• Sensory deprivation tank at Float TorontoSensory deprivation tank at Float Toronto

    The initial minutes in the first-time isolation tank session are the ones you have to get through. For a “therapy” touted as relaxing and stress reducing, I’m hovering somewhere between alert curiosity and distress. I’m not claustrophobic, but crawling naked into a four-by-eight pitch-black tank filled foot-deep with water and pulling the door shut can threaten to broaden the definition of the word.

    In this space, my vivid imagination is not my friend. As the air warms from the 34 degree (Celsius) water, I can imagine the building collapsing around me, leaving me to stew to death in darkness. I lie on my back, buoyed by 850 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt, and I’m suddenly floating in a silent sea at night. My mind goes to the creatures in the miles of water below me, and I wonder if I’ll be cutting my one-hour float appointment short.

    I’m in a tank in a windowless room at Float Toronto, which bills itself as “the largest floatation and sensory deprivation centre on the east coast”.

    Read More »from Naked and floating: Into the darkness of an isolation tank
  • Wasting food is a significant and serious problem. Almost all of us do it, and we’re doing it more than we think.

    Overall, over all of North America, we are wasting almost 40 per cent of the food we produce.

    It’s a shocking number.

    A new study from the University of Arizona says this is less about what we buy, and more about how we buy it.

    “People in this country are very price sensitive at the grocery store, but tend to overlook the cost of discarded and unused food at home,” U.A. researcher Victoria Ligon told treehugger.com.

    “The problem is that people are not shopping enough, which sounds counter-intuitive.”

    Except, maybe it doesn’t. For five years, from the late 90s into the early 2000s, I lived directly above a delicatessen and butcher shop in the east end of Toronto. One of the things I quickly noticed was that there was hardly ever any food in my refrigerator.

    If I wanted a hamburger for lunch, I just went downstairs and bought one bun, some toppings and a quarter pound of

    Read More »from Why bargain-shopping wastes food – and money
  • Daniel Cabrera, 9, is homeless and studies in the street.Daniel Cabrera, 9, is homeless and studies in the street.

    What value do children place on their education? For a nine-year-old boy from the Philippines, apparently, a great deal.

    A photograph of Daniel Cabrera has been garnering significant attention online, after Cabrera, who is homeless, was spotted in Manilla studying on the streets and reading under the light of an old McDonald’s sign.

    Joyce Torrefranca, a local medical student, posted the image capturing Cabrera’s studiousness on Facebook. She said that seeing his drive has inspired her to work harder, too.

    The Telegraph reports that Cabrera’s home was burnt down and his father died. He is often seen in the neighbourhood begging with his mother.

    Read More »from Putting education first: Photo captures homeless boy studying in the street
  • Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, left, greets Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a handshake in Calgary, Alta., on Monday, July 6, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntoshAlberta Premier Rachel Notley, left, greets Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a handshake in Calgary, Alta., on Monday, July 6, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

    Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has drawn the ire of many critics on Twitter, after she was pictured wearing her white cowboy hat on backwards.

    Her ill-advised fashion error has even lead to some Albertans to begin to question her credibility as a political figure.

    In the photos, Notley is seen giving a handshake to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is wearing his black cowboy hat properly. She, on the other hand, is wearing it from tail to front, which is backwards.

    “Face palm,” one user wrote. “And this woman runs Alberta. #fail.”

    Another tweeted: “Indicates the direction the #Alberta #NDP is taking in this province.”

    Just mere hours before the official photo was snapped, Notley received her white cowboy hat as part of the Stampede tradition.  

    Read More »from Premier Notley wears cowboy hat backwards, Twitter erupts
  • The new Archie #1 unveiled this weekThe new Archie #1 unveiled this week
    America’s favourite wholesome, redheaded teenager, Archie Andrews has taken on a modern new look.

    Archie and the gang will no longer be sporing letterman sweaters, polyester pants, or seen splitting milkshakes at Pop’s Diner, or cruising in Archie’s beat up Jalopy.  Instead, we see Archie wearing skinny jeans and leather jackets while America’s sweetheart, Betty Cooper, shows off some low rise, ripped jeans.  But thankfully one thing that hasn’t changed is sidekick Jughead Jones’ burger habit and  iconic grey crown.

    The unveiling of the new image and look came just in time for this year’s 2015 Comic Con event in San Diego, Bloomberg Business reports. Apparently the comic has spent the last six years trying to connect with a today’s youth, and this might just be the way to do it.

    The most obvious changes come from bringing in Mark Waid, writer of iconic comic Daredevil, and Fiona Staples, artist for the hit series Saga. With these two paired at the core of the creative team, supported

    Read More »from Archie and the gang receive modern ‘hipster’ makeover
  • Relatively speaking, it has never been easier to travel. But recent events in Greece are making even seasoned globetrotters rethink their established "money abroad" habits.

    For decades, best money practices for the savvy traveller have emphasized the use of special credit cards, debit cards and ATMs, as well as conversion fee-limiting bank accounts. But, if the current spate of financial clamp down policies in Greece are anything to go by, these tried-and-true methods could prove much less effective in the years to come.

    In an effort to keep their banks from running out of money, Greek ATMs and banks are limiting withdrawals to 60 euros (with a weekly limit of 120 euros).

    Officially, visitors to Greece are not subject to these transaction limits. Unofficially, there's a good chance that the ATMs will have run out of money by the time you get to use one. You'll also likely have to wait in line for a very long time to find that out. And if the ATM doesn't have a snaking line tailing

    Read More »from Handling your money while travelling abroad
  • B.C. drought: Hundreds of Metro Vancouver's water hogs issued sprinkler warningsB.C. drought: Hundreds of Metro Vancouver's water hogs issued sprinkler warnings

    The California phenomenon of drought shaming may not be far behind as hundreds of B.C. residents snitch on their car-washing and lawn-watering neighbours.

    Vancouver and its surrounding communities have issued tight restrictions on water usage this summer amid quickly evaporating reservoirs. Residents have been told to let their cars stay dirty and their lawns go brown.

    "Following a low snow pack and increased heat with no rain, new water restrictions came into effect this week throughout Metro Vancouver,” reads a notice on the City of Vancouver’s website.

    “New water restrictions for municipalities, residents, and businesses are designed for an immediate impact to slow down and curb water consumption to protect our reserves for the rest of the summer.”

    But not everyone is complying with the rules. Between June 1 and July 7, the City of Vancouver received 780 complaints on its 311 line regarding water usage violations, resulting in 700 warnings and two tickets, city spokesman Jag Sandhu

    Read More »from Hundreds of Vancouverites snitching on their lawn-watering neighbours
  • Danny Damon pictured in a Victoria Police department posting on Facebook.Danny Damon pictured in a Victoria Police department posting on Facebook.
    When there is a warrant out for someone’s arrest, the last thing you would expect a wanted fugitive to do is start up an exchange with the police on the mugshot they shared online.  But in the case of Daniel Damon, that is exactly what happened.

    Police from Victoria, Australia posted a public appeal on Facebook this week in an attempt to locate 25-year-old Damon, who is wanted for failing to answer bail for traffic and drug charges.  

    Surprisingly enough, Damon replied to the post, and went as far as asking if the police would mind using another photo of him, as he believed it was a “horrible mugshot.”

    Victoria Police replied back to Damon and said, "Hi Daniel, please visit your nearest police station and we’ll arrange for a new photo to be taken!“

    Silly police, the last place Damon would want be going while there is a warrant for his arrest is to the station!

    Damon then replied with, "Yea I plan on it once I get a few things in order… just gotta organise myself a lawyer and get

    Read More »from Man wanted in Australia asks police for better mugshot on Facebook
  • Pamela Anderson, holding a picture of a rabbit allegedly used in a cosmetics toxicity test, April 25, 2008. (Getty)Pamela Anderson, holding a picture of a rabbit allegedly used in a cosmetics toxicity test, April 25, 2008. (Getty)

    June 18 marked a watershed moment in the fight to end cosmetic testing on animals in Canada. Just one week prior to the Senate’s summer recess, Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen introduced Bill S-234, the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which will ban animal testing for cosmetics and prohibit the sale of cosmetic products or ingredients that have been animal tested in other parts of the world.

    But, if you really haven't thought about cosmetic testing on animals since, well, the last time you thought about acid rain or The Body Shop’s Peppermint Foot Lotion — let's say the mid-90s — you're not alone.

    "Most people don’t actually know that it still occurs and when we tell them we're working to ban it in Canada, the first thing out of their mouth is 'I thought they stopped 20 years ago’," says Aviva Vetter, the Program & Development Officer for Humane Society International.

    This historic legislation resulted from a partnership between Senator Stewart Olsen, the Animal Alliance of Canada and

    Read More »from Canada makes new progress in banning animal-testing for cosmetics
  • The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is using social media to help reunite a boy and his lost teddy bear.The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is using social media to help reunite a boy and his lost teddy bear.

    A museum in Saskatchewan took an interesting approach in trying to reunite a lost teddy bear with its owner.

    Last month, the staff at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum noticed a distressed little boy running out of the T-rex exhibit, frightened by the extinct creature, the CBC reports.

    After seeing the little boy cry, in an attempt to comfort him, a gallery interpreter promised that his teddy bear would help protect him. 

    Later that day, however, the staff found the heroic teddy bear in the men’s washroom, but with his little owner nowhere in sight.

    “My boss was like, ‘wouldn’t it be kind of cute if we took some pictures of the bear having adventures around the museum?’” Gallery interpreter Jenna Cannon told the CBC.

    And that’s just what they did.

    Using the hashtag #LostBear, the staff documented the bear’s adventures through the museum, seemingly, throughout the Ages.

    Read More »from Lost teddy bear explores museum while staff search for owner

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