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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 239: Joel Goldberg

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 239In this 239th episode, Mike chats with Joel Goldberg a.k.a. J Gold about Something Else on CFMT, producing Toronto Rocks, creating Electric Circus and MushMusic, winning awards for directing Maestro Fresh-Wes videos and what it's like working for Moses Znaimer. This episode is exactly 1:37:35.

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Chance the Rapper at Budweiser Stage

Here's a fun fact that gets less fun the more you think about it. Last night, I attended the very first concert at Budweiser Stage. That's pretty cool until you realize it's the same ol' amphitheatre you've been to dozens of time with fresh paint and a new name.

Chance the Rapper

I was there with my oldest daughter to see Chance the Rapper. The last time I took her to a show, it was Selena Gomez, and the crowd was so young there were plenty of parental units in the crowd. This time, it was 99% high school and university students and I was the unicorn. For fun, we tried to find another person on the lawns who looked like they were over the age of 30. We struck out.

Chance the Rapper

My oldest two kids have been playing Chance the Rapper around the house for years, but it wasn't until last night that I realized how many of his songs I knew. It was fantastic with the most positive vibe I've ever experienced at a concert. When the skies really opened up around 10:45pm and the lightning became more frequent we were played out with Blessings 2 and Michelle and I bolted for the bikes.

As we biked west on an empty Martin Goodman Trail, soaking wet and full of song, it was the absolute best feeling. What an amazing night.

Blessings, indeed.

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We Should Have Seen Xavier Morgan's Death Coming #biketo

I've been thinking a lot about Xavier Morgan, the five-year-old who died while cycling the Martin Goodman Trail last week. When I was a kid, I cycled the Martin Goodman Trail, and I still do so today. In fact, I literally biked it today as I wanted to visit the spot where Xavier Morgan veered off the trail into eastbound traffic on Lake Shore Boulevard.

I've ridden this exact stretch with my older two children countless times, and never once was I concerned for their safety. After all, there are no cars on the Martin Goodman Trail. Your biggest concern is they'll be hit by other cyclists or ride into pedestrians. I never once considered the possibility they could end up on Lake Shore while riding west.

Here's a couple of photos I took today. Between the trail and boulevard there is only a foot or so of brick and concrete. There is absolutely no barrier, nothing to slow down or stop a child should they veer off course.

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And tragically, that's exactly what happened Wednesday. While cycling downhill, a child lost control and ended up on Lake Shore where it was too late for an eastbound driver to stop. In hindsight, such an accident seems inevitable.

A physical barrier is needed lest this happen again. The Martin Goodman Trail is incredibly popular with cyclists of all ages but far too close to the busy road on this particular downhill stretch.

I'm just sorry a child had to die to make this so damn obvious.

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Humber's Historic Tunnel Tours - Doors Open Toronto

The southern campus of Humber College is where the old Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital stood before it shut down in 1979. Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital was its final name but it had several other names between its opening in 1889 and closing in 1979. Here's the full list:

  • Mimico Branch Asylum
  • Mimico Insane Asylum
  • Mimico Hospital for the Insane
  • Ontario Hospital, Mimico
  • Ontario Hospital, New Toronto
  • Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital

Today, as part of Doors Open Toronto, I took a tour of the old tunnels that linked up the cottages. In addition to learning the fascinating history of the hospital, there were glimpses of the original architecture and brickwork.

Here are some pics I took of the historic tunnels.

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Fun fact: part of Suicide Squad was filmed in this tunnel!

killer-croc

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Gregg Allman, Dead at 69

Gregg AllmanGregg Allman was 69. He was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band who had such hits as "Melissa," "Blue Sky" and "Ramblin' Man."

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Exhibition Stadium Bases Memorialized at Exhibition Place

I loved going to Blue Jays games at Exhibition Stadium. Some called it the mistake by the lake, but to me it was where my Jays played and that was everything. George, Damaso, Ernie, Jesse, Lloyd, Dave, Alfredo, Tony, Willie, Rance... so many memories.

At the precise spots where the bases used to be, they've put cement markers. I think this is very cool. Even though it's a parking lot now, it's neat being able to see where our Blue Jays played before the dome.

I biked over today to snap some pictures and step on home plate.

Me touching home plate

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1st Base

2nd Base

3rd Base

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Canadian Songs to Reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Hits 48

I'm old enough to remember when a Canadian topping the Billboard Hot 100 was a rare occurrence. Now, with Drake and The Weeknd and Justin Bieber, it happens fairly often. And it's happening right now.

Here's the complete list of 48 Canadian songs to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  1. It's Love-Love-Love by Guy Lombardo
  2. Cry by Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads
  3. Sh-Boom by The Crew-Cuts
  4. Diana by Paul Anka
  5. Lonely Boy by Paul Anka
  6. Theme from A Summer Place by Percy Faith
  7. Ringo by Lorne Greene
  8. American Woman / No Sugar Tonight by The Guess Who
  9. Heart of Gold by Neil Young
  10. Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks
  11. Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot
  12. (You're) Having My Baby by Paul Anka and Odia Coates
  13. Rock Me Gently by Andy Kim
  14. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  15. Hot Child In The City by Nick Gilder
  16. You Needed Me by Anne Murray
  17. Heaven by Bryan Adams
  18. When I'm With You by Sheriff
  19. Black Velvet by Alannah Myles
  20. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You by Bryan Adams
  21. Informer by Snow
  22. All for Love by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
  23. The Power of Love by Céline Dion
  24. Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? by Bryan Adams
  25. Because You Loved Me by Céline Dion
  26. My Heart Will Go On by Céline Dion
  27. One Week by Barenaked Ladies
  28. I'm Your Angel by R. Kelly and Céline Dion
  29. How You Remind Me by Nickelback
  30. Bad Day by Daniel Powter
  31. Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
  32. Say It Right by Nelly Furtado
  33. Give It to Me by Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake
  34. Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
  35. What's My Name? by Rihanna featuring Drake
  36. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
  37. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell
  38. Rude by MAGIC!
  39. Can't Feel My Face by The Weeknd
  40. What Do You Mean? by Justin Bieber
  41. The Hills by The Weeknd
  42. Sorry by Justin Bieber
  43. Love Yourself by Justin Bieber
  44. Work by Rihanna Featuring Drake
  45. One Dance by Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla
  46. Starboy by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk
  47. I'm the One by DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne
  48. Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 238: Richard Syrett

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 238In this 238th episode, Mike chats with Richard Syrett about The Conspiracy Show, Coast to Coast AM and various conspiracy theories from JFK to 9/11. This episode is exactly 1:24:24.

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Teams That Have Not Made a Stanley Cup Final Since 1967 Shrinks to 5

Somehow, against all odds, the Nashville Predators have made the Stanley Cup Finals. They were the 16th seed, and I had them going out in the first round. I was so confident in that, I drafted many Chicago Blackhawks in my annual playoff pool.

Leafs fans will take some delight in the fact P. K. Subban might win a cup the season after being traded by Montreal, but Nashville making their first finals simply magnifies the Leafs drought. Not the championship drought, but the fact we haven't even played in a finals since 1967.

Below are the active teams who haven't played in a Stanley Cup final since 1967. One of these teams is not like the others.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Winnipeg Jets
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Phoenix Coyotes

But it's coming... you know it and I know it.

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Roger Moore, Dead at 89

Roger MooreRoger Moore was 89. He was the actor best known for playing James Bond in seven films, including Live and Let Die and the Spy Who Loved Me.

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Q107's Birth was 40 Years Ago Today

Q107 is 40 years old today. The station signed on with Deodato's "Also sprach Zarathustra" back on May 22, 1977 and the first song played was "Hard Rock Town" by Murray McLauchlan. The first voice you heard belonged to John Rode.

A tweet by @arc185 led me to this page that has a soundcheck of Q107's debut, but I didn't like the dead air at the beginning, so I edited the audio and am pleased to share it with you here.

Just before grunge broke in the early 90s (thereby keeping me tuned to CFNY 102.1 constantly to hear as much Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden as possible), I would try not to miss Q107's Top Ten at Ten. That's where I discovered Guns N' Roses and The Tragically Hip, after all.

Happy 40th to the Mighty Q!

--

Q107 personalities who have appeared on Toronto Mike'd:

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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The Toronto Mike'd Studio: A Video Tour

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Chris Cornell, Dead at 52

Chris CornellChris Cornell was 52. He was best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Soundgarden and as lead vocalist and songwriter for Audioslave.

This one hits me square in my youth. I had a Badmotorfinger poster hanging in my bedroom as a teen. I just searched this blog for the term 'cornell' and see I've been writing about him for 15 years.

As I glance at those old entries, it's clear I always deemed him the best vocalist of the grungers. I may have been a bigger fan of Pearl Jam, but Nirvana and Soundgarden were right there on Mount Rushmore. Here's a few copy and pastes from yesteryear.

  • "Of all the great grunge rockers I've enjoyed through the years, nobody can touch the voice of Chris Cornell."
  • "Some great rock voices emerged from Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s. Kurt Cobain had that wicked scream and Ed Vedder had that definitive angsty croon but Chris Cornell had that impossible range. He was the best of the bunch and "Jesus Christ Pose" is that song I first skip to when I'm craving some Soundgarden."
  • "When I first read that the members of Rage Against the Machine were forming a group with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, it was music to my ears. I'm a huge fan of both Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden, and Audioslave didn't disappoint."

From Soundgarden to Hunger Strike to Audioslave and his haunting and exceptional solo covers of "Nothing Compares 2 U", "Billie Jean" and more, there was no other voice like his, and I'm going to miss hearing new music from the man.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 237: Liana K and Steven Kerzner

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 237In this 237th episode, Mike chats with Liana K and Steven Kerzner about Live from Canada – it's Ed the Sock!, Liana's Lady Bits, Gamergate, what went wrong at MuchMusic, the Hard Rock Cafe closing and why Canada prefers to eat her own. This episode is exactly 1:40:00.

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Biko App Test Drive in Toronto

There's a new app for cyclists in Toronto, and it's called Biko. I installed the Biko App on my Android phone last week and have been using it to record my rides.

The key benefit of Biko is the digital reward points you collect for each kilometre you ride. These points are called "Bikos" and they can be exchanged for goods and services. New businesses are joining all the time and after a few rides I already qualified for ten free cold brews from Jimmy's Coffee, a free six pack of beer from Amsterdam Brewing or $40 off a tune up at Urbane Cyclist.

In addition to collecting Bikos, which is a whole lot of fun, the app measures your average speed, carbon emissions saved, and calories burned while recommending safe paths to ride. It couldn't be easier to use.

This valuable data on urban biking behaviour is shared with city planners looking to increase bike lanes and facilitate safe cycling. This cyclist thinks that's awesome.

For those interested in getting the Biko app, you can visit your phone’s app store or visit Bikoapp.com.

Here's my current home screen after my first four rides.

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Here's my current list of my rides.

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Details of each ride are easily accessible.

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And redeeming your Bikos is fun and easy.

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Redemption Song

Bob Marley released Redemption Song in late 1980, mere months before his death. It's a powerful song that always struck a chord with me. "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery" is Marley making Marcus Garvey's words immortal.

I love the song, but my go-to version isn't Marley, it's Joe Strummer. Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros recorded Redemption Song just prior to Strummer's death and it was released posthumously. Here it is, if you've never heard it.

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Look Fast: Twelve Touristy Hours in Toronto

What to do, what to do?  What to do if you have only the waking hours of a day to spend visiting top attractions in Toronto?  Say 12 hours to be precise.  You’ve come to the right place as the following itinerary offers stops at favorite Toronto destinations and is totally achievable in a day.  As a rough guide, figure you’ll spend two hours at each of the five locations and still have two hours to account for travel time and maybe a bite to eat. 

As the fourth largest metropolitan in North America and a thriving cultural hub, Toronto offers an interest for everyone.  In fact, The probability of not finding something to love about Toronto is about as likely as getting two royal flushes in a row in poker.  That’s one in 42 trillion to be exact.

Of course, no whirlwind trip around Toronto’s must see attractions is complete without a voyage up the CN Tower.  Dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and stretching for 553 sky scratching metres, the CN Tower held the distinction for 34 years of being the world’s tallest freestanding structure (it’s currently number six).   

But don’t just enjoy this marvel from the ground.  For those who like their heights in moderation, portions of the main observation pod are open for public visitation at 342 m high.  The more adventurous are encouraged to journey up another 33 storeys to an observation point aptly named SkyPod at 447 m high.  The ultimate thrill seekers will want to check out EdgeWalk, a 360 degree hands-free, open air walk above the main pod at 356 m high.  Walkers are secured by an overhead tether system, but are free to lean off the ledge into the thin blue mist.

You may want to relax and enjoy nature or easy-going amusement after an exhilarating ascent up the CN Tower, and there’s no better place than the Toronto Islands.  Head down 1.4 km to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal on Bay Street and catch the quick 15 minute ferry ride out to the only groups of islands in Lake Ontario.

You can stroll about or eat lunch in picturesque Hanlan Park while appreciating its cityscape and lake views.  One little caveat should be mentioned here: depending on your tastes in scenery, you may want to just keep your eyes closed as the park has been clothing optional since 2002!

Centerville Island provides a more family friendly turf in the form of the Centreville Amusement Park, which is open daily during the summer months.  Timeless rides such as Ferris wheel, scrambler, carousel, and log flume are sure to have you feeling like a kid again. 

Following your choice of leisure activities on the Toronto Islands, it’s time to pay homage to arguably Canada’s greatest export to the world at large, ice hockey (it’s okay if you were thinking Drake).  The Hockey Hall of Fame on Yonge Street boasts a museum rich with memorabilia including the original Stanley Cup trophy from 1892.  There’s plenty of awesome high sticking and puck slapping memories to explore across the Hall’s expanse of 5,600 m2 and 15 exhibits.

Actual hockey players who are doubling as visitors will especially love the interactive NHLPA Be a Player Zone.  Here you can get hands-on by taking shots at a simulated goalie or play the netminder yourself and face puck blasts from computer renderings of all time greats like Wayne Gretzky. 

It’s likely late afternoon by now, and the perfect time for more outdoor recreation.  Take Gardiner Expressway west along the waterfront to High Park, Toronto’s largest park and premier greenspace.  Over 160 hectares of pristine gardens, art installations, untouched savannah, sporting facilities, and even a zoo await the eager park-goer. 

The jewel of High Park is Grenadier Pond, a 14 hectare waterbody on the park’s eastern side with a diverse population of marsh wildlife and birds.  If you’re visiting between the spring and fall, be on the lookout for the tractor tour towing red and white wagons passing by. 

Once dusk sets in, there’s no better place to take in the hustle and bustle of Toronto’s fast paced city life than Dundas Square, a huge public intersection aglow with cartoonishly huge digital billboards, bright lights, and loads of commerce.  Think Times Square in New York City or London’s Piccadilly Circus.  The slickest way to get there is to simply hop the subway on Line 1 Younge-University and exit at the Dundas station

Constructed between 1998-2002, Dundas Square is a relatively new fixture as city landmarks go.  Enjoy a stroll through the ten pairs of fountains that dot the square’s central walkway.  Don’t be afraid to get wet, either; these fountains were designed for public water play and have a special filtration system that ensures the water is kept cleaner than pool water.

There you have it.  These 12 action packed hours touring Toronto’s finest attractions will undoubtedly have you planning a return visit to the city as soon as you arrive back home.

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Toronto Mike'd is Now a PR-free Zone

I've recorded 236 episodes of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. Once a guest has agreed to visit me, we agree on a day and time to record. Every single time I've dealt directly with the guest, this has gone smoothly. Almost every single time I've dealt with the PR Rep instead of the guest, it's been disastrous.

I'm not referring to times my guest has had to clear their appearance with their organization's PR department. Every guest I've had from the CBC, for example, has had to do this and they've all been approved without an issue. I'm talking about the few instances I've only corresponded with a PR Rep.

The first time was when I had Ash from USS over. I arranged his visit with Ash's PR Rep. Typically, I like 60-90 minutes with a guest, but Ash's PR Rep told me I had precisely 30 minutes. Ash (and his PR Rep) did show up and we had a great 30 minutes. I actually stole an extra four minutes, but let's keep that between you and me.

It's been all downhill since then. When Christopher Ward was promoting his book about MuchMusic, I dealt with PR for the book to arrange his visit. I did my homework, loaded up my sound clips and prepared for Christopher's visit. It never happened as his PR Representative cancelled at the last minute because they "couldn't fit it in".

It was the first time a scheduled guest had cancelled. It ticked me off because I schedule my busy life around these visits and was essentially blown off for something bigger. To Christopher's credit, he heard of my disappointment on Twitter, pled ignorance and agreed to do a full episode with me via Skype. We left the PR company out of that one.

Then, there's what happened to me last last week. I had been dealing with Hugh Dillon's PR Rep about his appearance next week. Everything was set up when I received an email telling me I only had 30 minutes with Hugh. I phoned the PR Rep and pleaded for 45 minutes. She agreed. Then, I said "you're not going to blow me off for something bigger, are you?" She laughed and promised me she and Hugh would see me Wednesday.

The very next day, I received the email below. If you're not fluent in corporate speak, something bigger came along and the independent broadcaster in his basement studio got shafted. I won't hold my breath waiting for the "circle back".

hugh-dillon

I'm all but certain Hugh Dillon is ignorant to all of this, and I don't blame him personally. In fact, everything I've heard about the man suggests he's a great guy, and I was really looking forward to our conversation. After all, I'm a fan.

What I've learned from all of this is that my podcast never feels more like a job than when I'm dealing with PR Reps, and I can no longer trust a guest will actually show up when I haven't spoken to him or her directly. As a result, I will no longer play this game. If I haven't corresponded directly with the guest, I'm not scheduling the guest. Toronto Mike'd is now a PR-free zone.

This decision may cost me some big name guests, but it will help me keep my sanity and save me from aggravation. When you're an independent podcaster broadcasting from his basement, you know where you stand with these people.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Some fascinating facts on Bitcoin!

Bitcoin has been around for less than a decade but it is already changing the way we look at traditional money. Taking away our reliance on centralised authorities controlling the worth of our money, it creates a new world of anonymity, security, and digital innovation. In today’s world, Bitcoin can be used for everything from charitable donations, to online shopping, to Bitcoin sports betting! But how much do you really know about this phenomenon? Read on to find out some amazing facts about Bitcoin!

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  1. Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto (which is a pseudonym of the creator’s name) in 2008. To this day, no one knows the true identity of its inventor and it is the subject of much deliberation and speculation.
  2. On average, there are 3,600 Bitcoins mined every single day.
  3. The first Bitcoin transaction was of 100 BTC and was between Satoshi and Hal Finney on the 12th January 2009.
  4. The creator has said that the last Bitcoins will be mined in 2140 as the maximum number of Bitcoins that can ever exist is 21 million.
  5. Each Bitcoin has a detailed digital history which means it is very difficult to fake.
  6. There are 31,000 lines of computer code that go into Bitcoin.
  7. In 2013, a Brit names James Howells accidentally threw away a hard drive with £4.6m worth of Bitcoin stored on it. It was never retrieved.
  8. Norweigan, Kristoffer Koch bought some Bitcoins for $17 and then forgot about it. When he remembered, he had bought it, it was worth $827,750.
  9. Vancouver is home to the world’s first Bitcoin cash machine!
  10. Thailand became the first country in the world to outlaw Bitcoin, in 2013.
  11. $7 is the least a Bitcoin has ever been worth and the most is $1250 which it reached in November 2013.
  12. Lamborghini became the first car manufacturers to accept Bitcoin in exchange for cars.
  13. In Holland, you can buy pizza using Bitcoin!
  14. In 2012, a convenience store in Manchester started accepting Bitcoin.
  15. You can also use Bitcoin to travel into space with Virgin Galactic.
  16. Dating website OKCupid also accepts Bitcoins as payment for its services!
  17. One of the most important factors about Bitcoin is that you cannot reverse a transaction, nor can you be forced to pay. This makes is more secure than more conventional ways of paying.
  18. If you lose your Bitcoin, you can never get them back! Whether you keep them on a hard drive, or in a digital wallet, once that device is lost or crashes, your Bitcoin are gone forever!

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So, there is a roundup of lots of interesting facts and figures to do with Bitcoin. Now we hope that you feel you are armed with the knowledge to make a decision as whether or not to have a dabble in the world of digital cryptocurrencies!

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The Raptors Riddle

Where do we go from here?

It's a valid question, and a rather polarizing one for Raptor fans. I've personally gone back and forth on this one since the Raptors were swept away by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

For the second year in a row, the Raptors lost in the playoffs to LeBron and his Cavs. There's no doubt we're not good enough to beat them. Heck, except for game four, it wasn't even a contest. At least we won a couple of games against Cleveland last season.

Now the question is whether Masai Ujiri tears it down and rebuilds or works this summer to improve the team. On Sunday night, I wanted the tear down, but today I'm leaning towards remaining a great and entertaining regular season team that wins a round or two before losing to LeBron James.

What would you do? What should Masai do?

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A Canadian Expat's Guide to Feeling at Home in London

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London is a great city to move to, whether it is for a job or to further your studies. London is lively and has all the amenities you need to have fun. There are plenty of great restaurants to explore, fantastic coffee shops from which you can get work done, and of course a lot of museums and galleries to visit.
Even so, it is still very common for Canadians moving to London to feel homesick and miss their hometowns a little. Worry not, because we are going to discuss some of the things you can do to feel more at home in London. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Join a Facebook Group

One of the best ways to feel at home is to connect with other Canadians in the city. Fortunately, there is a Facebook group you can join called Canadians in London. Not only will you be able to meet fellow Canadians in the capital city, but you can also get a lot of information from the page.
For example, you can learn the best restaurants to try or grocery stores to visit if you miss the usual cuisines you have back in Canada. There are no Tim Hortons in the UK, but other group members can point you to coffee shops that are similar.
You can share your experiences and ask questions. Before long, you'll be helping those who are moving to London adapt just like you did.

Hockey Night

Nothing makes me miss Canada more than the Saturday night tune playing on CBC. Even if you're not a hockey fan, hockey night is still part of the Canadian way of life. It used to be difficult to get access to hockey matches, but now you can easily have your own game night at home thanks to streaming TV and satellite services.
You can even choose to watch hockey games as well as engage in some wagers to make the whole experience more fun. Online bookmakers are easy to find in the UK, so you will have no trouble placing bets on your favorite hockey teams.

Bagel and Cream Cheese

We’re back at Tim Hortons again. A bagel and cream cheese is the perfect combination when it comes to enjoying a taste of home. The Beigel Bake at Brick Lane, the Beigel Shop not too far from it, and Brill near Exmouth Market are the places you need to try.
The latter is a coffee shop with good coffee and delicious toasted bagels you need to taste. If you miss home that badly, you can also order a cup of black coffee with double cream and double sugar for a hit of Double Double.

Go on Road Trips

You can’t expect to explore natural beauty in London, but there are great places to visit near the city. Don’t expect to find anything like the Banff Mountains or Lake Louise, but a short road trip over the weekend to Primrose Hill or a bike tour around London’s Royal Parks will help you miss home just a little bit less.
You can also enjoy a day at the park for a more relaxing weekend. Regent's Park and Hyde Park are especially beautiful in the summer. You can just sit down and read a book or play some games on your phone; click to investigate Canadian games you can try on your next day out in the park. Alternatively, do what I do and take the time to visit some of the most remarkable museums in the city or the many live music street shows that this amazing city has to offer. If you love history and art, these places are remarkable.

Join Canadian Gaming Websites

Finally, sometimes you just want to speak to people from your home country.  If there are no Canadians located close to you in London, you can easily do this online.  Aside from speaking to friends and family over Skype and Facebook messenger, I love playing on online Canadian casino websites.  Here I can play poker, roulette, and other games while chatting with fellow Canadians.  You can find one great option straight from the source and it’s really easy to get started.

These are some of the things you can do to feel at home in London. There will still be a lot of things you miss from Canada, but you will find London caters to most of your needs.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 236: Retrontario Kicks Out the Jams!

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 236In this 236th episode, Mike and Ed "Retrontario" Conroy kick out the jams with Delores Claman, Guido Basso, Roland Parliament, Harry Forbes, Terry Bush, Tommy Ambrose and more. This episode is exactly 1:15:54.

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You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Retrontario and Me

Toronto Mike'd is proudly brought to you by Great Lakes Brewery, Property in the 6ix and Paytm Canada.

Great Lakes Beer propertyinthesix.com

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Mike Stafford and Lou Schizas Discuss Toronto Mike'd on 640 Toronto

Yesterday at 9:55am, Lou Schizas's Happy Capitalism segment aired on The Stafford Show with Mike Stafford on AM640 Toronto. Both Lou and Mike have been on Toronto Mike'd, and they talked about my podcast for two and a half minutes.

Here's the audio evidence.

Here's a transcript of the conversation.

Lou: You were mentioning the Toronto Mike'd podcast...
Mike: Yeah, you were down in his basement yesterday?
Lou: Have you been there?
Mike: Yeah, a couple of years ago.
Lou: Did you hit your head?
Mike: Me? All five foot seven of me, no.
...
Lou: The reason I went to do the podcast with Mike was I was number one curious about the means of production. And you know, for very little money he's out there producing his own interview series and that sort of thing and the sound quality is pretty good.
Mike: It's excellent, and he's had yourself and Ron MacLean in there. He has a few gets he still wants to get but you're right, his setup is... my god, we spend as media companies a fortune to achieve the same kind of sound and distribution.
Lou: Well, the distribution I think is different in that you can't tune him in, you have to download the product. Now I think there's probably some of the stuff I'm not really aware of that can get it on your smartphone as it's happening, but I don't know if that's the case. I know from myself the way I use radio, it's usually in the car, right? And if it's not available in the car, or I don't have the technology to get it in the car, it's less useful for me, but I thought it was pretty interesting from a technology aquisition point of view.
Mike: Did you get a six pack of the Great Lakes?
Lou: Yeah...
Mike: Nice
Lou: Yeah, of course...
Mike: I didn't (laughter)
Lou: Was that because he didn't have the sponsorship at that time?
Mike: Yeah, I guess
Lou: (laughter)
Mike: It was a good time. It was good to listen to. I'm going to listen to the rest when I get home.
Lou: Ok, well any pointers, send them my way. Back with you tomorrow. Happy Capitalism.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 235: Stormin' Norman Rumack

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 235In this 235th episode, Mike chats with Norman Rumack about his long run on The Fan 590, being the Late Night Vampire, hammerhead alerts, and so much more. This episode is exactly 1:27:40.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Stormin' Norman Rumack and Me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 234: Lou Schizas

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 234In this 234th episode, Mike chats with business analyst Lou Schizas about his years on BNN and AM640 and how to make money. This episode is exactly 1:30:05.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Lou Schizas and Me

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The More Independent Voices, the Better

When Mike Richards dropped by in late February, he detailed his new, independent project. It's called The Raw Mike Richards Show, and he records daily with David Bastl. It's very similar to his old show on TSN 1050, only he's his own boss. If you liked Mike Richards on TSN, you'll like The Raw Mike Richards Show.

Mike Richards is not everyone's cup of tea. Some dislike his characters and/or find the humour too frat boyish. And that's the beauty of this new project, free to all who wish to subscribe or watch live. You don't have to listen!

Even if you choose to not listen, you should be glad this show exists. The more independent voices recording original content, the better. Mike's doing this on his own and I hope he succeeds.

If Mike succeeds, others will follow suit. You may not like Mike's schtick, but you may love the next journalist or host who decides to go on his or her own as the industry shrinks.

If you don't like it, don't listen, but be glad it exists.

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4 Reasons Why I Watched 13 Reasons Why

My daughter is a typical teenager, only she doesn't turn thirteen for another three months. She had been urging me to watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix because she wanted to talk about it. I had my marching orders, so I dove in.

Initially, I treated the task as if it were homework. There are thirteen episodes, each about an hour, so this was going to take some time. I only really have two or three hours a night for television, depending on the night, and I wasn't going to miss a Maple Leaf or Raptors playoff game. So my wife and I started watching an episode or two a night, a significant time investment.

13 Reasons Why was not written and produced for guys in their forties, so it was tough sledding at first. It employs this trick I hate where something happens and then it's revealed the character was just imagining it. I didn't like it when I saw it on The Sopranos and I don't like it when they do it on 13 Reasons Why. I never disliked the show, but I'm not certain I liked it. But it was homework, so I soldiered on.

Then, almost by surprise, I found myself invested in the characters. It got heavier and heavier and by episode nine I was completely hooked. There was no longer any doubt. I was enjoying this show and looking forward to each episode.

------> Spoilers below <------

Last week, I had CBC's Here and Now on while I worked. Someone from the school board was on talking about concerns they had about how this series treated suicide. Remember, the only reason I invested 13 hours in this program is because my 12.75 year old daughter watched the series and asked me to do the same so we could talk about it. I have four children, which actually gives me four reasons to watch. Here are my thoughts on this recent controversy...

Suicide is not glorified in any way. In fact, you not only see a promising young life cut short but you see the many people who suffer in the wake. Initially I thought the counsellor at the school was being blamed unfairly, but upon further reflection, I think it's a great catalyst for conversation.

And that's precisely what I love about this series. It's thirteen tremendous catalysts for conversations between parents and our children. My oldest daughter and I have been conversing about Hannah's suicide and her cassette tapes all week, and there's more discussions to be had.

It's this conversation that's so important. It's not whether Hannah was being vindictive or putting unfair blame on the school counsellor, it's about communication and knowing when to ask for help and how to spot someone in trouble. It gets heavy, as does life. Being a teenager can be awfully shitty and sometimes we forget that.

My homework assignment morphed into a thought provoking bonding experience between me and my daughter. That's as rewarding as television gets.

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