Stanley Park Rose Garden Path

Stanley Park Rose Garden

Stroll along the paths and take in the aroma of dozens of blooming flowers in the Rose Garden in Stanley Park. While summer is nearly over, it’s not too late to enjoy the colour, depth and selection of the roses, whatever the time of year may be. A collection of photos over the years are available for viewing on Gallery.

Interurban car 1207

A look back at the interurbans

Even though the Downtown Historic Railway is out-of-service, you can still experience the heritage interurbans online. Browse through pictures and brush-up on the routes these versatile rail cars took on their journeys through the Lower Mainland.

Anime Conventions

What is an anime convention?

Curious about what goes on at an anime convention? Ever wondered why people wear costumes to these events? Where can I find one that’s nearest to me? It’s my first time, what do I need to bring? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the all about anime conventions and the convention checklist articles.


Little Qualicum Fish Hatchery from a lazy Saturday afternoon

You can tell it’s fall. The days are a little shorter, the trees start changing colour and the adult salmon have returned to the rivers. The Little Qualicum Fish Hatchery in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island provides an excellent opportunity to watch coho, chinook and chum salmon battle for the best spots in the rocky recesses of the spawning channels. While there’s a lot of activity, the cycle of life is quite evident in the water.

Leafy-lined trails that wind between the river and spawning channels offer views of other local wildlife, including birds and the occasional bear.

For directions to the Little Qualicum Fish Hatchery, operating hours and database on the salmon, visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada web site. If you want to see the salmon, now is the best time to go!

Salmon in the spawning channel A crayfish scurries among the rocks in the spawning channel Little Qualicum River
A robin rests in a tree. Salmon swim up the shallow waters of the Little Qualicum River A large salmon splashes in the spawning channel
If this fish was any further out of the water, he'd need legs! Spawning channel Crows feast on some fresh salmon sashimi

More photos are available on Gallery.

The Last: Naruto the Movie on Blu-ray and DVD

The Last: Naruto the Movie

The Last: Naruto the Movie Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

For those that missed the theatrical release of The Last: Naruto the Movie can finally take the action home on DVD or Blu-ray. The seventh film in the Naruto animated series goes on sale Tuesday, October 6th, 2015.

The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack shows the film in 1080p high-definition format with the original Japanese audio and English subtitles and English-dubbed audio. Extras include trailers, commercials, promotional videos, art gallery and separate colour booklet. In the DVD edition, the feature-length film is displayed in 16:9 widescreen format with the original Japanese audio and English subtitles and English-dubbed audio. Extras include teaser trailers, commercials and promotional videos. The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack has a suggested retail price of $37.48 CAD ($29.99 USD) while the DVD-only version goes for $24.98 CAD ($19.98 USD).

In the years following climactic battle between Naruto and Sasuke, things have begun to return to normal. As a winter festival comes closer, the village is excited to begin the celebrations. A harbinger arrives and announces that the ninja world is under threat once again, but this time by a celestial menace: the moon. With time running out, a grown-up Naruto will need to team up with his friends to stop the evil and prevent the moon from wreaking chaos on an already fragile planet.

The only North American showing of The Last: Naruto the Movie was in US theatres February 2015; theatres in Canada were not included in this screening.

Source: Viz Media

The Blood Moon

Super Moon

The moon rises over a crane in North Vancouver.

A unique cosmic event occurred on Sunday evening – a super moon combined with a lunar eclipse creating a rare red moon. While red moons are perceived to be harbingers of cataclysm or creation of alternate dimensions, they’re perfect for a few hours of picture-taking.

Hunkered down on the promenade outside the Lonsdale Quay Market in North Vancouver, a friend an I did just that, snapping away on our cameras for few extended exposures. I regret not bringing the good tripod as I later noticed many of my photos had some movement in them which destroyed the delicate details of the lunar surface.

I still managed to come away with a few good images; so here they are.

Naruto volume 72

Naruto volume 72

Naruto volume 72

This is it, the final chapters of the Naruto manga. Peace has returned at last to the shinobi world… or has it? Kaguya is defeated, but Sasuke isn’t satisfied. He wants to bring the world under his influence and impose his ideals. However, Naruto won’t let his old team mate have his way, especially after all they’ve been through. Will Naruto persuade Sasuke from following through with his scheme?

The last volume of Naruto, number 72, will be available for purchase on October 6th, 2015.

TransLink moving to one zone fares for all bus travel

On October 5th, 2015 all TransLink buses and HandyDART vehicles across Metro Vancouver will change to a one zone fare. Any bus rides that cross fare zone boundaries (e.g. Burnaby into Vancouver) will only be the cost of a one zone ticket; two and three-zone fares will not be required to ride a bus anymore. This includes fares purchased from machines at a station or on a bus, FareSavers, monthly passes and Compass cards.

Fares for SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express are not affected by this and remain unchanged. Bus travel that includes connections to SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express will require additional fare based on zones travelled.

  • Taking the bus only?
    One zone fare needed, regardless of the day or time.
  • Taking SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express only?
    One, two or three zone fare needed based on zones being crossed from start of service through to 6:30 PM on weekdays. On weekdays after 6:30 pm and all day Saturday, Sunday and statutory holidays, only a one zone fare is needed.
  • Taking the bus and transferring to SkyTrain or SeaBus?
    One, two or three zone fare needed for SkyTrain and SeaBus travel based on zones being crossed from start of service through to 6:30 PM on weekdays. On weekdays after 6:30 pm and all day Saturday, Sunday and statutory holidays, only a one zone fare is needed.

TransLink operates on a multi-zone fare structure where fares are sold based on distance travelled. Fares purchased in a station or on a bus have a 90 minute travel time (excluding the DayPass and Monthly Pass).

TransLink Fare Zone Map

A current map of TransLink’s fare zones. Source: TransLink.

Further information including fare prices and some commonly asked questions can be found on the TransLink web site.

Mega Man Legends soon to be available in North American PlayStation Store

Mega Man Legends promo artwork

Promotional artwork from Mega Man Legends.

First it was the Misadventures of Tron Bonne, now Capcom is bringing Mega Man Legends to the North American PlayStation Store. On Tuesday, September 29th, fans will be able to enjoy the first 3D Mega Man game for the low price of $9.99.

In the distant future, Mega Man Volnutt, a digger, explores the flooded Earth with his friend Roll Caskett and her grandfather Barrel Caskett looking for treasure buried in the remaining islands. After crashing on an island, Mega Man finds himself going against a family of pirates named the Bonnes: Tron Bonne, Teasel Bonne and Bon Bonne. They’re both looking for the same ultimate treasure, an energy crystal that can generate infinite amounts of power and worth a fortune. Not only will Mega Man have to fight off the robots defending the island’s treasures, but also stop the destruction caused by the Bonnes in their search for the treasure.

Mega Man Legends was originally available on the PlayStation in 1999, and then ported to the Nintendo 64 as Mega Man 64 in 2001.

Source: Capcom

Square Enix reveals Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue for PS4

It’s not quite Kingdom Hearts III, but Square Enix has unveiled the latest addition to series for the PlayStation 4 as Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. The naming follows suit of previous remastered versions of games in the Kingdom Hearts universe.

This title gives the high definition treatment to Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, with visuals from Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, and a new playable short-story named Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue has an anticipated launch date in 2016.

Source: Kingdom Hearts Insider

Attack on Titan movies coming to Canadian theatres

The live-action film Attack on Titan films are coming to Cineplex theatres across Canada this October. The movies are screening at select Cineplex locations for two days only with Attack on Titan – Part 1 on Monday, October 5th and Attack on Titan – Part 2 on Thursday, October 22nd.

Attack on Titan – Part 1 opened in Japan on August 1st, with Part 2 scheduled for September 19th. A special showing of Part 1 was held at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, California on July 14th. American theatres will be showing the first film on September 30th, October 1st, and 7th with the second film on October 20th, 22nd, and 27th according to the US web site.

Much of the human population has been decimated by roving groups of the giant human-like titans that devour men, women and children indiscriminately. Forced to live behind massive stone walls to protect against these attacks, what’s left of the humans try to return to normal life. All that changes upon the arrival of the colossal titan whom damages a portion of the wall allowing the other titans to enter and feast upon the frightened mortals. Relying on the military to protect the civilization, Eren Jaeger and his friends fight to stop the giants before they take away all that’s precious to them.

Toho Co. Ltd. produced the films and distributed them in Japan; FUNimation acquired the distribution rights for North America.

Attack on Titan – Part 1 and Part 2 are based on Hajime Isayama’s popular manga which has also been turned into an anime series.

Apple Festival returns to the UBC Botanical Gardens October 2015

Salish Apples

Bags of Salish apples for sale at the Apple Festival.

If you love apples (the edible kind, not the technology company), then the Apple Festival at the UBC Botanical Gardens is for you. Between the hours of 11:00 am and 4:00 pm on Saturday, October 17th and Sunday, October 18th, you can purchase bags of the crisp fruit, trees, and other apple-related treats.

But these aren’t just your regular Granny Smiths. Over 70 different varieties will be available, with some in limited quantities. While a list of cultivars for this year won’t be posted until October, some of the ones served up last year included Ambrosia, Bramley’s Seedling, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Grimes Golden, and Salish.

There will be a tasting tent to sample an array of some 60 different apples; there’s a separate $5.00 admission to enter. Other free events include educational demonstrations, a food and craft fair, live music and children-friendly activities.

Admission is $4, or free for those aged 12 and under, and gets you access to the event and the botanical gardens. There is no parking at the gardens, but there will be shuttle buses running to and from the West Parkade on campus.

For more information, visit the UBC Botanical Garden web site.

The Oathkeeper keyblade from Kingdom Hearts forged into reality

The team at MAN AT ARMS: REFORGED have done it again! By popular demand, they have recreated another keyblade from the Kingdom Hearts video game series: the Oathkeeper.

A complex and visually impractical weapon (in reality at least), the Oathkeeper is just one of many keyblades in Sora’s arsenal. Formed after Kairi presents him with a memento, the blade is meant to signify the friendship the two share.

In this episode of Man At Arms: Reforged, the folks from Baltimore Knife and Sword have taken the time and effort to duplicate this intricate design. The video documents the whole process of the Oathkeeper: from design to destruction… of innocent melons and water bottles. This isn’t a cheap replica; it’s a sturdy, beautiful reproduction.

Source: YouTube

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