January 2017 Archives

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Spoiler Etiquette Revisited

In the season four episode of The Simpsons "Marge in Chains" Mayor Quimby spoils the twist of The Crying Game. The episode originally aired on May 6, 1993, less than eight months after the movie's release.

From a Simpsons podcast I subscribe to I learned about how Gene Siskel spoiled this same twist when reviewing the movie for Siskel & Ebert's If We Picked the Winners for 1992. You can watch that episode here. Roger Ebert was none too pleased because he knew the secret was key to enjoying the film. I'm on team Ebert. [side note: man do I miss Siskel & Ebert]

Today, spoilers are everywhere. I was watching a CBC series on Tuesday night that contained a very specific Game of Thrones spoiler. Game of Thrones is a show I haven't seen a minute of but would one day like to view in its entirety. I already know too much.

When Roz Weston appeared on my podcast he spoke about revealing a Grey's Anatomy spoiler the morning after it first aired. He simply doesn't care if he spoils it for you because you could have seen it the previous night. Personally, I think that's a selfish move.

I'm fighting a losing battle. I'm still hesitant to spoil a plot twist in The Usual Suspects, a movie released over twenty years ago, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who might one day see it for the first time. I want you to enjoy it the way I enjoyed it, completely spoiler free.

Do you follow a code when it comes to spoiler etiquette? Is there a period of time after which you think it's fair game? Are you pro-spoil or anti-spoil?

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Ingrid Schumacher Fired From 104.5 CHUM-FM After 40 Years

About a year ago, Ingrid Schumacher visited my home and shared several great stories about her four decades on the air at 104.5 CHUM-FM. She was even on the air the night John Lennon was shot. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and urge you to listen to it here.

I'm sorry to report that Ingrid was fired from her 104.5 CHUM-FM gig on Thursday. Almost immediately, several things happened:

I believe Ingrid is was the on-air personality who had spent the longest time on the same Toronto station and was still active. After 40 years at CHUM-FM, I'm sorry to see her dismissed in this fashion. I recently wrote about a recent trend where radio personalities were getting to say goodbye to their listeners on the air. Josie Dye got to say goodbye on 102.1 the Edge, Maureen Holloway got to say goodbye on Q107, Raina Douris got to say goodbye on indie88 and Darren B. Lamb got to say goodbye on CHUM-FM. In all three instances, however, the talent quit for a position on another station. When you're fired, radio doesn't extend the same courtesy.

Ingrid, if you're reading this, contact me as I'd love to have you back on Toronto Mike'd so you can say goodbye to an audience that has enjoyed your work for four decades. You're an institution in this market who deserved far better.

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HMV Canada Closing

My kids have no appreciation for record stores. They strictly consume music via digital channels and have never purchased a compact disc.

When I was a teenager, record stores were vital. My weekends would revolve around trips downtown and I would visit Sam the Record Man, A&A and HMV at 333 Yonge Street, not necessarily in that order. The store with the lowest price for the disc I was buying would get my business.

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I have many good memories of visiting HMV at 333 Yonge, sampling albums at the listening stations and digging through new hip-hop in the basement. I remember the thrill of being checked out by the actress who played Kathleen on Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High and the joy of bumping into Kish while he shopped for 12 inch singles.

Although I never worked at HMV I used to play for a slo-pitch team formed by HMV colleagues. These guys and gals would assemble monstrous CD collections and I'd borrow them by the dozens and rip them to MP3. This transfer to digital was the beginning of the end.

Yesterday, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved an application to place HMV Canada into receivership. All 102 locations have to shut down by April 30.

It's the end of an era. Digital killed the record store.

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John Hurt, Dead at 77

John HurtJohn Hurt was 77. His acting career spanned over six decades and included such movies as Midnight Express, The Elephant Man, The Naked Civil Servant, Alien, and three Harry Potter films.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 214: Josh Holliday

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 214In this 214th episode, Mike chats with Josh Holliday about his three tours of duty at 102.1 the Edge and his new podcast. This episode is exactly 1:52:42.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Josh Holliday and Me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Brace Yourself: Jersey Ads are Coming

Have you ever watched old footage of an NHL hockey game and remarked that the boards are ad-less? They're quaint in their starkness. At some point ads were introduced and we just got used to it.

Watching TFC matches, it's impossible to ignore the BMO ad on the jerseys. If the same ads appeared on a Blue Jays, Maple Leafs or Raptors jersey, there'd be outrage I'm sure. After all, this isn't Europe.

Brace yourself, sports fans. Jersey ads are coming. First to take the plunge is the NBA who are allowing teams to sport a 2.5 inch by 2.5 inch ad on jerseys, beginning next season. The historic Boston Celtics just struck a deal with General Electric and they join the 76ers and Kings.

ad

Without a doubt, the other North American leagues will follow suit. Leagues love "free money". And over time, as we all get used to the ads, they'll get larger and multiply. I guarantee it.

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Mary Tyler Moore, Dead at 80

Mary Tyler MooreMary Tyler Moore was 80. She was the actress best known for her television roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. She was also nominated for a best actress Oscar in 1980 for the film Ordinary People.

mtm

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McLaughlin Planetarium

I remember countless school trips to the McLaughlin Planetarium when I was in primary school. It was an amazing place to learn about the stars, planets, and cosmology.

I watched La La Land yesterday and there's a scene in a planetarium that took me back to the 80s when we all took our planetarium for granted. The McLaughlin Planetarium, located just south of the ROM, closed in 1995 and is currently slated for demolition.

An article on blog.to suggests the McLaughlin Planetarium could be saved afterall.

Spearheaded by Jeff Balmer, an ex-pat professor of architecture at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, the efforts to prevent its demolition are rooted not just in its architectural pedigree, but also its use-value.

"In a perfect scenario, U of T would work to resuscitate the Planetarium to its original purpose," Balmer explains. "During its decades-long period of operation, [it] was highly successful, both in terms of its educational mission... and in terms of its financial performance."

planetarium

La La Land, by the way, is excellent.

lalaland

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Rogers Service Van $18,500,000 Savings

I'm not certain when the Joey Bats Rogers vans started popping up around this city, but I think it was the summer if 2015. Seeing Jose Bautista, Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson on the side always made me smile. If a Rogers service van is making you smile, you know it was a wise marketing move.

Rogers Service Van Savings

When the Jays were humming and hawing about bringing Bautista back, I tweeted it was a no-brainer because of these vans.

According to my estimates, it would cost Rogers $18,500,000 to remove the Joey Bats graphic from their massive fleet of service vans. Signing him to an $18,500,000 guaranteed one-year contract was a slam-dunk.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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The Trump Paradox

The 2017 Presidential Inauguration takes place Friday. I don't think I've written a word here or on Twitter about Donald Trump since he was elected in November. Then, last week, I wrote a couple of Tweets about what I call the Trump Paradox.

When Donald Trump the reality show host writes petty Tweets and makes ludicrous statements, my instinct is to completely ignore him. After all, if 15 years of blogging has taught me anything it's that one should not feed the trolls. Ignoring is the best course of action.

When Donald Trump the President-Elect does the same, my instinct is to continue ignoring. But Trump is about to become the most powerful man on the planet, and how can you ignore statements made by someone with such a title? This is the Trump Paradox.

In essence, the man does not deserve our respect, but the office demands it. It's going to be a rough four years.

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McDonald's Makes Nutty Choice

I have four children and so far there's no evidence any of them have a tree nut allergy. Two are quite young, so there's still time for such an allergy to manifest itself, but I'm hopeful we've avoided it.

I do have a nephew, however, who is allergic to peanuts. It means when we host a party we have to buy the ice cream that is completely nut free, and when we bake cookies or a cake, all labels must be read! A McDonald's Happy Meal, you'd figure, would be a safe choice.

McDonald's Canada has added a Skor McFlurry to its menu, and that means they can no longer be sure their other products have not "come in contact with peanuts, tree nuts or other allergens".

In my mind, this is a poor trade. McDonald's adds one more flavour of McFlurry to its menu and the cost is telling every family with a child with a nut allergy that their restaurant is no longer safe. Based strictly on my unscientific sniff test, it hardly seems worth it.

In fact, I think it's nuts.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 213: Rod Smith

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 213In this 213th episode, Mike chats with TSN's Rod Smith about his years anchoring SportsDesk / SportsCentre, hosting CFL on TSN and more. This episode is exactly 1:14:33.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Rod Smith and Me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Dead at 73

Jimmy Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was 73. He was a star in the World Wrestling Federation where he was best known for his signature move the Superfly Splash.

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Defunct Toronto Live Music Venues

Jim Slotek wrote a piece for the Toronto Sun about how Toronto's live music scene isn't what it used to be. The catalyst was the closing of Hugh's Room, which may be re-opening.

In this article Jim listed Toronto's live music venues that have disappeared over the decades. I culled a list and am pasting it here to pack a punch.

  • Larry’s Hideaway
  • The Edge
  • The Nickelodeon
  • The Colonial Tavern
  • The Guvernment
  • The Big Bop
  • The Diamond
  • The Hotel Isabella
  • The Bamboo
  • The Midwich Cuckoo
  • Hotel California
  • The Gasworks
  • Ted’s Wrecking Yard
  • The Cabana Room
  • Masonic Temple
  • The Copa
  • Cafe Soho
  • Albert’s Hall
  • The Siboney
  • The Riverboat
  • The Mynah Bird
  • The Midwich Cuckoo
  • Le Coq D’Or
  • The Piccadilly Tube,
  • Network
  • Upper Lip
  • Nag’s Head North
  • The Turning Point
  • Healey’s
  • The Montreal Bistro
  • Top O’ The Senator
  • The Senator Guitar Bar
  • Bermuda Onion
  • X-Rays/Ultrasound
  • Ontario Place Forum

Did Jim miss anything?

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I Watched the Speakers Corner Outtakes Video Tape

In September, I sat down with former-Citytv anchor Anne Mroczkowski for an episode of my podcast. She mentioned a video cassette of Speakers Corner outtakes the staff would watch at parties. I took a mental note that I had to see these outtakes.

Brother Bill, a popular deejay at 102.1 the Edge throughout the 90s and into the 2000s, heard that episode, and mailed me his tape of Speakers Corner outtakes.

For those of you from out of town or too young to remember, Speakers Corner was a television show on Citytv comprised of user-generated videos taken in a booth outside the Citytv studios at 299 Queen Street West. In the days before YouTube, it was really something.

A podcast listener named Grant lent me his VCR so I could finally watch this video tape. Here's what a saw.

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It begins with 45 minutes of... well... how should I describe this... It's good ol' consensual adult debauchery on stage while a hard rock band plays on. Since I don't want to host nudity or pornography on this site, this is only screen I could capture.

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On today's internet, we're all only two clicks away from better quality, more graphic content. These 45 minutes were a true throwback to the pre-web days.

Next up were some highly anticipated Speakers Corner outtakes. In a nutshell, it was lots and lots of nudity! Flashing aplenty. The star stickers were added by me to protect the identity of those on this well-circulated cassette.

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Then there's a lengthy clip of a couple having sex on a public street. This footage was taken in 1995 by a Citytv cameraman and contains real-time commentary from a group of guys.

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Back to more Speakers Corner outtakes! But this time, it's not just flashing. There's fellatio, cunnilingus and more!

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Then we have a few recordings from an American radio show. The first clip includes a well endowed guest and a pie.

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But wait, there's more! A trio of nude wrestlers engage in further debauchery and a woman distracts a newsreader by removing her top. Essentially, a Howard Stern influenced deejay convinces female guests to strip down for a radio show.

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If you enjoy flatulence humour, this next bit is for you. It's a religious show called Only Heaven Knows with farts inserted into the audio with hilarious results.

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And finally, if you've made it through all of that, there's a cartoon entitled "Lupo's Meat" "Lupo the Butcher" with plenty of swears and a decapitation to boot.

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Now I've finally seen the Speakers Corner outtake video and bonus material copied to VHS in the mid-90s, so you don't have to!

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Tony Rosato, Dead at 62

Tony RosatoTony Rosato was 62. He was the Canadian comedian who starred in SCTV and Saturday Night Live. He was one of only three people to have starred on both programs.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 212: Jesse and Gene

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 212In this 212th episode, Mike chats with Jesse Dylan and Gene Valaitis about their years on Toronto radio as Jesse and Gene, what they've been up to since and what's next for the duo. This episode is exactly 1:09:38.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

jesseandgene

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Toronto Morning Radio Personalities: Who is your Favourite?

I have a Skype call scheduled this afternoon with Jesse and Gene. Jesse is in Vancouver and Gene is in California, so Skype will have to do for this reunion episode of Toronto Mike'd.

Thinking of Jesse and Gene got me thinking of Toronto radio personalities over the past few decades. Jesse and Gene hosted the morning shows at Q107 (twice!), 680 CFTR and AM 640. Here are other Toronto morning radio personalities who have paid me a visit since I started podcasting 4.5 years ago. Click their names to hear their episode!

Roger Ashby
Roger's been a fixture on Toronto morning radio since the mid-80s when Roger, Rick & Marilyn formed. Roger and Marilyn are still on 104.5 CHUM-FM today.

Rick Hodge
Rick Hodge is the Rick in the aforementioned Roger, Rick & Marilyn trio. He's now on morning radio in Niagara on EZ Rock 105.7.

Erin Davis
Erin's been a fixture on Toronto morning radio, most notably at CHFI where she teamed up with Don Daynard, Mike Cooper and Darren B. Lamb. She recently retired and now calls British Columbia home.

Jay "Maddog" Michaels
Jay was a longtime morning show host in Toronto, most notably with Billie Holiday on the Maddog and Billie Show. He's now working afternoons at Newstalk 1010.

Billie Holiday
Speaking of Billie Holiday, she most recently worked mornings at Todd Shapiro's replacement on The Dean Blundell Show on 102.1. She can now be heard on 93-5 The Move.

Todd Shapiro
Speaking of Todd Shapiro, he was a fixture on 102.1 the Edge for over a decade as Dean Blundell's sidekick.

Jason Barr
The other member of the longtime three-man booth at 102.1 the Edge was Jason Barrr who is now working mornings with Chris Biggs on 97.7 HTZ-FM.

Roz Weston
Even if you don't listen to Kiss 92.5 you've likely seen the ads for the Roz and Mocha morning show. When Roz isn't on the radio he's moonlighting as co-host of ET Canada.

Mocha Frapp
The other (some say better) half of the Roz and Mocha show on Kiss 92.5 is Mocha Frapp. And no, that's not his real name.

Matt Galloway
The ever-popular Metro Morning show on CBC Radio One is anchored by Matt Galloway who has successfully filled the giant shoes of Andy Barrie.

Stu Jeffries
Stu used to be teamed with Colleen Rusholme but now runs the boom 97.3 morning show on his own.

Colleen Rusholme
Stu's former partner Colleen has also hosted mornings with Humble Howard and now co-hosts mornings with Darrin Laidman on 95.3 Fresh Radio.

"Humble" Howard Glassman
Howard has had morning show stints in this city with Colleen Rusholme and solo, but he's best known as half of Humble and Fred who spent over a decade at 102.1 the Edge.

Fred Patterson
Fred is the other half of Humble and Fred, but did sports on the Pete and Geets show prior to that.

Steve Anthony
Steve's popped up here and there on Toronto morning radio, including time at CFNY co-hosting with the aforementioned Freddie P.

Scot Turner
Speaking of guys who briefly co-hosted mornings with Freddie P on CFNY, Scot, or Skot as he was then known, did so when Humble left for Mix 99.9 in the very early 90s. Scot is now Program Director at 93-5 The Move.

Mike Staffford
Mike has been at 640 for many years now, but he was doing news for the Pete and Geets show in the 80s.

Mike Richards
Mike had a couple of morning radio stints at 1050, once when they were briefly The Team, and most recently when they re-branded as TSN Radio.

Josie Dye
Josie is about to resurface on Toronto morning radio, but she once hosted 102.1 the Edge mornings with Dominik Diamond.

Don Landry
Landy and Stellick held down the morning shift at The Fan 590 for years.

Jeff Lumby
After Don Landy and Gord Stellick were removed as morning show hosts at The Fan 590, Jeff Lumby filled in for a summer before the Andrew Krystal experiment.

Greg Brady
Speaking of The Fan 590 morning shows, Greg Brady co-hosted post-Krystal with Jim Lang until Lang was replaced by Andrew Walker.

Andrew Walker
Andrew co-hosted mornings on The Fan 590 with Greg Brady until they were moved to afternoons to make way for Dean Blundell.

John "Spike" Gallagher
John was a member of the Q Morning Zoo in the 90s and most recently The Happy Gang on Zoomer Radio AM740.

Raina Douris
Raina was working mornings at indie 88 but now anchors the CBC Radio Two morning show now that Tom Power is hosting q.

Who is your favourite Toronto morning radio show host of all-time? Let me know in the comments!

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Daily Photo: Toronto Chill

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86 Individual MP3s from the 4 Hour Hip Covers Show by Strombo

On New Year's Day, Strombo shared four hours of Tragically Hip covers via his show on CBC Radio 2. I shared an MP3 of all four hours the next day.

Yesterday, Kevin Archibald left a comment on that entry.

What's better than a single, 4 hour MP3?

How about it broken into songs and tracks? 86 MP3s in all for your enjoyment.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz4NFpK5SC2Ab053a1ZPdGxscWc

That offer was too good to resist, so I downloaded the zip file and found 86 MP3s that I've been enjoying ever since. This really is incredible.

I tweeted about this several times yesterday, but thought I'd give it a little more exposure in the hopes you'll enjoy this as much as I do.

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My Thoughts on Shootouts that Decide Hockey Championships

I have a serious issue with hockey championships being decided by a shootout. Last night, most of us watched a thrilling gold medal game decided by a shootout. Yes, we lost to the USA in that shootout and ended up with the silver medal. Here's why that sucks.

When you lose in a shootout, it doesn't feel as bad. Had the US scored in OT, it would have felt like we lost the hockey game. This just feels like we lost a skills competition.

But, when you win in a shootout, it doesn't feel as good. It just doesn't. You want it to feel like it felt when Crosby scored against the US in 2010. Winning in a shootout means you won, but not in the fair way you wanted to win. It takes a lot of the shine off.

So if this method of deciding a championship dulls the edges, making the lows feel less low and the highs feel less high, it's taken the best part of sports out of the mix. As a lifelong fan of sports, that sucks.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 211: James Mirtle and Sean Fitz-Gerald

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 211In this 211th episode, Mike chats with James Mirtle and Sean Fitz-Gerald about their new roles at The Athletic. This episode is exactly 1:09:50.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Sean Fitz-Gerald, James Mirtle and Me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Best Apps to Bring Some Warmth to the Long Canadian Winters

With millions of apps in the Play Store, searching for the best Android apps is sometimes challenging. Whether you need a great gaming app or a new browser, there are always many available. They can help you pass time by playing great games or perhaps be very valuable in the specific situations. Here are the best Android apps of 2017.

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp, the legendary chat app, has been installed on over one billion smartphones. And it's always improving user experience, adding new features and becoming more secure. What makes it number one? Everyone uses it, simple as that. If you don’t use WhatsApp already, you should definitely start.

2. Amaze File Manager

The Amaze File Manager is free and easy it use. It has all the basic features you'd expect: quick access to files, deleting, copying, moving, etc. When looking in individual folders, you can toggle between list and table view. Amaze can create thumbnails for many file formats, but not for PDFs.

3. Sun Bingo

Sun Bingo is a great gaming app where you can play some of the best award-winning games including 75 ball, 80 ball, 90 ball and Bargain Bingo. It has quickly grown to become one of the biggest UK bingo gaming apps with regular bingo promotions, friendly chat rooms and huge cash prizes up for its members. It’s simple, easy to play and great for gaming fans all around the world.

4. SwiftKey

Whoever is looking for a very special virtual keyboard for Android will definitely find one here. SwiftKey works great with tablets, and if you simply want a good Android keyboard, it offers intuitive operation, very good spell check and word recognition.

5. Morecast

There are plenty of weather apps available that are more accurate and better looking than the ones that come pre-installed on your Android device.  MORECAST is favorite weather app to many users because it has one of the best-looking interfaces, with a clear and sensible layout. It's also one of the most advanced apps of its kind, featuring such options as side-by-side weather comparisons for two cities, and accurate weather information for a particular route. MORECAST is the right way to make a smartphone weather app, and best of all, it's free. 

6. Hulu

Hulu is an excellent app for watching movies and TV shows on Android. It's a free service that relies on ads, but there are some great shows available. You need to pay a subscription fee to access all of the content, but there is a range of excellent shows available without subscription, including classic US comedies such as Family Guy, The Simpsons and South Park.  It's currently restricted to the US, but hopefully it will be appearing in more territories soon.   

7. PhotoDirector

PhotoDirector is the whole package. It has everything you could possibly need to edit your photos. The tools range from simple text bubbles and filters, to more complex things such as HSL and curves, and they're all heavily adjustable, helping you get the best out of your photos. It's for messing around on and seeing what you end up with.

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All 4 Hours of Hip 30 from The Strombo Show

George Stroumboulopoulos invited some of Canada's best musicians to his home and had them cover Tragically Hip songs. The result was four awesome hours of what he calls Hip 30.

All four hours of Hip 30 audio is available to you here.

Enjoy this most excellent playlist.

  • The Tragically Hip, “Grace Too”
  • Blue Rodeo, “Bobcaygeon”
  • Cowboy Junkies, “Little Bones”
  • The Tragically Hip, “Are We Family”
  • Harrison + Friends, “Poets”
  • Amos The Transparent, “Gift Shop”
  • Tanika Charles, “Boots Or Hearts”
  • Annie Sumi, “Fiddler’s Green”
  • Donovan Woods, “Lake Fever”
  • Daniel Romano, “Something On”
  • Born Ruffians, “Fireworks”
  • Darcys, “Vapour Trails”
  • Hawksley Workman, “Emperor Penguin”
  • Sarah Harmer, “Thompson Girl”
  • The Tragically Hip, “Vapour Trails”
  • PS I Love You, “Small Town Bringdown”
  • The Tragically Hip, “So Hard Done By”
  • Kasador, “So Hard Done By”
  • Los Poetas, “Thugs”
  • The Trews, “Family Band”
  • Arkells, “My Music At Work”
  • The Tragically Hip, “Are We Family”
  • The Pack A.D., “Gus: The Polar Bear From Central Park”
  • Sebastien Grainger of Death From Above 1979, “Grace, Too”
  • The Dears, “Tired As Fuck”
  • STARS, “What Blue”
  • Gord Downie, “Elaborate”
  • Hannah Georgas, “Vancouver Divorce”
  • Barenaked Ladies, “Chancellor / Ahead By A Century”
  • Willie Thrasher + Linda Saddleback, “Budget Shoes”
  • The Sadies, “Long Time Running”
  • Iskwe, “38 Years Old”
  • The Tragically Hip, “New Orleans Is Sinking”
  • D-Sisive, “Killer Whale Tank”
  • The Tragically Hip, “Fully Completely”
  • GREYS, “Courage”
  • Woodpigeon, “Pigeon Camera”
  • Kalle Mattson, “Wheat Kings”
  • Limblifter, “50 Mission Cap”
  • WEAVES, “Blow At High Dough”
  • The Dirty Nil, “No Threat”
  • Steven Page, “Honey Please”
  • Hey Rosetta!, “Stay / Now For Plan A”
  • Skydiggers, “The Depression Suite: The Rock”
  • Choir! Choir! Choir!, “Last of the Unplucked Gems”
  • Etiquette, “Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin’ Man”
  • Silver Pools, “Nautical Disaster”
  • The Tragically Hip, “Nautical Disaster”
  • Charlotte Cornfield, “Morning Moon”
  • SATE, “New Orleans Is Sinking”
  • Said The Whale, “The New Maybe”
  • The Odds, “Yer Not The Ocean”
  • The Tragically Hip, “Flamenco”
  • By Divine Right, “Ahead By A Century”
  • Jim Bryson, “Scared”
  • Julie Doiron, “Titanic Terrarium”
  • Rheostatics, “Bobcaygeon”

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Lanny!

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Top 5 Casinos in and Around Toronto

Okay, nobody is ever going to mistake Toronto for Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of high-stakes nightlife on offer here. In fact, considering our size and population, Toronto and the GTA has a pretty good number of high-quality casinos all within relatively easy reach, each with its own particular specialities and appeal.

Perhaps the one thing that’s missing here in Toronto that some other cities in Canada have is a downtown casino. There’s been plenty of plans put forward to make this happen, but proposals keep getting rejected by the Council. However, the casino scene is still set to grow around the GTA, with big plans in place to redevelop and expand Woodbine Racetrack and Great Blue Heron charity casino, and to build a new casino either at Ajax or Pickering.

For people who aren’t within easy access of the GTA, or any of the other major Canadian cities with casinos like Montreal or Vancouver, sites like Bestcasinoscanada have plenty of info about online casinos that do accept Canadian players, so if you’re in the mood for some gaming action but can’t get to one of the casinos listed here, check out the online alternatives.

But for anyone new to Toronto, or who hasn’t previously been tempted to try their luck, here we go – in no particular order, my five favourite Toronto casinos and why I rate them.

Best Casino for Slots – Casino Rama

Casino Rama has one of the best selection of slots of all the casinos in Toronto, with more than 2,500 different games to choose from. There’s plenty of table games too, like roulette, craps and blackjack, as well a great live entertainment program. Go all in and treat yourself to a stay in one of the luxury suites in the resort.

5899 Rama Road
Rama, ON L3V 6H6
Phone: 705-329-3325
Open 24/7

Best Casino for Sports Betting – Casino Niagara

The Sports Centre at Casino Niagara is one of the best places to take in all your favourite sports in comfort. In the plush lounge with 26 huge HD screens, you can make parlay bets on football, hockey, baseball and college basketball, and it’s open until 1am most days. You can also play slots and table games and, if you’re going all that way, you should at least set aside some time to check out Niagara Falls.

5705 Falls Ave
Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6T3
Phone: 1 (888) 325-5788
Open 24/7

Best Casino for Live Racing – Woodbine Racetrack

There’s a year round program of live harness and thoroughbred racing at Woodbine Racetrack, which is the venue for some of Canada’s major races (visit Ontario Racing to find out more about horse racing in the province). Set for a major revamp and expansion, there are more than 2.500 slots to play here, along with virtual table games and an electronic poker room.

555 Rexdale Boulevard
Toronto, ON M9W 5L1
Phone: 416-675-1101
Open 24/7

Best Casino for Entertainment – Fallsview Casino

There are more than 250 shows a year at Fallsview Casino, featuring big-name Canadian and international acts in a 1,500-seat theatre where you’re never far from the action. There’s also a huge selection of more than 3,000 slots, as well as table games and Canada’s biggest poker room.

6380 Fallsview Blvd
Niagara Falls, ON L2G
Phone: 1 (888) 325-5788
Open 24/7

Best Charity Casino – Great Blue Heron Casino

Great Blue Heron Casino is owned and operated by Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, and profits go to local and national charities. Located in picturesque Port Perry, there are more than 500 slots and 60 table games to enjoy, along with a regular program of poker tournaments.

21777 Island Road
Port Perry, ON L9L 1B6
Phone: 1-905-985-4888
Open 24/7

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