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Coming Attractions and Highlights

New Releases

 

Call of the Baby BelugaCall of the Baby Beluga
Airs on CBC, January 28 at 8pm

The story of a baby beluga whale leads us on a journey through the amazing world of the St. Lawrence beluga and of the scientists who have worked for decades against long odds to help them.

Nerds and MonstersNerds and Monsters
New Season 2 episodes air on YTV, Saturdays at 10am

Nerdy castaways must survive relentless attacks by hideous monsters. Lucky for the nerds, these dim-witted monsters don’t have any smarts!

Some Assembly RequiredSome Assembly Required
New Season 3 episodes air on YTV, Mondays at 7pm

When 14-year-old Jarvis Raines’ house is nearly destroyed by a defective toy, he sues the company and ends up owning it.

Murder She Baked: A Peach Cobbler MysteryMurder She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery
Airs on Hallmark, January 26 at 9pm

Alison Sweeney is back as Hannah Swensen. This time she’s back to solve the death of a rival bakery store owner in Lake Eden.

Black FlyBlack Fly
Airs on Super Channel, January 29 at 4:45pm

Jake Hanson is on a dark journey of self-discovery. A troubled teenager haunted by a horrific hunting accident, his reconnection with his older brother sets off a powder keg of buried secrets, paranoia, and murder.

Unleashing Mr. DarcyUnleashing Mr. Darcy
Airs on Hallmark, January 30 at 7pm

A modernday spin on the classic, Pride and Prejudice, set in the world of a fancy New York dog show. Competitor Elizabeth Scott thinks judge Donovan Darcy is aristocratic and rude. In true Jane Austen fashion, the two begin to see the error of their ways, and sparks begin to fly.

Dater's HandbookDater’s Handbook
Airs on Hallmark, January 30 at 9pm

Cassandra Barber always picks the wrong guy. To help her choose between the two guys in her life, she turns to relationship expert Dr. Susie, and her latest self-help book, “The Dater’s Handbook,” to fix her ailing love life.

Frankie & AliceFrankie & Alice
Airs on Super Channel, February 2 at 9pm

Inspired by the remarkable true story of “Frankie,” an African-American go-go dancer with dissociative identity disorder who struggles to remain her true self while fighting against two very unique alter egos: a seven-year-old child and a Southern white racist woman.

Gone South: How Canada Invented HollywoodGone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood
Airs on Super Channel, February 5 at 6:15pm

A hilarious and investigative look at the long history and major influence Canadians have had on the development of American pop culture.

Lawrence & HollomanLawrence & Holloman
Airs on Super Channel, February 5 at 7:30pm

Lawrence is an ever-optimistic suit salesman for whom everything always goes right, until he meets Holloman, a suicidal cynic, and everything starts to go wrong. Very wrong.

Love on the SidelinesLove on The Sidelines
Airs on Hallmark, February 7 at 9pm

The Walking Dead’s Emily Kinney plays Laurel Welk, an aspiring fashion designer who lands a job as a personal assistant to injured quarterback Danny Holland. She knows nothing about football.  He doesn’t want a personal assistant.  Can they work it out?

Two 4 OneTwo 4 One
Airs on Super Channel, February 9 at 7:30pm

When transgendered Adam helps his baby-crazy ex-girlfriend Miriam artificially inseminate, they wind up in bed together, and they both get pregnant.

When Calls the HeartWhen Calls The Heart
Season 3 premieres on Hallmark, February 21 at 9pm

Back for a third season, the series based on the bestselling novel by Janette Oke follows the story of Elizabeth Thatcher, a young teacher from a wealthy, high-society life. As she adapts to the frontier lifestyle, she warms up to local RCMP forensic specialist Constable Jack Thornton.

Jade FeveerJade Fever
Season 2 premieres on Discovery Channel, February 23 at 10pm

Jade Fever follows the work of Claudia and Robin Bunce, owners of a large jade mining claim and jade tourist shop in remote Jade City in northern BC. They mine, cut, polish, and sell jade. They employ most of the people in town – if they strike it rich, everyone wins; if they fail, a whole town falls flat on its face.

 

6 Practical Ways to Boost Your Productivity

It’s January, and virtually every website seems to be full of lists for “how to improve X” or “how to change Y.” Allow us to jump on that bandwagon! Want some simple, achievable ways to boost your productivity this year? We have six suggestions for you.

Hint: number six is the most important.

 1. Make a list.

Take a minute (or, more likely 30 seconds) at the start of each day to make a list of two or three things you want to accomplish that day.

Keeping your list short adds focus and allows time for unexpected tasks.

Make sure the items are actually achievable within your work day, or your list will become nothing but a source of frustration and defeat. Adding “write a screenplay,” for example, is not a practical, single-day goal. “Write three pages of a screenplay,” though, is probably achievable.

Be specific. “Clean out office” is probably both too big and too vague to be achievable. “Clean out top drawer” is something you can get done. Tomorrow you can tackle the second drawer, or the top shelf.

Your list can help keep you focused, and crossing items off as they’re completed feels great.

Don’t get too hung up if the day comes to a close with items still outstanding. Tomorrow is another day. If you get to the end of the week, though, and all of the original tasks are still on your list, it’s time to reevaluate whether or not they are really priorities.

 2. Clean out your inboxes.

Regardless of how you communicate, you have one or more inboxes, real or virtual. Allowing those inboxes to become cluttered is a huge time-waster. An inbox shouldn’t be used as a filing system.

File emails in folders as soon as you’ve dealt with them. Find a productivity app that works with your phone to deal with texts.

 3. Go off-line.

Really.

Unless your job requires you to be online every single minute of your day, turn away from the Internet for a while. And if you are required to be online, learn to close distracting tabs. Keep open only those that are absolutely necessary. The amount of time lost to quick Internet detours—to Facebook, news sites, the latest cat videos, or your distraction-of-choice—is truly alarming.  (Read more about time loss.)

4. Don’t pick up your texts and e-mails.

Sounds heretical, we know. We’re not suggesting you NEVER pick up texts or emails; just don’t allow them to dictate your day. How many times have you felt or heard someone else express the sentiment: “I feel like I’ve been pulled in a million directions today”? Paying attention to every single text, call, or email as it arrives will do that to you. And the myth of multi-tasking efficiently is just that: a myth.

You can choose to create time to focus by deliberately deciding when to respond to incoming demands. Every email program allows you to schedule how frequently your inbox is updated. Every phone can be switched to silent for incoming texts and calls.

Give yourself permission to focus on the task at hand and to deal with new demands at the time of your choosing. Unless you are in a very specialized field (medical professionals, stand up) it’s quite likely  that Bob from accounting can wait half an hour for your reply.

If you can’t imagine going “dark,” start with a manageable period: five minutes. Build up slowly.

 5. Take a break.

You know when you’re starting to flag. Pay attention to those signals. They mean you are becoming much less efficient. Sure, you can push through it, but at what price? Overall, your productivity lags and, though you are still “working,” you’re getting less and less done.

Instead, stand up. Stretch. Walk around the office. It’s amazing how quickly a mini-break can refresh you and allow you to work optimally again.

The funny thing is, the few minutes you need to reset cost far less in productivity than pushing through and continuing to work when you are tired and distracted.

There are plenty of studies to back this up. Here’s one.

6. Pick two.

That’s right. We’ve just given you five ways to boost your productivity, and now we’re suggesting that you ignore three of our suggestions.

Trying to change everything at once is unrealistic and a recipe for disappointment. Instead, set yourself up to succeed: select just two of our suggestions—the ones you feel you can actually achieve—and go with them.

If you can manage to change just one or two behaviours to make your work day (or home life) flow more smoothly, you’re well ahead of the curve. Don’t stress about the items you ignore. There will be plenty of lists like this next January… when you can select two more.

 

January 2016 Recipe: Sour Cream Lemon Loaf

Sour Cream Lemon Loaf

Over Christmas, I ended up with a surfeit of crème fraîche (it’s a long story), and so I went looking for a way to use it up. Knowing that crème fraîche and sour cream can be easily substituted one for the other in baking, I scoured the Internet for a sour cream-based recipe to try. This recipe is the hands-down winner. It makes a beautifully moist, flavourful loaf.

I did make three changes to the recipe:

1) I doubled the amount of lemon zest to 2 tablespoons.

2) I used crème fraîche instead of sour cream. I’m confident the loaf is every bit as delicious made with sour cream.

3) I baked the batter in two loaf pans, rather than in one tube pan.

 

A note on crème fraîche…

It’s expensive to buy, but amazingly easy to make (seriously, we’re talking trained-monkey-easy). This is the recipe I follow.

 

December 2015 Recipe: Sweet Potato & Chickpea Dip

While driving a few days ago, I listened to famed British foodie Nigella Lawson on CBC Radio 1′s Book Club, where she shared her recipe for Sweet Potato & Chick Pea Dip. It sounded so good, I stopped for the ingredients on the way home, and had made a batch before the end of the day. It is delicious. And very easy to make.

I made one adjustment, based on Nigella’s comments during the interview: I added crumbled feta as a garnish alongside the pomegranate seeds. I also recommend increasing the amount of pomegranate seeds. Their tangy burst is a delicious counterpoint to the garlicky-sweet dip, and shouldn’t be rationed!

Nigella’s recipe is here.

 

Line 21′s Favourite Libations

Holiday Cheer

 

It’s the holiday season—when friends gather to enjoy each other’s company, make merry, and lift a glass in celebration. If you’re wondering what beverage to serve, we have a suggestion or two, based on Line 21 staff’s favourite libations…and not a drop of eggnog in the mix!

In  no particular order:

Kelly: French 75.

CarolynKir Royale. Because it’s festive, sparkly, and fun!

Siri:  I’m not much of a cocktail person, but I was handed a warm brandy last winter, and it was kind of magical to sip.

Dawn: Most often I’m Perrier with lots of lime, but I also enjoy a Bellini or Amaretto on the rocks with a twist.

PatriciaBellini.

Leslie: Appletini (specifically the one made by Glowbal). Note, this Appletini recipe is not from Glowbal, but it’s pretty good.

Soo: I like beer—Red Truck is pretty good.

Steffani: Easy to please, Steffani prefers wine.

Will: Manhattan. No special occasion required.

Rachel: Chai. Although I drink it year-round, in December, chai says “Christmas” to me.

Coming Attractions and Highlights

New Releases

The Nature of Things: Planet HuntersThe Nature of Things: Planet Hunters
Airs on the Documentary Channel, December 19

A documentary that unveils just how close mankind is to discovering other planets that are capable of sustaining life.

Becoming SantaBecoming Santa
Airs on Lifetime Network Canada, December 20

Holly has never introduced her toy designer boyfriend, Conner, to her family, and has only revealed that they live “up north.” As their relationship intensifies, Holly knows she can’t wait any longer, and decides to bring Conner to meet her parents for Christmas. Conner is in for a shock when he discovers he’s actually headed to the North Pole and Holly’s parents are none other than Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Lost and Found Music StudiosLost and Found Music Studios
Airs on Family Channel, December 21

Lost and Found Music Studios follows the lives of a group of musicians who are members of an after-school music program where they explore and discover their musical identities. At the end of every year, the standout members get to participate in a live tour.

Bob's Broken SleighBob’s Broken Sleigh
Airs on Family Channel, December 22

A young magic-less elf named Bob finds himself on a wild sleigh ride after being ambushed by the evil puffin Fishface. Stranded in the middle of a magical forest, it’s up to him and the friends he makes along the way to bring the sleigh back home in time for Christmas – if the puffins don’t get it first!

When Calls the HeartWhen Calls The Heart
Holiday special premieres on Hallmark, December 26

The sweeping frontier drama “When Calls the Heart” returns for a special two-hour television event! With universal themes of faith, hope, and community for the holiday season.

Timber Kings

Timber Kings
Season 2 Premieres on HGTV, January 4 at 10pm

Season 2 returns with more stories of the men and women of Pioneer Log Homes making amazing creations, which in turn become someone’s retreat around the world.

November 2015 Recipe: Roasted Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich

It’s November and the cold, rainy weather has us in the mood for comfort food. This twist on the classic grilled cheese takes ooey-gooey goodness to a new level.

Ingredients

whole eggplant
1 clove garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper
fresh bread
cheese
butter

Directions

Wash eggplant and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch round slices.
Brush exposed sides with olive oil.
Cut garlic in half; rub exposed garlic clove over oiled eggplant.
Spread slices on baking sheet covered with parchment paper or Silpat.
Roast at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until eggplant is golden brown.
Remove eggplant from oven. Set aside as much as you need for your sandwiches.

If you are not going to use all of the eggplant right away, place unused portion in an airtight container immediately (allowing the eggplant to cool in the container retains the steam and keeps your eggplant moist). Allow container to cool on counter before refrigerating. The leftover eggplant can be used for more sandwiches, or turned into Baba ghanoush.

Make your grilled cheese as usual, adding a layer of eggplant, gently sprinkled with salt and pepper. Pair with your favourite soup.

 

 

Watch Medical Scenes like a BOSS!

You’ve heard the terms below used time and again in medical dramas. They trip off actors’ tongues like they know what they’re talking about… and so should we, the viewers. Unless you actually are a medical professional, we bet you are uncertain about at least a few of them.

And so, in order for you to confidently view and comprehend medical scenes (and perhaps even impress fellow viewers with your superior knowledge), we give you a quick definition of some of the most commonly used terms. We will not force you to learn to spell them all as we have, though.

acrotic – An extremely weak pulse or no pulse at all.

afebrile – Having no fever (this is a good thing).

CBC – Complete blood count.

chem panel – A series of seven or eight blood chemical tests. One of the most widely ordered sets of tests.

cyanotic – Someone who is cyanotic has bluish skin color resulting from poor circulation and insufficient oxygen in the blood.

echocardiogram – An ultrasound image of the inside of the heart. Not to be confused with an ECG, or electrocardiogram, which measures the heart’s activity through electrodes on the chest. Typically, ECGs generate the long strip of paper TV docs are often seen studying carefully.

edema – An abnormal accumulation of fluid in the body causing swelling.

intubation – The insertion of a tube into a hollow organ or passage. In movies and television, it’s most often seen as the introduction of a breathing tube through the mouth and down the throat, but any hollow organ (intestines, stomach, nose, bile ducts) can be intubated.

ischemia – Decrease or lack of blood supply to an organ or part due to a constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels.

petechial hemorrhage – Small red or purple spots on the skin caused by a minor bleed.

pneumothorax – Air or gas in the space between the chest wall and the lungs causing the lung(s) to collapse.

Ringer’s lactate – A solution used to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes. It consists of sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, and sodium lactate in distilled water.

subcutaneous – Just beneath the skin; i.e. a drug administered subcutaneously would be injected under the skin.

succinylcholine – A short-acting muscle relaxant and local anesthetic.

tachycardia – An abnormally rapid heart rate.

tracheotomy – A procedure whereby an incision is made in the windpipe in order to bypass the nose and mouth. Used to restore breathing.  The resulting hole, through which the patient breathes, is called a tracheostomy.

Coming Attractions and Highlights

New Releases

The Liquidator: On the GoThe Liquidator: On The Go
Airs on OLN, Thursdays at 9pm

This special-edition season follows Jeff to far-flung locations that few other liquidators would dare to visit, as he’s constantly forced out of his comfort zone.  Follow Jeff as he travels from New Dehli to Palm Springs while he stops at nothing to turn a profit.

Haida Gawii: On the Edge of the WorldHaida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
Runs November 20–26 at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto and Vancity Theatre in Vancouver

If you have never visited Haida Gwaii, then this is a great place to start. Charles Wilkinson’s stunning cinematography vividly captures the raw beauty of this very special part of the world. Here, in one of Canada’s most precious natural spaces, battle cries are rising as the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline spills directly into the surrounding area—going against the ethos of the community and threatening the environment.

Mark & Russell's Wild RideMark & Russell’s Wild Ride
Airs on Family Channel, November 27

Mark is ecstatic when Ashley, the most popular girl in school, asks him for a ride to an exclusive pool party. There’s only one problem – he still hasn’t passed his driver’s test! Mark ropes his trusted sidekick, Russell, into a wacky scheme to ace his driver’s test so he can impress the girl of his dreams.

A  Gift Wrapped ChristmasA Gift Wrapped Christmas
Premieres on Lifetime Canada, November 28

A personal shopper tries to make her new client get into the holiday spirit and spend more time with his young son.

Angel of ChristmasAngel of Christmas
Airs on Hallmark Channel, November 29

A holiday Grinch ever since her boyfriend dumped her on Christmas, newspaper staffer Susan gets her first big break to write her own headline story. A Christmas-themed account of her own family’s carved wooden Christmas Angel—an angel that supposedly has magical properties to bring true lovers together.

The BridgeKaren Kingsbury’s The Bridge
Premieres on Hallmark Channel, December 6

Molly and Ryan share a profound friendship their first semester in college. At their favorite bookstore and coffee shop, The Bridge, they spend countless hours studying and inspiring each other to dream.

Magic StockingMagic Stocking
Premieres on Hallmark Channel, December 6

Lindsey, a single mom with an adorable daughter, is closed off to life after losing her husband a few years back. When she buys a stocking at her town’s Christmas craft fair, the family begins magically finding items in the stocking that they learn have importance in their lives.

The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell StoryThe Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story
Airs on CraveTV, VOD

The behind-the-scenes story of the hit ’90s TV show delves into the experiences of six unknown young actors placed into the Hollywood spotlight, exposing the challenges of growing up under public scrutiny.

Sonic MagicThe Nature of Things: Sonic Magic
Streams on CBC

How does sound affect us? It can cure the sick and make the blind see.  It can even change the taste of food. Whether it’s sound we choose to hear, like the music we play in our headphones, or sound we would rather do without, like the noise of the city, we live in a sonic world that we seldom think twice about.

 

Horror Movies to Watch at Hallowe’en

Horror Movie Lists

It’s Hallowe’en on Saturday AND we get an extra hour of sleep… could this be a more perfect time to catch up on your horror movie watching?

With so much to choose from, what to watch? We’ve got some suggestions for you. Pick your category, scan the entries, rip open that bag of mini chocolate bars, pour the wine, snuggle up under a cozy fleece and voilà: the perfect rainy, extra-long Hallowe’en night.

Our personal top pick: The Shining.
We mean the original 1980 classic. Jack Nicholson at his most villainous. Shelley Duvall at her most terrified. An axe. What’s not to love?

Highest-Rated Horror Movies
(With at least 1000 votes on IMDb.) Here they are, the most popular of the genre.

Highest Grossing Horror Movies
Figures based on US market.

Scariest Horror Movies
This category is different than highest-rated. Some of the scariest movies (that will make you want to keep the lights on all night) were not necessarily the most popular.

Best Low-Budget Horror Movies
Remember The Blair Witch Project? Lots of that ilk here.

Worst Horror Movies
(With at least 1000 votes on IMDb.) Because sometimes truly awful can be truly entertaining.

Funniest Horror Movies
They didn’t set out to be funny, but they achieved it by being so unbelievably wrong! I think they overlooked a gem when they failed to include The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

Best Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen
Truth? We haven’t seen any of them either, so we’re relying entirely on viewers’ opinions. If you opt for one of these, let us know what you think!

Wild Card! Terrifying Non-Horror Movies
If you like being scared, but aren’t really a fan of the horror genre, here you’ll find some bone-chilling films that have nothing whatever to do with horror.

And finally, for fans of the horror-movie scream (not the movie “Scream” but the piercing wail of the imperiled heroine), here’s a little treat for you.