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Archive for January, 2015

Airmiles And Credit Card Offers Help Making Free Flying Possible For Consumers
by Staff Writer

Special to wisertraveller.org

Special Guest Post, written by www.cardmecanada.com

With a couple months into 2015, credit card companies and banks are offering Canadian residents the best bonuses and deals as they are trying to capture new customers for the year. Bonuses are at least 25,000 points which is enough to redeem for a round trip flight in North America. There are many free hotel nights available for redemption too.

Many people take advantage of these bonus offers and they fly and travel only on bonuses. They do it all year long. Be sure to look at the credit card offers before you book a flight or vacation. You will be able to save a lot of money. The best credit card bonuses and travel deals for Canadian residents are on the website www.cardmecanada.com

Wisertraveller.org speaks:

Speaking on a personal level, I have flied for free using  credit card programs offering flying miles  So if you purchase goods on a regular basis like buying gas, groceries or clothing, it makes better sense to use a credit card and collect points. With credit cards, the consumer has to be wise and not go overboard with purchases.

The key point is that if you pay your credit card bill in full before the due date, you won’t pay any interest. If you allow your credit card balance to carry over into  the next month, you definitely will  have to pay interest. Research your credit cards before applying and remember your due dates. Yes, it took me a few years before I could use the air miles to fly on a trip, but the point is that you can save hundreds, and even thousands of dollars using credit card points. So if your dream is to go to India or climb the Great Wall of China, you can fly for cheap by using a credit cards with points. For other consumers who may not fly anymore due to health or other personal reasons, many credit card companies allow you to use your points for consumer goods, like electronics or even groceries. My recommendation is to check out the above link to learn more about the bonus programs offered by credit card companies. Happy flying! And don’t forget your passport and travel insurance.



January 31st


Local Company Q-Nature Offers A Quinoa Snack That It Hopes Will Help Tackle Childhood Obesity
by Staff Writer


Special to www.Wisertraveller.org

If you happen to see a van parked on the street and  showcasing a picture of a smiling child happily munching on a treat, you are quite welcome to amble over to get a full sample of some wholesome goodies.

But it’s not your average snack. If you are having trouble saying, “Quinoa”, here’s a hint: Keen-wah. A local company, Q-Nature, recently launched this ancient South American superfood as a ready-to-eat snack that it hopes will also tackle childhood obesity. Research shows that this ancient grain, originally grown by pre-Columbian Incas, has the ability to reduce a person’s cholesterol, stimulate metabolism, and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This once unknown grain is now packing a lot of punch in health circles because it has high levels of protein, along with important vitamins and minerals.

Thanks to a marketing facelift, quinoa is also coming out as a food that is fun, nutritious and also delicious. The company’s new Chocolate Quinoa Pop is also gluten-free, nut free, vegan, cholesterol-free, transfat free and GMO-free. It’s got so much of the right elements that the provincial government has given the thumbs-up and this product is now available  in school cafeterias.

It’s a good move to offer kids healthy foods since childhood obesity is reportedly a national problem. Thanks to junk food, it’s clear that many kids are conditioned to reach for a bag of chips or chocolates. Traditional junk food, coupled with the lack of exercise among many kids are causing many young people to gain too much weight, which could cause lots of health issues.

Educating the young about the benefits of proper nutrition can be challenging, but what if the young can teach the young? Why not have kids help other kids by teaching them in a fun, social way? Kids love the Internet and they love Youtube.  It’s clear that marketing a snack food with an unusual name would have to focus on what kids love. Enter the Q-Nature video contest.

In a bid to get kids talking and eating Chocolate Quinoa Pops, Q-Nature is offering a video contest for kids. Kids are encouraged to go creative in their videos. So if kids want to dance, sing, do slam poetry or skateboard –that’s their option. The whole exercise is also intended to make kids talk about eating healthy and choosing healthy options.

Q-Nature says all participants will get a free month supply of Quinoa Pop (36 units of 15g.) and a chance to win major prizes. Contestants  must enter their videos by February 28.

So if you have a kid or know someone who has school-age kids, get them to join the quinoa bandwagon and do a video. It’s hoped that after the contest, kids will be eating, thinking and doing healthy things. They might even like quinoa so much that they won’t flinch if their mother offers them a side dish of quinoa, inside of fries for dinner.

For further information and to find out how to participate in the video contest, go to:

Q-Nature’s website: http://www.q-nature.com.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Q-Nature-Healthy-Food/729274237109152) and twitter accounts (https://twitter.com/QNature1)

 Chocolate Quinoa Pop is also available for fundraising events and for sale at the local IGA food stores.

And dear readers, if you see the Quinoa Pop van, just say “Facebook” to the attendants and you will get a full size sample.


January 30th


This Week: Welcoming A Wonderful New Year, On Netflix and Review of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
by Staff Writer


Dear Readers: Happy New Year! Wishing everyone a safe and prosperous new year. It’s great to wake up to a fresh start and a brand new year. If last year you didn’t get all that you wished for, don’t lose heart. Be positive! See the good in others and yourself.

As always, Wisertraveller.org welcomes comments to this blog and would appreciate no spam or advertisements on your comments since they will not be printed.

This year, we will continue to provide you with unique, fun coverage of events across this favourite land and beyond, as well as provide selected movie coverage of films we love –so you don’t waste time in the theatre.

Special to Wisertraveller.org

If you love movies, then you probably are aware of Netflix. For a low monthly cost, you can watch tons of docs, TV series and movies on all types of electronic devices. But face it, it is a bit annoying to watch Canadian Netflix and find out that is missing lots of US shows, like Scandal, New Girl, The Office (US) or the American Horror Story. I’ve also heard that Canadian Netflix customers get shows that Americans don’t get, like The Good Wife, Being Erica, Mad About You and so much more.

There’s a company out there that offers both the Canadian and US versions of Netflix. For movie fans, you just have to pay an additional $5 extra on top of the monthly cost. The website proudly states that buyers can get an additional 1903 US shows as well as 223 Canadian TV shows.  Promoted by a Canadian from Nova Scotia, the website is offering a free trial (with no payment info required ) and wants Canadians to spread the word about “Blockless.”  You can get more information at http://www.usnetflix.ca. Blockless has been around since July 2012 and says it has numerous customers from Canada and around the world. If you are a movie buff, I am sure you are dashing to check out the site right now.


Video Smile of the Month


New Movie Review: by Nancy Chan

Film Critic

Review of: The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies
It’s a bit of a Christmas tradition for me to see a Hobbit movie every Christmas. Nothing says end of December like some furry halflings, abhorrent orcs and gloriously lovely but cold-hearted elves, I guess. This being the last installment in a three-part retelling of Tolkien’s Hobbit, I’m feeling already a little nostalgic for past films. This one is a worthy addition to director Peter Jackson’s oeuvre.
To reprise, in the first two installments of the series,  Bilbo Baggins embarked on a quest to help a band of itinerant dwarves retake their mountain lair, guarded over by an avarious dragon named Smaug.  The Battle of the Five Armies starts with said dragon raining fire on the hapless inhabitants of Laketown.
Meanwhile, the dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, finally find themselves‎ at the doors of their ancient domain. In another part of the woods, Gandalf the Grey, imprisoned by dark forces, awaits his fate.
Themes of greed, honour, sacrifice and friendship are developed. Thorin becomes a king in name only and instead of exulting over his retaken home, broods endlessly over a lost gemstone and suspects his previously honoured band of dwarves of swiping the relic. Bard the bowman from Laketown takes on the mantle of leadership easily, as he tries to find shelter for his people in the mountain. Bilbo plays a key role in trying to broker a peace between elves, humans and dwarves.  Gandalf finds himself in peril again, and again resurges to alert Middle Earth to the evils of a growing menace. Periodically, orc leaders vow death and destruction to their enemies.
Jackson brings all these stories together effortlessly. There are a few side stories and characters too who bring some quiet moments amidst the big battle scenes, and we see some veterans from the Lord of the Rings trilogy make their appearance. It must be a point of honour for well-known actors to play a character in one or other of these films. Memorable among them is Brit Richard Armitage as the tortured, suspicious Thorin, bringing serious Shakespearean gravitas and subtlety to his character as he finally finds his throne, amidst increasing madness. Lee Pace as Thranduil, the king of the Elves, is suitably magnificent, making his entrance on a cross between an elk and a moose. Martin Freeman as Bilbo is always reliable, with his commonsense and decency at the heart of the film.
 Secondary characters like Alfrid (played by Ryan Gage) have their own important scenes, and Gage plays him as a servant seeking a new master – kowtowing, greedy, cowardly and clever at the same time, with a kind of head buried in shoulders stoop.  ‎He’s like the Blackadder of Middle Earth and adds a welcome dose of humour to the otherwise heavy duty goings on.  In addition, there’s even a nascent romance between  elf and dwarf, both equally dewy-eyed.
You can find analogies to modern life in these fantasies, be it the threat of growing power unchecked by humanity, the benefits of all learning to live peaceably with others, or something as basic as finding a home or returning to one’s hearth safely. The big themes of power, addiction, and greed have resonance always. Me, the combination of little folk trying to exert a kind of moral influence over the larger world has a kind of spirituality of its own.
Seen in IMAX or not, this Hobbit is an event movie made lovingly by director, cast and crew. Overall a triumph of acting, effects both computer and animatronic, and design, with frequent thrilling moments,like the long-awaited appearance of Thorin and his dwarf troupe into battle, the final on the ice duel between Thorin and Azog the head orc, and the rescue of Gandalf. A minor criticism: do stage actors with their mellifluous accents really need computer voice enhancements to make their voices more menacing?   ‎

Photo below: Lights of Hope is an annual fundraising compaign  for St. Paul’s Hospital. The campaign ends January 15 2015. Donors may be able to see their names in lights. So donate to this spectacular event!  Info at: http://www.helpstpauls.com/lights-of-hope/.




January 4th

January 2015
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