File your taxes by April 30. We’ve got some advice to help you. Pg. 5
The Omega Thompson Rivers University’s Independent Student Newspaper
News Pages 1, 2
Editorial & Opinion Page 3
Volume 23, Issue 25 April 2, 2014
Arts & Entertainment Pages 6, 7
Pages 8, 9, 11
Diverse board elected in 2014 General Election Unprecedented number of women join TRUSU Jessica Klymchuk Ω News Editor The Your Vote = Your Voice slate swept the 2014/2015 TRUSU general election. The results were announced on March 27 after two days of voting. Throughout their campaign, Your Vote = Your Voice boasted an unprecedented number of female and LGBTQ candidates. Now re-elected VP external, Leif Douglass, said the female-dominated slate with which he ran, was unheard of in TRUSU’s history. They also had representation from several faculties across campus, including arts, science, nursing and business. “We are very proud of that diversity and we think we are very representative of the campus,” said newly re-elected president Dylan Robinson at the March 25 all candidates forum. Of the 13 candidates on the slate, five are new to the student union. Robinson said the mix will ensure new perspectives are represented and called it an “injecting of fresh blood into TRUSU.” Newly elected VP internal Melissa Gordon, women’s rep Paige Bernard and directors-at-large Cameron Staff, Lahana Ghosh and Taylor Gluska all face their first term as board members. Fifteen per cent of eligible voters participated, doubling last year’s 7.5 per cent voter turnout and bringing the highest turnout since 2011. “We think that’s a step in the right direction,” Robinson said. “Of course, there is always room for improvement and we are always going to keep striving to engage more of the membership in the election.” Robinson nabbed 61 per cent of the vote, facing his third term on the TRUSU board of directors and his second as president. “I’m very grateful that the students, the members of TRUSU, have put their trust in me,” he said. “I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to continuing to provide great advocacy,
services and entertainment as a part of TRUSU.” Abdullah Abalkhail, Blessing Chiduuro, Pooyan Sijani and Feroz Shah ran as a team in opposition to Your Vote = Your Voice, and showed a strong interest in representing international student concerns at the all candidates forum. Their main goals included making health and dental coverage available for international students, reducing parking fees, increasing study space hours and hosting more winter events. “No matter who wins, whoever goes into the positions, everyone will work shoulder to shoulder to improve this university even more,” Sijani said at the March 25 all candidates forum. Robinson said his slate agreed with a number of the opposition’s platform points and will “steal” some ideas, in particular their concerns about study space. Although the computer labs in Old Main are open 24 hours a day, no general study space is open past 9 p.m. “That’s going to be something we are going to work on in the next year,” Robinson said. Other goals include improving campus transportation, including better parking options and bus schedules, creating an emergency bursary for students facing a crisis, increasing available funding for student initiatives and encouraging the change of the international student fee payment from a flat fee to a percredit rate. Highest on their priority list, however, will be adding international students to the TRUSU health and dental plan. They plan to hold a referendum to give international students the option to join the plan. Robinson said it will also benefit domestic students because adding more students to the plan will make it more affordable. “That’s going to be something we are going to be focusing on as soon as we take off, how we can make that happen,” he said. The newly elected board will take office May 1.
Jane Goodall spoke as part of TRUSU’s Common Voices Lecture Series on March 24, 2014. (Mark Hendricks/ The Omega)
The legacy of Jane Goodall
Legendary ethologist speaks at TRU
Mark Hendricks Ω Science & Tech Editor She greeted the audience with a series of chimpanzee calls. How could she not? Any other greeting would have been dishonest and dismissive of her years of research. For her, it only made sense. It seemed appropriate and natural. For Jane Goodall, it certainly was. Goodall spoke to a packed audience and was streamed to multiple overflow rooms at TRU on Monday, March 24, as part of the TRUSU Common Voices Lecture Series. Goodall’s talk focused around the state of the world, the mess of a state it is in, and what people can do to change it. Goodall related the talk to her time in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania where she spent 50 years researching the social structures of chimpanzees. “[The world] is getting worse. There’s more awareness, but awareness doesn’t seem to be leading to action,” Goodall said . “People are aware there’s an awful lot going wrong and they don’t try and do anything about that. I think that’s because they feel helpless, they don’t know what to do.”
Goodall blames this lack of demonstration and hope on a sense of apathy among today’s youth due to a feeling of hopelessness. Today’s youth has a feeling that nothing they do matters and they need empowerment through support and encouragement, according to Goodall. “I think the only possible solution lies with students around the world. In the ‘60s, the students were out there demonstrating and doing things,” Goodall said. “And that’s beginning to happen again, but not like it used to.” To this end, Goodall started Roots and Shoots, a volunteer group for students that operates in more than 120 countries and was a large focus of her talk. Roots and Shoots is a group where students create their own projects to undertake various conservation or humanitarian efforts. “The energy of all these young people who are taking action is very inspiring,” Goodall said. “And with the human brain, the resilience of nature and the indomitable human spirit we have all the ingredients for success. We have to fight apathy and fear.” Goodall believes that Roots and Shoots has the potential to change the world.
She believes it can be a lasting force. “Part of the legacy will be better understanding the nature of animals and respect, and getting new legislation in place for protection – but more importantly changing attitudes,” Goodall said. “That’s what Roots and Shoots is about. I think [it] will be my main legacy. In an interview with The Omega before her lecture, Goodall shared how she’ll measure the success of her visit to TRU. “If we don’t get a group after my visit, I shall count my visit as worthless,” she said. Goodall’s advice was mainly geared towards students, but some of it was more universal. The capitalist culture bears some of the blame for the state the world right now – the worship of money, as Goodall put it – and people must be more responsible about what they buy. “Start thinking about the consequences of what we buy, what we eat, what we wear – where did it come from, how is it made, did it involve child slave labor, why is it so cheap?” Goodall said. “Once people start thinking like that, they naturally do make different choices.”
April 2, 2014
Students present innovative research Undergraduate Research and Innovation Conference continues annual success Karla Karcioglu Ω Roving Editor Over 100 undergraduate students from TRU and other B.C. universities converged on campus for two days for the ninth annual TRU Undergraduate Research and Innovation Conference. The conference provided an opportunity for peers to share their academic work with each other and the greater community. Although normally the conference would only feature TRU students, this year it was TRU’s turn to host the regional exhibit for science research. On March 28, 80 students displayed posters of their research on Student Street and were on hand to discuss their work and answer questions. About 15 students travelled to TRU from other B.C. universities including University of the Fraser Valley, Trinity Western University and University of British Columbia Okanagan. Research topics covered a wide range of disciplines from environmental studies, mathematics, psychology, modern languages, adventure studies and more. The following day was jam packed with over 60 TRU student presentations, taking place in various rooms of the International Building. Students were grouped in threes for their presentations. Elizabeth Rennie, TRU librarian and event organizer, said the goal was to provide a variety of speakers and topics for each room, providing an opportunity for unexpected network building, as attendees who might be there for one particular speaker will be exposed to another two they may find interesting. “It’s those connections that I actually enjoy the most. Seeing how two people who may have not come into contact, realize maybe there are some similarities about their research process that they have in common,” Rennie said. Meanwhile, during speaker presentations, 16 service learning students’ research posters were on display in the Panorama Room upstairs for people to look through during break times. The posters focused on the students’ reflections of volunteering at various places in town while attending school. The two-day event aimed
to involve as many disciplines as possible across the campus, according to Rennie. Among those involved were culinary arts students, anthropology students, the Actors Workshop Theatre, and visual arts students. “It’s a chance to share the research, rather than just writing the papers or creating the work for a faculty member. Being able to talk about what they’re doing [and] why it’s important,” Rennie said. Rennie said an undergraduate conference gives students the experience of presenting their research interests, summarizing their work in a short time frame and is great for students looking to apply to graduate school. All events were free, primarily thanks to funding from the Research and Graduate Studies department at TRU. A visiting student J. Andrew Alexander, a biological sciences student from the University of the Fraser Valley, travelled from Abbotsford to Kamloops for the conference. Alexander said his research in enrichment, isolation and identification of oil-degrading bacteria has a lot of possible realworld applications for a civilization that is heavily dependent on the oil industry. After attending the rotating regional science exhibit at Trinity Western University last year, Alexander said he realized what a great opportunity it was. “Often research is quite a solitary experience. It’s really nice when things are starting to wrap up to be able to talk to people about it, because you’ve worked so hard for sometimes a little over a year,” he said. The experience of working with a professor Andrew Park is an assistant professor at TRU in the computing sciences department and Senior Research Fellow at Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies. Park was the supervising professor for two separate research projects at this year’s conference. Sultan Alwehaibi, a fourthyear computing science student, researched patterns and trends in
Steven Sadler explains his methods of research to fellow TRU students at the 2014 Undergraduate Research & Innovation Conference. You can listen to the audio that Sadler’s research produced by visiting this story at www.truomega.ca (Karla Karcioglu/The Omega)
British Columbia court data and then graphed it to create information that can be visually analyzed. The data for the project came directly from Park’s own network, something that was made possible by the opportunity to work with a professor. Park researched crime during his graduate studies at Simon Fraser University and was able to help students based off his own interests. “What I see among our computing science students was that they something know the technology but they don’t know where they can apply [that knowledge],” Park said. “Why not use your skills and knowledge to help solve real world practical problems.” Alwehaibi said the experience of the undergraduate conference has made him more confident about his idea and helped him show it to other students to inspire them to try it themselves. A musical touch A lot of hockey analysts talk about the momentum of a hockey game, but Steven Sadler, a fourthyear TRU physics student, wanted to know if there was some kind of
music to the game. Sadler used a device with sensors on a tripod to track the location of a hockey puck during a hockey game, including shots, passes, goals and whistles, each creating their own unique sound. He then plotted the movements on a graph. He later applied a musical transformation by dividing the ice into three zones down the length of the ice, with five sections across the ice, to represent scales and notes. “Using the location of a hockey puck we’ve made music out of a hockey game,” Sadler said. “The idea behind it was to see if we could find a flow to the game, if it even created a melody that was listenable.” “The melody, it actually sounds like a song,” Sadler said. “People aren’t expecting it. Every time they put the headphones on, they kind of get this smile and they giggle.” The next step for the research is to place the created music on top of a video of the game for further analysis. Sadler will be graduating this year and the research will be passed on to another student. Sadler said the idea, which he heard from his supervising professor, Mark Paetkau, came from the work
NASA is doing to “songify” stars. “It doesn’t sound super physic-y, but we do a lot of programming and circuitry,” Sadler said. “It’s cool to share something you have been working on for an entire year with people who have never even heard of this before,” Sadler said. “It’s so fun to be here, seeing everyone. Everyone is super proud, they’ve worked so hard.” TRU alumna Amber Wilson is a member of the Undergraduate Conference Research Group. She said one of the most valuable parts of the experience is sharing your research. “Even if somebody thinks you’re totally wrong and completely disagrees with your conclusions and ideas, it’s the fact that you’ve had the experience to share that and to be confronted with the fact that they disagree. It’s a big confidence booster, especially when you can argue back because you’ve had experience with the research you have done.” One of the best conference experiences Wilson had was when she presented a critical paper that she was initially to scared to present. She said that all students should “just do it.”
The Omega · Volume 23, Issue 24
The Omega www.truomega.ca
April 2, 2014 Volume 23, Issue 25
Published since November 27, 1991
TRU Confessions shutdown shouldn’t surprise anyone, and we should probably think about how we treat each other online
@PaperguyDavies NEWS EDITOR
Jessica Klymchuk email@example.com @jjklym
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
Ashley Wadhwani firstname.lastname@example.org @ashwadhwani SPORTS EDITOR
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Respect your Internet anonymity – because we’re not all so lucky
Editorial & Opinion
Editor’s Note Sean Brady Ω Copy/Web Editor The Internet has given us a number of incredible things, but chief among them is probably the opportunity to be a voice with unlimited reach. Couple this with other perks like anonymity, and there’s no limit as to what can be said and who can hear it. But hand in hand with this amazing ability we’ve granted ourselves should be the selfrestraint to use it responsibly. It wasn’t responsible use when racism, sexism and outright creepiness were the topics of choice by anonymous authors on
the TRU Confessions Facebook group. We’ve got to be better than this. We’ve got to respect our access to Internet anonymity. There’s a harsh looming truth about the Internet no one wants to talk about: anonymity isn’t going to last forever. You can already see our lawmakers chipping away at it in what some would call subversive ways. There is hope, though. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has consistently spoken out against Internet censorship and legislation that would impinge our digital rights. The BCCLA took particular issue with Bill C-30, otherwise known as the how-can-youpossibly-be-against-this name of “The Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act.” The civil liberties group called the bill a “Trojan horse” which only intends to revive online surveillance measures. Bill C-30 died, but some of its provisions live on in Bill C-13, now framed by a similar digital conundrum, the one that sparked this column: cyberbullying. But it’s unclear whether or not the true and only intent of C-13 is to prevent cyberbullying.
Looking at legislation like this, it’s important to understand what we might be giving up. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization entirely dedicated to protecting digital civil liberties, often quotes this excerpt from a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio: “Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical minority views ... Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority... It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation ... at the hand of an intolerant society.” And if you’re somehow questioning the power of the Internet and anonymity, you need only to look at what’s happening in Turkey. Following claims of corruption and apparent leaks of evidence, which spread on sites like Twitter and YouTube, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wasn’t all too happy with what people
Editor’s responses: Abija,
We love getting these, by the way Obliterating “TRU Student Confessions” - The logical solution? Ardent readers of the 2,100+ follower page with over 460 confessions suddenly realized the page was ‘missing’. Later, CFJC TV Kamloops presented a news report announcing the removal of the “offensive” page. Normally, I would have read this news, pondered over it, and moved on. This time, however, I felt a “great disturbance in the force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.” Here’s why I DO NOT support the decision of deleting the page. I realize certain posts were way too direct when it came to reference, hence I’ll keep myself restricted to #458 where the lady posted about an unpleasant experience she had at Cactus Jacks where she felt uncomfortable due to the actions of a ‘brown guy’. I quote from her post - “showing a bit of skin is not an invitation for you to put your hands all over me. Especially when I never came onto you or even made eye contact with you, and suddenly you’re grinding up against me?” Analyzing the entire post lineby-line and word-by-word reveals an entirely different story than what the local media publicized. First and foremost, the term “brown guys” doesn’t directly refer to Indians. Many other races share the same color and its variation. Secondly, indecent people exist, regardless of the skin color brown/non-brown. All original posts on the page were published anonymously. As much as
I oppose the confessions with clearly referenced names, the entire concept revolved around speaking your heart out without getting judged or censored. Sometimes, we feel the urge to talk but hold ourselves back fearing social oppression; however, this page provided an open platform to share opinions with fellow mates without facing direct backlash. “But who is accountable?” “Posts should be censored before getting posted” “There should be someone moderating this content” are few of the recurring expressions I’ve come across in relation to this whole episode. The underlying question still remains – Who gets to decide what is “offensive” and what is “indecent”? No two people think alike; what may offend one may not bother the other. Were these particular and related socalled offensive posts deleted? Nope. Instead, the entire page was taken down. Were all 450+ posts “racist” and “vulgar”? I think not. Did deleting the page stop the trend? If anyone answers affirmatively to that question, they would be quite uninformed since at the time of writing this article, I had already received an invitation to join the ‘new’ TRU confession forum from 3 separate pages. In these modern times where information of all sorts is just a click away, people always have the option to ignore or in this case ‘unlike the page’ and move on. It’s sad and alarming to see people getting over-sensitive to free speech. Is obliterating a platform which can be used both positively and hurtfully a valid solution? I leave that decision to you. Abija Gupta 4th-year business administration
were saying about him, so he decided to block the sites from citizens. The block was almost immediately bypassed, however, when Turkish citizens began using Google’s Domain Name System instead of the one provided by their Internet service provider. Now that, too, has been blocked, according to a March 29 blog post by Google engineer Steven Carstensen. The digital battle that Turkish citizens are now undertaking, simply in order to communicate, is one we should hope we never have to fight. It’s also one we should try to understand when we consider our own use of an anonymous Internet. Do we really want to waste it by ranting about classmates, sexually demeaning other students and spreading hate? I know that we don’t, but this is where anonymous discussion on the Internet invariably goes – towards what we don’t really want to say. Let’s try to change that by respecting each other and remembering what it means to wield such a powerful tool. email@example.com
Editor misses the good stuff TRUSU does Just had the opportunity to read your Editor’s Note in the March 26th, 2014 Volume 23, Issue 24 edition of The Omega. You directly call out TRUSU to give you something tangible, yet on the front page and subsequent page of the The Omega, the newspaper that you are the editor for, you write on how TRUSU accomplished to get CUEF out of the grant funding black hole and you fail to mention that. You also fail to mention the other successes we have had in recent years, more specially the addition of hundreds of hours to the Kamloops transit system, the addition of high profile security phones on campus (that work), and getting the institution to release exam dates a number of weeks earlier. These are things that are tangible and positively affect students each and everyday and will continue to do so for a very long time. You may want to see a Students’ Union revolution on campus, but this years council, and I anticipate next years council do good, positive work that students are appreciative of, even though many of them don’t know the work that TRUSU does for them everyday. Dustin McIntyre Former TRUSU President, VP External and Director-at-Large
We should have a more in-depth piece coming out in the next week about the downfall of that Facebook page. Thanks for your voice on it, and stay tuned. Dustin, Thanks for the feedback, I genuinely appreciate both it and your engagement level within this community. I have no interest in seeing a revolution, I just want to see students engage. I want people to care about how their money is spent. It’s entirely possible that if people knew where their money went they’d be happy with it, but they just don’t SEE it. I acknowledge that our student union does some good things, and I would like for people to know about them (they really need better PR, we can only do so much as a paper). I also want them to question whether the value is there or they should be demanding more for their millions of dollars. I don’t know how they could do this. Maybe a newsletter that says more than the upcoming presentations. Maybe a budget that has things broken down a bit more so we know, for example, how much each person is being paid and what their responsibilities are to earn that money (or a supplement to the budget explaining how numbers were decided...the current budget really doesn’t say anything people could look at and say “that’s totally worth it”). Maybe, like I said before, they could celebrate their achievements more, and more openly. Honestly, I just want people to start caring (as I think you do). I’ve seen over the years the level of apathy and just “dejected acceptance” reach new highs, and I want to be a part of bucking that trend in what little time I have left here. Thanks again.
Science & Technology
April 2, 2014
Sustainable beef explored Culinary arts and the sciences team up to show students the benefits of sustainable beef Mark Hendricks Ω Science & Tech Editor
Students from both culinary arts and science programs teamed up to present the benefits of sustainable beef on March 26, 2014. (Sean Brady/ The Omega)
What we put in our food is a hot topic right now. People are increasingly interested in getting natural food without any additives. The beef industry is commonly a target, as it’s well known that cattle often have chemical additives and growth hormones in them. Students from TRU’s agricultural science program, with the assistance of the culinary arts program, put on a day at the cafeteria dedicated to sustainable, hormone-free beef. “People don’t want chemicals in their food,” said Ed Walker, chair of the culinary arts program at TRU. “This meat is extremely healthy and extremely good for you. They’ve actually found that finishing beef with grain is healthier for you than just grassfinished beef.” All dishes on the menu in the cafeteria on March 26 came from the Mitchell Cattle Company in Barrier. The beef is grass-fed, grain-finished. This means that the cattle spend their lives eating grass but during the final stage of their lives before slaughter they are fed grain. This theme was even worked into the desert, maple and beef jerky donuts. The benefits of grass-fed beef go beyond just taste. According to information presented by students, grass-fed beef has higher concentrations
of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) which are found in fatty-acids in beef and have been linked to a number of health benefits including decreased body fat mass, increased lean body mass, reduced cholesterol and reduced blood pressure. “A lot of people don’t know about CLA but it’s in fatty-acids and it’s really good for you,” said Emily Townend, a first-year natural resource science student and presenter at the event. A typical cow produces a lot of greenhouse gas in a day, about the equivalent to what is produced by a car. Grass-fed beef also produce fewer greenhouse gases, said Kailey Moir, a psychology student and presenter at the event. “Cattle produce a lot of greenhouse gases, most of this comes from belching,” Moir said. “A lot of this can be reduced by the type of environment they get raised on and the type of diet they’re fed.” Cattle that are raised by grazing on grass produce fewer greenhouse gases because of the dietary change and because as cows graze they mulch the dead grass underfoot. This turns the pasture into a large carbon sink, Moir explained. For students looking to get local, grass-fed, grain-finished beef, Walker recommends some of the retail meat program on campus or smaller local stores.
This week in science New planet in our solar system (it’s WAY out there), redesigning chromosomes, and finally a self-test for colon cancer Mark Hendricks Ω Science & Tech Editor
New dwarf planet discovered within our solar system Astronomers have discovered a new dwarf planet within our solar system that has an orbit further out than anything previously found. Dwarf planets are essentially solar objects large enough to be affected by gravity but not large enough to clear the space around them, such as Pluto and Sedna (the previous record holder for farthest planet). The new planet, VP113, never orbits closer than 12 billion kilometers from our sun. This new discovery, along with the existence of Sedna, has convinced astronomers that there may be many more dwarf planets in our outer solar system. “We’re pretty confident now that Sedna’s not unique,” Chad Trujillo,
lead author of the study, said in an interview with Nature. “There could be hundreds of thousands, if not more. We don’t really know.” Find out more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/
New breakthrough in biological engineering Scientists have created a synthetic replacement for one of the chromosomes in yeast that is able to be successfully passed through generations. Yeast cells have 16 chromosomes and a nucleus, making it the first time chromosomes have been synthetically created for something other than simple organisms like bacteria. The team redesigned the chromosome, resulting in a chromosome with over 40,000 fewer base pairs of
DNA than the original chromosome. The team did this by removing redundant and “junk” DNA that is known to not code for any proteins. “We have taught it a few tricks by inserting some special widgets into its chromosome,” Jef Boeke, who led the international team, said in an interview with the BBC. “What’s really exciting about it is the extent to which we have changed the sequence and still come out with a happy healthy yeast at the end.” One of the new tricks that’s been inserted is a chemical switch attached to the chromosome that allows for easier genetic manipulation. The hope is to make it easier for yeast to be adapted for other industrial processes.
New home test for colon cancer An at-home, non-invasive test for colon cancer has received unanimous approval from an FDA advisory panel. The test involves using a collection kit to take a stool sample at home and then shipping the sample to a lab for testing. This test has been found to be 94 per cent effective in detecting the early stages of cancer. Regular screening for colon cancer is important as it can reduce mortality rates by 60 per cent in adults over 50 if the cancer is detected early. This test could serve to be a noninvasive alternative for those who prefer to not have a colonoscopy, a rather invasive screening method.
With the discovery that the outer solar system might be home to dozens of dwarf planets, the solar map might become much more complicated. (Peter Clark/Flickr Commons)
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Life & Community
The Omega · Volume 23, Issue 25
Feeling taxed? Here’s some information to help you get through this year’s tax season Jessica Klymchuk Ω News Editor The deadline to file individual income tax and benefit returns is April 30, and if you haven’t filed yours yet, just use that return check as your motivation. If you don’t file, you could miss out on GST/HST credit. If you’re still putting it off or have no idea how to file, here’s some info from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) to get you started: • Even if you haven’t worked in the last year, you have to file to make sure you receive any payments you might be entitled to. If you’re 19 years old or older, you should qualify for quarterly HST/ GST credit. • The CRA has dedicated part of its website to students and the specific tax scenarios that may apply to them. Check out www. cra.gc.ca/students to learn how to claim tuition, education, textbook costs and moving expenses. • The CRA has published webinars to guide you through the basics of completing your tax form. There is a video series for Canadian students that outlines how to file, what to file and how to avoid penalties. Check it out at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/events for more information.
• To claim your tuition, download your T2202A form from your myTRU account. This is your tuition, education and textbook amounts certificate and outlines the eligible fees paid during the tax year and the number of months you were enrolled as a part time or full time student. • According to the CRA, most income you receive is taxable and you have to include it on your return. Common forms of income you might receive as a student include employment income, tips, registered education savings plan payments, scholarships, fellowships, bursaries and study grants. You don’t have to include your GST/HST credit, Canada child tax benefits, most scholarships or bursaries and inheritances as income. • If you’re an inter national student unsure about whether to f ile, deter mine your residency status at www.cra. gc.ca /inter nationalst udents. You might owe taxes to the Canadian gover nment, and may qualify for GST/HST credit payments. Send your individual income tax and benef it retur n to the CR A’s inter national tax ser vices off ice by April 30. Direct your questions to the CR A’s inter national tax and non-residential inquiries line at 1-855-284-5924.
The deadline to file individual income tax and benefit returns is April 30 and the Canadian Revenue Agency has a number of resources to help you file correctly. (Photo courtesy duckimonster/Flickr Commmons)
• NETFILE is the online service that allows you to file your taxes online. If you use NETFILE and sign up for direct deposit your money will be deposited directly
into your bank account in as little as eight business days. You can deal with your tax matters online using My Account, available at www.cra.gc.ca/electronicservices.
To get started on your taxes, visit www.cra.gc.ca/getready
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Arts & Entertainment
April 2, 2014
Film review: Noah Burden, diligence, love, the human condition… and a lot of water Mike Davies Ω Editor-in-Chief In the beginning, there was nothing. Then God said, “let there be light,” and there was light, and it was good. In the newest filmmaking adventure by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream), the biblical tale of the great f lood is re-examined in a stark contrast to the traditional version we’ve all come to know. This dark and gritty examination of the story hits on many levels, and despite the somewhat ridiculous premise, puts the audience in the place and time being imagined by the filmmakers relatively successfully. Blending breath-taking special effects with some interesting new cinematography (there’s a kind of “stop-motion, timelapse-of-evolution scene” in the middle that I really liked) with fantastic acting performances and a subtle, understated but poignant soundtrack, Aronofsky has outdone himself with this reimagining of one of the best known tales of all time. Speaking of amazing acting, Jennifer Connelly is some kind of actress, man. Reuniting with Aronofsky for the first time since 2000’s Requiem for a Dream,
Connelly turns in possibly her best performance, and that’s really saying something, considering she won an Academy Award for best actress in a supporting role for 2001’s A Beautiful Mind – coincidentally starring alongside Russell Crowe, who plays the lead of Noah in this new effort. Don’t be surprised if Connelly gets shortlisted a few times next awards season for her portrayal of Naameh (Noah’s wife) – powerful stuff. I’m certainly not going to go through the plot of the film. You know the plot of the film. What I will say is bravo to Aronofsky and his fellow filmmakers for not having some kind of disembodied voice – or even worse, an actual person playing the role of God – and instead letting Crowe’s performance of reacting to visions and dreams and interpreting them for the audience do the trick in terms of his messages from the Almighty. Random piece of advice: Sit closer to the back than I did. I got there with only a couple of film trailers left before the movie started (and on opening weekend) so I ended up closer to the front of the cinema, and some of the camera work might leave you feeling a bit queasy if your right up close to it. I mean, there are 4,734 mammals getting on that
Don’t be surprised if Jennifer Connelly’s name is on a few lists next awards season for her performance as Naameh, Noah’s Wife, according to this reviewer. (Photo courtesy Paramount)
boat (I counted) and then there’s all the birds and reptiles, too. Those scenes – as well as the one where a forest pops up out of the barren landscape – can be a bit visually overwhelming.
Long story short, you should probably see this film. It’s an excellent new vision of a tried and tested story. It has enough interesting magical bits to take the edge off your disbelief at
the situation but not so many to make you think they’re all supposed to actually be wizards and you missed that part in the introduction/lead-in. It’s also beautifully acted and shot.
The Omega · Volume 23, Issue 25
The Sheepdogs at Sun Peaks Dew Tour outdoor concert gathers a large crowd for a night of rocking out Danya LeBlanc Ω Contributor Sun Peaks Resort finished off the Dew Tour Am Series slopestyle ski and board competition with a free outdoor concert headlined by The Sheepdogs on March 29. A large crowd of ski and board enthusiasts crowded the still snow-covered ski hill after a day of shredding to listen to the lineup. The Dew Tour, sponsored by Mountain Dew, is a weekendlong event that ref lects the culture and lifestyle of snow sport enthusiasts. The experience included athlete appearances, giveaways, activities, slopestyle competitions and of course live music. Guests adorned themselves with the free neon green toques and t-shirts while snacking on complementary refreshments. At 6:00 p.m., the concert kicked off with a performance from DJ Frnchm, adding diversity to the lineup with some techno mixes and mash-ups of popular music. Familiar sounds and vocals with unfamiliar beats and speeds engaged people who listened from all over the village. Old Man Canyon took the stage an hour later and entertained the growing crowd of people garbed in toques and gloves with their warm indie rock. Guests filled the beer gardens for après-ski and enjoyed the folk rhythms of the band. The Sheepdogs took the stage just after 8 p.m. and put on a two-hour show. The beginning of the concert encompassed more of the band’s soft-rock music and the crowd settled in to a mellow atmosphere.
The Sheepdogs perform their last song of the night to the energetic crowd at Sun Peaks as part of the Dew Tour Am Series.
The second half of the concert took a different direction. The Sheepdogs changed pace and played more of their hard rocking, upbeat singles to really turn on the crowd. The cluster of people who rocked in front of the stage engaged in a small mosh where people crowd-surfed and danced
with their fists in the air, feeling the pressure of all of the bodies surrounding them. “I’ve never experienced anything like that before,” said Jordan Penner, a mosh participant, while ref lecting on the exciting nature of the concert. “It was slippery and icy, so people would
fall down easily from the pushing of the crowd, but then everyone around you would hoist you up, sometimes even above their heads and it suddenly became crowd-surfing.” The exciting atmosphere combined with an outgoing, friendly, positive crowd whose
lifestyle Dew Tour aims to promote, lead to the concert’s success. The weekend-long event showed off not only the fun in friendly competition, but also the positive lifestyle associated with outdoor recreation and what it means for these people to have a good time.
Album review: Love is Louder Ashley Wadhwani Ω Arts & Entertainment Editor Craig Cardiff, a singersongwriter and father from Toronto, leaves it all on the table in his two-part album Love is Louder. According to his online biography, during his performances, Cardiff has audience members write things they are too scared to say out loud in his “book of truths.” Love is Louder acts as a response to the secrets written in this book. Noticeably versatile, Cardiff manages to reach a world of melancholy and joy all at once. Cardiff’s new project gives listeners 14 original songs with six of the songs produced two different ways, divided into Part One: Louder! and Part Two: Gentler! Part One: Louder! A personal favourite, “Radio #9” takes on a more country than folk personality with a welcoming intro of guitar and drums. Cardiff’s voice successfully takes the spotlight in this number, while his lyrical
writing is on-point with the catchy chorus, “why don’t you radio home?” Cardiff mirrors John Mayer with his rough-meetstherapeutic voice in “Boy Inside The Boat.” He does such a great job of mixing serious lyrics with a carefree beat that you can’t resist grooving to. Imagining the audience swaying to a live performance of this song brings shivers down my spine. “Love is Louder (Than All This Noise)” takes a turn with an upbeat, energy-infused song of hope. With the chorus backed by a choir, Cardiff loses the soulful quality he had going for him in the previous tracks. The powerful lyrics make this song an anthem, but unfortunately the personal quality gets lost when the instrumental aspects get too large for the voice. In a way, the noise is too loud for the listener to really feel the love. Part Two: Gentler! Don’t think that “gentler” means boring. Using his best qualities, Cardiff’s voice sounds clear. The innocence of his raw
voice with the support of only a few instruments is incredibly powerful. “John Wilson” shares the same country-esque narrative as “Radio #9,” with a folk tone. Cardiff gets creative with a mix of percussion and violin and takes a sweeter vocal route. Suddenly four minutes has gone by and the song ends, but all you want is more. The problems with the version of “Love is Louder (Than All This Noise)” in Part One: Louder! are avoided, and Cardiff shines through. His pitch balances well as he maintains control through the stressed chorus and doesn’t begin to sound like yelling. Cardiff nails the instrumentals in “Last Love Letter” with impressive chords on the guitar that can actually be heard in this more acoustic track. Part Two: Gentler! includes more of a folklike sound that accompanies the heavier country in Part One: Louder!. Cardiff sounds strong when he sings, “The heart knows how to sing when the hand only knows what it knows / what it knows from the memories.”
(Danya LeBlanc/ The Omega)
(Image courtesy Craig Cardiff )
April 2, 2014
Western separatism movement growing Tyson Kelsall Over the Edge (UNBC) PRINCE GEORGE (CUP) — There is a separatist amongst the forests of the Pacific Ocean. Its growth reflects the pace of the people outside metropolitan centres. It’s not a typical political movement, not based on the right and left spectrum and not protecting a certain culture. More so, it is about creating one, building off the foundation of what already exists in the westernmost bioregion. It is about leaving two governments based on the east coast that seem to disregard the population on the west coast. The movement calls for a new sovereign state, called Cascadia. In 2011, the “Republic of Cascadia” made it onto a Times‘ list as number 8 of the Top 10 Aspiring Nations, despite the journalist’s throw-in that Cascadia “little chance of ever becoming a reality.” For Cathasaigh Ó Corcráin, co-editor of underground journal Autonomy Cascadia: A Journal of Bioregional Decolonization, since Cascadia is based on ecological designs, its borders would reflect natural boundaries more than politics. Corcráin follows David McCloskey’s influence and says that watersheds should dictate Cascadia’s region. For example, he uses the Alsek River in Alaska and the Yukon as the northernmost border, and the Klamath River (which spills into the Pacific Ocean just south of Crescent City in California) as the southernmost. He also points to the importance
of sharing the Salish Sea, a body of water around southern B.C. and Washington state’s Puget Sound. The map is not perfected though. To some it stretches from Northern California to the Alaskan Panhandle. Other suggested boundaries include Idaho or San Francisco, or use current political borders.
Flowing from that, Corcráin also sees the focus of bioregionalism as challenging the current way citizens associate with land. Bioregionalism, as defined by Brandon Letsinger, founder of the Cascadian Independence Project and manager of Cascadia Now’s web presence, is “a way to reframe and rethink a lot of the boundaries
and borders on this region to better represent economic, political, social and environmental realities.” Corcráin, who travelled around the theoretical Cascadia filming Occupied Cascadia, says that he also noticed many similarities communities around the region had in relation to natural resources and surroundings. A logging community in rural Washington shares many cultural characteristics with a logging community in rural northern B.C. Furthermore, Corcráin points to that fact that Cascadia is a very wild place, and the rugged wilderness is “in your face, hard to ignore.” Letsinger said that Cascadia is the birthplace of the idea of bioregionalism. Further, Cascadia’s ecological systems are still intact relative to the rest of North America. The region was recognized in sports with the creation of the Cascadian Cup in 2004; an intense competition between Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Perhaps, if Cascadia ever were to form, the Vancouver Canucks would change their name to the Vancouver Cascadians and have a nation behind them. Letsinger says that Washington state residents already cheer for the Canucks. He says the same can be said for British Columbians and the Seahawks. The Mariners also have a following in B.C., strengthened by Michael Saunders — an outfielder from Victoria. In Canada, British Columbians have probably inadvertently seen Cascadia’s flag, nicknamed the ‘Doug Flag,’ as it made its way onto the packaging of one of Victoria’s most popular beers, Phillips Brewery’s Blue Buck. The Doug Flag depicts a Douglas Fir over a horizontal tri-colour flag. The three colours — blue, white, and green — represent the bioregion of Cascadia. The blue is for the ocean, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water; the white for snow-capped mountain ranges and glaciers; and the green represents lush forests. The environment is a key factor in any movement towards Cascadia. Letsinger points to the 1970s novel Ecotopia, where a country formed by Washington, Oregon and northern California is a different sort of place, based on social justice with a sustainable foundation. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, associate professor of public administration at the University of Victoria, sees similar outlooks and values on the environment throughout what some call Cascadia. B.C. and Washington have similar ecosystems; as both Letsinger and Corcráin point out, an oil spill in the Salish Sea or Puget Sound is going to transcend a manmade border. Brunet-Jailly adds that those inside what could become Cascadia are very engaged with the sea. Letsinger sees growing support for Cascadia. He points to lack of other alternatives and general unhappiness when it comes to the Canadian and American federal governments and the fact that Cascadia focuses on positives and a new, untainted prospect. According to Letsinger, Cascadia Now is in direct communication with 10,000 to 15,000 people and
“Republic of Cascadia” not as far-fetched as some people think
Above: The dotted line on this map could represent the region known as Cascadia. (Image courtesy NuclearVacuum/ Wikimedia Commons) Inset: A man carries a Cascadia flag around a May Day celebration in 2012. (Photo courtesy badlyricpolice/Flickr Commons)
also acknowledges the many social media groups with thousands of followers. Corcráin agrees, saying that he himself has seen the idea of Cascadia grow since he was first involved. He agrees that Cascadia comes without “ideological baggage,” and says the WTO protests of 1999 were a re-awakening of the bioregional movement in Cascadia. He also points to the bankruptcy of some Oregon counties, stating that economic collapse can be tragic, but it can also lead to opportunity for something new; through this, change is on people’s mind in a very basic and practical way. Going further down the road of politics, colonialism and unceded lands in Cascadia would still exist if the moment of independence came now. As a comparison, the Mohawk population in Quebec says they will hold their own referendum for independence if Quebec wins theirs from Canada. Alternatively, Corcráin views a tenant of decolonization as looking at how a colonial power dominated local governance, and sees the potential separation of Cascadia as being indigenous-led, settler supported. To him, it would be interesting to see how traditional laws can be applied to a modern region with a settler majority. Part of this may be the ability to move throughout the Cascadia bioregion unimpeded by borders. Some say Cascadia is a chance to break old, traditional left-versusright politics. Letsinger argues that it is not a
red-versus-blue issue, but one of empowering communities. He says that there has been some energy in Cascadia behind a “progressive libertarian” movement. Mix in the Cascadian respect for the environment and a localized economy, and the political landscape starts to unfold. Letsinger points out transparency and real democracy as important tenants to Cascadia; he says the question then becomes “Why are we not doing this?” when considering the “dirty corruption” and limited democracy currently in Canada and America and that Cascadians are further united by a love of place. He claims that none of these things are attainable within the current system. So, is a sovereign, but undefined Cascadia possible? Letsinger says surely, and that the foundation is already being built. Brunet-Jailly says the idea of a country is too far-fetched and not something he considers, but does see much cooperation across the British Columbia and Washington border. For example, when B.C.-based officials were concerned that Americans would not attend the Vancouver Olympic Games, the two sides came up with an enhanced driver’s license so that border crossing would be easier, which Brunet-Jailly states is an incredibly complex process. Letsinger uses the renaming of the Salish Sea as an example, breaking down crossborder division that had an arbitrary meaning at best. Only time will give clear definition to Cascadia.
The Omega · Volume 23, Issue 25
The social media circle “It’s kind of like Fight Club — once you’re in, you’re in” Sofia Hashi The Fulcrum (U of Ottawa) OTTAWA (CUP) — Last summer, I thought I logged out for good. I decided to walk away from my online network and work on my real-life social network. I was wasting too much time creeping my feeds — to the point where I had extreme feelings of inadequacy. It had reached a point where I just didn’t give a like. “Are you sure you want to leave?” asked each and every single social platform after I pressed the glowing ‘deactivate’ button. Yes, I was sure. Facebook was pretty melodramatic. By showing countless pictures of my friends and I having a great time, it warned how they’d miss me if I left. Good try, Zuckerberg. I don’t know if I expected angels to sing, doves to cry, or something special to happen, but the act of logging out was surprisingly anticlimactic. However, the four months that followed my social media absence was anything but. After experiencing serious social media withdrawal, I started wondering if everyone connected is as much of an addict, and if we can truly walk away from it. Social media or crack cocaine? For a few short months, Twitter was practically my home. When I woke up, I would update my status with a cheesy tweet like, “Good morning all my tweethearts!” If I went out to lunch, I would tweet it. If I went shopping, I would tweet it. I believed every occasion was a Twitter occasion. While my Twitter updates have considerably died down — thank God — I think at one point I was addicted. A Harvard study found social media to be just as addictive as drugs or alcohol. In the experiment, researchers Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell had participants either disclose personal information or answer trivia questions to test brain activity during personal conversation versus ordinary conversation. When people spoke about themselves, the nucleus accumbens, the area of the brain associated with addiction development, was affected. According to University of Ottawa communications professor and media expert Patrick McCurdy, the very premise of online networking gives users a high not unlike other addictive substances. He says that social media itself is like an addiction because of how instantaneous it is. “The media is perceived as king,” he said. “You send an email to a professor and many people expect a reply instantly. It’s the same with Facebook, we expect everybody is connected.” Darren Sharp, an active social media user, agrees. He believes the addictiveness of social media occurs largely because it takes constant updates to maintain a strong presence on websites like Twitter. “Social media is really immersive and I find it takes a lot of time and energy to be good at it and to be really involved. Especially something like
Twitter which moves so quickly. In order to be involved in a conversation you kind of have to be on it all the time,” he said. “That’s why I’d say I sort of have adverse feelings towards social media right now. When you’re doing so many things, it’s a lot of effort to be really good at it and to be really involved.” “Comparison is the death of joy” — Mark Twain Maryam Dualeh, a third-year communications student at Carleton University in Ottawa, hasn’t had a Facebook account for five years because she believes social media is just a popularity contest. “I don’t have a personal Facebook anymore because I don’t see the point in advertising my personal life,” she said. “There’s always competition, people are always looking to one-up each other.” Dualeh’s belief that social media creates a platform for competition isn’t a novel idea. American social psychologist Leon Festinger developed the social comparison theory in the 1950s. He stated that in order to try to understand ourselves we compare with others. In Communication in Clinical Contexts, communication experts Benjamin Bates and Rukhsana Ahmed wrote that we believe we can compare ourselves to others based on the level of success we think our peers are experiencing. According to the authors, there are two types of comparison: upward comparison, in which we’re looking at others whom we deem to be doing better than ourselves; and its opposite, downward comparison, when we compare ourselves to individuals we deem to be less successful. Though some may find it useful to gauge how they measure up to their friends,
Huffington Post. She further argued that downward comparisons aren’t uplifting either, seeing as they require us to take pleasure in other people’s misfortunes. Am I missing out?
According to an article in Maclean’s, around 19 million Canadians log in to Facebook at least once a month. That’s more than half the country’s population getting the latest news on what’s going on with the people around them. Fear of missing out, or FOMO, has become a catchphrase people use to describe the anxiety associated with logging out of social media completely. When I first disconnected, I thought I’d be missing out on important things. But the longer I went without Facebook or Twitter, the more my FOMO disappeared. In an interview with the New York Times, Dan Ariely, a psychology and behavioural economics professor at Duke University, said we can experience FOMO even if we’re actively using social media. The instantaneousness of social media causes immediate feelings of inadequacy with our current situation, a symptom of FOMO. “When would you be more upset? After missing your flight by two minutes or two hours? Two minutes, of course,” he said. “You can imagine how things could —Patrick McMurdy have been different, and that really motivates us to behave Professor, University of Ottawa, in strange ways.” Sharp said he doesn’t experience FOMO as much Communications as he used to. After having been on social media for so long, it’s easier to cope with many professionals believe it can be negative feelings. But it’s something emotionally damaging to determine that would’ve bothered him more a our own success based on the apparent few years ago. success of others. “People go to such great lengths to “Research has found that present their lives in such a way,” he comparing breeds feelings of envy, said. “Because we’ve had social media low self-confidence and depression, in our lives for so long, I find I can reach as well as compromising our out easier now and identify that feeling ability to trust others,” Daniela and avoid it. I would say FOMO’s Tempesta, psychotherapist from San happened to me before but I wouldn’t Francisco, wrote in an article for the say it happens quite as often.”
There are benefits without a doubt to these networks, but you must experience life without it at times.”
Keep your privacy in mind Dualeh believes one major downfall to social media is that there’s no privacy. “Ten years ago if I wanted to get to know someone, I would have to actually meet them in person,” the student says. “Now if you want to get to know someone, you would go online. A total stranger could know your entire life all through your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever.” McCurdy warns that while we may treat online communications as natural platforms for interacting with each other, it’s anything but. He cites the graphic Facebook chat between student officials at the U of O as an example. Even though the individuals involved were chatting on a private messenger, snap shots of the conversation on someone’s computer in public view makes them liable for what they said since it has been recorded. “Never assume anything on social media is private,” said McCurdy. “Remember that even if you and I are having a Facebook chat, assume it’s public.” Can you really ever opt out? After leaving social media, I found at times it was hard to live without it. Because almost everyone communicates via Facebook and Twitter, it was definitely more difficult to connect with my friends and keep up to date on what social gatherings were going on. You may be able to sustain a social existence without social media accounts if you have yet to experience these sites, but Sharp doesn’t believe it’s possible to leave the social media sphere once you’ve entered it. “It’s kind of like Fight Club — once you’re in, you’re in,” he said. “You know people who’ll be like, ‘Oh, I’m done with Facebook,’ and they’ll deactivate and two weeks later they’re back on. It just kind of pulls you back in and I think it’s because of that social aspect. You do feel that if you’re not on something like Facebook, you’re missing out.” McCurdy disagrees . He believes you can choose to opt out, no matter how difficult it may seem. “You can choose not to have a Facebook account, not to have a Twitter account, not to be on LinkedIn,” he said. “You can make a conscious decision not to be involved. You can choose to have a Facebook page almost as a bookmark but don’t use it.”
(Photo illustration by Tina Wallace)
Many people might be surprised to learn that certain social media sites actually store your personal information or posts you’ve made even after you’ve completely deleted an account, suggesting that when it comes to privacy, you can’t truly leave. “Some of the things you do on Facebook aren’t stored in your account, like posting to a group or sending someone a message (where your friend may still have a message you sent, even after you delete your account),” Facebook’s data use policy states. “That information remains after you delete your account.” Though people may try to completely erase their web footprints, there will always be remnants and past posts floating around for the world to see. If social media stresses you out, go easy Despite my negative feelings toward social media, I came back. Living in the information age, I know it’s an important way people connect with one another and that’s mostly why I hit the reactivate button. Social media is, in many cases, essential to staying in touch with loved ones and discovering career, and other, opportunities. Sharp says it’s important to find balance if you’re engaging with online networks. “I know I said once you’re in, you’re in, but at the same time you can minimize the time you spend on social media,” he said. “Don’t spend too much time creeping people on Facebook, or your hashtags on Twitter.” McCurdy, who says he doesn’t know anyone lacking negative feelings toward social media, also cites moderation as being integral to managing your sanity while using online networks. “I think it’s useful to be connected and to maintain connections, but to also at times (disconnect),” he said. “Go for a walk, leave your phone, go to a concert, but keep your phone in your pocket; experience life. There are benefits without a doubt to these networks but you must experience life without it at times.” Going for so long without being logged in was a relief in many ways, but unfortunately, since so many people see more benefits of social media than drawbacks, it looks like Zuckerberg and company will have the last laugh.
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Puzzle of the week Puzzle of the Week #19 – Cookies! Mom has been not been getting many treats lately. Having had enough of this, one fine day, she showed her hubby and three sons the door. “And take that fleabag cat with you!” She quickly locked and latched all doors and windows. It’s cookie time! Mom baked some cookies for herself. Oatmeal, yum! 1. There was at least one cookie in each of the seven combinations. 2. Sixteen cookies contained chocolate, fourteen contained raisins, and ten contained cinnamon. 3. Each of the seven combinations had a different number of cookies. 4. Seven cookies had chocolate but no raisins or cinnamon. 5. Each cookie had at least one of chocolate, raisins, and cinnamon. How many did cookies did Mom enjoy, and how many were there of each combination? This contest is sponsored by the Mathematics and Statistics department. The full-time student with the best score at the end of the year will win a prize. Please submit your solution (not just the answer but also why) by noon the secondto-next Wednesday to Gene Wirchenko <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Submissions by others are also welcome. The solution will be posted the Wednesday after that in my blog (http://genew.ca/) and in the Math Centre (in the HOL, fourth floor study area). Come visit: we are friendly.
1. Spring flowers 6. Holder for 1-Across 10. Luxury home features 14. Ready for battle again 15. Regrettably 16. Broke down 17. Available 18. Barber’s supply 19. Part of WATS 20. Liposuction, e.g. 23. Encirclement 24. Maximum 27. James, for one 32. Clavell’s “___-Pan” 33. Decorative pitcher 37. Emmy-winning Lewis 38. Hit TV show 42. Turbine part 43. Decorative inlay 44. Corroded 45. Supplement 47. Waders 50. ___ sin 54. Updating a kitchen, e.g. (Brit.) 61. Start of something big? 62. Stake driver 63. Like some calendars 64. Make waves? 65. Bugbear 66. Computer acronym 67. Deep black 68. Engine parts 69. Gave out
1. Video game 2. City near Sparks 3. These may be sowed 4. Doggerel 5. Drives 6. Oracular 7. “Wellaway!” 8. Hot stuff 9. 100 centavos 10. Booty 11. Title for some priests 12. Monkey 13. Corset part 21. ___ pole 22. Apply anew 24. Female organs 25. Phylum, for one 26. Paws 28. Howe’er 29. They go with the flow 30. Mountain ridge 31. Some messages 34. It’s catching 35. Down Under bird 36. Noise from a fan 39. Lobster eggs 40. Overthrow, e.g. 41. “In & Out” star, 1997 46. Aftershock 48. “Johnny Armstrong,” for one 49. Maltreat 51. Insect stage 52. Noggin 53. Wastes time
54. Arizona Native American 55. Dutch ___ 56. Gloom 57. Prize since 1949 58. Machu Picchu builder 59. Hit hard 60. Pluck
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MYLES MELLOR AND SALLY YORK
April 2, 2014
RANDOM JOKE A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be Able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.” “Well, why don’t you nibble on my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.” The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree. Moral of the story: Bullsh*t might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.
The Omega · Volume 23, Issue 25
“Invasion” of the West Coast Tsunami that struck Japan is now three years past, but it hasn’t stopped making waves Tayla Scott Ω News Collective Intern Debris travelling all the way from Japan has brought with it a number of Japanese marine species to the west coast, some of which have the potential to become invasive and devastate the coastal ecosystem. Scientists were shocked to find that 165 different species had travelled from Japanese waters to the coast of North America on dislodged debris. Three of these species are known invasive threats and can devastate the coastal ecosystem if they get the chance to repopulate. On March 11, 2011, northeastern Japan was hit by a severe tsunami, but its waves have affected the coast of North America in ways no one could have predicted. Over the last three years, thousands of pounds of dislodged debris has washed ashore on the west coast. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Environment released information stating that debris hitting the coast will peak in the winter of 2014, but will continue through 2014, according to University of Oregon biology professors. The Agate Beach Dock The waves frothed as they slipped up and down the sands of Agate Beach. In the distance, a massive dock approached. It was 66 feet long, 19 feet wide, 7 feet high and made of concrete and steel, its innards filled with Styrofoam. It had floated across 5,000 miles of Pacific Ocean, after being dislodged from the waters in Misawa, Japan. But the dock did not travel alone. Back when it was still anchored safely in Misawa, the dock was covered densely in local marine life. During the tsunami, it was torn from the beach, with creatures clinging to it for dear life – although technically, they had always clung to it for dear life. As the dock washed ashore on
Agate Beach, many of the attached sea creatures were crushed against the sand and displaced by the dock’s shuddering movements, but thousands of the creatures still clung to the structure, with an amazing journey behind them and a deadly fate awaiting them. John Chapman is a research scientist and a professor at Oregon State University. On June 5, 2012, John Chapman was leaving the university to go study an invasive species in California. His departure was delayed when he received the news that a Japanese dock had arrived on Agate Beach and was rife with foreign marine life. “It was a surprise. Nobody thought that there would be a significant amount of biological material,” Chapman said. “It’s not unusual for species to cling to debris out in the ocean, [but] it wasn’t expected that species would come directly from Japanese shores. It’s a surprise they survived through the open ocean.” After sampling all the species on the dock, Chapman, alongside fellow scientists and local volunteers, began the tedious task of scraping the creatures off the dock and hauling them to land where they would be buried. Afterwards, the dock was torched with fire to kill off whatever remained. “About 30 per cent of the 165 species we found were previously unknown on this coast and therefore are possible threats to the coast if they invade,” Chapman said. A kelp, a crab and a starfish Of all the critters that were on the dock, three are known to be invasive: Undaria pinnatifida, a brown kelp algae; hemigraspus sanguineus, a Japanese shore crab; and asterias amurensis, a northern pacific starfish. The starfish is already a “horrific invader in Tasmania,” Chapman said. Louis Gosselin, a professor of biology at Thompson Rivers University and an adjunct professor at the University
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This small vessel from Japan was found on Long Beach, WA in April 2013. (Photo courtesy Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)
of Victoria, specializes in marine invertebrate ecology. Gosselin explained, “Species that are invasive have the ability to disperse a lot. They have a lot of offspring. They tend to be competitively quite strong and will start doing better in the habitat than the native species. They have no predators that are used to eating them, even disease and parasites aren’t used to infecting the invasive species.” Gosselin related this tendency to human behaviour, “There might be new insects that come to B.C. but I’m not going to start eating them, because I eat beef. I eat animals and plants that I’m used to eating.” Basically, he’s saying that there’s a strong possibility any predators would just ignore the new species invading the coast. But that’s only if the creatures start invading the coast. Right now, it’s impossible to say if the kelp, the crab or the starfish have released any spores, or had any offspring on our shores. “If they were reproducing at the time they got here, that’s when it would be a problem,” Gosselin said. It would also be a problem if any of the kelp, crabs or starfish dislodged from the dock as it arrived on Agate Beach, and swam away unharmed. “About 60 per cent of the biomass on the dock that washed onto Agate Beach washed off with little harm as it came ashore. It ‘got away,’” Chapman said. In December 2012, a second Japanese dock, also harbouring invasive species, washed ashore in Washington. It, too, was scraped clean. But here the window which gives invasive species a chance to reproduce on the west coast shores widens. Gosselin explained that any debris small in size carries little risk of carrying invasive species, but large items, like the Japanese docks, have great potential to carry Japanese species. According to B.C.’s tsunami debris coordinating committee, those docks are only two of four docks to be dislodged from Japan and travel across the Pacific. The third dock was last seen near Hawaii, but has since been lost. The fourth dock’s whereabouts are currently unknown. According to Chapman, there are no attempts being conducted to locate the missing docks, which are sure to harbour more invasive species. Finding them really would be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. “The scouring for debris – I don’t know if it’s even one per cent of our coastline. This stuff is going all the way
up to Alaska and down to California. There are so many parts of our shoreline that no one ever goes to. There missing dock could be on our shoreline and no one’s ever going to find it,” Gosselin said. If that is the case, and invasive species have already begun new life with offspring on our coasts, it could take years before anyone notices. “By the time you find them it could be years from now. By the time you find them there could be millions of [creatures] around,” Gosselin said. This is typically how it goes with invasive species. Think back to the zebra mussel. After invading the great lakes, it repopulated in such great numbers that it suffocated the native species, clogged pipes leading out of the lakes and covered the beaches until barely any sand was visible. Research shows the zebra mussels first arrived in the great lakes in 1987, “but no one started to notice them until the 1990s,” Gosselin said. The zebra is a prime example of how much damage an invasive species can do.
There is a real threat to our local species.” —Brian Heise TRU Professor, Natural Resource Science
More debris, more species, more potential for invasion What about B.C.’s coast? Chapman and Gosselin both agree that the largest threat to the ecosystem are the docks that arrived in Oregon, but any species that becomes invasive in Oregon will eventually make its way to B.C. That being said, B.C. has received its fair share of debris crawling with sea life, too. A shipping container, two fishing boats and a cement tank washed up on
B.C. shores, all with Japanese species on them. The government of British Columbia released an frequently asked questions document about the Japanese debris, which states, “The Japanese government estimated 1.5 million tonnes of tsunami debris was left floating in the Pacific Ocean ... most tsunami debris came from land and does not pose an aquatic invasive species risk; however, some marine based objects might.” B.C.’s tsunami debris coordinating committee stated, “Most aquatic species on debris are ‘normal.’” Unfortunately there is no clarification on what exactly “most” and “normal” mean. “There’s no systematic efforts to look for these species living on the coast. It’s not simple to look and there is a real threat that we are concerned about,” Chapman said. It’s impossible to say what will happen next. Will the brown kelp grow invasive roots on the coast? Will the northern pacific starfish repopulate and suffocate native mussels and clams? Will the B.C. beaches be so densely covered in Japanese shore crabs that with every step will crush them? Hopefully not. But now, more than ever, is the time to pay attention to any debris arriving on the coast. Brian Heise, a professor at Thompson Rivers University and a member of the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia, said the best way to prevent invasive species from repopulating is to remove debris from the water immediately. The marine species will die if left on land. “Education is important. It’s critical word gets out to coastal communities so they know to be on the lookout. There is a real threat to our local species. With the organisms coming across, it’s not just a matter of having extra animals on our shore. These animals could affect our shellfish industries,” Heise said. Heise said that it will be “a combination of American and Canadian efforts,” with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the B.C. ministry of environment and the coast guard all working together. Diligent work has been done – hundreds of volunteers have worked on the coasts to clean up the debris. The government of B.C. has received $1 million from the Japanese government to aid in debris cleanup. But there is still a real threat to the coast. For now, all we can do is watch, wait and appreciate walking the sandy beaches, without crushing crabs with every step.
April 2, 2014
ELECTION RESULTS 2014-2015 REPRESENTATIVES President
Robinson, Dylan Abalkhail, Abdullah Spoiled
644 381 2
Vice President External Douglass, Leif Chiduuro, Blessing Spoiled
Whiting, Elizabeth Yes No
Graduate Students’ Representative 578 432 1
Donnelly, Sabina Yes No
Vice President Finance Bahabri, Trad Yes No Spoiled
International Students’ Representative 858 130 1
Vice President Internal Gordon, Melissa Sijani, Pooyan Spoiled
LGBTQ Representative 563 445 3
Director-at-Large Clement, Kaitlin Staff, Cameron Ghosh, Lahana Gluska, Taylor Shah, Feroz Coulibaly, Assetou Spoiled
Alanazi, Meshari Yes No
Zdunich, Nicolas Yes No
Women’s Representative 671 576 549 502 468 386 3
Bernard, Paige Yes No
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The April 2, 2014 edition of The Omega