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

Read More

Posted on 19 October 2014 | 2:52 pm

Indian Country

BIA Head Kevin Washburn Speaks to ICTMN About One of the Toughest Jobs in Government

When Kevin Washburn was a student at Yale Law School where he earned a Juris Doctor (JD) in 1993, he was ...

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 12:00 am


Wild Play in Maple Ridge!

While hitching a ride with fellow YVR Bloggers Baila and Jenny, we bonded on our 1 hour car ride out to Maple Ridge. When we arrived, we met up with all the rest of...

The post Wild Play in Maple Ridge! appeared first on Hello Vancity.

Read More

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 1:59 am

List Verse

10 Of The Most Spectacular Holes In The Earth

The mountain peaks and skies of Earth have featured many wondrous sights, locations, and achievements. What lies beneath the surface can be equally remarkable. Throughout the world, many natural caves and man-made holes boast unique records of their own. 10Y-40 Deep Joy Photo credit: Apnea Evolution Do you remember trying to touch the bottom of […]

The post 10 Of The Most Spectacular Holes In The Earth appeared first on Listverse.

Read More

Posted on 22 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 […]

Read More

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.

Read More

Posted on 20 October 2014 | 2:01 pm


"Chow to Ford": Amai Kuda n' Y Josephine release music video in support of Olivia Chow

Is this show currently playing?
October 21, 2014
Toronto musicians Amai Kuda and Y Josephine just released a music video in support of Olivia Chow.

Toronto musicians Amai Kuda and Y Josephine released a music video Tuesday night in support of Olivia Chow -- a catchy tune with lyrics including of "vote "Chow" to Ford" and "get the biggots off the ballot".

The video appeared along with this note on their YouTube account:  "The makers of this song and video wish Rob Ford a speedy recovery from his health challenges. We do, however, feel the city of Toronto also needs to recover from Ford politics and that Olivia Chow is the person to lead us forward." 



Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 10:53 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

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.

Read More

Posted on 3 May 2012 | 2:21 pm

Urban Toronto

Daily Headlines: News From the Internet for October 22, 2014


Neon palm tree El Mocambo sign up for sale on eBay; Doug Ford took a rather embarrassing photo with a gentleman he didn’t realize was mocking him; Incumbents mostly no-shows at Caledon’s Canadian Tire debate; and more news...

Doug Ford took a rather embarrassing photo with a gentleman he didn’t realize was mocking him (National Post)

Race for Toronto city councillor heats up in Ward 18 (Globe and Mail)

Incumbents mostly no-shows at Caledon’s Canadian Tire debate (Toronto Star)

John Tory’s campaign says it has raised more than $2M (National Post)

Halton Hills mayoral race reignites debate over quarry (Globe and Mail)

Neon palm tree El Mocambo sign up for sale on eBay (Toronto Star)

Read More

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 9:07 am

The Hook (B.C. News)

Soldier Shot on Parliament Hill, Multiple Shooters May Be Involved (in News)

Gunfire heard in Centre Block, one gunman dead.

Read More

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 11:23 am

The Greater Fool


Let’s irritate the millennials more. It’s fun. They’re so cute and defenceless. Like baby skunks. Almost nine million people born yesterday (between 1981 and 2000) which is roughly equal to the number of wrinkly Boomers. Incredibly, half of the M-people still live with their parents, and about a million of them who could work, don’t. […]

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 6:18 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

Read More

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 1:30 pm

Renee Zellweger Appears in Public, Sparks a Media Firestorm

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

We’ve now had a day to really digest Renee Zellweger’s new face. I realize that sounds kind of gross, like I’m eating her face or something, but I truly wish my body could process this whole nonsensical debate and expel it as though it were a haute couture kidney stone. Reactions to Zellweger’s appearance at the Elle Women in Hollywood event on Monday ranged from “OMG is that really Renee Zellweger? She looks totally different” to “How dare you point out that this person looks different!” Zellweger responded to the haters via People magazine, saying, "I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows." She owned it, which is a very reasonable response, especially after websites like The Stir referred to her new appearance as "shocking," a word usually reserved for college basketball upsets and home invasions gone wrong.

If you tilt your head to the side, squint, and gargle water simultaneously, she looks a tiny bit like a kinder, gentler Robin Wright now. I think that qualifies as "different," whether or not it is the result of plastic surgery. If my cousin showed up to Thanksgiving after I hadn't seen him for five years and had drastically different facial features I would say something. I'd probably ask him what he did to achieve such a dramatic change. I might ask him for the number of his "guy." I might even make a joke about it in the kitchen while he was off taking a leak or staring at his cutlery. Celebrities are like our weird cousins, except we can easily, thoroughly examine their face from ten years ago in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

In the last 24 hours, seemingly everyone with a keyboard has chimed in, as they are wont to do in our era of instant global communication. It’s no longer a novelty to say that these sorts of media firestorms happen quickly. Gawker’s Caity Weaver got a lot of attention for snarkily posting photos from the Elle event with the matter-of-fact title, “Here Are Some Pictures of Renee Zellweger.” 

The notable thing isn't that outlets that cover celebrity news are talking about how celebrities look—they've been doing that for hundreds of years and will continue doing so after all "news" is delivered through whatever replaces Snapchat—it's that people felt compelled to defend Zellweger and condemn the press scrum. The Guardian's Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy used the occasion to denounce the Hollywood-industrial complex's latent sexism:

To be a female celebrity is to lose at every turn. Dare to age? Face-shame at best and be out of work at worst. Get noticeable plastic surgery on your face to combat the inevitable ageing? At best, you will be mocked for your narcissism and delusional attempts at hanging on to your youth; at worst, you’ll be out of work again. 

To rail against snark and superficiality, though, is to deny the very opiate the masses seem to have an insatiable appetite for. I'm not exposing a heavily guarded trade secret by saying that celebrity gossip, cynicism, and sarcasm drive lots of traffic. Why was Miley Cyrus on the front page of after the VMAs last year? Because you clicked on it. Why did I write this article? Why are you reading it? Why do I love Skittles? Why did I binge-watch Chrisley Knows Best last night? Let's just stop asking questions, shall we?

Photo via Flickr user David Shankbone

Perhaps this is the moment we as a society have decided to draw the line on shaming people for their appearances. Maybe hundreds of years of snark, smarm, and cattiness can just be wiped away. What a lovely world full of rose petals, free champagne, unicorns, and whimsical Pixar movies that would be. Unfortunately for all you fans of gratis alcohol and mythical horse creatures, that’s not reality. People are mean, and that's a basic law of the universe that's not likely to change soon.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am the guy who wrote this article, but I also don't think making jokes about celebrities is anyone's grand ambition in life. As Jalen Rose might say, you've got to give the people what they want. In a supply-and-demand world, it's hard to force people to take their medicine when all they want is to mainline heroin straight into their eyeballs in the form of wisecracks about famous people. Comedy Central roasts, late night talk shows, Fashion Police (RIP Joan), whatever the fuck Chelsea Handler does on Netflix, and every single gossip website on the planet are going to have something to say whenever a famous person leaves his or her house and there's always going to be an appetite for more of that. 

Human beings use the internet to pass judgment—whether it’s on Renee Zellweger for looking different or on those people who choose to make fun of her for looking different. It’s been a good long while since we all had a story to play rhetorical hacky sack with. We’re four months into GamerGate and pundits are running out of things to write about it. Bloggers are now in agreement that men suck (we do) and internet culture is toxic (it is). It's time to move on to the next piece of fluff the media can worry into nothingness—and here comes Zellweger walking out onto a red carpet with a face that could launch a thousand thinkpieces.

Sometimes, outrage is healthy. Our collective ability to chastise someone in power is one of the few remaining checks we have against those in the gilded world of the global upper class. Other times, that outrage can be used as a bludgeon for self-interested or partisan goals. Moral objection is a powerful rhetorical tool because it cannot be dismissed by facts. It's all about how something makes you feel. The truth, in these cases, is totally relative. I can be horrified by the Fappening celebrity nude leaks because of the invasion of privacy and sexual violence it represents, but then the other side of the equation, I can be disgusted that I am infringing on their right to free-flowing information. Who's right? I am, of course!

This binary of "right" and "wrong" is the Muscle Milk for mass media's six-pack abs of self-righteousness. We can debate if it's right or wrong to mock someone for their appearance until the day the sun dies and all the celebrities go back to their home planet in the Marcab Confederacy. The only sane reaction in a world where everyone wants to accost you with their opinion is to refuse to participate. 

Follow Dave Schilling on Twitter.

Read More

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 3:35 pm

Michael Geist

The Expansion of Personal Information Disclosure Without Consent: Unpacking the Government’s Weak Response to Digital Privacy Act Concerns

Bill S-4, the government's Digital Privacy Act, was sent for review to the Industry Committee yesterday. The committee review, which comes before second reading, represents what is likely to be the last opportunity to fix a bill that was supposed to be a good news story for the government but has caused serious concern within the Canadian privacy community. While there are several concerns (I raised them in my appearance before the Senate committee that first studied the bill), the chief one involves the potential expansion of voluntary disclosure of personal information without consent or court oversight. Bill S-4 proposes that:

"an organization may disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual... if the disclosure is made to another organization and is reasonable for the purposes of investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or a province that has been, is being or is about to be committed and it is reasonable to expect that disclosure with the knowledge or consent of the individual would compromise the investigation;

Translate the legalese and you find that organizations will be permitted to disclose personal information without consent (and without a court order) to any organization that is investigating a contractual breach or possible violation of any law. This applies both past breaches or violations as well as potential future violations. Moreover, the disclosure occurs in secret without the knowledge of the affected person (who therefore cannot challenge the disclosure since they are not aware it is happening).

The government is clearly aware that this is a major concern as it attempted to answer the critics during debate over Bill S-4 in the House of Commons yesterday. Unfortunately, the responses were incredibly weak. I've identified at least six responses from government sources below.

The post The Expansion of Personal Information Disclosure Without Consent: Unpacking the Government’s Weak Response to Digital Privacy Act Concerns appeared first on Michael Geist.

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 11:03 am

The Tyee / The Hook

Soldier Shot on Parliament Hill, Multiple Shooters May Be Involved (in News)

Gunfire heard in Centre Block, one gunman dead.

Read More

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 11:23 am

Photo of the day: Good morning Stanley

Every weekday, the Straight highlights a great local shot as the Photo of the Day.

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 5:16 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

Read More

Posted on 22 December 2013 | 9:24 am

Cottage Country Reflections

With the warm weather, last frogs!

Well, here it is afternoon, and I haven't posted, let alone visited my many friendly commenters. Thing is, our Internet Service Provider (ISP) wasn't providing service! Now, for those with Bell's Sympatico, you can empathise. I wrote about our trials and tribulations with Sympatico. Hubby reminded me that it wasn't 3 days without service, it was a month. You'd phone on a Friday, they get you

Read More

Posted on 18 October 2014 | 1:15 pm

Steve Paikin

Steve Paikin: Why John Tory Will Be Toronto's Next Mayor

In his new autobiography, The Battlefield of Ontario Politics, former finance minister Greg Sorbara has a line that, in hindsight, really resonated with me: 
Election campaigns are like murder mysteries. Throughout the piece, everyone is confused about the outcome. Then, after the verdict is rendered, everyone says, “Of course. We should have known it all along.” The outcome was completely logical.
Sorbara writes the line in regards to the 2014 Ontario election in which Kathleen Wynne bested Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath. But that's how I feel today about the race for Toronto mayor.
I started to write my first blogposts about the mayor's race seven or eight months ago. Back then, former MP Olivia Chow was sitting on top of a huge lead, while John Tory's numbers were relatively low as he mulled over a second mayoralty bid (he ran for the first time in 2003, losing to David Miller). 
I suggested all those months ago that while Chow's numbers were high, they might not be all that solid for a variety of reasons. I also thought Tory's baggage (losing the 2003 mayor's race, losing the 2007 Ontario election as PC leader, losing his seat in that election, and losing an ensuing by-election) might actually all be irrelevant as far as the 2014 mayor's contest was concerned. 
I've talked to hundreds of people since those early blogposts about the outcome of this election. Those who were adamantly opposed to a Ford winning (first incumbent mayor Rob, then his councillor brother Doug) were horrified at the prospect that one of them could win this election. I even heard some people, perhaps not jokingly, say they'd move out of the city if they had to undergo "Ford More Years." 
But political victories happen when a candidate's skill set match what's required for the times. And above all else, what most Torontonians seemed to require at this time in the city's history was an end to the drama of the Ford years and someone who conveyed maturity and good sense to take over -- someone who could say, "listen, I can be just a tough a stickler with the books as those guys, but without the circus act." 
That candidate, since day one, has been John Tory. For three decades, that's been John Tory's skill set.  It's often been overlooked because of other issues that occasionally overtook him, such as promising to extend public funding to faith based schools during the 2007 Ontario election. But essentially, that's the sales pitch you get when John Tory throws his hat into a ring: a good, solid citizen, whose brand of Progressive Conservatism has always been about bringing people together, rather than segmenting them into wedge-issue voting blocs. 
The campaign has been dramatic for a variety of reasons: the mayor's fight with cancer, his brother taking over, Chow's underwhelming performance, and some raucous debates. But the fact is, this race has been over for months. 
For months, the polls have indicated Tory was ahead, steadily gaining ground over his opponents by about one or two points per week. For months, the largest plurality of voters (although not quite the majority) clearly saw Tory as the guy who would settle things down at City Hall and work well with the other two levels of government. The fact that Ontario Liberal cabinet ministers and federal Conservative ones seemed to endorse him every other day confirmed that sense. 
While so many Torontonians have been holding their collective breath over the past many months, terrified that the Fords would be returned to office, that was never on. It was never going to happen. The Fords have never polled beyond their loyal base, which is about a third of the electorate. They've lost that extra 15 per cent of the public who liked their message on fiscal probity (but even there, the Fords were prepared to raise property taxes beyond the rate of inflation to get a three-stop subway built in Scarborough). Now that other 15 per cent that voted for Rob Ford in 2010 now has an alternative in Tory. 
So, Sorbara was right. This campaign has been a murder mystery. Through the piece, it's looked as if we had no idea who was going to win in the end. But as long as John Tory didn't do something egregiously stupid (and he hasn't), the outcome was never in doubt. "We should have known it all along. The outcome was completely logical."
And that's why, next Monday, Torontonians will give John Tory, a 60 year old man who's been in politics for 46 years, the greatest victory of his political life, and elect him the 65th mayor of the City of Toronto. 
Mystery complete. Outcome never in doubt. 

Read More

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 5:42 am

Weighty Matters

Why You're Better Off With Froot Loops Than Special K Granola

Because spoon for spoon Froot Loops contains 20% less sugar and roughly 1/3 the calories as Special K granola.

Yet here's betting the health halo of the words, "Granola", the claims, "Made with Whole Grains", "Low-Fat", and "Source of Fibre and Vitamin D", along with the weight-focused branding of "Special K", leads many to think this high calorie sugar bomb is a great, weight-safe, healthful meal or snack.

If you're going to have a dessert cereal, best you know it's a treat and not think it's a health food.

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 7:02 am

Margaret Wente

Ebola plus politics equals a plague of lunacy

The disease will be contained. That’s more than you can say for the politically inspired panic

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 7:00 am

Lauren Out Loud

HIATUS: re-launching January 2015

Tweet This Post

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Posted on 18 October 2014 | 8:57 pm

Bow. James Bow

"Tell me, Clara: Am I a Good Man?"/"I don't know" Doctor Who's Kill the Moon and Mummy on the Orient Express Reviewed

Image courtesy the BBC Two weeks after I watched Doctor Who’s The Caretaker, leading me to write about my love for how the eighth season of the Doctor Who revival is going, I’ve watched the next two episodes, and...

Read More

Posted on 13 October 2014 | 10:20 am

A Toronto Blog

Little kittens at the Animal Shelter

Not surprisingly, several cats greeted us as we walked into the cat room at the Brampton Animal Shelter. Some of the furry guys were a little standoffish but otherwise most were glad to see us, then, yes, only then by goodness, we were told of a special room. A room so secret that few would guess about its contents or of its very existence. Who would believe that the shelter has a kitten room?
Kittens so adorable, so tiny and so, so furry all gathered together into a single room of unbearable cuteness. All ready for some loving and purring.

Fresh Joe cuddles with one of the the little guys as part of an alternative cancer therapy. The healing power of purrs may not exist but the sound makes you feel content.

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 10:07 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

Read More

Posted on 19 October 2014 | 9:34 pm

Postcards From the Mothership

Halloween Family Fun with the City of Ottawa Museums

Looking for spooktacular family fun in Ottawa this weekend? Whether you’re a fearless adult or a tiny trick-or-treater, the City of Ottawa museums have an adventure that’s perfect for you. Here’s the details, in their own words. Haunted Historic Village – October 24 and 25 Experience starts at 7:30 pm with the last admission at [...] Related posts (automatically generated):
  1. Weekend family fun: Culture Days at City of Ottawa Museums
  2. Ottawa Family Fun: Drive-In Movie Night at the Cumberland Village Museum!
  3. Ottawa Family Fun: Pumpkin picking!

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 11:37 am

David Akins on the Hill

Parliament’s budget watchdog warns: We’re not as rich as we think!

Canada’s Parliamentary Parliamentary Budget Office is warning all political parties that while the federal treasury is about to overflow with billions in surpluses, any major tax cuts or new spending programs could plunge the country back into deficit. But with political silly season upon us in advance of the 2015 general election, it’s unlikely the […]

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 1:01 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.

Read More

Posted on 20 October 2014 | 11:56 pm

Nik at Night

The Walking Dead 5.01: No Sanctuary

So, kids, here’s your question of the day: what’s worse than being eaten alive by a zombie? Being eaten alive by a zombie that is on fire.

Yep, the ante has been upped, the gore is gorier, and the badassery is epic. The Walking Deadis back!

Nikki: There’s a lot to cover in this truly fantastic season opener (might be the best premiere that the show has ever had, in my opinion), but I want to start with what I thought was the best part: forget Shaft and Jules from Pulp Fiction, there’s a new bad motherf*&#er in town, and her name is CAROL. From slinging AKs over her shoulder and using fireworks to blow up a gigantic gas tank, obliterating a crowd of zombies and opening up a chasm for the zombies to walk through and take out everyone in Terminus, smearing herself with zombie guts the way Glenn did in season 1 (only without the fear) and calmly walking into the compound amidst the walkers and taking out the guards one by one, THEN managing to disarm and throw down Tasha Yar when it looked like Tasha had the upper hand... un... freakin... believable.

Suddenly Dirty Harry isn’t the baddest mofo in a poncho.

In the midst of all of the AWESOME that Carol represented in this episode, we have to pause for a moment and realize just how far she has come. In the beginning of the series she was a minor character, a battered wife who was as shy and feeble as a mouse, who wouldn’t dare speak out against anyone or anything for fear her husband would “teach her a lesson.” She was fiercely protective of her daughter, and when her daughter was turned by the walkers, it was one of the most devastating moments on the series. Rick had to step up and put a bullet through Sophia’s head, and Carol was forced to watch it happen.

She didn’t mourn long, because in the midst of all this, Carol had hardened. She learned to appreciate Daryl’s gruffness and the way he took matters into his own hands, and she began doing the same. At the time we complained that the writers were doing her a disservice, having her move on from the death of her daughter like it was nothing, but now I can see what they were doing with her: she was learning how to live in this world.

She learned how to shoot and defend herself. She took on two little girls at the prison as her surrogate children and taught them how to similarly harden their hearts against the harsh world around them. When she realized that an apparent flu going through the prison was going to turn some people into walkers, she took matters in to her own hands and killed them. Rick found out, and he drove her out to a nearby suburb and left her there as punishment. Anyone who took matters into their own hands without coming to a democratic decision was not welcome in his group.

Upon her reunion with Tyreese, Mika, Lizzie, and Judith, she not only had to confess to having killed Tyreese’s lover, but when Lizzie killed her own sister just so she’d have a new zombie friend to play with, Carol handled the situation with an eerie calm, and then had to harden her heart even further to kill Lizzie, recognizing she was a danger to all of them.

It is in the midst of all of this horror that she emerges the quiet, resilient, focused hero of this episode. The awesomeness of her entering the compound was topped only by the reunion between her and Daryl, something fans have been clamouring for for almost a year. And just when it seemed we had our perfect moment, Rick comes up and sees her with new, wizened eyes. He now knows that Carol actually wasacting democratically, doing something for the good of the group, and that it’s that hardened resolve that has just saved their lives and will keep on protecting them. Everything about Carol made me unbelievably happy this week.

What were your thoughts on the episode, Josh?

Joshua: What a way to start a season.

When the last one ended the way it did – with no real confrontation at Terminus save the brief losing skirmish that landed our home team in boxcar jail and awaiting the bat and the blade – I got the impression that a lot of folks were disappointed. The episode was, I thought, terrific, anchored by Rick's vicious, worm-turning encounter with the Claimers, but the tone of his reunion with the rest of the group was understandably dampened by the dire straits in which they found themselves. Rick had his confidence, but it didn't appear that they had much else.

Of course, they couldn't see Carol from there.

Still, the true beauty of leaving before the denouement, aside from the masochistic pleasure of narratively dangling from the cliff all summer, is that we got to come back to this tremendous ass-kicking of a premiere.

The entirety of the opening section, leading right up to the unseen explosion from outside, was as close to perfect emotional torture as anything I've seen on the show. The voiced-over montage of everyone gearing up in the boxcar, splintering wood and sharpening zippers and preparing for war, was a great way to get the blood pumping, and the way it was instantly defused by the gas grenade from above did a brilliant job of yanking the rug out from under us, all in the span of only a minute or two. Then it was straight to the executioners, a sequence that felt custom designed to give me a heart attack. The sight of them all bound and bent over the trough as the bat-wielder took practice swings in his smeary butcher's apron, the idle chatter from he and his partner as the moment of truth closed in, and the sound of that saw whining in the background all the while… the tension was practically unbearable. And tempered only slightly by the fact that Adam Boyer, the actor playing the bat wielder, was – no kidding – my son's counselor at summer camp last year, the knowledge of which admittedly took a bit of the punch out of things for me.

Still, he played it perfectly, and it was a rough sit, that sequence. I watched two episodes from last season in preparation for the premiere: the fourth, and the final. The re-watch of the fourth – Carol's banishment in 'Indifference' – was probably the only reason I recognized the blonde kid down on the sucky end of the trough as the dim-bulb boyfriend from the young couple that Rick and Carol encountered in the house there, with the girlfriend who barely made it through the next few backyards. It was a nice callback to include him, and though it was practically subtext considering how long ago that episode aired and how minor the role had been, I also liked thinking about how it must have set Rick thinking about Carol in those moments. How ironic that she was crouching so near at the very same time, all streaked with walker juice like Rambo in warpaint and poised to save his life.

You're absolutely right about how far Carol has come, and it's such a joy to watch her in action now. Everything she did in this episode, from the very first moment she appeared, just oozed confidence and capability. I think watching the dynamic between she and Rick will prove to be a highlight this year, because I don't believe for a second that everything's just a-ok between them now that he's seen the error of his ways and they've hugged it out. Nonetheless, the two of them are very close to the same page these days, and if they can work together, they'll make one hell of a management team.

Which brings me to the point I'm most anxious to discuss with you, and one of the few places where I really felt the hands of the writers this week: namely, Project exTerminus. Why was everyone else was so opposed to Rick's suggestion of going back in and taking care of the rest of the Terminites? They seemed to want to portray it as unreasonable ruthlessness on Rick's part, but isn't that same brand of gee-whiz hesitance favored by the rest of the group the thing that cost them the prison? Have they all forgotten Woodbury so quickly, or did it simply not change them the same way it changed Rick? More philosophically, at what point does a certain level of humanity become a detriment to one's survival?

This seems to be a point they're setting up as one of the driving forces behind the season, considering the 'THEN' opener and closer intended to grant us insight into the events that led to the Terminus community turning toward the brutality they eventually espoused. Then again, it's one hell of a long way from kill-or-be-killed to guess-what's-for-dinner, in my mind, so I'm intrigued by the notion of seeing them try to connect those dots.

What do you think?

Nikki: OK, first, NO WAY on the batter being your son’s camp counselor, that is so hilarious (and must have been reallyweird to watch... and, um, unsettling?) And second, I didn’t actually remember the blond guy at the end as being one half of the creepy couple in the house; now I have to go back and watch that episode. I did, however, recognize him as Penguin from Gotham. And I couldn’t figure out why they were using him in such a small role, and now you’ve perfectly answered that question for me! Amazing.

For me, this episode is all about a line that’s uttered near the end. Eugene explains that he was on the inside and saw the government’s plan for a chemical that would wipe out all of humanity. He said all it would take is merely “flipping the script” to turn that same idea on the walkers and take out all of them, saving humanity in the process. And it was that little phrase — flipping the script — that seemed to sum up this entire episode for me. Carol flipped the script on who she used to be. The people of Terminus were actually once good people, as pointed out in the THEN portion, who were raped and killed and abused until they flipped the script, took out the baddies, and became the baddies themselves. The same guy holding Denise Crosby’s character as she was tossed into the train car (her son, perhaps?) is now the one standing in front of the blood-catching tubs, asking the guys for their quotas so he can enter it into his books.

You ask a pertinent question: how does one go from being the victim to being the perpetrator? Does it always have to be such a leap? Carol went from a victim to a hero, but many people lost their lives along the way. As you say, to go from victim to cannibal is a little wait... what?! for me, but maybe something snapped. They didn’t eat everyone — when Rick threw open that one train car to let the guy free, the freaky dude with all the hair and tattoos was the same guy who we saw in the THEN flashback tossing Crosby back into the other car after having raped her. He’s out of his mind when he comes out of the train car, so god knows what they’ve been doing to him (all deserved, but anyway...) but it’s one thing to seek revenge: it’s quite another to become the bad guys.

So maybe the reluctance to take out the rest of the Terminites stems from exactly that: they want to stop that cycle. In this moment, they’re the heroes, and they want the script to stop flipping. They saved themselves, and the best they can do is steer people away from Terminus. Maybe they’ve decided they can’t save everyone, and need to start focusing on themselves? Would the Terminites actually seek revenge on them, or just stay and take more innocent souls? If I were in that situation, I’d probably just want to get out of there as quickly as I could, too. Only later would I perhaps have some regrets and concerns about not having finished the job.

I’m hoping they actually play out the flashbacks in subsequent episodes and this isn’t the last we see of the Terminus folks, though. As my husband said, an entire season of following signs to get to one place ends in one giant shoot-em-up and then they move on; was that a build-up to a whole lotta nuthin’? I would argue it’s a build-up to a whole lotta Carol Epicness, and for that it was totally worth it, but there is something to building up a place for over a dozen episodes, only to take care of it quickly and move on. Then again, I like them better when they’re on the move and not stuck in one place. As you say, this was the ending everyone wanted last season, and it was all the sweeter having to wait for it. Next week will be the new beginning.

Any last thoughts, Josh?

Joshua: I think you might be right about the flashbacks continuing – likely as we follow Gareth in his pursuit. Any survivors of the chaos at Terminus have no reason to stay there any more, and it's only logical that they'd go after Rick & the gang as the supposed authors of their destruction (though I'd argue they brought that on themselves when they started luring fellow survivors to harvest like sheep). Regardless, I don't think we've seen the last of them, or yet felt the full ramifications of our heroes' decision to simply walk away.

Beyond that, the season is suddenly wide open, and I love that breadth of possibility. The nature of keeping them nomadic allows for lots of variety, and like you, I'm hoping things stay that way, at least for a while. We still have Beth's sort-of kidnapping to explain, and then there's the matter of that post-credits appearance by you-know-who (YES), but otherwise, anything at all could happen. And considering the source, it undoubtedly will.

Thanks for having me back this season, Nikki! When things get this dark, it sure is nice to have a hand to hold.

Read More

Posted on 16 October 2014 | 9:33 pm

Word Grrrls

In the World of Perfect there is No Finish Line

Created this after reading the line in a post on Skinny Artist,  about the perils of trying to be perfect. This line sums up so much of the story of my life. I added “Bloggers Against Perfectionism” just for my own amusement.

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:27 pm

Elfshot - sticks and stones

Amalfi, Italy

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Read More

Posted on 20 October 2014 | 9:51 am

Adam Radwanski

When steel towns stop being about steel

Both cities had built their identity around steel but U.S. city is considered gold standard for Rust Belt revitalization

Read More

Posted on 19 September 2014 | 10:14 pm

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

Tide Launches Pods For Sensitive Skin! #Giveaway

The following giveaway is open to Canada only. I come from a long line of sensitive skin sufferers.  My Mom always had to watch what she washed our clothes in, my Sister is uber sensitive to everything, and my BlueEyed girl has the most sensitive skin of us all.  I once rushed that girl to […]

Read More

Posted on 17 October 2014 | 10:30 am

A Peek Inside the Fishbowl

Apple crisp with toffee sauce

This is the time of year I start to crave a particular combination of baked apples, butter, and sugar. And this weekend I decided to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Enter, the apple crisp: This recipe (mentioned at the bottom of this post) is pretty good, but if I’m really honest with myself I have to […]

Read More

Posted on 20 October 2014 | 6:00 am

Dawg’s Blawg

The shades of night

Two connected items of interest in the past few days. First, Harper sends his CRA squadristi to harass a bunch of birdwatchers who dared write to a couple of Ministers to express concerns about the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on...

Read More

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 11:55 am

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Posted on 16 October 2014 | 7:31 pm

A pretty Life in the Suburbs

Roasted Tomato & Pumpkin Soup

 Happy Friday friends! I have to say I’m pretty relieved it’s the weekend.  This week has been a crazy busy, running-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off kind of week.  After Thanksgiving we jumped right back into life, and the week seemed to go by at warp speed!  And today I’m off to a food blogger conference in Vancouver and I […]

The post Roasted Tomato & Pumpkin Soup appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

Read More

Posted on 17 October 2014 | 7:45 am

Canada's Adventure couple

Mexico’s Most Magical Cenotes – Rio Secreto

We had already done a Cenote tour in Mexico and we wondered how this one could possible be different? I mean, once you've seen one Cenote, you've seen them all right? ...Wrong! Rio Secreto Cenotes Rio Secreto is the Mayan Riviera's newest Cenote and it is an incredible experience. Discovered just 7 years ago, Rio Secreto is truly a wonder of Mexico and has recently been designated as one of Mexico’s most distinct and alluring nature reserves. Why? Because it is [...]

Read the original post Mexico’s Most Magical Cenotes – Rio Secreto on Adventure Travel blog for Couples | The Planet D.

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 5:00 am

My New Life in Canada, under the snow!

The Mind-Boggling Art of Being “kèqì” in China

Chinese like to treat guests as royalty and it can be embarrassingly overwhelming. There is an entire informal code of politeness, the art of being 客气 (keqi), that I quite don’t master. I understand it but it drives me crazy as a Westerner.

Read More

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 9:30 am

Live From Waterloo

Things I was better off not knowing - #12

(En español más abajo)
“…And that time I hit you in the face with the back brush?”
“Yes! I lost another tooth that day!”
“…Y esa vez que te pegué en la cara con el cepillo de rascarse la espalda?”
“Sí! Ese día me sacaste otro diente!”
More ‘Better off not knowing’ stories here

Read More

Posted on 16 October 2014 | 5:01 pm