Videos

Toronto’s Summer Destination

In case you want to know what Torontonians do on a hot and humid weekend, just take a look at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal near Queen’s Quay, Harbourfront. You definitely would not miss the long lines of people and the bustling activity. This is the Toronto ferry docks from where you catch a ride to the Toronto Islands.

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Toronto Islands is a group of eight islands on Lake Ontario near downtown Toronto. Historically, it is said to have been formed in the nineteenth century when a storm caused a sandspit to separate from the mainland, creating small islands. As part of Toronto, it was supposed to have been occupied by the First Nations communities that gave it its earlier names as the Island of Hiawatha or Menecing.

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Like true Torontonians, we too were there at the Ferry Terminal among the island-going crowd. So was batman. Not joking! He, of course, was just getting his pics clicked with young’uns. Did my best to not stare at this huge guy wearing a tight batman suit!

Boat

The journey on the ferry boat was enjoyable as we caught glimpses of the posh buildings up close as well as from a far-off distance. The Toronto Harbourfront is home to the most beautiful buildings in Toronto. The weather was breezy and warm. The sky a perfect blue. Within ten minutes, we reached Centre Island, the largest of all the islands and the one that has all the activities and the maximum commotion! 🙂

Pond

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After a quick lunch from Pizza Pizza, we started our trek to see the main attractions. We passed an amusement park and lovely greenery and small ponds on the way. Reached a beach where we had time to chill and hang out though it was not all that clean. Rented a quadricycle, a four-wheel carriage so that we could quickly cover all the interesting areas of the island. This soon turned out to be sheer drudgery as it was a struggle for us to move it along. We gave up on the way and decided to return it rightaway.

Quadracycle

This was the first time I came across a clothing optional beach. Unfortunately, I couldn’t muster enough courage to drop in. Guess I need to do some more growing up! But I certainly visited the clothing mandatory beach at Hanlan’s point. It was a gorgeous and neat and clean beach even though my legs froze in the water.
Four yacht clubs dock their boats at the islands. We saw many stunning beauties passing by and also docked at bay. Or shall I say, we were enjoying ‘yacht porn’!

Yachts

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Hanlan’s point gives you that view of Toronto that most people have seen…on picture postcards, advertisements, web sites and all other literature that is distinctive of Toronto. The Toronto skyline of CN Tower and Rogers Center along with the multitudinous tall and glassy office buildings and condominiums are really impressive. This, particularly seen at night is the most memorable view of Toronto one would remember. It made our day! It was almost like watching a live show. Observing this sight at twilight against the rippling waters of Lake Ontario is one of the many wondrous moments that Toronto can offer you!

03 Jun 2014

Parodies: Better than Originals?!!

Early in life, I began watching, reading, and listening to parodies, spoofs or imitations that attempt to mock the original. It was also the same time I realized that I sort of enjoyed parodies more.

 
I don’t know if it is because of the inherent cynical humor and sarcasm or that I just liked humorous stuff better. I remember my uncle being a strong influence in this area. He is a huge fan of parody songs. While driving long distance in the car, he would play the parody songs in a loop and the whole family loved humming to the songs’ tunes. I wonder if this gave any newfound meaning to my child’s mind matching parodies to the actual creative products of the mind.
 
My interest in parodies sparked again when I recently watched The Hungover Games, a cross between The Hunger Games and The Hangover. The story is about how the main characters go about celebrating the bachelor party of their friend as in The Hangover. They do this by winning a fight as shown in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
 
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The film has spoof elements from other movies too. A real parody in its true sense! It is so hilarious that I was Rolling On the Floor Laughing the whole time. That’s when my mind floated back to the first spoof movie I ever watched: Scary Movie, a horror comedy film, in 2000. Since then, there have been five sequels parodying the successful horror movies of the year. I read that the latest sequel, Scary Movie 5, released in 2013, based on Mama, did not really make it big at the box office.
 
Spoofing music videos is another common activity these days. And it all starts with the popular ones. There are many takes on the Happy video from Pharrell Williams, shot in cities and countries around the world. Though some of these are not necessarily spoofs, there have also been many of those spoof videos. Also, how can I not mention the most popular spoof video of 2013, the one on Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball, featuring Nicolas Cage?!!
 
It was interesting to follow the news stream on the First Kiss youtube video that went viral and its parodies that came by soon after. The video shows 20 strangers kissing for the first time in front of the camera. Noted for its unconventional outlook on human relationships, the video was supposed to take on a greater meaning when it was found that it is actually launched as an ad campaign for a clothing store. Alas, this was disillusioning for the general public.
 

The parodies, as expected, were fun. The most popular parody of that video was a video from LA-based sketch comedy troupe, Pimm’s Girl. In television, the Colbert Report can be considered as the best parody talk show, where he assumes the persona of an ultra-conservative character and does it with a forever-straight face. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is another remarkable parody news program and many from the younger generation have declared that they get their news update from that program!

~Cux

22 Apr 2014