Best Blog - Rolling Around in My Head



Hello Saturday! It's Meaning Time

Image Description: Test Reading GOOD MORNING Saturday, with flowers and sunshine and bees flying about.
It's Saturday morning and I'm up and nearly ready to head out and do my first presentation of the year. Today it is to a group of parents and I have to say I'm wildly excited about it. I enjoy presenting to parents, especially ones who get up on a Saturday morning and drive somewhere to hear some guy they probably haven't ever heard about, talk about sexuality and abuse prevention. I am prepared and hoping for a lively discussion and maybe even a little bit of friendly debate.

It's been some while since my last lecture, which was in early December, and I've enjoyed the down time at home. In fact it was a bit of a shock rolling into a hotel room last night. It was a 'oh, yeah, this is what I do!' As January is typically a really slow time of year for lectures and training, it's a welcome break from life on the road. Now I've done a few webinars, but I can do them from home, in my housecoat if I want, I don't but I could. I'm still mistrustful of technology and am sure that I can be seen.

As Joe and I settled into the routine we began talking of the places we will go this year, the people we will meet, and what new adaptions we may need to make to our life together on the road. It was a pleasant conversation and we're both looking forward to travelling the breadth of both Canada and the United States.

But, this is the start of a new year.

And I'm feeling blessed to be able to do this work.

I met with a professional, much younger than myself, much smarter than myself, who is mid career and we spoke about what we both do. He said that he's got to a point that he now wants to think about his career in terms of resume but instead in terms of impact. He wants his work to have real meaning. I understand that goal entirely.

I think we all do.

And for me, meaning, right now, is going out on a Saturday morning to talk to parents about their adult children with disabilities.

How cool is that?

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Posted on 6 February 2016 | 12:57 pm

Literature and Culture Blog - Perogies and Gyoza



The Cat at the Wall

The Cat at the Wall

Written by: Deborah Ellis

Published by: Groundwood Books

Published on: August 11, 2014

Ages: 10+












Clare is a regular girl at a regular school in Pennsylvania, but with a mean streak. Clare is also a cat in the West Bank of the Middle East, who finds a boy hiding from Israeli soldiers. How Clare became a cat and what Clare the cat decides to do about the boy are just two of the mysteries told in this middle grade novel.

Ellis has impecable nonfiction credentials (Looks Like Daylight, Kids of Kabul) and she combines her extensive knowledge of the Israeli-Palestine situation to illuminate an important theme- that we all have choices and we can improve or worsen other people's lives as a result of the path we choose.

The fantasy element was actually quite well-done, although different from what I expected from Ellis' work. The juxtaposition of a normal middle-class life in the US with the fear of an orphaned boy in one of the world's most conflicted areas is clever and the fantasy element makes it feel less like a moral tale.

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Posted on 3 January 2015 | 1:10 pm

Entertainment Blog - Mike's Bloggity Blog



How to spend 24 hours in the West Edmonton Mall and never run out of things to do!

After 35 years, the West Edmonton Mall is undoubtedly synonymous with the Alberta’s capital city. For first time visitors to Edmonton, the mall is almost always a must-do, and even for people like me, who visit Edmonton several times a ...
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Posted on 5 February 2016 | 6:59 pm

Humour Blog - XOXO Jes.....



Guest Post: Edmonton Folk Music Festival 2015

Guest Contributor: Uryelle Dimailig

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival—as mentioned in my last article—is a pretty big deal. To illustrate exactly how big of a deal, tickets to the festival sell out within minutes while lotteries are drawn simply to enter the grounds when gates first open for the day.

Arguably one of the most popular festivals of the year, it boasts an army of over 2,500 volunteers alone, not to mention the thousands more who attend as guests. But whether volunteer, concert-goer, performer or passing observer, this annual event is indeed a magical time for all: four days of stunning scenery, world class music, united community, and general feel-good vibes unique to the one and only “Folk Fest.” For those of you who missed last weekend’s festivities (or have never been), here is my round-up of highlights from my time there on Saturday and Sunday to get you caught up to speed.

For those of you who are regulars, well, consider this fond nostalgia.

My first day was mainly spent exploring the festival and getting acquainted with the grounds. First thing you’ll undoubtedly notice is the sea of tarps sprawling over the steep hills of Gallagher Park on one side and the stunning view of Edmonton’s downtown core perched on top of the river valley on the other—the view alone is a big draw for many. You feel like you’re in an oasis in the middle of the city!

My quick tour of the market saw unique local vendors selling crafts that follow the “folk” sensibility: leather satchels, handmade jewelry, wooden décor, the works. The food pavilions provided hungry concert-goers with international fare including Thai, Chinese, German, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Canadian and more, with (of course) vegetarian and vegan options.

There were plenty of kid friendly amenities in the festival as well including a spray park, face painting and a family fun area. For us grownups, our fun area was known as the beer gardens, which offer up pitchers of beer, hotdogs, and great conversation with new and old friends. Stick around after the sun sets and take in the glorious sight of a hill filled with twinkling lights and a night sky full of stars. Truly magical.

As for the shows, my goal on Sunday was to catch as many as I could and I feel my mission was accomplished, having caught seven concerts that afternoon. Here are a few of my favourites:

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.45.31 PM 
Emmanuel Jal: So I stumbled on this show by accident. I was actually on my way to find ice cream but I couldn’t help but stop as I passed by Emmanuel Jal’s stage. This guy had energy for days, jumping up and down, dancing in the crowd and pulling the audience on stage to join the show. Jal’s empowering songs affected the crowd too—everyone was up on their feet dancing along as the park resounded with anthems of love and peace, such is his mandate. The incredible story of Jal’s past life as a child soldier in Sudan, turned hip-hop artist and activist hailing from Toronto made for an uplifting performance that not only entertained but inspired all those who watched. For music with a message, an artist with a story, and an entertainer with passion, Emmanuel Jal’s your guy—his show was a definite highlight of the festival and it’s all thanks to ice cream.

I’m With Her: Shifting musical stylings somewhat after the Emmanuel Jal show, I drifted over to Stage 2 where the ladies of I’m With Her began their soft-spoken, gentle set of folksy originals and cover songs. These ladies had the most angelic voices which, when paired with their delicate instrumentals, served as the perfect complement to the sunshine and stunning view of the river valley behind the stage. Considering you were surrounded by thousands of people, the I’m With Her set had a magical way of feeling intimate and close, as every live performance should.

Fairfield Four: So funny story. While I was in the media tent sorting through the day’s photos, a group of older gentlemen arrived and media volunteers were busy trying to get them to their assigned stage. One of the men took a seat beside me, smiled and said, “How do you do,” in the smoothest, southern baritone voice I have ever heard. Being a newbie to the folk music scene however, I couldn’t quite place what kind of music they would be playing.

An hour later, there I was swaying to the stylings of the legendary Fairfield Four as their airtight four-part acapella harmonies and rolling bass lines took you through a journey of gospel tales and rich southern history. Incredibly humble for a group whose songs have won them Grammies and major Hollywood soundtracks, these talented vocalists are the third generation to hold a place in the Fairfield Four’s almost century long history. What a privilege it truly was to watch them live in concert.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.45.46 PM 
The McCrary Sisters: Continuing on the gospel note, the McCrary Sisters took to the stage shortly after. As daughters of one of the founding members of the Fairfield Four, it was clear that musical talent ran through the family. The sisters, with their pitch perfect harmonies, powerful vocal riffs and impeccable showmanship, took turns sharing the spotlight with their spirited set of blues, soul and gospel songs. My personal favourite was their song “Let It Go” which was an anthem of positivity and love. To top it all off, the Fairfield Four joined the Sisters on stage for an amazing joint performance that had everyone on their feet dancing and singing along.

All in all, I LOVED every second of my Folk Fest experience. Yes, the music was amazing but even more important was the incredible spirit of community, inclusion and support you felt when you were there. If you have a chance to make it to next year’s festival, I highly recommend it. Cheers to all the Folk; see you next August on the hill!


Photo Credit: Uryelle Dimailig

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Posted on 12 August 2015 | 4:09 am

Journalist Blog - Commercial Space



Washington "All Fired Up" Over Russian Rocket Engines

          By Henry Stewart

John McCain. Photo c/o Brietbart.com
There's no finer example of the money to be made from building rockets than the current battle in Washington between US Senator John McCain and United Launch Alliance (ULA) over the purchase of Russian built rocket engines to power ULA built rockets. 

As outlined in the January 27th, 2016 Verge article, "John McCain is trying to stop the military from using Russian rocket engines again," ULA CEO Tory Bruno doesn't so much need the Russian engines to provide ongoing access to orbit for US military payloads as he needs them to compete with SpaceX and its Falcon family of multi-use rockets for lucrative US military contracts. 

The US Congress had initially banned the use of Russian rocket engines for US national security launches under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2015 in reaction to Russia’s 2014 incursion into neighboring Ukraine. But the ban exempted five Russian RD-180 rocket engines that were already on order and were needed for ULA to comply with existing contracts. Exceptions covering four additional RD-180 engines were included in the 2016 US Defence Authorization bill, for much the same reasons and after much debate.

But the 2016 exemptions, as championed by McCain in his role as chair of the House Armed Services Committee, limited ULA to "far fewer Russian-made engines than the company says it needs to stay viable in its core national security market," at least according to the September 30th, 2015 Space News post, "Defense Bill Curbs ULA Use of Russian Engines but Draws Veto Threat."

The bill was also expected to end the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program covering Atlas-5 and Delta-4 launch services not covered under their standard contracts. 

ULA critics have long argued that that these additional contracted funds, which are officially intended to assure access to space for Department of Defense and other United States government payloads, are only ever paid to ULA and are therefore simply an additional subsidy for ULA launch operations.

,
The RD-180 rocket engine, derived from the Russian RD-170 rocket engine used on the side boosters of the Soviet era Energia launch vehicle, is built by the Russian company NPO Energomash and sold to ULA under contract. As outlined in the July 17th, 2014 SpaceFlight Insider article, "With continued turmoil over RD-180, ULA mulls new rocket engine," ULA has been exploring options for alternatives to the RD-180 since almost the beginning of the crisis in the Ukraine. Under RD Amross, a joint venture between Pratt & Whitney (P&W) and NPO Energomash, P&W is licensed to produce the RD-180 in the United States, although this has never occurred. Photo c/o NASA.

Given that, and as outlined in the October 2nd, 2015 Space News post, "Bruno Says ULA Can’t Bid on GPS 3 Launch," ULA began to refuse to bid on new launch contracts, citing it's inability to compete for contracts against Space-X without the Russian rocket engine.

And, although McCain initially succeeded in getting a limit of nine Russian engines included in the FY16 DoD authorization bill, an additional provision added to the bill last week seems to have voided that limit.

Tory Bruno, looking hungry. Photo c/o SpaceNews/Tom Kimmell.
So now ULA can buy as many Russian rocket engines as it wants, maybe.

In response, and as outlined in the January 27th, 2016 Space News article, "US Air Force evaluating early end for ULA’s $800 million in yearly support," the US Air Force is now renewing efforts for the early termination of the estimate $800Mln USD annual EELV launch capability contract after ULA refused to bid on the service’s first competitive launch contract in over a decade.

The article also quoted McCain as stating that he would introduce legislation to reinstate a ban on  the US military’s use of Russian rocket engines, a move that would again limit  ULA to nine RD-180 engines for upcoming competitions for Air Force launch contracts.

The article also quoted ULA spokeswoman Jessica Rye that it is “critical that ULA is able to continue to provide the reliable, affordable launch services our customers depend on while the new, American engine is being developed.” 

ULA is working with Blue Origin on the methane-fueled BE-4 engine that would power the main stage of Vulcan, ULA’s proposed Atlas 5 successor. They just don't want to give up on the revenue they'd lose on the lead up to the roll-out of the new rocket. 

Perhaps the US government will end up throwing them a new bone. 
_________________________________________________________________________________

Henry Stewart is the pseudonym for a Toronto based aerospace writer. 


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Posted on 2 February 2016 | 7:41 pm

Religion Blog - Religion Dispatch



‘Putin’s Children’ Push ‘Traditional Values’ in Latvia; Jewish Reparative Therapy Group Finds ‘Haven’ In Israel; Sikh Activist in UK Supports LGBT South Asians; Global LGBT Recap

International Activism and Advocacy The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights...

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Posted on 6 February 2016 | 5:14 pm

Art and Crafting Blog - Just a Smidgen



Lemon Tahini Crunch Salad

♥ I’m so happy to say that the fitness goals I set out to accomplish back in January 2015 have been reached! One year.. yeah, I’m it took me a while! It’s time to celebrate but the...

{ This is a content exerpt only.. Please click on the Blog Title to continue reading this post, share your love, browse Just a Smidgen and more.. }

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Posted on 11 January 2016 | 7:23 pm

Ecology and Social Justice - Facing Autism in New Brunswick



October 18, 2003: Andy Scott Called for a Strong National Autism Strategy; Will October 19, 2015 Deliver A Government That Will Make It Happen?


Andy Scott called for a REAL National Autism Strategy that would ensure treatment for autism 12 years ago,  Munson, Thibeault, and Stoffer have continued the fight tirelessy. Will October 19 bring Canadians a government prepared to make it happen?

Some good work has been done during this current election campaign in drawing politicians attention to the need for a REAL National Autism Strategy.  The Medicare for Autism Now's 1 in 58 campaign has produced considerable discussion in a number of selected ridings.  In Saskatchewan Shannon Hill and the PAAT group have engaged federal and political politicians.  Hopefully the government elected October 19 will do more than shell out money for a do nothing committee with no serious mandate like the Harper Party did during the past year.  The Green, NDP and Liberal Parties have all expressed some support for a National Autism Strategy that includes efforts to ensure that evidence based ABA treatment for autism will be covered by Medicare across Canada as Andy Scott called for 12 years ago. 

Following is text from a commentary I posted in 2010  which records  Andy Scott's call as reported by Tali Folkins in the Telegraph Journal and also acknowledges the tireless efforts of Senator Jim Munson, Nova Scotia NDP MP Peter Stoffer and former NDP MP Glenn Thibeault as reported by MetroNews.ca. 


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010

Renewed Calls for a Real National Autism Strategy

Canada does not have a real national autism strategy but it is not for lack of trying by some dedicated federal politicians  including  Liberal  Senator Jim Munson and  NDP MPs Glenn Thibeault and Peter Stoffer who     have renewed calls for a real National Autism Strategy for Canada.

The struggle for a National Autism Strategy began many years ago including here in New Brunswick where Andy Scott issued a public call for a National Autism Strategy on October 18 2003:

""Fredericton MP Andy Scott said Saturday he has been lobbying prime- minister-to-be Paul Martin for a federal program to help young children with autism. "I desperately want a national autism strategy - and let me just assure you that Paul Martin knows it," Mr. Scott told supporters at a party celebrating his 10th anniversary as an MP in Fredericton Saturday evening.

Early work by therapists with young autistic children, Mr. Scott said, can make a big difference in their capacity to lead fulfilling lives as adults - and can save money in the long run. But the costs of starting such early intervention programs are high and should be borne directly by Ottawa rather than each individual province, he said. "We have responses and therapies and so on that I genuinely believe can work," he said. "You're going to save millions of dollars over the lifetime of an autistic adult. If you can get in at the front end, you can make enormous progress.

"But it's very expensive, and there's not a lot of stuff being added to Medicare, generally - that's why we have catastrophic drug problems and other things," he said. "In the province of New Brunswick, P.E.I., or even Quebec or Ontario it's very, very expensive. The feds are going to have to step up to the plate." "

Tali Folkins, Telegraph Journal, October 20, 2003

Mr. Scott was successful in getting a commitment by the federal government to a National Autism Strategy recognized in principle but the strategy at that time did not commit to the hard action necessary to provide assistance to all parts of Canada in providing early autism intervention programs.  Even the National Autism Symposium which came out of that commitment was a sham, pure and simple, a sham.  Public autism advocates, including me were excluded from the Symposium.  Those in attendance were all screened by federal health agency involved with organizing the event to ensure that they would go along with the government's do nothing to help autistic children agenda.

Senator Munson has been literally crossing the country for several years fighting for a real national autism strategy  and he has not given up on his efforts.  He organized and  spoke in Ottawa yesterday at an event to mark World Autism Awareness Day this Friday, April 2, 2010:

There’s no reason why we cannot treat autism within our own communities equitably across the nation,” said event organizer Senator Jim Munson. “There is a crisis and I know that we can come up with a plan to deal with the issue that is so important to all of us.”

MetroNews.ca, Ottawa, March 31, 2010


The event was also co-hosted by  NDP MP's Glenn Thibeault and Peter Stoffer who spoke at the event.  Mr. Thibeault also  introduced a private member's bill, seconded by tireless autism advocate Peter Stoffer,  to create a real national autism strategy, one that would actually help autistic children and their families by having the federal government work with the provinces:

"“Autism doesn’t discriminate based on geography.  It’s time for federal leadership to ensure that no matter where a child is born with autism, they receive equal treatment and services of the highest caliber.

Glenn Thibeault,  March 30 2010

I’m very pleased that my colleague has done this.  We’ve been asking for many years for the federal government to work with the provinces to develop a national autism strategy. I hope this will become a reality in the near future.”

Peter Stoffer, March 30 2010

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Posted on 14 October 2015 | 8:06 am

Ex-Pat Blog - The Blog Fodder



"Enemies of the State" - Stalinism making a comeback in Russia

My inbox and news feed this past couple of weeks had been filled with stories of the British enquiry into the 2006 poisoning of Litvinenko, FSB defector turned MI6 informant.  The enquiry, which the British did NOT want to hold and delayed almost 10 years, because it might upset relations with Russia, found as fact which had previously been suspected.  Litvinenko was poisoned with Polonium 210

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Posted on 28 January 2016 | 9:45 pm

Gardening Blog - Canoe Corner



Spring has Sprung

Well at least I think Spring has come.  Where there was one bunny


Now there are two more, one of which is a baby.


The guy at the shop did warn us they multiplied.  I guess cold weather doesn't deter them.

It hasn't been a warm spring, that's for sure.  Just last week we had a frost warning.  Frost, in mid-June!!!  I have struggled getting the vegetable garden in because I was afraid to plant out the warm weather plants like basil, peppers and pumpkins.

It was a good year for tulips though.  They like it cold.


Last summer I moved all of my spring flowering bulbs and plants to one side of my flower bed and grouped them together.  I was looking for impact and the results were beautiful.


Just as I had hoped, cushion spurge mixed well with pink and white tulips, the hostas opened up and complemented the daffodils.


The anemone has finally spread into a considerable mound and provided a fantastic backdrop to pink and purple tulips.


Of course, there's always a few hiccups along the way.  The late frosts killed off the majority of our apple blossoms.  and the daffodils appear to be dwindling.  Usually daffodils multiply and expand but this variety seems to be dying off.  So I will need to try a different variety next year.  Something a little more robust.  Any suggestions for a favourite daffodil and where to buy them?

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Posted on 26 June 2015 | 12:33 am

Lifetime Achievement Blog - Fit Cyclist



Announcing a New FatCyclist / RKP Collaborative Project: The Paceline Podcast

You would think I’d learn. But I don’t learn. Or at least, I am not sure I learn the lessons I think I’m supposed to learn. I have an example.  I am currently about as busy as a human being can get. My day job has gotten me maxed out. Family stuff too. Training stuff too. And [...]

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Posted on 5 February 2016 | 7:48 pm

Travel Blog - Local Traveller



The Salt Room – Halifax, NS

Cozy blankets, comfy chairs, relaxing music, and a room full of salt.

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Posted on 17 February 2015 | 2:10 pm

Group Blog - Urban Moms



Drew Barrymore Makes Her Family A Priority

It’s no secret that we love Drew Barrymore here in the UrbanMoms office. And her latest interview with Harper’s Bazaar has done nothing but increase our mom-friend crush on her. When discussing how she manages to get through each and […]

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Posted on 5 February 2016 | 6:40 pm

Best New Blog - Frugal Mom Eh



Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes   Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes are one of my favourite cupcake flavour combinations ever.  It’s such a flavourful dessert and one that is as delicious just because as it is for serving at parties.   Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup cocoa powder 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder […]

The post Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes appeared first on Frugal Mom Eh!.


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Posted on 5 February 2016 | 12:55 pm

Personal Blog - Rolling Around in my Head



Hello Saturday! It's Meaning Time

Image Description: Test Reading GOOD MORNING Saturday, with flowers and sunshine and bees flying about.
It's Saturday morning and I'm up and nearly ready to head out and do my first presentation of the year. Today it is to a group of parents and I have to say I'm wildly excited about it. I enjoy presenting to parents, especially ones who get up on a Saturday morning and drive somewhere to hear some guy they probably haven't ever heard about, talk about sexuality and abuse prevention. I am prepared and hoping for a lively discussion and maybe even a little bit of friendly debate.

It's been some while since my last lecture, which was in early December, and I've enjoyed the down time at home. In fact it was a bit of a shock rolling into a hotel room last night. It was a 'oh, yeah, this is what I do!' As January is typically a really slow time of year for lectures and training, it's a welcome break from life on the road. Now I've done a few webinars, but I can do them from home, in my housecoat if I want, I don't but I could. I'm still mistrustful of technology and am sure that I can be seen.

As Joe and I settled into the routine we began talking of the places we will go this year, the people we will meet, and what new adaptions we may need to make to our life together on the road. It was a pleasant conversation and we're both looking forward to travelling the breadth of both Canada and the United States.

But, this is the start of a new year.

And I'm feeling blessed to be able to do this work.

I met with a professional, much younger than myself, much smarter than myself, who is mid career and we spoke about what we both do. He said that he's got to a point that he now wants to think about his career in terms of resume but instead in terms of impact. He wants his work to have real meaning. I understand that goal entirely.

I think we all do.

And for me, meaning, right now, is going out on a Saturday morning to talk to parents about their adult children with disabilities.

How cool is that?

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Posted on 6 February 2016 | 12:57 pm

Law Blog - Wise Law Blog



When The Press Comes A'Calling

In the course of your work as a legal professional, you may receive the occasional call from the media, seeking your comments or insights on a recent legal development or issue.

Handling these enquiries with expertise and grace will always be beneficial to you and your practice.

Here are a few tips on working with the media in this context:

  1. Generally speaking, media enquiries will initially come by email, with the journalist specifying the topic to be covered and asking for your availability to participate in a telephone interview.
  2. If you wish to participate, don’t delay. Journalists work on very tight deadlines, so an immediate response will always be appreciated. It will also increase the odds that you will be included in the article to be written.
  3. Do some research before your phone interview. Read up on the topics to be discussed, and ensure that you have the relevant statutes and caselaw at your fingertips during the interview.  The more detail and precision you can provide, the more value you will be adding to the article being written.
  4. Be helpful. Most journalists appreciate it if you provide them with links to source materials by email. Remember, you have been contacted because of your expertise. If you can provide helpful background materials to the journalist, this will make  the writer’s job easier, and also make it more likely that you will be called again, next time.
  5. Speak slowly and clearly during your interview, to give the writer opportunity to accurately record your comments.  Pause occasionally, to allow the journalist time to catch up.  Ask if you are going too fast, and listen to any cues your interviewer is providing about the pace and content of your comments.
  6. Be yourself.  Be engaging and communicate your enthusiasm about your topic.
  7. If you are logistically unable to participate in a telephone interview, but still want to contribute, consider sending a comment by email.  You never know – your short blurb could be exactly what the journalist needs.
  8. Always be mindful in your dealings with the press of your duty to maintain client confidentiality.  Don’t comment on cases in which you are professionally engaged without your clients’ express permission.
  9. Also be mindful of  your various ethical duties when dealing with the press, with special focus on the legal professional’s overarching duty to foster public confidence in the administration of justice.
  10. When your telephone interview is finished, always ask the journalist to send you a link to the article being written, once it’s published online.
  11. Ask that the online version of the article, where possible, include a link to your website.
  12. If you note an error in the article, once published, don’t hesitate be in contact with the writer to request a correction. This can usually be  done expeditiously, particularly with online publications.
  13. Consider sending a thank you note or follow up email to the journalist involved with feedback about the completed article, and kudos for a job well done.
  14. Once published, leverage the article in your marketing efforts. Post it to your blog. Tweet and retweet it, and share liberally on social media.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto


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Posted on 29 January 2016 | 1:09 pm

Science / Tech Blog - Watts Up With that?



The Pause hangs on by its fingernails

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley The sharp el Niño spike is just about to abolish the long Pause in global temperatures – at least for now. This column has long foretold that the present el Niño would be substantial, and that it might at least shorten if not extinguish the Pause. After all, theory requires…

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Posted on 6 February 2016 | 4:46 pm

Sports Blog - Rod Pederson



PATS 5 TIGERS 1

Keith Hershmiller Photography
Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats (22-22-3-4) defeated the Medicine Hat Tigers (20-29-3-1) 5-1 at the Brandt Centre before over 4300 fans on Friday Night.  It was a huge victory for the Queen City Kids as it fattened their lead over Medicine Hat to seven points for the final playoff spot.

Game Story
The Regina Pats got on the board early and often in the first as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Medicine Hat scored one late on the power play.  The Regina goals came from Sean Richards, Austin Wagner and Lane Zablocki to get things started.  The story in the first, however, was Pats Forward Adam Brooks who notched three assists to bring his season point total to 77.  In doing so, Brooks took over the league lead in scoring.  He currently sits one point up on the Moose Jaw Warriors, and former Pat, Dryden Hunt in the scoring race.

Regina would add one in the second from Sam Steel and an empty netter late in the third from Sergey Zborovskiy.  With the win the Pats move seven points up on Medicine, sweeping the season series 4-0.  Regina Pats Goalie Tyler Brown turned away 41 shots en route to the victory.

Quick Hits
-The Pats are back to .500 on the season.
-Adam Brooks leads the WHL in scoring with 77 points.
-Jared McAmmond played the 99th game of his WHL career.
-Tonight’s attendance 4713

What’s Next?
The Pats are back in action on home-ice tomorrow night at 7 p.m. when they host the Prince George Cougars.  The puck drops at 7 p.m.  The game sponsor is Home Depot who will be giving away toques before the game.  Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.ca, the Brandt Centre Box Office and Safeway locations throughout Regina.

(Courtesy Mark Rathwell/Regina Pats)

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Posted on 6 February 2016 | 5:23 am

Family Blog - Mom vs the Boys



Valentine’s Day must-haves from Trudeau

Valentines Day is right around the corner and I’ve been busy in the kitchen testing out some of the best products from Trudeau that just scream….err….whispers romance! Sometimes it’s the little ways we show our affection that mean the most, and the Heart shaped egg ring is just the thing to add the element of surprise! [Read On]

The post Valentine’s Day must-haves from Trudeau appeared first on Mom vs the Boys.


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Posted on 5 February 2016 | 10:49 pm

Professional Blog - Product Management



What’s Different about Managing SaaS Products?

By Felicia Anderson SaaS provides a treasure trove of new user insights. As customers adopt Software as a Service (SaaS) in record numbers, those software providers that effectively leverage SaaS’ unique advantages will move into industry-leading positions.  Companies that fail to do so will lose competitive ground. Here are 3 areas that every SaaS product […]

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Posted on 10 September 2015 | 5:33 pm

Writing and Literature Blog - The Book Mine Set



The 9th Annual Canadian Book Challenge - January Roundup (Sticky Post— Scroll down for most recent post)

document.write(''); 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 1 February 2016 | 4:59 am

Popular Culture Blog - XOXO - Jes



Guest Post: Edmonton Folk Music Festival 2015

Guest Contributor: Uryelle Dimailig

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival—as mentioned in my last article—is a pretty big deal. To illustrate exactly how big of a deal, tickets to the festival sell out within minutes while lotteries are drawn simply to enter the grounds when gates first open for the day.

Arguably one of the most popular festivals of the year, it boasts an army of over 2,500 volunteers alone, not to mention the thousands more who attend as guests. But whether volunteer, concert-goer, performer or passing observer, this annual event is indeed a magical time for all: four days of stunning scenery, world class music, united community, and general feel-good vibes unique to the one and only “Folk Fest.” For those of you who missed last weekend’s festivities (or have never been), here is my round-up of highlights from my time there on Saturday and Sunday to get you caught up to speed.

For those of you who are regulars, well, consider this fond nostalgia.

My first day was mainly spent exploring the festival and getting acquainted with the grounds. First thing you’ll undoubtedly notice is the sea of tarps sprawling over the steep hills of Gallagher Park on one side and the stunning view of Edmonton’s downtown core perched on top of the river valley on the other—the view alone is a big draw for many. You feel like you’re in an oasis in the middle of the city!

My quick tour of the market saw unique local vendors selling crafts that follow the “folk” sensibility: leather satchels, handmade jewelry, wooden décor, the works. The food pavilions provided hungry concert-goers with international fare including Thai, Chinese, German, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Canadian and more, with (of course) vegetarian and vegan options.

There were plenty of kid friendly amenities in the festival as well including a spray park, face painting and a family fun area. For us grownups, our fun area was known as the beer gardens, which offer up pitchers of beer, hotdogs, and great conversation with new and old friends. Stick around after the sun sets and take in the glorious sight of a hill filled with twinkling lights and a night sky full of stars. Truly magical.

As for the shows, my goal on Sunday was to catch as many as I could and I feel my mission was accomplished, having caught seven concerts that afternoon. Here are a few of my favourites:

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Emmanuel Jal: So I stumbled on this show by accident. I was actually on my way to find ice cream but I couldn’t help but stop as I passed by Emmanuel Jal’s stage. This guy had energy for days, jumping up and down, dancing in the crowd and pulling the audience on stage to join the show. Jal’s empowering songs affected the crowd too—everyone was up on their feet dancing along as the park resounded with anthems of love and peace, such is his mandate. The incredible story of Jal’s past life as a child soldier in Sudan, turned hip-hop artist and activist hailing from Toronto made for an uplifting performance that not only entertained but inspired all those who watched. For music with a message, an artist with a story, and an entertainer with passion, Emmanuel Jal’s your guy—his show was a definite highlight of the festival and it’s all thanks to ice cream.

I’m With Her: Shifting musical stylings somewhat after the Emmanuel Jal show, I drifted over to Stage 2 where the ladies of I’m With Her began their soft-spoken, gentle set of folksy originals and cover songs. These ladies had the most angelic voices which, when paired with their delicate instrumentals, served as the perfect complement to the sunshine and stunning view of the river valley behind the stage. Considering you were surrounded by thousands of people, the I’m With Her set had a magical way of feeling intimate and close, as every live performance should.

Fairfield Four: So funny story. While I was in the media tent sorting through the day’s photos, a group of older gentlemen arrived and media volunteers were busy trying to get them to their assigned stage. One of the men took a seat beside me, smiled and said, “How do you do,” in the smoothest, southern baritone voice I have ever heard. Being a newbie to the folk music scene however, I couldn’t quite place what kind of music they would be playing.

An hour later, there I was swaying to the stylings of the legendary Fairfield Four as their airtight four-part acapella harmonies and rolling bass lines took you through a journey of gospel tales and rich southern history. Incredibly humble for a group whose songs have won them Grammies and major Hollywood soundtracks, these talented vocalists are the third generation to hold a place in the Fairfield Four’s almost century long history. What a privilege it truly was to watch them live in concert.

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The McCrary Sisters: Continuing on the gospel note, the McCrary Sisters took to the stage shortly after. As daughters of one of the founding members of the Fairfield Four, it was clear that musical talent ran through the family. The sisters, with their pitch perfect harmonies, powerful vocal riffs and impeccable showmanship, took turns sharing the spotlight with their spirited set of blues, soul and gospel songs. My personal favourite was their song “Let It Go” which was an anthem of positivity and love. To top it all off, the Fairfield Four joined the Sisters on stage for an amazing joint performance that had everyone on their feet dancing and singing along.

All in all, I LOVED every second of my Folk Fest experience. Yes, the music was amazing but even more important was the incredible spirit of community, inclusion and support you felt when you were there. If you have a chance to make it to next year’s festival, I highly recommend it. Cheers to all the Folk; see you next August on the hill!


Photo Credit: Uryelle Dimailig

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Posted on 12 August 2015 | 4:01 am

Place Blog - Kitsilano



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To Blog or Tweet…or Instagram or Vine or—That is the Question.

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The Diplomat Spa offers a variety of massages, including Hot Stone, Deep Tissue, the Diplomat Spa Signature (my personal favourite), Bamboo, Relaxation, Couples, and In-Room Massages. There are also plenty of facials to choose from, including Microdermabrasion, as well as waxing services, manicures, and pedicures, so you'll look and feel your very best.

For more information on the Diplomat Resort and Spa, check out their website for the latest deals. It's truly the best destination and resort to stay at with the family, no matter the season. It's paradise, year-round!

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LISTEN: “Never Going Back” by Caveman

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