Nude Life Fitness: “Get Buff in the Buff”

English: Yoga Head Stand Naked

“Free”-style (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When a naked yoga studio opened in Edmonton, the prairies weren’t ready for the peaks and valleys they saw.  But here in the gritty city of Hamilton we’re lining up for Nude Life Fitness, the West Mountain’s fully equiped fitness complex.

“Can you bare it?” asks the pink neon sign adorning the dark tinted windows of a nondescript strip-mall.   As I enter the flesh centre (the name for the main workout room), what I see is a typical workout facility.  The man on the elliptical listening to his iPod, getting into his swing.  A heavy-set woman dead-lifting, and a man skipping rope.  Of course, unlike the YMCA (which makes you wear underwear), everyone is naked.

No Shame, No Gain

Barbara Goldstein, the brains behind Nude Life, explains, “If you have a rock solid body, how many people are going to see it?  Your spouse, your partner, a few people at the beach?  If you go to Nude Life, hundreds will see you – it’s a reward for your hard work.  On the flip side, if your a little pudgy around the edges, the shame of working out naked is just the motivator you need.  It’s about honesty.”

Giving  new meaning to private training, Barbara’s staff does one-on-one training, too.  “You have to think of the trainers like nurses, there’s nothing they haven’t seen.  It’s all out in the flesh centre, so there’s no room for hanky panky.”  If you’re intimidated by private sessions, you can join one of the classes, Burn me on, Excite Bike, Booty Camp, Dr. Peacock’s medicine balls and 20/20 Zumba.

Putting the Strip in Strip Mall

The feedback from the community has been mixed.  The patrons I talked to say they love the freedom, but it’s a bit tiresome for the eyes.  Neighboring businesses worry the type of clientele it will bring to the sleepy West Mountain.  “If you are willing to parade around your body, what else are you willing to do?  I worry for the safety of our families,” says Shafir Abdul, owner of Always Time Convenience Market.

Nude Life Fitness invites people to come and form their own opinions at their Open House, Saturday, May 4th, 2pm-4pm.  Dress code? Casual
Harvard Square Shopping Centre.  Mohawk Rd W and  Magnolia Dr.

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Oprah slags Hamilton: It’s ‘a one-poutinerie town’

English: Oprah Winfrey at the White House for ...

Oprah Winfrey Flashing Hamilton a fake smile, inwardly judging us. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Bart Sherman, author of “Diagonal Lawn” story
Barely a week after taking the stage in front of thousands of admirers in Hamilton, Oprah Winfrey is attacking the city with both barrels.

Appearing Saturday on the New Arsenio Hall Show, Winfrey – wearing the very same buttercup yellow dress she wore at Copps Coliseum last Saturday – went on a long rant against the city and its people.

“Have you ever been to Hamster Town, Arsenio?” Winfrey asked the host, leaning in with a smile. “It’s a one-poutinerie-town way up in Canada, Arsenio. Don’t go there, man. Literally.  They’re so pro-foreskin up there, it ain’t funny.  I had Stedman wait in the limo.  He’s been limping, lately, after his surgery.”

About 14,000 ‘Church of Winfrey’ followers filed into Copps for Oprah Winfrey’s roadshow on April 13. Despite the best efforts of organizers and an over-willing local media, the show did not sell out.

Winfrey’s apparently sore about that, too.

“I prepared so hard for that show, Arsenio,” she said. “And those people dressed like slobs — I told them they were the best-dressed people I’d ever seen but I was joking! That place should have been packed to see someone turned out as fine as me!”

A Nightmare With Dolphins

Big Yellow Oprah said she was disgusted and disappointed by a backstage meeting of “prominent” Hamiltonians, where she was introduced to veteran outlaw graffiti artist Keenur, Tomi Swick, jazz songstress and Seniors Head vocalist Jude Johnson, and former mayor Bob Morrow. There were also  photographs of Daniel Lanois and Martin Short in the room.
Winfrey told Hall she would never return to the Steel City, and urged everyone else to avoid it, too.
“Follow your dreams, people, but if the road goes through Hamilton, consider that dream a nightmare,” she said, adding the only interesting thing in the city was the killer whale and dolphins jumping around in the harbour.
“They look so so cute I could eat them,” she said.  “Stedman! Fetch me the yacht.”
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List Review of 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

Men Save Cute Goat

A triumph of the human spirit.

A devout list-lover could spend hours looking at Buzzfeed’s amazing lists like the 7 Types of Crying Selfies You’ve Seen on Facebook, or 16 Street Gangs You’d Totally Join, and 21 Signs You Were Raised by Asian Immigrants.

This week’s list comes from the good people at BuzzFeed.  21 Pictures that Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity was compiled by Jack Shepherd, the current community manager of BuzzFeed. And like so many great listers, he lives with his cats in NYC.

Each of Shepherd’s “moments” are written in the neutral, Helvetica font, which allows the content to speak, not the font.

His clear and anecdotal voice lets the reader get the gist of the story behind the photos, but allowing for personal reflection.   And he really starts delivering at item #19 – This exchange between a protester and a soldier during a protest in Brazil.

Allowing the pictures to do the talking, Shepherd shares a story of a protest in Brazil. One of the army generals asks the people to stop protesting because it is his birthday.  The protestors buy the general a birthday cake, and major hugging ensues. And to quote Shepherd, “Faith in Humanity: Restored.”

The most surprising item is #3, where three young men rescue a sheep from certain death (pictured right). The sheep had fallen into the treacherous sea, and through a riveting series of photographs, we see one man jumping at his own risk to save this sheep.  It is a testament to their bravery.

It’s ironic that 21 Pictures that Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity contained so many photos about animals. Is it because we don’t have enough pictures online of people doing nice things for people? Or is that cute animals are our go-to when we feel a little hopeless (those cute little cats getting air from the fireman did make me pretty happy).

21 Pictures that Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity resonates with the crowd that feels like the world lacks hope.  Shepherd realizes the right photos can remind us that love abounds, and distracts us from war, famine, and marathon terrorism.   And, for the most part, he delivers.

I give this list 3 check-marks out of 5.


By Elisha Stam

Northern Seductions: We’re Putting the Hump in Frump

Make your closet sparkle with a triple threat (photo | G.McNally)

Make your closet sparkle with a triple threat (photo | G.McNally)

Let’s think of a scenario: You’ve been married for twenty years. Your husband is still sweet, but the fire is gone.  You want to spice things up, but you are not comfortable with the “trampy” atmosphere of La Senza or La Vie En Rose. What are your options?  A Hamilton-based branch of Northern Reflections  now has the answer.

Northern Reflections, the same company that brought your kindergarten teacher Hallowe’en vests, and the ubiquitous loon emblazoned sweater has just come out with an innovative line of lingerie.  Northern Seductions.

The tagline “make your hubby howl at the moon” may be kitschy, but test groups of women aged 40-65 have scored N. Seductions quite well.   Using the same fibre they use in their sweaters, they claim you’ll feel like your wrapped in an old blanket at the cottage, feeling the coziness of your own sexy body.   Northern Reflections has hired top talent to  design the line.NorthernSeductionsLogo

“We’re putting the hump back in frump,” says Misty Bluewater, Northern Seductions’ New York fashion conceptualist. “We’re aiming for the female, forty-to-sixty demographic, and they resist sex appeal. We’re meeting them half way.  A loon is non-threatening, but they also hold the wild and sensual quality of nature.  We’re hoping to bring out their inner loon.”

Northern Seductions are already selling out, as loon-covered negliges enter the bedrooms of Canadians.   Whether or not this is a passing fad, at least this Mother’s Day there’s one more gift idea to make mom (and dad) happy.

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Dude, Where’s my Foreskin? Oprah’s Madness, Stedman’s Shame

English: Stedman Graham

English: Stedman Graham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the eve of Oprah’s Hamilton visit, her longtime life partner – Stedman Graham – broke down in a press conference, confessing the extent to which Oprah controlled his life.

“She made me get circumcised against my will.  No adult man should ever go through that, especially without the care of a midhusband.  She cut me off in my prime, and now I’m telling the world.”

As The Star recently reported, protesters from the advocacy group C-FAP (Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project),  are protesting Oprah’s promotion of a hand cream made from male foreskins.   But no one knew the extent she’d go to get her hands on that cream.

Oprah, Keep Your Hands Off My Penis

Stedman continued, ” This is just the tip of her corruption.  She loves her goddamned foreskin hand cream, and she’ll go any length to get it.  She’s influenced the mutilation of millions of babies.  Too many men and children have been cut short.”

Pictures of Stedman’s botched surgery are circulating the internet (NSFW), and it’s not pretty.  Penis experts question why a billionaire went to a walk-in clinic, when she could’ve had the best midhusbands in the country attend to her man.

Where's my foreskin? sign

Stedman’s burning question – (photo |

A source close to Oprah says that some clinics don’t remove enough of the penis to take advantage of all the fibroblasts available in the foreskin.   “If that is the reason,” says Bob Longfellow, Canada’s leading plastic surgeon, “than she’s more monster than human.”

Allegations that she’s going to Hooters alternative, Peckers, remains to be confirmed.  Meanwhile, Oprah still plans on her appearance at Copps Coliseum, Saturday, April 13th.

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4-Year-Old Sets Fire to Parents’ Car: “They threw out my Easter craft”

No Drama Here

No Drama Here (Photo credit: phil41dean)

Every parent experiences that tinge of guilt when they throw away their children’s craft.  Whether it’s an earnest attempt at a popsicle stick house, a gluey tinsel snowman, or a ripped paper bag dragon,  families don’t keep every ‘treasure’  their kids bring home. The average Canadian child brings home upward of 214 crafts, per year – enough to fill a small shed.
Hamilton resident, Jessica McCourt, aged four, discovered her baby chick Easter craft laying in the garbage under the sink.  In a moment of passion, an enraged Jessica lit her parents Hyundai Sante Fe on fire, causing $10,000 in smoke damage to the garage.  The local fire department prevented the fire from spreading to the house, but the SUV is burnt beyond use.  Jessica remains unapologetic, refusing talk to her parents.
yellow chicks

The salvaged yellow chicks (Photo credit: awaqas1)

 “I spent hours in Church making that craft,” says a teary Jessica.  “Hours! I dyed the wool, and didn’t spill any glue, just like they asked me to.  You know what hurts the most, though?  I told them I was giving it to them because I love them, and because Jesus loves them too.”
Gareth and Louise struggled to explain their actions to their daughter.  “Anyway you say it, it still sounds like we’re horrible people,” says Gareth.  “I told her all parents do it.  We don’t want to condone arson, but we also admit that we should have kept the chick.”
Jessica has vowed to stay at her grandparents until her parents apologize.

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The ‘Harper bear’ will be part panda, part polar


“There’s a fine line between mating and mauling when it comes to polar bears,” expert says. (photo|Wikipedia)

Like a Liger: Bred for the very first time

What do you get when you cross a polar bear with a Panda?  If Stephen Harper has his way, a unique symbol of harmony between China and Canada.  The ‘Polanda’ bear, nicknamed the Harper-bear, has the potential to smooth out foreign relations with the Chinese, especially as they aim to scoop up more oil sands.  China’s ambassador to Canada, Zhang Junsai says this is an opportunity to unite our countries, while at the same time creating  a new, more versatile bear species.  It’s not about destroying the environment, says the Prime Minister’s Office, it’s about preserving two amazing animals.

During Er Shun and Da Mao’s stay in Toronto, they will be privy to a host of expensive toys, exercise equipment, groomers, researchers, and veterinarians.   They will be expected to earn their keep, though.   Each bear has been match with a polar bear with similar traits and sexual compatibility.

Panda’s too frigid for polar bears?

“Panda bears are extremely selective when it comes to choosing a mate,” says panda expert, Prof. Kirby Bulsinki.  “As an animal biologist, I’ve devoted my life to these cuddly little fellers.   They’re not going to love being put in a pen with polar bears.  I know the mechanics of mating them will work, but a lot of sex is psychological for pandas.  Polar bears, on the other hand, will mate with anything with a heartbeat.  Elephant seals, lost explorers, seals, whales, you name it.   They may just over power the pandas.  After all, there’s a fine line between mauling and mating.  We just hope it is consensual.”

The symposium on inter-species breeding, hosted bi-annually at the University of Guelph, is divided on this issue.  “We have no idea what this animal may be capable of,” says naturalist Stig Larson.  “Polar bears are hunters, carnivores, swimmers, and travel long distances.  Panda bears are cute, vegetarian, sedentary, and more like a big raccoon.  They may turn out like Katy Perry – cute but dangerous.  But there’s always a chance they’ll be like Frankenstein – well-meaning, but ugly and destructive.”

North Meets East

Harper notes that both species are in rapid decline, and from a pure survival standpoint, may benefit from more adaptable traits.   The opposition recognize the environmental benefits, but say it’s not enough.   “Harper isn’t planning to release them into the wild, he just wants them to boost his own popularity and whore out our oil,” says opposition leader, Thomas Mulcair   It’s a slippery slope, though. First it’s the polanda bear, the next thing you know we’re using Chinese currency and dipping our pizza in soy sauce.”

“‘Cabbits’ – cats crossed with rabbits – have proven successful for Mexican-American relations, and I think the polanda bear will have similar results,” countered Harper.  “We have a chance to expand trade, and form a strong bond.   I’m doing what Nixon did, but I’m throwing in a feat of science, and one hell of a cute pair of animals.  That just happened!”

Whether or not the polanda bear is a success, politics with Panda bears are rarely black and white.