Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief Features Editor
SMCsU Presents: St.Patty’s Day in Brennan
Canadian Music Festival
MAPS and ASC Present: Study Skills
Sexpectations: A Collective Procreation
Brennan Hall, 11:00-1:00pm
Brennan Hall, 1:00-5:00PM
Everybody needs a break from exam panic. Panicking sucks. Rocking out is the opposite of sucking. Check out the Canadian Music Festival. For more information, check out their website or last week’s issue!
Hart House, 8:00pm
You should try something new this year, and learn some suitable study skills. You’ll likely pass your exams without destroying yourself this way.
Elderly Care At Home
Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival
The Price Is Right Live
Sony Center, 8:00pm
It’s never too early to start planning for the future. This seminar provides a free health talk of how to care for the elderly at home.
Bruce Mills Conservation Area
Do not panic. This is not a good time to panic. April 10 is still days away. Panic then. Party now.
in the event. We simultaneously count down to the end of school and up to the beginning of summer. Counting hours, days, issues is an easy way to maintain order in our lives. It is at the moment of transition where the changes are often most profoundly felt. And excitingly, for The Mike, one of those changes happens as soon as this issue hits stands. We just completed our staff elections, and the printing of this issue indicates a changing of the guard. We say goodbye to editors who have put amazing amounts of work into the paper this year with Cam, Lucy, Oksana, and Sofia all moving on to new exciting things both in and outside of university. They have all helped shape the paper into what it is, and all deserve tons of credit for their hard work in crafting sections which brought the paper to life. And yet, we now get to welcome exciting new faces to The Mike. Michal Chwalek will take over from Oksana as Opinions editor, Louis
That's all folks It is normal for me to write this letter quite late. Usually this happens as a result of time; the craziness of production catches up with me and I don’t get around to actually writing myself until there is a lull. For this issue, however, I had time but put it off another reason. This is the last issue of the year, and there is so much to be said, I didn’t know how I was going to put it into words. Being the last issue means many things. It means that the school year is almost over. It means that exams are almost here. It means almost six months with no new Mike. I have mentioned before how I often feel that I count down in this letter, talking constantly about how few issues we have left. And to a certain extent I think it is normal, as people, to look towards what the next big thing is, be it an ending or a beginning. We do this all the time. We look forward to the next event, and then while at the event we are ever aware of how much time is left
Train will succeed Lucy in leading the Arts section, Curtis Panke will take Sofia’s place as editor of Sports, and with Cam leaving Fatima Syed will be the News Editor. While it is always sad to say goodbye to friends who put so much into the paper, it is very exciting to see what a new staff will bring. I can’t wait to find out what we will have in store for you next year. In that news, I will be returning once again as your Editor-in-chief for the 2013/2014 school year, as will Yasir reclaim is role as business manager. Excitingly, he will be joined on the business side of things by Stefano Testoro as our new Advertising Executive. In addition, Alekzia returns as The Mike’s production manager, and all around hardworking multitasker, who I’m sure has lots of ideas on how we can provide an even better physical product in the coming year. Chelsea will also return as The Mike’s Senior Copy Editor. Over this last year, Annum has worked to create a fantastic living
section for the paper. And as we recognize that one of The Mike’s most important tasks is to keep St. Michael’s students up to date with important things going on both on and off campus, we will embark on an experiment for next year. Franco Recchia will join Annum as co-living editor, in hopes of expanding our living section and continuing to deliver excellent information on what is going on. Clearly, there are a lot of changes coming to The Mike next year. But the important part is that despite the clown-sized shoes left by the outgoing staff, I can tell you already that our new editors are up to the challenge. I look forward to seeing you all again next year, as we continue to build a legacy at this college. Enjoy the last issue of The Mike for the year.
Micah Gold-Utting Editor-in-Chief
Cameron Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org
Arts Editor Lucy Coren
Opinions Editor Oksana Andreiuk
Living Editor Annum Roshan
Sofia Rizzo (interm) email@example.com
Production Manager Alekzia Hosein
Senior Copy Editor Chelsea Misquith Belinda Zong
SMC students are invited to join The Mike's Board of Directors
A sex-themed cabaret show, that includes all art forms (film, photography, art, singing, dancing, theatre). It will be fun, flashy and fancy-free. A perfect end to a study weekend!
Interested in getting involved?
Spend too much on green clothing and face paint? Feel as though you didn’t party hard enough? Come out to Brennan Hall on Thursday for St.Patty’s day part 2! Your first drink is on SMCSU!
Come on down [your name here]! You have a chance to watch the Price is Right live! TPIR is one of the longest running game shows on TV, and now you can be a part of it. Be a screaming audience member for host Todd Newton.
Get your Canadian on. Enjoy demonstrations, wagon rides, and of course, maple syrup. This delicious treat can be frozen in snow for maple candies. You should try some before the snow leaves.
Web Editor Nora Agha
Photos Editor YouNa Kim
Writers Mia Rose Yugo, Marsha Malcolm Mark Matich, Victoria Marshall, Catherine Bredin, John Castellarin, Stefano Tesoro, Natalie Krikorian
Ellen O'Malley, Michelle Conklin, Najla Popel, Jo-Anna Pluchino, Jaclyn Didiano, Ramina Ghassemi, Josephine Tong, Christine Zelezny
Apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Manager Yasir Mustafa
Cam Anderson | News Editor
New Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill in Scotland proposes changes to the legal relationship between beliefs and marriage, allowing the potential for Jedi Knights to perform ceremonies.
BOD Student Reps.
Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda has turned himself in to an American embassy in Rwanda and has requested to be transferred to the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. It is believed his life in danger after his rebel group split into two factions earlier this month. He is wanted for crimes such as kidnapping and producing child soldiers.
BOD Alumni Rep.
Two men have been arrested after a massive manhunt near St. Jerome prison. The two men were inmates, and escaped via helicopter piloted by a friend of the convicts. They were recaptured after a gunfight at an isolated cabin. The helicopter has also been recovered.
Twenty-nine year old doctor Thaune Ferreira has been arrested for fraud. It is believed he used silicone replicas of six colleague’s fingers to sign them in to his laboratory which the team worked at. The laboratory has a finger scanner to confirm when employees enter and leave work.
Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner has requested the new Pope to create a dialogue between Argentina and the United Kingdom over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. The Islands are a British possession off the coast of Argentina, and caused a brief war between the two countries in the 1982. In a referendum last week, 99% of the population of the island voted to remain British.
Ad Execs Vacant
Board of Directors Adriano Marchese Nicole Rocha Dennis Amoakohene Christopher Sivry 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 email@example.com. The Mike reserves the right to edit all submissions
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The most assinine story from City Hall
Ford’s legacy reaches new low Cam Anderson | News Editor “He just grabbed my ass!” Toronto councillor Sarah Thompson told her assistant. It was March 8th, and Thompson was referring to Mayor Rob Ford. They were at a social event with other big figures, such as Premier Katherine Wynne and political hopeful Justin Trudeau. Thompson posted a photograph of herself posing with Ford on facebook from the event, where she broke the news about the supposed ass-grab. This has sparked controversy in city hall. As the story developed, Thompson went so far as to suggest Ford may have been high on cocaine. The story sounds fishy to some— pointing out Thompson is a previous (and future) rival to Ford. Supporters of Ford argue if this grab did take place, Thompson would have gone to the police first, instead of social
media. Ford has denied all allegations. The incident keeps worsening. Thompson has requested that both her and Ford take a police lie-detector test. Both parties have threatened legal action. Thompson has been busy with Toronto’s media, doing a plethora of news interviews and other activities to get her story out. Ford has suggested that Thompson is merely “crying wolf.” This is just the latest controversy surrounding the mayor. He was almost removed from office in early 2013 on charges of conflictof-interest. In late 2012 a beaches restaurant owner attempted to sue Ford for 6 million dollars, because Ford said negative things about his business—which he believes led to financial losses. In the past there has also been issues with his driving. Ford has been caught talking on a cell phone, reading, and yelling at other motorists while behind the wheel.
The Mike brings you the best books with substance to read over the glorious summer
Tuktuk Islam | Staff Writer
Thompson says Ford was also making inappropriate remarks to her before the alleged incident. She says Ford suggested that she should have come with him to Florida the previous week to “have some fun” because his wife did not attend the vacation. Four days after the incident went public, 43% of Torontonians still support Rob Ford, suggesting the scandal some have dubbed “ass-gate” has not damaged the mayor’s reputation. It is likely future controversies will continue to polarize his support. Every controversy that emerges, the left see it as the manifestation of his incompetence, while the right see it as the agenda of the left to remove the mayor from office any way they can. The circus-like behavior at Toronto City hall has no doubt damaged the reputation of municipal politics in the city— whether allegations are true or not.
In our day and age, plagued with T.V. shows like Family Guy and memes about awkward penguins and grumpy cats, it’s hard to find something that makes you laugh and leaves you with food for thought – and no, the meme with the duck that gives advice doesn’t count. For those people that desire a nice dollop of wisdom with their funny pie, here are five books that will make you laugh as well as think:
The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones This book, filled with surprise and mayhem, centres around an early 1900’s elitist family as they plan for a sophisticated, upper-class birthday party for 20 year old Emerald Torrington. All plans of pomp and pageantry go awry when a nearby train accident leaves a group of ghoulish third-class passengers with nowhere to go but to crash the party. The comedic elements in this book come out in the awkward prejudices and hushed romances of the odd and diverse group of characters. The Uninvited Guests, which reminds its readers of Downton Abbey and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, takes a close look at class interactions, revealing how sound and reasonable people commonly abandon their better judgment when they step into the anonymity of the class herd.
The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac by Kris D'Agostino
(Photo by Nick Lachance/The Cord)
WATERLOO (CUP) — With an increasing amount of students about to graduate into the precarious and rapidly changing job market, one class at Wilfrid Laurier University is prepping them to face the challenge. In “Work and Cultural Industries," communications professor Greig de Peuter brought Nicole Cohen to talk to his seminar students about her research. The founder of Shameless
Magazine, and an instructor of journalism at Laurier Brantford, Cohen was there to talk about the increased reliance on freelance work in journalism and other creative industries. “We’re trying provide students with a picture of what they might expect while also developing their critical perspective on the power relations that are at play in the world
of labour,” de Peuter said. Bringing speakers like Cohen to Waterloo is part of de Peuter’s plan to ready students for a career that could be far more precarious than that of the generation before. “There’s a rapid level of growth of non-standard type jobs,” he added. “They don’t come with the kind of benefits and security that many people enjoyed in the past.” Cohen may be one of the most qualified people at Laurier to talk about the challenges young people
Would you like a dose of whimsy with that thought?
Laurier class addresses precarious work for young Canadians
H.G. Watson | The Cord (Wilfrid Laurier University)
face. After her undergrad she embarked on a freelance career, hoping to produce work she believed in. While she was able to get by, she eventually went back to grad school where the pay was slightly better. “[Precarious work] is spreading into occupations that don’t traditionally have that kind of work arrangement,” she said after her speech when asked whether precarious work is just an issue faced by those going into creative industries.
Some professionals have faced a series of short-term contracts instead of permanent employment. Dana*, a fourth-year communications studies student decided to take this seminar after enjoying one of de Peuter’s previous classes. “The seminar itself is a bit scary,” she laughed, noting it’s a pessimistic, though realistic view of the job market. However, Dana’s not deterred from pursuing a career in media. The class also taught her that she could use social media tools to sell her personal brand online. Cohen doesn’t see the future as all doom and gloom; in fact, she sees a lot of reasons to remain positive about the state of media production. “Derek Finkle’s [literary] agency is producing ebooks and cutting out publishers entirely,” she said. She thinks that online fundraising tools like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo may allow creators to gain further control over their work. De Peuter also wants his students to understand the value of their own work. “[I want them to take away] a commitment to not sell themselves short,” he said. “I hope they don’t devalue their own contribution.” *Last name withheld at Dana’s request
Although it may begin with the crude line “I work with retards”, The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac takes a humbling and intimate look at a family that just cannot seem to catch a break. The novel begins with Calvin Moretti, a twenty-four year old film school drop out that reluctantly returns home to figure his life out. Unfortunately for him, his life becomes even more discomforting by a father subdued by cancer and depression, a pregnant teen sister, and mounting financial struggle. Family problems and the everdaunting question of “What do I do with this university degree once I’m done?” cut close to home, but instead of Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac takes a reassuring look at the silliness and laughter that family can provide despite all the troubles in the world.
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon Wife 22 takes marriage and midlife crisis into the 20th century as it explores the woes of an Oakland couple that have run out of things to say in an age of constant Facebook status updates and Twitter tweets. With a family life that has become a blur of shopping lists and doctor’s appointments, Alice Buckle’s life gets spicy when she starts an affair with a researcher, who is ironically studying Alice to learn about marriage. Through Alice’s funny yet brilliantly truthful expose on marriage and middle age, Wife 22 explores the strength of personal relationships in a world where nothing is really personal anymore.
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran Neo-feminism takes a comedic turn as London Times columnist Caitlin Moran discusses what it means to be a woman in the modern age. Part autobiography, part rant, this book questions the irrational norms that have been perpetuated by seemingly rational women. Heels that are literally one step away from a neck break, panties that cut off butt circulation and handbags that cost two month’s rent are all brought into question in this laugh-out-loud comedy.
Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander Solomon Kugel, in an effort to leave the hustle and bustle of the big city moves his little family to Stockton, New York, where much to Solomon’s reassurance nothing bad, or good, ever happens. Unfortunately for Solomon, his dreams of an uneventful life seem to disappear when he discovers a cranky mad woman in the attic who claims to be Anne Frank. Through Solomon’s constant worrying and annoyance, this novel takes a philosophical look at the wild abyss that is life while also examining the audacity and absurdity of hope. History, even the dark history of the Holocaust, is made humorous in this novel, but instead of insensitive mockery Hope: A Tragedy reveals the little nuggets of joy and laughter hiding in a seemingly grim world.
Giving children hope New research brings us closer to cure for FSGS
Joe Mangiapane | Staff Writer The world of research and medicine is a dynamic environment with new discoveries and technology created every day, all over the world, in every discipline imaginable. With countless numbers of diseases plaguing the human species and even more causes of these diseases, the field of research and development in
the life sciences and medicine have become instrumental in the combat against human disease. Before a disease can be treated, what causes the illness needs to be understood in the first place, but unfortunately that answer is not as clear cut as people hope it would be. That’s where research in the life sciences makes understanding basic biological pathways so important, so
that when something goes wrong, we will know how to treat it. Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a frequent and severe glomerular disease common in children, resulting in kidney failure in adults. This poorly studied disease displays symptoms of weight gain, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, as well as kidney failure. However researchers in Vienna have
uncovered a molecular pathway that may lead to more successful treatment of this degenerative disease. The group reported that when a microRNA (miR-193a) is expressed, FSGS is rapidly induced. The group was able to show that this microRNA inhibits the protein that is responsible for kidney differentiation and development. The inhibition of this key protein leads to the downregulation of other developmental target proteins which causes the collapse of the entire kidney system. Therefore the up-regulation of miR193a provides a new pathogenic mechanism for FSGS and is a potential therapeutic target. Possibly inhibiting this microRNA may restore cellular function back to a normal state for proper kidney development. Depression is a serious mental illness with no specific known cause due to the complex nature of the disease. However researchers have dug deeper to find some answers to the possible causes of this life threatening disease. It’s been known that depression induces structural and functional synaptic changes in brain reward circuits, although the mechanisms promoting these changes and their relevance to behavioral outcomes are unknown. Profiling the nucleus for specific
genes to be known regulators of the synaptic structure, changes were revealed in the synaptic development pathway. A sustained reduction in cell structure and synaptic development proteins were observed after chronic social defeat stress. It was also seen that the DNA encoding for these proteins were switched to a repressed state. This repressed state increases depressive behaviours such as avoidance and the inability to experience pleasure from usually enjoyable activities. When experiments were done to re-express these genes, synaptic development was restored and depression-related behavior, such as social avoidance and lack of enjoyment, was not seen. Possible treatments to re-express these important proteins may be helpful for depression in the future. The incidence of primary FSGS has been increasing over the past few decades and is estimated to represent more than 38% of the adult patients with nephrotic proteinuria, and 47% of pediatric patients undergoing a biopsy for nephrotic syndrome, suggesting an overall prevalence of FSGS in the US of 70,000 patients. While awareness of the disease is not exactly up there with diseases like Breast Cancer or ALS, its prevalence is still high enough to cause concern.
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© 2013 H&R Block Canada, Inc. *Average is based on all student returns prepared at H&R Block in Canada for 2010 tax returns. The average refund amount calculated for students was over $1,100, cannot be guaranteed and varies based on each individual tax situation. $29.95 valid for student tax preparation only. To qualify, student must present either (i) a T2202a documenting 4 or more months of full-time attendance at a college or university during the applicable tax year or (ii) a valid high school ID card. Students pay $79.99 for Complex/Premier return. Expires 12/31/2013. Valid only at participating locations. Additional fees apply. SPC cards available at participating locations in Canada only. Offers may vary, restrictions may apply. For full terms see www.spccard.ca.
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God particle existence no longer a mystery Anthony Salvalaggio | Contributor Physicists in La Thuile, Italy have confirmed that a recently discovered subatomic particle is almost certainly the long searched-for Higgs boson. The particle, a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics, was first observed last July, and physicists have agreed that it possesses many of the qualities that the model assigns to the boson. This newly-discovered particle is certain to be a major step towards a clearer understanding of the composition of the universe. It was last July when physicists working at CERN – The European Organization for Nuclear Research – first observed a particle that appeared similar to the Higgs boson. Based in Switzerland, CERN is a research facility that brings together physicists and engineers from across the globe, all working collaboratively with the objective of uncovering new details about the structure of the universe. Over the course of the past few months, new data collected at CERN has strengthened the likelihood that the particle discovered last year is indeed a Higgs boson. This discovery was made possible with the aid of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator which utilizes the collision of protons to gather data about the nature of particles and their interactions with one another. At a cost of ten billion dollars to build, the LHC was designed in the hope that it would help to uncover the Higgs boson, which physicists had been seeking for decades. The LHC has
only been operating for two years, and many physicists are surprised at how quickly this new discovery was made. Known informally as ‘the God particle’, the Higgs boson’s existence was first predicted nearly fifty years ago. Named for Peter Higgs (the scientist who, along with others, predicted its existence in 1964), the Higgs boson interacts with all other particles, affecting the way in which they behave. According to predictions, the mass of a given type of particle depends on how it interacts with Higgs bosons. The Higgs boson is the only visible expression of the Higgs field – an invisible field which gives particles mass and regulates the movement of matter throughout the universe. Without the presence of the Higgs field, life could not be
sustained; all particles would move at the speed of light without the field’s presence to control their motion. As a result, atoms would not be able to retain their structure if the field didn’t exist. The Higgs boson has the unique characteristic of being the only particle in the Standard Model of physics that has never been observed – until now, perhaps. While the Standard Model predicts the existence of only one type of Higgs boson, other sources predict that several different Higgs bosons may exist, all of which have different masses and affect particles in different ways. Though physicists tend to discourage the use of its informal title, the Higgs boson is called ‘the God particle’ because it gives other particles their mass, affecting the way that particles move
through space. The mass and motion of all particles is determined by their interaction with Higgs bosons – thus, the Higgs boson can be regarded as something of a prime mover in the particle universe. While the discovery at CERN is being hailed as monumental, there is still much research to be done; physicists have stated that the newlydiscovered particle will be subjected to years of close study. The recent discovery may be but one step in a long line of discoveries which are to come. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, currently undergoing repairs, will be operating at an even higher energy level by 2015. The hope is that particle collisions conducted at higher energy levels will result in new discoveries in the near future. For the time being, many physicists remain flustered; the new particle exhibits many of the qualities assigned to the Higgs boson in the Standard Model of physics, but so far, study has revealed nothing beyond the predictions put forth by the Standard Model. Physicists believe that gathering more information could aid in the construction of a new theory which could more accurately explain the processes of the natural world. So far, such information remains out of reach. In light of the recent advances made at CERN, there is already talk of a Nobel Prize in physics being awarded for the study of the Higgs boson. However, physicists everywhere are regarding the recent discovery not as an end, but as an incentive to continue research into the nature of the particle universe, where many new discoveries are waiting to be made.
Applying for jobs in cyberspace is futile Digitized processes deal students and new graduates a losing hand Tara Nykyforiak | The Peak (Simon Fraser University) BURNABY (CUP) — If you’ve ever possessed a job within the contemporary work industry, you can relate to the frustrations involved with the online application process. It is these stressing and impersonal virtual forms that make me pine for a return to a more open and human time of job application. As a teenager in high school (2005–2009), I can remember a great desire to obtain a part time job and the financial independence it would award me. At that time, Craigslist job postings were becoming a normal mode for young people to respond to open job positions, but the traditional printed resume was still very much a part of the process. My Career and Personal Planning class even taught students how to craft, and physically hand someone, the ideal resume. Throughout high school and the couple of years following, I had come to really respect the process of personally establishing a rapport with the manager or supervisor everywhere I applied. I could project a positive image of myself to potential employers via a hand shake and a professional exchange of how I
was motivated to work for them in the future despite having little to no work experience. Applying in-person allows the prospective employee to feel more secure about themselves, and imbues applicants with a sense of wellbeing. Because of the face-to-face connection with the employer, any future follow-up calls can be done with the assurance that their resume did indeed reach the hands of a manager, and that he or she would be able to connect the name on the resume with the applicant's face. It has become the norm now for young people to apply for jobs online. This is typically done using the company’s online application database, whereby applicants fill in all required fields and have the option of uploading a file copy of their resume. My own experiences with these applications are of anxiety, confusion and bitterness. For starters, there is the worry that something could go wrong, and that your application does not successfully get uploaded to their database. After all, the webpage could freeze and all your application information could be lost in a matter of seconds. Another concern is the lack of knowing; did the existence of my job application even pass by the eyes of a hiring manager? Multiple times I have submitted my resume online and later spoken with the store’s
Graphic by Mark Burnham/The Peak
manager in-person only to have them tell me: “I’m sorry, but I have not yet reviewed your application.” Granted, this could happen with printed resumes as well. There is no guarantee a manager will read the resume you hand them. However, I can not accept that those hiring at minimum wage retail or fast food jobs can hide behind online application databases. The point of these jobs is that one need have no previous experience. Applicants have little to no opportunity to exchange handshakes and establish real life impressions, which, besides nepotism, is the only possible prerequisite one
can have. Job hunting, especially as an adolescent or twenty-something, is both daunting and discouraging. Having a job market that looks only at the experience demonstrated through online applications is unfair, because the mantra being preached is “you can’t land a job without experience.” When reaching out to employers through a medium that isn't conducive to projecting dedication and drive, the job market adopts the further disparaging reality of “you can’t get experience without a job,” which is made that much more difficult via online applications.
Mindblowing vacation locations It’s hard to believe that summer is imminent considering we’re still enveloped in our down jackets and trudging around in our Sorrels, but with only a few weeks of school left, its about time that we pool together our minimum-wage salaries and get a little TLC. Imagine running on the beach with the sand between our toes and the summer breeze in our hair; sounds good, doesn’t it? We’ve done all the leg-work for you, narrowing down the top vacation destinations across the globe. So follow Bob Marley’s advice and don’t worry, be happy.
Crimea, Ukraine The Crimean peninsula, often referred to as the crown jewel of the Black Sea, offers Riviera-grade panoramic views without the heavy price tag. Not only is it cheap, but best of all it has 300 days of sun a year. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? Attractions include a Cold War history museum that was once a nuclear blast-proof Soviet Submarine base, therapeutic mud baths east and west of the coast, and not to mention the Livadia Palace in Yalta. The palace is a nugget of gold for history buffs; used by the last Tsar of Russia as a summer retreat, the palace was then used in 1945 as a house for FDR and the rest of the American delegation during the Yalta conference used to discuss Europe's post-WWII reorganization. If you’re looking for gastronomical pleasure rather than feeding your inner historian, then make sure to visit the Massandran Vineyards. Supplying wine to the Tsar since the 19th century, their collection of delectable wines have been referred to as “Seventh Heaven.” And after all, who doesn’t want to feel like royalty? Where to Stay: Crimea Breeze Residence, a collection of low-rise luxury villas with sweater pools and bilingual staff What to Eat: Don’t miss out on the traditional Crimean dishes such as lagman (spicy noodle soup) , Chee-börek (meat turnover), and plov (rice pilaf and lamb). You can find these treats during the summers being sold by small beach vendors, and also at the Kafe Marakand in Simferopol.
Annum Roshan | Living Editor
A Caribbean island that is yet unspoiled by overexploitation by tourists, Grenada’s traditions are an amalgamation of African, European, and European culture. The streets resonate with the sound of bongo drums while people shop for aromatic spices and vendors sell fish cakes, shrimp, and beer. The mangrove-lined coast and bright coral reefs provide ample opportunity for nature-enthusiasts to take in the biodiversity, and see the rare national bird- the Grenadian dove. Also visit the Maroon Festival featuring string-bands, drums, and dancing, and don’t miss weekly fish Fridays and experience the true taste of the Caribbean. Where to stay: All 12 rooms at the La Sagesse Nature Center are within 30 feet of the beach, while the 3 oceanfront rooms all have private ocean view verandahs. What to eat: have a three-course buffet at the Belmont Estate restaurant, which focuses on homegrown spices, fruits, and vegetables.
While it might seem as if it bears little comparison to Rome’s blustering crowds and ruins, it is still a city that possesses its own unique artistic history. A city that once served as the capital of the Western Roman Empire, Ravenna is home to some of the most beautiful religious mosaics in the world. At a time where few people could read or write, mosaics were a form of artistic expression and religious education. Visit the jewel-clad Empress Theodora mosaic at the Basilica of San Vitale and explore the mirror art form in the fifth and sixth century architecture while resting against sculptures that are covered in a multitude of fragmented glass pieces. You can also explore the works of multiple contemporary mosaicists including Vedova, Mathieu, and Chagall at the Museo d’Arte Ravenna, or take part in the annual mosaic festival, the RavennaMosaico. Where to stay: Book a room at the modern Hotel Centrale Byron, or immerse yourself in the city’s history and culture by staying at the Abergo Cappello, a seven-room restored Palazzo. What to Eat: Don’t miss out on the Tortellini and Passatelli classics at the Ristorante Cinema Alexander, a former movie theater that combines 40’s Hollywood décor with the homey feel of Italian comfort food.
Quito, Equador Thessaloniki, Greece
When people think Equador, they usually think of the Galapagos. Since people surpass it in favor of Darwin’s finches, Quito may be considered one of the most under-appreciated cities in all of South America. City officials have invested millions in revamping the city, making it a new cultural hotspot. Boasting cobblestoned streets that lead to the revitalized San Francisco Church, the Casa del Albado museum showcasing pre-Columbian art, as well as several nightclubs and bars along the Calle La Ronda. The best time to visit this beautiful city is during the summer, when the rain won’t dampen your holiday cheer, and tourists can easily take a scenic Gondola up the Pichincha Volcano for a beautiful view of the city and the Andes. Don’t forget to pick up authentic Ecuadorian tapestries, straw fedoras, and tiles, and visit the esteemed Olga Fisch Folklore Gallery and Museum. Where to stay: Immerse yourself in luxury and culture at the Casa Gangotena, a gorgeous Victorian style boutique hotel which flawlessly combines Ecuadorian culture with contemporary style, and boasts a glassed-in patio, botanical gardens, and a wood-paneled library. What to eat: Have a three-course dinner at the indigenous community-owned Kallari Café in La Mariscal, which includes a brief Kichwa language and culture presentation and an insider’s view of Kallari’s original coffee and chocolate production process.
Boasting ancient markets floating with the aromas of fresh fruit and cheese, Greece’s second-largest city is removed from the chaotic hub of Athens while still providing all the amenities that a large city offers. Dotted with the ruins of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Thessaloniki’s culinary and artistic magnetism is drawing in tourists, along with its quite, undisturbed harbor. The best way to explore everything the city has to offer is by walking from the ruins of Ano Poli to Aristotleous Square on the waterfront during June or July. Don’t miss out on shopping for spices and sampling the fresh fruit in Athonos square and Kapani Food market. Where to stay: The Daios Luxury Living hotel offers a sleek and comfortable accommodation, overlooking the landmark White Tower and the harbor. What to eat: Try authentic gyros and soutzoukakia (spiced meatballs) at the Nea Diagonios, and the mithopilafo (mussels and rice) at the 7 Thalasses. Don’t forget to save some space for Baklava at the Trigona Elenidis pastry shop.
Kyoto, Japan Malawi Home to Africa’s third-largest lake, Malawi is considered as a steady political presence within an everchanging continent. Go on safaris during the dry season (April/May), watch the orchids bloom and shop for unique Dedza pottery, handcrafted baskets and intricate wood carvings in the colorful markets. The biggest attractions in Malawi however, are the underwater safaris that take you down into the depths of the crystal-clear lake to look at the multitude of vibrant tropical fish. Where to stay: Book an underwater-safari and room in the all-inclusive stay at the Red Zebra Lodge at Kambiri Point What to eat: Don’t miss out on the nsima, a thick cornmeal porridge in the shape of a ball, served alongside ndiwo, a relish-like meat, bean, or vegetable side dish.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia They call it the Amazon of the Oceans. It looks like a rainbow of colors that you dare not look away from, lest it disappears. A species rich mini-archipelago of green islands, coral reefs and pearly beaches, this marine wonder off the coast of West Papua, Indonesia is the biologists’ wonderland. Expect close encounters with the newlydiscovered Raja Ampat’s walking-shark, pygmy seahorses, and multiple coral species, not to mention leatherback turtles. Cobalt lagoons offer a beautiful backdrop for tree canopies filled with beautiful red birds of paradise performing their ritualistic mating dance. Diving, Kayaking, and trekking are available for adrenaline junkies, as are motorcycle taxis for those that wish to conserve their energy for sightseeing alone. Where to Stay: The Misool Eco Resort is a secluded tropical hotel on the private island of Batbitim, offering a range of water cottages above azure lagoons. What to eat: options include the all-inclusive offers by the hotel, as well as a few cafés and outdoor markets that sell traditional Indonesian food.
A peaceful city that seamlessly combines classic modernity with traditional Japanese stylistic architecture, Kyoto is possibly the most aesthetically pleasing vacation spot. The most popular tourist attractions include Shigemori’s Zen Garden and Tadado Ando’s eccentric Garden of Fine arts featuring oversized portraits of da Vinci’s The Last Supper and Monet’s Water Lillies. July’s monthlong Gion Matsuri festival that showcases Japan’s most vibrant culture, with beautifully decorated floats depicting mythology and hokos. The most convenient thing about Kyoto though, is the transportation; the bullet train transports passengers from one destination to the other in a jiffy, making sure you don’t waste precious vacation time. Definitely spend some time shopping for artisanal products such as Nishijin fabrics and kimonos, hand-carved wooden clips, and Kiyomizu yaki pottery in this amazing city. Where to stay: The decadent Granvia Kyoto hotel is close to the train station and includes a sprawling underground mall, but make sure that you spend at least one night in a traditional wooden inn such as the Ryokon Shimizu. What to eat: Sushi!
The Jackie Robinson Story review
Walking miles in Komona’s shoes A review of ‘War Witch’
In anticipation of the film ‘42’
Mark Matich | Staff Writer Brian Helgeland is a long-time screenwriter whose initially promising directorial attempts have so far been unfortunate exercises in mediocrity, troubled productions, or both (The Order with Heath Ledger a good example of the synthesis of the two). He’s helming (after a stint in directorial “movie jail” and having gone back to his original trade, screenwriting, until now) a new film called 42 based on the life of Jackie Robinson, specifically his breaking the colour barrier in baseball by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. From the trailer, I can only hope that the movie will be better than similarly themed movies like Glory Road that detail sports triumphs that overcome racial boundaries. 42 has a good cast and the subject matter seems foolproof, but the film may succumb to what appears in the trailer as excessive flashiness (the stock-in-trade of Helgeland so far—one needs look only so far as the revisionist rockfantasy A Knight’s Tale to see this). That said, Helgeland is the same type of cornponeprone, studio film director as Alfred E. Green, who long ago in 1950 made the original Jackie
Robinson story, which was simply called The Jackie Robinson Story. And after looking at the original, if Helgeland retains the sentiment of the original (which wouldn’t be unlikely based on the trailer) in addition to his jazzedup effects and camerawork, the film shouldn’t be half bad. Alfred E. Green was a professional director for Hollywood’s entire “golden age”, from the twenties to the fifties, after which he moved briefly to television work. Other than The Jackie Robinson Story, he made the sizzling pre-Code drama Baby Face (1933) and another biopic, The Jolson Story, based on the life of another American original, Al Jolson. This film is in color and has fancy production values (and ran a full two hours if I remember correctly, compared to the Robinson film’s lean 77 minutes), while The Jackie Robinson Story has all the earmarks of a lower-budget independent production (black and white photography with moderate use of stock footage, uncomplicated sets etc). However, The Jolson Story, while essentially the same in terms of its structure of a supertalented minority (Jolson had a strict Jewish upbringing) being recruited to be a star of
a distinctly American pastime (in his case vaudeville) and excelling while retaining his connection to his family, is somewhat emotionally distant amidst all its schmaltz and in many ways The Jackie Robinson Story is a more honest, and enjoyable, film. And this is in no small part thanks to Jackie Robinson’s earnest and charismatic, if forgivably unprofessional and stiff at times, performance as himself in the film. Larry Parks was pretty accurate as Jolson compared to footage I’ve seen of the famous jazz singer, but nothing can top the rare performance-asself in this era of Hollywood for believability in terms of the life story of the performer, in films like To Hell and Back (1955) with Audie Murphy re-enacting his WWII war hero exploits. Murphy was of course a relatively seasoned Hollywood actor himself by that point, but in both films the line between reality and performance (in spite of contrived sets and professional supporting actors) blur. In these life story films, there is in some ways a default naturalness of performance in that it is hard to discount a famous person “acting out” the ways they would do things. A good example is the way Robinson dries himself off with a towel in a locker room as he is approached with one of the deals in the film that leads to his playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The mise-en-scene has a level of reality that in terms of performance goes one step beyond Andre Bazin’s famous appraisal of the verisimilitude of using a disabled actor to play a disabled war veteran in The Best Years of Our Lives; Robinson’s acting is only serviceable but since it is he, the real person, who is performing at least relatively legibly in this way, there is somewhat of an added authority to his creation of a believable “Jackie Robinson”. In other words, only Robinson would know authoritatively what Robinson’s mannerisms would be in a certain scenarios: how he would hold a woman, stare someone down, and obviously how he should portray the nuances of his baseball brilliance. For this reason alone the otherwise average film (whose baseball scenes are incidentally quite static and unexciting—something the
new film will probably improve) takes on an interesting dimension. The movie also treats race in an interesting way, using considerable restraint, which also marks it as an unusual production in comparison to contemporaneous biggerbudgeted and more sensational race-based films like Pinky (1949) and No Way Out (1950). One of the central dramatic conceits of the film, introduced in a scene that highlights the strong performance by character actor Minor Watson as Branch Ricky, president of the Dodgers, is that Robinson can never respond to being antagonized in the film, and he never does. There are threats of riots and violence in the film but none ever occurs, and in one quite powerful montage, the determined Robinson is intercut with jeering, racist spectators and opponents, and simply keeps playing through all of it. And incidentally, the comic relief in the film comes from a white player on the team called Shorty, a complete reversal of the tendency of using black players like Mantan Moreland in supporting, stereotyped comedic roles in films of this era. So while the scenes featuring the racist criticism of some rowdy white spectators and their later changing of their tune might seem a little crass (or to put it more lightly overly simplistic), the film overall is more cognizant of the sensitivity of race and the dignity of ethnic minorities during segregation than other lower-budget fare of its era (while still certainly retaining the American with a capital A jingoism, religiosity and patriotism of its time, for better or worse). I think where Helgeland can hopefully take a cue from this curio is in the modesty of Robinson himself in the face of his awesome achievement not only in sports but in the advancement of civil rights by virtue of his proving the necessity of equal opportunity for any gifted individual in society. It is telling that the most powerful dramatic moment in the film (carried over to the new one judging by the trailer) is Ricky’s admonition that “it’s going to take more courage to NOT fight back”. As before, Robinson never does, and this feat alone is as thrilling as any of his many great plays.
leaving a bit of wriggle room for a lucrative sequel. The plot of this new film focuses on Oz played by James Franco: a smarmy-smiled carnival wizard with large ambitions that bury a heart of gold. Through the familiar cyclone he is carried off in a hot air balloon to the land of Oz where he is accepted as the wizard
from the prophesy who will liberate the good people of Oz from the wicked witch. There’s the well-known Gilda, the good witch of the South played angelically by Michelle Williams, the wicked witch Evadora played by Rachel Weisz, and the surprising twist witch Theadora played by the sultry Mina Kunis.
Imagine being twelve years old and torn away from everyone you love and the only place you’ve ever considered home. The imagine on top of this that you are forced to become a child soldier enlisted to fight with the rebels against government forces, trading father and mother for a gun and death. This is the situation that young Komona (Rachel Mwanza) is forced into when she is abducted by the forces of the Great Tiger in War Witch (Rebelle). There is the suggestion of a glimmer at hope in her dark story, as she narrates it to her unborn child after her forced service has ended. Komona’s gruesome initiation sees her forced to shoot her mother and father in cold blood. Sadly, this seems the more humane option, since their alternative would have seen them butchered with a machete. Her tears are hard to watch, and all the more heartbreaking since she has become the killer of the woman
who had previously comforted her in times of sadness Komona gains a dubious renown when she is the only one from her village to survive the bullets of the government. This feat means that she is labeled as a witch, able uncannily locate government forces and expedite the fighting. Ghostly (probably hallucinated) spirits are the ones that alert Komona when government forces are near. The restless souls of the dead—two of which belong to Komona’s parents— end up constantly following Komona and the anguish that they cause her is almost physically palpable. The way in which Kim Nguyen decides to render the spirits is beautifully chilling. The actors are painted white, and wear white contacts that completely occlude their eyes. They are a strange hybrid of ghost and human that is eerily captivating. Komona’s narration brings the viewer right inside her head as events are occurring.
When she refuses, Magician has his throat cut with a machete and dies in front of her despairing eyes. Komona is soon forced back into the familiar, horrific past she left behind, this time coated with a new layer of misery when the commander makes her his sexual slave. Komona ends up becoming pregnant by him, and this strengthens her resolve to finally escape so that she can bury her parents and protect her child from the curse of their restless spirits. This fictitious story set in the Sub-Saharan Africa (filmed in the) Democratic Republic of the Congo is based on true events that happened in Burma. It is hard to believe that anyone could go through what Komona suffered and still live to tell the tale, and yet Mwanza’s nuanced performance gives the viewer hope that Komona’s resolve and courage will see her through to the end. Nguyen is a gifted storyteller who knows when to temper the sad and the horrific with moments of tenderness and peace. It’s hard to imagine a cogent, compelling coming-of-age story in the middle of a civil war, yet this is precisely what Nguyen provides through his brilliant directing. Even in the midst of unimaginable brutality, a boy and girl can still fall in love and still see beauty in the world through their feelings for each other. It is no surprise that War Witch has garnered do much praise. It was very successful at the Canadian Screen Awards – winning 10 awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Mwanza) and Best Supporting Actor (Kanyinda). It was also well-received at Quebec’s Jutra Film Awards, winning in 15 categories including Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Film. No child should ever have to face the demons that Komona had to battle at such a young age. Hopefully, all of the attention that this film has garnered will provide more of an impetus to address the all too real situations that children like Komona face each day.
A thrilling ride Lucy Coren | Arts Editor
I was greatly underwhelmed It’s been a long time since I went to see a proper blockbuster in theatres but there was something about the promise of Oz that I just couldn’t resist. Maybe it was the fact that I missed seeing Zach Braff in anything other than Scrubs. In all honesty I never liked The Wizard of Oz as a child; something about all that vivid Technicolor freaked me out. But the idea of revisiting that world through a new lens (that lens being Sam Raimi’s no less) at an older age guided by the smile of James Franco was too tempting to turn down. The film is based on one of twelve books that L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz just being one of many. Oz the Great and Powerful is the first, I believe, of the catalogue and, certainly, as a film it serves as a wonderful prequel to that 1939 we (some of us) know and love while still
Marsha Malcolm | Staff Writer
Her fear, pain and fleeting happiness is not only heard and seen but felt as well. When she speaks, the scenes on the screen though stunning, are secondary to the pictures painted through her poignant words. The journey she takes is a journey that is also undertaken by the reader since most of the scenes focus intently on her. The deeply personal nature of her story is never lost amidst the on-going war between the rebels and the government. Magician (Serge Kanyinda) is another young rebel who deeply believes in the Great Tiger’s cause. It isn’t long before he warms up to Komona, secretly gifting her with hard-won cookies as a small show of affection. When the two end up separated from their troop, it is a golden opportunity to escape the war and lives of uncertainty and bloodshed in favour of a more peaceful existence together. The pair returns to the village of Magician’s uncle, the Butcher (Ralph Prosper) who is no stranger to the horrors of war himself. They are able to spend an idyllic yet tragically short time together in which they fall in love, get married, and discover the joys of intimacy. Mwanza and Kanyinda have a stirring on-screen chemistry that defies their fictional circumstances in order to reflect the normalcy of two awkward young people discovering what love is after being robbed of it by the rebels. They may not be able to love their parents and be loved by them in return. But they still have the capacity to love each other, which is a hard-fought triumph over the brainwashing and coercion of the rebels. Their love story is a beautiful, peaceful interlude; the eye of calmness at the center of a whirling storm of warfare that soon pulls Komona back in, this time without the support of her newly-wed husband. The war catches up with Komona, as the viewer always suspects it will. It has marked her, and claims her as a living casualty. The commander (Alain Lino Mic Eli Bastien) who re-claims Komona attempts to force her to do what she did to her parents to her new husband.
A review of Andrew Pyper's The Demonologist
Oz the Great and Powerful Lucy Coren | Arts Editor
And you know what, it was damned delightful. It doesn’t have the wit or depth of those Pixar films we’ve come to know, but it was a cinematographic masterpiece and a genuine adventure. I would say however, that it certainly has an age cap. I appreciated the film but always from a distance; there was not enough sophistication of emotion or story or language there to really involve any audience member over the age of fifteen. That being said, it was a fairly enchanting film. It does and does not seem an odd departure for Sam Raimi, the director we know through Evil Dead (1981) and Drag Me to Hell (2009). It’s certainly his most aesthetically ambitious film to date. Although the film is visually stunning, and it takes you on a comfortable ride from beginning to end, I do think its very basic story and script made it ultimately, a fairly forgettable venture.
I remember being sixteen and at my grandparents’ cottage. The cottage was hidden away in a cove of Shadow Lake and at night any sounds or movements were muffled by darkness. I remember being curled up in my bed, the air smelling of damp pine and reading Stephen King’s short story collection Night Shift. I remember putting down the book at midnight and watching until the second hand passed the hour before I felt brave enough to pick it back up. I remember Lon Chaney saying, “There’s nothing more terrifying than looking out your window as the clock strikes midnight and seeing a clown just standing there and watching you”. I remember never feeling more scared. That is, until I picked up The Demonologist. The Demonologist is Andrew
Pyper's most recent addition to his growing catalogue of thriller fiction. It joins the suspenseful Lost Girls (2001), and the psychological thrillers, The Killing Circle (2008) and The Guardians (2011). Pyper has most certainly found his niche. The Demonologist follows roughly two weeks in the life of David Ullman, a leading professor in his field at Columbia University who specializes in Milton's Paradise Lost and the history and theory of demonology. David has been stalked by the Churchillian ‘black dog’ since he was a child, and his daughter Tess seems to have inherited the same depression. However, as he soon discovers, this depression is nothing ordinary--it is something which exposes himself and his daughter to the world of the demonic led by a Miltonic Satan and a gallery of demons with an insidious agenda. And they’ve chosen David as their
apostle. With the abduction of Tess, David must traverse the Southern Gothic and confront demonic forces in order to get her back. The book addresses humanist themes and marks the movement from skepticism to belief. Although its themes are tired, Pyper's rhetoric infuses new life into them. His wit is refreshing and his characters are far too self-aware to be clichéd. As well, the clever synthesis of Milton and well researched demonology lend an authenticity to the text that further terrifies the reader and sends those satisfying chills down your spine. The Demonologist is a deliciously terrifying and, at times, horrific ride. Its writing is erudite but its subject is accessible. After reading the book, it comes as no surprise that Universal Studios had bought the rights to the story before it was even published. I can confidently say I'm already terrified. The Demonologist is
available at any bookstore and I would highly encourage you to pick it up. Put a few hours aside and
you can finish it in one sitting— just remember not to look out the window at midnight.
Built to perform
Performance Enhancing in Baseball; Where’s the Line?
Emma George | Contributor Who doesn’t love going to a baseball game and watching the home runs fly as the Jays obliterate the competition they’re playing that day? I certainly cannot resist going, and plan to attend as much as I can during the summer. The only thing I don’t like about baseball is the surprising double standard that is present when it comes to performance enhancing. Don’t get me wrong, I believe all performance enhancing drugs should be banned as they’re not only dangerous to the players (steroids have been known to cause heart attacks, strokes, extreme anger etc.), but they also ruin the game for other
players. What surprises me, amongst all the negative reaction that performance enhancing drugs get, is that performance enhancing surgeries have not been subject to the same scrutiny. Performance enhancing cheating, and it undermines all the hard work other players are putting in to try to compete. So why exactly are performance enhancing surgeries an accepted part of baseball? By improving a player’s performance at a sport through surgery, a player is yet again undermining the hard work and natural talent of the other players they’re competing against. There are many different surgeries to be had, including corrective laser eye surgery,
and Tommy John surgery. Tommy John is a complicated surgery that involves drilling holes through the elbow, taking a ligament from elsewhere in the body and looping that ligament in a figure eight pattern through the two holes. This provides a tougher throwing structure, and typically gives baseball players a harder through when they return to the game. Tommy John surgery is the one that worries me. Chris Carpenter, A.J.Burnett, Josh Johnson and Tommy John himself, all threw faster balls, more strikes and had fantastic seasons after returning from surgery. This improvement in game has been noticed, and parents of young stars attempting to win contracts in the minors
have approached the surgeons requesting the surgery to be performed on their children. Dr.Frank Jobe, who developed the surgery, disputes the claims that it makes a player “better”. He states that though the surgery has a positive effect on the player, it is the extra conditioning and the good condition of the arm that allows the players to throw faster and harder. So in short, it doesn’t make a player better than they ever were, it makes a player as good as they could have been when they were starting with a fresh elbow. But this improves their performance, and gives them an edge that they did not previously have... similar to those players who used steroids. This year, the baseball hall of fame decided not to induct any new members, as all the players eligible had been marred by allegations of steroid abuse (Barry Bonds). Tommy John, the pitcher who the surgery was named after, was also not inducted into the hall of fame as he did not receive a high enough margin of the popular vote. With the increasing frequency of players receiving Tommy John surgery, the baseball community is going to have to decide how it wants to deal with the players. Shall they be lauded as heroes like other fantastic pitchers? Or will they be remembered as great, but not Hall of Fame worthy? Once this is decided, the fate of Tommy John surgery will be closely linked. If you cannot be a great with the surgery, the popularity will surely dwindle.
Emma George | Contributor
With little over a month to go until the draft starts (April 25 – April 27), teams are already lining up their draft picks. After a disappointing try out, and a national scandal, a lot of attention will be on whether or not Manti Te’o will be drafted.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently in the midst of a 5 game losing streak. They have not won a game since March 6 against the Ottawa Senators. However, they did have a long rest period before they take on Tampa on March 20th, so hopefully they’ll win!
The Toronto Blue Jays are currently last in their Spring Training division. Have no fear though, R.A. Dickey will rejoin the team after the World Baseball Classic, and our Dominican players (Sierra, Reyes, and Encarnacion) will also be returning shortly. Lawrie, who was injured during the WBC is expected to return as well.
The Toronto Raptors are not faring well, and likely will not qualify for a playoff position. They became team number 22 to lose to the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat are on fire! They have won 23 games straight. This is the second longest win streak in the history of the NBA. They must win 10 more games to tie the current record of 33 games, set by the L.A. Lakers in the 1970’s. Miami have already secured their playoff position, and were the champions last year.
The Hot Corner
1. The Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic Finals. They met twice before in this competition already, the Dominican winning both games. These teams represent the smallest populous involved in the series. 2. Michael Owen, famed England striker, has announced that he is retiring at the end of the season. The striker, who most famously scored against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, has had a careered marred by injuries. He currently plays for Stoke F.C and has made just 6 appearances. 3. Tiger Woods is back in the game! The dating game! He and Lindsey Vonn, an Olympic medalist Alpine skier, made their relationship facebook official after her divorce was finalized in March. Tiger Woods, as you may remember, was involved in a cheating scandal in 2009. 4. Wales showed England how to play Rugby when they beat the pathetic team 30-3 in the Six Nations Cup competition. England had been hoping for a Grand Slam (an unbeaten record within the competition), however Wales crushed their hopes with a brilliant display of rugby.
Amanda Palmer and the art of caring Dustin Diaz/Flickr Common License
Angela Espanoza | The Other Press (Douglas College) NEW WESTMINISTER (CUP) — Love or hate her, Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk premiered on March 1, entitled The Art of Asking. Much of Palmer’s 14-minute video is spent talking about her career as a musician, and how working on the street as a living statue—and having to ask for money—taught her what she now believes was everything she needed going into the music industry.
Although she is speaking of the industry, a lot of what she says applies to a broader concept she uses several times in the video: community. Community used to be more than just an amazing comedy series and a term people use in psych, philosophy, and sociology papers (ironically, usually as test subjects); “community” used to be a something else. Palmer speaks of times where fans have graciously offered her band food,
a place to sleep, and instruments to practice on—all implied that they only asked for her music in return. But is giving a person something physical, like a bed, the same as giving someone an abstraction, like friendship (or, to quote Palmer, “love”)? People need both to get by. After all, what’s more wonderful than sharing a bed with someone you love? The flaw with that though is that she’s making her own music which people are either going to either love or hate. There is still asking and giving, but who is actually going to say ‘no’ to having their favourite artist, someone they’ve never actually met before, sleeping on their bed? Would that person honestly do the same for a homeless person? Community isn’t about picking and choosing who you’ll share things with. Community is about being there for each other, for everyone. The fact is that there isn’t enough love and it doesn’t matter if “love” or “friendship” are abstractions—if you feel it, that’s all that really matters. Palmer repeatedly asks in the video,
“is this fair?” By which she means, is the trading of something physical (bed) for an abstraction (friendship) a fair trade? Honestly, if both parties feel they’re getting something out of such a trade, then yes, it is. But such a trade can only work on the whole if everybody is on board with the idea, and that’s assuming everyone has something to offer. Go back to that homeless person for a moment. You’ll be offering him or her a bed, and it’s assumed that in return, that person will always love you a little bit for lending them that bed. Do you think that’s a fair trade? That isn’t a question meant to condescend; it’s an honest question of morality. Do you feel justified by the idea of knowing that at some point, you bettered someone’s life, if even for only a moment, and you now meant the world to them? Realistically, most people in any kind of town or city setting are neither in the mentality nor the mood to have a community. Even those of you who live in apartment buildings — how often do you chat with your neighbours from whom
you are separated by a mere piece of drywall? There’s nothing wrong with keeping to oneself, or saying ‘no’ every once in a while. Where you need to question what you’re doing is when you sincerely don’t give a damn about the person who asks anything of you, whether it be some change or a cup of sugar. Palmer has managed to make this love-based barter system work for her and her own “Internet community,” and that’s great. But if you took Amanda Palmer out of that equation, and asked those same people who give her everything to give you something, I can assure you, only a handful of them would say “yes.” As people, citizens, neighbours, and classmates all have to learn to care a little more. No, we don’t have to revert back to some crazy barter system, but we do need to hold more doors open, and apologize less for not holding those doors open. We have to learn to give and not expect something in return—or at least not something physical.
Reforming the lords What is the future of the Canadian Senate, how should it be changed and how should it interact with the house?
Coming together in print Some musings on the importance of campus media
Louis Train | Staff Writer It was hard to look at The Varsity's request for increased funding from student levies as anything but a plea for help. Their point that advertising revenues have decreased everywhere was well-received, but the real underlying issue – the problem facing media outlets around the world – is the lack of readership itself. In the case of The Post or The Star, this means that people learn fewer facts about the world. In the case of student publications, however, a declining readership has a far broader implication: the loss of community, or at least an important aspect of it.
When Team RENEW candidate Sana Ali announced her forfeiture partway through the recent UTSU election, campus blogs and newspapers lit up. There was fervor among readers to learn more about a rare exciting moment in student politics, and it was met with gusto by student publications from all directions. We were all united by a common desire to know about this phenomenon and how it would affect our lives. But it was not the event itself that drew attention to that night; it was that for a moment, so many eyes were turned in the same direction. Collegiate newspapers are special because they provide more than just the facts or the reviews or the
op-eds: they provide a communal experience, a sort of solitary bonding with the writer and with every other reader. On a campus as vast as UofT, students do few things together and experiences are widely varied. Empathy comes from shared experience, so it's no wonder we're a school of strangers. Campus publications, be they online or in print, unite us by providing something for us all to do together, even if it's in different places and at different times. The frontpage article of a newspaper or a particularly well-written review may be read by thousands, and those thousands know it. We are able to bond with invisible, intangible strangers through a few hundred
words in ink. The power of collegiate publication readership makes its decline much more troubling. Student newspapers no longer hold the value and prestige they once did because of overpopulation and over-extension. By overpopulation, I mean that there are at least ten distinct physical newspapers which circulate on the St. George campus, and countless blogs and web-zines online. Each may approach issues from different angles, but they still disseminate the same issues again and again, ad nauseum. And therein lays the second problem: when student papers look for content outside of the University, they extend too far on the toes of professional publications
Michal Chwalek | Staff Writer
with greater resources, which report far better than anything the rest of us could muster. In almost every regard, any campus publication is made redundant by every other. However faulty some of the content may be, the publications, by their very existence, warrant attention and respect. The medium is the message, as UTians are fond of saying (something else we have in common!) and the message of the medium in question is that at least some students are willing to support each other through writing and reading. If we can continue to do this, we can grow and develop as a campus and as a community to become greater than we have ever been before.
The House of Commons and the House of Lords: two complimentary checks on power - at least in theory. While our “lords” are embroiled in legal battles and residency scandals, the commons is held in an iron grip by a majority government that revels in its authority – even though it only represents 40% of Canadians. The approval of both houses is necessary to pass bills, but the senate rarely revokes or changes bills tabled by the MPs. And so the question becomes, what’s the point? The senate is a costly institution ($90 million per year) and if the statistics show that the senators provide almost nothing for that money, well, shouldn’t the red chamber be dismantled? However there are some good arguments against abolishing the senate. As the name “House of Lords” suggests, it was originally established as an appointed body of the Crown’s representatives intended to keep an eye on whatever rabble the common folk elect to office. Obviously monarchy didn’t have much faith in democracy. Aside from the royal presence, the idea that a second house is able to influence the legislative process isn’t such a bad one – especially considering that we still use First-Past-the-Post (FPP). FPP allows for the consolidation of power in parliament without securing the majority of the votes. And with a majority (as we’ve seen with the current and previous governments), the legislative agenda runs without any real opposition; without actually representing the majority of Canadians, the government is given the power to legislate like it does. The chief alternative to FPP is proportional
representation (PR), and though it brings with it some important benefits – namely an equal representation of all parties – there are some drawbacks that are quite damning in today’s politico-economic clime. In a divisive time, with uncertainty in public opinion, proportional representation breeds uncertainty in leadership and in policy. Historically, tumultuous times have seen inefficient and unstable governments form by PR; in Canada governments collapse when budgets are voted down. So this is, ideally, where the senate would step in – or rather, where senate reform steps up. Instead of passing PR in the House of Commons, change the senate from appointed to elected – by proportional representation. This way the true breakdown of Canadian’s political views can be seen in the senate even if a party takes hold of parliament with a minority of the votes. While having two legislative bodies would seem redundant in the case of minority governments, when a minority of the votes forms a majority in the House of Commons, a heterogeneous senate would provide a true check on the Prime Minister’s power. Independently elected rather than appointed, the senate seats would not be favourably granted or subjectively chosen. And most importantly, the senate is not able to move for a vote of no confidence, meaning that the senate cannot dissolve the current government. So whether abolition or reform, one thing is for sure – the senate does not exist to be a replica of the House of Commons, it is meant to be its counterpoint. As it stands, stocked with a majority of Conservatives, the senate’s legislative power is simply an expensive stamp of approval.
didn’t have much faith in democracy.
(CUP) — Puzzles provided by Sudoweb.com. Used with permission.
Comic's Corner Kyle Leitch | The Carillion (University of Regina)
Horoscopes Capricorn | December 23 - January 22 Happy belated equinox, Capricorn. Unlike Christmas, this wonderful holiday comes twice a year. Naturally, the spring equinox is more jovial because it marks progressively longer days until the beginning of summer. Bet you’re upset you missed it, don’t worry.You can sulk about for the autumn equinox.
Aquarius | January 23 February 22 Spring is a really good time for food.You can eat soup or crepes or ice cream and no one finds it weird because the weather is perfect for all three.You shouldn’t let people dictate the way you live your life,Aquarius. So when your well-meaning aunt gives you that familiar condescending look after you take seconds at Easter brunch, don’t take it to heart.
Pisces | February 23 March 22 Spring is a really good time to go to the gym. Most New-Year’s Resolutioners have given up and all the good-looking people are out on dates. If you’re single and out of shape, maybe now is a good time to kick up your fitness routine before the three week “bikini season” we get in Toronto.
frolicking, at least shave your legs. It’s been four months.
Taurus | April 20 - May 20 You know how we don’t have Easter Monday off this year? Why was it even a partial holiday to begin with? Do people need a break after Jesus’ resurrection? Let’s embrace the university’s shift toward secularism and go to our classes happily on Easter Monday.
Gemini | May 21 - June 21 In one episode of Daria the eponymous protagonist imagines herself in the place of her ditzy superficial sister, Quinn. She names a pore-refining product “Pores like Yours” and congratulates herself for the witty pun with another:“I guess when it rains, it pores” and everyone laughs. But skincare is no laughing matter, Gemini.
Cancer | June 22 - July 22 You know, that silk parka may seem like a good investment, but when was the last time you heard of waterproof silk? Save your pennies and just get waxed cotton.The glamourous choice isn’t always practical, Cancer.
Leo | July 23 - August 22 Aries | March 21 April 19
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It may not look or feel like it, but spring is here! Go outside! Frolic! Flirt! Plan picnics with friends! Unless you have allergies, in which case stay inside and take a lot of Benadryl. Even if you don’t feel like
The town I grew up in smelled like manure for all of spring and most of summer.Also the local shopping mall had special parking for horses! On top of that, it was also boring. The lesson here is that you can’t always choose where you’re from, but you can choose where you go. I can’t believe I chose Toronto either.
Alekzia Hosein Future Seer Virgo | August 23 September 22 I bet you’re counting down the days until your exams are over. Don’t make a habit of basing your ideals on preliminary expectations. The real world will disappoint you,Virgo. Or it might not.
Libra | September 23 October 22 Do you know that the Dutch used tulip bulbs as currency during the Golden Age? Some particularly rare bulbs sold for more than most people made in a year. Sound familiar? Although tulips don’t bloom for very long, some might say that our streets will soon be paved in gold.
Scorpio | October 23 November 22 I’m in Florida right now. It’s really
hot and loud and I’m getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and there’s no public transit here! This may seem like a grass-always-seems-greener story, but I’m still glad to be away. Take all the opportunities you can to see the world (or small-town America).
Sagittarius | November 23 - December 22 Spring comes and water lilies are back. Monet painted them 250 times.They're pretty much all just called "water lilies" and no one cares which they got. So don't bother explaining which liberal arts degree you got at UofT. People don't even care about the distinctions in things that are actually worth their money.