Category Archives: Article

Dinosaurs rap with The Notorious B.I.G.

This video is the definition of Throwback Thursday. It’s the perfect mix of two ’90s hits and a kick of nostalgia that left me in a fit of laughter.

the notorious b.i.g.

A figurine of Earl Sinclair.


The mash-up, originally posted on YouTube last year by Benjamin Roberts, is a spectacularly catchy video of Dinosaurs’ Earl Sinclair performing “Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G. It’s a perfect lip-sync of Earl rapping to the groovy beats and doing the jiggy with cut footage from the original television show.

It’s one of those moments where you can’t help but recall your childhood. It’s like when you’re walking down the grocery aisles and stumble across a favorite childhood snack, such as Dunk-a-roos, or find your long lost Tamagotchi

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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365 Days of Happiness: Making social media work for you

The power of social media is undeniable. It can work against people — reports of online bullying and negative publicity are always in the news — but it can also help us support a cause. The ALS promotion that swept social channels in the summer of 2014 is a great example of the power of social media.

Be the Happy

The 356 Days of Happiness Challenge, a recent social media phenomenon, encourages you to post one photo a day of something that made/makes you happy that day. It could be of a surprise coffee left on your desk by a coworker, hitting the gym, chilling with friends or even just a night in with Game of Thrones reruns.

365 Days of Happiness

#365DaysofHappiness Day 25: Second day of KU training


The idea of the 365 Days of Happiness Challenge was expanded from the social media experiment, #100HappyDays. That challenge came about as a way to reconnect people to their lives. According to the 100HappyDays website, “71 percent of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason.” If we can’t take the time to recognize and pursue our happiness, we might run into some real issues.

I’ve found that a goal like this helps to keep your daily mindset positive and, at the end of the day, you’ve got a pretty happy (if not totally content) life. When your day is going to hell and everything goes wrong — which it will, usually in threes, when the first thing goes wrong watch out for two more. In times like these think of one moment, just one, that made you smile that day. I had a particularly rough patch a few weeks ago and this challenge reminded me that life will continue, the clock continues ticking regardless of how you feel at that moment, and if you’ve committed to recognizing happiness it will make you feel better. Your family and friends will always be there to hold your hand, encourage you, bother you and tell you to keep your chin up…

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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It’s the year of the sheep – kung hei fat choy!

chinese new year sheep

The Year of the Sheep (or Ram or Goat)


Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Chinese New Year follows the lunar calendar and typically occurs between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. This year it falls on Thursday, Feb. 19. Like any other cultural New Year’s celebration around the world, Chinese New Year varies slightly depending on its geographic neighbors.

Year of the Sheep

This year celebrates the Sheep — also known as the Year of the Goat or Year of the Ram, depending on your culture. As with astrology, the animal signs represent not what others perceive you as being, but are assigned by the year you are born.

To make it slightly more confusing, there are also animal signs assigned by the month known as the “inner animals,” by the day known as “true animals” and by the hour known as the “secret animals.” This means that even if you are born in the year of the Rabbit, you can have the traits of a Dragon internally, an Ox truly and a Tiger secretly. Most people simplify this process by stating what animal year they were born.

That said, people born in the year of the Sheep are (supposed to be) tender, polite, filial, clever and kindhearted. Overall, they are sensitive and gentle, but are often worriers and shy…

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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Book Review: The Bitterbynde Trilogy – where Celtic lore meets orcs

“The rain was without beginning and without end. It pattered on incessantly, a drumming of impatient fingers. The creature knew only the sound of the rain and the rasp of its own breathing. It had no concept of its own identity, no memory of how it had come to this place. Inchoate purpose drove it upward, in darkness. Over levels of harsh stone it crawled and through dripping claws of vegetation. Sometimes it slept momentarily or perhaps lost consciousness.”

Looking for an epic trilogy? Want one that’s already finished, so you don’t wait endlessly for more?

The Bitterbynde Trilogy by Cecilia Dart-Thornton was first conceived over a decade ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I stumbled across the fantasy series in a used bookstore in Australia. I snatched it up and soon discovered what I was missing. Nestled in a corner shop on the edge of a bustling beach, I thanked my luck I was able to find all three novels side-by-side. Needless to say, much of the next two days was spent with my nose pressed into the yellowed pages (when I wasn’t out snorkeling or hiking the beautiful shores of Airlie Beach).

The Bitterbynde Trilogy

The lovely trilogy I picked up from a used bookstore in Australia.


Beginnings …

The trilogy is a wonderfully concocted fantasy that brings folklore, magic and heroism to life. It all begins with a scarred, despised and mute foundling surrounded by superstitious servants and pompous lords. As the mute seeks the help of a wise woman in the outside world, it runs into trouble and is eventually saved by an adventurer who gives it the gift of communication through hand-speak and, most importantly, a name. Imrhien then sets off into a journey where she meets new friends, unkind foes, crazy wights, frightening monsters and ultimately falls in love…

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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Top 10 Fitness Apps

Winter, if you are on the west coast of the U.S., has been mild so far, and if you’re in Canada, like I am, the worst is yet to come. No matter where you are it’s still cold outside. For fitness resolutes, the first two weeks are the hardest for fitness — it can take up to a month before a routine is set and you no longer need to force yourself to get some exercise. Whether you want to add a morning jog before you go to work or schedule in a quick set or three in the gym, here are 10 apps that will help you accomplish your 2015 fitness resolutions.


You Are Your Own Gym

This is one of my favorite travel companions since it’s essentially a gym in your pocket. This particular app hosts a series of workouts featuring body weight movements that don’t require any equipment, aside from a bench or chair that should be easy enough to find.

Body weight exercises are my go-to because you can do them anywhere and at any time. A quick set of 20 jumping jacks, 15 push-ups and 10 sit-ups/crunches done three times will pick up your heart rate and warm you up. If you’re looking for something more challenging, burpees and jump squats are an excellent way to sky rocket yourself, or you can really push yourself with interval training, such as Tabata

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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The Best DIY Holiday Gifts to Make Now

Decorations are out, houses are ablaze with holiday lights and stores are shelving extra merchandise. Christmas is definitely right around the corner.

Whether you’re on a budget or feeling crafty, do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts are an easy and heartfelt way to complete your Christmas list. Unless you’re capable of managing your time, it’s best to keep Christmas DIY gifts simple.


Handmade ornaments always add a touch of home to the Christmas tree. You can keep it simple with craft paper, dazzling it up with sprinkles and paint (a great craft to do with kids as well), or geekify the ornaments by painting them with a friend’s favorite comic/anime character.

If you decide to paint a clear glass ornament (find one at any crafts store), simple acrylic paint will work. But keep in mind that you’ll need to apply multiple layers. A neat trick is to take the hook off the top of the ornament and pour the base-layer paint inside the ornament. From there, make sure the paint evenly coats the entire ornament. Later, all you have to do is paint the exterior, add extra accessories and … ta-da!

pokemon ornaments homemade christmas gifts

Pokemon ornaments made by yours truly.



Personalized or Christmas-themed mugs are always a great stocking stuffer. Whether you choose to make them at home or at a store where you can paint your own design (these stores will usually glaze and fire the mug/plate/item for you once you’ve completed designing it), you can never get enough mugs.

Add an extra bit of warmth with a side gift of instant hot chocolate.

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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The Reboot: Movies and TV revised

It’s the show you loved as a kid, the one with the catchy theme song you continue to watch when you need a warm and fuzzy pick-me-up. In fact, you can still remember all the names of the characters, all the crazy plot twists and the details a true fan would know.

At some point you hear about a reboot — a revival of your favorite show. Because 10 years have passed and — wait, has it really been that long? At first you’re excited by the news. But this initial giddiness is usually followed by worry and trepidation. Why are they doing a reboot? They’re going to ruin something that was amazing!

From television shows (animated or otherwise) to big Hollywood blockbusters, it often feels like filmmakers have run out of ideas and are simply banking on the popularity of the original. And, in most cases, that’s usually a correct assumption.

To Reboot, or Not to Reboot

Though filmmaker and director Ken Ogasawara is ambivalent about remakes and adaptations, he does believe there are times where a film or television show shouldn’t be remade or changed.

avatar the last airbender movie reboot

Commenting on The Last Airbender, a film from 2010, Ogasawara said:

“Basically when the original is so good that there’s no topping it (which I admit is a very subjective judgment call), don’t try to improve on perfection, especially if you’re going to fail so spectacularly.”

The film was a live-action adaptation of the popular animated TV series, Avatar: The Last Airbender….

For more, visit Breaking Modern here.

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Road Tips for Racing on Unfamiliar Ground


One of my races in Montreal, Qc – Defi Boreal Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue 5k


Hitting the road in unfamiliar territory is both daunting and exciting. On one hand it’s an excuse to visit a place you’ve never been before. On the other hand you can face a new climate or different elevation that takes some getting used to, especially when you’re there for a race.

I’m a novice runner, so let’s be clear that there are so many people who have more experience under their belts than me, but I want to provide general observations and lessons I learned in my races. What affects me might affect you, too. That said, these tips might not apply to everyone. Some people are awesome and can run under any condition and, if that’s the case, kudos (and curses) to you.

Choose a Destination

Pick a place, then look for a race. Or vice versa. My first destination race was a 5k in Montreal, which is roughly a six-hour drive from Toronto (longer depending on the weekend, what’s happening, and good ol’ traffic). Pick a place you’d like to visit for the weekend and see if there are any races that pique your interest. Likewise, if you hear about a fun race, plan a trip around the race….

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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Hiking in Sydney: Scenic World Blue Mountains


Australia (84)

The Three Sisters at Blue Mountain in New South Wales, Australia.

The trails range from easy to hard, but the views are spectacular at Blue Mountain’s Scenic World.

Difficulty: Range from easy to hard
Time: The shortest trail is around an hour, the longest six. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take all day covering all the trails
Length: 10 minutes to a full day
Conditions: Some paved/wooden paths, others using nature’s rocks

Sydney’s Blue Mountains Scenic World is a tad out of a way but it’s definitely worth the trip up north in New South Wales. There’s a trail for every level from easy to hard, but make sure you keep a map with you or know where you’re going, or you may end up taking a harder trail then expected. The Furber Steps, for example, is much easier going down than it is going up – much, much easier. As friendly as the trails are, some sections of the walkway aren’t wheelchair accessible and it’s recommended to speak to staff before hitting the trails.

There are various starting points that all interconnect with one another, but once you are at the bottom you can either hike your way back up or go take either the railway, skyway, or cableway back up to the top…

For more, visit BreakingMordern here.

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Hiking in Sydney: Bondi to Coogee, along the east coast shoreline

Australia (73)

Bondi Icebergs at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. An open concept pool connected to the ocean.

The best way to enjoy a part of Sydney’s gorgeous coastline is to walk along the coast – one such trail begins at Bondi Beach with its well-known white sands and clear water. Though it is known to be a tourist trap for many, if you’re looking for a nice easy walk for a lazy day, this is for you.

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2 to 3 hours, pending walking speed
Distance: 8 kilometres one way
Conditions: Exposed

Most begin this trip at the southern tip of Bondi Beach near the Baths and Bondi Icebergs, a concept in which a swimming pool in essence borders with the ocean and allows swimmers to enjoy nature’s waters without the elements and undercurrents of Mother Nature. It’s also something I’m in awe of, along with the deliciousness of Tim Tams, of which I’ve eaten far, far, far too many.

The easy trail winds its way from Bondi towards past Mackenies Bay towards Bronte. During portions of the year, there are usually art displays that line the pathway…

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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