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Joe Fiorito of The Toronto Star January 31, 2011

Posted by huymix in News, Politics.
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Joe Fiorito

I’m sorry but I had all but abandoned this blog. From now on, this blog might only post when I have particularly strong feelings, one way or another, towards something. Even then, it would have to overcome my innate laziness. I will try to keep the posts short, again due to laziness, but I won’t have a particular devotion to the previous 3 bullet point format.

So when I post something, you gotta know, that the topic that I’m posting about has gotten to me.

Today’s topic: The Toronto Star columnist: Joe Fiorito

I think what has really turned me against Mr. Fiorito has been his more recent coverage of the TTC service cuts. I’ll invite you to check out a couple of his recent articles:

The Toronto Star: Cuts threaten bus service to Toronto’s deaf-blind community

The Toronto Star: Hiding in the back of the bus

You might be asking what is your beef with these articles? Well, I have a few points to make:

  • His short, conversation style is fine except that he will take it too far to the point that it can feel childish. For example: “In. The. Entire. Country.” when he already wrote that it was for the entire country. Maybe it was written for emphasis, but I think he has already made his point before that and writing that does not add to the point.
  • He’s essentially written the same talking points over and over again. TTC cuts means some people, including less capable people in some ways, will not have service. Almost by definition, a service cut to anything means some people will not have service.  In each article, he’s written that same point just using different examples. I’m sorry for those people that do get service cut, but this point is hardly surprising and certainly does not warrant so much coverage.
  • The bias runs a bit too deep. He is writing a column and not the straight news and thus he is allowed his personal bias to show more. However, his articles do not have a hint of consideration for an alternative perspective and puts his credibility at stake. I think that his writing makes him seem like he is completely unwilling to listen to a different perspective and that can mean people will be less likely to believe what he is saying is based on sound and reasonable judgment. There are probably good reasons why those service cuts are being made and in his writing, none of those reasons feel like they have been explored.

Nothing I am saying is meant to criticize Joe Fiorito the person. I do not pretend to know him or know anything about what he believes. I’m only looking at it from the perspective of a Star reader. Maybe he isn’t everything I think his writing makes him out to be. Maybe, but I certainly cannot tell from his writing.

Conclusion: He needs to work out whether he has already made his point and move on.

 

Roger Ebert April 8, 2010

Posted by huymix in Celebrity, Movies.
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Whenever I read movie reviews, I make sure to check out what Roger Ebert has written. While I would say I do not always share his viewpoint on any particular movie I can say that I feel comfortable with his reviews because:

  • He takes the movie for what it is. So, if it’s a silly action summer blockbuster or if it’s high-minded or if it’s a kid’s movie he treats the audience differently. By differently, he is more forgiving of story problems in a summer blockbuster and kid’s movies than in an Oscar nominee.
  • The tone of his writing is written such that I feel it is very much his personal perspective.
  • He is at a point in his life where his opinion is pretty well his own and I don’t feel like he get’s affected by hype. Maybe I’m wrong but at least I can’t tell whether he’s affected by hype.

Roger Ebert has gotten to a point in his career that any professional (or unprofessional SnuhZone blogger) reviewer would love to have. He’s done it largely due to building a long-standing trust with his audience and, in my opinion, continues to have his audience for the above reasons.

Tae K. Kim April 6, 2010

Posted by huymix in Internet Site, Videogames.
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Tae K. Kim

Tae K. Kim is the reviews editor over at Gamepro. If you have read my Monthly Thinkering on Video game reviews, than you might very well guess that he is the inspiration for the entire post.

I’m sorry I don’t really have much more to say about him. I think he’s probably an alright guy but I have no way of knowing and I’m sure he plays tons of games. His reviews just plain suck.

My advice is, read one or two of his reviews and ask yourself:

  • Did he get to the point?
  • Was he repetitive? (beating the same point over and over again)
  • Were his points relevant to you?

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading April 1, 2010

Posted by huymix in Electronics, Internet Site, Science, Television.
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The TED Conferences are generally held in the UK, but have been branching out to other countries (India in particular) and have been talking about specific fields (in particular, medical otherwise known as TED MED).The organization is a non-profit and most of the material is available online. You should keep your eye on TED regularly because:

  • The guests they have are generally pretty interesting. They talk about things that range from eye care in India to wireless electricity.
  • The site has new videos everyday. If you ever said, “I want to learn 1 new thing everyday”, then the TED site is perfect for you to do exactly that.
  • Admission to the site is free, to attend it is way too expensive. So, these videos is a way to gain access to discussion that would not normally be allowed even 10 years ago due to technical achievements.

As long as you’re interested in new ideas and thought provoking discussion, I can thoroughly recommend watching and keeping tabs on the TED site.

Monthly THINKERING: Getting Healthy-errr April 1, 2010

Posted by huymix in Food, Monthly Thinkerings.
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Let’s get physical, physical, I wanna get physical… Aside from my secret love of Olivia Newton John’s classic, I did want to talk about getting healthy. One of the classic problems in North America is this idea of massive obesity and how it’s an epidemic yet there is also an obsession (that you don’t find as much of in the rest of the world, certainly not in Asia) with diet and exercise.

This is not really going to be a review but a set of thoughts around the topic of getting healthy.

Health and Weight

One of the main issues I have with the way health is addressed in North America (I’ll just start saying Canada but I do mean North America) is the equivalence of personal health and weight. First of all, a person is healthy along a spectrum of health, it is not binary. Also, a person’s weight is healthy across a spectrum as well. Neither is binary and where someone exists in the spectrum of either health or weight does not necessarily equate to their position on the other. One area of confusion is the fact that there is a concession on a large scale (nationally or provincially) to use the BMI indicator which does equate health and weight. While it is understandable at a national level that a more practical (even if much more rough and less accurate) measure such as BMI would be acceptable, it’s use has lent credibility to the notion that it will work for an individual person. If you really want to get healthy, stop thinking about the weight it’s not the same thing.

More than some motivation is required

A major hole in any program, be it Atkins, Zone or P90X, is the issue of motivation. To go from a sedentary life to one that is much more active (and would probably need to change food attitudes) requires major motivation. The motivation does not actually have to last long, you need motivation to change attitudes towards food and activity which requires a higher intensity of motivation. This is often the hardest part to get over. The idea that you have to change what you define as normal in both food and activity. Once a new “normal” is set, you can cruise, it’s getting to that new “normal” that is the big problem.

Structure

Alright, so by now you might be guessing that I do not advocate any special diet or exercise plan. In fact, I hardly want to say go exercise. What I do advocate is stepping back and looking at the way your life is structured and figuring out how you can turn things you know are good for you (and maybe feel guilty about not doing) into regular parts of your life.

An example

Let’s use myself as an example, I am a big guy (about 90 kilos or 200 lbs and 5’10”) and would be classified as overweight by BMI standards. I don’t care because I am pretty healthy despite what BMI says.  I used to weigh in at 230 lbs back in first year university so things were worse. By no means did I ever consider myself crazy obese or anything (and I don’t really care about that label anyhow) but I wasn’t the fittest fiddle either because I knew I lived a very sedentary life. What happened to change all of that? A few things changed, #1 I got back to Judo. Now I posted about Judo before but I have a childhood link to judo and a club that is great. I never view judo as a means for exercise, and I go very regularly. #2 I decided that vegetables and fruits would become the dominant food group in my regular life. This was much harder than just going to judo as I do love meat but I eat as close to my 8-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. I had to convince myself that this is the normal food that I will eat and after a while it became normal and expected.

Final Thinkering

In order for you or someone you know get healthy in a significant way, they have to be fully convinced that the new healthier way is the new normal way. Otherwise, they will just slip back into the old sedentary way. Address the mind first and the body will follow.

Note: I actually try to meet the food pyramid (it’s tough but it’s a good guide).

Personal Trainer – Cooking March 30, 2010

Posted by huymix in Food, Videogames.
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I actually have the Personal Trainer: Cooking package that is in this post (including the “stylish” pouch). I can recommend that you get Personal Trainer: Cooking (if not the whole package) because:

  • The recipes are actually pretty good. I’ve made brownies, apple crumble and sticky toffee pudding based on the recipe in Personal Trainer: Cooking and they all turned out pretty good.
  • It has recipes, step-by-step instructions, videos, shopping lists and calculator all in one. Anything you would need to know about a particular recipe is contained in the software.
  • It’s funny to reference the recipe to a game. So I’ve given out tons of food based on the software and it’s always fun to say I got the recipe from my DS.

I used Personal Trainer: Cooking to help get me more comfortable in the kitchen and it has really helped out. Normally, recipes do not go into such detail so it’s nice for a novice like me.

The Toronto Raptors March 25, 2010

Posted by huymix in Sports.
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I’m a big Toronto Raptors fan and have been following them since my first year of university. I’ve been through the highs (Atlantic Division Champions) and the lows (drafting Araujo, the whole Vince Carter trade). If you are not following the Raptors as an existing fan, I cannot recommend following the Toronto Raptors this year because:

  • Effort. They do not play with a consistent level of effort. They tend to play to the level of their opponent. The problem is if that opponent raises their effort after the half, the Raps do not tend to rise with them. It’s all very frustrating.
  • Chris Bosh. He’s great, but why start watching him now and like the guy only to have him sign somewhere else in the summer? Let’s face it, no matter how great a city Toronto is, America does not cover games here and does not care to. They would rather watch some high school football over a Raptor’s playoff game. This lack of exposure and respect for Toronto pretty much means Bosh is out of here.
  • The Jays are looking pretty good. Young but good. The thing about the Raptors is that they seem to be a low-level Phoenix Suns and have hit a ceiling. I do not think that this group of people can ever play at a championship level. Maybe individually, but not as a team. The team’s potential is at best a second-round exit.

I do think Bryan Colangelo has done an awesome job taking over from Rob Babcock. He’s made smart and risky moves. However, that has not translated to a product that I can recommend to someone who is not already an established fan. Also, I’m sure Chris Bosh is a good guy so I don’t mean to make it seem like he’s being a jerk.

The ’72 of 2010 March 23, 2010

Posted by huymix in Sports, Television.
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It’s sports time here on the Snuhzone. While there plenty of feel good stories about the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, I wanted to talk about what I’ve been calling the ’72 of 2010. If you were watching any of the Olympics you have to know about the gold medal game in men’s hockey between Team Canada and Team USA. This is quite possibly the biggest sports moment I have experienced because:

  • The loss to Team USA was scary. Ryan Miller was unstoppable, and Canada had to go through the Russians and 4 games to win it all. It signaled a changing of the guard between Marty Brodeur (even though in my opinion he is still the greatest goaltender in history) and Roberto Luongo. While, I didn’t like the way Brodeur got handled, ultimately it was for the best.
  • Seemingly everyone in Canada watched this game and was pulling for Canada. Unlike the NHL, a Canadian team never unifies anywhere close to as many people as this game did to unify Canadians.
  • Overtime and the overtime winner by none other than Kid Canada Sidney Crosby. About as storybook of an ending you could ever ask for, but in real life.

The whole tournament was a roller-coaster which culminated in Canadian sports history unlike anything I have seen. If the CTV Blu Ray has this game in full, I will have to get it. A big part of my memory was watching the game communally in a bar with my friends all intensely focused on the game. Everything else just cannot compare.

A Life Well Wasted March 18, 2010

Posted by huymix in Internet Site, Videogames.
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A Life Well Wasted is “An Internet Radio Show About Videogames and the People Who Love Them” made by Robert Ashley (that’s what written above so really I just wasted your time and mine writing all of that). Anyways, even if you haven’t played videogames in a long while you should check out his site because:

  • The podcast. This is the main reason to visit his site. Unlike any other podcast on games, Robert’s podcast focuses on unfamiliar aspects to games and in particular the people. Oftentimes, videogame discussion can be dry as heck (perhaps explaining the popularity of the Angry Video Game Nerd and Zero Punctuation) and stories about people are much more interesting. His podcast is about the people with a videogame backdrop.
  • Posters. He has available custom posters that relate to each podcast done by Olly Moss that are unique and pretty cool. I have the “Why Game” Poster that is in this post hanging in my den.

That’s about it. Normally, I like to have 3 reasons but you don’t really need more than the podcast is excellent. So, go check it out. Dooo it.

27b/6 March 16, 2010

Posted by huymix in Internet Site.
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This week on the Snuhzone, I’ll be looking at some niche websites that you should check out. Today is an Australian website (at least I think it’s Australian) called 27b/6. Here’s why you should check the link:

  • The stories in each are hilarious. I think they are hilarious if you’re less uptight. Uptight people need not apply.
  • Relatable but not really. So what I mean is that I can relate to the motivations behind each story (desire to point out the useless and mess with things in general) but the outcome and method are totally out there.
  • Variety. No two entries are similar. While you can tell they are all from the same guy, each entry is much different than the last. This variety can create some big misses and big hits.

David Thorne compiled a book called “The Internet is a Playground” which is a hardcopy of his entries. I did buy his book but gave it as a present. If you don’t end up buying any of his stuff, at least give his site a couple of clicks, it’s well worth the page views.