Culture of creativity features at Furnal Equinox 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Visual art, fabric art, photography, performance, dance, virtual reality, and music were all the subject of sessions at Furnal Equinox 2018, a conference held from March 16 to 18 at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle. Canada’s largest furry convention by attendance, the annual event offers dozens of subculture-specific programs.

The convention’s communications and public relations coordinator for the event, Ronnie, describes furries as “people that enjoy arts and culture centred around animals and animal-themed topics, essentially. Furnal Equinox in particular, we like to celebrate in a very visual and very […] artistic nature, where we have lots of arts and performances and crafts that go on, and people celebrate with lots of socialisation involved.”

Of the attendees, Ronnie told Wikinews “they come from all walks of life. They are people of all ages, sizes, all sorts of backgrounds, and they come together under one mutual interest, which is their love for animal culture.”

“Programming at Furnal Equinox involves[…] a lot of informational panels, so you can find out about topics from art and how to draw, or how to visually incorporate different elements into your artworks. You can also find panels that teach you how to write better, be a better fiction author for example,” explained the event representative.

At one panel Wikinews attended, members of its all-volunteer organising committee spoke of the year-long process of planning the event, and their reasons for committing such a significant amount of their time. Said one panelist, “if you’re happy, we’re happy.”

The largest hub of activity at the convention was a dealer’s room; nicknamed the “Dealer’s Den”, giving it an anthropomorphic twist. Vendors were selling original visual art, wearables like faux fur tails or ears, or things like jewellery or soap with motifs that would interest attendees.

The back area of the room was dedicated to a charity auction, with proceeds benefiting Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. According to the convention website, the charity is “dedicated to rescuing abused, neglected, and abandoned farmed animals. Their goal is to provide a safe, life-long home for all of their residents, and to educate the public about the true nature of farmed animals through tours, volunteer programs, and community outreach.”

Split into groups, some attendees played “Fursuit Games” in front of an audience, like trying to toss a ball into a garbage can. The activity made harder, of course, by the limited dexterity and vision the most of the costumes entail.

Three Common Reasons For Seeking Couples Counseling


Couples from all walks of life have issues that can break their relationships apart. While famous athletes or entertainers may not have the same money-related issues as the average married couple, even they still face challenges. Here are the top three reasons to seek relationship help from a therapist.

Lack of Communication

The reason why most people end up in couples counseling with a spouse or partner is due to a lack of communication. Some people do not know how to express themselves or they are afraid to speak out because they may offend their partners. A therapist can teach a couple how to communicate openly without exacerbating their problems.

Intimacy Problems

Not every couple is on the same page when it comes to sex and that can break up a relationship. If you or your partner have a fear of intimacy due to past trauma or feelings of inadequacy, going to couples counseling can help reveal and deal with those issues. A therapist can give couples the tools they need to be more intimate and help form a deeper connection between them.

Make up or Break up?

If there have been problems in your relationship and you and your partner are considering ending the relationship, going to couples counseling can help you both decide what to do. If one partner still wants to work on the relationship but the other is adamant on ending it, the therapist can help them both express their feelings to try to come to an agreement on what to do. Whether your issues are the result of infidelity, an addiction, or growing apart, going to counseling may mend or end the relationship.

If you and your spouse need help with some issues in your relationship, contact Dr. Rebecca Roy, Ph.D., The Industry Therapist to get help with these or other relationship issues. You can also follow them on Google+ for more updates.

Toronto to have socialized city-wide wi-fi access

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Toronto’s public utility, Toronto Hydro Telecom, will make Canada’s largest city into a huge wireless hotspot.

“This is both an exciting and very important initiative for the city of Toronto”, said Toronto’s mayor, David Miller. “It puts us on the leading edge of the telecommunications industry nationwide and globally.”

Toronto Hydro Telecom will offer customers free access for the first six months. After that, it will begin to charge for services.

“Wi-Fi technology is the new benchmark for urban living”, stated Toronto Hydro president David Dobbin. “It’s standard equipment in many electronic devices, from laptops to portable entertainment units.”

Private telephone companies are questioning why a public utility needs to compete with the private sector.

Mike Lee of Rogers Communications Inc. questioned why the city of Toronto wanted to enter the internet access business.

“It will not be an easy business”, Lee told the National Post. “In this day and age, the focus should be on core operations more than anything. I was surprised to see they are looking to get into this business.”

Brian Sharwood, a telecom analyst in Toronto, said the municipality will likely install the wireless transmitters and receivers on its lamp posts as a way to blanket the city, a process known as “wireless mesh networking”.

Pittsburgh playwrights pen furry musical, invite Anthrocon attendees to observe reading

Friday, July 6, 2007

When Pittsburgh lyricist Bill Medica and musician JC Carter saw the influx of furries for the first Anthrocon in their city, they were mystified. But as they observed Anthrocon 2006, their thoughts on furries changed.

“They’re not afraid to be themselves,” said Carter. “When they left, the magic left.”

“They were such a force,” added Medica.

Inspired by their experience, they decided to write a play entitled Furry Tales. It is the story of four friends: BlueWolf22, MisoKitty2, HuggyBunny and Gorillanator. They met online and agree to meet at a furry convention. As it turns out, BlueWolf22 is an imposter, sent by an online magazine called “” (an obvious play on Something Awful, a site frowned on by the sub-culture for their coverage) in an effort to get some steamy content on the debauchery that supposedly permeates the furry fandom. However, BlueWolf’s opinions change, and he discovers he is a peer to his new furry friends.

Wikipedia describes furry fandom as “a fandom distinguished by its enjoyment of anthropomorphic, often humanoid, animal characters. Examples of anthropomorphism in the furry fandom include the attribution of human intelligence, facial expressions, and sometimes anatomy, speech, bipedalism, and the wearing of clothes.”

The world’s largest furry convention, Anthrocon takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania each July. Its focus is on furries: fictional anthropomorphized animal characters in art and literature.

The first staged reading of Furry Tales will occur on July 5, 2007, on the first day of festivities for Anthrocon 2007, at the CLO Cabaret. Medica and Carter planned it for July 5 in the hopes that furries attending Anthrocon will provide input for improving the final product. The Chairman of Anthrocon Dr. Samuel Conway has been invited to the reading, and he has confirmed plans to attend.

Tickets may be reserved online for $15 each plus a service charge of at least $7.50 from Pittsburgh Cultural District.

In related news, Anthrocon has selected local no-kill animal shelter Animal Friends as its 2007 charity. The shelter will benefit from the proceeds of Anthrocon’s annual charity auction, which raised $5,845 for the Western Pennsylvania National Wild Animal Orphanage last year (the charity’s total revenue was $8,400). Representatives of the charity will also be available as in the dealers room.

Eurovision ’04 winner Ruslana discusses her paths as singer, spokesmodel, stateswoman and source of inspiration

Monday, March 30, 2009

First becoming famous in her native Ukraine in the 1990s, long-haired self-described “AmazonRuslana gained international recognition for winning the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with her song “Wild Dances,” inspired by the musical traditions of the Hutsul people of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains.

In the five years since, Ruslana has decided to use her name and public status to represent a number of worthy causes, including human trafficking, renewable energy, and even the basic concept of democratic process, becoming a public face of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and later serving in Parliament.

Currently, she is on an international publicity tour to promote her album Wild Energy, a project borne out of a science fiction novel that has come to symbolize her hopes for a newer, better, freer way of life for everyone in the world. She took time to respond to questions Wikinews’s Mike Halterman posed to her about her career in music and her other endeavors.

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with past Eurovision contestants, which will be published sporadically in the lead-up to mid-May’s next contest in Moscow.

How A Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help You Become Debt Free


Many debtors shy away from filing for bankruptcy because they assume that it will be difficult to get the future credit they need. In addition, many people think that bankruptcy carries a stigma along with it and they don’t want to be seen as a failure. However a bankruptcy attorney can show you how to actually become debt free using bankruptcy as a tool. This allows you to take full control over your finances for a fresh start. Becoming debt free is much easier when the majority of your debts are forgiven through bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When you consult with a bankruptcy attorney, they will discuss your current state of finances to determine what the best course of action is for you. They will recommend a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if this is the most appropriate solution for you. You will have to qualify for this type of bankruptcy by taking a means test. Through the means test, it will be determined if you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once it is deemed so, you can complete a credit counselling session and then you will be able to have the majority of your unsecured debts wiped clean.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

For individuals who do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is the next best option. In this type of bankruptcy, a debt repayment plan is used to help the individual to get out of debt. The repayment plan is set over a 3 to 5 year period during which time secured debts are payed with a specific allocated amount each month. This type of bankruptcy is very effective at helping debtors to recover themselves financially. They can still retain possessions of their belongings while rebuilding their lives debt free.

Freedom from debt

Freedom from debt is possible with the help of a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney offers guidance and direction about which route to take to become debt free. They will provide information about credit counseling, repaying debtors, eliminating credit collection calls and repossessions while safeguarding your property. Consulting with a bankruptcy attorney is the first step in the right direction towards becoming free of debt.

At the law office Chris Carouthers & Associates, LLC, you can find the debt solutions you need from a bankruptcy attorney you can depend on. Visit them online for more information at

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Anti-Scientology protest material removed from YouTube following threats of legal action

Monday, September 29, 2008

The video sharing website YouTube has removed several anti-Scientology videos following threats of legal action. Wikinews found that at least 11 videos have been removed from the site following Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices served on YouTube by Dr. Oliver Schaper, Scientologist and self-described advocate of the Church of Scientology’s rights to free speech. Schaper, in an interview with Wikinews reporter Jason Safoutin, denied involvement in a previous run of DMCA requests involving similar video material. However, the videos in question bear a message that Schaper was the originator of the request.

According to YouTube the 11 videos were removed by direct DMCA requests from Schaper. The videos have been reported to be of anti-Scientology protests, recorded by various members of the group Anonymous.

In early September, an entity named American Rights Counsel LLC — which has described itself as a ‘rights group’, but without provision of contact details — requested the removal from YouTube of over 4,000 anti-Scientology videos. Many of these videos consisted entirely of self-made content by anti-Scientology protesters; others were quite explicitly extracts from official Church of Scientology footage. Users had initially speculated that Schaper was responsible for these requests; no evidence, however, has been obtained to this effect, nor has official comment been obtained from American Rights Counsel.

When comment was requested further to these earlier removal requests, Schaper stated that he was a “… very strong advocate for the Church of Scientology, the religion of Scientology and a free speech advocate.” Schaper alleged that he had “…to this date no information about the American Rights Counsel” and “no connection, knowledge or involvement in this company [American Rights Counsel]”.

Wikinews contacted Schaper to find out why he made the new requests. According to him, the videos were not of protests against Scientology, but instead were videos of alleged hate-crimes and hate-speech, which were allegedly attacking Schaper personally.

“None of the videos are accounts of any protests. The videos in question have been produced by an YouTube (U.K.) user to directly attack me and my companies. I made the requests in accordance with YouTube’s terms and condition, after confirming directly with YouTube and the local ECTF office in Los Angeles, to remove material that infringes on my copyright. None of the videos removed by YouTube fall under the fair use guidelines or can be considered news-worthy. The content of the videos has been classified by law-enforcement as hate-speech and frivolous attack. The producers of these videos are based in the U.K. and local law-enforcement has been contacted by the FBI,” said Schaper to Wikinews.

When Wikinews asked Schaper if he was acting on behalf of the Church, Schaper denied any such involvement. He also stated that he was not attempting to remove videos critical of him, or the Church, but also emphasizes other videos still on YouTube that are “a personal attack against me and my beliefs.”

“Despite the fact that I am a Scientologist, none of the videos removed, where[sic] removed on behalf of the Church of Scientology or any organization associated with the church. In addition I like to point out that I have not removed any video, critical of me personally which does not violate my copyrights and I have no intention to do so,” said Schaper.

In addition, Wikinews invited Dr. Schaper to comment on the apparent discrepancy between his actions and his advocacy of free speech. Dr. Schaper feels that that the two stated aims are not in conflict, stating, “I believe the First Amendment but I also see how Anonymous tries to abuse these liberties. Not everything is protected under the free speech clause and laws have been enacted to protect each citizen from abuse.”

Schaper also stated that Anonymous is “breaking the law” by uploading material to YouTube which could be considered hate crimes. He also states that he would not mind a one-on-one conversation with some members of Anonymous, but “these guys don’t have the balls for a direct sit-down because they should get their facts straight.”

“Anonymous is overstating a case and claims that their abuse and online bullying would be protected under the First Amendment forgetting the fact that they indeed are breaking the laws,” added Schaper.

Schaper does not plan on enforcing the Church’s copyrights saying, “they can handle their own content” and that he “will continue to enforce my copyrights and seek full prosecution in cooperation with federal law-enforcement.”

Wikinews has contacted YouTube for a statement regarding this incident, but has yet to receive a response.

New South Wales, Australia government says entire state in winter 2018 drought

Friday, August 10, 2018

On Wednesday, the New South Wales, Australia Department of Primary Industries (DPI) reported fifteen percent of New South Wales, Australia (NSW) was in “intense drought”, and the rest of the state “in drought” or “drought-affected”. Farmers were reportedly running out of food for cattle and had to make difficult decisions about the collection times for their crops; food for cattle became harder to get, and more expensive.

The report from DPI indicated “up to 48% of the state as Drought Affected, 37% in Drought and 15% in Intense Drought”. The areas of intense drought included “parts of Western, North West, Central West, Central Tablelands, South East, Hunter, Greater Sydney and Northern Tablelands LLS regions”, according to the report. The drought indicator was based on agronomic data, remote sensing, and field reports, including soil moisture and pasture conditions.

The report from DPI named “the southern alpine zone, the greater Hilltops (Young) region and parts of the south and north coast” as areas with better conditions.

Furthermore, according to ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), the chair of the Australian Fodder Industry Association, Frank McRae, said many farmers in NSW had barely any food for their cattle. He said, “There’s pretty much virtually nothing in NSW and supplies are rapidly drying up in southern Victoria [state bordering NSW on the south] […] You have to go back to 1981–1982 to see a drought this widespread and so severe.”

The BBC reported Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying some farmers bought hay for animal feed for as much as AUD 10,000 per truckload.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair remarked many people were hoping for rain to come and farmers were needed to make difficult decisions about the best viable time for crops collection. He said, “This is tough, there isn’t a person in the state that isn’t hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities […] Producers are now faced with some very difficult decisions on whether to graze sown crops or rely on potential rainfall in the next two months in order to increase yield production.”

According to ABC’s reports, Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist Jane Golding said these conditions were unlike previously observed climatic conditions in NSW with rain in June, July and August. He said, “This year we haven’t really seen either of those and last year as well we didn’t really see too much of the either of those rain-bearing systems making their way into NSW […] It is unusually dry and also unusually warm which exacerbates the problems, so the warm temperatures dry out the soils even more.”

According to BBC, Queensland, north of NSW, was also experiencing dry conditions, as well as parts of South Australia and Victoria. The report from DPI mentioned last autumn’s failed growing season.

About the forecast conditions and risks, the report from DPI said dry and warm conditions were “likely” to continue in the next three months, with an El Niño 50% likely in NSW in spring, which would mean depressed rainfall. The Australian forecasting services have an El Niño Watch on the region according to the report.

Obama to suspend Arctic oil drilling

Thursday, May 27, 2010

According to Democratic Senator Mark Begich from Alaska, the U.S. Department of the Interior has decided to halt all new Arctic exploratory oil drilling applications until 2011. The response is believed to be caused in part by the two current oil spill disasters (that of the Deepwater Horizon Incident and more recently the Alaska oil pipeline malfunction). However, Begich is not happy about the actions taken by the White House.

“I am frustrated that this decision by the Obama administration to halt offshore development for a year will cause more delays and higher costs for domestic oil and gas production to meet the nation’s energy needs,” Begich claims.

Last September, the state of Alaska made a public notice about Shell’s desire to drill off the coast of the Beaufort Sea, placing experimental drilling rigs at two drill site location: “Torpedo” and “Sivulliq”.

“Shell is committed to undertaking a safe and environmentally responsible exploration program in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea in 2010,” said Shell Oil Company President Marvin E. Odum to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Mineral Management Service (MMS).

Odum follows with, “I am confident that we are ready to conduct the 2010 Arctic exploratory program safely and, I want to be clear, the accountability for this program rests with Shell.”

Chuck Clausen, director of the Alaska project at the Natural Resources Defense Council is not so optimistic: “Hazards present in the Arctic can include frigid temperatures, presence of sea ice, gale-force winds, intense storms and heavy fog … The potential for loss in the Arctic is great.”

Odum believes that the climate in the arctic will make any spill easier to clean up because, “Arctic conditions create differences in responding to oil in cold and ice conditions. Differences in evaporation rates, viscosity and weathering provide greater opportunities to recover oil. In Arctic conditions, ice can aid oil spill response by slowing oil weathering, dampening waves, preventing oil from spreading over large distances, and allowing more time to respond.”

However, Clausen believes that there are no current systems to remove oil from icy ocean waters.

This is not the first time that President Obama’s administration has taken the environmentally cautious path in Alaska. The President put Bristol Bay off limits to oil and gas exploration until 2017. Bristol Bay currently is one of the top salmon fishing grounds in the state.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to give a speech at Thursday’s White House address, regarding the suspension of Arctic oil drilling projects.

Dog Training: Dog Behavior Modification

Dog Training: Dog Behavior Modification


Riza Humpton

Most dog owners look for ways to modify their dog\’s behavior to come up solutions with dogs who are nipping, barking, jumping, growling and fighting. The important thing is to address dog behavior modification properly and dog training is a crucial part of it.

When trying to use dog training techniques to modify your dogs behaviour, it\’s essential to understand that dogs do not behave as humans do. Dogs have highly evolved natural instincts and that is why a dog behavior modification should slowly be imposed.

If you want have a long happy and healthy relationship with your dog, use a combined method of dog training and dog behavior modification. Some examples are:

• Dog Jumps at People

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It\’s quite embarrassing when your dog jumps at your guests so what you can do best is to do dog training on how to sit and stay. You have to practice the commands at all times so that your dog will be used to behaving.

• Growling Dogs

Whilst this is may be a serious issue, it may not. You first need to determine if the dog is growling or \”vocalising\”. If the dog is growling, it is a serious issue that needs dog behavior modification and a professional trainer so that a proper dog training program can be formulated.

If you want to do the training yourself then begin by observing why your dog is growling. Slowly eliminate certain things that are the reasons for the growling and divert its attention to other activities and soon you will find your dog will behave in a much better way.

• Dog Always Barks

You can start a dog behavior modification once your dog arrives at home. Remember, your dog might misbehave if he is bored or curious, so you always have to give him time to explore like taking it out for a walk and familiarizing it with the neighborhood. Doing so could minimize the barking as your dog will already know the routine of the people in the surroundings.

Training your dog to be a good neighbor is one of your responsibilities. Your pet should know at least simple commands, such as to come when called (this could save your pet\’s life), to sit and stay.

Dog training will help you develop desirable habits in your dog, whilst undesirable habits. Dog behavior modification should start from the puppy stage. If you start modifying your dog\’s behavior on their adult stage, then it could be too late as they already know how to resist.


Puppy Training Solution

specializes in providing training advice to dog owners. Whether you want your dog to sit, stop barking, stop growling, stop jumping at your gests or simply just be quiet – this is the place for you.

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