Banff Mountain Film Festival

This past Thursday, April 12th, 2012 was the evening chosen for, hands down, my favorite event of the year. Started in Banff, Canada, one of the most pristine (and most visited) landscapes in the world, home of Canada’s oldest national park, is a film festival. However, this is not your ordinary film festival. Combine Banff National Park, National Geographic, and the North Face along with film makers and the most extreme non-traditional athletes of the world, and you have the most stunning visuals and unpredictable action you have ever seen or experienced. It is truly an experience.

Located in Alberta, Canada, the Banff Centre receives approximately 300 film applicants per year. Top films are chosen, and shown to approximately 75,000 audience members at the Centre. Then the film festival goes on a World Tour, in 30 + countries, reaching 280,000 people. Michigan State University Outdoors Club sponsored a viewing on campus, for a 3 hour showing. MSU chose the films, with each film length varying, some up to 45 minutes long, but most approximately 15. Last year one clip was only a few minutes.

The films are breathtaking, and the action has you at the edge of your seat. The trailer (which I watched about 4 times prior to the show) is here: It includes a few ads, but I feel they do an excellent job of incorporating the incredible natural footage we want to see and then the ad or the plug to the company and gear.

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This ain’t your grandma’s derby…

The Vixens proudly repping Lansing in the 2011 Michigan Pride Parade! Photo by Ryan Knott

Hi there. I’m Jess. This is my first post for the Lansing Collective. I’m an instructional designer, a 2010 Lansing Chamber of Commerce Ten Over the Next Ten recipient, a TEDxLansing organizer, and several times a week I beat the living heck out of my friends in the name of sportsmanship.  Perhaps I should rephrase that first sentence. Hi there. I’m Addie Mortem, #93 of the Lansing Derby Vixens.

Here’s the thing about roller derby: it’s more than a sport. Don’t even know what derby is? Watch this video to get the gist. What you don’t realize is this: when you’re asking me

Not giggling during photo shoots is the biggest challenge in roller derby. Photo by Jena McShane

whether I punch girls in the face, or if I’ve broken any bones, I’m happy to talk about it. But what I really want to be telling you about is what a positive force in the community my teammates and friends are. I want to tell you about the thousands of dollars we’ve been able to raise for charities like EVE, Gateway Community Services and the Capital Area Humane Society. I want to tell you how much fun my derby sisters, brothers and I have had this summer volunteering for events like Be a Tourist in Your Own Town, the Hawk Island Triathlon, Ele’s Race, Max’s Race, Potter Park Zoo’s Wild One Run and Relay for Life. I want you, in your encounters with the Lansing Derby Vixens, to feel the heart-swelling joy we feel when we hear not only “Great win, ladies” but also “Hey! Wow, you guys have really been volunteering all over this summer!”

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How to Just B in Lansing

As a new resident of Lansing, I am always on the hunt for things to do and people to meet. During my constant exploration, I’ve realized this: Lansing is a very open and easy place to plug in and be involved.

In a matter of months, I’ve met several amazing people and have become involved in various efforts around the city. However, one aspect of Lansing will always stand out to me, and this is the story of how I came to find it, or how it found me.

During my first month living in Moore’s Park, I came across the community garden one day, and saw the sign for the neighborhood association. I went to the website and learned about a weekly, community-centered, FREE yoga class at a school nearby. I was sold. This yoga class was my first exposure to a future community and continues to be my present salvation. Belinda Thurston, now owner and founder of Just B Yoga, a donation-based studio focused on community-centered yoga and tai chi, had a presence that was captivating, a yoga style that was nothing like I had experienced before, and a welcoming spirit that kept me coming back.

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Catching Spartan Spirit!

MSU v. Wisconsin

One of the truly unique things about living in Greater Lansing is the fact that we have one of the greatest University campuses nuzzled in amongst suburbia. Now I admit, I may be a bit biased (JMC class of 2007, holler!), but this most definitely makes for a one-of-a-kind living experience- especially during football season.

I am going to go out on a limb here and admit something that I had been trying to keep under wraps for some time now- I am not a big sports fan.While I attended my fair share of tailgates as an undergrad at MSU, and even ventured into the stadium on a rare occasion or two to catch the first half of a game, I tend to keep my Saturday afternoons reserved for a good book, hot tea and household chores. However, when my good friend Tim offered me up a ticket to last week’s Big Ten Opener against Wisconsin, I found myself saying “I’ll see you there”. I immediately became a bit hesitant and was not sure what I was getting myself into, but for your reading pleasure, I present to you my MSU Tailgate/Football recap!

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Monkeyball World Championship hits Greater Lansing!

This was a great weekend to live in Lansing!

As we find ourselves in August, with the thoughts of fall not far from our minds, this weekend brought a lot of summer fun to the Greater Lansing area with some great events taking place around the city.

Monkeyball rack

Saturday brought the World Monkeyball Championship to the Greater Lansing area, and after some convincing from my friend, world-ranked Monkeyball player Andi Osters,  I registered with the intention to show these leisure sport players what I’ve got! Continue reading