Rants

Everything from a cereal box to a skyscraper starts with a design. But how does the creative process behind it unfold? How do inspiration, vision and practical reality come together, and ultimately lead to the development of a brand new building, product or work of art?

GREAT MINDS OF DESIGN (Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on documentary) follows a wide variety of highly creative designers driven by innovative ideas, tracking a different design process in each episode from concept to completion.

Witness a new creation take shape at the hands of its maker; learn about different design media and their history; and meet the visionary people behind everyday objects and ambitious ideas. GREAT MINDS OF DESIGN features everyone from computer-aided industrial designers to street artists, and designers whose work becomes quite conceptual.

From their desire to create something that is functional and aesthetically pleasing, to finding solutions to human problems, social issues, or groundbreaking improvements to previous concepts, the series explores what drives the development of new designs and their impact on the world.

Episode 1: “Urban Redesign” – Three street artists redesign the cityscape with clever ‘urban interventions,’ that use natural elements, such as grass, soil and flowers as their materials, repurposing city infrastructure for their ‘art stunts,’ to point out issues in need of attention.

Episode 2:  “Solar Stained Glass” – Canadian stained glass designer Sarah Hall works in Germany, but designs architectural glass for buildings around the world, creating colourful works which revolutionize this centuries-old art by incorporating solar collecting cells into the glass itself, collecting energy during the day to illuminate the glass at night and to help power the building.

Episode 3:  “Designing Cultures: Haiti” – Designer Patty Johnson travels to the devastated country of Haiti, where she works with local artisans and craftspeople whose practice is deeply connected to Voodoo.  After months of working with the Haitians, Johnson develops a product line based on their rich culture, which debuts at an international design market back in Canada.

Episode 4:  “Architecture by Nature” – Architect Trevor McIvor and his partners design buildings that take advantage of the innate heating and cooling characteristics of nature.  From an impressive off-the-grid “cottage” that requires no artificial cooling, to a green-roofed sound studio that slowly rises out of the earth, McIvor lets nature dictate how a structure should be designed.

Episode 5:  “Designing with Ghosts” – Nicholas Kennedy works with the ghosts of printing’s past, by using salvaged equipment that the modern industry now considers obsolete. An art school dropout, flunking out of photography and new media, he opened his own print shop while still in his early twenties. His style of “anti-design” or “found design” insists that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you create.

Episode 6:  “Dream Big. Do Good. Spread Joy” – In Helen Kerr’s design process, the designer isn’t the decisive author of everything, but rather one of many collaborators on a large team. They work together in researching a new project, taking into account different points of view, and getting to the heart of the problem that needs solving. In this episode, Kerr visits a factory to oversee production of a line of modular chairs, creates a complexly folded bag out of recycled cardboard, and travels to New York City to meet with partners on a multifaceted and conceptual new project.

The new Kate Plus 8 premiered this week and in summary, it was a good PR move. Kate has returned, and she hasn’t changed. In the first of two episodes, viewers were given a glimpse into her life while doing Dancing with the Stars and other press tours. Whether you agree or disagree that the mom of eight should be working in showbiz, it’s the reality and the show acted as a reminder that Kate Gosselin is not a frosty individual just hoping to climb to the top. Perhaps both of those things are true, but the episode truly did help viewers remember that she is human and she is a mother who succumbs to stress just like anyone else. After months of negative media, this was exactly what was needed to start things off.

The second episode was exactly like an episode of John and Kate Plus 8, minus John, of course. It showed the mother doing things with her family, and demonstrated that Kate hasn’t changed. Her hair may be longer and she might feel a little jaded when it comes to relationships, but her attitude is as it always has been, whether that’s something you love or hate.

I recently sent a complaint to Cityline staff after watching one too many idiot comment made by Tracy (after cutting off the guest mid-sentence, of course). Apparently the folks at Cityline see me as part of a minority as opposed to the majority “who love her!”. I would love to see actual members of this “majority” (none of whom exist around me in real life) speak of their love for Tracy on the Cityline forum as well as members of the “minority” who dislike her.

Okay, so we’ve seen a lot of spoilers about what’s to be expected when Grey’s Anatomy returns in the New Year. But forget about what those so called “experts” predict. Here is what I think should happen when the season commences.

– more medicine – so far, I’ve been loving the increased focus on medicine this season. More medical drama, less personal drama. It’s likely the great old early days of Grey’s again

– no more dead people – if Denny returns, I will pull my hair out and that’s a promise. Last season’s constant “I see dead people” really got old. Izzie can come back, but leave her visions of dead people behind. Cancer or no cancer

– Meredith drama – for someone previously surrounded by constant drama, Meredith has fairly well escaped this season. There’s been very little drunken tequila nights, in fact, she seems to be the responsible one. I’m all for the Mer-Der thing, but their relationship does need to be shaken up a little bit for the good or for the bad. Sometimes there’s just too much of a good thing

– the departure of the Chief – the man needs to step back, enough said

– More interaction with the new docs – the Grey’s docs don’t like the Mercy Westers, we get that..so why isn’t there more interaction or even drama? Bring it!

 

It’s the holiday season and while there are many holiday shows on the air, many of the great primetime shows are on hiatus. I don’t know about you, but this is the time of year that I would love nothing more than to sit in front of the fire with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine, and watch my favorite shows. Sure, a holiday special does it once in a while, but what about Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and my other favs? Where the heck did they go?

Okay, so Desperate Housewives is still airing, but Grey’s did an episode prior to American Thanksgiving that featured that holiday along with Christmas and New Year’s all rolled into one. I’m sorry, but I’m just not ready to celebrate the holidays with my favorite characters in mid-November, before I’ve even started to put up my own decorations. Now, when I’m really ready to cozy up with my favorite show, it’s absent until the New Year. It just doesn’t seem right!

Am I the only one who doesn’t appreciate TV shows that take a holiday hiatus? Okay fine, shows don’t need to air the week of Christmas, or even between Christmas and New Year’s, but do they really need to stop in November?

The time has finally come, Jon & Kate Plus 8 is finally beginning to get old for a die hard fan (me). I have to be honest, this season I’ve primarily watched the show for great blog content; although I did enjoy it during previous seasons. This week, I could have watched the show when it aired on Monday; in fact, I tuned in and then I changed the channel. I’m done with the sob stories; yes divorce sucks, yes it’s hard on the estranged couple, but it was their decision. Instead of focusing on the how it’s affecting the children, they’re complaining about how hard it is to do it alone. Yes, I get it, no I’m not being heartless, I’m just tired of a couple who should be grieving the loss of their marriage, doing so, so publicly and constant.

On Monday night, I tuned into the season premiere of Gossip Girl, instead of Jon & Kate Plus 8, a show I typically catch on reruns, if that. I did watch the missed episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8 when it reaired last night on TLC and I could have done without. Let’s be honest here, blog content, or no blog content, I just don’t think I can do it anymore. Jon & Kate Plus 8, you might be young parents, but you’re getting old!!

This week on Good Morning America, Jon Gosselin lashed out at his soon to be ex-wife Kate Gosselin, saying that he took a lot of abuse in the marriage. Yeah, well, anyone who watched the show pretty much knew that already. But in an attempt to make his estranged wife look bad, he admitted something we already suspected – that his selfishness played a role in ending his marriage.

During his interview on GMA, Jon Gosselin commented on Kate’s busy schedule with her speaking engagements and book tour, and how it left him holding down the fort at home Well, excuse me, I’m taking care of the kids. She’s on book tours, she’s doing all these things. You know, she’s gone a week. You know, comes back. Unpacks, repacks, does laundry, packs up and leaves again,” Gosselin said. “I’m standing there like, ‘Oh, OK. Your mom’s gone again.'” His concern, clearly wasn’t about his kids not seeing their mom often enough, because that doesn’t lead to divorce. Jon Gosselin was clearly resentful of all of the responsibility he was left with at home while taking care of his 8 children.

I think it’s clear that Jon would rather be a carefree party dad, as he’s demonstrating now since he’s found freedom from Kate and would rather not deal with the responsibility of caring for 8 children on his own. Fair to some degree, but his wife did it; during the first 2 years of their children’s lives, Kate stayed home with the children, at a stage when as parents they needed to be more hands on than ever, while Jon went to work for 12 or more hours per day. Yes, that’s called making a living, but it’s no different from what Kate is trying to do now. Whether or not you agree that the family is capitalizing strictly by throwing their kinds in the spotlight, it is now how they make a living to support their family, and a little bit of give and take is necessary for any strong marriage; clearly something that Jon was no longer willing to do, even for the sake of the family.

Let’s not even get into the fact that by airing their dirty laundry to the nation, going as far as saying he “despises Kate”, Jon Gosselin is putting his children in a situation where they’re likely to see the conflict taking place between their parents.

Jon Gosselin, you’ve heard it before but it’s time to grow up and be a dad.

 

It was announced yesterday by FOX, that the new 4th American Idol judge would be Ellen Degeneres. I’m a huge fan, and love her talk show, but I have to say I’m a little bit reluctant to be excited about her run on Idol. Sure, she’ll be funny, and as she mentioned in her own personal announcement, she will be able to represent the aspect of a fan giving a voice to all of the viewers at home. But I saw her stint on So You Think You Can Dance, and if it’s going to be like that every week, I think it will get old. On So You Think You Can Dance, she provided no actual feedback on the performances and instead tried to use the performances for material to make jokes. She was funny, she was witty; you’ve got to hand all of that to her, but that’s not why I tune into American Idol, and I would bet many other viewers feel the same way.

I’m not saying there’s no room for humor on American Idol, and I think that her presence at the judging table will provide great opportunity for banter between the judges which definitely ads an added element of interest to the show. I would just hate to see her commentary become one big stand up comedy routine. At this point, I think things could go either way. I’m rooting for her, but I’l reluctant to like this decision.

Last night Kate Gosselin made an appearance on Larry King live as part of her post-divorce press tour. Her interview with Larry King was the usual song and dance that we’ve learned to expect from her. She refused to answer any of the hard questions – like how her and Jon went from renewing their marriage vows in Hawaii one month, to on the verge of separation the next. Instead of addressing these questions posed by the talk show host, she claimed she couldn’t answer because she’s vowed to say only positive things for the sake of her kids. Yeah right…we’ve all been watching and seen the knocks against her estranged husband.

Kate did address a few divorce topics, explaining how her 8 children are coping with the split: “They understand the process [of divorce]. They’re working through it the same way that Jon and I are. They’re doing remarkably well.”

I can’t help but think that she is discouraging people from watching her TLC show, which is obviously something she’s not setting out to accomplish. Ratings might have been higher than ever around the time the reality tv couple announced their split, but for all of those who are hoping to tune in to learn some more juicy gossip about the couple, it’s being made pretty clear that it’s not something we can expect.

Kate did address one recent piece of news that came out of the rumor mill – the fight at the former couple’s home that lead to police being called and Kate checking into a local hotel in tears. Kate claims she knew that the kids were in the hands of a babysitter, and not their dad whose time it was with the kids. “It was not this huge fight,” she said. “It was just a thing where I wanted to be there with the kids as opposed to a babysitter. And he wasn’t fond of that idea.” She also explains that she didn’t call 911, but did pick up the phone to the local police. She blames the incident on this being one of her bad days, ” I have good days and bad days…this day was a rough day.”

What do you think’s in store for Jon & Kate Plus 8..not the media frenzy, the TLC show?

Ok, so I have to say I’m a little bit annoyed – last season of Grey’s Anatomy we were left with a cliff hanger that could arguably have been the most intense season finale that the show has produced during their 5 seasons on the air. Viewers hung onto the shocking scene when it was discovered that the good samarian patient who was disfigured and yet to be identified was George O’Malley. The progression of the episode was so well done, that even thinking about it again now, it’s giving me the chills, just as it did when I watched the last 5 minutes over and over again on YouTube. So that being said I’m feeling a little irritated about how Grey’s producers have allowed this plotline to be spoiled, even before season 6 began filming.

I know; I’ve released some spoilers myself regarding what to expect for season 6 – but those are take it or leave it. You would have had to look closely in order to find some of those answers. However, what you can’t avoid is the glaring media attention regarding TR Knight’s decision to leave the hit series. As viewers were left wondering whether Izzie or George would live to see season 6, it’s pretty much been revealed since the actor playing George has been quite vocal about his decision to not return to filming with the series. Could Grey’s Anatomy producers and TR Knight not arranged for a little bit of silence until season 6 premiered and the plotline unfolded with out ruin? I mean, come on! We can avoid spoilers, but we can’t avoid the obvious, and not everyone wants to know the outcome of one of Grey’s Anatomy’s best plots before the season even airs!

It’s one thing when fans of the show can take or leave the hints that have been dropped surrounding the outcome of the cliffhanger, but another, when, unless there is a very serious twist to the plot, we have no choice. Now that you know what’s to come, I bet you won’t be as eager to tune into the season 6 premier, because neither will I!