John De Lazzari – In God’s Hands




Today was John De Lazzari’s funeral. But I don’t believe life ends, and John’s most certainly won’t. In my bones I know, the love we sow in this life continues and is living, and John loved very very well while he shared this life with us. It was a grace, an honour and a privilege to know John. His smile, his warmth of heart, his gentleness and his absolute faithfulness linger with me in my own heart. But perhaps one of the most profound witnesses to the beauty of John’s life lay in his ocean deep friendship with his (and our) dear friend Michael Barrett. It was a marvel to behold. It was and is a light for all of us. I share this video in tribute to John and in testament to the deep fruits of his beautiful and wonderful life.

Excerpt from the DVD Prophets of Peace (In God’s Hands: Michael Barrett’s Story)

A tribute to our dear friend John De Lazzari and the beautiful friendship he shared with Michael Barrett. John passed from this life into the next on Monday, September 23rd, 2013 at the young age of 45. Dear John, this is a deepest thank you for all the love, gentleness, goodness, kindness, laughter, compassion and joy with which you lived your beautiful life. You were a living example of faithfulness. Love is eternal. With prayers to his loving wife Hoosnah, his family and his many friends. God bless you John – as we were blessed through you.

Sun Dried Art – L’Arche Craft Studio




I started working with L’Arche Daybreak to create a video arm to their social media presence/ strategy. L’Arche is an organization that lives and breathes the essence of authentic community. With their growing Facebook page being their focus, I’m recording and editing a short daily series of the positive goings-on in their community life, building on the online resonance that they’ve already discovered by sharing images of positive daily events and the lives of charasmatic “core members” who are at the heart of their community life.

Enjoy Life!




Enjoy Life! Relative Strangers Encounters

Stranger Encounters

It started with a shuffle. I was sitting in a public waiting area at Mount Sinai Hospital yesterday. A man in his 80s, wearing a beige trench coat and a few days stubble shuffled in to the seat next to me. He sat, paused, gummed a bit then turned and in a rich Hebrew accent asked if I knew what that giant candelabrum was next to us. “I think it’s a menorah” I offered and that opened it. He informed me on the meaning of Shabbat (to rest), why animals are sacred, he tested me on the difference between animals and humans – “speech” I offered, “and walking upright” he added. “That’s me” he said as a red pick-up pulled up outside the front door. He stood, shuffled, grinned and shook my hand saying, “Nice to meet you. Enjoy Life!” and off he shuffled toward his balding middle aged son holding the door. I turned, waved, and was left smiling with the stranger in the seat across from me. “Enjoy Life!”

Authenticity – “Keeping it real”




This is the pilot episode for a new video series I’m producing called, “Authenticity: Digital to Real World”.

It’s a social media interview series for the not-for-profit world. Discussing the digital frontier with not-for-profit leaders who are using social media to develop meaningful connection, creating digital-to-real-world experiences that are deeper and more intimately involved.

This inaugural episode speaks with Warren Pot, Human Resources Director at L’Arche Daybreak. This is an edited 3 minute clip of the full 10 min. interview: Authenticity – Episode 1 Full Interview.

Founded by Order of Canada recipient, Dr. Jean Vanier, L’Arche is an international federation of communities caring for the developmentally disabled. L’Arche offers a profound model of care giving and community building that fosters inclusion, understanding and belonging. Praised as a man “who inspires the world,” (Maclean’s Magazine) and a “nation builder” (The Globe and Mail), Jean Vanier is also a best selling author of numerous books exploring human growth and society including the internatinal best seller, “Becoming Human.”

In nearly 200 small homes and day settings across Canada, caregivers and volunteers from diverse cultures and backgrounds share deeply committed relationships with people with developmental disabilities.

For more information on L’Arche visit:

A Deiren Masterson/ Relative Strangers Interactive production

“Scooter + The Big Man” Hypervideo Music Documentary – Popcorn.js




“Scooter and the Big Man” is a hypervideo music documentary exploring the friendship and musical / spiritual bond between Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons. Produced via my participation in Mozilla Foundation’s amazing “Web Made Movies” project and the Popcorn.js HTML5 Media Framework.

scooter & the big man popcorn.js

Rooted in their legendary stomping grounds of Asbury Park, New Jersey, follow the story at the heart & soul of Springsteen’s E-Street band through a series of edited YouTube videos populated by Popcorn’s YouTube plug-in. Shuffle through layers of moveable polaroid pictures embedded with Popcorn’s Google Map, Flickr, Twitter, and Google News plug-ins. Dig into Street Views of the historic bars and streets of Asbury Park, explore or submit your own Flickr pictures and populate the Twitter streams with your own updates.

scooter & the big man website

I send out two emphatic thank yous: First to Anna Sobiepanek who is the programming lead on this project and one of the lead developers working on Popcorn since its conception. Anna took the interactive heart and soul of this project and went to work massaging and advancing the Popcorn.js library to turn out our sweet Beta version reality, with speed and passion.

Second, a massive musical, heart and soul salute to Jake Clemons. It was during our own creative collaborations between music, video and interactivity ( Love’ll Never Change | A Fool in Love ) that we learned the sad news of the death of Jake’s iconic uncle, Clarence Clemons. Jake is a musical force, an amazing soul and is burning the Clemons musical fire warmly and brightly in our collective road ahead.

This hypervideo experience is rooted in my passion for story telling and the goal of creating meaningful online experiences that resonate and integrate with people’s lives. It comes out of my learning and explorations with Mozilla Foundation’s amazing Web Made Movies community and the amazing Popcorn.js HTML5 javascript library that drives its passionate forarys into the future of interactive video and the open web. This prototype is also a result of my membership and training in the wonderful P2PU online education community.

Let me know what you think and I’d be interested in hearing of any interactive story experiences that have really resonated with you in the past couple of years. What works? What doesn’t? It remains new and evolving territory for experimentation and learning.

Deep Fried Dreams Revisited




Deep Fried Dreams Revisited

Creative Commons Licence from SBC9

I live in a city. Now there’s any number of problems that can scare a person about a city, violence, crowds, pollution… For me it’s just one thing: Grid lock. Sure, everyone gets frustrated by it, angry. It’s not a pleasurable thing. But me, it actually scares me. My knuckles turn white, I start sweating, my heart rate picks up, my mouth gets dry, and I run from it, like I do my imagination in a midnight woods. It’s a bad thing, so call me a coward, but I just don’t want to get involved. That’s when I head north to escape to the open fields, the fresh air, the sandy beaches and pristine waters, joining the Friday night traffic that stretches like a tapeworm on Hwy 400. I guess that’s why they tell you to face your fears.

But there’s something else out there on those bare county roads. Not a thing so much as a business, a rare trade, and one particular to these parts of Ontario. As you crawl into Perkinsfield, in a township called Tiny, past summer signs that boast of giant “asparagus – 20 feet”, you’ll find the first hint of their kind. Just off the dirt shoulder, where brake lights are filtered by dust, sits the truest answer to grid lock. This one’s an old TTC street car, propped up on a set of aimless tracks. The trolley was carted up to these parts a year ago, retired from its public duties and, under a fresh coat of paint, found a new persona. The RED ROCKET was freshly toasted as the latest addition of the Chip Wagon industry.

Yes the Chip Wagon. Whether you’ve bathed in the masterful brilliance of a “fry” well done or suffered in the bowels over a bad batch of gravy, these double parked beauties are a salute to the idea of stop and go. Locomotive burger shacks, a Meals on Wheels of sorts. Sure it’s not low fat health food. If you’re lethargically overweight, with high cholesterol, maybe you should reconsider that meal plan, and if you’re an ardent supporter of the benefits of trail mix, then drive on. But there’s no denying the place they have in the landscape.

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“Lollipops + Goosebumps” pt.2 – CBC 1 Day




The CBC is set to premiere the “1 Day, 24 Hours, 34 Million Lives” UGC documentary this weekend (August 21st to be exact) and all we UGC contributors are of course a tingle with the prospect of having our submissions edited in off the cutting room floor – or perhaps that’s a need to visit the loo, can’t be sure, will figure it out later. So it comes down to this, as the Bard would have put it, the chance to be CBCeen or not to be CBCeen – that is the question. The catch is, we don’t know, Mom’s the word, so everyone needs to watch to find out.

Say it ain’t geo-blocked

Of course, being in Cambridge, UK during the screening adds a double edge. I’m going to have to watch this thing online in order to follow through on this great baited mystery that the CBC has dangled before us. But the question is, is the show being geo-blocked? If it is, and chances are yes as most every CBC program is, except perhaps the “George with the incredibly long last name that starts with S” show, then it will be a case of “not to be CBCeen”. I would have a problem with this, because as I mentioned on entering my piece from Cambridge, UK, (regardless of whether it’s in or not) many of we 34 million Canadians aren’t even in Canada, and I’m speaking as a 4th generation Canadian, whose Irish ancestors crossed the Atlantic on a bloody sailboat in 1830 at the kind bequest of the Brits (note generational sarcasm). Putting aside Canada’s frequent flyer national health care patriots, Canada is where Canadians are, and taxpaying one’s at that. So pop the show on the internet please, and open up the geo-block, at the very least to England where even the Canadian Head of State (you know, Mrs. Queen) can sit back with a bowl of microwaved popcorn and see what those crazy Canuck commoners get up to.

Like Disembodied Angels: McLuhan Turns 100




Today, July 21st marks the 100 year birthday of Marshall McLuhan, a man who pioneered the study of culture and technology, and who is no doubt celebrating today in a spiritual way, literally. It seems an apt thought for a man who once qualified the phenomenon of human communications through the currents and frequencies of electric media as ‘disembodied angels’ floating through the air. Once dubbed the high priest of the electric age, Marshall McLuhan found fame coining truth in our time: “The global village” and “The medium is the message” were both products of his prophetic mind.

In honour of his life I’m posting two clips from my 2005 film “McLuhan Way: In Search of Truth”, which explored the frequently hidden but fundamental role of faith in McLuhan’s life. As I noted in my film back in 2005, in our age with its great explosion of electric media, we can often waver between obsessive desires for connection and perhaps, even greater loneliness. McLuhan offered us reflections of our time and pictures of the new human landscape. At its heart it was a hopeful vision that said: “We might be able to control the enormous change that was happening to us”.

Faith and Perception

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