Showing posts from 2012

Underwater Records and Acheivements in 2012

Diving into the past – Important 2012 underwater  milestones and of course the dubious records For the Huffington Post

Ignore what Captain Kirk said.  In 2012 the last frontier was underwater.
Never in the history of the planet has mankind ventured so far under the surface.  And, in pushing the underwater boundaries, more individual achievement records were set this year than ever before.  From the 7-mile underwater depth record set by Canadian filmmaker explorer James Cameron inside a futuristic one-man bathysphere, to freediver Ashley Futral Chapman who went down to 67 meters (223 feet)and back on a single breath of air, new milestones continue to be made and to be broken.
Skimming through our back pages we noted the following achievements, albeit some of them pretty dumb that were reached over the past 365 days.
In January, members of the Czech Speleological Society (CSS) discovered and mapped the wor…

Compassionate saint inspired St. Elizabeth Health Care

The legacy of St. Elizabeth continues not only on her anniversary, but every day in each community where Saint Elizabeth Health Care servesBy Linda Crane and Stephen Weir

A 13th century saint, recognized for her humanity and selflessness, is at the very heart of today's Saint Elizabeth Health Care.  Named after St. Elizabeth of Hungary who died on November 17, 1231, the innovative, not-for-profit, charitable organization continues to recognize the anniversary of its namesake by ensuring that the compassion and care she was known for continues in the homes and communities where its health care professionals serve.

The Story of Saint Elizabeth

Born in 1207, Elizabeth of Hungary was the daughter of Andrew II, King of Hungary.  After the deaths of her mother and her betrothed, Elizabeth turned her back on the opulence of the court at her family's castle in Warburg, in the state of Thuringia (Germany)- choosing instead a pious, selfless and austere life.  Ostracized by …

Arnaud Maggs Passes

The Master Photographer Has Died
(Huffington Post

Photographer 86-year old photographer Arnaud Maggs didn't suffer media fools lightly.  "If another reporter asks me how come I have managed to stay active so long, and what is my secret to long life, I am going to tell him sex and drugs" he groused as we walked out of the Canada AM television studio. "What about Rock and Roll?" I asked. Arnaud thought for a moment, smiled and answered, "less so". It was in the late spring and Maggs was on a roll. He had had a successful show of his works in Toronto at the Susan Hobbs Gallery.  The National Gallery in Ottawa had paid the ultimate tribute by opening Arnaud Maggs: Identification a survey exhibition that follows the senior artist’s production over four decades.
And then, the Toronto …


PR Tales From My Blue Bin
(some marketing and PR ideas are better left alone)

From the Huffington Post
By Stephen Weir: Saying something loudly doesn't make it true. Doubly so when it is the printed word doing all the yelling.
I was given a card (pictured top) to keep so that I wouldn't forget the show I had just paid to see. Since then the card has been pinned to my corkboard wall. It has been up there for a while. It edges have started to curl. It has taken a couple of Starbuck splashes over time.
I took it down yesterday when I realized the card's message -- Please Keep This Card As Your Memory Of The Show -- hadn't worked. I have no memory of getting that 3" by 4" piece of cardboard. I can't tell you what show I was at when I received the card. An art show? A play? A dance performance?
Hmm. Probably something that was given out at a Toronto Harbourfront performance, sin…

New Rob Stewart Film Debuts At TIFF

The Revolution To Change The World Begins Underwater
 An edited version of this story appears in this month's Diver Magazine Revolution is a new big brain movie for divers who care about the planet. Underwater filmmaker Rob Stewart premiered the full-length film in early September at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Already Revolution is doing what Stewart wants it to do – change the world. The movie captured the People’s Choice Award Documentary  (Runner-Up) in his hometown and was Documentary Winner at last month’s Atlantic Film Festival.  It will be screening at Festivals for the next few months before getting theatrical release in Canada in March 2013. Revolution is the true-life eco-crusade that the Toronto diver found himself leading, half way through making the movie.  The film, originally meant as a shark conservation film – a follow-up to his acclaimed 2006 SHARKWATERdocumentary – ended back on land and morphed into something much much bigger.
It took eight years i…

Toronto sculptor's touring European exhibition now at Art Gallery of Ontario

. "HOPE I DIE BEFORE GET OLD" (Oops too late) Maybe, says Canadian artist but that was a long time AGO
From the Huffington Post by Stephen Weir
It was the sixties. Vietnam.  Nuclear testing in the Pacific.  Sgt Pepper. And, the Who singing they hoped their generation would die before it got old.
What could be worse than aging?  Cutting your hair? Buying a suit?  Cubicles? Getting a mortgage?
The song didn't work.  Most of us lived. We all grew old.  Overnight. No one thought about what was going to happen as the aging process took hold ... except maybe Canadian sculptor, Evan Penny.
When Peter Townsend wrote My Generation (with that famous dying line) it was 1965 and the Who were pointing out that older people just "don't get it". 
Evan Penny was 12-years old and had just moved to Canada from Africa where his father had practised medicine. He was  an outsider on the edge of the Boomer Bu…


. Chasing Ink With Camera! One Day On A Little Cayman Dive Boat

Little Cayman Island, population 200, attracts only two types of visitors.  Ornithologists. Experienced Scuba Divers.
Ornithologists because of the birds. The largest colony of Red Footed Boobies in the Caribbean is found on Little Cayman's Booby Pond. Scuba Divers go there because of the sheer wall of coral found in the island's underwater preserve, just north of the island.
My wife and I returned from Little Cayman Island on Sunday.  We weren't there for the birds.
We spent most of our week on a couple of dive boats. One large scuba boat was operated by Reef Divers out of the Little Cayman Resort.  The other, a small Boston Whaler operated by three divers, was out on the reef hunting the invasive lionfish.
Big or small, on Little Cayman the dive boats attract mature divers.  Youngest diver on the Reef Divers boat with us was probably 40.  The Oldest? 85 and counting.
A mature crowd meant people experienced in the s…

YaHaYa BaRuWa has knocked on 10,000 doors in Scarborough, to sell his first book

(The hard way to get a best seller)The Unusual Way One Man is Getting His Story Out - First Novel Sells Very Well By Stephen Weir Posted: 09/20/2012 5:37 pm Huffington Post Canada
Meet Yahaya Baruwa (pronounced: YaHaYa BaRuWa). He is a recent York University Graduate. On Tuesday he and I shared a microphone at CHRY-fm. It was the My Data Bag show with William Doyle Marshall. I was talking about art, films and books in a big picture fashion, Yahaya was much more practical -- very down to earth.
He was there to talk about the difficult journey he took to get his new novel Struggles of a Dreamer published. Just like the title, it was a struggle for the Nigerian Canadian to just get the book printed. When he couldn't find a traditional publisher, he decided to form a publishing company on his own and print his own book.
He told the radio listening audience that he has set a goal of getting a…

Underwater Film Maker Takes His Eco-Message Onto Dry Land in Revolution

Toronto Film Maker Opens Revolution at Toronto International Film Festival

(From a recent, popular Facebook posting by Stephen Weir)

I attended last night's world premiere of Rob Stewart's newest eco-documentary, Revolution. The full-length movie was screened  here in Toronto to an almost full house at TIFF.

Stewart, an underwater filmmaker (Shark Water) spends most of this movie above-water looking at how close the planet is to a total eco-meltdown. The movie is very critical of Canada's Tar Sands project. Great underwater scenes with whale sharks and manta rays.

Pictured is Stewart before and after the screening, and a plastic shark prop (from the movie) outside the Wellington Street bar where the after-party was held.

Diver Magazine Wreck Story Sidebar #3 Russian Destroyer

Cayman Brac  “The Russian Destroyer”
Wrecked  - Diver Magazine Feature by Stephen Weir September 2012. Sidebar 3

The Russian destroyer was actually a Russian Patrol Frigate based in Cuba. It was Patrol Vessel 356 until just before her sinking when she was named the Dive Captain Keith Tibbetts
Length 330’ Width 42’ Commissioned in 1984 Decommissioned in 1992 Sunk in 1996 Last passenger on ship – Jean Michelle Cousteau Armament – Two 5” deck gun.
Reef Divers, Cayman Brac visit the Destroyer almost daily, and occasionally will dive her at night.The Cayman Aggressor live-aboard usually dives her weekly.When conditions are right, she can be dove from shore.
Reef Divers at Brac Reef Beach Resort Cayman Brac 1-800-594-0843

Full Story: 
YouTube Video of a dive on the Russian Destroyer by Stephen Weir;postID=77624708288664…