Friday July 29, 2022
Sparkles setlist 1984

Did you ever find yourself atop the CN Tower, boogie shoes on, ready to rock the dance floor? 

We got wondering about this very question when we came across a great piece this week in Rolling Stone, "The 200 Greatest Dance Songs of All Time."

Would it surprise you to know that several of the songs from this very '80s Sparkles set list made the cut?

Probably not. You knew it then and you know it now. From the highest night club in the world, to the sweatiest school gym, we danced for a decade. Stakers got game. And hey, now that it's the weekend...

Why-y-y don't you use it ;)

We hope you have a great long weekend.

We're giving the team the day off on Monday but we'll be back in your Inbox on Tuesday. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay just a little bit longer.
New nurses still on the sidelines
There are thousands of nurses in Ontario that are unable to practise their profession due to a stringent process that can take years for immigrants to complete.

The College of Nurses Ontario's website says the process varies depending on which qualifications an immigrating nurse may already have, but can take anywhere from three to 18 months.

One nurse named Karla Ducusin, an immigrant from the Philippines, says her application process took three years.

There are certainly minimum qualifications required to register as a nurse in Ontario, but the bureaucratic red tape is keeping thousands at bay while ERs across the province close or collapse.

The Unity Health Network put out a call for volunteers last week, saying that the ER at Toronto Western Hospital is on the verge of collapse.

Nursing organizations across the whole country are calling on governments to loosen certain requirements in order to get as many nurses into the system as quickly as possible.
Rates rise, rents skyrocket
With the Bank of Canada continuing to raise interest rates to combat inflation, the housing market is cooling off.

That's creating significant upward pressure on the rental market, with formerly prospective buyers turning to rentals, along with homeowners raising rent on new tenants faster as they try to keep up with rising mortgages.

Condo vacancy rates in Toronto are far too low for a healthy market, sitting at 1.9%, and are even lower in the GTA, sitting between 0.3% and 0.9% depending on the area.

With so few vacancies, the market is ultra competitive, meaning prospective tenants often settle for overpaying just to make sure they get a place to live. 

The average rent for a one-bedroom in Toronto rose by 20.2% in Q2 year-over-year, hitting a record $2,269 per month. Two-bedrooms rose 15.3% to $2,979, also a record.

Bachelor units soared 25% to $1,829, but stopped short of hitting the record set in Q3 of 2019.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board is warning that the rental market is showing no sign of slowing down, and will likely continue to set new records.
Making up for lost tax
Have you found yourself giving serious thought to switching to an electric vehicle (EV)? You're not alone.

Demand for EVs is rising rapidly. Part of it is high gas prices, and part of it is the affordability of the technology. Rising demand drives prices down, which further drives demand. 

It's a great development in the fight against climate change, but one casualty of the transition not often talked about is the lost revenue for governments when they can no longer collect taxes on gas and diesel.

A report from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada revealed the federal government collects around $6 billion a year in gas and diesel tax. This figure doesn't include GST or HST.

The government has mandated that all new light-duty vehicles and passenger trucks transition to electric by 2035, and wants the entire auto industry transitioned by 2050.

This means that over the next 28 years, and particularly the next 13, tax revenue is going to slowly decline and eventually disappear.

These taxes are collected for general purposes, but also for the development of infrastructure needed to transition to EV.

With the transition well underway, the government may need to introduce new taxes to make up for the windfall.
A first for Facebook
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, revealed it missed its expected earnings target in Q2, bringing in US$28.8 billion instead of US$28.9. For those keeping score, that's a US$100 million shortfall.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg blamed slumping advertising revenue, driven by a number of factors, including advertisers tightening their wallets amid the beginnings of an economic downturn.

But brands are also hesitant to buy ad space on Meta's recent feature product, the "Reel." Reels are short-form videos designed to compete with the same style of content made popular by Tik Tok.

With shorter videos, there's less time for ads, which is partly why Facebook's ad prices have dropped 14%. 

With fewer dollars coming in per ad that Facebook sells, the social media giant must sell more individual ads, which risks disengaging the company's users.

Shares dropped 4% after Meta's earnings call, and the company has lost over half its value since the start of the year.
Beer snacks...literally
Source: Upcycled Foods Inc.
Last month we told you about a research program at MIT that's looking into uses for the discarded yeast used in beer making. Seems like the folks at MIT aren't the only ones poking around the brewery.

In an effort to limit how much food is wasted per year, a couple of companies have partnered to create a protein snack that makes use of spent brewing grains.

The company is called ReGrained and it's adding the grains to things like cereal bars to give added flavour, texture, and nutrients. 

This repurposing of ingredients is known as upcycling. It's a rapidly growing method of limiting food waste - up 122% in the last five years, according to Innova Market Insights.

ReGrained uses a special thermo-mechanical technique to extract nutrients from ingredients. Upcycled spent brewing grains contain 3.5 times the fibre, and double the protein of wheat flour, according to the company.
Vino and bbq? 
If you want good BBQ, Nashville is among the first places to look. They're a few hidden gems there, including Martin's, owned and founded by pitmaster Pat Martin.

Martin has a new book out and in it he discusses a rather controversial topic: what's with the opposition to a glass of wine with BBQ?

It's a fair question. Aside from his recommendations for flavour and general chemistry, a glass of wine instead of a stein of beer leaves much more room for the meat.

So what does Martin say you should have with, let's say, pork? A Carignan is the way to go. Found in France and Spain, this grape ends up in drier wines, with a little bit of smoke, that pairs exceptionally well before and after a bite of hog.

What about beef? Nashville brisket demands something heavier, given how fatty it is and how it sticks around on your palate. You've gotta wash that clean off with a Syrah, which Martin says has the same effects for beef as Carignan has for pork.

He admittedly says turkey is boring and has no advice for wine pairing with it. Chicken, however, is a tough one according to Martin, and ultimately is best paired with — wait for it — brut Champagne.

Have you ever had bbq in Nashville, Staker? Let us know!
Can dogs read our minds?
An experiment conducted at the Arizona Canine Cognition Center at the University of Arizona looked into whether dogs could read human intentions based on their behaviour, or if they were just operating based on memory.

The researchers had a human stand inside a box with several holes in it and kept the dog from getting its treat, first by "clumsily dropping" the treat, and then by clearly teasing the dog and pulling the treat away from the hole.

The study revealed the dogs appeared to react more frustratingly when they were clearly being teased versus when the human just kept accidentally dropping the treat.

It wasn't conclusive, so the researchers had 48 different dogs of different breeds participate in a similar experiment, and found that when the human was being clumsy, the dog waited around for 89% of the time, seemingly knowing its human was trying to feed it, but just had butterfingers.

When the dogs were clearly being teased, they waited around only 78% of the time, appearing to know they were getting bamboozled.

Is it concrete proof that dogs can read our intentions. No, but it's an interesting window into the complexity of the canine mind and motivation. 
My, my, my boogie shoes
You knew this was coming! Ending the week strong with some disco trivia ;)
Have a great long weekend Staker!

Today's edition was written by Michael Cowan and Maureen Norman
Copyright ©2022 Stake Media Group,
All rights reserved.

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