Saturday, June 20, 2009

I've loved you so long

I'd heard about this movie when reviewers were citing the incredible performance by Kristin Scott Thomas. She has always been impressive and I made a mental note to see it. I finally got the chance, and was wowed by the story and peformances of Thomas and the actor playing her sister, Elsa Zylberstein.

'I've loved you so long' (Il y a longtemps que je t'aime) is a beautifully written and directed portrayal of a woman just released from prison after 15 years. Juliette appears as a shell of herself, cautiously re-integrating into society and her own life. Thankfully, Lea, her younger sister has never forgotten nor given up on her, despite her horrible, heart-breaking crime.

The beauty of this story is the enduring love of a sister, the healing impact of this support and the ultimate re-emergence of a woman who'd been dealt a sorrowful choice to make. Thomas and Zylberstein are tremendous as they portray this reconnection after so long.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Marathon weekend with my pals Yasmin & Perry

A few pic's from Ottawa's Marathon weekend - May 23-24. It was spectacular spring weather and over 36,000 runners were there to take part in various runs leading up to the half and full marathons on Sunday.

Perry ran his very first marathon and did really well - very inspiring indeed!! Yasmin and I were the cheering section at both the 20 k and 41.25 k marks - here's Perry blasting past with just 750 m to go!

And here's Yasmin happily cheering him on - what a lot of prep went into this on both their parts!

Hugs to Yasmin & Perry for a wonderful birthday and time away and for allowing me to be part of this very momentous occasion.

Only drawback - I think I committed to running the 5 k with Yasmin next year... hmmm...

Have you heard the news?

It's interesting to be of an age that's in between those who live and breathe online and those who have an aversion to ever going there. Truth be told, many of my contemporaries who are not compelled to be online for work or in order to communicate with their kids, aren't there either.

I've lately found myself discussing the pros and cons of social media with friends and siblings. My sister is resisting the requests of her 12-year-old to have a Facebook account for fear of cyberbullying and security risks. My old university room mate has no interest at all in anything beyond using her work email and Blackberry for her job. Many friends are reluctantly on Facebook to be current, but fear they'll be sucked into an inane loss of time should they embrace Twitter.

And while ubiquitous media reports either celebrate the power and reach of social media or project the demise of Facebook first and now Twitter, the digital landscape continues to evolve in some pretty interesting directions. And the key is the power to provide or access instantaneous links to current and relevant news, articles, video, images etc. from a wealth of sources across the world.

The best ways I've been able to explain why some of it works for me include:

- Personal blogs (mine and those of others) have kept me in touch with friends, especially those back in BC, since I left almost three years ago. Blogging also provides a creative outlet including the ability to aggregate photos, video, web links etc.
- Professional blogs in the areas of news, media, marketing and communications provide indepth, current insight from experts in their fields
- Facebook offers the ability to keep up on daily details in friends' lives, in addition to being aware of, and able to engage in, political, charitable and professional issues, trends and news (
- Twitter has connected me to the voices of people I wouldn't otherwise hear or even know about across the spectrum of news, current affairs, arts, culture, technology etc. as well as providing a quicker and more succinct way to communicate (

Most importantly, these communication channels offer an alternative to the mainstream.

Through tweets from a variety of trusted sources, I was able to monitor the real-time results of a political convention here in Ontario when no news media were providing such coverage. We all know about the role that Twitter has played in communicating from Mumbai during terrorist attacks, from the Hudson River, and in many other circumstances where traditional media weren't there at first.

Of interest this weekend has been the ongoing Twitter coverage of the election results in Iran (see #iranelections). While Twitterers are providing ongoing updates from Tehran and elsewhere including links to some traditional media coverage, a large gap has been noted in CNN's coverage (see #CNNfail) - especially given their publicized race to be first to gain 1 million followers. That said, a lot of the news making its way out of Iran today regarding protests includes the fact that journalists are being detained, cut off from internet services or having their footage confiscated.

All of this is pretty compelling and adds to the debate about the role of social media versus traditional news sources - though in this case, it would seem that both are working together to get the stories out.

PS: Huffington Post is live blogging a comprehensive, chronological list of events in Iran helping to put real time updates into context.

PPS: A friend of a friend now living in Tehran is providing sporadic email updates pretty much confirming the info coming to us via various sources regarding the protests and police crackdowns in the streets. In terms of communications:

"... Most mobile carriers have been cut off, all text messaging has been cut off, our phone at home hasn't worked properly for the last week... I have spent the past 3 days trying to get online every 15 minutes or so and been denied. So I've been watching the news (they haven't bothered cutting off any of the English news, only the BBC Persia and some Arab news networks have been shut down). And while I have not been able to get into my email, I can open other pages, although and etc. are shut down. ..."