Life as a Human

Big Spiders In Oz!

The Golden Orb is also known as the "bird eating spider" because the webs are large enough and their hungers big enough to cope with sparrow-sized birds.

Big Spiders In Oz! is a post from: LIFE AS A HUMAN

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Posted on 2 March 2015 | 12:55 pm

CTV News

Envelopes with white powder sent to federal cabinet ministers

At least three federal cabinet minister were sent envelopes containing white powder, but Quebec police confirmed that powder found in at least one of those envelopes is harmless.

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 1:49 pm

Vancouver Sun

15 people were treated in hospital after Vancouver waterfront fire: officials (with video)

Health officials say that the risk of exposure is over from the chemical-laden smoke from a massive container fire at the port Wednesday afternoon, despite the container was still smouldering early Thursday morning.

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 8:00 pm


B.C man pleaded with undercover cop for C-4: trial

VANCOUVER – A B.C. man accused of plotting to attack the legislature pleaded with an undercover officer to give him explosives, promising that the alleged plan was coming “from his heart.” John Nuttall was captured on video on June 29, … Continue Reading

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 4:23 pm


Daily Roundup: Best of Mobile World Congress, 'Rock Band 4' and more!

Mobile World Congress wrapped up today and we share our picks for the best smartphones we found in Barcelona. In other news, Harmonix is getting the band back together with Rock Band 4 and a spinning chair might make virtual reality feel more real. A...

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 8:45 pm

Ottawa Citizen

Sex trafficking will be part of Toronto's Pan Am Games, says head of church organization

Cities that host international sporting events put on their best face for the world to see, but they ignore an ugly reality behind the spectacle: the exploitation of women and children shipped in to cater to the sexual proclivities of spectators, says the general secretary for the Canadian Council of Churches. "Human sex trafficking goes with national and international sporting events," Karen Hamilton said Wednesday in one in the series of Stuart Ivison Memorial Lectures sponsored by Ottawa's First Baptist Church on Elgin Street. "And it will be coming to my city, because Toronto is hosting the Pan Am Games this summer." Canadians — and the politicians and government agencies who serve them — need to face the reality of both human trafficking and sex trafficking, Hamilton said, suggesting that many of those who attend will be as interested in illicit sex as in the athletes, if not more so. Hamilton said she has drawn the attention of David Peterson, chairman the board organizing the games, to the issue, but to date isn't satisfied it is being taken seriously. "Last summer I asked him what plans he has (to respond to the problem of sex trafficking). He looked at me with shock and horror and said, 'I had no idea this was a reality.'" That, suggested Hamilton, is the core of problem: too many people don't want to admit, much less confront, the fact that hundreds of thousand of people — mostly women and girls, but also boys — are being trafficking around the world to work as de facto slaves or forced into sex work. The United Nations defines human trafficking as “the implicit use of threat, force, or other forms of coercion against an individual for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or slavery.” Sex trafficking refers to “force, fraud, or coercion as related specifically to the illegal sex trade business.” Both forms of trafficking are old problems, Hamilton said, citing references to it in the Old Testament. "The abuse of women and the trafficking of women is an ancient practice, but it is also very much a part of our future." Statistics support that claim. The International Labour Organizations estimates there are 12.3 million adults and children in forced labour, bonded labour or commercial sexual servitude. According to the United Nations, sexual exploitation accounts for 79 per cent of the world's human trafficking, involving mainly women and children; forced labour accounts for 18 per cent. Worldwide, 20 per cent of all trafficking involves children. Within Canada, the RCMP estimate 600 women and children are trafficked into this country each year for sexual exploitation, and at least 800 are trafficked into Canada for all domestic markets, including the drug trade, domestic work, or labour for garment and other industries. Another 1,500 to 2,000 are trafficked through Canada into the United States. Scholarly studies of human trafficking also reinforce Hamilton’s contentions regarding human trafficking, including in regard to sporting events. “Concerns have been raised that large global sporting events are magnets for the sex industry, notably human trafficking for sexual exploitation,” Rebecca Finkel and Madelon Finkel write a 2014 study in the journal Public Health. While the media tend to focus on the athletes, the host city and the social and cultural offerings surrounding the event, “The ‘dirty downside’ sporting events, such as worker abuse, corruption, and fraud, is often ignored,” they write. At the same time, though, the two scholars acknowledge solid empirical evidence on the extent of human trafficking — and sex trafficking — is hard to come by, especially when government authorities make little effort to obtain that evidence. Hamilton shared that assessment, saying that a lack of government and political focus on the issue — with the exception of the RCMP, she noted — hampers an effective response to human trafficking. But the biggest impediment to sex trafficking, she observed, is "male demand for sexual access to the bodies of women and children. If there was no demand, there would be no problem."      

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Posted on 4 March 2015 | 5:20 pm

Government of Canada

The Arts Continue to Shine in Canada's North

Member of Parliament Ryan Leef announces support for the Yukon Arts Centre

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 8:30 pm


Was Neuroscience's Most Famous Amnesiac, "HM", A Victim of Medical Error?

According to a new paper, one of neuroscience's most famous case-studies came about as a result of a serious medical blunder. Henry Molaison (1926 - 2008), better known as HM, was an American man who developed a dramatic form of amnesia after receiving surgery that removed part of the temporal lobes of his brain. The 1953 operation was intended to treat HM's epilepsy, but it had the side effect of leaving him unable to form new memories. The consequences of HM's surgery are well known

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 3:01 pm

Open Media

Exclusive: Copyright trolls sending infringement notices without checking if they have the right person.

ATTENTION: Our records show that you illegally downloaded a film from the Internet. You could be fined for up to $150,000 if you don’t pay up quick. Your ISP will kick you off the Internet if you don’t comply. Immediately send us details of your private information or face the consequences.

This is the unwelcome message thousands of Canadians received earlier this year. The bullying notices garnered immediate attention because, one: they were pretty galling, and two: a lot of the claims made in the letters weren’t actually based on Canadian law.

The threats of hundred-thousand dollar fines and getting booted off of the Internet came on the heels of a new law requiring ISPs to pass copyright infringement notices on to their subscribers. The ISP are now legally obliged to comply, forwarding the notices along to alleged infringers verbatim and, as it now turns out, without much attention to whether the content owners were even accusing the right person.

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 12:40 pm

Mark Steyn

The Field Where Liberty Was Sown

The most important anniversary this year is marked on June 15th - the day, eight centuries ago, when a king found himself in a muddy field on the River Thames near Windsor Castle with the great foundational document of modern liberty under his nose and

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 9:00 am


What we could learn from the Michael Zehaf-Bibeau video

Michael Friscolanti on why it's taken so long for the RCMP to put out the Ottawa gunman's video manifesto, which will be released Friday

The post What we could learn from the Michael Zehaf-Bibeau video appeared first on

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 4:04 pm

Huffington Post

Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives

Joseph Heath is nominated for the Writers' Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for his book Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives. The prize winner will be announced at the Politics and the Pen gala in Ottawa on March 11. For more information, visit

An excerpt from Enlightenment 2.0:

In the fall of 1970, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau found himself facing a dilemma. Prior to entering politics, he was best known as a forceful champion of Canadian federalism against the rising tide of Quebec separatism. At the time, he had presented the choice between federalism and nationalism as a straightforward contest between reason and emotion. Quebec separatism is, and always has been, driven by the ethnic nationalism of so-called pure laine Québécois -- descendants of the original French colonists, who were conquered by the British during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) and went on to form a French-speaking minority within the Canadian federation. Nationalism of this form is a classic expression of our tribal social instincts; it creates a powerful sense of community and solidarity by drawing a distinction between "us" and "them." Thus the rapid modernization of Quebec society in the 1960s, which brought about substantial collective achievements, came with increased antagonism toward outsiders and growing demands for political independence.

What Trudeau disliked most about this nationalism was its backwardness. "The history of civilization," he wrote, "is a chronicle of the subordination of tribal 'nationalism' to wider interests." And yet he saw clearly that, in contrast to nationalism, "federalism is by its very essence a compromise and a pact." The arguments for federalism were just that, arguments. They referred to political principles or long-term interests; they had no gut-level appeal. "Federalism has all along been a product of reason in politics," as Trudeau put it. "It was born of a decision by pragmatic politicians to face facts as they are, particularly the fact of the heterogeneity of the world's population." Thousands of different languages are spoken in the world and there are more than 800 major ethnic groups, yet there are only 160 full-scale states. Insisting that every group have its own state is a recipe for fragmentation and chaos. What sort of a message would it be sending to everyone else in the world if Canadians, despite enjoying practically ideal conditions for mutual toleration (the country is wealthy, industrialized, with two historically liberal cultures and no history of atrocity toward one another) found themselves unable to live together in a shared state?

Defending federalism, in Trudeau's view, meant defending the principle of reason in politics. "Reason before passion" became his personal motto. And yet, over the course of his first term as prime minister, this commitment became increasingly difficult to maintain. Throughout the late 1960s, the militant wing of the separatist movement became more and more violent, moving from fairly random robberies and attacks to targeted bombings, most importantly against the Montreal Stock Exchange and the home of the mayor of Montreal. The breaking point came with the kidnapping and killing of the Quebec minister of labour and the kidnapping of the British trade commissioner. Both were taken at gunpoint from their homes -- Pierre Laporte, the minister of labour, had been playing catch on the front lawn with his nephew, and was later strangled to death. After the kidnapping, the group responsible released a manifesto, which among other things, referred to Trudeau as "la tapette," which is often translated as "the pansy" but would be accurately rendered as simply "the fag."

This episode illustrated, in the starkest form possible, the conundrum faced by proponents of reason in politics. Violence is, of course, at the furthest extreme from reason when it comes to resolving political disputes. But what more is there to say when your opponents, given a chance to speak their piece, can't manage much more than to call you a fag? In order for reason to win, you need to have opponents who are willing to engage in national debate. So what do you do when confronted with a movement that relies not upon reason for its central appeal, but upon a visceral sense of blood and belonging?

Early on, Trudeau had in fact laid out quite clearly what the strategy would be under such circumstances. The solution would be to fight fire with fire: "One way of offsetting the appeal of separatism is by investing a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money in nationalism at the federal level ... Resources must be diverted into such things as national flags, anthems, education, arts councils, broadcasting corporations, film boards." One of the peculiar things about Canada was that, at the time Trudeau came to power, it didn't really have a distinct form of nationalism at the national level. The country was instead the home to two rival national identities, French in Quebec and British in the rest of Canada -- the latter based largely on loyalty to the monarchy. For example, there was at the time no national anthem: The French "O Canada" was sung in Quebec, with "God Save the Queen" being sung throughout the rest of the country. The red maple leaf flag had been adopted in 1965 but was still used interchangeably with the Union Jack.


Excerpted from Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives, by Joseph Heath, published by HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2014 by Joseph Heath. All rights reserved.


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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 12:44 pm

CTV Atlantic

N.S. RCMP investigate fatal house fire near Wolfville

The RCMP are investigating a fatal house fire that destroyed a mobile home in Forest Hill, N.S. Thursday morning.

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 2:47 pm

1000 Awesome Things

#296 Making a baby laugh

Because you know they’re not faking it. AWESOME! Photo from: here

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 12:01 am

American Crime an ambitious look at race, religion, class (with video)

Dishevelled and distraught, Timothy Hutton’s character on American Crime listens to details about his son’s murder. The camera holds still on his face for more than a minute — it seems like at least 10 — as the officer’s back […]

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 4:17 pm


The Best Pilates in Toronto

pilates in torontoThe best pilates studios in Toronto offer the foundation of pilates: strength, length and core. And there are plenty of studio choices in Toronto, all with their own unique way of teaching. Initially, pilates - which was named after founder Joseph Pilates - was invented for rehabilitation and physical therapy. Now, studios have evolved their teaching styles as they continue to learn more about the intricacies of the body's biomechanics.

Here are best pilates studios in Toronto.

See also: The best yoga studios in Toronto

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 4:38 pm


Woman who performed sex acts at library fired

Woman who performed sex acts at library fired

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 3:07 pm

Metro News

Calgary police investigating Scotiabank robbery

Police are investigating a robbery of a southwest Scotiabank Thursday morning. At approximately 9 a.m. on Thursday, a man entered the Scotiabank on the 1900 block of Southland Dr. S.W. and passed the teller a robbery note. No one was … Continue Reading

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 4:55 pm

The Province

Whitecaps supporters thirsty for some action as season-opener approaches

A little after noon on Saturday Rebecca and John Bollwitt will finally get to use the Christmas gifts they gave each other. They’ll join hundreds of people at downtown pubs, then march, singing and waving flags, to B.C. Place for the Vancouver Whitecaps’ season opener.

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 8:00 pm

Rabble CA

Race and revolution: Reckoning with racial injustice past and present

Amy Goodman
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Photo: Light Brigading/flickr

March 5 marks an important but oft-overlooked anniversary. On a winter's day 245 years ago, in the year 1770, an angry crowd formed in Boston, then the capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. People were enraged by the extortionate taxes imposed by the British Parliament. In order to quell the public furor, the British sent troops, who violently quashed dissent. On that cold day, people had had enough. Word spread after a British private beat a young man with the butt of his musket. By late day, hundreds of Bostonians gathered, jeering the small crowd of redcoat soldiers arrayed with muskets loaded. The soldiers fired into the crowd, instantly killing Crispus Attucks and two others.

From Crispus Attucks to Michael Brown 245 years later, two things remain clear: We never know what sparks a revolution. And Black lives matter.

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 10:11 am


A Not-So-Corporate #ToryTakeover

The mayor took over the Toronto Sun's Twitter account to answer questions. Not everything went according to plan.

Screenshot of the Toronto Sun Twitter account during the mayor's online chat.

If there’s one thing politicians strive for in 2015, it’s to create just the right Twitter presence. Not everyone can be a Twitter (and real-life) superstar like U.S. Senator Cory Booker, but you want the right mix of tweets that humanize a politician, share their ideas and priorities, and provide a useful service while meeting […]

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 3:21 pm

Quirks and Quarks

Ancient Wheat DNA In Britain - 2015/02/28 - Pt. 4

DNA evidence of wheat found in Britain links Mesolithic hunter-gatherers there with Neolithic farmers in Europe.

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Posted on 27 February 2015 | 12:00 am

Sun Columnists

Premier Wynne needs our help

It’s getting hard to watch.

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Posted on 4 March 2015 | 7:14 pm

The Progressive Economics Forum

Doubling Contributions To The Tax Free Savings Account: Even Nastier Than Income Splitting

The Harper government gives five reasons why Canadians ought to be happy with its proposal to double the maximum contribution to the Tax-Free Savings Account. Examine each of its points more closely, however, and it’s clear that the TFSA carries far higher risks than rewards — for individual Canadians  as well as for the economy […]

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Posted on 2 March 2015 | 12:17 pm

Religious News Blog

Jihad recruitment; human trafficking; and Jesus as a redhead


Why and how do young people get recruited by Muslim extremists?

Alex Gibney's Scientology documentary will debut on HBO at the end of March.

Also: Psychic Daniel Perez has been convicted in the drowning death of a woman at his commune, plus 27 other criminal charges.

Plus: cult expert Steve Hassan's YouTube channel.

Full story: Jihad recruitment; human trafficking; and Jesus as a redhead

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Posted on 19 February 2015 | 8:56 pm

Much Music

Oh Boy! A 73-Year-Old Woman & A 7 Foot Tall Man Are Among Bieber’s Celeb Roasters

The roasters have been selected!!! Some of the celebrities that will tear into Justin Bieber on the Roast of Justin Bieber have been announced and it is a diverse group. Roasters include Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Shaquille O’Neal (the titled tall man) and Martha Stewart (the titled older woman). MARTHA F’N STEWART! Fun fact! Saturday Night […]

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 4:00 pm


Investing legend Irving Kahn’s stock holdings

Khan's value picks include Canada's own BlackBerry

The post Investing legend Irving Kahn’s stock holdings appeared first on MoneySense.

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 1:07 pm


Man rescued crossing frozen lake from Detroit to Toronto

Man rescued crossing lake from Detroit to T.O.

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 8:31 pm

National Post Blog

Man attempting to walk from Detroit to Toronto rescued while crossing ice on Lake St. Clair

The 25-year-old man was spotted in middle of the frozen lake Thursday morning, several kilometres away from shore

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 4:29 pm

Wired Science

Your McNuggets: Soon Without a Side of Antibiotics

Your McNuggets: Soon Without a Side of Antibiotics

Fast food giant McDonald's volunteers to buy only chicken raised without routine antibiotic use, a move likely to shake up both the food industry and agriculture.

The post Your McNuggets: Soon Without a Side of Antibiotics appeared first on WIRED.

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Posted on 4 March 2015 | 6:39 pm

Eureka Science News

Evidence indicates Yucatan Peninsula hit by tsunami 1,500 years ago

The eastern coastline of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, a mecca for tourists, may have been walloped by a tsunami between 1,500 and 900 years ago, says a new study involving Mexico's Centro Ecological Akumal (CEA) and the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 8:02 pm

The Toronto Star Columnists

Flash mob backs up marriage proposal at Hamilton cancer centre

Robert Hooper wanted to do something special at a very difficult time.

His girlfriend, Melissa Christison, had been diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer 10 months ago, and despite initial positive reports following chemotherapy, she later learned the disease had spread.

So Robert put together a big surprise for her at the Juravinski Cancer Centre Wednesday.

He brought out more than 30 members of the Cathedral High School Glee Club (her favourite show on television is Glee), along with family and friends for a flash mob marriage proposal.

“I went down on one knee. I said it's been a tough 10 months for her. I told her I am with her every step of the way with her next battle. I said I should have done this 10 years ago. I asked her to marry me.

“To which, she jokingly, said, 'No.' But then she quickly said 'yes.'”

The Glee Club sang “(I've had) the Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing and “I Won't Give Up” by Jason Mraz.

Robert said he was not familiar with the Mraz song. It was suggested by one of the glee club coaches “and it turned out to be perfect.

“Every single word rang true about her battle and our relationship through the battle.”

The idea of bringing out the glee club was hatched last Saturday, after Melissa had gone to sleep. He googled around and found the Glee Club at Cathedral was “one of the top ones in the area.”

So he emailed one of the coaches.

The coach got back to him the next day, and they all agreed to meet at the hospital Wednesday at around noon.

The couple has lived together for nearly a decade. They met at a Jeep Club that he used to run. Robert, 42, works as a mortgage broker and Melissa, 38, works for a day-care centre.

Robert said they had talked about marriage in the past, but decided they were content to live common-law.

“We were comfortable with ourselves and our own lives. When we got this information (about the cancer) I think it came time to reassess things,” he said.

“She has a really tough battle ahead of her. But she remains very hopeful. And we are both extremely hopeful that she will beat this.”

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 1:39 pm

Canadian Tech Blogger - MobileSyrup

John Carmack hints consumer Gear VR will launch alongside Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung’s Gear VR is already available through Best Buy in the United States but the company isn’t really pushing its virtual reality headset in a massive way. The marketing is minimal...

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Posted on 5 March 2015 | 2:49 pm

The Daily Galaxy

NASA: "What's Hidden Beneath Europa's Icy Surface?"

Four hundred years ago, the astronomer Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's four large moons forever changed humanity's view of the universe, helping to bring about the understanding that Earth was not the center of all motion. Today one of these Galilean...

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Posted on 4 March 2015 | 9:39 am

The Movie Blog

We FINALLY have a glimpse of Vision

For whatever reason the Avengers film has been keeping the character known as ‘The Vision’ under wraps and we haven’t been provided a clear look at the character… until now....

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Posted on 4 March 2015 | 2:14 pm


Dawn arrives on Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has reached its final destination.

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Posted on 4 March 2015 | 10:08 pm