Category Archive – Randomness

Music Minute: Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation (Rock Edition)

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Music Minute Logo  “I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation….”

It’s high time you guys got schooled in the Old School. Get ready to get rocked by the Power to Move You. That’s right, this summer Music Minute is bringing on the ROCK!!!!!

So sit down ’cause school’s in session.

Rock n’ Roll ain’t your Grandma’s Bingo tournament.  Modern Rock has been around since the 50′s and holds old roots in Jazz, Bluegrass blues, Rockabilly, and the Deep American South. The guitar came over on the slave ships. The trademark studded leather outfits can be sourced back to the Renaissance Era when rich nobles padded their doublets with metal plates as a form of hidden body armor because swords were a leading cause in Death, second to the Plague and horrible hygiene. The staple heavy duty combat boots were easy to come by after the Second World War thanks to Army Surplus stores. Baby Boomers wanted, no, craved a new sound that would go against the then current norm and they found it through the scream of an electric guitar riff.

So I’d like you to meet Rock n’ Rolls big bad Big Sister…Joan Jett.

She’s been rockin’ out on the guitar since 1975 and she still kills it on stage every time she performs live. Her resume is hella impressive and she has coined so many famous rock songs that today’s musicians would give their eye-teeth to take a piece of that cred. Joan Jett 1She was the lead guitarist for The Runaways (the infamous all girl rock band that spawned all sorts of hard core grief among parents and authoritative figures). Proving that girls can rock just as hard as the boys she formed her own band, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts , when the Runaways broke up. Joan has played alongside just about everyone in the music industry past and present. She may look like the Rock Daughter of Alice Cooper‘s but she shreds just as vivaciously as Slash. One of the few bastions left of old school rock she’s the type that tells it like it is, sticks to her guns, and lets her guitar show the world what she’s all about.

Some call her the Queen of Rock. And you know what? She’d look killer in a crown.

I love Rock n’ Roll.

YouTube is 10 Years Old: a (surprise!) video to celebrate

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YOUTUBE 01 01 Photo

I didn’t realize this until just today, but as of last February (or this May if you count when it was launched in Beta), YouTube is 10 years old.

I’m amazed that that much time has gone by, but also amazed that it hasn’t been longer.  YouTube has been such an integral part of our lives for so long, you just kinda feel like it’s always been there.  I often ask myself, while looking up how to do something or finding old videos I thought long forgotten or tracking down the latest trailers or songs or just looking for a quick laugh or a gasp, I ask “What did we do before YouTube?”  My mind is thoroughly blown right now.

And in honor of the occasion, YouTube just yesterday posted this awesome video that really sums up what this anomaly of a website has brought us over 10 years, from the silly to the profound.  Check it out and have your minds also blown.


Here’s a handy infographic explaining all the letters (click for a bigger look).

YT 10 infographic Photo

For further reading, take a look at Conquering YouTube: 101 Pro Video Tips to Take You To The Top or 15 Minutes of Fame: Become a Star in the YouTube Revolution.  There’s the book inspired by the thread of videos It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth LivingAnd be sure to check out our own YouTube page.

I’ll leave you with a recent video that I think just really sums up what YouTube is all about.  Here’s Beyoncé‘s Single Ladies video mashed up with the theme song to Duck Tales.  Enjoy!  And Happy Birthday YouTube!

Week of Geek: Happy Geek Pride Day!

by  | Category: It's here!, Pop Culture, Randomness, Reading Lounge, Super Fan
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VPS Geek Pride Day Photo

Did you guys know there’s such a thing as Geek Pride Day!  It’s true!

And guess what today happens to be? IT’S GEEK PRIDE DAY!

If you didn’t know, I don’t blame you in the least.  This is still a relatively new ‘holiday’.  It began in Spain in 2006 and, as things often do, the idea spread around the internet.  May 25th was chosen because it commemorates the release date in 1977 of Star Wars, and because that day is also ‘Towel Day’ for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans AND the Glorious 25th of May for Discworld fans.  It’s just a good fan day.

geek pride i 01 Photo

So in honor of the occasion, and all things geek, which, I’m sure regular readers have noticed, is kind of a thing with me smile face icon , I’ve put together a list of books that properly encapsulates not just what this identity means for the individuals who claim it, but also how it’s risen to pop culture dominance in a few decades and why it speaks to so many people.  So let’s get reading!

cover imageFor those living the Geek Lifestyle, or would like an introduction to what all the fuss is about, there’s a few great selections to try.  There’s Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture, which offers the best quotes and philosophical leanings of our favorite books, TV shows, Movies, etc.  There’s also The Geek Handbook: Practical Skills and Advice for the Likable Modern Geek.  This one covers the rise of the geeks, some famous representatives, and offers advice on how to navigate the real world.  Then there’s Nerd Haiku, which looks at all the core elements of nerd culture through about 200 poems, with three lines and 17 syllables apiece.  Here’s a couple of my favorites…

Red Skull is Elrond

is Mr. Smith.  What thread is

This Hugo Weaving?


I can’t help you move

No, my car’s totally fine.

Star Trek marathon.

Try writing one of your own, it’s fun!  Just remember, 5 syllables, then 7, then 5.

Back to the books.  For an interesting social experiment, try Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, where the author spends eighth grade following the advice of a 1950s guide to popularity, with surprising results.  There’s the amazing book The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School, about how fringe groups in high school often go on to do amazing things.  Finally, for one of my favorite examples of someone who’s made a living out of pursuing his passions, give Nerd Do Well: A Small Boys Journey to Becoming a Big Kid by Simon Pegg a read.  Yes, THAT Simon Pegg.

cover imageFor Geek Fiction, there’s the book of short stories called Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd.  This collects stories from many famous authors about the trials and tribulations of many different types of geeks (0ne of my favorite stories is of a Jedi hooking up with a Klingon at a Sci Fi convention *GASP*)  Of course, there’s also the hit Rainbow Rowell book Fangirl.  I’ve already spoken a lot about that book on this site (as have many of our teen book reviewers), so suffice it to say, it’s awesome!  There’s Geek: A Fantasy Novel, where our science-geek hero gets caught up in magic.  In Real Life is a graphic novel about a gamer who realizes that the game she plays online has real-world, social consequences.  And in The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, two outsiders find each other and change one-another’s perspectives on life.

cover imageFor Geek Girls, who have been on the rise just as much as geek culture as a whole, we’ve got things just from your perspective.  The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Geek Girls features advice for everything from starting online communities to supporting your sisters in nerddom.  There’s Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks and Other Misfits are Taking Over The World and She’s Such a Geek: Women Write about Science, Technology and Other Nerdy Stuff.  And, just ’cause it’s awesome, there’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman.

cover imageAnd for all you crafty geeks, there’s stuff for you too.  In World of Geekcraft: Step-By-Step Instructions for 25 Super-Cool Craft Projects you’ll learn how to make such cool things as Super Mario Cross stitch and Star Wars terrariums.  And speaking of Star Wars there’s The Star Wars Craft Book, with projects for beginners to advanced.  If you want to wear all of your wonderful, wonderful tech then check out Fashion Geek.  There’s Vampire Knits to keep all our would-be denizens of the night warm.  You can make your own army of undead with Zombie Felties.  And the Steampunks, my gosh, the SteampunksSo many books for that.

So do your favorite geeky thing today.  Watch some favorite movies, favorite TV shows, surf favorite websites, play favorite games, read favorite books.  Visit a comic book store, a book store, a gaming store, go see a movie, wherever your interests may take you.  Be sure to check out Beth’s post on all the conventions coming up this summer (’tis the season).  Whatever you geek out about the most, and it could be anything at all, try pursuing it and see where it goes.

And since some music and a few laughs is definitely in order today, I’ll leave you with a few videos from The Hillywood Show, fine lampooners of fandom staples.

Geek out everyone!  And until next time, End of Line.


by  | Category: Randomness, What's Going On
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spark of vivacity

Hey guys,

Sooo, a little bird told me that the Maple Library has a few openings for teens to volunteer in the Tech Savvy (aka. Beyond the Basics) program.  How this program works is that you – the teen – would be matched with an adult learner to meet with one-on-one and teach them how to use various types of social networking and other ‘new’ online activities (such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube).

techLooks good on a resume and is a fun experience – kinda nice having the tables turned and being the teacher instead of the student! =)

Anywho, if you’re interested, please fill out the application and hand it in at Maple Library.

If this program sounds like something you’d be keen on but you don’t live in or near Maple, this program is also run at Dufferin Clark, Bathurst Clark, Pierre Berton, and Woodbridge Library – so go ahead and talk to your your librarian at one of those other locations.


by  | Category: Pop Culture, Randomness, What's Going On
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spark of vivacity

That’s right – TOMORROW!!!!!  

Teens of Vaughan, you have ONE more day to give us a shout and pre-register for the FREE after-hours movie night at the library!!!

On Friday, May 1st, starting at 6:30pm, both Bathurst Clark and Maple Library will be hosting a private, after-hours showing of Mockingjay pt. 1.
The movie will be projected on our theatre-style screen, and we’ll even provide some (FREE) snacks and drinks – and feel free to bring your own munchies, too!

Space is limited, so you HAVE TO PRE-REGISTER!!!!

To pre-register, you can either come in person to the Information Desk next time you’re at Maple or Bathurst Clark Resource Library
Or Call us at 905-653-7323 (and tell the operator you want to talk to Maple or Bathurst Clark – Information)
Or Email myself or Alexandra with your name, age, and phone number (so we can give you a reminder call)

Mockingjay pt 1