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Best of YouTube Videos February

Posted by cchalkley on March 6, 2017

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Welcome Execureaders to another edition of “Best of YouTube!” This month we have some music videos, some crazy award show moments and 7 brand new planets!  So sit back and check out these popular videos.

Katy Perry - Chained To The Rhythm (Official) ft. Skip Marley
51,580,365 views

Katy Perry’s new song for “Chained to the Rhythm” is the first single from her upcoming 5th studio album. The video is set in a futuristic amusement park that includes a crazy roller coaster that literally flies through the air. I give it up to Katy Perry for still looking good while filming on a roller coaster. Can I also mention that I love her rose coloured hair? This is a hair trend that I really dig lately. This song is super catchy and now I have this song stuck in my head and it’s probably in yours now too. 

The Weeknd – Reminder
36,922,439 views

“Reminder” appears on Toronto native The Weeknd’s latest album Starboy.  Watch out for Drake’s cameo in this video. Torontonians unite! The Weeknd is very popular right now, seems like he has a billion singles out. I know that’s an exaggeration, but seriously he’s got a lot of singles out there right now.

Lady Gaga's FULL Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show | NFL
27,325,615 views

Lady Gaga performed at this year’s 51st NFL Super Bowl half time show.  We wrote a blog earlier about the cool 300 Intel drones that opened this performance. Lady Gaga sang some of her biggest hits: Poker Face, Born This Way, Telephone, Just Dance and Bad Romance. Lady Gaga is known for her crazy outfits, but I have to say she looks fabulous in her custom Versace outfits. And I give it up to her for dancing and rocking out a 13 minute performance in heals!  Good job Gaga, you killed this performance!

Wheel of Musical Impressions with Alessia Cara
13,567,826 views

We can’t have a ”Best of  YouTube” without Jimmy Fallon! This month Canadian Alessia Cara plays “Wheel of Musical Impressions”, an ongoing gag where  the guest and Jimmy perform musical impressions of other artists. Alessia pulls off some awesome impressions of Ariana Grande, Nikki Minaj and Lorde.  I think it takes a lot of talent to pull off not only doing an impression of a celebrity, but to do it while singing-- bravo! Way to go Alessia, you got talent. 

GUMMY FOOD vs. REAL FOOD CHALLENGE!!! Kids Eat a Real Frog!
12,739,640 views

These two kids took part in a food challenge where they ate gummy food and the real counterpart. I’m shocked over this kid’s reaction to eating hamburgers, hot dog and a pickle. Really? There’s that much disdain for eating a hamburger? These kids are also tricked into eating frog legs and alligator jerky.  I think most of those gummy versions of the food actually looked pretty gross. I guess kids are notorious for being picky eaters, so candy will always win!

Tough-Talking Teen Danielle To Dr. Phil: 'You Were Nothin’ Before I Came On This Show'
11,512,749 views

Wowza, some people just blow me away. Danielle was a guest on Dr. Phil back in September 2016. She was only 13 years old and became known for her catch phrase “cash me on the outside.” She came back on the show last month for a follow up and with a ton of arrogance stated that Dr. Phil was nothing until she came on the show. She’s just another kid who is trying to get famous for saying stupid things. 

Adele Wins Album Of The Year | Acceptance Speech | 59th GRAMMYs
9,702,699 views

Adele won 5 awards at this year’s Grammy Awards including Album of the year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance. Impressive sweep! In Adele’s tearful award speech for Album of the Year, she admitted she wasn’t deserving of the award and that Beyonce should have won for Lemonade. Check out the blog we wrote with all the Grammy highlights here.

Richard Vs Barack
7,513,933 views

Retirement looks good on you, Barack! While on vacation in the British Virgin Islands, Barack Obama and Richard Branson decided to have a friendly challenge: could Barack learn to kitesurf before Richard could learn how to foilboard? The challenge was set and they practiced for days. On the final day they had a battle of who could stay up the longest. Just look how blue that water is and how breathtaking the scenery is in this video. I think winter must be getting to me--I’m longing for warm days and the beach! 

NASA & TRAPPIST-1: A Treasure Trove of Planets Found
6,479,502 views

NASA made a huge announcement recently that they found 7 new planets outside of our solar system that are earth sized and may have potential for water. This video shows the reactions of scientists who worked on this project.  Compared to all the other videos on this month’s best of YouTube, this video might make you a feel a wee-bit smarter. So go ahead and watch this video and also read these 4 cool things, so you can impress your friends with some cool space info. 

Oscars Mistake: Moonlight Wins Best Picture after La La Land Mistakenly Announced | ABC News
4,486,655 views

That horrifying moment where the Oscars made a HUGE mistake and the wrong movie was named the winner for Best Picture. Awkward! If you are living under a rock and missed this whole story, check out our blog post to read what all went down at this year’s Oscars. PriceWaterCooper has admitted that they are to blame for this mistake of providing the wrong envelope to be read. No matter how many times I watch this, it is still so painful to watch.  

Honourable mention:

Animal Adventure Park Giraffe Cam

April the Giraffe is pregnant and about to give birth. Animal Adventure Park set up a live stream of April to capture the birth of her baby calf. April is 15 years old and this is her 4th calf. Did you know that giraffes are pregnant for 15 months? Talk about exhausting. April’s due date was mid-February and calves are born hooves first. Ouch? Giraffes instinctually hide their labour so we probably won’t notice when April is in labour until the hooves come out. The suspense is killing me! After the calf is born, there will be contest to name the baby. My vote is Gillie for a girl and Jimmy for a boy.

You are now up to speed with all the videos that were popular on YouTube this past month. I bet you still have Katy Perry’s song stuck in your head (I know I still do).  I’m going to be optimistic-- by the time you read “Best of YouTube” for March, it will be in spring weather and we’ll all have the warmth we all have been waiting for!  Until then, keep tubin’!

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Christine Chalkley, Marketing Coordinator


I love things that make me laugh including sitcoms, sketch comedy and anything my kid does. When it comes to parenting I take Amy Poehler’s advice: “Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers... for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces.”


The 2017 Oscar Highlights (and That Shocking Twist Ending)!

Posted by cirvine on February 27, 2017

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We get it—ain’t nobody got time to stay up and watch ALL of the Oscars on a Sunday night. It’s pretty long, and some of the speeches can be so dull they make you fall asleep. They certainly made Chrissy Teigen sleepy:


But it is Hollywood’s biggest and blingiest night, so we would be remiss if we didn’t go over some of the highlights this year.

First, we have to talk about that twist ending. What in the world happened? Just to get you up to speed in case you missed it, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced (after some hesitation) that “La La Land” had won for the coveted Best Picture award. Turns out, they were holding the card for Best Supporting Actress (in which Emma Stone won for La La Land). Oops. Big Oops.

In a cringeworthly series of events, and only after the La La Land producers were three speeches deep, the crowded stage of people were told by some frantic stagehands wearing headsets that there had been a mix-up, and revealed the Best Picture envelope. Sorry, La La Land, you’re living in… La La Land… Moonlight is stolel your... spotlight. Check out the full video below and try not to melt with awkwardness.

Luckily, the Internet blessed us with some cathartic humour out of the situation. A couple of my favourite tweets about the mix-up come from the king of twist-endings, M. Night Shayamalan, and the king of misread winner cards, Steve Harvey:


Ahh, thank you Internet! You can always be counted on to sprinkle some humour on an awkward situation. Now let’s move on because, believe or not, a few other things happened at the Oscars. For instance, Jimmy Kimmel did a great job as host. One of his best stunts of the night was bringing into the event a real, unsuspecting tour group, straight off their tour bus:


How lucky are these people!? Especially #GaryfromChicago who has instantly become 2017’s Ken Bone.

I think my favourite announcers of the night were hands-down Seth Rogen and Michael J. Fox, who popped out of a Delorean on stage while wearing self-lacing future boots from Back to the Future. They added a cherry on top by singing the Schuyler Sisters song from Hamilton, making everyone’s night, including Lin Manuel Miranda’s.


As far as the best fashion of the night, we saw a lot of gold glimmering in the camera flashes:

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I think my personal favourite dress this year was Hailee Steinfeld’s super-elegant floral number from Ralph & Russo. It looks like she popped right out of a fairy tale.

645626544_hailee-steinfeld-zoom-f7e565d4-0f63-49a3-b22d-b0d34edf4e61.jpgPhoto credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

We also saw some Canadian glory last night, as Ontario’s Alan Barillaro won for Best Animated Short for Piper, and was even shown some kudos from the Prime Minister himself:


Congratulations, Alan and all the other winners of the night! You can find a full list of the winners here.

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Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer


I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?


4 Coolest Things About NASA’s New Discovery

Posted by cirvine on February 22, 2017

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It is seriously one of the coolest times to be alive. Today, NASA’s Spitzer Telescope revealed a monumental, ground-breaking discovery: the existence of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting around a single star.

Orbiting around an “ultra-cool dwarf star” that is smaller than Jupiter, these exoplanets exist in what’s commonly called the “Goldilocks zone”. That is, they exist in a fairly unique bit of space that’s not too cold, not too hot, but just right to be potentially habitable and most likely to have liquid water (aka Earth-like). Three out of the seven planets have the highest potential for liquid water, and the other four might too, depending on their atmospheric conditions.

trappist-planets.jpgView full image and caption

So this system of exoplanets (and by that I just mean any planets that don’t exist in our solar system), is called TRAPPIST-1, named after The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope in Chile. In May 2016, TRAPPIST announced they had discovered three planets in the system. Then, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope confirmed the existence of two of them and actually found five additional ones which were published today.

As if this entire discovery wasn’t cool enough, there are some pretty neat things to mention about these particular exoplanets.

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They are all REALLY close together. If a person was on one planet, they could potentially see geological features or clouds of neighbouring worlds, which would sometimes be larger than our moon. Can you imagine looking up and seeing the clouds of Venus and then nearby, the rings of Saturn? How cool!

1_main_pia21423-png.pngCredits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Half day, half night worlds. These planets are all tidally locked to their star, which means that the same side of the planet is always facing the star. Therefore, each side is either in perpetual day or perpetual night. The ramifications of that kind of boldly contrasting environment are mind-blowing.  I wonder what kinds of creatures would live in the dark half, and which live in the light? Star Wars fans would have a field day there.

It’s Pretty Close To Us. If you were travelling at light speed (670 million miles per hour), it’s a mere 39 years from Earth. That sounds pretty far, but it’s actually relatively close to us in space-terms.  Hop, skip and a jump really!

The Art. I just love how when these events happen, NASA provides really cool art and tools that  really get across the impact and emotional response of these findings. I've included a lot of them in this post, but the retro-looking one below (of which there are many more you can print out and hang on your wall), is probably my favourite!

3_poster.pngclick to view full image

If you want to take your space exploration to the next level but don’t see yourself becoming an astronaut any time soon, check out this free desktop app from NASA. Using the “Eyes on Exoplanets” program, you can zoom to the outer reaches of our universe and explore new worlds, including TRAPPIST-1. 

Until the next mind-blowing space discovery, happy exploring and keep looking up at those stars!

 

Sources:
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/6270-ssc2017-01b-Abstract-Concept-of-TRAPPIST-1-System
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-telescope-reveals-largest-batch-of-earth-size-habitable-zone-planets-around
https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/trappist1/

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Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer


I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?


Live Streaming of Kittens is the Cutest Reality TV Show

Posted by cchalkley on February 16, 2017

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Reality television shows can be quite the guilty pleasure for a lot of people. Now here is the cutest reality show that you can stick your little peepers on today. Keeping Up with the Kattarshians follows 4 kittens living in a small dollhouse. This kitty cam created in Reykjavik, Iceland not only has the best title ever, but the doll house set up almost makes it look like the Big Brother set.

This kitty cam is produced by a local news site called Nútíminn along with The Icelandic Cat Protection Society. The goal of this project is to create awareness about stray cats and to get them adopted. These kittens are 9 weeks old and named Guðni, Stubbur, Briet and Ronja. 3 cameras are set up to watch these kitten play, jump and even sleep in their cat-sized bunk beds.

If you don’t have the time to binge watch these 3 live stream channels, you can catch the highlights on the Keeping Up with the Kattarshians Facebook page.

Now if you’re crazy for animal cams and want to watch different kinds of animals, you can check out Animal Planet’s Live  or the Explore.org website. These websites feature many different live streams, such as pandas, sharks, penguins, an African watering hole, chicks and bunnies! You can even watch a family of cockroaches! EW!

via GIPHY

Here’s a live stream of Magellanic penguins that live at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

So now that I have you hooked on watching Keeping Up with the Kattarshians, good luck on being productive I think this is a totally purrfect and pawesome way to be spending your time. Your kids will probably love it too… I know what I’ll be showing my daughter tonight! 

Reference:
http://mashable.com/2017/02/16/kattarshians-kardashians-kittens-big-brother-live/#i3OOMm06SkqM

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Christine Chalkley, Marketing Coordinator


I love things that make me laugh including sitcoms, sketch comedy and anything my kid does. When it comes to parenting I take Amy Poehler’s advice: “Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers... for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces.”


Best, Worst, and Weirdest Grammy 2017 Moments

Posted by cirvine on February 13, 2017

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Didn’t have a chance to watch the biggest night in music? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From the red carpet shenanigans, to the hosting, to the performances, the 2017 Grammy Awards were nothing if not good, bad, and weird. So with that in mind, let’s break it down!

Best of the Night

Beyoncé

Beyoncé. That’s pretty much all you need to say now after any event she performs at, because that single word is synonymous with a unique, near-perfect, heart-bursting performance.  This year was no exception, because despite having not one, but two babies in her belly, she gave us a golden, glittery showcase of “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles”, two of the more vulnerable songs from her hit album, Lemonade. It was the perfect follow up to a recent Instagram post where she revealed her and Jay-Z’s pregnancy.

The whole performance was goddess-inspired—a symbolic representation of divine motherhood. And like any deity, she literally defied gravity (and almost gave me a heart attack), as she tipped all the way back to a horizontal position on a wooden chair.  I can’t say enough about this performance—her vocals were spot on, her wardrobe was godly, her dancers were ethereal, and she even included her mom and daughter in the performance, noting three generations of womanly awesomeness. Her amazingness doesn’t stop there though. We’ll get back to Queen Bae before this post is out.

Katy Perry

I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Kitty Kat, but last night’s performance was one of the best of the night. She didn’t knock it out of the park on the vocals, but the artistic set design and well thought-out message behind the performance was quite unique. She danced around a rotating square stage lined by a picket fence that changed from white to mirror-faced. Her dancers moved her and the set around so that it played tricks with your eyes, and the effect was mesmerizing. In the end, the set “exploded” into a million shapes, and the Declaration of Independence was cast on the leftovers of the picket fence. Pretty cool way to get your point across, Katy! Also, this song is REALLY growing on me.   

Bruno Mars and the Prince Tribute

Although Bruno isn’t quite at Beyoncé’s showmanship level yet, you can be sure that when you hear he’s performing, it’s going to be incredible. His second performance of the night was a tribute to Prince, who died in April of last year. The songs delivered by Bruno Mars and The Time were a perfect representation of Prince’s funky style, funky sass, and funky… FUNK! It’s hard not to dance to this performance. I think the best and most surprising part (for me at least), was when Bruno Mars lit up that white guitar with a face-melting solo! Um, am I the only one that didn’t realize that Bruno Mars could WAIL on the electric guitar?  This guy has too much talent for one man.

Chance the Rapper

If you want to see a strong, high-energy, performance with ultra-poignant lyrics and some insane backup vocalists, look no further. Not only did Chance and gospel singer Kirk Franklin put on an incredible show, but Chance’s music will go down in history as the first streaming-only releases considered for Grammy awards. Kudos to you, Chance!

And now we come to The Worst of the Night…

grammyshow1302v3.jpgPhoto courtesy of: http://www.standard.co.uk

Carpool Karaoke Crashed

I get the feeling that James Corden was trying to do his own version of Ellen’s hugely popular Oscar tweet as he grabbed a bunch of celebrities and put them in a cut-out version of his Carpool Karaoke van. But the only thing people are saying about this little stunt was how awkward it was that no one knew the words to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline! If there was a script, it went like this:

James Corden: Take it away, Faith Hill!

Faith Hill: (silence, awkward smiling)

James Corden: Alright never mind, take it away, John Legend!

John Legend: (silence, awkward smiling)

James Corden: (Internally) You guys are the worst.

Seriously, though. How does everybody not know the lyrics to this song??? I bet James Corden is asking himself the same question today.

Technical Flubs

Speaking of James Corden, his opening gag of technical flubs (his riser stopped rising mid-way, he fell down the stairs, etc.) seemed to be a premonition of an awkward night of this stuff happening for realsies.  Metallica and Lady Gaga (aka Metalligaga) had it the worst, as lead singer James Hedfield’s mic was broken, leaving him singing silently to the crowd before joining up with Gaga on her mic. Thank goodness she wasn’t using a headset or he might have been in real trouble. Then, Adele experienced difficulties in her tribute to George Michael, and eventually had to restart the song.  I’m not sure if that was a technical flub or a singer not grabbing the right first note, but either way, it led to an unprecedented restart of a performance, as well as an awkward F-bomb on live TV. Sheesh…

Adele

While we’re on Adele, I just have to express my disappointment with her performances. The tribute to George Michael was an obvious disaster, but she ended up redeeming herself to a point. That being said, it was coupled with an underwhelming performance of “Hello” to open the show, which is a song we’ve heard a million times by now. Why not spice it up a bit or show us something different? She was also fairly pitchy and after last year’s lackluster Grammy performance (where she also experienced technical difficulties), you would think she would want to truly knock it out of the park this time. All I’m saying is, maybe a bit more rehearsal was needed? She is not like other pop stars who can rely on dancing or set design to get by. She is known for her amazing voice. But if she can’t deliver on that… I know she can though, so hopefully she redeems herself in future award shows or performances.

Beyoncé NOT Winning

And ANOTHER THING! Uh oh, this rant is continuing. I really do love Adele, I swear! But I think everyone pretty much agrees that Beyoncé should have won for the album of the year with Lemonade. I think even Adele knew it, as she gushed over Queen Bae through a large portion of her acceptance speech and even brought B. to tears. She pretty much Kanye Wested herself. “Imma let you finish Adele but… !”

And Now the Weirdest Stuff of the Night…

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Cee Lo Gold?

The weirdest things are always the outfits, and the person who won the Weirdest Outfit award this year was… Cee Lo Green of all people. Cee Lo, you’re doing gold wrong. You might want to hit up Beyoncé for tips on that.


Took Too Many Pills in Ibiza

Mike Posner, the singer behind “Took a Pill in Ibiza”, won the bizarre interview award as he decided not to reply to his interviewers, but rather speak through his collaborator, known as “Blackbear”. The fact that they were both sporting Jokeresque neon-green hair was the least weird thing about them. Check out the below video and try not to squirm with awkwardness too much.

Twenty_One_pilos.jpgPhoto courtesy of: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARASSource:Getty Images

Twenty One in Undies

This was weird, but kind of cute (ish?) when you hear the story behind it. So Twenty One Pilots won for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and promptly took their pants off and accepted their award in their underwear. Yes, their underwear - the reasoning behind it? They told the audience that they used to watch the Grammys in their underwear at home, and they promised each other that if they ever won, they would accept the award just the same way. I can only imagine the head shaking their parents are doing.

These weird moments might be the reason Rihanna brought a flask to the show.

 

There you have it folks: another year of Grammy Awards for the books. We hope you enjoyed this run-down of the best, worst and weirdest moments of the night. See you next year!

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Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer


I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?