Archives of Weekly Favorites

March 24, 2013
Miriodor's "La Roche"
Here is a great clip, courtesy of Pascal Globensky, featuring Miriodor at La Maison Française in Washington DC, on Saturday, September 25, 2010, playing the track La Roche from their album Avanti!, as they were the opening act for RIO legends Univers Zéro.

Latest news from the Miriodor folks (back again to a trio format, comprized of Pascal Globensky, Bernard Falaise and Rémi Leclerc) is that they are currently working on their 8th studio album, with an optimistic release date of September 2013. They also plan several live dates to support the launch of that upcoming album.

February 16, 2013
Freak Lunchbox!
What a name! And what joy to disover this great little candy store on St-Laurent Boulevard near Des Pins!

The Freak Lunchbox Confectionery Funhouse was founded in 2001 in Halifax, NS, and has stores in Newfoundland and Alberta and about a year ago, opened a new store in Montreal on the Main! Freak Lunchbox searches the world to find the weirdest, newest and hippest candy and pop culture items on the market. They also whip up custom, thick, amazing milkshakes (seasonal).

Basic prices for most of the candy is $1.89 per 100 gram. So for about $5, you can have a candy bag that will send your poor pancreas into overdrive! Among the classics are raspberry jellies, fudge tools, candy corn, gummy bears of all imaginable flavors, and of course, the most delicious jelly belly jelly beans (a bit more pricey for those). A great variety of exotic, bizzare, fun candies that we used to buy at the penny candy counter at our local dépanneur when we were kids, including Pop Rocks, Thrills gum and Jawbreakers! They also have tons of novelty store items including "bobbing-head" figurines, PEZ dispensers and classic-themed lunchboxes!

A great place to discover, you dentist may disagree!

Freak Lunchbox
3680 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montréal, Québec
H2X 2V4

January 11, 2013
An amazing YouTube clip...
A talented group of teens and tweens perform Dream Theater's Pull Me Under from Images and Words (1992). The young 11-year old singer Kala Scarpinski is breathtaking!

Hard to believe this song is already 21 years old, isn't it?

January 11, 2013
Free stuff! Adobe Creative Suite CS2
At the end of December, software giant Adobe has generously decided to give away a very popular suite of programs, the Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 (CS2), completely free of charge, fully functional and legitimate (serial numbers included).

Okay so this may not be the latest version of this highly popular suite of image editing and desktop publishing programs, (the current version is CS6) but this 9-year old suite of applications still features a full version of Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat Distiller, Illustrator and much more.

Adobe decided to simplify their support department by removing CS2 activation servers and online support. So instead of making it inaccessible, they decided to simply give it away, available to download from their site.

Being a graphic artist, I worked with CS2 for many years, and there is very little that this Suite cannot do compared to its latest incarnation, so for basic layout work and picture editing, this is absolutely perfect! And free! I don't know if this is permanent or if Adobe will eventually remove the program altogether, so you might want to get it while it's there.

The software is available in Macintosh PowerPC and PC versions at this address:
System requirement are as follows:
Mac OS X v.10.2.8–v.10.3.8. PowerPC G4 or G5 processor or up
Microsoft Windows 2000/Windows XP. Intel Pentium III or 4 processor or up

Even the audio editing program Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit Pro) is available free of charge. Technically, this link has been offered to owners of a CS2 license and lost your original disks or installer, but they're cool if you grab the program from their site.

Thank you Adobe, that is an extremely cool move!

December 30, 2012
A movie to see: Rebelle (War Witch)
As much as 2011 was a rather unremarkable year in cinema, it seems that the movie studios have redeemed themselves with a series of really good flicks in 2012, including Life of Pi, Argo, Skyfall, The Avengers, Lincoln, Flight, The Hobbit, Django Unchained and many more.

One film that caught my attention this year is Rebelle (War Witch). From Montreal director Kim Nguyen, Rebelle has now been officially selected as one of the 9 finalists in the category of best foreign picture at the Oscars. It's a drama that centers on a 12-year old African girl, abducted from her village and turned into a child soldier. The immensely talented Rachel Mwanza, in her first movie role, captures this poignant character with much emotion and dignity, giving a human face to the tragic nightmare of children turned into soulless soldiers in some African countries.

This movie has ended its regular run in theatres, but will soon be available on DVD, and rest assured that it will be probably be back on the big screen should it become part of the final Academy Award selections of 2012. A must see!

Available on DVD and BluRay starting January 8, 2013.
Québec - 2011 - 90 minutes - In French and Lingala, with English subtitles (13+ violence)

December 30, 2012
Restaurants: M Sur Masson
M sur Masson is one of those restaurants you'll fall in love with!

Located at 2876 Masson Street in Montreal, between 5th and 6th Avenue, right in front of the Saint-Esprit church, this lovely neighborhood bistro offers a fine menu created by renowned chef Alexandre Fortier, using products from Quebec

To whet your appetite, here is one of their splendid selections I had the pleasure of savouring: Boston Cod, poached in olive oil, served with kumquat marmelade, squash, potato/leek puree, fried leek and tumeric vinaigrette. Yum!

Affordable fine cuisine best describes this restaurant with its humble front window. Lunch menu varies from $12 to $30 and the dinner menu varies between $24 and $40. The wine list offers over 60 great selections.

A good dinner for two including wine and dessert, would run between $100 and $150, depending on wine selection, but truly worth every single penny!

Mon. to Fri. :11:30 AM to 5:30 PM for lunch
Mon. to Sat. :5:30 PM to 11:30 PM for dinner
Sunday: 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM for brunch

Reservations (recommended) at 514- 678-2999 or

December 30, 2012
Beer: Boréale IPA
This is truly my biggest "Favorites" discovery of the year, Boréale's new IPA.

Launched in April by Brasseurs du Nord as a beer-on-tap only, the Boréale IPA has been available in bottles, six-pack format, since late summer.

A surprizing beer, brewed in the traditional India Pale Ale method, this unfiltered ale is perfectly balanced between a fruity, spicy bitterness and a rich, hoppy flavor. And at 6.2% ABV, it competes readily in the taste and aroma department with the big name IPAs that are easily twice as expensive, it would be hard to find a better quality/price ratio!

The ideal beer to introduce yourself to the world of IPAs without knocking your taste buds out with extreme hoppiness, like the Simple Malt beers or Brasseurs du Monde's La Houblonnière. The presitgious website gives it a 93 rating, quite high for an IPA of that category.

This is a rich golden/copper-colored brew, almost clear and free of sediments, even though it's unfiltered, with a persistent frothy head. The alcohol flavor is well concealed by the delicate floral hops, and the spicy bitter aftertaste is well balanced between hops and malt.

Here's the description on Brasseurs du Nord 's website: "Our IPA is an amber-colored brew brimming with hops that will make your pallet discover the characteristic bitterness of hops, as much as its floral aromas. Upon tasting, this bitterness joins itself beautifully to the delicate malt flavors as well as the heat of the alcohol to give an overall complex and integrated beer. Furthermore, our India Pale Ale is unfiltered in order to maintain maximum flavor. 6.2% ABV, 50 IBU.

All-natural beer brewed from superior-quality ingredients : malted barley, hops, yeast and even more hops added in a final dry-hopping stage! Does not contain any coloring agents or preservatives.

The pronounced flavor and bitterness of this beer help to support and counter-balance heavily spiced, savory dishes. In addition to being a natural antiseptic, hops is also a well-known diuretic, meaning that it helps to eliminate excess fluids from the human body. Finally, the soporific properties of hops make it easy to enjoy and relax with a freshly poured Boréale IPA!"

The Boréale IPA is available at finer dépanneurs, where they have larger beer selections, and in some supermarkets, but you might have to dig a little to find it.

December 30, 2012
Top tech: Samsung Galaxy S III
This cool smartphone features one the best implementation of Android 4.0 so far. The specs of the Samsung Galaxy S III are impressive: fast dual core processor, 2GB RAM, a large HD screen, a sharp 8 MP camera, long battery life, blistering fast web surfing and great call quality. I'll give this one 4/5. As seen below, Samsung is really on a roll these days:
Technology: Smartphones - Samsung vs Nokia
For the first time in 14 years, wireless communications giant Nokia will not sit atop the global cellphone business on an annual basis at the end of 2012—with Samsung set to seize the mobile handset market’s top rank.

Samsung is expected to account for 29 percent of worldwide cellphone shipments, up from 24 percent in 2011, according to the IHS iSuppli Mobile and Wireless Communications Service at information and analytics provider IHS
(NYSE: IHS). Nokia’s share this year will drop to 24 percent, down from 30 percent last year.


RANK COMPANY 2011 2012
1 Samsung 24% 29%
2 Nokia 30% 24%
3 Apple 7% 10%

A dislodged Nokia will cause Samsung to rise to first place for the full year of 2012, up from the second rank in 2011, the first time the South Korean electronics titan will occupy the top on a yearly basis. Nokia will fall to the runner-up spot, the first time since 1998 it won’t be in peak position for overall cellphone shipments during a full calendar year.

“The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was ‘live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,’” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. “Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market—and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”

Global smartphone shipments are set to rise by 35.5 percent this year, while overall cellphone shipments will increase by approximately 1 percent. This rapid growth will propel 2012 smartphone penetration to 47 percent, up from 35 percent in 2011.

source: IHS iSuppli © 2012 Wayne Lam - For the entire story, visit this link.


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