A Les Misérables Lover’s Journey from 1989 to 2012 Christmas – #LesMis Part 1

Friday, 14 December, 2012

Les Mis @RoyalAlexandraTheatreTorontoCanada

Les Mis 1989

Love is a mysterious thing. During the 1989 Christmas holiday, a visiting friend and I walked pass the Royal Alex by chance. We, on a whim, decided to buy the cheapest last minute tickets available to see Les Misérables. Cheap seats were cheap for a reason and we ended up sitting in the absolute worst seat (yes, last row against the wall) in the theatre. To my surprise, even sitting in the worst seats, we quite enjoyed Les Mis. So much so that I bought a copy of the full-Toronto-cast-signed charity Les Mis poster (donating the minimum ~$35, close to or more than the ticket price). I treasured that signed poster for many years until a national mover lost it! Yes, it kinda suck for me!

Les Mis 2012

I’ve been quite excited about Les Mis again once I realize the creative gamble Oscar winning director Tom Hooper is trying with Les Mis (2012 film). To prepare for writing this series of articles, I went to Calgary Public Library and borrowed the following:

1) three Les Mis music CDs (sang by the 10th anniversary cast, the 25th anniversary cast, plus an international cast recording),

2) Les Mis (1998 film),  and

3) Les Mis (25th Anniversary Concert in 2010).

I remember watching Les Mis (1998 film) in the theatre when it was released and quite enjoyed it. To be honest, knowing the Les Mis (2012 film) is live sung by the cast, the dramatic 1998 film suddenly seem lacking in emotional impact (to me) when compare to what I hope to see from 2012 film. I ended up enjoying the music CDs a lot more than the 1998 film.

Watching Les Mis (25th Anniversary Concert in 2010) for the first time also was quite nice in terms of sound quality and the bonus material of the original cast singing at the end of the DVD. My one complain is the fact that the 25th anniversary performance was a concert so see the cast dressed in costume and sang standing in front of a mic reduced the emotional impact greatly for me.

Christmas 2012

Listening to all the CDs and watching the 25th Anniversary Concert has put in such a mood that I bought a ticket to the Christmas Opening show last night, for me, an unheard of 12 days ahead of the opening!

2012 #LesMis

I can’t wait to see Les Mis! Do you plan to see Les Mis? On Christmas Day? This article is cross-posted on examiner and is part 1 of my #LesMis series. More to come. Here is “Les Misérables – International Trailer

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Why are @IKEACanada and Leo Burnett silent in global trending Twitter #ikeamonkey?

Monday, 10 December, 2012

Why are @IKEACanada and Leo Burnett silent in global trending Twitter #ikeamonkey?

I wrote humourously about #ikeamonkey in my article “Top 10 Reasons why Monkey Darwin shops at Ikea & No charges by T.O. police!” so I won’t repeat those points here. In this article, I will take a more serious look at the business side of things.

I’m first of all puzzled and wondering “Why is @IKEACanada silent during global trending Twitter #ikeamonkey ?” I see people from around the world on Twitters write and write about #ikeamonkey. And the media outlets not just in Canada but from around the world are also turning this into a viral discussion! But then paradoxically, I see the @IKEACanada account (yes, the official verified IKEA Canada Twitter account) being completely silent on #ikeamonkey! Why is the IKEA Canada social media tweeting nothing about #ikeamonkey? And, more seriously, why is the Toronto-based Leo BurnettIKEA’s creative agency of record (since March 2011) NOT convincing IKEA Canada to do something creative and fun to engage all the people tweeting about IKEA!

Questions for Leo Burnett & IKEA Canada

Why is Judy John, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett and her team doing nothing? Are there heavy resistent from IKEA Canada? Now, may be they are doing something but in the Twitter age inside a perfect viral storm, one viral #ikeamonkey day is easily more than 100 human days! Since monkey Darwin was first spotted by shoppers at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, so one viral #ikeamonkey day (100 human days) has officially passed without something fun or engaging from @IKEACanada or Leo Burnett! What a waste of social media positive energy.

Lets have some fun IKEA Canada & Leo Burnett

There are many ways to engage and have fun. I spent a few quick minutes to come up with a few. Feel free to post and share yours in the comment.

Here are my free #ikeamonkey ideas/advices 2 @IKEACanada & @LeoBurnett #hint #youshouldreallypayme4myideas #yyc #canada

Some fun ones:

How about: You’r right! @IKEACanada our furnitures are a ton of fun to monkey with! #ikeamonkey

How about: Yes, @IKEACanada We let you monkey with your furnitures with no extra charges! #ikeamonkey

This one is just a nice way to thank monkey Darwin for all the positive & free publicity (good karma):

How About: Thx #ikeamonkey 4 your visit @IKEACanada We are donating $1,000 to your new home Storybook Farms Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland

At this point, some thoughtful social engagement by @IKEACanada about #ikeamonkey will tremendous good for IKEA as a global brand.

Now, I don’t mean to criticize Leo Burnett (Toronto) too harshly as I think they have done some great work over the years like this one, “Ikea’s Cardboard Outdoor Posters Fold Down Into Moving Boxes Take one and start packing.” But I just can’t help but think about the wasted positive worldwide fun & positive attention to IKEA (not just IKEA Canada). What a waste! I feel like someone dumping tons and tons of preciously liquid gold randomly into ocean, once lost, they can’t be found again! It sucks!

Update: I rethink a little, since this is an article about social media, I will wait & see if @IKEACanada or @LeoBurnett see my Twitter tags re this article or do anything today. If I have time or want to do a followup article on this, I will then call up Leo Burnett and see if I can get a comment.

Note: This post is cross-posted by me at examiner.


Top 10 Reasons why Monkey Darwin shops at Ikea & No charges by T.O. police!

Monday, 10 December, 2012

Top 10 Reasons why Monkey Darwin shops at Ikea

#10 Even a monkey wants 2 Hot Dogs & Soft Drink for $2!
#9 It’s a smart monkey!
#8 No monkey can resist sampling free candies!
#7 Shopping at Ikea is like going to the zoo!!
#6 He will blend right in with all the Ikea soft toys!
#5 The parking lot is so BIG!
#4 Hello CNN’s Anderson Cooper! He is so cute!
#3 He will blend right in with all the Ikea shoppers!
#2 It will be a fun day out!
#1 Only Ikea lets you monkey around with the furnitures!

On a more serious not, according to Globe & Mail report after discussing with people at the holding centre of Toronto’s Animal Service, the five-month old monkey Darwin is “not very happy right now. He’s comfortable, but he’s having a bad day.” In case you don’t know, Toronto’s Municipal Code prohibits keeping monkeys are pets and the owners have been fined $240 and agreed to transfer ownership of Darwin to the city.

Toronto Police Service media officier Wendy Drummond stated in a twitter message that

Toronto police not laying any charges in #ikeamonkey incident. No further investigation/involvement by police.

which lead to City News Anchor/Reporter Roger Petersen asking,

@drummond17 how does the #ikeamonkey not do jail time for the fashion crime he/she committed with that coat?

and a merciful reply by Wendy, stating categorically,

@rogerfpetersen lol…while some fashion statements might be considered a crime, it’s not our jurisdiction!

Update: Love this idea, Assembly so easy, a Monkey can do it” from @ChristinJerome

Update 2: TorStar has this latest update (with video), “Ikea monkey Darwin took shine to me, owner says“. I truly feel sorry for Darwin’s owner Yasmin Nakhuda for that they are now separated. While it must be painful Yasmin and Darwin now, I hope it works out better for Dawin in the long run as it does need special care.

More videos: “Happy Halloween From Darwin

Darwin Giving First Kiss to Human Mom

dog and baby snow macaque at play” (this is so cute!)

Darwin the Monkey At The Office

Darwin and his Nuk Nuk


Use of Social Media tool in Police Services – Interview with Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills

Wednesday, 4 July, 2012

Interview with Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills - Use of Social Media tool in Police Services

I am in the process of writing an in-depth article about how Police Services in Canada and around the world use social media tools. Average readers may not know but police services are now using social media tools to help communicate with citizens, report crimes, and, in some cases, even prevent crimes. Think for a moment, “prevent crimes” amazing right?! Watch the video and see for yourself and you will realize it is dedicated and good policing assisted by new social media tools.

I’ve started collecting research materials for the article. The following is my first video interview. The interview was actually conducted and broadcasted LIVE this morning using Google+ and YouTube technologies (two of the social media tools used in Toronto).

I want to thank Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills (@GraffitiBMXCop) for his time in sharing his insights. Have a watch of the video. Stay tuned for more interviews (I am planning a few more) and the in-depth article to be posted later.

Interview with Toronto Police Constable Social Media guru Scott Mills @GraffitiBMXCop


Finding Jan Wong Out of the Blue – The ugly sides of Globe and Mail & Manulife

Monday, 14 May, 2012

Jan Wong Website page pix 01

As a long time reader (and fan) of Jan Wong‘s (website, twitter) newspaper articles and “Lunch with” columns, it came to me as a total shock when I belatedly discovered the real reason of why Jan is no longer working for the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail (she was fired from the fallout of one article) and why Jan, a successful books author and highly skilled writer, has to self-publish her memoir Out of the Blue (Amazon) (this is a story in itself).

Check out this video “For my review of Jan Wong’s “Out of The Blue” & news report” and the following insightful articles and interviews.

* CBC News, “Q&A: Jan Wong’s long march from depression to reinvention”

* CBC Books Radio interview, Michael Enright’s interview with journalist Jan Wong about her latest book”

* 2012, May 11, TVO Allan Gregg video interview, “Jan Wong On Her Battle With Depression

* TorStar Apr 27, “Toronto author Jan Wong’s book on workplace depression an instant classic

* Ottawa Citizen, Jan Wong’s blues – “Journalist chronicles her controversial descent into workplace depression

* Now, “Jan Wong wronged? The Bestselling journalist wound up self-publishing her memoir?

* Now Book review, “Out of The Blue – Wilful Wong

* backofthe book.ca “Jan Wong’s Globe and Mail blues

* The Chronicle Herald “Old China hand explores Canada’s mysterious East

* Quill & Quire Book review, Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness”

Ref: 2006 Sept article from Premier Jean Charest.

Disclosure: I own shares of Manulife and I am shocked and angry of Manulife’s unacceptable business practices. Setting personal feelings aside, it is just bad business to deal with legitimate insurance clients like it did with Jan. These kind of unacceptable behaviours can rightfully drive potential future clients away. I may write a separate article about this. Will see.

Jan Wong Website page pix 02


Pre-Ceremony intro for Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th)

Friday, 4 May, 2012

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 01

It was my honour to work with Toronto Police Constable +Scott Mills this afternoon in preparation for this Sunday (May 6th, 10:30am EST) Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial LIVE broadcast. More info here.

Watch the video to see the site for yourself.

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 03

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 04

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 05

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 06

I especially love this last screen capture where a beautiful butterfly lands next to the broadcast equipment.

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 07


U2 documentary “From the Sky Down” – a film that is “for anyone who is interested in how songs get written.”

Friday, 9 September, 2011

Sept 8, 2011, LA Times, “Toronto 2011: U2’s Bono shows ’em how it’s done

Sept 8, 2011, LA Times, “Toronto Film Festival: Director talks opening night U2 doc

Bono on the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival

The business of selling and buying movies at TIFF.


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