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Hey Canada! Do you want nuclear radiation in your food?

Doug Ford.

The name brings fear to the minds of many people in Ontario.

Doug Ford is the Premier of Ontario, and he is a jerk. A real nasty jerk. He wants to dump nuclear waste in Bruce County, close to the town of Teeswater. The Teeswater River (and the underground aquifer beneath the region) supplies the drinking water to:

  • Tens of thousands of people.
  • Dairy cows.
  • Water for agricultural farming (corn, potatoes, soy beans and more).
  • Water for Aquafina bottled water.
  • Cattle, pigs, turkeys and chickens. Bruce County is the Beef Capital of North America, but it also produces a lot of other meat products.

If you live Ontario you've eaten food many times from Bruce County. Guaranteed. You've drank the milk. You've eaten the cheese. You've eaten beef, pork, turkey and chicken. You've eaten the corn, the potatoes, the soy products. You've drank Aquafina water.

Even if you are a vegan and don't eat milk and dairy, you should still care where your soy products and other vegetables are grown and where your bottled water comes from.

And that is why you should care.

If you care about what you eat, then you should protect what you eat. Learn more at:

If you care write to Doug Ford. Tweet him. Phone him and leave an angry voicemail.

Share this post. Copy/paste it to other websites. Share it on Facebook. Share it on Twitter. Share the memes below.

Show that you care about your food and where it comes from.

Protect your food and your health from Doug Ford.

Paid Paternity Leave at Work, Part II

Right now feminists are working very hard to get men more money.

More money in the form of Paid Paternity Leave.

Just like Paid Maternity Leave - after a new baby is born, a mother typically gets time off from work and is compensated for their time off from work.

For example in Canada... "A pregnant employee or new mother can take a paid maternity leave of up to 15 weeks. Either the mother or father can take 35 weeks of parental leave after the baby is born or adopted. The parents can share the leave however they choose."

And where does the money come from to pay for this?

Employment Insurance. E.I.

E.I. You know, those deductions that go off your paycheque from work. You grumble about it and income taxes, but you pay it because you know that E.I. also pays for various things if you become:
  • Unemployed.
  • Injured.
  • Unable to work due to illness.
  • Etc.
 And it also pays for paid maternity leave in Canada, and parental leave (which is not paid).

Let us pretend for a moment that you are a new father and your wife dies while giving birth to your new child. Suddenly you are a father, you have a newborn baby to take care of that requires attention every hour for feeding, diaper changes and just plain attention (so that they don't grow up to be sociopaths and psychopaths).

How does this new father cope with the sudden changes and manage to work at the same time? The answer is they cannot. They would have to quit their job and parent full time until the child is old enough to enter a daycare - in which case government subsidized daycare is a whole other topic I want to talk about another day.

Even a married couple (or unmarried couple, not judging here) with a child, how do they manage to cope? Does the woman stay home all the time to take care of the baby? Do they take turns while the other person goes to work? Are they somehow both doing shift work? When do they actually manage to sleep.

Any person who has been a true parent will understand the whole problem with just sleeping with a newborn in the home. Newborns wake up during all times of the night and day expecting to be fed, coddled and they will cry like there is no tomorrow until they are satisfied.

So clearly there is a need for Paid Maternity Leave and Paid Paternity Leave.

And feminists are out there trying to convince politicians that men should be given this right, the ability to have Paid Paternity Leave, to spend more time with their child and bear equal share in the responsibilities of being a parent.

Women, regardless of whether they are conservative or liberal minded should be in favour of this.

Men who are liberal minded should be in favour of this because it is about equality and fairness.

Men who are conservative minded should be in favour of this because it means they get to stay home and actually prove how much they truly are about "family values".

And there is also economic reasons why politicians should be in favour of this.

In North America not enough people are having children. Which means that less people

In Canada the fertility rate is 1.59 (2013 Stats Canada). That means the average woman has 1.59 children.

In the USA the fertility rate is 2.06 (2015) and was even called a "National Emergency" by some American politicians in 2016 during the presidential campaign.

The USA fertility rate doesn't seem so bad until you realize that their death rate is higher, their life expectancy rate is less, and their health care system is in shambles.

It is so bad that the USA is basically dependent on immigrants for population growth for a variety of reasons:

  • 1. New immigrants currently make up 23.78% of population growth in the USA.
  • 2. Immigrant mothers are more likely to have multiple children, which is keeping the USA fertility rate up at 2.06.
  • 3. Without immigrant mothers having so many kids, the US fertility rate would be dropping rapidly. Women born in the USA are more likely to have zero kids or only 1 kid.
  • 4. For every 1000 mothers of childbearing age who were born in the USA they only have 58.3 children per year.
  • 5. For every 1000 immigrant mothers of childbearing age they have a whopping 84.2 children per year.
  • 6. According to the U.S. Census Bureau the fertility rate amongst immigrant women dropped from 2.7 in 2008 to 2.2 in 2014. For American-born women, the rate dropped from 2.1 to 1.8. So the birthrate dropped 14% in 6 years for American-born women, and dropped 18.5% for immigrant women.

Without immigrants the USA's population growth would stagnate and start shrinking.

Which would effect the economy because less people in the future would be paying taxes or paying into pension funds, which means elderly people would end up having their pensions cut, which means they would have less money to spend, which causes a downward cyclical effect on the economy.

So America needs people paying into pensions and paying their taxes, otherwise the whole economic system fails.

In Canada the problem is WORSE.

If you recall, the fertility rate in Canada mentioned above is 1.59 as of 2013.

The fertility rate in Canada has been dropping steadily for decades, but the changes in recent years are dramatic.
  • 2009 - 1.67
  • 2010 - 1.63
  • 2011 - 1.61
  • 2012 - 1.61
  • 2013 - 1.59
A drop of 0.08 in only 4 years.

Assuming that dropping rate remains roughly a constant decrease, the fertility rate in 2017 will probably only be approx. 1.51.

Wait 25 years, by 2042 the fertility rate in Canada might be 1.00.

Canada is already heavily dependent on immigrants to keep our population from shrinking. New immigrants make up 35.6% of Canada's population growth. And the children of those new immigrants, well, they tip the balance and inflate the fertility rate just like they do in the USA because immigrant families have more children.

With our future economy so dependent on children growing up and joining the workforce it then boggles your mind to see the kinds of things Donald Trump is doing in the USA.

  • Trying to deport immigrants and their children (who are American citizens since they were born there).
  • Trying to discourage people from visiting / immigrating to the USA through travel bans and by promoting an "An America First Policy".
What the USA and Canada should both be doing is inviting immigrants in and encouraging everyone to have more children. How do you accomplish that?

  1. Paid Maternity Leave.
  2. Paid Paternity Leave.
  3. Government Subsidized Daycare to make it easier for everyone to have kids and work.
  4. More tax benefits for working parents. Cut taxes for working families. (Trump does the opposite, he cuts taxes for the rich - people who don't need it and end up just storing their money in the bank. Money does not "trickle down".)
  5. Affordable Homes - Many young people in North America delay having children because the real estate market is too expensive.
  6. Tuition Debt Relief - Many young people in North America delay having children because they are still struggling to pay off student loans from college.
So who has it even worse than we do?

Well, for starters, Russia.

Russia's population is actually shrinking by 0.06% per year (CIA World Factbook Statistic).

The birth rate in Russia is 11.3 births/1,000 population, while the death rate in Russia is 13.6 deaths/1,000 population.

Russia's population would be shrinking even faster if it wasn't for a net migration rate of 1.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population. Without the incoming immigrants, Russia's population would be shrinking by over a quarter million people per year.

During the past few decades Russia has seen a startling increase in the death rate due to a combination of factors (for profit hospitals, skyrocketing suicide rates, etc) while their economy stagnated under the weight of greedy oligarchs.

And it makes sense after all. Russia is not a land of opportunity. "Middle Class" people in Russia make only about $9,057 USD per year. The Russian economy is shrinking. The Russian ruble has lost over 55% of its value in the last 5 years.

Here is a summary: Between 2014 and 2017 Russia has been enduring a financial crisis. In 2014 a decline in confidence in the Russian economy caused investors to sell off their Russian assets, which led to a decline in the value of the Russian ruble and sparked fears of - and ultimately caused - a Russian financial crisis.

And in that kind of economic situation, who want to have children???

To put this in perspective, a mere 4 years ago in 2013 the normal middle class Russian made $15,543 USD per year. Now they make $9,057. So the Russian economy has shrunk 42% in 4 years.

What Russian is going to want to have kids during such a horrible financial crisis? They would not be feeling financially secure.

Especially since Russia doesn't have any kind of paid maternity leave or parental leave. Tax benefits for parents? Pff! The former communist country is now so capitalist that they just support rich oligarchs and ignore their own middle class.

It is also a weird situation where the per capita GDP of Russia is $26,100 USD (2016), but the average Russian doesn't make that much money. They only get $9,057 USD of that. [This is the fundamental difference between so-called GDP and "real GDP".]

The rich oligarchs in Russia take $17,043 of that money - and pocket it. The poor and middle class do all the work and the rich take 65% of the money. Makes sense right? Sort of like Trickle Down Reaganomics. Makes sense for the rich, really rips off the middle class.

And do the rich in Russia have multiple kids? Some certainly do. 2, 3 4 or more kids. But it in no way makes up for the millions of working class Russian families who only have 1 kid and contributes to Russia's shrinking population.

If you compare the USA and Russia's population growth you notice some interesting things.

In 1930 Russia had a population of 100 million.
In 2015 Russia had a population of 148 million.
In 1930 the USA had a population of 123 million.
In 2015 the USA had a population of 321 million.

For both countries the biggest increases in population were during periods of financial growth and stability, but with a marked difference in that the American economy grew faster and sharper as the population did.

  • The American population went up by 161%
  • The Russian population went up by 48%
  • Between 1930 and 2015 the US real GDP per capita went from $6213 to $55,836, an increase of 799% in real GDP.
  • Between 1930 and 2015 the Russian real GDP per capita from $2109 to $9,057, an increase of only 329%.

At which point you have to start asking yourself, which of the following is true?

  • Does a strong economy = more babies being born?
  • Does more babies being born = a stronger economy?
  • Or is it cyclical? More babies = more money = more babies = more money, etc.

Which must also mean the following can also happen:

  • Less babies = less money = less babies = less money, etc.

Having more children boosts an economy because it means more workers added to the workforce of a nation, contributing to a growing economy.

But if countries like Russia for example don't encourage people to have more children, the result is the stagnation of a population, and eventually the stagnation of the economy. Russia had a few good economic years. In 2013 the real GDP was the aforementioned $15,543. That was the highest point the Russian economy ever achieved before it slid back down to the current $9,057.

The Scary Thing is it can happen in North America

Without the constant influx of immigrants coming to the USA and Canada, both countries would be faced with a dire economic situation. There would be less workers contributing to the economy, very few people paying into pensions, potential parents would see a dire financial situation and decide to delay or even skip having children - which only hurts future generations and makes the country even more dependent on immigrants to bolster the economy.

So Canada and the USA needs to be vigilant. We need to be promoting:
  • Paid Maternity Leave
  • Paid Paternity Leave
  • Affordable Daycare
  • More Tax Benefits for Parents
The government needs to literally start investing in children in order to boost the economy in the future. That means investing in making it easier for families to be able to afford to have children - and incentivized to have MULTIPLE children.

Because frankly it is not enough to promote families to have ONE child. Government needs to be financially encouraging parents to have 2 or 3 children so that the country can maintain a stable and prosperous rate of population growth.

Overpopulation is not an issue in Canada. The country is technically underpopulated.

Paid Paternity Leave at Work

First off, I want to say that I am a full supporter of maternity leave for women. It makes complete logical sense that women should be given time off from work so they can spend time with their newborn baby. It is a civil rights issue at its very core.

Paid Maternity Leave is where it starts to get complicated, because then who is paying for it? Businesses? The government (taxpayers)? The nitty gritty of who pays for it isn't so much important to me as the issue of the VALUE of paid parental leave. I will come back to that later.

Smart corporations have long ago realized that having paid maternity leave is a great way to attract excellent and hardworking employees. People who might have offers from multiple corporations, and when comparing their options it looks a bit like this:

Corporation A:
Income: $200,000 annual salary.
Perks: Health, Dental, Pension, Stock Options

Corporation B:
Income: $200,000 annual salary.
Perks: Health, Dental, Pension, Stock Options, Paid Maternity Leave

Now for men, which one they choose would probably narrow down to money. But if the money is the same, it will be a bit of a coin toss as to which corporation the man chooses to work for.

A woman looking at the same options however, who is between 20 to 40 years old, will be looking at those options and thinking "Hey, that's awesome. This is a really progressive, smart company which values its female workers. I like that. I should go with them." She might never even get pregnant and use the paid maternity leave, but she has already made a decision to go with that corporation.

But what if there was a third corporation?

Corporation C:
Income: $200,000 annual salary.
Perks: Health, Dental, Pension, Stock Options, Paid Parental Leave

"Oooo!" says the man. "So if my wife gets pregnant then I get some time off to spend it with junior? That is awesome. I am definitely going with that company."

So in the Battle of the Corporation Perks, companies which offer the most perks get the most valuable employees. That is value added if the corporation can recruit employees who are better workers than the other workers doing the grunt work for the competition. It gives a competitive edge.

Last year (June 2015) Richard Branson announced that his international corporation Virgin was giving paid parental leave for a year, to any employee who has worked as Virgin Management for 4 or more years.

52 weeks, full salary, to anyone who has been a manager with the corporation for 4 years or more. Including fathers, not just mothers.

Now do you think for an instant that that kind of generosity is going to attract higher quality people to the corporation? You betcha.

And this isn't just a corporation issue. Whole countries are doing it too, which is why this is also a political issue.

Shared Parental Leave in the UK gives paid leave for 6 months, with salary ranging from 90% to £139.58 a week, whichever is lower.

Thus if a person is given an option of working in the USA or the UK or elsewhere, and they are comparing the perks of the different corporations that are based there, they are probably going to go with the country-corporation combo which offers the most perks.

Another thing countries can do is phase in paid maternity/paternity leave with government employees. By phasing the concept in and doing it for government workers first, the idea catches on with the private sector who is constantly competing with the public sector.

Think about it. If you could leave your current job and go to a better job overseas which has more perks, and you can take your family with you, you would probably take it right?

This is the 21st century dilemma. People are not so obsessed with money any more. Their primary focus is on attaining some kind of work-family balance which allows them to spend more time with family, and they are willing to take a pay cut so they have more time to relax with family.

Which means they are also more likely to move overseas if a corporation-country is offering better pay and a better life.

Obviously working in one of the blue countries is better than working in the red ones.
 In our increasingly globalized economy, the countries and corporations which offer the best perks are going to attract the best workers, offer those workers the most enjoyable experience / balance between family and work, and the chance to travel and live in new places doesn't seem so scary any more as more people are becoming willing to leave their home country and explore the vast global economy and its many opportunities.

But some countries are getting left behind. The two worst offenders are the USA and Papua New Guinea - that is right, the USA is tied with a country that most Americans don't even know where it is. Every other country in the world has some kind of paid maternity leave, and more and more are now also offering paid paternity leave too.

Well, what about other employees who are not managers?

Over time countries and corporations have been expanding these perks to more and more people, recognizing that the value it adds is more than the cost of paying for the paid leave. The politicians and pundits debate about who should get paid leave, how much time should they get, how much they should get paid per week, and where is this money coming from.

As time progresses more and more people are being the option of paid leave, including parents who adopt, same sex parents, and more. And it doesn't matter whether you are a manager or a janitor, you still get paid leave. (Obviously corporations usually give more perks to managers than they do to janitors.

The people who are really getting left behind are the contract workers, the people who are self-employed, the seasonal workers, etc. They cannot take time off the same way because they don't qualify for parental leave and instead some end up as burdens on the welfare system or they are "just working to pay the babysitter". They end up suffering more because they don't have the benefit of working for an actual corporation.

As someone who is self-employed, if my wife has a kid I know right now I will be spending a good chunk of my time taking care of the kid, cleaning the home, making food, and trying to do work in the spare moments when I am not bogged down by the tasks of parenting / cleaning / food preparation. If I run into money difficulties somehow, I might have to rely on government assistance.

Thus the whole issue of paid paternity leave / maternity leave is one that is not yet complete and doesn't help everyone yet. Lazy conservatives may complain about "welfare mothers", but the sad situation is that government assistance is needed in order to maintain some semblance of societal progress. Without it, you end up with homeless mothers, a higher abortion rate, a higher rate of child abandonment, higher rates of people giving their kids up for adoption, higher parental suicide rates, etc.

And while you are it, why do conservatives spend so much time defending "deadbeat dads" who get the women pregnant in the first place, but are nowhere to be seen when it is time to pay the bills.

Years ago a friend of mine explored anti-feminist websites and determined that most of the complaints on such websites were issues about child support and spousal support. Ergo, it was men complaining about the fact that they didn't want to help pay the bills for the children they fathered. Deadbeat dads. So their primary complaint wasn't really about feminists, it was about the government forcing them to pay child/spousal support.

As someone who is looking forward to fatherhood I look at the deadbeat dads with disgust.

Paid Maternity Leave is basically one way that the government and corporations are helping women to cope with a society that often leaves them holding the baby.

Paid Paternity Leave allows the women to go back to work, while dads finally gets to do his equal share and help care for the kids too by being a hands-on father who is actually there when the child needs him.

If I was eligible for paid parental leave, I would totally take it. While browsing this topic I also found this website: which has a list of the top family friendly employers in Canada. Makes me wish I worked for one of those corporations.

I should also mention that my sister and her husband are now expecting, so I could end up at various points taking care of my niece/nephew plus my own kid on a regular basis. The two cousins can go on playdates together to the park / petting zoos / the beach / etc. That should save the wife/myself and my sister/her husband money on daycare...

Canada's Daycare Crisis

Government Supported Daycare is an important issue for many Canadians. Some Canadians however disagree on the issue of daycare, mostly because they dislike the idea of taxpayers paying for it.

Like healthcare, education and the economy, universal daycare is one of those issues that is being recognized as an economic issue which benefits working families. It allows families to leave their young children, usually between the ages of 1 and 5, with a daycare provider and the government helps pay for the costs of the daycare.

Recently I learned what a local daycare in my neighbourhood charges for their monthly services... Here is what they charge per month:











And I was like, whoa! $1,820 per month for an infant???!!! (I also said: Wow. I am in the wrong business...)

I was also amused by the $15 per meal that the daycare charges for lunches. I have the impression that my local daycare is more upscale/expensive than the average daycare*.

Thankfully the government does pay for a chunk of that $21,840 per year, but it made me realize why some people choose to get nannies instead. Depending on how many kids a person has, the nanny might actually be cheaper.

Doing the math it makes you realize that staying home to take care of your infant for the first year / 18 months doesn't seem so bad. It is when they become a toddler or pre-schooler that daycare starts to look more reasonable.

* As mentioned further above, I think my local daycare is more expensive than the average daycare in Toronto. I checked and determined that the average monthly cost of daycare for toddlers is $1,324 per month. Other areas around the GTA average barely above $1,000 per month.

Across Canada, Toronto has the most expensive daycares, whereas Quebec is the province with the least expensive. Why is Quebec cheaper? Because Quebec has capped the cost of daycare at $174 per month across all age groups and the rest is covered by government subsidies.

The other problem with Canada's Daycares is Waiting Lists.

Some waiting lists are so long it could take years before a spot opens up.

Each daycare can only take in so many kids, and once filled parents have to sign up for a waiting list. That means if there are only two local daycares and they are both full to capacity, that a parent might have to drive pretty far just to drop their kid off at daycare.

For example years ago I dated a single mother who lived in Scarborough, but she would take her 4-year-old with her to work every day in downtown Toronto to drop him off at a daycare and then speedwalk to work at the TD Bank...

Why? Because all the local daycares in Scarborough were either too expensive or had a waiting list, the TD Bank didn't have a daycare for employees, and the daycare she found downtown was close enough that she could walk there after work to pick her kid up.

So therein lies the problem...

Canada has too few daycares, those that do exist are expensive and have waiting lists, and not all the provinces have such a wonderful system as Quebec does.

Makes me want to move to Quebec, although the waiting list problem is still an issue there.

It is therefore no surprise that the birthrate in Canada and the USA is so low.

Canada - 10.28 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
USA - 12.49 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Now you might think that seems okay, until you see what the death rate is and how dependent Canada and the USA have become on immigrants. Couple that with higher birthrates for immigrant families, and you realize people born in North America just are not having that many kids when it comes time to do so.

And there are many reasons for that.
  • Too much student debt causes people to delay having kids.
  • Too much debt period, whether it be car loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc.
  • Lack of government support for families, in the form of daycare, paid parental leave, tax benefits for working parents, etc.
  • Poor economic conditions makes people more hesitant about having children or multiple children.
Many other western countries (eg. France, England, etc) are also having the same problem. The birthrate is so low that it is ultimately hurting the economy over the longer term and making countries dependent on immigrants to maintain population growth / economic growth.

What that tells you is that Canada/USA needs to be doing more to promote people to start having more kids. Most of Canada is actually underpopulated and is only using a fraction of Canada's economic potential.


Decades ago some countries would realize they were in dire straights when it came to their population and would actually pay people to have more children. (Which is the opposite of what China does with their One Child Policy, which taxes people for having multiple kids.)

So whether they are supporting families via payments per kids, paid parental leave, universal government subsidized daycare, or other policies to promote kids being born, the ultimate effect is that over the longer term these actions boost the economy.

So the next time you hear someone complain about "paid paternity leave", "child support", or "free daycare" gently remind them that those government policies are actually the boosting the economy. They are planting seeds so that future generations will be wealthier.

Phobias and Waiting until the Wedding Night

I heard a funny story recently of a man and a woman who agreed not to have sex until after they were married. It wasn't for religious reasons, they both had their own reasons, but they never got around to explaining to each other why they were against having sex until their marriage night.

The husband as it turns out had an unusual phobia. Medomalacuphobia, which is the fear of losing an erection. Apparently he had been so embarrassed about it at some point that he had long since decided to avoid having sex until after he was married.

Unfortunately the wife had her own reason for wanting to wait until after they were married. She was petrified of the idea. She also had a phobia, Medorthophobia, which is the fear of seeing an erect penis.

So he was afraid of losing his erection and being embarrassed, and she was afraid of seeing erections.

The first coupling was reportedly awkward and there was a lot of explaining that happened.

Fortunately it worked out for both of them. They simply turned the lights off so the wife never saw it, and he was blessed without the embarrassment of her ever seeing it if he did lose his "momentum" in the darkness - and should she ever see it in the un-erect form, well, she was okay with that. Just so long as she didn't see it erect.

They both lived happily ever after.

Man's Best Friend's Brain at Work

In the 30,000+ years humans and dogs have lived together, man's best friend has only become a more popular and beloved pet. By 2016, dogs are a fixture in almost 50% of American households.

From the way dogs thump their tails, invade our laps and steal our pillows, it certainly seems like they love us back. But since dogs can't tell us what's really going on inside their furry heads, can we ever be truly certain how they feel about us?

Actually, yes. Thanks to recent developments in brain imaging technology, we're starting to get a better picture of the happenings inside the canine cranium.

Scientists are studying the dog brains and how they react to different stimuli. And what the studies show is welcome news for all dog owners: Not only do dogs seem to love us back, they actually see us as family. It turns out that dogs rely on humans more than they do other dogs for affection, protection and food - and this translates into a very strong emotional bond. They see humans as the alpha leaders of a pack, and thus consider humans to be family.

The most direct dog brain-based evidence showing that they are hopelessly devoted to humans comes from a recent neuro-imaging study about odour processing in the dog brain. Animal cognition scientists at Emory University trained dogs to lie still in an MRI machine and used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to measure their neural responses to the smell of people and dogs, both familiar and unknown. Because dogs navigate the world through their noses, the way they process smell offers a lot of potential insight into social behaviour.

The scientists found that dog owners' aroma actually sparked activation in the "reward center" of their brains, called the caudate nucleus. Of all the wafting smells to take in, dogs actually prioritized the hint of humans over anything or anyone else.

These results jibe with other canine neuro-imaging research. In Budapest, researchers at Eotvos Lorand University studied canine brain activity in response to different human and dog sounds, including voices, barks and the meaningful grunts and sighs both species emit. Before this study, we had no idea what happens inside canine brains when humans make noise.

Among other surprising findings, the study revealed marked similarities in the way dog and human brains process emotionally laden vocal sounds. Researchers found that happy sounds in particular light up the auditory cortex in both species. This commonality speaks to the uniquely strong communication system underlying the dog-human bond.

Thus we have learned the following: Dogs don't just seem to pick up on our subtle mood changes - they are actually physically wired to pick up on them. They have evolved to be able to sense human mood changes.

"It's very interesting to understand the tool kit that helps such successful vocal communication between two species," Attila Andics, a neuroscientist and lead author of the study, told Mic. "We didn't need neuro-imaging to see that communication works [between dogs and people], but without it, we didn't understand why it works. Now we're really starting to."

Behaviour research supports the recent neuroscience too. According to Andics, dogs interact with their human caregivers in the same way babies do their parents. When dogs are scared or worried, they run to their owners, just as distressed toddlers make a beeline for their parents. This is in stark contrast to other domesticated animals: Petrified cats, as well as horses, will run away from a threat.

Dogs are also one of the few non-primate animals to look people in the eyes. This is something Andics, along with other researchers, discovered about a decade ago when he studied the domestication of wolves, which he thought would share that trait. They endeavoured to raise wolves like dogs. This is a unique behaviour between dogs and humans — dogs seek out eye contact from people, but not their biological dog parents.

"Bonding with owners is much more important for dogs than other pets," said Andics.

Scientists have also looked at the dog-human relationship from the other direction. As it turns out, people reciprocate dogs' strong feelings. In a study published in PLOS One in October, Massachusetts General Hospital researchers measured human brain activity in response to photos of dogs and children. Study participants were women who'd had dogs and babies for at least two years. Both types of photos sparked activity in brain regions associated with emotion, reward, affiliation, visual processing and social interaction. Basically, both furry and (typically) less-furry family members make us equally happy.

Dog-lovers have committed a few notable gaffes in interpreting dogs' facial expressions, e.g., assuming the often-documented hangdog look signifies guilt, an emotion that, most behaviour experts agree, requires a multifaceted notion of self-awareness that dogs probably don't have.

But, as with family, our instinctive hunches about dog behaviour are often correct.

"Sometimes our intuition about what's going on inside dogs' heads is dead-on," said Laurie Santos, the lead researcher at Yale's Canine Cognition Center. "Like, that dogs are seeking out help from us — and that's true based on studies — which is different from even their closest relatives, wolves."

The precise wish or worry lurking in a dog's doleful look may not always be clear. But we can relish the fact that we know our dogs love us as much as we hoped, maybe even more.

Now if we can just figure out how to herd cats, the world would be a better place.

Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Canada

The image above shows just a tiny fraction of Canada's murdered and missing indigenous women. There are over 1000 unsolved cases of murdered and missing indigenous women and the Canadian government has done nothing to address the problem.

According to Prime Minister Stephen Harper these murdered women are not high on his list of priorities. Apparently his biggest priority right now is racial profiling of Muslim women who like to wear niqabs - which is basically the dumbest election issue I have ever heard of. It would be like persecuting Jews for wearing a Yamaka or a Kippah, and shows that the Conservative Party of Canada is basically just a bunch of racists.

Want to know how racist the Conservatives are? Let me show you an example below...

Wow. Two communities ask for medicine and vaccines and the Conservative government decides to send body bags instead. Read about it below in two articles from 2009:

Clearly this is a civil rights issue when your own government ignores pleas for help.

And ignores the hundreds of unsolved cases of murdered women.

And while we are at it, lets talk about drinking water on Native reserves in Canada... There are locations in Canada which have been boiling their drinking water for 10 years or more before the Conservative government refuses to fix the problem.

And it is not a matter of money. They money is already there. They are simply refusing to fix the problem because they keep using clean drinking water as a bargaining chip when dealing with aboriginal communities.

An effing bargaining chip.

People are dying from water-borne diseases, dying from flu epidemics, getting killed by what apparently must be racist serial killers, and the government is using clean drinking water as an effing bargaining chip.


If I was a Native man or woman, I would be tempted to poison Stephen Harper's drinking water. See how he likes it. But we don't and you know why? Because we Canadians are so polite they would never do it. The concept of a "Canadian assassin" is basically an oxymoron. They do not exist. They are as rare as purple unicorns.

Canadians rather politely refuse to assassinate our leaders. It is the reason why no Canadian PM has ever been assassinated. Ever.

Don't believe me? Look at the wiki page which shows the list of Canadian prime ministers and how they died.

Stroke, heart attack, natural causes, cancer, all pretty normal stuff. Pneumonia and Parkinson's were the most unusual two things on the list.

Americans however apparently cannot go 10 years without assassinating a president or at least an attempted assassination. President Obama has had 5 separate assassination attempts on his life.

Stephen Harper is so worried about Muslim terrorists that he is spouting nonsense about tiplines for "barbaric cultural practices". But what he really should be worried about is Canadians saying "enough is enough" and poisoning his food.

Fun Fact - Shark attacks kill more Canadians than terrorists attacks and there are no sharks in Canada.

The Rude Granddaughter from Grand Torino

If you've never seen the film Grand Torino starring Clint Eastwood, I suggest you do so. The film is great for a variety of different reasons.

One of the reasons is the portrayal of the rude/greedy granddaughter in several scenes, which you can watch in the two video clips below.



What is also fascinating is the comments on the two videos, which for convenience sake I have copy pasted some of comments below... For the full list of comments see the YouTube pages in question to see what you are missing.

If you are offended by any of the comments people made, go ahead and leave your comments on YouTube. Don't leave them here.

List of Comments for 1st Clip

he didn't need a whinny granddaughter to help him out lol!
+maning04 Certainly not. She's too spoiled for her own good.
When I was a kid if I were that rude to my grandfather he would have hit me across my face.
When Karen said that Walt is driving her crazy, she has that backwards. The poor man just lost his wife and she has the nerve to say that her father-in-law is driving her crazy? It's Karen, Mitch and Ashley who are driving him crazy.
To me with this, family is more than just DNA. It depends on how the relationship is especially with communication and how close you are.
Ha "no you probably just painted your nails"
If my daughter acted like that to my father she'd get a slap across the face from him, and then one from me.
And she wondered why she didn't get the Gran Torino at the end...
I work with teenagers and sadly some of them do act like this, an entire generation of children who have never been told no, had to deal with losing at competition, or heard the word no. Yes the movie is a bit exaggerated but it's not too far off. Thanks for commenting. :)
My grandad died 4 years ago. There are some many persons that dont appreciatte their grandparents. I miss you granpa!
@TheCD700 how is the top ear piercing for whores? i thought the belly button pierce an the tramp stamp was for whores
I actually found out the actress who played her was 22 at the time of its release! Meaning she's legal! She sure doesn't look it though
I hate such sluts
if you're from a well bred Canadian family it's easy to underestimate the rotten state of modern society
Bitch wants a bitchslap!
I find that actress hot and I'm 27. not an old creep. haha
I always believed that relationship made by heart is more important, than those made by blood.
ew she looks like a pasty turnip
"Your father is driving me crazy." He's not even doing anything you fucking cunt.
Typical kids nowadays
@indyfan22k Only if you do it excessively. Besides, I didn't literally mean I'd use a belt.
@2wingo thats what they make 2x4 for
hey man, we need those sluts to suck our dicks and make us sandwiches...
"no, you probably just painted your nails" hahaha! XD best line ever
@acenspades Well, personality says she's a bitch and, therefore, not hot. It cancels out whatever looks she has. Fuck her into submission - yes. Make love - No.
She is so rude!
There's being a teenager and being a disrespectful dipshit. No amount of overlap takes away the distinction.
@MarkAnthony27 Don't know. Some people dress like they are going to the club when they are actually going to the church. So this lady here lacks dignity and respect for her dead grandmother and dresses like she's going to the club instead of a funeral. There are so many people like that these days. Morality is going down.
If my daughter ever acted like that, she'd go one on one with the belt.
Would you people chill out, I've seen teens dress and act way worse than her. And 50's guy, stop living in the past, women can dress how they want. I thought she was a great actress who protrayed a real life teenager. Did any of you see how her mother was, nobody ever stop to think that kids pick things up from their parents, no you didn't cuz you blame the kid. Now at a funeral, yeah she would've dressed nicer, but like I said, that's a teenager.
@AzraelCaptain. Relax, it's just a movie.
is it me or is the grand daughter hot?
ah the 50s a time when women looked very elegant and men looked very smart and handsome in their neat clothes.
Not very good parenting going on here
I have a 5 year old and one on the way. Either of them act like that and they're going to know about it!
Him spitting on the ground basically means fuck you
Entitled little bitch. Oh wait, I just described a generation...
Bitch, I'm being buried in that car!!
I would fuck that granddaughter in that car.
+Gehrman The First Hunter or he doesn't paint any idiotic flames like some white trash hillbilly. hahaha
Spoiled children of America. Now they need medication and therapy to what was standard in general raising of families. Instead of spine they now grow pussy.
I hate kids, even though in 15. I hate most kids
+long live the beard Initially I hate all kids. Sometimes they pass. But, mostly they don't
No furniture for your dorm, eh? Then get a job, build your character and stop whining for everything you ungrateful, sorry excuse for a granddaughter!
...and she's totally clueless as to why he spat on the ground and walked out.  So many gold-digging bitches out there it's hard to know who the nice girls are...or if there are any nice girls out there at all!  
Me, me!!!! I'm a nice girl who cares more about personality and character than wealth! lol jk kthxbai
+Lazyboy5298 Nice girl who's name is LazyBoy. I think you got a surprise or two. XD (JK)
i cant wait to be a parent...  ever notice how sometimes children are brought up in a way that doesnt upset people?  i wanna be that dad...  before i die...  i wanna bring good people into this world.  *this girl here... just cut her off and let her whine.....
hah! good thing the bitch didn't get the car!
What a horrible person lol
It's funny that Dreama Walker usually plays bitches, when she looks so sweet with her little turned up nose and big bambi eyes.
No way, is this what American kids in the 80's were like?
+HowYaDoingMon it's not the 80's it was 2008
She looks like Cherry Poppins the pornstar
I blame the parents for raising her to be such a spoiled bitch. I'm telling you... if you let your kid have everything they want.... they start to think they can get anything they want... and materialistic things become more important than family or friends.
That's just a sad thing to here... your grandkid basically saying they WANT you to die so they can have your shit......
Ok, what have I learned in this scene? I've learned that if you come across a girl who is insecure and a bitch, give her a dirty, serious, stern look and spit on the floor right in front of her. Thank you Clint Eastwood!!
Shes not insecure. I think the words you are looking for are selfish and rude.
I'd like to anal bone that snotty granddaughter cunt without lube...
You flatter yourself darling.  And I'm totally on the money. I pegged you.
+moonlily1 Pegged? You wish you could peg me moony.Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm straight.
NRFun, I agree that scene at the end was pure brilliance. I mean the movie was just great but that last scene with the ungrateful bitch teenager was just amazing.
Ya really what a bitch
Stupid bitch. Clint Eastwood can't die. He just comes back to tear your fucking face off.
go fight a bunch of gooks and then you'll earn your retro couch you cunt.
@dinan545bmw Ohhh absolutely...
That's 2-3 hard workers raised by a decent parent vs thousands upon thousands of parasites with their hand out, raised by idiots.
I'm glad he spit in front of her like that. In addition, I'd rather be gay than have any relation WHATSOVER with that little self-centered bitch!
Bitch Please your profile says your 29,make a video to prove me wrong
Fuckin bitch! Why don't you go back home and start sucking dicks for nickels so you can pay for your own damn furniture
when she asked,"what are you going to do with it when you die", i thought,"im gonna rearange the parts to make a drill that takes your ass to hell where it belongs!"
@2wingo I see what you mean she would put poison in it. Then how about in a mine? Not much she can do there except make it collapse on her.
I am seeing Clint by watching this video....proved you wrong
Agreed. You can't save them all but at least I won't have to worry about my kids and hopefully later family generations from becoming those kinds of people.
Apologize to nothing! I stand my ground,you are PHONY..PHOOOONNNNYYYY PROVE ME WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So you have no furniture for your dorm? Whine to your parents, that's their problem.
@TheSighGuy Would you want that slut handling your dinner? I sure as Hell wouldn't.
I'm glad they didn't give that granddaughter much screen time... seeing her dressed like that at a funeral, pretty much wanting her own grandfather to die just for the car, and even worse... especially at a family gathering, and still mourning the soul of her grandmother, saying that she can't get a signal on her cell.. like what a bitch!
If that was my grand daughter id physically shove the little twat out of my shed.... thats my sacred patch of land bitch.. I aint leaving you in there!
well oviously the parents cant raise kids for shit. seriously theres so many people out there who raise kids with no respect for themselves or fucking does my head in! fucking happy the bitch gets nothing in the end
Thank god toad got the Gran Torino.
WHY IS THAT NOT A TOP COMMENT? I laughed my ass off
horrible character. Good acting by her.
I thought Dreama Walker did a great job of portraying the majority of teenage girls that are out there today. Good acting, girl!
She doesn't know jack about cars, stupid white slut
More like disrespectful and tackles. Would expect more smarts and cunningness from a Red Head.
then shut the fuck up you annoying dick
iI had no hat,FAKER,if you are Mr/'s easy to make a damn vid and prove me wrong,mulefucker,if you make a vid,I will take back what i've said mulefucker
Bitch get the fuck bsck in the kitchen. No sexism intended because she deserved that one.
Fuck this,i'm right you're wrong,good bye fakeass mulefucker
She did great in the movie Compliance
You don't EVER ask a loved one what they're going to do with their stuff when they die, it's a basic rule. Worst part is I've seen bimbo's and dickheads who are like this in real life, sad.
i would of been like bitch get on your knees and suck then you can have the couch
If I have a daughter who acts like this bitch to my father....ohhhh man....
Actually shit face,I do,It was funny at first,now you're just pissing me off.
your a stupid whore im glade you have no furniture sit on the damn floor
man that grand daughter is annoying.
Lol, I gotta go watch Blade 3 now.
i'm glad she didn't get the torino
If I have a granddaughter who acts like this bitch.... ohhhhhh man....
I was so FUCKING HAPPY when I found out that Thao inherited the car instead of this cock juggling thunder cunt of a granddaughter.
good actress, she managed to convince everyone to hate her so much despite having very little screen time
this scene is censored because i think originally he pulls out a magnum and pops her face.
@cyrus138 You sir, win the Internets.
Who the hell asks a question like that?
Same spit as in "The Outlaw Josey Wales".... I think the same meaning too!
Have some people forgotten this is just a movie
I was so happy at the ending when Thao gets the grand torino, instead of her XD. I was soooo happy!
Does anyone realize this is the girl from Don't trust the B in apt 23.
I would have sex with her. Lots.
i slap the shit out of her!
That is one stuck up bitch! She does need some cock though!
@genungapearl Yeah but she's HOT so she will probably still get what she wants one way or another.
I AM laughin'. I will NOT apologize until you give me proof
No,that is the man you''re impersonating,YOU need a life
@TheSighGuy I meant that she's probably got so many STDs you catch something by being in the same room as her.
translated from bitch tongues to english, grandpa when are you gonna die because i really want your car and couch. I am getting impatient
@SuperClintEastwood and @ 84Bronco351.... you two are just stupid to actually fight on the internet....I say both of u to just leave and not spam this video ya pussies
This is exactly what some of this modern generation doesn't realize. How some grandparents lived through the depression and WWII and all of a sudden, you have this generation with their illiteracy and a selfish, stuck up attitude. I am going to raise my kids just as my grandfather raised my dad and he raised me. Hopefully, that will add 2-3 extra well-mannered, hardworking adults to society.
@jesimth Completely agree with you buddy!
0:37 Bitch you cant have my couch.


Now what I find interesting is the visceral hatred for the greedy/rude granddaughter, who is a fictional character. Not a real person. And yet she elicits such hatred you would think that she is a real person.

And such violence too.

I mean okay, yes, she is greedy and rude, but that is no reason for people to post comments like "I'd rape her". Wow. That is just sick.

It makes you realize that many of the people leaving those comments are really no better than some of the horrible characters in the film - violent psychopaths.

And if you managed to make that conclusion, what you also realize is that many of the people commenting don't deserve a "gran torino" either. Granddaughters from Gran Torino are apparently not the only ones who are rude and greedy and unworthy.

The Gran Torino is not a prize. It is a metaphor for someone who is pure of heart.

It is a bit like picking up Thor's hammer Mjolnir... "You are all not worthy," says Thor.

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