Showing posts from April, 2012

Update on the death of diver Judy Swann April 13, 2012

ONTARIO 2012:Fatalities - Summaries & Recommendations

I am assisting the Ontario Underwater Council with the writing of fatality reports following the death of any scuba diver in provincial waters.  I have posted an earlier version of the report - what follows is current as of April 29, 2012.  The report was put together by: Stephen Weir          Sport Safety Consultant Ayisha Hassanali   Sport Safety Consultant Raimund Krob        Sport Safety Advisor
One can see a more complete version of this report at the Ontario Underwater Council's website
Fatalities - Summaries and Recommendations are listed in chronological order. Date of Incident:     2012-04-13 Summary:Dive Site: On Friday, April 13th, a 58-year old Caledon woman (Judy Ann Swann) and her husband (Eric Tolton) were planning on doing a dive to check out her brand-new dry-suit. The locations they considered for doing so inc…

Descending now airing in Canada

The Low Down On An Upcoming Scuba Show (May issue of Diver Magazine) By Stephen Weir 

A brand new Canadian based underwater TV series is descending to new heights thanks in part to its use of cutting edge video cameras. The Outdoor Life Network (OLN) has begun airing  Descending,  a scuba adventure TV series that uses the new Red One digital video camera to get hyper-real footage from the bottom of Lake Ontario to the wild waters of New Zealand.
The Red One, built by the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company (founded by Oakley owner Jim Jannard) is in the vanguard of the next generation of digital broadcast cameras.  Relatively small, pretty cheap ($25,000, not counting the  70 lb Gates waterproof housing) the Red has the ability to shoot highly detailed video images in very low light, far outstripping the capability of high def TV sets to show such amazing quality.  Underwater the Red One sees and records images more accurately than the human eye. This year’s Underworld Awakening horror mov…

Alain Paiement - Outsider Comes Inside! Scotiabank Photography Award

Montreal's Finest  Text  and video links(s) in English and French for an article/video posting for Huffington Post
Alain Paiement, Montreal photographer is one of three finalists nominated for the Scotiabank Photography Award (SPA) 2012, the largest annual peer reviewed celebration of excellence in Canadian contemporary photography. It is designed to raise the international profile of Canada's leading photographic artists. Trois photographes canadiens bien connus ont été choisis comme finalistes du Prix de photographie Banque Scotia (PPBS). (Scotiabank Photography Award) Il constitue la principale célébration annuelle de l'excellence évaluée par les pairs dans le domaine de la photographie contemporaine au Canada
See the English Video
See the French Video

Videos were edited and posted by George Socka - Beach Digital

Judy Swann passes

 Humber Bay Dive Incident: 58-year old woman passes in Toronto hospital

I recently volunteered to help the Ontario Underwater Council research and write fatality reports - accurate information about accidents that occur in the Province while people are diving. The reports are meant to give reliable/factual data to the dive community and to make recommendations on how to make the sport safer (based on the facts of the incident).
I had hoped I would go the whole year without having to work on a report.  Sadly that is not the case. A 58-year old woman died this week following a Friday April 13th incident in Toronto at Lake Ontario's Humber Bay. What follows is the report that has been posted on the Ontario Underwater Council web site.  It is reposted here because I write about diving and have built up a following of visitors looking for scuba information.

Date of Incident: 2012-04-13

A woman was brought up from the waters of Lake Ontario and police received a 911 call at
1:18 PM o…

The Best of Facebook

A Review About My Toronto Stage Debut At Harbourfront
Pictured I am on stage at Toronto's Harbourfront, in the midst of my acting debut.  My wife and I and 4 of our friends were 20% of the Greek chorus in two short plays Ajax and Little Iliad. The mask was integral part of my costume. The pair of plays were written and performed by hometown guys Eban Webber and Frank Cox-Connell. They had a 5-performance run at the Enwave Theatre as part of Harbourfront’s annual World Stage Theatre.  The two short plays took a 21st century Social Media generation approach to the telling of one the (mostly) lost Greek epic plays, which chronicled the Trojan Wars.  What is left of the Little Iliad is thought to been written in the middle of the 7th century BC. Webber and Cox-Connell's first short play frame their take on the Little Iliad by portraying two friends talking on Skype.  Eban Webber (playing himself) is on stage while the Cox-O'Connell appears as a Skype transmission projection o…

Journalists use linked in information for criminal investigation pieces

(as published in Huffington Post -
LinkedIn Privacy Alert - Telephone, Telegraph and Tell a Publicist LinkedIn With Investigative Journalists - Maybe You Want To Drop Me Soon
Yesterday, for the second time in a month an investigative criminal reporter has called me looking for info on people that I am linked into through the popular business social network.
This time it was concerning a case of medical fraud, and one of my Linkedin  contacts was related to a doctor arrested in the US. 
The Star was trying to reach Toronto relatives for comment. My Linkedin contact, a member of the media himself, was related directly to this doctor.
At the beginning of the month the Globe and Mail was asking for Linkedin information that would help the paper contact a woman about to be charged over an insider trading issue (gold stocks).
Their calls kicked off an internal ethical debate.  You see, I am a trained journalist…

500 (or so) got wrecked on the week-end in Welland, Ontario

18th annual Shipwreck Festival sets a record for number of paid attendees
Over 500 wreck aficionados crowded into a high school theatre in Welland to hear North America's top shipwreck experts talk about their latest underwear finds.  Shipwreck 2012, Ontario's largest underwater event, is  an annual symposium staged by the Niagara Dive Association (NDA).  This year's wreckstock set an attendance record. " We reached that magical number of 500 paid attendance" said volunteer organizer Ian Marshall on Saturday at the Welland Centennial High School, just as the Shipwreck 2012 conference was wrapping up, "We do know that we sold over 500 passes, but, there were a number of  divers who bought tickets but didn't them up so the actual attendance will be a little lower than tickets sold. But, of course, we have to add in all the unpaid exhibitors and speakers numbers too, to find out how many made it here this year. Going to be next week before we get the f…