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Addressing Ageism In The Workplace

It’s not secret that the boomer generation is keen to remain involved and active in the modern workforce. It is a fact that we have not only covered quite extensively on this blog, but also the very reason BoomersPlus exists. Such a large and engaged workforce should not be ignored and we continue to work to ensure the interests of the boomers are being met. Unfortunately, many boomers are finding they are ignored, especially in the workforce.

Just because these professionals want to keep working doesn’t mean they are always being given the chance. As boomers age and remain working, the voices telling them to move on are getting louder. It’s true, there are some who have recognized the value of boomer professionals and are all too happy to have such experience at work in their business, but there exists a fair bit of opposition to this generation as well. Younger professionals have called boomers selfish for remaining at work passed their co-called retirement years. Despite the fact that there is nothing to support the myth of the boomer job thief – and despite the fact that many boomers remain working due to financial necessity – many hold the opinion that they have had the older generation has had their time and must move on. There is also a negative perception that exists coming from the employers’ side who see these workers as unreliable hires as they, in the employers’ minds, are at the end of their careers. Such perceptions have led to a rise of ageism in the workplace.

Ageism does indeed exist, and boomers are starting to experience that first hand. Like most prejudices, ageism is born out of ignorance towards a particular group. In some cases, the person guilty of ageism might not be entirely conscious of the fact they’re doing something wrong. But that can only happen if they are unwilling to learn more about the people they’re interacting with before making judgment calls. As ageism exists in the workforce, it can certainly come up in hiring practices, but is also very much a problem for professionals within their established workplaces. It can be subtle and often excluding, taking for instance a recent piece in the Globe and Mail, in which a professional sought advice after being left out of group messaging by their younger boss. The harm here is that a person was left out of work-focused discussions because it was perceived their age made it too difficult to include them. Now, maybe the boss didn’t mean to offend, but what other approaches could have been taken? Could he have asked the his employee if he would like to join the group? Should he have sought an alternative communication path that would include everyone? Really, any number of decisions could have been made without leaving someone out due to age. And that is the behaviour many boomer professionals now face.

So how should such a problem be dealt with? It is a growing problem that many professionals and businesses are facing. In fact, in a recent study into the issue of ageism it was concluded that it is the most openly tolerated form of discrimination in Canada. Likewise, surveys done on the matter showed 25% of professionals make judgments about those they work with based on age alone. With open ageism seemly not a problem for many, what recourse do those who experience it in their work have? Well, there is a growing number of ageism lawsuits being filed by older professionals. That is certainly a recourse that can be taken if necessary, but if you asked the professionals filing those lawsuits, it’s safe to say they would much rather be working in a comfortable environment.

The best way you can deal with an issue like this is by doing what we’re doing now – addressing it. As mentioned in the study above, ageism is being tolerated. That’s the first thing that has to stop. People should know it’s a problem and when they don’t, they need to be made to realize. Discussing it openly helps to make it a part of the conversation and it becomes harder to ignore. Bring up these issues at work. Speak to your boss about when you’re experiencing ageism, even it’s your boss who’s the guilty party. Some people say we are living in a time where people are too sensitive – I wholeheartedly disagree. I think we are living in a time when people are finding the considerable strength necessary to address issues and injustices that have been there the whole time. Don’t let it be ignored anymore. And keep this in mind as well – ageism knows no age. Be sure you are being fair to those around you just as you want them to be fair to you. Some respect and consideration for each other is what is needed most.

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7 Graphic Novels You Should Read Now

Last month in our Lifestyle section, we took a look at the joys of reading. There’s really nothing quite like becoming immersed in a story and transporting yourself to a different world inside those pages. The summer is a wonderful time to get some quality reading done. Many turn to the latest murder mysteries while other return to old favourites or classics. But one form of literature is often ignored by adult readers – the comic. Maybe you read comics in your youth, enjoying the latest adventures of superheroes like Superman and Spider-Man but now such stories seem a bit childish. But comic books – graphic novels as they are sometimes called – have come a long way over the years and offer much more than just costumed heroes. There are complex, dramatic and engrossing stories told through this medium that offer truly great reading experiences. If you’re curious about what these graphic novels are about, here are some notable titles to check out.

Maus

Here is a perfect example of how comics can use its unique medium to tell some of the most important stories of our lifetime. Based on author Art Spiegelman’s interviews with his own father who was a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor, the comic depicts the humans as animals in these real-world settings during WWII with Jewish citizens as mice and Nazi soldiers as cats. Not only a revealing and harrowing tale of one of the darkest periods in human history, but also a look at the relationship between a son and his father.

V for Vendetta

An Orwellian dystopian tale told as an action comic. Set in the United Kingdom in an alternate timeline where a nuclear war has crashed the world into chaos and seen the rise of a fascist control of the UK. However, the tight grasp of those in power is challenged as a vigilante figure known as V emerges on a personal path of revenge while inspiring the society at large to rise up. A thrilling and impactful look at the extremes of fascism and anarchism clashing.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Many people look comics and graphic novels as big, stylized action-packed stories but here is proof that they can tell small, quiet and personal stories while using the platform to its full potential. This semi-autobiographical coming of age story follows a young girl named Minnie growing up in 70s San Francisco and her struggle to make sense of the complex relationships and feelings she’s experiencing in her teenage years. Sometimes shocking, often beautiful and very earnest tale

The Watchmen

Yes, there are indeed superhero stories on this list but certainly not ones you are expecting. Take for instance, this ground-breaking story set in an alternate reality of the USA where a group of crime-fighters known as The Watchmen have operated to great popularity for years. Decades after they’ve disbanded, one of their members is murdered and a conspiracy begins to unravel that threatens the entire world. While full of crazy costumes and super powers, the story takes a look at some serious subject matter, showing these “heroes” as flawed, petty and even deranged individuals.

The Dark Knight Returns

Even one of the most popular costumed heroes gets a graphic novel that offers something for older readers as well. Set decades after the Batman we all know and love has retired from crime fighting, the story finds Bruce Wayne an old man forced to watch his city fall to crime once again. Pushed too far, he once again dons his iconic mask and cape to return to the streets of Gotham and deliver justice. A very different look at Batman, presented as a bitter, angry, obsessive and violent man passed his prime but not ready to surrender.

From Hell

Even the horror genre is well-represented in this vivid medium, and this tale boldly takes on one of the most notorious and mysterious criminals of all-time. Set in Victorian London, the novel looks back at the real-life crimes committed by Jack the Ripper and seeks to offer an identity to the killer himself. Touching on a myriad of scandals and news items of the day, this gothic story gives a fascinating exploration of one of the greatest mysteries while commenting on the class system of the time.

Persepolis

It’s amazing how many brilliant artists turn to graphic novels as a way of telling their own very personal stories and how much the medium offers in their storytelling. This autobiographical tale looks at Marjane Satrapi life growing up as a child and spanning to her early adult years in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is an insight into a world most of us know little to nothing about, giving us unimaginable access to the difficulties of life at this time as well as the culture of Iranian people.

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10 Hobbies Boomers Are Embracing

Boomers are at a crossroads in their life. Many have spent the majority of their life dedicated to their career and now they are faced with the reality of retirement. Some have happily embraced retirement as a chance to enjoy other aspects of their life, but something that keeps many of them from stepping away from work completely is the fear of boredom. How do you stay busy and engaged without work? While some do struggle with answering that question, many boomers have embraced their hobbies as their path to fulfillment. Some are tried-and-true hobbies, while others might surprise you. And whether it’s taking these hobbies up in retirement or working it into their work-life balance, boomers have embraced them wholeheartedly.

Cooking

For many professionals, cooking was something you did in a hurry in between work. Now that some boomers are slowing down with retirement or a reduced work schedule, they are able to dedicate more time to preparing their meals. Many have found an unknown passion for the culinary arts, and with an endless amount of cooking-related content on the internet, they can conduct their own at-home cooking classes.

DIYs.

It’s almost a cliché of the fidgety new retiree that they begin looking for any and all fixer-uppers around the house to occupy their time. And yet, there’s some truth to that, although it seems born out of genuine interest rather than boredom. Whether it is small projects around the home, or taking on bigger dream projects, many boomers are eager to work with their hands and start building things.

Exercise.

While maybe not the go-to fun hobby for everyone out there, the average boomer seems to be something of a fitness fanatic. Their generation is healthier than any previous generation at their age and a lot of that could be due to their interest in regular physical activity. They were responsible for the so-called “Fitness Revolution” and as they age they’ve maintained that passion for exercise through marathons, groups fitness activities and regular trips to the gym.

Movies.

Movies are one of those universal interests. Yes, there are some who love the art of cinema more than others, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who downright dislikes the occasional movie night. What might be surprising about how boomers are watching movies, however, is how much they’ve embraced the streaming technology. Netflix and other streaming services have allowed boomers to see all the latest movies from the comfort of their home and has actually kept them away from the theatres.

Music.

Like movies, music is sort of a hobby enjoyed by all. But quite the opposite of movies, boomers aren’t too interested in the new releases. Some of the greatest music of all-time came out of the boomer generation’s younger years and they hold that music in high regard. Artists who came to prominence in that period still tour successfully with boomer audiences seeking out their old favourites in concert. Also, the boom of vinyl records in recent years has been quite popular with the boomers who grew up with that technology.

New tech.

While many boomers might still appreciate their vintage tech, like record players, they are also keen to explore the latest gadgetry. Despite the common notions, boomers enjoy staying up-to-date with the latest in phones and useful tech. they use it for a variety of purposes, from work to entertainment, and even health. But aside from the practicality of it, they seem to enjoy learning more about the latest developments and are fascinated in how far everyday technology has come in their lifetime.

Socializing.

When work becomes less of a priority for boomers and they begin stepping away from their careers, many take the opportunity to focus on the relationships in their lives. Whether it be spending time with their families, sharing conversations with old friends, or meeting new people, they enjoy spending time with others. Many of them engage with the community more and attend socializing functions, and many single boomers spend more time dating.

Sports.                                                                                                             

While sports can be a big part of one’s life throughout adulthood, in many cases, it doesn’t go beyond watching hockey on TV and reading the sports section of the paper. However, as they age, boomers have turned to sports in a much more engaged way. Many join after-work or weekend leagues to reconnect with their favourite sports, or even trying their hand at new sports. And don’t think they are sticking to golf and fishing. These boomers are not only eager to play the physically engaging sports like soccer and hockey, but there is also a rise of popularity in extreme sports among their generation. It just goes to show, you don’t grow out of your thrill-seeking ways.

Travel.

Of course, we can’t ignore one of the great pleasure boomers begin taking advantage of in their second act. We dedicate a great among of our content to boomers’ love of travel and the various vacation adventures they enjoy. For boomers, travel seems to be a way of living in the moment and exploring more. You can see this with their international travel habits, seeing parts of the world that are new to them, as well as with their weekend getaways and road trips, taking full advantage of their free time. For many, if and when retirement comes, it presents the opportunity to see and do the things they’ve always wanted.

Volunteering.

One of the most unfair accusations thrown at the boomer generation is that they are greedy or self-involved. Firstly, any criticism that paints an entire generation with the same brush is unfair, but more so it’s unfair because boomers have time and time again show to be generous in many ways. They are apparently one of the most charitable generation with their time, seeking out volunteer opportunities, starting their own charitable initiatives and getting involved in worthwhile causes.

What’s your hobby?

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7 Tips For Sticking To Your Diet

Anyone who has tried to diet knows it can be a very difficult undertaking. Some people have an easier time than others, but most everyone struggles with sticking to a stricter set of eating habits. Whatever the reasons for going on your diet, sticking to it can be a real challenge. However, as with any challenge, dedication and solid effort can see you accomplish your goal and achieve a healthier life. Here’s some tips to keep you on track with your diet.

(Remember: Not all diets are the same. Be sure to consult your doctor about which diet will work best for you and how to diet the safe way.)

Keep your motivation alive.

Probably the biggest speed bump people run into when dieting is loss of motivation. Sometimes the results aren’t apparent as quickly as you’d like and sometimes you struggle to get started. This can really bring you down and make you wonder why you’re even bothering with such an impossible task. At times like these, it’s important to remind yourself why you’re dieting. Maybe it’s something simple, like you want to look good for a big upcoming event. Maybe it’s bigger, like achieving and maintaining a better quality of life. Find something that pushes you forward, keeps you going in those down times and reminds you why this is worth the effort.

Identify your problem areas.

When you know you have trouble maintaining healthy eating habits, it’s important to identify where those struggles areas are so you can work to resolve them. This becomes especially important when kicking off a diet because leaving those problem areas unaddressed can derail things pretty quickly. The tricky part is that we often aren’t overly aware of these struggles at first. It takes some reflecting to highlight where you struggle with your eating habits. Maybe you struggle with portion control. Maybe it’s late-night snacking. Maybe it’s overindulging on the weekends. Whatever it is, once you recognize it you can better proceed without it standing in your way.

Eat happy.

With every diet that I have ever come across, sacrifice is part of it. You simply cannot hope to eat whatever you like and maintain a healthy lifestyle. So there are probably things that will need to be cut out that you’ll no doubt miss. However, diets don’t have to be – and should never be – a miserable experience. If your current diet restricts any food you actually enjoy then drop it because it’s not a good diet. You should be able to enjoy your meals just like you did before. Healthy doesn’t need to mean bad. You should even be able to indulge every now and then in moderation. If you’re not going to be happy eating then what is the point?

Don’t overdo anything.

Diets can sometimes be a risky thing and something that need to be taken very seriously for the sake of your health. When working to lose weight (or gain weight, in some cases) going too far can cause real health issues. As stated before, it’s important to check with your doctor before undergoing any diet to ensure it’s a healthy option for you. Be sure you’re getting the necessary nutrition. Once you’re on your diet, you need to be extra aware of your health and see your doctor regularly. Diets are meant to improve your health but taking them to extremes can do quite the opposite. Diet wisely and safely.

Remove temptations.

In some ways, dieting is like going to battle with yourself. Part of you wants to be healthier but has to fight off the part of you that wants to eat junk food. You have to help your healthier side win out this battle and one way you can do this is by removing temptations. Get those unhealthy snacks out of your house to avoid reaching for them in your weaker moments. If you’re going to the movies or a hockey game, eat beforehand so you won’t be tempting by popcorn and nachos. If you’re having friends over, avoid buying chips and dip for your guests and make a healthy snack instead. Taking away these temptations can help keep you on the healthy path.

Be realistic.

No doubt you have a goal in mind for you diet, and that can be very helpful in keeping yourself motivated. But an unrealistic goal can do more harm than good. If you’re dieting for you health, ask you doctor what a realistic and appropriate goal is to strive for. Pushing yourself to greater heights is a good mindset to have, but if you fall short, what then? Will you be happy with how far you’ve come or will the diet have been a failure? Keep expectations and goals realistic and do you best everyday.

Prepare for the unplanned.

You can set out a diet plan for the next year but you know things are not always going to go as planned. Those unplanned circumstances can really do some damage to your dieting progress if you’re not careful. Whether it’s travelling, an event or any other circumstances, be able to adapt and maintain your eating habits no matter what is thrown into the mix. Having this control over your diet will make the path to your goal a whole lot easier.

For more Health & Wellness content and everything else in the world of boomers, sign up with BoomersPlus for FREE. Go to www.boomersplus.com or email us at info@boomersplus.com to learn more.

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7 Tips To Packing More Efficiently For Your Travels

There’s a lot of excitement leading up to a trip, but one of the small details that can cause some big headaches is proper packing. Especially for those longer vacations, or travelling somewhere new, predicting what you will need is harder than you think. You certainly don’t want to be lugging around huge, heavy suitcases, but you also don’t want to forget to pack something crucial. So before you head out on your next trip, do a little pre-planning so you can ensure you’re packing as efficiently and comprehensively as possible.

Set out a day-to-day plan.

It can be nice to be a little spontaneous on vacation, but having something of a plan for the trip can help you a great deal with your packing. Your day-to-day activities really dictate what will be needed for the entire vacation. Don’t think you have to have the vacation mapped out exactly from beginning to end, but having a sense of what you want to do can work as a guide for properly preparing. Are you going to be lounging on the beach everyday, or do you want to be some exploring of the city? Are you going to go for a hike? A fancy dinner? Make a game plan, however unstructured as it might be, and it will give you a good starting off point.

Make a list.

Lists just make everything easier to manage, don’t they? Every good vacation starts with lists as you prepare, and packing is no different. Set out a list, starting with the necessities. No matter how economical you’re trying to be with your packing, there are always going to be necessities, like medication and at least some clothes. Start there and then expand into things you want to bring. This is where you can start building your wardrobe for the trip, some comfort items and maybe even a few things for entertainment. The sky’s the limit – for now.

Cut back but not too much.

Now that you have a big, unwieldy list it’s time to cut it way back. Be practical and be realistic about what is actually a good use of space in your suitcase. It doesn’t necessarily have to be all essentials only, but take a look at your list and be sure nothing expendable is taking the place of something important. However, when you are cutting your list back, don’t be too cutthroat about it. It’s not fun to pack too much for a trip, but it can be even worse to not pack enough.

Plan for the weather.

All good Canadians know that you always need to be prepared for all kinds of weather extremes. It’s good to keep that in mind when packing for vacation as well. That doesn’t mean you need to pack a winter jacket along with your swimsuit, but don’t be too optimistic with what you’re expecting weather-wise. Keep an eye on the forecast for your destination. Are you prepared for the colder nights? What if it rains? It’s not fun planning for such things but it’s better to have warmer clothes and not need them than to need warmer clothes and not have them.

Make the most of your space.

Packing is an art. Some of us are born naturally good packers, some of us have perfected the art over the years and, unfortunately, some of us still need practice. Don’t despair if you fall into the latter category because you can still learn to pack like a pro. It’s all about using the space you have to its full potential. What is that best way to pack each item so that it takes up as little space as possible? You can go for the rolling instead of folding method of packing your shirts. You can stick your socks inside your dress shoes. Anything that save on space is a good method.

Be smart about your toiletries.

Toiletries might seem like the smallest and easiest items to pack but when you add them up all together, they take up a fair bit of room. Just like with your clothes, you have to be practical about what is really needed on this trip. Is there anything in that toiletries bag that’s just taking space? Look into what the hotel provides in the rooms. Consider what you can pick up from a corner store once you’re there. It might not see like a big difference but in any suitcase, space is a precious thing.

Remember the return flight.

You’ve packed your suitcase to the brim. You cannot possibly fit another article of clothing inside but that doesn’t matter because you’ve got everything you need. You go on vacation and have a great time, and can’t wait to get home and show off all your new souvenirs — except you can’t fit them in the suitcase. It’s a common travel oversight, so make sure you catch it ahead of time. Leave a little extra space for souvenirs and gifts. It makes coming home from vacation that much easier.

For more travel content and everything else in the world of boomers, sign up with BoomersPlus for FREE. Go to www.boomersplus.com or email us at info@boomersplus.com to learn more.

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The Damage Of Ageism In The Workforce

What is society’s overall perception of the so-called “elderly”? Do you find it sways generally positive? Negative? What about in terms of the boomer generation as they begin to be associated more and more with the older generation?

I think you could argue that boomers have done a lot to change the view on the older generation for the better. Much of that has to do with the ways they have changed the modern workforce. Their generation has effectively done away with the concept of the retirement as we know it. Boomers are ready to continue their careers well passed the ‘retirement age’ and even seek out new opportunities at this stage. Employers are, in some cases, starting to take notice and take advantage of an eager and experienced workforce. All this has helped fight against the notion of older generations as finished in the professional world and in any way that contributes to overall society. But have things changed enough?

There are still a lot of negative and harmful perceptions aimed at boomers in the workforce. Younger generations see them as greedily taking opportunities away from those new to the professional world by not stepping aside. But contradicting that, many employers still seem them as behind on the times and with one foot already in retirement.

On a past episode of Encore, our guest Marjorie Willison identified these attitudes towards aging as something that needed to change, not only for boomers but for the workforce at large. She specifically looked at the aging population of the Maritimes and the many concerns over its demographic shift. While studies like the so-called Ivany Report looked at the issues of the situation, they failed to recognize the economic potential of the boomer professionals.

Businesses tend to view their older workers as more of a strain than an actually benefit – they do that at the detriment to their own success. The value these older, experienced workers provide to a business of any kind cannot be measured and certainly should not to ignored. Nor does hiring boomer professional take away the jobs of the younger generation trying to break in. The truth is, with the aging workforce as it is, businesses need both older and younger professionals to survive.

Regardless of how long boomers push back their retirement, there will come a day when their generation is no longer a part of the workforce. The younger generations need to be able to fill that gap effectively. However, many businesses are finding an experience gap exists as well with the younger talent looking for work. As can be expected, there aren’t too many candidates who can match the decades of experience held by the boomer professionals who have vacated the positions. With these age groups sharing the workforce, it presents the opportunity for sharing of skills, experience and knowledge that allows boomers to remain engaged and helps better prepare the younger generation for their careers.

Ageism, like many types of discrimination, grows from a place of ignorance. That ignorance fails to recognize the opportunities presented by the multigenerational workforce and it helps keep those negative perceptions alive. The more the professional world can fight against these simple thoughts, the stronger we all become together.

If you’re looking to get back in the professional work, sign up for FREE with BoomersPlus. We help match experienced professionals with job opportunities that fit your skills. To learn more, visit our website at https://www.boomersplus.com/ or email us at info@boomersplus.com.

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What’s New On Netflix July 2018?

Netflix has become an unbelievable source of entertainment for millions of Canadians. For the relatively cheap monthly subscription, users have access to countless films and television shows from various years, various genres and various cinematic tastes.

The only real problem with Netflix is deciding what to watch.

Luckily we’re here to let you know what new programs will be debuting this month and which ones are worth checking out.

Let’s take a look at what’s new on Netflix July 2018!

A Beautiful Mind

Director: Ron Howard

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly, Paul Bettany

“After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.” (via IMDB)

A River Runs Through It

Director: Robert Redford

Starring Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt

The story about two sons of a stern minister — one reserved, one rebellious — growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing. (via IMDB)

American Graffiti

Directed by George Lucas

Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat

“A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.” (via IMDB)

Better Call Saul: Season 3

Created by Vince Gilligan

Starring Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn

“The trials and tribulations of criminal lawyer, Jimmy McGill, in the time leading up to establishing his strip-mall law office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.” (via IMDB)

Brewster’s Millions

Director: Walter Hill

Starring Richard Pryor, John Candy, Lonette McKee

“A minor league baseball player has to spend thirty million dollars in thirty days, in order to inherit three hundred million dollars. However, he’s not allowed to tell anyone about the deal.” (via IMDB)

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: New 2018: Freshly Brewed – Netflix Original

Created by Jerry Seinfeld

“Jerry Seinfeld is joined by friends for a cup of coffee and a drive in a classic car, sharing stories all along the way. New guests include Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Chappell and the late Jerry Lewis”. (via IMDB)

Curious George

Director: Matthew O’Callaghan

Starring Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, Eugene Levy

“The Man in the Yellow Hat is an oddball museum employee who looks after his pet monkey, an inquisitive and wonderful creature whose enthusiasm often gets the best of him.” (via IMDB)

Daddy’s Home 2

Director: Sean Anders

Starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson

“Having finally gotten used to each other’s existence, Brad and Dusty must now deal with their intrusive fathers during the holidays.” (via IMDB)

District 9

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Starring Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope

“An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.” (via IMDB)

Good Girls

Creator: Jenna Bans

Starring Christina Hendricks, Retta, Mae Whitman

“Three suburban mothers suddenly find themselves in desperate circumstances and decide to stop playing it safe and risk everything to take their power back.” (via IMDB)

Hitch

Director: Andy Tennant

Starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James

“While helping his latest client woo the fine lady of his dreams, a professional “date doctor” finds that his game doesn’t quite work on the gossip columnist with whom he’s smitten.” (via IMDB)

Hot Fuzz

Director: Edgar Wright

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Timothy Dalton

“A skilled London police officer is transferred to a small town that’s harbouring a dark secret.” (via IMDB)

I, Tonya

Director: Craig Gillespie

Stars: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney

“Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.” (via IMDB)

Kung Fu Panda 3

Directors: Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Starring Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman

“Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.” (via IMDB)

Mercury Rising

Director: Harold Becker

Starring Bruce Willis, Miko Hughes, Alec Baldwin

“Shadowy elements in the NSA target a nine-year old autistic savant for death when he is able to decipher a top secret code.” (via IMDB)

Now You See Me 2

Director: Jon M. Chu

Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson

“The Four Horsemen resurface, and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet.” (via IMDB)

Orange Is the New Black: Season 6

Creator: Jenji Kohan

Starring Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning

Convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend, normally law abiding Piper Chapman is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars to face the reality of how life changing prison can really be. (via IMDB)

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Director: Steve Carr

Stars: Kevin James, Keir O’Donnell, Jayma Mays

When a shopping mall is taken over by a gang of organized crooks, it’s up to a mild-mannered security guard to save the day. (via IMDB)

Suicide Squad

Director: David Ayer

Stars: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie

“A secret government agency recruits some of the most dangerous incarcerated super-villains to form a defensive task force. Their first mission: save the world from the apocalypse.” (via IMDB)

Swiss Army Man

Directors: Dan Kwan (as Daniel Kwan), Daniel Scheinert

Stars: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

“A hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.” (via IMDB)

The Boss

Director: Ben Falcone

Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage

“A titan of industry is sent to prison after she’s caught insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.” (via IMDB)

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Director: Scott Derrickson

Starring Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Shohreh Aghdashloo

“A lawyer takes on a negligent homicide case involving a priest who performed an exorcism on a young girl.” (via IMDB)

The Family Man

Director: Brett Ratner

Starring Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, Don Cheadle

“A fast-lane investment broker, offered the opportunity to see how the other half lives, wakes up to find that his sports car and girlfriend have become a mini-van and wife.” (via IMDB)

The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

Director: Jody Hill

Starring Josh Brolin, Carrie Coon, Danny McBride

The great hunter Buck Ferguson and his trusted cameraman Don set out for an epic weekend adventure to reconnect with Buck’s young son. (via IMDB)

War Dogs

Director: Todd Phillips

Stars: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Steve Lantz

Loosely based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a three hundred million dollar contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan. (via IMDB)

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Great Books To Read From A To Z

There’s no shortage of great books out there, but nothing beats a good recommendation for what to read next. It doesn’t even have to be a new discovery, it could be an old favourite that you haven’t revisited in a while. Maybe even one you didn’t warm to on your first read and decide to give a second chance. So if you’re looking to fill your summer reading list, let’s take a look at some must-reads from A to Z.

Atonement

By Ian McEwan

A tragic and compelling tale of innocence and guilt. Starting in 1935 England, a young girl makes an impulsive decision based partially on childhood ignorance and partially on anger. The consequences reverberate through her life, affecting the ones she loves in dramatic, life-changing ways.

Bossypants

By Tina Fey

A good, worthwhile read doesn’t always have to be the serious and thought-provoking classics. Sometimes it’s just good to read the hilarious thoughts of a very funny person. Tina Fey’s comedic memoir is a laugh-out-loud look at her life from early and awkward childhood, to her struggle to being accepted as a woman in comedy, to becoming the boss of her own television show. Full of self-deprecating humour and relatable truths.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

By Mark Haddon

One of the most effective and powerful uses of the unreliable narrator technique. The story follows a young boy with autism who sets out to solve the mystery of a neighbourhood dog who was killed. The book gave many people insight into a condition that can be very difficult to understand.

The Dark Knight Returns

By Frank Miller

Don’t be fooled by those who say comic books can’t be for adults. Even the biggest naysayers can be won over by this very adult take on one of the most beloved comic book characters of all-time – Batman. This tale finds Bruce Wayne in his old age, watching helplessly as his city falls apart. Finally, pushed too far, he once again dons his famous cowl and cape to rejoin the fight against crime where he’ll make new allies, battle friends and come fact-to-face with old enemies from the past.

Emma

By Jane Austen

Like many of Austen’s novels, this is an ahead-of-its-time look at romance and the struggles of women that still holds surprising relevance today. Following a headstrong and confident young woman who can’t help but meddle in her friends’ love lives.

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus

By Mary Shelley

For all horror fans out there, this is a classic that will do the trick. While many of us have the idea in our head of the green-skinned, bolts-in-neck monster of Frankenstein, the source material provides a much different and more complex look. The classic tale of man playing God and the deadly consequences.

Gone Girl

By Gillian Flynn

The page-turner of 21st century should not be dismissed as mindless pop culture. It is indeed highly entertaining, but also clever, shocking, unpredictably, and will no doubt spark some fascinating conversations. Looking at the celebrity culture of suburban crimes and the unhealthiest marriage of all-time.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

By Arthur Conan Doyle

Though there are many Sherlock Holmes mysteries to choose from, this tends to be regarded as one of the best. The mystery revolves around the relatives of a recently deceased statesman who are being haunted by a diabolical hound of apparent supernatural origins. Part of what makes this mystery so engaging is the fun of watching Holmes struggle with finding the answers to something seemingly not based in reality.

Into the Wild

By Jon Krakauer

A compelling true story of the journey and tragic end of Christopher McCandless. After graduating from high school as an honours student, McCandless gave away his college savings, cut off ties with his family and headed out into the unknown searching for enlightenment. A sad tale of finding one’s self and our place in society.

Jazz

By Toni Morrison

A follow-up and spiritual sequel to Morrison’s Beloved. This is an expansive and unique historical novel detailing the African American experience starting in 1920s Harlem and stretching back to the American South of the 19th century. A collection of voices coming together to tell a single story.

The Kite Runner

By Khaled Hosseini

A glimpse into a world we rarely get any insight into. Set in Afghanistan, the story follows two young boys growing up during tumultuous times in their country, the different paths their lives take and the ways they converge again.

Lord of the Flies

By William Golding

A compelling tale about a group of young boys who become stranded on a deserted island after a plan crash and their failure to govern themselves civilly. It’s an intense and affecting tale of the battle between rationale and emotion.

Maus

By Art Spiegelman

Another comic (or graphic novel) that offers effective storytelling for adults. Based on the author’s conversations with his own father about his experiences as a Jew in Germany during World War II, the comic depicts the atrocities with mice playing the part of Jewish citizens and cats as the Nazis. What might seem like a cheap stunt turns out to be heartbreaking, engaging and brilliant.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

By George Orwell

One of the most influential dystopian novels ever written. Set in a futuristic Great Britain where the government controls and monitors everything from the news to your own thoughts. The sign any great and thoughtful science fiction novel, many of the themes resonate to this day.

Of Mice and Men

By John Steinbeck

The tragic tale of two friends attempt to make a better life for themselves. George and his mentally-challenged friend Lennie work as migrant workers in Depression era South, moving from job to jobs and trying to improve their position.

The Pillars of the Earth

By Ken Follett

A rousing adventure novel set in 12th century England. The story follows several main characters including a dedicated mason, a benevolent priest, a sadistic lord, and a determined young woman. Filled with action, history and thrills, it’s a perfect page-turner.

The Quiet American

By Graham Greene

One of the most seminal novel written about the American involvement in Vietnam. Set during the American uprooting of the French colonisation of Vietnam in the 1950s, it follows a U.S official whose ambition blinds him to the disaster ahead.

The Road

By Cormac McCarthy

A bleak tale of father and son. Set in a dystopian wasteland, a nameless father treks across the land with his young son in search of safety as the broken world around threatens to consume them both.

Shantaram

By Gregory David Roberts

The adventure tale of a bank robber who makes a daring escape from his Australian prison, only to find himself exiled in Bombay, India where he is faced with the hard life of the locals. Said to be based on a true story, though that is contested, it is nonetheless an intriguing journey.

Tishomingo Blues

By Elmore Leonard

A funny, clever and tight crime story from one of the greatest pulp writers of all-time. After witnessing a murder, a high dive artist is dragged into a crime world involving a charismatic gangster, the Dixie Mafia and Civil War re-enactments.

Ulysses

By James Joyce

To be completely honest, after several attempts at reading this one, I still can’t say I have a grasp on it. However, understanding the material isn’t always necessary for a good read. This stream-of-consciousness, experimental parallel to Homer’s Odyssey is a fun challenge.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By Eric Carle

Going to something much more accessible now, a staple of any childhood and just a good book. The title says it all but it’s still more fun than you remember.

Watership Down

By Richard Adams

While a novel about a group of rabbits on an adventure might sound like something akin to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, this material is a little heavier than that. After their home is destroyed, these rabbits seek out a new place to live, encountering plenty of dangers along the way.

10 Little Indians

By Agatha Christie

X is 10 in Roman numerals… get it? Okay, it’s a stretch, but it’s hard to find books that start with the letter X. Besides, this classic mystery is a whole lot of fun no matter how you spell it, despite the politically incorrect title (it is also known as And Then There Were None).

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

By Michael Chabon

Unique, weird and hilarious – you haven’t read anything like this before. Set in an alternate world in which Jewish citizens were given their own land to inhabit in Alaska, the novel follows the investigation of a high-profile murder in the Yiddish-speaking metropolis.

World War Z

By Max Brooks

Yes, I cheated again, but you’ll forgive once you read this thrilling horror novel. The book chronicles the various accounts of people around the world as a zombie epidemic begins and the world falls apart.

 

What would you add to the list?

 

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9 Habits All Boomers Need To Kick

As we’ve explored this month in Health & Wellness, bad habits can be very hard to break. The very nature of these habits is that they become engrained in our routine and feel second-nature to us. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort for one to kick habits that they have indulged too long. However, recognizing bad habits is sometimes not as easy as you might think. We might have a vague notion that certain things are not good for us, but they are such a part of our routine that we don’t allow ourselves to think too much about the harm these habits are causing to our health. Consider your health habits and if you might be indulging some bad ones.

Not drinking enough water.

We’ve been told for many, many years the importance of water in your daily routine. And yet as important as it is for your health and as easy as it is to accomplish, a lot of people are neglecting to get enough water. The magic number that is often thrown around is eight glasses per day, but it differs from person to person. And when they say glasses of water, they mean water. Drinking coffee and other drinks as a replacement for water can actually increase dehydration. There are a number of negative effects of not getting enough water including weight gain, loss of focus and increased risk of serious medical conditions.

Neglecting your sleep.

Boomers are often known for their short sleeping habits. Unfortunately, when they think they are saving more time by cutting their sleep back, they are actually creating serious health concerns for themselves. It is recommended that boomers get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night and a failure to do so can cause a rise in blood pressure and memory loss. A few extra hours of awake time are certainly not worth the very serious risks it can cause for you.

Late night snacks.

While snacking is probably something we can generally do without, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional health conscious indulgence. However, many people are pretty careless with their snacking, choosing to eat whatever and whenever they want. A common bad habit is late night snacking before bed. Late at night your metabolism slows so any food eaten close to bedtime is more difficult to break down. Also, lying down after eating can cause heartburn and indigestion.

Not protecting your skin.

The summer is finally here, and it can be easy to get carried away with the fun of the season and enjoying the sun. A particularly bad habit of this time of year is the lack of sun protection for your skin. Even relatively minor sunburns can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer, which increases further as we age. It takes hardly any effort at all to appropriately apply sunscreen and be able to enjoy the sun safely.

Eating what you want.

We all know by now what’s considered a healthy diet and what isn’t, and yet many of us keep up our bad eating habit. It doesn’t matter how old you are and how much you think you live a healthy lifestyle – you still need to watch what you eat. Cutting out sugary, salty, oily and fatty foods is essential in maintaining your health.

Skipping meals.

We all have busy schedules and occasionally there are those days where you’re just searching for any free time at all. However, no matter how busy your day gets, skipping meals is never the right answer. At least three balanced meals each day is what you need. Also, skipping meals so you can indulge at supper time is not a healthy alternative. Stick to a regular and smart eating routine each day.

Overworking.

Boomers can take pride in being a motivated and hardworking generation. Even as they age, their passion for work remains very strong. However, there is a time when you have to accept you are aging and that work cannot be the sole priority of your time. This doesn’t mean retirement is a must but it is important to maintain healthy working hours and not overextend yourself. Overworking can result in stress, lack of focus as well as encouraging several other unhealthy habits.

Not enough exercise.

Just as with healthy eating, exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and that surely comes as a surprise to no one at this point. Again, a busy life can make it difficult to find the time for exercise, but health must be a priority. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses anymore and make it a part of your day every day.

Ignoring your health.

Overall, the most harming unhealthy habit you can have is not caring enough about your health. If you read any of the above listed habits and convince yourself that keeping those habits as part of your lifestyle is fine, you are indulging in this very damaging habit. The same goes to avoiding regular doctor check-ups. In order to maintain our health, we need to be proactive and responsible. Make the effort to remain health conscious and your lifestyle will benefit as a result.

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8 Travel Experiences To Inspire Your Next Getaway

No matter how old you are, wanderlust can strike at anytime. That feeling of getting away from the everyday and exploring something new is a feeling like no other. The anticipation of what awaits you, the excitement of experiencing a different adventure and the memories you get to come home with – it’s what makes travelling such a thrill. While we all probably have those vacation experiences we love, you owe it to yourself to occasionally branch out and see what else the world has to offer. So if you need a little inspiration about what your next adventure will be, allow us to offer a few suggestions for a trip of a lifetime.

Visit a new continent.

Visiting all seven continents in the world seems like an obvious bucket-list option but there’s a reason so many people have this particular travel dream. The world is full of so many experiences and cultures that are impossible to take in in just one lifetime. But being able to say you have stepped foot on every continent in the world and saw a glimpse of a different way of living is something special. Each continent can offer a new unique adventure that gives you at least a small idea of just how much there is the explore in this world.

See the world from a new height.

I confess, I have a pretty acute fear of heights – a fear that seems to be shared by many people. But even I must admit there is something special about bringing yourself up to a point where you can look down on the world laid out before you. There’s a number of ways to challenge your altitude and get a new view on things. If you’re especially thrill-seeking, you can try your hand at skydiving. If you want a more leisurely way to be on top of the world, take a hot air balloon ride. Or challenge yourself by climbing a mountain and looking down on how far you’ve come. Who knows what you’ll see from up there?

Head to the sea.

As much as there’s endless areas to explore on land, there’s even more mysteries in the ocean. Whether it’s exploring the other world that exists below the surface, or just setting out for an adventure on the open ocean, there’s plenty of thrills to be found. Scuba diving is probably the closest thing you can get to exploring a new planet. You can join a sailing trip and see the endless sea stretched out before you. Even luxury cruises allow you to explore exotic and new parts of the world while also experiencing the thrill of sea voyage. No time like the present to ear your sea legs.

Take a walkabout.

Of course you don’t need to climb to great heights or go sailing away to experience something truly unforgettable. That can certainly be achieved by keeping both feet on the ground. There is so much to see just by walking and exploring. Take a hike to a new place, join a city walking tour or head out on your own (safely) to take in nature. It’s a great way to find new things, get some exercise and reconnect with yourself. Some of your best self-reflection can be done if you just get out for a walk.

Remove yourself.

We live in a busy world and it can be easy to forget just how amazing it can be to escape all of it every now and then. You work hard and deserve the rare reprieve from the hustle and bustle. Seek out destinations and experiences that take you away from it all. That kind of occasional isolation can be really healthy and leave you recharged and ready to re-enter the world with new perspectives. It’s easy to forget how valuable alone time can be and what we gain from embracing it – why not remind yourself?

Embrace the cold.

We’re Canadian so it’s fair to say we get our fair share of cold. So if, for your hard-earned vacation, you would much rather seek out sun and sandy beaches, I could hardly criticize you for that. But do keep in mind that tropical paradises are not the only adventures out there. There are places on the planet where the temperature drops and yet the experiences of the landscapes, the cultures, the wildlife and much more are well-worth the discomfort. Don’t let the weather dissuade you from a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Indulge yourself on new cuisine.

While hiking mountains, underwater exploration and cross-country treks are fulfilling travel experiences, sometimes you can get all the adventure you need at a dinner table. Part of the fun of exploring new cultures is getting a taste for their cuisine. Don’t kid yourself, indulging in new foods and expanding your taste buds a little can make for a very enjoyable and memorable vacation. Plus, you’ll likely be heading home with a whole lot of new recipes to share.

See something you’ve never seen before.

In the end, a truly memorable travel experience comes down to treating yourself to something you’ve never experienced before. We all have a long list of places we want to see and things we want to do. Embrace that list and really try to give yourself the opportunity to check some of those dream destinations off. Also, always be on the lookout for new destinations and experiences to add to your list. Ask your friends about their latest trip and get recommendations. Nothing is better that discovering a new perfect destination. Keep your passion for exploring alive and then go out and make it a reality.

What’s your dream travel destination?

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