Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Breaking Bad, Super Bowl, VMAs Get Most Twitter Buzz in 2013

Breaking Bad - S5

Breaking Bad topped Nielsen’s first-ever ranking of TV programs generating the most buzz on Twitter, with the final season of the hit show averaging more than 520,000 tweets per episode. The Walking Dead was the second most tweeted-about show, averaging 490,000 tweets an episode.

Gay magazine names pope as person of the year

Pope Francis has had positive reactions for his informal approach [Reuters]

A gay rights magazine has named Pope Francis its person of the year, an honour that has coincided with his 77th birthday. The Advocate,  the oldest gay rights magazine in the US ,  has conferred the title on the pontiff for his encouraging words on gays and lesbians, describing his papacy as a stark change from that of his predecessor Benedict.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Average home price rises almost 10% to $391,085

The average price of a Canadian home has increased by almost 10 per cent in the past 12 months.
The average price of a Canadian home has increased by almost 10 per cent in the past 12 months. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)
New data released Monday from the organization that represents home sellers shows Canada's housing market continues to hit new highs, with the average price increasing by almost 10 per cent in the last 12 months to $391,085. The Canadian Real Estate Association said the strong gain was in part because this time a year ago, sales were down in some of the largest housing markets. 

South Africa unveils statue in honour of Mandela

A nine-metre statue in honour of Nelson Mandela has been unveiled on a day of rest dedicated to reconciliation, 24 hours after the solemn burial of the icon credited with ending racial segregation in South Africa. The nine-metre, bronze colossus was officially unwrapped on Monday by President Jacob Zuma on the lawns of the Union Buildings, the seat of government in Pretoria where Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's first black president in 1994.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow in Cairo, Egypt for the first time in over 100 years

Cairo has been transformed into a winter wonderland after a "historic" storm in the Middle East brought a rare treat to Egypt's capital Friday: a blanket of powdery, white snow. see more pics

Due to Cairo's low rate of precipitation and typically above-freezing winter temperatures, snow is an exceptionally unusual weather phenomenon for the North African city. So unusual, in fact, that the Los Angeles Times, citing local news reports, writes that the last recorded snowfall in Cairo was more than 100 years ago.

Ali Abdelazim, an official at the city's meteorological centre, confirmed to the Agence France-Presse this is the "first time in very many years" that snow has fallen in the Cairo area.

Excited Egytians took to social media Friday to share photographs of the unusual meteorological event

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Canada sells London diplomatic mansion for $530M

Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks through Grosvenor Square Garden with wife Laureen after attending Margaret Thatcher's funeral in London in April. The John A. Macdonald building, which was recently sold, can be seen at left.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks through Grosvenor Square Garden with wife Laureen after attending Margaret Thatcher's funeral in London in April. The John A. Macdonald building, which was recently sold, can be seen at left. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Canada has sold the John A. Macdonald building, the mansion in London that is home to some of the country's diplomatic activities in the U.K. 
Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Gordon Campbell confirmed the sale Thursday of One Grosvenor Square, which went to an Indian developer, Lodha Group, for $530 million.

Canadian dollar falls to 2-year low under 94 cents

The loonie is trading at its lowest intraday level since late 2011.
The loonie is trading at its lowest intraday level since late 2011. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)
The Canadian dollar lost more ground on Monday, falling to its lowest intraday level in more than two years.
In the afternoon, the loonie was changing hands down 0.18 of a cent at 93.98 cents US, just shy of
its close of 93.93 cents US on June 30, 2010. Earlier in the day, it traded as low as 93.86 before recovering some ground.
That's the lowest the loonie has traded since October 2011. It is the first time the loonie has closed below 94 cents in more than three years.
'There is a high correlation between the price of oil and the Canadian dollar'- CIBC portfolio manager Jennifer Dowty
After repeatedly trading above parity in recent years, consensus has turned for the loonie, with some watchers saying Canada's dollar could fall a lot more. Goldman Sachs predicted last week the loonie will trade in the high 80-cent level next year.
"The momentum for the Canadian dollar is moving one way for the last three months: lower," Forex Live currency analyst Adam Button told CBC News in an interview.

30 Steps Moving Obamacare Forward

Obamacare borne out of good intentions but not enough plans were to organize the health insurance as a universal function under the control of the government and shift control from the insurance ‘king-kongs’ while seeking to protect the underprivileged, disadvantaged and the unemployed. The more fortunate, including GOP members lurking to score cheap political points have been screaming hell and fire to cancel the plan. If I may ask, replace it with what? There are many loopholes in current system, better all sheath their political swords, and work together, (or just pretend) and save the American people in what appears less are having the American dream. I hope the fixers including Obama, Jeffery Zients, and all health parastatal work past-time in avoiding a looming and irrecoverable catastrophe yet in the health sector.  If you take a closer look at it, the Obamacare, once fully implemented, is a better health care option for United States citizens. Below are thirty steps in solving the problem and Moving Forward as a nation

Saturday, November 23, 2013

How to Protect Your Privacy on Public Wi-Fi Networks


So you’re at your favorite coffee shop and have hopped on to the free WiFi with your tablet to check your social networks, read the latest news, and maybe take a quick peek at your bank balance while you’re enjoying your latte. We’re so used to having Internet access whenever and wherever we need it that we don’t often stop to consider whether logging into a public network is safe.

To find out just what the risks were, we consulted Con Mallon, a mobility expert with Symantec. “For lot of people, the first thing they do when they wander into a coffee shop or hotel lobby or the airport is to flip on their WiFi and try to find a free hotspot rather than use your own data plan or buying time from a hotspot,” Mallon says.

There are three major ways these free, open hotspots could get you into trouble, he explains.

Friday, November 22, 2013

What Men Can Do to Help Women Advance Their Careers

Over the past few weeks, I have been talking — a lot — about the themes of women and work.  About how women haven’t even come close to reaching the heights of professional power that many of us once predicted would shortly come to pass; about how women today remain oddly chained to an expanded and wholly unrealistic set of expectations. And I have also been talking, more than I had imagined I might, about what men can do to address this set of issues.
The good news here, I think, is that there is a lot of good news. Once upon a time — say, maybe 50 years ago — there was undeniably a mindset among many men who, for a variety of reasons, firmly believed that women could never make it in their world.  They were men (joined usually by a supportive chorus of women) who thought that women were not competitive or strong enough for the world of work.  They claimed women didn’t have the inner fiber and inherent smarts; that a woman’s job was to be home taking care of the children.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Average house price in Canada rises 8%, almost reaching $400K

The average Canadian home was worth almost $400,000 in October. (Mike Cassese/Reuters)
The average Canadian home was worth almost $400,000 in October. (Mike Cassese/Reuters) (Mike Cassese/Reuters)
The average selling price of a Canadian home was $391,820 in October, up 8.5 per cent compared to last year. But a closer look at the numbers shows a split between hot markets in the West, and cooler ones in Eastern Canada.

Top 20 Words, 15 Phrases And 15 Names Of 2013

A global headache: '404' and 'fail' are the two most popular words of 2013. An annual survey of the English-speaking world’s “top words” has seen “404” (“the near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet”) take the top spot in 2013. The survey, carried out by Global Language Monitor, doubles down on this somewhat pessimistic take on the year’s events by ranking “fail” as the second most popular word.
Third and fourth place (“hashtag” and “@pontifex” respectively) both pay tribute to the continuing visibility and impact of social media, with the latter (the Pope’s Twitter handle) suggesting that even more venerable institutions can gain a lot from a little bit of internet literacy. See the full list below

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rob Ford, Toronto Mayor Meets Jesus, Gives Up Alcohol and Drugs

Interview with Rob & Doug Ford
In an interview with CBC News on Monday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he's had a kind of "come-to-Jesus" moment and said he's "finished" with alcohol and doesn't do drugs.

Ford made the comments in an interview with CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge shortly after council voted overwhelmingly to slash his office budget and strip him of powers in the wake of a drug-use scandal. The interview, done with his brother Coun. Doug Ford at his side, capped a frantic few weeks for Toronto's mayor, who two weeks earlier admitted to using crack cocaine while in office.

Ford told Mansbridge he used crack "about a year ago" and said he hasn't used the drug since. Ford also said he hasn't consumed alcohol for three weeks and plans to never drink again.

Photo of the Week: Winners and Losers from Obamacare

Malta to sell citizenships for 650K euros apiece

Members of the Maltese opposition Nationalist Party's youth section protest Nov. 12 against a plan to allow the sale of citizenship to foreigners for 650,000 euros. The poster reads "I am proud to be Maltese".
Members of the Maltese opposition Nationalist Party's youth section protest Nov. 12 against a plan to allow the sale of citizenship to foreigners for 650,000 euros. The poster reads "I am proud to be Maltese". (Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Malta is selling EU passports for 650,000 euro (US$875,000) as part of a law passed in order to bring in cash and investment. It comes with the benefits of EU membership, including the right to reside and work in the 28-member bloc.

The plan, which was approved on Wednesday, is expected to begin within a week. It will give those who purchase the passports the right to reside in any of the other 27 member states. They will even be eligible to become members of the European Parliament.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Top 20 People Skills You Need To Succeed At Work


Do you think you’re qualified for a particular job, fit to lead a team, or entitled to a promotion because you have extensive experience and highly developed technical skills? Well, it turns out that while those thingsare crucial to your professional success, it’s imperative that you alsohave great soft skills–more commonly known as “people skills.”

“People skills are, in short, the various attributes and competencies that allow one to play well with others,” explains says David Parnell, a legal consultant, communication coach and author. “While on the surface these may be summed up by notions such as ‘likeability,’ or having a ‘good personality,’ when you start to look at what makes one ‘likable,’ for instance, you’ve opened Pandora ‘s Box.” But more often than not, these attributes come in the form of effective, accurate and persuasive communication, he says.

Teri Hockett, chief executive of What’s For Work?, a career site for women, agrees. She says: “People skills come down to how people interact with each other, from a verbal and/or non-verbal perspective; they are non-technical in nature. When we think of people skills, words such as personality, empathy, and tonality come to mind.”

Having good people skills means maximizing effective and productive human interaction to everyone’s benefit, says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job. “People want to connect on a humane level in the office; the alternative is a sterile environment with low productivity. So, the more you demonstrate these abilities, the faster your career will advance. It’s the ‘office diplomats’ with strong emotional intelligence who are most likely to be strong, effective corporate leaders. They realize that trusting relationships built on diplomacy and respect are at the heart of both individual success and corporate productivity. An ounce of people sensitivity is worth a pound of cure when it comes to daily human interaction and mitigating conflict. By developing these skills, you’ll reduce bad behavior in the office, and your positive approach will be contagious.”

Wise managers know that they need a team with strong people skills, she adds. “Given the choice between a savvy job candidate or, similarly, an employee seeking promotion – the one with excellent people skills and less technical ability will usually win the prize versus the converse.” Having good people radar is harder to teach than technical skills, but is a requisite for long term, effective leadership, she says.

Here are 20 “people skills” and attributes you’ll need to succeed at work:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Android Dominates Market Share But Apple Makes All The Money, But How Long?

We’ve been hearing for years now about how Android is destroying iOS in market share. Ironically, though, Apple continues to make more money than all of the Android smartphone makers combined.
Appdroid & Andople
The most recent data from IDC shows that for Q3 of 2013 Android made up 81 percent of devices shipped. You read that right—four out of every five smartphones shipped in Q3 were built on Android. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS scraped by with a sad and distant second place figure of only 12.9 percent.

REVEALED: Jose Mourinho dips into the bible before Chelsea games!

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is a religious soulChelsea boss Jose Mourinho is a religious soul [GETTY]

JOSE MOURINHO has revealed that one of his pre-match rituals before Chelsea games is to read sections of the bible.

The Obamacare debacle: How the Democrats lost their way

President Barack Obama has been touring the country these past two weeks apologizing for some problems with his signature health-care plan and promising to make it better.
President Barack Obama has been touring the country these past two weeks apologizing for some problems with his signature health-care plan and promising to make it better. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The president's health-care plan has become such a voter repellent that it is hard to see it surviving. Like a whale throwing itself relentlessly against the beach, Barack Obama's health-care law is now in danger of self-asphyxiation.
So much so, in fact, it now appears that all those Republican anti-Obamacare histrionics of the past few years were unnecessary.
Republicans didn't really have to shut down government, or push the nation toward default, or equate Obamacare with slavery, or stage scores of pointless repeal votes in the House of Representatives.
It turns out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was a Republican ally all along, quietly creating the great dysfunctional golem that lurched into public view on Oct. 1.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Philosophy That Will Ruin A Marriage

If you read blogs or go on Facebook or even watch the news, you've probably heard about the post written by Seth Adam Smith, Marriage Isn't For You. In the post, Mr. Smith writes thoughtfully and sincerely about his brief (1-1/2 year) marriage and the advice his father gave him about what marriage is for:
...You don't marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn't for yourself, you're marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn't for you. It's not about you. Marriage is about the person you married."

Review and Outlook: The ObamaCare Dozen

The Democrats who voted for the debacle are now scrambling for cover. The torrents of Affordable Care Act monsoon season aren't letting up, so Democrats are scrambling to help the victims: namely, their own careers. The Senators up for re-election in competitive states in 2014 are starting to panic, though they still aren't offering solutions for anything other than their own growing political jeopardy.
Fifteen Senate Democrats plus Colorado's Michael Bennet who chairs the Senatorial Campaign Committee sat down at the White House Wednesday, and they want all and sundry to know that they let President Obama have it. Alaska's Mark Begich put out a statement saying he chewed out the big cheese for "absolutely unacceptable" mismanagement and "an understandable crisis in confidence." He must have drafted it in advance.
Oregon's Jeff Merkley chimed in to report that even after the two-hour encounter session that was not on the public schedule, he was still "very frustrated" and "I remain deeply convinced that this is a 'show-me' moment." Asked by Politico if Democrats were losing credibility, an anonymous attendee said, "You got to have it, to lose it."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Vagina Stadium: Design for Qatar's World Cup purpose-built stadium released

As the design for the first of a series of new stadiums built for the Qatar hosted tournament is released, talk has moved on from the heat...The design for the 1st of a series of new stadiums built for Qatar's 2022 world cup hosted tournament has been released...and urm, it looks like a Vagina. (Pictured above) Hehe. This is actually a virtual rendering of the fully air conditioned 40,000-capacity Al-Wakrah stadium which will be completed by 2018.

The architects are a little embarrassed that their design looks kinda like a vagina. They said the multi-billion dollar stadium is designed to resemble the sails of a dhow boat which is traditionally used for pearl fishing by Qataris...and not a vagina! See a video design of the stadium after the cut...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Job hunt posing big challenges for people over 50

The Working Centre in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., a non-profit group that helps launch local community-building projects, runs a Job Search Resource Centre that is increasingly helping out-of-work people over the age of 50 find employment.The Working Centre in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., a non-profit group that helps launch local community-building projects, runs a Job Search Resource Centre that is increasingly helping out-of-work people over the age of 50 find employment. (Courtesy The Working Centre)

For decades they punched the clock, brought home good paycheques, saved and planned for retirement. But now thousands of older workers across Canada are finding themselves on unemployment lines.
Layoffs, the recession and the decline of the manufacturing sector have shattered their dreams of a comfortable and early retirement. These days, finding a job when you’re over 50 poses big, and sometimes insurmountable, challenges

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Forbes World's Most Powerful People

There are nearly 7.2 billion people on the planet. These are the 72 that matter the most according to Forbes. There are some interesting figures, it seems now that Russia is now more powerful than the United States if we were to consider the 'ring' leaders. See the full list below

David Ortiz named 2013 World Series MVP

It comes as a great shock to us all, but the man who made only five outs in starting six games is the World Series MVP.

David Ortiz has been named the 2013 World Series MVP.

Could there be any doubt?

There are hot streaks. There are clutch performances. Then there is David Ortiz in the 2013 World Series. 11-for-16 with two homers and eight walks--the last bit coming as the Cardinals finally gave in and just started walking him in Game 6--and that's with Carlos Beltran robbing him of a Grand Slam in Game 1.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween stunt or sign of endtime: Mysterious figures at Chelsea stadium

A bit of news from the world of football...:-). 11 strange men in black robes (can you spot them in the pic above?) caused a stir at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge yesterday Sunday October 27th during the Chelsea vs Manchester City clash. reports that the hooded men, who had mysterious circles on their chest, were seen making curious synchronised movements at irregular intervals during Chelsea's 2-1 win, while they also stood in unison at random moments.
Situated three rows back from the corner flag at the Shed End, the gang could be clearly seen on TV cameras beaming pictures of the crunch fixture all across the world. See more pics below

23 Things You Should Never Say To A Curvy Woman

plus size women

Despite the fact that we should all know better, a shocking number of people think that it's acceptable to comment on women's bodies -- curvy, skinnyshort and tallalike. However, women who fall outside of the thin "ideal" face a specific type of weight discrimination. The comments often directed at these women make it glaringly clear that fat stigma is (sadly) still alive and well.
The term "plus-size" itself is a point of contention for many women. Obviously no one should be singled out for their body size, or treated differently because of their weight. But the fact remains that strangers, friends, family members and colleagues often feel empowered to comment on a woman's size -- especially when that size is not petite.
In a January 2012 piece for xoJane, Lesley Kinzel wrote about being criticized for her weight in public places such as the grocery store, the gym and a parking lot:
The frequency with which fat-shaming happens means many fat people go about their lives for years feeling constantly on guard, always prepared for someone to make a comment, to call them out. It doesn’t have to come from strangers, either; often our families and friends are just as likely to throw out careless fat-shaming comments, and not always with malicious intent.
We asked our readers to share the size-related comments they hate receiving most. Here are 23 things you should never say to a woman who isn't rail-thin:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

25 Movies That Will Give You A Panic Attack

We love movies that keep us on the edge of our seats, but some can cause serious anxiety. Here are a group of films that might very well have you breathing into a paper bag to calm down.

1. Rear Window (1954)

Rear Window (1954)
Universal Pictures
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stuck at home with a broken leg, Jeff (James Stewart) begins aimlessly spying on his neighbors. Soon, however, he finds he may be a witness to a murder. So many of Master of Suspense Hitchcock’s movies are stressful, but there’s something about Jeff’s helplessness in Rear Window that makes the film extra anxiety-inducing.

2. Wait Until Dark (1967)

Wait Until Dark (1967)
Warner Bros.
Director: Terence Young
A young blind woman named Susy (Audrey Hepburn) is terrorized by criminals trying to break into her apartment.