Category Archives: Happenings

Marvel NOW buys a category on Jeopardy

jeopardy-200icon-1When I received the press release from Marvel announcing that their Marvel NOW product launch would be featured via product placement as a category on Jeopardy in tomorrow’s (Dec 13 2012) episode I was astonished.  Jeopardy allows companies to buy a category or  answer on their show?  In my youth I was a faithful viewer of the quizshow and admit I haven’t been a TV watcher in over a decade so figured I should do a bit of research.

Seems to the day in 2005, Jeopardy had a category “Apple of my Eye” which Apple Computers bought.  IBM started negotiations with Jeopardy in 2008 to feature their Watson computer on the show.   April of last year featured the MET Opera‘s new season line-up.  According to the Jeopardy FAQs website, the show is rife with commercial tie-ins these days.

I wonder, was it always so and I was too naïve to notice, or is this a change in the product in the last 7+ years?  Do you have other instances you’d like to share of Jeopardy selling out?

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Toronto Circus Performances November 2012

If you’re interested in being entertained, surprised, and/or delighted this month in Toronto, check out the following options.

  • Cirque Eloize’s iD is in town this weekend only at the Sony Centre (Video Preview)
  • Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna finishes it’s Toronto run this weekend as well.  If you haven’t seen this superb show yet, see if you can still find a seat before it leaves town forever.  Viktor Kee’s Lizard, Lara Jacob’s Balance Goddess, and many other unforgettable acts await you.
  • Circus Orange will be lighting this up at Illuminite in a free show for the tree lighting at Yonge & Dundas Square on November 10.  The ‘Winterfest’ Downtown Yonge BIA will also be hosting many Buskers over the holiday shopping period as well.
  • Cirque Sublime will be doing a free show at the Brookfield Place (formerly BCE place – 181 Bay Street) in the Allen Lambert Galleria Nov 15 at 5pm-7pm in support of the Starlight Children’s Foundation Lighting Ceremony and Fundraiser.
  • Cirque Sublime (at least the Cube Act) will be performing again on Nov 17 at the Sony Centre as part of “It’s Always Something” in support of Gilda’s Club.

‘I on the sky’ at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto

Young People's Theatre LogoDynamO Théâtre‘s I on the sky is currently playing at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto with tickets still available for this weekend’s performances.

My kids and I saw the show today (they perform twice a day for school groups as well as the ticketed weekend shows) thanks to a Toronto4Kids contest win, and it was excellent.  An acrobatic trampolining energetic costume filled play without words that is also touching and heartfelt, not to mention laughter inducing.  If you can find the time to squeeze in the 60minute show, I recommend you do, you won’t be disappointed.  Side fact for my circus followers — two of the actors are former Cirque du Soleil performers.

The program suggests it for an audience of 10 years and up, and YPT suggests grades 3 to 7, but my 3 & 5 year old were engrossed completely.  There is conflict, and bullyish behaviour from the ‘thugs’ as I named them, plus some violence near the end from the ‘soliders‘ but it didn’t seem to register on the kids.For an added bonus to your outing, after the show get a peameal bacon sandwich from St Lawrence Market and head a block south of the theatre to David Crombie Park and you can sit on a back to back green bench, almost like the ones in the show.  Minus the trampoline in the middle.

If you’re still not convinced, here is a video preview of the show.

Plus a special mention to ‘Jeff‘ for overruling the front of house staff’s aversion to my barefeet.

Playing at The Toy Box

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Thanks to Playground Studios and Theatre Passe Muraille for a great afternoon yesterday. The kids were “having too much fun to leave”. It’s running at City Hall Rotunda until Saturday, and then will be back for a few days in December (at Theatre Passe Muraille, not City Hall).   Thanks to Fancy Pants Kids for the recommendation.

An interesting observation I made: we were barefoot (as we have been for months now), but instead of getting strange looks from people, instead many people thought that they too should shed their shoes while playing.  Goes to show you what preconceptions can do.

Netflix’s “Available Until”

We’ve been using Netflix (Canada) for a few months now, and one of my (many) peeves with the service is the lack of transparency regarding content availability.  A few times I’ve seen an “Available until” date display on the bottom of the screen when watching on the Wii, and I’ve determined it seems to show up 15 days before the content expires, and content will expire on the 15th of the month, or the end of the month.  Now, this only shows up when you pull up the title, not in any of the browsing modes so if I see a selection that I might want to watch in the next while, I may end up missing out on it.  It’s quirky, but thinking I might miss it hinders my enjoyment of it, know what I mean?

My present dilemma is I finally started watching JeremiahJMS‘s post-Crusade post-Apocalyptic tv-show, last week and I got 4 episodes in when the dreaded ‘Available Until’ popped up.

Screenshot of a Netflix on the Wii showing the 'Available Until' date for Jeremiah

So… do I drop everything and try to watch all 34 episodes in the next 10 days, do I stop watching and figure I’ll come across it in another form at some point, or do I watch it like regular and when it disappears it disappears?

I assume the expiration of content is due to licensing & distribution agreements but a little googling on the matter doesn’t turn much up.  There is nothing on the website’s help (heck, the website doesn’t even show the available until restriction (other sites say that this is a per-device ui issue), and since there is no official forum or support email I guess I won’t ever know (yeah, I won’t be calling in to ask).

Anyone out there have any insight into how the content expiration works on Netflix?

Update: I checked with the Executive Producer of this show in particular and he replied: “This stuff happens far above my paygrade and my understanding.”

Perseids Meteor Shower

Pawnee Perseids (Photo © Michael Menefee)

This year the Perseid’s Meteor Shower will peak at 1200h Aug 12, so late tonight will probably be your best chance to catch 90 to 100 meteors an hour.  It’ll be tough for a single individual to see all of them though, so why not get a group of four together and lay down head to head so each of you gets a quadrant of the sky (if you’re into making an official count of them). And remember, don’t be discouraged if tonight isn’t a great night (weather or location wise) as it’s just the peak, there is still a pretty good chance of catching a few in the next week as well.

For us city dwellers, Light Pollution will serious hamper your chances of seeing many so if you can, get out of the city to up your chances of catching a shooting star.

If you’re keen to get info from experts, NASA will be holding a ‘Live Chat’ on their page starting at 11pm EDT.

For the younger crowd, here’s They Might Be Giants reminding us that “a shooting star is not a star is not a star at all”