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Letter from the Editor

It's cold out, bundle up and watch a film January is coming to an end, which means it’s finally time to settle into the term and prepare yourselves to pump out essays, exams and assignments. But it is also absurdly cold outside, which means that it’s an excellent time to, procrastinate, stay in and consume media (not that I’m endorsing avoiding work, but lets face it – it happens). To aid in this venture, television shows have returned and we are in the midst of a series of events where a small number of people dictate what are the best movies of the year. It’s a great time to catch up on the various blockbusters and Oscar-bait films of 2013. We are in a nice little time frame where the Golden Globes have told us what the hits are and the Academy Awards are far enough out that we have some time to catch up. We have decided to do a bit of an movie

feature in this issue of The Mike so that we can be ahead of you on this process, and help get you kick started before time runs out (plus next issue is our valentines special). I think it’s also worth reminding everyone that the Independent Spirit Awards are always the night before the Oscars and their list of nominations often highlights gems that might otherwise be missed. Last year they honoured Safety Not Guaranteed which was a fantastic little film. Their best first feature and best first screenplay are the sections to watch. This year both Fruitvale Station and Don Jon got nods. Also, the opening monologue to the ceremony is notoriously funny and unreserved, and I’m sure with Patton Oswalt hosting it will be up to snuff this year as well. If you can’t tell the staff of The Mike love our movies, you can follow along with the awards or enter a pool with

the ballot we have included in the centerfold (because who has ink for that what with all the essays to be printed). Overall, it looks to be a great movie award season. Intersperse that with a good dose of American Horror Story: Coven, Downtown Abbey, Sherlock, and finally finding out who the Mother is and you’ve got several good reasons to avoid the cold. Personally I think the cinematic triumph of the year was ‘Her’ and it is definitely a must see. With all that out of the way, I’m turning the T.V. on and getting back under the covers. I’ll see you again in two weeks. Brrrrr….

We are in a nice little ‘time frame where the

January 31

Soup Stock Workshop

Toronto Tea Festival

Brennan Lounge, 8:30PM

Various Locations

February 1

February 2

Interact with your community, and support the creativity of your fellow students. Attend Kelly’s corner and watch your classmates perform songs, poems, and other fun things. Take pictures, and enjoy your Wednesday night.

Sick of always passing that really expensive restaurant? Want to know what the socialites are talking about? Winterlicious is your chance. Its your step in the door. With a $25 upwards pre-fix menu at many places around the city, its your turn to taste..

West End Food Co-op

Toronto Reference Library

Did you know that stock is rather easy to make? Yet very hard to make delicious? Stock can also be made out of almost anything, and is a lot healthier to make yourself than the store bought variety!

Tea is a diverse beverage, and also the world’s most popular beverage. More tea is consumed every year than coffee or wine! Sample beer’s only rival, and learn the differences between the different types.

Elvis Mondays

The Sweetest Sin


February 3

February 5

February 8

Drake Underground, 9:00PM

Hart House, 8:30PM

Agincourt Library, 10:00AM

Young Alumni and Student Career Networking Event

Sports Editor

Elvis is still a massive superstar, with couples flocking to Vegas to be married by his impersonators every year. Be part of this legacy, and flock to Elvis Mondays at the Drake Undergound.

In aide of Free The Children, purchase an eligible bachelor/ette, and snack on some sweet treats at a dessert mixer! Tickets are $10, and should be purchased ahead of time. Purchase a person, and a treat. .

Vocal games, and creative outlets for all your beatboxing needs. An open forum for creativity, with plenty of people to help out if you’re new. My personal favourite beat is the Got Fluid track featured in Scrubs.

Editor-in-Chief Micah Gold-Utting

Managing Editor Alekzia Hosein

News Editor Fatima Syed

time to catch up.

Arts Editor Louis Train

Kelly’s Corner


January 29

Opinions Editor Michal Chwalek

Co-Living Editor Franco Recchia

Curtis Panke

Senior Copy Editor Chelsea Misquith

Illustrations Editor Vacant

Interested in getting involved? SMC students are invited to join The Mike's Board of Directors


Editorial Staff

Micah Gold-Utting | Editorin-chief



Golden Globes have told us what the hits are and the Academy Awards are far enough out that we have some


Web Editor

February 12 St. Mikes

Be proactive, and find out the career steps you could be taking today, and form connections with people who may be able to help you later on. Registration required.

Annum Roshan

Photos Editor Vacant

Writers Catherine Bredin, John Castellarin, Peter Galka, Emma George, Joe Magiapane, Mark Matich, Regan Mcneill, Melissa Morgado, Saad Shah, Alex Wichert, Christine Zelezny

Copy Editors Diane Tam, Jesse Maione, Mark Recto

Business Staff

Apply by email to

Business Manager Yasir Mustafa

Ad Manager Stefano Tesoro

Catherine Bredin | Staff Writer

Ad Execs Vacant


Ukraine's beleaguered President Viktor Yanukovych has agreed to remove harsh anti-protest legislation that set off a wave of violent clashes between protestors and the police over the past week.

L'Isle Verte

The Quebec government is re-evaluating its building and fire codes for seniors' homes as the death toll from a massive fire in a local seniors' home has risen to 14, with 18 still missing.


The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has given its approval for Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to run for the presidency. Sisi led the military ousting of President Mohammed Morsi last July, following mass protests.


After a four-year freeze at $10.25 and a provincial advisory panel's call to peg future minimum wage increases to inflation, the Wynne government is poised to boost the rate retroactively later this week, to around $11.


UN peace talks have deadlocked between the Syrian government and the opposition over the divisive issue of transferring power from current President Bashar Al-Assad to a transitional government, until elections can be held.

Board of Directors BOD Student Reps. Adriano Marchese Nicole Rocha Dennis Amoakohene Christopher Sivry

BOD Alumni Rep. Andy Lubinsky

BOD College Rep. Steve Hoselton

@readthemike The Mike is the Official Bi-weekly Student Newspaper of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, publishing since 1947. The Mike has a circulation of 2000, delivered to over 40 newsstands across the University of Toronto: St. George Campus and is published by The Mike Publications Inc. The Mike is printed by MasterWeb Inc on recycled newsprint stock and is a member of Canadian University Press. Copyright: 2012 The Mike Publications Inc. All Rights Reserved. All editorial inquires should be sent to The Mike reserves the right to edit all submissions

looking to contribute? drop us a line! 416-926-7272 • 81 st. mary st. • toronto on • m5s 1j4 •




18-year old develops potential new cure for malaria



A St. Lou-easy decision Why Martin St. Louis should have made Team Canada

First year student Jessie MacAlpine tackles malaria with mustard oil Fatima Syed | News Editor Jessie MacAlpine is in her first year of life sciences studies and has filed a patent for her discovered treatment for malaria that is rooted in the properties of mustard oil. MacAlpine was the president of a club in high school which worked with Free the Children to break the cycle of poverty in developing countries. After a conversation about health initiatives, MacAlpine did some research on drugs the group could fundraise for rather the typical route of fundraising for mosquito nets. Instead she stumbled across a newspaper article that suggested that herbicides could be used to treat malaria. MacAlpine was a Grade 9 student when she published her first research paper on the effects of excessive CO2 on plant growth to simulate a future environment with climate change. By the time she graduated high school, she had won the top prize at an international science fair. The research projects that she had started in her basement now unfold in the MARS building. “I’ve always been interested in science, but in grade seven, in my elementary school, I saw a poster advertising the Canada-Wide Science Fair [and] that piqued my interest. I did my first science project, made it to the nationals and that sort of inspired me to keep doing research.” Malaria is a parasitic disease that affects puts an estimated 3.3. billion people, and has yet to be adequately addressed. MacAlpine’s research project, Mustard Oil as an Apicomplexan-targeting Drug Therapy for Plasmodium falciparum was found to be very successful at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, winning the Best of Category for Medicine and Health Sciences. MacAlpine explains that there are a lot of factors that contribute to the continued existence of diseases like malaria that have been eradicated in the Western World but remain in developing nations. “I certainly think the cost of medication is one of those factors, but certainly not the only deciding on in the situation,” said MacAlpine. “The interesting thing about mustard oil is because it’s a cooking oil its possible that’s it is already in the cupboards of people who have malaria, and the only barrier is finishing the testing and ensuring people are aware that people can just take a sip of the oil and they’ll be okay, rather than a process of producing and distributing it. Its not that simple, but close to it,” said MacAlpine. “So hopefully, by having it be so acceptable and inexpensive that’ll make it a much better option for actually eradicating malaria,” added MacAlpine. “But there are a lot of steps that need to be taken from now till then in order for that dream to be realised.” Discovering the drug was the first step of a very long process. “The next step is to test the drug in a mammal model – mice – and then as long as those results turn out positive that’s when I would look to doing something like clinical trials, and then actually distributing the drugs,” explains MacAlpine. MacAlpine chose to patent her drug to help make these next stages easier. “If you’re looking towards seriously developing a drug, patenting is always a good idea because it helps you protect your intellectual property and it ensures other companies can’t get a hold of the product before you’re done testing. It

‘Since I’d spent

the past two years developing a herbicide, I thought, ‘Ooh, maybe I can change my compound into a malaria drug

also makes it a lot easier to approach investors and different companies that can help you facilitate the different stages of development. If the drug continues to be effective and you move towards the stage where it’s distributed, patenting makes it much easier to produce and distribute the drug,” said MacAlpine. Having started work on this in Grade 11 at home, coming to U of T has made MacAlpine’s research pursuits a lot easier. “I went to high school in Woodstock, which meant doing research in Toronto required me to commute at least a two-hour train ride to and from the city several times a week.” Being at U of T has given much closer access to research facilities and an all-science environment which MacAlpine enjoys greatly, and also lets her participate in Varsity skiing and rowing on the side. MacAlpine’s advice for science students is to find a way of “getting your foot through the door. Its always hard but once you get one lab position it can normally snowball into more positions. I think the best way to approach someone is to find areas of science you are interested in and then identify a laboratory you would like to work in. I always find that if you approach a professor with ideas already in mind they’re much more willing to listen to you because you show the initiative of actually wanting to get involved in their work, versus just working in a lab for experience’s work,” she said. On March 1, MacAlpine will be speaking at the TedXUofT Conference at Isabel Bader Theatre. “It will focus mainly on my research but it will also talk about what students in science are capable of and encouraging involvement from a young age,” she explains.


Alex Wichert | Staff Writer Since the 2010 Olympics, no one in the National Hockey League has produced more points than Martin St. Louis. At the time of writing, Tampa Bay’s captain has 296 points in 271 games, outscoring the likes of teammate Steven Stamkos, both Sedins, Alex Ovechkin, and Patrick Kane. Upon closer examination of this list, however, it will be revealed that one of these things is not like

the others: namely, the fact that all are playing in Sochi this February, except for St. Louis. How is this possible? How can the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner, with 60 points in a lockoutshortened campaign last season, not be invited to represent his country at an international level? How can a player who is eighth in the league in goal scoring with 25 and eleventh in the league in points with 51 all while leading his Stamkos-starved teammates to second place in the

Atlantic Division not make Team Canada? Martin, do you know why? Said St. Louis, “I’d rather not talk about it.” And for good reason. St. Louis was already incredibly motivated after Team Canada didn’t select him in 2010. Canada won gold, proving that the selections were the right ones, but St. Louis was undoubtedly still frustrated that he couldn’t be in Vancouver to play for his country. Upon coming to Calgary for this past summer’s Olympic orientation

camp, the Lightning captain said he was going to try to make it “really hard” on Team Canada General Manager Steve Yzerman and the rest of the management staff to keep him off the team. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper sympathizes with his star player. “Oh gosh. He’s a human,” Cooper said. “So I don’t care if he’s one year in the league or 20 years in the league, I’m sure he’s extremely disappointed as we all are. But he’s a pro and if there’s one guy, unfortunately, that can handle it, it’s Marty.” Cooper went on to say that the non-selection would “motivate the snot” out of St. Louis, and the veteran has proven his coach’s words may hold some merit. In his last five games alone, St. Louis has put up 5 goals and 8 points, including a 4 goal night against the San Jose Sharks on January 18; this humble writer’s birthday. St. Louis, though, has insisted his exclusion on the roster has not altered his approach. “I don’t think I’m playing 10 times better now,” he said. “I played some pretty good hockey before then. Regardless, one matter requires clarification: Canada’s decision to omit St. Louis is not a snub. A snub indicates that a player such as Martin St. Louis was ignored during the selection process and was not even discussed as a possibility. That couldn’t be further from the case, as Team Canada’s management was undeniably engaged in many conversations and debates over the selections. “Personally, it was a very difficult decision,” Yzerman said. “Honestly, whether I’m with the Tampa Bay organization or not, it was a difficult one, it was a tough one in 2010 as well. He’s a tremendous player who has played outstanding for us this year.” “All I can say is that Marty’s been a tremendous player for us…I can honestly say that’s not a decision that I enjoy making. It’s a tough one.” Yzerman went on to explain how, when he took his position, he inherited the responsibility to make choices about what he felt was right for the Canadian men’s Olympic ice

hockey team. It’s not an enviable position, and he certainly didn’t relish the task of excluding St. Louis, but it was a move management thought was the right one. St. Louis, to his credit, has handled the situation like the superb player and person that he is. He hasn’t publicly criticised Team Canada and he hasn’t sulked about the decision at all. He has just continued to play and produce. That’s why he’s a champion,” said Cooper. “That’s why he has a Stanley Cup ring and that’s why he’s our captain. To go through something like that and respond the way he did, I can’t say enough about him.” Still, a question lingers. A large portion of the selection process had to do with linemate chemistry: Getzlaf-Perry, Crosby-Kunitz, Toews-Sharp. Why, then, would a combination of Stamkos-St. Louis not be added to the mix? The possibility of having last year’s 1-2 scoring duo together on a line at Sochi must be a tantalizing one for Team Canada fans. If teammate chemistry is cited as a factor for how the selection process occurred, the fact that arguably the most synchronized tandem in hockey could be broken up seems puzzling. With such a bevy of talent, Canada could ice a secondary roster and still compete for a medal this February. Whenever there is a call for the best of this country’s hockey players, there will be a certain level of disagreement over who should be playing and who should not. It’s a testament to the passion, talent, and dedication of ice hockey programs across Canada that a player as incredible as Martin St. Louis could be left off of the roster and, fortunately for all hockey fans of this nation, those who were not selected have handled the situation with classy professionalism. The upcoming Olympics may very well be the last that the NHL will participate in for some time, so enjoy this year’s matches. It’s just a shame that we won’t be seeing Martin St. Louis as, probably sooner rather than later, he’s going to be ‘bolting out of the league for good.




Second term time

Just past the midway point of the NBA season, the Toronto Raptors find themselves in 4th place in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 21-20, orchestrating a remarkable turnaround. After the first month of the season, the Raptors were extremely mediocre and lacking a team identity. However, following the blockbuster deal with Sacramento Kings on December 8th, when the Raptors traded Rudy Gay in exchange for Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons and Patrick Patterson, things have worked out better than Masai Ujiri could have envisioned. Many of the Raptors such as Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan have shown tremendous growth, taking their games to the next level.

As a result, the Raptors have an opportunity to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Before trading Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings, the Raptors were stuck in mediocrity, relying on one player to shoulder the load. The team seemed to be content with running isolation plays exclusively for Gay and Derozan, leading to a stagnant offense, which failed to engage the other players. Despite having corrective eye surgery during the offseason, Gay was shooting a career-worst from the field, below 40%. As a result, the consensus in Toronto at the time was that Masai Ujiri should blow the roster up, trading his current assets in order to help the team lose as many games as possible. The expectation was

that Ujiri would continue to explore trade opportunities, up until the trade deadline in February. However, after sending Rudy Gay to the Kings and having their new players suit up for the first time on December 18th, the Raptors have gone on to have one of the best records in the NBA, continuing into the new year. In that span, two players in particular have stood out, Demar Derozan and point guard, Kyle Lowry. Derozan has embraced the leadership role and has become the go-to player for the Raptors. No longer shackled by Gay (with whom he shared a similar skill set), Derozan has made significant improvements in his assists and rebounds per game, while displaying improved defense and scoring 21.8 PPG. Derozan is not

the only one to benefit from Gay’s departure, as Kyle Lowry has also stepped up his game, averaging 16.1 PPG and 7.3 APG, playing like one of the top point guards in the Eastern Conference. NBA coaches could recognize Lowry and Derozan’s play when they make their selections for All-Star team reserves later this week. Because of the exceptional play of these individual players and the team as a whole, the Raps sits tied with the Chicago Bulls for fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a real opportunity to make it to the playoffs. While it initially seemed that Ujiri was planning to make further moves (such as dealing Kyle Lowry) so that the Raptors could position themselves for a top spot in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Raptors’ play


A classic heritage series

Halfway through the NBA season, Raptors exceeding expectations

Andrew Gula | Staff Writer



The NHL spreads the hockey love with outdoor games

the last couple of weeks has altered the course of events. If the Raptors can sustain their play as of late and renewed commitment to defense into the second half of the season, they have a real opportunity to not only be playing in April, but also to achieve their first playoff series victory since 2001. However, it is important to note that the Raptors seem to have come down to earth this past week, as teams in the conference and their own division, in particular the Brooklyn Nets seemed to have bounced back from their early season struggles. While it is too early to predict where the Raptors will ultimately finish, it is important that they achieve some level of success, building a culture of winning. With Ujiri at the helm, the future of the team looks bright.

Curtis Panke | Sports Editor


The stage is now set for Super Bowl XLVIII as the AFC Champion Denver Broncos take on the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. It looks to be a classic matchup as the Broncos have the number one offense in the NFL while the Seahawks have the number one defense.


Sidney Crosby has been named captain for Team Canada going into the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber will serve as Crosby’s alternate captains.


The New York Yankees signed highly coveted Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a 7-year $155 million dollar contract, ending a long bidding process by a number of MLB teams.


The 2014 NBA All Star Game starters were announced with LeBron James, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Kyrie Irving starting for the Eastern Conference while Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Love were named the starters for the Western Conference.


Manchester United have reportedly signed Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata for a £37 million transfer. Once completed, the deal will be the most expensive move in Manchester United’s history.

Jenna Rumeo | Contributor After the 2004-2005 NHL lockout, Bettmen and his minions looked for redemption and found the answer in smaller goalie pads, complicating icing rules, and the Winter Classic. Like all somewhat successful Hollywood

ventures, the NHL made a sequel, and believe it or not, an outdoor game actually went to Hollywood. The Anaheim Ducks along with the Rangers and the Blackhawks are hosting the outdoor stadium series in an attempt to spread hockey in America. This series is just another gimmick to make the financial

gain the NHL has historically raked in from outdoor games, selling upwards of 100,000 tickets, specialty Vintage apparel, and gaining an HBO sponsorship in its 24/7 docu-drama. Experiencing said success has the NHL add the Heritage Classic and now this series; completely demolishing the novelty of outdoor NHL games. The once unconventional and unprecedented event now fits seamlessly into the regular season schedule. The introduction of more of these games is becoming downright boring. And really, an outdoor ice hockey game in California?! I give it to the NHL, you have my attention. Pittsburgh’s outdoor classic was on the verge of cancellation because the ice wouldn’t cooperate so how the NHL is going to deal with ice in the Dodger Stadium is beyond me. I would even buy a ticket just for proof this game is possible. And once I had that proof I would probably never watch another regular season Ducks game that didn’t involve the Leafs. Me, and most of America, except they probably wouldn’t watch the Leafs either. On why these outdoor games will most likely be unsuccessful in their secondary task (behind the goal of immediate monetary gain);

well, the Winter Classic is successful because it brings back “olde tyme hockey” in cities rich in memories of pond hockey, memories people in Los Angeles don’t have. It may garner immediate attention in host cities, but will not lead to anything permanent. Take Buffalo for example. The Sabres hosted the first ever outdoor game, which ended in the NHL’s beloved shootout, against everyone’s either favourite or least favourite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo’s franchise still suffers financially and relies heavily on southern Ontarionians. Ultimately, if a Stanley Cup can’t generate a consistent fan base in California, I truly doubt an overdone outdoor game can. However, there is no question that for hockey to be spread in the states, someone has to do something. My parents went on vacation to New York (a strong American hockey market) for New Years and returned with proof of this. Among the few people my father encountered that knew what the Winter Classic was, he found two men that proceeded to convince him the classic was cancelled. Needless to say, outdoor games will not provide the NHL with the widespread American business they’re looking for and I’m not positive anything will.

The Rudy Gay factor Analyzing the Raptors and Kings post-trade Peter Galka | Staff Writer December 8th 2013. Mark this down as the date the Toronto Raptors shed their reputation as the bottom-feeders of the inept Eastern Conference and rise to an echelon of respectability not only in the city of Toronto, but all across North America. On December 8th, The Raptors completed a deal that sent Rudy Gay, Aaron Gray, and Quincy Acy to the Sacramento Kings in return for four players. The dust has settled and the two teams are now comfortable with their respective personnel changes so why don’t we take a look at how both teams have faired since the deal. First, the Kings: amidst all of the hooplah (pun intended) surrounding the Raptors’ success, the Sacramento Kings have vastly improved since acquiring Rudy. They are hovering around .500, are scoring over 7 more points per game, and are surprisingly shooting an even higher percentage with Gay wearing purple and black. A change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered for Rudy, who is averaging over 50% from the field in 15 games, a mark that he could not achieve in even a single game for the Raptors in the early stage of this year’s season. Let’s look at these improvements in the big picture: coming into this season, if I’m one of the many not-solucky fans who get to support the immature and selfish Sacramento Kings, I’m absolutely thrilled for an opportunity to select an absolute stud with what is projected to be an extremely high pick in the upcoming draft. Thanks a lot, Rudy! Gay’s outstanding play has surged this Kings team, who is just as likely to make the playoffs as DeMarcus Cousins is to win a Nobel Prize, into the mix of all the East teams who are enjoying a notorious

“tank nation” season. Their separation of poor record has diminished and they are now faced with a situation where the potential top 3 pick that they were holding onto through the first 20 games of the season looks like it could drop as low as 10 or worse by the season’s end. But, who really cares about the Kings, right? Lets talk Raps: many are calling the deal a classic case of addition by subtraction for the Raps (referring to the parting of ways of the ‘shot happy’ Rudy Gay), but let’s not knock the contributions of the newly acquired players: John Salmons, whose glazed over expressions seem to lull his defender to sleep as he hits big shots in the fourth quarter; Chuck Hayes, who has filled in nicely for an injured Tyler Hansbrough; Greivis Vasquez, who is the only player on the squad who makes you want to throw a parade for him one minute and then throw him off the team bus the next; and last but certainly not least, Patrick Patterson, who is putting up drastically improved numbers all across the board in comparison to his time in Sacramento. The difference is staggering across many statistical areas including points, assists, and of course, field goal percentage. Let’s throw the statistics out the window and focus on what can be visually noticed with our new crew of the Raps. There is an obvious change in the offensive personality of this team where ball movement and team play are leading to a severe spike in wins, but the best reward amidst all this is so much more profound than rising numbers in the first column of the standings. I’m talking about identity. Let’s not kid ourselves, I am definitely one of the numerous fans who cringed when the old Raptors would take early first half leads because we simply knew that the lead would evaporate faster

than you can say “Golden State”, but now, I found a sense of peace come over me when the Raps faced the lowly Milwaukee Bucks where I experienced utmost confidence that the Toronto Raptors would handle their business. It was a weird and novel feeling indeed. Even in a stinker game against the Charlotte Bobcats where the Raptors were down by almost 30 points in the third quarter, fans were provided with the notion that this Raptors team has the potential to rise above almost any deficit. Lastly, this team has also

proved that it can ball with the best teams in the association when they took down OKC, Indiana, and Dallas twice over their current hot stretch. But is it a hot stretch? On second thought, no. Chemistry is a term that’s thrown around a lot in the sports world and whatever your definition of chemistry may be, the Raptors have it. So don’t hold your breath waiting for these guys to “come back to planet earth,” because I truly believe the way they are playing now is here to stay. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.





according to us and the Academy : film

This year in

____________'s Oscar ballot

Best Picture:

American Hustle Captain Phillips Dallas Buyers Club Gravity Her Nebraska Philomena 12 Years a Slave The Wolf of Wallstreet

Best Actor: Christian Bale Bruce Dern Leonardo DiCaprio Chiwetel Ejiofor Matthew McConaughey

Best Actress: Amy Adams Cate Blanchett Sandra Bullock Judi Dench Meryl Streep

Best Supporting Animated Feature: Original Score: Film Editing: Actress: American Hustle The Book Thief The Croods Sally Hawkins Jennifer Lawrence Lupita Nyong'o Julia Roberts June Squibb

Directing: David O. Russel Alfonso Cuaron Alexander Payne Steve McQueen Martin Scorsese

Despicable Me 2 Ernest & Celestine Frozen The Wind Rises

ProductionDesign: American Hustle Gravity The Great Gatsby Her 12 Years a Slave

Foreign Language: Cinematography: The Broken Circle Breakdwon The Great Beauty The Hunt The Missing Picture Omar

AdaptedScreenplay: Before Midnight Captain Phillips Philomena 12 Years a Slave The Wolf of Wall Street

The Grandmaster Gravity Inside Llewyn Davis Nebraska Prisoners

Sound Mixing: Captain Phillips Gravity The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smog Lone Survivor

Gravity Her Philomena Saving Mr. Banks

Original Song: Makeup/Hair: Alone Yet Not Alone Happy Let It Go The Moon Song Ordinary Love

Costumes: American Hustle The Grandmaster The Great Gatsby The Invisible Woman 12 Years a Slave

Documentary: The Act of Killing Cutie and the Boxer Dirty Wars The Square 20 Feet from Stardom

Doc. Short Best Supporting Sound Editing: Actor: Cave Digger OriginalScreenplay: Facing Fear All Is Lost Barkhad Abdi Bradley Cooper Michael Fassbender Jonah Hill Jared Leto

American Hustle Blue Jasmine Dallas Buyers Club Her Nebraska

Captain Phillips Gravity The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Lone Survivor

Captain Phillips Dallas Buyers Club Gravity 12 Years a Slave

Karama Has No Walls The Lady in Number 6 Prison Terminal

Dallas Buyers Club Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa The Lone Ranger

Animated Short: Feral Get a Horse! Mr. Hublot Possessions Room on the Broom

Live-Action Short: Aquel No Era Yo Avant Que De Tout Perdre Helium Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? The Voorman Problem

Visual Effects: Gravity The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Iron Man 3 The Lone Ranger Star Trek Into Darkness

Our take on the heavy hitters Which of the films deserve to win, which will, and does it matter? Emma George | Staff Writer When dealing with the Oscars it is important to remember that they only represent a small portion of the movies released in the previous calendar year, and that even though these are apparently the best, smaller pictures are often overlooked. A bad relationship with the Academy, or an indie release can often cause the best performances to be disregarded. Amazing acting in a comedy? Tough luck, only serious films are in contention at the Oscars. It is also important to remember that there are only four categories that anybody will be talking about the next day: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Film. The Best Actor list this year features everybody from Batman to Jack Dawson. Seriously. McConaughey has been nominated for his impressive acting chops in the Dallas Buyers Club, a role within which he had to lose a lot of weight to accurately represent a man dying of AIDS. Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for accurately portraying the dangers of being Leonardo DiCaprio in the film the Wolf of Wall Street. The film, full of nudity, sex, and zoo creatures, tells the tale of a penny-stock broker, who rose to the top and promptly fell from it. DiCaprio shines in the film, bringing raw emotion to a film that could have been considered softcore porn, and isn’t it time

somebody gave him an Oscar? Christian Bale’s turn in American Hustle is praiseworthy. Simply, Bale portraying a 40-something, balding, self-conscious, overweight con-man drove the film. American Hustle, notably lackluster in plot beyond being Oscar bait, shows another side of Bale, one that has been forgotten in his recent turn as Batman, heralding back to his role in The Fighter. The others nominated, Bruce Dern for his role in Nebraska, and Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave, also put up noteworthy performances. Missing from this list? Joaquin Phoenix. His performance in Her is the best of the year, and in the conversation for great performances of the decade. The film is him, talking to his cloud OS, and it is beautiful. A few years back, Phoenix had a falling out with the academy, which perhaps explains the oversight. The Best Actress category is filled with Oscar heavyweights this year. Each of these leading ladies has been previously nominated, and all except one are previous winners. Amy Adams is nominated for accentswitching vixen role in American Hustle. Her character tended to fall flat, but with her impressive use of accents and her slingshot persona her nomination is well deserved. Cate Blanchett is nominated for her role in Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen's newest yearly offering. Her nomination is overshadowed by her director, who was given the lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes. Sandra Bullock lost George Clooney in space, but has found consolation in a nomination. Judi Dench continues to wow audiences; almost 60 years after first arriving on the scene, she is celebrating a nomination for Philomena. And then there's Meryl. She’s broken her own record for most nominations for acting with her 19th nomination for August: Osage County. She also had some

choice words about her co-star Benedict Cumberbatch (hint: She's not a fan). Missing from this list? Scarlett Johansson in Her. She has no screen time, which disqualifies her from any awards, despite an amazing performance. Amy Adams should have been nominated as the recent divorcee in Her. It was simultaneously a much more of a dynamic and subtle performance than her acting in American Hustle. The Best Director category is likely to have the same shocking split as last year. Traditionally, the best director and the best film are one and the same, but after last year’s split (Life of Pi, and Argo), it seems as though tradition may be broken once more. In the lead are David O. Russell, Steve McQueen, and Alfonso Cuarón. Cuarón should win. Gravity is his creation. You can almost see the director's hands throughout the story, it is so evident that Cuarón thought about every aspect of every scene and carefully coaxed the audience through every emotion. In American Hustle, the attention to detail that Russell pays is incredible, with a perfect Instagram filter. And 12 Years a Slave tackles an important story that deserves wider attention. McQueen delicately balances modern day values against the historical context and beliefs, while not losing the story within the Hollywood budget. Missing from this list? Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His directorial debut Don Jon took on

the topic of sexuality, and expectations in relationships. It was an impressive story that Levitt evidently believed in. Best Film is always a touchy topic. When Shakespeare in Love won, the audience booed. When Argo won last year, everybody was shocked. When they expanded the category to nominate ten films instead of just five, everybody rioted! That last one was an exaggeration. Though the expansion has not helped the quality of film being nominated. The films nominated this year are American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Though Her deserves to win, it will not. American Hustle, or 12 Years a Slave are the top choices, with the content of the latter likely to tip the academy in its favour (a much harder topic to tackle than a heist film). Missing from this list? Frozen. Despite being animated,

i t w a s easily one of the better films of the year, and thus deserves the nod in the expanded best film category. Also missing is Blue is the Warmest Colour, which won top honours at Cannes and in Venice. Blue is the Warmest Colour was also snubbed in the Foreign Film category. When Oscar night rolls around on March 2nd, be sure to have your ballot ready, and if you lose, remember, none of it matters (Unless they choose Her).






The role of reality

Howling at the moon

How does the Dallas Buyers Club hold up?

The Wolf of Wall Street is hungry for quaalude and an Oscar

Louis Train | Arts Editor The signature of Dick Wolf's Law and Order franchise, and the reason it has reached any measure of success, is the promise that each plotline is in some way or another “ripped from the headlines.” The writers and producers have stayed true to this promise over the decades, albeit sometimes in absurd and awkward ways: a recent episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit saw Cybill Shepherd playing a cross between Paula Deen and George Zimmerman - a racist celebrity chef who fatally shoots an unarmed black man on the street. But a hokey plot is just one way to merge the real world and the stylized world of Dick Wolf's New York. Just as effective a means, and employed about

as often, is the discussion of actual, real-world facts and statistics by New York's fictitious finest. Dedicated Law and Order fans can probably cite statistics about burglary, homelessness, and mental illness. They can tell you all you didn't want to know about assault, sexual or otherwise, and which laws do good and which should be repealed, dammit. And, of course, they're always on top of the latest trends in criminological technology (even when the actual devices and methods are still in testing stages in real life). Dallas Buyers Club is an excellent movie in a few ways, but watching it I couldn't help but think of the not excellent Law and Order franchise. That wasn't because of the plot, which concerns an HIV patient in the 80s who

smuggles non-approved HIV drugs into the US, but because every twenty minutes or so an otherwise realistic conversation would break down into an exchange of stats. “Patients who took x are y times more likely to die within z months!” “The FDA is in the pocket of the company that produces x!” Even the exposition, in which Matthew McConaughey is diagnosed with AIDS, is accompanied by actual stats about the likelihood of heterosexual men contracting HIV. Superficial reasoning suggests that true facts make a movie more realistic, but in reality they only make it look like it's trying to be more realistic. We are often acutely aware, as in the case of Dallas Buyers Club, that the movie wants us to believe it is real. Such awareness

leads us to wonder why the film wants to trick us so badly. What shortcomings is it trying to hide? When we consider what a movie is trying to do while we are watching, we cannot be truly invested. Consider the inverse as well: David Mamet, a master of realism in his plays and screenplays, has explained that he does very little research into the careers he represents (salesman, lawyer, spin doctor, police officer, etc.) and chooses to represent them however he thinks they'll suit the story best. Mamet's lawyers might not talk about the same things as actual lawyers, but an audience doesn't care. He tells a great story. The awkwardness of the statistics and realworld allusions in Dallas Buyers Club can be blamed exclusively on its screenwriters, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack. Their Oscar nomination is a little perplexing, but the overall success of the film certainly is not. Burdened with both a complex character and a stilted script, McConaughey's great accomplishment is that we actually believe he is a redneck cowboy-turned-international medication dealerturned-lobbyist. We believe him enough, in fact, that we would accept any made-up statistic coming from him, making the actual practice more disappointing. Jared Leto's devastating performance as a dying AIDS patient is a major highlight of the film, and well-deserving of the Oscar he's guaranteed, but his character actually contributes almost nothing to the plot. Conversely, Jennifer Garner's doctor character is essential to the story, but her performance is uninspired on every level. Dallas Buyers Club is a good movie. It is sometimes powerful, sometimes funny, and always dramatically compelling. It is a movie that is easy to watch, but difficult to fall into. It does not easily exist beyond the walls of the theatre and the shimmer of the screen.

Space and sterility

Regan McNeill | Staff Writer There was a lot of hype surrounding Martin Scorsese’s new film The Wolf of Wall Street, so naturally I succumbed to the “hype” and saw it. Truthfully, I didn’t find the movie to be that amazing: it didn’t pluck at my heartstrings or make me cry, but it certainly did make me laugh. Also, the fact that it was three hours long made the $14 movie ticket seem worthwhile. The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the life of a self-made stockbroker, Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), who gets disgustingly rich after teaching a few “degenerate” salesmen how to sell penny stocks to gullible people. Eventually the whole operation expands and Belfort begins to worry about the watchful eye of an FBI agent who is looking for a way to take his company, Stratton Oakmont, down. This seemingly bleak narrative is invigorated by scenes of drugs, orgies, parties, stacks of money, yachts, and lots of profanity. If the movie lacked these things it probably would not have been able to grab my attention for three hours. For such a new-age Hollywood

film, Marty’s old school directorial tactics did shine through. For example, he utilized the keen juxtaposition of non-diegetic music and narrative action quite well (also seen in Mean Streets). There is a scene where Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson plays over an extremely wild office rager. And of course Scorsese included a scene in a dark Italian restaurant/bar when Belfort meets with his gangsteresque Private Investigator to discuss the FBI problem. Stylistically, this film exudes coolness. Scorsese has mastered how to incorporate audience addresses without disrupting the “flow” of the film. Also worth mentioning are the tracking shots in this film. There is a scene where Jordan Belfort is introducing himself to us (yes, the audience) and the camera is facing him as he walks through a house of debauchery. Generally these takes are short and choppy, but Scorsese keeps this going for a while, tracking Belfort steadily while still showing his spectacular surroundings, and it is chillingly COOL. Moments like these prove Scorsese’s directorial merit. If you like drugs, you will probably like this movie. If you like sex, you may or may not like this movie (depending on what you are into).

If you like parties, you will like this movie. This film is full of uppers, downers, clouds of cocaine and no real consequences! It also provides insight into the life of Quaalude addicts, as both Jordan Belfort and his best friend/coworker Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) are extremely dependent on them. Though this is serious subject matter, it forms the

Rambling through downtown on Thursday, I was surprised to find a copy of a recent DVD release by a satellite outfit of Shout! Factory LLC, the budget disc company Timeless Media Group. The have put together a quadruplefeature of 5os/6os science fiction films: The Angry Red Planet (1960)/The Man from Planet X (1951)/Beyond the Time Barrier (1960)/The Time Travelers (1964). In offering some loose interpretations of the films, I hope to recommend the disc to you. I was most impressed by the organization of the films here. Putting visionary maverick Ib Melchior’s edgy The Angry Red Planet first was wise because this movie can engage even the weariest viewer. The reason is that Melchior, in tandem with the film’s warning flares about space travel, deploys the Technicolor trifecta (deep blue, red-orange, sea-green) with a vengeance. The Man from Planet X is often unjustly overlooked because of its simplicity, but is one of Edgar G. Ulmer’s best films. The crisp, insightful dialogue is the film’s anchor, so listen carefully. We begin to see a slight trend with the second film – science fiction as a hibernation modality. The film’s famous alien retracts his

hand as the protagonist greets it, to give an abstract example. I want to address something else though. I read Halliwell’s 2008 review of The Angry Red Planet and they called the movie quaint. Now, none of these movies can really be called quaint because quaint connotes the quotidian, and applying these words to the four films in question would be reductive. The Man from Planet X is very pretty though— any movie that uses the scenery of the Scottish moors to slow its meter is worth seeing. Beyond the Time Barrier presents a more energetic Ulmer in top form. He dynamically uses triangles in this film with more strength than in his previous uses of the triangle motif. The basic-ness of the film’s plot allows comprehension of its strong use of visual forms. A fairly coherent time travel film, it says a lot about (again, the hibernation mode appears) America’s response to the Cold War circa 1960. Robert Clarke is also on his game here after the embarrassing The Hideous Sun Demon (1959) (which got what appears to be an equally miserable spoof). In a fight at the end of the film that operates as well as the best of science fiction pas de deux combat, he conveys the poetry of the film’s capitalist/ marxian tensions beautifully. With The Time Travelers Melchior &

Nigel Shawn Williams succeeds again with Once on this Island

Louis Train | Arts Editor

his team synthesize everything from The Man from Planet X to science fiction films until 1964, so it concludes our journey well. The colours are warmer, the women lovely, the aliens intriguing, the meter of the film perfect to my eyes, and Melchior’s use of

The Wolf of Wall Street elaborates on the primitive and animalistic characteristics of human beings (in particular, stock brokers), within the elusive on-screen jungle, which is Wall Street. Whether it is an accurate portrayal of the life of Wall Street brokers or not, I know one thing for sure: Jonah Hill’s fake teeth annoyed me the entire time.

Direction at play

A review of Timeless Media Group’s new sci-fi 4-pack Mark Matich | Staff Writer

foundation for a lot of the film’s dark humour and hilarious voiceovers. Additionally, if you like Leonardo DiCaprio, you will like this film. Not only is his acting genuine, but there are subtle and witty references to his other films, like Titantic and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. As my friend remarked, “Leo goes full Gilbert Grape at times.”


film’s capacity to explain the psychological/ fluid split in celluloid is totally on point –I’ll definitely need to watch it again! It is one of the best science fiction films ever made. Anyone interested can find this DVD at Sunrise Records or online.

When I first started writing theatre reviews, I found myself struggling to write about direction. A director's work, I realized, is both always noticeable and always hidden; a good director will work with the cast and crew on every step of the production but won't ever take control from them or do their work on their behalf. So who gets the credit for a great performance or brilliant staging? Surely the actor and the set designer, respectively. To frustrate further, this conundrum is unique

to theatre. Cinema critics talk about direction very comfortably, but this is owed to the better relationship that movies have with their directors than plays (if you don't believe me – name the directors of the last three movies you saw, and of the last three plays). In the on-going production of Once on this Island at the Daniels Spectrum Theatre, a co-production between Acting Up Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre Company, direction is visible, almost tangible, every second of the show, but only to those who choose to look for it. This is the work of director Nigel

Shawn Williams, whose successes in Toronto theatre are too numerous to list. He is an accomplished director of drama, comedy, and musicals; of Shakespeare and contemporary work. He is also the reason Once on this Island shone so brilliantly. Once on this Island is a retelling of the Little Mermaid story, set in the French Antilles. Ti Moune, a dark-skinned peasant girl (an energetic and compelling Jewelle Blackman), dreams of living in the world of the light-skinned grande hommes, the wealthy owners of the island. Amused and intrigued

by her dreams, the gods decide to test how powerful love really is. They cause a storm that washes up an injured grande homme man, whom Ti Moune nurses back to health. When the god of death (a menacingly brilliant Daren A. Herbert) appears, Ti Moune offers him her life instead of the man's. Death accepts, but allows her to go on living, temporarily. After Daniel is revived, he and Ti Moune fall in love, but social rules forbid him from marrying a peasant. Rejected and heart-broken, Ti Moune is again confronted by Death, who allows her to reverse their bargain, thereby saving her life at the cost of the man who refuses to marry her. Resolute in her love, Ti Moune refuses, and her eventual death proves how pure her dream really was. Seeing the play live, it's hard to believe at first that the director actually made any important choices. Everything seems to happen the only way it could happen; how else could you tell a story with such a specific style? But if you consider the possibilities, the subtlety and brilliance of Williams's decisions become apparent. He (and costume designer Alex Amini) dresses

his characters in contemporary Caribbean garb: tank tops, cargo shorts, floral pattern shirts. This might seem like a obvious decision, until you consider the far more popular costume choices of grass skirts and coconut bras and Tiki masks. The contemporary setting gives the piece a greater sense of authenticity. It makes the whole thing feel less anthropological and more dramatic. Likewise, Williams's actors speak in only a mild Franco-AfroCaribbean accent, which is much more generous to the musical side of the piece written by two white Americans. (Imagine Les Miserables with actual French accents throughout: kind of disgusting.) It is far more common, based on my research, for casts of Once on this Island either to go with obtrusively strong accents or simply none at all. Williams finds the perfect balance. If a director is truly excellent, and an audience isn't actively looking for him or her, he or she won't be found; the work will speak for itself. If, however, you are like me, and search for the director's fingerprints in every scene, you are bound to notice the excellence of artists like Nigel Shawn Williams.




Kitchen basics Some tips for the aspiring MasterChef

‘The knife is an

extension of the chef that can make all the difference in the world for preparation and end product

Carl Marquardt | Contributor It’s a Science. It’s an Art. It’s also why you’re able to enjoy that 16oz filet mignon wrapped in bacon and served with seared scallops. Otherwise, it’s known as cooking; something theorists have proposed was a very important contributor towards human evolution. And if you haven’t already, it’s time to use this skill towards your own personal evolution. This may seem like a daunting challenge to some, but the rewards for those who take it head-on aren’t just limited to physical and economic well-being. So, to help you get your toes wet in the kitchen and learn how to take advantage of

this traditional art, here are some tips to help get you started. 1. Knife Skills. Perhaps the most important tool for a chef in the kitchen is the knife. The knife is an extension of the chef that can make all the difference in the world for preparation and end product. This means that above all, you should learn and adhere to safe knife handling. Not only will this reduce the tendency for chopped off finger tips, but it will provide top-notch consistency in your preparation. So keep your knife sharp, your knuckles in, and your eyes on the blade. 2. Taste Everything. Taste, taste, taste, and taste again. As you cook, check up on

the taste of your dish so that you are able to balance out the flavour. It may be tempting to throw in a whole melange of herbs and spices, but balancing usually means that you only need more salt. Even if your flavours are simple, if they are balanced the dish will taste great. So start getting yourself acquainted with spices and trying them out. This is learning process; eventually you’ll be seasoning on the fly. Remember: you can always add more salt, but you can never take it away. 3. Master technique, not recipe. Getting the most out of every ingredient is a matter of knowing proper technique. Observe any great chef cook the same dish 1,000 times and you’ll

be guaranteed to see them cook it the exact same way every time. Eventually, you want to be able to effectively cook an ingredient regardless of what recipe it’s a part of. Cooking is rife with nuance and advancement that can only be viewed with engagement. So while these suggestions might push you inside of the culinary arena, you’ll only learn by doing; take things one step at a time and always have fun with it. Remember that ultimately cooking is an expression of who we are, whether it’s the health conscious expression of chicken and spinach or the early morning expression of appreciation from eggs benedict.

ancient religion once said: those who game, have game. Just show that you care. 10. Men do not communicate well. Heck, I pretty much stopped writing after the timemachine suggestion. The best way to figure out how to be there for him is to ask him!

I can't ask you to be vulnerable just yet, that's what your women is there to help you with, but dude let's get connected here. It's the 21st century and you don't tweet your feelings bro? Come on. Remember, EQ is the new IQ to get a women to CQ (seek you). I have pun as only a child would. Be sure to email me with any comments and what you want advice on next! Your anonymity is assured. Next time: Valentines Day *gasp, scream and tremble*. Darr: Wishing Upon a Shooting Star.

Man down! Darr's diary: Entry #2 H. Darr | Advisor Steaks, beers, and hockey. Momma's recipe to make any man manly and every manly man a man. Try saying that three times fast. I did, and I felt more hairs grow on my chest. Here are the 10 ways you can make your man a little bit happier, and hopefully a little less manly. Yes less manly, because eating only steaks will give you scurvy. Don't believe me? Ask your pirate friends...oh wait you can't cause they died of scurvy. Commandeered. Gentle-woman assemble! 1. Invent the time machine. (I'm really just looking forward to someone actually doing this). 2. I may have joked about the steak, but men do think with their stomachs. Make him his favorite home-cooked meal. Cookies are cool too. 3. Make him a little winter-care package. Put some Cold-Fx, Neo-Citran, a cup of soup and anything else you can think of that will keep him all cared for when the flu-season hits. 4. Watch that epic action flick with him. He already watched that rom-com with you and pretended to hate it. 5. Guys are much more practical when it comes to gifts. If you want to get him something, it's the usefulness that counts. See care-package above. 6. Compliment him! Ladies, a kind word from a girl will always rock his world.

7. I still maintain couples who sweat together stay together- so HIT THE GYM. 8. Are you feeling lovey dovey? Well, stop-is what men want to say. But really they love it. Balance the two by encouraging him (and yourself) to spend time with friends. Buy him a case of drinks when he does, and write a nice little note gossip girl style i.e. xoxo. I've never seen it. 9. Share his interests, or even better, get better than him at his hobbies! Yes...this might mean videogames. As a wise prophet of an

Men don't be that cold hearted iron man (unless you have the money to do so), and let her warm your heart. It's time to improve that emotional quotient (EQ). This is a measure of your ability to connect and be vulnerable.






The dangers of sensationalizing science



Risk not worth taking Where we stand with the Alberta oil sands

If you’re going to write about science, leave the flourish out Melissa Morgado | Staff Writer Every now and then, there appears to be a groundbreaking scientific discovery that inevitably makes its way into the media spotlight. These types of stories range from the irritating, yet generally innocuous – such as a recent CBC article about spiders twerking to find mates – to the types of articles that carry potentially dangerous consequences. With attracting an extensive audience being the end goal, it’s easy to see why the media twists genuinely interesting and valuable scientific research. However, this objective requires different media outlets to up the ante every week with attentiongrabbing and misleading titles, which can prove to be very problematic. It’s fairly obvious that what the media chooses to write about impacts public behaviour in a considerable way. Case in point: entertainment magazines describe Miley Cyrus as the inventor of a dance that existed before she was a concept in her parents’ heads, which has recently been used to create public interest in something as unrelated as the biological features of spiders. While the whole situation might seem ridiculous, it certainly works from a business point of view and doesn’t present any real danger. What happens, however, when the media leaves the silly side of Hollywood, and chooses to draw on the darker parts of public thought? Especially in recent years, it seems as if every entertainment source has noticed that the topic of interest is distrust for the government. Conspiracy theories about secret

agendas have become more and more prevalent in mass media, and while it’s certainly important to be critical of your government, these types of stories tend to generate mass hysteria when linked to apparent scientific revelations. Stories about engineering vaccines as an administrative tool to implant disease and kill off the unwanted population are one example of what happens when the media sensationalizes science to a public hungry for a confirmation of the worst. Other sources may claim these vaccines lead to rises in autism, and that becomes a reason to boycott these medical procedures. Alternatively, the Huffington Post might indicate that a certain country is the leading cause for the breakout of a strain of virus, and suddenly it’s okay and even preferable to blame an entire nation for the consequences of an epidemic. And why shouldn’t the public believe what’s reported in the news? After all, anything backed by scientific research must undoubtedly be true. What aren’t generally reported are the real consequences that occur from blindly following news sources – and I use that term loosely – that rely on generic scientific jargon to make a point. Media specialists simply lack the knowledge in these areas to make true informed statements. Citing a research paper indicating that a random concoction has been discovered to prevent cellulite is misleading when the journalists only have the time and patience to read the abstract. Likewise, mentioning that additional

Saad Shah | Staff Writer

exercise is required, and that the long-term effects have not been fully understood, is not as likely to grab attention as, “New shake will drop 50 pounds in a month!” The more exciting story sells, and media sources know this. Consequently, important facts and often, the entire truth, are tossed aside. I think it’s very important to take the scientific research presented in entertainment outlets with a fifth of

a grain of salt. It’s so incredibly easy to link every piece of technology with cancer, or to believe that the U.S. government is hiding the cure for cancer, because we all want to seem like the smartest, most informed Joes around. But these propensities for believing any news report slapped with a technical term can shift public behaviour in a very disturbing way, particularly when policies become the forefront of discussions around

completely false claims. While it’s important for a democratic society to publicly debate and understand scientific developments, the last thing we need to do is depend on a biased interpretation of a study that was jazzed up to spark interest. Thus, as we may be inclined to criticize every move made by authoritative figures, we should equally take the time to research and analyse sensationalized scientific reports.

Underneath the surface of the economic utopia envisioned by Enbridge resulting from the construction of the 1,177 km northern gateway pipeline, which runs from the oil sands in Alberta to the port of Kitimat in B.C, lies the harsh realities of the adverse environmental, social, economic and political effects which can result from said pipeline. Environmental lawyers from organizations like ForestEthics Advocacy have pointed out serious flaws in the report put forth by the Joint Panel Review, consisting of 209 conditions the federal government must accept before approving the project. They have said that Enbridge has ignored many significant details. The Joint Panel Review is honestly pretty superficial, and the claims that Enbridge is to provide financial assistance in case of an oil spill are not only insufficient but are only a short term solution to the eventual disaster brought about if the pipeline bursts. Perhaps Enbridge should be given credit

for the safety precautions they will be taking if they go through with the plan – the steel used for the pipe will be 20% thicker than required and there will be round the clock monitoring of the pipe. However, even though these safety precautions look great on paper, in practice they won’t be much use – especially because the pipeline goes over areas that are very remote and difficult to access immediately in case of an emergency. Even round the clock surveillance can have its flaws and the risk involved is too great to allow for a margin of error. And oil either from the pipe or at the port where they load the oil onto the ships can be absolutely devastating for the land and water and also the many endangered species of wildlife that thrive in the wilderness. On top of that there is always the alteration and deterioration of all the forest land which has to be disturbed for the pipeline to pass through. Heavy construction of any nature always has an impact on the surrounding natural habitat. The Great Bear region of

British Columbia’s north coast is one of Canada’s ecological treasures. Here, one of the world’s last intact temperate rain forests meets some of the planet’s last large wild rivers and most productive cold-water seas. This is no place for an oil pipeline. According to Engbridge, we will benefit economically from the 3000 construction jobs and 1550 maintenance jobs that will be created in addition to the revenue influx as a result of the 525,000 barrels exported abroad daily. But if we look at the situation from a wider perspective, Canada doesn't have all that much to gain from this pipeline. The numbers speak for themselves. The total tax revenue over 30 years will only be 1.2 billion dollars which is not significant given the risks involved and the $7.9 billion cost of this project. The basic fact of the matter, which cannot be overlooked, is that oil is not a renewable resource that we will eventually run out of. Instead of spending billions of dollars building a pipeline that will be useless eventually, we should focus our resources on developing sustainable and renewable sources of energy. The costs of this project, both implicit and explicit, greatly outweigh the benefits. From a political standpoint the federal government will be better off if they reject the proposal. Even before the project has commenced there have been disagreements between Alberta and B.C. over the allocation of the revenue that will be generated. Moreover, the majority of the B.C government does not support the pipeline. If the federal government goes ahead with the project they will lose support in the province and the conservatives will probably not be able to form the federal government again. It cannot be over-emphasized that the short-term benefits of this project are not worth the long-term consequences we will have to face if the federal government goes through with this project. Not only is it a bad idea environmentally, it has far reaching economic implications for Canada.

Celebrities are people too

when you think of who consistently makes news today, outside of Rob Ford, politicians aren’t really in the mix. There’s only so long you can pay attention to Obama talking about healthcare. The fact is that it’s people like Justin Bieber and Kanye West who comprise of today’s news. Kanye West became so newsworthy

have said this, he shouldn’t be doing that – the criticisms are endless. Everyone’s getting mad at Bieber for his crazy behavior. Egging houses, spitting on fans, give me a break! Frankly, I think a lot of JB fans would love to get spit on by him. Maybe they even asked for it, and in that case I would say he’s a pretty good guy. He probably made some 12-year-old girl’s year. Even better she’ll never wash her hair ever again so her parents are going to save tons of money on shampoo. In the words of Jay-Z, one of the few celebrities with a relatively clean rap sheet (pun intended): “With the same sword they knight you, they gon’ good night you”. The media is a cruel beast that is not to be trusted. So to people like Kanye and Bieber, I wish you luck; and if you come to Toronto, I want free tickets for not throwing you under the bus.

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After looking at Google’s hot searches over the past week, one trend seems apparent; the top 10 most searched items always revolve around celebrities and sports. Now of course, unless you’re a poli-sci major or extremely interested in politics, news of that nature has been a little slow. But regardless,

that they’re going to be perfect all of the time? Things happen, but unlike the rest of us, celebrities can’t just sweep things under the rug. They have maids for that. And let’s face it; maids don’t always get the job done. I’m sure if we all knew everything about our friends, we’d have half as many friends. Imagine if every time you went out you had to be on your A game because you’re being followed by some bozo with a camera. As far as I’m concerned, paparazzi should be Italian for scumbag. Those people are awful. And to anyone who says that paparazzi are just trying to earn a living, feeding your family by being a degenerate doesn’t make you any better. If you get paid to kick babies it’s not acceptable because it helps put food on the table. After celebrities get put on a pedestal, everyone feels they have a worthwhile opinion. She shouldn’t


John Castellarin | Staff Writer

the president even called him a jackass (off the record of course). What really doesn’t sit well with me is how people feel celebrities should be held to a higher standard. Sure, it’d be nice if they were all role models but realistically, they’re people too. Nobody’s perfect – I mean, I’m pretty close, but that’s why I’m boring and you’ll never see me on TMZ. Kanye West recently made headlines after reportedly beating up a man in a chiropractor’s office after the man yelled racial slurs at him and his infamous girlfriend Kim Kardashian. No one should have to put up with that whether or not they’re on camera. However, if you are going to beat someone up, the doctor’s office is probably the most considerate place to do it. But that’s just me. If someone’s being followed around 24/7 how can it be expected





(CUP) — Puzzles provided by Used with permission.


Horoscopes Capricorn | Dec 23 - Jan 22 People are always telling you to grow up, but adults are, like, this mess of sadness and phobias. Savour your youth. Take that extra shot, stay up til sunrise, experiment, exceed your card limit, believe in love and don't watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind if you have ever lost someone you cared about.

Aquarius | Jan 23 - Feb 22 Sometimes things aren't what you expect. I played the PS2 game for Spider-Man 2 before I saw the movie.The movie had fewer exciting plot twists and more focus on (boring) interpersonal relationships. Sometimes you have to reevaluate your expectations and just try to see the good in things.

Pisces | Feb 23 - Mar 22 In Wimbledon, Kirsten Dunst's character has problems distinguishing between sex and love.With Valentine's Day (and your birthday!) coming up, it's important to learn the difference. Don't devalue relationships when they mean more to you than anything.

Aries | Mar 21 - Apr 19 Wag the Dog is a statement on the nature of democracy in America. Tracy Lime agrees to act as a civilian in a fake war against Albania to trick Americans into thinking there is, in fact, a war overseas. If the president asks you to do that, don't. Lying sucks.

Taurus | Apr 20 - May 20 want us to feature your art? send poems, photos and drawings to

In Bring it On, Gabrielle Union's leads her team to victory, but they can't go to nationals unless they can afford it. Even though

Torrance's dad sponsors their team, they refuse the money. Why? Because Gabrielle Union has integrity and finds a way to go to finals without Torrance's help. Stay true to yourself, Taurus. Gemini | May 21 - Jun 21 In Melancholia, filmmaker Lars von Trier makes sadness beautiful. Setting real, raw human emotion against a an aesthetically imbalanced world makes the characters' imminent peril much more tragic. Choose your Instagram filters carefully this month and you too can live a life that looks nice but is really empty on the inside.

Cancer | Jun 22 - Jul 22 Indulge a bit. Get a manicure. Go to Versailles. Live like Marie Antoinette before she loses the respect of her subjects. Buy big flouncy dresses.Wear your hair in cotton candy hues. Get a tiny pug. Eat only macarons and drink only Moët's Rosé Impérial. Buy things.And if you don't intend to post it all on Tumblr, my advice has been wasted.

Leo | Jul 23 - Aug 22 Crazy/Beautiful is a high school love story about a guy who falls in love with a girl who needs outpatient care. He takes on all of her problems and sacrifices his future for her. Some people might chalk this up to love, but if you know someone in need of psychiatric care, direct him or her to available resources. Many mental health programs also have resources for friends and family of patients.

Virgo | Aug 23 - Sept 22 The narrators of The Virgin Suicides make the mystery of the Lisbon sisters the enigmatic,

Alekzia Hosein Future Seer romantic tale that Sofia Coppola transfered to film. Otherwise it could have been a Lifetime movie about some misguided teens who eventually found their way. But the Lisbon girls understood love, and even death. That's just too deep for Lifetime. The medium is the massage, you know.

Libra | Sep 23 - Oct 21 People of your sign love seeking thrills. So if you're looking to kick up your game night try the Jumanji board game. Find it on eBay for about $20. It doesn't include a real lion or a man who has been trapped inside for 26 years, but what were you really expecting from a board game? This version is safer than the one in the movie, especially if your home insurance doesn't cover floods. Many don't.

Scorpio | Oct 23 - Nov 22 Kiki's Delivery Service was one of the first Hayao Miyazaki films to be marketed to US audiences.When she turns 13, she realizes that she is a witch. Some interpret it as a metaphor for puberty. Some just say "Japanese cartoons are weird." It may surprise you to know that Kirsten Dunst voices Kiki in the film's English dub. It might not because this week's theme is "movies with Kirsten Dunst in them."

Sagittarius | Nov 23 - Dec 22 In Spider-Man (2002), Mary Jane Watson is the primary love interest. She grows up next door and Peter says nothing about her father's habitual abuse. No wonder she goes on to date his friend and kiss masked men in alleys to validate herself. PS:Who would choose Toby Maguire over James Franco anyway?

The Mike Newspaper, January 29th, 2013  

The Official Newspaper of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto

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