Frightful Radio Dramas

Being Halloween I though I would share a little piece of horror that I have recently stumbled across, Fangoria. Now it’s true that this all things horror print magazine has been around since the late 70’s, but I have only just recently discovered their website which includes Dreadtime Stories, monthly horror radio dramas that are sure to give you chills.

I have listened to only one of their radio dramas so far, but I look forward to tuning in now and again to hear more. I have to confess that I tend to avoid horror related stories, because I enjoy sound sleep at night, but I have been known to suffer through the odd one if only to give my friends the satisfaction of watching me watch a horror. I’m told it is quite comical.

Fangoria offers a monthly radio drama that is free to listen to download in the month it is released. If you ever miss an episode, or if you what to check out back issues, you can download them commercial free and with extended scenes for the very reasonable cost of about two dollars.

For those who love radio dramas Dreadtime Stories is definitely something that you should check out and for those looking to turn off their TV’s and let their imaginations run away with a good story on Halloween night, I would definitely suggest giving Fangoria’s Dreadtime Stories a listen.

Have a great Halloween everyone and be safe while out Trick or Treating.

Video-on-Demand Canadian Style

The First Weekend Club that was started in 2003 by Anita Adams as a movie club to help promote and raise awareness of Canadian films. It’s a pretty ambitious project considering that Canadian films often don’t benefit from the save advertising power as Hollywood and they only manage to take about 3% of the national box office. First Weekend Club has done well supporting over 150 Canadian titles since its foundation.

Now The First Weekend Club is hoping to make seeing Canadian movies even easier by bringing them right into you home whenever you want. That’s right, we’re talking about video-on-demand chalked full of Canadian content. To be honest I can’t wait for it to get underway, but as you can guess starting a video-on-demand site is no easy task and the First Weekend Club is turning to Canadian movie lovers to help raise funds that will go towards the development of a beta site.

If you would like to help out you can go to the First Weekend Club site or visit their fund-raising page.

Bake It Like Grandma

Crosby’s Fancy Molasses ad campaign has been getting a lot of attention lately so I meandered over to their website and take a look for myself.

What I found was a lovely tongue-in-cheek cooking video where Grandma Fancy teaches you the secret to her famous molasses cookies. As she walks us through her recipe, she doesn’t hold back on a few well-placed innuendos, proving yet again that sex can sell.

What I find refreshing about this video and the accompanying print ads, with slogans like “Grandma was never shy about experimenting with her brownie,” is that they have done away with the hyper sexualized, scantily clad concept of sex used to sell products and replaced it with something a little more subtle and good humoured. The whole effect reminded me of the time that I was sipping tea with my own Grandmother and out of the blue she tells me, in her thick Polish accent, “Remember, Kevin, sex is important too.”

What my Grandmother was getting at, and I think these ads do as well, was that sex is part of the whole of any relationship and is just as important as good friends, good times and good baking. Crosby has tapped into a more holistic approach to selling a product with sex and, to be honest, the next time I need to win some brownie points I may just reach for some of Grandma’s Fancy Molasses and bake some cookies.

One of Crosby's print ads for Fancy Molasses

An Election Story

As today is Provincial Election Day in Manitoba I wanted to share a story that continues to inspire me to vote.

On the last Provincial Election in 2007 I was helping with voter registration and advanced poles with Elections Manitoba. During that election the Returning Officer for our riding came back from one of the advanced poles that visited those who were infirm or unable to travel to their polling stations and recounted this story to us.

The Returning Officer (R.O.) was collecting the vote of a new Canadian who was voting for the first time in a provincial election. After filling out her ballot in secret, she tried to show the R.O. and staff her ballot. When it was explained again that her ballot was secret and that it was going to be sealed and opened only on the day of the election to be counted, the woman broke down in tears.

According to the woman, back in her country of origin you had to show the people at the ballot box who you voted for. I can’t even begin to imagine the pressures that people must have felt to vote in a certain way to avoid possible retribution in such a situation where your ballot was not secret.

It’s a touching story that pushes me to go out and vote whenever we have a provincial or federal election. First and foremost because we are very luck to have our electoral system and to get the chance to voice our choice for those who run our governments, it’s not everyone that has that chance. Secondly, I’m fit and able to walk or drive the short distance to my polling station, so if I don’t go I imagine I would end up feeling rather selfish and lazy.

I encourage everyone to go out and vote today, it does make a difference.

Picture Perfect Day Without a Camera

The weather has been uncharacteristically warm the last couple days here in Winnipeg and, after a morning of catching up on some paperwork, I hit the park with one of my good friends. The fall colours in the trees and the chattering of the geese that had taken up residence on the soccer field made a lovely backdrop to our game of Frisbee.

We were not alone in taking advantage of this unseasonal weather. Groups of people were out walking, others out with their dogs, old friends caught up by the pond while happily feeding the geese and ducks. The whole image was so just so beautiful that I felt I had to share it with everyone. Unfortunately I tend not to travel with my camera and the camera that cell phone totes would be likened to blurry selection of coloured pixels – great for a more modern piece of art, but hardly adequate at catching the moment. I will have to make a better effort at keeping it close at hand.

Instead I that you too got out of doors today regardless of the weather where you are. The fall colours are just so wonderful to witness in any weather.

Before I go today, I’d like to remind my fellow Manitobans to heat our and vote tomorrow in our provincial election.