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Shark Week's 10 Coolest Shark Facts and Shows to Watch

Posted by cirvine on July 8, 2015

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas, it’s SHARK WEEK! We are halfway through the week and loving every minute of Discovery’s yearly shark series. In honour of the occasion, we’ve come up with a list of super cool shark facts along with the top shows you do not want to miss this year. Also, don’t forget to check in with the Shark Week schedule at the bottom of the post to make sure you know exactly when to tune into your favourite sharky shows!

Our Top 10 Crazy Shark Facts

1. The foot of a duck-billed dinosaur was found with a shark tooth inside it, proving that sharks once scavenged or even hunted dinosaurs.

2. The goblin shark lives along outer continental shelves and underwater mountain ranges. Their dwellings are too deep for human exploration.

3. A great white shark can fast as long as three months after a big meal.

4. Sharks can heat their eyes using a special organ next to a muscle in their eye socket, allowing them to continue hunting in frigid waters.

5. There are nine known species of walking shark.

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6. Sharks can use heartbeats to track their prey. They have electricity-sensing nodules on their noses called ampullae of Lorenzini.

7. Sharks tan too. Some hammerheads swim near the ocean’s surface since darker skin means better camouflage.

8. Frilled sharks have 300 razor sharp teeth in 25 rows.

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9. Sharks control fish populations through fear. Fish near sharks are stressed and have problems with reproduction and migration.

10. While many of us have learned to fear sharks, they are the ones who should fear us. Humans kill 73 million sharks annually.

 

Top Shows to Watch This Shark Week

There’s always a lot to watch on Shark Week, so here are our picks for the top shows to tune in to!

Island of the Mega Shark: Premiered Sun Jul 5 9/8c

The quest to photograph the largest great white shark continues as experts Andy Casagrande and Jeff Kurr join forces with Dickie Chivell at Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Theories suggest these mega sharks may come to feed and mate at this great white hot spot.

Alien Sharks: Close Encounters: Premiered Mon Jul 6 10/9c

Deep below the ocean’s surface live some of the strangest marine animals on earth. Now, three expeditions are exploring those depths for sharks that glow in the dark. They are hoping for a close encounter in the strange domain of alien sharks.

Bride of Jaws: Premiered Tue Jul 7 9/8c

At nearly 18 feet and over 3,000 pounds, a record-breaking female great white shark nicknamed "Joan of Shark" roams the waters off Western Australia. Three shark experts follow an extraordinary 4,000-mile migratory path to find and tag her.

Super Predator: Premieres Wed Jul 8 9/8c

The search for the predator that ate a 9-foot great white off the coast of Australia takes wildlife filmmaker Dave Riggs into the kill zone—a deep ocean battleground of great whites, killer whales and giant squid.

Sharksanity 2: Premieres Sat Jul 11 9/8c

We scoured the seas to bring you the greatest moments from Shark Week 2015! Only the closest calls, biggest bites and greatest gadgets made the cut. Then, we're revealing your top picks for the best moments in Shark Week history.

Also, check out Discovery Online’s super cool LIVE REEF SHARK CAM. It features 24-7 access to the underwater world of dozens of blacktip reef sharks, colorful reef fish and a 500+ pound sea turtle named Calypso at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

 

Not sure what to watch or when to watch it? Check out the full shark week schedule below and enjoy all Shark Week has to offer on Discovery, Execulink Channels 31 and 266. 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8

  • Super Predator: 9 p.m. EST
  • Ninja Sharks: 10 p.m. EST

THURSDAY, JULY 9

  • Shark Planet: 9 p.m. EST

FRIDAY, JULY 10

  • Sharks of the Shadowland: 9 p.m. EST
  • Shark Clans: 10 p.m. EST

SATURDAY, JULY 11

  • Sharksanity 2: 9 p.m. EST

SUNDAY, JULY 12

  • Shark Island: 8 p.m. EST

See lots more cool sharky stuff on Discovery’s Shark Week website.

 

Source: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/shark-week/shark-facts/top-100-shark-facts/

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The Martian: Entertaining Science

Posted by cirvine on July 6, 2015

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We’ve all imagined what it would be like; waking up to find you’re the only living person on the planet. How would you handle it? The lack of companionship; the fight to survive without the conveniences of civilization; the ensuing madness; the utter boredom. The Martian is a novel that examines this common what if scenario, and then amplifies the dilemma by framing it in a barren and unforgiving landscape: Mars.

Andy Weir’s first published novel is a story about astronaut Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer for NASA who is left stranded on Mars when a sandstorm forces the rest of his crew to evacuate their landing site. A satellite antenna tears his spacesuit and destroys his bio-monitor, leaving his crewmates to believe he is dead, and under strict command to forego any unnecessary weight, they leave his body in the sand.

Thus begins the Robinson Crusoe-esque tale of Mark Watney, our resourceful and entertaining hero. Through his daily logs in the Martian Habitat (Hab) computer, we get glimpses into Mark’s struggle to survive life on Mars. The Hab has enough food, water and oxygen to last 31 days, but Watney needs to survive 4 long years, which is when the next mission will land on Schiaparelli, a Martian crater about 3,200 kilometers away. Needless to say, he has a lot of work to do.

The novel reads as one giant homage to science. With the minimal supplies Watney has to work with, he’s able to do some incredible things, with the help of chemistry, botany, and engineering. One of his first major accomplishments we see is the ability to actually grow a crop of potatoes in the Hab, allowing his food resource to last much longer than anticipated. As an Arts grad I will be the first to say that some of the science becomes a little convoluted and I was tempted to skip over some of it, but for the most part, Watney’s mini science lessons are very interesting. Take this one for example: “The problem with small pressure vessels is CO2 toxicity. You can have all the oxygen in the world, but once the CO2 gets above 1%, you’ll start to get drowsy. At 2%, it’s like being drunk. At 5%, it’s hard to stay conscious. Eight percent will eventually kill you. Staying alive isn’t about oxygen, it’s about getting rid of CO2.”

I think the best part about The Martian is, well, The Martian, Mark Watney himself! Despite the predicament he’s in, you very rarely see him succumb to depression or anxiety, and whether that is due to his training as an astronaut or his own innate virtues, the reader is thankful for it. In truth, Watney is more entertainment than anguish, as his witty humour trumps any sense of despair, while at the same time keeps us entertained through what could have been a very boring high school science class. While at some points you find his upbeat attitude hard to believe, it keeps the novel moving along well.  Likewise, this nice blend of comedian and geek makes you root for and cheer on Watney the entire way through.

Andy Weir’s debut novel is a rare breed. It is at once funny, thrilling, addictive and smart. It succeeds admirably as a tribute to science and the feats of human ingenuity. No matter what type of person you are, anyone can get something new from this book. I myself have a newfound respect for duct tape. As Mark says, “Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”

Give this one a read. At the very least you’ll be prepared for the movie coming out this October!

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The Pan Am Games are Here, Canada!

Posted by amustard on July 2, 2015

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Attention sports fans! The 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are right around the corner. As Canadians, we take advantage of any opportunity to cheer on our fellow countrymen, but these games are particularly significant to us this year as they take place right in our backyard – Toronto, Ontario.

Since 1951, the Pan Am Games have taken place every 4 years in the year preceding the Olympic Games. Modelled after the Olympics, the Pan Am Games are a multi-sport event featuring individual countries competing for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in various summer sport disciplines. While the Olympics are a world-wide competition, the Pan Am Games are specific to countries in North and South America.

The 2015 games are already making history, both in Canada and within the sporting world. With over 6,130 athletes from 41 nations, the 2015 Pan Am Games will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Canada (in terms of participating athletes) doubling the size of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It’s also important to point out that a record 45% of participating athletes are female, which is the most ever for a multi-sport event, in any country.

Immediately following the Pan Am Games, the Parapan Games will begin, which showcase events in which athletes with physical disabilities compete against one another. The Parapan Games are unique as they serve as a regional qualifying event for the Paralympic Games, which take place next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

You may remember the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games TV commercial that Ontario Tourism released last fall which featured athletes and fans gearing up for the big event. This commercial is a personal favourite of mine which includes breathtaking visuals of the host city, and an overall theme of being united through this experience (BTW the official motto of the games is ‘United We Play’). If this commercial doesn’t get you excited about the games, I don’t know what will.   

For us non-Torontonians looking to watch some of these events live in person, several other Ontario cities will be hosting a handful of Pan Am / Parapan events including Caledon, Hamilton, St. Catherines, Cookstown, Simcoe, Haliburton and many more. A list of all venues can be found HERE, and Tickets for the games can be found HERE.

Here at Execulink, we have a special interest in the rowing events, taking place July 11th – July 18th.  Execulink has an office/storefront located in Thedford, Ontario – a town that will soon be cheering on a local athlete, Tim Schrijver. Tim was named to Canada’s National Rowing Team and will be competing in two classes at the games – the Men’s Four and the Men’s Eight. The rowing regatta takes place on the Royal Canadian Henly course, the same waters that Schrijver learned to row in his Brock University Days back in 2010. We would like to wish Tim and the rest of the Canadian Athletes (a full list can be found HERE) all the best in their respective events.

Execulink is also excited to help bring the Pan Am Games experience to the households of our TV customers. You can catch the games on CBC, the official broadcaster of the games, on channel 5 and on channel 205 (in HD) starting on July 7th. The Pan Am Games wrap up on July 26th.

For those following the games on Social Media, make sure to follow @TO2015, @CBCOlympics and @TeamCanada as well as the hashtags #CBCPanAM, #TO2015 & #PanAmGames for news, scores and updates on the Pan Am Games.

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Andrew Mustard, Marketing Coordinator


Devoted Leafs fan through the good and the bad - mostly bad. Born and raised in Stratford, Ontario - with more swag than Bieber. Success isn’t a maybe - it’s a must.


Adventure is Out There: How to Travel Smart on a Budget

Posted by cfeehan on June 30, 2015

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Raise your hand if you ever daydream about getting up from your desk, driving to the airport, and taking off on the next flight to Rome; do the same if you’re impatiently counting down the days until your next planned vacation, or even simply reminiscing about past travels. Now look around – that’s a lot of hands in the air. The desire to travel – to wander, to explore, to experience the world – is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society of thrill-seekers and passion-followers. Thankfully, the internet is home to thousands of resources to help you travel cheaper and more conveniently. 

Flights

With so many flight search engines out there, it may be difficult to find the best one. Here’s our guide to some of the best and most reliable ones.

Quick Tip: Remember to never use just one flight search engine. Use multiple to find the best deal, and search 6-8 weeks before your flight to find the best price (or up to 3 months before if you’re travelling during peak season).

Skyscanner – This site compares flights, hotels, and car rentals from many popular sites to find the cheapest deals, then pass on the savings to you.

Cheapoair – This site frequently offers coupon codes, as well as automatically offers discounts upon checkout. And who doesn’t like discounts?

  • Canada: Get up to $30 off with code GLOBE30

Kayak – This website compares hundreds of travel sites at one time and in one location, much like Skyscanner. But as I said before, search your flight specifications on many search engines to get the best results!

Quick Tip: Be flexible on your flight dates. Flying out on the weekend could cost you hundreds of dollars more, because this is the most popular time to fly. If you can be flexible, you can save a lot of money!

Priceline – This website finds you deals on airfare, cruises, rental cars, hotels, and vacation packages. They even have a ‘Name Your Own Price’ feature that allows you to bid for the best price!

Places to stay

Once you’ve arrived at your destination of choice, you’ll of course need a place to stay. You could go the traditional route and stay in a hotel, but if you’d like to go off the beaten path and save a bit of money, you could try one of the options below.

AirBnb – This website offers over a million listings from people all around the world renting out their homes, villas, and even castles. You can refine your search based on price, amenities, property type, size, and more. Pay close attention to the cancellation policies and descriptions of each property, however, in order to find out whether the host will be home during your stay and whether your deposit is refundable in case you choose to cancel your reservation. And pay attention to the reviews from previous guests – they’ll tell you a lot about the property and the host!

VRBO – VRBO stands for “Vacation Rentals by Owner”, and it’s a lot like AirBnB. It may not be as aesthetically appealing, but it does the trick just the same!

Tripping – This site is the world’s largest search engine for rentals. Tripping.com compares properties from some of the world’s most popular travel sites, with prices ranging from $10-$10,000/night…so it’s safe to say, your options are endless!

Quick Tip: Always search travel plans, whether flights or accommodations, in incognito mode in your browser. Prices really do increase based on the cookies in your browser when you search the same thing over and over. When you search privately, this factor is eliminated. In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito mode is enabled by hitting Command (or Control if using a PC), Shift, “N”. For Firefox and Internet Explorer, hit Command (or Control if using a PC), Shift, “P”.

Less Expensive Lodging Options

Hostels.com – This website has a bunch of great deals on accommodations with no booking fees. Believe it or not, you can find hostels on here for only a few dollars!

Hostelworld – This convenient website that has a compiled list of hostels, hotels, and bed and breakfasts. This is one of the best sites to use for booking cheap rooms and lists hostels from all over the world. Its large online community leaves reviews and ranks each hostel based on security, location, value, staff, cleanliness, atmosphere, and facilities.

Couchsurfing – This site is the ultimate in cheap accommodations. I say this because it’s absolutely free! The hosts on this site happily rent out their couches, air mattresses, futons – whatever they have available – to budget travelers in the area for no cost.

Places to Stay, with a Twist…

If you’re looking to take a unique route, you can look into house-sitting for someone while they’re out of town. It’s a win-win – they get their house looked after, and you get accommodations in a foreign country for free! Some good sites for listings are:

Free City Tours

Aside from flights and accommodations, there are many other things you’re going to want to arrange while travelling. Like learning more about your destination, for example! You can learn a lot about the area’s history, culture, food, and more on tours – the fact that the ones below are free are just a huge bonus. They’re offered in a variety of countries on a variety of continents, so I hope you can find what you’re looking for.

Volunteering

One final, very unique way to cut costs while you travel, especially if you’re travelling alone or with a friend, is to volunteer while you explore. A lot of the time, the places you volunteer offer free accommodations, internet, and meals in exchange for your help. Examples of volunteer positions include hostel worker, English teacher, babysitter, farm worker, and even pet-sitter! Here’s a list of sites that list volunteer positions all over the world:

  • HelpX – Through this organization, you live with a host and work for them for 4 to 6 hours a day, then have the rest of the day to explore.
  • Idealist – Their easy-to-operate platform makes searching for volunteer opportunities fun – and they have over 13,000 of them, which means that you have a ton of great options.
  • WWOOFING – This site has been pretty popular lately among budget travelers. It’s virtually the same idea as HelpX, but volunteers are matched exclusively with organic farms where they work for 4 to 6 hours a day in exchange for meals and a place to stay.

So there you have it. If you’ve ever used “I don’t have enough money” as an excuse not to travel, your reasoning is no longer valid! There are so many ways to save money when travelling, and the online resources working in your favour are endless.

I wish you the happiest of travels, fellow explorers!

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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.


Seniors’ Internet Usage Infographic

Posted by cfeehan on June 24, 2015

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The internet. The world wide web. The mysterious black abyss behind your computer screen. What you choose to call it may vary, but one fact remains the same: a lot of us use it, no matter how old we are. The reason that the internet is so widely used is that there are SO many things you can use it for – booking vacations, shopping online, conducting research, looking up the weather, playing games – the list could go on forever. The infographic below goes into detail about the internet habits of seniors (people over 65 years of age) and a bit about their baby boomer counterparts (people aged 45-64). Check it out – you might be surprised by what you learn!

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*The information and statistics in this graphic were drawn from the Statistics Canada publication entitled “Online Activities of Canadian Boomers and Seniors” which used two main sources: the 2007 Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS), and the 2007 General Social Survey (GSS).

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Blogger-Karen-bio.jpg


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.