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Documenting the iBook faculty presentations

Paul Owen of the documentary group describes a video he put together that outlines some presentations the iBook groups will be making detailing their final projects.

Check out the video Paul was working on in the clip here

Child Reach – Pop-up center

Jenny Kent recently chatted with Nanette Van Doorn who is currently working on a television feature story about Child Reach, a program dedicated to early childhood interventions. This includes programs to support young parents and their children’s development.

A problem that Child Reach faced was how to attract people to the center so a solution in the form of a pop-up center. The pop-up center rotates locations around London every month or two and the hope is that parents and their kids will come to the center to play and talk with the program co-coordinator about the resources and support that the center has to offer.

Stay tuned for interviews with a mother and her daughter who use the center to find out more about Child Reach!

Learning some new Blo-cabulary with Jenny Kent

Here I am interviewing the one and only Val Litwin, co-founder of Blo and most recently Business in Vancouver’s top forty under forty winner. Blo is a first of its kind blow dry bar in North America and Litwin along with his two business partners grew the concept to 12 locations in just three years.

Litwin is a razor sharp (and witty!) entrepreneur who has not only climbed the career ladder, he’s so far above our heads that most of us will only ever catch a small glimpse of his ever-stylish shoes.

I’m off to Toronto this weekend to experience Blo first hand and to see just what it is that is Blo-ing the competition away!

Catch Litwin’s story in episode three of Echo Boomers, working and living in the contemporary world, to be broadcast on CHRW (dates to be announced).

Presenting the iBook to the public

With their work now under two weeks from being finished, both the Tyee and Rabble tablet groups have been charged with yet another task: teach everyone else how to do it. Continue reading

Better than the rest

With the class’ print features slowly taking shape. Patrick Callan and Eric Clement are working on two interesting pieces.

Patrick’s takes a look at a committee in London that reasearches all things related to the Olympic games. The International Centre for Olympic Studies at Western University is the first of its kind to generate and disseminate academic scholarship focusing on the socio-cultural aspect of the games.

Eric is taking a look at London’s own Woodfield. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it. Most Londoners haven’t, but the neighborhood is up for the prestigious honor of being crowned Canada’s greatest ‘hood.

Check back often as these features start being uploaded.

A Queen Without A Crown: Tyee Tablet Update

Doris Wang has been dubbed by our class instructor Wayne McPhail as the “the Queen of Prezi” for her efforts on the Tyee Tablet timeline, which she’s constructed for a more interactive and visual feel.

A few weeks ago we featured Doris working on this timeline . At the time it was as bare as a bachelor’s closet, but what a difference two weeks make. Now the Tyee timeline feature is a visual and interactive affair— Its visuals will appear in the table of contents section of the Tyee Tablet, and readers will be able to click on the photos and be whisked away to whatever story grabs their eye!

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G’Bless the Queen, indeed!

Some upcoming stories

Western journalism TV specializing students Lisa Laventure and Jennifer James are busy working away on their next television feature. The final products are due next Tuesday, so they’ll be up for the world to see come Thursday!

Lisa is working on a story based on a new study revealing companies with women on their board of directors are more profitable. She’s interviewed a MBA student who is excited to become a successful career woman, a UWO professor who’s studying this area, and a woman currently on a board of directors in London, Ont. She’s investigating why women in charge make companies more profitable, and looking how this could be a step forward for women and equal employment rights.

Jenn is working on a feature about a new Google+ hangout self-help group for stutterers, called Stutter Social. She interviewed a couple people who stutter, as well as some speech pathologists, and the creator of the group.

Check back next Thursday when these stories will be posted!

Vinyl culture in London

Chloe Berge is working on a 6 minute arts and entertainment radio documentary. She’ll be speaking with two vinyl store owners: David Clarke at Grooves and Mike at Speed City here in London. She’s going to ask them about collectors, the history of vinyl and vinyl events in London. Can’t wait to hear it!

Upcoming silent witness feature

Chloe Berge has made a lot of progress with her print feature that will be available here in the next couple of weeks. She has written a draft and will be doing one-on-one editing with feature editor Mark Kearney next week.

For her story, Chloe interviewed Jennifer Morse, who sponsored a silent witness in honor of her mother. A silent witness monument is a free standing, life sized red wooden silhouette with the name of a woman whose life ended at the hands of her abusive partner.

Chloe also interviewed Jennifer Stanley, the college coordinator for the silent witness project in the US, and Megan Walker, the executive director of the London Abused Women’s Shelter who started the first Ontario chapter of the project. Check back soon for the full story.

Silent Witness Monument

Silent Witness Monument

Escape artist’s Got Talent

By PatrickCallan

pcallan@uwo.ca

Lucas Wilson is hanging upside down, wrapped in 17 feet of steel chain with his long red hair dangling wildly.

His arms are contorted and his feet are tied, but after writhing and twisting in the air, he escapes from his straitjacket in 43 seconds.

The feat earned him a new Guinness world record—and he has plenty of witnesses.

As a contestant on a March episode of Canada’s Got Talent—a show that searches for the country’s next superstar—Wilson described what was going on in his mind while performing in front of a live audience with thousands more watching on television at home.

Lucas Wilson

Photo courtesy of Lucas Wilson
Lucas Wilson practises escaping his straitjacket during a local performance.

“I’m slightly spinning a bit. I’m shaking. A straitjacket is a very strange thing. There’s different sensations being taken away from you, you can’t move, you feel claustrophobic,” he said.

During his escape, every move was synchronized to the song Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil’ Wayne.

“I knew all the lyrics to the song and how many seconds they were in, and at what point in time I needed to be out of the straitjacket in order to break the world record. I’m really concentrating on all these tiny little details,” he said.

“Once I’m on stage, all my nerves go away. I find I’m most nervous in the waiting process. The hardest part was trying to face the camera.”

Wilson has been practising this performance for over a year in his hometown of Port Dover, Ont., getting comfortable hanging upside down. Being in a straitjacket now feels like second nature, as strange as that sounds, he said.

“When I practised it was in front of two or three people on the front lawn of my house. The Avon lady came one day and I scared the crap out of her. To go from that to millions being able to see this is amazing,” said the lanky 22-year-old, who has been fascinated by magic since he was four.

Wilson remembers getting dragged to see a live Sailor Moon show with his sisters as a kid. He wasn’t excited about going, but he saw something that changed his life forever.

“Before the show was a magic act. A magician came out and did all these tricks. I said that day that I was going to be a magician when I grow up,” Wilson said.

Lucas Wilson

Courtesy of Lucas Wilson.
Lucas Wilson and his straitjacket take a break from practice.

But success didn’t come easy for Wilson, who failed to place in his first talent competition.

“They said I wasn’t talented,” he said. “Most people when they hit a wall like that would stop, but I decided to keep going.”

While honing his skills as an illusionist, Wilson took a two-year program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., for theatre arts technical productions.

“It was kind of like magic, all the backstage work. My show went from a magic show to very weird theatrical things. It progressed and became stronger,” Wilson said.

Now, Wilson takes his unique act all across Southwestern Ontario, performing in schools, libraries and fairs.

“It’s amazing waking up in the morning and thinking I’m not really going to work. I’m performing at a school for 400 kids who are screaming and yelling because they all love magic,” he said.

Throughout his career, Wilson idolized Harry Houdini and looks to honour his legacy through his performances.

“Without Harry Houdini, this straitjacket stunt wouldn’t exist. In a way I’m challenging him and thinking, if he were alive, this is what he would be doing,” he said.

At the moment, Wilson is focusing on the next round of Canada’s Got Talent where he’ll be looking to add more danger in the coming weeks by combining three Houdini stunts into one.

Lucas Wilson

Courtesy of Lucas Wilson.
Lucas Wilson practising his magic inside a factory.

But he also has his sights set on establishing more world records—like most escapes from a straitjacket in eight hours.

“Every single day, no matter what I’m doing, whether I’m performing or not, there’s a straitjacket hanging in my room. I get somebody to help me get in to it, put it on and I try something new with it. Maybe one day I’ll try to get out of it sitting down or one day I’ll try to get out of it while (lying down) planking,” he said with a laugh.