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Today We Remember. 3

Posted by istevens on November 11, 2016

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Today we say thank you to all the brave men and women that fought for us, our freedom, and our country. Thank you. We remember you.

inflandersfields00mccriala_0013.jpgsource: http://www.archive.org/stream/inflandersfields00mccriala#page/6/mode/1up

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Ian Stevens
, CEO of Execulink Telecom


I’m an engineer’s problem-solving brain in a businessman’s body. Throw in a hint of health nut, a side of avid skier, and a dose of outdoorsman and voila, you’ve got the recipe for me.


#MannequinChallenge is the Latest Fun Internet Trend

Posted by cirvine on November 7, 2016

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Move over Harlem Shake—the Internet has a new viral challenge and it has nothing to do with shaking your booty. Actually, the less movement the better, as the Mannequin Challenge is all about being silent and still. Here’s what you do:

Step 1: Get a group of people.

Step 2: Pick a scene. This could be a fight breaking out, a group of people working out, or a simple “day in the life” scene.

Step 3: Freeze everyone in place and video tape the whole tableau as you move through it. Upload it to social media and tag it with #MannequinChallenge. Done!

If everyone in your group nails it, you should get something like the below vid, which was the first known appearance of #MannequinChallenge on Twitter in late October.

Since that video, people have attempted more and more ambitious poses. Check out this mannequin’d high school cheerleader and crowd cheering on their team.

 

How about this one of an entire restaurant frozen in time posted by Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

 

Even the kitchen staff took part! Insane. I think that one, and this one of a lively ping pong match are my two favourites so far.

Who has heard of the #mannequinchallenge ? Grab some friends this week and create your own version!

A video posted by Zach King (@zachking) on


What’s the significance of the song, you ask? Nothing really, except that it was playing in the background of the original video, so people have linked it to the trend. It’s the song, “Black Beatles” by the hip hop group Rae Sremmurd, and it sure is getting great publicity right now. The group seems to have caught on, and published a #MannequinChallenge of their own at one of their concerts.

Pretty neat stuff! I think the more people that take part the cooler it looks, although like you saw with the above video, the more people you have the more chance of someone that breaks character and RUINS IT FOR EVERYONE. Don’t be that guy.

Well #MannequinChallenge you have thoroughly impressed me so far.  Can’t wait to see what other frozen scenes pop up in the future! Check out the video below for even more #MannequinChallenge submissions!

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Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer


I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?


The Top Tech Toys for Kids

Posted by cchalkley on November 3, 2016

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Christmas is right around the corner, but there’s no need to panic just yet; you still have some time before Mr. Claus comes down your chimney. Remember those thoughts you had last year about trying to have all your Christmas presents purchased early so you aren’t left scrambling last minute? Let this year be the one that you start early and get all your shopping done before the holiday mall madness begins. Need some ideas to get yourself started? Here’s a list of some super cool tech toys to gift your kid who made it on this year’s good list. 

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If your kids like Apple’s Siri, they will love this toy! CogniToys Dino is an educational toy that is designed to be your child’s friend by engaging in interactive conversations. This Dino is Wi-Fi enabled, has cloud based technology and is recommended for kids aged 5-9 years old. This toy will learn your child’s name and will deliver responses based on your child’s age. You can play games, ask for bedtime stories, jokes, play music and do math. Press the button on the Dino’s belly to ask a question using some of the commands suggested on their website. CogniToys Dino retails for $99USD.

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Barbie® Hello Dreamhouse is the cool tech forward house that we all wish we could live in. This house is Wi-Fi activated and recognizes over 100 voice commands. Some features include an elevator, a staircase that turns into a slide and custom sounds and songs that can be controlled through the accompanying app. You can ask the Dreamhouse to throw a dance party, have a fashion show and have a surprise birthday party. Wow, Barbie is stepping up her game. Barbie® Hello Dreamhouse™ retails for $299USD.

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We are living in the day and age where all kids are learning to code in school and computers are an extension of themselves. Fisher Price Code-a-Pillar is toy for preschoolers to give them their first experience in coding. Kids are challenged to build a sequence that commands the caterpillar toy into certain actions like move forward, turn or make a sound. This toy is built for preschoolers 3-6 years in age and is intended to teach your kid how to problem solve, develop critical thinking and learn cause and effect. Fisher Price Code-a-Pillar retails for $59.99.

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This toy teaches your kid to build their own computer and learn how to code. Kano Computer Kit includes an illustrated book that provides step-by-step instructions on how to build your own computer and includes 150 hours of tutorials where you can learn to build apps, compose music, art, play games and even build your own Minecraft worlds. Geared for children ages 6+, the will provide your child with an introduction into programming languages including Python and Javascript. If you want your kid to be next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, this would be the perfect present for them. Kano Computer Kit retails for $199.

Leapfrog_leapband.jpgAre you looking for a way to encourage your kid to keep fit and have healthier habits? Leapfrog Leapband is the kid’s version of the Fitbit. It comes with an activity tracker and 50 challenges to get your kids up and moving. You get to choose a virtual pet and have a companion to get active with. Keep your virtual pet alive by choosing healthy snacks, grooming and caring for their pet. The Leapfrog Leapband retails for $29.99.

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Have you ever thought it would be super cool to work for Nintendo and make your own video games? Bloxels is an innovative video game development platform that allows you to create your own video games. Super cool right? Using little pixel blocks you get to design levels and characters then upload them using your tablet’s camera. Yellow block are coins, green blocks is the terrain, blue is water and purple blocks are the enemy. Using the app you can then customize your characters and levels to see how they will look animated. Once you are finished your design you get to play your own game! Bloxels retails for $49.95USD

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Wonder Workshop Dash is a real robot that is designed for kids to learn how to program using a coding language. Using the free app you can program Dash to move, dance, make sounds and light up.  With accessories you can buy separately, Dash can be a launcher, play a xylophone or be a bulldozer. Dash has been introduced into some classrooms across Canada to teach children about coding and robotics. Wonder Workshops Dash is designed for children ages 8 and up retails for $199.

If your kid is a little inventor, and loves race cars or LEGO, then this is the perfect present for them. SAM Labs Curious Kit is a set that consists of wireless building blocks that you can program to function in many different ways. Start with building a race car, LEGO alarm, or a motorized bridge - with an active imagination the possibilities are endless. Each SAM Block uses Bluetooth to connect to the app where you can program patterns and behaviours.  Check out the video above of a LEGO Starbucks Hot Coffee Maker Machine built with the Curious Kit. SAM Labs Curious Kit retails for $199USD

These are just a few tech toys that are available for kids to learn and be creative. Don’t you wish you had toys like these when you were growing up? Hopefully some of these toys will give you some ideas of what to get for your kid this year. Happy Holiday shopping!

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Christine Chalkley, Marketing Coordinator


I love things that make me laugh including sitcoms, sketch comedy and anything my kid does. When it comes to parenting I take Amy Poehler’s advice: “Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers... for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces.”


The Top 10 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of October

Posted by cfeehan on October 24, 2016

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Good day to you, Execubloggers, and welcome to the October edition of our Popular YouTube Video series. I need to begin by noting that none of October’s top videos were Halloween-themed, which is nothing short of an epic tragedy. Where are my pumpkin carvers at? My masterful lawn decorators? Haunted house hosts? Nobody? Well, there’s always next year.

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This month, we had a ton of trailers grace the Top 10 list, as well as a couple of James Corden additions (finally). It’s a fun list that shows off a lot of great new movies, tech gadgets, and talents, so cozy up with a warm cup of tea and press play!

Power Rangers (2017 Movie) Official Teaser Trailer – ‘Discover The Power’
19,018,086 views

So, I was completely expecting this trailer to be overwhelmingly lame. But can you really blame me? I grew up watching Power Rangers who looked like this:

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…not like this:

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Yeah, those are the new Power Rangers. It’s like they skipped their awkward stage – it just isn’t fair.

Anyways, once I got past my original expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. This movie doesn’t look lame at all – in fact, it looks really good. I might miss all of the cheesy explosions and terrible acting from the original series, but that’s a small price to pay for the movie’s (likely) sizable cinematic success. I guess you can have this one, attractive and not-at-all-awkward Power Rangers.

First Look at Nintendo Switch
18,244,141 views

The Nintendo Switch does exactly what its name suggests – it can switch easily from a traditional game console that hooks up to your TV to a sleek handheld gaming system. It can then even “switch” into a portable two-player device with mini controllers, and if your friends have one of their own, you can all get together and have multiplayer tournaments face-to-face. The gaming possibilities seem practically endless with this nifty little device. Watch the video and start daydreaming about all of the cool new places you can play Mario Kart with your friends, cordlessly!

Teaser Trailer: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
16,622,669 views

All I can say is “sign me up”. This trailer was only a minute and a half long, staying true to its “teaser trailer” description, but I’m mentally already in line to see it. It looks dark, scary, and full of tension, as any Pirates of the Caribbean movie should. Dead Men Tell No Tales is set to be released in May 2017, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. I don’t think that anything else needs to be said about this, other than please, Disney, release the full-length trailer ASAP!

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[OFFICIAL VIDEO] Hallelujah - Pentatonix
15,499,307 views

This video made me feel things. Hallelujah is already such an emotional and powerful song, and it’s taken to the next level by Pentatonix, an a cappella group who made our YouTube list last month. Being an a cappella group, they are not accompanied by any instruments, so their singing voices have to do all the work – and they certainly rise to the occasion! Their voices are so pure, and each member’s voice fits the song beautifully. If you appreciate impressive vocal ability, I would definitely recommend this video.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer #2 (Official)
14,188,215 views

I feel like I’ve watched about six trailers for this movie in the past year – can it just be released already?! I wrote about the first full-length trailer a few months back, and now there’s another one…yes, we get it, Rogue One is going to be a fantastic movie. Although, I have to be honest, I find the 10-foot-tall lanky robot guy (also known as K-2SO) to be extremely creepy in comparison to the adorable R2-D2, C-3PO, and BB-8. Other than this one small drawback, the trailers couldn’t look better – the more I watch them, the more I want to see the movie as soon as it comes out. The anticipation is strong with this one.

Logan | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX
13,027,021 views

Logan is the third and final solo Wolverine film, as well as the last Wolverine movie that Hugh Jackman will be starring in, and this trailer does a good job of portraying that. It shows Jackman’s character as beaten down and on his way out, while playing Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Hurt” in the background – a song that is widely recognized as his final hit before his death. So, yeah, it’s pretty fitting within the context of the subject matter. However, it’s pretty clear that this movie won’t be a total sob story, as Wolverine seems to regain his determination when faced with a good challenge. This is his last hoorah, so he obviously has to go out with a bang. 

Mean Tweets - President Obama Edition #2
9,547,519 views

The internet can be a cruel, cruel place, especially for celebrities. Now, I know what you’re thinking: am I seriously supposed to feel bad for the rich and the famous? But the more someone is in the public eye, the more people are going to talk about them, and it’s highly unlikely that everything out there is going to be positive. This is where Jimmy Kimmel’s “celebrities read mean tweets” video series comes in – he has celebrities sit down and read some of the terrible things that people have written about them online. I think it’s supposed to draw attention to how ridiculous people sound when they complain on the internet or talk badly about other people, and it certainly does so effectively.

In this installment, Barack Obama is the target of the mean tweets, and they sound hilarious coming right from him. One person on Twitter blames him, and him alone, for their hair conditioner’s ineffectiveness. This is a ridiculous claim, of course, but it’s transformed into comedic gold when being dictated by the President of the United States. It’s always fun to see high-ranking officials be a little silly, and Obama has his technique down pat. Check it out if you’re looking for a few good laughs!

AUTO LACING NIKE MAGS FOR $10
6,074,463 views

Remember when you were around five years old, and tying your shoelaces seemed like the hardest thing you’d ever have to do? Your parents probably took the easy way out and bought you Velcro shoes, which was a totally acceptable option…back then. Now, in the year 2016, Velcro is set to be completely replaced by auto-lacing shoes like the Nike Mag.

Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but the point is that AUTO-LACING SHOES NOW EXIST! Designers have created the same pair of shoes that Michael J. Fox wore in Back to the Future Part II, and they’re simply awesome. You just have to slide your foot into the shoe, and they’ll tighten up to fit you. If they’re too loose or too tight, you can change the fit by pressing a button on the side. Plus, they light up, so there’s that.

And while this video’s title is a bit misleading – the $10 price tag is not for the shoes themselves, but for a raffle ticket that buys you a chance to win a pair – all of the money made goes toward the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The deadline to enter the raffle has passed, so you can no longer enter, but a whopping $6.75 million was raised for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. That’s a huge win in my books, even if I don’t have any super-cool robotic shoes to show for it!

Lady Gaga Carpool Karaoke
5,161,916 views

I know that I’ve pretended to be relieved the last couple of months when none of the top YouTube videos were James Corden Carpool Karaoke ones, but I really did miss them! They may have dropped off in popularity for a bit, but this one with Lady Gaga is phenomenal. She is such an incredible singer – seriously, stick around for her last song, you’ll be blown away. I admire her confidence, too; it’s really clear that she’s grown as an artist, and moved on from her slightly absurd “meat dress” days. Speaking of which – James does a hilarious dress-up skit toward the end of the video, which will definitely have you laughing. Just a warning: the language in this video is not G-rated. But they beep out the really bad ones, so if you’re over the age of 14, it should be okay.

Tom Cruise Acts Out His Film Career w/ James Corden
5,049,547 views

This video made me realize just how few Tom Cruise movies I’ve actually seen. Maybe “Tom Cruise Movies” is a totally separate genre, and I’m just not into it? It’s possible that my first impression of Cruise affected my later decisions to watch (or not watch) his movies, being that my first impression of him looked like this:

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Considering the amount of applause he was getting, though, I think most of the audience has gotten over the traumatic couch-jumping episode. But the Internet never forgets, and that is a fact that Tom Cruise must live with every day.

All psychological damage aside, if you’re a fan of Tom Cruise, check out this video for a short and hilarious run-down of his most popular flicks.

Like all good things, this blog must come to an end. I hope you’ve had a delightful time exploring the internet with us today, and we wish you a hauntingly happy Halloween!

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.


Elon Musk and the Mission to Mars

Posted by cirvine on October 24, 2016

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Last month, billionaire CEO of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors and SolarCity, Elon Musk, revealed a plan to start doing what a hundred science fiction novels have written about for decades—the colonization of Mars. He hopes to begin shuttling thousands of people between Earth and the red planet sometime within the next decade or so, and imagines that humanity will have its first self-sustaining Martian colony within the next 40-100 years. It’s pretty hard to comprehend; we may soon be an interplanetary species.  You might live to see the day where people are classified as Earthian or Martian. How mindblowing is that!?

Why Mars? Why Now?

The big question is why. Why spend millions of dollars on a space quest to a big red rock when we’ve got so many problems to work out on our own planet? Well, the answer is in the question. According to Musk, “The future of humanity is fundamentally going to bifurcate along one of two directions: Either we’re going to become a multiplanet species and a spacefaring civilization, or we’re going be stuck on one planet until some eventual extinction event.”

For me, this answer lies somewhere in the spectrum between extremely depressing and oddly inspiring. It’s time to start thinking about our future as a species, rather than as individual countries or continents. It’s hard to wrap your head around, but it’s extremely important we do so.

The Plan

Initially, SpaceX gave us a glimpse of the mission to Mars via this futuristic video:

Here’s how it works:

  1. A spacecraft called the Interplanetary Transport System (3.5 times more powerful than the biggest rocket built to date by NASA) would deliver a crew of astronauts out to Earth’s orbit, where the booster would detach and steer itself back to land on the launch pad.
  2. The booster would then pick up a fuel tanker and carry that into orbit where it would fuel the spaceship for its journey to Mars.
  3. Once en route, the spaceship would deploy solar panels to harvest energy from the sun and conserve valuable propellant for the landing on Mars. Musk envisions entire fleets of these colonial capsules will remain in Earth’s orbit until a planetary alignment brings the two planets close together (which happens every 26 months). In that way, we can colonize Mars en masse. Hooray for mass colonization!
  4. Once there, that’s when the fun begins. And by fun, I mean intense labour. I’m talking exploring, building structures, and digging up buried ice to be used for water and to make cryo-methane propellant that will power everything!

Musk gave us a few more interesting tidbits in his Reddit AMA yesterday as well.  Here are some of the best ones:

  • Before we send any people, we will send the SpaceX Red Dragon capsule without a crew, so as to scout out the planet and test the landing technology.
  • After that, a spaceship called the Heart of Gold will fly to Mars with equipment required for a Mars-based propellant plant (like a Martian gas station) that the first crews would have to build.
  • The ITS would be powerful enough to travel back to Earth after landing on Mars at any point during Earth and Mars’ orbits. This is obviously helpful for emergencies or situations where a mission to or from Mars may be necessary for survival.

There’s obviously a ton of other fantastically far-out information from the AMA to check out, but be forewarned: the techno-jargon is strong with this one! You can click here to view all the questions from the Reddit AMA or for a full look at Elon Musk’s presentation of the mission last month you can watch the video below.  See you in space!


Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk
http://www.spacex.com/mars
https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/23/what-we-learned-about-elon-musks-mars-plan-in-his-reddit-ama/
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/elon-musk-spacex-exploring-mars-planets-space-science/
http://mashable.com/2016/10/24/elon-musk-mars-reddit-ama/?utm_cid=hp-hh-pri#swMb9KYo7mqE

 

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Candice Irvine, Blogger, Marketing Specialist, Graphic Designer


I'm addicted to games of all kinds: boardgames, video games, card games, mind games... nah, just kidding about that last one. Or am I?