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The 9th Annual Canadian Book Challenge – May Roundup (Sticky Post— Scroll down for most recent post)

Posted May 31, 2016 by John Mutford

1. Click on the icon above
2. Add a link to your review. (Please link to your specific review, not an entire webpage.)
3. Add your name and in parentheses the title of the book, such as John Mutford (Anne of Avonlea)
4. In the comment section below, tell me your grand total so far. (ex. “This brings me up to 1/13”)

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General

Johnny Manziel — ‘My Friends and Fam Are With Me’ (VIDEO)

Posted May 26, 2016 by TMZ Staff

After a rough weekend in Vegas, Johnny Manziel surfaced in NYC this week — where he told TMZ Sports his friends and family still have his back.  Manziel hit up Marquee in NYC Wednesday night — where he continued his party tear … at one…

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General

TTC grapples with a $20M drop in demand

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

Toronto’s transit system may feel crowded to daily rush-hour riders. But it’s not as crowded as it should be.

TTC ridership continues to decline compared with the agency’s targets, according to figures in CEO Andy Byford’s latest report, released Thursday. As of March, the TTC had logged 134.7 million trips since the start of the year, 5.4 million fewer than the agency budgeted for.

If ridership continues on its current course, the TTC will miss its year-end target of 553 million rides by between eight million and 13 million, leaving the commission with a revenue shortfall of $20 million to $30 million.

The numbers confirm a trend already evident in the first few months of 2016. By February, the TTC was already four million trips short.

Byford said the statistics are “a real concern,” but he noted that Toronto’s transit system isn’t the only one seeing weakened demand. Ridership in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal is also soft.

“It’s definitely not just a Toronto phenomenon,” Byford said. “Our view is it is linked to the economy.” He said that while Toronto’s unemployment rate isn’t as bad as it has been, sometimes there is a lag between economic upturns and corresponding increased transit use.

Councillor Joe Mihevc, who sits on the TTC board, believes a number of factors could be contributing to low ridership stats, including an uptick in fare evasion following the introduction of all-door boarding on all streetcars last December and regular fare increases that have priced out some potential passengers.

“At some point, because the fares have gone higher than the inflation rate, that will have a negative impact on rides. We’ve pushed that envelope pretty hard in the last little while as a city,” he said.

Byford said statistics collected by TTC fare inspectors don’t suggest fare evasion has become more common, and there is little evidence fare prices are behind the decline. But commission staff are looking at all possible factors in an effort to reverse the trend. A report on the ridership decline is expected at the board’s July 11 meeting.

The CEO added that, while it’s possible the commission might consider scaling back plans to expand service, he’s wary of making any “knee-jerk” decisions.

“On the one hand, we’re coolly and calmly analyzing this data to get to the fact rather than the anecdotes,” he said. “At the same time, there is a sense of urgency. We recognize that it’s an emerging problem, and we’re not taking that lightly.”

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Blogging

Create New Graphics with Adobe Spark

Posted May 26, 2016 by Jodi

I love it when I come across unique apps or online programs to help make blogging life easier. I mentioned a while back my love for Canva, a photo creation tool for anyone to use. Well now Adobe has come out with a way for you to create spark for your blog or design projects. […]

The post Create New Graphics with Adobe Spark appeared first on Rants n’ Rascals.

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General

Don’t attack Trudeau’s family values

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

Canada’s opposition parties can be forgiven if they still do not understand the mass appeal of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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General

Kathleen Wynne says Ontario will not phase out natural gas for home heating

Posted May 26, 2016 by The Canadian Press

EDMONTON—Premier Kathleen Wynne said Thursday that Ontario won’t ban the use of natural gas for home heating as part of its climate change action plan.

The plan hasn’t been released yet, but the Liberals had been coy about details ever since a published report based on a leaked draft copy said the province would phase out fossil fuels for home heating.

But in her strongest statement yet on the issue, Wynne called the report “false,” and said natural gas will “absolutely” be used to heat Ontario homes in the future.

“The criticism that we have been getting is that we were going to be banning natural gas, and that is not something that we’re doing,” Wynne said after meeting Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in Edmonton.

Natural gas is used to heat more than three-quarters of the homes in the province, and critics — as well as natural gas suppliers — warned that phasing it out would drive up energy costs for everyone.

“Replacing building heat and electricity would require $200 billion in investment in generation and distribution just to effectively duplicate what we’ve already spent on infrastructure,” Enbridge Gas CEO Al Monaco said in Calgary on Thursday.

“That would more than double electricity rates in a province with very high electricity costs.”

Notley said Ontario and Alberta may take different approaches to reducing their carbon footprints, but both agree something must be done.

“Some argue that climate change is either not real, or at least not caused by humans,” she said. “Climate change denial is a dead end, for Alberta and all of Canada.”

Wynne, who also signed an agreement with Notley to develop clean technologies to fight climate change, said she wasn’t worried about California’s weak market for carbon emissions.

Only about a tenth of the available pollution credits in California were sold in an auction last week as part of the state’s cap-and-trade plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and it raised $600 million less than expected.

Ontario is set to join the cap-and-trade program with California and Quebec next January, and has already started spending some of the $1.9 billion it expects to raise from the plan each year.

“California is ahead of us, and we’ve got some catching up to do,” said Wynne. “We’re pushing ahead, and there’s a lot of innovation that I know can happen in Ontario, and that’s what our cap-and-trade program is going to be about.”

Ontario won’t hold its first emissions auction until next spring, but has already announced how it will spend $1 billion of the revenue it hopes to generate.

The Liberals promised $900 million to retrofit social housing and apartment buildings to make them more energy-efficient, and $100 million to introduce so-called renewable natural gas into the supply mix.

Wynne will deliver a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Friday, take part in a roundtable with business representatives and meet Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

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General

A tale of two religions

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

A recent study of religious trends in the UK indicates more and more people are becoming openly godless rather than sticking with any form of Christianity.

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General

Stephen Harper: Now He’s a Great Business Leader

Posted May 26, 2016 by Simon

Well we knew Stephen Harper was going to go into business from the moment he knocked on the door of Calgary’s Petroleum Club.

But surprisingly enough he is not going to work for Big Oil, at least not yet.

Even though working in the mail room of Imperial Oil, where his daddy worked, was his only previous business experience.

He’s setting up his own consulting company.


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General

My House of Belonging

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

being alone can bring with it the sensibility that one is somehow lacking ♥ that one has somehow failed if not racing off to some heady experience or cycling through a myriad of social appearances…

{ This is a content exerpt only.. Please click on the Blog Title to continue reading this post, share your love, browse Just a Smidgen and more.. }

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General

Khloe Kardashian Files for Divorce … Again

Posted May 26, 2016 by TMZ Staff

Khloe Kardashian has just gone to court a second time to end her marriage to Lamar Odom … TMZ has learned. Khloe, with the help of attorney Laura Wasser, filed for divorce Thursday, claiming — as she did the first time — irreconcilable&helli…

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General

Library and Archives Canada and the TD Summer Reading Club Announce the 2015 Library Award Winners (French category)

Posted May 26, 2016 by Canada News Centre - National News

Library and Archives Canada (LAC), along with the Toronto Public Library and TD Bank Group, is pleased to announce the winners of the TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards for 2015 in the French category. Since 2007, these awards have recognized and re…

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General

T.I. Concert Shooting — NYPD: Video Shows Troy Ave Firing Handgun

Posted May 26, 2016 by TMZ Staff

3:45 PM PT — Cops have added an attempted murder charge and another count of criminal possession.  We’re told ballistic testing is ongoing, and depending on results, he could also get a murder charge.NYPD released video they say shows rapper…

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General

Competition Bureau launches condo renovation probe

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

Condominium corporations are not the target of a criminal investigation by the Competition Bureau of Canada.

The bureau has asked an Ontario Superior Court to order more than 100 Toronto area condo companies to produce records and other written information in connection with an investigation by its Cartels Directorate.

The investigation appears to be centred on contractors who do renovations on common areas such as lobbies, shared washrooms and parking garages in residential highrises, although the Competition Bureau declined to give details.

“The decision to seek the orders was based on the fact that the condominium corporations have, or are likely to have, information that is relevant to the investigation,” said Competition Bureau spokeswoman Marie-France Faucher in an email.

It’s possible the competition bureau asked for a court order because the victims in the alleged scheme are afraid of repercussions, said one expert in competition law. The bureau may be looking for corroboration of other information, said the expert.

Robert Weinberg, who was elected president of the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario last Friday, headed the ethics committee for two years. He says there’s room for more professionalism in the management of condos and the bidding process.

Typically a condo corporation hires a designer for interior work or an engineer for exterior jobs. Once the condo board has approved a design and scope of work, the designer or engineer will recommend contractors they have worked with in the past.

Weinberg said a property management should never get involved with design or specification. They can help designate potential bidders and collect sealed bids but they should never open them, he said.

A savvy board will do its own research and add other companies to the list of contractors invited to bid, he said.

“Some places don’t want to go to so many companies. They trust the designers. I’m not saying they shouldn’t trust the designers. But best practices, you go out to a half a dozen or more companies,” said Weinberg, whose company Percel Property Management manages 80 condo corporations including two buildings that were ordered to produce records.

But he said he has no concerns.

“We have very set ways of doing things. It’s dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s. My managers know there’s zero tolerance for unethical behaviour,” said Weinberg.

The association’s ethics committee sees about 40 cases a year. Only two or three would go on to an advanced investigation for violations such as theft or engaging contractors without condo board approval.

The province is modernizing the Condomium Act, including the Condominium Management Services Act. The Act sets out licensing rules for condo managers.

Only about a third of Ontario’s approximately 3,000 condo managers in the province are members of the association.

“About 2,000 are just floating around out there with no designations, no code of ethics, no one to answer to and no one is going to stop them doing what they’re doing if they’re bad actors,” said Weinberg.

“By having the law say you can’t manage unless you’re licensed and having a reporting mechanism that should clean up a lot of stuff that is going on,” he said.

The first licenses will likely be issued early next year.

There are about 9,300 condo corporations in Ontario. There are about 6,000 in the Toronto area. That includes townhouses, industrial and commercial condominiums as well as residential high rises.

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General

Nuheara IQbuds are a lot more than just wireless earbuds

Posted May 26, 2016 by Lloyd Alter

The world of hearables just got a lot more interesting.

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General

Plenary Statement For the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health

Posted May 26, 2016 by Canada News Centre - National News

Plenary Statement For the Honourable Jane Philpott Minister of Health

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General

Toronto mansion linked to Drake gets green light from city

Posted May 26, 2016 by The Canadian Press

A Toronto mansion linked to Drake has been given the go-ahead to be built.A municipal panel unanimously approved the construction plans for the property slated for construction at 21 Park Lane Circle.According to plans filed with…

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General

Federal and Provincial Funding for New Interchange at Boychuk Drive and Highway 16

Posted May 26, 2016 by Canada News Centre - National News

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Jim Reiter, Minister of Government Relations for Saskatchewan, today announced funding for a new interchange at Boychuk Drive and Highway 16 in Saskatoon. His Worship Donald J. Atchison, Mayor of Saskatoon, also participated in the announcement.

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General

When It Comes To Fiscal Policy, Japan Is No Role Model

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Tokyo this week for a bilateral visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well a G7 leaders summit in nearby Ise-Shima. While increasing trade is a major focus of the prime minister’s visit (Japan is Canada’s…

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General

Ray Rice — Returns to Ravens … to School Rookies (UPDATE)

Posted May 26, 2016 by TMZ Staff

Ray Rice is back in with the Baltimore Ravens — not as a player, but as a teacher. Rice met with his former team’s new class of players on Wednesday, and Ravens officials say … “He clearly had the attention of our rookies.”

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Film

The Ultimate 80s Rock Documentary ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ Will Never Die

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

We caught up with filmmaker Jeff Krulik on the 30th anniversary of his and John Heyn’s seminal metal fan documentary.

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General

Address by Minister Bibeau at the World Health Assembly

Posted May 26, 2016 by Canada News Centre - National News

There is no doubt the Millennium Development Goals achieved significant progress for maternal, newborn and child health.

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General

Here’s What to Play on Your PS4 Now That ‘No Man’s Sky’ Is Delayed

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

The sci-fi epic from Hello Games has, apparently, moved back in the release schedule. But don’t bemoan the delay—start playing these other games, instead.

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General

Shawn Stockman — Eagles SCREWED Sam Bradford … Tantrum Was Justified (VIDEO)

Posted May 26, 2016 by TMZ Staff

Music legend Shawn Stockman is team Sam Bradford in the Eagles QB controversy … saying the team disrespected Bradford by drafting Carson Wentz. Stockman is a die-hard Eagles fan (remember “Motownphilly”?) and when we got him out in Beverly Hi…

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General

Obama won’t apologize in Hiroshima — but the city wants him to see ‘what was lost’

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN—Shizuo Sumida blames his father’s premature death, his wife’s debilitating stroke and his own stomach cancer all on the atomic bomb that fell from a U.S. plane here nearly 71 years ago.

Still, the longtime taxi driver is not looking for Barack Obama to apologize Friday when he becomes the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the world’s first atomic bombing.

“I don’t think his apology is necessary,” said Sumida, 69, of Hiroshima, who was born after the U.S. dropped the bomb. “Him just coming here has such a significance. It is enough that he is here and sees Hiroshima with his own eyes.”

All over this city in western Japan, people say they are grateful that Obama is coming, and most say they aren’t bothered that it took this long — or that he isn’t going to apologize for what predecessor Harry S. Truman ordered.

But they want him to know what happened here — that their lives and their families’ lives changed following the deaths, the illnesses and damages left in the bomb’s wake. Years later, they are still suffering with diseases, medical bills and painful memories.

“I want him to feel how the people of Hiroshima think, and bring that back to spread those messages to his people in America,” said Haruna Sako, 24, a nurse who grew up in Hiroshima. “I want him to see what was lost in such an instance.”

The atomic bomb killed an estimated 140,000 people in Hiroshima. Three days later, a second atomic bomb killed up to 80,000 people in Nagasaki. The pair of bombings led to the surrender of Japan and the end of the Second World War.

Hiroshima, a small city by Japanese standards, is defined by what happened to it 71 years ago. Residents, especially those who grew up here, want to talk about what happened and don’t seem surprised that Obama, or anyone, would want to visit.

“The memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are etched in the minds of the world, and I would be honoured to have the opportunity to visit those cities at some point during my presidency,” Obama said on his first trip to Japan in his first year in office.

Obama, accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, where he will lay a wreath at a concrete, arch-shaped monument that represents a shelter for the souls of the victims.

Several groups have called on Obama to outline steps he would take toward a nuclear-free world, but aides say he is unlikely to offer any specific proposals. Instead, he will deliver brief remarks as he reflects on the memorial.

On Thursday, the park — which contains the skeletal ruins of the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, the building closest to the centre of the bomb — was bustling with the usual tourists, nearby residents and schoolchildren as well as scores of police officers, journalists from around the world and organizers setting out chairs to ready for Obama’s arrival. A couple of dozen protesters at one side of the park criticized the visit. “No nukes!” their posters said in English. “No Abe! No Obama.”

Miki Saiki, 35, biking through the park with her 2-year-old daughter, said she’d initially wanted Obama to apologize on his visit. But, she said, after hearing from survivors she changed her mind.

“They are looking forward,” said Saiki, who moved to Hiroshima from Okinawa after getting married. “They have a strong message that they want him to recognize what happened in the past, then apply what he sees for leading a path to world peace.”

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General

SwRI scientists discover evidence of ice age at martian north pole

Using radar data collected by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a Southwest Research Institute-led team found evidence of an ice age recorded in the polar deposits of Mars. Ice ages on Mars are driven by processes similar to those responsible for ice…

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General

Targeting metals to fight pathogenic bacteria

Researchers at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) at Umeå University in Sweden participated in the discovery of a unique system of acquisition of essential metals in the pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. This research was led by scientists at the CEA in France, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Pau, the INRA and the CNRS. It represents a new potential target for the design of antibiotics. These results are being published in the journal Science on Friday 27 May.

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General

Take the 30 Second Asthma Test

Posted May 26, 2016 by Jodi

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of a Canadian leading research based pharmaceutical company. All opinions are 100% mine. Having asthma and allergies in the summer time is no fun. It’s no fun anytime. I took the 30 Second Asthma Test to find out just how bad my breathing was and I […]

The post Take the 30 Second Asthma Test appeared first on Rants n’ Rascals.

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General

Canadian Armed Forces Celebrate Canada’s Indigenous Cultures during Aboriginal Awareness Week

Posted May 26, 2016 by Canada News Centre - National News

Today, as part of Aboriginal Awareness Week, the Canadian Army hosted a commemorative event at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa under the theme “Successes and Achievements” that encourages celebration of Indigenous Peoples role models.

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General

Fantastical fashion forecasts from 1930 that came true

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

The forward-thinking fashion-designing soothsayers of 1930 actually got a lot of crazy things spot on, many of them with a sustainable twist.

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General

A New Mental Healthcare Law Would Help My Suicidal Partner

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

A new bill could make access to help a lot more effective in the US.

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General

So Sad Today: Everything Is a Drug

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

I’ve been in the crystal game for less than a year and already my thoughts and well-being have become controlled by quartzes, amethysts, tourmalines, and calcites.

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General

Doubling down on Schrödinger’s cat

Yale physicists have given Schrödinger’s famous cat a second box to play in, and the result may help further the quest for reliable quantum computing.

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General

Haunting Photos of an Abandoned Store Turned into an Art Installation

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

Sean Vegezzi’s turned his haunting Snow Cab installation into a book.

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General

The VICE Guide to the 2016 Election: What a Trump-Sanders Debate Would Actually Look Like

Posted May 26, 2016 by Harry Cheadle

After both candidates said they’d be open to the idea of going mano a mano, speculation began about who would come out ahead in the hypothetical debate.

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General

Was Harper Really The Worst Canadian Prime Minister In History?

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

Recently an article in the National Observer entitled “Is Harper the Worst Prime Minister in History?” started trending. I was a hyper vocal critic of Stephen Harper in his last two terms in office, and would find it easy to lay out why he might be con…

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General

Gucci Mane — I’m A Free Man!! Fresh Outta Jail

Posted May 26, 2016 by TMZ Staff

Gucci Mane is finally free … getting sprung from behind bars 4 months early. The rapper’s lawyer, Drew Findling, tells TMZ Gucci was released Thursday morning from an Indiana prison. We’re told he already has a home just outside the city. Find…

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General

Cuing environmental responses in fungi

Fungi can sense environmental signals and react accordingly, changing their development, direction of growth, and metabolism. Sensory perception lies at the heart of adaptation to changing conditions, and helps fungi to improve growth and recycle organ…

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General

Spring snow a no-go?

Spring snowpack, relied on by ski resorts and water managers throughout the Western United States, may be more vulnerable to a warming climate in coming decades, according to a new University of Utah study.
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General

Small offshore oil spills put seabirds at risk: Industry self-monitoring failing

Seabirds exposed to even a dime-sized amount of oil can die of hypothermia in cold-water regions, but despite repeated requests by Environment Canada, offshore oil operators are failing when it comes to self-monitoring of small oil spills, says new res…

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General

Photo: Signs of life emerge where California wildfires burned

Posted May 26, 2016 by Anonymous

Nothing can keep the poppies down, not even scorched earth.

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