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CAA unveils Ontario’s top 10 worst roads of 2014

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Seven streets in Toronto are on the CAA’s list of the 10 worst roads in Ontario for 2014.

For the third year in a row, Dufferin Street claims the title.

The CAA announced the list at the intersection of Dufferin and Dupont streets on Wednesday morning.

The streets are:

1. Dufferin Street (Toronto)
2. Stanley Avenue (Niagara Falls)
3. Kipling Avenue (Toronto)
4. Finch Avenue West (Toronto)
5. Burlington Street East (Hamilton)
6. Bayview Avenue (Toronto)
7. Carling Avenue (Ottawa)
8. Markham Road (Toronto)
9. Lawrence Avenue East (Toronto)
10. Wilson Avenue (Toronto)

The CAA says that 90 per cent of worst-road voters complained about potholes and crumbling pavement.

“The condition of our road network is a growing concern for many Ontario families and will be on the minds of many voters during the provincial and municipal elections,” said the CAA’s Faye Lyons.

“The CAA is urging candidates to make this critical issue part of their election platforms.”

There was a 31 per cent increase in votes this year and more than 2,000 streets were nominated.

With files from Jaime Pulfer, 680News.com

Dr. Oz’s secrets to aging beautifully for every decade

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

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Growing old is a natural part of life, but you have the power to do it well. Here’s how to keep looking and feeling your best, decade by decade.

Bone up in your 20s.

You body builds new bone density until about age 30, so now’s the time to bolster bone health and lower your risk of osteoporosis. Eat plenty of foods rich in bone-building calcium, such as spinach, fortified orange juice, dairy products and fish. Aim for 1,000 mg of calcium from food each day (a half cup of spinach gives you 154 mg, while a half ounce of salmon will give you about 200 mg).

Save your skin in your 30s.

Protect your skin with sunscreen — applied generously and frequently, no matter the time of year. Look for products that contain retinol/retinoids and alpha-hydroxy acids. (Topical retinoids help improve skin texture while alpha-hydroxy acids even out skin tone.) Be sure your product of choice has an SPF of at least 45 for best protection.

Strength train in your 40s.

Your metabolism can really take a hit in this decade, which is when you may start seeing a loss in muscle mass. Stay strong with simple weight-bearing exercises — you don’t need a gym or a stack of weights to do it! Plank pose is great for toning arms and abs, while three sets of 10 squats a day can build your leg muscles and also strengthen your core.

Make friends in your 50s.

Social networking is critical to your health, and studies show people with strong friendships have a better sense of well-being. So schedule a daily phone call with a friend or get a workout buddy. And don’t forget sexual intimacy either: Sex has many health perks, including some bonus calorie burning.

Prioritize your beauty rest in your 60s.

Retirement can be a freeing experience, but work sometimes helps structure our lives, and if you’re not careful, a reduction in daytime activity and an inconsistent morning wake-up ritual can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Always aim for seven to eight hours of shut-eye and try to set a consistent schedule so that your body takes full advantage of the restorative power of rest.

Stay flexible in your 70s — and beyond.

Exercise is as important in your 70s and 80s as it was in your 20s, so try adding regular bouts of tai chi to your fitness routine. It’s a great form of slow-moving exercise that’s easy on joints and improves balance, which can help prevent dangerous falls. It also builds flexibility and knee strength. Aim for 20 minutes each day.

Read more from Dr. Oz:
Dr. Oz’s four-step summer skin Rx
How Dr. Oz stays healthy: His seven daily health rituals
Dr. Oz on sound sleep, less stress and better sex

Facebook app upgrade allows access to smartphone microphone

Winston Sih | posted Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

A new Facebook app feature that will allow the social media giant to access your smartphone microphone to capture sounds is raising privacy concerns.

In a release last week, Facebook said the user-optional feature could capture and identify audio, using the phone’s microphone. Facebook would then attempt to identify the song being listened to or the show being watched and incorporate it into a status update.

Facebook said no sound is stored, but admitted to International Business Times (IBT) that it plans to archive the data as code.

“If the feature finds a match, you can then choose to add the song, TV show or movie to your post,” the release states.

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Facebook says the upgrade will be available in the coming weeks on both its Android and iOS apps in the U.S.

Dr. Ilka Gleibs from the London School of Economics told IBT that consumers should be worried because they have no control over what happens to the data.

News that Facebook could access audio from your phone led to a strong reaction on Twitter.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Barton Gellman, who has extensively covered Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency, tweeted that he was deleting his Facebook app in response to the upgrade.

Also last week, Facebook announced that it was increasing privacy controls for new users — assuring that posts are automatically set only to be visible to friends.

With files from Michael Talbot, CityNews.ca

Week of May 26, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, May 25th, 2014

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Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

On Monday, Mairlyn Smith stops by to show us some great ways to eat local!

We’re cooking with Indian flavours on Wednesday–what you need to get started at home.

Plus, to round off the week on Friday, fitness guru Trish Stratus is in to get us in the yoga routine!

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

How to make the world’s best two-ingredient burger

Cityline | posted Saturday, May 24th, 2014

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Does this sunny weather have you craving burgers on the BBQ? Claire Tansey shows us how to make the most simple and delicious burger of all time.

Two-ingredient burger

Ingredients:

  • 750 g medium ground beef
  • 1  1/2 tsp coarse salt

Method:

Preheat barbecue to medium.

Shape beef into 6 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick. Press a shallow depression in centre of each patty to help keep its shape while cooking. Sprinkle both sides with salt. Season with fresh pepper.

Oil grill and barbecue burgers with lid closed for 5 to 7 min. Flip burgers, then continue grilling, with lid closed, until burgers are cooked, 6 more min. Let burgers rest 5 min before serving on toasted buns with your favourite toppings.

Prep 5 min | Total 15 min
Serves 6 | Per serving 415 calories, 18g protein, 38g fat, 665 mg sodium.

Tips to make the BEST burger:

  • Start with medium ground beef (instead of lean or extra-lean). It has a lot more flavour, and most of the fat drips away while it’s cooking.
  • Mix the meat with your hands (instead of using utensils). This will ensure you don’t over-mix the meat, and it creates a nice texture.
  • To make patties, take a handful of ground beef  and shape it into a ball, then flatten it out. Don’t make the patties too thick — half  an inch to an inch thick is  the perfect size.
  • Prevent burgers from puffing up into balls by taking your thumb and making a little indent in the middle of each patty.
  • The grill should be hot before you add the patties — this will ensure they don’t stick, and they’ll achieve that caramelized exterior.
  • Don’t flip them too many times. And never, ever press down on the patties with your spatula (that will make all the flavour escape!).
  • Use grated cheese (instead of sliced)  for extra oomph.
  • Hollow out the lid  of your bun to make more room for toppings.
  • Our favourite condiment is sriracha mayo — just stir some of the hot sauce into mayo and slather it on!

Courtesy Claire Tansey

www.chatelaine.com

@chatelaine

@tanseyclaire

Six tips to help you stay on top of your email

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

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Sabrina Geremia is manager, integrated solutions, for Google and heads up its initiative to bring talented girls from around the globe into the tech industry.

1. Separate business and pleasure

I have three different email accounts: Work, personal Gmail for friends and a third I share with my husband (it’s where we keep our family calendar to manage appointments and travel plans). Without having different inboxes I’d find it hard to keep track of who I’ve responded to and who I haven’t.

2. Try face time

If an email thread becomes too long, includes too many people or is delivering bad news, it’s probably not the right medium. This is the moment to get up from your desk or pick up the phone and actually have a conversation.

3. Weed out the clutter

I get over 100 emails a day so I have to have a system. When my inbox is full of unread messages, the first thing I do is delete or archive the ones I don’t need to read — I can usually tell from the subject line. The second step is to prioritize (star or label) the most important ones, then deal with them.

4. Email etiquette

Emails should be short and punchy, not essays. I often use bullets, or I bold key messages to make it clear what the purpose of the email is. Also, I don’t care how short it is — that’s no excuse for sloppy grammar, spelling, salutations or language.

5. Stop the deluge!

I regularly take a few moments to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. Simple, I know, but it really makes a difference. I’ve also found that the less email I send the less I receive.

6. Schedule screen time

Every Friday I sit down with my assistant to look at the week ahead and prioritize my time. Then we slot in blocks of work time. I use it to catch up on my emails. When I’m with my family I make sure I spend real time with my children instead of being distracted by my phone. The same goes for my team. We’ve developed a culture of not sending work-related emails on weekends unless it’s incredibly urgent.

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