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Seniors’ Internet Usage Infographic

Posted by cfeehan on June 24, 2015

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The internet. The world wide web. The mysterious black abyss behind your computer screen. What you choose to call it may vary, but one fact remains the same: a lot of us use it, no matter how old we are. The reason that the internet is so widely used is that there are SO many things you can use it for – booking vacations, shopping online, conducting research, looking up the weather, playing games – the list could go on forever. The infographic below goes into detail about the internet habits of seniors (people over 65 years of age) and a bit about their baby boomer counterparts (people aged 45-64). Check it out – you might be surprised by what you learn!

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*The information and statistics in this graphic were drawn from the Statistics Canada publication entitled “Online Activities of Canadian Boomers and Seniors” which used two main sources: the 2007 Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS), and the 2007 General Social Survey (GSS).

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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.


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“Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be 21 again!”

How many times have you heard a middle-aged person or senior say something along these lines? To them, 21 might elicit memories of spinning in a poodle skirt, rocking out at Woodstock or rocking a perm. But with the incredible technological and social advances in the past couple decades, the youth of today do things a bit differently. The only world they know is one where every picture is a selfie, where dating can be done without ever meeting face-to-face, and where even books are electronic. But who would have thought that those same perm-wearing, head-banging kids would be the ones having to learn to use these new-fangled technologies at the age of 45? This concept of a changing culture is one that While We’re Young explores masterfully. 

While We’re Young is a dramedy that centers around the lives of 40-something childless couple Josh, a documentary director and Cornelia, a documentary producer. Although the pair isn’t weighted down by the responsibility of having children or typical 9-5 careers, the burden of Josh’s 8-year-long work-in-progress documentary prevents them from truly taking advantage of the “freedom” they have.  But when Josh and Cornelia meet Jamie and Darby, a young, quirky couple who share their passion for documentary-making, their monotonous lives are kick-started and they’re reminded of what it means to be young.

The first half of the movie was a lot of fun. Watching Josh and Cornelia go from a beat-down couple losing touch with their friends – who were suddenly having children and moving on with their lives – to an invigorated, renewed set of human beings was inspiring. Seeing Ben Stiller become hipster-fied due to Jamie’s influence was pretty hilarious, and watching Darby surprise Cornelia with hip-hop classes was incredibly entertaining as well. The second half of the movie, however, took a huge turn. I won’t give anything away, but I will say that you’ll probably drastically change how you feel about a few of the characters by the end of the movie! Director Noah Baumbach did a great job with the twist; it’s intriguing enough to keep the audience captivated, but not so absurd that it ruins the realism.

I really, really enjoyed the casting in this movie. Ben Stiller was fantastic as failing documentarian Josh and Naomi Watts played his wife Cornelia very well. I have come to love Adam Driver’s stark persona and I think he was perfect for the role of Jamie, and Amanda Seyfried did a great job as the lighthearted but assertive Darby. They even got Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys to play Fletcher, a middle-aged, newborn baby-clad friend of Josh! I have no complaints.

The film’s ability to ironically juxtapose the new-school, technology-based lives of Josh and Cornelia with Jamie and Darby’s minimalist way of life littered with paraphernalia from decades preceding their time was very clever. Scenes of 40-somethings watching Netflix on their iPads or texting around the dinner table cut with ones of 25-year-olds writing on typewriters and playing board games to keep busy reminded the audience of an idea that isn’t exactly original – that young people are always trying to act older, and older people are always trying to act, and subsequently feel, younger. Although it isn’t an original idea, it’s executed in a compelling way, so I have to give Baumbach props.

Overall, this movie was very funny. There were a lot of laugh-out-loud moments (especially at the Ayahuasca ceremony – don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was either until I saw the movie. But you won’t be disappointed), and a lot of whimsical, charming throwbacks as well. It was cute. If you’re looking for a lighthearted comedy laced with nostalgia, humour and a few painfully awkward moments, finished with some more thoughtful tones, I’d highly recommend this film.

You can find While We’re Young on Execulink’s VOD channel (ch.100) from June 23th to July 30th, 2015.

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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.


Oktoberfest Tickets

Posted by jlinnerth on June 18, 2015

We're giving away TEN 4-packs of tickets to Oktoberfest on Saturday October 15th at the Concordia Club in Kitchener. 

The draw is now closed and winners will be contacted.

Terms & Conditions
Limit one entry per person. No purchase necessary. By entering this draw, you authorize Execulink Telecom to use your name in any publicity, in the event you are a winner.

 

Welcome Back, Philae

Posted by cfeehan on June 17, 2015

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DLR, CC-BY 3.0 [CC BY 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

After seven long months of silence, Philae’s awake and he’s ready to rumble!

In case you’re not caught up, Philae was the first spacecraft to ever land on a comet – a comet that it took a total of 10 years to reach. It was dropped on the surface of Comet 67P by Rosetta, its mothership, last November, and has not been heard from since.

Philae, which is about the size of a washing machine, was dropped last November, but it accidentally bounced into a corner that was too dark for its solar panels. Because of its placement, it only worked for 60 hours before its battery ran out. Many predicted that it would be destroyed by the intense cold, but against all odds, it started communicating again this week! Since November, the comet has moved closer to the sun, and this caused Philae to be woken up.

The European Space Agency (ESA) said that Philae had contacted Earth, via Rosetta, for 85 seconds on Saturday in the first contact since its battery ran out seven months ago. To announce the lander’s awakening, a Twitter account linked to Philae tweeted the message, "Hello Earth! Can you hear me?"

"I think we're optimistic now that it's awake that we'll have several months of scientific data to pore over," says ESA's senior scientific advisor, Prof Mark McCaughrean.

Although it’s been hibernating, it’s woken up at a key moment. The comet is approaching the sun, and there’s now more potential for discovery. Jets of gas are blasting off the comet, and they could be carrying the ingredients needed for life.

Scientists are hoping that Philae’s work on Comet 67P may give them the key to discovering whether comets helped to get life started on earth.

Comets contain a lot of water and carbon, and "these are the same sorts of molecules responsible for getting life going," says Prof Monica Grady from the Open University.

"What we're trying to find out is whether the building blocks of life, in terms of water and carbon-bearing molecules, were actually delivered to Earth from comets."

Now, all we can do is wait with anticipation to see what Philae can tell us about Comet 67P and hopefully, about how life started on earth.

If you want to keep up with Philae on Twitter, check him out here. And if you’d like a version of Philae’s landing on Comet 67P that’s easy to share with your kids, watch the animated video below!

We’re excited to have you back, Philae!

You must install Adobe Flash to view this content.

 

Before you go, check out these interesting facts about Comet 67P:

  • 67P is bigger than Mount Fuji and has an icy core 4km wide
  • May be “binary”: two comets melded together during the creation of the solar system
  • Has a mass of 10 billion tonnes

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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.


Chappie: The Underrated Underdog

Posted by cirvine on June 15, 2015

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© 2015 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and LSC Film Corporation and MRC II Distribution Company LP. All Rights Reserved.

 I went into Chappie with caution as I heard it had received some not-so-favourable reviews.  But it just goes to show you that reviews are as they always have been: subjective! I loved Chappie. Much like Neill Blomkamp’s other films (which I also loved) it was action-packed, thought-provoking sci-fi at its best. Like Elysium and District 9, Chappie retains much of his previous two films’ themes, settings, actors, and ambiance. So it’s safe to say if you liked those movies, you are probably going to like this one too.

The story opens with a news broadcast covering the state of things in Johannesburg, South Africa. The police force there has failed against an ever-rising crime rate, so the government calls upon a robot-cop force to supplement its human counterparts. Chappie is one of these robots who, after being scrapped and slapped with a “reject” sticker, receives and experimental AI upgrade from his engineer, Deon. But before Deon can test his new sentient droid, Chappie is stolen from him by three impulsive criminals who need his super-robot abilities to help them defeat a gangster kingpin whom they are indebted to. Upon stealing the robot, however, they soon realize that Chappie’s AI software has basically made him a toddler, learning to mimic the ways of his criminal “parents” in order to foster his own thoughts and feelings, just as a human child would.

This odd combination of childlike innocence and hard-bitten gangster is what makes Chappie such a loveable character. Although you know it is just his software talking, it is nearly impossible not to feel empathy for the metallic man. Voiced by Sharlto Copley (who also stars in Blomkamp’s other two feature films), Chappie reminds us of the confusion and wonder of childhood, and how hard it is to remain innocent in a world full of hate and corruption.

Dev Patel’s performance as Deon, Chappie’s maker, was the one part of the movie that I felt was a little lacking. Throughout the movie, he was a difficult character to connect to, and I’m not sure if that was a fault of his acting, or just the fault of his character. He was even outshined by two non-actors, rap duo Die Antwoord's Yolandi Visser and Watkin Tudor Jones who played two of the three gangsters that kidnap Chappie. Visser, whom Chappie refers to as “mommy”, is an interesting mixture, just like her robot. She is at once maternal and criminal, and in caring for Chappie becomes torn between keeping him safe and saving herself. Hugh Jackman was also fun to watch as he played the villain, a rare casting choice for him.

Despite Chappie’s critiques, I was thoroughly entertained by this movie. To see Chappie’s “mind” develop from that of a wary and wondrous child to an intelligent and self-aware adult is truly compelling. That premise, coupled with Blomkamp’s dystopian satire that we know and love, is what makes this film unique. Critics be damned—give this underdog a shot. You might be surprised.

You can find Chappie on Execulink’s VOD channel (ch.100) from June 16th to December 31st, 2015.

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