We're not the only ones looking for something to do while we wait for the world to 're-open'. Sports commentators worldwide have been in limbo, waiting for the games to resume. In the meantime, some have come up with ingenious uses for their talents.
First we have Andrew Cotter, a sports commentator from the UK who has been giving commentaries of a different sort... that of his dogs... yes, dogs... on Twitter. And don't worry, you don't need a Twitter account to watch these:
The next laugh is care of Nick Heath who would normally be commentating rugby matches but since the pandemic hit has been keeping people entertained by giving commentaries of average people doing average things. The folks at Sportsnet compiled some of Heath’s work in an article, again, you’ll find the link below. Once you’re in the article, just scroll down a bit to get the videos. The ‘leggings’ one is my favourite with the stroller race a close second.
Can't hear anything in the video? The volume on the video may be muted. Have a look at the pictures below which will walk you through what to do. Then go back to the video and give it a try.
First, look at the bottom right of the video, you're looking for a small image / icon of a speaker. If you don't see the speaker, you might need to tap/click in the middle of the video screen first so that the controls appear, then click on the speaker icon. Sometimes just clicking on the screen will enable the volume.
Now you should see the video controls, along with the speaker icon which represents the volume control at the bottom right.
Once you have the controls, click or tap on that speaker icon (see the picture below):
It should automatically turn the volume on. There is a slider that you can move up and down to adjust the sound as needed. After that, all you have to do is press the play button (that small white triangle on the left) and watch!
To try again be sure to go back to the video by clicking the appropriate website link from the list above.
It never ceases to infuriate me: ageism.
Unfortunately it is the last 'ism' that is still seemingly acceptable and often not even thought of as discriminatory. Even as 'aware' as I claim to be on the topic, this TED Talk was eye-opening for me, and inspiring.
Give a listen to the talk that Ashton Applewhite gives on ageism and see what you think. If you have any thoughts to share after watching, feel free to start a discussion by posting your comments below.
Here's the link:
Let's end ageism
Ashton Applewhite on TED Talks
Google is doing their part to help us deal with our collective boredom with their 'Stay and Play at Home' campaign. This means dusting off some of their more popular Google Doodles to entertain us all while we shelter in place.
Google Doodles are modifications of the Google logo that commemorate a certain event or person. Every once in a while these Doodles feature games... which is the highlight of this campaign.
Yesterday, being Cinco de Mayo, Google showcased the Mexican card game Loteria. What's great about this game is that you can play alone, or send the link to a friend to play together!
The link to play Loteria is listed below. Give it a try, then once you get good challenge a friend. Here's the link to play: https://www.google.com/doodles/celebrating-loteria
Here are some of my other favourite Google Doodles:
Share your favourite Google Doodle in the Comments section below.
This one is for all the Apple users out there, we're going to have a bit of fun with Siri.
Siri is your personal assistant on your iPhone, iPad or even on your Mac. Many of us already use it to tell us the weather, or the score of the Leafs game (.. oh right), but Siri can do a lot more for us. Depending on your settings and your device you will access Siri in a slightly different way.
Here's how to activate Siri:
Once you have activated Siri you can explore a bit... here are a few things to ask:
To have some fun with Siri, ask these:
If you are new to Siri or are having a problem accessing it, it may just be your settings, post a comment below and I'll try to help.
Visit the Apple site to learn more about Siri; https://www.apple.com/siri/
For more detailed info on how to set up Siri for iPad visit: support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/ipad/ipad4bce70ef/ipados
For iPhone: support.apple.com/en-za/guide/iphone/iph83aad8922/ios
For your Mac: support.apple.com/en-ca/HT206993
Want to finish off your family tree while you have some time on your hands? Well, the public library has got you covered.
For those who already use the library online (either with OverDrive or Libby) I encourage you to expand beyond just e-books. The library offers many other wonderful resources, now is a great time to dive in, including: audio books, magazines, foreign language books, movies and more.
But for now... and only for a short time, you can access Ancestry.com for free using your library card. If this is interesting to you I encourage you to get on the project asap... like now. We're not sure when the agreement with Ancestry will end, some even may be as soon as April 30 (yes... that's in two days), so log in and get your questions answered now.
To get access to Ancestry you will need your library card and your PIN (usually the last 4 digits of your phone number).
If you don't yet have a library card, don't worry! The library has you covered. You can now get one by applying online. Once you have your card you will be able to access both Ancestry and all of OverDrive as well.
And if you have any questions about OverDrive feel free to post them in the comments section below.
Happy reading (and researching)!
Mississauga Public Library
Burlington Public Library
Toronto Public Library
A podcast is an audio program that you can listen to 'on demand' (meaning any time you'd like) on most internet-connected devices including your smartphone, tablet, computer... you can even ask Alexa to play one for you.
Most people on iPads or iPhones will use the Podcast app to listen to podcasts. If you don't have an app on your phone, tablet or computer to listen to podcasts, you can just go to the show's website and listen there. Below is a list of suggested podcasts to get you started (or to try something new)... and further below the links you will need to get listening.
Here are all the links:
To listen on the website: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/the-journal
To listen on an iPad or iPhone: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-journal/id1469394914
To listen on the website: podcast.sportsnet.ca/31-thoughts/planning-for-the-future/
To listen on an iPad or iPhone: itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/31-thoughts-the-podcast/id1332150124?mt=2
To listen on the website: freakonomics.com/podcast/covid-19-china/
To listen on an iPad or iPhone: itunes.apple.com/podcast/freakonomics-radio/id354668519
To listen on the website: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcasts/the-dose/
To listen on an iPad or iPhone: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-dose/id1498259551
To listen on the website: https://homecooking.show/episodes/1
To listen on an iPad or iPhone: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/bean-there-done-that-with-josh-malina/id1503149669?i=1000469700939
Dolly Parton's America
To listen on the website: www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/dolly-partons-america/episodes/sad-ass-songs
To listen on an iPad or iPhone: podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/sad-ass-songs/id1481398762?i=1000453573056
Many of us are looking back nostalgically on our past travels, how easy it was to hop on a plane and visit far off places. Well, while we might not be doing that yet for some time, we can still marvel at the sights, virtually.
Your iPad and iPhone have a feature in the Map app called Flyover. It allows you a birds eye view of major cities in the world. Give it a try, instructions follow:
1) Type in the name of the city. In this example we will use Rome. Type 'Rome' into the search bar of your Maps app.
2) Tap on the name of the city as it appears in the search results (in our case: 'Rome, Italy').
3) Once the page loads you will see two buttons: 'Directions' and 'Flyover', tap 'Flyover’.
4) Once the page loads you will see a button at the bottom of the page to 'Start City Tour', tap it to begin.
5) To stop the tour tap in the middle of the screen to bring back your menu, then tap the ‘x’, to pause it press 'Pause'.
6) Try it with different cities... many have the Flyover option. Here are some to get you started: New York City, Florence, Paris, Toronto, Copenhagen, Berlin.
For more information on Flyover you can visit the Apple website at:
iPhone instructions: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/iphone/iph81a3f978/ios
iPad instructions: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/ipad/ipad6f5e96f4/ipados
If you're like me you get much of your news online, the thing is, most news outlets make money by 'serving' you ads while you look at the news. I don't blame them, they do have to make their money somehow, but let's face it, these ads can be annoying. Luckily, if you use the Safari browser (on iPad, iPhone or Mac) there is a simple trick to reduce these distractions.
It's called Reader View and here's how to use it...
STEP 1) Open your Safari browser and visit a news page like CBC.ca.
STEP 2) Find an article that you would like to read. Our example below is an article about renewable energy.
STEP 3) Look at the top of the page, to the left of where you would type the website address, you will see AA. Click or tap on this.
STEP 4) A drop down menu will appear. Select "Show Reader View" from the options.
STEP 4) That's it! Now you're in Reader View. Notice how there are no ads or distractions? Isn't this a nicer way to read an article? To get back you can reverse the steps you just did, or click the back button (the left arrow at the top left of the page).
Unfortunately Reader View isn't available for all webpages, the feature will be greyed out if not available. For instance, if you visit the CBC home page (https://www.cbc.ca) you won't get a Reader View option, there are just too many things on the page. But then if you go to a particular news article to read, you should see the option (for instance the article we used as an example is here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/renewable-energy-retrofits-touted-as-job-creating-alternative-to-oil-sector-devastation-1.5537310).
NOTE that your device may launch Reader View in a slightly different way. If what is listed above doesn't work for you then visit the Apple website for more information... links are below:
Many of us use FaceTime regularly to check in with the grand kids or to see far-off friends, but did you know you can connect up to 32 people at one time using Group FaceTime?
It's really easy and such a wonderful way to re-create what we're all missing these days... being surrounded by the ones we love.
In a nutshell, you start a FaceTime call like you normally would, then swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap on +Add a person.
But of course as with everything 'tech', it sounds easier than it actually is, so here's a link with more details: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209022.
Like many other businesses, mine has been impacted as a result of the pandemic. But just because I can't come talk to you all in person doesn't mean the relationship is over! I think it's super important to keep the lines of communication open to support and entertain each other through this tough time. That's what this blog is for... basically it's just a webpage that we can all visit, read and offer our two cents.
So... how do you contribute? Simple. If you read a blog post (like this) and want to respond, just scroll to the bottom of the page and look for REPLY. Fill out the form and you will see your comments added to the conversation. Don't worry, your email address won't be put on the website.
I'll be back soon and often with more.