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Collaborations at the Regina Folk Festival

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Sheaf

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INDEX Smartphone apps make life easier for both students and teachers NEWS pg 2

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The Sheaf talks NBA tryouts with former Huskie Jamelle Barrett SPORTS pg 3

Quvenzhané Wallis outstanding in Beasts of the Southern Wild CULTURE pg 4

August 23, 2012 | The University of Saskatchewan student newspaper since 1912

Unions are not passé OPINIONS pg 6

USask students track path of pipeline As pipeline deal looms, students report on worried communities with multimedia project, Line in the Sand

U of S scientist and team discover semen triggers ovulation in mammals ANNA-LILJA DAWSON Associate News Editor

ANNA-LILJA DAWSON Associate News Editor For 14 days in late July and early August, two University of Saskatchewan students travelled the 1,772-kilometre route of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. During this time they took photos, captured video and documented the personal stories of residents of the communities along the pipeline’s projected path. Tomas Borsa, a political studies and psychology student, and Tristan Becker, a recent political studies graduate, made the trip from Bruderheim, Alta. to Kitimat, B.C.. Teaming up with Skyler Flavelle from Whistler B.C., the group set out to create a multimedia project titled Line In The Sand. Borsa blogged their travels at lineinthesand.ca while Becker and Flavelle took care of the photography and videography, respectively. According to their website, the project will culminate with a published book “comprised of images, essays and commentary from those affected by the pipeline.” The Northern Gateway pipeline is a project by Enbridge Inc. — a Calgarybased energy company — that would carry an estimated 525,000 barrels of heavy crude oil a day from Alberta’s oilsands to Canada’s West Coast. The project is intended to open up access to

Saskatoon Sirens ready for lingerie football debut SPORTS pg 3

loretta bird and brian ketlo fish with a homemade net on the nadleh river.

emerging Asian markets, where demand for oil is at an all-time high. Many communities nestled around the Northern Gateway’s planned pathway feel that the pipeline’s construction is beyond their control as efforts to protect their land have so far been futile, Borsa said. He said the passing of Bill C-38, a 425-page omnibus budget bill that, along with several other new laws, allows the government to exempt federal projects from environmental assessment, greatly limited those who could speak at public hearings regarding the pipeline. In

addition, Enbridge has provided strict mediation that has reduced the topics open for discussion and limited a speaker’s time to 10 minutes. Borsa said creating Line In The Sand was necessary to help share the opinions of those who are most concerned with the proposed pipeline. What he found surprising was the clear-cut difference in public opinion between B.C. and Alberta. In B.C., where a vast amount of the pipeline will cut through First Nations territory, some communities oppose the pipeline so strongly that they have rallied together

photo by tristan becker

for a ban on oil pipelines and tanker projects within their territories. The majority of these communities depend heavily on already fragile ecosystems for their livelihoods and cannot afford the risk of an oil spill endangering the environment. The militance shown in communities facing serious risks was shocking to Borsa, who said that people will go as far as lying down in front of bulldozers to protect their land. The greater the risk to a community, the more open and

Pipeline

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A protein found in semen has been shown to cause the female brain to trigger ovulation. An international team of scientists led by University of Saskatchewan veterinary biomedical sciences professor Gregg Adams made the discovery and published their findings Aug. 20 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “This latest finding broadens our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate ovulation and raises some intriguing questions about fertility,” Adams said in a press release. The protein causes the release of other hormones through the pituitary gland, which directs organs and hormone releasing glands, and the hypothalamus, the gland responsible for maintaining water and electrolyte balance, pH balance, blood pressure, respiration and temperature control. The hormones released prompt the ovaries to release an egg or eggs, depending on the species. It has accordingly been characterized as an ovulation-inducing factor (OIF).

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NEWS

| 23 August, 2012 | thesheaf.com |

Students reap the benefits as smartphone culture evolves

graphic by samantha braun

For the modern student, smartphones are a useful tool in the classroom DARYL HOFMANN Senior News Editor Waiting outside the campus bookstore, Martin Miller stands with his head down, thumb-tapping his iPhone. He’s gearing up for his second year at the University of Saskatchewan and says he carries his smartphone everywhere. In the classroom, Miller uses the device to email, track assignments, fact-check and take notes. And he’s not alone. A survey released Aug. 9 by communications startup Mobilicity indicates more than half of randomly selected Canadians agree that mobile phones are an “invaluable” tool for students. The “Mobile Student 2.0 Survey” found that 66 per cent of Canadians would use a smartphone to conduct on-thespot research if they were a student while 46 per cent would download mobile apps to stay organized, 41 per cent would record lectures and tutorial sessions, and 42 per cent would coordinate school and social activities if they were a student. The findings point to what former chief culture and technology strategist at the University of

Toronto Mark Federman calls “the emergence of contemporary education and social learning. “Not only are we seeing students using smartphones to record lectures, photograph instructor notes and collaborate through cloud-based applications but some instructors are starting to allow [students] to research items of interest during a lecture or use Twitter to open a back channel of conversation and enhance student participation and engagement,” Federman told Mobilicity. Director of the University Learning Centre Jim Greer, who serves as academic lead for the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Excellence, said we are beginning to see smartphones and tablets used more skillfully to support learning at the U of S. Greer said students will soon be able to complete course evaluations on mobile devices and that smartphones will soon replace clickers in courses that employ a personal response system. But as smartphones become increasingly widespread in the classroom, both students and instructors will have to adapt, Greer said. Students need to learn to stay focused on course material during lectures and tutorials while

instructors should begin integrating online tools — such as Wikipedia and Youtube — into their course design. “If you’re text messaging or Facebooking in class, it’s almost as distracting as when there are people sitting and visiting in the back of the classroom and ignoring what is going on. So I can understand when professors sometimes get annoyed,” Greer said. But banning the devices would be foolish, he said. “More and more apps are being developed all the time. There are some very useful apps to help keep students organized, keep them on a study schedule, and to give them reminders. I think students should be using smartphones more [intelligently] to support their own learning and education.” iUsask and app development at the U of S Three years ago, after cutting his teeth as a software developer at Apple’s Silicon Valley headquarters, Chad Jones returned to the U of S to teach a computer science course on programming smartphone apps. The course was the first of its kind in Canada, and the third in North America.

“During the process of creating the class, we created the iUsask application, which was also the first of its kind in Canada,” Jones said. When launched in 2009, the iUsask app gave U of S students access to grades, campus news, class locations and maps. The most recent update, available for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play, includes additional features including “the ability to find out available seats at various computer labs on campus” and personalized information such as “recommended textbooks for courses that you are enrolled in, your PAWS announcements and access to your electronic Bulletin Board postings.” Now, Jones heads College Mobile, a 20-person Saskatoonbased app development firm. College Mobile has recently developed apps for Carleton University, Western Oregon University, the Saskatchewan Party and the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority. Most of the startup’s employees came from the app programming course at the U of S, which will be offered again in January. The computer science department at the U of S, Jones said, is one of the best in the country, despite being out-

funded by other programs. “If you take some of the best graduates from computer science at the U of S and take them down to Silicon Valley — like myself — and plomp them into high-level jobs, they’ll be fine,” Jones said. “The best here can compete with the best from pretty much anywhere.” Still in development, College Mobile is working on a second smartphone app for the U of S — set to be released in early 2013 — that will “help students find classrooms and bathrooms,” Jones said. In ways that even Jones did not foresee, smartphones have risen from obscurity to the mainstream. Now, he says, Saskatoon and the U of S have dozens of app developers helping to drive the industry. “At the start, a lot of people even at the university thought smartphones were just a fad,” Jones said. “Nowadays everybody has a smartphone, knows what an app is and knows why you would want one.” The Mobilicity survey, conducted online July 9 and 10 by Angus Reid, is weighted to be nationally representative. It is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

University of Saskatchewan joins battle against childhood obesity

The Saskatchewan Blue Cross invested $1-million in the University of Saskatchewan that will enable the College of Kinesiology to adopt the international Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It (MEND) program this September. The announcement came Aug. 21 as a crowd gathered outside

the Peter MacKinnon Building on campus. MEND teams up with local organizations to promote “fitter, healthier and happier” lives by changing behaviors, such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise, that cause obesity. “We care about Saskatchewan people and feel a strong

children play in the bowl on campus.

responsibility to address the pressing health issues of childhood obesity, as our children’s health will determine the future health of our province,” Arnie Arnott, president and CEO of Saskatchewan Blue Cross, stated in a press release. “We are very pleased to be the lead partner of MEND

in Saskatchewan, creating a breakthrough pathway for young people to connect with a new obesity prevention program.” The MEND program will initially take place over three years, starting in Saskatoon before branching out to Prince Albert and northern communities in the second year. Regina and southern

photo by raisa pezderic

Saskatchewan will join the program in the third year. Dean of the College of Kinesiology Carol Rodger said the college is committed to the program and reversing the trend of obesity. “It is also a wonderful opportunity for students and faculty across the Colleges of Kinesiology, Nursing, Medicine and Pharmacy and Nutrition to work together in an interprofessional model of wellness program delivery,” she said. Weekly MEND sessions will be held across the province to educate families on living a healthier lifestyle, with a variety of exerciseoriented games geared towards children below the age of 14. Both parents and children will be able to take part in discussions regarding healthier lifestyles that touch on topics like nutrition, portion size, motivation and exercise. Roughly 29 per cent of Saskatchewan’s children between the ages of two and 17 are overweight or obese, slightly higher than the national average of 25 per cent.


SPORTS

| thesheaf.com | 23 August, 2012 |

Former Huskie Jamelle Barrett bounces into the big league The University of Saskatchewan basketball star reflected on his recent NBA tryout in an exclusive interview with the Sheaf. COLE GUENTER Sports Editor In the last two seasons of men’s varsity basketball at the University of Saskatchewan, point guard Jamelle Barrett stood above the rest. Not physically, of course, as his 5-foot-10 frame made him the shortest player on the Huskies team last year, but in terms of his very large role with the squad. Barrett became a two-time CIS first team all-Canadian, a two-time Canada West MVP, a two-time Canada West first team all-star and a CIS national tournament all-star during his time with the Huskies. Last year alone in the Canadian university ranks he finished among the top six players in both points and assists, averaging 21 points and 6.9 helpers per game. All his hard work didn’t go unnoticed by professional scouts as Barrett received a call from the NBA’s Sacramento Kings earlier this summer. He was invited to participate in a pre-draft workout with a handful of other college prospects on June 24. The Sheaf caught up with Barrett a few days after his workout.

jamelle barrett focuses in on catching the ball.

photo by raisa pezderic

Sheaf: Jamelle, congratulations on receiving a tryout with the Sacramento Kings. Unfortunately you did not get drafted, but what did it mean to you when you found out the Kings wanted to see you

practice just four days before the NBA draft? Barrett: It was special because growing up it was always the dream to play in the NBA, the highest level of basketball in the world. I’m not there yet, but it meant a lot to have that workout. Sheaf: Growing up in Rancho Cordova, Calif. you were less than 50 miles from where Sacramento played their games. Were you a Kings fan when you were young? Barrett: Yeah, growing up I definitely was, especially when they had players like Chris Webber and Jason Williams. Sheaf: Did you get to play with Marcus Thornton or any of the other current Kings players while you were there? Barrett: No, at the workout it was only me and other college prospects. We did drills and scrimmaged for about two and a half hours. I have played with some of the current players before though, and I have a few friends who play for the Kings. Sheaf: Were you able to interact with Kings head coach Keith Smart at all? Barrett: Yes, coach Smart talked to me after the workout. He told me I did well and that he would keep watching me along my journey. It was great meeting with him. When he said he would help me along my journey it opened my eyes because he thinks I can eventually play on that level. Overall the feedback was great and talking with the staff put me on their radar. Sheaf: Were you watching intently on draft day with hopes of hearing your name? Barrett: I was actually hanging

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out at a bowling alley watching the draft. Honestly, I didn’t really expect to hear my name, but I was watching to see if the Kings would take a point guard in the draft or if any of the prospects I played with got a spot. Sheaf: So what have you been doing with the rest of your summer? Barrett: It’s been a big summer. I signed an agent early on and he was the one who got me the workout with the Kings. Then one morning I woke up with a few offers and ended up signing a one-year deal with SAM Basket Massagno [of the Ligue Nationale de Basket] in Switzerland . Sheaf: Wow, Switzerland, are you excited to start your professional career overseas? Barrett: I’m excited and I’m not excited all in one. I leave for Massagno on Aug. 20 and I don’t know what to expect going over there. It’s not like the college environment that I came to in Saskatoon, and I’ll be away from my family. Overall it will be a whole different experience than what I’m used to, but I’m going to make the best of it. Sheaf: Well it sounds like you are on the path to something big. Any final thoughts on your two seasons at the U of S? Barrett: I loved playing there. I’m very happy I went there and got that experience. I really appreciate the whole coaching staff and my teammates for looking out for me. I can’t wait to get back up there again to visit. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Lingerie league ready to kickoff in Saskatoon COLE GUENTER Sports Editor

With only days remaining before Canada’s Lingerie Football League kicks off its inaugural season, the Saskatoon Sirens are practicing hard and finalizing their roster. Their home opening game will be against the British Columbia Angels on Sept. 1 at the Credit Union Centre. Since the proposal of the LFL expansion to Canada, controversy has surrounded the women’s full contact football league, largely due to the players’ lingerie uniforms that offer less protection compared to other professional football uniforms. Many critics believe the scanty uniforms are a reflection of a male-driven sports spectacle focused on attractive women in small amounts of clothing rather than football. At the Saskatoon Sirens practice on Aug. 20, offensive linewoman Candace Friesen gladly responded to the criticisms. “I’d say thank you because I’m flattered that anyone thinks I’m good looking, but come watch a game and you will see that it’s also real football with real hitting and real strategy.” The league’s mission statement affirms that the game is intended to blend action, impact and beauty. The LFL has many rule variations from the National

and Canadian football leagues including seven-on-seven play, a 50-yard field and four downs without the option to punt or kick a field goal. Sirens head coach Chris Lambiris said he has so far been impressed with his players’ ability to learn the game. “Some players are very knowledgeable about the game and have a good understanding of it,” he said. “Where they lack is the actual systems and techniques of things like tackling, blocking and catching. It’s a little bit of a slow process but they’re adapting pretty well.” The Sirens can contract a limit of 20 players to their roster. Currently 18 women have signed to the club. Those women who sign contracts are not paid to play but have all of their expenses paid during away games. The two remaining spots are still being fought for at practices, with new players trying out at nearly every practice. One of those unsigned players is Emily Keenan, who came to her first practice Aug. 20. Keenan, who was born with only one hand, was excited about the opportunity to try out for the Sirens. “I thought it was awesome. I wanted to get more into it but [those of us not under contract] didn’t have equipment,” Keenan said following the practice.

the saskatoon sirens running plays during their practice in sutherland park.

Keenan doesn’t believe her coaches have treated her differently than other players but she’s conscious of her disability. “I try harder because I personally think that I have more to prove just so that people don’t think they have to play softer against me.” The Sirens will play four games this season against the three other Canadian LFL teams: their home opener against B.C., a road game against the Toronto Triumph and

a home-and-home series with the Regina Rage. Each team has been given four players from the U.S. Lingerie Football League in order to add experience to the roster, but it has not yet been determined whether or not those four players will count towards the 20-player limit. The U.S. league has been in operation since 2009 but will be taking a hiatus this season to focus on expanding the league internationally. Players from the

photo by josh schaefer

U.S. league will participate in a promotional all-star tour with planned stops in Mexico, Australia and parts of Asia. Canada is the first country outside the U.S. to start its own LFL league. Australia has hopes to launch a league in 2013.


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CULTURE

| 23 August, 2012 | thesheaf.com |

First-time performances shine in Beasts of the Southern Wild LOGAN MCCORMICK

In an impoverished area of Louisiana, affectionately known as “The Bathtub” by its few residents, a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) spends her days surrounded by a symphony of heartbeats. She’s surrounded by the pulse of the many animals she lives with whose chests she curiously pushes her ear against, listening to the booming thrum of life rushing through their bodies and the heartbeats of the varied characters that populate her world. She’s connected to her community. She’s in tune with its members. In director and first-time feature filmmaker Benh Zeitlin’s film Beasts of the Southern Wild, based on co-writer Lucy Alibar’s play Juicy and Delicious, Hushpuppy is sent on a journey for her estranged mother after her father Wink’s (Dwight Henry) health begins to fail and a great flood washes away her community. Combined with the arrival of giant boar-like beasts called aurochs following the crash of ancient icebergs during the storm, which Hushpuppy’s teacher prophesied early in the film. Hushpuppy’s journey presents a life of squalor intertwined with moments of fantasy. She guides us

throughout the film and the events we experience are filtered through her perspective. The result is a story that is told more as poetry than as a point “A” to point “B” narrative. Hushpuppy narrates the film in a wise but innocent way that recalls Linda Manz’s voiceovers in Terrence Malick’s film Days Of Heaven, and it is Wallis’s performance that earns much of the praise Beasts has been receiving. Both Wallis and Henry are first-time actors, which could have potentially hurt the film. Wallis’s amateurish delivery, however, enhances her character as a whole. Henry, a baker who Zeitlin had convinced to read for the part of Wink, surprises us with an effective performance. He is especially moving in a heartfelt scene near the end of the movie in which Wink is finally able to make an emotional connection with Hushpuppy that surpasses the confines of their tough-love dynamic. With Wink confined to a hospital bed and Hushpuppy at his side, the two switch roles and Hushpuppy nurses her father. Wink is a prideful man. He tries to teach Hushpuppy how to be self-sufficient and stake her claim amidst the chaotic and uncaring ways of nature. Although visually rich and captivating, Beasts could rightly

photo supplied

hushpuppy and wink on the docks of bathtub

be accused of cobbling together its many fantastical elements into a story that rarely becomes more than the sum of its parts. Weaving through the dreamlike, bare-bones narrative, the audience is left to wait for moments of honesty and true emotion. But the moments are there. We see the residents of the Bathtub yelling with elation. We feel the terrible approaching thunder of the mystical auroch beasts. We

are empathetic to Hushpuppy’s heartache as she searches for her lost mother and we see Wink and Hushpuppy connect near the end of the movie. Despite these moments of pure emotion, Beasts is still unable to pull itself together into one cohesive dream. At the core of this film is something beautiful, but we only catch glimpses of it. Unfortunately the weaker elements of the film are unable

Following Shad at Regina’s Folk Festival VICTORIA MARTINEZ Copy Editor

I was late to Regina Folk Fest, which meant I missed Mavis Staples perform. Most prominently, this meant I missed her tribute to Levon Helm and The Band, a heartbreaking rendition of “The Weight.” The set was, by all accounts but mine, one to remember. I wish I could have been there to see it. “There are those moments, like Mavis Staples playing last night, and they are beautiful, inspiring and they remind you a bit of what you love about music. And I think that’s the best part of festivals,”

Ontario rapper Shad said. Shad’s set on the main stage Aug. 10 was another audience favourite. One fan stood out for his excessive cheering. Shad gracefully and gratefully thanked the fan for giving him “a bunch of energy.” Folk music festivals have moved away from traditional sounds to encompass a wide scope of performing artists, making a pairing like jazz crooner Staples and indie rap darling Shad seem perfectly natural. The diversity of a folk music festival gets its full power on the small, multi-artist daytime stages, known as workshops.

shad performs live at the indie awards march

12, 2011.

The stages encourage the artists, most of whom have never met, to collaborate on songs on the fly, leading to some of the most magical moments of folk festivals. At Regina’s festival, which ran from Aug. 10-12, the workshop stages were enhanced by the overall open atmosphere of the event. During the day, entrance to the park is free, giving anyone the opportunity to listen in. A children’s stage in the park made it clear that families were more than welcome, and kids and parents stuck around the whole night through. I caught up with Shad outside his afternoon workshop Aug. 11.

He’d shared the stage with fellow London, Ont. native Cold Specks, Austra (accompanied by the lovely and terrifying Tasseomancy twins) as well as Stars. An all-star Canadian line up. As so many workshops do, it began with a fairly straightforward round of pass-the-mic, play-asong. Each group performed something well-known from their catalogue as the others listened or played along politely. Stars frontman Torquil Campbell tried out a brand-new live song, just to “put everyone on even ground.” The song went over well and Campbell congratulated his fellow

photo by ziovatt/flickr

to hold the better moments above the waterline and the whole film ultimately suffers for it. However, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a film of many strengths as it’s nearly impossible not to fall for Hushpuppy’s determined charm and be affected by the outstanding first-time performances. Beasts of the Southern Wild is now playing at the Roxy Theatre.

artists on “learning a new song in 30 seconds.” Cold Specks went further, inviting all the bands to collaborate on a rendition of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme. She passed the rapping duties to Shad, naturally, who then forgot a verse. It was something of a disaster. A delightful, messy, thoroughly un-rehearsed collision of talented artists unfamiliar with one another and their material. They followed this with Austra’s suggestion, a Backstreet Boys track. This was an unmitigated disaster. It is a rare and wonderful thing to watch an artistic collaboration fail. It is a glimpse into backstage, but more: it offers an intersection of the Canadian arts scene with a visceral reality not available in more polished back and forths. After all, every artist on stage knew Backstreet and Will Smith. They just couldn’t quite play them. “You find the little spaces where you intersect, and you grow from there,” Shad said. “But I forgot the lyrics to Fresh Prince! Everyone knows those!” Shad’s own music is built on the same philosophy of sharing identity. For him, the strength of a musician’s art comes from their individual experience and how they express that. “If you want to make something worthwhile you have to share it in a way that is unique to you, find the tidbit that is neat to you. That is something that is worthwhile for the audience.”


CULTURE

| thesheaf.com | 23 August, 2012 |

Avoiding the dangers of online shopping

JENNA MANN Culture Editor

Answering the door to a new package via DHL almost feels like Christmas until you get the shipping bill or realize the product isn’t exactly what you had pictured. Whether it’s because the size, feel or colour of the item is different than expected or because the product is poorly manufactured, shopping online can be a disappointing experience. The vast availability of products online makes it easy for shoppers to overspend and because return policies for online shopping are often a hassle, buying items over the web can be a great way to waste money. There are certain tips you can follow, however, to ensure you shop smart. 1. Stick to brands you know: If you know how a certain brand or style fits you, you’ll be more likely to approve of the product once you receive it. 2. Avoid impulse shopping: Try leaving your computer for a while and revisiting your shopping cart. Did you really need all that stuff? Don’t shop when you’re bored, either. 3. When shopping for clothes, check the quality of the fabrics with what you already have in your

closet. This will help you compare how a certain fabric fits and reacts to washing and drying. This is especially important when buying jeans. Purchasing jeans online is never a good idea, but if you must, look for something with a little bit of stretch. Lycra or spandex in jeans adds a little give if the pair you ordered is just a bit too small. 4. Always read product reviews. There are various thirdparty sites you can check out for product reviews. People often post reviews on sites like Youtube and Resellerratings.com. 5. Beware of hidden shipping charges: Some websites like ASOS and Karmaloop will charge you twice for shipping, once when initially ordering the item and a second time based on the weight of the package at delivery. This often happens when ordering from other countries. 6. Some sites, including ASOS, have a feature called catwalk where you can watch a model walk in the outfit. Use this if it’s available.

Now, if you’re still positive you want to go online to make some fall purchases, these sites will ease your online shopping experience: THE HUNT If you know what you want but you don’t know where to find it check out thehunt.com. The site that works much like LoveIt or Pinterest; it’s based on member feedback. If you’re obsessed with a dress, coffee mug or pair of sneakers, you can post a photo of the product online and other users will link you to a site that sells the item. This is also a good place to browse for outfit ideas or to spend your money irresponsibly.

shipping. However, Karmaloop is great with customer service and if you’re a member expect to be sent a lot of coupons. It’s worth the time it takes to check your email in order to catch a deal. ETSY Etsy is a conglomerate of small businesses owners selling their art and products online. This site sells a lot of great jewelry, home-sewn clothes and interesting knickknacks. All costs are included in the price you pay online but shipping times and product quality vary. At Etsy you can choose to directly contact the retailer and even commission custom pieces.

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BEYOND THE RACK Sites like Beyond the Rack almost force customers to make impulse purchases. At Beyond the Rack, prices of the designer products are drastically reduced but the site sets a timer for an item once you’ve placed it in your shopping cart. This gives shoppers a sense of urgency, and you shouldn’t buy items when you are rushed. Although the deals are considerable at Beyond the Rack, your purchase isn’t guaranteed. There’s a chance they’ll run out of the product, let you pay and have to refund your money later because they oversold the item.

AMAZON Amazon is similar to eBay and carries a wide variety of products. It carries everything from baby strollers to video games but specializes in books. The site is secure and will refund your money if the seller doesn’t come through. Used books on Amazon start at 1 cent but you’ll still have to pay $6.49 for shipping. The biggest downside of Amazon is that shipping dates can be unreliable. KARMALOOP Karmaloop sells clothing and accessories for men and women. Most of the brands are familiar and can be found in Saskatoon, but the selection is extensive. A lot of the photos on Karmaloop are small and it’s difficult to tell how well the products are made. This makes rules one and three important. This site uses DHL as a distributor in Canada and charges twice for graphics by samantha braun

save up

to 90%

on used textBooks

and 35%

on neW textBooks Being of fashionista Mind but of thrift store means, i will hereby spend less for my textbooks in order to save money for that must-have pair of skinny jeans.


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OPINIONS

| 23 August, 2012 | thesheaf.com |

Unions are an integral part of the labour landscape TANNARA YELLAND Opinions Editor

When I was 16 I worked at a Wal-Mart for about three months before the fluorescent lighting and constant McDonald’s meal breaks started to wear down my basic humanity and threatened to drive me insane, leading to me “quitting” (walking out after a shift and never going back to work). When I showed up for my initial training shifts, I was treated to a video about how to be a good Wal-Mart employee. It was either in that video or in the spiel the manager gave afterward that the training group was told we were lucky enough not to be unionized, because we wouldn’t have to pay any pesky union dues. That statement made me incredibly uncomfortable when I heard it then and the seemingly pervasive apathy toward unionized labour in North America continues to disappoint me. Unions had their heyday here between the 1930s and the 1970s. They are responsible for many rights workers now consider basic to their survival: minimum wages, a limit to how much work can be required of you (which goes hand in hand with overtime pay), the five-day workweek and the right to bargain for further workplace improvements as a group. One thing unions have to spend a lot of time fighting for, and

unified workers are far more effective than individuals

which probably contributes to people seeing them as self-serving, is their own right to exist. But without unions, employees have to fight for benefits and higher — or just reasonable — pay alone. A single person demanding higher pay or an extra year off to care for a newborn child can easily be replaced by someone else who isn’t making those demands. One employee is held back by his or her need to eat and pay rent, whereas a group can fundraise to keep one another afloat during a

strike. Unions provide the essential service of presenting a large, unified workforce to combat the large, unified corporation or government for which you work. This is invaluable. Companies simply do not have any good reason to care about their employees. There are more than seven billion people in the world, and the number of people desperate for any kind of work at any level of pay almost certainly numbers in the hundreds of

photo by kenfagertondotocom/flickr

millions. Beyond keeping enough people alive to staff their stores and have customers to buy their wares, most companies have no incentive to contribute to or ensure quality of life. And with so many people desperate for work, it is not at all difficult to replace a few workers agitating for affordable health care or toxin-free workplaces. The goal of a corporation is to make money. In order to do this they need to keep costs down and maximize profits. Labour costs

money. Minimum wages increase the cost of labour. Weekends and evenings off incurs costs by cutting down on efficiency. Overtime costs more than regular labour because it eats into mandatory time off. None of these things are good for CEOs, most of whom can easily imagine themselves taking that money home in the form of a nice Christmas bonus. As Hamilton Nolan of Gawker so eloquently put it, the philosophy behind not allowing workers to unionize “is the belief that saving 15 cents on a package of Pringles is more important than your neighbors being able to pay for health care.” He was referring specifically to Wal-Mart, but it applies equally to both businesses that try to circumvent employees bargaining collectively and to the cultural idea that unions are passé, a dinosaur from a previous era that is no longer required. This is completely untrue. You and the people you know may be treated well at your jobs despite not being unionized. But unions exist to fight for the rights of workers. They are the only type of organization that does this. To argue that unions are unnecessary is to argue that the rights of workers—which is to say, the rights of people, the rights of the majority of your fellow citizens— are unnecessary, irrelevant, passé. And that will never be the case.

Christy Clark’s conditions for Enbridge pipeline good for B.C. BURNABY (CUP) — Recently, in response to both the Alberta and federal governments pushing for Calgary-based Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline to be built through the province, B.C. premier Christy Clark issued a set of five criteria that the project must meet in order for the province to allow it. Three of the five criteria focus on the protection of the environment. The other two terms deal with B.C.’s financial compensation and the rights of the First Nations who will be affected. Though the terms laid are far from ideal and will likely do little to slow the project, let alone stop it, they represent the provincial government doing what it can with the little influence it has. Criticism of the government’s criteria has come from a variety of sources. Many, notably the Alberta provincial government, say B.C. should not block such a large economic development. Environmentalists are displeased as well, suggesting that the B.C. government needs to refuse the project outright rather than allow it to happen under specific circumstances. However, the B.C. government understands that with the current attitudes of both the federal and Alberta governments, this project is likely to happen whether environmentalists and provincial governments are on board or not.

Given the federal government’s enthusiasm for this project, the best the B.C. government can do is stall it in order to ensure that any spills will be cleaned up as efficiently as possible and milk it for what it’s worth. After all, the oil revenues will largely return to Alberta while B.C. has to shoulder the environmental costs of having oil tankers shipping out along the craggy coastline that is also home to a huge fishing industry. One thing environmentalists should like is B.C.’s inclusion of terms demanding an expedient, efficient cleanup. It is highly probable that there will be a spill along the proposed pipeline at some point; Enbridge recorded 610 oil spills between 1999 and 2010. When that happens, the best thing opponents of the project can hope for will be an expedient clean-up with as little damage to the environment as possible, and for those responsible for the project to be held accountable. Premier Clark’s criteria aim to ensure this happens. The criteria have actually put the federal government in a difficult place and could take them out of the decision-making process to some degree. If the Tories push the project through without accepting the terms, they will likely suffer a blow to their popularity, both in B.C. and among anyone resentful of the Harper government’s sometimes forceful approach to governing. However, if they validate the terms they risk offending their base, as well as Enbridge.

b.c. premier christy clark

This might have pushed the federal government toward supporting B.C.’s demands, but they already know that even with this move they would never win over environmentally conscious voters. Probably the best thing that the B.C. government did to prevent the federal government from pushing the project through was to involve groups other than environmentalists. The government’s terms mean that anyone trying to push aside the criteria is essentially attempting to push aside First Nations’ rights, almost certainly offending First Nations groups across the country.

photo by eric miller/the peak

The consideration of aboriginal rights may not stop this government, just as it has rarely slowed others before it from advancing their agendas, but it means that, come election day, they may feel its consequences. Although B.C. may not be the source of the oil heading through the pipeline, it will bear most of the risk for it. As such, it deserves to be rightfully compensated and given a say in how the project will move forward. We’re facing an uphill battle, but at least B.C. is doing what it can.

WES FUNK

Signing Cherry Blossoms Saturday, August 25, 1:00 PM

®

UPCOMING EVENTS

BENEDICT REINERS The Peak (Simon Fraser University)



LUIS CARLOS MONTALVÁN AND TUESDAY

Reading & Signing Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

run August 23, 12.indd 1

Monday, August 27, 7:00 PM

08/13/12 2:30:59 PM


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| thesheaf.com | 23 August, 2012 |

Pipeline

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willing the community members were to share their stories, he said. Enbridge has offered communities along the projected path a 10 per cent equity stake in the project in an attempt to increase support for the pipeline. The company recommends that this money be used to fund cultural centres and build schools in their communities. Borsa said that many communities have refused the offer and remain opposed to the pipeline. He said that there is no middle ground to be found for communities that support the pipeline but still harbour concerns for the environment. The few people that the Line In The Sand group found who are in favour of the Northern Gateway project in B.C. were Shari Green, mayor of Prince

George, and Joanne Monaghan, mayor of Kitimat. Both were unavailable for comment when Line In The Sand requested an interview. Borsa found that Albertan communities were generally accepting of the pipeline, due to what he believes is simply more familiarity with the mining and oil industries. Economically speaking, Alberta has more to gain than B.C., with more job creation and much more money going directly to the province — Alberta will receive 30 billion dollars over a period of 30 years while B.C. will receive six billion. Borsa said that Albertans were more concerned with whether or not Canada should wait for the price of oil to rise before opening up to international markets or if the Asian markets are the best place for Canadian resources to be exported to. He added that if the project does

move on to the construction phase, Line In The Sand must return. “It ramps up the urgency of us going back.”

Discovery

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“The idea that a substance in mammalian semen has a direct effect on the female brain is a new one,” Adams said. After being compared to thousands of proteins and through research done at the Canadian Light Source, OIF has also been found to have the same molecular structure as nerve growth factor (NGF) that is found in the body’s nerve cells. “To our surprise, it turns out they are the same molecule,” Adams said. “Even more surprising is that the effects of NGF in the female were not recognized earlier, since it’s so abundant in seminal plasma.” The group studied a wide range

of animals, ranging from koalas and mice to cattle and humans, and has found OIF/NGF in every mammal examined thus far and that OIF/NGF creates the same effects in each species. However, the roles of the protein in different species — specifically the clinical relevance to human infertility — are still unknown. NOTE: In order to access the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences database, log into your Usask Library account and search the journal under E-Journals. Highwire Press National Academy of Sciences will direct you to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences where you can search the article; The nerve of ovulation-inducing factor in semen.

COMICS


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| 23 August, 2012 | thesheaf.com |


The Sheaf 23/08/12 - Volume 104 Issue 1