For Haiti

Check out the video for Wavin’ Flag by Young Artists for Haiti:

Proceeds from the single will benefit Free the Children, War Child Canada, and World Vision Canada.

Read the CBC’s article about K’naan’s song here.

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Stuff I like: canvas shoes

Picked up some new kicks from H&M.  They’re white canvas and definitely going to get dirty but the weather has been so great lately that I can’t wait to wear them.  Scratch that because it’s supposed to rain all weekend 😦

My new shoes for Spring 🙂

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Reporting from Hot Spots

Resilience of the human spirit in Haiti

I went to a panel discussion at the CBC tonight featuring Nahlah Ayed, Laurie Graham, Alison Smith, Connie Watson, and hosted by Peter Armstrong.  The event was called ‘CBC Women Journalists Around the World: Personal perspectives on covering international hot spots,’ and was definitely worthwhile.  As an aspiring journalist myself, it was really motivating to hear the first hand experiences of these women.

A lot of the discussion focused on the notion of what’s normal life and how it varies from country to country or even province to province.  Alison Smith and Connie Watson expressed the difficulty they had coming back to their “normal life,”and going from an extreme of poverty to one of excess.  Each woman also spoke about personal experiences of being in danger and what it’s been like as a female journalist reporting from places in the world where women are not treated with the same respect as they are in North America.  Something that was said in particular that I think will remain with me is the importance of telling the story of the people and staying out of the politics.  Laurie Graham and Alison Smith reported from New York after 9/11 and mentioned that life seemed to go back to “normal” within days.  Connie Watson said it was a similar experience in Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake.  All of the women agreed that this was a testament to the resilience of people.  When disaster strikes life does carry on but not necessarily in the way it is “normal” to us and there are a million perspectives, each with a story.

Overall- a really interesting discussion that I can’t do justice to here.

I highly recommend checking out other events from the CBC.

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Mayor Miller visits Humber

Mayor David Miller came to Humber College today for a press conference.

Here are some photos from his visit.

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Canada Loves Hockey


Sunday night the Olympics came to an end after an amazing gold medal hockey game brought Canada’s gold medal wins to a record-breaking 14!  Canada’s Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in overtime for a 3-2 win against the U.S.  But then you already knew that right – because an estimated 80 percent of Canada tuned in to at least part of the game!

Check out the video to see how Torontonians celebrated from inside St. Louis Bar and Grill on Bay Street to the party at Dundas and Younge Streets.

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“Don’t be a slave to tobacco”

These advertisements recently debuted in France courtesy of the Non-Smokers' Rights Association. The caption below each picture reads: "Smoking means being a slave to tobacco."

Controversy has erupted in France after these anti-smoking ads began appearing in bars, cafes, and tobacco shops.  Anti-smoking ads have historically used images to shock the public – whether meant to deter people from starting to smoke or encourage others to quit – but does this ad campaign take the shock factor too far?

The images used in these ads depict oral sex between what appears to be an older man and younger boys and girls.  What does this have to do with smoking? Well, the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association says the campaign seeks to show young adults “that smoking isn’t a defiance of authority, but instead a sign of submission and naivete – a behavioral, psychological and physical submission to an addictive drug that will control their acts, dirty their bodies and cost them dearly.”

What do you think? Effective? Offensive? People are certainly paying attention to the ads. But is the message getting lost in the controversy?

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Et Cetera: Prof helps victims in Haiti

My article for the Feb. 24, 2010 Humber Et Cetera:

Melissa Greer
News Reporter

After spending three weeks in Haiti treating victims of last month’s earthquake, nursing professor John Stone returned to Humber this week.
Stone was with a team of Canadian medical professional volunteers who treated up to 200 patients a day at a field clinic in rural Leogane, a coastal town west of Port-au-Prince that was hit hard by the Jan. 12 quake.
“There were a lot of fractures and amputations – a lot of surgeries,” said Stone, who is also a registered nurse.
He was among a team of 11: an orthopedic surgeon, an anesthetist, an emergency physician, two nurse practitioners, two paramedics and four nurses.
“We basically worked a day-clinics’ hours, from 8 a.m. until 4 or 5 p.m., but we were around every evening as well and usually about every other evening we’d have some emergency come in, like machete cuts or road accidents.”
They arrived Jan. 31, to relieve a similar group, also members of Canadian Medical Assistance Teams, a non-profit NGO based in Brantford, Ont., that provides assistance to disaster victims around the world.
Stone previously travelled with the organization to Pakistan after an earthquake in 2005.
In Haiti, his team was equipped with medical supplies, food, water and tents for shelter.
They operated out of a tent, with patients sprawled on a stretcher laid across concrete blocks.
After the first couple of days, Stone said there were fewer surgeries and more post-operative care.
“There were a number of people in casts and what we call external fixators for broken bones, which are metal rods that literally protrude from the side of the leg to stabilize the wound until it heals,” he said.
Other rehabilitation specialists will replace Stone’s team in Leogane to assist people who have had amputations or broken bones.
“The focus gets to be what you are going to do when you get the casts and splints off because there are complications – you can’t just put the cast on and then say ‘good luck.’”
As for Stone, he called the experience “very rewarding – and you hope you’ve helped a little bit in some way.”

Nursing Professor John Stone

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Et Cetera: No free passes for H1N1 illness

A few staples of flu season.

My second article in the Humber Et Cetera on Thurs. Feb. 11.

Melissa Greer
News Reporter

Students should know absence from H1N1 does not give them an automatic pass in their courses, said associate vice-president of academics, Pamela Hanft.
“Teachers will do the best they can to accommodate and perhaps provide extensions, but students are still responsible for all their work,” said Hanft.
School policy regarding H1N1 is no different from any other major illness, she said.
“If students were absent for 10 days or less they simply had to report through their program co-ordinator or record on our website,” said Hanft.
According to school records, there have been between 20 to 25 students absent due to H1N1 each week across all three campuses, with most  for periods of less than five days, said Hanft.
“They were actually predicting a flu pandemic this year where there would have been far more absences and much more widespread illnesses,” she said.
Despite the milder than predicted flu season several students have had to interrupt their studies because of H1N1, with some even delaying their graduation date.
Second-year police foundations student, Jonathan Nalliah, 19, missed about three weeks in the fall term and said he wasn’t able to catch up.
As a result, he said he dropped one class and failed another.
Nalliah said he thought his teachers would be more lenient since the school was encouraging students with flu symptoms to stay home.
“I went to one of my classes, but I was coughing and was so sick that my teacher asked me to leave,” said Nalliah.
First-year post-graduate journalism student, Janine John, 27, became sick with H1N1 in November, but is still unable to attend classes due to side effects from the virus.
“When the flu-like symptoms stopped I had this loss of balance and dizziness – it’s called vertigo and can last anywhere from six weeks to three months,” said John.
Though John will graduate a year after her class in the two-year program, she said her instructors and program co-ordinator have been understanding about her condition.
Hamft said students should consider different options if they do miss school due to H1N1 because it is  difficult to catch up on work for all   missed courses.
“Sometimes dropping a course is a good strategy so they can concentrate on the remaining courses and try to salvage as much of the semester as possible.”

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Et Cetera: Construction postpones athletic centre opening


My career as a Humber Et Cetera news reporter has begun – hey, you’ve got to start somewhere!

Check out my first story.

A few additions to Humber's cardio room- more equipment will slowly be added.

Students work out in Humber's new cardio centre. The equipment faces out towards Humber's parking lot. The large windows are nice- but it's still not much of a view.


With construction delays postponing the January opening of the North Campus fitness centre, athletic director Doug Fox said he is disappointed with the progress.
“We weren’t even open for the first three days of school and I said to someone here “everyone’s coming back with new year’s resolutions and they’ve got nowhere to go,” said Fox.
The new section of the athletic centre holds two fitness studios and a cardio room and was expected to be completed Jan. 4, he said.
“There are so many glitches right now which is very frustrating,” Fox said.
The fitness centre opened a weight room and an incomplete cardio centre on Jan. 14.
“It’s still a work in progress – the access now is limited to the existing equipment we have,” said Jim Bialek, assistant athletic director.
While a new cardio room is open, construction is not complete on either of the fitness studios.
Delays are due to complications with the structure along one of the studio walls and flooring that is not ready to be laid, said Bialek.
“It’s a bit of a problem for kinesiology and other programs as well because they’re supposed to have those studios active for their courses,” said Fox.
The mechanical lift needed to move all the heavy equipment to the second floor wasn’t installed properly the first time, resulting in another setback, said Fox.
“The reality is we’ve had to hold back most of the new equipment until we get the mechanical arm,” said Fox.
The new facility has a lot more space for students, but not a lot of equipment yet, said Lindsey Bradbury,  22,  athletic centre employee and first year massage therapy student.
“Everyone likes it and it’s nice but they just want it to be finished,” said Bradbury.
“Ultimately, students have to be a little patient – we’re trying our best to allow them to continue with some facility usage and get finished as quickly as possible,” said Fox.

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Romance on the Menu

Cupid serves at Mildred's Temple Kitchen.

A Toronto restaurant is taking Valentine’s Day dining to a whole new level. The Toronto Star reports that Mildred’s Temple Kitchen invites customers to have sex in its bathrooms.

This time the invitation is explicit. On its website, Mildred’s asks: ‘Have you given any thought to moving beyond the bedroom.’

‘Check out Mildred’s Sexy Bathrooms throughout the weekend of Big Love. You get the picture.’

While I couldn’t find where on its website Mildred’s actually said to check out their “sexy bathrooms,” there are certainly sexual implications.  From Feb.12 to Feb.15, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen offers three extra “treats” for “Mildred’s Weekend of BIG LOVE.”  Among these treats is a $55 “love hamper,” which includes “Mildred’s Out to Brunch cookbook, and a pair of furry handcuffs,” among other edible treats.

I have to wonder, how romantic is it when one couple after another shows their love in likely the same restaurant bathroom while dozens of other couples are enjoying a meal on just the other side of the door?

Which brings me to my next point: Is this sanitary and clean in a place where food is prepared and served?

Isn’t this why we have hotel rooms with room service??

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