To boost your mood, make small changes to your everyday habits

To boost your mood, make small changes to your everyday habits

When someone is assessed for a mental health condition like depression and anxiety, treatments usually include some sort of therapy and medication, but much of the time small lifestyle changes aren’t included in the conversation about how to better our mental health. Little changes can have a big impact on the quality of life for anybody, but especially for those with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and more, and lead to a decreased chance of getting diabetes cardiovascular diseases.

Read More

Without permission, MoviePass is signing customers up for its new plans in its latest move against its userbase

Cinema movie ticketing startup MoviePass isn’t actually dead yet, but there’s been signs for the last few months that it was fighting to stay afloat, from shutting down overnight because of a lack of funding to nuking its unlimited plan and being hit with a shareholder lawsuit over fraud. According to The Verge, the company is now sending emails to a “select test group” of customers who didn’t opt-in to the limited three movie per month plan that it forced users onto, saying that unless users opted out of the service — something they’d already done to cancel their membership — it would be reactivating their plan on a special unlimited plan and charging them $9.95 per month.

Read More

Corporations should be held responsible for reducing the number of disposable coffee cups, not consumers

Corporations should be held responsible for reducing the number of disposable coffee cups, not consumers

The coffee industry in the United Kingdom is growing rapidly and more than half of all hot beverages are served in disposable cups, a 2018 report from the Environmental Audit Committee found. Widely available to consumers, take-away coffee is now available in not only in cafés, but also supermarkets, lounges, recreational facilities and more. Disposable coffee cups are lined with a thin layer of plastic which makes them waterproof, but this seal cannot be removed properly by most recycling facilities, effectively contaminating the whole cup. Mistakenly, many people think that disposable cups are recyclable and put them in the incorrect bin as a result, showing that there is a clear misunderstanding from the public and causes extra work at recycling facilities who then have to pick out each cup from what can actually be recycled.

Read More

The economics of Nike's Air Jordan product line, explained

The economics of Nike's Air Jordan product line, explained

The Air Jordan line started in 1984 when basketball player Michael Jordan signed a deal with Nike to launch a lineup of shoes, offering him $250,000 to be associated with the brand. Though Adidas offered him double that amount of money, he stuck with Nike — they had offered him a percentage of the revenue of the shoes and promised that if he didn’t earn $3 million in the first 3 years of the partnership, he could exit the deal. This series of shoes is a main driver in Nike’s massive profits, and it’s clear that the deal is still paying off for both parties more than three decades later. Nike reporting sales of the Jordan brand separately for the first time in 2016, growing by 18 percent to $2.8 billion during that year.

Read More

Estonia's e-resident program is its answer to a shrinking workforce

Estonia's e-resident program is its answer to a shrinking workforce

Currently many countries in Europe are facing a dire crisis, with fertility rates falling drastically and increasing government costs as a result. An older population requires more space in elderly homes, more to be spent on healthcare and an increase in registered nurses to care for the aging sector of the population. Between 2010-2015, 83 countries had below-replacement fertility levels, accounting for 46 percent of the world’s population. These countries included China, the USA, Brazil, Russia, Japan, Germany and the UK. Even worse is the predicted global fertility rate, which is expected to fall from the current 2.5 births per woman to 2.2 in 2045-2050 and 2.0 in 2095 to 2100, according to projections.

Read More

Boston is embracing public transportation with a 25-year investment plan

Boston is embracing public transportation with a 25-year investment plan

Massachusetts state officials are looking to the future of public transit, with the DoT and MBTA publishing a draft 25-year investment plan positioning the region to meet the needs of the population by 2040 titled Focus40. The report "reflects what the region will need to be sustainable, livable, equitable, and economically competitive," and is meant to be a framework for changes that will help the agency adapt to a more technological era and withstand the worsening New England winters.

Read More

In preparation of Hurricane Florence, more than 1,000 flights have been cancelled and airports are being shut down

In preparation of Hurricane Florence, more than 1,000 flights have been cancelled and airports are being shut down

Hurricane Florence has triggered more than 1,000 flight cancellations and airport closures in both North and South Carolina, which are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Florence. The storm, which is predicted to touch down in the United States on Friday, will hit the border of the two states, according to the National Hurricane Centre. Hurricane warnings and tropical storm warnings have been issued along the east coast, with the NHC noting that “hurricane-force winds [are] getting closer to the North Carolina outer banks and coastal southeastern North Carolina.”

Read More

Premier Doug Ford is promising to use the "Notwithstanding Clause" — but what does that mean?

Premier Doug Ford is promising to use the "Notwithstanding Clause" — but what does that mean?

The new bill attempting to cut the size of Toronto City Council passed the first reading in Ontario’s legislature on Wednesday, after NDP MPPs were forced to leave the room after protesting the bill. Named the Efficient Local Government Act, the bill invokes Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the first time in the province’s history. The section is publicly known as the notwithstanding clause, and allows the government to pass laws overriding specific charter rights for a five-year period, before the law needs to be renewed.

Read More

A nine-year-old recently committed suicide in Colorado. Despite prevention efforts, suicide rates are going up.

Just days after beginning fourth grade, a 9-year-old Colorado boy committed suicide after being bullied by classmates for coming out as gay. He told his mother previously and had a history of being bullied and believed that this was a factor in his suicide. This tragedy shines a light on the way media outlets have chosen to portray the story, with some publications unintentionally putting blame on the victim of the bullying instead of the bully, who is at fault. Though unintentional, it is important for the media to remember and for the public to realize that the boy did not choose to kill himself because he was gay, but instead because he was being bullied for being gay.

Read More

When it comes to public transit, frequency is freedom

When it comes to public transit, frequency is freedom

There's specific reasoning behind why some public transportation routes and systems as a whole are successful while others aren't, and a 2016 study by TransitCentre seeks to find out why that is — though the study is slightly outdated, the principles of it still apply today. For example, Seattle's light rail extension from the downtown core to the University of Washington has boosted ridership from 35,000 to nearly 57,000 riders per day, but the ridership of the Atlanta streetcar is only 1,200 riders per day. This survey aims to find out why there's such a disparity between different transit systems and their ridership, and what makes them more successful in the eyes of riders.

Read More

A generic version of EpiPen is finally being approved by the FDA — and with a looming shortage, it couldn't be better timing

A generic version of EpiPen is finally being approved by the FDA — and with a looming shortage, it couldn't be better timing

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a generic version of the EpiPen on August 16, which is a life-saving tool for people with severe allergies that injects them with a dose of epinephrine, known by its more common name, adrenaline. There are more than 3.6 million people in the US with severe allergies and in Canada, one in 13 people have a severe food allergy that might warrant the need for an EpiPen. These tools are covered by most provincial drug plans in Canada but in the US, those without insurance must choose between generic alternatives or to go without, risking a serious reaction.

Read More

MoviePass is alienating current users instead of searching for a source of income

MoviePass is alienating current users instead of searching for a source of income

Struggling movie subscription service MoviePass sent an email to users today who hold annual subscriptions, forcing them into the same terms as other members and offering refunds to those who want to cancel their memberships. The change comes as an odd move by the company since typically, companies only change service terms for users once they reach their renewal dates. MoviePass subscribers have, until now, been immune to all the changes the company has been making but now it seems like they're out of luck.

Read More

Google is slowly creeping up on Amazon in the smart speaker market

Google is slowly creeping up on Amazon in the smart speaker market

Since introducing the first modern smart speaker a couple years ago with the Echo product line, Amazon has maintained a steady dominance in the market. The company sold an estimated 4.8 million Echo devices between April and June, beating Google by 1.6 million units. However, Google has been gaining ground on its closest rival, growing its market share from 16.1 percent in Q2 2017 to 27.6 percent in the same quarter one year later. Apple's recently introduced HomePod speaker isn't even a true competitor to the two companies, only shipping an estimated 700,000 units between April and the end of June.

Read More

Things to do in Toronto this summer that won't break the bank

Many people think think that since Toronto is such a costly city to live in, it's expensive for entertainment and recreational activities as well — though it's understandable to think this, there's quite a lot of activities in the city that cost less than a hour's wage or are, better yet, free. We've picked out a few tried-and-true activities that cost only a nominal fee and that aren't necessarily what someone would think to recommend to a tourist, which should allow for a more enjoyable and exciting experience. There's lots to do in the city, from visiting Riverdale Farm to exploring the bowels of Canada's largest urban park, meandering through the streets of Kensington Market and trying out a free yoga class from a lululemon instructor.

Read More

The number of deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria is a lot more than reported

The number of deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria is a lot more than reported

The government of Puerto Rico is acknowledging that the official death toll from Hurricane Maria is more than 1,400 — much higher than the 64 people reported dead by the government initially. More than 527,000 homeowners reported damages to their dwellings and 40 schools were forced to permanently close because of damages. The death count grew as people died from suicide, bacterial illnesses and a lack of access to healthcare and despite new counts, the death tally has never changed until now.

Read More

Elon Musk's tweets about taking Tesla private could land him in hot water with the SEC

Elon Musk's tweets about taking Tesla private could land him in hot water with the SEC

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was sued twice on Friday by investors accusing him of fraudulently concocting a scheme to squeeze short-sellers, including through Musk's proposal to take the company public. The lawsuits were filed only three days after shocking investors by announcing on Twitter that he was considering taking the company public in a $72 billion USD deal that would value it at $420 per share, detailing that funding had already been secured.

Read More

In a public letter to Doug Ford, John Tory is urging him to hit "pause" on downsizing city council

In a public letter to Doug Ford, John Tory is urging him to hit "pause" on downsizing city council

This week Toronto Mayor John Tory sent a letter directly to Premier Doug Ford urging him to hit "pause" on his unannounced plan to force city council to downsize from 47 to 25 members. The letter is more aggressive and was a surprising move on Tory's part, who is seeking a re-election this coming October. Though he downplayed the chances of a legal challenge against the province, there is still a chance that this matter could go to the courts.

Read More

Waymo is using to Phoenix to test if autonomous vehicles will improve public transit access

Waymo is using to Phoenix to test if autonomous vehicles will improve public transit access

Former Google division Waymo is launching a program in Phoenix this month to deliver people to bus stops, train and light rail stations, it announced last week in partnership with Valley Metro, the regional public transportation authority. Until now, Waymo has been focused on creating a ride-hailing service, building self-driving trucks and making deals to license its technology to automakers, but the fourth goal of the company — connect people to public transportation stations — was unrealized until now.

Read More

Apple and Google's new anti-smartphone addiction tools are an admission of guilt

Apple and Google's new anti-smartphone addiction tools are an admission of guilt

During Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference it announced a few addiction-combatting features for its mobile devices, including an enhanced Do Not Disturb feature, more notification control, and insight into people's smartphone usage with Screen Time. The next version of iOS will have built-in time controls to limit the amount of time spent in apps and games and will display how many notifications users receive and from what apps they originated from. This is far from the first company to announce something like this, with Facebook announcing months ago that it will emphasize "time well spent" on the platform as its new motto.

Read More

The Ford administration has changed its mind on Ontario's basic income pilot tests

The Ford administration has changed its mind on Ontario's basic income pilot tests

The Ontario government has changed course on Ontario's Basic Income pilot and will be cancelling it as soon as possible, and will also cut the planned 3 percent welfare increase in half. Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod said that the increase scheduled by the previous Liberal party would be reduced to 1.5 percent while the PCs begin a 100-day revamp of social assistance programs that help more than one million people. The Conservatives did not pledge to cut welfare increases during their campaign, but did promise to cut $6 billion from the budget without impacting jobs.

Read More