Thursday, February 7, 2019

Hey Google, be my language interpreter

Google Home just received a colossal update that you need to try

Interpreter mode is now available for Google Home devices

GOOGLE Home has just received a colossal update that brings a huge improvement to the smart speaker.


Google Home is the American tech giant's smart speaker solution that comes in a variety of models.

The smallest and most affordable version of the hardware is the Google Home Mini.

While the product sacrifices some audio quality in exchange for its minute aesthetic, it does offer the same Assistant functionality as its more premium brothers.

Google also sells a standard version of its Home speaker in addition to the Home Max that offers the best sound of the three.

Moreover, the firm also debuted the Google Home Hub last year that offers the popular Assistant features fans have come to expect but has a screen that can display contextual information.

At CES last month Google announced a new "interpreter mode" for its smart devices that promises to translate speech from one language to another in real-time.

Announcing the feature, the American tech giant said: "Speaking a different language no longer has to be a barrier to having a good conversation.

"With Interpreter Mode, a new feature rolling out over the next few weeks on Google Home devices and Smart Displays, you can ask the Google Assistant to help you have a conversation in dozens of languages."

The Mountain View company declared the fresh functionality can be employed with simple voice commands.

Moreover, the firm also discussed the potential use cases for such a feature.

Google went on: "Just say 'Hey Google, be my French interpreter' to start Interpreter Mode and get real-time spoken and (on Smart Displays) written translation to aid the conversation.

"We see this technology expanding to more places—it could help you check in at a foreign hotel or help you understand the bus schedule."

Once the user has turned on interpreter mode, any speech they say will then be translated into another selected dialect.

Moreover, if the tool is harnessed on smart displays such as the Google Home Hub the words translated will appear on-screen.

The feature was initially shown off at CES but is now rolling out to owners of Google Assistant-enabled speakers, as noted by Android Police.

The outlet insisted if users are unable to access the feature they should try restarting their devices manually by unplugging them, and then plugging them back in again.

Interpreter mode was first shown off last month at CES (Image: Google)

This process should prompt the new update to be installed if has not been already.

Google has updated its Assistant support page to reflect the new improvement.

The tech behemoth has insisted in order to activate the new feature, users should speak in either English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish.

26 languages are supported by the new feature 

Once the mode has been switched on, it can translate 26 different dialects.

They are:

• Czech

• Danish

• Dutch

• English

• Finnish

• French

• German

• Greek

• Hindi

• Hungarian

• Indonesian

• Italian

• Japanese

• Korean

• Mandarin

• Polish

• Portuguese

• Romanian

• Russian

• Slovak

• Spanish

• Swedish

• Thai

• Turkish

• Ukrainian

• Vietnamese

Statutory holiday proposed to recognize Indigenous reconciliation

OTTAWA — Sept. 30 might become a new statutory holiday commemorating victims of residential schools.

The House of Commons heritage committee approved a measure Tuesday to make the last day of September a National Truth and Reconciliation Day. That date is already used as an informal occasion to commemorate the experiences of residential-school students, called Orange Shirt Day.

It’s called that in memory of a piece of a clothing then-six-year-old Phyllis Webstad had taken from her on her first day at a residential school in 1973.

“We picked Sept. 30 because September was the time when children were taken away from their homes,” she told the committee during a previous session, with the specific day chosen to give teachers time to tell modern children the history of the schools.

The heritage committee added the new federal holiday into NDP MP Georgina Jolibois’ Bill C-369, which creates a National Indigenous Peoples’ Day on June 21. It has been meeting for the past few months to discuss the bill, hearing testimony from survivors and Indigenous leaders.

Both the Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, representing 60,000 Inuit people across Canada, expressed support for two separate dates.

“Combining a day of celebration with a day of reconciliation, in our view, is inappropriate and disrespectful,” Virginia Lomax, a lawyer for NWAC, told the group on Jan. 29.

Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault said Tuesday the additions were in keeping with call to action No. 80 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which seeks a statutory holiday “to honour survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

The bill has yet to go to the Commons for a final vote.

From Discover on Google

Friday, May 18, 2018

When Harry met Meghan

This is my absolute favourite photo of Meghan Markle & Prince Harry

OMG, what did I miss about Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's nuptials?!

Ok, so I feel like I've been living under a rock. People ask me about current events and I end up looking like a deer caught in headlights. I cannot believe that the Royal wedding takes place tomorrow. Despite how much/very little I've been following their love story, I get butterflies in my chest when I hear bits and pieces of their very social media driven life.

It's a fairy tale ending I'm sure that most children grew up fantasying about, when our caring adults read/told us "once upon a time" stories.  At times I am reminded of how swept away I get when triggers in everyday life remind me of these moments that have facilitated these memories.

For Meghan Markle, this fairy tale has become a reality. Perhaps that is why we love watching her love story unravel. For me, it has nothing to do with the fact that she is marrying into the royal family that intrigues me. Rather, I am thrilled to hear that someone else in the world has finally found their "penguin". If you aren't familiar with the analogy of one finding their penguin, please feel free to click here.

I'm sure most of you are caught up with the who; what; where and when about this big day ahead of us, but just in case you're like me still trying to catch up with what's going are some links that hopefully will give you the coles note version before the very big day.

Congratulations to yet another couple finding love. I am inspired not to give up on finding my own fairy tale.
Well played Marks & Spencer

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Celery Bread is a great edition to Fish and Chips!

The first time I had celery bread was when I visited a small little place called Port Dover in Ontario. They are famous for their perch fish. There is an AMAZING place called Erie Beach Hotel that serves some wonderful fresh fish and this most delicious piece of bread called celery bread...I tried to replicate it and this is as close as I got. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

here is the Celery Bread recipe

1/2 lb butter
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes

This is enough to butter 2 loaves of bread.

Buy the bread unsliced at Fortinos, Metro, etc.
Slice off the crust all away around.
Then I put it in the freezer for a bit so it is easier to cut in cubes.
You should get approx. 14 cubes of bread from each loaf.
Butter on all sides.
I put parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
Stand the cubes up so they aren't touching each other.
Bake at 400 deg. for 10 minutes.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Revlon's newest mascara addition

I have to say, I've been on this journey to find a mascara that does what it says... I'm looking for one that creates volume, length & is waterproof/resistant. Sadly I've yet to find something that works in all these categories.

I had the opportunity to treat out Revlon's newest mascara addition (complimentary for review, I might add) but unfortunately it failed my eyelash test. I'm not sure what it is about my specific teeny tiny eyelashes but they don't seem to keep any length or volume. To make matters worse too many layers causes clumping. So far I've had to revert to false eyelashes time and time again. Hopefully this formula cheeses and I find something that finally works for me.

**I recieved this product complimentary for review from Influenster

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Rimmel Shake It Fresh Mascara

I have to be honest and say that I was truly excited to be part of a team to review this product. The way it looked was appealing and not ONLY was a great toy that my 2 year old nephew LOVED shaking, but it did what it said it would which was to be a 'non-clumpy' product that went on easy. The product did exact the month that I used it on a daily basis, it didn't give me any troubles. Unfortunately, there were a couple downfalls that I really found to be frustrating. The mascara ran...and it took many, many, MANY coats to get my teeny, tiny lashes coated so that it LOOKED like I had eyelashes at all. 
Overall, if you are one of those beauties out there that can put very little mascara on and look like it's volumized...I HIGHLY recommend this product for you...for those looking to thicken and volume your teeny tiny eyelashes...I would say that perhaps this isn't the RIGHT product for you.   

***I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Orville Reddenbacher White Cheddar & Caramel popcorn--a hit?

I was very excited to be invited to be part of the Orville Reddenbacher White Cheddar & Caramel popcorn campaign run by Influenster. I wanted take a different approach in testing this product. In order to get a wide variety of opinions on what individuals thought of Orville Reddenbacher's White Cheddar & Caramel popcorn, we did a blind taste test at school and compared this popcorn with G.H Gretor's Chicago Mix. Each participant (which consisted of the students in my class as well as my colleagues) were given an opportunity to taste both styles of popcorn without seeing which was which. We turned the popcorn test into a mathematics tallying and graphing lesson, followed by a quick language activity which involved giving the popcorn a rating between 1-5 stars. This rating also came with some feedback about the product.

Here are the results:

In comparison between the two types of popcorn 61.5% preferred the C.H Gregot's Mix; 38.5% preferred the Orville Reddenbacher brand. Out of the ENTIRE group of taste testers over 50% couldn't really tell the difference between the two brands.

The consensus when completing a 5 star rating of just the Orville Reddenbacher
Popcorn was an average of 4-4.5 stars. Much of the feedback was for a more white cheddar flavour and less salt. The other comment was to create more of a 50/50 ratio of both flavours of popcorn.

If you're interested in trying out this new flavour of popcorn. Please look at your local grocers and give it a try yourself. I'm sure my students would be thrilled to hear what you have to say.

**I received the white cheddar & caramel popcorn
complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Check yourself before you wreck yourself!

It's been a long time since I've disagreed with a newspaper article that has been written by fellow teachers who really should watch their "foot in mouth" syndrome. I am embarrassed by his blanket statement about the millennial generation and want those who read it not to categorize ALL educators into the same category as this self absorbed individual. I'd love to hear what you think of what he's written. Please click on the poster below to read:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pokemon Go epidemic!

So, we've all seen people walking around more within the past week with a cellphone in their hand and stopping mid walk... Perhaps you haven't seen it but you ARE one of these individuals. This new craze to make sedentary individuals visit the outdoor world has really got people moving. With more people moving around outdoors it is so important for drivers to keep an eye out for pedestrians...of course that also means that Pokemon players should be more aware of their surroundings and where they are when catching these Pokemon critters. This includes vehicles, trees and inanimate or animate objects.

Through all this hoopla, I found an amazing and humourous PSA message created by a popular radio station in Toledo, Ohio. Check it out! Would love to hear what you think of this PSA or the Pokemon Go game.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The "Entitlement" Generation

"If your parents had to use a wooden spoon on you, then they clearly didn’t know how to parent you.”
Yep. I got that email last night after I posted my blog.  I honestly had to laugh. Here was a stranger criticizing my parents. I tend to think they did a pretty good job. They raised three, well-rounded children. One is a successful HR exec, one is a journalist and the other is a doctor. Clearly they did something right. ;-) And let’s be real for a minute, it wasn’t all about a wooden spoon. It was about manners and respect.
I went home and was talking to my husband about it. He said, “This is why we have a generation of entitled kids.”
I repeated that earlier today and someone asked in shock: “How could you say something like that?!”
Because I have seen it first-hand.
At my last job, there was a young woman who was interning with our station. She showed up to work one day wearing extremely short shorts and a halter top. To work. Our news director at the time said, “You have two options…you can run home and get changed and come back…or you can just go home.” Her response came quickly and loudly: “WHO THE F@#K ARE YOU TO TALK TO ME LIKE THAT? YOU CAN’T TELL ME TO GO HOME!!”
Ahh…and there it is. The entitlement coming out. The “I have never been told no because I want to be your friend…let me give you a trophy because you signed up to play soccer even though you never come to practice, only games…I’m not going to give you a grade on this test because I don’t want you to think you’re a failure, even though you don’t study…you’re going to sit in time-out and then we will discuss why you called your mom the B-word…I can post anything I want on social media because I have freedom of speech…I won’t be held accountable at school because my parents will come and yell at the teacher for me.”
I will say it until I am blue in the face: I am thankful I was raised the way I was raised in the era I was raised in.  We used the terms ma’am and sir…we said please and thank you…we wouldn’t dare look at our parents cross-eyed…if we didn’t study, we failed…if we didn’t go to practice, we didn’t play in the game…if we didn’t win, we didn’t get a trophy…if we talked back to our parents, we got the back of my mom’s hand to our mouths…if we used a bad word, we got soap in our mouths…if we acted up in school, our parents were called to the principal’s office and we served detention…if we didn’t like our dinner, then we didn’t eat…if we were late for curfew, we were grounded…if we lied, we had our toys taken away…if we misbehaved in the neighborhood, our neighbors would discipline us…if we didn’t get hired for a job, then we weren’t who they wanted.
We weren’t handled with kid gloves. Our parents let us fall so we learned how to get back up.  We were told the word “NO” and told it often. It wasn’t about our parents being “our friends.” It was tough love. Why? Because they knew how tough the world is.
I’m over the “entitlement era.”
I’m nowhere near a perfect parent. I learn something new everyday. But I do know…I want to raise my kids the way I was. Because I don’t want to send spoiled, entitled brats into the world.
There is only one thing I knew: whatever my parents did…worked.
And guess who my best friends are now? Yep. My mom and dad. The ones who were “so mean” growing up.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

We are parents-- NOT friends!!

July 4, 1993. (You’re now doing the math to figure out how old I am, aren’t you? lol)
I was 16 years old and was out with my friends for the fireworks.  It was the only night that I was allowed to stay out past my 10pm curfew. “Be home by midnight. Not a second later.”
It’s 1993. There are no cell phones. There are car phones…you know, the ones in the bag that were plugged into the cigarette lighter…but I certainly didn’t have one in my car. All we had were quarters. And those quarters were used to call home and “check in.”
There were no phones where I was. I went to a bonfire in the middle of the woods to celebrate the 4th. Ok, so I wasn’t exactly where I told my parents I would be.  My friend who I was with promised my parents that she would have me home. Needless to say, she skipped out around 11pm to “get home on time.”
“Hey guys, what time is it?”
“Uh let me check…it’s 12:05.”
I am going to die. My parents are physically and literally going to kill me.
My friend Travis grabbed me and we jumped in his Jeep to drive to my house.  It’s 4th of July so the traffic is INSANE. Everyone is out on the roads.
We are flying into my neighborhood and there she was. My mother. In her robe. On the front porch. Waiting.
“Travis. Keep driving.”
“No it will be fine. Hi Mrs. Goodman. Let me expla—-.”  My mom abruptly cuts him off. “Go home Travis.”
My mom then proceeded to pull me out of the Jeep by my hair. The seatbelt was still buckled. My mother literally ripped me out of the car.  She had a good grasp on my scalp…I could feel her nails digging into my head while grabbing a rather large section of hair.  As we passed the driveway, I noticed that my Dad’s car was gone. Oh crap. He’s out looking for me.
My mom threw me into the house…grabbed my shoulders and put me into a kitchen chair. You see my mother was the disciplinarian in our hosue…at least when it came to my sister and I. My dad always had a soft spot for “his girls.” So when my mom said, “Your father is out looking for you. I’m going to let him deal with you because I can’t even look at you.”
Again. No cell phones. No way of letting my Dad know that I am home. That I am safe.
Then he was home. His face was pale. You could see the worry turn to relief.
“Dad I’m so…”
“I need you to shut your mouth. There are rules in this house. Look up. See that? Your mother and I put that roof over your head. You will follow those rules as long as you are living under that roof right there.  WE know what is best for you. There is a reason there is a curfew. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT. You mark my words. You are a teenager and know very little about life at this point. Got it?”
“Mandy, as a parent, the best thing I hear at the end of the day is that front door opening. Knowing that my kids are safe. Knowing you are where you are supposed to be. You disappointed me tonight.”
There it was. The worst thing you can hear. “You disappointed me.”
Every July 4th, my Dad calls me and says, “Wanna talk about what happened when you were 16?”
I thought of this story after I saw the video of the Baltimore mom disciplining her son on live TV for rioting.
There’s no fear today, you know?
I was afraid of my parents…afraid of doing something that would disappoint them…or make them angry.
My parents didn’t beat us, but I got hit with a wooden spoon. I had soap in the mouth. I got backhanded. I was grounded for MONTHS at a time. I’m not ashamed to admit that at all. And guess what? When I was put in a situation where I could go in the wrong direction, I immediately thought of my parents. “I can’t do this. My parents will kill me.” I’m still afraid of letting my parents down. I respect my mom and dad more than anyone in the world. THEY are my inspiration.
Kudos to that mom in Baltimore. Imagine seeing your child on live television throwing rocks at police?? She wants better for her son. She knows HE KNOWS better.
As my Dad always told me growing up, “I am not your friend. I am your parent. Remember that.”
We need to run our households. Not our children.

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