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Underneath it all Read how underwear affects your mood. Page 10 Monday, March 3, 2014


A learning newsroom for journalism students

Conestoga College, Kitchener, Ont.

Grad at new location


Game changer How one game changed them all. Pages 12-13 45TH Year — No. 8


by jody anderson

Conestoga College’s convocation ceremonies normally held in June will not be held in the rec centre due to the removal of the ice rink and construction. Convocation, which is scheduled for June 10-12, will instead be held at Bingemans, a change of location that presents some planning changes and challenges. Paul Osborne, executive director of marketing at Conestoga, admits this is a bit of a puzzle but is confident things will go as planned. There were, however, some questions of how to make the pieces fit, as the new venue is smaller. “We just were there, to walk through what it would be like. So you’ve got big issues like the gowning, where do you line students up because they all have to be in the right order to receive their diplomas and degrees. How are we going to handle that? How are we going to handle the gowning, where guests go after, parking and all of those crazy things,” Osborne said.

It’ll be different, we don’t have the large space we had here but we’ll make it work. — Paul Osborne

Though there are adjustments to be made so things go smoothly, convocation itself should proceed as normal. There will be two sessions a day over three days and they will include the usual aspects. “There will still be a photo studio, flowers, frames and all of that,” Osborne said. “It’ll be different, we don’t have the large space we had here but we’ll make it work.” “It’ll be an interesting move when you’ve done it here forever. Any change is difficult but we think it’ll be a really nice ceremony for students and their parents and family who come to watch.”


Chef Philippe Saraiva, program co-ordinator for Conestoga’s culinary arts program at the Waterloo campus, carves an ice sculpture at the Winterloo Festival on Feb. 15. The event has been held for 11 years and featured dog sled rides, a chili cook-off and much more.

Lady Condors finish best ever volleyball season BY JOSH BURY

Conestoga College’s Lady Condors had their best season ever and, a mere three years after the women’s varsity volleyball program was restarted, the team can boast that they made it to the playoffs. Head coach Marek Gwozdz said that the team’s achievements this year should be a source of pride for both the school and the team itself. “Overall, I’m tremendously proud of what we achieved this season ... the difference between the first few matches and the last few is like night and day,” Gwozdz said. He credits their solid defensive efforts for a substantial part of their success. The team finished 10-8 in their regular season campaign, but the season got off to a rocky start that included a string of four losses.

The team turned it around with an eight-game winning streak that lasted from Nov. 23 to Jan. 15. Their fourth-place finish in the West was good enough to get them to a qualifying game against the East’s fourth seed, Canadore College, at home on Feb. 15. The winner advanced to the playoff quarter-final.

It was a thriller. We had a tremendous game. It’s a historical win. — Marek Gwozdz

The Condors went up two games and looked to close out the best-of-three, but weren’t able to pull the trigger. Canadore battled back, forcing a fifth and final game and, after six possible match points, Conestoga closed out

the game. “It was a thriller. We had a tremendous game ... it’s a historical win,” Gwozdz said. Conestoga’s Stephanie Hoey had 15 kills, 18 points and three service aces in that game, earning her the OCAA female athlete of the week for her efforts. Conestoga advanced to the quarter-final round, where they faced the first seed in the East, Seneca College. Seneca lost only two games all season, and proved to be too much for the Condors despite some close sets. This sent the Condors to the bronze quarter-final, where they could have competed for the right to play for bronze. But Georgian College ended the Condors’ playoff hopes by winning three straight sets. “The season is long and the girls were tired,” Gwozdz said of the loss.

And while the season ended as a result, the Condors earned accolades along the way. Brieanne Gallant earned the OCAA’s women’s volleyball rookie of the year, and made the West division’s first-team all-stars and the all-rookie team. Mallory O’Hara led the Condors in points, and was selected for the second-team all-star squad in the West and the all-rookie team. With both of these rookies eligible for play next year, the Condors can build on what they started. Gwozdz said he plans on returning to coach the team again. He credits the team’s whole roster, along with support staff like athletic co-ordinator Marlene Ford, with the team’s success. But he said that the team will have a goal to aim for next year. “The bar has been set.”


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Now deep thoughts ... with Conestoga College Random questions answered by random students

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

“Let things go.” Ally Kay, general arts and science health option program

“Changing time. I would go back to the past. The more you grow, the more you have things to do.” Debo Orija, project management

“My accent. I find it difficult to communicate.”

Raheem Abioge, financial planning services

“Not to have such big feet. I am a nine and a half.” Mikkaiya Fritz, pre-health

“My work habits. I procrastinate a lot.”

Brandon Guitar, first-year supply chain management

“I want to be punctual. I am late most of the time.” Hashaam Abid, second-year electronics engineering tech. telecommunications Smile Conestoga, you could be our next respondent!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Campus Gaming League arrives at Conestoga BY RANDI CLARKE

As students, there can be a lot of times where you feel stressed out due to upcoming assignments and quizzes. There is a way for you to relieve some of that built-up tension though – Conestoga College’s own Campus Gaming League. The Campus Gaming League (or CGL for short), is a great way for avid gamers (who also happen to be fulltime, fee-paying students) to compete against rival colleges like Humber, Mohawk, Cambrian and Niagara and to represent Conestoga online throughout the province. Zack Dodge, communications co-ordinator at Conestoga Students Inc., is in charge of the competition for Conestoga. “The league matches have already begun online through Xbox Live every day at 12 noon in the Den above the

Sanctuary. CGL began Feb. 10,” Dodge said. “Conestoga, Humber, Mohawk, Cambrian and Niagara College are all involved in the league. There is currently no need to travel and play campuses, all gameplay takes place online through Xbox Live using Xbox Ones.” Call of Duty: Ghosts, FIFA 14, Killer Instinct and NBA 2K14 are the only games you can play in this tournament. As for why he wanted to get this started at the college, Dodge said Conestoga has a very active and engaged gamer community. “Through our Den, successful gamer club and a number of We Got Game events, our students proved they were ready for the next step,” he said. “All matches are played on equipment provided by We Got Game for free.” We Got Game is a video game entertainment company that

provides gaming events to campus and corporate clients. “WGG brings gaming to students in the college and university system all around the province,” Dodge said. “They also host gaming tournaments and launch events with Microsoft.” The Campus Gaming League is only available at the Doon campus for now as this is currently an innovative program for We Got Game. There are no prizes or trophies as of yet because there are still lots of kinks that need to be worked out. If the program is successful and returns in the fall, Dodge said prizes will certainly be considered. If joining the Campus Gaming League sounds like something you’re interested in, contact Dodge at zdodge@ or visit the Den any day Monday to Friday at noon for league matches.


Monday, March 3, 2014

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NekNom a passing fad


You’ve been nominated. Are you ready to prove yourself? You need some booze of your choice and a stunt you can do; but most importantly, you need a video camera to immortalize yourself in all your reckless drunken abandon. You have 24 hours, don’t disappoint. The Neknomination video trend is a bizarre game in which participants are challenged to film themselves drinking and pulling off some sort of ridiculous stunt in no less than 24 hours. To not rise to the challenge is considered shameful, like backing out of any competition. The fad is trending on Twitter at #NekNominate. Originating in the U.K., the strange social media phenomenon made its way around the world from there and has become immensely popular in North America these last few weeks. Called Neknominations because of how fast participants drink, several people who completed their “NekNom” challenge died as a result, raising concerns about the safety of the game. The confusing to bizarre videos from around the world capture young men and women in the heat of stunts like eating live goldfish, raw eggs, jumping into snowdrifts

and getting dunked into toilets full of beer. The challenge is immensely popular among college and university students all across the country. It’s a fairly common thing to see nomination videos featuring Conestoga students on Facebook, as well as Neknomination discussions on Facebook pages such as Spotted at Conestoga. One user asked what Spotted at Conestoga had to say about the new social media game. The query raised various opinions, but it’s clear that many Conestoga students are concerned about the spreading fad. Some comments were unsettling at best. Conestoga student John Paul Ellis wrote: “People around the world are taking it too far and being killed doing them. I look at it as sort of like removing the warning labels from everything and watching natural selection take place. I’m OK with it.” Others were in full support of the NekNom challenge, but conceded that it should be done with taste. “Neknomination isn’t about killing yourself with alcohol. It’s just a challenge to one-up your friends,” wrote Conestoga student Nevin Fedy. “You don’t have to do something stupid that’s going to injure yourself or others, you just need to keep it within your own limits and make it

PHOTO BY aaron creces

The NekNom challenge involves imbibing a quantity of alcohol in a short time. How much you drink depends on what your nominator drank. fun and cool.” campus bar. consumption. I’m no stranger to Conestoga students aren’t The 19-year-old said the the deaths over NekNoms.” the only ones chugging for the game is most likely a pass“I was inspired on multiple camera. Jacob Bissonette, a ing fad, but knows that it can levels to pass on the fun, soon first-year electrician student be dangerous if you forget after realizing how silly the at Niagara College, said he to think about what you’re whole thing really is.” enjoyed completing the chal- doing. In regards to the peer After weeks of popularity lenge but made the decision pressure associated with and the shutdown of the offito keep his video simple. NekNom, Bissonette said he cial NekNom Facebook page In his clip, Bissonette intro- felt like it was a challenge the videos have begun to level duces the friends who nomi- that could have been ignored off, becoming less and less frenated him and thanks them without consequence. quent every day. It seems that in the span of a few seconds, “Nothing made me feel like I this latest social media trend downing a shot and following had to do it,” he said. “I kept it is drawing to a close – a quiet it with a glass of beer while simple to avoid the encourage- end to a massively explosive seated at the Niagara College ment of truly dangerous alcohol online drinking game.

Are you sleep deprived? Blame your phone BY BECKY SHEASBY

As students there can be a lot of contributing factors to being sleep deprived. Stress, job, school work and life all bundle up into a nice package that ends up weighing on their brains every night. However, there is one thing that many people do that causes a bad night’s sleep that is actually easily avoidable – using your cellphone. Using your phone before bed can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. A study done by researchers at Michigan State University, University of Florida and the University of Washington found that engaging in “workrelated” activities on phones before bedtime (the study defines bedtime as after 9 p.m.) has a negative effect on a person’s general well-being the following day. For the study, which will be published in the journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, a total of 243 people participated and were divided into


Studies have shown that checking your phone close to bedtime can cause a person to have a poor night’s sleep and have less energy the next day. two groups. The first group was 83 upper-level managers and the second consisted of

161 employees from a variety of different industries. Both of the surveys showed

that using a smartphone for business before bed ended up sapping the workers’ energy

the next day. The pay grade and profession didn’t matter; everyone’s sleep was affected by late night cellphone use. “Smartphones are almost perfectly designed to disrupt sleep,” said Russell Johnson, MSU assistant professor of management in an article written in Manila Standard Today. “Because they keep us mentally engaged late into the evening, they make it hard to detach from work so we can relax and fall asleep.” A countless number of studies have proven the importance and benefits of sleep. Sleep improves your memory, makes you live longer and even curbs inflammation that is linked to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging. Studies have also shown sleep improves creativity, athletic ability, school grades and attention spans and it helps lower stress. The benefits of sleep go hand in hand with a student’s educational career, but, unfortunately, so do our phones.


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Monday, March 3, 2014

Talk nerdy to me BY spencer beebe

Geeks are taking over the world – the pop culture world, at least. A few years ago, you would be hard-pressed to find someone with more than a passing knowledge of how Spider-Man got his powers, or who Ned Stark’s bastard is, or the names of any of Bilbo’s dwarven companions. With the recent popularity of television shows and films such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Avengers – the list goes on – it would be difficult to find many people who couldn’t answer those questions. Nerd culture is becoming popular culture; it’s no longer taboo to talk about comic book heroes and fantasy novels. The same people who spend their evenings enjoying a hockey game will converse for hours about the latest Big Bang Theory episode with their friends and coworkers. Video games used to be a niche pastime, played by the few and often shunned by the many. Now there are people who earn a six-figure living through playing video games and streaming their content on livestream websites. Competitions between skilled players of games such as League of Legends, Dota 2 and Starcraft have millions of dedicated fans and earn billions through advertisements and promotions. It’s refreshing to see our culture shifting toward acceptance and diversity, but some of us who proudly wear the “geek” label feel a bit overwhelmed by all this attention. The truth is – we’re all geeky about something. “It’s the method of consumption, not what’s on the plate,” comedian Patton Oswalt said in an article for Wired magazine. “The fans of Real Housewives of Hoboken watch, discuss and absorb their show the same way a geek watched Dark Shadows or obsessed over his eighth-level half-elf ranger.” Is this interest in geek culture just another trend? In a few years, we might see fewer fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings and more action flicks; shows like Game of Thrones might return to their niche audiences; comic-book movies may be a thing of the past. Hopefully even if this fad dies down, our culture will learn to be more accepting of people who enjoy the unusual. After all, nerds are going to rule the world one day. The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.

Letters are welcome Spoke welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be signed and include the name and telephone number of the writer. Writers will be contacted for verification. No unsigned letters will be published. Letters should be no longer

than 500 words. Spoke reserves the right to edit any letter for publication. Email letters to: with the subject line “Letter to the Editor,” or bring them to Room 1C30 at the Doon campus.

‘Modern Russia’ - not yet As the world said goodbye to Sochi and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, speeches by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and Sochi’s mayor, Anatoly Pakhomov, lauded a “modern Russia” that had emerged to greet the world. This new nation was supposedly, as a billboard in Sochi proclaimed, “Russia – Great, New, Open.” Bach did his part to reinforce this message by mentioning the country’s supposed resurgence in his speech. The reality is quite different. Take, for example, the cost of the Sochi Games. At $52 billion, they are the most expensive ever. Some sources, like former Russian deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov, think that the Games should have cost only $26 billion after all the kickbacks are taken out of the equation. Many of these projects were handled by Putin’s allies. The $8.7 billion it cost Russia to build a new road and rail route into Sochi was handled by Vladimir Yakunin, who runs the stateowned railway company and, like Putin himself, is a former member of the Soviet

Josh Bury Opinion

KGB. The Russian edition of Esquire magazine calculated that, for the $8.7-billion price tag, the entire route could be paved with a 1 centimetrethick layer of beluga caviar. This sort of favouritism is not new. During the glory days of the USSR, the “nomenklatura” were the Soviet elite appointed by the Communist party to run aspects of the country’s economy. That worked about as well as you’d expect. Another Soviet tendency that has survived the demise of communism is the suppression of dissent and these Olympics, like all the others before them, had their own political overtones. The Russian government’s controversial anti-gay legislation took the spotlight here. Our prime minister and the president of the United States were called out by Bach for politicizing the

games “on the backs of athletes” when, in protest of Russia’s human rights record, they opted not to personally attend. Bach called their boycott an “ostentatious gesture.” I suppose he’d like for us to just forget about gay and lesbian Russians for the duration of the Olympics. Mayor Pakhomov, for his part, assured the world that there were no gay people in Sochi. And that’s really the problem. “Modern Russia” really cares only about appearances. “Modern Russia” is still intolerant of dissent. And “modern Russia,” like the Soviet Union of old, is run by an ex-KGB strongman who is comfortable with business as usual. Later, during the closing ceremonies, Bach called on world leaders to “act on this Olympic message of dialogue and peace.” But Bach, as well as Putin’s Russia, should not be surprised when the rest of the world refuses to pretend that Russia has changed and, instead of backing up the IOC’s hollow rhetoric, decides to do something – however small – to voice their own dissent.


i s p u bl i s h ed a nd prod u ced weekl y b y t h e jo u rn a l i sm s t u den t s o f C ones t o g a C olle g e Editor: Laurie Snell Assignment Editors: Steph Smith, Kelsey Dunbar Advertising Managers: Tyler Batten, Ashley Kowitz Spoke Online Editors: Brandon Hommel, Katrina Edlefsen, Spencer Beebe, Devon Hayes,

Aaron Creces Production Managers: Casey Schellenberger, Jody Anderson, Tony McLellan Photo Editors: Greg Stamper, Mark Lorentz, Cody Steeves, Bruce Chessell, Callie Wrigglesworth, Becky Sheasby, Cole Froude, Randi Clarke

Social Media Editor: Josh Bury, Tasha Lunny Circulation Manager: Hailey Merkt, Scott Dietrich Faculty Supervisor and Adviser: Christina Jonas

Spoke’s address is 299 Doon Valley Dr., Room 1C30, Kitchener, Ontario, N2G 4M4. Phone: 519-748-5220, ext. 3691, 3692, 3693, 3694 Fax: 519-748-3534 Email: Website:

The views and opinions expressed in this newspaper do not necessarily reflect the views of Conestoga College. Spoke shall not be liable for any damages arising out of errors in advertising beyond the amount paid for the space. Letters to the editor are subject to acceptance or rejection and should be clearly written or typed; a MS Word file would be helpful. Letters must not contain any libellous statements.


Monday, March 3, 2014

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A new headquarters, same goal by scott Dietrich

After 40 years at their home on Sydney Street South in Kitchener, K-W Habilitation Services, which supports people in the region with developmental disabilities, is constructing a new headquarters for their offices and training and day programs. Construction is expected to be completed by April of this year. The work began last summer and participants in the agency’s day program could hardly contain their excitement. It was not strange to see anywhere from 10 to 20 day or training program participants sitting in chairs near the back of the old building last summer, watching the new building come to life. The $5.4-million project began as an idea in 2007. Members of the board of directors decided to put the idea of a new building into action when a consulting firm told the agency that it would be far cheaper to construct a new building than to renovate the existing one. The agency was also looking to improve its day program services to better suit the changing job environment and give participants a chance for more involvement in the community. “This building is falling apart,” said Tracy Franks, director of community participation and employments supports. “The ability to upgrade it was going to be astronomical, and it would still be an old factory. People here deserve better.” Money for the project came from the provincial government and private contributions by families who have members supported by the

PHOTO BY scott dietrich

John Dzuria (in back), Richard Herzig (front, left to right), Brandon Monago and Lloyd Martin point toward the almost completed new headquarters of K-W Habilitation Services. agency, as well as from other private donations. The agency also raised money through its Achievability campaign, which is still raising funds for other agency projects and initiatives to this day. The agency offers employment training by taking on assembly contracts and offering contracts to the people supported by the agency. A changing work environment means that those employment opportunities are disappearing due to automation in

the workforce. The agency is changing its training programs to accommodate these changes and make sure the people they support are given every chance to participate in the community. Activities that help foster strong numeracy and literacy skills will also continue to be offered. “The message was pretty loud and clear that this was an old idea, it had its time,” Franks said. “The new upand-coming families we sup-

port and the people we support now recognize that this is not an inclusive environment. People who have developmental disabilities deserve to work and live in the community.” Along with authentic community settings such as a commercial kitchen and social café, the new headquarters will offer music and art programs with more resources with which to work, giving more participants a chance to use them.

The new training program will also be open to people with developmental disabilities who are supported by other agencies or live at home with their families. “We are really hoping to increase our capacity because there are a lot of people who are looking for support options in the community,” Franks said. The agency is changing but their goal remains the same, to build a community where everyone belongs and participates.

Photos courtesy of k-w habilitation services

The new headquarters for K-W Habilitation Services will be completed next month. Construction began last summer.


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Monday, March 3, 2014

Tobacco tax gets fiery response

As the price of legal tobacco soars, more smokers turn to contraband cigarettes BY TYLER BATTEN

Smoking legal tobacco just got a whole lot pricier. Light-headed and disoriented, smokers stumbled out of convenience stores across the country Feb. 12 with a whole new problem. An excise tax increase of 24 per cent on all tobacco products in Canada came bundled in this year’s federal budget. “Taxing tobacco products at a sustainable level is an important element of the government’s health strategy to discourage smoking among Canadians,” the budget says. The average price of a carton of legal cigarettes in Ontario is now about $85. Around 70 per cent of that number is made up of federal and provincial excise taxes. The federal government expects to make $3.3 billion in revenue by the 2018 fiscal year as a direct result of this increase. It’s estimated that tobaccorelated illnesses in Canada are responsible for $17 billion per year in social costs, and another $4.4 billion in direct health-care costs. Only 17.3 per cent of the Canadian population smokes tobacco. In a recent study conducted by the University of Toronto’s Dr. Prabhat Jha, it was concluded that the best way to reduce death rates caused by smoking, particularly in developing nations, is to dramatically increase excise taxes on tobacco products, thus making cigarettes virtually impossible to purchase. Increased taxes are especially suited to young smoker cessation because for them money is already limited. They usually react quickly to even nominal fluctuations in price, says Jha. However, analysts worry that the increased tax rate may push low-income, dependant smokers into buying untaxed contraband tobacco instead of quitting altogether. Nearly half of the cigarettes smoked in Ontario are contraband according to a survey conducted by the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco. The study showed that contraband cigarettes are in widespread use in high schools across the province too, representing around a third of consumption. According to an Onondaga tobacco retailer, who wanted to remain anonymous for legal reasons, “a manufacturers’ increase happened about


A woman walks out of the Puff Hutt in Onondaga on Feb. 14 with two bags of contraband cigarettes. The Puff Hutt sign was recently purchased from Brantford’s Putt Hutt, a children’s glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course, and repurposed by Grand River Enterprises.

a week and a half ago and it ranges anywhere from $1.20 a carton to $5 a carton, than the budget came down adding another four bucks.” For a 10th of the legal price, a “buttlegger” can buy cigarettes from an Indian reserve, sell them at a 100 per cent profit and still provide a halfoff deal to the buyer. This extremely high return on investment has made cigarettes the most widely smuggled legal substance in the world, let alone Canada.

Ontario’s going to be the first tobacco-free province. Obviously she doesn’t smoke. — Smoke shack operator

Canadian law states that anyone found with up to 200 duty-free cigarettes and is unable to produce an Indian Status card will face a minimum set fine of $100 plus three times the tax. For anyone in possession of 1,000 or fewer cigarettes, the fine is $250. “A person convicted of possessing more than 10,000 illegal cigarettes or any number of illegal cigarettes for the purpose of sale is subject to the current minimum fine of $500 plus three times the tax,” says Ontario’s Ministry of Finance website. “(Ontario Premier Kathleen) Wynne is going to stop what

she refers to as contraband cigarettes,” the retailer said. “She’s making Ontario tobacco-free, you know? Ontario’s going to be the first tobaccofree province. Obviously she doesn’t smoke.” Apparently upset with the tax hike, the smoky voiced retailer said “we get a lot of seniors asking where they can buy marijuana, but I have no idea, so I’m going to start asking around to find out how much marijuana is in comparison, because I bet it’s cheaper now.” Entire cartons of tax-free “Indian smokes” can be bought in Onondaga for as little as $10. On Highway 54, leading into Six Nations of The Grand River, Onondaga, “smoke shacks” line the street. Many of the shops advertise discounts like “buy nine cartons, get one free,” and retailers regularly hand out free cigarette samples to customers. Cigarettes are bought and sold tax free regardless of status on most Indian reserves in Canada. “In 2011, the RCMP seized approximately 598,000 cartons/unmarked bags of contraband cigarettes, 2,200 kg of raw leaf tobacco and 38,000 kg of fine cut tobacco,” says the most recent RCMP fact sheet on illegal tobacco. The RCMP does not have jurisdiction on Indian land, and is, therefore, limited in the amount of action they can take. Near the entrance of Six

Nations of The Grand River, there’s a little trailer on a gravel drive owned by Grand River Enterprises (GRE), a local cigarette manufacturer and distributor. A huge illuminated sign is attached to the front of a large carportlike wooden structure which towers over the small trailer conversion. Inside, thousands of contraband cigarettes are stored and ready to be sold. The sign was apparently owned by Brantford’s Putt Hutt, a children’s glow-in-thedark miniature golf course, but was recently sold and repurposed by GRE. A burning cigarette now dangles from the lips of the smiling golf ball head that hovers in the space between the apt words Puff and Hutt. An All Nations Security pick-up truck parks beside the Puff Hutt around the clock. Its inhabitant, a haggard man soaked in smoke, can be seen glaring at apprehensive and anxious visitors who hurry in and out of the tiny smoke shack on the edge of town. A cloud of tar vapour with hints of brandy escaped as the guard manually rolled down the Silverado’s window to mumble a few words. The powerful scent was unmistakably that of cheap cigarillos, aged and pressurized inside the cab With a cigarillo dangling from his lips, like the Puff Hutt’s golf ball head mascot, hollow-eyed and dreary, he

said, “Someone comes and robs them once in a while. They all have security. It’s all over.” As the day of the smoker burns closer to an end, many non-smokers now pity the last of a dying breed compelled by that no longer timeless James Dean cool, enveloped in smoke and free like the wind in Marlboro country. “Canada is not a good country to be a smoker,” said National Post commenter “Noahbody.” “Besides the weather, the government makes sure that smoking will be an unpleasant experience. Every time I see packs of freezing, miserable, stinking, smoking addicts huddled together outside some building, their faces pinched in discomfort, I feel bad for them.” In the haunting and evermore prophetic Marlboro ads of the 1970s, Marlboro man actor Eric Lawson famously said, “No, you don't see many wild stallions anymore. Even if he did run off three of your best mares, he’s one of the last of a wild and very singular breed. Come to where the flavour is. Come to Marlboro country.” Lawson, the wild stallion, died in January 2014 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and will be forever immortalized in those now infamous words, “come to where the flavour is. Come to Marlboro country.”


Monday, March 3, 2014

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Competition serious business

Students compete to solve case study in four hours By JODY ANDERSON

The third annual Supply Chain Case Competition was held Feb. 21 with Conestoga College’s Doon campus being one of the host sites. The competition, put on by the Supply Chain Management Association, had teams working on case studies in a real-world scenario which they then pre-

sented to judges. Leopold Koff, a professor in the supply chain and operations/purchasing management programs at Conestoga, worked hard to make Conestoga one of the host sites. “This year I was able to capture the site for it to be here at Conestoga. I lobbied and was able to achieve that,” Koff said.

PHOTO Submitted

Heather Walker (from left to right), a third-year supply chain and operations management (SCOM) student, Jamie Wagler, a thirdyear SCOM student, and Kirby Pitt, a second-year purchasing student, were one of the Conestoga teams in the competition.

Conestoga was an Ontario site as well as a national site. For the first time the competition brought together students from across the country. There were teams working on case studies at the school and judges at the site as well as teams from the other schools doing their case studies and being judged remotely with the help of technology. “GoToMeeting technology tied in the University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, Conestoga, and, of course, HEC Montréal. So we’re trying to make it into a national competition but without the travel requirements,” Koff said. The competition had strict rules against the use of technology, ensuring teams had to work on their own. “The teams prepared in their sites, here and in those other sites. “They were sequestered, they were locked away basically. Even when in the bathroom they had to be monitored. The rooms they were in were disabled, they had no access to wireless, in fact, they were even frisked for any wireless devices ... So they could work on it without any contact, no helplines basically,” Koff said. Teams were given four hours to complete the case studies. Conestoga had two teams in the competition but were not one of the finalists. The University of British Columbia won the competition.

Anything you buy, that you eat, that you wear, that you need. If it weren’t for supply chain and operations management people, you wouldn’t have it. — Koff

PHOTO Submitted

Dave Thiesson (from left to right), a third-year SCOM student, Sebastian Toplician, a third-year international business management student, Leah Caldwell, a third-year SCOM student, and Alexander Ricci, a second-year purchasing student, were the other Conestoga team in the competition.

Programs with students in the competition were, supply chain and operations management, purchasing and international business management. “In the future I am looking at our teams competing and I would like to have it more broadly based in terms of cross-pollinating from our different programs in the School

... they had no access to wireless, in fact, they were even frisked for any wireless devices ... — Leopold Koff

of Business like accounting, marketing, HR, purchasing and supply chains.” Koff explained what supply chain management means. “Anything you buy, that you eat, that you wear, that you need. If it weren’t for supply

chain and operations management people, you wouldn’t have it,” Koff said. “If the supply chain shut down, in other words, it broke, within I think two or three days we’d run out of everything in our stores.” Koff said the competition benefits students by giving them a real world experience, and said there are many job opportunities. He also said students learn a lot from the competition. “Everybody learns ... they learn from the competition, they get the feedback from the judges.”


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Monday, March 3, 2014

Stranger than fiction Crazy Town reveals more shocking details about the private life of Mayor Rob Ford BY LAURIE SNELL

It doesn’t take a lot of digging to suspect Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is a troubled man. His scandalous antics – ranging from public inebriation, racial and homophobic slurs to alleged videos of him smoking crack cocaine and associating with well-known Etobicoke criminals – made international headlines in 2013, and provided a generous amount of material for late-night talk show hosts. But for Toronto Star reporter and author, Robyn Doolittle, every startling headline she wrote about Rob Ford would be a teaser to a much bigger story four years in the making. Crazy Town, Doolittle’s debut novel, was released last month, and tells the story of how one cryptic phone call from Mohamed Farah (who was originally an anonymous source) about an alleged video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack, led to years of unchartered territory for herself and the City of Toronto. The reporter’s account of the mayor’s personal and public life – in association with criminal activity – is already being considered for film. Crazy Town begins with an overall timeline of Toronto’s development, the Ford family background and political ambitions (including his father Doug Sr. and his older brother and fellow council-

lor, Doug Jr.). This novel is a fully-disclosed account of how she came to know and suspect so much about the mayor of one of Canada’s largest cities. Doolittle did everything from staking out restaurants in an effort to find sources who were threatened with dismissal for coming forward and attending police raids on the Dixon City Bloods street gang in Etobicoke, to getting into vehicles with strangers to watch the now-notorious (and not yet public) video of Ford allegedly smoking crack. At the height of the controversy in late 2013, Doolittle claimed it was much like living an episode of the television series, The Wire (a crime show with events pulled from outrageous newspaper headlines), and refers to the character of the man at the centre of it all as “stranger than fiction.” Pulling newspaper articles, transcribing once-confidential interviews and revealing sources who were no longer anonymous because they were facing criminal charges, she provides much of the context that would not fit in a standard news story. Thankfully due to time, arrests and public accessibility, most facts and names have been disclosed. Doolittle provides more than just cut-and-dry facts about each incident or tip. It is only when she expresses her frustration or loneliness in being unable to share details with

family or friends at the time, that the reader is reminded that this novel is not a piece of fiction – it’s modern, scandalous history that most are unaware of, in its full context. Sifting through Ford family history of drug abuse, wealth, and a sense of competition and tensions with one another, the reader is able to understand the environment that shaped Ford. While Doolittle explains Rob and Doug Ford’s co-dependence and political tag-team as an inherited sense of loyalty to the family name (rather than each other) and desire to extend the family legacy, loyalty is a recurring theme in the book. She explains her loyalty is to the public interest. “We were confident that the mayor had a drinking problem and that his staff wanted him to get help. The next part was proving the public interest. Rob Ford was not the first political leader to struggle with alcohol. That private battle becomes public news only after it begins to impact the official’s job,” Doolittle wrote. Her explicit version of events is a means of journalistic transparency. Reading slightly like a necessary attempt at restoring the Toronto Star’s reputation, the revelations read as a win for legality and ethics, after the newspaper and its staff were labelled as pathological liars by the mayor and had their image destroyed by public opinion.


Crazy Town reads like a well-planned, highly informed crime novel that paints a clear portrait of each character or alleged criminal involved, draws suspected conclusions and shares more about allegations far more nefarious than substance abuse. After

all of last year’s hype and controversy, it was difficult to believe anything more shocking could exist about Rob Ford – but Doolittle proves there is far more than what the headlines share and hopes more will surface in the courtrooms of Toronto.


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Cost of minor sports varies greatly BY GREG STAMPER

Minor hockey, basketball, soccer and baseball all promote teamwork, fitness and friendship starting at an early age. However, as many parents throughout the world can tell you, putting yourself, or children, through sports does have a drawback. Sports cost a lot, plain and simple. Whether it is the registration fees or the cost of the equipment, one way or another sports are sure to hurt your bank account. The cost of sporting equipment has grown significantly for minor league sports over the years and continues to be on the incline. Part of the reasoning behind this is due to the vast amount of attention being drawn to sports-related injuries and the increasing importance of being protected from them. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the four sports mentioned above and the costs associated with them, ranked highest to lowest, according to an article written by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2013. Hockey Although thought by many to be Canada’s largest sport in terms of participation, hockey actually ranks behind golf for people over the age of 15, with slightly more than four per cent of Canada’s population playing hockey compared to just over 5 per cent for golf according to a 2010 Stats Canada survey. On top of that, hockey also ranks behind soccer for Canadians under the age of 15, with almost double the amount playing soccer. Although it might not have the highest participation, hockey is by far the most

expensive sport to play. Signup fees can run you anywhere from $300 to $500 per child for normal minor hockey and from a whopping $6,000 to $15,000 per child to put your kid through AAA, the highest-calibre of minor hockey. That’s just the sign-up cost. On top of the yearly registration fees, hockey equipment for a child can cost between $280 at the extreme low-end, to upwards of $1,200 for the high-end, which evens out to an estimated average of $1,200 per child, per year. Mark Whetham, the assistant manager at the Sport Chek located inside Conestoga Mall, provided insight as to why hockey equipment costs so much now, compared to 10 or 20 years ago. “The technology of the equipment and the amount of research that goes into them are what has driven the price up. Look at what Bauer skates used to be, (a piece of) leather and a blade.” Baseball “America’s national pastime” is also a sport in which many Canadians, young and old, like to play. The average cost of signup for baseball is a tad bit lower than hockey, costing in the $150 to $300 range per child for a normal league and $1,000 to $3,000 for a more competitive level. Higher than that even, Sarah Lorge Butler of CBS MoneyWatch’s Family Finance blog wrote in 2011 that one family she heard from was shelling out about $4,000 (US) for a nine-year-old to play on a travel baseball team. Add in between $120 and $550 for a uniform, bat, batting gloves, helmet, glove and cleats and you are looking at an average total of $600 to put one child through a year of baseball at a

normal level. Basketball An increasingly popular sport in Canada, basketball’s growth rate of participation among the country’s youth exceeds that of hockey and soccer. According to an article by Alicia Jessop, a contributor to, since 2010 basketball participation has seen a growth rate of 16 per cent and is the most popular team participation sport in Canada among youth between the ages of 12 and 17. With popularity, comes a price. According to their website, the cost for registration to the Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Basketball Association is $225 per child for house league, with a higher cost (not listed) for rep league travel basketball. Equipment costs for basketball, a uniform, shoes and a ball will add on an additional $120 to $480, depending on what level of equipment you desire. The total average cost for youth basketball is roughly $500 per year, per child. Soccer Last but certainly not least, “the beautiful game” is the least expensive sport for Canadians to play; which also likely explains the large number of participants it receives. Soccer, because of the little cost it takes to operate, generally has low league fees, ranging anywhere from $50 to $200 per child. Rep soccer, however, can cost $500 to $1,000 per child, with soccer academes such as the Kitchener Elite Academy rising even higher to the $2,000 to $3,000 range. Jerseys and socks are almost always included in the initial sign-up cost, so would-be players only need shin-pads,

cleats and a ball, which range anywhere from $60 to $300. The total average cost to put a child through one year of soccer is approximately $250, substantially lower than the $1,200 fee of hockey. Saving money Now that you have a good grasp of exactly how much it costs to be able to play some of the most popular sports in Canada, let’s take a look at how to reduce those prices. Buy (or trade for) used equipment. Buying used equipment can go a long way in potential savings. According to Brendan Clarke, supervisor at Play It Again Sports in Kitchener, “When pricing used equipment we generally refrain from selling it for more than half of what it was worth brand new.” As long as you don’t care about wearing the newest stuff, buying used can sometimes cut the cost in half. As well as used sports stores, another great way to find used equipment is via the popular buy and sell website Buy equipment out of season Every year once a certain sports season is nearing completion there are sales all over the place, very good sales. Taking advantage of these deals can get you fairly new, unused equipment for upwards of 30 to sometimes 70 per cent off the original price. Going this route is tricky, however, as you need to purchase equipment that will leave room for growth. Apply for financial support Many communities have programs in place to provide lower income families with financial support to put their

children through sports. One such initiative is the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program, which at last count has helped 702,373 kids be able to play sports. Do research on what you are buying Top-end equipment is designed more or less to provide athletes with comfort, rather than actual added safety benefits. “Depending on what level you are playing at in particular sports it is not always necessarily better to get the highest priced equipment,” Clarke said. “For anyone playing competitively the higher priced equipment typically is not only lighter, but has lots of money put into the research and development of it.” Create/take part in a league-lender program “I think the price of equipment is too expensive. A solution to help decrease the cost of kids playing hockey (and other sports) would be to see more community programs that help families find used hockey equipment (to be reused),” said Aaron Armstrong, the captain of the Wingham Ironman Junior C hockey team who has been playing hockey for 13 years. Instead of selling it to a used sporting goods store, you could start a league loaner program where you can rent equipment each season instead of buying new gear. As long as the equipment is in good shape, this is a great way to fundraise for your sports organization. The skills and friendships that are constructed through the power of sports play an important role in life and knowing how to cut some of the cost is just icing on the cake.


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Monday, March 3, 2014

Photo illustration by Hailey Merkt

It’s what’s underneath that counts BY HAILEY MERKT

“Sometimes when my underwear matches my outfit it makes me feel like I really have my life together.” — Twitter post from Mean

depends on my mood when I wake up and how I’m feeling. On days I’m feeling more confident I’ll wear lace or a thong. Although no


Knickers, panties, gitch, skivvies — it’s all the same. Or is it? Underwear has come a long way since the days of the baggy bloomers. This sensitive layer has adapted into a physical testament, which speaks to a person’s character. It reflects one’s mood, essence, identity and self-esteem. After conducting nearly three dozen interviews of men and women ages 18 to 30, it can be concluded that most people make conscious underwear decisions based on their current mood. “When I’m having a blah day I’ll wear an old ugly pair. But I also have a few pairs that I wear when I’m feeling pretty or if I know today is going to be a good day,” said Kitchener resident Samantha Russell. Conestoga College student Sydney Clement said on a Facebook post, “It

o n e s e e s them, it makes me feel good about myself.” An article titled “Change your Underwear, Change your Mood” on discussed how one’s underwear

colour choice could encourage positive growth through the influential works of Feng Shui. “There are colours which stimulate the

thinking side of your brain and colours which stimulate the creative side of your brain. There are colours t o help you relax and others to energize and excite. Whilst some

colours encourage communication others evoke stillness,” said article author Carole Fogarty. My brother has used his underwear as a tool to provoke a certain mood from his surrounding peers. “I used to have a pair that was way too small with a pink strap and a panther on the front. But I just wore them when I went camping to make other people feel awkward. I wouldn’t wear pants with them,” Kyle Merkt said. Two Kitchener residents have found that their perfectly wild night begins with the right pair of gitch. “I’ve got some real beauties in the back of my drawer. Silk Simpsons boxers. That’s my, ‘It’s going to be a good night’ pair,” Logan Kearns said. Sophie Cortez said, “If it’s going to be ‘one of those nights’ I usually choose this one thong with cherries on them. They’re pretty badass.” If you’ve lost that bounce in your step, try reinventing yourself through your intimates. Changing your underpants could change your life.


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St. Jacobs gets a tiny version of itself

Replica train station to be on display on weekends by bruce chessell

Over the Family Day weekend a model train recreation of St. Jacobs and Aberfoyle in the 1950s was on display in St. Jacobs. The model is an O scale model railway, which means that for every 1 inch of area the model condenses it to ¼ inch. The model took up the entire room, and was dis-

played with all the lights on during the “day scene.” For the night scene the room’s lights were turned off and all of the lights in the miniature houses turned on. Frank Dubery and his wife Gay began to construct the model in 1972 under the name Aberfoyle Junction. It was originally displayed in a barn at the Aberfoyle flea market. The Duberys were soon

joined by Chuck and Gwen Bard, Wayne Pfieffer and Craig Webb who helped complete the model and make it into what it is today. The model was moved in 1982 to a steel building in Aberfoyle where it was completed and stayed until March 2012. The display was then cut into 51 pieces and is now housed in St. Jacobs at 1440 King St. where it will be

PHOTO BY bruce chessell

Visitors admire the details of the St. Jacobs and Aberfoyle model train recreation in St. Jacobs on Family Day Weekend.

on display every weekend starting in March. “It was a passion, a love and a hobby for these six people,” said Mike Craig, curator of the exhibit. “They were proud of what they did so they put it on display for the public.” When asked why they decided to put it on display in St. Jacobs Craig said, “St. Jacobs was basically a really good fit for us. For

one the people of St. Jacobs really wanted us here. They also had the perfect building with the perfect dimensions and perfect structure.” The exhibit will be open again on March 8 and 9, and more info can be found at www.stjacobsmodelrailway. com. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children, and the exhibit is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

How one game has changed the By cody steeves

Professional gaming, otherwise known as esports, has undergone major changes over the past few years. It went from an audience that was derived of a very small clique, to a worldwide phenomenon, where professionals apply for travel visas, hundreds of thousands of viewers tune in to watch their favourite teams and countries officially recognize it as a professional sport. All of these changes can be attributed to three big competitive games, the most prominent being a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game called League of Legends (LoL). Throughout LoL’s threeyear tenure on the gaming scene it has been called many things, from being named a knock-off of the popular player made modification for Warcraft 3, the Defense of the Ancients (DoTA), to being called toxic, childish, greedy and just outright bad. One thing many critics seem to forget is the impact and change this game has made throughout esports. From multimillion-dollar championships, to tournaments where the grand prize is $100,000 in scholarship grants, LoL will go down in history as the game that pushed esports to become the phenomenon it is today. League of Legends, created by Riot Games, is a 5 vs 5 team-based game, where opponents attempt to storm the base of the opposing team in an attempt to attain victory. It is a free-to-play game and has remained free since its launch in early October 2009. Players, however, can purchase in-game currency called Riot Points with real currency, that can be exchanged for in-game characters, character skins or boosts. This is completely optional as everything, other than skins, can be bought with the currency

internet photo

This graph represents League of Legends’ total reach. The statistics were gathered by Activision,,, prnewswire. com,,, and Riot Games.

earned by playing the game. This business format appears to be working for Riot, as they finished 2013 grossing over $200 million from sales alone, not including business deals with Coke Zero and Twitch. tv. They have also previously sold extensions of the game to other companies in other countries, this includes their Garena extension that deals with southeast Asia. LoL boasts an impressive fanbase that is very active, where 32 million players worldwide login every month. Blizzard Studio’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), World of Warcraft, had previously set the record at over 12 million monthly subscribers, equivalent to LoL’s current daily login. LoL has a grand total of 70 million registered accounts, with peak playtime reaching three million players logged in at one time. Riot has always promoted its interest in tournament play. Since their early beta in 2009, professional teams have been going head-to-head trying to place first and earn that big cash payout. Since then it has only escalated, with each year the tournaments getting larger and the quality of play getting better. Last year during their world championship Riot held the sold-out final matches at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, the arena of the National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings. The concurrent viewership at one time during the finals was 8.5 million fans. The total viewership for the final series peaked at over 32 million according to a Riot press release, which is equivalent to just under a third of the total viewership of the 2013 Super Bowl game. This huge viewership helped push the United States to officially designate the League Championship Series (LCS) as a professional sporting event.

LoL was the first esports game to pay their professional players an actual salary. Some estimate the best players earn more than $150,000 a year. LoL was also the first competitive game where professional teams purchased gaming houses. Professionals play together, live together and compete together, with most team members saying their team is their family. Riot has even higher hopes in 2014, with the company purchasing two very expensive studios, one in California and the other located in Cologne, Germany. These studios are setup as an arena for the professional teams. They travel to their respective studio, whether they are currently playing in the European LCS series or the North American one. Teams arrive on a weekly basis, where they face off against other professional teams in their regional division. This is all arranged by Riot with European games being held on Thursdays and Fridays and North American games on Saturdays and Sundays. At any point a viewer may tune in, free of charge, to the Riot account and witness the action alongside thousands of other fans. On average during the tournament, the viewer count is 120,000. This does not include the views from playbacks on, or through other channels. In addition to their popular professional tournaments, the LoL community still hosts several very large non-professional tournaments as well. One such tournament is the Collegiate StarLeague, which is open to all post-secondary students in North America. The series works as any sports series would with a regular season with games every week, then playoffs. continued on next page

PHOTO courtesy of team laurier

Team Laurier B’s current roster of teammates are David Chong (left to right), the support, Matthew Leung, the jungler, Trevor Partridge, the marksman, Stephen Thain, the top laner, Chris Clarke, the mid laner, and Ronald Iwin, a substitute player.


Monday, March 3, 2014

concept of professional gaming  From Page 12

In the playoffs, the top teams play in a best of three series. The top team wins $100,000

with Atari’s Space Invaders. Tournaments before had a more local competitive scene, normally being held in major cities. Few were held on an

It’s a sport just like anything else. Baseball has been around 110 years. I’m not saying League of Legends will be around that long, but we see the shelf life of LoL as hopefully decades. — Riot in scholarship grants, to be split evenly between team members. The tournament has two divisions, one that allows players to compete for the scholarship prize and the other one for players to build a competitive team and just gain the experience of playing against rival universities. Trevor Partridge, a University of Wilfrid Laurier team member, said that despite not being able to compete for the money the experience is more than worth playing a game he already loves. “Mainly this tournament is just practise. I would never have met my team otherwise and they are all nice people and good friends now.” Partridge is currently the team’s marksman. The team named Team Laurier is currently in first in the second division with six wins and zero losses. LoL, although having one of the biggest impacts and boasting an impressive fan base, was not the first to hold professional gaming tournaments. They have been a part of the gaming scene since 1981

international level. Having players travel internationally was almost unheard of, as the expenses were steep and the prize pools weren’t big enough. Riot has changed this method of thinking drastically. Instead of making the players pay for international travel, it is covered by the gaming giant. Of course, this is only possible due to their excessive pool of funds for the tournaments, however, it is also due to the popularity of these major events. The world championships for LoL are the equivalent of world championships for other major sporting events. The best players and best teams meet at one stage to determine who the title of world champion truly belongs to, that, and the multimilliondollar prize pool. Professional League of Legends teams operate much the same as any professional sports team. Their rosters contain a coach, an analyst and a marketing team. They autograph merchandise, sell it through their store and they have thousands of fans who

wear it on a regular basis. Due to the high viewership and popularity of the game, a second tier of professionals has been created. Professional streamers play the game on a daily basis, where they talk, teach and play with stream viewers. The most prominent professional streamers such as Nightblue3, Wingsofdeathx and Phant0mL0rd, all boast an average viewership of 20,000 people on They are able to make a living off of LoL through advertisements, donations and subscribers. Advertisements on a stream can net the broadcaster $3 for every thousand views and donations are made by fans to the streamer. These range from just a couple of dollars, to as much as $500. Subscribing also nets the streamer a small amount of money, but generally contributes the least. Subscribing through twitch. tv costs a viewer $4.99, but only $1.50 is actually given to the streamer. During a presentation at the Digital Life Design conference held in early January in Munich, Germany, a Riot company official was quoted as saying, “It’s a sport just like anything else. Baseball has been around 110 years. I’m not saying League of Legends will be around that long, but we see the shelf life of LoL as hopefully decades.” With how Riot has propelled esports forward, it seems likely we will see our favourite players and teams going headto-head for many more years.

PHOTO BY Cody steeves

Professional streamer SirhcEz plays League of Legends while talking to the 9,000 fans viewing his stream. Streamers do many different things to entertain viewers. SirhcEz sings.

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internet photo

The League of Legends championship series for season 3 saw record-breaking views. Thirty million viewers tuned in that day to watch the best of the best face-off.

internet photo

Above is the current NACC ladder in which secondary education students all across North America are competing for the grand prize of $100,000 in scholarship grants.


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Monday, March 3, 2014

Letter writing has become a lost art form

Can you recall the last time you received or wrote a letter? I don’t mean those which are typed in 12-point, Times New Roman on a piece of paper that has been shoved into an envelope, or one sent electronically via email. I’m talking about a letter of the handwritten variety. There is nothing better than receiving something that someone has put a lot of work into, and letters are no exception. The English language, like a lot of things, has changed over time, but the way we open and close letters has stayed very much the same. A simple salutation, such as hello, can lead to a million possibilities. Valedictions, such as from, yours truly, love, sincerely and so on, can establish for the reader the relationship the sender and receiver have. Ironically, the inevitable eradication of the art of letter writing occurred long before the advent of the Internet. According to an article from the Washington Post’s website, “In 1919, the Yale Review lamented that ‘the art of writing letters has been lost,’ with blame cast on the telephone, the typewriter, the telegraph and even the train — for delivering letters too promptly.” While email and social media are fast and efficient, they lack substance. A handwritten letter shows all the

Steph Smith

Opinion emotion and personality of the person who wrote it. In the words of American actor and comedian Steve Carell, “Sending a handwritten letter is becoming such an anomaly. It’s disappearing. My mom is the only one who still writes me letters. And there’s something visceral about opening a letter — I see her on the page. I see her in her handwriting.” There are coffee rings and food residue, fingerprints and tear stains. Handwritten letters allow us to revel in the drama of love, bear witness to tragedy and sadness, glimpse power and feel anguish. Not to mention their tangibility. Sure, you can save or print off an email, but it’s not nearly as special and just does not have the same feeling. There is just something intimate and personal reading what others have wrote that can become almost voyeuristic in nature. Yet the mystique of the handwritten letter has become both lost and obscure in this technologyfilled age. Some of the only times people now con-

sider “writing a letter” are when they fill out cards for Christmas, birthdays and congratulatory events, such as graduations and engagements. Even then, most people just write the receiver’s

name and a short closing, rather than writing a message on the inside of the card, as most cards are already prewritten. Receiving a letter in the mail is exciting, so why not be

excited to write them? With paper and pens being so readily available to us, there’s no better time like the present to fall in love with the art of letter writing again, or for the first time.

Resident adviser auction a ray of sunshine

PHOTO BY Casey Schellenberger

Taylah Rae (left to right), Deanna van Raalte, Jeff Scherer, Ainsley Smith and Alexa Deleplanque were some of the residence advisers at the Conestoga Residence and Conference Centre who helped at the Resident Adviser Auction on Feb. 12. Students could bid on various prizes offered by the RAs such as a date, cheesecakes or having a RA clean their room. The event raised $493 which went to the Sunshine Foundation.

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Venezuela: a country in crisis

Concerned Venezuelan residents of Waterloo Region assembled at Kitchener City Hall on Feb. 19 to protest the actions of the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro. Unrest throughout the South American country has been well-documented on social media using the #SOSVenezuela hashtag. The initial protests in Venezuela started as a response to increased crime and a faltering economy. The protesters allege that Cuban soldiers are already operating within the country to help the government suppress the student demonstrations.


THE PLAYERS Nicolas Maduro President of Venezuela Maduro has accused the United States of formenting the unrest in Venezuela, and accused the media of “fanning the flames of hatred,” saying that the protests are in fact a “continuous fascist coup.” He was elected in April 2013 with 50.6 per cent of the popular vote. Leopoldo Lopez Leader of the Opposition Lopez was jailed by Maduro on terrorism and murder charges. He was banned from running for public office by former president Hugo Chavez in 2008. Given the choice of fleeing the country or staying, albeit in jail, Lopez said that he “will not leave Venezuela.”

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Monday, March 3, 2014

PHOTOs BY Kelsey Dunbar

Andrew Elg and Mike Lefor enjoyed flying over fresh snowdrifts on a recent Sunday afternoon in Listowel, Ont. Above Mike had to dig himself out after getting stuck. All photos were shot using a wide angle lens.

Wicked Winter Fun STEEP COSTS OF SNOWMOBILING „„ Used sleds can cost up to $6,000, and a new sled can cost up to $14,000. „„ Insurance can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 per month. „„ The price of trail permits are as low as $180 and as high as $260 per year. „„ Factor in additional costs such as gas and repairs. „„ Due to the amount of snowfall this year in southern Ontario, this winter has been a great season for snowmobilers to have fun in their backyards instead of travelling north. Some spots in K-W have more than 60 centimetres.

fun & games

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Useless Facts

Oh Cliff!

Horoscope Week of March 3, 2014


March 21 April 19 Staying productive will be important. A decision you make has surprising positive side-effects. This weekend: Impulse.

Taurus April 20 May 20

While you won’t be able to keep this pace up forever, you can bask in the rewards of your own drive for the moment. This weekend: Interest.

Gemini May 21 June 21

You’ll make an unlikely connection during your usual routine. Seize the opportunity. This weekend: Gloss.

Cancer June 22 July 22

You may not notice, but your example is helping people around you. Persevere. This weekend: Redoubt.


July 23 August 22 Make some time for yourself this week. You need the time to re-organize your thoughts. This weekend: Implacable.


August 23 September 22 Chin up, Virgo. The winds of change are about to blow your way. This weekend: Genesis.

It is illegal to frown at cows in Bladworth, Sask.


Your stomach needs to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it would digest itself.

September 23 October 22

In Japan, watermelons are square. It’s easier to stack them that way.

Your affinity for understanding other’s feelings will put you in a delicate situation. Trust your instincts. This weekend: Smooth.

Arabic numerals are not really Arabic; they were created in India.


Male bats have the highest rate of homosexuality of any mammal.

October 23 November 21 The future is great, Scorpio. But don’t stick your head too far into the clouds. This weekend: Slide.

Sudoku Puzzle

Sagittarius November 22 December 21

Fill in the grid with digits in such a manner that every row, every column and every 3x3 box accommodates the digits 1-9, without repeating any.

Your stoic nature will come in handy this week. Pack a lunch. This weekend: Foresight.

Capricorn December 22 January 19

Armed with knowledge, you will take this week by storm. Don’t hesitate. This weekend: Drive.

Aquarius January 20 February 18

You’re going to meet someone who intrigues you. If your lover comes to you with a concern, listen closely. This weekend: Clarity.


February 19 March 20 Love enters your gaze. If attached, you discover something new and exciting about your partner. Celebrate. This weekend: Discovery.

Ephram Strange tried to drill a hole through his head, and it would have worked if you hadn’t stopped him.

Word Search


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Virtual sports raise money for real thing By Jody Anderson

Conestoga students played old-school sports video games to help kids play the real thing. On Feb. 13 a video game fundraiser was held in an effort to raise funds for Jumpstart, a program started by Canadian Tire that assists kids and their parents by covering the costs of equipment, registration and/or transportation. Yohan Bengali, a student in the post-graduate integrated marketing communications program, organized the event. “Part of our program requirement is we have to execute an event to help raise funds for a charity of our choice,” Bengali said. “We have chosen Jumpstart as a charity; they help kids play sports. So if a kid doesn’t have hockey equipment Jumpstart will provide equipment for them and so on, pay for all of their classes, things like that.” The Olympics provided inspiration for the choice of Jumpstart and holding the fundraiser at Conestoga provided inspiration for it to involve video games. “Everybody likes video games,

especially the old games. We kind of wanted everybody to reminisce about when they were a kid.” The Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo were some of the consoles available to play. KW Vintage Games and The Stag Shop were sponsors of the event. In addition to money being raised, raising awareness about Jumpstart was a key component as well.

We kind of wanted everybody to reminisce about when they were a kid. — Yohan Bengali, IMC student

“I enjoy fundraisers,” Bengali said. “It gets kind of hectic because it’s an event. It took about two weeks to plan.” Thomas Reading, a television broadcast student who attended the fundraiser, explained what drew him

Photo by Jody Anderson

Thomas Reading (left) and Yohan Bengali play on a PlayStation, one of the many consoles available to play at a fundraising event. to it. “I heard loud music and showed up and it turned out to be a video-game charity event.” He liked the idea of it and

said it appeals to the college demographic. “To do a charity event, but allow us to play games, especially these vintage games on these old consoles, it’s a really

good idea,” Reading said, adding it makes everyone nostalgic. Anyone who missed the event and would like to donate can go to

Digital Edition - March 3, 2014  
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