Needless to say, it's not every day that Jennifer Lopez shows up as a surprise performer at an event attended by Vancouver students.

That's what happened at We Day Vancouver, held at Rogers Arena on October 22.

The annual event was created to inspire young people to become involved in local and international social issues. We Day events are held across Canada, and in the U.S. and the U.K. It's organized by Free the Children, a charity founded by Canadian children rights activist Craig Kielburger, and features a combination of speakers and performances.

HUB's 2014 Fall Bike to Work Week will launch with a party at 6 p.m. tonight (October 15) for 200 Bike to Work Week team leaders, bike-friendly business supporters, and the media.

The event will feature a fall bike fashion show featuring 10 bike commuters from participating organizations (Vancity, Richards Buell Sutton LLP, the Georgia Straight, Vancouver Coastal Health, Modacity, Momentum Magazine, and HUB) who will demonstrate that biking to work is not only healthy, affordable, and green, but you can also look great doing it. 

Halloween is sneaking up on us. Here are six scary things to “boo” this month around Vancouver.

 

1. Chinatown Haunted House

When: October 21-31.

Where: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

Info: www.chinatownhauntedhouse.com


2. Fright Nights

When: October 10-November 1.

Where: Playland.

Info: www.frightnights.ca


3. Ghost Train

When: October 10-November 1.

Where: Stanley Park Miniature Train.

With the Victoria marathon and half-marathon taking place on Vancouver Island this weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about running. I’m not participating in Victoria this year (although I ran the half-marathon in 2013 year and it was one of the most scenic routes I had ever experienced) but I’m looking forward to spring when racing season ramps up.

I received an email from the BMO Vancouver Marathon today letting me know that people who participated in the 2014 runs—including marathon, half-marathon, and eight kilometre distances—could sign up for the 2015 event a few days before registration opens to the public on October 15.

The largest ever study into after death and out-of-body experiences strongly suggests that we don’t know dick about shit, man.

As reported in the U.K.’s Telegraph, scientists at the University of Southampton led the four year study which investigated 2000 victims of cardiac arrest at 15 hospitals in the U.K., U.S., and Austria.

If you're visiting Gastown in the next two months, you might notice a little less noise at the corner of Cambie and Water streets.

That's because the neighbourhood's iconic Steam Clock is being (temporarily) removed.

The 37-year-old landmark will be taken from its corner today (October 8) so the City of Vancouver can do mechanical repairs as well as give the clock a thorough cleaning.

Based on a design from the 1870s, the clock was originally built in 1977 by Raymond Saunders as part of a neighbourhood rehabilitation initiative.

The timepiece, which covers a steam grate, is expected to be back in place by December 15.

When I think of Coquitlam, images of wild blueberry bushes, colourful fungi, and scenic ponds don't come to mind.

But a hike last weekend in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, just north of the suburb, turned up all of the above—plus a coyote.

From Harper Road, we followed a logging road and the Burke Ridge Trail to Burke Summit. It was a rainy day, so we got soaked by wet plants along the trail.

Still, it was an enjoyable day, even with clouds obscuring the views from the ridge. The hike took 3.5 hours up and 6.5 hours return.

Beautiful Earth Films has created a scenic teaser for its upcoming documentary, Stanley Park: An Urban Wilderness.

It features former park commissioners Ian Robertson and Stuart Mackinnon, artist Robert Bateman, and former park-board spokesperson Terri Clark, among others.

But the biggest stars are the animals, including an otter, eagle, and some devastatingly attractive raccoons.

The great-grandfather of one of Beautiful Earth Films' cofounders, Grant Finlayson, was once a foreman for the park board.

The music was provided by Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill Records.

Seen from Vancouver, Alouette Mountain looks like an insignificant, wooded summit in the Mount Blanshard massif, north of Maple Ridge.

Don't let that fool you. The 1,360-metre-high summit plateau of Alouette is a glorious place to behold.

The catch: it takes a 20-kilometre-plus round trip with 1,000 metres of elevation to get there, if you take the long-standing Alouette Mountain Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park.

This weekend, I got harassed by a man. On a residential street. In broad daylight.

Not 10 minutes into a leisurely Saturday afternoon walk in the Victoria-Fraserview neighbourhood, I was stopped by a man who looked at my completely bare wrist and asked if I knew was time it was.

“Yeah, for sure,” I replied. 

As I fumbled through my bag for my phone to check the time, he started staring me up and down.

Then he said the words I loathe the most from strangers: “You’re beautiful.”

“Uh, thanks?” I said warily, not making eye contact while I stepped back from him to look at the time.

“It’s five to two,” I informed him, and hurried to shove my phone back in my bag.

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