deeper level.
It is not surprising that the Japanese government has asked for the removal of the monument. But in doing so, this has added to the anti-Japanese sentiments that are felt by the comfort women—specifically from South Korea. The monument is placed in town, where a great majority of the population is ethnically Korean.
Korean comfort-women liberated by U.S. troops at the end of World War II in 1945. Photo courtesy of dellishall.com
What is appalling is that the Japanese government went so far as to offer cherry trees and other goodies in exchange for the removal of the monument. In the famous words of Oscar Wilde: "No man is rich enough to buy back his past." History cannot be forgotten or rewritten. Demanding for the removal of a monument shows that the Japanese government officials are not ready to move on with the issue. It feels like the Japanese government is attempting to down play the serious crimes that were committed.
I am not saying that we should dwell on the past but we should certainly talk about the crimes and openly acknowledge that they happened. The Japanese government needs to put itself in the victims' position.
The women that were forced into prostitution have endured emotional and physical trauma that will be with them for the rest of their lives. The least the Japanese government can do is respect and sympathise with the victims. I don't think this monument was put up to make the Japanese government look bad; this is not a PR issue. But I believe the intention of the monument was to commemorate the victims of the horrific incidents. The monument should not be removed; the comfort-women victims should continue to be remembered so that history does not repeat itself.Posted by Viola Chen | June 14, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of iamdjseptik.com
The Flaming Lips recently released unedited, explicit footage of singer Erykah Badu and her sister Nayrok. The artists collaborated on the music video for The Flaming Lips' new single, "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face." Days after shooting the video, the Badu sisters were outraged to find that The Flaming Lips had made the footage public before they had even seen it.
The band has since taken the video down and apologized, but not before Erykah Badu published a furious open message addressed it to the band's lead singer, Wayne Coyne. In it, she claims that he showed her "a concept of beautiful tasteful imagery," not the explicit images seen in the raw footage. I wonder how Badu pictured a beautiful and tasteful depiction of naked women reclining in bathtubs full of fake blood, glitter and "creamy white liquid"?
Photo courtesy of consequenceofsound.net
In any case, every stage of their artistic collaboration seems to have been shockingly unprofessional, starting with the Lips' misrepresentation of their vision and Badu's blind naiveté while participating in the filming. It's extremely slimy that the Lips released the footage without a green light from Badu. Even if they didn't have a contractual agreement, it just seems like an expected show of good faith to have the subject of an explicit video approve her contribution before it's made public.
And the ensuing Twitter war between Badu and Coyne is the pettiest, least classy finish to the whole situation. In response to Badu's rambling open message (which she finished, unconvincingly, with "Really I could give a shit less"), Coyne posted a tweet thanking Badu for the controversy, since it boosted interest in the music video.Posted by Viola Chen | June 14, 2012 | Comments (0)
Image courtesy of filipinasinshowbiz.com
A women's fashion retail brand based in the Philippines has recently pulled their ad campaign, titled "What's Your Mix?" In the five ads that make up the campaign, mixed-race Filipino models are labeled with percentages (for instance, 50% Filipino, 50% Australian). Beside them, a clumsily written ad copy explains that the Bayo customer is all about mixing and matching: prints with plains, dresses with pants, and nationality with nationality.
The ad copy is mostly innocuous; it advocates for being bold, fearless and unrestricted in your clothing choices, and creating your own look without worrying about trends. No complaints there. And with the right marketing pitch, an ad that applauds ethnic diversity in fashion might have worked too. But one sentence in particular sparked an uproar on Facebook and Twitter: the assertion that "the mixing and matching of different nationalities with Filpino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class."
Image courtesy of yhadz-critic.blogspot.com
Customers of Bayo, who were used to Bayo's "proudly Filipino" angle, were enraged to see them elevating mixed-race women as a more valuable commodity. The ad seems to imply that being just Filipino isn't enough; only women of mixed ethnicity can be beautiful, and "Filipino blood" on its own is less interesting and attractive. Some Twitter users accused Bayo of implying that to be more beautiful, Filipino women need a Caucasian twist. It's hard not to notice that while the ads feature five different mixed-race models (British, Australian, African, Chinese and Indian), they're all very light-skinned.
Bayo pulled the ads and released an official apology on June 7, claiming that their message was "unintentionally conveyed" and "got lost along the way." It might actually be an issue of really bad copy writing—a positive message of diversity and individuality ruined somewhere along the way by careless word choice. But it seems more likely that the "What's Your Mix?" campaign was an ill-advised idea from the outset. And Bayo's embarrassing blunder might just alienate their most loyal customer base: those 100% Filipino women that are nowhere to be found in their ads.Posted by Viola Chen | June 12, 2012 | Comments (0)
A lot of people are confused about the "Princess of China" music video. Here are ten things I've observed from this very perplexing video.
1) This video looks like someone swallowed every stereotype of Asia and then threw up all over it.
2) How does China come into play in this song? I don't get it.
3) Is Rihanna the Chinese princess? Then why is she a thousand-armed Bodhisattva? Or a scantily dressed geisha?
4) Rihanna's leg looks like Angelina Jolie's right leg at the 2012 Oscars.
5) What are Rihanna's extra long gold fingernails made of?! Remind me not to get a manicure from whoever did her nails.
6) They're flying through the air like kung fu masters! But then they just sort of float past each other instead of kicking ass. Very anti-climatic.
7) Who are the back-up dancers? I kind of feel bad for them.
8) I waited the entire video expecting one of them to die, but neither of them do. Aw shucks.
9) This would make a terrible movie.
10) The most bad-ass guy of the entire video is hands-down this guy:
Posted by Vinnie Yuen | June 13, 2012
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Above image: Andy Chen and Nadia Hatta shooting for MTV China. Courtesy of Nadia Hatta
Nadia Hatta's first episode as host and VJ of MTV China's Tian Lai Cun is today! Congrats, Nadia!! She also recently appeared in Episode 6 of Mr. French Taste. If you missed it, you can watch is again (and again) on KoldcastTV.com
Tian Lai Cun is a very popular music program aimed at youth in China, and airs in over 100 regions, on the actual MTV channel and affiliates, depending on the region. She will be co-hosting with Canadian-born Taiwanese VJ Andy Chen. The episodes can also be watched on youku, China's version of YouTube.
There's no better way to learn about someone that to randomly spill the contents of their purse. So we did that with Nadia. Well actually, being that we're in Vancouver and she's in Beijing, she kinda helped us with that.
Our interpretation? A delightfully eccentric, highly feminine fashionista with an athlete's OCD over what she puts in her mind and body, who tries (or is really trying) to keep things as simple as possible (because life is too complicated already). You can't tell, but we know that she can kick your ass. Don't let the workout gloves fool you, they're not just for looks.
Here are the contents of Nadia Hatta's purse on May 11, 2012:
When you've been out of the dating circuit for a while, it can be tricky picking up on social cues: Is he flirting with me? Does she want me to ask her out? Decisions, decisions.
For this next segment, we decided to ask Osric Chau of Mister French Taste to divulge some top secret seduction moves that men use. For all the single ladies, watch and learn. And for all the men watching, enjoy the refresher course.
We're continuing to ask the cast of Mr. French Taste for their seduction tips. If you'd like to share your tips (or an analysis of Sarah's body language as she seduces all of us), share them in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or by twitter to @schema_magazine.
Watch Osric get the best of his seduction mentor in Episode 7 of Mr. French Taste.Posted by Viola Chen | June 11, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of canada.com
Although there is a new dieting scheme every day, scientists in Japan may have fallen onto the secret weapon for weight loss. Researches at the University of Tokyo unveiled a pair of goggles that changes the size and even flavour of food in the hopes of encouraging people to eat less.
One pair of goggles magnifies the snack to two times its actual size, creating the illusion of a larger portion. Volunteers ate 10 percent less cookies when they looked bigger. The study also found that when a cookie appears smaller participants ate more because they believed they needed to eat more to be satisfied.
Another device uses scent to trick would-be dieters. The same research team developed headgear that could give chocolate or strawberry flavour to plain cookies. Users simply picked their favourite flavour and would experience more satisfaction than if they had just eaten the normal biscuit.
So far, eighty percent of participants have been fooled. With such promising results, the team's leader, Professor Michitaka Hirose, would like to further explore how these inventions can help those who want to lose weight. He is also interested in how computers can fool the mind.
Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.co.uk
These goggles are odd. I think they are an excellent medical device and would be an ideal aid for those struggling to lose large amounts of weight, especially post surgery. It is often hard for patients after gastric bypass surgery to adjust their portion sizes, and this machine would help them recover and hopefully return to a healthy weight.
I would be worried though if this computer was marketed to the general public as a weight loss solution. There are already enough advertisements and miracle products telling us that we are too fat to be attractive. This invention is a double-edged sword: a positive for those who are clinically obese, but extremely negative for those suffering from an eating disorder.
I am glad that Dr. Hirose and his team have no intention of marketing their new technology at the moment. Hopefully, when the time comes, they will be careful whose hands it ends up in.Posted by Kait Bolongaro | June 18, 2012 | Comments (0)
In today's WTF Friday edition, I have to ask: WTF is "homo"?
The first is "Ain't No Homos Gonna Make It To Heaven." Some member of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church has made young children perform a discriminatory song that these children does not have an understanding of and, hence, cannot give informed consent to perform. What's worse, the performance is videotaped and is uploaded for the world to see, as a public message of hate.
My strongest reaction to this was the term "homo" itself. I don't identify with the term. I feel that using the word 'homosexual' to describe me, even to claim that "homosexuals are people too," makes me feel like an outsider. An alien species.
'Homosexual' is a really inadequate term for representing my choice to identify with gay and queer culture in Canada. I'm a first-generation immigrant from Hong Kong and I self-identify as a gay and queer person. That is the respectful way of speaking to how people navigate our society and their lived experience, not to dehumanize them into a label that is single-faceted.
I observe that the majority of people who have a strong preference of being described as 'gay' and 'queer' over 'homosexual' are from or have spent a considerable amount of time in North American urban centres.
Advertisement for Out on Campus, SFU's centre for its LGBTQ community. Image courtesy of ooc.sfss.ca
It sure seems to be that for my generation (I was born in 1990), more people are self-identifying as 'queer' and rejecting 'homosexual' as a label. That's understandable, given its origins. 'Homosexual' was first introduced in the 19th century by Western psychiatrists, many of whom linked this term of same-sex attraction to neurotic disorder.
So what was same-sex attraction called before the 19th century? There's evidence there had been many open expressions of love outside of 'one man-one woman' pairings all over the world. Some of them had been legalized and sanctioned by religious organizations.
Take for example affrèrements, same-sex 'brotherly' union ceremonies in late medieval France. Historian Allan Tulchin's extensive research has found that although late medieval France was dominated by Catholicism as a powerful state religion and Christianity as societal norms, these brotherly unions did not necessarily preclude romantic love and may have been under open practice under the Catholic reign.
You may remember though, in 2008, news broke that One News Now—a news network operated by the Christian and conservative American Family Association—had a filter that replaced 'gay' in news articles it reposted to 'homosexual'. The filter resulted in the butchering of Olympic sprinter 'Tyson Gay' to 'Tyson Homosexual'. Ironically, I've got to wonder what is their 'homosexual agenda'? WTF is homo!?
Screen shot of auto-replace error made by One News Now. Image courtesy of boingboing.net
On the other hand, as of 2012, there are Christian denominations that, for decades, have accepted and supported equal rights for people who openly identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Worth noting is the United Church of Canada, which ordained its first openly gay minister, Tim Stevenson, in 1992.
This year, the United Church accepted nominations from three gay and lesbian candidates to be the Church's moderator, who, according to the Church website, "is expected to give spiritual leadership and public representation for the church." Stevenson, the past United Church minister and current Vancouver city councillor, tells gay and lesbian newspaper Xtra that if one of the gay or lesbian nominees is elected as the moderator, "that will be the first time, really, the head of a Christian denomination is openly gay. It will be very symbolic for Christendom worldwide." Symbolic indeed!
I've learned that it's always good to question what other people's understanding of your identities, be it gay, homosexual, Tongzhi, Christian or Chinese Canadian, and recognize that not only do people identify in diverse ways but, also, people within an identity group can be very diverse.Posted by Beth Hong | June 15, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of jeffreyhill.typepad.com
Not everybody is jubilant about the jubilee.
On Monday, The Guardian reported that long-term unemployed jobseekers worked as unpaid stewards for diamond jubilee events. The abhorrent working conditions included 14-hour shifts in the rain, 24 hours without access to a washroom and sleeping under the London Bridge. Events worked at included the £12 million ($19.2 million dollars) 1000-boat flotilla carrying royals down the Thames.
Workers, who did not want to be identified for fear of it affecting their social assistance benefits, thought they were going to be paid for the work. Workers say they were told by Close Protection UK, the company managing staffing, that if they refused to work they would not be considered for well-paid Olympic jobs. Shiv Malik from The Guardian reports:
"Close Protection UK confirmed that it was using up to 30 unpaid staff and 50 apprentices, who were paid £2.80 an hour, for the three-day event in London. A spokesman said the unpaid work was a trial for paid roles at the Olympics, which it had also won a contract to staff. Unpaid staff were expected to work two days out of the three-day holiday."
In honour of these folks and as a response to the 24/7 coverage in Canada on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (60 glorious years of rule, in case you missed it), I couldn't resist making a list of people in Canada that aren't as impressed with the feat of simply being born a royal:
Thought those were just a bunch of right-wing moneybags in the States? Well, for those under the Queen's rule, there is a very different meaning—those that want to be rid of our dear monarch.
Fun fact: Michael Ignatieff's former chief political staffer Peter Donolo is a staunch republican.
The concerned taxpayer
Another royal visit? But it's only costing under a million phew. Wait, that doesn't include security costs?
A million might be a drop in the bucket for a government but hey, we are in tough times and not everyone jumped for joy to meet the dazzling Charles and Camilla.
Immigrants from post-colonial societies
I think some people get to Canada and are like, "WTF, I'm a subject of the Queen? Again? Man, I really screwed that up."Posted by Viola Chen | June 8, 2012 | Comments (0)
Determined to unravel the ancient myths of clashing thought-processes between women and men, we asked Mister French Taste cast members Osric Chau and Celina Jade to dish on the topic of love triangles.
We first sat down with Osric to find out what advice he has for girls who are being fought over. Girls beware, we're leading you into the territory that has confused and/or terrified you on many an occasion. And by that territory I mean: the male brain.
After hearing Osric's gentlemanly advice, we sought out the female perspective from Celina for how to best navigate being the centre of attention.
Perhaps (and by that we mean, most likely) speaking from personal experience, here's what she had to say:
Watch Mr. French Taste try to manipulate cosmic forces to win over his heart's desire in Episode 7 of Mr. French Taste on KoldcastTV.comPosted by Alden | June 11, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photos of Jessica Dhillon courtesy of Joseph Lindstrom. Dhillon's make-up and hair by Kay Matthews.
You wouldn't think it to look at her now, but Jessica Dhillon—Vancouver-based model, actor, dancer-choreographer, producer and DJ—was a shy student.
As a youngster she kept her head down, and her nose to the books, terrified to speak in front of her class.
Yet the twenty-something Dhillon seems to have jumped straight in the deep end not long after, and snagged huge projects in every avenue in which she has taken an interest, virtually over night.
Her first gig in film was a US-India co-production involving David Arquette. The first producer she interned with had worked with Charlize Theron, her first DJ gig was CityTV New Year's Eve with Raghav and the first music video she co-produced was Raghav's 'Top of the World'.
So just how did the conscientious Dhillon become the quintuple threat to the entertainment industry that she is today?
It was over a decisive few months on holiday in England with her sister, just after she had finished university, that something changed.
Her older sibling's sisterly scorn for Jessica's down-to-earth clothing choices (read: sweatpants), and the strutting English fashionistas got her thinking about her attire. Suddenly, she began to wear mascara and dress up a little.
Did it feel weird after her 'tomboy' teens?
On the contrary, she says, she was empowered. She even decided to investigate acting classes when she was back in Canada.
"It forced me to come out of my bubble ... going through a range of emotions in front of people is terrifying. I actually broke down crying during one of the exercises. As an actor you need to be more emotionally vulnerable."
So that's how she came out of her shell. But gaining confidence and landing a handful of beginnings in glowing careers during one's fledgling twenties are two very different things.
Last year, Jessica was invited to speak the UBC Elite Leadership Conference alongside hockey great Trevor Linden and Paralympian Rick Hansen. So how did she get the guts to get on stage and motivate people herself?
Says Dhillon of her first lessons in presenting a public persona:
"When I was invited to speak at the UBC Elite Leadership Conference, my heart was thumping. But once I started talking about my experiences I realized all these people were there because they wanted to listen to me, there because they were looking for inspiration. And suddenly I was confident. Girls came up afterwards and said 'Wow ... the way you walk in heels! The way you present!'"
Jessica recently gave an impromptu talk at her old high school, and was touched when a student who had a passion for dancing, but had been in an accident, came up to her and thanked her for the inspiration.
So what would Jessica have said, had she encountered her high school self in the hallways of her school?
"I would say 'you are going to become a completely different person, yet still the same person within. But everything's going to be alright.' I had tunnel vision then. I was so concerned about the future. All I knew was studying, basketball, volleyball, student council, soccer, volleyball, student council, grad council...I was so sheltered. When I got my first B, it was the biggest heartbreak in my life."
Does she regret being that sheltered?
"No, because I think you come out pure. And you take things on at the right age. Maybe I'm making up for it now, letting go. In the entertainment industry, there's a party every day!"
But in a way, her ability to focus has just taken on a different form.
"Instead of running from basketball to student council meeting to grad council meeting to going home to working to get my straight A's, to scholarship applications, its now going from maybe a magazine interview to a photo shoot, to a production call on the film side, to then working on my DJ set."
And she has ways of grading herself. She sets goals for each avenue, like putting out a mixed tape that's going to have a certain number of views, or, say, a successful music video on MuchMusic.
Her first stint in India led to her meeting three of the topmost producers/directors of the industry in Mumbai: Yash Chopra, Karan Johar and Subhash Ghai.
"It would be like going to Hollywood, and right off the bat meeting Steven Speilberg, James Cameron and George Lucas. I met them the day after I arrived in Mumbai." She says, genuinely pleased at the memory.
I ask her how she keeps her head screwed on so tight considering the reputation of the various industries she's involved in. Entertainment doesn't exactly have a rep for treating women respectfully. Dhillon is hard-pressed to think of any situations where she was asked to compromise her integrity. She finally comes up with one: in India, she received what she describes as 'not a genuine business proposition'.
"I was able to recognize that right away and walk away from it. But otherwise I've been lucky I work with great people. I've been raised with very strong morals. I've never dated, so that must say a lot! I'm not uptight, but I have certain values."
"But I am an anomaly in this industry: what you see in magazines does happen very often." She is careful to add.
Dhillon currently wears all her hats. She just wrapped up her stint as the Vancouver School Board's artist-in-residence. She's working on a US-India co-production called Sold that necessitates a lot of travel; she's got both an acting role in it and the role of Associate Producer. She recently wrapped Party for the Planet with Raghav, opening for Canadian rap rock band Down with Webster. And, of course, she's modelling here and there.
But above all, Dhillon bides her time as she waits for the sun to come out so she can take her motorbike, a three year-old Kawasaki Ninja, for a spin.
Gayatri is a philosopher-turned-professional-film-fanatic, with East and West in her DNA, and a travel bug in her boot. Follow her @Gaya3b on Twitter.
Tags: Gayatri Bajpai
Photos courtesy of celinajade.com
Back in May, Schema was introduced to Celina Jade as an actress "born in Hong Kong to a Chinese mother and American (martial arts actor) father, who moved to the U.S. at fourteen where she spent a lot of her early adulthood, and has since moved back to Hong Kong."
In other words: "A genuine cultural navigator."
It's only befitting that we ask Celina when or where she feels the most Chinese, American or blended. As a ethnically and culturally-mixed global citizen, her complex identity is a fluid moving between different identities.
Celina's answers were short and to the point, but loaded with subtleties, so we also included a little commentary on each of her answers.
When do you feel the most Chinese?
Celina: I feel most Chinese when I'm in the U.S., because I eat comparatively small portions and like to share my food with whomever I'm eating with.
This isn't an uncommon experience. Research has shown that Canadians living in Asia feel the most Canadian when they're in Asia. Celina's second comment reminds us of the difference between how food is typically ordered in Chinese restaurants versus Western restaurants. Chinese food is almost always meant to be shared (as is Korean, Indian, etc.). This habit is a reflection of a more communal sensibility, contrasting the individualistic sensibility associated with being American (or Canadian).
When do you feel the most American?
Celina: I feel most American when trying to suntan on the beaches of Sanya (Hainan Island) in a bikini.
The exact opposite of the first question. Of course. We didn't know where Sanya was, and what we found was the "Hawaii of the South China Sea." OK, we get this. Sunbathing in a bikini is to Celina Jade what watching hockey is to Sarah Lian (on feeling most Canadian). It's also the fact that Celina appreciates suntanning. That's a very subtle hint, but intentionally getting a tan is not really an "Asian thing." Especially when lighter skin is for the most part the symbol of desirability (think skin whiteners and "the visor"). Historically, darker skin was seen as representative of the class that spent all day working in the sun. Tanning is to Americans what skin whitening is to many Asians.
When do you feel the most "mixed"?
Celina: I feel most "mixed" almost most of the time ... (that's a lot of most's) as I have to deal with this constant inner negotiation between the Chinese inner-voice and the differing American inner-voice in my head. Talk about multiple personalities! (haha) My friends like to call me a "walking contradiction."
Now this we really get. This is why Schema Magazine came into being. We might even say this is the quintessential [Asian] Canadian/American experience. Because you effortlessly make being blended so hot, we are even prouder to be walking contradictions with you, Celina!
PS. Happy Birthday, Celina!Posted by Alden | June 6, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of http://blogs.vancouversun.com
On Sunday, June 10, the UBC Farm will be hosting its second annual Joy of Feeding fundraiser. This international "comfort food" fair will feature dishes from over 15 different ethnicities and regions, including some that you'd be hard-pressed to find on menus in Vancouver. You can sample cardamom and almond cake from Sweden, lamb and beef kibbeh from Syria, First Nations fry bread and more.
And yes, there will be a Vancouver stall. The dish that sums up our city? Chocolate pudding. (Seems a little boring next to such exotic contributions!) Stuffing your face with ethnically diverse food sounds like a great way to spend a day, and the fact that Joy of Feeding takes place open-air at the UBC Farm is even better. Not enough people in Vancouver are aware that there's a fully functioning farm near UBC. It's tucked just yards behind the massive condo construction site in Wesbrook Village: 24 hectares of pastoral scenery, complete with twittering birds, sprawling green fields and an adorable children's garden for summer camp programs.
I've volunteered at the farm a couple times, and my heart rate always lowers within seconds of arriving. The thick screen of forest does a great job of muffling the drone of construction, and you feel as if you've stepped into another world.
The only downside to Joy of Feeding, though, is the ticket price. $50 per person is prohibitively expensive for a lot of people, even if it includes food and a complimentary cookbook. If you're on a tighter budget but still want to check out the farm, my advice is to hold out for FarmAde in September, which is a free, all-ages event.
You can check out their Facebook event page at facebook.com.Posted by Viola Chen | June 5, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of mymodernmet.com
If you love giraffes and have always dreamt of living and eating with one, I have a perfect place for you! There's a cute little hotel just outside Nairobi Kenya that is also home to about a dozen giraffes and other beautiful animals.
Originally this small hotel and Giraffe Centre was set up by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) as a breeding center for the giraffes. But now the Centre has evolved to operate educational programs for Kenyan school children. At the same time, guests of the Hotel have the chance to see the endangered Rothschild giraffes.
The small hotel is comprised of only six rooms and its rate is a bit hefty, starting at $350 per night. But it seems like the price is worthwhile and for a good cause too, as some of the proceeds go to the AFEW.
The manor is a great example of sustainability and preservation of natural habitats. Tourists can be respectfully immersed in their natural surroundings, all while providing a home for endangered animals and educating children.
Photo courtesy of giraffemanor.com
After reading all the comments from trip advisor, guests seem to only have positive things to say about their stay and experience. The pricing includes meals, transfers to and from Giraffe Manor and airport, an open bar and soft drinks, laundry services, sightseeing and entrance to AFEW Giraffe Centre. Not to mention the priceless experience of enjoying and relaxing with the endangered wild giraffes and animals.
At Giraffe Manor, you get the cool experience of eating breakfast while giraffes poke their heads in the window. Who wouldn't want that! You are also able to feed and photograph the giraffes. This certainly sounds like a once in a life time, breathtaking experience.
It is so cool that there are places like Giraffe Manor where you can be surrounded by the blissful nature and wildlife that you would only other wise see on discovery channel. If you are an animal lover, you will definitely love this place! I certainly have put the Giraffe Manor on my places to go if I am ever in Kenya.Posted by Viola Chen | June 7, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of cbc.ca
With the growing movement of protests unwinding all over the world, it is no surprise that a protest has hit the east side of Canada. Quebec students have been protesting since February due to a government tuition fee hike. The protest has definitely grown into more of a social movement. These protests are also serving the purpose to challenge the unequal and severe actions that the neoliberal government has been making in Quebec. The movement has adopted the red square to symbolise the fight against oppression, exploitation and tuition.
You might be surprised to know that Quebec students actually have the lowest tuition in North America. But regardless of this, these students have the right to protest these unreasonable changes.
I'm a bit of a socialist and think education should be free or at least affordable for the majority of the population. Public education is a right, but unfortunately it has turned into a commodity. As a student myself, it is frustrating to see our tuition increase every year. It has come to the point where most students are unable to afford the right to education and are left with no choice but to take on student loans which leaves most graduates starting a life of debt.
The protests for the most part were peaceful and nonviolent, but despite this, Quebec's premier, Jean Charest, introduced bill 78. This bill limits the ways people can demonstrate and protest. But this did not stop demonstrations. Ever since the new law, people have been demonstrating with pots and pans to make as much noise as they can. It is ridiculous for a government to limit people to pre-approved times and places for protests. The right to freely express yourself should never be taken away, especially by your own elected government. What is this undemocratic nonsense! This is most certainly unconstitutional and a violation of freedom and speech.
A presence of pride and support is seen amongst Quebecers during these protests. Both anarchists and nationalists have been part of this movement. It is certainly amazing to see that the differences amongst protesters can be overcome in order to find some common ground and unite for one cause.
I feel like provincial pride outside Quebec is a bit lacking. I definitely hope to see more societies stand up to their fundamental rights and freedom. The rest of Canada can absolutely learn from Quebec. We don't have to stand by and watch in silence as our tuition increases yearly at rates that are ridiculously unaffordable.Posted by Viola Chen | June 6, 2012 | Comments (0)
Photo courtesy of slacktory.com
Online dating has a bad rep for being the outlet for desperate people, but I know many lovely couples who have met each other online. But that's not the case for Philadelphia blogger Alyssa Kramer, who went by the alterego "Marla."
"Marla's" profile photo is just her shoulder. No face. Not much body. Just shoulder.
She wanted to see if crazy behaviour in women would scare off men online. She acted as crazy as possible, while never initiating conversations and making little sense when talking to guys. She also spelled as badly as possible.
Her self-summary goes something like this:
"hi im marla searching for someone special someone cute age 26-72. i dont smoke cig. Dont drink. Socialy i will. Or in basement. like to no more lets get 2gether 2 watch a movie n see how it goes im a nice gurl so if your serious im f'in serious. Plz dont smoke. I smoke to keep my stress down n I have a big dog named Booty so if u dont like dogs move on hes the king lol peace marla"
Turns out, lots of men still wanted to meet Marla despite her obvious lack of intelligence and lack of ability to hold a normal human conversation. Marla called them "wangsta," told them she wanted to enter her dog in a human beauty contest, and told them she was very constipated, yet they still seemed unfazed!
This either makes me have faith that single men can look past flaws or makes me sad that men will put up with a lot of idiocy for some action.
OKCupid shut down Marla's account, but you can still read about her experiment here.
When Kanye West makes his film debut, no ordinary theatre will do. Even the movie is making its debut at the Cannes Film Festival. Last week, West's short film Cruel Summer premiered at the prestigious fête in a seven-screen pyramid next to the Mediterranean.
The international architecture firm OMA designed the flamboyant structure specifically for West. OMA is known for its dramatic buildings that can be seen in cities such as Montréal and Beijing. The temporary pavilion was meant to wow audience members—exclusive elite of the rich and famous—and to give them an unforgettable cinematic experience.
The pyramid's seating gave the effect of floating above a red carpet, while the seven screens plunged moviegoers into the heart of the film. Apparently, West envisioned spectators being wrapped and surrounded by the film. It sounds like a 21st century experience, and I would have loved to join the lucky few that attended.
However, the 30 minute movie sounds like another promotional vehicle for West's ever-growing megalomania. His inspiration for the project was his upcoming G.O.O.D Music compilation and features a weak storyline. One of West's usual collaborators, Kid Cudi, stars as a car thief who falls madly in love with a blind Arab princess. He marries her, on the condition that he helps her to see again. This plot line sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. The only thing that would make it worse is if Kim Kardashian, West's current flame, played the princess.
I give props to West and OMA for redesigning the movie theatre. While it is still only for the elite, I hope that cinemas will be inspired by this venue and dabble with new techniques in theatre styling. Surroundings are important for perception, and moviemakers shouldn't be afraid to try different ideas. Cinema has become too commercial and needs a facelift. Hopefully, pyramid-style theatres will become the norm in the coming years. Until then, I will keep wishing for that invitation to Cannes.
Kait Bolongaro loves to write about cultures and how people occupy them. She aspires to be a culture broadcast journalist and photographer. She loves to discover new lands and adventures, and will continue exploring, starting with a Masters of Journalism in Denmark in the fall. To follow her on her latest journeys, follow her on twitter.
Today, Schema is a proud participant of Black Out Speak Out. Environmental organizations, charities, bloggers, unions and others are darkening their home pages en masse to protest a recent bill being pushed through Parliament. Bill C-38 will give the Harper government the power to weaken environmental protection laws, silence environmental groups and approve environmentally unfriendly projects without consultation. Black Out Speak Out is a collaborative initiative spearheaded by CPAWS, CAPE, the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Equiterre, Greenpeace, Nature Canada, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada, West Coast Environmental Law and WWF Canada.
To learn more and sign a petition against this threat to nature, human rights and democracy, please visit blackoutspeakout.ca.
Sign the online petition at: www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/286/802/967/?z00m=20308889Posted by Genie MacLeod | June 4, 2012 | Comments (0)
You know you're in for a sweet treat when the first sequence to a video is inspired by Sailor Moon. Remember when Serena (Sailor Moon) would always be late for school and she would run down the street eating her breakfast? Well this music video is the real life version of it. But instead of having cute and sexy Sailor Scouts, we get creepy Sailor Scouts with numbers painted on their faces and a break dancer dressed in Sailor drag with an equally creepy looking mask. In case you're wondering, yes, I'm easily creeped out.
For the love of Japanese culture, I wish I could understand the language. I have a feeling a lot would be explained to me. Well, maybe not everything. I think I would still be baffled by many things. Googley eyed onion anyone?
Despite the fact that "Candy Candy" is insanely catchy, the costumes are kick-ass, and even the onion is kind of cute, my curiosity is peaked to its extreme. Why are the backup Sailor Scouts numbered, and of all the places, numbered on their faces?! Isn't that a bit of an inconvenient spot? And what is up with the masked break dancer? Did he really have to be masked? Is his face so grossly disfigured that the producers had no choice but to hide it?
One thing is for certain though: candy candy yummy yummy.
Jocelyn is a graduate of English and Communications from SFU. She loves all animals, but her heart is cat shaped. She hopes to release her cat fashion line in the near future.
Photo courtesy of unintendedcalculations.wordpress.com
With summer being around the corner and the recent beautiful weather, I have started to notice the increase of graffiti and stencils that are covering the walls of Vancouver. Street art for me adds character to the city and sometimes it gives a little extra something to the dull urban environment. So I ask you this, when you see street art what do you think: an art or a crime?
Vancouver is considered a fairly young and contemporary city and for this reason, it just recently caught on to the street art trend. With more art street in the city, this just adds to Vancouvers' image of being a hippie, hipster, and pedestrian friendly place. So why the sudden trend in street art in Vancouver and around the world?
With Wall Street, the Arab spring, and the protests in Montreal it seems like the new generation has an appreciation for the raw. We no longer want to be confined by the rules, the law or the authority. Simply, ehe feeling of openness and freeness is really appealing. Artists can choose to be anonymous, sneaky, and creative and certainly not confined by anyone. And at the same time their work can convey a powerful message.
My favorite street artist in Vancouver goes by the name Dark. For me Dark embodies my image of what an artist is. Dark's work appeared on several corners of Vancouver and his or her stencils have very deep meanings of nostalgia, reality, and acceptance. Because of the powerful meaning and images behind Dark's work I feel that he or she is reclaiming the streets.
'Hope' by Vancouver street artist Dark. Photo courtesy of flickr.com
You can check out Alife on Robson Street or Hope on the intersection of Kingsway and Broadway. Last year there was also a group of international street artists that came together to paint a mural on the walls of the Moda hotel. It was nice to see artists collaborating in the underground scene of street art.
What's amazing about street art is that not only does it add character and a sense of identity to the urban environment but it also has the power to raise awareness of political and social issues. This summer I went to Egypt where I appreciated the graffiti that filled the streets and walls of Cairo. Slogans calling for the overthrow of the president and the military regime concealed the city.
For me street art is the perfect example of what l'art pour l'art is. It is certainly not a crime but a beautiful and powerful form of art. Art that is not done for money, political, social or cultural reasons, but simply because the artists wants to express a message on a canvass where there are no rules. It is a purely intrinsic and genuine form of art.Posted by Viola Chen | June 1, 2012 | Comments (0)
Nadia is the new host/VJ for MTV China's show called Tian Lai Cun, with VJ Andy Chen. The new show airs June 11. Photo courtesy of Nadia Hatta.
This week's episode of Mr. French Taste is really all about jealously.
So we asked Nadia Hatta which of the MFT actors makes her the most jealous. Unlike Celina Jade, who gave us an answer from left field, Nadia's choice was definitely one we could understand.
"Sarah Lian! She got to wear those amazing Shanghai Tang dresses. There is this one green qipao style dress that she wore ... (envy) ... I love the emerald green color as it illuminates the screen with her gorgeous hairdo."
OK. Twist our rubber arm, Nadia. We're jealous of Sarah Lian too.
You can check out what Sarah had to say about wearing this gorgeous outfit (as well as a few of her other favourites) on set. The multi-talented Nadia Hatta will make her highly anticipated guest appearance in next week's episode.
Nadia Hatta's favorite outfits from MFT
Nadia Hatta's Tips on Being Fought Over
Nadia Hatta's Official Site
Read a great interview by TheOtherAsians
Image courtesy of screenrant.com
Hot on the heels of the hugely successful The Avengers, the Marvel film Iron Man 3 has gone into production for a 2013 release date. But as The Avengers continues to soar, Disney (Marvel's parent company) hopes to aim even higher with Iron Man 3. This week, the film got a budget increase of $60 million dollars, bringing the total tab for the film to a whopping $200 million.
In a play to make the film connect with Asian audiences, Disney has partnered with Chinese company DMG to co-produce the film and gives the film a marked Asian presence. Filming in China will commence in late summer, adding into the script popular Chinese actors Andy Lau and Fan Bing Bing. The film is based on comic book writer Warren Ellis' popular Extremis storyline which previously did not include any Asian characters.
This decision led many to worry about the introduction of Iron Man's traditional nemesis the Mandarin, a horrible stereotype of Asian mysticism. Indeed many hints have been scattered throughout the two previous Iron Man films about a secret organization entitled the Ten Rings (a reference to the Mandarin's 10 magic rings in the comics). While it has been confirmed that Lau will not play the Mandarin (instead, he is an old friend of Tony Stark), the villain, played by Ben Kingsley, has not yet been identified. A recent report on Latino Review has stated that the film's villain will indeed be Kingsley playing the Mandarin. Here's hoping Kingsley isn't pulling another Gandhi.
Iron Man's traditional nemesis the Mandarin, a negative stereotype of Asian mysticism. Image courtesy of collider.com
On an uplifting note, Shane Black, (the director of Iron Man 3) publicly said that the Mandarin is a "racist caricature" (in October 2011 in the Long Beach comic-con) and a "racist character" (just in April 2012), stating that he is not going to use that character in his movie. Hopefully he keeps to his word—but if he doesn't, the presence of a Chinese co-producer will weed out any negative or stereotypical representation of Asian.Posted by Viola Chen | June 20, 2012 | Comments (0)
** PLEASE WAIT UNTIL WE GET MORE SHOE PICS FROM NADIA. SO FAR WE HAVE TWO PAIRS. THIS IS ONE OF THEM
Nadia Hatta, the multi-talented guest star in Episode 6 of Mr. French Taste, is no stranger to acting, writing, directing and designing. Oh, and constantly looking breathtaking.
Her secret? Well, it's all in the shoes.
The ethnic cool-maker talks to Schema about the pair of shoes she dons as her all-time favourite.
Her reasons for pinning this pair with such high praise?
People say that the shoes make the girl but clearly, in Miss Hatta's case, the opposite is true.
Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more inside scoop on the Mr. French Taste cast's wardrobe favourites! Let us know what you think about the cast's eccentric fashion tastes by leaving a comment below, posting on our Facebook page or hitting us up via @schema_magazine.Posted by Viola Chen | June 5, 2012 | Comments (0)