Best Blog - Rolling Around in My Head



The Path

A little girl is making art. It's a project that she is working on, along with a lot of other kids, in a school where I am going to be giving a lecture, in the auditorium, at the end of the school day. We arrived early, as Joe and I are in the habit of doing, and Joe stayed in the auditorium to set up while I went on a tour with the Vice Principle.

We come upon this group of kids engaged in the making of art. I roll into the room in order to watch. I'm told, proudly, by the Vice Principle that it's an opportunity for me to see 'inclusion in action.' And, it's true. There are kids with both physical and intellectual disabilities working right along side peers without disabilities.

Near me is a little girl, maybe six, maybe seven, with Down Syndrome, working on the project. She is laser focused on her work, it's wonderful to watch kids who are totally absorbed in what they are doing. The teacher begins to let the kids know that they'll be wrapping up in a few minutes. The little girl with Down Syndrome has a Education Assistant beside her now. This Assistant has been in the room checking in with other kids who have disabilities and now has sat down beside the little girl who is working on her project.

The aide, in a helpful voice, says, "I think you should colour in these spaces," and points to a few spots on the paper. The little girl looked at her and then continued on. The Assistant was distracted for a few minutes by a short conversation with the teacher. When she turned back and looked at the girl's work, she said, conversationally, "You didn't colour these spaces like I suggested."

The little girl continued her work but obviously wasn't going to take the Assistant's advice. When prompted again, the child turned to the Assistant and said, "It's my art."

The Assistant was brought up short but responded wonderfully, "You're right, it is your art, you need to do it exactly like you want to do it."

The child claimed her right to make art the way she wanted to make art. In doing this, the child signalled that she has the power to make her own decisions, to say 'no' to authority and to assert her will. She did all this calmly and strongly.

This little girl is on the path to becoming a strong woman.

Notice that though she has Down Syndrome, that descriptor isn't in the sentence above. You know why - because every little girl needs to be on same path.

Every.

One.

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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 7:47 am

Literature and Culture Blog - Perogies and Gyoza



Haze (Blog Tour)

Haze

Written by: Paula Weston

Published by: Tundra Books

Published on: September 9, 2014

Ages: New Adult



Provided by the publisher for review. All opinions are my own. 







Gaby and Rafa are back!!! Last year I fell in love with the Rephaim and Pan Beach residents introduced in Paula Weston's Shadows.  That tale was packed with action and building a fascinating world where the children of fallen angels fight to keep humans safe from demons. The best thing about the book is it was only the first. Now Haze is here to continue this story.

Gaby's journey to unravel the web of deceit and false memories she has fallen into continues. The last memory she has of her brother Jude was of him dying in a car crash. But if the car crash wasn't real for her, maybe it wasn't for him either. In that case, where is her twin??

Luckily, Gaby has the mysterious and attractive Rafa to help her follow Jude's trail and introduce her to the other Rephaim, which might be the most difficult part- she steps right into a world fraught with tension and division and she doesn't know who is her friend and who is her enemy from her past life. How do you work beside others to kill demons when you can't even trust them?

Gaby is lucky that she has her best friend from Pan Beach, Maggie, and she knows Maggie is true. Sadly, she knows Maggie has also been dragged into this demon war mess, and has to make sure Maggie is protected too.

Gaby is such a great central character. Her disconnect between her current self and what people tell her about her past self, and especially her past morals, makes her vulnerable despite her physical strength, and without ever veering into whiny. Will she ever develop back into the Gabe who dated the arrogant Daniel? I hope not, I like to see her with Rafa, despite the fact that Rafa won't tell Gaby what was up with them before she landed in Pan Beach.


One of the fun things the fabulous author, Paula Weston, did for the bloggers on the tour was to tell us which character matched our personality the most! I was afraid I would end up being Daniel, we both have a tendency to know what is best for everyone who is not ourselves. But I was so happy to find out that I am most like Micah!


The easy going guitar playing half-angel was Gabe's best friend in the Sanctuary. He, Jude, Rafa, and Gabe were inseparable before Jude and Gabe disappeared. When Gaby comes back he is quick to reacquaint her with the other Rephaim, and tries to play peacemaker between the Sanctuary Rephaim and Rebel Rephaim. Micah is a stand-up guy and I hope to see more of him in Shimmer and Burn.

This book ends on a cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to see how it is resolved. Shimmer comes out next autumn and I hope the time passes quickly before I am back in Gaby's world.

Visit the other stops on the Haze tour today!

Summer at MissFictional’s World of YA Books
Jillian at Centre of the Universe
Crystal at WinterHaven Books
Lisa at Turning Pages


Don't forget to check out the home of the Blog Tour at Tundra Press to see what other fabulous places Haze is visiting this week, where there will be giveaways, interviews, and more!


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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 7:00 pm

Entertainment Blog - Mike's Bloggity Blog



CBC listener explains explicitly how bad winter is in Saskatchewan!

Photo is of Calgary’s September snowfall. There’s a lot of funny things on the internet. Actually sometimes there’s so many things, it’s hard to laugh at them anymore, otherwise we’d be laughing all the time. Which, I guess, isn’t the ...
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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 4:12 pm

Humour Blog - XOXO Jes.....



Blair Waldorf is married, with child and making music - in case you were wondering

Taylor Swift released a new album this week...which is all anyone seems to be talking about.

Well, you know what - Blair Waldorf ALSO released an album and we need to pause and say hi to her career - which seems to be somewhat in the mist, but you never know...the album is not bad. The acting career on the other hand...

I mean, she is carrying Seth Cohen's baby. That calls for a comeback doesn't it? 

XOXO
Jes...



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Posted on 28 October 2014 | 11:16 pm

Journalist Blog - Commercial Space



"Horiemon" Sues Excalibur Almaz over "Museum Pieces" Misrepresented as Working SpaceCraft

          by Brian Orlotti

Takafumi Horie. Photo c/o Wikipedia.
A Japanese investor, popularly known as Horiemon (ホリエモン?) due to his resemblance to Doraemon, the chubby robot cat in a popular Japanese cartoon, is suing Isle of Man-registered space transportation firm Excalibur Almaz (EA) for allegedly misleading him into investing $49Mln USD ($55.2Mln CDN) in a commercial space venture.

According to the November 19th, 2014 IOM Today article "Manx-registered space exploration firm to fight civil suit in US," Japanese businessman Takafumi Horie has filed a civil suit in Harris County district court, Texas, against EA founders Art Dula and J Buckner Hightower. Horie’s suit accuses Dula and Hightower of fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

Horie claims he realized that his investment was a “sham” when he learned that Dula had sold a Russian spacecraft at auction that allegedly was "only suitable for display in a museum, and not as a potential flight vehicle as had been falsely represented to the plaintiff from the beginning."

But as outlined in the May 18th, 2014 Financial Times article "Takafumi Horie – return of Japan’s enfant terrible," the well known Japanese investor also comes with some history. According to the article, he once spent 21 months in prison for violating Japanese securities laws.

Art Dula in front of re-purposed ex-Soviet Almaz hardware in 2012. Dula also acts as the literary executor for science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein and maintains a legal practice focused around aerospace, business and intellectual property law.  Photo c/o Pocket Lint.

As for Excalibur Almaz, it was founded in 2005 on the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency located in the Irish Sea between Ireland and the UK. According to the company's website, EA had planned to provide a variety of space related services, including:

  • Unmanned micro-gravity scientific research missions
  • Human transportation including crew and tourism
  • Cargo delivery and return
  • Chartered space exploration

EA's strategy focused on the use of re-purposed Soviet-era space hardware. This vintage hardware was originally part of the "Almaz" (Diamond) program, a top-secret Soviet military space station project which ran from the early 1960's to the late 1970's. Three crewed military reconnaissance stations were launched between 1973 and 1976.

To conceal the program's military purpose, the three launched Almaz stations were designated as civilian space stations: Salyut 2, 3 and 5.  Salyut 2 failed shortly after reaching orbit, but Salyut 3 and Salyut 5 both conducted successful crewed tests.

A cutaway of the Salyut 3/ Almaz military station. The station possessed a one meter diameter telescope which could photograph airfields and missile complexes, infrared and topographical cameras for Earth imaging plus a modified Rikhter R-23 aircraft auto cannon, which was perceived to be useful in the event of "an attack by an Apollo spacecraft." Graphic c/o Encyclopedia Astronautica

In 1978, following the Salyut 5 mission, the Soviet Ministry of Defence concluded that the time spent on station upkeep outweighed the stations' benefits compared to automated reconnaissance satellites and the program was ended.

The Almaz program used three main hardware components:

  • the Orbital Piloted Station (OPS) module, forming the space station itself
  • the Functional Cargo Block (FGB), a resupply craft for the stations
  • the VA spacecraft (known in the West as the Merkur), a launch and return vehicle for the crews, reusable for up to 10 flights

In a move that could be described as "proto-Star Wars," in addition to reconnaissance equipment, Salyut-3 was armed with a modified Rikhter R-23 aircraft auto cannon mounted on its forward belly.

Originally used as a tailgun on Tu-22 bombers, the R-23 had a theoretical firing rate of up to 2600 rounds per minute and its projectiles flew at a speed of 850 m/s relative to the station. The cannon was envisioned as both a point defence weapon against incoming enemy spacecraft and as an antisatellite weapon. Since the cannon was on a fixed mount, the entire station needed to be turned to aim it. The R-23 carried 32 rounds and was test fired three times at the end of the 1974 Salyut-3 mission, when the station was operating uncrewed, so as to avoid issues with excessive vibration and noise.

A full scale model of the Salyut 7 space station (with a Soyuz spacecraft docked at the front port and a Progress spacecraft at the rear) which is on display as part of the Exhibition of Soviet National Economic Achievement in Moscow. Photo c/o Wikipedia.  

Of course, the Almaz program left behind a rich legacy, which continues to the present-day.

The DOS series of space station modules (based on the Almaz OPS) served as the core of the Salyut 1, 6, and 7 space stations, the Mir space station and the Zvezda service module of the International Space Station (ISS). Hardware derived from the Almaz FGB would also become the basis for the Kvant-1 module of the Mir space station and the Zarya Functional Cargo Block, in use on the ISS.

In 2011, EA purchased two partially completed Almaz-205 and Almaz-206 (i.e. Almaz-OPS) modules and four VA spacecraft hulls from Russia's NPO Mashinostroyeniya (the former Soviet OKB-52 design bureau). The company claimed that the Soviet-era electronics had been gutted and replaced with modern avionics from an unnamed supplier. EA claimed that using refurbished hardware rather than developing new technology would save some $2Bln USD ($2.25Bln CDN) in development costs.

The Amlaz-205 module in 2011. At the time of its purchase by EA in 2011, the module was missing payload and subsystems, at least according to a May 21st, 2011 Russian Space web post on the topic. Photo c/o Russian Space Web.

Signs of trouble first appeared in September of 2012, when EA was refused a second round of funding in NASA's Commercial Crew Development program. Then, the company was hit with a lawsuit from investor Donna Beck who claimed that the company had swindled her and her late husband into investing $300,000 USD ($338,000 CDN) in an asteroid mining scheme.

EA settled out of court with Beck for an undisclosed amount.

In May 2014, in what has been seen as the company's dying gasp, one of EA's VA spacecraft was sold at an auction in Belgium for €1.26Mln EUR ($1.77Mln CDN). In July 2014, EA founder Art Dula told the Isle of Man Examiner that the company had abandoned its space tourism plans. Its likely that the financial pressure of this latest lawsuit will trigger further liquidation of the company's assets.

Brian Orlotti.
Although the Excalibur Almaz story reads like a Kurt Vonnegut novel, it can be instructive as a case study for both NewSpace companies and investors.

Due diligence, from both investors and companies remains the key to the industry's future.
____________________________________________________________

Brian Orlotti is a Toronto-based IT professional and a regular contributor to the Commercial Space blog.

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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 12:39 pm

Religion Blog - Religion Dispatch



A Jewish Perspective on Reparations

Most of the homeless people in Berlin are Jewish. Some of them...

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 5:20 pm

Art and Crafting Blog - Just a Smidgen



A Prelude of our Christmas Decorations

Have you noticed “rules” about Christmas decorations popping up all over the internet, admonishing those who begin too early: “2. All Christmas decor must be brought out and set up after December 1st.” Yes, #2 because in all likelihood there’s also a #1 rule that I haven’t even heard of yet { and I choose to be blissfully unaware […]

The post A Prelude of our Christmas Decorations appeared first on Just a Smidgen.


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Posted on 22 November 2014 | 8:08 pm

Ecology and Social Justice - Facing Autism in New Brunswick



Joy of Conor 2014

I will not pretend, I will never pretend, that autism is just a different way of thinking.  Heather and I love our son too much to lie to the world about the nature of his autism realities, his severe autism, intellectual disability and epileptic seizures.  Like many parents of autistic children I believe it is in his best interest that the world knows the realities  of the complex disorder he endures and that often causes him to suffer and puts his life at risk.  I can face his autism realistically while appreciating every ounce of the joy he himself  brings to our lives. I can marvel at his ability to laugh and hug and enjoy life even though I often see him in pain.  

Conor himself enjoys life and brings us great joy  and with his mother I will always try to return that joy.   I will fight those who misrepresent the disorder, and the at times very harsh symptoms, from which he suffers,  I will NOT back down and .... I will enjoy every bit of the great joy he brings us every day.

Here are some 2014  snap shots of the joy we call Conor.












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Posted on 23 November 2014 | 7:47 pm

Ex-Pat Blog - The Blog Fodder



Holodomor and Other Anniversaries

Friday, November 21st,  marked the first anniversary of EuroMaidan, the dignity revolution. Yesterday, Saturday 22nd,  was the 51st anniversary of the assassination of JFK.  It was also the 10th anniversary of the Orange Revolution that overturned a thoroughly fraudulent vote and frightened Putin to death as he realized it could happen to him, hence his vicious reaction to Euromaidan.

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Posted on 23 November 2014 | 6:00 am

Gardening Blog - Canoe Corner



Vegetable Gardens can be Pretty Too

We have a pretty big yard.  Three acres of space to get lost in.  When we first moved here it was a blank slate.  5 years on and one can get lost behind shrubs and plants.  I spent a day in the garden this summer and not one but two people dropped by our house.  I did not see them and they did not see me.  I only found out via phone messages and emails later on.

Unfortunately that same thing happens to my husband.   There are times he comes looking and can't find me. One day he came looking and I was nowhere to be found.  Hours later when I finally came back to the house he asked me, "who puts so many flowers in their vegetable garden?"

Apparently in his travels he wandered through the veggie beds and was surprised at the number of flowers he saw.  I didn't think the vegetable garden had so many flowers but on closer inspection I guess I subconsciously felt it needed some perking up.

Marigolds contrast against red beet tops
I always include marigolds in my vegetable beds as they are said to deter whiteflies and nematodes.  I don't know if they really do that but they sure look pretty contrasted against the beets.  

Lilies and Borage
I was gifted with lilies a few years ago and had no place to put them so into the vegetable garden they went.  Now they are surrounded by borage and feverfew each year which draws beneficial insects to pollinate my vegetable plants.

I ordered a daylily this year from local daylily breeder Red Lane Gardens but the flower bed wasn't quite ready when the plants arrived so daylilies graced my carrot bed this year.

Hidden Strength daylily
Every year I dream about putting containers of flowers on our deck but the reality is the containers I do put out die a slow death.  Our deck is in full sun throughout the summer and I am forgetful about watering.  So this year I decided the shade of the garage was the perfect spot for a container garden.  Less watering and I liked the idea of bright colours contrasting against the white walls of the garage.  It just so happens the garage is located next to the vegetable garden.

Begonias and lobelia
Pots of perennials and shrubs that hadn't yet been planted were massed into a collection on a picnic table.  Colourful annuals added some colour.  A box full of red and green lettuce growing in the shade provided greens throughout the summer.



On the sunny side of the garage I put herbs.  Cilantro and dill were combined with cosmos and rudbeckia.

Orange and pink cosmos, dill and cilantro
In fact, herbs are a great way to add some colour to the garden.  Oregano provides a cloud of pink blooms each summer as well as food for us and insects.

Oregano
So maybe there's a few flowers in my vegetable garden.  But it's just prettier that way isn't it?

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 6:50 pm

Lifetime Achievement Blog - Fit Cyclist



As a Serious Cyclist, I Demand You Take Me Seriously

A Note from Fatty: I’m happy to announce that my second Best of FatCyclist.com book, The Great Fatsby, is nearly finalized and going to the printer next week. I’m even happier to announce that I’m genuinely happy with how it’s turned out. It’s about 350 pages (fifty or so pages more than the first volume), the intros, [...]

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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 12:32 pm

Travel Blog - Local Traveller



We’ve Moved! Kinda…

Hey LTNS friends! On May 12th, we joined up with a cool new collective called Halifax Bloggers and started posting under the new url of www.thelocaltraveler.ca. If you’ve been hanging around www.thelocaltravelerns.com, this url will start to redirect to our new site in the next few weeks. Over on the new channel, we’ve got a […]

The post We’ve Moved! Kinda… appeared first on The Local Traveler .


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Posted on 17 June 2014 | 11:03 am

Group Blog - Urban Moms



Warm Almond Quinoa Breakfast Sundae

My kid is not a big fan of cow’s milk. Never has been. I assume he takes after me when it comes to drinking it straight up and cold. Since I didn’t grow up really drinking milk in my home […]

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Posted on 20 October 2014 | 11:08 am

Best New Blog - Frugal Mom Eh



Stained Glass Window Shortbread Cookies #GayLeaMom

Stained Glass Window Shortbread CookiesOne of my favourite things about Christmas is all the baking.  Not just because they are delicious either but because they make the house smell so good!  We usually make a mix of traditional family recipe cookies and desserts as well as a a few experiments with new recipes.  This typically includes a couple different […]

The post Stained Glass Window Shortbread Cookies #GayLeaMom appeared first on Frugal Mom Eh!.


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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 8:21 am

Personal Blog - Rolling Around in my Head



The Path

A little girl is making art. It's a project that she is working on, along with a lot of other kids, in a school where I am going to be giving a lecture, in the auditorium, at the end of the school day. We arrived early, as Joe and I are in the habit of doing, and Joe stayed in the auditorium to set up while I went on a tour with the Vice Principle.

We come upon this group of kids engaged in the making of art. I roll into the room in order to watch. I'm told, proudly, by the Vice Principle that it's an opportunity for me to see 'inclusion in action.' And, it's true. There are kids with both physical and intellectual disabilities working right along side peers without disabilities.

Near me is a little girl, maybe six, maybe seven, with Down Syndrome, working on the project. She is laser focused on her work, it's wonderful to watch kids who are totally absorbed in what they are doing. The teacher begins to let the kids know that they'll be wrapping up in a few minutes. The little girl with Down Syndrome has a Education Assistant beside her now. This Assistant has been in the room checking in with other kids who have disabilities and now has sat down beside the little girl who is working on her project.

The aide, in a helpful voice, says, "I think you should colour in these spaces," and points to a few spots on the paper. The little girl looked at her and then continued on. The Assistant was distracted for a few minutes by a short conversation with the teacher. When she turned back and looked at the girl's work, she said, conversationally, "You didn't colour these spaces like I suggested."

The little girl continued her work but obviously wasn't going to take the Assistant's advice. When prompted again, the child turned to the Assistant and said, "It's my art."

The Assistant was brought up short but responded wonderfully, "You're right, it is your art, you need to do it exactly like you want to do it."

The child claimed her right to make art the way she wanted to make art. In doing this, the child signalled that she has the power to make her own decisions, to say 'no' to authority and to assert her will. She did all this calmly and strongly.

This little girl is on the path to becoming a strong woman.

Notice that though she has Down Syndrome, that descriptor isn't in the sentence above. You know why - because every little girl needs to be on same path.

Every.

One.

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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 7:47 am

Political Blog - Calgary Liberal



Shutting down the blog.

Turns out a job doesn’t leave much time for blogging. And a 65-75 hour a week job makes it even tougher to fit in the time to write. Also, I find I’m writing all day, every day. So the urge to write more all night too isn’t that much of a driving force. There is, after […]

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Posted on 24 August 2014 | 2:46 am

Law Blog - Wise Law Blog



Just Another Reason We Need the Ontario Human Rights Code

What do you consider before waking up and going to work?

Is it whether you have an 'acceptable' Body Mass Index? Whether your wedding ring and engagement rings are on separate fingers or, whether you are wearing 3 eye shadow colours on each eyelid?

If  you work for Malaysian Airlines, a recent Business Insider report identified that these are definite concerns.

Thanks to the Ontario Human Rights Code and basic human decency, we are not obliged to worry about these things before going to work. Let us all rejoice.
- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk


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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 11:53 am

Science / Tech Blog - Watts Up With that?



Silly Headline of the Day – NYT: Climate Change Threatens to Strip the Identity of Glacier National Park

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale And the opening of the NewYorkTimes article reads: GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. — What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone? My suggestions are at the end of the post. There is a redeeming paragraph in the NYT article. It reads (my boldface): The retreat is not…

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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 7:53 am

Sports Blog - Rod Pederson



TICATS 40 ALOUETTES 24




HAMILTON, Ont. - The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are going back to the Grey Cup.

Hamilton defeated the Montreal Alouettes 40-24 in Sunday's East Division final at Tim Hortons Field.

Kick returner Brandon Banks scored his second touchdown of the game with a few minutes left in the fourth quarter to help put the game away.

The Tiger-Cats will play the winner of today's West Division final between Edmonton and Calgary for the CFL championship.

The 102nd Grey Cup will be played next Sunday in Vancouver.


(The Canadian Press)



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Posted on 23 November 2014 | 5:01 pm

Family Blog - Mom vs the Boys



Here’s a Tasty Way to Give Back this Year! #TreatsforToys

Tis the season to give back, what better time to help out someone else than the holidays, and there’s so many ways you can do it! We dropped off our toy drive donation today and have our food bank donations waiting to head out the door, but our favourite way to give this holiday is [Read On]

The post Here’s a Tasty Way to Give Back this Year! #TreatsforToys appeared first on Mom vs the Boys.


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Posted on 23 November 2014 | 7:18 pm

Professional Blog - Product Management



Top-down prioritizing: markets and portfolios

Failing to focus, failing to choose one discipline and stick to it, is exactly what leads firms to a state of mediocrity.—Michael Treacy & Fred Wiersema, authors, Discipline of Market Leaders In most organizations, development teams have dramatically less capacity than the appetites of the business units and sales teams. That’s why I continue to […]

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Posted on 13 November 2014 | 6:34 am

Writing and Literature Blog - The Book Mine Set



The 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge - November Roundup (Sticky Post— Scroll down for most recent post)





document.write(''); How to add your link:
1. Click on the icon above
2. Add a link to your review. (Please link to your specific review, not an entire webpage.)
3. Add your name and in parentheses the title of the book, such as John Mutford (Anne of Avonlea)
4. In the comment section below, tell me your grand total so far. (ex. "This brings me up to 1/13")

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Posted on 30 November 2014 | 11:59 pm

Popular Culture Blog - XOXO - Jes



People's Sexiest Man Alive for 2014 is...Thor

Chris Hemsworth snagged the title of Sexiest Man Alive this year courtesy of People Mag.

I'm not sure that there was a standout this year, so I can agree with the older Hems getting the title. Making Australia proud.

XOXO
Jes...

Side: I 100% forgot that Adam Levin was the SMA last year. It's like last year didn't even exist.

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Posted on 19 November 2014 | 1:23 am

Place Blog - Kitsilano



Open Houses in Kits This Weekend

The weekend is here and that means it’s time to talk about open houses. The real estate market in Kitsilano is starting to slow down for the season – many people will now be waiting for the new year to start thinking about selling and buying. However, there are still...
Read more...

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 6:00 pm

Best Written - Cheaty Monkey



Dance Shoe Diaries

It’s true: Cheaty Monkey and I have been on a break. I may or may not have cheated on it just a little over at Today’s Parent; but, we have made amends and are back together, at least for today. It’s not like I have anything important to say here. Major events in the world and the fact […]

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Posted on 26 October 2014 | 10:04 pm

Fashion and Style - Lou Lou's Views



Nordstrom Is Hiring—Plus, Get Your Tickets To the Nordstrom Gala Now!

You all know how much I love to shop—and if there was a way for me to shop for a living, well, that would be my full-time job. Since I don't yet make my living as a "professional shopper" I have managed to keep shopping an active part of my life by working as a shopping blogger and expert, and as a Brand Ambassador and Spokesperson for brands and stores I love to shop at and do business with. Next best thing, right?

As you also know, Nordstrom (my favourite store EVER) if finally opening in Rideau Centre this coming March. I am beyond excited for this, because Nordstrom is my go-to department store whenever I'm traveling in the United States. (Special shout-out to the amazing staff at Nordstrom in Aventura Mall!)

I think having a job in Nordstrom would actually be a dream come true, because I'd be spending time in my favourite store, doing what I love—helping people find things they need and want—and getting paid for it. Not a bad gig, right? Well, if you're interested in working at Nordstrom Ottawa, you're in luck, because they're hiring!

I attended the pre-gala Nordstrom celebrate last night, and it was great to see many familiar faces and meet some great people from Nordstrom. I am so excited for the Nordstrom Gala that will be taking place on March 4th, a couple of days before Nordstrom opens to the public.

A gala night in Nordstrom... perfection! There will be a dinner, dessert, live entertainment, a fashion show, and shopping, of course. Shopping in an evening gown while sipping champagne... perfect night!





Tickets to Ottawa's Nordstrom Gala are now on sale, and oh my gosh, you guys—they're selling fast. You better get your ticket before it's too late.

The best part? The $100 ticket gives back in a huge way. 100% of ticket sales are going to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and to United Way, split 50/50. A glamorous night out as you help these two amazing organizations—can't think of a more worthwhile way to spend an evening!

See you at the Nordstrom Gala!


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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 12:14 pm

Feminist - Gender Focus



My Roommate Ordered Someone to Rape Me When I Was a Student at Queen’s

Victims of sexual violence shouldn’t have to complain to The Toronto Star in order to be heard. I complained to my university 10 years ago, but my complaints did not seem to inspire any change. Was that because I didn’t have a newspaper on my side?

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 1:15 pm

Food and Drink - well fed, flat broke



Peanut butter marshmallow bars.

Last week, or maybe the week before, it rained and rained and rained one night (I can’t remember which night because that sort of thing happens a lot here), and it was dark out and nearly bedtime, and I had a lot to do, book-wise, and I was dead tired after work and we all […]

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Posted on 25 October 2014 | 5:43 pm

Fashion - Go Fug Yourself



Fug the Show: The Good Wife, season 6, episode 9, “Sticky Content”

the-good-wife-season-6-episode-9-recap-48 the-good-wife-season-6-episode-9-recap-21 the-good-wife-season-6-episode-9-recap-35 
Someone crawls out of the basement, someone drops from the top, and Peter gets his knickers handed to him. So yeah, BIG DOINGS here on the Power Suit Rankings. But let’s begin with a beloved old friend. 21. Joe Jr. You might remember this strapping lad from While You Were Sleeping, as the neighbor of Sandra Bullock who Read More ...

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Posted on 22 November 2014 | 2:00 pm

Parenting - Snarky Mommy



First! Day! Of! School!

Worst mommy blogger ever. First day of school was last week and I’m just posting the photos now. But hey, if you follow me on Facebook, I did post pictures there! Jack, 3rd grade (whaaat?) Flipagram of all Jack’s first days Emmie, 1st grade Flipagram of all Emmie’s first days Maeve, Jr. Kindergarten Flipagram of [...]

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Posted on 10 September 2014 | 1:49 pm

Gossip - TMZ



Jose Canseco -- Fiancee Calls 911 Over Alleged Threats ... Jose Calls BS

Cops raced to Jose Canseco's Las Vegas home over the weekend after his fiancee called 911 and told police he repeatedly threatened to kill her -- but Jose tells TMZ Sports she's lying through her teeth. Law enforcement confirms ... Leila Knight…


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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 1:46 pm

Entertainment - i09



Charming Paper Animations Show Tells the History of Microbes

We covered the work of Flora Lichtman and Sarah Shattuck before , but they're back with a new series called "Animated Life," which will explore major discoveries and the legacies they've left behind. Up this week: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and the drop of lake water he bothered to look at under a microscope.

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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 6:00 am

Music - Indie Music Filter



Please Don’t

Indie Music Filter

Take a listen to "Please Don't" by UK songwriter Leo Stannard.

Please Don’t


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Posted on 24 November 2014 | 3:07 pm