Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • At some point, we’ve all thought how handy it would be to know another language, either to make travel easier or to better communicate with people at home. Now, you can add keeping your brain young to the list of good reasons for learning another language.

    A study from the University of Edinburgh shows that learning a new language can actually help your brain keep its youthful figure, supporting claims from an earlier study suggesting that learning a second language can help delay dementia.

    Unlike the dementia study, however, this latest research sought to discover if learning a second language could help to improve cognitive function, or if people who already had high cognitive function were the ones more likely to become bilingual, the BBC reports.

    Based on the results of the test, the language learners – both those who learned languages before the age of 18 and after – showed improved cognitive function from their baseline test after having learned another language.

    [ Related:

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  • It's a bittersweet tale for a real-life 'Bambi,' rescued by a Tri Lake Animal Hospital in Lake County, B.C. The doe, who has been nicknamed 'Jane Doe' and 'Jon Fawn Jovi,' was found by workers at the animal hospital huddled next to her deceased mother.

    But since that day, Jane Doe's fortunes have turned around. The Tri Lake Animal Hospital has been nursing her back to health, and doing the best job they can in place of a mother's care. They've been feeding her with first-day goat's milk, to ensure she gets all the nutrients she would have otherwise got from nursing from her mother.

    "We found some goat colostrum [first milk] from a couple of our clients," Linda Kaplan, a veterinarian with Tri Lake, told CBC. "It starts the immune system working right away. And goat milk is a good supplement, so we've actually tracked down quite a bit of goat milk."

    The fawn is now three days old, and seems to be doing well. The animal hospital is giving her medication to stave off infection, and while

    Read More »from Real-life ‘Bambi’: B.C. animal hospital rescues fawn found next to deceased mother
  • This is the third review in our mini-series 'Battle of the Bands,' comparing some of the most popular fitness bands available in Canada today. For an overview of the series, read Battle of the Bands: Finding the best fitness band for you.

    Nike has been synonymous with fitness for years, from its iconic shoes to a vast empire of sportswear and equipment. Unsurprisingly, Nike decided to expand into the wearable fitness tech market, and even got a boost from a partnership with Apple, long before the fitness band craze really took off.

    Unfortunately, all good things must end, it seems, and Nike announced it would be laying off much of its FuelBand team in April. The company says that it will still be working on the software side of things and will continue to partner with Apple, but this is the last we'll see of the Nike FuelBand hardware.

    Nevertheless, the Nike+ FuelBand SE is still on sale here in Canada, and as they start to sell out over the next few months, you may even be able to

    Read More »from Battle of the Bands: Clunky Nike+ FuelBand SE for the Nike-devout only
  • Cat comes back to owner three months after riding the rails

    It's a story that would make Homeward Bound's feline heroine Sassy proud: After presumably disappearing onto a train in February, Rupert the ginger-haired cat has found his way home.

    When he's not off having (what I can presume are) fabulous adventures, Rupert resides in West Melbourne with his owner Bec Gilchrist. He escaped from Gilchrist's backyard on February 18.

    Gilchrist put up posters and sent 200 letters to her neighbours in hopes of finding the two-year-old cat, but to no avail. After three months with no trace of Rupert, Gilchrist began to give up hope of ever finding him.

    But her Dalmatian, Poppy, seemed significantly more optimistic about one day reuniting with her companion. During daily walks, Poppy would drag Gilchrist to the train station near their home.

    Then last week, while driving along, Gilchrist received a call from a Latrobe Valley town -- about a two-hour drive from Melbourne -- telling her that Rupert had been found. Workers at the pound Rupert was brought to

    Read More »from Cat comes back to owner three months after riding the rails
  • This is the second review in our mini-series 'Battle of the Bands,' comparing some of the most popular fitness bands available in Canada today. For an overview of the series, read Battle of the Bands: Finding the best fitness band for you.

    Due to its very recent release (Apr. 11, to be exact), the Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit is a very in-demand device and we weren't able to spend quite as long with it as we were some of the other bands in our project. Nonetheless, I was able to wear it for a little over a week and test it out, and have plenty to report back from my time with the world's first curved AMOLED wearable display.

    Samsung released the Gear Fit as part of its lineup of next-generation Galaxy Gear smart watches, which first launched last year. In addition to the direct successor to the original Galaxy Gear (the Gear 2), they also released the Gear 2 Neo (essentially the Gear 2 without a camera) and the Gear Fit, targeted at those looking for a fitness band that has the features of

    Read More »from Battle of the Bands: Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit a good smart watch, but falls flat on fitness
  • Five non-crack revelations about Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford

    Bonus fact: Rob Ford is actually a pretty terrible dancer.

    It was one year ago today that the world learned about Rob Ford's most famous indiscretion during his time as Toronto's mayor: On May 16, 2013, Gawker published the now-infamous story about the crack video.

    But there's so much more to Ford than his alleged use of crack cocaine (for which he is reportedly in rehab now). Over the last year, we've had plenty of revelations about the world's most famous mayor that had nothing to do with his drug use (at least, as far as we know).

    [ Related: Rob Ford reportedly spotted in cottage country ]

    To mark the 1-year anniversary of first learning about the crack-smoking video, here are five things we've learned about Ford that go beyond his alleged drug habits:

    1. He hardly uses the Internet

    In reply to an freedom-of-information request made by the Toronto Sun, it was revealed that if Ford does have an addiction problem, it's not to the Internet, at least not at work. The report from Toronto City Hall showed no Internet activity attributed to his

    Read More »from Five non-crack revelations about Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford
  • FitBit Flex

    This is the first review in our mini-series 'Battle of the Bands,' comparing some of the most popular fitness bands available in Canada today. For an overview of the series, read Battle of the Bands: Finding the best fitness band for you.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention I've had the Flex band for longer than the other ones we test in this series, as I'd received one as a gift in May 2013. The other three testers, though, had never owned one. One had, however, owned a FitBit Force, which bears mentioning first.

    The FitBit Force was the next generation fitness band released by FitBit late 2013, and offered certain changes over the Flex, including a more detailed display and wider band. It was well received by reviewers who had a chance to test it out, and found many fans over the course of the holiday season.

    It also, unfortunately, caused a percentage of its wearers to develop contact dermatitis. This eventually prompted a voluntary recall on Feb. 20, and thus, we

    Read More »from Battle of the Bands: FitBit Flex is sleek, motivational, with some software misses
  • Must-See Videos of the Week: May 3-9

    This week, we can't get enough of two things: Thinking about summer vacation, and adorable animals. We've got a selection of both in this week's Must-See Videos, for your enjoyment:

    Somehow, watching someone else ride a roller coaster is even more stomach-dropping than riding one yourself (well, maybe that's just me...). See if it's true for you, too, as you take a nerve-wracking ride on the Montu at Busch Gardens.

    Is there no trust in this world anymore? With guys like YouTube user Rob Anderson, it's no wonder. Everyone is just expecting the worst in this video, in which he threatens to prank them. See how it turns out:

    We've seen cupcake vending machines in New York City, now there's a fresh pizza vending machine in Sorrento, Italy. I don't know if it's technically an authentic Italian pizza experience... but it is pizza, and it is being made in Italy. Not bad for 3 Euros!

    Speaking of pizza, this little hamster named Chicken is probably the most adorable 'za-muncher you've likely

    Read More »from Must-See Videos of the Week: May 3-9
  • Clockwise from top left: Jawbone UP24, FitBit Flex, Polar Loop, Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit, Nike+ FuelBand SE.Clockwise from top left: Jawbone UP24, FitBit Flex, Polar Loop, Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit, Nike+ FuelBand SE.

    All Canadians can likely agree that it has been a particularly long, cold winter – one where you just want to sit inside and eat comfort food. But the warmer weather is finally here and it's time to get outside. For those who need a little more motivation aside from 'patio weather' (or need some help walking off those patio beers), you may be considering one of the many fitness bands that has entered the market over the last few years.

    When it comes to fitness wearables, you aren't at a loss for options. The hard part, in fact, is trying to decide which band is right for you. Each one tracks slightly differently, and it's hard to know which one is your ideal band when they all seem to do basically the same thing.

    That's where this series comes in. With the help of three other editors here at Yahoo Canada, I've put five of the biggest fitness bands on the market right now to the test: the Nike FuelBand+ SE, the FitBit Flex, the Jawbone UP24, the Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit and the Polar

    Read More »from Battle of the Bands: Finding the best fitness band for you
  • We’ve heard about Google’s self-driving cars for a couple of years now, and while those working on the project have been pretty quiet, Google has released its most detailed look yet at how these autonomous vehicles would work.

    Up until now, the cars had been doing lots of highway driving, but the navigation of cities proved more challenging. Today, Google announced that it has been fine-tuning how the car detects “hundreds of distant objects” to make it possible for the car to navigate safely in complex city streets.

    [ Related: California to decide by year’s end how to integrate driverless cars ]

    The Verge reports the software in the self-driving cars has been updated to detect stop signs held by crossing cards, turning signals made by cyclists, and can detect closed lanes, parked vehicles and plenty of other city hazards, as shown in this newly-released video:

    The cars have been driving through Google’s home base of Mountain View, California. Project Director Chris Urmson explains

    Read More »from Google’s self-driving cars get improved city driving capabilities

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