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Wear a mask
We wear seat belts, bike helmets, have drunk driving laws, and do many other things that protect our health, the health of others, public health, and health care in general. That is, if everyone drove around drunk - killing and injuring themselves and others - this would have a terminal cost on our health care system and its workers. We have traffic rules for a very good reason. We have health and safety rules at worksites. Wearing a mask when you are out among others is a no brainer. Don't be a drunk shopper, walker, talker endangering others. Have a brain, and a heart, and wear a mask.
For some reason, people don't give the chemicals we breathe the same concern as the chemicals we consume in foods and beverages. This could have something to do with the massive amount of advertising aimed at convincing us to douse our homes, cars and bodies in 'nice' smelling chemicals (perfumes, colognes, air fresheners, scented candles, fabric softeners etc.).
However, all those 'nice' smells are not so nice to our health.
Here's a collection of sources of information to check if you want to have control over the type of air pollution that you can actually control.
Fraud Prevention Month is March. In Canada, a good source of up-to-date information is the Little black book of Scams from Industry Canada. Keep yourself informed to prevent becoming one of the many thousands of victims of fraud each year; be sure to share tips with vulnerable friends and family members; and if you have children, remember to protect their personal information and documents.
If you have been scammed:
Report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online
or call them toll-free: 1-888-495-8501
Alerts and Tips to Avoid Fraud and Identity Theft:
Simple Fraud Prevention Tips:
Help any seniors you know avoid fraud by reading this 2015 Seniors' Toolkit (PDF). Here is a graph from the report showing the huge losses of Canadian seniors by fraud type.
Even though music might be regarded as something frivolous, it has long been an intrinsic part of human culture. Starting from the time we are young children, some would even say within the womb, music has many benefits for our well-being. And there's increasing research showing the many benefits of having music in our lives.
How music benefits children: Advocates of music in schools have collected research showing that music and playing musical instruments helps children's language development, memory, physical co-ordination, imagination, creativity, teamwork and self-confidence. It has also been said that playing music improves math skills, but on this point, research is inconclusive.
Music helps your brain: Playing a musical instrument has many beneficial effects, not just for children but for adults too: verbal memory, spacial reasoning, faster neural responses, and literacy skills are all enhanced by learning music. It has also been shown that music is helpful for people with Parkinson's and those recovering from strokes.
How music benefits seniors: Music training is considered a possible effective way to protect brain function from cognitive decline but more research is needed. Other studies have shown that people even with severe Alzheimer's Disease "are able to learn and play novel songs".
In First Nations and Indigenous communities, drumming has also been linked to health: "Results of the qualitative analysis show that the Aboriginal women’s involvement in hand-drumming circles has many health promoting benefits and builds on strengths already existent within their community."
Music makes people of all ages happy, gives them relief if they are burdened by stress or sadness, and provides skills and accomplishments when learning to play a musical instrument. In short, music boosts health and well-being. Music is medicine, just not the kind that comes from the pharmacy.
Here's a video that summarizes what's going on in your brain when you listen to music:
National Association for Music Education 2014
National Association for the Education of Young Children 2012 (PDF):
Research paper "Music as a Memory Enhancer in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease"
Interested in learning more?
This is Your Brain On Music (book by Daniel Levitin )
Brainpickings 2015 (article)
The Guardian 2016 (article)
A new study of 2,072 Canadians aged 21 to 36 across Canada between July 6 and August 31, 2016 done by Environics’ Research shows that Canadian millennials have similar concerns to past generations of their age group (worried about financial security), seek better work/life balance, and, despite the stereotype of being apathetic, they do follow politics, current events, and are involved in causes.
The report also identifies six different millennial 'tribes'. Many millennials will no doubt resent being labelled and boxed into a tribe or sub-group. Nonetheless, here are the six groups from the study's executive summary:
Check out the full infographic here by Environics’ Research
Read the full report here: environicsinstitute.org/institute-projects/current-projects/canadian-millennial-social-values-study
Press release here: www.newswire.ca/news-releases/new-survey-reveals-the-diversity-of-canadas-millennial-generation-through-their-social-values-613786623.html
The independent bookstore and resource centre Spartacus Books in Vancouver will be carrying My Opportunity and Help Book BC - Vancouver Edition 2017 as of February 14, 2017. They are located just off Commercial Drive. Be sure to check out their large selection of books on social justice, activism, critical-thinking, and more. They have been a collectively run volunteer bookstore offering books, media, events and opportunities for 40 years in Vancouver despite many dramatic set-backs and challenges.
My Opportunity and Help Book BC - Vancouver Edition 2017 is now available. Discover life-changing community resources, new opportunities... or help with life's challenges. Organized by topic, the 1000+ listings cover every aspect of important community and government resources on a national, provincial and local level. Also included are bonus sections: a lost your ID checklist, moving checklist, fraud prevention tips, self-advocacy tips, information for visitors and more. Check here for locations where it is available.
The Overdose Prevention Society is a grassroots group that formed quickly to take immediate action to save lives. Their volunteers have CPR and Narcan training and are experienced in saving lives. They set up a pop-up harm reduction overdose prevention tent in a alley in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES). They see over 100 people a day, and save lives every day. They need $100 dollars a day for supplies, tents volunteer training, and cleaning. You can support their crucial work at their GoFundMe.com page. They state: "We cannot, will not wait for government help."
The Vancouver Edition of My Help Book BC (My Opportunity & Help Book) will be published in December 2016 and available in January 2017. In it you will discover key community resources in 1000+ listings (organized by topic) that cover every aspect of important community and government resources at the national, provincial and local level. Extra articles and checklists include: What to do if you’ve lost your ID, a moving checklist, fraud prevention tips, self-advocacy tips & more. Customize your copy: add emergency numbers page 5, important dates page 75, and use the blank lined end pages for additional personal entries.
Check back in January 2017 to find where to get a free copy or purchase a copy. Online or app version coming soon.
Here is the Table of Contents (much information from My Help Book is also posted in the blog section of this website):
CRISIS LINES 7
NON-EMERGENCY POLICE 7
VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE 8
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 9
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT 10
Info Lines & Support Groups 12
Health Rights 15
Mental Health 16
Addictions & Harm Reduction 18
Dental Health 19
Sexual & Reproductive Health 20
End of Life and Bereavement 21
Power of Attorney & Trustee 24
Legal Information 25
Community Advocates 26
Human Rights 27
Civil Liberties 28
Corrections & Prisons 29
CONSUMER INFO & RIGHTS 30
DEBT & BANKRUPTCY & Insolvency 31
SMALL BUSINESS 32
EMPLOYMENT & TRAINING 33
Employment Rights & Unions 34
Restaurant Workers’ Health & Safety 35
UNEMPLOYMENT & WELFARE 36
MUNICIPAL & COMMUNITY 40
ABORIGINAL / FIRST NATIONS / MÉTIS 41
Disability Rights 46
FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN 47
NEWCOMERS / MULTICULTURAL 49
SENIORS / ELDERS 50
WOMEN / MEN / LGBTQ 52
FOOD & FARMING 55
RECYCLING & COMPOST 58
SAFETY INFO & TRAINING 59
Natural Gas Safety 59
Carbon Monoxide Safety 60
Collision Checklist 63
TOURISTS & TRAVEL 64
SPORTS OPPORTUNITIES 65
FRAUD PREVENTION TIPS 67
LOST OR STOLEN ID CHECKLIST 69
MOVING CHECKLIST 70
SELF-ADVOCACY TIPS 72
SELF-ADVOCACY LETTERS 73
OTHER RESOURCE GUIDES 74
UPSTREAM RESOURCES 74
BC STATUTORY HOLIDAYS 75
It is not uncommon to hear stories of people who have had their lives turned upside down because they unknowingly hired an unscrupulous mover. If you are planning to move and want to find a reliable mover with a great reputation and one that fits your budget, The Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) can help. They recommend that you do your research, learn about your rights and responsibilities, get in-home estimates and book your move early.
The best movers get contracted quickly so do your homework and avoid scams by following these tips to help protect your family and possessions:
Other resources to find a good moving company:
Government of Canada Consumer Checklist for Choosing a Moving Company
Consumer Protection BC - Choosing a Moving Company
Consumer Protection BC - Things to Know about Moving Insurance
Thank you to the Canadian Association of Movers for providing information for this post.
My Opportunity & Help Book BC