In Other News: 10 Interesting News Stories That Don’t Involve COVID-19

In Other News: 10 Interesting News Stories That Don’t Involve COVID-19

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After more than a year of living in a coronavirus-consumed world, I think we’re all sick and tired of news about COVID-19 and vaccine rollout plans.

With world media being constantly bombarded with news related to COVID-19, I thought it would be nice to shed light on a few different news stories that have happened recently. Think of this article as a time capsule of world news in 2021, if you will.



1. Tim’s For Good

Although more than likely a clever PR tactic, Canadian-founded mass restaurant chain Tim Hortons announced their “Tim’s For Good” campaign in April 2021. In a nutshell, the campaign promises that the company will transition to paper straws, 100% recyclable take-away bags and napkins, wooden sticks, and so on. In addition, the campaign vows to develop ‘more sustainable’ methods for food sourcing and food waste.

With over 4,000 locations, just in Canada, it’s about time this Canadian mega-corporation got onto the go-green bandwagon.



2. Charles River Acquires Distributed Bio

In January 2021, Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. announced the acquisition of a California-based “next-generation antibody discovery company,” Distributed Bio, co-founded by Dr. Jacob Glanville, PhD.

According to Distributed Bio’s website, this acquisition allowed Dr. Glanville to step away from the company in order to focus his research time on “universal vaccines, therapeutic antibodies against COVID-19, and other infectious diseases” at Centivax, a computational engineering research facility also based in California.

According to Centivax’s website, their mission is as follows “Centivax is a therapeutics company founded to create treatments and cures to reduce and eradicate the remaining complex pathogens of the 21st century.”



3. The Top Ten Occupations That Employ the Most People in All of QuebecThe Top Ten Occupations That Employ the Most People in All of Quebec

  1. Retail salespersons
  2. Early childhood educators and assistants
  3. Administrative assistants
  4. Cashiers
  5. Retail and wholesale trade managers
  6. Light duty cleaners
  7. Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
  8. Administrative officers
  9. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  10. Transport truck drivers

Source: Emploi Quebec, May 2021.



4. Industry Projections for the Future of Quebec’s Job Marketing

According to the Government of Quebec, the three industries that they foresee needing the largest amount of workers in the near future are the following:

  • Health
  • Construction
  • Information Technology

Source: Emplois D’Avenir, May 2021.



5. Wage Changes not the Same for All Young People

In an article published by Statistics Canada in 2013, it was found that younger people are being paid less than they were in 1981, regardless of inflation.”[…] in 2012, the median hourly wages of men and women age 17 to 24 were 13% and 8% lower, respectively, than their counterparts in 1981.”

Source: Galarneau, Diane, René Morissette and Jeannine Usalcas. 2013. Statistics Canada, Archived.

6. The Gates Have Closed

Despite appearing to be a seemingly inseparable couple in Netflix’s 2019 documentary series, “Inside Bill’s Brain,” after 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, publicly announce their filing for divorce.

According to the BBC, the philanthropic Foundation, of which they are both still heavily involved with, will remain operational and will continue towards its global education, health, and climate change initiatives.

7. You Can Now Fly into Space… If You’re Rich Enough

What do Elon Musk (Tesla) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) have in common, you ask? Well, they both made a ton of money and privatized space travel.

Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, is offering one lucky individual the opportunity to climb aboard “New Shepard” (name of one of the spacecraft created by Blue Origin) and fly up into space like an astronaut.

The seat available comes at a price: the highest bidder, which basically means, a lot of money! The live auction happens June 12, 2021, so get your credit cards out!



8. Need Assistance? Too bad. Amazon Go Grocery and The A.I. Future of Retail

Amazon, the online superstore, has already opened up two “Amazon Go Grocery” stores in the US, both in the experiment state of Washington.

What makes these grocery stores so special? There are no employees, at all. You pick up the items you need, and the advanced artificial intelligence tech, which is built into the store, identifies the item(s). When you’re done, you walk out of the store, and the items are charged automatically to your credit or debit card via the Amazon Go app.

I’m sure there are probably a few employees to help people who are confused with the new technology, however, this could be a window into the future of retail.

9. Battle of The Brands: Second Cup or Starbs?

Second Cup, the lesser-known, direct, Canadian competitor to Starbucks, was recently acquired by Quebec-based brand, Foodtastic.

According to YahooFinance, Foodtastic has plans to expand the Second Cup brand, aggressively, like 130 locations in 36 months, aggressive. Will Second Cup’s new parent company create a problem for the social media-friendly Starbucks? I guess we’ll see!

10. TAV College Opens its 2nd Campus

This time next year, TAV will have operated out of two buildings for the first time ever. In the spirit of a time capsule, I couldn’t help but make the College a piece of this news article! The future is bright for TAV.

How To Stimulate Intelligence: The Critical Years

How To Stimulate Intelligence: The Critical Years

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Having children who are focused and intelligent is what most parents want. They also want their children to be successful and happy as grown-ups. It is what we desire for our children, but not everyone knows about the critical role that parenting plays in a child’s early years, and how to give them the groundwork of security and attention they need in order to develop successfully.


The relationship between early childhood care and intelligence

There is an absolute and concrete relationship between intelligence and early childhood care. Parents can give their kids proper care, so they can raise and develop their potential in the best way possible. According to Jill Stamm, Ph.D., co-founder of the New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development, it is possible to boost a child’s IQ by as much as 20 to 30 points.


Intelligence Quotient

IQ is not a fixed or objective concept. According to Stamm, IQ depends on genes, physical health, and the environmental experiences that the baby is consistently exposed to. It is also important to emphasize that intelligence can be shaped after birth. According to Howard Gardner, an American developmental psychologist, there are eight different types of intelligences: linguistic, logical/ mathematical, spatial, bodily or kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.




ABC is what they need … in their early years

Besides responding to a child’s physical needs, what they need most is attention, bonding, and communication. And they need these things more consistently and earlier than most parents often provide. Providing these three important needs can lead to a higher level of IQ.



According to Stamm, attention refers to the ability to use the brain’s energy to pay attention, which is partly wired as early as age one. However, for a child, maintaining attention is no easy task. In order to develop a child’s attention system, here are a few tips:

  • Give them frequent face-to-face time
  • Make a lot of eye contact during the day
  • Point out the objects and label them

Introducing a “Placemat” to the child is also a good idea for attention development. Using a mat, parents can encourage the baby to focus on where the activity will be held. The placemat should be plain colors (no colorful patterns), or else the child’s attention goes to the colors, not to the activity that is provided. In this way, every time the child sees their parent is bringing the placemat, they will know that there is a fun, interesting activity waiting for them. In this way, you are priming the child for their full attention.

In a car, it is also very beneficial if parents limit the amount of time when their baby is strapped into a car seat. It lessens their range of vision to what’s directly in front of them, which makes it difficult to orient sounds that are coming from either side. Instead, they can try to take the child out when they decide to take a walk, hold the child often, carry the child on their hip, in a side sling, or a carrier seat. In this way, the child has many chances to use his natural inclination to shift attention and follow his head.

Another method for guiding attention is “no-tech time” for their family and not letting their children be exposed to any kind of screen playing such as computers or TV. These all also help children to improve their attention system.



Bonding refers to the ongoing relationship of attachment between a child and their caregiver. According to Stamm, the baby is counting on more than the food and warmth his parents provide. They cannot yet control their own feelings very well, and so, they need help to stay emotionally in balance. Children need to regulate these emotional states so that they don’t overwhelm their system.

As stated by Dr. Stamm, when parents respond to the baby’s practical and emotional needs consistently, the baby starts to form a sense of trust. Trust develops children’s intellectual potential (and how well he does in school), language development, self-control, the ability to cope with stress, and the ability to make and sustain future relationships.

For bonding improvement, parents can hold their baby during feeding and establish the habit of lap reading together. They also can encourage skin-to-skin contact and respond quickly when their baby cries. It is important to know that “In a minute” can sound like “never” to a young child.

All infants need one person in the first moments of crying. Repetitive waitings for basic needs only give them stress. It also might have some negative effects on their brain and cause some learning problems in the early years of school.



Communication refers to the development of the language system and language skills. It includes understanding speech, learning to talk, and activities that will later influence learning to read. All babies learn language starting at birth based on what they are exposed to.

Hanging photos for them to look at while in the crib, the carriage, or on the floor can encourage early visual development. Introducing music at different times of the day, singing simple songs, asking basic questions, and encouraging them to participate in the conversations are other ways that parents can enhance their child’s communication skills.

Parents can make some facial expressions while reading a book and hold their kids close to themselves. It is also important to talk to children!

The importance of play in the early childhood years

Play is crucial to physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development. The best form of play is the unstructured, self-motivated, imaginative, and independent, where infants start their own games and even invent their own games.

Through play, children can learn how to communicate and what to expect, and this may improve their social and emotional abilities. Within the play, they will also stimulate and promote their early brain development. For them, play would be compared to work.

There are ways to make raising a smart child easier through the points that were stated above. Jerome Everett Singer, an American psychologist said: “The activities that are the easiest, cheapest, and most fun to do–such as singing, playing games, reading, storytelling, and just talking and listening–are also the best for child development.”

Consumed by Waste?

Consumed by Waste?

WALLE, a Disney movie released in 2008, is perhaps one of the films that best reflects how the earth will be in the future if human beings continue upholding the same lifestyle.

It is undeniable that since the industrial revolution, there have been significant advancements  which have ensured better conditions in nutrition, hygiene, and medicine, and therefore a greater life expectancy. In addition, other inventions have facilitated some of the tasks that were challenging for our ancestors, such as machinery for operation in the field, vehicles as a means of transport, and mobile devices that make possible communication.

However, new consumer habits and rapid population growth have caused one of the most sensitive problems we face today: the excessive generation of waste. According to the World Bank, around 2.010 million tons of urban solid waste were generated during 2016. This is an exorbitant figure, which generates more concern when considering the participation of the methods of its disposal worldwide. Around 37% of waste is deposited in sanitary landfills, 33% in open landfills, 19% is recovered through compost and recycling and the remaining 11% is treated by plants heat treatment or incinerators.

Waste discarded in open dumps and landfills that do not have an adequate gas collection system, cause the emission of greenhouse gases and consequently climate change. For its part, waste deposited in the sea is causing the extinction of species and negative effects on human health due to the consumption of microplastics. 

It is true that waste has been present since the beginning of the development of human civilization. However, in ancient times, the largest proportion of the waste generated was organic which means that it was deposited on the ground and decomposed easily. In contrast, most of the waste produced in modern society takes long periods of time to biodegrade. For example, a plastic bottle can take between 450 and 1,000 years to decompose, plastic cutlery 400 years, and disposable masks 450 years. While other materials such as Styrofoam © (The white material that is usually used in boxes to protect delicate products such as computers and televisions and is also used to pack food and beverages) and Tinfoil cannot decompose due to their chemical characteristics and will remain in the landfills forever.


Faced with this situation, different movements have appeared, such as the “Zero Waste” ideology that is based on the conservation of all resources through responsible consumption and environmentally friendly production processes. The principles established in this approach can be visualized in the Zero Waste hierarchy:

Many people tend to think that recycling is the main solution to this environmental problem. However, recycling is not the answer to solve the waste crisis considering the efforts required for this process, such as the use of new resources, the consumption of water and energy, transportation, packaging and so on. Although recycling is part of the solution, it cannot be an excuse to ignore the underlying problem: OVERCONSUMPTION.

On the other hand, not all packaging or items that are considered recyclable or have this symbol 

   are able to be recycled because each local government has its own recycling system. 

Waste management in each city varies according to the technology available in the sorting plants and the needs of the companies to which the material is sold.

For this reason, every  citizen should take the time to educate themselves on the particularities of the waste management program of their city.


According to information reported by the World Bank, North America is the region with the highest generation of garbage per capita. In 2016, the total garbage generated was 289 million tons, with an average of 2.21 kilograms per capita per day. The good news is that public and private actions are being generated to solve the environmental crisis generated by waste. For example, Montreal is implementing a plan with the  objective of being a zero-waste city by 2030.


Kamikatsu is a small city located in Japan that is listed as the world’s first zero-waste municipality. Sweden is another successful example in the field of waste management through an innovative waste-to-energy (WTE) program. This system has been so successful that the country has begun to import waste from other regions.

In both cases, one of the greatest factors that has allowed this environmental revolution is the commitment of each citizen.


Here are some recommendations that you can implement to be part of the change:

  1. Rethink and redesign: Open your mind and apply changes in the way that you consume. Choose eco-friendly products and options that reduce waste. Vrac & Bocaux, Loco, and Megavrac, are just a few of the zero-waste grocery stores in Montreal.
  2. Refuse: Refuse to use items that are not necessary such as single-use plastic. 
  3. Reduce: Whenever you go to consume something, think if it is really necessary. Think about the resources that had to be used in its manufacture and the destination that it will have after being used.
  4. Recycling: 
  • Check your city’s waste program to find out what can be recycled.
  • Download the APP: Ça va où? This will help you clarify the bin in which each item should go.
  • Identify the Ecocenter closest to your home, to bring there electrical objects, clothes in good condition, construction materials and Hazard materials.

5. Composting: If the collection of organic waste is not available in your neighborhood, you can take the material to the community composters or dare to use it in your own garden.

The garbage crisis is a reality that is causing irreversible damage to the environment. A big part of the solution is to have a responsible consumption, incorporate environmentally friendly habits, and be aware that every decision you make in your daily routine counts! 

Your second life might start if you “Follow Your Heart”!

Your second life might start if you “Follow Your Heart”!

A review of Andrew Matthews’s book

Looking back at 2020, we can all say that we went through lots of worries and difficulties. We were afraid of what the future might bring us. Fortunately, I read this book in those months. While reading, I realized that even in the most stressful days of my life, I must try to advance my thoughts and feelings.

If you feel the same, maybe you want to give it a chance and read it. This article is here to introduce a book that is perfect to enlighten your life.

Who is Andrew Matthews?

Andrew Matthews is an Australian author and speaker. According to his site, he has published his books in 47 languages and addressed over 1000 international corporations in happiness, well-being, and prosperity. He also appeared on over 5000 radio and TV programs.

He gives you a better understanding of your life and your relationships. He also shows you some new ideas of thinking, those you can use to be happier and healthier. 

“Follow Your Heart” has ten chapters, and it talks about over three original concepts of well-being in each chapter. One of the biggest strengths of this book is that it is easy to digest. 

Dedicate Time to Your Soul

Give fifteen minutes per day to Andrew Matthews and start an incredible journey with him. Listen to his practical advice with all of your heart. I assure you he will inspire you, and you will change at least some of your beliefs or thoughts after finishing this book.

What does the book talk about?

“Follow Your Heart” will show you a new horizon and engage you in lots of thinking. There are dozens of ingenious messages and useful advice waiting for you to consider and use.

It also talks about that you are enough, even with all of your flaws. The only thing you need to do is to embrace the changes and be happy with the existence of your challenges. Working on your weaknesses can strengthen you.

We are continuously being presented with small challenges which we must learn to overcome. “Unless we learn the lessons, we get to take them again… again… and again.” (Matthews, 1997. p16).  Accepting the full responsibility for our obstacles will make this growth process smoother and more pleasant. Our problems are our treasures, which can bring us spiritual growth. 

Matthews covers some significant concepts like the subconscious, the miracle of gratitude and peace of mind, passion, the secret of power, luck, family and forgiveness, and love and fear are other concepts that Andrew brought you with his interesting methods of writing.

Individual’s stories

The author suggests that even though we all have a story, we are not defined by them. We do not belong to a particular category. We can change the narrative of our lives if we are feeling unhappy with the direction we are going in.

He believes we can deal with our problems reasonably. If we are not happy with what we do, there are always jobs out there that belong to us. We can earn money and love what we do at the same time. Matthews teaches us to be comfortable with money, and to enjoy what we have in life. Thus, there is a chapter that helps us understand more about the benefit of the detachment of money, lovers, etc.

The school of life

Hard work is necessary to our growth. There is almost no way out of it. It is important to learn how to navigate the ups and downs of our lives. Life can be compared to school, which means that as long as you are breathing, the class is in session. 


Matthews, A. (1997). Follow Your Heart. Seashell publishers. Lessons. Pp.16.

The Power of Imagination

The Power of Imagination


“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ―Mark Twain

Imagination is like a soul to its body. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, “The act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality is what we call imagination.” Everyone has an imagination. It is an important part of the human mind. 

Positive VS Negative Imagination

Positive Imagination: E.B. Kevin defines imagination as what we create in our minds. Positive imagination, then, can be defined as the ability to visualize the things that we crave.,Positive imagination works in tandem  with the law of attraction. Simply put, the law of attraction states that positive thoughts attract positive results and negative thoughts attract negative results. If you are habitually thinking of abundance and good health, you will inadvertently  put yourself in a situation that allows you to receive these things. The imagination works based on  the state of your mind. Here’s an exercise that E.B. Kevin recommends you try: every day, spend at least 15 minutes imagining the things you desire until you get them. Using positive imaginations will make you feel good and believe that you can get the things you desire and imagine.

Benefits of imagining positivity:

  1. It sharpens your focus.
  2. It gives you a can-do attitude in life.
  3.  It increases your creativity.
  4. It allows you to tap into your subconscious

Negative Imagination: E.B. Kevin defines negative imagination as all the negative ideas and images that can completely take over our minds. The negative thoughts come mostly from the fears within us. Whenever we are afraid, we predict negative outcomes to the situations we are dealing with in our lives. For instance, iIf you are afraid to fail an exam, you’ll imagine yourself failing it. Negative thoughts also come from the things you see and hear. Right now, the pandemic is on our nerves. Everyone is afraid. Listening to the news may make us feel anxious and depressed. We should try to eliminate things that cause us to have negative thoughts from our lives such as watching news channels which predict doom, certain movies, and hanging out with pessimists. Instead, try listening to positive music, reading inspirational books and spending time with people who uplift your spirits.

Ways to Uplift your Imagination:

According to an article written by Siobhan Harmer there are several ways to boost the imagination.

  • Know your worth: Everyone should realize their potential and then they should try to work according to that. Think about what you are capable of accomplishing and act upon those thoughts.  “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Mindfulness: “Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment.” With this practice comes bright colours and a heightened sense of self-awareness. Use this new way of looking at the world to tap into your artistic juices. 
  •  Clear your head: Exercise and meditation helps calm the noise in your mind. Never underestimate the power of meditation and exercise.
  • Explore and ask questions: Always be curious and most importantly, actively listen to others without trying to formulate your reply. You have so much to learn from your peers. Inspiration can come from anywhere and can take you by surprise. 
  •  Decide where to focus your energy: If you imagine your success, you will create a path for success to find you.
  •  Let go of your preconceived notions: What is it that you have always told yourself? Stop thinking negatively about yourself. Always believe in yourself.
  • Make time for yourself: Take time to just be. Life is about creating a balance. Let your imagination run free and discover the most magnificent version of yourself.

Now, I would like to sum this up with some quotes which will, hopefully, change your attitude:

  • “Trust that little voice in your head that says, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’, and then do it.”- Duane Michals
  • “Imagination creates reality.” -Richard Wagner
  • “The man who has no imagination has no wings.” ―Muhammad Ali
  •  “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever.” – Walt Disney
  • “ Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” – John Lennon
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