Get the pan on the stove!

Gordon Ramsay and his vulgar culinary style are back for another season of Hell’s Kitchen on FOX (or Global if you’re in Canada).  The hit reality TV series features a group of chefs, under the watchful eye of the foul-mouthed Ramsay, vying for a top kitchen position in an upscale restaurant is now in its sixth season. The new season starts on Tuesday, July 21st and has been moved to a new time slot of 8:00 PM PT/7:00 PM CT on Tuesday instead of Thursday.

Anime Evolution 2009

A recap of Anime Evolution 2009 from June 12th to 14th at the Vancouver Convention Centre in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. Pictures are now available on Gallery.

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The Convention Checklist

Never been to an anime convention before? Unsure of what you’ll need? Or are you a returning otaku and need a final check list before going out? We got you covered.

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New Zelda

Zelda Promo

Zelda Promo

Nintendo’s revered game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, unveiled a concept drawing of the next Legend of Zelda game in the works for Wii. The image is that of Link standing with his back against an unknown character. No name has been mentioned for this game and neither has a release date.

Anime Evolution 2009 (preview)

Vancouver Convention Centre

Vancouver Convention Centre

With just under a week left, Anime Evolution is getting ready for its seventh year and its first time being held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Instead of being held under the famous white sails of Canada Place, anime fans get to strut their stuff in the new $883.2 million expansion just west of the existing facility.

The convention is being held June 12th – 14th and is expected to draw in close to 5,000 fans. Con-goers who have pre-registered can stop by Thursday from 4 PM to 9 PM to pick up their badges. For those who missed pre-registration, or care to pay up front, will be able to visit registration between the 8 AM to 9 PM on Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM on Saturday, and 8 AM to 2 PM on Sunday. Prices are available on the Anime Evolution web site.

Come on down and party all weekend while taking in the sights and sounds as throngs of anime fans take over Vancouver’s waterfront. See you there!

Project Natal

E3 is a gamers heaven: for three days each year, the video game industry comes together to show off what they’ve been working on. This year, Microsoft unveiled “Project Natal” — a camera that detects motion, facial expression, voices and more, for the Xbox 360. Instead of the traditional hand-held controller, Project Natal is meant fully immerse the player into the game using a camera, depth sensor and microphone.

On stage, Microsoft’s Senior Vice President, Don Mattrick, joined acclaimed film director, Steven Spielberg, in showcasing the new device along with three games to demonstrate how the interaction works.

Ever since Nintendo changed direction with Wii, Sony and Microsoft have been looking at ways to improve the console gaming experience and lure in potential gamers. When Wii was launched, everyone in the family joined in from little Johnny to grandma since it was easy to pick up and offered a variety of easy to play games. Microsoft is looking to break down the walls that keep players sitting on the floor holding an Xbox 360 controller in their hand and get them up and moving, dodging bullets and reacting to a punch in the gut.

Interested developers will be receiving Project Natal development kits shortly, but no information on a release date or any major titles taking advantage of the technology were made available.

Naruto manga volume 45

Naruto vol. 45

Naruto vol. 45

The latest installation of the Naruto manga from Viz is set to hit shelves on Sunday, July 7th for 7.95 USD or 9.50 CAD.

The ongoing quest to find out more about the mysterious organization known as Akatsuki continues, and Jiraiya manages to uncover something about their leader. As the orange-clad ninja works to break the coded message Jiraiya left behind, will Naruto be able to stand up to Akatsuki?


Armitage station house

Armitage station house

Opened on June 1st, 1900 and located in Chicago’s trendy Lincoln Park neighbourhood, Armitage station was one of the first to serve the Northwestern Elevated Railroad. Originally named Center Street, the Armitage station house was designed by William Gibb. The street-level station house was based on the Classical Revival style; being constructed of brick and finished with an elegant terracotta trim. The platforms are wooden planks with edges capped off using blue plastic to enhance visibility when boarding or alighting trains. The platform canopies feature corrugated sheet metal roofs which cover a short section where the stairs and new elevators are located.

On the north end of the inbound platform is a former control tower that was used to manage the interlocking for the northern portal of the State Street subway. This interlocking is now controlled at a tower further up the line at the Clark Junction, where the Brown Line diverges from the Red and Purple Lines.

Armitage serves the Brown and Purple Express lines on the outer tracks, while Red line trains pass through without stopping on the centre tracks.

In 2006, work began on the Armitage station to enhance it for the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project. This project would give the station longer platforms to allow eight car trains, elevators, and an expanded station house for increased crowds during rush hours. Much of the station house’s original design was left unaltered and the interiors were replicated to give passengers the true feeling of days gone by.

Personally, this is one of my favourite stations (the other being the historic Quincy station) and is located in a beautiful neighbourhood. Stop by and take a look!

Armitage entrance sign Armitage platforms Armitage platform sign

Sources:, Chicago Transit Authority


Quincy station house

Quincy station house

Opened on September 3rd, 1897, the Quincy station stands over Quincy Street and Wells Avenue (formerly Fifth Avenue), just east of the Sears Tower. Quincy showcases how the ‘L’ system appeared back at the turn of the century when rapid transit was in its infancy. Unlike other stations in the Chicago Loop, Quincy was rebuilt with replicas of the original wood and tin panelling, lighting mounts, and signage. Of course, the station features modern amenities such as turnstiles, fare card machines and digital marquees, which all fits nicely into the magnificent character of the structure.

The platform canopies feature corrugated metal roofs with decorative supporting posts. Along the fences guarding the platform edges, there are period advertisements and maps of the ‘L’ system. The lighting fixtures are not originals, but are shaped like canes and alternate with newer box-shaped mounts to provide illumination.

The station serves the Brown Line on the outbound (western) platform, while Pink, Purple and Orange Line trains are served on the inbound (eastern) platform.

All in all, it’s a very beautiful station and perfect for the history buff who’s curious to take a trip back in time on this bustling metropolitan transit system.

Quincy is one of my favourite stations along with Armitage up in Lincoln Park. Stop by and take a look!

Quincy platforms Quincy platform advertisements Quincy platform sign

Sources:, Chicago Transit Authority

High-speed rail from Portland to Vancouver

The reality of high-speed rail between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland, Oregon is arriving at the next station.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Portland Mayor Sam Adams signed an agreement that would allow them apply for additional funding from the United States government so the infrastructure can be upgraded.
However, the Canadian government is looking to charge Amtrak an extra $1,500 CAD a day for running a second train between the two cities. Vancouver City Council wants the government to drop this fee on the rail provider as it could implicate the addition of another train.

The two mayors believe this upgrade will bring improved economic and environmental benefits to the communities along the line, plus not to mention cutting the trip from Vancouver to Seattle to two hours down from four. However, the upgrades and service additions are in the planning stages and will take a few years before being implemented.

Source: News1130

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