Monthly Archives: September 2019

Winter safety: Should you be shovelling the snow? – National

WATCH ABOVE: They’re used to snow in Buffalo, N.Y., but no one was prepared for this. More than 1.5 metres of snow has fallen in some places, but there’s still more expected. Jackson Proskow reports on the snow emergency in Buffalo.

TORONTO – If you’re thinking of tackling the snow with a shovel in hand, be careful out there, doctors are warning.

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A new blast of lake-effect snow pounded Buffalo for a third day on Thursday, piling more misery on a city already buried by an epic, deadly snowfall that could leave some areas with nearly 8 feet of snow on the ground when it’s all done.

READ MORE: 8 feet? Buried Buffalo braces for more lake-effect snow

Eight people died in the wake of the snowfall – three incidents were caused by cardiac arrest from shovelling snow, according to The Associated Press.

This is the time of year when emergency rooms fill up with weather-related injuries – throwing out your back while shovelling, wiping out on the ice and fracturing your hand or even overexerting yourself and triggering a heart attack.

Medical experts see wide range of injuries caused by winter weather

On a snowy winter’s day in 2011, Dr. Adrian Baranchuk saw eight people come into hospital suffering from a heart attack after they had shovelled snow.

“Snow shovelling is a combination of things that aren’t good for you,” he said.

He is a cardiologist At Kingston General Hospital and professor at Queen’s University’s School of Medicine.

READ MORE: Storm blamed for 8th death in upstate New York

Snow shovelling is an isometric activity, like weightlifting. It’s intense, compared to lifting hundreds of pounds over the course of an hour.

That causes your blood pressure and heart rate to climb quickly, putting stress on your heart.

Baranchuk points to five factors that increase heart attack risk while shovelling snow:

– It takes place in the morning. Research has also noted that heart attacks are most common in the early part of the day, when hormones and your nervous system are activated.
– It’s anaerobic exercise. It’s high-activity and very strenuous.
– It happens in extreme temperatures. This doesn’t help because your arteries are narrowed by the cold.
– Snow shovellers don’t warm up before they get to work.
– They also don’t take breaks and push themselves to get the job done.

Pair heart health risk with other injuries: sprained ankles and wrists from falling, or hurting your back from slipping on ice.

Scott Allen, a Toronto-based physiotherapist, says his clinic notices a jump in winter weather related incidents.

“It varies, from feeling tension in the body to people literally feeling like they cannot get up for a couple of days,” he said.

IN PHOTOS: Incredible images as historic snowstorm blankets upstate New York

The primary incidents he sees are people fracturing their wrists after taking a fall. Then there are people with lower back and shoulder pain from shovelling snow.

Allen’s job is to help deal with back spasms, alignment issues and assess the underlying pain from back injuries.

Should you be shovelling snow in the winter?

This isn’t new to the medical community that has looked at the link between snowy conditions, health and accidents.

Anyone with underlying heart problems shouldn’t be shovelling snow.

Baranchuk’s research at Queen’s University looked at hospital records to see if wintertime patients had higher incidence of heart problems because of shovelling snow.

The scientists suggested that the notion that shovelling snow causes heart attacks is an urban legend. After they looked up 500 patients who came to the hospital with heart problems over two winters, results showed that seven per cent started feeling symptoms while shovelling snow.

“That is a huge number,” Baranchuk said.

“Seven per cent of anything in medicine is a significant proportion,” he said, noting that they also had to take into account some patients who did not mention that they were shovelling snow.

“That number could easily double,” he said.

Meanwhile, a 2009 study by the New England Journal of Medicine study pointed to 11,500 individuals treated for snow shovel-related emergencies.

Sprains and strains made up 55 per cent of diagnoses in this cohort, meanwhile cardiac related incidents made up 6.7 per cent.

How should you safely shovel snow?

Take a look at tips from the Ontario Chiropractic Association’s Lift Light, Shovel Right education campaign.

Don’t let the snow pile up. Keep your eyes on the weather reports to find out if there will be several days of snow. Frequent shovelling allows you to move smaller amounts of snow at once.
• Pick the right shovel. All shovels are not necessarily the same. Use a lightweight pusher-type of shovel to help protect your back.
• Push, don’t throw. Pushing snow to the side is easier on your muscles. Avoid lifting heavy amounts of snow and sudden twisting movements.
• Bend your knees. Using your knees, legs and arm muscles to do the heavy lifting while keeping your back straight.
• Warm up. Shovelling can be a strenuous activity, so take the time to warm up your muscles with some overall conditioning like walking followed by some stretches.
• Take a break. Listen to your body and stop to take a rest if you feel tired or short of breath. Stop shovelling immediately if you feel chest pain or back pain.

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Graco stroller and travel systems recalled

WATCH: Elliot Kaye, the Chairman of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, was in Ottawa Thursday to discuss the safety of children’s products. Kaye addressed the Graco baby stroller recall.

TORONTO – Health Canada has announced the recall of a brand of baby strollers because a folding hinge on the products poses a risk to children’s fingers.

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  • Deaths of 4 infants prompt Graco recall of 2 million strollers

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The department says while there have been no reports of injuries in Canada, several children in the United States have lost fingertips or parts of a finger.

The recalled strollers are made by a company called Graco Children’s Products Inc.; the recall affects eight models of Graco strollers and travel systems.

All the affected models are single-occupant strollers with a spring-loaded fold lock on the side and a one-hand fold release mechanism on the handle.

The recall relates to the Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Literider, Sierra and Sterling models and covers products sold in Canada from August 2000 to November 2014.

Owners should contact the company immediately for a free repair kit, which will be available at the beginning of December.

They can be ordered by phone at 1-800-667-8184 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

Owners of Graco strollers can find model numbers and the date of manufacture on a label located on the stroller’s tubing frame.

“While waiting for a repair kit, caregivers should exercise extreme care when unfolding the stroller to be certain that the hinges are firmly locked before placing a child in the stroller,” Health Canada said.

“Caregivers are advised to immediately remove the child from a stroller that begins to fold to keep their fingers from the side hinge area.”

It is estimated that over 200,000 of the strollers have been purchased in Canada.

The recall is undertaken jointly by Health Canada, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Mexico’s Consumer Protection Federal Agency and Graco Children’s Products Inc.

A list of the affected models and model numbers as well as images of the recalled strollers can be found on the Health Canada website.


Embrace the beard: Global popularity of facial hair on the rise – National

WARSAW, Poland – Jakub Marczewski grew a beard six years ago because he was too lazy to shave. Now he finds himself in the middle of a global trend.

The 21-year-old got his hair and beard trimmed at a new shop with a hip retro vibe, the Barberian Academy & Barber Shop, which opened in Warsaw last month to serve the growing number of Polish men with facial hair. A revival in the culture of barbering in this Eastern European capital is just one sign of how popular beards have become, with actors, athletes and hipsters leading the way.

Metrosexuals be gone: Europe is agog for beards.

“Worldwide, we are at the height of facial hair,” said Allan Peterkin, a Toronto psychiatrist and author of One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair.

“It’s a delightful expression of masculinity, but not a super-macho expression.”


Rob Kim/Getty Images

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After World War II, men were mostly clean-shaven, reflecting a military ethos that came to dominate corporate life, Peterkin said. Over the next decades facial hair was adopted by outcast groups like beatniks and hippies. Since the mid-1990s, it has been slowly spreading to the point that now the mountain man beard is all the rage across North America.

The 2008 financial crisis added to the beard momentum, with some men who lost their jobs ditching the conformist look as they reinvented themselves.

“To grow a beard is to start a new life and to have more confidence in yourself. You look a little older, so people have more respect,” said Salvador Chanza, a 31-year-old master barber from Spain who trains professionals. Sporting both a handlebar moustache and a substantial beard, he said the embrace of facial hair reflected a rejection of the previous clean-shaven metrosexual ethos.

Masculine, not macho, right?

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Now facial hair is hugely popular across Western Europe, especially in fashion-conscious Paris. And across the globe, it’s the month of “Movember” – when men are encouraged to grow a moustache to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.

Piotr Zuchowski, manager of the Warsaw shop, said barbering is reviving after vanishing during Poland’s communist era. Although democracy leader Lech Walesa sported an impressive walrus moustache, most communist-era workers were clean-shaven.

Peterkin said the popularity of facial hair has always been cyclical.

“When something once edgy becomes so commonplace, like tattoos, it loses its edge,” he said. “If every guy across generations is doing it, then there is going to be a shift back to clean shaven-ness.”

©2014The Associated Press

Recipe: Joey – BBQ Salmon Rice Bowl – Toronto

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Salmon Marinade Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil1/3 cup soy sauce1/3 cup brown sugar1/4 cup water3 garlic cloves finely choppedPinch of salt and pepperFor those who like some spice pinch cayenne or red pepper flakes

Salmon Rice Bowl Ingredients:

4 fillets of salmon (1 per person)1 bag of fresh snap peas from local market, cut into bite size pieces1 cup of mushrooms sliced, halved1 cup of edamame, shelled3 carrots, sliced into bite sizes pieces3 red peppers cut into bite size pieces4 oz. of daikon julienned1 oz. of daikon sprouts2 cups of white or brown rice (personal preference)4 cups of water4 tbsp. Vegetable oil4 tsp. black and white sesame seeds


    In a large bowl place all your salmon marinade ingredients.Place salmon fillets in and coat, cover and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes minimum.While salmon is marinating measure out rice in a jug.Wash and rinse rice until water is clear.Place in saucepan or rice cooker and add the 4 cups of water, stir once.Cook on low heat until water is absorbed, fluff with fork.While rice is cooking, heat fry pan and add 2 tbsp. vegetable oil over medium heat, and griddle pan with 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil over medium heat.Add mushrooms, carrots, snap peas, edamame, peppers to frying pan and  let it cook for 10 minutes.Add salmon skillets to griddle pan and cook on both sides for 5 minutes.Lift salmon into vegetable pan, adding extra marinade sauce to coat vegetables.Separate rice into four bowls, add vegetables and set salmon to side of bowl.Add julienned daikon, and daikon sprouts to top for presentation.Sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds and serve.

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In a connected world, cookbooks remain steadfastly old school

A few years ago, Ken Hagemann was drawn to what he thought was the future of cookbooks. Lured by the ease and searchability promised by e-books and apps, he purged most of his old school volumes.

But instead of a digital culinary epiphany, he found only disappointment.

“You can’t get the spirit and the intent of the author,” says the 46-year-old systems analyst and avid cook from Arlington, Virginia. “You can get 100 recipes that cover the Italian regions, but that doesn’t make it an Italian cookbook. It’s the person writing it who gives it the thread all the way through.”

He’s hardly alone. While books across categories have surged into digital, cookbooks generally have lagged well behind.

The Great Lobster Cookbook by Matt Dean Pettit, chef and owner of Rock Lobster Food Co.

Random House

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While as many as 50 per cent of fiction and non-fiction readers say they prefer e-books, according to research by the Book Industry Study Group roughly 60 per cent of cookbook readers cling to print, despite its obvious drawbacks. Print cookbooks are big. They’re expensive. They can’t be searched, except by using that Rosetta stone called an “index” at the back of the book.

And in times when an extra bundle of parsley or a farmers market tryst with pawpaws sends us to the computer in search of a recipe, the devotion to paper seems counterintuitive. Publishing industry executives and observers say the tactile and emotional experience of cookbooks, coupled with the generally superior delivery of print over digital, have conspired to keep “p-books” on top of the country’s bookshelves.

“While other books are being bought digitally and for less money to the publisher, cookbooks are still selling at their hard cover rate,” says Mark Rotella, a senior editor at Publishers Weekly. “They’re still selling strong. There’s such a huge interest in food and restaurants and food writing. People are just buying more of them.”

Physical books offer a tactile and sensual experience, says cookbook editor Rux Martin, who runs her own imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In fact, Martin says, the print-digital divide has “amped up the artistic quotient” for cookbooks, inspiring publishers to add more colour, design and other flourishes that make the print editions even more lush.

“This is now practically the only frontier where books are still books,” she says. “Who would choose functionality over beauty? Digital is strictly functional.”

The cover of “J.K.: The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook” by Chef Jamie Kennedy.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/ho-HarperCollinsCanadaLtd

And part of the issue is that digital cookbooks are not yet functional enough. Very often, they are little more than PDF versions of the print book they represent. While many digital cookbooks allow users to create shopping lists for recipes and to look up dishes on the fly at the supermarket or farm stand, they rarely if ever allow cooks to make notes in the margin and to do other things a cook might do in print.

E-books also do not have the gift-giving cache possessed by big, photo-filled cookbooks. And they’re presented on devices – tablets, phones, computers – that don’t always adapt particularly well to the splash and splatter of the kitchen environment.

“It’s difficult to reproduce the reading experience of a cookbook on an iPad,” says Scott Shannon, senior vice-president and publisher of digital content for Random House Group. “We spend a ton of time making sure it’s the best experience on every device that it can be. But the e-book production process is where the Web was a decade ago. It’s definitely improving. Our accounts are spending a tremendous amount of time on it. But we’re not there yet.”

The current limitations of digital haven’t stopped some forward thinking publishers. Alta Editions, a New York-based independent publisher, produces digital cookbooks exclusively. The company expects to release its fourth book in January. Alta publisher and chief executive officer Chris McBride – who has a large collection of print cookbooks – says Alta is trying to combine the esthetics of print books with the ease of digital.

“One of the things we are excited about is the story telling and the narrative associated with cookbooks,” says McBride, adding that Alta is working to allow users to take notes in the margins of their e-books. “We pay more attention to the esthetics, to making them more beautiful. We’ve invested heavily in photography and have produced some video.”

But the larger plan, McBride says, is to create a library of digital cookbooks, one that can be searched as easily as we currently search free recipe databases. McBride says that in early 2015, Alta expects to launch an online library of roughly 100 cookbook titles, a number that will grow into the thousands. He envisions a subscription-based service offering unlimited access.

“The whole notion of Alta Editions is if you made a whole library available to people and made it as convenient as Google or web search, people would use that,” he says. “It would be a sad world to me and to a lot of people if cookbooks went away and all that was left were 12,000 chicken recipes on a database. The stories of the food and the people and the culture are critical for people to appreciate the food they eat.”

©2014The Associated Press