VOLUME 83 ISSUE 4
ISSUE 4, NOVEMBER 2022 TheFulcrumFB
(PP. 3) RBC Spirit of the Capital: Meet the U of O student empowering young people through creativity and mental health awareness (PP. 3) RBC Spirit of the Capital: U of O student activist ‘takes a stand’ at 25th award ceremony (PP. 4) University of Ottawa joins top 8 per cent of World Universities ranking
(PP. 5) Beyond the “all or nothing” mindset of cancel culture (PP. 5) On running a Canadian film festival with Blair Campbell (PP. 6) This week in Fulc music: Drake, 21 Savage, Taylor Swift, The 1975, Rihanna, and SZA
(PP. 7) Championship Rewind: Gee-Gees win seventh consecutive U Sport medal
(PP. 8) U of O researcher identifies endangered North Atlantic right whales from space
(PP.10) Will you be renting forever? Assessing the housing market
(PP. 12) What does free speech mean on Elon Musk’s Twitter? (PP. 12) FIFA 2022: Am I allowed to be excited? (PP. 13) Why I love old sitcoms
ScienceS & Tech Editor
Jasmine McKnight Hailey Otten
Social Media Manager
Sanjida Rashid Kai Holub
Bardia Boomer 2
Desirée Nikfardjam Victoria Drybrough
Emma Williams Bridget Coady
Matthew McConkey Grace Kim-Shin Yannick Mutombo
Brandon Adibe thefulcrum.ca
Desirée Nikfardjam email@example.com
RBC Spirit of the Capital: Meet the U of O student empowering young people through creativity and mental health awareness “It started because of the lack of youth presence and ideas in the social innovation space. We want to be that.” Yannick Mutombo For Drayton Mulindabigwi Jabo, 21, the year 2020 was a turning point. The onslaught of political unrest and societal changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic ignited his desire to help other young people struggling to adapt to a seemingly collapsing world. He decided to create an organization called 20today20tomorrow, to “establish and promote an innovative, positive, inspiring environment from which youth can learn, grow and flourish in their life.“ The name is meant to reframe the year 2020, “because many people regarded the year 2020
as a bad year.” Meanwhile, Mulindabigwi Jabo and his collaborators sought to inspire positivity by empowering themselves and their peers to be creative despite what was happening around them. “20today20tomorrow is a youth-led creative hub. I coin it as the biggest youth-led creative hub, because I haven’t seen anything like that anywhere. We create youth-focused social innovation,” wrote Mulindabigwi Jabo in an email to the Fulcrum. “It started because of the lack of youth presence and ideas in the social innovation space. We want to be that.” On Oct. 26, Mulindabigwi Jabo won in the “Entrepreneurship and Innovation” category at the 25th RCB Spirit of the
Capital Youth Awards. He was one of seven University of Ottawa students to be celebrated at this year’s ceremony. “Being awarded was an awesome feeling. What’s so unbelievable is that I absolutely love what I do. I get to put a team together with a great team of young people, to solve problems in the most creative way. To know that people are recognizing this as something worthy of an award, it’s wonderful,” he added. A third-year student in psychology with a minor in health sciences, Mulindabigwi Jabo also helps youth access mental health resources through HealMind, a subproject of 20today20tomorrow. “Mental health is a crucial aspect to the
Mulindabigwi Jabo was one of seven University of Ottawa students to be celebrated at this year’s ceremony. Image: Paige Ryan/Provided.
growth of youth. A lot of our youth who struggle with mental health illnesses do not know where to find help. With this initiative, we will make it a lot easier for them to reach out to someone for help.” In the future, he hopes to expand the organization across the globe and empower more youth to build stronger communities. “I plan on growing the company to an
international level. That will help establish the idea that youth have an important impact in the world. I think that will serve as a great example that youth can really do anything they want,” he added. Click here to consult the full list of award recipients at the 25th RBC Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards.
RBC Spirit of the Capital: U of O student activist ‘takes a stand’ at 25th award ceremony “You don’t need to create a multi-million dollar business or an international organization to have an impact on someone’s life.” Yannick Mutombo Since 1997, Youth Ottawa has partnered with RBC to celebrate the accomplishments of dynamic young leaders throughout the city. Celebrating 25 years, the Spirit Awards “acknowledge and feature the diverse ways young people are shaping their communities,” with seven categories relating to academic excellence, arts and culture, entrepreneurship, overcoming adversity, and more. Seven of the 14 award recipients at the Shenkman Arts Centre on
Oct. 26 were University of Ottawa students — including Maleeka Ellaithy, a second-year student in biomedical science with a minor in statistics. “It means a lot to know that my work is touching the lives of others and is being seen by the community. I think it’s important for youth to see that you don’t need to be a superhero to make change,” wrote Ellaithy in an email to the Fulcrum. “You don’t need to create a multi-million dollar business or an international organization to have an impact on someone’s life. This award is a welcome reminder that anyone [can] create change, and
that I’m making a difference, no matter how small.” Ellaithy won the “Take a Stand” award for her years of community service and fundraising — she is the founder of YouthBeHeard Ottawa, an initiative that provides orientation and resources for students wanting to be more active in their community, and co-founder of the Ottawa chapter of Women in STEM (WiSTEM). “Women in STEM Ottawa was an incredibly formative experience for me. It was a chance to work with some of my closest friends to build the only Canadian chapter of
a much-needed organization right here in Ottawa, and provide girls from all walks of life with the tools and confidence they need to become the next generation of empowered female change-makers.” “It wasn’t without [its] challenges, including COVID-19 logistics, marketing, and outreach, but I’m so glad we persevered. It’s been incredibly rewarding to watch the chapter grow from afar and to see the leadership torch being passed down from one graduating class to the next,” she wrote. While Ellaithy is no longer an active member of WiSTEM, she said she continues to provide
oversight and direction as needed. “These days, I no longer have a formal role in the chapter — I give them space to do their own thing, and instead provide mentorship and support whenever the team needs it or reaches out.” With more time on her hands, Ellaithy plans to broaden the impact of YouthBeHeard Ottawa and advocate for social justice through her writing. “I’m hoping to continue working on my current grassroots organization, YouthBeHeard Ottawa, by expanding our reach and ambassador
program. I’m also currently growing my writing platform, where I advocate for social justice issues through written pieces. Finally, I’m volunteering around the community, whether by tutoring for charity, providing first-aid support at events or packing lunches for shelters, so feel free to stop and say hi if you ever see me around!”
Click here to consult the full list of award recipients at the 25th RBC Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards.
Ellaithy won the “Take a Stand” award for her years of community service and fundraising. Image: Maleeka Ellaithy/Provided.
University of Ottawa joins top 8 per cent of World Universities ranking “International ranking are becoming increasingly important for universities, globally.” Desirée Nikfardjam The University of Ottawa (U of O) has risen to the 137th spot on the World University Ranking 2023. Formally, the University was placed at 162nd on the rankings, however this recent ranking now puts U of O in the top eight per cent out of the 1,799 universities included in the list. The Fulcrum spoke with the provost and vice president of academic affairs, Jill Scott, on why this ranking is so important for the U of O and its students. “Over time, what we’re finding is that international rankings are becoming increasingly important for universities. Going forward, our competitors are going to be global … as we look for top talent, both in students as well as in our professors, more and more we are looking globally,” said the
Scott believes this ranking is especially important because of the increase in international institutions that were added to the 2023 rankings. “In 2018, there were 1100 institutions … they’ve just announced the 2023 rankings, there are 1800 institutions ranked. That creates a really important downward pressure on the universities that are currently in the system. So to jump 25 points this year is pretty extraordinary,” said Scott. Scott believes
that this high ranking is a result of the investments in research made by the U of O. She explained that the strategic investments the University has made in the past 30 years has given the U of O a reputation worthy of this ranking. She went further to explain that the more research papers that are cited with or by researchers and professors at the U of O, the higher that will put us in global ranking. When asked about what the University’s plans are moving forward, Scott said, “We have
to do more of the same.” Scott believes that strengthening the wide range of research and researchers the U of O has across the University’s faculties must continue to be a priority. She also brought up the importance of keeping our program offerings vast in offerings, both in French and English. “We have extraordinary researchers, really, across the university, whether that be in science, technology, health, humanities, social science … we can’t afford to rely
on just a couple of areas. We really need to have strength across the university.” When asked why this ranking is important for U of O students especially, Scott said, “Your degree is valuable today because it’s going to be the foundation of how you’re going to enter the job market … but 20 years from now, you also want to know that the University of Ottawa is continuing to push up in the in the global rankings, because that increases the value of your degree.”
The University of Ottawa is now in the top 8 per cent of universities, globally. Image: Bardia Boomer/Fulcrum.
Victoria Drybrough firstname.lastname@example.org
Beyond the “all or nothing” mindset of cancel culture How are we supposed to react when a favoured artist does something you can’t agree with? Kanny Diane The rise of social media has, for better or worse, allowed artists to make themselves accessible to audiences. With every TikTok, tweet, or livestream, we feel like we come closer to their “real” personalities and, frequently, their art. Growing online transparency has brought us uncomfortably close to the true nature of our idols. As parasocial links tighten, consumers are finding themselves in tough positions. What if the artists we adore are, in fact, terrible people? Popular artists build personas which audiences are eager to accept as truth. It’s common across the internet to treat artists like we know them, even when we really have
no idea who they truly are. The confines of parasocial relationships between artists and fans can make one scandal feel crushing. Not only does the fan feel deceived, but their relationship with the art becomes tainted. To them, the art and the artist have become inextricably linked — the context of the work changes its implications. Their connection to the art is now tied to a false persona. It’s worth asking why we feel the need for the art we love to be produced by upstanding citizens. People seem to fear that the admiration of a bad person’s work reflects personal immorality. But is virtuosity a fair demand to place upon artists? Meaningful art sometimes comes from wicked human beings. This can be hard for consumers
to reconcile, but our response to scandal often reveals a dangerous effect of the parasocial bond. Recently, the Sun reported popular singer-songwriter Rex Orange County was charged with six counts of sexual assault. Viral tweets and TikTok videos illustrated shocked fans bemoaning the depreciation of the artist’s music and merchandise. It’s worrying that a common response to criminal allegations has fans grieving the broken illusion of an artist they revered, rather than considering the victim and crime. Given the nature of the allegations, it feels insensitive to insert his art into the discourse at all. On the other hand, we know context does impact meaning. Art can never entirely be separated from its artist.
Creation is inspired by life. The entire endeavour of separation is, more often than not, a distortion to make consumers feel better about supporting unsavoury characters. Ignoring the link between the transgressions of an artist and their personal artwork is a painless task when the violence doesn’t touch you. We all have standards of acceptable behaviour which are shaped by our experiences — fans are often wilfully ignorant as long as they’re not the target of malice. It’s natural that not everyone will feel the same level of indignation for every crime, but to separate art from its artist is to disregard history. While listening to music from a bigot may not reflect one’s personal social views, a total refusal to acknowledge the context just might.
We have a responsibility to engage critically with the media we consume. Boycotting racist authors from centuries past is impractical and fruitless. Instead, as we engage with it, we can consider how these attitudes influenced their work. We can listen to music, read books, and look at artwork by people whose actions we condemn — but it’s imperative that our condemnation is more than just silence. There’s no accountability for artists who continue to sell out stadiums and win prestigious awards. It’s possible to appreciate art without glorifying the person behind the microphone. It’s not all or nothing. There are steps we can take to at least limit our support.
On running a Canadian film festival with Blair Campbell Ottawa festival allows for live filmmaker and audience interaction Victoria Drybrough The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival (OCan22) marked its first year at ByTowne Cinema from Nov. 3–5, 2022. It outgrew its old venue at Arts Court with hopes to fill every one of the 650 seats at Bytowne Cinema. The Fulcrum spoke with Blair Campbell, independent movie producer and co-founder of OCan. Alongside Jith Paul, Campbell identified a shortage of film festivals showing Canadian films to a general audience.
“The purpose six years ago is really the same purpose we have today, we recognize that there was a ton of really talented independent filmmakers in Ottawa and through Canada. And we wanted to create an opportunity to have their films shown to a broader audience,” said Campbell. “What I mean is there always have been festivals, but they tend to be sort of niche festivals, like, one might focus on let’s say, horror films or something might focus on something else. And we wanted to create a kind of festival
Logo: OCan Film Fest.
that anyone would treat as a general audience, where they can see a wide selection.” This year, the festival screened 12 films narrowed down from a list of 210 submissions. Of the films being shown, a record seven of the filmmakers were in attendance. Campbell noted how festivals allow “an artist to experience an audience
seeing their film, and getting direct feedback from that.” Being a producer himself, Campbell said the artist-audience interaction is a very important part of the filmmaking process. “You don’t really see that if you go to a commercial film. It’s not like, you know, Stanley Kubrick is gonna walk through the door and say, ‘hello, every-
one,’ you know, especially since he’s dead, but that aside, that’s not going to happen.” Finally, Campbell touched on bringing back the in-person version of the festival after two years of running it virtually throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Before talking about what he was looking forward to regarding this year’s fes-
tival, Campbell reflected on virtual festivals having “one advantage, the reach … is unlimited, because literally anyone in the world can watch your festival. I mean, when we tracked our viewers, we did have people signing in from Europe.” That said, Campbell is glad viewers were able to come back to the theatre this year to en-
joy films together rather than everyone streaming from home, after noticing streaming burnout in viewers during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ottawa Canadian Film Festival closed last night with a showing of “Baduk,” directed by Induk Lee, and “Tehranto,” directed by Faran Moradi.
This week in Fulc music: Drake, 21 Savage, Taylor Swift, The 1975, Rihanna, and SZA Some of the best releases to end the year Grace Kim-Shin
is exploring and trying to free themselves from expectations, anxieties, and ambivalent relationships. As always, Swift includes a feminist take in her album, especially in “Vigilante Shit,” which explicitly defies the notion that women dress or do things to please the rest of the world. Midnights is a classic Swift album, but uses new synths, differentiating it from her previous acoustic sound.
Some of the biggest artists in pop, R&B, and hip-hop released highly anticipated tracks and albums in the past few weeks. Rihanna made a comeback after a six-year pause from music. Taylor Swift dropped Midnights, and SZA released the long-promoted “Shirt.” The 1975 came out with Being Funny In A Foreign Language in mid-October, and Drake and 21 Savage Taylor Swift - Midreleased a joint album, nights (3am Edition) Don’t forget to Her Loss last week. listen to the 3 a.m. edition Taylor Swift - Midnights of Midnights. Released Taylor Swift re- just hours after Midnights leased Midnights, anoth- (you guessed it —at 3 er album capturing her a.m.) it has seven tracks classic storytelling and more than the standard musical style. “Anti-Hero,” album and extends the one of the most popular dreamy reverberations of songs on the album, is in- Midnights with songs like trospective and honest. “Paris” and “Glitch.” The Relatable and witty, the last track on the 3 a.m. verchorus repeats “It’s me sion ends in a sentimen/ Hi! / I’m the problem, tal message with “Dear it’s me,” reflecting how Reader.” It tells listeners we all feel sometimes in to free themselves from our relationships, friend- others, but points out ships, or professional lives. the difficulties of finding Midnights tells your own direction when the story of someone who you’re suffering internally.
Drake and 21 Savage Her Loss Drake and 21 Savage’s joint album Her Loss is an attestation to the musical compatibility between both artists. The production is clean and smooth, and every beat and rhythm on Her Loss highlights just how complementary each rapper is to each other’s flow. It’s reminiscent of older Drake albums, topped off with impressive and effortless wordplay by 21 Savage. One of the more popular tracks on the album is “Pussy & Millions” which features a typical auto-tuned verse from Travis Scott, giving the song the hype it needs. Other tracks on the album mix more relaxed rhythms and flows with energetic beats and instruments, making it feel like you’re listening to more than one track at a time. Rihanna - “Lift Me Up” Common worries amongst R&B fans that Rihanna left music for good disappeared when she released “Lift Me Up” as part of the upcoming Black
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A great way to end the year. Image: Kai Holub/Fulcrum.
Panther movie soundtrack. Unlike her usual R&B style, she sings a slow ballad that fully exposes the robust tone and strength of her voice. This release adds to the excitement for her performance at the Super Bowl halftime show next year. Who knows? Maybe this recent release points to her continued interest in music and that we’ll see some more in the future — hopefully, anyway. The 1975 - Being Funny In A Foreign Language The 1975’s October release has the same guitars and upbeat drums that characterize their typical retro sound. Straying from Matt Healy’s more political themes, it hails ballad-like lyricism on love. There are soft folk tunes and bouncy melodies, some more catchy than others. While some parts of the album are reminiscent of their “Girls” era, The 1975 contributes something new to their discography in this release.
“Shirt” Highly anticipated “Shirt” was released last week by SZA. The track has a strong bass that ebbs and flows as the undercurrent to SZA’s smooth, rhythmic lyrics. It’s both choppy and flowy, indicative of her typical R&B style. The music video starring the singer with LaKeith Stanfield is puzzling, but uniquely designed as SZA switches outfits in multiple shooting scenes. At the end, she previews an unreleased song listeners can look forward to. This year is coming to an end with great releases from some of the biggest artists in the industry. Consistency is key in shaping those who will stay relevant in the music industry for a long time. That being said, hopefully we’ll see even better releases in the new year.
Brandon Adibe firstname.lastname@example.org
Championship Rewind: Gee-Gees win seventh consecutive U Sport medal This marks the fourth bronze medal in the program’s history Jasmine McKnight A semi-final loss to the Queen’s Gaels at the 2022 U Sports National Championship tournament was not in the plans for the Gee-Gees.
season, including being named to the tournament all-star team. “It’s hard not to think of all the what ifs.” Despite the loss, it’s still true that the University of Ottawa women’s rugby team has been nothing but
unmatched, preventing Guelph from getting very far throughout the game. “It’s not the colour of medal we wanted, but it’s pretty cool to [add] another one to our record of seven straight,” Gallagher said.
dominance this season and our tactical skills continued to evolve as well.” Their only loss was at the hands of Laval. In the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) championship, the Gee-Gees fell
the extra mile for us.” The Gee-Gees earned various awards in 2022. Kamba was named to the First Team of All-Canadians. Gallagher and Georgia Stewart were placed on the Second Team. In the RSEQ, ten
This marks the fourth bronze medal in the program’s history. The third-place finish comes after a 5-1 regular season record. Aurora Bowie, a fourth-year player, explained the U of O’s success. “Everyone had a lot of fun together which has made it really special,” Bowie said. “Out on the field ‘dominant’ was actually a term we used a lot and I thought we brought a new level of physical
to Laval in a tight 13-11, showing an improvement from their regular season meeting. Laval went on to win the U Sports National Championship title. While that may sting, it was still a great year for the Gee-Gees. “This team is like no other. We had a particularly special group this year who were so connected and driven,” Gallagher said. “We also had an incredible staff and coaches who always went
Gees were selected as All-Stars, Mercedes Cole was named Rookie of the Year, and Ngozi Mosindi won the Leadership and Community Engagement Award.
The Gee-Gees had another great showing in 2022. Image: Kai Holub/Fulcrum.
Down 22-0 after the first half, the Gee-Gees were too good to just give up. Unfortunately, even after a 17 point scoring run, the second half comeback couldn’t be completed. Queen’s came out on top, besting the Gees 22-17, sending the Garnet and Grey to the bronze medal matchup. “The semi-final loss is going to hurt for a while,” Claire Gallagher, a Gee-Gee who earned plenty of honours this
excellent for years, medaling every season since 2015, including bringing home gold in 2017. This time around, the U of O met Guelph in the third-place game. The Gees took the turf on Sunday afternoon, where the whole team contributed to the 29-7 win. Claire Gallagher, Talia Hennessy, and Ketsia Kamba each added to the score for the U of O. Of course, the defensive prowess was
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U of O researcher identifies endangered North Atlantic right whales from space CALL ME ISHMAEL Emma Williams Whale tracking and migration have been widely discussed in academia. Outside of research, those topics and more have trickled down into some of our favourite documentaries like Blue Planet. In our attempts to better understand whales, scientists adopted the use of satellite imagery for tracking them. Some of the earliest applications can be found in a 1999 study published in Marine Mammal Science, and again in 2019. So the next logical question would be: what more can be said on the matter of satellite imagery? The Fulcrum spoke with PhD student Matus Hodul from the department of geography, environment and geomatics, who co-wrote the
lantic right whales identified from space” alongside U of O professor Anders Knudby. For background, remote sensing broadly refers to the subject field of using satellites, aerials, aeroplane photography, or even drones to obtain information via sensors. It is important to note that the actual instrument that’s on the satellite, drone, or aeroplane can be anything. However, in this case, researchers opted for optical. Optical Satellite Imagery According to Hodul, the type of imagery utilized in this study is called Worldview-3, “an optical sensor on a satellite and it gives us multispectral imagery. Meaning that it not only shows us the red, green and blue bands (RGB), like a normal DSLR camera. It also shows a little bit into the ultraviolet range and a lot
of near-infrared data or near-infrared light coming off of the ground. In our case, we are just using the RGB right now.” Common obstacles and considerations When asked about some issues unique to satellite imagery, Hodul elaborated on clouds being a huge factor. This is unique because other techniques, like radar and sonar, are not affected by clouds and can collect data regardless. “Reflection off the water is another problem. It’s called glint — and if it’s really sunny, and if the angle of the sun and the angle of the sensor of the satellite are inopportune — then you’ll get a lot of reflection off the water,” added Hodul. For this study, he noted that they were extremely lucky to have experienced a combination of ideal conditions; there
Aerial and Satellite Image of North Right Whale Matus Hodul and Center for Coastal Studies. Image: NOAA federal permit #19315-01/Provided.
study “Individual North At-
was an absence of clouds and waves that would otherwise obscure the viewing of the whales. In addition researchers were able to avoid glint altogether. Identifying whales Hodul explained that the model identifies whales based on shape. “In the same way that you might look at a tile and see that there’s a whale there based on your understanding of whale shape — that it’s kind of long and thin, and it’s got the tail at the end, and just kind of got a white pattern on its head. The model looks at all that and tries to differentiate a whale from open water. It’s very easy because the open water is simply blue.” Researchers are able to ‘teach’ the model to understand and differentiate between what is and isn’t a whale by feeding it thousands of images of whales and thousands
of images of objects in the open ocean that resemble whales, like boats and logs. As the model progresses, it learns to predict which shapes are whales and which are not based on colour and other patterns. “Marine remote sensing is especially tricky when it comes to a half-submerged whale with only its head sticking out, because now it looks completely different than a fully uncovered whale where you can see it head to tail. So, that could potentially throw off the model,” added Hodul. Research Methods In terms of research, “the satellite imagery itself can be tasked, meaning you can tell the company where and when you want them to capture the satellite imagery. We knew where the whales were going to be because they’re a migratory species, and every April, they spend a week or two in Cape Cod Bay. When we had confirmed sightings of whales in Cape Cod Bay from field observers, then we knew it was time to start taking the imagery using the satellite company.” Hodul continued, “On the day we recorded imagery, there were roughly 40 whales in the area. Now, at the same time, we had the field team, which runs out of the Centre for Coastal Studies in Cape Cod Bay who was able to get the field data, which included the physical location of each whale that they observed, and also the aerial photography of the whales — which is how we were able to get those
Aerial photograph of North Atlantic Right Whale Matus Hodul and Center for Coastal Studies, NOAA federal permit #19315-01/Provided.
really nice shots of the aerial photos taken from the aeroplane.” In essence, researchers were trying to have their space imagery as similarly matched to their field data as possible. Worldview-3 has a resolution of 0.3 metres to 30 centimetres. If you look at an image, each pixel in the image is 30 centimetres by 30 centimetres squared, roughly the size of a dinner plate. Although researchers could, in theory, see whales in the 30-centimetre imagery, they’re often blurry and it is difficult to differentiate whales from other objects on the ocean. However, this year the company released a new kind of imagery from the same satellite that’s 15 centimetres. It’s what was used in the paper and produces much higher-quality images. Thus, establishing Hodul
to be the first to identify whales using the 15-centimetre imagery. At that point, researchers had both satellite images and aerial images taken in the field. Now, it was only a matter of matching up the respective images, which according to Hodul, is difficult because the satellite images are taken almost instantaneously whereas the field data taken from an aeroplane spanned over five to six hours. “The whales moved between when they were observed in the satellite image versus when the field crew got around to spotting it. Since it’s not an exact oneto-one match, we had to come up with some sort of spatial tolerance. Meaning, if you observe a whale in the satellite imagery, how close to the observation in the field can it be to still consider it as an accu-
rate spot of a whale,” he explained. Moving forward, researchers are hoping to develop more automated systems. However, for this published research, they had a more manual approach, which meant they were able to capture and count around 33 confirmed spotted whales in the satellite imagery.
near real-time, to determine where the whales are, we can reroute ships or slow them down or have them move the fishing gear,” said Hodul. Currently, whales are spotted by using aerial surveys and hydrophones to listen to where they’re located in order to reroute ships. However, Hodul mentioned those methods are not as accurate Future applications and they don’t cover very Hodul foresees much space. Compared to numerous applications a satellite image which can for satellite imagery to be used for conservation efforts. One spatially acute issue mentioned is the mortality threats partially caused by whales getting hit by ships and tangled with fishing gear. “Another issue for whales are lobster traps, where a whale may swim through it and get hooked and tangled on the vertical lines. However, if we could use satellites in
cover massive amounts of space all at once. The industry is looking to expand whale detection capability outwards. Hodul is in the process of developing the system for detecting whales, and then the policymakers are going to use the tool to be able to reroute ships and fishing gear.
Bridget Coady firstname.lastname@example.org
Will you be renting forever? Assessing the housing market Will we be renting forever? Sydney Grenier Many students can relate to the trials and tribulations of moving day and the common grievances of renting: the hunt for cardboard boxes, running to the store for more bubble wrap, squishing the contents of your closet into suitcases and losing your favourite hoodie in the chaos. Not to mention, after all that, you end up paying ridiculously high rent to live with a leaky tap and faulty window. Moving day is a dreaded, yet frequent
er than uproot your life and search for overpriced apartments with many roommates? An inaccessible housing market haunts such hopeful thoughts. So stands the question: are young people doomed to a life of renting? Today’s housing market While topics like inflation and the housing crisis are sure to spark political debates during your economics lecture, these are tangible issues that dictate your future economic opportunities. In Ottawa, the average
Canadians cannot buy a house upfront at full price; many pay a monthly mortgage. This monthly mortgage is a common tool to gauge the affordability of a home. A Leger survey explains that 18 per cent of Canadians define housing affordability as allocating 30-40 per cent of their monthly household income to housing costs. These housing costs include mortgages, property taxes, and other housing expenses, like groceries, maintenance, and heating. Recent broker predictions and external data expect the av-
average monthly mortgage. Even if a homeowner allocated 25.86 per cent of their monthly income to mortgage, this leaves 5 per cent or less of their monthly income to spend on housing expenses. Furthermore, the extensive range of the average monthly mortgage in Canada exposes the inequity of the housing market. Not every Canadian can afford to devote more than 40 per cent of their monthly income to a monthly mortgage. Overall, the increase in the prices of homes in Ottawa coupled
more affordable. The Canadian Housing Market Outlook Fall 2022 reported that RE/MAX brokers and agents expect housing prices to decrease by 2.2 per cent due to high inflation, rising interest rates and economic uncertainty. However, due to rising interest rates, 29 per cent of Canadians report that they will not purchase a home soon. Currently, the most significant factors which influence the inevitable increase of housing expenses include the low or diminishing hous-
price of a house has increased 11.46 per cent from $728,205 in 2021 to $811,653 in 2022, according to RE/MAX’s housing affordability report. Of course, most
erage monthly mortgage amount to account for 25.86 to 112.25 per cent of Canadians’ monthly income. Notably, this prediction includes only the
with an increase in monthly mortgage payments indicates less affordable housing in the past year. Looking forward, the housing market in Ottawa is expected to become
ing supply, rising interest rates, cost of living and inflation, exterior buyers, and employment conditions. According to the 2022 RE/MAX Hous-
Image: Hong Yue Wang/Fulcrum.
occurrence that is sure to bring frustrations to a boil. You may find yourself longing for the day you can stay put for more than a year. Would it not be ideal to own a home, rath-
Image: Hong Yue Wang/Fulcrum.
ing Affordability in Canada Report, 38 per cent of Canadians define housing affordability as a home for which they can pay the monthly mortgage which meets their basic needs and includes livability elements. Such elements may include green spaces, stores, and schools. While current predictions indicate that the housing market will cool within the next year, Canada needs a long-term solution to its housing crisis — preferably a plan which is conscientious of future generations and centers livable neighbourhoods in its approach. One area of research which aims to improve cities and neighbourhoods is city planning, or urban planning. Experts weigh in Some notable theories in city planning impacting the livability of neighbourhoods include new urbanism and smart growth. New urbanism is an approach which orients city planning around people, with walkable neighbourhoods and close-by shopping all being new
urbanist ideas. Similarly, smart growth states that professionally managed development patterns could reduce the impacts on exterior actors, such as citizens. Housing is fundamentally an ecological issue. We cannot chop, sterilize, and ravage forests and fields for our own benefit. Apartments, condominiums, and homes should not sprawl far from cities. Rather, new housing strategies should focus on improving areas which are already populated. New urbanism and smart growth benefit not only people and the economy, but also nature and diversity. Jill Grant is a professor emeritus at the school of planning at Dalhousie University, whose research examines city planning as well as how to improve our neighbourhoods. Grant focuses on trends in planning Canadian suburbs and creative planning practices. In an interview with the Fulcrum, Grant explained that the implementation of new urbanism and smart growth par-
alleled decreasing housing affordability. However, it is unlikely that these ideas are responsible for the problem. While sprawling suburban development was affordable in the postwar period, this is no longer the case. This is influenced by a simultaneous decline in household size and an increase in housing expectations, which Grant explained increases the proportion of budgets going to housing. While new urbanism claims that increased density will lower the prices of homes, this does not translate to the current market. Density may also contribute to decreasing affordability since higher density increases the value of the land. High-density land allows developers to profit from the units they implement. Grant suggested, “If governments develop land at cost, then higher densities can certainly help to bring down the costs of new housing. Unfortunately, few governments seem willing to do that.” Conclusively, to
benefit from sustainability, housing must be affordable. If people cannot afford decent housing they face greater stresses, both financially and physically. As a result, they cannot make choices which support healthy communities and environments. Importantly, solutions must consider the long-term benefits of a housing plan. One of the current challenges the Canadian economy faces is the issue of an aging population. “For decades, demographers and planners have warned that when baby boomers hit retirement, the country could be looking at significant challenges,” Grant highlighted. Undoubtedly, these solutions will impact the housing market possibilities for young people. Hopes for the future of the market Overall, while housing affordability is expected to decrease in the next year, the housing crisis in Canada must be resolved long-term. Issues that must be addressed include economic uncer-
tainty, high inflation, and an aging population. All of these can be addressed by government involvement. Allowing companies to build more units in already densely populated areas with little cost will only benefit those who are already fortunate while leaving others behind, including current students — our future lawmakers, physicians, care providers, restaurateurs and teachers. Grant believes the Canadian government should consider implementing incentives to keep units available as the population ages. Furthermore, if the government increases the cost of developing densely populated land, this will lower the cost of housing and protect environmentally sensitive lands. If future generations do not have the same opportunities for progress, health, and happiness, our society and systems will fail. Students have a powerful voice, and once educated about critical issues, they must speak up for change.
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What does free speech mean on Elon Musk’s Twitter? FREEDOM OF SPEECH COMES WITH SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Grace Kim-Shin On October 26th, Elon Musk marked his ownership of Twitter with the tweet, “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!” Musk completed a massive deal worth 44 billion dollars for the social media platform, and his plans for Twitter have been a continued topic for political and technological discourse. A pillar of Musk’s plans for Twitter has been focused on increasing free speech. He has even joked that “comedy is now legal on Twitter.” Twitter under Musk, a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist,” has sown divisions in public opinion. Activist groups, in particular, have claimed that Musk’s Twitter takeover will rejuvenate hate
speech and give users the freedom to spread harmful content. However, Musk has publicly stated that “Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged.” While some think Musk will create a freer platform, others fear that it will harm marginalized groups, who are impacted the most when free speech is used to justify harmful sentiments. It’s undeniable that free speech should be a universal right. However, free speech comes with responsibility. Freedom of expression cannot be used as a principle to justify the spread of misinformation and extremism, which inflame divisions and undermine our democratic institutions. When Elon Musk jokes about content mod-
Photo: Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash.
eration and tweets, “finally, the truth that carbs are amazing can be said on this platform,” he undermines people’s concerns about the impact of harmful content. Fears surrounding content moderation are warranted, especially after whistleblower, Frances Haugen, revealed that Facebook algorithms popularized hate speech and negative content. If Twitter wants to be a platform where people can freely ex-
change ideas, it must keep content moderation at the centre of its vision. Although it seems that all the power is in Musk’s hands, Twitter users also have the ability to decide whether or not we should continue to use the platform. It’s a hard decision due to Twitter’s social and political importance, but whether we choose to stay on the platform or not, Twitter’s longevity will ultimately be determined by Musk’s
direction of the platform. Elon Musk has a social responsibility to create a safe environment for every user. Not just because it’s ethical, but because it’s a sound business decision. If Musk allows Twitter to become a place where users are constantly fed misinformation, Twitter’s purpose as a digital environment for real discourse will be defeated. And more importantly — the users won’t stay. Musk’s Twitter takeover reminds us just how important it is for tech companies to accept responsibility. These platforms have the power to shape public discourse, and if this power is used irresponsibly, the future of our politics and social lives is at stake.
FIFA 2022: Am I allowed to be excited? A rundown on FIFA’s complicated history ahead of the 2022 World Cup Matthew McConkey Few things conflict me more than the FIFA World Cup. On the one hand: I love watching soccer. On the other: the company that organizes the event, FIFA, has historically been run by a team of — as I see it — scumbags. We’re a few weeks away from the world’s largest sporting event returning for the first time since 2018. The 2022 FIFA World Cup’s first match will take place on Nov. 20. There, the host country, Qatar, will take on Ecuador. Following the opening game, there will be 64 total matches played between 32 countries, with the
championship match set to take place on Dec. 18. It’s no secret that the FIFA World Cup is a big deal. A global event taking place once every four years, each of the last four championship matches has exceeded one billion in global viewership — for scale, the 2022 Super Bowl had less than 10 per cent of that. The magnitude of this tournament is fully justified. The games are always entertaining, and the whole tournament provides an outlet for people to showcase their national pride. As far as sporting events go, very few can bring the world together like the FIFA World Cup. However, as beautiful an event as the
World Cup is, there remains something conflicting about supporting it. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the governing body of the World Cup, has been plagued with controversy over the last few decades. Besides releasing a criminally overrated video game every year, there have been some real problems with the organization. The corruption began in 1998, when FIFA’s presidential nominee, Sepp Blatter, was accused of rigging the organization’s presidential election. It was reported that Blatter had allegedly handed envelopes (presumed to be filled with cash) to FIFA officials so
they would vote for him. Blatter was elected following the fraudulent election in 1998 and he remained FIFA’s president until more recent controversy in 2016. This recent controversy was born out of the process by which countries are selected to host the FIFA World Cup. To be elected tournament host, a country must nominate itself to FIFA seven years prior to the tournament. Once all nominated countries have been established, FIFA’s congress votes on which country will host the tournament in a process where a majority vote wins. At least, this is the procedure that’s supposed to be followed.
In 2011, when it was time to select the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the selection process was compromised. During the voting process for both tournaments, FIFA officials allegedly accepted over $150 million in bribes from both Russia and Qatar — countries that were then awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively. Independent of these organizational scandals, multiple higher-ups at FIFA have also been accused of sexual and racial abuse in recent years. Following these allegations, there was a ‘clearing of house’ at FIFA, with major management turnover. Despite this
appalling behaviour, FIFA’s 2022 World Cup is bound to be the biggest television event of the year. This November and December, hundreds of millions of eyeballs will
be glued to their televisions watching a tournament organized by these troublesome players. So, what’s the right thing to do? How should we move forward
Image: 2022 Qatar World Cup logo/FIFA.
with these conflicted feelings about the world’s largest sporting event? Well, I don’t think a fullout boycott of the World Cup is the right way forward. Although FIFA is the tournament’s organizing body, the event itself is about showcasing national pride and watching talented athletes compete at the highest level. Soccer is a beautiful game played with one ball and two teams of 11 players — no organization can intervene in that. And the notion of a world cup, an event that brings the world together,
is more about the countries and players involved than anything else. When we watch the World Cup, we’re watching it for the love of the game and not out of support for FIFA. As far as the organization goes, it’s important to recognize their misconduct over the last decades and continue to hold them accountable. Viewers should be aware of FIFA’s history and watch the tournament with that knowledge. The recent change in management at FIFA even indicates that the organization is aware of their
misconduct and is perhaps ready to make a change. This isn’t to say we should excuse the organization’s behaviour. Rather, we should enjoy the event for what it really is — a global tournament that showcases national pride and world-class athletes. So can we be excited about the World Cup? Certainly. Especially if you’re Canadian, as Canada is set to make Qatar 2022 their first World Cup since 1986.
sons change, we’ll also be able to find closure in our love lives. This is not to say that the trajectory of Rachel or Monica’s lives in Friends was 100 per cent realistic, but are most T.V shows ever realistic? At least with sitcoms, we can feel some sense of relatability as they attempt to emulate everyday life. Sitcoms remind us that everyday life doesn’t need to be taken so seriously. Like the sea-
sons in T.V shows, winter turns into summer, and bad things pass while good things come around. That’s why I’ll always love Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, and all the other old sitcoms. They’re ultimate comfort shows and I’ll always appreciate a little bit of comfort after a long day.
Why I love old sitcoms SITCOMS ARE LIKE BIG WARM HUGS Grace Kim-Shin 90s sitcoms. Some people love them, and some people hate them. I mean sure — they aren’t grade-A comedies, but is that their raison d’être? Although they aren’t exceptional works of television or the highest form of comedy, they have a spot in our everyday lives. I like to think people need some form of consistency in their lives. After a long and strenuous day at work, I don’t want to watch a show with intense shots and emotional scenes. Instead, I want to watch something relaxing and reliable that I can play in the background as I wind down. Old sitcoms have predictable jokes and unchanging characters, but this gives us an element of stability in our unpredictable lives. The laugh tracks create a strangely soothing end to my drama-filled day as I snooze off to the sounds of pre-recorded audience laughter.
A little bit of comfort after a long day. Photo: KoolShooters/Pexels.
The characters in sitcoms are also charming. They remind us of people in our everyday lives who are just as predictable, whether it’s the one friend with constant love problems or the paranoid one who fixates on every little mess. Sitcoms mirror the types of interactions we have with regular people on a daily basis, and it’s comforting to see what we live like on a screen. It makes us feel like our
lives aren’t so boring after all. In fact, they could be sitcoms — shows about nothing, as George Constanza would say, if we wanted them to be. Sitcoms also give us hope. When Rachel gets that new promotion at Ralph Lauren, viewers imagine themselves eventually getting a similar one in their own lives. When we see Monica eventually getting over Richard, we remember that as the sea-
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Tomato: Petition to require nap-time in lectures receives thousands of signatures Over 4,200 students at the O of U want nap time in all lectures exceeding 2 hours Bridget Coady Thousands of students at the O of U have signed a petition to require nap breaks for lectures exceeding two hours in length. The petition explained, “We, the students of the O of U, demand nap time. We’re tired of lectures — let us nap.” The Tomato spoke with the petition’s creators on what they hope to achieve with the petition. Third-year English student, Aurora Horton, and fourth-year health science student, Nia Insom, started the petition on Oct. 4 and claim they did not anticipate it receiving more than a few hundred signatures. “We really only expected our friends to sign it, and maybe pass it on to a few others,” said Horton. “But clearly we’ve tapped into something students want and need,” added Insom. “We just hope the administration is open to it. They must know we were all sleeping through online classes, and we aren’t cut out for three hours of consciousness anymore.” “I can’t be expected to fix my sleep schedule simply to attend lectures,” Horton said, echoing sentiments from the comments of the petition’s signatories. The Tomato did not hear back from O of U administration in time for the publication of this article. This article will be updated should there be developments.
Image: Kai Holub/Fulcrum.
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Is their name un-moanable or are you just not trying hard enough? Di Daniels Dear Di, My most recent hook-up should have been perfect. We were on the same page about what we liked and seemed to want the same things during sex. I’ll spare you the dirtiest details — all you need to know for now is that we both liked our partner to be vocal and expressive during sex. The only problem was his insistence on me using his name, a name he doesn’t realize he shares with my father. I know some folks enjoy the Daddy role-play but this personal touch is a bridge too far for me. Should I explain this to him or just let this become a hook-up horror story? Mona Dear Mona, If using their name in sex is going to take you out of the moment, that is a valid reason for not wanting to use it. In the instance that their name holds more meaning to you than they realize, it can be worth discussing if you find enough enjoyment from your time with them. If you care to continue this hook-up, it is worth bringing up. It sounds as if you two have already gotten comfortable discussing your desires, which is fantastic. Open communication with a sexual partner about what brings you each pleasure sets you up for the satisfaction you’re seeking. The way I see it is a discussion about this could go two ways. If your hook-up partner needs to hear their name, you can find someone with almost any other name. If he is flexible on what he can be called in bed, you sound more than willing to partake. Ultimately, you will be continuing your open discussion of sex and he’ll be learning something new about you: your dad’s name.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Treasurer Claire Liu
Community Rep Mark Asfar
President & Continuity Rep Kalki Nagaratnam
Student Rep Amit Shanbhoug
Student Rep Erik Chin
Vice-President & Staff Rep Brendan Keane
Fulcrum Alumnus Emma Godmere
Executive Director Ludvica Boota
Chair & Community Rep Sam Coulavin
Staff Rep Keelan Buck
The Fulcrum would like to thank Kanny Diane Sydney Grenier Hong Yue Wang for their contributions to this issue. SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Noah Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org
FEATURES EDITOR Bridget Coady email@example.com
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