What’s New — Out of the Blue Book

When Robert Stromberg was a child, his father told him a story about a strange light he’d seen in the sky when he was a teenager. “He told it in such detail, and I was so fascinated that I don’t think I ever stopped looking at the sky the same way since.” The close encounter inspired his dad, filmmaker William R. Stromberg, to make low-budget creature features (The Crater Lake Monster) with a focus on the supernatural. “He built monsters and creatures in our garage,” says Stromberg, who grew up in San Diego, hanging around watching his dad mold those monsters. “He taught me how to be curious and to look at the world in a slightly skewed way.” Stromberg channeled that skewed view into a visual effects career that has won him back-to-back Academy Awards, and multiple Emmy Awards. I spoke with Stromberg about those old mysteries of the night sky, which have drawn him into directing the first two episodes of the Robert Zemeckis-produced series Blue Book, in my latest piece for Emmy Magazine (click here or on the icon above to read it).

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What’s New — Cannabis Confusion

While  the country celebrated the much-anticipated legalization of cannabis on Oct. 17, in BC chaos and confusion reigned as many shops closed, others continued to operate in a hazy grey area, and still others defiantly carried on, business as usual, openly selling the banned bud in contravention of the new law. Some pot shops were even raided, despite the solicitor general’s implied nod to a grace period. Click here or on the icon above to read what little light I was able to shed on this issue in my latest piece for Marijuana Business Daily.

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What’s New — Hotels Serve up New Catering Menus

Younger guests, ethnic travelers, and environmentally conscious corporations are all inspiring a shake-up in traditional banquet and catering menus. Lifestyle changes are driving healthier options, such as vegetarian, gluten-free and lighter meals. Visitors from other cultures appreciate the occasional dosa, taco or steamed pork bun. Others are hungry to try destination-specific foods, such as BC salmon, Alberta beef or Quebec poutine with a creative twist. Then there are the brides and grooms who say “I don’t” to white linen and Waterford crystal in favour of unfussy family-style long tables for their wedding reception. Click here or on the icon above to read my latest piece for Hotelier Magazine about how hotels are responding to a growing appetite for more diverse fare.

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What’s New — Cancer-Sniffing Canines

The average mutt’s snout contains roughly 250 million olfactory cells — compared to a human’s mere five million — so it only makes sense to put those sniffers to work detecting one of humankind’s most deadly diseases. But many researchers continue to face suspicion and skepticism from the medical community, despite their testing programs’ impressive results. To read more about their dogged determination to prove cancer-sniffing canines pass the smell test, click here or on the icon above to read my latest piece for The Daily Beast.

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What’s New — Cinematographer Lindsay George

At just three years old, Toronto–born and raised Lindsay George began strutting her stuff at the Islington School of Dance, studying ballet, jazz and tap, in hopes of becoming a professional modern dancer. As a teen, she perfected her poise at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, a school similar to the one in the 1980 movie Fame.  But soon after graduation, while at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, she discovered photography, which sparked the mental stimulus that was missing from the dance floor. So she hung up her ballet slippers, packed her bags and headed west to study film at Vancouver’s UBC. Today, the 35–year–old, multi–award–nominated cinematographer works in a variety of media, including documentaries, music videos, movies and television. Click here or on the icon above to read my Q&A with her in my latest piece for The Lens.

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What’s New — That Lump-in-Your-Throat Feeling

If you’ve ever had a persistent feeling of a lump in your throat, as if you’re trying to hold back tears, except you’re not sad or upset, you’ll be relieved to hear there’s a name for that: It’s a condition called globus pharyngeus, more casually referred to as globus sensation, and nearly half the population experiences it, usually around middle age. You’ll also be relieved to learn that there are myriad causes of this little reported-on malady, mostly benign — from anxiety to acid reflux to allergies to excessive muscle tension to an ulcer to cancer, although that’s rare — which can make diagnosing it a challenge. I talked to some of the foremost experts on globus for my first story for The Daily Beast, link here (or on the icon above).

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What’s New — Navigating the Road to Cannabis Tourism

Marijuana tourism could become one of the more lucrative ancillary business sectors once legalization takes effect October 17. Already big business in legalized areas of the U.S., a range of tours for the “cannasseur” or the plain cannabis curious, include visits to growing facilities, dispensaries and glass-blowing studios, often aboard luxury limos or rocking party buses. Canadian entrepreneurs planning to follow a similar path to toker tourism need to explore the necessary rules, regs, tips and techniques, as outlined in my latest piece for Marijuana Business Daily.

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