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____ Friday October 30, 2015 ____

Art & Activism

Mathias Jud: Art that lets you talk back to NSA spies

In 2013, the world learned that the NSA and its UK equivalent, GCHQ, routinely spied on the German government. Amid the outrage, artists Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter thought: Well, if they're listening ... let's talk to them. With antennas mounted on the roof of the Swiss Embassy in Berlin's government district, they set up an open network that let the world send messages to US and UK spies listening nearby. It's one of three bold, often funny, and frankly subversive works detailed in this talk, which highlights the world's growing discontent with surveillance and closed networks.

Mapping Trick and Treaters - interactive

Trick-or-Treat Onslaught Mapper

Census Mapper grew out of curiosity toward the social and geographic fabric around us, the need for data to understand it and frustration with the inaccessibility of data.

Vancouver - Census Mapper aims to provide a simple but powerful canvas to seamlessly visualize any census variable, or combination of variables across all of Canada at appropriate aggregation levels. The user experience should be simple and empowering, putting the great resource of the Canada Census data into everyones hands.

Aging Research

Governor General To Open Centre of excellence for Innovation in Aging

Waterloo - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will open the new Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging on the north campus of the University of Waterloo on Friday morning.


Laurier earns high marks in Maclean’s university rankings

Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University has again earned high marks in the annual Maclean’s Rankings of Canadian Universities, placing in the Top 3 in its category nationally for student satisfaction and in the Top 10 in its category nationally for best overall, highest quality and reputation.


Bank donates $3,000 to Focus on Nature.

Guelph – Focus on Nature announced that the TD Bank Group has generously donated $3,000 to support their programs in local schools and to assist in their expansion to the Waterloo Region. This is the fourth year that TD Bank has chosen to support Focus on Nature through their Corporate Donation & Community Sponsorship Program.


Wilmot Receives $60, 000 Grant From The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation Vital Grants Program

Wilmot is set to implement a multi-year funding program directed at community groups and community initiatives that foster a greater sense of belonging for the community.

Baden - Vital Grants support multi-year projects that move the needle on the single most pressing issue as identified in Waterloo Region's Vital Signs®, which is currently belonging. Wilmot intends to utilize the funding to promote a culture of belonging within the municipality. This will be accomplished through municipal support of community initiatives and projects that promote belonging for all citizens.

Chart of the Week

Nobody Goes Bust Anymore

by Michael Hayhoe

Here is a chart showing the annual default rate for Single B Corporate Bonds. Since the crash the authorities everywhere have been leaning on the banks to exercise forbearance in respect of their marginal borrowers. In the case of the US and Canada this behavior has produced the lowest incidence of corporate bankruptcies in modern economic history. As a consequence many firms have been kept on “life support” by financial sponsors unwilling to risk collecting what is owed them through a court sponsored process. This consequential “zombie” borrower problem has been allowed to grow to such a point that any normalization of rates, however slight, risks a massive outbreak of bankruptcies. Recent weakness in key sectors, most notably commodities, resources and oil has infected the balance sheets of companies operating in those sectors with the same virus.

Workplace Health

Waterloo Region’s Healthy Workplace Awards Honours Leaders in Workplace Health

Waterloo Region – Region of Waterloo Public Health is proud to announce the recipients of Waterloo Region’s Healthy Workplace Awards Program. This program recognizes and celebrates workplaces in Waterloo Region that demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the health of their employees.


Industrial product and raw materials price indexes for September 2015

Ottawa - The Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) declined 0.3% in September, mainly as a result of lower prices for energy and petroleum products. The Raw Materials Price Index (RMPI) rose 3.0% in September, led by higher prices for crude energy products.


Group inspires innovation outside the classroom

Conestoga’s Robotics Innovation Group (RIG) has taken learning beyond the classroom by building RIGbot - a 3D-printed life-size robot based on the InMoov project. To date, there are only two other known academic institutions in Canada that have attempted the project.


CMHC Releases its Housing Market Assessment Report for Canada and 15 Markets

Ottawa - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its Housing Market Assessment (HMA) report formerly known as the House Price Analysis and Assessment (HPAA) that evaluates the extent to which there is evidence of problematic housing market conditions in 15 Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs).


Payroll employment, earnings and hours for August 2015

Ottawa - Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $947 in August, down 0.7% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings increased by 0.8%. The increase in weekly earnings compared with August 2014 reflected a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation, and level of job experience, as well as average hours worked per week.


COM DEV completes sale of El Segundo real estate

Cambridge - COM DEV International Ltd. announced that it has closed the sale of its land and building in El Segundo, California for net proceeds of USD $13.4 million. The sale is in accordance with previously announced intentions following COM DEV's decision earlier in the year to wind down operations at the facility. The wind down was substantially completed by April, 2015.


Large meta-analysis finds low-fat diets ineffective for achieving long-term weight loss

Boston - Low-fat diets do not lead to greater weight loss in the long term compared to higher-fat diets (eg, low-carbohydrate or Mediterranean diets) of similar intensity, according to a large meta-analysis involving more than 68000 adults, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.


Co-operators General Insurance Company Reports Third Quarter 2015 Results

Guelph - Co-operators General Insurance Company (Co-operators General) released consolidated financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2015. The consolidated net loss was $21.4 million compared to a net loss of $10.8 million for the same quarter in 2014. This resulted in a loss per share of $1.07 for the quarter compared to a loss of $0.57 in the same period last year.


Enhancing the Patient and Family Experience at St. Mary’s General Hospital

Kitchener – As part of its commitment to becoming the safest and most effective hospital in Canada, characterized by innovation, compassion and respect, St. Mary’s General Hospital is continuously working to enhance the care and experience of our patients and their families. Some of these efforts will be highlighted at the hospital’s Annual Community Update on Thursday, November 12.

Living Wages

Event to Recognize Living Wage Employers

2015 Living Wage Employer Recognition Evening

Kitchener - Eighteen employers will be recognized for their commitment to pay a living wage to their employees at an event on Thursday evening November 5, 2015, from 5 – 7 pm at the Cambridge Conference Centre. The event is being hosted by Living Wage Waterloo Region, which is celebrating its first anniversary as a voluntary recognition program for employers paying a living wage.

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