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Gary Fuhrman "gnox" (Manitoulin Island)
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Planet Ant
Planet Ant
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 14.97
18 used & new from CDN$ 11.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from BBC Earth, May 20 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Planet Ant (DVD)
This BBC Earth DVD is a 90-minute exploration of the ant world, much of it based on a project that moved an entire colony of leaf-cutter ants to a lab set up in the UK to make it possible to see what they do undergound. It's an in-depth study of ant society, including the communication systems and the division of labor that enables these insects to do some remarkably intelligent things. Some of it is cutting-edge science, including the second part which shows how ant-inspired algorithms have been appllied to solving complex human transportation problems. It's a worthy addition to previous BBC series such as "Life in the Undergrowth." It shows there's a lot more to ants than meets the eye.

HAVIT HV-F2063 15.6"-17" Laptop Cooler Cooling Pad,Ultra-portable and Light Weight (4 Fans)
HAVIT HV-F2063 15.6"-17" Laptop Cooler Cooling Pad,Ultra-portable and Light Weight (4 Fans)
Offered by HAVIT-CA Shop
Price: CDN$ 35.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't compute without it!, May 20 2016
I'm not a gamer but spend several hours a day, on average, using my 17-in laptop on my lap. I lost my previous laptop to a heat-damaged CPU, although i did use a cooling device with it for some time. So this time i went for a better cooler, and this is it. It's well designed for maintaining airflow under and around the laptop, which doesn't slide around on it, and it's perfectly comfortable to use this way. I've had the Havit for a week now and never use the computer without it any more. It's light enough to carry anywhere, and seems durable enough that i expect it will outlast my computer (which is less than a year old).

This device is very quiet even with all four fans running full speed, so with only two running (which is what i usually do), it's barely noticeable. The HV draws its power via USB (it has two ports and one USB cable is supplied) from the computer, so it does drain the battery a bit faster if the laptop is not plugged in, but not fast enough to be a problem. On top of that it's very cool-looking, especially the blue lights that come on with the fans.I don't use the legs at the back which tilt the computer toward the user, but tha's another option for some users.

I'd say this device is well worth the money for anyone who uses a laptop literally!

This Changes Everything (Sous-titres français)
This Changes Everything (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Naomi Klein
Price: CDN$ 19.98
21 used & new from CDN$ 15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Hope growing in the cracks of our broken system, Jan. 19 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been looking forward to this film for months, and it does not disappoint. The product description above does a pretty good job of summarizing it, so i'll add my comments to that. First, it's not just a film of the book but a companion to it and a documentary that sustains its momentum with much more than talking heads and voice-overs (although they also play their part). Naomi Klein herself appears only rarely; this film documents not one person's theories but a global grassroots movement. The response to the climate change crisis is inevitably connected to struggles for social justice and "the environmentalism of the poor," because it seems the best we can hope for from government policy changes is that grassroots movements will force them to reverse the trend toward deregulation and corporate domination that has been an ongoing disaster both economically and ecologically. As Klein puts it, we need a better and more realistic story than the fantasy which has been dominant since the Industrial Revolution. It's not only the gospel of greed but the gospel of growth that has to be overcome if the quality of life is to improve for the 99%. Even Canada's new Liberal government, though a vast improvement for the environment, can't be trusted to improve their story on the economy until forced to do so by those of us ready to reclaim some control of our lives.

Fortunately the better story and the grassroots movements empowered by it have won some victories already, as we see in Germany, Greece and even Canada. It wouldn't be accurate to call this film "optimistic," but it does offer evidence that the transition is under way. It won't be easy, but we can do it. In Canada at least, First Nations are in the forefront of the movement, since their traditional lands are the most immediately threatened by the resource extraction industries that have a tight grip on most governments and economies.

The extras on the disc are substantial. they are mostly either outtakes or alternate takes from the film (i.e. the same visuals with a different voice-over), but definitely worth seeing to fill out the picture. (One of them is mistitled "Solar Warriors," but turns out to be just a part of the main film, and not about the solar energy developments run by the Lakota as shown in the film.). There's also an extended conversation between Avi Lewis, Naomi Klein and Alfonso Cuaron, whose advice apparently contributed greatly to making this a compelling film. The conversation is more about the politics and economics of the global situation than it is about the making of the film, and adds a significant perspective to it.

Even without the extras, though, this film is a must-see if you care about the quality of life at any level -- especially if you haven't read Klein's book (I've only read part of it myself). It won't make you an optimist, but it may well make you more of an activist by showing you what can be done by ordinary people.

Sunrise (1927) [Blu-ray + DVD]
Sunrise (1927) [Blu-ray + DVD]
DVD ~ George O'Brien
Offered by Kay's Movies
Price: CDN$ 17.99
18 used & new from CDN$ 14.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other reviewers have remarked what a fine film this is, Dec 29 2014
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Other reviewers have remarked what a fine film this is, so i'll add a few comments on this edition. We probably won't see a better restoration of this 1927 classic, since the negative was lost in a fire, and it's more than watchable on both Blu-ray and DVD. The Movietone version -- one of the first films produced with an actual soundtrack (music and sound effects, not dialogue) -- can also be viewed with a new score which sounds excellent and is musically at least as good as the original soundtrack. The European version (shorter and with no soundtrack) is also included. This new edition is worth the money.

Les Plages D'Agnes (The Beaches of Agnes) (Version française)
Les Plages D'Agnes (The Beaches of Agnes) (Version française)
DVD ~ Agnès Varda
Offered by polski_film
Price: CDN$ 3.92
12 used & new from CDN$ 3.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Varda retrospective, Dec 29 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Since "The Gleaners and I" was one of the best documentaries I've seen in recent years, with its wry humor, compassion and common sense, I thought I'd try this, though I wasn't sure it had English subtitles (it does). Very entertaining, and informative for its insights into the making of Varda's own films and those of her long-time partner Jacques Demy -- indeed for the history of independent film-making. Her camera is a highly original and intelligent eye.

NATURE: Fabulous Frogs [Blu-ray]
NATURE: Fabulous Frogs [Blu-ray]
Price: CDN$ 19.99
18 used & new from CDN$ 16.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Real frogs finally get their due, Oct. 8 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This PBS documentary is just an hour long and half of its content is recycled from earlier BBC Earth programs, but it's all edited seamlessly together, the cinematography is spectacular throughout, and David Attenborough does his usual superb job with the narration, especially in his use of fossils to show how these fascinating amphibians have evolved in their astonishing variety. Any frog fan should be happy with this!

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Offered by OZ Naturals Canada
Price: CDN$ 27.49
16 used & new from CDN$ 27.49


Animism
Animism
Offered by marvelio-ca
Price: CDN$ 15.50
23 used & new from CDN$ 15.50

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild voice, Sept. 1 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Animism (Audio CD)
Even for those familiar with Tanya Tagaq's first two albums will be astonished by this one. Although her first musical inspiration came from the Inuit throat-singing tradition, she has never limited herself to ethnic authenticity, preferring instead to express the visceral qualities of that tradition in original ways that could be called avant-garde. This new album takes us even deeper into the animal roots we humans all share, not only through powerful vocal performances (which reveal a startling range both of octaves and emotions), but also through production techniques that bring us such a seamless blend of subtle electronics, strings and voice that it sounds like a single unique and multidimensional instrument. That instrument speaks (wordlessly, for the most part) for the earth and the biosphere in its wild joy, its love and energy, and its agony (especially in the final track, "Fracking"). This is not easy-listening music, but it's not "difficult" either; not pop music, but something that should hit the popular culture close to home. For me it's already worth many, many listenings.

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Offered by On9mobile
Price: CDN$ 36.95
14 used & new from CDN$ 31.82

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh face in a bottle, Aug. 30 2014
After using up a vial of this anti-wrinkle serum, my wife is about to order another. It feels refreshing to apply, she reports, unlike any "cream" she's tried on her face, and the effect is visible even though she hasn't been following it up with a moisturizer as recommended in the directions for use. (I should mention that she's in her late fifties and does not use makeup.) According to the label it's 92% natural and 72% organic, but it feels 100% natural. It hasn't reversed the aging process, but does make it more enjoyable. Highly recommended for those who want to treat their aging faces naturally and effectively.

Discover New Worlds: Hidden Kingdoms [Blu-ray]
Discover New Worlds: Hidden Kingdoms [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Stephen Fry
Price: CDN$ 19.97
20 used & new from CDN$ 19.97

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High adventure on a small scale, July 10 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This three-hour series represents a bit of a new departure for BBC Earth. They've already taken spectacular high-definition cinematography of the natural world about as far as it can go, and this series certainly delivers in that respect. But they've also taken some techniques from fictional film-making to make the storytelling as dramatic as possible. First, they've chosen to tell day-in-the-life stories of individual young animals: an elephant shrew, a grasshopper mouse (who eats scorpions in the Arizona desert!), a chipmunk, a tree shrew; and in the third part, a marmoset in Rio de Janeiro and a rhinocerous beetle in Tokyo. Supporting characters include dung beetles, several lizards, and various predators trying to eat the stars. But the greatest achievement of this series is to present the action from the perspective of these tiny creatures.

To do this with maximum dramatic effect, the filmmakers use storyboarding, masterful editing, suspense-building narration by Stephen Fry, and some "special effects": no CGI, but some staged action shots against a blue screen background so the appropriate backgrounds can be filled in later. There's also a very dramatic musical score (which thankfully is not dubbed in too loud, as it often is in feature films). Each episode interleaves two main stories, usually switching from one to the other at a "cliffhanger" moment to keep up the suspense. The result should be very engaging for younger viewers, although there's plenty here that is new and interesting even for older folks like myself who have seen scores of nature documentaries. (My own favorite is the adventures of the "scorpion mouse".) Happily, the BBC producers have not oversentimentalized or anthropomorphized the creatures we see here -- except maybe by too many references to them as "heroes" or "superheroes", nor have they compromised their high standards of photography or accuracy. The raw brutality of nature is muted somewhat (all the stories have happy endings), but the series makes it easier to identify with the struggles of these miniature lives. The making-of extras also show how it was done.

What's lost in all this is the sense of context, the larger ecosystemic view that we get in a David Attenborough series, or in other BBC Earth productions such as Galapagos, Yellowstone etc. The sense of scientific discovery is also sacrificed somewhat to the demands of drama. But the series achieves very well what it sets out to do, without lowering the BBC Earth standards. It's not one of my personal favorites but I would highly recommend it, especially to families curious about the 'life in the undergrowth' which is all around us but usually unseen.

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