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PICK – An Experimental Short

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PICK – An Experimental Short

Director Benjamin Ross Hayden

If you are channel surfing this week in Alberta, click over to Channel 10 Broadcast, Nov 6 – 1am, Nov 7 – 9PM and Nov 8 – 10pm. You’ll see a really cool experimental film that I helped with a few months back. The music and the visuals come together to creep you out and suck you in.

The film is about the re-appropriating forgotten local history. A boudoir in Calgary on February 15th & 16th, 1916 provides the inspiration and it was shot in the creepy basement where a massive riot began.

This film was shot entirely on film. The scratches are real. The stunts are real. The credits are also hand-scratched.

Benjamin Ross Hayden, up and coming director, first approached me to do the film while I was having breakfast at a trendy diner in February of this year, it was a little out of the blue but insanely awesome. After that day it wasn’t long before I was all costumed up on set ready to stick an ice pick in my face in the dustiest room I’d ever stepped foot in.

The whole thing was a complete blast.

MEDIA: Articles in the following media outlets
FFWD Weekly,
Emery Weal,
The Gauntlet,

The Reflector, and

… Benjamin Ross Hayden plays homage to that event with his short experimental film, Pick, which will screen as part of the Calgary International Film Festival’s Alberta Spirit series….

Originally published, September 23, 2010 in FFWD Weekly


The Cuteness Apocalypse: Most Re-Watched Cute Videos

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One of my favourite YouTube personalities Hank Green of the SciShow and the Vlog Brothers posted this video last week.

It prompted me to ask myself how many hours I myself have wasted on adorable YouTube videos?? And here they are, the cute YouTube videos that have wasted the most of my time.

My Most Re-Watched Adorable YouTube Videos

Who’s Your Favourite?

Star Wars according to a 3 year old.

☆french bulldog

Puppy vs. Mirror

Jerk Animals: Viral Video Film School

“One Man Disney Movie” Nick Pitera Disney Medley Music Video

This fits our theme of adorable because although he is not a puppy or a giggling toddler, Nick Pitera is truly the most adorable thing on YouTube.

Cute Cat Falls Down at the Purrfect Moment

Full disclosure this is actually a video of my own cat, but it would be a favorite even if it wasn’t.

African Bull Frog ant crusher

There you go guys. These few videos have taken up literally hours of my time. Was it worth it, hells yes. Enjoy.

Stop Internet Piracy with Better Cheaper Legal Downloads

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If you pirate content online, be it music, movies or audiobooks you are scaring the crap out of a lot of people. As I’m sure you know, laws like SOPA and PIPA are being proposed because companies are worried about loosing a ton of money in the wild west that is the Internet.

Apparently the ratio of legally downloaded songs to pirated ones is 1 : 20. So here’s the question we should really ask, why? Why are so many people choosing to pirate content?

Is it really because we all just want to get our content for free? Maybe a more reasonable explanation is that acquiring content legally is often just too difficult, time-consuming and unreasonably expensive. If you are just joining us in the 21st century now, let me explain.

Torrenting is just about the easiest way to get any and all digital goodies you can possibly want. Simply search for your item of choice, click the download link, and the torrent starts automatically. You can pause the download at any time and restart it without damaging the file and download problems are very rare.

When you purchase content legally you can expect to deal with slower and glitchier downloads that will require many more time-consuming steps to complete than simply snatching up that torrent. You may first need to create an account on the site, type in all your credit card and personal information and verify by email before you can order the item. If you are dissatisfied with your purchase or have a download issue, tech support will likely be slower and more frustrating than you’d like. And because these companies are terrified you will redistributing this content, the legally downloaded versions of songs and videos are usually encoded with restrictions that get in your way if you ever try to move files between devices or burn them to disk.

Beyond the technical issues, many companies don’t seem to realize digital content should be priced differently than the physical versions. From my experience DVDs cost money to have printed, packaged, stored, handled, and shipped,  whereas it costs virtually nothing to have a program automatically email customers with a download link. Because I’m not the only one that realizes this, the perceived value of digital content is much lower, as it should be. Bull-poop “convenience” charges are not fooling anyone guys.

I really believe that as legally purchasing songs, videos and everything else becomes easier and more reasonably priced, we will see less online piracy and fewer resentful legal downloaders like myself. I also imagine if illegal downlading was less threatening to large companies they wouldn’t be wasting so much of their resources on creating restrictions and laws that could break the Internet.

In the end we can’t really know how much torrenting is responsible for the lost revenue companies claim, and illegal downloads are certainly not tantamount to stealing a kid’s bike or someone’s purse like those ridiculous commercials suggest. There will always be people who torrent and share content illegally and see it as a victimless non-crime.

I personally avoid pirating content because I respect the person who created it would rather I didn’t and that’s enough for me.

Site Hackers, Server Errors and other Moments of Pure Terror

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On February 2nd of this year(2012) Firepedia experienced a traffic surge that surpassed what could be handled by our server. This resulted in our host taking down the site for 10 hours until we asked nicely and they put it back up. As the new traffic levels continued, users began to experience errors and glitches and it became clear that we needed to move.

Once we found a new server, we started the move only to discover that the increase in traffic had attracted the interest of hackers who had unleashed a horrible nightmare onto the Firepedia team. 1200 files had embedded hack codes that re-directed readers to other sites. Luckily we were able to avoid compromising anyone’s account (unfortunately we had to delete them to do this). After that the stressful and delicate surgery of getting our site back up and moved to our more robust and secure server we are now working on recovering a few lost articles.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during all this. And welcome to all the new readers.


Shortly after publishing this article and getting a good night sleep for the first time in days a vulnerability in the new server we had moved to was exploited by the same hackers and we lost everything for a 2nd time. It was heart breaking and the technical support was unsympathetic and very unhelpful.

Based on the recommendation of web-developers much smarter than us, we purchased server space on a more secure service from another company and started rebuilding yet again. I really hope this is the last catastrophe for a while and we can go back to producing content for you guys.

Thank you again for your patience and all the emails and messages of support. You have been wonderful during all this. Thank you

Reason Is Sexy – Desktop Wallpaper

Posted on by thelucydarling_iltky2 in Blogs & Vlogs 1 Comment

The weirdest thing happened, the Internet noticed something I did! This images taken by photographer Derek Orr were shared on Facebook like crazy after being initially popularized by this Reddit post by user PeteDarwin.

I have read all of the comments, yes even the weird ones, and found that lots of folks wanted a wallpaper version. So here she is folks.

Right click to Download the Widescreen Wallpaper.

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in thinking that Reason is Sexy!!


Amazing ex-muslim feminist know as the blogger Secularly Yours did her own “Reason is Sexy” shoot inspired by mine!! I am completely blown away! Check it out.

The following is a higher rez version of the original.

Much Anticipated New Science Webshow

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The first episode of a new science based web-show by Hank Green came out today and I’m excited it is living up to the preview. This little content junky is excited to add the Scishow to my weekly digest.

I’ll be more excited when he loses the goatee.

I wish I had the balls to do this to a telemarketer

Posted on by thelucydarling_iltky2 in Blogs & Vlogs 1 Comment

I found this at

Nimble Twins, Blast from the Past

Posted on by thelucydarling_iltky2 in Blogs & Vlogs 1 Comment

In the summer of 2009 SaFire and I toured Canada as the Nimble Twins. We had a blast doing street shows, as exhausting as it was, and ended up with some hilarious vlogs to show for it. Here they are for your enjoyment.

#1 “Let’s Go” posted Jul 25, 2009

#2 “Meeka Gets a Bath” posted Jul 26, 2009

#3 “Magic Lemonade” posted Jul 27, 2009

#4 “How we Met” posted Jul 27, 2009

#5 “I’m like a Bug” posted Jul 29, 2009

#6 “No Rules” posted Jul 30, 2009

#7 “3D Tetris” posted Jul 31, 2009

#8 “WTF Juice” posted Aug 1, 2009

#9 “Too Many Pancakes!” posted Aug 2, 2009

Us on SXE Phil time code 0:27

The Pendulum Swing, 100 Things Challenge Part 4

Posted on by thelucydarling_iltky2 in 30 Day Challenges, Blogs & Vlogs, Minimalism & Zero Waste Leave a comment

My last 100 things post revealed how indulging in little purchases sent my list well above the limit. In true fashion, I have since overreacted to the slip-up and trimmed my list all the way down to 77 items. How? Well, I found a way that makes maintaining your personal inventory easy. By shifting your focus to upgrading, repairing or replacing, rather than buying new things, it’s easy to maintain control over junk creep. I upgraded my laptop with 2 extra gigs of ram and replaced the damaged charger cord, bought a very cool toothbrush I had long coveted, and replaced tattered clothing with more fashionable, better-fitted ones.

It has been more satisfying, and easier to manage since there are no new things to keep track of or add to my list and now that my stuff is in tip top shape, I feel less distracted that nagging feeling that something was not quite right. And here’s another interesting paradox. Although I own even fewer things than before, I feel as if I have everything I need. Each item is now better suited to its job, works just right or fits perfectly.

I better appreciate each shirt and every gadget and with fewer items, I’m even finding it easier to make everyday decisions. It reminds me a conversation I had at a dinner party once. I was chatting with an ex-Mormon (or No-Mo-Mo), eventually, I couldn’t resist my urge to ask if she ever missed any part of the Mormon faith. She said “the only thing I miss is always knowing what to do, fewer options made my choices feel easy and correct. I almost never know if I made the right choice anymore.” That statement really stuck with me and now I feel I understand what she meant. It’s like the common belief that Einstein wore the same thing every day and had a closet full of the exact same suits, shirts, ties, and shoes. He didn’t want to take time or focus away from his work to spend on the repetitive task of deciding what to wear. It would seem that having a few good choices is far better than having many mediocre ones.

If you learn from a mistake then nothing was really lost. My previous 100 thing failure has become, as one particularly insightful friend would call it, a teachable moment.

My Very Few Items


  1. Shirt – White Tank Top
  2. Shirt – Spaghetti Strap Top Black Lace
  3. Shirt – Spaghetti Strap Top Orange
  4. Shirt – Long Sleeve Knit Top, Horizontal Striped
  5. Shirt – Solid Red Fitted T-shirt
  6. Shirt – Patterned Yellow Fitted T-shirt
  7. Shirt – Patterned Black & White T-shirt
  8. Shirt – White Buttoned Down Top
  9. Shirt – Work Out
  10. Shirt – T-shirt for Lounging at Home
  11. Sweater – Gray Wrap
  12. Shell – White Lace
  13. Shrug – Black Ballet
  14. Pants – Fitted Dark Jeans
  15. Pants – Black & Orange
  16. Pants – Black & Blue
  17. Pants – Charcoal Coloured Dress Pants
  18. Pants – Work Out Shorts
  19. Pants – Stretchy Yoga Pants for Lounging at Home
  20. Skirt – Long / Black
  21. Skirt – Short / Red Striped
  22. Skirt – Mid Length / Grey
  23. Dress – Pink and White Sun Dress
  24. Dress – Little Black Dress
  25. House Coat – Kimono
  26. Socks – 10 Pair
  27. Underwear – 10 pairs / 2 Bras
  28. Bathing Suit – Polka dot one piece
  29. Bathing Suit – Bikini
  30. Shoes – Brown Moccasin Stye Winter Boots
  31. Shoes – Black Exercise Shoes
  32. Shoes – Grey Ballet Flats
  33. Shoes – Heeled Boots
  34. Long Warm Coat
  35. Sun Glasses
  36. Hat – Warm Tuque
  37. Gloves – Warm Brown
  38. Belt – Wide and Black
  39. Hip Sack – Blue


  1. Jewelry Pieces (3 items)
  2. Make Up Palette – Mac Palette
  3. Make Up Brush / Grooming Kit
  4. Hair Straightener
  5. Hair Brush
  6. Hair Comb
  7. Hair Clips
  8. Toothbrush – OHSO Pocket Toothbrush
  9. Diva Cup
  10. First Aid & Repair Kit

Office and Electronics

  1. Laptop – Macbook with Second Skin Folder
  2. Video Camera – Flip
  3. Camera – Point and Shoot / Olympus Water Proof Digital
  4. Phone – iPhone & iPhone Mobile Tail
  5. Hard Drive – 500 GB
  6. Hard Drive – 100 GB
  7. Thumb Drive – 10 GB
  8. Headphone – Wrap Around
  9. Headphone – Ear Buds
  10. Podcast Microphone
  11. Battery Charger
  12. Solar Powered Battery Charger
  13. Label Maker
  14. Notebook – Mole Skin
  15. File Folder

Items Just For Fun

  1. Book – Non-fiction
  2. Bike – Hampton Cruiser
  3. Art Collection

Every Day Items

  1. Keys
  2. Money Clip
  3. Business Card Holder
  4. Messenger Bag – ChicoBag
  5. Portable Purse Hanger
  6. Water Bottle – Nalgeen
  7. Aeropress Coffee Maker


  1. Suit Case – Carry On
  2. Suit Case – Blue, Air Canada, Medium Sized
  3. Hanging Toiletry Kit – Victorinox

Resources for this article:

Dave’s original post that inspired his later book
The Times‘ Article About the 100 Thing Challenge
The Zen Habits’ blog article

Getting Ready For the 333 Challenge

Posted on by thelucydarling_iltky2 in Blogs & Vlogs, Inspiration, Minimalism & Zero Waste Leave a comment

Guest post for the 333 Challenge Website

Like many people, I’ve always wanted to pull off that casual, sleek and pulled together look. Glamorous friends have offered advice on creating looks or proper accessorizing, but I could never will myself to do the work. My overstuffed closet felt oppressive; too many choices and possible combinations. It was much easier to fall back on the same reliable comfy yoga pants and plain black tank tops.

During one lazy afternoon of web surfing, I came across the 333 challenge and a light went off in my mind. It played to my affinity for minimalism, my love of challenges, and my desire to improve my fashion sense or, at the very least, finally face my closet full of bad purchases.

I marked the start date on the calendar and started to work on my game plan.

I began preparing for this project 3 months in advance knowing it would take some effort and look for a few simple steps that would make my 333 Challenge easier to handle.

After some over thinking a came to 5 reasonable steps to do it right; Minimize, Set your wardrobe staples, Choose a few flattering and versatile feature pieces, Play dress up, Fill in the gaps.

Minimize – Clean out your closet and drawers

Going through a massive closet of clothing and picking only 33 items to be faithful to for 3 months is overwhelming. That’s why I decided it would be best to minimize first. I figured it would put me in the right mind set, clear away the distracting visual and mental clutter and give me a better sense of what I had to work with.

I was further convinced of the minimize step by Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, in which she mentions a paradox. Although she had fewer actual items after cleaning out her closet, and giving away 3 giant bags of clothing, it felt as if she had more since all the remaining items were things she would actually wear.

Here’s how to do it
Get 2 bags and a couple boxes. One bag will be for throw aways and one for give aways. The boxes are for things you want to keep but won’t wear, for example, seasonal items or things kept for sentimental value alone. Give yourself a good day to go over every sweater and gown, then go over it again.

There are lots of hanging organizers and other tools created to help you clean your closet, but I found that good music and a good mood were the most useful.

Tip: Don’t know were to start? Try taking out all the frayed, ripped or otherwise worn out items and toss them first, or if they hold sentimental value put them in storage. Items with their original tags or rarely worn are next up for scrutiny, if you’ve never worn it you probably never will. By this point you should be on a roll, just keep up the momentum and you’ll be done in no time.

Staples – Get set up with the fashion basics

Fashion staples are the items you build your wardrobe around. Although these items will be slightly different for everyone (for example, I work from home so I don’t need much in the way of office clothes) there are a few pieces most experts recommend.

From my research combing over fashion magazines, style guides and the advice of well dressed friends, the following are the most recommended fashion staples.

  • Cashmere / knit sweater
  • White button-up
  • Black / white camisole
  • Fitted T-shirt
  • A-line skirt
  • Black knee high day-to-night skirt
  • Fitting jeans
  • Versatile black dress pants
  • Black leggings – not to be worn as pants but under dresses and skirts
  • Sophisticated belt
  • Wide belt
  • Pashmina
  • Versatile fitted blazer
  • LBD – little back dress
  • Sun dress
  • Boots
  • Flats
  • Heels

Keep in mind that these items should fit your body shape, be comfortable and well built. They will get the most wear so don’t skimp on quality.

Tip: Try to identifying what activities you will be doing in your clothes. This will make it much easier to identify which staples fit best for you. Whether it’s business lunches or art galas your lifestyle should impact your clothing choices.

Choose a few feature pieces – Setting your style

The staples only make up the base of your wardrobe, you’ll still need to choose some feature pieces to the add personality and flare that makes fashion fun. These can be accessories, scarves, apparel, anything you like.

Choosing more versatile, flattering pieces will serve better for this project. I combed through my wardrobe and found a few items that reflected my personality and fit really well and make a mental note of these before starting on the next step.

Play dress up – Creating different look

I recommend you employ the help of an honest fashion wise friend who will tell you which things don’t fit right or should return to their proper era. If you decide to do this step on your own try to be honest with yourself; either way you will need a full length mirror and a good sense of humor.

Put on an outfit as if you are on your way out the door then ask yourself “is this the look I’m after?” Consider the colors, do they match? Consider the pattern, are there too many? Try swapping out items, adding accessories and, most importantly, have fun with it.

Here are some hard and fast rules I used to get started:

  • White and black go with everything, except too much of themselves, for example, black sweater, black leggings, black shoes, back belt is too much black, but make the leggings and belt another color and it’s classy.
  • Patterned items are best worn with solid ones and vice versa, for example, try wearing a patterned skirt with a solid colored shirt, preferably a color present in the pattern.
  • Tight items are best worn with loose ones and vice versa, for example, what looks better? A tight tee and leggings? or a tight tee and an a-line skirt?
  • Trying to match colors that are a bit off is no good, for example, a bright red and a slightly more washed our red or a slightly yellowish green and a slightly bluish green. Fashion should look deliberate, either the colors are exactly the same or they are different and complimentary.
  • Avoid visible panty line by wearing boy short underwear or a thong under tighter bottoms.
  • Silver or Gold, avoid mixing. There are ways to mix silver and gold jewelry in one look, but it required a far better eye than I have so I decided to stick to silver for the 33 challenge. How should you decide? In a nut shell, gold works better with warm colors, silver with cold or brighter colors.

Working out these different combinations now will help you get a good idea of the types of looks you can build out of your wardrobe which will save you the 30 minutes of trying different things everyday that makes most of us decide not bother at all. You’ll know what works and you’ll be able to spot any holes in you wardrobe for the next step.

Fill in the Gaps

After all these steps you might notice there are a few missing things, for example, when I finished the final outfits and had decided to keep my favorite patterned pants in circulation, I thought it would be nice to have an orange shirt to wear with it to bring out the orange in the pattern.

Make of list of the remaining items you need and remember to stay focused. It’s easy to get distracted and end up seduced into buying a dress and 2 shirts that won’t fit into your 33 items and will go unworn for the next 3 months.

In the three months it took me to get ready for this challenge I went through each of these steps a few times. Now when I look into my single drawer of expertly folded clothes I feel proud and excited, more organized and even a little more successful.

My 333 List

  1. Shirt – Spaghetti Strap Top, Black
  2. Shirt – Spaghetti Strap Top, Orange
  3. Shirt – Tank Top, White
  4. Shirt – Long Sleeve Knit Top, Horizontal Striped Black and Grey
  5. Shirt – Solid Red Fitted T-shirt
  6. Shirt – Patterned Yellow Fitted T-shirt
  7. Shirt – Patterned Black & White T-shirt
  8. Shirt – White Buttoned Down Top
  9. Pants – Fitted Dark Jeans
  10. Pants – Black Dress Pants
  11. Pants – Black & Orange Flare Bottom
  12. Pants – Black and Blue Flare Bottom
  13. Skirt – Long, Black
  14. Skirt – Short, Red Striped
  15. Skirt – Medium length A-line, Grey
  16. Dress – Pink and White Sun
  17. Dress – Little, Black
  18. Shoes – Brown Moccasin Stye Winter Boots
  19. Shoes – Walking Shoes, Grey
  20. Shoes – Heeled Boots
  21. Long Brown Coat
  22. Gray Wrap Sweater
  23. Sun Glasses
  24. Belt –  Wide, Black
  25. Hip Sack – Blue
  26. Bag – Messenger Style, Orange
  27. Shell – White Lace
  28. Shrug – Ballet Style, Black
  29. Gloves
  30. Knit Hat
  31. Jewelry – Earrings Dangling & Feathered
  32. Jewelry – Red Circle Necklace
  33. Jewelry – Amber Pendant Necklace