Life as a Human

A Journey to Spirit #18: Caught by the Rain

It would be a wet, rainy weekend, and no one loved the antics, rain or shine, more than Robert. It was Friday, and the rain would continue throughout the night. The sound of rain to this day reminds me of this night. As daylight approached, we were snapped out of our sleep by a pounding on the door.

A Journey to Spirit #18: Caught by the Rain is a post from: LIFE AS A HUMAN

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 7:00 am

CTV News

4 taken to hospital after pepper spray attack at Montreal bus terminal

Several people were taken to hospital Friday morning after pepper spray was released inside a downtown Montreal bus terminal. Emergency crews rushed to the Berri-UQAM bus terminal shortly before 11 a.m., after people inside complained of a foul smell and irritation.

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 6:51 pm

Vancouver Sun

Canadian scientists cure monkeys infected with Ebola using experimental drug

Canadian scientists have rescued from death monkeys infected with a lethal dose of Ebola in the latest study of an experimental drug that has been used on a handful of Ebola victims in West Africa. The anti-body based compound known […]

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 7:47 pm


Liberals pondering mandatory voting for federal elections

OTTAWA – With voter turnout plunging to new lows, Liberal MPs are pondering the idea of legally requiring Canadians to cast ballots in federal elections. They’re road testing the idea of mandatory voting in a survey emailed to party members, … Continue Reading

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 2:29 pm


Home-made vibrating gloves train your finger muscles to touch type (video)

You know what can teach you Braille and piano a lot more quickly than traditional means? Vibrating gloves, or gloves with haptic feedback, if you will. In fact, IEEE Spectrum senior editor David Schneider was so intrigued by the idea, that he put...

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 10:32 pm

Ottawa Citizen

Teacher who had sexual relationship with student gets jail time

A former gym teacher from Quebec has been sentenced to 20 months in jail for carrying on a two-year sexual relationship with a high school student.

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 8:16 am

Government of Canada

Address by Minister Paradis at the Use of DFATD Emergency Relief Stocks In Response to Humanitarian Needs in Iraq

Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced the deployment of relief supplies from Canada's emergency stockpile to address the immediate needs of conflict-affected people in northern Iraq.

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 6:35 pm


Laughter Is OK Medicine, Unless It Kills You

Have a great Labor Day weekend, everybody! But be careful not to enjoy yourself too much. (This post on the dangers of laughter first appeared in December 2013.) Careful with the bedside banter, doctors. Before you put on your best Patch Adams impression, you might want to consider whether your attempts at humor will ease your patient's discomfort or give him a protruding hernia. That's the conclusion of a review paper in the Christmas issue of BMJ that asks the jolly question of whether l

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 9:42 am

Open Media

Motherboard: Experiencing civil war through virtual reality goggles

This virtual reality simulator is helping to bring the visceral, human effects of war to life for people far away from conflict.

Article by Chris Malmo for Motherboard

The situation for journalism in Syria is grim, and getting worse. With Bashar al-Assad on one side, and a handful of extremist rebel groups like the Islamic State on the other, journalist abductions and intimidation are common, with sometimes sickening results.

read more

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 8:07 pm

Mark Steyn

The Sandy Man

My weekly appearance on The Hugh Hewitt Show chanced this week to follow a rare appearance by Barack Obama at the White House. He happened to have a couple of hours between the golf game and the fundraiser, and so thought he might as well climb into the

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 10:00 am


Plight of dozens of U.N. peacekeepers in Syria remains uncertain

More than 100 peacekeepers are being held at an undisclosed location for their own protection

The post Plight of dozens of U.N. peacekeepers in Syria remains uncertain appeared first on

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 8:02 pm

Huffington Post

Ending Teachers' Dispute Lies In Hands Of B.C. Government

I am incensed at the insistence by B.C. School Trustees Association that "both sides" are equally to blame for this teachers' contract dispute. I am incensed at the massive disrespect I am experiencing at the hands of this government.

I am incensed that B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, the parent body that claims to represent 80 per cent of the voices of parents in this province, demonstrates support for the government's position.

The province is now asking for a "cooling off" period before it will agree to mediation. This comes after all of the following events:

  • The original B.C. Public School Employers' Association was replaced in August 2013 when they were close to a deal with the teachers

  • The government has now twice been found guilty of violating Charter Rights

  • Teachers have been sitting at the table for 18 months trying to get a deal with the government,

  • The government locked teachers out of their classrooms in June 2014 during lunch time, forcing them to eat their lunch on the sidewalks outside their schools,

  • The province imposed a 10 per cent punitive daily salary cut.

Now, the B.C. government is using social media ads that promote the Cisco corporation-inspired BC EDplan to persuade parents that the obstacle standing in the way of getting children back into the classroom are the teachers.

Since those who use the analogy of divorcing parents also claim that both sides are ignoring the children, let's examine that.

It is teachers like Carrie Gelson who have raised the issue of childhood poverty in this province.

It is teachers who spend an average of $1,200 of their after-tax income on classroom resources. It is teachers who often spend more time with their students than with their own family during the school year, giving up holidays and weekends to accompany students on field trips.

It is a growing number of teachers whose health is suffering due to the enormous load they continue to bear in an underfunded public education system.

And what has the government done "for the children?"

It has refused to subsidize daycare, the $40 bribe notwithstanding.

It has refused to do anything about the fact that B.C. has the highest childhood poverty rate in the country. In fact, a representative of the government, Marc Dalton, says that childhood poverty does not exist.

It is planning to not just cut but to completely eliminate designations for special needs in classrooms. If you don't have students with special needs, then clearly you don't need to provide support for students with autism, with learning disabilities; students who are gifted, or students who are deaf.

Teachers do not hold the purse strings to public funds in this province. Teachers cannot pass legislation. Teachers cannot ignore Supreme Court rulings without risking jail.

The government can and has done all these things.

It is the government who can end this dispute.

It is the government that can ensure that each student in a B.C. public school is funded at least to the Canadian average. It is the government that can stop spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money on litigation and instead invest that money into public education.

Doing these things would demonstrate that the government does indeed have the children's best interests in mind as far as public education goes.

But it would not be enough to indicate that the government was anywhere near considering helping the millions of children who go hungry each day and whose parents cannot afford daycare.

This government has many opportunities to do something "for the children."

If they need any ideas about which opportunities they should consider first, they can ask a teacher.

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 1:22 pm

CTV Atlantic

Shania Twain excitement mounting as long weekend approaches

Excitement is building on Prince Edward Island, as Islanders prepare to welcome Shania Twain.

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 6:00 pm

1000 Awesome Things

#430 Eating ridiculous things for breakfast

Cold pizza is just the beginning. Now, make no mistake here: breakfast has a lot going for it already. Yeah, we’re talking fresh brewed coffee, sizzling bacon, and hot, fluffy pancakes. Nothing wrong with waking up groggy and heating up … Continue reading

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 12:01 am

Sloppy seventh inning costs Buehrle and Jays in 6-3 loss to Yankees

TORONTO – Brandon Morrow will not welcome this assertion, but his manager believes he might be better off in the bullpen. The oft-injured starter has been on the disabled list since May 3, recovering from a torn tendon sheath in […]

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 10:49 pm


Toronto postcards from the 1980s

Toronto postcard 1980sToronto postcards from the 1980s are a bit more difficult to come by than you might think. While we're blessed with a huge collection of these bits of nostalgia from the 1970s, less have made their way online from the decade that followed. That said, it's irresistible for me to pull together than ones that are floating around out there because I just love Toronto of the 1980s. During this period, the city was at once modern and sparse, on the brink of the condo development boom that would so drastically transform its landscape in the decades that followed.

Even the skyline postcard below hints at what's to come, with the first appearance of condos at the foot of Bay St. All in all, however, these postcards flaunt a Toronto that's not quite grown up, even if it wants to flaunt its skyscrapers and tourist attractions. The city appears a bit simpler of a place, brimming with optimism. It's a lovely little nostalgia trip.

Toronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sToronto postcard 1980sSpecial thanks to Chuckman's Blog, from which many of these derive

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 1:15 am


Winnipeg-tested Ebola vaccine cured monkeys: Study

Winnipeg-tested Ebola vaccine cured monkeys

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 1:09 pm

Metro News

Backlog of bus maintanence results in suspended routes in Saskatoon

The City of Saskatoon is suspending a number of specialty routes due to a backlog of bus maintenance and says its inability to establish a new collective barraging agreement with the local transit union is a factor. A recent release … Continue Reading

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 10:22 pm

The Province

Retired Victoria car mechanic ‘still shaking’ after collecting $13.7 million cheque in Lotto 6/49 win (with video)

A retired Victoria car mechanic is “still shaking” with excitement after winning $13.7 million on a Lotto 6/49 ticket. Duarte Almeida, who has been playing the same numbers since 1986, waited more than three weeks before checking his ticket, even though he knew the winner was in Victoria.

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 8:26 pm

Rabble CA

Peoples' Social Forum: How Indigenous Rights and Ecological Justice lead us towards living well

read more

Read More

Posted on 28 August 2014 | 1:52 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)

Read More

Posted on 29 July 2014 | 6:20 pm


Bureaucrats Take the Fight for Waterfront LRT Straight to Higher Levels of Government

TTC CEO Andy Byford and city manager Joe Pennachetti are going over council's head and taking their proposal directly to the province and the feds.

Photo by wurdemann, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

TTC CEO Andy Byford and city manager Joe Pennachetti believe Toronto needs a new light-rail line on the waterfront—and in search of funding for the project, which would likely cost hundreds of millions, they’re turning to the provincial and federal governments, sidestepping the political wrangling of City Hall. The route they’re championing would involve the […]

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 2:10 pm

Quirks and Quarks

No New Podcast Until September. Visit Our Website For Downloadable Shows.

Podcast placement notice.

Read More

Posted on 25 June 2014 | 12:00 am

Sun Columnists

Tempest in a t-shirt

You know there is an old saying, better to let the world think you a fool than open your mouth and prove it.

Read More

Posted on 28 August 2014 | 10:37 pm

The Progressive Economics Forum

Is Canada becoming a ‘part-time’ nation – the value of LMI

Most of the jobs added to the Canadian labour market in 2014 were part-time – prompting headlines such as “Experts fret Canada becoming a nation of part-time workers“. Are we really a part-time nation? Well, 80% of workers in Canada are full-time, and a large majority of part-time workers choose to work part-time hours. So, […]

Read More

Posted on 22 August 2014 | 3:04 pm

Religious News Blog

Jonestown cult massacre remains found; more religion news

Jonestown Peoples Temple cult

Ashes of nine victims of the 1978 Jonestown murder & suicide massacre have been found among unclaimed containers in a Delaware funeral home.

The forced sale of an Australian doomsday cult's compound fell through as the property did not attract any bids.

The accountant in charge of the FLDS cult's property trust is in hot water over allegations that he patronized a prostitute.

Also, cult expert Rosanne Henry.

Full story: Jonestown cult massacre remains found; more religion news

Read More

Posted on 8 August 2014 | 7:19 am

Much Music

Someone Remixed The Anaconda Video With Farts Because Why Not

Whoever smelt it, dealt it. Okay forgive me for that lame joke. Just when you thought you’d grown up and matured from third grade humour someone goes and adds farts to Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda video. The heavily twerking video made the perfect victim for the fart remix. You can probably imagine how much fun this […]

Read More

Posted on 28 August 2014 | 5:34 pm


5 things your private school isn’t telling you

Is a private school education right for your family?

The post 5 things your private school isn’t telling you appeared first on MoneySense.

Read More

Posted on 28 August 2014 | 11:05 am


Winnipeg man accused of running over, killing wife

Man accused of running over, killing wife

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 9:30 am

National Post Blog

After a serious heart-to-heart, the Parti Québécois declares it’s pushing forward with the sovereignty dream

PQ president Stéphane Bédard announced the party, even without its new leader, will launch a new sovereignty promotion initiative in the next few days

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 2:34 pm

Wired Science

Absurd Creature of the Week: The 100-Foot Sea Critter That Deploys a Net of Death

These are the siphonophores, some 180 known species of gelatinous strings that can grow to 100 feet long, making them some of the longest critters on the planet. But instead of growing as a single body like virtually every other animal, siphonophores clone themselves thousands of times over into half a dozen different types of specialized cloned bodies, all strung together to work as a team---a very deadly team at that.

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 6:30 am

Eureka Science News

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices

Exciting new work by a Florida State University research team has led to a novel molecular system that can take your temperature, emit white light, and convert photon energy directly to mechanical motions.

read more

Read More

Posted on 28 August 2014 | 5:14 am

The Toronto Star Columnists

Shia cleric faces ‘crucifixion’ in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia

A charismatic ayatollah imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since the Arab Spring for speaking out against the kingdom’s ruling family faces a grisly death sentence when he appears in court Sunday in a case that could inflame sectarian tensions in the region.

Nimr Baqer Al-Nimr has been charged with “inciting terrorist offences” and “breaking allegiance to the king” through sermons on government corruption and its harsh treatment of political prisoners.

“Our wish is to overthrow all forms of injustice and despotism, to choose our rulers and for our children to live securely and safely, with freedom of sect and politics,” he said in July 2012, following opposition protests across the region.

In one sermon, he called on Saudi princes and princesses by name to stop “killing our sons” and urged Saudis to fight what he called the “illegitimate” royal families in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain — a crime that almost certainly would result in a death sentence in this secretive authoritarian state.

“What gives the House of Saud the power to inherit the throne?” he declared then. “The House of Saud and Khalifa (in Bahrain) are mere collaborators with and pawns of the British and their cohorts. It is our right, and the right of the Bahraini people, and all people everywhere, to choose our leaders and demand that rule by succession be done away with as it contradicts our religion.”

Al-Nimr reaffirmed his statements last Sunday during a court appearance in Riyadh. After watching video clips of selected sermons deemed offensive by the prosecution, he replied: “What I’ve heard is true . . . I don’t have a loyalty to the Saudi state. This is my personal view, and no one has the right to put me in court for my personal opinion.”

Al-Nimr was arrested after what police called a gun battlein July 2012 during which he was shot in the leg four times for allegedly resisting arrest. Photographs published by local media showed the ayatollah slumped in the back seat of a car wearing a white robe stained with blood.

But his relatives and followers deny police claims of rioting and violence, saying the protests were peaceful and that al-Nimr never refused arrest nor owned a gun.

At his first court hearing in March 2013, prosecutors suggested he receive the country’s harshest form of sentence as punishment for his crimes — “crucifixion” — where the decapitated body is publicly displayed. But the trial has been delayed several times, with the prosecution being asked several times to present further evidence.


Sunni-Shia split the Mideast's new great dividend

In 2011, Shia-Sunni schism explained from Lebanon to Bahrain: Siddiqui

What is the Islamic State and why?

Al-Nimr’s case puts the Al-Saud regime in a precarious position. If they choose to sentence him to death, they risk more protests taking place in the already restive Eastern Province where most of the country’s Shia minority and political opposition is based.

They also risk reinforcing the perspective of a sectarian war in the region. And with stern warnings not to execute Al-Nimr from Iraq’s most influential Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, as well as the Shia clergy in Iran and militant group Hezbollah, analysts say that it’s unlikely — though not entirely inconceivable — that a death sentence will be passed.

“Saudi Arabia is used to crushing dissidence violently,” says Catherine Shakdam, the Associate Director of the Beirut Centre for Middle East Studies. “This time Riyadh might have hit a brick wall. The fear barrier was broken a while back in the kingdom . . . Saudis have watched regimes fall and new ones rise in the region. They understand the power which lies with the people.”

Through Al-Nimr, “Saudi Arabia is condemning Shia Islam with a message which has been heard loud and clear,” she adds. “And as Hezbollah has warned, this could prompt unrest across the region as Shias will radicalize their positions and view Sunnis as a threat to their very existence. (Terrorist group) ISIS is not helping as it has targeted Shia Muslims in both Iraq and Syria.”

One likely scenario is that the judge will condemn the cleric to life imprisonment as a strategy to negotiate with later, he adds. In other words, if anyone does anything wrong in the Eastern Province, they can threaten to kill him.

Al-Nimr’s calls for reform are especially appealing to disaffected Saudi youth in the Eastern province, who suffer from decades of systematic discrimination in public education and government employment. A Human Rights Watch report last year found that Shia minorities do not receive equal treatment under the justice system, and rarely receive permission to build mosques or receive government funds for religious activities, unlike Sunni citizens.

One student, a close relative to Al-Nimr, likened him to Martin Luther King. “He would always encourage us to protest for our equal rights and freedoms — but to protest kindly and not ever with any sort of violence, much like when Martin Luther King encouraged blacks to protest for their freedom in America,” he says.

“Like Martin Luther King, he had a dream — to see all people treated equally regardless of race, religion, class, etc. We all desire to just have our freedom, our rights, and to live the same life as other people in the country.”

He recalls the last time he was allowed to visit the ayatollah for a few minutes in hospital after his arrest. “He gave me some advice I will never forget: “Always stand up for your rights, even if you are alone.”

Young people outside the Middle East are drawn to his message too. Zena Habiba, a British-Iraqi woman, started a Facebook group to campaign for his release last year in response to demand from his English-speaking followers. “I have no relation to Sheikh Al-Nimr but I was attracted to his personality because he seems to be so outspoken and fearless,” she says.

Ahmad Malik (also not his real name), a 29-year-old former political prisoner now based in the U.S., says if the ayatollah is executed the youth in the Eastern Province will fight back with any means they have.

“We will write articles and books about him. We will print his words and hang them on the wall. We will fill the media with his pictures. We will teach our kids about him. And we will never ever forget him.”

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 2:09 pm

Canadian Tech Blogger - MobileSyrup

OnePlus transitioning its invite system to pre-orders in October

OnePlus has had the phone of the summer, and the marketing disaster of the year. The Chinese OEM did its best to promote its One...

Read More

Posted on 29 August 2014 | 8:35 pm

The Daily Galaxy

Vast Streams of Gravel Detected in Orion Molecular Cloud -- "A Long and Winding Road in Space Essential for Planet Formation"

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered that filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula may be brimming with pebble-size particles -- planetary building blocks 100 to 1,000 times larger than the dust...

Read More

Posted on 28 August 2014 | 12:27 pm

The Movie Blog

Trailer: Innocence

    SYNOPSIS: Haunted by the death and dreams of her beloved mother in a Montauk surfing accident, 16 year old Beckett and her father, novelist Miles Warner, move to Manhattan...

Read More

Posted on 27 August 2014 | 6:56 pm


The mind of Michio Kaku

What is a physicist doing weighing in on the mysteries of the mind? Tim Dean went to find out.

The post The mind of Michio Kaku appeared first on Cosmos Magazine.

Read More

Posted on 21 July 2014 | 9:57 pm