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HAPPY FRIDAY: Here is a blog dedicated to photos of sloths

As you may have guessed from our previous articles, we here at WP had a love-on for sloths. Luckily we aren’t the only ones. That Sloth Blog is a Tumblr dedicated to bringing you photos of sloths doing sloth things and being slothdorable and slothcool. They sum it up pretty well by saying: “Us, we’re sloth people.” Yup.

Yes, there is a sloth-on-branch cursor on this website.

You are currently counting down the hours until you can use some of these relaxing sloth moves on your couch.

Here are some of our favourites from the blog.

Follow Travis on Twitter: @TravMyers

 

Spring detox day 8-10

I found the last three days to be the hardest of the detox since the food was limited. There were some restaurant quality dishes including the red lentil coconut curry, lentil chickpea sunshine salad, chocolate avocado pudding, and the poppy seed dressing, which was the star of the kale salad with grapes, avocados and almonds. I found these recipes to be the most flavourful. I will start incorporating my own fruit smoothies into my daily breakfast routine.

On May 20th, I had tomato soup for brunch and red lentil coconut curry for dinner. Throughout the day, I had almond milk and coconut milk. I’ll admit that the holiday was hard since I was out of routine and I did give in to three tiny pieces of california roll sushi with soy sauce. Although I did cheat a bit, I didn’t feel too bad since I feel as though I was slowly easing back into my regular diet. It was more of a slow transition.

May 21st was my ninth day on the detox. I decided to make my own cherry and unsweetened cocoa powder smoothie for breakfast and I had the red lentil coconut curry for lunch. For dinner, I had lentil chickpea sunshine salad. During the day, I had rice milk and coconut milk. Prior to class, my friend offered me skittles and I had two since I couldn’t resist. This is much less than I normally would have eaten.

On the last day of the detox, May 22nd, I had tomato soup for brunch and curried quinoa with raisins for dinner. My dessert after dinner was chocolate avocado pudding. Throughout the day, I had coconut milk and almond milk. There was the last teleseminar where the nutritionist talked about “what’s next” and how to keep your eating habits serving you for the long term. I made my own peach smoothie for tomorrow morning.
As I end the detox, I need to start incorporating all of the foods have been eliminated back into my diet. I certainly won’t have a huge cheesy pizza and chocolate cake, but I want to gradually go back to my regular, healthy diet. I will continue using my favorite recipes from the detox and it was great with the abundance of vegetables in every meal. Thanks for joining me through my BarreNourish 10-Day Detox series.

Mayor’s Chief of Staff Towhey removed from Toronto City hall

Mark Towhey is no longer working for the office of the Mayor. On May 23, he was escorted out of City Hall.

A longstanding ally of Mayor Rob Ford, Towhey served as an advisor on the campaign trail and helped to develop Ford’s economic platform.

According to the official press release, “The Mayor thanks Mr. Towhey for his valuable service and wishes him the very best in his future endeavours. Earl Provost, Deputy Chief of Staff, will assume the role of Acting Chief of Staff until further notice.”

Although the press release makes no reference to Ford’s recent scandals, the timing of the dismissal raises a multitude of questions. What was the official reason for the dismissal? What does Towhey know about Ford’s recent troubles?

Towhey has chosen not to elaborate on what he knows, nor on the reaon for his dismissal.

Sarah Thomson, former mayoral candidate, head of the Transit Alliance, and publisher of Women’s Post made the following statement:

“Everyone knows someone who has suffered from drug and/or alcohol addiction. Allowing an addict to deny their addiction or ignore it, does more to enable them than and little to help them. This is why an addict will often cut off anyone who cares enough to try to help them.

That Mayor Ford has let his closest ally go may say more about Mr. Towhey’s strength of character than any of us will ever know.

I am sorry for the predicament Mayor Ford is in, and do encourage him to lean on friends and family for support and advice.”

Finally…a cookbook contest!

Women’s Post is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a signed copy of Finally…Food I Can Eat! This is your chance to get your hands on a collection of delectable recipes to sample at will. Expand your kitchen and enter today.

Contest Rules & Regulations:
Contestants must reside in Canada (excluding Quebec) to be eligible to win
Contestants must be 18 or older
Contestants are eligible to enter 1x daily (further entries will not be counted)
Contest closes on Thursday, May 30th, at 4 p.m.

 

CONTEST CLOSED.

Toronto’s troubled transit: The future lies with Council and the time to act is now

Last year, Toronto City Councillors led by Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Chair Karen Stintz reaffirmed a transit plan that allowed the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx to move forward. But lack of action on it has led to mass frustrations amongst Torontonians stuck in traffic on the way to work, packed in subways and buses, or feeling cheated because the transit system does not extend into their neighbourhood or communities. Unfortunately, despite the claims of a number of Councillors and Mayor Rob Ford, change is not happening.

Metrolinx and the TTC have both come out identifying the downtown relief line (DRL) as the next transit priority. It will be a huge relief for TTC commuters from North York and Scarborough, taking pressure off of the Yonge and Bloor-Danforth lines.

Toronto is a great City, envied by many. But success in recent decades has created challenges. Phrases like “world-class” have little meaning when you are stuck in traffic or have no reasonable transit options to mitigate that traffic. Congestion has been identified by the Toronto Board of Trade (TBOT) and renowned think-tanks as Toronto’s single biggest competitive disadvantage, costing the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Region (GTHA) $6 billion annually. Manufacturers have delays in shipping and moving inventory. Companies with valued and valuable staff waste unproductive time in traffic. If the City does nothing it will be the reason employers and their employees will leave or stay away from our City.

Solving transit gridlock is more than just dealing with individuals’ frustrations. It is making sure this and future generations will available job opportunities, careers and establish roots in Toronto. Millennials coming up in this City are making dramatically different choices about how they want to live and work. The City needs to be able to react to this and we need to be able to build a City for the future.

The City’s elected officials must be honest with themselves. Toronto is now paying the price for having done nothing over the past 20 years. That price of “doing nothing” will only increase. How much more is Eglinton going to cost today than if we had not stopped building it almost 20 years ago?

What will the cost of inaction be for all of us?

Whether and individual drives a car, takes the train, rides a bike or walks, a good public transit network is a necessity for a City the size of Toronto. Transit, like health care and education, is a public good. Everyone benefits from a transit system that works.

A sensible government must realize that unlocking our City’s transit mess will not come cheap. There are no magic solutions; there is no transit fairy or money tree.

City Council recently voted to reject revenue tools. It is time to put this in perspective.

First of all, that phrase fools no one. This is a conversation about taxes and tolls.

I have long considered myself a fiscal conservative. I generally support keeping budgets slim, regulations limited, and taxes low. I disagreed with the previous Mayor’s wasteful spending. I believe Mayor Ford’s agenda of cutting costs and engaging the private sector in outsourcing initiatives to be in the best interest of the City of Toronto. However, when it comes to spending money on unjustified and unfunded transit projects, a self-identified fiscal conservative has to say, “No.”

So when it comes to calling for new taxes, not a single advocate is doing it lightly. I believe in frugality when it comes to government spending, however I know that transit and subways are not built for free. A revolution of common sense at City Hall would allow the current administration’s power brokers to realize that they must find a way to pay for the transit infrastructure we need.

As Chair Stintz proclaimed on Twitter following Council’s decision to reject dedicated revenue, ‘Saying something and doing nothing is still “doing nothing”.’

The City still has a chance to be innovators. Now is City Councillors’ chance to be city builders and help restore pride in a city that works. The only question is; will they have the political will, or won’t they?

 

Follow Jordan on Twitter: @JordanAGlass

Ford’s silence on crack allegations is about to make Toronto $200,000 more dangerous

Rob Ford, you need to come clean. The longer you refrain from saying yes or no to these allegations the closer the people of Toronto come to giving $200,000 dollars to a group of drug dealers. The clock is ticking.

Right now Toronto is buzzing. Did the mayor smoke crack? Is he in with a group of drug dealers? These are questions that are up in the air right now. The fact is: three journalists — okay, two journalists and one gossip-hound — say they have viewed a video of what appears to be Rob Ford uttering slurs against racial minorities and gays and smoking crack cocaine.

The allegations weigh heavy against you, Rob. Despite whatever vendetta that you and your brother think the Star has out against you there is no way that they would fabricate anything about this, barring a complete and utter bankruptcy of ethics and disregard for the law.

If the people of Toronto are to trust our most seasoned and talented journalists (and one seasoned and talented gossip-hound) we have to accept it as a fact that a video of what appears to be Rob Ford smoking crack exists.

The ball is in your court, Rob, and it has been for one full week now.

Your silence, aside from a few one-sentence dismissals of the pack of journalists desperate to get to the bottom of this, is more than a political or legal move. Right now your silence, Rob, is dangerous.

With every minute that ticks by a new donation is being made to Gawker’s crowd-funding project. As of lunch time on May 23 it sits at $133,291, just a few dollars shy of two-thirds complete.

This money is going to people who are admitted crack dealers; shady men who dart in and out of cars in parking lots at night and live off the proceeds to selling poison. These people are about to be two hundred grand richer.

The things they could spend this money on are easy to imagine. Pouring that money directly into the lowest rung of the drug trade can only result in more drugs on the streets, more guns in the hands of criminals, and more dead bodies.

Rob, the longer you refrain from doing anything the more money the people of Toronto donate towards these drug dealers in an attempt to gain some form of answer to the question of whether or not their mayor is smoking crack.

You need to respond to these allegations by saying something, anything.

If it isn’t true, although the chances of this being the case seem slimmer and slimmer as the days go by, help the city of Toronto like you want to and come out fists blazing in denial like you always do. Will this please everyone? No. But it could help to stop the slow and steady ebb of your former supporters looking for some kind of answer by donating to this fund.

If it is true and you did smoke crack and it is on video, please, please come forward and tell the people of Toronto what you did. Admit that it is true, that you are a flawed man who smoked crack, and beg everyone to stop donating, not for the sake of your political career or your brother’s ambitions, but for the sake of every person who might die of a gunshot or a drug overdose if this project succeeds.

Your claim to want to help the people of Toronto was at least believable before. You did your best to help people who shared your views on subways and garbage collection. Right now your silence is helping no one but yourself to avoid embarrassment and putting the lives of others at risk.

The people at Gawker and the people of Toronto are not innocent in this either. These people are knowingly opening up their wallets to drug dealers and criminals, and in the aftermath of this situation, another summer of the gun or a Toronto crack epidemic, they’ll also have themselves to blame. But nobody holds more cards in this game than you, Rob, and your poker face is a time bomb waiting to go off in the ghetto.

Step up, Rob. If you love this city like you claim, if you want to help people, you will step forward and say something, anything, or the blood of Toronto’s next Jane Creeba will be all over your hands.

 

Follow Travis on Twitter: @travmyers

Spring detox day 4-7

The past few days on the detox were a success. The Chlorella supplements are taken in conjunction with the smoothies and two tablets at night with lots of water. In addition, the nutritionist has incorporated early sleep, meditation, and exercise. A great way to incorporate exercise is to watch Youtube fitness videos. They’re free and you can make your own personalized workout daily for some variety.

Ideally, participants get up at 6 a.m. and they are in bed by 10 p.m. The timing is hard since I’m not a morning person, but I’m continuing to get eight hours of sleep or more. The day typically starts with a 10-minute meditation, but I try to do mine at night instead. In order to detoxify the body, it is necessary to exercise and use the dry brush. Participants are also encouraged to drink eight cups of water daily and mix flax seed into water at night. I admit that the lifestyle component has been harder than the food for me.

On Thursday, May 16th, my fourth day of the detox, I awake to a green-a-colada smoothie followed by curried quinoa for lunch. I fall slightly off the wagon and succumb to a veggie burger for dinner. I don’t think that’s too far off track and I’ll be back to my green smoothie tomorrow morning. Throughout the day, I have coconut milk, cinnamon apple tea, orange juice, detox tea, and chocolate avocado pudding. The pudding is rich and decadent.

On the fifth day, I have a classic green smoothie for breakfast and lentil chickpea sunshine salad. Dinner consists of sweet and sour stuffed peppers with cauliflower mashed potatoes. During the day, I have orange juice, honey lemon tea, chickpea snackers, coconut milk and almond milk. I come up with my own snack, banana dipped in almond butter. I also have my second teleseminar where the nutritionist talked about cravings, overeating, and how to start identifying your story and relationship with food.

During the sixth day, May 18th, I get creative and make my own strawberry banana smoothie before heading to Fresh for lunch where I have a nepalese split pea soup. I have california greens and white beans for dinner. My snacks and drinks consist of cashews, rice milk, and chocolate avocado pudding.

My seventh day of the detox, I have quinoa power porridge for brunch and the buddha barre bowl for dinner. I don’t like broccoli so I replace it with arugula instead. I also have chocolate avocado pudding, orange juice, almond milk, and bananas dipped in almond butter.

Visit again in a few days to hear about my experiences as I participate in the detox process.

Women of the week: Heather Kleb

What do you think of when you think of nuclear energy?

Interim president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA), Heather is striving to create a more positive environment for nuclear energy, educating the masses on the many positives of the power source while helping to advance the industry.

“I’m a big believer in nuclear energy, because it’s good for the environment and it’s good for the economy. We supply much needed power while minimizing the release of greenhouse gases. And our industry provides thousands of highly skilled, well paying and rewarding jobs while doing it.  Basically, it’s good for Canadians,” Heather says.

With a background in environmental science, Heather has a great deal of experience working in what she calls “responsible resource development.” After several years of working in the mining and logging industries, Heather was offered the role of environmental scientist with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and found her niche. Ten years later, she is serving as the interim president and CEO.

A female CEO in a scientific association might seem like an oddity to an outside spectator, but Heather sees it as an example of the way things are moving in this field.

“I think that the fact that our Board of Directors asked me to assume the interim president and CEO role speaks volumes about our industry.  There is definitely a growing number of women in senior roles throughout our industry,” she says.

A firm believer in the nuclear industry, Heather would like to see the number grow and encourages other women to consider the field.

“It currently provides over 30,000 interesting, challenging and rewarding jobs for Canadians.”

As part of her job, Heather works to combat the negative images of nuclear energy and has participated in a number of regulatory hearings.  When asked, however, about what stands out as memorable about these hearings, she chooses not to dwell on “the antics of the very passionate non-governmental organizations,” who tend to have a very vocal presence. Instead, she highlights the actions of Port Hope Mayor Linda Thompson.

“Mayor Thompson spoke thoughtfully to the benefits the nuclear industry would bring to her community and the families that live there,” Heather says.

This resolve, to highlight the positive elements of her field while refusing to get bogged down by the negative characters who seek to destroy nuclear power, stands out in Heather’s character. She believes in her industry and wants to raise awareness about the many ways nuclear energy can improve people’s lives.

“The nuclear industry generates more than just power,” she says. “We produce isotopes that aid in the diagnosis and treatment of many forms of Cancer. In fact, Canada provides between 20-30% of the world’s supply of isotopes.”

This alternate purpose of nuclear technology is important to note, given the rising rates of cancer. As a testament to this link, the CNA is partnering with the Canadian Cancer Society and raising funds for research. Watch for the Relay for Life in Ottawa on June 7, hosted by the CNA.

Spring detox day 1-3

After previously registering online, I was e-mailed a detox tutorial package and picked up my detox kit on May 11th. The detox kit contains Chlorella supplements, detox tea and a dry brush. The tutorial guide includes how-to information, a shopping list, meal plan, and recipes. I selected the Free Spirit Meal Planner.

The BarreNourish Detox consists of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. There is no wheat, meat, refined sugar, dairy, alcohol or coffee for 10 days. I am excited to see fresh produce and the recipes look delicious, but it will be hard not to snack throughout the day and experience true hunger. I was surprised not to see soy or tofu, but instead to see sea salt to taste in the recipes.

I joined the Facebook group for additional support since I am doing this alone. As a participant in the second wave, I had the advantage of seeing the questions and concerns raised from the first wave of participants (May 6th to May 15th) along the nutritionist’s responses.

My initial concern was the Chlorella tablets supplement, but I did my own research about the benefits and side effects before self-medicating. It was safe to go ahead and use it.

When I did my first grocery shopping and saw it all on the conveyor belt at the grocery store, I thought, “Who knew greens could look so good?” The meals were less expensive, but the drinks were slightly more than I’m used to. Overall, my grocery bill was considerably less than usual.

I listened to the first of three teleseminars on May 11th where the nutritionist went over the detox tutorial packet.

I have been utilizing my food and mood diary to document my meals, emotions and any side effects. I want to know how I am feeling physically and mentally throughout the process.

On Monday, May 13th, I had a green classic smoothie, my first green smoothie for breakfast. The smoothie was delicious and filling. I had kale salad with grapes, avocados and almonds for lunch, and red lentil coconut curry for dinner. Throughout the day, I had chamomile tea, almond butter stuffed dates, coconut milk, trail mix and almond milk.

During the second day of the detox, I had a raspberry chocolate smoothie and the red lentil coconut curry for lunch. My dinner was cauliflower, tomato, kale and white beans. My snacks and drinks during the day included rice milk, trail mix, peppermint tea, almond butter stuffed dates and almond milk. I haven’t experienced any cravings or side effects.

On the third day, May 15th, I started my day with an avocado, lime and ginger smoothie followed by a potato leek soup for lunch. I had a lentil chickpea sunshine salad for dinner. I also had coconut milk, mango juice, and dates stuffed with almond butter.

Join me as I go through a 10-Day Detox and hear about my experiences as I participate in the process.

Video surfaces of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine

Rob Ford has had his low moments, like when it was uncovered that he is an alcoholic, or when he groped WP publisher Sarah Thomson’s behind at a party.

Now it has come to light that there is a video of Rob Ford smoking crack (yes, crack cocaine, that stuff) that was filmed in the last six months.

Gawker reported that they have viewed the video and he is “fucking hiiiiigh” on the tape. It is currently for sale for six figures by a group of Somali-Canadian drug dealers and Gawker is looking for a partner to purchase it with.

This comes with the revelation that his dealers service “Ford’s longtime friend, people on his staff, his brother, a prominent hockey analyst, and more.”

The video in question shows Rob Ford smoking a glass pipe:

The man in the video is Rob Ford. It is well-lit, clear. Ford is seated, in a room in a house. In one hand is a a clear, glass pipe. The kind with a big globe and two glass cylinders sticking out of it.

After the Gawker story was posted they were contacted by an attorney about the tape saying he represents Ford and that the mayor does not smoke crack.

The tipster who informed Gawker of the video sent a photo that shows Rob Ford apparently partying and drinking with a young man who was murdered in a gang-style  shooting on King Street in Toronto’s Entertainment District, Anthony Smith.

Apparently a Canadian news organisation has already offered the owner of the video $40,000 for the video.

Thomson famously suggested that the Mayor might have been under the influence of a drug like cocaine when he groped her.

UPDATE: The Toronto Star viewed the video in question on May 3 and did not release this information to the public until early Friday.

Follow Travis on Twitter: @travmyers