Blog Posts by Lia Grainger

  • What women look for in a condo: Single women taking over Canadian condo market

    Women look for decidedly different things than men when shopping for a condo. (Thinkstock)Move over bachelor pad, and make way for the lady condo!

    A new report in the Globe and Mail reveals that young single women are taking up an increasing share of the new condo market — up to one third of all sales in some cities — and developers are tailoring their designs to give solo female buyers exactly what they’re looking for in a new bachelorette home.

    So what do women want in a brand new condo?

    Also see:  Hate washing dishes? Try edible glassware

    A great location: The Globe reports that female buyers will often prioritize the neighbourhood ahead of qualities like square footage. There’s safety in living in an established neighbourhood, and there are also restaurants, groceries stores, and cafes.

    Security: Developers report that women like having a concierge in the building, and good lighting around the building and in the underground parking.

    Closet space: Yes, it’s a stereotype, but apparently it’s true. Women want spectacular walk-in closets. Relegating extra storage in the

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  • Why celebs like Lance Armstrong choose Oprah for their confessions

    Celebs choose Oprah for their confessions hoping for greater sympathy and interview control, say experts. (AP)From Tiger Woods to David Letterman, when stars fall from grace, the road to redemption starts with Oprah Winfrey.

    The former queen of talk still rules the roost when it comes to celebrity confessions, so it comes as little surprise that disgraced Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong chose her for his first interview on his performance enhancing drug use.

    The Armstrong interview will air Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Oprah has promised a "no-holds-barred" interview with no pre-arranged conditions, reports CNN.

    Following the taping of the interview on Monday, Oprah tweeted, "Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours . He came READY!" She's reportedly edited the interview to 90 minutes, which will air over two nights.

    Also see: Coca-Cola releases first ever anti-obesity ad

    There's no doubt that 60 Minutes and other major news shows were clamouring at Armstrong’s door, so why did Oprah land the marquee interview?

    “She’s not an investigative reporter

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  • Why friendship matters: If this video doesn’t make you cry, there may not be hope


    What is friendship? A shoulder to cry on? A place of forgiveness? A person to laugh at your jokes?

    In a three minute YouTube video, digital performance artist and public speaker Ze Frank delivers a poignant summary of exactly what friendship is for him — how it develops, how it grows, how it protects us and inspires us.

    “Maybe the greatest gift you give me is allowing me to stop struggling to find my place. We’re friends," says Frank, speaking directly to the camera. "That is the place. It’s an extension of what I call home.”

    Also see: Kids sign their parents up for love with MyLovelyParent.com dating site

    Frank starts by explaining how a friendship can begin.

    “There’s been a lot of different ways that it’s started, and some of them have seemed pretty vague. Sometimes it’s a smile I didn’t expect and didn’t know I needed. Sometimes it’s been a slow build, sometimes a chase, but there’s usually a moment when it comes into focus. A pat on the back, an invitation, a secret, and then

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  • Coca-Cola releases first ever anti-obesity ad

    There’s no doubt that obesity is a major health concern in North America, and soft drink companies have borne much of the blame for what many consider to be an epidemic.  

    But now, for the first time, beverage giant Coca Cola is tackling the issue of obesity head-on with a two-minute commercial that hit the airwaves across the United States on Monday.

    In a soothing female voice, the ad describes Coke’s recent efforts to provide more low calorie and calorie-free options. The voice claims that Coke has voluntarily stocked school vending machines with primarily low and no calorie choices, and says Coke is committed to looking for more healthy options, like all-natural calorie-free sweeteners.

    The ad winds up with this reminder: “All calories count, no matter where they come from, including Coca-Cola and everything else with calories. And if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you’ll gain weight.”

    Also see: Can Twitter help you lose weight?

    Another ad will air later

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  • What your handbag carrying style says about you

    The way you hold your handbag says a lot about your personality, claims a body language expert. (Thinkstock)Are you a Twofer, Schlepper, or Hands-Free? Body language expert Patti Wood says that how you carry your handbag — as a briefcase, fashion statement, sack, or even baguette — says a lot about your personality.

    She’s broken down and interpreted the various bag holding styles for women's website Refinery 21, so that all us ladies can pigeon-hole ourselves based on how we drag our stuff around.

    Also see: Lingerie for men? Yes, it has arrived

    According to Wood, there are 10 distinct ways to hold your bag. Lets take a look:

    The Twofer — You hold your strapless bag in front of you coyly and cross your legs. You’re shy and defensive.

    The Schlepper — You have tons of bags hanging off of you randomly stuffed with belongings. You’re disorganized, spaced out, and exhausted.

    The Hands-Free — You wear a purse with a long strap and let it hang in front of what you’re wearing. Apparently, you’re youthful and nerdy.

    The Arm-Crook Hook — You let your bag hang from your elbow joint, wrist flopping.

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  • Singapore’s bizarre anti-groping public service announcement

    Singapore's latest anti-groping public service announcement. (Buzzfeed)Singapore's latest anti-groping public service announcement. (Buzzfeed)According to a public service campaign in Singapore, sexual assault can be avoided by “Having someone escort you home when it’s late" and not "walking through secluded areas alone", reports Jezebel.

    The ads -- currently gracing the bus shelters of Singapore’s streets -- feature a woman’s bottom with a man’s hand reaching out to grab it. The image is accompanied by the ill-advised pun, “Don’t get rubbed the wrong way.” There is also what appears to be an unfortunate pun that potential molesters will receive “Stiff penalties.”

    “This ad would not fly in North America,” says Brenda Cossman, the director of University of Toronto’s Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies.

    Also see: $150 million dowry for Chinese businessman’s daughter

    Cossman believes this same ad in Canada would receive an immediate social media backlash and the campaign would be pulled.

    “It may be that cultural differences mean what won’t wash here, will wash in Singapore.”

    At issue is whether this ad is another

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  • More Canadian kids are receiving alternative medicine: Is this a problem?

    A recent study shows that increasing numbers of Canadian kids are receiving alternative medicine. (Thinkstock) A new Canadian study has found that a high percentage of children with chronic health conditions are receiving complementary or alternative medicines treatments (CAM) in addition to conventional medical treatments.

    The study surveyed five specialty clinics in Edmonton and Ottawa, and found that CAM use was highest in the west: 71 per cent of children visiting the Edmonton clinics received CAM, compared to 42 per cent in Ottawa.

    Also see: Meet Brooke Greenberg: The 20-year-old trapped inside an infant’s body

    The authors say physicians should be more inquisitive as to how each child is being treated outside the doctor’s office to avoid potentially harmful interactions, reports the CBC.

    "A lot of people are using [CAM],” lead author Dr. James King tells CTV. "I think we need to recognize that and we just need to build it into our care plan."

    For the most part, parents reported that the treatments were helpful, and the majority said they felt comfortable discussing their child’s CAM use

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  • Brooke Greenberg: The 20-year-old trapped inside an infant’s body

    Brooke Greenberg (left) is 20 years old, but has the body and mind of an infant. (Facebook)Brooke Greenberg (left) is 20 years old, but has the body and mind of an infant. (Facebook)Examine a series of photos of the now 20-year-old Brooke Greenberg, and it may take a moment to notice something is amiss. The same small child appears in each photo, often next to her sister. She appears to be about one year old, and in each successive photo, her sister gets a little bigger and older, but the little girl’s tiny face and body remain identical.

    Today, Brooke Greenberg is 20 years old, yet she resembles an infant weighing only 16 pounds and measuring a mere 20 inches long.

    Trapped in the body and mind of a nine to eleventh-month-old child, Brooke can smile and crawl, but cannot speak or walk. Aside from her spindly limbs and delicate frame, Brooke looks like any other infant, yet she is almost completely unique in the world. Something inside of her has virtually halted the aging process, and scientists are clamouring to pinpoint the cause.

    “She’s not broken, there’s nothing to be fixed,” says Brooke’s father Howard Greenberg in an appearance Thursday on the talk show

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  • Anthropologie sells racially offensive candlestick for $398

    This Anthropologie candle stick features what resembles a blackface maid. (anthropologie.com)This Anthropologie candle stick features what resembles a blackface maid. (anthropologie.com)What is going on with mainstream fashion retailers these days? There’s been a rash of offensive items released over the past year, ranging from culturally insensitive to straight up racist -- including GAP’s "Manifest Destiny" T-Shirt and Urban Outfitter’s “Dictators with Attitude” T-shirt, featuring Hitler, Kim Jong Il and Muammar Gaddafi.

    Now, upscale hipster go-to Anthropologie is bringing the ignorance to home decorations, with a candlestick featuring multiple racial stereotypes.

    Spotted by the website Jezebel, the candlestick features a range of vintage trinkets stacked on top of one another, including a porcelain caricature of a black maid with the caption “Souvenir of Washington, D.C.”, or as Jezebel puts it, “a mammy from D.C.” Historically, many black female maids were kept as slaves in the United States up until the 1860s. 

    Also see: Urban Outfitters sell T-shirts calling Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein ‘part-time superheroes’

    The woman's face is painted completely black

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  • New Pap test may screen for three cancers instead of one

    A recent study suggests that a new Pap test could detect ovarian and uterine cancer. (Thinkstock)A new study suggests that the traditional Pap smear may be tweaked to detect uterine and ovarian cancer in addition to cervical cancer.

    The study was small, and the test is far from ready for clinical use, but researchers are hopeful that the method may one day have a major impact on the way women are screened for cancer.

    “Is this the harbinger of things to come? I would answer yes,” author Dr. Bert Vogelstein tells the New York Times.

    One of the things that makes the new screening method so promising is that it doesn’t require an additional test — women are already getting regular Pap smears.

    Also see: Does Facebook make you eat and spend more?

    During a regular Pap test, cells from the cervix are collected and then examined under a microscope for abnormalities that indicate cervical cancer. In recent years, it has become possible to use DNA testing on these samples to screen for the human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer.

    This new study, published Wednesday in the

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Pagination

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