Tag Archives: Toronto

Mystery Room: A Culture War Report

I’m actually being half-serious when I say that today’s post very well could have been “Re: Re: Do Western Christians Want Martyrs?”. It’s an extremely relevant topic, and I hope that you’ll take the time to read what Kat had to say, as well as Gordon’s response. No, instead what I have for all of you is another one of my rarely shared new life experiences, this time being the hour and a half I spent on Wednesday night trying to escape a series of dark locked rooms.

Now apparently this sort of thing is, and has been, all the rage according to a friend of mine, but the very concept was extremely foreign to me. Wikipedia’s entry for it is titled “Real-life Room Escape”, and describes it as being:

“a type of puzzle simulation games in which you are locked in a room with other participants and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit.”

It also mentions the fact that their existence stems directly from online video games, which is honestly the coolest thing. Whereas most video games are based on real life activities [stealing cars, shooting ethnically ambiguous terrorists,
running your own farm, etc.], this is an example of an activity that mimicks a video game. That is, and realize I don’t use this word lightly, neat. It’s super neat.

I should probably get to what my time with it was actually like, though. To help prime your expectations a little bit, the course my friends and I went through was titled “Haunted Hospital”.

Zombie nurses not included.

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A Culture War Report: The 2013 StarCraft II WCS Finals

The 2013 StarCraft II World Championship Series Finals. How exactly does one sum up an eight hour event, one that largely consisted of staring at two South Koreans waging war against each other with virtual armies?

It was, in a word, great.

Yours truly opted to stand behind the VIP seats for the better part of the event. My legs were killing me.

A friend and I arrived at the Toronto Congress Centre a few minutes before 1:00 PM, and stepped into an immense room that was already largely full. There had to be at least 1,500 people there when we arrived, and hundreds more would wander in as things began. Everyone was concentrated either on the stage, if they had good seats, or five four-foot-wide screens on the left and right, or the huge screen you saw upon entering the venue, in front of which were seats for VIP members only. Continue reading

Black, Yellow, Brown, Or Normal

The title of this post comes from the image below, which I see floating around the internet from time to time. It might’ve been from one of Cracked’s PhotoShop contests, I really have no idea.

ornormal

The reason I’m bringing this to your attention is to underscore the fact that, by and large, “White” really does equal “normal,” at least in North America. You don’t really have to search hard to stumble across that fact, either. Think about how it works when you recount stories to other people-

Imagine you’re talking about this weird dude who sat down next to you on the subway. If he was White, would you bother mentioning that? How about if he was Black, or Asian, or Latino?

The terminology used in this gif aside, you probably never make reference to a White person’s ethnicity.

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It Is An Exciting Time To Be A Minority Canadian Comic Book Fan

As an Asian-Canadian who spends far more time on comic book news sites than actual news sites, this week has been all sorts of crazy. There’s been . . . a lot to take in.

Mighty Avengers

To begin with, next month heralds the first issue of Mighty Avengers. Take out the “gh” and add “nori” and you more or less have an understanding of what the book is all about.

I refuse to show any of the interior artwork, so this variant is all you’re going to get.

The fact that we have far too many titles featuring the word “Avengers” aside, this is a huge deal in that, of the nine heroes in the team, the majority are people of colour. Luke Cage, Falcon, Blue Marvel, and Monica Rambeau are African-American, White Tiger [Ava Alaya] is Hispanic, and Power Man [Victor Alvarez] is a mix of both. Rounding out the team are Spider-Man, She-Hulk, and a new Ronin whose identity is yet to be revealed.

With the very talented Al Ewing on writing, the only thing that would make this book perfect were if Ron Wimberly, who illustrated the variant cover on the left, were the actual artist on the book. Unfortunately, that job was given to Greg Land. I do not have anything civil to say about him. Just click the link. Continue reading

Fame Day: The Grid

I say with complete honesty that I there are times that I feel genuine pity for those of you who don’t live in Toronto. I mean, sure, there’s the fact that it’s one of the most diverse cities in the world, is home of the 3rd highest tower in the world [underneath which is brewed some pretty decent beer], and  is the setting for pretty much the entirety of the Scott Pilgrim series-

You can click the image above to check out a whole bunch more.

No, the reason for that, dear readers, is The Grid. A weekly publication, this newspaper describes itself on its website as:

…a weekly city magazine and daily website providing a fresh, accessible voice for Toronto. Our goal is to capture the vibe and energy of a city in ascendance, largely by rejecting the glossy, doggedly aspirational vision of it you see in so many other publications. Continue reading

Pride Weekend: Now and The Future

The CN Tower, putting on a special light show for Pride Week.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that this upcoming weekend is a long one due to Canada Day [July 1]. Imagine my continued surprise when I found out that not only is this weekend Pride Weekend, but that it actually coincides with the national holiday more often than not.

I’ve been in Toronto for the past six or so summers, and it really has taken it this long for the latter to dawn on me; that’s in spite of the fact that this city hosts one of the largest gay pride festivals on the planet. We have an entire week dedicated to celebrating LGBT people, an event that has one of the most user-friendly websites I have ever laid eyes on. Continue reading

Fame Day: Numenori Kawasaki

Behold, dear readers, a post about sports that does not directly have to do with race issues. This may be the only one I ever write, so treasure this while it lasts.

I understand if you have no idea what’s going on here.

As people who know me know, I don’t really watch professional sports. Heck, I’ve watched way more StarCraft II matches than I ever have actual sports games. The truth is, though, that I have watched a lot of Blue Jays baseball.

It’s partly because my granddad always has it on during and after dinner, and partly because I’ve really gotten invested in the state of my team. We recently had an 11 game winning streak, and I’ve found myself looking forward more and more to each game.

One of the reasons for this was Numenori Kawasaki.

GJkawasaki Continue reading