Joshua Ostroff
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Entries by Joshua Ostroff

Stars Wars Gifts Canada: 27 Ideas For Kids (And Parents After Bedtime)

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2016 | 3:36 PM

Disney is nothing if not ingenious. This is the second year in a row that they've released a "Star Wars" film just in time to flood toy store shelves with potential Christmas gifts from a galaxy far, far away.

But it's also the second year where the new film, in...

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'The Last Guardian' Is 2016's Best Video Game, And Its Most Emotional

(2) Comments | Posted December 6, 2016 | 12:04 PM

"Video games can be viewed as entertainment but that definition is really dependent on you," says iconic game designer Fumito Ueda, via translator and Skype, from Tokyo. "Is it just a source of entertainment or is there more to it?"

"For me, it's important that there is more to it....

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Sandy Hook Promise PSA: Gun Violence Ad Shows We Don't Know How To Watch Our Teens

(5) Comments | Posted December 5, 2016 | 11:37 AM

First things first, please watch the PSA ad below about a bored high school boy named Evan and his secret pen pal.

Done?

The lengthy public service announcement was released by Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization of parents who lost children in the Sandy Hook massacre four years ago and are trying to reduce gun violence.

The ad purports to tell a love story before coming to a shocking conclusion — a conclusion that wouldn't be so shocking if we'd known what to look for.

sandy hook promise adA screengrab from the Sandy Hook Promise ad "Evan." (Photo: YouTube)

When the ad starts over to show us what we missed, it raises awareness of the importance of looking for subtle signs in our children, friends and students before it becomes too late.

The ad purports to tell a love story before coming to a shocking conclusion — a conclusion that wouldn't be so shocking if we'd known what to look for.

"When you don't know what to look for, or can't recognize what you are seeing, it can be easy to miss warning signs or dismiss them as unimportant. That can lead to tragic consequences," Sandy Hook Promise co-founder Nicole Hockley said in a statement. Hockley lost her first-grade son Dylan in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.

Campaign has trained 1.5 million over past two years

"It is important for us to show youth and adults that they are not helpless in protecting their community from gun violence — these acts are preventable when you know the signs. Everyone has the power to intervene and get help. These actions can save lives."

"Evan" is part of the organization's "Know the Signs" campaign which they provide to schools and community groups, training 1.5 million students, teachers, and parents over the last two years.

As a result of this training, Sandy Hook Promise says it has "helped intervene on multiple threats – including a school shooting, suicides and bringing firearms to schools, as well as helping to reduce bullying and getting hundreds of individuals mental health assistance."

But there is always more work to do. Sandy Hook Promise says that 80 per cent of school shooters and 70 percent of people who commit suicide told someone of their plans beforehand without anyone intervening....

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India Just Turned On The World's Biggest Solar Power Plant

(18) Comments | Posted December 2, 2016 | 10:46 AM

While Justin Trudeau approves pipelines in Canada and police forces faces off against anti-pipeline protesters in Standing Rock, North Dakota, India has gone ahead and built the world's biggest solar power plant.

The Kamuthi Solar Power Project in Tamil Nadu has a 648 megawatt capacity —...

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Doug Gilmour Launches Most Canadian Fundraiser Ever For Gord Downie's Brain Cancer Research Fund

(2) Comments | Posted November 30, 2016 | 4:57 PM

If there's anything more Canadian than hockey, it's the Tragically Hip. Now both are coming together as hockey hall of famer Doug Gilmour takes a slap shot at raising money for his friend Gord Downie's brain cancer research fund.

After announcing that he had incurable brain cancer last May, Downie...

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Best Video Game For Kids: Gift Guide For Christmas 2016

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2016 | 10:46 AM

The weather outside is about to get frightful, which makes playing video games on the couch quite delightful. That's why games are always such great gifts to give to kids for Chrismas or Chanukkah or, in my house, Chrismukkah.

But not all games are created equal — plus different...

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Margaret Trudeau Calls Indigenous Mental Health Crisis 'Our Shame Forever'

(21) Comments | Posted November 27, 2016 | 11:59 AM

Margaret Trudeau, the former wife of one prime minister and mother of another, has spent the past decade building her own legacy as one of Canada's most outspoken mental-health advocates.

After becoming international tabloid fodder during the 1970s – a time when most assumed the young mother of three was...

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A Nazi By Any Other Name Must Still Be Stopped

(90) Comments | Posted November 22, 2016 | 4:09 PM

cnn jews

Most parents are very excited to introduce their kids to Indiana Jones. Me, I was dreading it. Not because Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Holy Grail aren't awesome movies, but because they feature Nazis.

Nazis may seem like run-of-the-mill bad guys to...

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David Suzuki Slams Conservative Party's Trump-Like 'Rejection Of Facts'

(67) Comments | Posted November 21, 2016 | 7:08 PM

Much like climate change, the effects of Donald Trump's election will not stay on the southern side of the U.S.-Canada border.

There have already been hate crimes since the American election results and, as David Suzuki told The Huffington Post Canada, Trump's anti-diversity and "frightening" campaign...

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'Angry Inuk' Explores The Inuit Fight To Protect The Seal Hunt

(33) Comments | Posted November 19, 2016 | 8:46 AM



Inuit activists found themselves in a Twitter feud this month. Only it was not with alt-right trolls but white progressives, and it was not the first time.

"This is the same demographic that would tend to care about people like my family and...

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Organ Donor Doc 'Vital Bonds' Will Wrench Your Heart And Change Your Mind

(15) Comments | Posted November 16, 2016 | 6:37 PM

Organ donation in Canada is in a state of crisis. Only 25 per cent of Canadians have registered to donate our organs, even though 90 per cent support the idea.

It's one of the lowest sign-up rates in the industrialized world.

Every day, one in four Canadians...

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Wake Up, Trump Just Put A White Nationalist In The White House

(20) Comments | Posted November 14, 2016 | 5:10 PM

steve bannon
Steve Bannon, CEO of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, is pictured backstage after a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. Oct. 29, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Carlo Allegr's)

We're nearly a week in and Trump's America has already turned into a dystopian nightmare. When I predicted...

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Racist Alt-Right Posters Appear Near Toronto Elementary School

(138) Comments | Posted November 14, 2016 | 2:58 PM

Shocked parents in Toronto were faced with racist posters while dropping their children off at elementary school on Monday, one day after the U.S. president-elect made an alt-right leader his top advisor.

The posters, which appeared on poles near Parkside Elementary School, began with: "Hey, White Person." They rail against...

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Leonard Cohen Was Our Heart Of Darkness

(4) Comments | Posted November 11, 2016 | 7:18 AM

leonard cohen

Leave it to Leonard Cohen, popular music's prophet of dark poetics, to flee his mortal coil at the bleakest moment possible.

In a world where hate now stalks the highest corridors of power and roams high school hallways and social media side streets we are...

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America's Shining City On A Hill Has Gone Dark

(7) Comments | Posted November 9, 2016 | 3:21 AM

trump screaming
Supporters yell as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in Sioux City, Iowa on Nov. 06, 2016. (Photo: Getty Images)

In Hillary Clinton's final speech of this slow-motion car crash of a campaign, she declared that "love trumps hate."

...
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Connor Franta On Trump And Pence's Homophobia, Coming Out Online And LGBTQ Diversity

(2) Comments | Posted November 7, 2016 | 7:33 PM

Connor Franta, a young online superstar with over 5.6 million YouTube subscribers and another six million Twitter followers, is not necessarily known for being political.

But the U.S. election has him as freaked out as everyone else.

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Alvinston Indians Changing Name Because 'They Don't Want To Hurt Anyone's Feelings'

(2) Comments | Posted November 2, 2016 | 3:15 PM

The small town of Alvinston, Ont., population 2,500, has more than lived up to its slogan this week: A Sweet Place To Bee.

The pun is because the southwestern Ontario town is a bastion of honey farmers, but sweetness seems to flow outside of the apiaries, too, as...

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Why A Sexy 'Pocahottie' Costume Puts Indigenous Women At Risk: 'We're Already In Danger'

(5) Comments | Posted October 31, 2016 | 6:01 PM

Another Halloween, another round of racist costumes.

This year, however, the issue seems even more offensive than usual. While white newspaper columnists defend the practice of appropriating indigenous cultures for Halloween costumes and fans in redface and headdresses cheer on Cleveland's baseball team in the World...

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Charles Taylor, Brains Behind Canadian Multiculturalism, Talks Trump, Brexit And Rise Of Xenophobia

(17) Comments | Posted October 28, 2016 | 1:35 PM

You may not know Charles Taylor's name, but if you live in Canada, you know his work.

Renowned as one of the world's greatest living thinkers, the 84-year-old Montreal philosopher recently won the inaugural US$1 million Berggruen Prize for having ideas that promote "the advancement of humanity."

...
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Paula Abdul Endorses Hillary Clinton In 'Troubling' U.S. Election

(1) Comments | Posted October 26, 2016 | 2:37 PM

The U.S. presidential election has felt like a reality show all year, and not just because Donald Trump is an actual reality TV star who pulls the genre's trademark tricks at debates like saying "I'll keep you in suspense" about whether or not he'll concede if he loses.

The two...

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