December 29, 2014

Mirvish donates Robin Hood tickets to the Toronto Archery Club

Mirvish Productions has donated two tickets to "The Heart of Robin Hood" to the Toronto Archery Club in an effort to help the archery club raise money for new archery equipment.

The two tickets are 'plum' orchestra tickets together worth $210 and the Toronto Archery Club is auctioning off the tickets in an effort to raise money for new equipment. The funds will be used for buying beginner bows, arrows, and finger gloves that beginners can use at club events.

The Toronto Archery Club is also accepting donations. Contact archery club president Charles Moffat for details if you wish to either bid on the tickets or simply want to donate to the Toronto Archery Club.

"The Heart of Robin Hood" has been touring Canada and is in Toronto from December 23rd 2014 to March 1st 2015. Ticket prices start at $45 and go up to $105 each.

November 28, 2014

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Retrospective


Less than 3 weeks from now the last of the 3 Hobbit films will be released, bringing to end an era of Tolkien-based films... and opening the door for other filmmakers to make their own Tolkien-esque films.

Warner Brothers knows this is the end of an era and thus have released the video below, a retrospective on all 6 films - and incidentally a promo for the last of the 6 films.

The good news however is that these films have made fans hungry for more.

But there are no more Tolkien books worth making. So out of necessity, we should turn to other books that are worthy of note. Here is a list of fantasy books that should be made into films:

The Icewind Dale Trilogy
The Crystal Shard (1988)
Streams of Silver (1989)
The Halfling's Gem (1990)

The Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy
Dragons of Autumn Twilight (1984)
Dragons of Winter Night (1985)
Dragons of Spring Dawning (1985)

The Earthsea Cycle
A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)
The Tombs of Atuan (1971)
The Farthest Shore (1972)
Tehanu (1990)
The Other Wind (2001)

The Wheel of Time
(Although to be fair, this would make a better TV series - similar to Game of Thrones. The Wheel of Time has 14+ books and it would make more sense if it was a TV series.)

The Dark Sun: Prism Pentad
The Verdant Passage (1991)
The Crimson Legion (1992)
The Amber Enchantress (1992)
The Obsidian Oracle (1993)
The Cerulean Storm (1993)

Now if you recognize the books from Icewind Dale, Dragonlance and Dark Sun as being books associated with Dungeons and Dragons and are thinking "Wait, don't D&D movies suck?!" then you are missing the point. Don't base the movies off the game. Base the movies off the books (which are awesome) and ignore the existence of the game entirely. The problem with movies based off video games or RPGs is that they are too closely based off the games when they should be based off the best-selling books. The books are ridiculously popular.

The problem with the D&D film series is that they based the films off the game, and developed pretty lame plots that had not been tested as a book series first. They ignored the first rule of movie making: Only make a movie that is based on a successful book series. If it doesn't have the books to back it up as being already successful, then it is not worth making.

Google the name Drizzt Do'Urden (one of the main characters from The Icewind Dale Trilogy) and Google spits out 370,000 results (that is just slightly less than "Conan the Barbarian", which has 398,000 results). That shows Drizzt Do'Urden has brand name appeal when it comes to marketing the films and has a measurement of pre-existing success. Conan already has 3 films out there, and yet Drizzt isn't that far behind in popularity and has zero films.

Lastly, there are also some sequels that should be made sometime. Namely:

Buttercup's Baby - the long awaited sequel to The Princess Bride - sadly, one of the actors is dead so this will probably never happen.

Conan the Conqueror - with Arnold Schwarzenegger as King Conan, based off the book "The Hour of the Dragon".

The Subtle Knife + The Amber Spyglass - The two remaining books after film The Golden Compass (the book is called The Northern Lights), a film that brought in $372 million at the box office and yet oddly enough the series was cancelled. Why? Because in the 3rd book "god" dies of old age. Apparently the idea of 'god dying due to old age' was too controversial for Christians and they boycotted the film. However the film still managed to bring in $372 million at the box office, meaning it was hugely profitable. So why not make the 2nd and 3rd films if it is profitable??? Finish the trilogy.

Avatar 2, 3 and 4 - They are coming. That much is certain. They are slated for release in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Filming begins just a few days from now in December 2014.

October 1, 2014

Veganism and Protein-based Bodybuilding

Vegan Bodybuilder Joel Kirkilis
Can A Vegan Diet Give You Muscles?

This is the question most people who consider going vegan or vegetarian ask before they decide to change their diets. Will I lose a major source of protein if I give up meat. The answer is ultimately yes, but there are some other things to consider before you make up your mind about veganism.

Yes, meat is a great source of protein and if you give it up you will lose that major source, but you can replace that great source of protein with another source of protein that can give you just as much protein as you had before and maybe a little more.

Indeed there is a whole movement within the bodybuilding community of vegan bodybuilders, like Joel Kirkilis above.

Now before you think it is more difficult to become a vegan bodybuilder vs an omnivore bodybuilder, remember:

Gorillas Do It

Gorillas are a close evolutionary relative to humans and they live off a strictly plant based diet. I don't think anyone would accuse a gorilla of lack an adequate source of protein as they are often very strong, powerful and muscle animals. So how do they do it? Well, gorillas spend all day eating plants as the plants do not allow them to gain enough energy to sustain them the entire day, but the plants that they do eat provide them with enough protein to help them build the muscles they need.

Humans have an advantage when it comes to a vegan diet because unlike gorillas humans eat starchy foods which will provide extra protein and a vast amount of carbohydrates. I know what you are thinking, gorillas are similar to us but they are not the same, they must have different genes and body structures that allows them to process plants differently than humans do. The answer to that is no, not really. Gorillas have the same DNA and the same digestive systems as humans and are 99% identical to humans in terms of DNA. That 1% difference is really minor.

Gorillas also do not have an extra special means of digesting food to get more protein out of it. The protein is already there in the plant based food, we humans just need to start realizing that meat is not the only source of protein out there.

Professional Athletes Do It Too

David Haye is a professional boxer and became vegan while competing professionally. At first he was concerned about what becoming vegan could negatively effect his ability to participate in professional boxing. He was concerned that without meat he would not be able to maintain his muscle mass. It was not until he did some research on the protein value of plant based foods that he realized that he could get what he needs from plants.

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson also became a vegan after dealing with depression, weight gain, drug abuse and alcoholism. He became a vegan as part of a process that was intended to help him get his life back on track. After becoming a vegan Mike Tyson was able to get back into a physique that rivaled that of his heavy weight fighting days.

What If You Just Want To Try It Out First

Protein is easily accessed through plant foods such as beans, seeds and grains. If you are not yet ready to take the plunge just yet, why not try out a vegan restaurant first to see if plant based protein is right for you. A great place to try is Rawlicious, a Toronto raw vegan restaurant, which provides several different smoothie options that can be fortified with Hemp Protein and SunWarrior Brown Rice Protein.

September 2, 2014

The Future of Toronto's Subway System - TTC Map

Below is a rendering of what the new Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension will look like on the TTC system map when the new subway extension opens in the Autumn of 2016.

That is assuming that Rob Ford doesn't start an epidemic of "lying and cheating crack zombies" between now and then. It would totally suck if the "crack zombie apocalypse" happened before the subway extension was completed. Just think of how many more people would be trapped underground thanks to the subway extension when the zombie epidemic spreads to the TTC.

In other news, the 2014 Toronto Mayoral Election will take place on October 27, 2014. Four days before Halloween.

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