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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Ambiguity in the housing market, buying intentions fall

If it weren’t for one remarkable statistic, the results of the latest RBC poll of Canadians’ home buying intentions wouldn’t be very noteworthy. The number of Canadians who express the intention of buying a home within the next two years has dropped to the lowest ever: just 15 per cent said that they would buy in that time. Of those who do intend to buy, 40 per cent will be doing so for the first time, a fact that RBC sees as a “bright spot” in the picture. But exactly why there has been such a drop in intentions to buy overall is not so clear. It’s not that Canadians ... Read More »

NASA-designed air purifier now available for home use

It’s one of those cases of a technology created to solve one problem turning out to be really good at solving another one. NASA created a device to remove ethylene from the air of the space station back in the nineties. The device worked very well, and its air purification technology is now used in the food industry and in the flower industry: removal of ethylene from the air slows the ripening and spoilage of foods and plants. Then they discovered that the same technology, called Airocide, was 100 per cent effective in destroying volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These are any of the chemicals emitted by a whole range ... Read More »

Video games are serious business in Ontario

Who plays video games? If you say “kids” or “high schoolers” or “twenty-somethings who haven’t found a job,” you are only partly correct, according to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESA). Their statistics show that the average gamer is 31 years old. Males outnumber females, but not by much: 54 per cent to 46 per cent. According to their 2012 statistics, 58 per cent of all Canadians are gamers, and 61 per cent of all Canadian households own a game console. Virtually every household (95 per cent) has a cell phone, tablet, mobile device or computer. More and more gamers are using their handheld devices, and fewer are using ... Read More »

Budget money for Massey Hall expansion is good news

As always happens when a government brings down a budget, some are pleased with the contents (the ones who get what they wanted) and others are not (“There’s nothing in this budget for X”). So it is with yesterday’s effort from Jim Flaherty, which the government—make that “the Harper government”—prefers to call an “economic action plan.” We’ll just stick with government budget. The city of Toronto will be eligible to apply for some of the infrastructure money being made available in a $53-billion fund, over ten years. That’s not a lot of money when you consider it’s for every municipality in the country, but the mayor of Toronto said the ... Read More »

Three must-have plants to keep your home’s air fresh

Maybe it’s spring, maybe not so much. Maybe this weekend would be a good time to bring something green into the home, just to further the illusion that spring is imminent. If that idea strikes your fancy, here are three plants you should consider for three compelling reasons. They are easy to care for. They are pleasing to look at. And they are good for you. Good for the air you breathe, to be more accurate. Each of these plants is endorsed by no less than India’s renowned environmentalist/visionary, Kamal Meattle, who has demonstrated their effectiveness at cleansing interior air in a model commercial building in New Delhi, India. Meattle ... Read More »

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