Monday, September 30, 2013

Canada Launches First Public Umbilical Cord Bank

RAW CHEO doctor on cord blood bankCanada's first national public blood bank for umbilical cord blood began taking donations Monday at the Ottawa Hospital.

Canadian Blood Services said the bank will let the public donate rather than discard umbilical cords, which are a rich source of stem cells.
Doctors Preserve Umbilical Cord Blood
A newborn baby boy's umbilical cord blood is collected to try to cure his sister of leukemia in Beijing in 2005. Prior to Monday's announcement Canada was the only G8 country without a national cord blood bank. ( China Photos/Getty)
Some 1,000 Canadians are currently waiting for life-saving stem cell transplants to treat diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma or aplastic anemia, according to Canadian Blood Services.
The group said Canada was the only G8 nation that doesn't have a national public cord blood bank.
Robert Klaassen, a hematologist/oncologist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, said the new cord blood bank is "long overdue."
Klaassen said having our own national cord blood bank will shorten wait times and increase the pool of potential matches when stem cells are needed, while cord blood will also provide a more flexible source of stem cells than bone marrow.
"The main problem we have is that many patients when they need a bone marrow transplant don't have a brother or sister or sibling to match to so we have to start looking for unrelated matches," said Klaassen.

'Breaking Bad' series finale breaks records for ratings and piracy

Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad (PUBLICITY STILL)
Last night the television series Breaking Bad came to an end, and the numbers prove the show had become a true cultural phenomenon in its last months. According to network AMC, 10.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the end of Walter White's story, a record high for the program, and an increase of more than 300 percent over the season finale last year. "Breaking Bad is simply unique," AMC president Charlie Collier said in a statement. "It all starts with Vince Gilligan who really only ever asked for one thing — the opportunity to end the show on his own terms."
It's a staggering number that demonstrates just how much momentum the show has gained. By way of comparison, only 6.1 million viewers tuned in for Showtime'sDexter finale earlier this month, and theBreaking Bad numbers even crept near the ratings for the finale of HBO's former heavyweight The Sopranos11.9 million people watched the controversial finale to David Chase's mafia drama in 2007. For a broader, broadcast network reference point, ABC's Lost finale had 13.5 million viewersthree years ago.
The cultural conversation was in full swing on Twitter as well. According to AMC, 1.24 million tweets from over 601,000 different users referenced the show while the finale was broadcast on the east and west coasts of the US. The activity hit a peak of 22,373 tweets per minute just as the first showing began, with series star Bryan Cranston's thank you to fans retweeted over 52,000 times.
Viewers watching Breaking Bad through illegitimate means also wasted no time in viewing the finale. According to TorrentFreak, the episode was downloaded by more than 500,000 people in the first 12 hours after it aired, with 18 percent of downloads originating in Australia. The United States and the UK rounded out the top three countries pirating the show. While the number was a record for Vince Gilligan's show, it proved no match for Game of Thrones, which had its season premiere downloaded over a million times in less than a day.
All told, it's a tremendously successful conclusion to the series, and a reminder yet again that amazing things are possible if unique shows are given time to develop. For AMC, however, the question now turns to how it's going to replicate that kind of success. Thespin-off series Better Call Saul won't likely garner the same kind of rabid following as the original Breaking Bad, but the network already has plenty of promising projects in development. TheVerge

Saturday, September 28, 2013

50 Most Innovative Companies In The World

Every year since 2005, the Boston Consulting Group has surveyed more than 1,500 senior global executives for a snapshot of the most innovative companies in the world. Each executive is asked to rate the companies in their industry by how innovative they are, and those results are then weighted to reflect three-year shareholder growth, revenue growth, and margin growth. Despite losing some of its luster over the past year, Apple tops the list for the ninth consecutive year. Its biggest competitor, Samsung, moves to just one spot behind it, making next year's list one to watch.

The ranking also shows some volatility. Struggling Dell drops 11 places, and Intel falls 13 slots.  The vast majority of the companies on the list fall into just three categories: technology, consumer and retail, and automotive companies. Technology dominates, making up half of the companies in the top 10. Meanwhile, the automotive sector, which has had to step things up to meet consumers' increasing demands, saw the biggest leaps, with three companies in the top 10 and Volkswagen jumping 31 spots.

Health care and energy are almost nowhere to be found, with only one and three companies in the top 50, respectively.

Here are the top 50 most innovative companies:

Most innovative

Friday, September 27, 2013

Three of world's five $1bn plus wealthiest women are from China

Half of the world's wealthiest female billionaires are Chinese, according to a respected ranking published on Tuesday by a Shanghai-based business magazine.
According to the Hurun Report's "Hurun China's Women Rich List 2013", three of the world's five wealthiest women with assets of over $1bn (£626m) – and six of its top 10 – are Chinese. None of the world's top 10 richest men are from mainland China.
China's wealthiest woman is Yang Huiyan, the 32-year-old heiress to Country Garden, an expansive property developer in the affluent southern province Guangdong. Yang has assets of 51bn yuan (£5.2bn). She graduated from Ohio State University in 2003.
Yang is followed by Chen Lihua, 72, of Fu Wah International, an "industrial investment company" founded in Hong Kong in 1988. Chen, worth 37bn yuan, was named one of "the world's 100 most influential people" by Time magazine last year for her philanthropic efforts.
About a quarter of the list's 50 wealthiest women work in real estate; 18% of them are involved in finance. China's richest women are generally younger than their male counterparts, with an average age of 48 compared with 52.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Canada's population surpasses 35 million for the first time

Statistics Canada estimates that the country's population hit 35,158,300 on July 1 — an increase of 404,000 people, or 1.2 per cent from the previous year.

The agency says the increase equals the one observed between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012 and is similar to the average annual gains over the last 30 years.
It says the latest population estimate is based on the 2011 census counts, adjusted for census net undercoverage and incompletely enumerated Indian reserves.
Ontario is home to 38.5 per cent of the population, a slight increase from its share of 35.6 per cent in 1983. Second on the list is Quebec with 23.2 per cent, B.C. with 13 per cent and Alberta with 11.4 per cent.
Canada’s population growth rate is at 1.2 per cent this year, unchanged from last year. Most of that growth comes from immigration.
The report says population growth for the year ending last June 30 was lower in the Atlantic provinces and negative in Nova Scotia, while generally higher in the western provinces.
Alberta's estimated population grew by 3.4 per cent, mainly due to international and interprovincial migration.
The low growth in the Atlantic provinces is attributed to a low rate of natural increase and interprovincial migration losses, which reached a six-year high.
Over the last 30 years, the population of Ontario grew almost twice as rapidly (39.8 per cent) as that of Quebec (21 per cent). theStar

Immigrating to Canada? Think twice

OTTAWA -- Samer Elbanna left Egypt in search of a better life for his family. But leaving a job in procurement -- one that had him dealing with companies all over the world -- in order to sling burgers at an Ottawa fast food joint wasn't what he had in mind.
Now the 29-year-old is casting a longing glance back at his homeland, wondering if he has a better shot there at the life he dreams about.
"I'm now thinking a lot of that. Because my life is not easy here," Elbanna said.
"So I'm thinking about going back to Egypt. I have everything there, or I have to fight here to be something."
With his daughter Farida about to turn two next month and no prospects on the horizon of landing a job like the one he left in Egypt, Elbanna and his wife Sara are wondering if they should just cut their losses and return home.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Canada’s greatest untapped asset?

Aside from tired old tropes (oil, water, trees), what should our country develop in order to boost our competitive edge? We asked four Canadians in diverse fields to name an unexpected resource.
Big brains, basic science
Bob McDonald
Science journalist and host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, who started his career as a demonstrator at the Ontario Science CentreFrom a science point of view, our greatest asset is brainpower. Canadian scientists are highly regarded around world. We have teams working on the Large Hadron Collider, one of the largest experiments in the world. We are well regarded on space – we were the third country in space, and we continue to lead in satellite and robotic technologies. We’ve just had Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station. We’re big in nanotech and genetics research. But I don’t think we’re tapping it, because funding in fundamental science – why-is-the-sky-blue science – is being cut back. I think that’s a loss not only to Canada, but to the world. Fabulous universities are putting out really smart people and a lot of them are leaving to go to other countries.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cash-strapped Canada Post weighs future of mail delivery

Door-to-door mail delivery could become a thing of the past as Canada Post considers ways to remake its balance sheet in an era of declining letter mail volumes.
Door-to-door mail delivery could become a thing of the past as Canada Post considers ways to remake its balance sheet in an era of declining letter mail volumes. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
Urban Canadians could be saying goodbye to door-to-door mail delivery.
Cutting that service is among the options being seriously considered by Canada Post as it grapples with plummeting volumes of letter mail and financial losses of $104 million in the last quarter.
"They don't need need the government of Canada's policy changes in order to convert to community mailboxes in urban areas.
    "That's a huge cost savings and it's those kinds of things that we want to see come to fruition."
'No single option we looked at will be enough to close the gap'- David Stewart-Patterson, Conference Board of Canada
As it stands now, only one-third of Canadians get their mail delivered right to their door. Everyone else picks up the post from community, apartment or rural lot line mailboxes. According to a Conference Board of Canada report, Canada Post is on track to lose $1 billion a year.
If the corporation cut door-to-door delivery, the Conference Board's vice-president of public policy David Stewart-Patterson says it could reduce those losses by more than half.
"No single option we looked at will be enough to close the gap. What Canadians need to think about is a range of options and what combination is likely to meet their needs best."

Argentina Most Expensive Place to Buy iPad, Canada and Malaysia Cheapest

Consumers in Argentina pay the most globally for an iPad, more than double the cost in Malaysia, the world’s cheapest place to buy the Apple Inc. product.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
A customer wearing a mask designed to resemble late Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs holds up a portrait of Mr. Jobs on his iPad outside an Apple Store in Tokyo on Sept. 20, 2013.
A 16-gigabyte iPad with Wi-Fi and aretina display sells for $1,094.11 in Argentina, compared with $473.77 in Malaysia, according to CommSec, a unit of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank.
Other expensive places to buy an iPad include northern Europe and Latin America. (Brazil: $791.40; and Denmark: $725.32.)
CommSec has been keeping an iPod index since 2007 (it later added the iPad) as a way of monitoring whether currencies are valued appropriately.
The index is a way of exploring the economic concept of purchasing power parity. That is, a good should trade at the same price in different countries when expressed in the same currency given free markets.

Emmys 2013: The complete list of winners

Breaking Bad • AMC – WINNER
Downton Abbey • PBS
Game Of Thrones • HBO
Homeland • Showtime
House Of Cards • Netflix
Mad Men • AMC

Blackberry Downward Spiral

Felix Salmon, a financial blogger for Reuters, also put it bluntly: "They failed to win the smartphone wars, they have lost the smartphone wars and now they're toast. It's as simple as that," he told CBC's Lang &O'Leary Exchange. 

BlackBerry's announcement that it would be cutting 4,500 jobs unleashed a flurry of pessimistic speculation over the future of the beleaguered Waterloo, Ont., company, with some predicting it may simply cease to exist.
"Patient in intensive care, consider do not resuscitate order," wrote Iain Grant, an analyst with the Seaboard Group consulting firm, in an email to CBC News.
Along with the announced round of cuts that would eliminate 40 per cent of its staff, the company, which has struggled to compete against Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market, is expected to post losses of nearly a billion dollars for its second-quarter earnings next Friday.
Although analysts had predicted revenue at around $3 billion, many were surprised with the company's
projection of about $1.6 billion, with most of that blamed on the poor sales of its BlackBerry Z10.
"That’s disaster quality in terms of sales versus estimates," analyst Troy Crandall of MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier told CBC News. "We’d anticipated it was going to be a bad quarter and maybeeven below estimates, but not to this magnitude."

Glee's Cory Monteith recalled in Emmy tribute

Actress Jane Lynch delivers a tribute to fellow Glee star Cory Monteith, who died in July of this year, at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 22, 2013.
Actress Jane Lynch delivers a tribute to fellow Glee star Cory Monteith, who died in July of this year, at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 22, 2013. (Mike Blake)
Five emotional tributes to deceased TV personalities punctuated Sunday night’s Primetime Emmy Awards, including a salute to the late Glee actor Cory Monteith.
The B.C.-born performer's co-star Jane Lynch spoke about the young actor, who died in July at the age of 31 from an overdose of heroin and alcohol.
"From the first time you saw Cory, he had a star quality and a genuine sweetness that made it impossible not to fall in love with him. And millions did fall in love with Cory," Lynch said during the ceremony.,,

Canadians die in Kenya massacre claimed by Somali and al-Qaeda-linked group

Canadian diplomat killed
Two Canadians, including a diplomat, are among the 39 people killed and more than 150 wounded after Islamic extremist gunmen raided Nairobi's top mall Saturday, lobbing grenades and firing assault rifles.

The Prime Minister's Office released a statement identifying 29-year-old Annemarie Desloges, an official in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration who served in Canada's High Commission to Kenya, as one of those killed.

"Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms this cowardly, hateful act that apparently targeted innocent civilians who were simply out shopping," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in extending his condolences to the victim's families.

Early Sunday morning, 12 hours after the attack began, gunmen remained holed up inside the mall with an unknown number of hostages. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta called the security operation under way "delicate" and said a top priority was to safeguard hostages.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ford invests $700M in plant, securing 2800 jobs

Ford's Canadian subsidiary is investing $700 million at its Oakville assembly plant west of Toronto, a move that it says will support thousands of jobs and increase the automaker's spending on Canadian-made parts.
Ford's Canadian subsidiary is investing $700 million at its Oakville assembly plant west of Toronto, a move that it says will support thousands of jobs and increase the automaker's spending on Canadian-made parts. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)
Ford Motor Company is spending $700 million to retool its assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., in order to expand and improve its manufacturing capability to meet the rising global demand for the company's vehicles, the automaker said Thursday.
"Today's announcement is about solidifying jobs and becoming more competitive than ever before right here in Canada," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's executive vice-president for the Americas, said at a news conference at the plant.
The funding will allow the plant to produce several new Ford models that will be sold in North America and around the world, Hinrichs said.

Being Religious or Spiritual Is Linked With Getting More Depressed

Previously studies appeared to show that religious and spiritual beliefs may be protective for depression, and were associated with better well-being. It was a widely held view amongst psychiatrists (who are not, as a group, particularly religious) that religion and spirituality protected your mood from the vicissitudes of life's misfortunes.

But now, a very large study, which followed up people for a year, has found there is an opposite relationship between religious belief and depression. Religion, and even more, spirituality not tied to formal religion, appears to be unhelpful in terms of protecting you from low mood, and could even be linked with more depression.

A key finding of the study, conducted in several different counties, is that a spiritual life view predisposed to major depression, especially significantly in the UK, where spiritual participants were nearly three times more likely to experience an episode of depression than the secular group.

The results are startling because previous research found formally religious people had good mental health habits and lifestyle, for example, previous studies established they were less likely to have ever used drugs or to have been hazardous drinkers.

Kerry Washington named World's Best Dressed Woman by People

Actress Kerry Washington has been named the 2013 ‘World’s Best Dressed Woman’ by People Magazine. People said they picked her because of her great sense of style.
"There has been a trend this year in lady-like fashion and I think she is almost single-handedly responsible for it.” People magazine Executive Editor, Elizabeth Sporkin said
Actress Jennifer Lawrence was named the celebrity with the best high fashion style while actress Jessica Chastain was named best in red carpet style. Solange Knowles got top marks for style risk-taking and confidence, Zoe Saldana was named the best in denim style and actress Lily Collins was named the best forup-and-coming style. Emma Stone won praise for her classic style & timeless look, while Nicole Richie was named best in trend-setting style.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

African, a drunken continent?

Africa has the highest proportion of binge drinkers in the world: 25% of those who drink drink too much, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the World Health Organization, a binge drinker is someone who consumes 60g (75ml) or more of pure alcohol on at least one occasion in any week.

"Africa has a drinking problem," declared a recent article in Time Magazine. But is the evidence there to support such a sweeping statement?
Kate Wilkinson, a researcher at the Africa Check website, is in a good position to know, and she stresses that drinking habits in the continent's 55 countries vary.
"There are different attitudes towards alcohol. Different religious beliefs about consuming alcohol. And to simply make this broad generalisation about the continent doesn't give us much insight," she says.

Most Influential Emotions on Social Networks


One well-known feature of social networks is that similar people tend to attract each other: birds of a feather flock together.

So an interesting question is whether these similarities cause people to behave in the same way online — whether it might lead to flocking or herding behavior, for example.

Today, we get an interesting insight into this phenomena thanks to the work of Rui Fan and colleagues at Beihang University in China. They have compared the way that tweets labeled with specific emotions influence other people on the network.

And their conclusion is surprising. They say the results clearly show that anger is more influential than other emotions such as joy or sadness, a finding that could have significant implications for our understanding of the way information spreads through social networks.

The researchers got their data from Weibo, a Twitter-like service that has become hugely popular in China. In just four years, it has attracted more than 500 million users who post about 100 million messages a day.

10 Best Routines From "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 10

10. “Hello Good Morning” — Fik-Shun and tWitch

9. “Tears Always Win” — Aaron and Jasmine

8. “Elsa” — Amy and Fik-Shun

7. “When I Was Your Man” — Aaron and Melinda

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Photo of the Week: Falling Bull

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, Toro, the Houston Texans mascot, lowers himself into Reliant Stadium to help introduce the team's AFC South division banner before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Houston. The Texans won in overtime, 30-24.

6 Things You Need To Know About Women, Aging And Brain Health

Americans are living longer than ever, and women tend outlive men: The average life expectancy for females in the United States is now roughly 81, compared to 76 for males, according to recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.
As a result, women are disproportionately affected by many of the health issues associated with brain aging. Yet studies exploring brain diseases like Alzheimer's have focused largely on men, argues Lynn Posluns, founder of the Canada-based Women's Brain Health Initiative, a nonprofit that raises money to address that research gap.
As researchers begin to tackle questions about how aging influences women's brains, they're learning more about what women can do to stay "brain healthy longer," Posluns said. The Women's Brain Health Initiative is dedicated to educating women about brain health and combating the sense -- especially prevalent among young women, Posluns said -- that brain health is beyond their control. In that spirit, here are six things about brain health and aging that all women should know.
old men and women
1. More Women Than Men Have Alzheimer's Disease And Dementia ...
The Alzheimer's Association estimates that nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's, a progressive disease that slowly degrades a person's memory and thinking skills, are women. Data from the nationally representative Aging, Demographics and Memory study suggests that 16 percent of women age 71 and over have Alzheimer's or other dementia, compared to just 11 percent of men.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pros and Cons of Iphone 5S

The new iPhone 5C will come in five different colours
Apple have finally unveiled their latest iPhones and with much of the rumour-mill's speculation proving correct (we have the cheaper 5C, the finger-print scanner on the 5S) it's now time to weigh up the new offerings, and see which, if any, deserves your attention.

iPhone 5S: Pros

New processors.
Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, said on stage that the new A7 chip in the 5S will be at least twice as fast as the iPhone 5. The chip will also run 64-bit architecture, making it “desktop class”.  
There’s also a new suite of motion-tracking sensors routed through a separate chip named the M7, monitoring users’ movements and making the data available to third-party software. Apple promises this will “enable a new generation of health and fitness app” which is fairly standard hyperbole from the company, though the M7 should eliminate the need for consumers to buy separate health peripherals.

The fingerprint scanner.
Biometrics might not be a particularly new feature, even on mobiles (Motorola’s Atrix 4G had one back in 2011) but it seems likely that Apple will popularise the technology, offering smooth integration and making mobile purchases more convenient. It won’t make the new iPhone ‘unhackable’ by any stretch of the imagination, but it will be a substantial barrier for criminals and will hopefully deter theft.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

7 top changes in Apple's new iOS 7 operating system

Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, speaks about the new iOS 7 release in Cupertino, Calif., on Tuesday.
Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, speaks about the new iOS 7 release in Cupertino, Calif., on Tuesday. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)
Apple is touting its latest mobile operating system as the "most significant" iOS update since the original iPhone.
"Downloading iOS 7 is like getting an all-new device," said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice-president of software engineering, as he walked users through the company’s newest operating system on Tuesday. "One that's so much more useful and elegant than ever before."
Apple CEO Tim Cook predicted that when the iOS 7 becomes publicly available for free on Sept. 18 it will "quickly become the world’s most popular operating system."
Here’s a look at some of new features Apple users can expect:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

University tuition rising to record levels in Canada

The cost of a university degree in Canada is getting steeper, with tuition and other compulsory fees expected to have about tripled from 1990 to 2017, and students in Ontario are paying most, according to research by a policy think-tank.
Average fees, in current dollars, have increased from $1,464 in 1990-91 to $6,348 in 2012-13, and they are expected to climb to $7,437 in 2016-17. This fall, they are predicted to be $6,610, according to a report released Wednesday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Adjusted for inflation, fees across the country were $2,243 in 1990-91, and are predicted to rise to $6,842 in 2016-17, according to the centre.