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Winnipeg physician Tamar Rubin publishes first full book of poetry

Tamar Rubin

Becoming a doctor requires a tremendous amount of dedication, intelligence, and empathy – and those are just some of the attributes that one might suggest are prerequisites.
But, as I’m sure most of us have discovered over the years, practicing medicine is an art form that may often complement other artistic sides that many doctors have, but of which their patients – perhaps even their colleagues, may be unaware.

Recently I was sent some publicity material about a Winnipeg doctor by the name of Tamar Rubin who, as the material noted, is an accomplished poet whose writing has appeared in a number of poetry journals. (She has also written for several medical journals.) I was also sent a copy of the first fully published book of her poems, titled “Tablet Fragments”. (The title of the book, as Tamar explains in her prologue, is a reference to the tablets Moses brought down from Sinai, then smashed.)
Here is how Tamar is described on the website of the publisher, Signature Books:
“Tamar Rubin grew up immersed in Hebrew, Jewish traditions and texts, in a secular household, the daughter of an immigrant mother. In becoming a physician, she learned yet another language: medicine.
“The poetry in Tablet Fragments, Rubin’s first published collection, weaves between the texts of all her learning, deploying evocative biblical mythopoetics and the precision of medical science.
“Writing as a diagnostic eyewitness to the complexities of her life, Rubin explores the natural history of familial and romantic relationships, the impacting of migration and displacement, and her composite identities as outsider and insider; as doctor and her own body; as daughter, lover, mother and poet.”

After I finished reading the poems in “Tablet Fragments”, of which there are 71, I spoke with Tamar Rubin – about her background, her medical practice, and her poetry.
Tamar told me that her mother was born in Israel, her father in Canada, that her parents met in Israel and that they eventually moved to Toronto, which is where Tamar was born and raised.
After obtaining her undergraduate degree at McGill, Tamar went to the University of Toronto for her MD, followed by training in pediatrics at University of Alberta, subspecialty training in clinical immunology and allergy at University of Manitoba, and then further training in pediatric immunodeficiency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

Tamar finally settled down in Winnipeg in 2017 with her husband (who is also a doctor) when she began her current career as a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital, specializing in allergies and immunology. Tamar told me she trained under well-known allergist Dr. Allan Becker and now trains f other students who are enrolled in the allergy and immunology program at the Rady Faculty of Medicine.
She says that her work now is primarily in the “academic sector of medicine.”

At the same time Tamar is busy raising her two children, a two-year-old and an eight-month old. I wondered then how she has any time to write poetry – between juggling a demanding career and looking after two very young children. She admitted that it was much more difficult to find time to write poetry, noting that “I used to be a little more disciplined about it. I write when I can.”

I was intrigued by the notion of a poetry-writing physician, although doctors as writers is quite common. In fact, the discipline that doctors must bring to practicing their profession certainly lends itself to the same sort of discipline required of a writer. I mentioned to Tamar that in the past we have excerpted poems from another Toronto Jewish doctor, Ron Charach, although it’s been some time since we’ve heard from him.

In fact, some of the poems in “Tablet Fragments” require a mathematical-type of analysis, as they are laid out in a quasi-geometric fashion that requires several readings in order to grasp their meaning. Tamar acknowledged that some of her poems are “more accessible than others”, but when I admitted that I had some real trouble trying to figure out how to read some of the poems because they were laid out in such a quizzical manner, she simply laughed and said I could read them any way I wanted.

Tamar’s poems cover the gamut of her life experience, including her upbringing, her consciousness of her Jewishness, her closeness to her mother and grandmother, challenges in her own motherhood, her work as a physician, as well as a range of other subjects. While they are personal, they are not soul-baring. While some are more difficult to read than others, for the most part they are all quite easy to read.

Here is an excerpt from one about Tamar’s mother and grandmother, titled “Perennial”:

For thirty-one years, my mother tried not to miss her. Every week,
a little water or the trickle of a few ice cubes

in black earth. Years back, in the muck of Toronto, April,
my grandmother visited from Israel, left
a Christmas cactus

the vast beach of my mother’s Mediterranean
mother – oranges, mangoes, brown skin, hot
tempers, a bowl of warm milk for stray cats –
all packed inside this…

I asked Tamar what she derives from writing poetry, which, she explained, she’s been doing ever since she was a young girl.
She answered that “writing poetry explores some vulnerabilities and leads to a common experience – just as in friendship, when you explore a vulnerability, it can lead to a connection.”


“Tablet Fragments” is available from Signature Editions at

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Exploring 8 Innovative New Services in In-Home Care

In-home care has evolved significantly in recent years, driven by advancements in technology, changing demographics, and an increased focus on personalized care. These innovative services are transforming the way support is delivered, enhancing the quality of life for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Here are some of the most exciting and groundbreaking innovations that families can depend on when it comes to their space and the best practices to ensure comfort and safety.

Telehealth and Telemedicine

Telehealth and telemedicine have revolutionized health care by providing remote access to services. Through video consultations, seniors and caregivers can communicate with doctors, nurses, and specialists without leaving their homes. This reduces the need for frequent visits to health facilities, which can be challenging for those with mobility issues. Telehealth also enables continuous monitoring of chronic conditions, allowing providers to adjust treatments promptly and prevent complications.

Remote Monitoring and Wearable Devices

Wearable devices and remote monitoring systems are becoming essential tools. These devices can track vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels, providing real-time data to caregivers and health professionals. Advanced systems can detect falls, monitor medication adherence, and even predict health issues before they become severe. This proactive approach allows for timely interventions, improving outcomes and enhancing the safety of in-home recipients.

Virtual Companionship and Social Engagement

Loneliness and social isolation are significant concerns for seniors living at home. Virtual companionship services, such as those provided by robots or virtual assistants, offer interaction and engagement to mitigate these issues. These technologies can remind individuals to take their medications, guide them through exercises, and provide cognitive stimulation through games and conversations. Additionally, platforms that facilitate virtual social gatherings and activities help seniors stay connected with family and friends, promoting mental and emotional well-being.

Personalized Care Plans and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a crucial role in developing personalized plans. AI algorithms can analyze data from various sources, including health records, lifestyle habits, and genetic information, to create customized strategies. These plans are tailored to the unique needs and preferences of each individual, ensuring they receive the most appropriate and effective solutions. AI can also assist caregivers by predicting potential health issues and suggesting preventive measures, thereby enhancing the overall quality of support.

Smart Home Technology

Smart technology is making it easier for seniors to live independently. Voice-activated assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home can control lights, thermostats, and appliances, reducing the physical effort required for daily tasks. Smart systems can also include sensors that detect movement, alerting caregivers if there is unusual activity or inactivity. This technology not only improves safety but also provides peace of mind for both the recipients and their families.

On-Demand and Flexible Care Services

The gig economy has introduced on-demand services to the in-home care industry. Platforms like Honor and CareLinx allow families to find and hire support quickly, providing flexibility and convenience. These services offer a wide range of options, from a few hours of assistance to round-the-clock support, accommodating the varying needs of individuals. The ability to schedule help on short notice ensures that support is available when it’s needed most. This includes teams like the one at Parners for Home Care; more on their services and support options can be found on their website:

Integrative Health and Wellness Programs

Holistic approaches to health and wellness are gaining traction – and for good reason. Integrative health programs combine traditional medical care with complementary therapies such as yoga, meditation, nutrition counseling, and physical therapy. These programs focus on the overall well-being of the individual, addressing physical, mental, and emotional health. As a result of promoting a balanced and healthy lifestyle, integrative health services can enhance the quality of life and prevent the onset of chronic conditions.

Enhanced Training and Support for Caregivers

Innovative training programs for caregivers are crucial in improving the quality of in-home care. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies provide immersive training experiences, allowing support workers to practice and develop their skills in realistic scenarios. Additionally, online platforms offer ongoing education and support, helping individuals stay updated on best practices and new developments in the field. Enhanced training ensures that everyone is well-prepared to meet the diverse needs of their clients.

The Future of In-Home Care Services

The way we grow and age in comfort is rapidly changing, thanks to these innovative services and technologies. Telehealth, remote monitoring, virtual companionship, AI-driven plans, smart technology, on-demand services, integrative health programs, and enhanced training are all contributing to more personalized, efficient, and effective support. As these innovations continue to evolve, they hold the promise of significantly improving the lives of those who rely on in-home care, allowing them to age gracefully and independently in the comfort of their own spaces.

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New online casinos to try in Canada

Canada is jumping aboard the online gambling train and following the same path as many other countries and territories throughout the world that are all rushing to check what this new gambling golden age is all about. Gambling in Canada varies from state to state, and before we get started today, we must advise you that you need to check out the laws and legislation in your local area before you look to play a casino game online.

Favorable changes in legislation

Gambling in Canada is legal at central government level, but it is left to the individual provinces to write up the local legislation that applies to their residents. Ontario was the most recent province to legalize sports betting and online casino gaming. Although April 2022 wasn’t too long ago, gambling platforms operating within the province are firing on all cylinders.

You don’t have to be the sharpest tool in the box to observe how significant it was for Ontario to legalize online casino gaming for all residents over the age of 19. Ontario is the most populated province and is home to two of the most prominent cities in the country, thus opening up the potential for a multibillion-dollar tax base for provincial legislators.

There has been an enormous wave of platforms looking to get in on the action, but a handful of new online casinos, which can be found on, are proving to be slightly ahead of the rest, at least in our opinion. Let’s take a look at some of these platforms, what they have to offer, and the sort of components you should look for when deciding which casino to play at.


First up today, we have BetBeast, and it ticks many of the boxes that are often indicators of a quality casino:

  • Customer service that is easy to contact and available 24/7 – an integral feature for any digital casino.
  • A great VIP program.
  • Impressive bonuses for existing customers.
  • Over 7,000 games to choose from.

There are some areas where BetBeast could improve, such as increasing the withdrawal amount for high rollers, and given it’s such a new provider, it’ll be harder for it to muscle in on the more established names, but it does all of the things you’d expect from a casino that has aspirations of getting in among the big names in Canadian casino gaming.


While Gamblezen does all of the basics well, including great game selection, easy-to-contact customer service and a quick signup process, what grabbed our attention most about the Curaçao-based gambling platform was what other people are saying about it online.

Despite being in the space for less than 12 months, there’s a wave of people waxing lyrical about its service, both on social media and via independent reviews. We checked out what it has to offer, and find that it’s impressive for the short time it has been active in the Canadian online casino industry.

Casino Adrenaline

Opting for a high-octane name, Casino Adrenaline has clearly used the opportunity to name its platform as a marketing strategy, which is not a bad idea. However, it isn’t just about the face value of the intriguing name – Casino Adrenaline has a new customer, no-deposit offer of 100 free spins, which first caught our attention. Another interesting approach is its range of payment methods.

In our experience, new casinos will usually opt for the main two or three payment methods before branching out into others. However, Casino Adrenaline has been around since 2014, so its venture into the Canadian market isn’t its first rodeo. Online gambling in Canada captured national and local news and attention in 2022, while Casino Adrenaline has been offering digital betting services since 2014, and it’s clear from their website that they know what they are doing.


Belabet has over 2,000 games to choose from, and if you’re a slot gamer, this might be the one you should put at the top of your list to check out. It’s the newest name on our list today, launching in April 2024, but is clearly eager to get going in the casino gaming market and has one of the broadest selections of slot games we’ve seen.

Of course, as you’d expect with a brand-new casino, there are still elements of the site that could do with a few adjustments, but there’s nothing major, and it’s showing a lot of promise as a site for Canadian slot fans.

MoonWin Casino

MoonWin has 3,000 games available, fewer than some of the other names we have touched on today. However, this isn’t a deciding factor in a casino’s overall quality. There are plenty of examples where quality is more important than quantity, and MoonWin definitely makes a strong case for this argument with the quality of their platform.

In addition, you can find plenty of crash games and niche casino games to check out, so you aren’t confined to traditional games if you’re looking for something a little different.


We’ve only scratched the surface with our selection today, and given that Canadian casino gaming is one of the fastest-growing domestic gambling markets in the world, expect the competition to continue growing – most importantly, to the benefit of the customers, continuing to drive innovation and increase choice.

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Transform Your Space: Creative Ideas for Decorative Concrete

Concrete has long been valued for its durability and versatility, but it’s not typically associated with aesthetics. However, with the advent of decorative concrete, this modern and simple material is making a stylish comeback, as it offers endless possibilities for adding beauty and personality to your Calgary home or business. Here are just a few innovative ideas to inspire your next home renovation project.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete in Calgary is one of the most popular options for decorative appeal. This technique involves pressing patterns into freshly poured concrete to mimic the look of other materials such as brick, stone, tile, or even wood. Stamped is an excellent choice for patios, driveways, walkways, and pool decks. It offers the aesthetic appeal of more expensive materials at a fraction of the cost while maintaining the strength and durability.

Stained Concrete

Stained concrete is another versatile option that adds color and depth to your surfaces. There are two main types of stains: acid-based and water-based. Acid stains penetrate the material and react chemically to create rich, variegated colors that resemble natural stone. Water-based stains, on the other hand, offer a broader palette of hues and can be mixed to create custom colors. Stained works well for floors, countertops, and outdoor surfaces, providing a unique and long-lasting finish.

Polished Concrete

For a sleek, modern look, polished concrete is an excellent choice. The process involves grinding the surface with progressively finer abrasives until it reaches the desired level of shine. Polished can be further enhanced with the use of dyes and stains to add color, even though this finish is highly durable, low-maintenance, and reflective, making it ideal for indoor floors in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

Concrete Overlays

Concrete overlays are a fantastic way to rejuvenate existing surfaces without the need for complete replacement. An overlay is a thin layer applied over the old surface, which can then be stamped, stained, or polished. This technique can fix minor imperfections and give your surfaces a fresh, new look. Overlays are perfect for driveways, patios, and interior floors that have seen better days but still have a solid foundation.

Exposed Aggregate

Exposed aggregate concrete in Calgary is a decorative option that showcases the natural beauty of stone and pebble inclusions within the mix. After pouring, the top layer is removed to reveal the aggregate beneath. This finish provides a textured, non-slip surface, making it an excellent choice for driveways, walkways, and pool decks; the variety of aggregate materials available allows for customization to suit your design preferences.

Engraved Concrete

Concrete engraving involves using special tools and equipment to etch designs, patterns, or text into the surface. This technique can transform plain surfaces into an artistic statement, and engraving can be combined with staining to highlight the designs and create intricate, eye-catching details. It’s a great option for adding logos, borders, or custom artwork to floors, patios, and entryways.

Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are gaining popularity for their durability and modern aesthetic. They can be customized in terms of shape, size, color, and finish to suit your kitchen or bathroom design. Integrating decorative elements like inlays, embedded stones, or glass can further enhance their visual appeal. Such countertops are heat and scratch-resistant, making them a practical and stylish choice for any home.

Colored Concrete

Adding color to concrete is a simple yet effective way to enhance its appearance. Integral color, which involves adding pigment directly to the mix, ensures consistent color throughout the material. Alternatively, surface-applied color options like stains, dyes, and tinted sealers can create a wide range of hues and effects. Colored can be used for driveways, patios, floors, and even garden paths to add a pop of color and complement your overall design scheme.

Concrete Furniture

Concrete furniture is an emerging trend that combines functionality with artistic design. From tables and benches to planters and fire pits, these sturdy furniture pieces are durable and weather-resistant, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The versatility allows for unique shapes and designs that can serve as statement pieces in your home or garden.

Endless Possibilities for Concrete in Calgary

Decorative concrete opens up a world of possibilities for enhancing the beauty and functionality of your spaces. Whether you’re looking to update your patio, revamp your floors, or add a unique touch to your countertops, there’s a decorative option to suit your needs. With its blend of durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal, decorative concrete in Calgary is a smart choice for any home or business improvement project.

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