Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • What do you do after leading a year-long mission on the International Space Station?

    That’s the question Col. Chris Hadfield wrestled with when he returned to Earth after his time spent as the first Canadian Commander of the ISS.

    Hadfield and his son, Evan, discussed at length what could possibly live up to the experience of being an astronaut as Chris settled in to retirement.

    “Once you’re retired, now what to you do?” Evan Hadfield said to Yahoo Canada. “It’s a pretty big leap to go from astronaut to… well, anything else.”

    Chris and Evan have managed to find lots of ways to keep busy – Evan is working with his father on launching an album and book later this year – but one of their latest projects has Evan over the moon.

    Starting this fall, Evan will be working with his dad and a small team to launch a YouTube show titled “It’s Not Rocket Science,” a combination of science and comedy that he hopes will appeal to people around the world.

    “It’s almost like Bill Nye meets Inspector

    Read More »from Chris Hadfield to launch new science-comedy series, 'It's Not Rocket Science'
  • A Canadian flag is passed along fans during the B.C Lions game July 10, 2015. (Reuters)A Canadian flag is passed along fans during the B.C Lions game July 10, 2015. (Reuters)

    A new study on the world’s most reputable countries has placed Canada in the top spot.

    The Reputation Institute, a global research and advisory firm for reputation, studied the reputation of 55 countries by interviewing 80,000 people around the world on their quality of life, quality of institutions like government, and the level of development as it related to the economy.

    Here are the top 20 countries:

    1. Canada
    2. Norway
    3. Sweden
    4. Switzerland
    5. Australia
    6. Finland
    7. New Zealand
    8. Denmark
    9. Netherlands
    10. Belgium
    11. Ireland
    12. Austria
    13. UK
    14. Italy
    15. Germany
    16. Japan
    17. Spain
    18. Portugal
    19. France
    20. Singapore

    This isn’t the first time Canada has made it to the top of the list, either. In 2011, Canada beat out the other nations in reputation, and stayed there in 2012 and 2013. It dipped to second in 2014 before moving back to top spot this year.

    Notably absent from the top 20 is the United States; the U.S. ranked 22nd in the listing. The Reputation Institute

    Read More »from Canada selected as country with the best reputation once again
  • The photo of the letter and offensive decorations, posted to Facebook.The photo of the letter and offensive decorations, posted to Facebook.

    What does $20,000 worth of ‘relentlessly gay’ décor look like?

    Thanks to a mean-spirited letter which has inspired a GoFundMe campaign, we may soon find out.

    Julie Baker of Baltimore, Md. says she received a note from her neighbour in response to a row of rainbow solar lamp jars in her front yard, which have “Love” and “Ohana” (Hawaiian for family) written on them.

    It reads:

    Your yard is becoming Relentlessly Gay! Myself and Others in the neighborhood ask that you Tone it Down. This is a Christian area and there are Children. Keep it up and I will be forced to call the police on You! Your kind need to have Respect for GOD.

    The letter was posted to Facebook (along with a photo of the jars) by a friend of Baker’s. Since the post went up Wednesday night, it has touched a nerve online and inspired everything from a Relentlessly Gay website, t-shirts, plans for a Relentlessly Gay Garden Party (with kid-friendly ideas, of course) and the GoFundMe page, intended to raise money for more

    Read More »from Woman told her front yard decor too 'relentlessly gay,' fights back with more rainbows
  • Kita no Taiko performance at Edmonton's Heritage Days festival (Flickr/Kurt Bauschardt)Kita no Taiko performance at Edmonton's Heritage Days festival (Flickr/Kurt Bauschardt)

    The people of Edmonton can hold their heads a little higher this summer, knowing that their city has been picked by a world-renowned publication as one of the top places to visit this year.

    National Geographic released a list of Best Summer Trips 2015, including several well-known international travel hotspots: Machu Picchu in Peru, Jeju Island in South Korea, and Athens in Greece all make the list of 11 recommendations. And right along with them? Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.

    “Edmonton is welcoming the world this summer,” writes National Geographic travel writer Maryellen Kennedy Duckett. “The Festival City is hosting a series of international events, including the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 (June 6-July 4) and the Edmonton Folk Music Festival (August 6-9). Multicultural artworks, crafts, performances, and foods representing more than 85 nations will be featured at the Edmonton Heritage Festival (August 1-3).”

    In addition to the festivals, Duckett highlights the

    Read More »from Edmonton: From Canada’s punchline to top global summer destination
  • Viral handprint photo shows the beauty of bacteria on us

    Photo of Tasha Sturm's son's handprint and the bacteria found in it. (Tasha Sturm/Microbe World)Photo of Tasha Sturm's son's handprint and the bacteria found in it. (Tasha Sturm/Microbe World)

    When microbiologist Tasha Sturm performed a simple experiment with her eight-year-old son, she had no idea it would get so much attention online.

    "I have been doing things like this for so long that it's normal to me... and my kids!" Sturm, a microbiology technician at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, told Yahoo Canada News.

    Sturm asked her son to press his hand into a TSA plate after he came in from playing outside, which was filled with agar, a substance that contains the nutrients ideal for bacterial growth. It was then incubated for a week  at 37°C, then another several days at room temperature, which is the perfect for bacteria to flourish, and the result was an almost floral-looking design.

    When she posted the photo to the website ASM Microbeworld, the stunning patterns attracted attention across the web, as people marvelled at the beauty of bacteria. But Sturm says it's pretty typical stuff for her line of work.

    "The first [thing] lab students do is swab something in the

    Read More »from Viral handprint photo shows the beauty of bacteria on us
  • Queens Zoo welcomed a baby pudu in May. (Queens Zoo/Facebook)Queens Zoo welcomed a baby pudu in May. (Queens Zoo/Facebook)

    For such a small little guy, he's sure going to elicit a big bunch of "awwww"s!

    Queens Zoo in Flushing, N.Y. debuted their newest addition, and he's a tiny one. He's an as-yet-to-be-named pudu, the world's smallest species of deer.

    The pudu was born May 12, but the zoo only just posted a photo of the little guy yesterday, encouraging people to come and see him in person.

    At birth, he was about six inches tall and six inches long, Barbara Russo of the Wildlife Conservation Society told ABC News.

    When full grown, he'll stand about 12 to 14 inches measured to his shoulder (meaning they may never need more than a standard foot-long ruler to measure him). The southern pudu is native to South America, and is classified as an endangered species.

    Once the fawn is weaned, he'll move on to a diet of grains, greens, carrots, and hay, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    After all, you can't survive on cute alone!

    Read More »from Petite Pudu: Fawn of world's smallest deer species born at Queens Zoo
  • Christian, pre and post-haircut. (Deeanna Thomas/Facebook)Christian, pre and post-haircut. (Deeanna Thomas/Facebook)

    Eight-year-old Christian McPhilamy is the centre of attention for his selfless act today, but his last two years haven’t always been quite as easy.

    The boy from Melbourne, Florida saw a TV commercial about pediatric cancer two years ago, his mother Deeanna Thomas told Florida Today, where he heard about St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the challenges faced by kids dealing with cancer. It inspired Christian to grow his hair and, on May 20, he cut off one 12-inch and three 11-inch ponytails to be mailed to the Michigan-based charity Children with Hair Loss.

    Christian's hair in ponytails, ready to be chopped off. (Deeanna Thomas/Facebook)Christian's hair in ponytails, ready to be chopped off. (Deeanna Thomas/Facebook)

    While Christian’s intentions were entirely noble, his peers didn’t always see the good that he was doing and Thomas says Christian was bullied for having his long hair.

    “Some people tried to call me a girl,” Christian told Florida Today. He says he didn’t feel good about the comments, but wanted to keep working towards his goal.

    “I just wanted to give a wig away.”

    Scott Norris buzzing off the last of Christian's long hair. (Deeanna Thomas/Facebook)Scott Norris buzzing off the last of Christian's long hair. (Deeanna Thomas/Facebook)

    In a Facebook post, Thomas shared Christian’s story:


    Read More »from Boy endures years of bullying to donate hair to children's charity
  • General view of the PC gaming area at Enthusiast Gaming Live (Farah Syed)General view of the PC gaming area at Enthusiast Gaming Live (Farah Syed)

    Looking down from the second floor of the International Centre in Mississauga, the noise is overwhelming. People are cheering, laughing, and it’s drowning out the subtler sounds of games beeping and keyboards clattering. Suddenly, it crescendos and the power goes out. As the organizers of Enthusiast Gaming Live (EGL) whip out their phones and begin calling around to find the source of the problem, the crowd gathered below is illuminated by the televisions being run by back-up generators and they begin chanting “MVG! MVG! MVG!”

    The same thing happened this past April in Arizona at MVG Sandstorm and since the esports world is so closely knit, the people here at EGL know all about it. There’s more laughter and chanting, but everyone stays put. After all, they’re here to support the first esports tournament of this scale in Canada, and they plan to be here to the end.

    Meet the new face of gaming. Historically, gaming has been seen as the domain of teenage boys, playing at home in their

    Read More »from Esports mean big bucks: inside the rich, new world of video games
  • Guess what guys? It's time to go home! (Thinkstock)Guess what guys? It's time to go home! (Thinkstock)

    Are you still in your chair at work, typing away on your keyboard? (Or, if you’re reading this, surreptitiously checking Yahoo on your phone while taking a quick break? Don’t worry, we won’t tell.) And do you find yourself pining for the hours to fly by faster, so you can start the rush-hour trek home?

    This is the one day a year (at least unofficially) you don’t need to wait until 5 PM for take your leave.

    Today is National Leave The Office Early Day, an American "holiday" that has gained some interest abroad, too (and let’s be honest, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo last month, what’s to stop us from adopting another foreign holiday?). You’re not likely to see this printed on any calendar, and it might require some convincing to get your boss to go along with it, but there’s actually good reason why he or she should be game to let you make an early departure every once in a while.

    The day was created by Employee Productivity Specialist Laura Stack, an American public speaker who

    Read More »from Celebrating National Leave the Office Early Day the right way
  • Escaped peacock becomes social media darling in Toronto


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