I'm a senior research and planning analyst at the College. My favourite sport is hockey, though I'm also very interested in martial arts. I also love the outdoors - hiking, bonfires, skiing and snowshoeing are all interests, as well as chatting with the birds.
Winter is almost…probably…possibly… over. Retrospectively, one of the things that kept me going through the many months of winter has been my love of sitting around a winter bonfire. So here is my ode to the fantastic combination of fire and ice, forever entwined in my list of the top five things to love about winter bonfires.
5. Outdoor Cuisine – Coming in at number five is the culinary delight of cooking on an outdoor fire. I know for many people, this would be much higher on the list. In fact, it probably merits a post of its own – best bonfire recipes ever!!! However, I’m usually a bit lame when it comes to outdoor cooking, opting for unwellness foods like hotdogs and marshmallows (alas, I’m not perfect). As an aside, I actually think that the way someone cooks marshmallows says a lot about their personality. I am a slow roasting, brown around the outside, non-charcoal kind of person. I believe this reflects a certain meticulous maturity when it comes to cooking this gourmet desert. However, when I was younger, I was a lot more like my son is now – a “stick it in the flame and watch it burn like a torch” kind of person.
4. Functionality – Fire can have many uses, first on the list being heat and light. Let’s face it, winter is cold. Sometimes very very very cold. Standing around a fire with some sort of windbreak can make even the most frigid nights quite warm.
When the Wellness blog debuted over a year ago, one of the first posts was a video collaboration between Doctor Mike Evans and filmmaker Nick de Pencier entitled 23 and a ½ hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? touting the benefits of spending 30 minutes a day taking a walk. Since posting this excellent piece (initially shared by Lucille McLeod) I had forgotten about this wellness dynamic duo until last week, when I came to work and found a Globe and Mail article on my desk. The article was dropped off by Ashley Blackman – who is a Wellness Nut and Director of Research and Planning – as he is often sending me Wellness-related articles that he finds.
Aside from the interesting advice being provided, I am drawn in by the art of storytelling, which I think these two have aced. I doubt there are many people who can make Acne interesting, but somehow they do. Like all things medical, these videos aren’t necessarily the definitive word on the subject(s), but they provide a foundation for looking further and considering other advice and information.
February is Heart and Stroke Awareness Month, and the Wellness Committee is is once again promoting our Heart-Smart Potluck Challenge. The Wellness Committee challenges our college community to host a Heart-Smart Pot Luck between February 11th and February 22nd. Get together with your colleagues or challenge another department to a “Potluck Throw Down” to see who can make the tastiest Heart-Smart dish.
The Red River Runners are (left to right) Margarita, Judy, Sara, Fatima and Hannah
Post submitted by James Slade, runnning enthusiast, ACCESS program instructor
The annual Great Grain Relay is on March 9 this year. Red River College has been well represented over the past ten years or so and we have several medals to show for it! This great March fundraiser is in support of Juvenile Diabetes Research, which is a great cause. We’ll have great weather because it happens indoors at the Max Bell Track at the U of M! Are you interested in forming a team of 5 runners, or joining in?
Date: Saturday, March 9
Time: 12:00 noon - 2 pm
Distance: 800m relay – after you do your 800, you hand off. Once everyone on your team has gone, you are up again!
Place: Max Bell track at the U of M (free parking on Saturdays)
Beer garden and lunch after: Beer garden?? Did someone say beer and lunch???
I consider myself a child of the music video generation. I vividly remember staying up late every Friday to watch Friday Night Videos with Terry David Mulligan. I recall seeing the debut of Michael Jackson’s Thriller in a movie theatre in Lae, Papua New Guinea where my dad had taken the family on a year-long leave of absence from the Electrical Engineering Technology department to teach at the University of Technology in Lae. Aside from featuring some crazy dance movies and the Zombie storyline – that music video extended the limits of that genre into a whole other atmosphere.
In the roughly 30 years that has passed, music videos have dramatically evolved – losing the spotlight they once had on television (hello Youtube) and becoming ingrained into mainstream film and television where the boundaries are sometimes blurred.
This post looks at the art of musician M. Ward and animation director Joel Trussell. Neither is entirely a household name, though M. Ward gets a lot of love from CBC Music 2 (98.3 FM on the dial). In addition to his solo career, M. Ward is also in a band with Zooey Deschanel called She and Him (PS – if you’ve ever seen the movie Elf, Zooey plays the female lead) and another ensemble known as the Monsters of Folk.
The first song/video is Chinese Translation off his 2006 album Post War. The song is a simple tale of a man seeking the answer to three eternal questions. The second song – The First Time I Ran Away was done several year later off his new Wasteland Companion album. I realize that everyone has different tastes when it comes to music and art, but I think these collaborations epitomize how music videos truly have become an art form unto itself. Plus it makes me “well” enjoying a few minutes of it.
While summer may seem a distant memory at the moment, Brenda Lesiuk (Accounts Payable, Lead Clerk) took some time to send along some photos that she took at her parents’ (aged 79 and 84) home in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba. Brenda notes that her favorite pastime is sitting on a bench, talking to her parents and looking at the huge yard of flowers, shrubs and trees. Clearly it’s a beautiful place, with lots for the eyes to take in.
Winkler Campus Manager, Keith Doerksen, recently took in a presentation by Louise Bradley, Nurse, Therapist, Researcher, Educator and Administrator President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) in her presentation of Mental Health in the Workplace, December 14, 2012. Below is an excerpted summary of some of the key ideas that were presented.
1 in 5 Canadians have a Mental Health Issue – this equates to 7 million people in Canada – which equates to a CRISIS as it impacts every sphere of society
The cost per year for Canadians is $51 billion; if nothing is done to address Mental Health needs, the cost to Canadians will skyrocket to $198 billion in 30 years
10-25% of workplaces are “mentally injurious”
Mental Health Issues are the leading cause for Short Term and Long Term Disability (including CPPD)
On any given day, ½ million Canadians will be off work due to Mental Health Problems
Stigma and Discrimination are the major reasons that parents do not seek help for their children who may be experiencing/displaying Mental Health issues
Early detection + Early Treatment = Better Success with Treatment Outcomes
Stigma and Discrimination are also why adults are reluctant to talk of their own issues with Mental Health or seek treatment. Many choose to go untreated rather than risk being labeled as unreliable, unproductive, and untrustworthy.
No NHL hockey yet, but there’s still plenty of hockey being played on rinks throughout the province. I passed by an outdoor rink in Oakbank on the weekend, and it was filled with kids and teens shooting the puck around. Nice to see.
This weeks’ hockey tip is on mastering the saucer pass. A saucer pass is a great technique for lifting the puck a few inches off the ice and dropping it onto your linemates’ stick. It’s a lot like throwing a frisbee where you move the puck from the heel of the stick to the toe - creating a spinning saucer motion in the process. I only began practicing this technique last year, as I got tired of having my passes around the net getting picked off because they were on the ice, or having my passes go into the rafters when trying to raise the puck a few inches. With a little bit of practice, I actually found the technique relatively easy to get the basics under my belt (which makes me wonder why I waited 3 decades to begin pacticing it ????). It takes a lot more practice and confidence to develop proficiency for using it is a game, but having an understanding and feel for the fundamentals is a good starting point.
Jeremy from HowToHockey.com has put up this tutorial - you can see his full range of videos here. I like the way he mechanically breaks down the techniques – they’re usually among the best “how to” videos on Youtube.
The added benefit of learning the saucer pass technique is that it helps teach you to develop more “touch” when handling the puck. The technique relies on good simple mechanics, not strength and power.
Here’s one final video with Patrick Kane demonstating his skills (in case you’re missing the real NHL these days).
Seven years ago I moved out to an acreage that has it’s own mini-forest on it. Since moving there, I’ve spent many hours wandering through the woods, trying to understand the land and the things that live there. When I first began wandering, there were very few trails to be found, and I’d often follow deer tracks or crash blindly through the brush in my boots or snow shoes.
One year I decided to mark the oak trees in order to get my bearings. I then used these oaks to plan my resting spots and devised a trail system around them. The Bur Oak is a grand tree - able to survive drought and fire, resilent to disease and insects, and a vital food source for bear, deer, and many other birds and animals.
Check out this fantastic little video on the flower by Andrew Zuckerman. A mesmerizing piece of musical art.
Here’s a little snippet from his bio on the Vimeo site:
Noted filmmaker and photographer, Andrew Zuckerman, utilizes a multitude of platforms to produce work that is systematically executed, conceptually based, and democratically presented. Minimalist in nature, Zuckerman aims to create atmospheres of clarity and neutrality to facilitate the viewer’s access to the material. His commitment to diversifying the points of entry into his work has garnered a global audience.