Friday, May 29, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: A passion for 25 years

Author Steven Heighton will be at the Festival of Words

Best-selling novelist, short story writer and
poet Steven Heighton will be a guest at
the 2015 Saskatchewan Festival of Words.
Submitted photo
By Lisa Goudy

Steven Heighton isn’t obligated to write, but he feels compelled to do so.

“This is more of a passion. It’s something I feel I have to do,” he said. “There are pleasures involved in any compulsion, but there are also difficulties. So there are some days when I don’t feel like doing it at all and other days when it’s pure pleasure.”

A resident of Kingston, Ont., Heighton has written numerous short stories, poems and novels, including his most recent collection of stories, The Dead Are More Visible, and Workbook, memos and essays on creativity.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Peace is an option

By Lisa Goudy

It might be tempting to undervalue the work of peacekeepers.

This might be especially true given the sexual-abuse scandal, a scandal that needs to be taken seriously.

Over the past 20 years there have been reports of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers worldwide. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, reported 79 of those allegations.

According to an article on The Globe and Mail, last month a “leaked report revealed that UN investigators had found evidence that French troops had sexually abused children in a refugee camp in the Central African Republic in exchange for food.”

The Globe and Mail article also said that Roméo Dallaire – commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda during the genocide in 1994, a retired lieutenant-general and former Canadian senator – had said he has “personally seen reports of sexual abuse among UN peacekeepers since 2001,” the article said.

Read more

Monday, May 25, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: A Beginner’s Guide to Birding

A Western kingbird hangs out in a tree
in Wakamow Valley on May 21, 2015.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald
By Lisa Goudy

A birdcall echoed through the trees under the beating sun in Wakamow Valley.

I looked up, watching and listening. The bird circled around and flew across from branch to branch. Quickly, I used a telephoto lens to zoom in to get a closer look.

Spotting birds isn’t easy, but it’s made a little easier with binoculars or, in my case, a zoom lens. Fran Kerbs, an experienced birder guide from Regina, identified the species of bird. She told me she started out as a general photographer before she really got into birding.

Two birds are pictured in
Wakamow Valley on May 21, 2015.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald
I had never been birding before. General photography has always been a passion of mine, but not birding. I have captured photos of birds in the past – even so much as capturing a crystal clear photo of a duck flying midair in Crescent Park – but never have I trekked into the lush valley specifically to look for and identify different birds.

This changed on Thursday evening.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Top 10 Things to Do Outside

By Lisa Goudy

With the weather warming up, it finally feels like spring and summer are here.

Here is a list of the Top 10 things you can do outside to enjoy the heat. Remember, don’t forget sunscreen!

10. Go for a walk or run – It’s simple, but a fun way to get the most out of a sunny afternoon. Whether it’s a walk around the park, a walk down the street or walking to a public place like the library or to check out our downtown murals, walking is a great way to get the most out of your day outside.

9. Watch the sunset or sunrise – There is a reason Saskatchewan is called Land of the Living Skies. When the sun starts to go down, head outside and watch it descend as nighttime beckons. Alternatively, if you’re an early riser, get up and watch the sun come up. Either way, you’re sure to see quite the spectacle.

8. Go for a picnic – Pack up a lunch and head out to the park for a fun picnic affair. If you’re looking for a picnic bench, there are plenty to be found in Wakamow Valley and Crescent Park, or maybe you want to hit it old school and eat on a blanket on the grass.

Read more

Friday, May 22, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Getting personal with Guy Vanderhaeghe

Sask.-author excited to be a guest at Festival of Words
Saskatchewan author Guy Vanderhaeghe is set to
appear at the 2015 Saskatchewan Festival of Words.
Submitted photo

By Lisa Goudy

Personal experiences matter when Guy Vanderhaeghe is writing a story.

“No writer can write in a vacuum, which doesn’t mean to say that you write what happened to you, but the only thing you can write out of it your own experiences of life, whatever life has taught you or whatever you’ve drawn from life,” he said. “All of these things can be source material for writers.”

For instance, in his latest collection of short stories, Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, several are set in the 1960s – the time of Vanderhaeghe’s adolescence.

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Learning to love yourself, always

By Lisa Goudy

Sometimes it's the small things that can brighten someone's day.

When I heard about the messages of positivity written on cutout hearts and pinned to trees in downtown Moose Jaw this week, I thought of how often some people are prone to focus on negative parts of life.

I don't think focusing on the negative will ever be healthy for anyone and yet, we've all been guilty of doing just that from time to time.

These messages are reminders that sometimes all we need is a reminder of how special we all are to make each day a little better. These types of reminders go a long way, especially for people who are struggling with low self-esteem.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association website, self-harm and self-esteem are linked in some way.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Top 10 Weird Tidbits

By Lisa Goudy

Ever wanted to be the person in a room who could tell your friends the strangest thing? You know, the kind of fact that’ll have people talking or laughing?

Well, here you go. Just in time for the May long weekend, here are the Top 10 fun and unusual facts to share with your friends.

10. Miles and miles of blood – Every human child has approximately 60,000 miles of blood vessels. If each vessel were laid out end to end, they would wrap around the world more than twice. An adult’s blood vessels would be closer to 100,000 miles long. But definitely don’t try this.

9. Friday the 13th – For anyone who’s superstitious out there, you’d better beware of any month that starts on a Sunday. Any month that begins on a Sunday always include a Friday the 13th. Spooky!

Read more

Friday, May 15, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: From writing Degrassi to young adult novels

Author Susin Nielsen will be among those featured at Festival of Words
Author Susin Nielsen will be appearing at
the 2015 Saskatchewan Festival of Words.
Submitted photo

By Lisa Goudy

Susin Nielsen loves writing for television, but she also loves the freedom of writing young adult novels.

“Writing for television is really fun and it’s a great job, but you’re often writing for somebody else’s vision. You’re writing for somebody else’s show,” she said.

“What I like about writing books is it’s kind of all me to a certain degree. I obviously work with really good editors … but they’re helping me realize my vision.”

Read more

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Happy Birthday to late Queen Victoria

By Lisa Goudy

The May long weekend is one many people tend to associate with being outside.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature often has other plans for us. In the past several years, the weather hasn’t been very nice. I’m told the weekend used to always be warm, but it certainly hasn’t been that way for a number of years.

Still, it gives off the feeling that summer is just around the corner (I hope). Provincial parks opened for the season on Thursday and, for this weekend, the alcohol ban in Saskatchewan provincial parks is in place once again.

For those of us who don’t work this weekend, we can appreciate having a long weekend, with Monday as a statutory holiday. Maybe you’ll spend the weekend cleaning up a cabin outside. Maybe you’ll spend it at home, relaxing with family and friends, which is my plan for this year.

But why do we even have a May long weekend?

Read more

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: All about that jazz

Regina Jazz Orchestra finds its rhythm at evening shows
Brent Ghiglione, director of the Regina Jazz
Orchestra, belts out on his trumpet during the
group's performance at Mae Wilson Theatre at
the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre on May 12, 2015.
Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

By Lisa Goudy

Brent Ghiglione only held two practices with the Regina Jazz Orchestra (RJO) for Tuesday’s two concerts, but it was impossible to tell.

Crowds of people left with smiles on their faces after the shows at the Mae Wilson Theatre at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre as part of the 66th annual Moose Jaw Band and Choral Festival.

“The band’s been playing every couple weeks so we started off with four rehearsals, a concert and then a couple of rehearsals, concert, a couple of rehearsals, concert,” said Ghiglione, the musical director of the RJO.

“It’s a little bit from all of the big band books. It’s been well received.”

Born and raised in Moose Jaw, Ghiglione is no stranger to the festival. He can remember marching at the Moose Jaw Band and Choral Festival in 1969.

Read more

Friday, May 8, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Looking to avoid Krypton’s fate

By Lisa Goudy

The story of Superman’s home planet, Krypton, has are a few parallels to Earth.

This is not to say that Earth is doomed to explode, as Krypton did. Krypton orbited a red sun. Prior to the Kryptonian species being wiped out, they were highly advanced in science and technology. The civilization used the many resources the planet had to offer until, basically, there weren’t any left.

Usually in the comics, the reason the planet exploded was because of a nuclear chain reaction that stemmed from Krypton’s unstable radioactive core. This also created kryptonite, which is deadly to Superman. Seconds before the planet exploded, Jor-El and Lara, sent their son Kal-El away to Earth.

Here on Earth, we too are constantly evolving in science and technology. For example, earlier this week, we heard about drones that can broadcast live HD video because of two Waterloo, Ont.-companies partnering up.

Read more

Monday, May 4, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Top 10 U.S. box office movie grosses of all time

By Lisa Goudy

We all know The Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to take over the box office and rake in a whole pile of money.

But where will it stand among the all-time box office records? And what about inflation?

Box Office Mojo provided a list of movie grosses on its website adjusting for ticket price inflation by taking box office gross, dividing it by the average ticket price at the time it was released to estimate the number of tickets sold. To adjust for inflation, the estimated number of tickets sold was multiplied by the average ticket price of the year it's converted to.

This gives you a “general idea of what a movie might have made if released in a different year, assuming it sold the same number of tickets,” Box Office Mojo’s website said.

It’s also worth noting that most movies released before 1980 had documented multiple theatrical releases, indicated on this list with *.

So, based on that, here is a list of the Top 10 domestic grosses of all time, adjusted for inflation in 2015.

Read more

Friday, May 1, 2015

Moose Jaw Times-Herald: Lisa's Corner: Fan Expo Regina has done it again

By Lisa Goudy

Most people probably have heard of Laura Numeroff’s children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

The premise is simple. It tells the story of what happens if you give a mouse a cookie and what would happen next and so on and so forth.

Either way, giving a mouse a cookie is essentially saying if you have a taste of something you love, it just leads to something else and something else.

For me, this couldn’t be truer of comic conventions. My first experience of this was at Fan Expo Regina in 2014, followed by two days at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) International in July 2014. I loved everything about both conventions and had the times of my life.

When I heard the news that Fan Expo Regina would return for 2015, I knew immediately I had to go.

Along with my sister and our best friend, we were excited when last weekend finally arrived because that meant Fan Expo Regina 2015 was here.

Read more