The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.

CBC TV & Radio shows plus HNIC

His work with Artists for Peace and Justice

UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme

Monday, November 27, 2006

There are new Strombo sites!

If you follow the Strombo show on Sunday nights you can interact with the show via Georges myspace page while listening in online, or tune in to CFRB (Toronto) and CJAD (Montreal).

The fun of interacting is not just about George reading your comments on the air, in between conversations with Bob, or arguments with Alex.
It is also about having a conversation with other listeners on the same page.
We got into the conversations we were having, and at some points, almost left the radio hosts to talk amongst themselves... The question was 'how can we make the conversation amongst the audience faster, better, last longer'... There were at least two separate projects started then, because of a need for George's fans to interact, interface, become friends, while of course including The Strombo show in the project. It's all about the love.

A forum was stated by Xiolla aka Karma and a chat room was started By Melanie.

Both ladies were present on the MySpace page and their sites were up and running officially for the first time last night to compliment the show.

I asked Melanie if she got a lot of encouragement from other myspacers.

Melanie says 'Definitely, within two or three minutes of posting the chat link on myspace, the room began to fill up. Everyone seemed to enjoy being able to interact not only with George, but with each other in real time rather than constantly refreshing myspace. Not that we stopped using myspace - it's important to keep leaving comments there - it was just a more "user-friendly" way to converse.'

If you are a good multitask-er I recommend you enjoy the chat room on Sunday nights.

It may have split the audience response a bit but George's myspace page seemed very active as more and more people are catching on to the fun of interacting with George, Bob and Alex on The Strombo show.

Karma's site The forum is open for comments 24/7 but is active with folks watching The Hour and commenting on the show, Monday night through Thursday Night.
There are all kinds of other topics on the board to leave you two cents about please join in .
One small thing is you have to be 16... Some of those topics are adult in nature.

The two sites had a little chat in each others rooms later on that night and decided to merge and the
merged link is here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Drum Roll Please...

Results are in, and thanks to all your hard work, The Stroumboulopouli have proceeded to Round 2 in the 2006 Canadian Blog Awards!

The top 5 in each category make it to Round 2, and with 140 votes in total, we landed 3rd place out of 32 nominees. So as a group, we would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who voted for us, you did a phenomenal job!!

Round 2 of voting begins on Saturday, November 25th and proceeds until Friday, December 1st, and you can vote once a day, so come Saturday you'll have 7 days to get 7 votes in and help us claim the 2006 award for Best Group Blog!

Thank you all so much for everything you've helped us achieve, we couldn't have done it without you. By all means, continue kicking ass!


The Stroumboulopouli

Canadian Blog Awards

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Good Answer

I don’t know if you have ever been to a place outside the space time continuum called MySpace. I only ventured into that strange territory to do research for the blog at first. Now I go for fun and research. If I blogged about Fine Art I would venture into museums and libraries…
Sure research on topics The Hour covers could bring me to a library for the latest book they get me interested in, but more often than not, it brings me to youtube or MySpace.

I was chatting with Dee (Diane) of Rock 94 in Thunder Bay on MySpace the other day, I asked her a question and she sent me such a great answer I had to share it. It's written as it is would be spoken with a flow only a fast talking rock DJ can do.

I have talked to a lot of George's fans this way, and I know that many of them are inspired by George to pursue careers in media. What do you think about his influence on his fans?

As far as the influence George has on his fans.... I think he's at an age where he can relate quite easily between the young and older fans. My mom loves the show, my younger cousin who is 15 even watches it with me. It really doesn't matter who he has on the show that sparks my interest, it's more about how George takes that person, topic, or whatever, and relates it to society, or to how people are thinking right now. His ability to tap into the heads of his viewers is what makes me stick around for the whole show.

Also since we do live in such a fast paced society these days, I think he gets young people listening to him not just to blab his own opinion, and force feeds us his own side....He let's us think about topics like war, poverty, politics by giving us the critical information (and I love it when he teaches the viewers at the same time...not always assuming we know what or who he is talking about) ‘cause let's face it...we're kind of a dumb society when it comes to politics and the issues surrounding the war. I know young people that live in Spain and Germany etc...and they always talk with their friends over coffee about the goings on in the world...where as unfortunately a lot of us in Canada sit around talking about the latest episode of Family Guy....or Trailer Park Boys..or whatever. So George, in his lightening fast speed-talking ways shows us that it's "cool" to be interested in world topics. I hate to use this but "Curious George" he is...and his daily interest in these topics and exceptional interviewing skills...he gets a different spin out of his guest which I really like. It was definitely time Canada had a host like him on TV....I mean I like that show Sunday Encore...but it's a little dry and for an A.D.D. person like me, his show is super great! hahaha

Dee {- Thunder Bay *Mark and Dee - Mornings 6am - 10am*}

by Barbara W.
Than you for your vote s!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Is the Medium the Message?

I have a confession to make. I haven’t really been watching The Hour this season on a regular basis. Other things keep getting in the way. What I have been doing is watching online. However, this too has proved troublesome because I feel as though I am missing a connection, an interaction of sorts with not only the people I watch television with, but the interaction between myself and the object of television, and the thoughts which are transmitted through the television. Now, I’m going to digress I bit and bring in media theorist talk, coming back later to the point about interaction.

When one thinks of media history, and the advent of television the catch phrase 'the medium is the message', which Marshall McLuhan coined undoubtedly comes to mind. However, it is important not to leave out another voice that too shaped the way in which media is perceived today, and that is the voice of Harold Innis. Both McLuhan and Innis developed schools of thought on media and its relationship to the viewer, yet there are fundamental differences in their ideologies.

Innis argues that one holds the ability to change and interpret the information that is given to them, through any medium. McLuhan states that really it is already predetermined for the content itself is not the message. McLuhan's concept, 'the medium is the message,' can be broken down to that any extension of ourselves is the message and it is not what we do with the extension that is the message, it is that the extension itself exists. McLuhan states, "The content of any medium is always another medium."

The fact that the medium reaches other people is the message, not for what it does when it gets there. This then starts the debate between form and content. The form is like a blank canvas, and the content is the paint, not the picture. McLuhan's concept is the centre without margins. He is saying that the 'picture' is not there, so one cannot judge invisibility. It is up to the viewer what he/she does with the paint; it has no relation to the message itself.

This is in direct contrast with Innis's concept, which is that it is up to us to determine the value of the information that we are given. With McLuhan's concept there would be nothing to determine because he rejects the idea that, "Its not the machine, but one did with the machine, that was its meaning, or message."

OK, still with me? I felt the need to detail some history and concepts of thought because I wanted to ask, how do these arguments change when we bring in the computers and the Internet? Or do they not change? Has the computer replaced the television, and the Internet the dialogue of television content?

One of the biggest struggles I have had this season watching The Hour (because I’m viewing online) is that I am missing an open discussion. However, sometimes I would watch The Hour alone on TV, and I still feel different watching online and alone to watching through the TV and alone. And I think is is because I’m missing a few steps. Watching through the television I have the physical space between the object and myself. And somehow this space is different between the computer and myself. It would seem as though I have missed the next step of digestion. The conversing out loud or in ones mind with the television in real time, is somehow different online. It is as if I am seeing the canvas and looking at the paint, but no picture is coming.

I apologize if these ponderings make little sense, I just felt the need to get them out, as next week when I delve into CBC history and discuss This Hour Has Seven Days, which was indirectly built upon ideas put forth from McLuhan.
Innis, Harold. The Bias of Communication: A Plea For Time. University of Toronto Press: 1951.
McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media.

November 20 - 23

CBC-TV's THE HOUR Upcoming Guests*: November 20 - 23


Tony Bennett in studio


Jann Arden in studio


Rachel Weisz


K-OS and Rick Hillier both in studio

*Guests subject to change

THE HOUR broadcasts Monday through Thursday and on Sundays on CBC Television at 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET on CBC Newsworld.

For more information on THE HOUR visit

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Hour's website brings you more.

This drawing needs a caption...
We will take suggestions in the comment section.
Best suggestion gets to be the caption... I added the picture I sketched it from and now it looks to me like he is trying to do the Vulcan hand gesture... see what you started with the star trek thing....
In news from The Hour....
Some changes of note on

Whats out there?
Links to more news (link will bring you to an image of Jesus on a dogs behind) or other stories of an odd and interesting nature. Check out what The Hour 's web producer Paul McGrath has brought to the page. News that is fresh and hot. Digg in!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

You are getting sleepy

I am probably the last person in the world who should be writing about music to battle insomnia, because I have quite the opposite problem. In fact, my quibble with CBC Programming in airing The Hour at 11:00pm is quite well known in certain circles. I just can't stay awake that late anymore, and with the alarm going off at 5:45 every morning, that's probably not even advisable.

However, our family had last Friday off work and school in lieu of Remembrance Day, so we had big plans to finally watch The Hour on Thursday night. We loaded up on caffeine, got warmed up with South Park, and then, at 11:00, tuned in to The Hour. We were pretty excited, as it was only the third time we had been able to watch this year and we really do miss having George and company as part of our evening routine.

I should probably confess that I only made it to about 11:45 before passing out on the couch, but ironically, I did catch the chat that George had with a trio of folks in which they discussed their musical choices for combatting insomnia. One of the lucky guests was given a Kathleen Edwards cd, after George recommended her song Hockey Skates, which was an excellent choice by the way.

And while I don't have trouble falling asleep, it did of course get me thinking about music that could lull you to a state of peace. I would tend to stay away from music with a lot of lyrics, as they always send my mind off on tangents, and I would choose something more ambient-sounding, like Porcupine Tree, Hylozoists, or even Joy Division.

But sometimes you want to hear somebody's voice as you are struggling for sleep, to assure you that you are not alone in the dark. And you could certainly do much worse than to listen to the voices of Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian or Wayne Petti of Cuff the Duke.
Enjoy, and sleep well, my pretties ...
Barbara B

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Best Group Blog!

Good news! We've been nominated for Best Group Blog in the 2006 Canadian Blog Awards! Round One begins on Wednesday, November 15th and will close the following Tuesday, on the 21st, so you've got 7 days to get your votes in. You can vote once every 24 hours, and we've got some stiff competition, so show us your love and help us get to Round 2!

Canadian Blog Awards

You can find the link in the button above, which can also be found in the left sidebar. You can also pick from a variety of button styles and put it on your own site!

Now go!

Go now!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

This week on The Hour

CBC-TV's THE HOUR Upcoming Guests*: November 13 - 16


Billy Connelly

Muhammad Yunus


Foo Fighters


Catherine O'Hara


Michael Franti

*Guests subject to change

THE HOUR broadcasts Monday through Thursday and on Sundays on CBC Television at 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET on CBC Newsworld.

For more information on THE HOUR, visit

Monday, November 06, 2006

A night at The Hour

If you have ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at The Hour.
Let me tell you a bit about my experiences tonight in the studios of the CBC building in Toronto.

I am Barbara W., a confessed blogger for The Hour and for George Stroumboulopoulos.
I invited along a 4th year journalism student from Ryerson University to come with me to see The Hour tonight. Joe Rayment writes for Ryerson Review Of Journalism . he is doing a story for the magazine about The Hour and George S. and contacted our blog to get some background for his story.

He had been to two tapings just last week, and was kind enough to come to this one with me to get the story from a stroumboulopouli blogger. All seven 'stroumbi' across Canada are answering his questions to us about blogging for The Hour, and how we see the changes that The Hour has been going through.

We met in the lobby and chatted before being admitted upstairs via elevator into the maze that is that is The Hour's studio. We were chatting at the studio doors when George wandered into the small group. He said hi to everyone, posed for pictures, answered questions, accepted compliments and thanked people for coming. The perfect host.

If you followed the MySpace drama this past Sunday re: The Strombo Show.... I had a conversation with George all about that at that point in the evening. Not to bore the rest of you, I will blog about that on MySpace.

George had to leave us and go into the studio to rehearse and we were soon admitted.

Joe and I sat on the left hand side second row. Too far left to see in the audience shots. Don't bother looking for us.
Before the show started taping, George was talking to us all and taking questions.
I had a few for him.
Re: that Gemini skit, I told him how funny I thought it was and how I think The Hour could do one skit like that a week.
He said they were kicking around that idea this morning.
George talked about how wearing that pink shirt made him feel dirty...
We all laughed. One other question I had was about why they rolled no credits. He said, there was no time for credits. It's not something a news show on CBC Newsworld usually runs in any case, and most of the crews family knew they were working at The Hour.
We laughed again, and throughout the hour of The Hour, had a very entertaining time.
When he had time to talk to us Mr. Stroumboulopoulos opened up about his love of his job as Host of The Hour.
He also talked about his days at Much Music. How he would interview bands he loved and bands he hated. Some of the bands he hated made the best interviews. He interviewed musicians at the start of their Career, after the first record contract, when they started to go down hill with drugs and hopefully interviewed them after rehab.... words to that effect.
Speaking of effective words, George would be very good at doing those 'don't do drugs' talks with High School students.

The Show tonight featured an interview with Tom Cochrane. It was wonderful to see Tom in the lobby before the show just standing there like any other Canadian guy. It was great to hear him in conversation, talking about his music, his daughter, and Saddam Hussein of all things.
The other treat we witnessed tonight was George taking Rick Mercer to the Newsstand.
Of course we watched it on tape like you did. But that's our laughter you hear added for your viewing experience. I blame Rick Mercer for my laughter lines!

The audience, as always, got a change to get more pictures, ask more questions, and get an autograph with the man himself after the show was finished taping. I waited for George to finish with the people after he said 'wait' and gave me a wink.
When he was done with the last few fans, I talked with him for a bit and at one point asked him where Bob was. He asked his 'God' Correction his Producer(in this case David) over his microphone. Where Bob was? Bob was busy...
He was getting instructions from David in his ear piece about stuff they were preparing to shoot in a few moments time. That's all the time we had. I gave George un petit cadeau for Bob (Strombo Show related) and I got a high five and I left the studio.

As I was waiting for escort to the Elevator

I spotted the piano that George was playing in the Fear Episode.
Doh! I did not get a picture with George.
Mostly because there was no one left
to take a picture, but a nice woman
(CBC employee?) was willing to take
a picture of me and the piano....

I did get to talk to our friend Siobhan, who takes all the reservations for The Hour, and I chatted with Amanda, a long time fan of Georges.

That's all I can process at this point about my evening at The Hour.
Some of it stays unsaid, some things I will recall at 4am I'm sure...
All I can do is recommend you try this experience for yourself.

Barbara W.
Yes that is me wearing a Canadiens sweatshirt. It was the sexiest thing I could think of to wear to The Hour.
George liked it.

Coming up

THE HOUR on CBC-TV: Upcoming Guests Nov. 6 - Nov. 9

Monday, November 6
Tom Cochrane
George takes Rick Mercer to the Newsstand

Tuesday, November 7
Dick Pound
Suroosh Alvi

Wednesday, November 8
John Grisham
Wyclef Jean

Thursday, November 9
Deepak Chopra
Mark Zupan

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Global warming, greenhouse gases and David Suzuki

Have you watched Suzuki’s interview on The Hour on Thursday night? I’m always looking forward those interviews, so here’s what they talked about, well sort of… anyways.

You might have heard about the Stern report, stating that if we don’t cut our greenhouse gas emissions, the world economy will get into trouble (think about the Great depression of the 20’s, we don’t really want that to happen)… but it’s not only about the economy, the Arctic is melting (which isn’t a good thing, but even more, we don’t want Greenland to be melting, that would be much worst), the global average temperature is rising (and some parts of the world are going to be more affected than others)… And the Kyoto accord states that we have to reduce our greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions by 6% of what it was in 1990… so it means by about 25% of what they are today… think about it, what could you do to reduce your greenhouse gases by 25%? And by greenhouse gases we don’t only mean carbon dioxide, we are talking about NOx (nitrous oxide), methane… what could you do? Are you ready to change your lifestyle? Do you want to try to change the way you are living, to try to cut down your CO2 emissions? What are you ready to do? (I know, that it wasn’t discussed during the interview, but still).

Right now, the Conservatives want to regulate the smog level by 2010 and cut GHG emissions in half by 2050… who is going to be our Prime Minister in 2050?… I’m pretty sure that it won’t be Mr. Harper… so, really, are they going to try to do something, or are the Conservatives are going to let the next party take care of the environment? But, Harper has to say something about the environment, because if he doesn’t the public won’t be happy… and if the public isn’t happy, he might now win the next election. So it means that if you guys want something to happen, we have to let the government know, we have to be clear about it, otherwise they’ll do nothing (and politicians seem to like to be doing nothing).

Look at what is going on in Australia : They don’t have enough water, they need more water, the PM, Howard, doesn’t admit that global warming is happening… but then, droughts (oh, oh, big problem, what can we do?)… so maybe that Global warming might sort of maybe I think happen, he doesn’t really want to admit it… so, because global warming is affecting them, they might start to think that they have to do something to stop it.

And what’s wrong with having a made in Canada plan? Of course it will be a made in Canada plan, the only things that Kyoto says : Cut down greenhouse gas emissions… it doesn’t say how, so as Canadians, we will have to find a way to cut down those emissions… because Canada isn’t a green country at all, we emit 2% of the world’s emissions but we only represent 0.5% of the world’s population… so the little problem over there? We have to be more energy efficient, we have to use less energy, to use alternative ways.

Here’s one thing that we have to think about… what kind of world are we going to leave to the next generations, a screwed up Earth? An Earth that is going to get healthier? Think about your kid, thing about the little boy you saw on your way to work today, what kind of world is he going to live in?

Gemini Skit

Just in case you missed it last night...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fear and The Hour

Did you see the Halloween edition of The Hour?
I am re-watching the Fear Show at the moment online. The show is inspiring me to get over a fear I will admit to. It's not snakes, or spiders, or Heavy Metal Bands.
If you listen to the Strombo show on Sunday nights you have the opportunity to message George on his MySpace, or email or call into the show and talk to George, Bob and Alex of The Hour, live on radio in Montreal CJAD, Toronto CFRB and anywhere if people are listening online.
Two weeks ago I was listening to the show and Bob was talking about being disturbed by the negative fortune cookies he had been getting lately. I made a comment on Georges MySpace that I would do a card reading for him. I wanted to rest his fears about that. I was not expecting them to take me up on it. I was not going to call in because I have a fear of calling in to radio shows... {1-866-866-7387}.I offered to email the reading in, and George and Bob agreed to accept my email reading. George was sweet enough to read it to Bob on air (my hero!).
The other MySpacers later told me they were disappointed that I didn't call. They would have loved to hear me on the radio. I try to do all I can for other fans of The Hour, their encouragement keeps me going.
Fears... I have faced and beaten so many challenges in the past four years. One example; I learned to drive two years ago. I got over that fear of driving thing. Bridges, distances, and finally the 401 itself were part of that fear and I won over every one of them.
I am going to call the show this Sunday! I can't let a ego/fear thing slow me down.
Don't let your fears get in the way of your life! Now I just have to figure out what to say. Part of me hopes they take my call, part of me hopes they don't.

I will be going to The Hour on Monday. I have no fear of saying hi to George in person. Not a scary guy at all, very easy to talk to. I will have a guest with me from Ryersons Review of Journalism (Joe) who is working on an article about The Hour and he would like to include something about our blog. It's going to be an interesting show and I don't even know what the lineup is yet.

Barbara W.