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shomi: 10 things to watch with your kids

Today's Parent | posted Thursday, Nov 27th, 2014

Rogers and Shaw have joined forces to create shomi, a recently launched service that offers customers more than 12,000 hours of streamable content in the first year. The biggest draw? Tons of family-friendly content to choose from, in both the Film and TV Shows categories.

Now that the winter weather is in full swing, here are some of our shomi favourites that you can watch with the family this week.

Home Alone (1990)

Is your family looking to get into the holiday spirit a little early this year? Why not introduce your kids to this early ’90s Christmas classic.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

If you just can’t get enough of the misadventures of little Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), make it a double feature and watch this equally-entertaining sequel.

The Karate Kid (2010)

This reboot of the ’80s kids classic stars Jackie Chan and Will Smith’s son, Jaden. The perfect entertainment for your own aspiring karate kid.

The Secret Garden (1993)

If you’re looking for something less action-packed try this underrated little gem, starring Maggie Smith as the meddling housekeeper Mrs. Medlock. Based on the famous book by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Robots (2005)

Still reeling from the loss of actor Robin Williams? Introduce your kids to one of his family-friendly features with this animated adventure.

The Princess Diaries

Before Anne Hathaway was famous she played an unlikely heir to a royal throne alongside the legendary Julie Andrews.


Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

Since The Muppets have received a new surge in popularity thanks to their latest two feature films, now is the perfect time to watch this high-seas adventure with the family.

Yo Gabba Gabba (2007-present)

Let DJ Lance Rock keep the party going on those wintery nights with episodes of this popular kids TV show.

Baby Looney Tunes (2002-present)

It’s just as adorable as the title suggests.

102 Dalmations (2000)

Watch Glenn Close reprise her role as the villainous Cruella De Vil as she goes after those cute little puppies again after breaking out of prison.

Jian Ghomeshi arrested on sex assault charges, released on $100K bail

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Nov 26th, 2014

Ex-CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been released on $100,000 bail after facing five charges in a College Park courtroom on Wednesday — hours after he surrendered to Toronto police.

Ghomeshi was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.

His criminal lawyer Marie Henein said Ghomeshi will plead not guilty and will fight the charges “fully and directly” in court. She also said Ghomeshi wouldn’t be making any media statements.

Under his bail conditions he is required to live with his mother and is forbidden from contacting alleged victims. He must also surrender his passport and remain in Ontario. He will be back in court on Jan. 8, 2015.

The charge of overcoming resistance by choking carries a potential life sentence according to the Criminal Code.

The head of CBC media relations Chuck Thompson said, “we don’t comment on police matters, criminal investigations or anything before the courts.”

Police chief Bill Blair also said he couldn’t comment on a case that’s before the courts but said it was important for the alleged victims to come forward.

Follow real-time updates from our reporters below:

The arrest comes exactly a month after he was fired by the CBC, and a day after the formerhost dropped a $55-million lawsuit against the CBC, alleging defamation and breach of confidence in his statement of claim.

The broadcaster fired him on Oct. 26 after saying it was shown “graphic evidence” that he had physically injured a woman.

Since his dismissal, nine women and one man have come forward with allegations, some dating back a decade, that Ghomeshi sexually or physically assaulted them.

The charges stem from complaints by three of them.

Former Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy DeCoutere is the only complainant who waived the publication ban on her identity. The other two can’t be named.

DeCoutere released the following statement on Wednesday:

“The past month has seen a major shift in the conversation about violence against women. It has been an overwhelming and painful time for many people, including myself, but also very inspiring. I hope that victim’s voices continue to be heard and that this is the start of a change that is so desperately needed.”

Ghomeshi, 47, admitted in a lengthy Facebook post published on Oct. 26, the day he was fired, that he engaged in “rough sex,” but insisted his encounters with women were consensual.

In a follow-up post a few days later, he said he would meet the flurry of allegations against him “directly,” but has not made any public statements since. The Facebook posts have since been deleted.

With files from The Canadian Press

How to soften hard brown sugar

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Nov 25th, 2014

Even in the Chatelaine Kitchen, accidents happen. On one fateful day of testing recipes, I reached for the brown sugar only to realize that it had not been properly sealed and was now a giant, solid rock of sugar. The silver lining? In a test kitchen, accidents such as these are experiments waiting to happen. So one of the associate food editors and I put our noggins together to see if we could rehydrate this tin of dried-out brown sugar.

After a few rounds without success, we figured out a solution that worked. (And definitely a tip worth sharing!)

Here’s what to do:

1. Put your solid lump of dried brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.

2. Lay two pieces of paper towel on top of each other. Fold them in half, and then in half again. You should end up with a square of 8 layers.

3. Wet the paper towel square under a gently running tap until it is completely wet through, but not soaked (dripping wet is too wet).

4. Lay the wet paper towel over the lump of brown sugar so it is fully covered. Microwave for 45 seconds on med-low heat. Remove from microwave, flip over and repeat. Remove from microwave and use a fork to scrape off the softened brown sugar that will be on the outer edges.

5. Repeat this whole process until you end up with re-hydrated brown sugar.

Note: The size of your brown sugar determines how many times you’ll have to heat it. The minimum will be approximately five to six times. In our kitchen test (see images below) we had to reheat it ten times.

Check out how we revived our rock hard brown sugar:

Brown sugar step 1

Step 1

brown sugar step 2

Step 4

brown sugar step 3

Step 5

Recipes with brown sugar: So if you’re looking to make our delicious sticky caramel buns or our brown sugar shortbread cookies, no worries if your brown sugar is dried out…now you can fix it!

Hockey Night in Canada Cheat Sheet: Nov 22

Jeff Simmons | posted Saturday, Nov 22nd, 2014

Get ready for another busy Saturday night of hockey. There are five games being shown across the country, including four different Canadian teams.

This week, there are two classic Original Six matchups, the Edmonton Oilers going head-to-head with a perennial powerhouse, plus a rare visit in Calgary for the New Jersey Devils.

In the Cheat Sheet each week, we’ll provide everything you need to know for Hockey Night in Canada:

Note: All games below are listed in Eastern time.


Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 
Channel: CBC
Broadcast crew: Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Scott Oake
Game notes: Detroit has earned at least one point in six straight games vs. Leafs…Phil Kessel, Nazem Kadri, Dion Phaneuf have not recorded a point in Toronto’s last three meetings with Detroit…Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has four goals and one assist in his last four games against the Maple Leafs… Pavel Datsyuk won’t play for the Red Wings.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins 
Channel: Sportsnet
Broadcast crew: Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Glenn Healy
Game notes: Canadiens are 8-1-0 in their last nine regular season games vs. Bruins…Canaidens forward Max Pacioretty has five goals in his last six games vs. Bruins…Bruins forward David Krejci has not registered a goal in his last eight regular season meetings vs. Montreal.

Also on Rogers: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders (City)


New Jersey Devils vs. Calgary Flames 
Channel: Sportsnet
Broadcast crew: Bob Cole, Greg Millen
Game notes: Jaromir Jagr is one goal shy of sole possession of sixth place on the NHL’s all-time goal scoring list (tied with Mike Gartner at 708)… Devils are 1-3-1 in their last five games in Calgary…Flames goalie Jonas Hiller has a 2-2-2 record with a 2.29 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in six career games vs. New Jersey.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers 
Channel: CBC
Broadcast crew: Dave Randorf, Garry Galley
Game notes: Blackhawks are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games in Edmonton (dating back to 2008)…Oilers forward Taylor Hall has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 13 career games vs. Blackhawks…Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens hasn’t won a game since Oct, 27 (six starts, seven appearances).

Antipsychotic Overuse

Leah Sarich | posted Friday, Nov 21st, 2014


One in five Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime. And two thirds of these people will only see their family doctor for treatment. But new research shows this may not be the safest option.

Dr. Tamara Pringsheim, a Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, and her team of researchers looked at the use of second generation antipsychotic medications in Canada between 2005 and 2012. They found a whopping 300 percent increase in prescriptions for these medications primarily by family physicians for off-label use. Specifically with quetiapine, this is an antipsychotic medication designed to treat schizophrenia. But this research found the medication is being prescribed for depression, anxiety and sleeping disorders. Now, quetiapine has been indicated for depression but only after standard therapies have failed.


Heart Attack Prevention

Leah Sarich | posted Wednesday, Nov 19th, 2014


A Canadian suffers a heart attack every seven minutes. And that Canadian can be either a man or a woman. And many of these people die from that heart attack because they don’t get treatment soon enough.

Cardiologist Dr. Dean Traboulsi, from the Libin Cardiovascular Institute at the University of Calgary, says getting treatment quickly is critical. He explains the amount of damage to the heart depends on the length of time it takes to restore blood flow to the heart. So the sooner treatment is administered the less damage to the heart muscle. That treatment can include either opening up the heart mechanically with angioplasty or giving a clot busting medication.

That said, in Calgary, we have the lowest mortality rate for heart attacks in the country. So if you’re going to have a heart attack, Calgary is the place do it. Dr. Traboulsi says EMS in Calgary has the ability to do an electrocardiogram on the patient right away and send the results to doctors waiting at the hospital. This information allows paramedics to give life-saving medication before the patient even gets to the hospital, it also alerts the medical team at the hospital to be ready for the arrival of a heart attack patient. This means patients are getting treatment quicker.

Dr. Traboulsi also wants people to know their risk for heart attack. You’re at high risk if you have a family history, if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, if you smoke or if you have diabetes. Knowing these risks allows patients to take the steps to reduce them.

It’s also helpful to know the symptoms of a heart attack. In both men and women the most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But it doesn’t occur in everyone having a heart attack. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, sweating and pain in other parts of the upper body.

Dr. Traboulsi says recognizing these symptoms if you’re at high risk is critical to getting the treatment you need soon enough.

For more information on heart attacks and the early symptoms visit this website.


World Diabetes Day

Leah Sarich | posted Thursday, Nov 13th, 2014


World Diabetes Day is November 14th. Right now, nine million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. Unless something changes, it’s predicted one in three Canadians will have diabetes or prediabetes by the end of this decade.

The cost of diabetes on the economy and our health care system is staggering. It’s expected this disease will cost 16 billion, yes billion, dollars by 2020.

This is why doctors like Dr. David Lau, an international diabetes expert based here at the University of Calgary, wants to focus on prevention. Dr. Lau says everyone knows it’s important to lose weight and exercise more, but he recognizes and he hears from his patients consistently that it’s hard to make these changes. But Dr. Lau says research shows very clearly that if people were to lose just two pounds a year for four years, they could reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 60 percent. Dr. Lau says this is “huge bang for your buck.”

Dr. Lau also wants people to understand that diabetes is a very serious disease.  It is the leading cause of blindness, the leading cause of kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation and it is the leading cause of nerve damage requiring amputation. As well, having diabetes doubles if not triples your risk for heart disease and stroke. And it’s these complications that account for 80 percent of diabetes costs.

So, this World Diabetes Day let’s think about preventing the disease in the first place.

For more information on diabetes visit this website. There is also a Diabetes Awareness Day at the University of Calgary on Saturday, November 22nd. It goes from 8:30am to 1pm. It’s free and the Canadian Diabetes Association is holding its Expo at the same time.


Centering Pregnancy

Leah Sarich | posted Friday, Nov 7th, 2014


There’s a new way to get prenatal care in Calgary. It’s the Centering Pregnancy program through The Alex.

Most women go to prenatal classes and most see their doctor regularly for checkups. But with Centering Pregnancy women do both at the same time.

Dr. Allison Chapman, the Medical Director, of Centering Pregnancy says it’s a dynamic way to get your prenatal care. There are 10 women in each class all due around the same time. Women meet for 2 hours, every 2 weeks for 10 sessions. Each woman meets with the doctor one on one for about 6 minutes, then the doctor spends an hour with all the women as a group to go over more questions and cover relevant topics. Dr. Chapman says programs like this have been running in the United States for years, and research shows that women who go through these programs have better mental health, deliver babies with better birth weights and there are overall better outcomes for both mom and baby. Research also shows that moms get more out of the program than they expected. Dr. Chapman explains they got answers, for example, to questions they didn’t even know to ask.

Katie Kinsey who’s been through the program says she really liked the relationship she developed with her doctor. She says she felt much more comfortable asking questions when she met with her doctor for an hour than just a couple of minutes at each visit. Kinsey also really enjoyed meeting other moms-to-be.

The Centering Pregnancy program is open to women having a low risk pregnancy, who do not want a C-section and who would like to deliver at the Peter Lougheed Hospital.

And the best part? It’s all free.

For more information visit The Alex website or call 403-513-7406.

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