Impr int The university of Waterloo’s official student newspaper
Friday, January 30, 2009
imprint . uwaterloo . ca
vol 31, no 24
Nobel Prize-winning biologist Sydney Brenner speaks at UW, and with Imprint — details on page 24
BILLION The federal budget and you Belal Rizvi reporter
Maggie Clark editor-in-chief
aterloo received a special mention in Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty’s federal budget announcement on Tuesday, January 27. The government will be investing $50 million in UW’s Institute of Quantum Computing, already being built in the centre of campus. The money is matched by RIM founder Mike Lazaridis’ own contribution to the project, and as part of the government’s $2 billion promised to “deferred maintenance” at post-secondary institutions across Canada. Academic research also gets a boost from $87.5 million for graduate scholarships, and $3.5 million for new internships in science and business, in keeping with the government’s “science and technology strategy” aimed at stabilizing the economy and driving the country back to a state of growth. In practice, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada expects these figures to amount to 1,000 additional masters’ scholarships, and 500 doctoral scholarships. Still uncertain is whether or not undergraduate students will see any direct federal involvement in alleviating debt and providing more extensive funding. At the very least, a raising of the lowest, tax-free bracket for all Canadians should lighten the financial burden. Students, however, were not as thrilled as President Johnston in interview with the Daily Bulletin, where Feds VP education Andres Fuentes said that the federal budget made little mention of student support programs or programs aimed at enhancing the knowledge that universities provide. Fuentes also noted that infrastructure developments help only in the short run, while education helps the country in the long run.
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Candidates (mostly) aplenty for the Feds 2009 election
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Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org
A season of leaders Candidates and students alike gear up for the Feds 2009 election campaign Duncan Ramsay news editor
Travis Myers staff reporter
ederation of Students election season begins in earnest this week, as nominations for the various positions became final last Friday, January 23. Expect to be approached by campaigners, visited in class by candidates, and at very least accosted by the plethora of campaign posters seemingly covering ever imaginable surface in campus buildings and common areas. The candidates will be racing for the available 34 contested seats in the next two weeks of the sanctioned camapign period, eventually culminating in the vote — three days at the polls, between February 10 to 12, for you, the student, to cast your ballots. The votes will be tallied and the winners will be announced by the elections comittee on February 13. Although the names and faces on the posters in the SLC may not be familliar to many students, information on the various candidates can be found easily enough over the course of the campaign. the candidates for the executive positions (that is, the position of president and the three Vice-Presdidential positions) as well as candidates for the UW senate will have the opportunity to post their platforms on the official Feds election website, vote.feds.ca. Most of these potential leaders and teams will also be launching their own websites to express their platforms, as well as introduce themselves on a more personal level to the student body at large. As with past years, social networking tools such as Facebook also play a role in the electoral process, so although you may not know any of the candidates personally, if you belong to the Waterloo netowrk you may notice electronic campaign materials posted on the profiles of friends. This year has seen the social netowrking tools expand beyond Facebook, as well, with key candidates using YouTube and Twitter to quickly relay information and video to potential voters. The candidate debates, a vital part of the electoral process, will take place over the two-week camapain period. The first debate is to take place on January 28 in the Great Hall of the Student L:ife Center, and is to be seen as an AHS/ Math/Science forum. The debates continue on January 30, with a lunch hour Feds exec debate again in the Great Hall in which present, noncampaigning Feds members will question candidates about various goals and expectations pertaining to their respective Feds aspirations.
This will be followed on February 3 by an EngSoc-sponsored debate, which will be held in the CPH foyer, and concluded with a media forum on Friday, February 6, hosted by Imprint in conjunction with other campus and community media outlets such as mathNews, Iron Warrior, and potentially SoundFM. The media debate will offer audience members in the SLC Great Hall the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates themselves over the lunch hour. Several students have already been acclaimed to various positions — mainly student council seats, but with the notable exception of Chris Neal, who was acclaimed to the position of Vice President Administration and Finance. The VPAF is charged with all the financial aspects of the Feds corporation, including budgets, employee administration and aiding various student groups with financial budgeting. It is unusual for an executive position, which amounts to a year’s employ at a full-time salary, starting May 1, 2009, to be awarded without contest, although the trend began in the 2008 election cycle when current (presently inactive) Feds President Justin Williams was acclaimed, along with VPAF Del Pereira, when both ran uncontested for their respective positions. The number of acclamations accross the board is down this year, and the wide breadth of candidates running for election has meant that in some cases, as many as ten students are running for an single seat, a great improvement overall compared to the candidate showing of the previous year. Currently, Del Pereira (VPAF) is also acting as Feds president, as Justin Williams is running for election in an executive position and so, as per election procedures, has set aside his duties to campaign. At the same time, John Andersen (Feds Researcher) Andrew Falcao (VPIN) and Andres Fuentes (Feds VPED) are also doubling their duties, acting as members of the election committee for the duration. Also on the committee are Matt Poirer (Feds Engineering Student councillor) and Jeff Henry (Chief Returning Officer). For those students interested in politics, as well as their own student government, Imprint will be delivering continued coverage of events, and debates, as well as delivering exclusive interviews through both our weekly publication as well as up-to-date online coverage throughout the durration of the campaign period email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Correction In the January 23 issue of Imprint, we reported that the UW Senate had tabled the matter of Professional Development programming (erroneously titled PDEng, which only refers to the program for the faculty of engineering) becoming a mandatory math faculty co-op requirement until the next Senate meeting. In fact, the motion regarding PD did pass that session. Imprint apologizes for this error.
Feds election candidates continued: (Full student council candidate listings at www.governance.feds.ca/node/66)
Campos, Sarah De Thomasis, Stephen Smith, Dave
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Cass, Devin Farid, Mohamed Iseyemi, Anthony Jayakumar, Abhilash Liu, David Shuang Shah, Jay Tan, Kyla Bering, Edgar Cuscito, Ryan Finistauri, Michael Herbert, Jared Ingersoll, Aaron Jacob, Ajnu Kasper, Ian MacGillivray, David Sellier, William-Henri
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Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
Tiger supporters speak with stomachs
photos by shannon purves
Above: Members of the Waterloo Tamil Students’ Association gather in the SLC to fast for 24 hours in response to renewed clashes between Tamil rebels and Sri Lankan state forces, an event planned in conjunction with an information booth by Students for Palestinian Rights, advocating for sympathy in the latest incarnation of the Middle Eastern conflict. Left: A poster being displayed by WATSA, who are trying to draw attention to what it calls a genocide of Tamils by the Sri Lankan military.
Referendum resurrected Radio Waterloo seeks new $2.50 refundable fee to save station Jamie Damaskinos head reporter
KMS Radio Waterloo, now known as Sound FM, has made the decision to appeal to the student body and Feds for additional funding. After losing the referendum last February, Radio Waterloo has been running on a tight budget after losing its student fee funding in last year’s election referendum. The organization has been forced to streamline their operations significantly in order to remain financially sustainable over the past year. Student volunteers and staff at Radio Waterloo have begun circulating a petition asking for students to support the inclusion of a $2.50 refundable fee dedicated to helping fund the radio station. As it stands now, nothing has been confirmed as to whether or not a referendum will be held on this topic, as Feds still has not provided approval. The official petition asks students, “Do you support an increase in the Federation of Students’ administered fee of $2.50 to support Radio Waterloo, which would be refundable, with the possibility of the Federation of Students withholding the fee if Radio Waterloo does not meet conditions set out by the Federation of Students’ Board of Directors?”
According to SoundFM president Steven Krysak the continued survival of the organization hinges on students’ answer to this question. “This referendum is very important to us,” Krysak said. “We have been surviving on a very limited budget, with very limited resources, and the money that this could bring to our organization is much needed.” Given that Feds has not yet approved the referendum, the only certainty at this point is that it will not be occurring at the same time as the Feds’ election on February 10 to 12. Krysak said the board of directors did not want the vote to get lumped in with the Feds election. “Originally we were planning to go with the general Feds ballot, but we soon realized that it was much more realistic for us to push things back, slow things down a little, and go for a post-reading week referendum, much like what the U-Pass did a few years ago,” Krysak told Imprint. “We have an influx of volunteers and we wanted to get them into the station and settled before heading into a referendum.” Despite the financial circumstances of the organization, Krysak remains optimistic. “We recently celebrated our 30 year anniversary and we are looking forward to serving the campus and community for 30 more.” email@example.com
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
UW to host world’s brightest young computer scientists in 2010
Ryan Webb assistant news editor
ere months after the world’s best winter athletes will converge in and around Vancouver, BC for the XXI Olympic Winter Games, the University of Waterloo plays host to a very different type of Olympiad. UW’s Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing officially announced this past Friday that it will be hosting the 22nd United Nations-sponsored International Olympiad of Informatics in August 2010. The Davis Centre’s Great Hall was filled with members of the university community, local business leaders, and invited guests, as
director of CEMC and director of IOI 2010 Troy Vasiga joined Johnston. Vasiga led UW’s bid to host Canada’s first IOI and convinced the competition’s selection committee that UW would be more than able to “provide enough of the basics” required to host the event. Vasiga is also the director of the Canadian Computing Competition, the national UW-hosted programming competition that selects Canada’s four competitors for the IOI each year. Member of Parliament for the riding of Kitchener-Conestoga and Deputy Government Whip Harold Albrecht praised what will be a gathering of talented and diverse young people as a “fantastic opportunity”
Students will gather for 10 hours of competitive hacking on a network of computers specially constructed for the occasion in the Physical Activities Complex UW President David Johnston led the applause that preceded Friday’s announcement. Dean of mathematics Thomas Coleman and assistant
to promote Canada and the Waterloo region. UW’s president and Coleman were celebratory at the launch event and both shared optimism that IOI
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2010 would help to solidify UW’s reputation as one of the world’s top institutions in the field of computer science. Representatives of the university also expressed hopes that the weeklong event could be used to entice some of the competitors to pursue their post-secondary studies at UW. Johnston felt the event is an “attractive recruitment channel,” while Coleman indicated that the faculty of mathematics hoped to impress the competitors and make “every effort to show them a good time.” David Yach, CTO of Research In Motion, was also on hand to announce that RIM would be the exclusive title sponsor of the 2010 event. According to Yach, RIM is eager to associate its brand with an event that would attract “bright minds” to the community and to its own doorstep. Meanwhile, the faculty of mathematics continues to solicit donations from other potential sponsors by highlighting the competition as a “unique and valuable branding and recruitment opportunity.” Dean Coleman said he expected that corporate sponsors would eventually
cover all of the costs associated with hosting the event. Albrecht indicated he was making efforts to secure funding from channels within the federal government but could offer no firm commitments. The annual IOI is touted as the “world’s premier high school computer programming competition,” and is one of only eight “academic Olympiads” sanctioned by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The organization’s preamble states that its goals are to encourage high school level education in the field of computer science around the world, and to “foster friendly international relationships among computer scientists.” The event is run like typical athletic Olympiads; each country chooses its four IOI finalists through national competitions. Organizers estimate that 250,000 students will compete to represent around 100 nation-states at IOI 2010. The event runs for a full week from August 14 to 21, 2010, with competition occurring on two of those days. Early plans include
hosting the festivities from the Davis Centre, while the students will gather for 10 hours of competitive hacking on a network of computers specially constructed for the occasion in the Physical Activities Complex. Organizers plan to keep participants busy during the rest of the week with scheduled training times and colloquiums hosted by the Faculty of Math and the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. The schedule will not be all business, though; organizers have slotted time for competitors to make excursions to cultural and tourist attractions in the region, including Niagara Falls, Elora Gorge, the Perimeter Institute, CIGI, and the Stratford Festival. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Belal Rizvi reporter
Former Canadian university students plead guilty to terrorism charges
Two Canadians pled guilty to terrorism charges Jan 27, bringing an end to the trials that began in 2006 when three Canadians were caught buying anti-air missiles and Russian AK-47s for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Sahilal Sabaratnam and Thiruthanikan Thanigasalam pled guilty to conspiracy to support a foreign terrorist group and conspiracy to buy missiles. Sathajhan Sarachandran pled guilty to the charges on Jan 26. U.S. attorney Benton Campbell said that this was a major victory as it sent a clear message to terrorist groups that they “cannot use the United States as a source of supply for deadly weapons and technology.” Sabaratnam was a former University of Carleton commerce student who worked the financials of the plan; “Thanigasalam, considered a technical expert, studied applied science at the University of Toronto [and] Sarachandran, who played a logistical role, is a former University of Windsor computer science student.” The U.S. Attorney’s office said that the cell was working under
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
Puttu Aman, the intelligence and procurement chief of the Tamil Tigers. The three were caught in a joint project, Project O-Needle, conducted by the FBI and the RCMP that started when the three made contact with what they believed was an arms dealer but was actually an informant. They were videotaped negotiating the “purchase of 10 Russian SA-18 missiles and 500 AK-47 rifles.” All three of them are now facing a minimum of 25 years up to a maximum of life imprisonment after they admitted to being part of a “Canadian-based arms procurement of the LTTE.” — With files from The National Post Premier announces measures for future university strikes
Premier McGuinty announced that he was considering measures that would better protect post-secondary students during strikes. These measures included an agency that would ensure that both parties were acting and bargaining in good faith, and supervise strike votes and advise the government if the two parties were hopelessly deadlocked. NDP
leader Howard Hampton supports the creation of such a commission. “What you want are mechanisms to move people to the bargaining table,” he said. The announcement came after McGuinty was criticized of his poor handling of the York strike that has so far kept over 50,000 students out of class for over two months. Back-to-work legislation, previously opposed by the NDP, is expected to pass into law today. However, CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan warned the government that if the legislation passed into law that they would challenge it in court. “We know if we pursue that legal avenue, that in all likelihood it will result in the strike being prolonged and students being kept out school,” Ryan said. “We don’t want to go down that road.” Effects of the strike became evident when a confrontation erupted between police and CUPE members at a rally in front of the legislature. Four people have been arrested and one is facing charges for assaulting a police officer. — With files from The Globe and Mail email@example.com
Starting Friday, February 13, Imprint investigates
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Katrina Massey reporter
Heavy fighting breaks out in Sri Lanka
Icelandic prime minister resigns; government falls
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka
Hundreds of civilians are potentially wounded and thousands more are trapped as fighting between the Tamil Tigers separatist group and the Sri Lankan government heightens. The Red Cross has attempted several times to gain access to the war zones in order to evacuate critically injured civilians, on January 27 and 28. But the Tamil Tigers rebels have either denied them access or not allowed them to leave. Other aid supplies have similarly not been allowed in. The Sri Lankan government is predicting a quick end to the 25 year long separatist conflict. This would mark the end of one of Asia’s longest continuing wars. It is estimated that it will take weeks to encircle and eradicate the Tigers, a designated terrorist organisation that is being blamed for all of the civilian casualties. The government is accusing the rebels of using civilians as human shields, fighters or battlefield workers.
On January 26, Prime Minister Geir Haarde of Iceland resigned after months of protests by civilians. Street demonstrations had become a common occurrence since the country’s financial collapse back in October. When nearly 7,000 protesters gathered on January 24, insisting the government step down, Haarde was forced to obey. This had been the largest protest yet, triggered by the failure of the government in restoring confidence in its people since the disaster. Haarde will be remembered as the first head of state to fall as a result of the global economic crisis, but will remain in interim until a new government can be successfully formed. Iceland had been considered a fairly prosperous country up to its abrupt fall in October of 2008, when the country’s currency, stock market and many major banks collapsed. This caused their stock market to be brought to a halt for a week and inflation to spike over 12 per cent. Commerce minister Bjorgvin Sigurdsson also resigned on January 25, and requested that the entire cabinet do the same. Political leaders were this past weekend discussing the details of how a coalition government would be formed. The International Monetary Fund has pledged $827 million to be directed towards Iceland’s economy immediately, with an addition of another $1.3 billion in the future. The governments of Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden have also pledged to lend Iceland $2.5 billion in order to help them cope. — With files from Reuters and CNN
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“The government is accusing the rebels of using civilians as human shields, fighters or battlefield workers.” Sri Lankan defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella is currently denying reports of a humanitarian crisis and civilian death tolls, as no official figures have been released from the military. “How can international organisations identify those injured as civilians? Anybody who throws away their weapons becomes a civilian,” he stated. The Red Cross has claimed that as many as a quarter million civilians are trapped in the fighting, including 50 injured children. — With files from BBC and Reuters firstname.lastname@example.org
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Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009 email@example.com
Community editorials and Imprint Friday, January 30, 2009 Vol. 31, No. 24 Student Life Centre, Room 1116 University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 P: 519.888.4048 F: 519.884.7800 http://imprint.uwaterloo.ca Editor-in-chief, Maggie Clark firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising & Production Manager, Laurie Tigert-Dumas email@example.com General Manager, Catherine Bolger firstname.lastname@example.org Ad Assistant, vacant Sales Assisstant, Abbus Abdulali Systems Admin. Dan Agar Distribution, vacant, Sherif Soliman Interns, Brandon Rampelt Board of Directors email@example.com President, Sherif Soliman firstname.lastname@example.org Vice-president, Vacant email@example.com Treasurer, Lu Jiang firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary, Vanessa Pinelli email@example.com Staff liaison, Peter Trinh firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Staff Assistant Editor, Dinh Nguyen Head Reporter, James Damaskinos Lead Proofreader, Alicia Boers Cover Editor, Veronika Zaretsky News Editor, Duncan Ramsay News Assistant, Ryan Webb Opinion Editor, Adrienne Raw Opinion Assistant, Christine Nanteza Features Editor, Vacant Features Assistant, Vacant Arts & Entertainment Editor, Tina Ironstone Arts & Entertainment Assistant, Vacant Science & Tech Editor, Vacant Science & Tech Assistant, Rajul Saleh Sports & Living Editor, Caitlin McIntyre Sports & Living Assistant, Vacant Photo Editor, Amy LeBlanc Photo Assistant, Shannon Purves Graphics Editor, Vacant Graphics Assistant, Vacant Web Administrator, Vacant Systems Administrator, Mohammad Jangda Production Staff Paul Collier, Rosalind Gunn, Peter Trinh, Katrina Massey Graphics Team Armel Chesnai 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 staff meeting: Monday, February 2 12:30 p.m. Next board of directors meeting: TBA
The second life of words on the page
will begin by saying that the Imprint office was split down the middle on the printing of a community editorial by Tom Levesque last week, entitled “Israel Not Hawkish Enough With Gaza Policy.” Some section editors and proofreaders were very uncomfortable with its placement in the paper; others found the opinions extreme but recalled Voltaire in deciding their stance on its inclusion. I myself, as a humanist, find the example Levesque uses to highlight civilian responsibility extremely ugly — but the buck stops with me, and I printed it. Here’s why. On Monday, August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, by order of U.S. president Harry Truman. On Thursday, August 9, Nagasaki suffered a similar fate. 220,000 people were dead by the end of 1945 from those two incidents alone, with thousands more to die of radiation poisoning in the years to follow. These attacks occurred after 67 Japanese cities had already been fire-bombed, incurring their own casualty rates of 500,000 dead and five million displaced Japanese. In any book about World War II — or in any history classroom — you can find deliberations about these events, and particularly the world’s introduction to a nuclear age. Arguments against the bombings are self-evident: There is no excuse for the murder of so many civilians. No person with any measure of compassion can say that so many innocents deserved to die, whatever the political benefit such actions yielded. And yet, in our cultural and academic discourse, you will hear justifications presented for these attacks. You will hear that the bombings were carried out in the best interests of ending the Pacific War of WWII; that the U.S. needed to exert nuclear dominance before Soviet Russia exerted its own in the world; and further, that the murder of some three quarters of a million Japanese in their home cities was necessary to prevent much greater death totals in the long run.
This newspaper is yours, and accountable to you: As such, you will always be given the last word. These arguments, much as they should sicken any humanist to hear, are legitimate points for discussion in our society. Some would argue it is not for us to “play god,” deliberating over the different sum totals of human loss that any situation can accrue — and yet any of us could find ourselves in a position where we have to choose — not between doing harm and not doing harm, but between doing harm and doing less harm. What makes the difference here is only the magnitude of the decision: The horrific act of making choices that may destroy lives is, at least in our present, broken world, nevertheless a part of the human experience. Enter Levesque’s community editorial. My initial response to this piece was of horror — how can it not be, when someone is so clearly making an argument that uses, as its extreme example, the killing of civilians? Beyond this, I am personally, strenuously of the belief that there are no winners in the Middle East, and no “right side:” only the losers — the civilians of Israel and the Gaza Strip, who have both endured a great deal under the governments of Israel and Hamas. Moreover, I have to acknowledge my privilege here: I have not lost anyone in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have not lost anyone immediate to my life in any contemporary world conflict. My closest link to that measure of strife lies in films like Paradise Now and Waltz with Bashir. I know my personal experiences cannot even begin to compare to the spectres of war so many on this planet face every day. And it is perhaps this privilege, too, which allowed me to read the editorial a second time. I am not going to defend every word: the last sentence is of a frivolous, baiting nature, neither substantial enough to change my decision, nor with merit on its own. As the final eyes on Imprint’s copy, this was my responsibility to catch, and I did not. But what of the rest of it? One of the many angry responses Levesque’s piece provoked had this to say about its inclusion: “Even though you allow freedom of speech this qualifies as hate speech because anything neutral or within normal ‘free speech’ bounds would not create such a stir.” What a powerful, and dangerous, statement. Of course, the majority of us should know that the quality of free speech is measured not by how free we are to say what is uncontroversial, but by how free we are to say what is. This is a right regularly tested in recent years — by responses to the publication of Danish cartoons depicting Mohammad, to attacks on a Maclean’s
article accused of Islamaphobia and taken to various provincial and national human rights councils, and most recently by the staggering UN ban on the defamation of religion, which for the first time encourages the protection (of unknowable magnitude and ramification) of religious institutions from language-based attack, and not — as most all other UN legislation strives for — of individuals facing oppression. But it is also a right with limits: and that limit, in Canada, lies with hate speech. It’s what allows us to condemn and censor people who argue for the suppression or destruction of other peoples on the basis of race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, sex, disability, age, and a variety of similar factors that might segregate one group from the rest of the population. This is a proud law, one which protects against injury, but not (when properly upheld beside the freedom of speech) against offence. So here is where the deliberation comes into play. Is Levesque’s editorial tantamount to hate speech? This was the question my office asked itself last week; this is the question I asked myself last week. I loathe with every fibre in my being the example Levesque offers, of one rocket attack from Gaza equaling one round of bombing in the vicinity of the launch site, regardless of whether or not the launch site is in a civilian zone, in order to provide incentive for civilians to fight Hamas from within, and bring their government down. But if this is not hate speech — if this is, in fact, an argument about something different: dehumanized, yes, but in keeping with our culture’s regular debates on the pros and cons of the bombing of Hiroshima, and such that I could posit similar situations with different combative elements and feel no less comfortable with my decision — then to deny publication of it would be censorship on the basis of possible controversy, and my personal opposition to the viewpoint, alone. Clearly there are a great many people who disagree with this decision — and I mention them first because this perception of hate speech absolutely has very real consequences, and understandably, if it makes members of the community feel unsafe. Though I know the article is not hate speech, if any piece in Imprint makes members of the community feel threatened in this way, that amounts to a real issue meriting reparation. To that end — and again, before I explain my own decision-making process — please direct your attention to the full-page letters to the editor section, as well as the greatly-appreciated community editorial from Students for Palestinian Rights. This newspaper is yours, and accountable to you: As such, you will always be given the last word. I know in recent days this piece has been given a second life in emails that select certain lines in isolation, and in so doing give the representation of hate speech: this is an experience and use of the text that I hope will never deter you from writing in and speaking your mind (and the outpouring of response we’ve received over the course of this week gives me to feel it has not). Despite this second life of that selected text, there is, at the end of the day, ultimately the original piece itself. Specifically, Levesque makes an argument about civilian responsibility — a theme that has a great deal of precedent, arising even against North America, in discourse around 9/11 being partly justified by U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East — and in making this argument — regardless of his baiting tone, regardless of the extremism of the tactic he offers up, regardless even of the Western arrogance of such a commandment (civilians, heal thyselves!) — he does something very crucial to the differentiation between contentious opinion and unmitigated hate speech: Far from just saying Israel should bomb the Gaza Strip into oblivion, Levesque proposed heightened Israeli response to rocket attacks to challenge the Palestinian civilian community to rally itself and fight from within. Yes, Levesque is pro-Israel. Yes, he believes Israel’s success against terrorism is the only way to peace in the region. But his underlying argument, for all the severity of his approach, is absolutely one of civilian empowerment — not the destruction of a race. This is the difference between hate speech and contentious opinion; and that difference is why a humanist must sometimes come to support the expression of beliefs so radically in opposition to her own. I will not do people in this community who have lost family in the Middle East, who have lived in the Middle East, or who know people who have lost people in the Middle East the disservice of asking them to read the piece again, in full, with this argument in mind: For these people, and those allied with them, there already exists an experience of the text that upsets and offends, and I cannot expect that to change. I will only say again how grateful I am to see so many people stand up against opinions of Levesque’s extreme, and how proud I am to be able to showcase these opinions in the following pages. Thank the heavens we live in a community where words alone are needed, and exercised, to combat other words.
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
Community Editorial One day, there can be peace Derek Kraan students for palestinian rights
ince December 27, the Israel Defense Forces have been engaged in war against the defenceless inhabitants of the Gaza strip. 4,000 homes have been completely destroyed, another 20,000 severely damaged. The civilian toll in this conflict has been great. Of the more than 1,300 Palestinians who have lost their lives, just over half of these were innocent civilians. More than 50,000 are now homeless and 400,000 are without running water. Debate over the war has focused on the question of proportionality. Given the relatively low number of deaths on the Israeli side, was the war justified? The Israeli counterquestion to this is: “Should we do nothing?” No, Israel should not do nothing, but there is a third option: come back to the negotiation table with the intent of addressing the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people. This conflict is not a recent one. As Alex Kaldor pointed out two weeks ago in Imprint, 8,700 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since 2001, causing many civilian deaths, hundreds of injuries, and widespread property damage in Israel. These deaths are senseless, and the sheer volume of rockets leaving Gaza holds the populations of Sderot and Ashqelon in constant terror. Palestinians too experience terror on a daily basis, but at the hands of Israel. Palestinian civilian deaths in the occupied territories have been great, and have outpaced Israeli civilian deaths by a factor of four. The conflict escalated in 1967 when Gaza and the West Bank were occupied in a war against the surrounding Arab states of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Since 1967, Israel has sought to create a matrix of control in the West Bank which includes but is not limited to arbitrary house demolitions, massive expropriation of Palestinian land, economic suffocation, limitation of movement within and without the Palestinian occupied territories,
imposition of arbitrary curfews on the local population, illegal settlements which have “no legal validity” (UN Security Council Resolutions 446, 452, 465, and 471), and the carving up of the West Bank into bantustans by roads linking the settlements together. According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, these policies as well as others result in “the debilitating psychological costs of life under occupation: loss of life, imprisonment, torture, harassment, humiliation, anger and frustration, as well as traumas suffered by tens of thousands of Palestinians (especially children) who witnessed their homes being demolished, saw their loved ones beaten and humiliated, suffered from inadequate housing, and who lost opportunities to actualize their life potentials.” It should surprise no one that a Palestinian resistance movement has evolved out of the conflict. Hamas itself is a product of the 60-year-old occupation and Israeli support of religious competitors to the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Media reports routinely fail to mention the occupation and oppression of Palestinians and by doing so frame Palestinian aggression as irrational and unprovoked. It follows that force is entirely justified as a country cannot be allowed to bomb another with impunity. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City recently likened Hamas to a crazy man at your door who is trying to break in and kill you. The question he asked was whether the police should send over one police officer, using proportional force, or an entire squad to take the guy out. The ever-prescient Jon Stewart pointed out that the relevant question here is not of proportionality of force, but whether the man was motivated by an irrational hatred of you, or whether you made him crazy by forcing him to live in the hallway and go through checkpoints every time he needed to take a shit. There is an important distinction to be made here. If the crazy man at your door has an irrational hatred for you, then sending over an entire squad is arguably justified. If on the other hand he has legitimate grievances
and his anger is a response to your oppression, then there is another option. Hamas, it is said, cannot be trusted, and it is pointless to call for another ceasefire. Thus, military intervention is the only option. Here we see arguments for war beginning to fall apart. The Palestinian people are not driven by senseless rage against Israel. They have been driven crazy by being forced to live in an open air prison and go through checkpoints every time they need to cross the road. Israeli peace activists know that the only solution to peace in the Holy Land is to address the Palestinians’ legitimate grievances. The solution is not to continue expanding settlements, building roads, demolishing houses, and waging war on an embattled population. Rather, Israel must find the will to come back to the negotiating table ready to make real concessions and honest offers. This means giving up control of strategic resources in the West Bank. It means dismantling the network of settlements throughout. It means giving Palestinians control over their own borders, their own airspace, and sovereignty over their own land and water resources. It means self-determination. The recent peace process in Ireland serves as a useful example. The conflict there was a century old, and the peace process had several false starts, but the message to terrorist organizations such as the IRA was clear: you may join the peace process if and when you cease using terror as a means to your ends. More than 10 years later, in 2006, the Provisional IRA finally surrendered their weapons and turned to peaceful means to achieve their goals. This is the vision we have for the Holy Land, and the blueprint for lasting peace. We believe that sustainable, long-term peace can be had, but only by addressing the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people. Israelis and Palestinians may be mistrusting of one another today, but given enough time, and a proper peace process, it is clear that Israel and Palestine can one day live in peace. Armel Chesnai
Unapologetically biased and gleefully Naive Paul MacKinnon respondent
am both appalled and astounded that such an ignorant view of the conflict in Gaza could be printed in our university’s newspaper. Not only does Tom Levesque (Imprint, January 23, 2008) take an unapologetically biased view but he shows a disturbing ability to intermingle racism, cruelty, and gleeful naiveté. I would like to state that I am not aligned with either the Israeli or Palestinian people. My letter is not born out of loyalty to either side, but disgust that anyone could be so cavalier about murder and destruction, and see the conflict in Gaza as nothing more than an exciting game of Risk or Battleship. The entire article is flawed by a false assumption. Israel is not a peaceful nation responding in pure self-defence. The author called the Hamas rocket attacks an unequivocal act of war. Fair enough. They are deadly weapons that are intended to take human lives. But what would the author call a military occupation that forcibly
removes people from their homes, seizes their assets, murders them with impunity, and denies them basic human rights such as voting and freedom of movement? Comparing Israel’s act of war with Palestine’s is like saying a bruised and battered wife deserved what she got for talking back to her husband. And that is completely disregarding the unseen acts of war that Israel perpetrates every day: denying Palestinians food, fuel, scarce water resources, and the right to do everyday things such as drive on a new highway or be outside after dark. Palestinians in Gaza are slowly being choked, and as more and more settlers occupy Palestinian lands, the situation will only get worse. These acts of war are just as deadly as rocket attacks, even though they are less overt. But to follow Levesque’s argument, controlling, starving and offhandedly murdering an entire population is nothing compared to rocket attacks that have killed less than 10 people. There is no good or evil here. Hamas denies that Israel has a right to exist, a view that I — as well as most of the Western world — vehemently
disagree with. Both sides are being affected, have a right to defend themselves, and are inciting further conflict. But Levesque’s notion that Israel has the right to respond to rocket attacks with large-scale bombing is like saying that every Israeli life is worth 200 Palestinian ones. The belief that some lives are worth more than others is what fueled the Holocaust, the Rwandan Massacre, the Khmer Rouge, Saddam Hussein’s gassing of Iraqi Kurds, and the extermination of the Armenians, to name a few. Congratulations, Mr. Levesque; you are surrounded by illustrious company. I also find Levesque’s “ground-breaking” notion that Israel should punish the neighbours of Hamas rocket launchers absurd and morally repugnant. It’s nice to see that he has taken a cue from National Socialism, which used collective punishment to terrifying degrees. It is also one of the most naive ideas I have heard in a long time: let’s get the co-operation of normal Palestinian folk by unleashing a campaign of indiscriminate murder. That would never make an already marginalized population even more violent and extreme. They would respond like
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dogs that get their noses smacked when they drink out of the toilet bowl — lesson learned, no harm, no foul. Why doesn’t Levesque apply his revolutionary idea to the Israeli side? Should all Israelis be held accountable for their government’s actions? They routinely elect leaders that disregard international law and commit war crimes. Based on the tenets of collective punishment, there should be 7.1 million Israelis on their way to the Hague. This is a complicated situation involving real people, not mobs and avatars. Simplistic, barbaric, and one-sided solutions such as Levesque’s will only escalate the violence. Levesque should be ashamed that he is not more informed about the situation and that he is an advocate of indiscriminate murder, and Imprint should be ashamed of publishing his trash. I know that I am ashamed — ashamed that my university’s official student newspaper is not more discerning in what they print, and that the level of discourse has been set so regretfully low.
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Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
Letters “Israel not hawkish enough with Gaza policy” Wow, Tom Levesque. In your editorial, “Israel Not Hawkish Enough with Gaza Policy,” you essentially dehumanize all Gazans by saying that they’re the ones who elected Hamas. What would you say to a Kandahari killing all Canadians he can find? Do you really want to justify Israel’s actions in this manner? Does that not lead to the logical conclusion that in a war with another country, any citizen of that country, even say a person who purports to be a peace envoy from that country, is essentially fair game to be killed? It appalls me to be a member of a university which lets such acrimonious dehumanizing comments be published in its student newspaper. Furthermore, you say that when Gazans attack Israel, they are firing rockets into a sovereign country. They are not...they are firing rockets into a separate part of a country that they belong to. The Gaza Strip is not a sovereign country as even Israel does not recognize it as such. It is a part of Israel and as such it is a paradoxical statement to say that rockets are being fired into a sovereign country. There are no rockets flying in from Jordan or Egypt. You might say that Israel rightfully occupied the regions following a war — and thus can do with its lands whatever it wants. I completely agree with you, but they should have done the right thing right after the war and either declared all residents of those lands full citizens or forced them to vacate the lands there and then. That is Israel’s fatal mistake. Oh and Levesque, yeah your mile-radius around launcher location strategy works as an effective way to create internal pressure among Gazans to get rid of Hamas. But seriously, think of the last few years from a Gazan perspective: exactly three years ago, to this past Sunday, you elected a party that promised a cleaner government and effective governance to replace an atrophying party that was corrupt to the core. Western governments, for some obscure reason, refuse to recognize the democraticallyelected government and cripple its funding. Israel follows suit by denying the remit of legitimate revenues that it would have been collected for the political party that lost the election due to its own corruption and nepotism. The democratically-elected political party tries to arrange for your people’s survival through theoretically illegal but completely legitimate actions given the scenario the populace faces. All of a sudden, near the third anniversary of Hamas’ effective, popular, and productive rule, a hail of fire descends killing many. Intense biological weapons, such as cholera, diphtheria, and malaria are allowed room to breed and cripple. Health services are crippled and all former vestiges of civilization are stripped. All because you exercised your right to vote out a corrupt government. Ammar Naseer Mathematics
or within normal “free speech” bounds would not create such a stir. You are probably getting a lot of different emails about this, and we do not want personal email apologies, we want a public one in Imprint. This apology must get the same attention as the messages of hate. There should also be a chance to write an article with a counter argument. If you expect to still have a reputation for being neutral, you cannot allow this article to be the last word. It’s a very big disappointment to many students to see the university newspaper take such a biased stand; we are hoping you will help change our minds back. Elle S. I am appalled that Imprint would actively participate in the dissemination of such nefarious views. I would have to think long and hard to remember a piece as radical and unbalanced as this, even from the most blatantly partisan of sources. Perhaps those who are supposed to edit this newspaper do not understand the illegitimacy of the policies being endorsed. Not only is the targeting of civilians specifically prohibited under international law, it is intuitively morally reprehensible and part of a much larger strategy to absolve the fourth largest military in the world of any sort of responsibility and obscure the facts in this complex situation. The simple fact of the matter is this: the Palestinian people live in abject poverty in ghettos which are being constructed in much the same manner as those in Europe during the Nazis reign of terror. Every aspect of their existence is dictated by the Israeli Defence Forces including: movement within their own constantly shrinking territories, access to basic resources, construction of homes, and other basic human necessities. Unfortunately when an entire population is as subjugated as the Palestinians, the only way for them to maintain whatever dignity they have left is through resistance. Even more unfortunate is that we are only told of this resistance when it becomes violent. The picture being painted belies the truth of the matter being that most of the people in this region want peace. I have come to realize that the mass media in North America does a pitiful job of informing the masses of the complexities and reality of the current situation in Israel and the occupied territories. However, I am surprised that a publication which is supposed to be representative of an educational institution would be so poorly equipped and educated that it allows this sort of blatant propaganda to be published. I would have thought Imprint’s relatively independent status was supposed to compensate for the inequities of the North American media, not amplify them. The fundamental question which must be asked is: How are the Palestinian people responsible for
What kind of prestigious, reputable university would let something this blatantly anti-Palestinian and proIsraeli into a newspaper read by thousands on campus?
— Elle S.
This just in at the University of Waterloo: the on-campus newspaper set out to allow students to freely express themselves have let fascist statements and an anti-Palestinian pro-ethnic cleansing article into our midst. The article states that the main goal of the war is that Israel wins and “peace” is restored, and the author goes as far as asking Olmert for a job in his military. What kind of prestigious reputable university would let something like this into a newspaper read by thousands on campus? By publishing something like this you are giving students a solid ground to assume you yourself share the same beliefs, and I am positive that Imprint would much rather remain neutral. The fact that this is a “community editorial” does not change the underlying message of hate and corruption, and the desire to kill innocent civilians even the ones that aren’t pro-Hamas, as if the conditions they are currently live in are some sort of privilege. Even though you allow freedom of speech this qualifies as hate speech because anything neutral
both the rockets being fired from their territory, and the artillery shells, cluster bombs, and F-16s which attack them from Israel? I suggest to you that this piece would never have been published (and rightly so) if it were written from a Palestinian perspective calling for attacks on innocent Israeli civilians. I urge those who view this article as appropriate to not only examine the logic being applied, but to become educated by a variety of sources (not only from the Israeli apologist perspective) so as to prevent this sort of partisan nonsense from being printed in the first place. Clearly the author even acknowledges the truth: “Either the policy will polarize all of Gaza against Israel, in which case Israel would have a more defined enemy to fight and defeat.” Not only does this speak to the true source of resistance, but it also begs the question: Why would you actively seek to make enemies for yourself? The truth will set you free. Andrew Kraan
In the four years, going on five, that I have spent at UW and in the K-W area, I find myself writing to you for the very first time. However, this unfortunately is not coming to congratulate but rather to express my extreme disappointment in Imprint at this moment. The reason for my disappointment can be found in the latest issue of your paper, an article titled, “Israel not hawkish enough with Gaza policy,” written by Tom Levesque. Now, before I say why I feel what I feel about the article, let me first state that I write this letter on my own behalf, and that I do not represent any group of people, either at UW or in the wider K-W
Arts I know that in an open, secular society freedom of speech is an elementary human right. But there is a line that must not be crossed. The recent printing of an editorial where the mass murder of civilians in Gaza was justified, has probably offended more people than it has pleased. And if it has pleased more people, then we live in a sick world today. I would like to see how much the right to freedom of speech would be exercised in the event where something about the Holocaust is said or written. In the past, professors have been sacked for doing just that. I hope we agree that there is a line that must not be crossed. It is in
In my opinion, Mr. Levesque’s piece was biased, misinformed, and against every human rights declaration ever written.
— Rowland Robinson
community. In my opinion, and this is my opinion only, the article came close to inciting genocide against Palestinian people — which as I am sure you are all aware of is a violation of Canadian law — and at the very least it is apologetic for war crimes. In particular I take offence to the part of the article which states “Israel should discontinue its policy of distinguishing between civilians and Hamas. Not only do these civilians do little to discourage the rocket fire, but they’re also the ones who democratically elected Hamas.” For me, this would be the same as saying “[America] should discontinue its policy of distinguishing between civilians and the [Canadian Forces]. Not only do these civilians do little to discourage [attacks], but they’re also the ones who democratically elected [the Canadian government].” After the horrors rained down in the form of bombs on the people of Germany and Japan during WW II, the people of Hanoi during the Viet Nam War, and other instances of mass carpet bombing of civilian populations because they live in the same area as the military targets, people the world over decried these actions as war crimes, and to see Imprint publish an article which is advocating for the exact same policies — no matter how you try to spin it — is frankly sickening. I am not immune to the suffering terrorism causes. I had a close cousin murdered by the FARC-EP in Colombia, and I am British and have lived through the troubles. I also lost a cousin to the Bali bombing, so I think I can safely say that I know the pain that terrorism causes, and I do not agree at all with the views of writer. It would be like me trying to justify the British government carpet bombing Dublin and Belfast due to the electoral success of Sinn Fein in the north and south of Ireland. As I would assume that if I were to write such an article that it would be rejected, I am simply shocked that you would let Mr. Levesque’s article through. In my opinion, Mr. Levesque’s piece was biased, misinformed, and against every human rights declaration ever written. If we allow ourselves to stoop to the level of his views then what have we become? If we respond to death with more death, then all we do is continue a vicious cycle that can only be broken one of two ways: peace, or annihilation. I think we can tell where were Mr. Levesque’s opinion’s would take us. The slaughter of civilians — because that is what it is — is never the right thing to do, no matter how noble one’s goals, because if peace must come at the extent of human lives than it can never be called true peace. So in closing, what do I hope to see come out of this? Ideally, I would like to see Imprint issue a printed apology for allowing his article, which is essentially hate speech as far as I am concerned, to be published, combined with perhaps the chance for the other side of the issue to be shown, in a calm and concise manner that does not call for the mass death of innocent peoples. Rowland Robinson
the interests of society in general that there are no double standards when it comes to that line. Loss of human life is loss of human life. There are some views that just should not be made public simply because they’re insane and instigating in nature. Because after the murder of over 1,000 people, if people still think that it was justified... I hope you realize that we, here in Canada, give more rights to animals than the Israelis do to do the Palestinians. That is shameful and offensive. Syed Mahir Fasih If you read Imprint last week, a certain editorial may have caught your eye. It discussed the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. The article was certainly pro-Israeli, and there is nothing wrong with that; however, there is plenty wrong with the article. In a truly disgusting cry for more bloodshed, the author says “Israel should discontinue its policy of distinguishing between civilians and Hamas,” and even shamelessly suggests that Israel’s policy towards Palestine should be to “bomb a square mile area around every launch site detected.” His justification for murdering Palestinian civilians is nothing more than the fact that the Palestinian people voted for Hamas, and this apparently qualifies the civilians as acceptable targets for rocket attacks. In the past, there had been people who have been condemned for making similar comments about Israeli civilians; one of them was UW Prof. Mohamed Elmasry, who was condemned for his comments. Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t agree with Dr. Elmasry, and unlike the author of the article mentioned, I do not agree with the targeting of civilians, no matter what government they support. I always say that we cannot judge anyone unless we have walked a mile in their shoes. We cannot judge the way Israeli citizens think until we have run to the shelters in fear of Hamas rockets like they have. And we cannot judge the Palestinian people for the way they think until we know what it feels like to have our brothers die in our arms while waiting for an ambulance that’s not coming, or to go back home after the war to find a pile of rubble instead. I weep for the deaths of civilians from both sides of the conflict; however, my sympathies are as proportional as the Israeli rocket attacks on Gaza. Levesque’s article is not the kind of talk that we need now, and it is certainly not the kind of talk that brings peace: Levesque’s ideology is of the kind that fuels wars. After the end of a three-week war that caused death and chaos for the people of Palestine and Israel, it appears there are still some people who call for more civilian blood to be shed, and that is why I weep. Bara Abuthwabeh Third year arts
Letters Continued from page 9
“Either way, Israel wins and peace is restored.” I found that statement quite interesting as I was reading several articles on how the military strength of Israel weakened and Hamas’ resistance strengthened. Throughout this 23 day so-called war, there were views from around the globe, either pro-Palestine or pro-Israel. The point of view that this respondent is trying to convey has been already established by Israel since day one. The war is not really against Hamas; it it is against the resistance instilled in every Palestinian. However, resistance definitely has no equation and no artillery will ever equate it to ground zero. In Gaza, citizens do not have much besides the rubbles of their homes, maybe a couple of their family members, and that strong force of resistance within them; and you want them to wipe that away from their lives? What I also do not understand is the ideology behind Israel. It is constantly threatening Hamas because of the home-made bottle rockets Hamas fighters construct and yet its own tanks, warplanes, and Navy, to say nothing of its illegal use of certain chemicals, are without comparison in the Gaza strip. Is this not proportionate? A square-mile area around every launch site detected has already been established as well. The issue of the
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
two UN schools both struck down on the same day raised controversies. Israel claims that it has seen militants firing rockets from the school, and yet, the UN officials were 99.9 per cent sure that no one fired rockets. Consequently, the civilians takes the blame, just like with every other attack. Let us get away from the “war” perspective and turn to the borders. Gaza has two borders, one lined with Israel and the other with Egypt. Either one refused to allow anything inside. Tons of aid, from blankets to food to emergency supplies for hospitals were not allowed in. Is this collective punishment towards the civilians for holding on to the one thing they have left in their lives? Several aid workers have been injured and many trucks waiting for that day where the gates will finally unlock and the flood of humanity will seep in through the walls of misery. Unfortunately, we have not even seen the worst of Gaza because, for two months, foreign reporters were not allowed an entrance to the warzone. Why? Perhaps to block the truth from escaping; however, they were not all that successful. Reporters from previous times were there and luckily were present around the time of December 27, the initial day. Besides all of this, many still see the Palestinians as the oppressors. By supporting them, we are “scarcely different from the men firing the
rockets.” So, by supporting Israel, you are scarcely different from the men using the white phosphorous, the depleted uranium, the tanks that turned homes into places of dirt, the rockets that were fired from planes that crumbled schools, clinics, mosques and hospitals and the soldiers who stood at the lines, preventing food from getting to the starved and medications from getting to the needy. Is the blame yet to be put on Hamas, when the first rockets have been launched by Israel? “The elections were completely honest, completely fair,” the former U.S. President Jimmy Carter stated at the presidential elections in Gaza. Hamas was legitimately elected and, consequently, every Palestinian in the Gaza strip is to suffer for this success; collective punishment. Gaza is currently the largest open air prison. Since Hamas was elected on January 2006, the gates have been blocked, preventing food and regular import supplies from entering. This continued on with the recent Gaza crisis. Israel continues and will continue to oppress this nation until they surrender. But it has endured this pain, it has collected its blood, it has uplifted its souls for over 60 years, and nothing will ever wipe away their memories or their sense of self-defence. Alaa Batroukh
Issues at large Re: Money, Money, Money I found the recent article in Imprint about the retail charge that is going to be placed on the Feds Used Bookstore to be an interesting read — a service once free now costs $6,000 per term. At first this surprised me, and then I started to see that it is unreasonable for Retail Services to provide a book list that is important to the Feds bookstore for free. Retail Services must also lose a lot of money to the used bookstore: as a student myself I always check the used bookstore for my texts first. From a business standpoint it is easy to see why Retail Services is sticking a fee to this service, though $6,000 per term is too high. It is more reasonable if Feds just creates their own list; it would create an opportunity for more jobs for students. Organizing a group of students to compile a booklist would be cheaper for Feds and put needed money into student’s pockets. This would be a more viable solution since there still seems to be problems with the contract (30 day cancellation required of Feds but not Retail). Ideally this can all be sorted out so that long lines and the quality of services the Used Bookstore provides will not be negatively affected. In the end it really comes down to dollars and cents. Hopefully a solution will come about so the students are not the ones that end up paying more fees. Rob Zilke Arts
Re: King Street Theatre Centre closing In response to the recent announcement that King Street Theatre Centre will close at the end of February, several arts organizations and concerned individuals have come together to explore ways of keeping the theatre functioning for the purpose for which it was intended. The facility was intended to reflect the heart of our community through the theatrical production of stories meaningful to us. It was built thanks to the community coming together to fund the building with the expectation of a long term return on their investment in the theatre and the downtown. The threatened closure of KSTC has led to active and intense work so that this investment continues to serve the community. The organizations and individuals currently meeting are all grass roots and share an ability to think creatively. They are concerned that the theatre not be abandoned, rather that it be recognized as a significant contributor to the growth of the artistic community — and the economic and creative health of the region — and a gathering place for the community. Whatever happens, those of us working in the arts will continue to seek opportunities to collaborate artistically. This situation has brought us together and we anticipate that the participating organizations will all be stronger as a result no matter the outcome. Nicholas Walsh Artistic Director, KW Youth Theatre
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
On need and evil firstname.lastname@example.org
ately, I have had to do quite a lot of globetrotting. The downside of this seemingly endless voyage is that I must live with the strains that come with such a life. The upside: plenty of thinking time, especially since there is little else one can do in aerial motion. Of recent, my traveling thoughts, as I have named, them have centred on evil — especially when it presents itself in the form of crime. The question — an important one as to why people commit evil — has been narrowed by the “experts” to only one of two options: nature or nurture. Either people are born with the capacity for evil, or social conditioning is ultimately responsible. Time and time again, these two sides are polarized in neverending arguments as to whether or not they can blame evil on an enabling environment or on the criminal’s “special needs.” I have come to the conclusion that we may rightly consider the fact that there might just be a third way: need. Evil, such as crime, is a human instinct. I believe every single human being has the capability to commit crime. Crime is not a function of background, social class, or social setting. I believe a human is born with this ability. It is more than coincidental that every holy book makes this point. While referring to sin as crime, the Bible tells us, “...for all have sinned....” (Romans 3:23). From the Hebrew tale of Cane’s slaughter of Abel to the Maori tale of Tu-matauenga and his brothers’ evil plot to slay his parents, Rangi and Papa (Heaven and Earth), we arrive at the same conclusion: crime is indeed a human instinct. Even if skeptics are keen to disregard this conclusion as one derived from traditional myths or imaginative stories, they may not be able to do the same with scientific evidence that proves to us that crime is a human instinct. In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes shows us that man is a criminal by instinct because he will do anything, morally correct or not, to survive. These many writers provide evidence for the claim that nurture has little to do with criminal instincts. They tell us that crime is an instinctive rather than learned behaviour; that no man needs to learn to be a criminal because he already knows how. Thus every effort to shield
children from “learning” how to commit crime is an inevitably futile attempt. The question of whether they learn from their environment whether or not to be a criminal does not arise. The answer to evil’s ageless question is not just nurture... If humans are instinctively prone to committing crime, why am I on my laptop typing a logical piece on the issue instead of with a gun on a shooting spree at the public library? Because of a single social factor: the law. According to Hobbes in the Leviathan, civilised society is the product of a social contract between the people and their rulers (the government) where the people surrender their instinctive behaviour (including crime) and seek collective fulfillment and protection under the state. This social contract is the law, the very instruments that restrain a human being from practicing his criminal instincts. The law is, however, a social influence, proving to us that criminal behaviour is also a result of nurture. For example, marijuana is legal in Amsterdam, whereas in Hamilton it is an illegal substance. Thus we expect that if a person from Amsterdam comes to Hamilton, he will most likely commit the crime of illegally obtaining and using marijuana. Many people will dismiss this as a petty example but they must realize that while this example explores a written and recognised law, laws might not always be written. In the book La Cosa Nostra by John Dickie, the concept of unspoken laws is explored. Dickie speaks of a situation in Sicily where everybody knows that what we consider “crime” is legal so long as it does not hurt those closest to you. So, if a man talks too much and is killed, to them, it is not crime, it is punishment. The same concept applies to violent, inner city black communities. They carry this concept everywhere with them and are thus associated with criminal behaviour by nurture. This shows us that the law is possibly the greatest social influence on criminal behaviour. Thus it seems the answer to this ancient question is also not just nature. We must be asking a pretty obvious question: what then is responsible for criminal behaviour? Criminal behaviour is the direct result of a person’s inability to use the reason of law to
short-circuit his or her instinct for crime. Criminals are people who are lacking in some important form of nature or nurture. Either the restraining ability to counterbalance the human instinct for crime and the social restrictions of law is missing, or some screws neuroscientists have yet to tell us of is missing. This lack of essential social or biological components seems to be what is most responsible for crime. Thus it seems to me that the difference between the “criminal” and the “innocent” is this needed part. This “need” may not necessarily always be the frontal cortex of the cerebrum which regulates impulse. It may also be the hug they never received but desperately needed, the love they never had but truly desired or even the truths they
The question — an important one, as to why people commit evil — has been narrowed by the “experts” to only one of two options: nature or nurture. Either people are born with that capacity, or social conditioning is ultimately responsible. were never told but which they needed to hear. Criminals are definitely incomplete people, either physically or otherwise. These thoughts have spawned other thoughts, especially as they concern a comprehensive understanding of the human being. Is the human a naturally needy being? How may the human being’s needs be satisfied? Is the human being’s purpose centered on these needs — his own or others? These are questions only critical thought can diffuse. I challenge you to think about them. Who knows? We may be at the edge of a renewed understanding of ourselves and our purpose.
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Imprint Publications, Waterloo is looking for its next Editor-in-Chief March 2, 2009 to March 31, 2010 Train, manage, motivate and co-ordinate a diverse volunteer staff and ensure the print-to-press quality of all content in the University of Waterloo’s weekly student newspaper. Proven editing, layout and design skills, familiarity with Adobe CS2, photo editing packages and Unix/Linux networks makes you an ideal candidate. Volunteer management and web design experiences are definate assets. Applicants are required to provide cover letter, resume and portfolio of relevent work to: Imprint Publications, Waterloo Attention: Hiring Committee University of Waterloo Student Life Centre, Room 1116 200 University Avenue, Waterloo ON N2L 3G1 email@example.com Deadline February 8, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.
1/26/09 2:37:27 PM
n my first column, I wrote about the reasons I why tried internet dating (loneliness) and what I learned from it (personal insight). I also mentioned five guys who made it to the first date. Here are those (hopefully thoughtprovoking) stories: The first guy is the one I called the “Bible Humper” or BH for short. BH had nice profile pictures online and was tall, dark, and average looking. I met BH at a cafe in Kitchener. He was waiting for me in a corner booth, staring at his hands. I walked up to him, introduced myself, and we opted to get some food at the counter. While we were waiting for our food he started asking me questions. “So have you been to church lately?” he said. I replied, “Um, no. I am not religious. I take it you are though.” And I kid you not, this man went on for 20 minutes about how Jesus was his life and my not being religious meant I was going to a fiery hell. Then, our food came. He prayed before eating his food, and expected me to as well (I didn’t). As much as I do not want to offend someone, I knew right away that this guy was not for me. It probably seems like I was not interested in him because of his strong religious beliefs. However, it wasn’t what he believed — it was how he was suggesting how I should act within the first 30 minutes of meeting him.
Lesson 1 Don’t tell your date what to do or believe in. If he is comfortable telling me what to do or how to act the first time I meet him, what would he be like weeks if not months, down the road? I told BH without delay that I didn’t think this would work, and that we should
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
guys, dates, lessons firstname.lastname@example.org
both keep looking for someone who fits our lifestyles better. He looked hurt, but I think he understood. I received about 10 emails from him in the next few weeks about going on another date — he would always write in caps lock “SMILE!” at the end. He was still telling me what to do, so I never replied. The second guy I met was the “White Baller” (WB). WB was tall, blonde, and walked with a swagger. His white T-shirt and jeans were three sizes too big. We met at a bowling alley in the late afternoon. I already knew I wasn’t interested in WB the second I saw him, but I figured I would be nice and follow through with the date. The real reason I cut him out of the dating schedule wasn’t his swagger or his beer choice (Bud Light): it was that he tried to kiss me when we said goodbye. I backed away, chuckled aloud, and said “Not on the first date.”
Lesson 2 Don’t kiss on the first date, unless both parties are clearly “feeling” it. The guy known as “The T.A.” was exactly that. He was a T.A. for one of the classes I dropped in my second year. Just like the class, the T.A. was a little on the extremist side of things — in his political beliefs, video games, eating habits, and especially in getting straight “down to business.” Anything I said could have erupted into a full-fledged debate — and we had just met. I thought to myself, “If I can already argue with him about the simplest things, imagine what an argument about something that is important would be like?”
Lesson 3 Keep your mind open to your date’s opinions and ideas. Moving on from the three guys who freaked me out the most, I managed to find two very handsome guys. The first one, my fourth guy, was with the “RIM Job Guy.” Mr. RIM was handsome, smart, clean cut, and I could tell he had an amazing body underneath his business attire. I was attracted to him instantly, and he had the cutest smile. I usually go for more rugged guys so this one, who seemed prim and proper, certainly piqued my interest. We met for the first time in a café and had coffee. He asked for half a cup, black, which I thought was different at the time but thought nothing more of it. It wasn’t until on the second date that I realized his catch. Mr. RIM was not only glued to his Blackberry but was extremely compulsive about everything. He actually bragged to me about how he would cook an entire week’s worth of food on a Sunday, portion it all in containers in his fridge, and eat the same thing for every meal, every day of every week. I thought he was nuts. I talked to him about how I was considering becoming a vegetarian at the time (which I have been for almost two years) and he made me feel like I was uneducated and silly. He went on about protein intake, routines, lean mass, and all this other stuff I didn’t care to know. I knew there were many healthy ways to be a vegetarian, and for him to tell me I was silly was downright mean. The straw that broke the camel’s back was that he was a perfectionist. He had his perfect hair, car, body, clothes, diet, and job, but he lacked personality and originality. Nothing special about him ever popped out to me. In fact, he
made me feel weird for being eclectic and environmental.
and some really do just look for a great companion.
Being perfect doesn’t make you special. The final guy I met, and the reason I decided to leave internet dating, was the “25-year-old.” I was 20 at the time, but the age gap didn’t seem like a huge deal. He had already graduated from Guelph engineering and had everything going for him. He was witty, funny, handsome, and smart, and was looking to buy a house so he could begin the rest of his life. I found out that he was fresh out of a four-year relationship with a live-in girlfriend and he was basically on the internet site for the same reasons as me: to feel wanted again. We started to hang out all the time, and developed a great friendship. I met his friends, travelled with him, and felt like this was something I was willing to continue. Unfortunately, because of his work schedule and my school in addition to other commitments, it was hard to actually spend time together. It came down to the fact that we were at different spots in our lives — so different that it could never work between us. I wasn’t heartbroken because this was the type of closure I could accept. It left me feeling a whole lot better about the original breakup that caused me to date online in the first place. The 25year-old taught me a few things about guys: They aren’t all completely selfish,
Clarification In the January 23 issue of Imprint, in Nikki Best’s column “Who is this girl?” the phrase “I’ve defiled my body” should have read “I’ve been careless with myself and treated my body badly.” Also the phrase “born and raised in Port Stanley, Ontario” is misleading; Nikki Best was born in St. Anthony, Newfoundland and later moved to Port Stanley.
Unfriendly to disabled respondent
Sometimes you find someone who you think fits you great, and you’re really happy, but forcing something to work when it clearly won’t will ruin the good you once saw in the original picture. If the person is right, the time will come along, and if they are not right, then you dodged a bullet, no? I find the biggest mistake we all make in relationships is being so concerned with pleasing the other person and convincing them to like us that we lose a part of ourselves along the way. The best advice I can give is to know what you want in a person and find that. Don’t try to make someone a mould of what you want them to be. There are plenty of fish out there.
Community Editorial Rhonda Lantz
Be true to yourself.
had the unfortunate experience of injuring my left knee on the way in to work in June of 2008. After months of tests, doctor’s appointments and physiotherapy, cane, crutches, and walkers, I have come to the conclusion that the University of Waterloo is not a friendly place to attend if you are a disabled person. A few examples: disabled parking spots that are too small (there should be a parking space and a half for adequate room to get out of the car with wheelchairs), automatic door opening buttons that do not work (UW Police Services), steps that have inadequate banisters to grip, and large heavy metal doors that sometimes require great effort to open while balancing on crutches or a cane. Not to mention parking lots that aren’t ploughed, and sidewalks and cement steps which are extremely slippery in winter with no adjacent ramp equipped with a slip-free surface and hand rails. The Math building is another example of buildings on campus that are approximately 40 years old where washrooms have an inside and outer door to navigate. This was difficult with crutches and a walker. Pushing open the second door while still holding the first made entry awkward and uncomfortable. Disabled people would benefit from a wider door, no second door to open and an automatic opener.
I should mention my building is equipped with a ramp that leads down to the first floor, with a working button to open the door. However, there is no parking allowed on the side of the building nearest to Chemistry 2. The only parking allowed (accessible or otherwise) is located at the opposite end of the building, nearest to the loading dock and halfway to the Davis Centre off an adjacent roadway. Fortunately, I am looking forward to once again being able to walk without any assistance. But I cannot help but think of the permanently disabled people, be they staff, faculty or students, who must deal with these obstacles on a daily basis indefinitely. We should make their time on campus easier, not more difficult. Older buildings on campus should be upgraded if they are lacking in aids for the disabled. It is the university’s responsibility, and I also believe that it is the law. Growth on campus is continuous, with multi-million dollar buildings presently being constructed. I am sure they will all be equipped with state-of-the-art aids for the disabled, but we cannot pretend the older buildings do not need to be upgraded and maintained. Compared to the cost of a brand new building, the money needed for these changes would be miniscule. I can only hope this letter will prompt someone to act sooner, rather than later, and within a reasonable period of time. The disabled should be able to access a building without obstacles, and right now, my building is full of them.
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009 email@example.com
national conference Tools for the times Maggie Clark editor-in-chief
aught up in the seemingly unending production cycle here at Imprint, I couldn’t have gone to the Engineers Without Borders conference this year even if I wanted to; and I’ll confess, when a very pleased co-director of the even, UW graduate Andrew Dilts, returned from his sojourn at the Delta Meadowvale hotel in Mississauga, Ontario, I was terribly curious about the experience that around 60 members of UW’s chapter found themselves in over the course of that weekend. With 600 conference delegates and over 60 speakers, the four-day event, running from January 21 to 24, offered a wide variety of lectures and panel discussions, team-building exercises and networking opportunities to a group of engaged citizens who, the rest of the year around, focus that same measure of energy on trying to promote human development across the world, improving the lives of all. “We believe in the power of technology to drive extraordinary change,” the UW chapter of EWB states on its webpage. “... but it must be properly harnessed—incorporated into each community’s social, cultural, historic, economic, and political context.” The delicacy in this mandate cries out for a constant readiness to learn, and re-learn, so it is no surprise that the EWB conference exposed delegates to preeminent speakers from a wide range of social engagements. From Waterloo’s own Jim Balsillie (co-CEO at RIM), to the Perimeter Institute’s executive director, Neil Turok, to Canadian Senator Hugh Segal, and others from a wide range of projects — food-based, climate-oriented, povertyfocused — events and activities covered the wide spectrum of possible social interactions through technology. But delegates were not alone in learning from the event, which had itself transformed from previous years to meet the needs of its participants: the 2009 session offered something called “Village Time,” which helped prepare delegates to make meaningful connections at the conference. During Village Time delegates were grouped with delegates from different chapters, so they could share their differing histories while partaking in activities that allowed participants to reflect on their conference experiences to date, as well as to prepare them for further ones to come. Nor was the conference a static withdrawal from EWB’s overarching mandate: While spending time working on personal delegate growth, the 600 conference delegates also participated in an event meant to engage the Toronto community as a whole, pouring into the streets to inform people about Fair Trade issues. From the pictures alone our UW representatives clearly enjoyed themselves — hopefully they can share their own stories of that experience in the weeks to come. firstname.lastname@example.org
Counterclockwise, from the top left: 1. Prof. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr of International Affairs from the New York University, one of many panel speakers at the conference. 2. Conference delegates listen to opening remarks from co-founder and co-CEO of Engineers Without Borders, George Roten. 3. National office team members tied up helping conference delegates with a teambuilding exercise.
photos courtesy EWB
4. As part of a massive outreach event on Thursday, January 22, conference delegates took to the streets of Toronto to promote Fair Trade issues with the Fair Trade Times.
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
Grab it by the horns In 2009 the Lunar New Year’s is the year of the Ox. It runs from January 26 to February 9
ack when I was a young’n, my grandparents told me about the story of “Nian” (Chinese for year). Nian was a terrifying demon that would come on the first day of New Year’s to devour crops, livestock, and especially children. The villagers protected themselves by leaving food at their doorsteps in hopes that Nian would leave them alone. One day, the villagers saw that Nian was terrified of a small child dressed in red. They figured out that Nian couldn’t stand the colour red. From then on, come every New Year’s, the villagers would hang red lanterns outside their houses, decorate their walls with red scrolls, and use firecrackers to scare Nian. Gung hei faat choi, gong xi fa cai, chuc mung nam moi, congratulations and be prosperous. Regardless of what
language you say it in, Lunar New Year is a time of feasts and festivities, for all those that celebrate it, from China to Korea to Vietnam, to even here in Canada. For me, the New Year is a time of food, food, and more food. It’s one of the few times I can remember gathering with my extended family, particularly since many of them live in Taiwan and I see them maybe once every couple of years. I can remember the tradition of paying respect and bowing to my grandparents, and receiving a hong bao (red packet) filled with money. I also remember the huge meals, with the centerpiece being a lavish fish dish. These memories certainly aren’t unique; they’re typical of the over one billion Chinese who celebrate Lunar New Year. Each year during the 15 days of Chinese New Year, the number of
“Buying a shoe is considered bad luck among some Chinese because the character for shoes is also a homophone for the character for evil “ trips made by Chinese moving about to visit family and friends nearly match the entire population of China. For some of the migrant workers in Mainland China, New Year’s will be the only opportunity for them to see their families. Chinese markets are often bathed in a sea of red packaging, scrolls, laterns, and other assorted New Year’s related wares. One big festivity associated with Lunar New Year (and my personal fave) is setting off firecrackers. In some Chinese cities, the rattling and popping of firecrackers turns city streets into a haze of smoke. In ancient times, bamboo sticks
were burned to set off small explosions. It was thought these explosions would ward off evil spirits. In modern times, this tradition has translated to firecrackers being rolled up in red paper and set off by gunpowder creating a defeaning explosion that is thought to ward off demons and bad spirits. Some places like Hong Kong and Singapore have decided to forego this tradition by banning firecrackers in lieu of safety concerns. Instead, firecrackers have been replaced by fireworks display — though that hasn’t stopped blackmarket vendors from selling their wares
and patrons from enjoying firecrackers in their own backyards. Many of the traditions in New Year may seem puzzling to outsiders at first glance. Buying a shoe is considered bad luck among some Chinese because the character for shoes is also a homophone for the character for evil. The number eight is considered lucky because it’s character is a homophone with the character for wealth. Cleaning the house from top to bottom before New Years’s is considered vital for good luck in the coming year. Foul language, sexually suggestive material, and talking about death is inappropiate and inauspicious for New Years. Aside from Chinese culture, Lunar New Year’s is as big, if not moreso of an event in cultures such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia. In Korea, the Lunar New Year is commonly called Seollal. Traditions include sebae: paying respect to one’s parents, where typically the children perform a deep traditional bow, and wish their parents a happy New Year. In return they receive money in the form of crisp dollar bills. In Vietnam, New Years is called Tiet. Many of its traditions are fairly similar to the Chinese New Year’s such as giving of red envelopes by elders to juniors, and paying respect to one’s ancestors. In Vietnamese New Year, however, the cat replaces the rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac, and the sheep with goat. Japanese New Year’s is called Shogatsu and up until 1873 it was celebrated at the same time with Chinese New Year’s. It was moved by the Meiji government to coincide with the Gregorian calender. However, the Chinese zodiac is still used in New Year’s celebrations, and giving out postcards with the current Chinese zodiac on it is an extremely popular tradition in Japan. Mongolian New Year is known as Tsagaan gar and revolves around a lavish feast that contains traditional dishes such as grilled sheep, minced beef and a dish called buuz, which is a dumpling usually filled with minced lamb or yak meat. Regardless of what culture you come from, you can take part in the celebrations. The festivities make it feel like the Christmas holidays all over again.
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Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
“What is this ‘saving’ you speak of?” email@example.com
s a student, you may sometimes think about money and the costs of academic living. You may pay for all, some, or none of your education — or you may be forced to pay later by taking out student loans. Everyone’s perspective on money is a little different. You might have money because you saved all of it. You might have had money, but you spent all of it. Regardless of your situation, saving money is crucial for your future freedom, even if it seems impossible while you’re still in university. School or no school, if there was ever a time to revive your inner miser and embrace saving as a lifestyle, January might be it. Whether you
not saving. Even if the item you are buying is 50 per cent off the regular price, offers double Air Miles, or provides a second item “free” you are not saving money. You are likely spending at least 50 per cent more than you otherwise would to qualify for the sale. It is important not to be fooled into thinking you are a great saver when you are really a savvy bargain hunter. Simply put: to save money, avoid spending money.
paying for it! For that reason, unpaid credit card balances are the herald of your financial apocalypse. While credit cards have always had a financially dangerous reputation, daily convenience purchases are the “silent killer” that can steadily whittle away at beefy bank accounts and WatCard balances. For example, just an innocent coffee in the morning and a $6 sandwich at lunch five days a week can end up costing almost $600 over a four-month semester. Don’t let this stealthy Horseman eviscerate your disposable income — you can save your spare change and $5 bills by bringing coffee from home and/or
Rule 2: Credit Cards, Convenience Items and Consumables are the 3 Horsemen of the Financial Apocalypse.
These 3 sources of personal expenditure are
“Don’t let this stealthy Horseman eviscerate your disposable income — you can save your spare change and $5 bills by bringing coffee from home and/or packing a lunch.” made a New Year’s resolution to “save more” isn’t really important — you are most likely broke after an impulsive holiday spending binge, so saving needs to happen no matter what. Like me, you have to save now so you can afford to eat in April. This column’s mission is to share student savings strategies across campus to help you stretch your budget until the bitter end of April and beyond. I do not know everything, so if you have saving tips and tricks you’d like to share, please write to me and I’ll include a few in every article. But before we take advice from the seasoned savings professionals, we need to lay down some basic savings principles. Rule 1: Saving is the Absence of Spending.
This rule is beautiful because it is simple and true. When you are spending money, you are
packing a lunch. Try to have snacks on hand to fight cravings before they get the best of you; invest in a travel mug to stay caffeinated away from home. Finally, the third Horseman is a bit of a potpourri category. Consumables include everything you buy that has little or no re-sale value —making them all net losses for your bank account. Consumables include food, clothes, cell phones and plans, computers, cars, books, health and beauty products, entertainment (concert tickets), and for some of us, cigarettes and alcohol. Can you think of something that you (or your bank account) might be better off without? Reducing our
dangerous because they are arguably necessary evils, but they can all get out of control and quickly become very expensive. Keep in mind that the 4th Horseman is always you, for going along for the ride to help spend yourself into financial oblivion. The problem with the first Horseman — your credit card — is that we often have to own at least one for an emergency, but after making a few minimum payments our original “emergency” purchase at the mall can end up costing us much more than the original price-tag. The average annual interest rate for a credit card in Canada is 19.95 per cent, meaning that minimally paid balances on all but the very cheapest of credit cards can double in four years. Yes, that means that if you can only cover minimum payments, your $1,000 shopping trip today can effectively cost you $2,000 before you are even finished
consumption of things we can never re-sell and diverting that money into investments or financial products (like GICs, RRSPs, mutual funds, and savings accounts) is difficult, but a great way to increase long-term financial security. The long-run may seem too far away to worry about, but now is the time to start thinking about your financial future. Saving is a challenge for everyone, but no matter what your current spending habits and debt-load, it is still possible – even if it seems painful at first. “Not spending” and avoiding the 3 Horsemen is a start, but in the coming weeks’ articles we’ll move beyond these basics into specific techniques, places, activities and ideas we can all use to save money while living large at UW. Whatever your motive, hoist your bagged lunch in the air, read this article, and help make 2009 a new year of savings, good judgment and frugality. What is this “saving” you speak of ? Try it out with me and see.
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Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
“Not all the [cultural portrayals] are correct. A lot of it was exaggerated. With Hollywood, they tend to exaggerate things to make it seem more interesting. They had the right idea but not everything was accurate” — Ahney Her, Gran Torino’s female lead
t’s not every day that a student gets to watch a prominent Hollywood film and then interview one of its lead actors. So when the opportunity arose, I charged at it with a pair of glasses, two cameras, a pen, a notepad, and my Puss-in-boots pout — after all, “opportunity” is the gateway leading to “dream-come-true;” in the case of Gran Torino’s female star Ahney Her it is anyway. For Her, the opportunity to work with renowned director and actor, Clint Eastwood, came during a communal soccer game where audition sign up sheets searching for people from the Hmong community to star in the film were posted. Seizing the moment of something that, for an average 16-year-old high school student, seemed too unlikely to be true, Her penned down her name and the rest threaded itself together like fate. “The role pretty much fell into my shoes, because even when I auditioned I didn’t try too hard,” said Her. “I really didn’t think that I was going to get it so I didn’t give it my all, but I ended up getting it anyway.” The fact of the matter is that, in an attempt to authenticate their portrayal and their fetishism of minority cultures, Hollywood will occasionally typecast a whole group of people. Gran Torino is the first mainstream movie to exhibit the Hmong, a group of people from the mountian regions of southern China and adjacent areas of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. But does having actual people of Hmong nationality playing Hmong roles make cultural portrayal in the film accurate? Having grown up in an Asian community with similar practices, I am wary of such notion. And it seems that Her agrees with me. “ Not all the [cultural portrayals] are correct. A lot of it was exaggerated,” said Her, explaining that “with Hollywood, they tend to exaggerate things to make it seem more interesting. They had the right idea but not everything was accurate. There was a scene where the shaman is in the living room and he’s in the middle of everyone and he’s doing a ritual. Usually, we don’t sit around the shaman, and we don’t watch him do it. He just sits out front or pretty much in the middle of the room and everyone just kinda minds their own business, but they wanted us all around him to support him, but we usually don’t do that; everyone just do their stuff.” The content of this scene came to me with mind hinging goosebumps, as one of my uncle on my mother’s side is a famous Vietnamese shaman who performs similar practices. But the scene that gets me the most is when the Hmong people brought gifts to Walt’s door and lay them outside — repaying him for his part in accidentally saving Thao, Her’s brother in the film. “They exaggerate that part, too. We wouldn’t do that,” said Her. “It really depends on the [individual] person [in the Hmong community], but pretty much, if you don’t accept [the gifts], then oh well. We’d probably invite them to dinner, maybe, and give them a few gifts.” According to Her, Gran Torino did more than exaggerate the traditional aspects of Hmong. It also brought insight into the Hmong’s relationship between
traditional and Western culture — some of which may be less accurately portrayed than it is in reality. “Reading the script and being in the movie, I never really thought about that, about what the community is thinking. I assume that they don’t care much, because I guess you can say that they’re probably used to have those issues in their community. I’m sure that there’s some sort of rift, and I’m sure there’s a lack of trust too, but they can’t depend on anyone else but the police,” she said. And when asked about gang culture in a real Hmong community as compared to the film, Her said that “if the gang members were more aggressive and more tough, it would be a more realistic portrayal. I think [the events which happened in the movie] are very possible, you never know what people are capable of.” But Hollywood did get one thing right, and that is the general Asian family structure in North America — though this notion is very stereotypical, it is anything but false. “Something I thought was very accurate is that families’ [structures] are very traditional. For the parents, even though they’ve adapted to the new environment they still have the idea a girl can’t really do much, and the boys are supposed to be the man of the house. I think it’s pretty true that the families are very traditional — well at least the parents anyway; the kids nowadays don’t really care much [about tradition] and do their own thing.” Being a man of such calibre, it is expected that Eastwood at least gets the jist of a culture when he portrays them in a film. Another thing that Gran Torino represented well was the notion that the Hmong are a community orientated society. Like most Asian cultures, the Hmong would often have giant community gatherings with an extensive collective collage of food. But accurate representation to any extent in the film was a group effort, as the cast, including Her, had opportunities to influence the direction of the film. “I went there to act but there are some scenes where I disagreed. They had one scene where [my character] had to explain a part of Hmong culture. But I thought that a lot of the stuff wasn’t true because it weren’t necessary, and so we discussed it with the cast, and eventually they cut that part out,” said Her. Having spoken with Her, I’ve gathered that her character in the film is completely different from who she is in real life. In the film she played an edgy, mouthy tongue-in-cheek girl, while in real life, she is a soft spoken, always smiling girl, who remains humble even in the face of fame. “Some of my friends have changed; well a few of them have, but most of them are still the same. And they still treat me the same, which I’m thankful for because I don’t want them to change on my behalf, and I don’t want them to think that I’ve changed — at least I hope that I didn’t change” Currently, Her has not been signed on to any new projects, but is looking forward to a future opportunities in acting. She will be going to school in Lansing, Michigan, while auditioning for upcoming roles. And for those who wants to know, she loves sushi, the anime Naruto, and doesn’t have a favourite colour. firstname.lastname@example.org
Far left: Gran Torino ‘s Ahney Her in an exclusive interview with Imprint, which took place in the University Plaza. Photo by Dinh Nguyen Bottom left: Her’s character, Sue, introduces Walt (Clint Eastwood) to Hmong food. Courtesy IMDB Middle: Sue talking to Walt on his porch, confronting him about how much he really cared for her brother Thao. Courtesy Warner Brothers Far right: Ahney Her at the movie’s premiere in Los Angeles. Courtesy UPI
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Campus Bulletin UPCOMING Friday, January 30, 2009 SASA presents its annual Formal Armaan. Enjoy an elegant evening to mingle with your friends, taste South Asian food and hit the dance floor at St. George Banquet Hall. For info call Mishal 519-722-6584. January Swing Dance at 315 Weber Street, N. Beginner lesson begins at 8:30 p.m. with dancing from 9:15 onward. For info www.waterlooswing.com. Thursday, February 5, 2009 Richard Johnson presents “Ice Huts” at Rotunda Gallery, City Hall, Kitchener, from 5 to 8 p.m. For info call Cheryl at 519-741-3400, ext 3381. UWIHDA and WPIRG present “Believing in a Borderless World.” Lecture by Dr. Richard Heinzl, founder of Doctors Without Borders Canada, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Fed Hall. Free lecture. Friday, February 6, 2009 Distinguished Teacher Award Nominations – nominations are due in the Centre for Teaching Excellence, MC 4055, no later than 4:30 p.m. For info www. cte.uwaterloo.ca/awards/index.html or www.cte-blog.uwaterloo.ca/?p=9 or call Verna ext 33857. Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Heart Healthy Nutrition Seminar – interactive and informative session that emphasizes the effects of heart disease. 5 to 7 p.m. at RCH 308. Admission. Friday, February 13, 2009 Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student – nominations are due in the Centre for Teaching Excellence, MC 4055, no later than 4:30 p.m. For info www.cte.uwaterloo.ca/awards/index. html or call Verna at ext 33857. Tuesday, February 17, 2009 The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region is seeking female volunteers to join us, as on our information night from 6 to 9 p.m., at 201-151 Frederick Street, Kitchener. To register call 519-571-0121 or or email@example.com. Saturday, February 21, 2009 The Chinese Stem Cell Initiative, partnering with Canadian Blood Service-OneMatch, that will be promoting a Stem Cell Registration Drive to help patients with leukemia and other related disorders. Will be held at First Markham Place, Markham Ontario. Info: chinesestemcell.com; onematch. ca; 416-760-6181.
VOLUNTEERING City of Waterloo needs volunteers for summer 2009 events: Uptown Country Festival on Saturday, June 20. Busker Festival needs new talent for interesting Board positions such as Director of Corporate Sponsorship ; Director of Marketing and Media Co-ordinator. 55+ Urban Poling Club needs indoor walk leaders on Friday mornings. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-8886488 for more info. Volunteers needed – the English tutor program is in constant need of volunteers to tutor international students. Volunteering is an essential part of student life at UW. Apply online at www. iso.uwaterloo.ca. Volunteer with a child at their school and help improve their self-esteem and confidence. One to three hours a week
commitment. Canadian Mental Health at 519-744-7645, ext 229. Best Buddies is a national charitable organization matching students with individuals with intellectual disabilities living in the community. Hours are very flexible – compatible with busy schedules. More information contact: email@example.com. Resume builder! Volunteers needed to visit people with Alzheimer disease through Alzheimer Society Volunteer Companion Program. Two hours per week with training November 30. Call Jill at 519-742-1422 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Drive. Deliver. Befriend – Community Support Connections needs volunteers to help drive seniors to appointments, deliver a lunch meal or befriend an isolated senior. Mileage is reimbursed. Contact 519-772-8787 or email@example.com. City of Waterloo, 519-888-6488 or firstname.lastname@example.org has many volunteer opportunities. Check out the website today. Volunteer Action Centre, 519-7428610 or www.volunteerkw.ca, has many opportunities available – visit the website or call today!
ONGOING FRIDAYS The Fine Arts Film Society presents a free Contemporary Malaysian film series in ECH 1220 at 7 p.m.: January 30 – Gubra (aka Anxiety) February 6 – Mukhsin (aka Sepet prequel) February 13 – Village People Radio Show.
CAREER SERVICES WORKSHOPS Friday, January 30, 2009 Interview Skills: Preparing for Questions – prerequisite: interview skills within “Marketing Yourself” found at cdm.uwaterloo.ca or the same module in PD1, COOP 101 or Co-op Fundamentals for Engineering. 1:30 to 3 p.m., TC 1208. Monday, February 2, 2009 Exploring Your Personality Type – part 1 – 2:30 to 4 p.m., TC 1112. Part 2 is Monday, February 9, same time/place. Tuesday, February 3, 2009 Work Search Strategies for International Students – 3 to 4:30 p.m., TC 1208. Wednesday, February 4, 2009 Job Fair – RIM Park, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Entrepreneurship: A Students Perspective – 12:30 to 2 p.m., TC 1208. Interview Skills: Preparing for Questions – 3:30 to 5 p.m., TC 1208. Thursday, February 5, 2009 Interview Skills: Selling Your Skills – 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., TC 1208. Monday, February 9, 2009 Writing CVs and Cover Letters – 12 to 1:30 p.m., TC 2218. Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Successfully Negotiating Job Offers – workshop is geared towards graduating students. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., TC 1208. Monday, February 23, 2009 Successfully Negotiating Job Offers – workshop is geared towards graduating
students. 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., TC 1208. Career Interest Assessment – 2:30 to 4 p.m., TC 1112. Tuesday, February 24, 2009 Success on the Job – 3:30 to 5 p.m., TC 1208. Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Business Etiquette and Professionalism – 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., TC 1208.
ANNOUNCEMENTS Exchanges for undergraduates and graduates – 2009-2010 academic years:
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2008 email@example.com MICEFA, Paris, France and the Chinese University of Hong Kong internal deadline: March 17, 2009. For info and application forms please contact Maria Lango, International Programs, Waterloo International, Needles Hall 1101, room 1113, ext 33999 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. General casting call – independent filmmakers looking for acting talent, full cast, extras and potential crew members. Contact Black Cloak Entertainment at email@example.com.
CHURCH SERVICE St. Bede’s Chapel at Renison College offers worship on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Come and walk the labyrinth the second Thursday of each month, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more info contact Megan at 519-884-4404, ext 28604 or www.renison.uwaterloo.ca/ministry-centre. Parkminster United is an affirming, liberal congregation open to all, regardless of race, sexual orientation, age, ability, economic, or family status. 275 Erb Street, E., Waterloo. Sunday services at 10 a.m. For more info www.parkuc.ca.
Classified 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, KW Habilitation Services, 108 Sydney Street, Kitchener, ON, N2G 3V2. We’ve got what you’re looking for – let’s make 2009 your best summer yet – Camp Wayne, northeast Pennsylvania, USA. Counselor-specialists for all land and water sports including tennis, golf, basketball, baseball, football, martial arts, soccer, outdoor adventure, camping, mountain biking, climbing/ropes, roller hockey, archery, rocketry, water-ski, wakeboard, sailing, canoe/kayaking, fine arts theatre, ceramics, woodworking, drawing, painting, CDL drivers. RN’s for our Health Centre. June 20 to August 15. Let’s get the ball rolling now! Online application www.campwayne.com or info@ campwayne.com or 1-888-549-2963. Have the summer of your life at a prestigious co-ed sleepaway camp in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, two and a half hours from
New York City. We’re seeking counselors who can teach any team and individual sports, tennis, gymnastics, horseback riding, mountain biking, skate park, theatre, tech theatre, circus, magic, arts and crafts, pioneering, climbing tower, water sports, music, dance or science. Great salaries and perks. Plenty of free time. Internships available for many majors. Interviews on February 4. Apply online at www. islandlake.com. Call 1-800-869-6083 between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time on week days for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org. Part-time help needed at Mambella’s Deli – close to school – lunch time shifts available – must be able to work at a fast pace. Apply at 160 Columbia Street or email@example.com. Imprint requires a distribution driver to distribute Imprint Friday mornings. Please contact ads@imprint. uwaterloo.ca or 519-888-4048.
Does your thesis or major paper need a fresh pair of eyes to catch English spell-
ing and grammar errors? Thesis English editing, $50/hour. Five business day turnaround. Neal Moogk-Soulis, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Joanne at 519-746-1411 for more details.
SP-100 Forest Firefighting course to be held in Waterloo/Kitchener, Ontario March 11-15, 2009. Registration limited to the first 32 applicants. Course will be held during evening hours during the week. To register, please call Wildfire Specialists Inc., 2233 Radar Road, Suite 5, Hanmer, Ontario, P3P 1R2. Toll free 1-877-381-5849. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources accredited. No guarantee of employment.
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Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009 email@example.com
Photos by Dinh Nguyen
FASS actors practising kitty throwing. Below is a preview of the scene being depicted.
Libby: Ms. Kittens.
16 Libby: You don’t want to know.
21 Libby: Well, first they’ll hear my name and be confused.
13 Mr. SueHer: looks up in slight shock I think I mis-heard you, did you mean to say Pussy Galore or something?
17 Mr. SueHer: bristling I’ll have you know young madam that I am the official notary for all such matters.
22 Mr. SueHer: Undoubtedly.
14 Libby: You heard me, Ms. Kittens.
18 Meow: Weapon of choice?
23 Libby: Then I’ll pull out a kitten and they’ll be transfixed by its inherent cuteness.
19 Libby: Kittens, obviously.
24 Meow: Indubitably.
20 Meow: Let me say this differently... how will you strike fear into the hearts of your enemies?
25 Libby: Then... I’ll launch the specially bred cuddwy fwuffy little kitten, and it will proceed to scratch their eyes out.
15 Mr. SueHer: Well that’s definitely unique, I certainly would have remembered someone using that name. Why would you be called that?
ust out your wit, sexuendos, and most hysterical laughter, it’s that time of the year again. With rehearsals now in session, the annual Faculty, Alumni, Staff and Students (FASS) musical comedy is about to begin. Since 1962, each year FASS invites the UW community to attend their hilarious amateur theatrical production, which is performed and written by members of the community-at-large, (and as their names suggests) UW faculty, alumni, staff and students. Fans of Joss Whedon’s mini series Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog need to see this year’s production, titled, FASS 2009: Live FASS, Die Tomorrow, a superhero-world-based parody of university orientation weeks. “It is a play about spies villains and henchmen with a lot of death, violence, and sexual innuendos,” said FASS chief script writer, Stephen. S. Skrzydto. Though it may seem the current FASS is inspired by Dr. Horrible, according to Skrzydto the idea of doing superhero-based training academies was talked about amongst the script writers way before the internet mini series was released. “There were a couple of things that I really liked [from Dr. Horrible].What we took away from it is that bad guys are nice and good guys are jerks…[We also took] one of the dramatic effects from the song where there’s a duet with a third person singing,” said Skrzydto, referring to a song in part one of the series: “A man’s gotta do what’s a man’s gotta do.” Other elements from Dr. Horrible include a song about OSAP, sung to the “Bad Horse” theme, and a nod to the Doctor himself through a character named Dr. Terrifically Unpleasant. Among production contributors is Brian “Latrell” Fox, a UW math alumnus and long-time FASS
member who has been involved with the production since 2002. In the FASS community, Fox is known as Latrell, a name that stuck during a previous production where he played a character with the same name. Five years ago, Fox was the chief script writer of The Brothers FASS: Princes and Dragons and Wolves, Oh My! Since then, he has taken on the role of play director. But that’s not the only thing that has changed. Two years ago, FASS revisited their recruitment strategy and became more active during Clubs Day. This year they were successful in recruiting a larger tech crew. Also, nearly half of their cast are first-timers. “I think it’s going to be awesome. It’s a lot of fun thus far, and I think it’s going to be even more fun once we get on stage. But I might be biased,” said CS grad and FASS firsttimer Chris Hutten-Czapski. Another change introduced this year was applied to rehearsal times. “We used to have final rehearsal on Wednesday [before the show] but the university decided to take that away.” Because the Humanities theatre is booked every Tuesday and Wednesday this year, FASS will try to schedule a rehearsals on Sunday and Monday, and on Wednesday they will go through songs and problem lines. As per tradition, FASS will be putting on shows on the first Thursday to Saturday of February. There will be an 8 p.m. show on February 5 and 7, and a 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. show on February 6. And as per usual the last show on Friday will be an audience interaction special, a show where the audience may heckle and make comments, and the cast can in turn react. Tickets are on sale at the Humanities Theatre, $10 for general admission and $7 for the Thursday special. firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Dinh Nguyen was a FASS cast member in 2oo6
Arts & Entertainment
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
Stiletto is energetic
very once in a while I discover a band that really impresses me and makes me wonder why I haven’t heard of them before. One of the most recent examples of this was a band called The Stiletto Formal with their October 2008 album ¡Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta!. The Stiletto Formal come out of Pheonix, Arizona and have called themselves “eccentric rock and roll.” It is difficult to describe them – but that’s usually a good thing in music. However, if you are familiar with The Mars Volta, you will immediately find the vocals very familiar. This is because vocalist Kyle Howard has a similar voice and sometimes similar singing style as Cedric Bixler-Zavala (The Mars Volta’s vocalist), just a bit more normalized; the notes don’t tend to hit quite as high. Additionally, Howard’s vocal style occasionally wanders into a sort of yelling that isn’t actually yelling and isn’t quite screaming, — but it does get the point across quicker and angrier. The best way to describe Stiletto Formal would be “sporadic.” The songs, often fast-paced, have unusual time signatures, extremely catchy rhythms, and interesting keyboarding. However, one of the things that really got them attention is their cellist, Sunny Davis, who further adds to an already unique sound; not enough rock bands have cellos. ¡Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta! is also a very energetic album and some songs sound more like those you might hear in a club — except for vocals which wouldn’t quite fit. Besides clubs don’t actually play good music. Once you check out songs like “6 P.M. Your Time” and “Nightcap at the Santa Fe” you’ll be hooked. These are the kinds of songs that will make you wish you had heard of them before. One of the strangest songs on the album is “Sleeping Our Way to the Top” because it is the only song with rapped verses, though the chorus remains traditional. This is also the only song on the album that has notably less abstract lyrics, which tell the story of a girl falling into prostitution — and then they compare that to bands in the music industry. The final track on the album,
“Naked Brunch,” is also a bit of a departure as it feels more progressive rock with a bit of a jazz infusion and breaches the 10-minute mark (the next longest song is about six and a half minutes). It is mostly instrumental, so it serves as more of an outro to the album opposed to a stand-alone song. “Naked Brunch” and “Sleeping Our Way to the Top” feel mildly out of place on ¡Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta! but they’re both good songs, so it’s forgiven. Stilleto Formal also have two earlier EPs, Masochism in the Place of Romance (2005) and This is My Boomstick (2006) that have some great songs, but the vocals have a rougher sound;they don’t have the same polish as Fiesta. And finally, although it is difficult to find, the band did a cover of “The Everlasting Gaze” for a Smashing Pumpkins tribute album, A Shot Full of Diamonds. It’s an interesting experiment and something to check out if you’re looking for a more metal version of “The Everlasting Gaze” but Stilleto Formal really excels by doing their own thing — not someone else’s. Check out The Stiletto Formal’s ¡Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta Fiesta!, be impressed, and stop wondering why you’ve never heard of them before.
ast week, I read a post on Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog (www.drawn. ca) that announced some very exciting news for many Canadian internet users. The National Film Board of Canada now has their own website (www.nfb.ca), complete with every single film published under their name that has been made available to the public. I’ve always been a fan of the concept of independent animation—an animator doesn’t have to be an employee of Walt Disney Studios to be well-known. Rather, they only need to be skilled and great with whatever resources have been made available. Of course, I have my own favourite forms of indie animation—post-modern animation usually not being of that list, except for the animations of MdotStrange which are just too frickin’ weird to hate. I’m not disregarding big budget animation. Far from it! It’s just that with independent animation, filmmakers have more freedom with their work. Moreover, it’s amazing when corporate animators try to manoeuvre around borders and make
Animation is not just for kids, but also has a presence amongst the many mature and academic mindsets out there. There’s usually a call for an authentic — and at times controversial — approach from an independent film too, compared to highly publicized animations, as well. Taking a look at films like A Scanner Darkly and Persepolis, which have gained most of their publicity due to their accomplishment, both films question the existence of humanity, but in completely different views: the former from a Western context and the latter from a Middle Eastern experience. Both hold different tones and draw completely
different controversy. Animation is not just for kids, but also has a presence amongst the many mature and academic mindsets out there. Independent animator Bill Plympton (Idiots and Angels, Hot Dog) would agree with me on that, as that’s his main reason for animating: to entertain and animate for adults. Taking a look back on independent animators, filmmakers I look back on include Plympton and one Suzie Templeton, known mostly for her films Stanley—a film about a man and his cabbage—and her Oscar-award winning production of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Wolf is definitely the most unique expression of Prokofiev’s composition I’ve ever seen, taking a down-and-grungy look at the rural Russian backdrop it exists in, almost as if the story was reimagined to take place during the Cold War. I would argue that there’s been a big boom recently in the world of indie animation. It makes sense considering how easy it is to produce with today’s technology. It’s for the greater good, I say, because it’s important to express emotion as long as it’s justified.
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something unique and intellectual, such as Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a Disney film where non-important characters die at random in all the action. In films with a lot of action, seeing such violence is what defines it.
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humber.ca/appliedtechnology/graduate 46 King St. N., Waterloo • 885-2950 www.princesscinemas.com
IN THEATRES EVERYWHERE JANUARY 30
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Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
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dynamic. Each scene conveyed different feelings and emotions, which the colour schemes played out wonderfully. It’s hard for me to see this film and say that it has no impact. It is what it is — a survey of war in the eyes of a former soldier. The film expresses, amongst warfare and separate from ideologies, we are all very human.
— Peter N. Trinh
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tension and distance seemingly basic scenes. The third, amounting to the great twist of the film, impressed upon me the extent of Streep’s acting ability, highlighting how light a touch is required to convey a wide range of human emotion, and further entrenched the theme of the piece — the pervasiveness of doubt. The mark of a good film lies in its ability to embed itself in viewers, to have both conscious and subconscious impacts on them. When I left the theatre I knew I had seen a decent film, replete with many striking, well-acted lines and some compelling cinematography; but when I found that the message of the film, for all the plot twists themselves had failed to sway me, reverberated deeply with similar situations we all encounter from time to time, I began to grasp just how subtle, and persuasive, this matter of Doubt can truly be. — Maggie Clark
Waltz with Bashir Ari Folman Bridgit Folman Film Gang
The release of Waltz with Bashir in the Princess Cinema definitely has a bizarre timing. With all the latest forms of tragedy and violence between Israeli and Palestinian forces, this film may have held more power than me if I had seen Folman’s autobiographyturned-documentary a good while back. Then again, having exposure to films such as Persepolis has made me deftly aware that all that happens isn’t always on the Western front. Upon looking up the film on iMDb after seeing it, I was surprised to not see “documentary” among one of the plot keywords for the film. The film begins as an autobiographic narrative—the director has visions of his time in the Lebanon Civil War and his place during the Sabra and Shatila massacre, after having repressed memories for 20 years. It starts to slowly blend into documentary, moving from personal discussions between Folman and his friends to formal interviews with others involved in the war. Fast-forward to the end, and the documentary tinge is definitely apparent. The film has a message or bias circling around it, although it isn’t as specific as I had expected. From what I saw, it’s not directly pro-Israeli, pro-Lebanese, nor pro-Palestinian, but rather it’s anti-war in general. Folman depicts himself and his allies as humans stuck in the cogs of war and he depicts suffering Palestinians with intense detail. This film, to me, is not an attempt to find redemption after wrong-doing, but rather it’s an emotional survey of recollected thought which many regret having to experience. It expresses the ugliness of war from all sides: the afflicted, the persecutors, and the misguided. What struck me most about this film was its approach to narrative. Every scene, every piece of dialogue, and every transition flowed as if I were watching a graphic novel on screen. Of course, the rotoscoped animation may have helped, but just the structure of the film is enough to convey such a concept. The narration, dialogue, artwork, and action all follow on through the film evenly as a clockwork team. It’s the stylization of the film that creates a feeling I rarely experience from a film. The artwork looks well done and well thought out — it’s Liechtenstein’s work brought to life. The characters’ illustrated details are sharp and clear, and the use of colour and contrast for shadows and highlights is very
Graphic Novel Courtesy: cinematical.com
Doubt John Patrick Shanley Goodspeed Productions
Leaving the theatre, I had none. No qualms, no reservations, nothing: The framework of Doubt, which follows Sister Alyosius (Meryl Streep) on her crusade against Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman), whom she suspects of having seduced the lone black child, Donald Miller (Joseph Foster) in the parish’s Catholic school, did not have me torn between the differing perspectives offered up by Father Flynn and Donald’s mother, Mrs. Miller (Viola Davis), nor the uncertainty espoused in young Sister James (Amy Adams). “Superbly acted,” I said of the film, praising Streep for what was clearly a performance choreographed down to each arch of the eyebrow, tilt of the head, and cinching of the mouth. “But Flynn’s early explanation of ‘what happened in the rectory’ seemed so flawed as to cast all his later appeals into the realm of blatant deceit.” Then something happened in my own life — a personal conflict in which I originally felt secure in my opinions, only to have the passage of time provide its own, notso-small measure of doubt. At this point I recalled three striking scenes from Doubt in rapid succession, and through them hit upon the film’s true weight. The first was a sermon by Father Flynn, on the unifying nature of human uncertainty: this opening resonated strongly with the film’s own beginnings as an award-winning Broadway play, while the theme itself provided a thought-provoking alternative to the usual fare of religious films. The second, another sermon by Father Flynn, compared gossip to a pillow torn on a rooftop, its contents scattered in the wind, impossible to retrieve in full. The cinematography here, demonstrating that act, was a powerful example of the careful camera work throughout the film, creating complex interactions of
The War at Ellsmere Faith Erin Hicks SLG Publishing
After the small-press success from her Joe Shuster Award-winning graphic novel Zombies Calling, Faith Erin Hicks has continued on with both a recognizable name in the graphic novel and webcomic community as well as a very solid list of works on her repertoire. Her follow-up to her portfolio of sequential art, The War at Ellsmere, follows the life of Juniper, a girl from a simple middle-class home who accepts a scholarship from a high-class private school. There, she instantly makes both a good friend with Cassie and a vicious enemy with Emily, and tries to continue on with her academics while surviving the social student politics of Ellsmere Academy. Hicks’ novel is a solid example of her ability to create an emotionally realistic world of both flat and round characters, as well as her ability with an ink brush. The artwork is inked beautifully. Hicks uses a heavy amount of black and white ink for strong contrasts and lines — both smooth and rough — and includes a subtle use of grey tones to flesh out the designs. Her character design is unique, having a simple yet elegant style I haven’t seen in any other comics other than her own See opposite
Arts & Entertainment
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
Reviews in their reactions for both the reader and characters. The book’s evolution from being flat to round characters is wonderful, especially Cassie, who becomes the quirkiest character of the bunch. As comicist Hope Larson states in the introduction of the novel, “[Hicks] has the rare knack of crafting stories with realistic female protagonists that are equally enjoyable for everyone.” It is that small twist in her narrative, as well as her style of artwork, that makes this comic an enjoyable read.
Graphic Novel Continued from previous
Reading Ellsmere was a definite treat, mainly because that while the comic takes place at an allgirls school, the characters are not ridiculously girly at all. The main characters possess a roundness that make them fall into their archetypes and setting nicely, but at the same time make them unique in their own rights. Emotions between Juniper and Emily are hot throughout the novel, but are both unpredictable
Peter N. Trinh
Future Events ~Live FASS, Die Tomorrow *Thursday, February 5,at 8:00p.m. *Friday, February 6, at 7:00p.m. &10:00p.m. * Saturday, February 7, at 8:00p.m. ~ Upstart Women The Drama Department is putting on a festival called Upstart Women ‘09. * The festival features six short plays. * Februrary 3-7. Shows start at 7pm. * For more information see facebook group: Upstart Women ‘09 Festival
Where are you at?
is Honor drove southward seeking exotica, down to the pueblo huts of New Mexico. Cut his teeth on turquoise harmonicas, oh, oh, oh.” Vampire Weekend, “A-Punk” Musical globalization is here, guys. For better or for worse, borders are getting blurred and music we hear in the West is becoming increasingly exotic. This hasn’t always been obvious, but there are signs — one being the runaway success of Maya Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A. You have probably heard her massive single “Paper Planes” by now. You may have also heard the Clash’s “Straight to Hell,” which producers Diplo and Switch sample for the hypnotic “Paper Planes” beat. The shoutout to Joe Strummer’s crew makes a lot of sense, as like M.I.A., the Clash used global sounds: Jamaican ska, reggae, and dub sounds in particular. However, the similarities between the Clash and M.I.A. don’t run too deep, and one key difference has to do with how both acts defined themselves. Despite using global influences in their music, the Clash were very easy to classify at the end of the day. Record store owners could confidently drop them into the punk rock section. M.I.A.’s music is much harder to classify. It’s not quite hip-hop, not quite electronic, and not quite lukewarm enough to be relegated to the dreaded world music section. M.I.A. herself is in no hurry to classify her music; her MySpace page cryptically defines it as “Other.” Another important difference between M.I.A. and the Clash is extremely obvious and a little unsavory for polite conversation, but is absolutely pivotal to this discussion: the Clash are white and M.I.A. is not. (She’s the daughter of Tamil activists, and makes no secret of it; Arular, the name of her 2005 debut album, is her father’s political codename.) This has a lot to do with the difficulty we have in classifying M.I.A.’s music. M.I.A. does not approach music from a Western frame of mind, and thus doesn’t really conform to Western constructs of genre. As a result, we have to haphazardly throw tags
at her and hope they stick. Amidst the buzz surrounding her debut mixtape, Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. I, Toronto’s EYE Magazine described her music as grime: a subgenre of British hip-hop that enjoyed buzz of its own at the time. Piracy Funds Terrorism had two things in common with grime: M.I.A. was from London, and she rapped. Never mind that the music itself had nothing in common with grime. One of 2008’s most buzzedabout acts, Vampire Weekend, attracted buzz in a much different way than M.I.A. did: they became infamous by playing up their clean-cut white-boy Columbia University background on the same level as their experimentation with Afropop sounds — just consider the title of third single “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” Music writers reacted in two ways: either “ooh la la, what delightful young rascals!” or “grumble grumble, what pretentious little shits.” But the critics did agree on one thing: this was indie rock with Afropop influences, in much the same way that the Clash made punk rock with Jamaican influences. This employment of foreign styles by Western artists is, by definition, assimilation. Webster’s defines it as “absorption into the culture or mores of a population or group,” and by absorbing Afropop into indie rock and ska into punk rock, these, uh, white-people acts are doing just that. Assimilation seems inescapable if you’re a Western musician dabbling in foreign styles, and interestingly enough, Vampire Weekend acknowledges this — mentioning the cultural theory of exotica in lead single “A-Punk.” Exotica is similar to assimilation; it’s a word for dominant cultures taking easily-recognizable symbols of other cultures and using them for their novelty value. Vampire Weekend certainly succeeded using it; it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re aware of their methods. But this is old news. What’s new and different are foreign acts like M.I.A., who are not predisposed to exotica like these white-people acts. Calling them white-people acts, by the way, is a misnomer. American lit rag The Believer, in its 2008 music issue, provides a much better definition, referring to this group as MABELs (Musicians of Ameri-
can, British or [Western] European Lineage), who draw significant influence from ANABELs (Artists Not of American, British, or [Western] European Lineage) This definition is clunky, but extremely accurate, as it doesn’t limit MABELs to white people. There are plenty of examples of minority MABELs who make ANABEL-influenced music. Despite the colour of their skin, they are still MABELs, as they are multiple generations deep in the West and raised with Western values. Some examples: Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes, who raps in Japanese on the Teriyaki Boyz’ latest LP; Madlib and Oh No, underground hip-hop superproducers who have shaped recent albums around Turkish and Indian psych-rock; and DJ /rupture, a Boston-born, Brooklyn-based DJ whose albums have mashed up the West with the world since 2001’s Gold Teeth Thief. The wide-ranging MABEL definition lets us know that it’s not just white people who target exotica, it’s Westerners of all skin tones. While the color of M.I.A.’s skin thus becomes irrelevant, her cultural background remains pivotal. Rakim famously rapped “it’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at,” but musical dialogue is shifting back to more traditional grounds. Influential hip-hop unifier DJ Khaled, whose latest album is fittingly entitled We Global, preaches a message for people everywhere to represent their ghetto. On “Where You At,” guest rapper Freeway flips Rakim’s message: “where you from is where you at, and where you at is where you from.” As the world-a-music becomes increasingly global, we have an increasing need for artists like M.I.A. to rep where they’re from. Otherwise, we have acts like Vampire Weekend repping parts of the world they cannot truly know, and the musical landscape becomes defined by novelty, exotica, assimilation, and ultimately, exploitation. This isn’t a knock on Vampire Weekend — they do what they do, and they do it well — but it does help explain M.I.A.’s amazing success. We may be used to Vampire Weekend-esque cultural exotica, but maybe we’re coming around to the idea of cultural authenticity, too.
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Science & Technology
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009 email@example.com
Brenner on the brain
Dr. Sydney Brenner lectures on the “Architecture of Biological Complexity”
Scott Chonghar reporter
n a packed audience at Hagey Hall, Dr. Sydney Brenner, a Noble Laureate in Medicine in 2002, lectured on Tuesday, January 20. Front row seats were reserved for other professors who attended, including Dr. Terry McMahon, the Dean of Science here at UW, and Dr. Brian Dixon, associate chair of biology. Dr. McMahon commenced the lecture by introducing the honourable guests. “Today we are really pleased to have with us Prof. Sydney Brenner who is a 1991 Gairdner International Award winner, and also a 2002 Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine, and Prof. John Bell, who is a professor of clinical medicine of Oxford University.” Dr. John Dirks, the president of The Gairdner Foundation, followed. “Dr. Brenner is from South Africa. He got into medical school at the mature age of 15,”; usually students don’t enter medical school till their late 20s. He further mentioned: “[Dr. Brenner] made many contributions in molecular Biology,” listing some examples such as messenger RNA, codons, development of a worm which he carefully studied, the genetics relation, and finally, genomics. Dr. Sydney Brenner has made great contributions in the field of biology — specifically speaking, in genetics and molecular biology.
In 2002, he made a name for himself by winning the Nobel Prize. He and his former colleagues Dr. H. Robert Horvitz, at MIT, and Dr. John E. Sulston, at the Institute in Cambridge, England share the honour together. These three investigators were awarded the prize for their work on the nematode (roundworm), Caenorhabditis elegans. His passion to understand human genomic code has been his motivation. During his lecture he explained, “I am the only person who reads the human genome. So far the only other things that looked at human genome are computers. “[Scientists] compared the human genome to sending a man to the moon. Sending a man to the moon is easy — getting him back, that’s the problem. I want to bring the human genome back from the moon.” C.elegans were the model organism for his groundbreaking genetic research on the nervous system, which revealed important new information about the aging process, the function of the nerve cells, and controlled cell death. C.elegans was the desired species because they have very few cells, and thus, simpler anatomy. In addition, their cells function similarly to those that are found in more complex organisms, and, most importantly, roundworms have short generations, thereby allowing him to see if changes occurred from one generation to the next. “20,000 genes are expressed in a cell, giving 20,000 proteins. How is it that we are walking around? Isn’t this chaos? Isn’t this anarchy?” he asked. Proteins in our cells work together and are linked as a unit. Thus, no one protein acts alone by itself to accomplish a certain task. Dr. Sydney Brenner said: “All proteins assemble into macromolecules and these bring about function in the cell.” Biologists cannot keep everything in consid-
courtesy scott chonghar
Scott Chonghar [left] stands alongside Sydney Brenner [third from the left] and other notable attendees. eration when faced with the problem; in order to accomplish their goals, research must be reduced to smaller entities. For instance, the cell itself is made up of compartments; what goes on in the nucleus completely differs from what goes on in the cytoplasm. His lecture stressed the notion of how to solve problems when faced with dif-
ficulties, and not to rely on Google to do it for us. Every day, thousands of papers are published in journals; we have the information, but someone needs to analyze this information and find a solution to the problems.
“Tell the truth and work hard — the best advice I give to everyone.” Early on Tuesday morning before his lecture, I had the honour of sitting with Dr. Sydney Brenner and interviewing him one-on-one. Here’s a few of our exchanges:
Q: Can you please tell us about the first school you attended? A: I attended kindergarten — it was very small school in South Africa — at the age of five. I completed the first three years of primary school in one year, and was admitted to the local school directly into the fourth year at the age of six. Q: Did you have good time at school, since you were the youngest in your class? A: No. [laughs] Q: How did your interest start in science? A: I always loved nature, how things worked around me. I was always interested in solving problems. And I always wondered how nature functioned around me. That’s how I got started. Q: Which year did you start medical school? A: At age of 15. [South Africa] had a different system. There was a medical program of six years. I had to break out of it, because I was too young to qualify to practice. So I took three years off to do science.
Q: During your studies in medical school, did you look up to anybody or did anybody influence you? courtesy scotT chonghar
A: No, we were mostly selfpropelled; basically the only professors that were interesting were the ones that did not stop us. Q: What was your first impression of Francis Crick and James Watson when you first met them in Cambridge, when they first introduced the double helix? A: Their theory hadn’t been published yet. I was in Oxford then; we (Jack Dunitz, a crystallographer, and Leslie Orgel, a theoretical chemist, both of whom he met at Oxford) went across to Cambridge to see it months before it was published. Q: What was your first impression upon seeing the double helix DNA? A: I think it was… what an experience. Because once you saw that, you knew that was the solution. Everything in it worked perfectly; before it was hard to understand. Q: I remember reading that you have won the highest scholarship in South Africa to go to Cambridge. How come you changed your mind to Oxford? A: No, I won a scholarship to go to England. I applied to Cambridge but they did not accept me. Well, it’s not the first mistake they have made [laughs]. They have made lots other mistakes; they just don’t admit it.
Q: As you know, it’s very important to have many hypothesis or guesses — most of which as we know are wrong, and some only half-correct. What is your opinion on this? A: All research has difficulties; if it was easy, everyone can do it. You will learn how to solve those difficulties. Q: Did you have your own ideas about what the gene structure might have looked like? A: Yes I did, but they were all wrong. We knew that nucleic acid was involved, but these ideas were very primitive. But once Watson and Crick introduced the structure, then you knew that it was a linear array of bases and how it translates into a language of proteins. Immediately, we started to solve genetic code problems. Q: What advice can you give to students who are currently studying molecular biology at University of Waterloo? A: Tell the truth and work hard — the best advice I give to everyone. Q: What kinds of hobbies do you enjoy when you are not working? A: None; I love to listen to music while I do other things. I read when I can. So I have no hobbies. I am very interested in solving problems — that’s my hobby.
Science & Technology
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
Genetically modified food:
solution or problem?
Andrew Kai-Yin MacKenzie staff reporter
Magnetic drum forces rhythm
Researchers at MIT’s Magnetic Musical Training (MMT) lab are in the late stages of development for the training drum FielDrum. FielDrum is equipped with powerful electromagnets that attract or repel its custom drumsticks, which work in conjunction with MIDI programming to theoretically force the drummer into the right beat. On the FielDrum’s minimal official website, the MMT lab hypothesizes that people are better able to learn complex rhythms through a “kinesthetic preview of a target gesture’s correct execution.” The website features a brief 15-second video which shows a drummer loosely holding the stick over the FielDrum, where the stick gets pulled into the drum in conjunction with lights flashing. Microsoft’s SongSmith a camp phenomenon
The recent SongSmith software released by Microsoft has been making waves on the internet, if not for the reasons Microsoft released it. SongSmith, a program that takes vocals and automatically produces an accompanying MIDI track, was released with the intention of allowing users to create songs that sound like they were made quickly and easily. An article in the New York Times described the MIDI tracks as “painful to hear.” While this is fitting for impromptu vocals recorded into a computer microphone, the depressing quality of the SongSmith instrumentals are made painfully obvious when layered under anything better. The YouTube community has done just that, with a rash of videos appearing over the past couple weeks that take the vocal tracks from famous songs and supplying them with a campy SongSmith score. Oasis’ “Wonderwall” is wonderfully butchered, and Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli” receives an Elton John-esque piano score. Microsoft spokesman Mike Houlihan responded to SongSmith’s unexpected popularity by saying that although “SongSmith is being used in
he third annual Arthur J. Carty diseases without the use of chemicals, Environmentalists label it as harmful lecture series took place on and to grow larger and better. These “frankenfood” while others say it can Thursday, January 22, in the genes are genetically inserted into the create health problems we aren’t yet Humanities Theatre. The speaker this plants’ DNA, altering their traits. This aware of. One of these arguments is year was the science and technology reduces the need for chemicals such that GMOs could create monocultures advisor to the U.S. secretary of state and as pesticides, and allows the farmer to — whole fields or ecosystems domiUnited States Agency for International produce higher yields using less fuel nated by a single species — that could kill Development (USAID) Administrator and water. Since 1996, GMOs have other species such as butterflies, as well Nina Fedoroff. Fedoroff has performed seen increasing use worldwide, currently as allowing in new diseases that could years of research on the molecular bi- covering about 114.3 million hectares wipe out entire food supplies. ology of plants and their responses to of farmland in 23 countries. There is also the fear of cross-polstress, and has published over a hundred Like any scientific advancement lination with nearby native species, but papers and two books. — especially when dealing with genet- Fedoroff denied seeing any of this In her speech hybridization between Thursday, Fedoroff GMOs and natural Since , GMOs have seen spoke about the imorganisms in nature, portance of genetieven though it is done increasing use worldwide, currently cally modified foods, in the lab. Also, health their benefits toward concerns such as alcovering about million poverty and the enlergies and unknown hectares of farmland in countries. effects of introducing vironment. While many of us spend foreign foods to hutime thinking about man diets. Some critics global warming, loss of wilderness ics — GMOs are also criticized by even say it can reduce crop productivity and species, and waste, there is one many for health and environmental and yield. major element we need for continued issues. Fedoroff claimed that GMOs As with any debate, especially one survival: food. While this may seem to are safe to eat, reasoning that they are about a large-scale topic such as GMOs, be a renewable resource, if the human rigorously tested before hitting any a complete solution that ends all critipopulation continues to grow exponen- markets. Health Canada has a 7 to 10 cism is hard to come by. While there tially, there may not be enough food to year process for assessing the safety of is science showing that GMOs could sustain everyone. This was noticed in new GMO foods, including eight steps very well be a large part of the future the late 1700s by Thomas Malthus, who of consultation, scientific assessment, of the food industry, there is science predicted that if family size and human and reviews of the results from many to fight that claim. It would definitely population growth remain unchecked, professionals. stop the expansion of agriculture into famine and poverty are inevitable. Fedoroff also argued against the wilderness, and would help provide food While we want to be able to pro- statement that GMOs could become in- for a growing population, but there are duce food for our growing population, vasive and harmful to the environment, also risks to consider. we also don’t want to rip down what saying that if they weren’t before, one Whichever side you are on, be sure wilderness we have left to make way gene wouldn’t make a difference. Finally, to avoid bias and look at both sides for more agriculture. There are many since GMOs are more productive crops, equally. Also, in a time where many different agricultural techniques (like they don’t need to take up more wilder- scientists are saying we’re too far beno-till farming and intercropping), that ness area, thus eliminating the possibility yond the point of no return in terms produce higher yield while not degrad- of reducing biodiversity. of the environment, we need to focus ing the land. Fedoroff instead proposes Despite these arguments, many on the best solution at present, and GMOs. These are foods that are modi- people and countries are against the take some measured risks. GMOs fied to carry specific genes, allowing development of GMOs, — especially may be the best tactic we have if our them to better resist pests and other countries in Africa, where it is banned. population continues to grow.
ways we hadn’t quite imagined ... we’re happy to see so many people using SongSmith for creative expression.” Perhaps there is indeed no such thing as bad press. — With files from MIT, Engadget, the New York Times and the Associated Press
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Science & Technology
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
ECE design project symposium Lana Sheridan staff reporter
PS-equipped golf balls? A robot that goes to work for you? Information harvesting ice skates? Are these the latest gadgets from top technology firms? No, rather they are a few of the varied
and surprising design projects of UWâ€™s own electrical and computer engineer students. These projects, presented Wednesday, January 21, at the ninth annual ECE Design Symposium, are the culmination of three terms of work by these fourth year students. In the length of the courses, the engineers
Top: Alvaro Ballon explains his groupâ€™s Optimal Parking Spot Identifier. Bottom: Adam Bellemare of the RFID Gambling System group displays a component of the system.
get to learn about project management, identify technical problems to solve, design, and construct a prototype solution, and present it. All day Wednesday in the Davis Centre, over 240 course participants fulfilled their final requirement: showcasing their posters and explaining their solutions one-on-one to external judges, members of the public, and course administrators. They also gave short presentations and took questions regarding their designs. In addition, they were competing for the top prize: the Infusion Cup, an award sponsored by Infusion Angels, an investment fund sister-company of Infusion Development, located in Waterlooâ€™s Research and Technology Park. In fact, the award has a personal connection. Alim Somani, the president of Infusion Development and acclaimed by The Globe and Mail as one of â€œCanadaâ€™s Top 40 Under 40â€? in 2007, attributes his passion for business and technology to his ECE design project courses here at UW. This yearâ€™s winner of the prize was â€œVirtual Pilot: First Person Maneuver and Exploration Interface.â€? The group designed an improved and more intuitive system of controls for remotely operated robots, including those with three-dimensional movement. The best poster award went to â€œProject Sunflower,â€? a project dedicated to monitoring positioning through face-recognition and tracking, allowing screens to always be watching you, as well as vice versa. â€œThe Chimera Project: Home Automation Defined,â€? won best presentation, with its design for a touchscreen controlled home environment, complete with energy-expenditure information provided to help the users minimize their ecological impact. Prof. Bill Bishop described this
photos by winniefred kuang
The ninth annual ECE Design Symposium drew a large crowd to the Davis Centre on Wednesday, January 21. yearâ€™s symposium as â€œvery successful,â€? adding that both the projects and presentations have been improving since the course was first offered nine years ago. Do the students enjoy the projects? â€œDefinitely,â€? he said. Since the students can choose their own projects, they have the freedom to pick projects that are relevant to their interests outside of class. Some choose something that aids a personal pursuit, others a medical project that might help a friend or loved one, and some are just out to make genuinely useful advances. â€œSometimes theyâ€™ll see something and think, â€˜I can do that better.â€™â€? Prof. Bishop also noted that some project ideas are suggestions from industry partners.
Whatever the project, the process seems to whet the appetite for business. â€œIt has happened a few times in the past, that students have started their own companies,â€? Prof. Bishop recalled, but even those that do not still gain experience that can lead to a career in an existing technology company, the way that Mr. Somani did. Meanwhile, if you want to see more of the exciting design ideas coming out of the university, there is still an opportunity. The Discovery Channel filmed part of the symposium and is bringing some of the UW engineers to their studios this week, so keep an eye out for the upcoming Daily Planet episode.
Aspirin goes head-to-head with Tylenol
First human embryonic stem cell therapy approved
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finally approved the first clinical trial aimed at the use of human embryonic stem cells in the treatment of patients. Embryonic stem cells are of special interest to biologists as the cells are able to give rise to any of the various cell types the make up the body. The cells interact in complex ways to eventually form tissues, organs, and systems. The trial therapy is led by the California-based Geron Corp. The company is now recruiting 8â€“10 patients that have crushed (but not severed) spinal cords. They will later be injected with small amounts of the stem cells. Under the right conditions, the stem cells are thought to eventually give rise to oligodendrocytes, cells that specialize in insulating and stimulating the growth of nerve tissue. â€œFor us, it marks the dawn of a new era in medical therapeutics. This approach is one that reaches beyond pills and scalpels to achieve a new level of healing,â€? Geron chief executive Dr. Thomas Okarma told The Globe and Mail in a telephone briefing. Although the patients will be receiving immunosuppressant drugs for the first two months after injection, the stem cells are expected to escape the bodyâ€™s radar and become a normal part of it.
It is well known that the overconsumption of alcohol and various acetaminophen drugs (e.g. Tylenol and Paracetamol) cause liver damage. In an attempt to contain such damage, the body responds by initiating an inflammatory reaction, which ends up amplifying the initial injury to potentially dangerous levels. A recent study at Yale University in Connecticut concluded that a small dose of Aspirin given to mice after having been overdosed with acetaminophen reduces their likelihood of death. It is thought that Aspirin acts by blocking key receptors involved in the pathway leading to inflammation, keeping liver damage to a minimum. â€œ[Aspirin] offers the exciting possibility of reducing a lot of pain and suffering in patients with liver disease, using a new and very practical approach,â€? said study leader Dr. Mehal. Having said that, the British Liver Trust group â€œrecommends that anyone proposing to take aspirin for more than a few days should consult their doctor for advice.â€? The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. ÂÂâ€” With files from BBC News and The Globe and Mail email@example.com
Science & Technology
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
The granny who won’t put down the vibrator
t 77 years old, Sue Johanson has been teaching sexual education in Canada for over 35 years through radio and television shows. She is practically a household name (just ask your parents). Last year, the tickets to her lecture at Wilfrid Laurier University sold out in two days, and the excitement this year is having similar results, with some people lining up to snatch seats up to three hours before the doors opened. I was lucky enough to snag a front row seat; a little black suit, a large camera, and a determined facial expression can take you far in this business. The experience of watching her talk about sexuality broadened my mind. Here, the lady was unrestricted by the Sunday Night Sex Show television program, speaking with directness to an elated crowd of university students. She began by explaining the danger of tabooing sex, particularly the words used for genitalia. Having gone through two years of volunteer work with ACCKWA, the local AIDS committee, I was proud not to have a single moment of discomfort as the
grandmother before me described anatomic parts like testes, vulva, and cervix. However, as I glanced around, a majority of my peers had expressions of unexpected shock, affected in part by the sweet nature of the elderly woman before them and in part by the language coming out of her mouth. Noticing this, Sue drew attention to the way language directly affects sexuality and self-image. Sue presented a hypothesis about a boy (let’s call him Rupert) and his sexual maturation process. When Rupert was little, his mom caught him masturbating and told him it was shameful and spanked him for his misbehaviour. She said if he wanted to be a good boy, he should never please himself again. Rupert was ashamed but he continued to masturbate, but because he didn’t want to feel ashamed, he would do it quickly before mom could catch him. When Rupert was a teenager in college, he met a girl named Susie he really liked, but her dad was very strict. At night Rupert would drive up to her house, and since it was the only place
Sue Johanson [above right] drew attention to the way language directly affects sexuality and self-image.
they could have sex, Susie would sneak out to meet him. Rupert was always in a rush to finish because if Susie’s dad caught them, there would be much shame and embarrassment and Rupert may not see Susie again. 10 years later, when Rupert married, and when he could finally take his time with sex, he had difficulty containing himself and would always come before his wife did. After going to the doctor, Rupert got diagnosed with premature ejaculation, a condition where the male achieves ejaculation in the early phases of sexual excitement rather than at the climax. Clearly, the pattern in Rupert’s story is easily identifiable and traceable all the way since childhood. Rupert’s relationship with his sexuality was established when his mother demeaned him because he was touching himself, associating shame with masturbation, which potentially contributed to his premature ejaculation condition. This is but one example of how language affects an individual’s relationship with his or her own sexuality. Another noteworthy example Sue referred to is the omission of proper anatomical names for genitals in commonplace conversation. By creating a taboo around sexual organs, there is a certain degree of negativity assigned to the subject. Think about it: when you hear someone say “prostate,” as you’re having lunch in the cafeteria, you are likely to blush or stare at the
source of the conversation. However, had you heard the word “kidney,” the same reaction would have been less likely. The message behind this is that common language, lacking the use of proper anatomical body parts instead of simply “down there,” has the power to plant a seed of shame and discomfort in a person towards their sexuality as early as childhood. By the end of her lecture, I was absolutely in love. I loved her for being real and admitting that she could not, for the life of her, educate her own children about sex; that she is just as horrible at it as every other parent. I walked out of the auditorium with great
respect for the woman for enlightening my mind with the realization that, just like a body, sexuality needs nourishment, respect, and self-knowledge. In the coming decades, I wonder who will be the next Sue Johanson? Who will carry on the torch (or the vibrator, so to speak) for sexual education? Whoever it is, I hope that the legacy of self-acceptance and assessable education Johanson is leaving behind will not have gone to waste. If you have any questions about the location or behaviour of your junk, please email alomako@ imprint.uwaterloo.ca
Sports & Living
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2008 firstname.lastname@example.org
This week in UW athletics Top Left: Waterloo drives it home during one of two games against Lakehead with a win on Friday evening, followed by a loss on Saturday. Top Centre: Waterloo during one of two games played against Wilfrid Laurier Saturday and Sunday of last weekend, Laurier won both games. Top Right: The Warrior Women played two games against Lakehead University last weekend, losing on Friday before pulling in a win on Saturday evening.
photos courtesy UW Athletics
Bottom Left: Warrior Men’s Volleyball lost both of their away games last weekend, one against McMaster on Friday evening, and one against Guelph on Saturday. Bottom Center: The Women’s Volleyball team dominated their games last weekend, holding out for the win against McMaster on Friday before shutting Guelph out completely on Saturday evening with a 3–0 victory.
Warriors down but not defeated
A narrow loss for the Warriors men’s hockey team will help focus them for future games Caitlin McIntyre sports editor
ast Friday found UW’s Warriors neck and neck with the Western Mustangs as the first
Courtesy UW Athletics
period of their latest league game got its start. Though the score board was very back and forth throughout the game, Western pulling ahead only to have UW push forward to tie things up, the Mustangs ultimately pulled ahead there, winning the game with a score of 4–3. The game started out slow for Waterloo and the beginning of the first period played deep into the Warriors’ zone. Despite being initially out-shot by the Mustangs, Waterloo managed to hold out for a scoreless first period with the help of their goalie, Pier-Olivier Pelletier. The Warriors stepped up for the remainder of the evening, pushing into the visitors’ zone in the start of what would be an intensely close and aggressive game. The Mustangs managed to put the first shot into the net, much to the dismay of fans and the players. However, Waterloo didn’t give up the fight amongst the roaring cheers of Waterloo’s
very own athletics based club “We are Warriors,” who were attending the event. The club is a student run organization of athletes and sports fans alike who attend various events and games in order to promote spirit and support for the hard working athletes at our school. Their cheers echoed the Warriors every move throughout the entirety of the game, encouraging them to keep pushing and rewarding each of their goals with loud shouts and encouraging the audience to cheer along as they banged on the boards. Their enthusiasm only added to the atmosphere of the game as, after pushing two points, the Mustangs began to lose most of their lead on the game. Waterloo scored twice more, closing the two point gap to tie the game up once more. However, despite strong efforts from the Warriors offensively, the Mustangs scored again not three minutes later, re-gaining the lead that
they would keep for the remainder of the game. After each team had shaken hands and headed off towards the dressing rooms I pulled myself away from the boards to wait by the benches for an interview with our Warriors. I had the chance to catch up with one of the Warriors captains, Jordan Brenner, number 12, who promptly made his way out of the change room, decked in a full suit and tie, to meet me. “We’re all a bit disappointed,” said Brenner when asked about the team’s reactions to the game. “We didn’t play our best and we all know that we could have done better. But we also know that we can’t dwell on the loss. We’ve got to keep looking forward, and use this as a chance to take some experience from the game.” Although the team wasn’t happy that they had lost, they still maintained a positive attitude about the
game itself, and the opportunity to play the Mustangs. “Western’s a strong team, one of the tougher ones that we play. It’s nice to have big games every once and a while, especially at home,” Brenner said. “It was a big game on a small rink with lots of energy. We needed that challenge.” The team has been working on various aspects of their play, and found that the game on Friday night worked extremely well to single out where their focus needs to lie. “From what we’ve seen today we know that our defence needs work. Our players were all over the rink, and it’s something that we need to work on in practice,” said Brenner, explaining that this had only been their fourth game with their new goalie, Pelletier. “We just need to start working together as a full unit. Once we do that, we can really improve our game on the ice.” email@example.com
Sports & Living
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2008
Waterloo Warriors Last Week Women’s Basketball
Friday, January 23 Lakehead 73 - Waterloo 63
Friday, January 23 Waterloo 84 - Lakehead 67
Friday, January 23 Waterloo 3 - McMaster 2
Friday, January 23 McMaster 3 - Waterloo 0
Saturday, January 24 Waterloo 63 - Lakehead 55
Saturday, January 24 Lakehead 72 - Waterloo 62
Saturday, January 24 Waterloo 3 - Guelph 0
Saturday, January 24 Guelph 3 - Waterloo 1
Saturday, January 17 Guelph 73 - Waterloo 70
Saturday, January 24 Laurier 4 - Waterloo 1 Sunday, January 25 Laurier 8 - Waterloo 0
Upcoming Games Men’s Basketball
Saturday, January 31 PAC Building , 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 31 PAC Building , 2:00 p.m.
Friday, January 30 PAC, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, January 30 PAC Building, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 31 at Laurier, 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 31 at Laurier, 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 31 CIF arena, 2:00 p.m.
Friday, January 30 at Lakehead, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 1 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 31 at Lakehead, 7:30 p.m.
OUA Standings Men’s Hockey Far East Division GP W L OTL 22 19 2 1 UQTR Carleton 23 12 7 0 22 13 7 1 McGill Concordia 22 11 8 2 Ottawa 22 9 9 3
SL PTS 0 39 4 28 1 28 1 25 1 22
Mid West Division GP W L OTL 24 12 9 0 25 11 12 1 24 8 13 3 23 5 16 1
SL PTS 3 27 1 24 0 19 1 12
York Guelph Brock UOIT
Men’s Basketball Carleton Ottawa Toronto Ryerson Queen’s Western McMaster Windsor Brock Waterloo
East Division W GP 14 15 13 15 10 15 9 15 6 15 West Division W GP 12 15 10 15 9 15 7 15 7 15
Saturday, January 31 at Brock, TBD
McMaster Queen’s Guelph Ryerson Waterloo
Sunday, February 1 at Brock, TBD
GP 16 16 16 16 16
W 14 13 12 9 8
SL PTS 1 24 1 16 1 13 0 8
Far West Division GP W L OTL 22 17 4 1 Laurier Lakehead 22 16 4 1 22 16 5 1 Western Waterloo 20 13 5 0 Windsor 22 12 9 1
SL PTS 0 35 1 34 0 33 2 28 0 25
L 1 2 5 6 9
PTS 28 26 20 18 12
Toronto Carleton Ottawa Queen’s Laurentian
L 3 5 6 8 8
PTS 24 20 18 14 14
Windsor Western McMaster Lakehead Waterloo
Friday, January 30 at Brock, TBD
Mid East Division GP W L OTL Toronto 22 11 9 1 Queen’s 22 7 13 1 RMC 23 6 16 0 Ryerson 22 4 18 0
L GF GA PTS 2 44 10 28 3 44 14 26 4 40 21 24 7 35 29 18 8 31 31 16
East Division W L GP 11 5 16 11 5 16 10 6 16 7 9 16 7 9 16 West Division W GP L 16 17 1 12 5 17 11 17 6 10 16 6 6 17 11
Laurier Guelph Toronto York Waterloo
vs Western Mustangs
GP 21 20 20 22 20
W 21 14 13 12 7
L 0 4 6 10 11
T OTL PTS 42 0 0 30 0 2 27 0 1 24 0 0 16 0 2
Athletes of the Week
7:00 pm, CIF Arena
Warrior Basketball January 31
vs Windsor Lancers [W] 2:00 pm, [M] 4:00 pm
Adrienne Corbett Figure Skating 3rd year, Kinesiology Toronto, ON
Warrior Basketball February 4
[W] 6:00 pm, [M] 8:00 pm,
vs Brock Badgers
[W] 6:00 pm, [M] 8:00 pm
Eric Dingle Squash
Registered trademarks of Boston Pizza Royalties Limited Partnership, used under license. © Boston Pizza International Inc. 2005
IMPRINT | JANUARY 30
PTS 34 24 22 20 12
Warrior [W] Hockey January 31
January 30 vs York Lions
PTS 22 22 20 14
5th year, Computer Engineering Calgary, AB
Comics & Distractions
What do Feds election candidates have to do in order to win your vote?
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
“Inspire me.” Chris Rowlinds 3B legal studies
First of all I’d like to thank you for hosting such a column where we can talk about our problems anonymously without going the shrink option. I am a CBC Asian and so is my ex-girlfriend. During our relationship, I used to have a thing for white girls (especially blondes) as well as a five terabyte porn collection. When my girlfriend found out about this she broke up with me. That’s not the worst part, though: she told this to all her other girlfriends and now the whole community treats me like a leper. On top of that I can’t pick up white chicks because as soon as they hear my accent they get turned off. I’m not into the whole bar scene or Facebook so what’s a good way to pick up girls nowadays? And do you think five terabytes of porn is a bad thing?
“Stop bothering me in class.” Stephanie Chiang 2B biomed
“Make their platforms known.” Brooke Astles 1B planning
“Strip naked and dance in a circle.” Swiss Nanton 2B peace & conflict studies
Dear Lonely Dog, Mmhm, sounds like you’ve got your share of problems. First off, the details of your breakup, short of an abusive or possibly dangerous situation, should be kept between you and your ex. Shaniqua here doesn’t know the ins and outs of CBC (that is Canadian Born Chinese) culture, but where I come from, her actions make her a bit of a bitch. Since you two have broken up, though, dwelling on her won’t do you any good.
“Do the chicken dance.” Krysten Brown & Gysbertus Vermeulen 2B arts & 3B mechatronics
So you like blonde, white girls — get in line. Seems you and pretty much every other guy out there are bending over backwards to sleep with Paris Hilton-types. On behalf of all women out there who aren’t white or blonde, I should remind the reading audience that we can be as sexy as the next girl. You, however, seem to have a real fetish for white women, judging from your sizable porno stash. On a campus like UW there are plenty of white guys with the Asian persuasion chasing after their own Miss Saigon, but you don’t hear much about the Azn guys scoring with the Jessica Simpsons of the world — probably because (surprise!) a lot of these girls are just as shallow as you would expect. The best advice I’ve got is to expand your social circles to include clubs, groups, and organizations where you might meet nice white girls. That means ditch the Chinese Drama Club and join the regular Drama Club, etc. There isn’t much else you can do other than cross your fingers and hope that Reese Witherspoon catches rice fever. Or maybe go scope out the chicas at Laurier. As for your porno stash, there is definitely a limit. Five terabytes is a lot of porn — do you even look at most of it more than once? Check out some frequently updated sites that don’t require downloads, like Fapchan.org for pictures or Xtube.com for streaming video. Save yourself the trouble of having future girlfriends discover your spank bank, and free up some hard drive space while you’re at it. If you keep that big of a porn stash, Lonely Dog, girls are going to think you are one sick puppy.
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I know you told another person who wrote in who was hooking up to get a boyfriend because she had no respect for her hookup partners, but I have a concern about the opposite. I got dumped by a man I can’t get over, and it’s having a very real impact on the rest of my life. A part of me strongly feels that if I can just get over the link created when we had sex, I’ll be able to concentrate more on the rest of my life. Would you say that casual sex is a healthy choice for me, or are there other variables I’m not considering here? I don’t want to hurt myself or anyone else with relationships right now, and it seems like the only way to shake him off. Sincerely, Business Casual
Dear Casual, My auntie Chanice had a saying for every time she broke up with someone: “The best way to get over one man is to get under another.” In your case, I’d say that casual sex might be just what the doctor ordered — but put a time limit or number of men as a cap on your sexual adventure. Tell yourself that after two months of debauchery, or 10 men, you are done picking up for casual encounters; that way you can pause and reassess your situation. If you are still feeling hurt from your previous relationship, you have to start looking for another alternative to fix your broken heart. People can fall into a dangerous trap of letting one bad breakup fuel promiscuity for long stretches of time; don’t let that happen to you. Now, in your letter you didn’t specify if you’re into the kinky shit, but I’ve got to tell you to play it safe. As a general rule to everyone, girls and guys, out there picking up, if you don’t know their middle name, use a condom. If you don’t know their last name, use two condoms.* And while you’re having your sexy adventure, Casual, if you don’t know his first name, you should probably ask what it is before you let him stick it in you. * Editor’s note: Don’t actually — the friction between two condoms drastically increases the chance of tearing.
Comics & Distractions
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
1. Behavioural quirk
8. _____ Andronicus
13. Lennon’s lady
14. Wargame counters
18. Typical 19. Food from heaven 20. The lower inside hull of a ship, plural 22. Any abnormal growth of new, purposeless tissue
44 50 55
24. Rabbit-like rodent
25. Man with horns
R N L F A F O A Y D
16. Habituate 17. Tribute, of sorts
26. Hemispherical roof 27. Proportional share
31. Kid’s query
29. Bar topic
67. Dash lengths
33. Give it a go
34. Kind of nut 36. Balance point different in men and women (three words)
35. Tied up, as in a sports game
1. “What a shame”
36. PC “brain”
2. Deep blue 3. Fluid-filled cavity within an animal body
41. Not poetic 42. Absurd
4. First eight lines in a sonnet
43. Vase 44. Boatswain (come back to this one) 46. California wine valley 50. Kind of chart 52. Stinks
5. Constitution of the human body
37. Be mistaken 38. “Smoking or ___?” 39. African antelope 40. One who pays a randsome 44. Dracula, at times
45. Where to hear an aria
47. Assert without proof
8. Adagio and allegro
48. Air distribution system chamber
54. Squeeze or confine
9. As a whole, “all __ ___” (two words)
10. Common cat food flavor
58. The only bone in the human body not articulated to any other
11. Plural of 43 Across
51. Chain of hills
12. Tailor’s line
59. Sets of 500 sheets of paper
15. Winter driving hazard
53. Note describing earthy tones to a scent
61. WSW’s opposite
62. Big ape (abbrev.)
23. Fertility clinic stock
63. Beasts of burden
28. Roswell sighting
64. A kind of instinctive feeling
29. Floral necklace
54. Display 55. Trainee 56. Lion’s sound 60. Cleopatra biter
Cryptogram Fv at upq’h ztcftxt fq vgtt tlkgtbbfpq vpg ktpkct at utbkfbt, at upq’h ztcftxt fq fh sh scc. — Qpsy Jmpybin
January 23, Cryptogram Solution Pleasure in the god puts perfection in the work — Aristotle
January 23 Sudoku solution
1 5 8 4 6 2 3 9 7
6 2 9 5 3 7 8 1 4
3 7 4 8 9 1 6 2 5
9 1 5 3 8 4 7 6 2
8 6 2 9 7 5 4 3 1
7 4 3 2 1 6 5 8 9
5 8 7 1 2 3 9 4 6
4 9 1 6 5 8 2 7 3
2 3 6 7 4 9 1 5 8
Comics & Distractions
Imprint, Friday, January 30, 2009
IMPRESSION, BY JIM & LAN
GEOFFREY LEE & SONIA LEE
IN THE WEEDS
BY MATT FIG, BRANDON FORLER, AND KEEGAN TREMBLAY
PETER N. TRINH
Published on Feb 1, 2009