Are you having trouble hearing voices on TV?

The ZVOX AccuVoice AV157 is a compact soundbar that uses the science behind hearing aids to create more clarity in recorded dialogue

Are you having trouble hearing voices on TV?Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually decipher the dialogue on TV? As sound delivery advances with the advent of immersive technologies like surround sound and Dolby Atmos, we still sometimes have to crank up the volume or turn on close captioning. Sometimes we even play a passage again to make out what’s being…

Keeping the Christmas spirit alive beyond the festive season

The Christmas spirit only asks us, as Mother Teresa famously said, that we “do ordinary things with great love”

Keeping the Christmas spirit alive beyond the festive seasonWith traditional ways of celebrating on pause, Christmas 2020 was definitely one for the books. Despite COVID-19 – or maybe even because of it – I, and many people I know, celebrated the Christmas season well. As one of my good friends remarked, COVID-19 didn’t spoil her Christmas. She mused that she made new memories;…

Last-minute gift ideas ideal for an unusual holiday season

Fitness trackers, webcams, tiny batteries, protective cases for your smartphone and cheaper ways to keep your house clean

Last-minute gift ideas ideal for an unusual holiday seasonThis year, celebrations, gift-giving and the whole shopping experience may be a whole lot different. Many of us will be separated from our loved ones this holiday season. So here are a few gadget gift ideas you can easily order online and have sent directly to them: Family-friendly webcam For the first time, you may…

Christmas pantomime a charming holiday tradition

There’s no requirement to stick to the details of the original story. The entertainment imperative trumps ‘authenticity’ every time

Christmas pantomime a charming holiday traditionPeople raised in North America aren’t usually exposed to the phenomenon of the Christmas pantomime. Some might even think it has something to do with mime, which it most assuredly doesn’t. But those who grew up in Britain or Ireland will have an entirely different perspective. Pantomime – panto for short – is an integral…

Craving the touchstones of Christmas tradition

The traditions and rituals of the festive season have a part to play in creating a sense of normalcy during this time of pandemic

Craving the touchstones of Christmas traditionI almost lost my Christmas spirit, thanks to COVID-19. The reality of no family dinners, no gathering with friends and no church services to attend threatened to dampen my enthusiasm for the holiday season. Not wanting to be Scrooge, I took action. One grey, dreary day in early December, I tromped through the yard, cutting…

Hunkering down – reluctantly – for the holidays

The longer the pandemic and the necessity of restrictions drags on, the costlier it becomes for our inner selves

Hunkering down – reluctantly – for the holidaysIf mommy kisses Santa Claus this Christmas, hopefully they’ll be in the same household bubble. After all, COVID-19 means this is going to be a holiday like no other we’ve experienced before. Canadians’ plans for the holiday season are a reminder to all of us – but especially to those making decisions about lockdowns and…

Was Oliver Cromwell the Great Satan?

Some historians argue that the reality is more nuanced than the legend and that he played a significant role in the creation of modern England

Was Oliver Cromwell the Great Satan?When last week’s column referred to Oliver Cromwell as the “Great Satan,” my tongue was in my cheek. But many people do think of him in those terms. So let’s take a look at the man, his works and his historical reputation. Cromwell (1599 to 1658) rose to prominence during the 1640s. Starting as a…

Celebrating Christmas with Poirot and Marple

If you're looking for some binge-worthy fictional subjects, nothing could be better than Agatha Christie’s signature characters

Celebrating Christmas with Poirot and MarpleAh, Christmas! There are many things I enjoy doing on Christmas, a wonderful holiday. This includes spending time with family, watching Alastair Sim’s version of Scrooge (1951) and animated specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), listening to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and reading Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. With respect to the latter,…

A child’s Christmas Eve in 1950 Dublin

One of my earliest Christmas memories was going to see Roy Rogers, the "King of the Cowboys", in The Gay Ranchero in a Dublin cinema

A child’s Christmas Eve in 1950 DublinAs you get older, one of the things that Christmas evokes is a sense of remembering. And for me, one the earliest such memories relates to Christmas Eve 1950. It was the first time I ever went to the cinema. Or, as Dubliners would have said, the pictures. I was six years-old at the time…

Dressing up your new smartphone

Here are some case, carry and accessory ideas that make your phone just a little bit smarter – and better protected

Dressing up your new smartphoneHoliday shopping and retailer incentives are driving sales of smartphones right now. And plenty of people want to dress up, protect or enhance their new phones. So here are a few ideas from Case-Mate, Smartish, Catalyst and Apple. From camo to colourful If you don’t want boring but still want to keep your case slim…
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