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Dan Aykroyd: Catholic Seminarian Turned Actor

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Legendary comedic actor and screenwriter Dan Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952 in Ottawa. His French Canadian mother, Lorraine Gougon Aykroyd, worked as a secretary, and his father, Peter Aykroyd, was a civil engineer who worked as a policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He has a younger brother named Peter.

Aykroyd grew up in the Catholic Church in Ottawa, and until the age of seventeen, he was interested in becoming a priest. Outgoing and hyperactive, he was expelled from his strict Catholic seminary school and ended up at Carleton University where he studied psychology, criminal sociology and political science. During college, he was part of the Sock and Buskin Drama Guild, and his focus shifted toward acting and performing.

After graduation, he did stand-up comedy in a number of local clubs and ran a speakeasy called Club 505. Aykroyd also began playing blues music and immersing himself in Ottawa’s blues culture – a time which would later influence the creation of the Blues Brothers. In 1975, Aykroyd became the youngest cast member and writer on the first four seasons of Saturday Night Live.

He was famous for his impersonations of people like Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon, and for his co-creation of skits like the Coneheads. Aykroyd’s close friendship with fellow cast member John Belushi inspired the creation of the Blues Brothers, which was first a skit, then a legitimate musical act, immortalized in an album and film.

After leaving Saturday Night Live, Aykroyd embarked on a long and successful film career. In 1984, he co-wrote Ghostbusters with Harold Ramis, and it went on to become one of the biggest hits of the decade. In 1989, he became the second former SNL cast member to be nominated for an Oscar when he was recognized for his work in Driving Miss Daisy. He continues to play supporting roles in big films and guest spots on popular television shows.

Aykroyd has three daughters with his wife of over thirty years, actress Donna Dixon. He maintains his Canadian citizenship and owns an estate on Loughborough Lake, in Ontario. He has an avid interest in UFOlogy and Spiritualism, and he has been a member of the Order of Canada since 1998.

With his colorful history and legendary talent, Dan Aykroyd remains one of the most celebrated comedians in Canadian news today.

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3 Unusual Ways to Improve the Value of your Home

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A house is one of the biggest things you’ll ever buy. It’s also one of the most significant investments in your portfolio. After all, when all else fails, you can rest assured that people will always need real-estate. However, it’s up to you to make sure that the house you purchase continues gaining value in the years to come. While there are many outside factors that can affect the value of a home, including changes in the ecosystem, and even the arrival of new amenities in your area, there are also things that you can do as a homeowner to make people want to pay more for your property. Since you’ve probably already thought about common options like replacing your kitchen or designing a new bathroom, we’re going to share some of the less conventional things you can do to transform your home.

Create a Fisherman’s Paradise

How to increase the value of your home

If you have a property that’s close to a body of water or even has its own riverside, then you’re going to be ahead of the curve already when it comes to gaining real-estate value. However, you can always take the desirability of your home another step further by making sure that you have fishing rights to offer your buyers. Let people know that buying your home comes with the option to spend their weekends fishing on the side of a beautiful river, and they’ll be biting your hands off for the chance to move in. Estimates suggest that this adds a value of about 15%.

Add a Residential Lift

a residential lift increases the value of your home
A residential lift can make your home more appealing for retirement home buyers

Finally, if you’ve got a beautiful home to offer a couple looking for a great place to spend their retirement, then there’s one easy way to help them imagine their life in your property. Australian residential lifts show buyers that they’re going to be able to manage and maintain their independence when they get a little older, because they won’t have to worry about using the stairs. What’s more, residential lifts can also appeal to younger buyers too, because they give them a unique and modern selling point to share when the time comes to sell the property in the future. You’d be surprised at how affordable it can be to place a lift in your home these days, and the value that you get out of the investment can be astronomical. Just imagine how much easier it would be to carry laundry upstairs!

Give Your House a Name

A house name can improve the value of your home
A house with a name needs a sign

This might sound like a strange way to upgrade the value of your home but bear with us. For most people, it might not matter whether they live at “The Oak”, or 35 Oak lane. However, research has shown that 88% of buyers would prefer to pay more for a home with a name. Perhaps it’s just because people feel like they’re getting a property with more personality this way. Just make sure that you have permission to name your house with your local council and choose a title that’s fitting for the property. It doesn’t make sense to call a city-based property “The Orchard” for instance.

Read next: Importance of Saving for Retirement

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Business

No More Computer Eyestrain – Get Rid of your Headaches for Good

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My eyes feel strained, I have a headache, and my brain just feels tired.

This is what’s known as computer eyestrain, and anyone who frequently uses a computer has probably had it. It’s no fun, and it keeps our work from reaching its full potential. It also keeps us from resting well at night by throwing off our circadian rhythm, especially if using a computer after daylight hours, in a poorly lit room.

This is caused by the blue light computer screens emit which is designed to mimic the sun.

Here are 5 sure fire ways to get rid of those darn computer eye strain headaches for good.

Computer eye strain headaches – get rid of them for good

1. The 20-20-20 rule

20-20-20 trick

Looking at something in the distance will give your eye muscles a break to reduce fatigue and headaches. This trick is intended to exercise your eyes and give them a break from your computer’s bright backlight.

2. Take frequent breaks

take frequent breaks computer eyestrain

I know this might sound counter-productive, but I guarantee if you take more short breaks from your computer screen your eyes will thank you and you will see an immediate improvement in your productivity. Here’s some tips for making it happen:

  1. Drink more water. Not only will this keep you hydrated, it will also demand frequent trips for refills…and bathroom breaks.
  2. Set a reminder on your desktop. This goes for the 20-20-20 rule as well.
  3. Avoid the elevator. If you work 17 floors up, maybe not or you’ll be late for work. However, if you’re on the second or third floor, or you need to run downstairs for something, this extra bit of exercise will improve your circulation and engage your muscles, giving you an extra boost of energy, and a mental boost as well!

3. Increase your font size

When you can, increase your font size. If the text is too small, you’ll squint, which is the number one culprit of eye fatigue and headaches.

4. Try computer eyestrain glasses

Computer reading glasses are specially made to help reduce eyestrain. They have an anti-reflective coating to help reduce glare and a tint that helps increase contrast for easier viewing. For those of us who already wear glasses, prescription computer glasses are also available

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HEADACHE

5. Give your eyes a break

It can be tempting to binge on netflix as soon as you get home from work, but try giving your eyes a break from all the blue light that’s causing them grief. Staring at a screen all day not only weakens your vision, but it could lead to worse problems, like computer vision syndrome.

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Health

Heart Disease and Dementia are Australia’s Biggest Killers

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Despite a drop in overall deaths, heart disease remains Australia’s biggest killer

Heart disease remains Australia’s biggest killer despite a drop in overall deaths, with dementia continuing to edge higher in second place.

The latest data from the Australian Institute of Heath and Welfare, released on Wednesday, shows 18,590 people died of coronary heart disease in 2017, down from 19,077 in the previous year.

Deaths from dementia including Alzheimer’s disease rose from 13,126 to 13,729 year-on-year, with women accounting for more than 8800 of the people whose underlying cause of death was from those conditions in 2017.

Stroke and other cerebrovascular disease was the third biggest killer, while lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease rounded out the top five.

In 2017, there were 160,909 total deaths in Australia or 529 per 100,000 people. Some 82,858 males died, more than the 78,051 female deaths during the year.

But the numbers continue a long decline in overall death rates, which have fallen 72 per cent for men between 1907 and 2017 and 76 for women over the same period.

The gap between male and female deaths in 2017 was its narrowest, sitting at 180 deaths per 100,000 people.

The figures also show death rates increase according to how remote a person’s location is, with people in major cities the only cohort less than the national rate.

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Premature and potentially avoidable deaths are also higher in the country than the city, with the highest figures recorded in very remote areas.

Overall live expectancy has edged higher with a boy born between 2015 and 2017 expected to live to the age of 80.5, while a girl would be expected to make it to 84.6.

But there remains a grim gap between indigenous Australians and the rest of the country, with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimated to live 8.6 years less for males and 7.8 years for females.

Read next: Processed Foods…Are they all Bad?

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