Tribune The McGill
Published by the Tribune Publication Society Volume No. 31 Issue No. 22
Board of Governors Editorial Mass Effect 3 Spring fashion Jiro Dreams of Sushi Martlet & Redmen Soccer
4 6 9 12 14 17
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
record store guide (pages 10-11)
SSMU Elections results (see p. 2)
Allison Cooper celebrates her election as VP Clubs and Services 2012-2013. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune)
Exceptional referendum to decide QPIRG’s existence Majority “yes” vote would enable QPIRG to renegotiate Memorandum of Agreement with administration Erica Friesen News Editor
The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) will host an exceptional referendum period from April 10 to April 16, featuring a question regarding QPIRG’s existence and a question that would require motions passed at General Assemblies (GAs) to be ratified online via referendum. QPIRG’s Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), a document that determines the relationship between QPIRG and the administration, will
expire May 31, 2012. For QPIRG to be able to renew it, students must vote in favour of QPIRG’s existence in a referendum. Earlier this semester, the administration invalidated a referendum question posed by QPIRG in the fall, noting that the question did not follow the SSMU constitution because it asked students to support two separate issues in a single question —the existence of the organization and their student fees becoming non-optoutable online. Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson wrote in an email to the Tribune
that QPIRG developed their special referendum question in accordance with the suggestions of the administration. Rather than dealing with two issues, the new question will only ask students to support the existence of the organization. QPIRG’s student fee will remain opt-outable online. “The question being asked [by QPIRG] is based on a suggestion by the administration for a clear question on continuance, but there was some back-and-forth between the administration and QPIRG regarding the preamble,” he wrote. Although the winter referen-
dum period ended last week, the SSMU Constitution provides the provision for an exceptional referendum period when a motion for such a period is passed by a 2/3 majority in Council. Like regular referenda, quorum for this exceptional referenda will be 15 per cent of the student body. Following the invalidation of the fall referendum, QPIRG was in negotiations with the McGill administration throughout the beginning of the winter semester. The motion for a special referendum period was moved by four SSMU councilors, citing QPIRG’s situation as the main
reason for this exceptional period. “McGill notified QPIRG on the 8th of March, 2012, that they would not extend the current [MoA] until the Fall 2012 semester in order for QPIRG to reasonably obtain another referendum vote,” the motion reads. “This notification came after the Winter 2012 referendum period had already closed.” According to the motion, the administration suggested that an exceptional referendum period would be QPIRG’s “only option.” Mendelson wrote that it is necessary for QPIRG to go to refSee “EXCEPTIONAL” on page 2
SSMU Council discusses AUS GA AUS president Jade Calver apologizes to SSMU and TVM Christy Frost Contributor Last Thursday’s Students’ Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) legislative council opened with a discussion of the SSMU executives’ open letter to the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS), which addressed the poor organization and communication before and during the AUS General Assembly (GA) last Tuesday. The letter, published online in the McGill Daily and the Tribune, expressed the executive’s frustration with the AUS’ “poor planning” and their disrespect towards such groups as Student Television at McGill (TVM), who were asked last minute to provide technical support, and the Muslim Students’ Association, who were asked to leave their club space in an attempt to accommodate more students in the building. The letter was signed by VP Internal Todd Plummer and VP Clubs & Services Carol Fraser. “We don’t want this to become a press war in any way,” Fraser said. “This letter was not meant to be a personal attack against any members of the AUS exec.” Not all members of council agreed with the language used in the letter. Arts representative Isabelle Bi said some of the letter was derogatory, including the statement that council was “disgusted by [the AUS’] sense of entitlement.” Fraser responded by explaining that kicking a student club out of their space had “crossed a line.” TVM president
Ellie Marshal was present during the discussion and expressed her disappointment in the way the AUS handled the situation on Tuesday. “We had to provide use of our personal equipment without notice,” Marshal said. “We were subject to verbal reprimand of our service and in [Leacock] 132 at one point I was pushed. Our student services were mistreated for the AUS’ benefit.” Moreover, because the seven members of TVM were running tech support, they were unable to exercise their voting rights as members of AUS. AUS president Jade Calver was also present in the gallery and formally apologized to SSMU and TVM on the behalf of the AUS. Council passed a motion to commit the discussion of the letter to the executive committee, with the goal of drafting a response by Sunday. In response to the challenges faced by the AUS GA, Council also discussed possible alternate venues for the upcoming Special General Assembly of SSMU on March 28, in case more students attend than anticipated. In other business, during question period at the beginning of the meeting, Daniel Wolfe, U3 political science and Middle East studies, brought forward a petition signed by approximately 1,000 students to renew Chinese restaurant TikiMing’s lease in the SSMU building. SSMU President Maggie Knight said that SSMU Council had decided not to renew the contract but was not at liberty to discuss it openly.
“There was a substantial lawsuit against SSMU in the past regarding tenant negotiations … it’s not a light issue in terms of being able to talk about it … I can’t really say anything else other than that there is no intention to reconsider the decision at this point,” Knight said. Council also passed a motion to hold an exceptional referendum period this semester to facilitate a referendum for QPIRG to renew their Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), an agreement that deals with the organization’s fee collection and lease. QPIRG ran a referendum that addressed this issue in the fall, but the administration invalidated the results earlier this semester for addressing two issues in one question. QPIRG was in negotiations with the administration over the decision, but were notified that McGill would not extend the MoA until September in order to allow the group to run a fall referendum. Because this notification occurred only after the Winter Referendum had closed, QPIRG’s only option to renew the MoA was to request an exceptional referendum period. A motion to ask a referendum question that would make resolutions passed at the SSMU GA subject to a mandatory online ratification process, as well as increasing quorum to 15 per cent of the society’s membership, was also passed by Council. Campaigning for this referendum period will start April 3, and polling will run April 10–16.
Exceptional ref. continued from COVER erendum “to confirm McGill students’ support for the continuance of QPIRG.” Kira Page, member of QPIRG’s Board of Directors, said the decision to request a special referendum period was difficult for members of the organization to make. “We were weighing the options of continuing to push the administration [in negotiations], with the potential of losing our funding at the end of May,” Page said. “[But] we decided that it was really important to us to continue to support the projects that we had going right now and all the student activities that QPIRG funds. If we went for the special referendum period we’d be able to continue that for at least a few more years.” CKUT ran a question in the winter referendum to become nonoptoutable, but it did not pass. CKUT will not be running a referendum question during the exceptional period, according to Myriam Zaidi, undergraduate representative to the CKUT board. She noted that the board of CKUT has not met since the end of the winter referendum period. After running a question similar to QPIRG’s in the fall referendum period and similarly having their results invalidated by the administration, CKUT successfully negotiated for the administration to recognize their existence. “We’re negotiating our MoA right now and that’s going well, so we didn’t think of running another question during the special referendum period,” Zaidi said. “If we run
another question, it will be during the regular referendum period.” In addition to QPIRG’s referendum question, the exceptional period will also include a question that would require resolutions passed at SSMU GAs to be ratified online. The referendum question would set quorum for GA ratifications to 15 per cent of the student body. “[Currently] as little as 100 students can vote on a resolution that would affect more than 25,000 students,” the text of the motion reads. “an online voting system would allow students to participate in the democratic process, which would produce a decision more representative of the Society.” SSMU President Maggie Knight said that she is not aware of SSMU having held an exceptional referendum period in previous years. “It may be a tough time of year to ensure a good turnout, but with two important questions on the ballot we’ll do our best,” she said. “Additionally, both questions have the potential to be controversial, so I hope everyone will conduct themselves with integrity during the campaign period.” Page is unsure of QPIRG’s plan of action should students not support QPIRG’s existence in the special referendum. “I’m not really sure [what we’d do],” she said. “There are a bunch of different options and I guess we’ll get there when we get there.” —Additional reporting by Carolina Millán Ronchetti
Josh Redel wins SSMU presidency by 23 votes Question to make CKUT Radio fee non-optoutable fails as 49.2 per cent vote “no” Kyla Mandel Managing Editor The position of President of the Student Society of McGill University (SSMU) was decided by just 23 votes in the winter referendum, announced on March 14 in Gerts. With 40.9 per cent of the vote, Engineering Undergraduate Society President Josh Redel defeated Shyam Patel, current SSMU VP Finance and Operations, who received 40.5 per cent of the vote. “I feel very happy. It was an extremely close race and I think that speaks [volumes],” Redel said. “I have a lot of work to do but I’m
really excited that I had a big support group out and a really awesome campaign team, and obviously it made the difference.” Voter turnout was 29.1 per cent, eight per cent higher than last year. “I’m glad we had a good turnout, it’s better than last year ... and better than even two years ago which was the last time it was more contentious,” current SSMU President Maggie Knight said. “It’s good that we had so many candidates [and] no uncontested positions.” “I thought it would be close, I didn’t think it would be that close,” she commented on the race between Redel and Patel.
The position of VP Internal had the most candidates, with seven in the competition. Michael Spzejda won the position with 18 per cent of the vote. Christina Sfeir came in a close second, with 15 per cent of the vote. Robin Reid-Fraser was elected VP External with 37.8 per cent of the vote and Haley Dinel won the position of VP University Affairs with 33.8 per cent of the vote. JP Briggs won VP Finance and Operations with 37 per cent of the vote, and with 46.5 per cent of the vote, VP Clubs and Services went to Allison Cooper. Winning candidates seemed overjoyed and the crowd cheered
with each winner. Cooper appeared overwhelmed by the results. When asked how she felt, she only said, “That’s a good question.” In addition to the SSMU executive elections, the results of the seven referenda questions were announced. All of the referenda questions passed with ‘Yes’ votes except for CKUT’s question, which asked whether its student fee should become non-optoutable. The question failed, with 49.2 per cent of voters answering ‘No.’ “I’m feeling pretty rotten about it because throughout this campaign—[to] which we gave everything—there was not a single articulated voice of opposition,” Niko
Block, chair of the ‘Yes’ committee and undergraduate representative to the Board of Directors of CKUT, said of the result. “It means that we’re going to have to continue struggling with deficits, we’re going to have to struggle continuing to pay our employees a fair living wage at CKUT, [and] we’re going to struggle to meet our basic expenses for the next little while,” he said. The option to run a referendum question in the next fall semester is a possibility, however CKUT has yet to discuss what its next step will be. —Additional reporting by Carolina Millán Ronchetti
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Motion to strike defeated at AUS General Assembly Unexpected attendance of over 1,100 students causes overflow of SSMU cafeteria and a three hour delay Erica Friesen and Carolina Millán Ronchetti News Editors Arts undergraduates voted against entering an unlimited student strike at a special General Assembly (GA) held on Tuesday, March 13. The motion, which was defeated by a vote of 609 to 495 and included 16 abstentions, would have allowed the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) to join the Quebec-wide student strike against tuition fee increases. The GA was scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. but was delayed for three hours because the booked room, the SSMU cafeteria, did not have the capacity for all students who wished to attend. By 6:30 p.m., the lineup, consisting of well over 1,000 students, extended from the Shatner University Centre to the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering. In the ensuing hours, the AUS opened the SSMU Ballroom, EUS Common Room, and Thomson House to accommodate the students. Many students waited a few hours in the cold before they were relocated. “I think it was a bit disappointing because [people] keep saying that they want more students to participate democratically, but then
we realize that they don’t have the means in place,” U1 student Colleen Alkalay-Houlihan said. AlkalayHoulihan arrived early at 5:45 p.m. and waited for three hours. At about 8:30 p.m., students in line, as well as those accommodated in the EUS Common Room and Thomson House, were moved to Leacock 132. AUS president Jade Calver said that the AUS had not expected the huge turnout. “We had considered [the possibility of needing more rooms], but we honestly were not expecting this much of an overflow,” Calver said. The AUS GA officially began at 9:00 p.m. and was livestreamed to the SSMU Ballroom and Leacock 132 through TVM. After the agenda was approved, the movers of the motion to strike presented their motion and addressed its implications for the McGill community. “We’re not fighting with the McGill administration over this one, we’re fighting along with every other Quebec student against the tuition hikes, and we’re fighting against the government,” Amber Gross, co-mover of the motion, said. Afterwards, the assembly heard three students in favour of the mo-
tion and three students against. Student Brendan Edge said that the students who attended the GA were not an adequate representation of the AUS, and that voting in favour of a strike would misrepresent the students’ will. “I am not going to put my education on the line,” Edge said. “I am not going to put my summer job on the line for this.” Those in favour of the strike, however, pointed out that an unlimited student strike in Quebec has never caused the cancellation of a semester. Although speaker Ben Lerer received five amendments to the motion, students voted in favour of voting on the motion to strike without further debate. “I thought a large part [of why] they voted to cut debate was because everyone who was at the GA had already made a decision,” AlkalayHoulihan said. Students then voted on the motion to strike. The results from all three rooms were pooled. Shortly before 11 p.m., Lerer announced that the motion had been defeated with 495 students for the strike, 609 against, and 16 abstentions. After the motion was defeated, all three
Students vote to approve the agenda. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune) rooms holding the GA quickly emptied. Although there was a motion to remove speaker Lerer, the motion failed because Lerer had not violated the voting procedure. Students then voted against adjourning the GA, and the remaining students relocated to the SSMU cafeteria. However, the GA’s attendance dropped to 119 members, less than the quorum of 150 people, which meant that further motions could only be passed by the assembly as a consultative body. The assembly finally moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:30 p.m. Gross said she was frustrated
by the lack of co-ordination between the different rooms and the AUS’ unpreparedness for the large number of students who attended. “Obviously it was disappointing ... that the vote was so close and it ultimately failed, but 44 per cent of arts students voted in favour of striking,” she said. “I was really excited to see how many people came out. The fact that we had a line stretching all the way across campus was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen on McGill campus.” —For full story, visit www.mcgilltribune.com
Social Work Student Association begins unlimited strike McGill’s 242-person faculty becomes the first to join the Quebec-wide unlimited student strike Kyle Ng Contributor Yesterday, members of the Social Work Student Association (SWSA) picketed outside of Wilson Hall, the building that houses the School of Social Work. Members of the SWSA voted in favour of an unlimited general strike at a General Assembly (GA) held on March 14. With 47 in favour, 29 against, and one abstention, the final vote represented a 61 per cent majority, and made the SWSA the first McGill faculty association to join the Quebec-wide unlimited student strike. About a dozen social work students and other students in solidarity set up the picket lines at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning and remained there until 2:30 p.m., holding signs and encouraging students not to go to class. “We chose a soft picket line in the GA because we’re not too comfortable with confrontation and we didn’t want to create conflict,” Ari-
ane Duplessis, executive co-ordinator of SWSA, said. Most professors held class despite the lowered attendance, added Jade Mathieu, SWSA internal coordinator. During the day, some students crossed the picket lines. “We’ve been encouraging them not to, and we’ve been explaining why they shouldn’t,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s really too bad that they’re not respecting the deciision made by the student body in a GA that they were invited to.” A smaller number of students are expected to picket today, as many social work students have fieldwork on Tuesdays. However, Duplessis expects pickets to be active after Wednesday. On Monday, March 26, the GA will reconvene to vote on whether to renew the unlimited strike. “The strike motion [passed on March 14] included a provision to have future revisions pass by a simple majority vote of 50 per cent plus 1,” Radney Jean-Claude and Echo Parent-Racine, VP externals
for SWSA, wrote in a press release. Both VP externals cited a commitment to social equity, justice, and advocacy as factors that compelled their faculty to join the unlimited strike, although they recognized that there are certain risks in pursuing an unlimited strike, as enumerated in recent emails sent by the administration. “I am in opposition of the tuition hikes and I fully support an unlimited strike,” first year social work student Leah Freeman said. “As future social workers, we try to abide by the Code of Ethics stipulated by the Canadian Association of Social Workers.” “From this perspective, as social workers we feel that tuition hikes are in opposition to social justice as they will create barriers for individuals and reduce choice especially to those who are already marginalized, disadvantaged, and vulnerable,” she added. This sentiment was echoed by the VP externals, who, as spokespersons for the council as a whole,
suggested that the values embodied by the social work profession compelled them to pursue an unlimited strike for the purposes of attaining greater social justice and accessibility to education. “It is appropriate that the undergraduate social work students voted in favour for an unlimited strike, in order to promote the belief that education is a right and not a privilege, while taking a firm stand against the upcoming tuition increase initiated by the Quebec government,” JeanClaude and Parent-Racine wrote in their press release. According to the press release, other motions and amendments of note included “exempt[ing] the strike from affecting the fieldwork placement.” Motions to have a mobilization committee and a voluntary demonstration were also passed. At the time of publication, the faculty of social work was unavailable for comment. However, McGill stated in an email to students that it does not recognize these motions as strikes but as boycotts, and classes
will continue as usual. “I hope that we have the resolve to continue for as long as the Liberal Government seeks to increase barriers to education and so long as the McGill administration continues to lobby against the interest of the students,” Freeman said regarding the duration of the strike. “We have strength in numbers. If students do not show up to class, what can teachers really do?” she added. In addition, about 25 students from the Association des étudiant(es) en langue et literature françaises inscrit(es) aux études superieures (ADELFIES) gathered in front of the Arts Building yesterday following a March 16 vote to go on strike for five days. On March 23, ADELFIES will vote on whether to renew the strike. —Additional reporting by Carolina Millán Ronchetti
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 |
| Curiosity delivers.
Board of Governors discusses McGillLeaks, asbestos Principal Heather Munroe-Blum addresses the possibility of a student strike at McGill Carolina Millán Ronchetti News Editor On March 13, the McGill Board of Governors (BoG) convened for its fifth meeting of the academic year to discuss topics of interest to the community, including McGillLeaks, the possibility of a student strike, and the internal investigation launched on asbestos research. Chair of the Board Stuart Cobbett began the open session of the meeting by congratulating the senior administration on “an exceptional job dealing with a number of different situations” this past year. In her address to the board, Principal Heather Munroe-Blum described McGillLeaks as “a very serious breach of confidentiality.” Several weeks ago, a group called McGillLeaks published confidential documents from the Office of
Development and Alumni Relations to the web. The university has organized a police investigation on the matter, and the website has since been taken down. “We have taken immediate and aggressive measures to get to the bottom of [the issue],” MunroeBlum said. “We have received many supportive calls from alumni friends and donors, expressing appreciation for [being informed of the situation] and reaffirming their confidence in the university.” Dean of Medicine David Eidelman reported on the status of an internal investigation looking into the effects of the Quebec asbestos industry on McGill research into the health effects of asbestos. The investigation was launched on Feb. 9 following a controversy that included a CBC documentary suggesting that the asbestos industry affected research conducted by Professor J.
Corbett McDonald, and a concerned letter to sent to McGill University by anti-asbestos activists and doctors asking for an independent investigation. Eidelman noted that the internal investigation was organized within 12 hours of the CBC documentary’s release. He added that Professor Rebecca Fuhrer, who is conducting the investigation, was expected to finish the inquiry by the end of last week. “Once we have [her results], we will make a decision on [whether to call the] Research Integrity Officer,” Eidelman added. The Research Integrity Officer would then conduct further investigations on the matter. Eidelman further noted that at the time that McDonald’s research started, the Canadian government was not funding asbestos research and investigations could only be funded through the industry. Deputy Provost (Student Life
and Learning) Morton Mendelson then gave his annual report on student life and learning. Mendelson’s term will end in 2013, and according to Provost Anthony Masi, the university is in the process of reviewing and redefining the portfolio. The process has included meetings with every organization that reports to the Deputy Provost and with individual student association executives. “We’re reviewing the position [to] help in the search for the next Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning),” Masi said. “We broke new ground at McGill by creating this portfolio,” Masi added. The Quebec student movement was also addressed during the meeting. Munroe-Blum noted that the majority of McGill students had not yet voted on whether to stop attending classes as a form of protest to the province’s expected tuition fee in-
creases. The BoG meeting occurred at the same time that the General Assembly held by the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) discussed whether or not to strike. “The expectation is people will fulfill their responsibilities and obligations,” Munroe-Blum said. “With respect to preparedness to these demonstrations … we count on everybody to engage in peaceful and safe activities.” “Our provisional protocol will be in place and remain in place during this period,” she added. At the end of the meeting, Cobbett told the Tribune that the university is concerned with the actions taken by the Quebec student movement in the past few weeks. “Any time there’s a disruption at the student level, it’s cause for concern,” Cobbett said.
Invisible Children reps address Kony controversies McGill chapter of Amnesty International hosts screening and discussion of Kony 2012 video Natasha Fenn Contributor Kony 2012, a video produced by the charity Invisible Children, went viral about two weeks ago, trending on twitter and Facebook, and hitting 80 million views on YouTube. On March 13, McGill’s Amnesty International chapter hosted a viewing of the video to provide students with a venue for discussion with Invisible Children representatives. According to Invisible Children’s website, the 30-minute exposé aims “to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war” and restore communities affected by Kony’s army to “peace and prosperity.” However, the video has generated controversy over Invisible Children’s legitimacy as an organization, including their use of donations and their involvement with the Ugandan army. According to Invisible Children employees present at the event, the Kony 2012 movement has brought international awareness to real problems that surround Kony, including the use of child soldiers, abduction, rape, and sexual slavery, and that this video could be the organization’s best chance to arrest Kony. “There are people right now paying attention across the world,” Andrea Ramsay, an Invisible Chil-
dren employee, said. “This morning there was a resolution put into [American] Congress to increase assistance to the regional forces … They specifically cited the international response to Kony 2012 for putting the resolution through.” Representatives also addressed recently voiced concerns over Invisible Children’s relationship with the Ugandan military, which has been known to commit similar crimes against its own people, including rapes and abuse. “Invisible Children does not fund the Ugandan army,” Alupo Connie, who grew up under Kony’s regime and was put through university by Invisible Children, said. “It tries to put programs on [the] ground that will help empower the people who have been affected.” Ramsay added that the international awareness raised by the video will help the situation. “Now that there are so many eyes on this conflict, [the] likeliness of continued human rights abuses by the Ugandan government has plummeted,” Ramsay said. “Like any other military in the entire world, there are going to be injustices on the individual level [but] we are advocating for a larger conflict.” Another criticism of the Kony movement concerns a photo of the three Invisible Children founders posing with the Ugandan army
while holding guns, which Ramsay called “a dumb photo by kids who were 25.” Connie also explained the organization’s redevelopment programs, which include the LRA crisis tracker (a radio network on the frontline of the war), the Legacy Scholarship Program, and building new schools and jobs for communities affected by the conflict. The Kony movement has also been criticized because the events described in the video happened six years ago. Many Ugandans have spoken out, saying that the video doesn’t reflect the huge progress Uganda has made since those years. U3 political science student Hugo Martorell, who has followed African politics for the last decade, agreed that Kony isn’t the real problem anymore. “Kony is the tip of the iceberg … the big picture is regional dynamics that have made the population suffer,” he said. “I understand that you’re trying to empower a depoliticized youth by making [the issue] accessible, but people have to understand that it’s so much more complicated than just putting Kony at the top.“ Although those who oppose the Kony 2012 movement have been criticized for not coming up with plausible solutions to the problems they identify, Martorell suggested
Kony 2012 has created controversy. (tbo.com) his ideal plan of action. “You need at least ... African Union and UN backing for any kind of reparation,” he said. “Then you have to target the causes behind [the] mushrooming militia in the region … lack of transparency with natural resources and the arms trade.” McGill community member William Manzi argued that the video is strategically timed, and that it doesn’t tell the entire story. “How do you know this isn’t propaganda by [current Ugandan President] Museveni?” he said. “It’s a good video, but it’s one-sided.”
Although there was no consensus reached by the end of the discussion, attendees left with a more thorough understanding of the issues surrounding Kony 2012. “It’s about international justice,” Luca Madden, U2 political science, said. “What [Kony]’s doing happens a lot … I don’t see a problem in attacking the tip of the iceberg if it’s going to set a precedent for the rest of the iceberg.”
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Film screening raises awareness of Inuit culture Events part of Inuit Awareness Week bring Inuit struggles to the community’s attention Christos Lazaris Contributor Last Wednesday, March 14, McGill’s Aboriginal Law Students’ Association screened Qimmit: A Clash of Two Truths as part of Inuit Awareness Week, an initiative of the Aboriginal Sustainability Project. The screening was followed by a question and answer period with Ole Gjerstad, co-director of the film, and Imaapik “Jacob” Partridge, an Inuit Elder who has worked with the Makivik Corporation, an organization dedicated to promoting Inuit culture. The film was about an alleged policy enacted by the Federal government which entailed the systematic killing of Inuit sled dogs—then essential to the Inuit way of life—as a means to push Inuit communities
out of their land and force them into Canadian society. The policy, allegedly carried out by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from the 1950s to the 1970s, has not been addressed by the Canadian government thus far. In 2006, the Inuit community started their own investigation into the events. “In 2006, the [Qikiqtani] truth commission was set up in Nunavut, and soon after, the Makivik Corporation negotiated with the Quebec government to inquire into the matter,” Gjerstad said. The film covers both Inuit and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) perspectives on whether or not such a policy ever existed. It features many testimonies of Inuit who witnessed officers ordering or actively taking part in the killing of Inuit sled dogs, as well as the opin-
ions of several RCMP officers from different areas, all of whom denied ever hearing of such events. “We began making the film in 2007,” Gjerstad said. “We kept at it in Nunavut and in Nunavik for about three years. … We had about 300 testimonies in Nunavut and close to the same amount in Nunavik.” At the time of the killings, the dogs were essential to the Inuit way of life, as dog sledding was the principal means by which animals were chased and hunted for food. Between the 1950s and the 1970s, however, the population of dogs decreased dramatically. Many Inuit claim to have personally witnessed the killing of dogs by government officers. “Those that were more political than myself realized that it was the government’s idea to bring all the
Inuit into one community,” Partridge recounted. The film screening was part of a week-long series of events coordinated by the Aboriginal Sustainability Project in order to raise awareness of Inuit society and culture. “This week’s focus is basically the realities, the good and the bad, of Inuit people in the North, in a world where everything is changing quickly,” Allan Vicaire, co-ordinator of the Aboriginal Sustainability Project, said. “The [intention] is to create an awareness of Inuit culture. One of the challenges that Inuit and even Métis face is that their voices are often not heard.” Each night of the week, a different event was held, aiming to educate attendees about Inuit culture from different angles. This event, focusing on the issue of Inuit dog
slaughter, showed a glimpse of Inuit society as it relates to Canadian government and policy. Other events touched on other aspects of Inuit culture, and included a discussion on challenges in Inuit health and a speaker who spoke on studying in Montreal as an Inuit student. “With all these changes going on in the world, we [can get] all these Inuit perspectives and learn about how they came to adapt in terms of education, health, and social services,” Vicaire said. “The whole week catches on a lot of those topics, and even more. At the end of the week, we have the celebration of culture. It’s about bringing those issues to the forefront.”
Students sleep outside in “5 Days for the Homeless” Participants forego shelter for a week to raise awareness and money for homeless youth Jonny Newburgh Contributor Last week, students across Canada took part in the seventh annual “5 Days For The Homeless,” a weeklong event aimed at raising awareness and money for homeless youth. The initiative began at the University of Alberta’s business school in 2005 and has quickly spread to over 20 schools across Canada and one in the United States. This is the third year that students from McGill have participated. At McGill, roughly 20 students took part, with about eight sleeping outside the Redpath Library each night of the event, which ran March 11-16. Other students chose to show their support by canvassing outside the Roddick Gates during the daytime. The McGill initiative collected around $8,600, roughly 86 per cent of their goal. Students from the management faculties of McGill, Concordia, UQAM, and the University of Montreal, organized a joint opening ceremony. These students will forward all the funds they raise to a local grassroots charity, Dans La Rue, that works with street kids and at-risk youth. David Stein, media contact for the McGill chapter of 5 Days, described the sacrifices students were making to participate in the events. “Students are expected to sleep
outside during the night and balance academics … all while sacrificing many comforts, such as the right to a bed, financial resources, or electronic devices for a week,” Stein said in an email to the Tribune. “It is an event that is on the rise due to the passion it evokes from students (and some professors/celebrities who sleep outside during the week) across the country,” Stein added. Jennifer Williams, a U3 management student and partner coordinater of the event, explained that she originally became interested in the campaign because of a personal connection. Her father was turned out of his house and became homeless when he was 13 years old. “[My father] came from a really abusive household,” Williams said. “I know the struggles that he went through, so I know that when I look at people who are homeless I don’t think of them [as] being lazy—I know that there are multiple problems [involved].” She emphasized that homelessness is a problem that garners relatively little attention compared to others. After sleeping outside with few amenities, if any, participants said that the experience provided a new perspective on the issue of homelessness. Food, which participants can only accept by donation, proved an especially difficult problem for
Outside the Roddick Gates, Sarah Solnit raises awareness for youth homelessness. (Alexandra Allaire / McGill Tribune) many. “Friends on Monday will bring you sandwiches and hot chocolate, anything you could want,” Williams said. “But, by Thursday, they stop bringing you food. They stop remembering that you need food. So you actually start realizing that ‘I have this granola bar to eat today, and this is all I have.’ This is to teach you to not know where your next
meal is coming from.” “Most people bring us donuts and Timbits, so you get a sugar rush and then crash.” Williams added. “I know what it means to get a sandwich or fruit, something substantial.” For all its positive impacts, however, the campaign is garnering some negative attention. “Some people argue that us
sleeping outside for five days is not helping and that we’re pretending like we’re trying to be them,” Reyhaneh Keshmiri, a U2 arts and science student who slept outside last year and canvassed for donations this year, said. “Yes, it is true that five days is not comparable at all, but we are still trying to raise money and giving [the funds] to local charities, which will help eventually.”
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A triumph and a calamity for student democracy
The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) held a special General Assembly (GA) last Tuesday to vote on whether the AUS should join the Quebec-wide student strike against the provincial government’s planned tuition fee increases. The motion to strike was defeated by with a vote of 609 to 495, with thousands of students lining up outdoors for up to three hours to make their vote count. The Tribune believes the result was both a triumph and a calamity for student democracy. The AUS GA’s extremely high voter turnout was a refreshing reminder that McGill students are not apathetic to the important issues; supporters of each side of the motion turned up in impressive numbers to debate and vote. This is highly commendable, and is a key component in a dynamic, coherent, and credible student democracy. Yet the GA’s organization was shambolic. Students with busy schedules should not be made to wait outside in the Montreal chill for three hours just to exercise
their right to vote. Furthermore, the debates themselves were set up in a way that did not allow for a comprehensive discussion of the matter at hand. After waiting three hours to start, students were more interested in a vote than debating the motion. Due to the lack of infrastructure available to the AUS and the lack of any contingency plan for a voter turnout greater than 600, the GA’s participants could not all convene in one room, and were forced to queue while the AUS desperately tried to find some additional rooms to accomodate them. This led to various disparate assemblies, where each room had little idea about the other rooms’ debates other than an inadequate livestream. The setup also unfairly advantaged the students who knew Robert’s Rules over those who did not. The AUS evidently has a structural inability to cope with such a high level of participation. We see this as more evidence that the format of McGill’s GAs needs serious
reform. The Tribune has previously argued that there are three different approaches available to fix the GA as an institution: reducing it to a consultative body, creating the ability for students to vote online, or complete abolition. Last week’s AUS GA showed the importance of having a place for students to debate issues. The GA can represent just such a place, but it could be so much better. The AUS does not have the organizational manpower or the structural capacity to make its GA either sufficiently representative or sufficiently coherent in its current form. The best chance now of maintaining the GA’s credibility lies in online participation and online voting to improve the GA’s credentials as a forum for debate and as a legislative body. Bringing an online dimension to the GA would provide a remedy for those without the confidence or oratorical skills to speak in front of a crowd, but who feel they have something valuable to add to the
debate. A series of online comments would provide a dynamic element to the debate, allowing students to support their opinions and to address each concern with more composure than in the fast cut and thrust of a live speaking debate. Online voting would allow students to have a say in the McGill GAs without them having to wait outside in the cold. There may also be those unable to attend for work-related or personal reasons. A chance for these people to vote, despite their inability to be present, would increase the percentage of students who participate in the GA, making it more legitimate and credible as a legislative body. The Tribune is confident that a well-publicized and accessible online dimension to the GA would be an invaluable addition to student democracy, and an innovation that would put to rest the complaints about the GA being unrepresentative of the student body.
Put your money where your mouth is Lots of great causes set up shop with bake sale fundraisers in the lobby of 688 Sherbrooke. I pass them, Monday to Friday, on my way to learn French. I’m happy to see a table set up at the top of the escalator, usually overflowing with a bounty of tasty-looking treats that are all by-donation for a good cause. I’ve seen tables for providing potable water overseas, funding AIDS research and treatment objectives, a group for the promotion of positive body image in young girls, and other causes which I’d like to support in exchange for a sugary start to my day. I step up to these tables with a smile on my face, but reserve in my gut. And I ask the million dollar
question: “Do you have any vegan things?” After being met by a succession of blank faces, I started keeping track. Of the last 10 tables I informally, hopefully polled, only one responded with a yes. And the vegan option was just that: a lone tupperware of vegan treats, and it was already about to sell out at 11:00. Several times while I asked the million-dollar question, there were other people nearby who were also about to ask the same question, or who had just asked about vegan options before I arrived. I know, then, that it’s not just me who’s getting disappointed at these tables. In the activist world, vegans are often taken to task for not being intersectional enough. You see this when well-meaning animal rights groups stomp all over women’s rights objectives (looking at your ads, PETA), and when privileged vegans forget that there are such things as food deserts in North America which make an affordable vegan diet impossible for many of the people that they approach or reproach in campaigns. This is indeed
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a continuing problem that the vegan movement should address. But when nine out of ten fundraising groups fail to have a single vegan option on offer, and the one table has only a small portion of one type of treat available, I have to raise my brows a little and wonder how the other side of collaborative activism is being so consistently overlooked. Consideration needs to go both ways, especially when you’re in a diverse metropolis like Montreal where you encounter not just vegans, but also people on diets who would prefer to avoid milk and/ or eggs, and people with food allergies to animal products. Without assuming too much about the circumstances behind the organization and execution of each of these individual fundraisers, I have to suspect that some degree of forethought and co-ordination went into deciding what items should be produced, how much of them, and who would make them. Was a vegan option suggested and vetoed? Was an eggless, milkless almond square too intimidating to execute? (I promise it isn’t. In fact, most vegan
baked items would actually contribute to the cause by saving the bakers money to add to their pool of funds.) Or, could it be that vegan choices are so seldom considered because the overriding public image of veganism implies it’s merely a finicky dietary choice, and not a powerful course of action aligned with environmental principles? If this is the case, I’m really concerned about the public image of veganism in one of North America’s most diverse cities. But this also raises concerns about a lack of foresight in certain advocacy groups on campus, and particularly those that champion environmental and food scarcity issues. Please, bake sale activists, let me gently remind you: if you want support, you need to allow people the opportunity to support your principles without compromising theirs. Vegans like myself, and others, would just love to be able to sink our teeth into a chewy brownie after lunch with everyone else, while chewing on your campaign’s agenda too.
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columnists Compass Rose
Beware of fake green stampers On April 1, 1970, a new shoe shop opened its doors for business on East 17th Street in Manhattan. The owners, Raymond and Eleanor Jacobs, soon began to see throngs of hippies flocking by on their way to Union Square to celebrate the first ever Earth Day. In a flash of brilliance, the Jacobses wrote a sign advertising “Earth Shoes” and stuck it in the storefront window. What used to be plain footwear suddenly became a generational phenomenon;
Chronicles of a Curioso Tara Richter Smith
The true winners of the Darwin Awards In December 2008, Swedishborn actor Daniel Hoevels accidentally slit his throat onstage in Vienna during a performance of Mary Stuart. Hoevels’ performance of Mortimer’s suicide was quite convincing: the audience applauded enthusiastically at the use of special effects and very real-looking blood, only realizing something was wrong when the actor didn’t take his bow. The prop people had apparently forgotten to blunt the blade, and the actor hadn’t noticed. Hoevels lived. Had he died, would his death have made the Dar-
for the better part of the next decade, so-called Earth Shoes were a staple of the American environmentalist’s wardrobe. The Earth Shoe phenomenon was not just a right-place, righttime aligning of the stars. It was the first—and perhaps the most successful—case of green-stamping. Now a well-established practiced, greenstamping involves marketing a product for its environmental benefits. Seems simple, yes? The problem lies in the discernment between true sustainability and fakery. The case study of the Earth Shoe can help shine a light on our own susceptibility to false green-stamping, and let us see clearly the consequences of being duped. The manufacturing of Earth Shoes, as you can gather, had no connection whatsoever to the environmental ideals promoted by Earth
Day. However, the podiatric craze was filtered through the underlying fabric of a broader social movement, and so it was accepted without much fuss. It survived for so long because of its unquestioned linguistic connection to early environmentalism (perpetuation by cultural contact high, if you will). Many of us are now matured, hardened environmentalists. We are into the second generation after the Earth Day-ers, and are living through the climate change era, which our parents had to wait until the late 1980s to see. With this heightened environmental awareness we are also more adamant that sustainability be a component of most public products, events, buildings, campaigns, etc. What was once novelty and niche is now integral and internalized. However, does this expectation also leave us even more sus-
ceptible to the gimmicks of greenstamping? Perhaps. What we can be sure of is that we must now be more discerning, and clued into the ins and outs of green marketing. Here is an example of successful green-stamping. A few years ago the University of Vermont finished construction on its newest building, the Davis Center. Ninety-two per cent of construction waste was recycled; all water used is toxin-free; cooking oil is now shipped to a local bio-diesel company. The marketing of the Davis Center as a model for green construction was intentional, and even hyperbolic, but it was honest. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for all. The prize for the most egregious green-stamping goes to none other than the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). Recently the CAPP has begun to adver-
tise its plans to restore the land it has destroyed through tar sands, claiming it will negate any environmental costs incurred. Where to start? Beyond the obvious issues with tar sands (erosion, wasteful water withdrawal), new plans are aiming at acres of peat, decaying organic matter which stores CO2. An estimated 50 million metric tons of CO2 will be released when new tar sands are created. No advertising campaign can reclaim this, and no restoration of land can reinstate years of peat growth and carbon storage. The claims by CAPP are the worst kind of green-stamping. And now, unlike in the day of the Earth Shoe, the stakes are high, and we need to recognize green for green, for peat’s sake.
win Awards? These awards, which began as tongue-in-cheek pop culture references in the 1980s, were copyrighted by Wendy Northcutt and made into a book series and online website. Northcutt’s rules state that, in order for an individual to be “honoured” (posthumously, of course) with a Darwin Award, “winners [must] eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chances of long-term survival.” The Darwin Awards are a perfect example of political incorrectness, publicizing deaths and effectively humiliating the deceased for the amusement of the still-living population. The stories themselves, though morbid, are strangely captivating. Notable ones include a Brazilian farmer who tied a plastic bag over his head to protect himself from bees, a Croatian man who juggled hand grenades, three Palestinian bombers who set their clocks one
hour ahead of the local time and detonated before reaching their desired location, and a Cambodian playing Russian roulette with a landmine. Quite an international spread. Suicide usually disqualifies the death because it is self-inflicted, but there are many less effective ways to kill yourself, and the Darwin Awards include several suicides as honorable mentions. Classical examples include Roman general Mark Anthony, who, upon hearing about the death of his beloved Cleopatra, attempted to “fall on his own sword” multiple times, each of them unsuccessful. He eventually died of complications arising from these repeated efforts to stab himself, but not before he discovered that Cleopatra was, in fact, alive. But it is the example of a Frenchman named Jacques LeFevrier that hits the perfect note, combining dark humour with a cruel twist of fate. Fevrier went to several mea-
sures to ensure his suicide would be successful. He began by placing himself on top of a tall cliff with a noose around his neck. Subsequently, he drank poison, set himself on fire, and tried to shoot himself. The bullet missed him and hit the rope, so he jumped into the sea below, which extinguished the flames, caused him to throw up the poison, and left him to drown. A fisherman, however, fished him out of the water instead of a daily catch and brought him to a hospital, where he died of hypothermia. I am morbidly fascinated by potential Darwin Arwards candidates, and spend far too many procrastination hours weighing their credentials—probably because they make incredible stories. I would never want to actually watch them of course: the idea of watching a death “live,” such as the suicide of Christine Chubbuck, a talk show host who shot herself on live television during
a 1974 broadcast, terrifies me. Speculating about Hoevels’ near-Darwin Award, however, is more rewarding. By attempting to portray the suicide of his character Mortimer, Hoevels nearly ended up killing himself. Even for the method actor, whose preparations for a role involve an eclipse of the self for the sake of the character, there is such a thing as going too method. But Hoevels had no intention to actually kill himself, and the lack of intent would have indeed qualified his death for a Darwin Award. My favourite part of Hoevels’ story, however, is that he did not die, but performed Mortimer the next day, in true the-show-must-go-on style, with a white bandage around his neck. The best parts of the Darwin Awards are the near-misses— the ones who got away and lived to tell their own tale.
on the night of the vote is not only the failure of the student body to fulfill its responsibilities and stand up, but, more shockingly the feeling that most of my fellow students do not put themselves in the place of others who have less money or less luck than themselves. Many of you can say that international and outof-province students do not have stakes in this issue, and they might have less at stake than Quebecers do, but this does not seem great enough a reason to fail to empathize and lend support to other people in their pursuit of a society that is more just toward everyone. It’s the human side of it that hurts most, the feeling that I see a lot of nice people here every day, but that the vast majority
of them seem to be missing some kind of universal human empathy and urge to do something about it. It is a lack of social engagement. It is a sweeping of other people’s problems under the carpet with whatever pretext we can find. It is living outside of the real world in the cocoon that is this university. It’s not a matter of coming from another country, another province and deciding for the people of this province. I think it’s the students of this province asking the entire McGill community to take actions and sacrifice a part of its wellbeing to support them in their pursuit of the United Nations’ goal that is universal education. We should stand up as one for every single student who will have trouble
financing this raise in tuition fees. I ask you all to reconsider your position and to encourage the 200,000 students that will be on strike next week (including the Post Graduate Student Society of McGill) by acting to support the student initiatives condemning the tuition fee hike, one of them being the Quebec student protest on Thursday, March 22. It starts at 1:00 at the Place Du Canada and will come toward McGill. Wear a white square, a redsquare, or nothing. Just take the time to come. Let’s make a difference.
Commentary An Open Letter to the McGill Community
The first thought that came to my mind on the night the Arts Undergraduate Society voted no to the strike against tuition fee hikes was to simply quit McGill and enroll somewhere else. I don’t think I will quit now. Maybe I just don’t have the balls for it. Or maybe I’ve decided to fight the injustice of this university. I never was an activist before and I don’t consider the McGill students to be monsters. I have friends here and I intend to enjoy my relationships with them. But I
do believe that a university is more than simply a place for academic learning. It is also a place where you learn your responsibilities toward other students, society, and especially toward the members of society that are most in need. It is where you learn that people more fortunate intellectually or financially have responsibilities toward others who are less fortunate. These responsibilities fall on every one of us, and to a greater extent on the student body, which shouldn’t be afraid to sacrifice a part of its comfort and security to defend its less fortunate members and the less fortunate members of society. What I’ve experienced on the campus these last few days and
—Nickolas Gagnon U3 honours economics
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 |
An Open Letter to the AUS Executive Committee We would like to congratulate you on an extremely well-attended General Assembly last night. We would also like to express our extreme disappointment and frustration concerning the poor communication, organization, and attitude which shaped your response to the unexpected numbers and thus took a toll on SSMU staff, clubs, services, executives, attendees, and other students using the building. Because of your lack of contingency planning for the high turnout, the SSMU Executive and full-time staff had to neglect their other responsibilities to intervene in the crisis. When we asked your volunteers and members of your Executive
Committee how to help, there was little to no direction provided and most seemed clueless as to any plan of action. Our Security Supervisor had to call in extra agents on short notice, as well as calling on other staff members to stay overtime in order to ensure the security of the event. Our Executive and staff were outside communicating to your frustrated and confused members about what was going on. The AUS harassed our clubs, most notably the Muslim Students’ Association, to move out of rooms in order to accommodate your needs. After initially rebuffing their desire to livestream the event, you demanded that TVM—a volunteer-run student service—give you “tech support” and accommodate your needs at a moment’s notice. While we are happy to work with the AUS to help you run events that are relevant to your mem-
| Curiosity delivers.
bers (who, after all, are all part of SSMU as well), such a partnership requires responsibility sides. Such failures reflect poorly on both of our organizations. In short, we are not only disappointed with your poor planning, but also disgusted by your sense of entitlement and disrespect for the space, time, and resources of others. Due to these concerns, the SSMU Executive Committee has decided to take the following actions: The AUS Executive may not book any more space in the William Shatner University Centre until the term of the current AUS Executive Committee has expired, except on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Building Managers. Groups which normally book space through the AUS are invited to contact VP Clubs & Services Carol Fraser directly (email@example.com).
The AUS will be billed for all security agents, staff overtime, services (including TVM), and cleaning costs incurred by last night’s event. We demand that the AUS issue a public letter of apology to the affected clubs and services, our Security Supervisor, our staff, and all attendees–who are also SSMU members–who were in any way frustrated by the General Assembly. Concerning the AUS’s Nuit Blanche event on March 22, we have changed the booking to “pending” status. The booking will only be accepted upon receipt of a complete, thorough, written document about the event, which will outline all activities and their locations, all volunteers and co-ordinators involved and their contact information, a detailed timeline including setup and cleanup, and a crisis management plan in the event of whatever mishaps may
arise. This document must be submitted to the SSMU General Manager no later than noon on Monday, March 19. We look forward to rebuilding our relationship into a more productive partnership. Sincerely, Todd Plummer (Vice President, Internal) and Carol Fraser (Vice President, Clubs & Services) on behalf of The SSMU Executive Committee, 2011-2012 A version of this open letter was published on the McGill Daily’s website.
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Science & technology GAME REVIEW
Mass Effect 3 concludes franchise amidst strong responses Massively emotional, but minus the minutiae Marri Lynn Knadle Copy Editor The third and final installment of Mass Effect, the highly successful cross-platform franchise developed by BioWare, launched two weeks ago. It was received with the digital equivalent of a standing ovation, accumulating high scores across gaming magazines and online review sites. In Mass Effect 3, as in the franchise’s previous games, you take the role of Commander Shephard, a human charged with saving the galaxy from invasion by a mechanical race called the Reapers. There was a lot at stake with this game’s release. It’s been six years since the first Mass Effect game was released to critical acclaim, and two years since the launch of the awardwinning Mass Effect 2. Not only has the bar of critical expectation been raised, but a loyal fan base has been salivating in anticipation of the final chapter in the futuristic, action-adventure role-playing series. Mass Effect 3 will undoubtedly be most enjoyable for these players. It is a compelling game chiefly because the story being driven to its epic conclusion isn’t just a linear narrative. Over the course of the
Male Shepard sets out to save the galaxy with some familiar faces. (digitaltrends.com) first two games, the decisions the player has made and the quests he or she has played will have altered the course of events in ways that are sometimes merely quaint, but oftentimes game-changing. For instance, if a non-player character was killed in an earlier game, he or she will not be present in later quests. In the final game, the accumulation of those choices will supposedly determine the outcome of the final battle between the races of the universe and their biggest foe yet. But ultimately, the interacting
nuances of these choices proved too much for BioWare to handle. Recently, players have vocally criticized Mass Effect 3’s ending, claiming that it flattens the illusion of player choice at the most critical moment. A group called Retake Mass Effect has even campaigned for the production of alternate endings, raising over $63,000 for the charity Child’s Play in the process. At the beginning of the game, new players unfamiliar with the Mass Effect franchise are given the opportunity to jump right into the
heat with no back story; they can even disable dialogue options during cut scenes. This option, like the streamlined conclusion, sans symptomatic of an attempt to make Mass Effect 3 more widely appealing, at the unfortunate cost of fan expectations. Mass Effect 3 was released just as more impressive physics engines and graphic capabilities are being demoed and prepped for release, leaving certain technical and visual elements of the game looking less impressive by comparison. It holds
its own on a PC with maximized graphics settings, and the distant backgrounds are still inspiring to gaze at even on a console, but the fact remains that Mass Effect 3 is among the last of this generation of games demanding lots of load time for only moderate realism. BioWare held by their more successful interface innovations, like the branching dialogue tree and their combat wheel for weapons and powers. The latter can be a saving grace during skirmishes, especially when the less-than-intuitive motion controls send you rolling into the chaos when you’d rather be ducking. Some facets—like the necessary but tedious ‘planetary scan’ minigame—really could have used a finer touch or been done away with entirely. The size of Mass Effect 3 and the creative effort it represents is more impressive than its gameplay features, and it’s disappointing to see the latter not supporting the former to its full potential. Despite disappointment with its conclusion, for the emotional impact of its narrative more than anything else, Mass Effect 3 takes its place in a rapidly diversifying cadre of video games that are entitled to be respected as a form of art.
Can you change the world in three minutes? Speakers discuss the implications of their research in brief Farah Hanani Sam Contributor That was the hypothetical question asked of graduate students in a TED-style speaking event held last Wednesday. Hosted by McGill’s Office of Sustainability, Department of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and the Post-Graduate Students Society, “Three Minutes To Change The World” featured McGill graduate students speaking for three minutes about the potential impact of their research on society. The event was a platform to explore the diversity of research done at McGill, and to celebrate the role of academic research and development as great tools to improve living conditions around the world. In his presentation called “A 21st-Century approach to electric power,” Greg Morris, a master’s electrical engineering student, presented his idea of ‘microgrids’ as a way to advance power systems. He contended that the computer
revolution has changed virtually every other aspect of people’s lives, but has yet to penetrate the field of power system grids. “A glaring oversight of the computer revolution is in the very system where devices that we use daily themselves draw power,” he said. “We possess the technology to make power grids more efficient and integrate renewable power into our system.” Then why haven’t the smart grids caught on? Morris credited it to the fact that power system grids are old, massive, and highly interconnected systems. Hence, a subtle change may require reworking the whole system. His idea of a ‘microgrid’ may be the most cost effective solution. “Microgrids are smart grids that are incremental, localized, and self-contained,” he said. “We have already seen unprecedented impacts in Sub-Saharan Africa, where microgrids supply reliable power to small businesses and schools, without upgrading the existing power
lines.” In the Q & A session, Morris addressed the issue of barriers to renewable energy usage in grids and the apparent high cost of renewable energy. “It’s not that renewable power is expensive, but [that] fossil fuel is too cheap,” he said. “In fact, it’s too cheap, because it does not take into account the full cost—environmental effects, social effects, and where we’re getting it from.” “Third Millennium Farming,” a three-minute journey to a utopian Toronto in 2050, was a descriptive presentation about what a fully sustainable city might look like. Jakub Dzamba, a graduate student in architecture, imagined buildings fuelled by biofuels, solar power, and biomass produced by algae that feed on biowaste, black water and exhaust air. Perhaps the most interesting part of his utopian future is that insects will be a major part of the human protein diet. “Insects are cold blooded, so they don’t waste energy heating
up their body,” he said. “For every pound of food that insects eat, they are five to ten percent more efficient than any other livestock.” In her talk “One dollar, one vote? A case for equitable participatory global health governance,” Rachel Kiddell-Monroe, a member of UK Law Society, discussed the inequitable practice of global health. “We live in a global health crisis. Within the 70 percent of individuals living with HIV in SubSaharan Africa, 60 per cent of them do not have access to life-saving treatment,” she said. “The Global Health Governance, an organization whose existence is to make sure all people have access to good health throughout the world... is outmoded. It is simply not functioning to ensure these equities.” Her research found one possible reason why. A conflict exists between private economic interests and global health needs, especially when the pharmaceutical industry is involved. She witnessed the pharmaceutical industry overturning health
practice in a way that favours business interest over social justice. Her strategy is to introduce accountability and transparency back into the global health system by trying to find ways to transfer some international laws from other industries—that have worked well in preserving socio-economic justice—into the global health business practice. “In law, there are human rights and responsibilities of businesses when they work overseas. Businesses have an obligation to conduct [themselves] in a way which we can ascribe under law to preserve accountability and transparency,” she said. “My thesis is based on the idea of how we can apply the same principles to [the] global health governing system.” The event ended with a networking session with the speakers. The enthusiastic response from attendees prompted the organizers to plan on making the event a once-asemester occasion.
1379 Mont-Royal East
4333 Rivard St.
L’Oblique Located off of St. Denis just south of the Mont-Royal metro, L’Oblique is a cozy and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of its neighbouring street. The store is split evenly between vinyl and CDs (there’s even a tiny, nostalgic section reserved for cassettes and eight-tracks), and it’s also a ticket outlet for upcoming concerts. There’s a heavy presence of local music—the walls are decorated with posters from releases by local label Constellation—and a small, but well-curated catalogue of independent, folk, punk, and alternative releases.
Aux 33 Tours
Aux 33 Tours (At 33 RPM) has the largest selection of new and used vinyl you’re likely to find in Montreal, including lots of rare records that are proudly displayed along its walls. This is the place to go if you want the picture disc Czechoslovakian import of that Frank Zappa LP you’ve been searching for. The store also carries a large amount of Japanese pressings, which are known for their superior everything (sound, production, and packaging), concert tickets, and hundreds of used records for only a couple of bucks. Releases that received four stars or more on Allmusic.com are marked with a sticker indicating its score, making it easy to see if the recording you’re holding received critical acclaim.
Your guide to Montreal record stores by Ryan Taylor & Nick Petrillo
Photos by Alexandra Allaire & Sam Reynolds
3828 St. Denis
Primitive Records Primitive Records, just up the street from Beatnick, has an inviting collection of mostly used vinyl and CDs. The homely brick interior and immersive sound system might remind you of the first time you stumbled upon your parents’ vinyl cache. It specializes in classic rock, funk, and soul, but also dedicates plenty of floor space to used cassettes, 45s, and the latest vinyl releases.
Find Primitive on Facebook
364 Sherbrooke East
3770 St. Denis
Beatnick Beatnick is a maze of both vinyl and CDs, a hidden gem among the many quaint shops in the lower Plateau. Weaving through the store is an experience; entire rooms archive enormous amounts of music that span almost every genre imaginable. Nearly every bit of the store is filled with crates of new, used, and rare records—audiophiles and casual listeners alike can easily immerse themselves in the experience of digging through long-lost artifacts, unopened original pressings, and staggering amounts of new releases.
207 Bernard West
Phonopolis Owned by Nathan Gage, bassist of Shapes and Sizes, Phonopolis first opened on Parc in 2007 before moving to its current, bigger location at Bernard early last year. It remains the go-to place in the Mile End for vinyl and concert tickets, and it’s also one of the only shops in the city to host in-store performances from up-and-coming artists, including Braids, Jennifer Castle, and the Wooden Sky. The store boasts a good selection of new and used records, including large classical and world music sections, and there are weathered gems to be found in the $5 used and discounted stacks in the back. www. phonopolis.ca
2044 Metcalfe St.
Sound Central Sound Central is a record store and hobby shop in the Mile End. The staff’s musical tastes are passionately skewed toward heavy metal, and the store’s shelves are loaded with memorabilia, magazines, Nintendo video games, eight-tracks, and cassettes. Metal fans will be thrilled with Sound Central’s doom metal, stoner rock, and sludge collections, all of which have plenty of shelf space. Don’t miss their bargain record crates either—albums sell for as little as four for $1, and come in both 33 and 45 RPM. www. soundcentralstore.com
Cheap Thrills is a hop, skip, and jump away from McGill’s downtown campus, making it the ideal place for a quick (or lengthy) browse before, between, or after class. Most of the space is dedicated to new and used vinyl, but there’s an ever-diminishing collection of CDs, a huge selection of secondhand books, and the store carries tickets for most of the promoters in town. Rock, jazz, folk, metal, soul, funk, experimental, and more can be found here, with a mixture of recent and classic releases. You can always expect to find (and hear) the interesting and unexpected.
Atom Heart Atom Heart has been at the centre of Montreal’s electronic music scene since 1999—if you’ve been clubbing at 1234 or Metropolis, chances are, you bought your ticket here—so it’s no surprise that its vinyl repertoire focuses heavily on new techno, trance, ambient, and dubstep releases as well. And if clubbing isn’t your style, Atom Heart has plenty of new and used CDs, and makes speedy request orders, too.
Leave the sandals at home when marching into spring The dos and don’ts of transitioning from toques to tank tops in Montreal Wendy Speakman Contributor
n Montreal, the saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” often rings true. Although, some years we might say that March comes in like lion, and out like another, colder lion. Nevertheless, March has arrived and has already caught countless McGill students looking goosebumped, sweaty, or downright silly. The month’s promise of sunshine and temperatures above freezing prompts some students to bare their legs, neglect jackets, and sport their springiest flat shoes. Others cannot seem to grasp the fact that spring has arrived. Sinking further into their goose-down hoods while cruising through Milton’s centimetre of slush in their Sorels, these students cannot let go of winter. Between these two extremes, of course, is the large sum of students who cannot quite figure out how to dress for March. Chances of rain cloud their inclination to retire their boots. Ten degrees feels tropical, but they somehow still grab a scarf on the way out the door. In these dire, balmy times, heed the following suggestions. Firstly, remember pants. It’s still March. Apart from this week’s true summertime feel, consider some sort of legwear to be essential throughout the entire month, for fashion’s sake, and your core temperature’s. For girls, sheer tights work as a nice transition between real pants and the first bare leg encounter with the outdoors. However, there is no such transitional equiva-
Layers are a great option for easing your way into Montreal spring. (hypeed.com) lent for guys, so tread cautiously if you decide to break out your shorts. In keeping with the first suggestion, an even more gauche refusal of pants is when bare skin is paired with rain boots. Bare legs and Hunters are an absolute no-no. Wearing
rainboots means that you are expecting enough rain to necessitate heavy duty footwear. When paired with bare legs, this logic goes down the drain. If the rain shower hits, your feet will be dry, but your legs will be damp. Anyone who has ever done
hot yoga will tell you that this is a most uncomfortable sensation. If you insist on baring your stems with your rain boots, at least consider investing in a shorter pair for spring. A good way to avoid more offensive March fashion faux-pas is
to grasp that spring is fast approaching. It does not matter how much real goose down “regulates” your temperature, down parkas still look foolish in any weather over 10 degrees. Ease into spring with a lightly lined cotton coat or jean jacket. Even a thick plaid flannel can double as outerwear with the right layers. And if you absolutely must wear your down coat, at least admit that it’s because it doubles as a sleeping bag and you want to snooze in class. Although I fully understand an undying hankering to free your feet from the constraints of heavy winter boots, the time for flats and flip-flops has not quite arrived. People cannot unveil flimsy springtime footwear while there is still mud on the ground. Not only will you look like a fool, but you will also ruin your new favourite shoes. Instead, bridge winter and spring with a pair of pastel coloured lace-ups, ankle boots, or heavy-duty loafers. However, do not take this warmer weather as an opportunity to wear your runners on a daily basis. March in Montreal presents us with a considerable fashion challenge. Suppress your confusion about fluctuating temperatures or impending rain showers by always considering pants, staying consistent from head to toe, and walking on something with at least a little tread. By all means, break away from tired winter basics, but remember that the weather gods can be unpredictable this time of year, so don’t pull out your beach wear just yet.
odds and ends
How to sign a lease in 10 days Basic, last minute house hunting tips to get the job done Jacqui Galbraith Features Editor We’re halfway through March now, and yet some students are still scrambling to secure a living space for next year. The general advice is to get started early, even at the beginning of January, considering Montreal’s constant rent shortage. But for those students still searching for a place, here are a few quick tips to help you with your hunt. Step one is deciding if you’re going to live alone or with friends. If you choose to live by yourself, then you can go right ahead and start checking McGill classifieds or
Craigslist for available apartments. If you choose to live with friends, you have to figure out who you can realistically see every day for the upcoming year. Sometimes the best of friends really aren’t suited to live together, and other factors come into play, like budget. The initial difficulty will be trying to reconcile the different priorities each of you have. The basic conundrum for apartments boils down to prioritizing location, price, and the quality of the apartment itself. It’s important to keep in mind when deciding on roommates that they either need to have similar priorities to yours, or are willing to negotiate. Once you know who you’re liv-
ing with, it’s time to get on Craigslist or Kijiji. Get ready to make countless phone calls and send out a million emails, because many of the good listings will be taken almost as soon as they’re posted. Be prepared to hear “sorry, it’s gone already” a few times before the whole process is done, but don’t be discouraged. It’s also important to trust your instincts. If the Craigslist ad seems too good to be true, it probably is. Seeing the same apartment listing every day for over a month is usually not a good sign, especially if the rent price seems like a bargain. Another thing to keep in mind when house hunting is to not get too caught up in your initial idea of the
perfect place. You could completely miss something new and great if you write off everything that doesn’t fit your ideal apartment description. Last but not least, try to talk to the current tenants if you can, just to find out a little bit more about the landlord’s dependability and the quality of the apartment. Current tenants can tell you which windows stick and which neighbours complain about noise. Also, if they’re graduating you may be able to score some nice furniture discounts. Remeber, don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid to try the light switches and take a close look at the windows; you will want fresh air in the summer and you will not want a draft in the winter.
Basic amenities should be functional. Ask about the heating. How cold or hot does it get in the winter? Are you able to control it yourself? Current tenants will give you more insight on these issues than landlords or superintendants, whose main aim is to rent the apartment. And one more thing: don’t be afraid to assert yourself. If there are things you want fixed before you move in, outline it in writing and have it agreed upon before you sign the lease. So if you’re still hunting for the perfect abode, consider some of these handy tips so you can sign the lease and move on to more important things, like planning the housewarming party.
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Beat the unseasonable heat with a cool treat This cute little ice cream parlour is perfect for a tasty springtime pick me up Marri Lynn Knadle Copy Editor
t’s the spring equinox today, but the season arrived a little early in the Latin Quarter with the seasonal re-opening of ice cream parlour Koco Ma Boule. This little bar laitier is located at 366 Sherbrooke St. East, and you can’t miss it — the beige awning sports big red letters, and the windows are plastered with neon orange and yellow decals advertising what you can find inside. (Note, as advertised: the smiles are free). Visiting on a sunny Sunday as I did, the evidence of Koco Ma Boule is even more obvious, with outside patio chairs occupied by a bevy of happy ice cream eaters, and a line trailing out the door. Koco Ma Boule is small inside, with two small tables, some chairs, and a bit of floorspace for a line to form in front of the ice cream freezer display. The walls are peppered with pictures of ice cream by Québon and other frozen dairy companies. There’s a large menu on the wall behind the cash which helpfully groups options into sections like hard ice cream, soft ice cream, and ‘healthy’ options, and many scat-
tered handmade signs promise other distracting choices like smoothies, shakes, slushies, frozen yogurt, and even beaver tails. There are sorbets with flavours like lime-coco-ginger, and granita in blackcurrant, pear, and more. There’s also the mysterious ice cream poutine, a must-try for next time that looks like it uses marshmallows, caramel, and chocolate-dipped waffle pieces to replicate the look of Montreal’s signature dish. The lactose intolerant and vegan population can take advantage of the several flavours of tofu ice cream Koco Ma Boule has available. The mouthfeel of their tofu ice cream is luxurious and rich like a dairy ice cream, falling somewhere between the firmness of a hard ice cream and the meltiness of soft serve. The vanilla was lacklustre with a strong, unusual aftertaste, but the burgundy cherry was bang-on and delicious, a promising sign for the maple nut and moka fudge tofu creams. A single scoop in a cone will cost you $3.95, a double $4.85. The dairy soft serve comes in generous portions, with a flavour and texture that hearkens back to the good old stuff dished out at drive-ins and old school Dairy Queens. The soft serve, like the hard ice creams,
is $3 for one scoop and $4 for a double, making it slightly cheaper than the tofu options. You can upgrade to a bowl for just under $1, or a waffle cone for $1 to $2, depending on whether or not it’s dipped and rolled. Various toppings and sauces can be added to any scoop, and there are banana splits and parfaits for about $5 to $6. The service is relatively brisk and friendly, though during the rush you may find your ice cream served in a cone when you asked for a bowl, or you may get handed the wrong order for a moment. But, as their sign says, any allergy concerns will be seriously addressed and worked around if possible. Even peanut allergies can be accomodated here, with caution. Temperatures will be in the 20s this first week of spring, and the friendly folks at Koco Ma Boule will be moving a lot of ice cream. So swing by 366 Sherbrooke St. East; it’s the perfect spot to pop in and grab a treat before taking a stroll.
Enjoy your frozen treat outside Koco Ma Boule. (Quatier Latin / panoramio.com)
chocolate chip cookie
By Laura Pratt
ou probably think that you don’t need another chocolate chip cookie recipe. The one you have, the one your roommate uses, or the one your mom gave you is good enough. You are wrong, I promise. (And I mean that in the nicest way possible). In order to make “the best chocolate chip cookies ever” you must follow this recipe to the letter.
Ingredients - 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature) - 1/2 cup granulated sugar - 1 cup dark brown sugar - 2 large eggs, beaten - 3 tsp. vanilla - 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour - 1/2 tsp. of baking soda - 1/2 tsp. of baking powder - 1/2 tsp. of salt - 1-1.5 cups chocolate chips (make it as chocolate-y as you want!)
Directions 1. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the vanilla. Set aside. 2. Use a mixer (or a wooden spoon) to mix the sugars and butter together. Then add to the eggs and vanilla. 3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Slowly add to wet ingredients in small portions, mixing continuously. 4. Stir in chocolate chips (or, if you’re feeling adventurous, add whatever kind of chocolate candy you want, like M&Ms, Reese’s bits, Smarties, etc.) 5. Chill the dough for half an hour or more (chilling cookie dough improves to texture of the final product). 6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celcius). 7. Place 1/4 cup-sized balls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be approximately two finger-widths apart (i.e. 3 x 4 cookies
per sheet on a standard rectangular sheet). 8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown at the edges. Cookies will be very soft when they are done and must cool for at least five minutes before they can be moved onto cooling racks. 9. Eat the cookies, and enjoy!
arts & entertainment film
Jiro Dreams of Sushi shows the man behind the morsels Documentary tantalizes film buffs and foodies alike pared dishes. It’s a pleasant surprise to see Ono’s craft treated with so little embellishment, and with such great respect for the simplicity his food strives for, as well as the dedication that each step necessitates. Gelb enthusiastically captures every nuance of the process, from the relationships Ono has built with the specialty merchants at the fish market, to the painstaking care with which he prepares his rice. The score used in the film, much like the shots themselves, pays homage to the art to which Ono has dedicated his life. The orchestral pieces range from the classical to the modern (with Philip Glass and Max Richter featured prominently), underscoring the airy joy and elegance expressed in Ono’s dishes. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a pleasure to watch, both for the story of a man single-mindedly devoted to his craft, and for the insights into the intricate sushi-making process. For those looking to add a line to the bucket list, Sukiyabashi Jiro (Tsukamoto Sogyo Bldg. B1F. 4-2-15, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo) is booked several months in advance, so call ahead. Prices start at $360 per person.
Ilia Blinderman Contributor Jiro Ono, the subject of David Gelb’s documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, runs Sukiyabashi Jiro, a sushi restaurant in Tokyo’s glitzy Ginza district. The modest 10-seat bar, which lies tucked away in an unassuming basement hallway, has been awarded the culinary world’s highest honour of three Michelin stars, with chef Joël Robuchon calling it the world’s best sushi restaurant. Ono has been crafting sushi for 75 years, and laughs off any suggestions of stopping. His dedication to his work is impressive—he never takes a day off, and reluctantly closes his doors on national holidays. He says that obligatory feriation bores him. The only sign Ono shows of slowing down is minor: since his heart attack at age 70, he has ceased his early morning treks to the fish market. Now, he sends his eldest son instead, dedicating his strength entirely to creating the sushi that, he says, comes to him in his dreams. While Ono initially seems frail, one cannot help but overlook his waif-like figure when witnessing his dexterity in preparing sushi. Although his manner is light and
Sushi master Jiro Ono has crafted sushi for over 75 years and shows few signs of slowing down. (moviespad.com) delicate, Ono’s old hands have the precision and assuredness of a machine press. Gelb delicately balances the film’s focus between Ono the man and Ono the artisan who has elevated his craft to high art. The former is affable, but almost singularly possessed: a more humane, yet no less
driven version of Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood. In the film, Ono recounts working such long hours that his young sons, upon seeing him in bed on a rare Sunday morning, feared that there was a stranger in the house. It is as if his passion for sushi is some fantastic, bucking force, and he’s merely try-
ing to hang on. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is clearly a labour of love for Gelb. The story he tells is not only framed by his confident and unobtrusive direction, but is also filled with the vitality of Gelb’s vivid cinematography. Every crisp, drawn out shot seems to pay tribute to Ono’s meticulously pre-
A dangerous age of medical convenience The Age of Anxiety shines a light on modern medicine’s obsession with prescription drugs Sarah Piekarski Contributor We all know how stressful exam season can be. The fear of failure, of unpreparedness, and overwhelming workloads are worries university students know all too well. But what happens if these emotions weigh upon someone not just during finals, but year-round? Chronic symptoms like these could be classifiable as an anxiety disorder, and this is the subject of Emmy Award-winner and McGill alumnus Ric Esther Bienstock’s latest documentary, The Age of Anxiety, which aired exclusively on CBC TV Doc Zone last week. What exactly is anxiety, and how are we supposed to know who does and doesn’t require medication
for their perceived illness? Bienstock suggests that even the most prestigious and established medical minds, the same people behind the publication of the psychiatrist’s diagnostic bible—the DSM-IV— might be just as perplexed with the question as we are. The film presents case studies of individuals who either claim to be in desperate need of medication for their anxiety, or people whose lives have already been drastically changed by the use of anxiety medication. While examining each case, the film’s narrative covers the history of psychiatry, the field’s revolutionary overhaul under Freud, and the current state of modern medicine’s diagnoses, as told by experts in the medical field.
The film argues that the prescription of anti-depressants such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, which are used to treat a variety of anxiety and personality disorders, is often done entirely out of convenience: general practitioners are increasingly overburdened with patients, and the patients are becoming influenced by fear mongering media and advertisements that insist any negative emotion could be a precursor to a mental disorder. The film is brief, running only 60 minutes with commercials, but is a fascinating look into the elusive definition of anxiety, the profit-driven tactics of pharmaceutical companies, and the contentious debate surrounding the DSM-IV. There are gentle hints that cronyism and cor-
ruption between the DSM task force and major pharmaceutical companies might be responsible for the recent rise in prescription drug use. It’s an intriguing argument, and one that seems entirely plausible. But there is still so much information that the film leaves unmentioned. What is the DSM’s mysterious ‘Not Otherwise Specified’ classification of mental conditions, a section of the text that’s expanding faster than any other? And what about the possible alternatives to medication, such as psychodyanamic therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy? Given the TV documentary’s rigid time constraints, it would have been nicer—and no less entertaining—to see these questions addressed with more clarity and in-
sight, rather than waste crucial air time showing several scenes of a dinner hostess as she chuckles with her guests at the shortcomings of the medical field. Nevertheless, The Age of Anxiety is an excellent eye-opener for those unfamiliar with modern medicine and its fascination with prescribing pills for even the slightest minutiae of the human experience. Psychology majors might consider the documentary a mere refresher of the issue, but for the rest, the film illuminates some very important medical and ethical concerns, and it does so quite convincingly.
There’s still time to write for A&E! Meetings on Tuesdays at 5:30 in 110 Shatner
Curiosity delivers. |
Arts & Entertainment
| Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Catching up with Julie Doiron Singer-songwriter talks new album, Toronto residency, and reflects on her lyrics Alex Knoll Contributor We tend to think of rock stars as a class of quasi-humans who live quasi-lavish lifestyles from a tour bus. Julie Doiron respectably reminds us that a rock musician can, in fact, be more in touch with the world that us common folk come to expect. Turning 40 this year, she’s about as experienced as they come—a native of the Maritimes, she’s a mother of three and is currently attempting to settle down in Toronto. That helps explain why Doiron has been on a bit of a recording hiatus—her last album, I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day came out in 2009—but a new record is currently in the works, to hopefully be released by May. “I’ve never taken this long to make a record!” Doiron exclaims. “Usually I go into the studio and four days later it’s done and that’s it, boom, I don’t worry about it.” Apart from working on her record and spending time with her family, Doiron has been involved
in some smaller projects. During January and part of February, she took up a weekly residency at a tiny fair-trade coffee shop, Saving Gigi, on Bloor Street West. Seating 25 people, the shows were informal, intimate, and an enjoyable experience for both Doiron and her fans, so much so she intends to return once her record is finished. “It felt really cool to be able to play in an environment where you have a connection to the audience and can tell stories they can relate to and laugh to,” Doiron explains. Doiron was also involved in a student-run project called Studio A Sessions at Ryerson University, where she recorded a free live acoustic set for a very small audience. “I like to help out with things like that and it was just a very easy thing for me to do. Also, I like working with students because I like giving people the opportunity to have things to practice with.” Doiron performed at La Sala Rossa last Friday as part of Montreal’s own Under The Snow Festival, where she played Loneliest in the
Morning in its entirety, an album she wrote almost 15 years ago. “I have to say there are quite a few songs on there that made me really sad the other day ... the time went by so fast that it’s weird to realize that it was 15 years ago, because it still feels like I just did it a couple years ago,” says Doiron. In fact, Doiron has a hard time revisiting much of her old material. Her lyrics are very personal, confessional, and direct, and singing them means reliving moments that aren’t always pleasant. “It makes me sad to think of my kids listening to my music because it’s kind of intense, and I don’t want them to feel bad about me having a rough time when I was young, especially because I was a young mother,” she says. “It’s kind of the only way I know how to write, although at times I think that I say too much in my writing ... I mean, I don’t keep a journal, I’ve tried before and would like to but when I write a lot of my songs, it kind of acts like a journal for me.” Doiron’s lyrics might be a little
Songstress Julie Doiron has a new album on the horizon. (Jagjaguwar.com) heavy at times, an unexpected constrast to her pleasant, adorably modest disposition. In the end, Doiron is
just trying to get by like the rest of us.
Friends with Kids delivers less than expected Star-studded cast can’t elevate poorly conceived plot Liya Adessky Contributor With a cast that includes the likes of Kristin Wiig, Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, and Maya Rudolph, Friends with Kids looked to be a success on paper, but was instead a film with few triumphs. The premise is a new twist on the rom-com genre: two best friends, Jason and Julie (Adam Scott and writer-director Jennifer Westfeldt), spontaneously decide to have a baby without any of the complications that come along with an actual romantic relationship. Their coupled-up circle of friends, composed of Wiig, Hamm, Rudolph, and Bridesmaids star Chris O’Dowd, are quick to judge, and skeptical of the potential outcome of such an odd arrangement. Undeterred by the spontaneous nature of the major life decision they are about to make, the two conceive a child, with their friends and family feeling just as confused as the audience. Even without the uniqueness of the couple’s arrangement, the decision to have a child is by no means a small choice. Yet Jason and Julie
Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt’s characters take time away from the far funnier supporting cast. (filmophila.com) seem to want this almost out of nowhere, and they put very little thought into the significance of their decision before they agree to do the deed. Jason eventually acknowledges their lack of forethought much later in the film, but little explanation is given to the reasoning behind the pregnancy. As time goes on, Jason and
Julie’s friends all find their own relationships to be fractured by the stress that comes with balancing romance and child-rearing, yet Jason and Julie feel like they’re the sane, balanced couple. The two platonic parents even begin dating other people whom they consider to be perfect mates. Julie meets Kurt (Edward Burns), a handsome, divorced
dad, while Jason meets Mary Jane (Megan Fox), a young dancer. As one might expect, zany antics ensue, hearts get broken, and life-altering revelations are experienced. Much of the storyline centres on whether Julie and Jason can raise this child the way they’d planned, if they can carry on separate romantic relationships, and if there’s any
chemistry between them after all. Their friends serve as supporting characters that challenge the notion that getting married and having kids is really the ideal or the only option, and they demonstrate that, while having a spouse and kids might be a wonderful idea, it’s harder work than one would think. The supporting cast is fantastic, but most of them don’t get nearly the same amount of screen time as Scott and Westfeldt, which is especially frustrating considering their underwhelming performances. Scott is a gifted comedic actor, but his character still often comes off as insensitive and unlikeable, and Westfeldt, whose writing shines in parts of the film, is awkward and unfunny (her role would have been better suited for Kristin Wiig). Some of the plot devices seem to come out of nowhere, and the story progresses in a rather improbable fashion. Regardless, Friends with Kids does have some truly hilarious moments, and it raises questions about the modern possibilities of friendship, romance, and raising a child.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 |
Arts & Entertainment
Tension and marital turmoil
TNC cast shines in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? Chris Liu Contributor At some point during The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, I realized that I was gripping my pen very, very tightly. The show launches radical challenges at some of western society’s most entrenched norms, and does so convincingly. Often with art, irrespective of medium, the audience becomes inert and observant, a voyeur to the piece. It is rare for a production to engage, to actively force its target to resist, dissect, and defend themselves. TNC Theatre’s The Goat engages to the full extent of the word, passionately and relentlessly. By all common measures, the character Martin is a success. He has reached the pinnacle of his career, garnering prestige not just in his field, but with the general public. He has a wife and son, and all three are intelligent, loving, and most important of all, happy. In the view of most, a perfect existence. Which is why when Martin commits the fateful deed that would send it all up in flames, the audience realizes that it cannot have been out of want, or misery, or psychological deficiency. Rather, it was out of love. This is a hard pill to swallow. Society has come a long way from “the love that dare not speak its name,” but Martin’s act brings
a completely new meaning to the phrase. Yet the script is quite insistent on this point, and Alex Gravenstein’s Martin is a compelling figure, drifting somewhere in the noman’s-land between eternal dreamer and Grecian tragic hero. The script makes its appeal not to ethics or reason, but to emotion, and it is a powerful one. Gravenstein’s fragility keeps the audience off-kilter, repulsed by his sexual perversity one moment, questioning what defines “perversity” the next; sympathetic to the purity of his love in one moment, questioning whether that love could be possible the next. When Martin’s infidelity is revealed, the consequences are swift and devastating. Andrew Cameron’s Ross, the family friend who reacts with explosive outrage, perfectly vocalizes the disgusted sentiments of the audience, and Cameron is highly effective in playing devil’s advocate, with a crisp delivery and the best pacing of the cast. Ross conveys the news to Martin’s wife, Stevie. To say she is devastated is to understate something lying beyond the reaches of language. Leah Sutton is powerful in the role, a figure imbued with courageous discipline, yet poignantly vulnerable to the pain. “We will now discuss it!” she commands, sitting down, legs crossed, hands folded, business casual. But as the complete
story comes out, her pain only becomes more salient. Director Dane Stewart has certainly benefited from a strong script by renowned playwright Edward Albee. Although he lets the cast (with the notable exception of Cameron) drag some monologues a little too long, Stewart certainly seems to have been successful in teasing out the complicated nuances of the story at hand. The tricolour co-ordination between costumes (Melinda Moynihan; Samuel Neuberg) and the set (Peter Farrell; Vinca Merriman) were wonderful accents to the production. Although Colleen Stanton’s lighting skewed towards heavy-handedness at times, it was generally effective in supplementing the action on-stage. The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? keeps its audience tightly wound, right up to its final gasp of pain and horror. TNC’s production is largely successful in channelling the script’s subversive and provoking spirit, and for those up to the challenge, it is not a show to be missed. TNC Theatre’s production of The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? runs March 21 - 24 at 8:00 pm, Morrice Hall, 3485 McTavish. Visit www. tuesdaynightcafe.com for more information.
| Curiosity delivers.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM
Leadership Skills Development Workshops • Interested in gaining skills in leadership? • I nvolved in a student club, service or organization as an executive, organizer or event planner? • Looking for ways to expand & build on your life skills? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above, then don’t miss this opportunity to sign up for the Leadership Training Program’s FREE Skills Development Workshops! These workshops were created to give you the chance to develop and build on your leadership and life skills. Attend a minimum of five workshops throughout 2011/12 academic year and receive a certificate of completion.
Come and see these workshops on the downtown campus:
Professionalism: Being Your Best Thursday, March 29, 5:30-7:30pm Professionalism in group work and the workplace can be a pivotal part of your overall success now and in the future. Come and explore the process of learning and adopting values and attitudes that are key to being a professional in may careers. Being professional or unprofessional has many repercussions in interpersonal interactions - learn how to better navigate this fundamental terrain!
Negotiation Skills Wednesday, April 4, 5:30-7:30pm We all negotiate everyday with friends, other students, professors, landlords etc. In this experiential workshop, explore and expand your own negotiation skills by being involved in an actual negotiation simulation. Be prepared to see that we can all be better negotiators and attain more win-win outcomes!
To register and for more info, visit: www.mcgill.ca/firstyear/leadertraining/workshops you can also drop by the First-Year Office in the Brown Building, Suite 2100 or call 514-398-6913
Youth orchestra pays tribute to French composers OSJM returns to European repertoire in first concert following Chinese tour Chris Nardi Sports Editor For its first concert since returning from a triumphant tour in China over the Christmas holiday, the Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes de Montreal (OSJM) returned to Europe repertoire to pay homage to some of France’s greatest composers. Boasting a lineup of three French composers who each defined their era (Mozart, Ravel, and Debussy), the orchestra returned to a more classical repertoire after venturing into the world of Chinese composers three months before. Russian composer Gustav Mahler once proclaimed, “If a composer could say what he had to say in words, he would not bother trying to say it in music.” His sentiment resonated deeply with the OSJM’s first
piece, “La Mer (The Sea),” one of Claude Debussy’s most famous orchestral compositions. The piece has three movements, each describing the interrelation of the elements that makes the sea, well, the sea. One of the particularities of Debussy’s classic is its incredibly difficult rhythm, and it inevitably was a curse for the orchestra through the first movement, “From dawn to midday on the sea.” Thankfully, under the experienced guidance of maestro Louis Lavigueur, the group’s initial rhythmic inaccuracies were overcome by a smooth and melodic delivery. The second movement, “Play of the Waves,” was filled with playful dialogue between various sections of the orchestra, creating a sometimes joyous, sometimes rapturous atmosphere as the waves bumped and crashed together. The final movement, “Dialogue
of the wind and the sea,” was just as Debussy intended—animated and tumultuous. Though rhythmic anomalies managed to slip into the rendition from time to time, creating a chaotic atmosphere instead of a tumultuous one, the discussion between wind and sea was still one of a thousand faces, ever changing and unpredictable. After the intermission, the audience was given a treat that only Louis Lavigueur could orchestrate—having local pianists Olivier Godin and Susanne Blondin in one room to play Mozart’s “Concerto for two pianos in E flat.” The two renowned musicians were loudly welcomed into the room, and the orchestra knew that if they were to compete with such extraordinary pianists, they would have to be spectacular themselves. Though I’m personally not the
biggest fan of the concerto, the competition between the orchestra and the two pianists brought out the best of both worlds. Godin and Blondin delivered the piece’s particularly delicate piano dialogues with absolute perfection while the youth completed the musical painting with a melodious foundation that occasionally accented, occasionally competed with, and always intertwined artfully with the pianists’ music. The final piece of the evening was Ravel’s “The Waltz.” The orchestra had set the bar extremely high, as had Blondin and Godin. Not through any fault of their own, the piece was an incredible drop in intensity. The sudden deflation made one feel as if the third performance was flat and lacklustre, though the piece is meant to be a ballroom dance and not a sort of Shostakovichian march. Once again, Lavigueur’s baton
wove the winds and strings into a smooth blend that portrayed a bright and decorated ballroom filled with France’s highest aristocrats engaged in an elegant waltz. Unfortunately, being placed after intense pieces such as “The Sea” and Mozart’s concerto encouraged one to fall into a lull instead of grabbing the nearest partner and dancing one’s aristocratic heart away. The OSJM managed to put together a strong performance despite an eclectic and clashing repertoire. Though classical neophytes may have drifted out of the concert hall with droopy eyes and unexplainable fatigue, it wouldn’t be fair to take away from the great performance of the orchestra despite the subpar repertoire offered.
Soccer — redmen 2, montreal 3
martlets 1, sherbooke 2
Redmen, Martlets fall in first round of RSEQ playoffs Both teams lose by one in intense playoff action ending their indoor seasons Christopher Nardi Sports Editor The season was a difficult one for both McGill soccer teams, who were looking to continue their surprising outdoor soccer playoff success in Marie-Victorin centre. Both teams were eliminated in the first round of their respective RSEQ playoff series in tightly fought onegoal games, leaving much to look forward to next season. The playoffs began with a faceoff between the sixth-seeded Redmen (1-5-0) and the third-seeded Montreal Carabins (3-2-1) in the RSEQ indoor soccer quarterfinals. The two historic rivals met only once during the regular season, a 0-3 loss that displayed the inexperience of the McGill team which had just welcomed a group of new recruits to complement the returning players. Unfortunately, the team got off to an extremely poor start. Only 12 seconds in, the Redmen were victims of a few unlucky bounces which led to a quick goal by the Carabins. Stunned by the quick deficit, the McGill squad took a few minutes to get back into the game and prevent Montreal from controlling the rhythm of the game, something they have excelled at all season. Despite strong pressure, the Carabins took advantage of a technical mistake committed by McGill in the final minute of the first half to
McGill soccer teams head into the offseason after losses in the indoor soccer playoffs. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Tribune) extend their lead to 2-0. “Despite the goal we allowed in the first and last minute of the half, we clearly were the team in control of the game,” new Head Coach JoseLuis Valdes said. The second half began with the momentum on Montreal’s side, but McGill found their way back into the game at the 60th minute when fourth-year Jeremy Hurdle found the back of the net on a 28-yard freekick. The joy was short lived, however, as the Carabins struck again at the 72nd minute, extending their lead to two again. But the Redmen didn’t give up, and Hurdle scored again in the 87th minute to cut the
THIRD MAN IN Major League Baseball has officially announced the addition of two wild card teams to its playoff format. The league’s owners and players’ union have agreed to add one team from both the National League and the American League, making 10 playoff teams in total. With three division winners and two wild cards from each league, the two additional teams will play in a onegame knockout round to determine who will advance to the Division Series. Most baseball traditionalists are still upset with the creation of the wild card in 1994, so it comes as no surprise that the old-time fans disagree with the latest evolution of the sport also. They believe that only the division winners should be allowed into the post-season. Prior to 1994, only four teams made the playoffs, the winners of the East and
West Divisions in the American and National Leagues. Traditionalists don’t see the wild card as a deserving candidate for the World Series, being unable to rise above the teams in its own division. In their mind, an expansion to 10 playoff teams is a step in the wrong direction. In addition, some fans have trouble grasping that the fate of a 162-game season can be ultimately decided by single elimination showdown. The criticism is that their teams earned a spot in the postseason, and should be treated to a full series to determine a true winner, rather than a single elimination game. However, the purpose of the restructuring is to add more significance to the season itself. Last year, it appeared as though the playoff teams were decided heading into the last month, which is exactly
lead to one. Hurdle’s goal was too little, too late; the game ended three minutes later, handing McGill their third consecutive loss of the season. “We are a young team; most have not played together in the fall during competition, and have not had the chance to work together on a full-sized field yet. We still managed to maintain possession for the better part of the game while limiting our opponents’ chances,” Valdes explained. “I feel for the boys, as they deserved a much better result today, but I am proud to see that they’ve been able to improve to finally play two good games these last couple
of weeks against the highest-ranked team from the indoor [league] and highest-ranked team from the outdoor season.” Unlike the Redmen, the Martlets came into the post-season with a strong 4-1-1 regular season record, finishing first in the RSEQ. Obtaining a bye to the semifinals, the team faced fourth-seeded Sherbrooke for a trip to the finals and a chance to compete for the RSEQ title. The Martlets came into the game well rested and expecting to dominate a team who had played a hard-fought quarter-final game just the week before. Yet the Martlets never managed to contain Sher-
brooke’s star player Sophie Normandin, who scored both goals for the Vert et Or and led her team to an upset 2-1 win over the top-seeded Martlets. “Missing Rioux at the back made things more difficult because we had to move people around to compensate for her injury throughout game,” Head Coach Marc Mounicot explained. “It was especially tough having to deal with the speed of Normandin and Duquette, the two speedy forwards from Sherbrooke.” The game started well as McGill’s Bianca Cordileone scored the first of the game off a nice header following a cross-field shot by Katherine Green, but the Vert et Or roared back to tie it at the end of the first half. “We had a very solid start in the second half, dominating the play and missing chances and not being able to score the important goal,” Mounicot described. “We had many dangerous situations on shots or corner kicks but were not sharp in the finishing touch.” “The team had a good run this winter, but this game leaves us with a bitter taste because we had the potential and skills to win the provincial championship. We got beaten on a counterattack again against the flow of play and after that Sherbrooke defended very well. With a bit of luck, we’d [have gotten] the win.”
Changing America’s pastime when discussions of playoff expansion intensified. In the end, an epic run by the St. Louis Cardinals and a dramatic collapse by the Boston Red Sox gave fans the most exciting night of regular season baseball they may ever see. With more playoff spots, more races will come down to the final game, and instead of turning their attention to NFL football, more baseball fans will be following their teams late into September. More importantly, it gives added value to teams winning the division by avoiding the knockout game and being able to start their ace pitcher in Game 1 of the Division Series. The wild card teams will each have added travel time and will have to use pitchers in the one-game elimination in order to make the next round. Moreover, the prolonged attention and additional excitement
will increase revenues and television ratings, making the change attractive to the league’s owners. The players crave post-season baseball and aren’t about to turn down an increased probability at playing in primetime. I have my concerns about a one-game elimination between the two wild card teams, but the alternatives aren’t much better. I would love to see a three or five game series, but that amount of time off can become a disadvantage for the division winners. Winning the division should provide more of an edge than home-field advantage; playoff expansion addresses that problem. Ultimately, I believe the wild card round will yield some of the most exciting baseball we have seen to date. With the increased sophistication of front offices around the league, there are more competi-
tive teams that deserve a shot at the World Series. The wild card games will not feature second-rate talent by any stretch. To the same end, the increased playoff probability will make teams more aggressive in their team building as more clubs view themselves as contenders. For example, Canada’s team, the Toronto Blue Jays, is one team that will benefit greatly from the new format. In the extremely competitive American League East, the rising Blue Jays are a real threat to contend with this season. Even if some fans and baseball traditionalists are reluctant to accept the additions, there’s one thing that’s certain: it’s going to be an exciting year for baseball.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 |
| Curiosity delivers.
BASKETBALL — Martlets 43, UBC 65 (CIS Championship Quarter-final)
UBC ends McGill’s strong season Martlets finish season with a disappointing showing at nationals Steven Lampert Sports Editor After a season of RSEQ dominance, the McGill Martlets were hopeful and confident about their chances at the CIS women’s basketball championship in Calgary, even though they faced UBC, Canada’s second-ranked team. Unfortunately, the ThunderBirds, led by their topranked defence in the country, defeated McGill 65-43 in their opening quarter-final matchup. The Martlets had a difficult time attacking UBC’s defence throughout, and shot an abysmal 18 per cent (11-60) from the field. The T-Birds were in control just a few minutes into the game, forcing McGill into tough and contested shots, while attacking the rim on the offensive end. By the end of the quarter, they had built a nine-point lead after converting on a pair of three-pointers. One of McGill’s strengths in the RSEQ was their rebounding. UBC had a strong front line and tall starting lineup, which translated into a huge rebounding advantage (59-39) for the T-Birds. Moreover, the Martlets’ most effective rebounder, Anneth Him-Lazarenko, was nagged by back pains, and was limited to just 19 minutes of action. McGill continued to struggle on the offensive end, as they were forced to take perimeter shots, and were ineffective in the paint. On the other hand, UBC dominated inside, outscoring McGill 14-0 in the paint in the second quarter, and the combination of UBC’s Zara Huntley and Leigh Stansfield put pressure on the Martlets on the defensive end. The injury afflicting Him-Lazarenko was the key in the game, as the Martlets had continuously employed their offence during the year from an inside-out approach—they would establish Him-Lazarenko inside, which freed up open shots for their talented perimeter players. This strategy was denied by the TBirds, and they led by 14 at halftime. The second half was no different for McGill, as UBC continued to dominate the glass, translating into 11 second-chance points in the third quarter. McGill managed just six points in the frame, while Huntley added to her game-high 18 points. By the three-minute mark of the quarter, UBC had amassed a 20point lead, which didn’t dwindle for the rest of the game. McGill played their best in the fourth quarter, as they were more aggressive on the offensive end and hit a couple of outside shots, outscoring UBC 16-15. Neverthless, the Martlets never challenged the T-Birds’
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Shooting woes hurt McGill in Calgary. (ubyssey.ca, mcgillbasketball.com) large lead, as it was too great to overcome. Point-guard Dianna Ros, who was awarded for her outstanding season with all-CIS rookie honours on Friday night at the CIS women’s basketball awards, led McGill with a team-high eight points. McGill was relegated to a consolation matchup against the Saskatchewan Huskies, in which they played a much better game, but lost 58-53. They led throughout the first half, building a lead as large as 12 points. The Huskies cut down the lead to seven by the half, as McGill got cold from the outside. The Martlets held their lead in the third, thanks to some costly turnovers by Saskatchewan, which amounted to four McGill buckets. Part of McGill’s success was due to their ability to establish Him-Lazarenko inside, who finished with 14 points in the game, and had a much stronger performance compared to the quarter-final against UBC. However, the Martlets were outplayed in the final quarter and lost their lead with just under two
minutes to play due to some poor execution on the offensive end. The Huskies carried their momentum with them in the final minute, and converted some key free throws to ice the game. While the Martlets must be disappointed with how the championships turned out, they should be happy with their overall success this season. They claimed their first RSEQ championship since 1996, and showed major improvements from the beginning of the year. The team will lose two of their best players to graduation this year, Natalie Larocque and Him-Lazarenko, but the lineup still contains many bright young players who will look to build on the strong foundation developed this season.
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Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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In case you were busy signing the greatest free agent in NFL history, here’s what you missed this week in the world of sports...
FOOTBALL — NFL free agency continues to roll on, with the two biggest names coming off the market this past week. The endless coverage of where Peyton Manning will play finally came to an end on Monday, as it was reported that Peyton had started to negotiate a deal with the Denver Broncos. Manning will have an immediate impact on Denver, though it will be weird seeing a Bronco rather than a horseshoe on his helmet. The signing also has an impact on current Broncos quarterback and cultural icon Tim Tebow, who will now be traded in all likelihood. The most notable defensive free agent, Mario Williams, was claimed off the market by Buffalo—yes, Buffalo. In a move that was totally unanticipated before free
agency began, the Bills handed Williams a six-year deal that amounts to about $100 million, $50 million of which is guaranteed. The contract is the most lucrative ever given to an NFL defensive player. SOCCER — Alongside St. Patrick’s Day, Montreal was all hyped up on Impact fever this past weekend, as the team made their inaugural home opener on Saturday against the Chicago Fire. Davy Arnaud sealed his name in history, as he netted the Impact’s first ever MLS goal. The game, however, ended in a 1-1 draw. Montreal’s Olympic Stadium was sold out, and the atmosphere resembled that of a large rally—something McGill students are very familiar with. In other news, Toronto FC defeated the MLS defending champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy, to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. They move on to play Mexico’s Santos Laguna in the next round on March 28. HOCKEY — As the NHL grinds down the finish of the regular season, teams are slowly separating themselves from the rest of the pack. Pittsburgh is certainly pulling ahead, winning 11 of their last 12 games with Sidney Crosby making his return to the lineup on Thursday. With all of this in mind, here’s a prediction: the Penguins are going to be really hard to beat in the postseason. The surprise team of the league, the St. Louis Blues, were the first to reach 100 points, as they keep finding ways to win. Good news for Habs and Leafs players: they’re a day closer to hitting the links.
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And FREE SPC card** hrblock.ca | 800-HRBLOCK (472-5625) © 2012 H&R Block Canada, Inc. *Average is based on all student returns prepared at H&R Block in Canada from January 1, 2011 to May 2, 2011 for 2010 tax returns. The average refund amount calculated for students was over $1,100 CAD. This amount cannot be guaranteed and varies based on each individual tax situation. **$29.95 valid for regular student tax preparation only. Cash Back service included. To qualify for student pricing, student must present either (i) a T2202a documenting 4 or more months of full-time attendance at a college or university during 2011 or (ii) a valid high school identification card. Expires July 31, 2012. Valid only at participating H&R Block locations in Canada. SPC Card offers valid from 08/01/11 to 07/31/12 at participating locations in Canada only. For Cardholder only. Offers may vary, restrictions may apply. Usage may be restricted when used in conjunction with any other offer or retailer loyalty card discounts. Cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards or certificates.
NCAA BASKETBALL — March Madness kicked off this past Thursday to the delight of both basketball fans and bored office workers, and in typical fashion, it was upsets galore in the second round. The Tribune’s bracket was busted after little-known Norfolk State shocked the country by defeating second-ranked Missouri, a team that many expected to advance to the Final Four. Another 15-seed, Lehigh, busted a few more brackets by taking down Duke in their opening round matchup. To demonstrate how ridiculous those upsets are, consider this: with the wins, Norfolk State and Leigh became only the fifth and sixth 15th-seeded teams, respectively, to have won their opening round matchup since the tournament was founded in 1939. The last 15th-seed to pull it off was Hampton University in 2001. And we still have a couple rounds left in the tournament.
Irish Athletes Top activein North America
by Hrant Bardakjian
In honour of St. Patrick’s Day last weekend, let’s take a look at the top ten active athletes with roots in the Emerald Isle.
(NFL — QB, New England Patriots) When measuring greatness in sports, the bar is undoubtedly set by Tom Brady. With a plethora of records to his name and a trophy room the size of the Parthenon, Brady is currently the best Irish athlete in North America. Even at the age of 34, Tom Brady’s play hasn’t skipped a beat.
(MLB — SS, New York Yankees) A consummate professional, Derek Jeter has been the face of baseball’s “Evil Empire” for over a decade. In terms of awards, Jeter has amassed five World Series titles and Gold Glove Awards for his positional excellence, to name a few.
(American swimmer) Phelps put forth an inspiring performance at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics by nabbing eight gold medals. With the 2012 London Games just around the corner, Michael Phelps has one last chance to further cement himself in swimming glory, and as the human incarnation of Aquaman.
(NHL — RW, Chicago Blackhawks) When he’s not busy getting in trouble with the law, Kane is one of the pure snipers in hockey. The former number one overall pick is quick, versatile, and can pick any corner of the net with his precision shooting. He also gets bonus points for impersonating Superman at the All-Star Breakaway Challenge.
(NHL — C, Boston Bruins) No, that is not a typo. His father’s side hails from Ireland and while he dropped the name on the back of his jersey, Lord Stanley’s Cup proudly carries the Cleary name. Bergy is not the flashiest player, but he is the straw that stirs the Bruins’ offence with his phenomenal two-way play and faceoff prowess.
Ryan Callahan ers)
(NHL – RW, New York Rang-
The captain of the Blueshirts is having a career year. Much like Bergeron, Callahan is also known for his defensive responsibilities and for elevating his linemates’ play. Time will tell if Ryan can guide the Rangers to a Stanley Cup victory this summer.
(WWE —Professional wrestler) I know what you’re thinking; pro wrestling is not a sport. Nonetheless, WWE wrestlers must be at peak physical shape to withstand the rigours of piledrivers, suplexes, and chair shots. Cena deserves an honorable mention for his tireless work ethic and athletic abilities.
(NBA — PG, Dallas Mavericks) Kidd reached the pinnacle of his career last year when he won his first NBA championship as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. Kidd has experienced glory on numerous occasions with the U.S. national team at both the Olympic and World Championship levels, but nothing can rival the satisfaction of winning the big one in the world’s top basketball league.
(NHL — LW, Boston Bruins) Other than #22, you would be hard pressed to find an Irish athlete that presents the ensemble of intangibles. What Thornton lacks in skills, he makes up for with his grittiness, hustle, and brawling affluence. Every good hockey team requires someone of Thornton’s calibre who wears the jersey on his sleeve. Oh, and he also two Cup rings and sports a wicked handlebar mustache.
(NBA — SF, Cleveland Cavaliers) The son of NBA legend Bill Walton, Luke hasn’t lived up to his father’s lofty accomplishments, but he has still managed to win two NBA championships as a Laker. Unfortunately, he was recently shipped to Cleveland this past trade deadline. Who knows, he just might be the second coming of LeBron James.
Image sources: buncee.com, echorukia.deviantart.com, best-basketball-tips.com, fanpop.com, fansofmediocrity.wordpress.com, askmen.com, howigit.com, usatoday.com, bensalloutblitz.
SCOREBOARD (Scores since March 13) MARTLET BASKETBALL Lost 65-43 vs. UBC (CIS Championship Quarterfinal) Lost 58-53 vs. Saskatchewan (CIS Championship Consolation) MARTLET INDOOR SOCCER Lost 2-1 vs. Sherbrooke (RSEQ Semifinal) REDMEN INDOOR SOCCER Lost 3-2 vs. Montreal (RSEQ Quarterfinal)
Sports tweet of the week: Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur): “Boy, it’s going to be awkward the first time Peyton Manning, as a Bronco, has to kneel down to tie his shoes.”