Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ferrari Traffic Jam and Muir Woods Photo HikeWoods

Finally had a chance to look through photos from the Muir Woods photo hike I took with J.Rose a couple of weeks ago. On our way towards Muir Woods we stopped at a city lookout and found around 20 Ferraris there!! Looked like a Ferrari Owner's Club and they didn't mind us snapping a bazillion photos.

Golden Gate
Goin' Biking
Sweet reflections
My other car is a Ferrari
Pick your poison
Ferrari Club
Great expression!!
Ferrari Traffic Jam
Rock and roll
Muir Woods

Sarah's goodbye party

Our good friend Sarah is leaving the bay area. We're all super sad but excited for her new adventure too. To celebrate/hang out, we hit the beach yesterday and got some kite flying and bean bag throwing goin on.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm doing a TED talk!

I have super crazy news. I'm doing a TED talk!!!!!

I'll be speaking at TEDxIB@York in Toronto on Nov 18th. For anyone who won't be in the area, I believe it will be Simulcast on their website and also available on YouTube and after the conference.

My talk will focus on my goal to work at ILM from a young age, and planning and working like crazy to achieve it. From there I'll talk about what else I'm up to and what I'm planning, and offer motivation to the kids in the crowd to find their passion early and work like crazy, too :)

My Bio is up on the TED page now:


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seder dinner

Mmm... Gefilte Fish :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

London Central Secondary School - Backstreet Boys "As Long as You Love Me" Music Night Chair Dance

Another high school video gem from the recent Hi8mm tape->digital conversion.

Hahahaha... amazing. Doug, Paul, Tim and Me bustin' some late '90's moves at a Central music night event. The music video for "As Long as You Love Me" featured similar chair-dancing, but ours was clearly better.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Movie Review: Waiting for 'Superman'

Just saw "Waiting for 'Superman'", a documentary about the American public school system by "An Inconvenient Truth" director Davis Guggenheim. There are some incredibly heartbreaking moments during it, and the footage during the lottery system was terribly hard to watch - the lucky kids were being plucked out and given a much improved chance to achieve college - all by random chance. The other not-so-lucky kids seemed near-doomed for failure, despite parents who care about them and their future so deeply, and their own hopes and dreams to learn and achieve in life. That was rough.

I get a few major take-aways from this film:
1) public education is not just an issue in low-income areas, it affects other demographics, too.
2) there are some truly innovative and amazing individuals like Geoffrey Canada who saw the problem, desperately wanted to find a solution, and created a solution which circumvents certain union requirements.
3) (from my limited view based on the film), it sounds like teachers unions in America are not keen to change the current state of tenure setup, for pretty clear reasons. The film argues that not changing the status quo comes at the cost of keeping tenure for bad teachers, thereby not allowing public schools to run like any reasonable business - where good performance is encouraged by a better paycheque, and bad performance will get you fired.
4) in case there was really any doubt (and there really isn't!), I am clearly very interested and passionate about education.
5) Jeff Skoll scores yet another point in my "you are a huge inspiration" book. Not only is he Jewish, Canadian, and an amazing business success (founder of Ebay), but he exec. produced this movie. I read an article about him several years ago, saying he founded Ebay and then cashed-out to follow his original boyhood passion - to create thought-provoking and socially beneficial movies. He's had a hand in a huge amount of important films over the last several years and he knocked it out of the park again with this one. What a cool guy.

This movie was amazing. But don't just take my word for it. I suggest checking it out, it's not available on Netflix Instant Watch but you can rent it from Netflix, looks awesome on Blu-Ray. Check out their website here:

PS As an aside - I just went to the website and it's really cool. There are a lot places to join the conversation and also see what you can do to help. What was really awesome is that Edutopia (the George Lucas Educational Foundation) and 826 National (where I volunteer) were both listed and linked to from the Waiting for Superman website. Awesome.

PPS Another link on their site was to here: Very interesting stuff. A mobile games company focused on educational research and learning app development.

Ignoring all the politics, and the fact that just because a school's teachers are not unionized doesn't necessarily add up to better teachers or test scores... (there are of course many more factors at play), I think a good takeaway from this movie is that volunteering is good. I can definitely get behind that!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Digitizing Hi8mm tapes from high school

Last year, I digitized a bunch of old VHS tapes and projects from high school - student council election videos, video yearbooks and so on. That was super fun and great to see all that old work and projects.

This weekend I hooked up an old 8mm tape player that I borrowed from someone at work (thanks, Joey, you're a champ) and I've been digitizing all the raw footage. There are some pretty amazingly bad "B-roll" moments here... wow. :)

Despite all the amazingly awkward teenage moments, it's funny to see this sort of  "slice of life" from waaaaaay back in Grade 9 and 10 (this is nearing 14-15 years ago... whoa). What's pretty hilarious and strange is how many people are surprised about someone carrying a camera around, some people are naturally really keen to be on tape but the majority of people are either camera-shy or just really surprised to see a camera. Hilarious to think about being uncomfortable being "on the record" given how now most people have a pretty functional video camera in their pocket (iPhone). Filming a "slice of life" has become an entire industry (reality TV) and recording just what you see and experience and posting to YouTube is so commonplace. It's really amazing to see this footage now and realize how it's really another world, things have changed so much technology-wise, and of course we've all matured since high school, but it feels like there is an element of social change and further acceptance of film technology in our casual day-to-day experience. Interesting.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mission Cheese grand opening

Getting some tasty Mac and Cheese and a French press coffee at the brand spankin new Mission Cheese on Mission and 18th!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wise Son's Deli in San Francisco


That pastrami looks glorious. And those bialys look amazing too, kinda like a cousin of a bagel. I am defffffffffinittely gonna have to check this place out.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

SF Moma

Went to the SF MOMA this past weekend and had a great time. Some cool exhibits, especially the one about the launch of the California wine industry. Took a few random pics with my fancy new iPhone Camera+ App. The image stabilizer was very helpful for the places where we weren't allowed to use a flash.

Metallic stuff

Zoopraxiscope from the Eadweard Muybridge exhibit

The famous Chateaux Monthelena wine that won the competition described in the movie Bottle Shock

Cool wine bottle exhibit


I liked this label

Haha, Matt Parrott would have liked this

Monday, April 04, 2011

New website coming... sometime soon... ish :)

Hi friends,

Thanks for your continued interest in my blog over the past 6... (wait, really?!) years, and I hope you are all enjoying the change of focus over time. It's funny - this blog started as an easy way to keep my family and friends back home in Canada aware of my day-to-day life while on an internship at Pixar back in 2005. Since then, it's turned into a place where I post a huge amount of travel photos along with my thoughts and any unusual or exciting experience I have while exploring. I've also started re-blogging cool tech videos and interesting articles about 3D Animation, photography, and art.

With my changes in interest and general maturity of the blog over time, I'd like to announce a new look for at some point in the near future. :) One of the (very) long-term projects on my iPhone ToDo list is to re-design my website, and I recently changed the style of this blog in preparation. I have a lot of new things I'd like to post, and I want to take my website from the recently-graduated student to a more I'm-now-an-adult vibe.

Most importantly, I want to highlight my world-travel experiences and future plans. I want a more directed/serious/forward-thinking "life statement" - like an artist has an "artist's statement", I want to outline where I see my place in the world now that I'm further towards figuring that out. I want it to be clear from my website what my passion is in life, examples of how I've worked like crazy to get where I am, and how I plan to work like crazy to achieve the next items on my to-do list. I'd also like some awesome RSS feed-action linking my blog to the website, and it desperately needs a Web 2.0-ifying and some 70% grey and white text in combination.

Please kindly send any design thoughts or suggestions, I'd love to hear them. You can expect a more modern-looking and connected website sometime this year. 'Till then, I better learn some HTML 5 :)