Blog Posts by Nadine Kalinauskas

  • The ‘elfie’: Elephant grabs BC man’s GoPro camera, snaps epic selfie

    "I couldn’t believe it when I saw how well the photo turned out”

    It's not hard to see why this photo quickly went viral. (Instagram/Christian Leblanc)It's not hard to see why this photo quickly went viral. (Instagram/Christian Leblanc)

    They're calling it the "elfie."

    UBC student Christian LeBlanc, 22, spent the last semester on an exchange program in Bangkok, Thailand.

    About two months ago, he and his girlfriend, Laura Reid, stopped at an elephant sanctuary on the side of the road on Koh Phangan Island, bought a basket of bananas and started feeding an elephant.

    When he ran out of the snack, however, the elephant turned its attention to LeBlanc’s GoPro camera.

    “I didn’t even have time to think. It all happened so fast,” LeBlanc told CBC News.

    “I was taking photos and feeding the elephant bananas until I ran out of bananas and the elephant grabbed my GoPro while the camera was set to ‘timelapse,’” LeBlanc wrote to Global News in an email. “This allowed the camera continuous shooting and enabled it to take the ‘elphie’! Couldn’t believe it when I saw how well the photo turned out.”

    In the well-framed photo, both LeBlanc and the elephant appear to be posing for the camera.

    When he posted the elephant’s self portrait

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  • Canadians live under a dictatorship, according to one-third of American eighth graders

    The flag of Canada at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.The flag of Canada at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

    We’ve suspected it for some time, but according to these latest findings we are confident that studying Canada isn't exactly an area of emphasis in elementary schools south of the border.

    In the Nation’s Report Card, a study by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) aimed at assessing “what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas,” more than 29,000 Grade 8 students were asked a series of questions on subjects such as American history, civics and geography.

    One multiple-choice question in the study asked what the current governments of Canada, Australia and France had in common.

    Twenty-three percent of students chose the option, “They have leaders with absolute power.” Ten per cent believed the governments were controlled by the military, and 12 per cent believed “they discourage participation by citizens in public affairs.”

    (To be fair, the majority answered correctly. Fifty-four per cent answered that the governments have “constitutions that limit

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  • Dog found in dead owner's arms after Texas tornado has a new home

    Emma and her new owner, Michelle Shockley. (Facebook/Nicholas Pet Haven)Emma and her new owner, Michelle Shockley. (Facebook/Nicholas Pet Haven)

    Two weeks ago, David and Brenda Tapley were killed when a tornado hit their home in Van, Texas.

    A 14-year-old neighbour found the couple in their collapsed home the next morning. David Tapley, a retired police officer, had one arm stretched towards his wife, his other wrapped around their beloved dog.

    The dog, an eight-year-old Great White Pyrenees, was still alive.

    The dog was taken to Nicholas’ Pet Haven where she quickly found a new home with Michelle Shockley, a zoo supervisor and shelter volunteer who helped with the dog’s rescue.

    “I was sitting in the back of the pick-up and she came out on my lap,” Shockley recalled. “She was just exhausted and very traumatized.”

    Michelle and Emma cuddle on the bed. (Facebook/Nicholas Pet Haven)Michelle and Emma cuddle on the bed. (Facebook/Nicholas Pet Haven)She decided that day to adopt the dog.

    “She was adopted out today to a wonderful young lady and is making herself at home. She has a cranial head contusion but is expected to make a full recovery,” the no-kill shelter posted on Facebook.

    The dog also suffered an inner ear injury and appeared to have difficulty

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  • Boy moves waffle house customers to tears, shows kindness to homeless man

    "The man cried. I cried. Everybody cried."

    Josiah Duncan insisted on helping the unknown man in this touching photo. Josiah Duncan insisted on helping the unknown man in this touching photo.

    Josiah Duncan, 5, had a lot of questions about the man sitting outside an Alabama waffle house where the boy and his mother had chosen to eat dinner.

    He asked his mother, Ava Faulk, where the man lived, where his family was, and where he kept his groceries. She explained that the man was homeless.

    The boy’s biggest concern: the man had nothing to eat.

    So he asked his mom to buy the man a hamburger.

    “He came in and sat down, and nobody really waited on him,” Faulk told WSFA 12 News in an email. “So Josiah jumped up and asked him if he needed a menu because you can’t order without one.”

    When the man was assured that he could order anything he wanted off the menu — his initial response to the generosity was to order the cheapest burger on the menu — he got “the works” with bacon.

    But before he could bite into his meal, Josiah insisted on saying grace with the man.

    “God our Father, God our Father, we thank you, we thank you, for our many blessings, for our many blessings, Amen, Amen,” the

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  • Tightrope walker sets world record by completing 150m-high sStunt backwards and blindfolded

    Hundreds gathered to watch Aisikaier Wubulikasimu, 41, perform his nail-biting stunt in China

    Aisikaier Wubulikasimu walking backwards 150 meters high between two buildings (CEN)

    A Chinese stuntman wrote himself into the record books for the seventh time by walking backwards between two buildings on a tightrope 150 meters above the ground.

    Hundreds gathered to watch Aisikaier Wubulikasimu, 41, perform his nail-biting stunt in Kunming in south-west China. 

    He began with a few practice runs without the blindfold along the 100 meter rope suspended between two buildings.

    He then put his hood on and inched along the 3cm wide rope while carrying a 10kg pole for balance. 

    Crowds who were watching with bated breath below erupted with applause as he completed the walk in a record-breaking 15 minutes.


    Aisikaier comes from a sixth-generation tightrope walking family who are all Uyghurs, an ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia.
    Aisikaier Wubulikasimu balances a bottle on his head (CEN)

    He has already featured in the Guinness Book of World Records six times for tightrope walking stunts, including the fastest tightrope walk over 100 meters in 2009, the steepest tightrope walk in 2011, and then by finishing a high-wire walk

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  • Calgary Stampede advertisement slammed for sexism and lacking diversity

    “It is utterly beyond me what on earth Stampede thinks they’re selling with this ad"

    Screengrab from the Calgary Stampede ad that has irked many. Screengrab from the Calgary Stampede ad that has irked many.

    In the 2015 Calgary Stampede’s new ad, a 46-second clip titled “Champions Buckle Up,” eight people get ready for the city’s annual Stampede.

    The problem? A serious lack of diversity, critics claim. And sexism. (As part of getting ready for the Stampede, the women featured in the ad don “Daisy Duke” shorts and put on mascara.)

    “It is utterly beyond me what on earth Stampede thinks they’re selling with this ad,” Rebecca Sullivan, a social sciences professor at the University of Calgary who specializes in cultural studies told the Calgary Herald, criticizing the ad for focuses on white, able-bodied males at the expense of women, minorities and the disabled.

    “The purpose of the ad is to reflect Stampede’s values,” she added. “The ad reflects some pretty awful values that I don’t think Stampede stands for.”

    Sullivan said that last year’s ad depicted both male and female rodeo competitors and featured a better variety of Stampede participants and visitors.

    “There was total diversity,”

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  • Professor holding student's crying baby sparks important parenting conversation

    Here’s why this photo of a professor holding his student’s baby is going viral.Here’s why this photo of a professor holding his student’s baby is going viral.

    Because she didn’t have anyone to watch her baby for her, an Israeli college student was faced with an awkward decision: miss class or bring her young son to a lecture with her.

    She opted for the latter, and all appeared to be well until the little one started fussing a bit too much.

    The embarrassed student stood up to leave, hoping to sneak out before further disturbing her classmates, but was stopped by her professor.

    The professor offered to hold her crying child for her.

    The child quieted down in the lecturer’s arms as the man continued to teach at the front of the classroom.

    The mom was able to finish the class, the child was happy, and a photo of the prof holding the tyke went viral on Imgur, quickly racking up more than 1 million views. 

    Comments on the “notoriously snarky” site revealed a softer side of the Internet, with most of them praising the professor’s sweet gesture. 

    “I can’t even begin to imagine how much that probably meant to her - knowing that someone valued her

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  • Canadians have shorter attention span than goldfish, Microsoft says

    Ever wonder if that device that never leaves your hand is taking a toll on your attention span?

    A 54-page Microsoft study that looked at surveys of more than 2,000 Canadians — and monitored 112 people’s brain activity —  says it is.

    In fact, we now have shorter attention spans than goldfish, a fact researchers believe can be linked to our inability to put down our smartphones and other portable devices.

    A study in 2000 revealed that Canadians had 12-second attention spans, on average. That number has now dropped to 8 seconds, an entire second shorter than that of goldfish.

    “Canadians with more digital lifestyles (those who consume more media, are multi-screeners, social media enthusiasts, or earlier adopters of technology) struggle to focus in environments where prolonged attention is needed,” reads the study.

    The study found a number of concerning statistics and “addiction-like behaviours” from the always-connected respondents: 44 per cent of respondents claimed they had to

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  • Canada gifts Princess Charlotte with snowsuit, $100K in charitable donation

    Kate Middleton and Prince William Charlotte Elizabeth Diana to the world. Kate Middleton and Prince William Charlotte Elizabeth Diana to the world.

    It’s a global baby shower for baby Charlotte.

    Leaders around the world are offering gifts and charitable donations in honour of the youngest royal, who was born on May 2.

    To celebrate the birth of the newest addition to the Royal Family, the Canadian federal government is giving a charitable donation to a pro-vaccine group in Princess Charlotte of Cambridge’s honour.

    Ottawa will give $100,000 to Immunize Canada, a group that promotes the understanding and use of vaccines for children.

    “To mark this wonderful occasion, the Government of Canada is pleased to announce a $100,000 donation to Immunize Canada. This child-focused charity is dedicated to promoting the understanding and use of life-saving vaccines to help ensure children across Canada get the best start in life,” Harper said in a statement.

    “Canadians recognize that the Royal Family has always been engaged and conscientious when it comes to the health and well-being of Canadian children. It is therefore fitting that this

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  • Canada goose recovering after sitting on burning nest to save her eggs

    “She was doing the motherly thing. She was very protective of those eggs."

    The injured mother goose is shown at the Back To The Wild shelter in Castalia, Ohio. (Facebook)The injured mother goose is shown at the Back To The Wild shelter in Castalia, Ohio. (Facebook)

    A wildlife specialist for Erie Soil and Water Conservation District in Erie County, Ohio, was walking back to his car with his daughter last Sunday after stopping by his office when he spotted smoke.

    Tim White walked around the corner of his building to discover a Canada goose sitting on a burning nest.

    “It wasn’t blazing like a bonfire,” White told the Sandusky Register. “You could see a little blaze around the nest.”

    White and his daughter rushed to put out the flames with water buckets. The entire time, the goose didn’t budge from her spot on the nest.

    “She probably would have sat there until she was deceased,” White told The Dodo.

    After the flames died down, White saw the goose’s six eggs.

    “She was doing the motherly thing,” White told the Sandusky Register. “She was very protective of those eggs. She took the brunt of the heat and the fire.”

    He also found cigarette butts in the nest, suggesting that the nest was deliberately set on fire. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the

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Pagination

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