Computer aided translation, also known as computer assisted translation, or CAT, is a process by which a computer program compares a block of text to information in a database. We use this technology for a variety of purposes, including spell-checking and translating words from one language to another. For machine translation to work, the program has to use a process called natural language processing, which allows the computer to assign a meaning or value to the letters and sounds within the spoken or written word.



Natural Language Processing (NLP)


Computers use natural language processing, or NLP, to process human language. NLP algorithms compare sounds or symbols to a database to establish the meaning that should be associated with them. From search engines to chatbots, we use NLP for many applications in today’s technology. The following articles examine the various uses for natural language processing, and discuss how it works in further depth.

NLP for Smart Home Automation – Smart home automation using voice control remotes is a great solution for homeowners. Learn how home control systems use NLP, natural language processing.

Google Uses NLP & Text Analytics in Data Mining – Google’s data mining technology, using text analytics for natural language processing, provides benefits to consumers, advertisers, and society in general.

Speech Recognition Technology for the Disabled – Students with disabilities depend on assistive technology products, such as voice transcription software, to improve the educational experience.

Voice Recognition Software for Disabled Students – Disabled students are often at a disadvantage in the classroom. Voice recognition software improves communication, enables note-taking, and increases participation.

Chatbots for English Language Practice – Looking for English language practice? Learning a second language can be challenging, but students can use AI chatbots to improve conversational skills and grammar.

NLP & Artificial Intelligence – Internet Searches – Natural language processing is a form of AI that allows search engines to provide search results to Internet users based on the actual meaning of their questions.


Computer Assisted Translation (CAT)

Computer assisted translation works by comparing the words or blocks of text recognized by NLP algorithms to other words or blocks of text to discover anomalies or similarities. For example, a spell-checking algorithm might compare a word to the correct spelling of the word to discover that it is missing a letter, and trigger an error message. CAT is also useful in grammar checkers, in which it compares a string of text to a set of rules to flag common usage mistakes.

NLP and CAT are similar technologies that can provide valuable assistance to humans in the ongoing process of communicating human knowledge and experience to computer databases, and making sense of the information. By combining the two, we can not only recognize data, but categorize it and assign a value. When we assign value or meaning to data, it becomes information. Choosing the correct use for that information is still often thought to be a job for human interpretation, but with fuzzy logic and machine learning, in the future, anything’s possible.

Cycling is an engaging sport and with its increasing popularity more people want to know what all those French terms mean. Here are a few to drop into that intense cycling conversation.

Autobus or Grupetto

A large group of riders at the back of the race in the mountains. Generally it’s made up of the sprinters who can suffer on climbs or domestiques who’ve ‘buried’ themselves setting tempo for the team leader at the head of the peloton.

Coureur Fr.


Racing cyclist.

Espoirs Fr.

The category of riders in the under-23 age division. There are world championships for male espoirs but not women riders. The next world championships are in Geelong, Australia over five days from 29 September 2010. There will be world championship time trial and road stage events for under-23 male riders. Winners in world championship events wear the rainbow jersey, white with rainbow stripes around the chest. The holder of a rainbow jersey is entitled and expected to wear the rainbow bands on the cuffs and neck of their team jersey for the rest of their racing careers.

Flamme Rouge Fr.

Red Flame. A red banner hanging over the road to signal the final kilometre of a stage in a road race. The flag is especially important on sprint stages where the sprinters will time their final attack for the last few hundred metres of the race. The ‘flamme rouge’ is followed by hundred metre markers so the sprinters and other riders know how far away the finish is.

Grand Boucle Fr.

Big loop. A colloquial term for le Tour de France which travels through the French countryside from a starting point that may nor may not be within France to Paris over 21 days.

Grimpeur Fr.

Climber. Climbers are the riders with the capacity to conquer the high mountain passes on a race stage. Being a good climber is essential to being in contention for the general classification (GC) on stage races such as the grand tours.

Lanterne Rouge Fr.

Red light or ‘red tail light’. The last rider in the peloton in the general classification.

Meilleur Grimpeur Fr.

The best climber. Climbers compete for the maillot a pois, known as the polka dot jersey in a points competition. The points are awarded for individual climbs within a stage of a road race. The most points overall in a grand tour takes the maillot a pois for the race.


A moto is a motorbike carrying a driver and cameraman on a road stage. The television footage of road stage races comes from the motorbike cameramen, helicopters and some fixed cameras along the route. The motorbikes have to contend with the riders, team support cars, the neutral cars and referee cars to get their pictures. The cameraman also has a still camera. It’s a very demanding job. Sometimes the pictures are unavailable because of local conditions such as heavy rain for fog as happened on the 2010 Tour of California. On grand tours the moto are numbered. Moto One is always at the head of the race covering the leaders.

Oriette Fr.

Earpiece for radio communication. Riders wear radios to communicate with the team car and their team Director Sportif. There is some controversy about the use of team radio and the governing body of cycling, UCI, has expressed a wish to ban its use. To date the ban has been resisted by the pro riders. The riders’ position is safety: the radios alert them to problems on the road including crashes and mechanical problems. The UCI seems to want to limit instructions being given to the riders by their Director Sportif from the team support car.

Parcours Fr.

The race route.

Poursuivant Fr.

A chaser. When there has been a breakaway from the peloton and a new group formed at the front by one or more riders a poursuivant may in turn break away and chase the lead group. In news coverage the time gap between the poursuivant and the group or rider being chased will be shown.


When a rider has been dropped by the leading group in the peloton. Several groups can form in a peloton depending upon the road conditions and the aspirations of particular riders. Riders can break away individually or in groups, forming a separate group at the front of the peloton or bunch. If one is dropped form the leading group it is a ‘spat’.

Stagiaire Fr.

Apprentice. The title given to a rider on trial with a pro team which is allowed under the rules from September to the end of a year. A good performance during the trial period can result in a contract on the pro tour or continental tours for the following season.

Venga Sp.

‘Come on’. A common phrase used by Spanish fans to encourage the riders as they pass. It is heard a great deal over the 21 days of the Tour of Spain, la Vuelta a Espana, held in August each year. It’s also heard a great deal when le Tour de France takes the peloton through the Pyrenees which border France and Spain. The Spanish fans are often in red, the national colour of Spain.

Recently Lance Stephenson, a highly touted guard/forward out of Brooklyn, committed to play basketball for the University of Cincinnati for the 2009-10 season. (1) Another highly touted guard/forward out of Oklahoma City, Xavier Henry, recently re-emphasized his commitment to play basketball at Kansas University for the 2009-10 season. (2) Both players are expected to have an immediate impact on their respective teams. Cincinnati should become a contender in the Big East Conference next season after being an also-ran the past several years. Kansas, favored to win the national title next season, may have added the final piece to the championship puzzle.

In a world that actually let kids decide what they want to be when they grow up, neither of these kids would be going to college next year.

There are very few barriers to freedom for the new adult. Unless you want to run for President (3) or legally drink an alcoholic beverage (4) once you turn eighteen the world is yours to do what you want. If you’re exceptionally talented in a chosen field and mature enough to handle the responsibility to go with it you should be able to pursue opportunities in that field. However, some people in the NCAA continue to hold on to the antiquated Bubsy Berkeley idea of the “student-athlete” complete with the letterman’s sweater and alumni dressed to the nines in fur coats during crisp late fall days at the stadium. Since the NBA won’t let these kids in unless they’re nineteen (5) these kids have to play along like they’re happy to be in college for a year when they could making millions of dollars doing the same thing.

OK, not every kid will make it to the NBA at nineteen. Not every rock star will have their debut records go platinum or even gold. But can you imagine some A&R; rep telling Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers that they wouldn’t be able to make any money for their first CD? Can you further imagine those acts’ reactions when the same rep, oozing hair gel and hipster duds, tells them that the record company will reap all the profits when those same CDs achieve triple platinum status? Lastly, can you imagine the shock and horror on Disney execs’ faces when the language that spews forth from their clean-cut superstars as they express derision at the label?

Seriously, who is the NBA kidding? Let these kids go. They might screw up but they’re adults. Aren’t they?

When your free samples of baby formula show up at your door during pregnancy, you can be certain that you are already a part of the slick marketing strategies of infant formula manufacturers today. These companies know that you are likely to turn more quickly to formula to feed your baby when breastfeeding challenges occur in the first few weeks of your baby's life if you have samples handy.

Mailing free samples to your home is only one way that formula manufacturers use to sell their products. There has been so much concern about not only the strategies used by formula companies but also potentially misleading unsuspecting consumers that in 1981the World Health Organization (WHO) came up with a list of guidelines that formula companies are required to follow. However violations of these guidelines continue even more than 20 years later.

Here are just a few of the many requirements listed in the WHO Code for Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes that are often violated by formula companies.

Formula companies are required to state the benefits and superiority of breastfeeding.

Research continues to show that breast milk is the hands-down choice in terms of nutrition and health care benefits for both baby and mother. If a formula company does not indicate in their advertising or product labeling that formula is not as beneficial as breast milk, it is considered to be a violation of the WHO code.


Manufacturers are prohibited from distributing free samples of breast milk substitutes to women either directly (mailed to their home) or indirectly (through another party such as the local hospital.)

Parents mistakenly believe that the free case of formula shipped to them is a result of the generosity of the manufacturers. In fact, distributing free formula samples is not only a marketing strategy but it undermines breastfeeding success. For that reason, the mailing of free formula samples is considered to be a violation of the WHO code.

Information provided by formula manufacturers should not imply that breast milk substitutes are equivalent or superior to breast milk.

One leading manufacturer promotes a special brand of formula on their website claiming that is designed for preterm babies. It states that babies who were fed this brand of formula containing fatty acid supplements were able to "catch up" in their growth pattern in a similar rate to that of breastfed infants.

The truth is that the researchers who conducted this study state "although the evidence for the potential benefits of fatty acid supplementation is promising, it is not yet conclusive."

One of the many reasons for why breast milk is far superior to cow's milk is that it contains 30% casein and 70% whey protein, whereas cow's milk contains 82% casein. Whey protein is more suitable for the preterm baby since it is digested more readily. Breast milk also increases the absorption of fat and its unique blend of fatty acids promote baby's growth and development.

So, in other words, the preterm baby will grow and develop far better with breast milk than with any brand or type of infant formula.

Formula manufacturers are not permitted to advertise or display images of their products in health care facilities.

This can easily be verified if you see any advertisements for formula in your care provider's offices, local health clinic, birth center or hospital. If you do see any images of formula in these locations, please mention to the staff that this advertising is indeed a WHO code violation.

All wedding flowers experience life in the exact same manner. They are planted, nurtured, harvested and arranged. From the grower to the wholesaler, the florist to the wedding couple, cut flowers endure a long, arduous journey to their final destination. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Natural Wedding Bouquet Flowers

Early brides carried wild, fragrant flowers loosely bound with a simple ribbon. Today’s wedding bouquets encompass a wide range of styles – from those that provide a delicate accent to those that cover most of the bride’s torso as she walks down the aisle. A bride’s preference is what matters, and there are no right or wrong bridal bouquets. But to save money and create an unforgettable wedding experience, some brides may opt for wedding flowers fresh from the garden.

Many of the most popular wedding flowers are easy to grow, and because weddings are traditionally planned months or even years in advance, there is more than enough time to plan and cultivate a very personal bridal flower garden.

Flowers For Weddings by the Whole Family

A wedding is the uniting of two hearts and two families. But there is often no role for family members who wish they could be more involved in the wedding experience. Growing wedding flowers is a perfect family project. Children to grandparents can help add beauty and a loving touch to the wedding day.

Whether the task is undertaken in gardens, in greenhouses, or in patio pots, everyone can grow flowers. Determining which flowers are season-specific to the wedding date is the first consideration. While growing out-of-season flowers is possible, it can be challenging. Assigning a variety of flowers to different family members will help to insure many wonderful blooms on the wedding day. Easy-to-follow growing tips can be found in books, magazines and online.


Flowers can be grown from seeds or bulbs. Popular wedding flower seeds include:

  • Asters
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Bachelor’s Buttons
  • Bells of Ireland
  • Carnations
  • Cosmos
  • Daisies
  • Sweetpeas
  • Forget-Me-Nots
  • Lavender
  • Marigolds
  • Snapdragons
  • Statice
  • Stock
  • Sunflowers
  • Wildflowers
  • Yarrow
  • Zinnias

Some wedding-perfect flowers grown from bulbs include:

  • Anemone
  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinth
  • Lilies
  • Orchids
  • Peonies

Some flowers, like chrysanthemums, can be effectively grown from either seeds or bulbs, but bush flowers like hydrangeas and roses are the result of a more long-term process. Such flowers may require more than a year to bloom for the first time. If that much growing time isn’t a possibility, friends and family with blooming bushes may be more than happy to contribute a few rich blooms to the bridal bouquet.

Purchased flowers can always accent the fresh flowers from the garden. By only purchasing a few special flowers to add to those grown at home, cost savings will still be significant.

Wedding Flowers Centerpieces and Bridal Bouquets

Arranging flowers is an art, but as with any artistic endeavor, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Wildflowers in vases are reception-table perfect for some while others prefer a more structured floral display. If the bride doesn’t have the design savvy of a florist, there may be a family member or friend who can lend a creative hand. Free or low-cost flower arranging classes are also available through hobby and craft stores and through city or university public workshops.

Photographs of floral centerpieces and bouquets make ideal patterns to follow, and securing the flowers is as easy as mastering floral wire and floral tape. Both are inexpensive and readily available at craft stores.

Simple arrangements can be dramatic and effective. Examples include:

  • flower blooms on water
  • flowers flowing from a horn of plenty
  • long-stemmed flowers in antique bottles
  • flowers in water picks tucked into green plants or inserted into pew bows
  • flowers woven into leis that intertwine down table centers

For the bridal bouquet, flowers can be cut and gathered into tightly shaped nosegays or the long stems can simply be secured with flowing ribbons.

Fresh Flowers Unique to the Wedding

Growing flowers for the wedding bonds families and guarantees unique floral contributions for bridal bouquets and wedding décor. Family members get to enjoy the beauty and gentle nature of the flowers as they grow, and the bride and groom get to experience a one-of-a-kind floral display no other wedding couple will ever truly duplicate.

Homegrown flowers are as individual as people, and personally grown wedding flowers can save money, entwine families, and inspire a unique wedding day experience that will live forever in the hearts of those who participated.

Children with disabilities and their families can find financial assistance from government and non profit associations. Government agencies at the federal and state levels maintain dedicated funds for children with special needs.

Disability specific non profit associations operate with government and private funding to help disabled kids. Many of the assistance programs for kids with disabilities are based on family’s financial needs. This article provides resources to find assistance for children with special needs.


Cash Assistance for Children with Disabilities Special Needs and Severe Disabilities

Federal and state government agencies provide disability income or cash assistance for children with special needs. The largest federal program available to kids with disabilities is the Social Security Administration Supplemental Income or SSI. There are various forms of disabilities including autism, blindness and cerebral palsy that may qualify under this program.

The SSI cash assistance program is based on the financial needs of the disabled child and the family. Medical certifications and history proving the disability are required by this program. Additionally, the SSA will perform a disability evaluation. Applications for the SSI disability program are accepted online, by telephone and at SSA local offices.

Temporary Emergency Assistance for Children with Disabilities

The federal government provides funding to all states under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF program. Each state is responsible for running its TANF program. The main goal of the program is to provide temporary financial assistance to low income families with children. These programs are based on needs. Applications are accepted at each state’s TANF office. The programs are funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

Grants for Children with Disability Special Needs

Grants are awarded by the Federal and State governments to non profit organizations and to public agencies. These organizations provide individual assistance to children with disabilities and their families. Some of these non profits may also be funded with contributions from the public. Unlike loans, these grants don’t have to be repaid.

  • United Health Care Children Foundation – is a non profit organization that offers grants for children with special needs medical expenses. The grants match the difference between insurance coverage and actual health care expenses.
  • The Innovating Worthy Projects Foundation at – A non profit that funds other organizations only. Organizations receiving funds (grantees) provide financial help and other assistance to children with disability special needs. The website lists the names of the organizations receiving funding or grantees; individuals can apply for help directly with one of these grantees.
  • National Autism Association – This organization provides financial help for children and families with autism. It also accepts contributions from the general public to fund programs. These grants are very popular and the association receives a high volume of applications. The submission process runs on annual basis with deadlines.
  • Disabled Children Relief Funds at – this is a small grant to help disabled children purchase equipments such as; hearing aids, wheelchairs, eyeglasses, walkers, for physical therapy and medical aids.

There are many types of resources for children with disabilities and their parents to obtain help to meet financial obligations. Governments and non profit organizations are dedicated to help disabled children with cash grants, medical and educational grants. The best options to obtain cash is to apply for SSI benefits, state benefits and grants provided by specific non profit organizations. Most federal grants are awarded to state agencies and non profits, these in turn fund grants to individual children with disabilities.

My So-Called Soundtrack: Webbtrospective #4: The Ringing Bell - Derek Webb

Since going solo, it would be fair to say that Derek Webb is known for writing thought provoking lyrics with a musical style in the vein of acoustic singer/songwriter. To say Webb spoke his mind would be an understatement.

Change in Musical Style

Webb’s fourth solo album, The Ringing Bell, has the same thought provoking lyrics but has shifted the musical styling just a bit. He has traded in the hollow acoustic for the solid body electric. Webb kicks up the tempo for most of the songs and harkens back to a time when dissent in music was the norm.

When talking about the change in style, Webb says, “I have just been listening to too much Beatles and too much of the great plugged-in Dylan music.” The influences of the Fab Four and Bob Dylan can be felt through much of the CD. From the transition of “The End” to “The Very End”, the first two songs on the disc, to the rockin’ riffs that open up “A Savior on Capitol Hill” we are treated with Webb and Co.’s version of 60s era Rock and Roll.

The Ringing Bell Challenges Us

True to his previous albums, Webb takes a closer look at his soul and bares what he sees to his audience. “A Love That’s Stronger Than Our Fear” challenges us with the real strength of our convictions. He believes in exactly what the title says. The laid back rock sound gives the song a deceptive feel good vibe. Those that listen to the lyrics will be rewarded with a message that encourages while it challenges.

The opening riff of “I for an I”, along with the punctuated guitar riffs interspersed, could be included on The White album. Webb brings home the message he hopes to convey on this CD with this song. “I think The Ringing Bell is a record about peace on the whole,” he says of the concept.

Some Fun Moments

While The Ringing Bell does tackle some heavy and important issues, Webb isn’t a wet blanket. “I Want to Marry You All Over Again” is a lighthearted love song. It’s a tale of the meeting and courtship between Webb and his wife, the beautiful and talented Sandra McKracken. Whether it’s really true to life or not, it’s sweet and fun and shows Webb’s heart.

The Ringing Bell Convicts Us

If there is one thing Webb is good at, it’s making his audience look within themselves. He turns the mirror around and makes them take an honest look. His closing song doesn’t have the rocking beat of its predecessors, but it might just have the most power.

“This Too Shall be Made Right” digs up the muck that is in all of our souls. It brings to the surface the apathy that many are guilty of for personal gain. Webb evokes sad images of war and hunger that happens all over the world. He hits too close to home when he says, “I join the oppressors of those I choose to ignore/ I’m trading comfort for human life/ and that’s not just murder it’s suicide.”

When Webb gives us a message, it’s one that he has labored over. He has asked the questions of himself and searched the depths of his soul. He does a service of making Christians take a look at what they believe and why they believe it. Whether or not they change those beliefs is neither here nor there. They will have a better understanding why they believe what they do.

So, you are retired but you are still considering
going back to work. Well, most retirees all over the world today go back to
work after official retirement. So, it’s something normal. Besides, it can help
you make some money and supplement your fixed income. Besides, having something
to do is a great thing as it gives you a sense of purpose. While going back to work is always a good thing to do
for most people in retirement, you should never take up any part-time job
before considering the following.

  1. Job

Not all job environments are friendly to people who
have attained the age of 65 and above. So, before you take up that job, find
out whether the job atmosphere is friendly to the elderly.

  • Your

Before you take up any part-time job after retirement,
ensure that you are passionate about what your job description entails, and
that you will enjoy doing that job. When you are enjoying your golden years,
your happiness is what should matter, and money should come second. Don’t just
take up a job because you need to earn some money, or just because you don’t
want to stay at home doing nothing. Even if the job is in line with your
career, don’t accept it unless you are passionate about what you are expected
to do.

  • The

The pay is another important factor every retiree
should consider before taking up a job after retirement. Consider how much you
will be paid for the job. This is especially true if your income is fixed and
reduced, and you want to earn some money to boost your income.

  • Taxes

Don’t just consider your gross income. Consider what
taxes you are supposed to pay while on that job, and then ensure that the money
you are going to earn will cater for all the taxes. Remember that failure to
pay taxes can attract huge fines in any country.

  • Expenses

What you are paid also matters a lot. Even if earning money is not the reason you are going back to work after retirement, you should ensure that the money you are going to earn will at least cover all the expenses that come with the job. For instance, what you are going to earn should cover expenses such as transportation, parking, meals and so on. Enroll in 2019 Medicare advantage plans via

PHOTOS - 3 | Mario's

When you’re born in a city called Belo Horizonte, or “beautiful horizon,” it’s likely that you have a bit of the artistic in you. Sunsets in this south-eastern Brazilian city are legendary- crimson slashes of red set against lush green mountains. Chef Mario Cassini remembers the landscape of his home town as fondly as he recalls the mouth-watering aromas emanating from the kitchen of his extended family’s home.

Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais (meaning general mine) is known throughout Brazil for its flavourful cuisine. Just as the state owes its name to the rich reserve of minerals such as gold, diamonds and quartz, the area’s culinary traditions owes its diversity in large part to the miners who arrived there in the eighteenth century. It’s said that the culinary secrets that make the food there so wonderful, are quietly passed down from generation to generation, like a piece of heirloom jewellery containing a diamond from the surrounding mountains. For Mario, that gift was passed down to him from the skilled hands of his Aunt Maria and Grandfather Bernadino.

“Sometimes I’d be in bed and I could smell that my aunt was cooking next door. I used to get up and go watch her cook. She’d blend beans for soup or the dishes she’d make- and she’d hold me up to see the beans in the blender pureeing,” recalls Mario. His grandfather was Portuguese, and made a cod fish dish in the traditional style of the Mediterranean- with layers of potato, fish, onions and pepper known as Bacalaho Gomes da Sa. “I was about four years old,” says Mario “and I remember my grandfather would get a whole salted cod, cook it- and then I’d help de-bone it. We’d peel the skin off the cod and take our time taking out the bones. It was a lot of fun for a kid.”

Culinary and Cultural Imprints

The cultural and culinary imprints left behind by Portuguese colonials, African slaves, the country’s indigenous peoples and the many others who arrived later, are what makes Brazilian food so unique. Take for example the Brazilian party staple- pasteis. A cross between a Chinese spring roll and an Indian Samosa, the pasteis’ crust resembles that of a spring roll, and the fillings are samosa-like. But that’s where the similarities end because they use local ingredients such as cachaça (Brazilian sugar cane rum) in the dough and hearts of palm in the filling.

When Mario arrived in Canada at the age of 24, he was a young man in search of opportunity. “I wanted to see how the other side of the world lived- to see the lifestyle first hand for myself. I was frustrated with Brazil, with the country’s instability. I was young and had no dreams. I lacked hope and vision.” says Mario. “I was working for the equivalent of the TTC in Brazil on traffic control, routes, trouble-shooting and customer service. We’d go somewhere and need a police escort to get out- because the people in a neighbourhood weren’t happy about a strike or the service. I knew I had to go. Once I got here I thought, ‘you know what? This is it!’” recalls Mario.

Feijoada for New Friends

Once here, he’d cook up his legendary feijoada– braised meat and black bean stew for his new Canadian friends to rave reviews, which got him thinking about going to cooking school. He went back to Brazil to apply for his landed immigrant papers and three and a half years later returned as an immigrant, enrolling in the culinary program at George Brown College in Toronto. “I was 28 years old when I went to George Brown. I knew I had to do something. I worked in construction here in Canada and I hated it. The conditions, the people- it just wasn’t for me,” says Mario.

Many of Mario’s friends and family advised him against a culinary career, some even tried to get him to change his mind. “Yes, it’s a hot, dirty place sometimes. You deal with big egos, and the pressure to deliver is very real,” admits Mario, “but I’ve survived so far!” Ever since he was a little boy, even through adolescence, Mario’s survival skills led him to the kitchen. Mario always knew that given the opportunity, he would own his own restaurant showcasing the food of his native land and share that with Canadians. Three years ago, the opportunity presented itself in the form of Toronto’s Caju restaurant. He’s proud and passionate about Brazilian cooking, the complexity associated with building the right balance of flavours and the different histories behind each dish.

Snack ThiefsOne the stories Mario most fondly remembers related to a particular dish takes him back to his childhood. At every family gathering, big bowls brimming with freshly fried pasteis would be prepared for the guests to nibble on with cocktails. Mario recalls grating the cheese and stretching out the dough in preparation of one his favourite party foods. His mum would stash the heaping bowls out of the way until everyone arrived, but Mario and one of his brothers had different plans. While Mario distracted his mother, his brother would snag some pasteis from their resting place without anyone knowing. Later on, the accomplices would meet to divvy up the loot, gleefully snacking on their forbidden fruits. Mario makes some of his home state’s dishes with flair and offers these three flavourful recipes for your next party or gathering. And best of all- with Mario’s recipes in hand- you can make enough to thrill your guests – and keep your own secret stash!

With summer fast approaching, people will soon begin looking for vacation activities. Camping is a great summer vacation activity as it tends to be relatively low in cost with great rewards. The Queen Charlotte Islands are a great place to take the family camping. The islands are somewhat isolated, accessed only by a seven-hour ferry ride from Prince Rupert or daily commercial flights from Prince Rupert or Vancouver. As such the cost of getting there can be fairly high, but the scenery, history and residents make it incredibly worthwhile.

The Queen Charlotte Islands are made up of two large islands known as Graham Island and Moresby Island along with several smaller islands. Currently there is only major habitation on Graham Island and the northern end of Moresby Island. The southern part of Moresby Island makes up Gwaii Haanas protected area and world heritage site. Moresby Island is connected to the north island by a short ferry ride, approximately half an hour in duration. Both islands provide lots of things to see and do.

Many of the campgrounds on the Queen Charlotte Islands are somewhat rustic but do provide water and washroom facilities, and in several instances firewood for a fee. These campgrounds are for the most part able to accommodate tents, RVs, tent trailers and campers, but be sure to check each individual campground before booking to ensure they are able to accommodate your needs. Also remember to check beforehand if a chosen campsite accepts reservations or not.

There are two provincial campgrounds in Naikoon Provincial Park, along with at least eight private camping providers on Graham Island and at least one camping provider on Moresby Island. This article is going to focus on provincial campgrounds. Information on private and publicly run campgrounds can be found by looking atCamping in Private Campgrounds on the Queen Charlotte Islands .

Within the boundaries of Naikoon Provincial Park there are two provincial campsites: Agate Beach and Misty Meadows. According to The Queen Charlotte Islands’ online visitor guide, “Both Agate Beach and Misty Meadows are equipped with clean outhouses, clean water, picnic shelters with wood stoves, and bear-proof trash cans. Firewood is available for a fee.” (


Agate Beach Campground; the Queen Charlotte Islands

Agate Beach is on the north end of Graham Island near Tow Hill; a short drive from Masset and Old Masset. Some of the campsites here border the beach itself while others are further away from the beach for those wishing a more sheltered spot. This is a fairly rustic campground; there are no power hookups or sani-stations for RVs, but the view and experience is fantastic. On clear days, looking out across the ocean, a southern portion of Alaska can be seen by a keen eye.

Beachcombing can last all day as long as searchers pay attention to the tide so as not to become stranded if they decide to wander far from the campsite. There are many hiking trails in the vicinity, and at low tide Tow Hill and The Blowhole are only a walk away. The camping experience at Agate Beach is unparalleled, and the sunsets visible from this campground are phenomenal on a clear day.

Do be prepared for wet weather and wind; coastal weather can be somewhat unpredictable. Agate Beach is an extremely fun campsite no matter the weather conditions, with lots to see and do. Remember to watch your step; as the name suggests, agates can sometimes be found along the beach.

Misty Meadows Campground; the Queen Charlotte Islands

Misty Meadows campground is further down the east side of Graham Island, near Tlell. This campground has more of the typical coastal feel to it, with tall ancient trees and plenty of undergrowth. This campground is set back from the beach and is more closely surrounded by trees than Agate Beach, and is therefore more sheltered from the weather.

The beach near Misty Meadows campground is windswept and fairly rocky above the tide line and has plenty of interesting driftwood to explore. There are also many trails further in from the beach to hike and explore, with the opportunity to see wildlife. Deer, squirrels, and raccoons are all possibilities anywhere on the islands, as are bears and a wide variety of birds.

While visiting the Queen Charlotte Islands remember to keep a watchful eye open. There are such a variety of possible things to see, from a tiny deer fawn, to an agate, to some amazing scenery or local art. The islands are truly a beautiful place to visit, and there are many camping opportunities for seasoned and novice campers alike.