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JUICEBOXdotcom vs. A VELOCIRAPTOR

Posted on July 2, 2008 by

With all due credit to the world’s 10-year-olds, JUICEBOXdotcom never really grew out of its dinosaur obsession. So when we got the press release for something called WALKING WITH DINOSAURS at the Air Canada Centre, we lost our collective shit. How had we never heard of this until now? Apparently it’s a critically acclaimed $20 million traveling show, six years in the making (more like 200 million years, amirite?). I guess it’s just sad to realize that the world travels of 36-foot animatronic dinosaurs aren’t really your scene.

When we inquired about passes to this utopia, we were sure our press request — wherein we cite a “a distinct lack of dinosaurs on our site that we should probably solve” — would be turned down. Fast forward to us watching Triceratops’ smash each other’s faces along with 20,000 grade schoolers! 36-foot dinosaurs! I saw them! Moving! I don’t know how to review this other than for you to agree to understand that it’s as awesome as it sounds. Seriously, peep this:

Children were booking it for the exits.

Now without the words for a review, I decided to interview one of the show’s real, live dinosaurs instead. Meet David Waddleton. He plays a raptor in the show (oh yeah… sorry to break it to you, humans play the parts of the dinosaurs). He’s also been an extra on Degrassi and on the cover of a Harlequin romance novel. Suffice to say, now that he has DINOSAUR on his resume, he more or less has the most solid career of anyone ever. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Waddleton:

So level with me, was raptor your first choice of dinosaur? Because mine would be T-REX.
When you join the tour, you’re trained at the simplest level: raptor. It takes you about six months of training before you can even get inside the baby T. You’re in that suit for about 12 minutes, so it’s tough.

Were there many other physical requirements?
I think you have to be a minimum of 5’10 and max of around 6’2 and you have to fit in the suit even if you pass the test. Oh, and you can’t be claustrophobic or have any injuries.

What are the internal mechanisms of the costumes like?
That’s level 4 security information, I cant tell you… Okay, someone dresses you. You climb into the raptor, which is held on a stand, strap a backpack-like harness over you and then a tight Velcro belt. Then the dresser puts your feet into the side of the raptor legs, all the while you’re fiddling around with your walkie talkie in the dark. There’s a hinged handlebar in front of you with a brake-like lever that you squeeze to close the mouth and another button further up the bar that opens and closes the eyes. Buttons on the left and right activate different sounds.

Is it hard to move around?
The first time I got in, I almost fell over. I didn’t know how to operate the handles and couldn’t see where I was going. You cant see in front of you, only a bit through the sides. Plus I was supposed to run in a deep lunge stride. I was out of breath and exhausted after three minutes.

Are any of your acting friends jealous that you get to be a dinosaur while they do cereal commercials?
I wouldn’t knock a national cereal commercial in the USA. That’s pretty good money! If they were jealous, I’d have to say it’s because I’m working.

What’s been the most awesome part about being a dinosaur?
The best part is you never know what’s going to happen. You might step on a a tail, run into Pangea, miss a cue. It’s fun and teaches you how to fix things on the fly and remain calm while running virtually blind.

Are there any downsides to being a dinosaur? (Other than extinction)
Sometimes we have bad catering. It’s a tough life. I’d say injuries are the only thing that’s rough. The body takes such a beating.

With all those dinosaur suits and props around, I’d be doing backflips off of Brachiosaurus and shit. Any good stories from rehearsal?
I’m going to refrain from saying anything in fear that it might come back to me somehow.

Aw. Okay, are there ever blunders during the performances? I’d like to see a dinosaur fall down.
Once every blue moon a raptor will fall over and that’s really funny, as long as nobody gets hurt. Remember, the raptors weigh over 100 pounds. There are some raptor bloopers on Youtube, I think. [Ed.’s note: Hahaha.]

Anything else you want to tell us that’ll impress folks who haven’t seen the show yet?
Watch “Making of the Dinosaurs”

And as a burgeoning young dinosaur/actor, are there any any other projects you’re working on that you’d like to pimp?
Before this tour, I just finished shooting an independent called Come Clean. And I’m in the current New Balance print campaign. I’m fairly new in the industry, so I’ll let you know when I have something big.

BIG LIKE A DINOSAUR?!

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ATTN: Nerds

Posted on May 26, 2008 by

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Author, at centre, in homemade bumblebee costume.

In these modern times chockablock full of data streams and data ports and data nuggets, it’s becoming harder and harder to determine who’s a nerd. Dude working in the cubicle next to you could be a level 79 Dwarf Priest in World of Warcraft. The cute barista’s gonna jet right home after work and fire up her Xbox 360 to kick ass in Gears of War.

Back in the day, if you let it be known that you were into computers or Nintendo, you were asking for a beatdown from the Chet and Gords of this world. But now Chet and Gord make a wicked tag-team in Team Fortress 2.

While the social climate of today is admittedly a hell of a lot more accepting of us basement-dwellers than in the past — take heart, geekazoids: there are still a few options for those of us who still crave the old stigmas. If you’re terrified that girls are actually starting to talk to you instead of just staring at your Cheeto-stained neckbeard, just become crazy-obsessed with any of the things on this list. And soon, all will be right with the Force once more…

THE NEW BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
This show has it all. Babealicious robots. Cool-ass spaceships that sometimes (often) shoot at other cool-ass spaceships. Hunkalicious dudes, if you’re a girl or into that (and in these times of upheaval for geekdom, who knows, you know?)

The show’s now in its fourth and final season, with the humans on the verge of finding the mythical planet Earth (I know, eh!?) and the cyborg Cylon race hell-bent on getting there before them… and also killing them all. However, nerds should tread carefully; the new BSG often weaves in allusions to real-world events, and a true dork doesn’t wanna get caught up in a discussion about Iraq when you could be talking about how many lightyears the Galactica can travel in a single hyperspace jump.

METAL
Now, hold up, wait a minute, you might be saying. Metal is for nerds? I thought it was strictly for big dudes who wear the same black shirt every single day and have never so much as talked to a girl, complete social reject-oh. OH. Yeah, that works.

Metal is definitely the geekiest type of music. I don’t care what ‘subgenre’ you listen to. When you listen to metal, you are a nerd. And that’s by no means a bad thing; the appeal and power of metal is in its group mentality and the sense of belonging its fans experience. I’m just sayin’, songs about hobbits and dragons and monsters, not to mention totally bitchin’ riffage? Count me in, dudes.

ALL THOSE ADULT SWIM CARTOONS
Not gonna lie, I’ve never really understood the appeal of most of these. I tried to watch The Brak Show once and I think I blacked out. Space Ghost, same deal. I watched an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force once when I had the flu and it was kinda funny. Anyway, the point is, nerds worship these shows religiously for some reason, and they’re pretty much built around dumb catchphrases that you can regurgitate with your friends and no one else is gonna sit at your lunch table and put up with that.

ANIME
‘Japanese animation.’ Energy balls and dinner-plate eyes. GLORIOUS NIPPON. Get a life you geeks. Fuck anime, seriously.

RPGs
The big one. Whether it’s in video game or tabletop form, role-playing games are still wholly the domain of nerds and the nerdly-at-heart. At their core, role-playing games revolve around the idea of complete character customization: you create your ‘avatar,’ ‘level up’ to increase your ‘HP’ and gain various ‘abilities.’ If these terms are wholly unfamiliar to you, congratulations dude, you have probably banged more girls than I will ever see in my whole life.

snoop_dogg_and_sour_nerds.jpgOf course, the first major RPG to enter the public consciousness was Dungeons and Dragons in the 80’s, but the 21st century is the RPG’s second coming. World of Warcraft has somehow transcended its origins and gotten to the point where even my mom has ‘definitely heard of it.’ And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Did you ever read that book, Snow Crash? (Trick question, every nerd ever has read this book). Second Life is gonna make that shit a reality.

I guess the point is, the only real way to stay on the cutting-edge of absolute geekdom is to roll with the punches. You’ve gotta seek out the crazy crap that no one else likes and stick to it like a barnacle, and then jump ship when the squares start coming aboard. Everything changes, dudes.

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“The First Time I Went On a Rollercoaster,” by Andrew W.K.

Posted on May 14, 2008 by

JUICEBOXdotcom first crossed paths with Andrew W.K. for an intensely romantic episode of Exclaim!TV last Valentine’s Day. What was supposed to end in a three-minute video turned into a 25-minute, four-part magnum opus. Since then, we’ve learned what it’s like to fall in love all over again for the first time. DO YOU REALIZE HOW AMAZING ANDREW W.K. IS?! He reads bedtime stories to kids. He was the guest of honour at at the Yale University Master’s Tea. And he produced a Lee “Scratch” Perry record. But when he’s not doing that, he’s writing ever so earnestly about rollercoasters.

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Andrew W.K. teaches Moby how to live

The first time I went on a roller-coaster. The feeling is absolutely untouchable. It is solid-gold. It is addictive and dangerous and ferocious. The sounds of the wheels slamming across the metal tracks – in a smooth but complicated roar. The sounds are so chunky and sharp – but melt away into long silences when you’re floating in mid air – only to hit down hard – crashing against gravity – back into reality. The speed of the air moving by you – you must let go and you can’t fight it – you leave your body in one place and there is a delay before it catches back up to you. It is, quite literally, a vehicle to transport you to another place. To travel into that void. Carefully stepping around it’s edges, occasionally slipping in, but always grabbing onto something. Finally you allow yourself to go – all completely – is life’s voyage. To believe. More… »

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Six Reasons To Go See the Blue Jays This Summer

Posted on April 14, 2008 by

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BASEBALL STARTED. That means the Blue Jays! It also means something that isn’t the Maple Leafs!

If you’re not convinced yet, here are some things that will persuade you to give money to Rogers:

HECKLING

Last week, against Oakland, we moved down to the first row of the outfield and heckled the shit out of the Athletics’ Center Fielder, Ryan Sweeney. One of my fellows (who wishes to remain anonymous), delivered a winner with “Hey Sweeney, your sister’s in my trunk!” Keep in mind that Sweeney was standing about 20 feet away. But did he turn around and run into the stands to beat us up? No. He ignored us the best he could as we continued with “Hey Ryan come over and play Goldeneye for N64 later!”

Bottom line is, you can yell anything you want to any of these players without feeling bad for them, since they are paid millions of dollars to tune you out! But you know some of them (especially the rookies) can hear you loud and clear, and die a little inside every time. And at the end of every game, I feel like a bigger man because of it.

DRUNKEN BRAWLS

brawl.jpgYou must of read about this on the news. You may have even seen the blurry videos of it on YouTube. But you didn’t see them in person. I did, you slackers. And now the Blue Jays have made the $2 Toonie Tuesday seats an alcohol free zone to try and stop the massive brawls. What they haven’t figured out yet is that people who can only afford a $2 ticket aren’t buying the $11 beers. They are the ones sneaking hard liquor in. So I suggest you go to as many of these as you can to partake (or take part?) in the European football-ish debauchery. They are May 6, May 20, and June 10. I will be the one with the billy club.

THE SANDLOT REFERENCES

As if you don’t quote this movie enough, being at a baseball game is the perfect place to bust out your favorite Squints lines. Or your best impression of Ham’s “You’re killing me Smalls!” And if your friend’s friends don’t know what you’re talking about, you can shun them and talk about Wendy Pefercorn, or how unenthused Dennis Leary is in this movie.

If you have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, fuck you. Fuck you and every other movie you’ve ever seen.

mcgowan.jpgDUSTIN McGOWAN

McGowan is the third pitcher in the Jays’ rotation. He’s turning 26 this year, and is one of the most promising up and coming stars in the Major Leagues. In a few years he will be an all star. And you won’t. But why should YOU go see him?

Because he’s dead fucking sexy.

Nice cut jawline. Old school mutton chops. Stunning physique. And eyes that say “I can’t wait to go to Picadilly’s and find some bitties later.” Still not sold? How about the fact that he can throw a baseball faster than you have ever driven in a car? He’s a major league pitcher, his arm is a weapon. It can kill. Imagine what he could do your organs.

BITTIES

I had forgotten how hot summer bitties were. But the Rogers Center reminded me and I couldn’t get up to cheer for the next dinger. Nothing is nicer than a potentially underage lady in a backwards New Era cap and a pair of capris. You can choose to heckle or to hoot at them. Either way, you don’t need to pay $8 for candy anymore.

AMERICANA

There really is nothing like baseball on a breezy summer evening. The smell of hot dogs, the crack of the bat, the cheer of the crowd . . . add in downtown Toronto smog, the often closed roof of the skydome, and at least $30 for a seat where you are close enough to see what the players actually look like, and you’ve got Toronto’s version of the American pastime. But seriously, can you come up with a better way to celebrate the oldest North American sports league than by watching Puerto Ricans who make $15 million more a year than you ever will slouch around in the dugout? I can’t. So see you there, fuckers.

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THE KIDS TODAY: Controlling Women

Posted on March 10, 2008 by

Ben Rispin has played in a lot of bands (like the Video Dead and the Saint Alvia Cartel). He’s toured with some more bands he wasn’t even in (like Jersey). And he’s nominated for a Juno for Best Rock Album (really). With The Kids Today, he shares his years of hard-earned wisdom with a new generation of totally sweet dudes and ladies.

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I, like many humans with a penis, like to have sex with a woman. I love all my friends who have penises and like to have sex with dudes, but this is about dudes who were born with vaginas. The day I get drunk enough to sleep with a dude who was born with a penis, I’ll write about it, but for now I’ll stick with what I know (or have kind of fumbled around with in the past).

One popular trend I have seen lately which seems to be sweeping the nation is controlling women. Now, I get it. I love that Weezer song as much as the next dude (you know the “Laugh for No One Else” jam?) More… »

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GREG’S PLACE, Vol. 1: The Rat Story

Posted on March 5, 2008 by

Greg lives in one of the oldest houses in Halifax. It’s so old that the best way to get from his bedroom on one side of the house to the bathroom on the other side of the house is by way of a swing (really). Anyhow, Greg is prone to adventure. And prone to writing about his adventures in the first person. This is one of them.

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“I think we have a chance to kill the rat,” Tom whispered, “meet me in the front hallway.”

“Be right there. I’m just outside.” I closed my cell and finished parking the rental cargo van. Tom stood in the doorway of our century old decrepit Halifax home. He quietly asked me to take my shoes off and motioned to follow him.

Alright, he’s definitely stoned, I thought to myself.

More… »

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