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2016 MTV VMAs: Best and Worst

Posted by cirvine on August 29, 2016

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The 2016 MTV Video Music Awards (aka the Rihanna and Bey Show) were last night and they gifted us with many things, including a Britney comeback and an appearance by Ryan Lochte (sort of). But they also gifted us with a lot of baloney. Ya you heard me. I said baloney.

For all your tastiest and nastiest VMA baloney, see below.

Best Performance: Beyonce, “Lemonade” Medley

Is it any surprise that the best performance of the night belongs to Queen Bey? Showcasing all the best songs of her recent album, Lemonade, including an explosive finale of Formation (did you catch the female symbol her dancers made at the end?), Beyonce continues to define what’s makes a performer a performer. I think my favourite part had to be when she literally hit the camera with a baseball bat, shattering the picture, and then drops the bat into view like a mic. Damn girl, you are literally killing it.

Worst Performance: The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey, “Closer”

I admit, when your fellow performers include Beyonce and Rihanna, it would be hard to make yours stand out. The thing is, I don’t think this performance would stand out even if those two weren’t there. This act was very bla. If you’re going to opt for a simple light show and a fog machine, you better make sure either your singing or your dance moves are on point. These guys barely moved around and the singing was sub-par. I’m sure they were nervous as they were the newcomers to the show, but come on guys, time to make your mark!

Best Dressed: Britney Spears

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Our girl Britney has come a long way since her Canadian tuxedo-dress with Justin Timberlake. Britney looked classic and mature in a Julien Macdonald black asymmetric dress. I’m not sure why I love it so much, but it might be that its simplicity is what makes it stand out. With all the feathers and lace and flamboyancy you see at these award shows, less is sometimes more.

Worst Dressed

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I’m not a fashion expert, but there seemed to be plenty outfits at VMAs that were just plain wrong. It’s pretty hard to pick out my favourite worst one, but I think I have to give it to Jeremy Scott (above). What was with the whole no-shirt-under-the-blazer look this year?

Best Speech: Drake 


If there’s more of a stand-up guy than our Canadian hero Drake than I don’t know of him. Donned in a classic black and white tuxedo and looking fresh to death, Drake presented Rihanna with the Vanguard Award in what has to be the sweetest way possible. “She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old,” he said, gushing, “She’s one of my best friends in the world. All my adult life, I’ve looked up to her even though she’s younger than me.” And then everyone’s heart exploded into a million Drake-shaped pieces. Many people believed he was going to propose to her in that moment, but realizing that that would steal away Rihanna’s moment, he decided he better not. Drake’s a good guy. Be like Drake.

Worst Speech: Kanye


Does anyone else wish that MTV would stop giving Kanye a mic? I’m so over his nonsensical ramblings and rants. As if is ego-flames weren’t high enough, MTV had to fuel them by allowing him 4 minutes of airtime, of which he took 7. From throwing shade at Taylor (again), and using his own name in his list of idols, this is another classic Kanye bit. You know what? I’m not going to waste any more time on this guy. When it comes to Kanye, just say no!

Best Joke: Jimmy Fallon’s Ryan Lochte Impression

You may know Ryan Lochte as the American Olympian who ruined everything for everyone. Well Jimmy Fallon turned the tragedy into a comedy last night by impersonating the shamed athlete for his presentation of Video of the Year. I think my favourite jab was “(The videos are) so good, I couldn’t choose. I couldn’t choose, even if there was a gun to my head”. Too soon?

Worst Joke(s)

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Oh Key and Peele, what happened? I love them so much, but if I said they were great award-show hosts I would be lying. They had many jokes that sort of just fell flat. Don’t judge these books by their VMA covers. They are hilarious guys and everyone has their bad nights. We still love you K&P!

Well, that was some of the bests and worsts of the 2016 VMAs. Whether you love it, hate it, or love to hate it, the VMAs are at least something to talk about.  The only thing we can hope for next year is more Bey and less Ye.

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Candice Irvine, Marketing Specialist/Graphic Designer


I’m a games addict. I love them all, in all their beautiful forms: video games, boardgames, card games, party games, MIND GAMES. Nah, just kidding about that last one… Or am I?


The Top 10 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of August

Posted by cfeehan on August 25, 2016

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The Top 10 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of August

Good day, devoted comrades, and welcome to the August edition of the 10 Most Viewed YouTube Videos. This month’s lineup is one of the more diverse ones we’ve seen in the last little while – that means no James Corden for the first time in months! We have a few trailers, a music video, and even an animated short film, so make some popcorn and get ready for a fun-filled adventure through the Interwebs.

40,294,016 views

I went into this video expecting your standard phone advertisement, but I was blown away. The Samsung Galaxy Note7 has some incredible features, including some that I’ve never seen in a phone before, like an iris scanner in place of password protection. That is some serious super-spy technology, and now it’s available to anyone! It’s also water-resistant, which is a huge plus for the accident-prone among us. Check out the video for some of its other specs – you just might be tempted to switch to Team Samsung. 

37,169,579 views

Two top videos in two months, Katy? Someone’s making a comeback! Although both videos are for the same song, July’s release was specifically for the Olympics and showed footage of the athletes, while this is the official video featuring Katy Perry herself. It’s pretty intense, but it mostly just makes me want to try to to fly with a giant parachute tied to my back. Also, I just realized that I may be the reason the disclaimer “do not try this at home” was invented. If you feel like being inspired by Katy Perry’s uplifting lyrics (no pun intended), the desert, and a huge pink parachute, this video is for you.

19,227,743 views

You may be thinking “wasn’t the trailer for Rogue One released a few months ago?”, and my answer is that you are partly correct. A teaser trailer for the movie was released in April, but this is the first full-length trailer of the year. The original teaser now has over 41 million views, and this one is already at around half that many, so it’s safe to say that this is another highly-anticipated installment in the Star Wars series. It’s important to note that Rogue One is set before A New Hope so that you don’t show up to the theatre expecting it to be a follow-up to The Force Awakens, as this mix-up could make for some very disappointed Kylo Ren fans. See you there!

9,190,595 views

I hadn’t heard anything about this movie until now, but I’m definitely intrigued. It centers around an alien race arriving on earth, which is not a new concept, but the interesting part is that it seems to focus almost exclusively on translating and understanding their language. This could add a really cool dimension to the film, and draw in interest from a larger or atypical audience. Arrival stars Amy Adams, and will be released this November.

8,452,895 views

Well, that was the best thing ever. This video is definitely my favourite on the list this month – it’s got a great plotline, fantastic animation, robots, and all the feels. It’s not easy to create an entertaining storyline in 7 minutes, but Overwatch gets the job done. I don’t want to give too much away, but please watch this video; you’ll be glad you did!

7,506,438 views

For the last couple of months, the Internet has been flooded with the Pokémon Go trend (I use the word trend lightly because SOME OF US are still very dedicated to the game).

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What some people don’t know, however, is the popularity of other Pokémon video games. The main series is designed for handheld devices, like the Nintendo 3DS, and require none of the real-world interaction that Pokémon Go does. The two newest games, Pokémon Sun and Moon, will be released in November, and there’s a ton of hype around them. If Pokémon is your thing, tune into this video for updates!

6,423,400 views

The question in the title of this video may seem to have a simple answer. But these are the depths of YouTube we’re talking about, where reality and even physics seem to have no bounds, so anything is possible. It’s incredible, but this guy actually manages to cut wood with a piece of paper. You’ll need to watch it to grasp the full magnificence – it looks like the game Rock, Paper, Scissors just got a whole lot more complicated.

6,287,031 views

The Internet is back at it again, asking questions you didn’t know you needed the answers to. This time, it’s a question of whether or not a 100-foot drop will destroy an iPhone encased in homemade “flubber”. This “genre” of video is suspenseful, I guess, but does it make anyone else sad? I mean, who has an extra brand new iPhone sitting around ready to be (possibly) destroyed? It’s like watching a video of someone burning a pile of money – sure, maybe you haven’t seen it done before, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting. Next time you’re going to throw an expensive device off of a building, sir, please consider sending it to me instead.

5,490,299 views

The title of this video caused me to get anxious every time either performer would do anything remotely dangerous, because I was constantly expecting the worst to happen. But, of course, you have to wait until the end to see the action, because that’s how they get you to stick around. In my opinion, they cut the video off way too soon; it looks like it COULD be a scary incident, but we only see a second of it, so I guess we’ll never really know. Either way, it’s an entertaining watch, so I wouldn’t skip past it.

4,680,742 views

Jared Leto, in a knitted leopard sweater, with a surprise present wrapped in a little red bow: what more could you ask for? He insists that his gift to Jimmy Fallon is from the Joker, the character he played in the recent Suicide Squad movie, but it’s too tame to be from such a terrible villain. Give it a watch to find out what’s in the box.

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Note: if you’re scared by what you see, you can always watch Jared and Jimmy snuggling with puppies afterward to make you feel better. You’re welcome!

This concludes the August edition of our Top 10 YouTube Videos of the Month series. We hope you enjoyed your time with us, and we’ll see you again next month!

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.


Top 10 New Shows We’re Looking Forward To

Posted by cirvine on August 22, 2016

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Is it just me, or are TV shows killing it lately? I can’t get enough of the shows out there today, and they just keep making more of them! So, apologies in advance if you already have a million shows marked into your schedule, but here are a few more coming out soon that you might want to check out.

Son of Zorn, FOX
Premiere: Sept. 25, 2016

Of all the shows coming out this fall, I think I’m the most excited about this one. From the writers/directors of such films as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Lego Movie, and 21 Jump Street, these two have a comedy style that just gets me. And with big names like Jason Sudeikis (Zorn) and Tim Meadows, this show has all the ingredients of a smash hit. It follows Zorn, an animated warrior from a faraway island (where everything is animated), who returns to Orange County to win back his live-action ex-wife and teenage son. Things get complicated when he finds out Edie (Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm), is now engaged to Craig (Tim Meadows), and that his skinny, vegetarian son is definitely not warrior-class yet. That doesn’t stop Zorn from getting an apartment and a job in soap sales, determined in his quest to become a good dad. This show looks hilarious and I’m sure I’ll be one of many tuning in this September.

The Mick, FOX
Premiere: Early 2017

If you’ve ever seen It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, then you know how funny Kaitlin Olson (Dee) is. When I found out she was starring in The Mick, I had to check out the trailer. Although I don’t think this show will be as raunchy as IASP, Olson’s character looks similar to Dee in many ways, which hopefully means this show will be hilarious. The Mick is a single-camera comedy about Mackenzie, aka Mickey, who is a brash, down-and-out hustler from Rhode Island who has spent her life dodging any kind of responsibility. Upon visiting her sister in search of a handout, Mickey gets more than she bargained for when her sister and husband are arrested, leaving Mickey as a temporary guardian of three rich, high-maintenance children. The plot seems a little played out, but with the right actors and writing, it could put a fresh spin on it.

Making History, FOX
Premiere: 2017

Another show produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street)? Don’t mind if I do. Making History stars Adam Pally (The Mindy Project, Happy Endings) as a computer science professor who has learned how to travel through time in a duffel bag. Ya, you heard me. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds and it gets even more ridiculous by the looks of the trailer. The reason he travels back in time is to visit his 18th century girlfriend, who happens to be the daughter of Paul Revere, a key player in the American Revolution. Queue the antics of history-meddling. I love a good time-travel comedy, so I hope this show is as funny as it looks.  

This is Us, NBC
Premiere: Sept 20, 2016

Starring big names like Mandy Moore (A Walk to Remember) and a personal favourite of mine, Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls, Heroes), This is Us is a new dramedy that follows a group of strangers that happen to have the same birthday, and whose paths intertwine in surprising ways. From the writer and directors of Crazy, Stupid, Love, you’re probably looking at a lot of laughs mixed with a lot of tears, and a refreshing, honest approach to taboo subjects.

The Good Place, NBC
Premiere: Sept 19, 2016

Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Ted Danson (Cheers) star in this unique comedy about a not-so-saintly woman who passes away and is admitted into Heaven by mistake. With the help of her wise afterlife mentor (Danson), she learns the ropes of being dead as well as the rules of Heaven (“No swearing? …That’s bullshirt”). From the trailer this looks like it could definitely be a funny show, and with actors like Bell and Danson on board, I’m sure it will be (I’m sorry) heavenly.

Timeless, NBC
Premiere: Oct 3, 2016

Weird—another show about a professor going back in time to set history straight. Ah well, I can’t get enough of time-travelling so I’ll take it! Besides, this one looks like a serious, action-packed thriller that I’m guessing might be a little more historically accurate than Making History. So if you’re not enjoying the plot, at least you’re learning something, right? Here’s the plot just in case you’re not watching for the educational value: A mysterious criminal steals a time-machine, intent on destroying America by changing the past (can you say time-terrorist?). A history professor, soldier and scientist are ordered to find him and take him down, all while trying not alter the past themselves. What could go wrong?  

Pitch, FOX
Premiere: Sept 22, 2016

“A true story on the verge of happening”, Pitch is an inspiring story about the first woman to play in Major League baseball. Like any rookie, Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury, Under the Dome)must prove herself to her teammates and coach, but she must also convince the world and the media that a woman deserves to play with the boys. Not only that, but it seems she has her demanding father breathing down her neck. Although I’m not a baseball aficionado, I definitely think this show could get me cheering on my feet. I’m interested to see how the show will keep up its momentum and if, like Ginny, it’s worth the pitch.

The Exorcist, FOX
Premiere: Sept 23, 2016

It’s been over four decades since The Exorcist came out in theatres and to this day it’s widely regarded as the greatest horror movie ever made. That being said, can it translate to television? I’m not sure but I’m definitely interested in finding out! Whatever brings Geena Davis back into the world of ghosts and possessions (Can we get a cameo from Beetlejuice, please?) is fine with me. She plays Angela, the mother of two daughters and the owner of a house that may or may not have unwanted supernatural guests (spoiler alert: it does). She gets the help of two priests, who couldn’t be more dissimilar in their methods, to help rid the family of evil. Whether or not the storyline can survive the small screen, it’s bound to give you a fright or two.   

Frequency, The CW
Premiere:  Fall 2016

Did I mention I like time-travelling scenarios? I guess I’m not alone, considering this is the third new time-travelling show we’ve discussed. Well, it’s sort of new; this show is actually a remake of the hit movie starring Dennis Quaid from 2000. The television adaptation follows a police detective in 2016 who discovers she is able to speak with her deceased father of twenty years through an old ham radio. Why? Because… lightning? Nonsensical lightning-science aside, it’s always fun to see how meddling with historical events turns out for the present day. Looks like this scenario turns out perfectly with absolutely nothing altered or lost. Just kidding.

Star, FOX
Premiere: 2017

If you love rags to riches stories, or stories about rising to fame no matter the cost, then you might want to watch Star. Featuring a soundtrack of original music and what looks like some stunning performances, Star follows three talented singers in their search for success. The main character, Star, is a rough young lady whose spent most of her years in and out of foster homes. Despite her troubled past, she joins up with her sister and a friend she met via Instagram to create a trio destined for fame. Starring big names like Lenny Kravitz and Queen Latifah, it’s bound to be a hit.

Well, that was our look at some of the up and coming best new TV shows. There’s a lot of good ones and a lot of hopefully good ones. Only time will tell which are which. Happy watching!

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Candice Irvine, Marketing Specialist/Graphic Designer


I’m a games addict. I love them all, in all their beautiful forms: video games, boardgames, card games, party games, MIND GAMES. Nah, just kidding about that last one… Or am I?


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Have you ever experienced the burning desire to control your music playlist or transmit data to other devices via your tattoos? Well, me neither – but given the opportunity, I’d be pretty excited to try it out.

The MIT Media Lab recently introduced a product created in partnership with Microsoft Research called DuoSkin: an aesthetic and easy-to-make on-skin interface. In simpler terms, it’s a temporary tattoo enhanced with tiny, multi-functional electronic components and topped with gold leaf, the element that makes it shiny and pretty. The video below makes the product a bit easier to understand, so give it a watch if you’re more of a visual learner.

So, are you sold yet? In case you missed it in the video, the three main uses for the DuoSkin device are:

1.      Sensing touch input

  • Essentially transforms your skin into a 2D touchpad
  • Allows you to control your mobile devices with a swipe or two directly onto the tattoo
  • Uses row-column scanning in a two-layer construction which differentiates horizontal traces from vertical ones; each type carries different information

2.      Output displays

  • Shows information using thermochromic pigments
  • These displays have different states; color change is triggered when heated beyond body temperature
  • Device can also light up to show your emotion

3.      Wireless communication

  • Enables users to store information directly on their skin. Concert tickets are a good example – if you had a NFC chip (near-field communication chip) containing the ticket information for the Tragically Hip’s final show this Saturday in Kingston embedded into a temporary tattoo on your wrist, it could be scanned, and you would theoretically be admitted just as easily as anyone else

If you can’t find a use for any of the above functions (which is highly unlikely), keep in mind that you can also enhance the tattoos’ aesthetics by adding LED lights to them! A shiny, glowing tattoo seems like a pretty great conversation starter to me. 

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Another unique point about this product is its widespread accessibility. As Cindy from the MIT Media Lab describes, these temporary tattoos are simple to make using commonly found instruments. The DuoSkin website lays out the creation process in three steps:

Step 1

Sketch the tattoo’s circuitry with graphic design software.

Step 2

Fabricate the tattoo, a process which includes:

       a) creating stencils of the circuitry;

       b) applying gold leaf as the conductive material, and;

       c) mounting electronics.

Step 3

After the the DuoSkin device has been fabricated, apply it to the user’s skin through water-transfer – holding a damp cloth over it for a few seconds – just like any other temporary tattoo!

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The only issue with this list is that it seems to be one step short – where and how do users buy the specific electronic components, like NFC chips, needed to make the product actually work? I guess that part will be up to the MIT lab once they completely roll out their DuoSkin device. For now, we’ll just have to imagine the possibilities.

All in all, I’m curious to learn more about the specifics of the DuoSkin device – the exact functions and customizability, price tag, and whether it’s really accessible to anyone. Maybe my first tattoo will be one that doubles as a pair of movie tickets – only time will tell!

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.


The Best Canadian Moments of Rio So Far

Posted by cirvine on August 15, 2016

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Have you been following the games in Rio so far? If you have, then you’ve already witnessed a lot of heart pounding moments of pride and admiration for our Canadian athletes. While the Summer Olympics tend not to be our country’s forte (where is summer street hockey?), we have a total of 13 medals so far and each one of them came with a beautiful moment. With that in mind, here are some of our favourite Olympic moments so far:

Theisen-Eaton Makes Canadian Heptathlon History

Brianne Theisen-Eaton made history on Saturday to become the first Canadian ever to win a medal in the heptathlon, scoring a bronze. If you need to be reminded, a heptathlon consists of seven events: the 100 metre hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump, javelin throw, and 800 metres. So to me, 1 heptathlon medal actually equals 7.

Check out a video of her win here.

Rosie MacLennan’s a Trampoline Master

Winning her second consecutive Olympic gold medal in women’s trampoline, Rosie MacLennan became every little kid’s hero last Friday as she triple-flipped her way to glory. What makes the medal even more special is that she suffered from a pair of head injuries last year, causing headaches, vision issues and even speech problems. She took some time off and was eventually able to return, which she posited as a “reminder of how much I really did love the sport. Because if I didn’t, I would have given up.”

Check out a video of her routine here.

Penny Oleksiak Makes History

When the 16-year-old Penny Oleksiak tied American Simone Manuel in 100-metre freestyle on Friday, she added a 4th medal to her Rio-Medal collection, the most medals ever received by a Canadian athlete at a single Summer Olympics. Oh, and she also made history by being the youngest gold medalist in Canadian Olympic history. And last but not least, she got a shout-out on Instagram from one of her (and the world’s) favourite artists, Drake:

 

OVOPenny aka @typicalpen we are so proud of you!!!! Can't wait to see you when you are back from Rio at a show!

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) onAug 13, 2016 at 6:59am PDT


She is officially the coolest 16-year old ever.

Watch a video of her amazing tie (and reaction to winning gold) here.

De Grasse’s Win of Bronze and Bolt’s Praise

Scarborough’s Andre De Grasse stepped up for the Canadian men and took home a bronze in the 100-metre race last night in Rio. In the highly-anticipated event, we saw him keep up steps with the likes of Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who won his third straight gold. Bolt had this to say about De Grasse: “He came through again. He's going to be good, he runs just like me, I mean he's really slow at the blocks but when he gets going, he gets going." The next best thing to winning an Olympic medal? Winning the praise of Usain Bolt.

Check out the race here.

Well that sums up just a few of our most favourite Canadian Olympic moments so far. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the games have in store for us as we head into the final days. GO CANADA GO!

Execulink customers can watch the 2016 Olympics on CBC.


More Sources:
http://olympics.cbc.ca/news/article/usain-bolt-wins-gold-andre-grasse-gets-bronze-100m.html

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Candice Irvine, Marketing Specialist/Graphic Designer


I’m a games addict. I love them all, in all their beautiful forms: video games, boardgames, card games, party games, MIND GAMES. Nah, just kidding about that last one… Or am I?