Volume No. 33 Issue No. 14
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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McGill basketball teams swept Laval at home over the weekend. (Laurie-Anne Benoit and Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune)
Sinfully Asian lease expiration could mean changes for Bronfman McGill Food and Dining seeks proposals for space use; MUS President says Chipotle currently not an option Sam Pinto News Editor With Sinfully Asian’s contract scheduled to expire in May, McGill Food and Dining Services (MFDS) will determine in the coming months what will happen to its location on the main floor of the Bronfman Building. Upcoming decisions include whether MFDS, which works under under McGill Housing and Hospitality Services, will renew its lease with Sinfully Asian or allow a new restaurant to take its place, as well as additional decisions concerning renovations or other changes to its physical location. According to MFDS Director (Food and Hospitality Services) Mathieu Laperle, Sinfully Asian and other businesses will have the opportunity to submit proposals for using the space early this semester. A committee comprised of students, MFDS staff, and employees from various departments and services will make the final decision in March.
Laperle said Sinfully Asian is currently one of the most popular destinations on campus, but MFDS is also open to changing the partnership. “We need to [always] make sure the food is safe, [has] affordable prices, and with nice concepts, and also to be different on campus,” Laperle said. “Who would be the best partner to provide that service?” To determine the needs of students, Laperle said he has met with students from the Faculty of Management—the main clientele of the location. Last semester, the Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) conducted an online survey of over 1,600 students from all faculties regarding their opinions of Sinfully Asian. According to Joël Taillefer, president of the MUS, the survey indicated that students enjoy Sinfully Asian but want to see some changes. “They liked the food, but it’s just too expensive, and the quality is not really there,” Taillefer said. “The variety of food too, like veg-
etarian options in cooked meals— there are not a lot of them—and gluten-free alternatives. There needs to be a little more consideration for all the students.” In November 2013, students created a group on Facebook entitled “Students for Chipotle at McGill,” which tried to gather support from the McGill community to bring a Chipotle Mexican Grill to Bronfman to replace Sinfully Asian. The group has over 900 members. “The Chipotle [idea] just took off,” Taillefer said. “The thing is, it’s very cute, but the problem is there is no Chipotle in Quebec for a very good reason. I’m pretty sure they don’t have the licenses.” Often restaurants find it difficult to difficult to franchise in Quebec due to the province’s unique set of laws and language policies. In addition, Asian cuisine remained a popular suggestion within MUS survey. “That is one thing that [MFDS] told me—that they don’t want to walk away from the Asian cuisine type,” Taillefer said. “What I’ve
heard is maybe they were thinking of a mix of two kinds of food in one area. So maybe half would sell Mexican food and the other half would sell Asian food.” If Sinfully Asian renews the space, Laperle said he would still like to see some renovations in the location. “We need to do some investment in the location in terms of the serving, the way we get the food,” he said. “We [also] need to find a way to work with the flow, because it’s very busy.” Laperle added that renegotiating a contract with Sinfully Asian or a new tenant will allow MFDS to put on paper the tenant’s commitment to initiatives that have become important at McGill in the past five years, such as buying fair trade products and using more produce from Macdonald Campus. “[The owner] was willing to step in, to work with us, that was wonderful […] but we want to put that in the contract right now,” he said. “At the moment it’s verbal; next time it will be more clear this
is what we want to see.” For students, Sinfully Asian’s accessible location is the restaurant’s major strong point. “It’s easy,” said Robin PatriciaWindchip, U1 Arts. “Its accessible if I want to go to class or the library.” However, other students complained of its lack of variety and its prices. “The food can be repetitive because I eat there a lot,” said Marion Furio Lannoy, U2 Managment.“It’s expensive for what it is, for the quality, and it’s not open long enough.” If Sinfully Asian were to leave, Lannoy did not think that Chipotle is the right option, but rather a healthier alternative “Not Chipotle, I honestly find it is too specific, and not enough variety,” Lannoy said. “Something very easy, with more salads. I would like to see more salads at Sinfully Asian [too].” —Additional reporting by Erica Friesen
University St. fire causes evacuation of MORE house residence Five-alarm blaze causes injuries to five firemen, relocation of 15 students to new lodgings Danny Jomaa Contributor Students residing in a McGillowned MORE house were evacuated from their residence on Jan. 5 due to a fire that broke out in the three-storey apartment building next-door. The 15 students who have been affected will not be able to return to their residence at 3601 University St. in the upcoming weeks, due to an ongoing investigation of the fire and assessment of damages, according to Janice Johnson, Managing Director of Residences Life and Customer Relations. “Firefighters were on the roof of 3601 fighting the blaze,” Johnson explained. “They had hoses in the building to make sure that, should the fire spread, they were ready to fight it in the building.” In taking such precautions and using the MORE house as a station for extinguishing the fire, firefighters had to break windows and a skylight, causing smoke infiltration into the residence. According to Johnson, the MORE house experienced both water and smoke damage. “There was no fire in the building at all in 3601, but there was smoke and water damage, and people were on the roof, so we want to make sure there’s no damage to the membrane that’ll
cause leakage into the building,” Johnson said. Of the 15 students living in the MORE house this year, seven were present and had to be evacuated. Pierre Panhard, U1 Arts, had just arrived at the MORE house after returning from winter break when he saw smoke coming from an adjacent window. “Basically when I arrived at the house I talked to a few people and they had no idea there was a fire,” Panhard said. “I had literally just arrived when the fire was smoking out of the window.” Panhard, along with the other affected MORE students, was relocated to the Holiday Inn hotel on Sherbrooke Street. for one week before they were offered new accommodations in other residences. “We had a meeting with one of the residence officers who basically gave us a list of residences based on where they had space on campus—so Solin, New Rez, Citadelle, and MORE houses,” Panhard explained. “Most people decided to take apartments and didn’t want to go back to residences. Four of us decided to go back to residences.” Students who opted for apartments are not required to pay the remaining rent to McGill. According to Johnson, initial assessments of the residence predict
that it may take up to 12 weeks for the MORE House to undergo necessary repairs. The emergency call alerting the fire was received at 2:17 p.m. on Sunday and described by Elise Breault, a communications agent at the Montreal Fire Department, as the highest classification of an assignment within a formula that is based on the amount of firemen and resources needed to fight a fire. “The fire was typical intervention, although more firemen had to be sent on site so it was a five-alarm fire,” Breault said. “Firefighters had controlled the situation by 4:40 p.m., and the last firefighters left the scene of the fire at 10:20 p.m.” In the process of extinguishing the fire, five firefighters sustained injuries that required medical attention. Two firefighters were treated at the scene for minor injuries, while three had to be transported to the Montreal General Hospital for more serious injuries and were discharged the following day. As a precaution, the electricity to the surrounding area was shut off while the fire department acted on the fire. Following an inspection once the fire was extinguished, it was confirmed to have been caused by an accidental electrical fault. Johnson encouraged students who
The aftermath of the fire on University Street. (Laurie-Anne Benoit / McGill Tribune) have been affected to get in contact with services available on campus that could be of assistance, such as Student Services, Mental Health and Counselling Services, and academic advisers.
“The Student Services and Dean of Students kick into gear in a situation like this,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to support them as best we can.”
Student-Run Café opens for business
Project managers seek student feedback on The Nest, cite dedication to sustainability as main goal Catherine-Laure Juste Contributor The long-awaited StudentRun Café (SRC) opened for business on Jan. 6, two months after the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) announced plans for the venture in October. Named The Nest, the café is located in the second-floor cafeteria of the SSMU Building, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday. According to SRC Manager Josh Redel, opening the café on the first day of the new semester was challenging. “We really wanted to open on Monday—the beginning of the semester—to have a semester full of work; but that meant fitting a million different puzzle pieces together in the right order, so we could open on time,” Redel said. “When you’re actually on the ground, a lot of it is in building relationships with vendors, be it suppliers of food, coffee, tea or equipment […]
and working with different deadlines.” Head Chef Kathleen Bradley said student feedback in the opening week has been mainly positive, though the SRC will remain open to feedback in the next few weeks. “People like how it tastes, they like the price,” Bradley said. “Another thing that has been really good is the speed. It takes four minutes to get your order.” In the coming weeks, the SRC will continue to collect feedback from students. Customers will be able to send feedback to the SRC through text messages, online, or in person. For example, one of the required tasks of the cashier is to ask for feedback from students. Formal meetings will also be organized later in the semester. “[Things to consider include] how do you see the space change in the future?” Bradley said. “What really is student-run? The size and scope will change based on the type of feedback we and students think they need to give.”
Redel said the SRC has been successful in achieving a main goal so far—the promotion of sustainability. “Financial sustainability, social justice, social sustainability in anything—how you hire, how you purchase and environmental sustainability—has been one of the focus points and everything we’ve done has been put through that checklist,” Redel said. “Everything you’ve been served is compostable—containers, lids, spoon, everything.” Sustainability is also a key theme in implementation of the SRC’s daily activities, according to Bradley. “I also wanted to […] eliminate as much food waste as possible while still giving a nice variety,” Bradley said. “So, that’s why we have our menu designed with burritos everyday and the soup and the sandwich rotate. That lets us control waste and labour costs in the back of house a little bit better so we can still really streamline
More options suggested as potential improvement. (Cassandra Rogers / McGill Tribune) operations in the front while still giving people a different option everyday.” Redel said future goals for the SRC include potentially extending opening hours and expanding their menu options. “For example, a lot of people have been asking about sweets and desserts either at breakfast or after their meal,” Redel said. “So, we’re probably going to be working with Organic Campus to sell their stuff
to the café, to offer products that are already on campus.” Taylor Lowery, U3 Education, was a customer at the Nest this week. She said she found the prices to be affordable, and suggested expansion of options as a potential future improvement. “The prices—I kept on hearing about the cheapness of it—it’s true,” Lowery said. “I guess when they get a little more established […] more options would be good.”
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Student Services to begin consultations on usage of $5 million surplus Added contingency fund money caused by shortened 2011 fiscal year, employee turnover, MUNACA strike Jessica Fu News Editor The use of an approximate $5 million surplus in the Student Services Contingency Fund will be brought up for discussion this semester by McGill’s Committee on Student Services (CSS). The surplus is the result of various factors, including conservative enrolment estimates and savings in wages from the 2012 MUNACA strike, according to Deputy Provost (Student Living and Learning) Ollivier Dyens. “[The surplus] is a recent development,” Dyens said. “We’ve always kept a $1 million contingency fund so that we could do some upgrading of the Brown Building [….] At one point the government changed the financial year to 11 months, instead of 12. All of these things built up in the course of two to three years.” Student Services consists of
12 individual units, including the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), Mental Health Services, and First Peoples’ House. The CSS—composed of equal parts students and non-student staff, faculty, or admin—is the main advisory body responsible for developing suggestions with regards to expenditure of the Student Services budget among individual units. Provost Anthony Masi will approve these suggestions in determining the final budget. At the most recent CSS meeting in November 2013, Dyens suggested potentially using the surplus on services that would fall outside of the units that Student Services encompasses. “Personally, I would have liked if we could have considered to expand the definition to not only Student Services but services to students, which is broader,” Dyens said. One such external usage of
the fund would have been extending library space during last December’s final examinations period. “Because of the mandated budget cuts from the government, we had to cut down on the amount of space available for students in the library, because we don’t have as much security as we used to,” Dyens said. “So I wanted to invest [the fund] into having more study space for students [….] But students showed me that they we were not ready to consider that at the moment.” Dyens’ idea was faced with opposition from student members of the CSS, who felt that such reallocation of funds would set a precedent of similar usage of designated, student-paid fees in the future, according to Elizabeth Cawley, Member Services Officer of the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) and member of the CSS.
“Do we want more access to libraries?” Cawley said. “Yes [….] But our problem is simply the budget line that it’s coming out of. This surplus is meant for [Student Services] and these services need money, and they didn’t even get a chance to present [to CSS] what they could use that money for.” Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President University Affairs Joey Shea also said there were many needs within Students Services that could be addressed with the surplus. “I’m just hoping that [the surplus] will be kept within Student Services,” Shea said. “So I’m happy that they’ve reassessed and the discussion is ongoing.” Following a question by Shea at December’s academic senate meeting, which addressed the concerns of reallocating the fund, the surplus will now be reserved
for usage within Student Services. “I’ve asked Jana Luker— she’s the director of Student Services—to come up with a series of initiatives that she thinks would be interesting to invest in [within] Student Services,” Dyens said. “Those initiatives will be brought to the CSS for an advisory for discussion.” Student input on the usage of the expenditure will be taken into consideration as well, according to Dyens. As consultations have not yet begun, plans for student consultation have not yet been set, but will ideally take place in the near future, according to Shea. “There is no structure put in place for this sort of thing, because it’s random that this surplus exists in the first place, so I think that how they’ll go about making the proposals […] will be something that will be decided in [meetings] of CSS,” she said.
Results of Sherbrooke referendum could lead SSMU to exit TaCEQ SSMU Council includes announcement of interactive format for Winter Activities Night
“We’re going to make it a lot more interactive by having groups apply to have workshops with performances.” According to Fong, this set-up will reduce the long wait times often created by the building’s capacity restrictions, as students waiting in line will be able to take part in a workshop or see a performance as they wait. “[This gives] more accessibility to groups—[for example] dance groups—who really want to show what they have, rather than talk about themselves,” Fong said.
Eman Jeddy Staff Writer Last week’s Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Council meeting focused on midterm reports, where members of the SSMU executive team detailed their progress in various projects within their respective portfolios. Upcoming TaCEQ referendum raises possibility of SSMU’s departure from association SSMU Vice-President External Samuel Harris spoke on the possibility of SSMU considering disassociation from the Table de Concertation Étudiante du Québec (TaCEQ). Discussion on withdrawal has arisen because another of TaCEQ’s four member student associations—the graduate student association of the Université de Sherbrooke (REMDUS)—is running a referendum on leaving the organization from Jan. 21 to 23. “Frankly, my perspective is that TaCEQ will not work without REMDUS,” Harris said. “Given the turmoil that TaCEQ has had with the four associations, and now losing our biggest ally;—if they leave, which we’ll see—I think it is very possible [SSMU will leave].” Also known as the Quebec Student Roundtable, TaCEQ is a
VP Clubs and Services Stefan Fong announced a decreased demand for Activities Night tables. (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune) student lobbying organization that represents over 70,000 students in Quebec through membership from four university student societies: Université Laval’s postgraduate student association (AELIÉS), Université Laval’s undergraduate student association (CADEUL), REMDUS, and SSMU. SSMU spends approximately $17,000 on membership per year and is contributing an additional $10,000 this year to act as an intervener in a court case on students’ right to free association. Harris stated that SSMU would continue to provide payments to
TaCEQ until the results of the REMDUS referendum become available. “I understand the concern in terms of not wanting to make a payment transaction to an association that SSMU might feel like leaving,” Harris said. “However, there are bills to pay, such as the salaries of secretary-generals [….] What we can do is wait for the results of the REMDUS referendum.” If SSMU were to leave TaCEQ, Harris noted that there were many avenues by which it could do so. “Arguably, it could be a Council decision [or] a General Assembly
decision; but I think a referendum would be the most transparent,” Harris said. Winter Activities Night faces decreased demand for space Vice-President Clubs and Services Stefan Fong spoke on changes to this semester’s Activities Night, which will take place on Jan. 20 and follow a different format from previous semesters. “This semester we’ll be changing the format a little bit to account for the reduced interested in people registering for tables,” Fong said.
SSMU to hold an open session to address student questions about the Winter General Assembly Council announced that the Winter General Assembly (GA) will take place on Feb. 5. SSMU President Katie Larson also stated that an open session on the GA will take place on Jan. 28, which will allow students to discuss what kind of motions they would like to see brought up at the GA. “[The session] will allow interested students to talk about the GA,” Larson said. GAs take place once per semester and are open to all members of SSMU, who vote on motions put forward by members.
Give students a say in student services surplus
At the end of last semester, an unexpected surplus was announced in the Student Services contingency fund, to the tune of $5 million. In the coming weeks and months, Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Ollivier Dyens will be faced with the decision of how to allocate these funds. Although there are currently no official proposals on the table, it is crucial that these funds remain within Student Services—where they would be most beneficial to students—and that students themselves are given a voice throughout the decisionmaking process. Given the ongoing budgetary constraints across the board at McGill, there is no shortage of potential destinations for this money. Indeed, with the announcement of these funds in December, Dyens proposed using the money towards the hiring of additional library security, among other projects. Rather than being treated as an unattached sum, this money must be put towards fulfilling the Student Services mandate. Given the constant shortage of resources and lengthy wait times facing those who do seek to use these services,
there is no justification for taking back money that had initially been budgeted to this unit. To his credit, Dyens was quick to step away from his initial suggestion when it was met with opposition from students—and since promised to keep the funds within Student Services—but there are still critical decisions to be made as options are considered.
“With $5 million at play here, Dyens has an opportunity to truly grab students’ attention—especially in an area about which students have proven to care so deeply.
There is also the issue of how to distribute the money within Student Services. Student representatives, of the Student Services advisory committee have expressed a desire to see the individual units of Student Services (e.g. Counselling Service, Scholarships and Student Aid) consulted on the impact that the extra resources could have in their areas. While this would cer-
tainly help to ensure that an informed decision is made, the most important consultation to be had is with the students whom these funds will ultimately be serving. Student consultation, however, is not an easy proposition. Attempts by the administration at consulting the student body—especially in recent years—have often consisted solely of poorly-attended town halls, and resulted in decisions to which the student body at large was strongly opposed, as seen in 2012 and early 2013 with the development of the Operating Procedures Regarding Demonstrations, Protests, and Occupations. While student apathy plays a part in these failures, the administration has a responsibility of its own. Effective consultation means engaging students, rather than merely providing a venue and hoping they show up. It also means making efforts to communicate what is at stake, and giving actual proposals as to what is possible, rather than trying to coax out students’ interests and priorities in the abstract. To that end, the administration could open up the different proposals to direct evaluation from students.
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With $5 million at play here, Dyens has an opportunity to truly grab students’ attention—especially in an area about which students have proven to care so deeply. Recently, calls for the university to offer sexual assault resources of its own, the student-led Students in Mind conference, and studentrun initiatives such as the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society (SACOMSS) and the newly founded Peer Support Network are all evidence of a desire from McGill students to engage and innovate when it comes to student wellness. Arriving on the heels of a semester in which some of the most prominent topics on campus—from sexual assault to mental health— concerned student wellness and safety, this is a chance for the administration to actually demonstrate its commitment to these issues. Giving students a voice in the process will ensure that all standpoints and visions are heard, as we strive towards a happier and healthier campus.
I watched a man drive a hovercraft last week. The vehicle cruised over the San Francisco Bay, churning up a bed of bubbles as the crowd cheered. He sat behind the steering wheel, thousands of miles away from me and my computer screen. The man’s name is Matthew Riese, and I had been watching a video of his Delorean Hovercraft, built through the crowdfunding phenomenon Kickstarter. Though thousands of people like Riese have found success through crowdsourcing, we have not yet seen its full potential for solving issues in our communities. The concept of crowdsourcing has skyrocketed in popularity these past few years. Along with Kickstarter—which allows online communities fund a wide range of projects—many other initiatives have sprung up with the aim of using community numbers to achieve goals. Massdrop is a com-
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pany that organizes group buys to lower the price of goods; Gustin is a men’s clothing company that produces apparel based on the community’s desires; Amazon’s recent foray into television, the political comedy Alpha House, was based off a script chosen by customers; and there is even a Kickstartermodelled website called Offbeatr which specializes in funding adult fetish projects. Perhaps the greatest example of modern crowdsourcing has been through online educational platforms. Khan Academy, the famous learning source created by Salman Khan in 2006, has opened its doors to online community teachers and translators. More recently, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have taken the world by storm. Websites such as edX and Coursera offer free courses from worldrenowned institutions, including McGill. Many of these courses allow the enrolled participants to grade their peers’ work, with a dynamic network of communication between students and professors. However, I still believe that we are not using the concept of
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crowdsourcing to its full potential. In a recent TED talk, Roger Stein, a finance lecturer at MIT, drew attention by proposing a communityfunded method of revolutionizing drug trials. To combat the back-up of potentially life-saving drugs due to a lack of funding, he proposed a model where community stakeholders would help fund a larger baseline pool of drugs. This would allow the drugs to gradually make their way up the approval process, creating a self-funding cycle and producing gradual returns for stakeholders. In a similar vein, why are we not using crowdsourcing to draw attention to other issues around the world? On a social level, many people in conflict-ridden countries possess smartphones with cameras, allowing them to document international situations first-hand. Why haven’t we focused our efforts on providing a medium for these people to show the world what they see? In the world of science, there have been small pockets of effort to engage “citizen scientists,” an initiative that uses those with an interest in science
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to help facilitate scientific breakthroughs. If more labs and institutions around the world were willing to do this, how much quicker could we reach new scientific frontiers? Locally, crime prevention, peer teaching services, entertainment ventures, and community engagement could also stand to benefit from a greater emphasis on crowdsourcing. It is clear to me that the crowdsourcing model has great potential beyond what has been achieved thus far. As a global reach becomes increasingly accessible with the spread of internet access, it will hopefully not be too long before we begin to see artwork, ideas, books, and achievements credited to communities instead of individuals. With the world’s population on a highway to exhausting the earth’s resources, approaching the sheer number of people from a different perspective is a refreshing take on a tough situation. In a technological age where valid complaints are made over the breakdown of real communities, perhaps crowdsourcing can be the way the world saves itself.
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Off the board The silly, sordid story of salt Adrien Hu
After spending the winter holidays in Toronto with a Christmas ice-storm generously donated by Jack Frost himself, I felt meteorologically prepared to start the semester at McGill; I was wrong. When I heard the sound of rain the morning of January 6, I uttered two words: Vatican cameos; watch out! What used to be a seven-minute walk from Leacock to Stewart Biology became 20. With people falling left and right, things became quite clear: in face of ice, man—supposedly the brightest of all creatures— was hopeless. All seemed lost but for one key product: salt. The noble salt has many applaudable applications; this article
seeks to pay tribute to its unique qualities. So without further ado, let’s talk salt. Salt is a de-icing agent. When added to the roads, it induces a property termed “freezing-point depression.” Salt melts the ice by dissolving in water; because of the salt, the dissolved solution will no longer refreeze at zero degrees. Depending on the concentration of salt used, the freezing point of water can be lowered to anywhere between -6 to -16°C. This effect is ultimately what prevents McTavish from turning into a death-trap (or the best water slide ever; take your pick). Luckily, in Montreal, the battle between man and ice is limited to about four months in winter. For most, the true value of salt is in the kitchen. For starters, salt has a distinctive taste; this unique ingredient
functions like a magnifying glass and amplifies the flavours in food. The added bonus? It is also a preservative. Salt deters the development of bacteria and moulds by reducing moisture, and drawing water out of microbial cells. As such, foods with salt not only taste better, they are less prone to spoiling. Thomas Frederick Crane illustrated the importance of the ingredient in his fairy tale “Water and Salt.” The story is similar to that of King Lear, and begins with three princesses professing the depths of their love for the king. The youngest equates the extent of her adoration for her father to her fondness of salt. Offended, the king banishes her from the palace. However, upon being deprived of salt in his food, he quickly realizes the product’s necessity. Saltiness offers greater versatil-
ity and pleases a broader audience than that of sweetness or bitterness. This is why salt has established itself as the most ubiquitous of food seasonings; you may not have cumin or saffron in your kitchen, but you are guaranteed to have salt. Interestingly, the use of the ingredient is so pervasive that historical taxation of this product have played a role in sparking wars––namely, the Salt War of 1540, and, more famously, the French Revolution. While Crane’s writing focuses on the physical importance of salt, a deeper reference personifying relationships with properties of salt is expressed in The Persian Letters by Montesquieu: “[...] Being so firmly in possession leaves us nothing to desire, or to fear; that a certain amount of fickleness is like salt, which adds flavour and prevents
decay.” Although this particular passage was meant to critique the oppressive dynamic men had over women in the 1700s, the crux of the matter is of relationships and control. In any relationship, when complete domination is exercised over an individual, what eventually results is a loss of interest; there is nothing new, nothing to look forward to. Like the property of salt, the occasional discord of opinions and beliefs will serve to preserve relationships, renew meaning, and bring flavour and excitement to what is predictable, bland, and mundane. So this winter, when I hear the familiar crunch underneath my feet, you will see me grinning like an idiot, pondering the complex nature of this truly wonderful thing that is salt.
Bookstores not to blame for high textbook prices
A week into my second year at McGill, I was apoplectic. My books for the first semester cost me nearly a thousand dollars—a sum unheard of for an Arts student. The text for my introduction to Chinese culture class, a fairly thin paperback, was nearly $200 alone. Like most students beginning university, I had never had to replace a lost or damaged high school textbook, so walking into a store to buy textbooks was strange to begin with. Sticker shock was inevitable; I’d never been exposed to just how much a book can cost. As I continued my studies here, I adjusted. I noticed myself saying things like, “Wow, I only spent $400 on books this semester!” The most common target for ire over book prices is the bookstore itself, and understandably so––it’s certainly the easiest. On campus, I often overhear conversations along the lines of: “Books here are so expensive because the bookstore is a private monopoly. Why doesn’t McGill do something about it?” And almost every semester, at least one of my professors has mentioned that the text is at Paragraphe, usually because they’re concerned
over the near-monopoly of the McGill bookstore and the high prices that they feel result from it. In reality, the bookstore is 100 per cent owned and operated by McGill. It was privately managed from 1999 to 2003, but it has never been owned by anybody but the university. Moreover, the monopoly of the bookstore isn’t to blame for book prices—on the contrary, if you break down the price of a book, it actually benefits students. Roughly 80 per cent of a book’s sticker price goes back to the publisher. The bookstore’s operating costs, such as staff, shipping, and the mortgage on the building, make up another 14 per cent. The remainder is transferred to Student Life and Learning, contributing to financial aid, amongst other things. The bookstore also employs a large number of students at a reasonable wage. The more books the bookstore sells, the more money is available for financial aid, and the more students McGill employs. So then, seeing as it isn’t the bookstore’s fault, why are books so expensive? Surprisingly the real culprit is used books. Publishers estimate that taking a book from concept to market costs $750,000. Not only is the content itself expensive, but licensing, design, and editing all have to be paid for before printing. These development costs are averaged out over the sales of the book. Each
`additional copy sold reduces the share of these costs—so the more books are sold, the lower the average of development costs, and the lower the price. Sales of used books, on the other hand, don’t offset development costs because they return nothing to the publisher. But because students save money and recoup some of their initial expense, and bookstores have much higher margins on used books, there is huge incentive to buy and sell used copies. In America, this has resulted in used books making up 40 per cent of the textbook market, reducing the high sales period for a textbook to only two years. The number of copies that have to pay down development
costs has declined, and prices have increased as a result. Worryingly, a vicious cycle has begun. As prices increase, used books are more attractive, textbook life spans shorten, and prices increase further. This is partly why new editions come out so often—publishers are trying to increase sales to keep book development affordable. Of course, there are other things that contribute to high textbook prices. In general, most students will buy the book assigned for the course regardless of price. Instructors usually assign textbooks without thinking about the cost to students, and many don’t even know the price of the book they
(Andrew Su / McGill Tribune) assign. “Examination copies” given to professors by publishers can make up 10 per cent of the printing run, and obviously don’t help to pay development costs. The publishing market itself is highly consolidated, with little competition, which can also increase prices. That said, the influence of used books on textbook prices remains large and undeniable. Lowering textbook prices in a way that conserves paper, saves students money, and rewards authors fairly is a complex problem that requires more than pointing fingers at campus bookstores.
A story in the Nov. 27 issue (Remembering the Redmen) stated that the Redmen had not made the conference championship since the 1987 win—in fact, the team has managed this twice since then. Rather, the Redmen have not made the national championship since their winning season. The Tribune regrets the error.
Science & technology Pioneering a new approach to immunology When the immune system meets the roundworm: interview with Daegan Sit Caity Hui, Science and Technology Editor
Known for its excellence in research, McGill University is home to a host of professors and scientists whose work contributes to scientific innovation. In tribute to the amazing research conducted within McGill’s walls, each month Science and Technology will feature student researchers who have helped further the cutting edge science conducted at the laboratories. This series hopes to shine a spotlight onto the hard work of undergraduate students who dedicate themselves to research in the lab.
C. elegans, more formally known as Caenorhabditis elegans, is a simple, transparent roundworm often used in genetic research. After working with the organism from a neuroscience perspective under the supervision of associate professor Joseph Dent, U2 interdepartmental honours student Daegan Sit combined his experience with the worm and his interest in immunology through his project in the Ausubel Lab at the Massachusetts General Hospital. “My project was basically about C. elegans immunology,” Sit explained. “C. elegans is not normally known [in] immunology, and that is why I wanted to work in this lab. They are one of the first groups to try using this simple organism to study immunology.” C. elegans is such a simplistic organism that it does not possess an adaptive immune system—one of two critical components of the overall immune response—which is why many labs have not explored research in immunology with this roundworm. However, the group at the Massachusetts General Hospital found that some pathogens that
using [C. elegans] in high throughput studies [where researchers quickly conduct thousands of tests], and that became very effective because you can grow so many [worms],” said Sit. “[The worms] basically just eat [the bacterium] E. coli; so it is relatively cheap to produce hundreds of thousands of these worms.” Sit’s project dealt specifically with designing a method to perform the high throughput screening experiments that the lab was interested in conducting. He worked with a library of mutant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, each of which had a different gene that was missing from their DNA. “My job was to design a way to infect all of the worms with the different units of bacteria and see which strains of bacteria did not kill the worms as well,” explained Sit. “Using the life of the worms as a readout, we could tell what genes are important in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa.” Through this experiment, Sit was able to determine which bacteria were not as effective at killing the C. elegans when the worms were infected with the
Sit uses c. elegans , a type of roundworm, to study immunology. (unews.utah.edu) infected humans also infected these worms, leading the scientists to continue research on the organism. The main pathogen that the researchers worked with was the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium responsible for infections of burn injuries and of the outer ear, among other diseases. “[The lab] decided to try
Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The lab could then look at what gene the Pseudomonas aeruginosa was missing to see which genes were important in its pathogenicity. According to Sit, the greatest technical challenge in designing this screening method was getting the bacteria to grow at the same rate. “Because they’re mutants
[…] some strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa tend to grow at different rates,” Sit said. “Also, sometimes the bacteria would start growing from a different concentration. To solve this problem I first troubleshooted a variety of different growing and incubation techniques to try and get all strains to grow at a comparable rate. As well, I would keep track of the final density of the bacteria right before they were used for infection. When we would find out whether or not the bacteria killed the C. elegans, we would look back to see whether the density of bacteria was extremely low. If this was the case, it could tell us that perhaps the mutant bacteria did not kill the worms because they grew poorly and not because the mutant had a defect in its pathogenesis, which is what we were looking for.”.” Sit developed this technique through trouble shooting, as well as by looking into the past about how other researchers had solved problems in growing bacteria in a high throughput environment. While Sit has worked in numerous other labs, his experience at the Oswald Lab provided him with the opportunity to gain independence in his research. “I worked under a postdoctorate researcher, Dr. Kirienko, who taught me all the relevant techniques and gave great guidance; but she really pushed me to work on my own, which was really important for my own development,” Sit said. Sit’s efforts paid off this past November, when he was awarded a second-place prize for his project at the Undergraduate Research Conference held at McGill. Sit plans to continue his involvement in research at McGill, where he is currently working for professor Nahum Sonenberg. He hopes to make the most of the mobility afforded to undergraduate researchers by taking advantage of the opportunity to work in a variety of labs before he graduates.
Daegan Sit is a u2 interdepartmental honours student (wendy chen /mcgill tribune)
What is your favourite part of working in a lab? “I think my favourite part about biological techniques is the moment when you get the data out—the read out—because it is always exciting to see whether it worked, or it is disappointing when you see everything failed. [To see the C. elegans mortality rate], I dyed the organism with a stain known as SYTOX orange, which selectively enters dead C. elegans worms [and makes them] glow. I would put the entire plate under a microscope and take a [picture] of a florescent image and just a regular image. There was this program called Cell Profiling, and it is able to calculate the area of the C. elegans worms both in the fluorescent image and the non-fluorescent image, [giving us] a readout of the percent dead.” Advice for other students applying to a lab? “The trick is to apply to labs when they’re not as busy or when they’re not filled up. I remember the first time I applied for a lab during the summer I [did so] kind of late—towards January, February, and March. By that time, some laboratories are filled up. It doesn’t mean you’re not qualified, but it may mean that the [lab] does not have space. I think that’s one big thing, trying to apply early on and trying to find work that you’re really interested in.” If you could have any superhero power, what would it be? “I think definitely reversing time would be the most useful; [a] time turner—that would be nice.”
Curiosity delivers. |
science & technology
| Tuesday, January 14, 2014
McGill joins ranks of universities teaching MOOCs CHEM181x will be the first of several online courses offered by the university Prativa Baral Staff Writer This semester, McGill joined the ranks of MIT, Harvard, and other leading universities with the opening of registration for its first ever Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Chem181x. The course, known as “Food for Thought,” will be offered by professors David Harpp, Joe Schwarcz, and Ariel Fenster starting this January and lasting 13 weeks. MOOCs, founded by the company edX, were designed with the purpose of expanding access of high quality education online. The instalment of Chem181x brings a brand new approach to education within McGill’s learning sphere, as MOOCs are not offered for credit, but rather to foster knowledge for the sake of learning. They are free to anyone around the world who is interested in receiving an education from these prestigious universities. While students cannot obtain a degree from enrolling in MOOCs, they may receive a certificate of completion depending on their participation in the course. This is measured via various methods, including online discussion boards. Students have the option to “audit a course,” meaning they have access to all the course material and online discussion forum without necessarily attending every lecture. For those who are interested in greater commitment, they can choose to complete the course in its entirety to achieve differ-
speed dating, where different representatives from Harvard and MIT came to meet with numerous members of McGill’s faculty, deans, and a variety of instructors, until McGill was asked to join edX. After cautious deliberation, Provost Anthony Masi and Laura Winer, head of the Teaching and Learning Services agreed that McGill would participate in the project. Similar to the popular World of Chemistry series offered by the same professors on campus, CHEM181x is designed to offer a scientific framework for understanding food and its impact on health and society from past to present. “One thing we hope to portray is that science can partially answer quite a few questions but that there is no magic menu for managing one’s life,” said Harpp. “We want to portray what the science is telling us and to hope that most of the viewers will be vigilant about charlatans and to develop some good level of critical thinking.” Harpp foresees the virtual environment as one where different points of view will come into play due to the broad audience. This, he hopes, will help engage groups of students to do local research on food and food services and share those experiences among each other. “This may not transpire but we are open to ideas as to how we might better deliver our course,” he said. Given the nature of these online courses, a significant amount of preparation goes into the instalment of such
ent types of honour code certificates. Either way, the flexibility of MOOCs remains one of their largest appeals— with a virtual classroom that is open night and day, students can study on their own schedule and at their own paces. Harpp has been heavily invested in making this project happen at McGill. According to him, McGill chose to get involved in edX, “partly to see if we could work up a better version of existing visuals and presentations [of our courses in] a more engaging format.” According to Harpp, professors were also interested in learning how people from around the world would respond to their approach to teaching. Digital teaching is not new to McGill. “We were already fairly knowledgeable about how digitally recorded lectures were received, because we invented the McGill recording system with programmers way back in 2000,” said Harpp. Today, McGill offers around 350 recorded courses each year. With experience and positive feedback received over the past 13 years, Harpp said he felt McGill was ready to enter the realm of virtual teaching on a global scale, as well as keeping [McGill’s] ‘brand’ alive by maintaining pace with other top-quality universities. According to Harpp, the process of joining edX was filled with negotiation between high academic officials of McGill and edX management. He jokingly ascribed the process as similar to
Soup and Science Preview 2014 What is it?
Who you can see:
This week, head over to the Redpath museum to listen to a collection of professors provide a short presentation of their research. Make sure to get there early, as seating is limited and spots fill up fast. Following the presentations, students are invited to mingle with the presenters over lunch to find out more about their research and how they can get involved. Soup and Science is being held January 13 to 17, 11:30 AM each day at the Redpath Museum. Check out the website at http://www.mcgill.ca/science/research/ours/soupscience/jan2014 for a complete list of the presenters this week.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Jörg Kienzle (Computer Science): Software Engineering (model-driven engineering, aspect-oriented software development), dependability (fault tolerance), massively multiplayer games (scalability, fault tolerance) Wednesday, January 15 2014 Alyson Fournier (Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute): Neuronal Regeneration and axon guidance Thursday, January 16, 2014 Dan Bernard (Pharmacology): Molecular mechanisms of pituitary hormone synthesis
Caroline Palmer (Psychology): Memory and motor control in performance, skill acquisition, music cognition, knowledge representation Friday, January 17 2014 Louigi Addario-Berry (Mathematics & Statistics): Probability and combinatorics Elena Bennett (Natural Resource Sciences, School of Environment): Managing landscapes for multiple ecosystem services; human impact on large scale phosphorus cycling Sebastien Breau (Geography): Geographies of inequality
CHEM181x, which discusses food and its impact on health and society, will be McGill’s first MOOC. (elearningindustry.org) a class. According to Harpp, it takes a full week of work to go into the production of an hour of this online class. “Editors, our designer, helpers and the lecturer have collectively put in a total of [over 30 hours of work] for a one hour segment,” said Harpp. A focus group of about 20 people has also been involved in this project in order to provide constructive feedback. Due to the resources required and the variety of people involved in the development of such a course, the costs for producing a MOOC are higher than those associated with a standard course. “We have obtained a significant donation from interested parties [to help offset these costs],” Harpp said. Although funds are available to relieve professors involved in the MOOC of their usual teaching hours, the McGill professors participating in the MOOC project have chosen to continue teach-
ing their usual courses without changes. McGill hopes to offer more MOOC courses as time goes on. “Natural Disasters,” taught by Professors John Stix and John Gyakum, is poised to make an entrance to the world of edX later in 2014. Courses from other faculties, such as Management, have been proposed as well. “This is the end product of our involvement with lecture-capture,” said Harpp. “It is a natural evolution and also [is] not easy. If [this] were easy to do and deliver in a simple but effective way, it would have happened years ago. It is a worthy challenge to see if we can make a course […] even better—not only for local consumption but for delivery to civilians in diverse locations”. For more information or to register for edX courses, visit www.edx.org.
Major Depression and Suicide: Presentation by Dr. Gustavo Turecki Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP Jan 20, 6 to 8 p.m. The Killam Prize lecture—Vaccines: Impact on Global Health and Economics Lecture given by Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk, 2013 Killam Prize Winner in Health Sciences. Registration is free but on a firstcome, first-served basis Visit http://www.mcgill.ca/research/killam2014-rsvp to RSVP Jan 20, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Faculty Club; 3450 rue McTavish Freaky Friday: Comment reagissent les mammiferes marins face aux toxiques presents dans l’Arctique et le SaintLaurent? In French. A discussion will be followed by the movie, Homotoxicus. For more information: http://www.mcgill.ca/ redpath/whatson/freakyfridays Jan 17, 5 to 6 p.m. Redpath Museum
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 |
science & technology
| Curiosity delivers.
Get A Seat released in time to ease add/drop period woes U2 Management student develops app in response to increasing frustration with course registration Caity Hui Science and Technology Editor With over 22,000 full time undergraduate students at McGill and limited course registration, the first few weeks of January—also known as the add/drop period—can be stressful. After forgetting to check Minerva one time too many, Noah Lackstein, a U2 Management student at McGill, developed the app Get A Seat to make the add/drop period easier. “I’m terrible at remembering to do things, and I was trying to get into a course last Winter and I just never checked Minerva,” said Lackstein. “It would be midnight and I would be getting into bed and I would realize, ‘Oh shoot, I forgot to check if I can get into this course that I want.’” In response to this problem, Lackstein wrote an app that would send him an email to remind him when space opened up in the classes into which he was trying to enrol. Lackstein was surprised when his friends asked if they, too, could use the app after they saw how well it worked. Due to the growing interest in his program, he decided to take the time over the break
to make the app available to all McGill students. “When I get into Bronfman I see tons of students lined up to see advisors to try to get into a course,” said Lackstein. “I felt that clearly, there was a market for this [app].” Get A Seat is not the first app Lackstein has designed. In 2008, he started a website for music enthusiasts. Although he is no longer actively involved with the site, it has expanded to over 160,000 active users. “I’ve been programming since grade five,” Lackstein said. “I was always fascinated with websites—how you get them on the Internet, how they work. My elementary school had a course that taught you how to make a website; and from there, I knew enough to look on the Internet and teach myself.” This passion for programming was a major factor in the development of Get A Seat. “I’d say [I worked on it for] about 100 hours over the break,” said Lackstein. “It was a good break from my break. [As] I had not done much programming over the past few years, this was a good way to get back into it.” The app is designed to pro-
vide students with a simple method of monitoring their course registration and class availability. Lackstein entered all of the course information from McGill, so that when students type in the course information that they want and click submit, the app will pull down all the sections that are offered for the course. “Three sections might fit your schedule, for instance,” said Lackstein. “At most, every five or six minutes the app will check who has dropped the course. If [the app] finds out that any section that you wanted to be notified about have opened up, [it] will send you a notification, text message, or email.” Lackstein released Get A Seat on Jan 28 2014, and since then, over 870 students have signed up for the app. While the app was free until last Tuesday night, to cover the costs of running it, Lackstein is now charging students two dollars to sign up for the program. “Next semester, I hope to partner up with a used book exchange,” said Lackstein. “If I get you into a course, you will need the books for [it]. If I can get those to you [through a partner-
Get A Seat may help avoid add/drop frustration. (Ruby Xia / McGill Tribune) ship], I can make the app free for students and have the app sponsored by used book companies. That would be much better for the students, and that would be much better for me.” With the success of the app, Lackstein is looking to bring it
to Concordia in the Fall, with the hopes of eventually expanding across Canada and to the U.S. For more information and to download the app, visit https:// getaseat.ca.
Dress up your Android and iOS for productivity Download these lesser-known organizational apps to kick off the new semester Abhishek Gupta Contributor Apart from the usual suspects on your phone, such as Instagram and Snapchat, many other apps exist that can help you keep up with your schedule and manage your social life. Check out these lesser-known apps to ring in the New Year. Evernote Advertised as a suite of programs that “make modern life manageable, by letting you easily collect and find everything that matters,” the flagship Evernote app has a very neat interface that lets the user create all sorts of notes. It can be used as
a Dictaphone—allowing you to take audio notes—or you can capture images and text to create a more visual reminder. Regular text notes are an option, but the other features are what make this app truly stand out from the flood of work management apps on the market. Syncing with your home computer and other devices like tablets is a breeze, making organization a little more fun. Any.Do From former developers at Unit 8200—the Israeli military’s tech division—this app promises to keep the lazier or more forgetful members of our society on their toes. With its
extremely simple design, the app allows users to plan their days with a feature known as “Any.do Moment.” This prompts you to schedule tasks and stagger them throughout the day. Any.do also has other useful functionalities, such as reminding users of missed calls and setting call back times so that you never fall behind in communication. Aviary Impressed by your photographer friends whose pictures always look better than yours? Fear not—Aviary aims to bridge the gap between the amateur and professional. It’s like Photoshop on your mobile with an extensive set of features for enhanc-
ing and creating artistic snaps out of your everyday captures. With the ability to alter warmth, saturation, focus, and contrast, including the ever-trending ‘Instagram-styled’ filters, Aviary offers lots of options to put a fun spin on mobile photography. Cal
Also from the developers of Any.do, Cal supports all the regular functions that you can expect from a good calendar app along with a strong integration with Any.do that makes your entire planned day available in a single neat interface. Like most apps from this company, the focus is on a simplistic yet visually stunning design that encourages
use of the app. Currents With so many online publications, Currents comes to the rescue to keep you up to date with your favorite picks. The app has organizational sections ranging from technology to business. It aggregates articles from the publications that you add as subscriptions and then delivers them to you in an easy-toread format. This app is a must-have for anybody who likes to stay afloat in today’s ever changing world. These apps are available to download for free for iOS and Android devices.
The Trib is looking for a PGSS Representative to sit on its Board of Directors Send an email to email@example.com
an Arts & Entertainment Editor and an Online Editor Send your CV and letter of intent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. A&E candidates must also attach three writing samples to the application
Applications will be accepted until Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. Now accepting for applications er a Septemb 2014 start
Solving the world’s most important problems, one stem cell at a time
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• Designed primarily for non-business undergraduates • For careers in Management, Finance and Accounting • Extremely high co-op and permanent placement To learn more about the MMPA Program, attend our information session:
Nika Shakiba wants to understand how to best put cells in a time machine. As a biomedical engineering PhD student, she is investigating the mechanism by which the watch hands can be turned back in mouse cells. Those Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells then have all the ability of embryonic tissue to morph into any cell a body needs. If Nika — a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship recipient — gets a closer look at the clockwork in iPS cells, it will mean less dependency on embryonic stem cells, bringing us one step closer to a self-healing world. Her future? Healthy.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Room 3001, Brown Student Services Bldg, 3600 McTavish, McGill University
UTEngineering_fall_McGill Tribune.indd 1
2013-10-08 9:09 AM
10 | FEATURES
By Ben Pidduck As Montreal becomes entombed in snow and the cold creeps deeper into our bones, many McGill students thoughtlessly write off the Quebec winter as devoid of life. While the cold may hinder our motivation to venture out, it can also unearth many fantastic winter activities, for which Quebec is renowned internationally. So before you curl up under your covers for another season of One Tree Hill on a Saturday afternoon, consider the wide assortment of winter activities around you! From discovering all that Mont Royal offers to heading out further into the surrounding area, push yourself to escape the McGill bubble and discover the winter wonderland that is Quebec. Mont Royal and Parc Jean-Drapeau play host to the majority of winter activities within the city, dispelling the myth that such destinations can only be accessed by car. In reality, some of the best lie right at the doorstep of the McGill campus and many are accessible with public transportation. Chris Conery, a U3 Management student and avid snowboarder,emphasizedhow accessible winter activities can be here in Montreal. “We are so lucky to go to a school in a city whose winter has so much to offer,” Conery said. “It is amazing how many exciting events are downtown throughout the winter.” Parc Jean-Drapeau is only a short Metro ride on the yellow line (Stop: Jean-Drapeau; single fare: $3). Access to both parks is free of charge, with activities such as cross-country skiing or snowshoeing costing a few bucks more. Mont Royal
activities will stay open until late April. However, attractions at Parc Jean-Drapeau are only open for the duration of Fête des Neiges (Snow Festival), on the four weekends starting Jan. 18.
Winter sports in the city With the plummeting temperatures comes ice, and the Canadian pastime of skating could not find a better home than Montreal. There are plenty of places around the downtowncoretopracticeyour skills. For beginners, Lac-AuxCastors (Beaver Lake) on Mont Royal is the best, offering the cleanest ice surface, affordable skate rentals ($9/2hrs), and beautiful views of the city. For more advanced skaters or those looking to learn how to play hockey,ParcJeanne-Manceand the McConnell Arena offer great shinny (pick-up hockey) games. Humbly accepting its role as the butt of many jokes, curling has carved itself out a unique niche in the sports world.Canadahasback-to-back Olympicgoldmedalsforcurling, and more and more people are trying out this curious sport often dubbed “Chess on Ice.” The game is competitive, tactical, and above all, much harder than it appears. Stewart Museum on St Helen’s Island (near Parc Jean-Drapeau) rents out curling ice rinks for $20, which can each hold a group of eight to ten people. Mont Royal also offers unparalleled accessibility for snowshoeingandNordicskiing, both of which are great ways to get exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. Mont Royal
has 22 kilometres of groomed cross-country skiing trails. Skis and snowshoes can be rented from the McGill Recreation desk in the Sports Complex for $10/ day. Alternatively, Parc JeanDrapeau has several kilometres of trails and offers rentals for $19/2hrs. Another popular winter activity is snow tubing, which involves riding a large inflated rubber inner-tube down a slope either solo or with friends. Mont Royal features Montreal’s bestknown and most accessible park, where it costs $9 to participate. For the intrepid tuber, Parc Jean-Drapeau and Mont Avila feature more precarious slopes. For those looking for an even more exotic adventure Fête des Neiges offers hourlong dog-sled tours around the island for $12. Aside from the experience of harnessing the power of 10 sled-dogs, the tour will also allow you to meet and spend time with the majestic dogs at their kennel before and after the ride. Those interested in terrainpark skiing and snowboarding can seek out Parc JeanDrapeau, which has recently installed a new cable-pulley system (télétraction) to sharpen your skills on rails, jumps, and boxes. Though not cheap, it’s a great alternative to night-skiing and will help you quickly prefect skills to later show off at the mountain.
Destinations Outside of Montreal For those willing to move further outside Montreal, they are rewarded with a rich and
diverse set of winter activities. Though feared by many for its brutal and biting cold, Eastern Canada is also internationally renowned for fantastic skiing and snowboarding. As residents of Montreal, we are uniquely situated near various mountains that span out to the north, south, and west. Great skiing is not only reserved for those with cars; there are many forms of public transportation from Montreal’s core to the surrounding mountains. The popular mountain Bromont is less than 45 minutes from Montreal’s core and is large given its proximity, boasting 102 runs serviced by nine lifts. A mountain for all skill levels, it plays host to great learning facilities for skiers and snowboarders alike as well as a large terrain park and glade skiing for more advanced riders. Bromont is also one of the few hills to offer night-skiing, which runs until 10 p.m. Runs are lit with floodslights and lift tickets are cheap, making night skiing a great evening activity following work or class. The mountain is serviced by the Students’ Society of McGill University’s Ski andSnowboardClub(SSMUSki), but can also be accessed with public transport from Transdev Limocar (limocar.ca), which drops you off in the Bromont village and offers student discounts (approximately $20 one way). Mont Tremblant is only an hour and a half from Montreal, yet it offers some of the best skiing in the entire Northeast. It is not uncommon to find French nationals and American tourists venturing to Tremblant to discover their fantastic hills, beautiful views, and vibrant village. The Tremblant village is a staggering network of
everything one could desire, from hot tubs to coffee bars, high-end shopping to microbreweries. With more than 650 acres of skiable terrain serviced by fourteen lifts, Tremblant is the crown jewel of Quebec skiing and is internationally acclaimed. New skiers will love the diversity of terrain available to hone their newfound skills, while more advanced riders will stay ever enthralled with the glade skiing, diving black diamonds, and gigantic terrain park. The mountain is serviced by SSMU Ski and Snowboard Club as well as by public buses. The Gallant Bus company services the route from Station Centrale (1717 Rue Berri), leaving at 7:30 a.m., and making stops at Mont Blanc, Mont Sainte-Sauveur, and finally at Tremblant Village at around 10:15 a.m. If you’ve brought your passport with you to school, a gem lies just beyond the Vermont border for all of your winter sport needs. Jay Peak, renowned for skiing with its 1,200 metre mountain, also hosts a variety of other winter sports, including cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.Forthoselooking for something a little different, Jay Peak features a massive new indoor water park with several slides, hot tubs, a lazy river, and an artificial wave pool.
Other Festivals and Attractions If your skills have been honedatJeanne-Manceenough for the big leagues, put your team to the test and sign up for the Montreal Pond Hockey
11 | FEATURES Graphic by Alessandra Hechanova
McGill (McConnell) Arena Parc Jeanne-Mance Lower Field Lac aux Castors
Public Skating Atrium Le 1000 Parc Jean-Drapeau Snowshoeing Parc-Jean Drapeau McGill Gym
Festival on Feb. 8 and 9. Locatedinthepicturesquetown of Old Lachine, Quebec (only a 10 minute drive from Montreal), the tournament draws over 50 teams from across the province. So whether you’re there for the glory, the “Best Bucket” competition, or the free Moosehead, there’s something beautifully Canadian about hockey that can be cherished by all. The Barbegazi Winter Action Sports Festival is also a great option for those looking for an adrenaline-infused weekend of lumberjack, snowskate, and freestyle snowmobilingcompetition.Set on the backdrop of Olympic Stadium and running on Feb. 15 and 16, it’s a glimpse into the world of extreme sports for those willing to take the plunge.
Cross Country Skiing Parc Jean-Drapeau McGill Gym Botanical Gardens
Parc Jean-Drapeau Mont Royal
Dog-Sledding Parc Jean-Drapeau
For the bravest souls, the Montreal Ice Canoe Challenge is a canoe race over ice, snow, and water in the Old Port of Montreal. On Saturday, Feb. 22, competitors in groups of five will run and paddle their 25-foot canoes across the arctic waters of the St. Lawrence. This challenge is part of the “circuit québécois de canot à glace,” an intense ice canoe racing competition, and is a perennial hit amongst fans looks for thrills, spills, and revelling in others’ misery.
Getting Involved On Campus There are a variety of resources at your disposal
Igloofest – Old Port Fete du Neige - Parc JeanDrapeau
Pick-Up for SSMUSki – Roddick Gates Pick-Up for Tremblant – YUL Aeroport & Gare to help facilitate your introduction to the Quebec winter wonderland. SSMUSki runs weekly trips on weekends to mountains throughout Northeast Canada. With your $100 membership comes free coach transportation to and from hills, reduced lift ticket fees (30-50 per cent off), as well as use of their tuning equipment. As Sebastian Groenhuijsen, Co-President of SSMUSki points out, “SSMUSki caters to any and all skiers and snowboarders, doesn’t matter if you shred every week, or only once a year. We provide super cheap lift tickets and transportation and let you decide what you want to do at the mountain.” For those looking to push themselves further
d’autocars de Montréa Pick-Up for SainteSauveur & Mont Blanc - Gare d’autocars de Montréal Pick-Up for Bromont – Gare d’autocars de Montréal
Igloofest – Old Port Barbegazi Winter Action Sports Festival – Olympic Stadium Montreal Pond Hockey Festival – Old Lachine, QC
Montreal Ice Canoe Challenge – Old Port outside their comfort zone, McGill Outdoors Club (MOC) facilitates a variety of winter trips, including snowshoeing, winter camping, ice-climbing, ski touring, ice-fishing, icebreaker canoeing and many more. MOC runs trips on an ongoing basis and is accessible to all with a $20 membership. Finally, the McGill International Students Network (MISN) offers overnight ski trips specifically for international students to mountains around Quebec. Lara Bailey, Treasurer of MOC, explains why life is better in the great outdoors. “Being in the snow, fresh air, and sun clears out the cobwebs in your brain and gets your blood pumping.” Bailey says. “A day of wading through snow sharpens the
mind for a week of academic assault [...it is] better battling mother nature instead of the books.” We are constantly overwhelmed by information; tweets, texts, messages, notifications, emails, phone calls, articles, readings, essays, and group projects alike. Sometimes the best thing to do for yourself is to step away, breathe deep, and enjoy the simpler things in life.
For more information, check out: www.mcgilloutdoorsclub.ca www.ssmuski.com www.misn.ca Full disclosure: Benjamin Pidduck is the Co-President of SSMU Ski and Snowboard
Student living Despite cold weather Defrosh provides warm welcome to new students Weekend-long event aims to integrate new and returning students into the McGill community Marlee Vinegar Student Living Editor The back-to-school event line up is packed, from the organized ski trip Snow Jam to Carnival, Management’s weeklong fundraiser. Now add Defrosh this coming weekend—hosted by Power to Change, Newman Students’ Society, McGill Christian Fellowship, and Initiative 22—to the list. The weekend-long event presents new McGill students with the chance to get to know new people and the city through a series of planned activities, including playing board games, dancing, a warm beverage party and—a notable favourite from last year—a trip to Fête des Neiges at Jean-Drapeau Park. “The original vision behind Defrosh, two years ago, [was] we saw that there wasn’t any frosh welcoming students,” Rachel Lin, head coordinator of Defrosh, said. “We wanted to give new students and international students a chance to explore Montreal and make friends and get plugged in to a com-
munity. The same opportunities frosh people in the Fall semester have.” Rachel estimates that there are roughly 200 students who begin university at McGill each Winter, most of whom are international or on exchange. They are given a McGill orientation and have resources to help them get settled, but Rachel says there is a lack of resources from a social perspective. While Winter semester events such as Carnival allow returning students to cut loose as they ease back into their school routine, new students are—for the most part— left out in the cold at the start of the semester. “When you come in the Winter it’s kind of unnoticed,” Rachel said. “If you’re new [in the fall], normally everyone is trying to know each other and make friends, but in the Winter people already have their community so they’re not as eager to go out and make friends [….] There are events to help you explore, but it’s hard to seek out each event, and try to put yourself out there
doing it alone.” Despite the original vision as an event for incoming students in the winter, they only represent the minority of participants. Rather, the majority of those taking part are first-year students, many of whom did Fish Frosh in the Fall. This was the case for U1 Nursingstudent Maggie Lin, who participated last year and intends to volunteer this year. “I found that last year was really helpful,” Msggie said. “This year I kind of wanted to serve the new people and first-years as well [....] I received a lot of love and care, and I want to do that in return.” Defrosh also sets itself apart from other frosh-like events. Unlike some of the other January events— that revolve around the consumption of alcohol— Defrosh is a dry event. “Being able to build relationships that last, even after you graduate, is really important,” Rachel said. “When there is alcohol, it becomes the main thing and
that’s why [students] come. We want to offer something more, for people to actually talk.” Maggie noted that the alcohol-free nature of the event provided a more inviting social setting. “I don’t drink a lot,” she said. “This would be a great way for students that don’t enjoy drinking that much to still feel comfortable.” Saturday also includes a planned worship night, where students can pray and worship together, and a church swap where students can attend different churches together. While the spiritual aspects could be perceived as exclusionary, Rachel maintains that they can serve as a means of getting to know other students. She stresses that everyone is welcome regardless of their belief system. “We want to open it up to all new students […] but letting them know that there are events like worship night and church swap,” Rachel said. “The point is to get to know each other, and just
(montreal.about.com) make friends and relationships that last throughout the entire year.” This year, Rachel expects approximately 80 students to participate in Defrosh. She said she would like to see Defrosh expand in future years.However, unlike Frosh in the fall, advertising and publicity have presented major challenges. Currently, Defrosh organizers primarily hand out fliers and speak to students at winter orientation as well as advertising through social media and listservs. “I can see it becoming really valuable for new students,” Rachel said. “The goal is for having them know about it, whether they come or not. Even that goal, if every single student knew that there were people that wanted to welcome them in, that would be really cool.” Defrosh runs Jan. 17-19. Registration is $10. See http://justinezed.wix. com/fishfrosh#!defrosh-2014 for details.
Savoury slow cooker recipes Alycia Noë Staff Writer
After braving the bitterly cold winds on the walk home from class, what could be better than a warm and hearty meal? Slow cooking recipes mean your meals can be ready and waiting for you. Simply use a slow cooker or set your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (or the lowest temperature possible), pop your meal in for a few hours, and forget about it as you go about your day. These recipes also make large quantities of food, so you can freeze the leftovers for a quick and easy meal later.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Ingredients: 2 thinly sliced onions 3 sliced carrots 1 diced red pepper 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into strips 1 cup chicken broth 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter zest of 1 lime 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp ginger 2-3 tbsp curry paste or powder 5 minced garlic cloves ½ cup coconut milk 1 cup frozen peas Optional: other frozen vegetables, peanuts, cilantro Instructions: 1. In a slow cooker or large ovensafe pan with a cover, place onions, carrots, red pepper, and any other vegetables. Place chicken
on top of vegetables. 2. In a bowl, whisk together broth, peanut butter, lime zest, soy sauce, ginger, curry, and garlic. 3. Cook for 5-6 hours in either slow cooker on high setting, or in low temperature oven. 4. Stir in coconut milk and peas. 5. Serve over rice. Top with peanuts and cilantro for extra flavour and crunch.
Ingredients: 2 chopped onions 6 chopped carrots 4 minced garlic cloves 2 tsp olive oil 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp black pepper ¼ tsp cinnamon 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth 2 cups water 3 cups cauliflower 2 cups lentils 1 can diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste 1 package frozen spinach lemon juice to taste Instructions: 1. Combine all ingredients except spinach and lemon juice in a slow cooker or oven-safe pan with a lid. 2. Cook for 5-6 hours (high setting). 3. Stir in spinach half an hour before serving and sprinkle lemon juice on top of soup just before eating.
Apple and Maple Pulled Pork
Ingredients: 3 pounds pork (pork butt is best) 1 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp ground mustard 1 tbsp paprika 1 diced large onion 1 apple (peeled, cored, diced) ½ cup maple syrup
3 tbsp brown sugar zest of 1 orange Instructions: 1. Place pork in center of slow cooker or oven-safe pan. 2. Pour vinegar around pork. 3. Rub mustard and paprika into pork. 4. Add onion and apple. 5. Pour maple syrup over pork. 6. Sprinkle orange zest and brown sugar over pork. 7. Cook for 6-8 hours (high setting). 8. With forks, pull apart pork and allow it to cook in juices for up to an additional 30 minutes. 9. Serve on a bun, on top of rice or salad, or with coleslaw or potatoes. Photos courtesy of tastykitchen.com, girlcooksworld.com, kitchenkonfidence.com.
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Staying fit without the fitness centre Workout options around Montreal that will boost your health and spare your bank account Max Berger A&E Editor If one were to do a Family Feudstyle poll of the most common New Years resolutions, getting in better shape would probably take the number one spot—and rightfully so. Especially during winter, when getting to class can feel like a burden in itself (residents of Lorne and Aylmer excused), committing to frequent physical activity can take some serious motivation. To many people, “getting in better shape” is synonymous with “going to the gym”—hence the Monday after New Years traditionally is the most crowded day of the year at gyms. There’s nothing wrong with going to a gym, especially if building up muscle strength—or more bluntly, getting jacked—is your intended goal. But for those students who aren’t set on that particular result, McGill and the downtown Montreal area offer plenty of alternatives that will keep you fit through the winter semester—and maybe even save you some money.
Using the Fitness Centre in the McGill Sports Centre requires a $27 membership fee from undergraduate students and a $37 fee from graduate students each semester. If you’re mostly interested in a good cardio workout and don’t feel like forking over the money or potentially waiting in line for a treadmill, the track in Tomlinson Fieldhouse might be a better option for you. Certain time slots are booked for varsity team practices, but the six-lane ovular surface is available pretty frequently, even when intramural games are taking place in the centre of the track. Another free, viable cardio option in the Sports Centre is the Memorial
Pool. Although water polo season takes up some extra pool space on weekends, there’s usually a minimum of three time slots available on weekdays for recreational swimming. Slow swimmers have no need to worry about keeping up in a crowded lane, since lanes are divided and marked by pace. Other perks include the assortment of flutter boards available for use and the stream of generally good songs blasting from the speakers. I recommend swimming head-up breaststroke to take full advantage of the music. For those who are more sportsoriented, there are a variety of free pick-up games available in the Centre. On Friday afternoons, recreational badminton and basketball are offered in the gymnasiums, and volleyball and soccer are offered in the Fieldhouse. Squash courts are available most days of the week, provided you book a court online in advance. If you’ve also resolved to relax in the year or increase your flexibility and strength, free or inexpensive yoga classes are available around the city.
Lululemon holds free yoga classes once a week at their four locations. The classes differ each week and have a different focus including a meditation class. They have mats you can borrow if you don’t have your own, but be sure to go early to grab a spot since the space fills up quickly. Hitting the ice is a classic Montreal winter fitness activity—no, navigating the treacherous ice-capped sidewalks doesn’t count. Skates don’t necessarily come cheap if you don’t have them already, but they’re a great investment and also one of the best ways to be active and outdoors. There are small fees involved for skating and shinny (pick-up hockey) at McConnell arena, and there are also public rinks available nearby like Beaver Lake on Mount Royal or Jeanne-Mance Park. If you’re a casual skater and don’t feel like gliding around for an hour is enough of a workout, try walking over to Parc La Fontaine. It’s a scenic skate over a winding frozen pond and walking there and back from the Milton-Parc area is a workout in itself.
Staying fit until the snow starts to melt is no easy task, but at least there are lots of options available. Whether you end up running laps around a track from January to April, skating in the Plateau, or taking up an obscure sport like squash simply because it’s available, best of luck to you.
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Advice on navigating advising
Who to turn to at McGill for help with all academic, financial, and student related problems Erica Friesen Managing Editor As we settle into another semester, many students find themselves facing looming questions they put off over the holidays. What’s the best way to find a summer job or internship? Do you have enough credits to graduate on time? How can your budget accommodate another semester’s tuition fees? One of the most frustrating experiences for a McGill student is waiting for hours outside an advisor’s office, only to be redirected to another line. As our spare time begins to disappear with the return to school, the Tribune sets out to explain where to turn when you need help at McGill.
Faculty advisors Your faculty advisor is your go-to person for information concerning your degree. Go to them for problems or questions regarding course registration, to make sure you will have enough credits to graduate, and to discuss the majors or minors that interest you. You should also
talk to them if your personal, financial, or medical circumstances are going to affect your academics. For most degree programs, you can find this advisor in your faculty’s Student Affairs Office. See your program’s website for more detailed information.
Are you wondering what courses you should take to fill the requirements for your major? The answers to program-specific questions can be found in departmental advising. Visit them for information on course requirements, scholarships and financial aid, equivalencies for courses completed at other universities, and exemptions from required courses. Departmental advisors are often only available at the busiest advising times like Add/Drop period. They usually have specific office hours, so be sure to plan accordingly. Visit your department’s office or their website to learn how and when you can contact their advisors.
Career advisors Operating under the Career Planning Service (CaPS), career advisors provide assistance with numerous employment-related queries. Are you graduating soon and don’t know what to do with your degree? Considering applying for graduate school? The answer is probably at CaPS. CaPS also offers a peer advising service that helps undergraduate students prepare for their careers and the job market, and where students can even receive help improving their LinkedIn profile. CaPS is located in the Brown Building. Visit or call their office at 514-3983304 to make an appointment, or drop by their C-Lounge sessions for advising without an appointment.
Financial advisors If you’re interested in budgeting but are having trouble creating or sticking
to your financial plan, McGill Scholarships and Financial Aid offers advisors who can help you get back on track. This could include anything from tips on how to cut back expenses to planning how to repay loans and avoid debt. Before you book an appointment, make sure you’ve already tried out the Frugal Scholar Money Management Program, which enables students to manage their own finances independently. See http://www. mcgill.ca/studentaid/finances for more information. To book an appointment with an advisor, fill out your financial profile on Minerva before contacting the Student Aid Office at 514-398-6013.
The Student Advocacy Program
In the event that you’re faced with an accusation for a disciplinary offence or want to file a formal complaint against the university, you can receive free advice and representation through the Student Advocacy Program. As part of the Legal Information Clinic at McGill, this program can provide you with an advisor who will help you prepare your case, give you information about your rights,
and represent you in internal McGill procedures. The Legal Information Clinic and the Student Advocacy Office are both located in the SSMU Building. You can also contact Student Advocacy at 514398-4384.
While not technically an advising service, all students find themselves dealing with Service Point’s endless lines at some point during their time at McGill, so it’s important to know exactly when you need to brave the crowds. Many of its services concern paperwork you may need to supply or acquire in the course of your degree, such as legal documents, international health insurance, transcripts, and diplomas. Financial matters like tuition and RESPs are also dealt with here, as well as student cards, exam deferrals, and help with Minerva. Service Point is open throughout the year. Go early in the morning or postpone your visit until later in the semester if possible to avoid lengthy wait times. You can contact them by phone at 514398-7878.
arts & entertainment LITERATURE
McGill Law grad gives crime novels a hometown touch
Peter Kirby discusses latest novel Vigilante Season, knowing your crime scene, and taking a Concordia detour Max Berger A&E Editor
Inspector Luc Vanier was standing in a rainstorm at the intersection of Sherbrooke and Pie-IX, surveying the remnants of a car accident. A dark blue body bag was at his feet. With those ominous words, McGill Law alumnus Peter Kirby kicks off his most recent crime novel, Vigilante Season. It’s the second fiction release from Kirby, who practices international law in addition to his burgeoning writing career. Although he doesn’t come across criminal law in his job, it’s something he’s always gravitated towards, and he feels the crime novel genre offers many literary possibilities beyond a straightforward narrative arc to discover who’s guilty. “One thing is, it’s escapism,” he tells me. “Also, it can serve the purpose of talking about an awful lot of different things at the same time. In other words, what I write isn’t simply a mystery and you’ve got to solve the mystery [….] One of the things I find myself constantly drawn to explore is authority and power relations [….] Then, there’s the exploration of good people
Kirby writes from a Montreal state of mind. (www.lindaleith.com) doing bad things and bad people doing good things, which is human nature.” All of those themes are at play in Vigilante Season, which centres on a fictional struggle for authority and justice in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of Montreal. “It’s this issue of who moves into the vacuum of a neglected neighbourhood,” Kirby explains, “and what happens if some local group organizes itself to control that neighbourhood when the police
and the politicians have abandoned it.” Kirby grew up in the UK and settled in Montreal after stints in Boston, New York, and Toronto. Even with so much exposure to different cities, he chose to set both of his novels in Montreal, and his writing is predicated on an authentically close engagement with his environment. “You have these fantasies of ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be great to set a book in London,’ but I don’t have
the same feel for the street in London that I would have in Montreal. I once heard a writer say that he was setting his book in a particular place, and he had discovered that you actually don’t need to visit the place. You could do it on Google and street views and stuff like that, and I just don’t understand that.” Kirby goes on to talk about the advantage of tapping into the essence of places and their evolution over periods of time—before poking some fun at a street not far from McGill. “Just south of the Roddick Gates, there’s that street where you’ve got the back of The Bay, you’ve got parking lots, and it’s one of the ugliest streets,” says Kirby. “I’m not sure if it’s President Kennedy or the one further south, but it’s one of the ugliest streets that makes pedestrians feel bad because of the physical geography of the place. But then you can walk on certain streets in Griffintown and you feel like a human.” When Kirby arrived in Montreal in the seventies, he was far from becoming the established lawyer he is today. He had been supporting himself through various restaurant jobs, and when he decided that it was time to give academia
a shot, McGill didn’t initially take him very seriously. “I showed up at the admissions office and said ‘I’d like to get an education.’ I thought that’s how it was done. And they looked at me and said, ‘What are you, nuts?’” Having few academic records from high school and only being available for night classes didn’t help his cause. Eventually, as he says with a chuckle, they just told him, “‘Why don’t you just walk up the street and go see Concordia.’” So he did, and a few years later, an honours economics degree from Concordia was his ticket to the McGill Faculty of Law. Since then, things have worked out nicely for Kirby, and he’s happily committed to continuing the Luc Vanier saga, with another novel underway. “It becomes easier to write a book with an established character in the sense that you don’t have to create him from scratch. But he keeps changing on you, and you sometimes wonder who’s in control, the character or the writer, because things happen in a serendipitous way.” It’ll be interesting to see where Vanier ends up next—perhaps even in the Milton-Parc district.
Con-artist comedy is no fraud Star-studded cast takes viewers on a seventies thrill ride Max Mehran Contributor Let’s go back to the late ‘70s with American Hustle, where the costumes are glamorous, the hair fake, and the cleavage exposed. Director David O. Russell comes back after last year’s hit Silver Linings Playbook with a comedy that employs the same sharp humour. Punctuated by flashbacks and voice-overs, we follow the story of a scam orchestrated by the FBI and their devoted but clumsy agent Richie Di Maso (Bradley Cooper), helped by two ‘professional’ scammers, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), in exchange for immunity. Everything seems to work out fine until Irving’s flamboyant and hilarious wife (Jennifer Lawrence), comes to “hustle” the operation. Initially confusing, the movie almost lost me; but once Lawrence jumps in, it turns into an absolute delight. Russell presents an original and extremely humorous take on the tired ‘scammers vs. suckers’ plotline. He allows the writing and acting to shine
alongside the costumes, cinematography and musical score. Straightforward and subtly amusing, the plot scenarios permit the actors great flexibility, which facilitates more natural and playful acting. Cooper—embodying the lovable but inexperienced agent—is ridiculously funny, while Adams manages to be both fierce and sensible in her interpretation of the passionate Prosser. Jeremy Renner, charming as always, successfully portrays the FBI’s victim, and surprisingly makes the audience root for him at the end. However, it is the on-screen couple of Bale and Lawrence who lead the movie ruthlessly and brilliantly. Bale shows once again how he can transform his body for a role and deliver an amazing performance as the head of the operation. Lawrence shines as the doll-like, foolish, and egocentric wife with her candid and poignant acting. I was afraid she would fade in a supporting role but she manages to capture our attention in all her scenes. We also enjoy memorable appearances from Louis C.K and Robert De Niro.
Adams (left) received Golden Globe awards for her performance. (www.digitalspy.com) Plunging into the colourful years of the seventies dazzles the eyes and invigorates the film. The shining costumes, the cultivated hairstyles, and the scandalous dance moves effectively transport us into this era. The score perfectly matches the movie and flows gently with the action, carrying us into its euphoria. We got a taste of it in the film’s trailer with Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times,” and more ‘70s hits follow. The movie becomes a mau-
soleum of those past years, pleasing our sense of sight and sound. The camera movements follow the rhythm of the music and the action, transforming the movie into an endless dance. Its numerous pans, tilts, and zooms compose and accelerate the pace and we follow it deliberately and with honest enjoyment. The cinematography controls the image, guides us throughout the movie, and is brilliantly mastered by the director to convey a fun and exciting experience. Russell explores and pleases
our senses, provoking both laughter and cringes. American Hustle, endowed with an irreproachable cast, makes real—and nowadays rare—onscreen magic. It was no surprise that the film took home the Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture, musical or comedy, or that Adams won in the actress category. American Hustle should take you on an entertaining ride—and that sure is no scam.
Curiosity delivers. |
arts & entertainment
| Tuesday, January 14, 2014
As the television world bridges the gap between 2013 and 2014, the A&E team put together a “TV Spectrum” to chart how we felt about notable shows in the past year and how we should feel about the coming year’s crop.
Compiled by Max Berger, Max Bledstein, and Kia Pouliot
As fun and compelling as Homeland was at first, the show’s inherently limited premise left viewers wondering where the series could possibly go in future seasons. However, the central concept of a possible undercover terrorist on the loose in the United States was so compelling that it seemed worthwhile to see where showrunners Alex Gordon and Howard Gansa would take it. Unfortunately, the latter half of the second season confirmed viewers’ anxieties with a number of wild plot twists that neither made sense, nor made much of an emotional impact. The third season continued the downward spiral as the story went in even more outlandish directions. Even worse, the characters simply didn’t seem to matter anymore—Carrie’s feelings for Brody felt pathetic rather than moving; and Dana’s soapy arc felt plucked from daytime TV. Star Damian Lewis acknowledged the limitations of the story when he admitted in an interview that Brody was supposed to die in the first season, and was only kept alive because of Showtime’s desire to retain the high viewership numbers the show was attracting. At this point, 2014’s upcoming fourth season seems unlikely to be anything more than a further tarnishing of the legacy Homeland secured in Season 1.
Community (Season 4) After months of wavering by NBC, Community’s fervent fan base rejoiced when “October 19”—its original premiere date as well as the hashtag that hardcore fans tweeted to mock the delay—arrived on February 7, and Season 4 was underway. Unfortunately, the excitement was short lived as the show sputtered to fill the void left by departed writer Dan Harmon. Greendale’s quirky characters and meta-narratives were still there, but the on-screen product felt undeniably awkward —think Jeff’s father-son reunion, Britta and Troy, and the ridiculous ‘Changnesia’ storyline.
Despite continued Internet-wide outrage, Lena Dunham’s story of twenty-somethings struggling to find themselves continues as Girls airs its third season. While the continuous woes of the characters began to feel tiresome towards the end of the second season, the upcoming episodes should still be notable thanks to Dunham’s witty writing and quirky acting. Of particular excitement is the return of Dunham’s costar Adam Driver as a love interest for protagonist Hannah—though the loss of Christopher Abbot (Charlie) yields some concern.
Halfway through its third season, New Girl continues to provoke laughter through its relatably imperfect characters. Just like its leading lady, Zooey Deschanel, New Girl is all about quirky charm. Although it remains true to life and funny, some of the show’s pull has diminished this season now that the “Will they? Won’t they?” tension between Nick and Jess—so prominent in previous seasons—has been taken care of. Winston’s character has also become a little too pathetic to the point where at times it stops being funny and just gets a little bit creepy. Despite these minor setbacks, the essence of the show has not been lost; New Girl should still be an entertaining way to spend 30 minutes in 2014 as it continues its third season.
After a seven-year hiatus, Arrested Development made a much anticipated return in 2013, re-launching with a fourth season on Netflix. Attempting to pick up the pieces of the Season 3 finale, we see how the Bluth family fell apart after the showdown aboard the Queen Mary, leading to an even darker dark humor than the show previously possessed.
This season also takes a new approach in that every episode focuses on single characters rather than the whole family at once, which sometimes leads to uncomfortable pacing. Although certain aspects could use some fine-tuning for the rumoured feature film, the Bluth family remains as hilariously dysfunctional as ever.
Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black proved the ability of Netflix to create content which equals, and in many cases, surpasses that of its premium cable brethren. Though star Taylor Schilling anchored this tale of a New York yuppie forced to serve in a women’s federal prison, her co-stars provided the show with a vibrancy and authenticity rarely found elsewhere on TV. Although many of the male characters were too blandly acted or simplistically written (or both) to be engaging, the female cast members more than picked up their slack. More importantly, in the often staid-feeling TV world of grimacing male anti-heroes, Orange is the New Black felt genuinely new and different. The upcoming season in 2014 should continue the show’s success. Piper’s quest to survive life in jail while she maintains her real-world relationships presents showrunner Jenji Kohan with enough options to keep the series unpredictable while maintaining the bubbly tone that was a hallmark of its first season.
TV’s most well-regarded and talked-about soap opera marched on in 2013 as Mad Men showrunner Anthony Weiner brought Don Draper through a whirlwind of historical events (most notably Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination). The sixth season worked best—as the show always has—in episodes such
as “The Crash,” which displayed a self-contained aesthetic approach. However, Megan’s fights with Don began to cross the line between impactful and exasperating, and the office drama in general gave off a whiff of predictability and staleness. That being said, Mad Men still had some of the best acting on TV, and the show was always fun to watch even when it didn’t feel dramatically satisfying.
Community (Season 5) Early results are in, and it looks like Dan Harmon has brought the magic back to his idiosyncratic brainchild. “The Greendale Seven” (minus Pierce) eagerly return to campus after following their graduation with mostly unsuccessful stints in the real world. Notable changes include Jeff joining the unimpressive ranks of Greendale’s faculty and Breaking Bad’s Jonathan Banks signing on as a criminology professor and token old man in the group. Community thankfully feels like itself again, and if storylines like “The Ass-Crack Bandit” are any indication, we’re in for a great semester. The highlight so far? Abed going full-frontal Nicolas Cage.
If Homeland seemed like 24 for grownups in the promising days of its opening season, The Americans feels like Homeland for those grownups who became disillusioned with the latter’s later shenanigans. Anchored by outstanding performances from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, the show tells a Cold War era tale of two Soviet KGB officers undercover as an American couple. Their machinations are interrupted early on in their new lives when they discover that their neighbour is an FBI agent. Even if the initial premise is a bit contrived, the marital crises and battles of espionage are anything but. Season 2 kicks off Feb. 26.
House of Cards
The blessing and curse of Netflix is that it can keep you in front of a TV screen for 13 hours straight, and House of Cards is one of those shows that can easily make you forget about the other priorities in your life that would stop you from watching the whole season at once. Season 1 is an exploration of what happens when a frighteningly ambitious democrat gets passed over for secretary of state and proceeds to put his vengeful mind to work. As Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) taught us, the results are occasionally disturbing, but highly entertaining. By season’s end, Frank had secured the vice-presidency; but as the final shot of him jogging into the night suggests, he doesn’t plan on sitting around in that role as other cards fall into place—he still wants to be the one dealing them. All the while, the shadow of Congressman Peter Russo’s apparent suicide looms large and threatens to unhinge all of Frank’s progress if journalists on his trail discover the truth and make it public. Season 2 will be released on Valentine’s Day, and if you’re riding solo at that time, a fresh batch of House of Cards episodes isn’t a terrible consolation.
Say what you will about The Office A.M. (After Michael), but its Season 9 and series finale arguably made up for any drop off in the show’s quality since the iconic boss’s Season 7 departure. Although Michael Scott returned for an appearance as Dwight’s best man, the episode was rightfully a celebration of the entire Dunder Mifflin family. The endings were mostly happy for the characters (sorry Andy and Creed), and the show—whose documentary camera style drastically altered the last decade of television—got the ending it deserved.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 |
DEEP CUTS Unearthing the hidden gems in today’s music Compiled by Haviva Yesgat
arts & entertainment
| Curiosity delivers.
Sweatpants Artist: Childish Gambino Album: Because the Internet Released: December 6, 2013 With the release of his new album, Because the Internet , Childish Gambino introduces us to head banger, “Sweatpants.” ‘Bino uses his intelligent wordplay, and ghostly beat to create a musical aura of contagion. Rapping about the luxuries of the rich is sure to sound addictive to even the most modest of people. With a dry wit accompanying an impressive flow, “Sweatpants” will surely have you pressing the replay button. All that I’ve Got Artist: Rebecca Ferguson Album: Freedom Released: December 2, 2013 Ferguson has created a breakup anthem for women everywhere with the release of “All that I’ve Got.” Her raspy tone allows for a vivid portrayal of recovery following episodes of immense heartbreak. With the help of a subdued tempo and dramatic instrumentals, this track sets itself apart from the rest of the album. Ferguson’s war-like portrayal of a bad breakup is sure to have every woman chanting. Games Artist: Rosie Lowe Album: Right Thing EP Released: December 2, 2013 A newcomer to the music scene, Rosie Lowe seems to have created the perfect niche for her unique sound. “Games” is a rare hybrid between the genres of R&B, soul, and Indie pop. The track hypnotizes with the melodies of its verses and lures with the soul found in its chorus. Lowe will undoubtedly have listeners hooked with the distinctive approach she takes to her craft. All Your Reasons Artist: Jake Bugg Album: Shangri La Released: November 18, 2013 At 19 years of age, Bugg’s lyrics leave listeners pondering the depths of his musical talents and his ceiling as an artist. “All Your Reasons” has a bluesy chord progression, and folk-like sound. With a style that recalls the likes of Donovan, Jake Bugg impresses with his raw talent. Live acoustic performances of “All Your Reasons” will entice you to delve deeper into Shangri La .
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Give The People What They Want
James Vincent McMorrow Post Tropical Dine Alone Records
Daptone Records/Fontana North
Give the People What They Want, Sharon Jones & the DapKings’ fifth studio album—and first release in almost three years—harks back to their critically acclaimed 2007 album, 100 Days, 100 Nights. Thematically, this album is similar to their previous efforts of love and heartbreak, happiness and personal crises; however, it is musically where this album excels in comparison to its predecessors. The album’s energetic opening track “Retreat!” with its galloping beat and multi-layered production, is rather reminiscent of Adele’s megahit “Rolling In the Deep.” “Retreat!” leads right into the slower yet seductive “Stranger to My Happiness,” which wouldn’t sound out of place in the ’60s. “Long Time, Wrong Time” opens with a cleverly simple guitar line that plays throughout the remainder of the song, echoing the easy-listening sound of the entire record. This album’s production is solid; the band and Gospel singers add tremendously to the experience of the album, making it a truly authentic sound. Jones has orchestrated a sound that reaches back to the height of the ’50s and ’60s blues; it’s timeless, and along with the witty lyrics that simply throw out questions and musings about today’s society, the album is cohesively pulled together with her deep, raspy soulful voice. It’s hard to find this much energy on an album today. Jones questions the listener, “What do the people want?” What are we all truly looking for and expecting? And although “People never get what they deserve,” this album delivers musically, lyrically, and thematically. Give the People What They Want does just as its title implies, and it does it well.
— Jack Neal
Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow is set to release his new album, Post Tropical, only his second full-length album since the 2011 release of Early In the Morning . The album is jam-packed with soulful folk ballads woven with delicate lyrical themes and a breezy breathlessness alluded to by its title. This is the type of music you can allow yourself to be absorbed into—slow, poetic, and undeniably beautiful. The signature sound in this album is without a doubt McMorrow’s longing falsetto, lingering through each verse and allowing for tracks to flow smoothly from one to the next. Playing with themes of lust and longing, McMorrow’s lyrics melt out over simple instrumental tracks, allowing the listener to meld into the music without feeling suffocated by it. While the album is relatively slow, it still exhibits some pop-like themes and maintains individuality from song to song. Some highlights of the album come from the enticing strong drum riffs of “Repeating” and the heart-wrenching hymn-like lyrics within “Outside, Digging.” By combining strong vocals with simple yet powerful instrumentals, McMorrow has produced an ethereal soul album with a contemporary feel.
— Morgan Alexander
We found love in a frozen place. (Christine Tam / McGill Tribune) Kia Pouliot Staff Writer As January reaches its midpoint, it seems fair to assume that winter is getting to you. Going out becomes increasingly less appealing when it’s 30 degrees below zero and the icy streets make walking anywhere downright treacherous. You’re likely getting to the point where you’d much rather get cozy with a movie than head out for a night on the town. The last place you want to spend a night like this is at an open-air concert right? Wrong! Igloofest, a winter wonderland of electronic music in Montreal, returns for its eighth installment beginning this Thursday, Jan. 16, and will continue every weekend until Feb. 8. Located at the Jacques-Cartier Quay in the Old Port, this unique event brings thousands of electronic music fans together to dance under the stars while sporting their most colorful snow gear. This year’s edition promises to be the most exciting yet, as along with the main stage—which will continue to showcase some of the best international and local artists—a second stage will be added to the venue, designed to highlight local acts exclusively.
Headlining the festival’s opening weekend are artists from around the globe. Thursday night, the Toronto based duo, “Art Department” will set the crowd grooving with their raw deep house beats. Technopop connoisseur Matthew Dear will take the stage Friday, and to Saturday night belongs UK DJ Skream, whose unpredictable genre manipulations will be sure to keep you on your toes. Some of the local acts to look out for this weekend include Mono-Poly, monthly resident at Mount-Royal night club Salon Daomé; Christian Pronovost, veteran of the Montreal underground electronic music scene; and Compton Chic, who will inspire you to get low with her hip-hop inspired house beats. This is just a handful of the talent that will be gracing the stage over the course of the festival, so get your one-piece snowsuit ready, and be sure to check it out.
Igloofest runs for four consecutive weekends from Jan. 16 to Feb. 8. Sets begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $18.
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BASKETBALL— MARTLETS 52, ROUGE ET OR 34
Martlets steamroll Laval in consecutive victories Sylla notches team-high 18 points, 9 rebounds as McGill remains undefeated Remi Lu Sports Editor The McGill Martlets (6-0) cruised to back-to-back wins over the Laval Rouge et Or (1-5) last week, winning at both Love Competition Hall and Laval’s Centre PEPs. At home Thursday evening, the Martlets claimed a 52-34 victory spearheaded by sophomore Mariam Sylla’s 18 points and nine rebounds. Helene Bibeau added 17 points, and Françoise Charest tallied six assists as the Martlets managed to stay undefeated in the season. Dating back to last season, McGill has now won 13 straight games against RSEQ opponents. After finishing in fifth place at the CIS Final 8, the team has stuck with its young core of Sylla, Dianna Ros, and Gabriela Hebert, while leaning on veteran talents Bibeau and Charest to lead the way. However, the Martlets also brought in a number of new pieces this year, including Montreal native Jennifer Silver and University of Massachusetts transfer student Carolann Cloutier. So far this season,
Dianna Ros looks to break the Laval double-team. (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune) Silver and Cloutier have managed to seamlessly integrate themselves into the lineup. “[Both of them] have been good additions to our program,” said Head Coach Ryan Thorne. Although McGill has managed to jump out to early leads to begin games so far this season, the team struggled to start with the same urgency against Laval on Thursday evening. Sloppy play resulted in a number of early turnovers by both teams, leading to a narrow 24-16 edge for McGill at halftime. However, the Martlets caught fire in the second half, with Bibeau converting four of her five three-pointers after the break. Sylla went a perfect
6-6 at the free throw line to help the Martlets pull away from the Rouge et Or and put the game away in the fourth quarter. “[Bibeau] allows us to stretch the defence inside, so she allows us to bring their bigger players to the perimeter,” said Thorne. “Mariam right now is playing like our best player. She’s a great perimeter scorer [....] And it’s just understanding when to attack and when to defer to someone else. When she does that I think that she’ll be really outstanding.” The Martlets currently lead the RSEQ division by four points, with UQAM and Concordia trailing in second and third place re-
spectively. McGill has blown out its division opponents so far this season, winning games by an average of 14 points. The team has shown a natural ability to play together; at this point in the season, the new player acquisitions have meshed seamlessly with the members of last year’s team. “The players know each other well,” Thorne said. “They spend a lot of the time in the off-season playing together, going to little tournaments, and having fun together. There’s a pretty good chemistry—they genuinely like each other on this team. That puts them in a position where they will do whatever needs to be done to make
sure the other one’s successful.” However, the team is currently ranked seventh in the nation, and in order to make a real run at the CIS Championship, the Martlets will have to learn from their mistakes from the Final 8 last year. “The biggest thing was understanding that we can play with anyone in the country,” Thorne said. “Our fifth-year players [Charest and Bibeau] coming back and understanding what they need to do to be more successful and how to manage and lead this team [....] We know that in this conference we’re pretty strong, and that we just need to make sure that we take care of the details of the game throughout if we want to be successful [....] I think that the experience we gained at nationals we need to carry forward to every game we play here in Quebec.” After squeaking out a 57-53 win against Laval on Friday—by far their closest match of the season—the Martlets will take a short break from league play before facing off against the Concordia Stingers on Jan. 23 at Concordia Gym.
Sports briefs Compiled by Elie Waitzer
Redmen Hockey The Redmen (14-5-1) moved into a tie with the Queen’s Gaels (12-2-5) atop the OUA East Division with an impressive 4-3 win over the Gaels on Saturday at the Kingston Memorial Center. After a slow, defensive struggle in the first period, McGill came out of the first intermission with a renewed sense of urgency, striking three times in the span of
Marlet Hockey The CIS no. 1 ranked McGill Martlets (11-0-0) poured on five goals against the Carleton Ravens (1-9-3) in a lopsided 5-1 win in Ottawa on Saturday. Led by sensational senior forward Leslie Oles, McGill jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first period and outshot the Ravens throughout the entire game. After two quick unassisted goals in the first period, Oles scored
72 seconds. The stunned Gaels called a timeout after a goal by second-year McGill winger Max Le Sieur made it 3-0 for the Redmen halfway through the second period. Queen’s came out of their huddle reignited, answering the barrage with two quick goals of their own. The rally was shortlived, however; the unfazed Redmen responded 61 seconds later when rookie defenceman Samuel Carrier connected on a again early in the second frame to complete her second hat trick of the season. Martlet goaltender Andrea Weckman continued her hot play in net, shutting out the Ravens until late into the third period. The performance brought her Goals Against Average (GAA) to an impressive 1.82. The Martlets play Carleton again next Saturday, Jan. 18 in Ottawa. McGill will look to stay undefeated on the season.
power play goal to put McGill up for good. McGill will host Queen’s for an anticipated rematch on Friday, Jan. 17 in the annual Management Carnival Game at 7:00 p.m. in McConnell Arena. The team will be looking to push their dominant streak over the Gaels to 25 consecutive victories.
Martlet Volleyball The McGill women’s volleyball team (9-4) had a strong winter break, winning five of seven exhibition games at a training camp in the Dominican Republic. The Martlets started the camp off strong, winning a convincing three sets to one over the Dominican U-17 squad, who they would go on to sweep. After winning their first four matches, the McGill squad fell twice to a taller Dominican U-20 team in close contests. Highlights from the trip included spectacular offensive performances from sophomores Marie-Pier Durivage and Ashley Norfleet, who recorded a remarkable 15 digs in a tough loss to the U-20 national team. The squad resumed regular season action on Sunday against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or (7-8),
and pulled through in the fifth set of a thrilling matchup. It was a seesaw affair with McGill and Sherbrooke trading sets. The Martlets had the chance to put away the Vert et Or in the fourth set, but ended up falling 23-25. Norfleet, a sophomore power hitter, paced the squad with a game high 20.5 points, which included 19 kills. The team hosts the RSEQ leading Montreal Carabins on Friday Jan. 17 at 7:00 p.m. at Love Competition Hall.
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, January 14, 2014
BASKETBALL— Redmen 88, Rouge et or 69
McGill splits weekend series with Laval Co-captain Dufort piles on the points in home victory against the Rouge et Or
Rookie forward Francois Bourque goes up against the Laval defence. (Laurie-Anne Benoit / McGill Tribune) Aaron Rose Staff Writer
The McGill Redmen (5-1) continued their quest for a second straight RSEQ Championship with a home-and-home series against the Laval Rouge et Or (2-4). In the first matchup of the weekend, McGill pummeled the visiting Rouge et Or with an 88-69 victory at home. A day later, the two teams headed out to Quebec City, a trip that ended in a 78-68 loss as the Redmen suffered their first defeat of the season. In the first game of the weekend, the Redmen offence was
firing on all cylinders despite the absence of star point guard Simon Bibeau, who was away for personal reasons. The team topped its season scoring average by 13 points against an underrated Laval squad. With the game close in the early stages, Coach DeAverio made the decision to move third-year shooting guard Vincent Dufort to small forward, in the hopes of exploiting Laval’s man-to-man defence. The move paid off; the Rouge et Or had no answer for Dufort’s speed as he dropped a season high 27 points. “I just had a mismatch,” said Dufort. “They had a bigger guy on me, and I was able to take him
Zikomo Smith Contributor
In case you were too busy stuck in a polar vortex at Pearson Airport, here’s what you missed in the world of sports …
off the dribble.” Freshman forward Francois Bourque continued his dominant season, posting his third career double-double with an efficient 23 points and 12 rebounds in just 21 minutes. With Dufort playing small forward, Nathan Joyal saw his minutes increase as he tallied double digits for the third time this season. Point guards Ave Bross and Jenning Leung had big shoes to fill with Bibeau out of the lineup. Bross facilitated the offence and played strong defensively while the freshman Leung brought a youthful energy off the team’s bench.
“I thought [Leung] did a really good job in the second half,” said Coach DeAverio. “[Bross and Leung] worked well together and they both picked each other up at crucial times.” The Rouge et Or jumped out to an early lead in the first frame, but McGill kept it close while coping with foul trouble. The Redmen tied it up late, before a Dufort jumper put them ahead in the final minute of the second quarter. The team came out of the break with newfound defensive intensity and increased their lead to 13 by the end of the third frame. The Redmen’s smothering second-half defence held Laval’s
NCAA Football—Following FSU’s 34-31 victory over Auburn, Dee Dee Bonner (Alabama Quarterback AJ McCarron’s mother) contributed to the national debate over whether colleges are doing enough to educate their student athletes. Her response to Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston’s post-game speech—“Is that even English?”—raised an important point concerning the academic exceptions granted to certain student athletes on the basis of their importance to their university’s sports program. FSU responded with a collective ‘U mad bro?’ coupled with a picture of Winston’s Heisman trophy and the crystal ball shaped national championship. NBA—Mediocrity is truly a terrible existence. The Toronto Raptors can empathize with Kierkegaard’s existential angst as they will struggle to either go deep in the playoffs or obtain the number 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft. After getting rid of Rudy Gay, the Raptors went 6-3 with Head Coach Dwayne Casey questioning the meaning of life and the rules governing winning the game of basketball. Oh well, considering how bad the Eastern Conference has been, Casey at least knows that his team can play at this level and still be good for home court advantage in the first round. Who ever said losing basketball isn’t playoff basketball? IIHF U-20 World Championships—Canada extended its gold medal drought to five years, and Tim Hortons wondered if its hockey sponsorship money could be put to better use. In a dominant performance, Finland won
big men, Boris Hadzimuratovic and Antoine Beaumier, to a combined six points after both reached double digits in the first half. “[Laval] played exceptionally well in the first half,” said DeAverio. “We didn’t protect the basket […], so our objective in the second half was to guard the paint […] I think they scored [just] 29 in the second half [….] Our defence was the big difference.” Unfortunately, the team’s defensive intensity was not the same the following day in Quebec City, as the Redmen gave up a regular season-high 78 points. McGill dealt with foul trouble and turnover issues all game. “Playing on the road is always a difficult task and [playing] back-to-back games adds a whole new component,” DeAverio said after the loss. “We are a young team that is still evolving, searching for consistency in our level of effort and concentration.” The Redmen get a muchneeded break before Bibeau rejoins the team and they head out for another home-and-home series with Concordia (2-3) on Jan. 23 and Jan. 25. Look for McGill to bounce back against a surging Stingers team that has won its last two contests.
5-1 in the semifinals against the junior Canucks. With the tournament heading to Toronto and Montreal next year, fans should get an early start raising their expectations to wildly enreasonable levels. NFL—Spike Jonze couldn’t have written a better matchup than that wh-ich awaits NFL fans in the Conference Championship weekend. The Saints went marching out against Beastquake Lynch and the Seattle Skittles. They face their archrivals the San Francisco 49ers who ripped apart the Carolina Panthers after stealing all of their signature moves. In the AFC, icons Tom Brady and Peyton Manning faced off for the 15th time. Manning led the Denver Broncos past divisional rivals, the San Diego Chargers who proved that temper tantrum throwing abilities do not correlate to playoff success. The Luck ran out on the Indianapolis Colts as Tom Brady’s Patriots proved to be unflappable. Ashes Cricket—For those of you who look to expand your sporting horizons across the Atlantic (and Pacific), Australia just demolished England 5-0 in their recent cricket series, the Ashes. Yes, cricket, that most noble sport enshrined in Canadian history, with the first ever international cricket match having been played between none other than Canada and the United States. Australia, inspired by their rampant fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, played one of the most effective and brutal brands of cricket in recent memory to claim this year’s title.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 |
| Curiosity delivers.
WINTER TEAM PREVIEWS
MaYAZ ALAM photo by: Alexandra allaire
Track and Field Following a fairly successful season that saw both the Martlets win their first RSEQ Championship in six seasons and the Redmen place third in their conference, the McGill Track and Field program will look to build on the foundation it laid last year. On the Martlet side,
you didn’t know about...
The first Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, a winter resort town in the French Alps in 1924, where 285 athletes from 16 different countries competed in six different sports. Charles Jewtraw, an American speed skater, won the first gold medal in the history of the Games in 500m speed skating.
East German speed skater Christa Luding Rothenburger became the first and only athlete to earn a medal in the same year at both the Winter and Summer Olympics in 1988, the last time both Games were held in the same year. Rothenburger won gold and silver medals in Calgary in speed skating, her primary sport before switching gears and joining the track cycling team in Seoul.
The 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, Russia will be the warmest (expected average temperatures of 8°C) and most expensive games held to date, with an estimated cost of more than $50 billion. It also represents the first time after the breakup of the former Soviet Union that Russia has hosted the Olympic Games.
als. In the Martlet Open held in the Fall, Max Beaumont-Courteau won gold in the pole vault while Redmen athletes took five other medals in a range of disciplines. Notably, third-year Scott Hancock garnered silver medals in both the 60m sprint and the long jump. McGill has a very young squad which could prove to be either problematic due to a lack of experience or an asset to the program’s future if the nearly 30 underclassmen on the roster
can reach their potential. Head Coach Dennis Barrett also returns for his 29th season in charge of the McGill Track and Field program. Barrett is noted for his ability to develop middle and long distance runners, and should be expected to have both the Redmen and the Martlets competing at a high level down the stretch.
The Winter Olympics have never been held in the southern hemisphere, but, unsurprisingly athletes from regions with frigid northern climates such as Scandinavia, North America, and Northern Europe have been historically dominant on the podium. Austria, Canada, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the United States are the only countries to have medalled in every game since Chamonix.
by Mayaz Alam
Even with the influence of Cold War politics hanging over previous Olympics such as Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984, the Sochi Games stand to be one of the most controversial Olympics to date. Numerous heads of state, including American President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have refused to attend on the basis of Russia’s anti-gay laws.
Since 1992, numerous sports have been added to the Olympic palette and have increased the worldwide appeal and marketability of the Winter Games. Popular mainstays from X Games sports such as freestyle skiing and snowboarding have crossed over onto the international stage and have seen increased parity in medal standings.
The 2010 Vancouver Olympics was only the second time that Canada had hosted the Winter Games—the first being in Calgary in 1988. Canadians garnered 14 gold medals in Vancouver to lead the medal board. This total broke the previous record for most gold medals—13, held by both the Soviet Union (1976) and Norway (2002).
The first Russian to carry the Olympic torch in this year’s relay was NHL star Alexander Ovechkin. The torch will travel over 65,000 kilometres and pass through all 83 regions of Russia, making it the longest relay in the history of the Winter Olympics.
the primary challenge will be replacing the talents of team captain and long distance runner Sarah McQuaig as well as those of Alana Battison, a multi-discipline star who left her mark in the record books in the pentathlon. Stepping up to the table will be sophomore jumper Caroline Tanguay, who showed much promise last season. For the Redmen, multiple athletes have demonstrated the capacity to qualify for Nation-
Sadly, the Winter Olympics have seen the deaths of multiple athletes throughout the Games. Two skiiers and two lugers have died in the 90 years since the Games were created. Nodar Kumaritashvili, a Georgian luger, is the most recent athlete to have passed away, following an accident at the Whistler Sliding Centre during the Vancouver Games.
Canada’s most successful sport at the Olympics has been ice hockey, in which the red and white have earned 11 gold medals. The women’s team has won the past three tournaments, while the men’s squad has emerged victorious in two of the past three Olympics.
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CHEAP SEATS Winter Classic
By Ben Carter-Whitney and Wyatt Fine-Gagné all head home and get warm. On New Years Day, staff writer Wyatt Fine-Gagné and managing editor Ben Carter-Whitney were among the 105,491 fans who packed into Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI to watch the 2014 NHL Winter Classic. For this edition of Cheap Seats, they compare notes on their experiences. Ben Carter-Whitney (BCW): When the NHL lost the first half of its 2012-2013 season to a lockout, fans feared that the scheduled matchup between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings for the league’s annual outdoor Winter Classic game would be lost as well. Luckily the game was rescheduled and completely made up for the yearlong delay. The big game in the Big House was loud, exciting, and oh-so-very cold. Did you also have to defrost yourself afterwards, Wyatt? Wyatt Fine-Gagné (WFG): I think that game will go down as the coldest I’ve ever felt. So yes, I spent a good chunk of time that
night trying to get some feeling in my extremities. As much as I hated the cold, however, I was happy that we got a snowy, picturesque Winter Classic, as opposed to a warm and rainy game like the one in Pittsburgh a few years ago. BCW: The weather was definitely fitting for the occasion, but the scenic wintery day wasn’t exactly conducive to great hockey—snow was gathering on the ice just as fast as the grounds crew could shovel it away. This encouraged a dump-and-chase style of hockey, resulting in a somewhat unimpressive on-ice product. Skilled offensive threats such as Pavel Datsyuk and Phil Kessel just didn’t have the impact they usually do. WFG: Both teams were having a hard time completing passes. It felt like the play was constantly being stopped by an offside or icing call born out of an errant pass. By the time overtime rolled around, I was just hoping someone would score so we could
BCW: You almost got your wish, too. Red Wings’ captain Henrik Zetterberg had a breakaway stolen from him midway through overtime when the buzzer sounded, indicating that the teams should switch ends. There was confusion from both sides; this stoppage of play is not part of regular NHL games, but then again, regular games aren’t played with one team skating into 16 km/h wind! WFG: That reminds me, you were surrounded by Detroit fans who couldn’t have been too happy about that buzzer. The Big House was split in half, with Leafs fans on one side and Red Wings fans occupying the other. I quite liked being surrounded by blue and white, but you were across the stadium—behind enemy lines so to speak. How did it affect your experience? BCW: Yes, a last-minute ticket swap meant that I watched the game among the Red Wings faithful. Despite the differing allegiances, however, the atmo-
sphere was still incredible. Everybody was respectful; everybody was just happy to be there. At the end of the day, we were all hockey fans—united in our growing excitement as the game moved to overtime, and finally divided once again by our reactions to Tyler Bozak’s shootout winner for the Leafs.
ber of hockey games in my lifetime, but this is one that will stick with me. A trip to the rink is usually defined by the outcome of the game. With the Winter Classic, it was almost everything but the game that made the experience special.
WFG: I’d agree with that. There were Detroit fans sprinkled throughout the half I sat on, but I didn’t see anything that came close to unfriendliness. As much as I enjoyed myself, I did have a couple issues with the game. There were huge lineups for just about everything, and the Big House staff seemed a little unprepared for the volume of people. BCW: I think everybody experienced some of that, whether in the stadium or while sitting in the standstill traffic going to and from the game. To a certain extent though, it comes with the territory. These are the things that people tolerate to be a part of an event of this magnitude. WFG: I’ve been to a num-