• 25I-NBOMe can be sold as a cube, liquid, powder, or blotted onto paper. (Thinkstock)25I-NBOMe can be sold as a cube, liquid, powder, or blotted onto paper. (Thinkstock)

    A relatively new hallucinogenic drug, 25I-NBOMe, was thrown into the spotlight again this week after a CBS News story out of Boston highlighted the case of two young people who were arrested “for displaying strange, self-destructive behavior” while under its influence.

    A similar case occurred just before New Year’s in the quiet bedroom community of Stouffville, Ont. just north of Toronto.

    Police say the drug is being marketed as a cheap version of LSD, but is less predictable and potentially more dangerous.

    “25I-NBOMe is much more potent than LSD, and if taken accidentally or in excess, can lead to erratic behavior, seizures, cardiac arrest and possibly death,” says Constable Andy Pattenden of the York Region Police, which investigated the Stouffville case.

    “It comes in a variety of forms, including cubes, liquid, powder and blotted onto paper. Its common street names are 2-5-I, N-Bomb, Wizard, Future and Smiles.”

    A big part of the attraction? It’s cheap. Gauging the price of street

    Read More »from 25I-NBOMe and other designer drugs proving difficult to police
  • Two day hikers in the Whistler Mountain alpine with Fitzsimmons, Overloard and Fissile mountains behind are shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Paul MorrisonTwo day hikers in the Whistler Mountain alpine with Fitzsimmons, Overloard and Fissile mountains behind are shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Paul Morrison
    It’s one of the most popular ski destinations in the world and, after this month, Whistler-Blackcomb will be smoke-free.

    As of May 31, tobacco, marijuana, e-cigarettes and vaporizers will be prohibited anywhere on the mountain, including chairlifts, ski runs, hiking and biking trails and parking lots.

    It’s a move resort president Dave Brownlie says fits with Whistler-Blackcomb’s healthy, family-oriented philosophy.

    It’s also a move spurring debate over the new wave in tobacco control – prohibition in outdoor spaces or even city-wide bans.

    “A lot of these restrictions on outdoor areas are simply driven by the community,” Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society, tells Yahoo Canada News.

    “As people become accustomed to smoke-free areas, they’re not accustomed to being exposed to a smoky place so they don’t like it – even just as a nuisance.”

    Since smoking was reluctantly banned in hospitals and retail stores in 1976, Canada has seen some of the toughest

    Read More »from Resort’s crackdown on smoking puts public health first, but questions over personal freedoms persist
  • Ducklings try to cross race course during a 2013 IndyCar practice. (Screengrab/YouTube)Ducklings try to cross race course during a 2013 IndyCar practice. (Screengrab/YouTube)

    The urge to protect and rescue the helpless is ingrained in most human beings, so you can understand the reflex some motorists have to stop when they see some confused waterfowl on a busy roadway.

    But should they? The answer experts give is no in most instances.

    Toronto police actually closed a section of the busy Don Valley Parkway, the main artery into downtown, last Sunday to allow a Canada goose and her goslings to cross the expressway. The incident produced a couple of humorous tweets from the department.

    Police spokeswoman Const. Caroline de Kloet said the the decision to act as wildlife crossing guards for the little critters likely stemmed from concern for their safety and the potential mayhem of drivers moving at freeway speeds trying to dodge the gaggle of birds. Or, god forbid, someone stops.

    The consequences of that were demonstrated in Quebec five years ago when a woman stopped her car in the left-hand lane of a provincial highway to try to corral some motherless

    Read More »from Should you rescue ducklings on the highway? Most times no, experts say
  • Comedian Jen GrantComedian Jen Grant
    Stand-up comedian Jen Grant has criss-crossed the country, performing her comedy for rowdy crowds in every corner of Canada.

    But it was at a corporate event at an Ontario country club where Grant was recently forced off stage near tears after a male audience member repeatedly sexually harassed her from the audience.

    “What I experienced wasn’t heckling,” Grant tells Yahoo Canada News. “It was harassment. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.”

    Like the City News reporter victimized by FHRITP, a mind-numbingly stupid prank that knuckle-draggers like to pull on female reporters while they’re live on air, Grant was at work.

    The job earlier this month was entertaining the crowd at an awards dinner at the St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto, organized by the Ontario Printing and Imaging Association. The audience was 80 per cent male.

    The man was an employee of TC Transcontinental Printing, the largest printer in Canada. He’s been suspended pending an investigation of his

    Read More »from “What I experienced wasn’t heckling. It was harassment," says comedian after disturbing audience encounter
  • Protesters march for animal rights at Central Park West. (Getty Images)Protesters march for animal rights at Central Park West. (Getty Images)

    It’s safe to say that cultural attitudes about animals have evolved substantially over the past century, and especially in the last few decades. Since then, we’ve learned a few things—like the fact that canine brain activity captured in an MRI scanner seems to indicate that dogs “have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child.” The public has come to abhor inhumane treatment of circus, lab and farm animals, having become aware of the depth of animal intelligence. Despite this, the section of the Canadian Criminal Code that addresses cruelty to animals remains largely unchanged since 1892, the year the legislation was written.

    At that time, says Ewa Demianowicz, a campaign manager at Humane Society International’s office in Montreal, authorities didn’t even bother to define the term “animal” and only addressed those that were the lawful property of an individual. Strays and wildlife were not protected by the Criminal Code, and they still aren’t. According to Demianowicz

    Read More »from Canadian animal abuse laws lacking compared to new FBI rules
  • Birth has enough drama and confusion to it when it’s done in a hospital bed. So it must be even more interesting when you do one at 500 miles per hour, seven miles above the ocean, and hoping desperately that the person who answered that ‘doctor on board’ call isn’t actually a psychopath.

    And of course, once that’s all over, you get to not only come up with a name, but also figure out what the little miracle’s nationality is.

    A Canadian couple is currently sorting through that quagmire after giving birth high over the Pacific while on a flight to Tokyo. Baby Chloe is just fine, but her parents Wesley Branch and Ada Guan (who actually didn’t know Guan was pregnant, which probably makes the citizenship issue item 14 on their list of new things to think about now) have some red tape to wade through.

    “There’s all these different iterations that are possible when a child is born on a plane,” says Kelly Goldthorpe, an immigration lawyer at Green and Spiegel LLP.

    We’ll file this under

    Read More »from How to determine the nationality of a baby born on an airplane
  • GoPro CEO Nick WoodmanGoPro CEO Nick Woodman

    Nick Woodman, CEO of portable camera maker GoPro and the highest paid exec in the U.S. last year became a household name last weekwhen he paid $229 million back to his company to keep a promise. 

    The costly gesture was part of a commitment Woodman made to his first employee Neil Dana while the pair were roommates at the University of California. The story goes, Woodman offered Dana 10 per cent of any proceeds he received from the sale of the company’s shares.

    As GoPro neared an initial public offering in 2011, Woodman made good, granting Dana more than six million options and agreeing to pay the company back when Dana exercised options. Dana, the company’s director of music and specialty sales, exercised his options last week with Woodman paying out of pocket to refill the company’s coffers. 

    Not that it’ll be missed; the GoPro CEO’s networth is around $2.3 billion.

    Woodman now adds his name to a stable of “nice guy” CEOs – company founders and business owners who aren’t afraid to

    Read More »from Five CEOs who prove that nice guys can still finish first
  • There’s a tent in the centre of Hootsuite’s office. Actually, there’s a string of them at the social media management platform’s headquarters  – green canvas tents all in a row filled with employees puttering away on MacBooks or chatting on phones.

    It’s set up like the Vancouver-based company’s staff has travelled through time to a ski cabin retreat in the summer of 1965. Except this is the day-to-day work environment – plaid couch cushions, log cabin-like walls strung with antique skis, snowshoes, fishing gear, picnic tables, wood stacks and cots for sleepy employees.

    It’s unreal, unconventional and quite possibly the coolest office space in Canada. It’s also a prime example of the evolving approach to designing the workplace, says Susan Steeves, principal interior designer at SSDG Interiors, the firm responsible for Hootsuite’s offbeat office.

    Inside Hootsuite, photo courtesy of HootsuiteInside Hootsuite, photo courtesy of Hootsuite

    “People spend a lot of time at work so you want to like where you are – the space creates different feelings, people react (differently)

    Read More »from Our new obsession with office space
  • Few people at the second concert of U2’s worldwide tour on Friday in Vancouver had any idea how close a complete unknown came to joining the band on stage for a song.

    Patrick Stark has been working on a documentary about stage fright and facing your fear for six years. His connection to U2 is tangential; he told Breakfast Television in Vancouver that he first discovered he could sing, somewhat, listening to U2’s seminal live EP "Under a Blood Red Sky" in his car.

    U2 fandom intact, Stark set his sights on one auspicious goal to provide the perfect ending for his film: to sing with U2. So two weeks ago, when he heard that U2 was in Chambar, a trendy restaurant in Vancouver’s Gastown district, Stark walked over, summoned up some courage, and walked up to the band with his pitch:

    “I envision myself on a stage in a stadium filled with people, singing one song with the biggest band in the world,” he said.

    “About half a second later, Bono goes ‘sure’.”

    Stark said he and the band quickly

    Read More »from B.B. King's death scuttles filmmaker's dream U2 gig
  • Medicine Hat makes homelessness a thing of the past

    Communities across Canada grappling with homelessness may now look to Medicine Hat.Communities across Canada grappling with homelessness may now look to Medicine Hat.
    Five years ago, the Alberta city of Medicine Hat committed to an ambitious plan to end homelessness by this year.

    One of the critics of the plan was former councillor, now mayor, Ted Clugston.

    But with his city of 61,000 poised to be the first in North America to do just that, Clugston counts himself among the soundly converted.

    “I wasn’t on board with this when they first announced it,” Clugston tells Yahoo News Canada. “I used to say silly things like, ‘why do they have granite countertops when I don’t?’”

    He voted against several projects. Then advocates showed him the numbers.

    The Medicine Hat Community Housing Society proved to him that a single homeless individual can cost about $134,000 a year in emergency-room visits, hospital stays and interactions with police and other first responders.

    It costs about $34,000 a year to house that person.

    “If you believe there’s only one taxpayer, it just makes fiscal sense,” says Clugston, a self-described conservative.

    Spurred by the Alberta

    Read More »from Medicine Hat makes homelessness a thing of the past

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