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Why the colour of your coffee mug matters

CANADIANS LOVE COFFEE

According to Coffee Association of Canada,  coffee is the most popular beverage amongst adult Canadians over 16 - even more than tap water! Meaning, that coffee is a pretty important part of a regular Canadian's day-to-day. The industry contributed $6.2 billion to the overall Canadian economy and  $4.8 billion sales in foodservice. Of the traditional importing markets – North America, Europe and Japan, Canada is showing, by a considerable degree, the fastest sustained growth in the last decade.

Coffee Mug 1Restaurateurs are finding ways to add this favourite hot beverage to their menus in different, and exciting ways. Coffee and tea have traditionally been integrated into food, as well as shaken iced teas and cold-brews, as explained in the recent MENU Magazine article. With this item becoming more and more popular each and every day, we know how important it is to our industry as a whole. The incentive to drink and incorporate this item is there - and consumers will continue to demand and desire new and exciting ways to enhance the multisensory experience of coffee-drinking.

Coffee Mug 1

Recently, an interesting article was published regarding the psychology of coffee drinking. The study explored if the colour of the cup that you drink from matters. Apparently, it does.

The study came to be by chance. The author was at his local cafe when a barista told him that "when coffee is consumed from a white, ceramic mug, it tastes more bitter than when drunk from a clear, glass mug." This claim launched an investigation into the psychological impact of cups and coffee.  With the amount that the beverage is consumed each and every day, you'd expect there to be some research on it, but surprisingly, nothing of this kind had been done before.

THE FINDINGS

According to author George H Van Doorn, brown may be negatively associated with sweetness, and associated with bitterness -- so that cancels out brown mugs. Ostensibly then, coffee from a white mug would be more bitter than a clear, transparent vessel. 

Coffee Mug 1

There is a science behind this; the study dives into the perception of taste and our concepts of bitterness. If you consider complementary colours for your mugs, one could assume that a blue mug would work positively with the colours, and effectively make the natural brown "pop out."

Ultimately, the colour of your mug does matter, psychologically. It's all about the perceived tasted and flavour of the coffee as you're drinking it. The bitterness, intensity and sweetness are affected when it's poured into a cup that doesn't jive with the colour brown. So, the next time that you purchase new mugs for your new cafe, or your barista grabs a colourful mug from the cupboard, consider the impact it will have on your coffee drinking experience -- this subtle difference could mean the world to your customers, and make all the difference in creating and encouraging repeat business.

If you're interested in reading the full study, check it out here.

This blog was originally posted in the Restaurants Canada Blog. View the original here.

Numbers – a short sci-fi film

I love short films! Since I’m on the internet at all hours of the day, I've obviously come across so many gems. Below is a great little sci-fi short on an interaction between Nick and Mia, two people who have more in common than what you perceive at first glance.

Have you ever seen that music video for Nickleback's song Savin' Me? This movie has a similar concept. Totally worth your 10 minutes to watch, the attention to detail is second to none.

Everyday is NYs

A challenge of mine lately, has been goal setting. The creation, the execution, and the follow through on these things have been getting more and more challenging as I get older. Maybe it's because I'm stretched too thin lately, or that I'm just not able to commit in the way that I'd like to, but I've become a bit disenfranchised with New Years and the concept of goal setting.

This past year, I've spent a lot of time thinking it through. I'm certain that we place ourselves in a position for failure when we expect ourselves to follow through on an arbitrarily made goal. We do this just because the idea of renewal and being better at the top of the year has been sold to us, time and time again. I'll happily make goals for myself, but I have to get out of the mindset that it must be done at certain intervals, at specific times in the year, when I feel that there is a clean-slate, so-to-speak. This year, I'm trying something new. Each day I will be doing something bold. Taking a moment every day to do something that gets my heartbeat racing, and helps get me to where I need to get to. #OneBoldMoveaDay will get me closer to my goals for 2017. I'm feeling optimistic about this belief that this year, every day will be my New Years Day.

Beyond that, I have my eyes set on some milestones to complete, or habits to further entrench into my life. On my list are: working more on my Spanish (which I started to learn in September), furthering and deepening my yoga practice, and growing my relationships as I have been for the last 2 years.

Wish me luck!

The Intention of Setting an Intention

I always look for ways to increase my productivity. From apps to just pen and paper to-do lists, I have been working on creating systems and methods for me to keep track of all the things I like, and want to do. Since I have so many projects on the go, I am in a constant process of renewal and hope that I can find that perfect balance. Self-help and growth seem to be the cause du jour.

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As we all know, the internet is rife with them - those articles purporting to be able to change your life, and to make you a better person. When I was younger, I worked at Chapters - in the self-help section. Each book echoed much of the same things (a lot more religiously based), but it is truly interesting to see what type of world this self-help, productivity and "cult of me" has turned into since then. Now that the internet gives everyone the chance to share their stories, and gives opportunity to anyone who wants to learn, we see so many different forms of calls for self-betterment: articles, TED talks, "lifehacks" - never would I have thought it would morph into this. It's a full time job trying to understand and read through it all. Who even says that it will work for you just because it has worked for another? I get fatigue from just trying to keep up with it all.

Ultimately, the best way that I can consider doing things is to have your goals determined, and then work back from there. What is your objective? How do you get there? These are all things I contend with. I also attempt to do this for determining the course of my day - not just for work and side-projects.

When I began yoga, I started setting an 'intention' to follow through my practice. Soon, little things like 'be kinder' and 'be grateful' became something I tried to implement past just that one hour of yoga. I would proclaim my intention for the start of the day - and kept repeating it through out. When I knew it was going to be a particularly trying day, or if I have many things to do on my lists, I would make an intention that would help me through it - "just try," I'd tell myself... "just try today. It doesn't matter if you believe you can or can't - just try." This has helped me combat natural feelings of inability or self-confidence issues in the face of projects and has equipped me for more than my day-to-day - beyond just the boardroom.

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So, what does an intention do for me? I believe that setting an intention displays commitment. You can write it, say it out loud or just chant it like a mantra throughout your day, but what you're ultimately doing is putting it out there into the universe. It holds me to it by virtue of it being based on my word.

Here's how to go about setting an intention for your day (if you so choose!):

1. Be honest and clear about something you want to achieve, or want to be and write it down or say it out loud.

2. Share your intention with someone in a way that will supportively hold you accountable to taking action and following through.

3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention.

4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would and then, take the next step. (Keeping a journal acknowledging your 'wins' can help with that!)

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By setting an intention, you make it clear to yourself and others, just what you plan to do. Set an intention to redefine what it means to be serious about your dreams.

The gods wait to delight in you

I just read this interesting article: “What Norway did with it’s oil and we didn’t”.

It focuses on the legislative and public policy aspect of the oil boom in Canada. It compares Canadian methods of handling it’s new found oil to that of Norway’s policies, both publicly and privately. It draws attention to our focus on the free market, which rarely allows for long-term, sustained growth (since there is barely any control over the resource and no government intervention).

In 1969, Norway discovered oil (in what was called the Norwegian continental shelf) and understood that oil was a finite resource—one that could be harnessed for the betterment and long-term prosperity of the collective Norwegian population. They aimed to use the oil as a way to make them more competitive beyond just the resource itself. The author contends that this was a very smart choice and that Canada is not making the right moves in comparison. The government of Norway's investment (monetary and labour-wise) has benefitted the country in profound ways, adding to technological advancement, job growth and no decline in exports due to a strong currency ("Dutch Disease"). This is key to note, seeing as the rest of the continent has been struggling at this time. 

The Norwegian government is continually changing and updating the laws to manage not only the
economic and energy gains of this resource, but also to carefully monitor it's impacts on environment and communities—meaning they always are involved in some way. The government has founded a nationalized organization: Statoil ASA and created a presiding directorate, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, with the goal of “creating the greatest possible values for society from the oil and gas activities by means of prudent resource management.” The have successfully rendered a plethora of gains from this one find—something that the author fears Canada is failing to do. The government of Norway's investment (monetary and labour-wise) has benefitted the country in profound ways, adding to technological advancement, job growth and no decline in exports due to a strong currency ("Dutch Disease").

The article, while focusing on oil, draws other parallels between the country, through resources (mainly forestry, fishing and  and the government's involvement in handling those resources. 

In comparing, the difference is just that the main way of viewing our resources is fundamentally different from that of the Scandinavian country; they depend on an idea of co-operation and collaboration between countries for resources, whereas we don't have, and don't know how, to do that. This is an evolved form of what Niall Ferguson referred to as the "competition" aspect in his book: nations in smaller areas have to always consider the longevity of their resources and how to share them amongst themselves. The article is posits that Canadians have had no need to worry about resource-sharing, and that our own government Acts work against us in not recognizing the finite nature of many of our resources. 

It's noted that socially-inclined governments must work closely with the specific industries if they want to grow and help a specific industry flourish—something to think about when thinking against free markets. 

Over all, this article is written deeply in praise of a socialist-style of government, but I do doubt that the same rules can be applied to Canada in it's current fragmented state. Canadian resources are also managed province-by-province; we're not as homogenous as the Norwegians and we don't have the high taxes that they do. It's also obvious that our entire structure and electorate balks at this unified version of governance. 
 

Have you heard of this, more about Eurlerian Video Magnification? I just stumbled upon an article today from the NYT and apparently, unhealthy when a video is run through this specific algorithm, it amplifies both movement and colour, effectively making visible the invisible.

This technology from MIT was first “developed the program to monitor neonatal babies without making physical contact. But they quickly learned that the algorithm can be applied to other videos to reveal changes imperceptible to the naked eye.”

Check out this video on Eurlerian Video Magnification. It’s really cool!

Anita

Originally posted on my previous blog on 12/26/12

As a woman, viagra sale I fear that being from a certain gender speaks louder than my actual skills and abilities.  I think I would be a bit more amenable to it if it was just a fear, but it is more of a reality.  This is the thing that infuriates and saddens me the most about being a woman in our world.  Despite experience, ability and wit, I am still unable to freely navigate to where I desire without having to think about something as ridiculous as my gender holding me back or speaking for me.

While this is a reality that has remained consistent for women despite periods of leaps and bounds in society, an added issue is how women are portrayed and expected to act when dealing in business.  Recently, I read this article entitled “Niceness is overrated.  Here’s to the lady jerks of 2012.”  This article was basically an ode those women who are jerks and are unabashed about it.  Bringing to light the ever double-edged sword that is gender relations, it seems that even if women act in a hostile, or in an assertive manner, that will not necessarily mean that they will get far.  According to the Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, “Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women.”  This means that even if women get far in business, if they imitate the same tactics used by men, which are often lauded by society, they will be branded as unlikable or known as “bitches”. (N.B.: I am not a fan of this word, but in an effort to succinctly describe what I mean, I will use it – begrudgingly.)

Why is it that the archetypal businesswoman is often portrayed as a bitch?  A man is seen as a go-getter, ambitious and business-savvy, a perfect opposite to the woman who is a bitch, a ball-buster or even, frigid (which, god-forbid, diminishes her sexuality).  It is very similar to the double standard of “he’s a stud and she’s a slut” when comparing women and men in terms of sexual exploits and experience.

While women can act in a “disagreeable” manner to achieve and win a certain amount of power, which will ultimately diminish their likability, it’s not even guaranteed that they will get that power to begin with.  Ultimately, we are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t in this case.  I, personally, am just going to continue to be assertive when I need to be, and attempt to forge a balance between being assertive/aggressive and killing them with kindness.

Sadly, as much as I would love to offer a change or a way out of this predicament for women, I can’t.  I think that until society learns to value women in the way they should be valued, we won’t be able to get past this archaic way of thinking and acting.  Take, for example, the issues of women’s rights in India with the rapes and so-called ‘honor killings’, what is occurring in the United States with women’s reproductive rights, and just general inequalities spattered throughout developing nations. These cases are undoubtedly borne and executed within the confines of a country’s culture and history.  With that being said, I believe that we have an understanding in our society, in the West, that what is occurring in India is wrong; as extreme as the comparison may be, there are basic rights afforded to people, why not the right and ability to work based off merit?  All men are created equal it seems, but not all men and women are equal to one another.

Anita
This post was inspired by a Slate.com article, found here.

Aphrodisia - Richard Hoffman

 

Love’s language is hyperbole, but whispered, treatment

sibilant similes and promises sotto voce.

It’s easy to imagine you’ve misheard,

 

the form and content clash, create this weird

distortion like an echo or a tape delay.

Love’s language is hyperbole, but whispered.

 

On which do you place emphasis: The words?

Or the breath? The farfetched or the foreplay?

It’s easy to imagine you’ve misheard

 

when objectivity has disappeared

and your lover is getting further carried away.

Love’s language is hyperbole, but whispered

 

vows? It’s hard to take him at his word,

or hers: Speak up! Proclaim! you want to say.

It’s easy to imagine you’ve misheard,

 

hard to admit one sharp as you is stirred.

You need to back off, cool down, act blasé.

Love’s language is hyperbole, but whispered.

It’s easy to imagine you’ve misheard

Transferred over from my previous blog - originally published on 01/02/2013

I don’t know about you, clinic but I have been reading a lot about how we can make our sleep better and more fulfilling.  As more and more information seems to be coming out on the web, viagra buy it’s obvious that people are noting the definitive lack of sleep since the onset of the technological age.  In a hope to get back on a schedule after a very hectic last couple weeks, ambulance I have attempted to find and implement ways to make my sleep better.

The list is long, but things such as: washing my face with cold water; not eating past a certain time; doing yoga or any other fitness activity and finally meditating to quell the mind, have definitely helped me with my sleep.  Once I get into it, day-after-day, doing the same routine, I find my sleep is better and I get up with no problems – something that I struggle with if I don’t implement these methods.  I just really value my sleep to go about my life half-rested.  Anyway, along with doing those things, I found this AMAZING (really, AMAZING, caps and all!) app through a forum.

f.lux is an app that changes the colour of your backlit screen from that eerie blue glow that has supposedly been made to mimic the sun, to one that gradually changes as the time changes.  As the site says, “f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.”

Using it for the last few days, I have already seen a difference.  My eyes aren’t straining and I am able to stare at the screen later, for longer.

If you’re a person who insists on using your computer before you go to bed, then I would 100% suggest you try this easy-to-install app.  It’s available for basically all platforms and is totally invaluable.

Check it out on the f.lux website, here.

Not-so-sleepily-yours,

Anita

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, ailment sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it, cost
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

The Laughing Heart
- Charles Bukowski

Romantic Comedies with a Feminist Twist

In a neverending quest to better understand myself and my beliefs, I've worked hard to view myself in relation to my gender. Through my life, I've experienced feelings of inadequacy, feelings that I have to work hard to prove myself whenever dealing with men. I've become a strong advocate of feminism, equality, and gender relations even going so far as working on gender equality projects in STEM and promotion of women in the restaurant industry.

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Often, I sit back and think of where these feelings of inadequacy come from, where they began and how they are promulgated within our society - and I can usually come up with a few ideas of where they stem from. One, of many, being that they are coming from a place of culture and socialization. It's built into our society that women have to take a certain type of treatment and that we should long for it; sometimes, we don't realise that this is stemming from a system that has been built around patriarchy and privilege.

Recently, when I stumbled upon this funny video, I realised more than ever that culture -- pop culture specifically, helps reinforce gender norms that can be very damaging to women and our gender understanding as a whole. Here is a fun look at what would happen if famous movie romances had a bit of a feminist twist to them; where they wouldn't glorify and promote unhealthy expectations of relationships and identity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKDN1W-y9VI

Wanderers

If anyone asks, I usually tell them that Turkey has my heart. It's a great place and the culture just spoke to me when I had visited. Honestly, I would even consider living there (in Istanbul specifically) for a while or trying to own property there since it's so beautiful and rich with history. Despite the turmoil, I've longed to go back and visit; to explore and to grow through the city and the culture as an adult.

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Part of my undergraduate degree was spent focusing on the Ottoman empire. I spent 3 years pouring over texts on the country, reading things about the diaspora and the culture of these people. I was ensnared - and still continue to be.

I'm sure that you've already seen this, but there is this amazing video of Turkey going around and winning all these awards. I wanted to share it with you so you can see the beauty of this place.

Enjoy the film, and promise yourself that you'll visit Turkey one day!

Anita

"As for me, cure I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, troche and land on barbarous coasts.” - Herman Melville

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Is it true that innately within each of us is a yearning to explore, to discover and to travel? Is there a need to visit far off places and remote worlds? Personally, this assumption holds fast and true for me, and I know that if the world had not been explored yet, I would readily jump on a vessel and go forth!

I recently stumbled upon this short film that features satellite imagery from NASA with a cool voice over from Carl Sagan explaining the desire within us all to see what is beyond our atmosphere. The video creates a world where humans have figured out space travel, and now are exploring those far off planets and their moons. The film is entirely speculative, but offers an interesting view of what could come. Imagine, trekking across Europa or staring up at the rings of Saturn... intense.

The director has used a mix of real images and has created his own sets to mimic what a planet may actually look like (when we finally get there, of course!). Check out the video below and as a bonus, here is some beautiful artwork from the short.

Unsettling the Settled

As I mentioned in my previous – and first – blog post, what is ed I have a couple things I want to focus on while abroad.

I think that everyone that knows me can attest to one truth about Anita: I never found it easy to stay in one place. I’m dedicated and committed to something that I believe in, hospital but it’s rate to find longevity and excitement in something, viagra 60mg unless I am doing it on my own.

With that being said, I don’t know what I thought I would find committing to a situation that I have never been attracted to before? The last two years have been a learning experience for me, work and play-wise. At the age of 26, I found myself in possession of more things than I thought I would have: a full-time job, a house and working towards a pension plan. I’m lucky. Don’t get me wrong at all – I’m fortunate and so few people my age and of my generation can boast the same. In fact, the majority of people in my life don’t even have a job that provides them with fulfillment. When I think about that, I wonder to myself… am I asking for too much?

I’ve always led with the principle belief that I would never settle. Never settle for bad or toxic friendships, never settle for a relationship with a person who was not my equal, never settle for a workplace that did not respect and nourish my growth and my autonomy. But have I set myself up for failure? I’m not comparing myself against any other measure – while I acknowledge the potential of excellence in others, which could one day be mirrored through my actions, and my success, I know that my only competition is with myself.

I’m on day 5 of this journey and can’t believe that I’m here. The last couple days have been a little crazy; I’ve made some new friends, learning to ride a scooter – wow… and learning to love myself a little more, and a little differently than usual. It’s all a process, but I’m feeling better about my choice every day – my choice to leave home and embark on this journey. Taking a step like this can be scary, since I knew that I wouldn’t be coming home the same.

The beginning

Earlier this year I read an astrology prediction for my sign. “Leo, more about ” it said sagely, dosage “look out for changes in your living arrangements and prepare for an expansion of your world. This could be from changing how you live, cost to traveling.” I scoffed. I had just returned from Paris – broke – and since being in a committed relationship, travelling had become harder and harder to do while solo. I was looking forward to sticking around a bit and maybe enjoying all that Toronto had to offer.

For my boyfriend’s 30th birthday (his champagne 30th, may I add) in May, we decided to take a whirlwind, adventure trip: backpacking through Peru for 2 weeks. This was the closest I was coming to understanding that prophecy that my astrological prediction had set out for me. Despite having this on the burner, I felt myself yearning for something else. Summer had me feeling as though I had stagnated. I wasn’t where I wanted to be, who I wanted to be and wasn’t living my life authentically – something that I had promised myself when I was soul-searching in Paris.

While many things seemed so right – my friendships were flourishing, I was (relatively) excelling in my job and I was building a solid, and fulsome relationship with my partner, I still felt as though nothing was going right. I was rummaging around asking myself every question imaginable – and as my 29th birthday approached, I felt deflated. Early August, I had enough of this feeling. In true Leo fashion, I set off to change my reality, control what I could and make some actionable plans for making a life that would suit me. I cast a wide net. I applied to jobs abroad, I started studying for my GMAT and checking out schools for MBAs, I even applied to a program I stumbled upon called Unsettled.

The long and short of it? I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I wanted to do something, so I did. I received a reply from Unsettled and soon found myself planning for a month living and working abroad. I guess that astrological prediction came true in some form – my living arrangements the same overall, save for a month abroad living, working and learning in Ubud, Bali. I would have never have expected it , but I am so glad that I kept myself open and curious enough to take a chance and leave my comfy world. 7 weeks abroad, 4 different cities (transit and visiting), and a month living in a paradise destination with people from all over the world.

As I write this, I’m sitting in Singapore’s Changi airport (marvelling at the beauty and innovative ingenuity of the terminal and everything Singapore) waiting for my flight to Bali’s Denpasar airport. After a week of staying solo in Singapore, I’m headed to start my journey and to find something that I know I have within me, it just needs some unearthing.

I plan to write and log each day as I grow and change through this experience, as well as working towards developing some skills, goals and habits that will help me feel successful in my regular life… if and when I decide to return to Toronto.

Issues with Reintegration and Self-Perception Post-Travel

It’s always a struggle for me when I go away on an adventure. Anytime I travel, I know that it's inevitable that I will return changed in someway; but truthfully, every person changes each minute of the day, every second, through every conversation and interaction, through every breath and blink. I can't imagine not coming back different in some way. My perception and understanding of things shift, and my traumas and issues that I'm dealing with seem to not dull, but to lessen.

Either way, Bali and the Unsettled experience proved to help shape me, and change certain parts of myself. Unfortunately it did open up a whole new set of questions and issues that I still have to delve deep into: where am I going? who do I want to be? where should I put my efforts, and where shouldn't I?

Bali's abandoned Hotel
Bali's abandoned Hotel

I'm still shifting back into regular life, but finding it exceedingly difficult to remember that at one point, I was away, in a beautiful place, learning and growing myself. It's made me realise the importance or having an environment (working and living) that really is positive and not-toxic. A place with bad morale and unhappiness breeds it; will poison even the most even and balanced mind.

Me practicing yin yoga at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Me practicing yin yoga at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

As I push through, I'm trying things like meditation and mindfulness (something I started to cultivate while abroad) and work on keeping balanced. While I keep a constant dialogue going within myself and the struggles I'm experiencing, I find it hard to articulate and share the things I'm feeling with others and how this change and transition has affected me. I hope that in short order, things will go back to normal, or I find a normalcy that fits me. Ultimately, when I came back from France last year (I actually flew off yesterday, a year ago) I felt a sense of loneliness and malaise that came with reintegration into my normal life, but that tapered off once I started to identify a new, self-directed normalcy.

Has anyone else felt this way? And what tactics do you use to ensure that this is as painless as possible?

Anita xo