Buckle up Ottawa

rally cross

credit: http://redbullglobalrallycross.com/

Buckle up Ottawa, Red Bull is back and it’s bringing one of its biggest events – rally cross! I mean who wouldn’t want to see a car jump 80 to 100 feet in the air and precisely cut in front of an opponent on a crazy curve? That’s right, the Red Bull Rally Cross is here in Ottawa and its making history. This will be the first major motorsport event EVER in the city. Well, well, well, it looks like it only took 150 years for anything good to show up!


This will be an exciting event; it’s a mix of rally, circuit, ludicrous jumps and fearless drivers. 6 drivers on a line racing for 5 laps, with 10 laps for the finals, and contact is allowed the whole time. These cars are amazing, and not a lot of people know about them. Who would of thought that a little Ford Focus or Volkswagen beetle would have a faster acceleration than a F1 car? Yes indeed! Well, at least faster than a F1 car well at launch. These little beasts have around 650 horse power (HP) and will do 0 to 100 km/h in 1.6sec to 1.9 sec. Imagine going to work in one of those, “Oh hi boss, I’m early again and the work is all done. Can I have a raise so I can pay off all these tickets I’ve been racking up?”

redbull rally cross

Credit: http://redbullglobalrallycross.com/





It’s a very entertaining show and its deserves respect among the motorsport world. I believe we are very lucky to have this event here in Ottawa. Bring your family and friends – I am positive you will enjoy the show! And Ottawa, let’s not wait another 150 years to book an event like this, I would love to see them again next year. Make me proud Ottawa!

Here’s what you can expect from this event:


Let me know in the comments below if you’re planning on heading out to this Red Bull event, or if you attended Red Bull Crashed Ice.


Facebook Promo:

We’re making history this weekend – the first ever motor sport event in the city is here: Red Bull Rally Cross. Check out my blog: Buckle up Ottawa!


Twitter Promo:

What are you up to this weekend? I know where I’ll be… @redbullgrc. Buckle up Ottawa! #Canada150

In with old, out with the new


(Photo credit: Alexandre Melo Vieira. Albums : Pink Floyd The Dark Side Of The Moon, Beastie Boy Ill Communication, InI Center Of Attention, Rolling Stones Tattoo You.)

Where does this attraction for old technology come from? Why are we so addicted to things from the past? Is it because it’s a cool thing to have? …well yes, I have to agree, but why is it a trend now? When I walk around the Ottawa Byward Market or Rideau street and I see these antique shops, what comes to mind is ‘’oh the memories’’, but they are not technically mine – I’m only 28 – record players and vinyls were not the technology of my generation. So, why do I feel nostalgic for these things?


I started a small collection of LP’s earlier this year, thinking it’d be a cool collection. So here I am following the trend of ‘’yeah vinyl’s are so much better, having the physical album in your hands is so good and the sound is the best’’. The funny thing was, I didn’t even have a great sound system; so, if I’m honest, I couldn’t differentiate the sound quality. But I slowly became more and more impressed with the technology. How can a simple piece of plastic make this crazy sound come out of it? On the other hand, there are so many different parts of the record player; it’s so incredibly technical. A needle lightly touches a spinning vinyl where sound waves were engraved in to it – it’s amazing. Nowadays we have programs like Spotify that play music but you can’t see anything… its click and play. It’s just a file. 001001000110010101. Playing through a program. 0010111001110010101. Interesting…


One day, someone finally asked me, why do I like all this old technology? From old gaming consoles to music vinyl’s, record players, or cars. After thinking for a while I soon realized, the feelings that I was describing or the memories I was looking for, were not mine. The reason why I love these old things is because of the stories I had heard from my family or friends. Sitting down with my mom and my aunt, talking about the days when they used to shop for vinyls when they were young. I love to imagine them frantically flipping through albums at the store, trying to find the perfect record. Or one of my uncles telling me about how long they waited in line for that first NHL game on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and then they sat down and played all day and all night. Even sometimes when I stare at old muscle cars, stories of my mom’s oldest brother driving these kind of cars or old-school motorcycles pop into my head – I feel as though I know exactly what he would’ve liked about the car. I found out that the reason why I like this tech is because I am truly looking to feel what they were living with. I’m not just interested in these things because its trending or cool to have, but I wanted to understand and share in these memories.


(Photo credit: Alexandre Melo Vieira. Vinyl: InI Center Of Attention)

There is nothing more cool to me then putting on my favorite album on my record player while doing my homework, thinking that back then my mom was doing the exact same thing.


Is there any tech that inspires you today? What tech do you find beautiful? You may be surprised what you might find in your own house…



010010011100101. Is this music to you? Here is a small blog on the reason why I like old technologies and my addiction to the visually satisfying record player. Why are we so addicted to this old tech?


In with the old, out with the new. Here’s a small blog about my affair with old tech. ”Oh the memories…”



Designing For Social Media.

A couple years ago I decided to go back to school and take a chance on a whole new subject that I knew I would love: graphic design. I’m not a big fan of studying or memorizing for exams, but it took me a while after high school to think of trying design classes. Their website was great: it had testimonials from previous students and said that 92% of graduates were working in their field within a year. I was really impressed by this percentage – I never knew that there was such a big demand for graphic designers! I always thought that online design websites would sweep these jobs away from artists. Well, after 3-4 years of job searching, pro-bono work and freelancing, here I am with nothing that the school had promised. My initial instincts were right; more and more web sites are making cheap graphics, business cards, posters, you name it. There is no steady, well-paid jobs in graphic design. I tried to forget about what I had wanted to do with my diploma and started working in a great-paying construction job from Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm.


I started to look at these design websites carefully. I wondered, how are they making a living by having such cheap designs? Yes, they obviously have resources, but how were they able to corner the market? And then it hit me: social media. They are so good at advertising their products that they have an overflow of work. They can manipulate the market and easily ship internationally – designers like us are shut out. They are able to reach small companies that couldn’t afford a full-time designer, but still need graphic design services. This is where my interest in social media came from. How impressive is it to live in an era where we can reach around the globe by simply using social media?


The one thing I hate the most about a website is if you have to click more than 3 times to find what you need (Blackboard, *cough, cough*). Any more than 3 and your web interface is completely wrong; it confuses users trying to navigate the site and they’ll leave the page. This is where some bloggers have a faulty design. They should make sure that the design of the website flows to maximize page scrolling time. Imagery is also one of the most important factors in any kind of web interface; the power of visualization is what first draws a user in. A website with no images or graphics is just dull.  Typography can be used to add interest and set the tone of the site, but don’t forget that there are a lot of dyslexics like me! From my personal experience, typography can make or break a website.


I could go on and on but at this point I should start teaching the class, *wink wink*. My ultimate goal with this program is to work in an environment where I could help design great social media interfaces for businesses.

If you need  tips or tools on your upcoming website or blog here is a link to help you out:


I hope that you now know a little bit more about page design. Have you ever thought about the complexities of a website creation before? What are your thoughts on creating and designing a good website? Let me know in the comments below.



Twitter Promo:

Did you think it was that simple? Here is a small glimpse of my journey and thoughts on my new interest in ”Designing for social media


Facebook Promo:

Here’s a small blog on how my design courses and social media courses cross paths. Do you agree with my take on how to properly design a website/blog? Feel free to comment and post in ”Designing for social media“.

Blog.1 COM0012: A new automotive golden age?


Hi my name is Alexandre, I’m 27 years old and my biggest passion is cars and the automotive industry. I first started to love cars in primary school; I remember it like it was yesterday. During my first class visit to the school library the teacher said, ‘’pick any book you want, just pick something you like’’. The book I selected had a cover I’ll never forget: an apple red 1966 Lamborghini Miura with its doors open, hand made curbs, and the look of a powerful beast. I was mesmerized by the doors shaped to look like bull’s horns, perfectly befitting Lamborghini’s emblem. And from that day on, cars have been my biggest passion.


Eventually, I moved past just admiring the impressive look of cars to studying different aspects of the automotive world. I researched various brands, and compared their financial aspects, prestige, history, engineering, and even the commercials: ‘’Perfect sedan for all the family and friends’’ to the “track ready, lap-time crushing machine!!’’. Specifically, I remember a commercial of a blue Subaru with yellow rally stickers hurtling down a mountain to finish cruising slowly down a city street. I was so impressed with this commercial that I wanted to create one of my own. It’s probably why today I’m so interested in social media. The television was the pinnacle for marketing for the auto industry, the power of visualization is so great. Like in the late 50s, when televisions became a household item there was an automotive boom because the marketing departments focused its efforts to reaching families through TV ads. That, coupled with new technological advancements lead to the ‘’golden age of the car industry’’.


The 1950s to mid 1970s was the golden age of the car industry. Car manufacturers were truly passionate about the machines they where creating. There were few limits to what manufacturers were legally able to do, so they could experiment and create as they pleased. Also at this time, the concept of base models and customization was introduced: “Want a family sedan? Well, here’s the same with a bigger motor, or perhaps the sport version with an even bigger motor?”. *Insert cheesy salesman smile here*. In the racing world Ferrari was winning the Lemans over and over. Then after a business deal gone wrong, Ford decided to create a race car specifically to beat Ferrari. What for? Revenge! How crazy is that? They spent millions upon millions in research just to build a car capable of beating another company! The automotive industry was going out of control, but in the mid 1970’s strict emission regulations, as well as safety and production rules were applied. Creativity changed to simplicity, power to safety and quality build to production.


‘’Electric cars? No, I’m sorry, they are too boring… wait what? Its actually good? But I like big V8’s, the sound is so perfect” “No problem, let’s combine the two together: half gas, half electric’’. A year ago, 3 companies had revolutionized cars. They decided to make a hyper car capable of extreme speed using aerodynamics and F1 technologies to perfection. The McLaren P1, The Ferrari LaFerrari and the Porsche 918; these 3 titans are the first of hybrid hyper-cars. Half gas and half electric, they changed the perspective of all petrol heads. Who knew that an 800HP+ car could be as fuel efficient as a little Toyota Corolla? And then news came out that Bugatti was breaking speed records. Koenigsegg created a car with no transmission, a carbon fibre body, and even invented carbon fibre wheels that you can lift with your pinky finger! I see more and more car companies creating affordable cars that are fun and powerful, meant to keep you on edge. Endless super cars that defy physics on the daily, with their technologies and hyper cars that are true pieces of art and future advancement! This level of creativity is reminiscent of the golden age – before all the restrictions strangled developers. As well, social media has created a new marketing revolution similar to that seen in the 60s/70s with TV ads; more and more people are simply turning to the internet for their media and amusement and car companies have changed their approach to meet their target audience. Ford even recreated a new race car to try and win the Lemans just for the nostalgia and fun of it. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the new automotive golden age.


If you are interested in finding out about the automotive industry, check out my favourite blog, carbuzz.com.