Life as a Human

Paths to Love

Peter paints simple houses to represent people. The houses have small windows as eyes and without doors to signify people’s need for privacy. Two houses are characterized as lovers with big and smaller houses as families.

Paths to Love is a post from: LIFE AS A HUMAN

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 5:10 am

CTV News

Elton John marries longtime Canadian partner David Furnish

Entertainer Elton John and longtime mate David Furnish have officially converted their civil partnership into a marriage.

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 8:21 am

Vancouver Sun

North Korea threatens strikes against White House and ‘U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism’

North Korea warned that any U.S. punishment over the hacking attack on Sony would lead to damage 'thousands of times greater,' with targets including the Pentagon

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Posted on 22 December 2014 | 12:25 am


Slain soldiers Canada's Newsmaker of the Year

TORONTO – Two Canadians killed in cold blood on home soil for simply wearing a soldier’s uniform have been selected the country’s Newsmaker of the Year for 2014. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, whose senseless murders in … Continue Reading

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 8:04 am


Quantum physics theory is easier to understand than you think

Wrapping your head around quantum physics is tricky, no matter how well-educated you are -- if it were easy, there wouldn't be problems making quantum computers. However, researchers at the National University of Singapore believe they've found a way...

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Posted on 22 December 2014 | 12:47 am

Ottawa Citizen

Attempted murder charge over attack on veteran "a total shock" to accused's family (with video)

The family of an Orléans human resources consultant was stunned to learn he had been charged with attempted murder over a home invasion and attack on a 101-year-old veteran. Ian Bush, 59, is to make his second court appearance Monday morning on six charges related to the robbery this week of Ernest Côté, a retired colonel and Second World War veteran. "It's a total shock to us," said Brock Bush, his son. "It's out of character." He would not say if his father knew the victim and referred all inquiries to Bush's lawyer. Bush is self-employed and runs a consulting firm that lists his three adult children as directors. He and wife, nurse Carrie Mortson, recently became grandparents. Bush's lawyer, Geraldine Castle-Trudel, says he has no criminal record. Because of the strange circumstances of the case, she says she will consider asking the court for a referral to a psychiatrist. "It's very unusual," she said. "You look at a 59-year old with no criminal record.  That's when you say, wait a minute." Bush was charged Friday evening with attempted murder, robbery with violence, forcible confinement, break and enter and two counts of using a credit card obtained by crime. The arrest drew a commendation from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Police say a man gained access to Côté's New Edinburgh apartment building on Thursday morning by pretending to be a City of Ottawa employee. He forced his way into Côté's apartment, placed a plastic bag over the elderly man's head and robbed him. Côté was able to free himself and call 911. The Crown claims that Bush was arrested after police received a tip from a family member, Castle-Trudel said. Bush had worked in human resources with paper company Domtar, in Cornwall, Ont. before launching his own firm,  Bush and Associates Consulting, which he ran from his home. He is also listed as the treasurer of organization called the Canadian Clean Heat and Power Association. The association had just got off the ground, said its vice chair, Ahmed Elsaadi. "I am actually shocked now that I've heard the news today," said Elsaadi, who had worked with Bush at Domtar in Cornwall. "I've known him for some time. He's not the type to do something like this." Bush "seems friendly and nice," said next-door neighbour Ron Snow, who added that he was disgusted by the description of the attack on Côté. Reached at his home in Dryden, Ont., Bush's brother Norm said he had heard nothing about any charges being laid. "I wouldn't have associated him with anything like that," he said. [related_links /] Bush's mother-in-law, Iva Mortson, said hadn't heard anything from her daughter about an arrest, either. "He's a very sweet man," she said. After the attack, police released video from the security cameras in Côté's building and two still images.

One of the pictures shows the suspect with what appear to be the Wine Rack, Booster Juice and Sugar Mountain stores in Place d'Orléans in background, across the mall from a Scotiabank location, suggesting this image may have come from an ATM.

After releasing the images, police say, they received the tip that led to the arrest.

The man in the security camera image bears a strong likeness to pictures associated with Bush's social media profiles.

Joanne Snow, a neighbour, said she looked at the surveillance camera photo published in the newspaper. "Yes, that's him in the picture," she said.

Brian Robinson, who alsoalso worked with Bush at Domtar, said he had given a seminar on human resources training with Bush for Kott Lumber employees about five years ago, and hadn't seen him since.

"He seemed to be doing quite well with his consulting business," said Robinson, who also ran a consulting firm.

Bush's wife, Carrie, works the nightshift at Orchard View on the Rideau, a Manotick seniors home. They rent the small Valade Crescent townhouse they live in, near Tenth Line Road.

On Twitter, Bush often tweets about politics, often critically of those he sees as liberals. He posted a message on Twitter as recently as 2:54 p.m. on Friday.

On Remembrance Day, Bush's account tweeted an angry response to a Globe and Mail reporter who noted that people had shouted "thank-you" as a group of veterans marched by.

"Thank-you? For what???" the tweet said. When someone else responded that thanks were deserved for protecting the country's freedoms, Bush's account replied, "What nonsense you spew. What freedoms? Spell them out! You believe the propaganda like a little Nazi."

On the same day, the account tweeted, "The only argument for Nov. 11 being a national holiday is give civil servants more time off with pay."

With files from Darren Brown, Ottawa Citizen

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 9:24 am

Government of Canada

Parliamentary Secretary Brown and Minister of State Gosal to Visit GlobalMedic Volunteers

Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, will visit GlobalMedic volunteers in Mississauga, Ontario, on December 22, 2014. Ms. Brown will be joined by the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport) and Member of Parliament for Bramalea-Gore-Malton.

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 9:09 am


12 Days of Christmas: Citizen Science Edition!

Photo: John Ohab 12 Days of Christmas We're back with our annual list of 12 merry projects! Cheers to you for all you do for science! 2015 is already shaping up to be the Year of the Citizen Scientist. Hold onto your (santa) hats! Credit:  DOI 1st Day of Christmas, the American Chestnut Foundation gave to me: A partridge in a chestnut

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 10:51 am

Open Media

Happy Holidays Internet community! We’ll be back in January!

It's been a busy, wacky, wonderful year here at OpenMedia and we're ready for a break. 
Enjoy your well-deserved time off, Internet community, and we'll see you in the new year.
Happy Holidays!
- your OpenMedia team

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Posted on 19 December 2014 | 8:19 pm

Mark Steyn

Mark's Yuletide Movie Vault

For our Christmas movie selections this year we've referenced everything from The Apartment to Rocky IV. But, as Christmas Day approaches, it gets harder and harder to find a seasonal movie I haven't said everything I want to say about in my Christmas

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Posted on 20 December 2014 | 9:00 am


Federal polls show race is tightening—but it’s not clear why

'In most cases the pollsters themselves don't have granular enough soundings of public opinion to be making those judgments'

The post Federal polls show race is tightening—but it’s not clear why appeared first on

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 12:34 pm

Huffington Post

Democracy in First Nations Communities Requires an Informed Electorate

In a letter to Richard Price in 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote "whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights." In other words, an informed electorate possesses the knowledge to hold their government accountable.

Jefferson understood how citizens and power interact. As do Canadian First Nations members, such as Phyllis Sutherland who supports the First Nations Transparency Act. Sutherland, from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba, argues that the First Nations Transparency Act allows "people at the grassroots access information about their community without fear of intimidation or reprisal." The Act requires Chiefs to publicly release the band's audited financial statements as well as Chief and Councillors salaries; informing First Nations members how their band finances are managed and informing Canadian taxpayers how their tax dollars are being spent.

Some have argued that the First Nations Transparency Act requires the disclosure of sensitive information. However, it merely extends to First Nations politicians what is required of all other levels of government and politicians in Canada: the disclosure of salaries and financial statements. For example, the Manitoba Municipal Act requires the financial statements of municipalities to show "the amount of compensation, expenses and any other payment made to each person who is a member of the council."

The importance of this disclosure may be lost on those who do not live on a reserve. But as Calvin Helin states "community members ... have no practical ability to pursue the kinds of information related to transparency and accountability that all other Canadians take for granted." The First Nations Transparency Act attempts to provide an avenue for First Nations members to obtain this basic financial information.

So does such disclosure have a real-world impact in First Nations communities? Members of the Shuswap First Nation in British Columbia think so. They recently decided to not re-elect their Chief of over 30 years after audited statements, now public, showed excessive spending, unexplained expenses and a Chief's salary in excess of $200,000 a year.

Elsewhere, in Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba, band members want answers and change after audited statements showed a net increase in debt to $6.2 million from $5 million within one year, all under the leadership of their Chief, who is the highest paid Chief in Manitoba at $130,000 a year.

With an increase in federal transfers to First Nations communities, this type of transparency and accountability is needed now more than ever. The federal government alone spends more than $10 billion annually on Aboriginal issues and spending per First Nations person in Canada rose more than 880 per cent over the past 60 years. In comparison spending per person on all Canadians rose by 387 per cent.

Most First Nations governments are not akin to Shuswap and also, most have complied with the new legislation, 538 out of 582 First Nations have publicly released their salaries and audited financial statements. As for the remaining 44, they will now have funding for non-essential services (such as Chief and Councillors salaries worth over $24 million) withheld by the federal government.

It is unclear why the Chiefs of these 44 communities are choosing to withhold this information from their electorate and Canadian taxpayers. It is particularly peculiar that two of these communities, Weenusk First Nation and Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation, previously published their audited financial statements and have now reversed course. That brings up the question: why are these 44 Chiefs afraid of an informed electorate?

Perhaps, because Jefferson--and Phyllis Sutherland--were right about the power of voters to set matters aright once informed about the facts.


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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 3:01 pm

CTV Atlantic

Police respond to gun incident in Lower Sackville, N.S.

There were some tense moments in Lower Sackville early Saturday afternoon.

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Posted on 20 December 2014 | 8:18 pm

1000 Awesome Things

#348 That moment near the holidays when there’s suddenly cookies, chocolate, and candy everywhere

Let’s get fat together. Roll those rum balls, sprinkle sparkles on the shortbread, and dump the bulk bag of candy canes in the crystal dish by the secretary’s desk. AWESOME! For more Christmas posts check out this, this, or this! … Continue reading

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Posted on 19 December 2014 | 12:01 am

Angelina Jolie was daunted by challenges of Unbroken (with video)

LOS ANGELES — Even Angelina Jolie gets overwhelmed. The anxious feeling arrived as she anticipated the assorted directorial requirements for Unbroken. Based on the Laura Hillenbrand book of the same name, the Jolie-directed movie chronicles the life and times of […]

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 6:54 am


The secret life of pigeons in Toronto

toronto pigeonThe pigeons of Toronto get a bad rap. Often maligned as "rats with wings," the birds that roost on our window ledges and flock in our public spaces are actually intelligent, social creatures with uncanny navigational abilities and complex mating rituals.

First, let's clear up a common misconception. The feral pigeons on the street are no different from carrier pigeons, racing pigeons, or that popular harbinger of peace, the white dove.

"A dove is just a white rock pigeon," says David Sugarman from the Ontario Science Centre. "There's certainly a dual perception of pigeons. One is this holy, peaceful association the other is this icky, bothersome thing that messes up our streets and our buildings and our cars, but it's the same creature."

Like all rock pigeons, to use their official name, Toronto's population originated as a species in the Middle East and were brought to North America from Europe as pets. Prized for their uncanny homing abilities, they were useful for carrying messages and prized for their coloured feathers: brown, white, mottled, iridescent patterns are common, even among the ones on the street. They also made for a tasty snack, too. Roast pigeon and pigeon pie have appeared in recipe books for centuries.

(Interestingly, Ontario used to have its own native species of pigeon. The once ubiquitous passenger pigeon was once so common in North America that airborne flocks would block out the sun. Hunted to extinction, the last one, named Martha, died in Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.)

Experts believe pigeons use the Earth's magnetic field combined with the sun and prominent landmarks to guide their long-distance flights. To send a message, notes were tied to the leg of a released bird, which would then return to its point of origin. Pigeons were awarded medals in both world wars for safely delivering important messages across battlefields and even used by Reuters to transmit stock market quotations between London and Paris in the mid-1800s.

In Canada, homing pigeons were used in marine search and rescue in Halifax in the 1890s.

"Their ability to navigate is remarkable," Sugarman says. "They can find their way back over up to 900 kilometres, which is just fantastic." In some cases, they've been clocked flying at over 100 km/h.

toronto pigeonsAs natural cliff dwellers, modern pigeons love cities. Manmade structures with elevated nooks and ledges make perfect nesting places, while heavily trafficked streets provide an abundant supply of tasty morsels. Almost any dropped food will do, though naturally seeds and grains provide sustenance.

Pigeons are romantic. Lovebirds, if you will. Pairs mate for life, often with elaborate courtship displays. The male puffs up his neck feathers, coos, twirls, and occasionally flaps at the female before mating begins. Later, a brood of one or two eggs will be delivered into the nest, which is usually little more than a loose collection of twigs and paper.

Under ideal conditions, a pampered pigeon can live for more than 15 years, but most city dwellers are spent after about four. Diseases and predators such as hawks, owls, even domestic cats are chiefly responsible for keeping the population in check, though cold weather is also a factor.

Though undoubtedly smart, pigeons have the potential to pose a hazard. Over time, their slightly acidic droppings can compromise building structures. If inhaled, dried poop can transmit nasty viruses. Their dry nests can block rooftop drainage and even help feed fires.

Smart and potentially deadly.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Jamaal, Nadia/blogTO Flickr pool.

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 1:45 am


The best Christmas movies ever

Best Christmas movies ever

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 12:00 am

Metro News

Happy day: Elton John, David Furnish marry in England

LONDON – Entertainer Elton John and longtime mate David Furnish have officially converted their civil partnership into a marriage. The ceremony took place exactly nine years after they entered into a civil partnership. The couple was able to marry under … Continue Reading

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 8:16 am

The Province

North Korea threatens strikes against White House and ‘U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism’

North Korea warned that any U.S. punishment over the hacking attack on Sony would lead to damage 'thousands of times greater,' with targets including the Pentagon

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Posted on 22 December 2014 | 12:25 am

Rabble CA

Stop saving the Queen

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Posted on 19 December 2014 | 10:09 pm


Historicist: Of Mail and Empire

The second part of a look at the back half of the Globe and Mail's name.

Mail and Empire Building, northwest corner of King and Bay, December 30, 1913. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 2037.

In part one, we looked at the birth of the Mail and its evolution from Conservative party mouthpiece to independent editorial voice. A reader browsing the February 6, 1895 edition of the Empire would have discovered the following notice leading the editorial page: An amalgamation having been effected between the Empire and the Toronto Mail, […]

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Posted on 20 December 2014 | 12:00 pm

Quirks and Quarks

Things To Make And Do In The Fourth Dimension - 2014/12/20 - Pt. 1

Matt Parker is a standup mathematician who communicates that math is as fun as it is important.

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Posted on 19 December 2014 | 12:00 am

Sun Columnists

Christmas is the great reminder

Christmas is a mere few days away. The ultimate gesture of God’s trust and love for us, his creatures.

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Posted on 20 December 2014 | 8:00 pm

The Progressive Economics Forum

‘Tis the Season to Rethink Our Charitable Giving

This op-ed by yours truly was published in The Province. The examples are BC-specific, but the message is much broader: donating to charity is not enough, we also have to change the status quo that forces so many people to turn to charity in a rich country like Canada. — It’s December, the season for […]

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Posted on 18 December 2014 | 1:17 pm

Religious News Blog

Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

Religion News Blog

November 2014: 5,000 people murdered by Muslim extremists.

Also: IS barbarians stoop to a new low.

Plus: Promoting, in Burma, a bar with an image of the Buddha wearing headphones is asking for trouble. And here's the Internet Movie Database listing that scares the destructive Scientology cult.

Full story: Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

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Posted on 11 December 2014 | 6:22 am

Much Music

They Said What?: The Most Memorable Celeb Quotes of 2014

Celebrities, they are good for a bunch of things. One of the things they are good for is the entertaining things that come out of their mouths. Whether they are scripted or candid, presidential or less than presidential, a famous person is always good at making us smile. Sure, when they put their foot in […]

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Posted on 20 December 2014 | 12:00 pm


Dodge recall for pick-up trucks

About 288,000 Dodge pick-up trucks are being recalled in North America because the rear axle can seize or the drive shaft can fall off. Repairs will be free of charge

The post Dodge recall for pick-up trucks appeared first on MoneySense.

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Posted on 19 December 2014 | 11:17 am


Bail date set for accused in elderly couple's murder

Bail date set for accused in elderly couple's murder

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 8:47 pm

National Post Blog

City staff cut $11 million worth of projects from costly Nathan Phillips Square renovation

The current approved budget for City Hall's front porch is $60.4 million, up from an initial $40 million that was to be mostly raised from the private sector

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Posted on 20 December 2014 | 9:03 pm

Wired Science

This Week’s Weirdest Wild Animal Encounters

This Week’s Weirdest Wild Animal Encounters

A feral cat broke into a Russian airport and ate $1,000 worth of seafood, a black bear beat up a Santa Claus, and a tiger released into the wild by Vladimir Putin was caught on camera devouring a pet dog in China for two hours.

The post This Week’s Weirdest Wild Animal Encounters appeared first on WIRED.

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Posted on 19 December 2014 | 7:00 am

Eureka Science News

Early exposure to antidepressants affects adult anxiety and serotonin transmission

About 15 percent of women in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders and depression during their pregnancies, and many are prescribed antidepressants. However little is known about how early exposure to these medications might affect their offspring as they mature into adults.

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Posted on 20 December 2014 | 2:32 am

The Toronto Star Columnists

Girl’s ‘surreal’ death by TTC bus stuns family

Family and friends of Scarborough teen Amaria Diljohn expressed disbelief at her death during a candlelight vigil Sunday evening, even as many questions about the fatal bus collision remain unanswered.

“This is surreal to me that somebody actually did this,” said Dominique Fraser, Amaria’s aunt, between sobs. “Her family loves her. We miss her dearly.”

Amaria, 14, was struck by a TTC bus on Dec. 19 while crossing the Neilson Rd. from east to west at around 5:40 p.m. Friday; the 133 Neilson bus had been driving northbound on Neilson Rd. at the time and was turning right onto Finch Ave. East.

Amaria died at the scene, just steps from her home, where she lived with her mother Crystal. At that same intersection on Sunday — bearing pink balloons, stuffed animals and candles lined up in the shape of a heart — around 200 people, including Amaria’s parents and classmates, gathered.

Amaria’s grandmother, Denise Thompson, said Saturday she was tormented by thoughts of her granddaughter’s final moments.

“Was she crying? Was she calling for help?” But she said the results of the investigation will do little to ease the family’s grief.

“If they charge whoever, if they don’t charge whoever, it’s still not going to bring her back. I would give anything to get her back.”

The incident is being investigated by Toronto police as a hit and run. As of Sunday, the bus driver, a 27-year-old male who turned himself in, had not been charged.

A number of questions remain, including the driver’s identity, why he didn’t stop, whether or not Amaria was a passenger on the bus, whether or not any witnesses saw the teen get hit and who reported the crash.

Speaking at the vigil, Amaria’s father Maurice Fraser said he was waiting on the investigation to provide answers.

“I know that the right things will be done,” he said, thanking the community for its support.

The crowd, which broke into a rendition of “Amazing Grace” followed by “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” recalled a bright, bubbly girl who made friends easily.

“She didn’t deserve this,” said Jolene Howell, 14, who says she cried for hours when she heard the news. “She was a good person.”

Howell and a number of other students from Woburn Collegiate Institute signed photographs of Amaria with messages of love. A freshman at Woburn, Amaria was trying her hand at many school activities, from band to sports.

Both the TTC and the transit union, Amalgamated Transit Workers, Local 113, have put out statements indicating their full cooperation with the investigation.

“The bus has been identified and video from the bus downloaded to aid the investigation,” said the TTC.

Ward 42 Coun. Raymond Cho told vigil attendees Amaria’s death was “unfair.”

“We don’t have enough vocabulary to express our sadness,” he said, also passing along Mayor John Tory’s condolences.

On Saturday, Amaria’s mother, Crystal, told the Star, she couldn’t comprehend why the bus driver didn’t stop.

“I don’t understand how you run over somebody and don’t feel that,” she said.

A Star report in July found that TTC vehicles have been involved in 18,000 collisions since 2009 — nearly 5,000 of them preventable, in the eyes of transit commission investigators.

With files from Peter Edwards

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 10:58 pm

Canadian Tech Blogger - MobileSyrup

Top Canadian mobile stories from the past week

Every week we bring you the latest in Canadian mobile news. Listed below is a quick overview of the top stories from the past seven days. – Rogers files an...

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 6:41 am

The Daily Galaxy

“There have been 10,000 Generations Before Us --Ours Could be the First to Discover Extraterrestrial Life” --NASA (2014 Most Viewed)

In 1960, the astronomer Francis Drake pointed a radio telescope located in Green Bank, West Virginia, toward two Sun-like stars 11 light years away. His hope: to pick up a signal that would prove intelligent life might be out there....

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Posted on 21 December 2014 | 8:30 am

The Movie Blog

Angela Bassett replaced as Amanda Waller in DC Movie Universe

  One of the things that stood out to me as stellar casting in that hum-ho Man of Steel Green Lantern movie was the casting of Angela Bassett as no-nonsense,...

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Posted on 17 December 2014 | 5:39 pm


Descent into Siberia's mystery crater

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Posted on 16 December 2014 | 2:03 am