A Worldly Woman

Photo by Evelyn Hannon.

Photo by Evelyn Hannon.

“I am going to go away for thirty-five days. If I go away and I don’t die, then that will probably be the metaphor for the rest of my life,” says Evelyn Hannon. She is the creator of Journeywoman, the premier travel resource for women, providing newsletters and travel tips for over 72 000 women worldwide. When asked the main reason she loves travelling, Evelyn replied: “I think it’s for the people; different cultures, different ways of being, but under our skin women are the same all around the world.” Evelyn has touched on all seven continents, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and she’s been to all the places she’s ever dreamed of travelling, amounting to over sixty countries.

“Sometimes life unfolds in a way you would never have imagined. And sometimes you are forced to react to those life events in ways you would never have imagined. But, you do and looking back you understand that that was the absolute right thing to do,” she writes. Evelyn is currently a world-renowned travel blogger for women but it wasn’t always this way.

Evelyn pictured here on her trip to Antartica. Photo by Evelyn Hannon.

Evelyn pictured here on her trip to Antartica. Photo by Evelyn Hannon.

Evelyn was born in 1940, and when she was growing up in the fifties, “women could do one of two things: you could be either a nurse or a teacher; anything else was pretty much unusual,” she says. She decided to become a teacher and got married quite young; her husband and herself both nineteen years old at the time. Married women were expected to stay home and take care of the children, and let the husband go out and earn money. Evelyn’s big problem wasn’t that she minded her husband being the “boss”, but rather that she couldn’t stay home because it just didn’t feel right and it was boring. She needed to have something more fulfilling.

By age forty-two, Evelyn was divorced and alone, scared. This was a huge step for her, because in the eighties divorce just wasn’t done and your husband had to accompany you everywhere – you didn’t ever go by yourself – it was an absolute rarity if a woman was seen travelling by her lonesome. “If I have to stay home and bake chocolate cakes, I’m going to die of boredom,” thought Evelyn. She took into consideration her love of travel and the fact that she had never travelled alone before, and decided to go on an adventure for thirty-five days. “So I bought the cheapest ticket I could find, and off I went, and for thirty-five days I cried,” she said, having felt scared, sad, and sorry for herself. “The next thirty-five days were laden with intense emotion and storybook adventure. I soared in the heavens and wallowed in the depths,” she writes. But on this journey as an independent woman, she learned something very valuable about herself, in that she was very comfortable with people. “I could strike up conversations everywhere and anywhere. By doing that, I was learning all kinds of interesting things about the country I was in, but also about myself. That maybe I didn’t have to rely on a husband and maybe I wasn’t nothing now that he was gone”, says Evelyn.

At the Shakespeare Garden in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Photo by Evelyn Hannon

At the Shakespeare Garden in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Photo by Evelyn Hannon

After five weeks abroad, she came home to find that the travel bug had bitten her. This trip had been the first time that she was truly testing herself, learning about another culture but also learning about who she is as a person. By 1994, Evelyn noticed that there was no information about women’s travel anywhere; no books, no magazines and certainly no newspapers. This is when she finally decided that she was going to begin a newsletter for women travellers.

Evelyn Hannon was the first person to evolve a society’s outlook on women’s travel to the point where it would be socially acceptable to travel solo as a woman. It’s worth mentioning that she was also one of the web’s first bloggers back in the nineties. Along with the new century came more and more opportunities for women to travel alone or with their friends, no longer needing their husband to accompany them everywhere.

Evelyn Cooking pizza in Israel, photo by Evelyn Hannon.

Evelyn Cooking pizza in Israel, photo by Evelyn Hannon.

In 1994, Evelyn wrote a paper copy of her newsletter, and by 1997, she had transferred onto the Internet. “My mandate became, for that newsletter, to inspire women to travel safely, to travel often and to travel well.” Her intentions were to connect women travellers all around the world; it was never intended to become a business. She thought that women had to find ways to help each other in their travels so that they wouldn’t get into trouble. In the late nineties, very few women had access to computers, so she started out with a hundred women who could connect via e-mail. She told them that she would do all the work, she wouldn’t charge anything for the newsletter, and the only membership fee was that they had to give her one travel tip during the year.

Evelyn believes that it was, at first, her pure love for travel and her determination that kept the newsletter running, because she certainly wasn’t earning any money off of it. She later began her attempts to contact travel editors who could possibly help her expand her network of travel women.

Evelyn at her senior prom in 1956. Photo by Evelyn Hannon.

Evelyn at her senior prom in 1956. Photo by Evelyn Hannon.

Gradually, her website and her story began appearing in little dots around the world. Her reputation was progressively snowballing and in 2000, she was contacted by People magazine for a spread about her and what she was trying to accomplish. “At that point, being on the web was really different and a woman talking about women’s travel and trying to organize it so that the world would accept women travellers was a complete oddity,” says Evelyn. “Slowly but surely, it began moving around the world, and I became a kind of “cult figure” – which I had no intention of ever doing – but suddenly, there I was in the limelight.” The more Evelyn appeared in newspapers and magazines, the more people began joining her. In 2000, Time magazine chose Evelyn as one of the top 100 innovators of the new century, an incredible reward for her accomplishments. Young women were starting to travel and they were starting to write about it. As a result, travel companies noticed the amount of money to be made in this sector and they began to incorporate women’s travel opportunities into their catalogues.

When asked what is the most important tip to remember when going on an adventure, Evelyn said, “Even before you decide what your destination is going to be, you have to get onto the Internet and research that place. Find out if it’s safe for women […], and once you’re satisfied that yes, you can handle it, you’re ready to go.” Her theory is that before travelling, women must do their research to become culturally aware and prepared to get the most out of their destination.

The face behind Journeywoman is an inspiration to women around the world, the first valid encouragement and effort to get women’s travel to become the norm. Without her and her tenacity to keep the newsletter going, women might not have had as much flexibility and incredible opportunities to follow their hearts’ desires as they do today.

Sailing around the world for 108 days on the MV Explorer for Semester at Sea. Photo by Evelyn Hannon.

Sailing around the world for 108 days on the MV Explorer for Semester at Sea. Photo by Evelyn Hannon.

“I’ve heard countless wonderful stories and have had a myriad of lovely adventures to match. All because I am a woman who refuses to be timid and who has learned, by trial and error, the benefits of solo travel. And when I am ninety and sitting in my rocking chair, I know that I will be grinning, remembering my past exploits,” writes Evelyn on her website.

Readers, I hope you are as inspired and motivated as I am to travel well and travel often. Mrs. Hannon, you have brought a big change to our world, and I do hope that you have the opportunity to share your story with many more, as I have had the wonderful pleasure of hearing it.

additional interview with Evelyn Hannon

The Montreal Canadiens: At the Heart of the City

Founded in 1909, the Montreal Canadiens are the city’s oldest and most iconic professional sports team. With hockey’s rich history as a favourite Canadian pastime, the Canadiens have always been an important part of this city. Nicknamed the “Habs” after ‘les habitants’, the original settlers of New France, the people’s passion for hockey is channeled through their hometown team. The team has a rich history as one of the winningest franchises in all of professional sports, and the greatest in hockey with twenty four Stanley Cup wins. Despite a championship drought that has endured since 1993, the team’s fan base continues to grow. The Canadiens’ presence and influence now extends beyond the walls of their arena and the games they play on ice. From steps outside the Bell Center, to the streets of Montreal, the Habs are part of the pulse of the city, integral to its identity. Hockey is a religion in Montreal; the evidence is found throughout a city that proudly displays its passion for the colours of the bleu, blanc et rouge.

“What the hell is BDSM?” and Other Questions, Answered

“Kinky sex is defined not so much by what it is, but what it’s not,” Bernie, a southwestern Ontario entrepreneur in his mid-50s, told Metro News this October. His statement was made in response to former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi’s defence of the sexual assault allegations brought against him by nine women, stating that it was nothing more than consensual, kinky, BDSM sex.

Besides Ghomeshi being outed as rapist scum, BDSM is also being talked about on the morning news in a more positive light, soccer moms praising E.L. James’ novel 50 Shades of Grey for being a modern kink masterpiece.

Sadly for devout soccer moms and rape apologists alike, Ghomeshi’s disgusting sexual behaviour and James’ completely inaccurate portrayal of BDSM couldn’t be further from the real thing, but negative and far-off depictions of kink are just about the only thing being talked about right now. So, what the hell is BDSM?
A LIL’ BIT OF HISTORY

The origins of BDSM as a term are difficult to trace. Eric Partridge’s book The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English traced it back as far as 1969, the BONDAGE & DISCIPLINE and SADISM & MASOCHISM elements combined into an easy acronym.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 12.05.06 AM
these terms: remember ‘em!

The origins of bondage came from various places. In Tarquinia, a sixth century B.C. Etruscan flogging grave known as the Tomba della Fustigazione (Tomb of the Whipping) exists, wherein a woman is seen erotically being flagellated by two men, with a cane and a hand, respectively.

Tomba_Della_Fustigazione
Tomba Della Fustigazione

The act of flagellation was also present in the first or second century in the Roman poet Juvenal’s Sixth Book of Satires. The Kama Sutra, the most famous text depicting some of the sadomasochistic acts and connotations practiced within contemporary BDSM. This Sanskrit text from (what historians estimate to be) between 400 BCE and 200 CE was written by Vātsyāyana. It speaks of consent, includes some safety rules and focuses primarily on the submissive’s pleasure. This is outstanding, because consent is the most important part of BDSM culture and still sometimes fails to be mentioned when BDSM is discussed in modern times, which could easily contribute to instances of abuse and ignorance within the community.

THE ORIGINS OF SADISM & MASOCHISM

Born in 1740, Marquis de Sade, real name Donatien Alphonse François, was a Parisian philosopher, known for writing explicit, violent, blasphemous sexual works. A temperamental child of aristocratic origins, his obsession with flagellation was sparked after the act was used against him as a punishment for misbehaving in school.

TELEVISION PROGRAMME…. Masters of Darkness: De Sade Pictured..
a portrait of Marquis de Sade

His most famous text “120 Days of Sodom” was written while he was incarcerated for sodomy. The term Sadism is drawn from his name. The texts he wrote described some of the sadistic acts practiced in BDSM today; however, he had no mention of consent, and discussed pedophilia, bestiality and extreme violence, setting him apart from the very safe and sexy BDSM we know and love today.

The term masochism is drawn from the name of the Ukranian romance author Leopold von Sacher­-Masoch, who wrote some of his stories from a submissive standpoint, showing the structured relationship of a submissive and a dominant.

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

He advocated for feminism in his daily life, but pressured his wife to fulfil a very dominant sexual and romantic role that she did not consent to, which shows both negative and positive aspects of his views on sexuality.

CONTEMPORARY EXAMPLES

Contemporary artists and photographers in the field have also helped to bring BDSM into the sphere of public discussion as their works became more mainstream, depicting acts of BDSM and erotic scenes of the like. After Gene Bilbrew, a fetish artist of the 50’s, emerged Robert Bishop, his works from 1971-­1985 in magazines and catalogues presenting a visually brighter, more explicit look at BDSM-­related artwork.

In 1982, Barbara Nitké was raising to prominence as a talented female photographer, working in the completely male­-dominated setting of pornography sets. When the hardcore porn industry found its new home in Los Angeles in 1991, she went on to photograph the sets of SM and fetish movies in New York City.

Its origins in film and photography stem largely from Irving Klaw. A producer in the 1950s and 1960s, his photographs of Bettie Page arguably his most famous works, he also published bondage comics by Eric Stanton and John Willie.

BDSM-related imagery, although growing more and more common, can still create controversy today. For example, pop performer Madonna was often seen pushing sexual boundaries throughout her career, generating tons of negative feedback and immense publicity after the release of her Erotica album, especially. Still, Madonna wasn’t the first, and she certainly won’t be the last to get kinky on national television.

Madonna’s Erotica album
Madonna’s Erotica album

a typical shocking Madonna look from her Erotica days
a typical shocking Madonna look from her Erotica days

HOLD ON JUST A SECOND…

What if, when I mentioned, BDSM, you thought of “50 Shades of Grey” by the best-selling novel by the (likely orgasm-deprived) so-called author E.L. James? My response: NO! 50 Shades of Grey” is abuse, plain and simple.

E.L. James, someone who somehow makes more money than most people
E.L. James, someone who somehow makes more money than most people

I feel it is best outlined within the article “50 Shades and Abusive Relationships“ written by Jenny Trout, wherein she compares the “Universal Red Flags” in Sandra L. Brown, M.D.’s book “How To Spot A Dangerous Man” to the situation Ana endures in James’s novel. Her analysis shows that their interactions blatantly fulfil all of these criteria, romanticized to seem like something people should yearn for in a relationship. He manipulates and degrades her time and time again.

Please never use this as an example of BDSM. It is an abusive situation and perpetuating the idea that it is anything but extremely dangerous is potentially very harmful.

Say it with me this time: CONSENT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF BDSM, AND SEXUAL OR ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS IN GENERAL.

Great! Now that you know the history of BDSM, the general terms, what it is, exactly, and what to avoid, you are ready to learn how to get into the BDSM scene, should that be an interest of yours.

GETTING OUT THERE

If you’ve decided that BDSM may be of interest to you, it’s important to learn how this culture came to be, how it’s practiced today and where you can find all the information necessary to get started.

There are tons of easy ways to meet people within the BDSM scene, the easiest likely being signing up for the website Fetlife (which is free!) and checking out the events, groups, pages, and just speaking to people who seem interesting. I made many friends within the scene, both play partners and pals that are just there to listen.

fetlife’s interface
fetlife’s interface

Some people just want friendships, are in relationships already or just aren’t looking for a new play partner, so don’t feel intimidated by the idea that there are obligations once you sign up. In fact, the most crucial part of BDSM is the consent factor! Anyone who’s a true part of a community will always mention this to a beginner.

Another way is to put yourself on the line and attend public events that can be discovered via Facebook, flyers, or word of mouth; however, be careful to only attend something you completely trust. Montreal Fetish weekend, held in September, offers tons of amazing kinky experiences, and is totally open to everyone (besides the whole “it costs money” thing) from star fetish models to newbie players.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 12.21.51 AM
ONLINE RESOURCES

To discover what elements of BDSM you enjoy (and to show your partner to ease communication), here’s a personal pleasure checklist:

http://www.cepemo.com/checklist.html
If you wanna DIY some BDSM stuff:

http://asibdsm.com/bdsm­resources/rope­bdsm­resources/
http://www.ohjoysextoy.com/diybdsm/ (cheap!)
An easy-to-read little infographic on bondage by the super sex-positive, queer site Ohjoysextoy:

http://www.ohjoysextoy.com/lucy­bellwoods­rope­bondage/
IN CONCLUSION, be safe, be kinky, and always have fun. Sex should be a positive experience for everyone involved, so whether you like inflicting pain, receiving pleasure or sitting out and watching, be sure to do your research. Oh, and don’t read 50 Shades of Grey, unless you’re analyzing it and vomiting during. Also, never use Wikipedia.

Enjoy yourselves, kinksters!

Mis(cis, white, hetero male)representation in Art

When was the last time you heard a rap song aiming to empower women? What about a film starring a non-heterosexual character? And how many paintings in the Met depict a scene featuring a non-white? A broad (and positive) representation of minority groups—such as women, the LGBTQ community and ethnic groups—was for a long time, completely nonexistent. While in the past few decades, there has been some progress in giving a voice to these groups, proper representation can nonetheless only be deemed, at best, as lacking. The art world is still heavily riddled with inaccuracies concerning groups and communities of people that fail to fall into the ‘white, straight, cisgender male’ category.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community has experienced a more notable and long-lasting misrepresentation in cinema. Big-budget films fail to feature an LGBTQ character in a supporting role, let alone a featured role. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Wilson Cruz, an activist working with GLAAD (an organization working towards increasing LGBTQ visibility and tolerance in the media), noted that “moviegoers should be able to see LGBT people as integral players in the stories told by leading Hollywood studios.” By failing to portray these characters, movie studios are sending a biased message that undermines and denigrates LGBTQ people. In 2013 GLAAD released the Studio Responsibility Index based off a study conducted by the Stanford Research Institute that aimed to show the severe lack of LGBTQ portrayal in popular cinema. After studying 101 box office hits of a variety of genres, it was found that only fourteen of them featured a character that identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual. None featured a transgender/transsexual character. There is something to be said about such a prevalent and accessible artistic medium failing to showcase such a large community of people.
Contrary to the LGBTQ community, women have had a lot of artistic representation within a large range of mediums. However, this representation unfortunately tends to be misogynistic, objectifying and belittling. Rap music is an excellent example of that. In 2001, Eminem won the Grammy for his album The Marshall Mathers LP, on which the lyrics make blatant references to violence and aggression towards women. Only a few years later, in 2005, Three 6 Mafia won the Academy Award for best original song in a feature film for their song “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp;” a song that uses a multitude of derogatory terms for women and severely sexualizes them. These two songs are important examples due to the exposure they garnered through receiving the awards (thus perpetuating their messages), but countless other rap artists, like Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Jay Z, Lil Wayne and Big L use violent and chauvinistic lyrics. The sexism in rap doesn’t end with the songs themselves, but is also conveyed through their music videos. Women are often used as sexual props for the male rapper and any other men featured in the video. T.I.’s music video for his song “Why You Wanna” is a prime example of this attitude. In the video, T.I. and his friends are relaxing on the beach and surveying the different women walking past them. The camera focuses solely on the women’s rear end, which reinforces the message that women are really only good for sex. So many other videos feature scantily clad women and show the camera only focusing on their bodies that it appears to almost have become a prerequisite for this particular genre of music.
While rap music is a more recently-emerged medium, the more traditional medium of painting has failed to positively portray many minority groups, significantly non-white ethnic groups. For one, in many famous paintings, such as Manet’s “Olympia,”

olympia

black people are depicted in servant or slave roles, which emphasize the idea of white supremacy. They are dehumanized, portrayed almost as props within the paintings, which gives the impression of unimportance. It was only in the 1960s that black contemporary artists’ work, in which they attempt to redefine the image of the black body, became showcased more. In Western society, we often think in “black and white” terms, however, this inexact portrayal extends beyond one ethnicity. Joshua Reynold’s painting “Sir Robert Clive with wife, daughter and local help,”

Reynolds.clive.750pix

depicts an evidently affluent white family with their Indian servant, kneeling and holding the daughter. This painting is another important example of the distorted power relations embedded within our society. This can be in large part attributed to the repression of minority groups’ artistic work for centuries. Though there is a more significant range of more diverse artists working today and showing their work, racism in painting is still a notable issue. As a very broad, generic example, many art classes, from elementary school to university-level, study important historical works, many of which depict this power relation. It is important to recognize the harm in this relation and educate students on the issues surrounding it.

As a whole, misrepresentation in art is a very relevant and dangerous issue today. Art, which we often and perhaps sometimes wrongfully, look at as generally open-minded, free, and tolerant can be misleading and damaging. While these examples look closely at three specific issues in three different mediums, these issues and many more are present in all art forms. We often look at it as a reflection of our society and its many components. While many artists, like local artist Travis McEwen, are presenting work that aims to break these ideas and redefine what gender, ethnicity and sexuality are, it is important to remain cautious and observe these works critically rather than take these messages seriously and/or lightly. Art is an extremely powerful medium that has the ability to reform opinions moderately to drastically. With its incredible influence, the messages sent through both historical and contemporary works need to be identified and analyzed to ensure tolerance and acceptance of all human beings.

Retrieved from: Culturally Artistic

Lifestyle: Advertising

From Knowing a Little, to Knowing Everything; The impact of Big Data on Advertising

What and How?

In an era of information, internet, smartphones and Google, one of the most interesting and impactful new tool companies have on the tips of their fingers is the science of data collection namely, Big Data. It consists in collecting, classifying and analyzing data coming from multiple platforms and to transpose them into facts and statistics. This process can be applied to many fields, but the one field that has been significantly influenced by this new phenomenon is the world of Marketing and Advertising. Changing the process of advertising drastically, marketing agencies have to reinvent themselves to produce campaigns that are extremely targeted and precise.

Now able to know and predict the buyer’s intentions, companies have access to information they never would have had before. Social networks are good examples because they offer personal information. What music you like, what social class you are in, approximate income, your habits, things you like and more. Able to know you on a more personal level, companies can assemble campaigns that will engage you, attract you, and connect with your values and beliefs. The analytic aspect of Data collection, is where the marketing agencies are challenged. From the dawn of time to 2003, humans generated around five Exabytes of data. In 2012, global data grew to 2.7 Zettabytes, which is 500 times more data than all data generated prior to 2003 in only 10 years. This constant flows of data, coming from all those different platforms are hard to analyze due to the substantial amount there is. Companies have to invest in sophisticated programs that use complex algorithms to classify all the data. Once the data are analysed, marketers needs to come up with campaigns that are innovative and will target as precisely as possible their consumers.

Big Data, Good or Bad? CLICK here to know more.

big-data

big-data An IBM Study : http://imasaikirangeek.wordpress.com

How do you convince me?

Additionally to the complexity of producing effective marketing strategies, advertisement is also evolving in a brisk way. The mediums by which we consume content has significantly changed passing from fix televisions to a multi-screen reality. With Television, laptop, smartphone, tablet and screens of all sorts, commercials have become somewhat optional. Big data comes into play in a form of online advertisement commonly called pop-ups.

”Commercial web publisher make space available on their web pages for banner and display advertisement. Typically, when a user opens such a web page, the browser reaches out to an online ad exchange network and request an ad unit to serve to that user. The ad exchange broad cast the information enriched with behavior data specific to the user. The information is compared between advertisers to determine which ad is significant to that user. Then bids are made by companies and the higher bidder wins”.

In other words, in order to decide which ad will get the slot on the web site, the exchange board analyse the behavior the user had prior to opening that page. Your research on Google, the web sites you browsed, your Facebook profile and many more are taken down and classified. As an example, if you wrote on your Facebook profile that you just bought a pair of boots, chances are the boots ad won’t be selected to advertise on the page.

Dirty Advertising

Many different marketing techniques are used in relation to big data. The analysis of word is one of those techniques. Based on the traditional marketing technique called ”Weasel Word”, agencies use words that have a positive connotation and that have an upbeat phonetic when pronounced. That way, the customer’s focus is diverted. With data the company use the same technique, but with words that are often employed by their target consumers. Browsing on social media, marketers are able to draw a pattern of word choice in the collected data of their actual customers. They will then use those words in their commercials to engage the buyer. Another technique that is used is the ”Plain Folks” technique which consist in making the product appear to be for ”ordinary” people. Like the cliché example of a regular family eating cereals in the kitchen, companies combine big data by analysing the social class the buyer is part of. That way, they can reproduce their target buyer’s environment and convince them that they can and should have that product. Even favourite colors, book or food can be used in an advertisement even if it has nothing to do with the product. A lot of the tactics that are used are made to act on a subliminal level and that is precisely where advertising is effective.

The concept of ”mind share” is at the core of advertising and is another facet of the unconscious effect it has on consumers. Often we claim that claim that we immune to advertising, or that it does not ”work” on us, right? Well that is precisely what agencies want you to believe. The more confident one is about his/her control over marketing, the more this person is in fact affected. Mind share is the idea that certain brands are able to associate themselves to a concept, an event or even beliefs and values. The more you see that advertisement, the more chances you have to buy it. This will happen not because you will consciously think that because you have seen it everywhere you need to buy it, but because you will automatically create a link. If I was to write on a shopping list to buy some Tide, you will most likely know that Tide is a detergent and you will probably see the bright blue yellow and orange of their packaging. You will also find the item pretty fast in the isle of the supermarket and probably one commercial of the company will come to your mind. All this because of a combination of being seen everywhere, having catchy slogans, good commercials and the effective use of advertising techniques.

mindshare

mindshare Want to know more? CLICK HERE

 

On a business level, big data is about to change a lot and will provide companies with an effective tool that will help them achieve new summits. Is big data good or bad, the question stays ambiguous for now. Advertisement will get more and more targeted, but where will it stop? For some, data collection has become an issue of privacy since companies use personal information about them. For others, it is a question of evolving into a more intelligent model of consumerism and allowing people to shop more effectively.

 

Digital Marketing

Agencies Adaptation to Big Data

Advertising Techniques

For More Info : Oral Presentation – Big Data

Word document – Big Data

Lifestyle: Wine

Although wine tasting seems like a difficult and uncecessary art to many, it is actually an essential part in properly appreciating the wine you’re drinking. If you’re broke, like me, and sacrificing 19$ on a bottle of wine, why not appreciate it to its fullest, right? Wine tasting can open up a whole other side of wine you never knew existed.

Step 1: Right after pouring the wine into your glass, tilt it slightly with your rist to analyze the opacity and pigmentation of the wine. Visual analysis will teach you a lot about what kind of wine it is. Bordeaux wines, for example, will be much darker and much more opaque than Beaujolais.

Step 1: Right after pouring the wine into your glass, tilt it slightly with your rist to analyze the opacity and pigmentation of the wine. Visual analysis will teach you a lot about what kind of wine it is. Bordeaux wines, for example, will be much darker and much more opaque than Beaujolais.

Step 2: Without agitating the wine in your glass, smell it and try to take note of what it smells like exactly. Then, stir the wine by moving the glass with your fingers and smell the wine again. The oxygen should bring out different smells in the wine.

Step 2: Without agitating the wine in your glass, smell it and try to take note of what it smells like exactly. Then, stir the wine by moving the glass with your fingers and smell the wine again. The oxygen should bring out different smells in the wine.

You have to actually stick your nose into the glass.

You have to actually stick your nose into the glass.

Step 3: Take a sip of the wine and KEEP THE WINE IN YOUR MOUTH FOR ROUGHLY 15 SECONDS. This is important because you won’t be able to properly taste the wine if you simply swallow it. Keep the wine in your mouth and swirl it around with your tongue. It sounds gross but will allow you to properly discern the different flavours in the wine.

Step 3: Take a sip of the wine and KEEP THE WINE IN YOUR MOUTH FOR ROUGHLY 15 SECONDS. This is important because you won’t be able to properly taste the wine if you simply swallow it. Keep the wine in your mouth and swirl it around with your tongue. It sounds gross but will allow you to properly discern the different flavours in the wine.

All three steps will give you an overall analysis of the wine. Some older wines take longer to taste because it takes a while for the flavours and scents to come out. You can download the questionnaire from the SAQ here: https://www.saq.com/content/dam/saq/pdf/fr/vins/SAQ_fiche_degustation_vin.pdf

All three steps will give you an overall analysis of the wine. Some older wines take longer to taste because it takes a while for the flavours and scents to come out. You can download the questionnaire from the SAQ here: https://www.saq.com/content/dam/saq/pdf/fr/vins/SAQ_fiche_degustation_vin.pdf

You should always wait 15 minutes after opening a bottle of wine that is older than 10 years old before tasting it.

You should always wait 15 minutes after opening a bottle of wine that is older than 10 years old before tasting it.

Lifestyle: Upcoming Travel Destination of 2015

When it comes to travelling, it isn’t always the “where” that’s important, it’s the “why”. One wants to go on vacation to re-charge ones batteries or to reconnect with oneself or another. Sometimes one wants to meet new people or to discover and learn about another place and another culture. When deciding what the next destination will be, one should try to place the focus more on what’s needed from the trip and what can be given back to destinations and local people. Some of the positive aspects of tourism are that it has become a major resource in international commerce. At the same time, it represents one of the main income sources for many countries. This goes hand in hand with increasing diversification, development and socio-economic progress.

That being said there are always trends in the travel and tourism industry. Brazil was a popular choice due to the FIFA World Cup in 2014. Statistics show that a total of one million foreign visitors visited the country for the month-long World Cup event. Soccer is a passion and an art, and it takes form in the shape of Brazil. In comparison, 310 thousand foreign tourists went to South Africa for the World Cup in 2010. Germany received 2 million foreign visitors for the World Cup in 2006. With the 2016 Olympics less than two years away, the World Travel & Tourism Council said earlier this year it expected Brazil will receive 6.4 million international tourist arrivals in 2015. This number will grow to 14.2 million by 2024.

London was another popular choice. The city had 16.8 million visitors in 2013, an increase of 1.3 million from 2012. The increase was due to the summer Olympics. London surpassed Paris and became the most popular destination for tourists in the world.

With the New Year approaching, it’s time to predict future travel destinations discover somewhere new for 2015. Every year, National Geographic releases a list of Must See Destination; this list affects travellers as well. We aim to come across something off the popular path, a travel destination yet to be fully appreciated, maybe an underrated city or a place that just needs more attention.

  • Milan, Italy

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The Duomo di Milan situated directly in the centre of Milan city.

This City was selected because from the dates of May 1st to October 31st 2015, the city will be hosting the next Universal Exposition. The theme for the Expo will be “Feeding the planet, energy for life.” 144 countries participate in this Expo and Milan is expecting 20 million visitors. It will surely surpass this number because the last Expo in Shanghai received 73 million visitors. Milan is underrated, mostly because of Italy’s main attractions -Rome, Florence and Venice. Of course, other reasons to visit this city include Gothic Cathedrals, museums and monuments, such as the Piazza del Duomo (which will be finished its restoration process in time for the Expo). You can see the city best from the top of the Duomo cathedral. La Scale, another grand cathedral, is known simply as the “home of opera” for over 200 years. Milan is also one of the world’s best fashion districts. Monte Napoleone is the most famous street in Milan where it is home to Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, D&G, Prada, Valentino and Versace; Giorgio Armani’s superstore and his new hotel are at either end of the street. Milan is elegant and stylish yet drowning in history. Each area of the city has its own personality- from very posh to truly quiet places.

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  • Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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View of Sarajevo from Yellow Bastion, in the mountains

Bosnia has a very complex history. From one end of town to the other, one can literally step through centuries of history, from cobblestoned Ottoman empire to Austrian empire to Socialist Yugoslavian republic and back to modern, independent Bosnia and Herzegovina. This country has something that is hard to find and impossible to mimic – it offers tourists and travellers a time warped experience where you will feel as though you have stepped back in time (in a good way). A touristic spot is Yellow Bastion. It is part of old walls that protected the city, built in the 18th century. Yellow Bastion is up on the hills and has the best view of the city. The Bastion always looks different during each part of the day and every seasons. Locals are always smitten, no matter how many times they see it. To be like a local, it is very trendy in Sarajevo to sit in specialty cafes and enjoy exclusively cigarettes and coffee. It is part of Bosnian culture. Just hours away from the city centre are the Olympic Mountains (Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Games). When it’s cold out, one can enjoy skiing and sledding activities. National Geographic named it one of the Best Adventure Cities. Hikers and mountain bikers have made their mark in their mountainside. Budgeting can easily become one of the immediate downfalls to travel, but if you’re travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina you can forget the thought of constantly watching your budget, as it is incredibly cheap to get by with food and living costs (particularly when comparing to other European countries). Sarajevo isn’t a glamorous city, but will welcome and charm you with its atmosphere and sense charisma. Season by season, the country is seeing more and more visitors make their way here to discover the beauty on offer… so it’s just a matter of time before tourism really kicks into overdrive. Now is the perfect time to visit Bosnia.

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  • Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

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Old Bagan and New Bagan

Now is the moment to visit this extraordinary land, scattered with temples, where the traditional ways of Asia endure and areas previously off-limits are opening up. Bagan is an ancient city dating to the 9th century. The city has over 10 thousand temples and monasteries scattered across it. Over 2 thousand are in pristine condition today. In a nation with well over 100 ethnic groups, exploring Myanmar can often feel like you’ve stumbled into a living edition of the National Geographic. The country, for instance, has yet to be completely overwhelmed by Western fashion. People still get around in trishaws and, in rural areas, horse and cart. Drinking tea – a British colonial aspect – is enthusiastically embraced in thousands of traditional teahouses. Amazingly, over a century later, Myanmar retains the power to surprise and delight even the most jaded of travellers. Bagan is filled with Buddhist sites and monks walking around casually. In 2013 Myanmar remained a Starbucks-free nation – but that could soon change. As the country makes tentative steps towards democracy, sanctions have been dropped and the world is rushing to do business here. In recent years conveniences such as mobile phone coverage, Internet access and internationally linked ATMs have all improved or made their debut. Relaxing of censorship has led to an explosion of new media and an astonishing openness in public discussions of once-taboo topics, including politics. Parts of the county, off-limits for years by the government, can now be freely visited.

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  • Muscat, Oman

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The Golf of Oman in Muscat

Oman is a small Arabic country in the Middle East. The nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman has one of the most diverse environments in the Middle East with various tourist attractions and is particularly well known for Cultural tourism. It was chosen as the capital of Arab tourism in 2013. The country’s beaches and cultural sites are free of tourist crowds. But see them now, because Oman is on the verge of discovery. Muscat offers a combination of sophisticated Arabian heritage and unspoiled natural landscape that includes mountains, sand dunes and beaches, as well as caves, meteorite fields, and more than 500 forts and castles to explore. Oman has embraced modernization, while rejecting high-rises and sky scrapers, which is described as “visual pollution.” The entire city of Muscat is white or pastel with an Arabian palace feel.  Muscat has a policy in place to keep visitor numbers down to minimize culture clash. What you see is purely authentic.

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  • Space

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This panorama of Space was taken by the deployed Imager for Mars Pathfinder.

It’s only normal that once the globe has been seen that tourists are longing to see the rest of the Universe. After years of anticipation, it’s here: Virgin Galactic is the world first commercial space line. More than 600 travelers have already lined up for the experience, which gets you three days of training at Spaceport America in New Mexico before you rocket into suborbital space. Passengers will experience the unique thrills of spaceflight, enjoying the opportunity to leave their seats to float in zero gravity for several minutes. Looking out twelve large windows, passengers will take in astounding views of space and of the Earth below. The spaceship will hit speeds of up to 2,664 mph and float in zero gravity for several minutes before returning to earth. The price is currently at $250 000 for the experience. When talking about upcoming travel destinations, tourism space travel can very much become a common reality, maybe not in 2015 but definitely with years to come.