Best Blog - Rolling Around in My Head



Three Kisses Plus One

We were seated, at a window, having a cup of tea when I saw them. Two young men, barely past their teens, stopped, just on the other side of the glass. In greeting they hugged and then kissed each other. They walked away holding hands.


A revolutionary kiss.


Revolutionary because it spoke of the pure humanity of those two boys. It was a kiss that expressed their deep love, their absolute affection, their spontaneous expression of joy. I watched them walk away and I felted deeply honoured to have simply been witness to a time that made this possible. Many are horrified at Public Displays of Affection. I am not. I do not feel comfortable with public displays of sexual behaviour. But these days people mistake sex for intimacy and sex for affection. Public Displays of Affection remind us of the transformative power of love.


XOX


I was a new staff, taking a group of people to the 519 Church Street Community Centre when they hosted the Friday Night Club, a club by and for people with intellectual disabilities. It was a blast and the people who I was there to support dumped me as soon as they entered the room. I wandered about and finally found a place to sit amongst crowded tables. It was early in the evening and the DJ has just started. One lone couple got up to dance. They both had Down Syndrome. They held on to each other, dancing a slow dance to fast music. Then she put her hand behind his neck and drew his lips to hers. They kissed.


A revolutionary kiss.


Revolutionary but it spoke of the pure humanity of that young couple. It was a kiss that would have been disallowed by almost every policy of every agency of the day. It was a kiss that easily could have lead to punishment, a stern talking to and a forever ban on dancing. But none of the punishment, none of the upset and none of the meetings could ever erase what had happened. A kiss had happened. An expression of love had happened. Two lips touched and our certainty of the place in the world that had been created for people with disabilities was shaken. Public Displays of Affection remind us of the transformative power of love.


 XXOXX


I sat and listened. She had made herself a coffee, spilled some milk into it, lit a cigarette and began to tell me a story. It was part of a conversation that had been ongoing for several months. I was the behaviour therapist, she was the mother of a young girl with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability. The room was one that was full of the evidence that this child had accessible play. She was a good mom, she had a good husband and together with their child they made a strong family. But the story she was telling me was about the moment that she realized that she would have to take a stand regarding her relationship with her child. She had been in a doctors waiting room. Other young mothers were there, their kids crawling all over the place. Her child did not crawl, She sat beside her mother in an adapted stroller. The eyes of the other mothers showed pity, which barely veiled hostile sentiment. They were glad of theirs, thankful they didn't get hers. "I picked her up from her stroller, held her in my arms and I kissed her." It was in that kiss she recognized that her love for her child would have to be seen. It would be seen in her affection but it would also be seen in her advocacy for her child's right to be seen and treated and respected as human. "That kiss told those women exactly what they could do with their pity," she said stubbing out her cigarette.


A revolutionary kiss.


XXXOXXX


I lay in my hospital bed. Surgery behind me. Uncertainty in front of me. I had just woken from the anesthetic. Joe was there. He leaned over the rail of the bed and kissed me.


A revolutionary kiss.


A kiss that said, now is like then, all is well.


XXXOXXX


The world is changed when we are changed.


And sometimes it starts with something a simple and as powerful as a kiss.

Read More

Posted on 17 April 2014 | 12:39 pm

Literature and Culture Blog - Perogies and Gyoza



Sunrise

Sunrise

Written by: Mike Mullin

Published by: Tanglewood Press

Published on: April 15, 2014

Ages: Young Adult

Provided by the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. 









The third, concluding book in the apocalyptic Ashfall series is Sunrise. The title is happier than either of the first two books, Ashfall and Ashen Winter. It alludes to hope, the theme of this book.

Mullin is a master at writing action scenes. There are plenty of those in this book, but also a lot of interaction between the characters we have grown to love in the trilogy. It's the perfect mesh.

In other post-apocalyptic books, we usually get a government gone wrong and people pushing back against them (ala Hunger Games). But I am always most interested in how people get that government. What are the choices that lead them that way?

Alex and Darla have experienced the government's hospitality after the Yellowstone super volcano blew, as well as that of the government's subcontractors. They realize that they are on their own- and they make steps toward being self-sufficient. Alex is able to lead while still being true to Darla and his own young self.

Sunrise is my favourite in this trilogy, which is saying a lot as I really enjoyed Ashfall. The only bad thing is saying goodbye to a trio of books I have enjoyed so much.

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Posted on 14 April 2014 | 10:00 pm

Entertainment Blog - Mike's Bloggity Blog



Trailer: Orange is the New Black season 2!

FINALLY!  After waiting almost an entire year, we’re getting our first taste of the second season of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black!  Oh man, I’m going to have to watch it a few times just to digest all that’s ...
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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 2:23 pm

Humour Blog - XOXO Jes.....



Fast and Furious 7 to continue with Paul Walker's brothers as body doubles

Production of the Fast and Furious 7 movie was at a standstill when the franchise's star Paul Walker died in a car accident last November. They had already filmed a lot of the scenes with Paul, but there were still missing pieces.

Universal posted a message to the film's Facebook page today that filming will continue and that Paul's two brothers would be helping complete his parts as body doubles. It is then to be assumed that CGI will be utilized.


A Note to the Fans of FAST AND FURIOUS

The FAST AND FURIOUS saga is about family. The characters are connected by the bond of family, and it is how all of us who have worked together for more than thirteen years feel about each other. It certainly defines how we feel about our fans.

Our family experienced an unthinkable shock in November. We had to take time to grieve Paul, the brother we love and lost, and to figure out if we should move on with our film.

We came together and all felt the only choice was to continue. We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that too. Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action for FAST AND FURIOUS 7, and it’s among the strongest work of his career.

We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family. Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.

We are just under a year away from the release of FAST AND FURIOUS 7, and this film is the most important we’ve ever done together. It will allow the character of Brian O’Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role.

We wanted to take a moment to speak to our fans directly and thank you for the love and support you always show us as we resume our work.

 XOXO
Jes...

Side note: I tried, but I can't write a post about the Fast and Furious franchise without pointing out the fact that I cannot believe they have been able to make so much money making the same movie over and over again. It's impressive. And sad.  ...anyways, RIP Paul Walker. Your hotness lives on in the movies.

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Posted on 16 April 2014 | 5:48 am

Journalist Blog - Commercial Space



Commercializing the Winners of the Space Apps Challenge

          by Brian Orlotti

In its first two years, the Toronto Space Apps Challenge, held this year at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, ON from April 11th - 13th and part of the larger NASA International Space Apps Challenge, has established itself as a crucible for the commercialization of applications leveraging NASA's extensive collection of spacecraft and science data.

The great hall of the Ontario Science Centre (OSC), home of the 2014 Toronto Space Apps Challenge. Photo c/o Brian Orlotti.

Now, one of the space hackathon’s NASA liaisons, in town over the weekend to attend and judge the Toronto event, is seeking a way to take things to the next level.

First held in 2012, the International Space Apps Challenge brings together coders, makers and entrepreneurs from around the world to form teams and solve various "challenges" developed by NASA. Over 48 hours, teams create software and hardware solutions to these challenges by leveraging NASA science data (be they from satellites, space probes or other assets).  In 2013, over 9,000 people in 83 cities across 44 countries took part. Through the challenge, NASA strives to foster innovation and make space exploration more visible and engaging to the public.

Challenges worked on this year by Toronto teams include:
  • Gravity Map - This challenge involved creating an app that shows the gravity force for any location on Earth, utilizing data from the European Space Agency (ESA) gravity field and steady-state ocean circulation explorer (GOCE). The Toronto team, composed of undergrad University of Waterloo students, decided to code their app for the Pebble smartwatch platform, which seemed appropriate since Pebble sponsored the Toronto event and provided loaner units for teams to develop on. The completed application would enable the Pebble watch to show how high you could jump at a particular spot on Earth vs other planets as well as how fast you could fall.
  • Asteroid Imagery Sharing - In this challenge, the teams designed an open-source platform for sharing crowd-sourced asteroid imagery and observed near Earth objects to enable ordinary people around the world to identify and characterize potentially dangerous asteroids. The Toronto team tackling this challenge, made up of web developers and York University Business students, developed an "AstroMap" application to harness data taken from different sources including Google Sky (which utilizes data from NASA plus amateur astronomers) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Minor Planet Center. The team envisioned their application as an educational tool for use in schools.
According to NASA open innovation program manager Beth Beck, who attended the Toronto event as a judge, the Space Apps Challenge was created by former NASA Open Innovation Program members Nicholas Skytland, Ali Llewellyn, and Sean Herron to fulfill a White House mandate (later extended to other US agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency), to make US government data available to the public for use. This released data, when promoted through mechanisms like the Space Apps Challenge, would encourage the development of a global community to drive innovation and create new uses for NASA derived data. Beck and her bosses at NASA anticipate that this "solver" community would give rise to new companies and industries, but could also be incorporated back into NASA’s own programs.

Beth Beck with author Brian Orlotti at the OSC on April 13th. 
In an interview during the Toronto event, Beck said that since the contest’s global success has proven the effectiveness of the open innovation program model, she wants to add layers of complexity to the event in order to achieve more.

For example, the length of the contest could be extended from three days to a week in order to give the teams more time to develop their projects. In addition, NASA is developing an open source software portal, similar to the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) open catalog as described in the March 13th, 2014 blog post "DARPA Goes Open Source as Others Beg for Government Assistance," in order to provide a central location for the projects created by Space App Challenge teams.

Beck was asked if there was any mechanism in place to connect the winning teams with investors and intellectual property experts so as to enable them to bring their innovations to market. She stated that although NASA does not directly perform such services, NASA does send team videos to investors, provides contact lists to all contest participants and gathers the top teams to pitch their ideas on stage (“TED with teeth” as she called it). Beck also said that NASA was open to working with Canadian investors and IP experts.


She also spoke about a related initiative. Called LAUNCH, it's a partnership between NASA, the US Department of State, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and Nike. LAUNCH’s purpose is to serve as a global incubator for ideas, technologies and programs that make tangible impacts on society by connecting innovators with investors. “Innovator Speed dating,” is what Beck called it.

Drawing on her PhD studies in the ‘practice of collaboration,’ Beck provided perhaps the best insight into the Space App Challenge’s success.
Brian Orlotti.
We are messy people…creativity is messy. Order doesn’t always get you where you want to go.
Chaotic creativity and orderly execution. The International Space Apps Challenge is artistry and engineering both.
____________________________________________________________

Brian Orlotti is a Toronto-based IT professional and the treasurer of the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA).

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Posted on 14 April 2014 | 4:31 pm

Religion Blog - Religion Dispatch



A Good and/or Bad Friday

Faith got me though my cancer even as I considered and dismantled the apparatus of faith that had been installed in my head.


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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 11:00 am

Art and Crafting Blog - Just a Smidgen



White Tara Breakfast Bowl

Life can be so difficult.. it can help to practice yoga and meditation.. to turn inward for peace. I love the directed meditation in yoga classes and have found some meditation recordings online that I return to time and again. ♥ Buddhism is fascinating, with its stories of gods and goddesses… Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Saraswati […]

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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 12:40 pm

Ecology and Social Justice - Facing Autism in New Brunswick



The Smiles Gang: Conor and LHHS Friends Had a Blast Last Night Going to See Rio 2 in 3D


L to R: Jesse, Christian, Kristen, Conor
Photo by Phyllis Van Dine-Humble 

This is one of my new favorite pictures of Conor, far right in the picture, taken last evening as Conor and some of his Leo Hayes High School friends went to see Rio 2 in 3D. Phyllis Van Dine-Humble took this awesome shot of the gang sharing tremendous smiles and having fun before the movie.  In attendance with Conor was excellent Education Aide, Lori Fitzgerald, who helps make every experience great for Conor. 

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Posted on 16 April 2014 | 1:44 pm

Ex-Pat Blog - The Blog Fodder



Ukraine - No Happy ending in Sight for Ukraine

I need to write something soon tonight before I power out.  This ain't no Hollywood movie, unless maybe "The Empire Strikes Back".  Do not expect a sequel. The invasion has begun and Ukraine is trying to fight back but it is far different than what was expected.  Troops and tanks surging across the border is so WWII.  Russian special ops infiltrated the three SE oblasts several weeks ago and

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Posted on 16 April 2014 | 7:31 pm

Gardening Blog - Canoe Corner



The Longest Winter Ever

I wouldn't be surprised if you thought I had simply given up and run away.  I have been seriously thinking about that.  Packing up my bags and heading somewhere tropical where there is no work, no school and no snow.


Scenes like this are no longer slightly amusing, they are simply disheartening.  I feel like we're been on a winter roller coaster for months now with no end in sight.  Temperatures drop to bone chilling minus double digits for a week, then rise and a snow storm blows in, then drop again and repeat.  Fires must be stocked, paths must be shoveled, even the garbage cans must be routinely dug out of the snow.  This is officially the worst winter we have had since moving to PEI. 

Today is a good day though.  The temperature has risen from -12 degree celsius overnight to a balmy +4 degrees. 

there's a compost bin at the end of this path
On days like this I feel like there is some hope.  Spring is around the corner so they tell me.  The sun certainly feels warmer this past week.  Almost warm enough to melt the ice off the trees.


I will concede that the island has never looked prettier when it lit up like a jewel in the morning sun after an ice storm.

Ice covered trees are beautiful
It helped to ease my frustration when I realized that my gas cap was frozen solid under a sheet of ice and I was out of gas.

Ice covered cars are NOT beautiful.
To help with the cabin fever I am focusing on spring.  Seeds arrived in the post this week.  Lovely packets full of dreams of green things.  I am taking the spring semester off from school this year. A break from the stress and time to work in my garden.  I am longing for the day when I finally see grass and can get out my shovel.

In the meantime Rick Mercer helps bring a little levity to the situation and helps keep me sane.  Enjoy.




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Posted on 15 March 2014 | 3:21 pm

Lifetime Achievement Blog - Fit Cyclist



So Where’s the 100 Miles of Nowhere?

Is it OK if, for today’s post, I drop the “beloved goofball” act and just tell you what’s going on in my life and what’s on my mind? It is? Oh good. Thanks. First, I’m employed again. I’m working at a startup, and it has me traveling pretty often. And when I’m not traveling, I’m still working. [...]

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Posted on 16 April 2014 | 5:33 pm

Travel Blog - Local Traveller



#DefineHFX – Let Our Actions Define Us.

Yesterday we were told that we are Halifax, and we are bold. Ok. We can dig it. We’ll play ball. But if we’re going to play, let’s stop paying lip service and quit the half-stepping. The Ivany Report says it’s now or never. Alright then. Let’s really shake things up. What’s the first thing we […]

The post #DefineHFX – Let Our Actions Define Us. appeared first on The Local Traveler .


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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 1:07 am

Group Blog - Urban Moms



Wonderful Things

Spring is wonderful. Here are some other things that are wonderful: 1. G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix popcorn. I walked past it in the aisles for years, scoffing in disgust that cheese and caramel were two flavors that should ne’er be […]

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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 7:59 pm

Best New Blog - Frugal Mom Eh



Learning made fun with Raincoast Board Books #Giveaway

Keira’s day involves a lot of books.  One of her favourite things to do is sit down and flip through one of her books.  Part of her nighttime routine is sitting together in the nursery rocking chair and reading a book of her choice together.  She has always loved books and that is a trait […] The post Learning made fun with Raincoast Board Books #Giveaway appeared first on Frugal Mom Eh!.

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 11:32 am

Personal Blog - Rolling Around in my Head



Three Kisses Plus One

We were seated, at a window, having a cup of tea when I saw them. Two young men, barely past their teens, stopped, just on the other side of the glass. In greeting they hugged and then kissed each other. They walked away holding hands.


A revolutionary kiss.


Revolutionary because it spoke of the pure humanity of those two boys. It was a kiss that expressed their deep love, their absolute affection, their spontaneous expression of joy. I watched them walk away and I felted deeply honoured to have simply been witness to a time that made this possible. Many are horrified at Public Displays of Affection. I am not. I do not feel comfortable with public displays of sexual behaviour. But these days people mistake sex for intimacy and sex for affection. Public Displays of Affection remind us of the transformative power of love.


XOX


I was a new staff, taking a group of people to the 519 Church Street Community Centre when they hosted the Friday Night Club, a club by and for people with intellectual disabilities. It was a blast and the people who I was there to support dumped me as soon as they entered the room. I wandered about and finally found a place to sit amongst crowded tables. It was early in the evening and the DJ has just started. One lone couple got up to dance. They both had Down Syndrome. They held on to each other, dancing a slow dance to fast music. Then she put her hand behind his neck and drew his lips to hers. They kissed.


A revolutionary kiss.


Revolutionary but it spoke of the pure humanity of that young couple. It was a kiss that would have been disallowed by almost every policy of every agency of the day. It was a kiss that easily could have lead to punishment, a stern talking to and a forever ban on dancing. But none of the punishment, none of the upset and none of the meetings could ever erase what had happened. A kiss had happened. An expression of love had happened. Two lips touched and our certainty of the place in the world that had been created for people with disabilities was shaken. Public Displays of Affection remind us of the transformative power of love.


 XXOXX


I sat and listened. She had made herself a coffee, spilled some milk into it, lit a cigarette and began to tell me a story. It was part of a conversation that had been ongoing for several months. I was the behaviour therapist, she was the mother of a young girl with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability. The room was one that was full of the evidence that this child had accessible play. She was a good mom, she had a good husband and together with their child they made a strong family. But the story she was telling me was about the moment that she realized that she would have to take a stand regarding her relationship with her child. She had been in a doctors waiting room. Other young mothers were there, their kids crawling all over the place. Her child did not crawl, She sat beside her mother in an adapted stroller. The eyes of the other mothers showed pity, which barely veiled hostile sentiment. They were glad of theirs, thankful they didn't get hers. "I picked her up from her stroller, held her in my arms and I kissed her." It was in that kiss she recognized that her love for her child would have to be seen. It would be seen in her affection but it would also be seen in her advocacy for her child's right to be seen and treated and respected as human. "That kiss told those women exactly what they could do with their pity," she said stubbing out her cigarette.


A revolutionary kiss.


XXXOXXX


I lay in my hospital bed. Surgery behind me. Uncertainty in front of me. I had just woken from the anesthetic. Joe was there. He leaned over the rail of the bed and kissed me.


A revolutionary kiss.


A kiss that said, now is like then, all is well.


XXXOXXX


The world is changed when we are changed.


And sometimes it starts with something a simple and as powerful as a kiss.

Read More

Posted on 17 April 2014 | 12:39 pm

Political Blog - Calgary Liberal



#Motion503: The Problem with Cusanelli

Allow me, for a moment, to rant. If you’ve been watching this blog, or twitter, or any major newspaper or television broadcast, you may have heard of Motion 503, a private members motion that was moved April 7th by Liberal Education Critic Kent Hehr. Between a petition on his party’s website gathering more than 1,300 signatures, a twitter storm, forty or more […]

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Posted on 10 April 2014 | 5:19 am

Law Blog - Wise Law Blog



140 Law - Legal Headlines for Thursday, April 17, 2014

Here are the leading legal headlines from Wise Law on Twitter for Thursday, April 17, 2014:
- Rachel Spence, Law Clerk


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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 12:54 pm

Science / Tech Blog - Watts Up With that?



Al Gore dupes 9000 people in Hawaii, insults the rest

The story below is from from Honolulu Civil Beat, who covered a political rally on April 15th by Gore to 9000 people in Honolulu’s Stan Sheriff Center. It is a 12,500 seat sports auditorium where his voice was amplified by, … Continue reading

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Posted on 18 April 2014 | 7:01 am

Sports Blog - Rod Pederson



DURANT SIGNS MULTI-YEAR EXTENSION

REGINA - Corey Chamblin knows who his starting quarterback will be for the next little while.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders signed veteran Darian Durant to a multi-year extension Wednesday after leading the club to just its fourth Grey Cup title last year.

Knowing he has the 31-year-old Durant for the long-term - reportedly through the 2016 season - is a big relief for Chamblin, named the CFL's coach of the year following Saskatchewan's Grey Cup championship.

"In order to win championships you need to have a quarterback and to win multiple championships you have to have a quarterback who believes in the head coach and I think that's what we have,'' Chamblin said during a news conference announcing Durant's extension. "It's huge to have that security.

"That's the biggest security blanket knowing who's going to be under centre for the next few years.''

The five-foot-11, 214-pound Durant, a native of Florence, S.C., had one year left on his previous deal. He's entering his ninth CFL season, all with Saskatchewan.

"A lot of guys don't get the opportunity to stay with one franchise their whole career,'' Durant said. "It was basically a no-brainer for me to stay a part of this organization.

"It's the best in the league.''

And there's certainly continuity at the top as this off-season the Riders have re-signed Durant, Chamblin and general manager Brendan Taman to new extensions. Taman also added the title of vice-president of football operations to his job description

Taman called Durant's deal "win-win'' in that the player receives a fair-market contract that the Riders can afford while the team maintains the nucleus of its roster.

"It wasn't about taking as much money as he can get, it was about keeping our team together and that tells you all about Darian,'' Taman said. "There was a market that was out there that was laid out by other quarterbacks that had signed.

"We worked through it and both parties are happy. I think the key in all this is Darian Durant should be recognized as an elite quarterback in this league, which we are prepared to do from our end and were able to get to an agreement with him on a multi-year extension.''

Exact contract and financial details weren't divulged but Durant said his new deal doesn't make him the CFL's highest-paid player in 2014. It's generally regarded B.C. Lions quarterback Travis Lulay enjoys that distinction with a reported salary of about $450,000 this year.

Veteran Henry Burris of the expansion Ottawa Renegades is said to have a similar deal if he can stay healthy this season.

While Durant's deal appears to offer the Riders salary-cap savings in 2014, the burning question remains what the quarterback's average salary might be over the term of the contract.

But Chamblin believes Durant can be even better moving forward.

"Brendan mentioned him being an elite quarterback, I think Darian has been a very good quarterback,'' Chamblin said. "I'm excited to see him become a great quarterback and one that we can talk about for years.''

It's not the first time Durant has made a commitment to Saskatchewan. In January 2009 he re-signed with the Riders rather than test the free-agent waters.

Durant enjoyed a solid 2013 campaign, passing for 4,154 yards and a league-high 31 TD passes with 12 interceptions. He threw for 550 yards and five TDs with no interceptions in leading Saskatchewan to victory in the West semifinal and final.

And then Durant threw for 245 yards and three TDs against Hamilton in the Grey Cup game at Mosaic Stadium, leading Saskatchewan to a 45-23 victory.

Durant has completed 1,745 of 2,842 passes (61.4 per cent) for 22,711 yards and 125 touchdowns against 87 interceptions over his career. He's also a two-time Grey Cup champion, having earned his first championship ring in '07 as a backup with the Riders.

But Durant's goal is to become the first starting quarterback in Riders history to lead the club to two Grey Cup titles.

"If you look at the history of this organization the quarterbacks that have won Grey Cups only have one,'' he said. "In order for me to separate myself ... you have to get that second ring and get multiple Grey Cups.

"That's definitely a motivating factor.''

However, the Riders will definitely sport a different look in 2014. Among the players to leave this off-season are running back Kory Sheets (Oakland, NFL), slotback Weston Dressler (Kansas City, NFL), backup quarterback Drew Willy (Winnipeg, CFL) and defensive tackle Keith Shologan (Ottawa, CFL).

"Any time you win there's going to be change, whether it's in the coaching staff, the front office or guys looking for raises on other teams,'' Durant said. "I've been in this league long enough and played football long enough to know that change is going to come.

"I love Dress, I love Sheets, I love those guys to death but the challenge is turning another guy into one of those stars. I look forward to that.''

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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 5:00 pm

Family Blog - Mom vs the Boys



Why Bigger isn’t always Better #bconnectedconf

Last weekend, I attended the BConnected Social Media Conference for Mom and Dad Bloggers, it was my fifth social media conference,  so a newbie I am not. It was however the first small scale conference I attended since it was BConnected’s inaugural year and the location was in Ottawa, and not the popular GTA, I [Read On]

The post Why Bigger isn’t always Better #bconnectedconf appeared first on Mom vs the Boys.


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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 2:02 pm

Professional Blog - Product Management



Product Management – It’s All About the Execution

By Josh Duncan I recently was asked, what are the most important skills for a product manager? I answered that there are range of skills that a PM is required to use from the standard technical and business side and to the important soft skills like communication and persuasion. I have been thinking  more about the answer […]

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Posted on 16 April 2014 | 11:02 am

Writing and Literature Blog - The Book Mine Set



The 7th Annual Canadian Book Challenge - April 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")

**Note: The winner of the Freedom to Read Week mini-challenge was Carolyn Riedel. Congratulations to her! She will receive a copy of Vicki Delany's Gold Web:


(Once again, a huge thanks to Dundurn Press for graciously donating the prize!)

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Posted on 1 May 2014 | 3:55 am

Popular Culture Blog - XOXO - Jes



Fast and Furious 7 to continue with Paul Walker's brothers as body doubles

Production of the Fast and Furious 7 movie was at a standstill when the franchise's star Paul Walker died in a car accident last November. They had already filmed a lot of the scenes with Paul, but there were still missing pieces.

Universal posted a message to the film's Facebook page today that filming will continue and that Paul's two brothers would be helping complete his parts as body doubles. It is then to be assumed that CGI will be utilized.


A Note to the Fans of FAST AND FURIOUS

The FAST AND FURIOUS saga is about family. The characters are connected by the bond of family, and it is how all of us who have worked together for more than thirteen years feel about each other. It certainly defines how we feel about our fans.

Our family experienced an unthinkable shock in November. We had to take time to grieve Paul, the brother we love and lost, and to figure out if we should move on with our film.

We came together and all felt the only choice was to continue. We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that too. Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action for FAST AND FURIOUS 7, and it’s among the strongest work of his career.

We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family. Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.

We are just under a year away from the release of FAST AND FURIOUS 7, and this film is the most important we’ve ever done together. It will allow the character of Brian O’Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role.

We wanted to take a moment to speak to our fans directly and thank you for the love and support you always show us as we resume our work.

 XOXO
Jes...

Side note: I tried, but I can't write a post about the Fast and Furious franchise without pointing out the fact that I cannot believe they have been able to make so much money making the same movie over and over again. It's impressive. And sad.  ...anyways, RIP Paul Walker. Your hotness lives on in the movies.

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Posted on 16 April 2014 | 5:48 am

Place Blog - Kitsilano



5 Sugar-Free Easter Treats for Kids

Easter treat shopping for a young child this week? You may want to consider some alternatives to the usual sugar-laden options, so try these 5 sugar-free Easter treats and activities for tots below. Of course, you could always include a few pieces of that divine stuff from Chocolate Arts in...
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Posted on 16 April 2014 | 11:45 pm

Best Written - Cheaty Monkey



The Flood: Collapsing the Foundation So We Can Gradually Rebuild

The funny thing is, the day before we came home from our holiday, I’d happened on this poster. It was posted on Facebook by Dr. Wayne Dyer (who’s work I’ve never been into), and shared by someone I follow. I thought it was cool but disregarded it and moved on. And it just stuck with […]

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Posted on 1 February 2014 | 9:19 pm

Fashion and Style - Lou Lou's Views



Spa Week By Way Spa (And A Spa Week Giveaway!)

What's more blissful than a day at the spa? I'm a huge spa girl, and I make sure to work massages into my schedule whenever I can. From testing out fabulous treatments at resorts like the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort and Spa to visiting my favourite salons here in Ottawa, I try to make time for me, so I can unwind and relax.

I was talking about WaySpa.com and the upcoming Spa Week on CTV Ottawa Morning Live, and now I'm really looking forward to some pampering, especially after a very busy month.

Here's my segment about WaySpa.com and SpaWeek!



WaySpa.com offers great deals on spa treatments from coast to coast. WaySpa.com has partnered with over 2,000 spas across Canada, and it's the place to go if you're looking for a mani-pedi combo close to home, a couples package for a NYC getaway, or a spa weekend with the girlfriends. WaySpa.com  offers it all, and it's easy to buy treatments online.

Spa Week by WaySpa.com is returning to Canada from April 21 to April 27. Spa Week is a bi-annual event and allows you to enjoy luxurious full-service spa treatments at the best salons across Canada for just $50.00. That means that massage you've been craving for months, that normally costs more than you'd like to pay for it? It's yours, for only 50 dollars.

This year, joining Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, WaySpa.com has announced the addition of Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa to its Spa Week roster. Canadians everywhere can now experience spa treatments at an amazing price.

Want to participate? Here's how:

1. Go to WaySpa.com/SPAWEEK and find the treatment you want—a week of amazing hair treatments, a massage, a mani-pedi combo, or anything you want.
2. Purchase your $50.00 Spa Week treatment voucher.
3. Book your appointment with the spa of your choice.
4. Enjoy your spa day!

Supporting sponsors of Spa Week by WaySpa.com include Godiva Chocolatier and The Mighty Leaf Tea Company, who will help enhance guest experiences with their delicious offerings.

For a complete list of participating spas and treatments, or to purchase your voucher and book your appointment, visit www.wayspa.com/spaweek. 

Bonus! I'm giving away a Spa Week gift certificate to one of my readers. 

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good Luck, spa lovers!

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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 3:47 pm

Feminist - Gender Focus



DOXA Festival Ticket Giveaway: Casablanca Calling

by Jarrah Hodge Rosa Rogers’ new documentary Casablanca Calling takes viewers to mosques, schools and prisons across Morocco, where a “quiet revolution” is occurring as approximately 400 women have started to work as Muslim leaders or Morchidats for the first time. Their goal is “to liberate women by sharing the true teaching of Islam, freed from […]

The post DOXA Festival Ticket Giveaway: Casablanca Calling appeared first on Gender Focus.


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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 2:02 am

Food and Drink - well fed, flat broke



Something to Read: American Food Writing

A good story is as good or better than a good recipe, but a good story that ends in a recipe is about my favourite thing, because it means you can take the story with you and re-tell it, in a way, every time you make a dish. I like stories. With food in particular, […]

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Posted on 18 April 2014 | 5:08 am

Fashion - Go Fug Yourself



Well Played: Kate, Wills, and George’s Royal Tour of Australia and New Zealand, Day Twelve

Kate Wills and Kate Wills and Kate 
Today! Wills and Kate went to something called The Royal Easter Show, which best as I could figure out — please help me, Australians! — is somewhat like a really really LARGE county fair here in the US, full of livestock-shearing exhibits and people’s prize-winning pumpkins and whatnot. I actually love those parts of the Read More ...

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Posted on 18 April 2014 | 7:55 am

Parenting - Snarky Mommy



Shocking

Normally, taking three kids to the grocery store is not something I do. One of the main perks of being a SAHM with no actual kids home during the day is being able to breeze in and out of Whole Foods on a Monday morning with spring in my step and no one banging a [...]

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Posted on 8 April 2014 | 3:02 pm

Gossip - TMZ



Bryan Singer's One of MANY Who Attend Wild Hollywood Parties

The man who accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sexually assaulting him at wild pool parties when he was 15 claimed orgies are common -- and based on what we know ... they are.Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ ... there's a weekly…


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Posted on 18 April 2014 | 8:00 am

Entertainment - i09



Let's Rob This Damn Hydrogen Station

Let's Rob This Damn Hydrogen Station

Xerxes figured that if they wanted to rob the Himalayan hydrogen station, all they'd need would be one gun, one tank, and a lot of gumption. Which — at least one of those things was true.

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Posted on 18 April 2014 | 5:19 am

Music - Indie Music Filter



New Music From Nightbox, “In The Rural”

Today, we get a listen to a new track off the five-track EP (The Panic Sequence) called "In The Rural".

The post New Music From Nightbox, “In The Rural” appeared first on Indie Music Filter.


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Posted on 17 April 2014 | 5:05 pm