Tag: media

Flash mob toronto 2011 luminato; image: blogTO, Joanna Kam
Arts Lighter

Toronto Flash Mob Hugging, High-Fiving

A “flash mob” happens when a group of seemingly random strangers suddenly start dancing, singing or moving in exactly the same way.

For instance, a group of people in a mall may suddenly all start dancing to a Lady Gaga song, doing all the same moves.

The rest of the people in the mall, who are not part of the flash mob, get treated to a surprise show.

When the show is over, the people who were in the flash mob just walk away, as though nothing had happened.

There was a flash mob in Toronto on Sunday.

Pottermore website
Arts Kids Lighter

What Is Harry Potter Up To Now?

Or more accurately… what is author J. K. Rowling up to?

The answer is: a mysterious new website called Pottermore.

A few weeks before the launch of the final Harry Potter movie (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2), Rowling put up an intriguing website at www.pottermore.com.

She also began a Twitter account, twitter.com/pottermore, which has more than 75,000 followers.

It offers no clues as to what the website will be about.

It merely has the words “Pottermore” and “Coming soon…” with J. K. Rowling’s signature.

Thessa's party Hamburg Germany; image: AP
Kids Lighter

If You’re Inviting People On Facebook… Click “Private”

When Thessa’s birthday was coming up, she decided to throw a party. After all, it wasn’t every day a girl turned 16!

So, as many kids do these days, Thessa posted an invitation to her party on Facebook. She wanted all of her friends to come.

But she made a big mistake. She forgot to set her Facebook invitation to “Friends Only.”

More and more people saw the invitation and signed up to come to the party.

They sent it to their friends and told more people about it… and before long, more than 15,000 people had confirmed on Facebook that they were coming to the party.

Conservative website showing the hoax article
News Politics Technology

Prime Minister Didn’t Choke On Hash Browns – Or Anything

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was the victim of a practical joke, or “hoax,” on Tuesday.

Someone broke into the website of the Conservative party. (Harper is the leader of the Conservatives.) They posted a fake article about him.

The article said Harper had been rushed to hospital after he had choked on some hash browns at breakfast.

It said that his wife, Laureen, called 911 because the Prime Minister couldn’t breathe and that he was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Toronto.

Album: Songs for Japan, to raise money for Japan
Arts Politics

Canada Rocks 4 Japan

Since the earthquake in Japan last month, people around the world have wanted to help. Many people have helped by donating money, clothing, or food.

Artists in Canada and the United States have come up with ways to raise money for Japan. There have been many music concerts in both countries. Recently in Toronto there were three: Canada Rocks 4 Japan, Hope Blossoms Benefit Concert, and Eternal Sunrise Japan Benefit.

A “benefit concert” means that the musicians perform for free, and most of the money made from ticket sales goes to Japanese families affected by the earthquake.

Chuck and Vince
Environment Lighter

Chuck And Vince: We Want ‘Em!

Recently the City of Toronto started a new recycling program. It lets people safely recycle unwanted electronic equipment like TVs, computers and phones. Before the new program, people had to take these things to a special depot. Now, they can just put them out by the sidewalk with their regular recycling bin, and workers from the City of Toronto will pick them up.

But how could Toronto spread the word about the new program? An ad agency called Publicis came up with a series of catchy TV ads featuring “Chuck” and “Vince.” They’re actors pretending to be wacky recycling workers.

Entertainment Lighter

Bieber’s In “Shoe” Business

The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto recently added a pair of Justin Bieber’s shoes to its collection. The shoes, which he wore in a concert, are on exhibit in a glass case. Dozens of Bieber fans visited the museum last week to look at the famous singer’s shoes.

Bieber’s shoes are in good company. Other shoes in the museum belong to John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Queen Victoria and Terry Fox.

Bieber had donated the shoes to a California children’s charity, which put them up for auction to raise money. The Bata Shoe Museum had the winning bid.

It isn’t the first time Bieber’s shoes have been in the news. He recently donated a signed shoe to his old high school, Northwestern Secondary in Stratford, Ont. They sold the bright purple Nike running shoe to raise money for a new broadcast studio.

Rotisserie Chicken Channel on Rogers, channel 208
Entertainment Lighter

The Chicken Channel

You may know that every year around Christmas many cable TV providers, like Rogers, offer their subscribers a “Fireplace Channel.” When you turn to the channel your screen fills with a burning firelog. It makes your TV look like a fireplace.

Now they’ve gone even further. Rogers is offering the “Rotisserie Channel.” A rotisserie is a barbeque pole that turns, to cook meat over a flame.

IBM's Watson Computer System Plays Jeopardy! in a Practice Round
Entertainment Technology

Humans Take On Computer In Jeopardy!

In 1997, there was a very famous chess match. The world champion chess player, Gary Kasparov, went up against a special challenger: a computer. The computer was called “Deep Blue” and it was built by IBM just to play chess. Deep Blue won the six-game chess match.

This year, IBM came up with a new challenge. They decided to build a computer that could match wits with two humans on a game show called Jeopardy!. The computer is called Watson, and its “brain power” is equal to thousands of home computers.

Playing chess is something computers can do very well because it relies on quickly deciding between different moves. However, answering questions and understanding English is not something computers do well. In Jeopardy!, the questions may include riddles, puns and cultural references. These are things humans are good at, but computers are not.