Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Eastern and Western Astrology

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 31, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Eastern and Western Astrology - January 31, 2010


If you are curious how East meets West in terms of astrology, check out this site:

Gifts for You

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Religion, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on January 30, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Everything is Energy from The Secret Website

The Secret - January 30, 2010

Check out the special “Gifts for You” on The Secret website:

Black Health and Wellness Show

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Writing (all kinds) on January 29, 2010 at 8:32 AM

DebHealth - January 29, 2010

By Deb Health

Hello, I am organizing this show (see below) and am looking for individuals who have organizations I can speak at prior to the event. I am trying to stir up interest in the event and am looking for any publicity I can muster.

I am also interested in attending for free to black student or alumni group events to showcase my Holistic Practitioner skills by doing free talks etc.

Please peruse the information for the show below and let me know if you or your organization or one you know can support getting the message of this event out.

I have spent the past few days contacting each of you either by phone or leaving you a message about the event below.

For those of you in the media, I am looking for coverage of this free community event in celebration of Black History Month. (Please contact me to discuss further).

For those of you who are in business, are practitioners or associations I am looking for either vendor at the event, speakers at the event or sponsorship donations.

For those of you who I spoke to, I hope you recollect our conversation and would like you to feel free to peruse the information regarding the show below.

If you or someone you know would like to rent a table for $125.00 to promote their products and or services please do not hesitate to forward this email to them.

I will follow up with each of you to elicit a response and hope you will participate in this worthwhile community event.

If you would like to contact me prior to that please see my information below. The closing date for inclusion in this event is Feb 5th, 2010.

THE BLACK HEALTH & WELLNESS SHOW 2010 is dedicated to celebrating Health and Wellness in the African culture highlighted in Black History Month.

THE BLACK HEALTH & WELLNESS SHOW showcases Black Health & Wellness practitioners, doctors, chiropractors, health care associates etc. in the community with a view to educating individuals about health and wellbeing along with raising the profile of these businesses in the black and multicultural communities at large.

Here is the preliminary link for the Black Health & Wellness Show taking place this Black History Month Feb 2010.

You can also check out for more info as well.

It is with great joy that as black Canadians we share the parts of our culture that bring happiness to others in our diverse multicultural community in the City of Toronto.

Pass this email on to your friends and those you think may enjoy sampling foods, checking out products and listening to health practitioners promoting healthier living.

With the multitude of cultures in our fair city, it is with great pride that this event welcomes vendors and exhibitors from that melting pot so be prepared to see African Canadians and Canadians of all stripes at the event, who knows you may even bump into a friend or two.

Join us in learning the who, where and what of Torontonian African Health and Wellness available to you.

See and experience products that include, crystal healing, essential oils, skincare, body detox, holistic nutrition, exercise, cultural videos, clothing and more…..

See you there!

P.S There are vendor spots available for vendors and service providers who want to get their products into this market or attend this event to optimize their business profile in this community. Return this email for information providing details of your product(s) or service.

We are looking for the following exhibitors and any others that are health and wellness related:

Book Stores
Crystal Healing Stones
Yoga Studios
Massage Therapists
Reiki Practitioners
Detox Therapists
Essential Oils
Vitamins & Minerals
Children’s Health
Health Foods
Healthy Home Products

Deborah Allen

130 Old Forest Hill Rd.
Ph Suite
Toronto, ON. M5P 2S1

Emerging Job Category for Professors

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 28, 2010 at 6:54 AM

Morning English Lessons

Morning English Lessons

Hot new job opportunities for professors include teaching outside of the classroom. Teaching online is becoming increasingly more popular.

Many schools now offer online courses. Even for instructors who are interested in teaching various levels from high school, up to the doctoral level, can teach online. For more information, Google “Online Teaching Jobs” to find out all the opportunities out there. As well, Craigslist and other job sites are great places to find work.

I have had my own experience of teaching English online to corporate executives in Paris from Toronto. These adventures are chronicled in Morning English Lessons that is available on Amazon Kindle, as well as at Until the end of January, if you enter the code READMORE2010, you will receive 10 percent off at

Stopping Smoking Successfully

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Pets, Writing (all kinds) on January 27, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Kelly Meister - January 27, 2010

Kelly Meister is an author who lives in Ohio. She smoked cigarettes for 25 years. Now, she has quit successfully.

“I smoked cigarettes for 25 years,” says Meister. “I tried to quit several times using various methods (for example nicotine inhaler, acupuncture, etc) before I was ultimately successful. I haven’t smoked a cigarette for eight years.”

Meister began smoking with her mother’s cigarettes when she was 12. A girlfriend taught her how to inhale when she was 14.

“I quit for good when I was 39 (I’m now 47). My method was a combination of three things: my then-boyfriend’s brother (who was my age) was diagnosed with lung cancer from smoking and died 7 months later. It struck me as obscene to continue smoking while this poor man was dying from lung cancer, so that was one motivation for quitting. My quitting method was using the nicotine patch, in conjunction with some scheduled elective surgery, which was another motivation for quitting. I did not want to experience surgical complications due to smoking, so I put on a nicotine patch one week before surgery, used it up until the day of surgery, then removed it and never used or needed one again. I haven’t smoked for eight years.”

Meister says she hates to be a reformed smoker, but the smell really does stink and she can smell a smoker several feet away. She can even tell if a smoker has been on her chiropractor’s table! And she sees no reason why she should have to deal with someone else’s smoking, so she is in favour of smoking bans.

“If a person wants to smoke (and I frankly don’t know how they can afford it anymore: when I started smoking, cigarettes were 55 cents a pack, and they’re now five dollars a pack) then they should be made to do it where it won’t affect anyone else.”

Meister also says smoking is highly addictive, serves no good purpose and it
took her years and a lot of inner strength and determination
to quit. Cigarettes should be labeled a controlled substance
and treated accordingly. If heroin is illegal to possess and
use, cigarettes should be, too. The only “good” thing to
come from smoking is the millions of dollars lining the
pockets of tobacco companies and CEO. They should be
treated the same as Columbian cartels.

For more information about Kelly Meister, please visit her website:

Note: I have recently published a book about smoking, including several tips for quitting. It is available at, as well as Amazon Kindle.

To Give or Not to Give

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on January 26, 2010 at 6:01 AM

Mikaya Heart Discusses Charity – Photo Courtesy of

Mikaya Heart - January 26, 2010

By Mikaya Heart

As someone who has worked hard to make the world a better place, I have tried to share with others not so fortunate. One day I gave some money to a family who didn’t have enough to eat. The man of the family used the money to buy a gun and then threatened his wife with it. Was it my responsibility what he did with the money I gave him? I felt it was, and ever since then, I’ve been very careful who I give to.

On a broader level, I recently heard from someone who has been working with refugees in Africa for years. He’s been helping to rebuild their village so that they can go back there. Meanwhile, the families have been living in makeshift shelters, and are being supplied with food. Now the village is finished they don’t want to go back because they will have to work for their living instead of getting hand-outs.

Sometimes I’m suspicious of motives for giving to charity. People often feel guilty about being well off, and giving to others assuages their guilt, as well as feeding their egos. It temporarily fills a gap in their own souls so that they don’t have to examine the reason for their greed or their need to grasp at the illusion of security. Perhaps it makes them feel superior—in which case, the recipients of their charity are bound to feel that, and while they may take the food and money that they need, they are going to feel angry. Understandably so—from their point of view it is merely an accident of birth that they are recipients instead of donors, and the argument that Western affluence is built on backs of the poor has considerable validity.

This world and its people are always in a process of evolution. Every culture has its own collective unconscious, and evolution of a culture requires a change in the collective unconscious of that culture, which means a change in the way the individuals of the culture think. With the advent of television and the Internet, these changes are happening faster than ever before, but they still take generations. In the end, although a culture’s evolution (or otherwise) has global implications, giving money cannot hurry the process. Education may do so, as long as it’s done with respect.

So am I saying that we in the West can all just sit back and consume to our heart’s content, never concerning ourselves with the rest of the world? No, certainly not. First of all, I see it as vital that we send our energy wherever it is needed, to those in need. That might be Haiti after an earthquake, it might be the Battered Women’s Refuge down the road, it might be a local library, it might be the Suicide Hotline, it might be picking up garbage on the street. The form of energy might be financial, it might be work, it might be sending prayers, it might be consciously sending love. What works for you is what works for you. It is important that all of us understand we are all connected and we can’t live in a vacuum. Which brings me to my second point: privilege brings with it responsibility, and we who are living in privilege need to face that honestly. Taking responsibility means living with integrity, treating this planet and all the beings on it with respect. For many people, that requires radical changes in the way they live their lives. Unthinking consumerism has a price—a huge one. I’m not just talking about the environment here, I’m talking about souls and hearts. It’s important to partake in a cycle of giving and receiving. Sure, having money is great. It isn’t what creates change. We can improve the quality of life on the planet most effectively by changing our own lives on a deep internal level, learning to live respectfully. That’s what radiates outwards.

Take a long, honest look at your own life. Where does the money that you are giving to charity come from? Are you investing in stocks that support the war? Put your money where it is supporting good causes. If it means you have less and you don’t give to charity—at least you know you’re doing some good in the world. Are you working at a job that wears you out so you’re unhappy? Get a job that pays less and makes you smile. You may have no money to give away, but you will be bringing joy into the world. Ask yourself some real questions about your motivations in life and you need to have. Maybe if you could do with a lot less, you’d be giving in a very real way. Look beyond the need to be normal, to do what you are meant to do, to be perceived as successful by others. What makes you feel successful inside? That may have nothing to do with society’s judgments.

I’m not encouraging people to be martyrs. Don’t give up what you need to be comfortable. But let’s go beyond superficial possession of external things. The meaning of the phrase charity begins at home is profound. Look for a sense of fulfillment that comes from inside. It has nothing to do with ownership or money, it’s about a satisfaction that flows from the heart, that comes from knowing you are living a compassionate and respectful life, contributing to the highest good of all.

That knowing of one-ness is not for sale.

UTSC-Centennial College Online Stories

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Restaurant Reviews, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 25, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Danger to Pedestrians in Toronto – Photo Courtesy of

Online Stories - Seventh Three - January 25, 2010

Sarah DeMille
Online Story

In the past seven days, Toronto has been witness to the deaths of eight pedestrians due to traffic-related accidents. The cause of four of these accidents was determined to be vehicles making careless turns. Another accident was caused by a driver running a red light, and yet another was the result of a supposedly confusing intersection. Read the rest of this entry »

UTSC-Centennial College Online Stories

In Beauty, Business, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on January 25, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Tracy McGrady is the Highest Paid Player in the NBA – Photo Courtesy of

Online Stories - Third Three - January 24, 2010

Ryan Jhagroo

Slug: Tracy McGrady, Rockets, 76ers, Andre Iguodala

The highest-paid NBA player, Tracy McGrady, continues to be a hot topic amongst trade spectators around the league. But who wants his expiring contract? Read the rest of this entry »

UTSC-Centennial College Online Stories

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Pets, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 25, 2010 at 7:52 AM

Space Tourism – Photo Courtesy of

Online Stories - Fifth Three - January 25, 2010

Megan Harris

When people talk about what will happen in the future, often what is spoken of is what will happen to the environment, or what new technology will be available- and also about space tourism. Of course, space tourism is one of those things that seems like it won’t be accessible to the general public anytime soon- not until average people have millions of dollars to spare on a flight to the moon. But what if space tourism could be accessed on earth? That’s exactly what two tourists in Sudan tried to do, according to a Reuters report. Read the rest of this entry »

UTSC-Centennial College Online Stories

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on January 25, 2010 at 7:37 AM

George Clooney Signing Autographs – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime

Online Stories - Fourth Three - January 25, 2010

Alice Hoang

Hollywood stars were both charitable and fashionable at the 2010 Golden Globes, as they wore red, yellow, and blue ribbons in support of the people of Haiti.

Sandra Bullock, who has donated $1 million to the victims of the earthquake, is among the many stars who have contributed to the Haitian earthquake relief.

Although an online poll from shows that 50 percent of voters thought that stars at the award show should have given more attention to the crisis in Haiti, celebrities will soon get the chance to focus on just that, as they will be using their fame collectively to help aid survivors of the earthquake.
George Clooney, who was teased by Ricky Gervais about how he would rather be “somewhere setting up phone calls” instead of sitting at an award show, has organized and will be hosting, along with Wyclef Jean and Anderson Cooper, a telethon called “Hope for Haiti.”

As several musicians will be performing on the show, Clooney is also hoping to have the songs available on iTunes the next day in an effort to continue making money for charities.
“Get involved, whatever you do,” said Clooney, at the Golden Globes red carpet. “This is about compassion. There are times in our lives when people are real without help and in real danger, and this is one of those times. So whatever they can do — give money to one of the organizations that they like the best.”


Three-D Glasses for Viewing TV in Your Home – Photo Courtesy of

3D Glasses - January 25, 2010

Kimberlee Nancekivell
Online Story

New televisions bring 3D from the big screen to your living room

If movies like Coraline or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs just aren’t the same for you without the 3D cats and hamburgers, you may be among the first in line to purchase one of the televisions showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Several big electronics brands from Sony to Samsung gathered at the annual expo held January 7 to 10 to give the public a sneak peek at their latest creations- 3D televisions. Some of the offerings included a full 3D package from Samsung complete with a television, Blu-ray player, and glasses, a flat panel television that translates the digital video into 3D by Toshiba, and televisions with sensors and wireless glasses from both Sony and LG Electronics. No official prices are available yet, but the 3D glasses included in some packages from Sony and Panasonic have been quoted at $50 to $250.

Bringing 3D from the big screen to consumers’ living rooms has been a longstanding goal of the industry, but James Cameron’s groundbreaking Avatar is being credited with the sudden peak in interest. Avatar has brought in $41.3 million so far, remaining in the top spot on the billboards in both Canada and the United States.

MTV’s Hit Show “Take to the Stage” – Photo Courtesy of

MTV - January 25, 2010

Online Assignment 1: MTV is still taking the stage
Kirsten Parucha

The MTV reality show, “Taking the Stage,” is set to embark on its sophomore season.
The drama and talent-filled reality show set in Cincinnati, Ohio, surrounds the daily lives of students from the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA).

The hit MTV show first aired in March 2009 and bought a new scope for reality TV. Instead of delving into the “typical” lives of Los Angeles or New York socialites and wannabe celebrities, as most MTV reality shows are known for, “Taking the Stage” follows SCPA students who are in pursuit of their dreams to be the next “big thing.”

“Taking the Stage” is the only reality show that is mainly shot within school grounds. Although most MTV reality shows are shot in bars, restaurants and nightclubs (provoking unnecessary drama), “Taking the Stage” is just as fully equipped with MTV-drama as the rest of its popular reality shows.

Returning casts from its freshman season include Tyler Nelson, the extrovert, an enthusiastic hip-hop dancer, and Mia Carruthers, the soft-spoken Indy singer. Aside from Nelson and Carruthers, the second season will include a whole new set of cast members who will also be showcasing their talents.

“Taking the Stage” season two will premiere in the United States on Jan., 28 at 11 p.m. In Canada, it will premiere on Feb. 4 at 10 p.m.

UTSC-Centennial College Online Stories

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 24, 2010 at 2:22 PM


Online Stories - Third Three - January 24, 2010

Josef Jacobson
200-word online story

On February 14, 2010, hockey enthusiasts and hosiers alike will converge on Toronto’s St. Michael’s college to compete in the 11th Annual Toronto Classic Table Hockey Tournament.
Although the top players all hail from Ontario, table hockey players from Alberta to Quebec and even the United States are known to participate in the tournament.

Table hockey players take their game very seriously. Ontario leagues from Peterborough and Cambridge have streamlined their rules for tournament play. On the Ontario Table Hockey Association website, the rules and regulations page approaches 900 words in length.

Players are penalized for forming illegal defensive structures in front of their goal and for maintaining puck possession for more than five seconds without a shot on goal.
The tournament festivities will last all day, with round-robin matches being played in the morning to determine where all players will be seeded. After lunch, the games that really matter are played. In best-of-three contests, competitors play their hardest as the losers face elimination. This goes on until only one player remains.

For these men, table hockey is not simply a game; it’s a way of life.


Josh Ungar Writes About the Conundrum of the Rubix Cube

Lesson Plans - January 3, 2010

Josh Ungar

Just how fast can you twist and solve it? If you’re like most people who try without any method, probably not at all.

People have been trying to solve the Rubix Cube since 1974 when it was invented by a Hungarian professor of architecture named Erno Rubik. Now 36 years later, the Rubix Cube has been sold an estimated 350 million times, making it the best selling toy of all time.

For some people, solving the fifty-four sided cube is more than just a pass-time. People have developed advanced mathematical algorithms to solve the cube, and around the world, Rubix Cube speed challenges are growing in popularity. The current record for solving a standard Rubix Cube is 7.08 seconds, set by Erik Akkersdijk in 2008 at the Czech Open.

If solving the Rubix Cube normally isn’t already a large enough challenge, there are also world speed cubing (solving the Rubix Cube as quickly as possible) challenges that include events like solving the cube blindfolded, with your feet, and even underwater in a single breath. So for everybody out there looking for a mental workout or dexterity challenge, the Rubix Cube offers a great alternative. Besides, Akkersdijk is just waiting for a new challenger.


UTSC-Centennial College Online Stories

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 24, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Child With Chocolate

Online Stories - Second Three - January 24, 2010

19 January 2010

The last six months of heated debate have finally melted the milk chocolate core of Cadbury.

Kraft Foods, a major food manufacturer in the United States that distributes worldwide, has made a successful bid to purchase the United Kingdom-based chocolate company. The bid, a £11.5 billion, which is $18.9 billion USD, was accepted on Tuesday morning.

This successful bid has caused an uproar with employees and residents in the founding city of the company.

“It’s not just about jobs, it’s also about being British. It’s the end of a great British company,” said one woman, 51, to Reuters UK, who worked with the company for over 31 years.

The globalization of many companies seems to be an underlying factor in this purchase. Each company distributes worldwide, with headquarters based in different countries. While there is no immediate competition between these companies, it is the ability to expand that is vital.

“We have great respect for Cadbury’s brands, heritage and people,” Irene Rosenfeld, the chairman and chief executive of Kraft Foods said. “We believe they will thrive as part of Kraft Foods.”

Cadbury, which produces over 40 types of confectionary, has been a leader in the industry since 1824. Kraft Foods, based in the United States, is a multi-billion dollar company that has been expanding to create a wider variety of consumables.


Emily Hunter Writes About the Tar Sands Expansion

Lesson Plans - January 3, 2010

Online Story #1
Panel opens doors to tar sands expansion
By Emily Hunter

The Alberta tar sands project could now expand past Canadian borders and across the Pacific, with a new Enbridge pipeline in the works. The Pembina Institute warns this could turn our national “eco-disaster” into a global one.

The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline received a green-light last December by a Joint Review Panel. The results have made an uproar amongst environmental groups, including the Pembina Institute, a climate watch-dog organization, who says the pipeline would increase the oil sands by 30 percent.

“The Panel has deliberately turned a blind eye toward the bigger picture environmental impacts of new oil sands production that would be required to fill this pipeline,” said Simon Dyer, Oil Sands Program Director at the Pembina Institute in a press release.

The 1,200 km pipeline would transport the Alberta petroleum products to the British Columbia coast, “opening the door” to global tar sands expansion, the group says. The expansion, Pembina warns, would also increase the impact of the environmental and social dilemmas that come with the oil production, including accelerating Canada’s greenhouse gasses by 6.5 megatonnes, the equivalent to putting another 1.6 million cars on the road.

“At a time when significant reductions in emissions are needed, it is irresponsible to ignore the 6.5 megatonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions that would result from this project,” said Karen Campbell, Staff Counsel with the Pembina Institute. “It is nonsensical to consider whether a pipeline project is in the interest of Canadians while ignoring the impacts of the oil filling the pipeline.”


Fiona Persaud Writes About the Cruise Ship Controversy in Haiti

Online Stories - Fifth Three - January 25, 2010

In class Assignment: Cruise Ships Docking in Haiti

Many are outraged to hear that cruise liners are still docking in Haiti for a vacation filled with sunset paradise and jet skiing. At first, it appeared to be a PR disaster for the Florida cruise line Royal Caribbean. However, their decision to continue to dock in Labadee, a private resort on the north coast, appears to have a few strong justifications for there decision.

The cruise line has supported its decision by arguing that the ships will bring food and aid. They have also announced that they will donate all the proceeds made during the visit to relief for the disaster-stricken country.

“In the end, Labadee is critical to Haiti’s recovery; hundreds of people rely on Labadee for their livelihood,” John Weis, vice-president of the cruise line, told The Guardian.

He noted that Haiti will benefit from the revenue stating that “we cannot abandon Haiti now that they need us most.”

Some passengers were pleased to hear this news while others remained displeased.

“I just can’t see myself sunning on the beach [and] playing in the water… while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water,” one passenger wrote on the Cruise Critic Internet forum.

Some passengers have decided to remain on deck in distaste for the decision.


UTSC-Centennial Online Stories

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Sports, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 24, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Micro Pig - January 25, 2010

Alina Smirnova

An experiment in which scientists buried pigs in the snow to monitor their death was halted due to an outcry from animal activists.

The experiment was carried out in Austria with the goal of determining what allows humans to survive an avalanche in an air pocket without sustaining brain damage.

According to the Associated Press, Hermann Brugger, co-director of the test, responded by saying that the pigs were sedated before-hand and did not suffer.

The animal rights organization Four Paws have put up an offer on their website to take the surviving 19 pigs into their sanctuary in Austria. This offer has not yet been taken up. Four Paws further demand an immediate end to the experiment, claiming that information on death related to avalanches has been known for years.

German and Austrian animal-rights groups have filed a lawsuit, calling the experiment is cruel. The decision whether to proceed with the case now lays with the prosecutors in Innsbruck.

Angela Rotundo Writes About Hope for Haiti

myarchangels - January 11, 2010

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Angela Rotundo – 300480070
Online Story Ideas

Haiti makes appearance at Golden Globes

It’s now that time of year again – the time for red carpets and high fashions. Hollywood’s award season has officially begun with this year’s Golden Globes now behind us, and it was refreshingly heartfelt to see that even Hollywood’s elite could not ignore the tragedy that has swept over Haiti over the past few weeks.

In a land where the image is everything, Hollywood did not skip on the chance to show its philanthropic side. While some of the biggest names in movies and television gathered for Sunday’s glamorous annual event to honour their peers’ achievements, the biggest support shown was visible in the ubiquitous multicolored “Remember Haiti” ribbons dotting tuxes and gowns.

Throughout the night, actors served as presenters for selected categories. Yet, there were extra roles to fill this year as well. Hollywood stars decided to remind fellow actors and the audiences at home to donate as generously as they could several times throughout the show.

According to, the disaster in Haiti was never far from anyone’s mind, especially visible during Jason Reitman’s acceptance speech for his film, Up in the Air, starring George Clooney in which he said, “George doesn’t even want to be here tonight. He wishes he was in a soundstage setting up 20,000 phone lines for a benefit for Haiti right now.”

With the help that Haiti needs right now, Hollywood’s award season this year will prove to be about more humanitarianism than the glitz and glamour it’s used to.

To Read more:,8599,1954535,00.html?xid=rss-topstories#ixzz0d4uzK2mB

Billy Courtice Writes About Deadly Games


Technology - January 2, 2010

Billy Courtice

“Funky Chicken”, and “Space Monkey” sound like far-out slang words from the ‘60s—an era where getting high was just another hobby. In the present day, teenagers are using these terms to describe a different sort of high: a choking game in which the goal is a euphoric brainlessness that treads the outskirts of consciousness.
And some kids aren’t waking up.

Parents and experts in the medical community have raised concerns about online videos being posted by teenagers “glamorizing” the dangerous game. The videos are advertising a great high which is achieved by depriving the brain of oxygen while firmly grasping the throat.

Françoise Cochet, a parent who recently lost a child to the deadly game, has now established the Association of Parents of Young Victims of Strangulation in France. Cochet’s son told her about the game, but she didn’t grasp the concept before she could prevent his death. Now Cochet is hoping parents will finally realize the dangerous nature and growing popularity of the fatal game.

“If I had understood what my son was talking about that afternoon, he would still be alive,” said Cochet in an article published in Britain’s Independent.

The game dates back to the 18th century, where a “scarf game” is mentioned in French medical records. In many countries, each death is passed off as an isolated case, and the game is never recognized.,8599,1953653,00.html

Spacedteacher’s Adventures In The Middle Cosmos

In Beauty, book reviews, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 23, 2010 at 6:44 AM

This Lady is a ” Sister Of The Jardeen Rose “. ” The Sisters Of The Jardeen Rose ” are the sworn enemies of the HaNazees

Spaced Teacher - January 23, 2010 - 2

This woman is a ” Sister Of The Jardeen Rose” They are the sworn enemy of the HaNazee
Spacedteacher vs. The Committee of 17 { Local Branch} { Sub Committee On Foreign Holidays }
Halloween In Tijuana { Definitely NOT!! }
By Spacedteacher

Dear Readersbat :

I was teaching in a small town in Central China. I was the first ” laowai” / foreigner that this school had ever had. I was also the only ” laowai ” at this school. The responsibilities were great. I was very excited to get involved with my students many of whom had never even seen a ” laowai ” before. Basically, I was in a situation where there were a lot of very eager impressionable young Chinese minds to be educated. The best thing was I was given carte blanche to do it my way. I was in heaven at the thought of this opportunity. Not so much later I would come to realize that I was not in heaven at all. I was in, I suspected, someplace in the opposite direction. My suspicions would be confirmed in due course.

As any ” laowai ” teacher with experience will tell you the Chinese students always will tell you they want to learn about Western culture. The truth is quite to the contrary. 90 % of them have absolutely no interest in anything that is not Chinese. I’m fairly certain now after six years of experience that The Committee of 17 Sub – Committee On Education tells them to say that. The thinking is probably that they will make themselves look smart by saying that to a “laowai “and that it will probably please the ” laowai ” that foreign people are interested in their cultures. In any case, I was still fairly new in China so even though I was beginning to have doubts and starting to see the big picture I took them at their word. I now know that the vast majority of Chinese students like to talk the talk but when it comes time to walk the walk they’re not interested. That you see takes effort. Emperor Wo Bu Zhi Dao strikes again as it were.

Halloween was the first Western / American Holiday we encountered during the year. I was so excited about the fun I was going to have with these kids teaching them about Halloween and partying with them. I asked all my students in all my classes if they wanted to learn about Halloween. A resounding yes was the response. I was quite pleased. I then asked them if they would like to go trick or treating and have a party. A resounding yes. I explained to them about costumes and told them to buy/make one. Now being an American with a twisted bizarre sense of humor as those of you that know me are aware of I was not happy just keeping this on campus.I wanted to involve some of the local townspeople living near the campus. We made flyers in Chinese explaining to the local people what Halloween was and what would be happening on their streets come Halloween night. They appeared to be quite interested and supportive. They were lying or to play the Devil’s Advocate maybe they were just being polite. I ended up doing a shitload of work for the very little benefit for anybody concerned due to their misplaced politeness. The attitude on their part regarding that seemed to be ” tough shit lao wai.”

Halloween night arrived and all of my students met me at my apartment on campus. Most of them had no costume at all. A few had masks. A few had great costumes. Off we proceeded to introduce Halloween to the people living on campus.

Halloween night arrived and all of my students met me at my apartment on campus. Most of them had no costume at all. A few had masks. A few had great costumes. Off we proceeded to introduce Halloween to the people living on campus. We tricked and treated. We hid behind trees and scared people. We did some simple fun tricks such as throw eggs on windows and silly string cars and what not. I was beginning to notice though that as we went further and further along my posse was greatly diminishing. I also was disappointed that they didn’t want to do anything on their own. I had to be the center of attention to get them to do anything. By the time we got to the far end of campus we had about ten kids that were still with me and having fun. I was very disappointed in the other 300 but I figured what the Hell at least now I know who wants to have fun. We proceeded onward.

Picture 40 students in a class giving you that look. You need to be strong to teach in China. lol

Interesting Masters Degrees - January 22,2010

It was time to take the celebration off campus. Off to the main street surrounding the campus, we went. The Chinese merchants and family living there were very supportive and seemed to be getting into the spirit of the day.They also appeared to be highly entertained. I had noticed though that by the time we got to the end of the street we were down to three kids. I told them ok we’ll finish up this street and call it a night. We did and I sent them home. I, however, was NOT finished. I wanted one good ” BOO!!! experience before I went home.

I walked into an internet bar. I think I was costumed as a

This Demon looks familiar. lol

Demon as I remember. My face was painted and I’m sure I was a fearsome sight to the Halloween rookies. I just walked in and strolled up to the head of the room. Everybody’s eyes were on me. I’m sure they didn’t know quite what to think although they seemed to be chuckling. I waited about two minutes just staring at them intently. Finally, at the top of my voice, I shouted Happy Halloween BOO!!! She sprang from her chair like an angry Tigress protecting her cubs. She had a broom and she wasn’t afraid to use it. Out of her internet bar, she chased me swinging her broom violently and extremely accurately

The people on the streets were falling down laughing although they were a bit concerned for my safety. A couple of gentlemen restrained her and began, judging by the way they were pointing at the flyers we had posted, explaining to her what was going on. She was PISSED!! She ceased her attack but she kept her eyes on me and her broom handy. There was no way she was letting me back in her internet bar. My mission was completed. I placed my thumbs in my ears, help up my fingers and wiggled them at her while sticking my tongue out. The Chinese people were roaring. I went home happy that night. I had brought a little bit of Western culture to China although in not quite the way I had intended.

I played this movie a few years later for another Halloween Celebration. It constantly amazes me that these kids have never even heard of these movies. They loved it. They didn\’t quite know what to make of it at first though. lol

Some people have no sense of humor. The HaNazee Yellow Knights Of Ignorance And Chaos are certainly

Is there a bad moon rising over China?

amongst the foremost of those folks. How unfortunate that so many of the Chinese students are also among them. They are way too young to be this boring. To be this young and be constantly afraid of taking part in the fun things of life or of taking a chance doesn’t bode well for the future of China in my opinion.There is a sadness that afflicts the Chinese people that I guess is reflective of their history. How unfortunate it is that in this time of great economic prosperity and hope in China the Chinese people do not seem to be able or perhaps willing to overcome this sadness.Emperor Wo Bu Zhi Dao still has them in his grip it would appear. Let’s all pray that The Sisters And Brothers Of The Jardeen Rose And Jasmine will eventually defeat Emperor Wo Bu Zhi Dao and his Yellow Knights bringing freedom to the Jardeen people A.K.A. the righteous Chinese.

Is there a bad moon rising over China?

By the Grace of Li Tan

“The Adventures Of Spacedteacher In The Middle Cosmos { China }” is a collection of short stories based on my actual experiences.They are written from the point of view of an American ” laowai” { foreigner}. As is the case with all of the humanity’s gardens there are flowers AND weeds.The Chinese garden is no different in that regard, they have flowers in the form of the Jardeen Roses and Jasmine and crabgrass in the form of the HaNazees. I try to weed the crabgrass while focusing on and accentuating the Jardeen Rose and Jasmine.
I have taken only the barest minimum of poetic license in an effort to make these stories more enjoyable to read for you. Trust me when I tell you it happened 99 % exactly as I tell it. All names have been fictionalized to protect the guilty from legal action be that civil or criminal and to protect the innocent from the guilty and most importantly to protect the author, yours truly, from the crabgrass in the Chinese garden. Those HaNazee can be vicious bastards!! lol

The HaNazee are well known for having an aversion to the spelling and grammar challenged among us. These guys are in the employ of the HaNazee.

All characters, plot lines, fictional places, and anything else even remotely associated with these stories is the intellectual property of Spacedteacher D.B.A. Bea Wildered Enterprises and may not be used without the express written consent of the aforementioned Spaced one or Bea herself.

Interesting Article on CNN Living

In Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 22, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Check out this article on CNN Living about interesting majors you may want to pursue:

Engine Gallery

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 22, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Engine Gallery - January 22,2010 - 1

Engine Gallery Update

Welcome to our latest issue of Engine Gallery Update. We are very excited to invite you to our latest exhibition. We will be featuring artwork by Drawnonward in a multi-artist exhibition titled ‘New work’.

Drawnonward is a collaborative group of seven extremely talented artists who take on adventures, as they follow their journeys and paint of experiences that have inspired them. Predominantly landscape paintings, this exhibition will contain each individuals’ interpretation of how each adventure has moved them.

We will be featuring work from all seven artists throughout the 3-week show. Join us for an opening reception where all seven artists will be in attendance. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet the artists, discuss their art and hear about some of the amazing paths each has chosen to follow. We’ll be hosting the event on Thursday, February 4, 2010, from 6pm to 10pm.

We would also like to mention that one of our regular artists, Mitchell F. Chan, will be exhibiting a live and interactive display/performance titled ‘Visions of the Amen: Kinetic Sculpture Installation’, at The Spoke Club. In the coming year, this critically acclaimed installation will be on display at some of the most prominent museums of modern art in the world—like the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC for example! Take this opportunity to see it now, before the tour starts.

Hope to see you there!

P.S. As always, if you’d like to view any of our current or past exhibition artists’ collections, visit the Gallery Artists page on our website.

Distillery • Drawnonward Feb 4 to Feb 21


Drawnonward • ‘New work’ more work by our artists >>

“Drawnonward as a group has covered a lot of terrain over the past 15 years. Although the vast majority of our experiences have ranged from great to amazing to awe-inspiring, we have also met our share of adverse conditions on our travels. We have though, collectively discovered an ability to keep things in perspective – to find either humor or illumination in our missteps. It is our shared lens of positive outlook and our ‘hilaritas’ that has allowed us to continue along our path.

Adventure Canada proved to be kindred spirits, and over the past few years, members of Drawnonward have taken part in voyages throughout the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Labrador, and Newfoundland. Six unique adventures in four years that have brought, and continue to bring, Canada to the forefront of our creative expression.
– David Marshak

About Adventure Canada
Adventure Canada specializes in quality group experiences. With an emphasis on small ship expedition cruising in Canada, their company offers excursions on the west, east, and Arctic coasts of Canada. Entering their twenty-second year they have expanded their offerings to include programming in Europe, South and Central America, Africa, Antarctica and the Oceania.

In addition to ship based travel programs, they offer a series of land-based art, photography, wildlife viewing and cultural programs. Over the last twenty plus years, along with their guests, they have discovered that there is so much that is extraordinary about the places they travel, from the landscape, wildlife and culture to the history, art and archeology that is unique to every destination.

February 4, 2010 – February 21, 2010

Opening Reception:
Engine Gallery
37 Mill Street, Bldg #37
Distillery District
Thursday, February 4, 2010
6pm – 10pm

Mitchell F. Chan January 22, 2010

Visions of the Amen: Kinetic Sculpture Installation’
An architectural-scale immersive installation of string and brass bars, which is brought to life as soprano Ashleigh Semkiw, performs a piece by Oliver Messain. As her voice moves through different pitches, the different strings in the cage are excited, and the louder the pitch is delivered, the faster each string rotates, and the resultant shape carved out becomes wider and shorter.

The exhibition also features two series of images mounted on the Spoke Club walls: the first, a set of concept and design “sketches” pertaining to the project, executed by Chan as full size paintings in encaustic, oil, string and collage on linen; the second, a series of drawings presenting mechanisms and concepts of the architectural absurd, by Tom Ngo.

Mitchell is currently attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Art & Technology) as he pursues his Master of Fine Arts degree.

View a video of the installation here.

January 22, 2010

The Spoke Club Gallery
600 King Street West, 4th Floor
Friday, January 22, 2010
7pm – 10pm

The Historic Distillery District A great destination!

Toronto’s first pedestrian-only village was at one time the largest distillery in the British Empire, the 13-acre site has been redeveloped and dedicated to the promotion of arts, culture, and entertainment.

If you’ve never been to the Distillery District (map), make your way to Parliament St. and Mill St., and you’ll find galleries, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, artist studios, workshops, jewellers, theatres, retail stores, offices, ample parking and a truly unique vista, all within the historic Gooderham & Worts distillery.

For more information visit

Our contact information is below (note that we’ve discontinued the old Distillery number):

Engine Gallery
37 Mill Street, Bldg #37
Distillery District
Toronto, ON M5A 3R6
(416) 531-9905

(click for larger version)

Featured Artist Show Information

Feb 4 to Feb 21

‘New work’

Thur Feb 4, 2010
6pm – 10pm
more info >>

Web Site Links

Gallery Artists
Gallery Showings
Upcoming Exhibitions
About Us
Custom Framing

The Historic Distillery District
Toronto’s first
pedestrian-only village.
more info >>

Location & Hours

Engine Gallery
37 Mill Street, Bldg #37
Distillery District
Toronto, ON M5A 3R6
(416) 531-9905


12 – 6
12 – 6
12 – 6
12 – 6
12 – 6
12 – 5

And by Appointment

Our Queen Street West location is now closed.

Gallery Artists| Gallery Showings| Upcoming Exhibitions

About Us| Contact| Custom Framing| Newsletter| Press| Subscribe Contact Information: 37 Mill Street, Bldg #37, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario M5A 3R6 – (416) 531-9905

Engine Gallery ~ 37 Mill Street, Bldg #37, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario M5A 3R6 ~ (416) 531-9905

E-mail design and marketing services provided by Inbox Advertising Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Engine Gallery

English Studies at Lunch

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 22, 2010 at 7:58 AM

Angela Conway - January 22, 2010

By Angela Conway

Is yours one of the many companies who is benefiting from the knowledge and skills of staff who were educated outside Canada and whose first language is not English? Maximize your most valuable resource!

English Studies at Lunch is a service that brings English training to the workplace. With the best ESL instructors training your employees, staff morale, confidence and efficiency will be greatly improved and retention rates will increase.

English Studies at Lunch will help these employees improve their spoken and written English in short, stimulating classes once or twice a week, at lunchtime or at other times of the day or evening. Courses are custom-designed according to your companyfs needs and incorporate vocabulary specific to your industry.

Instruction can include accent training, business writing, presentations and telephone skills. One-on-one tutoring is also available. Classes will be beneficial to staff at all levels, from the most junior, to senior management. English Studies at Lunch will carefully assess each student and place him/her at the appropriate level.

Your office is the classroom!

For a complimentary consultation, please contact:

Angela Conway, B.A., CELTA. Program Director
Ph. (647) 407-4765

Imani Enterprises Goes to Trinidad and Tobago

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 21, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Imani Enterprises, 65150 RPO Chester, Toronto, Ontario M4K 3Z2 Tel: 416-706-7694 E:


ARTS FUNDING GIVES INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST Anne-Marie Woods the Opportunity to Teach in Trinidad, West Indies

Anne-Marie Woods will be embarking on a journey of artistic rejuvenation as she gets ready to travel to Trinidad, West Indies where she will be teaching theatre and spoken word to youth in Trinidad during a three month Artist in Residence Placement funded by Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council with the University of the West Indies Creative and Festival Arts Department. This residency will take place with the support of Dani Lyndersay Ph.D.; Head of the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA), Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts and Founder of Arts-in-Action. Her mentor for this residency will be Mr. Marvin George Artistic Director of the Arts-in-Action Program (AiA). (AiA) is a Theatre Arts Education Program that started at the university in 1994 and does outreach using the arts to expose youth in high-risk communities, to theatre and creativity as a means of positive expression.

Anne-Marie Woods’ professional performance career started in Halifax, Nova Scotia with Acapella Sensation Four the Moment and she, later on, earned her Theatre Arts degree in 1993 from Dalhousie University. It was in Nova Scotia that her work as a theatre practitioner, arts educator and a youth outreach worker got cultivated. From 1996 – 1999 she single handedly ran her own Young Company called The Imani Women’s Artistic Project for female youth of African Descent to give voice to societal issues affecting young people in Nova Scotia through theatre, dance and poetry. In 1997 she spent a year in Philadelphia as an intern at Freedom Theatre and it was here she had the privilege of working with well known American Director Walter Dallas, and she also had the honor of meeting the Pulitzer Prize Winner August Wilson.

Woods moved to Toronto, Ontario in December of 2000 and under the guidance of Pierre Tetrault she was a Playwright in Residence at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (then called Young People’s Theatre). In 2001 she was the first African Canadian chosen to showcase her one woman show “Waiting To Explode” at the prestigious National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, North Carolina. She has been in such stage productions as Afrika Solo, Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God, Whylah Falls, Harlem Duet and the Vagina Monologues. But Woods has always been defined by her love for Youth Arts and Culture. She has not only performed professionally in theatre and as a spoken word artist but she has done endless Arts Education outreach projects/programs using theatre and spoken word as a medium to reach youth from marginalized areas including: East Hackney in London, England Handsworth in Birmingham, England, Jane and Finch, Malvern, Parkdale and the Outside the Lines program for girls at risk run in Guelph, Ontario. She was the coordinator for the KYTES Theatre and Employment program for single parents run out of St. Stephens Community House. These are only a few of her accomplishments.

She was born in London, England but her family is originally from Trinidad and Tobago and for the past few years she has felt the need to learn more about her own cultural roots as it relates to theatre performance and the oral tradition. Woods is at a pinnacle point in her career where her work is getting a more global focus and she feels that by working with examining, researching and being mentored by Mr. Marvin George during her residency that she will gain insight and have a stronger understanding of Caribbean Theatre and the African Oral Tradition as it relates to the work that she is currently doing in schools and for various organizations in Canada and abroad. While in Trinidad she will be working with the Saturday youth program called Wordsmiths (a writing and performance program for youth ages 15 – 21), as well as facilitating acting workshops to students attending the Theatre Arts BA program and she will be auditing courses in Carnival Arts and Mas History. Expanding her Theatre Arts Education background to include a Caribbean perspective will only strengthen her creative vision, increase her dedication to artistic excellence, enhance her professional development and make her a more viable artist who will continue to do work in cross-cultural and marginalized communities once she returns to Canada.

Toronto Contact for interviews or bookings: 1-416-706-7694

Great Job Search Website

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Events, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 20, 2010 at 3:50 PM

This website that has a wealth of resources to help you find a job was created by a graduate of the PhD program at OISE. The information was offered to me by soon-to-be doctoral graduate of Cornell University, Alana Butler:

Life is Just a Game of Cribbage

In Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Sports, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 19, 2010 at 10:58 PM

Photo Courtesy of

Kirk Verner - January 9, 2010

By Kirk Verner

Fifteen-two, fifteen-four, a pair is six, and a run of three makes nine! A respectful hand indeed! This is certainly enough to propel my two little pegs around the wooden board; seeking 121 points before my combatant can do so. Huh? Is this confusing to many of you? Don’t know the game?

I am not talking about a group of virgins sitting in their mother’s basement throwing cheap plastics chips around, playing a mind-numbing game of poker; seriously what is with this fad. I’m not talking about some strange number-game that is being played by mathematicians next door to a group of Goths from York University playing dungeons and dragons; although, I do believe I would make a great Dungeon Master! This is also no foolish drinking game being held at Johnny Jocko’s place after winning the big game, but it does go well with a chilled brew.

Unless you’ve been living under an overpass since the mid-1600’s, or if you live in Brampton, Ontario, you’d certainly know that I am talking about a game often forgotten, if ever taught, by the next generation of card players. I’m talking about the game known as cribbage. The game that keeps elderly minds active and young minds learning; a game that measures sheer luck, intuition, and skill. Cribbage is a game that could be found in a trench during WWI, or found in any senior centre from Rexdale to Manchester today; a timeless game. But, I believe it is a game-time may soon engulf, pushing it into obscurity, and riding it from the minds of today’s youth.

Kirk Verner is a Graduate of Seneca College's Journalism Program

Kirk Verner - Picture - January 9, 2010

I have to admit, I too am guilty of often forgetting about the pleasurable game, and choose something with more flashing lights and glamour. It wasn’t until a recent visit to my grandparent’s home that I revived my spirit of cribbage. It was nice to see that I could still count to 31 and that my adding hasn’t faltered since the last time I had to roll-up my change in order to have enough money to buy a $2 seat for a Toronto Blue Jays game.

While getting pummelled handily by my veteran card-playing grandfather, I had flashbacks of my childhood. I remembered watching the game being played by my family at an age when I couldn’t even twist the cap off of a beer bottle, let alone drink one. I remembered the cheers, the cussing, the coins, and the Canadian Club; time spent on a table, a car hood, or anything else that cards could be dealt across. It is a game that has been a pillar within the structure of my family since Saskatchewan’s potash boom.

There is nothing worse than playing with yourself; come on people minds out of the gutter. I’m talking about the boring game that I see secretaries constantly playing while “pretending” to work. I’m talking about solitaire; a game as lonesome as a widow’s night. That’s the glory of cribbage; it must be played by at least two people, but can have three people, four people, and even more playing at once. It is fun for the whole family, and cheap, for all you recession doomsayers.

I have probably forgotten more about cribbage than most people know about the game, which honestly is too bad. With a game so easy to learn, and with Canadian families only growing further apart, I write this as a plea to resurrect the wonderful game of cribbage. Turn off the video games for a night, gather the family around the kitchen table, and enjoy each other’s presence as a victor is crowned. And remember, life is just like a game of cribbage…there is nothing after 29.

January 19, 2010

JO-203 – Lesson Two – Week Two

In book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 19, 2010 at 10:35 PM

JO-203 – lesson two – week two – Winter 2010 –

Hello everyone in the magazine journalism class at UTSC-Centennial. Please find the lesson notes for today’s class attached.


P.S. See you next week.

Great New Radio Show

In Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Writing (all kinds) on January 19, 2010 at 6:24 AM

There is a great new radio show that you can access from the web. It’s called Raconteur Radio and you can listen to it here: Mike Baker is the brain behind this new radio show.

Media Advisory – Prime Minister Stephen Harper joins Corus’ Operation Haiti radiothon

In Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Radio Podcasts, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 18, 2010 at 5:09 AM

Prime Minister Stephen Harper - Haiti - January 18, 2010

TORONTO, Jan. 17 /CNW/ – On Monday, January 18, 2010, The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, joins host Charles Adler for Corus Entertainment’s Operation Haiti radiothon. Organized to raise funds for Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti, Operation Haiti will air live on Corus’ news-talk network and other news-talk affiliates across Canada.

Who: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

What: Operation Haiti with Prime Minister Harper can be heard live on
air or online on the following Corus news-talk stations:
CKNW AM 980 (Vancouver), AM 770 (Calgary), 630 CHED (Edmonton),
CJOB 68 (Winnipeg), AM640 Toronto Radio (Toronto), AM 900 CHML
(Hamilton), AM980 (London) and AM 1220 (Cornwall).

Other non-Corus news-talk stations that will also carry Operation
Haiti include: C-FAX 1070 (Victoria), Radio NL (Kamloops), AM 1150
(Kelowna) and AM920 CKNX (Wingham).

When: Monday, January 18, 2010, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
Prime Minister Harper will be on air at 4 p.m. ET

For more information regarding Operation Haiti, click here to view the press release.

CKNW AM 980, AM 770, 630 CHED, CJOB 68, AM640 Toronto Radio, AM 900 CHML, AM980 and AM 1220 are owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media, and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising services, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. The company’s multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, W Network, CosmoTV, VIVA, Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW, CKOI and Q107. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at

For further information: Magda Krpan, Communications Manager, Radio, (416) 530-5146,; Lorraine Zarb, Project Manager, Communications, (416) 583-2858,

Latest Writing Projects

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) on January 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM

I have a number of exciting writing projects I am developing now. They are all on topics I have a keen interest in. In no particular order, the subjects include smoking, an artist’s canvas, fathers, home, success, and a novel.

The smoking one I am working on first. I received a number of interview sources through for that one and will be using the interviews in the book. As well, was used for the father’s book and the success book.

The artist’s canvas book is a creative collaboration of a piece of artwork that goes along with a book I am writing. I have been picking up the paintbrushes and doing art again recently and it is a true joy. The home piece is something close to my heart and the novel is too.

Please look out for these stories to published this year. It is a joy to write them and I have been reading up on a lot of great material to make them even better than my previous work.

Weekend Sale at

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 16, 2010 at 8:07 AM

Random Bibliography of Media Books and Internet Resources

We have been having terrific weather lately in Toronto. Just in case the colder weather does come and you find yourself indoors more often – there is nothing better than having a good book by your side.

For this weekend only,, the publisher of many of my books and the distributor of all of all of them, will be have a store-wide sale. You will receive 20 percent off any order, regardless of the number of your orders. All you need to do is to enter the code CABIN when you are checking out. It is that easy.

When using, you do need to register to the site, however, this is completely free. My online store is where you can buy a wide variety of books. Whether you would like the hard copy in your hand, or an ebook download that you can have right away to and also avoid shipping costs – there is something among my 34 books, one CD and two audio downloads that will interest and intrigue you.

What Happened to the Afro

Kent James is in Business

In Beauty, Business, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Writing (all kinds) on January 15, 2010 at 7:32 AM

Kent James - January 11, 2010

Kent James makes his own mind movies to help him visualize the dreams of he has for his business ventures. He does this with Windows Movie Maker. He knows about bum marketing, a technique that operates through Clickbank where anyone can make millions online. He is also a level one Reiki instructor and used his skills to improve his grandmother’s health. All this and he is under 25-years-old.

“I found a lady to get the Reiki course for $25,” says James who also says the course usually costs $150. “I love the stuff to do with energy.”

James is also into Forex trading, writing books and articles, as well as owns a vending machine company.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that often you can get the vending machines for really cheap from people who want to get rid of them,” he says.

James has not completed formal education, however, he still has good views about school and encourages people to study.

“You have done something for yourself,” he says. “One percent of the people in the world control the world’s wealth. In Africa, you can blame someone else for not having opportunities. This [Western World] is the land of opportunity. People come up with the craziest ideas and they work.”

James gave an example of going to Vaughan Mills Mall in Toronto and seeing a business venture that had teddy bears that could talk to you and was customized. He said they were selling like hot cakes. Some people may have at first viewed this as a crazy idea.

“Once you put your mind to something, you can do it,” says James. “Everything is a thought first before it becomes reality.”

James warns that pessimistic people will try to bring you down.

“People who try to bring you down get out of the way because someone is going to take over.”

James also notes that there is no such thing as a self-made millionaire.

“We all get help along the way,” he says. “Our intelligence gets the best of us sometimes. It is the best thing.”

James notes that giving to charities can sometimes be like giving a fish to those in need, rather than teaching them how to fish so they can help themselves.

“Our life is like two minutes in the grand whole scenario…make the most of it.”

Diaspora Dialogues

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on January 14, 2010 at 7:17 AM

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Midwinter Night’s Dream
A Diaspora Dialogues Carnival at Toronto’s WinterCity Festival
“Oh that this too solid flesh would melt” – Hamlet

For two wintry nights, Diaspora Dialogues invites you to a party! But it’s not just any party – it’s A Midwinter Night’s Dream carnival.

As part of the City of Toronto’s WinterCity Festival – Warm Up Series, A Midwinter Night’s Dream will take over the Roof Salon at the Park Hyatt Hotel and transform it into a literary extravaganza.

Come in from the cold to the fiery enchantment of a masked Venetian carnival with storytellers, poets and musical performers, as they deliver one delicious surprise after another!

Visit the Fortune Teller for sage advice gleaned from literature…get your own personal poem written by a Masked Poet…enjoy a drink while listening to readings by Scribes…sit down with the Psychic – if you dare!

Tickets: $20 each
Come to both Thursday and Friday’s shows, and get two tickets for $35!
To purchase, call 416-944-1101 x 277 or e-mail Hurry before they’re all gone!

Thursday, February 11
Scribes: Sheila Heti • Nalo Hopkinson • Olive Senior
Masked Poet: Stuart Ross
Literary Fortune Teller: Joseph Kertes
Performers: Autorickshaw Trio featuring Suba Sankaran, Ed Hanley & Dylan Bell • Sean Dixon
Host: Sasha Van Bon Bon

Friday, February 12
Scribes: Anar Ali • Andrew Pyper • Michelle Wan
Masked Poet: Andrea Thompson
Literary Fortune Teller: Antanas Sileika
Performers: Autorickshaw Trio featuring Suba Sankaran, Ed Hanley & Dylan Bell
Host: David Storch

Thursday, February 11th & Friday, February 12th
Early show: 7 pm • Late show: 9 pm
The Roof Salon at the Park Hyatt Hotel, 4 Avenue Road


Anar Ali’s first book, Baby Khaki’s Wings (Penguin), was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best First Book (Canada and the Caribbean), and the Danuta Gleed Literary Prize.

Autorickshaw Trio featuring Suba Sankaran, Ed Hanley & Dylan Bell: Autorickshaw’s music lies on the cultural cutting edge, garnering JUNO nominations, a Canadian Independent Music Award and a John Lennon Songwriting Competition Grand Prize in World Music.

Sean Dixon is a playwright, novelist, screenwriter and banjo player. His second novel, Kip Flynn Has No Heart, will be published next year by Coach House.

Sheila Heti is the author of two books of fiction, The Middle Stories, and Ticknor, and is the co-creator of the popular Trampoline Hall lecture series.

Nalo Hopkinson is the author of Brown Girl in the Ring (a finalist on CBC’s “Canada Reads” in 2008) and Skin Folk (Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic and the World Fantasy Award).

Joseph Kertes’s latest novel, Gratitude, won the 2009 National Jewish Book Award and has just been published in the U.S. with St. Martin’s Press.

Sandy Pool’s first book of poetry, Exploding Into Night, was just released with Guernica Editions in December 2009.

Andrew Pyper’s most recent novel, The Killing Circle, was selected as one of the Best Crime Novels of 2008 by the New York Times.

Stuart Ross is the Fiction & Poetry Editor for This Magazine and Poetry Editor for Toronto’s Mansfield Press. His latest books include Buying Cigarettes for the Dog and Dead Cars in Managua.

Olive Senior is the prize-winning author of a dozen books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction including Summer Lightning (Commonwealth Writers Prize), Arrival of the Snake-Woman and Over the Roofs of the World (finalist for the Governor-General’s Literary Award and Cuba’s Casa de la Americas Prize).

Literary critic, writer and bon vivant, Antanas Sileika is Director of the Humber School for Writers. His next novel, Underground, is forthcoming from Thomas Allen in 2011.

David Storch is a director, a teacher, and an actor. He is also a former Artistic Director of the Canadian Stage Company.

Andrea Thompson is one of the most well-known poets in the Canadian spoken word scene. Her debut collection, Eating the Seed, has been featured on reading lists and her spoken word CD, One, was nominated for a Canadian Urban Music Award.

Sasha Van Bon Bon is a nationally syndicated sex columnist and the co-artistic director of the Scandelles, a multidisciplinary cabaret theatre company that has been performing in Toronto and Montreal since 2001.

Michelle Wan and her tropical horticulturist husband, Tim, go to France every spring to photograph the wild orchids that grow there and that gave rise to her Death in the Dordogne series of murder mysteries—Deadly Slipper, The Orchid Shroud, A Twist of Orchids and her latest, Kill For An Orchid.

Diaspora Dialogues is supported by Maytree, Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation, TO Live With Culture, and the Vital Toronto Fund at the Toronto Community Foundation.

Donate to Diaspora Dialogues

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170 Bloor Street West, Suite 804
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1T9

The Decade in Review – Part 6 – Entry Level Vehcile Sales‏

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 13, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Dennis Desrosiers – January 13, 2010 – 1

Dennis Desrosiers – January 13, 2010 – 2

Attached are two tables on the entry-level vehicle segments in Canada for 2000 to 2009. One table documents sales by each of the sub-segments within the entry-level market and the other looks at sales by brand.

This is it my friends. The entry-level market defines Canada. Any full line brand that fails in this segment fails in the market. Entry level vehicle accounts for 50.8 percent of total sales in Canada. In some provinces like Quebec, it is well over 60 percent of the market. This is up from only 34.6 percent of the market in the year 2000. Sales volumes peaked in 2008 at 841,147 units and with the serious downturn in the total market, this past year sales dropped back into the mid 700K range. With the number of “B” and ” C” sized vehicles expected this coming decade we also expect this segment to become even more important within the Canadian fabric. It is very possible that this segment could grow to close to sixty percent of sales although this will take a number of years.

Obviously, this segment is the most price sensitive so is the most exposed to a recessionary economy and was one of the segments that were most severely down this past year with an 11.7 percent decline. We expect this segment to outperform the total market as the economy emerges from its problems. Entry-level vehicles also have the highest scrappage rates of any size of the vehicle so when the consumer vacates the market for any length of time we usually see considerable pent-up demand as the fleet on the road age quickly and need replacement. This is the rub from an environmental perspective. Consumers who buy these vehicles get the least amount of lifetime use from them so by doing the right thing from a social policy perspective a consumer actually lowers his value for money. The longest lasting vehicles and thus the best lifetime value are also the least fuel efficient.

But at over fifty percent market share it is also a testament to the environmental friendliness of the Canadian consumer. Vehicle companies offer the most productive in this segment, market this product aggressively and price the product competitively. There is a view by some politicians that the vehicle companies hoist upon the consumer their least fuel-efficient vehicles. The size and growth of entry-level vehicles belies this point of view.

We include in this segment all subcompact and compact cars as well as compact SUV’s and small pickups since both are entry level vehicles within their customer base. Subcompact car share doubled this decade from 3.8 percent of the market to 7.4 percent of the market. Despite the growth in this “B” car segment the compact car segment also increased share slightly growing from 24.6 percent of the market to 26.1 percent of the market. The biggest growth came in the compact sports utility segment which more than tripled in size increasing from only 4.4 percent of the market to 14.5 percent of the market. Yes, Canadians like their SUV’s but they buy the most fuel-efficient ones. The small pickup market is rather tiny in Canada accounting for only 2.9 percent of the market although this sub-segment is also up this decade ( from 1.7 percent share in 2000 ). This segment also shows how responsible Canadian consumers are with many buying into the pick-up truck market at the entry level instead of the full-size level.

Individual brand sales were marked by huge success and or huge failure this past decade. The most successful company from a percentage improvement point of view was Nissan who’s sales in this segment increased by 266.0 percent this decade. They were closely followed by Subaru up 249.8 percent and Hyundai up 185.0 percent and Kia up 137.0 percent. Although Toyota wasn’t the leader in percentage increase they were number one in the entry level market with 135K units and an 18.2 percent share. Honda was in second place with a 12.9 percent share and Hyundai was in third place with an 11.8 percent share. Ford and GM held onto their double-digit market share position with Ford at a 10.7 share and GM at a 10.6 percent share.

GM was the big loser in this segment dropping from first place to fifth place in market position and losing a third of their volume this decade. GM peaked at 153K units but sold only 79K units in 2009 a devastating loss in volume and market share. Most of this loss came in the past year with GM’s sales in this segment down by 43.8 percent. Chrysler also was a major failure in this segment losing more than half their market share a decline from 9.9 percent of the entry-level market in 2000 to only 4.4 percent in 2009 and eight places amongst the various brands. Ford started the decade with an 11.4 share, fell to as low as a 9.0 share but came back strong at decade end and finished with a 10.7 percent share.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc
Dennis DesRosiers
80 Fulton Way Suite 101
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4B 1J5
tel: 1-905-881-0400 – 13
fax: 1-905-881-7456
mobile: 1-416-543-8611
AIM: Skype ID: SkypeIn #:

Christine’s Fitness and Personal Training

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on January 12, 2010 at 5:36 AM

Owner of Christine\’s Fitness and Personal Training

Christine's Fitness - January 12, 2010

Hello Everybody!

At the end of every year the accountants
tell me that I’ve got to either raise the membership
dues to existing members, or get more new

What other clubs are doing is offering corporate
rates and getting a lot of members that way.
We have never done this.

If you like the club and feel you could recommend
Christine’s, you could help me by telling me
who to contact at your place of work to talk to
them about a corporate membership for your

In return for doing the “legwork,” I will give you a
free figure consultation, and tell you what exercises
are best for your body type and present condition.

Christine !

Contact Christine at For more information about the club:

Arch Angels to the Rescue of your Child’s Feet

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 11, 2010 at 12:35 PM

myarchangels - January 11, 2010

Contact: Heather Manolian

Arch Angels©, a registered company, were designed by two foot doctors with over 25 combined years of experience in practice who identified a previously unmet need: How to support the needs of a growing child’s feet, with a product that can be used in any enclosed shoe, can stand up to the demands of active kids, and is affordable.

Children have busy feet which are constantly changing and Arch Angels© is designed to adapt to a child’s developing foot. A child’s foot is not like an adult’s foot; initially, the arch of a child’s foot is flat and gradually develops over time. The height of the arch in Arch Angels© increases with each size, providing natural support for your child’s growing needs.

Most kids don’t start developing an arch until they are 3 or 4 because the fat reserves and their muscles start to form into the arch. During this phase, their feet are so unstable, they
are firing off all sorts of muscles as they try to run and walk. That’s why it’s common for them to fatigue earlier than older kids, and they show this by asking to be carried or saying their legs are tired. Tripping frequently is another sign of kids that have developing arches.

A comfort insole can help with the normal development of the arch and the foot. A comfort insole places your child’s foot in the proper position to encourage it to develop properly. Comfort insoles are designed to help support the arch and reduce some of the muscle strain that is common with active children. A
quality comfort insole can help reduce foot fatigue, stabilize the foot to reduce injuries, and give a lift to children to energize them.

Arch Angels© are currently available in four sizes, typically fitting children ages 2 to 8 and will take up additional space inside the shoe, and therefore it may be necessary to move up a half-size shoe to accommodate their cushioning support.

For more information about Arch Angels©, please visit their website at:

The Decade in Review – Part 5 – The Number of New Vehicle Dealers‏

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 11, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Dennis Desrosiers – January 11, 2010

Attached are new car dealer counts by brand for the decade. I break out dealer counts by the dealers that are selling primarily luxury brand vehicles from those that are what I call full line dealers. There are a couple of issue with this data though. First, Lincoln and Cadillac dealer counts are not available separate from their parent company totals so I can’t include them in the luxury dealer table. Second, I have nowhere to put Mini and smart dealers so I include them in the full line table of dealers even though they are very narrow in their product scope.

The total number of dealers in Canada declined by 158 store net this past decade. Full line stores actually declined by 197 stores but this was made up a bit by luxury dealers which increased in the count by 39 stores. The luxury segment grew from about 5 percent of sales to about 9 percent of sales this past decade so there was room for additional dealer points.

No surprise but the D-3 collectively lost 441 dealers and there are about another 150 that will be gone by the end of this year. The D-3 dropped from about 75 percent of the market to just over 40 percent of the market and this loss of market share was the root of the loss of dealers. The Japanese added 114 dealers and the K-2 added 67 dealers for a total increase of 211 Asian brand dealers. European brands also added 72 stores.

GM shed the most dealers at 212 stores followed by Ford and Chrysler at 115 and 114 stores respectively. VW also lost 22 dealers, Subaru was down 9 stores and Suzuki down by 6 stores. Daewoo left the market and that accounted for a loss of 41 stores.

Three companies enter Canada, Mitsubishi ( now 77 stores ), smart ( now 49 stores ) and Mini ( now 25 stores ).

Kia added the most dealer points within the group of companies that were in the market the entire decade. Kia added 69 dealers followed by Hyundai with 39 stores.

Within the luxury brands all but Volvo added stores with both BMW and Lexus adding 8 stores. Lincoln and Cadillac also shed stores but do not know their dealer counts.

My thoughts on the day.


DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc
Dennis DesRosiers
80 Fulton Way Suite 101
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4B 1J5
tel: 1-905-881-0400 – 13
fax: 1-905-881-7456
mobile: 1-416-543-8611
AIM: Skype ID: SkypeIn #:

Meet The Family

In Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Writing (all kinds) on January 10, 2010 at 9:10 AM


Hillman - January 10, 2010 - 1

Meet the Hilmar-Jezek Family

As an entrepreneur, author and parenting “guru”, single mom, Kytka “Kit” Hilmar-Jezek loves to empower and inspire her children to live lives where they will be challenged to lead, empower and inspire as well as be self-sufficient entrepreneurs in their own right in this rapidly changing economic climate. She says “My life’s purpose has been to influence them to be kind, patient with people and compassionate leaders.”

Founder of Live Education, Rainbow Rosenbloom says “Kit has strong ideas, accompanied by the rare courage that allows for hope in the midst of great adversity. I personally find her input to be highly intelligent, incisive, timely and compelling virtually each and every time. Kytka’s initiatives are precisely what our culture needs in these difficult times.”

As an avid traveler and homeschooling parent, Kit shares that the freedom of schedules has allowed her children to gain a global education they never would have gotten sitting in a classroom. “They have hands-on experience in conflict resolution, breaking language barriers, bridging cultural differences and finding solutions.”

Kit was born in the Czech Republic and has lived all over the United States and in Central America. She is fluent in 3 languages, and her children are quick to follow suit. Growing up with immigrant parents, Kit quickly learned the skills necessary for survival, and with no use of language and no tools that really meant much in a new land, that meant using creativity to build entrepreneurship and success. “When there is no other option, you make the best of what you have and go for it! You don’t accept “no” as an option, because your very life depends upon it. Now I realize that what my parents taught me, people pay thousands to attend seminars to learn! For my family, it was just about making it.!”

Kit is an advocate for children, women, holistic health & wellness and educational choices. Her son, now 17 is her partner in several projects they have geared towards teaching leadership and teamwork to teens.

A family friend says “Kit and her children are the most intelligent, inspirational and interesting people I have ever met. Their incredible experiences and global living experiences have made them all so sensitive to issues that many of us can barely understand as concepts – let alone relate to in our daily lives.”

Famed author Joseph Chilton Pierce states “That a single individual could accomplish so much as Kytka Hilmar-Jezek has, while at the same time tending to her family, is an admirable example for us all, both parents and all citizens interested in improving the quality of our population’s intelligence and character. In no way can the importance of her work be over-emphasized. Needless to say, I find Kits work extremely important and all of her efforts quite admirable.”

Keeping busy with their blogs, writing, speaking, book signings and their websites, this family’s mission is to use all they have learned on their journey and inspire the creative hearts of their friends and followers to open and expand.

Highly supportive of each other’s projects and unique talents, all of their websites inter-link and they usually travel together to all of the events they attend. This past year the family attended over ten seminars of such greats as Tony Robbins, James Ray, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, Marshall Sylver, T Harv Ecker, Ephran Taylor, Dolf de Roos, Gary King, Joel Bauer, Loral Langemeir and more. Kit’s children are welcome by the speakers because of how they behave and the interest they show at the events. They also hurry home to write their thoughts at their blogs and websites, sharing with the growing numbers of children who share their interests.

The Jezek children are well versed in all aspects of personal development and they honor and study various spiritual traditions. In their writing, they share their reviews of themes such as the Law of Attraction, Reiki, and Personal Development. They are welcomed into an inner circle of today’s most famous thought leaders because of how Kit has raised them and how they have lived their lives, as an example of so many choices that many people just read about.

Meet the Kids

Zynnia is 9 years old. She is the family’s sunshine who is always giving and sharing her smile. As the youngest, she holds their hearts in her hands and her greatest contribution is her constant love that she shares. Offering massages, reiki, posting little uplifting notes and bringing around snacks while the others are working – she is the glue that holds it all together.

Zanna is 12 years old and was in culture shock when the family returned to the US after living in Central America for 6 years. She writes on the subject of beauty from within and has a strong distaste for cliques, superficiality and the falseness of peer pressure. Her writing focuses on empowering girls in their own right and not falling into the “in” crowd. “Being different is a gift – there is the only one you, so be the best you that you can be!”

Their personal website is: A recent comment states “I am thoroughly impressed with your blog and your introduction video! Thank you, both for being extraordinary young women. You are role models for others your age and I am looking forward to sharing your website, blog, and ideas with others so that they can be inspired by you both as well! You Are Stars…Keep Shining!” Laura Duksta, Author of I Love You More

Zachary just returned from Global Youth Leadership Summit in San Diego where with 200+ other teen leaders from all around the world, he was mentored by some of the world best youth leaders. He is an NLP practitioner, Reiki Master, Shaman, Author and a Coach. He writes at length about the importance of consciousness in today’s world and how people should look for the depth beneath the surface. He wrote his first book at age 10 and loves to skateboard. His personal website is

“Kit” is happy to call herself a radical pioneer in parenting and a mover and shaker in life. She is best known as the founder of Waldorf Homeschoolers. Her first book, Reiki for Children: Using Healing Touch and Raw Foods to Tap Into the Power of the Universe, was self-published in 2003. She has received accolades from Reiki Healers from all over the globe for finally presenting the concept of Reiki to Children. She is also recognized in the Alternative Educational Community as a speaker on children’s rights in terms of education.

Through Kit’s positive philosophy and outspoken views on parenting techniques, hundreds have learned how to create more of what they want in their family lives. Kit also brings inspiration to bring wellness into their bodies, minds, and spirits. Kit has been honored by the Education Revolution Hall of Fame and the family has received Presidential Awards for Volunteering & Community Service. Kit remains busy, currently maintaining 25 websites and attending seminars and events almost every weekend.

You can contact Kytka and learn about her newest book series and possibly contribute your story at

Family Favorites

* Our favorite foods are fresh Central American mangos, avocados, white pineapples and pipas (young coconuts)
* Our favorite family movies include the classics Move Over Darling, Shirley Temple version of The Blue Bird and Lucille Ball in the Long, Long Trailer.
* Our favorite fast food restaurant is a local branch of a fruit tree. Our favorite sit down restaurant Sweet Sage in North Reddington Beach for breakfast.
* Our favorite sports team is our family, and our extended friends we met through the Anthony Robbins Foundation. Though Kit enjoys Liga Deportiva Alajuelense
* Our family loves to read, especially personal development, books. We also love to review and share what we have learned at our blogs to awaken others.
* Our favorite hobbies include writing, travel, the beach and just spending time together as a family. We love to volunteer and set an example of sharing & caring.
* Our favorite place to visit was Xunatunich ruins in Belize, the energy there was absolutely amazing. Though our home in Costa Rica was truly THE BEST place ever…
* Our favorite time is NOW, because we all realize that everything can change in an instant and that the present moment is all we really have. We are filled with gratitude for this day.

Dr. Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, or “Kit”, as her friends affectionately call her, is dedicated to assisting you to harness your full potential. Kit applies her expertise & credentials as a Dr. of Naturopathy, NLP Practitioner, Author, Personal Development Coach, Speaker, The Integration Expert, Reiki Master, Childbirth Educator, Waldorf Homeschooling Guru, Niche Marketing Queen and Serial Entrepreneur. She is an inspirational powerhouse; a mover and shaker who continuously challenges the status quo and walks her talk in all areas of her life…

Visit her websites and sign up to learn how YOU can benefit from her wisdom, experiences & passion.

Life is a journey for ALL of us, parents and children, friends and lovers, communities and networks, and we are together – on this journey for karmic reasons; tossed together to grow together. So if it is coming from me, then expect to see a varied mix of just about everything, because that is what life is, no? A wonderful, incredible, awesome, thrilling journey where the only constant changes and the only purpose is GROWTH & LOVE!

Kit is committed to using her life as an example of all of the possibilities open to you….

Bittersweet Diary – Women’s Anthem

In Beauty, book reviews, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on January 8, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Beyond Success Book Cover - January 6, 2010

By Saundra Seward

Note: I’ve shared the dedication page of “Bittersweet Diary” to many young ladies in the hopes that they will realize the strength of who they are early in life. I’d like to share the “Women’s Anthem” with you!

Little girls, be inspired to push forward in whatever your desire, and not let anything deter your goal. Learn who you are and understand what you are worth. Followers are never free to succeed. Have the courage to want to make a positive change.
There will always be someone who wants to see you fail. Prove them wrong. Be the example!

Young ladies, understand that this particular time in your lives, which may seem impossible to conquer today, will too come to pass; make the most beneficial choices for your future, not a solution for now.
A decision without careful thought will only take you back to the beginning. Make a sound decision the first time. Learn from examples.

For women who feel like they don’t have a voice or make a difference, your opinions are important. You may not think people are listening but know that someone is always watching. Be the example!

With respect to those well into their years, tell those behind you of past endeavors and life experiences; give freely your priceless wisdom; for some are paying life’s debt now. You have the answers to their future. For that cost then, you are the example now!

We need to remember that we cannot be all things to all people. We must be the best within ourselves. Follow your heart after it confers with your mind. Regardless of what may come, you always have a choice. Should you choose to follow others and circumstances are not what they’d promised, remember, YOU always had a choice.

Even when your back is against the wall and there seems to be no way of escape, yet still, you have a choice. Settling should never be an option!

Let nothing kill your spirit. It’s what enlightens, dances, yearns, guides, inspires, strengthens, conquers, uplifts, embraces, responds, pronounces, empowers, soars, enhances, demands, humbles, encourages, invokes, laughs and sings.

It is the substance that is you…

To contact Saundra Seward about the book, her email is

Shania Twain Using Journalism Skills

In Beauty, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Music, Writing (all kinds) on January 7, 2010 at 8:12 PM

Shania Twain - Google - January 7, 2010

Check out this link:

The Decade of Cars in Review

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on January 7, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Dennis Desrosiers – January 7, 2010 – 1

By Dennis Desrosiers

Attached are sales per dealer for the decade. I sent a note out about these a few days ago but there was a technical error that I wanted to correct. We were never able to get the number of smart car dealers which operate out of Mercedes Benz stores so we always included smart sales as part of the Mercedes-Benz sales per dealers numbers. Mercedes-Benz has now provided me with accurate smart dealer counts so we are able to provide a cleaner analysis with MB broken out separate from smart. We always did break out BMW and Mini so the previous analysis did warp the analysis slightly.

I’ll add in my previous analysis below ( and edited for this change ) so will not repeat myself. But the one additional point I wanted to make was that sales per dealer have NOT fundamentally changed over the decade. They started at 452 units per store and finished at 434 units per store. It peaked at 479 units per store in 2007. This variable doesn’t change much for a number of reasons. First of all, each OEM tends to put more dealers into place as soon as existing dealers start to get bigger. There is still a view in this industry that dealers make too much money and they need to be controlled by adding more stores. I’ve always thought that the best position for any OEM is to allow their dealers to become stinkingly wealthy. What better way to motivate them. But alas most OEMs believe that more distribution is better once sales per dealer grow into certain ranges in any area of the country. Second, there is also a downside control in that if sales per dealer decline than we lose dealers. So over a decade-long period, there will be some change up and or down but at the end of the day it flat lines.

The other thing I noticed was that Lexus was the only brand that increased sales per dealer each year over the decade. Every other brand had at least one year where sales per dealer fell. Three cheers to Lexus … this is very hard to do and implies that not only did Lexus do well in the market each year ( they are the only luxury marque that also increases sales every year ) but they also exhibited the most discipline with their dealer strategy.

Hyundai increase sales per dealer the most this past decade growing from 268 units to 558 units an increase of 290 units per store and Lexus was right behind them with an increase of 288 units per store. I’ll bet anyone that Lexus dealers got more out of their added sales than Hyundai dealers out of their added sales. And finally, GM declined the most moving from 568 units to 408 units a drop of 260 units per store. We generally believe that most GM stores gave their size need about 500 units per dealer to be profitable so at 408 units per store this would also mean that most GM stores were NOT profitable and is at the root of their shedding so many dealers last year and this year.

Another thought for the day.


Previous write up follows but understand this write up looks at 2009 versus 2008 and is not focused on the entire decade:

Now that we have final light vehicle sales for 2009 we can calculate Light vehicle sales per Dealer for 2009. This provides a very interesting look at the market from a very different perspective than the OEM. Sales per dealer are one of the better metrics for measuring dealer performance and just like with each OEM there were some very big winners and very big losers in this equation and somewhat different than what the overall sales numbers dictate. The strength of any OEM’s dealer body is currently one of the biggest issues in the automotive sector today and this analysis provides some insights into the performance by brand. Without a healthy and growing dealer body, an OEM inevitably will struggle to get their vehicles to the consumer.

Toyota remained the number one selling dealer network by a wide margin with 786 sales per store. BMW was number two with 618 units per store and Hyundai was number three with 558 units per store. Hyundai moved up eight spots in the rankings.

The biggest winner was Subaru if you measure performance on a percentage change basis. Their sales per dealer increased by 19.8 percent to 265 units per store from 221 units per store or 44 units. On a unit change basis, Hyundai showed the most improvement by a long shot with an increase of 78 vehicles per store. A number of other brands were up nicely … Ford up 39 units, Audi up 38 units, BMW up 37 units, Mercedes Benz up 32 units and KIA up 31 units. The amazing part of the Hyundai and KIA stories is that they increased sales per store so much AND at the same time added 17 and 14 store respectively. This is very hard to do. Ford, for instance, saw a solid increase in sales per store but this was a combination of their sales increasing close to 10 percent and the shedding of 6 dealers. Both trends help the sales per dealer metric.

On the flip side of this equation was Honda with a loss of 139 vehicles per store. This was the worse one year decline in sales per store by any OEM since I first started tracking this variable in 1991. Chrysler was down by 113 units per store and GM was down by 89 units per store. The GM number is surprising because they also lost 98 stores in 2009 so to be down by 89 units with this many dealer closures indicates just how bad a year GM had in Canada. Other underperformers include Toyota down by 90 units, Mazda down by 80 units, Infiniti down by 37 units, Nissan down by 32 units, Mini down by 34 units and Acura down by 24 units per store.

I also divided the market between full line dealer and those that are primarily luxury brand dealers. Interestingly the Luxury brands saw sales per store increased by 12 units while full-line dealers saw sales per dealer decline by 45 units.

My thoughts on the day.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc
Dennis DesRosiers
80 Fulton Way Suite 101
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4B 1J5
tel: 1-905-881-0400 – 13
fax: 1-905-881-7456
mobile: 1-416-543-8611
AIM: Skype ID: SkypeIn #:

Cars and Trucks

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 7, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Dennis Desrosiers – January 7, 2010

Attached are light vehicle sales for 2000 to 2009 by the brand of vehicle sold.

The decade witnessed the start of a startup in Canada of three new vehicle brands, first was Mitsubishi in 2002, the second was Maybach in 2003 and the last was smart in 2004. You could technically include KIA in this list. KIA started in 1999 but their first full year was the year 2000. There also was the loss of one brand. Daewoo left Canada as a stand-alone in 2002 although GM absorbed all their models immediately and sold them through the GM dealer network.

The big winner from a market share point of view was the Japanese. They increased their share from 24.7 percent to 37.9 percent. All Japanese brands except Acura picked up market share with Toyota the big winner increasing from a 7.6 share to a 13.0 share of the market. Lexus also increased from 0.3 percent to 1.1 percent of the market adding to these totals.

The Koreans actually increased more than the Japanese on a relative basis going from a 3.6 percent share to a 10.2 percent share of the market almost a tripling of market share with the big winner being Hyundai who matured as a company and emerged in the decade being a legitimate top 6 company along with the D-3, Toyota, and Honda. In any particular month, any of these five companies can top the sales chart in Canada and it is a toss-up as to who will be in each sales spot by the end of the year. GM and Toyota will fight it out for the number one spot which is shocking in its own right. Ford has an inside track on the number three position but any of the remaining three companies could emerge as the fourth best seller or the sixth best seller. There is a large gap between number six and number seven although this could close this coming decade as well.

The Europeans also picked up a little bit of share this past decade increasing from 5.5 percent of the market to 8.1 percent. Both BMW (0.7% to 1.7%), Mercedes Benz (0.8% to 1.7%) and Audi (0.4% to 0.8%) all doubled their market position not only in share but also in volume with BMW finishing ahead of Mercedes Benz by a whisker. Volkswagen was the volume winner by a long shot with over 40K units sold in 2009

This is a zero-sum game and with these three major groups gaining a lot of shares someone had to lose a lot of shares and as everyone knows that was Detroit. The D-3 declined from a dominant 66.1 percent share to under fifty percent for the first time ever in 2008 and settled in at 43.8 percent by the end of 2009. GM lost 13 points of market share, Ford lost 3 points and Chrysler lost 6 points. Ford was the only one of the three to find a way to stop the erosion by the end of the decade. GM and Chrysler were up and down year by year ( mostly down ) and have still not found a way to stabilize their market position let alone turn it around.

My thoughts for the day.


DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc
Dennis DesRosiers
80 Fulton Way Suite 101
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4B 1J5
tel: 1-905-881-0400 – 13
fax: 1-905-881-7456
mobile: 1-416-543-8611
AIM: Skype ID: SkypeIn #:

Dennis Desrosiers Thoughts for the Day

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 6, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Dennis Desrosiers – January 6, 2010

By Dennis Desrosiers

Attached are sales for 2000 to 2009 for passenger cars versus light trucks and for the D-3 nameplates versus the import nameplates although I don’t know why we analysts break out the D-3 from the import nameplates anymore. The three of them are radically different especially after the last 12 months of crisis. Each also is very different from a structural point of view and position and performance in the market. But none the less this is still how the industry looks at things so I’ll also do it this way. I will promise to send you through an analysis by brand in the next day or two that doesn’t have this problem so bear with me.

With the exception of this past year ( 2009 ) the split between passenger cars and light truck sales in Canada was relatively constant at roughly 55 percent passenger car and 45 percent light truck. There as a slight bias toward more light truck share as the decade progressed but it wasn’t until 2009 that light trucks actually took a noticeable market share from passenger cars. In 2009 light truck share grew to 48.8 percent. At the beginning of the decade, most would have forecast light trucks to significantly outperform passenger cars. It never happened. This actually is quite surprising in that the whole fuel efficiency debate centred around the notion ( at least in Government eyes ) of car good .. truck bad. This notion is wrong but is the overwhelming perception of many who write about this industry. But much higher energy prices and a Government machine biased against light trucks ( especially SUV’s ) one would have expected a huge upswing in passenger car sales as energy prices soared and our Governments pushed the fuel efficiency button. In fact, the opposite happened. Canada ended up through the decade with a growth in light truck share. This shows how wrong some of the fundamental notions that evolve about our industry can be. In actual fact the notion of … car good – truck bad .. is highly flawed. There are many light trucks that are more fuel efficient than passenger cars. Indeed if you take out the commercial use light truck which because of their use have no choice but to have more powerful engines then the difference in fuel economy between light trucks and passenger cars is very slight. And that is one of the reasons that consumers bought so many of them.

Another insight from this mix of sales is the power of the consumer. Governments can foist their views onto the consumer all they want but at the end of the day the consumer is much more powerful than any politician and will buy what they want to buy not what some politician tells them to buy. And the vehicles companies simply respond to these consumers needs. They do have a role in shaping consumer thinking but much of the desire of the consumer emanates from their day to day need NOT what any vehicle company says their needs should be and certainly not from what any politician tells them to buy.

Indeed if you look at the second block of data on this chart you will see exactly what I mean when I say that OEMs do not control the consumer but instead respond to the consumer. This second section breaks out the D-3 nameplates from the import nameplates. Despite their serious problems, the D-3 remain incredibly powerful entities in the market and there is no argument that they were the most powerful companies by a wide margin at the beginning of the decade. If OEMs dictated what consumers bought then how is it that the three most powerful players ( the D-3 ) at the beginning of the decade accounted for 66. 1 percent of light vehicle sales but by the end of the decade they accounted for only 43.8 percent of sales.

There is a frightening view in policy circles that any OEM can dictate to the consumer what they should purchase and thus our policymakers put in place a process where OEMs are being asked to make sure certain benchmarks are met. But in reality, our policymakers should be taking on this responsibility NOT any OEM. The OEMs in Canada simply sell to the consumer the products the consumers desire. If the policymakers want consumers to buy the more fuel-efficient product then they need to alter consumer behaviour. And they have tools at their disposal to do exactly this with the most powerful tool being the tax system and the regulatory system. They could legislate old gas guzzlers off the road for instance through an inspection program like they do in many countries around the world. But politicians refuse to take responsibility because they don’t want to tell consumers or better put … FORCE … consumers to do something they fundamentally don’t want to do. After all, they might lose their vote. So they vacate this responsibility and push it onto the OEMs to do their dirty work for them. But the OEMs little to no control over the consumer and thus not a lot gets done.

I don’t deny that the OEMs have some responsibility but if our political masters want more fuel efficiency then they also should take more responsibility for this agenda item.

Sorry to get off topic a little but my mind wanders.

Back to the D-3 import nameplate decade of sales. It was needless to say a very difficult decade for the D-3. All three lost market share which I’ll highlight in more detail in one of my next e-mails. But GM declined from 30.5 percent of the market to 17.4 percent, Ford’s share was up in 2009 but they still declined from 18.2 percent of the market to 15.4 percent and Chrysler declined from 17.3 percent of the market to 11.2 percent. Collectively the D-3 lost 22.2 points of market share a record for any one decade. Import nameplates grew from about 525K units in a 1.55 million market to about 820K in a 1.46 million market an incredible performance that ultimately led to the near bankruptcy in Canada of both GM and Chrysler. The same happened in the US and it did result in Chapter 11 filings.

I’ll send some more decade level information out over the next few days and weeks and take a very close look at the decade through multiple windows. I’ll also try to avoid getting into these rants about our policymakers.

My thoughts for the day.


DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc
Dennis DesRosiers
80 Fulton Way Suite 101
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4B 1J5
tel: 1-905-881-0400 – 13
fax: 1-905-881-7456
mobile: 1-416-543-8611

Following Your Bliss

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Writing (all kinds) on January 5, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Bryan Au - appliances - January 5, 2010

Bryan Au is an author and expert who lives in Manhattan Beach, California in the United States. He has agreed to be interviewed by this Donna Magazine to inspire others.

When asked if money makes us happy? he responded:
“Well yes it can but the answer can go both ways,” writes Au in an email to the publisher. ” It can be a double-edged sword because if you do not have a real purpose or know what to do with the money you can lose or spend all of it which wouldn’t make you so happy after all.  So getting a lot of money can make you happy because yes you can afford to buy things that you need or have always wanted. But having more money also means having more responsibilities and pressure to try to hang on to it. There are more taxes, more expenditures and other things to consider on top of the thrill of going shopping and buying nice luxury items for yourself.”
Au has some advice on how best to handle money and to stay happy.
“Some advice about being happy relates to a story my friend shared with me recently. There is an event called the Vipassana where for 10 days you go to a silent meditation retreat where no one is allowed to talk and everyone meditates for 10 hours a day for 10 days. The purpose of this very intense exercise is to get to know more about what is in your mind, body, and spirit and to also be able to be happy in any circumstance.
“My friend decided to do this Vipassana during the holidays which seems to be the most popular time for people to go do it. Upon returning she told me it was not easy but that she gained a lot of insight into just being ‘happy no matter what.’
Au personally does not think that it is necessary to go through a rigourous program to experience being happy.
He believes that we can just use wisdom and decide to be happy.

“Then when the natural cycle of good and bad occurs in our lives we are more stable and level-headed we don’t sway from being super elated and joyful one moment to being super angry or depressed the next,” says Au. “The truth is life is that it will be up and down all the time and we tend to be very happy or sad from one moment to the next depending on our finances, desires, friends, family and other important elements of our lives.”

Au believes that if we are grateful for the blessings and goodness that we ALREADY HAVE in our lives and if we can just be happy and thankful for all the good that is happening. Then we will tend to focus on the positive and we will indeed become happier. That way if we do experience a windfall in abundance and wealth we would have already been happy and not be depending on a lot of money in order for us to decide or to finally become happy when we already can and have done just that!
“For some people, they have specific financial goals and until they reach it or get it they won’t be happy or they might overwork themselves into having bad health problems or bad relationships and so on. The key is to be balanced, to be thankful and appreciate the good things that you ALREADY HAVE in your life and don’t focus on what you lack or don’ have.”
Au notes The Secret DVD.  It explains that if you constantly worry or focus on the negative or what you lack then the Universe will actually attract more conditions and events that will increase those negative aspects into your life! But the more positive, happy and successful you feel or have thoughts that are high vibrations then you will also attract more wealth, joy and success. It sounds too easy or too good to be true, but if you practice it you may find that it works. The principles are obvious because once you have a certain mindset certain actions and laws of attraction really do start to work with very real results.
“You should also try not to place all of your happiness in an outcome of a certain condition or dollar amount because sometimes you might not get it or it may take longer than you imagine to achieve it and during all that time you should choose to be happy, healthy and joyful no matter what instead of being miserable or sad until a lofty goal is achieved. Of course, we should have good goals and go for our dreams but we should enjoy the journey and appreciate the lessons that come our way. So when we do achieve success it is that much sweeter but even if we do not we are still very happy.”
Au also notes that having money does not guarantee happiness. Many people gamble, spend or squander it away and they are very unhappy as a result.  Or they make bad choices, investments, loans and so on. So having a lot of money is not always the ultimate joy that everyone thinks it is.  It very well can be if you have a good plan and good intentions.

“This is where I would like to share my personal story in relation to money. All of my life it always seemed like everyone else knew what their purpose or career was. I never knew and it took me most of my life to discover what mine was. But before this occurred I already decided that I was going to be the happiest, positive, cheerful, loving, caring, healing person on earth and that I wanted to help people to be happy and healthy as well.  I love America so much and I know in my heart and soul how lucky I am to have grown up in the USA and to live in such a wonderful free country where dreams come true, where if you work hard you can achieve your hopes and dreams.  Everything comes so easily to us that we tend to forget that most of the world, about 75 percent, live in extreme poverty, filth, starvation, malnutrition and that they don’t even have basic needs met like clean water. Here we are in the land of plenty where we can get the best food, the best clothes, the best water and at the best prices just around the corner. Everything comes easy for us. It is true there are people that struggle and are homeless too but for the most part, most people in the USA have it really great and live like kings and queens compared to most of the world.

“My main point here is that on a deeply personal level I just love America and appreciate it so much that early in my youth I decided that I would somehow become the best person I can be and to give back and add more positivity not only to America but to the entire world too. The only problem is I wasn’t so sure how I would do this!

“But the fact was I wanted to add that I had loving, caring healing intentions. Once I decided upon that just like in The Secret DVD many events began to unfold that revealed to me what my destiny and purpose was in the world. But even still it took me most of my life, incredible spiritual world travels and more to finally discover not only my purpose but also to find out what money, goals, relationships and what life was really about. Looking back, everything I learned and every new job that I did was really just training for my real purpose and career which I am about to reveal and share with you now.

“Today I am a celebrity chef, best-selling author, actor, model and Eco Green Expert and host of my own ECO CHEF TV Show Series! Believe me, I had no idea all of this was going to happen to me because most of my life was spent volunteering as a vegetarian chef at yoga centres all around the world. It was my way of adding more health and harmony to our world! In my heart, I felt like it was the right thing to do and it made me feel good so I kept going with it and I really enjoyed meeting new different people and going to very interesting new places.

“In the yoga world in ancient times they recommend giving everything up and having nothing in order to gain spiritual insights and realizations. They also recommend living very simply so that you do not have many needs, desires and so you are freer to just be happy and healthy every day. They explained that having money, material goods and household duties may seem attractive but they take away from your energy, true spiritual realization, and joy. They keep us busy and wear us down was the main basic message. Although this may be true on certain levels I personally discovered that having money, wealth and living in the world in modern times is practical, can be very enjoyable and balanced if we know what we are doing and have a higher purpose in our life.

“Now this is my story and so I can only speak for myself and what I learned along my spiritual journey. People may not agree with me or have their own realizations, truths, and experiences. But I do hope my story inspires you and will open you up to new adventures, discoveries, and experiences in health, happiness, and joy. So I decided to not own anything, not earn money, I would have nothing and then in a sense I would be truly free, an empty cup, an open spirit and in essence I would then own everything although materially I would have nothing. This made total sense for me and it was true. My life was very simple. I did yoga every day, I volunteered a vegetarian chef in yoga centres all around the world which made other people very attracted to me and happy to see me. They truly appreciated what I was doing and they loved my food. For me I loved people and the adventure was the best time of my life. I had no worries, no bills, no problems just a lot of fun. And I realized that I didn’t need money or a job at that time in my youth. But this would not last forever and I now realize it was a special period in my life where I was allowed to experience this so that I can make spiritual realizations as to why were are here and what we are supposed to be doing. I had this special realization and moment of total clarity when I was on Paradise Island in the Bahamas on one of my volunteering gigs, I was all alone at 2 a.m. on the beach in the most beautiful amazing place in the world under a full moon, with the glowing ocean and I had just finished doing some yoga by myself when I just sat and looked out into the starlit sky. All of a sudden in the distance I saw a storm cloud and how the lightning was flashing and really deep thoughts of how the earth was just like our body!

“The cloud was like our “brain” and the lightning was like our “nerves” and the ocean was like our “blood” and then I was getting even deeper thoughts and realizations as I was inhaling the freshest ocean air in the world, that the universe, the earth, and our bodies were all deeply connected, were as “one” but that we all were “one” and spiritually connected too. I have read about this before and thought about it but it is altogether a very profound almost indescribable experience to totally and completely understand all of this in every fibre and cell of my body but it got even deeper. Just then I had the most powerful understanding that we were all here to actually love each other, support one another and to help each other in the best ways that we can. Again, to read about this and think about it is very good but at that moment I felt it on such a deep level that it is beyond words or description. And the events that happened after that revealed to me what my purpose was! Finally, after years of searching and wandering, traveling, meeting people I finally found out what I was supposed to be doing!

“In the following days, I met some raw foodists. These are people who choose to eat and enjoy mostly raw and organic fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables for their main diet. Although I admit that sounds crazy or extreme it actually makes perfect sense and is incredibly enjoyable. A new cuisine with limitless flavors, textures, new recipes and adventures to be discovered by you. And the benefits? PURE Joy, incredible energy, health, vitality, anti-aging naturally each day, reversing, curing or preventing most modern day diseases and conditions all while being incredibly delicious, fast, fun and easy!
“Can such a thing exist? WELL YES, and it is RAW ORGANIC CUISINE! Please go to my Website to get more free photos, recipes, and information:
Bryan Au - book - January 5, 2010
“So after I met these RAW foodists and tried their food I was amazed! They handed me a “flax cracker” to me it looked like bird seed stuck together! I never heard of or ever seen flax seeds before. But I tried it and found out that I really liked it. It had a nutty flavor and was crispy and crunchy like chips or crackers. It was actually very good. They were so happy I liked it and they soon explained to me the benefits of eating a mostly raw organic diet. They told me it was how nature intended food to be eaten that there are no microwaves, ovens or stoves in nature, that we ate this way for millions of years and never got sick, that six billion living beings on earth eat a raw organic diet but only one eats cooked foods and has wars, cancer, disease, hospitals and weapons, HUMANS! All other raw organic eating animals are primarily peaceful, perfectly happy and healthy. It started to make sense to me, our bodies and universe is also raw organic just like that really deep transformative experience I had by myself late the other night on the beach! Yes, it became clear to me if we ate mostly pure all natural healthy loving foods we would also be naturally healthy and happy too! We are what we eat after all. But they went further in explaining to me that there were new recipes, desserts, snacks and entrees to sample. And that they were all designed to add more enzymes, more energy, more youth, more health for those that ate it and enjoyed it. I was so excited a whole new world opened up to me and I wanted to learn as much as I could.
“I quickly found out that because of my 20 plus years of being a vegetarian chef that I was very good at inventing and creating totally new raw organic recipes! People really enjoyed them, I wasn’t getting burnt in the kitchen anymore, and people were asking me for my new special raw organic recipes. I wanted to be credited for inventing them and to have them on record so I decided to self-publish my now best selling Raw in Ten Minutes raw organic recipe book! So people can have all of my inventions, techniques, recipes and enjoy all the wonderful benefits!
“But before that happened I actually ran out of money, was totally broke and had $10 left to my name! I had to return to college and back to the USA to finish my education. At that time I decided that being broke all the time and volunteering all the time was fun but now I have something incredible, new and beneficial to share with the entire World! The raw foodists taught me how raw food can help so many people yet it was not yet mainstream and most people do not even know about it. I decided it would be my “job” to create access, awareness, and education so that everyone in the world can discover it and enjoy it as much as I was.
“But my main purpose and goal were caring about people’s health and that of the planet. Everything else sort of fell into place nicely. I discovered a good self-publishing company on the Internet and I wrote and self-published my Raw in Ten Minutes raw organic recipe book online, it is now available and a best seller on So I went from having no money to all of a sudden everyone was buying my book! For the first time in my life, I discovered that money can be good and can be healthy. That I did not have to be penniless and having nothing all the time. For me, I did need to experience some very profound deep thoughts but after I learned what I needed to it was time for me to return to the World and share my RAW secrets and discoveries. I planned on making my Raw in Ten Minutes recipe book a best seller, then open raw organic restaurants, have an infomercial, TV Show Series, open a National Franchise and then take it to the stock market so I can make it big, create new jobs and an all-new natural health industry for America and the World to enjoy and benefit from. So far most of my goals, hopes and dreams came true, I did become a best-selling author, I did open PA~RAW~DISE 100 percent raw organic cuisine Restaurant, I did film and air my raw infomercial and now I have my own “Eco Chef” TV show series which you can watch on and soon on network TV! Then I will open my national franchise then create more jobs a new Eco Green industry and take it to the stock market. Then everyone will know about it and benefit from it and love it too! So far so good and my plan is working. The best part is everyone that buys a book, DVD, raw star ceramic knife or any of my eco-green or all natural products they are joining a community, a movement, they are making the DREAM come alive and happen too! They become part of the dream and the goodness, the health, and healing on a Global Level!
“I never thought anything like this would happen to me. I used to be so shy and so broke all the time. But I followed my heart, I just did the best I could, I was always happy and I wanted to help people to become healthy and happy too. And now this is the result! But going back to the subject of money. I literally went from having no money, nothing to my name, just $10 to having a lot of money, a best seller, my own TV SHOW and more very quickly. But because I had good intentions, a grand plan and want to help people the wealth, the abundance all goes back into wanting the best for others and the world. I still live very simply so I have held on to what I have learned and when the success came I was ready!
I hope you enjoyed my story and will visit my website: I hope it inspired you and that it was entertaining to read rags to riches story. But my true wish is that you will try raw organic cuisine, snacks, and desserts for yourself, everyone that does Love IT INSTANTLY you will feel great, healthy, alive and energetic. This is because your body is thanking you for giving it true all-natural nutrition and energy. You will go much further in life and like me, you will discover hidden talents and abilities that you never knew you had! Before they were being blocked because certain toxins and things that happen when you make or eat cooked foods, well they can block your health and energy. Raw organic cuisine taps you into hidden talents, abilities, you are so energetic and strong that you will become so much happier, healthier and successful every day. Thoughts of joy, love, healing, and friendship will enter your mind and life more. You will feel more connected to people, the Earth and the Entire Universe so please give it a try!
“And if you follow your bliss, do what you love and truly enjoy the money will come, just don’t worry and be happy!

CIL Paint Colour Forecast: Blue Skies Ahead for 2010

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Environment, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on January 5, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Concord, Ontario – January 5, 2010 – The sky’s the limit in home décor for the coming year. That’s because blue is forecasted to be the hottest colour in the 2010 palette, says leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints.

In particular, airy light blue will top the list of hot colours for the year ahead, says Jennifer Jones, Marketing Communications Manager of CIL Paints, citing CIL’s Siesta Key (MC30) blue as the brand’s 2010 colour of the year. Describing the shade as an optimistic colour, Jones explained that the new blue is “a feel-good tone that’s reflective of new beginnings, of dark skies lifting in the wake of challenging economic and political times, and our collective moods lightening up.”

Associated with clear sky and water, the pure shades of blue “are refreshing, soothing and liberating, promoting a feeling of breeziness, renewed energy and infinite horizons,” Jones said, adding that ultramarines and turquoises will appear in all facets of home décor in the year ahead – from walls to furniture to accessories. To bring added life to any room, CIL recommends combining the new blues with crimson, burgundy, plum, pewter or gold, such as Crimson Red (DL07), Classic Burgundy (DL07), Scarlet’s Velvet (CP44), Southern Shadow (MC47), or Historic Tan (SE17).

Feel-good tones will be prevalent across the 2010 colour spectrum, according to CIL colour experts. Like the luminous blues, the paint palette of the coming year is dominated by more cheerful and energetic shades, reflecting a positive shift in the public’s attitude. For example:

Greens: Glowing acidic shades of green, like pale yellow lime, will take the spotlight in the green colour family. Reminiscent of new plant shoots and beginnings, the new liquid-like greens – such as CIL’s Spring Thaw (MC21) – exude a feeling of renewal, open space and freshness. Soft greens blend particularly well with ­­­­­­­moss yellows and deep greys such as Sapling (MC20) and Midnite Hour (MC51).

Reds: Saturated, vibrant reds are making a comeback, replacing the previously fashionable neutral pinks and coffee-based reds. New reds – like CIL’s Tea Dance (DL07) – are deeper and coral-based, with clean, futuristic-looking pinks taking the spotlight.  For a contemporary look, CIL recommends combining the new reds with soft neutrals such as Fog Grey (DL40) and Whisper Bluff (DL45).

Oranges: Think warm tans and golds, radiating carrot and pumpkin tones, and rich earthy copper browns. Oranges – highlighted by CIL’s Energize it (CP 14) – will become more optimistic and sunny, moving away from last year’s red influence.  These new hues, which emit a bright and sporty energy, pair well with neutrals and fuchsias such as Tutti Frutti (CP02) and Painter’s White (CP42).

Yellows: Honey, mustard, banana and citrus shades – including CIL’s Newborn (CP17) – will dominate the yellow family in 2010.  Used on their own or combined with shades of blue, such as Roslyn’s Blue (CP34), the new yellows are refreshing and comforting with a hint of pizzazz.

Warm neutrals: In a shift away from last year’s favourite soft beige, warm neutrals will become deeper, infused with yellow-based earth, clay, sand and grain tones. Imagine rich mocha and deep earthy umber browns – such as CIL’s Hale Village (SE47) – which combine well with plums and mauves. For an ultra fashionable look, these warm neutrals can be combined with turquoises and teals.

Cool neutrals: Ash greys, near blacks and green slate tones will take centre stage in the cool neutral family. Deep subtle shades like CIL’s Gentry Blue (MC50) are ultra-sophisticated, yet calming, working well with other neutrals or as a chic background to brighten accents.

Violets: Dramatic and intense purples – such as CIL’s Fashion Passion (DL38) – are back in style, delivering a powerful look that is both traditional and modern. For those not ready to experiment with intense violets, cool lavenders will also be in vogue in the year ahead, creating an elegant and soothing environment.

“A common thread throughout the entire 2010 colour palette is a marked shift towards pure, lively and open-minded colours that reflect consumers’ hope for a more positive future,” Jones explained. “Used on their own, or in combination with other tones, colours of the coming year are all about freedom and happiness.”

Next year’s popular colours are featured in the new CIL 2010 Colour Trends magazine – available free-of-charge at CIL retailers. For more information about 2010 colours or to locate a CIL retailer near you, visit or call 1-800-387-3767.

Urban Edge Yoga

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Writing (all kinds) on January 5, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Urban Edge Yoga - January 5, 2010

Dear friends,

A very warm and happy new year to you!

At Urban Edge Yoga, we wanted to invite you to our first special event of 2010 –  Aspirations, hopes, and desires – an opportunity to explore the ‘fire of desire’ on Jan 21st (Thu) with our guest of honour, Bhaktimarga Swami.

Bhaktimarga Swami is famous around the world as the ‘Walking Monk’ and joins us for a thought-provoking discussion and heart-felt Kirtan. Check details and RSVP at

Lined up later this week is an interesting mix of yoga, meditation, cooking classes and spiritual discussions. Here is a quick summary of this week’s events:

* Tue, Jan 5 – Meditation and yoga: Yoga and meditation are being used more and more in modern life because it is proven to aid stress relief, help relaxation, and generally make people more peaceful. Check details and RSVP at

* Wed, Jan 6 – Shanti, chants for world peace: Shanti is the Sanskrit for Peace. Join us as we seek world peace through the chanting of ancient mantras from the East. Check details and RSVP at

* Thu, Jan 7- Vegan Curries, Cooking classes: Ever wondered why our food tastes so good? Well, our chefs will be sharing their top secret recipes in demonstration/hands-on cooking classes. Check details and RSVP at

* Fri, Jan 8 – Mysteries of earth and sky: Find out more about ancient mysteries like Stonehenge, ice age star maps, the Dogon, Mayans, Egyptians and more. Check details and RSVP at

Delicious vegan dinner will be awaiting you at all of our events!

Check our calendar at for new & exciting events in the new year!

Quote of the week: Action pertaining to the development of the material bodies of the living entities is called karma, or fruitive activities.

See you soon,

Coming Up on Donna Magazine

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on January 4, 2010 at 6:07 PM

There is going to be an exciting new series of fresh profile articles on Donna Magazine. The publisher sets out to answer the question: Does money make you happy? You will love the responses. You may even be quite surprised.

Christine’s Health and Fitness Centre in Toronto

In Beauty, Contact Information, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) on January 4, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Christine's Fitness - January 12, 2010

Do you suffer from the inability to recover from STRESS?…

– Restlessness
– Insomnia
– Nervousness/Anxiety
– Impatience
– Lack of concentration
– Fatigue
– Low back pain
– Neck pain
– Headaches

Shiatsu Massage and Acupuncture will bring restorative rest to the body and mind.

Jeannette Blais Dipl.RST and Dr.Kelly Snowden have had great success when co-treating patients for stress.

For more information, please see or call Jeannette or  Kelly at our 912 Yonge location, 416-969-9912.

Yours in health,
Christine !

TOK Writing Series

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on January 4, 2010 at 7:18 AM

TOK - January 4, 2010

As a professor, I was fortunate to receive the TOK reading series, issued by the University of Toronto. The TOK series is a collection of three books, all of them anthologies.

Once I finally got down to completing the series, other books interrupting the flow of my reading of the series, in general, I am glad that I did read this series. In particular, stories by Olive Senior and Lawrence Hill stand out. There are other stories in there that would be a great inspiration to an emerging writer to help them execute the craft of narrative.

Without giving away the plot to any of the stories, just know that this is a series worth investing in. The stories deal with a variety of topics, from the Russian mafia to wayward fathers, to the experience of being on Toronto’s public transit.

One of the most beautiful things about the stories is that they all take place in Toronto on the most part. These stories are all a way to connect to this city, as well to understand what lays in the heart of minds of new and old immigrants – be it right or wrong.

Ride Again Tomorrow

In cars, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on January 3, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Kirk Verner Writes about a Car Accident in Saskatchewan – Photo Courtesy of

Kirk Verner - January 7, 2010 - 3

By Kirk Verner

I was saddened to hear of a horrifying, fatal accident that took place in rural Saskatchewan, my hometown, over the holiday season. By the way, people drive on the blustery Saskatchewan highways you’d think this was certainly where a fatal accident would ultimately occur in late December, but nasty road conditions or invincible 4X4 drivers were not to blame. This lethal catastrophe occurred on a snow-mobile, a ski-doo. Hearing of this terrible occurrence brought two thoughts to my mind. The first thing I thought of was the uncontrollable power this modern day snow-eating machines come equipped with.

I was crawling down Highway 1 two weeks ago in the heart of the parkland, 25 kilometres east of Indian Head, Saskatchewan, when I found myself in a race. The divided highway was relatively lonesome that day; mid-week on a prairie highway is probably the furthest thing from Highway 401 on a Friday afternoon. But still I was in a race; my opposition, a frenzied snowmobiler flying eastbound between the two-direction highways. The lone patron on the bright yellow ski-doo appeared to me to be a male due only to the lack of long locks blowing rapidly in the wind from underneath a glistening black helmet. I glanced at my speedometer, it read 95 km/hr; I was not in the spending mood. As my eyes left the speedometer, I looked to my left and saw the man on two skis and one track not only keeping up with me but advancing into first place in a race that only existed in his mind. I momentarily lifted my white knuckles from my steering wheel and raised both palms in the air towards the maniac hovering across the snow. He saw me but did nothing. I suppose if he would have performed any type of gesture in my direction, he’d likely be picking his teeth up with broken fingers. He was soon out of sight; a cloud of snow left behind him like dust behind the comic character Roadrunner. This was the first time I accurately got the feel for the sheer power that lies dormant under the light-weight hoods of these dangerous snow machines. He had to be going at least 110km/hr. Insanely fast!

The second thought that entered my mind after hearing of the awful accident was that of my own good fortune. I too have had multiple near life-altering experiences dealt to me by the hands of one of these off-road, out-of-control, all-terrain vehicles; my ATV of choice, my big brother’s 4X4 motorcycle, a quad.

It was near the end in July 2009 when I found myself making tracks at 68 km/hr down an over-grown back road just a few kilometres south of Esterhazy, Saskatchewan. In my wake of dust and high-pitched yips was my best buddy and cousin, Reid. His quad was pocket-sized in comparison to the machine that roared between my legs, but still, he managed to keep up with me and my growing confidence. The morning led into the afternoon as the day seemed to disappear faster than our fuel; it was time to begin our trek back to town.

To be fair, Reid and I swapped quads for the trip back to Esterhazy; it was my turn to suck dust. We were on the homestretch; Esterhazy’s tall blue water tower was the landmark that kept us in the right direction. The back road that led into town turned into a makeshift back alley built through a farmer’s field; we jumped onto it in order to avoid the streets, and get the bikes back to the garage. I had been riding all day by this time, and my confidence was sky-high as I made my move and passed Reid on the unknown alley that felt to me like a speed track. I waved as he obviously let off the throttle, enabling to safely pass; I didn’t look back. My machine was wide open, humming like a lawnmower begging for an oil change. I loved the freedom and the fast fresh air as the town approached, now only a block away. What happened next did not, but easily could have changed my life forever.

Reid claims that his speedometer read 58km/hr at the time of my accident; I didn’t have a speedometer on my toy-like quad; it wouldn’t have mattered if I did, I wanted to win the “race”. With the homes that border Esterhazy now within a stone’s throw, I came upon a deep trench that had been dug, I’m guessing, for drainage. I had no time to slow down as I careened into the trench. The inflated tires hit the opposite side of the trench with great might, pole vaulting me into the air. Upon impact, my right knee smashed the engine of the bike as my ribs became tenderized by the handlebars. From behind, Reid says, “It looked like you were dancing on top of the quad’s seat…five feet in mid-air.”

The slow-motion feel of the incident did not last past my airborne voyage, and I came crashing down into the rough stubble field. I landed on the small of my back, whipping my head violently into the earth; this story could not be written if I was not wearing my helmet. As I slid to a halt, I could hear Reid approaching, his laughter loader than his quad; the quad I was riding now sat on all four wheels, staled. I understand how humorous wipe-outs can look to those not involved so I cannot blame Reid for his premature laughter; he quickly stopped laughing after I pulled my helmet off of my sweat-drenched head and he saw the agony on my face. I was concussed.

I tried to stand-up and play-off the crash like it was no big deal, but the stars that swirled around inside of my head caused me to collapse back to the ground. By this time, three locals who apparently witnessed the mishap came running to my aid. They could not believe what they saw. They could not believe that I didn’t want an ambulance; all I wanted was for them to leave me alone in my post-concussion state. The three concerned locals finally left once I stood back up and sat on the big quad. But, I was not well! My knee was bleeding profusely. My ribs throbbed. I felt like vomiting. I must have looked like a bobble-head sitting on that bike, trying to compose myself.

The eventful day ended with me being towed back to the garage by Reid and the bigger of the two quads. I was greeted by a worried mother, an angry brother, and a confused father. At least I was alive!

This story has not been glorified to make me look like a “tough guy”. I simply want to use my story as a warning to all those who love the outdoors and the exhilarating feeling of the open air at high speeds. I was lucky to not have become another unfortunate statistic dispensed by a recreational vehicle. Please be cautious…ride again tomorrow.

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