• Children lay down in the snow during heavy snowfall in Toronto, Ontario December 11, 2014.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch Children lay down in the snow during heavy snowfall in Toronto, Ontario December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
    That white blanket of snow may look pure, but don’t let it deceive you. 

    According to a new extensive survey of North America’s snowfall published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, all that fluffy white stuff may not be as pristine as we thought. 

    University of Washington scientists found regional patterns of impurities contaminating snow caused by dark soot and dirt particles. Questions have arisen as to whether this may actually have an impact on our climate, both globally and locally.

    The survey shows that snow covering the countrysides outside of cities, for the most part, is about as pristine as that found in the Arctic. But in some areas, particularly mid-west America, the purity of snow may be more at risk and the source turns out to be of a bit of a surprise. 

    The project involved collecting snow samples from 67 sites, bringing them back to the laboratory, and carrying out chemical analyses to find contaminants. They zeroed in on the light absorbing black carbon particles

    Read More »from Dirty snow may be altering our climate, scientists say
  • Rehtaeh Parsons is shown in a handout photo from a Facebook tribute page (CP)Rehtaeh Parsons is shown in a handout photo from a Facebook tribute page (CP)

    The father of Rehtaeh Parsons is being accused of violating cyberbullying laws – the same laws he helped pass in the wake of his daughter’s death.

    It would seem Glen Canning may have crossed the line when he recently posted a censored image relating to an ongoing sex scandal at Mount Saint Vincent University.

    Halifax’s Chronicle Herald reports that Canning raised public ire last week when he posted an explicit image that a professor had sent to a student, although the image Canning posted had been blacked out and nothing was visible.

    Nevertheless, it may have gone against the wording of Canada’s new cyberbullying laws, though Canning rejected the notion on Twitter.

    “It’s a black rectangle people. It shows nothing and identifies no one. It’s not nude, explicit, or graphic,” he tweeted.

    Last week, instructor

    Read More »from Did Rehtaeh Parsons' father breach Canada's cyberbullying laws?
  • Busted: BlackBerry corporate tweet sent from an iPhone

    Everybody knows the iPhone is the best tool for posting things on Twitter.

    Apparently BlackBerry knows it, too.

    A tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon on the BlackBerry corporate account clearly shows that it was tweeted from an iPhone.

    Oops.

    The tweet was quickly deleted from BlackBerry's account.

    It's not the first time BlackBerry has had to deal with the public relations gaffe. Back in 2013, just after BlackBerry unveiled Alicia Keyes as their "global creative director", she posted a tweet that was sent from an iPhone.

    Once a giant in the smartphone industry, BlackBerry has recently made small in-roads with their Classic and Passport models in the market now dominated by Apple and Samsung.

    And let's face it, BlackBerrys are best for business, not childish things like Twitter!

    Read More »from Busted: BlackBerry corporate tweet sent from an iPhone
  • Baerwald is hoping to cover a funding gap in her bats research with public donations. (Reuters)Baerwald is hoping to cover a funding gap in her bats research with public donations. (Reuters)

    A Calgary grad student is taking a page out of Zach Braff’s playbook and is asking the public to fund her personal project. Not to film an indie movie, but rather to study the migratory habits of bats.

    And she’s not alone. Crowdfunding – the hot funding strategy of the 21st century – has become a bit of a haven for scientific research and innovation as government funding dries up and money gets tight.

    University of Calgary’s Erin Baerwald recently took the leap into crowdfunded science, posting a call for assistance on Indiegogo for her doctoral research into the migratory pattern on bats and the impact of wind turbines.

    As of Tuesday morning, Baerwald had collected more than $6,000 toward her target of $15,000, much of it from those with a specific interest in her research topic.

    "There’s limited funds for basic research and things that aren’t going to make money, things that aren’t research and development (with an) industrial focus, it is a big problem," Baerwald told CBC News.

    Read More »from Bats and bacteria: Students, scientists turn to crowdfunding for research projects
  • Two Chinese singers stand on glitter during celebrations of the Chinese New Year in Chinatown. (Getty Images)Two Chinese singers stand on glitter during celebrations of the Chinese New Year in Chinatown. (Getty Images)

    Need an elaborate way to annoy co-workers and aggravate neighbours?

    Why not pay an Australian company to send glitter to them through the mail?

    Ship Your Enemies Glitter is a website that, for $9.99 AUD (approximately $9.75 CAD), will send an envelope full of glitter to whomever you choose.

    The website  which appears to be legitimate promises the victim person of your choice will receive an envelope containing glitter and a note, explaining what they did to deserve to have such a fate inflicted upon them.

    They also say that the note will also contain glitter, so when the recipient opens in, the glitter is guaranteed to go everywhere.

    According to the website, the founder was inspired to start the service after receiving one too many cards from distant relatives with glittery decor. Open the card, make contact, and bam, glitter on your hands and clothes for days. And that one sparkle you accidentally wipe on your face? Sorry, that's basically there until you're dead, because no

    Read More »from Ship glitter to people you hate with new online service
  • (Jessica Shyba/Instagram)(Jessica Shyba/Instagram)

    Our favourite napping duo is now a trio. 

    Toddler-and-puppy pair Beau and Theo, whose napping photos went viral earlier in 2014, have a new addition to their napping routine: Beau’s baby sister, Evangeline. 

    And, sure enough, Evangeline, who goes by Evvie, has only made the cute group cuter

    Mom Jessica Shyba told BuzzFeed that while Beau took to napping with Theo almost immediately, it took Evvie about four months to get into her own napping rhythm, participating in what Shyba calls the “magical nap time trifecta.”

    “Theo and Beau started napping together the day after we brought Theo home from the Santa Cruz SPCA at 7 weeks old. Almost every day since, they have napped together. Evangeline only started joining in on the fun last week when she began to find a routine of her own,” Shyba said

    Shyba described the new routine on her blog:

    “Evangeline is the first to go to sleep, and after she’s sleeping I’m able to sit with Beau while he and Theo fall asleep. Once the are both out, I

    Read More »from Internet's most adorable dog-and-toddler napping duo becomes a trio
  • Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell, right, reads a statement to the media Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. (CP)Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell, right, reads a statement to the media Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. (CP)

    You've likely heard of Occam's razor – the principle that the simplest answer is most often the correct one.

    But you may not have heard about Mel Lastman’s razor – the principle that there must always be at least one Canadian mayor making outrageous headlines.

    How else can you explain the past four years of Rob Ford in Toronto, or the sudden rise of Richard Atwell, the current embattled mayor of Saanich, B.C.?

    The newly-appointed Atwell made headlines this week after he admitted he had lied about having an extramarital affair and then ordering B.C. police to investigate an apparent covert conspiracy against his leadership.

    According to the Victoria Times-Colonist, Atwell confessed to the affair but accused spies of leaking details to the media about himself in a dispute with the woman’s boyfriend.

    He further claimed that city staff members installed spyware on his office computer and that he was being targeted by regional police.

    "[O]n Dec. 11 I became aware that a member of the

    Read More »from Saanich, B.C., Mayor Richard Atwell hints at covert conspiracy against his leadership
  • Oreo the rabbit (Robyn Koley/Facebook)Oreo the rabbit (Robyn Koley/Facebook)

    Thanks to the kindness of strangers, Oreo will be able to walk again

    Oreo the 4-year-old black-and-white Netherland dwarf rabbit recently battled a near-deadly bacterial infection, which left his left hind legs partially paralyzed. 

    Instead of hopping around, the rabbit is now confined to a padded laundry basket. He occasionally drags himself around by his front paws. 

    “Now he can’t use his hind legs. When he wants to walk, he starts kicking and fussing around,” Orangeville resident Robyn Koley, Oreo’s 19-year-old owner, told the Orangeville Banner. “I posted a video of him trying to get around on his own and its very sad. He kind of flip-flops all over the place.”

    “He’s not in any pain, but depression [is] an issue,” she said. “He can’t figure out why his back legs aren’t working.”

    Koley wasn’t about to give up on her beloved pet. She set up an online donations page, hoping to raise the funds needed to buy Oreo a wheelchair. 

    It worked. It didn’t take long before Koley raise the

    Read More »from Orangeville teen raises money to buy paralyzed bunny a wheelchair
  • Combination photo of Gage Garmo and Eminem (Instagram/Getty Images)Combination photo of Gage Garmo and Eminem (Instagram/Getty Images)

    Gage Garmo got his dying wish

    On Sunday, the 17-year-old had a surprise visitor to his Rochester Hills, Michigan home: Eminem. 

    Garmo died the next night after a three-year battle with an aggressive form of bone cancer. 

    He would have turned 18 on Friday. 

    When Garmo was told he had just days to live, his friends took immediate action, spreading his story on social media with the hashtag #GarmoStrong, setting up a GoFundMe account to help support Garmo and his family, and trying to make Garmo’s dream of meeting Eminem come true

    Rainbow Connection, an organization that grants wishes to Michigan children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses, was already aware of Garmo’s wish. When his health took a turn for the worse, the organization scrambled to contact Eminem and make a visit happen. 

    Only days later, Eminem flew in from Atlanta, surprising Garmo in his family’s living room. 

    "Gage sat up with a grin on his face," said Rainbow Connection’s Ingrid Todt, on hand as Eminem

    Read More »from Terminally ill teen granted last wish, meets Eminem day before he dies
  • Newly-appointed Minister of Veterans Affairs Erin O'Toole leaves Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, January 5, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean KilpatrickNewly-appointed Minister of Veterans Affairs Erin O'Toole leaves Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, January 5, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
    If part of new Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole’s mandate was to mend the public relations fences trampled down by his predecessor Julian Fantino, he’s not off to an auspicious start.

    O’Toole, who replaced the politically tone-deaf former cop on Jan. 5, slowly has been reaching out to veterans organizations, but at least a couple of the more vocal dissidents say they have a feeling they’re going to remain frozen out.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper demoted Fantino to junior defence minister last week as he prepared the Conservative government for its anticipated fall re-election campaign. Fantino’s apparent insensitivity to the concerns of disabled veterans and inability to sell policy changes by his department made him a political liability in what had become a high-profile portfolio.

    O’Toole, a one-time RCAF navigator turned Toronto corporate lawyer, is supposed to reset the government’s relationship with veterans, whose problems generally get a sympathetic reception from the

    Read More »from Some veterans groups say new minister still marginalizing them

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