Life as a Human

The Symmetry Equation

Symmetry is integral to the way life works. It signifies a balanced and harmonious beauty of form, not a perfect mirror image, but orderliness in the design and purpose of all living things.

The Symmetry Equation is a post from: LIFE AS A HUMAN

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Posted on 1 September 2014 | 7:00 am

CTV News

U.S. military targets Islamic extremists in Somalia

The Pentagon says U.S. military forces have targeted the Islamic extremist al-Shabab network in an operation in Somalia.

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Posted on 1 September 2014 | 10:35 pm

Vancouver Sun

Do leaked nude pics of celebrities cross the internet’s own line?

Hundreds of nude photos of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton have been leaked. Why the online reaction should give you hope.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 7:53 am


CEO resigns after alleged dog abuse in B.C.

VANCOUVER – A man alleged to have abused a dog while being video taped in a Vancouver hotel elevator has resigned from his post as CEO of a high-profile catering company. In a news release, Centerplate Inc. says Desmond Hague’s … Continue Reading

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 8:36 pm


Sony's next smartphone-mounted camera will let you change lenses

If you're looking to be the king of Instagram, Sony's about to give you the ultimate smartphone weapon, judging by a leak from Xperia Blog. The site posted several purported images of the Sony ILCE-QX1, a lens camera system that'd work with...

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 7:55 am

Ottawa Citizen

Tanker truck overturns near the Queensway, spilling furnace oil

A McEwen Fuels tanker carrying furnace oil crashed down a slope at least 30 metres after going off the road on Highway 416 near the Queensway late Sunday afternoon.

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Posted on 1 September 2014 | 7:22 pm

Government of Canada

Canada's Land Task Force Participates in Multinational Exercise with NATO Allies

Today approximately 100 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) soldiers are participating in Exercise STEADFAST JAVELIN II in Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada's commitment to working with our NATO Allies to promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 5:49 pm


For some reason the "don't chew your food" diet never really took off...

There have been loads of strange diet fads over the years, some with more scientific support than others. But in terms of crazy, the "diet" suggested by this study from 1986 takes the cake! Basically, the researchers had volunteers eat the same meal twice, once with chewing and once without. They then tested their blood sugar. Turns out that the blood sugar levels were more stable when the subjects swallowed the food without chewing, effectively turning high glycemic foods into lower glycemi

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Posted on 1 September 2014 | 7:00 am

Open Media

Financial Post: Netflix is rewriting the rules for Canadian cable giants

As Netflix struggles with telecom giants in the U.S., see how they're revolutionizing the cable industry in Canada.

Article by John Greenwood for the Financial Post

Time was, Canada’s broadcast regulator had a commanding say in what Canadians could and couldn’t watch on TV.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 8:06 pm

Mark Steyn

The Day After Labor

To all our American readers, Happy Labor Day! And to all our Canadian readers, Happy Labour Day! That's what the day used to be about: putting the "u" in Labor. You can't spell labour without you, and without you and your labour this planet would be a

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Posted on 1 September 2014 | 10:00 am


Okay, Canada: It’s time for the hard truth about Tim Hortons

Timmy's, a national institution? Scott Feschuk pours cold coffee on that notion

The post Okay, Canada: It’s time for the hard truth about Tim Hortons appeared first on

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 8:37 pm

Huffington Post

There Are Way More B.C. Students With Special Needs Than You Think

There was an article published in the Vancouver Sun, detailing the odyssey of B.C. mother and teacher Lori Drysdale's search for services for her son, who has non verbal learning disabilities. The article was largely accurate, but there is a serious discussion underlying Drysdale's story that needs to be addressed.

B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender has decided that because about 10 per cent of B.C. students were identified as having special needs last year, only 10 per cent of students in B.C. schools have special needs. But in fact, the number is a great deal higher that.

First, waiting lists to get formally identified are very long. In one inner city school I worked at, we accessed about three to five assessments per year. By the end of September, the children on the "urgent" list numbered about 25. As a result, at best, in any given year, one-fifth of students who urgently needed assessment would receive it.

Many students languished on these lists throughout their elementary school careers, and some never received assessment. Assessment is necessary for a child to be "identified" or "designated" and thereby funded. So children who had an urgent need for funding did not even get diagnosed, never mind provided the services they deserved.

Second, because teachers know about this, they realize that only children with the most dire needs will be assessed. There is no point at all in putting a child on the assessment list if his need is "only" severe. He won't receive assessment. The teacher, therefore, will not receive the information about how his brain works and could not tailor instruction to his needs. The parents will not be told what, exactly, is making things hard for their child. And the child himself will often believe that his problem is simply that he is "stupid," a notion regularly reinforced by his peers.

The teachers, of course, will move heaven and earth to help the child anyway. But without funding, without educational assistants and with massive classes, the unidentified child will often fall into the abyss of not really understanding, trying to cope, and becoming increasingly frustrated and angry.

So Lori Drysdale, who as a teacher likely knew about the trajectory our government has chosen for our children with learning disabilities, decided to go the private school route. So did I, with my daughter who has the same diagnosis. Drysdale gave up her house to make that happen. I gave up an extremely good job to make that happen. For Drysdale, it has helped her son, but for my child, it did not. Private school may help some, but it most definitely is not the answer for all, or even most children with learning disabilities.

Fassbender, who is lamentably unfamiliar with the issues in his education portfolio, and woefully uneducated in how to assess the literature on the topic, needs to understand that 10 per cent doesn't begin to touch the students who need special educational intervention.

What is sad is that there are reasonable ways to address these needs, and we've known about many of them for my entire 35 year career as a special educator; but until people like Fassbender decide to ask those who know what they're doing, without a funding agenda, the conversation about genuinely positive educational reform will never happen. So in the meantime, we fight our contract battles to try to assuage the terrible needs that, daily, we see unmet.

The true miracle of learning disabilities is the astonishing number of children who do make it through to become functional citizens. They cope, and some thrive, but the wounds create scars that never disappear.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 7:00 pm

CTV Atlantic

New Democrats call on director of public prosecutions to review Duffy case

The NDP is asking Canada's director of public prosecutions to look at the evidence collected by the RCMP in the Mike Duffy case to determine if charges should be laid against other people as well.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 1:23 pm

1000 Awesome Things

#428 Seeing your reflection in a store front window and liking what you see

Thanks, surprise full-length mirror. Without stopping our struts we’re able to sneak secret glances in your silvery buildings, glossy storefronts, or silent lakes. We stare superfast so strangers don’t think we’re mistaking the sidewalk for a runway. Of course, we … Continue reading

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 12:01 am

Canadian researchers track ‘Angelina effect’ on cancer gene screening

TORONTO — It’s being called “the Angelina effect.” Angelina Jolie’s stunning revelation she had a preventative double mastectomy due to a genetic cancer risk has doubled the number of high risk women considering genetic testing to see if they carry certain […]

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 8:06 pm


Today in Toronto: Why Can't Minimal, Zeus, I didn't retire, I surrendered, Almost Famous

today in TorontoToday in Toronto you probably want to take it easy, whether you're sore from moving boxes or hammock disasters. If it's the latter I have no sympathy, but either way a couple of art shows and a free outdoor film screening await you. June Records' secret performer turned out to be a free backyard show with Toronto band-about-town Zeus via Arts & Crafts, which is more exciting than Brendan Canning I suppose. 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 calendar or contact us directly.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 1:02 am


Top 12 tips for packing the perfect suitcase

Top 12 tips for packing

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 8:00 pm

Metro News

350 more troops assigned to US Embassy in Baghdad

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has approved assigning 350 additional troops to protect the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and its support facilities. The White House says in a statement that the State Department had asked for the additional military personnel … Continue Reading

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 9:12 pm

The Province

ISIS releases video purportedly showing execution of American journalist Steven Sotloff

The terrorist group ISIS released video that purportedly shows the execution of American journalist Steven Sotloff, according to the SITE Intel Group.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 4:19 pm

Rabble CA

The Canada Revenue Agency doubles down

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Posted on 1 September 2014 | 8:23 pm

Zoom It

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

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

8 Zoom(s)

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Posted on 29 July 2014 | 6:20 pm


Extra, Extra: Superman Coins, Voters’ Lists, and Recreation Registration

Photo by asianz, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not to miss. Last year, the Royal Canadian Mint introduced a seven-coin Superman series, which then proceeded to sell out. Now the mint has created four new collector coins featuring some of the most iconic Superman comic book covers. The […]

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 5:00 pm

Quirks and Quarks

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

Podcast placement notice.

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Posted on 25 June 2014 | 12:00 am

Sun Columnists

Obama keeps his eye on the ball

It’s been clear for months that President Barack Obama is already in retirement mode.

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Posted on 1 September 2014 | 10:23 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, […]

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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

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Posted on 8 August 2014 | 7:19 am

Much Music

Adele Gives Us New Ugly-Crying Material With Two Leaked ’21′ Tracks

Digital Spy has posted two unreleased tracks reportedly made during the recording of Adele’s massive sophomore album 21. The songs were allegedly recorded while Adele was working with producer Fraser T. Smith on her 2011 record, which went on to win a Grammy and Brit Award for Album of the Year. Never Gonna Leave You […]

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Posted on 1 September 2014 | 9:41 pm


First steps toward a million-dollar portfolio

Building a million-dollar portfolio to retire with starts with a commitment to save regularly

The post First steps toward a million-dollar portfolio appeared first on MoneySense.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 11:08 am


Teen forced to remove makeup sues DMV

Teen forced to remove makeup sues DMV

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 4:48 pm

National Post Blog

‘I fear things are reverting’: War veteran’s memoir laments loss of his generation’s dream

‘I am just so exuberant,’ Harry Smith says, referring to his discovery as a searing social critic, who also happens to be a 91-year-old Ontario pensioner

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 7:52 pm

Wired Science

How Movies Trick Your Brain Into Empathizing With Characters

There’s a scene near the end of Black Swan, where Nina finally loses her grip on reality. And when people watch it, their brain activity bears some resemblance to a pattern that’s been observed in people with schizophrenia, said Talma Hendler, a neuroscientist at Tel Aviv University in Israel, said at a recent event here sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 6:30 am

Eureka Science News

Batteryless cardiac pacemaker is based on automatic wristwatch

A new batteryless cardiac pacemaker based on an automatic wristwatch and powered by heart motion was presented at ESC Congress 2014 today by Adrian Zurbuchen from Switzerland. The prototype device does not require battery replacement.

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 8:05 am

The Toronto Star Columnists

Some investors in North York condo scam to get cash back

Some investors in the failed North York condo deal that saw a Toronto lawyer suspended from her practice and charged with 75 counts of fraud after $14.9 million disappeared will be able to recoup their money, a judge ruled Tuesday.

About $9 million — a total separate from the $14.9 million — is being held in trust by Vaughan-based Brattys LLP and will soon be expedited to those who made condo purchases, the law firm says.

But others — including one family who say they paid nearly $650,000 for five commercial units — have faint hope of recovering funds.

A portion of the missing millions was initially held by one of the GTA’s biggest real estate law firms before it was transferred to lawyer Meerai Cho, according to victims of the alleged fraud and a lawyer representing one of the families.

Some investors claim the transfer was made without their authorization.

Toronto police say Cho’s accounts were empty. She filed for bankruptcy in August.

Those clients whose money was held by Brattys will eventually get “100 cents on the dollar back,” said Craig Hill, a lawyer representing the company that guaranteed insurance on residential deposits for the condo project. He estimates 160 residential buyers paid their deposits to Brattys.

According to Betty Li, a spokesperson for some of the fraud victims, Brattys also held commercial deposits, worth an estimated $1.6 million, that were transferred to Cho. That money and millions more are now gone and Cho declared bankruptcy in August.

The firm said in a statement last week it would be inappropriate to comment on the specifics of the case due to an ongoing police investigation.

Police say they don’t know where the money is, but if it has been removed from Canada, recovering it would be “very difficult.”

The ongoing search for the funds began with investors who collectively paid millions for residential and commercial units to be built on a Yonge and Finch property by developer Centrust Group Inc.

The Law Society of Upper Canada suspended Cho last week, on claims that she “mishandled and lost” $14.9 million in deposits held in trust for the Centrium project, whose director Yo Sup (Joseph) Lee, has vanished.

The deposits held by Cho are likely gone for good, police say. Some losses may be covered by warranty corporation Tarion, which pays $20,000 per unit to residential condo buyers who lose deposits on new units.

In 2010, Li says she made a deposit of $48,160 to Brattys for a second-floor commercial unit. She says she was surprised to receive a letter, obtained by the Star, in May 2011 saying the money was being held in trust by Cho at the Korea Exchange Bank of Canada.

“It was all transferred to Meerai Cho without notice,” alleged Li, who received a short reply when she tried to track down her own money.

“We do not have these deposits any more. Another lawyer, copied hereto, has these deposits. Her name is Meerai Cho,” Brattys partner Anthony Romanelli wrote to Li, on May 30 of this year, in an email obtained by the Star.

Toronto lawyer and condo law expert Audrey Loeb of Miller Thomson LLP, who is not affiliated with the case, says that kind of transfer is “questionable.”

“A careful reading of the legislation would have made them hesitate,” she said.

Cho’s lawyer, William Trudell, has said little about the case, other than that “the true story is not out.” When asked about Cho’s real estate experience, he said his client “is certainly not sophisticated in this type of work.”

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 8:00 pm

Canadian Tech Blogger - MobileSyrup

Sony rumoured to announce budget Xperia E3 with Snapdragon 400 tomorrow

We’ve been hearing about the three devices Sony has planned for IFA for several weeks and Sony released a shadowy image of just three devices last week. However, it seems...

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 8:05 pm

The Daily Galaxy

Origins of DNA --Shows How Life Could Have Evolved on Early Earth or Alien Planets

Scientists continue to investigate the development of self-replicating, intricate sets of chemistry — in other words, life — from the chemical compounds thought available on early Earth. Out of this mixture of prebiotic chemicals, two nucleic acids — RNA and...

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Posted on 2 September 2014 | 10:48 am

The Movie Blog

Inside look at Comic Con Chicago

This past weekend The Wizard World Chicago Comic Con took place.  I was fortunate to be on hand and cover the four day weekend for The Movie Blog. Living minutes...

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Posted on 30 August 2014 | 7:43 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.

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Posted on 21 July 2014 | 9:57 pm