Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Snapshot of 2011


Australian Scott Jones kisses his Canadian girlfriend Alex Thomas after she was knocked to the ground by a police officer's riot shield in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadians rioted after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I am going to let these images speak for themselves. Click on the title below to view remarkable images capturing the highs and lows of this year:


Two lights from the former site of the World Trade Centers shine for the 10th anniversary of 9/11

US gay service members march in a gay pride parade for the first time ever.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gay Penguins Must Mate for Survival


Pedro and Buddy came to the Toronto Zoo this year from Pittsburgh's National Avairy to "pair bond" (aka get hooked up with a couple females). Instead of pursuing the eligible females, Pedro and Buddy became quite the love birds. The cute couple were snuggling, calling to each other, and displaying courtship behaviour. Cute, right? Well until the fact that these African penguins are flirting with extinction...

The Toronto Zoo has decided to isolate the pair for the sake of their species survival. Mr. Mason, curator of birds and invertebrates at the Toronto Zoo, explains the following:

“The two girls have been following them; we just have to get the boys interested in looking at them... If [Pedro and Buddy] weren’t genetically important, then we’d let them do their thing"

They want to be clear that their separation of the homosexual penguins is by no means trying to be anti-gay. The zoo simply cannot afford to go a season without passing on the penguins' genes.

I am curious to see if the males will even be interested in the females. Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I promise to love you in sickness and in health, until 2013.

Sounding much like an informercial, Leonel Luna from the Democratic Revolution essentially wants to give couples a test run of their marriage without having them commit to "until death do us part" right off the bat. Out of 33,000 couples that tied the knot in Mexico City in the past 2 years, approximately 16,000 filed for divorce. Knowing the financial setback a failed marriage creates, Luna introduced a bill to Mexico City's legislative assembly.

"Under Luna's bill, couples would sign a marriage contract that would last two years. Once that term was over, the couple would have the option to renew. The contract would specify if property is owned by both spouses or separately. It would also state who would get custody of the children, if any, and how benefits would be distributed." -CNN

As you could imagine, the two-year marriage bill is causing quite the controversy especially in a country with the second largest catholic population in the world. This clearly goes against their values. Take a look at the CNN report to learn more about the reasoning behind proposing this bill.




What do you think about having a 2 year marriage contract implemented?

For the full article click here

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Beautiful Addiction

A recent Harvard University study researched how men react to seeing beautiful women. The result?

"A beautiful woman's face is like chocolate, cash, or cocaine to a young man's brain." -ABC7 News

Watch this news report for more details...
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Socialnomics

Take a look at this video on just how huge social media is. The FactSnacks in here will blow your mind!


I have blogged on a couple topics mentioned in this video. For more details on the baby named "Facebook" and the Star Wars Volkswagen commercial click the links below.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Best Places to be a Woman


Newsweek magazine recently ranked 165 countries to measure the state of women's progress across the globe. Below are the 5 categories that were examined and graded:
1. Treatment under the law
2. Workforce participation
3. Political power
4. Access to education
5. Access to health care

I am happy to say that Canada placed very high! Check out the top scores:







Newsweek highlights women's progress worth celebrating. Examples include a woman holding the top spot at the International Monetary Fund, self made female billionaires in Beijing, and women holding highest political offices from Thailand to Brazil, Costa Rica to Australia!

Unfortunately, there are also countries highlighted where women are not progressing. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive. In Somalia, 95% of women are subjected to genital mutilation. Also, the poverty rate in the U.S.A. rose to 14.5% last year (the highest in 17 years!).

What stood out to me the most in this article was a success story about a country who would have ranked very poorly less than 10 years ago but is now climbing the charts. Take a look at what Newsweek had to say about it:

"In our own research, the country that holds some of the most significant lessons doesn’t rank at the top or the bottom, although a decade ago, it almost surely would have come close to last. In 2003, after decades of civil war, Rwanda’s transitional government passed legislation requiring that a third of the seats in Parliament be held by women. Today, its Parliament is more than 50 percent women, and girls are enrolled in secondary school at the same rate as boys. Last year the World Economic Forum ranked Rwanda first among East African nations in economic innovation."
Oh, and incase you were wondering, the United States placed 8th. They had an overall score of 89.8 compared to Canada's score of 96.6!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

And Then There Was Light

Below is emotional footage of a group of chimpanzees seeing daylight for the first time in 30 years!


The chimpanzees were taken from their mothers shortly after their birth and transported to an Austrian facility. They were locked in cages for 30 years for medical testing. When in isolation, scientists gave them HIV and hepatitis.

Finally, the testing came to an end once the pharmaceutical company behind the research was sold (thank goodness). It was now time to reintroduce the chimps to the outside world. They were moved to a farm where their keepers struggled to get them outside. As one might assume, this was a very confusing process for the group who had not seen the light of day in decades.

Once they finally made it out, their reaction says it all. The farm keepers and others present at this time were overjoyed with excitement to see their reaction. I found it precious!

"They hugged as if saying, 'We're finally free'. And then they laughed." -Commentator

"The chimps are incredibly happy. This is amazing, I have been waiting for this moment for so long." -Renate Foidl, their keeper

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How Much is That Girly in the Window?


In the spirit of students heading back to school, I decided to share this bold advertisement for Axe Body Spray.

The side of this all female college residence building was wrapped in a giant calendar of the month of March. The fine print, on the bottom right of this image under AXE SCHEDULE, says the following:

"As wrapping the female students' dormitory in the shape of calendar and using Axe for a month throughout March, we aimed for the expression that a new female can be met on a daily basis, to promote the brand image and preference for Axe."

In my opinion, the message is more along the lines of "you can have a new female everyday of the week". While I will give this campaign props for being bold and creative, I cannot help but believe this is a blatant objectification of women. I do not know how an educational institution (or any building for that matter) would support having this displayed on their building.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Beautiful Nightmare


A new world record worth reading, but never to try topping. Monaco has recently gone in the books for the most expensive car pile-up. A Bentley crashed into a Mercedes, a Ferrari, a Porsche, and an Aston Martin right in front of the famous Place du Casino! I guess luck was not on their side, here are the stats (USD):

- Bentley Azure ($408,135)
- Mercedes S Class ($122,485)
- Ferrari F430 ($228,625)
- Aston Martin Rapide ($228,625)
- Porsche 911 ($130,645)



"The entire cost of repairs is estimated at over £40,000 ($65,340) as the Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and the Bentley would all need new front wings and bumpers, with added expense of door repairs for the Bentley." - Source

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Blind Visionary



Fact: The painting above was done by a man born without eyes. Esref Armagan has been blind his entire life and has astounded scientists with his incredible paintings. He has proven that vision is more than information brought in from our eyes. It also involves our ability to understand space.


Scientists at Harvard University used an MRI scanner to observe his brain. While painting, regions of Esref's brain that should not have any activity (due to his blindness) react in an extraordinary way. How he captures perspective and depth absolutely baffled scientists.


"No one can call me blind. I can see more with my fingers than sighted people can see with their eyes." -Esref Armagan

Take a look at this video to get a better understanding of how astounding he really is.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Heart New York

Gay couples lined up outside the city's marriage bureau in New York excited and anxiously awaiting their opportunity to take advantage of their new right to marry. ABC News stated the following:

"Officials, expecting a rush of gay couples wanting to get married, initially set a lottery capping the number of marriages on Sunday to 764 couples, but later accepted all 823 couples across all five city boroughs."

Above is a photo from the first gay marriage in New York. Kitty Lambert, 54, and Cheryle Rudd, 53, tied the knot at Niagara Falls' State Park's Luna Island. Starting at midnight, couples started saying "I do" all across the state and I could not be happier. New York became the 6th and largest state to recognize same-sex marriage.

Seeing the overwhelmingly joyous reactions warms my heart. Below are a few of my favourite photos from some of the 823 couples' big day.


Phyllis Siegel, 77, and Connie Kopelove, 85, were the first couple to be married in Manhattan. They have been together for 23 years.







I wish New York's newly weds all the best! xoxo

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bomb Diggity


Darren Clarke won the Open Championship and happily embraces the Claret Jug. Some fun facts about Clarke include the following:

- At 42, he is the oldest golfer to win the Open Championship since Roberto De Vicenzo

- No one, until now, has ever won the Open after more than 15 attempts. This was his 20th!
- Known for drinking 24 pints of Guinness after his Ryder Cup victory

The most interesting thing about Clarke, in my opinion, has nothing to do with golf. Below is an excerpt form an article written in February of 2003 from CBC's Golf Digest:

"In one of the few jobs I've had apart from golf," Clarke says, "I worked in a nightclub, setting up the bar. One day, after I'd been there a couple of hours, a call came through that a bomb was ready to go off in 15 minutes. Everyone cleared out. Sure enough, exactly 15 minutes later, the whole place was flattened. I'd been 10 yards from the bomb for two hours. You say, growing up, that you get used to it. But you don't."
Source

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Pollux, a black Labrador, decided she needed to see more of Canada. In June of 2010, she ran from the backyard of her home in east-end Montreal and headed west. In fact, a year later she was found 4,500 km away from home in Kamloops, B.C.!

There are many theories as to how Pollux traveled across Canada. She escaped her backyard through an open gate on a rainy day. Owner, Isabelle Robitaille, thinks she hopped on a freight train to avoid the water (which she hated). Robitaille also considers the possibility that a trucker or family that was heading west may have picked up Pollux on the way.

It was not until Canada Day of 2011 when Robitaille received a call from the SPCA branch in Kamloops. Thanks to a chip that was implanted in the dog, her owner's information was retrieved and Pollux can go home sweet home.

Pollux -might I add- was found in good health and good body condition. She will be flown home to be reunited with her family just in time for her 9th birthday.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Phil Pallen #WINNING


I just wanted to send a BIG congratulations to Phil Pallen! Not only is Phil the creative and talented mastermind behind FactSnacks graphic design but he has landed a job with Ryan Seacrest Productions! After competing for the chance to be Charlie Sheen's Social Media Intern and making to the final round from 80,000 contestants, Phil has taken advantage of the great opportunities the new found publicity has gotten him. I could not be more proud and many people would agree...

Facebook post

Article published by the Toronto Star. Click here to read!


Yep, it's legit!


And last but not least...

I would like to point out that I received the first shout-out (no big deal). I feel honoured and will continue to show my love and support for my dear friend as be climbs the ladder of success. I feel it was just yesterday we were combining my creativity and his technique to create digital masterpieces!
I strongly encourage all of you to visit Phil's webpage, fan him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter... pretty much cyber stalk the crap out of him. Why? Because he is incredibly talented and deserves all that he has recently been awarded. I will leave you with my personal favourite video from his Charlie Sheen campaigning days...

Facebook: Fan Page
Twitter: @philpallen

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bio-engineering: What's Next?!

This blog showcases undeniably attention grabbing photographs pertaining to Paul Root Wolpe's speech entitled "It's time to question bio-engineering". Although the speech is a tad on the long side (approx 20 minutes), I found it to be an incredibly interesting presentation. Wolpe opens by explaining his topic is about "intentionally designing and altering the physiological forms that inhabit our planet."

Please note the following pictures are real and taken directly from Wolpe's presentation.

A bioluminescent gene (taken from deep sea jellyfish) has been put into mammal cells. This lead to putting it into organisms such as mice, puppies and monkeys. It is only a matter of time before humans will be able to glow in the dark...

He also touches on animal hybrids we are already aware of (like the ones below) and what is to come!
Zorse (Zebra+Horse)

Liger (Lion+Tiger)


Below are a couple examples of "Bugbots". These flies, cockroaches and moths are wired and can be navigated throughout labs much like a remote control car, airplane or robot. Thus stripping them of their autonomy. Also, "Bugbots" are only the beginning...


In additon, if you find this image to be as repulsive yet terrible intriguing as I do, then I advise you watch the video to feed your curiosity.

I have briefly touched on some of the highlights of this alarming speech. To take the images showcased to a whole new level watch the clip below and learn about what is next for intentional design with respect to human beings!


And thank you Sarah Jane for sending my this video!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

SlutWalk Toronto




As I type, Toronto's SlutWalk is well on its way. Starting with speeches from 1:30-2:00 and followed by a walk from the Legislative Building to Toronto Police Headquarters at 40 College Street. The SlutWalk idea sparked as a reaction to comments made by a police officer that victims can be blamed for sexual assault based on how they dress.

"On Jan 24, Const. Michael Sanguinetti told a group of students at York University : 'Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.' " - Montreal Gazette

Despite the police force's apologies, Sonya Barnett (SlutWalk Co-Founder) believes this is an indicator with respect to issues of "victim-blaming" within the police force. She encourages everyone to come out to support the walk in whatever he/she feels. The can range from fishnets and stilettos to jeans and an old tee shirt.

"Our stance is that slut is an attitude, not a look." -Sonya Barnett

This year's SlutWalk Toronto is expected to have over 3,000 participants. With lots of buzz being generated from its social media that number could increase by many! I encourage you to learn more about the march and check out what has been said by visiting the following links. I hope the event has much success!

Click on the following to learn more and show support:



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Name Hall of Fame


To show his gratitude for the social media website that played such an important role in the organization of the protests in Tahrir Square, a young Egyptian man decided to name his baby "Facebook".

One of Egypt's most popular newspapers, Al-Ahram, covered the story and wrote the following:
"A young man in his twenties wanted to express his gratitude about the victories the youth of 25th of January have achieved and chose to express it in the form of naming his firstborn girl 'Facebook' Jamal Ibrahim (his name).

The girl's family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook."
Photo Credit: Dina at a protest downtown Toronto

There are more Facebook users in Egypt than any other country in Middle East/North Africa region. Facebook has also reported a big increase in the number of Egyptian users in the past 2 months with 32,000 groups and 14,000 pages created within 2 weeks after January 25th.

Yes, I can see how naming your child Facebook can be a bit much, but take into consideration the story behind it. I mean, her name sparked a revolution that will be talked about for generations to come... I was named after my mom's favourite character in a book. Clearly my story pales in comparison to baby Facebook's. Also, I have heard of baby names far worse -and much less meaningful- than Facebook.

Take Rusty Real from D'Iberville, Mississippi for example. He thought it would be a grand old idea to name his son "ESPN Montana Real" after the sports channel and the football player, respectively. This poor little guy is destined to be a meathead. The article does state that it is pronounced "Espen"... but there's not getting around the fact you named your child after a sports channel. What's worse is that he is not the only one!

"What's sad is that Rusty is not alone: at least three other parents- who, we must assume are all dads with the IQs equal to a head of lettuce- have christened their kids after the sports network." -Source

So remember kids, coming from someone who resented her name for the better part of her life, it could be worse!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

1 is the Loneliest Number


Forget Nemo, someone needs to find this whale a friend! It has been tracked since 1992 and been labeled the loneliest whale in the world. Nicknamed "the 52 Hertz whale", it sings at a frequency of 51.75 Hz whereas others of it's kind sing at 15 - 25 Hz. To make a long story short, no one else can hear it; the frequency is completely different.

To make matters worse, it does not travel along migration routes of any baleen whale species. There is no opportunity for other whales to run into it along migration paths. For almost 2 decades the NOAA has been using "classified array of hydrophones employed by the Navy to monitor enemy submarines" to listen to it's desperate cries for attention trying to find a mate, friends, or anyone/thing that will listen. This simply breaks my heart.

"The best guess of researchers is that this lonely whale is either a 'deformed' hybrid between 2 species of whale, or the last surviving member of an unknown species." - Impact Lab

According to The New York Times article, the whale calls out at the regularity of a metronome. Now that is persistence. However, over time the notes have become to get a bit deeper and some feel it may be linked to sadness and despair. I hope that one day this whale bumps into another because everyone needs a friend! Even whales that sing their own tune :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taking Modeling to New Heights


***This post has been brought to you by GUEST BLOGGER WES aka FactSnacks' biggest fan. I appreciate the love and the blog entry! Give it a read and enjoy.***

Many women would agree that dating a taller man is ideal…. so what’s a girl to do if she happens to be a towering 6 foot 8 inches tall? Well, she could hope to link up with a NBA Center (See Shaquille O’Neal or Andrea Bargnani) or she could become a professional model! Meet Amazon Eve, the World’s Tallest Model. She was recently granted the title by the Federation of World Records and is waiting to be measured by Guinness World Records for their official recognition.

When you think tall, this girl has it all. She has a 40” inseam, 38” arms and a size 14 shoe size! At age 14 Eve was 5 foot 11 inches tall, and grew an additional 9 inches in the next 4 years.

Her big break in the modeling world happened in November 2009 when she was featured on the cover of the Australian Edition of Zoo Weekly, a men’s magazine. Since then, Amazon Eve’s lengthy figure has graced magazines, newspapers, and websites in over 27 countries around the world. Aside from modeling, Eve has worked as an actor, a personal trainer, and a paralegal, with hopes to complete law school in the near future.

Bearing her new title as the World’s Tallest Model, the sky is indeed the limit for the soaring self-proclaimed Super Woman. Perhaps general managers of the WNBA will take notice in Amazon Eve, and see if her talents extend beyond her already full-sized resume. Check below for a video of some of her photo shoots (at 1:20 you will experience the true length).

Thanks again to Wes for guest blogging on FactSnacks. If anyone else has blog-worthy information do not be shy to let me know! :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Force is With This Cutie

Split screen of Max Page & Mark Hamill

If you do not recognize the adorable Max Page it is because he sported a Darth Vader costume in my favourite Super Bowl commercial of 2011. Even though Max's identity was not unveiled in the ad, many have commented on the striking resemblance he has to Mark Hamill... and I would have to agree.

What's even funnier? Max has not even seen an episode of Star Wars! So much for studying for your role, luckily he is so cute he can get away with it.

Despite "The Force" not being with him for the commercial, Max has overcome much in life as his mother explains in a NBC interview that "he is a real inspiration". Born with a heart defect, Max had surgery at 3 months old and now has a pacemaker. He lives his life like any other 6 year old boy now... with the exception he is now a mini superstar and appears on The Young and the Restless. I would say that "The Force" is definitely with him.

Check him out in action in Volkswagon's 2011 Super Bowl Commercial below

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Uh huh you know what it is.. SUPER BOWL!

GO STEELERS GO!

It is Sunday February 6, 2011 and we all know what that means... GLEE is back! Arguably just as-if not more- important, it is Super Bowl Sunday. The 1 day of the year (besides Thanksgiving) when Americans consume the most food and (besides New Year's Eve) have the most drunk driving arrests.

Of the top 10 most watched TV programs ever in American history 9 have been Super Bowls. Will you be tuning in?

When watching tonight please consider the following:

- Although footballs are called pig skins they have never been made of it (BUT some early footballs were made from pig bladders)
- Footballs are all cow hide and it takes 3,000 cows to make enough balls for one NFL season
- The Wall Street Journal collaborated with other researchers to record how much of what happens in the 3 hours it takes for an American football game and here were their findings:
--> HALF are commercials
--> One third consists of players standing around (usually waiting for the clock to run out)
--> 17 minutes of replays
--> Only 11 minutes contains actual live ball game time!

To learn more interesting football facts watch the clip below. Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

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