Monkeys and Mountains

Meteora: Calling All Adventure Seeking Monks

The original can be found here: Meteora: Calling All Adventure Seeking Monks. Please read the original.

Meteora is home to some of the world's most adventure-seeking monks! They have to rock climb over 300 vertical meters to reach the monasteries!

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

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Posted on 12 November 2014 | 9:00 pm

Indian Country

ICTMN Exclusive: Interior’s Mike Connor Discusses Tribal Land Buy-Back Program

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor today publicly reviewed the status of the department’s Land Buy-Back P...

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 12:00 am


My Green Space Launches Crowd-Funding Campaign

My Green Space announces the official launch of, a platform which makes planning, purchasing, and planting gardens easy. With My Green Space, creating your own garden is as simple as defining your available area....

The post My Green Space Launches Crowd-Funding Campaign appeared first on Hello Vancity.

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 6:55 pm

List Verse

10 Ridiculous Video Game Marketing Campaigns

The rise of video games has been so meteoric in recent years that it has gone from being perceived as the favored pursuit of geeks and children to becoming a multibillion-dollar industry. In fact, the games market is so enormous that overall revenue dwarfs that of other entertainment media. Marketing campaigns for upcoming titles have […]

The post 10 Ridiculous Video Game Marketing Campaigns appeared first on Listverse.

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 3:00 am

The Fur Files

Dangerous Things People Should Probably Avoid

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

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Posted on 11 April 2014 | 10:13 am

The Gate

Knob Creek cocktails and BBQ goodness at AFT bar

There was delicious smoke in the air at AFT bar a couple of weeks ago when Knob Creek invited a few media friends and bloggers to try our hands at mixing drinks and tasting some fine BBQ dishes.

The post Knob Creek cocktails and BBQ goodness at AFT bar appeared first on The GATE.

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 3:21 pm


What do you think continued pipeline protests across Canada indicate?

On Thursday, RCMP started arresting protesters in Burnaby over the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

What do you think continued pipeline protests across Canada indicate?


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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 1:56 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

Thank Yous 15 and Counting!!!

See this picture? Its a package from the wonderful cats and humans at 15 and meowing!!!! Do you wanna see inside? Cat Toys!!!! And they smells heavenly! Look at this haul! 2 balls, 2 tubes, A DRUMSTICK, a card and there is something for Mommy! A black cat to wears on her suit she wears […]

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Posted on 16 November 2014 | 8:49 pm

The Future Soon

Octopus killing a seagull - THE KRAKEN WAKES

Octopus killing a seagull off Ogden Point breakwater

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

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

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

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

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

And this is where I found this story.

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Posted on 3 May 2012 | 2:21 pm

Urban Toronto

CTBUH Hosts Tour Through Lanterra's Ice Condominiums


It's been a cold last few of days, and on November 19, the day that Winter dropped its first calling card of the year with Toronto, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) hosted a tour of the Lanterra Developments condominium project known, maybe all too appropriately in this instance, as Ïce.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsÏce towers above adjacent developments in Downtown Toronto, image by Jack Landau

The 57 and 67-storey towers stand tall and slim and somewhat cylindrical in Toronto's burgeoning South Core area, and are quickly recognizable for their "Swiss Cheese" roofs. The shorter of the two towers, the west one, is now being occupied by its first residents, but it will be another several months before the first residents move into the taller east. It's into the unfinished east tower that we are going to go, and on not so bright and sunny a day as when the photo above was taken.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsMark Mandelbaum introduces the tour group to the development, image by Craig White

The tour was arranged by the Toronto Chapter of the CBTUH, and two of its representatives can be seen in the image above. James Parakh, in the yellow hat, is Manager of Urban Design for Toronto and East York District in the City's Planning Department, and is on the worldwide CTBUH Advisory Group and Chair of its Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee. Richard Witt, to James' left (your right), is a Principal at Quadrangle Architects and the Chair of CTBUH Canada, and Toronto's Representative. 

In the middle of the image above, Mark Mandelbaum, President and CEO of Lanterra Developments, began our tour with a welcome to the site, giving an overview of its history (along with that of its sister Maple Leaf Square project to the east), and what is still to come on the rest of the site where Cadillac Fairview is planning a 32-storey office tower.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsThe pedestrian court in front of Ïce Condos, image by Craig White

Ice Condominiums' site plan is sorted out around a central open pedestrian space with one tower to the south of it, one to the east of it, and with the future office tower to come to the north. The open space, to be one of the City's 'POPS' branded quasi-parks, (POPS stands for Privately Owned Publicly accessible Space), is framed from above by the curving concrete rim seen in the images above and below.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsOne of the skylights that pokes through the podium roof, image by Craig White

Early plans were to bring cars into this area for drop-off and pick-up, but those plans have been dropped, and the area will now fully be the realm of the pedestrian. You can see above the 'house', part of the artwork 'Urban Firefly' by London based Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier which will soon be erected in the middle of the space.

Blair Robinson, an Associate at architectAlliance, designers of Ïce, took the tour at this point, taking us through some of the podium. Below, we turn 180° to look east, and up through another skylight in the podium roof. Ïce's architecture is inspired by Scandinavian design of 1960s, so curves and sleek, slender proportions for the elements are the language here. We will see further along that finishes are similarly influenced, with no extravagant flourishes, but with precise geometries.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsLooking east through the podium, image by Craig White

As we move through the podium with York Street, we begin to see Maple Leaf Square's main doors through the increasing snowfall.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsLooking towards Maple Leaf Square on the other side of York Street, image by Craig White

On the east side of the podium now, the location for the future access to the PATH system can be seen where the tracks for two escalators dive below the ground floor. Toronto's indoor pedestrian network currently connects Maple Leaf Square to the bulk of the city's financial core towers and the transportation hub at Union Station; within a couple of years, a tunnel will connect Ïce and adjacent buildings to the PATH system too.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsFuture connection to the PATH network, image by Craig White

To learn more about the podium, you can check out our story from last year when we toured the building with more time. Enough time on the ground now though; before light fell completely we hopped into one of the two construction hoists and took a wind-whipped ride 64 floors into the downtown air.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsRiding the construction hoist to the 64th floor, image by Craig White

And when we got up top, it was just stunning up there! Okay, well, it was just stunning up there for our last visit in September 2013, and it seemed a good spot for a jarring reminder of the kinds of views that Ice residents will be enjoying on better days than the day of the tour.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsSlightly nicer weather, September 2013, image by Craig White

Back to November 19th's reality though, and this was the spookier but still intriguing view from the 64th floor. The windows are in up here, so after the frigid ride up the side of the building, we are happy to be in warmth again and looking out on the cold. It was up here that the tour was passed off to Doug Wood, Superintendent of Construction for Lanterra, and Jeff Vivian, Partner at Jablonsky Ast and Partners Consulting Engineers.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsSlightly less in weather, November 2014, image by Craig White

Looking over to the shorter west tower from here, we can see its mechanical penthouse area below the whimsical (and very expensive to build) roof. Hidden below it are HVAC systems and a mass damper, currently being tuned. The liquid-filled damper tanks resist the force of the wind on the buildings, keeping sway down to unnoticeable levels. Certainly, no movement of the structure could be detected during our visit.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsPenthouse terrace and mechanical above, image by Craig White

Here we learned two very interesting facts about the buildings. The first is that wind testing showed that the shape of the buildings and those around Ïce mean that the windows here must resist 100 lbs of suction, trying to pull the windows out when the wind whips up. To resist that force, a custom anchoring system for the window wall was worked out on test installations on lower levels, before the system was employed to completely clad the buildings. The second was that while only being 17% taller than the shorter tower, there is twice the steel rebar in the walls of the taller tower. To resist forces that increase exponentially, and which would rather have everything be a low pile at ground level, the taller tower is essentially twice as strong as the shorter one. Subsequently, creating the rebar lattices which are now engulfed within concrete walls took one day longer per floor for the 67 floor tower—5 days each—than they did for the 57 floor tower.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsSnowy views towards the Rogers Centre from Ïce Condos 2, image by Craig White

Happy to be 64 storeys up, it was time to climb another two, because you can't come this far up and then not get a look at the cheese, right? 

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsThe Swiss cheese roof atop Ïce Condos 1, image by Craig White


Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsToronto's dramatic financial core, looking a bit more subdued than usual, image by Craig White

Two floors down again, it was time to take in the north views. Well, it would be better if you were to check out the story from last year where the cameras were pointed in the same direction on a better day. Time to head down to 29.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsOn our way back down to the 29th floor, image by Craig White

Each of the Ïce towers shifts at the 30th floor. Balconies which were on the east and west sides below that level shift to the north and south sides, and vice versa. It was one floor below that, therefore, where we made our next stop to get a look at what happens here.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsThe window washing rail hanging from the 30th floor, image by Craig White

That rail hanging below the balcony slab holds the window washing platform. That's the worst photo I have ever felt compelled to publish on UrbanToronto to illustrate a point… one compounded by how much nicer this picture could have been had the window washing equipment just been used here. Alas…

So, with the wide-open views provided by the 29th floor terrace at the top of this stack of balconies, it was time to step out for a look. 

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra Developments29th floor terrace with a view toward the Toronto core, image by Craig White

It also seems like a good time to roll the video:

One more ride, and we are back at ground level. Looking up York Street, pretty much directly below from where the previous image by shot, one can see here that a rather wide swath of ground will be revealed when the hoarding along the York Street sidewalk is removed next year. Landscaping by NAK Design Strategies resembling that from across the street outside of Maple Leaf Square will be put in here, but the whole side here is wider. This road is going to have a grander feel than people realize.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsLooking north alongside a hidden York Street, image by Craig White

A quick visit inside, and we get to see the completed Munge-Leung designed lobby for the west tower, here in fish-eye wide-angle glory. These walls are curved, but only on one axis, not two!

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsLobby for Ïce 1, the west tower, image by Craig White

Until the courtyard and rest of the podium is finished, residents currently access the lobby by a hallway that runs along the south side of the building. This hallway will eventually extend the PATH system from Maple Leaf Square through Ïce and on to 'Infinity' to the west. There will be retail facing this hallway.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsIn the PATH walkway along the south side of Ïce, image by Craig White

The windows face a narrow linear park, still to be landscaped. The Gardiner Expressway runs to the south of that.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra DevelopmentsThe south side and the Gardiner Expressway, image by Craig White

And that's it for this tour. Have a last look up for now. We will be back in the future.

Ice Condos, Toronto, designed by architectsAlliance for Lanterra Developments A last look up at Ïce 2, image by Craig White

If you want to know more about Ïce, UrbanToronto's dataBase file on the project, linked below, has a full set of renderings and all the information on the building. If you want to talk about it, choose one of the associated Forum thread links to get in on the conversation, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 7:00 pm

The Hook (B.C. News)

VIDEO: You Gotta Love Kelp (in News)

Four reasons to respect this precious 'carbon dumper,' courtesy of the Hakai Institute.  

Related Stories

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 6:07 pm

The Greater Fool

The temptress

Andrew took his babe to the bank. Like most 24-year-olds, she doesn’t know how to invest. TFSA in cash. High-fee mutual funds. And way too much in GICs. “We went,” he says, “to set up an on-line trading account to give the girly access to low cost index funds and ETFs.” Perfect. That’s progress. But […]

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 5:25 pm

Hiking With Barry!

Memorial Lakes Trail Comments – Kananaskis – Hiking Alberta

Your help and support is needed.  Please leave a comment at the end of this post. June of 1986 was the occasion of Alberta‘ s most tragic search and rescue operation. Thirteen lives were lost over 13 days. In September of 1986, a memorial cairn … Continue reading

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Posted on 19 November 2014 | 1:10 pm

This Week in Racism: 'Serial' and the White Liberal Media's Race Problem

[body_image width='1200' height='483' path='images/content-images/2014/11/20/' crop='images/content-images-crops/2014/11/20/' filename='serial-and-the-white-liberal-medias-race-problem-twir-121-body-image-1416520489.jpg' id='5627']

Last week, Jay Caspian Kang wrote a ​scathing indictment of the true crime podcast Serial for the Awl. In it, he claimed that Sarah Koenig's investigation of the murder of Hae-Min Lee amounted to a very popular version of cultural tourism and white privilege. If you haven't heard the show, it's about Koenig sticking her white nose into the not-white lives of Lee and the man convicted of her murder, Adnan Sayed, the son of Muslim immigrants, and Kang argues that she gets stuff wrong as a result of cultural differences. Late in his piece, Kang writes, "The listener is asked to simply trust Koenig's translation of two distinct immigrant cultures. I can think of no better definition of white privilege in journalism than that." 

Kang's piece was widely read, especially in certain media-centric corners of the internet, and soon spawned a backlash to his backlash, then a backlash against the ​backlash to his backlash. All this made me wary of actually listening to the show, but my plan was ruined by my choice, made many years ago, to socialize with mostly white people. All of the parties I attend resemble scenes from the movies Mystic Pizza (rent it—Julia Roberts is transcendent) so I had an army of Serial fiends prodding me with questions about whether or not I'm "listening to Serial," if I've "got any theories on who did it," whether or not I know "where the bathroom is," which "freeway I took to get here," and who "scratched my goddamn Fiat."

[youtube src='//' width='700' height='525']

I caved and listened to a couple episodes. It was exactly what I expected: a disembodied voice, some droll wit, a few quirky music cues, and an old-school theatrical flair for the cliffhanger. Every so often, Koenig calls her cousin, doctor, artisan butcher, personal shopper, or someone like that and asks them what they make of some crazy revelation. You can practically hear the eye rolls through your speakers: OMG, there goes wacky Sarah again with her kooky-pants theories. Good luck with this show. Like anyone will care when this comes out. It's not even on TV! LOL. 

More than just a delightful romp through someone's actual, real-life misery, though, Serial is a bespoke, pastel dog whistle for anyone who absolutely cannot stand the self-satisfied "white liberal media" industrial complex—the well-meaning yet perpetually enraged section of the internet that loves reminding people how evolved they are. These are the kinds of websites that go out of their way to remind me that Ted Cruz is a touch dumb, Sarah Palin is unqualified for every job except waitressing at the Denny's off the turnpike, that Jon Stewart (and now John Oliver) is a saint and was born from the world's cleanest, most respectable vagina, and that Obamacare would work if everyone would just agree to use it. Serial is very popular with these people, which is why it's become both an ideological punching bag for some and a totem for others. Not liking Serial is a synecdoche for hating how monochromatic the highest rungs of journalism are.

[tweet text="I will be your best friend, Liberal White Media. In 2022, I will be your deputy editor." byline="— jay caspian kang (@jaycaspiankang)" user_id="jaycaspiankang" tweet_id="534891494780702720" tweet_visual_time="November 19, 2014"]

This point is pretty inarguable—the media is obviously dominated by white folks. There's never been a minority (or female) host of The Tonight Show. Every few years we all have to debate why there's so few minorities on Saturday Night Live. Can I get an Asian on Monday Night Football or what? Come on, people. 

Koenig isn't the problem in all of this, though. She's simply a person with a soothing voice and the absurdly enviable job of "public radio personality." Though a good number of people have gotten on the "hate Sarah Koenig" bus (don't worry, the bus is a plug-in hybrid), I think many of them are responding to her suddenly exalted position in the liberal media landscape more than the content of her show. It's not so much that Serial is a terrible podcast, it's that people who aren't white never seem to get the chance to make something like that.

[tweet text="Much needed: The Problem with those "The Problem with SERIAL" pieces by @jaimealyse" byline="— Laura Miller (@magiciansbook)" user_id="magiciansbook" tweet_id="534307202258202625" tweet_visual_time="November 17, 2014"]

By the way, most people who are talking about all this stuff are white. Earlier this week white person Laura Miller, one of the co-founders of Salon (the ultimate white liberal media internet outpost), tweeted out a ​rebuttal to Kang's article by white person Jaime Green. That was around the time white person Sarah Miller wrote her own rebuttal of Kang. The whiteness of the people discussing Serial's whiteness isn't a coincidence—the advantages in access, education, and connections that white people tend to have relative to other ethnicities means that the people with the largest megaphones usually have a certain type of skin pigmentation. That inherently unfair fact about the world is pretty obvious, but talking about that makes some white people—even white people who say the word "problematic" all the time—sort of nervous. 

It's telling that Serial has been called "​The Wire of Podcasts," since the very same (white) people who evangelized on behalf of that show are shoving a feeding tube of praise down my throat like I'm getting fattened up to be turned into foie gras. I get it, white liberals! You like this show! You hate the idea that your enjoyment of the show makes you somehow racist or complicit in racism! It makes you nervous that a nonwhite person is aware of your consumption habits and looking down upon you for them! I hear you. Now leave me alone. I'm going to watch Mystic Pizza again.

Follow Dave Schilling on Twit​t​er.

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 4:08 pm

Michael Geist

The Spencer Effect: No More Warrantless Access to Subscriber Info With Five Minutes of Police Work

The Canadian Press reports that the RCMP has abandoned some Internet-related investigations because it is unable to obtain warrantless access to subscriber information. The article is based on an internal memo expressing concern with the additional work needed to apply for a warrant in order to obtain access to subscriber information. The changes have arisen due to the Supreme Court of Canada's Spencer decision, which held that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in subscriber information. As a result, it is believed that most telecom and Internet providers have rightly stopped voluntary disclosures without a warrant (some have still not publicly stated their disclosure practices).

The article notes how easily subscriber information was disclosed prior to Spencer:

Prior to the court decision, the RCMP and border agency estimate, it took about five minutes to complete the less than one page of documentation needed to ask for subscriber information, and the company usually turned it over immediately or within one day. The agencies say that following the Supreme Court ruling about 10 hours are needed to complete the 10-to-20 pages of documentation for a request, and an answer can take up to 30 days.

The troubling aspect of the story is not that some investigations are being curtailed because law enforcement is now following due process and that telecom providers are requiring a warrant before disclosing subscriber information. It is that for millions of requests prior to Spencer, it took nothing more than five minutes to fill out a form with the information voluntarily released without court oversight and without notifying the affected subscriber.

The post The Spencer Effect: No More Warrantless Access to Subscriber Info With Five Minutes of Police Work appeared first on Michael Geist.

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 9:48 am

The Tyee / The Hook

VIDEO: You Gotta Love Kelp (in News)

Four reasons to respect this precious 'carbon dumper,' courtesy of the Hakai Institute.  

Related Stories

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 6:07 pm

Vancouver’s Local Solo connects employers and freelancers

It's so hard to find good help these days.

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 4:39 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

Sady's Saga

Sady on the Princess towel! She loves hubby. Me, not so much. Poor, old Sady. She's had this awful nasal congestion, which sounds like snoring. It was getting worse. She sounded like Darth Vader. I told hubby, if her nose isn't running yellow or green, it's a cold virus, and not bacterial, therefore wouldn't respond to antibiotics. She didn't have a fever, and she's been eating well. Her

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Posted on 16 November 2014 | 6:43 am

Steve Paikin

Steve Paikin: Former CIA Director Talks About Navigating in the Strategic Dark

John E. McLaughlin, a former acting CIA director, was in Toronto to speak at a conference organized by the Institute for 21st Century Questions.

For more than a century and a half, the United States has had a significant organizing strategic principle — a mission in the world that seemed uniquely American.

In Abraham Lincoln’s day, it was “Save the Union.” A century ago, America entered the First World War to “save the world for democracy.” During WWII, the goal was to defeat the Nazis and fascism. During the Cold War, it was all about containing the Soviet Union.

But John E. McLaughlin, who served as acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2004, rues that “we don’t have something like that today,” and its absence isn’t good for American leadership in the world.

McLaughlin shared his concerns at a recent conference mounted by the Institute for 21st Century Questions at the University of Toronto. The conference was organized by Irvin Studin, publisher and editor-in-chief of the five-year-old foreign affairs magazine Global Brief.

“We’re living in a gap between strategic epochs,” McLaughlin says. “We’re still cleaning up after unique periods in history.”

McLaughlin points to the Middle East which, he says, is still dealing with unresolved problems from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the end of the First World War. And, Central Europe is still grappling with problems emanating from the end of the Cold War.

In the past, he says, a strong United States might have been able to wield its influence to solve some of these problems. After all, the U.S. successfully ended the Cold War, then stood alone as the world’s sole superpower in a unipolar world from, in McLaughlin's view, from 1991 to 2008.

But McLaughlin contends that the 2008 Great Recession raised questions around the world about America’s ability to be an international leader, and now the country is seeking to preserve its influence while others (China and Russia especially) seek to gain more power.

“There are still powerful voices in the world wanting the U.S. to stay engaged,” says McLaughlin, who spent more than 30 years in the CIA. But with so many apparently unsolvable problems everywhere you look, the voices of isolation are growing stronger.

Looking forward, McLaughlin, who’s now a distinguished practitioner-in-residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, says prognosticators need a good dose of humility. One thing he feels confident forecasting: developed countries will continue to see marginal growth rates, and more ethnic tension internationally will migrate to America’s shores. What a toxic combination that could be.

In addition, McLaughlin is extremely worried about the increasing availability of dangerous materials. He estimates there are 23 million tons of fissile materials (the building blocks of nuclear weapons) available worldwide, with 150 reports of theft of that material annually.

“It seems to me we have three possible futures,” he says. “Happy, messy, or nasty.”

A happy world would see more constructive engagement with China, and Russia better integrated into the international community. “The challenge is to engage rather than contain Russia,” he says.

The messy version of the future sees continuing tension with China, Russia, and the Middle East.

The nasty future “is where the problems go really bad,” McLaughlin says. China becomes a true rival; Russian adventurism to “protect” ethnic Russians in neighbouring countries continues unabated; and the five dimensions of the Middle Eastern crisis truly explode:

  1. Sunni vs. Shia
  2. Religious vs. secular
  3. Democratic vs. authoritarian
  4. Persian vs. Arab
  5. Israelis vs. Palestinians

Any one of those problems could create enormous headaches for the rest of the world.

McLaughlin sees the current state of international affairs lying somewhere between “messy” and “nasty,” but his fear is that we could see all five dimensions explode in the days ahead.

Almost makes you yearn for the good old days of the Cold War, where we knew who the enemy was, understood him, and also had a secure back channel phone line to the Kremlin, just in case.

Read more by Steve Paikin.

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Posted on 19 November 2014 | 11:01 am

Weighty Matters

At Times in our Lives We're All Golden Retrievers

Today's Funny Friday video features a golden retriever that I can greatly empathize with.

Have a great weekend!

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 5:30 am

Margaret Wente

The Ubers are destined to win the taxi wars

As John Tory says, they’re ‘here to stay.’ Too bad industry and regulators didn’t get the memo

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 6:00 am

Lauren Out Loud

HIATUS: re-launching January 2015

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Posted on 24 July 2014 | 2:54 pm

Rants n Rascals

Spicy Ranchified Shepherd’s Pie #HiddenValleyGFChallenge

I love trying new recipes out, especially if they are super easy to make. The quicker the better where my boys are concerned. One staple always in our home is Hidden Valley Ranch. When it comes to condiments, especially dressings my boys love it all! What I love about Hidden Valley Ranch is it’s not […]

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 3:16 am

Bow. James Bow

Blessings in Disguise

Winter has hit full force, and I’m sorry to say that I’ve been caught unprepared. It’s something of a victory that my kids have snowpants and mittens, and we still have to find their winter boots (fortunately, their rain boots...

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Posted on 17 November 2014 | 5:15 pm

A Toronto Blog

The unending of Twitpic

We were told that the photo and video sharing service that posted the content to Twitter would end in September of 2014 and that if we wanted the photos we would have to download them before they disappeared forever. Twitter ended up with the photo archives as Twitpic shut down without a buyer, but I downloaded the photos before I knew they were to be spared. Here then are some blasts from the past (photos from the past -part 1).

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 2:53 pm

Robyn Urbak on Campus

Five top job paths of the future

From global to local and tech to talk, the career outlook for our next generation is brimming with bright opportunity.

The post Five top job paths of the future appeared first on

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Posted on 10 November 2014 | 2:32 pm

Postcards From the Mothership

Photo of the day: Team Donder

I love it when a plan comes together. This was a half-baked idea that came to fruition thanks to Photoshop, family pride, and a friend who does small-run custom screen printing. Oh yes I did make matching Christmas sweaters for all the cousins. And my brother. I love how they came out, and the hoodies [...] Related posts (automatically generated):
  1. In defence of Donder – redux
  2. Five things that are making me happy this Christmas
  3. The case of the mis-sized sweater

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 8:27 pm

David Akins on the Hill

Voter preference by household income: Parties of the rich and poor

The Liberals have just released a new online video (see below) arguing against the Harper government’s income splitting plan. Liberal Justin Trudeau has vowed to roll back income splitting for parents if he’s elected PM.  Thomas Mulcair this week has vowed the NDP will fight the plan thought he was a bit more cagey about […]

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Posted on 14 November 2014 | 8:28 am

Dutch Blitz

Sunny Days

Life has been nuts, more nuts than usual, and it seems like the only time I can sit down and write here is when I’m at the end of my rope and it feels like I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. It’s a skewed reality, which is what happens when you share 1% of your life […]

© Angella Dykstra 2005-2013 All rights reserved. | Originally published for as Sunny Days.

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Posted on 19 November 2014 | 11:38 pm

Nik at Night

The Walking Dead 5.4: Slabtown

(My apologies in advance for the at-times angry nature of this post; I really do love this show... I probably don't have to say that, but after writing this post I feel like I have to reiterate it...)

Last week ended with Daryl looking into the bushes and telling someone to come out. Was it Carol? Beth? Someone else? We had several ideas in the comments of that recap, and this episode ain’t about to reveal the truth any time soon. (Nor will next week’s.) Looks like The Walking Dead is back to its old tricks, splitting up the group and pushing different stories that will make us wait for closure. Let the games begin!

Nikki: This week’s episode was surprising for one main reason: ELECTRICITY. When’s the last time we saw THAT on this show?! Clearly it’s meant to make us think we’re flashing back to The Time Before, but as soon as Beth looks out the window and realizes she’s in a ruined, post-apocalyptic Atlanta, we know that nope, this is the present day.

There’s a lot to say about this episode, and I’ll actually let you get started with the actual analysis this week, Josh, because I’d like to say something else. I love The Walking Dead, y’all know I do, but sometimes this show is just SO BLEAK it’s bordering on being too much. There are weeks where I think if I didn’t write this column each week with Joshua, I’d just let it pile up on the DVR like so many other shows and marathon it when the season is over. In this week’s episode we see a place that has actually figured out how to maintain electricity, heating, cooking (even if the food isn’t exactly five-star quality), and what should be an element of safety, but hold on there, you optimistic freaks, there’s NO SUCH THING as contentment in the world of Robert Kirkman. I truly believe this guy has one of the most pessimistic views of human nature ever. I honestly don’t see where he’s coming from sometimes. Maybe it’s because I’m a Canadian, maybe it’s because I’m just naive, but I simply don’t believe that in a world that’s this dark, there isn’t SOME sort of refuge somewhere that isn’trun by one megalomaniac dominating a bunch of hapless idiots.

Oh look, a sweet little town called Woodbury with food, water, individual houses, guards keeping you safe, and OH MY GOD ARE THEY DOING ZOMBIE COCK-FIGHTS?! And is their “Governor” a crazy one-eyed Pete who has aquariums filled with zombie heads? Good god no.

Oh but hey, after our long journey there is an end point, a sanctuary called Terminus. Wonderful. Rally on, friends and let us all head to this OH MY GOD unsanctimonious hellhole of revolting cannibalism where we are not only NOT safe, but kept in train cars TO BE EATEN. Fuck. ME.

And now we’ve blown up that Not-Sanctuary and... hey? Where’s Beth? Why, she’s gone back to Atlanta where she’s found a hospital with actual doctors and comfortable beds (well, as comfortable as hospital beds could possibly be but at least they’re a leg up on prison beds AMIRIGHT?!) and indoor heating and a rooftop mushroom-growing sunbathing free-from-zombies area that’s all kept sanitized and there’s food (even if you don’t want to know what the food is) and Blind Willie Johnson playing on the turntable and Caravaggio paintings and lots of books and if you look down the darkened hallway there’s even what appears to be the janitor from the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video but... oh right. There are rapists and murderers and dead bodies in the elevator shaft and “giving back” in unseemly ways, where even the good doctor is killing the competition and that little girl from Whale Rider would rather become a goddamn walker than spend one more minute in this place. Quick, grab the kid from Everybody Hates Chris and get out of there.

Butbutbut... what about Blind Willie Johnson?!

NO. You may not have artistic extravagances because art doesn’t belong in this world of evil and damnation and neither does goodness, honesty, or, you know, human frickin’ beings working together to bring peace and harmony. Because apparently all of the good people turned into walkers pretty damn fast and all that was left were the horrible dregs of society that want to rape their way through the rest of their lives.

Sigh. Sorry. That was a rant I didn’t see coming. Didn’t see that weird stream-of-consciousness coming, either. But as much as I enjoyed this episode, it just seemed like ONE MORE PLACE that could have worked, but simply can’t in Kirkman’s screwed-up view of the world.

Will Eugene make it to Washington alive and save the world? Of course not. Will the good survive? Nah. Will they ever find a nice library in the middle of nowhere with endless books and a farm out back they can work on to grow food and a place where they won’t be raped daily or fear for their lives? What?! That’s boring television.

When I see Carol blow up Terminus I’m fist-pumping the air and bouncing with delight, and I love the ways they show the humanity that’s in that core group of people. But according to Kirkman’s worldview, they are the only sane people in the world right now, and everyone outside of them — be it immoral preachers, roaming bandits, cannibals, rapists, or just plain goons — seems to be what the rest of the world looks like. I have said that in this new world we need a new definition of humanity, but unless they find a way to travel to the Arctic and isolate themselves from the rest of the universe, there’s no way there will be a definition of anything. There is nohope. At this point I’d be like, knife me in the head, I’m done.

OK, I’ll let you actually talk about the episode, because you’re probably more clear-headed than I am right now, Josh.

Joshua: Don't mince words, Nik. We're all friends here. You shouldn't feel like you have to hold back.

You know, when I first started reading the comics, I remember seeing an interview with Robert Kirkman in which he discussed the conception of the series. He'd always loved zombie stories, he said, but couldn't help noticing how the vast majority of them seemed preoccupied with the genesis of such situations. It was a genre that focused more on reaction than perseverance, telling the beginning of the story and then hewing to a narrow timeline thereafter, and likewise wrapping up well before they got into the real meat of what it might be like to exist in such an environment over the long term.

The idea that intrigued him was attempting to lengthen that timeline to explore what kinds of things would happen after months or years had passed. The concept was novel enough to intrigue me, too, and there were times when I thought he absolutely nailed it and others when the tale felt much less genuine, when it veered dangerously close to gratuitous exploitation for me. And sure, I know it's fiction, and you gotta sell books to make more. But in my opinion, questionable content without any narrative justification –  for no reason other than simple shock value – is feckless and lazy, however effective it might prove down the road.

I think for the most part AMC has avoided these kinds of pitfalls, keeping the show more grounded and excising parts of the original story that would likely overwhelm the sensibilities of a broad tv audience. However, the atmosphere certainly isn't one of hopefulness. It isn't designed to encourage or inspire, and even the fist-pumping moments are tempered by design, peppered with scenes that are carefully tailored to give us pause.

And the truth is that I have a lot of respect for that, for all the same reasons I detailed above. A show that includes as much graphic violence as this one should feel a certain responsibility to make it impactful as well, and I believe they hold that balance carefully as a general rule. But as far as the writers' misanthropic worldview is concerned, I tend to think it's just a pitfall of the genre. In fact, it's probably the single greatest challenge in maintaining a long form post-apocalyptic narrative. How do you infuse a world so devoid of hope with enough optimism to keep your readers or viewers engaged?

Then again, how much do we really want that, after all? We come from a culture that has long rewarded artists who gift us with tragedy, from Shakespeare to Dickens to Faulkner to Cormac McCarthy. The idea has become so prevalent that sometimes it can seem like happy endings are disingenuous. And it's hard to forget that we're the same species who used to delight in the viewing of public executions.

While I may be one of the folks who still believe humanity is inherently good, I can easily understand those whose perspective makes them feel otherwise. The world is a dark place that frequently rewards ruthlessness and brute strength with power and privilege, and circumstances as radical and nightmarish as a zombie plague could only serve to shift that dynamic in the worst direction. Moreover, I think that feeling of futility is a vital link to the characters whose stories we're watching play out on our screens every Sunday night. The uncompromising nature of the drama helps me understand the mindset of the players and the gravity of their decisions, puts me in their shoes and helps me relate with an objectivity that might not be possible otherwise.

Understand that this is coming from someone who stopped reading the comics after over a hundred issues of investment because the story became too bleak for me. I'm not immune to the same fatigue you're describing, and I'm not sure why it doesn't get to me the same way. The reality is that the folks behind the show will likely do whatever is necessary to create conflict and continue producing episodes ad infinitum – after all, it is the most successful property on television, and The Powers That Be wouldn't jeopardize that for simple positivity.

Nonetheless, I'm inclined to keep rooting for them, for the promise of something better. The law of averages dictates that our heroes are bound to cross paths with more people like themselves eventually, and all these trials will have strengthened them, refined them, helped prepare them to soldier on and war against both the evil that men do and the evil they become. Ad astra per aspera, you know? For all its gloom and horror, perhaps this story will prove to be about shifting the equation back toward the light.

Nikki: I hope so. I was reminded of Lost when watching it, actually, and how on a mysterious island fraught with uncertainty, there was the constant battle of man in a state of nature. Do we go with John Locke, who stated that man is born a blank slate and becomes whatever he learns and is written upon him? Or Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who believed man was essentially good and would find positive ways through the situation? Or do we agree with Thomas Hobbes, who said that in a state of nature, man was essentially evil and would fall to the basest of natures? I would like to think that on Lost, the Locke/Rousseau argument won out. Yes, there were many Hobbesian moments on the show, but ultimately, people wanted to be good. The smoke monster lost, and Jack restored light to the world. If Robert Kirkman had written Lost, he would have had the smoke monster devour all of the children and elderly in the first episode, and Charles Widmore would have been the hero of the story. Kirkman has subscribed to the Hobbesian theory and has a members' card in his wallet, and this show demonstrates it in every episode.

My friend Troy posted a status update today that made me laugh: “Just a thought: If Rick and his crew had died in the first season Hershel and his daughters would be living happily on his farm, the good citizens of Woodbury would be safe under the watchful eye(s) of the Governor, the people of Terminus would be sitting down to a lovely home cooked meal, and somewhere in Atlanta there would be a hospital offering free medical care.”


So, um, we should probably talk about the episode? (Behind the scenes I’m emailing my first pass to Josh saying, “Does this sound like a crazy person ranting?” and he’s emailing me back saying, “So I still didn’t mention the episode...”) I inadvertently covered a bunch of the material in my rant, I think, and so I’d like to talk about what was my favourite scene in the episode, which is Dr. Edwards talking about art and its place in this world. I thought that whole speech was fascinating. “Art isn’t about survival, it’s about transcendence. Being more than animals, rising above.” “We can’t do that anymore?” Beth asks. “I don’t know,” he replies.

Maybe, again, the optimist in me is just looking for that one shard of hope in this crystal ball of hopelessness, but I think if Kirkman has infused any of it into this episode, it hangs on that statement. “I don’t know,” he says, not “No.” Yes, there is hope. Edwards is a good person who did a bad thing for his survival. Dawn looks like she’s trying to keep it together under difficult circumstances, but she’s willing to turn a blind eye to what Gorman is doing. He finally gets his at the end, and Dawn isn’t relieved, but angry. Cops don’t have to be the bad guys (look at Rick) and maybe they can be brought around? What will happen when Rick and Co. show up? Or, even better, when Carol wakes up, since we see her being brought in at the end and a collective WHOOP goes up from the audience at the possibilities of this one? Carol will deal with everything in her cold, calculated way if given the chance, but will that make things any better? Or will this be like Hershel’s farm, Woodbury, the prison, and Terminus, and end up a big pile of burning rubble when they’re done with it?

As Blind Willie Johnson sings that if he doesn’t read the bible his soul will be lost, and that’s nobody’s fault but his, we can’t help but wonder if there are any souls left in this world. One would think in an age when all hope seems lost, people would hang onto some hope, whether or not it contains any truth, and be reading their bibles like mad. But maybe, in this new reality, the bible is better used as kindling.

And as for my vote for who is with Daryl and emerges from the bushes, I think it’s going to be Noah, the guy who was trying to escape with Beth and got away.

Any final thoughts, Josh?

Josh: Good thought about Noah! I hope you're right. Bum leg or no, I always like seeing new faces added to the crew. And speaking of which, I'm also hoping the hospital doesn't wind up another bloodbath, because I don't think it has to be like that. Dawn is a twisted Ayn Rand nightmare, to be sure, but we're talking about one person. Other than the late Officer Gorman (may he rest most uncomfortably), none of the other uniforms came across as particularly sadistic, and perhaps some more peaceable solution can be reached than the stock stabby, shooty variety. We might even gain more able bodies for Rick's Ragtags in the process.

Barring that, there is still plenty of potential for escape. Grady is an enormous hospital, at least in reality – the largest in the state, and fifth largest in the country. There's no way that Dawn and her Regulators have more than a fraction of it functional (I'm thinking a couple of floors, at most). With Carol as mastermind, they're bound to be capable of a better getaway scheme than Noah's tie-sheets-together-and-shinny-down-the-body-chute plan. Which, much as I like Noah, was super dumb, and they were lucky to survive it. I mean, come on. This isn't Meatballs, pal.

We'd love to see what you all thought, dear readers, so let us hear your voices in the comments! We'll both try to chime in when we can. Until next week, campers.

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Posted on 6 November 2014 | 10:03 am

Word Grrrls

Make a DIY Rotating Goal List

Most of us seem to work smarter and stay organized by keeping a to-do list. The problem is that the projects are in constant flux, and you set out to achieve one thing only to be derailed by another. Sound familiar? Curated from This seems a sensible way to keep your goals and manage a to-do list too.

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Posted on 18 November 2014 | 2:54 am

Elfshot - sticks and stones

Finished Ivory Polar Bear Head Pendants

Dorset Palaeoeskimo Bear
Head Reproductions
I finished the polar bear head amulets that I was working on and have them strung on to simple black leather cords.  Walrus tusks can have natural cracks running their length that are dark brown or black at the surface but that warm to a honey or caramel colour on the inside before they vanish.  The surface of the first two carvings that I worked on had these dark bands running lengthwise along the heads and  I wasn't sure if the client would like the look or not, so I made a third one to give a nice clean, white option.  All three heads are based on Dorset Palaeoeskimo artifacts found in the High Arctic and Newfoundland and Labrador between about 2000 and 1000 years ago.  I purchased the ivory that I used here from the Co-Op in Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

The head on the left is based on artifacts from Newfoundland and Labrador, while the head on the right are based on Dorset Palaeoeskimo bear head carvings from the High Arctic.  The High Arctic versions are more anatomically natural carvings, with more detailed musculature on the head and muzzles, with more detailed noses and mouths.  The Newfoundland and Labrador version is relatively natural looking for this province, but by comparison, it is still a more stylized form emphasizing the silhouette of the bear head over anatomical accuracy.  

The underside of the bears differ as well.  The original Dorset Palaeoeskimo bear heads were often carved with suspension holes or holes running from their mouths down their throats.  The two smaller carvings here have simple holes carved at the base of the head and the original artifacts were likely suspended from a cord, much like these necklaces.  The larger head in the lower right corner of this photo is based on the Newfounldand and Labrador artifacts that have the linear channel running the length of the head, with one hole in the mouth and one hole in the throat.  If a cord was threaded through them originally, then it seems like it was probably running lengthwise through the head, rather than suspended at one end as shown here.

Three little bears.  I have my favourite, but they all turned out well. I have a lot of respect for the Dorset Palaeoeskimo crafts-people who made the originals with stone tools.
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 3:26 pm

Adam Radwanski

Backroom veteran Warren Kinsella mulls bid for Trudeau’s Liberals

The potential candidacy of Warren Kinsella in the downtown Toronto riding, where the Liberals will be seeking to unseat NDP MP Craig Scott, could be the latest headache to ensue from Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s commitment ‎to open nominations

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Posted on 19 November 2014 | 2:11 pm

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

Home Depot For The Holidays! #HolidaysHappenHere

The holidays are the perfect time to add some love to the house.  Little changes, sweet decorations, lots of candles, a few lights, and of course the perfect Christmas Tree can make a huge difference in the feel of your home.  Are you in need some inspiration?  Pop on over to see what is available […]

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 12:22 pm

A Peek Inside the Fishbowl

A bit about resolutions, and taking care of ourselves

My sense of time is distorted. Mostly because one of the publications I work on, Capital Parent Newspaper, is produced ahead of time and it messes with my internal calendar. The Christmas issue is already out and I’ve been thinking about the New Year for a couple of weeks already. Perhaps that’s where this post comes from. […]

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 9:24 am

Dawg’s Blawg

Police impunity: not just Ferguson

Road conditions: fine. Residential neighbourhood. Speed: 122K in a 50K zone. Not answering a call, just driving like that. Kills a five-year old child. Breathalyzer test? We’ll never know. But no charges will be laid. The driver was a cop....

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 2:17 pm

Dammit Janet

Alberta Fake Clinics Sponging Public Money, Part 2, Medicine Hat

To continue our investigation into Alberta fake clinics sucking off the public tit (Part 1 on Central Alberta Fake Clinic here), let's look at the Medicine Hat Pregnancy Support Society.

It doesn't seem to have its own website and does not belong to Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services, the organization that the Ontario Trillium Foundation had a problem with.

It does have a Facebook page, which consists mainly of announcements of holidays on which they'll be unavailable to help any crisis pregnancies. For fun, here's its very goddy newsletter.

Things get interesting however, when we look at its finances. A site named CHIMP gets its information from the same place we do, the CRA.

This pie chart is fascinating, though. WTF does that mean?

But Chimp reports the 2013 data correctly. In 2013, Medicine Hat Haters spent 90% of their dough on management and administration, with 3% going to the "charitable program."

Note that they report 0% "government funding."

Now have a look at their filing for 2012. Then, they spent 95% on the charitable program and 5% on management, again reporting no government funding.

In 2011, again 95% went to the charitable program with no government funding.

Now, go back to the Alberta Lottery Fund and nose around a bit, you'll find that Medicine Hat scored government/pubic money as follows:

2012/13: $4500
2011/12: $6300
2010/11: $9300
2009/10: 0
2008/09: $4500
(figures are rounded to nearest hundred)

Two questions here:
1. Why are they not reporting government funding?

2. How the hell did they go from spending 5% on admin to spending 90%?

Honest mistake?

No flags were raised?

We will continue to ask questions.

h/t to Niles in the comments for the FB, CHIMP, and newsletter links.

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 4:02 pm

That Artist Woman

Poppies in the Art Journal

Looking for a poppy themed art project for the art journal…..or maybe the bulletin board.

This is a very easy poppy project, no special supplies.


- paper or journal page
- reference photo
- black washable markers, the regular crayola, Mr. Sketch, etc.
- disk tempera paint
- red paper, optional
- glue, optional
- fine sharpie or your favourite pen if you want to add text to your page


A big thanks to Mrs. Werbicki who was the inspiration for this project. She used this technique a lot, doing leaves, then pumpkins, and finally poppies in Grade 2.

Provide students with a reference photo to point them in the right direction.

Have them draw some poppies.  I like to stress that poppies can be irregular, no perfect petals.
We also tend to see them at different angles, not all straight on.  We may only see half of one, the side view of another.

This will make the drawing look more realistic right off the bat.

Add a pod or 2.

You now need those washable markers. Most kids have them with their school supplies.

Outline all the flowers.

Using disk tempera start painting in the poppies.  We work from lightest colour to darkest.

We want variation in the colour of  our poppies so paint some parts yellow.

Add some orange and then some red. The colours all start to mingle and we get that variation I mentioned.

Add some green for the stems and pods.  Finally add some black in the centres.

I also splashed some paint on my background.

Here is where the magic happens.  The water in the paint makes the marker start to smear creating   a great soft look.

Take some red paper.  Here I have some extra painted paper I had.  I ran it thru my cuttlebug with an embossing folder to get some nice texture.

Cut out the letters for Poppy.

Glue the letters on your page and then add some text, a poem, or just your thoughts on Remembrance Day.

That's it.


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Posted on 4 November 2014 | 9:03 pm

A pretty Life in the Suburbs

2 Roasted Chickens, 7 Meal Ideas!

Weeknight meal planning and cooking can really be a challenge…we’re all busy, everyone is hungry and time is of the essence.  There are days when I really have to dig deep to figure out what we’re having for dinner!  And more often than I’d like to admit we turn to take out.  But if I […]

The post 2 Roasted Chickens, 7 Meal Ideas! appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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Posted on 21 November 2014 | 8:00 am

Canada's Adventure couple

The Best Things to do in Northern Ireland

We didn’t know we’d crossed the border until the speed limit changed while driving through Ireland. One minute we were in the EU, the next we were on British soil in Northern Ireland. There are no borders and no welcome signs, just a speed limit change from km to miles and a the Euro was no longer needed. Stopping at the ATM to stock up on British Pounds, we were now ready to explore the beautiful countryside of the six counties. [...]

Read the original post The Best Things to do in Northern Ireland on Adventure Travel blog for Couples | The Planet D.

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 6:56 am

My New Life in Canada, under the snow!

Wake Up and Smell Canada!

One of the first things I noticed in Canada is that North Americans seem to be much more sensitive to smell than Europeans. For instance, many workplaces have adopted a “scent-free policy” for environmental sensitivity and health reasons—apparently, people reported scents were causing issues such as headaches, dizziness or skin irritation.

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 8:14 am

Live From Waterloo

Things I was better off not knowing - #15

(En español más abajo)
This blood here in my forehead? We had a bet with my friend at school to see who could headbutt his locker the hardest. And I won!!!”
(Happy birthday, son. May I never run out of material
for my Thursday posts, thanks to you)
Esta sangre en mi frente? Tuve una apuesta con un amigo a ver quién le daba los cabezazos más fuertes al armario en la escuela. Y gané yo!!!”

(Feliz cumpleaños, hijo. Espero no quedarme nunca
sin material para los jueves gracias a vos)
More ‘Better off not knowing’ stories here

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Posted on 20 November 2014 | 2:11 pm