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Urbane renewal page 4

Is Canada doing enough? page 2

the newspaper

University of Toronto’s Independent weekly

CriticismsaboundatGCelectionsmeeting tejas parasher It has barely been a month since the U of T Governing Council was decried as a “rubber stamp” at its general meeting. Now, with elections for the new board of governors just underway, the same concern is surfacing with renewed vigor. On March 1, the U of T French Club (EFUT) and the Campus Liberals jointly hosted a townhall meeting for the GC Elections. Candidates running for the eight student positions on the council showed up to field questions about their campaigns. Right off the bat, the discussion turned to whether eight council members—each with an individual agenda—could ever accurately represent a student body of 50,000. Abdi Aidid, one of the meeting’s moderators, pointed out that terms like “accessible” and “representative” were thrown about on most of the candidates’ personal statements. But he asked if they had actually taken any concrete steps

Two graduate students from the Faculty of Information sat down to an intimate dinner with social activist and author Naomi Klein on February 26. Katya Pereyaslavska and Brandon Weigel, along with Professor Nadia Caidi, were chosen by the Stephen Lewis Foundation to meet the famed author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine based on an iSchool recommendation. The three joined representatives from four other Canadian postsecondary institutions (Dalhousie, Humber, University of Guelph, and Simon Fraser University) as an appreciation for their outstanding performance in the foundation’s Dare to Remember Challenge, which raises money to combat AIDS in Africa. On Oct. 24, 2009, armed with

Blackboard warns against academic misconduct tomasz bugajski

to make themselves visible to students, and if they would be able to simultaneously balance majority opinion, their own biases, and the views of other governors.

Klein and dine amY stupaVskY

March 4, 2010

Vol. XXXII N0. 22

resource materials, Pereyaslavska and Weigel’s five-member group set up a table in front of the ROM to field the public’s questions about a variety of topics. In addition to raising money, the dare aimed to disprove stereotypes about librarians by making them more accessible to the community. Before the dinner, the students participated in a day-long workshop, beginning with a discussion led by Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, Executive Director. It focused on all the dares and strategic planning for upcoming projects. “Ilana was a great realist,” said Pereyaslavska. “She did not sugarcoat. She helped us open our dreamy eyes a little bit more when it comes to issues in Africa and a Continued on page 3

“I’m not running for the President of the university,” answered PhD student Sepehr Ehsani. “A student governor is just a conduit for his constituency. My job will be to

bring up my constituents’ concerns, and vote in whichever manner will benefit them. It doesn’t really matter what I think personally about an Continued on page 2

Something rotten at Rotman election branDon o’riorDan The Rotman Commerce student elections have been tainted by electoral fraud. “In the process of tabulating results, it was brought to our attention that a handful of students may have been involved in electoral fraud,” said Cynthia Bishop, Rotman’s Director of Student Life, Career Services and Alumni. “The candidates have not been questioned because there are no indications that they have been involved.” The assertion of fraud was later confirmed by a student who submitted a complaint regarding their inability to cast a vote on the grounds that

a vote had already been cast using their account. After confirming that electoral fraud had indeed occurred, the Rotman Commerce Student Life office immediately initiated an investigation to determine the extent of the fraud. At least five separate cases of suspected fraud have been identified, resulting in the potential tampering of approximately 100 overall votes among the various elections. As a result, all votes from last week’s elections have been voided and destroyed. Rotman staff have been in touch with campus police as well as Martin Loeffler, Director of Information

Students might have been a bit surprised logging onto to Blackboard recently, when a message from the Governing Council warning of consequences for academic misconduct appeared on the homepage. The message included links to records of Governing Council decisions concerning individual cases of plagiarism. Students can be forgiven if they felt slightly threatened by the announcement, since nothing similar has appeared on Blackboard before. Another obvious question is whether misconduct issues have been on the rise and the university felt the need to warn its students. But these concerns have been misplaced according to Edith Hillan, the Vice-Provost for Faculty and Academic Life. “The publication of Tribunal outcomes is intended to raise awareness of the importance of academic integrity and remind the entire university community of the seriousness with which the university views academic offences,” she said. “In the past these cases were published in the university newspapers but from now on they will be published via the portal every three to four months. All students and faculty members across the university will receive the same message,” she added.

Security. With the help of its Portal provider, Rotman is currently trying to identify the individuals involved in the fraud, which it intends to sanction to the fullest extent permitted by the University of Toronto’s Code of Student Conduct. Under the code, the individuals could Continued on page 3


the news

2

March 4, 2010

FOUR HUNDRED WORDS EACH

Afghanistan: Is Canada doing enough? tejas parasher Just a few months after 9/11, Canada found itself sucked into the military quagmire that is Afghanistan. Whether or not this should have ever happened is a separate debate in itself. But for all the confused butchery that has ensued since 2001, even the most ardent anti-war critic must acknowledge Canada’s attempts to bring some degree of stability to Afghanistan. The military invasion of Afghanistan was an essentially American endeavor. And (regardless of what Mr. Harper would like to believe) Canada and the United States are far from being the same country. Canada, by its very essence, is confined to the periphery of world-politics. Its foreign-policy never has, and most likely never will, take an aggressive stance. To put it bluntly, Canada just doesn’t have that much at stake in the international arena. The US entered Afghanistan in response to 9/11, and now can’t seem to take a single step in the country without feeling some sort of domestic repercussion. But what does Canada have to avenge? And what international terror-networks do we have to cower from? So Canada’s Afghan agenda has been nowhere as blatantly militaristic as that of our southern neighbours. Despite the Bush administration’s rhetorical garb of ‘democracy’ and ‘enduring freedom’, American soldiers were really only sent

to Afghanistan for one reason: to fight, to try and subdue a country embroiled in endless, brutal war since the seventies. In contrast, Canada did not take part in a single offensive until Operation Mountain Thrust in 2006—and even that was commanded by US officers. The Canadian military spent much of its first four years working with Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), building schools leveled by the Taliban, rehabilitating the Dahla Dam in Kandahar, or trying to prop up Kabul’s brittle infrastructure. A resurgent Taliban around Kandahar and Helmand has recently forced Canada to adopt a more proactive, combat-based role. The Canadian Air Force and Light Infantry were key players in the 15,000-strong Operation Moshtarak earlier in February. But this has been the exception, not the rule. Even Stephen Harper, in his 2009 visit to Kandahar, conceded that Canada’s strength lay in “civilian-based objectives” and reconstruction efforts. The idea that invading a country can somehow help to rebuild it seems both counter-intuitive and a bit disturbing. But we must give credit where credit is due. In its eight years in Afghanistan, Canada has not been—and perhaps can never be—seduced by mindless militarism. Just because they are not monopolized by a superpower with stakes in half the world’s countries, Canadian forces have been able to actually do something about breaking Afghanistan’s cycle of tragedy.

the newspaper Editor-in-Chief Helene Goderis

News Editor

Amy Stupavsky

Associate Arts Editor

Associate News Editors Tomasz Bugajski Tejas Parasher

Layout Editor

Illustrations Editor

Science Editor

Photo Editor

Tim Ryan

Prior to the opening of the Winter Olympics, the UN General Secretary called for a truce between all warring nations during the two-week event. The aim of the Games, according to Vanoc, is “to contribute to searching for peaceful and diplomatic solutions” to world conflicts. The revival of the ancient Olympic Truce, however, in no way extended to the war-torn region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. As the Olympics began in Vancouver, a series of attacks were launched in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan. We were all ecstatic to hear of Canada’s world-record breaking gold medal tally, but have we forgotten about the 2,500 plus personnel deployed overseas? Just over two years ago, a report was issued insisting that Canadian troops remain in the region (past the intended deadline of February 2009) on militarily based conditions including the deployment of an additional battle group of 1000 to Kandahar and the implementation of high-performance, unmanned aerial vehicles. The Manley panel’s report briefly mentioned that Canada’s position should include greater attention and funding to diplomacy and reconstruction. In Jan. 2009, Canada’s “special website on Afghanistan” posted a series of priorities that include providing humanitarian assistance and political reconciliation with former insurgents. Yet the dire situation remains. Not even an eighth of Canadian Forces in Afghanistan are devoted to the Provincial Re-

construction Plan, aimed at carrying out these objectives. Due to brutal conflict in Kandahar, over 2800 families have been displaced. Although the intention is to promote civilian engagement in development projects, the region is too dangerous for many to remain in their homes, nevermind to participate in infrastructure endeavors. Even NGOs in the area are running for cover. One of the most fundamental factors of instability in the region is the acute problem of poverty. The effort to destroy poppy fields - initiated to curb drug trafficking - is counterproductive because poor farmers are the ones suffering, rather than those pushing the increasingly demanded drugs. While Pakistani president Musharraf would probably do little to quell Islamists in the region, some external pressure from foreign diplomacy, such as threatening to support the Northern Alliance should civil war break out, might encourage Pakistan to thwart Taliban initiatives. It’s been suggested that Pakistan’s military intelligence branch, the ISI, with alleged links to the Taliban, should be explored as an outlet for negotiations. We hosted a celebration of international communication and confluence, but we continue to wage destruction overseas. Too bad there’s no penalty for hypocrisy in global conduct. Had leaders been granted access to the stadium’s contingent upon engaging in diplomatic action, maybe the Afghanistan situation would be brighter. Even Stephen Harper wouldn’t pass up a ticket to a global, gold-medal hockey match.

Dan Craig

Miki Sato

Natalie Rae Dubois

Recently overshadowed in the media by the Olympics and parliamentary prorogation, the war in Afghanistan rages on. Canada has steadily increased its presence in Afghanistan since 2001. Faced with growing security problems impeding Afghan recovery, has Canada done enough to help secure and rebuild the country? Should peacekeeping operations be expanded?

Managing Editor

Arts Editor

Sarah D’Angelo Cailin Smart

cara sabatini

Contributors

Mike Winters Alex Nursall

Thiru Shathasivam, Will Martin, Brandon O’Riordan, Peter Ulecki

Business Manager Taylor Ramsay ads@thenewspaper.ca

the newspaper 1 Spadina Crescent, Suite 245 Toronto, ON M5S 1A1 Editorial: 416-593-1552 thenewspaper@gmail.com www.thenewspaper.ca the newspaper is U of T’s independent weekly paper, published by Planet Publications Inc., a non-profit corporation. All U of T community members, including students, staff and faculty, are encouraged to contribute to the newspaper.

GC Elections cont’d from page 1 issue.” Ehsani’s comment drew attention to what many consider a recurring feature of GC politics: somewhat inefficient representation of the student voice, and occasionally conflicting agendas between governors.U of T’s Governing Council is its highest decision-making body. But of the 50 seats available on the council, only eight are given to students. The rest are reserved for university administration and faculty. Between themselves, the eight student governors must somehow ensure that U of T’s overwhelming number of campus groups have a platform to make their voices heard. Following GC Bylaw, four of the eight are full-time undergraduates, two are part-time undergraduates, and two are graduates. Each is responsible for representing a particular constituency. As some audience members pointed out, U of T student groups are far from unified

in their stance towards administrative decisions. A GC in which each student is confined to representing a limited demographic thus encourages unnecessary partisan politics “I will be on the council to work for my constituents, as best as I can,” said candidate Daniel Gatto. “Graduate student reps will be working for graduate-students; part-time reps for part-time students. Our interests might overlap at times, but they are by no means always the same. Gatto went on to say that, with the re-appointment of David Naylor as U of T President, the Towards 2030 Plan is going to be a major focus of upcoming GC discussions. The plan envisions the St. George campus as devoted almost exclusively to graduate research. Many student groups have criticized 2030 for heavy-handedly sacrificing undergraduate study in an attempt to secure research funds On Monday, however, the inherently fragmented nature of the GC seemed to prevent student governors from forming a clear attitude towards the plan. Graduate candidates like Olivier Sorin, Sepehr Ehsani, and Greg West were looking to

increase funding and staff for MA/ MSc and PhD programs. Undergraduate candidates, like Robert Chu and Joeita Gupta, would rather have seen the university’s alreadystrapped resources diverted to student-life and equity issues. The only way for students on the GC to make the best of this, according to candidate Gregory Rebejko, would be to “play a more proactive role than just sitting on the council and voting. They need to go into the grassroots while policies are being formulated, and see how something affects different demographics in the university.” Planned overhauls of the university’s policies, of which the Towards 2030 Plan is just one part, will affect U of T as few things have done in the past. Monday’s town-hall revealed that there were deep-seated concerns about whether a cohesive student voice would be able to come together and hold the administration’s sweeping changes up for scrutiny. Elections for Governing Council are running from March 2 to March 12. All students are eligible to vote through ROSI.


the news

March 4, 2010

3

Rossi campaigns hard to Toronto Board of Trade

Rotman Elections

tomasz bugajski

cont’d from page 1

AMY STUPAVSKY

The Grande Ballroom of the Queen St. Sheraton Hotel buzzed with activity, as Rocco Rossi gave his second major campaign speech to the Toronto Board of Trade on Wednesday. He reiterated many of the campaign promises he made in his first speech at the Empire Club in January, but offered new ideas for the TTC. Among his most interesting comments was a plan to renegotiate the TTC’s relationship with the province. He is worried that Transit City, the multibillion dollar plan to expand Toronto’s transit system, will result in unaffordable operating costs for the city. Rossi suggested that a solution may be “a different governance model for the TTC, one that brings it into some sort of new partnership with Metrolinx.” He was referring to the new provincial authority for transit systems in the GTA. Bringing the TTC under the jurisdiction of a provincial body would offset the some of the operating costs burden from Toronto. Rossi pledged that he “would be willing to put everything on the table for discussion,” even ceding substantial control of the TTC. He explained, however, that handing over the TTC entirely to the province is not an option. “It takes two people to upload, because the uploadee has to be willing to accept it,” he told reporters after his speech. “Quite frankly, with the union contracts, I’m not sure that in the current circumstances they would be prepared to

do that.” Rossi’s other proposals for the TTC include replacing elected councillors on the TTC board with private sector experts, embracing better technology, and opening up transit to the private sector. Rossi’s

main rival, George Smitherman, has also suggested outsourcing some transit services and replacing the TTC board with private sector experts; however, he has not commented on uploading transit to the province.

Klein and dine cont’d from page 1 number of charity approaches to helping out.” In the latter part of the day, the students and professors divided into groups and brainstormed ideas for next year’s dares. The group then proceeded to Ethiopian House Res-

taurant at 4 Avenue where we they met with Klein and Avi Lewis. “They were absolutely fantastic and took time to hear all about our DARES and school psychosis!” said Pereyaslavska. “Avi stole my heart when he told us that our DARE

was totally awesome and that he was delighted to see that library students are hard at work to change the negative stereotypes attached to our professional field. Naomi was a very thoughtful listener and spoke with a great weight for words.”

face suspension or expulsion. Over 750 Rotman Commerce students voted in the executive elections for the Rotman Commerce Students’ Association, the Accounting Society and the Consulting, Finance and Marketing Associations, representing a voter turnout of 30 per cent . “We consider this aspect of the elections a success,” said Bishop, “considering the average voter turnout for primary student government elections at the University of Toronto is typically below 10 per cent. It’s a real shame that the results don’t count.” The Commerce program has recommended that the elections be held again, although the candidates will not be doing any additional campaigning. According to Bishop, students are generally disappointed by the fraud, but are glad that the school is investigating. Bishop hopes that the fraud will not negatively impact voter turnout in the reelection. “We’re encouraging students to vote once again.” A reelection for all positions in RCSA, RCMA, RCCA, RCAS and RCFA will be held on Monday, March 8th and Tuesday, March 9th. Elections for RCLA and RCSIFE will continue to be held on Thursday, March 11th and Friday, March 12th, as originally scheduled. Rotman’s Portal provider has implemented an additional security step for online votes, to confirm the identity of the voter. While many are frustrated by the electoral fraud, Bishop remains optimistic. “Elections are such an important part of our community at Rotman,” she said. “I hope the students will all take the opportunity to re-cast their votes.”

the brief the campus

Today at 10:00 pm UTSU and PHE present U of T’s annual KIN KRASH event at Circa nightclub with DJ Mike Toast and special drum performance by Gabe. Tickets are $10 at the door or $5 purchased in advance at Sid Smith, the Athletic Centre Lobby and UTSU office from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

the local

Tourism industry officials in Toronto and Niagara Falls say they are shocked to learn of U.S. state plans to raise passport fees by up to 35 per cent. They are worried it will affect tourist numbers. “It’s difficult to get our American visitors across the border for so many reasons right now,” said Niagara Falls Tourism Chair Wayne Thomson. “This is not good news for tourism destinations.”

the world

A vicious, hurricane-strength winter storm ripped through Europe on Sunday, leaving at least 51 dead. Three people died in Spain, one in Germany, and one in Portugal as a result of the the destruction. The storm also struck Belgium, with one death reported there as well.

the weird

British police have caught and fined a woman for driving at 70mph while flossing her teeth and looking into her rear-view mirror. “We’ve caught women applying lipstick and makeup, and men using electric razors on their way to work,” a spokesman said of the recent charge. “This is the first time we’ve seen someone flossing their teeth. It’s particularly dangerous because you need to use both hands.” The woman was fined $91 for her crime. -Amina Stella

BUSTED FOR MARIJUANA? The police were wrong to arrest you, because

the marijuana prohibition has recently become constitutionally invalid, again.

ALEX NURSALL

Get in touch with U of T Philosophy Professor Hutchinson to find out how you (or your lawyer) should defend you from this vexatious charge.

Students relax through hula-hooping at a late night study at Robarts Library

Did U of T officials act against you? Let Prof. H. show you how they can be sued for punitive damages: doughutchinson@gmail.com.


the inside

4

March 4, 2010

Toronto cafes, a walking tour sarah d’angelo

people drink beer and compete for crushing Scrabble scores, or featured music guests like Jennifer Castle and Paul Linklater. Holy Oak owners Justin and Melissa, formerly Tranzac management, are forging a strong

relationship between live music and coffee. Menu highlights: Aged cheddar, basil and roasted red pepper grilled sandwich, with a toasty almond tea.

the fashion

AMY STUPAVSKY

CAILIN SMART

Sapphire Li stands pretty at Urbane launch.

U of T’s fashion community, after a seemingly endless drought of fashion coverage, will thirst no longer. Urbane Magazine, headed by editor Matthew Gray, covers a fashion angle previously untouched by any U of T publication. The magazine had its launch at Hart House last Friday, complete with drinks, great live bands, and of course amazing outfits. The room was a fashionable zoo with vintage, casual-chic and high fashion species, the most stylish individuals being, fittingly, from the magazine’s own editorial board. Sapphire Li (featured left) is the Urbane Productions Director. She was the picture of cocktail perfection in a short chinese print mini dress in provencal blue and white, complete with divine accessories: a red floral headband for contrast and strappy-heeled sandals. Another standout outfit was graced by Fashion Editor Andrew Lovesey, who wore a unique burgundy double-breasted sport coat. The event’s high point was a fashion show, with tiered cocktail silhouettes by a local designer, but unfortunately suffered from a lack of lighting. The first issue of the magazine was distributed and features a photo editorial shoot by Photo Editor David Pike entitled “Arte Provera,” with lacklustre neutral tones in the clothing. Despite receiving funding from Hart House and Wordsworth, Urbane’s fashion content is not grounded at U of T. It would’ve be nice to see the street styles shot at U of T, instead of New York. Overrall, an exciting addition to our U of T fashionable jungle, and I hope to see Urbane become a more powerful and dangerous fashion voice. (We need it!)

DARK HORSE CAFE The original Dark Horse is situated just east of the Queen Street bridge and Jilly’s on the corner of Broadview in the east end. I would describe the difference between the original Dark Horse and the new one as Brooklyn versus L.A. The remodeled loft space exuberates a lounge feeling, its airy panes of glass overlook a bustling Spadina. Dark Horse’s long communal tables demand engagement between strangers. Owners Deanna Zunde and Ed Lynds remark that Toronto needs a little encouragement to be on the friendly side. I couldn’t agree more. People seem unnerved by the idea of sitting next to a stranger, but I enjoy not having the option of a small table to seclude myself from the public in a public place. I give this bold move two jittery coffee thumbs up! Menu Highlights: try a date square and latte for $3- it could be made by the hands of a National Barista Champion Ed Lynds. I DEAL COFFEE Lastly, on our tour of Toronto through caffeinated eyes, I would like to move just west of Spadina to Kensington Market. I Deal Coffee ( it’s ideal, get it?) is not the oldest cafe in Kensington but has sprung up making its mark off a reputation of self roasted beans and their strong support of organic farm-

ing practices. I Deal is a coffee shop with a global conscience that strives to buy their beans in fair trade off small farming cooperatives. I Deal has a wide range of coffee blends for sale that make the new Nassau location seem more like a take out scenario, encouraging the enjoyment of coffee in the home and on the streets. But while this new location is somewhat of a small nook on Nassau street, it has a patio shaded under a tree, next door to This Ain’t The Rosedale Library’s book racks. Menu highlights: Try buying a pound of the Prince of Darkness roast; it’s a blend of darkly roasted, high altitude South and Central America’s with a wild yet mild body and mixed with Ethiopian Sidamo.

PETER ULECKI

HOLY OAK Beginning in my hood, Bloor Street West has recently exploded in coffee grinds. Where not only a year ago it appealed only for its superb shawarma and Value Village, it is now home to some sleek bars and homey cafes. Holy Oak (1241 Bloor St W ) seems to be the perfect union of bar and coffee shop. By day, its dining chairs and potted plants lend a cottage kitchen appeal and the sunlight casts a comforting glow through the window. By night, the space transforms into a bar for themed evenings like Games Night where

SARAH D’ANGELO

I’m always stricken with confusion when I see people walking along Bloor Street, Starbucks coffee in hand and a look of satisfaction on their face. On my daily journey from the Landsdown subway station to U of T ‘s downtown campus I’m overtaken with the vast amount of alternatives to coffee chain selections. I would like to present them to you on the silver platter they deserve. The variety of experience is key, so here are three cafes in very different locations and what they have in store that makes them worth giving up the homogenized experience of Second Cup or Starbucks.

Forget artwork on walls, check out the latte artwork at Dark Horse!


March 4, 2010

the inside

5

“ the campus comment ”

YOUR AD HERE

the newspaper asks: Now that the Olympics are over, what are you going to watch?

Advertise with the newspaper for the most competitive rates on campus! email: ads@thenewspaper.ca

“I like to watch CBC News, Slice, and TLC.” - Mally

“I don’t watch TV usually, but I guess MMA, UFC, etc.” - Paul L.

“I don’t watch TV. During the Olympics I watched more television than I had in the last 3 months.” - Paul

[silence] - Tom

“I watch way too much Behind the Music. Take me away, Whitesnake!” -Foz

ALEX NURSALL

“Accidentally on Purpose. Actually, I stream it, so I guess the news?” - Loisel


the science

6

Stem Cell Psychics U ofT group elucidates one of the key factors that determine what stem cells become

tim ryan Since the pioneering studies of Till and McCulloch began the modern era of stem cell biology, spawning a large number of stem cell scientists who migrated throughout the world, the University of Toronto and their affiliated research hospitals have continued to establish themselves at the forefront of the stem cell research movement. One of the main questions facing researchers these days is that of, how do stem cells ‘make decisions’? In

other words, what is the process that determines the type of cell they become? Recently, researchers at U of T played an integral part in an international collaboration that furthered our understanding of how stem cells differentiate themselves into specific cell types in fruit flies. The overall goal is to manipulate these cellular decision pathways to open new doors in regenerative medicine, in terms of cell-based therapies and potential cancer treatments.

In an article published in Cell Stem Cell, Professor William Stanford of biomedical engineering and his collaborators found that the protein Polycomb-like 2 (PCL2), originally found in fruit flies, plays a critical role in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell ‘decision making’. When the PCL2 protein was removed from the mouse ES cells, they lost the ability to differentiate into specialized cells, even when subjected to other conditions that would otherwise

transform them into neuronal, muscle and liver cells. This result is similar to the way cancer cells behave. The result was reversed when PCL2 was re-introduced into the cells, once again, mouse ES cells could differentiate into specialized cells. The big picture idea is that if scientists can understand how stem cells make these decisions at a molecular level, they can influence stem cells to do what they want therapeutically. This paper takes us one step closer to reaching that goal.

Bisphenol A loses a battle, but still leads the war Researchers find a method of pre-treating BPA containing plastics to ease decomposition thiru shathasivam I love a good controversy, and I am sure you can recall the buzz surrounding bisphenol A (BPA). Think Nalgene and plastic water bottles. In fact, our federal government promoted BPA to its watch list of toxic substances in 2008, and officially banned the sale of BPA containing baby bottles. However, completely ostracizing BPA was impossible. BPA polycarbonate (a polymer made of a string of BPA units) is one of the most popular engineering thermoplastics, with a broad spectrum of applications from household appliances to automobiles to optics. Approximately 2.7 million tons of BPA is produced globally every year! And lets admit it, plastic is an indispensible staple of our society. The rise in BPA polycarbonate production, compounded by its durability, has led to concerns regarding waste disposal. In recent years, chemical recycling, whereby chemical processes are applied to partially alter the molecular structures of wastes, has made an increasing contribution towards polycarbonate waste management. However, it is not exactly the most environmentally friendly. That’s why Dr. Mukesh Doble from the Indian Institute of Technology has been investigating biodegradation as an op-

tion. Dr. Doble and his research associate Trishul Artham studied the decay of polycarbonate when pretreated with ultraviolet light and heat before subjecting to three kinds of fungi, including the white-rot fungus used commercially for environmental remediation of some of the toughest pollutants (like the banned insecticide DDT). They found the fungi thrived on the pretreated plastic, compared to untreated samples, and used the BPA monomer as an energy source. After 12 months, substantial decomposition of the pretreated plastic was evident, with no BPA emissions into the environment. The lack of BPA release is particularly noteworthy, considering the health concerns associated with BPA exposure.

For instance, animal studies have linked BPA to obesity, infertility, and insulin-resistance. Furthermore, rodents exposed to low doses of BPA were predisposed to a variety of cancers. BPA can function as an environmental estrogen to alter the normal estrogen pathways in cells.

All in all, this early success could lead towards a commercially viable method for disposing of BPA containing plastic. They offer a more efficient, safer, and environmentally benign solution, so we can continue with our reliance on plastics products.

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March 4, 2010


the arts

March 4, 2010

7

North of America are amazing, Broken Social Scene are rubbish will martin Far more genuine than the trivial faux-fandom-full on nationalism brought on by the Olympics, North of America were one of those bands that actually made you proud to be Canadian (unlike Broken Social Scene, who are fucking awful). After parting ways in 2003, members of NoA went on to form a variety of exciting projects (The Holy Shroud, Instruments etc.) but reunion shows remained relatively scarce. That is until Blue Skies Turn Black announced the lineup for their 10th anniversary show, featuring none other than the five lads from Halifax in the headlining slot. Up until a week ago, the reunion was set to be a Montreal exclusive when out of nowhere appeared a Toronto date and those keen/lucky enough to catch the announcement in time for NoA’s show at the Silver Dollar this past Friday were in for a real peach.

The evening started out with Boars, a Toronto two piece featuring members of I Can Put My Arm Back On You Can’t and Etaoin Shrdlu whose grinding raw-boned guitar riffs and firecracker drumming sounds somewhere in between the two bands, and that is a very good thing. Then Germans played, and they sucked, and took far too long doing it. North of America took the stage about 20 past midnight and didn’t leave until just after 2 am. Playing tracks that spanned the entirety of their 7-year tenure, the boys moved effortlessly back and forth between newish classics (Keep it on the download) and golden oldies (black is, black ain’t) with seldom a skipped beat. The mixed set list offered a staggeringly good representation of what made NoA a perennial favourite: compelling and dynamic songs, as tight as a skeeter’s asshole, delivered with the

energy and excitement of a ragtag bunch of kids in a feel good sports movie (preferably Little Giants). And, all the while the band embodies the sort of friendly, approachable, community-based energy as-

sociated with scene colleagues like Rockets Red Glare and Shotmaker, and distinctly absent from the elitist bullshit of loads of current Canadian bands (see Broken Social Scene). All this, and they finished

with a cover of Archer’s of Loaf Fabricoh, a perfect way to usher fans, cradling their melted faces in cupped hands, back out into the great cold bastard of a northern night.


the backpage

the crossword

March 4, 2010

the sudoku

ANdREw gYoRKoS

8

Across 1. Not take ‘no’ for an answer 4. St. George, Scarborough, or Mississauga 10. Repulsive 12. Laws 13. Vacation 17. Large deer 18. Guarantee 21. Mineral 22. Record label 23. Pep 24. Colouring 25. Spike or Bruce 26. Oven setting 27. Precipitation 29. Fish eggs 31. Mother 33. Homeless person 34. Slippery surface 36. Golf goal 37. High fibre Kellogg’s product 39. Hair product 40. Extreme anger 42. Selection 44. Popular song by The Kinks 45. Winged city rat 46. Miscellaneous Down 2. Sneaky 3. Male address 5. Mule 6. Cavity 7. Ancient artefact’s home 8. Variety of chowder 9. Seem 11. Loch 14. Space 15. Arachnid hero 16. Nirvana album 19. Lyrical verse 20. Sick 28. Kingdom 30. Seafood item 31. Tarnish

32. Greenback 33. Gloat 35. Waffle brand 38. What the Amish often raise 41. What a hen makes 42. ‘Without further ___’ 43. Second person pronoun 44. Young man

Think you got what it takes? First completed crossword and sudoku gets a free drink on us. Drop off completed puzzle with contact information. Hope you like vodka, son!

the horoscope ARIES “Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?” Avril Lavigne

boots nothing will stop you. Just be sure you’re commanding the respect you deserve and not the credibility you want.

While you may be searching for a coherent picture, don’t stress over what is and what is not complicating your view. Scrap Avrils pleas and try acting like somebody else, just for fun.

CANCER “I’m back where I belong, back in baby’s arms.” Patsy Cline

TAURUS “Does your soul cast about like an old paper bag, past empty lots and early graves.” Neko Case Taurus, you seem divided by what usually fuels a rock solid strength. And though your soul may be casting about over seemingly desolate ground, this scenery holds the potential to reinforce your inner strength ten fold. GEMINI “These boots are made for walkin’ and thats just what they’ll do.” Nancy Sinatra I would say the aura surrounding you right now is similar to futuristic armor, and paired with your walking

It’s homecoming time. After the long journey into the unknown, you’re going to feel cradled in the arms of familiar surroundings. Welcome back. LEO “If you’re thinkin’ about being my baby it don’t matter if you’re black or white.” Michael Jackson Do what thou wilt. What you truly desire may not come wrapped in familiar packaging, and that alone will make it so much richer. VIRGO “Cry me a river that leads to your ocean.” Bee Gees In the words of a formerly broken heart, don’t let emotions take you over. Spending time sorting out feelings is important but make sure

you’re not basking in the process of rehashing. LIBRA “Mo Money, mo problems.” Biggie Smalls That depends on where your money’s coming from. Libra, have you been acquiring success through clean channels? SCORPIO “Colors of the world, every boy and every girl, people of the world, spice up your life.” Spice Girls Remember jumping on your mother’s brand new coach, trance-like, listening to this song on repeat? I do. Soon, Scorpio, you will be projecting this trance-like state onto the people around you. SAGITTARIUS “But it’s just a sweet, sweet fantasy baby, when I close my eyes you come and you take me.” Mariah Carey Something wonderful is floating in your periphery. Choose to reach out and grab it so you won’t have to ad-

mire from afar anymore. CAPRICORN “I’m just so fresh and so clean.” Outkast You clean up real nice Capricorn, so don’t be that dude who wears too much Axe body spray on the dance floor. Natural is really attractive. AQUARIUS “I dont know why but I never can say goodbye.” The Jackson Five If you don’t want to say goodbye yet...don’t! Trust those gut instincts, sometimes they lead to magic moments. PISCES “This is ground control to major Tom, You’ve really made the grade. And the papers want to know who’s shirts you wear.” David Bowie Major Tom, do you reach me? You’re flyin’ high in a strange ecstasy right now and I really want you to land safely. Please?


March 4 2010