While the study focused on hamsters, and I therefore find it suspect — have these scientists ever owned a hamster? Those things stay up all night anyway whirling around on their wheels, as opposed to amusing one’s children during daylight hours — I’m not about to dismiss anything that helps with better sleep. And I do suspect screen time might play havoc when one’s trying to wind down.
I used to pop on my laptop during those late-night rounds of insomnia (I tried to phrase them as “bonus time in your day!”), but found that could turn an hour awake time into three. Now if I have to get up and do something, I try something old-fashioned: A mug of warm milk, dim lighting, and any book left of on my shelf from grade 10 English class (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich does wonders).
Do you have good evening sleep habits? What are your tips for better sleep?
But you may want to consider getting tested for Hepatitis C. It’s a liver disease that can range in severity from a mild illness to a serious, lifelong condition that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer.
The CDC in the US recently recommended that all baby boomers get a one-time test for hep c. Why? Because the damage from the disease can take decades to show up (MSNBC), and individuals are getting sick without being aware of the source. Canadians, of course, are not immune.
I spoke with Denise Munn (59) of Halifax, Nova Scotia about hepatitis C. She’s passionate about letting people know about the disease.
She decided to get tested after a private detective called her in 1999, regarding a blood donation she’d made in 1989. New testing had revealed there was a possibility of her having contracted hepatitis C. When her doctor delivered the news, she “was devastated. I felt it was like a death sentence…Part of the diagnosis is that it does a number on your mental faculties. I had been depressed…. I felt unclean and dirty.”
I asked Denise if she had any idea how she had contracted hepatitis C. Other than having done a lot of piercings for sailors after their first trip to the Arctic while she was working on a boat in the 1970s, she had no idea. And who of us would? The disease is spread via the transmission of blood, so even small cuts can open a pathway for infection.
Here’s why Denise recommends the test: Finding out that she had hepatitis C helped Denise address health issues she had been unable to resolve for years. She’s made lifestyle changes and feels much better: “I intend to live a very long life and I’m doing everything I can do to do that.”
What does she want people to know about the disease? “It doesn’t make a fiddler’s fart of difference how you got it. The important thing is to find out if you got it. Then you can do something about it.”
I’m not going to thank ESPN The Magazine for this, but I will share it with you: Sex in the Olympic Village. I think it’s a sign of my age & stage that my reaction wasn’t Wow, wish I were an athlete but Note to self: If either of my boys ever qualifies for the Games, discuss respect.
Beauty editors agree – St. Tropez is where it’s at for that French Riviera glow.
No, we’re not talking about the European city (though that would be nice) — we’re obsessing over the natural looking coverage from their latest lightweight bronzing gel for $44. It contains a fragrance technology to block the odor of DHA (which gives your skin colour) so you get even coverage without the stench. Rich, streak-free colour here we come.
Filed under: Work & money — Jenn Gruden, web editor @
The most important piece in the New York Times this weekend, at least from my perspective, is this one by Teresa Ghilarducci about Americans’ ridiculous approach to retirement. I don’t think Canadians are immune (switch out 401(k) for RRSP.)
“The current model for retirement savings, which forces individuals to figure out a plan for their retirement years, whether through a “guy” or by individual decision making, will always fall short. My friends are afraid, and they are not alone.”
As a female member of Gen X here’s what’s impacted on my retirement savings. Tell me what resonates with you:
1) I did not go into a high-earning degree programme but followed my dream. I have mixed feelings about this. At More we absolutely celebrate women who make midlife career changes because they want to love their jobs — and I love my job — and I really do think that’s important. At the same time, I sometimes wish I had at least given more serious thought to pursuing something technical and lucrative.
Then I graduated into a recession. I cobbled together part-time jobs for three years before landing a full-time position outside of my chosen field (but it really helped with the mortgage). Still trying to follow my dreams, I indeed did a few years later and took an almost $20,000 pay cut in order to move into my current field. I have almost achieved the salary I was receiving in 1998, but not quite.
2) Only one of my positions came with a defined benefits pension plan. In case you don’t know the difference — and you should — a defined benefits pension plan guarantees you a particular income when you retire, based on your contributions and seniority and all that. These are going the way of the dinosaur, and indeed, that benefit plan did bite the dust. (I will receive about $550 annually from that plan upon retirement. Coffee money!)
The vast majority of my savings are contained within an RRSP or a defined contribution plan, and my income will be based on how the investments do. In case you missed what that change means, it means that before, my company would have had to cover any shortfall between how the investments did and the plan in order to cut me a cheque every month. Now the company my investments are with will cut me a cheque depending on how they did. So now I personally own the risk.
3) While I benefit in my mortgage from low interest rates, I am supposedly in my prime investing years (although since I have young kids I’d say I’m “investing” in daycare right now – another choice, true, but not unusual for my generation). But rates are low, so either I have to take more risks with my money — and we all know how that worked out in 2008 — or barely cover the cost of inflation.
So yes, I’m a little worried. I can see what’s happening and plan, which is great. But the NYT article highlights the issue: Do-it-yourself retirement can be quite scary. At least for me. What are your thoughts?
Is the latest addition to the comic-book takeover of film worth the watch? Anne Brodie says yes. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments! – Jenn
The Dark Knight Rises
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway Rating: 4/5
Nolan ends his Batman trilogy in a sensational style, with this sophisticated and adult drama of operatic proportions.
It’s eight years on and Batman/Bruce Wayne is holed up in his estate, disgraced and depressed, when he hears Gotham’s cries for help. He must overcome physical and psychological damage to confront the mightiest villain he’s met so far, Bane (Tom Hardy) whose towering evil psychopathy earns him a place in cinematic history.
Nolan turns his back on the kids, opting for serious commentary on politics, terrorism, elitism and legacy, and imbues it with meaning and psychological detail. There are no laughs aside from Catwoman’s (Hathaway) sarcasm and get this: She may be gay. Kudos to the deserving Joseph Gordon-Levitt who will likely carry the flame forward.
We’re all looking for easy makeup looks when it comes to those hot and humid days and Quo’s On the Beach palette appeals to the multi-tasker in all of us.
It’s a lovely combination of shimmery bronzes along with neutrals and it’s ideal for carting around for touch-ups because the brush is included inside. Find this limited edition product in stores now for $20 and enjoy a little bit of that beachy vibe – no matter where you might be.
Literally. The video below summarizes the latest Toronto shooting, one of the city’s most violent, and it happened about 7 blocks from my house. My husband had to make a detour around the scene on his morning commute, and my son watched police officers canvass our area.
At left: On my drive to work this morning
It cuts a bit too close to home. I love my neighbourhood, which is to the south of Danzig St. — literally the other side of tracks — of this set of apartment complexes. I would describe my street as boring in a good way. Kids call on each other to go play at the park and run back and forth between each other’s yards. I haven’t always locked my car doors.
My experience of Toronto, even its priority neighbourhoods, is that it’s nothing like what you see in Detroit or LA, boarded-up buildings and signs of appalling poverty for blocks and blocks. (Which is probably why a lot of the comments on this Huffington Post article read almost like farce to me.) We do have poverty, drug addiction and all the rest here in the Big Smoke, but the pockets for the most part are relatively small geoographically.
At right: The view from my porch, last fall
What that means is that “people like me” (middle class) and “people like them” (low-income) end up shopping together, in mom-tot programmes at the library together, and at soccer games together – and soon enough, we recognize that we’re all people, even if our day-to-day struggles vary a bit. I love that about Toronto.
Until – well, guns. Guns.
Theoretically I love that my children have the opportunity to go to school with a wide diversity of people from various socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. I have been glad to get to know mums from all over Scarborough over the years, and grateful that raising your kids often means expanding your social circle.
And yet, here’s what my first thought was on hearing the news: In ten years, teens from that complex will quite possibly be my son’s friends, because they’ll end up in the same schools. At 11:00 on a summer night, it is entirely possible he would be at this kind of barbeque. Oh no.
No lie, that does scare me. Raising kids is tough. Raising teens in a city with shrinking community programmes and gun violence seems incredibly scary, as a future proposition. We’ve already talked to my 6 year old about what to do if a friend at school shows you a weapon.
How do you cope with feeling like the world is a scary place for your kids? How have you approached this kind of issue with your teens? Would something like this get you thinking about moving?