Monkeys and Mountains

How to Cycle the Eurovelo 13 Alone Across Finland!

adventures of cycling EuroVelo 13 Finland -3

What happens when you take a girl who has never cycled more than 20km 6 weeks before she is about to cycle the Eurovelo 13: The Iron Curtain Trail 1500km across the remotest parts of Finland...alone?

You can read the original article here: How to Cycle the Eurovelo 13 Alone Across Finland!. Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Outdoor Adventures | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Adventures in Europe

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Posted on 25 August 2015 | 12:31 pm

Indian Country

9 Ways Native Men Can Heal From Historical Trauma

Historical trauma has taken its toll on Native people, and Clayton Small, Northern Cheyenne, founder of Native Prevention, Research, Interventio...

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Posted on 26 August 2015 | 12:00 am


Screening Passes Giveaway – Tomorrow August 27, 2015

LEARNING TO DRIVE hits theatres nationally August 28

The post Screening Passes Giveaway – Tomorrow August 27, 2015 appeared first on Hello Vancity.

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Posted on 26 August 2015 | 11:07 pm

List Verse

10 Strange Books Written By Serial Killers

Serial killers have always stirred up a wide range of powerful feelings, from terror to fascination. There are numerous fiction and nonfiction books about serial killers, but none are as controversial as the ones they write themselves. Some of these are autobiographies, while others (seemingly) are works of fiction. In 1997 the first “Son of […]

The post 10 Strange Books Written By Serial Killers appeared first on Listverse.

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 7:01 am

The Gate

Cîroc kicks off in Canada with Cabana party and Sully Wong collaboration

Cîroc Ultra Premium celebrated their official launch in Canada today with a big party at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar, and to mark the occasion they also debuted a limited edition collaboration with footwear designers Sully Wong.

The post Cîroc kicks off in Canada with Cabana party and Sully Wong collaboration appeared first on The GATE.

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Posted on 16 August 2015 | 4:03 am


Canadian doctors divest from fossil fuels

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Posted on 26 August 2015 | 7:59 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 | 3:45 pm

The cat from Hell


Filed under: Cat Behaviour Tagged: Cheezies, Jo-Jo, Kozmo, Nellie

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 3:25 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 | 6:21 pm

Urban Toronto

Scale Model Reveals Design Features of The Barrington


The Lash Group and The Goldman Group will soon be adding a new 18-storey, Richmond Architects-designed boutique condominium development on the southwest edge of Toronto's prestigious Forest Hill neighbourhood. The Barrington Condominium Flats will bring 93 new homes to Bathurst Street, north of St. Clair. To get a better understanding of what will be built here, we turn to the scale model currently on display inside of The Barrington's presentation centre.

The Barrington Condominium Flats, Toronto, Lash Group, Goldman Group, RichmondScale model of The Barrington, image by Jack Landau

The building's Bathurst Street ground floor frontage will offer retail sheltered from the elements by a canopy, and street trees to soften the public realm. Blank podium walls to the north and south sides are where the Barrington will be built up against adjacent properties, creating a continuous urban street wall along Bathurst.

The Barrington Condominium Flats, Toronto, Lash Group, Goldman Group, RichmondBathurst frontage on the scale model of The Barrington, image by Jack Landau

As seen above, the he second through sixth floors will feature a vertical expanse of copper-hued cladding, adding a bold shot of colour to the building's street presence. Atop the podium on the quieter west side of the building, residents will have an outdoor terrace  with barbecues, offering lounging and seating areas. Just inside are amenity spaces for cooking, dining, and entertaining, or relaxing with a game of pool, or just enjoying programs from the multi-media wall.

The Barrington Condominium Flats, Toronto, Lash Group, Goldman Group, RichmondPodium-top amenity space on the scale model of The Barrington, image by Jack Landau

The tower's main exterior expression comes from vertical fins on the building's east and west facades, emphasizing the building's height, and adding visual interest to the exterior. Suites inside range in size from 555 to 2,177 square feet, and start in the mid $300,000s.

The Barrington Condominium Flats, Toronto, Lash Group, Goldman Group, RichmondScale model of The Barrington, image by Jack Landau

Additional information can be found in The Barrington's dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.


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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 4:02 pm

The Hook (B.C. News)

Mike Little Harnesses North Shore Advantage in New Cross-Inlet Riding (in News)

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 7:30 am

The Greater Fool

Not yet

HA HA Garth- You and all the peon’s that listen to your financial ‘advise’ are losing it all! Get physical gold and silver you stupid bitch. Normally I delete one post in a few hundred. Normally I tell you why. But over the past few days I gave up and just hit the KILL button, […]

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 10:27 pm

Expectations Must Be Tempered, but Don't Count Out Marcus Stroman

Expectations Must Be Tempered, but Don't Count Out Marcus Stroman

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 8:42 pm

Michael Geist

Senate Reports Give a Glimpse of Potential Future Digital Policies

The trial of Senator Mike Duffy featured several notable revelations last week about the inner workings of the Prime Minister's Office. One of the most important was found in a 2013 memo written by former chief of staff Nigel Wright that focuses on the control exerted by the PMO over the Senate. While the Senate is nominally an independent body of "sober second thought", the memo highlights how the PMO expects Senate leadership to follow directions from the Prime Minister and to avoid developing policy positions without advance consultations and approval.

For anyone who has followed Senate committee reviews of legislative proposals, the Wright memo is not particularly surprising. This past spring, a Senate committee review of Bill C-51, the controversial anti-terrorism legislation, heard from experts such as the Privacy Commissioner of Canada about much-needed reforms. Yet once it was time to vote, the committee left the bill unchanged, lending an air of theatre to the entire process.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that assuming that policy control over Senate committee remains a priority, a recent batch of Senate reports provides new insights into future Conservative policies. Weeks before the election call, Senate committees began releasing long-awaited reports on a wide range of issues including national security, digital commerce, and the future of the CBC. In fact, more Senate committee reports were released in June and July (15 in total) than in the previous 18 months combined.

The post Senate Reports Give a Glimpse of Potential Future Digital Policies appeared first on Michael Geist.

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Posted on 25 August 2015 | 6:05 pm

The Tyee / The Hook

Mike Little Harnesses North Shore Advantage in New Cross-Inlet Riding (in News)

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 7:30 am

Harvest Haus Oktoberfest party will return to Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza

If you love Bavarian beer, you'll want to be there in early October.

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 11:07 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 | 2:24 pm

Cottage Country Reflections

YOW => YVR; YTO and back to YOW

It was a direct flight from Ottawa (YOW)  to Vancouver (YVR). It takes five hours, but since Vancouver is three hours behind Ontario, we were pretty good. We left at dinner time and arrived at 11:30! Flying standby is not for chumps. There were some grumpy people in YVR, they landed and missed their flights back east. No sense being grumpy. I'd rather they did some things for safety, rather than

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Posted on 22 August 2015 | 11:54 am

Weighty Matters

Jersey Colour May Trump Need for Food Industry Sport Sponsorship

Never forget that the food industry's purchase of youth sport is about marketing and branding opportunities.

By way of example today I'll be discussing Mac's Convenience Stores' "Froster Active Kids" program.

First, for those who aren't aware, Frosters are Mac's Convenience Stores' answer to Slurpees.

Mac's conveniently spell out the requirements of teams who seek their sponsorship - among them:
  • The sports team must agree to send pictures of jerseys, events, etc that can be used to post on our social media pages. Please note that a Photo Release form must be signed by each parent and returned to before funds can be released.
  • Where applicable: Sports team must disclose the expected number of audience for the events/tournaments. Froster Active Kids Program branding must be present at the event through team jerseys and potentially a banner.
  • Mac’s and Froster Active Kids Program branding must be presented on the team or the association’s social media, web pages and other branding opportunities.
  • Sampling opportunities for Mac’s will also be reviewed where applicable.
And then they get a great deal more specific in the application. What struck me from the application, is while there are plenty of questions about the sponsorship opportunities that would be afforded to Mac's, and of the aesthetic fit with Mac's logo, there were no questions, none, to help flesh out the deservedness or financial needs of the team.
Froster Active Kids Logo Exposure:
  • When does the season start and end? Click here to enter text.
  • How many jerseys will the logo appear on?: Click here to enter text.
  • Will the logo appear in colour or black and white? (colour preferred): Click here to enter text.
  • Will the logo appear on the home and away jersey, please clarify if only one: Click here to enter text.
  • What is the colour(s) of the jersey?: Click here to enter text.
  • Where will placement of the logo appear?: Click here to enter text.
  • What other logos will appear on the Jersey (including other corporate sponsor logos): Click here to enter text.
  • Can you send a team jersey to Mac’s with the number “15”? Click here to enter text.
  • Is there a team banner that Froster Active Kids will receive logo exposure on? Click here to enter text.
  • Additional opportunities for logo exposure i.e. hats, jackets, bags: Click here to enter text.
  • Will the Froster Active Kids logo appear on the webpage and the social media page? If so, please provide the link to both: Click here to enter text.
  • Will you be sending a team picture of the members wearing the jersey? Click here to enter text.
  • Is there an opportunity for Mac’s to provide coupons (i.e. BOGO Froster, Free Froster)?: Click here to enter text.
  • Is there an opportunity for Mac’s to come out to a tournament with a banner and sampling/coupons? If so, please describe: Click here to enter text.
  • Additional marketing opportunities: Click here to enter text.
While other programs may provide lip service to altruism, it's refreshing to see Mac's Convenience Stores boldly tell us that it's not about us, it's about them.

And how much are these sponsorships worth? A few hundred dollars? A few thousand? Would it really be impossible to raise these funds in other ways - ways that might also teach the kids important lessons? My three girls went door to door selling flower bulbs for their school this year. They raised nearly $250 in an afternoon. I also recently came across a group of kids sitting outside the local liquor store collecting empties from returning customers so as to collect the bottle deposits for charity. In the few minutes I purposefully spent watching, I didn't see a single person enter the store without donating their bottles to the kids. Back of the envelope calculation has them raising at least $100/hr/store of sitting there.

Given most teams are between 10 and 20 kids strong, and weekends are two days long and multiple times a month, I struggle with the notion that funds can't be raised without turning kids into walking billboards and providing fast food marketers access to children along with a priceless emotional branding opportunity.

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 9:30 am

Margaret Wente

What kind of monster is Amazon?

The retailer is being portrayed as the new poster boy of soulless capitalism, but brutal management practices are nothing new in business

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Posted on 21 August 2015 | 9:30 pm

Lauren Out Loud

HIATUS: re-launching sometime, maybe, in the future

Tweet This Post

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Posted on 24 July 2014 | 6:54 pm

Rants n Rascals

Back To School With Sears #giveaway

I love back to school time, like so many other parents, getting the kids ready means summer is coming to an end and the madness of no bedtimes, traveling, hot weather and fun is over....

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 1:50 am

Bow. James Bow

Drayton Festivities

I see that despite my attempts to post to this blog more often, I’ve fallen back and made a five day gap in my posts. Oh, well. But I have been working. On Friday, I completed outlines on two...

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Posted on 23 August 2015 | 3:14 pm

A Toronto Blog

Forbidden City - Toronto Chinatown Festival 2015

Lions and Dragons danced the day away at the #tcf2015 15th annual Chinatown Festival located along the west side of Spadina Avenue. The cultural street festival is presented by TD Bank, hosted by the Chinatown BIA and continues from Saturday to Sunday, August 22-23 - centered around Dundas Street West.
"This year's theme for the Toronto Chinatown Festival is the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City, now commonly referred as part of the Palace Museum (故宮), is the largest and most well-preserved imperial palace in China. It served as the royal residences and admin offices of 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In the palace there are 8,707 rooms including big and small palaces, halls, towers, etc. The Forbidden City symbolizes absolute authority: It forbids the public to enter or to get close to the palace without permission. For the same reason, trees were not even allowed in the palace until the end of Qing Dynasty. The Forbidden City is now partially opened to public as a popular tourist attraction in Beijing, China."

I caught a brief glimpse of the Lions doing the Forbidden Dance, the dance of love on the streets of old Chinatown, but I looked away because it was forbidden. Martial arts also played a big part in the performance schedule with Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwando, Jiu Jitsu being just some of the fighting styles showcased on the OLG Slots Woodbine Stage.
Global's Carolyn Mackenzie at the TD Stage

Posted by Joe Hamilton and James Hamilton.

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Posted on 23 August 2015 | 3:32 am

Robyn Urbak on Campus

Students: Help us rank Canadian universities and win $1,000

Maclean's is conducting a survey open to all postsecondary students designed to help measure the quality of Canadian schools. Fill it out here

The post Students: Help us rank Canadian universities and win $1,000 appeared first on

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Posted on 24 August 2015 | 7:28 pm

Postcards From the Mothership

Photo(s) of the day: A walk at the Chapman Mills boardwalk

The boardwalk at the Chapman Mills conservation area near Barrhaven has always been one of our favourite places for a wander on a summer day. I have dozens of photos of the boys on the boardwalk going back to when we had Katie and before Lucas was even in the picture, so to speak. When […] Related posts (automatically generated):
  1. Photo of the day: Kayaker at Chapman Mills
  2. Photo of the day: Three handsome fellows
  3. Five (more) ideas for Thanksgiving fun this weekend in Ottawa

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 12:23 pm

David Akins on the Hill

Liberal hyperbole: Mulcair will make massive cuts to health care. Guaranteed

New this week on the campaign trail: Justin Trudeau, the Liberal leader, attacked Thomas Mulcair, the NDP leader, over Mulcair’s “austerity” plan. Mulcair’s austerity plan? That would be Mulcair’s commitment, also made on the campaign trail, to balance the federal budget in the first year of an NDP mandate. Today, Mulcair is campaigning in the […]

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 1:24 pm

Dutch Blitz

Praying For Rain

We live in desert country, so we are used to our summers hearing about forest fires and wild fires and having friends evacuated and seeing the sky covered in a thin haze. It comes and it goes and it’s part of life here. This year has been different. Spring started in February (I ran outside […]

© Angella Dykstra 2005-2013 All rights reserved. | Originally published for as Praying For Rain.

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Posted on 24 August 2015 | 2:31 am

Nik at Night

The Complexities of Internet Grief

Yesterday I posted a photo of Cecil the lion and commented that the internet finally seemed united in their hatred of one person: the man who lured him out of his sanctuary, wounded him with an arrow, and then hunted the hurt animal for the next 40 hours before gunning him down in cold blood and beheading him for a trophy. But I was wrong about the internet being united on anything: because in that very moment a bunch of people thought, "Wait, we're UNITED about something? Can't let that stand" and immediately began suggesting that people who posted about the lion clearly cared more about animal suffering than human suffering.

At first I was annoyed: Jesus, can't we have one single moment of upset that something terrible has happened in the world before we all start calling each other names and guilting each other and accusing each other of not caring about anything else? The two aren't mutually exclusive: being saddened by the death of an innocent animal doesn't mean we don't care about the death of human beings, too.

But instead of being pulled down into typical internet arguing about something, let's ponder that thought and actually look at the issue, because, like it or not, these people are right. This lion was a beautiful creature, innocent, hunted only on instinct, and it was wilfully gunned down by a man who won't be arrested for his act. But ISIS isn't working in secrecy... why are we politicizing it and not spending every free moment of our days fighting it? Why are we not posting constantly about it on Twitter? And why the hell is anyone taking sides on the issue of nine people being gunned down in a church in the States? How is there a side to even take there?!

Is it possible that something about animals is ingrained in us from the get-go? Disney raises us to deal with big human emotions by anthropomorphizing animals and having them act it out for us. We don't mourn the loss of a human mother, but Bambi's mother, or Nemo's mother. We don't mourn the loss of a human father, but Simba's father. Animals are imbued with an innocence that humans can never have. If a lion bites you it's because you threatened him and he acted on instinct. He didn't get together with his buddies, draw up a game plan of how to lure you out of your tent, surround you, and kill you just for sport. When your cat bites you it's because you rubbed his belly wrong or he's trying to get your attention because you haven't fed him in the last three minutes or you just moved your arm after he'd been sleeping on it for the past two hours and you briefly interrupted his sleep. He doesn't plan to hurt you; he does so on instinct. But those of us with pets equate them with unconditional love. Sure, they might nip us or pee on something or make a mess, but sometimes snuggling with a cat or a dog is the only thing that makes the day a better one.

So when a lion dies we all cry out in horror. But just because humans are calculating and never perfect — even the sweetest lady who died in that church shooting could have bullied another child years ago when she was in grade school — it doesn't mean we shouldn't fight for the civil rights of everyone and be outraged that someone could have killed them. We have bumper stickers and posters declaring that Black Lives Matter. Is that even up for debate?! Who the hell thinks they don't?? And why aren't we fighting against anyone who thinks they don't, smearing their business pages with angry rants, shutting down their offices and forcing them to go into hiding like people did with the lion killer?

We as humans are so caught up in disagreeing along political lines or religious lines or ideological lines that we seem to have less and less sympathy for our fellow human beings. We can grieve the cat because he didn't have a different religion than we do, or didn't vote differently in the last election than we did, or didn't make an angry Twitter post one night that really changed our mind about him. He's just a lion. We humans are able to unite to mourn the cat, but we can't do the same about the human beings who are dying, or being tortured, or being mistreated, or being denied civil rights on a daily basis. And we need to.

This is Cecil the lion before he died. This is the photo I posted on Facebook yesterday.

And these are the nine beautiful people who were gunned down in South Carolina.

And this is Kayla Mueller, before she was murdered by ISIS. She was a humanitarian aid worker and human rights activist who was abducted in August 2013 and killed around the beginning of February 2015. She was 26.

Look into all their eyes. Mourn them. They all deserve our support, our outrage, our vow to make things change. Let's stop fighting amongst each other about who showed the proper amount of grief or outrage on Twitter or Facebook, or if you thought they showed too much on one topic and not enough on another. Let's stop pointing fingers and guilting each other and making people feel bad. Support each other in our grief, stand together against the real enemy, and actually turn the internet into a place that could effect change, instead of a place where we just fight amongst ourselves and then walk away to the next issue while leaving these incredible creatures — and their unnecessary deaths — behind.

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Posted on 30 July 2015 | 2:27 pm

Word Grrrls

Toys Travelling Around the World

Over the years I’ve seen a few of these objects being sent around the world and photographed’ projects. Rubber ducks, stuffed toys, even a bra have been among the objects. Is there a name for this? Seems there should be by now. Can you come up with something creative and uniquely you to send around the world on a journey like this? Source: Give Your Stuffed Toy a Break and Make It Travel Around Japan With Unagi Travel | When On Earth – For People Who Love Travel
(2,062 - Visited 8 times, 8 visits today)

©2015 "Word Grrls". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only.

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 10:07 am

Elfshot - sticks and stones

Elfshot and NLAS

Pieces for a sandbox dig
I've been splitting my time over the past week in a few different places.  I should be spending the bulk of my time on Elfshot, as that is what pays the bills these days, but volunteering with the Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society is a lot of fun, too.  I'm not often home in August, so I guess this is all bonus time anyhow.  

Tim Rast (President, NLAS), Darin King (Minister
 of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural 
Development), John Riche (Chair, Admiralty 
House Museum), Steve Kent (Deputy Premier)
Last week, the Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, Darin King, announced $1.2 Million Dollars in support of the heritage sector in Newfoundland and Labrador.  The NLAS receives a small part of that money to deliver the Community Collections Archaeology Research Project and I was invited to speak briefly at the announcement about our project.  It was good exposure for the NLAS and I was happy to attend the event held at Admiralty House and Museum in Mount Pearl.

"The Great Wall" at
Hant's Harbour
On Saturday, the NLAS held it's first field trip.  In total, 17 people toured the curious stone features at Hant's Harbour.  Local tradition suggests that some of the features have an aboriginal origin, although numerous archaeological examinations of the features suggest a more recent early-mid 19th Century European context for the stone walls, rock piles, and cobble paths.  We had beautiful weather and a walk through the woods always does a person good.  You can read more about the trip and see more photos on the NLAS Blog: Hant's Harbour Field Trip 2015.

Discussing the origins of the rock pile
A walrus ivory and copper Thule Inuit harpoon
head reproduction and an antler and chert
Dorset Palaeoeskimo harpoon head.
Back in the workshop, I've been finishing up the Dorset Palaeoeskimo and Thule Inuit sets of artifact reproductions for use in a travelling sandbox dig for students in Nunavut.  The pieces are all finished now, except for a bit of antiquing.  I should be able to do the final photography on them tomorrow and move on to some other aspects of the project.  We want to include a hands-on artifact replication component to the travelling kit, so I'll need to construct a few bow drills and think about the logistics of keeping the kit resupplied between uses.

Photo Credits:
1,5: Tim Rast
2-4: Lori White

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Posted on 26 August 2015 | 10:20 pm

Adam Radwanski

Conservatives have reason to fear NDP in Southwestern Ontario

A cringe-worthy moment aside, Thomas Mulcair came off as a fighter to a boisterous crowd in Sarnia, pointing to a troublesome trend for Tory MPs and struggling Liberals

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 12:55 am

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

A Place You Can Breathe

Sometimes it feels like a mad dash.  Do you know the feeling?  The crush, the pressure, the craze to get everything you need to get done, so you can just “get to the cottage”.   Is it worth it to scrimp and to save?  The panic and mad packing, the fight you have to make through […]

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 12:02 pm

A Peek Inside the Fishbowl

Ottawa giveaway alert! Making lunch… with help from terra20

I don’t pack my kids’ lunches anymore. I stopped doing it as soon as they were old enough to open the mayonnaise jar and cut their sandwiches in half. It may have been second or third grade, I’m not sure, but I will say this: this decision was a win/win situation for all involved. Not only […]

The post Ottawa giveaway alert! Making lunch… with help from terra20 appeared first on a peek inside the fishbowl.

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 1:30 pm

Dawg’s Blawg

Women hold up half this guy

Actually, more like two-thirds. But that could change. I’m not impressed with this blast of squink from the NDP High Command. The facts are that Mulcair committed to a debate on women’s issues, and then he backed out. Period. I...

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Posted on 25 August 2015 | 8:36 pm

Dammit Janet

Owe-lympics Myths: Reuse Pan Am Venues*

One of the biggest porky pies hyped by Toronto's millionaire hucksters is that we're good to go for the Olympics because of all the dandy new Pan Am venues.

Or, Myth 5 at NoTO2024.
Myth 5: We can re-use most of the Pan Am venues
Some sites can be re-used, but even under the relaxed Agenda 2020 guidelines there will be major holes. The ACC and Rexall Centre should be ok, but the velodrome and aquatic centre are too small and too inconveniently located. The Rogers Centre is exactly the wrong size for everything.  The athlete's village will have been converted to housing and we need to find somewhere to stick a $1B+ 80,000 seat track and field stadium. The Olympics are much larger than the Pan Am Games and that level of infrastructure just wasn't built.

Mayor John Tory seems to have been sold this bill of goods.
The mayor added that he’s asked for a report from city staff on the usability of Pan Am venues for a potential Olympic Games.

“It would disappoint me if all that investment we made in very excellent facilities was not to be, under these new rules, something to be taken into account, if one wanted to bid.”
Prepare to be disappointed, Mr Mayor.

Chris Selley of the National Post pointed out that "the Pan Am organizers have always been frank: their facilities are not designed for the Olympics." He also says of the 80K+ seat stadium: "Toronto has no earthly need of such a facility."

John Barber weighs in:
Meanwhile in Ontario, taxpayers just spent $450 million on the four most expensive venues for the Pan Am Games, none of which will be good enough for the Olympics, all of which will have to be replaced by larger facilities if Toronto hopes to host in 2024. There is a long list of new stadiums and every variety of gold-plated facility to be built.
Not only are these venues too small -- and will be too old by 2024 -- some are too too far apart.
. . . many of the venues built for Pan Am are so far from Toronto that they may not meet Olympic committee standards. Some events were in Minden Hills (more than two hours from the city), Welland (90 minutes) and Hamilton (one hour).

New ginormous 80-100K seat stadium, new athletes' village, new/upgraded/relocated velodrome, ditto aquatics centre. . . the list goes on.

In short, existing Pan Am venues are just not viable for Olympics. They will need to be upgraded, expanded or replaced.

All costing mega-bucks.

In other words, a successful Olympic bid would create white elephants like the totally ridiculous baseball stadium in Greece (pictured above).

*Second in an irregular and ongoing series.

Previous posts:

Owe-lympics Myth 5: Health and Fitness Legacy.

Toronto Star and Olympics: Something Stinks

Toronto Councillors' Twitter Accounts

10 People on Twitter

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 12:34 pm

That Artist Woman

My Favourite School Supplies

The best thing about going back to school is stocking up on supplies.  Everything is on sale!

I get several requests for advice on supplies.  Now I am no expert and this post is not sponsored by any supplier.  It's just what I find works for me.

I work with thousands of kids every year and I'm always trying to balance quality, durability, and cost.  In my residencies I bring all the supplies with me so they have to perform.

This week we'll talk general week I'll show you my favourite art supplies.


Most of you know my favourite glue is Aleene's Tacky glue.  If you haven't used it you are missing out.  It's thick and sets up fast.  Cost wise it's slightly higher than regular white glue.
It can be hard to squeeze, I call it muscle glue, "Kids we gotta use our muscles"
It's easy to lose the cap so I always take off the caps ahead of time and store in a little cup.  During clean-up   one of my helpers will collect and re cap the glues.

I use regular white school glue when pasting paper to paper.  I loathe glue sticks as they just don't stick but I have had some success with Elmer's Xtreme glue stick.  I buy a class set of white glue containers (I like Elmer's) to start the year and then re-fill.  In my area the best glue to refill with is Scholar's Choice. I buy the big 4 litre and also use it to make my papier mache mix.

I also stock up on Elmer's Clear glue but not for pasting just for batik.

Adding Colour:

There are lots of ways to add colour.

These are some of my favourite Crayola products.

I love their oil pastels.  They are chunky and don't break like other pastels.  Schools can order mega packs which have extra black and white.

I also like the washable markers.  You can paint water over top of them and get some great effects.
The best crayons for me are the twistables.  You will lose some from kids twisting them all the way up but they are still worth it. It's a happy day when we get to use the twistables. (even grade 5/6 like them)

Pencil crayons or coloured pencils are usually on every one's list.

The best are Prismacolour.  There are different types but the Scholar does fine.  They are soft and creamy.  They blend wonderfully.

But.....they are expensive. (Walmart carries a great set, 48 of them on sale for about $19.99)
They are also not that durable because they are soft.

I use them personally and I buy them for my kids but I can't afford class sets of them at school.

I also tried out these woodless ones. (Koh I Noor Hardtmuth)
They are also  expensive. They are not as creamy as prismacolour. They last forever though as it's solid colour.  Easy to sharpen.  I thought they were quite durable until my son broke one of mine by colouring really hard.

However he did not break any from his set at school and everyone always wanted to borrow them.

Pencil Sharpener's

With those nice pencil crayons you need an awesome sharpener.

Forget the electric it eats all that wonderful colour.  I love Staedtler.  In fact I bought a bunch of them for this year for my pencil caddies.

See that little will last about 3 seconds at school.

But you don't need it so don't let that stop you.

I also love this Faber Castell Trio beauty.  But they are hard to find.

Why are these sharpeners so good?

They give you that very fine point for drawing without having to use a razor blade. (definitely not school friendly)

My favourite pencils are Staedtler as well. They have white erasers on the end and come pre-sharpened!!


My absolutely favourite erasers are the Ecure Maped.  They come in an oval or triangular shape. I buy lots and put my name on them as they tend to grow legs.

The Staedtler is my second favourite.
I do not like pink...and those funky shaped erasers are terrible.
I do not use kneadable erasers at school.


You probably know I love sharpies.

I buy them by the box constantly throughout the year.

I use the Sharpie pen for writing.

For art I use the fine and the ultra fine.
Here's a tip:  Sharpies often get dust on them and stop working.  At school I hand out small pieces of scrap paper when we use sharpies. Kids draw on the paper to get them working again. Don't throw them out too early.
In my own artwork I use Faber Castell PITT pens.  They are permanent, waterproof, and lightfast. I use the white one constantly. It works on almost any surface so I use it a lot to put my name on supplies that are dark. I just wish they made the white in different sizes though. :(

One final tip about supplies.  Last year I flagged all my sharpies to see if this would help.

Lots of kids have their own sharpies these days and I needed to distinguish mine. I used red duct tape and it worked like a charm. Make sure you put it on the middle though.  I first put it on the end and you could not put the cap there.

I hope that helps.  I'm going to try an include an art tip every week if I can.


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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 12:35 am

A pretty Life in the Suburbs

Zucchini Bake

This easy to assemble Zucchini Bake makes a delicious side dish!  It’s a great way to use up this plentiful summer vegetable! – – – – – It’s zucchini season…that’s such a thing right?  Zucchini zucchini everywhere!  And you might be wondering what to do with it all.  The great thing about this veggie is […]

The post Zucchini Bake appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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Posted on 26 August 2015 | 12:25 pm

Canada's Adventure couple

Kayaking with Beluga Whales – A Paddlers Dream

"Don't worry about your rudders, just get in the water." Our guide Tress, from Sea North tours was worried we wouldn't have enough time kayaking with Beluga Whales in Churchill, Manitoba. I'm glad he rushed us, because this is an adventure you don't want to miss! Kayaking with Beluga Whales We arrived late and had [...]

Read the original post Kayaking with Beluga Whales – A Paddlers Dream on The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog.

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 2:12 pm

My New Life in Canada, under the snow!

The Potluck Minefield

I wish the world didn’t assume that French were gastronomic demigods.

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Posted on 26 August 2015 | 12:15 pm

Live From Waterloo

Things I was better off not knowing - #32

(En español más abajo)
- The first time Nick stayed for a sleep over, we were in my bedroom talking until around 3AM. Right before we went to sleep, I casually told him ‘Oh, by the way, I always have seizures while I sleep’ and I turned off the light. 
(Note: no, he doesn’t have seizures, he was just messing with his friend)
- La primera vez que Nick se quedó a dormir en casa, estuvimos hablando en mi habitación como hasta las 3 AM. Justo antes de ponernos a dormir le dije muy casualmente ‘Oh, a propósito, siempre tengo convulsiones cuando duermo’ y apagué la luz.
(Nota: no, no tiene convulsiones, fue de puro mal tipo nomás)
More ‘Better off not knowing’ stories here

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Posted on 27 August 2015 | 11:19 am