Monkeys and Mountains

The Number One Bird Watching Spot in Finland

The original can be found here: The Number One Bird Watching Spot in Finland. Please read the original.

Liminka Bay is the number one bird watching spot in Finland, according to wildlife photographer Jari Peltomäker, who promises that he's not biased. You can find over 200 bird species there!

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

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Posted on 19 October 2014 | 2:52 pm

Indian Country

EPA Grants to Drought-Stricken Southwest Tribes Total $43 Million

With 44 California tribes set to run out of water within the next six months, much of the recent spate of annual funding for tribes within Region 9 of the U.S....

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 12:00 am


Modernist Eyewear from Bobby Roache

Model/designer Bobby Roache talk about his new sunglass line

The post Modernist Eyewear from Bobby Roache appeared first on Hello Vancity.

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 6:04 pm

List Verse

10 Iconic Characters Nearly Ruined By Their Creators

Every now and then, a character comes along who is so well realized that they burst out of their original setting and become world-famous. But many of them nearly didn’t make it. These modern icons were one ill-advised move away from being rightly condemned to oblivion. 10The DoctorA Supervillain Photo credit: BBC A time-traveling family […]

The post 10 Iconic Characters Nearly Ruined By Their Creators appeared first on Listverse.

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 3:01 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

Fall in Pennsylvania, on the road to Washington

This week I'm on the road with my wife and little one for a little trip from Toronto down to Washington, D.C., and on the way we passed a farm that had more pumpkins out than I think I've ever seen.

The post Fall in Pennsylvania, on the road to Washington appeared first on The GATE.

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Posted on 20 October 2014 | 2:01 pm


In one Toronto election riding, it's Andray vs. The giant

Thursday, October 23, 2014
It was easy to believe the stories spun by the Fords: that they worked tirelessly for their Ward. Now, Andray Domise is challenging the Ford dynasty's narrative.

The Fords have held power in North Etobicoke since before Etobicoke was even part of Toronto. Doug Ford Sr. was an MPP in the Mike Harris Progressive Conservative government back in the 1990s. In 2000 Rob Ford was elected to amalgamated Toronto as City Councillor for Ward 2 Etobicoke North. In 2010 when Rob Ford became mayor, Doug Ford Jr became Ward 2 City Councillor.

The 14 years of Fords representing Ward 2 isn't necessarily an issue. The real issue is that the Fords made themselves the gate keepers for any and all developments in the Ward. Nothing got done without the Fords' say so. And it seems, not much did get done.

Photo: Elizabeth Littlejohn

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 3:49 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

Wordy Wednesday

Me is beyond miffed! Mommy is STILL SICK!!! Those is nasty viruses. And she is behind at work, so she works at home when she should be spending time with mes!!! Ands she goes to beds early! Last night, when Mommy went to bed at 8:00 PM, mes stole her phone. And mes finded some […]

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 10:50 am

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: Empty Offramp


Torontonians are fairly used to seeing the Gardiner Expressway and its main downtown offramps packed with traffic. This is not the case in today's Photo of the Day, which was submitted to the UrbanToronto Flickr Pool by Jonathan Castellino. The photo was shot during a recent closure of the Gardiner Expressway, and gives us a unique west-facing view from the York-Bay-Yonge offramp. The ramp will not be around for much longer: it will be torn down and replaced in the next few years by a shorter ramp which will meet ground level at Simcoe Street.

Photo of the Day, York-Bay-Yonge offramp, Gardiner Expressway, TorontoLooking west on the Gardiner's York-Bay-Yonge offramp, image by Jonathan Castellino

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 24 October 2014 | 12:00 am

The Hook (B.C. News)

Andrew Nikiforuk Breaks Down the Global Oil Price Slump (in Opinion)

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 3:59 pm

The Greater Fool

It works.

The tale of two nations. Part deux. This is certainly getting interesting. The average moist virginal homebuyer in Canada is 29 years old, just emerged pasty and blinking from his parents’ basement, and plans to spend $510,000 in Vancouver and over $400,000 in Toronto to buy real estate. Almost all of these buyers take high-ratio […]

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 7:42 pm

Hiking With Barry!

Ha Ling Peak – Canmore – Hiking Alberta

Ha Ling Peak guards the east side of Whiteman’s Gap in the Bow Valley above Canmore west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  This short hike is only 3.0 KM (1.9 miles) one-way from the parking area to the summit, but an elevation gain of … Continue reading

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 1:30 pm

Sad Girls y Qué Are Breaking Down Machismo with Internet Art

Images courtesy of the Sad Girls y Qué Facebook

Sad Girls y Qué are a glittery girl power gang based out of Tijuana who offer an alternative to "white feminism." Five Chicana-identifying women started this collective in October 2013 with a Tumblr-style Facebook page that has gained more than 12,000 followers through its curation of images of alternative icons like Selena, animated characters like Sailor Moon, and sex-positive imagery. They also use the platform to publish heartbreak poems and notes on depression and solitude. Through the dissemination of internet art, they seek to retaliate against the culture of machismo prevalent in Mexico and the world at large while reappropriating a girly "feminine" aesthetic. Since their inception, they have garnered fangirls from Pakistan to Mexico who identify with their chola chic propaganda and messages of feminine solidarity. 

The whole concept of the "sad girl" was inspired by the Chicana chola culture highlighted in the 1994 movie Mi Vida Loca, which takes place in the Los Angeles neighborhood Echo Park. The sad girl is often depicted in LA tattoo art as a gangster chick with tears running down her face. She's beautiful with a hard-edged pachuca style. However, this image of a crying woman is not a weak victim. She's tough and conveys a more complex range of femininity.

I spoke with recovering Catholic schoolgirl Maite Soleno, Selena-obsessed Anna Bon, hustling hair goddess Pau Lia, glittering anthropologist Ariana Bon-Hodoyán, and taxidermy aficionado Ana Laura Camarena of the Sad Girls over Google Hangouts about their backgrounds, what it means to be a Sad Girl y Que, and why they reject "white feminism." 

So how did SGYQ come together?
Anna Bon: The collective started with eight of us. Now there are five of us. It began as an online outlet for our frustrations regarding being girls in a patriarchal world. I started the Twitter and Facebook and let all my friends in on the fun. I just told them to go crazy. It was kind of by accident that we created this character of the "sad girl." At the beginning we used it to say anything we didn't feel comfortable saying on our personal profiles. It became popular instantly and we realized we weren't alone in our frustrations. SGYQ has given us the courage to stand up for ourselves and others against misogyny and racism. At first it was sort of a shield and now it's our weapon.

Why do you feel you need to defend yourself?
Growing up in a society that is so macho-oriented and Catholic, we've felt limited and oppressed by those forces. Mexico is one of the countries where cat-calling is prevalent. You can't really walk alone at night or during the day without experiencing it. I don't want to reinforce this idea that Mexico is this shitty, unsafe place, because it’s not. But there is this macho culture that is very apparent and dominant. It’s insane how much shit you go through as a girl.

Can you explain what a sad girl symbolizes to you?
It could be any girl who is fed up with society's standards and patriarchy. But it’s more specifically for Chicana girls. There’s this group of artists in LA who call themselves “sad girls” and they’re all white girls from CalArts. It’s cool that the sad girl term is a trend and a thing, but the appropriation of it is annoying and offensive. You can like other cultures and admire them and be interested in them without appropriating them in a way that devalues their origin. It’s important for us to let it be known where we got our name from because it validates a culture.

So what is the origin of the sad girl?
I got it from the movie Mi Vida Loca. A scene in the movie provides a good metaphor. One girl’s baby daddy dies, leaving behind his lowrider car, Suavecito. The girls imagine doing laundry easier, filling it up with groceries, and going to Disneyland. But the men have other ideas about putting Suavecito in a car show and splitting the prize money. The girls find out about it and say they should get the prize money. “That motherfucker left us with kids, bills, etc.” But the women are robbed by the men. It’s relatable to what we go through as second class citizens to the necessities of men.

Can you describe the aesthetic of SGYQ?
Feminized things and anything pink. Those things are usually devalued, made less important. Even women who have corporate jobs have to dress like men to gain respect. We are trying to be aggressive about it. Just because we like those things doesn't make us superficial or dumb or any less smart. 

Maite Soleno: The symbol switching can be used to negate the idea of what the media says a feminist has to look like. A feminist doesn't have to be some hairy girl. A feminist can be whomever. It doesn't rely on the fact that she likes pink or not.

Ariana Bon-Hodoyán: We’re trying to fight against this whole angry feminist stereotype. I'm not trying to blame men. 

Maite Soleno: Even bell hooks says that patriarchy is genderless. It's this massive thing that's oppressive. The media has created this stereotype that feminists hate men and they're lesbians. Actually, you can wear short skirts and be smart and a feminist. 

Sad Girls y Qué cosmic sweatshirt of Selena in Mexico

Is there ever any disagreement over what to post?
Anna Bon: 
When there were more of us, there were differences in how we defined feminism and objectification. We’re totally into girl power and being naked and whatever, but we also had to have a standard. Facebook doesn't even let us show naked bodies. We've gotten so many bans from Facebook.

Maite Soleno: And it's all because of nipples and vaginas. They want to equate vagina with porn and reduce it to that. I'm not saying anything shady about porn. I watch porn. I love porn. But it’s a reductive thing.

Do you have any feminist icons?
Ariana Bon-Hodoyán: The story of Malinche is very relatable to us. She was an indigenous Mexican woman who interpreted and advised the Spanish colonizer Hernan Cortés. Everyone in Mexico believes Malinche to be the ultimate national traitor because she betrayed the Aztecs. However, she was a slave who was sold by the Aztecs and simply used the Aztecs’ enemies against them. She embodies characteristics not typically associated with women in Mexican culture like intelligence, adaptability, leadership, and forward thinking. And by adapting to unexpected historical circumstances, she defied social expectations of women's role in society.

I think Sad Girls y Qué represents these same characteristics and attempts to fight traditional social restraints set by macho values in the culture we live in. In Mexican culture, la Malinche represents the antithesis of the Virgen de Guadalupe. Unlike the holy virgin, la Malinche has become equated with being a sex object or “whore” who slept with Cortés and betrayed her own people. Even if in truth she was used as an object of exchange among men who delivered her into the hands of the Spaniards.

What are your thoughts on "white feminism"?
Anna Bon:
White feminism is mainstream feminism. It's controlled, superficial, carefully packaged, easily digestible, and "one size fits all." It’s non-intersectional and binary. It does not understand race, culture, and gender diversity when it comes to inequality. It’s focused on body hair, the pay gap, make-up, skirts, Joan Rivers, and “not all men.” It’s the feminism you learn when you're a teenager. A well-rounded feminist looks out for everyone, especially oppressed groups that for centuries have been demonized, dehumanized, and exoticized by Western culture.

Maite Soleno: White feminism is what bell hooks refers to as the “eat, pray, love” kind of feminism that enables a ruling section of women to appropriate all kinds of cultures to empower themselves from their already coveted position of privilege. It reinforces patriarchal notions that only the problems of the bourgeoisie are relatable and worth noting. It’s a smoke curtain. But white is not a concept to be reduced to skin color, white is the combination of privilege and ignorance that constitutes a culture that believes we live in a post-racial, post-sexualized society.

What kind of feminism would you call your type of feminism?
Ariana Bon-Hodoyán: Common sense.

What about feminine rage? 
Anna Bon: Yes, we are angry at society and everyone who has ever tried to oppress us, but we are more sad for you. We’re really sad for you because your thinking inhibits you. You are the one who is losing more from ascribing to patriarchy than we are. We’re conscious and we know what we’re up against.

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 5:00 pm

Michael Geist

About That Copyright Exception for Political Advertising. . .Never Mind

Earlier this month, a political storm hit in Canada when it was revealed that the government was considering including a new copyright exception for political advertising in its forthcoming omnibus budget bill. The reports sparked claims of fascism, censorship, expropriation, and more, yet as I argued, the commentary bore almost no relationship to reality. There were legitimate concerns about an exception made solely available to politicians and political parties as well as doubts about the need for such an exception given the breadth of the current fair dealing exception that already permits most uses of video clips.

Yesterday, the government tabled its omnibus budget bill, which contains changes to the Patent Act (to bring Canada into compliance with the Patent Law Treaty), effectively ban paper billing charges for telecom and broadcast services, and grant new enforcement powers to the CRTC. As for the copyright reform provision, perhaps the public outcry had an impact. It is nowhere to be found.

The post About That Copyright Exception for Political Advertising. . .Never Mind appeared first on Michael Geist.

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 9:06 am

The Tyee / The Hook

Andrew Nikiforuk Breaks Down the Global Oil Price Slump (in Opinion)

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 3:59 pm

The future according to Richard Florida and Ray Kurzweil

The two men were asked whether innovation will save us.

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 8:04 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

The day after...let's have some thoughtful reflection

National War Memorial Chateau Laurier in background That was quite the day. I lived 25 years in Ottawa and have many happy memories of singing in the choirs on Parliament Hill on Canada Day, July 1st. Ambling across the huge lawn. Last summer my daughter and I had dinner beside the Memorial, and walked up to the hill where the horrific incident took place. Those in charge who did not have a

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 11:25 am

Steve Paikin

Steve Paikin: A Day Like No Other in The House of Commons

This morning's session in the House of Commons was extraordinary. 
The speeches were all superb. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May all said the right things. 
Their speeches were memorable. Some of the lines may stay with us for many years. Harper, in a caring and fatherly tone, reminded everyone that: "We all here are engaged in stressful jobs. But the stress yesterday was above and beyond." He urged everyone to relax, take a breath, and seek medical attention if they were having trouble coping with yesterday's horrors. 
Mulcair said: "We don't know the names of all the heroes but we all saw heroic gestures yesterday."  Justin Trudeau reminded us that: "We extend a hand to our friends in the Muslim community. Yesterday was a terrible perversion of your faith." He added: "We're a nation of open minds and open hearts and we won't be intimidated into changing that for anybody." 
May teased the hero of the day, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, at how he'd rather be fly fishing in the Miramichi, rather than accepting plaudits in The House, which he did on numerous occasions. Vickers could barely keep it together as MPs rose as one to thank him for killing the villain at the centre of this piece. 
But none of those worthy quotations will stay with me as permanently as one gesture offered up by all the leaders, but to his credit, initiated by the prime minister himself. 
Stephen Harper is not a warm, fuzzy guy. In public, he is emotionally reserved. I wouldn't presume to know what he's like in private. I do know he has a good sense of humour, which I have seen, but which he rarely demonstrates. But this morning, he did something to demonstrate to the world that Canadians are unified around their abhorrence of yesterday's tragedy. 
After finishing his speech, Harper walked over to the Sergeant-at-Arms and shook his hand. The Commons responded with thunderous applause. All that was expected. 
What wasn't expected came next. Harper marched over to Justin Trudeau, extended his hand, shook it, then pulled Trudeau close and hugged him. The PM initiated the hug. Then he marched over to Tom Mulcair and did the same. Extraordinary doesn't begin to describe those gestures. The personal enmity among those three is palpable on a daily basis at Question Period. Some of that is theatre, but much of it is real: they all can't stand each other. It's somewhat understandable. They all want the same job and only one of them can have it. 
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau embrace...
But all that got put aside this morning in the interests of a higher purpose. Arguably the most emotionally closed man in that chamber opened himself up to a very human, very tender gesture, to show radicalized forces everywhere that Canada's leaders are united in their disgust of them, and our determination to face them head on. 
...followed by Harper and Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair. 
Whether that will actually happen, we'll see. Whether jihadis care about this is certain: they don't.  
But for one morning in our House of Commons, it was a most powerfully delivered message that I suspect Canadians needed and wanted to see. 
And it didn't take any words at all. 
Image credit: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press 

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 8:57 am

Weighty Matters

Between Two Ferns and Brad Pitt

If you need proof that Zach Galifianakis' Between Two Ferns is the best talk show around look no further than today's Funny Friday video featuring him interviewing Brad Pitt.

Have a great weekend!

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 5:30 am

Margaret Wente

Terrorists don’t have a chance in this country

Canadians are steadfast and a bit phlegmatic. These are among our finest traits. We don’t get that excited, and we won’t be cowed into giving up our freedoms

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 3:00 am

Lauren Out Loud

HIATUS: re-launching January 2015

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Posted on 24 July 2014 | 2:54 pm

Rants n Rascals

For Love of a Pup: How A FB Community Brings Hope to One Family

You hear all the time how the Internet is a bad thing. Social networking is getting out of control. Kids online are seeing things they shouldn’t. Marriages are ending, friendship become broken, nobody is listening to anyone because we are so hooked to our devices. And that may be true. However, over the past few […]

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Posted on 18 October 2014 | 8:57 pm

Bow. James Bow

Believe it or not, these do come in red

I received the following image in my e-mail as part of a promotion by the Geek shop They are, indeed, Star Trek Original Series hoodies. Available in yellow, and blue. Oh, they do come in red. Make no mistake....

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 11:56 am

A Toronto Blog

The Lending Journey Pedal Against Poverty

The Bike Tree features a number of donated bicycles hanging from a large Willow Tree in Halton Hills. I hope they are not like Fall leaves, waiting to drop down as the days get shorter! The two-wheeled installation is helping to promote the Nov 9, 2014 500 km uphill bike race along the Pan American Highway through Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras.
Their mobile fund raising campaign is to battle global poverty and to raise money to provide loans to a 1,000 or more people in South America.

"We offer loans to women in need in impoverished countries to start up, expand, or continue a business. The Lending Journey was created to help people in the global south improve their social and economic conditions. Most of the women we find ourselves dealing with are poor and often have very little education. They are very enterprising and, given the opportunity, are prepared to work hard to create small businesses. Currently, our primary focus is with small town in Ecuador and Nicaragua."

Posted by Ann Hamilton.

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 10:09 pm

Robyn Urbak on Campus

New frontiers in high-tech cheating

With shrinking wireless devices, online classes and the emergence of wearable technology, it’s easier than ever to cheat

The post New frontiers in high-tech cheating appeared first on

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Posted on 19 October 2014 | 9:34 pm

Postcards From the Mothership

A few thoughts about our collective loss today

It was a warm September day in Ottawa, and I had just picked up a takeout lunch from the Ribfest on Sparks Street. I had a styrofoam box filled with beef ribs, beans and cole slaw, and I was looking for a spot in the sun to enjoy my lunch. I stepped out of the [...] Related posts (automatically generated):
  1. Back to work thoughts
  2. Happy Canada Day!
  3. Mothership Photography and Manotick’s Dickinson Days

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 3:10 pm

David Akins on the Hill

In Alberta, the opposition scores direct hits using Access to Information laws

There are four important by-elections underway right now in Alberta. The vote is on Monday. The Premier, the Health Minister, and the Education Minister have their names on ballots in three of the four ridings. Jim Prentice, Stephen Mandel (above, pictured in 2006), and Gordon Dirks, of course, are all members of the longest-ruling-party in […]

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 8:24 pm

Dutch Blitz

We Could Run Away

I haven’t talked about running here for a long time, and I’m not sure why. I usually Instagram/FB/Twitter my runs but not always. I’m still running, a lot. I run three days a week, sometimes more, with at least one of them being 10 KM in distance. The other two runs fall between 6K and […]

© Angella Dykstra 2005-2013 All rights reserved. | Originally published for as We Could Run Away.

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Posted on 20 October 2014 | 11:56 pm

Nik at Night

The Walking Dead 5.02: Strangers

Nikki: After last week’s barnburner of a season opener, this week slowed things down a tad as the group tries to figure out their new dynamic together, after having been apart for so long. Split up into groups, they had various adventures, tragedies, and traumas, all of which are difficult to talk about. Back together, there’s some reticence in the group, some confessions, and a lot of mystery hanging in the air — are they different people now? Do they still work as a unit or will they ultimately realize they’re better off apart?

This week’s episode introduces us to Ellis CarverFather Gabriel Stokes, bringing yet another alumnus of The Wire into the fold. I couldn’t help but expect Carver to slap some cuffs on D’Angelo as soon as he saw him, but I very quickly dropped that notion when Stokes became a mystery unto himself. Why are there scratch marks all over his parish, which appears to be clean and ordered on the inside? Why weren’t all the stained-glass windows shattered? Were they too high for the walkers to reach from the outside? I’m assuming this is a priest who locked out his flock, leaving them to the walkers and watching them die, and the reason he didn’t want to go to that supermarket with the walkers in the watery basement is because they were all his parishioners and former friends. But I’m hoping the revelation will be a little more complicated than just that.

What were your thoughts, Josh? Did Father Stokes lie when he was answering Rick’s three questions, or cleverly work around them?

Josh: As a former reader of the comic series on which the show is based, I often wonder how different it would feel to watch The Walking Dead if I didn't find myself constantly comparing it to the source material — not in terms of quality (as I believe the mediums too disparate to evaluate in parallel) but strictly regarding the content. The show and the origin comics are certainly distinct, but it's inarguable that storylines and plot points from the source material are frequently pulled into the show. And any time the action hews closely to an existing sequence of events from the comics, it becomes very difficult not only to view the proceedings objectively but also to discuss them in this forum without feeling somewhat disingenuous. This week's episode is a great example of that, as both the character of Father Gabriel and the transplanted Terminites/Hunters story seem fairly exact in their replication of the comic's material.

For example, the episode's final line is a word-for-word quote from the last panel of issue #39:

This kind of thing makes it practically impossible for me to answer your question about Father Gabriel, because all I can seem to picture is what the comics have told me is coming next. Perhaps I'm not trying hard enough to break away from that foreknowledge and imagine other scenarios; there is certainly plenty of room for the writers and producers to take the story in new directions rather than simply replicate what Kirkman has already done, and they've done a serviceable job of that in the past. However, at the moment all signs point to a rather direct adaptation, maybe more so than ever before.

That being the case, I am left at somewhat of a loss as to the best way to discuss it. I hate spoilers as much as anyone, and the last thing I want to do is compromise our readers' (or your) enjoyment of what's to come by saying too much. What I will say is that your one-sentence assessment of the clues' implications strikes me as a perfectly simple and reasonable explanation, albeit somewhat obvious, as you pointed out. Then again, oftentimes that kind of restraint serves to lend needed authenticity to fiction. I suppose we'll have to wait and see.

Now on to what I feel perfectly comfortable discussing, which is most everything else. 'Strangers' offered up a lot of conversation, but all of it came across as very natural to me, stepping nimbly from issue to issue and gradually clearing the air of conflict to re-set the stage for the season, nicely bonding this expanded group into something more like what it had come to be before the Governor's final attack on the prison splintered it into pieces again. In particular, the early exchange between Carol and Rick was perfectly pitched and beautifully written, culminating in the idea that he now needed to ask Carol's permission to join her group. I also loved the way Tara chose to level with Maggie about her role in the Governor's militia, and how easily came Maggie's forgiveness — testament to the way her father raised her, I'd say.

Much like last week, however, I think my favorite aspect of this installment was Carol and her ongoing struggle to reconcile what happened with Lizzie. In each discussion she had throughout the episode – with Tyrese, with Rick, with Daryl – she says little, but Melissa McBride's remarkable performance offered up a depth of emotion and internal strife that radiated from every small look and word and action. Her character continues to surprise and impress me, and I long to see what they have in store for her next.

Because, of course, at the end of the episode, Carol and Daryl take off together with the gas and supplies she had planned to use for her departure from the group, chasing after another car that bore the same distinctive cross in its window as the one that kidnapped Beth. I'm thinking this will be one of those times when the next episode will abandon RickCo. and the Bob-B-Q storyline entirely in favor of giving us a window into what's been going on with Maggie's long-lost little sister since last we saw her.

What do you think?

Nikki: Bob-B-Q, haha!! I am calling him that from now on. :) Carol continued to be the highlight of the show for me, as you say, and I think it’s that almost eerie calm from her I like so much. As someone pointed out in the comments last week, there’s something almost sad about it, as if after a life of being abused by the man she once loved, of watching people die, of watching her own daughter suffer at the hands of walkers, of having to watch both of her surrogate girls die (one by her own hand), something in her has just snapped and she’s become distanced. When Sophia walked out of the barn she was screaming and crying and pleading with Rick, but we haven’t seen that side of her since. She doesn’t show any emotions: she didn’t rail and argue and scream against Rick when he left her in the suburb. She didn’t flinch once as she was covering herself in zombie goo. She didn’t look scared when she walking amongst them. She didn’t jump or show any fear when Tasha Yar was suddenly in the room. She didn’t hop up and down and leap into Daryl’s arms, just quietly smiled. She gives a small smile when Rick acknowledges Carol as their new de facto leader in this one. She can’t talk to Daryl the way she once did, and her dialogue has become as reticent and terse as Daryl’s usually is.

I’m working on a book on Sherlock right now, and one aspect of the character of the great detective is his dire fear of being bored. He will do almost anything to avoid being bored, and when he is, then everyone around him needs to look out. I find with Carol there’s a similar thing happening here: she’s filled with so much pain and anguish that she cannot let out that she needs to keep herself busy just to stop the emotions from entering in. Why was she getting that car ready? When Daryl asked her, she just said, “I don’t know,” and almost looked frustrated, as if she genuinely didn’t know why she was doing this. But I think she needed to separate herself from the others and get back on the road so she could drive into more zombie packs and continue to fight, blow up, plot, scheme, do ANYTHING except just sit and relax and try to enjoy the company of others. The moment she stops acting, she starts thinking. And she will do almost anything to avoid doing that.

I think these early episodes are leading up to one hell of a moment for Carol; this could be Melissa McBride’s Emmy season (if, you know, the Emmys could actually look at anything other than the fucking obvious... this is the same awards show that overlooked Tatiana frickin’ Maslany, so I use “Emmy” as a metaphor for “one’s talents being recognized,” even though that’s no longer in the Emmy handbook... okay, rant over). I think she’s going to have a nervous breakdown of some kind, and I hope it won’t be the undoing of her. Let’s hope it’s less Jungle Hair Claire from Lost and more of a catharsis that allows her to put this pain behind her and move forward to a happier future. She deserves it more than just about anyone.

Back to the Bob-B-Q and Father Stokes, my friend Colleen (who often comments here) messaged me and asked if perhaps the guilt of Father Stokes lies in the fact that it was HE who introduced the idea of cannibalism to the group. Is it possible that the Terminites are in fact part of Stokes’s flock? Could he have been the misguided shepherd who provoked it? This could tie in with what I was saying: he could have locked them out of the parish, then watched out the window as they sat below it, eating one another and glaring at him as if to blame him for what they were forced to do. Either way, it was an utterly hideous and creepy way to end the episode. A friend of mine watched the episode late at night, and then had to go outside to walk her dog and the streetlights were out. She’s braver than I am!

Any final thoughts, Josh?

Josh: You just had to bring up the squirrel baby, didn't you?

AAAAHHHH!!!! Still scarier than anything on Walking Dead.

It's true that things look exceedingly dire for poor Bob Stookey, but I thought they were looking pretty dire for him already. And no, I'm not just talking about he and Sasha's happiness as they played their Half Empty, Half Full game and made kissy faces at each other (though it's true that sort of thing rarely bodes well in this universe). More specifically, his peculiar behavior after Abraham's 'Save the World' speech and the banquet that followed – when he kissed Sasha and then went outside and stood staring back at the church, first smiling, then crying, and generally looking for all the world like he was about to leave for good – had me totally convinced that he'd been bitten when the zombie pulled him under the water at the food bank. And if that was the case, then what does that mean for the freaks we last saw gnawing on his shinbone? I'm holding out hope for something a lot worse than indigestion.

Bits & Bobs:

• “People are just as dangerous as the dead, don't you think?” “No. People are worse.”

• The church, by the way? Unmistakably Methodist, in spite of Father Gabriel's collar and title. I'd recognize an old southern Methodist church anywhere, and white clapboard with a tin roof and the big square steeple? Might as well be a flashing neon sign. I'd almost guarantee it.

• Rick's speech to Carl, and Carl's response. “We're strong enough that we don't have to be afraid, and we don't have to hide.” Oh, Carl. Hide anyway.

• “Rule #1 of scavenging: there's nothing left in this world that isn't hidden.”

• The waterlogged walkers looked amazing – super creepy, and very Italian style, I thought. So much slime.

• Rick and Michonne's discussion of the now-missing sword (which is bound to pop back up sometime, don't you think?): “I miss Andrea. I miss Hershel. I don't miss what was before. Don't miss that sword.” Well, I DO.

• Per Abraham, I vote that walkers should hitherto be referred to only as 'the undead pricks.'

Until next week, sleep well, you guys. Two eyes open.

Nikki: I just had to pop back in here (because yes, I love having the final word) and say that YES YES YES I agree with you on Michonne’s sword!! Someone mentioned last week (I thought it was in the comments, but I must have seen it elsewhere...) that someone needs to start a Kickstarter campaign for Michonne’s sword, and I completely agree.

And I also agree that it looked like Bobby got bit when he went under the water.

And speaking of squirrels, what if Carol snaps and fashions one of Daryl’s squirrel carcasses into a squirrel baby?! :::shudder:::

Until next week!

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 1:02 pm

Word Grrrls

Lame Apocalypses

You get the idea. Now see what you can come up with yourself. Have fun.

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 6:14 pm

Elfshot - sticks and stones

Isle of Capri, Italy

Leaving Capri

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 8:54 am

Adam Radwanski

Hard-hit Southwestern Ontario towns face pivotal election decisions

In the run-up to Ontario’s municipal elections on Monday, the spotlight has mostly been on Toronto. But the stakes for the rest of the province are arguably higher in other mayoral races – namely those in the southwestern manufacturing belt, where towns that have faced some of Canada’s worst economic troubles face pivotal decisions about who will lead their attempts to reinvent themselves.

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 10:48 pm

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

It’s A #StayfreeContest Twitter Party! $1000 + in Prizing!

Hello ladies (and friends of all the fabulous ladies!) Have I got an announcement for you!  Stayfree is having another amazing Twitter Party!  YUP, it’s  time to start getting prepared because we’re having a fun and fabulous twitter party, and this time around, we’re going to be chatting about embarrassing panty stories! Hee! It’s the […]

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 6:30 pm

A Peek Inside the Fishbowl

On this day in Ottawa history

Well, this day was one of the worst in recent memory. I am still in shock. I was at a coffee shop when it happened, in the middle of an interview for the Kitchissippi Times. I turned over my phone and saw the news that a shooter was on the loose in downtown Ottawa. Someone was […]

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 3:05 pm

Dawg’s Blawg


This past week, there have been two lethal attacks on Canadian soldiers right here at home, the two perpetrators are dead, and we’re drowning in words. The shootings in Ottawa, taking place as they did in areas so familiar to...

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 12:05 pm

Dammit Janet

PEI: Still Lubing up for the Catlick Church

It seems the CBC got its hands on a leaked business plan to bring abortion to the "Gentle Island."

A leaked business plan for a twice-monthly clinic prepared by Health PEI shows the province could have saved $37,000 a year providing abortions on the Island, rather than paying for them to be performed at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Science Centre in Halifax.

In addition, women using the service would also save tens of thousands of dollars.
Currently, PEI is the only province that has zip zero nada abortion services and forces women to travel at their own expense.

So, while sensible people worked out a way to make this common but time-sensitive medical procedure available, saving both the government and Island women money, not to mention the stress and hassle, the government nixed it.

With zip zero nada explanation.

In a follow-up story, CBC tried to get government spokespeople to account for the idiocy. They would not.
CBC PEI has requested to speak to [Health Minister Doug] Currie and Valerie Docherty, the minister responsible for the Status of Women.

Currie refused to be interviewed and his office issued a statement, as did Docherty.

"My role is to ensure that the voices of all Island women are considered during policy discussions," Docherty wrote in an email.

"As Minister Currie has noted, Government is meeting its obligations to offer abortion services on a regional basis, similar to the same way we offer other health services, such as cardiac rehab, vascular and pediatric services."
Shorter PEI government: "STFU. We know what's best."

On Twitter, though, a clue was provided by @esseleblanc.

From Wiki:
In 1982, after 102 years of service, the Charlottetown Hospital closed its doors when the Queen Elizabeth Hospital opened.

The opening of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1982 also saw the end of abortion services in the province, which had been provided at the Prince Edward Island Hospital since the late 1960s. One of the conditions that the Roman Catholic Church placed on the provincial government of Premier James Lee for merging the Catholic-affiliated Charlottetown Hospital with the secular and publicly operated Prince Edward Island Hospital into the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital was that all abortion services in the province be discontinued.[1]

And that footnote takes us to a story from The National Post, November 16, 2011.

Isn't that sweet? The Catlick Church stomped its widdle feet over thirty years ago and the pusillanimous politicians are still bending over for them.

According to StatsCan, there are about 58,000 Catholics and 57,000 other Christians out of a total population of just over 137,000.

Looked at another way, this means that a minority is holding 79,000 non-Catholics -- and no doubt some sane Catholics as well -- hostage.

Prince Edward Island is *just* like Ireland -- blithely exporting its abortion "problem" and pretending it doesn't have one.

Time to join the 21st century, little island.

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Posted on 20 October 2014 | 10:41 pm

That Artist Woman

Self Portraits and Art Journal Page

Don't you just love self portraits……it's got to be one of my favourite lessons.

I'll show you how to do this one….

……..and how to do an awesome journal page using your practice copy from the first project.

So this variation of my self portrait lesson was done with grade 4.

We put a bit of a math spin on it, discussing fractions when drawing the proportions of the face.  We also did patterns for the background.


- we used 12"x12" hardboards for our backgrounds, you could use paper or cardboard
- acrylic paint
- good quality drawing paper
- mirrors
- pencil and white drawing erasers (Staedtler or triangular drafting erasers).  I have a class set that travels with me and I tell the kids don't use your pink erasers or the one on the end of your pencil.
- coloured pencils or pencil crayons
- fine sharpies
- printmaking shapes, I use cut up pool noodles and these foam blocks I got from the Dollar Store (circles, triangles, squares, etc.), recycled corks from wine bottles, little cups
- scissors and glue
- Mod Podge or Duraclear for sealing, optional


Self Portrait Board:

Now I do self portraits a lot so I have a full class set of mirrors. I got mine at the Dollar Store.  I added some hockey tape to any that did not seem too sturdy.  Kids can be a bit rough with them.

They are a worthwhile investment for any school as each class can do several portrait drawing projects throughout the year.

We start off doing a practice portrait using regular copier paper.  We go step by step as a class.

The hardest part is getting the kids to sketch lightly until they are ready to commit.

My directions for drawing a face can be found HERE and depending on the age of the students I'll also give them a handout or have large step by step pictures up on the board.

When the practice drawing is done I give them a piece of good quality drawing paper.

For this variation I had them do the face shape, ears, neck and shoulders, and outline of the hair.

They then used some flesh tone acrylic paint and painted in the face, ears, and neck.

I keep 3 main colours of skin tone premixed.  (light, medium, and dark).  The kids can usually find a good match but we can alter if we need too.

Let face dry.

While the face is drying paint the 12"x12" hardboard or background a solid colour.

Your face should be dry now.  Using a light hand with the pencil sketch in the rest of the proportions.

Add the eyes, nose and mouth.

When the features are drawn in pencil we added some white paint with a tiny brush for the eyeball.

Now add colour and shading with your coloured pencils.

Your background board will be dry now.  We added patterns to ours and I'll describe how we did this when we do the art journal page.

Cut out your portrait and glue on top of your background.

Art Journal Page:
This is a great project if your students are really self conscious about their drawings.  By painting it a different colour, almost like a fauvist portrait, it helps them loosen up a bit.  They won't expect it to be perfect.

Take your practice drawing.  This is one of my student's.

Go over the outline with a black sharpie.

Squeeze a little acrylic or tempera onto your palette.

Add water to make it inky.

Paint over your drawing.

Let dry.

Paint in the whites of the eyes.

Add detail and shading with your coloured pencils.

Paint a background colour on to your art journal page.

Now add some prints.  I'm using sequin waste paper, cut up pool noodles, corks, little cups, etc.

For the first project the Grade 4's chose 2 shapes and then made repeating patterns on their backgrounds.

While the paint is out do the opposite page so you have a background ready to go for next time.

I used the leftover blue paint as the main colour.

Add some stamps.

And then I added this ADMIT ONE ticket.

That's it, you just completed 2 great projects.

Take care everyone.

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Posted on 16 October 2014 | 7:31 pm

A pretty Life in the Suburbs

Our simple and beautiful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is by far one of my most favourite holidays.  I love everything about it from the food, to the weather, to the cozy sweaters and boots.  But most importantly Thanksgiving for us means time spent with our family enjoying great company, delicious food, Halloween candy and lots of card games!  This years Thanksgiving was […]

The post Our simple and beautiful Thanksgiving appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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Posted on 24 October 2014 | 11:00 am

Canada's Adventure couple

How to travel and stay connected without breaking the bank

It’s the number one question we have during our travels. How do you stay connected to the Internet when you travel the world? It used to be difficult to keep up to date with our social media and blog posts, but in today’s world, it’s a snap. Internet when traveling Use Local SIM Cards to Stay Connected The first thing we do is buy a local SIM Card when we land at the airport of the country we are visiting. [...]

Read the original post How to travel and stay connected without breaking the bank on Adventure Travel blog for Couples | The Planet D.

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 12:10 pm

My New Life in Canada, under the snow!

In the Wake of the Ottawa Shooting

Mark, Feng and I were in the car, heading downtown, when we heard something about a lockdown, a gunman and a soldier shot on the radio. “Where? Here? In Ottawa?” I said incredulously. We turned the volume up and I grabbed my phone for the latest news.

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 9:44 am

Live From Waterloo

Things I was better off not knowing - #13

(En español más abajo)
“How about that time you were pooping under the deck?”
I was peeing, not pooping. And nobody could see me! I didn’t have the keys and I couldn’t hold it…”
Nobody could see you… You were mooning the whole neighbourhood!!” 
“Y esa vez que te pusiste a hacer caca debajo del deck (la terracita del fondo)?”
“Estaba haciendo pis, no caca. Y nadie me podía ver! Yo no tenía llaves de casa y no podía aguantar…”
Nadie te podía ver… Le mostraste la cola a todo el vecindario!!” 
More ‘Better off not knowing’ stories here

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Posted on 23 October 2014 | 4:00 pm