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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Toronto School Bans Balls

Students at Earl Beatty Public School in Toronto aren’t allowed to play with balls in their school playground any more.
The school has banned balls – including soccer balls, footballs, baseballs and tennis balls – from its playground.
Kids can only play with soft, foam balls such as Nerf balls.
The ban was put in place after a parent was hit in the head with a soccer ball and suffered a concussion.
The school’s principal, Alicia Fernandez, said kids were often getting hurt by balls in the playground. She said they were sometimes scared. She also pointed out that the school has a very small outdoor play area.
Some parents say the ban is an overreaction. One parent told CBC news that he was “disgusted” by the ban because it goes too far.
Some parents said that there are many things that can cause an injury, and it’s not possible to protect kids from absolutely everything that could hurt them.
A spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board said the school will have a discussion with parents, and perhaps another solution will be found.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Justin Bieber Is Home For The Holidays

Justin Bieber; Image Adam Sundana
Justin Bieber came home for the holidays on Wednesday night - to Canada.
The Stratford, Ont.-born teen idol spread plenty of good cheer while visiting Toronto.
One of the first things he did on arriving in the country was to hold a benefit concert and raise $500,000 for Bieber’sBelieve charity, for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Sunnybrook Foundation and Project Medishare.
The concert, held at Toronto’s historic Massey Hall, was taped for a TV special that aired on MuchMusic and CTV last night. It was called Justin Bieber: Home for the Holidays.
The concert got off to a late start, but with good reason. Bieber was backstage with three special fans, Jalissa (10), Jake (8) and Harvey (16), who are each battling life-threatening illnesses. Their “wish” was to meet the pop star and Bieber wasted no time in making their wishes come true.
Bieber had been busy that day – he’d also dropped by Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank to make a donation.
And that’s after he joined some of The Maple Leafs hockey players on the ice at the Air Canada Centre.
During his Massey Hall concert Bieber debuted a new song, “Be Alright” in front of about 2,700 fans. The show sold out show in about half an hour.
Website dose.ca said the concert featured stripped-down arrangements for guitar, piano and a choir of shrieks. The last item describes the effect Bieber has on his young female fans, who tend to scream and sing throughout his songs. (At the end of his concert, Bieber asked his fans to stop screaming or he wouldn’t do an encore. They didn’t; but he did, anyway.)
The website said that when Bieber described his new song as being about getting through hard times with your girlfriend or boyfriend, “the kids throughout the concert hall began buzzing ‘Selena Gomez!’”
Bieber’s parents, grandparents and childhood friends were in the audience, supporting the pop star.
Although fans were warned not to take videos, at least one did – and you can watch a clip from the show at http://www.dose.ca/music/5898825/story.html.
Dose.ca isn’t specifically a kid-friendly website, so please visit the site under adult supervision.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Maple Leafs, Raptors, and TFC Sold

Toronto Maple Leafs
Some of Toronto’s most popular sports teams including the Maple Leafs, Raptors, and Toronto Football Club have new owners.
They have been bought for more than $1-billion by Rogers Communications and Bell Canada, two Canadian companies that sell phones and TV and internet services. Bell and Rogers also own the country’s two main sports-only channels, TSN and Sportsnet.
The new owners would be happy if the hockey team could win a Stanley Cup or two. It would be the first time since 1967. But the real reason they bought the teams is because they broadcast sports games on their TV channels.
The Toronto Raptors
They also want to show games and highlights on cellphones and the internet, so fans can watch sports wherever they are and whenever they want.
Nadir Mohamed, who is the boss at Rogers, said buying the teams will create a “perfect marriage” of the games and the phones and other communications services he sells to customers.
Rogers will be able to put together “highly interactive and engaging experiences for hockey, basketball and soccer fans,” he said.
The Toronto Football Club

In actuality, Rogers and Bell are buying 75% of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Inc. (MLSE). MLSE not only owns the teams, but properties such as the Air Canada Centre where many of the games are played as well.
The reason Rogers and Bell are able to buy control of MLSE is because the largest chunk was put up for sale by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). OTPP uses the money it earns from selling things like MLSE to pay teachers who have retired from teaching.
By Jonathan Tilly
Writing/Discussion PromptIf you owned MLSE what things would be the first things you would change? What would you do to make MLSE more successful?
Reading Prompt: Extending UnderstandingsConnect today’s article with something you’ve read (text-to-text), something you’ve seen in the world (text-to-world), and something you’ve experienced (text-to-self). If you get stuck, remember to consider similarities and differences.
PrimaryExtend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Junior & IntermediateExtend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Baghdad - A string of deadly bombings

Iraqi security forces and people inspect the scene of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011.Baghdad - A string of deadly bombings in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Thursday have triggered fears that the country is sliding toward a civil war after US troops completed their withdrawal.
More than 70 people were killed in the apparently coordinated bombings that hit mostly Shiite neighbourhoods in the morning rush hour. Shops were closed and streets were almost empty as many Iraqis feared more attacks were on the way.
'The timing and location of the explosions show they have a political agenda behind them,' Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said. However, he stopped short of identifying the masterminds.
They were the first large-scale attacks after a crisis between al-Maliki and two Sunni Muslim political rivals erupted this week following the withdrawal of US troops at the weekend.
More than 180 people were wounded in the attacks, which involved 13 car bombs and roadside explosives.
While no one had yet claimed responsibility for the bombings, Sunni and Shiite extremist groups as well as al-Qaeda operatives have been blamed for such attacks in the past.
The bombings revived memories of the sectarian violence that peaked in Iraq in 2005 and almost pushed the country toward a civil war. However, violence receded after a US troops surge and successful crackdowns on militias with Iraqi forces.
The latest attacks have coincided with rising political tensions between the Shiite majority and the Sunni minority.
In the wake of the bombings, Iyad Allawi, a former Shiite prime minister, called on al-Maliki to resign, saying his government had failed to provide security for Iraqis.
Allawi heads the Iraqiya Bloc, which won most seats in a 2010 parliamentary election and last week suspended its participation in parliament in protest at what it said was al-Maliki's monopolization of decision-making.
The attacks came one day after al-Maliki urged Kurdish authorities to hand over the Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi to face trial in Baghdad for his alleged involvement in plotting attacks near parliament in November.
Al-Maliki claims the attacks were intended to target him. Al-Hashemi, the country's most important Sunni official, remains in the semi-autonomous Kurdish north and has said he would only appear in court there where he will be treated 'justly.'
Al-Maliki has also asked parliament to sack his deputy, Saleh al-Mutlaq, who compared the Shiite premier to Saddam Hussein. Both al-Hashemi and al-Mutlaq belong to the Iraqiya Bloc, which has a strong Sunni following.
Al-Maliki's moves were interpreted by the Sunni minority as an attempt to consolidate Shiite control of the government after the US withdrawal.
The Sunni minority has been feeling marginalized since the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Baha al-Araji, a prominent follower of the influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Thursday urged the country's squabbling politicians to brush aside their differences to avoid more violence by extremist militias.
'There should be no overlapping between political differences and today's bombings,' al-Araji, a lawmaker, said.
'It is possible that a third party is seeking to fan tensions to stoke up sectarian sedition again in the country,' he added.
This information was found and by http://article.wn.com all rights reserved. 

Google Offers Holiday Easter Eggs

If you type the words “let it snow” (without the quotation marks) into the search engine Google.com or Google.ca*, you probably won’t be surprised when Google gives you back a list of links to the classic Christmas song.
What might surprise you, however, is that it will also start snowing on your computer screen!
Eventually, so much “snow” will fall that your screen will fog up. But don’t worry, you can click on Google’s “defrost” button to clear it again. You can also use your mouse to “wipe” the screen clean.
This trick is known as an Easter egg. The term refers to eggs that are hidden during Easter for children to find.
What Google’s programmers are doing is hiding a little surprise right in their search engine — kind of like an Easter egg hunt.
If you know what to type, and you’re using the right browser software (it won’t work with older versions of Internet Explorer), you can discover some fun Easter eggs.
For instance, if you go to Google.com and type Hannukah, Google will string a set of virtual stars across the top of your screen.
If you type Christmas lights or Santa Claus, you’ll get a string of Christmas lights across the top of the page.
This kind of thing is nothing new for Google, which for years has been very inventive about taking the tedium out of searching the Internet.
Here are some other Easter eggs Google has hidden:
- search for [askew] or [tilt] (Note: don’t type the brackets, just the words.)
- search for [recursion]
- search for [google gravity] and click the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button
- search for [do a barrel roll]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gap Between Rich-Poor Growing: OECD

Rich and poorCanada’s rich people are getting richer and the country’s poor people are getting poorer.
That’s because the gap — or distance — between the amount of money the richest and poorest people earn at their jobs is widening.
The richest Canadians earn 10 times more than the poorest. That means if the average rich person earns about $100,000 a year, the poorest earns only about $10,000 for a whole year.
A new report by an international organization called the OECD* said the same thing has been happening in many countries including the United States. It has been happening since the 1990s, before the new millennium.
Back then, Canada’s richest, or wealthiest, people earned only eight times more than the country’s poorest. So if the average poor person had earned $10,000 a year then, the average rich person would have earned about $80,000, not $100,000 like they earn today.
Some people are angry about the difference in pay between rich people and poor people. They have been protesting, some of them by living in tents in parks. This is called the Occupy movement.
Another reason people are angry is that the government used to make sure the wealthiest people shared their money with the poorest. But this is not happening as much as it did before and the money is not going to the people who need it the most.
Governments used to make sure the money was shared by collecting more from the rich in taxes. The OECD organization that conducted the study of the rich and poor people in many countries suggested that maybe governments should do this again.
The OECD also suggested that countries educate their people well in school and offer them good training programs for the rest of their working lives.
One thing Canada is doing well is providing services to people, including education and healthcare. Only Korea, Mexico and Iceland put higher importance on services, the OECD said.
*OECD stands for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. According to itswebsite, the OECD’s mission “is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.”

Two Earth-Sized Planets Discovered

Kepler space telescope; image: NASA
Two planets have been discovered, about 1,000 light years away from Earth.
Both of the planets are about the size of Earth. Kepler-20e is slightly smaller, and Kepler-20f is slightly larger than Earth.
The surface of the planets are too hot for water to exist on them; it would not be possible for life to exist on them either. They are hot because they orbit close to a star very much like our sun.
Kepler-20e has a termperature of about 760 degrees Celcius. (In contrast, Earth’s average surface temperature is 14 degrees Celsius.)
The planets were discovered during a mission by NASA using the Kepler space telescope. They have been combing the skies searching for planets since about 2009; the mission will last about 3.5 years. One of the most important goals of the mission was to find Earth-sized planets. These two are the first ones they have found.
The planets are part of a five-planet solar system.
The discovery demonstrates for the first time that Earth-sized planets exist around other stars, said a spokesperson for the mission. (They are known as “extrasolar” planets.)
The scientists used an interesting method of discovering the planets. They monitor a section of the sky with the Kepler telescope and watch the brightness of about 145,000 stars. When the brightness of a star changes, it may indicate the presence of a planet passing by it. When it happens a few times, they become more certain it is caused by a planet.

Harper And Obama Agree On A New Border Plan

Barack Obama and Stephen Harper
Canada and the United States are working together to make it easier for people to travel across their common border.
This week, U.S. President Barack Obama and Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, agreed to a “cross-border plan” to make it easier and quicker for Canadians to travel to the U.S. It will also help companies in both countries to do business together.
Harper has agreed to a “common perimeter”–a type of border all around North America–so more careful checking can be done on who and what comes across the borders from Canada. Canada has also agreed to get more information about people when they come into Canada from other countries and to put in American-style bomb detection machines for checking luggage.
Some people say that the Prime Minister is letting go of some control by agreeing to all the American security rules; they worry that the Americans are getting more out of the plan than the Canadians.
Both leaders have agreed to the plan and will work to make sure it gets implemented. Special projects will test parts of the plan before it is put in place everywhere.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-il Dead

Kim Jong-il; Image: www.kremlin.ru.

The ruler of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, passed away on Saturday.
He died, at age 69, of heart failure.
North Korea’s people know him as “Dear Leader.” They went into the streets to mourn his passing.
However, his death creates a lot of uncertainty about what will happen in North Korea. Many world leaders are concerned about the situation there now.
One reason is that North Korea has nuclear weapons, so nearby countries like Japan and in particular South Korea, reportedly have their military on “high alert.”
Another reason for concern is that before his death, Kim passed control of the country to one of his sons, Kim Jong-un, who is in his 20s. (It’s not known exactly how old he is.) Kim Jong-un is largely unknown to other world leaders. In fact, until two years ago, the only picture the CIA had of him was as a student in short pants at a school he was attending in Switzerland, according to The Toronto Star newspaper.
There is a concern that the North Korean military may take power out of the hands of the new young leader. They could also allow power to remain in the hands of the Kim family.
Some experts say that the transition of power will be a smooth one, and that the country may become more stable. Others disagree.
In any case, the United States and other countries will be keeping a close eye on events in North Korea.
Kim Jong-il’s funeral will be held on Dec. 28; the country will have an official period of mourning until Dec. 29

WWII Bomb Successfully Defused In Germany

Koblenz Bomb
A whole town in Germany had to be evacuated earlier this month, while an enormous bomb was successfully diffused.Diffused means dismantled so it wouldn’t blow up.
The bomb was from World War II (WWII). It had been dropped on Germany by the Allies (the coalition of countries, including Canada, that fought Germany in the war) in the mid-1940s.
There are many unexploded bombs in the country, but this one – at 1.8 tonnes – was one of the biggest. There was another, smaller, bomb there too, which had been dropped by U.S. forces.
The bombs had been laying at the bottom of the Rhine river in a town called Koblenz.
When the water level in the river fell, due to a dry period, the bombs were discovered.
Because they had been sitting in water for a long time, they were very dangerous. The explosives could have reacted with the water, which made it very dangerous for the people who had to remove the detonators. (A detonator acts like a trigger.)
While the bombs were being diffused, everyone had to leave the town – just in case anything bad happened.
More than 45,000 people (about half the town) were evacuated, including everyone in two hospitals, seven nursing homes and even a prison.
Shelters were set up to house people while they were out of their homes, but only about 500 people used them. Most people stayed with friends or relatives.
Hundreds of sandbags were loaded up around the bombs and about 41 centimetres of water was pumped out. Then the bombs were diffused. It took about three hours.
Experts say now that the water level in the Rhine is lower, they may find more bombs.
More than 600 tonnes of unexploded weaponry is discovered every year in Germany; about one of every 10 bombs the Allies dropped didn’t explode.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Canadian Dollar Bills

Polymer Series

The Bank of Canada has introduced a new Money design look for the public coming soon in 2012 - 2013. The Bank of Canada has released a picture of the $100 design look.

The new $100 bill features a picture of Sir Robert Borden, who was the Prime Minister from 1911 and 1920. The back of the bill celebrates innovation in medical research, including the Canadian discovery of insulin, which is used to treat diabetes.

The new “bank notes” (or bills) are better for the environment than paper bills because they will last more than twice as long. They are also more secure, meaning that they cannot be easily copied or “counterfeited” by criminals.
The $100 bill has a few interesting security features. For instance, there is a transparent window in the bill. The window has a holograph in it which can be seen from either side.
The new $100 bills are able to be recycled, after their lifespan as ended, into other products.
The Bank of Canada is also introducing a new $50 bill in March 2012. A new $20 bill will begin circulating in late 2012, followed by $10 and $5 notes in 2013.
On the front of a Canadian dollar bill, there is usually the face of a previous Prime Minister.  On the back of a bill, there is often a symbol of Canada (such as the loon) or an image showing an important part of Canadian history (such as the invention of insulin).
In your opinion, what images should be on the back of the new $5, $10 and $20 bills?
(This paragraph is copyright of Breaking News)
Polymer Notes - Poster

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Website released to the public.

We have finally released our website to the public on Twitter and Facebook. Viewers may now read pages, news/updates, and view our social pages. We would like to also give this thanks to Trainman1405 for helping us with a bit of coding, fixing up, and others. Enjoy exploring the wonders of the site.