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8 recipes for turkey leftovers

Today's Parent | posted Tuesday, Oct 13th, 2015

Welcome to the world: Toronto Zoo giant panda gives birth to two cubs

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Oct 13th, 2015

The Toronto Zoo has announced a Canadian first – the birth of two giant panda cubs.

Er Shun, the Zoo’s female giant panda, gave birth to her first cub at 3:31 a.m. on Tuesday. The newborn weighed 187.7 grams. The second cub was born at 3:44 a.m., weighing 115 grams.

It may take several months before Zoo officials can determine the cubs’ sex.

“The tiny cubs are very vulnerable at this size, so the next several hours and days will be critical to their survival,” Zoo officials said in a release.

The cubs will remain in the giant panda house’s maternity area for several months.

Two giant panda cubs in an incubator at the Toronto Zoo. HANDOUT
Two giant panda cubs in an incubator at the Toronto Zoo. HANDOUT

“Er Shun is demonstrating excellent maternal instincts and began cleaning and cradling the first cub soon after its birth,” the Zoo said.

Cubs are born blind and weigh only 0.08 to 0.2 kilograms, and about the size of a stick of butter. They are pink in colour with short sparse white hair, and are one-900th the size of their mother.

The Zoo has not yet determined the father of the babies.

With files from CityNews.ca

Blue Jays win Game 4 in Texas, set up winner-take-all in Toronto

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Oct 12th, 2015

After twice being on the brink of playoff extinction, the Blue Jays are now one win away from the American League Championship Series.

Backed by early Josh Donaldson, Chris Colabello and Kevin Pillar home runs, R.A. Dickey and David Price combined for 7 2/3 innings as Toronto defeated the Texas Rangers 8-4 to tie their AL Division Series at two games apiece.

The deciding Game 5 goes Wednesday at the Rogers Centre, with hope of a happy ending for Toronto’s first foray into the playoffs in 22 years. The home team has yet to win in the series.

Price relieved Dickey with two outs in the fifth and the Jays leading 7-1, meaning Marcus Stroman will likely start Wednesday in what could be a rematch of Game 2 against Cole Hamels.

Price threw 50 pitches over three innings, giving up three runs on six hits with two strikeouts. Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna finished it off for the Jays.

“Sometimes the best way to win games is to not let teams back into it,” said Toronto manager John Gibbons when asked why he turned to Price out of the bullpen. “I told Price if we get you up (in the bullpen) you’re going in.”

“(Brett) Cecil down, (Aaron) Loup out today, it was hard for me to do, but I thought that was the best way to win the game.”

Toronto outhit Texas 12-11.

It marked the first time the Blue Jays have hit three homers in a post-season game. The team had nine two-homer games.

Toronto led the majors with 232 homers during the regular season.

Playboy to end publishing fully nude female photos: report

The Associated Press | posted Monday, Oct 12th, 2015

Playboy will no longer publish photos of nude women as part of a redesign of the decades-old magazine, according to a news report Monday.

Executives for the magazine company told The New York Times that the change will take place in March 2016.

The paper reported that the print edition of Playboy will still feature women in provocative poses, but they will no longer be fully nude.

Playboy editor Cory Jones contacted founder and current editor in chief Hugh Hefner recently about dropping nude photos from the print edition and he agreed, the Times reported.

The change represents a major shift for the magazine, which broke new ground when Hefner created it and featured Marilyn Monroe on its debut cover in 1953.

But officials acknowledge that Playboy has been witnessing widespread changes. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passe at this juncture,” said Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive.

The Times reported that Playboy‘s print circulation, once measured in millions, is now about 800,000, according to Alliance for Audited Media.

The move marks the latest step away from depictions of full nudity, which were banned from the magazine’s website last August.

Previous efforts to revamp Playboy have never quite stuck. But this time, as the magazine seeks to compete with younger outlets, Flanders said it sought to answer a key question: “if you take nudity out, what’s left?”

Sportsnet: Reynolds offers apology for comment about Canadian baseball fans

Sportsnet | posted Monday, Oct 12th, 2015

ARLINGTON, Texas – A flippant quip from Harold Reynolds not meant to offend has drawn the ire of Canadian baseball fans.

He’s planning to address the matter during Monday’s broadcast of Game 4 between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, and he offered the following to anyone upset over what he said.

“Happy Thanksgiving, I’m sorry I upset everybody in Canada,” Reynolds said in a brief interview. “That’s it.”

He appeared on Blue Jays Central on Sportsnet and further clarified his comments with Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell.

On mobile? Watch the interview here.

Read the entire story online at Sportsnets here.

Trending: Baseball commentator riles up Canadian baseball fans

Justin Piercy | posted Sunday, Oct 11th, 2015

Oh, Harold Reynolds. Your generalization that Canadians don’t grow up playing baseball accomplished something amazing on Twitter on Sunday night.

It proved another Canadian generalization wrong: we’re not always that polite.

During Game 3 of the AL Divisional Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, the FoxSports1 colour commentator touched a nerve with the following statement:

So that didn’t go over so well, as the following tweets illustrate:

Sportsnet: Stroman’s childhood dream comes true with Game 2 start

Arden Zwelling, Sportsnet.ca | posted Friday, Oct 9th, 2015

When Marcus Stroman pitched for Duke University as the Friday night starter, the ace of the pitching staff, he followed a close game-day routine.

Get up at the same time; drink his coffee a certain way; go to the same sushi place around the corner for his pre-game meal. And then, once everything was in place, he’d take the mound at Jack Coombs Field and absolutely deal.

He was a different guy then. Younger, more raw, more naïve. He was still trying to strike everyone out, still trying to make batters look foolish. He’d yet to discover his two-seamer – a funky, contorted grip that he stumbled upon while playing around with a baseball in his condo one afternoon – which would unlock his true potential as a starter, and allow him to become an innings-eating, ground-balling, lineup-dominating pitcher at the front of the Toronto Blue Jays‘ rotation.

A lot has changed. But now, in the first Blue Jays post-season run in 22 years, Stroman has found his way back to starting on a Friday for his team, and he can hardly wait.

“This is definitely the biggest start of my career, hands down,” Stroman said on Thursday, looking forward to his Game 2 ALDS start against the Texas Rangers. “But I’m ready for it. This is why you play the game. I’m excited. I can’t wait to get out there. This is the stuff you dream about.”

Stroman’s been dreaming of it for a long time. Since he was a small Long Island kid who loved basketball but could play a mean second base as well. Since his strict-as-hell father was making him run windsprints after school before going home to consume the newspaper and test his reading comprehension. Since he turned down a $400,000 bonus offer from the Washington Nationals and went to Duke instead to study sociology and play ball.

It was there that he read the internet message boards that said the undersized pitcher the Blue Devils just recruited wouldn’t be able to line the fields at Jack Coombs Park. He printed out all that criticism and doubt, taping it to his wall and reading it over and over before he went to work out. It was there that Stroman developed what some would call an underdog complex and others would more accurately describe as an unyielding ambition.

No matter which side of that duality you fall on, it’s impossible to deny that Stroman is fuelled by the thoughts constantly swirling in his head that everyone in the stadium, everyone in the league, everyone in the world is doubting him – that we’re all saying he can’t do it. And when he steps on a mound, he lets all that frustration pour out.

“I feel like I do a good job of being able to bottle it up and use it when I need to. I’m a very emotional pitcher. I wear my heart on my sleeve – that’s how I’ve always been. I pitch with a lot of hate and anger and emotion in my heart,” Stroman said. “Yeah, hate. A lot of anger. A lot goes into it. I’m 5’8” – a lot of people doubt me. So that’s with me every single pitch on the mound.”

You get the sense he needs that perceived persecution to operate, and he really needed it for most of the last six months when he aggressively attacked a rehab schedule for the ACL surgery he underwent this March. It was as if the Blue Jays telling everyone he was done for the season was contrived, a master plan to motivate Stroman to work out two times a day, six days a week at his old stomping grounds – the same Jack Coombs Field they said he couldn’t line, while finishing off his degree simultaneously.

“I’m not scared to say it – I exhausted every opportunity and did everything in my power to get back to this team, I did – and it was not fun,” Stroman said. “I’ll never have to go through anything as hard as that in my life again.”

Now, he’s here, about to pitch a ballgame that has taken on quite a bit of added importance for the Blue Jays following their 5-3 loss in Game 1 of the series. Stroman will be tasked with outdueling Texas ace Cole Hamels, who has only powered the Rangers to wins in each of the last 10 games he’s started, no big deal.

Stroman certainly has the stuff to stand in with his Rangers counterpart. His two-seamer is nasty and generates all kinds of swing-and-miss or weak contact, which is why Stroman has used it more than 40 per cent of the time in his four starts since returning from surgery. He’ll also mix in a four-seamer that can hit 95, a wipe-out slider, a knifing cutter, a slow curveball and even a fading changeup that Stroman developed this season and comes in almost 10 mph slower than his hard stuff. When he mixes his six pitches and locates them on the edges of the strike zone Stroman can be as effective as anyone in the game, no matter how tall they are.

And then there’s the intensity he carries to the mound. It’s not unusual to see Stroman flexing his body in excitement and yelling to himself when the defence behind him turns a double play, and that’s just in the regular season, not in a playoff game like the one he’ll pitch in Friday – one that will come in front of a deliriously charged atmosphere and mean so much more.

“[Mark] Buehrle is always trying to get me to do less, but I’m always trying to tell him I need more to get me going,” Stroman said of his fellow Blue Jays starter. “I’m just excited, man. This is an unbelievable opportunity, especially where I came from this past year. I’m ecstatic just to be here, you know what I mean? I’m ready to go out there and compete and dominate.”

In a lot of ways, Friday afternoon could be Stroman’s moment. The game will reach a lot more eyeballs in the United States than any of his prior starts. While he’s well known in Toronto – a city he says he loves – he doesn’t register quite as strongly in the country that houses 29 of MLB’s 30 franchises. A dominant performance in what’s as close to a must-win game as you can get for the Blue Jays, could thrust Stroman into the consciousness of a lot of fans who haven’t become aware of him yet.

It’s been a long time coming from those days at Duke, having his coffee the same way and ordering the same sushi rolls. And of course it comes on a Friday.

“I love it, I love it,” Stroman repeated. “I’m playing in the playoffs. This is why you play the game. I couldn’t be more excited. I’m not nervous. I’m not even slightly nervous. I haven’t pitched in nine days, I’m excited to get out there and get on the mound and get going.”

Thanksgiving weekend need to know: What’s open/closed, events

Patricia D’Cunha and Amber LeBlanc | posted Friday, Oct 9th, 2015

Pumpkins are sprouting from their patches, autumn leaves of red and gold are slowly falling to the ground, and there is a subtle chill in the air. ‘Tis the time for Thanksgiving!

Autumn colored maple leaves hanging on clothes line. GETTY IMAGES/Moncherie
Autumn colored maple leaves hanging on clothes line. GETTY IMAGES/Moncherie

As you make your weekend plans, be sure to check out the list below of what’s open and closed on holiday Monday. There’s also a partial subway closure to contend with on Saturday and Sunday.

What’s open and closed


  • Some grocery stores, but call your local store
  • Tourist attractions (Casa Loma, Ontario Science Centre, ROM, Ripley’s Aquarium, Toronto Zoo, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Casa Loma, Fort York)
  • There are several city-run attractions open on Thanksgiving Monday, including the High Park Zoo and historic sites. Click here for a full list.
  • Movie theatres
  • Malls: Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Square One (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Toronto Premium Outlets (9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • TTC runs on holiday service
  • GO Transit operates on Sunday schedule
  • Some Wine Rack stores will be open

A closed on a storefront. GETTY IMAGES/huePhotography
A closed on a storefront. GETTY IMAGES/huePhotography


  • Banks
  • Government offices
  • Sherway Gardens
  • Fairview Mall
  • Beer Store locations
  • LCBO stores
  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Post offices and mail delivery
  • Toronto Public Library branches

TTC closure

Partial subway shutdown

Entrance to Bloor-Yonge subway station.
Entrance to Bloor-Yonge subway station.

If you’re a regular rider of Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth), give yourself a little extra time to get around this weekend.

There will be no train service between St. George and Pape stations on Saturday and Sunday because of beam replacement on the Bloor Viaduct. Shuttle buses will be running.

Bloor-Yonge, Castle Frank and Broadview stations will be open for fare purchases and connecting routes, but Bay, Sherbourne and Chester stations will be closed.


Blue Jays fever
The Toronto Blue Jays continue their quest towards a third World Series. Game 3 of the American League Division Series moves to Texas on Saturday. Marco Estrada is set to start for the Jays. The game starts at 8 p.m., and fans can catch it on Sportsnet or Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Click here for the game schedule.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, second right reacts with teammates, after hitting a RBI single to defeat the Kansas City Royals during 11th inning AL baseball action in Toronto on July 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, second right reacts with teammates, after hitting a RBI single to defeat the Kansas City Royals during 11th inning AL baseball action in Toronto on July 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

PumpkinFest Toronto
If you love pumpkins as much as this writer does, then Downsview Park is the place for you this Thanksgiving long weekend. Festival-goers can test their pumpkin carving skills, eat some tasty pie, walk around a pumpkin patch, and pick up a pumpkin for Halloween. There’s also face painting, a costume contest, an antique car show and a baked goods sale. Admission and parking are free.

Pumpkin patch. GETTY IMAGES/Paul Keleher
Pumpkin patch. GETTY IMAGES/Paul Keleher

Toronto Zoo celebrates fall
It’s Thanksgiving too for the animals at the Toronto Zoo. This long weekend, children 12 and under are invited to join in a number of fall activities at the zoo, including bowling with gourds, crafts and more.

Thanksgiving at Casa Loma Thanksgiving
No time to cook a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast? No problem. On Sunday, Casa Loma is cooking uproasted turkey, confit garlic whipped potatoes, a selection of seafood and pasta, pumpkin pie, and many more delicious dishes. Admission to the castle is included with the cost of the meal: $55 per person; $45 for children 13 and under (reservations required). Those attending the meal event are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, which will be donated to Daily Bread.

Thanksgiving dinner on the table. GETTY IMAGES/Tetra Images
Thanksgiving dinner on the table. GETTY IMAGES/Tetra Images

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest + Rogers Hometown Hockey
Get your dirndl and lederhosen ready for a big party just west of Toronto. The largest Oktoberfest celebration in North America continues this weekend with a number of events celebrating the region’s German heritage.

Also on Sunday, Rogers Hometown Hockey stops in Kitchener for the first weekend of the NHL season.

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