Life as a Human

My Baby Boomer Parents Up-Sized, And That’s a Good Thing

The other day, I was driving down a main thoroughfare in my town, and I saw a billboard that read: “The Roles are Reversed.” It showed two pictures of the same family.

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 12:00 pm

CTV News

Zika testing encouraged for pregnant women who visited affected countries

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer has released guidelines suggesting all pregnant women who have travelled to countries affected by the Zika virus be tested due to the possible link to birth defects.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 3:10 am

Vancouver Sun

Canucks Brandon Sutter, Alex Edler fly back to Vancouver with suspected broken jaw, fractured foot

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning confirmed today that the team has lost centre Brandon Sutter and defenceman Alex Edler to significant injuries that will keep them both out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 6:41 pm


Montreal taxi drivers planning to block access to sites in Uber protest

The specific sites of today's blockade are expected only to be released this morning.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 3:08 pm


Chinese companies want to buy Opera for $1.2 billion

You might think of Opera as a forgotten browser from the pre-Chrome era that you haven't used in years. But a group of Chinese companies value it highly enough to put a whopping $1.2 billion buyout offer on the table. The Norwegian company has confir...

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 9:45 am

Ottawa Citizen

Adami: Disabled man needs wheelchair but government says find accessible apartment first

It may be that rules can't be bent, especially those administered by government bureaucracy. But the rule frustrating Robert Simser, a 56-year-old disabled man in his search for an accessible apartment, is just so stupid it hurts: Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care says he can't have his publicly-funded, $8,000 battery-powered wheelchair — already set aside for him by a local mobility-aids provider — until he actually moves into an accessible unit. Simser says the wheelchair would be stored in the interim at his girlfriend's place, which is around the corner from his home. He says he would be able to get around more quickly and with less discomfort as he looks for an apartment, does groceries or goes to the doctor. He says going any further than a short distance with his cane or walker is very painful. "I'm very discouraged," says Simser. "I need to get out of here." To add to his woes, Simser broke his wrist last week when he slipped and fell at the Morisset Avenue low-rise building where he lives as he was trying to navigate one of the staircases from his fourth-floor apartment to the main entrance. Simser suffers from various maladies, including a tumour in his spine, a blocked artery in his neck, a constant migraine he treats with morphine and damaged nerve endings in his left leg and right arm. He is very unsteady on his feet. As his condition worsens, Simser soon expects to be spending most of his time in a wheelchair. Simser thought he was getting the chair before Christmas. He acknowledged during an interview in early December that he was concerned how he would be able to use the device outside his unit as his apartment building isn't accessible for people with disabilities. The building doesn't have an elevator, a wheelchair ramp at the entrance or an automated door. He moved there last September because he needed a roof over his head after he couldn't live with his family anymore. He pays about $800 a month in rent, and his landlord has told him he is free to leave at anytime despite his lease. He originally thought if he got the wheelchair before he found an accessible apartment, he would find a place to store it outside, near the building's front entrance, and just take the stairs to get to the device. Not the greatest idea, given that an expensive powered wheelchair would be a pretty good target for thieves, but Simser hoped his story, reported by The Public Citizen last Dec. 10, would have helped him land an accessible apartment quickly. He looked at a place with a monthly rent of $900, which he says he could have managed despite his meagre Ontario disability pension. What turned him away was the common landlord requirement for the renter to provide the last month's rent as a security deposit. He didn't have the extra $900.

Health ministry spokesman David Jensen says says the government assistive devices program "does not fund mobility devices that are used primarily for transportation and community access.  Devices required only for use outside of an applicant’s place of residence are not eligible for funding assistance.

"Funding for mobility devices is for helping a person engage in activities of daily living within the home and to gain entry or exit from their place of residence."

Occupational therapist Lesley Bruce, who applied to the assistive devices program for Simser's wheelchair, could not comment about his case. But, she says, she tells all clients before she submits an application that "under no circumstances will (a wheelchair) be dispensed until you've moved into an accessible place." She says she also helps clients with applications for social housing, though Simser says he could be waiting as long as 10 years for a unit because his medical problems are still not considered serious enough to make him a priority.

Through Bruce, Simser has also applied for Para Transpo service to help him get around, but he says he would still need a wheelchair once he leaves the vehicle.

If anyone can help Simser find an affordable and accessible apartment, he can be reached at 613-286-9462.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 2:27 pm

Government of Canada

CNSC invites comments on discussion paper DIS-16-01, <em>How the CNSC Considers Information on Costs and Benefits: Opportunities to Improve Guidance and Clarity</em>

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is asking the public to provide their comments on discussion paper DIS-16-01, How the CNSC Considers Information on Costs and Benefits: Opportunities to Improve Guidance and Clarity.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 7:10 pm


Is Seasonal Affective Disorder a Myth?

A flurry of newspaper headlines have called into question the existence of SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Scientists, they reported, appear to have debunked a widespread conviction, that feeling low in winter time is a genuine illness caused by disturbed levels of brain chemicals and that demands treatment. A visit to any number of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) websites leads to online questionnaires offering “diagnosis”, treatment recommendations, and advertisements for light b

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 12:01 am

Mark Steyn

Plaid About The Boy

Primary Morn in New Hampshire. Of the midnight votes, Kasich and Sanders took Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, but Millsfield went for Cruz (a stunning nine votes) and Clinton. Let us note that Mark Stewart Greenstein, who describes himself as "a

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 2:00 pm

Huffington Post

The World Needs More Canada

"Canada has a good the world, but let's make no mistake about it: Canada does not have a history as a pacifist or a neutralist country. Canada has soldiers who are buried all over Europe because we fought in defence of liberty."

This quote by former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley came to mind this week as I listened to an awkward press conference with Canada's new prime minister trying to articulate the reasons behind the first major foreign policy decision of his government. John Manley was a smart and thoughtful politician and this simple, yet deeply patriotic quote, made days after the horrible terror attacks of 9/11 came to reflect the sentiment of many Canadians reacting to the terror attacks that killed 26 Canadians and thousands of Americans.

Throughout our history, standing with our allies has never been a Conservative versus Liberal proposition.

Manley spoke about a Canadian willingness to stand up against such acts of terror by evoking the powerful imagery of our past and the solemn white gravestones that mark Canada's history of playing a role far from our shores. While Manley led the cabinet committee that planned our response to the 9/11 terror attacks, it was this powerful quote, more than anything else, that led to Manley being recognized as Time Magazine's Person of the Year in Canada.

Canadians are not an aggressive people, but from our earliest days as a nation we have never shied away from taking a stand for liberty alongside friends that share our values. Throughout our history, standing with our allies has never been a Conservative versus Liberal proposition. In fact, Canadian political debates over successive generations have shown near unanimity on this point.

In 1939, Prime Minister MacKenzie King thanked Conservative leader Robert Manion in the House of Commons for his bi-partisan support for action in Europe and went so far as to compliment Manion's personal record of military service (Manion was a Vimy Ridge Veteran). In that debate, King cast aside differences between Canadians and viewed all citizens as united in common cause to preserve freedoms far from our shores. King said, "[t]his deep-lying instinct for freedom is, I believe, characteristic of the citizens of Canada from one end of this great country to the other."

In a 1951 speech to the Empire Club of Canada years before he became Prime Minister, Lester Pearson similarly articulated the need for an active Canada in a dangerous world. He described the need for Canada to be part of "collective action with our friends abroad." He also linked Canadian deployments overseas as being critical to our domestic security. "We should accept without any reservation, the view that the Canadian who fires his rifle in Korea or on the Elbe is defending his home as surely as if he were firing it on his own soil." This active and internationalist approach coupled with Pearson's view of Canada as a leader amongst the middle powers of the world became so central to Canadian foreign policy that our Foreign Affairs Building bears Pearson's name.

The Conservative government's approach to countering the Islamic State (ISIS) threat was a three-pillared plan that combined allied military action, alongside direct foreign aid, and support for refugees and the dislocated in the region. In many ways, the plan brought to the last Parliament by the Conservatives was consistent with the Pearsonian worldview that Canada has a duty to take collective action with our friends to advance liberty for others and provide security at home.

All this leads me back to the press conference held by Prime Minister Trudeau announcing the withdrawal of CF-18 fighter jets from the coalition fighting ISIS. This Liberal government seems comfortable tossing aside central tenets of Canadian foreign policy if they conflict with the pre-election position of their leader. We witnessed a collection of Ministers offering clumsy platitudes about training and institution building without answering the simple question as to why Canada is withdrawing our modest combat commitment while our allies step up their efforts to fight ISIS.

Prime Minister Trudeau did not invoke King, Pearson, Manley or any of their shared foreign policy principles, but instead offered his own insight that military action against ISIS was not in Canada's national interest because "the lethal enemy of barbarism" is actually "reason." Thank you prime minister. Perhaps ethnic minorities at risk in the region, or orange jumpsuit clad prisoners being readied for execution can try to reason with ISIS going forward. Until then, the vast majority of Canadians are looking for the Canada our allies and the world once knew.

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 10:37 pm

CTV Atlantic

Village in southwest N.B. becomes epicentre of earthquake swarms

Residents of McAdam, N.B., say the most recent earthquake in their village was the worst they’ve ever experienced, even though the town has become the epicentre of earthquake swarms.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 12:41 am

1000 Awesome Things

#52 Hand made coupons

AWESOME! Big news, everyone! My new book The Happiness Equation hits March 8th, 2016! I am so pumped to share exciting pre-order details with you on February 15th. Stay tuned! Illustration from: Monsieur Cabinet

The post #52 Hand made coupons appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 5:01 am

More longer ‘Journeys’ for Carnival

Carnival, the king of short cruises around North America, is longing for something more. Cruises of seven days and shorter has been the mantra for the largest cruise line in the world — until last year. That’s when they added […]

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 4:00 am


Today in Toronto: Battle of the 6ix, Music Bingo, Rev Fashion Show, Toronto Black Film Festival, OkStupid

HandlebarToday in Toronto you can show that you know your Bono from your Backstreet Boys at Music Trivia at the Gladstone. If you're iTunes library hasn't gotten some TLC in a while, skip the trip to the hotel and get in on some anti-Valentine's fun at Handlebar. The Kensington watering hole is hosting OkStupid, where Torontonians will read their most cringeworthy online dating messages.

For more events, click on over to our events section.

Have an event you'd like to plug? Submit your own listing to the blogTO Toronto events section.

Photo of Handlebar by Jesse Milns.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 5:01 am


Maple Leafs to Sens: Tanks very much

Leafs to Sens: Tanks very much

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 1:43 am

Metro News

Obama administration struggles to craft ceasefire in Syria

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 3:20 pm

The Province

This Ontario town has had two minor hockey incidents result in criminal charges this year, and it's only February

A 17-year-old youth from Smiths Falls, Ont., is facing criminal charges after a controversial hit on an opponent in November. The hit levelled against a 17-year-old Stittsville player in a major midget league game on Nov. 8, went beyond what is acceptable during a hockey game, according to Ottawa police.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 6:27 pm

Rabble CA

It’s time to protect the Great Bear Rainforest's grizzlies

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 11:23 pm


Extra, Extra: TTC Morning Commute From Hell, Catholic School Exemption Leads to Complaint, and the Sneaker Express

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not to miss. Ride the Rocket at your own risk: This morning, hundreds of commuters dealt with up to 30-minute delays on the Yonge-University-Spadina line between Finch and Bloor Stations. The prolonged wait was thanks to a fire at Davisville […]

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 9:00 pm

Quirks and Quarks

Ancient Wildebeest Cousin With Dinosaur Horn - 2016/02/06 - Pt. 3

An ancient wildebeest had a trumpet, nasal crest used for generating sound, similar to that of some hadrosaurs.

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Posted on 5 February 2016 | 5:00 am

Sun Columnists

Victim behaviour examined

I understand why many in the public are suspicious of the complainants against Jian Ghomeshi, given that they maintained intimate correspondences and even sexual relations with him after he allegedly assaulted them.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 4:30 am

The Progressive Economics Forum

Homelessness in Canada: Its Growth, Policy Responses, and Advocacy

On February 1, I gave a guest presentation on homelessness to a graduate seminar class on housing policy taught by Steve Pomeroy at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration. The focus of my presentation was the emergence of homelessness in Canada as a pressing public policy area in the 1980s. I discussed the […]

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Posted on 4 February 2016 | 1:03 pm

Religious News Blog

Nobody joins a cult, but it is easy to get radicalized

how people get radicalized

Today: stories about the Palmarian Catholic Church, how easily people get radicalised, and what IS jihadists have in mind for Europe’s cities.

Also: tongue-in-cheek, How do Operating Thetans get in touch with eachother? And is Crossfit a religion?

Finally: Religion News Blog’s new design.

Full story: Nobody joins a cult, but it is easy to get radicalized

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Posted on 28 November 2015 | 5:16 pm

Much Music

Reality TV BFFs Who Gave Us #FriendshipGoals

During the early 2000s, reality television boomed and began dominating T.V. networks all around. Though you may not want to admit it, we know you all had (or still have) a soft spot for at least some of this trashy television goodness somewhere within your hearts. In memory of this once popular programming trend, we […]

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 3:00 pm


Ontario offering up to $14K to electric car buyers

Current incentives range from $5,000 to $8,500

The post Ontario offering up to $14K to electric car buyers appeared first on MoneySense.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 4:45 pm


WATCH: Dash cam that captured wild Porsche ride helps send driver to jail

A 32-year-old Charlottetown man whose Porsche was filmed wildly careening down a city street has learned the hard way that amateur dash cams can provide a prosecutor's dream evidence.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 7:06 pm

National Post Blog

Donald Trump marches to commanding wins over rivals in New Hampshire primaries

The size of Trump's win and the lack of a strong runner up means the Republican race is likely to remain muddled for weeks and possibly months to come

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 5:24 am

Eureka Science News

The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. As early as 1981, Hans Dehmelt, who was to be awarded a Nobel prize later, had already developed the basic notions of how to use an ion kept in a high-frequency trap to build a clock which could attain the -- then unbelievably low -- relative measure-ment uncertainty in the range of 1E-18. Ever since, an increasing number of research groups worldwide have been trying to achieve this with optical atomic clocks (either based on single trapped ions or on many neutral atoms). The PTB scientists are the first to have reached the finishing line using a single-ion clock. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 7:11 pm

The Toronto Star Columnists

Newmarket man charged in connection with sexual assault of 13-year old girl

A Newmarket man has been charged in connection with the sexual assault investigation of a “young teen” on Tuesday afternoon, York Regional Police say.

“Information came forward about a 13-year old girl, engaging in sexual conversation, as well as sexual contact with an adult man,” says Constable Laura Nicolle.

Officers in the Drug and Vice Unit began investigation on Jan. 19 and determined that there was more than one occasion of sexual contact from December 2015, to January 2016.

Police believe that the suspect “may have been in contact with a number of other young girls,” and have released his photo to the public.

Kevin Kong, 23, has been charged with sexual assault times three, sexual interference, and invitation to sexual touching.

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 7:19 pm

Canadian Tech Blogger - MobileSyrup

Twitter forms new Trust and Safety Council to combat harassment

For most people, Twitter is a place to exchange cat GIFs, celebrity news and breaking stories, but it’s not all fun and games. There is a portion of Twitter’s user-base that...

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 1:00 am

The Daily Galaxy

Great Attractor Mystery Solved! --"Hundreds of Galaxies Discovered Hidden Behind the Milky Way"

Hundreds of hidden nearby galaxies have been studied for the first time, shedding light on a mysterious gravitational anomaly dubbed the Great Attractor, which appears to be drawing the Milky Way and hundreds of thousands of other galaxies towards it...

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Posted on 9 February 2016 | 6:53 pm

The Movie Blog

99 Homes is Hollywood, but isn’t Hollygood

  [springboard type=”video” id=”1564395″ player=”tmbg001″ width=”599″ height=”336″ ]   Synopsis: A father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by ...
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Posted on 25 September 2015 | 3:32 pm


How sperm become disease-causing selfish mutants

Timebombs in the testicles.

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Posted on 10 February 2016 | 5:07 am