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Heat up your day with spicy cocktails from Chicago

- November 29th, 2012

Brrrr! Baby, it’s cold outside! The weather out there may be chillingly frightful, but inside things are about to get a lot more delightful thanks to these seasonal, spicy cocktails from two restaurants in Chicago.

Great for enjoying while spending time with family and friends or for warming up with after a long commute or a day of Christmas shopping, these two cocktails will have you feeling hot, hot, hot in no time.

Evil Ways - Courtesy South Water Kitchen

Evil Ways – Courtesy South Water Kitchen

Evil Ways – Courtesy Dan Rook at South Water Kitchen, Chicago

• 3 oz Metropolitan Krankshaft Kolsch ale
• 3 oz Red pepper puree
• ½ oz Agave tequila
• 1 oz Valentina hot sauce
• ¾ oz Worcestershire sauce
• ¾ oz Lemon juice
• Dash of salt
• Dash of pepper

Hott & Dirty - Courtesy Encore Liquid Lounge

Hott & Dirty – Courtesy Encore Liquid Lounge

Hott & Dirty – Courtesy Jason Davis at Encore Liquid Lounge, Chicago

• 1 oz Olive juice
• ½ oz Tabasco sauce
• 3.5 oz Vodka
• Shake and serve in martini glass

Prince William, Catherine visit dukedom of Cambridge for first time

- November 28th, 2012
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in Cambridge at Peterborough City Hospital. (WENN.com)

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in Cambridge at Peterborough City Hospital. (WENN.com)

Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visited the university city of Cambridge today for the first time since the Queen bestowed the dukedom of the city on the Prince on his wedding day in April 2011.

The pair made the 48-minute journey from London on a scheduled train and were greeted by Royal watchers and curious residents of Cambridge before embarking on a tour of the city.

Catherine was sporting a new hairstyle amid a fresh wave of rumours that she’s pregnant.

For more photos of the Royal couple’s trip to Cambridge, click here.

Are Canadians vacation deprived?

- November 22nd, 2012
Do you need a vacation? (Shutterstock)

Do you need a vacation? (Shutterstock)

Do you use all the vacation time allotted to you by your workplace every year? If you don’t, you’re not alone.

The results from Expedia.ca‘s 10th annual Vacation Deprivation survey reveal about 19% of the Canadian population is letting their vacation time go to waste. Still, we’re much better at taking time off than we were 10 years ago when 33% of Canadians didn’t use all their vacation time.

According to Expedia’s survey, 81% of Canadians use all their allotted vacation time – up from 67% 10 years ago, – with residents of B.C. most likely to take time off. Just 13% of West Coasters said they didn’t use all their vacation time this year.

Canadians living in the Prairies were the least likely to book days off, with 25% of respondents saying they took less vacation time than they were entitled to this year.

In Alberta, 15% of residents didn’t use all their vacation time, followed by Atlantic Canadians (18%), Ontarians (21%) and Quebecers (21%).

“After 10 years studying working Canadians’ vacation habits, it’s great to see we’re growing more comfortable taking off the time we deserve,” Sean Shannon, vice-president and managing director of Expedia Canada, said in a press release. “Seeing new places, immersing in a culture, fulfilling a lifelong dream to visit a destination, and even just enjoying a warmer climate are experiences we should make time for because of the immediate and long-term benefits travel has on our professional and personal lives.”

Respondents said cost (26%) and trouble coordinating schedules with family (21%) were reasons they didn’t take time off.

Even Canadians who use their vacation time, though, can’t seem to get the workplace off their minds, with 59% of respondents admitting they regularly or sometimes check work email or voicemails while on holiday.

“Regardless of anyone’s position on the corporate ladder, there are real benefits to ‘falling off the grid’ and focusing on enjoying your holiday,” said Shannon. “Despite the challenges we sometimes experience catching up with work after returning from vacation, there’s no doubt that those who take the vacation time they are given come back invigorated, happier and de-stressed.”

Canadians receive an average of 15 vacation days a year, according to Expedia’s survey.

Best photo ever taken of Machu Picchu?

- November 14th, 2012

We’ve all seen those iconic photos of the ancient Peruvian Inca city of Machu Picchu sitting snug on a mountain top as the peak of Huayna Picchu rises above it. One of the best known symbols of Inca civilization, photos of Machu Picchu reinforce the sense of mystery and intrigue surrounding the abandoned city in the clouds. 

Machu Picchu photo by Jeff Cremer.

Machu Picchu photo by Jeff Cremer.

A new photo of the historic site promises to bring armchair travellers closer to Machu Picchu than ever before. 

Photographed by tour director Jeff Cremer of Peru’s Rainforest Expeditions, this 16 gigapixel photo of Machu Picchu is incredibly detailed, with Cremer saying it is the highest resolution photo ever taken of the Incan city. Cremer used professional camera equipment and the latest technology to piece together 1,920 separate images he took to create his high resolution photo. 

The photo is also completely interactive and is available for viewing on a website that allows anyone to click on, zoom in, move, take individual snapshots and discover the hidden nooks of Machu Picchu. A video has also been posted to YouTube showing the behind-the-scenes challenges of creating the high res photo.

“Machu Picchu is one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of the World and the most familiar icon of the ancient Inca,” said Cremer in a press release. “Beautiful, historical and threatened, I believed that this extraordinary site deserved a remarkable photo to hopefully raise awareness and help in its preservation.”

Visit gigapixelperu.com to see and zoom in on the high resolution photo of Machu Picchu.