Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Better make some room in that panda enclosure for one more!

    If the speculation is correct, Er Shun, the female panda at the Toronto Zoo, could be pregnant.

    In this video published Thursday, the Toronto Zoo teases that the female panda currently residing at the zoo is showing 'nesting' behaviour, which may be an indication she is pregnant:

    It's still too early for zoo officials to know for sure, as panda pregnancies can be quite complicated. The gestation period for pandas is about three to five months, and the zoo will only know for certain about 20 days before the cub is born.

    While this video was initially taken in May and used to demonstrate Er Shun playing with straw as "enrichment," the zoo is apparently using it again today to tease news that Er Shun may actually be with cub.

    Er Shun was artificially inseminated in April, and zookeepers have been eagerly waiting for signs it may have worked. While there is a male panda at the zoo, Da Mao, he is too young to reproduce, so semen

    Read More »from Baby on board? Toronto Zoo’s panda Er Shun showing signs she may be pregnant
  • This is the fifth 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.

    Of all the bands we take a look at in this series, the Polar Loop is probably the most under-the-radar of them all. Without the kind of hype machine and flash that you see with companies like Nike or Jawbone, Polar is a name that you're only likely to think of if you're seriously into fitness.

    Polar Electro is a Finnish company that has been around since 1977, and has long made heart rate monitors and GPS watches for serious fitness enthusiasts. The Loop is Polar's foray into the fitness band market, a deviation from the traditional watch face-style trackers it usually makes.

    Compared to its typical products, the Loop is decidedly more of a fitness and lifestyle band than anything else. But how does it stack up against other fitness bands we looked

    Read More »from Battle of the Bands: Polar Loop an option for serious fitness buffs, others need not apply
  • This is the fourth 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.

    For Jawbone, the fitness market isn’t a strange land. This is somewhere they have ventured before – only to have their efforts largely ridiculed, as their first attempt at a fitness band in 2011, the UP by Jawbone, was rife with damage issues. To Jawbone’s both fortune and folly, it came before the fitness band craze really caught on; the product didn’t catch on because it wasn’t something people were looking for yet, as mobile phones really needed to catch up to partner with wearable technology first. But it also meant they could test the waters, see what worked, and have a product ready for when suddenly, everyone was clamouring for a band.

    Back when Jawbone’s first jump back into the ring launched, the Jawbone UP (which is still supported and

    Read More »from Battle of the Bands: Jawbone UP24 is a near-perfect lifestyle band, with one thing missing
  • Passenger helps land 737 after pilot suffers heart attack

    Capt. Mark Gongol, 13th Air Support Operations Squadron assistant director.Capt. Mark Gongol, 13th Air Support Operations Squadron assistant director.

    "Does anyone know how to fly a plane?"

    It's the last thing you want to hear your flight attendant announce over the plane's loudspeaker, but that's exactly what happened on United Flight 1637 on Dec. 30.

    Luckily for the 155 passengers and six crew members aboard that flight, the answer was yes.

    Capt. Mark Gongol, a member of the U.S. Air Force operating out of Fort Carson, was on board the plane with his wife and daughters, returning from holidays after visiting family in Des Moines, Iowa. Gongol told Air Force Space Command in his first interview since the incident that about half an hour into the flight, Gongol said he became aware of the plane's engines powering down, and the aircraft began to descend and veer to the right.

    "Over the public address system, a flight attendant asked if there was a doctor on board the plane," Gongol told AFSC. "A few more calls went out for medical professionals and the flight attendants were all hurrying to first class with their beverage carts and a

    Read More »from Passenger helps land 737 after pilot suffers heart attack
  • Hunter Samworth, 7, is a fan of his local minor league baseball team the Dayton Dragons, and is a particularly big fan of their mascot, Heater.

    He also happens to be deaf, and relies on sign language and cochlear hearing aids to communicate.

    Last week, Hunter attended a Dayton Dragons baseball game with his parents, and even got the opportunity to meet Heater before the game. What was most surprising though, was what Hunter's father, Matt Samworth, caught on camera:

    [ Good News: Learning a second language keeps your brain young: study ]

    Matt explains the sweet scene on his Facebook page:

    Cheri [Hunter's mother] told Hunter, verbally and in sign, to tell Heater "nice to meet you!" All of the sudden all three of us were taken by surprise when Heater started signing to Hunter!! Not his escort (who also is an ASL interpreter) but Heater the Dragons mascot!! Hats off to Paul and Heater for lifting us up on Saturday night. You both gave us all a moment we will never forget!!

    In an

    Read More »from Young hearing-impaired fan gets sweet surprise from baseball team’s mascot
  • 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:

    Read More »from Learning a second language keeps your brain young, study finds
  • 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


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