Ellen The Generous Host

Ellen DeGeneres hosted the 86th annual Academy Awards this Sunday. With months of preparation under her belt, the day time talk show host made the gig seem effortless. Many hilarious jokes were told throughout the night but Ellen’s idea to feed the hungry nominees with a few pizza’s became a highlight.

pizzaoscarEven more satisfying was her historic moment with 11 of the most famous faces in hollywood – a selfie. Photo-bombers included Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper and Kevin Spacey. The Photo was taken live during the show, tweeted through Ellen’s twitter account and acquired over 1 million retweets in the first hour; making it the most retweeted post of all time since President Barack Obama’s “four more years” photo with FLOTUS. The buzz on twitter momentarily crashed the site and set the bar extremely high for next years host. Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 1.10.41 AM

Lupita Nyong’o Wins Best Supporting Actress At Oscars

Lupita Nyong’o wins an Oscar for her role in 12 Years A Slave, which also won for best picture, under the category for best actress in a supporting role. The actress, famous for her bold choices in fashion throughout award season, made her oscar statue the greatest accessory of all time. Born in Mexico, Lupita moved with her family back to Kenya at the age of one. The dual citizen then made her mark in America by studying at the Yale School of Drama.

Lupita beat out the following nominees in her category:

Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska

Check out the deserving actress accept her award above.

Alright, Alright, Alright! McConaughey Wins Oscar Gold

Matthew McConaughey wins best actor in a leading role for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. The win comes as no surprise after a flattering award season for the 44 year old actor, taking home best actor at the Golden Globes earlier this year.

For best actor McConaughey beat out the following nominees:

Leonardo DiCaprio – Wolf Of Wall Street
Christian Bale – American Hustle
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years A Slave

Check out the video above for his charming acceptance speech.

Canada Gives $20 Million to Haiyan Relief

zot-1293-2013_photo-01On Friday, November 8th Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. CBC reports that nearly 13 million people have been affected by the disaster. Instantly, countries around the world began organizing disaster relief programs and charities.

The day after Typhoon Haiyan, $5 million was given for emergency relief including shelter, food and water supplies by Canada.

The Canadian Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) was sent to the city of Iloilo in the Philippines on November 13th on a Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft.

The minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, announced on November 14th that applications submitted by people who were directly effected by the typhoon will be priority for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

On November 18th, Prime Minister Stephen Harper provided an additional $15 million in an effort to aid anyone effected by the disaster.

To donate follow any of the links bellow or contact your preferred charity.

Canadian Red Cross — redcross.ca

UNICEF Canada — unicef.ca/haiyan

World Vision Canada — worldvision.ca or 1-866-595-5550.

United Nations World Food Programme — wfp.org/donate/typhoon-philippines

Doctors Without Borders — msf.ca/campaigns/typhoon-haiyan-relief-philippines

Word Of The Year

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 8.03.14 PMSay what you will about selfies, one thing is for sure, they are a phenomenon. Our rapidly growing digital age has lead to millions of uploads around the world; we all see photos of you, by you, everyday. There are many who despise the social networking habit, but it is undeniable that selfies have become a common practice in the world of technology. If not popularized when the highly anticipated iPhone 4 was introduced with a reversible camera, it was when our younger generation used their old-school digital cameras and, with great skill, pointed the camera at themselves at flattering angles. The perfect selfie, of course, took many shots to achieve.

Now that Instagram -a photo sharing app owned by Facebook- has gained popularity, the selfie is a daily norm. Scrolling through your feed will leave you counting the many young and surprisingly middle-aged females snapping away at their own faces.

With all this habitual behaviour, what is the bottom line? Is it that the digital age has created a generation so self absorbed that we need ‘likes’ on photos of ourselves to remind us of our worth? What is it about the selfie that is so addictive?

After carefully searching through the 187 people I follow on Instagram, I finally came to a conclusion. Our digital age, our age of innovation, has created a life that has been simplified beyond repair. Rather than individuals fighting to declare their worth through voice and action, society has placed the new generation of tech savvy teens and wanna-be-parents onto a pedestal of judgement. Take a picture of yourself at the right angle, add a proper filter and wait. If you are praised with ‘likes’ by your peers, then congratulations, you have succeeded in this digital age. What happened to the individuals who bragged of their world-changing achievements? Simplification, that’s what.

It’s impossible to label someone who takes selfies as an individual when millions of people across the globe are doing the exact same thing. The moment a selfie is officially posted on the internet, you can be certain that the person behind the camera, or in this case, in front of it, is waiting anxiously for approval. But approval from who? Others who take selfies? What are the credentials of these followers or friends who hold the self esteem of millions in the palm of their hand?

Whether we like it or not, selfies have invaded the world of photography and more importantly the world of esteem. Most commonly taken by females of our generation, is it fair to say that taking a selfie has deemed itself as a coping mechanism for the cruel, judgmental world we live in? Or, is it simply an indication of ignorance, which has plagued the generation that is expected to lead our future world. If our younger generation has anything to prove it is not how attractive we look under layers of Instagram filters, but how we react to the avalanche of technological advances and use them to better the world.

Flip your camera back to its frontal view and look at your screen. There is a whole world out there in front of you that couldn’t possibly be captured in a selfie.

The Invisible Bike Helmet

Most people dread snapping on a chunky helmet every time they ride their bike. Two women in Sweden, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, were determined to create the next big thing in cycle safety that avoided the typical problems associated with helmets. Their two great minds collaborated on the invention which is now known as the Hövding.

Rather than spoil the genius, I encourage you to check out the video above and find yourself thinking those same six words once again: Why didn’t I think of that?

For more information on the Hövding, visit http://www.hovding.com/en/

 

Terwillegar Housing Project Cancelled

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 11.03.41 PMThe controversial Terwillegar Towne housing project which was set to include 60 housing units for formerly homeless people in Edmonton has been cancelled. The Holy Trinity Riverbend Anglican Church, which owns the vacant land, refused to sign a lease with the Jasper Place Health and Wellness Centre. The Church claims the project was not a proper fit for the south-side area.

Hundreds of Terwillegar residence voiced their disapproval of the project. Many were worried of decreased property values and the safety of the community.

The Church is not throwing in the towel however. They will continue to work on a project with a new partner. Councillor Bryan Anderson stated, “I think anything that is proposed will have to both address the size and the user group for the community to get on board.”