Monkeys and Mountains

The Most Captiviating Wildlife Adventures in Yala, Sri Lanka

The original can be found here: The Most Captiviating Wildlife Adventures in Yala, Sri Lanka. Please read the original.

Everyone goes to Yala in Sri Lanka to see a leopard. But to make the most of your visit, focus on the wildlife that you do see. I guarantee there will be some happy surprises!

Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 9:55 am

Indian Country

First Native Astronaut Tells Students at Hopi High About Space Journeys

Going into space is a dream some little kids have growing up....

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 12:00 am


Seine River Dinner Cruise with Bateaux-Mouches

When I shared with friends that I was heading to Paris on a team trip, they all said don’t forget to talk a walk along the Seine River. After 5 days of touring the...

The post Seine River Dinner Cruise with Bateaux-Mouches appeared first on Hello Vancity.

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 7:07 am

List Verse

10 Reasons Hummingbirds Are Absolutely Astounding

Across the Americas, buzzing winged projectiles streak around backyards searching for sugar. All summer long, they dip and dive through their aerial acrobatics, occasionally sipping from brightly colored bird feeders. Hummingbirds only live in the western hemisphere, but they are an iconic family due to their beauty and uniqueness. They drink nectar from flowers with […]

The post 10 Reasons Hummingbirds Are Absolutely Astounding appeared first on Listverse.

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 7:00 am

The Gate

Film review: ‘San Andreas’ starring Dwayne Johnson & Carla Gugino

Full disclosure--I am a huge fan of the disaster epic genre and always have been, so when I saw early trailer footage for San Andreas I was a bit excited but it looked like the real deal. And it is.

The post Film review: ‘San Andreas’ starring Dwayne Johnson & Carla Gugino appeared first on The GATE.

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 2:51 pm


No way Broadbent Institute should have hired high-profile strikebreaker to moderate panel on Alberta election

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 4:41 am

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

Feline Friday With The Cat From Hell

Mommy did something just for me! This is my bedroom and yes, that IS a drill on my bed! And …

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 9:00 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

Shoring Work Proceeding for Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts


The recent demolition of the former Guvernment night club at Queens Quay and Jarvis cleared the way for The Daniels Corporation's ambitious multi-phase development, dubbed Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts. The development will feature four buildings with heights ranging between 169 feet and 508 feet, offering residential, institutional, office, and retail space, as well as some key upgrades to the surrounding public realm.

Daniels Waterfront condos, office, retail, Toronto, RAW Design, Daniels CorpRendering of Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Shoring work is now under way in advance of the first phase of the development, located at the southern end of the site along Queens Quay Boulevard. The first phase will take the form of two connected buildings offering 280,000 square feet of commercial office space, a 150,000 square foot 'Creative Industries Hub', and 27,000 square feet of retail space at street level.

Daniels Waterfront condos, office, retail, Toronto, RAW Design, Daniels CorpShoring rig at the site of Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, image by kotsy

Mere weeks after demolition of the Guvernment concluded, the project is moving forward with at an impressive pace. Piles are being driven deep into the landfill around the perimeter of the site to support a wall that will hold back the surrounding earth to allow excavation of the site. 

Daniels Waterfront condos, office, retail, Toronto, RAW Design, Daniels CorpShoring work proceeding at the site of Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, image by kotsy

The image above shows three different shoring rigs working the site simultaneously, expediting the early construction stages for the project's initial phase. The actual shoring process involves the boring of hollow steel casings into the ground, after which the contents are removed with an auger. The final step is the injection of concrete into the hole and removal of the hollow casing, leaving behind a long concrete pile.

Daniels Waterfront condos, office, retail, Toronto, RAW Design, Daniels CorpShoring rig at the site of Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, image by kotsy

Once initial piles have been created, intermediate piles will be drilled between them, cutting into them slightly and interlocking with them to create a watertight wall. Once the wall is in place, the earth can be removed behind it to build the foundations and parking garage for Daniels Waterfront.

Daniels Waterfront condos, office, retail, Toronto, RAW Design, Daniels CorpRendering of Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

The first phase already has a number of major tenants signed on, with occupancy expected for Spring 2018. These tenants include The Daniels Corporation, who will be relocating from their existing address on Queen Street, as well as non-profit arts development organization Artscape, talent management firm Last Gang Entertainment, entertainment law firm Taylor Klein Oballa LLP, non-profit organization The Remix Project, and the youth organization Manifesto.

Additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the space provided at the bottom of this page.

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 9:25 pm

The Hook (B.C. News)

Women Creating Comics: 'We Built Our Own Little Playground' (in Culture)

Four diverse artists on the power of representation and designing a new world.

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 7:40 am

The Greater Fool

Little piggies

So, would you stand outside for six hours, in the dark, on concrete, for the chance to get five bucks? Or maybe a thousand? Damn straight, if you’re a downtrodden #DontHave1Million Vancouver Millennial. On Wednesday a local bank and mortgage flogger (Coast Capital) anonymously alerted the media that 300 little piggybanks full of coins and […]

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 10:47 pm

Canada Releases Full Video of Gunman Before He Ambushed Parliament Last Year

Canada Releases Full Video of Gunman Before He Ambushed Parliament Last Year

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 9:09 pm

Michael Geist

Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era

Edward Snowden burst into the public consciousness in June 2013 with a series of astonishing revelations about U.S. surveillance activities. Snowden's primary focus has centered on the U.S., however the steady stream of documents have laid bare the notable role of allied surveillance agencies, including the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Canada's signals intelligence agency. The Canadian-related leaks - including disclosures regarding surveillance over millions of Internet downloads, airport wireless networks, spying on the Brazilian government, and the facilitation of spying at the G8 and G20 meetings hosted in Toronto in 2010 - have unsurprisingly inspired some domestic discussion and increased media coverage on privacy and surveillance issues. Yet despite increased public and media attention, the Snowden leaks have thus far failed to generate sustained political debate in Canada.

I am delighted to report that this week the University of Ottawa Press published Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era, an effort by some of Canada's leading privacy, security, and surveillance scholars to provide a Canadian-centric perspective on the issues. The book is available for purchase and is also available in its entirety as a free download under a Creative Commons licence. This book is part of the UOP's collection on law, technology and media (I am pleased to serve as the collection editor) that also includes my earlier collection on the Copyright Pentalogy and a new book from my colleagues Jane Bailey and Valerie Steeves titled eGirls, eCitizens. All books in the collection are available as open access PDF downloads.

The post Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era appeared first on Michael Geist.

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 12:11 pm

The Tyee / The Hook

Women Creating Comics: 'We Built Our Own Little Playground' (in Culture)

Four diverse artists on the power of representation and designing a new world.

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 7:40 am

23 things to do in Metro Vancouver on Friday, May 29

Keep busy with these events.

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 11:00 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

May 18th clouds – no tornado!

They warned us that there could be big winds and a tornado. They were wrong, but better safe than sorry! We were on the edge of glory, however. Strikingly beautiful clouds, with shadows. We were on the edge, but it seems as if the heavy clouds, as they are blown across the land, dump their water and eventually blow off. It was a relief. Ottawa had some heavy wind and rain, but nothing too

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Posted on 25 May 2015 | 11:52 am

Steve Paikin

Steve Paikin: Five lessons learned from tracking every minute, every day

After interviewing a Washington Post journalist who wrote a book called Overwhelmed, which accurately described her life, I decided to do a time efficiency experiment myself.

For ten days, I tracked 25 different categories of activities I typically do. (The results are compiled in detail in a previous blog post.) The bottom line: I work 80.2 hours per week. Almost all of that time is spent working on The Agenda, but I also do other professional activities, such as writing books and contributing time to two post-secondary institutions because I also find them very enjoyable activities.

Once the verdict was in, and I had all my information, I sat down with time efficiency expert Mark Ellwood of Pace Productivity Inc. (who supervised my experiment) to get his advice on how I could improve.

Mark honed in on the time I was spending on email, since I spend more than twice as much time doing that compared to the average person he tracks. He asked me about all the newsletters and organizations that regularly send me press releases, and whether I really read all that stuff. I had to confess, I rarely did. Once upon a time I thought filling up my “inbox” would be helpful for my job. But as it happens, it really isn't.

“Unsubscribe!” he said.  “If you're on a mailing list for which you have no interest, reply by unsubscribing.” Makes sense. There might be one press release in 100 that's actually useful, but in the meantime, I'm spending far too much time checking the other 99. That's going to end. Apologies to all those I'm about to drop. Blame Mark.

He's also suggested email should be for short transactions. One sentence, and out. If you've got an opus to write, don't. Pick up the phone. It'll be faster. Okay, Mark, I'll do that too.

Mark also pointed out I somehow kept the administrative aspects of my job to a minimum – much less than other folks whose time he tracks. That's not by accident. One of the greatest changes I've experienced at TVO over the past year is having someone help me with scheduling and organizational tasks. Her name is Sue Beres and she's revolutionized how I do my job. I can now focus more fully on the parts of my work that directly affect what ends up on the screen or on the website.

Mark says most people won't delegate tasks to someone else. They think they can do it better. They don't trust another person. They think they're the only ones who can do it properly. They fear adding to that other person's load.  Fortunately, none of those issues is at play with Sue.  She does all of those things better than I did.

Mark pointed out the time I spend planning my day is also much less than the average employee's, who spends half an hour a day on it. That's also because of Sue, who's a godsend. I know that because she just took her annual vacation and I didn't like it one bit. I'm tempted to ask our boss never to let her leave again.

Another superb piece of advice Mark gave me: don't plan every minute of your day. This will be a hard one to accomplish. At the moment, from the second I wake up in the morning and begin perusing newspapers, to the time my head hits the pillow at night, virtually every minute of the day is scheduled: doing interviews, meeting with sources, attending events I tweet about, composing blog posts, producing shows, writing scripts, reviewing interview questions, reading books, contributing time to Laurentian and Ryerson universities, and on and on. 

Mark suggests time needs to be blocked off for purely “thinking time.”

While I've rarely felt overwhelmed by the job, there's no question I've become accustomed to having every minute of every day scheduled with something that needs doing. I've never thought it was possible to actually find more time in a work week that’s already more than 80 hours long.

But thanks to Mark Ellwood's time-tracking experiment, I'm hoping to get even more efficient in what I do. And since I'm the kind of guy who likes to get a lot of stuff done, I'm hoping that will all be to the good.  

Image credit: Cindy Schultz/

Read more by Steve Paikin

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 3:30 pm

Weighty Matters

You've Got the Golden Touch

Need a quick distraction? Open up today's Funny Friday in full screen and place your finger in the middle.

Have a great weekend!

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 9:30 am

Margaret Wente

Federal election: Let’s have a three-way!

The fresh NDP surge introduces a brand-new storyline, full of tantalizing possibilities, strange bedfellows and kinky coalition combinations

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Posted on 25 May 2015 | 8:40 pm

Lauren Out Loud

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

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Posted on 24 July 2014 | 6:54 pm

Rants n Rascals

Why You Have to Love Your Family #streamteam

Growing up my dad used to lock my friends in the closet. I would come downstairs and hear them giggling “Mr. Maude let us out.” while he kept his hand on the door, telling me something came to visit me. I would roll my eyes thinking how not funny my dad was, but my friends […]

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Posted on 26 May 2015 | 5:19 pm

Bow. James Bow

Just Remember that Somebody Had to Consider the Possibilities

My daughters now have scooters, and scooter to school. The school has helpfully provided a bike rack to lock their scooters to, and we’ve provided the locks. Specifically, we purchased these interesting combination locks that unlock when you spell...

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 2:47 pm

A Toronto Blog

2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay starts in Toronto

Many in the city look forward to the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games like an oncoming freight train heading straight for the Eaton Centre. Speaking of which, I see their pop up store in the downtown mall rarely has any customers looking for Pan Am shirts or stuffed mascots. One thing I can get into is the 41-day Torch Relay, presented by President's Choice, which starts Saturday, May 30 when the flame makes it to Canadian soil at Toronto's Harbourfront, journeys along the streets to a community celebration in the Historic Distillery District. The Fire Guy, pictured at top, makes a stand in for what I think the torch relay will look like.
Canadian Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield will complete the final leg of day at 5 pm when he lights the community cauldron in the Distillery District. Musical performances in the bricky neighbourhood will be by the Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, The Chimera Project, Dance Migration, Jasmine Denham among others will also feature the first live performance of the Game's official song.

I think this was Chris Hadfield's rocket ship

"Saturday, May 30, 2015 (Relay Day 1: Toronto, ON)
Canada Square, Harbourfront Centre – 2:30 p.m. (ET) (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto)
Flame arrival ceremony:
The Pan Am flame will arrive in a lantern carried by Chris Rudge, TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) Board of Directors.
The flame will then be carried by Elder Garry Sault, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, who will travel in a flotilla of canoes.
Chief Bryan LaForme, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, will receive the flame from Elder Sault, alongside Chief Ava Hill of Six Nations, Grand Chief Konrad Sioui of the Huron-Wendat Nation and President Gary Lipinski of the Métis Nation of Ontario.
The ceremony will feature an exclusive soundscape produced by local musical director Andrew Craig and will include unique performances from Obeah Opera and other special guests.
The first torchbearer of the relay will depart from the ceremony carrying the Pan Am flame."
The actual sports events start in the summer with the Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony on July 10 and the games continuing July 10-26 and the Parapan Am Games from August 7-15.

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 1:22 am

Robyn Urbak on Campus

It’s time to seriously rethink how economics is taught

With little evidence of a serious debate among teachers about economics reform, students are taking the lead

The post It’s time to seriously rethink how economics is taught appeared first on

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 10:17 pm

Postcards From the Mothership

Planning for PEI: Five places we must revisit

Yay! I’ve been biding my time through a long cold winter, but it’s FINALLY time to kick it into high gear in planning for PEI in summer 2015! Next week we can say we’re going next month. And if you think I’m excited, you should hear Lucas – he asks at least once a day […] Related posts (automatically generated):
  1. Photo of the day: Stalking Chef Michael Smith at the Flavour Shack
  2. Photo of the day: Basin Head beach
  3. A happy anniversary in Souris, PEI

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 12:49 pm

David Akins on the Hill

Conservatives make their second steal in as many days

Today, Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced that his government will think about letting Canadians make voluntary contributions to the CPP. In making that announcement, he warned that while his government’s plan would be voluntary, you could count on Liberals and New Democrats to increase mandatory CPP contributions and that, by jove, would amount to a […]

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Posted on 26 May 2015 | 11:12 pm

Dutch Blitz

Crunchy Peanut Butter Snack Bites with Chia

Do you remember when I shared my recipe for Peanut Butter Snack Bite Delights? They’ve become our go-to recipe for a quick dessert after a busy day of school and work and baseball/basketball/rugby. Super easy, and super tasty. If you want another great snack bite recipe, make these Crunchy Peanut Butter Snack Bites with Chia. […]

© Angella Dykstra 2005-2013 All rights reserved. | Originally published for as Crunchy Peanut Butter Snack Bites with Chia.

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Posted on 20 May 2015 | 7:00 am

Nik at Night

Game of Thrones 5.7: The Gift

After last week's particularly emotional response to the final scene, this week some of the story lines felt like a bridge from one episode to the next, where others finally culminated in moments we've been waiting for all season. Without further ado, I shall let my esteemed co-writer, Christopher Lockett, begin! 

Christopher: We begin at the Wall, with Jon Snow releasing Tormund, giving command to Alliser Thorne in his absence, and departing for Hardhome in the hopes of recruiting the wildlings to his cause. And with his departure, attention shifts to Sam and Gilly: we feel very sharply how alone they are now that Jon is gone, especially as we see Maester Aemon on his deathbed, growing ever more delirious.

Storylines from the novels have been discarded of late like things that one is eager to throw away, and with the passing of Maester Aemon we lose yet another story thread that runs through A Feast For Crows. Our one glimpse of Jon Snow in that novel comes right at the beginning, when Jon sends Sam away with Gilly and Maester Aemon. He wants Sam to go to the Citadel in Oldtown, an entire continent away, and study to earn his maester’s chain. He also wants Aemon sent away for his health—both for the benefit of a warmer climate, but also because he is concerned that Melisandre might look at the ancient Targaryen and get some ideas about what she could do with the royal blood in his veins. As it happens, Aemon dies before they can arrive at Oldtown, but in his final delirium he has an epiphany: Melisandre, he says, has gotten it wrong. She has proclaimed Stannis the prophesied hero who will do battle with the forces of ice and darkness, but in reality the prophecy refers to Daenerys (duh).

I suppose that Sam might still be sent to the Citadel, but I have to imagine that is now a vanishing possibility. And with the passing of Maester Aemon, the Wall loses its single greatest storehouse of lore and wisdom. The scene is touching and poignant, especially with Aemon revisiting his memories of youth, seeing in Gilly’s baby his own little brother Aegon—or “Egg” as he was nicknamed. (I won’t go into the vagaries of Targaryen history, but the story of Aegon V before he was king is told in a series of novellas, The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword, and The Mystery Knight, that detail the adventures of Dunk and Egg, aka Aegon and his sworn sword Duncan the Tall). I must say I was a little disappointed: in the final stages of his delirium, I was expecting Aemon to gasp and have his epiphany about the prophecy … but no.

And again, Sam is more isolated, something that Alliser Thorne is grimly happy to remind him of: “You’re losing all your friends, Tarly.” The Wall has always been a hostile place to Sam, but up until this moment he has had the friendship and protection of Jon and Aemon—the absence of which is felt quite soon when two of his sworn brothers come upon Gilly alone and, when Sam attempts to intervene, beat him bloody.

On the heels of last week’s episode, this scene was particularly difficult to watch. What follows, however, was quite well done, in part because Sam wasn’tthe heroic saviour. Ghost plays the unlikely deus ex machine (unlikely, because why the hells isn’t he with Jon Snow?), which makes the resolution unfortunately hackneyed, but that’s small beer (it would have been better, or at least more likely, for Sam and Gilly to have been saved by someone like Alliser Thorne coming on the scene). Sam and Gilly needed an exit, and Ghost was as useful a saviour as any. The point is that Sam was, for all intents and purposes, as unable to prevent what was happening as Gilly. But he doesn’t stay down. “I killed a White Walker,” he tells their assailants. “I killed a Thenn. I’ll take my chances with you.” Without Ghost’s intervention, it would almost certainly have played out as predicted: with Sam dead, and Gilly raped (and probably dead). And Sam knows that.

Later, as she tends to Sam’s wounds, Gilly upbraids him for it. “The next time you see something like that, you leave it alone,” she says. It is an interesting moment, a reminder of where Gilly comes from. She has lived a life of abuse and violence at the hands of her husband-father Craster, a life in which sexual violence was simply a basic fact of life. To her, Sam’s doomed efforts to protect her are foolishness, because getting himself killed means he won’t be around to protect her child. “Just promise me, whatever happens you’ll be there to take care of Little Sam,” she chides him. “But of course I will,” he replies. “And … I’ll take care of you too.”

What’s so touching and poignant about the blossoming love between these two—aside from the fact that there aren’t many other couples on this show at the moment genuinely in love—is the way each of them takes the other out of their assumptions about themselves and the world. Sam, in spite of his accidental heroism with the White Walker and the Thenn, is a coward—not someone who would otherwise chooseto enter a fight. But he takes strength from Gilly, even though he knows he isn’t up to the task. And Gilly is stunned that he would choose to do so, that there are men in the world who aren’t brutal, violent, and selfish. Their sex is about the only genuine lovemaking we’ve seen since … what? I’m at a loss.

But of course, this is Game of Thrones, which means that these scenes are intercut with those of Sansa, Theon, and Ramsay. What did you think of the Winterfell segments, Nikki?

Nikki: It’s so funny you should ask when the last time we saw genuine lovemaking on this show, because I wondered the exact same thing. Jon and Ygritte, maybe? Yikes, that seems like so long ago. Tyrion was kind to Sansa but she wanted nothing to do with him, so there’s nothing there. Margaery is using Tommen, so while it was an amazingtime for him, it wasn’t so much for her. And we don’t need to mention Sansa and Ramsay. The last time we saw Jaime and Cersei together it was a rape... oh wait, I have one: Daario and Daenerys. Although even that at times feels a little political.

But I digress. I must also admit that when Ghost suddenly appeared, my husband and I cheered (as we always do when one of those magnificent beasts appears) but right after I said, “Wait... why wasn’t Ghost with Jon?!” Glad I wasn’t the only one who wondered that.

The Winterfell segments were heartbreaking, especially in the midst of the bit of tiny glimmer of hope we had left after the scene last week. Sansa’s arms are now covered in bruises, and she spends her days curled up in a fetal position, locked in the room, waiting for Ramsay to come back and ravage her once again. There’s a very brief moment when she’s later speaking to Ramsay — and has the audacity to bring up the fact that he’s a bastard, and he’d been given his name by the authority of Tommen Baratheon, also a bastard — where I saw a flash of the Sansa that will not be kept down. And where I thought, in the right circumstance, could she bend him to her will the way Daenerys did Khal Drogo? After all, their wedding night consisted of her being married to a man against her will, and then being bent over and him having rough sex with her, yet we never referred to that as rape. She eventually takes over and brings him to her side, and makes him utterly devoted to her.

Then again, Khal Drogo might have been a merciless warrior, but he wasn’t a psychopath like Ramsay. I don’t think anyone will be able to bend that little bastard to their will, and Sansa seems to know that and doesn’t even try.

But earlier, when she cornered Theon and grabbed him by the arms, he looks terrified, and she says to him — clearly having no clue what he’s been through — that it couldn’t possibly be worse than this. Even though his eyes are wild and he looks like a raving lunatic half the time, there’s a spark of sanity still left there, and when he looks back at her and tells her to trust him, it really could be so, so much worse, she’s actually taken aback. I’m not sure she buys it (if she actually knew HOW much worse maybe she would) but she certainly takes pause. She recruits him to put the candle in the window of the Broken Tower, and while Theon is scared for his own life, he decides to go with it.

What happens next was probably what we all expected — Theon rushes across the grounds of Winterfell, looking like he has a purpose for the first time in years, and climbs the countless stairs to get to the top... where Ramsay is sitting in front of a feast, waiting to surprise him. Later Ramsay shows Sansa the bloodied, tortured corpse of the old woman who had promised to help Sansa, and tells her that Theon was the one who snitched. Had he already found the woman by the time Theon got up to the tower? Or did he just randomly choose that place to have his feast (how in hell did they get all that food, and a table and chair, up there, by the way?!) and when Theon got there, he immediately reverted back to Reek and fell upon the mercy of his master, telling him everything?

And if Brienne is standing in a nearby inn, watching that window for the glimmer of a candle, why didn’t she see the candlelight from Ramsay’s candles, which were all over the table, and take that as a sign?

While, as I said last week, I’m glad Brienne didn’t swoop in to save the scene because it would have been disingenuous, I must say I’m a little disappointed that she’s yet to make a move. Sansa has arrived at Winterfell, met the Boltons, Baelish has left, she’s been betrothed, has dined with them, walked around Winterfell some more, reunited herself with Theon and some old servants, got married, got raped, and then has been repeated beaten and raped every night... how long has Brienne been standing at that window, exactly? And what the hell sign is she WAITING for? I’m a little frustrated by the inaction. I know the Brienne bit — and the Sansa bit, for that matter — are not from the books, but I’m worried they’ve added them in and now don’t know what to do with them.

The other thing they don’t seem to know what to do with would be the Sand Snakes. As I was saying on Facebook on Monday, in last week’s recap I said I enjoyed the fight scene with the Sand Snakes. To be honest, the fight scene was exciting for the 40 seconds it actually lasted, but then it all fizzled out like a dying firecracker and didn’t amount to anything. I was undaunted, however, assuming that the Snakes had something more up their sleeves. Instead, they’re stuck in a dungeon listening to Bronn sing bawdy songs about Dornishmen while Tyene is flashing her breasts at him. I don’t know what to make of this trio anymore, but I’m really hoping this isn’t it. Tell me there’s a lot more awesomeness to come with the Sand Snakes, Chris, please?

Christopher: Wait—didTheon go up to the broken tower? My sense was that they made it seem as though he might be, but instead simply went straight to Ramsay’s rooms. Certainly, the room in which Ramsay is eating looks far more well-appointed than the room in which we first saw Jaime and Cersei having sex. That would make a difference: if he went to the tower with all best intentions of lighting the candle, that means there’s more of a vestige of Theon there than we had hoped … only to have it squashed by Ramsay being clever. My read, however, was that the camera did a bait-and-switch—having Theon look at the tower, seeing Theon from the window through which Jaime pushed Bran, but in the end he went right to his master. In which case he’s farther gone (or just as far gone) as we suspected.

I like that they leave that ambiguous. I’d be interested to hear what our readers think on this.

But to get to the Sand Snakes: I honestly don’t know how much we’ll be seeing of the Sand Snakes, or whether what we see will include awesomeness. Both the Sand Snakes and the High Sparrow initially seemed determined to prove my complaints in my supplemental comments wrong, in both cases giving us a more nuanced sense of these characters. But to me, at least as far as the Sand Snakes are concerned (the High Sparrow is another story), it’s a case of closing the barn door. One of the complaints I’ve been reading a lot in various reactions to this episode is the superfluousness of the scene between the Snakes and Bronn: what does it add to the story? How does it move the plot forward? Why are we wasting time on this interlude when there’s so much else to attend to? Was this any more than just an excuse for Tyene to show us her breasts?

I don’t think the scene was superfluous so much as mistimed. What we did get out of the scene was a better sense of who these women are, and how they interact with each other—for me the highlight was Nymeria rolling her eyes the moment she realized what Tyene was doing, a nanosecond of face acting that spoke volumes about the personalities involved. This scene would have been brilliant if it—or something approximating it—had come as a function of the Snakes suborning some man or men to their plot. Instead, it is wasted as a bit of after-the-fact sexposition that offers no exposition. I suppose if, going forward, the Snakes have a more substantive role to play (as you and I dearly hope, Nikki), then this moment contributes to our understanding of them; failing that, I am so far underwhelmed by the writers’ treatment of a trio of women who could have been, and indeed deserve to be, awesome.

On the other hand, the other Dornish scene was quite well done. Poor Bronn … the lowly underling gets to spend his sojourn in a dank cell, while the nobleman has the gentleman prisoner’s arrangement of a comfortable and well-lit room. That being said, I think Jaime has the harder time of it—even taking into account the fact that Bronn nearly dies of poison. “I’ve come to take you home,” Jaime tells Myrcella. “This is my home,” she snaps. “This has been my home for years! I didn’t want to come here, but I did as she said. I did my duty, and now she’s forcing me to go back?” She then proceeds to tell him she’s in love with Trystane, and that they will be married. “I don’t understand,” says Jaime. “Of course you don’t!” is the retort, and then the body blow: “You don’t know me.”

Or in other words, you know nothing, Jaime Lannister. He loses so much in that moment, as he (presumably) realizes what a fool’s errand this was, and how wrong he was when he repeatedly said to Bronn “It has to be me.” As it turns out, he’s more or less irrelevant to the young woman he’s obliged to call his niece.

More and more, Jaime is becoming one of this show’s tragic characters, even as he becomes more sympathetic. Two things have defined him in the past: his skill with a sword and his love for his sister. Those were all that mattered to him. The loss of his sword hand has made him at best an encumbrance to men like Bronn, and as their family fortunes sink, Cersei is becoming more and more distant, grieving for her dead son and spiraling down into a series of plots to keep her living son close to her. Jaime embarks on this quest to regain what they once had, but finds that an increasingly impossible task.

Meanwhile, back in King’s Landing, Cersei thinks she has won. But we’ll come to that in a moment. In the meantime, I’m interested to know what you thought of the meeting between The Queen of Thorns and the High Sparrow, Nikki. Did you feel the same thrill as me at watching two brilliant actors showing the young ‘uns how it’s done?

Nikki: First, I can’t believe I fell for a bait and switch! You must be right, because I remember the Broken Tower as being, well, broken, and Ramsay is in this bright room with candles, and then the camera cuts to Brienne watching a dark, unlit tower, and I couldn’t put the two together. Oh Theon... maybe you’re gone after all. That would explain why he simply hangs his head in shame before Sansa rather than shaking his head.

But on to the Queen of Thorns and the High Sparrow. What a brilliant scene that was, and for exactly the reason you say above. Here we have two magnificent British theatre veterans, going toe to toe on the screen and just showing what remarkable talents they both are. Lady Olenna has crushed everyone who has tried to verbally parry with her, especially Cersei. Tywin seemed to have an upper hand in parts of their conversations, but she would always dominate by the end... and in the very end, she killed his grandson. Now she spars with the High Sparrow, who remains calm before her insults, then pulls them to similar ground as they compare elderly aches and pains, before holding up a mirror to exactly who she is. She’s there to argue for her grandchildren, and he simply waves her off, telling her they’re degenerates and they will be punished. She similarly waves him off, offering him gold, and he waves her off, saying he serves the gods, and can’t be bought. He proceeds to quote from the Seven-Pointed Star, and she waves him off again (the constant dismissal each has to the other kept this conversation sparkling from beginning to end) and says of course she’s read that book, and that’s when he turns everything on her, asking, if the Tyrells are known for their agriculture, how many fields has she tilled? How much back-breaking work has she actually done? When you think about the various Houses, the Targaryens fight in battles, as did the Baratheons, and the Lannisters, the Martells... the Tyrells, on the other hand, are the ones who provide food to the other kingdoms, and where the heads of the other Houses have actually earned their spots, Lady Olenna just sits around doing nothing and throwing coins at any situation that gets in her way. But if that’s all she can do, and she’s suddenly faced with a situation where coins aren’t accepted... what will she do? “You are the few,” he tells her, lumping her in with all the other wealthy rarities who have no idea how the majority of people actually live, “and we are the many, and when the many stop fearing the few...” And he just lets that thought trail off as he picks up his bucket and goes off to scrub another floor.

It’s a glorious scene.

Later we see Olenna with Baelish, another man famous for his words, and he’s back seeing his brothel for the first time, its former glory now a ravaged hall of shredded sheets and broken glass. Baelish tries to also jockey for verbal dominance in this scene, but Olenna’s not about to be beaten twice in one day. She tells him that their fates are joined. “Together we killed a king,” she declares, and implies that should anything happen to her or the people of the House Tyrell, he’ll get dragged down with them. Where it looked like there was no way out for Margaery and Loras, Littlefinger might be it.

And that brings us to Cersei herself. A few weeks ago we were discussing how she keeps putting things in place that backfire, and boy do they backfire in this episode. What did you think of the handling of her story?

Christopher: Well, this is one of those moments that line up more or less nicely with the novel. In A Feast for Crows, Cersei’s attempt to defame Margaery fails when the sparrows actually interrogate her false witnesses rather than accepting their sworn testimony. And by “interrogate,” I mean torture and beat bloody, until they give Cersei up. So they’ve changed things around here, but the result is the same: Cersei, blithely arrogant until the end, finds herself thrown in a filthy cell. And we might have felt a wee bit of sympathy had she not just been visiting Margaery in a similar cell, all the while wearing an insufferably smug expression.

Her conversation with the High Sparrow was also a work of art, at least as far as Jonathan Pryce’s monologue went. In this scene Cersei plays unwitting foil to his lengthy disquisition on the history of the chapel and the simple beauty of its spartan interior. She is oblivious to the significance of his words, impatient for him to finish. Lady Olenna, by contrast, however much she dismissed everything the High Sparrow had to say, was at least shrewd enough to realize this was not an ordinary man she could manipulate.

I find it rather amusing that my complaints in my supplemental comments about the development of the Sand Snakes and the sparrows were both met in this episode with scenes that I would have loved to have seen earlier. As with the Snakes, the High Sparrow’s scenes lend a greater understanding of who he is, and what the motivations of his movement are. In this case, however, the after-the fact exposition works somewhat better. His final words to Olenna—“you are the few; we are the many”—remind us that, however religiously inspired, the sparrows are a populist movement. But unlike the Occupy movement, however, they have divine law on their side, which makes them the final arbiter in moral matters. Which wouldn’t matter nearly as much if they WEREN’T ARMED.

I bet Cersei’s really wishing for a separation of church and state right now.

The High Sparrow’s speech about the simplicity of the chapel cites above all else the philosophy of the Protestant Reformation. His sentiments would be familiar to anyone who has ever been in a church of one of the more austere Presbyterian sects:

“The people who built this place didn’t inflict their vanity on those that came after them, the way Baelor did with that great gilded monstrosity up there. Their faith was clean. Strip away the gold, and the ornaments, knock down the statues and the pillars, and this is what remains. Something simple. Solid. And true.”

I’d like to say this is one of those lovely moments of creative anachronism that fantasy often engages in—and it is—but it could also be read as an alternative history of the Roman church in which the Franciscan Order somehow became ascendant and pulled down the gilded edifices of the papacy. One way or another, however, this final scene is one of the most beautiful bits of schadenfreude we have yet seen on this show. As creeped out as I am by the High Sparrow’s absolutism and the fanaticism of his followers, it is still so deeply satisfying to see Cersei hoisted on her own petard.

Which brings us to our final bit of business, namely the new careers of Tyrion and Jorah, which apparently is to be extras on the set of Gladiator. Seriously. Was anyone else quoting from that film as Yezzan gave his new slaves their pep talk? “Thrust this into another man’s flesh, and they will applaud and love you for that!” I said as Yezzan declared that “This is the day your lives actually start to mean something!”

But I suppose that when gladiatorial combat is the spectacle of the day, such comparisons are inevitable. What did you think of the Jorah/Tyrion storyline in this episode, Nikki?

Nikki: The scene of Tyrion striding out onto the battlefield to meet Daenerys is the one I’ve been hoping for all season, and it didn’t disappoint. One thing we can’t forget is that Daenerys stands apart in this series as the one character who never encounters any of the others. The major characters were mostly split up — Stannis and Melisandre; Jon Snow at the Wall; Cersei and Tyrion in King’s Landing; Daenerys in Meereen; Jaime and Brienne wherever; Arya in Braavos; Sansa in various places: Baelish wherever the action is. But with the exception of Daenerys, they’ve all crossed paths. Back in the first episode, the Lannisters and Baratheons descended on Winterfell, bringing all of those characters together, and then the entire gang went to King’s Landing for a spell. Stannis and Melisandre came to King’s Landing in the Battle of Blackwater, and then ended up at the Wall. But Daenerys stands apart from everyone... until now.  

While I agree with you that watching Cersei finally gets hers was infinitely satisfying, as an editor I would have put the Tyrion scene at the very end of the episode to finish it off spectacularly. The battle scene itself was fantastic, and everything the Sand Snakes battle wasn’t. It was gory, and watching Daenerys turn her head in horror was interesting — on the one hand, this is the very thing she didn’t want. On the other hand, many thousands of people have been slaughtered at the hands of her own army, and she never flinched once. But that, as far as she was concerned, was for the betterment of people who desperately needed her help, whereas here it’s for sport. The whole time I kept thinking, “Oh my god she’s going to get up and leave, and we’ll have to wait until NEXT season for Jorah and Tyrion to cross paths with her.” Thank the gods that didn’t happen.

The auction scene with Tyrion and Jorah was interesting, because we saw Tyrion’s exaggeration of Jorah’s prowess when he was trying to avoid having his penis lopped off, and now the slave trader exaggerates his powers even more. And yet, the moment Jorah enters the ring, it’s like every single word both men said was 100% true. Jorah mows down every warrior in the ring as if they were toddlers holding Nerf swords. She looks impressed — this isn’t a man who seems to revel in the pain of others, but who quickly and cleanly deals with everyone in his path as he moves towards her. She looks at him with awe and respect... until he removes his mask. And the disgust that washes over her face in that moment is devastating. Remember, in season 4 she banished him because she found out that he had been hired by Robert Baratheon to spy on Daenerys and report back to Varys, telling Baratheon everything he needs to know about the surviving member of the Targaryens. He had told Baratheon about Daenerys’s pregnancy by Khal Drogo, leading her to almost be poisoned. Of course, if it weren’t for Jorah knocking away the cup and warning her of it, she would have died, but she argued that if he hadn’t spied on her, she wouldn’t have been in danger at all. She could no longer trust the one person she trusted above everyone else.

And so now, many months later, he’s back, calling her Khaleesi, a memory of the worst betrayal she’d ever endured, and she wants him out of her sight. But just as Tyrion had talked himself quickly out of the situation with the slavers last week, Jorah tells Daenerys that he’s brought her a gift... and out walks Tyrion. For me this was the single best moment of the series so far. The look on her face was priceless — “A dwarf? Are you kidding me?” — but it only got better. Because no sooner does Tyrion stride out on the battlefield than he says, “I am the gift. My name is Tyrion Lannister.” And hearing those five words, she is utterly, deeply confused.

After all, the Lannisters are her sworn enemies. They were in bed — literally — with the Baratheons. Tyrion’s brother killed her father. Robert Baratheon led the charge to slaughter her entire family. Her brother Rhaegar and his son Aegon were brutally murdered by The Mountain, who works for the Lannisters. Why the hell would he be a gift?!

I cannot WAIT for the scene that follows this one. I’m confident Tyrion will be able to convince her — he’s the man with the golden tongue, after all — and putting these two together will strengthen her claim, and infuriate everyone at King’s Landing, more than I could have possibly dreamed. (This is my fantasy way of how this plays out, so if instead she simply feeds him to the dragons, don’t tell me!) ;)
Bits and Bobs:
-I just realized that we completely forgot to mention Stannis and Melisandre’s discussion in this episode, so for the record I’ll say that I hope that scene we saw a couple of weeks ago, where we see just how much Shireen means to Stannis, will be the one thing that will strengthen him against the Red Woman. Could this be the one request that just goes too far for him?
-Also, despite all the terrible things Cersei has done, I felt she was being 100% sincere in the scene where she told Tommen she would do anything for him. Despite her hatred for Tyrion, her despicable treatment of Margaery, and her general booziness, this is a mother who loves her children more than anything.

And on that note, we shall see you all again next week! Thanks for reading.

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Posted on 27 May 2015 | 5:06 pm

Word Grrrls

A 5-Step Plan to Become Seriously Influential Online

The post A 5-Step Plan to Become Seriously Influential Online appeared first on Word Grrls.

This post about building authority online is good for beginning bloggers but also those who have burnt out and want to try again. Do try again. Don’t expect instant success. Step 1: Narrow your focus. Step 2: Stop reading just blog posts. Step 3: Write authoritative articles. Answer specific questions. Quote other authorities in your industry. Don’t be afraid to take a contrarian view. Use stats and detailed case studies to add substance. Repeat your ideas. Step 4: Build an Audience. Step 5: Build a Fan Club. Real authorities solve their audience’s problems. Consistently. Repeatedly. That’s why people listen to ... Continue...

The post A 5-Step Plan to Become Seriously Influential Online appeared first on Word Grrls - Adventures in Writing.

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 1:48 pm

Elfshot - sticks and stones

Happy 2nd Birthday NLAS!

The Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society was incorporated two years ago today - on May 29, 2013.  Happy Birthday and congratulations to all the volunteers who've been working to make the organization grow!

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 5:53 pm

Adam Radwanski

Election excitement reaching fever pitch, but leaders staying course

For all that pundits are advising them to tear up their playbooks, federal parties are tuning out the noise and doubling down on strategies devised before poll numbers swung

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Posted on 27 May 2015 | 3:39 pm

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

Ready To Find My Ochi!

Grocery lists. Laundry. Calendar. Homework. Carpool. It’s my life and I do adore it, but I’m leaving it all behind! I’ve helped to get the Hubby organized, even though he’s a little bit sad to he couldn’t say yes to this invite come with, and by the end of the week I hope to have found […]

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 12:01 pm

A Peek Inside the Fishbowl

Ginger tofu bites of deliciousness (my #dailylunches number 1050)

I made this for my lunch twice last week. Not only because I had a whole block of tofu to use up, but because it was so good I couldn’t wait to have it again. It started with a craving for something spicy with ginger, tofu, and soy sauce. I figured a marinade would fit […]

The post Ginger tofu bites of deliciousness (my #dailylunches number 1050) appeared first on a peek inside the fishbowl.

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Posted on 24 May 2015 | 11:00 am

Dawg’s Blawg

#FHRITP: Name and shame

This should have been tougher for me, an old union hand, than it proved to be. Meet Ryan Hart, on the left, who works for Cognex Corporation. On the right is Shawn Simoes, who worked for Hydro One and made...

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Posted on 13 May 2015 | 8:52 pm

Dammit Janet

Turned Away in PEI

This is so fucked up, it's hard to know where to begin.

One rendition: A person waits 5 hours for treatment at a Canadian emergency department then is turned away with the words "we are not comfortable dealing with this situation."

Or: A person is turned away from a hospital emergency department and told to go to a clinic in ANOTHER PROVINCE.

Or: The Minister of Health looks into the situation and is satisfied that all protocols were followed.

Here's the story as reported in the media.

Here's the story as told by the woman herself, Courtney Cudmore, to As It Happens (at 9:50 mark), or from her Facebook page.

In Prince Edward Island, while it is part of Canada where abortion is legal, abortion is simply not done.

A PEI woman was unwillingly pregnant, found a doctor to prescribe LEGAL abortion drugs, listened carefully to the instructions, and took the drugs. The instructions included what to do if the drugs did not seem to be performing as expected: Go to a hospital.

The drugs did not perform as expected, and so the woman took herself to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital emergency department.

Well, they didn't seem to know quite what to do with her. A nurse got her to give a urine sample and that was it for about 5 hours.

Finally 7:00 pm.. I get called in... The nurse gives me a johnnyshirt to put on, Obviously Im getting examined. 45 minutes later Dr. Lantz comes in. With my chart ... Looks at my chart then looks at me and says... What would you like me to do.. Ohh I don't know check me out?! I told him why I came in. "Well I will go talk to the gynecologist and see what they say" 10 minutes later... "Well we are not comfortable dealing with this situation" What really... not comfortable... What the hell is going on inside of me... I'm thinking this in my head.... and staring at him. I ask ok what did my urine sample tell you?? Are my levels dropping?? "I don't know.. all I can tell you is you are still pregnant" ok so in that breath right there his job was to do a full examination on me. If I didn't pass everything which I'm sure I didn't .. Tha'ts going to cause bigger issues for me. But he did let me know I could go to a clinic in Halifax, They would have no issue helping me. After totally getting he wasn't going to help or find me help I asked him to leave so I could put my clothes back on. But I did thank him for wasting my time.

There just was an election held on the Island, where abortion was an issue.
P.E.I.’s four male political leaders provided their party’s policy on abortion services Tuesday during a forum on women’s issues where the last remaining variable was finally clarified. Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan said P.E.I. would continue to provide abortion services but only at a Halifax hospital. It’s the same policy followed by Premier Robert Ghiz so there is no change to the status quo.

When this story broke on social media on Thursday, the media got on it and the Health Minister was asked for a comment.

Health Minister Doug Currie says he was initially highly concerned when he received messages on social media, but after following up with officials at the hospital, says he feels all proper protocols were followed.

“I was reassured that no one was denied or turned away from the emergency room (Thursday) night,” Currie said.

“I was reassured that the standard quality of care was followed and I continue to be even more motivated to work with stakeholders to continue to remove current barriers that are facing Island women that are looking to access this service.”
No one denied or turned away? Is he calling Ms Cudmore a liar?

Standard quality of care followed? Being told "we are are not comfortable" and "go to Halifax" is "standard quality of care"?

Do PEI physicians not know how to treat miscarriage? Would a woman miscarrying "normally" also be refused treatment and sent to a clinic in Nova Scotia?

Is this not dangerous, patronizing, and, well, simply OUTRAGEOUS?

Not to mention a human rights violation and a pretty prima facie case of malpractice?

The reaction was swift. PEI Abortion Rights Network wrote an open letter.

A petition was begun to have Health Minister Doug Currie removed from his position.

Ms Cudmore plans to contact a lawyer.

What else can we do?

How about alerting potential PEI patients about the patronizing asshole doctor? Ms Cudmore names a "Dr. Lantz". It seems pretty clear that this is Chris Lantz, member of a "prominent" PEI family, and -- hey, look at this -- brother of the leader of the PC party, Rob Lantz.

And how does Rob Lantz feel about abortion?

PC Leader Rob Lantz did meet the group and assured them he will maintain the status quo. … Abortion is not on the PC radar, not in the platform and there are no plans to re-open the debate.

And we'd like to know the name of the gynecologist supposedly consulted by Dr. Lantz.

Here's Ms Cudmore from her Facebook page again:
I have gone to the media as most of you already know and I will be contacting a lawyer to take legal action against the hospital. I urge ALL women who have come across difficulty in support/access to proper health care regarding abortions to take a stand now!! Don't be silent anymore.. We have a right we have a choice. All we see and hear are people slamming abortion if we stand now just maybe we might get the access and rights we deserve. This is legal and as women living on PEI we have a right to choose what we do with our bodies. ‪#‎statusquonomore‬

In other momentous news from the Gentle Island, there is a bit of panic going on over metal objects found in potatoes.

Precious PEI potatoes VIOLATED!!!!!

Last word to unexpectedly prochoice Stats Can (which is a parody account just to forestall any idiotic screeching):

Image from @ProChoicePEI.

UPDATE (May 25/15): Statement from Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

UPDATE (May 26/15): Another harrowing story of being turned away. How many more are there? How many more will there have to be?

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Posted on 26 May 2015 | 8:47 pm

That Artist Woman

Grade 2 Inchies

This is a recent inchie project I did with Grade 2.  It relates to the social studies curriculum where they learn about: - the Arctic
           - the Acadians
           - the Ukraine

Inchie projects are so adaptable. I use them constantly and they are always a hit with the kids.

Some of these squares you may have seen in my other inchie projects, which is another great thing about inchies, as you can swap in/out squares to fit.  I also use them whenever I'm presenting at professional development conferences or sessions.  They are a big hit with adults as well!


I say this before listing the materials for every inchie project. Don't freak out by the long list. Use what you have and substitute as needed.

- wc paper cut into squares as the base for our inchies, we used 3"x3" squares
- disk tempera paint (my old standby)
- white and yellow acrylic paint
- white and yellow oil pastels
- black and red sharpie
- pink crayon
- salt shaker
- bubble wrap
- a drinking straw
- scraps of coloured paper
- scraps of white paper
- little wooden hearts, you could substitute cardboard if you have a star punch
- metal duct tape
- scraps of corrugated cardboard
- googly eyes for polar bear and fish
- masking tape
- white felt and/or craft foam
- little flower embellishments
- tacky glue
- gold sparkly paper or wrapping paper


Cut your squares.  We did all 9 squares but feel free to revise this depending on time available.

This was a 3 session project. (1hr. sessions)

We work on many squares all at once. I'll give you my schedule at the end. For the blog I find it better to present each square from start to finish.

Square#1:  Inuit Whale

This inchie is based on another art project, Inuit Whale Portraits.

Paint one of the inches with yellow disk tempera.

Trace around whale template on black paper.  Cut out and glue onto the yellow square.

Out of scraps of coloured paper cut some accent pieces.  I gave the kids white and red paper.  They also used the leftover black from the last step.

Inchie #2 Polar Bear:

Paint an inchie with blue disk tempera.

While the paint is still wet lay a small piece of bubble wrap on top, bubble side down.

Leave it on while the square dries.

I gave everyone a small square of white felt and asked them to cut out a hill shape.  Some kids thought it would be an igloo.

Glue into place.

I then handed out a white scrap of paper.  I had them cut a rounded triangle shape.

Glue on top of felt at the top.

I handed out pink crayons and they added some colour for the ears.

I gave them a small scrap of white craft foam and they cut a circle out of it.

Glue onto the face for the muzzle.

Glue on some goggly eyes.  For the nose we punched a hole in some black craft foam but you could also use paper.

Inchie #3: Arctic Landscape

Draw on a few low hills on an inchie with pencil.

Now you can go over these lines with glue and then let it dry for a glue resist effect or you can just use a white pastel for a pastel resist.

Out of the metal duct tape cut a small moon and then peel and stick into place.

Paint in the sections.

Before the paint dries sprinkle on a little salt.

Spread on a little iridescent glitter on the landscape.

Out of a scrap of black paper cut a little inukshuk and glue into place.

Inchie #4: Fish

Paint a square with blue tempera paint.  While the paint is wet you can sprinkle on a little salt.

When the paint is dry rub off the salt.

Using a straw and a little white acrylic paint stamp on some bubbles.

Take a piece of metal duct tape, draw a fish on it with pencil.  It will leave a nice etching.

Use coloured sharpies and colour in parts of the fish.

Cut out the fish, peel and stick the metal tape fish onto the blue square.

Using stamps you can stamp on the word FISH.  At school I printed out text and the kids glued it on the square.

Inchie #5: Lighthouse

On a square draw some rocks, a water line and a lighthouse.

With the red sharpie colour in top of lighthouse and then outline it with the black sharpie.

With the yellow oil pastel draw smudge on the glow from the lighthouse.  Put white oil pastel where the light is and on the lighthouse tower.

Paint the entire square purple.  The oil pastel will resist the paint.

Paint the rocks black and the waterline dark blue.

Inchie #6: Acadian Flag

Paint the little star yellow.

With masking tape place a strip down the middle of a square.

Paint one side of the tape blue and one side red with disk tempera.

Remove masking tape when paint is dry.

Glue on the yellow star to the blue stripe.

Inchie #7 Ukrainian Easter Egg

Paint a square with green disk tempera paint.

Using a piece of cardboard, stamp on some grass lines with green acrylic paint.

Cut an egg shape out of some scrap white paper.

Using crayons draw on some designs leaving parts of the egg white.

Paint egg with a wash of disk tempera.  The crayon will resist and show thru.

Glue the egg onto the green square.

Inchie #8: Ukrainian Church

Disregard the tape on this square. Paint a square blue and while the paint is still wet lift off some clouds with a kleenex.

Glue on a square of white paper.  Using a black sharpie or pencil crayon draw on some windows of the church.

Cut a dome out of some sparkly gold paper or wrapping paper.

With a sharpie add a cross.

Inchie# 9: Ukrainian Dancer

Paint a square blue.

I made a template of a head and shoulders.

I had the kids trace it.

Add colour to the dancer. We added the vest, some X stitch embroidery on the sleeves, and a few necklaces.

Cut the dancer out.  Glue onto the blue square and then glue on a few flowers.

Glue completed inchies on paper background.

That's it.


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Posted on 14 May 2015 | 3:48 am

A pretty Life in the Suburbs

My Summer Patio!

I can’t even begin to tell you of the relief I feel that we can now use our deck without needing to wear toques and mittens.  Nope, it’s flip flop and fancy drink season on the patio!  Can I get a woot-woot?! We’ve been busy over the last couple of weeks getting our patio all […]

The post My Summer Patio! appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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Posted on 29 May 2015 | 12:00 pm

Canada's Adventure couple

Ignite your Wanderlust with Photos of the Bolivian Salt Flats

"You will love it!"  were the words we had heard from other travelers every time we mentioned our plan to travel to Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni; the biggest salt flat in the world. As you might imagine those words raised our expectations sky-high and we couldn't wait to see the white endless scenery of the [...]

Read the original post Ignite your Wanderlust with Photos of the Bolivian Salt Flats on The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog.

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Posted on 28 May 2015 | 11:18 am

Live From Waterloo

WW#368 - Sleep study

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Posted on 20 May 2015 | 5:09 pm