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Imprint The university of Waterloo’s official student newspaper

Friday, March 16, 2007

vol 29, no 31

imprint . uwaterloo . ca

“This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.”

Adam McGuire

In memory of Sadako Sasaki, Asian Focus and Konnichiwa Japan came together to host the Yume Peace Project in the SLC Great Hall to persuade UW students to join the fight for peace. Their goal is to unite students, encouraging them to build 1000 origami peace cranes, which will be sent with other cranes from around the world to Hiroshima on August 6. There, the cranes will decorate a statue of Sasaki, promoting world peace. (In photo: Patricia Gillett)

Science faculty finds right chemistry in new dean Adam McGuire incoming editor-in-chief

Chemistry Prof. Terry McMahon is positively charged for his new position in the upper ranks of UW academia. McMahon, who has been a key leader in the University of Waterloo’s research of gaseous ions, was recently named the new dean of science, taking over the reins of the faculty on July 1. While McMahon has enjoyed success on a number of fronts during


his time at UW, he is quite excited to begin his new career as the face of the science faculty. “I was really very pleased,” said McMahon when he learned he had been awarded the position. “Apparently there were a number of people interviewed from on campus and off campus. When I learned I was the committee’s selection, it made for a very enjoyable Friday evening.” Although McMahon has an impressively long list of credentials

Students set up booths on campus to educate students about Islam >>Page 4

as an educator, he has really made his mark at UW as an administrator and a researcher — he spent the previous nine years as the chair of the chemistry department, seeing it through some lean times financially. But McMahon thinks his research projects were likely what set him apart from other candidates when it came to the position of faculty dean. It’s easy to see his research is his passion — McMahon’s eyes light up when he’s asked about his research.


“I think it’s important that the dean be a fairly well-respected researcher,” said McMahon “There, I think I have the credentials. We have a very strong research team.” The professor and graduate of Caltech has led some of the most exploratory and often cuttingedge work ever done in the field of gaseous ions. And while a lot of non-science students employ a stereotypical, white-lab-coatsand-test-tubes view on chemistry

UW women’s track and field captain sets new record in pentathalon >>Page 12

research, McMahon’s hands-on methods create an exciting and unique atmosphere in the lab. “One of the first things I ask (of potential researchers) is if they like to fool around with mechanical things,” said McMahon. “We’ve had to build some unique apparatus. We’ve invented huge vacuum systems, electronics and data acquisition interfaces. A lot is hands-on, nuts-and-bolts work.” See Science page 16


IQC, leading the world into a new level of computing >>Page 18

Finalist in the Ontario Community Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Award’s General Excellence category Third place in the Canadian Community Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Award’s Outstanding Campus Newspaper category

N ews MathSoc serves up free slices of Pi Friday, March 16, 2007

Imprint News Editor: Suzanne Gardner News Assistant: Narmeen Lakhani

michael l. davenport

Students choose their favourite type of pie on Pi Day, observed on March 14 (3/14) at 1:59 p.m. since Pi is approximately equal to 3.14159.

Grad programs fear quality at risk for double cohort Margaret Clark assistant editor-in-chief

In 2003, Ontario universities grappled with providing quality education to the “double cohort” of high school students entering undergraduate programs. Four years later, the double cohort is thinking about grad school, and according to a report released Monday, March 12, entitled “Quality at Risk: An Assessment of the Ontario Government’s Plans for Graduate Education,” universities worry their programs don’t have enough support to handle the challenge. “Simply making spaces available,” reads the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) document, “will not compensate for the lack of faculty advisors, inadequate educational staff support, inadequate equipment and research facilities, and insufficient graduate student financial support.” The report goes on to list five overarching criticisms for the Ontario government’s graduate school expansion plan: a lack of operating funds, facility renewal funds, capital funds, student financial support and faculty involvement in all stages of procedural development. In total, the report recommends a financial boost for Ontario universities of at least $1.5 billion, not counting the increases to student financial support. Some of this money would

be allocated over as broad a period as 20 years (as with facility and equipment renewal funds), while other sums would be used to payroll the 478 new faculty the report says are necessary to provide quality education to the influx of new students. The report also cites “inadequate [government] planning” as leading to the present “critical state” of graduate programs in Ontario. Perhaps most striking about the report, however, is that while one figure places enrolment increase rates for 2007 at 30 per cent over 2006 enrolment, the OCUFA stresses “student readiness” as an uncertain variable unto itself. The Ontario graduate expansion plan set a target of 14,000 more graduate students by 2010, with 12,000 of those spaces introduced by the end of 2008, but the OCUFA report states, “there is no guarantee that such a pool of applicants will materialize […] the government’s planning has not addressed the demand side of the equation.” The pronounced divide between students completing their undergraduate degrees this year and numbers of qualified grad school applicants is attributed to a few factors: the lifting of the tuition freeze this year, the heavier average student debt ($25,000 to $28,000 for a four-year undergraduate student) and the lack of new programs to meet the changing needs of contemporary employers.

UW’s dean of graduate studies, Ranjana Bird, especially emphasized the need for innovation in the direction of future graduate programs. “We’re trying to diversify our programs to meet the needs of a wide variety of students,” she said. “Many undergraduates want to continue their studies, but through professional, not thesis-based graduate programs.” Examples of such programs included a master’s of public health, a master’s of accounting and a master’s of taxation; programs that would give students the educational tools to enter the workforce as opposed to academia. Bird also stressed the need for UW to take advantage of available resources in creating more interdisciplinary master’s level programs. “For example,” she said, “we have the linguistic resources, and a very strong computational sciences program, so why not a graduate program in computational linguistics? Why not bioinformatics? We could be leading the way for a lot of non-standard programming that would better meet the needs of our students.” A trickle-down effect is also noted in the OCUFA report, which says that the lack of increased faculty numbers for graduate programs could mean an inferior quality of education for undergraduate students. As more experienced and tenured professors

“take on more graduate-level commitments” to accommodate the lack of new hires, undergraduates would find themselves taught increasingly by non-tenured professors, while the rising student-faculty ratio for graduate programs would then be transferred to undergraduate classrooms. The OCUFA does praise the government, however, for not targeting specific graduate programs for growth over others. At this juncture, there appears to be a great deal of uncertainty in Ontario universities — regarding graduate student enrolment numbers, and how best to deal with large budget shortfalls, but also in what precisely students need from their graduate studies in the changing contemporary world. So while increased funding aid might make up four of the five suggestions raised by the OCUFA, the very last — getting university faculty involved in the planning and implementation of future graduate expansions — is perhaps the most important. Before the provincial government can create effective strategies for improving graduate studies in Ontario, Ontario universities need to decide, on the basis of real student needs, where their graduate programs should be heading at all.


FREE TICKETS Buddy The Buddy Holly Story

Friday, MARCH 16 AT 8 P.M.

More than 40 years after “the day the music died,” the life and career of a true rock’n roll pioneer are celebrated in this spectacular production!

Come to the IMPRINT office, SLC1116, friday, march 16, between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to get your ticket.

- limited quantities, first come, first served 40 Benjamin Road, E., Waterloo 519-747-7788

VOLUNTEER TAX CLINIC March 20 & 21 Student Life Centre 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All UW students are welcome ~ please bring T4s For info contact


14th Annual Arts Grad Ball Friday, March 23, 2007 7 p.m. to midnight Waterloo Inn, Waterloo $15 or 2 for $25 ~ tickets on sale in the ASU ~ ~ must be legal drinking age ~

Friday, March 16, 2007

Week of open dialogue on Islam A closer look at Islam through the eyes of a non-Muslim Andrew Abela staff reporter

This past week was filled with all sorts of events aimed towards increasing Islam awareness on campus. It began on Tuesday, when I found myself in a particularly busy Great Hall. I enjoyed some nice samosas and the modest company of Muslim Students Association vicepresident sisters, Maria Aslam. In pursuit of self-awareness, I inquired about the hijaab and its place in contemporary society. Aslam explained that ultimately the decision lies with the person. “People judge you based on who you are as a person, where your values and aspirations matter.” She went on to set the record straight with respect to her motivation for wearing her hijaab and said, “[we] want people to know that we’re not forced to wear the hijaab. It’s my obligation but it is also my choice to do so. It’s part of who I am.” After filling up on some delicious treats, I patiently waited to meet a very busy and already occupied MSA President Bilal Ahmed to ask him about his aspirations for the week. He later told me that he looks at it as “an opportunity to create an open dialogue on campus among students about Islam.” He expressed concern, then elaborated by adding that such aspirations stood “apart from the obvious goals of creating more awareness and helping others understand Islam better, of course.” With the stacks of books urging us to gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims, it was obvious that education is a priority. The cultural refreshments and free well-decorated books about Islam were a good introduction. A small, white card indicated that it was only the beginning: every day there would be one workshop, entitled Islam 101, and one lecture. Apart from the reassurance that “Refreshments will be served!” at the bottom, what caught my eye was the lecture entitled “The Message of the Prophets,” to be held on the last day. This title was the subheader of Islam Awareness Week, and presumably, the omnipotent lecture. Being the final night, it was the keynote event. Instead of attempting to memorize the entire Qu’ran, I instead decided to familiarize myself with my new information book before Thursday. I became slightly more aware in order to get the most out of Dr. Munir El-Kassem’s lecture. It was being held that night at MC, and I was anxious to learn more about Islam. After introductions, the emcee invited non-Muslim attendees to “come tonight with an open mind” and encouraged us to “honestly think about what you learn tonight.” Accompanied by an English translation on-screen, he recited a portion of the Qu’ran in a beautiful tenor voice completely from memory. Dr. El-Kassem introduced himself

Margaret Clark

Islam Awareness Week presents display booths on the five pillars of Islam in the Great Hall. as an academic; he is a professor of medicine and dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. Although his academic background is largely in the field of medical genetics, he has also studied theology for years and came across as a very wise man. The lecture began with a quick review of Sam Harris’ novel The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. El-Kassem explained that “[Harris] advocates, with historical examples, that most or all of the conflicts in the world have been the result of religious conflicts.” Harris also suggests that we “go back to reason as the basis of human relations and abolish all religions.” According to the speaker, audience members that night were to “look at these phenomena head on and figure out why people are advocating such despicable ideas.” Dr. El-Kassem talked about the many levels of ironic segregation within religion, even amongst Muslims or different Christian sects. He introspectively described religious differences as being essentially linguistic, since the variety of terms all refer to the same God. The main difference is that in Arabic there is no plural for the word Allah, since there is only one God in Islam. I thought that another difference amongst religions was the selective acknowledgement of prophets, which is still sort of true. In Islam, every prophet from Moses, to Je-

“Things are so relative in human perception.” -Dr. Munir El-Kassem

sus, to Mohammed is recognized as significant. The way El-Kassem sees it, each disciple and prophet is a brick in the foundation of a house — each being just as important as the next. Before the question and answer period, he bravely noted that he’s “not afraid of insults.” Keeping that in mind, I proceeded to think up a joke about a Rabbi, a Sheikh and Imam walking into the proverbial bar. After my comedic conscience kicked in, I thought up a much better question to pose. I asked him if he thought that the societal reason that seems to be missing can, counter-intuitively from Harris’ perspective, come from the common idea of peace that many religions share. He disagreed and told me he thinks that “societal reason is not standard. Reason is different amongst countries and cultural contexts.” He said it best, though, with “Things are so relative in human perception.” He encouraged us all to “not let [our] dislike of a group of people sway [us] from [our] establishment of justice and peace with them.” By the end, I not only felt at peace but I also felt enlightened. Perhaps Islam Awareness Week did live up to its goals and succeeded in making more people aware. MSA President Bilal told me that, although he hopes he has improved awareness of Islam on campus this past week, he characterized the efforts of his club as “continuous.” He hopes to attain a peaceful dynamic on campus in which “Muslims are more open to each other, and others, and vice versa. Then I will feel as if I have accomplished something significant.”


Friday, March 16, 2007

AEF makes advancements for arts Narmeen Lakhani assistant news editor

The UW Arts Endowment Fund (AEF) has been in the works since winter 2004, with a referendum passing in February 2006. The board of directors, however, will not begin reviewing funding proposals until the spring because the committee is still finalizing bylaws and the structure of the AEF. The AEF was originally proposed in 2004 with a majority of votes in favour of the referendum, but lack of quorum left the issue at a standstill until another referendum this year. In February 2006, the voter turnout met the requirements of at least seven per cent of eligible voters voting in favour, and the referendum passed. So why haven’t arts students heard from the AEF in the past year? According to Neal Moogk-Soulis, AEF board chair, the first step after the referendum passed was to have the endowment fund approved by the board of governors. This was accomplished last April, and then the process to create a structure for the AEF began. Arts undergraduate students have been charged the $12.00 AEF fee, which is refundable upon request, along with their tuition since the beginning of the Fall 2006 term. In Fall 2006, the group of AEF supporters was still straining to create a board of directors and accompanying bylaws. Moogk-Soulis described that the difficulty lay in creating a board to select a committee without having a committee to select a board, a “chicken and egg situation” that is inevitable when starting an organization from the ground up. The board of directors was finally selected in mid-November, and since then they have been working on three bylaws for the AEF. The first one creates the structure of the

“[An endowment fund] empowers students to make funding decisions on their own behalf.” — Neal Moogk-Soulis, AEF board chair organization, the second one sets up subcommittees, and the last one designates how funds will be applied for and granted. With respect to the benefits for arts undergraduate students in initiating the AEF, Moogk-Soulis said, “I think there’s always a need for something like an endowment fund. [It will] empower students to make funding decisions on their own behalf.” The AEF allows students in the faculty of arts an opportunity to obtain resources similar to those which other faculties offer through their own endowment funds. Prior to the AEF, the only place arts students could turn to for monetary support was the Arts Student Union, which budgets for a few thousand dollars in distributions per term, as well as the Feds council. According to Sherrie Steinberg, office administrator for the ASU, usually only a few hundred dollars are claimed because many students are not aware of the availability of such funds. The ASU budget is small compared to the approximated $72,000 a term the AEF collects, although this amount is not distributed at one time. The AEF Constitution states, “In the first and subsequent years of the Foundation’s operations 60 per cent of contributions will be available for foundation expenditures and 40 per cent shall be allocated to the principle.” Moogk-Soulis believes that the AEF requires a sound structure before looking through proposals for funding, “We want serious applications and

to make sure the funds are properly distributed.” Once in progress, the AEF will consider proposals ranging from money needed to attend student conferences to the need for new furniture in a room. If there are any controversies with fund allocation, as have been an issue with the Waterloo Engineering Endowment Fund (WEEF) in the past, “we will do our best to address them,” he stated. The significantly lower fee for the AEF, however, leads him to believe that there will be fewer concerns than with WEEF. Imprint asked some arts students what they thought about the potential of the Arts Endowment Fund once it is ready for use. Justin Cammarata, 3A general arts, commented, “I don’t mind paying 12 bucks, especially if I’m going to be one of the people that’s going to use it.” Other students in their last term expressed their disinterest in the fund and described that they haven’t really seen a great need for funding in arts throughout their university experience. The AEF is holding its general meeting on March 26 in HH 373 where the Board will discuss its constitutional amendments and present its first bylaw among other information on the agenda. The organization is expected to start considering student proposals in the spring term, with the complete process in place by the fall term.

Lewis implores students to vote and get informed at first GCC Keith McManamen reporter

Last weekend, Laurier held their first annual Global Citizenship Conference, which packed the whole weekend with various presentations, workshops and activities that educated participants about a variety of global issues. The ticket cost $30, but the resulting experience was superlative to any conceivable shenanigans that a weekend of drinking could possibly cook up. While global citizenship may seem an ambiguous term, the broad range of topics covered in the conference included reciprocity, economics globalization, fair trade, environment, sustainability, human rights, global governance and human development. These issues were addressed through speeches, panel discussions and workshops. The event kicked off on Friday, March 9, with a presentation from Canadian diplomat, politician and author Stephen Lewis, whose dizzying intellect was even more phenomenal on the stage than on the page. Lewis addressed real issues that the world needs to deal with immediately, including Darfur, Afghanistan, the environment, Africa and women’s rights. He explained that the world must unite in order to solve these problems effectively. Lewis really put the ball in the

court of students, stating that students need to help make a difference in world issues and that “there is no better place to do it than in a university community.” Also, he “let slip” that the prime minister told him there will be an election called on March 28, with voting sometime in May. He implored students to get out and vote, and to use those votes effectively. He suggested the best way to act on world issues is to get out to as many candidate meetings as possible, to haunt them with student voices, to bombard them with questions on where they stand, and to make student votes count. Undoubtedly, an informed voter is a good voter. Lewis closed by saying, “It is possible to turn things around” but only if we act now. The man truly is the Chuck Norris of intellectuals. The day that followed had participants attending various workshops and panel discussions where there was a mix of experts giving presentations and open discussion amongst peers. Each session was designed as a learning experience where individuals could comfortably discuss issues with similarly interested peers and without being inhibited. The day ended with a banquet fol-

lowed by a mini-concert. The concert first involved a reincarnation of Bob Marley, without overdoing it, saying things like “one time I was on an island, lookin’ at beautiful tings, and I wrote dis song.” He, with his djembe-wielding buddy keeping the beat, played some cool and soft jams with feet moving and dreads shaking. They were followed by pianist/guitarist Arun Pal, who took things down and closed off the day. On Sunday the conference was concluded by Dr. Rhonda HowardHassman, Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, who discussed the merits of globalization in Africa, and suggested ways that students can make a difference. These included pressuring the government, voting, lobbying, joining support NGOs, demonstrating and being responsible citizens. Students can be strong too, she said, as long as you “know yourself, look outward and don’t be too hard on yourself.” The Global Citizenship Conference informed students to make a difference by not only exercising their right to vote, but also that it is their responsibility to ensure that they are informed, that they know what they are voting for. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “we must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

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Bring on the bus! One of my first columns advocated a bus pass. Now, as the curtain nears, the issue has returned again with hopes that it might pass. The region moved quickly to get a proposal in place in time for a referendum during the Feds election. Instead, the ball was dropped and we now face a referendum at the end of the term. The parking situation on campus will never improve. The current cycle of perpetual growth eating up parking lots means that the people to parking spaces ratio will increase. Something must be done. More surface lots aren’t the solution, nor are dedicated parking structures which the university cannot afford to operate. The only solution is to get students out of their cars to find alternative methods of travel. Between the university and private developers, the number of residential units close to campus in recent years has exploded. This means that students have more options closer to campus, reducing the need for campus parking if they come to class, but it doesn’t solve the problem of inner city travel needs. The UW student population has been a prime target of the GRT for bus pass sales. To date, the students have held out for a variety of reasons. Over time bus service has improved, including the addition of the iXpress. We may not be Toronto, but at least we have more buses than we did a decade ago. When I first wrote about this topic, I suggested that UW, WLU and Conestoga College

students should band together to negotiate with the region for a comprehensive student bus pass. The negotiating power of over 40,000 students (at the time) would have meant lower rates and a unified transit solution. Only WLU students have since negotiated a bus pass. Since the region wants the UW business, it’s willing to negotiate. The proposed fee of $41.16 should, if the grad students also pass a referendum on the bus pass, net GRT close to $1.1 million per term. Assuming that GRT continues to purchase from bus manufacturer Novabus, that works out to just over the purchase price of two buses per fall or winter term. Should the undergrad and grad students opt for a non-refundable bus pass, I would hope that the administration consider working a bus pass option into future faculty and staff negotiations. Every faculty or staff person with a bus pass is potentially one person fewer with a car to park. One issue that I hope negotiators consider is co-op students. Ordinarily, they might not be considered to need a bus pass if they are out-oftown, and rightly so. However, the option should be available for co-op students or students in on off-term to opt-in. A similar option to opt-out might be considered for students who commute from out of town. Finally, students should take the lead in encouraging the use of new technology. Given that the region will be purchasing buses to service new or extended routes to the university, the negotiators should request that hybrid buses, like those currently offered by Novabus, be considered. A student report issued almost eight years ago predicted, “to actually institute a U-Pass at UW may be very difficult, or even impossible.” Referenda held outside of the Feds campaign have typically failed for lack of voters. Let’s hope times have changed.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Converting kids on Campus Day

Dinh Nguyen

UW Ambassador gives directions to visitors as they look around campus with prospects of attending university this fall.

What are you doing this summer? If you’re a student who returns home to Mississauga in the summer, get another credit under your belt. Take a summer course (or two) at U of T Mississauga. Visit to find out more


Friday, March 16, 2007

Trained lifeguards help save student after collapse in class Tim Alamenciak editor-in-chief

SATURDAY March 17 A Global Perspective: From Science to Business The annual Science and Business conference (SCRUBS) will teach delegates about global management and business issues in the technological field. Davis Centre 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

MONDAY March 19

Two UW students proved invaluable when first year arts student Aman Sodhi collapsed during a class on public speaking. The student was suffering from a severe allergic reaction to dust. “I felt my heart rate go up,” Sodhi said. “I ended up not really fainting — but along the same lines. I was still conscious.” Hailey Bemone and Eleanor Jane Olive Doe, both trained lifeguards, stepped up to the plate and calmed the student down before the paramedics arrived. Sodhi had laid down on the ground, fearing that he would fall down if he didn’t. “We went up right away and checked the ABCs (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) right away,” said Bemone. The girls put a coat under his head and monitored his heart rate. Andrew Deman, lecturer and

doctoral candidate, called paramedics immediately. The two girls liased with paramedics and ensured that the student’s personal effects were safe. According to Deman, one offered to drive Sodhi’s car to the hospital for him. “They were great, comforting souls. They really did a good job taking care of me,” said Sodhi. Both Sodhi and Deman described Bemone and Doe’s contribution to the situation as essential. Bemone’s advice to other students who are similarly trained is to step up and help out whenever it is needed. “I think if anyone is a lifeguard or has CPR training and there is a situation, come to the rescue and help someone else out.” Bemone complimented Deman’s actions during the situation, mentioning that he acted quickly and effectively. When asked about her feelings on training profs in CPR and first aid,

Bemone said she was in favour of it. “Andrew [Deman] did a great job. The one thing I thought after is that it’s very important for Profs on campus to have training [in emergency response],” she said.

Campus Recreation offers a course in basic first aid with adult CPR. The course runs next on June 2 and November 4 at a cost of $45.

Human Rights Conference Panel Discussion Speakers will engage students on issues ranging from activism to student opportunities. SLC Great Hall 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

TUESDAY March 20 Luncheon event with Marjorie Harris Harris will be discussing her new book, How to Make a Garden: The 7 Essential Steps for the Canadian Gardener. Tickets are available for $11.95 through the BookStore and they include lunch, a complimentary book bag and a chance to win door prizes. Laurel Room, SCH 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.


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Climate Wars

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A lecture by Gwynne Dyer, Canadian journalist and military analyst.


Humanities Theatre, HH 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

THURSDAY March 22 Teaching English abroad Learn about TESOL certification and the skills needed to teach ESL abroad from lawyer, author and admission programs facilitator John Richardson.

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN**a trip for two


TC 1208 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

New CDHigh” On “Infinity res now in sto

Getting a U.S. work permit Find out about the options available to graduating students to work in the States from Nina Juncewicz, U.S. immigration attorney. TC 1208 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Individual results vary. †† Offers valid from 08/01/06 until 07/31/07. Valid at participating locations in Canada only. For Cardholder only. Offers may vary, restrictions may apply. Usage may be restricted when used in conjunction with any other offer or retailer loyalty card discounts. Cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards or certificates. *To qualify, student must present either (i) a T2202a documenting 4 or more months of full-time attendance at a college or university during 2006 or (ii) a valid high school identification card. Expires July 31, 2007. Valid only at participating H&R Block locations in Canada. **NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Purchase of H&R Block products or services will not increase chances of winning. Begins 2/1/07 and ends 5/15/07. Open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec residents) who are 13 or older and were full-time students for four or more months during 2006 at a high school, college or university. There will be 1 random draw to award the prize. Skill testing question required for award of prize. See for Official Rules and how to play without purchase. Odds of winning vary based on participation. Void in Quebec and where prohibited.

Friday, March 16, 2007 Opinion Editor: Anya Lomako Opinion Assistant: Brendan Pinto

Friday, March 16, 2007 — Vol. 29, No. 31

UW’s latest, greatest crisis

Student Life Centre, Room 1116 University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 P: 519.888.4048 F: 519.884.7800 Incoming Editor-in-Chief, Adam McGuire Editor-in-chief, Tim Alamenciak Advertising & Production Manager, Laurie Tigert-Dumas General Manager, Catherine Bolger

Editorial Staff Assistant Editor, Margaret Clark Cover Editor, Dinh Nguyen Photo Editor, Michael L. Davenport Assistant Photo Editor, Valerie Broadbent Graphics Editor, Christine Ogley Assistant Graphics Editor, Angelo Florendo Web Editor, Mohammad Jangda Assistant Web Editor, vacant Systems Administrator, vacant Sys. Admin. Assistant, Peter Gibbs Lead Proofreader, Emma Tarswell Proofreaders Shivaun Hoad, Adrienne Raw, Jacqueliene McCay, Andre Ulloa, Kirill Levin

We are having a crisis, people. If the government doesn’t act fast, our financially ailing university won’t be able to meet its goal. The campus will be torn apart into factions of bloodthirsty graduate students without enough support. The Record recently, and diligently, reported on this crisis. September 2007 will see a surprising explosion in graduate school applications thanks to the double cohort. Melinda Dalton’s 746 words thoroughly explore the problem. Apparently the government isn’t doing enough to help. But really, the crisis is UW’s own creation – it’s all based on their goal to increase graduate student enrolment. So, the real crisis is that UW can’t hit their goal and nobody will help? Ranjana Bird, dean of graduate studies, took issue with the title of the story. “I don’t

like the title,” she said, “but the contents are good.” Headlines have the ability to frame a story in an entirely different light. This headline reads, “UW needs money for profs” with a subheadline reading, “Quality of graduate education could be at risk without more cash.” There is such immediacy to this; such catastrophe. It makes UW seem poor and graduate education seem like it’s teetering on a cliff, precariously poised to fall any minute. Realistically, our graduate education is doing fairly well. As Bird explained to me, UW wishes to expand its graduate studies in order to keep up with other universities. According to Bird, “When you look at other researchintense universities, their graduate enrolment is much higher.” Let’s make a little metaphor. Come, follow me to the world of metaphors. If I want to put icing on my cinnamon rolls but don’t have any icing, it’s not Icing Crisis 2007. I would not set my Facebook status to, “I am having an icing crisis.” Cinnamon rolls are just as good without icing. Sometimes better because icing drips and makes awkward-looking white stains on your jeans and then people look at you funny all day.


Not being able to accomplish a wanted goal does not constitute a need. When the school of architecture lost their supply store — that was a need. When the Women’s Centre was forced to change their name and needed funding for signage — that was a need. A more appropriate head would have read, “UW wants money for expansion” or something along those lines. The state of education at this university is not hurting unless we consider the lofty-but-achievable goals administration has set for the future. The story itself brings Bird’s lucid words to the forefront, but the headline ruins it all for me. In Dalton’s defence, she did not pen the headline. Instead the copy editors at The Record are responsible for the sensationalism. “I feel like they’ve done their job,” said Dalton. I feel like they’ve tried to find a really neat angle in the story, sacrificing what the story is actually about. And bringing it out on Campus Day, no less! Great swathes of potential students will pick up the free copies of The Record to read a headline that speaks of our dire professorial situation which is not actually dire but just not quite where we would like it to be.

Graham Moogk-Soulis

Production Staff Alicia Boers, Duncan Ramsay, Neal Moogk-Soulis, Jeff Anstett Office Staff Distribution, Andrea Meyers Distribution, Amy Pfaff Sales Assistant, Kristen Miller Volunteer Co-ordinator, Angela Gaetano Board of Directors President, Jeff Anstett Vice-president, Adam Gardiner Treasurer, Jacqueline McKoy Secretary, Stephen Eaton Staff liaison, Darren Hutz Imprint is the official student newspaper of the University of Waterloo. It is an editorially independent newspaper published by Imprint Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. Imprint is a member of the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA). Editorial submissions may be considered for publication in any edition of Imprint. Imprint may also reproduce the material commercially in any format or medium as part of the newspaper database, Web site or any other product derived from the newspaper. Those submitting editorial content, including articles, letters, photos and graphics, will grant Imprint first publication rights of their submitted material, and as such, agree not to submit the same work to any other publication or group until such time as the material has been distributed in an issue of Imprint, or Imprint declares their intent not to publish the material. The full text of this agreement is available upon request. Imprint does not guarantee to publish articles, photographs, letters or advertising. Material may not be published, at the discretion of Imprint, if that material is deemed to be libelous or in contravention with Imprint’s policies with reference to our code of ethics and journalistic standards. Imprint is published every Friday during fall and winter terms, and every second Friday during the spring term. Imprint reserves the right to screen, edit and refuse advertising. One copy per customer. Imprint ISSN 0706-7380. Imprint CDN Pub Mail Product Sales Agreement no. 40065122. Next board meeting: Tues. Mar 4, 4 p.m.


Take the paranormal challenge In Ashley Csanady’s recent article, “A cancer’s perspective,” about her experiences with astrology, she mentioned, “I can’t help but wonder if the real thing is out there.” Well, other people have of course been wondering this as well, and there’s one particular case that could help to answer: that of James Randi. Randi, a noted ex-magician and debunker of paranormal claims, was challenged in 1964 to put his money where his mouth was on the matter. He did so, putting up $1,000 (US) of his own money to anyone who could demonstrate in a controlled setting any instance of the paranormal. Since then, the prize money has grown to $1,000,000. The idea is if any of the myriad paranormal claims made in the world is actually true, someone who believes in them could easily undergo a couple simple tests to show it and make a million dollars off of the deal. The results so far? In over 40 years of testing and many hundreds of applicants, not a single one has gotten through the preliminary testing stages. In fact, most applicants drop out even before this stage, as they can’t agree to a testing procedure that’s properly controlled. As a former magician, Randi knows tons of tricks to deceive, and he’s careful to prevent them in the tests. Now, skeptics of this challenge may right-

fully be wondering, what if Randi rigs the tests to his favour so no one can win? Well, the way to resolve that is to check over the archives of the challenge applicants and read through the dialog yourself at http://forums. With just a few samples, the results are clear: Randi asks only for a test protocol, which would allow the claimant to succeed if their claim were true, but which eliminates any possibility of trickery he can think of. It’s at this point that many claimants back out, presumably because they can’t use the trick they were planning on. For instance, let’s go back to astrology and show how a fair test could be designed for that. First, take 12 people, one of each zodiac sign, and record all other pertinent astrological data (ask the astrologer ahead of time what they’ll need). Give these 12 sets of data to the astrologer and ask them to produce an analysis of each person from the data. Once these are produced, go in and censor out any references in the analyses that would give away the person being analyzed (direct mention of the sign, for instance), and give a copy of all 12 to each person, randomly ordered. Each person is then asked to choose which one fits them best (or, to correct for a selection bias, ask them to rate each one, and then only take the one that was most highly-rated).

If astrology actually worked, you’d probably expect to see around 10-12 of the people to pick out the correct analysis. Depending on how lenient standards you want to give, you might consider anything above five or so correct to be significantly above chance (which would be only one in 12) and to count as a success for astrology. Well, such trials have in fact been performed many times in the past, in the Randi Challenge and other venues, and none have shown any statistically significant victory for astrology. Does the paranormal actually exist in some way? It seems to me it probably doesn’t; otherwise, one of the many people claiming it would have won the prize by now. But if you still think it does, I encourage you to apply yourself or ask the person you believe has paranormal powers to apply (see html for information). Just to note: the challenge guidelines will be tightening up this April to get rid of the massive workload of bogus claims that go nowhere. Until then, anyone can apply, but after that, they’ll be targeting people who already have a media profile. You would still be able to get in if you could get a positive test from a local skeptics society, but I recommend you strike now before that red tape is in place. — Bryan Gillis

Friday, March 16, 2007



Veggies hold key to environmental bliss I am not an environmental activist by any means, nor am I up-in-arms about animal rights. In fact, many people have heard my policy on vegetarianism: given the opportunity, a cow would eat you. However, I am terrified of the environmental state of the globe, particularly with respect to global warming. I seriously doubt the likelihood of our generation raising grandchildren. The fact is, the world is in really rough shape. I’m not claiming to be capable or willing to make the sacrifices required to save it, but I am going to do my best to contribute minimally to the problem. North Americans eat way too much beef. Feeding cattle takes a huge toll on the environment, both in the form of massive deforestation for grazing lands, as well as massive emissions of greenhouse gasses. Yeah, we laugh at

how cow farts caused ozone depletion back in the early 90s when aerosols stopped being sexy. The fact is that in addition to carbon dioxide, methane and sulfur dioxide emissions from cattle have been estimated (by one source, which is a blog, and thus subject to severe suspicion) to represent about 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. So having read this, and realizing that I don’t want to contribute to the problem more than is necessary, I have decided that I’m not going to eat beef. I realize that, compared to the billions of dollars the cattle industry throughputs every year, one person ordering a chicken sandwich instead of a hamburger probably won’t change the world. That’s why I’m writing this. I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t eat beef. I’m suggesting that if you are as concerned about climate

change as I pretend to be to get hippie chicks to take their clothes off, you should seriously evaluate how much you really need that quarter-pounder. The health benefits are a factor too; less fat intake and needing to get more creative with my diet can’t be a bad thing. I believe a person’s food choice is their own, and I’m not going to force this issue on anyone. I just respectfully suggest that you consider the choice I’ve made and see if it resonates with you. I’m going to look into a means of reducing the damage that cattle do that makes a little more difference. Maybe there’s some way for cattle farming to be more carbon-neutral. For now, I’m just gonna say “the chuck stops here”.

So you’ve written a sweet paper for a class, only to find that it’s a couple pages short of the minimum required length. You might think the paper is pretty good, but a truly awesome piece of writing is determined by how it fits into its allotted space, not on the calibre of its prose. Fear not, though, for you are not alone. There comes a time in every person’s life when they are struck by a crippling lack of creativity or insight. This is most commonly thought of as writer’s block, but need not necessarily be related to writing as it can manifest itself in a wide variety of other disciplines, including history and even journalism. So what do you do when your creativity is running on empty? You’ve got to “fill’er up.” Creating without creativity is a skill that everyone should have and I’ve got some solid tips to help you craft the perfect paper out of nothing but filler — to build a work of bullshit that stands the test of time. The best and easiest thing to do is to adopt a preventative approach. Just don’t ever run out of awesome and/or

original ideas. This has the added advantage of preventing the stress associated with being short on inspiration with a fast approaching deadline. As they say, a half-cubit of prevention is worth a dram of cure. The preventative approach is best used if you’re in a position where you have to write frequently (like, say, on a weekly basis) and in a public domain (like a school newspaper, for example). It’s completely unacceptable to run out of material in such a position since filler is much more likely to be noticed in a weekly public forum. Such low quality “space-filling” writing is, at best, a thin veiling of your own inadequacy as a writer — no matter how cleverly it’s implemented and disguised. At worst, it’s nothing short of a detriment to all writers everywhere. A shameful black eye on the profession of writing, and even an insult to people who have ever written anything ­— even signing their name on a credit card receipt. If you’ve already blown it at the preventative approach, things are going to be a little tougher, but are still not hopeless. The problem that you’re probably running into is that you’re trying to say something. Saying something meaningful is hard and usually requires research. No, thank you. What you need to do is insert a few paragraphs in which you provide no new informa-

tion but drone on about points you’ve already made. Basically, information that has already been presented in the piece of writing can be rehashed and reiterated. This requires zero additional research and nicely pads the length of your writing. If you try to find something meaningful to write, you’ll probably end up getting frustrated because it’s much more difficult than writing repetitive filler. So just reread paragraphs you’ve already written, and paraphrase them later in the paper to fill out your work to the mandatory length. This is actually a strategy that I use myself from time to time, although I am so skilled at the execution that it’s almost impossible to notice and, with a little practice, yours could be too. If you’re really stuck, some people think that it’s a good idea to use someone else’s material and sneak it into your own work in a moment of spontaneity which the reader will be unable to detect. Obviously, I do not condone such trickery, since it degrades the institution of writing, and is generally frowned upon by the administration. They call it plagiarism. Just don’t go there. There’s a lot more to say on this subject, but if I keep writing I’ll be going beyond my allotted space, and I think we already know how I feel about that. Good luck and happy essaying.

Fill’er up: padding papers

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Alumni impressed by SASA

To the editor, This past weekend my wife and I attended the second annual South Asian Alliance culture show http:// (formerly Western Culture Show) in Mississauga at the Hershey Centre. Both my wife and I are alumni of Waterloo and have been part of the culture shows of years past during our time there. I briefly wanted to say how impressive Waterloo’s act was this year. In the 10 years of watching culture show acts I believe that this year’s act by Waterloo was by far the most impressive I have ever seen. Unfortunately the judges only thought the act was good enough for third place overall but I truly believe that the crowd and even the other competing

schools thought Waterloo was best overall. The crowd reaction after the performance spoke for itself when Waterloo received the only standing ovation of the show. Waterloo also received 4 out of the 11 awards and were once again chosen to be part of one of the largest South Asian cultural events this summer, Masala! Mehndi! Masti! I, on behalf of the past alumni who participated in this show, want to congratulate both the dance and spirit teams for showing Waterloo is more than just an academic powerhouse. Your spirit, enthusiasm, cultural diversity by including students of various south Asian backgrounds as well as the cheerleading team, and superior choreography and dancing talent, showed that Waterloo is full of students with all around talents and skills. Your hard work and dedication is truly inspiring and you all should be nothing but proud of yourselves for representing our school with such spirit, creativity, and talent. — Sid Patel Waterloo Class of ‘01

Hipsters need perspective

To the editor, I’m writing in response to the Arts Snob’s article on hipsters. Before I say anything, I would like to ask if any of these so called hipsters have anything better to do then worry about the plight of displaced or otherwise unfortunate third world people? I’m from one of these countries and seeing people walking around with the Che Guevara T-shirts or buttons asking for a free Tibet. If you’re not Tibetan, why must you go to such lengths to show your support? Do you know any Tibetans? Is your button really going to help free them? You may judge me harsh for these questions but you may have missed my point. It is not cool to do something just because others are. Just because your room mate is from Argentina, you don’t have wear a Che shirt to impress him, you may even end up offending him. These people are the pinnacle of mainstream pop culture ignorance, so please stop mocking our cultures and embrace your own. — A. Jakab



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Friday, March 16, 2007

Foreigners taking our precious jobs Dr. Attaran makes the outrageous proposal of bringing the detainees here and holding them in Canada as prisoners of war (POW), a practice actually employed during WW2. Mackenzie brought as many as 40,000 POWs, keeping them in camps across the country to ensure they would be protected under the Who would have thought anything Geneva Conventions. Over the course of the Afghan war the cubad could ever have come out of Canada going to war in a foreign mulative total is somewhere around land? Garnering international criti- 40, but these are 40 brown detainees. cism, documents are now surfac- I can understand doing it for white ing showing a covert agreement Christians, but hard to justify the to transfer Canada’s detainees to expense now. Especially when you Afghanistan’s domestic and secret take into account inflation. There are numerous advantages police forces. Their cruel treatment of prisoners supported by multiple to outsourcing our prisoner duties documented cases of pulling out to foreign countries. One is that we finger and toe nails, beatings, sexual can get loads of information. Queshumiliation and sodomy. We give tionably factual perhaps, but like the them a free real life Ricky Martin internet, it’s quantity, not quality. video don’t even say thank you? Talk The other advantage is that handing about ungrateful. The horror of the them over leads to the possibility situation became most evident when that the prisoner simply pays a fine television crews filmed Canadian to corrupt authorities and returns to soldiers handing over a detainee to the ranks of the insurgency to fight Afghan officials who outright said Canadian soldiers, who then gain more practhey would tice fighting murder insurgents. him on the This also spot. Over the course of the aids the allThe CaAfghan war the cumula- i m p o r t a n t nadian soloal of diers handtive total is somewhere ghaving the ed the prisoner over around 40, but these are A f g h a n s t a ke ove r and he was 40 brown detainees. I security oppromptly erations in killed. This can understand doing it the country. is just a can only simple misfor white Christians, but We expect that communication. But hard to justify the expense in doing so they will this hapnow. inject their pens every local flavor, time you even if it o u ts o u r ce work. Think of the last time you means using delicious hot canola called Dell’s help-line for assistance oil to scald prisoners. There is a fundamental moral and couldn’t understand “Rick” from “Dallas” because of his thick ambiguity inherent in approaching Punjabi accent. This is just more issues of military infractions. When of the same. The Afghans said we start considering the ethical “murder him on the spot” but the implications of who bears responCanadians must have just laughed sibility — the soldiers, who by following orders, neglect Canada’s at their funny accent. Every day, the Globe and Mail has human rights code or the generals an ‘expert’ discuss a topic relevant to who give the orders — what point in their field. Amir Attaran is a lawyer the hierarchy bears most weight. It’s and biologist and holds a Canadian re- called a military industrial complex, search chair in law, population health and it does wonders for distracting ourselves from the point. and global development policy. Knowingly transferring detainDespite all this expertise, he calls such transfer a source of shame. ees — aiding in unspeakable acts of Hey, how bout you turn up the torture and cruelty — ain’t really poignant analysis and turn down the so bad. At least Canadians aren’t suck? Just because he’s a doctor, he the ones who are committing those thinks he has some moral authority. acts. We are insulated from any What about Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Evil or ethical infractions when we aren’t Dr. Moreau? The latter did his post the ones physically executing the doctorial thesis on sins against nature war crimes. Now if you’ll excuse and spooky island terraforming but me, I have to go cut my hit man he still has PhD. Maybe we should a cheque. ask him what he thinks about GMOs in our supermarkets.

S ports Laurier falls Imprint

Friday, March 16, 2007

11 Sports Editor: Shawn Bell Sports Assistant: Doug Copping

Making the pentathlon look easy

to Patriotes

simona cherler

James Rowe staff reporter

The UQTR Patriotes won their sixth Queen’s Cup as OUA champions in the past nine years on Saturday, March 10, with a 5-3 road win over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks. The game was played in front of a crowd of 1,635 people at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. The Patriotes took a 3-0 lead in the first period thanks in large part to two goals by Mathieu Gravel. In the second period, the Golden Hawks cut the deficit to just one on the strength of two power play goals by Rob Dmytruk, the hero of their semi-final win over Waterloo. UQTR was able to regain their two goal lead later in the period and the score was 4-2 after 40 minutes. Laurier once again got within one in the third, thanks to a Chris Di Ubaldo goal, but that was as close as they would get.

The Patriotes added an empty net goal in the final minute to clinch the title. The win is the first for UQTR since a five-year winning streak that stretched from 1999-2003. Overall it is the eighth time the Patriotes have been OUA champs in men’s hockey. The loss leaves the Golden Hawks still searching for their first Queen’s Cup since 1990. Gravel added an assist to his two early goals and for his efforts he was named the most valuable player of the game. The two teams will now head to Moncton for the CIS Championships from March 22-25. The rest of the field for the nationals is filled out by the Moncton Aigles Bleus, the Saskatchewan Huskies, the St. Francis-Xavier X-Men and the New Brunswick Varsity Reds.

Rugby team raises funds

courtesy uw track team

Team captain Jenna Bell sets a new record for the Warriors in the pentathlon. Shawn Bell staff reporter

naema nayyar

UW’s men’s rugby team held a benefit fundraiser on March 10 at the Bombshelter to support Sean Corner, who was paralyzed last September during a game, just one day after catastrophe insurance was cancelled for Rugby Canada’s affiliated leagues, which included Corner’s own Hamilton Hornets.

Waterloo women’s track and field captain, Jenna Bell, qualified for the CIS national tournament by setting a new Waterloo record of 3,391 pts. in the pentathlon. On March 9, Bell went to nationals and one-upped herself — scoring 3,403 pts., good for eighth in Canada, to end her Warrior career as the best pentathlete Waterloo has ever known. Included in that pentathlon record were two more personal bests for Bell. She ran the 60m hurdles in 9.04 seconds, the fourth fastest Warrior time ever, and 2:34:73 in the 800m.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Bell anchored the women’s 4x200m and 4x400m relay teams. Though in the 4x200m the Warriors were slow, falling almost a second off their season best time, the girls (Kate Bickle, Jamie Hauseman, Cindy Willits, Bell and Nancy Spreitzer) had three personal bests in the 4x400m, and as a team broke the four-minute barrier with a season-best 3:59.63, good for tenth in Canada. As for the men, Waterloo sent both the 4x200m and 4x400m relay teams, with great results. The men’s 4x200m team blew around the banked track at McGill, finishing with a season-best 1:29.21, just 0.01s out of the finals, and good for seventh in Canada. Jeremiah

Derksen and Kyle Raymond each cut 0.5s off their season best. Kirk Ewen ran his split in 21.9s, the second fastest Waterloo time in history. In the men’s 4x400m relay, Drew Haynes and Colin Lawrence each took a half second off their personal bests, leading the Warriors to a ninth place, season best run of 3:23.22. This is third on the Warrior’s all-time list. “I am so proud of the team this year,” Bell said. “I owe so much to the coaching staff. They have really emphasized the one-team policy. It really makes a difference knowing that you have a supportive team out there, in such an individual sport.”



Friday, March 16, 2007

Warriors make mark at CIS championships Shawn Bell staff reporter


This past weekend, 11 Waterloo Warriors traveled to McGill to compete at the CIS championships for track and field. The Warriors were successful at leaving their mark, as the men’s and women’s 4x200m and 4x400m relay teams sped around the tight curves on the reputably fast track. The men’s 4x200m team (Emeka Ukwuoma, Kirk Ewen, Jeremiah Derksen and Kyle Raymond) flew through the finish line with a seasonbest performance of 1:29.21, finishing seventh and scoring 2 points putting the Waterloo Warriors on the board. In the 4x400m relay, the men (Kirk Ewen, Emeka Ukwuoma, Drew Haynes and Colin Lawrence) ran another season-best time of 3:23.22 to place ninth. The men’s 4x400m team was seeded 11th for the event and is commended for their consistently competitive result. The men’s team will say a bittersweet farewell to Captain Emeka Ukwuoma, and veterans Kyle Raymond and Drew Haynes after this season. All three are graduating from University and we wish them good luck in the future. For the first time since 2002-2003, the women have sent not just one but both relay teams to the CIS championships. The women’s team (Kate Bickle, Jaime Hauseman, Cindy Willits and Jenna Bell) supported by a very dependable rookie, Nancy Spreitzer, were up to the challenge of showing the CIS that they had rightfully earned a spot in the national championships and are to be feared by the competition. The girls unfortunately put out a sub-par performance in the 4x200m running a 1:46.31, over a second off the 4x200m team’s season-best performance. Disappointed in their overall performance the girls were determined to show their place in the CIS in the 4x400m relay. In an intense race the Warriors managed to obtain three personal best performances in the relay. In the end, the girls were not only right in with the competition, but also managed to break the four-minute barrier with a season’s best time of 3:59.63 to finish in 10th position. The girls have worked hard this season and are excited to train together in the summer and come back a stronger and even more competitive team. All team members will be returning next year. Individually, the Warriors had one representative this year at the CIS championships. Captain Jenna Bell set another UW varsity record in the women’s pentathlon this weekend with a final score of 3,403 points. She scored personal bests in the 60mH (9.06s) and the 800m (2:34.73). Bell looks forward to competing in the heptathlon this summer. Overall the Warriors have had an outstanding season. The whole team has worked hard and shown great support for each other throughout the whole season. Thanks to an incredibly dedicated coaching staff and roster, the Warriors track and field team have yet again made their mark in the CIS standings.



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ATHLETES OF THE WEEK KIRK EWEN, TRACK AND FIELD A 3rd year Optometry student from Watson, Saskatchewan had an outstanding performance this past weekend at the CIS Track and Field Championships at McGill. Ewen was the fastest member of the Warriors 4x200m relay team and is now the second fastest Warrior athlete of all-time in this event. He also was a member of the 9th place finishing 4x400m relay team where he was the second fastest member and is now the third fastest in Warrior history.

JENNIFER BELL, TRACK AND FIELD A 4th year Kinesiology student from Calgary, Alberta represented the Warriors on the weekend in the CIS Track and Field Championships at McGill. Bell, ranked 12th in the CIS this year, achieved a varsity record by placing 8th this past weekend in the Pentathlon. She completed the event with 3403 points and had personal bests in both the 60m hurdles and the 800m. Bell also competed in the 4x200m and the 4x400m with the teams finishing 12th and 10th respectively.



Friday, March 16, 2007



Hawks prove unstoppable Brody Hohman staff reporter

Well, time for the stretch run. Here are a few guys that can help your push for gold whether they are injury replacements or just guys who were stashed on your bench. NHL Brad Boyes – 8 pts/+3 in his last 5 and has really taken off in St. Louis, he’s an excellent pickup at this point. Darcy Tucker – If people gave up on him and dropped him, grab him now. He’s got 3 goals in 5 games since his return, is great on the PP, and gives you PIM…if not try Lee Stempniak. Ed Belfour – The Eagle has won 4 of his last 6 starts (2.17 GAA) helping the Panthers push for the playoffs.

simona cherler

After wins against Queen’s and U of T at the OUA’s, the Hawks prepare to battle McGill, U of Ottawa, amongst others, at the CIS championships. Matt Levicki reporter

There was only one question to be asked heading into the OUA women’s hockey championship tournament last weekend: could anybody stop the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks? The answer came in the form of a resounding 5-1 victory for the Golden Hawks over Queens in the final game. This OUA championship for Laurier now gives them the last four titles as well as five in the last six years. To get to the final game, Laurier had to squeeze by the stubborn Guelph Gryphons in the semi-final last Saturday. Laurissa Kenworthy scored a dramatic overtime goal to send the

Golden Hawks to the final. The other semi-final was between Queen’s and the Toronto, with the Golden Gaels pulling out a 2-1 win. With the OUA championship on the line, Laurier used their experience in big game situations to jump out to a 3-0 first period lead. For the rest of the game, the Golden Hawks never let up and never looked back, winning 5-1. In the bronze medal game, the Toronto Varsity Blues would once again break the Guelph Gryphon’s hearts with a 2-1 victory in overtime. The Laurier Golden Hawks now prepare for the CIS women’s hockey championship this weekend in Ottawa. The tournament also includes McGill, Ottawa (the host), Moncton, Alberta and Manitoba and is sure to be closely contested.

NBA Eddie Jones – Home sweet home for EJ, who is 17/6/3.5/1.5/.53% with 11 threes in his last 4. With Wade out for the regular season he should remain productive. Steve Francis – 21/6/3/2 and a game winner in his last 3. That’s the Stevie Franchise we all want to see, and the Knicks are playing well too…fun. LaMarcus Aldridge – The big rook is on fire lately, 15/10/1.7 over his last 3 including a 24/17/4blk beat down on Denver.

Argos hold cheerleading auditions Kinga Jakab staff reporter

Women over the age of 19 are invited to audition this Sunday for the 2007 Blue Thunder Cheerleaders, held by the Toronto Argonauts Football Club. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 16, at 5:00 p.m. Experience is necessary. The preliminaries will be held on Sunday, March 18, at 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Diesel Playhouse, with a fee of $20 for each participant. The finals are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 31 at the Promenade Shopping Centre in Thornhill. For more details, candidates should visit

courtesy martha fallis



Friday, March 16, 2007


What is the most striking thing you’ve seen at UW so far? By Dinh Nguyen

“The lifestlye on campus, it is not dry, unlike the the city of Waterloo.” Arjen Rahbar & Farham Bajelan

“The completed topography and geomatic maps.” Candace Parsons Quinte Secondary

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1. Amorphous structure 5. Wanna hear a secret? 9. Explosive anaesthetic 14. A strong cord 15. The upper limit (2 wds) 16. James Bond number three 17. Assist in wrongdoing 18. Smell badly 19. Animal young 20. A parent’s retort 23. Short for Edward 24. Put into service 25. Eternal wanderers 33. Television medium 34. Jim’s dad Eugene 35. Early morning grass cover 36. North African inhabitant 37. Very light brown 39. Established ceremony 40. To the hypothetical degree 41. Hoe eagles fly 42. Used to clip a sheep 43. One “out” short of an indie band 47. Indian bread 48. African wildebeest 49. Post-modern comment 58. Priestly leave of absence 59. Iris containing ocular structure 60. At rest 61. Polite 62. Unmarried woman 63. Snake-like fish 64. Mercantile establishment 65. Scrambled of light eels 66. Light columns

Down 1. Snag

2. Ear bit 3. Started the oil crisis

“The interaction between the staff and students.”

“Free pizza! and nice people.” Angelina Liang

Matthew Atkin

Earl Haig Secondary

“It’s a SCHOOL...”

“A group of frosh carrying a Village One door through the CS building.”

March 9 solutions

Southward Secondary

Ava Falls

McHugh Public School

Graham Barclay 4B arts

“I met the DUMBEST boy ever. It disturbed me!” Nicole Honderich 1B arts

“The size of the campus and how helpful people have been.” Michael Cappello

St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School

4. Software test program 5. Personal bags 6. Athletic bathing suit 7. Slow-cooked meal 8. A puff of marijuana 9. Diplomatic home base 10. Harper’s party 11. Head covering 12. Lovely son of Aphrodite 13. Remodel (abbr.) 21. Repair by reversal 22. Sophisticated charm 25. When life begins 26. Potato state 27. Rebel abbr. 28. Playfully seduce 29. Wooden pin 30. Farewell 31. Influence by corruption (2 wds) 32. Open vessel

33. Long vehicles 37. American pioneer Daniel 38. Cologne by another name 39. 17th letter of Greek alphabet 41. Shock 42. A Star Trek phaser setting. 44. Marked by injustice 45. Shrek’s wife 46. Discomfort 49. Bits of minutes (abbr.) 50. Red light in any building 51. Latin raise 52. Get upset 53. Making an essay due March 18. Vapor 54. Layer 55. Concept 56. Partner 57. Diminutive comparative adjective

FRIDAY, march 16, 2007

VOLUNTEER Distress Line volunteers wanted – Canadian Mental Health Association is seeking caring volunteers to provide supportive listening and crisis deescalation to callers living in Waterloo Region. Please call 519744-7645, ext 300. Student career assistants needed for 2007-2008. Career Services is looking for students to fill two volunteer positions. Depending on the position, you will gain valuable job search, marketing and career-related skills by either promoting events and services or by helping other students in their career planning and job search. Open to regular and co-op students who are creative and possess strong interpersonal and communication skills. Applications available in Career Services, TC 1214, or from our web page at Summer volunteer opportunities with Grand River Hospital/Cancer Centre. Information sessions will be in March, April and early May. Please call 519-749-4300, ext 2613 or e-mail for details. Volunteers needed – volunteer with a child at their school and help improve their self-esteem and confidence. One to three hours a week commitment. Call Canadian Mental Health at 519-744-7645, ext 229. Volunteer Action Centre – connecting talent and community – Do you have a heart for those with developmental disabilities? Call Christian Horizons Volunteer Coordinator 519-650-3241 ext. 511 or e-mail Pride Stables is looking for individuals to lead our horses and sidewalk with children with disabilities. Volunteers must be 15 years of age or older.. For more information contact 519-653-4686 or e-mail The YWCA


is looking for volunteers to serve on its Faith Communities Comitee. Members from Interfaith communities are welcome. Contact Sheryl Loeffler at 519-576-8856, ext. 106 or e-mail Volunteers needed at the Distress Centre of Waterloo region. Ideal candidate to work as a volunteer providing supportive listening and crisis de-escalation. Contact Tanya at 519-744-7645, ext. 300 or e-mail Join Focus on Family Canada, volunteers needed to help usher, set up, and take down for the event on April 27. For more information visit or call 1-800-661-9800. The 9th Annual Marathon hosted by St. John Ambulance is taking place on Sunday, April 22. Volunteers can be involved on race day with various activities. Contact Bob at 519-5796285 or e-mail Volunteer Marketing Intern needed at RBC Dominion Securities Inc. starting in February, 10-15 hr/week. This internship will involve assisting an Investment Advisor with various marketing projects throughout the term in question. The intern will be required to pursue various tasks requiring strong communication, organizational and computer literacy skills. Qualified individuals are students with a strong initiative, direction and desire to succeed. E-mail cover letter and resume to, attention Jeff Gates. Volunteer Services — City of Waterloo — 519-888-6488 or 519-8880409 or volunteer@city.waterloo. — “Royal Medieval Faire� seeks fun-loving, organized individuals for a mid-September event. “One Book, One Community� seeks avid Program Ambassador.

Travel Cuts inks exclusive deal to offer Canada’s cheapest flights to Europe and the UK for students. For info call 1-866-246-9762 or us. Hey students! Tune in weekly to “Morning Drive� with DJ Cool at CKMS 100.3FM for important info on what is happening locally, on campus and in your area. Music, fun and more — Exchange opportunities to RhoneAlpes, France and Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany for the 2007-2008 academic year – to undergraduates and graduates. For additional informatiton and application form/deadlines contact Maria Lango, IPO, Needles Hall, room 1043, ext 33999 or by email: Cigarette study — smokers needed. $70 cash paid. Please state your name, age and brand of cigarettes smoked most often. Call Sandy at 519-578-0873 or e-mail this info to Turnkey Desk Recycles Batteries. Drop your old batteries to the blue bin at Turnkey. Nominations are requested for the following seats on Senate: Graduate Student Representatives – two graduate students of the University to be elected by/from the full and part-time graduate students of the University, terms from May 1, 2007 to April 30, 2009. Nomination forms are available from the secretariat, ext 36125 and from the Secretariat webpage; see elections/nomelections.htm. At least five nominators are required in each case. Nominations should be sent to the Secretariat, Needles Hall, room 3060, no later than 3 p.m., Friday March 16, 2007. Elections will follow if necessary. Graduate student members of Senate whose terms expire as

of April 30, 2007 and are eligible for re-election: Atefeh Mashatan (Combinatorics & Optimization), Douglas Stebila (Combinatorics & Optimization).


March 2007 Stop by the Student Awards & Financial Aid Office to see if your OSAP grant cheques are available. March 15 — last day to submit undergraduate bursary appeals for winter term. March 23 — last day to sign confirmation of enrollment for winter only and fall and winter terms. March 30 — recommended submission date for OSAP rollover form to add spring term. Check out our web site for a full listing of all our scholarships and bursaries.

AWARDS Win up to $1,000 for your writing! Students in third/fourth years qualify for STC’s Heidi Thiessen Memorial Award for Student Technical Writing. Visit for details and an application.

CHURCH SERVICE St. Bede’s chapel at Renison College offers worship on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. or take a break mid-week with a brief silence followed by Celtic noon prayers on Wednesdays. Beginning Janaury 21 there will also be a 4 p.m. worship. For more info call 519-8844404, ext 28604 or

Classifieds HOUSING

HELP WANTED Weekend counsellors and relief staff to work in homes for individuals with developmental challenges. Minimum eight-month commitment. Paid positions. Send resume to Don Mader, K-W Habilitation Services, 108 Sydney Street, Kitchener, ON, N2G 3V2. Work outdoors! Landscaping and property maintenance company seeks staff with positive attitude and solid work ethic for spring/summer, potential to continue into fall. Call 519-578-7769 or e-mail resume to Window cleaner required for summer employment. Kitchener, $13 to start, 40-50 hours per week. Fax resume 519-749-4022. No highrise but second story ladder work involved daily. Part-time employment available starting in April. Fun, games, sports and crafts with after-school children at Laurelwood Public School. Only a short walk from the university. Interested persons should leave a message at 519-741-8997. Used Book/Antique Store needs computer literate person with own transportation to St. Jacobs for parttime work (hours negotiable). Call Ron 519-664-1243. Support person needed for 13 year old boy who has autism and is nonverbal. Occasional weekend and evening hours during the school year, as well as daytime hours for summer vacation. Person to provide support while on outings in the community, at home and at summer day camps.

Can job share with one or two other students. Laurelwood subdivision. Must have own vehicle, $10-$12/hour depending on experience plus .37/km mileage. For more information call Deborah 519-746-1584.


Two smoke detectors with 10-year batteries, used one week, when noticed building already had them. Each cost: $25.00, Offering each: $20.00. E-mail to Dan at dberry@ with subject “smoke�.


Used books wanted for CFUW Book Sale, Friday and Saturday, April 2021, 2007 at First United Church, King and William. Drop off donations at church (back door) Wednesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 19. For more information, please call 519-740-5249. No textbooks please.

HOUSING Premium three-bedroom townhouse unit in a professionally managed student complex. Perfect for students, close to UW campus. Now renting May or September 2007. Call Perry now at 519-746-1411 for all the details and to set up a showing. Room for rent for a quiet individual in a detached home near both universities. Parking and all amenities. Please call 519-725-5348.

Attention Cambridge School of Architecture students! Live conveniently and comfortably right across the street from school in this beautifully renovated apartment. 4, 8 and 12-month leases available with excellent signing bonuses and rental incentives! Call Perry at 519746-1411 for more details. Five bedroom, two bathrooms, two kitchens, upstairs new, laundry, 10 minute walk to Universities, parking, excellent condition – must see. $2,200/month, utilities included, cable internet. Call 905-417-5538. A perfect four bedroom apartment to live in comfortably within a short walking distance to both campuses. Enjoy the convenience of living in a great location close to many shopping amenities and the life of Uptown Waterloo. Call Perry now at 519-746-1411 to set up a viewing today. Five bedroom house for rent – available September. Great place, near UW – $1,725 per month. Call 905509-3284 or e-mail Available May 1, 2007 – minimum four-month lease, very clean, 372B Churchill Crescent. Six bedroom, each room is $350-$375/month plus utilities. Free parking, laundry facilities included, two common rooms with TV, two kitchens, wireless capability throughout house and internet jacks in every room, 15 minutes from campus. Call Andrew at 416-527-0369 or e-mail andrew.

Apartments for grad students available May 1 at St. Paul’s grad apartments. Right on campus. Apply now. 519-885-1460 ext. 212 or stpauls@ Three bedroom apartment Hazel Street $400. includes utilities and parking. Also two bedroom apartment $900. and five bedroom $350. Also eight rooms at 120 Columbia $400 plus. Call 519-746-6327. House for summer available May 1, 2007. Four month rent. Shared with four other students. Spacious room: window, desk, dresser, closet included. Fully furnished house: washer, dryer, furniture included, two washrooms, large kitchen and common room. 15 minute walk to UW campus. Excellent condition. $350 a month, negotiable. Call Lindi: 519-888-6232 or cabbage_roll87@

15 UPCOMING Wednesday, March 21, 2007 Grand River Hospital department tours – 5:30 to 8 p.m. Meet at the cafeteria, 25 people max. GRH volunteers only, must wear badge. RSVP as soon as possible. Come see the inside scoop in ER, OR, Cancer Centre and Pediatrics. Thursday, March 22, 2007 orchestra@uwaterloo concert “In D� at 8 p.m. at Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall. For tickets call 888-4908 or info at www.orchestra.uwaterloo. ca. rare presents “Wildlife Gardening with Larry Lamb� from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the rare Administration Building, 1679 Blair Road, Cambridge. Please register by calling 519-650-9336, ext 122. Fine Arts Film Society presents “Four Films from Turkey� – 7 p.m. East Campus Hall Auditorium, room 1220 – ‘toonie’ admission – today, “Offside� ; March 29 “Bye Bye/Gule Gule. Wednesday, March 28, 2007 UW Genocide Awareness Group, a division of STAND Canada, is hosting the third annual “Footsteps of Death� Walk for Darfur from 2 to 7:30 p.m. on Ring Road, UW. For info call 519-748-8821 or 519-208-4146 or e-mail Wednesday, April 4, 2007 Laurier PoetryFest at Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick Street, Kitchener at 7 p.m. on April 4 and 5. Free event with charitable donation accepted. For info call Clare at 519-884-0710 ext 2665 or






Summer Camp Jobs in the U.S.A. Lakeside Residential Girls Camp in Maine - Visas Arranged #OUNSELORS#OMBINEDCHILDCARETEACHING -UST BEABLETOTEACHORLEADONEORMORE




Science Imprint

Friday, March 16, 2007 Science Editor: Rob Blom Science Assistant: Yolani Heltiarachchi

McMahon named dean of science Former chair of UW chemistry department poised to take science faculty to new levels during tenure. Continued from cover

Among the most impressive topics in McMahon’s research portfolio is his work with a custom-built electromagnetic bottle that allows the measuring of black-body radiation-induced dissociation. In fact, McMahon cites that as perhaps the single-most important research experiment he has been involved with during his time at UW. “We were the first people that were able to show such a mechanism for energy transfer existed,” said McMahon. “We were able to do that because of the unique nature of the apparatus.” Among his other research passions, McMahon and his teams have made a shift within the past four to five years into the field of hydrogen bonds. Proving himself as a true renaissance man of chemical research, he has been able to break new ground in his more recent experiments as well. “We’ve developed a lot of instruments built to measure the strength of hydrogen bonds,” said McMahon. “It’s led to the discovery of a number of unique molecules.” But above all else, McMahon is an educator. And although his abilities and experience make him a perfect fit for the position of dean, it is McMahon’s work in the classroom that he said he will miss the most. “I have to say, I really like to teach,” said McMahon. “My teaching load has gone down to one course a year (as the chemistry chair) and now I won’t be teaching at all. But I hope it doesn’t stay that way. “I like teaching first-year chemistry so much, because the students arrive and they’re not already overwhelmed and jaded. They’re still enthusiastic, and you can still get the odd ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ out of them.” Although his career as an educator and a researcher is impressive, McMahon intends to leave his mark as the faculty dean as well. Because he has been at UW since 1984, he

adam mcguire

Prof. Terry McMahon, seen here with an electromagnetic bottling device his research team developed and constructed, will take over as the new dean of science on July 1. He is leaving his post at chair of the chemistry department. is able to recognize the needs of his faculty and its departments, as he has already built an agenda that addresses what he sees as the largest hurdles for science at UW. “The most important thing that has to be accomplished in my opinion is to try and raise the money to build a new building,” said McMahon. “The faculty as a whole, but the departments of chemistry and

biology (in specific), are desperately short of space. We all know enrollment has exploded over the past few years, and it isn’t just a double cohort phenomenon. If this faculty is to flourish, we need an increase in teaching and research space. That is my primary challenge.” McMahon goes on to add that he would like to see the overall academic quality of science under-

graduate students increased. In his estimation, the faculty should not simply be focused on taking on new students, but ensuring that new students measure up with the quality of education expected at UW — and that is exemplified by the entrance and undergraduate standards of other faculties such as mathematics and engineering. McMahon will officially take his

new post on July 1 and the duration of his first term will be five years — a standard length for a newly appointed faculty dean. He will be taking over for current dean George Dixon, who agreed to end his sixplus year stint as dean in order to become the new vice-president of university research.

Sustainability, UW struggling to keep up with the pace Rob Blom science editor

“Let me take you back in time, 200 years, to a place in Ontario where mother nature thrived. The trees flourished, and the wind reverberated through the lush forest — allowing a sublime hummer to captivate all that lived nearby.” These words echoed throughout the young minds of 40 enviro-activists as keynote Prof. Stephen Scharper, of the University of Toronto, began his lecture on “Environmental Hope” for the 2007 Ontario Sustainable Campuses Conference hosted by the Sierra Youth Coalition (SYC) during the weekend of March 10 at the University of Toronto. A division of the Sierra Club of Canada, the SYC is the Canadian

environmental network for youth, run by youth. Their mandate is to integrate the working realities of sustainability into the daily operations of life around us, emphasizing campus initiatives. Although sustainability is often a convoluted subject, encompassing issues such as social justice and environmentalism, the most common definition, as per the Brundtland Report, reads, “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.” The forest Scharper described was that of the Canadian Shield — 90 per cent clearcutted, according to Environment Canada — which took thousands of years to create, but only 200 years to destroy. “The life of our planet is in a ‘diagnostic

moment.’ Do we act now, or do we wait for others to act later?” These radical developments, in the name of progress, have been the subject of John Mohawk PhD, an aboriginal philosopher from the University of Buffalo. In a thousand years, he said, mankind will recall little of our wars and political debates, but they will remember our period as one that took stores of buried energy, and placed them in the sky, leading to the alteration of our very climate. To historians, who remember ages such as the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Mohawk says our period will become known as the Age of Climate Change. “We live in an environmental consensus, where the deniability of our actions is no longer an option,” said

Scharper. “But here we are, with the inescapable before us.” Later in his lecture he emphasized that geocide is only an inevitability if we sit back and watch the ecological decay of our planet. Although a depressing focus to Scharper’s lecture, climate change, global warming and global dimming are the “present and inescapable problems we now face.” But, as Scharper amiably asserts, the battle against global crisis is one we’ve fought before. Many may remember the threats of Lake Erie drying up, and amendments to the Clean Water Act as a solution. Others may remember the looming threat of ozone depletion, and the identification and replacement of chlorofluorocarbons as the molecules responsible for the

damage. The SYC conference, however, focused on the opportunities for student activism on a local scale. Student activism is an integral part to creating a sustainable campus, one that ensures a positive effect on our environment. UW is a university that prides itself on the innovation derived from the determination of student volunteers. In comparison to other universities across Ontario, UW listed many key environmental and social justice initiatives through UWSP working groups and WPIRG action groups, placing us well in the pack of leaders. But how well does UW stand in terms of sustainability? See ACTIVISM, page 20


Friday, March 16, 2007

Music psychology and soundscape ecology


Yolanie Hettiarachchi assistant science editor

Stem cells provide evidence of Sandhoff disease treatment

Michael L. Davenport

Leung (right) and Harmer demonstrate the influence of music for environmental activism. Shawn Bell staff reporter

Music pulls powerful strings. This is no surprise: we laugh, we cry, we dance to music, and all the while, in our brains, the melody, harmony, tonality and rhythym are working on a subconscious level. They influence our perceptions of the world and help form our personal and group identities. Music composes much of our environment, yet most of the sound we hear in a day is not music. It may be an engine roaring, or a fridge humming, but it is not music. However, according to soundscape ecology — a theory that originated in the early 70s with the World Soundscape project — all sound shares the influencing power of music. Both have powerful ways of working on the human subconscious. Both define cultures, environments and people. And both, says Hingman Leung, a fourth year environment and resource studies student at UW, affect our connections to the natural environment of the world we live in. For her fourth-year thesis project, Leung is bringing music psychology and soundscape ecology together in the hopes of helping us reconnect with the environment. On Thursday, March 8 she led a Music and Nature workshop in the ES courtyard. As a coup d’etat, to display the practical connection of music and the environment, she had Sarah

Harmer make a guest appearance to talk and jam with the instrument-sporting members of the audience. “Sarah Harmer is a good example of the emerging political/activist music genre,” Leung said. She started out just as a singer. Then she realized that she could sing — and use music — to talk about the issues in the environment.” “There’s an opportunity, as an artist, to really promote these issues and raise public awareness,” Harmer said in an earlier Imprint interview. Leung opened the workshop with her project’s objective — to discover the link between music and the environment. But, as she explained, both music and sound affect our perceptions. If music has a link to the environment, then sound does as well. Which brings us to soundscape ecology. As defined by Simon Fraser University (SFU), a world leader in the field, soundscape ecology is the study of the relationship between individuals and communities and their environment. A soundscape is like a landscape; it incorporates all sound in an environment. Soundscape ideology recognizes that when humans enter an environment, they have an immediate effect on the sounds. The soundscape is thus man-made, where the sounds give the inhabitants a sense of place, and the place’s acoustic quality is shaped by the inhabitants’ actions and behaviours. The world soundscape project has

its headquarters at SFU. The project’s aim is to find solutions for an ecologically balanced soundscape where the relationship between the human community and its sonic environment are in harmony. Leung argues that, in a world so saturated with noise pollution, we have forgotten how to listen. And the ability to listen clearly, both to music and the soundscape, is essential for humans to re-establish a connection with nature. To change this, she believes it is necessary to bring people and ideas together. The workshop was a good start. Musicians, professors, students and activists were all brought together by the power of music and the environment. “It was great to see,” Leung said. “So many people from different areas come together.” For her thesis project, Leung is producing a collection of information that ties together music psychology, soundscape ecology and environmentalism. “I’m trying to bring all the research together,” Leung said. Ideally, she would like to see a music and environment course taught at UW. But this task will wait for the next environmentalist-musician-student to take farther. “Music is a tool to express yourself and inspire others,” said Leung. “These ideas will be there for anyone to take up.”



Human embryonic stem cells can treat a Sandhoff disease, according to scientists Evan Snyder and JeanPyo Lee, at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research. Snyder and Lee implanted two types of stem cells — those taken from a developing brain and those taken from the human embryo that were coaxed to become neural stem cells — into rodents with Sandhoff disease, a form of Tay-Sachs disease. Children with the disease have decreased amounts of an enzyme that helps the body metabolize fatty material. An accumulation of these lipids results in the destruction of brain cells and the spinal cord. When implanted in the mice, the stem cells migrated through the brain, causing a delay in the onset of symptoms, preserving well-being and motor function and increasing life span by 70 per cent. The scientists anticipate that their findings will provide some foundation for future clinical trials in order to find a cure for the disease. Discovery of ancient jawbone poses new questions

Scientists have found a 160,000-yearold fossilized jawbone in Morocco that shows that humans had started having longer childhoods — evidence that homo sapiens were inhabitants of Northern Africa earlier than previously thought. It was believed that homo sapiens originated in Africa 200,000 years ago; however, the oldest fossils suggest that humans emerged in Europe about 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. The newest find demonstrates that the first modern humans had more time to learn and develop their brains as children, contributing to a more sophisticated society. The study reveals that the emergence of modern humans may have been 100,000 years earlier than previously thought. Tanya Smith, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, has found similarities in teeth structure and development between the 160,000-year-old fossil and modern humans. The study was published on March 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Revolutionary human story



A new exhibit, quite simply titled “The Ancient Americas,” demonstrates that hundreds of diverse societies inhabited the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of European explorers in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The exhibit — by lead curator Jonathan Haas — opened the week of March 5 and has greatly improved from what it used to be in the 1950s. One change is the method used to display each exhibit: the strategies early Americans developed to meet their unique challenges were used instead of chronology. For example, one section is devoted to cultures, while another addresses cultures governed by powerful rulers who controlled the military and economic aspects of their societies. Other features include videos of working archaeologists and audio clips of the Mayan language. Haas says, “We use this exhibit to tell the story of humanity — all humanity.” Salamander-like robot may reveal secrets about changes in motion

Researchers have found a way to observe how the first animal — probably resembling a salamander — crawled onto land from the ocean. In order to determine how the change in motion from swimming to walking was made, the team of European scientists have built a robot that is able to mimic the primitive animal’s motion. Led by Auke Jan Ijspeert of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne, Switzerland, the team first designed a basic nervous system similar to that of the lamprey — a primitive eel-like fish. This design was then modified to demonstrate how it could evolve into a nervous system that could also control walking. Today, the robot is made of nine bright yellow plastic segments each containing a battery and microcontroller. In addition to walking across floors, the so-called salamander robot is able to swim. The journal Science reports the findings as a “demonstration of how robots can be used to test biological models, and in return, how biology can help in designing robot locomotion controllers.” — With files from the LA Times, the Examiner, the Guardian and the Union-Tribune.

Visit for Locations and Showtimes



Friday, March 16, 2007

On the heels of a QUANTUM REVOLUTION



Brendan Pinto staff reporter

A prototype receiver for IQC’s open-air quantum cryptographic system. A pair of entangled photons is produced on the roof of Center for Evironmental and InformationTechnology.The photons are split up, and one beam is transmitted to this detector to test the stability of the signal while the cone-shaped GPS devices ensure the respective devices are properly synchronized.


or most students, the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) is just another unassuming building adjacent to the research and technology park. For those familiar with work being done there, it is an international leader paving the way for the revolutionary technologies offered by the unique properties of the quantum world. Quantum computing isn’t just the next step in the miniaturization of computers. This technology stands on the cusp of a fundamental shift in the way we handle information, equivalent to the inception of the computer itself. Although the current scope of the technology is limited to the rather prosaic functions of factoring numbers and encoding information, there is really no telling to what extent the properties of quantum mechanics can be used. Noted physicist Richard Feynman observed that there is no known algorithm for simulating some quantum systems on classical computers and suggested the use of quantum computers to this end. To give some perspective, in the 1960s, then chairman of IBM, Thomas J. Watson said that there would only be use for six or seven mainframe computers in the entire world because of the limited functions a computer possessed. At that time, all that was known of their capabilities were the mathematical calculations they did and still do very well. Just as it is easy to overestimate the power of a new technology — as was the case for nuclear power in the 1950s being touted as heralding an era of electricity production too cheap to meter — underestimating the potential of a technology in its infancy is similarly naive. Technically, computers today do use some aspects of quantum mechanics in their design. For example, a more complete understanding of the properties of semiconductors in terms of quantum principles ushered in the era of the electronic transistor. The manipulation of data, however, is still done mostly using the wellestablished laws of electricity and magnetism. Contemporary computers perform calculations by turning electrical switches on and off, storing some data using magnetic fields. Computers using the properties of quantum mechanics will be very different. Established in 2001, IQC sets out to “advance fundamental experimental and theoretical knowledge in relevant areas of engineering, mathematics and science to enhance the developments in the field of Quantum Computation

and Information Processing.” six years later their record speaks volumes of the progress that has been made. In this short time, they have increased the size of the computer from seven to 12 “qubits” — the units of information in a quantum computer. A 70 per cent increase in the size of their computer over 6 years may appear to be modest gains in our classical mindset. A linear increase in qubits, however, represents an exponential increase in computing power therefore is really more like a 3100 per cent increase in computing power. The University of Waterloo wasn’t an arbitrary choice as the home for IQC. Its establishment here was in a large part due to the contributions by RIM president and UW chancellor Mike Lazaridis — known for his efforts to make Waterloo Region the knowledge capital of Canada. But there are very few other places where such an initiative would be possible. IQC’s mandate requires an enormous swath of expertise —in electrical and computer engineering, applied math, chemistry, combinatorics and optimization, computer science and of course, physics — all of them areas in which Waterloo has an established reputation. A detailed understanding of physics and chemistry is needed to build the computers. Of course, once we have these computers, the question becomes what to do with them. That’s the role theoreticians and mathematicians play developing the algorithms that can exploit the properties available to manipulate the data. Once we know what we can do with these devices, it still remains to be shown that using these computers to perform the calculations can be done in the real world. Finally, it’s great to have these ideas but if you cannot realize them on a commercial level then it’s not going to economically viable. This is where the engineers come in, who play the role of developing the manufacturing process for the devices. IQC is trying to go from the very basic research in understanding quantum mechanics and its properties to finding out what makes quantum theory more powerful at handling information than classical mechanics and developing algorithms and operations that can exploit these advantages. From here they must perform experiments to show that they work and implement them to making devices that can be used by industry. All these things fall under the research umbrella of IQC, which coordinates the efforts of the the various faculties.


Vial of the crystals used in the formation of a solid state quantum computer. The 12 quibit NMR computer is a liquid that requires a bigger magnetic field than the one provided at IQC main building. photos by Brendan Pinto; graphics by mohammad jangda

he computational potential of this technology is rooted in a property of quantum systems called superposition. This is the apparent contradictory logic in the theory that allows a particle to exist in two different states at the same time. For example, electrons can exist simultaneously in an up or down spin state, or even occupy two different positions at the same time. As a result, quantum computers can have switches that are on, off and — in a crucial break from classical computers — both at the same time. Because there are a number of different elements of reality on the quantum level that can exist in a state of superposition, there isn’t one way to make a quantum computer. IQC researchers currently employ several different approaches in the physical construction of these marvels. Ion traps are one example where (as the name implies) they trap ions, using the ground state and excited states as locations for storing and processing the quantum information. Neutral atom traps, spintronics, optics, superconducting circuits, superconducting Josephson junctions and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) are all candidates as they possess the quantum weirdness necessary for quantum

computation. Currently, the largest of these is the 12 qubit NMR-based computer (physically manifested in molecule pictured above) being studied by Dr. Raymond Laflamme. Superposition gives quantum computers the unique ability to efficiently factor massive numbers like the ones currently used to encrypt sensitive data sent over the internet. In 1994, a computer scientist named Peter Shor proved mathematically that if a quantum computer existed, it could factor a number with 400 digits in just a few days. If this sounds like a long time, consider that a conventional computer would take billions of years to render the same result. Development of a quantum computer has the potential to render current cryptographic methods useless. Fortunately, the fast growing field of quantum cryptography comes to the rescue. As Laflamme, IQC’s director put it, it’s the “lowest hanging fruit” on the tree of possible technologies. Three companies already offer the first generation of quantum cryptographic devices. The impending reality of this technology and how it differs from classical counterparts provide a good example of the potential for quantum technology.

uantum cryptography works using three aspects of quantum mechanics that until now have not been utilized technologically — the underlying fundamental randomness of the universe, quantum entanglement, and the fact that measurement of a quantum system necessarily changes the system. These are all non-intuitive properties of reality, but our understanding of them allows scientists to exploit them. Computers today have pseudo-random number generators that are not fundamentally random because they use deterministic principles of the classical theory of electricity and magnetism. Despite this drawback, they still approximate randomness well enough. In quantum mechanics, however, the randomness of the quantum states is truly random. In fact, it is impossible to make completely deterministic predictions regarding the state of a quantum system. Letting quantum systems be quantum systems gives us a true random number generator. The second quantum property is called entanglement. When a pair of entangled particles is created, the state of one is directly linked to the state of the other. For example, if a pair of electrons is entangled, one will have the property of being a “spin up” and the other will be a “spin down.” If these particles are separated, they will retain their entanglement until they are detected and the spin is measured, even if they were on opposite ends of the universe. Einstein called entanglement “spooky action at a distance,” which illustrates how bizarre and non-intuitive scientists find quantum mechanics. The third quality used is that fact that in quantum mechanics, measurement of a system fundamentally changes the system. In the classical world, we can measure the state of a system without perturbing it to any significant degree. For example, when we measure the rate of a stone falling, our observation of the stone’s state doesn’t change how it behaves. In contrast, when we observe quantum systems, we need to probe the system somehow to tease out the information. If we want to know where an electron is, for instance, we need to bounce something off of it — light, for example. However, when we do this, we’ve nudged our tiny electron and it is no longer where it was when we measured it. We have changed the system.

Using these three principles, quantum mechanics not only saves cryptography, but also significantly beefs it up. Starting with a source of entangled photons to create a key in the form of a string of random numbers. This is possible because the photons will emerge from the source in a string of random states. These states, however, are entangled creating two sets of directly related, but completely random numbers that no one — not even the source that created them — knows. Once the photons are detected, the sender and receiver are the only ones who possess the key (the string of photons arranged in a random sequence of quantum states). But because measurement of a system changes that system, only two people can know what the key is. Any third person who attempts to “listen in” and collect information about key sequence will unavoidably alter the system — in this case being a photon — and the two keys the sender and receiver use will now be different. By comparing their keys, they will reveal if someone was trying to “listen in.” The simplest way to encode the information is to have the sender simply add his or her random string of numbers to the message, sends the garbled message for the receiver to decode by subtracting the key they share. While the companies who employ this method right now are using fiber optic cables to send the entangled photon signal, IQC is working on an openair system. The main goal is to develop a device that can transmit a signal strong enough to penetrate the atmosphere and reach a satellite, thus enabling communication over much greater distances than current fiber optic technologies allow (roughly the scale of a metropolitan sized city.) Fifty years ago, when the University of Waterloo came into being, school officials recognized the potential of classical computers. Because they focused on that, and developed a large comprehensive department, UW stands today as a national (and in some cases) international leader in computer technology. By once again leading the way in quantum information technologies, Waterloo is poised to keep this reputation long into the future.

ATTENTION ALL 2007 GRADS Be a part of the next 50 years.

In 1957, the University of Waterloo’s first students entered a portable aluminum classroom. Since then, with alumni financial support, our campus has grown, students have received numerous scholarships and bursaries and they have the equipment and resources that they need to succeed! When you walk across the stage to receive your degree, think of all the people who helped make that moment possible, including the thousands of alumni who have donated to UW.

Some people wait their entire lives to leave their mark. Don’t wait 50 years to make yours. Contribute to the 2007 Grad Class Challenge today! Since 1989, graduating students have worked together to give back to UW. Congratulations to the Class of 2006 who pledged over $475,000! When you are asked to support your faculty or university college, please pledge generously. For more information: To commemorate the university’s 50th anniversary, all grads will receive a copy of Ken McLaughlin’s book, Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy: Waterloo @50 at convocation.



Friday, March 16, 2007

Activism: Strong hope for UW to regain lead in sustainable efforts Continued from page 16

UW easily falls behind the rest of Canadian universities affiliated with SYC. Our university is simply not keeping pace with the rest of Canada. Many universities have full-time environmental co-ordinators and sustainable funding for local environmental services. UW used to have a full-time environmental coordinator, but has for many years since relied solely on student volunteers. The Talloires Declaration (TD) is another benchmark in campus sustainability that UW has failed to comply with. In 1990, the TD marked the first official statement made by university administrators “of a commitment to environmental sustainability in higher education.” It is signed by over 300 university presidents and chancellors in over 40 countries. UW President David Johnston, has not signed the TD for UW, despite his signature for McGill University. A sustainability office is another major category UW had failed to place a checkmark beside during the conference. In today’s environmental movement, a sustainability office is

necessary to maintain momentum with current campus leaders in sustainable development such as the University of British Columbia and McGill University. Another keynote, Bob Willard, who is on the advisory board of the Natural Step Canada, addressed the language difference between student activists and administration, noting that this barrier is the “Achille’s Heel of environmentalists.” He stressed that although a university is a place of higher learning through the eyes of faculty and students, to administration, it is a business, and must be approached in an economic manner. Otherwise, no amount of hard work or determination by student activism will see results. If the Maclean’s ranking system included a sustainability factor — an unsuccessful initiative of SYC last year — it would be interesting to see where UW would have placed in comparison to other universities. Everyone has their place in environmental and social justice issues. It is now time to find ours.

The possibility of a human body black market Faisal Naqib staff reporter

The first successful organ transplant, a cornea transplant, occurred in 1905 and ever since ethical problems have risen, now reaching the point of national debate. The shortage of transplantable organs has forced some patients to personally seek transplants through unconventional methods. One such patient with advanced liver cancer advertised a plea for an organ on websites, billboards and the media. The family of a brain-dead donor responded to the ads. This has left physicians uncomfortable and feeling the possibility of a growing human body market. The March 8, 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reports on such solicitation practices, and has another example of a patient undergoing dialysis who solicited for a kidney and was answered by a living volunteer donor. Transplantation surgeons and the health care community feel that this is a violation of the fair principles of organ allocation and abandons the principles of equity and justice. Regulations permit the donation of organs from a deceased person to family members or close friends; however in the case of anonymous donations, the organs are directed to a patient on the waiting list. Specialists believe that when patients solicit donations they are “jumping ahead in line.” A liver from a donor might go to a patient waiting at home, when a critically ill patient in the intensive care unit will die while waiting for an organ. Some patients argue that the organ allocation system used by transplantation centres is not fair, ranking potentially successful recipients low on the waiting list, which they say justifies their external attempts at procuring an organ. Health care professionals state that the system is based on the principles of justice, equity and utility. Many committees are responsible for maintaining the system, gathering public comment and approving new initiatives that balance inequalities as they are found. Many ethical dilemmas arise if patients are permitted to direct their own organs or those of deceased family members. This can lead to potentially discriminatory practices, such as people directing organs to patients based on race, religion or other similar attributes. One such instance has already been observed where the family of a murdered Ku Klux Klan sympathizer allowed the donation of his organs on the condition that they only went to white recipients. This led to Florida outlawing the direction of organs when not based on family ties.

Veronique Lecat

Another problem is people donating to unsuitable patients. The first example given involving the liver patient is one potential case. The patient was low on the waitlist because his disease was far progressed and had a high possibility of relapse; he obtained a liver from outside the regular allocation system, and died less than a year later from a recurrent tumour. Could that liver have been more optimally used? If this type of solicitation becomes the norm, patients might favour approaching a stranger and asking him or her to participate in a risky operation that he or she is not willing to place a family member under. Yet another problem, possibly the most controversial, is the formation of an organ market, where people buy and sell human body parts. As of right now, it is illegal to accept any form of reward for donating a body part; however, if people are allowed to direct their organs, it is possible that a black market will be forged under the noses of health care professionals. This would stand in great contrast to the system at work now, with richer patients having a better opportunity to obtain a life-saving organ and poor people more likely to consider selling a kidney or other body part in order to attain financial security. The regulatory body responsible for overseeing the donation of organs is the United Network for Organ Sharing. The regulations it decides to lay down over the next few years could reshape the transplantation field forever.


Friday, March 16, 2007


Key hormone in teenage angst discovered Tetrahydropregnanalone hormone reverses the effect of stress reduction during puberty Basma Anabtawi staff reporter

Adolescence is known as one of the most difficult and stressful stages of a parent’s journey. Constant mood swings have always been a feature closely related with teenagers. A group of researchers has been trying to find the particular hormones responsible for teenagers’ fluctuating mood swings. The scientists of the study focused on a specific hormone, tetrahydropregnanalone (THP), also referred to as allopregnanolone. The study was led by Sheryl S. Smith, a physiology and pharmacology professor at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and was published recently in the journal of Nature Neuroscience.

Innovative cancer treatments from Geneva Kirstin Boehme reporter

Thanks to Dan Brown’s pop culture novel Angels and Demons, Anti-matter and CERN (European Counsel for Nuclear Research) bring to mind visions of deadly power, ancient brethren and highly guarded secrets. However, considering recent announcements regarding CERN’s advancements with cancer treatments, and their many contributions to the world of science since their founding in 1954, these word associations are more than simply embarrassing. CERN is considered the largest physics particle centre in the world. Their research in the medical field alone is worth noting, as it has aided in the development of several radiopharmaceuticals such as the Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan). The laboratory in Geneva has now found that by using anti-matter subatomic particles, which have opposite charges to those found in matter, cancer cell death can be achieved. The hope is that these experiments will lead to major advancements in the medical world. For now, however, proton and ion radiotherapy are able to reduce unnecessary radiation to other organs and tissues of the body. Traditionally, radiotherapy involves X-rays penetrating the whole width of the body. Electron therapy and X-rays work in a similar fashion. Neutrons, however. are more suitable for treating certain strains of cancers, as their energy diffusion occurs in a distinct pattern. Radiopharmaceuticals can be synthesized as well. Proton and ion therapies are able to achieve the same result as conventional methods, but with up to one tenth the radiation afflicting non-cancerous areas of the body. This is mainly due to the concentration of proton energy into one precise location. In addition, excessive radiation to one’s bone marrow may complicate the safety of subsequent chemotherapy treatments, resulting in severe complications. New proton and ion beam therapy centres are currently being built in Japan, France, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Italy and the Unites States — each equipped with a proton accelerator, with the ability to deliver particle beams to numerous treatment rooms.

This innovative study showed that the THP hormone, which normally lowers stress, has the reverse effect during puberty causing an increase in anxiety and disposition. This increases mood swings. The suggestion that the hormone acts in opposite ways within different age groups caused major controversy and an eagerness to understand the mechanism behind this change. In normal adults, THP acts as a sedative hormone to calm a person down, decreasing stress-related activity in the brain. This helps in maintaining acceptable levels of stress and anxiety to prevent harm to other parts of the body. The hormone naturally works on a specific type of receptors found in the brain, referred to as the GABAA (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid).

These receptors calm the brain, and are used by physicians around the world to tranquilize patients who suffer from severe illnesses. They are used during and after surgery for effectiveness. Dr. Smith was intrigued since teenagers are not always in bad moods. However when one’s mood swings from completely calm to angry, she knew that there has to be a scientific reason. For centuries, puberty has been known as the period of raging hormones, but Dr. Smith wanted a logical explanation for why it only had affected adolescents. The discovery also showed that the mood swing could be dramatically increased to a point of suicide when using adult THP medications since it has the reversed role in these growing youth.

The study began by observing mice that also experience the reverse effect of THP. The testing focused on comparing hormone levels in mice before, during and after puberty. Stress was induced by placing the mice in a claustrophobic environment — a small Plexiglas container. Dr. Smith noted a decrease in stress around 20 minutes in both adult and child mice, however an increase in stress level was present in adolescent mice. This study provides explanations for the mood swings of teenagers. This definitely does not explain every tantrum, but it does explain one basic cause of the adolescent emotional behaviour.

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Christine Ogley


Features Imprint

A taste of inequality

Friday, March 16, 2007 Features Editor: Ellen Ewart Features Assistant: Christina Ironstone

Keith McManamen reporter

Students learn the problems of an inequal distribution of wealth and the power of participation.

One of the most inspiring activities at Laurier’s Global Citizenship Conference on March 10 and 11 was, believe it or not, the main banquet. Participants like myself, who attended expecting a casual dinner got much more than they bargained for, since any nutrition received was trumped in a big way by food for thought, which was offered by the plateful. Immediately upon entering the banquet, each person was given a number: one, two, or three. These corresponded to seating and to what each person ate. If you were lucky to be one of the dozen or so people who pulled a one, you were allowed to sit at a table with a white-tablecloth and sit on a comfy chair, where you were waited on promptly and were served a hearty multi-course meal. Meanwhile, the group that drew the twos, which numbered about 40, sat on chairs encircling the room, and were able to eat rice and veggies. The final 150, which included myself and a friend, were the least fortunate, having to sit on the floor with only rice and water. These class divisions were a metaphor for world demographics. In addition to the three classes, there were also the event co-ordinators, who catered to the every whim of the first-classers and governed conversation, prohibiting any speaking across classes. These people represented the oppressive regime, led by one supreme dictator, who directed the proceedings. And so, in this microcosm of the world, the role-play began. Immediately, those in the third-world demographic were bullied by the oppressors; being told to stay seated and shut up so that the first-worlders could dine in peace. Someone suggested singing Bob Marley’s “Get Up Stand Up,” which most of the Third World did. Unfortunately, there were very few who knew any of the words, and the co-ordinators quickly quelled the uncoordinated, unharmonious effort. Thus, all of the Third World was forced to stay quiet, seated and hungry, watching the first and second world people eat their food before we could get ours. However, my friend and I remained standing, by ourselves, deciding to resist the oppression and the injustice. We were confronted immediately by regime officials, who said we had to sit down or we wouldn’t get any food, but we stood our ground, resisting passively and not escalating the situation. The lead dictator came to us and said that if we didn’t sit down, then nobody in the Third World would get any food at all, yet still we stood. Gradually, more people from the bottom caste got up off the floor and stood with us. The main dictator saw the revolution starting, and the two of us were pulled aside to speak with him. He told us that we had to stop right away, that it was turning into anarchy and that couldn’t happen. We couldn’t tell if this was part of the role play or not, but we kept playing along. We made it clear that we were protesting because we

felt we should get better food like the others. He offered us seats at a first class table if we could get everybody seated again, and we even negotiated a slightly better meal for our Third World comrades, so they could eat vegetables in addition to the rice. But we politely refused the bribe we had received, and began to stir the uprising into an uproarious mob. With the Third World all on their feet, we crowded around the first world tables, clapping and yelling and cheering. The oppressors tried to settle us down, the rest of the world watched and ate their food. Try as they might, we would not be settled; the taste of justice rallied us into a frenzy. It was glorious. Slowly, some of the second class started to stand and cheer with us, and finally the first class got on their feet as well. The revolution effort culminated in one of the speakers for Amnesty International charging the stage and carrying the main dictator away, then congratulating us for not taking no for an answer, and overthrowing oppression. Little did we know that none of this was scripted at all. Truthfully, we had deviated from the script the moment the two of us stood up and refused to eat just rice. “None of it was scripted after people started to stand up in non-violent protest, but those protests were absolutely welcome,” said conference executive Jacob Pries, who was very pleased with the results. “I was absolutely ecstatic that the people joined together to try and bring some equality to all the people during the banquet” he remarked, “[it shows] people the power we do have if only we come together and work for a common goal.” They weren’t lying to us when they said there wasn’t enough food, they actually only had a couple extra first-class meals. So when we rioted for better food, they actually couldn’t give it to us, besides the veggies, which were plentiful. And that was the reason we were offered better meals if we could get everyone content with what they were being offered. “As well, it ended up being an incredibly accurate depiction of the way the world is working, especially how the second class was quite content to sit and enjoy their food and do very little to help the plight of those who find themselves in absolute poverty. Overall, it was much more effective in the way it turned out because people were directly confronted with the reality of the world which they are not often exposed to. So I would say that it was really an amazing success and I hope that it is something that can be run again.” The role-play was a tremendous, albeit ideological, metaphor for the world today. The moral of the story is that a couple people can make a difference, and however small, it creates a ripple effect that rallies more people to the cause. Pries challenges students to deviate from the real world script and create a new one where people have adequate access to basic needs. While we might not be able to solve the world hunger problem in a day, we can certainly begin making ripples of our own.

Christine Ogley


Friday, March 16, 2007


Celebrate your St. Paddy’s day hangover with soda bread

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, enrich yourself with knowledge on the foods beloved by the Irish. Ireland is a farming country with no shortage of variety. Food is abundant due to a mild climate; ideal for growing crops. The landscape is covered with lush green land and the country is lined with bountiful coastal waters filled with many species of fish. Fish, consumed traditionally on Fridays, is in accordance with a deeply religious country whose Roman Catholic practices govern the country’s eating customs. With strong Celtic traditions, many of the Irish originally came from Scotland, where threads of Scottish cuisine were adapted into the culture. Irish staple foods included dairy such as milk, cheeses and butter, and cereals and oats, barley, rye and wheat, which were used to make flat breads and porridges. Ale was consumed throughout the day and brewed from barley. Meats such as

mutton, salted pork, venison and beef were consumed by the affluent. The rest of the country was restricted to salted pork, where fresh meat was a treat reserved for holy days or holidays. Irish cuisine evolved several times due to conquests since the 12th century from the Normans to the English in the 16th century. The Anglo-Irish gentry even began to draw upon French cookery, adapting recipes brought back from their travels. A drastic turn of events changed how the Irish thought about food. With the introduction of the potato in the 19th century, this simple food became a staple for a third of the population. Unfortunately, overdependence on these spuds led to the Potato Famine of the 1840s, when successive harvests failed. Many people perished and those that endured survived on foods such as herbs, wild greens, oatcakes and game. Since these foods were consumed out of necessity during that period, they were later eschewed because they became associated with the “great hunger.” The Irish diet became conservative and bland as this provided a source of economic comfort to the people. Up until the 1960s, a typical dinner would consist of meat, potatoes

and a type of vegetable, along with buttered bread and black tea. Fortunately, in recent decades, the country has enjoyed a run of great prosperity, causing more people to travel overseas and become exposed to many ethnic foods. This experience has reinvigorated the country’s palate to be more adventurous and as a result the nation’s cooks are revitalizing its strengths in farmhouse cheeses, fish, baked foods, produce, shellfish and meats. Signature Irish dishes are roast beef served with horseradish sauce and Yorkshire pudding, fish and chips served with a bed of mushy peas and french fries, colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage, kale or parsnips), bread and butter pudding, or bacon and cabbage — considered Ireland’s national dish. Riches of Ireland include soda bread, made with whole wheat flour and soured milk, as well as salmon. Salmon is highly regarded because of its importance in Irish folklore where the belief is that the fish has connections to the soul. Reminder of its importance is visible with a picture of the fish featured on one of the country’s coins.

To whet your appetite, wash down this Irish bread with authentic Irish cocktails, whiskeys, cream liqueurs and coffees.The richness of traditional foods pairs particularly well with Guinness, Harp lager or Murphy’s Irish Amber. Don’t forget to recite traditional Irish toasts!

Véronique Lecat

Irish soda bread

Tiffany Li

Out of the oven, this bread is delicious and a bit crumbly. However, if you let it sit, it makes for great slicing bread. While the recipe yields one dome-shaped hearth loaf, alternatively you can shape the batter into numerous fist-sized rolls (as I did), which are great for making sandwiches. This way makes it easier to freeze the extras if you have any. If you decide to go with rolls, put them on a baking sheet (dusted with flour) and bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes or until the bread develops a golden brown colour.

3 cups whole wheat flour 3 cups all purpose flour 1 tbsp salt 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 2 tsp baking soda 1/4 cup oatmeal or rolled oats, or another 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 12 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 2 cups sour milk, or hold milk soured with 1 tbsp mild vinegar 1 cup of currants or raisins (optional) Preheat oven to 375°F 1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl then cut in butter. 2. Pour in milk and mix well to moisten the flour thoroughly (the batter will be moist and heavy). 3. Add currants and use wet hands to shape into a dome 8 inches in diameter. 4. Transfer the loaf to a flour dusted baking sheet. 5. Cut a half inch deep ‘x’ across the top of the bread and bake for 60-70 minutes (the bread will look like an over grown muffin, with yellow brown colour). 6. Test for doneness by pinching a bottom edge. It should be firm. 7. Set on a rack to cool. 8. For ideal slicing, leave for 12 hours before cutting into.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Getting smart about contraceptives Christina Ironstone staff reporter

I remember when I was in grade school and my friend and I watched the movie Senior Trip, where we saw how they mocked sex education. I look back on those days and am thankful I was not in my teenage years. The movie was obviously making fun of the abstinence-only education but did little to explain anything about contraceptives. Until the mid90s sexual education was primarily supporting abstinence-only, and this left hormone-driven teenagers in the dark when it came to contraceptives. How were they to assume that they needed protection if they were never educated on it? The two most well known contraceptives are the birth control pill and condoms. The pill is a typical choice for women; it is the most prescribed method of birth control. Typically, there are two cycles of pills a girl can be placed on: a 21-day cycle with a seven day break for menstruation or a 28-day one where the pill-taker has seven placebos to take during

menstruation. The seven extra pills do not have progestin or estrogen, they are just for those who do not want to forget to take a pill once the seven days are over. The pills work by thickening the lining of cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering. They also prevent the release of an egg from the ovaries. Birth control was originally created to encourage multiple pregnancies in the 1950s. This was how we ended up with oral contraceptives. Birth control has many advantages, like the fact that periods are regulated and cramping is usually reduced. Another advantage is for those who suffer from acne; their faces will begin to clear up with use of the pill. The rate of effectiveness is 99 per cent when used properly. There are, unfortunately, some disadvantages to the pill. Seeing as it is a hormone-based pill, there are bound to be some side effects like occasional spotting, breast tenderness, nausea, and headaches. The pill also does not prevent STIs. The fact that the pill is a daily contraceptive can be difficult to remember, and if you think the pill is not right for you, there are other options. The patch (containing estrogen

and progestin) is designed with the forgetful in mind because you only need to apply it once a week to one of four places — upper arm, lower abdomen, back or on the bum. The patch behaves similarly to the pill in terms of preventing pregnancy, and the benefits and disadvantages are quite similar to the pill as well. This is a good option for those who are forgetful. If once a week seems like too often, there is a more recent option called NuvaRing, which behaves like the pill and the patch in terms of suppressing the egg and such. It is a 54mm ring containing estrogen and progestin that is placed into the vagina for three weeks and slowly absorbed through the skin. During their period, much like the 21day pill cycle and the patch, women go a week without the contraceptive. Much like the ones mentioned before it, the ring is 99 per cent effective in preventing pregnancy. There are more extensive and drastic measures, ranging from injections to IUDs. The injection is performed only every 12 weeks and does not contain estrogen; it is suitable for those

Lack of contraceptive education can lead to an unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. who are allergic. Women experience a decrease in bone density, a delay of pregnancy up to nine months after stopping the contraceptive and the possibility of weight gain. The IUD is a T-shaped device with copper wire around it,which a doctor inserts it into a woman’s uterus. The device can last for up to five years. There is a rare but real risk that the device may perforate the uterus during insertion. If the idea of chemical barriers is not for you, consider a diaphragm and cervical cap, sponge and spermicide, or female and male condoms. The diaphragm is a latex dome and the cap is silicone. They are to stay in the vagina for six to eight hours after sex. Non-chemical barriers have to be readily available when about to engage in sexual activity, and are often paired with spermicide, which kills sperm and prevents conception. Spermicide is more of a side-kick since it works well when paired with other barrier contraceptives such as the sponge, diaphragms caps and condoms. Condoms are pretty well known, they are sheaths that cover either the male penis or the go inside the female’s vagina and offer a protective approach against STI’s and pregnancy. Condoms are also quite easy to get your hands on because you do not need a prescription for them. The main disadvantage is that it is possible for the condom to break.

If the condom breaks there is nothing you can do about an STI if your partner has one. As for pregnancy, take the morning-after pill and the odds of becoming pregnant are unlikely The morning after pill is an emergency contraceptive to be taken within 72 hours after sex. This is just a basic overview of some important contraception facts; if you want more detailed information, do not hesitate to find it.There are large amounts of information available— one just has to know where to look. Health Services and other clinics off-campus offer information that will help educate and explain any questions one may have; however, if you are looking for a less intimidating way to find information on contraceptives, there are some credible sites on the internet such as www.sexualityandu. ca, which has vast resources to answer some of your questions if you are indeed too shy to approach a health professional. I should state that you will most likely have to see a health professional about the matter eventually, because not all contraceptives are prescriptionfree. There is no harm in learning how to protect yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask a health professional any questions you have, or at the very least consult the sexuality website.

E-mail: for more information


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Friday, March 16, 2007



Thumbs up to fingers in the bum A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a reader saying, “Love to see an article on the prostate gland. I taught my girlfriend how to milk my gland and she does it regularly for me. I think men have an aversion to this because she has to go through my asshole to get there, and some guys might think that is gay or something.... boy are they missing out!” I covered the female “G-spot” last week, so it’s only fair that this week we spend some time on the male “P-spot.” As you might have guessed, “P-spot” is another pop culture term, but since we’re all too cool for that, let’s use its real name: the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a pretty important gland for the fellas; it’s about the size of a golf ball and contributes 30 per cent of the fluid in semen. It also has smooth muscles that propel the little guys into the urethra to prepare for ejaculation. If you’re doing a dissection, you’ll find it wrapped around the urethra somewhere between the bottom of the bladder and the start of the penis. If you’re looking to play, you’ll find it about two inches up inside the male rectum. This is also where your doctor will find it, when he’s checking to make sure that you don’t have something icky like cancer, prostatitis or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). A man’s prostate is full of nerves. Nerves are good because when your partner is able to stimulate them properly they can make you feel very very good. Many men, yes straight guys too, really enjoy having their prostate massaged. They claim to experience all kinds of nice things like super intense orgasms and orgasms that last a really long time. Enjoying having your ass/prostate stimulated doesn’t make you gay; enjoying sex with men does (and even this is a bit of a grey area).

Whether you’re a gay or a straight man, the physiology of your bum is going to be pretty much the same — unlike the equivalent Skene’s glands in women. All men have a prostate that could be full of un-tapped pleasure potential. Now I know what your next big question is: how are you supposed to stimulate your prostate? First of all, trim and file your nails and then wash your hands — if you don’t think you can or want to massage your prostate yourself, have your partner trim and file their nails and wash their hands. Some men feel more comfortable if they go to bathroom and take a shower/bath before play time. You’ll also want the room you’re in to be warm and cozy, maybe dim the lights a little. Get yourself horny, in case you weren’t already! Going along with making the room warm and cozy, this experience is supposed to feel sexy — not like it’s a visit to the doctor’s office (unless the doctor’s office get you off). So watch your favourite porn and masturbate a little, or play with your partner: make out, have them stroke you, etc. Next, grab the latex gloves that you swiped from the lab (or bought at the pharmacy) and put them on, or have your partner put them on. If you’ve decided to use a pliable G-spot/P-spot dildo or a butt-plug instead, wash it too and slip it into a condom. Then lube everything up using a silicone or water-based lube like liquid silk or K-Y jelly, and keep it handy. Get comfortable. If you’re alone you might have to wiggle around a little to get yourself into a position where you can get easy access to your anus; try squatting, laying on your side, or on your back. If you’re with a partner,

you should get into a position where you are standing or kneeling with your hips squared and your butt pushed out and up; this will give them easier and you more comfortable access to your prostate. Your partner is going to want to ease into this — no stabbing his or her finger right in there — it’s a good idea to start with a little massage. Your perineum is located between your balls and your anus, and is a great place to start the massage, slowly work into the anus using a rhythmic, circular motion. When you feel ready, add more lube and have your partner rest the pad of their finger against the pucker of your bum. Relax and have them ease their finger inside, sometimes it helps to time it with your breath — remember to breathe deeply. Once inside, you might want to rest for a moment to get used to the sensation before you continue. Once you give the okay, your partner’s finger can start to explore, pulling out to re-lube as necessary. You should be in constant communication with your partner, telling them what feels good, when you need them to slow down, if you want them to apply more pressure, when they need to re-lube, if you’ve had enough or when you’re going to explode. About two inches in, they should be able to find your prostate, it will feel firm and the surface will feel like it’s around the size of the tip of your nose. Have your partner explore the surface of your prostate and experiment with different amounts of pressure. Some men like constant pressure, some like more of a massage and some like vibrations; experiment to find out which you prefer. But don’t forget about the guy in front! While prostate massage can feel really great, most men prefer to pair it with having their penis played with as well. This could mean jerking yourself off while you or your partner massages your

prostate, or your partner could use their other hand to stroke you. Alternatively, you could get a comfortable butt-plug or flat-based toy that you can leave in while you masturbate or have sex as usual. Prostate massage can be a great way to get to know your body better and experience something new — not to mention the reported mind blowing orgasms. Whether you are straight or gay, can you honestly tell me that you wouldn’t want to know what it’s like to cum harder, better or differently?

The diagram of the male reproductive tract shows where the anus and the prostate gland are located. Peter Trinh

Tips: If you don’t have gloves but want a finger prostate massage, don’t use plastic wrap, which can easily rip. Slip your finger inside a condom instead. You can get them free from Health Services and Feds. Take it slow, there’s no rule saying that you have to make it into your bum the first time you start experimenting. If a perineum and anus massage is the furthest you get the first couple of times, that’s fine. Only go as far as you are comfortable with.



Friday, March 16, 2007

International Women’s Week

Student programming in question

A matter of priorities Your campus, your move a “Stitch & Bitch” craft night and the annual Women’s Week concert at the Bomber, fronted by Emm Gryner and local band Knock Knock Commemoration is a prominent feature in most Ginger. At the very least, all concert proceeds every society: whether we allot a day, week, went to the Uganja Women’s Bike Project. A poster outside the Women’s Centre office month or year to a specific cause — and whether that time is allotted locally, provincially, nation- promised more — a series of booths in the SLC, ally or internationally — the point is to say “we for instance, and a forum on women in technocare” or “we remember” by calling everyone’s logical job fields — but when I polled students attention to something we as a community feel in the SLC, none could recall the Women’s Week display, which ran for should matter. three hours on Monday, In this day and age, Sometimes a lack of and no other informahowever, society’s very tion on the technology diversity makes it imeffective coverage just forum was posted. A possible to treat every commemorative event suggests complacency on small sign by the Turnkey Desk promised one with equal respect and consideration — when the part of a community final showing of the Vagina Monologues, but was the last time anyone — and at that point, it’s the scattering of such truly celebrated United Women’s Week adverEmpire Loyalists’ Day, time to ask where our tisements was telling. for instance? And to an UW’s academic extent, this shifting of priorities should lie. community offered priorities is important, as some meatier fare for it reflects a shift in comInternational Women’s munity values as a whole. Day. The department But sometimes a lack of effective coverage just suggests complacency on of philosophy, for instance, hosted a symposium the part of a community — and at that point, it’s on “Women in a global world: Feminist Values and Human Rights Issues,” which touched on time to ask where our priorities should lie. The theme for this year’s International everything from female circumcision to mothWomen’s Week, held from March 4 to March erhood in extreme poverty to case studies of 10, was “Ending Violence Against Women: Ac- women’s rights in varying world regions. Wilfrid Laurier University also took an tion for Real Results.” One doesn’t even need to leave the country to find reason to address this interesting approach to Women’s Week, with issue: from the very real trafficking of sex trade the university itself timing the release of its workers into and out of Canada, to the plight top three finalists for “Outstanding Women of of women and children in many degraded Ab- Laurier” to coincide with International Women’s original communities, to overarching statistics for Day. Meanwhile, their Women’s Centre started domestic abuse (30 per cent of Canadian women off the week’s festivities on a strong note with have been abused by their partners at least once, a launch party at the Paul Martin Centre, and according to one survey of 12,300 Canadian invited local female leaders like city councillor women), the gravity of this commemorative Karen Scian to attend their festivities. There is no one “right” way to celebrate theme speaks for itself. Last year I wrote a news piece for Imprint on International Women’s Week, and certainly an International Women’s Week student events. The argument can be made for the UW Women’s tone of the piece was particularly inspired by a Centre’s events being femme-positive. But in presentation by an immigrant women’s group that the spirit of commemoration, I entreat you was trying to create a real sense of community to take one final moment to reflect — for for English-as-a-Second-Language arrivals. This yourself — on International Women’s Week at kind of forum for discussion tackles real issues UW: Were the events listed of interest to you? and offers tangible means for students to get Did you know about them in advance, and if so, did you attend any? What would you have involved and make a difference. In contrast, this year’s Women’s Week was liked to see done for International Women’s especially important, as it was also the 30th an- Week that wasn’t? And just what are you going to do about niversary of International Women’s Day (March 8), but no such forums were in evidence. A lone it next year? banner hung in a corridor of the SLC, boasting such events as menstrual yoga, contact dancing, Margaret Clark assistant editor-in-chief

Lam have made the event planning process unnecessarily difficult. “We shouldn’t be fighting with the Federation of Students,” said Osipian, “we should be working together.” So what should be done to improve the Women’s Centre on campus? Well, both Osipian and Renjie Butalid, vice-president of administration and finance and acting viceWhen I first saw the list of events to be held president internal, encourage more women to for International Women’s Week, I couldn’t take an active role in the Centre. Without new help but be more than a little disheartened. The volunteers, Osipian explained, the cycle will only event that looked even remotely interest- continue and the same group of people will ing to me was the Women’s Day Concert to be continue running the Centre. While the International Women’s Week held at Bomber — and that was only because events seemed lacklusI love Knock Knock at best, it seems that Ginger. If you’re like me, and you ter the Centre did the best I know I’m not with the resources it has the only woman on don’t like what you see — for now. According campus who felt this way. Many of my coming from the Women’s to Osipian, the ideas are out there, they just don’t friends were equally Centre, or any other always have the time and disinterested in the volunteers necessary to yoga while “Stitch and service for that matter, implement them. Bitch” and a contact That being said, dance workshop were do something about. I think there’s sigthe only other alternanificantly more that tives. My biggest quesshould have been done tion coming out of the — whether through week was “why?” support from Feds The Women’s Centre has a bit of a reputation on campus. Often or a more objective look at the events they perceived as an insular group of radical feminists were holding. Three hours of booths being pushing their own agenda, their events and of- set up on Monday hardly fits the service’s fice seem off-limits to everyone who doesn’t mandate of “informing the university comshare their perceived viewpoint. Talking with munity of women’s issues and discouraging co-ordinator Margarita Osipian, I discovered discriminating behaviour.” There’s definitely a void there, maybe it stems from the negathat this stereotype is far from the truth. Run by a small group of volunteers who, tive perceptions on campus, maybe from a Osipian admitted, do all come from the same lack of support from Feds, whatever it is, group of friends and the same feminist this campus is in dire need of an active and viewpoint, the Centre struggles to run events energetic Women’s Centre. Feminism has gotten a bad name over the outside of the norm. Following the name change from “Womyn’s Centre” to “Women’s past few years, but I think it’s time to push back Centre” earlier this year, Osipian explained the idea that all feminists are bra-burning manthat the majority of the Centre’s resources haters and embrace what the Women’s Centre have been dedicated to redecorating the office has to offer. An inviting office just up that tiny flight of stair beside Bomber is what awaits and replacing signage. “I don’t mind acknowledging that it’s a anyone who dares to venture there. If you’re like me, and you don’t like what problem, but it’s some we’re aware of,” said Osipian of the lack of variety in events the you see coming from the Women’s Centre, or any other service for that matter, do something Centre puts on. She explained that, over the past few years, about. This campus has a big problem with the Centre has hit a series of roadblocks in apathy, and that needs to change. We aren’t goplanning events when trying to get them past ing to see the kind of engaging events that will Feds. The past two vice-president internals, provide education and discourse until someSait Kit Lo — who recently resigned over an thing is done, and that I leave up to you. issue regarding the Vagina Monologues put on by the Women’s Centre — and Lawrence


Friday, March 16, 2007


International Women’s Week

A concerted effort for change

Raising voices to raise money Brendan Pinto staff reporter

As concert goers casually stood talking rock and sipping the fine malty beverages offered by the Bomber, the dim light above the stage set a most cozy atmosphere. Turnout was strong all night, ballooning around Knock Knock Ginger’s near perfect set. Softly playing the piano, artist Cara Wardell gently serenaded the crowd. Her delicate styling sharply contrasted against the raucous applause. Next to take to the stage was Fatima, who forged an immediate rapport with the audience. Both acoustic and electric songs effortlessly impressed an eclectic crowd, belying the performance’s nature as a concert put on by the Women’s Centre for women’s week. Fatima’s performance featured the first of its kind — in my experience at least: a lesbian feminist gangster rap. Bouncing between her and her lovely stage guest, the rap was reminiscent of “Promiscuous girl,” but featuring much better lyrics. Extraordinary musicians employing a variety of instruments, Knock Knock Ginger are the quintessential indie pop rock band. The band wowed the audience with a rhythm that took you back and forth moving with the sound. I myself stood happily swaying, beer in hand, amazed that such a polished sound could come from university students: Lead singer Milosz Sikora, a former CS student, drummer Owen Cherry, currently completing a masters in physics, and keyboardist Melissa Djuakov, likewise completing a master in politi-

Andrew Abela

Emm Gryner, one of the concert’s performers, seduces the audience with her vocals at the Bomber Thursday, March 8. cal science. Almost all performers were either current UW students, or else were alumni, with the sole exception of newcomer Lisa Rafferty. Sikora showed an impressive range of vocals throughout their set. Usually during intimate sets like that you tend to see the occasional conversation pop up, but the crowd was bereft of such commonplace occurances, entranced by the music. As my fellow concert goer Andrew Abela put it, “There is nothing hotter than a girl with a guitar.” Perhaps not the most appropriate comment

“I earned my undergraduate degree,

now I want to

break some boundaries”

during a women’s week concert, but I’d be lying if I disagreed. Before starting their set, Guest Bedroom frontsperson Sandi took three generous swigs from a bottle of Buckley’s. It tastes awful, and for this singer, it definitely works. Wailing into the mic in her first song of the set, she grabbed the audience’s attention and refused to let go. Exhibiting modest self-deprecation, she classified her voice as “somewhere between Courtney Love and Chad Kroger.” A grittier sound than the band preceding them, they were similarly greeted with enthusiastic applause.


The crowd then looked on in quiet contemplation, as Emm Gryner’s melancholy words still possessed a beautiful aesthetic. With every movement of her voice, you are inexorably drawn in. You don’t clap politely at the end of her song; you applaud because you have no choice. The concert, an annual event at UW was an unqualified success. All proceeds earned went to the


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Ugunja Women’s Bike Project, an initiative to help women in this impoverished country obtain a much needed means of mobilization, improving their quality of life. Greeted with a big turnout, all the bands played amazing sets. The mix of sounds made for a night enjoyed by anyone smart enough to come out.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

When math just won’t add up I still remember the day my father introduced me to irrational numbers. Your garden-variety precocious tot, I latched onto the idea of doing “complex equations” early on because, well, it had the word “complex” in it — and I was eager to boast such knowledge at school, even if boasting invariably meant being shunned by my peers. Up until that day, math and social theory seemed wholly at odds to me. The calculation was very simple: Skipping grade one plus taking math with the grade six class while in grade two equals bullying aplenty during recess. Math scored you points with teachers, but at the loss of a positive social education. However, at the

time I viewed human sociology as entirely illogical while mathematics was surely founded on order and reason two concepts that appealed to me far more. Then I learned about irrational numbers (numbers that cannot be expressed as a over b, where a and b are both integers). I had already, unknowingly been exposed to a few of them, like pi, e, and the square root of two, but I had never dwelled on the lack of a pattern in their decimals. To draw my attention to this, my father drew me a nice, orderly number line and started planting real numbers on it — all good so far. But then he started placing numbers in the broad white space all around the line, going so far as to suggest that pi itself had no place on the actual number line, and my mind reeled. Irrational was right! Absurdities like the square root of negative one suddenly made math just as complicated and disorderly as the real world — a tremendously displeasing concept for a book-smart brat who couldn’t handle the latter.

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that these thoughts were explicitly running through my head at the time, but I liked things to be nice and tidy, and learning that math was no tidier than the world at large was a real downer. Later on, while reading such works as Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power and Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene, while also enduring the curious phenomenon that is high school, a peculiar revelation crept up on me: pi might not be rational, but despite the seeming irrationality of individual human actions, an immense amount of social patterning was going on all around me. And rest assured, there’s a field of sociology — social network theory, to be precise — that especially seizes upon this intersection of data arrays, statistical analysis and social interactions. Social network theory seeks to measure human relationships by viewing individuals or

institutions as distinct nodes, cataloguing their connections as lines between the different nodes and assessing system transfers and network dynamics from the data therein. This kind of math is more observational than deterministic, but when combined with research on the human impulse to make or see patterns everywhere — a practice especially seen in the transformation of day-to-day coincidence into meaningful symbols — the cross-specialization potential is substantial. All grown up, I now realize order and chaos are waging war in most every field of human knowledge — and thankfully so. As far as I’m concerned, that ceaseless conflict is what makes learning so much fun, and the schoolyard beatings, well, almost worth it.


Learning that math was no tidier than the world at large was a real downer.


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Friday, March 16, 2007 Arts Editor: Ashley Csanady Arts Assistant: Andrew Abela

Arts Imprint


courtesy UW Drama

From left to right, Courtney Wilson, Whitney Allen, Wes Rowley, Michael Albert and Julie Kern feature in this new translation of a classic Bertolt Brecht production.

Caucasian Chalk UW hits a bullseye with Circle breaks new ground Drama department production raw, rambunctious and real Duncan Ramsay staff reporter

A Canadian premiere of a classic play, a new translation from German, a cast of 25, and an equal sized crew. Four professional musicians and a completely original score, all mixed in with a unique style of theatre that is still making waves throughout Western theatre. This is UW’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and it’s little wonder that the drama department is so excited. So what is The Caucasian Chalk Circle? The play, written by German playwright Bertolt Brecht, follows the trials and tribulations of a woman named Grusha in post-war Russia, as she receives, raises, and later fights to keep a child named Michael, as all around her Russian society moves and changes, intertwining with her own life in a number of unexpected ways. It’s a interesting story to begin with, but as director Alex Fallis explains, there is much more to Brecht’s writing than just the story. “It’s a play that’s

full of feeling, and full of caring. But it’s also full of questions,” said Fallis. “[Brecht] is very interested in trying to make the social dramatic, so he becomes very good at putting things on stage that normally don’t make it onto the stage, and using those things to tell a certain kind of story.” Where other playwrights might focus exclusively on personal interactions within a scene, Brecht instead uses these interactions to explore the wider social aspect surrounding a scene. In The Caucasian Chalk Circle, for example, Brecht writes a scene in which two characters profess their love for each other, but instead of focusing solely on those two characters, Brecht uses the urgency and tension of the situation to demonstrate the effects of a revolution that is swirling around them. It boils down to a difference in priorities; for Brecht, the most important goal is to provoke his audience to ask questions, to examine rather than to empathize. See PLAY, page 31

Caucasian Chalk Circle Theatre of the Arts

In UW Drama’s production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, the bones show through: there is raw, visceral energy, artifice and spectacle, provocation and vulgarity and emotion, displayed like the dissected remains of conventional performance. It’s theatre with the guts ripped out and hung up as ornament. Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle begins in a tiny hamlet “somewhere in the Caucasus,” (a region in Eurasia) where two opposing groups of villagers vie for control of a prime piece of valley land, and moves into a play-within-a-play about a nation called Grusinia (now Georgia), more than 1,000 years in the past. Here, in the midst of civil unrest, we follow the exploits of Grusha Vachnadze (Whitney Allen), who saves and cares for an abandoned child while on the run from the military. Later, the narrative shifts to follow Azdak (Johnny Trinh), a wise drunk

thrust into the position of judge in the chaotic aftermath of the assassination of the local governor. Ross Manson’s new translation, world-premiering on the UW stage with music by John Millard, lends the language modernity without losing style and transposes the valley-haggling prologue from postWorld War II Europe to a near-future Grand River Valley that is recovering from an environmental disaster. Told through song as much as dialogue, the piece follows in the tradition of Brecht’s epic theatre: theatre that provoke critical analysis from the audience rather than emotional catharsis, designed to generate thought and change rather than feeling. It asks that we make judgments about the action on stage, exercising the mind without being hellishly boring. The UW production is a complex undertaking, featuring nineteen student performers and two young children in over sixty speaking roles and seventy costumes, with a four-piece band composed of local performers, and an enormous post-apocalyptic set.

To date, The Caucasian Chalk Circle is one of UW’s drama department’s largest, most expensive and complicated productions. It is a testament, then, to the cast, crew and Alex Fallis’s direction that the show is seamless, coherent, smart, funny, and never dull. The cast makes it look easy — despite the dozens of transitions, the rapid character transformations, the drastic changes in scene (characters move from a royal palace to a burning city to a frozen glacier and back) and frequently having to burst into song, the cast plays it fast and loose, performing with a confidence and ease that belies the chaos taking place backstage. Indeed, the ensemble is the production’s greatest strength — there is hardly a weak point, and the cast is always engaged with the audience, the action and each other. They are at turns frightening, heartwarming, poignant and hilarious (watch for the soused monk at the end of the first act — it’s hysterical). See REVIEW, page 31



Friday, March 16, 2007

Last Words for Lent

Seven Last Words Timothy Radcliffe OP Burns & Oates

This book is a mix of meditations, personal reflections and views of hope, both personal hope and hope for the human race. Written in a post-9/11 world, this book looks at the cross as a historical reality and a message to each and every generation. Radcliffe, as Prior of the Dominicans, has spent most of the last 10 years traveling the world, and interacting with members of his community and other Christians during his travels brings a unique perspective to these meditations. Each meditation is accompanied by an image of a cross from Radcliffe’s collection. Each has a story about where he received it and how it ties into the meditation. This book begins with a section titled “In the Beginning was the Word” on the word in creation, and the word in the life of the church. How words can hurt or heal. How

words or the lack thereof can bring both life and death. Next, Radcliffe focuses on the 7 last phrases from Jesus on the cross. “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Then his words spoken to the good thief, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43. Followed by the words spoken giving Mary as mother, “Women, Behold your son … Behold your mother.” John 19:26-27. Next is his cry of abandonment, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15:34. Then, “I thirst.” John 19:28 and then, “It is finished” John 19:30. Finally, he cries to God again, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Luke 23:46. Radcliffe focuses on the order of the cries from the cross, the first, fourth, and seventh are to God, and in between he speaks to us. The afterword focuses on the silences, the silence of the grave and the silence of the disciples lost before the resurrection. Then a section on our words. He speaks about violence, and the Christian response to violence, specifically in regards to three different situations: 1. The conquest of the Americas, 2. The Holocaust and 3. 11 September 2001 and how as Christians meditating on the cross we should change our views. If you search the “seven last words’ on, it produces 59 books with the same title or key words, and produces 629 books. So why would a reader want to pick up this one? Because it touches deep into the history of our generation, and our response to the evil in the world. — Steven R. McEvoy

Air Pocket Symphony Toshiba EMI

If this album had been the follow-up to Air’s 1998 debut, Moon Safari, it would’ve been excellent. It would’ve made sense as a logical step towards some sort of universally poignant, intense musical experience. But it has a greater legacy to follow. With Pocket Symphony, Air finally looks back to their previous work for guidance, deciding to drop the most pop-oriented and experimental elements of their latest releases to concentrate on the kind of pensive, near-acoustic electronica that you might listen to while sulking on a misty morning. At first listen, this album sounds cold and unapproachable. Instrumentation is too minimalist and calm to allow inattentive listens. Only three songs appear to distinguish themselves from the mass of strings, piano chords and soft, brooding vocals: the first single, “Once Upon a Time,” the urgent “Napalm Love” and the only remotely upbeat song on the album, “Mer du Japon.” Despite lasting over 50 minutes, it alarming ends without making any lasting impressions. More listens reveal that the music is beautifully

down-tempo, if lacking in hooks. Air’s lyrics, when not written by a guest artist, have always been cryptic, more concerned with sonic wordplay that enables the vocals as an instrument than with telling stories. Generally speaking, this has worked very well for them in past, and here most songs even shed some of the abstraction to convey a clear meaning, but often the lyrics feel incomplete when compared to the downright profound music. It is not difficult to enjoy this music if you commit yourself to, say, six listens to absorb the nuances between the songs. But this is not the right album to acquaint yourself with Air; look to Talkie Walkie for an accessible introduction, or go directly to Moon Safari, the masterpiece. — Kirill Levin

— Andrew Abela

LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver DFA Records

Without any sort of introduction, Sound of Silver starts off with a nice cymbal rhythm which somehow manages to find a perfect place for that weird “ooh” sound each keyboard has. But with a killer debut album and ties to dancepunk label DFA, who needs one? Instead, James Murphy does exactly what everyone wants him to do and

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makes us dance with “Get Innocuous!” He brings a nice altered vocal style to the opening seven minute track, similar to a lot of ‘80s music I’ve heard. “Time to Get Away” reminds us exactly what LCD Soundsystem does best: driving bass and offbeat keyboards. What we didn’t know is that Murphy was capable of belting out breakup poetry with more energy than a beatnik. To add a satirical twist to the album, Murphy complains to us about the “North American scum” that we are in the track by the same name. Contradicting South Park’s suggestion, he tells us “Don’t Blame the Canadians.” A welcome change, because Canada is always blamed? Uh, right. The fifth track “All my Friends,” like others, showcases Murphy’s plethora of vocal styles — and I thought all he could do was that punk-attitude voice. But don’t worry, he’s quick to bring that back in both “Us vs. Them” and “Watch the Tapes” along with more disco drums, bass and synth. In my opinion, Sound of Silver is even better than his two-year old selftitled debut. It succeeds in the same way, though, for LCD Soundsystem’s cowbell and keys could never fail to make me dance.

300 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Tyler Bates Warner Bros. Records

One of the strongest points that Snyder’s film rendition of 300 had was its powerful soundtrack. Boasting heavy percussive cues and a powerful orchestral choir, it also differs from the basic 21st-century epic soundtrack, using collective sounds from a variety of instruments, as well as Persian and Greek-influenced melodies and eerie overdubs. To those who have seen the film it’s easy to hear the tracks retell the stylized legend of the Battle of Thermopylae when played in succession. “To Victory” plays as a strong theme song, expressing the visceral and alluring themes that are to come in the tale. “The Wolf ” makes you feel the intensity that is to come, with bold crescendos from the amazing drum section. “Returns a King” leaves you at the edge of your seat, calling forth impressive vocals, followed again by some of the best low-tone drums I’ve ever heard. And the distorted guitar in “The Hot Gates” is pure, orchestral-metal beauty. One major problem that I have with the album is that the tempo in many of the songs is all over the place. Many of the tracks, such as “Goodbye My Love” and “No Sleep Tonight,” play as if each consists of multiple acts for only a total of a few minutes. To put more simply, the music is very dependent on the film due to the heavy cuts of the songs in-between scenes. 300 is a stylistic gore-fest of extensive proportions, and if any composer was to work on a Frank-Miller-based film, Tyler Bates was a wise, although not perfect, choice. — Peter Trinh


Friday, March 16, 2007


“Don’t Stare So Romantically!”

My dear readers, there is nothing sweeter than being alienated by a piece of theatre. Some things come close; being physically abused by a piece of music, for instance, or sexually harassed by an oil painting. Hell, sometimes I even enjoy being drugged by a decent bit of literature. But going to see a play that denies superficial illusion, that encourages the viewer to be critical and conscious, to participate in the dialectics of the drama; now that is an experience. If you’ve never had the privilege of such a sensation, my friends, you’re in luck. Bertolt Brecht is coming to Waterloo. Indeed, the influential German dramatist who introduced “the Alienation Effect” has been exhumed from his steel coffin in Berlin, reanimated through a complex chemical procedure, and transported across the Atlantic to our fair university where he has been granted an office in the bowels of Modern Languages. Or, the UW Drama Department is staging a production of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle this weekend and next in the Theatre of the Arts. The Arts Snob, for one, welcomes Brecht’s brand of “Epic Theatre” to our humble city with open arms. I’ve had a real craving for some Verfremdungseffekt lately, and it was this

German playwright who gave the movement momentum, consolidating a theatre technique that moulds methods of clear description and commentary around an engaging social/political focus. Essentially, plays like The Caucasian Chalk Circle act to destroy the ‘fourth wall’ which separates the audience from the action; characters are self-reflective, speak to the audience, and are often modeled around archetypes in order to encourage onlookers to discriminate and decide. Brecht believed that art “is not a mirror with which to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” His plays reflect this ideal, working as a venue to educate and challenge the audience. Fighting the complacency bred by illusion, Brecht modeled his plays as “political seminars” during which onlookers are encouraged to develop a critical perspective regarding specific issues. The audience is constantly reminded that what they are witnessing is indeed reality, a consciousness fortified by the use of unnatural stage lighting, speaking out of stage directions, and instances in which actors directly address the crowd. The Caucasian Chalk Circle was written in the 1940s, partially in reaction to the Nazism and Fascism that had enveloped Brecht’s home country. It is thus no surprise that the playwright asks the audience to consider issues of morality in the play, a dialogue accompanied by other discussions on motherhood and usefulness. This inclusion of real and universal themes has ensured the continued relevance of Brecht’s work, and indeed his innovations regarding Epic Theatre

Review: Student actors shine in UW Drama term production Continued from page 29

It’d be difficult for anyone to stand out among the throng, but stand out they do: Allen’s Grusha is complex, immediately amicable and emotionally and intellectually evocative, and the singers (Lynne Craven, Julie Kern, Jessica Rose, Marc Rowley, Michael Albert and, for the first act, Johnny Trinh), who act as narrators and internal monologuists and take on various small roles throughout the show, are wonderfully engaging and a pleasure to hear. It is on these performers that much of the show rests — where there’s slack, they pick it up. Incidentally, we can feel their absence at the beginning of the second act, when we revisit Azdak, and the singers and Grusha take a backseat. Here, the pace stutters briefly — the energy is not quite as crisp, the intentions not quite as clear, the humour not quite as sharp. The scenes read as parenthetical to the action of the piece, but aren’t entertaining enough to warrant the disturbance. However, it is a brief speed bump, and quickly rectified in the final scenes, with the ancient and famous test of the chalk circle, and the return of narrative song. Indeed, the music, directed by Anne-Marie Donovan, is stunning. Neither Broadway musical, nor classic opera, the songs are written in the cabaret tradition and, rather than represent an emotional revelation, serve as narrative, revealing important information about the plot and the characters. It’s complicated stuff; Millard’s composition is like folk

music pulled into the 21st century, and every line of it is entertainingly and skillfully played and sung. Supporting and reinforcing the performances is the beautifully integrated design. Andrew Lakin’s lighting is unobtrusive and evocative, never interfering or distracting from the action while providing moments of quiet poignancy. Jocelyne Sobeski’s costumes are each unique and have a timeless quality, recalling the simple folk traditions of the play while recalling the poverty, brutality and chaos of the world in which the characters live. William Chesney’s set is incredible: a ruined ring of platforms that remind us of the destruction of the world of the Chalk Circle and of the suggested apocalypse, while decentralizing the play, making it about the ensemble and the stage as a whole rather than a specific focal point. And, underneath it all, the bones show through — we are reminded, constantly, that these are actors playing roles, that this is a world of artifice rather than reality, that we are being told a story and that we are being asked to think about it. It’ll turn your mind on, make you examine the morality of the world in which we live, and you’ll have fun doing it. The Caucasian Chalk Circle runs March 15 — 17 and 22 — 24, 2007 at 8:00 pm in the Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building. Tickets are available from the Box Office in Hagey Hall or call (519) 888-4908; $12 general, $10 students or seniors. — Greg Carere

Véronique Lecat

and Audience Alienation have been widely adopted by the modernist and post-modernist movements. The UW performance of Caucasian Chalk Circle marks the first full production of Ross Manson’s translation of the play, and although I am a bit disappointed that director Alex Fallis sought out a Cana-

dian version as opposed to simply employing subtitles (a decision he admits he wrestled with), I am interested in observing how Brecht’s Soviet parable will engage a modern Western audience. In one of his early productions, Brecht put up signs around the theatre reading “Don’t Stare So

Romantically!” Hopefully the UW version of The Caucasian Chalk Circle will be able to slap the audience in the face as effectively as this. There is nothing sweeter, after all, than being pushed around by a piece of theatre. Godspeed.

Play: Director Alex Fallis explains how UW makes Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle their own Continued from page 29

One of the most interesting aspects of the play is its use of music. With almost an hour of songs, music makes up almost half of the play — and yet, like many of Brecht’s other plays, Caucasian Chalk Circle has no standard score. Each production can feature a unique set of songs, greatly changing the nature of the play. The reason for this is a combination of the personal and the political. “Brecht always made sure that his plays were viewed as plays,

and not as musicals, so he always made sure that the composer was playing second fiddle to him,” explained Fallis. “Then there is the problem that, during the ’50s, it was almost impossible to get East German music published in the West because of the Iron Curtain.” UW will be using music written by KW native John Mallard, and his origins shine through in the score. Drawing influences from Mennonite choral music, German and Canadian folk and cosmopolitan culture, the score has definite K-W roots.

Even as he speaks of The Caucasian Chalk Circle’s theatrical importance, Fallis is equally enthused about the play’s accessibility and vitality. “It doesn’t ever feel like stodgy, academic drama,” said Fallis, “It has the life of the people onstage… that’s pretty important to me.” Whatever the result, it will be interesting to see how UW Drama steps up to the challenge of one of their largest and most complex productions yet. — Duncan Ramsay



Friday, March 16, 2007

Shout out out out out rocks with live band techno Andrew Abela assistant arts editor

The night began with what sounded like a jam session with Ian Curtis, David Bowie and a drum machine — but much sadder, and with teenage goths instead. But Norway’s 120 Days became more than that, as they brought us random percussion and rhythmic bass. Their electro-goth had just enough beat to make us move, altogether distracting us from their depressing lyrics, stage presence and costumes. The delayed guitars and keyboard sounds soared around a markedly darker Starlight, while lead singer Adne Meisfjord took the opportunity to dance topless. The highlight of his performance had to have been when he purposely walked into the pretty brunette girl in front, for about five minutes. 120 Days were good, but only as good as a space journey flying high on methadone is. Much like the aforementioned experience, they ended with a rough crash as they awkwardly stumbled offstage. I didn’t let it bring me down too much, as I was quite excited to see the headlining band Shout Out Out Out Out from Edmonton. It’s a well-known fact that they put the sex in dance-rock sextet. I grew even more anxious as the double drum kit began to be set up alongside countless synths, basses and vocoders. I always wanted to know what drove them to use such rhythm-based instruments. Clint Frazier, half of the SOOOO drummers, said that when he joined the band “it just so happened that those interested were the drummers and bass players, so we just ran with it!” After a much more co-ordinated setup, SOOOO finally graced us with their presence. Lead singer Nik Kozub promptly informed us that “This thing we do is dance music so I want to see people getting sweaty and shit!” We all gladly complied as a group dance orgy ensued. The big, white letters onstage that spelled SHOUT lit up like a not so subliminal message telling us to do so. With the first few songs came a much more musical version of the bassist from the film Fubar rocking out on bass and synth. He gave credence to the notion that mustaches make you a better bass player, if it even exists. The robotic vocals were a nice addition to the heavy techno, with lyrics about extreme

Kirsten Marincic

Edmonton band Shout Out Out Out Out dances onstage, while rocking two-drummer dance beats to a full Starlight. debt and feeling down. I wanted to know if, by pairing sad lyrics with upbeat dance music, were they suggesting that we dance away our problems? Clint responded with another question “Why does all dance music that you have to hear all happy and perfect — with fairytale land lyrics?” The question, more rhetorical in nature, lead him to elaborate on his answer with “yes, we do want you to dance your problems away. What else can you do about them?” That is exactly what we did, as more drumand-bass heavy music urged us to dance on. Despite the dehydration and resulting debt from some much needed alcohol, we all managed to dance our troubles away. Then suddenly, out

March 16-22 Breaking and Entering — Princess Twin $6 from Turnkey, Fri-Thur 6:45, 9:15 p.m., Sat-Thur 4:15

of nowhere, cowbell! Finally, the drummer gave in to the request of his T-shirt and played “more cowbell!” Not a minute went by where SOOOO didn’t look like they were having the time of their life. But sadly, all great things must come to an end. The last song of their set contained an ever-changing keyboard part that absorbed our attention and influenced each dance step in the room. The entire audience made the most of their last chance to shake it. SOOOO finished with a syncopated pounding of each of their respective instruments and the token “Thank-you.” If SOOOO made a club full of nerdy indie kids dance well, what else could they

Imprint’s listening to:

March 17 Will Gorlitz paintings, Gordon Hurchens’ Clay — Harbinger Gallery

“Come Together”

March 18 Danny Michel (Solo) — The Jane Bond $10 in advance, doors at 8 p.m., 19+

Van Canto

March 20 UW Gamers: Super Smash Bros. Melee Team Tournament — SLC Great Hall $5 UW students/alumni, $7 Non-UW students, 5-10 p.m.

The Beatles

be capable of ? In addition to giving a name to Canadian dance music other than MSTRKRFT, they also showed that things can still sound perfect when you play your own instruments live. The massive musical arsenal they brought to Starlight was accompanied by a wildly intense performance unlike anything I’ve ever seen. SOOOO are a band that can only be experienced first-hand, for no words can properly describe their greatness. Their optimistic view of life has ultimately inspired me to mope less and dance more, in order to forget about any problems I might have.

March 21 See With My Eyes: Diversity Captured by Youth photo exhibit — A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA March 22 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead — Church Theatre, 1376 King St. N., St. Jacobs $15, 8 p.m.


“St. Elsewhere”

Gnarls Barkley “High is as High Gets”


“Gronlandic Edit”

Of Montreal

March 22 What’s He Building In There? C.D. release party with guests Unexpect and Tugnut — Starlight $7 at the door, doors at 8:30 PM, all ages/licensed March 23 Luke Andrews C.D. release party with guests — The Bombshelter Pub $10 at the door inc. debut C.D., doors at 9 p.m., 19+


Artistic amalgamation colours the Canadian music scene Some particularly ignorant people would say that since I am a film columnist, I am limited by cinematic confines. I disagree. Like others, I’m an advocate for free thought and deny the existence of such discouraging limits. In my mind, art is art. My thorough appreciation of one form does not curb my enthusiasm for another. My interests are not mutually exclusive and, as such, I feel each artistic medium is equally worthy of my attention. I recently learned that I’m not alone on this. By combining multiple forms of expression, such as music and video, artists like Final Fantasy and We Are Wolves are able to communicate their vision in multiple languages at once. I had the nearly orgasmic pleasure of experiencing these two Canadian acts at the Brampton Indie Arts Festival and Canadian Music Week, respectively. They gave true meaning to the word synesthesia and, much like me, know no boundaries in art. Owen Pallet began his performance as Final Fantasy with a quick introduction and an unprecedented setup of an overhead projector — much like the kind we’ve all copied notes off of. I was wholly unprepared for what his silent stage partner was about to show us, though. Probably because the projector is largely underrepresented in mainstream art. She put on beautifully animated sequences of theatre and narrative, making good use of the lens, real layers and light. It was an all too perfect addition to Owen’s misleadingly pretentious violin, keyboard and angry lyrics that complain about his father. Sometimes the scenes told stories completely unrelated to his music, and at other

times she feigned playing his looped keyboard on a projected acetate piano. Instead of being overstimulating, the inventive juxtaposition proved to be more like otherworldly liberation. It was as free as the birds that flew around the theatre, projected everywhere with a mirror. I’ll never look at an overhead projector the same way, now that I have seen its true potential. Although unconventional, Final Fantasy proved that sensations can be gratifying in groups, without overwhelming the audience. We Are Wolves made use of a more typical video screen backdrop at their CMW performance this past Friday at Toronto’s Kool Haus. You shouldn’t let it fool you, though, for their performance was quite unusual. Their high-energy, imaginative form of dance/punk took me soaring high through polygon-shaped clouds of purple and yellow — or something else as creative. The synth player later excitedly described themselves as “Post-modern. We are so post-modern. I am so post-modern.” Their familiar trance/disco/punk sound, atop incongruent frenglish yelling was accompanied by an equally wild film that filled the entire stage backdrop. The screen changed seamlessly yet erratically from one bright high-contrast image or video to the next, as if it had a mind of its own. At one point I even stopped dancing to enjoy a more focused gaze at the gratuitous retro workout video. It periodically switched back to candid renditions of architecture and people — just enough to dilute the sexual nature of pelvic thrusts and jumping jacks. Much like the popular bands Talking Heads, Wire and The Beatles, lead singer Alex Ortiz told me “We all met in CEGEP arts school which is when we began to try out music together. I did sculpting, video and installations.” He even claimed, “I don’t consider myself a musician!” I’d beg to differ. Along with their raw punk sounds, Ortiz took the

opportunity to showcase a collection of videos from his repertoire that night. Every twisted, elaborate image that flashed before my eyes made me wish I had greater artistic insight, so I could make sense of what I perceived. To Ortiz, adding visual dimensions to his music is much simpler. “First I try to do art visually, but it is hard to achieve. It takes time. With music, it’s done fast.” The lazy artist regained my respect, with a quick description of the multilayered complexities within art. “An apple sitting beside a water bottle, to anyone, it could seem like nothing. I move it around, here and there, and stand back. A random artist walks by and says, ‘Fuck that’s great!’” He further proved his point with another image of two contrasting buildings, with nothing but grass and a small tree in between. I suddenly felt a great amount of jealousy for his high school art students in Montreal. For stand-up drummer Antonin Marquis, the job is even easier. “They’re responsible for all the visual parts. I just give my opinion, I’m the lucky one.” As a graduate of film and French literature from Université de Montreal, I’m sure his criticism is quite insightful. I find his style of keeping rhythm especially unique, since nothing says attitude like an upright drummer. Unlike other drummers, what he does “is not about filling anymore, because of the drum machine. It’s more about primal energy.” In addition to transcending art forms, Final Fantasy and We Are Wolves have something else in common: their music is only half of what they have to offer. But We Are Wolves and Final Fantasy are only two examples of artistic amalgamation. These artists are proof that art is thankfully still not segregated, which tells me one thing: restrictions are nothing but an invention of the mind.

Rokk Off rips a new one

Peter Trinh

Last Thursday, UW Gamers held a video game tournament featuring the popular Playstation 2 game, Guitar Hero II. Split into both a “Hard” and “Expert” tournament ladder, there was a lot to be amazed about as competitors battled hard for EB Games Gift Certificates.


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Guilt is colour-blind in this historical film The Last King of Scotland Kevin Macdonald Fox Searchlight Pictures

When I first heard of this movie my knee-jerk reaction was disgust — not because of the monstrous history it was exploring (Idi Amin’s bloody dictatorship in Uganda), but because I chafed at the implication that a “white” character (Idi Amin’s personal physician) needed to be present in a film about Africa in order for North America to identify with the atrocities therein. But after the Oscars acknowledged Forest Whitaker for his role as Idi Amin, the monstrous dictator who slew over 300,000 Ugandans during his time in power, I had a change of heart. Most striking about Whitaker’s win was the category: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.” Not “Supporting Role,” even though the movie is framed by Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (played by James MacEvoy) — specifically, his escape first from a stifling Scottish existence and then from a near-fatal sojourn in Uganda. No, the award was for “Leading Role,” implying that though the movie is presented through the eyes of a “white man,” the real focus was always the development of Idi Amin’s own character. And boy, did Whitaker earn all the awards he received for the role. As Amin he is indeed charismatic, passionate and deadly; watching him transition between calculated joviality and paranoid rage was a chilling, heart-rending ordeal. The chemistry between Garrigan and Amin was also unrelentingly strong; MacEvoy’s acting conveys no moral superiority in the Scottish personal doctor who’s gotten caught up in Amin’s charisma — just


boredom, lust and fear: the triumvirate of human motivators. At just over two hours, the movie feels especially long, but this is in large part because much of the script is just dialogue between Amin and Garrigan, as opposed to an onslaught of dramatic cinematography and high-paced action sequences. To say this movie is devoid of high-intensity situations would be inaccurate, though: there is a lot of sexuality in this film, and even a highly sensual sex scene that made me wonder if MacEvoy actually does his own “stunts;” there is also an attempted carjacking, the murder of prisoners, a hostage situation and scenes of brutal torture. What makes The Last King of Scotland so effective, however, is what the script omits — namely, updates on the mass murder of Ugandans as the atrocities are happening. The audience is instead given such information as Garrigan himself coming to terms with its existence, allowing viewers to experience the same sort of willful ignorance the doctor indulges in so as to pretend his conscience is clean. There’s a powerful speech by Amin to Garrigan near the end, wherein he accuses Garrigan of thinking Africa was a game, one in which he could just come and “play the white man.” In this way, I feel The Last King of Scotland amply comes to terms with its own voyeuristic structure; for most of two hours, the audience is allowed to pretend its own conscience is clean, only to be jogged near the end by the cultural fetishization all viewers indulge in when they watch a movie like this solely to be entertained — and not, as such terrifying historical films require, to be moved. — Margaret Clark

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Friday, March 16, 2007

300 Zach Snyder

300 Zach Snyder

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

On this production night, I ruled the office with an iron (cardboard) sword (tube) of unknowable might. Great swathes of news copy were felled by my editorial might and small army of under a hundred volunteers. Some people go to the movies so they can sit in a café afterwards and discuss the je ne sais quoi of a film. I go to movies so I can envision myself in a new world; a new role as it were. It’s escapism, I know, but it’s good times. Especially when that new world lets you feel what it’s like to face insurmountable odds armed only with a sword, spear, shield and loincloth. 300 follows the story of a rebel king who took an army of 299 Spartans to face off against gazillions of Persians. An epic battle paired by a subplot of Greek politics and love that, to be honest, should be ignored. Director Frank Miller hit the nail on the head when it comes to action, but fell short with the sub-plot and historical accuracy. Despite numerous historical bumbles and a trite sub-plot, 300 makes my list of Movies I Would Watch Over and Over. Although, I urge you to turn part of your brain off to achieve maximum enjoyment. Everything bad about this movie is overshadowed by the sheer brilliance of the action. The idea that the little guy can get by with honour, scrappiness and oiled-up chests is inspiring. The idea of the little guy — the rebel and unlikely victor — putting up such an awesome fight is what makes 300 a great flick. As long as you let yourself get wrapped up in the story, you will walk away from this movie with a renewed vigour. It’s more of an experience than a movie; fully cool in every way. To get all biblical and shit, sometimes life feels like 300. When deformed creatures and 8-foot-tall god kings just won’t leave you alone, think of King Leonidas and his 299 homies. Inspirational, to say the least.

I can forgive 300’s blatant historical inaccuracies, gross oversexualization and exaggeration at every turn — it is the work of Frank Miller after all. After Sin City, you can expect that sort of stuff. But what I didn’t expect and what I can’t forgive is the dialogue. 300’s art direction and cinematography is fantastic. It’s like watching a moving painting, but whenever anybody opens their mouth, the illusion of greatness is instantly dissolved. Like a pair of heavily augmented breasts, 300 looks epic but has no real substance worth appreciating. They tried to hide it behind scantily clad characters and flashy action scenes, but how do you pay attention to choreography when you’re trying to tear your ears off in frustration? Featuring the worst script since National Lampoon’s Golddigger, 300 is a hodge-podge of epic action movie clichés. The sheer frequency of cheesy lines almost prevents you from absorbing them individually. They form an invulnerable phanlanx of stupidity. You won’t seen anything here that you didn’t see done better in Lord of the Rings and Braveheart. The film first inundates you with Spartan nationalism, then contradicts itself towards the end without any reasonable segue. One minute the Spartans are tough as nails and the next they are suddenly sad and saying lines like “my heart breaks for you” in full earnest. Any emotion other than rage seems horribly out of place. There’s no development, but there are more than enough lame speeches. You know, so that we can fully flush out the lack of character. King Leonidas just keep blabbing motivational speech after motivational speech, each somehow more predictable than the last. Anything sexual is pushed just a couple steps past appropriate and due to a complete absence of subtlety or grace, ends up being awkward and, at times, just plain uncomfortable. Unfortunately, with a well-known story like this one, fleshing it out into a full script is a challenging task and clearly nobody rose to it.

— Tim Alamenciak

— Darren Hutz


Friday, March 16, 2007


New offering for PS2 lacks luster

Correction Last week’s issue of Imprint, the book review titled “Dark humour M*A*S*Hed with sentimental tales” was written by Alicia Boers. The graphic portraying scenester fashions that accompanied “The Arts Snob” column was drawn by Phil Isard. Imprint apologizes to these contributors. We regret any confusion these oversights may have caused.

Lumines Plus Playstation 2 $24.99

Two years ago the Sony Playstation Portable was released with much fanfare. The launch of the system brought us Lumines, one of the most original and innovative puzzle titles since the original Tetris. Created by famed Saga designer and founder of Q Entertainment Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Lumines combines addictive puzzle elements with hypnotic music and creates an unforgettable experience. Last week, Lumines Plus, a budget-priced port was released on the Playstation 2. Players who have played the original PSP can skip this title, as Lumines Plus brings nothing new to the table, but new players to the series will find that its addictive nature is worth the price of admission. The premise of Lumines gameplay is simple: blocks made up of different colours fall from the top of the playing field, where players can rotate and arrange the pieces into two by two identical coloured blocks in an attempt to clear the playing field. A horizontal “timeline” at the top of the screen continuously scans across the playing field, wiping out these two by two blocks and creating bigger combo chains. Bonus blocks occasionally appear in the tiles, aiding players by clearing connected blocks of the same colour. Since the number of block arrangements is limited, the core gameplay never gets too difficult. More often than not, players lose because of mental fatigue after playing an hour long on the same board. The main draw of Lumines Plus is still the awesome integration of music, visuals and puzzles.

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Throughout the main challenge mode, the game cycles through different themes, each with their uniquely mesmerizing soundtrack, background animation and block colour scheme. As players drop and clear blocks from the playing field, different motifs and themes are intertwined into the soundtrack, giving players an audio clue as to their performance in the game. Unfortunately, for players who have experienced Lumines on other platforms, Lumines Plus doesn’t offer anything new to the experience.

While this game does contain new themes, it does not add enough to the experience to warrant a second trip. However, players who have yet to play Lumines will find an enjoyable experience in the game. Lumines Plus is just as addictive as any other in the series, and PS2 owners who are willing to give this budget title a try will definitely not leave disappointed. — Harold Li

Friday,March16,2007FinalistintheOntarioCommunityNewspaperAssociationBetterNewspaperAward’sGeneralE vol 29, no 31 Friday, March 16, 2007 Finalist in the Ontario Community Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Award’s G...