Random Reads

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A few days ago, Patrick listed the Top 10 Music Videos played on YouTube in 2010. That same day, the website also released another year end list- The Most Watched YouTube Viral Videos. Just to clarify, this list excludes major label music vids but includes everything else including movie trailers. The list is also comprised of parodies, indie music videos, music covers and random hilarity. I’m almost certain you’ve all seen the majority of these.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane at some of the videos that caused many of us to copy and paste the link to our Facebooks, Twitters and IMs accounts. I know I’m guilty of charged in a couple of instances.


Number of Views: 17.9 million (as of press time)

What do you get when you give millions of tween girls internet access? You get Twilight’s trailer for it’s third installment into YouTube’s Top 10 list for 2010. With “Breaking Dawn” hitting theaters in 2011, expect that trailer to make a serious run for most viewed that year.

the rest of the videos after the jump

When visiting Vancouver, there are a lot of sights and sounds to take in. You can walk along the seawall, check out the Olympic cauldron, shop on Granville Island or check out the Aquarium in Stanley Park. Another adventure I recommend for everyone whether summer or winter, is a trip up to Grouse Mountain. What’s great about Grouse is that it literally is in Vancouver’s backyard. Located just a few minutes north of the Lonsdale Quay, a trip up the mountain offers a range of views and activities no matter what your mood.

There are two ways to get up to the top. One popular way in the summer months is to tackle the intense hike of the Grouse Grind. The 2.9 kilometre (1.8 mile) hike up the face of the mountain is considered to some as Mother Nature’s Stairmaster. Over 100,000 people climb the grind each year seeking that over-the-top workout that not only tests your body’s endurance but your mental stamina as well. An average hike takes approximately one and half hours but novice hikers should prepare for a two hour trek.

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A Year of Google Searches: 2010 Edition

In: Patrick, Random Reads, Videos

A lot happened this year in the world we live it. In the age of the Internet, it’s all tracked and making it easy to look back and review all of the big events, both good and bad. Google recently released their Zeitgeist report which reviews 2010, and released a video that summarized what people were searching for. As Google summarizes it:

From the World Cup to the Haiti earthquake, 2010 brought the world together. As we leave the year behind, we’re taking a look at the biggest events, news, and people who shaped the year. We analyzed the billions of queries that were typed into Google over the year to give you a glimpse of 2010 as seen through the lenses of Google searches.

The images and footage in the video, coupled with with Good Life by One Republic playing as the soundtrack, makes for very touching video produced by Whirled Creative. Definitely worth watching.

Check out the video after the jump…

Book Review: Half Broke Horses

In: Dan, Random Reads

A few months ago I tackled Jeannette Walls novel The Glass Castle, the powerful autobiography of her life growing up with two of the most dysfunctional parents even written in recent literature. It was one of my favorite books of the year so naturally I eagerly anticipated picking up another novel in her collection, Half Broke Horses.

I was instantly swept up with the country western storyline focusing on the lives of ranchers, small towns and most importantly, cowboys. The story is the pseudo-narrated tale of Walls’ inspirational and unwaveringly tough grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. The story is told, and in turn written, in such a gracious and fluid manner that as the years melted away and lines of aging appeared on both the pages of the book and Lily’s face, my imagination was set into motion. There’s a power that certain writers have over me that keeps a permanent, half-cocked smile on my face as I make my way through their pages and words. Walls’ is one of those few writers whom consistently remain on my best recommendations list, and Half Broke Horses is no exception.

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It’s officially the start of the Holiday season, at least in my calendar that is, and what better way to officially kick it off than a musical dedicated to Christmas?! Alasdair and I went to check out the opening night performance of White Christmas – The Musical at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage on Granville Island in Vancouver and it was fantastic! Both the renovated theatre and the musical and its performers are a sight not to be missed!! The show is being presented by the Artsclub Theatre Company and is running from December 8 through January 2, 2011.

I’ll admit that I didn’t know much about the show or the original Paramount Pictures film; however, it didn’t take me long to be swept up in the glory of the musical. The opening scene takes place in 1944 in the middle of World War II focusing on two lieutenants, Bob Wallace played by Jeffrey Victor, and Phil Davis played by Todd Talbot, in the army serving in the 151st command (or something along those lines – I’m going off memory here folks). The story quickly progresses through the end of the war and jumps to 1954, ten years later, with both men now performing in a duo song and dance troop that’s taking the US (and the Ed Sullivan Show) by storm. The men are introduced to a set of singing sisters, The Hanes Sisters that quickly enrapture their attention and hearts. The storyline carries the four protagonists to Vermont for a performance at a small inn on Christmas. The magic that unfolds with a few surprise twists of fate along the way is the quintessential platform for this heartwarming musical.

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Book Review: Mockingjay

In: Dan, Random Reads

It is complete, and I have been amazed. That is the simplest way of stating the effect that the trilogy written by Suzanne Collins has had on my mind. A few weeks ago I began reading the Hunger Games, unbeknownst as to what lied ahead. Quickly, I was swept up in the story of Katniss Everdeen and her devastating life in District 12. The first book, aptly titled The Hunger Games explained and explored ideas of the ruling Capital, the yearly tortuous event of The Hunger Games and result of being a tribute and surviving the worst game known to the country of Panem.

Believe me, it is worth cycling back through my previous two book reviews of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, to gain even a slight understanding of my love for this trio of brilliant literature. The third, and currently final edition of the trilogy, Mockingjay, is the perfect summation of what each unique character within the story had to face up to this point and the exquisite continuation of telling the story.

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Damn You Auto Correct!

In: Calan, Gadgets & Tech, Random Reads

I have found my new daily “makes me laugh out loud” site, and all iPhone users can relate. I was at my friends this past weekend enjoying some fun talk when we decided to have an impromptu party at about 11pm. Before we knew it there was 7 of us hanging out playing Mario Kart 64 (for old school sake) and having a grand time. Some of us may have been heavily drinking and others, like myself, we’re just enjoying the antics. I thought this would be the perfect time to tell my story from earlier in the day.

I had been at the gym with a friend of mine taking her through my abs routine when she texted a friend, “Hey I’m at the gym right now with a buddy and he’s totally licking my ass!” WHAT!? Her friend was seriously confused and immediately my friend responded “KICKING! KICKING MY ASS!” We laughed so hard we gave our abs a double workout. After this story another friend at the impromptu party introduced us to what I like to think is going to become the new FML.com, Damnyouautocorrect.com.

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What Are The Most Popular Baby Names of 2010?

In: Donovan, Random Reads

For the sixth year in a row, the most popular name parents are using to name their baby boys is Aiden. BabyCenter.com compiled hundreds of thousands of parents who divulged their baby name choices in 2010. In order to rank true popularity, they factored in all the misspellings silly parents can think of like Ayden, Aidan, Aden, Aydan etc… Parents, let’s keep it simple. There’s nothing that annoys me more when someone says, my name is Tiffany but with an “y” and an “i” ergo Tyffani. So annoying!!!

For the girls, Sophia claimed the top spot, knocking off last year’s winner, Isabella. Who knew there were so many “Golden Girls” fans out there. My niece’s middle is Isabella, so I guess my bro and his wife are on trend. Seems like a lot of my friends are. For a couple of years, it seemed like all my friends having baby girls were naming them either Ava or Emma. Both names appear in the Top 10 for 2010.

view the top boy and girl names after the jump, in addition see which TV Show is inspiring baby names

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