EDUCATION: A GREAT START TO YOUR DAY
THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA’S INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER NOVEMBER 8, 2012 • VOLUME 65 • ISSUE 14 • MARTLET.CA
No tuition, no problem?
European and Canadian universities face different funding challenges > VANESSA HAWK It is not uncommon to hear a collective sigh from Canadian students when the subject of tuition in Europe comes up. Tuition in the European Union (EU) ranges, in general, from low to no fees for university, while B.C. university students currently pay $5 015 on average annually for undergraduate tuition. Canadian students naturally envy a university system that costs students close to nothing and accepts almost every applicant. But different problems arise from what Canadians assume is an idyllic system of higher education. Several distinctions appear when you place UVic and a European university side by side. Let’s take, for example, the University of Vienna in Austria, which like UVic is ranked within the top 200 universities in the world in the Times Higher Education world university rankings. Firstly, post-secondary schools in Austria are publicly funded by the government, which has access to funding from high income tax rates. Austrians who earn between 11 000 and 25 000 euros annually (approximately C$14 000– $32 000) — the lowest taxable income range in the country — are taxed 36.5 per cent on income over the first 11 000 euros. Canadians earning $132 400 or more annually — the highest income tax bracket in Canada — are only taxed 29 per cent. In Austria, higher education is a federal government responsibility. Higher education in Canada is the responsibility of provincial governments. In 2009, the B.C. government relied on student tuition for 25.3 per cent of funding for universities. Universities in Austria are legally bound to accept all applicants, with a few exceptions for disciplines such as medicine, art and psychology. These programs have entry exams or other admission processes. Austrians and EU citizens do not pay tuition at Austrian universities. Tuition fees in Austria are akin to the price of one course at UVic: a total of 363.36 euros per term (C$465) for non-EU citizens and students
WILLIAM WORKMAN & GLEN O'NEILL who take longer than four years to complete their program (though many programs take three years). UVic domestic undergraduate students typically pay about $2 480 for tuition per semester. In Austria, tuition fees do not include the cost of public transportation necessary for most students; at UVic, students pay $157 per year for a mandatory bus pass. Tuition fees were reintroduced in Austria in 2001 (they had not existed since the ‘70s) but were revoked in 2009 due to backlash from students. There are tuition exemptions for students from 50 least-developed countries (for example, Afghanistan and Rwanda) and students in need of financial assistance, for which there are also grants and government support. Government student loans do not exist. Entrance to UVic is dependent on academic merit and the ability to pay student fees. In addition to tution, the fees for the student society, health and dental plans, athletics and recreation, and bus pass total about $370 per semester. The student union in Austria collects the equivalent of $20 each semester from students. The differences are even more drastic for international student fees. Incoming international students at UVic pay approximately $8 000 per semester. Studying in Austria costs $470 per semester for students outside of the EU, though there is a lengthy list of students who qualify for exemption from fees. It is not enough to look at tuition and public
MODERN LOVE AND UVIC (P. 15) FINALLY, A REAL WORKOUT (P. 19)
funding without measuring the advantages and disadvantages to students. Universities in Austria are — except for a few regulated fields of study — legally bound to accept all applicants, regardless of academic or financial standing (though in most cases applicants must have a high school diploma). This translates into unparalleled accessibility to higher education in Austria. The University of Vienna, like UVic, is a research university. Founded in 1365, it is Austria’s largest academic institution and the oldest university in the German-speaking world. The opening of the EU borders accelerated the influx of students into Austrian universities, further stretching resources to accommodate a burgeoning student body. Even with public funding, universities in Austria struggle to afford high-quality resources or enough professors, which can result in large class sizes and teaching methods that don’t take students’ individual needs into account. Bernhard Doringer, an Austrian law student at the University of Vienna who is also enrolled as a business student at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, noted a difference in quality between European and North American university resources when he spent a semester at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. “Since American universities have much more money at hand, they’re able to fund much better equipment, [such as] IT systems, library, student services and facilities. In Austria, some buildings are quite old, some stuff is broken and administration does not work as smoothly [with] old and slow IT systems.” While Canadian universities can control the balance between available resources and student numbers with entrance requirements and tuition fees, Austrian universities are forced to undermine access in other ways.
“Limited resources lead to the inevitable need to keep the number of students low,” says Doringer. “Since anyone must be admitted by legal requirement, universities try to do so by creating knock-out exams with weird questions [that are] extremely difficult [and] regularly fail between 60–90 per cent of students. This also slows people down so they take longer for their studies [and have to pay fees].” At the same time, students in the Austrian system are free from the financial concerns Canadian students must address. Since 2005, tuition increases in B.C. have been capped at two per cent per year, but students’ debt still averages at $27 000, which is higher than their counterparts’ debt in other provinces. High student debt has negative effects on students as well as the economy, which suffers from graduates being unable to invest in, say, the housing market. The issues with public education in Austria came to a head in 2011 when the Vienna University of Economics and Business sued the government for requiring the school to accept all students without providing sufficient funding. The university received six-million euros (approximately C$7 770 000 at that time). Several Europe-wide studies suggest that alternative funding sources should be explored to improve EU universities. While the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and other student organizations have campaigns around problems with tuition and debt in B.C., the situation has yet to garner the same extreme response as in Austria. Doringer says he is in favour of a balance between both approaches to higher education (high tuition and no tuition). “I think that moderate tuition fees in combination with a grant/scholarship system would significantly increase the quality of education in Austrian universities,” he says.
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New Zealand Student Volunteer Army demonstrates grassroots disaster relief SVA organizer calls social media a ‘revolution that is of the scale of the printing press’ > GARRETT E.S. THERRIEN Want a few thousand people to pick up rubbish off a beach? Want to co-ordinate thousands of volunteers eager to help after a natural disaster? Talk to Louis Brown, an expert in using social media and modern technology to create and manage volunteer networks. On Nov. 1, he visited UVic to present his work in reviving the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) in response to the February 2011 Christchurch, NZ, earthquake. The SVA shoveled 360 000 tonnes of liquefaction muck (mud that bubbles to the surface in an earthquake) in two months. The volunteers delivered 500 000 government pamphlets, which gave information on disaster response, to Christchurch residents and moved chemical toilets to neighbourhoods without services. All told, they did millions of dollars’ worth of work — but since labour, transportation and equipment were donated, the final cost was just 59 673 New Zealand dollars (C$49 066). Brown and his team used a combination of Facebook, cell phones and more traditional media. He said starting early is key. “In a disaster, the Red Cross will put out an appeal [early] . . . [When] a disaster happens, the interest from the world — the ability to gather donations — peaks in the first week then tapers [off]. If you miss the first week, you miss the opportunity for donations, to get volunteers on board.” Facebook “likes” alone are not a response. Brown decided to use a system based on his earlier work (organizing volunteers to do beach cleanups) to marshal volunteers and accomplish useful jobs. “What we’ve learned in Christchurch is: yes, there are a bunch of people with free will, but there are a whole bunch of people behind the scenes that keep it all going,” Brown said. By the end of the response, the SVA had a 40-seat call centre taking calls from citizens and dispatching groups by text messages. However, the SVA started small. The original idea came from Sam Jones, another pioneer in using social media. Jones created the original SVA after the Christchurch earthquake of Sept. 4, 2010. This first group was quite small, just a couple hundred people and a Facebook event. Brown had been using social media and technology to organize beach cleanups since 2007. Along the way, he learned to co-ordinate traditional media, social media and modern technological tools to assemble and manage large groups of volunteers. On the day of the February 2011 quake, he was planning a beach cleanup near Christchurch with Jones. They
"It was grassroots innovation," said Louis Brown of the Student Volunteer Army he helped organize in New Zealand.
were in the same third-floor office, discussing their final plans, when the quake hit. After dealing with the immediate earthquake aftermath — escaping their office and helping people on the streets — they set up a Facebook page and began calling associates to come help them set up and co-ordinate a new SVA. Three days after the quake, on a Friday, they started relief work. “We got 50 jobs completed and we were like, ‘Wow, it worked; we got 50 jobs done. Awesome,’ ” Brown said. The next day, they accomplished around 300, and the number kept growing. The number of volunteers grew, too, to over 7 000.
The work done by the SVA was low-risk, but time-intensive and important. While the police and firefighters were working in the red zone, moving massive chunks of concrete and going into unstable office buildings to pull people out, the SVA was in the suburbs digging the liquefaction muck away from doors so people could go outside. “In some places, [muck] was as high as your deck chairs,” Brown said. At first, the government was uncertain about the SVA. Brown said, “The response was, ‘Hang on a minute; no, no, no — we haven’t seen this before’ . . . If we hadn’t pushed [the govern-
ment] so hard [to give us permission], none of this would have happened, [because] it’s not necessarily based on policy . . . it was grassroots innovation.” Within days, the SVA was recognized as a response organization. The government began funding the SVA and asking it to do jobs (like deliver the pamphlets). The government also referred citizens to the SVA for help. Brown would like governments to view citizens as a sophisticated resource. “I think we are in the middle of a revolution that is of the scale of the printing press, of the telegraph, the radio. I think [social media] is transforming humans interacting.”
Residence for UVic Catholic students opens > JASON LISKE Female Roman Catholic students at UVic now have their own student residence. On Oct. 21, Victoria Bishop Richard Gagnon and UVic Catholic Chaplain Dean Henderson officially opened Bethany House, a six-bedroom, offcampus residence for Catholic students, through a ritual of blessing. Henderson hopes that the residence and its all-male counterpart — Newman House, which opened in 2011 — will provide Catholic students with a community of faith and support during their time at UVic. Henderson cites John Henry Newman, a 19th-century Catholic convert from the Church of England, as a central influence be-
hind the openings of the residences. Newman, upon his conversion, was ostracized from Oxford University. “He knew that to be Catholic in a non-Catholic university was a very difficult calling,” says Henderson. “Christians in general, Catholics specifically, have consistently come to me complaining that they encounter prejudicial, sometimes hostile, and frequently ignorant comments and attitudes towards their faith during their university experience. Therefore, the encouragement of friendship, of shared values and faith, is very important.” Newman House is currently home to five male students, with Bethany House housing six female students. All rent and utilities are paid for by the students, making the residences
entirely self-financed. Henderson assisted in finding and acquiring the houses and furniture, but from now on will simply provide chaplaincy. He declined to provide the addresses of both residencies, citing concerns for student privacy and safety. Students living at Newman House participate in common prayer and worship, attending mass at UVic’s Interfaith Chapel and participating in activities organized by the Catholic Students Association on campus. Though the residences are not officially endorsed by the university, Henderson says that there is general support for them. “If it helps with student retention, a healthy sense of well-being that contributes to a holistic sense of academic success, then yes,” he says.
Joel Lynn, UVic’s executive director of student services, confirms this. “It is not officially endorsed by the university; that’s correct,” says Lynn. “But we work with all the faith communities to assist them in establishment of targeted housing programs. The university wishes them well.” Though Henderson says that Newman House’s “specific charisma is to provide a safe haven for Catholics on non-Catholic and non-Christian campuses,” he also emphasizes the residence as being a positive spiritual presence at the university. He says there are Newman Houses at four other Canadian university campuses. Lutheran students and Jewish students at UVic have off-campus residences at Luther House and Hillel House.
November 8, 2012 MARTLET • NEWS 3
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Transit negotiations fall through, job action continues > VANESSA HAWK Transit worker job action continues after negotiations between the union and B.C. Transit came to a standstill despite a mediator’s presence on Nov. 1. The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 333 met with B.C. Transit in Vancouver with a mediator from the Labour Relations Board in hopes of settling the dispute that has left workers without a contract since March 31. “The mediator felt the two sides were too far apart,” says Meribeth Burton, spokesperson for B.C. Transit. Both B.C. Transit and the union reported bringing several options to the table, and both said the opposing side was not making concessions, leading to an impasse after four hours. Job action includes an overtime ban and uniform abstention for the 650 bus drivers, skilled trades workers and maintenance workers in CAW Local 333. As a result, many bus trips have been cancelled daily. The two parties came to an agreement about wage and benefit increases, but negotiations have shifted to the new Vicinity community buses. The five new buses carry more passengers than the current community buses and are scheduled to start service in the spring. Both parties agree that the community bus fleet is in need of upgrading, but disagree on who should drive the buses. Community buses are limited in the number of seats they may have without highly trained drivers. The dispute surrounds whether or not the seat-number restriction includes standing passengers. The Vicinity buses don’t have more seats than the definition of a community bus allows, but they have additional standing passenger capacity.
The union’s position is that the Vicinity buses should be driven by highly trained workers who are qualified to drive the larger conventional and double-decker buses. These drivers receive higher pay than community bus drivers. “We have issues with this bus being driven by a person with a Class 4 licence, as well as we don’t think they’re going to actually be able to keep a schedule,” says Ben Williams, president of CAW Local 333. Williams says that the buses will be crowded and slowed down by having more standing passengers and only one door, especially on a community bus that stops frequently. B.C. Transit argues that the Vicinity buses meet the Class 4 licence requirements set out by ICBC and the Motor Vehicle Act. “Our community buses right now have a five-year life span, and we pay about $185 000, and the new buses are $253 000 — but they last 10 years,” says Burton. “So we’re getting better value for our money. We’re carrying more people. We’ve expanded [the buses] one foot longer, and licensing [is] determined by ICBC.” Williams says the union is concerned that the Vicinity buses and lower-paid drivers will be moved to larger bus routes. “We’re talking about a two-year contract, and there’s only 18 months left in it. The new buses are only going to [arrive in] spring, so essentially [B.C. Transit is] assuring that they won’t take any of our work for 12 months. What happens after the 12 months?” “From B.C. Transit’s perspective,” says Burton, “these buses were purposely designed for community shuttle routes. We have agreed
JOSH TANASICHUK to make concessions on the contract to assure the union that these buses will stay on the community routes for the length of the collective agreement.” No further negotiations have been scheduled as of press time. The overtime and uniform ban will continue, with the possibility of esca-
lation. Service will likely be further disrupted as maintenance work piles up. Only minor repairs are being tended to; any buses in need of major work are taken off the road. The union has promised to give the public 24-hour notice should there be any changes to transit job action.
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4 NEWS • MARTLET November 8, 2012
IN THE SUB
Conservative candidate Dale Gann and his partner, Connie Ahern.
Conservative MP candidate encourages entrepreneurship Technology park president Dale Gann cites brain drain as big issue facing Victoria > TIA LOW The president of UVic’s Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP), Dale Gann, was acclaimed as the Conservative MP candidate on Oct. 20 for Victoria’s upcoming byelection. One day later, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the byelection for Nov. 26 for Victoria, Calgary-Centre, AB, and Durham, ON, ridings. In Victoria, this by-election will fill the seat left vacant by NDP representative Denise Savoie, who stepped down in August for health reasons. Gann joins three other candidates with connections to UVic: Victoria Liberal candidate Paul Summerville, who is an adjunct professor at UVic; NDP candidate Murray Rankin, who is cochair of UVic’s environmental law centre; and UVic law professor Donald Galloway, the Green Party candidate. Gann says education is a priority for him. “We need to increase our education achievement levels always,” says Gann. “That’s K to 12 through post-secondary. We need to ensure our colleges and universities are leaders in disciplines in this country.” In October, Gann joined a start-up formed by recent UVic business school graduates. The company, called Educated Talent, aims to bridge the gap between businesses and students through internships. He acts as executive chair, a mentorship role. “He always talks about brain drain — even if you graduate, you don’t have work in Victoria. Then you leave Victoria or B.C. to go work in industries elsewhere, and it really hurts the economy,” says Dylan Chernick, one of the UVic grads who started the company. “His focus is, and will be as an MP, to solve this overarching problem of students not having jobs. He’s basically voicing that this is a huge problem, and people need to understand it,” adds Chernick. Gann has 18 years’ experience in the high-tech sector and 10 years’ as the president of VITP, which provides physical infrastructure for technology start-up companies and acts as a centre for technology activity. “One of the principles we’ve always applied there, which I think has helped prepare me for what I’m doing in changing my role, is to focus on the development of companies and find them
money, market and talent,” says Gann, who in 2009 became the president of UVic Properties Investments Inc., which manages both VITP and the Marine Technology Centre, a facility for research and education in North Saanich. Gann, who has never held an official position in politics, says working with different Canadian universities, government agencies, public and private companies, international delegates and researchers has prepared him for the role of MP. He likens his work in a technology park to being the mayor of a little town, calling technology parks “interesting environments.” “You end up becoming, sometimes, a mediator. You become really active in engaging two ideas, two people, or [being] the voice of what somebody’s done well.” When asked about his platform, he says, “I’m an individual that always looks at the issues and opportunities via the lens of the economy, the environment and social and financial sustainability. I’m not one that has a single platform issue or single vision.” Gann says Victoria needs to build on its successes, including a strong knowledge-based economy. He says the key to a better economy is helping small businesses and encouraging entrepreneurship. “What we’re good at, we need to become better [at]. We need to attract investment — continue to do that for research and development of higher education,” he says. “We really need to champion entrepreneurship. Don’t think, as a student, ‘We should just look at job posts’; we should be thinking . . . ‘How do we come together as three or five individuals and build a company?’ ” Gann includes immigration as a topic that affects education. “For example, in the post-secondary system, we’re always searching for great professors. If we find that great professor that’s from abroad, we want to make sure our immigration system allows that spouse to come and work in our community,” he says. VITP provides co-operative education opportunities for students at UVic’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, and Gann is involved with the school as a mentor. “Students are the magic that make those small businesses,” says Gann.
UVSS.CA November 8, 2012 MARTLET • NEWS 5
BUSINESS & TECH
The Sports and Lifestyle section. It's coming back. Nov. 22.
Compound interest: eighth wonder of the world > MICHAEL HEMMINGS Albert Einstein was in awe of the concept of compound interest. We are all affected by it, whether we understand it or not. Einstein said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it . . . he who doesn’t . . . pays it.” Interest is the sum charged on an original amount of money (the “principal” — a loan or deposit) you either borrow or invest. There are two kinds of interest. Simple interest is charged only on the principal or the initial amount. Compound interest is calculated on both the principal and the interest that accrues on that principal. Compound interest refers to your money’s ability to grow over time, depending on how much money is invested, what the interest rate is and how patient you are. It requires patience because it is boring and seems to do very little in the early stages. This concept is crucial to know. It underscores how important it is to simply get started at the practice and patience of saving as soon as possible.
Here’s an example. Someone (let’s call her Liz, age 20) starts saving while at university: $50 per month for five years. She earns five per cent compounded interest per year. Assuming all the factors remain stable, Liz would have over $3 400 in her account after five years. Doesn’t seem like much, does it? She graduates, gets $45 000 per year at her job and puts $100 per month in the same account for 15 years, again at five per cent compound interest. In 15 years, her money would be somewhere around $34 000. Liz is now 40 years old. She gets a raise and makes $50 000 per year now. She decides to put in another $400 per month at the same rate until she is 65 years old. When she retires, her investment will be worth around $356 000. Here’s a different scenario. Two good friends — let’s call them James and Zack — learn the same lessons about financial planning and compounding at university. James decides he is going to start investing right out of university. He decides to put $200 per month away at five per cent, no matter what. From ages 25–35 he does well, but then he becomes ill and stops
saving, but leaves the money in the investment. The principal he contributed, without compounding, would be $24 000. With compounding, the total would be about $31 000 at the end of these 10 years. His best friend, Zack, decides he is going to live it up for a while, and does so until James can’t work anymore. This crisis hits Zack powerfully. He decides life may be short, but he might have a long retirement. He starts putting away money at the time when his friend James becomes ill. Zack starts at age 35 and puts away $200 per month until age 65 at a compound interest rate of five per cent. Who (Zack or James) will have more money when they both turn 65? James will have more than $130 000, and Zack will have more than $160 000. But the real difference is that James will have only put in only $24 000 of his own money, while Zack will have put in $72 000. James’s initial investment was less than Zack’s, but James’s money had longer to work: it is not timing that makes the difference, but how long your money is in and how patient you are. To repeat: the amount of time you consistently
stay in the market, not trying to time big wins, is what will get you further in the long run. As Einstein’s quote suggests, if you owe money and are paying interest at a compound rate, you will pay a good deal of interest on what you buy. If you are saving at a compound interest rate, you stand to reap great rewards later on. The lesson here is: get started. Put some cash away now in a disciplined, consistent manner, even if it’s only $25 or $50 per month. While you are in school, put it in a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) — in my next column, I’ll explain why a TFSA is a better choice for students than an Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Like the scenarios above, continue to do so over time. You will reap the rewards of financial security long into your future. Sounds boring and mysterious, perhaps, but compounding makes all the difference between living well and living not so well later on in life. Please note: all calculations in this column were made using an HP 10b11= calculator, and numbers are rounded.
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TIME TO PLAY
Browse your next quest > NINA NEISSL On the morrow, I shall march against my enemy. I shall fight with no fear. My sword close, my shield closer, I will defend our realm . . . Oh, no. Connection timed out. New log-in, character selection, and here we are again, back in the world of fantasy. MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Game) has been one of the most controversial video game genres in the last couple of years, or, to be more specific, since World of Warcraft was released. Unlike other genres, MMORPGs offer a whole world to explore freely with your very own character. You can choose a profession, learn skills, go on adventures, become a hero and make real friends in the fantasy world. That can be very enticing, especially if people don’t feel like conquerors in the real world. Because of this, the genre has earned the reputation of being addictive. However, many gamers simply enjoy MMORPGs once or twice a week for a couple of hours, just like any other hobby, and don’t live it as a second life. If even that amount of time seems like too much to invest in a game, this week’s free game is perfect for you. Here is an MMORPG that doesn’t require you to spend months questing or becoming a level-70 orc to get the full experience. BrowserQuest is a demonstration of what new web technologies are capable of. Developers from Little Workshop were approached by Mozilla, the same company that created the Internet browser Mozilla Firefox, to come up with a demonstration of the new HTML5 markup language. That led to the development of
BrowserQuest, an open-source tribute to multiplayer games in the style of the ’90s. Its design might remind you of The Legend of Zelda. Before loading the game, you can choose your in-game nickname. Your low-pixel character then spawns in the middle of a village, without armour and equipped with a low-level sword. After you get a few basic instructions on how to play the game, you are good to go on your adventure. You move your character by clicking somewhere on the screen, and you attack and defend yourself from enemies by clicking on them. Watch out; some enemies attack automatically if you walk near enough.
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One goal of the game is to finish all of the 20 achievements that BrowserQuest gives you, but it does not end there. You can still go on exploring the world. Some of those 20 quests require you to fight enemies, find areas or items in the game or simply talk to a villager. The villagers are not always very helpful, but they sure do know how the game was made. While playing, you will find or receive better weapons as well as armour, and you can also get healing or fire potions. The latter turns you into an indestructable fox for a certain amount of time (the fox bears a certain similarity to Mozilla’s most famous logo). You can also team up or chat with
other players in the game. One quest requires you to steal a reward from another gamer. BrowserQuest doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has a lot of quests that are so unnecessary, you just have to do them. While wandering through the realm, you might run into the Internet-famous Nyan Cat or go through portals to eat cake (this seems to be inspired by Valve’s Portal). While BrowserQuest might not be the most challenging game you’ve ever played, it’s funny and retro. It can be played with the browsers Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. Pick up your mouse and conquer the world of BrowserQuest.
> ERIN BALL I've made it a personal policy to never buy wrapping paper for gifts. Yes, I am one of those people who — if it’s pretty paper — will carefully unstick the tape while opening a gift, fold it nicely and set it aside. Annoying, right? But why spend money on something that you can get for free? Buying single-use wrapping paper or gift bags is not exactly environmentally friendly. Giftwrap is not a great candidate for recycling since it is often dyed or laminated, has sparkles or metallic finishes, is very thin (and therefore provides very little fibre for recycling) and usually has tape on it. It’s not hard, over the year, to keep whatever gift bags, salvageable wrapping paper, tissue paper and cool cards come your way and store them in a small box. Cards can be cut up and made into gift tags. Get creative: wrap gifts in newspaper (the Martlet makes great giftwrap!) and tie with a reused ribbon. You don’t need to be Martha Stewart to make a gift look nice; some reused tissue and a gift bag work great. Those feeling a little more ambitious can employ “furoshiki” — a Japanese word for a square of fabric used to wrap gifts. You can find the fancy, origami-inspired techniques for folding furoshiki online. Or you can do what I do and just tie the four corners in a knot and hope for the best. With a little effort, you can help reduce the tonnes of giftwrap and cards that end up in the landfill each year, especially around the holidays. So get your craft on and start stockpiling Martlets for your holiday needs. If you have some good tips of your own, just let us know at email@example.com. Pictures of Eco Tips realizations are definitely welcomed as well!
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November 8, 2012 MARTLET • BUSINESS & TECH 7
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The unsavoury economics of disaster Right now, on the other side of the continent, New York and the rest of the Eastern Seaboard are picking themselves up and dusting themselves off in the wake of the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. Water and power are being reconnected, the parking garages and subways are being drained of floodwater, and the process of rebuilding an estimated $50-billion in damaged property has begun. The bodies of more than 90 dead are being returned to their families for burial. It’s a time for togetherness, respect, sensitivity and reflection. But despite these sombre circumstances, some politicians and corporate interests have no qualms about manipulating the situation for their own gain. Opportunistic captains of industry are using Hurricane Sandy to their advantage. President’s Choice has been thoroughly berated for its ill-conceived Tweet: “What’s scarier? Hurricane #Sandy or a beverage with marshmallow eyeballs?” The Tweet linked to a recipe for beverages featuring marshmallows cut in half and festooned with berries so that they looked like eyeballs — President’s Choice eyeballs. And it’s not just the captains — the lowly foot soldiers of industry are also trying to get in on the profit. Dozens of small-scale businesses are hawking merchandise featuring uninspired slogans like “I survived Hurricane Sandy” (not to mention some other, flagrantly sexist variations on that theme). UVic isn’t innocent of this type of disaster capitalism. When a minor 3.0-magnitude earthquake struck the island on Aug. 29, the UVic Bookstore was ready for action. Exactly 37 minutes after the quake occurred, the bookstore posted a photo of its earthquake preparedness kits on Facebook. Seriously — check the post’s timestamp online. All we need now is some screen-print-happy capitalist to buy a bunch of white t-shirts and get his “I heart Sandy” game on. It seems like it’s only a matter of time and heart-shaped stencil availability. The concurrent timing of this year’s U.S. election also cast light on the political relevance of the disaster. Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s comments on cutting funding to and potentially privatizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during the 2011 Republican debate on CNN came back to haunt him. He dodged questions from reporters at recent press events before finally releasing a mealy-mouthed statement endorsing the way FEMA already works. Obama wisely took a bi-partisan approach and supported local governors over large federal intervention. His efforts won the respect of prominent Republican and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who broke from the party line and described Obama as “incredibly supportive” and “outstanding.” Perhaps Obama's response helped him win; but what's important is that he helped, not how that assistance aided his own campaign. Let’s not forget that Sandy didn’t just strike a superpower in the throes of an election race. The hurricane killed more than 50 people in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Haiti is still reeling from the deaths of more than 200 000 citizens in 2010, when a now-infamous earthquake struck. Yes, there is a great deal of repair work to be done in America. But in Haiti, washed-out roads, evacuated tent cities, the ever-present threat of cholera and a lack of food make the recovery an even greater uphill battle. And while corporations are capitalizing on Westerners’ response to the trauma, Haiti’s prime minister is calling for international aid. We should be spending on Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, not Hurricane Sandy swag.
JUDGE ME BY MY SIZE, DO YOU?
Accept friend request? > MICHAEL MILLER In grade seven, my friend Stephen and I were at the mall and ran into two girls we knew from school. As we sat in the Second Cup just off of the food court, the topic of friendship came up. One of the girls said something to the effect of, “We are all friends.” I disagreed. “I don’t think we’re friends” is probably not the most tactful thing to say to a girl in the seventh grade. I tried to explain my reasons to defuse the situation. Not being friends didn’t mean there was any animosity or dislike. I just felt that, since we rarely talked to one another or interacted on any regular basis, we were just people who knew one another, and that wasn’t friendship. “Friendship” and “friends” are terms that get thrown around much more than they should. The Facebook friend is perhaps the most egregious offence: that person you may know or met that one time but have never interacted with since. Is that really a friendship? When you think about your friends, how many Facebook friends come to mind? We need to take a moment to think about what it means to be someone’s friend. Friends make time for one another. You choose to spend your spare time with certain people, and they do the same: thus, you are friends. People have busy lives; we can’t be there all the time. But time is what makes making friends hard. If you choose to stop making time for people you once
LETTERS UNIONS RESPONSIBLE FOR FINANCIAL MESS When it comes to assigning blame to others for UVic’s tight fiscal controls, the union leaders and employees they represent alike should be intellectually honest and remember it was they who chose to perpetuate what their predecessors created, putting the university’s budget on the path to fiscal unsustainability. All since have merely failed to correct this, and this failure is why most students find themselves in a financial mess. As most know, we don’t have much time before a fiscal collapse hits our little corner of the world, nailing the debt-paying generation hardest of all. Yet unions would blame it all on the administration, ignoring their own irresponsible behaviour in an attempt to cover up their own history of greed. So let me ask you: how much should anyone get for cutting the grass? William Perry Community member
CONSERVATIVES DO NOT RESPECT CANADA’S DEMOCRACY
VOLUME 65 • ISSUE 14
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Yet again, the Harper government has tabled an omnibus budget bill — this time, 443 pages that amend everything from the Navigable Waters Protection Act to the Canada Labour Code. By combining completely unrelated measures in
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8 OPINIONS • MARTLET November 8, 2012
considered friends, are you still friends? We go well out of our way to see old friends and to do things with the rest of our friends. It takes even more effort to start a new friendship. Spending time with someone encompasses a lot. That is the point. When I think about what it means to be a friend — showing support, helping one another, going on adventures — all of it, from the petty to the pivotal, requires time. It’s impossible to be there for a friend if you never take the moments or even hours out of your day. You cannot talk to them, support them or laugh with them — you cannot make new stories if you do not make the time for them. If you would make time but others do not, is that a friendship? Yes, it is very possible that events transpire and they cannot make time. But if they simply will not make time, they are not a friend. Not being friends doesn’t mean animosity and antagonism. All it really means is there is a lack of interaction. Neither party spends their time on the other. There is not enough time to spend with everyone; this is what makes friends special. Don’t throw around the word “friend.” Friendship takes effort from everyone to establish and maintain. The next time you have some free time, why not include new people or remember those people you haven’t had time for lately? Making friends and being a friend is not clicking “yes” on a pop-up; it is interacting with people you want to spend time with and who want to spend time with you.
a single massive bill, the Harper government is hoping that many of the provisions will not be noticed, or that Canadians’ outrage will be buried — today’s news story, forgotten tomorrow. What is the government afraid of? What are they afraid Parliamentarians — and Canadians — will discover if the bill is given the proper scrutiny its provisions deserve? While in opposition, Stephen Harper complained about a 21-page omnibus bill. In opposition, a 21-page bill was offensive. Now he tells Canadians a 443-page bill is just right. Recently the Liberal opposition in the House of Commons proposed a motion to place reasonable limits on omnibus bills. The Conservatives refused and voted that motion down. Canadians expect Parliamentarians to do their job – to scrutinize legislation, to listen to Canadians, to seriously debate proposals, and to make changes where changes are necessary. That is how the best laws are made. The Harper government knows that it is very difficult for Parliamentarians to do their jobs properly when presented with omnibus bills, and that is why it has become addicted to them. This isn’t how Canadians expect their government to work. We all deserve better. It is time to deliver a message to the Conservative government: respect our democracy, and respect Canadians. No more abusive omnibus bills. Senator James Cowan Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Colin Etienne, Michael Hemmings, Devin Khera, Jennifer Lebbert, Graydon Leigh, Jason Liske, Teboho Makalima, Julie McIntosh, Michael Miller, Blake Morneau, Patrick Murry, Mike Parolini, Erik Rhodes-Bosch, Kaitlyn Rosenburg, Liz Snell, Jenn Takaoka, Josh Tanasichuk, Garrett E.S. Therrien Want to help with the Editorial? Editorial topics are decided on by staff at our weekly editorial meetings. These meetings take place at 11 a.m. every Wednesday in the Martlet office (SUB B011). Editorials are written by one or more staff members and are not necessarily the opinion of all staff members. Happy? Sad? Enraged? Tell us: firstname.lastname@example.org The Martlet has an open letters policy and will endeavour to print letters received from the university and local community. Letters must be submitted by email, include your real name and affiliation to UVic, and have “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. Letters must be under 200 words and may be edited. Letters must be sent by the Friday before publication in order to be considered for publication. The Martlet Publishing Society is an incorporated B.C. society and a full member of Canadian University Press (CUP). We strive to act as an agent of constructive social change and will not print racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise oppressive copy. Martlet (SUB B011) P.O. BOX 3035 University of Victoria Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P3
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Curiosity: inspiring the future > DEVIN KHERA & GRAYDON LEIGH In August, the Mars rover Curiosity made its iconic descent, and we were able to witness it using nothing more than a computer screen and an Internet connection. The emblematic name of the scientific vessel captures the constant pursuit of knowledge that is a core part of the human condition. The elation of the workers who had dedicated a large portion of their lives to this otherworldly project was a privilege to see. Their achievement inspired both of us, as well as the scientific community, in a way we can only imagine the moon landing of 1969 inspired the generation before ours. Consider that the Wright Brothers’ first successful flight occurred in 1903, only 66 years before Neil Armstrong took one great leap for mankind — a timeframe within the bounds of a single lifetime. Now, 43 years later, we can only hope that man reaches Mars within the bounds of our own lifetimes. The Curiosity has given us more confidence that this dream may be realized. Despite the current global economic crisis, a technological achievement of this magnitude is not only encouraging for NASA and space exploration; it also offers a small sense of fulfillment for the collective curiosity of mankind. But this thirst for knowledge and technological progression will never be completely satisfied. Lewis Mumford, a philosopher of technology, asserted in 1934, “However far modern science and technics have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one true lesson: Nothing is impossible.”
This curiosity drives us to perpetually crave more from current technologies. Convenience is at a premium in the modern world; anything that increases productivity, saves one’s time or allows a person to exercise laziness seems worthy of pursuit. This phenomenon of technological adaptation, if not carefully applied, can entangle us in a web of reliance. And while technology can drastically improve one’s life, it also has the capacity to demotivate. But accomplishments like space travel and modern medicine are positives that easily outweigh any negatives like rampant couchpotatoism. We may find it comical that, years ago, our professors and parents, rather than simply Googling their inquisitions, had to search through the local library’s encyclopedias and (gasp) printed books. Their choice was either to engage in this tedious task, or to simply accept ignorance. Information is remarkably easier to access today, even if the sources should be held under more scrutiny. Our society’s continual yearning for the latest iPhones, laptops and even vehicles is a testament to our constant search for greater technology, superficial as it may be. Technology is not a vapid pursuit, however. It has the potential to improve relations within society. Thanks to developments like Skype and telecommunications in general, interactions with friends and family members living abroad have never been easier. Consider the impact this has had on long-distance relationships and the global economy. Many of us witnessed the deaths of the seven crew members aboard the space shuttle
KLARA WOLDENGA Columbia in 2003 as the shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. One might think that the fear this event elicited would create a loss of faith in NASA and space travel. We had an opposite reaction — if curi-
osity about the universe was lost, then these lives were in vain. The Curiosity rover has reignited our passion for space exploration and the pursuit of future technologies. What has it done for you?
Students opine on Disney and disasters The Martlet asks about Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm and Hurricane Sandy’s devastation
JUSTIN MING Third year Geography MARTLET: DISNEY BOUGHT LUCASFILM THIS WEEK. THOUGHTS? “Disney wants to do Star Wars . . . Well, if it’s anything like Signs, then I don’t know if I want to see it. ‘Cause when Disney tries to branch out of their stereotypes of, like, pleasing children, I don’t know — it seems like maybe they don’t always do the best job? That’s my opinion.” MARTLET: ANY THOUGHTS ON THE HURRICANE? “Why am I not surprised that, you know, the East Coast of the United States gets way more press than Haiti when it comes to . . . environmental disasters. I’m not surprised. My brother actually works for Al Jazeera in Washington, D.C., and he has had to stay indoors. They’re not allowed outside. There’s flooding in the streets.”
MICHELLE MORENO Fourth year Women’s Studies MARTLET: SO DISNEY BOUGHT LUCASFILM THIS WEEK. “They own everything awesome, and they’re going make it all copyrighted, and nobody’s ever going to be able to do anything with those stories. Not that Lucasfilm didn’t have a bunch of its own copyright issues anyway, but like . . . augh.” MARTLET: AND ANY THOUGHTS ON HURRICANE SANDY? I feel like people are going to try and make this about presidential politics but, like, I really hope people are safe and taking care of themselves and each other out there, ‘cause it’s really fucking scary. A lot of the people I follow on Tumblr are also in New York, and . . . they’re like, ‘What the fuck — I used to take that train,’ and there’s just pictures of shit flooded, you know, past your head. It’s pretty nuts!”
SEAN WORKMAN Fifth year Biochemistry
JULIA KOCHUK Fourth year Writing
MARTLET: SO DISNEY BOUGHT LUCASFILM THIS WEEK . . .
MARTLET: SO DISNEY BOUGHT LUCASFILM THIS WEEK. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?
“Horrible. I’m furious. I’m really upset, because the first episodes, four to six, that’s it — that’s all we needed. Episodes one to three were garbage, progressively getting worse until episode three, and now episode seven is coming out in 2015? What’s going to happen? If we get Mark Hamill playing a really old, beleaguered Skywalker, maybe! But it’s not going to happen. It’s going to be terrible. That’s my opinion on that.” MARTLET: ANY THOUGHTS ON THE HURRICANE? “Oh man, it’s intense. I have seen videos of trees falling down and crushing cars . . . Well, I mean, it usually happens down south, and it’s just weird that it’s happening in New York now. They evacuated like 250 000 people from Manhattan. Shit’s gettin’ — shit’s gettin’ real out there.”
“Well, Disney just owns everything, so that’s depressing. But if they get a good ride at Disneyland then that’s okay. I wouldn’t mind.” MARTLET: THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT MAKING A SEVENTH STAR WARS MOVIE. “Uuuughhhh. Just print that. UUUUUUGHHHH.” MARTLET: ALSO, HURRICANE SANDY IS GOING ON ON THE EAST COAST RIGHT NOW . . . “Yeah, my friend was in New York. She had to stay inside. And, like, bundle up. To be truthfully honest, I did hear more about Haiti than I heard about [New York]. Maybe I just paid more attention. The hurricane scared me because my brother lives out east, and some of my friends, so it was freaky.”
> DOCUMENTED BY SOL KAUFFMAN November 8, 2012 MARTLET • OPINIONS 9
Th e magi c o f m ush roo ms One woman’s passion: foraging for fungus
ut in the woods of Vancouver Island, Stacey Dwyer clips a first aid kit around her waist and makes sure my friend Alice Powell and I have our cell phones in case we get separated. Since it rained overnight, a good crop of mushrooms will have risen from the ground. It is autumn of 2010. The October afternoon sun is warm through the forest of scanty fir and yellow maples, the ground thick with coppery maple leaves. As we walk into the woods, the musty, wet-earth smell is strong. We fix our eyes on the ground and survey every log and stump. This posture, Dwyer, 38, explains, is what helps you tell a mushroom hunter apart from a bird-watcher. Dwyer gets “so excited about seeing the different colours and being able to identify” the mushrooms she finds. “It’s just like bird-watching,” she says, “except you can’t hear them call.” With her red jacket and woven basket, I imagine Dwyer as Little Red Riding Hood. Her petite frame, high cheekbones, dark hair, snub nose and expressive eyebrows add to this impression. During the week, she’s a dental assistant and receptionist at the same office as Powell. For a while now, she’s wanted to take Powell out mushrooming, and is kind enough to let her bring me along. “I like to share the excitement,” she says. The first fungus we find grows on a fallen branch: the striped, inedible, leathery turkey tail shelf fungus, Dwyer’s mushroom book says. Under the end of a log, Dwyer finds a spongy orange mushroom. It’s an edible bolete but something — whether an insect, a rodent, or the elements — has half eaten it already, so we leave it alone. At a nearby stump, Dwyer bends over. “Oh, a shrimp; a nice, new shrimp.” The shrimp mushrooms (or “crab brittlegill”), with pale undersides, deep red caps and a large range of sizes, are quite common. She puts one in the basket because it’s colourful, but says we won’t eat it. Because many varieties have poisonous lookalikes, she’s very careful about her mushrooms. At its worst, mushroom poisoning can cause kidney or respiratory failure or severe liver damage, all of which can lead to death. It’s not worth the risk. When I find a big white mushroom against a log, Dwyer says, “I just stay right away from the white mushrooms. They look so much alike. The only way to identify them is to do a spore test, which just becomes too scientific and no fun.” The worst of these “big white mushrooms” is the death cap mushroom, known as the world’s deadliest mushroom and responsible for 90 per cent of deaths due to mushroom poisoning in Europe. The only varieties Dwyer trusts are hedgehog mushrooms (with their toothy undersides), the popular funnel-shaped chanterelles and the bright orange lobster mushrooms. She uses them for mushroom soup, pizza, or simply sautéed in butter and herbs. Although she’s never heard of the parasitic lobster mushroom growing around a poisonous mushroom, she won’t let her six-year-old daughter, Myra, eat anything but chanterelles. “She loves chanterelles,” says Dwyer. Myra enjoys mushrooming too, Dwyer says. “Kids make great mushroom hunters. They’re close to the ground, enthusiastic and have good eyesight. You just have to tell them the rules: ‘Don’t touch, don’t taste.’ Myra’s found some amazing mushrooms.” When Dwyer was a child, she anticipated the toadstool (the poisonous red-and-white Amanita muscaria) that reappeared every year at her family’s vacation cottage. But it wasn’t until she was 35 that she became seriously interested in mushrooms. She enjoyed her hikes through the woods with her husband, Brandon, but felt she needed something that would give her more impetus to get outside. “I needed a hobby outside of work. I had no life and I needed something that piqued my interest,” she says. On an autumn hike through East Sooke Park, Dwyer first began to notice how many different varieties of mushrooms there were. That Christmas, her husband bought her All That the Rain Promises and More, which Dwyer says is a popular pocket-sized guide to mushrooms and a mushroom cookbook. He liked to eat mushrooms but wasn’t “so keen on going into the forest and staring at the ground.” This meant Dwyer would usually venture out into the woods alone. Since she didn’t know anyone who could help her identify the mushrooms, she simply took pictures with a disposable camera and checked the mushrooms off in her book. When new next-door neighbours invited the Dwyers over for dinner, Dwyer spotted All That the Rain Promises and More on their shelf. Darrin Charmley began to quiz her on which mushrooms she’d found and eaten. When he discovered she hadn’t eaten any of her finds, he suggested she accompany his friends and him on one of their all-day forays up-Island. Out near Shawnigan Lake, they set off deep into pathless wilderness, armed with walkie-talkies and the GPS coordinates of the best patches of chanterelles. When the hunters returned, they filled the trunk of a Subaru station wagon with chanterelles. Charmley's friend showed Dwyer how to freeze the leftover mushrooms in paper bags. With Charmley's guidance, she gained the confidence to pick mushrooms herself. Still, he gets out mushrooming more often than she does, and now and then leaves a basket of mushrooms outside her door. Up on the hillside, I find a thin, grey-capped mushroom with grooves in its stem and a semi-translucent quality. I carry it to Dwyer. “Is this a morel?” The book says morels are highly desirable, and I’m hopeful. Unfortunately, upon consulting the book, we discover this is a lookalike, the black elfin saddle. The book says you can fry it like a morel or dry and powder it for seasoning. It looks corpse-like to me, but Dwyer says, “Look how pretty it is.
10 FEATURE • MARTLET November 8, 2012
If you weren’t looking, you’d never find it.” To her, every mushroom, poisonous or not, is pretty. Still, she doesn’t admire the black elfin saddle enough to risk eating it. “Darrin’s more adventurous than me,” she says. “He’ll try all kinds of things.” Beside a log I find a white puffball, which I know is edible. I pull it out and am surprised to see how big the hidden base is. In fact, what we think of as mushrooms are only the “fruiting body” of the main mushroom, a network of mycelia (vegetative filaments) stretching under the earth. This is why mushrooms will appear in the same place year after year. Dwyer says hours can fly by when she’s mushroom hunting. “When everyone else is sad about the rain in the fall, I’m happy.” Mushroom hunters are notorious for not telling where they found a mushroom so they can protect their finds. Observatory Hill is one popular place to hunt, but Dwyer says in peak season you can find mushrooms just about anywhere in the woods. Dwyer gasps, and I climb up the hill towards her. She’s bent over a patch of orange mushrooms with crenellated edges and hollow centres. “They’re probably false chanterelles — not edible. But so cool. Look at the way the sun shines through them. I’ve never seen them so intact.” Unlike true chanterelles, these mushrooms are orange (chanterelles tend to be a lighter, egg-yolk yellow). She admires them for a while then climbs along the side of the hill, carefully stepping over mossy logs. She bends down again. “Jellies. Look, jelly teeth.” She hands me a tiny, semi-translucent, white mushroom with a fan-shaped cap and the jiggly yet firm texture of a gummy candy. Because they’re bland, she won’t eat them, but Charmley likes them with cream and honey. As we walk back to the car, I can’t stop squishing the jelly between my fingers. Dwyer starts the car. “Let’s see if we can find a better spot for chanterelles. Look out for oaks — they often grow there.” We drive up the road a short ways then Dwyer pulls over. “There’s a ridge — there might be oaks up there.” The ridge is thick with moss, fir, arbutus and Oregon grape, but little else. We clamber down the far side of the ridge and find a path that leads us up another hill. There are some purple mushrooms we can’t identify and, half-buried under moss and leaves at the base of a tree, an orange lobster mushroom. Dwyer pulls it out and hands it to me — it’s very dense and heavy. As a parasite, it engulfs its host mushroom and turns it into a completely different species. It has no gills, only a solid, powdery-orange look. Hard to the touch, it has a slight seafood smell. Another large lobster nearby goes in our basket, too; then we head back to the car.
STACEY DWYER: MUSHROOM HUNTER
The lobsters are interesting, but I still want to find a chanterelle. We decide to try one last time and drive a bit further up the road. It’s almost 4 p.m., and as the sun slips lower in the trees, the air begins to cool. We find a last patch of sun and sit on fallen trees to eat the snacks Dwyer has packed. As a six-year-old’s mom, she has everything: cherry tomatoes, orange slices, granola bars, homemade protein pancakes, almonds and cranberries, roasted seaweed, a package of wet wipes and a bag for garbage. When we finish the food, we scramble around the woods, pulling up big shrimps and more nefarious, unidentifiable white mushrooms. No more lobsters, and no chanterelles. The cold has begun to creep through my clothes, and I’m ready to go. Dwyer stoops to examine some feces I find. “Looks like bear.” She blows her whistle and urges me to talk loudly just in case. “You always have to be careful,” she says. Most mushroom hunters bring a first-aid kit, a whistle, water, a plastic bag for insulation and often a GPS. Nothing too heavy that would impede the hunt. I duck under some branches, back towards the road. By the base of a thin fir, I see a crinkly, whitish mushroom, half-buried. “What’s this?” I ask. “It’s not a chanterelle, is it?” Dwyer kneels. “It is a chanterelle. Yay — they do exist.” She pulls it out of the ground and I examine its interwoven gills, which run from the edges of the upturned cap all the way down the stem. A white chanterelle. Dwyer and I grin at each other. Now we can leave happy. Back at the car, I throw out all the mushrooms we won’t eat. I know the mycelia will send new ones up with the next rain. The mushrooms lie beside the road in a jumble of white, red, black, brown, grey and yellow. I’m amazed at the variety we’ve found in one day. All we’re left with are the jellies, the puffball, the two lobsters and the white chanterelle. Dwyer looks down at the pile. “Goodbye, mushrooms.” For Dwyer, mushrooms are more than just a free lunch. “People don’t think about looking for them,” she says, “but it’s an extra thing in this great big world to discover. My bubble of life experience is rather limited. This expands my bubble. It’s something to be enthusiastic about. I have so much to learn, and enthusiasm, but not so much time. But one day I’ll learn lots.” In the meantime, she enjoys being able to share the joy of mushrooms with others (she’s even convinced her former boss to take up mushroom photography) and the break it provides from the rest of her life. Dwyer says that, while mushroom hunting and dental assisting both involve an interest in science and “in people along the way,” the two activities bring out essentially different sides to her. “I’m a little sillier in the forest. I’m always happy and smiling at work, but I kind of feel I’m a child in the forest, and I love that. I just feel so free and excited.”
Sto ry an d ph otos by Liz Sn ell November 8, 2012 MARTLET • FEATURE 11
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The evolution of cartography
EATS, CHEWS AND LEAVES
Royal B.C. Museum features 30 rare world maps
> GARRETT E.S. THERRIEN Romans were known for their roads, but have you ever seen their road map? The Royal B.C. Museum (RBCM) is displaying a printed copy from 1624 — called the Peutinger Table — but the original was from the fifth century. It shows roads from England to Sri Lanka, approximately 70 000 miles of Roman roadways. The original is a series of panels on the wall, but the exhibit also includes a facsimile that has been joined end to end on a very long table. Standing over this map, on which the Mediterranean Ocean is skinny enough to be a river and Rome is marked by a medallion, looking at the roads the couriers travelled on, seeing the names of the cities of what was once the most powerful empire in the world — some still standing, and some long gone — is a humbling experience. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” is called to mind: “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” However, most of the Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps, 1472–1700 exhibit, which runs until Jan. 27 and is on loan from California’s Sonoma County Museum, is not so humbling. The exhibit traces European humanity through the centuries, from the early religious world-view to a sophisticated map drawn by Edmond Halley. The oldest map in the collection is a woodblock printed in the 1450s, one of the first printed maps. Believed to have been drawn around 150 A.D., a copy of this map was rediscovered in sixth-century Alexandria. It is extremely simple — the oceans are a T surrounded by three continents, each with one of the names of Noah’s sons. It was based on a still older view of the world: that of the Greek philosopher Ptolemy. As one walks through the exhibit, the maps change and become more recognizable, not only due to the work of scientists like Galileo, Copernicus and Brahe, whose revolution in planetary and stellar mechanics led to more accurate navigation, but also because of a changing worldview. The maps no longer reflect theology — they reflect the growing scientific approach to the world, which drove the scientific revolution. However, throughout much of the exhibit,
even the scientific world maps have flaws. One map shows California detached from North America; several show a great continent at the bottom of the world — Terra Australis. North America, South America and Oceania appear on most of the maps, but they are odd shapes. In one, North America is nearly square. In another, South America is attached to Terra Australis, blocking the way across the world — except that map shows open ocean between the blob of North America and the skinny land-mass of South America. In the next map over, that has been corrected; the Spanish explorer Magellan’s ship has returned to Europe, so the map depicts the strait between South America and Tierra del Fuego, which bears his name. The exhibit has many moments like that: two steps between displays and the map changes, reflecting a man’s lifetime of work and the slow cultural shift in world-view. The last display is Edmond Halley’s map from his voyages aboard the HMS Paramour, where he investigated magnetic anomalies that affect compasses. Combining his earlier research on winds with his magnetic research, the map shows the wind directions and parts of Earth’s magnetic fields. Finished in 1 700, roughly 200 years after the scientific revolution began, Halley’s map is nearly identical to the modern world map; parts of North America’s West Coast, including B.C., are still being explored and are unmapped. These 30 maps, from the collection of American businessman Henry Wendt, are a truly mind-expanding look at our world, a chronicle of scientific and philosophical development. Anyone — geographer, cartographer, artist or other — will find something to ponder and something beautiful in this collection. From the early maps — more theology than guide — to the lavish decorations on some later maps, to the final exhibits showing then state-of-the art science, you will be enchanted. Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps, 1472–1700 Royal B.C. Museum 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. every day $10.15 (students)
Serving up more than celebrity
John’s Place famous for its atmosphere and menu > KAITLYN ROSENBURG I have a mild fascination with celebrities. The fame. The fortune. The untimely, career-ending, caught-on-tape blunders forever alive on the Internet. Until I can reach the level of fame achieved by so few — Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Honey Boo Boo — I’ve relegated myself to dining at famous Victoria restaurants. My recent visit to John’s Place seemed timely. Not only did I have a hankering for a homecooked meal; my friend and I were also en route to an Aidan Knight concert (he’s famous among certain circles, too). John’s Place has been a landmark on Pandora Avenue since 1984. In early 2012, it was one of a handful of restaurants from across Canada featured on the first season of Food Network Canada’s You Gotta Eat Here. It has also been featured on Flavours of the West Coast, a cooking show produced in Victoria. As if John’s Place’s level of fame wasn’t enough for me, every inch of wall space in this tiny diner is covered with snapshots of famous patrons, film and music posters, bumper stickers and photos of past and present staff. If you’re so inclined, a fully operational jukebox will play your request. Despite my fascination with all things celebrity, I keep returning to John’s for the food. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have never been disappointed. Be sure to arrive hungry. All lunch and dinner patrons are greeted with a basket of warm, homemade herb bread and real butter. John’s Place uses real butter in lieu of margarine, and
the kitchen staff even make their own mayonnaise and salad dressings. My most recent trip occurred over dinnertime. I decided on John’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatloaf dish ($11.95). It was a perfectly sized portion of home-style meatloaf, complete with mashed potatoes, steamed carrots and mushroom gravy. This wasn’t the first time I’d ordered the dish, and I’d do it again. I’ve never had a meatloaf as tender. My friend went for the chicken souvlaki wrap ($9.95) with garden salad. Her warm pita oozed tzatziki and tender chicken. She couldn’t spare me a bite — it was that delicious. What really impressed me was the salad. Her maple-balsamic dressing (made in-house, of course) was the unifying ingredient amongst a generous serving of tomato, cucumber, garbanzo beans, bean sprouts and shredded beet and carrot. My fellow saladeaters know this level of vegetable action doesn’t happen often. Even if you don’t share my love for celebrities, I’d recommend a meal (or two) at John’s Place.
RRRR JOHN’S PLACE 723 PANDORA AVENUE MONDAY – FRIDAY: 7 A.M. – 9 P.M. (OR UNTIL THE LAST CUSTOMER LEAVES) SATURDAY & SUNDAY: 8 A.M. – 4 P.M., 5–9 P.M. (OR UNTIL THE LAST CUSTOMER LEAVES)
Midnight’s Children a film that's bright with beauty > COLIN ETIENNE AND JULIE MCINTOSH Even days after viewing the cinematic masterpiece Midnight’s Children, its scenes still scroll through the mind, visions of the beauty that is portrayed in it. The colours of India are embedded in the story as it takes the viewer into the far reaches of that country, which are rarely filmed. This landscape is the perfect backdrop for Midnight’s Children, based on Salman Rushdie’s novel of the same title. The narrative unfolds in such a way that it immediately draws the viewer into the story. The characters take on a sense of familiarity. By the
12 CULTURE • MARTLET November 8, 2012
time the film ends, it feels like hardly a minute has gone by. Walking from the theatre into the dark Victoria evening came as a shock, as the film pulls the audience into India and brings the events of the time to life. The premise is fantastical: at the stroke of midnight on Aug. 15, 1947 — the night of Indian independence from Great Britain — hundreds of children are born with magical powers. Saleem Sinai (played by Satya Bhabha), the child of poor parents, has his fate changed at birth when he is switched with Shiva (played by Siddharth), the son of wealthy parents. The two boys are among the hundreds of other children born within moments of midnight. Saleem has the ability to
make all of the “children of midnight” appear. These children of midnight each have their own magical power. The narrative works through Saleem’s family’s history. Their story is set against the backdrop of boats whisking across a lake hued in greens and yellows, introducing the audience to the calm environment of India’s landscape. The story progresses through the 13 days of conflict between India and Pakistan in their territorial claims for Bangladesh. At one point, Saleem and Parvati (played by Shriya Saran), another of the children of midnight, walk through the slums with performers around them. The acrobats performing in the
streets, the colours and the music show a scene so rich in happiness it could transport the audience right out of the theatre. Midnight’s Children provides an eye-opening glimpse of the tensions and emotions of the birth of India. Though the use of magic is distracting at times, the storyline and acting are truly absorbing — to the point that the surreal scenes could be dismissed. Director Deepa Metha gives true respect to Rushdie’s novel. Midnight’s Children opens on Nov. 9 in Victoria at Cineplex Odeon theatres.
The Lytics on life in the adverse lane Flooded basement studios and tough crowds don’t faze Winnipeg hip-hop up-and-comers > BLAKE MORNEAU On Oct. 26, UVic’s campus pub, Felicita’s, was the site of an epic battle. Winnipeg’s mighty hip-hop champions, the Lytics, faced off against the mayhem of Halloween weekend. DJ Lonnie “Ce” Compayre recalls the beginning of the fight: “When we rolled in there, the place was shoulderto-shoulder packed — so many people. We’re all excited. We’re doing sound check, and then [the organizer] gets on the mic: ‘The party buses are here!’ ” Ce recalls. “Aw, man.” Much of the crowd left for the buses. Luckily, the Lytics’ home base is one overflowing with friendliness. MC/Producer B-Flat explains the mark their city has left on them. “Winnipeg is a small, friendly place, so I think if we take anything from Winnipeg wherever we go, it’s trying to engage a crowd on a smaller level.” At times the Lytics, composed of four MCs and a DJ, outnumbered the people on the dance floor. They battled the indifference of a small pocket of people having an ongoing conversation and a seemingly endless game of pool. But for the Lytics, adversity is often followed by triumph. “I think it’s fun to kind of win over a crowd. We’ve had times when there’s no one in front of us and there’s people dancing near the end. That’s probably one of the best feelings,” says Andrew “A-Nice” Sannie. Though the crowd was small at Felicita’s, those who were there were treated to a clinic in energy
and perseverance as the Lytics rocked the stage like the place was packed. It was a fitting performance of much of the group’s recently released second album, They Told Me, a triumphant album born out of setback after setback. A-Nice breathes a sigh of relief at the thought of They Told Me finally being completed. “This record was really hard to make,” he says. “Lots and lots of bad things happened to us. So it was . . . a process to get it out. Finally being over this is like, ‘God, this is so good.’ It was hellish, man.” B-Flat elaborates on the challenges that brought the album into existence. “It’s a win. I say the word ‘win’ because it felt like we were losing all the time. Hard drives getting wiped and files getting lost, basement studios — three basement studios — flooding, managers quitting, managers plural, losing jobs, going into personal debt. Just a lot of stress on the family.” One of the best Canadian hip-hop records in a long while, the album is lush and full, alive with the group’s common need to create in the face of adversity that has made many others turn back. “I feel when I listen to that record — even if I’m not remembering all that crap that went down — I can hear how important it was that it got done,” says B-Flat. A-Nice concludes, “It would take a lot to kill us at this point.” B-Flat uses the analogy of a miraculous boxing victory to describe the Lytics’ against-all-odds victory in getting the album out. “Imagine a boxing
PROVIDED match where one dude got his ass kicked for 12 rounds. And with three seconds left, he seizured and somehow his hands went up and popped the man and knocked him out.” A-Nice points out the obvious comparison, “Ali/Foreman.” Overcoming adversity will teach valuable life lessons to anyone who achieves it, and the Lytics are no different. “Do it yourself. Don’t give up. Wear clean ginch. Just be ready. Always, always, always be ready,” advises B-Flat. The two quietest members of the Lytics, Anthony
“Ashy” Sannie and Mungala “Munga” Londe, both perk up as we wrap up our time in the bowels of the Student Union Building, talking about life lessons. Munga offers his small token: “At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility. If it’s what you want, you just have to accept that [is what you want] and go forth with that.” Ashy sums up the band’s struggle and steely resolve. “It comes to that point in whatever you do in life where you just can’t afford to miss that foul shot in the fourth quarter. We’re just at the point where we don’t miss those foul shots.”
How well do you know your island? Prestigious award draws attention to Vancouver Island as travel destination > TYLER LAING As far as islands go, we’ve got it pretty good. The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards recently named Vancouver Island the number one island destination in Canada and the number six island destination in the world, based on the votes of 46 476 readers who took part in the survey. “An award that’s a readers’ choice award . . . is not advertising. It’s much more believable [to the reader],” says Dave Petryk, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island. “Getting this type of coverage is much more valuable.” Particularly when you consider the fact that Condé Nast Traveler has a readership of more than two million people. He says some of the criteria used by Condé Nast in the survey includes scenic beauty, friendliness of people, quality of accommodation and quality of food and beverage services. “One of the things we hear about all the time when we’re out in the marketplace talking to travelling consumers is the friendliness of people, the hospitality that they receive here. So that, I think, is one of the most significant areas.”
Another positive when promoting the Island is climate. “We compare Vancouver Island, especially Victoria, to the western Mediterranean because of the year-round climate,” says Petryk. “One of the realities is that darn near anything that you want to do in the Vancouver Island region, you can do . . . year-round. And there’s such a variety of attractions and opportunities.” Rob Gialloreto, president and CEO of Tourism Victoria, echoes this, commenting on the strong foreign student population brought in by UVic, Camosun College and Royal Roads University. “One of the reasons students come to Victoria aside from the quality of education is the scenery,” he says. “We’ve got a lot of natural beauty, and the climate’s pretty good.” People can also get around the city by their own means. “We’re known as one of the most walkable cities in Canada — you can walk just about anywhere in the downtown core,” says Gialloreto. “And we have a really expansive pathway system that’s just getting bigger, so cycling is huge.” Petryk says the cultural and historic appeal of Victoria’s attractions are a main draw to the city,
and that people look at other parts of the Island for outdoor activities such as wildlife viewing and whale watching. Gialloreto also notes the “growing outdoor-experience theme, whether that’s going to WildPlay [Element Park] or zip-lining, that kind of stuff.” He suggests that, aside from the entertainment value, students appreciate these types of activities because they’re fairly inexpensive. With the unstable global market coupled with the strong Canadian dollar, Petryk says Tourism Vancouver Island has put in a concerted effort over the past couple of years to sell the idea of travelling Vancouver Island to the locals. “We try to get Vancouver Island residents to realize what people off of Vancouver Island realize, and that’s what great places there are to spend time at,” he says. “There are more and more people that are staying closer to home — it’s expensive to leave the Island — and when you think about all the things you can do right here in your backyard, it really makes sense.” One of the challenges in promoting the Island to Island residents, according to Petryk, is that “they wouldn’t go too far from where they [reside] unless
there is some inspiration.” He encourages locals to explore the more remote and less-talked-about areas, such as the “spectacular” Port Hardy, Port McNeill and Telegraph Cove areas of northern Vancouver Island. He also suggests that when people make trips to the West Coast, they visit places like Tahsis, Zeballos and Gold River in addition to Tofino and Ucluelet. Petryk says these places are “incredibly beautiful areas as well, and off the beaten track — and that’s what people want.” If you travel to Victoria as a student, or live here and want to experience more of the Island, there is a lot to do. Though Gialloreto admits staying in hotels can be expensive, there are more affordable options as well. If you’re heading out to hike or cycle, you’ll be outdoors already, so why not camp? There’s always the option of crashing on the couches and floors or in the carports of friends or family, should you know anyone in these areas. And what’s a true road trip with friends if you’re not reclining the seats and kicking up for a night in the car? But whatever it takes, the Island should be explored. Says Gialloreto, “It’s just an endless playground, if you will, of outdoor experiences.”
UPCOMING EVENTS AT SATURDAY Nov. 10
Sanction Snowboards (9-11pm) MONDAY Nov. 12
TUESDAY Nov. 13
WEDNESDAY Nov. 14
Closed for Remembrance Day
Trivia & Pool (7pm–11pm)
Battle of the Bands
THURSDAY THURSDAY Nov. 15
Karaoke (8 pm)
FRIDAY Nov. 16
Rococode w/ Sydney Yorke (9-11pm)
SATURDAY Nov. 17
DIDI Society (9-11pm)
www.felicitas.ca November 8, 2012 MARTLET • CULTURE 13
FoR THe WeeK oF noVeMBeR 6TH, 2012
CFUV Top Ten
1. SLAM DUNK + Welcome To Miami (File Under: Music) 2. KID KOALA * 12 Bit Blues (Ninja Tune) 3. TY SEGALL Twins (Drag City) 4. GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR * ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation) 5. LADYHAWK * No Can Do (Triple Crown) 6. RATCHET ORCHESTRA * Hemlock (Drip Audio) 7. THE MENAHAN STREET BAND The Crossing (Dunham/Daptone) 8. CODY CHESNUTT Landing On A Hundred (Vibration Vineyard) 9. AIDAN KNIGHT + Small Reveal (Outside) 10. RODRIGUEZ Searching For Sugar Man OST (Light In The Attic/Sony Legacy)
101.9 FM c f u v. u v i c . c a CFUV is an award winning campus/ community radio station based at the University of Victoria. For more information about CFUV (including volunteering info, our program schedule, complete charts and much more) please visit us at: www.cfuv.uvic.ca twitter.com/cfuv
Hear the weekly top ten on Charts and Graphs Tues-
* Canadian artist
+ local artist
days at 3:00PM on CFUV 101.9FM or online!
with minimum $50 order within radius
The BCLIP is an educational six-month opportunity for Canadian university graduates to work in British Columbia’s parliamentary system. Your academic training will be enhanced by exposure to public policy -making and the legislative process by working in the executive and legislative branches of the provincial government at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria.
visit martlet.ca Save some trees and get informed at the same time!
14 CULTURE • MARTLET November 8, 2012
PROGRAM DIRECTOR Karen L. Aitken Legislative Assembly of B.C. BCLIP@leg.bc.ca ACADEMIC DIRECTOR Dr. Patrick J. Smith Simon Fraser University firstname.lastname@example.org ACADEMIC ADVISOR Dr. Matt James University of Victoria email@example.com
B.C. residents are eligible to apply if they have received their first Bachelor’s Degree from a Canadian university within two years of the start date of the 2014 program. Apply online at
January 31, 2013 Location: Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Term: January 6 to June 27, 2014 Remuneration: $21,997 for six months
PROVIDED (PETER POKORNY) Simeon Blades as Tiny Tim in the Belfry's production of A Christmas Carol.
Time to get in the Modern Love, UVic-style Christmas spirit, past Writing instructor and student and present and future HUGO WONG
The Belfry to present A Christmas Carol throughout the holidays > KAITLYN ROSENBURG The Belfry Theatre presents its take on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens this holiday season, adapted and directed by the Belfry’s artistic director, Michael Shamata. I have fond memories of A Christmas Carol. In elementary school, my grade six class put on our own adaptation in the school gymnasium. My best friend won the coveted role of Ebenezer Scrooge, acting his 11-year-old heart out as he channelled the humbug-happy misanthrope. Our teacher also used the story to instill the real meaning of Christmas in her students: charity. Shamata’s adaptation of the timeless story stays fairly true to the original novella, which was written in 1843 in response to the social ills of Victorian English culture. “I think people know roughly what happens in the story, but this play really explores the original — there are probably scenes in the original novella that we capture in this show but that haven’t made it into any of the other dozens of film or TV versions,” writes Belfry publicist Mark Dusseault by email. Shamata has added a narrator and sprits to ease transitions between scenes, but presenting a contemporary version of the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future wasn’t needed. “The themes in the show are universal and timeless. We wanted to do this as a period piece, and there was no need to modernize it,” writes Dusseault. Audiences will be sure to recognize key characters amongst the large cast of 14, including Scrooge himself, Jacob Marley, Mr. Fezziwig and Tiny Tim. The Belfry has partnered with the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) to expand the playgoing experience. For the last two weeks of No-
vember, cast members and local history experts will be giving free talks at four GVPL branches, focusing on Dickens, the time in which he lived and, of course, A Christmas Carol. Dusseault believes learning about Dickens and when he lived deepens audience members’ understanding of the play. “People are surprised at how much [the] play resonates with them after they have learned about the play or the time period in which it takes place,” he writes. “Plays really are universal, and once you scratch the surface of a piece, you almost always find something that touches some aspect of your own life right now. That’s always been the beauty of theatre.” The Belfry crew hopes to make A Christmas Carol an annual Victoria tradition. Dickens’ classic holiday tale exemplifies the story of redemption and the importance of reaching out to one’s fellow human beings; not only at Christmas, but also all year long. And there’s no better way to be reminded of Christmas’s true meaning than through the magic of stage. A Christmas Carol Nov. 13 – Dec. 16 Show times vary Tickets: $21–$33.60 (students with ID) 250-385-6815 belfry.bc.ca Greater Victoria Public Library Talks (all beginning at 12 p.m.) Goudy Branch: Nov. 20 Central Saanich Branch: Nov. 22 Esquimalt Branch: Nov. 27 Juan de Fuca Branch: Nov. 29 Free
collaborate to publish anthology > ANNA CZOLPINSKI
They are inviting past and present UVic students to tackle the universal theme of love and submit their own essays. The best submissions will be included in the collection. The personal essays should be 1 500–1 700 words in length, though shorter or longer essays may be considered. The editors are looking for “stories that are fun to read but also moving and written in a way that is accessible,” says Snell. In addition to telling a story, the essays should also offer some reflection or insight that will make the events meaningful to a reader, explains Leach. They should not simply be titillating without something deeper underneath. Snell explains that this type of anthology is relevant today because there are so many issues that people can get very divided over, yet relationships and emotions are something everyone can connect with. Instead of highlighting our differences, such stories help us understand who we are as human beings and what we have in common. “The stories offer a window into other people’s lives,” says Leach. He explains that the essays are valuable because in them, somebody is offering an honest glimpse of their lives at more than just a reality-TV level. Snell and Leach are encouraging contributors, regardless of age, to give it a shot. Writing essays can be a useful way of processing events, Snell says. Even if the story doesn’t go anywhere, you might learn something along the way. Snell notes that there are many directions writers can take this project and advises those up for the challenge to “have fun with it.”
The Modern Love column in the New York Times is for many one of the most beloved sections of the newspaper. UVic writing student Liz Snell — who together with her writing instructor, David Leach, is working on an anthology of student writing in the spirit and style of the column — says that reading the essays is “like looking through somebody else’s diary.” For the original Modern Love column, New York Times editors solicit personal essays about “any subject that might reasonably fit under the heading ‘Modern Love.’ ” One essay is published per week in the Style section of the Sunday edition of the newspaper. Leach, director of UVic’s Professional Writing and Technology in Society minors, is a long-time reader of the column. He decided to challenge his fourth-year creative non-fiction class to write essays about modern relationships in the style of Modern Love. Tired of the 19-year-old memoirist, he did this partly to get the memoir out of his students’ systems, he says, but also “to test their ability to write a coherent story with the constraint of a fairly limited word count.” Leach was impressed with the honest and moving personal essays that his students submitted in the two years that he repeated the exercise. He was also struck by the wide-ranging interpretation of the theme of modern love. When Snell took the class in her third year, she submitted a story about library speed dating. Hers was not the first speed-dating story Leach had read in his time running the course, “but she had really nailed it in a perceptive yet funny way,” he says. Inspired by the top-quality submissions from past years and supported by a Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award (JCURA) — a grant designed to help students in exceptional academic standing obtain direct research experience — co-editors Snell and Leach plan to publish an anthology.
If you would like to submit to the anthology, format submissions as .doc or .docx files, including your name, contact information, word count and title. Send as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 18. Late submissions may be considered if space remains.
the 3rd annual holid
elry, accessoand retro clothing, jew e selection of vintage wide assorthug a a h wit find s to e dor plac ven t l The bes by 35 loca re!! Brought to you all day long! mo es ch priz mu and so & ws or sho dec ries, ng fashion one-of-a-kinds! Roami 0’s 198 0’s192 of t men
17ittedhChurch v o n t a S Un d -4pm Fairfiel
at door, kids FREE! Moss st) Admission $3 1303 Fairfield Rd (at 9am-10am is $10 r!) ppe sho serious Early entry (for the vintage fair victoria! ok: Find us on facebo
November 8, 2012 MARTLET • CULTURE 15
NOVEMBER 16 – 23 EVENTS CALENDAR
Find vintage comics and more at the Victoria Comic Book Expo on Nov. 18.
RECREATION SUNDAY, NOV. 18 MYSTERY CREATURE (GUIDED WALK) On this guided nature tour, participants get to solve riddles to find a series of clues that add up to reveal the identity of a “mystery creature.” It sounds like fun, but I think a lot of kids (and adults) might be a little disappointed if the mystery creature doesn’t turn out to be a Velociraptor. For more info, email: email@example.com. Francis/King Nature Centre, off Munn Rd. (Saanich). 1–2:30 p.m. Free. SATURDAY, NOV. 17 – WEDNESDAY, JAN. 2 LIGHTS & ANIMATION IN CENTENNIAL SQUARE Here’s an interesting Christmas-y thing that has me very intrigued — an interactive anima-
16 CULTURE • MARTLET November 8, 2012
SATURDAY, NOV. 17 QUOTE-ALONG CLASSICS: AIRPLANE! Have you seen Airplane!? If you haven’t, you ought to. It’s a legendary film that started a decades-long trend in goofy, slapstick comedy movies that includes the Naked Gun and Scary Movie series. And interestingly enough, the late comedy great Leslie Nielsen was in the majority of these movies. While a movie like Airplane! isn’t Oscar-worthy material by any means, it will have you laughing your ass off. There’s no better way to experience this movie than in a theatre full of people drinking cocktails (yes, cocktails will be available). For more info, visit thevic.ca. Vic Theatre (808 Douglas St.). Doors at 7 p.m. $10 (advance tickets only). 19+.
tion that will appear in Centennial Square throughout the holiday season on the back wall of the McPherson Theatre. You use your smartphone to interact with it. There’s also going to be a tree on the other side of the square that responds to sounds you make, like singing or playing an instrument. When I was a kid, this kind of high-tech stuff would have been totally fascinating. All I had was the RadioShack catalogue. Remember that awesome Christmas catalogue with all the high-tech toys? If that gives you warm, fuzzy feelings inside, then it’ll be worth your while to stop by Centennial Square with your iPhone and see how this animated thing actually works. For more info, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Centennial Square. Free.
SUNDAY, NOV. 18 VICTORIA COMIC BOOK EXPO I’m not the biggest comic book fan out there, but like anyone born in the 20th century with nerdy inclinations, I definitely have a huge soft spot for 'em. I didn’t have the disposable income to become a solid collector when I was a kid (there is a huge collection of Archie comics at my parents’ home, however). So I never got too heavy into the ongoing dramas of the X-Men or Spider-Man; I just heard about them from other people. Anyway, there are a lot of cool comics out there. My favourite is Daniel Clowes’s Eightball series. Is all this comic book talk making you salivate? Well then, how can you not go to this? For more info, visit: victoriacomicbookexpo.ca. Comfort Inn and Conference Centre (3020 Blanshard St.). 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. SUNDAY, NOV. 18 VINTAGE, RETRO AND COLLECTIBLES SHOW & SALE If comic books aren’t quite your thing, but you’re still a nerd, then you’ll likely be drawn to this collectibles show out in Sidney. They’ve got all manner of exotic and retro collectibles, both local and from around the world. I’m sure looking through all this stuff will yield some cool finds, but value is really in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I’m always on the lookout
for stuff from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Check this event out and try to resist the slippery slope of becoming a collector who ends up on an episode of Hoarders. For more info, visit: josiejones.shawwebspace.ca. Contact David at 250-744-1807 or email email@example.com. Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave. (Sidney). 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. $3 (8:30 a.m. early bird tickets $20). SUNDAY, NOV. 18 THE COUP Everyone can dig the grooves in hip hop, but some listeners may yearn for a bit more in the lyric department. If that happens to be how you feel about the genre, check out The Coup’s upcoming performance at Club 9One9 here in Victoria. Hailing from Oakland, California, The Coup mixes smart political commentary with solid beats. And they feature a full band, too; it’s hard to top that for a complete live sound. For more info, visit: atomiqueproductions.com. Club 9One9 (919 Douglas St.). Doors at 9 p.m. $7.80 (advance only).
LECTURES THURSDAY, NOV. 15 BUILDING ON THE PAST Do you fancy yourself an Indiana Jones of sorts? Well, here’s an upcoming event that may not feature any Lost Arks or Temples of Doom (and definitely not any Crystal Skulls . . . yuck), but will be fascinating nonetheless for any budding archaeologists. Brendan Burke, chair of UVic’s Department of Greek and Roman Studies, will be discussing the historical significance of some archaeological findings in Greece. Here’s something cool about the ancient Greeks I recently found out about: their architecture wasn’t white. It was actually painted all kinds of flamboyant, bright colours. Crazy, huh? I imagine it’s something you’d have to see for yourself; I feel like all the colours would have been either tacky or fabulous. For more info, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Clearihue Building Rm. A212 (UVic). 7:30 p.m. Free.
> ALAN PIFFER
Tame Impala’s Lonerism is time travel at its trippiest > JENNIFER LEBBERT Lonerism (Modular) Tame Impala When I heard Tame Impala for the first time, I almost thought someone was blowing the dust off an old Beatles B-side. Lead singer Kevin Parker’s hypnotizing vocals sound so remarkably like John Lennon that even Yoko could be fooled on first listen. Make no mistake, however — this isn’t a Beatles tribute band. Tame Impala has taken ‘60s psychedelic rock and tweaked it with a modern flair, giving the band a refreshing sound that sets them apart from any group that exists in this decade, at least. Lonerism, the group’s sophomore LP released on Oct. 9, feels like a natural progression from their 2010 debut, Innerspeaker. Both albums, mixed by Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann, swallow you up with their hazy, lush sound. Lonerism takes the notion of cosmic rock a step further than its more audience-friendly predecessor with a full lineup of tracks that demand the listener’s attention. With Fridmann’s spacey influence, it feels like the soundtrack to a dream montage as it washes over you. Lonerism opens with “Be Above It,” in which fuzzy guitar riffs layer upon one another, mingling with everything from distorted steel drums to haunting, chant-like whispers. The album intensifies with “Apocalypse Dreams,” a journey of a song that takes on a pseudo-pop
persona. Introduced as the album’s first single, the track begins with a cheerful piano riff before it slips into a vibrant, synthesized daze. The album is filled with trippy, expansive songs of this nature, yet is not overwhelming. Each track is seamlessly complex; a polished jumble of noise. “Elephant” stands out as the black sheep on this album, which makes sense, considering the song was written years prior. It showcases a much bluesier, more rock ‘n’ roll side of Tame Impala, with a core melody defined by a deep guitar riff. It acts as a jolt of adrenaline before the album lures you back in. If each song is powerful in its own right, the album takes on superpowers as a whole. The tracks are smoothly strung together by the common theme of social isolation, but don’t come off as whiny; rather, they are thoughtful and articulate. Parker ponders the feeling of lonesomeness so deeply that he had to invent a word to describe it: lonerism. The album successfully pays tribute to this theme with its final track, “Sun’s Coming Up,” a song that’s stripped down to nothing but vocals and a simple piano melody before it reduces to a cloudy haze that floats off into nothingness. For a group of guys who were all born in the ‘80s, Tame Impala does a brilliant job exploring a genre of music that began decades earlier. Their latest accomplishment is downright explosive; stoner music at its most refined. Lonerism is not just a collection of songs — it’s a full-blown listening experience.
The breeze-rock blend of Ocean Noise > JENN TAKAOKA Lost Horizon (Unsigned) Ocean Noise
Victoria’s own Ocean Noise released their debut album, Lost Horizon, in March 2012. The fourpiece band delivers a mix of upbeat indie rock and mellow acoustic rock that keeps your ears tuned into every song. The vocal pairing works: Brian Ypma’s slight rasp and Rachel Deines’s clean voice mesh together and compliment the music with simple harmonies. The album kicks off with blasts of energetic guitar riffs reminiscent of The Gaslight Anthem’s The ‘59 Sound, complete with driving drums and a touch of airy synth. Deines leads the vocals on “Ever Restless,” and Ypma joins in a call-and-response chorus. The next track, “Always Be Enough,” keeps the same vibe; both got me in a dancey mood. Things start to slow down in “Like a Warning.”
Simple piano and guitar create a great, laidback swing and a much more acoustic sound. The middle of the album maintains a fairly acoustic-rock feel, with subtle drums, piano and simple vocals for the next few tracks. “No Sound” caught my ears with an endearingly clunky piano waltz and a haunting guitar harmony. It made my vintage senses tingle. This segues into the deep retro-synth riff of “Pray Into The Screen.” I absolutely love the old video game sound, but it gets lost as the song becomes an upbeat rock tune. The video-game theme is reprised at the end, but it feels like a mash-up between two different songs. The track list finishes off with the title song, “Lost Horizon,” recalling the same energy that began the album. Ocean Noise gives listeners a combo of easy listening and rocking tunes. Whether you’re dancing in the kitchen or studying for a midterm, Lost Horizon will make a great addition to your iTunes playlist.
November 8, 2012 MARTLET • CULTURE 17
An atom walks into bar and says, "I've lost an electron." "Are you sure?" asks the bartender. "I'm positive," says the atom.
Make reading more fun > NICHOLAS BURTON-VULOVIC Like a lot of you out there, I really hate reading. I didn’t start until later in life; my parents were afraid I might accidentally wander into licentious territory if left to explore the literary world on my own. Of course, their fear was unfounded — back in my day, we didn’t have such perniciously sinful works as 50 Shades of Grey and Harry Potter. All we had was the Bible, and we were happy to have it. The problem was, once I started reading, I soon discovered how little it suited me. Luckily, thanks to government legislation aimed at improving students’ math skills, reading didn’t come up very often at school, so the only real test of my abilities was the plastic menu at Fuddruckers. But sometimes, in the long and torturous hours between playing horse at recess and planning world domination in detention, a book was foisted upon me, causing me no end of angst. I spent hours daydreaming of ways to make reading more enjoyable. Here’s what I came up with. WORD PICTURES If you’ve ever been on the Internet, you’ve seen text pictures. Sometimes they’re fun little fairies, and sometimes they’re detailed schematics of American aircraft carriers. Regardless of their design, they all share one similarity: they’re a hoot. If my medical textbooks had been in pictorial form, that guy in the park might still have an intact aorta. Imagine students rushing to their seats every day to study their Shakespeare texts. Why? Because they’re reading Shakespeare in pictures!
A love sonnet would be infinitely more fun if the words were shaped into some lewd silhouette. Harry Potter could be a broomstick; Crime and Punishment, an axe. RESHAPE THE DIALOGUE Part of what makes reading so boring is the actual book. E-readers do a lot to reduce the stress of vacationing with my tombstone-sized copy of War and Peace, but they’re still basically book-shaped. They’re more boring and square than a Soviet premier on parade day. We need to redesign the book entirely. Must it be a misery to hoist between my meaty hands? Instead of paper and glue, books could be made out of new-age fabric. Imagine a soft, pillow-like Pride and Prejudice that could lull you to sleep with the dulcet tones of its melodious prose and then let you rest easy on its downy spine. Or what if we made them lighter and easier to hold? Imagine a book so light it floated. We could print them on balloons and fill them with helium. Of course, the books would have to be pretty short to fit on a balloon, but you shouldn’t be reading more than a few pages anyway. How are you going to meet a husband if you’re always reading? A BRIGHT IDEA I’m sure we’ve all been in the uncomfortable state of sitting in darkness. It’s the first thing that hits you when you turn out the lights. And who knows what might linger in the unlit corners of the world? Could be a spider. Could be the tax man. Could be my 1995 Chevy Lumina. I just don’t know, and frankly, I’d rather avoid finding out. If books glowed in the dark, I’d never have to. You’d never need another flashlight. The light
KLARA WOLDENGA bulb would be ancient history. Toss a few glow-inthe-dark classics in the backpack on your way out the door and you’re set. I’d take them everywhere. Concerts, movie theatres, restaurants — even my grandma’s basement cell to visit my sister. I’d probably never read the books, but if I ever did want to, they would be right there. Books would finally have a purpose again. SUBLIMINALLY YOURS Subliminal messaging is a powerful thing. I’m still convinced it was how my ex-wife got me to marry her. But we only ever hear bad things about it — this rock group is teaching kids about the devil, that Disney film is exposing them to phallic imagery. What a tease if the movie hints at scandalous subliminal messaging but doesn’t deliver. I’m never watching The Little Mermaid again.
Where are all the examples of wholesome subliminal messages? Imagine if we took the same genius and applied it to spreading good, honest Canadian values like conservatism and a love of maple syrup. We just have to figure out a way to implant subliminal messages into all of our floating pillow-books, and we’ll be a people of sticky-sweet morality in no time. I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure there’s got to be some way to teach my kids to love the Queen while they burn their way through the latest copies of Betty and Veronica. Get on that, scientists. The potential is limitless. No longer does reading have to be a humdrum chore, pushed on us cool, wayward youths by the stagnant jackboot of the older generations. It becomes a veritable orgy of knowledge, available for all, in a shape we can appreciate.
Protecting yourself from patrons of public transit Simple steps to ward off unwanted social interaction on your commute > LIZ SNELL Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” often features the sort of people who think the bus is a perfect place to meet the love of your life. After all, here you can test chemistry by routinely touching strangers’ outer thighs with your own. Public transit vehicles are spaces where a group of strangers gather with only a destination in common. They are also terrifying for anyone with social anxiety. This volatile mix of the general public serves up a personalized cocktail of distress: the panicked girlfriend having a breakdown on the phone, the garlicky close-talker who wants your free counseling services, the guy with two samurai swords who stares at you too long. When we ride the bus or the SkyTrain, we’re forced to encounter
18 HUMOUR • MARTLET November 8, 2012
those outside of our comfortable, individually tailored worlds. And who wants that? Here are some tips for shielding yourself on public transit. 1. AVOID SITTING NEAR THE FRONT. Why? You may be forced to surrender your seat, or worse: an infant may enter your vicinity. As soon as a baby is near you on the bus, you become responsible for its happiness. You may be having the kind of day where you wouldn’t even smile at Ryan Gosling, but you must smile at that baby. Strain your eyebrows and lips, squeeze euphoria from every pore. If you can’t get that baby to smile back, it might cry. And if it cries, everyone on the bus will curse you for the rest of the ride with the sidelong, loathing glances transit riders have mastered.
2. FIND THE MOST ISOLATED SEAT. Nothing engenders anger amongst fellow passengers like someone who disregards this basic rule. Remain alert at all times to protect the empty seat beside you — space is always your most effective weapon. Most people want to avoid any awkwardness and are easily deterred, but some need encouragement to keep away. A backpack or large purse is the easiest way to make your misanthropy clear. 3. USE YOUR BODY TO DETER CO-SITTERS. Pretend you’re putting your hair in a ponytail. If you physically take up the desired space, intrusion is more difficult. Lounge across the entire back row, snore loudly, and drool for good measure. Headphones or a book are a good deterrent.
Insider tip: sit next to those who look the most unaware of their surroundings. They are the least likely to interact. For guaranteed solitude, place fake (or real) vomit on the adjoining seat, or wear a jacket covered in six-inch spikes. 4. NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR CO-SITTER. If they breach your defences, don’t shift in your seat — don’t even make eye contact. The window fascinates you; look nowhere else. Or close your eyes: if you can’t see them, they can’t see you. You are a chameleon. You are stone. It will all be over soon. Sometimes all you can do is take the offensive: skip baths for a month and smile, wideeyed and adoring, at whoever tries to sit by you. To escape the hunter, become one.
Alberta concerned for B.C.’s well-being A satirical and fictional report from some powerful oil tycoons > ERIK RHODES-BOSCH CALGARY — Recently, the heads of several Canadian oil and gas companies allowed the media to sit in on an emergency meeting concerning the growing problem with British Columbia. Oil tycoons admitted they are puzzled by British Columbians’ behaviour and are beginning to think there is something wrong with their Western neighbours — something dangerous. Concerns over the Enbridge pipeline, the oil sands and oil tankers culminated in a series of high-profile protests across B.C. this month. Alberta-based oil companies were baffled by this seemingly irrational reaction. “So there I was, sitting on the deck of my summer home in Kelowna, having a beer, when my neighbour walks by,” said the CEO of DrilCorp. “He says he’s a doctor, so I invite him for a beer. He accepts, and we start talking about work. It’s all going well until he mentions his greenhouse . . . well, I tell ya, I thought that was strange enough, but I let him go on. He starts rambling about how his house has no carbon footprint, how his water is heated with solar panels in the summer. Then he tells me he converted his truck to run on biodiesel. Well, I’ve never been so mad in my life. I told him to get the hell off my porch before I put a carbon footprint on his ass. He must have been one of those homeopathic doctors that give ya tree bark for a headache . . . no real doctor would act like that.” Industry leaders were outraged when the CEO of PetroBerta said it wasn’t just hippies they had to worry about anymore. “I was at the University of British Columbia opening the new chemistry wing we funded when I heard one of these professors start shootin’ his mouth off about the tar sands. I tried tellin’ him the tar sands were creatin’ jobs and supportin’ communities. Then he came back at me with all these numbers and
crazy talk about cancer. Sayin’ things like, ‘carcinogenics.’ Or something like that. Then this other professor starts talkin’ about that deal we have with the Chinese. Usin’ big words like ‘provincial sovereignty.’ I straight panicked. There I was, surrounded by madmen. Worst thing was: they ran the place! I two-stepped the hell back home in a hurry.” The room was stunned into silence as the CEO of Tar Sands Unlimited made it clear that British Columbians weren’t just crazy; they were dangerous. “My son went off to the University of Victoria last year. Said he was gonna study Economics with a minor in Business. I was proud that one day he could follow his old man into business. He came back at Christmas. When I saw him at the arrival gate, I said to my wife, I said, ‘That ain’t my boy.’ He was wearin’ a wool poncho. He said it was made of dog hair.” The room collectively shuddered in revulsion. The CEO of Tar Sands Unlimited carried on. “Instead of cowboy boots, he was wearin’ gum boots. His hair had grown out, and he hadn’t shaved since September. He looked like a crab fisherman. I held my tongue till we got home. That’s when he told us he had switched into environmental studies. Well my wife, she started cryin’. I asked him what he expected to do with a degree in Environmental Studies. You know what he said? He said he didn’t care about the money; he just wanted to do some good in the world. These damn British Columbians took my boy from me. I’ll be pickled in vinegar if we’re just gonna sit here and accept that.” The oil barons left the media room in silence, wiping silent, solitary tears from their cheeks. While nothing else has been announced since the meeting, it is reported that a Calgary fencing company sold nearly four million feet of chain link fence and barbed wire shortly after the press conference.
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Fight November stress A workout to get you away from academia and closer to animalism > GEOFFREY LINE So you’re as swamped with essays as the U.S. of A. is with debt? Your impending midterm has you cringing like a woman in labour? I don’t care. I’m not here for you to vent to. My shoulder is not for crying on. My voice is for motivating, and my message is: “Buck up.” Wallowing is not the solution. Calling your mother is not the solution. Tea and hot yoga and listening to music in the dark are not the solutions. Don’t distract yourself with your facial hair experiments. November’s got you up against the ropes, and November doesn’t give a shit. You want to de-stress like a champ? Work out, UVic-crunch-time style. Bench press everything. If you already know that your textbooks are heavy, then you should already have taken initiative and made your reading material into muscle-building deadweights. You are at university. Be innovative. Textbooks are as good for the pecs as they are for the brain. For best results, start with course packs and work your way up to steady reps of Biology textbooks. To focus on balance and even out your muscle exertion, up the ante by heaping your MacBook Pro on top of your bio book (you will not want to let that fall). Repeat until exhausted. Wrangle a deer. Yes, UFC is on the rise. But no one’s telling you that you have to grapple a sweaty, shaven-headed man to experience the exhilaration of self-defence exercise. (Though if you do want to, email me at: cobrapipes@gmail.
com.) There are a shit-ton of fawns, does and bucks in Saanichton. Use them. Spar them. Get them in headlocks. Dodge the hooves. Don’t get gored by the antlers. Ask for consent first. Run Ring Road — on the road, and going the wrong way. You’ve seen fools do this before in their cars. What were they thinking? They were thinking. They were thinking of paving the way for you and new, innovative exercise. You want your routine to be experiential. You want to engage your warrior gene, your fight-or-flight instinct, your animal within. Running amidst cars and mopeds and buses and cyclists is not only your escape into the wild and the savannah herd of the pavement; it’s also your chance to improve your agility, your ability to dodge and your footwork. It will strengthen parts of your body that have become lazy. It will build muscle memory — terrified memories. For extra difficulty, emotional challenge and better return to the animal: run in the rain. But don’t even put one weak quad outside of your door if you haven’t prepped. Eat right. Scuba divers don’t get in the water without air in their tanks. Hikers don’t take to the trail without trail mix. You are not going to do a single UVic-crunch-time style workout unless you’ve eaten. Nourish the body. Eat lots of proteins. Consume all the good fats. Yes, fats. Fat with an “s.” Anything that’s on the food pyramid and is plural is good (there’s no such thing as “dairies” on the food pyramid, so take note). Down your shakes, your smoothies, your powders and get out there. Save the tea for later.
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November 8, 2012 MARTLET • HUMOUR 19
NORTH-EAST LYNX BY PATRICK MURRY & MIKE PAROLINI
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 7 PM UVIC AUDITORIUM
Tickets $22.75 at UVic Ticket Centre www.tickets.uvic.ca • 250-721-8480 Presented by the Alpine Club of Vancouver Island • accvi.ca
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THE OPENING CELEBRATION Marnie Swanson International Commons
Monday, November 19, 2012 International Commons in the Mearns Centre for Learning, McPherson Library 4:00 PM
Welcome, Dr. Catherine Mateer, Associate VP, Academic Planning
Indigenous Welcome, Butch Dick, elder-in-training, Songhees Nation
Remarks, Dr. David Turpin, President, University of Victoria
Remarks, Dr. Reeta Tremblay, Vice-President Academic & Provost
4:30 PM 4:40 PM
“Metissage” performance: A weaving of international students' lived experiences at UVic Dedication of the International Commons in honour of Marnie Swanson, University Librarian, 1988-2011
5:00 - 6:00 PM Adjourn to the Bob Wright Centre foyer for celebration, student performances and refreshments featuring items from the new “Degrees” UVic catering menu
20 HUMOUR • MARTLET November 8, 2012