Category Archives: Magazines

Food for Thought

the-peachMy husband never fails to be disappointed with the produce from our local grocery store. Well, to be fair, it’s not just our local store — it’s any grocery store.

After dinner, he’ll look longingly at some peaches he picked up that day at the store. He’ll pick one up, roll it around in his hand, maybe even give it a sniff. Then he’ll sink his teeth into it.

“Ugh,” he’ll pronounce, then put it down and push it aside in disgust. “It looked so good,” he’ll say, “but it’s just pulpy inside. No flavour, terrible texture.” The thing with him is that he’s a perpetual optimist and he’ll be just as hopeful for a juicy peach next time he buys one from the store. And so it goes.

I have always attributed this disappointment of his to the difference between eating a fruit right off of a tree to eating one that’s had to travel goodness knows how many kilometres in a truck. You see, he grew up on a fruit farm in Australia.

The September/October issue of Mother Jones magazine gave me some further food for thought on this issue. Science and environmental journalist Heather Smith explains that today’s hybrid crops “are often bred for size and color, not nutrients.” Her article “Looks Great, Less Filling,” then goes on to compare the nutrient value of fruits and vegetables from the 1950s to today’s counterparts. It’s pretty alarming, really. Or at least interesting.

For instance, according to Mother Jones and USDA data, today’s broccoli offers 52% less vitamin A, 60% less calcium, and 27% less iron. And a honey dew mellow provides 68% less calcium and an astounding 84% less iron. 84% less. Wow, that’s some serious change.

With this kind of radical change in nutrients, can one deduce that there would also be a change in taste? Perhaps that’s why today’s peach doesn’t taste as peachy as it did when my husband was a boy.

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Filed under Family, Fitness & Food, Living, Magazines, Media, Shopping, Tales

Would your husband notice?

In More magazine’s September issue, a writer gets her face pumped up with injectable filler and bets that her husband won’t notice. Or at least she hopes, since he’s philosophically against these kind of “youthenizer” treatments.

Her article “Is my epidermis showing?” reads a bit like a sad commentary on modern family life. When her husband arrives home after work, she’s on pins and needles wondering if he is going to notice. Instead:

He comes in the door, calls hello and asks if there is any dinner left. I approach, smile and say I made a lovely dinner and there’s plenty left for him.

“Great. Thanks.” He brushes past me and sits with his dinner and the newspaper. Good. I guess.

 Huh? That’s the extent of their interaction? It’s no wonder then that he doesn’t notice her face. He probably wouldn’t notice if she got an entire face-lift done!

But as much as I would like to distance myself from this writer (who is going by the pyseudonym “Ivana Filler” – LOL), I have to wonder … would my husband actually notice if I got a filler? What do you think — would yours?

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Filed under Family, Gadgets & Goods, Living, Magazines, Media, Observations, Shopping

Thursday’s Thought

“I realized the power writing has, and it has also helped me deal with my rage … It gave me a lifelong commitment not to be afraid to speak out about injustice.” — Dominick Dunne

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Filed under Headlines, Living, Magazines, Media, Observations

Writerly happenings

Writers are always on the hunt for ways to improve their craft, and I’m no different. I’m always sniffing around for new ideas, new initiatives, new ways to learn.

At BOLO the other night, I overheard a number of bloggers mention that they were writers as a day-time gig (alot of fellow corporate communicators) as well as some stay-at-home-moms who said that they aspire to be writers.

So, I thought that I’d share some interesting writerly happenings that I come by here on my blog. I’ll do the grunt work of sifting through event sites and then I’ll pull out the relevant info into quick-read bites. If it seems of value to my readers, I’ll keep posting them. You can let me know.

Happening: Writer’s Digest Conference
Who is it for: People who want to publish a book
Why it’s interesting: Focus on indie publishing and using social media tools for marketing authors
Where is it: New York City
When is it: Sept 18-20, 2009
Entry Fee: $395 USD
Learn more

Happening: BlogHer ’10
Who is it for: Bloggers (mostly women) that want to connect and grow their blog
Why it’s interesting: It’s a sold-out event where tickets go fast
Where is it: New York City
When is it: August 6-7, 2010
Entry Fee: $198 USD
Learn more

Happening: BlogHer Business ’10
Who is it for: Brand marketers, PR/Comm specialists, Media buyers
Why it’s interesting: 360 degree case studies on social media campaigns targeting women online – what works, what doesn’t
Where is it: New York City
When is it: August 5, 2010
Entry Fee: $499 USD 
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Happening: Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff
Who is it for: Stay-at-Home-Moms who want to break into magazine writing
Why it’s interesting: It’s an online course tailored specifically to the demanding schedule of SAHMs offered by a Christina Katz, who did it herself
Where is it: online
When is it: August 12 and runs for 6 weeks
Entry Fee: $250 USD
Learn more

Happening: Magazine Writers’ Craft Fair
Who is it for: emerging/aspiring freelance magazine writers
Why is it interesting: a chance to meet Canadian industry professionals and editors and learn what they’re looking for
Where is it: Vancouver
When is it: August 15, 2009
Entry fee: $45
Learn more

Happening: E-Publishing Certificate from Algonquin College
Who is it for: anyone who wants to break into a publishing career with an extra advantage as well as folks like me who learned their trade mostly via traditional print publishing techniques
Why is it interesting: offered entirely in the evenings and on weekends so it’s accessible for full-time workers and SAHMs
Where is it: Ottawa campus
When is it: starts Fall 2009 and is a one-year program (info night on Aug 12)
Entry fee: $1,500 per semester
Learn more

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Filed under Learning, Living, Magazines, Media