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Men’s attitudes towards marriage and domestic life


As Valentine’s Day approaches, DailyXY.com, the online guide to urban life for Canadian guys, just released the results of a survey of 550 of its readers on their attitudes towards marriage and domestic life. The results showed that guys are prepared to embrace non-traditional roles in the household, while holding on to some old-school attitudes towards marriage.

When asked if marriage matters to them, it’s clear they don’t believe the hype that marriage is dead. Nearly three-quarters (73 per-cent) still consider that age-old institution of monogamy to be important or very important to them.

When asked if they would like their wife to take their last name, respondents were split. Slightly more than half (54 per-cent) professed liberal attitudes towards the matter, but 46 per-cent still aspire to becoming “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so”.

A majority of respondents say they would happily become a stay-at-home dad. Laundry, diapers, feeding? None of that messy stuff phases the 71 per-cent who say they’d be prepared to be raise the kids while their wife brings home the bacon.

On a related question, respondents expressed no qualms about ceding the role of primary breadwinner to their partner. Almost 90 per-cent claimed that they wouldn’t be embarrassed if their wife earned more than them.

Not surprisingly, respondents revealed progressive attitudes towards the household chores. Remember the good old days when a guy’s evening responsibilities consisted of drinking a Scotch and reading the paper? Well, neither do the majority of our readers. Of guys who cohabitate, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) do at least half the cooking and cleaning.

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Demystifying the myths of working out


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I have this to pass on to you guys reading my blog. I picked this up from the Heart and Stroke website

I think it is very relevant as many of us think we do the right things and even when we talk to others or over hear someone talking about workout, it is important to all of us that we do the right thing to keep healthy and injury free.

Myth #1: An aerobic workout will boost your calorie burn for hours after you stop working out.

False: Don’t confuse calorie burn with metabolism. While your metabolism will continue to rev at a slightly higher rate after you finish an aerobic workout, the amount of calorie burn is not statistically significant. In fact, you’ll only use up about 20 extra calories for the rest of the day. While there’s a little bit more of a metabolic boost after strength training, it’s still negligible. In other words, don’t use the fact that you worked out to eat more.

Myth #2: If you’re not working up a sweat, you’re not exercising hard enough.

False: Sweating or perspiring is not necessarily an indicator of exertion. Perspiring is your body’s way of cooling itself. It’s possible to burn a significant number of calories without breaking a sweat.

Myth #3: Strength training will make me “bulk up.”

False: Gaining muscle mass is something you have to work very hard at to achieve, male or female. Women tend to avoid weight training because they don’t want to look bulked up. However, strength training is a critical element to maintaining a healthy weight and strengthening your body. What we know is that the average woman doesn’t typically gain bulk from strength training because she doesn’t have the amount of hormones necessary to build massive amounts of muscle.

Myth #4: Machines are a safer way to weight train because you’re doing it right every time.

False: Although it may seem as if an exercise machine automatically puts your body in the right position and helps you do all the movements correctly, that’s only true if the machine is properly adjusted for your weight and height. Before using any equipment or performing any exercise, you should ensure you understand the full mechanics of the movement and the proper endpoints. Unless you have a coach or a trainer to figure out what is the right setting for you, you can make just as many mistakes in form and function and have just as high a risk of injury on a machine as if you work out with free weights or do any other type of workout.

Myth #5: When it comes to physical activity, you’ve got to feel some pain if you’re going to gain any benefits.

False: While you should expect to have some degree of stiffness or soreness a day or two after physical activity, that’s very different from feeling pain while you are working out. A fitness activity should not hurt while you are doing it, and if it does, then either you are doing it incorrectly, or you already have an injury. As for “working through the pain,” experts advise against it.  If it hurts, stop, rest, and see if the pain goes away. If it doesn’t go away, or if it begins again or increases after you start an activity, see a doctor.

Myth #6: If I can’t be active often enough, I might as well not even do it.

False: Remember: Any activity is better than no activity, even if it’s only a 15-minute walk. Being physically active is important for heart health and is proven to reduce stress. So, even if you can’t make it to the gym or yoga class, you can always do something active each day. Taking a walk, climbing the stairs instead of hopping on the elevator or escalator all count!

Myth #7: You can take weight off of specific body parts by doing exercises that target those areas.

False: This concept is called “spot training” and unfortunately, it doesn’t target fatty areas. When you lose weight, your body predetermines which fat stores it will use. For example, doing sit-ups will strengthen your abs but will not take the fat off of your stomach. Similarly, an activity like running burns fat all over your body, not just your legs. You can, however, complement a balanced physical activity program with a selection of weight training exercises to gradually lose weight and tone your body.

Myth #8: You will burn more fat if you exercise longer at a lower intensity.

False: The most important factor in physical activity and weight control is not the percentage of fat calories burned, but the totalcalories burned during the activity. The faster you walk, bike or swim, for example, the more calories you use per minute. You may still be burning more calories (and likely will be) from fat but the relative percentage of the source will be altered. So high intensity exercises will likely burn more calories total, as well as attributable energy to fat metabolism.

Myth #9: I can eat what I want because my workout will keep the weight off.

False: If you tend to eat large-portion meals such as 340 g/12 oz steaks, two to three cups of pasta, three to four slices of pizza, or high-calorie foods such as chocolate shakes and fries on a regular basis, no manner of workout will burn enough of those calories off to keep your weight in check. A healthy way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to combine healthy eating with regular physical activity – they go hand in hand. Need help? Try our My Heart and Stroke’s  – Healthy Weights Action Plan.

Myth #10: The best time to be active is early in the morning.

False: There is no one optimal time to be active. The best time is the time that appeals to you and fits into your schedule on a regular basis. Some folks love to jump-start their day with a morning workout, while others swear that physical activity at the end of the work day is a great way to boost energy for the evening and eliminate stress. Choose whatever works for you.

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I am a Guillain-Barre Syndrome Survivor


My symptoms appeared a few weeks before Christmas 2001, I was in New Orleans at a conference and came down with the flu. I called on the hotel doctor and he prescribed some antibiotics and he gave me a flue shot that he said will get me on my the feet quickly. As the doctor promised next day I was on my feet, back to the conference, still not feeling great but OK.

Make Your Own Energy Bar


In the current turmoil, we as consumer have to start preparing our own food and not buying ready made. I have turned my attention on power bars, I eat a lot of power bars while doing my exercises, specifically while on my bike. Instead of buying power bars, I have started to make them myself.

In this article I will break down a few ways to make your own healthy energy bar. Let’s start off with a simple, but great recipe. It requires very little time, or cooking skill.

Start off breaking up your favorite dark chocolate bar (70% cocoa or more) into tiny chunks. Then mix 1 cup of natural peanut butter and 1 cup of honey in a non-stick pot under medium heat. Cook this until fully mixed, and slightly runny. Next, add 3 cups of old fashioned uncooked, non-instant oatmeal and mix well. Take this off the heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Add the dark chocolate to the mix while still warm. Press this into a pan. Put in the fridge until completely cool, and cut to desired bar size. Enjoy.

This bar is so beautifully simple and tasty. It is one of my favorite quick bars. You get good fats and protein from the peanut butter, some good fiber from the oats, a quick boost from the honey sugars, and some antioxidants and caffeine from the chocolate. Beautiful.

This next recipe is very good and fruity and carries a lot of flavor and cheap energy.

Take 8 ounces of raisons, pitted dates, and figs and send them through a food processor. Mix this with 1 cup almond butter, and 1/2 cup peanut butter. Be patient as it can be difficult to grind up and mix this gooey mess. Then take this mess and flatten it in a pan to 1/2 inch thick. Let it sit in the pan and dry for a couple hours, then cut into bars, and wrap in Saran Wrap.

These bars are so packed with natural sugar that you will get your second wind seconds after eating one. Its also packed with Protein and Vitamin E to rebuild those muscles.

Image representing Recipezaar as depicted in C...

I got this recipe from RecipeZaar, and have been making it like crazy since. Here is what you will need:

1 cup peanut butter (or experiment with almond butter, too)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries or raisins (or a combination)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
3 cups puffed brown rice cereal

  1. Grease an 8×8 pan with a cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract until well-combined.
  3. Add the sunflower seeds, dried fruit, sesame seeds and coconut and combine thoroughly with the peanut butter mixture.
  4. Gradually add the puffed brown rice cereal to this.
  5. This is where a child comes in handy – this step is gooey and messy and best mixed with your hands- and kids love stuff like that.
  6. Firmly press the mixture into the prepared 8×8 pan; you’ll need to wet your hands slightly, otherwise the mixture just sticks to them.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, then cut and go biking!

You can also change up the fruit or add some chocolate (similar to the first recipe) to this mix to change it up a bit.

Here is my favorite recipe, the taste is oaty, chewy, with a hint of spice and a walnut crunch. Easy to make, and great for people on different special diets.

Ingredients:

Combine in a blender (or mash and mix by hand):
2 Tbsp flax seeds (grind in blender first) or 3 Tbsp pre-ground flax
3 large very ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 c)
1/4 – 1/3 c oil or melted butter (coconut oil tastes great)
1/4 c unsweetened apple or white grape juice concentrate (or maple syrup, or agave syrup)
2 – 4 tsp vanilla

Combine separately:
2 c large flake / old fashioned oats rolled (for gluten-free use gluten-free oats)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
*1/8 – 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Mix wet with dry. Then add:
1/2 c walnuts (chopped roughly)
1/2 c dates (chopped roughly)
*2 Tbsp candied orange peel (chopped finely) OR 1 tsp finely grated zest from an orange or lemon
*2 ounces of dark chocolate (chopped roughly) OR 1/3 c dark chocolate chips

*optional ingredients

(if you have the time, let the batter sit for 10 minutes or longer – if not, they still work out great)

Grease a medium-sized pan and press mixture in. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy these superb bars!

Doing it yourself, you will save cash and you will actually know what is going into the energy bar that you are about to eat on a long ride.

Here is another recipe that I picked up recently and tried, they’re very rich:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter (or experiment with almond butter, too)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries or raisins (or a combination)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 cups puffed brown rice cereal
  • butter, to grease pan

Other Optional Ingredients

  • chocolate or carob chips (optional)
  • sliced almonds (other nuts are a little too oily for this) (optional)

Directions

  1. Grease an 8×8 pan with a little butter.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract until well-combined.
  3. Add the sunflower seeds, dried fruit, sesame seeds and coconut and combine thoroughly with the peanut butter mixture.
  4. Gradually add the puffed brown rice cereal to this.
  5. This is where a child comes in handy– this step is gooey and messy and best mixed with your hands- and kids love stuff like that.
  6. Firmly press the mixture into the prepared 8×8 pan; you\’ll need to wet your hands slightly, otherwise the mixture just sticks to them.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, then cut and serve.

Anyone else have any good recipes to share?

Water Issues Are the Top Environmental Concern Worldwide


A comprehensive global public opinion survey on attitudes about fresh water sustainability, management and conservation finds that people around the world view water issues as the planet’s top environmental problem, greater than air pollution, depletion of natural resources, loss of habitat and climate change.

The poll surveyed 1,000 people in each of 15 countries, and probed 500 in each of the following countries on specific questions: Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The results were released today in Stockholm as part of World Water Week. The independent survey was commissioned by Circle of Blue, the Michigan-based international network of leading journalists, scientists and communicators focused on global water issues. Molson Coors Brewing Company supported the research, which was conducted by GlobeScan, a global survey research firm.

A close look at the results shows that people around the world view water pollution as the most important facet of the fresh water crisis, and that shortages of fresh water are very close behind. Across the 15 countries surveyed:

  • 93 percent say water pollution is a very serious (72 percent) or somewhat serious (21 percent) problem.
  • 91 percent believe that a shortage of fresh water is a very serious (71 percent) or somewhat serious (20 percent) problem.

Across the seven focus countries:

  • Government is considered among the most responsible for ensuring clean water.
  • 78 percent say “solving drinking water problems will require significant help from companies,” indicating that partnerships are an important component to resolving the world\’s fresh water sustainability challenges.
  • 76 percent say “I need more information to be able to do more to protect water.”

While people around the world agree on the importance of the issue, some key differences between the countries surveyed support the idea that solutions will have to be carefully tailored to local conditions:

  • Across the seven countries surveyed, people in Mexico are the most concerned about “lack of water for agriculture” (75 percent are very concerned). People in India are most concerned about “the high cost of water” (60 percent) compared to other countries.
  • People in Mexico express the most urgency about the severity of the pollution and water scarcity issues they face, but also the most optimism about their ability to solve the problems.
  • In all countries, more than half of those surveyed agree that government is responsible for ensuring clean water. When asked whether individual citizens are responsible, however, responses vary widely by country, from a high of 76 percent in Mexico to a low of 30 percent in China.

More than five million people die each year due to a lack of safe drinking water, and the United Nations estimates that 5.5 billion people will lack adequate access to fresh water in the next 20 years. Water scarcity and threats to water quality have emerged as serious threats to people and businesses around the world.

A must read – the Future of our civilization


Browsing the internet today, I read this interesting exchange of “Letters” between Paul Kingsnorth and George Moinbiot.  The blog entry Is there any point in fighting to stave off industrial apocalypse? can be found on the Guardian website. In the blog entry the argument leads of with the collapse of civilisation will bring us a saner world, says Paul Kingsnorth. No, counters George Monbiot – we can’t let billions perish.

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Three Factors Determine The ROI Of Project Portfolio Management Tools


Oracle Fusion Tap - Project Portfolio Management

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Project portfolio management (PPM) discipline has remained a significant effort in organizations of all sizes. Both inside and outside of IT, leaders are turning to PPM to better capture, manage, prioritize, and align investments and resources with the hopes of increasing the amount of business value they can provide.

Organizations are choosing to implement PPM software solutions to provide a tool base for this objective. Almost anyone who has looked into the return on a PPM software investment has seen massive triple-digit returns advertised by these vendors. But is it true? The answer is, “Yes - it can be.” A Total Economic Impact (TEI) analysis shows that a comprehensive PPM tool investment is likely to provide an ROI of more than 250%, whether delivered on-premise or via software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Want to know more – The ROI Of Project Portfolio Management Tools

Five ways to transform your office from cluttered to clean


Spring is here, which means office workers across Canada are getting ready to roll up their sleeves and clear workplace clutter. Not only does the annual chore slim storage cupboards and deep-clean desk drawers, it forces companies to rethink admin processes and best practices that ultimately benefit the bottom line. Here are a few tips  on how to clear the clutter, cut costs and keep your company’s carbon footprint in check:

  • Think first, toss second: Look for opportunities to reuse and recycle. Most imaging solution providers offer return programs for used toner cartridges and old equipment.
  • Curb consumption: Cut energy costs by consolidating your fax machine, scanner and printer into a single multifunction device. This cuts down on counter space real estate and device maintenance.
  • Conserve resources: Schedule an annual tech tune-up as a part of your spring cleaning routine to keep equipment running smoothly. Regular service calls maximize product lifecycles, reduce down-time and minimize environmental impact in the long run.
  • Scan and save: Reduce the need for filing cabinets by scanning old documents and archiving digital versions instead. Saving soft-copy files and storing backup disks improves organization, ensures reliability and lowers storage fees.
  • Cleanse your corporate culture: Encourage lean-printing behaviour by tracking needless colour and excessive printing. Use up-to-date devices and implement company-wide printing policies to cut waste, streamline employee usage and benefit the environment.
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DOG DIARY:


DOG DIARY:

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Oil scarcity will lead to the end of globalization


Cover of "Why Your World Is About to Get ...

Cover via Amazon

Jeff Rubin, chief economist of CIBC World  Markets, has resigned from CIBC after more than 20 years of service to focus on his new book. Random House Canada, along with Random House in the US and Virgin Books in the UK, will publish Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller, in May. The book explores the ways in which oil scarcity will lead to the end of globalization.

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