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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Daily Planet’s Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin pick their top toys of 2016

Like Christmas arriving every year, so too does Daily Planet‘s “High-Tech Toys” week. Airing next Monday to Friday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada, the five days spotlight the outrageous, mind-blowing and exciting gadgets and gear of the year.

Yes, the Transformer Car, Teal High-Speed Drone, Climball and PancakeBot all look cool—and will be featured next week—but how do they rank with Daily Planet co-hosts Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin? And what are their other favourite toys of 2016? Note: there are only 24 days left to shop for them, so get moving!

ziyaZiya Tong
Boombox Painting: There’s nothing better than being able to combine art, music and technology, and all three come together perfectly in the Boombox Painting. So what is it? Well, at first glance it looks like a painting of an old school boombox—framed and everything—but the surprise is that the speakers are real! The company, Case of Bass, designed a shadowbox that contains all the gear so that the painting becomes a functioning speaker system that plays music via Bluetooth. Probably the best way to describe the aesthetic is that it’s super retro-futuristic.

Climball: I love the Climball because I often have to get tricked into doing exercise, and this is one very clever way to do it. Basically, it turns you and your game partner into a human version of the game Pong. The climbing wall tracks your movements and projects a virtual ball right on to the wall so that you compete against another player. It blends gaming and sport and certainly takes climbing indoors to a whole other level.

RC Surfer: I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of RC cars and RC planes, but one thing you may not have seen is an RC surfer. At just over 30 centimetres tall, the board and rider are perfect for the tiny waves that lap along the beach shore. Riding along the beach breaks however, the tiny surfer looks like it’s cruising through massive barrels. With a hollow design, the board automatically rights itself, allowing you to rock it like you’re in Point Break, without any of the wipeouts.

Flybrix Lego Drone: Like most kids, I grew up with Lego, and year after year I’m amazed by what these little blocks are able to create. And in keeping with the times, Lego has come up with a “make your own drone kit.” Connected via the Flybrix Bluetooth Flight Control App, now you can customize your own mini-drone and watch your ideas literally come to life, and take flight.

LeTrons Antimon: Leaping right out of the pages of comic books, the LeTrons Antimon is a real-life Transformer car. On the outside, it looks like a BMW 3-series, but the car can stand upright like an Optimus Prime! In its standing position, the “car” is able to move its robotic arms, fingers and even turn its neck and head. The future is really here friends, and on “High Tech Toys” week, we promise you’ll get more than meets the eye.

danDan Riskin
The Teal High-Speed Drone: It’s a quadcopter drone like you’ve seen all over the place by now, but this one is, (A) fast—like 120 kph fast—and, (B) open to developers who want to put their own spin on it. The folks at Teal envision an app store where developers share different ideas about how to make this drone hardware interact with games, utilities, and more. This high-tech toy isn’t out yet, but we’re watching this team make it happen.

Chariot Skates: These are like rollerblades, but bigger. Each skate has a giant wheel in front (as high as your knee) that rolls on the outside of your foot while you move. That allows your skates to handle rough terrain in a way no other skate possibly could. It also means more dynamic stability from rotational momentum, and thus a very different feel. I’m looking forward to trying these on this year. Bets are in on whether the fracture will be tibial or femoral.

PancakeBot: Pancakes are perfect, but now they can be “perfecter.” This Norwegian invention takes pancake batter as ink, extrudes it through an arm, and onto a hot grill. The result is pancakes shaped like the Eiffel Tower or really anything you want. In fact, you can even use your kids’ drawings as templates! You could even make a picture of a mandrake with a headache performing a jailbreak to get to a clambake on your pancake!

SeaXplorer: It’s an icebreaking luxury yacht from Damen in the Netherlands. The idea is to make even more of the world accessible than what those other billionaires get to see. This thing can take you from the North pole to the tropics to the South pole, and give you every opportunity to explore along the way. It’s fully equipped with SCUBA gear, small excursion watercraft, and more. This thing even has two helicopter landing pads, so if you and your significant other can’t agree which glacier to heli-ski from, you won’t have to bicker. (Helicopters not included.)

e-Go aeroplanes: This takes it up a notch—a personal one-seater mini-airplane. It’s like the “Mini Cooper” of airplanes. A propeller on the back pushes your carbon-fibre craft through the air with grace, but with enough punch to let you do a flip or two as well. Then when you land, the wings and canard come off so you can fit this thing in your garage. It’s perfect for supervillains, superheroes, and Daily Planet co-hosts. (Are you listening, Santa?)

Which of the toys Dan and Ziya have chosen would you like to see under your tree on Christmas Day? Comment below!

Daily Planet‘s “High Tech Toys” Week airs Monday, Dec. 5, through Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

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Gusto Worldwide Media casting for brand-new food series

From a media release:

Gusto Worldwide Media is looking for Canada’s next culinary superstars. Whether you’re a professional chef, inspired home cook or a passionate foodie, show us your skills and personality! Gusto Worldwide Media will be producing shows non-stop in 2017 and we’re looking for a variety of talent: bakers, globally inspired cooks or a fun personality who can host a dinner party show. But hurry, this open casting call will close on December 17th.

We want to hear from you if:

  • You’re a foodie
  • You know how to cook. Really, really cook
  • You have a BIG, fun personality
  • You specialize in a global cuisine (Korean, Cantonese, Schezuan, Greek, Caribbean, Lebanese, Moroccan, Turkish – just to name a few!)
  • Baking is your life

Culinary hopefuls are encouraged to submit a one to two minute video – don’t worry about the production, lighting or editing – to http://www.gustotv.com/casting-call-are-you-canadas-next-culinary-superstar/ .

Set up your phone in the kitchen, hit record and prove that you’re the best at what you do! Tell us about your background, your passion and why you would make the best Gusto star.  Tell us what makes you the right person to make Kimchi simple or Baklava achievable. Can you teach Canadians the tricks to great Greek cuisine? This is an opportunity of a lifetime – don’t miss out!

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Ransom joins Global’s midseason lineup on Jan. 1

From a media release:

Global jumpstarts the new year with high stakes and high drama as the network announces new original suspense drama Ransom joins its midseason schedule, premiering on Sunday, January 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT. Airing in simulcast with CBS in the US, the 13-episode procedural settles into its regular timeslot beginning Saturday, January 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global. From leading independent studio Entertainment One (eOne), Wildcats Productions and Sienna Films, Ransom is executive produced by Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winner Frank Spotnitz (The X-FilesThe Man in the High Castlethrough his company Big Light Productions, and stars Luke Roberts (Wolf HallGame of Thrones), as Eric Beaumont, a crisis and hostage negotiator whose team is brought in to save lives when no one else can. Along with CBS in the US, the procedural drama will also air on France’s TF1 and Germany’s RTL.

Ransom’s premiere episode begins with Eric Beaumont (Luke Roberts) bringing on a new team member, Maxine Carlson (Sarah Greene, Penny Dreadful, Burnt), who is eager to prove herself as an aspiring investigator. But Eric’s trusted team, psych-profiler Oliver Yates (Brandon Jay McLaren, GracelandThe Killing) and ex-cop Zara Hallam (Nazneen Contractor,Heroes RebornCovert Affairs), have doubts about their possible new member. And a dangerous secret from Maxine’s past may pose a threat that even the great Eric Beaumont is unable to resolve.

Ransom is inspired by the professional experiences of distinguished crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert, who along with partner, Marwan Mery, are considered to be among the top negotiators in the world. Today, they travel around the globe to help multinational corporations and governmental agencies with complex negotiations and conflict resolution.

Ransom is created by David Vainola (DiamondsCombat Hospital) and Frank Spotnitz (The X-FilesThe Man in the High Castle). The series is executive produced by Spotnitz, Valerie Pechels and Odile McDonald of Wildcats Productions, Jocelyn Hamilton of eOne, and Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny via their Sienna Films banner. Ransom is a Canada-France co-production and is co-developed by TF1 and Corus Entertainment Inc., with the participation of the Centre National du Cinema et de l’Image Animé in France as well as Canada Media Fund, and will be produced with the financial assistance of the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

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Things get Under’hand’ed in Mohawk Girls!

This week’s episode of Mohawk Girls is jam-packed, so I apologize now for the length of this recap. However,  whilst depicting a celebration this episode actually deals with a very serious and ongoing contentious issue. So, first a bit of background before we get to the “meat” of it (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

The title of this week’s episode “Marry Out Get Out” refers to a  band policy that still exists in Kahnawa:ke. In short, since 2010 if a band member of Kahnawa:ke marries someone who is non-Indigenous, they face eviction. The motivation behind this policy is to ensure that the Mohawk bloodline does not die out and it also prevents the non-Indigenous from taking advantage of tax exemptions afforded to those of Indigenous heritage. This summer, this issue gained public notice in the news, coinciding with the filming of this current season. Members of the community are understandably divided on this issue, since as we all know, sometimes you cannot help who you fall in love with, as is/has been the case with our fab four.

With all of that in mind, we begin this week with Watio (Jimmy Blais) and  Bailey (Jenny Pudavick) clashing heads once again. Both of them are feeling pressured to be people that they aren’t. Compromises seem to require  more and more work for these two.  Bailey did manage to snag a good Mohawk man but, she is still second guessing herself. Is she compromising a happy future, just to ensure she marries Mohawk?

The Marry Out Get Out policy also overshadows the scenes featuring Caitlin (Heather White) and Leon (Dwain Murphy). Team Cailon go shopping for an engagement gift for Bailey and Watio, but conversation quickly revisits the argument Caitlin had last week with her father (Lawrence Bayne). She explains the pressures she is facing culturally and socially because they are a mixed-race couple. Leon completely gets it and we can cue the adorable #Cailon moments again. Seriously, who finds a guy as amazing as Leon?

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Heather White and Dwain Murphy run lines in prep for their next scene
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Caitlin (Heather) and Leon (Dwain) purchase an engagement gift for Bailey and Watio

The heartbreak this policy causes is showcased with Anna’s (Maika Harper) scenes. She attends the eviction protest in support of those in favour of the Marry Out Get Out contingent. (Did everyone catch that the protest was at co-creator/co-director Tracey Deer’s “house”?). But her heart is clearly not in it. Her own parents faced this same dilemma which has led to Anna not fully fitting in in Kahnawa:ke.

Now we know Mohawk Girls can’t be entirely serious when we have the physical comic talents of Brittany LeBorgne playing Zoe.  Tonight, Zoe has clearly fallen off her sex addiction wagon. The threat of losing the thrill that dom Henry (Marc Trottier) provides proves too much to bear. Zoe scrambles for forgiveness but now she is more tightly bound—heh get it? bound—to Henry. Anyway, Henry issues his order and despite its interference with her campaigning,  Zoe follows through. LOL Brittany hun! That is a big standing “O” for the bar scene with Ohserase (Shawn Youngchief). You two went for it and delivered!

Finally, all of our ladies show up at the engagement party and life  for Caitlin gets even more complicated. Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother) turns up his interest a notch, and even steals a kiss from unsuspecting Caitlin. Talk about confusing! And we get a great scene with Sose (Glenn Gould); I wish we had more Sose this season! He is one of my fave characters! He lets Anna know how disappointed he is in her and she leaves in tears. Is this finally the sense that Anna needs?

OK everyone, we only have two episodes left! What do you think is in store for us? Are Bailey and Watio actually going to get married? Will Zoe get elected chief? And what the heck is Caitlin going to do about Butterhead and Leon? Let me know in the comments below!

Mohawk Girls can be seen Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on APTN. If you happen to miss the episode you can catch up here.

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