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July 29, 2013 路 Volume 144, Issue 13



In past columns, I’ve talked a lot about logical fallacies, and I know what you’ve been thinking: “Ben, this talk about logic is all fine and dandy, but the real world is messy, and we have to make decisions based on limited information. Who’s to say what’s reasonable and what’s not?” It’s true that we have to make judgments under uncertainty. We have to make the best decisions we can using our minds as they are now — y’know, as opposed to using something else. Every piece of knowledge you have about the real world is uncertain to some extent, having been filtered through your senses and your mind. This is not the same as saying there’s no such thing as objective truth. The problem isn’t that the real world is messy; your mind is messy, and so is everyone else’s. In spite of this uncertainty, we


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don’t constantly wander around in a confused stupor. How is this possible? Gee, if only there were some mathematical way of quantifying certainty — some kind of “probability theory,” if you will. A probability is a number that expresses the degree of belief that something is true, between 0 (0 per cent) and 1 (100 per cent). Due to a widespread fear of mathematics, people tend to cower in fear upon hearing the word “probability.” This is a shame, because without some way of quantifying certainty, we have a limited vocabulary in which to talk about what we believe. We’re either totally certain X will happen, totally certain X won’t happen, or totally uncertain either way. But probability theory is robust; it allows us to work without total certainty. It’s just a matter of figuring out a number that pinpoints how certain you are. Just as importantly, it gives us a set of rules to identify good or bad reasoning. I’d like to give a famous example borrowed from Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Imagine a 31 year-old woman named Linda. As a university student, she majored in philosophy and was concerned with issues of social justice. Which of the following statements is more probable?: (A)


Linda is a bank teller. (B) Linda is a bank teller who is active in the feminist movement. Answer: “A” is more likely, because it is less specific than “B.” However, the majority of people who answer this question think that “B” is more likely, because it fits their stereotype based on Linda’s description. This is known as the conjunction fallacy, and is something to watch out for in opinionsbased journalism. Here’s another example for you. Which of the following statements is more probable?: (A) The United States will be the victim of a nuclear attack in the next 10 years, or (B) Iran will attack the United States with a nuclear weapon in the next 10 years. Intuitively, your average pundit might act as though “B” is the answer, ignoring the fact that “A” must be likelier. I encourage you to stare at this paragraph as long as it takes you to understand why it’s exactly like the Linda example. This is just a taste of the wonderful world of probability, as it would be impossible to give a complete course on the subject in one article. Probabilistic reasoning takes a lot of practice, but it’s worth becoming accustomed to. Instead of asking yourself, “am I certain of this, or not?” ask yourself, “how certain am I?”


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On June 17, the Burnaby City Council approved UniverCity’s proposal to rezone Phase 4 of the Burnaby Mountain campus. The transformation of this space, previously the home of G Lot and the Visitor Parking Lot, will, according to a press release, “[pave] the way for a significant diversification of residential development at SFU’s UniverCity.” Phase 4 is the fourth area of the campus that has been rezoned during the development phase. The Burnaby City Council approved rezoning of Phase 3 (northwest of the Water Tower Building) in 2010, and Liberty Homes is in the process of rezoning Parcel 25 in Phase 2, which will be a mixed use site with three types of buildings on it: townhomes, a small tower, and a fourstorey building. Phase 4 — otherwise known as UniverCity Slopes — is comprised of eight development sites on which developers are planning to create units to accommodate the growing number of families on the mountain. These buildings will be a maximum of six stories in height and will contain ground-oriented, larger average size units. When asked what motivated the decision for this new type of housing, Jesse Galicz, Development Manager of the SFU Community Trust Staff, responded that the impetus came from the Burnaby Mountain community itself.

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“What we are seeing is we have a lot of first time homebuyers that have moved into Phase 1 of the community, and what we’re finding is we have a slightly higher average number of families in our community than in the city of Burnaby.” said Galicz. “Those families want to stay and grow in the community, so there was some discussion that they wanted to see larger unit sizes.” UniverCity has already begun the next step in the development phase of the Slopes neighbourhood, leasing Parcel 30 to Polygon Homes. Their proposal, which would be the

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first project in the neighbourhood, is to create approximately 160 new homes. If approved, the project would move forward in early 2014 and would take between one and a half to two years to complete. Still, UniverCity’s plans for development do not stop in Phase 4. “What we’re trying to create here is a complete community for everyone, from the very young to senior citizens,” said Galicz when speaking to the end goal of the Burnaby Mountain development. “That means a complete sustainable and healthy community that provides all the

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necessary amenities in one space.” The blueprints for this future development can be found on the Official Community Plan, which shows development reaching from Discovery Park to the Swing Area on the west side of campus. The south neighbourhood, which has been designated but not officially planned, would include 1,500 units beyond what has already been zoned.

Despite the obvious excitement that comes with new development, not all residents have been convinced by UniverCity’s future plans. For many students, the hesitation comes with the lack of any concrete proposals to create affordable housing on campus. Aware of these concerns, Galicz does not feel that student housing

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can be ruled out just yet. “We don’t actually have the specific buildings in place yet,” said Galicz. “We try to partner with certain developers to provide different types of housing so in the future we would like to provide more affordable housing. We don’t have a specific project in mind yet, but there are opportunities in both Phase 3 and 4 to do that.” Students can expect to see 300 new units up for lease each year during the next stages of UniverCity development. Galicz feels that even without specifically targeting students, the university will be able to provide substantial housing opportunities for SFU students. “In comparison to the rest of the lower mainland and Burnaby, our housing is quite affordable running at about $400 to $450 per square foot, which in the context of Vancouver is more affordable than a lot of other regions,” said Galicz. “Average [cost] is about $450 per square foot. Obviously views and finishings play a role in that, so you can find some housing that’s a little bit cheaper and some that’s more expensive. We do that on purpose so we’re providing different levels of housing for a diversity of people,” concluded Galicz.


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The Board heard presentations from the chairs of its several committees: events, advocacy, financial and administrative (FASC), and space. All committees reported that their discussions this semester had been productive and fruitful, with money being spent diligently on projects. The two largest financial expenditures made by FASC were towards the planned Welcome Back event for the fall, and increasing the advocacy budget. Advocacy spent a large chunk of time preparing and approving a budget of $11,000, and are in talks with SFU Financial Aid and Awards to collaborate on a student financial literacy initiative in the fall and spring semesters.

On Saturday, July 20, Granville Street was even busier than usual for a beautiful weekend day. Beyond signs that read “Will play hockey for food,” non-profit organization Five Hole For Food had set up shop between Robson and Smithe. Five Hole For Food is a national, volunteer driven organization with a basic goal: to raise food for local food banks. Started by SFU MBA student Richard Loat, the team travelled across Canada from the East to the West, starting on July 3 in St. John’s and ending up in Vancouver, where they took over Granville Street from

noon to 6:00 p.m. This was the team’s fourth tour. The tour invited hockey lovers as well as those just looking to contribute to a good cause to come out and bring their hockey stick and a can of food. Over the past three years, Five Hole For Food has raised over 200,000 pounds of food to support local food banks. On this tour alone they raised over 345,000 pounds of food, blowing past their goal of 250,000 pounds. Vancouver’s contribution totalled over 70,000 pounds. Nicole Van Zanten, Five Hole For Food’s director of digital and web, said that the energy in Vancouver was “amazing. Out in the maritimes it’s wonderful — a lot of small towns, a lot of small-knit communities — but here it’s big, and everybody comes down and social’s just been buzzing all day.” Social media is imprinted in the identity of the organization, which has been able to reach far past its 40 volunteers

to reach a huge Canadian audience. To date, the initiative has gained support from George Melville, the chairman and owner of Boston Pizza, Bif Naked, Dan Mangan, and even hockey legends Trevor Linden and Roberto Luongo.

“Trevor was a special one,” Loat said in an interview with the Richmond Review. “It’s an immense point of pride just because this has been my baby that I’ve grown year-over-year.” The idea of Five Hole For Food was borne out of the 2010 Winter Olympics, after Canada’s gold medal hockey win and the infectious energy that came

from the games made Loat realize that hockey could be used as a vehicle for change in Canada. “We’re trying to build a social movement that is really tapping into the passion that Canadians have for the sport of hockey, and using that as a vehicle for social change, not just in our hometown of Vancouver, but across Canada,” Loat said in an interview with Burnaby Now. For the first tour in 2010, the team set out across Canada to play nine games and travel 6,000 kilometers in just nine days, raising 6,000 pounds of food. This time around, Five Hole For Food drove 9,405 kilometers, and played 54 hours of hockey. “For me, it’s about raising more and more every year,” Loat said, according to the Richmond Review. “Even if it’s just one pound of food more, it’s considered a success . . . The more impact we can leave on the community, the more impact we can make from year to year.”

The Board also discussed at length the option of hiring an external professional website consultant to take at look at the SFSS website and evaluate what need to be done to improve collaboration and communication between SFSS departments. Since the Board already plans to hire an employee to oversee social media and taking into consideration the expense of hiring an external consultant, the Board was hesitant to move forward, but tasked treasurer Emad Shahid to look into the potential expense.

The Board acknowledged the passing of community member Michael McDonell, who tragically drowned the weekend prior. The Board agreed to involve themselves if possible in the memorial services, and to help the family at this difficult time. A motion was passed to put $200 towards helping the McDonell family.


The Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) has filed a complaint with SFU’s Human Resources department on behalf of their international student members over the healthcare plan, saying that the plan and its implementation are in violation of the TSSU’s collective agreement with the university. is the medical insurance plan that international students at SFU are enrolled into upon their arrival at the university. A three year contract with guard. me was signed by the Board of Governors last year, and implemented in the spring semester. TSSU spokesperson Derek Sahota explained in an interview with The Peak that the main concern of the union is the mandatory nature of the program and the difficulty with opting out. “We had some members trying to

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get out of the program once they got their MSP [Medical Services Plan], and finding they couldn’t actually get out of the program the way that [SFU] had set everything up,” said Sahota. International students are automatically enrolled in the guard. me coverage, and are given the chance to opt-out by scanning their MSP card as proof of coverage. However, Sahota said that because of the long wait time required to attain their MSP card, students aren’t being allowed to opt out of the program, meaning that those who have gotten their MSP but haven’t received their card are faced with the expense of double coverage. International students are eligible for MSP 2 months after their arrival in BC, which covers basic and emergency medical care and costs $66.40 per month per person. Sahota noted that international students are automatically opted into four months of the SFU facilitated service, “but only need two months and remainder of month of arrival at most,” according to the complaint. Expense is also a consideration in the complaint against

the service. The cost of four months of coverage is $353.00, compared to $150 for three months at UBC, or $183.75 for four months coverage at Kwantlen. “Our collective agreement says members may elect to choose their provider, and SFU has basically forced them all to one provider,” said Sahota. “It’s by far the most expensive provider around, even much more expensive than just going and getting it privately on your own.

So that’s a big problem for our members.” The TSSU has scheduled a meeting for September 19 to speak to the university about the complaint. “The members have already had it charged to them. We’re arguing that they should get a full refund because they should have had the option to elect whatever [medical plan] they wanted,” said Sahota. “In addition to that, we really want to force some changes to this program to make it going forward work better.”

In terms of ideas for improvement, Sahota pointed to a program at the University of the Fraser Valley that automatically enrolls students in their healthcare plan after three months, evading the double coverage issue. Sahota also said that the TSSU will be talking with the GSS, SFSS, and other campus groups about the complaint, in an effort to “find solutions that work for everybody.” University officials did not respond when asked to comment on the situation.


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Tesla coils can wirelessly light up fluorescent lights up to 50 feet away.

had the cake but we didn’t get to eat it too,” said Brandon Denis, VicePresident of the Physics Student Association and SFSS Forum Physics Representative, “So this is when we get to eat it too.”

In celebration of Nikola Tesla’s birthday, students from the Physics Student Union gathered last Wednesday to construct a Tesla coil, which is an electrical resonant transformer circuit that can be used to produce high-voltage, low-current, high frequency alternating-current electricity. Tesla, who may be best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current, used to invite the press to his birthday parties to announce new inventions he was working on. Tesla coils were mainly used for electrical experiments in areas like phosphorescence and X-ray generation, but were also sold commercially until the 1920s for spark-gap radio transmitters for wireless telegraphy. Today, Tesla coils are found at places like the Telus World of Science and are mainly used for entertainment and educational purposes. “Our parts didn’t arrive on time for his birthday on July 10, so we

Denis has always wanted to build a Tesla coil, but he credits his girlfriend with providing extra motivation to actually begin the project. “I told my girlfriend that I wanted to build a Tesla coil at some time in my life, and she told me to just go for it,” said Denis. “She pushed me to make the event and organize it, and now here we are making the project.” The ultimate goal of the day was to build a large scale version of a Tesla coil, which would reach

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about one metre in height. However, instead of the more common spark-gap Tesla coil, the team hoped to build a solid state Tesla coil, which instead of having to constantly recharge is able to be turned on and off. By being able to turn the coil on and off at will, the team hopes to be able to convert the low voltage high current through the primary coil into a high voltage low current. “This is done by winding a primary coil around a secondary coil,” explained Denis. “The primary coil will have 5 or so winds where as the secondary will have just over 2500 winds. Because of the way transformer coils interacting work we are able to convert from AC 25 Volts into 12,000 Volts at the business end.” Because of the specific nature of the solid state coil, it can also be hooked up to an iPod to broadcast music, just like a speaker. If the coil works, Denis and his team plan to display it at FROSH, Geek Week, and other science events throughout the year. The team also hopes to host many more events in the future where physics students, engineering students, and tinkerers alike can collaborate to work on similar projects.

A new London-based startup is trying to teach young people about sex, and going to the most likely place they’ll look: the App Store. Founder Fabrizio Dolfi described how a couple of years ago he was on a train reading an article about STDs on his mobile phone. The article that talked about the issue of young people not seeking medical attention when they think something may be going on down south. “[ Young people] avoid or delay seeing a doctor mainly due to embarrassment. Embarrassment that others might find out about their condition . . . Embarrassment, mostly among guys, to drop their pants in front of a stranger,” explained Dolfi. “Because of that many just wait, hoping that whatever it is will go away by itself.” In an effort to avoid situations where young people avoid or ignore STDs or health problems to do with their sex life, Dolfi came up with the idea to bring sexual health information to young people through their mobile devices, with the My Sex Doctor (MYSD) app. “I realised that a large part of the problem regarding young people and STDs have to do with insufficient education,” said Dolfi. “That’s when I came up with the idea of an app that would have given them easy access to minimum knowledge required to properly manage this new function of their body that activates by itself during puberty: sexuality.” The recently released app, which is available in a lite and a $1.99 paid


version, gives a comprehensive overview of sexuality and answers the most common questions that Dolfi and his team found that young people have. During their preliminary research, the team asked young people to write down the 10 questions or doubts about their sexuality that bothered them the most, and used this information to create the app. Dolfi also had a friend who was completing a PhD in sexology at the time to weigh in on content.

The finished result is a sexual database, complete with a list of sexual topics that include various types of sexual activities, pregnancy, a dictionary that defines sexual terms such as “back door” and “mons pubis”, and a list of the “100 Things You Must Know.” “The ultimate purpose of the app is to change the way people access sex education,” said Dolfi. “To free them from the embarrassing conversations with parents or relatives, from hours spent online reading . . . to avoid getting the wrong ideas from misinformed friends or adult entertainment.” He continued, “We think sexuality is a fact of life, it just happens. The same should be true for sex education. As young people mature they should have easy access to information about sexuality, and our app tries to provide precisely that.”


Last week was challenging for SFU staff and students alike, as the community began to mourn the tragic loss of student and campus activist Michael McDonell. McDonell, who graduated from SFU in June with a major in Sociology and minors in Labour Studies and Humanities, was to begin graduate work in September. The 24 year-old passed away in hospital on Sunday after an accident occurred at Sasamat Lake. McDonell was swimming off of White Pine Beach when he got into distress, and was under water for at least five minutes before being pulled out. Aside from being an excellent student who received first class grades in most of his courses as well, as one of the first granted Hari Sharma student awards in Labour Studies, McDonell was actively involved in the SFU community — in the Sociology and Anthropology Student Union (SASU), the Labour Studies Student Union, and with Left Alternative. He had also been a director at SFPIRG where he helped to produce a “strategic vision for the organization,” while “acting as employer for staff.” In the short time since McDonell’s death, numerous student groups at SFU have organized events in his honor. Last Thursday in Freedom Square on Burnaby Campus, SASU held a barbeque, with all proceeds going toward helping McDonell’s family with funeral costs. Community members gathered to speak with each other about their memories of Michael and to share in the event that he himself helped plan for a student union that he was heavily involved in. The McDonell family held a celebration of Michael’s life on Saturday, July 27 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Halpern Centre at SFU Burnaby Campus where friends and colleagues were encouraged to say a few words about Michael. Warren and the Labour Studies Student Union will be hosting an informal celebration of McDonell’s life at the pub, which will provide food and operate as a fundraiser to help the McDonell family recuperate some

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of the funeral costs. The day and time are still to be determined, and all are welcome to attend. Although the pain of the loss of McDonell will never go away, the love and support felt this week by his friends and family are testament to the impact he made at SFU. “While it pains me to acknowledge that he is no longer with us, I am lucky to have had the chance to know him,” said Gloria Mellesmoen, SFSS education representative and a friend of McDonell’s. “I know that I will never forget him or the way he shared his passion with the world.” The multitude of comments that McDonell’s family has received since Sunday speaks volumes to his character and influence in the SFU community, and we have included several below.


There is no such thing as privacy on the internet. In light of recent news coverage of Edward Snowden and National Security Agency (NSA) spying, we must ask ourselves: What has facilitated mass monitoring online, and how can we best protect ourselves? The nature of internet communication enables spying. If you have ever spent time on Facebook stalking your alleged friends, then you’re an accomplice. In most of Canada, online data is legally protected by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Beginning with the most benign privacy threat online, consider the right of access by an app developer or your email provider.

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SFU’s Fair Use Policy for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) governs all online services and other university computers. This policy states that “most activities performed using university’s ICT resources are logged . . . [and] . . . routinely examined by ICT support staff to monitor the performance, reliability and security of ICT. ICT support must not disclose information learned from or contained within these log files except when authorized . . .” I do not question SFU’s integrity regarding this policy, I only mean to highlight that anything stored on SFU servers is accessible, and therefore, isn’t private.

Information technology (IT) support services for corporations with an online presence

have the same access to data as SFU, but this data is also analysed for the purpose of targeted advertising, which is akin to spying. The clever programming of analytics responds to key words in emails, web pages visited, type of web browser, the brand of computer, your IP address and much more. If you’re browsing on a smartphone, these analytics monitor where you are. Check the terms of apps and determine what they demand access to. The app requires geographic location. Looking up the definition of “absurd” online should not require my location. Location monitoring is unnecessary, arbitrary and an invasion of privacy. Location data is a type of “metadata” and is argued by its proponents not to be a form of spying. The metadata of a phone call doesn’t include conversation topics, but details who you called, for how long, and from where. All things considered, if you consistently monitor a person’s digital

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activity, you would likely know more about them than if you searched their home.

The NSA has applied all of these online monitoring techniques, and more. This form of spying generates a comprehensive, constantly updating digital record of everything a person has done using communication technology. This isn’t simply following someone in a crowd; if an agent deems you suspicious, your digital fingerprint, backed-up across multiple servers, can be thoroughly scrutinized. Over the last 15 years, the Government of Canada has made repeated attempts to remove the necessity for law enforcement agencies to possess a warrant to monitor a person’s


online activity. A warrant is presently required, but this provides only limited online privacy, which may be eliminated with a change to the law. What can we netizens (citizens of the internet) do about our lack of privacy online? For starters, read the terms and conditions when you agree to use apps or online services. If people refuse to use apps and communication devices because of invasive monitoring, developers will change the product. Opt out of unnecessary data monitoring. For the dictionary. com app, I have disabled “location services.” For email, use a fully encrypted service, or one that isn’t actively analysing your correspondence. SFU email accounts are considerably more private than Gmail accounts. For a comprehensive list of encrypted and open source online services visit prism-break. org. Finally, when any of your liberties are challenged, make noise, scream, yell and sign petitions. Government lawmakers really do notice.


Ramadan can be an opportunity for Muslims to reaffirm their faith in God and in each other, but if it is to thrive in the face of globalization, it may need to be reinterpreted to fit a modern world. Although I am not a Muslim, I have observed and participated in Ramadan for the last two years after volunteering in Senegal in 2012. During one month, believers fast from dawn until sunset, refraining from taking anything into their bodies, be it food or water, or having sexual relations. Additionally, observers abstain from smoking or

F. Scott Fitzgerald, arguably one of the greatest novelists of all time, once said, “boredom is not an end product: it is, comparatively, rather an early stage in life and art. “You’ve got to go by or past or through boredom, as though a filter, before the clear product emerges.” Of course, Fitzgerald was born over a century ago. It was easier to be bored then than it is now; wherever we go, we have something to distract us and keep our minds occupied, whether it’s the tiny computers in our pockets or the headphones in our ears. However, our battle against

other vices, and some take it one step further and avoid swearing, dancing, or music. The purpose of this abstention is to bring one’s focus to God and to appreciate the many parts of life we take for granted. Many reconnect with their faith during this month, and learn to value their self discipline. This month also sees a great spirit of giving and empathy, as the entire Senegal nation (or at least, the 95 per cent who are Muslim) fasts together. Such rigid observance is very communal in a monoculture like Senegal, because almost everyone is fasting, and the day’s pace and timing reflect this. There’s a certain electricity in the air when you rise at 4:30 a.m. to hear the call to prayer and eat your last meal before dawn, and spending the day forgetting your hunger makes laughter with friends all the more important. In the evening, the whole city is abuzz with families shopping together to assemble bread and spreads for the breaking of the fast. When the day

boredom isn’t in our best interests. For years, experts having been singing the praises of tedium. Dr. Sandi Mann of the University of Central Lancashire recently conducted a study which found that daydreaming can improve creative ability. “I do strongly believe that we shouldn’t be afraid of boredom and that we all — adults, children, workers, non-workers — need a little bit of boredom in our lives,” Dr. Mann told Science Omega. Being bored is tougher than it sounds, though. We live in a culture dominated by convenience, obsessed with stimulation and terrified of inactivity. Internet addiction is becoming more and more of a serious issue, and excessive use of technology and social media outlets have been linked with depression, anxiety and poor sleeping habits. The vast majority of us don’t even think about it. It’s remarkable how quickly we’ve normalized and adapted to our excessive use of computers, smart phones

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is finally done and bellies are full, everyone feels a sense of pride and companionship in having endured the fast together. For this year, however, I was back in Vancouver, where our culture is much more secular and where Muslims are a distinct minority. With friends constantly planning outings at restaurants or afterdinner events, Ramadan suddenly became extremely isolating instead of a unifying force. One can assume this is a challenge Muslims in many countries face. Take a look at the Summer Olympics, for instance; in 2012, the games took place during Ramadan from July 27 to Aug 12. This means that observing Muslim athletes were fasting — meaning not drinking water — during the competition, inhibiting them from performing to their best ability. This makes me think about how other religions have reinterpreted their ancient texts to better fit a modern world. Consider the Jewish and Islamic prohibition on

and tablets. I often find myself mindlessly browsing Facebook and Twitter, hypnotized by a tirade of meaningless status updates and links to pictures of cats. The worst part is that many of us who try our best to step outside of this meaningless rigamarole find ourselves wracked with anxiety and stress: What am I missing? Whose birthday am I forgetting? FOMO is the shorthand that psychologists have given to this phenomenon: it stands for “fear of missing out,” and given that the vast majority of university students tend to frequent at least one social media outlet, a Facebook account or a Tumblr blog has become all but necessary to stay involved in the social sphere. Thus, boredom has been all but eradicated in our day-to-day lives, replaced by the restless anxiety of keeping track of an endless array of party invitations, cultural events, and celebrity scandals. But taking a moment to pause and daydream can work wonders for your creativity and your

pork. A modern explanation for this archaic practice that many give is that, without refrigeration, pigs’ meat would go bad faster than other meats. This prohibition no longer factors into the 21st century, and only remains for religion’s sake (although many religious persons no longer feel that eating “kosher” or “halal” decides whether one can or cannot be called a Jew or a Muslim).

There are many important lessons in the Bible and the Qu’ran that can help one live a better life, yet these books were written hundreds of years ago, and we now have a greater understanding of

mental capacity. When was the last time you wrote a journal entry, or read a novel that you weren’t assigned? When was the last time you took a walk without a gadget in your hand, and let your mind wander? As students, our daily routines are restrictive enough without us sleepwalking through them; it’s the least we can do to open our eyes and try to make the most of the moments we have to ourselves, as seldom as they are.

how the world works. Interpretation to religious beliefs accrues with culture, a veneer that many have stripped back; an eye for an eye becomes metaphor, the burka, a cultural interpretation, four wives, an option, not an injunction. Ramadan is but one of many Islamic traditions that have lasted since the 7th century, but our modern world makes interpreting these traditions literally quite challenging. If Ramadan remains obligatory, does it become archaic? Or is it adaptable to our modern world? The rigidity of Ramadan makes its observance difficult, especially for those who are not surrounded by a support system or who do not live in a country that accommodates its challenges. However, that change is not going to come from the system; for Ramadan, as well as other religious traditions, to transition into the 21st century and continue to unite observers in their love for God and community, they must open themselves up to interpretation and adaptation.

I know it seems cliche to urge you to “stop and smell the roses.” After all, the roses on your iPad are likely in higher definition and probably neatly organized in a folder, too. But with the end of the semester looming on the horizon and the promise of a month off about to become a reality, remember to unplug and unwind. It might be boring at first, but hey, maybe that’s not so bad after all.


Despite never having a “Vancouver proper” postal code my whole life (unless you count fetal development), I’ve always considered Vancouver and not wherever I was currently situated my home. It’s not surprising, really. A large part of my childhood was spent there. I went to school in Vancouver for the first and second grades, despite living in Surrey. Every Friday night until I was six was spent at Science World, with a stop at the McDonalds at Main and Terminal so I could ride the Merry-Go-Round in the Playplace. I enjoyed the PNE less for the rides and more for the fact that my mom would drive around to the houses she grew up in north of Hastings. Then we’d trudge from the car, parked in front of her high school friend’s house on Franklin near Nanaimo, all the way to the fair grounds, and she would point out the houses that were the same, who had lived where, how upset they’d be over the state of the rose garden, the houses that had been rebuilt, and any number of factoids about the area. I love the landscape of Vancouver: its old narrow houses and notoriously unopen space floor plans, brick walk-ups downtown with once-grand, now-motheaten carpeted entrances, and even the Vancouver specials in the south. Part of why I’m terrified to leave in September is because in the two years I’ll be gone, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be coming back to the Vancouver I knew.

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When the Vancouver Police Museum offered me and a friend admittance to their “Sins of the City” walking tour of the DTES, I jumped at the opportunity. The tour was unique in that it told a different history than the one we usually get. A lot of the first settlers came here for the gold rush, and yes, many of us know that Gastown was Vancouver’s first real area to develop, and it happened because “Gassy Jack” opened a saloon; but you probably didn’t realize the Vancouver Police Department (a version thereof at least) began because of the amount of drunks causing trouble. In a historical context, the Granville Strip reads less as a wart on our

elsewhere. Not quite the “we’re just tryin’ to have a little advisory committee, for fuck sakes” city we all love. While a lot of the tour was spent marvelling at the facades of decades-old buildings, trying to envision a tapestry of the seedy exchanges that occurred within, many times our group found ourselves looking at a 70s-90s built building where the sin den in question once sat, which is unsurprising. In a city predicated on vice, gambling and hedonism, it makes sense that we’re always trying to move on to the next big thing, find the next cash cow, no matter what gets burned in the process. The DTES is hardly the only area cur-

city and more as a weekly pioneer days celebration. Vancouver, it turns out, had quite the string of corrupt politicians and higherups in the police force. Making it big was all about who you knew and how much you could pay them. Busts might have happened, and businesses may have shut down, but eventually they’d pop up

rently affected by the push to build and redevelop in Vancouver. It’s more obvious, given that you have the nouveau-riche cashing in on quickly built condos, eager to demonstrate their wealth outwardly mixed in with inhabitants of what is for now still the poorest postal code in Canada, but other areas are getting architectural facelifts as well, coming out looking


as plastic as Heidi Montag. The West Side is seeing many of its character homes demolished rather than renovated, something Caroline Adderson has been working to catalogue on her Vancouver Vanishes Facebook page. Citing its fruition in “naivety and frustration,” Adderson began taking photos of the houses she was witnessing being demolished and sending them, along with letters, to city council. Protests falling on deaf ears, she got the idea to put the photos online in January of this year. One of the biggest issues she sees here isn’t that the houses are in massive states of disrepair, requiring serious work to make them liveable again. Most of these homes are being sold for their property value alone. In the West Side, says Adderson, “lots are generally much larger, so the houses are picked off one by one. The condition of the house is irrelevant; many are newly renovated.” However, for those that do want to buy a character home for its quirk and charm, trying to make even basic renovations can quickly become a nightmare. The Vancouver Courier recently ran a piece explaining the hoops Alex Burgers and Kyrani Kanavaros had to jump through to renovate the 1912 bungalow they purchased. They aren’t just any home-buyers, either. Burgers has worked for 15 years in the construction industry. The family waited over a year to get

the necessary permits, whereas if they had opted to demolish the house, the permits would’ve taken four months, tops. There isn’t much incentive to reuse as much existing structural material as possible, which seems shortsighted given Vancouver’s constant strides towards greenification. Right now, Adderson quips, “Seventy-four per cent of Vancouver’s DLC (Demolition, Land-clearing and Construction waste) Landfill is waste from residential demolitions. More than 750 homes are demolished annually. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Remember that?” For us as students, it’s easy to write things like this off. With the job market and economy the way they are, it’s not like home ownership is on the near horizon for the large majority of us. But therein is part of the problem. When we erase the way our city was built, who it was built for, we forget where we came from. One of the reasons I enjoy (in a remorseful way) the Vancouver Vanishes page so much is because Adderson includes the original owner’s name and their profession. Some houses were turnkey houses people moved into, the more exquisite obviously ordered to fit with a vision in mind. Their owners, though, were ordinary people. While their titles were certainly reflected in the size of the home

and its location, whether someone was a manager of a large trading company, a clerk, or a piano teacher, they managed to afford a detached house with a modest to large yard in Vancouver. It’s not just about having a scenic vista of brightly painted houses like Newfoundland proudly boasts in their tourism brochures (although having a distinct culture doesn’t seem to hurt tourism), it’s about preserving a memory of where we’ve been as a town. When we knock down our second oldest house, a testament to one of Canada’s first architects, when we sell-off Arthur Erickson’s design that he saw fit to call home that likely will be razed while I’m away, we aren’t just making way for more families, we’re saying “fuck you” to our past. More importantly, we don’t have to care about our wrongs if there aren’t visual testaments to them. One of my favourite stops on the walking tour we took was only accessible through Jane’s Tea and Art, a small tea shop that teaches traditional Chinese tea ceremonies and sells tea, accessories, and any number of desirable shiny things. Through the shop we came to a courtyard, backed by the two-story building we’d walked through and walled in by tall brick buildings. The only way in was through the buildings, but there were

small corridors leading to unassuming doorways back onto the street. In 1907 when the Asiatic Exclusionary League incited the Vancouver riots, smashing windows throughout Chinatown and what was then Japantown (now Oppenheimer Park), the courtyard served as a safe haven for those lucky enough to be in the buildings with access to it at the time of the attack. Once

everything died down, people left the alley. Not understanding how so many had managed to escape the riot, stories of underground tunnels in Chinatown began to emerge. If the alleyway behind the tea shop had been flattened and built over, we wouldn’t have an antidote to conspiracy theories like a system of tunnels under the city, but more importantly, to the

whitewashing we like to do when scars of our past become visible. Fortunately, the whole block was owned by a wealthy opium manufacturer who never sold the properties and maintained the buildings largely as they were. When you’re standing in the alley, however peaceful it seems, you can imagine what it must have been like, hundreds of people packed in a small area, waiting, listening, trying not to breathe, having nowhere to look but up because of the then-sky-scraping buildings keeping them blind, but also obscured from their would-be attackers. Their owners being interned in labour camps during WWII and all of their possessions seized by the Canadian government, the homes and businesses of Japantown largely didn’t survive to tell the same stories as those in Chinatown. Only a few of the original buildings at Jackson Ave and Powell Street remain. History tends to be cyclical, but that doesn’t mean we have to repeat ourselves. While I’d like to think we’re well past race riots, we made it clear two years ago we weren’t past rioting altogether (even if it was in the name of nothing, it would seem). I’m not trying to give you some meandering Golden Age Fallacy about how much better Vancouver was before, although I do personally favour the aesthetics of days gone by. I would be heartbroken to come back to Vancouver and see the streets I liked to

walk down dramatically changed, even though change is inevitable. Rather, I’m troubled by our willingness to throw out history with the yard trimmings and organic matter. Too easily we move on to the next big thing. In an article detailing Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association’s initiative, in partnership with Ninja Games, to use an incremental clue treasure hunt throughout the DTES to teach people about Vancouver’s history through architecture, Wes Regan explains that “Vancouver’s architecture tells us the story of our city, the myth, meaning(s) and power of place.” This is as true of the East, West or South Sides as it is for the DTES. While single-family homes surely don’t carry the history of as many people as Vancouver’s original skyscrapers, they still tell the story of a generation’s hopes and desires. They tell us who was living where, and who was able to afford what. Vancouver isn’t an old city, at least in our Euro-centrist view of Canada, but it’s old enough that we no longer get to have the luxury of pretending we all came here with nothing. If we’re looking to improve the way our city operates and the fairness with which our inhabitants are able to access things like safe and affordable housing, we need to pay attention to our past so we aren’t doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

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As an English student, evaluating the creative works of others is what I spend my time doing. My classmates and I can approach this in a plethora of different contexts: historical, political, through a gendered lens, and more. We can also broach a work in its overall form (the text at large), or choose to look at a portion of it and do a “close reading.” Of course I enjoy each of these avenues, because they reveal so much information I wouldn’t have known otherwise. However, emotions count too; they are the reason I became an English major. Analyzing a work on the basis of where and when it is written is very helpful, but ignores some aspects of what the text can do. A text moves, a text inspires, a text makes you feel in your darkest hour. If a text fails to do this, is it successful? The American Gothic writers presented a division between logic and emotion, so this debate is nothing new. Living in a nation prioritizing science, reason, and classification, their works played to the human psyche and tested the boundaries of the American reader; how far could audiences be pushed? Affect theory acknowledges this type of reading, because it recognizes emotion as the

Nada Al-Ahdal, an 11 year old Yemeni girl, recently spoke out in a video posted to YouTube about the horrors of fleeing from a forced arranged marriage. Her mother wanted to marry her off to a wealthy suitor, but Nada escaped to live under the protection of her uncle. “This is not normal for innocent children,” Nada states. “What about the innocence of childhood?”

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initial way we respond to a work, and supports the belief that how we emotionally respond to a text reveals something about our inner selves. Looking to emotion also allows us to connect with the artist and their work in a non-contrived way. When looking to a writer,

we typically draw up a portrait of them and keep it in mind when viewing their work: their gender, race, nationality, and sexuality all become points of focus, and become “symbols” that we aim to find embedded within their works. But is this the right way to read? By doing so in this way, we are

This isn’t the first time Nada has escaped — she avoided being married off to an expatriate just a year ago. “I would have no life, no education,” she proclaims. For taking a stand and raising awareness through her video, Nada should be praised. Without a childhood or dreams, she believes, “[she’s] better off dead.” Way to stick up for your rights!

The World Health Organization states that 39,000 girls under the age of 18 are married off every day. That’s more than 140 million between 2011 and 2020. In her video, Nada explains what these marriages mean for girls such as herself: “They have killed our dreams . . . [we] didn’t have time to study or anything.” Violence and death often accompany these child brides, with many resorting to suicide as a

essentially cherry-picking the features we wish to see, and ignoring or undervaluing those not aligning with the portrait of the artist. At the end of the day, the writer is a human individual, and I like to believe we are not merely the sum of all our parts, but are something more.

means of escaping their situation. In her video, Nada explains how some children drown themselves by throwing themselves into the sea. The lives of these children are forever affected by these forced marriages — without the proper education to succeed, they are forever trapped inside these abusive, unloving realities. “What kind of people threaten their children like that?” Wise words, Nada.

Claude McKay, an AfricanAmerican writer from Harlem during the 1920s, makes reference to this expectation. He explained how he was expected to read his poetry while wearing a dress suit out of respect for the image the public desired of him. Instead, he maintained that he “abhorred that damnable uniform” and that “poets and novelists should let good actors perform for them.” I feel that this is exactly what we do when ignoring the emotion of a work of art — putting the artist on a stage rather than looking to ourselves and our own interpretation of the text. This all isn’t to say that I desire no critical thinking beyond what I can feel. It is valuable to know an artist’s personal politics, and what sort of a family upbringing they had, because their experiences and ideology do influence their work and their creative process. However, writers read the books they do out of emotional enjoyment, so we should make sure to remember to do the same, and not make idols of the artists we adore.


It frustrates me to see that people living in a country as progressive as Canada are still so disapproving of women who breastfeed in public. I’m from a conservative country (Pakistan, if you’re wondering), and outrage over breastfeeding there would be expected (although not justified), because a woman publically breastfeeding there would most likely face repercussions. However, no matter the country, this disapproval over breastfeeding needs to stop. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees all those living in Canada gender equity, as stated in Section 15. This means that breastfeeding in public is legal, and according to Canadian law, so is roaming around topless for every person, as can be interpreted in Section 28 of the charter, which ensures both males and females have equal claims to rights that are guaranteed. Yet, when you go around asking people if they have a problem with breastfeeding, many seem to think it’s inappropriate. An online poll conducted by New Jersey 101.5 asked if people were uncomfortable with a woman breastfeeding in public, and 32 per cent voted in the affirmative. A friend of mine even went as far as saying, “it’s a woman who’s exposing herself in public, and she would make others uncomfortable.” Why this hostility towards a woman who just wants to feed her baby? If you feel uncomfortable or cannot resist the urge to give her cringe-worthy looks, there are other directions you can look in; you’re the one who needs to change your perspective.

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As many women nowadays like to argue, female breasts are not a sexual organ — we merely brought them into the realm of adult sexual relations. If you

look at it from a logical perspective, the function of breasts (from a mother’s perspective) is to nourish by providing food for their baby. That’s all. So why, then, are mothers frowned

upon by people for choosing to breastfeed in public? There are many online forums where mothers share their discomfort and anger over getting strange looks from people — especially men — over breastfeeding in public. Some users’ stories reveal how they were asked to move to the washroom, and some discuss how they were told that their actions were “inappropriate.” One of these discussions included a woman commenting, “I think it’s okay to do it as long as a woman does is very discreetly.” It’s sad to hear all this while trying to absorb the reality that

this is in fact the 21st century — the very century that people claim no longer needs the fight for gender equality because we’ve conquered it all.

Every time a man tells me that it’s inappropriate, I force him to imagine the same scenario with him as the breast


feeder; it’s hard to see why anyone would walk up to a man because of a problem with him exposing his chest in public. This is where the issue of equality comes in. We might claim it’s all hunky dory, and that feminism has achieved its goal and that there is honestly nothing to fight for anymore. However, when a man looks me in the eye while saying he can roam around topless on the street, but he takes issue the minute a woman tries to feed that crying baby of hers in public, there is something wrong. This double standard is what makes me believe we have a problem.


Pride Week 2013 officially starts July 29 with the City of Vancouver proclamation, followed by a full week of official (and unofficial) events and parties. August is also host to several other Pride events, so there is a lot to do and see all month long. While this list contains several major Pride events, it is by no means complete. Practically every nightclub on Davie Street has theme parties planned, and many other groups are celebrating achievements of the LGBTQ community. Some additional events of note include the Clean & Sober Pride Ball, The Vancouver Gay Men’s Chorus Big Gay Sing, and the G(r)AY and Glamorous social and dance.

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Barbara Adler first became interested in spoken word after hearing Buddy Wakefield perform at Café Montmartre during the Thundering Word Heard series. She then saw the Vancouver Poetry Slam team perform at local book and magazine festival The Word On The Street and was hooked. Adler got into the poetry slam community heavily, and was a Canadian Team Slam Champ, a CBC Poet Laureate at the Peter Gzowski Invitational and a CBC Poetry FaceOff winner. But since starting with slam poetry, Adler has gone in many other directions, exploring other talents and projects. Adler graduated with a BA in Art and Cultural Studies from SFU with a minor in Fine and Performing Arts. Her music however, is completely self-taught. “I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of other professionals and learning from them,” she explains. Her BA allowed her time to “think critically about what it is to be an artist and what that means within arts and culture.” She was

In grade three, Cameron’s first published poem was accepted to the Stepping Stones Anthology, and it hasn’t stopped. “Rappers were the first poets I listened to,” explained Cameron, who was drawn to hip hop music in the late 80s. He began writing his own: “I wouldn’t call it poetry, but that’s what it was.” He attended SFU on a soccer scholarship, emphasizing that he was an “athlete-student” as opposed to a student athlete. Soccer came first and for four years he was on SFU’s Men’s Varsity Soccer Team, receiving All-American honours and the SFU Captain’s Award. He later went on to play with the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Canadian National Youth and Olympic teams. Unfortunately, an injury cut his professional soccer career short, but he still mentors and coaches youth soccer. After university, Cameron began to explore performance of his poetry and lyricism and discovered the Vancouver Poetry Slam. His work is “influenced by black poetry, history, and culture,” and addresses social issues, raising awareness and sharing knowledge and empowerment. Kevan Cameron was born in Alberta huge fan of music, playing reggae, His stage name was “Scruffmouth to Jamaican parents who raised soul and hip hop for the family, and the Scribe” after a nickname his him with a strong appreciation for his mother was a teacher who would brother gave him as a kid. his cultural background and expo- have Saturday classes to share JaHis own poetry style has transsure to orality. Cameron’s dad was a maican culture and heritage. formed over the years, and he


one of the founding members of the band The Fugitives, which “mixed spoken word and music” explains Adler, citing both as passions. The Fugitives grew out of several poets from the Vancouver Poetry Slam community when they attended the first Canadian National Poetry Slam. Although Adler left The Fugitives a couple years ago, her love for mixing music and poetry has only grown since then. “I love music and the rhythmic aspects of language,” gushes Adler, “the musicality of language and the intersection of poetry and music.” She then founded Fang, Vancouver’s only accordion shout-rock band. “It’s essentially me aggressively yelling lyrics,” laughs Adler. Trying to describe ‘shout-rock,’ she likens it to Patti Smith, who screams poetry over rock music. Despite several other side projects, Adler supports herself by teaching music and poetry on contract. She finds the time to work with groups such as the Vancouver East Cultural Centre with the Ignite! Mentorship Program for youth,

the Vancouver Biennale, and the The BC Schizophrenia Society’s ReachOut Psychosis Program. The latter mixes serious content with comedy and performances by her band Proud Animal, “educating youth and inspiring them to think about mental health.” Coming up in the fall is the Accordion Noir Festival, which Adler is helping to organize. It will take place from September 12 to 15, and really pushes the boundaries of what accordion music can be. “It’s not just polkas and the elderly,” says Adler, who mentions other fringe instruments such as the ukulele that have experienced a similar resurgence in popularity. The festival’s accordion rock and dance party is not to be missed, and Adler is organizing an Underdog Instrument Grudge Match, which will pit these fringe instruments against each other in a battle-of-the-bands-type rock-off. In September, Adler will also return to SFU to do her MFA where she wants to explore her Czech heritage and accordion music.

now describes his spoken word as “more free verse spoken dub poetry” where “the words aren’t confined to scheme.” As his involvement increased, Cameron began organizing events with the Vancouver Poetry Slam, who would hold general events every second week, but opened up the floor to ideas for specific themes. In 2007, Cameron organized the first Pan African Slam, which coincided with Black History Month in February. Later in the year he attended his first National Poetry Slam where he hosted another Pan African Slam. “It was an opportunity to connect with the community,” explains Cameron, who felt diversity was a strong reason for the slam’s resonance.

While working on a short film in 2008 called Food for Thought with Black Sunrise Pictures, it was suggested that he form a collective for his projects. Cameron believes “we have to create the community we want” and found that as an official collective, it was easier to obtain recognition and funding. The Black Dot Roots & Culture Collective was born, with Kevan “Scruffmouth” Cameron at the helm. Since 2008, Cameron and the Black Dot Collective have been involved in more community events, including starting the Hogan’s Alley Poetry Festival in 2011 and the Great Black North poetry anthology earlier in 2013.


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If you haven’t made it over to the Chinatown Night Market yet, you should consider checking it out soon, if not for the food alone. There’s a booth from The Pie Shoppe, Vancouver’s smallest pie shop making handmade fruit pies, unique caramels by [in the oven] (featuring flavours like smoked salt and root beer), plus Keefer St.’s Bao Bei opens up a patio right in the midst of all the festivities. Check out their crispy pork belly and enjoy a cold bottle of Yanjing. There’s also a dumpling cook-off and eating contest hosted by Bao Bei on August 16, between 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. No matter what your taste buds prefer, there’s something yummy for every foodie.


The 37th annual Powell Street Festival fires up again from August 2 to 4. The festival will begin on August 2 with a multimedia performance by Omodaka, a combination of traditional minyo (folk music) with contemporary electronics and visuals. Other highlights include a performance by Doug Koyama, an improvisational loop-pedalist, a reading by Mariko Tamaki, the author of Skim and (You) Set Me on Fire, and the Jackson Avenue Block Party Performance space and marketplace. Events are happening at several venues around the city, and all daytime events are free! Check out for the full schedule.

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is almost here! Featuring over 70 films from 20 countries, from Bollywood to Hollywood, drama to documentary, indie to big budget, the variety is endless. Events include Reflection / Refraction, performance art inspired by short films on August 1; the opening gala party featuring the film Magnificent Presence! on August 15; and Margarita, a film about a mexican immigrant facing deportation, showing on August 16 at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

As part of SFU Public Square’s Summer Writes: Urban Tales series, City Centre: A Poetry Reading and Conversation About Life in Urban Vancouver is happening August 7. The conversation will take place between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at SFU Vancouver campus and will feature Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau in conversation with poet Daniela Elza. The evening will consider Vancouver’s mixed landscape of mountains and urban architecture with the unpredictable and rainy weather and how this environment affects each of the artists. The event is free, but seating is limited.

Ever wanted to learn swing dancing but didn’t know where to start? Royal City Swing is offering a Hand-to-Hand Charleston workshop on August 2. The workshop covers the basic movements involved in the hand-to-hand Charleston, as well as a few fancy moves in the second half of the workshop. It is recommended to be familiar with some level of 20s Charleston or tandem dancing prior to the workshop, but if you are a fast learner and are feeling brave, join in! Tickets are $10. Check out the Royal City Swing Facebook group for more details.


Rush has been together for almost 40 years, and though mainstream success has by and large eluded them — save for a string of modestly popular albums in the early 80s — they have inspired a devoted following made up of people who are fond of irregular time signatures, calculated guitar solos and science fiction-inspired lyrics. I am not one of these fans: I respect them and acknowledge their existence, but I observe them in the same way I might observe a Norwegian soap opera sans subtitles. It’s hard to deny Rush’s technical ability — Neil Peart’s drumming, especially, is surely among the most creative of the rock and roll canon — but Hemispheres, often considered a high water mark of the band’s lengthy

Sandwiched in between The Beatles as teen heartthrobs and The Beatles as serious musicians is Rubber Soul. This LP is full of firsts: first marijuana-inspired songwriting session (courtesy of Bob

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career, does nothing for me. The album opens with “Cygnus X-1: Book II,” a musical suite which spans 18 minutes and recounts the story of a deity looking to reconcile a populace divided into two separate hemispheres — a Cold War parable? Lead vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee’s irritating wail does little to lend weight to Peart’s lofty lyrics. “Circumstances” and “The Trees” are similarly uninspiring — the latter track seems trapped between self-parody and straight-faced conviction, whereas the former’s homesick balladry is undercut by a repetitive chorus and a corny keyboard interlude. Closing track “La Villa Strangiato,” which stands as the trio’s first instrumental, is unequivocally Hemisphere’s finest moment, though this may be because Geddy Lee does not sing. In any case, the song’s stream-of-consciousness format quickly becomes tiresome, and the album’s remarkably short runtime — only 36 minutes, unheard of for a prog rock album — came as a happy surprise. Ultimately, it comes as little surprise that the group’s next album, Permanent Waves, completely abandoned expansive musical suites and strived towards more economic, structural songs. Hemispheres ultimately strikes me as a failed experiment, albeit a noble one. At least “Spirit of the Radio” is pretty good.

Dylan), first instance of George’s long love affair with the sitar, and the first time that the group retained complete artistic control in the studio. The results are predictably rewarding. The songs on Rubber Soul flirt with psychedelia, R&B and chamber pop. Some of them are among the group’s best contributions ever, especially John’s: the gentle, nostalgic “In My Life” is about the closest he’d ever verge towards sentimentality, and the mature anti-love story of the Dylan-inspired “Norwegian Wood” silences any lingering whispers of hand-holding or she-loves-yous. Paul’s contributions are less notable, albeit far from unremarkable. “You Won’t See Me” boasts an industrialstrength hook, and album opener “Drive My Car” is bouncy and lovable. George, on the other hand, has a chip on his shoulder: “Think For Yourself” is downright cruel, and “If I Needed Someone” does little to soothe the burn. Still, Rubber Soul may be the most

Though its album title is novelistic and its subject matter occasionally maudlin, Fiona Apple’s sophomore LP is full of brilliant musicality, gorgeous vocals and lyrics that are equal parts sympathetic and self-deprecating. Coming off the heels of her immensely popular debut Tidal, When the Pawn... effectively ups the ante: the songs on this record simply sound better, due in no small part to studio wizard Jon Brion, whose lush production and theatrical string arrangements complement Apple’s raw, unhinged vocal. Her singing, which has always been her strong suit, befits her creative songwriting: the Burlesque snarl of “On the Bound” and the syncopated hip-hop beats of “Fast As You Can” only

overrated entry in the Fab Four’s canon. Paul’s faux-Français “Michelle” is sappy, and John’s “Girl” is overly similar; elsewhere, John’s “Run For Your Life” is easily the quartet’s most misogynistic number, and Ringo’s performance on “What Goes On” is, well, about as good as any of his other lead vocals. As a checkpoint in The Beatles’ discography, Rubber Soul may be the most important: nothing would be the same afterward, and nothing had sounded quite like this before. But with the shadow of Revolver and Abbey Road looming in the horizon, it’s hard not to see Rubber Soul as more of a stepping stone than a milestone.


serve to highlight Apple’s uniquely impressive chops. Apple’s lyrics matured along with her music: she yearns for casual spontaneity in “A Mistake”, casts a weary eye on conventional romance in “The Way Things Are” and performs autopsy on a broken affair in “Love Ridden.” Though I tend to lean towards Apple’s sparser efforts — namely her most recent LP, The Idler Wheel... — the opulent orchestration on tracks like “Get Gone” is playful enough to stave off accusations of melodrama. Even the album’s catchiest numbers, like “To Your Love” and “Paper Bag,” are given balance by grace of Apple’s acidic wordplay and charisma. The biggest triumph of Apple’s tunes is that each one is wide open, leaving the listener to pick them apart and interpret each sentence. Lines like “Maybe some faith would do me good” might sound sarcastic or sincere on any given listen, and her music is all the more relatable for it. When the Pawn... is a complex and ambitious album, but it’s also inviting and unpretentious, tailor-made for sufferers of the human condition with just enough flair to assure Apple a consistent fan base for decades to come.

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continued, saying he picked up the first newspaper horoscope he could get a hold of. “I found out a lot about myself: that I was a hard-worker who’s generally pretty friendly but at times can be a bit oblivious . . . but for some reason I couldn’t find any concrete answers! KALAMAZOO, MI — A man received some startling medical news yesterday morning which has left him scrounging through newspapers, franticly visiting psychics and downloading dozens of Horoscope Facebook apps, praying that Capricorns like him are compatible with Cancers. “It really caught me off guard,” explained Paul Hewlett, who was born January 19, 1975 and recently diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. “I haven’t really thought about my zodiac sign since I was a teenager trying to use a fake ID, but now my life could really depend on it.” According to Hewlett, after being informed about his cancer diagnosis over the phone by his doctor, he immediately hung up to get to the bottom of his problem. “At first I was like, no big deal, because I knew for a fact that Capricorns were compatible with Leukemias, but when I found out it was actually a Cancer, I got a little nervous,” Hewlett recalled, saying that he had an ex-girlfriend who was a Cancer and that she was ‘a real pain’. “So I started my research almost immediately” Hewlett

“Everything I read was just you ‘might receive some interesting news’ or some bullshit like that — never any specifics, no practical advice, it’s like these things could’ve been written for anybody!” Hewlett then says he decided to take his problem more seriously and went on to the internet for advice, but was met with similar difficulties. “One site would say that Cancers and Capricorns could come together to create a very stable and long-lasting relationship,” Hewlett explained, “but then the next would say that since they’re both Cardinal signs that it could be ‘a catalyst for some dynamite

conflicts’, and I definitely don’t want that .” After hours online, Hewlett was unable to find a consensus among the thousands of totally legitimate Astrology webpages currently in existence, and began panicking that he was definitely going to die. “Things really took a turn for the worse when I came across a website where I wasn’t even considered a Capricorn but was an Aquarius, which really freaked me out because I’m pretty sure my friend’s dad died of Aquarius.” It was at this moment that Hewlett decided to stop wasting

his time with silly horoscopes and take some real effective action by praying to God that his cancer will be okay.

Hewlett’s doctor has been unable to reach him despite several phone calls and voicemail messages, but

he did tell The Peak that his patient has been dealing with his problem completely wrong and that if people really want to do something about their medical problems they shouldn’t waste their time with astrology or religion but simply look up their symptoms on WebMD to put their mind at complete ease.


At first glance this might just seem like another college student’s collection of pictures from a summer trip to Europe but if you look a little closer and really take this album in, I think you might just become certain that this is exactly what it is. Being the sophomore release to her wildly popular 2011 debut photo album, Calgary Stampede / My 20th Birthday, McNeal was met with a lot of expectations from friends and family when she announced the release of My European Vacation. However, any doubts that McNeal would have too much fun to sufficiently capture her trip visually were shot dead by this highly comprehensive, beautiful and original photo album. Although the production of the album remains low-key, using the same

July 29, 2013

$300 DSLR she used to make her first album, My European Vacation represents somewhat of a coming-out party for McNeal as a more adventurous and yet more mature photographer. Gone are the gimmicky sepia filters and fake fisheye-lense-effects that plagued her debut, which are replaced by more subtly composed and photoshopped pics. At the same time though, McNeal still isn’t afraid to take chances which is evidence particularly by photos 36 and 37, which were both taken inside the Vatican with a flash, breaking several rules of proper etiquette, tour-regulations and Catholicism. While most people who have viewed the album (which was released on July 24 after months of promotional leaks on Instagram) would agree the album is probably about 5-6 pictures too long, they’d probably be hard pressed to come to a consensus on which ones to remove (probably that holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa one). Although plans for a physical release have not been announced, the album can be downloaded and viewed by the public on McNeal’s Facebook page with a special edition featuring about 25 unreleased pictures from a bar night in Bratislava available if you’re a confirmed friend of McNeal’s. Overall, the album really takes the you on a journey, from Madrid to Barcelona, to Paris, then Brussels and Amsterdam with some layover at the Dallas, Texas airport food court.

Releasing a new album more than once a month for the past eight years, Happy Weddings Photography Ltd. might just go down as of the most prolific photoalbum producers of all-time. While Brian and Natasha’s Wedding may not live up to the standards set by the 2009 masterpiece Tim and Stephen’s Wedding or the groundbreaking Allen and Gina’s Wedding from last year, it’s still a solid release from lead photographer Jerry Turnbull and his associates. Although the company’s lineup of photographers has changed radically since they first released Martin and Harriet’s Wedding almost a decade ago, the group has always had Turnbull front and center to orchestrate some


of the greatest mixes of genuine-loving and “hey we’re just being silly” bride and groom shots ever recorded. Like so many of their albums, B & N’s W is a hit-and-miss, with some pictures finding the couple in a perfect moment of love while others reveal that they actually kind of hate each other for a great deal of the time they’re together. However, when it’s good, it’s very good, and the black-and-white picture from the middle of the album of the two in each other’s arms in front of an all white background deservingly became a breakout-hit after appearing on their wedding cake, gracing the cover of their thank-you letters and serving as the pairs facebook profile pictures for a combine eight months. While the album is best viewed in its hardcover format which features a gorgeous floral design, its availability is scarce and the album has been most successful on its DVD version (personally, I just got the torrent). The DVD also contains a lot of original music which is a side-hobby of Turnbull’s but I won’t really get into that because you can’t really review that kind of thing. Anyway, B & N’s W is a solid but not great effort from the illustrious Happy Weddings Photography Ltd. and while it may be pleasant viewing for some, such as those who know Brian Alkermiher and his new wife Natasha, if you’re in the mood for a really powerful photo album, I recommend looking elsewhere.


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efore I ever set foot onto SFU’s Burnaby campus, I already had a fully-formed mental image of how my future school would look. “It’s got the highest suicide rate of any Canadian university,” quipped a Douglas College-bound friend. His explanation was that the campus, set atop a peak which I equated in my mind with the Misty Mountains from The Fellowship of the Ring, was made entirely of concrete and barbed wire. Though this image was hyperbolic, my first visit to what would become my main campus was less than encouraging — I picked a particularly windy, overcast afternoon to discover my new school, and the prisonlike roof of the Convocation Mall seemed to forebode a depressing and bleak post-secondary experience. However, like many firstyear students, I eventually fell in love with my campus. Its wintry landscape in mid-December reminded me of watching The X-Files in ninth grade; come June, the Academic Quadrangle became an oasis of quintessentially BC foliage. I pledge allegiance to Arthur Erickson’s ingenious architecture: there are very few scenarios in which I am forced to walk outside during a rainy day. Come September, I’ll be starting my second year at SFU, and I’m excited to continue my education. The newspaper you’re holding in your hands has been one of the main conduits through

Rachel Braeuer / 778.782.4560

which I have learned what SFU means to me. The Peak has helped me make friendsand improve my scholarly abilities, and it’s one of the main reasons that I love being an SFU student. But after a year of involvement with the university’s student newspaper, I’ve realized that there’s one thing I’d like to change: its name. When I picture Simon Fraser University in my mind, I see the same image that themajority of SFU students likely see: the quaint waterfall near the bus loop, the koi fish inthe AQ’s pond, the smiling faces on the baristas at the Higher Grounds coffee shop. But SFU isn’t limited to its main campus: we are lucky enough to attend a university with three beautiful campuses throughout the lower

campus is a stone’s throw away from Gastown, which is home to some of the best coffee houses and restaurants in the city. SFU Surrey is situated in Surrey’s Central City building, and its programs include the school of Interactive Arts and Technology and a variety of Computer Science and Engineering classes. Though many are quick to crack jokes about Surrey’s reputation for gang violence, Central City is located in one of downtown Surrey’s most beautiful areas, and the school is populated by motivated and intelligent SFU students. Downstairs, the Central City Brewing Co. gives the Highland Pub a run for its money, featuring some of the best craft beer in BC. I didn’t discover either of SFU’s satellite campuses right

mainland, even if some students forget that the latter two exist. SFU Vancouver is made up of two buildings: the Woodward’s Building, which houses SFU’s dance, film and contemporary arts programs; and Harbour Center, which offers a variety of courses, from Business Administration to Urban Studies. Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, this campus is a fastpaced hub for creatives and entrepreneurs to take advantage of many of SFU’s most rewarding programs. It doesn’t hurt that the

away, but I’m glad that I took the time to explore my school in greater depth and meet many students I otherwise might not have had the chance to. Burnaby Mountain might be my main campus, but I know that Simon Fraser University means different things to different students. Our newspaper should reflect the interests of our university’s entire student base. So why have we held on to the title The Peak, even after expanding our university to include a wider variety of locations?

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Our student newspaper was founded on October 6, 1965, after the previous two newspapers — The Tartan and The SF View — decided to merge. Though its first issue was published unnamed, the October 20 follow-up bore the title The Peak for the first time. It’s a catchy title, it’s easy to remember, and it’s easy to adopt clever titles for columns and otherwise (see Peak Speak, Peak Week, etc). Plus, let’s be honest: SF View is pretty weak. In 1965, Burnaby Mountain was SFU’s only campus; but this hasn’t been the case since SFU Vancouver first opened its doors in 1989. As one of the newspaper’s most frequent contributors, I hate to think that SFU students have become reluctant to write for The Peak because they feel that the paper excludes them. Including issues which affect Vancouver and Surrey students is a process, and one of the first steps that we can take as one of SFU’s most tenured student organizations is to choose a name which strives to include its student audience rather than exclude them. After all, at the end of the day, The Peak is written by SFU students, for SFU students. I believe that Simon Fraser University is one of the best schools in the country, and I’m proud to study here. But I also recognize that the campus I love is not everyone’s campus. Surrey and Vancouver students have a right to their student paper as much as any other student, and our title should reflect that.

Razed the Eastside, put up a parking lot  

Vancouver's changing landscape

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