Monkeys and Mountains

Exploring the Western Coast of Finland #OutdoorsFinland

The original can be found here: Exploring the Western Coast of Finland #OutdoorsFinland. Please read the original.

I'll be exploring the west coast of Finland and can't wait to visit Vaasa, Björköby, Kalajoki and Liminka Bay - now I just have to figure out how to pronounce them!

Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night

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Posted on 26 August 2014 | 3:53 pm

Indian Country

Mallott Wins Democratic Nomination for Alaska Governor

One hour after polls closed on Election Day, August 19, Byron Mallott was returning home to Juneau from Sitka, where h...

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Posted on 26 August 2014 | 12:00 am


Wild Play aerial adventures in Maple Ridge

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 12:25 am

List Verse

10 Weirdest Facts About Captain America

Due to the recent spate of blockbuster films featuring the superhero, it seems like the entire world knows about Captain America. However, comic veterans know there are a lot of strange stories about the patriotic Avenger that will never make it to the silver screen. 10He Doesn’t Know What Drugs Are For characters as old […]

The post 10 Weirdest Facts About Captain America appeared first on Listverse.

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 3:00 am

The Fur Files

Dangerous Things People Should Probably Avoid

My husband is a smart guy. He knows a lot about a lot of things. I would consider him to be one of those people who is both life smart AND book smart AND good at fixing washing machines. (Ours keeps breaking and breaking and breaking – I’m about to go all “I’m sending a […]

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Posted on 11 April 2014 | 10:13 am

The Gate

Food trucks deliver sweet and savoury treats to the CNE

The Canadian National Exhibition is all about food trucks this weekend, as some of the city's best mobile purveyors or great eats come together in one place from August 22 to 24, just beyond the Princes' Gates on the Exhibition grounds.

The post Food trucks deliver sweet and savoury treats to the CNE appeared first on The GATE.

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Posted on 23 August 2014 | 4:00 pm


Laying the path to defeat Harper in 2015

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 4:01 pm

This hungry Kitten

Easy Chicken Shawarma Kebobs

My last post was almost a month ago! Life gets busy sometimes and finding moments to sit and reflect don’t come around often enough. I have been on a journey to better health, and it’s been wonderful! I think we’ve … Continue reading

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Posted on 10 July 2014 | 11:45 am

The cat from Hell

Goodbye Sparkle!

Mommy has been furry busy at work. Mes gots a award to announce and me is weeks late in having a pawty for my blogoversary… Mommy has to works this weekend too, but when wes readed about Sparkle, Wes had to send our condolences. Sparkle is a STAR! Sparkle is one of the smartest lady […]

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Posted on 22 August 2014 | 8:33 pm

The Future Soon

Octopus killing a seagull - THE KRAKEN WAKES

Octopus killing a seagull off Ogden Point breakwater

I love octopuses. Smart, powerful, adaptive, and deadly.

These are the first ever photos of a Giant Pacific Octopus catching and killing a Glaucous-winged seagull.

And they provide two important lessons: One, always carry a camera with you because you may happen upon a scientifically important event. And two, keep an eye out for the unusual.

I loved finding and booking this story for my local CBC morning show, On The Island. 

Take a listen to Ginger Morneau, the woman who took these photos.
Here she is speaking with CBC On The Island host, Gregor Craigie.

And this is where I found this story.

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Posted on 3 May 2012 | 2:21 pm

Urban Toronto

Photo of the Day: Bridgepoint


Just east of the Don River, Bridgepoint Hospital provides a major landmark for commuters travelling on the Don Valley Parkway as well as the Bayview Extension. In today's Photo of the Day, submitted to the UrbanToronto Flickr Pool by Frank Lemire, the hospital is surrounded by what looks like snow, but is in fact green grass and foliage. This dramatic effect is achieved by modifying a DSLR camera with the removal of the built-in infrared blocking filter. 

Photo of the Day, BridgepointInfrared shot of Bridgepoint Hospital and the Don River, image by Frank Lemire

Want to see your work featured as Photo of the Day? Head over to the City Photos & Videos section of the Forum, or submit your images to the new and improved UrbanToronto Flickr Pool for your chance to be featured on our Front Page!

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 12:00 am

The Greater Fool

Breach of trust

This week Toronto cops arrested Meerai Cho and charged her with a slew of bad things, like defrauding dozens and dozens of families who trusted her. The 63-year-old was the ‘go-to’ solicitor for a large part of the city’s bustling Korean community, and now needs to explain her part in the loss of at least […]

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Posted on 26 August 2014 | 4:45 pm

Hiking With Barry!

Riders of Rohan – Canmore – Hiking Alberta

On a summer weekend afternoon, it is likely the Grassi Lakes parking area will be very busy.  This hot Sunday afternoon in August is no exception.  Following a pleasant, gentle hike along Rundle Canal, I am looking forward to an aggressive climb on Riders … Continue reading

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Posted on 25 August 2014 | 1:30 pm

Check Out These Air Guitar-Playing Weirdos

If you're the type of person who will never be able to play an actual instrument using your own two hands, then perhaps air guitar, a peculiar craft for the musically inept, is more up your alley. And even though there isn't any kind of technical skillset required to get into the air guitar circuit, there's still some glory to be earned. Enter the The World Air Guitar Championships, the planet's preeminent contest for weirdoes who enjoy showing off their imaginary musical talent. 

The contest is in its 19th year, and features a predictable cavalcade of oddball contestants, including a 71-year-old rockabilly with Elvis leanings named Bob Wagner, a shameless, fur-coat wearing, Canadian cowboy hat-rockin’ contestant named Thrustin’ Beaver, and a former gymnast named “The Dominator” who used backflips to mask his inability to fake shred. We sent a photographer to document the proceedings and he came back with images that are bizarre, hilarious, and more than a little baffling. We hope you enjoy them.

The finals air on August 29th at noon. You can livestream it here.

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 4:48 pm

Michael Geist

BC Court Rules on Signing Away Your Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

Canadian privacy law has long been reliant on the principle of "reasonable expectation of privacy."  The principle is particularly important with respect to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as the Supreme Court of Canada has held that the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is grounded in a reasonable expectation of privacy in a free and democratic society.

The reasonable expectation of privacy standard provides a useful starting point for analysis, but the danger is that privacy rights can seemingly be lost with little more than a contractual provision indicating that the user has no privacy. Indeed, if privacy rights can disappear based on a sentence in a contract that few take the time to read (much less assess whether they are comfortable with), those rights stand on very shaky ground.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the limits of the reasonable expectation of privacy standard emerged in a recent British Columbia Court of Appeal case involving the search of a courier package that contained illegal drugs. The court rejected claims of an illegal search, concluding that the defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy despite the fact that he had no commercial relationship with the courier company and had never agreed to, or even viewed, the terms of the contract.

The post BC Court Rules on Signing Away Your Reasonable Expectation of Privacy appeared first on Michael Geist.

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 10:01 am

CP Rail suspends Arbutus Corridor garden demolitions for talks with city

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 12:23 pm

A View from the Edge

Merry Christmas!

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you
for following my blog. I have been blogging since 2005; 3 years on 
another site and 5 1/2 years on this site. I started the blog mainly as a
diary and for my friends and family to keep track of our doings and 
whereabouts when we decided to hit the road in our RV. We got off the
road in April 2012. I have decided to step away from blogging for awhile, if not
permanently. I have many ideas in my head for books, and, in fact, have started
a few of them! I am hoping to spend more time this new year on writing. I
might check in from time-to-time on your blogs; may not comment, but just to
see how you all are doing. I've made some good friends over the years through
blogging, and I know that we will stay in touch.

Have a WONDERFUL Christmas and a HAPPY and HEALTHY
New Year!

Love, Pat

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Posted on 22 December 2013 | 9:24 am

Cottage Country Reflections

Book review: COPYCAT by David Yow

It's a lovely book for a gift for a cat lover. The visual puns are merciless. David Yow's press photo (see below) is a bit scary, kind of reminds me of the debate around Trivago Guy (Tim Williams), who people claim looks like a middle-aged ruffian in the ad. #TrivagoGuy was roughly bearded (for the concurrent gig he was in), and the shoot had a dresser with several wardrobe changes, but the

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 7:17 am

Steve Paikin

Steve Paikin: The Challenge of Writing About Dalton McGuinty

Twice last week, I wrote blogposts about Ontario's 24th premier, Dalton McGuinty, and the changes that have happened in his life since he left politics in January 2013. 

The first was about his new job at Desire2Learn, an education software manufacturer, and the second was about the always difficult transition from first minister, constantly living life at 100 kilometres per hour, to private citizen when the phone stops ringing.

Both posts were written with an eye to focusing on what's new in McGuinty's life: the job and the transition. Yes, references were made to the controversial circumstances under which he left politics (decisions to cancel gas plants, prorogue the legislature, etc.). But clearly the focus was on what was new.

As with all posts I write, the reaction on our website, on Facebook, and on Twitter was decidedly mixed. Some comments were positive, such as this one from Andrew Cameron:

Today's article and yesterday's too, were both excellent. For those fascinated by the subject matter of the exciting political pace while elected, and the stories of comedowns and questioning when the political careers end, read "the Life" and "the Dark Side". Both are by Steve Paikin.

But more were negative, such as this one from David Patrick O'Connor:

The reason TVO may seem soft on McGuinty and the Liberals should be rather obvious. Mr. Paikin's livelihood and TVO's very existence rely on the continued financial support of the Ontario Provincial Government acting on behalf of the taxpayers.

Or this one on our website from someone named Stu, who referenced a quote that McGuinty loved dealing with tough issues:

I wanted every tough issue on my desk. Except Caledonia. I'll pass on that one. Oh and the debt - leave that one for the next Premier to deal with. Oops - sorry, rural Ontario, don't want any of their issues either. He does deserve credit for some things, but the blemishes on his record are tough to ignore....This two-part blog post comes across as though you are his PR rep.

Or these comments from Twitter:

  • "Mr. McGuinty will be known as the Ontario premier who forced Ontario into being bankrupt. $162 Billion in increased debt over 10 years. Disgraceful."
  • "i wonder if he has any clue about how much damage he did?"
  • "just seeing that man's name makes my blood boil. He sacrificed us to grab power."

This kind of feedback raises some good and important issues for people who do what I do. Part of my responsibilities involve keeping an eye, not just on the day-to-day developments at Queen's Park, but also on the larger, thematic stories at play. Having written a few books about premiers, how they make decisions, and how they transition into private life, I am interested in that aspect of Dalton McGuinty's post-political life, and I suspect some of you are too.

So when McGuinty made his first public appearance in a year on Budget Day back in July, I wrote about that in the context of his "exodus" from Harvard being over, and his re-integration into Ontario beginning.

Similarly, when I heard that McGuinty had taken on the "special advisor" role at Desire2Learn, and was going through the emotional transition from powerful politician to ex-politician, I wanted to write about that too for the same reason.

But there's one thing you learn when you try to write new things about old politicians -- you'll make a lot of people angry, because they simply haven't moved on yet. Many are still furious with Ontario's 24th premier over decisions about windmills in rural Ontario, about cancelling gas plants in the GTA, about eHealth, ORNGE, Caledonia, and the list goes on.

It raises an interesting issue. While I have written numerous blogposts in the past that were very critical of the way McGuinty handled those files on his desk (examples here, here and here), at what point does an ex-politician earn the right not to have every bit of malfeasance be the focus of an article going forward? When can we write a story about McGuinty without referring to gas plants or proroguing Parliament in the first paragraph?

I don't know the answer to this question but I do know that for many Ontarians, the answer is: never. Bob Rae hasn't been Premier of Ontario for almost 20 years. And yet you'll still find political adversaries and journalists who can't help but refer to every alleged sin he made while in office every time they mention the man. Same for Mike Harris, who hasn't been premier for more than a decade, and yet can still provoke the blood to boil. He may have left politics in 2002, but that didn't stop Kathleen Wynne from frequently invoking his name in a negative fashion during the last election campaign. Fully eight years after Harris' departure from office, we did a week-long, five-part interview series with him on the subject of leadership. I thought the insights were fascinating from one of the very few people to occupy the premier's chair. And yet, many people excoriated us with comments along the lines of "how dare you put him back on the air."

Bill Davis seems to avoid mostly negative references these days. But he's been out of public life for almost thirty years. Is that how long it'll take before the Twitterverse can refer to McGuinty with a little more calm?

So, as always, I look to you, readers and viewers, for advice. At what point can we refer to what's new in Dalton McGuinty's life without constantly focusing on his past mistakes? Will I be able to write about his further transitioning from public to private life without using the words "gas plants" in the opening paragraph? When does the statue of limitation run out on a politician's bad decisions, thereby allowing us to focus on other things if we want to?

Read all of Steve Paikin's articles about Ontario politics. 

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Posted on 25 August 2014 | 6:37 am

Weighty Matters

Guest Post: The Fitness-Industrial-Complex is Deceiving You!

A short while ago science journalist Patrick Mustain wrote to me detailing a new initiative of his called New Body Ethic. After taking some time to look at it, I asked Patrick if he'd be willing to write a guest post to introduce this worthy initiative to Weighty Matters readers. If your job involves working with clients to help improve their health, fitness, or lifestyle, please take a moment to read through and then consider signing up.

The Fitness-Industrial-Complex Is Deceiving You.
A Group Of Fitness Professionals Is Setting Out To Change That.
Patrick Mustain, MPH, MA

Chances are, at some point in the last few days, you have been lied to about health. It’s a safe bet that some magazine or TV show has told you (yes, you!) that you can lose weight easily and quickly. This blatant lie is constantly being debunked by health and obesity experts, yet it persists, and people seem to continue to believe it.

More insidious, perhaps, is a not-so-obvious deception that permeates the language from the fitness industry--that dieting and exercise are things that you should be doing in the first place, and that failure to do either stems from a lack of personal responsibility, or some moral deficit.

Let’s put this notion to rest. Dieting and exercise are crazy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people who fail to do either, and the sooner we can all acknowledge this, the happier and healthier we’ll all be.

For most of the history of life, the most important thing, for most people, was obtaining and conserving energy from food. Feeling guilty about eating food, and burning energy just for the sake of burning energy would have made no sense to our ancestors.

Of course, 10,000 years ago, we didn’t have cars, escalators, and office jobs. We didn’t drink refined sugar with every meal, we didn’t eat dessert every day, we didn’t shape our children’s food preferences with billions of dollars in marketing, and we didn’t have an industrialized food system dominated by hyper-palatable, energy-dense, nutritionally devoid, highly-processed products.

Clearly things are quite different now than they were 10,000 years ago, and in lots of good ways--we don’t have to chase down and kill our food. Thankfully, most of us will not be chased down and become meals ourselves. And we have plumbing. But, along with these advances, we’ve inherited a growing burden of obesity and chronic disease, soon to overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death worldwide.

Enter the fitness industry.

As obesity and its associated health problems have reached global pandemic levels, the fitness industry has flourished. According to, the number of fitness centers in the U.S. went from roughly 17,000 in 2000 to almost 30,000 by 2008, and this growth is showing no signs of slowing down. A cursory glance at fitness websites, reality shows, magazines, gym literature, et cetera will tell us that the fitness industry is here to save us from being fat.

But being fat is not something that we need to be saved from. What we need to be saved from is an environment unlike anything any living thing has experienced in 4 billion years of evolution. A report from the Lancet concluded:
Obesity is the result of people responding normally to the obesogenic environment they find themselves in.
Let me repeat: responding normally.

It is no surprise that we hear very little from the fitness industry about fostering an environment that prevents weight gain. Weight gain is the fitness industry’s bread and butter, so of course the focus is going to be on the quick fixes, the anecdotes about extreme weight loss “successes,” and the false sense of ease and speed—very little that actually has a meaningful impact on health. All these things keep people striving for that unattainable goal, and coming back for that next issue of Shape, the next insanity workout, and the next belly-fat-busting miracle supplement. But the brilliant thing about all these products is that when they don’t work, it’s because you didn’t work hard enough to make them work. You failed at the diet. You didn’t exercise quite enough.

There are many health and fitness professionals out there who want to change this culture of fitness. They understand that health and wellness and come from a lifelong process of learning how to take care of one’s body, for the long-term, not the quick fix. They seek to understand the environmental and cultural contexts in which we make our health decisions. They avoid focusing mostly on aesthetic outcomes. Rather, they try to help their clients learn to appreciate their bodies the way they are in the moment, but also to realize the wonderful potential each body holds for overcoming challenges, adapting, and learning new skills and movements.

At New Body Ethic, we’re bringing these health and fitness professionals together to speak with a unified voice. We’ve had personal trainers, fitness instructors, physicians, physical therapists, gym owners, dieticians, health writers and more, from all over the world, sign our pledge to help make the culture of fitness more responsible, inclusive, and hype-free—to make fitness work for everyone.

Are you one of these professionals? Do you know one? If so, please visit, and spread the word. You can follow along on our blog, or keep up with us on social media. We’re here to kill diet and exercise with good food and natural movement. We hope you’ll join us.

Patrick Mustain, MPH, MA, studied kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, public health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and medical and science journalism at the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is currently a Communications Manager at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, and a writer and multimedia producer for Scientific American’s Food Matters blog.

Patrick started his personal training and fitness career after catching the fitness bug in the U.S. Navy. He spent eleven years asking the question: “How can we make it easier for all people to live healthier lives?” This is the best answer he’s come up with so far. He likes climbing on things, running around outside, and sandwiches.

You can see Patrick’s writing and multimedia work at his website,, and you can follow him on twitter @patrickmustain.

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 6:56 am

Margaret Wente

Who’s afraid of Catholic schooling?

In Ontario, the fight has turned into a crusade, but the public system would be worse off without competition

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Posted on 16 August 2014 | 8:00 am

Lauren Out Loud

#HyundaiDriveSquad: That one time I RODE AN ELEPHANT at African Lion Safari

    Hay kids, hay! Remember that one time I RODE ON A FREAKING ELEPHANT? No? That’s okay. I haven’t even told you about it yet, bwahaha. I’m about to though, so buckle on innnnn (like I did, that one time I rode on an elephant!)     Yeah, that’s an ele-selfie. Okay, so a […]

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Posted on 22 July 2014 | 1:43 am

Rants n Rascals

Transformer Costumes have landed at Costume Supercenter

It’s hard to believe September is almost here, and soon October which means Halloween and Thanksgiving. Each year we begin to think about Halloween around this time. My 8-year-old absolutely loves dressing up in different costumes to go trick-or-treating or just for fun to play make-believe. His latest craze caused by the newest Transformers movie : […]

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 2:17 am

Bow. James Bow

To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughters...


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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 12:24 pm

A Toronto Blog

Love Locks #DistilleryLove

'My heart is, and always will be, yours' is the motto behind the gathering of locks in the Historic Distillery District. Couples in love can leave a padlock on the metal heart and LOVE sign at the corner of Pure Spirits Mews and Tank House Lane.
The first time I heard about love-locks was in 2010 when some bridges in Paris were in danger of collapse because so many locks had been left on the structures. In fact one section of a bridge parapet, weighed down by the locks, did fall down.
Dating back a hundred years, the installations have been found all over the world and signify an unbreakable love. You are supposed to initial the lock, lock it on the structure, throw away the key and then share the hashtag #DistilleryLove. Locks can be purchased in several stores in the Distillery District.

If you have no one else you can put the monster spider's initials on the lock

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 7:00 am

Robyn Urbak on Campus

Do students have any sense of the true cost of a degree?

Online poll for CIBC suggests students often underestimate the costs of schooling

The post Do students have any sense of the true cost of a degree? appeared first on

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Posted on 25 August 2014 | 6:43 am

Postcards From the Mothership

Photo of the day: Silly string

Summertime shenanigans in the back yard! I’ve got mixed feelings about the end of summer, but love that I get to spend this last week of it in the sunshine with my boys. Related posts (automatically generated):This week in pictures: (Almost) an entire week of puppy Brothers in the school yard This week in pictures: [...] Related posts (automatically generated):
  1. This week in pictures: (Almost) an entire week of puppy
  2. Brothers in the school yard
  3. This week in pictures: Celebrating the last week of summer

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 9:20 am

David Akins on the Hill

Let the e-mail inboxes overfloweth with fundraising pitches from Ottawa’s finest!

Sent out within an hour of each other this evening – Arriving first, from the federal Liberals — – and then minutes later from the Conservatives, over the name of Joe Oliver, the finance minister who is the MP for Eglinton Lawrence: And, even though we’re more than year away from the 2015 federal election […]

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 9:02 pm

Dutch Blitz

Wedding Bells

My sister Dayna and her (now) husband Matthew (Our sister Courtney is also dating a Matthew)(We’re keeping things simple around here)(On that note, my Matthew’s sister is a Jennifer and his brother married a Jennifer)(It can be confusing for the kids) got married last week in Victoria. Matt and Dayna are world travellers, and spent […]

© Angella Dykstra 2005-2013 All rights reserved. | Originally published for as Wedding Bells.

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 12:16 am

Nik at Night

My Kids Review TV: Doctor Who 8.1 — Deep Breath

This past Saturday was the much-anticipated return of Doctor Who, which, if you watch the show, you know it comes with much more than "what will the new season be like?" This premiere brought with it a new Doctor, new relationships, new personalities, and even a new TARDIS. As the fifth Doctor would have said, "You've changed the desktop theme again!"

That's not the only theme that changed.

Right from the beginning of the episode, we get a new song, and new opening credits. I actually quite liked them, even though if I had to choose my absolute favourite DW opening theme song it would be the 10th Doctor's one, midway through his run, all violins and heavy guitar. It was manic and pulsating and determined. This new opening is more retro, harkening back to earlier Doctors and earlier opening themes from the Classic Series, with more synth (I half-expected the episode to open with Ace) and clocks flying by. But I liked it, and I think it'll grow on me even more with time. It was such a shift, rather than the slight change they usually make. And, best of all, it was created by a fan, and the producers liked it so much they took it, tweaked it slightly, and made it the opening. How amazing is that?

And just as that fan's dream came true, so did Peter Capaldi's. A Doctor Who megafan since he was a kid, now he IS the Doctor, and gets to come in when the show is finally hot in the U.S. in a way it's never been before, and has a renewed and reinvigorated audience. Personally, I thought Capaldi was fantastic, and I know we're heading in a darker direction, but this first episode was hilarious on so many levels, not least of all in the acknowledgement that Capaldi is best known as the always-enraged Malcolm Tucker on In the Thick of It (that show my kids always want me to show them, to which I answer unequivocally: NO). Much was made of Capaldi being an older Doctor, and that is brought up again and again in this premiere episode, more as if the writers are answering the fans than anything else. The companions have always stood in for the fans and our responses, and this episode made Clara one of us in abundance.

The 9th Doctor emerged from a place of war, having just destroyed his home planet and everyone on it. He's broken and sad, but young and smiling and there to have adventures with Rose. The 10th Doctor was also a young man, going through a particularly difficult regeneration, but one where Rose stuck by him, knowing this might not look like her Doctor, but he's in there somewhere. The 11th Doctor regenerated and then crashed his ship, and awoke to a new face and a little girl standing by his side, someone who'd never seen him before but would pledge the rest of her life to him. Of the three, only one of them carried the companion from one body to the next, and that companion accepted him pretty quickly. And none of those men looked like they were older than 35.

But everything is different now. This companion, Clara, is the Impossible Girl, the one who isn't just a companion, but has actively saved the Doctor in every body he's ever been in. If there's one companion who should be OK with seeing a new face on the Doctor, it should be this one, since she's encountered every single one of them firsthand.

Only... she hasn't. It's rather confusing, but she split herself into many selves, each one of them assigned to a different spot on the Doctor's timeline, and the Clara that we see in this season 8 premiere has only ever been with the 11th Doctor.

And here is where we step outside of the show for a second, and look around at all the young faces now watching the show. Many of them began with the 11th Doctor. This is THEIR Doctor, the one they first encountered when their parents said, "Hey, wanna watch Doctor Who with me?" In the case of my then-5-year-old son (now almost 7), it was love at first sight. He carries the 11th Doctor's sonic screwdriver around with him everywhere. He thinks bow ties are cool. And he cried for 45 minutes straight when his Doctor regenerated late last year.

But he's had eight months to get used to Capaldi's face, seeing it everywhere, knowing his Doctor is gone but a new one is on the horizon. He knows it's still Doctor Who, but he still misses his Doctor.

My 10-year-old daughter first joined us when I was going back to the beginning of the New Series with my son during the hiatus, and so her first Doctor is the 9th. She adored him, and loved the 10th, and thinks the 11th is wonderful. She seems pretty amenable to the regenerations and the new faces, so I was interested in what she would think.

So last Saturday, we all gathered in front of our televisions to watch the premiere of season 8 live. It was me, my daughter Sydney, son Liam, and Liam's friend Christian. Christian is 7 and has never seen Doctor Who before, so I was interested to see what he would think of this. Liam tried his best to prep him, with his beloved and tattered copy of the 50th Anniversary book, pointing out each villain and each Doctor and explaining what all of this meant.

I worried that the 10pm end time would mean my kids wouldn't last, but they were on the edges of their seats, wide-eyed and mired in the suspense, right until the end. (Except for Christian; we lost him shortly after 9pm when he just leaned against the arm of the couch and went right to sleep.)

The next day at lunch, I asked each of them for their thoughts:

What did you think of the new theme song? 
Liam: I liked it.
Sydney: I LOVED it.
Liam: And all those clocks swirling around were cool.

What did you think of the new Doctor? 
Liam: I liked him, but I still miss my Doctor.
Sydney: Loved him. But I like darker Doctors.
Liam: But I didn't like when he just left Clara alone in the basement with the robots.
Sydney: Yeah, that wasn't very nice at ALL.
Me: But he had a reason for doing that, right?
Sydney: I still like him.

Did you find the episode easy to understand? 
Liam: Um... yeah. But I never like the clockwork guys, they're creepy.
Sydney: I didn't get the ending, where he said he was in Heaven. What was that about, were we supposed to understand that?
Liam: Yeah, I didn't like the Heaven part.
Me: I think they're setting that up as something we're going to come back to.
Sydney: Why did that woman refer to the Doctor as her boyfriend?
Me: That's a very good question, and one I wondered about, too.
Liam: I thought it was the woman from Time of the Doctor at first, the woman in the church.
Me: Me too!
Sydney: You know what, I think we're going to find out that the woman is actually River Song! That she regenerated, and that's why she's in that place now, and looks different.
Me: Ooh, that's an interesting theory.
Sydney: And THAT is why she called him her boyfriend!
Liam: No, didn't she use up all her regenerations?
Sydney: When?
Liam: In that one episode when she was with the Doctor, the Hitler one? She says she used up all her regenerations!
Sydney: Yeah, well the Doctor said HE used up all of his, too, and then it turns out he has a whole bunch more. So... bam. It's River.
Me: Heeeheeeeee!!!!

Christian, did you like the episode? 
Christian: Yes!
Me: Would you watch it again?
Christian: Yes, I thought it was very funny.

What was your favourite part of the episode? 
Christian: I liked the dinosaur at the beginning a lot.
Liam: Yeah, I liked that, too, but I think they made it too big.
Me: I thought so, too! That was the biggest T-rex ever.
Liam: A T-rex would be a little taller than our house.
Sydney: Haha! Yeah, and this one was as tall as Big Ben!
Me: I think they need some 6-year-old boys on staff as dinosaur consultants.
Liam: My favourite part was when Madame Vastra and Jenny dropped to the floor and then suddenly Strax came flying down behind them!
Sydney: Yeah, that was my favourite part, too. I also like the Strax kept calling Clara a boy.
Christian: Who's Strax?
Liam: The one that looks like a potato!
Christian: Oh, haha! He's funny. I liked when he threw the newspaper at the woman and hit her in the face.
Liam: HAHA! Oh yeah!!

What do you think of Madame Vastra and Jenny? 
Sydney: I like them a lot, but she was mean to Clara.
Me: Yes, I agree; that was a little over-the-top. But Clara got to stick up for herself in a big way and I loved that scene.
Liam: Madame Vastra and Jenny are cool, but how can a lizard and a person be married?
Me: Well, she's like a human, right? And she's still quite beautiful even as a lizard.
Liam: True. I like Strax when he's with them.
Sydney: I liked when they kissed, that was sweet.

Did you find it scary at all? 
Christian: [nods furiously, wide-eyed]
Liam: I thought the part in the basement with the robots was scary.
Sydney: Ooh, when they made Clara hold her breath! Yeah, I didn't like that. But you know what, you haven't asked us if anything made us sad.
Me: I haven't gotten there yet.
Sydney: Can you ask that now?

Did anything make you sad in the episode? 
Sydney: Yes, when the dinosaur died. That was so sad, Mommy, why did they do that?
Me: The Doctor could understand what the dinosaur was thinking and feeling, so he was translating. The dinosaur doesn't know what these things are surrounding her, she's a stranger in a strange land, and she's scared and frightened. She just wants her world to come back and be the way it used to be. They were trying to draw a parallel between the dinosaur and the Doctor, who doesn't know who he is anymore, but also Clara, suddenly surrounded by a new and frightening world. Everything she knew seems to be gone.
Christian: I didn't like when the dinosaur died, either. I didn't like him on fire.
Liam: No, I didn't like that at all.

Did you guys like Clara in this episode? 
Sydney: I LOVE Clara.
Liam: Yeah, I thought she was awesome. But I miss Amy.
Sydney: I miss Rose.

And... what did you think when the 11th Doctor suddenly appeared at the end of the episode? Did you think that was going to happen? I had a feeling we'd have a cameo by him at some point, and so I half-expected that to happen, but it still made me so happy when it did. 
Liam: I did a gasp.
Me: [laughing and laughing]
Syd: [laughing and laughing]
Liam: But it made me miss him more again.
Me: But did you think that we needed him to be there?
Sydney: Clara needed to know that the older man was still her Doctor. And that phone call reminded her of that.
Liam: I do like the new Doctor, but I want mine to come back more. Will we see him again?
Me: Probably not; I think that was him officially passing the torch. Now we're on to the new Doctor.
Sydney: And I think Clara likes him now.
Liam: And next week there are DALEKS!! Christian, you HAVE to watch the Daleks!!
Christian: Are they scary?
Liam: A little, but they're awesome.

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Posted on 26 August 2014 | 12:21 pm

Word Grrrls

Content Shock

Let’s fast forward one more time to 2014 and look at the two factors that impact the economics of content marketing — the amount of content available and the amount of content consumed (supply and demand). Of course the volume of free content is exploding at a ridiculous rate. Depending on what study you read, […]

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Posted on 18 August 2014 | 1:06 pm

Elfshot - sticks and stones

Archaeology Selfie

Photo Credit: Tim Rast

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Posted on 25 August 2014 | 7:55 am

Adam Radwanski

Wynne’s rural outreach efforts could unravel in face of budget challenges

Smaller cities far large urban centres are experiencing population losses, and judging by comments by the province, it’s easy to guess where spending will be frozen

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Posted on 8 August 2014 | 6:32 pm

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

Two Year Old With A True Potty Mouth #IceBucketChallenge

No matter where you stand on the ice bucket challenge, this little darling will make your jaw drop.  Turn up the volume, I bet you watch it more than once!  So what do you do?  Wash her mouth out with soap, or maybe challenge everyone who watches her sure to go viral video to make […]

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Posted on 26 August 2014 | 9:29 pm

A Peek Inside the Fishbowl

Drooling as I type

Looking for a new recipe to try? This one is a keeper, and I’m actually looking forward to the leftovers! This is a Thai Tofu Quinoa Bowl from Chatelaine. You can grab the recipe right here. I used slightly less quinoa, and I didn’t have quite enough ginger, but WHOA nelly… is it ever good. It’s […]

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Posted on 26 August 2014 | 11:13 am

Dawg’s Blawg

#MMIWG: Andrew Coyne's mischievous questions

“[A] man cannot search either for what he knows or for what he does not know[.] He cannot search for what he knows—since he knows it, there is no need to search—nor for what he does not know, for...

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Posted on 26 August 2014 | 11:46 am

Dammit Janet

Leveraging Laureen: Part 2

So, how's that "leveraging Laureen" strategy going for the heartless, soulless CONservative government of Canada?

Judging from this piece from APTN (video), not well.

Herr Harper made his annual pilgrimage to the North, taking the First Cat Lady with him, and while he declined to answer any questions atall atall, Laureen deigned to answer a question about hungry children in the North with a word salad on corporate wonderfulness.

Really, watch the video at the APTN link, and more importantly, listen to the tone of it.

Wouldn't it be grand if other media outlets turned a similar critical eye on the hypocrisy of the Harper regime?

I know, I know. Too much to hope for. . .

h/t Jennifer McMackon who said: "Let them eat hockey equipment."

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 6:54 am

That Artist Woman

Giveaway Winner

The winner of "The Successful Artist's Career Guide" by Margaret Peot is Beth Lowry.

Congratulations Beth.

Thanks everyone for entering and have a great weekend.


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Posted on 20 June 2014 | 1:27 pm

A pretty Life in the Suburbs

Be Awesome Party #10! Come link up with us and be inspired!

- – - Welcome back to our Be Awesome Link Party! Hello friends! We are SO very happy to have you here with us, sharing your projects and inspiring us all week after week! Together with myself, Angie of Echoes of Laughter, Virginia of Fynes Designs, Julie of Sober Julie, Crystal of Sew Creative, Tara […]

The post Be Awesome Party #10! Come link up with us and be inspired! appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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Posted on 25 August 2014 | 6:00 pm

Canada's Adventure couple

You have the choice – so choose!

People are often stuck in their lives. They are unsatisfied, depressed and in a bad mood most of the time. They live for the weekend and hate their jobs. They curse their alarm in the morning and absolutely do not want to get up. Getting up means starting their day again, a day they do not want to live. They hate Mondays and love Fridays. Does that sound familiar to you? I used to feel kind of stuck too but [...]

Read the original post You have the choice – so choose! on Adventure Travel blog for Couples | The Planet D.

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 5:01 am

My New Life in Canada, under the snow!

Playing Tourists in Ottawa

We spent most of the time outdoors and decided to revisit a few of Ottawa’s main landmarks: Parliament Hill; Nepean Point, a hill offering a magnificent panoramic view of Parliament Hill, the Ottawa River and Alexandra Bridge; Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada; the War Memorial; Château Laurier; the Byward Market and the business district.

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Posted on 27 August 2014 | 8:51 am

Live From Waterloo

Silly Monkey Stories #259 – Pun wars

(En español más abajo)
Canada08/Aug/2014 – Carolina (17) 
Both Carolina and I like to play with words, especially if they turn into really bad jokes. Lately, we have been engaging in pun wars in which we only use names of cities, states or countries. During our trip to Ottawa, we had one of our typical battles:
- Are we gonna stop soon? I’m a little Hungary…
- Oh, that was so clever… let me get a Pennsylvania to write it down
- You don’t have one? Alaska Mom…
- I had a few… but it seems that they have been all stolen… Oregon…
The quality of the jokes was decreasing fast (well, it wasn’t that great at the beginning anyway)
- You know… Santi owes some new soccer shoes, but Iowa New Jersey
- I think I’m going to have a Turkey sandwich, because they’re not too Greece-y
- Take your time. No need to Russia
- There is Norway I’m going to Finnish my food right now. Kenya help me?
- No, sorry. I’m Ghana go now
Suddenly, I got inspired:
- You know, I have been reading a lot of books lately. I am about to finish one right now.
- …
- It’s Paris Hilton’s autobiography. You know what’s the title of the book?
- No…
- Idaho!
Game, set, match for me. She totally conceded at that point.
I hope I don’t have to explain this one!
Argentina08/Ago/2014 – Carolina (17) 
Lo lamento, este post no se puede traducir al español de manera efectiva. Espero que puedan leerlo en inglés! :-)
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Posted on 26 August 2014 | 2:53 am