Gaels going pro
Sports page 12
Postscript page 15
the journal since
T uesday, M ay 1 8 , 2 0 1 0
Slaves to the sound
The cost to volunteer abroad
Student interest in aiding developing countries is sometimes exploited By Jake Edmiston Features Editor
When Seetha Ramanathan got off the plane in Quito, she was under strict instructions. She was given the name of a government-regulated taxi company that would take her straight to her placement. A driver was waiting with her name on a sign. “I took formal Spanish classes in high school and college so I thought I’d be fine,” she said. “The moment Photo by Christine blais I got to Ecuador, all my Spanish Cap’t Footbags of Slaves of Spanky performed live at The Toucan on May 15. For more photos see page 16. went out the window.” The DEVS ’09 graduate arranged her trip to Ecuador as a part of the DEVS 410 World Study Placement course. She spent 10 weeks in the summer of 2008 volunteering at child care facilities in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito through Fundación Chiriboga, run by two document and come up with the he said, adding that the plan will Ecuadorian sisters. By Labiba Haque academic plan. help in assessing the university’s Ramanathan said she discovered Assistant News Editor “There are future consultations academic plan, he said. “When the proposal will be financial resources, and potential Fundación Chiriboga through a planned for both the input of Montreal-based organization called The first draft of the University’s students and departments before completed, it will provide us with new investments. Academic Plan is set to be completed the final draft is created,” he guidance for what to do next,” Please see Volunteering on page 3 Please see Woolf page 5 by the end of August, said Principal said, adding that he hopes to Daniel Woolf. incorporate social media in the “It’s a multi-phase process; process. The Academic writing the first phase was the document team will be using social media released, which dealt with more outlets such as Facebook and their departmental confrontations,” website to gather information for Principal Daniel Woolf said, the first draft. referring to the Where Next vision The six Queen’s academics By Katherine selling classical music album, this is Juno awards based on when they are document released on Jan. 15 and who are drafting the plan during Fernandez-Blance his first Juno award win. recorded not written. the departmental responses. this summer are: Micheal Adams, Assistant News Editor “Winning the Juno is obviously Since learning to play the piano Woolf said he’s working on Pharmacology and Toxicology, a huge honour. I did not expect to at nine, Mozetich said he has lived Phase II which entails consulting Tim Bryant, Mechanical and Queen’s School of Music Professor win because I had been nominated life dedicated to his passion for with students and departments Materials Engineering, Yolande Marjan Mozetich recently for two songs in the same category,” music. He said he first aspired to create a first draft of an Chan, School of Business, won the 2010 Juno award for he said adding that his piece, “Angels to become a composer at 17, Kim Nossal, Political Studies, best classical composition of the in Flight,” was also nominated. and studied composition at the Jill Scott, German and John year for his piece “Lament in Mozetich said CBC University of Toronto. Smol, Biology. the trampled garden.” commissioned him to write “Really I just had an innate Woolf said the aim is to take “I was very pleasantly surprised “Lament in the Trampled Garden” passion for music, particularly in Volume 138, Issue 1 the information gathered from with the win,” he said. for the 1992 Banff International my teens,” he said. “I was drawn www.queensjournal.ca students and departments and try Mozetich has taught String Quartet Competition. to classical specifically because my News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 to come up with a plan over the composition at Queen’s for 19 “It was the mandatory Canadian brother was into Elvis and rock and course of the summer. years. Although he has been work that all semi-finalists had to roll, and my passion was a reaction Editorials . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Postscript . . . . . . . . . . 15 After the first draft we hope nominated for many other awards play, which was a huge honour.” to this.” Op-Ed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 InFocus . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 to have a whole other round for classical music, most notably His piece was nominated this year Please see Juno on page 5 A&E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 of consultation, to refine that the 2001 CBC nomination for best because compositions are eligible for
Plan values student’s input New academic plan to be presented in September, Principal says
Professor wins Juno Queen’s Professor awarded for classical composition
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Nuclear weaponry useless, prof says
Weapons pose danger on an international level By Labiba Haque Assistant News Editor Queen’s professor and nuclear proliferation expert Anthony Seaboyer returned to Kingston Friday from the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The May-long review conference, attended by Hillary Clinton and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, deals with issues including treaty universality, peaceful use of nuclear energy, regional disarmament, and non-proliferation, which means the limiting the spreading of nuclear weaponry. The treaty and the NPT-Regime are reviewed every five years in this conference, he said
adding that different issues are evaluated at each conference. Seaboyer said that although the NPT is a binding treaty, there is not real mechanism that occurs when a state defies the treaty. The treaty has guided terms which party states must abide by. These guidelines require party members that own nuclear weapons to not share their resources with another state and not attack a state which doesn’t have nuclear weapons. These parties must also have a long-term plan in trying to dispose of their nuclear weapons in the future. Parties that don’t own nuclear weapons must work towards ensuring that they don’t own them in the future. “The conference focuses on important issues in regards to nuclear non-proliferation and the NPT-Treaty regime, such as what
Frosh week changes approved New Orientation Week schedule to accomodate Jewish and Muslim Students By Katherine FernandezBlance Assistant News Editor Queen’s Senate approved schedule changes to 2010 Orientation Week to allow students observing Eid al-Fitre and Rosh Hashanah to fully participate in Orientation Week activities. Faculty Orientation Week was originally scheduled to run between Sept. 6 and Sept. 12. Rosh Hashanah lasts from Sept. 8 to Sept. 10 and Eid al-Fitre falls on Sept. 10. The new Orientation Week schedule begins with residence orientation on Sep. 4, a day earlier than originally planned. Faculty orientation also will begin and end a day earlier, running from Sept. 7 to 11. AMS Vice-President (University Affairs) Chris Rudnicki said that the new schedule includes a jointfaculty day on Sept. 9 that will be organized by the Orientation Round Table (ORT.) Because the day’s events will not be organized in faculty groups, those who decide to go home to celebrate Rosh Hashanah or Eid al-Fitre will not be missing out on their specific faculty group events. Rudniki also said that during Orientation Week, Muslim students who are fasting will be better accommodated for. Faculty group meals will be organized for after sundown. Before the changes, Muslim students who were fasting could not participate in meals with their faculty groups. The changes come after many years of requests for meal accommodation by Muslim
regulations have to be renewed, and how to deal with states outside the treaty like Israel, India and Pakistan,” he said, adding that Canada has had a very strong involvement in nuclear non-proliferation.
“Although Canada currently does not have any nuclear weapons, it must co-operate with it’s international partners to ensure that the use of nuclear weapons is prevented.” — Anthony Seaboyer, nuclear proliferation expert at the Queen’s Centre for International Relations Seaboyer said that although Canada does not currently own any nuclear weapons, they have more people working on this issue than most European countries because Canada is strongly convinced that nuclear weapons are a danger to international peace. “If a nuclear weapon were to be used anywhere in the world, Canada would be affected by the consequences for the people in area and the environment. This is because of the effects it would have on the ecosystems” he said. “Although Canada currently does not have any nuclear weapons, it must cooperate with its international partners to ensure that the use of nuclear weapons is prevented.” The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty first came to effect in 1970 with the mission of limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. Currently there are 189 states that
Photo by Christine Blais
Queen’s Professor Anthony Seaboyer says the use of nuclear weapons would have negative and far-reaching effects on the global population. are parties to the treaty, five of which own nuclear weapons: United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China. The four nonparties believed to possess nuclear weapons are India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. This year’s President-elect of the Conference is Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan of Philippines. Cabactulan is the permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations. Seaboyer said currently there is no real strategic benefit to nuclear weapons as their use is highly unlikely. “Some countries keep them for deterrence. Other countries want
them to ensure the existence of their political regime,” he said, adding that this conference is a great opportunity to limit nuclear weapons because President Barack Obama has influenced how the topic is perceived and put it on top of world’s agenda. “He truly believes these weapons need to be abolished. He has given various speeches on this, has negotiated the START-Treaty, held a successful nuclear security summit and is undoubtedly personally very convinced that nuclear weapons should be abolished as soon as possible,” he said.
student leaders on campus. On April 8, 2010 AMS President Safiah Chowdhurdy told the Journal that Ramadan fasting has never once been accommodated by ORT. The new schedule still does little to accommodate for Muslim morning-prayer on Eid al-Fitre. Muslim students can meet with their faculty groups after morningprayer ends on Sept. 10. But no changes have been made to the already optional morning schedule on Sept. 10. Rosh Hashanah is a holy Jewish holiday that is traditionally celebrated with the family. Eid al-Fitre is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. The changes to the Orientation Week schedule were put forward by the Senate Orientation Activities Review Board (SOARB) after consulting with Queen’s Residences, ORT, Queen’s Hillel, Queen’s University Muslim Students Association, Queen’s Ismaili Muslim Students Association and staff and faculty involved in Orientation Week. The changes were approved on April 22. One of the proposed changes was presented by Queen’s Hillel who suggested switching faculty and residence orientation events to allow Jewish students to participate in more faculty events. Rudnicki feels that the scheduling changes of Orientation Week are a move in the right direction. “A lot of bodies came together Supplied to reach a compromise, and these The 2010 May-long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review conference is held at the UN changes are a great way to move Headquarters in New York City. The conference is expected to be attended by many political figures including Hillary Clinton and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. forward,” Rudnicki said.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The challenges of volunteering for a living Continued from page 1
Horizon Cosmopolique. She paid Fundación Chiriboga about $400 per month for meals and room and board and covered her own airfare. Horizon charged her a fee of $400 for their services which included an orientation before she left. “None of the money you give these middle man organizations are going to these projects. I took issue with that,” she said. “I wish I went straight through to Fundación Chiriboga.” DEVS 410 Professor Paritosh Kumar said many students looking to volunteer abroad experience similar frustration. He said many of the North American middle-man companies can be problematic for students and the communities they seek to help. “It’s become big business, to tell you quite frankly,” he said. “A lot of programs I’ve seen are more like academic tourism.” Kumar said student volunteering abroad has been an upward trend since the 1990s. “There’s a surge in consciousness in student activism ... there’s something happening in schools where students are getting exposed to global issues topics.” He said not all North American organizations offer a negative experience. There’s ways of distinguishing between the benevolent organizations and those more bent on profit. Kumar said one obvious tell is the refund policy. “With organizations that are more concerned about money, the policy about refund is not so good,” he said, adding it’s crucial that the organization provide a transparent fee breakdown as well as a list of previous volunteers available to comment on their experience. Kumar said the system of North American organizations providing students with volunteer opportunities abroad poses a major issue. “The issue of development is defined by our students, not long established local NGOs,” he said. “What we might define as an
important development issue may not be the most important issue for a community. But when there’s big money involved obviously you have development of NGOs in the global south to meet these demands.” The current situation of volunteering abroad poses an ethical dilemma that often goes without consideration, Kumar said. It’s not common for students in foreign countries to travel to Canada to aid in domestic issues. “We see it as a right to go anywhere we want in the world,” he said. “We rarely think of the impact it may have.” The aim of DEVS 410 is to develop a thorough understanding of the culture during the placement. The corequisite, DEVS 411 involves a critical reflection of the experience upon return to Queen’s. Kumar said without proper preparation, any student-volunteer experience can be diluted or misinterpreted. The temporary nature of volunteering in a foreign country can alienate the volunteer from their host community. Kumar said volunteers know they have an escape route, separating themselves from the reality of everyday issues faced by members of the host community. He used an example of a white woman volunteering in Kenya.
The ALDEA daycare centre was one of the facilities DEVS ‘09 Seetha Ramanathan volunteered at t in Quito, Ecuador as part of DEVS 410 World Study Placement course.
however not all North American organizations offer it before sending students to NGOs in developing countries. Alan Travers is an organizer of the Alternative Practicum program within the Bachelor “It’s become big of Education. Of 740 Bachelor of Education students, 170 business, to tell you choose to complete their required quite frankly ... A lot alternative professional experience of programs I’ve seen outside of Canada. Travers are more like academic said about one third of the tourism.” students who took placements Paritosh Kumar abroad went to developing DEVS 410 Professor countries. Students are permitted to use North American agencies when “Being a white woman might arranging their placements, bring sexual attention,” he said. but Travers said the faculty “It’s also important to understand is working towards phasing what’s happening to women there. out those organizations by forming direct relationships Or else it’s just ‘my experience’.” Kumar said in order to with schools and foundations in maximize an experience abroad, a developing countries. “It’s becoming less necessary predeparture briefing is required for his DEVS 410 students, for [students] to go through one
Ramanathan says she would have rather seen the $400 in fees she paid to a North American feeder organization go to Fundación Chiriboga that sends volunteers to childcare centres like the daycare program pictured above.
of these agencies,” he said. “The main thing is it costs more ... We’re gradually developing a menu of opportunities for students to choose from where there is no additional charges.” Travers said the criteria are professional relevancy, faculty approval and safety. Like DEVS 410 students, Bachelor of Education students traveling abroad must undergo a briefing before leaving. “They can’t go to high risk areas,” he said. “As a Queen’s University student, they have to go through a predeparture briefing through the International Centre.” Travers said while many students express interest in opportunities abroad, most don’t follow through. “The students cover the cost,” he said. “Money is always the issue.” The Elliott Travel Fellowship is a Queen’s bursary to cover travel costs. Students must demonstrate financial need and make a case explaining how the will money will be used. 65 students were awarded the bursary this year. Basecamp International is a Kingston-based organization with centres in Tanzania, Ghana, Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Basecamp was founded by Queen’s alumni Dave Morrison and Jim Carson in 1998. Basecamp volunteer consultant Jackie Baldry said they have seen a correlation between volunteer numbers and crises like the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. “We do find it brings a lot of more awareness to volunteering overseas,” she said. What separates Basecamp from other organizations in North America is they’re directly involved with projects abroad. She said they both facilitate volunteers with local organizations as well as undertake their own projects in the communities. “In the west we don’t know what their specific concerns are or how they operate things in their country,” she said. “We don’t go
in there and say ‘this is what we’re going to do’. We like to ask what needs to be done.” A trip to volunteer in Ecuador with Basecamp for two months this summer would cost $2995, not including airfare. Additional time can be bought at $185 per week. Balrdy said a fee break-down was not available on the website, but she said the fee includes a placement setup, fundraising assistance, predeparture manual, airport pickup, in-country support staff, accommodation, meals for six days each week, and a oneweek orientation upon arrival. Basecamp’s orientation includes a cultural breakdown and a warning of sketchy taxi companies lurking around the airport. Baldry said trip prices vary between countries, depending on cost of living. She said generally Central and Southern American countries are usually less expensive compared to countries overseas. Basecamp’s website includes links to Facebook groups for each of the seven countries they’re involved in. Prospective volunteers can contact any member of the group for feedback on the experience. Ramanathan said she’d advise anyone to volunteer with Fundación Chiriboga, where she spent her DEVS 410 program, but that any volunteer should be informed of the challenges they’ll face. “In Quito, if you’re a female taking the bus, you’re going to get catcalled,” she said. “You have to be able to handle that.” She said her volunteering experience wasn’t thankless, but she wasn’t praised as the saviour of the childcare facility she worked with. “It’s not a one-time, lump sum appreciation. Everyday you get a little something,” she said. “The kids get really excited when volunteers come. It’s a part of their life. Volunteers are in and out of their lives.”
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Centre’s fight against obesity honoured
CORE helps educate public about obesity and diabetes community included its June 2009 Exercise is Medicine symposium. “The Exercise Symposium is a Canadian Diabetes Association good example of CORE’s efforts in (CDA) honoured the Queen’s the Kingston community,” he said. Centre for Obesity Research During this event, 450 health and Education (CORE) with its professionals gathered in the Partnership award for its work in Biosciences Complex to discuss the Kingston community. obesity-related issues. These “Kingston is not immune to professionals included registered obesity. Obesity is prevalent to all nurses, nurse practioners, family ages and all ethnicities. Diabetes physicians and dieticians. is a major health risk brought It was efforts such as these that about by obesity,” CORE Director Ross said helped CORE receive the Robert Ross said. Ross said the Partnership Award. CORE functions as a research CORE was created four years facility and strives to educate ago as a vehicle to bring together the public about the health risks researchers from all different fields of medicine to benefit from obesity associated with obesity. research, he said. “Kingston is not immune “Every single area of medicine is affected by obesity research,” to obesity. Obesity is prevalent to all ages and Ross said, adding that CORE aims to educate others to all ethnicities. Diabetes help reduce obesity. is a major health risk “Obesity is not behavioral, it is brought about by an outcome,” he said. While it is impossible to obesity.” completely prevent obesity, -Robert Ross, education lets people make Director of CORE responsible choices about consumption, exercise and lifestyle “Other than smoking, obesity is to minimize the problem, he said. “Obesity is a complex, multia huge risk of death,” Ross said. CORE’s efforts in the Kingston dimensional problem,” he said, By Jessica Fishbein Assistant News Editor
Journal File Photo
Director of CORE Robert Ross (above) says, “obesity is prevalent to all ages and all ethnicities.”
manager Jennifer Tomasone told the Journal in an e-mail, adding that the CDA plays a role in helping CORE disseminate information and resources to the community. “We have a similar mission: to be an education and information resource and to raise public awareness about obesity and diabetes.” Tomasone said that the Exercise is Medicine Symposium provided health care professionals with information to assist with the implementation of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, which The seven videos documenting Foundation was created in 2001. can help delay or prevent the onset the material are available for public Each year, fifteen awards are given of Type 2 diabetes. viewing on May 20 at Otterburn out to scholars from various fields. “Physical activity is House at 124 Centre Street, free of admission. —Jessica Fishbein beneficial for all people, —Labiba Haque not just people with
adding that it therefore requires a multi-dimensional solution. “CDA knows the community and brings perspectives from the grassroots up,” he said. CORE’s relationship with the CDA is based on what Ross calls synergy. This synergy with the CDA allows CORE to most effectively educate the public about the health risks of obesity and contributed
to CORE winning the CDA’s Partnership Award in June 2009. He said that in terms of minimizing obesity, communities have a long way to go, but organizations such as CDA and CORE working together is the first step. “CORE is privileged to have the Canadian Diabetes Association as one of its partners,” CORE
News in brief Researchers Develop Cancer Treatment Researchers at Queen’s have come up with a new way of doing lab tests that could improve prostate cancer treatment. These tests will allow doctors to more accurately match the severity of a tumor to the amount and type of treatment required. “The patient treatment from the get-go will be more appropriately planned,” said Jeremy Squire, who worked with researchers in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine. “The idea is that this test could be used in new cases of prostate cancer to help decide which of the many options is best suited for more aggressive cancers.” The technology has been licensed to Cymogen Dx. by PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office of Queen’s, and is expected to be made accessible to clinical and research markets soon.
Historical Archives On Display
The Queen’s University Archives is currently displaying 100 years of local Jewish history. The two-year project resulted from the partnership of the Queen’s University Archives and Beth Israel Synagogue which celebrated its centennial anniversary last weekend. The material for the archives was donated to the University in 2008. Archives staff, the Art Conservation program students and the members of Beth Israel Synagogue have been working ever since to restore and catalogue the artifacts. This effort involved covering boxes of materials covering the Synagogue’s history to DVD. University Archivist Paul Banfield said it’s an honour for the Archives department to have the opportunity to document one of the oldest Jewish congregations in the province. Vivien Ludin, former director —Jessica Fishbein of the Bracken Health Sciences Library and a member of the Beth Israel 100th Anniversary Archives Committee, said DVD documentations means the materials are well-secured and the information will be easily shared.
PhD Student Named Trudeau Scholar Queen’s University PhD Candidate Erin Tolley has been named a Trudeau Scholar. This is the first time that a Queen’s Student has been named a Trudeau Scholar. Tolley’s research covers electoral representation and the amount of visible minorities who live in Canada and are elected into the Canadian government. Tolley received her BA from the University of Saskatchewan and earned a masters degree from the University of Western Ontario. Tolley will receive up to $180 000 for the next three years. This award will allow Tolley to base her research not only on Ontario statistics but on information from all of Canada. “It’s nice to get some validation for the work you’re doing and know that people think it has merit,” says Tolley. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Student Ghetto Robber Arrested
A forty-eight year old Kingston man was charged with two home invasions that occurred in February. Phillip Hickey was charged with two counts of robbery, break-and-enter, possessing a dangerous weapon and disguising his face. According to Kingston police, three students were allegedly robbed at gunpoint at a house on Earl Street after a man broke in on February 7. The man took some money and household items. He broke into a house downtown near Brock St. six days later and allegedly robbed two more students at gunpoint, this time binding them to a chair. He took cellphones and cash. He was arrested on Thursday, April 29th after a handgun and stolen cellphones were found when police searched his home. Hickey appeared in court for a bail hearing on April 30th. Kingston Police were unable to comment on the new steps in his conviction.
Type 2 diabetes.”
-Jennifer Tomasone, Manager of CORE “It would be ideal to host such an event every year, but due to limited funding and the current financial situation, CORE will not be able to host an event of this scale in the near future,” said Tomasone. The CDA was founded in 1953 and provides support to Canadians living with diabetes. Its Partnership Award is given to individuals or groups whose efforts have contributed to CDA’s mission and had a significant impact on those with diabetes. “Physical activity is beneficial for all people, not just people with Type 2 diabetes,” Tomasone said. “If one person in the community becomes active as a result of what they learned at a CORE event, then CORE has succeeded.”
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Second consecutive Juno for Queen’s Continued from page 1
Mozetich said his composition process involves torment followed by ecstasy. “I write at the piano, first playing to inspire myself and to get thematic material, and then I plod through it,” he said. “I’m a slow writer. It took me a month to write Lament.” He said classical music provides people a different kind of satisfaction than other genres of music. “I write the kind of music that seems to satisfy people on a spiritual and emotional level and makes them think inwardly. It’s a satisfaction that modern pop music seems unable to quite fulfill,” Mozetich said. With one Juno under his belt, and international recognition within the classical music community, Mozetich said he doesn’t plan to stop composing any time soon.
“It offers a lot of credibility, and awards do count in terms of publicity and media, which really helps with advertising, but both Marjan and I agree that these awards do nothing to change the music we write.” -- John Burge, Associate Dean of the School of Music “I hope to write to the very day I die, and above all I hope to still write significant music to the end.” Associate Dean of the School of Music, John Burge said Mozetich is a caring and sensitive teacher. “I’ve known Marjan for over 30 years and he’s very dedicated to his craft and creativity. This passionate intensity is strongly
reflected in both his personality and music,” said Burge. This is not the first Juno award won by a School of Music instructor. Retired professor Istvan Annhault won the award for classical composition of the year in 2004 and Burge won it last year.
“I was drawn to classical specifically because my brother was into Elvis and rock and roll, and my passion was a reaction to this.” — Marjan Mozetich, Queen’s School of Music professor “It is really unheard of for two composers from the same university to win this Juno in two consecutive years. And when you add Professor Annhault, Queen’s has been very well-represented,” he said. “Locally speaking, both Queen’s and the Kingston community are very supportive of the arts and as composers, we have certainly benefited from this.” Burge said winning a Juno can do more for the school than the individual. “It offers a lot of credibility, and awards do count in terms of publicity and media, which really helps with advertising, but both Marjan and I agree that these awards do nothing to change the music we write.” Although these awards show the strength of Queen’s School of Music Burge said budget cuts continue to threaten the School of Music. He feels the Queen’s administration is not finding a way to let the School run the way it needs to run but still finds hope in the dire situation. “To be a composer is to be a perpetual optimist,” he said. “I simply can’t imagine that the fine arts and the School of Music particularly won’t have a strong place at Queen’s.”
Campus Calendar Wednesday, May 19
Saturday, May 29
Summer Kickoff Party featuring DJ Sath The Spot, 394 Princess St. 9pm to 2am. No Cover before 11pm
Fight for Life-Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, Sanshou Chinese Kickboxing and Superfight showdown for Fatna Mohammed Martial Arts Axis, 629 Division Street 6pm. Tickets are $10
Thursday, May 20 QUIC Conversational English Group QUIC Office, Upper Ceilidh, JDUC 5pm to 6:30pm. Runs every Thursday until June 24th Wednesday, May 26 First Summer Alfies featuring DJ Paul Burke Alfies Nightclub, JDUC 9pm to 2am. Friday, May 28 Queen’s MiniU and Spring Reunion 2010 Queen’s Campus 12pm Friday until 1:30pm Sunday. Registration for Queen’s MiniU $219 For schedule see: www.queensu.ca/ alumni/programs/events/miniu.html
Tuesday June 15 First Capital Day Celebrations Presentations, performances and workshops on Kingston’s history as Canada’s first capital Confederation Park 9:30am to 2:30pm. Free Saturday June 19 Doors Open Kingston Kingston buildings open their doors to display their history and architecture 10am to 4pm. For locations see: www.doorsopenontario.on.ca
Queen’s School of Music Professor and Juno Award winner Marjan Mozetich says, “I hope to write to the very day I die, and above all I hope to still write significant music to the end.”
Woolf plans for future Continued from page 1
Woolf said after the first draft of the academic plan is finished, the Academic Writing Team will present it at the Senior Administrator Retreat, in the first week of September. The next step is to bring the plan to the Queen’s Planning Committee and Senate, he said.
“There are future consultations planned for both the input of students and departments before the final draft is created.” — Daniel Wool, Principal Woolf said that although the University’s top priority is its academics, academic planning is done in a financial context. Virtualized learning is a good example of a financial and academic innovation, he said. “People are much more into social media and getting lectures online nowadays,” he said. “It’s a way of supplementing education to other people who aren’t actually Queen’s students.” Woolf said it’s essential students get involved in the academic planning process as much as possible. “I think we are open to various forms of consultations, smaller and larger. We have to create
Journal File Photo
Principal Daniel Woolf says that virtualized learning is a good example of a financial and academic innovation. lots of opportunities for the public to consults us.,” Woolf said. The final draft of the academic plan is set to be completed by the December board meeting. “We hope to hold on to that deadline for now as we still think that it is manageable,” he said. “Following that, there will be
public consolations and we will try to get the information out, so people can plan their calendars accordingly.”
6 • queensjournal.ca
Q u ee n ’ s
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
the journal since
Facebook’s ad-mad lad O
each new incarnation. Though Facebook has become an integral social tool, it’s important to remember that it is still a business, seeking to maximize profits. As Facebook has become more popular, the amount of information a user is required to make publically accessible has slowly increased. While Schrage insists that this is in order to “facilitate the kind of experience people come to Facebook to have,” this process also facilitates Facebook’s development as an advertising tool. While Facebook should endeavour to be more transparent about their usage of personal information, it’s already clear they’re reluctant to accept this responsibility; Schrage was also quick to sidestep a question about Facebook’s liability in the event any data was mishandled. Technology pundits grumble that Facebook’s aggressive sharing of personal information and complicated privacy settings will eventually prompt the website’s downfall. As ambitious developers discuss and create privacy-oriented Facebook alternatives, it is possible that dissatisfied Facebook users will vote with their mice, rejecting the wholesale distribution of their marketing preferences. For now however, the burden of protecting information on Facebook falls to the users themselves; until a viable alternative presents itself, Facebook is here to stay.
n April 21, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the social networking site’s latest gimmick, one which allows Facebook to engage with a user’s internet activity outside Facebook’s homepage. Websites that have partnered with Facebook can greet visitors with personalized content. Furthermore, the infamous “like” button associated with Facebook’s various groups and applications has now moved beyond Facebook itself, appearing on comedy websites, blogs and online retail outlets. Facebook’s new features will provide external websites with enormous amounts of personal information about individual preferences and interests—information which Facebook can share freely. Though Facebook’s vice-president of public policy, Elliot Schrage, has stated that the company doesn’t connect identities to shared information, a computer error—like that experienced by AOL in 2006—could make this information public at any time. It’s difficult to imagine anyone being upset that they aren’t sharing more of their personal information with retailers. By the same standard, many groups insist that Facebook’s dissemination of personal information should be an “opt-in” rather than an “opt-out” program. Others have criticized Facebook’s resetting of users’ privacy preferences with
No abortions abroad S
tephen Harper’s stance on foreign aid threatens to re-open a debate that has been uneasily settled in Canada for more than twenty years. In 2009, Prime Minister Harper announced that child and maternal health programs in developing countries are to be a major focus at the upcoming G8 summit in June. On May 10, International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda explained that the Conservative government’s approach to international aid “does not mean supporting abortions.”WhiletheConservativesarewilling to consider incorporating contraception into their maternal health programs abroad, abortion will not be included under any circumstances. The formulation of an aid program by a developed country to aid a developing neighbour suggests that the former has the ability to make decisions that are in the latter’s best interest. Harper’s approach runs contrary to a key tenet of foreign aid, the understanding that citizens of all nations are entitled to certain basic rights and amenities which must be provided. 98 per cent of all unsafe abortions
take place in developing countries with restrictive abortion laws, resulting in 70,000 deaths annually. It is hypocritical for the Canadian government to formulate an aid program which fails to ensure a medical right which its own citizens enjoy. Harper’s insistence upon a definition of family planning that excludes abortion is clearly an attempt to curry favour with his constituents. This suggests that the Conservative government has put ideology ahead of effective foreign aid. Where abortions are going to occur, they must be safe. Funding safe abortions would help protect the lives of would-be mothers who would otherwise be forced to place their lives in jeopardy. Whether the Conservative government likes it or not, the Canadian definition of family planning encompasses the right to elective abortion; Canadian foreign aid must reflect this right. Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada. He should therefore limit himself to endorsing Canadian laws and values, and avoid promoting policies abroad which he cannot enforce at home.
A reminder to be kinder Rachel Kuper
eing nice is underrated. No one wants to hire nice, to date nice, to be friends with nice. Everyone wants edgy, smart, talented–I admit, I’m guilty of it too but what’s wrong with nice? It wouldn’t really be a problem if we expected nice plus clever, beautiful, etc., but the truth is, nice is so uncool it’s actually undesirable. Case in point: A few of my friends went to Goodlife Fitness to sign-up for gym memberships, but were given one-week trial passes and told to sign-up once they were sure they liked the gym’s services. I went to Goodlife the next day, hoping for the same treatment. Some crazy little thing came to give me my mandatory orientation. She pointed at the treadmill. “That’s the treadmill,” she said with “enthusiasm.” She pointed at the class schedule. “That’s the class schedule,” she said, with even more “enthusiasm.” A great tour! We sat back down and she essentially told me it was time to open my wallet. I asked for a student deal. “It doesn’t exist,” she said. It does. I asked for a trial period. “It doesn’t exist,” she said. It does. Finally, she “bent the rules” for me and gave me a seven-day trial and I hightailed it out of there, vowing never to return again. Why couldn’t she have been attentive,
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010 • Issue 1 • Volume 138 The Queen’s Journal is an editorially autonomous newspaper published by the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University, Kingston. Editorial opinions expressed in the Journal are the sole responsibility of the Queen’s Journal Editorial Board, and are not necessarily those of the University, the AMS or their officers. Contents © 2010 by the Queen’s Journal; all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission of the Journal. The Queen’s Journal is printed on a Goss Community press by Performance Group of Companies in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Contributions from all members of the Queen’s and Kingston community are welcome. The Journal reserves the right to edit all submissions. Subscriptions are available for $120.00 per year (plus GST). Please address complaints and grievances to the Editors in Chief. Please inquire about further grievance policies if you are not satisfied with the response. Please direct editorial, advertising and circulation enquiries to: 190 University Avenue, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3P4 Telephone : 613-533-2800 (editorial) 613-533-6711 (advertising) Fax: 613-533-6728 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Journal Online: www.queensjournal.ca Circulation 9,000 Issue 2 of Volume 138 will be published on Tuesday, June 29, 2010
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gotten a bad rep. Everyone says the nice guy finishes last, but I don’t believe it for a second. Because I’m a nice girl I can get away with things no one else can. If I stir the pot I can be assured someone else will be blamed for it—it’s kind of, well, nice. The downside is that as soon as I start talking to someone, crazy little thing at the gym included, their nice-radar goes off. Once that happens, people get the idea in their heads that I can be pushed around and walked all over but that’s just one big delusion. As a nice girl, it may take me a few extra minutes to word my refusal to avoid hurting your feelings, but I’m not afraid to say no. People are often shocked to hear me assert myself, but they always back down when I take a stand. The thing is, there are a lot of misconceptions about what being nice means. I think we fear that being nice will get us trampled, but nice isn’t necessarily sweet and it definitely isn’t passive or girly. Being nice, like tear-free shampoo, does the job without the tears. It means doing what you do and doing it even better because others are on your side. Nice can be authoritative, confident and ambitious. Nice can finish first.
Editorial Board Tyler Ball
maybe even … nice? She had tried to guilt me into signing-up right away, telling me that I would lose the offer, and that it was just plain lazy to get a trial first. I think nice must have
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Personal guidance is key
Academic planning should focus on professors and students, not idle change
... around campus Photos By Craig Draeger
Who bears responsibility for the Gulf Coast oil spill? Paul Hogan As a part-time student pursuing my undergrad degree at Queen’s, I have read and listened in earnest to the plans and directions for the future being put forth by Principal Woolf and the University’s governing bodies. My age (at 55, I qualify as a mature student) gives me a different perspective on the university “experience” than my classmates. Also, being a Political Science major, I often view the world from a critical perspective and in so doing find I have to voice my opinion on issues that raise a red flag for me. In first year courses, the large number of students allows little time for the professor to interact with individual students. And yet, I hear every semester from fellow students who were so impressed with a professor and his teaching style that they transferred into his faculty. That, in my opinion, is the essence of a university. The ability of a professor to truly engage with his or her students and propel them toward a degree that they may or may not have ever envisioned themselves pursuing is, I am afraid, what Queen’s is at risk of losing. Buildings and new facilities are all well and good but, it’s the professor in the classroom who ultimately piques a student’s interest in their chosen field and drives them toward their goals. In the last two years, I have noticed a dramatic change in the way my faculty is run, and it concerns me. The number of students in my third year courses has grown from a maximum of 55, to 80 or more. Where there was once healthy debate and interaction between students and the professor during class, there is now ninety minutes of straight lecture with little or no time to ask questions or challenge the professor about the course material. I have witnessed my peers morph from enthusiastic class participants to disengaged and distant students. Why such a dramatic change? Quite obviously, it’s due to the
“I think it’s BP’s fault. It’s their responsibility to assess the risks.” Benisha Kaur, ArtSci ‘10
Journal File photo
Principal Daniel Woolf released his academic vision statement “Where Next?” on Jan. 15 increased demands on the professor’s time. With lectures to prepare, essays to mark, and exams to develop, professors have little time to build a rapport with their students. Publishing requirements for tenured professors and reductions to TA budgets have further exacerbated this problem. Despite what I believe is a genuine desire by professors to engage with their students and ensure their intellectual well being, I fear we’re moving away from the kind of institution we want to have.
“Do not cut the legs out from under this institution. Professors and students are the very essence of this university.” It appears as though the university administration has turned their focus toward quantity, not quality. I cannot fathom the aims of the recent round of academic planning, or the means used to achieve them. Regardless of the rhetoric of “changing with the times” and “new technology,” at the very heart of this debate is money. The new Queen’s ARC is a beautiful building, and was probably desperately needed. The problem is not the building itself or the justification for it,
but rather the complications that plagued its construction. When I look at the original estimates for the structure and the final costs associated with it, the numbers more than double. I am not naïve enough to think that costs did not increase over the time span needed to construct it, but the cost overruns were unreasonable. I owned, operated and managed my own business for thirty years. New equipment and inputs were all part and parcel to my business, as they are to any business. When the time came for me to consider any or all of the above, I researched my options, did a business model to ascertain the effects, positively or negatively, obtained quotes and sharpened my pencil over and over again before I ventured into any new expansion. Once a decision was made, the price was fixed and written into the contract. I did my due diligence and if the supplier did not do his, that was his problem, not mine. Is that not the basis for a contract? The issue is not whether the new facility was needed or not. But why are staff, students, and professors paying for someone else’s ineptitude? Was there no onus of responsibility put on the firm or firms constructing the various projects on campus? If not, why? We must realize that nothing can ever replace the face-to-face interaction between student and professor.
I realize this is the 21st century and that times have changed dramatically since I was doing calculus on a slide rule, but substituting a monitor for a human being will set this institution of higher learning up for a disastrous free fall. Yes, some students may thrive in online courses, but, I seriously doubt that the majority of students, or their parents, see this as a prudent option for obtaining a university degree. Perhaps I am wrong, but I would bet that in Principal Woolf’s academic career, there was at least one professor, perhaps more, whose personal guidance motivated him to pursue the career he has chosen. I have seen dramatic change in my life, especially technological change, and I have embraced it. But, I would offer a word of caution to the powers that manage this institution: not all change is beneficial, and change simply for the sake of change benefits no one. Do not cut the legs out from under this institution. Professors and students are the very essence of this university. I am quite aware that this process began long before Principal Woolf arrived here, and he has inherited a hornet’s nest to say the least, but one must be very mindful of the bridges that you choose to burn as you advance forward. The need to retreat may leave one facing a gaping chasm.
Have an opinion? Submit a letter to email@example.com
“Corporations should take responsibility.” Matt Turnbull, ArtSci ‘11
“The government should tighten regulations.” Jamie Loh, Sci ‘11
“I personally think it’s a freak accident.” Shamarke Ahmed, ArtSci ‘10
“The responsibility should be on the oil company.” Rui Gao, Ph.D. ‘12
Have your say. Write a letter or visit queensjournal.ca to comment.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
With undying enthusiasm and zest for life singer-songwriter Steve Poltz is coming to Kingston with a new record that promises to inspire By Ally Hall A&E Editor It would be insufficient to say singersongwriter Steve Poltz is a welltraveled man. His last few decades in the music industry have stroked his affinity for exploring uncharted territory taking him everywhere from your Uncle’s living room to the lush land of Australia. Bouncing from city to city telling tales of triumph and delighting audiences with his memorable live performances, Poltz took some time to talk to me over the phone from San Diego about breaking bones, The Ramones and staying creative. Though Poltz may not be a household name to all, chances are you’ve heard one of the longest running tracks on the Billboard Hot 100—“You Were Meant For Me”—a track that Poltz co-wrote with his then-girlfriend, Jewel. The 1995 smash hit has marked Poltz’s career ever since, providing a backdrop for his story to be told. “Prior to that I was in the Rugburns,” Poltz said. “Along the way I meet Jewel and we write a bunch of songs together. I like all my songs, they’re like my little kids … but the Jewel song is one that went out and won the lottery.”
by powering through riffs despite a residual broken hand from a skiing trip. “It was a lesson I had to learn. I had to learn to say no. I shouldn’t have gone down the run I went down with the guy I went down it with … I should’ve been stronger,” he said with a laugh. A soul who lives and breathes music, Poltz doesn’t have to look far to be inspired. “I used to think you needed to drink and smoke pot to be creative. Now I don’t even really like drinking. I like being totally open to creativity, looking at life when I can really think. Health is a great thing—our bodies are amazing.” With this outlook it’s no surprise that Poltz confirmed his “Otherwise you’re not famed affinity for yoga, a lifestyle living a purpose-driven that helps him avoid the all too common loathing result of years on life and that would be the road with only the company of very sad.” the same old songs. —Steve Poltz “When it gets like that, you shouldn’t do it,” he said. “You’ve Things have changed lost your purpose. Otherwise considerably for Poltz since then, a you’re not living a purpose-driven heavy dose of maturity and know- life and that would be very sad.” If purposes in life are required, how guiding his evolution as an artist. Releasing more than eight Poltz could easily make traveling albums since 1998, his fountain of his. The list of towns, cities and inspiration and drive is seemingly countries he’s visited comprises a endless. He proved it last February small novel. After his departure from the California outfit the Rugburns, Poltz adopted a more spiritual and purposeful outlook on his life and creation. “We were young crazy fools, we just loved playing rock and roll … we were kind of drunk every night,” Poltz said. Though memories of the Rugburns may be hazy, one show will forever remain in the forefront of Poltz’s concert cranium catalogue—when they opened for The Ramones. “That was really fun, the crowd went nuts,” he said. “Their promoter came in before the show and said, ‘Don’t be offended when people throw stuff at you.’ A true rock and roll moment.”
Steve Poltz cites good health and a child-like approach to life as fuel for his creativity. “It’s seriously insane how many places I’ve been,” Poltz said. “I should do a better job of keeping track but I’m more of a looking ahead kind of person.” It’s evident that the spaces and places Poltz occupies influence
his sound. “I don’t feel like I live anywhere. I like everywhere I play though” Poltz said. “There’s always a new adventure. I’m influenced without really thinking about it … it Please see It on page 10
A parasocial production
Journal correspondent Kate Kilgour fills us in on a standout documentary from the Toronto Hot Docs film festival By Kate Kilgour Staff Writer We are connected in every way possible via the internet. Private investigators take form in anyone with internet access, allowing the average person to sleuth their way through Facebook ‘friends of friends’ to unearth the gossip and closeted skeletons. We’re in a time where absolutely nothing is sacred. While this may be relatively new to us, celebrities have been battling it for years, with publicists on call and lawyers at their fingertips. Many will claim they got themselves into this, by craving the spotlight in a ‘be careful what you wish for’ tired tale. This past weekend I attended one of the
last screenings of Toronto’s Hot Docs documentary film festival, where I stared at Director Adrian Grenier’s stunning features for over two hours. Teenage Paparazzo focuses on a then thirteen-year-old photographer Austin Visschedyk, whom spends his adolescent nights skateboarding through West Hollywood after last call in the search for another $1,000 shot. Whether it’s Paris Hilton through her beach house windows (where paparazzi spend entire days waiting on the shore outside) or the regulars who stake out Britney’s house every single day, there is money to be made in La La land. Much to the chagrin of some older, more seasoned members of
Adrian Grenier produced, wrote and directed Teenage Paparrazi after a run-in with 13-year-old Austin Visschedyk.
this photo-stalking scene, Austin is adorable. Though he can be foul mouthed and seemingly older than his age, his blonde Bieber-esque locks and braced smile provide him with an air of naivety—how could a Hollywood teenager mean any real harm? The documentary takes us through Grenier and Austin’s first meeting, where the latter shocks this director with a series of quick flashes, boldly at the front of a paparazzi crew. This is where the project’s idea is birthed: to get an ‘in’ to this ironically private culture. More than anything, though, we learn about a kid who is home-schooled to accommodate his amoeba-like schedule, where plans are fluid and a potential scandal-snapping shot is priority. At the buzz of his iPhone he’ll blow Grenier off—the star who is producing the film—in order to pack his gear and respond to a tip. In a documentary that starts with a captivating subject that had me asking, ‘Why weren’t boys this cool when I was thirteen?’ it slowly shifts to exploit Austin in a way that poses some serious questions about growing up in a celebrity-crazed society. The entire project brings into question not only the public sphere and how we interact with it, but the intriguing state of America’s youth.
Austin, who is five years my junior, is leading a life I could hardly have imagined at that age. Perhaps if Perez Hilton graced the CNN screen during my formative years I would have seen the value in pushing boundaries rather than admiring celebrities from the comfort of a glossy magazine page.
Leaving the theater I thought about connectivity—these paparazzi have wireless-enabled laptops with them in their cars, where a photo can be taken and sent to tabloid editors within a matter of minutes. I sleep with my cell phone under my pillow and rarely go a day without Please see Pint on next page
Some city ditties
Toronto-based multi-instrumental group Entire Cities brings fresh live music to The Toucan By Don Lougheed Contributor The Toucan. Certain things come to mind: dim lighting, limestone, a totally unique odor and carpets that over the years have evolved to share more characteristics with moss than most indoor floor coverings should. It’s a place full of sunny afternoons on the patio followed by somewhat blurry nights and the inevitably painful mornings to follow. Needless to say, I’m somewhat fond of the place. Music is an essential part of the experience and The Toucan never disappoints, generally offering an eclectic array of genres that will get your foot tapping regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the tune.
But live music? Aside from the occasional special event, and the venerable virtuosos of Ghetto Express rocking their always entertaining Monday nights—I’ve never really considered it a venue. Music nights tend to be far apart, and the advertising is generally low key. Last Saturday night has me thinking that I may have been mistaken. Upon walking into The Toucan I noticed a group standing on the stage but thought little of it, likely the result of a mixture of tequila and nearsightedness. Imagine my surprise when the bartender stops his CD, cutting off Iggy Pop mid-sentence and from the stage Please see Entire-ly on next page
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Arts & Entertainment
Entire-ly Toucan Continued from previous page
Journal File Photo
Jewelry, sculpture and large scale paintings are a small selection of the multitude of media presented at participating galleries.
Are you afraid of the art?
Local galleries are gearing up to flip the switch on the Kingston arts community with their annual interactive tour Art After Dark By Ally Hall A&E Editor The art scene in Kingston is about to get a little darker. This year’s Art After Dark gallery tour, while weeks away, is rapidly becoming one of the most highly anticipated summer events for showcasing new art in the Limestone city. “It’s really great the galleries are co-ordinating an event together,” Cornerstone gallery owner Ellen Fraser told me. “Anything that encourages people to get out and stroll around to see all the new pieces being offered.” The tour puts a new spin on the familiar walk down Princess St. by showcasing 14 of the city’s galleries and artistic outlets. As the event becomes more established each year, gallery owners have been eager to jump on board and are able to participate by putting themselves forward. By opening their doors, galleries hope to invite guests from a wider demographic making the experience an interactive and informative one.
Though residents and local art collective affiliates are always tuned into the constant and thriving scene here, oftentimes exciting talent and opportunities for new members to take part are overlooked. “Kingston really has a lot of talent in every area,” Jamieson gallery artist and owner Jacqueline Jamieson said. “Our downtown is having a little difficulty and this is a really great way to draw people in.” A previous participant in the tour, Jamieson said she kept the event in mind when selecting watercolour aficionado Barbara O’Loughlin and late cartoonist Alfie Gillies as two artists highlighted in the upcoming month. A wide range of talent is set to display making the boundaries limitless for various types of media owners and curators who have chosen to exhibit. Enthusiasts can expect a range of sculpture, painting, drawing, jewelry, pottery and glass peppering their visit to each gallery. Showcasing home grown talent
Pint-sized star stalker Continued from previous page
checking Twitter. Toronto has dozens of party photographers who create their own little version of the Hollywood ‘see and be seen’ scene, so is this our own culture’s way of exploiting the upper-echelon of our social circle? Parasocial relationships. We’ve all kind of been there—you meet someone that looks familiar and you realize you’ve definitely been to their Facebook page—but can’t say that without sounding intrusively awkward. These are the mentalities that fuel the demand for paparazzisnapped photos, except that in our modern world it’s deemed normal to know the intricacies of celebrities’ lives. In Teenage Papparazo we view the life of an unconventional celeb-stalker, and it works. After a jump towards the end of the documentary we meet Austin at a later time in his life, where he’s
taller and more mature, and has a different perspective on his pasttime come full-time job—he has grown apprehensive.
I sleep with my cell phone under my pillow and rarely go a day without checking Twitter. Various positions on this controversial career are thought provoking. The film taps into our voyeuristic mentalities and succeeds at commentating on America’s youth, showcasing a particularly unique individual who realized his gift for winning over celebrities with his youthful presence and exploiting the very people whom he, at his thirteen years of age, hoped to become—someone who evades the paparazzi.
is the mandate for many of the spaces, some using the tour to push the limits of what might typically be shown. “It’s always a great party year after year and a good way to represent some of the more artistic work of the local artists,” artist and Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery employee Cheryl Dunsmore said. “Usually our stuff is a little more functional so we get to have some fun with it.” Fun is a prevalent theme in Art After Dark and all involved stressed the importance of relishing in a treasured event that brings a multitude of artistic types out from the woodwork. “I’ve always attended in the past few years simply because it’s such a fun event and simultaneously a great opportunity to see what’s happening in art here,” Patrick McNeill said. With his opening of the new Wellington Street Art Gallery, he said the decision to participate in the festival was two-fold. “This particular year is great timing for us since it’s a good way for me to introduce the artists in the gallery to the community … I’m showcasing everybody and they’re all local, contemporary and abstract from custom work to acrylics” With a three-floor space and various multimedia installments, McNeill was enthusiastic about the direction the tour has taken recently. “It’s an event that helps build the community culturally and gets
people excited about the visual art in particular,” he said. “It’s become sort of a Nuit Blanche kind of thing, everyone’s in a good mood and very excited to be hopping from gallery to gallery.” Whether uncovering a diamond in the rough or revisiting familiar favourites, Art After Dark will undoubtedly offer inventive illumination on new and old galleries alike—not to mention the always welcomed chance to rub elbows with some local talent. Art After Dark downtown Kingston galleries tour is Thurs. May 27 from 7 to 10 p.m.
Arty By The Night Perusing 14 of in one night be just a Can you keep
Kingston’s galleries doesn’t have to fantasy anymore. up with them all?
• Black Dog Pottery
• Cornerstone • Dwell • Earth to Spirit • Frameworks Gallery • Gallery Raymond • Jamieson Gallery • Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery • Modern Fuel • Robert Macklin Gallery • Studio 22 Open Gallery • Sydenham Street Studios • Wellington Street Art Gallery • ZEALmetal —Ally Hall
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erupts a rich, joyous melody that immediately has me snared. The group is known as Entire Cities and they’re going places. They’re a large band, barely managing to squeeze their seven members onto the tiny stage. At first glance, the singer and rhythm guitarist resembles the love-child of Elvis Costello and Ron Burgundy rocking one hell of a mustache along with his tie and brown suit. Their music is difficult to pin to a particular genre. Their poster touts them as “a blend of The Pogues and Arcade Fire,” which, though seemingly fantastical, is not far off the mark.
The staccato blast of the saxophone has me thrust into the midst of the bustling nightlife of downtown New York Their real beauty lies in their diversity. They play with a full-time steel guitarist, saxophone and the finest flute-playing I’ve heard in a rock band since Ian Anderson’s work with Jethro Tull. The sound is infectious, and has the entire audience—seated or otherwise— moving. The sound patrons and staff is something of a warm hug and smiles abound. One moment the staccato blast of the saxophone has me thrust into the midst of the bustling nightlife of downtown New York, the next has me floating along a quiet avenue in Paris on the trills of the flute. The effect is profound. The evening leaves me with a grin on my face, the truly satisfying feeling of night well spent. The music is exultant, and one can’t help but be drawn into the pure joy of it when watching the bass player do his thing with a noticeable sway, and the drummer do his with the manic grin of a man completely at home at his stool. Even the inevitable fellow dancing awkwardly, yet enthusiastically, alone in the front row, seems great. He seems right where he should be, and hell, I can’t help but give him credit, he gives it his all for the entire show.
Arts & Entertainment
10 • queensjournal.ca
A- (80%) The Tallest Man on Earth The Wild Hunt Dead Oceans No one will ever be Bob Dylan. Even Bobby D. himself was really Robert Zimmerman. His act as the most poetic hobo who ever lived was so successful that every artist with a raspy or off-kilter voice and an acoustic guitar to emerge in his wake is pigeonholed as “Dylanesque” or, even more annoyingly: “The Next Bob Dylan.” For a society so concerned with context and authenticity, there is a ubiquitous reverence for a man’s self-stylized stage persona. Enter Kristian Matsson, a 27-year-old Swedish dude that deconstructs any pretense of authenticity with a blatant lie built right into his moniker. Yes, The Tallest Man on Earth is all an act. And yes, the echoes of Dylan’s influence ring throughout The Wild Hunt. However, none of this matters when the music is so piercingly pretty. Overtop his impressive guitar work, his sharp yelp croaks out of his vocal chords and lands on the listener’s eardrums like a sun shower of soft needles. The most fun on this record is to be had in the larger-than-life persona created in the lyrics. On the title track and opener, Matsson is completely in charge of his own destiny when he sings “I live until the call/And I plan to be forgotten when I’m gone.” Despite being the supposed master of his own birth and death, he humbles himself when he admits, “Aw but hell I’m just a blind man on the plains,” and the inconsistencies of his character begin to shine through. He is a loner and a hermit with supreme authority over nature. On the song “Love is All” he “walk[s] upon the river like it’s easier than land,” but then, even though he
possesses such great power, in the chorus he finds cause for sorrow and laments, “Here come the tears/But like always, I let them go.” Unfortunately the closing track, “Kids on the Run,” interrupts the pattern with a melodramatic piano-driven ballad and prevents the album from reaching perfection. The Tallest Man on Earth is certainly not part of the past decade’s freak-folk movement as he shares little in common with the arty and brainy likes of Joanna Newsom or Devendra Banhart. Furthermore, he should not be lumped in with the bearded indie set as he lacks the pristine vocals of Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver.. Ultimately this is akin to Dylan before he went electric, when he drew on the influence of Woody Guthrie to achieve transcendence and usher traditional folk music into the post-modern world. The Tallest Man on Earth draws from the greats, creating something entirely new and beautiful. —Jacob Morgan
garnering him serious attention and pushing an ever-expanding subgenre in the process. Whether known by his beat-making moniker Flying Lotus, Alice Coltrane’s nephew or just as Steve Ellison, chances are his bold arrangements will speak for themselves. Ellison is doing what Girl Talk did for the sonically spastic. Don’t look here to find your latest jam—there’s no summer sing-along to be found on this record, making it all the more interesting. In a sense, Cosmogramma is a musical quilt, amalgamating squares of hip-hop, jazz, dubstep, club and techno. Abstract flourishes include horns, screams, drills, lasers, water, ping-pong, harps, trains and video game vibrations texture tracks mixed with Ellison’s breaks and beats. Somewhat unidentifiable concepts and motifs lace their way through each minute creating sounds rather than songs. Samples that other DJs are unaware of or perhaps too afraid to touch make the LP surprisingly accessible by opening Flying Lotus up to a wider listening audience. Further exploration of the prevalent jazz theme on Cosmogramma would bode well for Ellison. The heavy jazz elements of the record are particularly intriguing with the welcomed addition of Ravi Coltrane on saxophone. Other cameos on the album can be found with Thom Yorke on the standout track “…And The World Laughs With You,” and the unforgettably melancholic croons of Laura Darlington on “Table Tennis.” An eclectic and multi-dimensional release, Cosmogramma is a diverse and brave musical trip. —Ally Hall
Flying Lotus Cosmogramma Warp/Brainfeeder Few things in life bring me more joy than old school Nintendo and its accompanying sound effects. The nostalgic bleeps of Super Mario and Duck Hunt will forever be as comforting to me as a good hip hop track. Much to my delight, Californian producer Flying Lotus has managed to fuse these things together in his third LP Cosmogramma. Smashing pre-conceived notions of what hip-hop and experimental production should sound like, Flying Lotus’s knack for sound manipulation is
B+ (78%) Jay Malinowski Bright Lights and Bruises Pirates Blend/Sony When I found out that Jay Malinowski was releasing his first ever solo album— Bright Lights and Bruises—I expected it to have the upbeat reggae feel of Bedouin Soundclash, his previous band. But, I was happily surprised when I discovered that the singer and guitar player’s new album is dark and sombre, with a dash of hope thrown in at the end. His music uses simple melodies, mostly consisting of piano and guitar, mixed with complex emotions to show the realities of life—which often times are not all that happy. In fact his album is appropriately named as his songs are a lot like a bruise, they start off with a whole lot of pain and turn black and blue, but then they start to heal and turn greenish yellow. Yet the memory of the pain never fades. The bruise metaphor is perfectly depicted in his song “How it Comes is How it Goes.” Malinowski sings, in his unique folk twang, about the sadness of a loved one leaving him, like the pain of wiping out on the sidewalk and all the blood rushing to the skin. But, the song offers hope that happiness will one day come—the bruise turning that lovely shade of yellow. One of the most moving songs is “There’s a Light,” which could easily become the next Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol—the powerful song that is used in every T.V. show as the main character faces a catastrophic loss and finds that light at the end of the tunnel
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
through a friend, a loved one, or the cute guy/girl next door. This is not critiquing Malinowski’s album as ordinary, but saying that it is ordinary in the best way possible—it is relatable to all and therapeutic for those who are struggling. If you are looking for a realistic, yet cathartic music release, look no further than Bright Lights and Bruises. —Alyssa Ashton
‘I’m in charge of everything’ Continued from page 8
comes out of me like a sponge and definitely affects me.” This absorbent approach to creative production has proven successful for the Nova Scotia native who despite his success, both mainstream and independent, exudes the most envious of relaxed energies and down to earth vibes. Perhaps Poltz can credit his entrepreneurial label, 98 Pounder Records with relieving some of the stress other artists might face through loss of creative control throughout the longevity of their careers. “When I got dropped from my label I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to release myself, then I can be a independent artist and have complete freedom,’” he said. “I love it. I’m in charge of everything. It’s just so fun to create, it keeps me kind of child-like.” Poltz’s latest release marks a decidedly different direction for the artist. Produced by fellow East coast treasure Joel Plaskett, Dreamhouse came together organically through a musical dissection process that was natural for the two musicians. “It was a really quick process. I really did love it,” Poltz said. “He’s fun to be around and we have these really great conversations. It was filled with a lot of laughter—we worked hard and we laughed hard.” Becoming a part of the produced-byPlaskett family provided a change of pace from Poltz’s usual recording process. Listeners are given a small glimpse into Poltz and Plaskett’s playfully collegial relationship in the video for Poltz’s “License Plate Eyes.” In addition to providing a more rigid recording schedule for Poltz to adhere to, Plaskett introduced old world charm into the process by recording everything on 2-inch tape analog. With no computer screens in the room, the two artists kicked it old school, providing a refreshingly charming tone to the aptly named dreamy record. This old-fashioned approach to recording is mimicked in Poltz’s performances. An avid storyteller, concert attendees next week will find it hard not to be captivated while Poltz entertains with his “old and lost art,” always stressing the importance of never letting the truth get in the way of a good story. Steve Poltz plays The Living Room on The Mansion’s second floor Thurs. May 20. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010
From Queen’s to the Queen City Gaels linebacker taken first overall in the CFL draft By Kate Bascom and Lauri Kytömaa Journal Staff The Gaels’ Vanier Cup win was only six months ago. After all the celebrations, parades and parties, many of the players have already felt the athletic effects of all their hard work and commitment. It’s clear the CFL has a renewed interest in the Gaels football program with the first overall draft of Journal File Photo Shomari Williams. Gaels’ linebacker Shomari Williams enters the field at last year’s Vanier Cup. His performance in the playoffs cemented his number one status.
“It was a marriage made in heaven.”
Williams began to struggle with football. The
Linebacker Shomari Williams was drafted first overall by the Saskatchewan Roughriders finally bringing the dream of a professional football career to reality. Williams’ interest in playing professional football brought him from Brampton to Houston. However, in his third year at Houston,
University and former player of Sheahan’s, to step in. Goff contacted Sheahan about the possibility of Williams returning to Canada and playing football in the Tricolor. Sheahan said Williams’ decision to bring his athletic ability to Queen’s was ideal. Williams flourished into a star and the Gaels brought home the Vanier Cup.
Pat Sheahan, woes led his mentor, Michael Goff, strength — Football Head Coach and conditioning coach at Concordia
“It was a marriage made in heaven,” Sheahan said. He feels especially excited about the Roughrider’s draft selection. “I was extremely pleased,” he said. “Obviously an event like that, a first round selection, it’s like a pebble into a pond. It touches everyone: coaches, his former teammates. It brings a good deal of honour and prestige to Queen’s.” The recent influx of former Gaels to the
Gaels reclaim spring challenge trophy
Varsity women carry Gaels to points cup at the McGillQueen’s boat race By Lauri Kytömaa Assistant Sports Editor Within the rivalries of the rowing world many tend to overlook the young McGillQueen’s Challenge Boat Race. Although not as renowned as the Oxford-Cambridge and Harvard-Yale rivalries, the 14-year-old McGill-Queen’s Boat Race has turned into an annual clash of school pride. In 1997 the McGill captains thought it would be a good idea to challenge the Queen’s rowing team to a head-to-head race. The event would provide each team with good competition and motivation through the long winter months, and act as a sign of goodwill following the 1995 Quebec independence referendum. Queen’s head coach, John
The Gaels race their fourteenth McGill-Queen’s boatrace since 1997. Armitage, accepted the challenge and helped had won the Women’s challenge trophy usher in an annual tradition in the model of three of the last four years. other prestigious boat races. Historically the competition has been “They dominated.” even: the Gaels Men are now 7-7 over the —Zola Mehlomakulu, fourteen years of the race while the Women Women’s Coach hold an 8-6 advantage over McGill. In this year’s race, held on May 2nd, the varsity men failed to capture an eighth “The first half of the race was really straight win, but a commanding performance exciting,” men’s coach Stu Robinson said. by the women’s varsity team and wins by the “Bow ball to bow ball, one crew would take novice men proved just enough to reclaim a seat then the other would take one, good the D. Lornes Trophy, awarded for most intensity. McGill hit a booie at the 2000 team points, back from McGill after losing meter mark, they fell a boat length behind. it in 2009. Queen’s [was] up a boat length, we became The race’s results provide something of a complacent. McGill [eventually] won by shift in the status quo. The men’s loss was the about a little bit of open water.” first in seven years, and the McGill women Despite the close race, the men’s loss
CFL is creating a lot of excitement within the football program. Seven Queen’s Gaels are hoping to suit up across the country for their respective teams come Canada Day. In addition to Shomari Williams being drafted first overall, linebacker Chris Smith was taken 28th overall by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Following the signing of quarterback Danny Brannagan by the Toronto Argos this year, receiver Chris Ioannides (Winnipeg), defensive lineman Osie Ukwuoma (Winnipeg), linebacker Thaine Carter (Winnipeg), and defensive end Neil Puffer (Edmonton) have all signed with different professional teams. If given the opportunity, many of these players will make an impact in different cities across Canada. The biggest impact, Sheahan says, is the one that’s felt in Kingston. “I think you’d be naïve if you thought that players are not aware of where they can attend university and continue playing at an elite level,” he said. “This year’s success bodes well in the long run. It makes our program highly attractive because the formula is in place to create elite athletes.” Just as Sheahan credited his player for his excellence on the field, Shomari Williams says he and his teammates have reaped the benefits of an excellent football program beginning with the coaching staff. Please See Riders on page 13
could also be tied to a transition in the athlete core. Robinson feels the current group of athletes need a lot of work in order to reach the strength of the groups in past years. “We have some big miles to put in this summer if we are going to be competitive,” he said. “2008 was a peak year. We are having a complete turnaround and the new guys have a lot of training to do to be at the same level as the guys in 2008. Next year will be competitive but not as in-depth.” The story surrounding the women’s varsity team could not be more different. Women’s coach Zola Mehlomakulu’s thoughts on the race were brief and telling. “They dominated,” he said. Please See Rowing on page 13
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Summer brings change to Gaels Impact of new coach and recruits will be felt in the fall By Kate Bascom Sports Editor Even after a heartbreaking shootout loss to the Carleton Ravens last October, the Gaels were optimistic for the future. The men’s soccer team finished with an 8-2-4 record last season and are welcoming the return of head coach Chris Gencarelli and a new recruiting class, including highly touted centreback Joseph Zupo. The summer has also brought on the significant loss of goalkeeper Sean Martin-Courtright. Although Gencarelli recognizes the loss as both significant on and off the field, he said the impact of MartinCourtright’s absence will be steadied by new recruits. “Sean was a great person and player for the Gaels,” he said in an e-mail to the Journal. “Not only could we rely on him in goal, but he was a positive presence and role model for the players. That being said, we have three returning goalkeepers who are anxious to compete for the starting position, and a recruit coming in with an impressive soccer resume so I think we’ll be able to cope with the loss.” The rookie Gaels will be something to get excited for. Leading the group of recruits into training camp is defenceman Joseph Zupo. The soccer MVP from Senator O’Connor College School in Toronto has already racked up an impressive soccer resume. A 2009 Ontario Cup Champion and a ‘AAA’ OFSAA Bronze medalist. Gencarelli sees Zupo’s recruitment as adding to an already stacked defence. “Joseph is the type of player that can make a positive impact in his first year,” he said. “At 6’2”, he has the ability to win aerial balls, and for his size is very composed with Please see Recruits on page 14
SuPplied photo By Geoff Cullwick
The novice men enjoy a clear victory in Montréal.
Rowers triumph over Redmen Continued from page12
His assessment was certainly reasonable given that the women finished a boat length and a half ahead of McGill in the 2.9 km race. All signs point toward good things to come for the women. The team has often remained in Kingston during the summer to train. Sacrifices like these have brought about results. Mehlomakulu has seen the improvements first hand and is optimistic for the upcoming fall season. “[They’re] looking really good, people sticking around last summer and this summer. We were third this [past] year so hopefully first or second this year.” The often overlooked novices were also crucial to the team cup win. With the men losing their race and the women’s novice team lacking enough rowers to race evenly with the McGill boat, the varsity women’s commanding win would have gone for naught without a victory from another racing category. In response the men’s novice put one of the most convincing wins ever in the novice category; winning by multiple boat lengths of open water to guarantee the Gaels
the D. Lornes Trophy. Despite the intensity and excitement of the McGill-Queen’s Boat Race over the years, one problem still exists—the teams have struggled to attract much attention. While the Oxford and Cambridge race enjoys thousands of alumni flocking to the river banks, a 14 year period has not yet provided the Canadian counterpart with a crowd much larger than 100. The competition alternates between Kingston and Montréal each year and the marshy waterways of Kingston provide little in the way of a viewing area. It seems the Montréal venue, the Lachine Canal, may hold more promise for the contest. Men’s rower Colin Sutherland commented on the potential of spectator growth in both Kingston and Montreal. “Maybe [alumni] will come back to watch it,” he said. “In Montreal a number of spectators have already begun to come.” There is still much hope for a rise in popularity of the Queen’sMcGill boat race. With the advantage of hindsight, Armitage sees potential in the growth of the event’s reputation.
Riders draft Gael first Continued from page12
“It’s a great program,” he said earlier in an e-mail to the Journal. “We win games and the coaching staff prepares us to take our games to the next level. I think this trend will continue for years to come as long as the coaching stays together at Queen’s.” Gaels games became a main showcase for CFL scouts to witness William’s talent and skills. As the Gaels progressed into the playoffs, the more games Williams played. The journey to the Vanier Cup allowed Williams to show his play not only during the regular season but under stressful situations like the playoff games against Western, Laval and Calgary. Williams equally credits his work
in the playoffs with his work all season. He says that his commitment and effort were defining reasons in his promotion to the number one draft pick after having been ranked 15th in September. “[It was] hard work,” he said. “I worked really hard during the season to get to the number one spot and I had some excellent coaches at Queen’s to help guide me. Definitely I believe [playoff games] helped. It allowed me to play in more pressure games to show scouts what I can do.” This season it won’t be the scouts watching, but the loud and rowdy Riders Nation, a sight to be seen. The fans are among the best of any sport in North America, he said, adding that he is excited to
play in front of them and show them what he can do. “Rider Nation is huge,” he said. “I can’t wait for the first kickoff of the 2010 season so that I can experience that crowd first hand. “I am looking to contribute on special teams first and I would like to work my way into the defensive rotation. [I’m] just going to try and establish myself as a good football player on my team and in the league.” he said. The congratulations continue to pile in. After finding out the Roughriders would be selecting him first overall, Williams and his family were obviously excited. He continues to strive to be the best and adds a new city to his football journey: Regina, the Queen City.
Supplied photo by Geoff Cullwick
The women’s victory carries the Gaels to the points cup. “I bet even the OxfordCambridge boat race was fairly informal fifteen years into the event,” he said.
14 • queensjournal.ca
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Recruits eager Continued from page 13
the ball at his feet. He will definitely be a positive addition to our already experienced defensive group.”
“I truly believe this year’s recruiting class will be a very talented one, making for an exciting and competitive training camp.” —Chris Gencarelli Men’s Soccer Head Coach
Journal File Photo
Head coach Chris Gencarelli says he hopes to change the Gaels’ playoff fortunes with a competitive incoming class led by Joseph Zupo.
Sports in Brief
ACROSS 1 4 7 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 22 24 28 32 33 34 36 37 39 41 43 44 46 50 53 55 56 57 58 59 60 61
Prohibit Harvest goddess Heady potation Moby Dick’s pur suer Joan of — Taj Mahal city Letter after alpha Mauna — Standard In the midst of Cattle drive item Beaver’s construct Least fettered Wrapped Sacha Baron Cohen portrayal State with certainty Moo goo gai pan pan Press Parson’s home Gracefully tall and slender “... — and arrows of outrageous fortune” Zero Enthusiastic Duck sauce ingredi- ent Wagon Meadow Regulation United nations Dog’s doc By word of mouth Adam and Eve’s third son — out a living Do sums
DOWN 1 Ali — 2 Throat-clearing sound
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 19 21 23 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 35 38 40 42 45 47 48 49 50 51 52 54
Org. HQ’d in Brus- sels Erstwhile acorn Get ready, for short Muffler Matador’s aide Freudian concept Misstep Aries Lewis Carroll’s “fru- mious” beast Needle-fish Sphere Kitten’s comment Continental coin Winter forecast Danza or Curtis Rotating parts Elliptical “—, vidi, vici” Wall Street statistic, with “The” Relatives Early bird? Back talk Figure out Nerdy sort Emanation Dressed (in) Maintained Couric’s network Cousin of 7-Across Deteriorate Chewed and swal- lowed
However, roster competition will be fierce come August. “[Zupo] joins a list of about 7 or 8 recruits looking to leave a lasting impression on the coaching staff come training camp in August,” he said. “I truly believe this year’s recruiting class will be a very talented one, making for an exciting and competitive training camp.” The return of Gencarelli to the head coach position after a two year
absence from the soccer program offers experience and change to the team’s structure. While attending Queen’s University from 2003 to 2006, Gencarelli played for the soccer team and was captain in his final year. He joined the Gaels immediately after graduation and was a playing-assistant for the 2006 – 2007 season. After long-time head coach Al McVicar stepped down, Gencarelli became interim head coach in 2007 – 2008 under which the Gaels went 9-5-4 and finished with an OUA bronze medal. Gencarelli said he sees the Gaels as an already technically skilled team and wants to focus on intangibles. “One of the major issues I would like to address this year is team leadership and chemistry,” he said. “We need to be working toward a common goal and have a teamfirst mentality in order to achieve immediate success next year. I think it is usually those areas of a team sport that separate good teams from great teams.”
Sheahan-coached East grabs win in East West Bowl
OUA honours Queen’s coaches
Silver Medal for Jenkins Trophy winner
The 8th annual East West Bowl game was upstaged this year by the wind, rain and unseasonably cold temperatures in London, Ontario on May 8. The weather played a clear role in the East team’s 12-9 win over the West by limiting scoring chances for both teams as they showcased their talents for the CFL scouts present. Laval kicker Christopher Milo had a standout performance with three completed field goal attempts. Coached by Gaels’ Head Coach Pat Sheahan, Queen’s was wellrepresented in the East team. Apart from Sheahan, the team included defensive back Ben D’Andrea, quarterback Thomas Howes, linebacker Stephen Laporte and offensive linemen Daniel Bederman and Matthew O’Donnell.
Football head coach Pat Sheahan and volleyball head coach Brenda Willis were both awarded the Fox 40 OUA Coach of the Year for 2009-10 on May 13 Sheahan’s memorable football season included a 7-1 regular season record which resulted in the Gaels’ first Vanier Cup win since 1992. Willis’ long career with the Gaels includes a career coaching record of 247-93 and five OUA Coach of the Year honours. The men’s team this year recaptured the OUA banner by defeating the Western Mustangs after losing in the OUA championship the previous two years. This is only the second time that both Fox 40 coaches have come from the same school. Western achieved this feat in 2002.
As Matt Hulse continues to prepare for the National Track and Field Competition this summer, he adds one more medal to his already lengthy resume. Hulse won the silver medal in the 1500m event at the Jesse Owens Track Classic. The reigning 1500m OUA champion ran a personal best time of three minutes, 45.75 seconds. He started the race near the back moving from 10th to 2nd place as he sped up over the last 300m. Hulse missed gold by less than two seconds.
Gaels row to win on the lachine canal
Photo by Geoff Cullwick
Rowing team poses with the D. Lornes trophy after win over the McGill Redmen on May 2.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Awesome moments go viral
Queen’s Alum Neil Pasricha’s The Book of Awesome is inspired by his award-winning and popular blog 1000awesomethings.com
By Kelly Loeper Postscript Editor In a society where we constantly read about tragedy and gossip, the blogosphere has finally emerged with a place to embrace the simple, awesome things that make us smile every day, and people are catching on fast. 1000awesomethings.com, an award-winning blog, was created in 2008. The blog’s creator, Neil Pasricha, posts one awesome thing that happens in everyday life each weekday. The blog, featuring awesome moments such as “seeing a licence plate from really far away in your hometown” and “the smell of PlayDoh,” gets around 40,000 hits a day. The Book of Awesome, based on Pasricha’s blog, was published in April. Pasricha, a Comm ’02 Queen’s alum, worked at Golden Words during his four years at Queen’s and was a co-editor in his final year. “I lived in Morris Hall then in the ghetto for three years. I love the #13 at Wok-In, being first in the Bubba’s lineup, and walking across campus with friends when it’s late and dark and quiet,” he told the Journal via e-mail. Pasricha said he was inspired to start the blog in response to all the depressing news we hear every day. “Awesome is just an escape from the sad news and bad news pouring down every day,” he said. “It’s a place where global warming, terrorist threats, and health care debates sit backseat to warm underwear out of the dryer, the cool side of the pillow, and popping bubble wrap.” Despite his enthusiasm, Pasricha said he did not expect his blog to garner such a following. “Honestly, when I first started the site I was excited when my mom forwarded it to my dad and the traffic doubled. Then I was excited when strangers started emailing me and friends and I would say to each other: ‘You know what’s awesome? When there’s still time left on the parking meter! When cashiers open up new lanes at the grocery store! When you get the milk-to-cereal ratio just right!’” 1000awesomethings.com is read by people worldwide and from a variety of demographics. “I guess maybe these tiny little moments make a big difference in a lot of our rushed, jam-packed lives. Maybe these small moments add up to a big deal at the end of the day,” Pasricha said. “I’ve been extremely flattered by all the notes I get from folks around the world. Cancer patients have told me these awesome things remind them of how many magic moments life really holds and how many joys they experience every day.”
Neil Pasricha, author of The Book of Awesome, says he’s gotten notes from people worldwide who are inspired by the book. “Children have written me cute emails telling me they love neighbours with pools and popping bubble wrap too and high school students have interviewed me and said awesome things make all their friends say ‘YES! THAT IS AWESOME!’ every morning.” Pasricha said The Book of Awesome grew from his blog in large part due to the internet and social networking.
“We jam-packed 400 pages of awesome things with classics like ‘finding money in your coat pocket’ and ‘the smell of gasoline’ with new entries like ‘tripping and realizing nobody saw you’ and ‘fixing electronics by smacking them.’” The main difference between the two mediums is that The Book of Awesome is a tangible object, he said. “It’s an actual book! It’s a big “I guess maybe these tiny thick square full of pages and pictures! It fits on a bookshelf little moments make a big difference in a lot of and sits on a bedside table. It’s a present or a feel better our rushed, jam-packed birthday present. It sits on top of the toilet lives. Maybe these small or travels with you through airport terminals. You toss it on a beach moments add up to a big deal at the end of the towel while swimming or cuddle up with it on the porch when day.” it’s raining.” —Neil Pasricha, author of The Pasricha said his inspiration Book of Awesome for writing dates back to his childhood. “Once upon a time my blog “I still remember when I was a launched and a few weeks later a tiny little kid and I picked up an big website called Fark.com linked old, dog-eared copy of Sideways to a post about ‘old, dangerous Stories from Wayside School by playground equipment.’ It was Louis Sacher from the library,” he picked up by places like Wired and said. “The pages were yellow and soon blogs were chattering about somebody spilled grape juice on it,” he said. a few chapters, but I remember “Soon I started getting calls the words popping off the page, from radio stations and newspapers I remember laughing in bed, I and then a couple months later remember reading it over and over, I won two Webby Awards [an and I remember it made me want international annual award to write.” rewarding exceptional people in “These days I am constantly the Internet] in the Best Culture inspired and amazed by the genius Blog category and flew to New of David Sedaris who I think is York City to accept it. At the same probably the funniest writer alive. time a bunch of big-city literary Other than that, I mostly just read agents tracked me down and then fast-food menus, highway signs, within a few more weeks I had a and the dirty newspaper lying on book deal.” the subway floor.” Pasricha said The Book of Pasricha said the main message Awesome differs from the blog of the book is a positive outlook because there is a lot more content of humanity. andalsoincludesphotographs,taken “The Book of Awesome is the big by award-winning photographer high five for humanity reminding Sam Javanrouh, who runs a daily us of the special moments that photo blog. make life sweet.”
The book has such a different meaning for each person that it’s hard to tell people what the book is supposed to mean for them, he said. “I’d hate to be in a bookstore trying to decide what shelf to put The Book of Awesome on. Some say it goes in happiness, others say self-help, and some say it’s humor ... If you’re looking for inspiration, spirituality, or just a few good laughs you’ll find as you flip through the 400 pages.” Pasricha gets his ideas for determining what’s awesome through the simple things everyone experiences every day. “Awesome things are simple, tiny, free and easy daily experiences we all love. Of course, the easiest way to tell if something’s awesome is if you find yourself nodding and smiling to yourself while thinking ‘That’s awesome!’ while doing it,” he said. What’s great about these awesome things is that we’re surrounded by them every day, Pasricha said. “The reason these get people nodding and say ‘YES!!!’ is because we’ve all thought of them before. We all know hitting a bunch of green lights on the way home from work is awesome. We all know the smell of a bakery is awesome. We all know watching your odometer click over a major milestone is
awesome. I’m just a guy writing them down.” Starting the blog has also opened up his eyes to the little awesome things that happen every day as well, he said. “These days I smile a little longer when I finally find my keys after looking forever. I enjoy it a little more when I fall asleep in fresh new bed sheets. And I laugh a little louder when I pick the perfect nacho off someone else’s plate,” he said. “I guess I’ve started to feel that maybe there’s something pretty powerful buried deep in these tiny little moments and there’s something special about talking about them with everybody every day.” Pasricha also credits his alma mater as part of his inspiration for finding the awesome things in life. “Queen’s is such a beautiful place and it certainly stoked my passion for all things awesome. I remember the sheer insanity of putting chocolate milk into my residence bowls of cocoa puffs like it was yesterday,” he said. “I absolutely love and miss the Queen’s community and the way people treat each other there. The bubble holds us all captive in a secret world of all-nighters, bent-up bedhead, and steamy poutine gravy. And that’s a secret world I love.”
Neil Pasricha’s Top Five Awesome Things from The Book of Awesome 1. Waking up and realizing it’s Saturday 2. Being the first table called up the dinner buffet at a wedding 3. Waitresses who bring free refills without asking 4. When you hear someone’s smile over the phone 5. The last day of school
Home Grown Talent
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Journal photographer Christine Blais captured the action happening all over downtown Kingston. Bands ranging from Folk to Rock participated in the Home Grown Festival all day Saturday.