Community media money – where is it going?

INDEPENDENT MEDIA by Steve Anderson

Prior to the deregulation of community TV in 1997, all Canadian communities with 2,000 cable subscribers or more enjoyed access to a cable-operated community TV channel. Some communities even had a vibrant network of volunteer media makers, such as the 1,200 or so volunteers across 12 regional offices throughout Vancouver’s Lower Mainland. The resources for community TV came from a broadcast levy collected by cable companies, and which was considered a public trust.

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Performances redeem Tolstoy’s story

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead

As costume dramas go, The Last Station is perfunctory and sags in the middle. Set in the last year of Leo Tolstoy’s life, it dramatizes the battle between the author’s wife Sofya and the leaders of the Tolstoyan Movement – which the writer founded – over the rights to his works. The tussle over intellectual property rights has obvious contemporary resonance, even though the film is set exactly a hundred years ago in pre-revolutionary Russia. But although Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren, as the volatile couple, provide fireworks and humour, the theme is found wanting.

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Earth needs an Avatar

SCIENCE MATTERS by David Suzuki with Faisal Moola

For more than 40 years, I’ve been involved in making television programs to educate people about science and the natural world. But people watch television in a desultory way, often interrupted by the need to help children with homework, let the dog out or go to the fridge for a beer or to the bathroom for a break. So we tune in and out, often forgetting whether we got a memorable factoid from The Nature of Things or Grey’s Anatomy.

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This month’s cover: A contextual reframing and some meandering thoughts on Avatar and the Internet

by Geoff Olson

The defunct humour magazine National Lampoon once ran a regular feature called “Professor Kennelworth Explains the Joke.” The professor dissected groaners about farmers’ daughters and animals walking into bars. He parsed their structure and determined why they were funny. Of course, if you have to “explain” any joke, you’re in trouble.

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Grey whales & friends – a Pacific Rim celebration

by Jim Shinkewski and Marla Barker

Who doesn’t love whales? Who doesn’t at least like marine mammals in some way? Given the popularity of events, research and the industry that often spotlight their peculiar lives and the high profile of BC’s marine wildlife, it is safe to assume that many British Columbians have a soft spot for these remarkable mammals. Fortunately for us, we’re on the doorstep of migratory corridors that offer the opportunity to witness the presence of an array of whales, dolphins and porpoises, as well as the annual migration of the world’s largest population of California grey whales along our most west-coastal waters. We’re talking upwards of 20,000 strong making their way from the warm calving and breeding lagoon waters off of the Baja toward the cold, nutrient-rich waters of the Arctic north, often within viewing distance of shore.

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