Yes, I am indeed still alive! Feels good ;). In all honestly, I've been locked out of the Weebly account I use to host this site, hence why I could update my others such as ASAP. I can't wait to get writing content and looking after my site again! Woot!
See you all around,
While some people may be cursing the white stuff like no tomorrow, I am very happy to welcome snow back to our home. For me, it comes down to two main reasons.
Firstly, snow can be fun! Skiing, building snowmen (Frozen reference like a pro), and other sports or activities such as eating maple syrup from snow! yum! I find the snow welcoming and a great start to a new year, plus driving can be 'fun' if you make it (as long as you treat the roads and other people with respect).
The second, and equally important reason for welcoming snow back is that it keeps us dynamic, and grateful for the summer (and vice-versa). If we only had humid and hot weather such as florida, it would be a lot more "boring" in the sense that we wouldn't have snow, so no snowboarding, snowmen, etc... Also, we may have a lot more negative impacts on our local ecosystems, such as more violent and tropical animals where we normally don't, such as alligators! In term, winter makes us enjoy the summer more, and during the summer, looking the escape the heat, we look forward to winter. It's a balancing act for us in the temperate zones!
Welcome back, snow!
The thought of financial wealth has been one of the highest issues for families couples, students, and the average joe for the past decade. We saw opinions become especially dark after the recent 2008 recession and many negative economic events since then such as the shrinking Chinese stock markets and others word wide, but this article isn’t about that – it is not about countries or large corporations, this article is about the individual.
Scary enough, the world has just passed a massive tipping point in regards of wealth. According to this source, the richest 62 people in the world now have the same economic wealth as half of the planet – that’s over 3.5 billion people’s money in the hands of 62 individual people! What?! How is this possible? It seems like one of those scenarios that only seem possible in a dystopian movie or novel, yet today, it is ever too real, and becoming more prominent. 5 Years ago, it took approx. 300 of the world’s richest people, now it only takes 62 to reach that same amount. It is true that the ultra rich become more rich, while the poor, become poorer.
What is also scary is that support for the poor seems to be collapsing. Here in Ontario, Canada, Goodwill stores (like the Salvation Army) are closing down due to financial problems, resulting in hundreds of jobs lost, while also removing store locations that provide materials for entire communities.Are these trends going to continue?
What it really comes down to the question: can you put a cost on a human life? The current socially correct answer today is no, human life, if not all life is precious, yet in the coming decades as the rich become richer, the poor poorer, jobs are lost and repleaced by machines, we will possibly be faced with the very questions I present here today. How much is a human life worth? Are there changes to the system that we must make? What will we do now?
While the future is still tomorrow, let us hope that we as a species don’t get caught up in the physical, and hopefully remember what we are: human.
We all have our own mountains in life (I mean psychologically, not physically, although that would be pretty cool!). These mountains are different for every person, and come in limitless forms. Challenges, failures, detours all from loss of a game, to loss of a limb, a disability, having to learn a new language, falling in and out of love, and recovering from a car accident. All different extremes, but good examples. Heck, even doing your homework on time can be a mountain - if you let it.
If these events have a general theme: they are hard. In the moment, in all honesty, one can say it "sucks", and it may be true that your general situation may really incredibly suck, try to look at it like climbing a mountain.
"Why does one climb a mountain?" Because (s)he can! For the challenge. Imagine if there were to failure in life, if everything was perfect. Technically you wouldn't be here, because you wouldn't need to see, because everything comes to you so you wouldn't need legs either, or learn to speak because like I just said, life is perfect and there are no challenges: it doesn't make sense, right? Challenges and failure is how we as humans learn, live and thrive. Failure can be our greatest asset. My favourite example besides mountains are trees.
I pose the question to you: Which tree is stronger:
From the entire idea of adapting, one would obviously say tree 2 is the stronger and more robust tree. Just replace the trees with people and you will see what I mean. Challenges and failure make us stronger, be grateful for it, and learn!
Best of luck with your "mountains", and trust me - even if you can't see them, they are there, because you are most likely a human reading this.
Update: With the videos now down, it seems Google or Mark are stepping in and fixing the situation.
If you watch Youtube, chances are you know who Mark Fischbach is (Known as Markiplier).
Today on January 12th, 2016, he was hacked by a group calling themselves "OurMine". Looking at their twitter account, they seem to be youth hacking community that hacks popular social accounts for popularity.
The reason why this really struck a chord with me is how they are doing it. Leaving a comment on a video they posted on Mark's channel saying "[Mark] If you want your channel back, DM us [on Twitter]". seems sketchy - are they asking for money?
The BIG reason why this pisses my off is that Mark is known for his charity work; hosing live streams and other events to raise thousands of dollars for charity. The fact that they are putting up youtube videos on his account showing their name and twitter account to copyrighted music may legally destroy Mark's channel. Due to Youtube's copyright policy, if a channel gets 3 copyright strikes (using copyrighted material unauthorized like they are doing with the music on his channel) the channel owner is banned from having a Youtube account, his or her channel is removed, as well as the videos and community posted.
Sure, the kids in charge of this group may think it is funny to hack people for followers, but they may be doing more damage than they thought. I find it very irresponsible and the event equals the morality of an underaged 12 year-old that they are doing this to an established person like Markiplier who worked hard to get the 11 Million subs, as well as creating a base network for many charities.
All I can say is shame on OurMine, and when you have a time, please report their twitter account for harassment. More updates to follow. Follow for more information.
As a young adult, I feel very fortunate to have been born and raised in Canada.
I am very proud to be a Canadian. I know I live in one of the best countries of the world. We have Free healthcare, support services, education, opportunity. We are "nice" people and have many unique contributions to the world! Such as Velcro, the Telephone and even the Canadarm!
We Canadians like hockey, maple syrup, saying sorry, snow sports, maple syrup, beer, beavers, maple syrup, comedy, and did I mention <strong>MAPLE SYRUP?</strong> -Sure most of these are stereo types, and not everyone does or enjoys these things as Canadians, but the world seems to think we all do (except the maple syrup, which in Canada's Maple Reserves (our version of America's Fort Knox) we have over 4.5 MILLION GALLONS of syrup in storage - That's roughly 7 olympic sized swimming pools, mates! Yum!
The thing that people around the world don't really take into account is that just like every other country in the world, we too have our problems and troubled past. Racism, Sexism, Poverty, Crime, the terrible stories of residential schools for our aboriginals, turning away Jews running away from the holocaust; sending them back to their inevitable deaths in Germany in the 1930's, environmental issues, rounding up Japanese people during WWII and putting them in camps just because of their race, and the list goes on... We Canadians really do have an "interesting" past, but I feel that in the positive light, we can learn from history and use the lessons we as a young country learned together, and create a better today now
The baby boomers are retiring (even if many need to keep working to keep income, that sucks) and so too is an old way of thinking. As the older generations are replaced with the new ones, I do believe we will be seeing Canada becoming a beacon of hope and true freedom heading into the mid century. With this being said, as we head into the future, we must remember the lessons learned, and sacrifices made that got us to where we are today.
I will not hide that I do fall on the political spectrum. I am indeed a liberal and personally love Justin Trudeau. I have met and talked with him personally, and he is just as honest and a great leader in person as he is on the stage. After around 10 years of Harper (our last prime minister - a conservative) I had mixed feelings about Canada and our government. We totally fucked up or environmental strategies, budget cuts across the board, racism and prejudice across the "Harper Government", scandals and horrible money choices such as the horrible money pit called the "F-35". With the new Liberal Government, I feel hope that Canada has a brighter future ahead, and that we Canadians can tackle issues such as privacy, racism and helping our fellow man/woman around the world.
In this article, I kind of dabbled on the positives and the negatives of Canada, but never really mentioned what I really wanted to touch on, and what you've wanted to hear:What being Canadian Means to Me. I will try my best dear reader, to explain my feelings to you. But first, I need to take you to somewhere in France: Vimy Ridge.
A year ago, I backpacked Europe alone. It was an amazing adventure (for another article for another day) but the last stop was the greatest, and most anticipated: The Canadian War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. During WWI, Vimy was held by the German army. The British tried to take it, but failed. The French tried to take it, and failed, etc.. Then, one day, someone thought of putting all the Canadian divisions together for the first time. The first time we truly fought as our own nation (still a colony of Britain at the time) and we took the ridge - a feat that no one else could do. For many, including Justin Trudeau and myself, this was the true birth as Canada born as the nation it is today. This was followed by our troops being called "Stormtroopers" by the germans: We were the elite of the Allied armies. Next, we helped drive the evil Nazi regime out during WWII and helped defeat the Japanese. We then took part in Korea, Gulf war, and many, many peacekeeping operations. I am not referring the act of violence as being Canadian, but instead, the act of peace. When there is a problem, Canada steps in and makes peace where there is conflict. We take pride in bringing in Syrian refugees, we want to make the world a better place, while acknowledging that our differences is what makes us strong.
In the end, I supposeBeing Canadian is the love of life, helping our fellow humans, and the freedom to live. I am proud to be Canadian.
Once you have it, it's never letting go! Sure, the saying may sound a little cliché by this point, but I have no doubt that it is true from my own personal experiences.
Backpacking Europe, Traveling to larger cities and their area's such as Toronto and Vancouver, (all of this both alone and with friends) and even just being willing to take the dog on a walk somewhere new in town - it's all so exciting! (Except picking up dog crap).
I feel traveling has changed my life for the better. It gives you independence, maturity and an adventurous drive for life! The friends that I've made along the many streets, parks, mountains and rivers, I still hear from them on social media. The experiences such as visiting Vimy Ridge to being on the Eiffel Tower, climbing Cypress Mountain to being in the dungeons of Hamburg all have changed me and can show how amazing one thought can be. If you ever thought of traveling, I say just get a ticket and go! (that's what I did for backpacking Europe!) Honestly it really is that simple. After I booked a ticket, I had 3-4 weeks to get prepared. I chose some of my Hostels, AirBNB's, etc... ahead of time, but I also left room for flexibility, so if I wanted to stay somewhere longer, met a cute girl, and the like. The most exciting and my personal favourite part of traveling is when you are literally standing and thinking "Okay, I just finished a week in Paris, where should I go now? Amsterdam? Berlin? Warsaw?" We are so lucky to be living in such a connected age where most travellers can go to many countries unrestricted, yet, there are many of us who have never been out of our home country, let alone province? Why is this?
The question I purpose to you is this: Why don't more people travel? It's not like people don't want to travel, but more like one gives excuses not to. The most popular is money. The phrase "I would live to go to (Insert destination here) but I cannot afford it!". This is silly. If you REALLY want something in life, go for it. Start putting money aside, see if you can stay with any friends or family while there. Find a way! It's never too late!
With that being said, I highly recommend you travel out of your country at least once in your life. It doesn't have to be somewhere adventurous like India, China, South Africa or The Congo. If you are in the UK, try visiting Germany or France. In you are in Brazil, maybe visit Ecuador? You're a Canadian? Visit the Netherlands! (They LOVE Canadians there! I tell you from experience). Life is too short to be in your own little closet, go out and see the world, see new things, meet new people, try new food, learn new languages! The list is endless. If more people traveled, I feel the world would be a little more tolerant and loving due to the sharing of experiences, cultures and smiles.
That's all for now. I will be doing many, many further posts on my previous, upcoming and current travels. Until then, safe travels!
It is finally upon us! Today is election day here in Canada, and I am extremely excited for change. When this "race" first started, I was very worried about all the possible drama, scams and of course foolish advertisements and lies. It all comes with every election, but with this one being abnormally long, it was rough. However, while it looked bleak at first, it really does look like Canadians want change!
It makes me feel more proud to be Canadian to know that a majority of us want Harper out. While I will say I am a Liberal (so you know I am of course like any other writer, bias), I am honestly happy to see youth take voting more seriously this time around, regardless of party affiliation. From social media posts, to word of mouth, youth 18-25 have been making a larger impact in this election than in elections past. I am very happy and excited to see how the effects the final election results!
Today is not a day to complain about Harpers failures, but to bask in the light of a new tomorrow! While it is true, anything can happen in the last few hours of an election, I am confident to say that things are going to be more hopeful going forward. Change is here.
If you haven't already done so:
It's already that time of year! We seem to have two New Years' here in Canada. The first in January, and the second in September.
After completing my first year of college and my coop, I took a year off for both my business and to travel the world! Both went absolutely amazing, and I feel like both have really helped me grow into the person I am today. If you ever want to take a year off school, I highly suggest you do. You can find yourself with some time off, while also having amazing adventures that you can look back at when you are settled after you graduate post-secondary!
It is going to feel VERY weird to go back, especially feeling so 'mature' after my year of self-discouvery, but returning is a new opportunity for education and networking. While my course load isn't hard this semester, I am already working on finding my next coop for the winter (Hopefully in Vancouver for a few months!). And of course, I am continuing my business, Air Support Aerial Photography, and my other usual getting-into-trouble things.
As a photographer, I absolutely love to use natural lighting! It is something many people forget, especially when they have their DSLR, point and shoot, etc.. always on Auto, so the flash comes on in lower light scenarios.
Natural lighting is very useful outdoors, especially for landscapes and portraiture. However, one must remember that there are certain scenarios that are harder to pull off without using a flash or lighting kit. One of these is, my personal favourite to shoot right now: Figure Skating. It takes a lot of skill to successfully photograph skaters during a show. Since they are in a VERY dark rink (Cameras don't adjust to indoor lighting like our eyes do!). You need a higher ISO (much more grain) and/or longer exposure time (will cause blur due to the skaters moving fast and you moving the camera. Skating is a hard thing to shoot, but great to practice finding that sweet spot on your camera's settings. More expensive cameras/lens packages have better sensors and optics, giving you a better result.
I highly recommend that if you have a nearby rink, go and give it a go! Try some pics! (ask them first, though! ;) ).
This is the spot where Henry blabs on about what he thinks, events, etc... All the normal stuff.