Volume No. 33 Issue No. 15
TRIBUNE THE mcgill PX
Published by the Tribune Publication Society
READING THE FINE PRINT APARTMENT LEASING IN QUEBEC p 10
charting the charter a look at quebec's controversial bill 60 P3
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014
A Carnival classic: Redmen make it 25 straight over Gaels See inside for...
Story P 17
Neil Prokop fires a shot from the slot in McGill’s 2-1 win over Queen’s on Friday Night. (Alexandra Allaire / McGill Tribune)
McGill Residences’ hall director restructuring draws criticism Part-time in-rez staff to be replaced by full-time administrators; floor fellows express concern regarding lack of consultation Jessica Fu News Editor Fall 2014 will see the implementation of a new hall director structure in the McGill Residences system. The changes to residence operation mark a shift from the current format, where one part-time director oversees each residence, to a system where full-time administrators each will serve groups of multiple residences. Hall directors currently serve as both faculty or staff at the university, as well as disciplinary officers and supervisors for floor fellows within residences. According to Managing Director of Residences Life and Customer Relations Janice Johnson, the change, announced first in November 2013, comes as a result of students’ increasing needs and a difficulty retaining directors.
“One of the really great advances of our age is that there’s been so much improvement in mental health support for people,” Johnson said. “So students are coming to McGill—and not just residences—with greater needs around support than they have in the past.” Since current hall director positions are part-time, switching to full-time directors would help adapt to increasing needs, according to Johnson. “We have more behavioral issues in residences, we have more discipline cases in residences,” Johnson said. “There is more intervention required in residences [....] That sucks up a lot of hall directors’ time.” The new model is currently being piloted in a group of three residences—one director is responsible for Royal Victoria College (RVC), Carrefour Sherbrooke, and Varcity515. Next
year, the model will be expanded to all residences. Sean Reginio, a floor fellow at RVC since Fall 2011, said he has experienced both the old and new models. “When a director is responsible for three buildings, the chance that an emergency is going to occur on a Saturday night in more than one building is quite high,” Reginio said. “So it leaves floor fellows in a really vulnerable position where they won’t have that base support.” Reginio also reported that the relationship between floor fellows and hall directors has become less personal since the transition. “Under the current model, one director has to bond with upwards of 20 floor fellows instead of five, six, or seven,” he said. “So it makes it really difficult to bond within your own team and with the director, and that sets
the precedent for the entire year, making it harder for the floor fellow to reach out to that director.” The new model was developed by Johnson in consultation with current Hall Director and Senior Advisor on Residence Life Programs Ria Rombough, and other colleagues at conferences on student housing. Although it has been approved by both Deputy Provost (Student Living and Learning) Ollivier Dyens and Provost Anthony Masi, members of the McGill residences community have expressed concern regarding a lack of consultation in making the change. “[We were notified] the week before finals started,” said one floor fellow, who asked to remain anonymous. “It was a deliberate decision to exclude floor fellows from consultation until a decision was made [….] The only reasonable way to justify why they wouldn’t want our feedback
is either because they legitimately think it’s not valuable [... or] that they wanted to ignore the information that we were going to bring to the table in their decision.” According to Reginio, consultation with floor fellows could have led to the consideration of other options that would not have resulted in removal of the hall director position. “If we’re having issues recruiting directors, instead of proposing that we change the director model, maybe we should improve on recruitment tactics,” Reginio said. “Many floor fellows have gotten the impression that our recruitment tactics for directors are really, really lacking, and not very effective.” In the reorganized model, McGill faculty would no longer have the opportunity to serve as See “Hall director” on p. 4
NEWS STudent government
Revised MUS constitution to introduce new executive positions If passed, BCom student association will create a governing council, streamline decision-making process Danny Jomaa Contributor
The Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) has proposed changes to its current constitution, including the creation of a council and three new executive positions, through a referendum question with a quorum of 20 per cent. The referendum voting period ended Monday Jan. 20; the results will be released Tuesday. According to MUS President Joël Taillefer, the new constitution aims to improve the MUS’ governance structure. “It’s not just how it looks,” Taillefer said. “I wanted to restructure the way you’re able to interpret the information in it.” Taillefer said the decision to change the constitution was made by the entire executive team. “It was a team consensus [to change the constitution],” Taillefer said. “We started talking about [...] how outdated the constitution was. We implemented it in 2011, and it hasn’t really changed since.” The updates to the constitution largely target five areas of MUS governance that the current executive team has recognized as avenues of improvement, including changes to the structure of the executive committee.
According to the new constitution, three new executive positions—VP Corporate Relations, VP Conferences and Competitions, and VP Events—will replace the current positions of VP Engagement and VP External Affairs. The portfolios of these new positions will detail their responsibilities, which have so far not been the sole duty of any member of the Executive Committee. Julie Morrissey, U2 Management, said she supports the changes to the MUS Executive Committee. “I’m glad they [will elect] people for corporate relations and conferences and competitions,” she said. “With other people focusing on that aspect in its entirety, MUS is likely to be more efficient in other areas, which should enhance student life in Bronfman while still collecting the necessary support that MUS depends on.” In addition, the new constitution creates an MUS Council, which will be the highest decision-making body for the policy and governance affairs of the MUS, meeting eight times per academic year. “Responsibilities of the council shall be to define the long-term strategy to fairly and efficiently achieve the mission of the MUS [and] foster transparency of all MUS activities for
MUS constitution faces overhaul in faculty-wide referendum. (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune)
the entire Desautels BCom student body,” the new constitution reads. Council will include voting and non-voting members. The Board of Directors (BoD) will comprise the nine voting members of council—that includes the president, the Management senator, two SSMU representatives, two U0 representatives, and one representative from each of U1, U2, and U3. Of these voting representatives, the two SSMU reps will share one vote, and the two first-year representatives will share another. MUS students will elect
the members of the BoD, after which the BoD will nominate the non-voting members of Council—including the ombudsman, members of the Alumni Council, presidents of MUS clubs, faculty representatives, and the remaining members of the executive board. According to Taillefer, the changes would increase representation and streamline communication. “In the past, we only had the BoD and the VPs that would meet with the President,” he said. “We also want to get more constituents of the MUS in the
decision-making [....] It’s an idea of integrating all the constituents of the MUS together and make them work at the same time; it’s improving the communication of the organization.” According to Taillefer, the constitution, if passed, will be implemented immediately. “The constitution starts being in effect technically as soon as it’s adopted but there’s going to be a transition period,” Taillefer said. “The new VPs will be appointed and the positions will be opened up for next year.”
Provost speaks on government’s $1.7 billion reinvestment plan
McGill scheduled to receive $20 million in 2015 fiscal year; plans move forward on supervision reform Eman Jeddy Staff Writer Provost speaks on reinvestment At the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) Council meeting last Wednesday, Provost Anthony Masi spoke on the provincial government’s proposed reinvestment of approximately $1.7 billion in McGill budget over the next five years. According to Masi, the reinvestment is more accurately described as a reimbursement of cuts faced by universities in the past year, although universities will be constrained in the way they spend the money. “Around $20 million dollars will be back [in our budgets], but we have to spend it on very much restricted items,” he said. “[For example], the quality of undergradu-
ate education, support for students with financial needs, support for students coming from backgrounds that are not traditional [….] Almost everything is driven in the undergrad.” Of the total amount being invested in universities across the province, $954 million is the continuation of a policy by the previous Liberal Government to increase university budgets, and a further $810 million will be to compensate for the money universities lost when the Parti Québécois’ rescinded the previous government’s tuition increases. The first round of reinvestment, valued at $20 million for McGill, is scheduled for the 2015 fiscal year. Update on supervision reform PGSS Secretary-General Jona-
than Mooney detailed the progress on the introduction of supervisor training, which prepares new professors on how to oversee students. Mooney said there are plans for a formal review of the process in March. In the previous academic year, the PGSS conducted a survey for graduate students and professors to determine areas of conflict and discrepancies between perceptions of supervisory relationships by both parties. The survey found a few points of divergence, such as varying perceptions of conflict resolution. “Most responding supervisors claimed that their conflicts were satisfactorily resolved (75 per cent),” the survey overview reads. “Only 34 per cent of [students] agreed with them.” Furthermore, the survey dem-
onstrated a difference between the ways both parties found themselves informed of their supervisor’s absence. “Around 95 per cent of responding supervisors reported that they informed their [students] about short- and long-term commitments away from the university,” the overview reads. “In contrast, only 68 per cent of supervisees said that their supervisors informed them about being away.” As a result, the survey prompted a number of recommendations to improve such relationships, including reform to introduce training and workshops for new supervisors. “The dean of graduate studies [has] committed to moving forward with a lot of major reforms to supervision at McGill,” Mooney said. “Among those are making sure every new professor at McGill gets
training and education on how to properly supervise students. This is something that we hope comes forward in March for formal approval.” Masi also stressed the importance of professor-student relations at a research-oriented university such as McGill, and detailed the steps the university has already taken to improve supervision. “Supervision is the single most important problem that we face at university,” Masi said. “Graduate students are a little more than a quarter of our population and [...] the majority of those issues have to do with supervision [….] Research can’t be conducted without the support that professors get from grad students, and graduate students can’t do their work on their thesis unless they are supervised.’’
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Charting the charter: a look at Quebec’s controversial Bill 60 Paniz Khosroshahy Contributor On Jan. 14, public hearings on the controversial Bill 60 opened in Quebec City. With 200 hours scheduled for presentations from approximately 250 organizations and individuals, the consultation process is one of the largest in recent years undertaken by a provincial government, and is expected to stretch into March. This week, the McGill Tribune looks into the specifics of the bill, its major points of contention, and reactions to it from both individuals and institutions. More commonly known as the Charter of Values, Bill 60 was tabled by the Parti Québécois’ (PQ) government at the National Assembly on Nov. 7, 2013. The bill outlines measures that would restrict public employees from wearing visible religious symbols such as hijabs, kippas, and turbans in the workplace, and would affect institutions including hospitals and universities. “If the state is neutral, those working for the state should be equally neutral in their image,” Bernard Drainville, the minister who introduced the bill in September, said in his speech to the National Assembly. Bill 60 provides universities,
hospitals, and municipalities a transition period of five years to implement its measures. A similar bill that only applied to civil servants had been tabled at the National Assembly in 2010, but ultimately failed to pass into law. Measures similar to Bill 60 have been passed in France, Germany, and Belgium. In France, a 2004 law bans people from wearing conspicuous religious symbols in schools. At McGill, various decisionmaking boards, including the Board of Governors, the Senate, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), and the Post-Graduates’ Student Society (PGSS) have expressed their opposition to the bill. Individuals like political science professor Catherine Lu have also acted against the bill. Lu wore a hijab to her lectures for one week in September in protest against the bill. “The main reason I will join this protest […] is to express my solidarity with vulnerable groups—mainly minority religions—and to convey my dissent against the restrictions in Bill 60 on individual freedom of expression and religion,” Lu said. Lu explained that she intends to raise awareness of the charter and engage her students in the issue. “The message needs to be clear,” Lu said. “The proposed Charter does
not need to be amended; it needs to be rejected by the National Assembly.” Other institutions and groups opposing the bill include Concordia University, the Jewish General Hospital, the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers, and the English Montreal School Board. However, the bill has also received widespread support across Quebec. A poll run by Canadian research firm Leger Marketing has shown that there is a consistent, nearequal split between Quebecers who support the charter and those who do not, and that the majority of francophones support the Charter. According to the poll, 48 per cent of Quebecers say the charter is a good idea, versus 28 per cent who say it is not. 52 per cent of francophones support the bill, in comparison to only 13 per cent of Anglophones. At McGill, professor Yvan Lamonde from the department of French language and literature is among the francophone population who support Bill 60. Lamonde sees the experience of Quebecers during the premiership of Maurice Duplessis as one of the reasons that many Francophones hold this view, when prior to the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, the Catholic Church held political control over the province’s health care and education systems.
“[Quebecers] know by experience what it means to give such an importance to religious symbols in public life,” Lamonde said. “It took them decades and decades to get rid of that. They do not want such religious domination to happen again.” Lamonde explained the charter as key to completing the secularization of the province to promote a form of unity among all Quebecers. “The charter [will help] achieve the unfinished process of secularization of the province since the Quiet Revolution at the level of state, and not limited to education,” he said. “The charter will [also] help us to make sure that principles for living together would [be] clear to all Quebecers, including recent Quebecers.” Francophone universities have not been as vocal as their anglophone peers in opposition to the bill. Among the 14 francophone universities in the province, only the Université de Montréal (UdeM), the Université de Sherbrooke, and the Université du Québec à Montréal have publicly addressed the Charter, while not explicitly opposing it. “It doesn’t respond to our needs,” UdeM’s spokesman said last December, although the university did not take a stance against the bill. Other groups who are supportive of Bill 60 include some of Quebec’s
powerful labour unions; Mouvement laïque québécois, the province’s secularist movement; and the Janettes, a group of actresses and activists who believe that the charter would potentially increase gender equality. As a minority government, the PQ requires the support of other parties to pass its bills. The opposition, however, has been highly critical of Bill 60. The hearings take place as a method of public review on a bill, where members of the community can voice their opinions or concerns. While Members of the National Assembly (MNA) take public input into consideration, it does not necessarily have an impact on the final vote. Furthermore, if passed into law, the bill could still be overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada. “The prognosis is not good that [the charter] is going to pass, either because it would never come to the National Assembly or because it would be defeated,” professor Antonia Maioni from McGill’s department of political science said. “We will probably go into the next election with [the charter] as a live issue that hasn’t been resolved.”
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 |
| Curiosity delivers.
Faculty, staff express frustration towards Arts space restructuring plan Members of McGill community call on Dean to respond to concerns regarding consultation, communication Ariel Montana Contributor Awareness of student needs and transparency of administrative decisions were central to the discussion at the student-run Jan. 14 Town Hall regarding the Faculty of Arts’ People, Processes, and Partnerships (PPP) plan. Hosted by the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) and unaffiliated with the administration, the meeting was attended by approximately 35 faculty members, graduate students, and staff members. The purpose of the meeting was mainly to increase solidarity and awareness in brainstorming ways of opposing the proposal, according to Gretchen King, a doctoral student in the departments of Art History and Communication Studies. Originally presented in Fall 2012 by Dean of Arts Christopher Manfredi, the PPP entails the restructuring of the Faculty of Arts administrative and support staff into four hubs. Each hub would contain reduced support staff, while maintaining two members in management positions responsible for multiple departments. Many attendees expressed concern regarding the potentially bureaucratic nature of the PPP. “Management staff are a kind
of removed class from the communities that the support staff serve,” English professor Brian Trehearne said. “I think that says a lot about how this proposal has been conceived, because it is very much management from the top-down—managers alienated from the people they should be serving.” Others criticized what they saw as a lack of responsiveness from the dean regarding past votes and petitions by members of the McGill community to change the plans. David Roseman, Vice-President of Labour Relations at the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (MUNACA), described a lack of communication between the administration and the affected departments. “Outside the dean’s office is where the creative work’s done; inside seems to be a bit of a black hole,” Roseman said. “I’m sure they’re all very busy there, but there really seems to be a disconnect between the dean’s office and what happens at the departmental level.” King, who facilitated discussion at the Town Hall, emphasized the importance of connecting with all involved parties, but noted the difficulty of doing so. “The concern that is unani-
Offices in Leacock will be relocated due to reduced spport staff and budget cuts. (Alexandra Allaire / McGill Tribune) mous among all of the folks who showed up here tonight really shows that the more people get informed, the less they are willing to just let the PPP be forced on the departments,” King said. King encouraged proposals for action that could be taken by
the McGill community to prevent the plan’s implementation. Some proposals included a sit-in and the development of an informational video to increase awareness of the implications of the PPP plan. “We want the administration
to produce academic and intellectual arguments about the virtues of this plan, and we also want to see alternative plans made public,” King said. “We want to know that [they are] going to respond to our conclusions about the PPP.”
Hall director position to change in Fall 2014 Continued from cover hall directors, but would have the option of applying to become a Faculty-Mentor-in-Rez. According to the McGill student housing website, faculty in the new position would commit to engaging with the student community a certain number of times during their stay in residence. Brenda Shanahan, former hall director of New Residence Hall and staff member of the university, acknowledged a growing demand for such services but argued in favour of alternative ways to address it. “At my time in the residence hall, I recognized that there was a need for increasing professional resources,” Shanahan said. “It was unrealistic to expect part-time hall directors to deal with the full range of problems that were occurring. That being said, it seemed to me that the answer was not to eliminate those who were hall
directors […] but to increase professional resources available in the residence life office, in the counselling office.” Despite criticism, Johnson said that the new model would be moving forward. She encouraged members of the McGill community to join an implementation workgroup, which will decide on specific details of the new model. “What halls do we group together? What does a FacultyMentor-in-Rez do versus what does a hall director do?” she said. “These are the kinds of things we want to think about; that’s the kind of stuff that the stakeholders need to help figure out in this.” Still, floor fellows expressed concern with the precedent that such a lack of consultation would set. Reginio spoke on possible discussions that floor fellows intended to have in the future.
“We must sacrifice our time to discuss ways in which we can protect the residence system that we believe in,” Reginio said. “This time has proven to be quite taxing, but floor fellows are still eager to push for what is best for our students.”
Full disclosure: Carolina Millán Ronchetti, Editor-inChief, is a floor fellow at New Residence Hall.
Come to the Tribune’s News Journalism Workshop Wednesday January 22, 6 P.M. SSMU 108 @McGillTribNews
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York accommodation quandary highlights institutional failure
Religious freedom is one of a host of rights, like freedom of speech and freedom of association, that are protected as “Fundamental Freedoms” under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Like those rights, the neat ideal of religious freedom is frequently confronted with the messy reality of its implementation. The recent controversy at York University is a perfect case in point of this tension. The basic outline is well known; a professor of an online course received a request from a student asking to be exempted from a group project, claiming that his religious beliefs did not allow him to work together with women. After initially rejecting the request, the professor was compelled by his superiors in the university to reverse course and accommodate the request, triggering a national uproar. Owing to its place as a university with a notably diverse student body, it is worth looking at the policies McGill has in place for these sorts of situations. What made the case at York University so disconcerting to observers—including the original pro-
fessor, who characterized his reluctance to accommodate the request as not wanting to be an “accessory to sexism”—was the fact that carrying out the request required acceding to the wishes of an individual student to not interact with an entire demographic of other students. While the media controversy may have been inevitable, York University’s conduct on the matter was made worse by the clear institutional failure. For one, from the start of this situation back in September, there was a lack of a unified front on the matter as conveyed to the student. After the student made the request to not complete a group assignment for an online course, the professor, according to a report in York University’s Excalibur, wanted to decline the request and looked to superiors in the university for a more formal response. Instead, the order to grant the request was made not because of any apparent doctrinal validity to the request, but because another student in the class had received accommodation on the grounds of living too far away to commute for campus. What makes the decision to
off the board
compel the professor to comply with the request even worse is that it was simply predicated on the granting of an accommodation to another student for wholly different and arguably unrelated reasons, thus showing considerable intellectual laziness in considering the optics of the decision.
“While the media controversy may have been inevitable, York University’s conduct on the matter was made worse by the clear institutional failure.” Were such a situation to arise at McGill, it is imperative that all of the institutional actors be not only informed of the situation but engage in consultation as to a unified stance before responding to any such requests. Additionally, these issues should be handled in a more timely manner than displayed by York University; outside of the most frivolous requests, taking over a month to render a decision that has yet to
be settled shows a lack of respect for the time and beliefs of the student in question. McGill’s own policies on religious accommodation vary. For final exams in the centrally scheduled exam period, students have two weeks before any listed date on the calendar of holy days to raise conflicts. Situations such as the one at York, however, are far more complex. McGill will soon give a presentation at the Quebec government’s hearings on Bill 60, also referred to as the Quebec Charter of Values, outlining the university’s opposition to the bill and its commitment to freedom of religious expression. Whatever the future of the charter, in implementing policies and practices on religious accommodation, the university would do well to remember the lessons of this debacle; at the intersection of issues of gender equality, religious accommodation, and access to education, care should be taken to ensure that not one of those three values is disregarded in the process of formulating solutions.
There is a buzzing excitement that accompanies otherwise regular movie outings during this time of year. The experience becomes fraught with glowing expectations, brought on by compulsive IMDbmonitoring, the constant bombardment of film posters, and the onset of awards season. Just last week saw the announcement of the 2014 Oscar nominees, the same week during which the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice awards took place. The excitement is accompanied by an uneasy trepidation for all of us who grow too easily attached to certain films or actors and take a certain loss or lack of nomination
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The most wonderful time of the cinematic year as a sign of great injustice. Such is the inevitable disappointment of the awards season. Between the saddening absence of Woody Allen and the frustrating grand total of one non-white Best Actress winner, I try very hard throughout the year to pass the award shows off as trivial; subjective; wastes of time. As Allen is quoted as saying in the film “Woody Allen: A Documentary,” “I think what you get in awards is favoritism. I mean, people can say ‘my favourite movie was Annie Hall,’ but the implication is that it’s the best movie. And I don’t think that’s possible—I don’t think you can make that judgment.” Allen’s movies, including Annie Hall, have won wide acclaim from viewers and shows, yet he appears adamant about refusing acceptance of any kind of award.
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Despite the shortcomings of the various awards, with each new year, I find myself excited to watch the shows all over again, eager to try and predict the recipients of various accolades. My excitement begins in the early months of fall, when the first batches of good movies begin to roll into theaters. This excitement builds until the holiday season, which commonly sees the greatest number of “the good movies,”— films made with critical acclaim and awards in mind—in comparison to the largely critically underwhelming releases of the spring and summer. I find the awards to serve many purposes: a second vacation from the burden of already knee-high readings assigned, a distraction from the bitter weather; an antidote to my homesickness for the West
Coast. But to be more honest, I love following the awards shows because they are the perfect entertaining conclusion to an entertaining year—a grand finale to months and sometimes years of dedication that go into making two hours of whatever heartbreaking, surreal, exciting, or sobering narrative ends up on our screens. The shows are potent in their glamour and exclusivity, both of which draw so many of us to observe and admire, as if we can imagine ourselves seated across from teasing hosts, handsome announcers, and celebrated entertainers. It’s a bright, grand end to the year. And although the Best Picture award may not accurately describe its recipient, its announcement is a satisfying conclusion to a long year of movie-going—and a fitting prelude of things to come.
Prativa Baral, Max Bledstein, Wyatt Fine-Gagné, Osama Haque, Eman Jeddy, Alycia Noë, Kia Pouliot, Aaron Rose, Julie Vanderperre, Elie Waitzer, and Cece Zhang
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Commentary Water under the bridgegate
In our time of disillusionment with public figures, it can seem of no surprise when politicians put their personal interests ahead of the interests of the people that they are representing. This is what happened in the so-called “bridgegate” scandal, when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration inconvenienced thousands of commuters in order to exact revenge in a petty political squabble. Similar issues were revealed in the ongoing Canadian Senate expenses scandal, which concerns the decision by Mike Duffy and several other senators to claim expenses for which they were not eligible. In the case of the Duffy expenses, the prime minister’s office has been dogged by questions
over payments made to Duffy equal to the amount in claimed expenses he was forced to pay back. As with their counterparts in New Jersey, here, senators showed a complete disregard for their constituents’ interests in order to put money in their own pockets. However, the lack of accountability displayed by those involved in the Canadian senate expenses scandal, and the subsequent refusal to comment on their evident mistakes, represents not only an indifference towards the public, but also towards the public’s perception of their actions and towards the right of the press to make their indiscretions known. In New Jersey, the scandal began with series of lane closures last year on the New Jersey approach to the George Washington Bridge. It is no surprise that such a vindictive act would attract immense attention from the media. Christie and his administration attempted to conceal their connection to the scandal; it was not until the press dug up incriminating emails, such as the
infamous message sent by one of Christie’s aides, one of which stated, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” that Christie and his aides were conclusively linked to the incident. The leading theory suggests that the staff orchestrated this traffic jam as retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee (the city on the New Jersey side of the bridge) for withholding a political endorsement.
“If government officials embroiled in such scandals deny the media’s questions, how can we expect to hold them accountable?“ Similarly, on this side of the border, a senator claiming illegitimate expenses was bound to attract attention from the media and incur widespread uproar from the public. However, despite ample proof, Stephen Harper and the senators involved in the scandal remained aloof and refused to accept
responsibility for their wrongdoings. In a CBC interview, Jonathan Kay of the National Post, who has spent significant time reporting both in the U.S. and in Canada, stated, “the degree to which public servants in the U.S. feel that they have a responsibility to answer questions of the press is staggering compared to in Canada.” Indeed, Stephen Harper has been harshly criticized for his refusal to answer questions posed by reporters on the topic of senate expenses. If government officials embroiled in such scandals deny the media’s questions, how can we expect to hold them accountable? Both scandals are indefensible breaches of political power. However, once the American politicians involved in the bridgegate incident were exposed, they were at least able to take some responsibility for their mistakes regardless of the questions that remain about Christie’s involvement. In Canada, considerations of the public’s
right to information regarding its government are less respected, and Canadian officials casually deny the public information about government for no other reason than to protect their own political agendas. Christie, at least, had enough regard for his public image to answer reporters’ questions for several hours, and apologize for the scandal. What Harper and other Canadian politicians fail to realize is that, by managing political upsets with a degree of maturity, and by assuming responsibility for their actions, mistakes are likely to be forgotten much more quickly. Attempts to conceal the truth and divert the public’s attention only heighten frustrations and drag out the duration of the scandal. Harper and the senators involved in the expense scandal should take note of Christie’s handling of the bridgegate incident and respect the requests of the press, so that they may be held accountable for their mistakes.
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(Christine Tam / McGill Tribune)
A story in the Jan. 14 issue (Get A Seat released in time to ease add/drop period woes) incorrectly stated the app’s release date. In fact, the app was released to the public on Dec. 28, 2013. The Tribune regrets this error.
Student living student
Daniel Binette U3 Political Science (Marlee Vinegar / McGill Tribune)
If you’ve ever wondered why someone would sacrifice their Saturday night to give strangers a free ride home, ask U3 Arts student Daniel Binette. Binette is Vice-President Operations of DriveSafe, a student organization that provides free rides for students on Friday and Saturday nights. As long as their three to four rented vans aren’t too busy, you can call DriveSafe to have a volunteer pick you up anytime between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. from anywhere on the Island of Montreal. Binette has volunteered for DriveSafe since his first year at McGill. Now, as VP Operations, Binette is responsible for co-ordinating van rentals from Discount Car & Truck Rentals and helping to train volunteers. Binette began volunteering with the program after a suggestion from his floor fellow in Douglas Hall. “I would never say I […] came to McGill to drive kids home, but it’s a really funny service,” he admitted. “When people take it, they’re really happy to get a free ride home.” On his DriveSafe trips, Binette not only helped those he picked up, but also his residence by bringing in extra cash. “We would always take the empties from our rez back to Provi-
by Marlee Vinegar
go and put [the money] towards our rez budget and we actually made a fair amount of money,” Binette said. “We’d take back like 80 dollars worth of empties and that actually helped council. “ Even though he doesn’t drive as much as he used to, if you catch a ride with Binette he has the perfect playlist for your end-of-the-night trip home. “It’s really funny playing music when students are leaving bars,” he said. “They really like hearing stuff like [Sprit of the West’s] Home for a Rest.” While many other schools have programs like WalkSafe, DriveSafe is a relatively unique service that ensures student safety, but also provides an added convenience. “Our mandate is to help student’s who don’t have a safe way of getting home—whether that’s because they’re on their own, don’t have money, or don’t feel safe where they are,” Binette said. “What I’ve taken away is actually helping people when they’re really in a bad spot [….] To take them home and take them home safe—that’s a really rewarding and valuable service.” In addition, Binette says he enjoys venturing to places a bit further than just trips across the city. Having travelled a lot with his family, he’s
been fortunate enough to visit numerous destinations, including a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro in 2005. “I was the youngest person to climb it that year,” he said. “I was impressed that I was actually able to do it. My dad couldn’t make it to the top, but my brother and I did; he was 15 and I was 13. When you’re 13 you’re not thinking ‘Oh I’m so small,’ but in retrospect I [was] like a toddler.” More recently, he has also trekked part of Mount Everest and visited Israel and Jordan. Binette’s international interests have extended to his academics. As a political science major, his primary interest is in comparative politics. “I lived with somebody in Nepal for a month that worked for the UN High Comission for Refugees; she was a lawyer by trade and did refugee law and international law,” Binette said. “That was really interesting for me [….] I plan on going to law school in September, so that’s the trajectory that I’m taking. It’s more just an interest, learning about different countries’ political structures.” DriveSafe can be reached at 514-398-8040 Fri. and Sat. 11 p.m. – 3 a.m.
If you could be in any movie what would it be? I love Woody Allen movies; I love the quick funny dialogue in it. I love Midnight in Paris. I think it’s one of the best movies. If you could make a Twitter handle what would it be? @OverheardintheDriveSafeVan What was your favourite job? Last summer I did financial analysis on 110 charities for Charity Intelligence Canada. They’re the first company in Canada dedicated to analyzing the charity sector [....] The results are pretty shocking—it takes the Heart and Stroke Foundation over 50 cents to raise one dollar. What is your favourite punctuation mark? Interrobang. Nobody knows what it means, but it’s provocative. What are your pet peeves? 1) Bad grammar, like when people use “your” for “you’re.” 2) People who wear clothes that are inappropriate for the weather—like when it’s five degrees outside and people are wearing Canada Goose [jackets]—that pisses me off. Or that one guy who, when it’s minus two, is wearing shorts.
nominate a student of the week! Email us at studentliving@ mcgilltribune.com
Springing into Spring fashion A preview of five trends to look out for in men’s and women’s runway collections Laura Hanrahan Contributor With all of the cold and dreary weather Montreal has experienced this winter, it feels as if spring is anything but near. As sales on Winter/Fall collections begin to wind down, we can look back to the spring previews at Spring/ Summer fashion weeks in the fall to serve as a much-needed reminder that warmer weather is just around the corner. From new innovative ideas to the resurrection of classics, this year’s shows have given us a sneak peak of what we can
expect to see popping up around stores in the not too distant future.
Trends for women
Embellished detailing: High-piled sequins, lamé, and paillettes will make for the perfect night-out ensemble next season. With collections ornately decorated from head to toe, subtlety is definitely not the name of the game this season. Metallics: Bright, shining metallics in every shade are a common trend among designers. From Diane von F u r s t e n b e r g ’s high-shine golden dresses to Max Mara’s sheer metallic tops, there will be no shortage of sheen come springtime. Sporty-meetssophisticated: Athletic-inspired clothing seems to be a clear favourite
for the upcoming season. Designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs have filled their collections with track, swim, and tennis-inspired pieces that are probably the last thing you’d want to wear to the gym. Cropped jackets: Loose, cropped silhouettes made their mark on the runways in the fall in a variety of materials and prints. While a stark contrast in respect to length with the popular boyfriend blazer, these jackets are just as oversized and boxy, if not more so. Art-inspired prints: “Fashion as art” will come alive this spring in the literal sense, with everything from jackets to skirts decked out in bold, museum-worthy prints. Prada in particular has transported a number of lithographs and commissioned paintings onto their pieces, taking full advantage of this new trend.
Trends for men
Florals: Floral prints in a wide variety of colours will be making their mark next season in men’s fashion.
They’ll be appearing on everything from button-up dress shirts to board shorts. Double breasted blazers: The resurrection of 1940’s era fashion seems to be a theme in men’s spring fashion collections, with double breasted blazers leading the movement. This classic piece is making a comeback, and it’s no longer just for your grandfather. White on white: All-white suits were featured at a wide range of shows from Billy Reid to Brooks Brothers. Mixing different textures of white is key to keep this look from becoming tacky. Colour blocking: The classic black t-shirt has some new competition. Characterized by contrasting blocks of colours within the same piece, colour blocking gives an edgy, yet casual effect to all types of clothing. Bomber jackets: This classic and extremely versatile staple piece appeared all over the runway last fall. While 3.1 Phillip Lim’s collection
showcased a more futuristic twist on the jacket, Balenciaga offered a throwback to the original WWI pilot design. Whether they’re wool, suede, or leather, these slim fitting jackets will go with just about everything.
Photos courtesy of Polyvore, TopShop, Lyst, and Old Navy.
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Soup du jour Chili con carne with tomatoes
Serves 4-5 Chili often seems like a daunting task for beginner cooks, but with the right spices anyone can create a great crowdpleaser. Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef 2 medium onions, chopped 1 cup green pepper, chopped 1 can (796 mL) tomatoes 1 can (398 mL) tomato sauce 2 tsp chili powder 1 tsp salt Pinch of cayenne red pepper Pinch of paprika 1 can (460 mL) kidney beans, drained Instructions: 1. Cook and stir beef, onions, and green pepper in a large pot until meat is brown and onion is tender. 2. Drain off fat. 3. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili
If your go-to meals alternate between pasta and pizza, soups are an easy and delicious way to help you survive the Montreal winter. These basic recipes are tasty on their own, but may also act as springboards for experimental chefs to show their own flair.
powder, salt, cayenne red pepper, and paprika. 4. Heat to a boil. 5. Reduce heat and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 6. Stir in kidney beans and heat through.
Instructions: 1. Mash one can of beans and set aside. 2. Sauté carrots and onions with butter in a saucepan. 3. Stir in all other ingredients. 4. Heat through.
White bean’n’ham soup
Egg drop soup
Serves 4-5 The beans and ham in this soup create a thick, flavourful favourite for those cold days. Ingredients: 2 cans (460 mL) white beans (great northern beans preferred) 2 medium carrots, diced 1 small onion, chopped 2 tbsp margarine 2¼ cups water 1½ cups cubed ham ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 1 bay leaf
Serves 4-5 Simple, yet classy. Ingredients: 4 cups chicken bouillon 1 egg 2 green onions, chopped Instructions: 1. In a medium-sized pot, boil chicken bouillon. 2. Crack egg into bouillon, stirring constantly. 3. Add green onions.
Serves 4-5 Stews may take longer than your aver-
Leah Brainerd Contributor
age soup, but this one is totally worth the wait. Ingredients: ½ cup water 2 cups potatoes, diced 1 cup carrots, sliced 1 cup celery, chopped 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 2 cups cream-style canned corn 1½ cups milk ⅔ cup grated cheese
Ingredients: 1 can (470 mL) tomatoes 1 cup celery, chopped 4 carrots, chopped 4 onions, chopped 6-7 potatoes, chopped 1½ lb stew meat 3 tbsp tapioca 1 tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt Instructions: 1. Place ingredients in a large glass baking dish. 2. Cover with foil and bake at 250°F for 5 hours.
Cheese and corn chowder
Serves 4-5 Creamy and rich, the corn in this chowder adds a nice pop of colour. You can also experiment by adding a few spices for an extra kick of flavour.
Instructions: 1. Combine water, potatoes, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper in saucepan. 2. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 3. Add corn and simmer for 5 minutes. 4. Add milk and cheese. Stir until cheese melts and chowder is heated through— do not boil.
Photos courtesy of simplyrecipes.com, Sea Salt with Food, Taste Food Blog, and The Curvy Carrot
Connect With Your Student Health & Dental Plan Your Benefits for 2013/2014 More than $10,000 in Health-Care Coverage prescription drugs, chiropractor, physiotherapist, osteopath, ambulance, medical equipment, vaccinations, and more...
Travel Coverage up to $5,000,000 & 120 Days per Trip travel health coverage for 120 days per trip and up to $5,000,000, trip cancellation and trip interruption in the event of a medical emergency
Over $250 in Vision Coverage eye exam, eyeglasses or contact lenses, and laser eye surgery
Up to $750 in Dental Coverage cleanings, checkups, fillings, root canals, gum treatments, extractions, and more...
Networks Enhance Your Benefits and Save You Money Get even more coverage by visiting members of the Dental, Vision, Chiropractic, and Physiotherapy Networks.
Find a health practitioner at www.ihaveaplan.ca. Change-of-Coverage Period Only new Winter semester students can enrol themselves and their spouse/dependants between Jan. 16 - 30, 2014 for coverage from Jan. 1 - Aug. 31, 2014. SSMU Plan website
PGSS Plan website
Have a Smartphone with a QR code reader? Scan the appropriate box to be directed to your Plan’s website.
The Member Services Centre is there to assist you from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays : (514) 789-8775 / Toll-free: 1 866 795-4435
The Trib is looking for a PGSS Representative to sit on its Board of Directors Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Applications will be accepted until Jan. 28 at 5 p.m.
an Arts & Entertainment Editor and an Online Editor Send your CV and letter of intent to email@example.com by Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. A&E candidates must also attach three writing samples to the application
Master of Management & Professional Accounting
• 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: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Room 3001, Brown Student Services Bldg, 3600 McTavish, McGill University
10 | FEATURES After a year of living in Rez, I was overwhelmingly excited to finally find my own place. Not that I didn’t enjoy my experience in university housing—I was simply anxious to have my own furniture, decorate my own room, and cook in the kitchen I would share with my roommate. When my roommate and I finally decided on a place, we barely glanced over the lease before signing it. Without doing any real research about Quebec leasing laws, we thought looking around the apartment and skimming through the agreement would be sufficient. The landlord sent notice that our rent was going to increase as our first year of leasing was coming to an end, I couldn’t help but feel a bit irritated. Why was our rent going up? There weren’t any changes being made to the apartment or the building. Why did he choose to increase it now, and why by that particular amount? Not entirely sure what to do, I followed the instructions on the notice, signing the paper to recognize that I accepted the increase. I wasn’t even too certain about what it meant to “accept”— what alternative did I have besides moving out? Out of frustration and without any real understanding of
its reasoning, I complained that the increase was drawn out of thin air. I didn’t realize until much later that rent prices were a little more complicated than a haphazard decision by one person. Though increases are quite typical in the housing market, there are often other components of a lease that are decided upon by the landlord, not Quebec law. If my landlord was to add unique demands to the contract, I would not be aware that I did not have an obligation to adhere to it under provincial regulations—until I signed the lease, that is. Luckily, there weren’t any other major stipulations attached to the contract, but my roommate and I were surprised to find that a few of the conditions on the lease were unique to our landlord, not standards established by the Régie du logement. In fact, I didn’t even know what the Régie was. I was simply another student looking to sign a lease for the next three years until my time at McGill was over.
What is the Régie du logement? Quebec’s Régie du logement is an institution
that holds jurisdiction over residential leases in the province. It works to create the standards and procedures for leasing, serve as a resource for potential tenants and landlords, and ensure the protection of leasing rights. In ambiguous or contentious situations between lessor and lessee, the Régie would provide jurisdiction, whether through pre-established laws and regulations, or via an application for a recourse submitted by either party.
Basic Laws and Regulations The Régie outlines a series of regulations that dictate both the tenant and the landlord’s legal allowances. For example, the Régie’s website says it is legal for landlords to ask for references for credit checks and to require co-signers for students without an income, but it is not legal for them to ask for social insurance numbers or increase the rent mid-lease. Similarly, it explains that tenants must inform their landlord of a decision not to renew a lease, usually three months before the end of the lease —otherwise, the lease is automatically renewed. Rebecca Dawe, the
executive director of the Legal Information Clinic at McGill—a non-profit and student-run service that provides legal information to McGill students and community members— explained that in general, Quebec’s laws only delineate certain expectations from landlords. “Some conditions can vary from lease to lease; for example, sometimes heating will be included in the rent, and sometimes it will be paid by the tenant,” Dawe said. “The law in Quebec does, however, have certain obligations that are mandatory for landlords. For example, a landlord cannot opt out of the obligation to deliver a rental dwelling in good habitable condition.”
Common Misconceptions After realizing that my confusion over rent increases could be solved by looking into the Régie’s regulations, I set out to understand the guidelines I should have researched prior to signing a lease for the first time. The Régie does not place a fixed rate for rent increase every year. Instead, it calculates rent variation by considering “the income of the building and the
municipal and school taxes, the insurance bills, the energy costs, maintenance and service costs,” according to its website. But then I realized that my options weren’t simply limited to accepting the increase or moving out. According to a document on lease renewal created by the Régie, the tenant can also “refuse the proposed modifications” and still renew the lease. In that situation, the landlord would then be able to file an application with the Régie. A commissioner will then follow the criteria for deciding on a rent increase for the apartment—which could be even more than what the landlord initially requested. However, the landlord and the tenant can still negotiate while an application is being processed at the Régie. Just as I was under the impression that some of the conditions listed on my lease were standard procedure, many students have also fallen prey to misconceptions involving their apartment or lease. Unfortunately, when the turnover year-to-year is so high for apartment leases, students can get caught in a trap of common assumptions. According to Pamela Chiniah, the McGill Off-Campus Housing Coordinator, one of the biggest confusions
students will have is with lease transfers. “The big mistake that students do is they don’t contact the landlord when taking a lease transfer,” Chiniah said. “Let’s say I’m transferring my lease to you; I’m paying $700 rent. When you carry over my lease, for the four months you’ll be paying $700, but as of September, your rent [might] go up. Students don’t contact landlords to get this information [or…] get a previous copy of the tenant’s lease. Sometimes there are rules of the building that they don’t know. And very often when students do a lease transfer they don’t do the paperwork
11 | FEATURES
as they should.” Another issue that students often aren’t aware of is known as a “finder’s fee,” an illegal practice often advertised as “buy my used furniture” for lease transfers. “Finder’s fees started close to 10 years ago,” Chiniah said. “There was a housing shortage in Montreal [at that time].” Chiniah explained that many people use furniture as an excuse to validate a finder’s fee. “Let’s say I have an apartment [lease] that runs until August, but I’m graduating,” Chiniah said. “I want to give up my place, so I advertise; and when a student contacts me, I show them the place. But then I say, ‘If you want this place, you have to take it with the furniture [.…] So the person asks you for money, and [he or she does] not process the
lease transfer until they get the money for the furniture.” Because many McGill students are not from Quebec, it is common for people to assume that these finder’s fees are simply part of a standard procedure in apartment leasing. However, finder’s fees are illegal, and should be reported to the landlord if they become a problem. But sometimes it’s not just the tenants who create extra charges against Quebec law. “We see a lot of landlords asking students for key deposits, [which] is not allowed,” Dawe said. “According to the law in Quebec, they can only ask for the first month’s rent.” Students from out of town will also frequently be misinformed about the relevant paperwork. “Students […often] don’t know what the application form is in Quebec,” Chiniah added. “It’s a pre-lease. If you fill it out, bring it to the landlord, and he accepts it, you are legally presponsible
for t h e apartment. Every year we have students with [multiple] application forms. Sometimes landlords are flexible, but they [might] say that deposit you gave [them…] will not [be given] back.”
For those who are looking to sign a lease—or for anyone who encounters issues with their apartment or landlord—there are many resources both on campus and around the city that can be useful. McGill Off-Campus Housing not only features an online apartment listing system, but also provides a collection of legal information on its website. It also provides “Apartment Hunting Info Sessions,” held annually for students seeking more information
on leasing an apartment. The Legal Information Clinic at McGill also offers free presentations on landlordtenant law, which can be tailored to fit the needs of any student’s requests.
Apartment Hunting Info Sessions
Carrefour Sherbrooke “Ballroom” Daily sessions, week of Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. Daily sessions, week of Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. Photos by Wendy Chen
Science & technology
In remembrance of Dr. William Feindel (1918-2014) McGill alumnus leaves behind legacy of medical innovation and contribution to scientific research at the MNI Christine Tam Contributor On Jan. 12, Canada lost one of its most renowned and revered neurosurgeons. William Feindel (O.C., G.O.Q., MDCM, D. Phil) passed away quietly at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) Hospital after a brief illness, according to the McGill Reporter. Feindel was a pioneer in the field of neurological medicine, and contributed numerous discoveries to both Canadian research and surgery. William Howard Feindel was born 1918 in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. He attended Acadia University, where he received a B.A. with a major in Biology, followed by a M.Sc. from Dalhousie University. Feindel completed medical school at McGill in 1945, after which he studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Merton College, Oxford University, earning his D. Phil in neuroanatomy. As a physiology professor at the MNI, Feindel researched new treatments for nervous system injuries during the second world war alongside Wilder Penfield, the MNI’s founder and first director. In 1955, Feindel founded the
Neurosurgical Department at University of Saskatchewan’s medical school, where he also worked to develop the first radioisotopic brain scanner. Upon Feindel’s return to McGill and the MNI, he established the William Cone Laboratory for Neurosurgical Research and contributed to over 500 research articles in the field of epilepsy and brain disease detection. Together with Penfield and Herbert Jasper, Feindel helped to invent the “Montreal Procedure,” a groundbreaking epilepsy treatment that involved the surgical removal of the antero-medial temporal lobe— a region of the brain involved in retaining visual memories and processing sensory input—in a conscious patient. In 1972, Feindel became the third director of the MNI and proceeded to revolutionize brainscanning technology in Canada. In addition to developing one of the first positron emission tomography (PET) units in the world, Feindel and his clinical neuroscience team also brought the first computerized axial tomography (CAT) scanner and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit to Canada. He oversaw the MNI’s im-
Research briefs Glow-in-the-dark piglets born As the new year rolls in, so does the prospect of glow-in-thedark bacon and neon pork chops. Last August, two researchers at the South China Agricultural University in Guangdon Province—Zhenfang Wu and Zicong Li—successfully injected biofluorescent genetic material taken from jellyfish directly into pig embryos, resulting in the birth of 10 transgenic pigs that glow when subjected to ‘black’ or ultraviolet light. Although the idea of glowing food is more of a joke than a serious prospect, Wu and Li intend for this research to serve a very practical application. The scientists explained to CBC that the method may be used to create more efficient and less costly medicines for humans suffering from many types of ailments. “Patients who suffer from hemophilia need blood-clotting enzymes in their blood. We can make those enzymes a lot cheaper in animals rather than a factory that will
pressive growth both in size, with the addition of two new wings, and in worldwide prominence as a premier brain-imaging centre. During his time at the MNI, Feindel wrote and published extensively on his scientific research as well as on the topic of The MNI’s history. His work and contributions have been recognized with many awards and honours, including honorary degrees from four universities, an induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and the titles of Royal Society of Canada Fellow, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec. “Dr. William Feindel personified the best of McGill’s teaching hospitals. He was a caring doctor, an outstanding researcher and a team player with a fertile and inquisitive mind,” said Normand Rinfret, CEO and director general of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), to the McGill Reporter. Feindel’s legacy will live on through his medical innovations, his contributions to neuroscience literature, and the generations of students and colleagues whose minds he inspired.
Feindel is remembered for his excellent work as a doctor and researcher. (publications.mcgill.ca)
By Caity Hui
Comparing the surrounding piglets (glowing) to the middle (wild type) shows the presence of the fluorescent gene. (img.gawkerassets.com) cost millions of dollars to build,” explained Stefan Moisyadi, a bioscientist at the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Biogenesis Research— home to where this technique was originally developed. “[The green glow] is just a marker to show that we can take a gene that was not originally present in the animal [which] now exists in
it,” Moisyadi said. Wu and Li are not the only researchers to investigate transgenic animals. Scientists all over the globe are pioneering this technique. Scientists in Turkey used the same method to create the world’s first glow-inthe-dark rabbits, and they are currently working to create a glowing sheep.
A spoonful of sugar makes the migraine go down A study published this January in Science Translational Medicine concluded that placebo pills have strong enough therapeutic effects to reduce patient symptoms—even when they know they are consuming sugar pills. Professor of Medicine at Harvard University Ted Kaptchuk performed an experiment using the same 66 patients for each test. The patients first experienced a migraine attack without treatment. During six subsequent attacks, they were either given the migraine drug Maxalt or a placebo pill. Kaptchuk reported that patients experienced significant pain relief, compared to the untreated migraine attack, even when they knew they had swallowed nothing more than a sugar pill. While the American Medi-
cal Association (AMA) considers the use of placebos without a patient’s consent to be “bad medicine,” Kaptchuk’s results suggest that in the future, labeled placebos could be used to treat conditions like migraines. Kaptchuk is not the only researcher to investigate the beneficial use of placebos. Italian neuroscientist Fabrizio Benedetti demonstrated in neuroimaging studies that placebos might play a role in changing the circuitry and chemistry of the brain in a similar fashion to certain medications. Other studies have shown that placebos induce the release of opioids—a chemical produced by the brain to relieve pain. Although Kaptchuk’s results need to be reproduced by other researchers before “open-label” placebos are put into practice, his studies show promise in the field of placebos.
Curiosity delivers. |
science & technology
| Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Soup and science leaves students inspired, curious Undergraduates receive opportunity to hear professors talk about research over lunch Caity Hui Science and Technology Editor What would you say if you were asked to communicate your life’s work in three minutes? On Friday Jan. 17, five researchers attempted to complete this task over lunch at the Redpath Museum, where students listened as professors gave snapshots of their research. “I wanted to attend Soup and Science to acquaint myself with some of the ongoing research at McGill and to meet and chat with the professors who conduct the research,” said Lily Li, a U0 Science student. “Hopefully [I can] get my foot in the door.” Soup and Science is a bi-annual event where undergraduate students are invited to see and hear a selection of professors give short presentations on their work. Within these fast three minute segments,
the speakers give just a flavour of their research, leaving the audience curious, inspired—and a little out of breath. Unlike other departmental talks and research presentations, Soup and Science is unique in the fact that it is aimed towards peaking the interest of undergraduate students in research and providing them with resources concerning how to get involved. Victor Chisholm, the undergraduate research officer at McGill, and his team ensured students had access to various links with more information on the topic. “We want to expose students to all sorts of areas of science they may never have thought or heard of,” said Chisholm. “We want to demystify research and researchers [and for undergraduate students to] feel comfortable talking to professors about research. We want our worldclass students to know that they, too,
can generate world-class knowledge and discoveries.” Although the three-minute cap makes it difficult for professors to fully explain their research, this does not seem to be the purpose of the event. Rather, presentations are organized like a scientific teaser, filled with stimulating questions and interesting data. Anna Naoumova, whose research focuses on the interaction between genetic and epigenetic factors—the study of how our genes are affected by both DNA sequences and inheritance—began her presentation with the question of whether we could blame our grandparents for our lifestyle today; Elena Bennett, specializing in managing landscapes for multiple ecosystem services, demonstrated her approach to sustaining agriculture for the next thousand years through what she liked to call a “‘What if’ machine.”
The presentations allowed students to gauge what topics might interest them, while providing the time afterwards to ask the professors questions about their work, which, by virtue of these micro-presentations, undoubtedly sprung up. Considering most students’ interactions with professors are limited to their time in class, Soup and Science provides a forum where they can comfortably inquire about research. “I came for the food. But also more seriously to see what different types of careers are open to me after I finish my undergrad,” said U0 Science student Vivian Lynn. As Soup and Science runs for a week, each session consists of different professors whose work spans a variety of research areas. According to Chisholm, he sends out invitations to approximately 50 professors each semester, of which about half express interest in attending
the event. Chisholm aims to feature newer members of McGill’s faculty, as many of these researchers are conducting exciting new research programs but are less well-known than McGill’s more established professors. Whether it is the soup or the science that draws students to the Redpath Museum each semester, undergraduates continue to make an effort to attend. “I always try to make it to Soup and Science whenever I can,” said U2 science student Susan Wang. “It’s a short time commitment that’s educational, engaging and also involves free food. I think it’s harder to find a reason not to go.” For more information on getting involved in a lab, students are invited to attend the event “Science students: Want to know how to get involved in research?” held in Leacock 232 on Wednesday Jan. 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
CHOOSE YOUR CERTIFICATE Abhishek Gupta Contributor At the heart of our Milky Way galaxy lies a black hole—a gravitational sink so strong that not even light, which travels at speeds of close to 300 000 km/s, can escape its pull. However, a recent study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee observed a new class of hyper-velocity stars, that have a sun-like mass and are ejected from the black hole. Hypervelocity stars, first described in 1988 by Jack Hills, a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, are solitary stars that move fast enough to escape the gravitational pull of the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. “These new hypervelocity stars are very different from the ones that have been discovered previously,” said graduate student Lauren Palladino in an interview withVanderbilt University. Palladino was the lead author of the study
“Hypervelocity Star Candidates in the SEGUE G and K Dwarf Sample,” published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Astrophysical Journal and reported at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C. Palladino is currently working under the direction of Vanderbilt assistant professor of astronomy Kelly Holley-Bockelmann. According to the study, the stars move at speeds of close to 1.5 km/hr—fast enough to escape the gravitational grasp of the Milky Way. However, what makes this discovery interesting is that although hypervelocity stars have been previously identified, these newly identified stars possess significant differences in composition. The other hypervelocity stars are blue stars—young, hot, bright bodies—which originated at the galactic core, the composition of Palladino’s hypervelocity stars does not reflect a similar birth. “The most commonly accepted mechanism for [kicking a star
out of its galaxy] involves interacting with the supermassive black hole at the galactic core,” said Holley-Bockelmann in a press release. “That means when you trace the star back to its birthplace, it comes from the centre of our galaxy. None of these hypervelocity stars come from the centre, which implies that there is an unexpected new class of hypervelocity star, one with a different ejection mechanism.” These stars are of significant scientific value because they may help elucidate the mechanism by which stars escape the gravitational force of galaxies. Additionally, dust clouds usually obscure the area where stars originate, making it difficult for scientists to study their formation. However, since these stars are ejected from that space, they offer a window and shed some light on the process. “The big question is ‘What boosted these stars up to such extreme velocities?’” said HolleyBockelmann. “We are working on that now.”
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arts & entertainment opera
Opera McGill opts for relocation in Shakespeare adaptation
Upcoming main stage production sets A Midsummer Night’s Dream in pre-First World War India Kia Pouliot Staff Writer
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s oft performed comedy of love, magic, and misunderstanding, was written more than 400 years ago and adapted by English composer Benjamin Britten in the 1960’s as an opera, which will be the format by which Opera McGill performs the story in their upcoming main stage production. When taking on such a wellknown classic it is always a challenge to make it feel fresh and original, but Caitlin Hammon— masters student, soprano, and portrayer of Helena in Opera McGill’s show—feels confident that their version will live up to that challenge, especially thanks to director Patrick Hanson’s bold decision to relocate Britten’s Shakespearian opera to pre-First World War India. “There’s a few mentions of India that the fairy Tytania makes in the original play,” explains Hammon. “So [Hanson] kind of took that and ran with it [....] The fairies are all Indian deities, and
the lovers are like British colonial royalty.” Although the Athenian forest of Shakespeare’s script is replaced by an Eastern locale, Hammon believes that the production will retain its original magical feel. “There are some absolutely beautiful moments, especially with the fairies,” she says. “It’s set to be very ethereal and heavenly, and it’s really nice.” Hammon is also particularly excited about the visual aspects of the production. All inspired by the Indian theme, the sets and costumes promise to dazzle the eye.
Getting down to business in rehearsal. (Courtesy of Opera McGill) The elaborate two-storey set is ented ensemble of voices that the currently under construction, and opera format promises. Now in it will include, among other won- its 58th year of operation, Opera ders, a forest that lights up and a McGill is a prolific institution that giant tree that the characters will is currently in the midst of an allbe climbing during their perfor- Shakespeare season. It staged an adaptation of Julius Caesar earlier mance. The orchestra will be formed this year, and is preparing a Romeo by musicians from the Schulich and Juliet adaptation for March. When describing the sound School of Music. “We have the McGill Sym- and style of the upcoming producphony Orchestra playing and tion, Hammon is adamant that A they’re really doing a remarkable Midsummer Night’s Dream will job. It’s really one of the best stu- feel much more modern than what dent orchestras we’ve had in a someone would typically envision. while,” says Hammon. “It’s not what you’re used to Not to be forgotten is the tal- hearing if you flip on the radio
and hear some guy singing opera in a strange language,” she assures me. “When a lot of people think of opera they’re thinking about things written in the 1800’s, but this is what we would consider contemporary.” Anyone who may be hesitant or intimated about venturing out for a night at the opera should also know that this production is in English, and that there are projections above the stage with subtitles in both English and French to make sure that audience members can follow. As Hammon explains, this won’t be a traditional opera. “I’ve sat through rehearsals and rehearsals and rehearsals already and I’ve been entertained the entire time that I’ve been watching it,” she says. “If someone has never been to an opera before, I would really recommend this one to them because it’s very accessible, lighthearted, and fun.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed at 7:30 p.m. from Jan. 29—Feb. 1 in Pollack Hall. Student tickets are $25.
The 25th hour: a strong finish at TNC’s playwriting dash Annual 24 Hour Playwriting Competition showcases three impressive plays, Beyoncé provides the flourish Max Berger A&E Editor The stakes were high last Saturday evening at Morrice Hall’s Tuesday Night Café Theatre (TNC). With the pride of winning McGill’s most temporally concentrated dramatic competition—not to mention the promise of free pitchers of beer at Bar des Pins afterwards—on the line, a trio of hastily prepared studentwritten plays were pitted against each other with hopes of claiming victory at TNC’s annual 24 Hour Playwriting Competition. In order to do so, they would have to garner the majority vote of the students in the audience and the preference of guest judge Prof. Myrna Selkirk of the English department. Although the dual judging format led to an inconclusive competitive result—the two panels delivered different picks—the important result was the competition itself, which produced three distinctly entertaining plays. The challenge of the competition is that students, who are selected by the TNC executives based on writing samples, have 24 hours to write a play from scratch. Then, they’re given another 24 hours to direct a group of randomly assigned actors who will be dramatizing
Real talks in That’s All There Is. (Cassandra Rogers / McGill Tribune) the scripts they just wrote. was that every play needed to begin While the short window of time al- with the words “I woke up like this” lotted for writing and practicing appears and finish with the words “Your man daunting, Emma Myers, co-writer/ ain’t never seen a booty like this”—both director of That’s All There Is, wasn’t phrases being pulled straight from the overwhelmed by the experience of pre- most recent Beyoncé album. Each play took its plot in noticeparing a play under short notice. “Honestly, we pretty much just ably different directions. Thoby King’s cranked it out in a couple hours,” she The Death of Queen Bee (the studenttells me. “The process was pretty free- pick for best play) fully embraced the flowing. We didn’t really have to edit it Beyoncé effect and centred its story too much or go back on what we initially around a boy who starts uncontrolladecided to do. It was really fun, really bly spewing out Beyoncé lyrics every low-key; we weren’t stressed out. time he thinks of death (which happens “In the morning we typed it up and comically often), and who eventually realized we were four pages short so we finds solace in a girl who has a similarly decided to add an extra scene, which quirky compulsion to douse herself in ended up being [a] flashback scene.” milk when she’s attracted to a boy. Caleb The competition’s other guideline Harrison’s The Body (Selkirk’s pick)
explores how a situation unfolds when a man is found dead and a shop worker, prostitute, and Evangelical couple determine what should be done about it. Myers and co-writer Julia Edelman crafted a story about a female McGill student with a slew of issues that include her immature mother; smooth-talking, gangster-wannabe boyfriend; and backstabbing roommate. Of the three plays, That’s All There Is featured the widest variety of roles, and Myers explains how a spontaneous casting decision solved the problem of not having enough actors for a scene— while also leading to one of the play’s funnier moments. “We didn’t know if we would have anyone to play Debbie [one of the mothers dropping a child off at residence] until today,” she says. “And then Jacob came in, and we were like, ‘Can you do drag?’ and he was like, ‘Yeah,’ and it ended up being perfect.” However, that was only the second-most pressing issue that had to be resolved in rehearsals. “One of the girls in our cast, Lydia, who played Anna, has a milk allergy,” explains Myers. “A serious milk allergy where if she touches a dairy product— like the milk that was poured all over our set [during King’s play]—she could ac-
tually stop breathing. So that was pretty scary when we found out that they were going to be using milk. But we dealt with it, and it was fine.” High as the stakes were for the excellent 2014 installment of the 24 Hour Playwriting Competition, sabotage by milk sounds like something we can probably rule out from King as a tactic for securing a competitive edge.
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Curiosity delivers. |
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| Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Falling in love with Her Spike Jonze rewrites the rules of Hollywood romance in his latest project Max Mehran Contributor Is it possible to fall deeply in love with your talking operating system? Spike Jonze makes us believe so. In Jonze’s most recent film Her, broken-hearted writer Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) lives an introverted life balancing between work, video games, and occasional dates since his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara) left him. He repeats this despondent and solitary routine, only invigorated by fortuitous encounters with his friend Amy (Amy Adams). Weary and unable to connect with anyone, he decides to take home a new talking operating system who calls herself Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Charmed by the plot, the movie captivates in the same way that the operating system
captivates Theodore. Director Spike Jonze, famous for other wacky and eccentric projects, offers a love story unlike any other. The futuristic depiction of Los Angeles is conceivable—utopian-like and non-violent. This portrayal is rare in sciencefiction movies, which is why it’s even more original. Indeed, the people are nicer, calmer; and the technology is so advanced that it eases life dramatically. Phones read newspapers, classify mail, organize daily routines, and eventually fall in love with you. But to what extent is our technology going to guide our life? And is it necessarily a good thing? Jonze answers these questions with his unique trajectory and sense of humour. Starting out by taking over Theodore’s technological life, the voice begins to reveal more and more person-
ality—first as a friend, and later as a lover. Samantha has charisma, personality, and mostly, is aware of her situation. She understands how different she is from a real human being and covets a body of her own. The romance between Theodore and Samantha echoes the isolated relationship people share with their own technological devices, which disconnect them from the real world. Jonze critiques our reliance on technology today by presenting their love affair in as humanlike a way as possible. The acting reaches our core and demands empathy for the unique couple. Phoenix is absolutely alluring as he embodies this morose and passionate man. Johansson is simply beautiful. She gives her best performance to date using only her voice, with an exactitude
and sexiness that instantly enthralls. The chemistry is so intense that it made me deeply care and root for the lasting of their relationship. Moreover, Amy Adams also deserves acclaim for her performance as Theodore’s longtime friend. She gives a truthful and raw acting performance that once again showcases her talent during what has already been a strong year for her. The cinematography is just as impressive as the acting in this film. Jonze transports us from beginning to end through this universe with clear images, stunning shots of the city, and an uncanny way of filming his lead actor using mainly close-ups. He forces us to connect with Theodore in the same way he did with Samantha, and we enjoy being part of their relationship. The writing also impresses and
seduces the audience. Jonze uses a lot of poetry and other delicate phrasings that flow gently, and are delightfully intoxicating us. Johansson grants us her voice, but also pleases our senses with song. The intimate moments that we share with the couple makes us, in an absurd but comfortable way, also fall in love with her—or at least with the pair of them together. Spike Jonze brings us into a dreamy, tender, and fascinating dimension with this very original love story. He took home the award for best screenplay at last week’s Golden Globes, and is now nominated for best original screenplay at the Oscars, which he also deserves. Her is a poem where the acting supplies the rhymes; writing, verses; and the cinematography, the pace.
The film that cried wolf
The Wolf of Wall Street will bring back good memories of Carnival, but won’t live up to the hype Remi Lu Sports Editor bill?
What would you do with a $100
Deposit it in your bank account, perhaps; or maybe buy that new sweater you’ve been eyeing for a while. If you’re Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), however, the bill is perfect as a crumpled wastebasket ball—or for snorting cocaine. In DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese’s fifth film together, the cocaine lines run long, while, unfortunately, the depth of the experience falls short. Belfort is the drug-loving lead in Scorsese’s financial caper The Wolf of Wall Street. The film follows the stock wizard as he sweet-talks his way into the pockets of his clients, using the illicit cash for heavy substance-infused sex parties. And yet there’s a cloying
sweetness to Belfort’s words. As he stands in the middle of the cash-filled carousels dancing on screen, those around him take on the ugly look of their personalities, even as wads of bank notes fall from the sky. The movie begins with the sleek visage of a lion—Belfort’s image of choice for his firm, Stratton Oakmont. An animated lion appears on screen, prowling the offices of Stratton in a searching swagger—which is exactly what Belfort does throughout the movie. Money, drugs, pleasure; these are the stimulants that Belfort seeks in this colourful orgy of a film. Drugs of all kind fill the screen from start to finish: grainy lines of cocaine, habitual pills, and of course Quaaludes, the party drug of choice for the crazed suit-and-tie lechery that follows Belfort in his 25-hour days. Scorsese depicts the blurred minds of
the characters perfectly through the antics on screen—office sex parties and drugged helicopter landings are but a few examples of this “Walled world.” Yet the best example of The Wolf of Wall Street’s temperament is Belfort himself. Scorsese has the millionaire walking on a razor-thin edge throughout the movie, with soulgrabbing speeches layered with bouts of manic emotion. DiCaprio—spectacular as Belfort—is the face of the film, lending his signature voice to the character’s effortless salesman abilities. We are not the only audience DiCaprio speaks to; throughout the movie, he wrenches, twists, and caresses the hearts of the Stratton employees in easy manipulation, raking in cash for Belfort and capturing our admiration in one smooth swoop. Jonah Hill stars alongside DiCaprio as Donnie
Azoff, Belfort’s unstable right-hand man. DiCaprio and Hill have an instant chemistry on screen—the two are genuinely funny, adding an extra dimension to the busy scenes. But beyond the flair of naked prostitutes, fantasy parties, and overpowering drug use, The Wolf of Wall Street falls flat. Even the humour fails to mask the empty message the movie attempts to send. Scorsese and DiCaprio spend so much time having fun on screen that any deeper implications to Belfort’s actions fail to hold any weight. The three-hour film is one hour too long, and is short another key character to balance the script. As it stands, the movie is a DiCaprio monologue, which loses the power of its potential attraction to viewer fatigue. The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the real-life Belfort’s memoir
by the same name. Belfort spent 22 months in jail, and is now a successful motivational speaker. While it is clear that the film tries to portray his insular financial world as ridiculous and absurd, the lack of a strong denouement only serves to highlight Belfort’s successes and his enjoyable run at the top of the monetary food chain. Ultimately, The Wolf of Wall Street is a confetti of drugs, prostitutes, and cash that fails to leave any meaningful lasting effect. DiCaprio and Hill are spectacular, but in the end, they are merely the sweet-talking salesmen guiding you through your Quaalude-cocaine-trip. When you emerge from the haze, you are left with nothing but the memory of DiCaprio’s silky voice and a hot blur of confetti.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 |
arts & entertainment
Unearthing the hidden gems in today’s music Compiled by Chloé Baruffa Indisposed (feat. Cyph4) Artist: Deluxe Album: The Deluxe Family Show Released: Sept. 20, 2013
Rosanne Cash The River and the Thread
With a rich catalogue of intricately-written songs and a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album in their back pocket, this Alternative Rock band from San Diego has delivered yet another brilliantly uplifting album. Right from the get-go, the thundering beat of the opening track, “Love Alone is Worth the Fight,” draws you immediately into the airy, stadium-sized songs that this album has in store for the listener. However, it’s not all thumping beats; “Slipping Away” provides a slower, yet bubbly experience in which frontman Jon Foreman’s raw vocals demonstrate the lost and ‘lonely’ lyrics of the song. “Saltwater Heart” is somewhat reminiscent of The 1975’s work, with a definitive beat backing the driving 1980s synthesized sound behind multi-layered vocals. “All Or Nothing At All” is an exciting, headbobbing track with synthesizers and guitars a-plenty, that, with the help of striking echoing vocals, is a testament to the band’s Christian roots; they want to live as either righteous beings, or not at all. It’s a simple yet gripping song that provokes existentialist thoughts on life itself. This theme recurs throughout the album, with the opening track initially asking the question, “Is it fear that you’re afraid of?” Switchfoot then guides the listener on an 11-song journey through existence, love, and the importance of “being” as something we use to shape ourselves. It is “through the open door that we find what we’re made of.” The band drops the overwhelming question on the listener: “What are you waiting for?” They then invite you to figure it out through self-realization and experiences. This album is an experience in itself, one that invites you to let the band tell you, “Life is short / We don’t’ care so let it out.” Fading West is a fantastic, exhilarating, and extremely well-made piece of work. You should do just what they say: listen to it, invest in it, and take from it all, or nothing at all—it’s your choice.
Last Monday The Pixies released their new album, EP-2, apparently as a second park to their album of September 2013, titled EP-1. This new release seems to complete a transition from the band’s old alternative rock style to true blue hard rock—their new sound is now well-developed, with many moods across four daring tracks. The band has musically grown a lot since their formation in Boston, 1986, and their irresistible energy carries them through yet another magnificent and unique album. Instruments you will hear in this album include vibrant, gritty electric guitar (heavy on the feedback); onpoint, fast-paced percussion; and glittering electric sounds. In EP-2, the band takes full advantage of their talented vocalist, Black Francis, to experiment with some scream-o elements in the first track. While the style of this album may be different for the Pixies, they once again summon their uninhibited energy, for which their tried and true fans love them. The trajectory of the album is strong right from the first track, “Blue Eyed Hexe,” which is clean with a pure hard rock sound. On the second track, the band retains the same vibrant energy, with more of a contemplative and curious tone that the Pixies often achieve through thoughtful lyrics and the distortion of sounds. On the third track, their passion reaches a plateau, curling and bouncing around a beautiful, unrequited love song called “Greens and Blues.” The album ends with a song called “Snakes” that is more reminiscent of their older music. In short, this album is quite different from anything else the Pixies have written, but faithful fans and new recruits will love the old-time Pixie energy.
On Rosanne Cash’s latest album The River and the Thread—her first new record in eight years—the veteran country music singer-songwriter proudly displays her virtuosic talents as a vocalist, lyricist, and a tasteful composer with an acute sense of how to use musical devices to keep her tunes interesting. The themes of travel, love, and family dominate on The River and the Thread. Though none of these subjects are particularly foreign or original in the country music genre, the ways in which Cash addresses them allow her to stand out. On “World of Strange Design,” she convincingly embodies the voice of a xenophobic patriot in a way that makes him seem sympathetic without endorsing his statements. Cash earnestly writes from the perspective of a soldier leaving his lover behind in “When The Master Calls The Role.” When the soldier says, “I will never travel back to her / But not for lack of trying,” Cash’s words genuinely convey his sorrow and passion. Cash’s vocal chops help to bring out the pathos evident in her language. Her husky contralto gives her lyrics a tough, world-weary feeling that allows her characters’ emotions to register prominently. When writing from her own perspective, as in “Etta’s Tune,” her voice carries a certain warmth that emphasizes the authentic nature of the feelings she expresses. Cash also makes smart musical decisions that reveal her ability to maximize her songs. The jarring chord at the end of the chorus of “Modern Blue” interrupts the tune’s seemingly straightforward blues-rock feel to provide it with a new depth. Contributing guitarist Derek Truck’s (The Allman Brothers Band) fiery slide solo on “World of Strange Design” helps to further express the passions hinted at in her words. Renowned sitarist John Leventhal’s licks on “Money Road” show the possibilities of that instrument to present blues language without feeling ostentatious. The River and the Thread reaffirms Rosanne Cash’s status as a master of country music, and wonderfully documents her many talents.
Switchfoot Fading West
Columbia Records Bruce Springsteen has spent his career using extraordinary elements to spice up the seemingly mundane. Be it through the illumination of small-town New Jersey life through deceptively sparse poetry, or the energizing of simplistic song structures with larger-thanlife guitar riffs, Springsteen has often found a way to milk material to its maximum potential. On his latest release, High Hopes, he tries applying the same treatment to a group of unreleased songs with the aid of longtime Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and some considerably ornate-sounding instrumentation—but the seasoned formula falls well short of yielding its past fruition. One particularly egregious example is the new recording of “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” on which he combines the aesthetics of his stripped-down original with those of the manic Rage Against the Machine cover. Though the symbolism of Morello and Springsteen recording the song together lends the track a nicely sentimental touch, it’s too musically incongruous to retain the power of either version. Morello’s flashy guitar playing stands out uncomfortably against Springsteen’s typically raspy vocals, and the guitar solo ending the track verges on self-parody. There’s quite a bit of material on here that stayed previously unreleased for good reason. The repetition throughout album closer “Dream Baby Dream” feels tedious almost immediately. The extraneous Shakespeare references on “Frankie Fell in Love” suggest a nervous high schooler struggling to use his book smarts to impress at a party. Though High Hopes has moments that work, such as when Springsteen sings accompanied only by the percussion and Morello’s heavily processed chords, they are too few and far between to make the album an enjoyable listen. Springsteen will need to try harder if he has ‘high hopes’ for recording relevant music again. — Max Bledstein
The Pixies EP-2
Bruce Springsteen High Hopes
— Jack Neal
— Zoe Hoskin
| Curiosity delivers.
— Max Bledstein
Deluxe takes you on a wild journey through genres and styles held together by the boundlessly energetic singer Liliboy and her mustachioed musicians. As it brings together electro, hip-hop, jazz, and swing, the French band’s new album is powerful and strikingly rich. On “Indisposed,” a mostly English track, Deluxe shows the ability to retain its artistic trademark while always introducing new melodies, such as the song’s soothing classical guitar riff. Smooth and slightly somber, “Indisposed” makes it worthwhile to check out this group, which is still relatively unknown in North America. Can’t Wait Artist: Laura Cantrell Album: No Way There from Here Released: Jan. 28, 2014 Listening to “Can’t Wait” while walking back home after a long day of studying feels like drinking warm sips of comfortin-a-can. In this new track, Laura Cantrell diverges from the nostalgic folk tone that has characterized her previous albums. She comes back with a warm romance song that combines a catchy rhythm with simple yet profound lyrics. Youts in War Artist: Brain Damage/Vibronics feat. M. Parvez Album: Empire Soldier Released: Oct. 10, 2013 Using reggae and dub to denounce historical denial: this is the task the French reggae bands Brain Damage and Vibronics have undertaken in Empire Soldier, dealing with African and Carribbean involvement in the First World War. The depth of such a political statement is particularly striking. Yet, while the density of the message saturates most of the songs of the album, “Youts in War” stands out for its ability to combine strong lyrics with an engaging melody. Spinning Signs Artist: Painted Palms Album: Forever Released: Jan. 14, 2014 Imagine a summer breeze enveloping the streets of Montreal as the bright new release of Painted Palms punctuates your day. In this second album, the two cousins from San Francisco display a clever ability to combine the heritage of classic pop with more modern electronic patterns. While some criticize Painted Palm’s unavoidable inspiration from the Beach Boys, it seems that the band rather re-actualises it. In playful fashion, they mix echoed voices, groovy tunes, and light electro for a track that has a good chance of sticking in your head all day.
Ice Hockey— McGill 2, Queen’s 1
Redmen send Queen’s packing at Carnival game McGill wins 25th in a row against Gaels in front of raucous home crowd Elie Waitzer Staff Writer One-thousand-four-hundrendand-twenty-seven screaming fans exploded when Mathieu Pompei of Laval, QC, scored the game-winning goal for the no. 5 ranked McGill Redmen against the visiting Queen’s Gaels in the annual Management Carnival game. Pompei’s goal made it 2-1 just 27 seconds after Queen’s broke through on a rare 3-on-1 breakaway to knot the game at one apiece. With back-to-back wins against Queen’s, McGill grabbed the top spot in the OUA Eastern Conference, pulling away from the reeling Gaels. From the onset, the Redmen kept up a relentless attack on the opposing zone, setting and resetting its offence inside Queens’ blueline. Feeding off of a fierce fore-check, the home squad struck early on a power play goal by defenceman Ryan McKiernan at 12:26 into the first frame. McKiernan leads the team with 25 points on the season, and is now tied for the CIS lead in goals among defencemen. “We kept the puck,” said Redmen Head Coach Kelly Nobes. “We
Sophomore winger David Rose dangles a befuddled Queen’s defenceman. (Alexandra Allaire / McGill Tribune) spent a lot of time in their zone and moved the puck around well.” The strategy proved simple yet devastating. Taking a page out of legendary Chinese general Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, the Redmen played their best defence through offence all night, never letting the Queen’s attack settle into a comfortable rhythm and out-
shooting their opponents 38-26. The early onslaught could have proved a knockout punch if not for the solid play of the Gaels’ goalie Kevin Bailie, who routinely kept his team in the game. “You can’t ignore [Bailie],” said Nobes. “He made some big stops for them and kept it close.”
The script was flipped in the second period, as the Redmen were hamstrung by penalty trouble early on. This time, it was rookie Redmen goalie Jacob Gervais-Chouinard’s time to shine as he stifled the barrage of shots with several spectacular pad saves. “They came out strong in the second period but our penalty kill was
better,” Nobes said. “Chouinard didn’t see as much rubber, obviously, but he played great.” By the time third period rolled around, the only people not standing at their seats were in line for beer, further adding to the uniqueness of the Carnival game. “The spirit was incredible, we’ve never seen it like that,” Nobes commented on the rambunctious fans in attendance. “A lot of people came out to support the guys, and [the team] definitely felt it.” As the final minute played out, the crowd erupted into a “Three cheers for McGill” chant as the Gaels pulled their goalie in an effort to take the man advantage. With seven games remaining in the regular season, the race for the OUA Eastern Conference pennant should go down to the wire. At the time of press, the top five teams are separated by a mere six points following McGill’s blowout 7-2 victory against RMC on Saturday. Next week, the Redmen travel to Ontario to play against Laurentian on Jan. 24 and Nippissing on Jan. 25 in their last road trip of the season.
Wyatt Fine-Gagné, Staff Writer
The McGill Martlets hockey team took down the Carleton Ravens 3-1 Saturday for their 38th consecutive regular-season win. The topranked squad never trailed during a game that saw them outshoot the Ravens 5220. Gabrielle Davidson, who leads CIS in goals, opened the scoring halfway through the second period, potting her sixteenth of the year on the power play. Katia Clement-
Heydra and Chelsey Saunders hosts Ottawa on Jan. 24 in the also scored for the Martlets. second half of this home and McGill’s goaltending was home. solid, as Tayler Hough and Brittany Smrke combined for 19 saves. The two split time, each playing about half of the game in a move that was planned beforehand. In the Martlets second game in the nation’s capital, Davidson tacked on four more goals to bring her season total to 20 against the Ottawa Gee-Gees in a 5-2 victory. McGill (13-0)
McGill’s swimmers headed to Laval for the fourth leg of the University Cup. The team finished third in the event behind Laval and the powerhouse Université de Montréal, who dominated the event. McGill’s only gold of the day came on the backs of the women’s 4x100m medley relay team of Taryne Landry, Valerie De Broux, Adriane Lui, and Katie Caldwell. The four combined for a time of 4:16.07 and edged out Montreal’s first team by 0.67 seconds. Landry and De Broux each also picked up a silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay. The Redmen were slightly less
successful, placing second in both the 4x100m medley relay and 4x100m freestyle. Freshman Rhys Johnson also managed a silver medal in the 200m backstroke, finishing with a time of 2:07.78. The team heads to Sherbrooke next for the RSEQ Championship, which starts on Feb. 7.
Track and Field McGill’s track and field athletes headed up to Quebec City for the annual Laval Rouge et Or invitational meet on Saturday. Sophomore jumper Caroline Tanguay continued garnering golds as she posted a height of 1.68m in the high jump. Tanguay also tallied a silver in the pole vault after clearing 3.40m. On the Redmen side, pole vaulter Maxime
Beaumont-Courteau and high jumper Hau Xu also from Jan. 24-25 in the Tomlinson Fieldhouse and will won golds. In addition, both 4x200m relay teams serve as an important test to see where the squads also medalled with the Redmen earning silver and the are at this point in the year. Martlets getting bronze. The squad returns home this week for the 19th annual McGill Team Challenge, which has been billed as the largest indoor track and field meet in Canada. The events will take place
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, January 21, 2014
CHEAP SEATS Taking the Lambeau Leap By Steven Lampert, Production Manager
I can’t exactly pinpoint the time I became a Green Bay Packers fan. I simply remember being fascinated by the notion that a small town in Wisconsin of only 102,000 people could support one of the original NFL franchises. That, or I subconsciously really enjoyed Brett Favre’s Wrangler jeans commercials. Whatever the reason, it had been a life-long dream of mine to visit the historic Lambeau Field to see a Packers game. So when I discovered that Green Bay was playing my uncle and cousin’s beloved Pittsburgh Steelers this season, I wasn’t passing up the opportunity. We were treated to an amazing view of Lambeau as we ex-
ited the highway to Lombardi Avenue. The stadium sits in the middle of the town surrounded primarily by residential housing. If it wasn’t already clear, Green Bay lives and breathes football. Heaven, for the rest of us. We grabbed lunch at a local “Packer bar” filled with fans and memorabilia celebrating the team’s storied past. Pride oozed from all around—numerous Ray Nitschke and Bart Starr jerseys were in view; plaques and photos from championship seasons covered the walls. After arriving at the stadium, we proceeded to our seats and watched the pre-game warmups. As snow began to fall, seas of green and yellow slowly inundated the stadium. A dangerous amount of cheese was also present—Cheeseheads, that is—the triangular foam cheese hat and
official symbol of Packer fans. Modeled after the Big House in Ann Arbor, Lambeau is constructed in a traditional style and its bowl shape traps the sounds of the stadium. I experienced the effect immediately as the Packers took the field to an echoed chorus of “Go Pack Go”. Lambeau is limited in its modern features as there are no upper or lower decks; instead, the stadium contains benches that spread from the first row to the top of the stadium. As a tour guide had told us the day before, each individual is entitled to 18 inches of bench space. Bundled up and looking like the Michelin Man, I found this restriction quite difficult to follow. Though the Packers entered the game with only slim playoff hopes, the atmosphere remained electric. Rookie running back
ADVENTURE SPORTS AT THE WINTER OLYMPICS
It was initially to be called “Quattro Racing,” in conjunction with the new Audi Quattro. Thankfully, Essick chose not to confuse us with Italian numbers and stuck to the more self-explanatory name “ski cross.”
There has been controversy over whether ski cross should be classified as an alpine or freestyle event. This is because most of the ski cross athletes are in fact alpine skiers as opposed to freestylers.
by Zikomo Smith, Contributor
There is a high propensity for danger in snowboard cross, as the athletes tend to collide with each other mid race. As a result, all the contestants wear fullface helmets, just like motorcyclists.
Unsurprisingly, the United States has dominated the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events with a total of 36 medals across the two disciplines. Notable athletes include Shaun White and Seth Wescott, who have won two gold medals each.
The snowboard half-pipe event requires 22-foot high walls off of which the contestants perform their various tricks. For the time being, 22 feet seems to be the highest the walls can be built—any larger would be too big for winter resorts to accommodate.
Slopestyle skiing and snowboarding are both new events to the Olympics that will be debuted in Sochi. They are notable for the use of twin-tip skis in case athletes land backwards. The course is generally filled with various types of jumps and obstacles such as rails.
Snowboard cross is the cousin of ski cross, with a snowboard swapped in for skis. Snowboard cross has been a staple of every X-Games since its inception in 1997, and debuted at the Turin Olympic Games in 2006.
Packers as the team made a push to cut Pittsburgh’s 10-point lead in the final quarter. Every Matt Flynn completion and Lacy run was met with that “Go Pack Go” echo. The comeback bid culminated in a last minute drive with the Packers needing a touchdown to tie. Green Bay marched down to the 10-yard line, leaving just a few seconds for a final play. As the crowd bustled with excitement and anxiety, I glanced around to take one final look at Lambeau, the sea of green and yellow, and the cheese. The game ended with an incompletion and Steelers win, but I didn’t care too much. I had made it to heaven.
you didn’t know about...
Ski cross was designed by a sports-marketer, Jim “Too Tall” Essick, in the late 1980s. He was inspired by NASCAR and decided that the four skiers would race simultaneously, all while having to execute jumps and negotiate gates along the way.
Eddie Lacy stole the show in the first half, tiptoeing his way on the snowy field through holes in the Steeler defence. Packer fans have adopted Lacy as a fan favourite, which is not surprising given Lambeau’s unique position as a true communal space. The Packers are the only publicly owned franchise in professional sports and have nearly 300,000 owners from all over the world. These are our players and Lambeau is our home. The strength of that bond was clear from the camaraderie of the crowd. The snow dragged on as the teams exited the locker rooms to start the second half. Pittsburgh came out hot, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gashed the Green Bay secondary for some big gains. The crowd rallied around the
Half-pipe skiing has also been added to the 2014 Olympic Games. It has already proved to be potentially fatal, as skier Sarah Burke died during a training accident in 2012. As a result, helmets are now mandatory, and there are airbags on the sides of the walls during practice runs in order to reduce the chance of injury.
Briton Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards competed in the 1988 Olympic games, where he placed dead last in all of the ski-jumping events. His performance forced the IOC to mandate that all Olympic hopefuls had to place in the top 30 per cent of participants in international competitions in order to qualify for the Olympics.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014. |
| Curiosity delivers.
This weekend’s AFC Championship game pitted the Denver Broncos against the New England Patriots. The two squads are led by NFL icons Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, respectively. Although the Broncos defeated the Patriots and are headed to the Super Bowl, the question of who will leave a stronger legacy is still up for debate. This week, two contributors weigh in on the debate between the two future Hall-of-Famers.
Though it needs no reminder, the current season Peyton Manning is coming off of has been nothing short of astonishing considering his advanced age and his supposed fragility, having undergone four neck surgeries. The four-time (soon to be five-time) MVP anchored what was statistically the greatest offence in the history of the NFL. The Broncos recorded a whopping 606 points which topped the amount put up by the Tom Brady and Randy Moss-led New England Patriots (589) that went undefeated in 2007. On top of that, Manning surpassed Drew Brees’ mark for most passing yards in a single season (5,477), and Tom Brady’s mark for most touchdown passes thrown in a single season (55). Manning also became one of only six players to throw seven touchdown passes in a single football game. This season included, Manning now sits at 64,964 career passing yards and 491 career passing touchdowns. Presuming he sticks around the NFL for a few more seasons, it’s only a matter of time before he surpasses Brett Favre’s illustrious records. Favre took 302 career games just to achieve those records. Manning is on the verge of breaking them with only 240 career games under his belt. It’s worth noting that the greatest passer rating Tom Brady ever recorded was 117.2 in the aforementioned undefeated season with superstar receiver Randy Moss. Peyton Manning owns two of the five greatest passer ratings ever recorded in the NFL, one of which was higher than Brady’s best. Of course, we could talk about Man-
ning’s lack of Super Bowl wins and relatively mediocre post-season playoff record compared to that of Brady’s, but the reality is that football is a team sport, one in which the quarterback has to rely on his defence to come out on top and win the big one. Brady would probably be the first person to tell you that it takes help, and even a bit of luck to get the job done. Needless to say, he won three Super Bowls playing alongside elite defences and the golden foot of some guy by the name of Adam Vinatieri. Brady does have a significantly better head-to-head record, but that doesn’t change the fact that Manning has more fourth quarter comebacks, more game-winning drives, and has the more recent Super Bowl victory between the two. Brady is clutch, but he hasn’t quite delivered the goods when it’s mattered most, coming up short in five playoff games despite being favoured for the past 11 he’s played in. While neither quarterbacks have performed their best on the big stage these last few years, the clock is slowly running out on both of their careers. Without a doubt, Brady is spectacular in his own right, but with that being said, I’d be hard pressed to find a better all-around player under centre than Peyton Manning.
— Dan Giilbert
When it’s all said and done, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will likely go down as the two greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. The debate will never cease as to which of the two has the rightful claim to be deemed the greatest of all time; however, when it comes to a lasting legacy on the game of football, Brady’s is one that Manning will never be able to surpass. Resorting to a numbers debate in this matter would be futile, with both quarterbacks tallying up staggering career statistics. While Manning will undoubtedly finish with higher totals in most categories, passing yards and touchdowns don’t determine legacy. Records are made to be broken, and it is only a matter of time before another quarterback throws for more touchdowns, or more yards in a season. Peyton Manning is arguably the greatest regular season quarterback of all time; but unfortunately for Manning’s legacy, the regular season isn’t what matters. Ask any player, any coach, or any team owner, and they will tell you that their one and only goal is to win. As Herm Edwards once famously said, “You play to win the game!” Ultimately, the lasting legacy left by these two living legends will boil down to winning. With three Super Bowl victories and five AFC Championships, Tom Brady’s legacy will go down as one of the—if not the single—greatest of all time. After all, when
you are a die-hard fan of a team, you don’t remember the year when they went 13-3 in the regular season, but lost in the divisional round; you’ll remember the season when your team went to the biggest stage in sports and took home the Lombardi trophy. It’s that moment that lives on in your memory; it’s that moment that you’ll tell your kids about. Throughout his career, Brady has time and time again performed better than Manning when it has mattered the most. With a .720 winning percentage in the playoffs compared to Manning’s .426, as well as a .775 regular season winning percentage vs. Manning’s .696, Brady comes out on top. For 14 years in the league, Brady has consistently led his team to championship games and Super Bowl appearances. With that being said, if you had to choose one quarterback to build a team around, or one quarterback to be the face of your franchise and lead the team to the promised land, Brady is your man. As the 199th overall pick, Brady has defined his career as one of the most clutch performers in NFL history. While Brady’s numbers speak for themselves, his lasting legacy—the legacy that will overshadow that of Manning’s—is that of the greatest winner in all of football.
— Drew Allen
Editors’ pick: Manning Although Tom Brady has more Super Bowl titles under his belt, Peyton Manning’s continued dominance in the record books cannot be matched. The notion of Brady being unflappable when it matters most has waned. While both players will go down as two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, it is Manning who will likely leave the greater legacy.
THIRD MAN IN Mayaz Alam Sports Editor “Republicans buy shoes too.” Those words came from the mouth of one Michael Jeffrey Jordan, after he declined to endorse a black Democratic candidate for a North Carolina Senatorial election in 1990. More recently, Jordan’s onetime Chicago Bulls teammate Dennis Rodman made headlines following his third visit to North Korea to promote Basketball Diplomacy with Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Jordan refused to use his enormous cache as a popular athlete to take a political stance because he wanted to ensure greater sales of his sneakers. Rodman, who has unprecedented access
Standing up and speaking up
and influence over Kim, did not wish to bring up the starvation or labour camps that exist in the authoritarian regime, citing his friendship with the ruler. In both cases the athletes erred. Despite the fact that both Jordan and Rodman have and undoubtedly should have the right to stay above the political fray, athletes have a platform to affect change and should use that ability to influence society for the better. A common fear that arises with professional sports franchises is that athletes who choose to express their views will create distractions from the team and suffer a drop in performance by overtly speaking their mind. Chris Kluwe, a former NFL punter, alleged that he was released because of his
activism—not from an inability to do his job which his former team, the Minnesota Vikings allege. Kluwe was not infringing upon any of his teammates or playing poorly. Rather, he was simply using the platform he had to bring about positive social change. As the late Nelson Mandela once said, “sport has the power to change the world.” Then Springboks rugby captain François Pienaar showed the leadership to join with Mandela and unite a nation divided by a legacy of apartheid. Pienaar believed that athletes have a responsibility, and he utilized his influence without being a distraction. In some cases, words don’t have to be used. Following the 200m sprint final at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexi-
co City, John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their arms in unison as a form of protest during the civil rights movements. The backlash was fierce for both, who were booed while leaving the podium, yet the impact they had with that simple gesture was to bring awareness to a very important and contentious issue at the time. By virtue of their success and widespread coverage, athletes are given a gift. Simply put, when athletes talk, people listen. When they act, people watch and then follow. Yes, an athlete’s primary focus should be on honing their craft and attempting to achieve success on the field or on the court. But athletes are also role models to millions of children who grow up wishing to be just like their
favourite player. Heck, they are even role models to adults who would do anything for their team. If professional athletes are able to raise awareness on topics or exert influence to better society should they not do so, and in turn, encourage the rest of us to speak our mind and fight for what’s better? Dennis Rodman was entitled to his choice when he refused to bring up North Korea’s problems with its leader just as Carlos and Smith were entitled to theirs. Carlos and Smith had the courage to stand up and speak up, something that hopefully more athletes, given their gift, will do too.
VOLLEYBALL— McGill 0, MontrEal 3 (21-25, 26-28, 23-25)
Carabins overpower Martlets in three set sweep McGill still seeking two wins in final four games to make the playoffs Osama Haque Staff Writer The Martlets spent a tough weekend at Love Competition Hall, failing to climb past third place in the RSEQ rankings. The team started their weekend on Friday against the Montreal Carabins at home, losing in 3 hardfought sets (21-25, 26-28, 2325), and continued to stumble on Saturday against Laval in Quebec City, dragging the Rouge et Or to four sets (16-25,14-25,25-19,2426) before ultimately falling short. To explain the Martlets’ downfall against the Carabins, one could pinpoint their inconsistent effort on the offensive end. The offence came out strong every set, but faded midway through. Setter Yasmeen Dawoodjee and middle Marie Pier Durivage worked seamlessly together to keep McGill in the game, but the no. 3 ranked Carabins were just too much for them to handle. Marie Cristine Lapoint and Durivage both led the team on the scoresheet for McGill. Lapoint recorded nine kills and two assisted blocks for 10 points, and a game-high 19 digs. Durivage chipped in 10 points of her own, with six kills and four blocks. The three set sweep left McGill disarrayed after previously defeating Montreal in a three
Catherine Amyot winds up against the Carabins block. (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune) set sweep of its own earlier this year. The Martlets remain stuck in third in the RSEQ. Dawoodjee understands that the team must continue building on its performances if it wants to achieve its goals for the season. “Our game against Montreal was bittersweet,” said Dawoodjee. “We applied our game plan in terms of defence against such big hitters and serving to certain players to take them out of the game offensively. Team chem-
istry-wise on the court, we were working together to earn point by point. Nothing went wrong to end up with a loss but it was [a] tough loss because we knew looking back that everyone could’ve given that extra little push to collectively pull out a win against a team that we had previously beaten at their home in three sets.” On Saturday, McGill went up against the CIS no. 7 ranked Laval. Sophomore power hitter Ashley Norfleet continued
her excellent streak of play as she scored a game high of 18 points, with an outstanding 17 kills. Despite the individual brilliance from various members of the team, the Martlets have been unable to put the pieces together. After a disappointing weekend, the squad is being tested both mentally and physically, and must respond as a unit on the court throughout the entirety of the game, rather than isolated spurts of solid play.
NHL—The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames engaged in a line brawl for the ages when the two rivals faced off on Saturday night. Eight players involved were issued game misconducts, and the two sides amassed a whopping 142 penalty minutes. Unsurprisingly, both squads now rank within the top five in the league for penalty minutes. Afterwards, Canucks Head Coach John Tortorella told his Flames counterpart Bob Hartley, to meet him after school near the teatherball court to settle things once and for all.
Aaron Rose Staff Writer
In case you spent all of last week in a Carnival-induced fog, here’s what you missed in the world of sports…
NFL—Richard Sherman wants the world to know that he is the best corner in the game. I think. I’m not sure. Actually, I’m sure. After the All-pro cornerback tipped the game-clinching interception into a teammate’s hands, he proceeded to launch into an epic post-game rant to Fox’s sideline reporter Erin Andrews. The Seattle Seahawks find themselves in the Super Bowl after dispatching hated rivals—the San Francisco 49ers. It is uncertain whether the Commissioner of the No Fun League, Roger Badell will issue a fine to Sherman for “not being boring.” The Seahawks will battle the AFC champion Denver Broncos in the big game after Peyton Manning decided to be Peyton Manning. MLB—After a meeting with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford last week, New York Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez, commented on his use of performance
“It’s taken a lot of time and work to get to where we are mentally now,” said Dawoodjee. “The girls individually are much more solid at preparing themselves before the game and maintaining it through the game.” The Martlets still need two wins to make the post-season with four games remaining in the regular season. They travel to Outremont to compete against the Carabins once again on Jan. 24 before facing off against Laval at home on Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. in Love Competition Hall.
enhancing drugs saying, “Yes, I have used steroids. Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors.” With that, the league has decided to suspend A-Rod for the entire 2014 season, costing him his hefty $28 million paycheck. The notoriously thrifty Evil Empire rejoices at the thought of cutting salary and avoiding the luxury tax. NBA—Kevin Durant’s 54-point night was overshadowed last week by the man taken one pick ahead of him, Greg Oden. The former Portland Trail Blazer had six points and two rebounds in just eight minutes, bringing his total career games played to just over one season in five years. Portland finally has a team worth supporting after being bitten repeatedly by the injury bug. The league is collectively waiting for the next time that the franchise chooses an oft-injured 7-footer over a future Hall-of-Famer, because twice isn’t enough. Winter Olympics—Cool Runnings is back, mon! After a 12-year wait, the Jamaican bobsled team returns to the track for the 2014 Winter Olympics. While the program looks for funding to send it to Russia, the world waits, hoping to see the two-man team heat up the track as they look to take home Jamaica’s first Winter Olympics medal. A generation from now, the effects of this momentous occasion will be apparent as Jamaica will sweep bobsledding instead of Track and Field.