Life as a Human

Was Charlie Parker Following His Bliss?

We of the masses who consume or benefit from the products of highly creative minds and souls often have a romantic notion of the “tortured genius.” But we do not live in their world.

Was Charlie Parker Following His Bliss? is a post from: LIFE AS A HUMAN

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 7:00 am

CTV News

Wife makes cancer patient's dream come true with surprise gift

Greg Lapierre, - a Hammonds Plains, N.S., father of two who has been battling cancer for more than a year - was met with a surprise thanks to his wife Holly and his best friend Jamie Sullivan - a 1969 Plymouth Barracuda.

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 7:29 pm

Vancouver Sun

Tentative deal with teachers a ‘historic’ moment in labour relations, Clark says

VICTORIA — Premier Christy Clark says she hopes a tentative deal between the B.C. government and its striking teachers is a “historic” moment between the two sides that will reset a long-dysfunctional relationship marked by decades of fighting and strikes. But with contentious issues of class size and composition legally unresolved, labour experts say the proposed six-year contract is more of a temporary truce between combatants still intent on duking it out in court.

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 3:07 am


Quebec gives Scottish independence vote a special resonance in Canada: prof

REGINA – The head of international studies at the University of Regina says Canadians are showing a lot of interest in the results of Thursday’s vote on Scottish independence. Tom McIntosh tells radio station CKRM that’s because of Canada’s experience … Continue Reading

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 10:37 pm


What you need to know about the future of paying for stuff

We've virtualized much of the rest of the modern life -- why not payments? Plane tickets, banking and many other aspects of our lives now live on our phones. Payments still exist in the world of paper and plastic. Google has Google Wallet; Visa has...

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 10:50 am

Ottawa Citizen

Man killed in east end crash with tractor trailer on Highway 417

The eastbound lanes of Highway 417 near Boundary Road were closed Wednesday morning after a man was killed when he crashed into the back of a tractor trailer parked on the side of the highway. Marc Messier, an Ottawa Fire Services spokesman, said the truck driver was asleep when the car slammed into the back of his cab around 7:45 a.m.. The vehicle was partially trapped under the truck when firefighters arrived. The man was pronounced dead at the scene and remained trapped underneath the truck. Messier said no one else was in the car. OPP Const. Rhéal Levac said truck drivers are only allowed to drive for a certain number of hours before they have to stop for a rest. Ideally, drivers stop at a rest spots off the highway, but sometimes they are forced to stop on the side of a highway, Levac said. As long as the trucks aren't in the way of oncoming traffic, it's legal for them to park on the shoulder.  

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 5:12 am

Government of Canada

Sunset Ceremony

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander–in–Chief of Canada, will be the reviewing officer at the Sunset Ceremony marking the 100th anniversaries of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), based in Edmonton, and the Royal 22e Régiment (R22eR), based in the City of Québec. The ceremony will take place on Friday, September 19, 2014, at 6 p.m., on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa.

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 11:30 am


Do you look at your poo? If not, here's why you should.

As a scientist, I freely admit that I inspect my poop every day. And after reading this paper, I'm glad I do. That's because one of the most obvious signs of colon cancer is a bloody stool, and you can only detect it if you're looking at your doo-doo regularly. But do most people inspect their poops? Well, these gastroenterologists decided to find out. It turns out that I'm in the minority; only 27% of participants looked at every poop and wipe, and a whopping 6% never looked at either their

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 7:00 am

Open Media

AlphaBeatic: Guess which major Canadian ISP came last?

Netflix released new Canadian ISP speed rankings this week, and the results may surprise you. How did your provider fare?

Article by Peter Nowak for AlphaBeatic

Netflix has released its latest rankings of internet providers and the speeds they’re providing to customers who use the online streaming service.

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 8:29 pm

Mark Steyn

Och Aye the Now!

As a postscript to my comments on Thursday's referendum and my Sunday Telegraph column from 17 years ago, a commenter over at has turned up some throwaway observations of mine on contemporary Scotland: The Scots are almost everywhere you go

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 10:00 am


NDP critic Craig Scott on the Reform Act

Michael Chong's bill returns to the floor of the House

The post NDP critic Craig Scott on the Reform Act appeared first on

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 11:11 am

Huffington Post

How To Keep Big Money Out Of B.C. Municipal Elections

Local elections for mayor and council are around the corner in British Columbia. The more I learn and read about elections and government, the more I feel the political process needs to radically change.

The political system at every level is held hostage by big money, partisan politics, and special interest groups such as by developers, corporate lobbyists, as well as labour.

There needs to be a direct connection from the citizens to the elected official without all these special interests trying to skew the outcome of the election or trying to influence the voting intentions and platforms of the candidates. The end result would be elected officials who would be truly independent and can vote with their conscience and what is best for the citizens and their community.

I believe there is a way to make politics more democratic, competitive, and accessible for the rest of us. It's a simple six-step electoral reform plan that attempts to create a level playing field for all political candidates and would involve the following changes:

RESIDENCY - A candidate would have to live in the city he or she hopes to represent for three years prior to the election.

NOMINATION - A candidate would have to be nominated by 25 citizens who live in the city he or she hopes to represent.

DEPOSIT - A candidate would pay a deposit to a private bank in exchange for a campaign loan. The loan would be capped at a legislated maximum.

RECEIPTS - A candidate would submit his or her campaign receipts to the bank after the election.

REIMBURSEMENT - The elections office would reimburse banks for all official campaign expenses from official candidates up to a pre-set maximum amount, which would be the same for all candidates.

CANDIDATE PROFILES - The elections office would produce an elections website that would list the biographies, community experience, education, experience, and qualifications of all the candidates. This would provide an unbiased source of information for the voters to quickly compare candidates.

This simple six-step electoral reform plan would essentially eliminate big money in politics. Wow! Can you imagine.

Interestingly, Stephen Harper has taken steps to remove federal subsidies to political parties. This will officially make donations from individuals, lobbyists, and corporations a centrepiece of how politics is done in Canada. In other words, political power will be shifted to the corporate elite and the rich, and the corporations will officially be running Canada.

And there it is! This six-step, electoral reform plan would be a huge step forward in ensuring that the best interests of all citizens are reflected in government policy and decision-making. It would reduce the influence that big money and corporations currently have on the political process.

What ideas do you have to put an end to big money in politics?

Alex Sangha is an award-winning social worker and author. He has an MSc in Public Administration and Public Policy from the Department of Government from the London School of Economics.


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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 3:49 pm

CTV Atlantic

Cameras attached to some Cape Breton school buses to nab violators

A school board in Cape Breton has added cameras to the outside of eight school buses to catch drivers who ignore the flashing lights.

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 8:38 pm

1000 Awesome Things

#417 The sound of water lapping against a dock

It sounds like the warm and windy start of summer. It sounds like the cool and quiet finish to fall. AWESOME! Hello Halifax, Nova Scotia! I will be at Word on the Street this Sunday. Hope to see you there! … Continue reading

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 12:01 am

NFL, union agree to changes to performance-enhancing drug policy; 3 players can return

NEW YORK — The NFL says it has reached an agreement with the players association on changes to its performance-enhancing drug policy, including the addition of human growth hormone testing. The league said Wednesday that under the new rules, three […]

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 10:55 am


10 rules for enjoying Cask Days in Toronto

Cask Days TorontoCask Days, Toronto's annual festival celebrating cask-conditioned craft beer, returns to the Evergreen Brick Works this year on October 24 and 25. With the festival now in its impressive 10th year, you'd think there wouldn't be much more to attending one of the city's biggest beer events than simply showing up and having a good time - but you'd be wrong. There are, in fact some rules to making the most of your Cask Days experience. Rules that I made up. Here they are.

1. Don't complain about the cold.
It's Canada. It's October. You're outdoors. We all know it's cold, so dress appropriately and suck it up. There are propane heaters scattered around, and lots (and lots) of beer around to warm your cockles. Bring your mitts and pour some beer in your complain-hole.

2. Know the lingo.
This isn't a Bud-Light-girls-and-fist-bumping-bros beer festival - this is mother-effing Cask Days, so be prepared to talk the talk. You're drinking cask beer (or real ale): unpasteurized and unfiltered beer served directly from a cask firkin (i.e. those little kegs) in which the beer has fermented, aided by the yeast that remains in the beer, allowing for more subtle carbonation and more complex flavours and aromas. So if you complain that your beer is flat or cloudy, you will probably be asked to turn in your drinking pants and leave.

3. Be prepared to drink a lot.
There are going to be over 300 different beers available from over 150 brewers, with more than a dozen based right here in the city (not to mention one of the best lineups of cider for any regular Toronto event). No matter how civilized your intentions, you're probably going to feel like an (alcoholic) kid in a (beer) candy store. That's OK. Just plan accordingly: for the love of god don't drive to the Brick Works (there's a shuttle bus included with your admission), drink lots of water before and after the event, and schedule your day after appropriately.

4. Eat something
Part of the fun of filling your belly with beer means making sure there's some decent eats in there to soak it all up. More vendors will be confirmed in the next week or so, but so far, Cask Days' organizers have you covered with food from Porchetta & Co, Hopgood's Foodliner, and Hogtown Charcuterie. And with so many beer nerds around, there will be no shortage of people available to tell you why your beer and food pairing choice is so wrong, you philistine.

5. Skip the usual suspects.
The organizers of Cask Days work hard to bring in beer from across Canada and the UK, so try some new beer, damn it. This year, they've also partnered with Cask Ale LA to bring in a selection of 40-plus firkins of the best beer California has to offer, many of which will be in Canada for the first time ever. The list of announced Cali brewers (thus far) includes Stone Brewing Co,Green Flash Brewing Co., Magnolia Brewing, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, and Modern Times Beer. It's OK to put down the Ontario pale ale (for today) and get a little crazy.

6. Don't get too crazy.
Cask Days is interesting because it showcases a lot of beers that are unique, but in my experience, there's always one or two beers that are overly "experimental" simply for the sake of being experimental. Sure, these wacky beers are the ones people will talk about ("A beer with pencil shavings?!"), but they are also generally the ones you won't finish. If you find yourself curious about the cucumber and mint IPA, back away. Save the token.

7. Pretend you're not just there for the beer.
The Morana family, this event's organizers, are also the owners of barVolo, the proprietors of Keep6Imports, and the reason we get to celebrate frigging Zwanze Day in Toronto. They don't just work hard to bring you shit-tons of fantastic beers - they give you stuff to look at and listen to at Cask Days when you run out of things to talk about with your friends, including an art gallery showcasing beer label design and work from featured artists Troy Lovegates and Mister Sleeep. And naturally there will be a soundtrack of "raw vinyl beats," because cooking your beats is so 2009.

8. Patience you must have.
Over the weekend, 5000 people will visit Evergreen Brickworks for Cask Days and, as is mandatory for beer festivals, there will be exactly one toilet. OK, not really. But when you have that many people vying for limited important resources - like beer, food, toilets, and the ATM (of which there really is only one) - there's bound to be at least some lining up. Bring cash, have patience, be courteous, and remember that we're all there to have a good time. And if you're hardcore about not missing a second of drinking time, consider taking matters into your own hands...

9. Don't wear a T-shirt emblazoned with the name of your favourite brewery.
Just don't be that guy.

10. Hurry up and buy your ticket.
Cask Days is not only virtually the undisputed king of Toronto beer events, it's also one of the largest cask-conditioned ale festivals in North America. So tickets are going fast. Session Two, which runs Saturday October 25 from 1-6pm, is already sold out but you can still get tickets for Session One, Friday 7pm-12am ($35), Session Three, Saturday 8pm-1am ($35), and "Last Call For Cask!" Sunday 12pm-6pm where, if you have a festival glass, you can soak up the dregs and bring the kids for just $5.

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog. Follow him on twitter @Ben_T_Johnson.

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 10:35 am


Rob Ford and family brace for hard times ahead

Fords brace for hard times ahead

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 11:03 pm

Metro News

Scott Fielding acclaimed, running for PCs in Kirkfield Park

St. James city councillor Scott Fielding has been acclaimed as the Progressive Conservative candidate fro Kirkfield Park in the next provincial election. Fielding was first elected to council in 2006, and had promised he would only serve two terms. Earlier … Continue Reading

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 11:16 am

The Province

Smyth: It’s a disgrace our kids were used as weapons to achieve the inevitable in teachers' deal (with video)

Ever since the escalation of the teachers dispute last spring, it was pretty clear where the parties needed to move to achieve a settlement. The union had to back away from some its more extreme demands. In return, the government had to increase the amount of money to assist special-needs kids.

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 9:43 am

Rabble CA

Tentative agreement between teachers and government in BC

A tentative agreement has been reached between the BC Teachers’ Federation and the BC government.

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 5:40 pm

Zoom It

Reducing Canadian Payroll Taxes with a Tax Waiver | Newmarket Certified Professional Bookkeeper | Maureen Burleson | Bookkeeping Ontario

You may be able to reduce your payroll tax deductions if you pay for child care, make regular contributions to a Registered Retirement...

8 Zoom(s)

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Posted on 29 July 2014 | 6:20 pm


Extra, Extra: Fort York’s New Visitor Centre, Mayoral Election Polls, and More Mayoral Election Polls

Image courtesy of Patkau Architects and Kearns Mancini Architects.

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not to miss. On September 19, Fort York will be marking the official opening of its new visitor centre—and then on September 20 and 21, it will be celebrating the opening some more with various events and activities. The 24,000-square-foot […]

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 4:10 pm

Quirks and Quarks

Origami Robot Folds Itself - 2014/09/13 - Pt. 3

A paper robot inspired by origami folds itself into shape and walks away.

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Posted on 12 September 2014 | 12:00 am

Sun Columnists

Pop! Goes all common sense when it comes to softdrink ban

“Hey, wanna score some Coke? I promise you it’s the real deal, man. Full strength. All the sugar buzz and caffeine you’re craving. Three-hundred and fifty-five millilitres of sweet refreshment.”

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 9:32 am

The Progressive Economics Forum

Liberal’s EI Plan Rests on Bad Math

Joe Oliver’s recently announced a Small Business Tax Cut, sorry, Job Credit. Economists across the ideological spectrum denounced it as poorly designed. This opened up an interesting opportunity for a national debate about what we want E.I. to be – coverage right now is at all time lows, and the accumulated deficit from the last recession […]

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 4:47 pm

Religious News Blog

Scientology cult misappropriates ANZAC legend

Scientology is worst than you think

The money-hungry Scientology cult has once again been caught behaving badly.

This time the unethical organization has usurped an acronym of special importance to the citizens of Australia and New Zealand.

Full story: Scientology cult misappropriates ANZAC legend

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Posted on 13 September 2014 | 5:34 am

Much Music

Jimmy Kimmel Catches More People In Lies

Note to everyone out there if someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer don’t lie, especially if it’s on camera. New York Fashion week was held last week, which saw many fashion fans flocking to the Big Apple to support designers and see the new trends. Jimmy Kimmel, being the awesomely […]

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 5:25 pm


The truth about public sector pensions

Got pension envy? You're not alone

The post The truth about public sector pensions appeared first on MoneySense.

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 7:29 am


Lawyer says Bandidos killer 'vilified at trial', seeks appeal

Bandidos killer 'vilified at trial': Lawyer

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 7:32 am

National Post Blog

Graphic: As Scotland’s referendum nears, a selection of other (possible) secessions

The Scottish referendum could set off a tsunami of independence votes worldwide, with Catalans due to go to the polls in November. Here are some other regions hoping to break free

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 11:09 pm

Wired Science

A Stretchable, Light-Up Surface Inspired by Squid Skin

A Stretchable, Light-Up Surface Inspired by Squid Skin

Squid and other cephalopods control their skin displays by contracting color-filled cells. A team of engineers attempted the same using elastomer and electrical pulses.

The post A Stretchable, Light-Up Surface Inspired by Squid Skin appeared first on WIRED.

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Posted on 16 September 2014 | 1:47 pm

Eureka Science News

Do wearable lifestyle activity monitors really work?

Wearable electronic activity monitors hold great promise in helping people to reach their fitness and health goals. These increasingly sophisticated devices help the wearers improve their wellness by constantly monitoring their activities and bodily responses. This information is organized into companion computer programs and mobile apps.

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 9:08 am

The Toronto Star Columnists

Police-shooting suspect hiding in U.S. woods is angry, armed and bent on mass murder

BLOOMING GROVE, PA.—Hundreds of law enforcement officers fanned out across the dense northeastern Pennsylvania woods Tuesday in the hunt for a heavily armed survivalist suspected of ambushing two troopers as part of a deadly vendetta against police.

Eric Matthew Frein, 31, of Canadensis, is “extremely dangerous” and residents in the area should be alert and cautious, State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said at a news conference in which he revealed the suspect’s name.

“He has made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also to commit mass acts of murder,” Noonan said. “What his reasons are, we don’t know. But he has very strong feelings about law enforcement and seems to be very angry with a lot of things that go on in our society.”

Frein was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder, homicide of a law enforcement officer and other offences. About 200 law enforcement officials were combing the rural area of northeastern Pennsylvania marked by dense forest, but “we have no idea where he is,” Noonan said.

Police found a U.S. Army manual called “Sniper Training and Employment” in the suspect’s bedroom at his parents’ house, and his father, a retired Army major, told authorities that his son is an excellent marksman who “doesn’t miss,” according to a police affidavit released Tuesday.

The gunman killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson, 38, and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass outside the remote post in the Pocono Mountains during a Friday night shift change, then slipped away.

Authorities zeroed in on Frein after a resident who was walking his dog in a wooded area two miles from the barracks Monday spotted a 2001 Jeep partly submerged in a pond and called 911. Police found shell casings inside the vehicle that matched those found at the shooting scene, Noonan said.

Investigators also found Frein’s driver’s license, Social Security card, a Pennsylvania Game Commission range permit, camouflage face paint, a black hooded sweatshirt, two empty rifle cases, military gear and information about foreign embassies, according to court documents.

Frein has held anti-law enforcement views for many years and has expressed them both online and to people who knew him, Lt. Col. George Bivens said.

Frein’s father, Michael Frein, who spent 28 years in the Army, told police that two weapons were missing from the home — an AK-47 and a .308 rifle with a scope, according to the police affidavit.

Two state police troopers armed with rifles stood in the driveway of the home, a well-kept two-storey in a private community, and several cars were parked there Tuesday afternoon.

With the gunman still on the loose, residents were jittery. Rich Turner, 52, who lives around the corner, said school buses avoided the neighbourhood Tuesday, with parents directed to take their kids to school and to pick them up. All schools in the Pocono Mountain School District will be closed Wednesday because of safety concerns.

“Everybody’s wondering if he’s still out there. Everyone’s on edge, to a degree,” said Turner, who didn’t know Eric Frein but said he had dealings with his mother, who headed the community association.

Lars Prillaman, who manages a small farm in West Virginia, said he knew Frein briefly from their time as military re-enactors. He told The Associated Press he was “saddened by what happened” and that Frein was “a different person eight years ago.”

Prillaman told NBC News that he and Frein were involved in a World War II “living history” group and played Germans, but the group did not permit any neo-Nazis.

“I can’t begin to imagine what would have caused someone like him to go down this path,” he told NBC.

Court documents filed Tuesday revealed heartbreaking new details about the ambush. According to the documents:

Dickson was shot as soon as he walked out the front door of the barracks. A communications officer heard the shot, saw Dickson on the ground and asked him what had happened. Dickson told her he’d been hit and asked her to bring him inside — but the gunman had squeezed off another round, forcing his would-be rescuer inside.

Douglass, meanwhile, had just arrived at the barracks and was shot in the pelvis as he walked toward Dickson. Douglass managed to crawl into the lobby, where another trooper brought him into a secure area of the barracks. Douglass later underwent surgery at a hospital.

Other troopers drove a patrol SUV into the parking lot and used it as a shield so they could drag Dickson into the barracks and begin attempts to save his life.

He died at the scene. A coroner said he had been shot twice.

About 90 seconds had elapsed between the first shot and the fourth and final one.

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 9:45 am

Canadian Tech Blogger - MobileSyrup

Apple turns on two-step verification for iCloud, will enforce app-specific passwords for third-party iCloud logins

In the wake of Apple’s rather public privacy snafu, the company has enabled two-factor authentication for all of its Cloud services, including those on smartphones, tablets, Mac, Windows and the...

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Posted on 17 September 2014 | 11:12 am

The Movie Blog

CineLatino: Denver’s Latino Film Festival Welcomes High-Profile Guests


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Posted on 15 September 2014 | 6:32 pm


New Cosmos website launching soon

Looking for the latest from Cosmos? We are now only publishing articles to our new platform which is getting ready to launch soon

The post New Cosmos website launching soon appeared first on Cosmos Magazine.

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Posted on 12 September 2014 | 3:26 am